OH!! No not your kind. Sorry not your kind. Oops not your kind either. Calling all Christians that think just like me!!
That is the kind of Malarkey we are seeing these days. Wild assertions of "then you are not a real Christian". A notion that one or two verses in the Bible determine our relationship with Christ. One says "this verse" and another says "that verse".
Well to me and my people Jesus is Love. So you can write your own Bible verse about Love. We do not care. Do this and do that!!!! Well how about we just sit down hold hands and discuss it and find the best application of all the good teachings of the Bible and do the best we can, together.
I took a month sabbatical from preaching and teaching --- because I had become a "leader" and it crushed my very soul. Christians are not to lead but to serve. We are not to judge but to be judged. We are not to set rules by copying text to suit our desire. No we are to provide for others.
(do not get me wrong here,,, one of my favorite sports is bantering thoughts with other Christians and others -- but that is banter and fun)
We are to provide. Let that sink in. No conditions, just provide what we have to offer.
Calling all Christians!!! Calling all who Love!! For if you love one another you are mine!!
Please throw out thoughts on this. I know it will wrankle some who want rules and hell, so be it.
There's only one thing Christians agree on:
Those who don't ascribe to the ultra-specific regional brand of the denomination of Christianity that I practice are tools of the devil and should be burned at the stak--er, I mean, dismissed as heretics--er, I mean, ignored--er, I mean, tortured. Yeah, we'll go with that.
What do you mean "these days."? You guys have been fighting and killing and arguing over what the majik book says since the first christian pretended to grovel to the Super Being.
Where do you get the idea that this is a new thing? Wild assertions about an Invisible Super Being making the second best sacrifice it could possibly make is the problem.
Howdy Mark -- best wishes to you as always. "you guys"??? Well I can only account for about 50 years or so. "Majik Book" might have some point to it if you do not believe. "Invisible Super Being" is not bad at all. But I see it in you with your love. Go figure!
Best wishes to you also.
You guys = self professed Christians.
Is "Supernatural" better than "Majick"? What is the difference?
Still - you completely managed to avoid the point I made. Which - is actually strange unless you don't really want to stop fighting about who is the real christian. I will leave you to your self righteous preaching again. I personally don't consider ignoring every point I make and then repeating that you love me to be love, but - that is just me. Go figure.
Here is a serious question for you. WHo gets to decide if you love me or not? You - or me?
Mark I get to decide if I love you. I get to decide if I love Jesus. You get to decide for you. You cannot decide for me. I do not get to decide who loves Jesus.
Supernatural is good PC. Majik sounds wrong. But we know Majik and Maji come from the same concept so.
You guys + lumps acts done 300 years ago to this guy. It seems negative.
Yes sometimes I ignore questions I do not like. Usually when they are framed in the "have you stopped beating your wife" genre. Or if they are surrounded by jabs and barbs.
Good for you ignoring reality like that. Keep your love. I don't want it because it feels like self righteous preaching and I don't like that.
But basically you prefer to pretend that this question of christians arguing over who is a real Christian is actually a new thing and has nothing to do with your comportment. OK. As they say - you can lead a horse to water, but if he prefers denial of reality instead of truth, he will not drink.
I know, the truth hurts sometimes, but there is no easy way to say this other than point out the facts. And the facts are that "you guys" have been fighting and arguing over what the majick book says since it was started. This is why your religion causes so many conflicts.
Feel free to ignore me in favor of your irrational beliefs.
Mark again I will tell you: Your manner in discussing is really unfriendly and seems to be artfully designed to insult and ridicule, yet leave no marks on the victim.
Since before Nicaea "Christians" have not only been arguing over what The Book says but also what should be in it and the qualities of the authors. Historically those arguments costs thousands their lives.
And history is good to know. And debate is good to have.
So I brought the debate current. And we are focusing on the debate of today.
Can one Christian really decide if another professed Christian is Christian. I pose that the answer is no.
Now there are a lot of "rules" set forth in the Bible. Some can well argue that if you do not follow all those rules --- ergo, not a Christian. As though Christianity is LAW based. So I opened a forum to discuss that issue today.
Well - I don't like some one continually telling me that they love me and then deliberately ignoring what I say in order to tell me how much they love me again. So - now you know why I am abrasive towards you. Seeing as you are behaving towards me in the way you want me to behave back - right?
But sure. Lets bring the conversation current. Today - the irrational belief in an Invisible SUper Being who gave you a set of LAWS to live by is the problem. The majick book that is your reference toe the LAWS you should follow is - at best - unclear on certain issues. It also instructs you to chastise anyone who is not following the LAWS set forth as not being a Christian.
This is the point I am making. There is no logic or reasoning in the bible. Just a set of LAWS to be followed. You don't follow them - you are not a christian. Simple. Hence the 2,000 years of arguments.
Never met a real christian myself - have you?
Thanks for the explanation of the abrasiveness. I will try harder not to cause angst. I agree with you. That if we take the Bible as a set of laws then we become Sophists. (do not tell anyone but I have a law degree) I understand the waste of time of a room full of lawyers debating what a law means.
So the Majik book must be read to gather/garner higher understanding.
It is not hard to do. I read poetry that makes me be more gentle and understanding and appreciative. I can read the bible just the same.
But saying that the Bible is "just a set of laws" is wrong and totally disrespectful. Please take that back.
Your closing question is what this forum is all about. I think so for awhile and then maybe not so much. Sense I believe our faith is in our hearts I know that hearts change. So........
I have no respect for the bible and I certainly will not. Guess you didn't listen to anything I said after all.
But - does reading Stephen King make you want to go out and kill people? Because when I read the bible I just start hating on the homos and want to go find some witches to burn. Like god said.
I think you are missing what I am saying - probably not deliberately, but because it challenges your belief in majik. Fact is - there is no logic or reason in the bible. Therefore everything in it is open to interpretation and is faith based. Which is why you have had 2,000 years of conflict over what is in it and what it means to be a Christian.
Now, I am not saying this is the only source of conflict in our society, but it is very, very easy to abuse this sort of faith, because believers have had to suspend their rational thought process in order to swallow the majik. Everlasting life for goodness sake. It doesn't get any better than that.
This is why you are always, and I mean always going to have arguments and conflicts surrounding this belief. Which is one of the main reasons I rejected it - along with National Pride, in the first place.
So - you are always going to be arguing with people if you hold on to this belief.
Is it worth it?
Actually, Eric, I disagree with this statement to a degree.. You may decide whether you love another or not, but it is up to the recipient to decide if what you are doing to them actually constitutes what they feel is love. Have you ever read "The Five Love Languages" By Gary Chapman? In case you haven't, Dr. Chapman basically broke love and the feeling of love into five "languages" : Physical touch, Acts of service, Giving gifts, quality time, and Words of affirmation. The basic synopsis states that you may feel like you are showing you that you love them as according to your love language, but the recipient may not feel that love because they are speaking a different language.
In the case of the whole religion debate, You have a lot of evangelical Christians that state that they warn people about Hell because they love them, however, most people do not feel that "love" because they don't take too kindly to what appears to be a threat against not behaving a certain way..
So You may say you love Mark, or even Jesus, but if you are not acting in a manner that is speaking the love language of the person you are professing love to, then it cannot be truly seen or felt as love.
Hi Deepes, I do not accept Chapmans' premise. What he describes is a societal conditioned love concept. My notion is of unconditional love. Love founded on the acceptance of that love is very iffy. Are we saying that a parents' love for their child in disciplining them is not love?
Even unconditional love must be felt by the person receiving the love. In communicating with another person, it is important that you provide love by the receiver's standards..
I like to use the quote "Seek to understand before we seek to be understood"
Looking at your example of disciplining a child. In order for discipline to be effective, it must be done in a manner that is understood best by the child as being discipline. failure to do so could be psychologically damaging to that child. Discipline is love only if being done in a manner that is not damaging to the child.. otherwise, it is abuse.
We will disagree on that premise of the love. Because some people have Alzheimer's we cannot love them. Psychotics do not deserve our love. Paranoids?
Discipline to a child who does not comprehend the reason is wrongful.
Why not? This is a sensitive subject here because my grandfather passed away from alzheimers and I loved him to the day he passed.
But we are called upon to love all people, just not their actions
Correct. A child that does not comprehend the reason cannot feel loved because they do not understand the reason. conversely even if a child understands the reason dor the discipline but not the discipline itself also cannot feel the love in the discipline. Love also cannot be felt or expressed in a discipline if you are continuing to try to use the same methods and they aren't working.
Deepes you just said they had to love you back for it to be love. And that if you could not show it --- Chapman it was not love. Well Alzheimer's patients lose that notion. So in fact you agree love does not need to be returned to be love. Chapman is flawed.
No I didn't say they had to love you back for it to be love. I said you have to understand the person you are trying to show love to so that you are approaching them in a manner that they feel it as love. It really isn't love if you are giving it your way. True, unconditional love is selfless. to love someone your way is selfish and is not unconditional
I have also loved a person with Alzheimers disease. And various people with mental illnesses, one involving psychosis.
Love is for better and for worse. That is not totally unconditional but it is a heck of a lot more than "until you start acting funny and then I am outta here".
The true essence of unconditional love is to make sure that the person feels the love that you are trying to convey
Deepes, I have to respectfully disagree. Unconditional love, by definition, has no conditions. I do things for people, out of love for them, that do not even know who I am or that I have done them. They feel the benefit, but know not from whence it came. Give the glory to God, as ultimately it came from Him, regardless of what part I played. That is one good example of unconditional love.
You still made my point, my friend. People FEEL the benefit of your actions and equate that feeling to love. Love is a feeling. If the feeling is not there, then how can it be love?
Okay, so case in point: Out of love and concern for folks, money, goods or services are given. The recipients in many cases have come to expect, or feel entitled to the assistance, don't know who it comes from, don't care, and may not even be particularly grateful. They may not "feel" or appreciate the unconditional love that made their relief or remedy possible. They feel they are owed this and are not impressed by the generosity. This is not always the case, but neither is it an uncommon scenario, particularly in the US these days. Are the people making the benefits possible when it is not required of them, and without expecting anything in return, expressing unconditional love? I say they are, regardless of the perspective, attitude or understanding of the recipients.
Friend bBerean. I work at it everyday. Perhaps I will get better at it. It is tough. The big "let go and let God" is a hard one for a big brutal controlling man. Age is helping. Thanks for a nice lesson.
I think you are mixing it up with self righteous condescension. Oh well.
Judging by the comments you make and receive, self righteousness and condescension would appear to be the hallmarks by which you are known in the forums. How rich the irony then, when you apply those terms to my description of someone giving anonymously to help others. Does it betray a lack of understanding of what those terms mean, or is it denial and projection on your part? Do you not seek to reinforce your high opinion of yourself through belittling others consistently, and do so with an audience, (which would be expected for both self righteousness and condescension)? Do you not also work hard to agitate and provoke, hoping to elicit emotional responses which can then be used as fodder to to show others in a poor light, that perhaps yours may appear more bright? I expect I am not alone in seeing how well your very words, thrown repeatedly at others, seem to define you.
isn't it the least bit ironic that the very thing you're berating Mark for doing you're now doing yourself? No?
Here's the thing. I can be respectful of people. I do not have to be respectful of ideas. Some ideas are absurd. If I challenge an idea or belief, and someone is personally offended, I am not meaning to offend them personally, but I see nothing wrong with criticizing a belief or a statement. Beliefs and ideas do not have feelings and cannot be offended. Therefore, I separate myself from my ideas, and if they're criticized I try to not take it personally. Maybe some people's ideas and beliefs should grow a thicker skin - or they should learn to separate themselves FROM those ideas and not equate personal attacks with a criticism of an idea.
Just a thought.
By your logic then, are you not doing it to me, and so the dominoes fall? My response to Mark was carefully worded, and I believe it to be both accurate and appropriate, not disrespectful or a personal attack. Respect does not mean ignoring truth.
whose truth? How do you demonstrate that your truth is actually true? Isn't it "true" that what you consider to be truthful about Mark or others is really nothing more than just your opinion - and that others may not share that opinion? While facts are impartial, truth is (unfortunately) often subjective, depending on the position and the opinions of the person who posits it. A lot of theists claim absolute truth. That doesn't mean that they're all correct - in fact, it is impossible for them to all be true. It is possible, however for them to all be false. Is it untruthful then that ideas/beliefs have feelings of their own, and they can therefore be offended?
If I was simply the last link on the chain, perhaps you can justify that in recognizing that I'm an atheist. To a lot of Christians, that means I have no moral compass. Christians, however, are supposed to be held to a higher standard, no? Something about removing the plank from your own eye before worrying about the speck in someone else's? I also recall something about turning the other cheek and the meek will inherit the earth. Sound familiar?
What specifically did you consider to be untrue or a personal attack? I gave my impressions and asked him questions. What did I state as fact?
You said that respect does not mean ignoring truth. I assumed that meant that you believed there were truth in the things that you said - but that truth is solely your opinion, is it not?
" Do you not also work hard to agitate and provoke, hoping to elicit emotional responses which can then be used as fodder to to show others in a poor light, that perhaps yours may appear more bright?"
While it may not be perceived as a personal attack because you phrased it in the form of a question, I realistically see no question in it. It is simply a veiled assessment of someone else's character based on your opinions of them. It implies that Mark needs to criticize other people's ideas to make his seem better - when I don't find that to be the case at all. In addition, the phrasing was accusatory and negative. Of course, that's only my OPINION, and I don't claim it as truth - or fact.
It is not surprising that you and I would have different impressions of folks, based on what they put forward to represent themselves and how they interact. I would be a bit surprised if you did not at all understand how someone could justifiably come away with the impressions I have. I am also not sure why it seems to be a problem. I do respect your opinion, but clearly we disagree on this.
It's not that I don't understand how you drew your conclusions or got those impressions. I do. What I disagree with is claiming that your opinions or impressions about someone can be called "truth" when not everyone shares them. If truth is truth, and not opinion, then everyone should have the same truth. That is not the case.
Mark is not for everyone, that much is clear. But I still maintain that there is a huge difference between criticizing/ridiculing an idea or belief as opposed to ridiculing/criticizing the person behind them, and I DO find it slightly hypocritical (at the least) to point out someone else's shortcomings in such a negative and leading manner (which, in my opinion you did) while displaying the same type of behavior (with intentionally negatively leaning words) ones self.
You may see me as a hypocrite, then, for doing the same to you - but I see it differently. I merely pointed out a distinction without attacking you as a person. If that makes me a hypocrite to you, then so be it. I'm okay with that opinion, and there's really little I can do to change it. My initial response to you did not make assertions about your character or ask leading, negative questions. It simply pointed out a differentiation between criticizing a belief vs criticizing a believer. I made no comment about Mark's posts - simply responded to one of yours. I don't honestly think that can be compared to the response that you left for Mark, but you were quick to point out that, if you were guilty of it at least I was as well. In my mind, that reminds me of a child being scolded by a teacher/parent and then turning around and saying "but she did it too". *shrugs* I don't find that to be very convincing. (especially when one considers themselves to have a higher standard than others)
I suppose in the context of this thread I could see how my response may seem disproportionate, but I draw from reading much of what has been said, here and elsewhere, and many exchanges and interactions over time. I know you draw from even more, as I don't spend that much time here. I just deleted a fair amount as there is nowhere for this to go really. Sorry to have disappointed you, but we remain in disagreement.
Actually, truth and directness are what I am known for. I am not interested in listening to your claims of how much you help others. It sounds like self righteousness. Because that is what it is. What can I say? The truth hurts. Too bad.
Mark you take offense at everything so you are becoming a broken record. "Sanctimonious, condescension, I do not want you to love me"........ It is telling a tale. That tale is not good and is three fingers pointing back at you with every finger you point.
Everything we speak of in inspiration you degrade. You attack every nicety we put forth. I love you but you have to pull yourself out of that pit of hate a little. Or maybe you chose to stay ---- but if you do, STAY there and leave us "normal" non hating folks out of your pit.
I love you so much I feel obliged to put you in your place. You are sanctimonious. You haven't put any niceties forth Eric. Just claimed how wonderful you are at loving everyone. Speaking at telling tales. Yes, I reject your self righteous love for the condescending lie that it is.
Good for Mark knowles. You are one tough hombre and I am just fool. Reject my love. You are a pleasure to know. I am sorry for your misery.
No Mark that is deflection. Your anger is not OK. Hate at every comment is not OK. Your negativity reflects on you, not those you write to. Your despise of all nice and good is not OK..Because people want to be happy and loving and you feel it is your job to harm that -- no buddy, it is not OK. Harm to others through hateful and abrasive language is not OK. It may be OK for us, but it is not OK for you. Your ego is larger than a military tank. I have seen love and understanding and complete tolerance to you and you hate it. That is a problem for you not for me. How can a human bite a hand that reaches out to it in love? that is reptilian not human. After ten wrongful comments it just becomes so obvious. The problem is not all of ours but yours.
Actually, both of you do. He decides whether he loves you and whether to show you that love. You decide whether his actions constitutes love by your definition and perspective of love
Well - his love is going to be unrequited in that case.
I know, I know - you don't care what I think or want. Which is why I don't consider it love. I consider it self righteousness.
Mark, you miss that point. I care and when you spit in my eye it hurts but it cannot change the love. My eldest when she was five bit my finger really hard. I did not stop loving her. Nor she me. This is just to illustrate the point.
Sorry Eric. Just self righteous preaching at me is all I feel. I feel no love at all. You seem to be the one missing the point. You are the one getting the benefit of this "love," therefore it is worthless to me. Understand?
I think there is a difference that is often mixed between caring for a person directly and caring for their beliefs, actions, etc.. Like take you and I, for instance. I like to think you respect me as a person even if you do not respect my more irrational principles just like I respect you and I actually respect your lack of belief, even if we disagree on some things. Sometimes it is difficult to separate the two, but it is necessary if we are to communicate effectively
Yes. But - I am of the opinion that it is simply not possible to love unconditionally. Which is why no one does it.
Truth. But we can try. And we can get close. And it can be a priority.
But Mark you are right, only God can do that.
So - your god commanded you to do something you can't do and then you are OK with just trying and failing?
It's not always about the destination. Sometimes it's about the journey. It's not about acheiving that perfect level of love, but striving to love more today than you did yesterday
I actually agree with this statement. The debate on what the bible really says and intended has been going on for several hundred years. The translation and retranslation as well as the addition and omission of passages to set out a specific agenda certainly hasn't helped the cause of Christianity.
"We" all like to say "Bible based" and indeed in purity that notion is correct. But now we must ask - whose Bible and whose interpretation?
I think that with so many transliterations and copyrighted versions we have to say. "faith cannot be founded on the words themselves, it must be founded in a Global reading for overall understanding" Do not get me wrong we should all read and meditate on the Scriptures but I suggest staying away from reading them like a law code.
And I agree with this as well. The issue with this is that it begs the question of whose understanding? We all have different perspectives and understandings of what it is that we are reading. We may agree on some things, but there will always be a difference in understanding what is being read
Eric, this is the very reason I have issues with Christians...not Christ...but Christians. Sometimes when I see Christians tell other Christians that they are 'not true Christians' or call other branches of Christian 'not true Christians' I just have to wonder, does anyone really know? Can they really ever know? Until then, why don't ALL Christians just live their Christian life by example as Jesus did. Do not condemn, judge, show intolerance, and do not be self-righteous. It seems so simple but for those that want to paint themselves into the only "proper" category corner, IMO, they are only fooling themselves and come across as anything but Christ-like.
It is so hard. But you know what, I think it is designed that way. Like -- Do not be a Preacher man (like me) be a servant like Him! It is just tough.
And so I fight the battle within me on exactly what you said and I say each day: This is the day that the Lord has made and I shall be glad and rejoice in it.
We try so hard and fall so short --- yes we should at least lift each other up.
I have to disagree. Professing that "Jesus is Love" and "Love is Jesus" simply doesn't sound any different than the false "God is Love" American preachers during Viet Nam era. This level of thinking is such a discredit to Jesus, because he is so much more than just "love" and love is only a small part of him and his existence! Jesus is Christ, Lord, Logos (the Word), Son of God, Son of Man, Lamb of God, New Adam / Second Adam / Last Adam, Light of the World, King of the Jews, Rabboni and Rabbi... and so much more!
Yes, love is a part of his attributes, but to preach and teach on the premise that Jesus is more about Love than anything else is incorrect. Jesus was a teacher, teaching good from bad, right from wrong according to God's word in the scriptures, so rather than Jesus practicing "Love" he was in fact practicing "Tough Love". Preaching that just loving Jesus is enough to get to Heaven is false preaching, the gate is small, many will be standing in front of it and not so many will get through it to heavenly eternity.
I can understand non-believers not believing the complete Bible truth, but I simply cannot understand self-professing believers who don't believe the complete Bible truth. If anyone professes to be a Christian and doesn't agree with core concepts that the Bible teaches us, then the Atheists have a point... why so many various belief differences and denominations? The answer to that question is because denominations have decided to believe, not believe or interpret certain scriptures in their own ways.
A good comparison for non-believers is Liberals and Democrats... not all Democrats are Liberals and vice-versa, but both are on the same side of the fence, and both disagree with Republicans on 99% of the issues. In the same train of thought, not all Christians believe the same thing, but most Christians should agree with each other on the core concepts of the Bible 99% of the time, if one does not agree with most of the core teachings, then maybe they really aren't Christians at all... maybe they are really a wolf in sheep's clothing, and maybe they shouldn't bother professing to be Christians at all.
Wonderfully composed and written -- and I feel written in love. I will accept it that way. My core concept is love. What specifically is yours.Matthew 22:
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I just do not think that leaves a whole lot of room to put other "core concepts" first. But that is just me. I truly loved reading your perspective and appreciate it. I will pray to love it.
After years of making every possible mistake as a Christian, I am ashamed of myself.
My sanctimonious behavior has driven away my son and my daughter from God, resulting in grandchildren who know very little or nothing about God and who have never attended church.
This breaks my heart. However, I have to take 100 percent responsibility for behaving like a jerk...marching around the house, driving away the devil...or the car before a vacation...embarrassing my children...I did what the church TOLD me I SHOULD be doing...instead of getting to know God and His Son Jesus Christ on my own. I transferred "shoulds" and "should nots" onto others...
Here is one lesson I have learned:
1) It is not my TALK. It's my WALK. I don't need to go door to door preaching Christ, nor stand on a soapbox in the middle of town square with incessant babbling about what people SHOULD or SHOULD NOT do. IF I want to give God glory for helping me through multiple trials, I'll do it with my writing. I no longer approach. I let others approach, on their own, to choose whether or not to read what I share, in writing, about my beliefs.
All this being said, I no longer go to any church. I'm still suffering from PTSD from the damage churches have done to me. However, my faith in God has never wavered. I will never blame God for the mistakes I have made as a Christian. He has never failed me in ANY circumstance...many of which I created.
I refuse to argue with Christians or non-Christians about the Bible or behaviors of both Christians and non-Christians. Instead, I can be the manifestation of Christ...daily...by giving the blank page of my day to God, and asking Him to guide me intuitively moment by moment.
I repeat: It is not my talk, it's my walk. My prayer is that society sees the Light in me, rather than the pious, prideful, judgmental, hypocritical idiot I was years ago. It has been a hard, long journey, filled with mistakes, for me to get to this point in my life.
One more thing: to those who are not Christians: I can totally understand why you feel the way you do.
I get it. However, I know that I know, if not for God and His Son living through me, my life would be a disaster. It is God, not the church, that I dare to trust in every aspect of my life. Blessings, Sparklea
Sparlea, thank you for that witness. I do not think it is sanctimonious at all. A non believer hears such a story and they discount you giving credit to God because they cannot believe that part. I understood it. And thank you for sharing it.
I think it's important to never waver on faith. To let the Lord guide you and love others unconditionally the way the Lord does.
Wait - the Lord loves us unconditionally? Since when?
I think the essence of unconditional love is by definition that it is unconditional. They don't have to love you back.
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