"I am not an atheist. I have a rational fear of God, and yet the common sense to ignore it."
The Bible gives us an idea about how to be accountable for our actions, while also giving us a pair of scapegoats. On one end you have Hell (a place we go when we have sinned too much). On the other, Heaven (a place we go when we are absolved of our sins). Then you have God (a belevolent being that will forgive us for our sins). The devil (who makes us do bad things).
The Dilema with religion is finding a rational arguement to defend it. The reason all arguements for religion fail is because there is no solid idea behind it. I can say that I believe in something....but who is going to believe it with me?
Man for milenia has saught answers to the question "why are we here?". The answer to that question, undeniably is that "we are". The saying "God transcends all time and thought" can be interpreted as this: Time and space are so vast and complicated. Why not settle for something simple, like God?
Take into concideration Science. That explains things in concrete terms, which in tern makes us question ourselves, then strip it all away and say "some imaginary man that lives in the sky is responsible for everything we see and do". Makes it pretty hard to believe?
I am pretty sure God never intended for man to have religion, for this is the fruit of the tree. So when seeking a spiritual path, leave God out of it.
Are you saying that before choosing a path there has to proof? Are you asking too that if you believe but have no proof then what is the point?
http://youtu.be/28PjVaW4kKI look at what this guy has to say.
He was kind of boring in the beginning and I lose interest if they don't capture my attention in the first few minutes. Would you like to sum it what he says simply?
He's part of the atheist movement. I'm not an atheist, but I find many of his points are well composed. The point he made was that all religions, excluding a few, were a construct of man's need to explain, that which has no words.
Oh well that makes sense. Man has need to explain most things. Its why we have science too.
Lets look at that shall we. "a construct of mans need to explain that which has no words".
Egypt had a religion that sought to do just this very thing, explain the phenomena around them.
Gods people, before they were even Gods people, were slaves to the Egyptians. God brought them out of that slavery and into a wilderness desert and instructed them as to the ways that made him happy. There is a huge morality intertwined within the religious service of the Hebrew people at that time. Yes some other religions believed that if one did well one prospered and if one did bad, bad things happened, but no other religion took morality to the extreme that the Hebrews did. Clearly there was a morality that far surpassed mans concept of being good and having morals.
So just in that sense alone, the Hebrews, not expecting to be freed of slavery, also did not expect a God like they received - persuasive evidence that this is not some construction but rather instruction. The Hebrew religions did not, primarily purpose to explain natural phenomena, their purpose was purposefully contrary to that, in that they sacrificed animals to cover their sins, make God happy and prosper in their human lives. Yes they attributed natural disasters and occurrences to the power of God but this was not the mainstream design behind the worship of their God. God introduced himself to them, they did not make him up. They realized that God has power over all nature in the dividing of the sea and the plagues of egypt for a starter, but that was not Gods main purpose. Gods main purpose was his people.
God did no such thing. The growing consensus on this, is that, the jews were probably more likely, slaves to the Syrians. The NT, having been written 300 years or so after the death of Christ, most likely had been the same for the old testiment. Most of the oral traditions of the past were diluted when the OT it's self was written.
This is not to mention that there are language barriers in translation. Aromaic to Greek was a chore in and of itself. To say that God is the authority of all things, is to take away from personal choice.
God's plan, fate and all other forms of this sort of ideology are parts of indoctrination. Would you believe me if I said I were the son of God? Probably not... So why do people chose to adopt it from a man 2,000 years removed from ourselve's, when it was a common thing to do? The egytions did and so did those of Zoroastrian period. Thus said Zoroastor is one such periodical one should read.
Maybe going outside of what we've been taught, will free the mind and open heaven to the individual? All of those following the death of Christ that claimed to recieve divine messages were tortured and burned at the stake. One should do more studying before they use, archaicisms to defend an obsurd idea.
"The dilemma with religion is finding a rational argument to defend it"
If by "religion" you mean man's attempts to explain his own existence and the circumstances of world he finds himself in, then I agree with you - there is no rational defense of religion.
But if by "religion" you mean the existence of an eternal spiritual reality from which our material reality comes, rather than nothing existing behind or beyond the material reality we exist in, then I disagree - an eternal spiritual reality behind our material reality is far more rational than no eternal spiritual reality behind our material reality.
I was making a jab at the poor saps that believe in such an obsurd idea. That is what God is. First one has to give it a name, because if it were a thing, no one would fear it. This is the first attempt at societal control. Give someone something to fear and they are like that of children.
Children don't ask questions, neither do scared adults. It's partly do to the wiring schematic of our brains. I am an intelligent person, to some degree, therefor, I am not easilly fooled by idiotic sermens or mind destroying, cultish belief systems.
First off; I have 6 children and 12 grandchildren and I can tell you from decades of empirical evidence that your remark "Children don't ask questions" is about as ludicrous an assertion as I have ever heard. Secondly; I too have a good working mind, I am no fool and am not in least swayed by "idiotic sermons or mind destroying, cultish belief systems". And let me add that I, personally, count religion to be about the most wicked thing man has ever devised.
However, advancing that the concept of God is an absurd idea is, I think, an adolescent approach to the question of existence . . . and prompted by a perception that religious notions are spawned by fear, and so belief in a divine being is consequence of being a "poor sap", is simply a juvenile handling of the question and the evidence and reason in-play.
Agreed, there are many simpletons who grow-up fearfully believing whatever they're told to believe - but there are many thoughtful, emotionally sound, intelligent and independent thinking people who very deliberatively come to believe there is a God . . . and many of these folks watch all the ill-informed folks who imagine themselves so bold and intellectually honest again and again promote the same old lame perceptions of religion being the hiding place for those who aren't as imaginative and courageous as themselves, advancing the same old premise that those who have not (as they themselves were clever enough to do) escaped the oppressive religion of their culture are merely believing whatever they are told from a pulpit, etc - it all just gets a bit tiresome on occasion, watching folks pat themselves on the back for their 'insight' and 'daring' to question the religion of their parents and culture by cataloging Christians who actually study and believe the Bible as necessarily "poor saps".
This is a very common, very old, very popular, but very lame approach to the question of existence.
It is wrong to make generalizations about people.
As if the approach of 'I don't believe in religion' followed up by an argument based on having read and choosing to believe in the Bible isn't itself lame. As if your studies have shown some secret ideas that haven't been argued a thousand times before. As if the statements made in support of this non religion (that clearly mirrors the organized religion) should be seen as valid because, even though organized religion has been shown to be a lie time and again, you think it's a new and novel approach so everyone else should too.
There is nothing new under the sun.
There is, indeed, northing new under the sun (The Bible), I agree with you. But you are missing a big gigantic point here; believe as you will, I'm not asserting myself to be superior to you in intellect or honesty or emotional stability or boldness, etc - I'm not at all assuming and asserting that you must be some kind of fearful boob who believes whatever he sees on The History Channel, I don't discount those he see things differently than I as necessarily foolish, fearful, or intellectually inept.
Like current liberal politics, faulting those who they disagree with as undoubtedly racist and uncaring simpletons who must certainly see things differently than themselves because conservatives are simply not as smart and good as liberals, cataloging Christians as undoubtedly less intelligent, less independent, more fearful, non-critical thinkers who simply lack the backbone to leave behind whatever notions they were raised to accept and examine the evidence, etc, is no argument of the actual ideas at all - it's a common, lazy, weak and self-serving promotion of self.
I'm not here arguing that you need to abandon whatever your beliefs are and adopt my beliefs as your own, I'm not bringing accusations of fearfulness and ignorance against those who see things differently than I - I am merely advancing that believing in God and the Bible as His revelation of truth is not necessarily an emblem of a fearful, intellectually impotent, unimaginative, foolish sap who believes whatever he's told . . . that's you guys who want to engage in such observably ludicrous and ill-informed arguments.
Funny, because my only point is that both far ends insist the other argument is ill informed. And you have a tendency to lump anyone that doesn't agree with you into a pile. As if you, alone, are unique in your thought processes. Thanks for showcasing the point I couldn't quite find the words for.
I do not at all believe my views, or my abilities or conclusions, or "thought processes" are unique and i regret if my manner, in this limited little box of a format, suggest otherwise. I likewise regret lumping anyone as a member of any group - again, the restrictions of typed words in tiny back-and-forth boxes taken into account, I do not like to be lumped into any group so I regret lumping others . . . I am not inclined, in real life, to do this, but here it seems a nearly necessary course of discussion, to further a point, etc.
Emile R, I am fine with others not agreeing with me, I hope to learn from everyone . . . it would be a real drag if we were all the same. I make (for many) a too severe distinction between individual people and ideas . . . I don't mean to insult or distress anyone, I am fixing my attention on the idea not the person.
As I said, for me (others have their own matters of concern) it just gets a bit tiresome to regularly hear people, seemingly smug with delight in their assumed cleverness and boldness, etc, present the same old lame 'insight' that Christians are just those who lack the critical thinking and courage to escape the religion of their time, culture, family, etc, and/or that Christianity is the cause of harm and wars and misery, etc, rather than any manifestation of benevolence. These are not at all new or clever or insightful notions, yet so many present them as though it evidences their own brilliance and boldness - as I say, it just gets wearying some times when the actual ideas could be being considered.
I apologize if I was a little snippy. I agree, it is wearisome at times to continually participate in what can feel like dead end conversations. Everyone has their own agenda and sometimes those agendas are blatantly egotistical in nature. But, they come from all directions.
I do enjoy wandering through and reading the posts of those who, like me, possess an insatiable curiosity as to thoughts on the subject. And, you are right. The format through which we share our thoughts is constraining. I don't always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I could have chosen my words more wisely at the beginning of this exchange.
I'm not goading anyone, nore am I trying to argue. I just saw that there is a common flaw amongst the countless masses that follow religious beliefs today... They hang their entire existance on the words of single men, only to find themselve's jaded, especially when they discover that mostly what they have learned, was because of some government agenda, to keep the masses numb and plyable.
I was, for a time, an avid follower of the christian faith. It wasn't until I scrutinized other religions, that I found that all peoples of the world shared a common bond. That we all question reallity, yet no one has a single sollid answer.
Mischeviousme, if you want to prove your intelligence, learn how to spell. And you aren't impressing anyone with your boobs popping out of your shirt.
First of all. The pic is of my hot girlfriend. Who is amazing so stop hating on me. Secondly, a lot of intelligent people can't spell or think too fast for their hands to keep up. I am one of them and so is my girlfriend. You should see the things she types by accident. Unless you have a valid argument about what is being discussed shut your trap.
It isn't the mispellings that bother me, It's the arrogance that goes along with it in your case.
My point is this; I am simply trying to get people to look at God with their own eyes. You don't need a book, you don't need a pastor and you certainly don't need a pope. God is whatever you believe it is. I'm actually quite humble by the way... I was just typing how I feel about it. You can choose to bash it or read between the lines. And Shakespear was a terrible speller, so stop giving me guff...
Shakespeare didn't have the benefit of spell check. I wonder....do you think he would have used it?
Just messing with you. But, she does have a point. There are already so many problems associated with sharing ideas in this format. Why allow an easily corrected problem stand in the way of communication? You obviously want to share your thoughts.
Do you think he too wrote his name as shakespear instead of Shakespeare?
Just kidding with you.
A rational fear of "G/god"? So, in essence you fear your imagination? or what exactly?
Too many singular metaphors to work out in the above statements.
This is the first thing you've said that made sense.
Nothing more than imagination, yep.
Only a foolish person would look for an answer to a question that does not need be answered.
Why YOU are here? Is a question only YOU can answer. You nor anyone else can answer the question for someone else who isn't YOU.
Very good, YOU exist. Humans exist. Why each Human exists is for each Human to answer individually.
Everyone has their own individual definition for what "G/god" is or isn't. Not all agree.
Science does no such thing and has no power to do such a thing. Science isn't out to seek truth. It's out to explain reality.
When seeking a spiritual path? First see a shrink.
The rational man does not focus on the words, but on the meaning of the content of the sentence. I meant simply, that as a species, we can rely on neither to define who we are. As I stated in another comment "we need not define ourselves by what has occured, but by what we are now".
The assumption, is that I have no idea of what I am speaking of but, if one were to read the content of this entire page, they would see that the point is ongoing.
Beyond what MickeySr said which I agree with, it sounds like you believe that God is souly contained within the pages of the bible. If that is true than it doesn't matter and he is not worth your time or energy. I believe that in order to believe in God you must first realize that the men that wrote the bible had no bible themselves there for had an encounter with a being that inspired them to be better.
I for one don't believe you need the bible so much as you need to have an experience with God. Many people will say they believe but not many understand what it is they believe. If challanged they recoil and look to someone else to answer for them or avoid those people that challange them all together.
To be a great man of faith is something that is completely different from being a man of great faith.
As far as the dilema of finding your spiritual path....you just have to decide on thing, was Jesus who he said he was or was he a liar? If he wa a liar then you need to figure out what makes sense, if he was telling the truth, it's pretty clear cut.
You've already pointed out who the liars were. They invented Jesus, or at least stole the idea from previous religions.
I do claim that the term God can be found only in the bible, I merely use the bible as an example. I was raised in a polytheistic home, I went to church, but I also attended synagogue and my mother was a sufi. I use the bible because I am familliar with it, yet because my father is a Budhist and my mother a Sufi, I've been exposed to many interperatations of God and have a non biased view of what I believe is true. As I said to another "If I cut myself, the experience is mine alone". Much can be said of all faiths, whilst I can explain it, the words are mine and few will grasp the meaning.
Hmm..interesting thoughts...however You seem to be basing some of your argument on the assumption that people believe in the existence of God because it is a simple solution to a complicated universe.
That's not always the case. The reasons people believe in a God are far more complicated...
As for science explaining things in concrete terms, I wouldn't say that it's exactly so, depending I guess on what one defines as concrete. If I were to ask any scientist studying physics down to the base fundamentals of how things work the way they work, they'd tell me that when it all boils down to it...the "laws" upon which scientific experiments/advancements, etc. are based, ultimately, based on a scientific theory involving entities we have never seen (electrons, quarks, etc.)If one accepts concreteness and proof as that being what we can experience through our senses, then I think science and religion end up being on the same plane. For example, no one has ever seen an atom. However, there are so many indications, from various sources, of the existence of this entity called an atom, that it seems more than reasonable to assume its existence. We don't actually see it or feel it or perceive it DIRECTLY through our senses, but its effect on those things we CAN perceive through our senses, gives us hints as to its existence. The same with God. People can't really feel him or see him or touch him, but they believe that his effects on their lives, not just the need to create a reasonable explanation for existence, are pretty good indications of His existence.
Just my opinion, but I could be wrong
Brain washing is not that complicated.
Your argument is a fallacy because you are comparing something that scientists agree upon due to the fact they can conduct experiments that actually show atoms exist. What experiment can be conducted to show your God exists?
You did say science and religion can be on the same plane. If so, show us your God through experimentation?
If what you say is true, show us the effects of your God so we can all perceive Him?
Totally wrong. Now you say people can't really feel him, see him or touch him, yet we all touch atoms everyday.
If one does not question the vallues of the real world, versus that of the imagined, than no true answers can ever be given. It is perception that gives us solid answers. I could say that atoms don't exist, yet we have concrete proof that they exist. I could also argue a belief in God or what have you, based soully on my own desire. The dillema doesn't have anything to do with relligion or science, they are both systems in which we can socially interact.
Hi, TroubledMan, Thanks for commenting..
First of all, I think you misunderstood my point, so it's going to be a little hard t o comment, but perhaps I should elaborate a little more...
Secondly, this was not an argument for the existence of God. This was an argument directed towards the error of reasoning I felt in the first post...which was, I felt, that the approach to science and the approach to trusting in God is starkly different and therefore that was a basis for rejecting the possibility of the existence of God. I realize this is a topic of hot debate, but my goal was this:
.I was actually comparing the WAYS that people perceive and judge evidence. You say that scientists conducts experiments that "show" or "prove" atoms exist... if you look at exactly what "evidences" cause them to exist, you will see it is not because they can perceive the atom DIRECTLY. That was my point. The evidence does not exist in anything they can perceive directly with their senses. They make that rational conclusion based on THE EFFECT they (thte atoms) have on what we CAN perceive. (and yes, we may be able to touch on atom, but we do not perceive ourselves touching the atom. That was my point. For christinas, yes we touch God all the time, but no we do not perceive it). And experimentation stil does not prove that atoms exist. It just shows us that it's almost undeniably true that an atom exists.
In this way (indirect evidence for something) I compared it to trusting in God. People see the effect of God on their lives (answers to prayer, miracles, other little pieces of "evidence" in their own daily walk, etc.) which convince them of the existence of God. This does not prove that God exists, any more than determining by indirect evidence that something scientificially exists. It just means that conclusions about God are drawn on indirect evidence, same as scientific theory on the atom. I was comparing the two strategies to point out, for the initial hubber, that the fact that they were using the difference of the two strategies as basis for their argument against God, was slightly unfounded.
I could tell you plenty of stories about the "effects" of God on people's lives...but I think it would be redundant and repeat things already said.
And lastly, I never claimed to believe in God, so please don't call Him my God. Like I said, I was not arguing for His existence. I was pointing out an error in fact and pointing out comparisons in how people perceive evidence.
*which evidences cause scientists to think they exist. Typo in first paragraph. Apologies.
And, your point is fallacious simply due to the fact you are arguing the differences in the size of something; the micro world compared with the macro world. And yes, the evidence is directly perceived. There is no other way to study the evidence.
That is where your fallacious argument takes a turn to fantasy and belief and nothing to do with atoms or science or evidence or rational conclusions.
Answers to prayers is evidence of God? That is one slippery slope you're sliding down. The starving pray for food, but still die of starvation.
Pure baloney. Show me an experiment similar to that of one conducted with atoms that show the same empirical results?
Your stories are nothing more than what people want to believe. You can no more show God has any effect than that of an invisible purple rhinoceros.
You still completely take my argument out of context. I almost find no need to defend myself because your summary of what i was saying is completely inaccurate, to the point that I feel we aren't even talking about the same thing. Perhaps I'm not explaining it as clearly I should, and if so, then I am in error. I'll try this again.
Once again, you assume I believe in God. And you assume I am attempting to prove his existence in my argument. I am NOT.
Also, I am not arguing the differences in the size of something. I am arguing the similarities of approach towards evidence. How you could have drawn that conclusion out of what I wrote is baffling so I don't quite know how to respond to that.
AGAIN, I did not say that the evidence was not directly perceived. I said the ATOMS were not directly perceived and the evidence is discovered in its effects on the PERCEPTIBLE realm. Therefore, the evidence lies IN the perceptible realm.
"Show me an experiment similar to that of one conducted with atoms that show the same empirical results." Do you even know what these empirical results are? Have you studied this fully? You seem, if I am understanding you correclty, to be basing your ideas on the assumption that our study of atoms shows "proof" of their existence, in some form. This is the very subject that I was arguing. People's perception of proof. That is also an assumption which could be argued. (That our evidence is "proof" of atoms' existence)
The entire point I was making is that the person's APPROACH to the evidence are similar, and therefore neither is necessarily superior.
I did NOT say answers to prayer ARE "proof" Of God's existence. I said that that is SOME of what people perceive as evidence of God's existence. You are assuming I'm arguing for God's existence. I said God "answering" a prayer was considered, by some CHristians, to be evidence. "Answering" prayer, not "getting what we pray for". I should have been more specific. There's a difference. There are other occurrences in people's lives which they feel is "evidence." This is not the only one I listed.
Before you criticize what I am saying, please make sure you understand my statements fully instead of angrily ranting about how foolish it all is and making assumptions. Most everything you said about my argument was based on a fallacious understanding of it and the disregard of everything I said concerning the point of my argument. If you disagree with me and think I am foolish, that is okay; and I appreciate you sharing your views. But I think the argument would be more influentual first of all if there was an understanding of what exactly I was trying to say, and the respect to spend time sharing "why" you think I'm foolish instead of ranting how you think I am so. I am not here to flaunt my views. I am here to debate rationally and respectlly. But if someone won't take the time to understand what the other is saying, then the debate will go no where and there will only be anger and frustration. I mean no disrespect and I hope to receive the same.
'Your argument is a fallacy because you are comparing something that scientists agree upon due to the fact they can conduct experiments that actually show atoms exist."
I mean really!!
Ok, I'll play your game. Experiments. So far I agree. Scientist do conduct a lot of experiments. Atoms? Yeah, they tell us why atoms exist. You know, their opinion why something happens.
I don't guess the thought crossed your mind that a person who believes in God or a higher power isn' t as believable when they tell of things that can't be seen, or something unexplainable.
The two are the same principal. Both unexplainable. But real. Ask either. The scientist or the believer.
People are missing the point of what I'm saying. Find God yourself... You don't need some asshole with a rollex and an armani suit to tell you where God is. Just use the bible as an educational text and see what other cultures have to say. It's a simple as being open minded.
Relying on one simple text keeps people locked in a faith, based on a world smaller than the one we live in today. The people who wrote that text said that it was evil to go to another persons village and lay with their women. If you were with a Chinese person, would you see it as evil?
The simple proof of an atom, is that we can see it, given you have an ellectron microscope. God, if there is such a being, cannot. I am simply thinking rationally, in the sense that, I question my beliefs. I'm simply not sure if I hear God or I just hear the music of the universe. Our origins are clouded, mostly due to the fact that, all religion and physics, break down when attempting to explain the unexplainable.
If you feel that religion and physics both break down when attempting to explain the unexplainable, then why would you consider physics superior? (unless you didn't, and I'm misunderstanding you)
Even electron microscopes don't let us "see" an atom. We're still seeing "results" or "effects" of the atom in this microscope, or what scientists believe is an "electron cloud" around the atom. In other words we know there's "something" there, but...it's not clear cut. We still have never really seen an atom. We know for sure it exists, based on vague ideas and a multitiude of "evidence" combined, which does not "prove" its existence...but makes us almost completely comvinced of its existence...
I might have used the wrong euphamism to explain what I mean. What I am saying, is that The words of men are easilly mistaken as those of God. For example; The kings of the past gained the loyalty of their followers, based on their claim, that they were descendants of a deity or what have you. If I were to do the same, I'd be called crazy and the government would call my house a compound.
Oh, ok, I understand now. lol and yes that would probably happen if we did that today:)
So do you feel that the Bible for example, are words from men, and mistaken as words from God? Or what kind of words do you mean?
Look at what the bible says about the earth... "The earth is a disk, supported by 4 pillars and sky is seperated from the ocean of space by a fremament, supported by 4 pillars". Does that sound like a God that knows the universe?
If I were to say, speak a sentence to you and told you to pass it on, down the familly tree, eventually, it would it's self possibly become someones only belief system.
Which book and verse?I tried to find it and couldn't...
Ashton, I think that if some people were to listen to their hearts they would be very shocked.
I refuse to think that peoples hearts are so cold that they can't feel the love of the Most High.
Genesis... When I was a kid in church, I'd ask why I couldn't become a Budhist and they'd say " Because it's yet another path to hell". If God came to earth, it surely wouldn't be to speak to the hebrews alone. The interperatation would be different based on how other peoples would accept God.
It may be in later texts or you may find it in the apochriphal texts, such as those in the book of Enoch. There is also references to this early christian writings. I may have forgotten the derivitive text in which I speak, but I'm pretty sure it's within one of the first three books of the bible. It's been a long time since I've read it and I may be paraphraising a little, but until the 15th century, the consensus was that the earth was flat.
Now that I am discussing this...it may be in the gospel of Thomas. I believe it was taken out of the bible durring the Niecene Council, governed by Emperor Constatine. Try to get yoru hands on the Apochraphal text, most of those are books of the bible that were written before the bible was edited by the Roman Empire.
Nothing was taken out of the Bible by the Niocene council. It was a joint meeting in which the leaders discussed which books were generally already accepted by the church of the time. And how did the Roman Empire edit the Bible, exactly?
I've read the Apocraphical texts. They aren't in the Bible; and if it's not in the Bible, it's not considered by any Christian to be absolute. Therefore how would it make a difference what this book said?
And the gospel of Thomas is not in the Bible, that is the fact. So it seems rather illogical to use something stated in a non-Biblical book (the statement about the earth being a disk) which was not accepted into the church at the time as one of the bases for an argument against a religion of a church which didn't accept it as basis for their religion in the first place. I'm sure a lot of other Christians wrote pieces of work which were filled with strange Ideas about the universe. But just because one person made theories about the universe doesn't mean that it represented the entire Christian religion at the time, if indeed that passage was from the writings of Thomas, but you didn't seem sure what book it was even from...
Let me rephrase the second paragraph. If it's not in the Bible, then why should it matter to you what the book said? A Christian person will believe a Biblical book, not a non-Biblical one. You are making an argument against the Christian religion. You can't make an argument against a religion using a book which a religion does not even accept as Biblical and never has.
Although mischievousme appears to be jumping to conclusions and making statements without the benefit of fact; some of what he says does ring true. The Nicene council did streamline the religion. They appear to have attempted to choose texts that complimented each other.
We can forever argue intent, but I harbor some resentment. Much has been lost that may never be recovered and those texts we have regained access to; we may never know how important they were to the early believers. We will never be able to discern if they were closer to the philosophy of Jesus than the texts chosen. A tapestry of belief was torn apart in order to gain control. For good or bad we'll never know.
For me, the very fact that a committee was gathered to decide which books were in and which were out, makes a mockery of calling them scripture. We are on blind faith that these men made the correct decisions.
Now if much of the Evangelical Church believes that the Catholic Church is not Christian then how come the Evangelical Church trusts the decisions made by the Catholic Church of that time?
Excellent points. Whichever path you choose within 'the body of Christ' became blind faith after the Council. And I see nothing wrong with that except when the blind bash the blind. Spirituality should be a celebration, not a war. We are all blind and hoping for the moment the veil is lifted.
Emile, yes, spirituality should be a celebration.
I enjoy corresponding here on hubpages, but for the life of me I can not understand something. There seem to be a lot of intelligent folk here, but on the same hand, I get the feeling some are closed minded.
Yes, the atom can't be seen. Yes, God can't be seen. Yes, results of both can be seen.
Love is another "thing" that can't be seen. Many people have children and most of those people love their children. My thought is, what is it that causes us to have those feelings?
Yes, there are many many things in this world that simply can not be explained.
The Bible: It has been written and rewritten many times over. It does contain a very good central message being that we really should treat others as we want to be treated. I wonder something though, if there is someone who treats others a jerks, or worse, does that mean that that person is wanting to be treated as such, and should we treat that person as a jerk? Just a thought.
One thing I've noticed over the years. The'jerks' change as my beliefs evolve. I think we are all somewhat close minded at any given moment. Wherever we fall on the spectrum determines how we feel about other beliefs and how they are shared. I know for a fact I wear the label of jerk in the minds of a few.
But, I'm with you. Do unto others is a difficult dilemma. As you would have done unto you doesn't please some. As they would have done doesn't please you. I guess do no harm is a better philosophy.
I think it should be noted that what exactly happened at the Nicene Council is hotly debated: did they gather together to "decide" which books were in? which ones were in question? or were they simply acknowledging what was already accepted by the church? This is an extremely controversial subject and I think we should take caution in forming conclusions based on an event we never attended and the circumstances of which are not clear. . Depending on which "expert historian" you ask, they will have a different view. We cannot choose simply the one we like or hear the most about. There are always myths surrounding events, formed to fulfill whatever people want to believe. This is true of religious and non-religious people.
I agree. But, I will say that with each new archeological discovery the history of the church shows more and more that suspicions as to their intent are warranted.
The words and message of the one the faith is named after are my only interest. Paul's intent, efforts to create uniformity in belief, the history of the believers; I have little interest in.
Or we could just assume that God, being omnipotent, worked things so that what He wanted in the canon of scripture was included, and what He thought to be irrelevant or misleading, was excluded.
That's the thing about an omnipotent God, He can do whatever He wants to influence things.
Mind you, I think it's a good thing!
Don't think I haven't considered that, but when allowing my mind to travel that avenue I came to the conclusion that, if God exists and that was per plan; it was done to allow Rome to spread more than the word. Their conquests eventually brought much of Europe out of the mists and into the light of recorded history. This recording has shed clear light on the damage religion can do.
I also think, if you are right, then the religious need to consider that this Hand they claim guided the Council is also guiding things now. Maybe the archeological discoveries are an attempt to give the religious greater insights they weren't ready for before. Insights kept hidden for whatever reasons we cannot fathom.
Spirituality is not a stagnant endeavor. That is my problem with Christianity. It feels stagnant and seems to forever want to look back. It appears afraid to look forward because it wants to return to the beginning as revealed to an ancient race. The Bible is an interesting tome; but it represents a tiny portion of the tools we now have at our disposal. A tool given to an uneducated and nomadic race who could understand little more than violence and retribution.
To believe in the spiritual means, to me, to search for answers everywhere that has been offered. To believe in a guiding hand of history means information is becoming available for a good reason and to dismiss it, out of hand, is akin to watching a cartoon on a child's level. Never seeing the deeper meaning discovered through life.
It's like stopping your education in its tracks and holding tightly to the primer you used in first grade. Scoffing at third grade science because you believe pigs can fly just like they did in the nursery rhymes you sang. God is either everywhere you look, or nowhere.
The spirit either moves throughout all of humanity, or it doesn't move at all. The primary problem I've found when people argue in favor of your points is that they claim the hand that guided the council only guides the Christians, and still not all of them. It renders the argument dead in my mind from every angle I've tried to approach it.
Valid statement, and I will not disagree with much of what you stated.
Rome did do more to spread the Christian message than may have taken place had Rome remained openly pagan, rather than ostensibly Christian.
There is no doubt that however valid Constantine's belief may have been, subsequent 'Popes' did much damage to the name of Christ, and still do.
But by my premise, God allowed these subterfuges and deceptions to flourish then, as He does today, and allows them so that the weak of faith and poor of belief will be put to the test by humanity to either stand for Christ or fall with their religious doctrines.
Yes spirituality is a universal fact, and there are many spirits vying for our attention and getting it, for a while, maybe for ever.
Those who do not have total faith and trust in Christ seem offended that it may be possible in the spiritual plain to be 100% right about what you believe.
The emphasis seems to be that 51% right is sufficient, and that God, who is 100% Holy, should accept those who did not attain 100% faith and trust, or even aspire to get that faith.
The worst thing I ever hear are the words "I'm not a bad person, I think God will accept me if He is the God of love" - They normally signify a self worth that precludes their desires and renders the speaker unreachable and mostly unteachable.
As for God revealing more of His will and knowledge in these last days, well yes He did seal the book until the end, and much revelation is still coming daily from the Bible, and specifically concerning the apostasy and iniquity that will signify that we are near to the final hour, but we will not, I am afraid, have sufficient time left for science or the increase of knowledge to unravel the full facts concerning how God works or why we cannot understand His ways.
In the end result, I cannot say that there are many ways to God, my study, research and experience do not extend to that belief.
So I declare, as Christ Himself did, that Christ is the ONLY way to God, that may attract scorn and slander, but I cannot deny the Christ I know and love, nor water down His words, just because modern political correctness decrees that everyone must be right and nobody can be wrong, except those believers who will not conform to the modern Zeitgeist viewpoints.
The desire and hope of secular and semi secular humanity may well be that we should shut up and hopefully disappear, and in due course I suspect that we will.
But the ensuing silence may not be as desirable as people think.
Two thousand years ago I might have been prone to agree. But, it is painfully obvious that all of the words attributed to Christ could not have been his. God in the flesh wouldn't lie. Which leaves too much room for doubt to allow me to feel comfortable spreading a message of damnation.
To each his own. We must all follow the little voice in our heart that helps us understand right from wrong.
I think there should be drawn a difference between the damage men can do and the damage men, acting in thename of religion, can do.
I'm not sure how you feel about Christianity looking back. This is never the case with most Christians I speak with. And remember, Christians are as divided in beliefrs as anyone out there. I feel exhausted with the lumping of all Chrsitians into a box. "A tool given to an uneducated and nomadic race who could understand little more than violence and retribution." To make claims about the intelligence of a race and theier methods seems a little unfounded if you haven't studied their culture in depth.I think you are confusing fundamental Christians who refuse to accept any new ideas about God, their faith, etc. with the others who are open to such advancements and new ideas. If Christianity feels stagnant to you, it may be because, not being in the circle of Christian ideas and thought, you aren' t aware of the ways alot of Christians think which is starkly different than the way you have described. I am also personally extremely frustrated with Christians who refuse to open their minds. But I also think it's unfair to draw conclusions on a religion and of the people when only a small circle of Chrsitian thought is used to represesent all Christian belief. In a sense, I feel that much like the heart of Christniaty is enormously misunderstood. Christians are misunderstood. And I don't understand why people who draw conclusions about Christians always turn back to old examples and examples of things which fundamentalist Christians say.
First, I consider any race of people that has to be told not to have sex with animals a little backward. Going through the Mosaic laws shows who and what they were.
And I don't lump all Christians together. Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, 'Bible Believers' are the loudest; but I've never assumed they were the majority, or the voice of the faith.
But, attempting to separate the actions of the followers and the powers that be within the organization from the religion itself seems a pointless endeavor.
I don't blame Christians for the historical atrocities, but I do expect them to study them and learn from them and to be honest about the facts. I doubt those who were responsible for the torture, death and subjugation of millions in the name of religion believed their actions any less than a noble endeavor. History may have proven them wrong, but they were considered pious at the time. I believe history will deal with the fundamental zealots of today just as unkindly.
I was speaking to a zealot in my post. It is extremely unwise to read something not written for you and take it personally. I have no beef with Christianity as a whole and I think the faith has done more good than harm; when looked at as a whole.
"First, I consider any race of people that has to be told not to have sex with animals a little backward. Going through the Mosaic laws shows who and what they were."
People exist like that today...it's actually quite widespread. In which case we are as backward as they are.
"And I don't lump all Christians together. Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, 'Bible Believers' are the loudest; but I've never assumed they were the majority, or the voice of the faith. "
The reason I said this was because the things you quoted as being what Christians believed, are all of the extremely conservatie/fundamentallist sector. I'm sorry...I should have explained myself.
"But, attempting to separate the actions of the followers and the powers that be within the organization from the religion itself seems a pointless endeavor. "
I disagree. Again, the actions of the followers are those of only a few followers at a given point in time. and those of the past. Any Christian now (or most) would find those actions horrific, and they do.
I don't blame Christians for the historical atrocities, but I do expect them to study them and learn from them and to be honest about the facts. I doubt those who were responsible for the torture, death and subjugation of millions in the name of religion believed their actions any less than a noble endeavor. History may have proven them wrong, but they were considered pious at the time. I believe history will deal with the fundamental zealots of today just as unkindly."
This confuses me. Chrisitans are aware of it and think the actions of past Christians who did wrong things in the name of religion, are absolutely terrible. I wasn't aware of a lot of Christians who would endorse such atrocities, in the present time.
"I was speaking to a zealot in my post. It is extremely unwise to read something not written for you and take it personally. I have no beef with Christianity as a whole and I think the faith has done more good than harm; when looked at as a whole."
I didn't take it personally. You were making general claims about Christianity which , in my experience with the Christian religion, were false. I felt that the person to whom it was addressed was irrelevant.
No. 'We' are not backward. Unless there is a mouse in your pocket or you enjoy watching porn.
Not only might it have helped had you explained yourself, it might have helped to take into consideration who was speaking, and who was being spoken to. This is an open forum and we can all jump in, but it alleviates confusion if you don't begin from a confused position.
I wouldn't consider the Crusades to be a few followers. I wouldn't consider the annihilation of the indigenous people of South America the act of a few followers. These were conducted with the blessings of the church and the apparent support of the congregation.
Now, you can claim anything you want to, but the church as a whole has never apologized for historical atrocities and the faithful appear to support this stand.
Where is the confusion? I hear it all the time. 'Oh, but they weren't Christian.' They were. It is part of the history. It is what 'God wanted' at that moment in history. To defend the history of the faith on one level means you must accept accountability on all levels. It can't be claimed that Christianity is God's only way, without being able to explain why God chose a religion who's history is so repugnant. Why is God so often absent from the faith, but that faith is touted as the only way?
Your experiences are not mine and your opinions are simply that. As are mine. Whether you see relevance or not, is irrelevant. Imo.
I shold have been more a little more clear about what parts of your dialogue I was basing my throughts on. I was in error to say what I said without giving the exact--I think that would have cleared the feeling that I took it personally. I apologize for the confusion. I am not trying to cause strife and I apologize if my manner caused that.
I am responding to your last message to me. For some reason it would not let me respond directly...First of all, I want to say, I am not trying to cause strife. If you would prefer to not continue this discussion due to the elevated nature of strife, I understand. But please allow me to defend myself. I will attempt to be clearer. As I posted below, I did apologize for having not been clear. I wasn’t sure if you had read that post or not.
As far as bestiality and sex with animals, I was simply making the point that many people in the world’s societies DO practive bestiality. I never claimed to be part of that group of people. My claim had nothing to do with myself, but as society as a whole. So as much as I am not trying to not cause hatred..for you to make such a derogatory statement, even though it was for sarcastic purpose and you did not honestly think that about me, was grossly disrespectful and out of line.
As I said, I knew who was being spoken to. I was commenting on your generalizations about Christianity, which would have been true regardless of who you were speaking to.
The church as a whole does not endorse these actions of the past. I am of the knowledge that they are extremely disgusted with it. For people of today To suddenly apologize for the past would be to take responsibility for a past we never endorsed and for actions we disgust, as well as to associate ourselves with a past religious institution which claimed to be following Christ. I do not associate real religion with the Ancient Catholic Church. I see Christianity as a day to day life experience, not an institution. This is the whole point. We DON’T endorse it. If you were to read the writings of many, many, many Christian authors from that time till now, you would see it everywhere. The only apology the Church can logically make has been in acknowledging the disgustingness of the past actions of the collective Church and making sure it never happens again.
I like your observation about the confusion. The reason people say they weren't Christian is because their actions were disgusting and they disagree with it. Many Christians believe that the practices of the Roman Catholic Church at the time, was horrendous. I don't defend the history of the faith. I defend the faith. What people do with it can be good or bad.
You haven't caused strife. I simply found it laughable that you would imply bestiality is the norm. As it must have been in order to be included in the first list of laws for a people. If you and I were to lay down a set of laws for a new nation, prohibition of that practice would not cross my mind. Simply because it is so far from the norm. That is one of the differences between a civilized people and a backward race.
I didn't consider the statement to be out of line simply because you were attempting to pass the practice off as the norm.
And, no. Those who continually claim that a large swath of people who lay claim to the name of Christian do not have that right do not recognize themselves as a minor subset. They see their interpretation as representing the totality of Christianity in the world today. If I comment on that subset, to that individual, it is not intended to be a charge laid out against the whole. If a member of the whole chooses to take offense, I'm at a loss.
I would love for you to point me in the direction where the church has expressed horror and regret for historical actions. But, that isn't really the point. What I'm having trouble with is the fact that, at that moment in history, the faithful believed God was behind their actions. They were wrong. At this moment in history, the faithful believe God is behind their actions. They need to take into account the very real possibility that, once again, they are wrong.
Believing God is compelling you to act, and following through with this belief without consideration of the fact that history has shown religion to be about ego and power puts the religious in the unenviable position of shoving their opinions upon the world while claiming they are God's. When proven wrong, what is left? The religious attempted to pose as God. Who has that right?
But, if Jesus was who he said he was, the church is an entity. It has never died. A member of the church today is inextricably tied to that entity. Past, present and future. The body of Christ grows and matures, but that body was born the moment of the ressurection and will live on until the second coming.
It's like, if you close your mind to events in your own past, you slowly become confused. You have to resolve your past before you can find peace in the present. Before you can grow in the future.
Ripping the body apart into 20,000 different portions and pretending those pieces didn't belong to you because you didn't like the way they looked would effectively render the whole of you unrecognizable. Perhaps that is why those of us on the outside can't find God in Christianity.
"You haven't caused strife. I simply found it laughable that you would imply bestiality is the norm. As it must have been in order to be included in the first list of laws for a people. If you and I were to lay down a set of laws for a new nation, prohibition of that practice would not cross my mind. Simply because it is so far from the norm. That is one of the differences between a civilized people and a backward race.”
I didn't consider the statement to be out of line simply because you were attempting to pass the practice off as the norm.”
I wasn’t presenting it as a norm. I think that was where the confusion arose. Bestiality may not have been the norm in Biblical times, either. Simply the fact that a law was created against it, does not necessarily mean it was normal for all people. It could have been targeting a group or sub-group, etc. I realize, however, how my assertion could have been taken to mean I thought that way.
“And, no. Those who continually claim that a large swath of people who lay claim to the name of Christian do not have that right do not recognize themselves as a minor subset. They see their interpretation as representing the totality of Christianity in the world today. If I comment on that subset, to that individual, it is not intended to be a charge laid out against the whole. If a member of the whole chooses to take offense, I'm at a loss.”
I think at this point, it wouldn’t benefit to debate further on this particular topic, because I can tell we do not agree on the assumption you have put forth (and upon which the debate is based) that the Christians of today are a subset of the Roman Catholic Church. My point was that Christians of today find the “Church” of the past so foreign to their own ways of belief (in regards to atrocities) that they can barely recognize it as a subset.
“I would love for you to point me in the direction where the church has expressed horror and regret for historical actions. But, that isn't really the point. What I'm having trouble with is the fact that, at that moment in history, the faithful believed God was behind their actions. They were wrong. At this moment in history, the faithful believe God is behind their actions. They need to take into account the very real possibility that, once again, they are wrong.”
I can point some out to you, if you want; but if that wasn’t your point in the first place, I'm a little confused.. It seemed as if it was a significant point to you. As far as the faithful believing God was behind their actions, and to take into account the very real possibility that once again, they are wrong, I agree with you completely. Someone would be foolish to not take that into consideration.
“Believing God is compelling you to act, and following through with this belief without consideration of the fact that history has shown religion to be about ego and power puts the religious in the unenviable position of shoving their opinions upon the world while claiming they are God's. When proven wrong, what is left? The religious attempted to pose as God. Who has that right?”
The position that “history has shown religion to be about ego and power” is simply a position. That is not an established fact. Many others hold different opinions about this. That is asserting the truth of part of the thing we are debating. Therefore the resulting conclusion that religions much shove their opinions upon the world, while claiming to be God’s…that is incorrect. Granted, most people do it. I used to do it. I hope I do not do it now. If I do, I hope someone kicks my ass and puts me in my place. Whenever I debate about something, I hope I never come across as shoving opinions. I try to keep my arguments based on “is this actually logical” and “is this founded in fact and research.” I do not always. That is my goal. Some people use religion as a means to gaining power, yes. (perhaps even most) That is a wrong action to take, yes. But to assume all do it, is incorrect. Lastly, I never claimed to believe in God or be Christian (as you said that believing in God was compelling me to act. ) If I am compelled, I am compelled by the observation of what I felt was an unfair assessment of a religion. I have defended atheists’ beliefs, in other posts, because a Christian’s views were completely unfounded and irrational; and because the atheist made very logical points on what they were saying.
“But, if Jesus was who he said he was, the church is an entity. It has never died. A member of the church today is inextricably tied to that entity. Past, present and future. The body of Christ grows and matures, but that body was born the moment of the ressurection and will live on until the second coming. “
The body of Christ..not the institution of the Church. Not all Christians will agree with what I am about to say. But, as far as I can understand, Christ, according to the Bible, never established an insititution. Therefore, the body of believes are unique as a people, not as an institution. I do not connect myself with a mob of murderous individuals in ancient history who use religion as a tool. This is why I never claim to be a Christian. I believe what I believe, that’s what makes my faith, in the here and now. The fact that idiots from centuries past distorted some of the writings I believe in, to their own advantage, does not connect me with them. I am attempting to look past the label and title and see the people for who they were, what they were, and what they did.
“It's like, if you close your mind to events in your own past, you slowly become confused. You have to resolve your past before you can find peace in the present. Before you can grow in the future.
Ripping the body apart into 20,000 different portions and pretending those pieces didn't belong to you because you didn't like the way they looked would effectively render the whole of you unrecognizable. Perhaps that is why those of us on the outside can't find God in Christianity.”
I feel this is where our disagreement lies: the difference in our views on the establishment of the Church, and the idea of Christianity. For me, being a part of the “church” and living according to the Christian faith are not the same. For me, The actions of the Roman Catholic Church are not my past. I live here and now, with my own beliefs and ideas. You are connecting a belief with a religious establishment. In other words, if I am a Christian, I am part of the Church. The Roman Catholic Church was the Church of the past, so therefore it is my past. No…not in my opinion. As I stated above, I disregard establishments, and titles. I look at the people. The people make up the so-called establishment of the church. If people in my past, who claimed to pick up the title of the Church, chose to act in ways I find loathsome, I am no responsible for those ideas. The religion upon which they based their ideas is the religion which I, in my own personal life, try to apply practically. I do not assume a title, a religion, a Church, or anything else. I simply believe what I believe. However, I understand what you are saying. And if, indeed, I did connect myself to the Church and say I am a member of the Church, then what you said of me would be correct. I , however, differentiate myself from the establishment of the Church. Like I said above, this is something not all Christians would agree with me about, so it makes it rather sticky…I hold a very minority view in this case. So since we don’t really agree on my connection with the Church, I think it’d be hard for me to debate about that connection without causing confusion
Thanks for the discussion. You are making some valid points and I agree with some of what you say…I just think my thoughts about Christianity and the Church and their connection, etc. are so different that we’re going to inevitably clash on it (in fact, many people who are Christians clash with me on my beliefs…they say I’m a heretic..lol but anyway) …but I understand where you are coming from with your opinions.
Nice way to put what I've been saying all along.
I agree... I think that everything which is needed is included in scripture. It is that part of scripture that WE ignore which is most damaging.
From 605 BC and 538 BC Daniel received many prophetic visions.
These were given as a foundation which all prophesy which were given afterwards MUST be built upon.
If we can not or will not believe these which came first; how can we believe any which come afterwards? Why should we?
Please give this proper thought.
We have to have a complete understanding of simple mathematics before we attempt to understand algebra or geometry.
When we can use Algebra to prove that simple math is incorrect ... then we are using our algebra incorrectly.
We must first completely understand that which came first before we advance understanding of that which came last.
The bible was hidden from the common people for almost 1000 years.
In that time, false interpretations had been commonly accepted.
Because of this, it didn't add up! It didn't make any sense. The church became divided because people were looking for answers which they didn't receive from their church.
The Churches answers to these questions were that "God Works in Mysterious Ways" .... That isn't an answer! But we accepted it anyway.
The Mystery will be broken when Christians believe those things which Jesus said! .... Forget every interpretation that we have been taught ... And believe those things that the man that we are following said.
Believe those things first .... and THEN ... believe those things which the disciples said in such a way as to not dispute those things which Jesus said! … NOT the other way around.
When we do it the other way around; we are not following Jesus, we are following the disciple; plain and simple.
Who do we follow?
It is insane to believe that the bible is soully responsible for all philosophy. One must remember that the Chinese had written language at roughly the same time as the middle east. And it was important to early civilization to write what they felt was spiritually applicable to this world.
This is my biggest hang up with Christianity as the only way.
What about the billions, yes billions, of people who haven't heard of Jesus Christ.
It is unfathomable that god would condemn souls for their unfortunate circumstance of being born in
the wrong place according to Christianity.
I have brought this point up a couple times but the fundamentalist posters here convienantly skip it.
I don't blame them it's actually a harder subject to deal with than science for them IMO.
To acknowledge this damnation of souls is to acquiesce the Christian god, on the fundamental level mind you, is not an all loving god.
Personally, it seems most logical that the people had no idea that the earth was bigger than the area they lived in,
so the religion was fitted to them. In other words, it doesn't make sense for christianity to be the only way.
Also, I find it disturbing how rape isn't on the ten commandments. It seems worse than stealing to me.
That is something which, I admit, I cannot understand. (the part about what about the billions who haven't heard of Jesus). I don't know. It disturbs me too.
hmm...Maybe rape wasn't listed because the sentiment against that type of behavior was already there? The Bible later states that the whole of all Mosaic law was summed up in "love God and love people." Maybe that was the point--the ten commandments may have been just a starting point...not sure. The concept of the Ten Commandments baffles me in the first place...why have Ten Commandments, and then everything else? the rest of hte Mosaic Law? It seems redundant...I feel stupid to say that and I'm probably missing something obvious...
Still waiting for a fundamentalist to respond to this.
Hi.... this may be a long one.
You may have noticed that Christ instructed his disciples to spread the Good News to the ends of the earth, i.e. tell everyone.
It's also obvious that down through history Christ's disciples have taken that very seriously, unfortunately at some times to the point of a sword, but then it is obvious that they were not following the command given by Christ, but following the command given by a power hungry Pope or their Lord and master, physical that is!
The main point though; is that believers have always spread the word, and you could say that Christianity was the first MLM template, and one which invented viral marketing!
The premise I have always followed is that once the 'message' has been heard and received by any people group the 'evangelists' job is done and the 'apostles' take over to bring people forward in Christ.
From then on it is up to the locals to take the message to their people.
I live in Malaysia, which you may know is a Muslim country, and in fact it is illegal for any believer in Christ to tell any Muslim about Christ, except where the Muslim instigates the conversation, i.e. asks about Christ.
This obviously diminishes the Malaysian peoples chance to hear about Christ, yet still we see a thriving and vibrant Christian community, and see new believers all the time.
So repression of the Gospel can maybe slow things down, and those responsible for gagging anyone from declaring the Word openly, may well face judgement at some point in their eternal history, but still Christ is heard about, seen in action in believers lives and demonstrated by the actions that we believers can carry out without words.
The message is not bound by earthly rules, just required to adapt to suit situations.
In Europe I would have a Christian bumper sticker on my car, here I just try to drive better and let lot's of Muslims cut in on me, with a smile, they have no idea I am a believer, but they do see that 'ferrengis' (foreigners) are polite and happy, and maybe one day they will engage a believer in discussion about the foreign Christ?
One sows, another reaps is my current byword.
Back to your question.
Scripture declares that ALL will notice the Creation of God on earth, i.e. when a fisherman looks at a sunset and says in his heart, that is beautiful, he is aware that Gods Creation is beautiful, and when he states that it is, he is praising God.
The educated secularist may stand looking at the same sunset and think 'That is a demonstration of the effect of pollution causing the suns rays to assume a different colour as the sun disappears over the crown of the spinning earth' and I doubt God gets much praise from that statement, scientifically accurate as it may be.
The native who may not have yet heard the message of Christ, is more likely to recognise that God exists, than the 'educated' secularist who has had imposed scientific filters into their thought process that effectively cut there ability to see God with the simplicity that the native can.
The secularist will claim that with education the native will dismiss God as a concept and see the truth of the situation when they look at a sunset. I say it is the reverse.
You can ignore God, but you cannot avoid Him, for he is everywhere.
If I had to pin point the second that my secularism started to crumble, it would be the moment when my first-born son was given to me.
At that precise instant in time I knew in my heart that I could no longer deny that something greater than me existed, and had created this miracle I now beheld.
From that small crack in my secularity came the quest to discover what that 'something' was, and I think most of humanity must reach that point when experiencing the new creation of childbirth.
They may chose to ignore the inner spiritual response that it creates, but they cannot avoid feeling the joy, unless they are already spiritually dead and uncaring.
As we near the point when ALL living humans will have at some point heard about Christ, and will have decided accordingly about Christ in respect to their temporal and eternal destiny, it becomes apparent that the enemy will try to silence all discussion as best he may, thankfully, the enemy will fail, and soon we will have fulfilled the great commission and can all go home!
As for those born into the world prior to Christ being with us, well if they read the OT bible or studied Judaism and God, they would have clearly seen the indicators that point to Christ, and anyway had a system given that could bring them to peace and righteousness with God, albeit a complicated and made more onerous system created by the Rabbis of old.
In eternity, when all stand before God, alone, our lives will be judged.
Some of humanity, who have never heard about Christ, and there will be some who never did in history, will be judged on the life they led and how they responded to the call of God which has always been there for those who sought Him.
Their condition in eternity is not my concern.
The issue is that every person who HAS heard about Christ, will by their then forward actions and belief, be deciding their own eternal destiny.
That is the important decision that it seems so many refuse to even contemplate.
Thanks for taking the time to answer.
What happened to the people of Malaysia souls for the 1000 years before any Christian came there?
Well the first Christians got here in the 7th century, so from then it is fair game to consider that some Malays would have come to faith and carried the torch from there on, but for those who had never heard, the same rules apply as to those elsewhere who had not heard of a bible OT or NT, they would be judged by their lives.
Really the point is moot, for those who came before Christ was presented to them, they are judged according to how they reacted to God as they perceived Him.
The reality is that those who HAVE heard the Christian message have no excuse for whatever temporal or eternal destiny they choose.
Even in Malaysia, where talking about Christ is forbidden by law, we still have nearly 10% of the nation as believers, and of course if believers could actually reach out to Malaysian Muslims, that would (will?) grow exponentially, as they are a very spiritual people.
So, I can envision Gods butt to be everywhere? If I kick the thin air in front of me, am I kicking Gods butt?
Here we go then...
That's the thing about believers, they can say whatever they want to influence things.
Not a good thing.
I just hope someday, sooner not later, that people reallize that God is everywhere, not just in some silly text written before the middle ages. The Gospel of Thomas states "look under a rock and you'll find God"... Why was that removed from the bible? The holly emperror Constantine didn't think it fit in his image of the bible.
You make a good point "the bible is old, has been rewritten, and most probably does not apply to some key points of todays society, But, I believe that the path to Heaven "or whatever it called" does not lie in a book. Yes that book does hold key elements that we should follow "some elements that aren't too far from the law of the land." Anyways, I dont "label myself as a Christian" due to the image they have not only in the publics eye, but my eye as well. Telling somebody they will go to Hell simply because they believe in another type of God is bad, and also saying God hates anything is surly bad. I dont go to church, I live my life the best I can. If somebody says they don't believe in a God I don't get up on my high horse and cram my beliefs down their throat, I stand beside them and ponder with them about the subject on their level, or simply say "ah" and walk away, being that their beliefs are none of business and that I never was called by God to preach the word. I have been called an atheist, a satanist, and all kinds of things but I rather not label myself and just live a good life and believe in a higher power without trying to make everyone else do as I do, think as I do, or believe what I do.
Thank you for clarifying, what I've been trying to say all along.
mischeviousme, I am sorry that you were misled early on in life.
Please just listen to your heart. Truly listen.
What ever path of spiritual belief one chooses to take, is going to end up at the same gate.
I addressing you as a fan - I don't only appreciate the content in your posts, but your approach and manner is a delight. I find several things in your writing that I don't find too often;
"I almost find no need to defend myself because your summary of what I was saying is completely inaccurate, to the point that I feel we aren't even talking about the same thing."
. . . you display (above) an ability to follow the course of the discussion and add to it furthering it along rather than derailing it (as so many seem to do).
"If you feel that religion and physics both break down when attempting to explain the unexplainable, then why would you consider physics superior? "
. . . you demonstrate (above) a logical approach, you remark on the things that have actually been said and review their validity, rather than merely use them to springboard into something else you want to say, out of context. And you even add a civil "(unless you didn't, and I'm misunderstanding you)" parenthetically after your comments.
"Nothing was taken out of the Bible by the Niocene council. It was a joint meeting in which the leaders discussed which books were generally already accepted by the church of the time. And how did the Roman Empire edit the Bible, exactly?"
. . . and you aren't just making assertions based on assumptions about something you can't recall where you heard it, but everybody thinks they knew - your views are based on a more thorough and accurately informed understanding (in this case of history).
You are easy to read and your comments have consequence - I appreciate that. It can get tiring (I'm approaching 60) trying to deal with the same old lame 'Paul invented Christianity' and 'Constantine invented the Bible and he used Nicaea to do it' and 'Genesis says the world is flat and rests on cosmic pillars . . . only, I can't tell you where it says that', etc, etc - it's a joy to come across an honest and independent thinker. I'm a fan.
@Emile R. I understand how you feel. i am a christian who beleives in the tenet of christian philosophy. One thing i know that causes dilema is what i call free choice. As long as there is a choice, there will always be confusion. God does not force people to him, he allows people to make up their minds on what they want in terms of spiritual path. However, lack of understanding will make people have different opinions and beliefs.
It is possible that you know how I feel. But, I believe that every level of existence displays infinite variety. I believe the human mind is one of those levels. Multiply infinity by the number of levels of existence and you begin to understand how many interpretations are possible and, in their unique way, correct when discussing the concept of God.
If God exists, I believe God to be beyond all understanding. Arguing about who is right, or wrong, is more of an exercise in showing how little we understand than it is on how much we know. And laying claim to a unique relationship with God as an individual, or group, is a clear indication to me that I can't perceive the person speaking as having found the enlightenment we all seek.
God can be only all or nothing. There is no in between.
I recieved doa recently, which is an early form of Chinese philosophy. The simplicity of it is this; It is all dao. They had no words for it and chose not to ellaborate, saying that, because there are no words to describe it, we must only lead others to see it as they do. You have words in your mind that perfectly describe what you feel, but if I cut myself, the experience is only felt by me.
That is an excellent way of explaining it. I'll have to read up on dao. I've never heard of it before.
Many people reading this should pick up "the Zen teachings of master Lin Chi". It's really an interesting insite into the quandry of spiritual thinking. I've read alot of books by Alan Watts and Wei Wu Wei. I find that the life experiences of older men can tell one alot about spiritual endevours.
I've been listening to that mischevious on you tube, Alan Watts, he has some good points!
I grew up on Alan Watts. His points are almost all vallid, in sense that they make sense. If the bible is so pure then why does it contain Hemerabi's law? "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth"...
I always wondered why the NT wasn't separated from the OT. They seem to send very conflicted messages.
Many Christians are very quick to throw stones at that, which they do not understand. The same can be said for most devout religions. Islam for example. But the problem does not lay in the follower, but the leader. If I were a Minister, I'd preach open mindedness and tollerance.
The way you use unfounded measurements is dangerous rhetoric.
You have know way of knowing that many Christians throw stones at that or how quickly they do it.
Generalizations are born from ignorance.
I base what, I with my own eyes have seen and with my own ears have heard. Have any theological debate with a christian, and their first response is that of ignorance. I've been told time and time again that my way, is the devil's way. Why? Because my views don't flow with puritanical belief?
I strongly recommend reading "The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine if you haven't.
After the first page you will see what he is all about.
People are so afraid of organized religion. I was at a Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist meeting (Soka Gakkai International group) last Tuesday and a guest made a statement about how she did not like religion or any religious organizations. She was seeking spiritualism. Buddhism has no God but has what is equivalent to it, Universal Law. We explain it like there are certain laws that you don't need to explain too hard, such as gravity.
When she made her statement, one leader said that we are more spiritual than religious. It is a philosophy of life. It is funny how in order to talk about an organization it is sometimes best to say that it is a religion or it is not a religion.
In fact, our "religion" is more scientific because we do not ask for people's leap of faith. We share our experiences on our approaches and the results. One leader said that when he was younger, he did not like the Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism but it was in his family. So, he tested it and said that if he does well on a graduation exam, he would stay with it, and if he didn't, he would quit. He ended up with the best score in the country of Malaysia, which is why he ended up becoming a student leader.
Some people follow what their families believe, while others choose to see their own path. I chose the later. Is it a religion? I do not think it matters. If you find that the theory makes sense, then by all means, learn about it some more because you never know what you are searching for until you find it. I know that I found it.
I study martial arts and they can be lichened to religion. Almost every teacher I have ever had has said "This is the best martial art around". Can this also not be interperated as a religious statement?
And if it makes sense to give into hate and rage? What if what makes sense to you is to let yourself feel the hurts of your past and blame an entire race of people or nation of people for the actions of one or two? Maybe they didn't even do anything but it's been what you are told.
My father was a drunk who was in and out of jail my entire childhood, my mother took off with another woman when I was nine. My childhood was horrible, abuse, homelessness, hunger and a lack of eduction is what I had. Should I hate all gays now because of the actions of one? Should I dispise anyon who drinks alcohol now? Not all theories are worth listening to.
My mother was an abusive, mean drunk and she too took off when I was young. My father ignored and I pretty much had to educate myself. I traveled for many years and saw what singular minded people are capable of. Do I hate them? No. I accept all ways of thinking, I just think it is better to eat all things and digest what one can. I never meant for this to go this far, my intent was to see how people feel about outside ideas. I pretty much have my answer.
Some people are closed minded and throw their beliefs/ideas around like a cowboy throws his pistol around "not caring who they hurt in the process."
That was directed at Formosangirl not you Mischevious
It's quite alright, I was just making the point, that we are who we are. We, as we are now, as we see ourselves, is a representation of the past. This is what I meant when I went on about religious belief. Something that happened that long ago, is not pertinent now. You may very well be a decent person, but this is not because your parents weren't. We just use their behavior, to guage how to act now.
My son has been practicing karate for 14 years. It's very disciplined and it really matured him. I have read that when it is practiced, it compares with meditation. I practice regular mediation, but karate is a repitition of moves, at least as people learn the basic crills. He always says it calms him, because at the time you do it, it's all you can think of to do the moves and pay attention. So I can see why it's classified with activities that are like meditation. There is no religious connection at his dojo, but they learn basic Japanese and culture. Other styles may involve religion.
That being said, I didn't confine myself to one discipline. I studied under many Senseis and masters. I started with Jiu Jitsu when I was nine, left when I was twelve and began studying Shorin Ryu right away. From there I switched to Kick boxing, then Kung fu and Tai Chi and so on. Is it not better to have many roots, than a single secluded idea?
He is open to many spiritual ideas, as people who just finish college are. But his Sensie lived with and trained with his master in Okinawa, and his master was Master Miyagi, there really was one, as in the Karate Kid movies. So for the purpose of training, it's the lineage and keeping of tradition that is most important to those who train at this particular dojo. I agree that one should remain open to all religious and spiritual ideas, I have been reading alot about Buddhism lately, and if you see my hubs you will notice I'm on a journey of seeking myself. Take care!
I would not consider myself an expert on anything, but this is one thing I do Know... Kung fu came from Shiu jiao, Jiu jitsu and Aikido, from Aiki Jiu jitsu and so on. To preserve a liniage does 1 thing; It stagnates. A rolling stone gathers no moss and a river never goes stagnant. If ideas are left to pool, or stagnate, then they will never change.
Well, it's a point well taken. But don't you think sometimes traditions and customs should be preserved? In this case, the Okinawan people were not allowed any weapons after the war, so had to learn that anything can be used as one if somebody is attacking you. The people in the dojo are great friends, and have all helped each other to the point they have become family over the years. But I see what you mean. I don't like to stagnate myself. I've never been in a job for more than 2 yrs, unless it's a large company that hires and promotes change. I like change, but some people are more set in their ways.
I think perhaps that choosing a spiritual path should always feel like a dilemma until you've found your path. Like a scientist, you shouldn't be satisfied with the easiest, simplest or most convenient path available.
But why leave God out of it? That's a bit like flying a kite without air. Or going for a swim in an empty ocean basin.
Fear of God
You talk of "fear of God," but what does that mean to you? Fear as in "terror?" Fear as in "respect?" Or fear as in "humility?" I'm leaning toward the last of the three, but think the "fear of God" will include a healthy dose of each.
But hey, it's God's universe. He can do whatever He wants with it, and with us included. If He wanted, He could pull the plug on the whole shindig and there wouldn't be any evidence that any of these galaxies ever existed.
Dilemma of Religion?
You make an assertion about "The Dilema with religion is finding a rational arguement to defend it. The reason all arguements for religion fail is because there is no solid idea behind it."
True religion doesn't need defending. True religion is about "Truth" and the path toward it. So much of religion we commonly see is man's interpretation, and that, all too often, remains fallible.
No solid idea behind it? Really? Take a look at Genesis 1:26 and don't take everything too literally. Compare this to Genesis 2:7 and Genesis 6:3. The combination of these implies something very profound about us. Can you guess what that is? This and the tragedy mentioned in Genesis 3 is the solid idea. And don't for a moment think that the Garden was a physical place with an apple as temptation.
God is not something "simple" that we merely settle on because the universe is complex. God isn't a construct of human intellect. Quite the opposite, we are constructs of God's intellect.
God is not some "imaginary man that lives in the sky." God is non-physical (not Homo sapiens), spiritual and an immortal source of creation. The universe is His creation. And science, in all its beautiful logic and reason, has endeavored to study the product of that creation.
Purpose of Religion
I'm quite certain that God intended for man to have religion. That is the key purpose of Him creating Homo sapiens and helping us to create civilization. Religion, language and civilization are the tools with which we may unravel our imprisonment. We cannot do it on our own. We have always needed His help.
The Real Source of Evil
The "fruit of the tree," as you call it, is not religion. But could it be ego -- the heart of everything selfish? Ego (selfishness / ignorance) is the source of our blindness (the spiritual dark we find ourselves in).
Everything you think is wrong or bad about religion is also wrong or bad about government, business and any other enterprise of man. Ego is what gets in the way of our spiritual path. If your feet need a path on which to walk, that path needs a planet underneath it as support. A spiritual path without God is like a physical path without a planet.
I was simply stating an opinion.. 1. That religion was founded on the fear of death. 2. That people have a tendancy to over emphasize their own beliefs and 3. That "I" don't believe God ever intended for it to get this far out of hand. I do not deny that the universe is devoid of an omipitant creator either. My point was simply this... One should lay down the blinder's of secular thinking and maybe accept that the world is changing, then so must old and possibly dangerous ideas.
It apears as if I didn't make clear and deicisive explanaition of my opinion. My belief is that, everything in the bible was metaphorical, while some of it was based on actual events. I refuse to believe that the continents were seperated because of some idiotic rulers, desire to build a tower. The seperation for me, was in men's hearts.
Perhaps some religions were founded on the fear of death. And perhaps some people came to religion out of such a fear. But was all religion founded out of death's fear? I don't think so. I firmly believe that some was founded out of love -- founded from outside, not from within this world.
I agree that people have a tendency to overemphasize their own beliefs. That's ego.
I understand your opinion that you don't believe God ever intended for it to get this far out of hand. If there were a kinder, gentler way for us to offload the shackles of this world, I'm sure He would have found some way to teach us by now. But we are powerful, but stubborn children, clinging to ego and killing the messengers who come with the good news. I personally feel God had this in mind all along. He knew how evil would react and He allowed it to grow toward the coming climax.
I saw a video recently how director and documentary producer Aaron Russo became friends with one of the Rockefellers, and how that member of the elite despised the "little people" of the world. He did not care about their suffering. In fact, he revealed to Mr. Russo his family's plan to introduce the "mark of the beast" mentioned in Revelations. He didn't think of it in those religious terms. He only viewed it as a way to solve once and for all the problem of totalitarian control.
Why did God allow the Holocaust? Was it to help fulfill the rebirth of Israel?
These bodies mean little. That much I think is right.
Lay down old and dangerous ideas? Yes, but who decides what is dangerous and what may be a painful necessity in the eyes of the Lord?
I agree that some people take too much literally. But there again, reason can be used, but can also prove wrong. If you're referring to the Tower of Babel incident, there was never any mention of such a separation -- only a scattering of the people across the face of the earth. If someone thought this meant separation of continents, then they are adding their own interpretation (not "literal" at all).
The Dilema with religion is finding a rational arguement to defend it. - It's not a dilemma to those who believe and trust God will for their lives. It's only a dilemma to those who consider this a problem. Those who say they have a healthy dose of 'rationale fear' but choose to ignore it are incapable, angry and bitter at God's authority. They are confrontational with believers instead of taking up the matter with God Himself. They cannot accept God's will for their lives. The Word of God states in Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'
They would rather persecute so it falls to those of us who trust in God to give them a Word. It will never be a Word they like so they'll continue to persecute God's people until like Paul they are confronted with God Himself. In the end God wins! Either by surrender or knockout!
Genesis 1:1 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.'
Even to look at this verse and have the desire to continue reading takes an act of Faith. It's a decision you make to reject an enemy that doesn't want you to continue reading and moving forward to your blessing. So my advice to anyone who picks up a Bible with the same Dilemma is not to attack Christians, just close the rest of the book. It won't mean anything to you anyway. But, you are in a far greater disadvantage by discouraging God's little ones. God's Word says to us in Romans 12:19 'Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: Vengeance is mine. I will repay.'
We may not have a defense, we may not make the right decisions. Just like you we are only human. The only difference is we have accepted the Gift of Faith and chosen the right path. I don't fear what people might do to me. God's Word tells me in Matthew 10:28 'Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.'. I would rather fear God' authority. Praise the Lord for His tender mercies. Happy Hubbing!
Again, the topic is more of an eastern approach to religion. Christianity is a western religion. Though what I am ultimately doing, is pointing out that all religions are fundimentally the same. To direguard any is folly. To some degree, all religions are divinely inspired, so to exclude any, is an insult to God. Of course, this was also an ectopic opinion...
I think choosing to believe in god from a general view is one thing. Taking it a step forward, and picking a specific god seems to be an impossible undertaking.
To choose no god and simply to be, is near impossible. We live in a world in which causallity is how we define things. This happened because of that and so on. The "I" is more important than the we. "When the light enters the heart, the many becomes the one. When the light enters the mind, the one becomes the many". This a statement that took me a long time to understand. It is not easy to understand either. The truth, as I stated before, is subjective and stems from our need to understand. But is it not better to understand that, it just is? I would say so.
This sentence makes no sense to me with the word casuality .
What do you mean by this or did you think it meant something else?
Untrue for anyone who actually understands their own life.
Actually, it's called duality reality. Everything happens for a reason....thus cause and effect.
Right, and everything that happens happened for a reason. Just like ALL questions have answers.
Only to a selfish person.
Again, it seems as if you're attempting to say something profound, yet failing to do so.
And apparently you're not there yet.
Then say it differently, then you might see it in a different light.
Untrue. Truth is universal and objective. It takes one to see beyond themselves to discover it.
Again, do not just read the words, read the sentence. We see words and forget that the sentence means something. Causallity works like this; God is good because and the devil is bad because. I am pointing out, in my forum, that "One should just be". God and thought have nothing to with KNOWING who "I" am.
Do you have a problem? I read the sentence and it's context and it still wouldn't change my answer.
Actually, I understood quite well, but thank you.
Actually, G/god is good and the Devil/Satan is bad. Because of DUALITY, not causallity.
I KNOW who I am, I know my purpose for living and I know you're not helping anyone with this sort of irrational thought process or actions.
We know exactly what you speak of and we're just addressing the irrational nature of your thought process.
Actually, it's not. Especially when you start from an irrational beginning and supposedly end up with what you call a rational conclusion. The only thing you've managed to do is rationalize the irrational. Not a surprise....many religious people do it.
I take it you didn't read the forum rules before you began posting?
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If you have any evidence please present it.
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