I would like to know how many Christians are up to the task of providing some kind of logical justification for their beliefs.
I will not accept Pascal's Wager
The resurrection of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If you have any specific questions about Jesus, and/or The Bible, I’ll do my best to answer you.
How do you 1) justify belief that the resurrection in fact happened, and 2) conclude from this that the rest of the beliefs that make up Christianity are also somehow validated?
I would like to answer this as well
I justify my beliefs in the resurrection through Gods Word, historical consistencies with God Word and the Holy Spirit who ministers Gods Word to me.
That answers both questions really.
Over 500 eyewitness accounts of my risen Lord, historical records even from the non-believers who testified to the fact that Jesus did raise from the dead. The facts that thousands of people were martyred for their refusal to deny Jesus Christ as their risen Saviour. If they didn't see Jesus after he rose there is no way they would die for a lie.
In the beginning was the Logic and the Logic was with GOD and the Logic was GOD.
That's the Logic and the reason.
That is neither logical nor reasonable.
Just quotes from a book.
I agree. Since when did God become logical? Doesn't have to be if he's God. And if he is logic, it's mighty inconsistent. No logic in it/him.
Then I think you disagree with the Apostle John who I quoted.
that quote "In the beginning was the Word" etc., is also symbolic and not a literal one. It's not the literal ABC words referred to here. Again we have problems with translation.
Right, so GOD was not in the beginning?
And the rest of the book of John? symbolic too?
Nope, your opinion is noted though.
Read my hub about my life it is old and I believe it is called " A Wing and a Prayer my life". It has been so long I haven't looked but that is why I believe. It isn't anything logical I just know that God is there for me and he is in my heart. Just like you may not believe it is everyone's choice on who they are or what they believe in.
Up to this point, I don't see any LOGICAL justifications coming from the believers-just blind faith, and ignorance of the premise of the question being asked.
There is no logic that can quantify or explain The Spiritual to someone who is Spiritually dead.
It's literally like trying to engage a corpse.
Why do you imply that I'm spiritually dead? Also, you can't tell me what a spirit is. I was going to phrase that as a question, but I believe it's futile, as the idea of a 'spirit' is a very vague and nebulous one.
It's a bit of a below the belt comment. Unfortunately their is a misunderstanding between different religious traditions, that to be spiritual you must belong to a religion and follow doctrines.
This is not the case and I feel it's very unfortunate that the word spiritual became confused with religion. Spirit is the essence of a person, void of dogma and judgment of any kind. Perhaps the person who fails to reach or see the essence of another, is the one who is spiritually dead. Worth musing over.
Religion has nothing to do with it.
The Human spirit which is in all human beings is not The Holy Spirit. Mankind, even though he has the human spirit which separates him/her from the beasts of the field, is still dead without the Holy Spirit. The human spirit returns to the Godhead when we die. The Holy Spirit is eternal and those that have it in this life will be given eternal life at the resurrection.
Well I see that everyone has spirit regardless of their life circumstances. Whether they are able to see it in a lifetime is questionable.
And you're right religion has nothing to do with it, unless it is religion itself that prevents a person getting close to their pure self. I don't use the Christian model myself, so excuse me if I'm not talking the same language as you.
There is no 'pure self' in carnal human beings.
Jer 17:9 (KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Only the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit can make a human being pure.
and not only that, but only in your way.
Not my way, The Lord's Way for He is The Way.
Now what's your way? Oh yes, I know, satire. What a waste of space and life? Ever tried doing something useful?
My life is always useful, and satirizing you is too easy, you do it to yourself!
Useful? How can you be useful making crap useless remarks on a subject you know nothing about? Oh yes satire of the moronic variety!
The subject is one I can carry with more authority than you can dream of. You know nothing.
Thanks too for confirming the level of your delusion i.e. total, utter and complete.
What was it you were saying about megalomania!! Yet another bullet through the foot me thinks. Ouch!
Yes I always enjoy lunch, but I don't eat weasels like your weird friend.
And again it's all in the interpretation and how this is passed to the student or flock.
The heart is indeed deceitful, which is why when you listen to new agers talk about listening to their heart - you take it with a grain of salt. It usually lies.
Now the 'Lord Jesus Christ' was Jesus the man, same as you, a human same as myself who was able to find the essence of his spirit and transform it to become pure. You can use the terms you wish as you find them in the bible. But we the people can do the same as he did. You/we/us just have to do as he did. There is nothing external here. No one is going to do it on our behalf, no one is going to make us pure, we do that ourselves. Though I think we as a whole will be pushing it up hill till the apocalypse. Pity about that.
We cannot do these things of ourselves they have to come from The Father above. The Lord didn't find anything. He was baptised by John and the Holy Spirit descended in the shape of a dove upon Him from above. This is a gifting from the Father not a self based discovery.
Believe it or not what you are espousing is no different to mainstream Christian teaching whereby they maintain that THEY find a Jesus, which is a deception and lie for The Father finds us.
"No one is going to do it on our behalf, no one is going to make us pure, we do that ourselves."
This is just where you are wrong.
This is a path to arrogance, for if we are doing it ourselves we can pat ourselves on the back and boast. There is no humility in what you are saying, so it cannot be of The Godhead. And, of course, it's not, it's all of you.
Sorry, I have to disagree with you. After 10 years of meditative practices, it's not arrogance that provides these statements. You are right that in the process of these experiences, there is the propensity to go into that which has no humility. At the end of the day it is discernment of the highest order that's required. And it's damn hard to do.
I may not sound humble. I'm not intending to. I'm also not intending this discussion to be just an argument full of opinions. I'm not enlightened and I haven't been able to hold permanently the states that are high and available.
I do know that through my own inner experiences, terms that are spoken by people reading scriptures do not apply to an outer world but an inner one.
"The Father finding you" is akin to being open to higher states of consciousness. These states come in different forms to different people. It can be feelings, sensations, inner light, inner expansions of space. These spaces are unmistakable. Very difficult to explain to someone who has not done this deep inward contemplation/meditation. The Father is never not there. You have to open yourself to 'see' it. 'See' the difference.
I don't like using the term Father or Lord. I don't wish to make an impersonal presence or substance personal. It's a lowly expression of something that is beyond arms and legs of the human condition.
"I don't like using the term Father or Lord."
Of course not, because you cannot. Unless The Father call a human being to His Son then you cannot believe and nor will you be able or want to use their names.
John 6:44 (KJV) No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Again this is about The Godhead, it's not about me. I am clay they are The Potters and everything is to their Glory. They call and choose people at their pleasure, for we that are called and chosen were predestined to be called and chosen before we were born. The Father 'knew us' before we were born. This also means my genealogy was also planned and determined before my ancestors were born.
But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." John 12:32
Not in this age. Not until the second resurrection. Why are you trying to create a contradiction!!!!!!????????
The Father calls now. The Son will call in ALL MEN in the future.
You are quoting out of context too:
John 12:37-41 (KJV) 37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: 38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? 39 THEREFORE THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE, because that Esaias said again, 40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. 41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
They could not believe NOT THAT THEY CHOSE NOT TO BELIEVE!!
You can have these experiences while on the earth. Even before your physical death, you are able to lift yourself up out of your body and be conscious of spaces more divine that you have experienced while walking on terra firma. What are you waiting for? Get practising.
You guys need to have some real true dinkum experiences and get your heads out of that darn book. It's of no service to you whatsoever. But if aligning yourself to the surface meaning of scriptures is what floats your boat, by all means go for it. Not my job to stand in your way.
I am not implying anything, I am telling you straight. If you are not Born Again of the Holy Spirit you are dead - period.
As a man once said, those who are Spiritually alive trying to converse with those who are not can be likened to talking to a cow over the fence. It will see you and look at you with a blank stare and just carry on chewing the cud, completely oblivious to what you might be saying to it.
Hence your comment: "as the idea of a 'spirit' is a very vague and nebulous one."
QED as the papists would say.
I could talk to ya about it for hours and never repeat myself. From a to z. UNINTERPRETED according to the bible facts. but nobody wants to hear anything that does not agree with what they were TAUGHT to believe
Jerami, this is totally untrue that nobody wants to hear anything that doesn't agree with what they were taught to believe. People are looking all the time into things they were taught otherwise about, that's how discoveries and inventions are made. Also, atheists become believers, Christians choose Buddhism, Hindus choose Christianity, etc. Where did you come up with this?
I find it interesting that the first thing you do is specify that a completely legitimate, rational defense of belief -- Pascal's Wager -- is considered off-limits in this conversation. No philosopher, believer or unbeliever, would do this; your exclusion without providing a reason why the Wager is something you'll not accept is a bit arbitrary and irrational.
If I said I'd have a 100 yard dash with you but you may not use your left leg and I didn't even bother to tell you why not, that would be a bit odd in a track and field event.
You are asking to have a philosophical discussion about belief, so this means you must accept all the rules that apply to philosophical discussions. One of those rules is you may not exclude a perfectly acceptable, traditional argument UNLESS you first show that argument is fallacious, false, irrelevant, poorly constructed, resting on poor premises, and so forth.
Even an atheistic philosopher will tell you Pascal's Wager is formidable on just the logical level alone -- disporoving it or showing there's a better counter-argument is problematic. I'm certainly not saying it can't be done. I am saying you haven't done it, nor have you bothered to justify yourself.
If I asked you to defend (say) atheism with rational arguments and then said at the outset I won't accept any of that silly science stuff (insert smiley face) as evidence, or even if I more narrowly excluded a single scientific theory -- Darwinian evolutionary theory, Big Bang theory, the laws of thermodynamics, relativity -- without saying WHY, without making an argument they should be off the board, you'd be within your rights to shake your head and decline the offer to prove yourself.
Why? Because you're wrong? No -- because your opponent wants to claim to have a rational discussion without accepting all the rules of a rational discussion. He wants you to play by the rules while he hamstrings you by arbitrarily picking and choosing what he will or won't accept as rational or a proper argument.
So, Mr. Ingram will not play till you explain why Pascal's Wager is off the board and why it should be. Show me a rational reason why. Until then, I think I'll just assert the Wager as my position, to see if you can do this.
If you can, we'll move on to a real discussion and I'll be happy to give you my rational reasons for my religious beliefs, inasmuch as belief can be discussed rationally.
If not, then I guess Pascal's Wager is convincing to you and you've answered your own question.
I think you can't lump all Christians into a single group. There are people who consider themselves 'real' Christians who probably aren't at all, and people who don't even consider themselves Christians who probably are.
Also, I don't think religious belief has to be justified. Why is one person accountable to another in this regard? I would think each person is accountable to herself, period. I must justify my beliefs, Christian or not, to myself, but not to you or anyone else.
If you hold unjustified beliefs, you should expect to be wrong. If you have justified them, then why not share your justification?
We all need to justify our actions to God! As a sinner we can't justify any actions; we make our choices, decisions based on what we think is right but we don't base those on the instructions given to us by our Lord. We need to be accountable to him.
Don't you mean you need to be accountable to yourself? That's the point of Peter 3:15.
Well, I'm not so sure. Christian doctrine says that no matter what we do, it will never be enough to erase the sinful state we are in, that the atonement is the grace to make up the difference. To justify, it so balance. We can not, no matter what in all eternity balance our lives out to God. There is no justification.
But as Jewels pointed out, we can make an accounting. There is a big difference.
And again I have to say - it's an accounting to the self and not to an external being. You can never atone for someone else, you can only atone for yourself.
Modern Christian doctrines really fail the human spirit if interpreted in such a manner that makes one seem less than. No matter what you become, there is always the teachings of being less than - less than God. That's a true injustice if ever I saw one. Union in many spiritual traditions refers to the reunion with the source - or God. Why in Christianity are you always less than?
My justification is 1 Peter 3:15, which states that all Christians have an obligation to provide a rational justification to anyone who asks. But you wouldn't be the first religious believer to cherry-pick their beliefs from the buffet of scripture.
I don't think I've ever seen the word rational in a BIBLE. Peter just said to be ready to give an answer to any man who asks, and nothing about rational justification. My answer is faith.
An obligation ,but used with wisdom ,or another words when invited to do so ie when the person asks directly or signals they are open to 'your sharing'.
For myself the people ,believers that is ,who have influenced me the most are those that 'lived' out the scriptures and didnt just talk talk talk....(God actually says they are like 'clanging cymbals' ) and I dont wanna be an irritating noise ,least I try not to be.
I never said I hold religious beliefs. I just said that:
1) I don't think there is only one variety of Christian, and
2) I don't think one person is accountable to another when it comes to justifying their religious beliefs.
But if you are having a conversation for Christians only, then I see what you mean. I'll bow out, not for me to say.
Then feel free to disregard my cherry picking comment as hypothetical
If I person wants to keep their views to themselves then that's fine by me, except that the Bible gives Christians clear instruction to provide justification for their beliefs. While the question was aimed at Christians, anyone is more than welcome to join the discussion.
Really? There are lots of Christians here, but I doubt all of them would take one Bible verse as a literal instruction to justify their religious belief to any person who asks them about it.
Here's what I have from the NIV:
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
I would certainly give an answer to anyone who asked me and do it with gentleness and respect. The respect and gentleness go, I'm outta there too.
Few people ever ask me. They're too busy trumpeting their own judgmental opinions about God. I think you shouldn't talk about God unless directly asked by someone who is generally interested in the answer. Otherwise, show what you believe in your actions and your demeanor.
If every soul is in need of the atonement, there are, fact, no "good" Christians. They are all faulty. Therefore, Peter's admonition will fall mostly on deaf ears except for zealots and such.
I have a tendency to think as Pam. I don't really need to justify my beliefs or life to anyone. Sometimes it's intriguing to talk about similarities and differences.
Is there perhaps more context to what Peter was trying to convey. It's not that black and white. Perhaps Peter was addressing blind faith itself. If you cannot give due reason within yourself as to why you follow a certain faith, isn't that what you need to justify? It's not an outward justification to someone who asks, but a justification to yourself.
The grosses misunderstanding I can see among the religious is their inability to apply the religious teachings to their own inner lives. If you clean up your inner backyard, you have absolutely no need to clean up someone else's.
Yes and there's so seldom any attempt at reading deeper. It's all on the surface. That's fine, but it's partly what I meant when I said there are Christians and then there are Christians. Not all people who follow the teachings of Jesus read the Bible on a literal surface level. If you read it more as poetry and parable, as symbolic language that goes much deeper than the surface meaning, then you sre already entering a relationship with yourself and God. You have that inner focus right away. I belief that is what Jesus meant when he compared faith to a mustard seed. If you have a little, you read and interpret from that place, it grows.
Ironically you could blabber about Christianity until you faint and quote Scripture from every orifice and still not get it. If you stay on the surface you're not getting it. Not you personally--I meant, you know, generically. lol!
Actually, Pam, I have thought for so very long that the Bible holds up much, much better as a symbolic, poetic work rather than a literal work. It makes no sense in so many ways and places literally, but symbolically, you can't ever really get through all the layers of meaning and depth in one life-time. And, paradoxically, if you begin to work with the symbology and levels of meaning, it's so completely senseless to put your life in any organization. It's not about an organization, it seems, it's about a personal journey--or so it would seem to me.
So I'm with you on this one. I think your other points about religions basically form the same premise is also pretty accurate. Isn't it amazing how much mess a few "smart" thinkers can make?
Yes, yes yes. It's great to hear this Daniel. If applied to a personal journey it makes allot of sense.
LOL! I'd like to think I'm smart, but I feel totally baffled by life about 80% of the time. But I agree with you about the Bible--some of it just seems so weird as to be unsalvageable, and then other parts are so densely symbolic you could wring new meaning from them for a lifetime. Much of writing in the Gospels is like that for me. I think Jesus spoke in parables for a reason--kind of a like Zen koans. They are deceptively simple but change to something new in every new situation.
"If you clean up your inner backyard, you have absolutely no need to clean up someone else's."
This last statement is awesome.
Why thank you Vladimir, feel free to quote me.
The religious do not have it in them in order to 'clean up their inner back yard" In fact, their inner back yard is more filthy and stinking than the inner back yards of the lost and unsaved.
This is why The Lord mocked the men of religion when He said: "The 'healthy' have no need of the physician"
Well I think religion does have transformation at the core of it's teachings, not that I'm an expert on any of them. I just think it's missed in translation when people apply it to other people's lives and not their own.
As I see it, the only punishment that should be dished out to people is meditation which requires a person to reflect, contemplate and go inside themselves. The taxpayer would likely have to cover the cost of tissues instead of electric chairs. Off topic a tad here.
All religion has is lies and deceptions as the core of its teachings. There is no Truth in any religion. The Christian Religion is based upon making money, nothing else.
As for punishment that all depends upon the crime for the spirit of punishing for 'stealing' a loaf of bread is still with us. The thieving banksters make sure of that. Having said that if someone kills another they should forfeit their own lives - period.
Murderers going inside themselves is sheer intellectual and academic nonsense. The best way to get them to do that is whilst they are waiting for the executioner. All execution does is hand them over to the Godhead where they will be dealt with in the resurrection.
Here too is the rub, if we don't punish them here and now, then their punishment in the resurrection will be far worse.
There is no escape from responsibility.
You obviously haven't meditated enough. Self analysis and silence can be the worse experience. It sends people insane cause they can't handle their own thoughts and emotions that occur. Contemplation is the term used in some religions I believe.
I have no need of meditation nor any need of self. The self dies in the watery grave of baptism - all I need is The Lord, for He leads and guides me from within.
The fact that you say meditation drives people insane does not surprise me for all they will find is evil if they are not Born Again.
Well people are subject to polarity, of course there is the ability to be evil in everyone. Being born again is akin to the term death, but not so much a physical death, but the death of the untransformed soul. This happens through reflection, regression, contemplation/meditation, choices, acceptance and all those other doing things. In some spiritual traditions it is understood that it is the untransformed soul that continues until full transformation. Only until a full transformation of the soul happens, will you enter 'the kingdom of heaven.' In sanskrit the term Self has a different meaning to the ego self. Considering catholics are all baptised, I see none of them as having absolved the grossness of their egos.
Not that I'm giving a lesson in other traditions here, but there is that question of who is right here. And whilst Christians, even those who align to their own set of doctrines, believe in those teachings. Who is to say which is true until the experience is had.
And for clarity, full on meditation practices are done in the company of someone who is able to facilitate the waves of emotions and turmoil that it brings. Meditation also can bring about the most beautiful experiences you can have. It's through these practices that you can then take bible scriptures more seriously. They take on different meaning.
Thanks for the opportunity to remind the literal 'experts' that Peter Lost his life as a result of his INABILITY to justify his faith! Ironic isn't it?
Also I think the phrase, "In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord," is open to interpretation. It's not like joining Sam's Club or voting Republican. I think it has a deeper meaning.
As I'm sure you are aware, the bit about gentleness refers to how you should answer, not how you should expect to be asked. And I would generally agree that under normal circumstances you don't owe other people an explanation, but if you are a Christian then it would appear that you do in fact owe an explanation to anyone who asks for one.
This is an excellent point. Therein lies the rub. One who claims to be a "good" Christian should also strive for perfection, according to the Bible, but how many wander off into justifying their hate and claiming people such as us are "devils" to justify their bad behavior? (And then claim it's a warning voice of love....) I'd say an awful lot.
I'm curious about why you asked the question for this thread. I mean, under what circumstances would you expect this to happen--that is, for someone to ask you to justify your beliefs?
I'm thinking you had a motivation for asking this specific question but your reasons aren't obvious to me. Like I said, mostly I see people talk without being asked. Why did you ask this?
Because I believe religious belief is false and dangerous, and the best way for believers to realise this themselves is through dialogue with people who disagree. Also if I'm wrong I want to find out as soon as possible, and again the best way of finding out is through dialogue with those who disagree with me.
But this goes without saying of course that just because you answer with what is in your heart, not all will understand nor will everyone accept it.
To one it may be clear and to another not so clear. One may consider it a rational explanation while someone else might not.
Possibly true. Do you consider yourself to be a Christian Daniel?
I was raised in a very devout Christian family. (Rather zealotous in some ways.) I've raised my own family as Christian, but am now single, kids grown, and my daughter and I are not religious in the least. I understand all the Christian doctrines because I taught therm for decades, but all I can see are lots of blind belief in something full of cavernous holes.
I have a sense that there is something greater than us in the universe, but all that does it create more questions for me. I don't have to have answers. I'm okay without them. I have a tendency to play devil's advocate for both sides, because I am more interested in human response and what makes us all tick.
I don't need to be part of an organization or social structure. I have good people in my life without all that drama.
I had a similar upbringing. I think it makes me more cautious to talk about religion too--more likely to ask questions and keep my own beliefs private unless asked directly.
Well explained as always. Some aren't humble enough to admit the things you admit. Can you put your finger on the specific time and thought when you individualized from religious belief?
There are many demands from the bible or quoran that instruct believers to ram their writings down other's throats.
They are served up with oodles of fire, brimstone and threats. Hardly from a powerful entity!
Why make threats when you are all powerful? Why blame what you created?
The religious tomes would not convince any smart 10 year old these days without prior indoctrination.
And thus, the importance of being Earnest.
I read most of your posts with great interest,especially in religious forums. Out of curiosity, I have a question. Are you religious? I mean, do you believe that there could be a power above human power?
That is a thoughtful question, and I am not sure how to answer. A higher power? On this planet we seem to be all we have.
We are close to solving many of the questions about ourselves that have eluded us since medicine and the sciences were released from dogma and that will enhance power.
One place I feel certain has more power than known self is the subconscious mind.
Aspects of it that have been observed enough to accumulate sufficient empirical evidence to support belief creating action.
This would point to the potential for many phenomena to start in this part of the mind.
1 Peter 3:15
15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
This isn't saying, "If someone asks, shove your religion down their throat" It's saying that if a Christian is asked why they have hope in their hearts then they should say that it is because the Lord God.
Nothing about ramming beliefs down someone's throats.
Make note of "asketh." It's interesting when a person gets close to their own inner essence, which is actually a state of being that is felt by others. You know how some people are great to be around because they portray good character, usually light and genuine? You end up attracting people who 'want what you have'. They too want to feel as good as you do.
It's not good enough to say it was the Lord Thy God that gave this to me. Cause by gee, it's a bit off-putting. They want to know YOU, not something they can't relate to. A person who is feeling low, meek and fearful, will look to someone who can help them. And they will be wanting you to help them find this same thing you have, inside themselves. Show them how to find the strength in themselves.
You know, further to what Peter was trying to pass, it bodes with eastern teachings about centerdness and truth. If doubt comes into your own beliefs it is very easy for someone to come along and firstly question your faith, and secondly pull you off balance in regard to them. It's like being accused of taking candy from the candy jar when you didn't do it. Just by the fact you were accused can create a sense of someone distrusting you, feeling humiliated, violated even. You could get defensive and feel protective of your being. Just like someone questioning your faith, you could get defensive, made to feel doubtful and then go about justifying why you believe as you do.
What's missing in this is that if you really know you didn't steel the candy, if you really believe the path you have taken is right for you, you have absolutely no cause to justify yourself. Your own truth is what holds you in your center. Unless of course you chose to have others pull you out of it. Why be concerned about what other people think or say about what you believe in? It's your truth, not theirs.
Ironically, it's for the above reason that Jewels gave that I believe that 1 Peter 3:15 isn't about shoving our beliefs down people's throats. The surrounding verses talk about how Christians will be persecuted, but that it's better to suffer for good than for evil.
Again, if someone asks, Christians are only supposed to accredit their hope to the Lord God.
I really think with this statement, the Christians are missing the entire point. And crediting something outside of themselves for their good deeds. Do as Peter did, not as Peter says. They keep saying God did it. How about saying I did it, by being the best I can be, by being virtuous.
Persecution is something that happens when you can't hold onto your truth. You persecute yourself, it's not done to you. If you look to someone outside to give you validation for your justifications, you are in fact not in your center, not in your truth, you are in someone elses.
I agree jewels, I believe that the psychological truth is visible in the adage.
"What others think of me in none of my business"
People do not hurt our feelings about ourselves, we do.
Oh, hell, Earnest, now you're gettin' all spiritual on me. That's kinda deep, eh?
BTW, I've always loved the quote. I do try to live by it. Goes back to acting independently of circumstances and people, and being consistent with one's self.
Sort of makes sense to me that these incredibly loud, doomsday voices are only a reflection of the emptiness, moth and dust in the proclaimer's soul. Perhaps they are shouting because they can't take their own emptiness any longer. They project with more force, pretending it will make up for the emptiness and fear inside them? Not sure, just wonderin'.
It would account for allot of reaction by the proclaimers.
There's a guy Richard Rohr, I listened to one of his radio interviews on Tapestry a few days ago. An ex priest I believe who is advocating the Enneagram as one tool for transformation. but is getting allot of resistance and loud voices by the Christian fold. The reason being, says Mr Rohr, is the resistance by said proclaimers to go inside and look at their own tapestry of emotions and feelings. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is seeing this. The resistance to looking inside is huge, yet it's THE only way back to "god" or self, or center, or union.
I agree. it is all there on the inside to see. Take a peak. Horror, shame, never gonna do that again! That is the usual human response, when we should be spending time looking at self values, symbols, archetypes etc to know self. Then we can deconstruct for the first time. It is simple with knowing self. It hurts, so people don't go there often.
I would agree, except, persecution does physically happen - and it does come from outside the body at times. There are Christians all over the world, in countries that do not allow their religious freedoms, that are physically abused - just for being Christian. Many, even in modern times, have died for their faith.
The scripture calls for a mild spirit - a gently reply. True Christians do this. True Christians also avoid EVERY type of violence and that is where the persecution occurs. They refuse to go to war and thus end up in prison or dead. Or they choose to speak of their beliefs in public - sharing God's word with others - and end up in jail for this act as well. Much of Peter's writings were written to encourage his Christian brothers in the face of great OUTSIDE opposition.
Of course, he did speak of great personal (inner) opposition - just being imperfect and human, it's hard to do the right thing all the time. But, you know, read your history, they went through the wringer and maintained integrity.
In 2007, there was a story of a woman in Georgia (the country) who was beaten by people in public and then taken to the police station and raped by the police when she started talking about her Christian beliefs.
Peter's words uphold those who read them today, I am sure they were a great comfort to her.
It just seems like people in countries that allow conscientious objection and the ability to talk about your religious beliefs would have a hard time applying his words to their lives as they do not face the threat of such persecution.
Outside opposition is often felt to be a result of inner conflict. You can speak at a microcosmic or macrocosmic level if you like. You could say from what is evident that there is a vast majority of people who are not at peace with themselves. I mean deep peace within themselves. The more one experiences malaise within oneself, the more it is seen outside. Interesting how those that have reached a certain level of balance in their life are not effected at all by the goings on in the world.
Without sounding like I'm burying my head in the sand - shit does happen in the world. But isn't it because more people let shit happen? Everything appears to be a pulling away from self because self is not at peace. People are so hell bent on seeing what is outside of themselves as the cause of their inner turmoil. There is a misunderstanding that the outer conflict is the total sum of and result of the actions and reactions of everyone's inner turmoil - collectively.
How does this apply to the topic of this thread? Peter knew that shit was going to happen. It always does in the world of reflection. I am walking along minding my own business and someone judges me to be walking in a way that doesn't suit them. Who has the problem here? I'm liking the way I walk and it serves me to be walking the way that I walk. Peter is saying 'hold firm to what you believe in.'
Judgement is right here in the moment that someone judges my walk to be not to their liking. I could doubt myself and feel less than because my walk is not the way someone else wants it to be. Or I could be in my truth through the use of discernment and see that it is not another person that I am to serve, but myself.
To be spiritually alive is to know your own center and to serve no other master but your own God self. (Paradoxically it is by being in this state that is the natural state of spirit that giving is the primary focus.) Not to be fooled by delusions here either. There is no better judge than the person within self who is the greatest judge of your own being. God is never an external principle. Peter knew this.
And this reminds me of a story I was told about the Cathars. The Cathars still held the original beliefs of their ancestors and their doctrines were based on experiential knowledge. From my understanding, the Cathars held the original Christian beliefs which was married to pagan practices. At the time the massacre was taking place there were people who held fast together, huddled together to give strength to each other knowing they were going to be slaughtered. But they would rather die than be forced to align to something that was not their truth.
To be honest, I don't know how I would react in the same circumstances. Even though death is a transition, it's that point of impact that I fear so much.
The responses have been interesting. Nobody has ever asked me the reason for my faith;and I do not believe in jamming beliefs down the throat of others.However,I find that God gives me a testimony of action speaking louder than words.People recognize Christian believers by their love.We are given characteristics of love in 1 Corinthians 13.When I speak,I prefer not to seek to exalt myself.A youth shared a candy with me.I was so thankful the other observers wondered how I could appreciate something so small.In time,they will understand the scenario.Someone gave me a gift of fruits.I could not eat them all;and they were too tasty to keep to myself.God wants us to share truth like delicious fruit.The reason for my faith is love.God loved me first and is still teaching me to love others.What the world lacks is sufficient love- the Fruit of the Holy Spirit.
And you can prove that by just seeing (feeling) what happens. I get a bit flabbergasted at how the bible 'instruction' seems to force people to go toward other people as the cause of problems. The principles are to be applied to self. Why is this not easy to understand? Maybe someone can enlighten me there.
BTW, on the contemplative level, all religions say basically the same thing. It's on the level of words and dogma that the fighting starts. That's why keeping words introspective and self-oriented is a truer approach.
This is really the only way to read the bible.
It then makes sense that these things were said in their time as they were in many other tomes.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
I am justified not by anything I have done. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ can any man be justified.
Man cannot justify himself.
@Jewels you got that right!
sometimes the living can
@ yestotruth sometimes the living can be more difficult to talk to than the dead. Who gets to point to the dead who is yet breathing and make such a Judgment? GOD can ! We aint God. That shouldn't be that hard to believe .. is it?
"We aint God."
Correct, I am not God, but I do have the mind of Christ so that's getting very close.
1 Cor 2:16 (KJV) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
"Who gets to point to the dead who is yet breathing and make such a Judgment?"
I can, due to the fact that I have the mind of Christ and that was given to me so I am not boasting, and coming to obvious Truth based conclusions is not judging.
Get another plumber someone quick the dripping tap is back. If you can't find one, try stuffing a cork in it! Great that's even improved his looks. Are not vanity and megalomania closely linked? Better get a doctor too for it looks like he's shot himself in the foot as well. LOL
Sooo...you wouldn't mind if I went to the atheist threads and made useless comments there, would you?
Go for your life! What atheist thread? The threads are started by religionists, not atheists! The only threads by atheists are satirical. Love to see you there!
The threads started in the atheist/agnostic section, but are closed to reply. Is that why you're in here? Were you barred from creating any more topics?
It's times like these I wish this place had some invite only forums. Christians could have there place that people like you couldn't barge in on; and same deal with the atheists having their own place that the Christians couldn't barge in on.
But, I also want a pony, and an HDTV set; neither of which is happening anytime in the forseeable future.
God did blind their eyes.
ISAIAH 6:9 And he said go and tell this people. Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Then said I, how long?
And he said Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant
... and the Lord have removed men far away
This can be said to have been fulfilled for Jerusalem in 586BC when Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem the second time when the city and temple was utterly destroyed.
Well...my understanding of Pascal's Wager is that by choosing it: I am betting that if this insanity is true, then I am saved from hell. If it is untrue, then, there is nothing to lose.
The problem is: The very best I could be is a hypocrite! If I'm doing it "just in case" makes no sense when the all knowing God would know my real feelings--unless, of course, God is a fool.
Or God and religion need not be based on feelings, primarily. Thus the motivation to be right and not fatally wrong, though not a perfect motivation, would be an acceptable one -- better than nothing.
In addition, the question on this board and the person who wrote it openly claims that it is impossible to make a "logical" (I think he means reasonable) defense of one's religious beliefs. Pascal's Wager, while not the best reason for believing, is 1) reasonable and 2) logical. It defeats the questioner's implicit and explicit assumptions, which are that one cannot be reasonable and logical and have religious belief.
And to make a good argument against the questioner, Pascal's Wager suffices.
Since the greater part of religion is ethical in nature, I believe that is what Pascal is claiming when he says there is "nothing to lose" in being a believer -- one is not required to do anything bad and one is required to do much which is morally good. No harm will come to one by being a believer if there is no God save one might have missed out on some frivolities and one may have been required to be a bit more responsible about one's actions than if one had been sure no God existed.
But only a bit more responsible. It is not as if morality for unbelievers and believers, inasmuch as ethics is largely capable of being rationally explored and known without reliance on faith, differs very much.
Additional Note: No one of orthodox Christian faith traditionally believes that doing good works -- acting ethically -- gets one into heaven. That was a heresy in the early Church known as Pelagianism,regected in the time of St. Augustine.
However, life on earth requires ethical actions, and while ethical actions won't buy you a ticket to heaven, not performing ethical actions may prevent attaining the beatific state.
Pascal isn't saying that by believing one may perform magical rituals that cause God to have to grant you a payoff after you die -- he's simply saying that at least by betting God exists, one will be mindful of him in one's life and treatment of others and, when one dies, if there is a God, one will not be surprised.
I guess it is because I do not think that Prophesy should be interpreted at all (2 Peter 1:20) "Knowing this first that no prophesy of scripture is of any private interpretation".
And yet everyone seems to thrive in studying and reading hundreds of interpretations of prophesy. An uninterpreted view of Daniel and Revelation seems to tick people off.
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