I often wonder about the Church and Bible. I had a friend in college who would read it every night before going to bed. He would attend church every Sunday.
Is the Bible a reference on how to conduct ones life? Is it some sort of medium in which Jesus or God communicates with us? Regardless, why can't God communicate the message in the Bible directly into our minds and spirit? It seems the Bible would be the worst medium to do this. It is a book being handed down through generations, translated, altered by personal views and objectives.
The church. Why should we go there? Should we not feel the sensation of God in every step we take? Why must we enter a man made structure to worship him? It seems only symbolic and can become superficial. Wouldn't it be better to be "plugged" into God every moment of our lives with God having direct communication with us at all times?
You are talking about a higher ideal,nothing wrong in that. In India Hinudus do not mind the worship of God as anything in form as it aids in concentration which is required for meditation but one must go beyond to the formless God.
A church or a temple are physical representations of God.Some of the holy places have been witness to great meditators or saints who have altered the vibration of the place.Your vibration will change in a holy place yet as you talk is the highest form of worship-omnipresence of God-God is all- All is God.
There are two Shiva temples in Pune where I feel really at home and trance off very fast.
Wouldn't it be better to be "plugged" into God every moment of our lives with God having direct communication with us at all times? correct.
The Bible is the work of saints,The saints are one with God when they write. A spiritual writer is in a state like samadhi for years when they work on a book or manuscript.They allow the universe to work through them as was destined.Look at the good in it ,dont negate it for small things.
The Bible is tool to learn to live forever through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus the Messiah. The Bible was a written as a testimony against us - it was written by one nation who were suppose to go teach other nations how to serve the God of Heaven aka the God of Israel aka Jesus.
So you can learn how to live a loving peaceful spiritual life by reading it - but if you aren't taught by a knowledgable priest or pastor of the LORD, the book is a fairtayle to you that you won't take serious like most people in these forums.
The Carrot and the Stick comes before the trap, right you are. In and of itself the Bible is nothing more than a book, but once one is carrot and sticked by someone who is a proficient practitioner of priestcraft then the doctrine of hellfire for apostasy will keep them snug and comfy in the trap.
It's worked for ages, it even forces liberal catholics to go to church every once in a while just so that they don't "feel" like they are going to go to hell. It is wickedly efficient in getting people back to what they "ought" to be doing in the eyes of whatever church or denomination they are a part of, afterall, forever and ever is a long time to be separated from God and in eternal torment.
Yeah I hear ya; anybody can say come to church or else you'll burn forever - and scare a bunch of folks into sending them money and coming to church...but what if Jesus said it?
24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
All Christians can't say that hey, my priest said it only...Jesus says it too. And we can't hop-scotch around what we want to deal with in the book and what we don't want to deal with.
v10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
There is burning forever written in more than one place by authors who never knew each other and Jesus confirms it. Maybe the devil has deceived you Zarm to thinking it's only a threat by man. When the church says something - I suggest you ask them to read it out of the bible for confirmation.
the children of Israel know best that God is real and He is not joking about how much love He's going to show the world; nor how much damage He's going to do to unbelievers in the world. fIND SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO READ THIS BOOK (called the Bible) and have them explain to you how to serve God.
I am truly sorry, I prefer my carrots in a cake and not on the end of a stick. You will also forgive me if I do not engage in your circular logic.
It is a threat made by men, a threat designed from it's evil and iniquitous conception to coerce people into believing things that would otherwise be potentially deemed ridiculous and mad.
Your devil, your "god", your hellfire and heaven are all supportive of each other. Your original sin also reeks of a foul foundation that preaches that humanity cannot in fact better itself in the long run through social agreements, despite any short term gains proposed by your so called religion.
The mere fact that I need to go to another person in your mind is "proof in the pudding" that what you pander is more akin to someone telling me I need to go to a miracle salve agent so that he can explain the properties before I can judge for myself.
I have judged and I will judge, oh yes I will judge. I for one if I were you would hope your "God" does not exist, as evil tyrants-and history has shown this- have this propensity to axe their own members even, if their behavior is not up to standard. Everyone from Xerxes up through Hitler and Stalin did this and your "God" if He existed would probably be no exception.
I will not be carrot and sticked into what amounts to a religiously induced mob mentality disguised as a metaphor with sheeps and goats, I will not lead and I will not be lead and I will also refuse to stand alone and do my own thing. I refuse to play your game or enter into your "Alice in Wonderland". I do not want to see how far the rabbit hole really goes as I have already been there and realize that everything in your belief system is merely another mechanism of control designed to reduce people to subhuman who do not believe in the spiritual perfection you preach.
I am a free man and I think it actually must be a stressing fact that due to the nature of American Democracy people such as yourself cannot FORCE me to believe so easily as has happened in times past.
The Stedingers in Ancient Medieval Times comes to mind.
You are not Jonah or the sign of Jonah, you are just part of a patriarchical hegemony that would like to invest itself with the authority to "authenticate" the Sign of Jonah. It was people such as yourself that nailed Christ to the Cross (supposing he actually existed), and it is people such as yourself that will continue to do so until the madness known as dogmatic religion comes to an end.
Martin Luther was quite right when he said that Reason is the enemy of Faith. He may or may not have been wrong about what he believed, but at least he had the ballz to be honest about what his position was.
Freedom isn't free. The Stedingers proved that and so do all free men when they resist the hegemony of truth that the organized monopoly known as dogmatic religion represents.
Your line of succession is long and your yoke is far from light and your burden far from easy. The price of what you preach is the conscience of men, and I will have none of that villainous bilgewash.
I am Jonah - it was Jonah's job to only tell the people of Ninevah that destruction was coming. So I do that too. I don't have to convince you. I don't want to convince you. If you don't believe Jesus even existed; that's your problem...not mine. And our conversation on this topic is naught because I reason out of the Bible and History. You reason with nothing but belief. You are a free man; but for how long?
According to you, If I don't believe Jesus even existed then somehow that is my problem and not yours, and yet you are telling me it is a problem in relation to my supposed "salvation". I smell a liar hiding under figure of speech.
You are not Jonah, according to the very Bible that you are quoting out of, Jesus Christ was the one who gave the sign of Jonah.
You are a fraud and a deceiver of people.
If you don't have to convince me then why are you trying to tell me I need to be convinced (faith) about the danger you perceive? You even further stated that you do not want to convince me, yet you were obviously trying to do so by suggesting it might be in my best interest to see someone "qualified" to speak on such matters (priest or minister).
You lie through your teeth.
The flippant way you come across is also indicative that you really don't give two hoots about me or my "salvation", meaning you are mediocre at best. Too late now.
Not that I don't care about you; but you really don't care about yourself. So how do you want me to care? I hope you do come to understanding - maybe one day we can have a conversation without name calling - I can listen to you and have you show me where and how you've come to your conclusions about faith, God, religion - and I can share with you what I've read to come to my conclusions about the like and if we can't agree, we shake hands and go on.
If I see you at the airport one day I say "hey Zarm" and keep going. I come here and post my knowledge and understanding and you and Mark jump on me calling me names, liar, etc.
When I say I don't want to convince you I mean that in I want you to convince yourself, by looking at the information I have displayed. When I say, if you don't believe in Jesus that is your problem," it is up to me and guys like me to share with you what we know about JESUS, and that He existed. If you don't even listen to our proofs that He existed, according to the bible you own too; it will be your problem.
But if you don't believe the bible, then all of this conversation is academic.
I'm not trying to recruite anyone - I do like fast food joints - put the smell out there and those who are hungry can come in and eat. If no one is hungry no one will come in. When was the last time you went to McDonalds and said "can y'all close your smells because it is consuming the area." You have never done that - so why do it to me?
If my response in these forums aren't for you then don't read them, if you read them skip on to the next, and the people that want to hear what I've to say will ask me privately or publicly to expond on what I said. You're a good guy Zarm, don't let what I type turn you into a insulting freak, unless of course you are.
Grace and Peace bro...
in Jesus name
BLAH BLAH BLAH - and you are the type of person that believes you created yourself from this world and no one in this world has ever thought like you do.......
You sound like a moron who preaches his own filth. You are the stereotypical atheist that doesn't say anything important. You are only pointing fingers at someone who knows the truth and knows the way. You are a misguided sole and you will never know more than you created yourself until you open up and accept the world you live in.
Do you honestly think you are here by chance? Do you think you evolved yourself into what you are? You have a brain, I have seen your written testimony to this, where do you think you got this brain? Did you create it? It sounds like in your babbles that you did.
Oh, and I imagine that your eyes just sort of attached themselves to your brain, and your nose and your ears and your sense of touch and then you learned to use these senses all on your own. Get a life and stop sounding so ignorant.
Your freeness has stopped here, you are on this planet because GOD put you here, there is no way you are getting off this planet until you fulfill your destiny. Deal with it, don't take your satanic ways out on other people.
Deal with what you have and find a way to accept GOD into your life. He is the one who put you here. It is not the other way around....
I understand you mightone-like the name;)
Knowledge leads to liberation according to the Gita and even I believe that what is called Gyana Yoga-
A story I remember of a saint,there are three kinds of people and will show you the example with wood.
a-the first very dry and can easily be ignited,create fire.
b-a little wet needs more sparks to get ignited.
c-very wet, not possible to ignite.
The same is with man and knowledge ,
some need just a spark-they are open to knowledge,
some-the slightly wet wood needs more,while finally the very wet wood will just not catch fire-they -man is not ready and there is no use trying to use it for firewood.
I've had this talk more than once in my life, as I am the Bible reading Church goer you type of. You do not have to assemble at a church to be a Christian, nor does going to church make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
I go to church for the same fundamentals as those who go to school, or train for a job. It teaches me something, and gives me the opportunity to meet people like me...like trekies meet at conventions
Reading the Bible is a tool, I don't get anything when I don't need it. Just like picking up a hammer wouldn't hang anything if I didn't have a nail (need).
In studying other religions, they all whistle a similar tune. Treat others well. Love one "God" and live a good life... Some with more tradition than others.
Hope that helps.
My thoughts exactly! How hard can it be to be good person? And the realization that the Bible has been handed down through generations, changed, altered, re-done, etc. is a realistic one.
As for the church, I agree with you, but SOME people need a place to gather and feel a sense of common interest, and get strength from it. To be plugged in every moment (like the Buddhists) makes more sense to me.
Many people have a hard time taking personal, active action, and would rather passively seek consolation from a third party. Then go on doing what they shouldn't be doing in the first place!
You might want to read "Definitions for the Soulful Seeker" by Dr. Donald Thronburg for more insight and help understanding those ideas.
I'm with you, tkindred.
But then. there are a lot of things in life I don't understand.
Braille keypads in drive-through ATMs, for example ...
worthless one -
You are unlikely to persuade anyone using that sort of argument. Education is the death knell of your little cult.
With just a small amount of effort and education, it becomes clear that what you say is meaningless.
As zarm pointed out - the carrot and the stick is not going to work on educated people such as you will often find here.
My good trusted responder buddy Marky mark and the funky bunch. I'm not trying to persuade anyone. Just as you talk people out of believing the bible; I put forth reason why they should investigate the Bible clearly. When they do that and come to your conclusion mark, my conclusion, or stay neutron (neutral); then my job is done.
So educated yet so dumb...excuse me uninformed.
And how would you know anything about educated people? LOL
I can spot them a mile away.
They are the ones that don't believe the existence of dolphins proves that there is a god.
Or that evolution is the process of disembodied parts assembling themselves into finished creatures.
Interesting to examine the minds and intents of men by His Spirit. The Bible is the scriptures which is the written Word of God(Logos), inspired by the Holy Ghost. This is not theology nor the play of religion. The vital question now is, are these scriptures alive in your heart? It is the power of God unto salvation to them that BELIEVE! The Church is the body of Christ, beyond the building which is for the gathering of the saints in meetings.
The author of this thread made a request, "please help". The life of Christ in a believer is beyond religion and it's systems. The scriptures(Bible) when meditated, pondered over, has the ability to make you know more excellently of Him by revelation and His Power! Glory!!!
The question is not - if God exists, why.....
But rather, "If I am not God, then WHAT AM I"?
Surely, you are not God. So you must be something else.
Can you ever become God? No, of course not - to become is to change - and if God exists - then He can not change.
So you can never change to become God - so what is to become of you? You will DIE.
If you believe in Darwinian Evolution - your Creator is dirt - you return to the dust. Goodbye.
But what if you come from God - then you would be eternal - for He must be eternal or He wouldn't be God.
Dirt - or Eternal. Hmmm....
In the world there is good and evil.
Good hates Evil and Evil hates Good - therefore I find a law.
There is both Evil and Good - in the world - and in me - but I am neither Good nor Evil. But to be good is better than to be evil - for if we were all evil all the time - there would no longer be anyone or any good.
So I want to be Good and not Evil.
But I can not be good all the time.
Therefore - something is wrong.
It must be wrong.
It is sin.
Sin causes me to do evil - and all evil leads to death of some form.
Therefore - sin is evil and causes death. Since I have always been this way...
I was born into death.
I was born to die.
But I sense eternity.
An eternity of death, and
An eternity of life.
But when I call to death - it does not answer me....for it already owns me.
But when I call to life - I hope. I hope that life will rescue me from death.
What is this Hope - what is this Life I hope for?
The Bible calls it Christ. The Christ Jesus - who died for us that if we hope and live for Him - and take His life for our death, our sins - we will live, and never die.
When you question like you do - you really are saying give me Hope. And here is your hope....that while you were still a sinner and born to die - Jesus died for you so that you may have life and have it more abundantly than the death you now have.
Who ever calls on His name and admits the obvious while doing so - that he is dead and a sinner and can not save himself - shall be saved from death.
There is no other name under the Heaven by whom you must be saved.
"I want you to call on me in the day of your trouble and I will come rescue you - and then you will give me glory and I will be your God".
Therefore - choose life.
You're not in Kansas anymore - tkindred - you are in the valley of the shadow of death.
Now THAT one is going straight to the Anti-Evolution Hall of Fame!
Of course we are all God. Jesus said so. The Kingdom of Heaven is within.
God is in everything, and everything changes all the time.
I think you had better go back ad do some basic theology work, Prophecy Teacher. You seem to have missed some of the foundational building blocks of your religion.
Jenny, I am surprised with your obvious great intelligence, and your meticulous use of words and adherence to sound discussion - that you would make so loose a statement as this, "Of course we are all God. Jesus said so. The Kingdom of Heaven is within."
Nothing could be further from the truth - or scripture. although Iam capable of making mistakes, surely this was not one of them. The Kingdom of God is NOT currently universal, as you suggest. It is conditional, as these verses demand.
Matt 13:41 "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
42 "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Matt 13:49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just,
These verses and many others tell us that the Kingdom of God is conditional in it's present state. But there will come a time when it will be universal. At that time - those who did not enter into the Kingdom of God through the narrow gate - will be removed. Only those who entered in through the narrow - gate, Jesus - will enter the universal one.
In the discussion where Pilate asked Jesus if He were a King - Jesus says His Kingdom was not of this world - for if it were - His followers would fight to deliver Him from the Romans. But since they didn't - it wasn't.
Here, again, the distinction is clearly made that there is a difference between two kingdoms - His and theirs. (I could bore you with many other examples - but you have a lightening fast mind - I'm sure you get it)
So, then, when the disciples went from village to village announcing this kingdom - people could choose to enter or not. If they decided to enter - there was fellowship - and if not - they were doomed. "dust your feet"
When you make the Kingdom of God what the verses clearly say they are not - only then are you able to draw this erroneous conclusion.
"Of course we are all God. Jesus said so. The Kingdom of Heaven is within."
In the verse,
"it is easier for a rope (camel hair) to thread the needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God..."
is clearly shown there is a distinction, as well. It is this fundamental distinction that you have missed - and not I. But if you still think that's the case...I am open to consider it more - or perhaps you should reconsider your point.
Zarm - the Martin Luther quote, that you quote, has to do with the Anabaptist dispute about baptizing babies. If by it you were attempting to show that Christianity is adverse to reason and therefore - reasonless - I suggest this other quote by Luther which addresses the "reason" question in a different light than the baby baptism one.
"And it is certainly true that reason is the most important and the highest in rank among all things and, in comparison with other things of this life, the best and something divine. It is the inventor and mentor of all the arts, medicines, laws, and of whatever wisdom, power, virtue, and glory men possess in this life. By virtue of this fact it ought to be named the essential difference by which man is distinguished from the animals and other things"
(Luther, Disputation Concerning Man, Theses 4-6, citied in Gonzales, p. 45)
Big difference , huh? Your quote is also the one Dawkins uses in his "God Delusion"
But it's doubtful neither of you realized that Christians could actually use reason, in order to quote, reason quotes, accurately.
It is doubtful that you represent anything other than condescending arrogance and the presumption from which it springs.
Faith is the enemy of Reason and vice versa, when it comes to matters of FAITH.
As St. Augustine said "Love God then do as you please". Luther knew this, and he kept his Faith apart from his Reason as he knew that mankind's Reason would challenge that which he held to be above it, hence it is Faith's enemy in matters which only concern Faith.
You have made a strawman out of my argument. I was not saying they are opposed in the manner in which you arrogantly presumed to be an absolute position. Neither was Martin Luther, he was simply saying that Faith is the enemy of Reason when it comes to matters of Faith, and that Faith should trump Reason when Faith is in doubt.
At least he was honest about his mental dichotomy.
Christians and other people who are religious reason all the time, but I am sure that doesn't concern your arrogance as I am quite sure your vicious condescension had already "approximated" that, correct?
Hubris is weakness, which is why all religions fall and will fall.
I use the Stedingers in ancient medieval times to illustrate what lengths people will goto,(to the last man, woman, and child) to preserve their right to be free from the stench of organized dogma that religion represents and re-enforces.
Christianity is not adverse to reason in general it is only adverse to any attempt to use reason to analyze that which it calls "Faith" and find it wanting through lack of evidence (as dogma does not permit this).
Faith cannot be challenged by reason in the minds of those that believe, and nothing will suffice to dissuade those that believe, it is not because there is nothing that would suffice, it is that by definition there CANNOT BE anything that would suffice to disprove any of it (including any particular articulated form of "God").
It is a closed system of logic founded on principles and assumed premises that beg the question and rely on circular logic in order to work at all.
Sometimes people choose to pay attention to things that challenge their Faith, and let those things shake them, and then they reflect on what they hold to be true. Some retain their faith, but for others it all comes crashing down like a deck of cards, and the faulty foundation of dogma reveals itself. The arrogance of knowing and feeling and believing something with all your heart mind and soul reveals itself to be true cowardice and not bravery.
Bravery lies in saying you might not know all there is to know about any one thing or combination of things, you cannot teach a man in an area where he has been dogmatized, because it is a matter of faith and not one of learning more. To learn more means to admit that you know less of the thing you want to learn more about. Dogma and the confidence that rides with it I argue here, seriously prohibits the ability of people to learn anything in whatever area it touches. I know less of your "God" and will learn more, but that won't stop me from demanding evidence other than your own faulty human testimony.
For example, Abortion is something that is dogmatically prohibited by some Christians because it is deemed murder. Yet Christians cannot learn what it is like for the woman who feels pressured to bear a child that she doesn't want to carry to term for one reason or another, not to mention the fact that the Earth cannot bear the unchecked multiplication of humans that a lack of Abortion would imply.
Yet for Xtians that believe Abortion is evil and war is ok in some scenarios this is not a problem, as it is ok to kill people who already have lives and hopes and dreams by force if necessary where it is not ok to kill the unborn (who indeed have done nothing wrong). This is a competing form of population reduction in all it's forms (genocide, war, slavery, eugenics through religious or even "scientific" preference).
As far as certain understanding of "Christianity are concerned" what is not ok is for people to practice various forms of birth control in such a manner that the population of the human race stays the same or declines somewhat. What is not ok is for a woman to be able to choose what she does or does not with her own body and the child she carries. It is ok for Patriarchs to decide to invade other countries over petty disputes (and they have and they will), but a woman cannot choose to end the life of her own child because she does not think she is in a situation where she can handle raising it.
I know Christianity all too well, Murder is not something that is done against people who are innocent by definition. Murder is something that is done when someone is killed who cannot be in someway conjectured to have been guilty (whether in the moment or after the fact). As long as the conjecture can be made against the person(s) to be killed, and somewhatr coherent accusations are made(false or not), there is no Murder. The minute it cannot be that way, then one has Murder.
So it is ok to be at war with people because we can come up with conjectures at them and accuse them of being guilty and at the end of the day chalk it up to a "tragic mistake" if we are wrong for ending the lives of people who are not guilty even though the presumption of guilt is often seen by Christianity as moral permission to kill (Inquisition being an extreme case).
To not only kill, but to coerce and torture as well.
The Greeks did it with Socrates, the Catholics did it with Joan of Arc, and I am not very doubtful that the protestants have done it to their own (although perhaps they indeed have not). It is the ultimate act of manipulation to torture and then "Murder" those true to the Faith and then canonize them or praise them later on.
Zarm - here's another quote by a Man of great Christian virtue - concerning REASON in it's relationship to Christianity.
"""It is impossible to reason without arriving at a Supreme Being. Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to; and well has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obliged to imagine one""""
Quote from "A Life of Washington" (1836) by James K. Paulding
A reasoning being would lose his reason - he said.
Is that what's become of you in asserting that Christians and Christianity are unreasonable???? Have you lost your reason??? PT
James K. Paulding ---(Secretary to the Board of Navy Commissioners in 1815-23 and Naval Agent in New York in 1824-38. President Martin Van Buren appointed him Secretary of the Navy in June 1838
Who would a thought. My reason for writing this is a God reason.
Topstuff, in my mind it means a single human being born between the legs of another - completely illiterate and helpless, utterly dependent and infantile - can in the short space of 20-40 years - come to the belief it knows there is no God. And point to the fact that since everyone else is God like them - that proves it.
What about all the other ones who come to a realization that there is no god and christianity is meaningless for a multitude of different reasons?
e.g - it doesn't make any sense until you accept that the bible is a political book designed to keep people like you in it's thrall
And while you are busy quoting famous politicians as being some how more intelligent than the rest of us and therefore worth listening to, here are a few more quotes for you to ponder.
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
- Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865).
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies."
"Lighthouses are more helpful then churches."
-Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, author, and inventor
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."
"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy."
During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."
James Madison, American president and political theorist (1751-1836).
And if you think quotes from famous people some how is useful - I have plenty more where they came from.
Oh great,i can see the knowledge coming out of huge mind developed in churches,it makes no sense to me we are all Gods,God is three (trinity)and the priests telling the people just belive it,its the mattere of faith,jesus is the son of God and also God.That all stuff cannt go to any sensible mind.That is the reason peole walk away from churches.
I've seen them all my friend and the 100's of others you were so gracious not to post. Thank you. You quote, I quote - we all quote and misquote.
Look, the real issue is even if I were to paste my 200 - and you yours - would you be convinced? Of course not. Not that you need to - you are a free citizen as I.
But what most historically accurate Christians are talking about - is the fact that this was a nation massively made up of Christians - and of that there can be no doubt. The fathers were the representatives of the people. They were the representatives of the Christian people who made up a nation full of Christians. They were in near totality of the population - BEFORE - they broke from England - from whom they got their Christian charters, and lived and served under the Christian European Power of England.
They did not suddenly give up their dreams, and hopes and beliefs, along with their morals and dogmas - the day after the war was settled - just 6 years later. This was a Nation of Christians and they based their freedoms on the Bible. However, in the constituting of it as ensconced in law - they did not make it a Christian Nation - but neither did they make it atheist either. Neither are the founding documents amoral. The new country founded and acknowledged under God - at the very least demands morality. Otherwise God is irrelevant.
Atheists - and immoralists - (Not all atheists are immoral) - want to have it both ways. They seemingly want to deny the existence of what was patently real - while at the same time secure for themselves circumstances that were not even lived by a small part of the then population - as if that population's intent - was for some future way of life that was completely unimaginable to their own.
It is plainly obvious that the intent of the founders was to ensure that no particular religion got control of the government and used it's religion to rule over the others. And that was wise. They were attempting to avoid what Europe had become. They were not attempting to become non-Christian.
You may of course show some quotes that some of the fathers were not avidly Christian - but that would split hairs that don't need to be split. The papers of the 100's that were devoutly Christian, overwhelm the position so badly - it is an embarrassing defense to stand on - but many of them do.
They are not even embarrassed for themselves...
but I am embarrassed for them all.
In many of the arguments that I have read - where truly Christians have misquoted many of the fathers words - and where truly the secularists have twisted the fathers meanings - there remains the elephant in the bathtub. Namely, that men of great stature plainly and unquestionably agree with the major points made here - that America had a predominate wellspring from the Christian religion.
Christian is as Christian does.
But that's just me.
John Quincy Adams - 6th president, son of John Adams 2nd president, and appointee of George Washington 1st president, Congressman for 20 years, senator for 6, ambassador, and fellow traveler of his father in his oversees duties (no small potato in the debate here) - had the occasion to address a city on the 61st anniversary of the nation's founding. At the time - all 55 signers of the Declaration had passed away. He was one of the remaining persons who had had direct contact with many of them, and all preceding Presidents. If we can not gauge intent from so qualified, connected and historical man as this - who then may we agree on?
Without an endless I paste you paste - quoting session here - I merely want to point out - that after all his many associations - at this late date in his life - with the accumulated wisdom of it all - he posits this belief - about what it all meant. We would do well to think about it. I quote from this source because it is impeccable and unassailable.
EXCERPTS From the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1837
“…Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?....
AND WHAT DID ISAIAH PREDICT?? Adams continues...
“This was indeed a great and solemn event. The sublimest of the prophets of antiquity with the voice of inspiration had exclaimed, "Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?" [Isaiah 66:8]. In the two thousand five hundred years, that had elapsed since the days of that prophecy, no such event had occurred. It had never been seen before. In the annals of the human race, then, for the first time, did one People announce themselves as a member of that great community of the powers of the earth, acknowledging the obligations and claiming the rights of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God. The earth was made to bring forth in one day! A nation was born at once!
SO THEN MY FRIEND, IF WE ARE THAT NATION - AND HE BELIEVED WE WERE - WHO THEN IS THAT GOD OF NATURE HE AND ALL THE FOUNDERS AND THE DECLARATION TALKED ABOUT???
The theocratic government of the Hebrews had been founded upon a covenant between God and man; a law, given by the Creator of the world, and solemnly accepted by the people of Israel. It derived all its powers, therefore, from the consent of the governed, and gave the sanction of Heaven itself to the principle, that the consent of the governed is the only legitimate source of authority to man over man.
SO THEN THESE RIGHTS WERE DERIVED NOT BY MAN FOR MAN FROM MAN - BUT FROM GOD AND THE CONTEXT LEAVES LITTLE DOUBT AS TO WHICH GOD IT WAS.
...the Declaration of Independence announced the One People, assuming their station among the powers of the earth, as a civilized, religious, and Christian people, - acknowledging themselves bound by the obligations, and claiming the rights to which they were entitled by the laws of Nature and of Nature's God.
They had formed a subordinate portion of an European Christian nation, in the condition of Colonies. The laws of social intercourse between sovereign communities constitute the laws of nations, all derived from three sources: - the laws of nature, or in other words the dictates of justice; usages, sanctioned by custom; and treaties, or national covenants. Super added to these the Christian nations, between themselves, admit, with various latitudes of interpretation, and little consistency of practice, the laws of humanity and mutual benevolence taught in the gospel of Christ.
The European Colonies in America had all been settled by Christian nations; and the first of them, settled before the reformation of Luther, had sought their justification for taking possession of lands inhabited by men of another race, in a grant of authority from the successor of Saint Peter at Rome, for converting the natives of the country to the Christian code of religion and morals. After the reformation, the kings of England, substituting themselves in the place of the Roman Pontiff, as heads of the Church, granted charters for the same benevolent purposes; and as these colonial establishments successively arose, worldly purposes, the spirit of adventure, and religious persecution took their place, together with the conversion of the heathen, among the motives for the European establishments in this Western Hemisphere. Hence had arisen among the colonizing nations, a customary law, under which the commerce of all colonial settlements was confined exclusively to the metropolis or mother country. The Declaration of Independence cast off all the shackles of this dependency.
The United States of America were no longer Colonies. They were an independent Nation of Christians, recognizing the general principles of the European law of nations.
I think that says enough.
Below you may read the full 62 page text of his speech that day. He goes point by point through out American History and makes a very simple case about the Christian nature of what happened.
This is the pre-eminent point he was making. And it is the salient point of almost all the founding fathers - it is what underlies all their God of nature etc - thinking. It was based on something - not ether.
""""Super added to these the Christian nations, between themselves, admit, with various latitudes of interpretation, and little consistency of practice, the laws of humanity and mutual benevolence taught in the gospel of Christ."""
They did not think of it the same way, and they did not practice it the same way, but they all AGREED there was a foundation -
"""the laws of humanity and mutual benevolence taught in the gospel of Christ"""
and it was this idea they ensconced into law - in order for all the Christian denominations to practice their faith - freely - and independently from the other. It was because of the differences - that walls had to be erected. But it did not happen in a vacuum devoid of Christianity for the sake of secularism, atheism, and immorality to prevail in the land as rights.
Prophecy liar -
You are just making my case for me. The bible was, is and always will be a political tool. The only reason I quoted a few scumbag politicians (and I have no reason to believe politicians in those days were any less self-serving than the current versions - American history books notwithstanding) was to counter your quote that you think gives credence to your arguments.
You are deliberately mixing up politics and religion and also avoiding the fact that the "christian" nation of America was founded by stealing land by force from a "heathen" culture and religion which was somehow worthless. Immoral? I think so.
As usual it is all about power and control - not morality. The American founding fathers wished to wrest control away from the organized religions of the day.
And I am slightly offended by the implication that atheism and immorality are somehow intertwined and that atheism is not a right in your country:
Typical political wrangling that somehow tries to suggest that atheists are not moral.
Typical christian in fact. Holier than thou, I am right and you are going to hell if you do not agree. lol
As I have said to several others of your ilk - Education is the death knell of your little cult.
Following the thread of this discussions. It's important to know that the Bible and the Church can only be understood properly by the help of the Holy Spirit. It doesn't matter if you've read it all or do preach it. It's a FAITH walk! Meaningless and unfruitful to one who do not BELIEVE!
You underestimate the power of education Andrew. With a little education and knowledge, the bible becomes all too clear. WITHOUT FAITH !
Without faith it is impossible to walk in the realities of the scriptures and please God (Hebrews 11:6). Mark, be it known to you that the Bible is not a religious book of thoughts but the power of God unto salvation to them that believe! The Scriptures are Spirit and Life, beyond the concepts of religion and it's politics.
Andrew, verily I say unto you - You are wrong It is all about the politics. You will learn.
Mark, it's funny seeing you always debating on the scriptures, why? Because you do not believe and have not recieved the Holy Ghost who teaches beyond the written words(Logos). Anyway, you're a seed of God. I know that for long. Time will certainly tell.
Because I hate to see people lied to.
As you well know - I argue with the internet marketing spammers also. I am sure you remember me arguing with you and chastising you when you were spamming the forums with your internet marketing scams in a bid to screw a few pennies out of the religious readers.
Although, I seem to remember you forgave me for that. lol
As if I needed to be forgiven lolo.
Any more than I need to be forgiven for being born
Well, that was good of you to instruct and direct accordingly. I cannot spamm because it's not decent in any form, i took immediate directives and actions from the moderator and you as a new hubber as at that time. I love to play by the rules, because they are easy, good, decent and lovely here in HubPages community. Never offended Mark!
Do you know that you cannot separate the Holy Ghost from the Bible. When received, He will teach and guide you into the realities of God's word and His Power. Christianity as a religion or seen as a mere religion is the display of canality and self. Christianity is the revealed divinity in humanity, making a believer one with Him(Father of Creation), (John 10:30). These scriptures have stood the test of time. Why? They are Life and Spirit (John 6:63) with the dynamic ability to cause changes. You can read the bible over and over, again and again, even bagged with a PHD degree, being able to quote it, preach it or criticise it. All these will not make much valuable importance to anyone untill he/she walks in Faith. There's something beyond those letters - The FORCE and the SPIRIT of GOD. This FORCE has kept His Word till today and unto eternity. God bless you! Happy hubbing!!!
You can really tell a lot about a persons by the way they interpret the Bible. I like Andrew, I like Mark, I like Jenny, I like Jewels I even like Mohit better than I like propechy liar and mighty one at the moment.
Someone should tell mightyone and prophecy liar...I mean teacher, that. Shout at them!
Hello Sandra, I read one of your pubs - where you talk about a dream. You have many of them. I know what the meaning of the one dream is - and if you are willing, I'll describe it to you - (it's the one about Judas and the 2 fish) you can email me if you like.
Otherwise, best wishes.
'But what most historically accurate Christians are talking about - is the fact that this was a nation massively made up of Christians - and of that there can be no doubt.' I agree, a nation of Christians. Here is a list of many of the wars of this christian
nation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wa … ted_States
I believe natzi Germany was a chrisian nation. It's all conditional.
Andrew, mainly - you might be interested in my latest hub (excuse the promotion) called Freedom from Belief. You might not accept what I've written there, but it's just possible you'll accept that what used to be called the Rational movement has a respectable academic pedigree. (Mark - you're very welcome too!)
Andrew - there is no need to SHOUT!
And keep on repeating the same thing over and over will not make it come true.
But of you think about what you are saying - i.e. that it is only possible to understand the bible if you have FAITH - really lol
Do you realize how offensive that is to others? You are saying I am incapable of understanding a book because I do not believe in god lolo
Education - it's a wonderful thing. You should consider getting some.
Happy hubbing to you also
por for vor....
I merely answered your post where you took a quote - out of context -- from Luther, concerning Infant baptism (Reason is the enemy of Faith) where you misapplied it.
I then showed you the correct quote - (which you didn't address) relating to what you were attempting to say - and that's all I did. Perhaps, I was a trifle biting in pointing out that Dawkins does the same thing - except in his misuse of it - we are to infer the foundation of the Protestant reformation rests on nonsense. I didn't mean to compare you to Dawkins. You were right, I apologize, that must have seemed condescending.
I was wrong, but not for the reasons you posted.
Here is another quote from Martin Luther, which shows the innate arbitrariness of his beliefs on any given day. I was quite wrong in my assumption that he was honest based on only some of his quotes:
"Reason is the Devil's greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil's appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom ... Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism... She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets."
[Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142-148
"There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason...Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed."
[Martin Luther, quoted by Walter Kaufmann, _The Faith of a Heretic_, (Garden city, NY, doubleday, 1963), p. 75]
I would really like to see you contextualize that first quote Prophecy Teacher.
Zarm, you raise very interesting points here and have stated the equation seemingly from both perspectives....
"""""For example, Abortion is something that is dogmatically prohibited by some Christians because it is deemed murder. Yet Christians cannot learn what it is like for the woman who feels pressured to bear a child that she doesn't want to carry to term for one reason or another, not to mention the fact that the Earth cannot bear the unchecked multiplication of humans that a lack of Abortion would imply.""""
Ok, let's take abortion for example. For me the nexus of the issue lies here. We do not - and as of now can not - determine with any empirical evidences - when life begins. It has moved from the 36th week - to the 30th, 28, 26, 19 etc. That, in and of itself ,clearly defines for us - non-certainty.
If that is the case - and it is - then why must we predicate the determining factor on the "mother's right to chose" rather than one on certainty? Is it - or is not - murder? Until we know when life begins - it's impossible for us to determine at what point abortion "is not" murder. Therefore - abortion could be murder. (I am not saying it is - because that would expand the subject)
Could be murder...
That seems simple enough. No religion in that. Just the facts mam.
Conversely - many secularists easily determine that no man should be put to death in the form of capital punishment - and state the reason plain and simple - we may be making an error - and then point to examples of such.
In their minds an irrevocable determination is made on the side of Justice - based on the assumption - we simply can not truthfully know if a man is guilty or not. We only assume he is guilty - and those assumptions could be wrong and even if there is a 1/1000 % chance - then we must as men and women of honor and integrity.......
(And, they surely have a point)
But on the one hand, they argue we can not allow a single death in the capital punishment event - because we may be wrong in the determination - yet on the other we can not disallow abortion - in what might constitute millions of deaths - based on the same reasoning.
Zarm, is reason really being used - or does the secular argument derive from selfishness - which is then justified as rights - which are then defended against supposed hordes of unreasoning Christians?
My uncertainty of the issue derives from reason - and has no predicate from my religion. And although I personally believe it is a moral issue - I have not framed the problem in a religious context. How do you personally overcome the paradox?
I understand your question. But that is my point - I can't - and seemingly can no one else. If we err - shouldn't we err on the side of our ignorance and not on the side of our speculation? I suggest uncertainty demands it.
“The deliberate killing of a human being has no place in a society that calls itself civilized and humane.” The ACLU's position concerning Capital Punishment.
But they say that a fetus is not a human being - when they support abortion - although they have no knowledge as to what constitutes one.
You are still begging the question, what is murder?
The fetus I would contend is a human being, and I still support killing that human being if the mother does not want to be coerced into carrying it to term, and all the social implications that implies.
For me "murder" does not exist, there is only killing and you pick and choose what you want to kill and what you are willing to kill, (including whom).
However I would argue that killing an innocent man on the street randomly for instance is wrong because that person has done nothing to harm AND ALSO that person is not a deterrent to my well being. In the case of an unborn child whose mother is being coerced into a domestically violent relationship with the father, I would say that the child would be a deterrent to her (as well as the child's) well being if she contended it was so (as in unfit environment to raise the child in) and if the situation was such that it was obvious that it was so.
Of course you could argue that perhaps she should find another person to be with, but such things are far more complicated than that.
Murder is wrongful killing in the popular sphere, but simply calling it wrongful killing strips it of much of it's inherent ambiguity.
Examples of wrongful killing for me would be the following:
Killing someone who has in fact done me no direct or indirect harm, but with whom I have a minor disagreement or whom I only dislike for personal reasons but who does not threaten the safety of me or anyone else livelihood.
Killing someone with whom I could try to come to an understanding with an negotiate with and make a truce with.
Examples of Killing I support:
Eminent threat from another human being on my life or limb integrity.
People who are oppressive and not apt to allow me any other option than to remain under their thumb, just because they can.
Killing of the unborn child if the mother decides not to carry it tor term.
Motherhood is a serious responsibility and one not to be taken likely, but why should a child be forced to be punished with a life of domestic violence because the mother was not thinking clearly at the time she engaged in sex?
You might ask why should the child be punished when the irresponsibility of the mother is the reason it was conceived? I would say in a situation that is domestically violent, oftentimes that is not quite the case.
Oftentimes the FATHER has something to do with it, and in my opinion it is actually more of an irresponsibility to risk raising the child in a domestically violent home than it is to end it's life before it really begins to grow outside the womb and experience the misery first hand.
This is not a problem with "God" in the picture as all suffering has Divine purpose, even domestic violence. All suffering can be endured and make one stronger in some way (so most Christians posit), but not just a natural way, a "supernatural" way.
I have found that suffering makes me stronger in a natural way but I have also found that traumatic suffering makes me far weaker than stronger, and less able to take care of myself and others whom I deem important (friends).
Without "God" suffering is much more problematic from a rational perspective I would say.
I say this not because I think "God" makes more rational sense out of suffering, but because I know that "God" throws reason out the window when it comes to establishing premises regarding suffering.
If "the deliberate killing of a human being" is murder then there are many murderers in Iraq.
I would not say they are murderers at all, I would simply say they are soldiers and they are choosing to kill, and are thus killers.
If murder is "the deliberate killing of an innocent human being", then that still begs the question of what "innocent" is. If "innocent" is being not guilty of a crime that has been proven in a court of law or there is irrefutable evidence for, then there is an awful lot of "murder" going on now isn't there?
By that definition most "killing" would be "murder".
I still think that misses the larger point, that it has more to do with what a human is willing to do and thinks must be done, and often times thinking will be set aside as in the case of necessary cannibalism on a desert island (as in the case of Robinson Caruso and his cannibal enemies).
I for one would never commit cannibalism because I would will not to do it, (even if that will lead me to my death).
Yet even as I say that, I do not exactly know what lies at the lower reaches of the human appetite when it has little to eat other than other humans.
And Zarm, I want to talk at length about the other part of your post - concerning population. I think you have struck upon the greatest consequence of these decisions. But it'll take a minute.
Billion people in China. Billion people in India. Shall we make it 2 billion each. How much murder shall that cause, and starvation from over population, is that murder?
I relent - your Luther is uglier than mine.
But I am not a Luther fan. I was attempting to counter your point - not counter your Luther.
He surely is a paradox. He certainly was a man of great unbridled passion. And although I am grateful for his use of the printing press - which changed all of history - I do not agree with where he took the church, nor many of the principles he held. I am confident that without him - the Reformation would have progressed quite naturally - and was doing so all around him - even a 100 years earlier with Hus. Luther was not the kindling, he was the match. (But Hus didn't have a printing press or a King to back him)
The Magisterial Reformation transferred religious control form the Catholic Church to the newly forming Protestant State churches. Luther, from beliefs he derived from Paul, had over 100,000 free Christians killed, because he thought them a threat to the state - from where he derived his power. That was surely a crime. (see, I'm not afraid of history)
For me, I trace my spiritual heritage back to the initial 100,000 who died, not the Lutheran styled Protestant State which killed them. (It was this same flawed view of Luther's which was the basis for Lutheran Germany which allowed a Christian state to stand by and watch the Jews be killed. It wasn't so much that they believed it was right - they believed Christians were the subject of their state)
Anyway in time, these various Christian States persecuted the various free Christians - who ultimately found their ways to our shores.
It was those same Free Christian's in many varieties which pled for religous tolerance from their Kings - and were rebuked, feared and persecuted. They were feared by the religous states because they would not be controlled by a state. So the states and their religions persecuted and killed them. And the state religions fought each other. And the two branches - Catholic and Protestant, fought each other. The whole bloody mess found its way over here.
The desire for freedom from religion, primarily in the Puritan and other primitive views mindset, is what fled to our shores and here - more free and unrestrained than in all of history - over a generation or two raised up the Fathers who founded our nation. It was their sons and Grandsons who imbued this land with the desire to be free from state religion - not the other way around. They wanted to practice their beliefs in the primitive forms without restriction. They were fundamentalists. They called themselves, Shakers, Puritans, Quakers etc. Even then, they still solidified into denominations with all its incumbent evils, but even so, it was better than Europe.
Protestantism, through Luther's Germany, Calvin's Geneva, and Jame's England etc - had formed yet another state styled - Roman and Spanish Catholicism - albeit - based on more primitive principles than those - but controlled by the state non the less. Christians from those state controlled religions - mixing with the Free Christians - mingled in the Americas and the two versions of Protestant Christianity mixed into a melting pot. It was this state of affairs that left the founding fathers perplexed as to how to make them all happy. Half of them wanted control - the other half didn't want to be controlled.
I am neither for nor against another man's religion or atheism - so long as it does not want to control me for it's own purposes. I fully support what the founding fathers did. I'm grateful. But the rules have changed in the last couple of generations - and because of that - me and my family are political.
Sorry to disrupt you on this but:
http://www.curriculumunits.com/crucible … hurch2.htm
Should knock you back down to earth as to how the Puritan's could and did setup a theocracy in Massachusetts.
They desired freedom alright, freedom to do as they ought.
Freedom to do as you ought is not necessarily freedom, it is the ability and means to do as you think you "ought" and not necessarily the substantial means to think, say do, or feel anything else other than what you "ought" to. "Ought" in my opinion is a social contract.
One man's ought is another man's naught, freedom is the ability of men to live in a society where one man's ought is not "encouraged", but all are somewhat doable in that given society.
A society that truly seeks religious freedom is very much a "Jack of all trades" when it comes to accommodating the various religious "oughts" that each belief system views as "freedom in christ", whether it is the "ought" of the Catholic Church to submit to the authority of the Pope, or the "ought" of the Congregationalists to submit to each other, or the "ought" of the Anglican Church to submit to England, or the "ought" of the Baptists etc.
As the above weblinks clearly demonstrate, the theocracy of the Puritan sort that John Winthrop help to set up in Massachusetts, had more to do with what he and others thought "ought" to be done, not in respecting the right of others within the Puritan community to do otherwise.
The Arbella Covenant was also known as "A model of Christian Charity".
That document, and the scriptural references contained therein is what was used in the founding of Puritan communities during a given time period in Massachusetts history
The following from The Mayflower Compact does not sound like a bunch of Freedom loving people to me. It sounds like a bunch of submissive loyalists who didn't want to put their money where they mouth was, with their own blood:
"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain. France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, & etc. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and the advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together in a civil body politick, for our better ordering and preservation, and the of the ends aforesaid: and by virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient of the general good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November, in the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland, the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620."
Also a quote from The Arbella Covenant aka "A Model of Christian Charity":
"Quest. What rule must wee observe in lending?
Ans. Thou must observe whether thy brother hath present or probable or possible means of repaying thee, if there be none of those, thou must give him according to his necessity, rather then lend him as he requires; if he hath present means of repaying thee, thou art to look at him not as an act of mercy, but by way of Commerce, wherein thou arte to walk by the rule of justice; but if his means of repaying thee be only probable or possible, then is hee an object of thy mercy, thou must lend him, though there be danger of losing it, Deut. 15. 7. If any of thy brethren be poore &c., thou shalt lend him sufficient. That men might not shift off this duty by the apparent hazzard, he tells them that though the yeare of Jubile were at hand (when he must remitt it, if hee were not able to [Page 38] repay it before) yet he must lend him and that chearefully. It may not greive thee to give him (saith hee) and because some might object, why soe I should soone impoverishe myself and my family, he adds with all thy worke &c; for our Saviour, Math. 5. 42. From him that would borrow of thee turne not away. "
While that may or may not tie into good commonsense (despite it's "spiritual" underpinnings), that kind of thing was used time and again to influence the Puritan theocracies that were setup in Massachusetts.
In Christian religion, It's sad to see some folks still dwelling in the realm of religion and it's politics instead of the Spirit. It's important to know that the scriptures (Bible) will only be properly understood rightly through the guide of the Holy Spirit. How? The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and He is the Force in and behind the written word. He teaches, guides and enlightens our spirit man when recieved. He does not force Himself on someone even the believer of the Bible but makes Himself available the moment you start to meditate on God's word and comes to abide in your spirit when you ask Him to do so in the Name of Jesus Christ!
Things are really changing! Religion and Politics are globally failing! Those who daily meditate and exercise the Scriptures in Faith will continually be transformed (Transfigured) and empowered to do great exploits beyond science, religion and self. Do take advantage of the Holy Spirit and the dynamic Power of God's Word! The Word Works!!!
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This is a hypothetical question. If in fact whatever religion you happen to believe in was not true, what would it take to persuade you? Obviously, the more severe the charge, the more evidence we demand in order to accept it. For example, if your buddy told you he had Chinese for dinner last...
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