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Old 02-20-2011, 12:22 AM   #41
Jadolerr
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Hello,

I am a student of the bible, I would like to try and offer some comfort and perhaps offer satisfying answers to your questions from the bible.

It is written in John 17:3 This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever wondered why God allows so much suffering in the world today, and what his purpose is for mankind?
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:45 AM   #42
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Indeed. I've pondered the notion, posted earlier, that God allows so much human suffering because He values the power of humans to make choices: either the right ones or the wrong ones. He doesn't like to restrict human freedom because He doesn't want robots. That makes sense to me, although all the suffering in the world breaks my heart. Many times, people suffer because someone else did all the hurting beforehand (murder, rape, financial fraud, genocide).

As for God's purpose for mankind? Other than "to rule and reign over all the earth," as has been mentioned before, and to worship Him for all eternity, I really don't know.

Welcome to the forums, by the way! I'm Tysyacha.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:30 AM   #43
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That's one of the reasons I lost my faith. Either God doesn't have the power to stop suffering or he doesn't care, so **** him.
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Old 02-20-2011, 09:18 AM   #44
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That's one of the reasons I lost my faith. Either God doesn't have the power to stop suffering or he doesn't care, so **** him.
Which bring me to another point. What makes a god worthy of worship? Their power, or how they use it? Such power is so easily abused. And what makes their followers worthy of reverence? History is filled with people twisting religious texts to suit their own ends.

Mind you, I'm an atheist who disagrees with the whole idea of worship, but my point is still valid.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:29 AM   #45
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According to Kierkegaard (or anyway, at least my poor understanding of him), the essence of Christianity lies in the affirmation of the existing subject that they will, continuously, strive to imitate Christ. Hence, any reasons given for why God is "worthy" of worship, whether the Bible is true, or even whether God exists or not, is at best irrelevant and at worst downright disingenuous. Those types of issues only arise in an objective worldview, which is obviously not the case with any human being who has ever lived. Someone may be convinced that Christianity is completely true historically, and yet not be Christian.

Presumably, one can object to this on the basis that plenty of people believe based on such reasons. But in that case, he says, they are absurd because they are resting their supposedly eternal happiness on something which can and does change easily, and this contradicts their existential status as subjective individuals. According to K, this is one of the causes of fanaticism: placing an infinite reliance on a finite piece of evidence or reasoning leads directly to irreligion. Cf. the Danish state church of Kierkegaard's time, in which theologians would endlessly debate details about the historicity of Jesus but didn't have any time to consider whether their lives reflected the affirmation of Christ characteristic of Christianity. Because of this Kierkegaard didn't consider them Christians, even though persons such as Bishop Mynster preached about it every Sunday, they had all been baptized and they all lived in a supposedly Christian state.

However, this doesn't mean that K thought reasons like this unimportant or that they served no purpose. They were just no good for founding an authentic faith.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:55 PM   #46
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Which bring me to another point. What makes a god worthy of worship?
The fact that if you don't, he will **** everything on this planet and flood you and make you suffer all hell.

Convinces a lot of people.


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Old 02-20-2011, 03:55 PM   #47
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Not me--at least, not anymore. I don't want to be afraid of God, or worship Him because if I don't, I'll go to hell or "suffer all hell," as Sabretooth puts it. Fear, especially fear of condemnation and punishment, sucks. I know this firsthand. It eats me up inside and prevents me from savoring the joy of my existence, whether earthly or supernaturally. To this day, I am very scared of/intimidated by certain people because they held--and, in some cases, still hold--the power of punishment over my head. If they can withdraw/have withdrawn their love and support from me if I don't do what they say, then why wouldn't I fear such people? I have not yet learned to tell them, both in my mind and heart, to go away and "F off." I haven't gotten to the point yet where I need only myself--and confidence in myself--to survive and be the master of my own destiny. I may be weak for NOT having reached that point, but at least I feel strong enough to admit my weakness here. Yes, I have struggled. Yes, I have fought to the point of exhaustion in order to achieve my dreams. That's why it's so heartbreaking that those dreams have died.

There's a song that goes, "People...people who need people/Are the luckiest people in the world." I've never understood why the singer thinks that's true. SOME people exact a high price in exchange for their love and support, and if you haven't learned to live without it, it's even harder to earn it. Have you ever seen the movie "Black Swan"? I have (and it's a fabulous film, IMO).

Even as I "recoiled from what''s going on in (ballerina Nina's) head", as TIME puts it, I still completely sympathized with the character. Nina Sayers, if you haven't seen the movie, is a fantastic ballerina who is chosen to play the lead in a performance of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake". It's the opportunity of a lifetime, right? Right, except for Nina there's an enormous catch, an absolutely insidious exchange of power (her own) for perfection in the role.

Her mother insists that she be "sweet" and obedient; her ballet director urges her to "live a little" and dance with the verve and carefree luminosity that her understudy (and polar opposite) Lily possesses. Both of them demand that Nina please them, and become perfect in the ways THEY mean and that THEY desire. As she so tragically discovers, however, she can please neither person because neither of them will EVER be satisfied. Not completely, at least. Nina loses her mind in the film because she's never felt free enough to listen to her heart. She is driven, and driven, in the end, to...*spoiler off*

I almost wept during the credits. I feel like I AM NINA right now, in a spiritual sense. I know EXACTLY what she's going through (minus the self-mutilation and hallucinations). I can neither please God nor the people I love on this earth, and I feel like an utter failure for it. Why? Because according to where I SHOULD be, say my faith and the people I love despite fearing them, I should be "on a different page". I'll tell you what this means down below:

It means I should accept (as today's sermon title stated) "more Jesus and less me", forgetting and FORFEITING my pain and struggle because it's not important (what is important is JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, nothing else).

It means I should "endure it for love's sake" instead of "doing what feels good." In my own opinion, what is IT--that which I should endure? Perpetual celibacy, the perpetual denial and suppression of my own desires, etc. Notice the word "perpetual" here, in both cases. I did not type that word lightly. That word means not just "for time", here on this earth, but for eternity.

Am I proud? Yes. Am I haughty, like the Princess in my dreams? Also yes. However, beneath my pride lies FEAR. I am willing to lose my pride and admit that I am afraid, and admit that this fear still remains. I'm afraid of God, who appears as the "handsome prince" in my dreams but who could, in actuality, be a cruel and punishing taskmaster who wishes and demands the forfeiture of my very "psikheia"--my soul, in other words, who I am as a SELF.

All for Jesus' sake, of course.

To Christians, that should be comforting. For me, it's absolutely terrifying.

THAT is why I'm losing my religion, and not merely because I hate rules and regulations that make no sense in my own life--rules and regulations that I've been conditioned to follow without thinking, without questioning. Only belief.

At the end of the service, my pastor prayed, "I thank You, Heavenly Father, for every person that's here." I don't think that my pastor really thought through what that meant, and what he was really saying. IF he was really thankful for every person attending church today, THEN he was thankful for ME being there. He has absolutely no idea of my struggle right now, and if he did know, I don't think he would be so thankful. I think he'd gladly exchange me for a true believer, who is absolutely delighted to "decrease as Jesus increases" and so on. Who'd want ME instead of a true believer, anyway?

Hey, I know! You humans would, and that's why you're still sticking with me.

*HUG* And for that, I thank you.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:26 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
The fact that if you don't, he will **** everything on this planet and flood you and make you suffer all hell.

Convinces a lot of people.
That doesn't make God worthy of worship, it makes him/her/it worthy of deposition, if you consider him/her/it real. To say that is enough to me, is essentially saying that "Might makes right" and that God can do no wrong because noone can stop Him. But if might makes right, then the greatest injustices in human history can be justified.

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Old 02-20-2011, 07:06 PM   #49
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^^^ I assumed sabretooth was stating the general interpretation, not a POV... I could be wrong.

The Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony is an interesting read on this subject, especially books 6 and 7 dealing with the "big" movers and shakers... The idea of deposition is what reminded me of it. Anthony takes on the big subjects with his typical punniness, but some quite profound (IMO) ideas.

Justification of Belief is always a problem when talking about God's existence, and is a subject worthy of its own thread (and/or a semester at University) - and slightly off-topic here.

Thinking about your title, Ty, I think you should do as you titled. Lose your Religion... and keep your God if you want to! It is a personal relationship that is most important, after all. I find organized religion to be an excuse for people to think less.


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Old 02-20-2011, 08:31 PM   #50
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Not me--at least, not anymore. I don't want to be afraid of God, or worship Him because if I don't, I'll go to hell or "suffer all hell," as Sabretooth puts it.
This is a problem my father had with the whole "God fearing" thing. And in that same way, so do I.

Personally, I think better terms are God respecting (which needn't have fear in it), and God loving (also needn't have fear).

The only thing you need fear is yourself consciously making bad decisions at peril of others. Which is more rational. To fear all the time is not living.


Quote:
To this day, I am very scared of/intimidated by certain people because they held--and, in some cases, still hold--the power of punishment over my head. If they can withdraw/have withdrawn their love and support from me if I don't do what they say, then why wouldn't I fear such people? I have not yet learned to tell them, both in my mind and heart, to go away and "F off."
Well, it's fair that if the best guidance "they" can give for their satisfaction is vague, then "they" really don't have much ground to stand on and still call their ire justifiable for their expectations not being met. In other words, you can't be more specific with what you want, then don't complain when you get generalized results. Is that not a fair point?


Quote:
I haven't gotten to the point yet where I need only myself--and confidence in myself--to survive and be the master of my own destiny. I may be weak for NOT having reached that point, but at least I feel strong enough to admit my weakness here. Yes, I have struggled. Yes, I have fought to the point of exhaustion in order to achieve my dreams. That's why it's so heartbreaking that those dreams have died.
While an individualist at heart, there comes a point other people are needed. It all matters how you utilize that presence of others that tells what kind of person you are. Sometimes action speaks louder than words ever will.

Quote:
There's a song that goes, "People...people who need people/Are the luckiest people in the world." I've never understood why the singer thinks that's true.
Possibly speaking from a perspective that others will gladly come to the aid of the needy. Sometimes sacrificing much in their own lives to at least make the living of the one in need that much easier/more comfortable.

Quote:
SOME people exact a high price in exchange for their love and support, and if you haven't learned to live without it, it's even harder to earn it.
Well just because you're without a church does not mean you're without people necessarily. Besides, it isn't always possible to be on your own; whether you want to or not, whether you like it or not. Tried being a hermit. Didn't work.

To be the one in charge means a great deal of responsibility. Tormenting those you take care of does not sound responsible. Sounds tyrannous. Are people you know treating you this way? Lording 'power' over you?

Quote:
*brevity*
Her mother insists that she be "sweet" and obedient; her ballet director urges her to "live a little" and dance with the verve and carefree luminosity that her understudy (and polar opposite) Lily possesses.
This is all too reminiscent of times in past in parts of the world where if you did not exhibit certain personality traits, and did not have audacity enough to attack the pecking order to try to become one of those on top of it, you were discouraged from any kind of self esteem or taking charge in your life.

Reminds me of Franz Kafka's metamorphosis.

Quote:
Both of them demand that Nina please them, and become perfect in the ways THEY mean and that THEY desire. As she so tragically discovers, however, she can please neither person because neither of them will EVER be satisfied. Not completely, at least. Nina loses her mind in the film because she's never felt free enough to listen to her heart. She is driven, and driven, in the end, to...*spoiler off*
It's tragedy like that which woke people up out of conformity. People woke up and realized climbing to the top of a heap is not always the ticket to happiness.

Yeah, that is what I'm talking about: The un-pleaseable character in charge of just about any kind of situation. Does not treasure excellence but merely expects it. Totally warped view on what it means to, for example "give it your best always".

These are folks I would ask: "Just what makes YOU so deserving of everyone else's best efforts?" Usually gets the reaction like "I'm the boss/leader" "because I said so" and all that crap. Overwhelming majority of cases the person is a complete hypocrite--or perhaps a tool to someone else but this is a discussion for another time.
The ones that are not hypocrites...are slave driving, self injuring massochists who never end up being around long anyways (except when finally seeing reason).

I do have to respect the latter, though, for living up to their own demands and expectations; workaholics. Usually when brought back down to earth and made to be reasonable instead of self destructive...they yield excellent performance and results.

Actually there was a reality show (undercover boss) about CEO's who went undercover and applied as grunts to their own business to get a glimpse of the real world and how it is really like to work for their own company. Enlightening and amazing.

Quote:
I almost wept during the credits. I feel like I AM NINA right now, in a spiritual sense. I know EXACTLY what she's going through (minus the self-mutilation and hallucinations). I can neither please God nor the people I love on this earth, and I feel like an utter failure for it. Why? Because according to where I SHOULD be, say my faith and the people I love despite fearing them, I should be "on a different page".
You don't know if God is displeased or not--who is another to judge that for you? Just another human being. Another merely annoying, idiotic, foolish human being. No you have not displeased anyone because they said so. They are about as qualified as you are to speak for God.

I may presume to know God, but at the end of the day I consider that I may not know anything of God at all. That does not frighten me in the least. Personally I think you are doing fine. You seem to care genuinely about others. IMO that's what God wanted for His own creations. More than I can say for some people.

Quote:
I'll tell you what this means down below:

It means I should accept (as today's sermon title stated) "more Jesus and less me", forgetting and FORFEITING my pain and struggle because it's not important (what is important is JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, nothing else).
I think the point of this is simply to not become self-absorbed, and consider "WWJD?" when it comes to other people. I'm not Jesus, but I do think he'd be generous, especially to those in need. Do not be drawn into worshiping at your peril. Think of it this way: if you aren't around to be generous and kind to, say, less fortunate passers by, then who will? You can't help someone else if you yourself are unwell or, God forbid, not alive.

For example, I come across Snow Boarders who basically gave it their all just to have a wonderful day on the slopes. They have no transportation nor do they expect any--and broke. They choose to walk in fact. But they do get hungry. I figure, hey, why not have one as a guest if, for example, I'm going to a restaurant like Jack in the Box? So I pull one aside and ask "Need some food?" I buy them a meal. If they want company, I talk to them too. They're the happiest people I ever seen. That joy, even if they never express gratitude, is worth more than buying two meals and pigging out on two meals by myself. Though I have yet to meet a snow bum that didn't thank me.

I can't do it for everyone but if I do it for someone here and there I can at least make a small difference, one at a time. Better than no difference at all. If I wasn't here, then I wouldn't be able to make that small difference.

Quote:
It means I should "endure it for love's sake" instead of "doing what feels good." In my own opinion, what is IT--that which I should endure?
This sounds like loving others despite their imperfections. Put another way to my example above: I'm enduring not getting any material nor monitary payback for buying a meal so another person can eat scott-free--but I go into doing this deed knowing that. I could maybe have used the additional money for gasoline. In the long run, though, it isn't that big a detriment to me and it made that person's day. It was not the money that bought that joy, it was the act of generosity.

Quote:
At the end of the service, my pastor prayed, "I thank You, Heavenly Father, for every person that's here." I don't think that my pastor really thought through what that meant, and what he was really saying. IF he was really thankful for every person attending church today, THEN he was thankful for ME being there. He has absolutely no idea of my struggle right now, and if he did know, I don't think he would be so thankful. I think he'd gladly exchange me for a true believer, who is absolutely delighted to "decrease as Jesus increases" and so on. Who'd want ME instead of a true believer, anyway?

Hey, I know! You humans would, and that's why you're still sticking with me.

*HUG* And for that, I thank you.
I do not fancy myself a revrend, no. Still, it sounds like the particular religious structure you attend is actually the one failing. Not you. Also I think that Someone is very happy you are a generous caring person. And BTW you're welcome.

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:05 PM   #51
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Which bring me to another point. What makes a god worthy of worship? Their power, or how they use it? Such power is so easily abused. And what makes their followers worthy of reverence? History is filled with people twisting religious texts to suit their own ends.

Mind you, I'm an atheist who disagrees with the whole idea of worship, but my point is still valid.
i actually don't see your point for a single second, although i can entirely understand your reasoning. how could anybody be so powerful and not abuse that power, right?? then again, that's under the assumption that God has all of the attributes of a human, of course.

if we use mankind as a reference for what power does to a human, then, yes, your logic is sound. i haven't even reached the ripe age of 30, and i've seen enough with my own two eyes to convince me that a man with power is easily corrupted.

just consider the atheist regimes that have come to power in the 20th century such as those headed by Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. all three of those men wielded unrivaled power within their own states and were responsible for the deaths of over 20 million innocents. technically, you could say that they were responsible for even more deaths due to the number of soldiers and other military personnel that lost their lives due to their desire for more power.

but if God is all-powerful as he says he is, then why would he need more power? part of mankind's destructive quest for power is, in part, due to the belief that he doesn't have enough power. for a God that does indeed have everything, what does he gain from your recognition and acceptance of his power? conversely, what does he lose if you choose not to recognize or accept him? if he's already all-powerful, then your decision not to recognize or accept him does not diminish his power.

that said, the real issue here is what God's motivations are and why he even needs all of that power. your argument is that an all-powerful God is likely corrupt and self-serving. however, this is where your logic fails. as earlier stated, for a God that already has everything, in what way would his power be self-serving? you can't add something to everything. everything is all-inclusive, and the only way everything fails to be everything is when something is taken away from it. to take something away from an all-powerful being would be to remove its status as all-powerful.

if God has nothing to gain from our recognition and acceptance of his power, then what remains of his motivations? if he needs nothing from us, then its no longer a matter of power. in that case, it must be a matter of what God wants to do to us. when you move on to that, then understanding God is much more black and white. God must then either be extremely evil, extremely good, or profoundly apathetic.

the question then simply becomes this: what kind of god would you rather believe in? if God is extremely evil, then his power would only work towards absolute destruction. if God is profoundly apathetic, then why would he create us in the first place?

i think the part that's difficult to grasp is trying to accept that God is extremely good when there's so much corruption and evil in the world that he created. i just compare it to how i found my future wife. to be honest, i don't think i would be as happy and satisfied with myself if i had just simply created a woman to be my wife. to know that she chose to accept me and love me for who i am is much more satisfying on a much deeper level. i can imagine that God is much the same way. why create something to just simply love you when you can create something that has the choice to love you?


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 02-20-2011, 11:52 PM   #52
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Faithful people recorded in the bible also asked such questions. The prophet Habakkuk wrote in Habakkuk 1:3 "Why is it that you make me see what is hurtful, and you keep looking upon mere trouble? And why are despoiling and violence in front of me, and why does quarreling occur, and why is strife carried?"

God helped him to get a clearer understanding of matters, and God wants to do the same for us. This is because he cares for us as written in 1 Peter 5:7 "while you throw all your anxiety upon him, because he cares for you."

In 2 Peter 3:9 it says "Jehovah is not slow respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed but desires all to attain to repentance."

So why is there suffering? Often the response you hear from religious leaders and teachers is that suffering is God's will and the he long ago determined everything that would ever happen, including tragic events. Many are told that God's ways are mysterious or that he brings death upon people, even children, so that he can have them in heaven with him.

In the bible however Jehovah God never causes what is bad. Job 34:10 "Therefore, you men of heart, listen to me. Far be it from the true God to act wickedly, And the Almighty to act unjustly!"

People may blame God because they think that he is the real ruler of this world. The simple but important truth the bible teaches is that Satan the Devil is the real ruler of this world. 1 John 5:19 says "We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." The world reflects the personality of the invisible spirit creature who is misleading the entire earth. Revelation 12:9 "So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him."

This is why there is so much suffering in the world we live in today, yet what was the cause? What is the reason God allows this to take place? Why does he hold back when has the power to stop this?
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:12 AM   #53
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That doesn't make God worthy of worship, it makes him/her/it worthy of deposition, if you consider him/her/it real. To say that is enough to me, is essentially saying that "Might makes right" and that God can do no wrong because noone can stop Him. But if might makes right, then the greatest injustices in human history can be justified.
I didn't say it means God is right or that everything is justified. To worship is to love submissively and show one's utmost devotion to someone (or something). This draws the most parallels to the parent-child relation, clearly. In 9 cases out of 10, a parent loves their child unconditionally. The child however, need not have any such obligation to their parent. Therefore, they are more or less made to believe that life without their parent is impossible, and that if you love and stay devoted to your parents, you'll get everything you want.

The problem is, grown-up kids don't have parents to look up to and answer their questions (especially the tricky ones like "WHY THE HELL ARE LARGE SHAFTS OF LIGHT FALLING FROM THE SKY THEY SCARE THE **** OUT OF ME"). Ergo, a God is formed, the overparent, the supreme person whom you should love and respect unconditionally, because He made you and gives you everything you want (just like your parents did). He will get cross at you if you misbehave, but he still loves you.

The God-Worshipper relation is really a step-up from the parent-child relationship. Obviously, that doesn't stop your elder brothers from telling you "OMG you totally broke the vase! Hmm, I think Mom and Dad need to know about this... unless you give me your lunch money."

You can guess what happens after that.


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Old 02-21-2011, 08:42 AM   #54
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People may blame God because they think that he is the real ruler of this world. The simple but important truth the bible teaches is that Satan the Devil is the real ruler of this world. 1 John 5:19 says "We know we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." The world reflects the personality of the invisible spirit creature who is misleading the entire earth. Revelation 12:9 "So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him."

This is why there is so much suffering in the world we live in today, yet what was the cause? What is the reason God allows this to take place? Why does he hold back when has the power to stop this?
I am not one for quoting scripture, as there are many here more capable such as yourself, Jadolerr.

However, I have one for you: "I am the alpha and the omega."

God "made" Satan... and loved him best IIRC. Why is s/he not one in the same?

The fallacy of religion is that it places human conceptions on the unknowable. If God exists, how could we possibly fathom any Godly reasoning? Why would God create a world and then hand it to a liar and deceiver? Unless..... it were necessary.

If it is necessary, then is there really any separation between the two entities? Are they not the deepest of partners.... or just two faces of the same being?

Why would a creator on such a grand scale be concerned so much about any individual life, when the responsibility (again, a human conception) or the realm of liege, is the whole danged everything?

@GTASWC: well stated most recent post.... And quite personal.


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Old 02-24-2011, 08:50 PM   #55
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This all began back when Satan led Adam and Eve into disobeying Jehovah. Satan called into question Jehovah's right to rule. By calling God a liar who withholds good from his subjects, Satan charged that Jehovah is a bad ruler.

Genesis 3:2-5 "2 At this the woman said to the serpent: "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. 3 But as for eating of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'YOU must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it that YOU do not die.'" 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: "YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad."

Adam and Eve rebelled against Jehovah, in effect they said "we do not need Jehovah as our Ruler. We can decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong."

How would Jehovah handle this? Why were they not simply just destroyed and just start over? Jehovah had stated his purpose to fill the world with the offspring of Adam and Eve, and he wanted them to live in an earthly paradise. In Genesis 1:28" Further, God blessed them and God said to them: "Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it..."


Jehovah always fulfills his purposes as written in Isaiah 55:10,11 "For just as the pouring rain descends, and the snow, from the heavens and does not return to that place, unless it actually saturates the earth and makes it produce and sprout, and seed is actually given to the sower and bread to the eater, so my word that goes forth from my mouth will proves to be.; It will not return to me with out results, but it will certainly do that in which I have delighted, and it will have certain success in that for which I have sent it."


How Jehovah handles this situation is very important, it would affect not only humans but also the millions of angels who were watching since the rebels in Eden were not the only ones involved.

What Jehovah has done is allowed Satan to show how he would rule mankind. God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan's guidance.

To illustrate this, picture a teacher teaching a class how to solve a difficult problem. One of the students claims that the teacher's way of solving the problem is wrong and implies that the teacher is not capable. This student insists that he knows a much better way to solve the problem. Some of the other students think he is right as well and they join him. Now if the teacher removed the student from that class, wouldn't other students perhaps believe he is right? What if they lose respect and think the teacher fears being proved wrong? Then suppose that the teacher lets this student show the class how he would solve this problem. This would be a benefit to the class if the student was allowed to prove his point. When the student fails, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to teach the class.

Similarly, Jehovah knows that all honest hearted humans and angels will benefit from seeing that Satan and his fellow rebels have failed and that humans cannot govern themselves.

Like Jeremiah they will learn this vital truth. Jeremiah 10:23 " I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step."

Then, you may ask, why has Jehovah allowed this to go on for so long? Also why doesn't God prevent such things like horrible crimes from happening?
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:21 AM   #56
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Genesis 3:2-5 "2 At this the woman said to the serpent: "Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat. 3 But as for eating of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'YOU must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it that YOU do not die.'" 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: "YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad."
Are you ****ing serious right now? Genesis is the biggest joke book in the bible. It's just a mix of 2 documents, one Sumerian and one Babylonian (often just called the J and P documents, if you care)

If God is so omniscient, why did he give all the animals to Adam and think they would provide company? Answer: because it was written by Sumerians that believed gods were not omniscient, they were merely supermen.

What does it say for the reason God banished them? Oh right, because he says if humans eat from the tree they could gain immortality and become "one of us."
Does this make any sense in modern Christian theology? Nope, because once again, it was written by Sumerians who believed they could ascend to godhood.

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Also why doesn't God prevent such things like horrible crimes from happening?
Because he either doesn't care or he's too weak to do anything. Or maybe...he doesn't exist.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:36 AM   #57
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Wow you guys really take the bible literally

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Old 02-25-2011, 07:28 AM   #58
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Hmmm, I haven't replied for a while more due to Sam posting Kierkegaard who closely represents my own views I haven't felt the need.

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Originally Posted by Qui-Gon Glenn
I am not one for quoting scripture, as there are many here more capable such as yourself, Jadolerr.

However, I have one for you: "I am the alpha and the omega."

God "made" Satan... and loved him best IIRC. Why is s/he not one in the same?

The fallacy of religion is that it places human conceptions on the unknowable. If God exists, how could we possibly fathom any Godly reasoning? Why would God create a world and then hand it to a liar and deceiver? Unless..... it were necessary.
It's an interesting question, I did post earlier my essay on the problem of evil, which I think partly accounts for an answer; that the freedom to choose was so important that God allowed what happened. I'd argue from a Judeo-Christian standpoint that we are created in Gods image so we can partly understand him if you believe that, however your other point also stands in that an eternal omniscient God is very far away from us, and as such may well be unfathomable, but that is different to be unknowable. Take into account say a hamster and its owner, the human is knowable to the hamster, but the owner may not be fathomable.

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Originally Posted by Qui-Gon Glenn
If it is necessary, then is there really any separation between the two entities? Are they not the deepest of partners.... or just two faces of the same being?
I'm not quite sure if I understand the point here...

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Originally Posted by Qui-Gon Glenn
Why would a creator on such a grand scale be concerned so much about any individual life, when the responsibility (again, a human conception) or the realm of liege, is the whole danged everything?
Well, I could swing the question back, why wouldn't he be? Also are you then not, going back on your own previous statement, by having stated God is so far removed from us we cannot "know" him, then how do you know he wouldn't care about us?

Anyways a couple of you have irked me into a reply

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Originally Posted by Jadolerr
This all began back when Satan led Adam and Eve into disobeying Jehovah. Satan called into question Jehovah's right to rule. By calling God a liar who withholds good from his subjects, Satan charged that Jehovah is a bad ruler.
Are you even involved in this discussion? You don't seem to be replying to anyone who replies to you, and then seem to be going off on a tangent but answering only your own questions. Whats the point in asking questions if your just going to answer them?

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Originally Posted by Jadolerr
To illustrate this, picture a teacher teaching a class how to solve a difficult problem. One of the students claims that the teacher's way of solving the problem is wrong and implies that the teacher is not capable. This student insists that he knows a much better way to solve the problem. Some of the other students think he is right as well and they join him. Now if the teacher removed the student from that class, wouldn't other students perhaps believe he is right? What if they lose respect and think the teacher fears being proved wrong? Then suppose that the teacher lets this student show the class how he would solve this problem. This would be a benefit to the class if the student was allowed to prove his point. When the student fails, all honest students will see that the teacher is the only one qualified to teach the class.
Do you have any idea how flawed this example is? I've been in classes where the teacher would admit I know more on the subject than them...


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Are you ****ing serious right now? Genesis is the biggest joke book in the bible. It's just a mix of 2 documents, one Sumerian and one Babylonian (often just called the J and P documents, if you care)
Actually there is absolutely no scholarly consensus on who wrote Genesis, and the method it was put together. The above is a popular 20th Century theory which has since been discredited. Which I think also disproves the rest of your point about supermen Gods. However I'm happy to discuss the point further if you wish. I'm not sure if you want me to go into philosophical discourse with the regards of God, choice and time?



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Old 02-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #59
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RE: Jadolerr... Is there such thing as a Christian Spam-bot?


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Old 02-25-2011, 08:46 PM   #60
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Actually there is absolutely no scholarly consensus on who wrote Genesis, and the method it was put together. The above is a popular 20th Century theory which has since been discredited. Which I think also disproves the rest of your point about supermen Gods. However I'm happy to discuss the point further if you wish. I'm not sure if you want me to go into philosophical discourse with the regards of God, choice and time?
If you can prove how it was discredited, I'd be happy to discuss it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:56 PM   #61
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Don't people know the bible is a sham cuz it wuz wrote buy hoomans? I demand you all to stop believing in God! Right now!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!1!!!!1!!!1!1!!!!!11


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Old 02-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #62
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If you can prove how it was discredited, I'd be happy to discuss it.
Erm, the British Museum as I recall, but the issue of burden of proof resides with you my friend. I have made no claims as to who wrote Genesis, or why, or what "influenced" it. However Wikipedia that source of all useless information after my lazy 5 minute search shall do me in good enough stead

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There is currently no consensus on the process by which Genesis came to be written. The documentary hypothesis (which sees Genesis the product of the editorial weaving of a number of originally independent and complete accounts of the same material), which did enjoy the status of a consensus among many Western scholars for most of the 20th century, no longer enjoys the support it once did, and rival theories have been advanced using fragmentary models (composition by an author from various "fragments") or supplementary models (an original text later expanded and edited), or combinations of these.[13] An alternative approach regards perceived difficulties in the integral text as we have it as opportunities to rise to a challenge in interpretation, and admit "interpolations" or possible mis-transmissions only when every other avenue of investigation has been exhausted.[14] It is asserted that there are many anachronisms (which must often in the absence of detailed history be a matter of interpretation) and that these point to a date of reaching its "final form" in the 1st millennium B.C.[13] and the same recent proposals attempt to place it in the 5th century when, as the argument runs, the post-Exilic Jewish community was seen as trying to adapt itself to life under the Persian empire.[15]
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Genesis



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Old 02-25-2011, 09:31 PM   #63
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but the issue of burden of proof resides with you my friend.
Nicely done. You charge me with having a bogus theory, then say that.

By the way, your link doesn't support your point that: "The above is a popular 20th Century theory which has since been discredited." at all. All it says is that different theories are being considered (that are very similar to the one I posted)...so I'm not sure where you were going with that.

My proof is the book Sir His Greatness Isaac Asimov did on his research in Genesis. If Isaac says it, therefore it is.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:48 PM   #64
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Nicely done. You charge me with having a bogus theory, then say that.
Wow, if I'm detecting your tone right, chill. Just to point out, I haven't claimed anything for who wrote Genesis or what it's influences were, however as far as my reading on the subject goes there isn't a consensus on Genesis. I wasn't really charging you with anything, merely noting that as far as I know there is no agreed reasoning on who wrote Genesis or its influences. At least as far as my limited knowledge on this particular subject goes what I know of Babalonyian Creation stories I'm sceptical of their influence (of the Babalonyian stories I recall one holds that one of the Gods ejaculated the world into being). There is of course the question as to when Genesis was originally written, and given we don't have any remaining old texts ascertaining that is difficult.

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By the way, your link doesn't support your point that: "The above is a popular 20th Century theory which has since been discredited." at all. All it says is that different theories are being considered (that are very similar to the one I posted)...so I'm not sure where you were going with that.
I'm pretty sure that backs up my points

"There is currently no consensus on the process by which Genesis came to be written."

Follow my reasoning, if we have no way of ascertaining the original date of Genesis it's impossible to know what "documents" (if any) influenced it; As such if there is no consensus on the process by which Genesis came to be, how do you know that for example Genesis is not older than the aforementioned Babylonian accounts, and if there is any similarity documents how do you know it's not because the Babylonian accounts copied Genesis.

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Originally Posted by Working Class Hero View Post
My proof is the book Sir His Greatness Isaac Asimov did on his research in Genesis. If Isaac says it, therefore it is.
[/QUOTE]

I'll see if I can track down a copy, however much as I respect Asimov, I'm not aware he is of any scholarly repute within this particular field, and given the time of his death (1992) and the speed at which a field such as this can move on, how sure are you that what he says is still relevant?



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Old 02-27-2011, 10:46 PM   #65
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((Paragon Interrupt)) I have a question for all of you: Must all of the Bible--every story, every account, every word and syllable--be LITERALLY true in order for it to be true? I personally do not believe so. If there was no literal Noah's Ark, and if the sun did not literally stand still, I would still believe that Jesus loved me and that He wanted to pay the price for our sins. I've never believed that the Bible was meant to be a science or history textbook, even though many of the events in it did actually occur (such as the Babylonian exile). To me, the Bible was chiefly meant to inspire people to come to the Christian faith, and live out their lives in love for God and His Son.

Why must I think that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as some say because they believe in the Genesis account literally, in order to come to faith (or continue in faith)? I have a point/counterpoint for you to consider:

1) "If all of the Bible isn't LITERALLY true, then none of it must be true."

-1) Some people like to compare the Bible to a math book, so I'll run with that analogy. If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage? Are all of the problems mistakenly construed or wrong? Are the theories presented a bunch of hogwash? Of course not. In a math book, one "bad apple" (error) does not "spoil the whole barrel". If some of the Bible isn't literally true, that doesn't make God's love any less valid. Right?
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:04 PM   #66
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(referring to the above post) A sensible conclusion. No Christians I know assert a literal-truth interpretation of scripture (at least, when it comes to the more famously-debated events like the flood).


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Old 02-28-2011, 12:37 AM   #67
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be LITERALLY true in order for it to be true?
Nope

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If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage?
I would say it would depend on the mistake. If it were a simple math error to a single question then it would not make the entire text garbage. If the mistake was something material that instructed the reader an incorrect way to solve math problems such as add/subtract before multiplying/dividing then it could make the entire text garbage.

That is about as deep as I get into a religious thread.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:44 AM   #68
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@j7 - I cannot know anything about God, and certainly cannot trust anything written about him by mere mortal men who know him no better than myself. If I am to experience and feel "God" it will have to be by direct contact. To me, that is the end of the story, but I am not everyone, and I do not wish to push my views on the forum or anyone else for that matter.

As to my mysterious line: If God exists, then Satan exists... But Satan works for God, not against him, as there was a necessity in allowing free choice, AND God does not make mistakes. Therefore, Satan ruling the netherworld is no mistake, and is necessary. They sit on different thrones, both doing God's work... an infinite God contains Satan.

This is a big run-on thought, and I need to go to sleep, so if you like I will try to give you a better and more logically sound conception. It is not easy, when talking about the Big Guy in the Sky That is a deep pool, way deeper than I am!!!

@adamqd: Thank you for posting the spam-bot idea... It phrased what I was thinking quite succinctly

@GTA:SWC - really, yeah you got the jester badge, but I think you know this isn't really the place, and you are attempting an Appeal to Ridicule in my argument, which is fine on the funny farm but not very Kavar's. That, and your point is silly, not helpful, actually in my opinion the stupidest thing you have ever posted
I am not trying to tell anyone what to believe, the point that the Bible was written by Man cannot be disputed, and is therefore a source that must be held under at least some scrutiny. And, to answer your current sig.... WHAT!!!

@Ty and TKA: There are big-time Priests and Pastors who are quite serious scientists, and look at a great deal of the Bible as simple storytelling. Yet they have deep faith... proof positive of my point that GTA made into a joke. Thank you for your posts!

@Working Class Hero: You are passionate about your position, that is commendable. Finger wagging will not help your point get across, and is needlessly disrespectful. When discussing these things, please remember that your position is in the great minority, and is less trusted in the US and most countries than newly immigrated Muslims, illegal aliens, or people of any faith. Fighting with fire can be your undoing, it is better to discuss than argue. Just something to consider, my friend.


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Old 02-28-2011, 02:37 AM   #69
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@GTA:SWC - really, yeah you got the jester badge, but I think you know this isn't really the place, and you are attempting an Appeal to Ridicule in my argument, which is fine on the funny farm but not very Kavar's. That, and your point is silly, not helpful, actually in my opinion the stupidest thing you have ever posted
Ok mister logical point taken. We gotta be serious business now. Hear that kids? Seriously. Serious.

I was actually trying to amuse everyone on WCH's point (including himself) to get him to stop and think how he sounds...but without a direct indictment. Though I suppose not helpful.

I couldn't resist.

Quote:
I am not trying to tell anyone what to believe, the point that the Bible was written by Man cannot be disputed, and is therefore a source that must be held under at least some scrutiny.
True. There are multiple versions even. Though I find it interesting that while Urantia and such take information roughly circa that time period, a good portion which related to the Bible on some fronts (different views), and not only is it considered blasphemy to the highly religious Christians but also cast off as irrelevant by just about everyone else.

Quote:
And, to answer your current sig.... WHAT!!!
I'm a jerk, and you don't have it together.


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Old 02-28-2011, 10:40 AM   #70
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As to my mysterious line: If God exists, then Satan exists... But Satan works for God, not against him, as there was a necessity in allowing free choice, AND God does not make mistakes.
Just as something interesting to read in a similar spirit, try Borges' Three Versions Of Judas. The only reason I know about it is because Sabre forced me to read one of his collections.


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Old 02-28-2011, 11:04 AM   #71
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((Paragon Interrupt)) I have a question for all of you: Must all of the Bible--every story, every account, every word and syllable--be LITERALLY true in order for it to be true? I personally do not believe so. If there was no literal Noah's Ark, and if the sun did not literally stand still, I would still believe that Jesus loved me and that He wanted to pay the price for our sins. I've never believed that the Bible was meant to be a science or history textbook, even though many of the events in it did actually occur (such as the Babylonian exile). To me, the Bible was chiefly meant to inspire people to come to the Christian faith, and live out their lives in love for God and His Son.

Why must I think that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as some say because they believe in the Genesis account literally, in order to come to faith (or continue in faith)? I have a point/counterpoint for you to consider:

1) "If all of the Bible isn't LITERALLY true, then none of it must be true."

-1) Some people like to compare the Bible to a math book, so I'll run with that analogy. If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage? Are all of the problems mistakenly construed or wrong? Are the theories presented a bunch of hogwash? Of course not. In a math book, one "bad apple" (error) does not "spoil the whole barrel". If some of the Bible isn't literally true, that doesn't make God's love any less valid. Right?
The Torah, and its sequel the Bible were written to inspire and teach a bunch of medieval/pre-medieval tribals, nomads and other communities about the joys of coming together under a single religion, by the means of metaphors and parables. It's only rational to believe that the book can no longer be taken seriously, or even in its whole (one might especially want to skip the genealogy bits that are liberally sprinkled in the OT).

Tysy, you quite frankly happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time right now, because this fundamentalist mindset seems to be gripping conservative America like... like.. whatever it is that grips things forcefully. Pack your belongings and get to Canada or Hawaii or Mexico or something. I'm sure you'll look splendid in a sombrero.


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Old 02-28-2011, 12:26 PM   #72
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Indeed. I've pondered the notion, posted earlier, that God allows so much human suffering because He values the power of humans to make choices: either the right ones or the wrong ones. He doesn't like to restrict human freedom because He doesn't want robots. That makes sense to me, although all the suffering in the world breaks my heart. Many times, people suffer because someone else did all the hurting beforehand (murder, rape, financial fraud, genocide).
God gave us free choice yes. I am paraphrasing a quote from the Bible where God says, "Let us create man in our own image" and he goes on to say something along the lines about man having dominion over the creatures of the earth. You can tell I am not a Bible student...lol.

Anyway, I am in a similar boat as you Tsy. I go to mass mainly out of obligation to my father and participate in his family's rosary sessions for the same reason. I began questioning things because they didn't make sense to me. One of the interesting secrets is that the current Bible is based upon a revisionist history that was written during Israel's captivity in Babylon and for the most part, the writers were inconsistent in their writing style and patterns. Plus it doesn't help that good ole Constatine's Council of Nicea just xnayed some 40 generations of writings that would probably have answered some of the great mysterys that enthusiasts have been trying to solve ie the Holy Grail, etc.


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Originally Posted by Tysyacha
As for God's purpose for mankind? Other than "to rule and reign over all the earth," as has been mentioned before, and to worship Him for all eternity, I really don't know.
My thing is that yes there is a purpose for everyone and everything. Not knowing is part of the adventure of living. Do I believe that there is God? I like to think so. I also believe that God loves us unconditionally. If he didn't, why would he give us freedom of choice? The prodigal son tale comes to mind.

In your first post, you spoke of a genuine relationship with God. That may be true but also you have to consider your definition of genuine. If you truly believe that it is so, then it is so. Then agains I am probably stepping in on too much faith rather than logic but there are some things you have to fgure out for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
Tysy, you quite frankly happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time right now, because this fundamentalist mindset seems to be gripping conservative America like... like.. whatever it is that grips things forcefully. Pack your belongings and get to Canada or Hawaii or Mexico or something. I'm sure you'll look splendid in a sombrero.
I agree that a fundamentalist mindset has gripped this country that I love but it takes true courage to stand up for the doubts that you have. However I wouldn't consider Mexico since besides cartels, there is an obsession with Catholicism there.

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Old 02-28-2011, 01:24 PM   #73
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@GTA:SWC - really, yeah you got the jester badge, but I think you know this isn't really the place, and you are attempting an Appeal to Ridicule in my argument, which is fine on the funny farm but not very Kavar's.
Just want to be clear, you cannot get a Jesters Badge for a post in Kavars.


I have no problem with humor or trying to lighten up a subject, just remember that religion is an extremely personal subject so others may be offended by your attempt at levity. No rule against attempts at humor in posts; but please take into consideration that this is an extremely personal subject.


Please do not take this as a warning, this is merely a reminder that the subject matter is sensitive and to let members know that are after the Jesters Badge that they should save the best lines for other sections of the forum as they don’t count for that purpose here.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:00 PM   #74
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((Paragon Interrupt)) I have a question for all of you: Must all of the Bible--every story, every account, every word and syllable--be LITERALLY true in order for it to be true? I personally do not believe so. If there was no literal Noah's Ark, and if the sun did not literally stand still, I would still believe that Jesus loved me and that He wanted to pay the price for our sins. I've never believed that the Bible was meant to be a science or history textbook, even though many of the events in it did actually occur (such as the Babylonian exile). To me, the Bible was chiefly meant to inspire people to come to the Christian faith, and live out their lives in love for God and His Son.
Actually no Christian (unless they are reading the Greek or Aramaic) can claim to have read the "literal Bible" as translation is never 100% meaning is lost, so the English Bible (or any other translations) are never literal in any respect. You may also wish to think over this quote by the great theological scholar;

"There is, then, no absolute proof that our Canon is precisely the true Canon and no absolute proof that any one word of the text is exactly as God gave it. But the quest for absolute proofs, whether historical or theological, is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of history, theology and the human mind. History is at best an approximation to truth based upon incomplete induction of the facts. Theology is a fallible human attempt to co-ordinate the data of revelation. The human intellect, even when renewed by the Holy Spirit, cannot know absolute certainty. In his inmost being the Christian believer has an absolute assurance (that is, an assurance which comes from God's direct witness within him), that he has heard the voice of God and that he is a child of God. But when he puts his beliefs into his own words the absoluteness of the truth of his statements vanishes." – John Wenham

For me I believe all the evidence points towards in a 14-15 billion year old universe, and a 6 billion year old earth, I'm unsure on the story of Noah, I haven't done enough research on it to be able to say particularly much definitively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
Why must I think that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as some say because they believe in the Genesis account literally, in order to come to faith (or continue in faith)? I have a point/counterpoint for you to consider:
Ty, many Christians believe in a 6 billion year old over, and any Christian claiming that the earth being 6,000 years old is of fundamental importance to the faith needs to point me exactly to where Jesus says that (hint he doesn't).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
1) "If all of the Bible isn't LITERALLY true, then none of it must be true."
Thats bull-**** and utter idiocy from anyone that says it, none of Jesus parables are literally true....

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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
-1) Some people like to compare the Bible to a math book, so I'll run with that analogy. If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage? Are all of the problems mistakenly construed or wrong? Are the theories presented a bunch of hogwash? Of course not. In a math book, one "bad apple" (error) does not "spoil the whole barrel". If some of the Bible isn't literally true, that doesn't make God's love any less valid. Right?
Right, but the above argument only works if you believe the Bible is infallible, I don't believe the Bible is infallible (partly as I think that the world "infallible" is meanignless), but given the complications of translation and that humans wrote the Bible (while being inspired, if you believe what the Bible says), I think claims that the Bible are infallible are at best naive, and at worse Kavars rules means I can't call it for what it is, in any respect they involve the twisting of words.

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Originally Posted by Qui-Gon Glenn View Post
@j7 - I cannot know anything about God, and certainly cannot trust anything written about him by mere mortal men who know him no better than myself.
How do you know they don't know God better than yourself? Just an observation, but I don't think any of us can really state how well anyone else knows God.

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Originally Posted by Qui-Gon Glenn View Post
If I am to experience and feel "God" it will have to be by direct contact. To me, that is the end of the story, but I am not everyone, and I do not wish to push my views on the forum or anyone else for that matter.
Kavars is as much a place for the exchange of idea's so feel free, I don't think its really possible to force your ideas on others in an internet forum unless your name is Garfield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre
The Torah, and its sequel the Bible were written to inspire and teach a bunch of medieval/pre-medieval tribals, nomads and other communities about the joys of coming together under a single religion, by the means of metaphors and parables. It's only rational to believe that the book can no longer be taken seriously, or even in its whole (one might especially want to skip the genealogy bits that are liberally sprinkled in the OT).
Out of interest Sabre, how much of the Bible have you read, specifically the New Testament?



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran

Last edited by jonathan7; 02-28-2011 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:25 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
((Paragon Interrupt)) I have a question for all of you: Must all of the Bible--every story, every account, every word and syllable--be LITERALLY true in order for it to be true? I personally do not believe so. If there was no literal Noah's Ark, and if the sun did not literally stand still, I would still believe that Jesus loved me and that He wanted to pay the price for our sins. I've never believed that the Bible was meant to be a science or history textbook, even though many of the events in it did actually occur (such as the Babylonian exile). To me, the Bible was chiefly meant to inspire people to come to the Christian faith, and live out their lives in love for God and His Son.
i'm actually somewhat confused. by literal, do you mean word-for-word true? if that's the case, then i doubt it as there is a lot more to the Bible than the various translations. the word "love" alone can be translated into over 4 different Greek words that actually describe multiple kinds of love (ie, the love of God vs brotherly love and so on). there's a reason why most biblical scholars and teachers recommend that you use a concordance if you're going to do an in-depth study of particular scriptures in addition to reference points for the translation that you're using.

of course if you're referring to specific stories like Noah's Ark, Jonah and the Whale, Daniel and the Lion's Den, etc, then i would have to say that the stories are more than just stories. if they were there for inspirational purposes only, then what possible purpose would they serve today? those stories no longer have any direct context with today's daily life, and that greatly diminishes their impact. if those stories are true, however, they then serve not only to inspire faith but also to remind us that our God is capable of much more than providing us with our next paycheck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha
Why must I think that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as some say because they believe in the Genesis account literally, in order to come to faith (or continue in faith)? I have a point/counterpoint for you to consider:

1) "If all of the Bible isn't LITERALLY true, then none of it must be true."

-1) Some people like to compare the Bible to a math book, so I'll run with that analogy. If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage? Are all of the problems mistakenly construed or wrong? Are the theories presented a bunch of hogwash? Of course not. In a math book, one "bad apple" (error) does not "spoil the whole barrel". If some of the Bible isn't literally true, that doesn't make God's love any less valid. Right?
well, you're argument here relies heavily on one simple statement: if part of it isn't true, then can the rest of it be considered as reliable? to this, i have one simple counter-point: if one part of it is true, then can the rest of it be considered as reliable?

in both cases, i would have to argue that you can't just look at one part and immediately establish its validity (or lack thereof). given the importance of the validity of the Bible, i think that you would have to put the full text into question and look at every part. to only focus on one part and none of the others to base your argument would be foolhardy at best.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tysyacha
Why must I think that the Earth is only a few thousand years old, as some say because they believe in the Genesis account literally, in order to come to faith (or continue in faith)? I have a point/counterpoint for you to consider:

1) "If all of the Bible isn't LITERALLY true, then none of it must be true."

-1) Some people like to compare the Bible to a math book, so I'll run with that analogy. If there is a mistake in my math book, does that make the entire text garbage? Are all of the problems mistakenly construed or wrong? Are the theories presented a bunch of hogwash? Of course not. In a math book, one "bad apple" (error) does not "spoil the whole barrel". If some of the Bible isn't literally true, that doesn't make God's love any less valid. Right?
The cynic in me says that the Bible was created by man and therefore is a product of man even though several books and the faith itself claim that it is spoken by God. However stingerhs makes a valid point in that you have to look at the Bible as a whole and that to focus on only a part of it is foolhardy. Of course there are instances where the fundamentals latch only on to certain parts to make their case...

To me, the Bible is one history text that has been shredded up, case in point, it is missing some 40 generations and in the Bible's sense, a generation is 40 years. If you want a somewhat complete history, you would have to go beyond the officially recognized text. I've read pieces of the gnostic and the apocrypha, etc and I have even read stuff that would have gotten me thrown out for heresy but I wanted a complete picture. Of course it isn't a discussion you would hear at the dinner table as my folks would have lined up to tar and feather me. My point is though that you have to go beyond what is accepted and find your own answers.

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:32 PM   #77
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My point is though that you have to go beyond what is accepted and find your own answers.

^Good point, well said. And no one in this godforsaken world can really tell you exactly what your suppose to believe and what your not suppose to believe. We're all in the same boat and it's up to each individual to find his/her own truth.




@Tysyacha: I've learned over the years that if you want to know the real truth and you continuously seek for the real answers about mankind, god, spirituality, whatever it is you really want to know, the truth will eventually find you.

And what's that old saying we often hear?......."The truth shall set you free."

Just something to think about.


SITH HAPPENS
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:40 PM   #78
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I guess the problem that I have with sticking to a completely-literal view of, and interpretation of, the Bible is that I once DID that, and I'm not going down that road again. If I'm supposed to believe the Bible in a literal sense, that leaves me no room for "finding my own answers" as you put it, JM12. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I believed the Bible far, FAR more than I believed in science, philosophy, or anything that "flawed humanity" created. It saved me the trouble of doubting, and of asking questions.

The more I clung to a literal interpretation of the Bible, and to its absolute infallibility, the guiltier and more ashamed I felt when I DID start doubting and asking questions. After all, as a fundamentalist saying goes, "God said it. I read it. That settles it." Why torture my puny little human mind, which was considered worthless next to God and Jesus, with petty little doubts? The Bible was there to be trusted more than one's family, one's country, one's self. If the Bible wasn't God Himself, it almost could have been--according to what I once believed. I fell into a downward spiral of doubting, confessing, and repenting only to doubt again--with even harder questions to consider.

I kept thinking of myself, despairingly, as "two-faced" and "lukewarm"--to be spat straight out of God's mouth in the End of Days. That might still happen to me. However, I'd rather ask the questions and doubt than believe without knowing why, or without understanding what it is that God really wants. I find it creepy, the way I was back then when I never doubted. I marched on resolutely, but toward WHAT? I never wanted to ask that, because I felt I never needed to or would need to in the future. Now that I have, I find a sense of inner peace within myself in the midst of all this chaos. It's just a little tiny MUSTARD SEED of peace, but it is there. Especially when I'm not at church. That may sound awful, and completely un-Christian, but I don't care.

If I'm going to go to Hell because of all this, so be it, but I'd rather do that than be a Robot for Jesus (tm). Some people actually call themselves that...
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:13 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
I guess the problem that I have with sticking to a completely-literal view of, and interpretation of, the Bible is that I once DID that, and I'm not going down that road again. If I'm supposed to believe the Bible in a literal sense, that leaves me no room for "finding my own answers" as you put it, JM12. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I believed the Bible far, FAR more than I believed in science, philosophy, or anything that "flawed humanity" created. It saved me the trouble of doubting, and of asking questions.
Ty, just to make an observation, but when does Jesus ever teach from a "literal" point of view? He tells stories and parables which cause people to think for themselves. People want things to be black and white, but the world isn't just different shades of grey but multi-coloured.

I'm going to pull no punches here, one of the biggest problems the Church faces is it is full of Pharisees which is ironic considering these are the very people Jesus fought against. The Church however exsists for a reason, perhaps I can best illustrate this with a quote from Dan Browns: Angels and Demons (any books denounced by Christians I generally automatically read). It is as a warning a little long, but WELL WORTH THE READ. With relation to the book let me give you a brief overview;

spoiler:
So this is all a little far fetched but there is a secret group called the Illuminati who are out to destroy the Catholic Church and have put a secret anti-matter bomb in the Vatican, they have assassinated various members of the Church up until this point. A new Pope is about to be chosen, however during a press statement the guy in charge of the office between Popes and voting has the following to say:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca
To the Illuminati, and to those of science, let me say this. You have won the war.

The wheels have been in motion for a long time. Your victory has been inevitable. Never before has it been as obvious as it is at this moment. Science is the new god.

Medicine, electronic communications, space travel, genetic manipulation… these are the miracles about which we now tell our children. These are the miracles we herald as proof that science will bring us the answers. The ancient stories of immaculate conceptions, burning bushes, and parting seas are no longer relevant. God has become obsolete. Science has won the battle. We concede.

But science’s victory has cost every one of us. And it has cost us deeply.

Science may have alleviated the miseries of disease and drudgery and provided an array of gadgetry for our entertainment and convenience, but is has left us in a world with out wonder. Our sunsets have been reduced to wavelengths and frequencies. The complexities of the universe have been shredded into mathematical equations. Even our self-worth as human beings has been destroyed. Science proclaims that Planet Earth and its inhabitants are a meaningless speck in the grand scheme. A cosmic accident. Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone. We are bombarded with violence, division, fracture, and betrayal. Skepticism has become a virtue. Cynicism and demand for proof has become enlightened thought. Is it any wonder that humans now feel more depressed and defeated than they have at any point in human history? Does science hold anything sacred? Science looks for answers by probing our unborn fetuses. Science even presumes to rearrange our own DNA. It shatters God’s world into smaller and smaller pieces in quest of meaning… and all it finds is more questions.

The ancient war between science and religion as over. You have won. But you have not won fairly. You have not won by providing answers. You have won by so radically reorienting our society that the truths we once saw as signposts now seem inapplicable. Religion cannot keep up. Scientific growth is exponential. It feeds on itself like a virus. Every new breakthrough opens doors for new breakthroughs. Mankind took thousands of years to progress from the wheel to the car. Yet only decades from the car into space. Now we measure scientific progress in weeks. We are spinning out of control. The rift between us grows deeper and deeper, and as religion is left behind, people find themselves in a spiritual void. We cry out for meaning. And believe me, we do cry out. WE see UFOs, engage in channeling, spirit contact, out-of-body experiences, mindquests — all these eccentric ideas have a scientific veneer, but they are unashamedly irrational. They are the desperate cry of the modern soul, lonely and tormented, crippled by its own enlightenment and its inability to accept meaning in anything removed from technology.

Science, you say, will save us. Science, I say, has destroyed us. Since the days of Galileo, the church has tried to slow the relentless march of science, sometimes with misguided means, but always with benevolent intention. Even so, the temptations are too great for man to resist. I warn you, look around yourselves. The promises of science have not been kept. Promises of efficiency and simplicity have bred nothing but pollution and chaos. We are a fractured and frantic species… moving down a path of destruction.

Who is this God science? Who is the God who offers his people power but no moral framework to tell you how to use that power? What kind of God gives a child fire but does not warn the child of its dangers? The language of science comes with no signposts about good and bad. Science textbooks tell us how to create a nuclear reaction, and yet they contain no chapter asking us if it is a good or a bad idea.

To science, I say this. The church is tired. We are exhausted from trying to be your sign posts. Our resources are drying up from our campaign to be the voice of balance as you plow blindly on in your quest for smaller chips and larger profits. We ask not why you will not govern yourselves, but how can you? Your world moves so fast that if you stop even for an instant to consider the implications of your actions, someone more efficient will whip past you in a blur. So you move on. You proliferate weapons of mass destruction, but it is the Pope who travels the world beseeching leaders to use restraint. You clone living creatures, but it is the church reminding us to consider the moral implications of our actions. You encourage people to interact on phones, video screens, and computers, but it is the church who opens its doors and reminds us to commune in person as we were meant to do. You even murder unborn babies in the name of research that will save lives. Again, it is the church who points the fallacy of that reasoning.

And all the while, you proclaim the church is ignorant. But who is more ignorant? The man who cannot define lightning, or the man who does not respect its awesome power? This church is reaching out to you. Reaching out to everyone. And yet the more we reach, the more you push us away. Show me proof there is a God, you say. I say use your telescopes to look to the heavens, and tell me how there could not be a God! You ask what does God look like. I say, where does that question come from? The answers are one and the same. Do you not see God in you science? How can you miss Him! You proclaim that even the slightest change in the force of gravity or the weight of an atom would have rendered our universe a lifeless mist rather than our magnificent sea of heavenly bodies, and yet you fail to see God’s hand in this? Is it really so much easier to believe that we simply chose the right card from a deck of billions? Have we become so spiritually bankrupt that we would rather believe in mathematical impossibility than in a power greater than us?

Whether or not you believe in God, you must believe this. When we as a species abandon our trust in the power greater than us, we abandon our sense of accountability. Faith… all faiths… are admonitions that there is something we cannot understand, something to which we are accountable… With faith we are accountable to each other, to ourselves, and to a higher truth. Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed. If the outside world could see this church as I do… looking beyond the ritual of these walls… they would see a modern miracle… a brotherhood of imperfect, simple souls wanting only to be a voice of compassion in a world spinning out of control.

Are we obsolete? Are these men dinosaurs? Am I? Does the world really need a voice for the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the unborn child? Do we really need souls like these who, though imperfect, spend their lives imploring each of us to read the signposts of morality and not lose our way?

Tonight we are perched on a precipice. None of us can afford to be apathetic. Whether you see this evil as Satan, corruption, or immorality, the dark force is alive and growing every day. Do not ignore it. The force, though mighty, is not invincible. Goodness can prevail. Listen to your hearts. Listen to God. Together we can step back from this abyss.

Pray with me.
Suffice to say I wish those Christians who criticised Dan Browns books would offer such an articulate response to others, unfortunately I think they maybe too busy wanting to burn others religious texts.

If you believe that we live in a universe created by a God, then the Bible cannot be any more important (or convey Gods message) any more or less than the created world we live in. That is to say that the reality we exsist in is on the same level as the Bible about what it conveys... Generally when they contradict it is because someone places one over the other.

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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
The more I clung to a literal interpretation of the Bible, and to its absolute infallibility, the guiltier and more ashamed I felt when I DID start doubting and asking questions. After all, as a fundamentalist saying goes, "God said it. I read it. That settles it." Why torture my puny little human mind, which was considered worthless next to God and Jesus, with petty little doubts? The Bible was there to be trusted more than one's family, one's country, one's self. If the Bible wasn't God Himself, it almost could have been--according to what I once believed. I fell into a downward spiral of doubting, confessing, and repenting only to doubt again--with even harder questions to consider.
Just an observation, but after Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus that was not enough, he then had to be healed of blindness by a believer and then sought out the disciples to here what they had to say about Jesus and his life before he became the man who wrote the gospels. Paul would give a right bollocking to a lot of the American (Western) Church, I'm sure if he was alive today!

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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
I kept thinking of myself, despairingly, as "two-faced" and "lukewarm"--to be spat straight out of God's mouth in the End of Days. That might still happen to me. However, I'd rather ask the questions and doubt than believe without knowing why, or without understanding what it is that God really wants. I find it creepy, the way I was back then when I never doubted. I marched on resolutely, but toward WHAT? I never wanted to ask that, because I felt I never needed to or would need to in the future. Now that I have, I find a sense of inner peace within myself in the midst of all this chaos. It's just a little tiny MUSTARD SEED of peace, but it is there. Especially when I'm not at church. That may sound awful, and completely un-Christian, but I don't care.
Ty, again I re-iterate Paul doubted, heck Mother Teresa doubted, not that I'm in their league but I doubt... Mother Teresa doubted her faith so much she feared being a hypocrite, as revealed by letters found/released after her death.

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Originally Posted by Tysyacha View Post
If I'm going to go to Hell because of all this, so be it, but I'd rather do that than be a Robot for Jesus (tm). Some people actually call themselves that...
The kind of people who are "Robots for Jesus" are far futher from the kingdom that pretty much anyone else as by all accounts they will be Pharisees.

Can't remember if I left you with this quote before but I'll give it again;

"While spiritual insight or faith is one valid measure in spiritual matters, true spiritual insight never directly contradicts valid intellectual insight or facts in the physical world. Faith may go beyond reason, but does not go against it. It never blatantly contradicts the facts which we perceive with our God-given common sense. Faith and fact point in a single direction. Whey they do not, something is seriously wrong…A willingness to accept facts as they exist, and to learn to use them to test the views one holds rather than falling back on subjective experience or rationalizations, is the first step towards discovering genuine truth." (Charles Larson, By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus, pp. 177-178)



"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Many a doctrine is like a window pane. We see truth through it but it divides us from truth." - Kahlil Gibran
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:59 PM   #80
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How do you know they don't know God better than yourself? Just an observation, but I don't think any of us can really state how well anyone else knows God.
I think I can actually state quite frankly that nobody knows God better than anybody knows God, and those that really think they know God have deceived themselves a great deal. Which God are you speaking of jonathan? There are many legitimate and "believable" Gods for the peoples of our planet... If someone claims to know "Jesus" but God is actually JVHV, or Krishna, or Bahá'u'lláh, where does that put us? If a Christian claims he knows God better than a Shinto, I will argue that Christian is self-deceived, or being misled by Natasha (spell it drawkcab).

I will say that no one knows God. This can be argued, but convincingly??????

It is all well and good to be a Christian scholar. You can know your religion quite well and potentially not know a single correct thing about God. Same goes for any scholar of any other religion. There is nothing concrete! There are no scientific examples! There is conjecture, and there is intuition, and those are valuable individually but prove nothing.
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Kavars is as much a place for the exchange of idea's so feel free, I don't think its really possible to force your ideas on others in an internet forum unless your name is Garfield.
Don't say that name two more times or we are all in trouble :S

Logic.... reminds me of The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. "What are they teaching kids these days?"


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