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OfflineHerbus
...

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 1,477
Loc: Reading the map...
Last seen: 9 years, 27 days
The Biggest Question of Christianity...
    #6403831 - 12/28/06 09:48 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Hi.


Recently, seems like a lot of Christianity is presented to me.


I have disagreed with Christianity for quite some time, having never fully "accepted" it and not taking my "acceptance" of Jesus or whatever seriously.

Well, yeah, you know how Christians are though, especially if they're your relatives. Now there are a lot of people like me, and we often can only take several minutes; several difficultly restrained minutes of silence. After that, we have to unleash our brand of "comprehension," the whole "this is how I think things work" theory, something that within some individuals (myself included) contains little bits of "logic" and factual evidence proven by science.

There are many good questions, little things within the religion that do not make sense, just as little bits of unknown info pertaining to the theory of evolution do not fully make sense.

"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"

"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"

"What about dinosaurs, we know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago...?"


To all of these questions, some Christian has devised some form of an "answer," even if it be something so simple as "anything not stated in the Bible is clearly the blasphemous work of the devil."


Well... I have found the question, as many of you may have.

I really do not see how others could not have come to this same inquiry.

Involving the ENTIRE IDEOLOGY... and BIG PICTURE... - I do for surely know this has been said, albeit differently worded...


Assuming everything in the Bible is correct, word-for-word, one must still ask this:


Why would God, omniscient, omnipotent, CREATOR-OF-EVERYTHING construct such a silly succession of events which have been detailed to have occured, and to occur, in the Bible.

Basically, God knows everything, he knew exactly what was going to happen when he created Satan. So what, God thinks, and creates him anyways? Is that what happened?

He also created Siddhartha Gautama (sp.), Mohammed, and countless other religious figures (supposedly), knowing damn well that their ideas would go on to collect a legion of followers who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (yeah, they're un-saved.) Furthermore, he continously creates individuals whom he knows will follow these "heretic" religions and thus be sent to Hell.

This population figure, of peoples destined for Hell, is easily in the billions; arguably constituting a greater representation of people than that of the "saved."

And if God didn't create the "heretic religions," Satan did and God made Satan... knowingly.

Therefor, according to the "Good Book," every generation, God is creating people for the simple purpose of subjecting them to the damnation of Hell. That is, after they experience the trials of life...

Knowingly.



I have yet to meet the pious individual with the answer, therefor, I have attempted to conclude on some answers myself, to offer the bewildered individual.


1. Christianity is right, yet overlooking... God sure did make man in "his image," an image prone to emotional outbreaks and uncomprehensible behavior, who gets damned pissed at people he created to dismiss him, and then laughingly sends them to Hell.

I like to picture the Christian God as like the "troubled son" of the "true God," who went off and created his own little worship-me-or-torture scheme of personal gratification. He has some obvious control issues, which is to be expected from the offspring of the Great Divine Thing. He displays his psychological abnormalities in the little 'sacrificial son for salvation' paradigm.

Obviously, the Christian God just needs a little love from his Father.

2. OR...

You can examine the possibility that God, not your pastor, instilled within you the ability to observe, even at times making observation a pleasurable thing to do...

And think that perhaps God wants you to use this ability, what a wonderful ability, and quit relying on previous observations, also made by humans, which occured 2,000 years ago.

That's silly.

When you want to visit relatives in another town do you walk there, or ride a camel/horse acquired through marriage?

No.

Even if you don't have transportation, unless you're specifically taking a stance against modern transportation, you'll hitch-hike.

If you contract a deadly disease, who are you more likely to want help from, an old man in a dark room with his various herbal concoctions and remedies, or a trained doctor who went through 8+ years of medical school?

In the world that God made, if you haven't observed, things tend to gradually change...


I would like some Christians to respond with their opinions, thank you.

No reason to be offended.


--------------------
...


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InvisibleDisco Cat
iS A PoiNdexteR

Registered: 09/16/00
Posts: 2,601
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6404178 - 12/28/06 05:37 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Herbus said:
There are many good questions, little things within the religion that do not make sense, just as little bits of unknown info pertaining to the theory of evolution do not fully make sense.



The bible doesn't give an opinion on evolution.


Quote:


"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"




Disease and despair aren't creations, they're a destruction akin to a tear. Say you have the leaf of a plant in your hand, whole and entirely "good." Say you tear the leaf. The act of tearing the leaf would be what is called sin, or sinning, while the tear itself would be the result of sin, neither good nor bad, but certainly unbeneficial and disruptive of what is good.
We created the tears, and we are still creating them today. Even diseases have their origins. So why are you creating those things?


Quote:


"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"



Related to the previous answer, "free will" is a pretty popular catch phrase, but a person's choices depend on their knowledge. If you knew something to be true you obviously couldn't choose to disbelieve it, not before forgetting your understanding of it, the most you could do is disobey it.
Jesus said: "My people perish from lack of understanding," not "My people perish because of 'free will.'"

The free will excercised in that case would be the choice to ignore the important things about life to the point that the understanding of those things is forgotten, and that forgetfullness is then passed on from parents to their children, and then their children add to the hole taking after their parent's bad examples, and so on.
Eventually you have a stupid community that perishes because life caves in on the big hole of ignorance they've created.
Look at people today, you can watch this going on any moment on tv in even the smallest details, like styled news broadcaster voices... they have their origins which are not founded in good understanding, and they represent the result of an incomplete concept, yet fools perpetuate them and still worsen them.


Quote:


"What about dinosaurs, we know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago...?"



Obviously you think the bible states otherwise. It doesn't.
In addition, while I'm no professional scientist I'm still aware that the best we can say is that we think these are the dates for dinosaurs and other things, but a little new information in the chain can throw the dates around a lot.


Quote:


To all of these questions, some Christian has devised some form of an "answer," even if it be something so simple as "anything not stated in the Bible is clearly the blasphemous work of the devil."



If someone has devised an answer then it was obviously not there to begin with. The questions you've thrown out here are in response to claims that are not in the bible.



Quote:


Well... I have found the question, as many of you may have.
I really do not see how others could not have come to this same inquiry.
Involving the ENTIRE IDEOLOGY... and BIG PICTURE... - I do for surely know this has been said, albeit differently worded...
Assuming everything in the Bible is correct, word-for-word, one must still ask this:




Before you question the words of any piece you have to question your ability to understand them.


Quote:


Why would God, omniscient, omnipotent, CREATOR-OF-EVERYTHING construct such a silly succession of events which have been detailed to have occured, and to occur, in the Bible.
Basically, God knows everything, he knew exactly what was going to happen when he created Satan. So what, God thinks, and creates him anyways? Is that what happened?





There's something I wrote a week ago in this thread that is useful here:
"I presume the same people who might make such mistakes in understanding what heaven and hell have been taught to actually be also would believe that satan is scripturally taught to be a demonic creature in some other dimension."

Remember, destruction isn't a creation but the breaking apart of a creation. Ignorance creates destruction, but people create ignorance.

Quote:


He also created Siddhartha Gautama (sp.), Mohammed, and countless other religious figures (supposedly), knowing damn well that their ideas would go on to collect a legion of followers who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (yeah, they're un-saved.) Furthermore, he continously creates individuals whom he knows will follow these "heretic" religions and thus be sent to Hell.



Jesus' teaching was to love. Jesus said "I am the Way" (notice the capitalized "W"). So then it all comes down to knowing what "Jesus" is. In the same sentence Jesus plainly said that he was "the Truth and the Life" and that "nobody comes to the Father" except through him. So, if you can understand this information as it's been laid out, what Jesus taught was that only through a dedication to truth and life could we find fulfillment.
Which other religious figures oppose that?

Now what is "the Father"?


Quote:


This population figure, of peoples destined for Hell, is easily in the billions; arguably constituting a greater representation of people than that of the "saved."
And if God didn't create the "heretic religions," Satan did and God made Satan... knowingly.
Therefor, according to the "Good Book," every generation, God is creating people for the simple purpose of subjecting them to the damnation of Hell. That is, after they experience the trials of life...




But that's not according to the "Good Book" at all. The other part of my post in the thread I previously linked to can help you understand.


Quote:


I have yet to meet the pious individual with the answer, therefor, I have attempted to conclude on some answers myself, to offer the bewildered individual.
1. Christianity is right, yet overlooking... God sure did make man in "his image," an image prone to emotional outbreaks and uncomprehensible behavior, who gets damned pissed at people he created to dismiss him, and then laughingly sends them to Hell.
I like to picture the Christian God as like the "troubled son" of the "true God," who went off and created his own little worship-me-or-torture scheme of personal gratification. He has some obvious control issues, which is to be expected from the offspring of the Great Divine Thing. He displays his psychological abnormalities in the little 'sacrificial son for salvation' paradigm.
Obviously, the Christian God just needs a little love from his Father.
2. OR...
You can examine the possibility that God, not your pastor, instilled within you the ability to observe, even at times making observation a pleasurable thing to do...
And think that perhaps God wants you to use this ability, what a wonderful ability, and quit relying on previous observations, also made by humans, which occured 2,000 years ago.
That's silly.
When you want to visit relatives in another town do you walk there, or ride a camel/horse acquired through marriage?
No.
Even if you don't have transportation, unless you're specifically taking a stance against modern transportation, you'll hitch-hike.
If you contract a deadly disease, who are you more likely to want help from, an old man in a dark room with his various herbal concoctions and remedies, or a trained doctor who went through 8+ years of medical school?
In the world that God made, if you haven't observed, things tend to gradually change...
I would like some Christians to respond with their opinions, thank you.
No reason to be offended.




You talk very arrogantly for someone who has no knowledge on the subject of which they talk. You have clearly not read the bible for yourself, so why did you claim to know what it claims? Why are you taking bogus beliefs that aren't related to anything Jesus taught, or that is written in the books which explain what he taught, and pretending that this is what christians are about?

It's good that you are willing to stand against BS, but it's not good that you don't research matters before making judgements on them, and worse, spreading your own false teachings amongst a community, some of whom might also not know better.
Remember, ignorance is responsible for destruction, but people are responsible for ignorance.





Quote:

Well, yeah, you know how Christians are though



Apparently not, and you don't either. American, especially Southern American christianity is quite different than the practice christianity elsewhere, especially Southern American christianity, which carries a notorious reputation among christians elsewhere. People in America have turned their christianity into a business and a show (tearing the truth), which has resulted in complete ignorance to the actual thing, and that ignorance is now causing tears all over society, as it caused a tear within you - and then you went on to almost create a tear of your own with this thread.

If Jesus calles himself Truth, then saying that you have not taken your acceptance of him seriously tends to have a different meaning than the one first intended.


Edited by Disco Cat (12/28/06 07:24 PM)


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Invisibleredgreenvines
irregular verb
 User Gallery

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 33,805
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Disco Cat]
    #6404330 - 12/28/06 06:34 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I would not argue with the merits of christian social support.
it has much to offer people faced with lonely and painful episodes that life sets upon us.
we need social fabric to fall into when we cannot cope alone (eg weddings births funerals, festivals...).
but
I would not (waste any effort to) argue with christian dogma nor its philosophies that are entrenched with pre-midaeval morality, pre-midaeval science, and reversed cause and effect wormhole logic.
so
if there is a big question for christianity it should be
"how can it better serve as a social fabric to help individuals and families who falter on their way and need to meet and celebrate?"


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Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 24,855
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 16 days, 17 hours
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: redgreenvines]
    #6404342 - 12/28/06 06:37 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

redgreenvines said:
"how can it better serve as a social fabric to help individuals and families who falter on their way and need to meet and celebrate?"




It could better serve humanity by dropping the notion of god. :wink:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineBasilides
Servent ofWisdom
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Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 7,059
Loc: Crown and Heart
Last seen: 11 years, 8 months
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6404396 - 12/28/06 06:58 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

For the most part, you seem to be asking for an apologist of literalist Christianity to respond. I highly doubt you will find one here. There are plenty of Christians here, but they have all long ago navigated through the ancient jargon that pollutes the religion in its current form. In fact, the topics you bring up here (such as suffering, free will etc.) are somwhat replayed/amateur and are seldom mentioned by the resident skeptics.


--------------------


"Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."


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Offlinefireworks_godS
Sexy.Butt.McDanger
Male

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 24,855
Loc: Pandurn
Last seen: 16 days, 17 hours
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Basilides]
    #6404917 - 12/28/06 09:57 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

So, what remains for a typical Christian that remains in this forum as far as that goes? What central ideas play a role in the conceptual identity, and why?


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineHerbus
...

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 1,477
Loc: Reading the map...
Last seen: 9 years, 27 days
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Disco Cat]
    #6405640 - 12/29/06 01:06 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Disco Cat said:
Quote:

Herbus said:
There are many good questions, little things within the religion that do not make sense, just as little bits of unknown info pertaining to the theory of evolution do not fully make sense.



The bible doesn't give an opinion on evolution.


Quote:


"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"




Disease and despair aren't creations, they're a destruction akin to a tear. Say you have the leaf of a plant in your hand, whole and entirely "good." Say you tear the leaf. The act of tearing the leaf would be what is called sin, or sinning, while the tear itself would be the result of sin, neither good nor bad, but certainly unbeneficial and disruptive of what is good.
We created the tears, and we are still creating them today. Even diseases have their origins. So why are you creating those things?


Quote:


"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"



Related to the previous answer, "free will" is a pretty popular catch phrase, but a person's choices depend on their knowledge. If you knew something to be true you obviously couldn't choose to disbelieve it, not before forgetting your understanding of it, the most you could do is disobey it.
Jesus said: "My people perish from lack of understanding," not "My people perish because of 'free will.'"

The free will excercised in that case would be the choice to ignore the important things about life to the point that the understanding of those things is forgotten, and that forgetfullness is then passed on from parents to their children, and then their children add to the hole taking after their parent's bad examples, and so on.
Eventually you have a stupid community that perishes because life caves in on the big hole of ignorance they've created.
Look at people today, you can watch this going on any moment on tv in even the smallest details, like styled news broadcaster voices... they have their origins which are not founded in good understanding, and they represent the result of an incomplete concept, yet fools perpetuate them and still worsen them.


Quote:


"What about dinosaurs, we know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago...?"



Obviously you think the bible states otherwise. It doesn't.
In addition, while I'm no professional scientist I'm still aware that the best we can say is that we think these are the dates for dinosaurs and other things, but a little new information in the chain can throw the dates around a lot.


Quote:


To all of these questions, some Christian has devised some form of an "answer," even if it be something so simple as "anything not stated in the Bible is clearly the blasphemous work of the devil."



If someone has devised an answer then it was obviously not there to begin with. The questions you've thrown out here are in response to claims that are not in the bible.



Quote:


Well... I have found the question, as many of you may have.
I really do not see how others could not have come to this same inquiry.
Involving the ENTIRE IDEOLOGY... and BIG PICTURE... - I do for surely know this has been said, albeit differently worded...
Assuming everything in the Bible is correct, word-for-word, one must still ask this:




Before you question the words of any piece you have to question your ability to understand them.


Quote:


Why would God, omniscient, omnipotent, CREATOR-OF-EVERYTHING construct such a silly succession of events which have been detailed to have occured, and to occur, in the Bible.
Basically, God knows everything, he knew exactly what was going to happen when he created Satan. So what, God thinks, and creates him anyways? Is that what happened?





There's something I wrote a week ago in this thread that is useful here:
"I presume the same people who might make such mistakes in understanding what heaven and hell have been taught to actually be also would believe that satan is scripturally taught to be a demonic creature in some other dimension."

Remember, destruction isn't a creation but the breaking apart of a creation. Ignorance creates destruction, but people create ignorance.

Quote:


He also created Siddhartha Gautama (sp.), Mohammed, and countless other religious figures (supposedly), knowing damn well that their ideas would go on to collect a legion of followers who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (yeah, they're un-saved.) Furthermore, he continously creates individuals whom he knows will follow these "heretic" religions and thus be sent to Hell.



Jesus' teaching was to love. Jesus said "I am the Way" (notice the capitalized "W"). So then it all comes down to knowing what "Jesus" is. In the same sentence Jesus plainly said that he was "the Truth and the Life" and that "nobody comes to the Father" except through him. So, if you can understand this information as it's been laid out, what Jesus taught was that only through a dedication to truth and life could we find fulfillment.
Which other religious figures oppose that?

Now what is "the Father"?


Quote:


This population figure, of peoples destined for Hell, is easily in the billions; arguably constituting a greater representation of people than that of the "saved."
And if God didn't create the "heretic religions," Satan did and God made Satan... knowingly.
Therefor, according to the "Good Book," every generation, God is creating people for the simple purpose of subjecting them to the damnation of Hell. That is, after they experience the trials of life...




But that's not according to the "Good Book" at all. The other part of my post in the thread I previously linked to can help you understand.


Quote:


I have yet to meet the pious individual with the answer, therefor, I have attempted to conclude on some answers myself, to offer the bewildered individual.
1. Christianity is right, yet overlooking... God sure did make man in "his image," an image prone to emotional outbreaks and uncomprehensible behavior, who gets damned pissed at people he created to dismiss him, and then laughingly sends them to Hell.
I like to picture the Christian God as like the "troubled son" of the "true God," who went off and created his own little worship-me-or-torture scheme of personal gratification. He has some obvious control issues, which is to be expected from the offspring of the Great Divine Thing. He displays his psychological abnormalities in the little 'sacrificial son for salvation' paradigm.
Obviously, the Christian God just needs a little love from his Father.
2. OR...
You can examine the possibility that God, not your pastor, instilled within you the ability to observe, even at times making observation a pleasurable thing to do...
And think that perhaps God wants you to use this ability, what a wonderful ability, and quit relying on previous observations, also made by humans, which occured 2,000 years ago.
That's silly.
When you want to visit relatives in another town do you walk there, or ride a camel/horse acquired through marriage?
No.
Even if you don't have transportation, unless you're specifically taking a stance against modern transportation, you'll hitch-hike.
If you contract a deadly disease, who are you more likely to want help from, an old man in a dark room with his various herbal concoctions and remedies, or a trained doctor who went through 8+ years of medical school?
In the world that God made, if you haven't observed, things tend to gradually change...
I would like some Christians to respond with their opinions, thank you.
No reason to be offended.




You talk very arrogantly for someone who has no knowledge on the subject of which they talk. You have clearly not read the bible for yourself, so why did you claim to know what it claims? Why are you taking bogus beliefs that aren't related to anything Jesus taught, or that is written in the books which explain what he taught, and pretending that this is what christians are about?

It's good that you are willing to stand against BS, but it's not good that you don't research matters before making judgements on them, and worse, spreading your own false teachings amongst a community, some of whom might also not know better.
Remember, ignorance is responsible for destruction, but people are responsible for ignorance.





Quote:

Well, yeah, you know how Christians are though



Apparently not, and you don't either. American, especially Southern American christianity is quite different than the practice christianity elsewhere, especially Southern American christianity, which carries a notorious reputation among christians elsewhere. People in America have turned their christianity into a business and a show (tearing the truth), which has resulted in complete ignorance to the actual thing, and that ignorance is now causing tears all over society, as it caused a tear within you - and then you went on to almost create a tear of your own with this thread.

If Jesus calles himself Truth, then saying that you have not taken your acceptance of him seriously tends to have a different meaning than the one first intended.





This is called a cycle, which I will attempt to discontinue.

Blah blah, as my lack of understanding in Christianity is displayed in my post, your lack of understanding in my post is equally presented.

You obviously have what could be referred to as a "deeper" understanding of Christianity, whereas this post specifically referred to those who believe it "literally," word-for-word.

Which means you could be an "enlightened" individual who spewed forth nothing but forgiveness and love and still go to "Hell" because you did not exude that love and forgiveness in Jesus' name.

My most recent interpretation of Christianity is that it has been very misunderstood, and I may be guilty of this incomprehension.

Yet I can see 'something' within the scripts, similar to what I see in many scripts.

It states, to me:

God is everything...

Life is a cycle, and if you follow your compulsions you will remain in the cycle. Because this "cycle" contains discomfort at times, it can be explained as Hell, or what I consider a "disconnection" from God.

To follow your neurological impulses is to isolate, to continously see "oneself" as apart from everything else, especially entities and objects which may bring discomfort. The compulsion is to dislike things which give discomfort, to disconnect from them at all costs...

The highest achievement of life is to ignore this, and to love everything as it is yourself. To try endlessly to see beyond oneself, to see the Divine in every object, and to love it.

To do so is to open oneself up to "connection," and thus reconnect with God, and liberate onself from the cycle.

This is simply my interpretation... and I know it has similarities in things stated long ago...


--------------------
...


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OfflineHerbus
...

Registered: 10/20/04
Posts: 1,477
Loc: Reading the map...
Last seen: 9 years, 27 days
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Basilides]
    #6405646 - 12/29/06 01:08 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Basilides said:
For the most part, you seem to be asking for an apologist of literalist Christianity to respond. I highly doubt you will find one here. There are plenty of Christians here, but they have all long ago navigated through the ancient jargon that pollutes the religion in its current form. In fact, the topics you bring up here (such as suffering, free will etc.) are somwhat replayed/amateur and are seldom mentioned by the resident skeptics.




:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


--------------------
...


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Offlinematchbook
Photographer

Registered: 10/02/04
Posts: 854
Loc: Washington
Last seen: 14 years, 5 months
Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6405787 - 12/29/06 01:59 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I'm not going to spend a lot of time answering your questions, because I know where these little debates tend to end up. But I will answer a couple of your questions.

I am a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian, and I consider myself to be quite conservative. I'm a believer in Jesus, and that the Bible is the Word of God through the mouth of Jesus and his chosen prophets.

"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"

Answer: He did not create these things. He allowed them to happen. Originally, Satan was at the right hand of God, but he became envious of Christ, who was greater than he. So he rebelled and was banished to earth, and allowed to deceive God's people.

Satan's charge against God was that God's demands are impossible to follow, and that He does not deserve to be God, but instead we should all rebel and choose our own way to live. God knew all of this would happen. He created the perfect world, knowing it would be brought into sin. This does not mean it was a mistake. Our world is a universal example to angels and other worlds of what the cost of sin is. Because humanity entered into sin because of Adam and Eve, we are given the option of choosing God or Satan. In choosing God we accept that his ways are wiser than ours, and we allow Him to lead us. By choosing Satan (either by directly doing so, or by not choosing God) we show that we believe that we can live our lives without a divine leader. When the world ends and sin and the sinful are destroyed and the righteous saved, the universe will see that God is just, because he gave everyone in the world a chance to choose Him (or for those who never knew Him, he judges their hearts). Jesus proved on the cross that His Father's commandments could be followed unto death, and thereby gave us the chance to make the choice to choose Him.

"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"

Answer: This is somewhat connected to the last question. God allowed Lucifer (Satan) to rebel in heaven, because he is allowing the universe to see what the results of rebellion are, and in the end they/we will all see that God's ways are just, and everyone who has ever lived will even proclaim it from their own mouths.

He allows us to rebel too. What kind of justice is it to force us to love Him? God hates the sin and pain that humanity is in, but it is the result of the original sin. But he promises us a reward that is of such wondrous magnitude that it obliterates the significance of any pain we have ever experienced. The only requirement is to believe in Him, and by so doing, we allow His Spirit to enter us and lead us.

"What about dinosaurs, we know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago...?"

Answer: If you believe dating methods, you have more blind faith than I do. Plus, the Bible talks about dinosaurs even. Leviathan in Job 39 I believe.

"Basically, God knows everything, he knew exactly what was going to happen when he created Satan. So what, God thinks, and creates him anyways? Is that what happened?"

Answer: You are giving God very little credit, purporting a "so what" mentality for Him. First off, as an omniscient and omnipotent being, He is able to reason and decide with infinitely greater skill than we ever could. So it is not wise to make conclusions based off assumptions about God's reasons.

I answered this question for the most part in your first question. Our world is the stage for the ultimate demonstration of the nature of Good and Evil, and the whole universe is watching. God did not stifle Satan's rebellion, or the results of it, because then what would his creations think? They would only love Him because they fear what he is capable of. Instead, through this process, all His creations can see what sin leads to, and what faithfulness leads to. God is the creator of all good things, but he allows the bad so that we understand why good is good, and we can see the contrast.

"If you contract a deadly disease, who are you more likely to want help from, an old man in a dark room with his various herbal concoctions and remedies, or a trained doctor who went through 8+ years of medical school? "

Reply: You are using a subtle tactic of directing one's mind to feel a certain way about the question you are asking, so that when they reply, they will feel compelled to reply in a certain way. You describe the herbalist as a seedy old man in a dark corner, and then vault the medical school-attending doctor. Let me rephrase your question: "If you contract a disease, who are you more likely to want help from, a doctor who learned nothing in medical school other than performing surgery, diagnosing problems, and prescribing drugs, but knows nothing about curing a disease, or a knowledgeable herbalist who uses natural chemicals from the earth to heal the body and create balance so as to actually correct the root of the problem?"

Now your doctor sounds a little crappier. But you see what I mean.


That's all I have to say for now. Please consider learning both sides with a balanced perspective, instead of asking questions and demanding answers to things you apparently haven't tried researching on your own.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6405887 - 12/29/06 02:39 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Please do not misunderstand me because I appreciate your questions and your struggle. I do not wish to appear intellectually snobby or pretentious in my response to you. I have asked these questions and more for more than three decades. I alienated my secular yet culturally Jewish family when I chose to receive Christian Baptism at the age of 22, and I entered the Methodist seminary
at Drew University where I spent two intense years seeking answers. However, I am still asking and re-asking many of those questions 30 years later, but I am also receiving higher and more fulfilling answers which do NOT necessarily come in the form that one might expect. In other words, Life provides its own living metaphors and answers come from experiencing Life. One must not expect a question-answer or zero-one linguistic or logical response from ill-formed questions. Some inquiries are rational attempts to grasp the 'transrational.' The finite mind cannot embrace and comprehend the nature of Infinitude or even Infinitude's immanent manifestations.

In other words, it seems that you've been exposed to some fundamental doctrines which have proven short-sighted, contradictory and generally unfulfilling to your heart and mind. Good, because doctrines are petrifects of imperfectly sculpted ideas - including many of the doctrines which make up basic Christianity. In their exclusivist ways, Christianity has barred the insights from other great religions from elaborating the Truth of Christianity to many more people.

Personifying God in the manner that the Bible has is but one form of expressing spiritual Truth. However, unlike the Hindu Bhakta (devotional lover of God) or the Sufi lover of God, The Beloved), the average Christian takes these expressions literally instead of metaphorically. As one of my professors of New Testament once said to me: "Metaphor is more powerful than LSD," and I am seeing that all the time. Lots of people take huge doses of acid and come away with nothing transcendental, just some visual firewords, elevated mood and novel thoughts. Some people can be given a simple metaphor and their entire life suddenly falls into a meaningful focus!

Christian imperialism is a continuation of Christianity's origins as a world religion in the hand of the Roman Empire under Emperor Constantine who wanted one religion to bind together the empire. It was almost Mithraism, Contantine's own religion up until his death-bed conversion which was done only for political ends. That mentality of condemning all faiths, including the Judaism from which Christianity arose, is perhaps the biggest lie about Christianity as an organized religion - that it is the only true religion. Islam makes pretty much the same claim, but they are supposed to respect other Peoples of the Book, namely Jews and Christians. Christianity, as a collection of doctrines and dogmas has nothing to do with the Teachings that can be attributed to Jesus. In fact, most of the writings about Jesus and His teachings that didn't fit with the political agenda of Rome were burned. Christianity was built with writings that seemed to make the Church as an organization absolutely indispensible for salvation. Another lie. Fortunately, the Nag Hammadi library discovered in 1945 has returned to the world other 'takes' on 'The Way' of Jesus.

Christ is The Way and The Truth in ANY religion. "The Way" was the name for Christianity before the followers were known as Christians. The Tao in Taoism means The Way, and it turns out to be The SAME Way with regard to the Compassion-Wisdom that a human being in any tradition manifests who is in The Way (or, in Christ as the NT puts it). Do not expect most Christians to agree with this stance. It is a Gnostic Christian approach. Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Sikhs and Sufis can see this, but mainstream Christians are indoctrinated with this imperialistic thinking and cannot separate the historical Jesus with Christ the 'Anointed' title. To be 'Anointed' by God is to be Enlightened, Illumined, Self-Realized - the heir to every human being in The Way. It is not the title of one human - Jesus. This is the error of reading the mythos literally instead of mythically wherein it applies to ALL of us!

If you want a brilliant explanation about the design of the canonical New Testament, then buy John Shelby Spong's Liberating the Gospels. It is scholarly and I promise, very eye-opening. If your faith is real, the book will not harm it one bit, it will reconcile your faith with reason! This is Spong's most valuable contribution IMO.

Peace.

-MtG


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γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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OfflineHerbus
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6405990 - 12/29/06 03:20 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
That mentality of condemning all faiths, including the Judaism from which Christianity arose, is perhaps the biggest lie about Christianity as an organized religion - that it is the only true religion.




This is the only reason I am here posting this.

Do I think "Christianity" (which I am sorry, is not entirely constituted of literal-interpreting evangelists) is wrong?

No.

Do I think proclaiming everyone else is wrong, thus isolating yourself from the world... is stupid?

Yes.


As for the majority of people who responded to this...


Take a moment to realize the similarities in our ideas, and the differences in our expressions; and ask yourself what the Hell are we debating?


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...


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OfflineBooby
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6406030 - 12/29/06 03:31 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

what the Hell are we debating?

Quote:

Herbus said:

Why would God, omniscient, omnipotent, CREATOR-OF-EVERYTHING construct such a silly succession of events which have been detailed to have occured, and to occur, in the Bible.






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Offlinematchbook
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6406114 - 12/29/06 04:02 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Herbus said:
As for the majority of people who responded to this...





Would you mind replying a little more personally to my answers and reply to you? You don't have to, but I want to know what you think.


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: matchbook]
    #6407157 - 12/29/06 12:31 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

This thread is strange. :what:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineBooby
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fireworks_god]
    #6407281 - 12/29/06 02:54 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fireworks_god said:
This thread is strange. :what:




Are you living in interesting times?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Booby]
    #6407345 - 12/29/06 04:29 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)


when to make war on the disaggreancers?

or

shall I turn the other cheek now bull winkle?


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OfflineBooby
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: redgreenvines]
    #6407798 - 12/29/06 08:17 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Or will the real Chinaman please stand up


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OfflineHerbus
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Booby]
    #6408008 - 12/29/06 09:32 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Lol-- that's all I have to say.


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OfflineHerbus
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: matchbook]
    #6408037 - 12/29/06 09:41 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Matchbook:

I appreciate your response, however, I do not think all of the info pertaining to "Cosmic presentation," or God presenting the infallibility of His way(s) to the rest of the Universe (using our example) is mentioned in the Bible...

I could be wrong, it happens. Something about the human genome.

Furthermore, according to literalist tradition it still leaves many "souls" "burning in Hell," the circumstances of "Hell" of which are up to question...

I think Christianity has many good things to say, and to the date my main conflicts with the institutionalized religion is its belief of only "One Pathway to God," effectively "discrediting and dismissing" all other spiritual beliefs; and recent* Christianity's assertions of "Hell."

* I say recent because "Hell" did not always, until more recent, medieval times... play a central role in the doctrine of Christianity.


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InvisibleDisco Cat
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6408175 - 12/29/06 10:36 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I have a very interesting and informative link in my signature that concerns the actual "hell" used in the bible. Give it a look if you're interested, and use that information on whatever relatives are trying to scare you into belief.

http://www.what-the-hell-is-hell.com/

It points out that the King James translation introduced the term Hell, and used it to replace 3 distinct words, which are: Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna. A 4th word that is replaced by Hell is Tartarus.
A short excerpt is at the bottom of my post.


If you really want to make them think things through then ask them some of the questions from this page

"If Hell is real and it is a place of eternally being separated from God, why does David say in the King James Bible, "Though I make my bed in Hell (Sheol) lo, Thou art there?"

"If Hell is real and describes a real place, why does the English word "Hell" come from a pagan source instead of the ancient Hebrew writings of the Bible? Why is the word "Hell" not found in the Jew's Bible which is the Christian's Old Testament? Furthermore, the word "Hell" has completely disappeared from the Old Testament Scriptures in most leading Bibles. Why? Because the best scholarship demands it. (The word "Hell" comes from the Teutonic "Hele" goddess of the underworld "Hell" of northern Europe. The description of this ancient mythological place has very little resemblance anymore to the modern Christian image of Hell. See any Encyclopedia or dictionary for the origin of the word.) Seeing that the Bible is supposed to be "Holy," why have pagan religious words been added to our modern English Bibles? Please understand, the English word "Hell" and its concepts are NOT in the Hebrew nor Greek. They come into the English through Northern European mythologies, NOT from the roots of Christianity."

"If Hell is real and is the fate of all mankind because of Adam's transgression, if all are not saved through the last Adam, Jesus Christ, does that not make the transgression of the first Adam greater than the redeeming act of Jesus? (Rom. Chapter 5)"

"If Hell doesn't exist in the Old Testament, how could Jesus and his disciples teach that salvation was deliverance from a place that is not even found in their Scriptures?"

"If Hell was real, why did Church leaders as late as the fourth century AD acknowledge that the majority of Christians believed in the salvation of all mankind?"

"If Hell was real and a place of no escape, why did the early church teach Jesus went to Hell (Hades), preached to them and led captivity captive? (Eph. 4:8,9; Psalm 68:18; 1 Peter 3:18-20)

"If Hell was real, why did the first complete presentation of Christianity (Origen, 220 A.D.) contain the doctrine of universal salvation?"

"If Hell was real, why didn't the church teach it until AFTER the church departed from reading the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, substituting Latin in its stead several centuries after Christ's death?"

"If Hell is real and a place of eternal separation from God, why would Paul the apostle say the goal of God's creative plan was to ultimately be "all IN all?" (1 Cor. 15:28)"


Anyway, there's tons more there, give it a look.




Quote:

Sheol Used of Unseen

In the Old Testament, the word for which hell is given in the King James Version is sheol, a word whose root meaning is “unseen.” The King James Version translates sheol as “hell” 31 times, “the grave” 31 times (since someone in the grave is unseen), and “the pit” three times.

Yet in the Old Testament sheol was not exclusively a place of punishment, for faithful Jacob was there (Gen. 37.35, 42.38, 44.29, 31). Righteous Job also longed for it in Job 14.13. David spoke of going to sheol in Ps. 49.15 and Jesus went there, Ps. 16.10 and Acts 2.24-31. In all these cases, these men were “unseen” because they were dead.

Sheol Used of National Judgments

Many times the Bible uses the word sheol of national judgments, i.e., the vanishing of a nation. In Isa. 14.13, 15, Isaiah said Babylon would go to sheol, and she vanished. In Ezek. 26.19-21, Tyre so vanished in sheol. Likewise, in the New Testament, in Mt. 11.23, 12.41, Lk. 10.15, and 11.29-32, Jesus said that Capernaum would so disappear. These nations and cities didn't go to a particular location, but they were going to disappear, and they did. They were destroyed. Thus, sheol is used commonly of national judgments in both the Old and New Testaments.
Hades Used of Anything Unseen

The New Testament equivalent of sheol is hades, which occurs only eleven times. Like its synonym sheol, the King James Version translates the word “hell.” However, the correct translation is hades, or the unseen. The Bible doesn't use hades exclusively for a place of punishment. Luke 16 pictures righteous Lazarus there. Acts 2.27, 31 says Jesus went there. In I Cor. 15.15, Paul used the same word when he said, “Death, where is thy sting?” In Rev. 1.18, Jesus said he had the controlling keys of death and hades, the unseen, and in Rev. 6.8, death and hades followed the pale horse. Finally, in Rev. 20.13, 14, death and hades gave up the dead that were in them, and were then cast into the lake of fire. These verses illustrate that hades refers to anything that is unseen.

Hades Used of National Judgment

Like its companion word in the Old Testament, hades was also plainly used of national judgments in the New Testament. In Mt. 11.23 and Lk. 10.15, Jesus said Capernaum would go down into hades, i.e., it was going to vanish. In Mt. 12.41 and Lk. 11.29-32, Jesus said his generation of Jews was going to fall.

About hades in Greek mythology, Edward Fudge said:


In Greek mythology Hades was the god of the underworld, then the name of the nether world itself. Charon ferried the souls of the dead across the rivers Styx or Acheron into this abode, where the watchdog Cerberus guarded the gate so none might escape. The pagan myth contained all the elements for medieval eschatology: there was the pleasant Elyusium, the gloomy and miserable Tartarus, and even the Plains of Asphodel, where ghosts could wander who were suited for neither of the above...The word hades came into biblical usage when the Septuagint translators chose it to represent the Hebrew sheol, an Old Testament concept vastly different from the pagan Greek notions just outlined. Sheol, too, received all the dead...but the Old Testament has no specific division there involving either punishment or reward. (Edward William Fudge, The Fire That Consumes [Houston: Providential Press, 1982], p. 205.)

We need to make sure that our ideas concerning hades come from the Bible and not Greek mythology. We have no problem using sheol the way the Old Testament used it, or hades, as the New Testament used it. Both refer to the dead who are unseen, and to national judgments.




Edited by Disco Cat (12/29/06 10:45 PM)


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6408825 - 12/30/06 03:12 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I will answer your inquiries from a Christian perspective. BTW, I would be considered an Old School, Particular Baptist, Predestination, Sovereign Gracer. I consider the doctrine of "free will" to be a damnable heresy. I also consider Gnostics, Roman Catholics, Mormons, JW's, (I could go on..) to be false gospels, and those who hold to such doctrines as lost.


"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"

A common misconception, that God loves everyone without exception. God only loves those who believe the gospel. And why do they believe? Because God Himself has taught them what the gospel is. The love of God to His elect precedes any good or bad actions they have done.


"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"

Man's will is not free, it is bound by a fallen spiritual mind. God regenerates and translates His chosen people into the kingdom and makes them willing.


"What about dinosaurs, we know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago...?"

The universe was created as a complete and finished work. The age of the creation can be deducted from the genealogies given in scripture from Adam.


"Why would God, omniscient, omnipotent, CREATOR-OF-EVERYTHING construct such a silly succession of events which have been detailed to have occured, and to occur, in the Bible.
Basically, God knows everything, he knew exactly what was going to happen when he created Satan. So what, God thinks, and creates him anyways? Is that what happened?
He also created Siddhartha Gautama (sp.), Mohammed, and countless other religious figures (supposedly), knowing damn well that their ideas would go on to collect a legion of followers who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (yeah, they're un-saved.) Furthermore, he continously creates individuals whom he knows will follow these "heretic" religions and thus be sent to Hell.
This population figure, of peoples destined for Hell, is easily in the billions; arguably constituting a greater representation of people than that of the "saved."
And if God didn't create the "heretic religions," Satan did and God made Satan... knowingly.
Therefor, according to the "Good Book," every generation, God is creating people for the simple purpose of subjecting them to the damnation of Hell. That is, after they experience the trials of life...
Knowingly."


You are correct, everything happens according to God's will and purpose. In fact nothing happens by God's mere observance of events, but He actively causes all events to come to pass according to His purpose. This includes the salvation and damnation of sinners. The doctrine of predestination is all over scripture. He sends the reprobate (those never elected to salvation) many false teachers that they may believe lies.


"I have yet to meet the pious individual with the answer, therefor, I have attempted to conclude on some answers myself, to offer the bewildered individual.

1. Christianity is right, yet overlooking... God sure did make man in "his image," an image prone to emotional outbreaks and uncomprehensible behavior, who gets damned pissed at people he created to dismiss him, and then laughingly sends them to Hell."

Man was made in His image. But the Fall in Adam caused all to inherit spiritual deadness, and physical deadness as well. Fallen man does not seek God, they create gods that suit what they want from "God". They are idolaters.


"I like to picture the Christian God as like the "troubled son" of the "true God," who went off and created his own little worship-me-or-torture scheme of personal gratification. He has some obvious control issues, which is to be expected from the offspring of the Great Divine Thing. He displays his psychological abnormalities in the little 'sacrificial son for salvation' paradigm."

You say such things because you do not know who He is, so you have come to many wrong conclusions about His attributes. Salvation is to know who God is.


"2. OR...
You can examine the possibility that God, not your pastor, instilled within you the ability to observe, even at times making observation a pleasurable thing to do...
And think that perhaps God wants you to use this ability, what a wonderful ability, and quit relying on previous observations, also made by humans, which occured 2,000 years ago.
That's silly.
When you want to visit relatives in another town do you walk there, or ride a camel/horse acquired through marriage?
No.
Even if you don't have transportation, unless you're specifically taking a stance against modern transportation, you'll hitch-hike.
If you contract a deadly disease, who are you more likely to want help from, an old man in a dark room with his various herbal concoctions and remedies, or a trained doctor who went through 8+ years of medical school?
In the world that God made, if you haven't observed, things tend to gradually change..."


I don't know what you are getting at, but it sounds like you are saying that scripture is no longer relevant to today. Scripture (the 66 books) is God breathed, infallible, inerrant, and complete. Once a person is converted they know this to be true.


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InvisibleDisco Cat
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6408856 - 12/30/06 03:24 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fivepointer said:
A common misconception, that God loves everyone without exception. God only loves those who believe the gospel. And why do they believe? Because God Himself has taught them what the gospel is. The love of God to His elect precedes any good or bad actions they have done.




If the definition of "Christian" is a person who adheres to the teachings of Jesus Christ then you shouldn't claim to be one. Why? Jesus actually said to love your enemies a la Father, and that contradicts the heart of your above claim.
Just an observation.


"If Hell is real and universalism is a heresy, why is it that those who believe God loves all and will save all find it easier to love all people than those who believe most people are going to Hell? (Think this through very carefully.)"

With God all things are possible
God wishes that not one is lost
God will reconcile all things to him
God will be all in all


You are in sharp disagreement with God, 5points.

I also suggest you check the site in my sig.


Edited by Disco Cat (12/30/06 03:38 AM)


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Disco Cat]
    #6408899 - 12/30/06 03:52 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Disco Cat said:

"If Hell is real and universalism is a heresy, why is it that those who believe God loves all and will save all find it easier to love all people than those who believe most people are going to Hell? (Think this through very carefully.)"




I neglected to add Universalists and Annihilationists my list of damnable heresies.

"I consider the doctrine of "free will" to be a damnable heresy. I also consider Gnostics, Roman Catholics, Mormons, JW's, Universalists and Annihilationists (I could go on..) to be false gospels, and those who hold to such doctrines lost souls." Now that is more correct.


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InvisibleDisco Cat
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6409849 - 12/30/06 12:21 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

...Said the lost soul  :laugh:


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OfflineChemiker
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6409890 - 12/30/06 01:05 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

fivepointer said:
I consider the doctrine of "free will" to be a damnable heresy.


Why?

Even though I can't demonstrate that free will exists, I do believe that a concept of free will has a positive impact on the world. Basically, by telling people that they will be held responsible for their actions, this inhibits objectionable behaviour. If we didn't have a concept of free will and as a result, didn't hold people accountable for criminal acts, then we would be lacking a deterrent.

"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"

Once, while wasted on a dissociative, I phoned a crystal call-in TV channel hosting a late night religious discussion. I did this in order to amuse my sister and her boyfriend, but intended to try having a serious discussion. One of the first things I said was something like, ". . . and God creates evil."

Man oh man, they interrupted me right there, "Excuse me, but God does not create evil." They hung up on me then and there.

Had I had a chance to respond, I would have said, "But God created everything, didn't he? Therefore he also created evil."

I think you have to realize the futility of your argument as I realize the futility of my own. God works in mysterious ways, so just because you can't see the positive impact of disease and despair doesn't mean that these things aren't ultimately good in the long run. It's a matter of faith, since these people can't demonstrate to you that what you believe is bad is actually good.

A common misconception, that God loves everyone without exception.

Personally, I'm hoping that if there is some great supernatural entity watching over everything that it will love people who think for themselves instead of those who blindly accept doctrine.

"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"

Test of faith.

Man's will is not free, it is bound by a fallen spiritual mind. God regenerates and translates His chosen people into the kingdom and makes them willing.

Huh?

The universe was created as a complete and finished work. The age of the creation can be deducted from the genealogies given in scripture from Adam.

All of the physical evidence suggests that the universe is more than the 6000 years or so that the bible says it is, but yeah, some supernatural entity could have simply created the evidence to look that way. We can't definitively prove that dinosaurs did live millions of years ago, but I'd call you an idiot if you claimed otherwise.

1. Christianity is right

Balls, I say.

Man was made in His image.

And women were made according to my sexual desires.

Once a person is converted they know this to be true.

Knowing and having faith are two different things.


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Chemiker]
    #6410093 - 12/30/06 06:04 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

fivepointer said:
I consider the doctrine of "free will" to be a damnable heresy.


"Why?
Even though I can't demonstrate that free will exists, I do believe that a concept of free will has a positive impact on the world. Basically, by telling people that they will be held responsible for their actions, this inhibits objectionable behaviour. If we didn't have a concept of free will and as a result, didn't hold people accountable for criminal acts, then we would be lacking a deterrent."


Man from Adam is born in a state of spiritual deadness, in bondage to sin and Satan. His will is "free" only in the sense that he is "free" to do what his nature desires, which is wickedness, especially when it comes to spiritual truths. The gospel is not about having rules so people can be kept in line, it is about the grace, righteousness, and judgment of God.


"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"
"Once, while wasted on a dissociative, I phoned a crystal call-in TV channel hosting a late night religious discussion. I did this in order to amuse my sister and her boyfriend, but intended to try having a serious discussion. One of the first things I said was something like, ". . . and God creates evil."
Man oh man, they interrupted me right there, "Excuse me, but God does not create evil." They hung up on me then and there.
Had I had a chance to respond, I would have said, "But God created everything, didn't he? Therefore he also created evil."
I think you have to realize the futility of your argument as I realize the futility of my own. God works in mysterious ways, so just because you can't see the positive impact of disease and despair doesn't mean that these things aren't ultimately good in the long run. It's a matter of faith, since these people can't demonstrate to you that what you believe is bad is actually good."


You derive doctrine from what sounds reasonable to your mind and not from the Word. Do not set aside what God has said in His Word. Are you smarter than God?

A common misconception, that God loves everyone without exception.
"Personally, I'm hoping that if there is some great supernatural entity watching over everything that it will love people who think for themselves instead of those who blindly accept doctrine."

"I'm hoping that if" - A a statement of agnosticism. If you believed you would KNOW. God teaches His people what the gospel is, and this includes doctrine. Doctrine is proof that God loves a person. It does not cause love, it evidences love. God loves doctrine, doctrine is truth, it reveals who God is and is not. Forces of darkness always hate doctrine.

"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"
"Test of faith."

Faith is a gift of God, salvation is not a test.

Man's will is not free, it is bound by a fallen spiritual mind. God regenerates and translates His chosen people into the kingdom and makes them willing.
"Huh?"

This concept is a mystery to you since you have never been born again.

The universe was created as a complete and finished work. The age of the creation can be deducted from the genealogies given in scripture from Adam.
"All of the physical evidence suggests that the universe is more than the 6000 years or so that the bible says it is, but yeah, some supernatural entity could have simply created the evidence to look that way. We can't definitively prove that dinosaurs did live millions of years ago, but I'd call you an idiot if you claimed otherwise."

Actually it is probably more like 13,000 years old, certainly not millions. I guess Im an idiot since I believe the Word of God, which is always true, to be true.

1. Christianity is right
"Balls, I say."

I hope you may be brought to see your a ruined wretched sinner in need of a Redeemer. Only God can make this happen.

Man was made in His image.
"And women were made according to my sexual desires."

These are spiritual concepts, something that apparently has no value to you, since you make a flippent statement.


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Chemiker]
    #6410221 - 12/30/06 07:22 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

"By their fruits ye shall know them."

Keep this in mind before trying to engage someone like fivepointer in discussion.


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6410321 - 12/30/06 08:18 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

If all would be preselected, why then should one consider life as a 'testing' stage against evil ?
You seem to hold both views as true, but how do they fit together ?
If life is some testing stage in some sort, then that what is tested can not be finally preselected. That is simple logic.

Conclusively , if one thinks one is preselected*, one thinks the goal will justify the means. That is an erroneous assumption, as it is only true vice versa; the means will ever and ever, justify the goal, no way round, not in the most far future, not in the past.

Ignorance is diversion and separation is ignorance. For some it might be bliss, for some it's the opposite of awareness.

The old and justified Gods in Mumuland are laughing in eternity (while G*D cries) about those silly traps, even the strongest believers dig for themselves.

The wish for believe has tainted their believe itself.

*preselected ? Additionally...How ? By learning about Jesus in our lifetime and acknowledge the gospels ? Only that what stands behind the gospels can be that what can be in resonance perhaps with something 'preselected' in us.
That is, what separates the will.

- BC out -
:heart:


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
......................................................
"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."Martin Luther King, Jr.
'Acceptance is the absolute key - at that moment you gain freedom and you gain power and you gain courage'


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Silversoul]
    #6410335 - 12/30/06 08:31 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Silversoul said:
"By their fruits ye shall know them."

Keep this in mind before trying to engage someone like fivepointer in discussion.




'HATE, HATE for God's sake!' 'We're jest a White Fraternal Christian organization. We wear the symbol of a drop of Christ's blood over our heart - one drop representing the Five Points where He was pierced. Now we're in-fil-tratin' a damned hippy heretic site called The Shrooomery, S**t-damn and Hell's Bells, if we can't join 'em, we're a-goin' to beat 'em down with our par-ticular brand o Christ-inanity ( http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/inanity )


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InvisibleDiploidM
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6410352 - 12/30/06 08:45 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I hope you may be brought to see your a ruined wretched sinner in need of a Redeemer.

fivepointer, personalisms are against the rules of this forum.

Please don't do it again.


--------------------
Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #6410651 - 12/30/06 10:59 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

BlueCoyote said:
If all would be preselected, why then should one consider life as a 'testing' stage against evil ?
You seem to hold both views as true, but how do they fit together ?
If life is some testing stage in some sort, then that what is tested can not be finally preselected. That is simple logic.

Conclusively , if one thinks one is preselected*, one thinks the goal will justify the means. That is an erroneous assumption, as it is only true vice versa; the means will ever and ever, justify the goal, no way round, not in the most far future, not in the past.

Ignorance is diversion and separation is ignorance. For some it might be bliss, for some it's the opposite of awareness.

The old and justified Gods in Mumuland are laughing in eternity (while G*D cries) about those silly traps, even the strongest believers dig for themselves.

The wish for believe has tainted their believe itself.

*preselected ? Additionally...How ? By learning about Jesus in our lifetime and acknowledge the gospels ? Only that what stands behind the gospels can be that what can be in resonance perhaps with something 'preselected' in us.
That is, what separates the will.

- BC out -
:heart:




All are NOT preselected.  The second question is - upon what basis is the preselction made?  Election is made prior to any acts of good or evil, it is based soley on the good pleasure of God alone.  It is not based on God looking down a tunnel of time and foreseeing the actions of a person, and then electing a person based on those actions.  Unconditional election cuts out any reason to boast, since people are not chosen because they have performed some deed or are more pious than another person.  God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy.  The only boast is in the cross of Christ, this is the sole reason a sinner is saved.  Unconditional election frustrates men who think they have some clout that can merit grace.  It is a most despised doctrine of the unregenerate.


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6410673 - 12/30/06 11:08 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
Quote:

Silversoul said:
"By their fruits ye shall know them."

Keep this in mind before trying to engage someone like fivepointer in discussion.




'HATE, HATE for God's sake!' 'We're jest a White Fraternal Christian organization. We wear the symbol of a drop of Christ's blood over our heart - one drop representing the Five Points where He was pierced. Now we're in-fil-tratin' a damned hippy heretic site called The Shrooomery, S**t-damn and Hell's Bells, if we can't join 'em, we're a-goin' to beat 'em down with our par-ticular brand o Christ-inanity ( http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/inanity )




Some people resort to implied slander attacks when they have no truth.
The name "fivepointer" does not refer to some racist organization. The five points of sovereign grace 1 - Total Depravity 2 - Unconditional Election 3 - Particular Atonement 4 - Irresistable Grace 5 - Once saved always saved.

To show a burning cross is openly insulting and slanderous to another poster.


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Diploid]
    #6410686 - 12/30/06 11:12 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Diploid said:
I hope you may be brought to see your a ruined wretched sinner in need of a Redeemer.

fivepointer, personalisms are against the rules of this forum.

Please don't do it again.




Any person who is converted must be brought into conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit. This is not a personal statement against another poster. It is a general truth that before a person is saved they are quickened by the Spirit to see that all their best works are filthy rages and they are devoid of all righteousness when compared to the righteousness that God demands. Only sinners get saved, but they must first be brought to see their sinnership, only then can the gospel shine into the heart.


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Offlinecapliberty
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Herbus]
    #6410750 - 12/30/06 11:38 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Herbus said:
Hi.


Recently, seems like a lot of Christianity is presented to me.


I have disagreed with Christianity for quite some time, having never fully "accepted" it and not taking my "acceptance" of Jesus or whatever seriously.

Well, yeah, you know how Christians are though, especially if they're your relatives. Now there are a lot of people like me, and we often can only take several minutes; several difficultly restrained minutes of silence. After that, we have to unleash our brand of "comprehension," the whole "this is how I think things work" theory, something that within some individuals (myself included) contains little bits of "logic" and factual evidence proven by science.

There are many good questions, little things within the religion that do not make sense, just as little bits of unknown info pertaining to the theory of evolution do not fully make sense.

"If God loves me so much, how come he created diseases and despair...?"

"Why are we supposed to believe in something yet given the free will to believe it is false...?"

"What about dinosaurs, we know dinosaurs lived millions of years ago...?"


To all of these questions, some Christian has devised some form of an "answer," even if it be something so simple as "anything not stated in the Bible is clearly the blasphemous work of the devil."


Well... I have found the question, as many of you may have.

I really do not see how others could not have come to this same inquiry.

Involving the ENTIRE IDEOLOGY... and BIG PICTURE... - I do for surely know this has been said, albeit differently worded...


Assuming everything in the Bible is correct, word-for-word, one must still ask this:


Why would God, omniscient, omnipotent, CREATOR-OF-EVERYTHING construct such a silly succession of events which have been detailed to have occured, and to occur, in the Bible.

Basically, God knows everything, he knew exactly what was going to happen when he created Satan. So what, God thinks, and creates him anyways? Is that what happened?

He also created Siddhartha Gautama (sp.), Mohammed, and countless other religious figures (supposedly), knowing damn well that their ideas would go on to collect a legion of followers who do not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ (yeah, they're un-saved.) Furthermore, he continously creates individuals whom he knows will follow these "heretic" religions and thus be sent to Hell.

This population figure, of peoples destined for Hell, is easily in the billions; arguably constituting a greater representation of people than that of the "saved."

And if God didn't create the "heretic religions," Satan did and God made Satan... knowingly.

Therefor, according to the "Good Book," every generation, God is creating people for the simple purpose of subjecting them to the damnation of Hell. That is, after they experience the trials of life...

Knowingly.



I have yet to meet the pious individual with the answer, therefor, I have attempted to conclude on some answers myself, to offer the bewildered individual.


1. Christianity is right, yet overlooking... God sure did make man in "his image," an image prone to emotional outbreaks and uncomprehensible behavior, who gets damned pissed at people he created to dismiss him, and then laughingly sends them to Hell.

I like to picture the Christian God as like the "troubled son" of the "true God," who went off and created his own little worship-me-or-torture scheme of personal gratification. He has some obvious control issues, which is to be expected from the offspring of the Great Divine Thing. He displays his psychological abnormalities in the little 'sacrificial son for salvation' paradigm.

Obviously, the Christian God just needs a little love from his Father.

2. OR...

You can examine the possibility that God, not your pastor, instilled within you the ability to observe, even at times making observation a pleasurable thing to do...

And think that perhaps God wants you to use this ability, what a wonderful ability, and quit relying on previous observations, also made by humans, which occured 2,000 years ago.

That's silly.

When you want to visit relatives in another town do you walk there, or ride a camel/horse acquired through marriage?

No.

Even if you don't have transportation, unless you're specifically taking a stance against modern transportation, you'll hitch-hike.

If you contract a deadly disease, who are you more likely to want help from, an old man in a dark room with his various herbal concoctions and remedies, or a trained doctor who went through 8+ years of medical school?

In the world that God made, if you haven't observed, things tend to gradually change...


I would like some Christians to respond with their opinions, thank you.

No reason to be offended.




The universe is different than how the Christians may have viewed it 2000 yrs ago.

Most people had a different conception of the universe and still do. They think of the universe as 3 dimensional grid, when actually space time is created as result of energy and so is ever expansive as long as matter and life reach those limits. Space is infinitum as long as time is eternal.

Any universe that grows and expands such as solar systems, galaxies, galaxy clusters, also expands reality based on the life forms intellectual ability transcending reality, that exist in this universe.

Our knowledge and perception is not the only intelligence out in the universe. There are many worlds out there that affect reality, even a cluster can have its unique energy and as a result effect this ever expansive and diversified reality, the reason I think this is important, is that reality has no absolutes excepts those in a relative sense, worlds were created flawed, even as humans we have flawed sensory perceptive abilities so basically all human fabricated concept is incomplete because our worlds needed room for other competing worlds. The human constituent will soon be obsolete to higher spiritual constituent that will rely on human constituent as the human constituent relied on the molecular constituents of the earth, what they represent was transcended into human belief as energy evolves. That is why skepticism of any absolute system will clash with those of worlds that exist in reality, because reality is a relative abstraction that is constantly being formed and evolved through space and time.


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: capliberty]
    #6410778 - 12/30/06 11:49 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

the dogmatic posters are very lengthy
or brief to the point of snarkasm

I still did not get to read the big christian question, because if it has been posted here it is encased in something else.

can it be phrased briefly like a bumper sticker or do we need to wade through drivel to find the point?


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InvisibleDisco Cat
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: capliberty]
    #6410792 - 12/30/06 11:57 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

What do you think is on the very edge of all the universe? What about at the very center? Maybe there's the most energy concentrated at the center, and to be there would be infinitely more amazing then where we're at, and maybe energy is the thinnest on the outskirts.

Time being eternal? I don't see a time. I see one moment in which energy is in constant motion, but that it is the same energy as was 100,000,000,000 years ago, and therefore it's not an issue of time as there is no that time vs this time, because the energy (which is the foundation of it all) that defines all that is in a time is constant. The same energy is still here, in whatever assorment, existing no more or no less.
Then again, I have a suspicion that energy may be ever increasing.

Energy's not something I've studied, but something I want more of, MORE!!! Good energy only.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6410913 - 12/31/06 12:57 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Whatever do you mean? I never called you anything directly, but the hackles of your untreated and very obvious paranoia clearly were raised, and in the process, more idiosyncrasies of your "Unconditional Election" by Very God to be an infallible disciple of dogmatism were revealed. Your pontifications about what is true (i.e., Truth) and what is false (e.g., "damnable heresies") are nothing less than abhorrent. I can no less ignore some of the gross condemnations that spew forth from you than I could ignore the brutal
treatment of a puppy. This is the nature of religious polemic, and it is usually as foul as the stink from a polecat.

This a forum for the free dissemination of ideas about spiritual verities. In that, it is like the discussions that early disciples of The Way held before their faith was forced into the Procrustean bed of doctrine and dogma, the disagreement with which would result in unspeakable torture and death. TO EACH HIS/HER OWN in a free world. Judgement is not the job of a Christ - the aspired to goal of a true Christian. Judgement is to be perfectly balanced by Mercy, and that balance amounts to active Compassion - detached altruism if you will - not passionate condemnation.

You are neither more learned in theological matters than others who post here (including myself) and neither is there any indication that ANY of 'the fruits of the spirit' are transmitted by your words. I cannot see how obsession with one's own "Total Depravity," projected onto others is going to facilitate anyone's spiritual growth and development - your's included. This is not how one commences with psychotherapy, and this is not how one commences with pneumatherapy (a word of my own making). Obsession is not indicative of steadfast faith. Faith is a living growing condition not a rigid adherence to dogma and doctrines which must develop as well. You have selected certain intellectual idols to worship and that is your choice. Meanwhile, a mean-spirited judge is NOT any way of being that attracts emulation by anyone with ANY joy at all at heart.

I strongly urge you to consider evaluations of your words by professional individuals who do NOT belong to your 'faith community' and with their guidance take some time to reflect upon your true motivations for relating to people in this kind of 'faith community' in the manner in which you do. [For those over-reactive individuals at the S&P, I am NOT speaking for you. I am speaking for myself as a member, and for anyone else who chooses to stand alongside me on this matter].

- Mark[ostheGnostic]


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6411285 - 12/31/06 04:01 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I'm waiting for an apology for your slanderous and insulting posting.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6411327 - 12/31/06 04:16 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I'm terribly sorry that you hate everyone who doesn't share your par-ticular point of view. Really...I am. The rest was all speculation. I still think that you need assistance however because many people are being subjected to far worse from you, than you are from me.

This just in!: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8201543200186623482



Edited by MarkostheGnostic (12/31/06 04:25 AM)


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Invisiblesleepy
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6411353 - 12/31/06 04:24 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

sorry, i didn't read all this, only the first part of the first post but

what can trusting in jesus do for me, right now?

how exactly do i trust jesus?

what is the fruit of trusting in jesus? i.e. what is the point of trusting in jesus?


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: sleepy]
    #6411368 - 12/31/06 04:29 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

drivel and fighting
mythic only in its proportions.


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6411385 - 12/31/06 04:35 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
I'm terribly sorry that you hate everyone who doesn't share your par-ticular point of view. Really...I am. The rest was all speculation. I still think that you need assistance however because many people are being subjected to far worse from you, than you are from me.

This just in!: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8201543200186623482






Why do you insist on misrepresenting me? I do not hate everyone who does not share the same views, you have made an intentional false representation of me. The truth must be proclaimed, these with ears will hear, the others will not. I have no mal intent when I proclaim doctrine. The gospel sets those who believe it free, it is a great thing.

Now I demand an apology for your first insulting and slanderous posting, as well as this latest attempt at slander of my character.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: sleepy]
    #6411395 - 12/31/06 04:40 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Since you're asking me, I will reply that my life changed radically after I decided that Jesus was THE model for Human Development. Note that I am trained in Human Development, and that for this response I am intentionally not speaking in a term such as 'Savior.' Jesus is my spiritual Master however, and the word Christ applies not only to a spiritual title (meaning 'anointed' in Greek, but also meaning Illumined or Enlightened more specifically).

I became a Christian inasmuch as all of my inner and outer being is 'governed' by Compassion. In the words of the medieval mystic Meister Eckhart: "You may call God love, you may call God goodness. But the best name for God is Compassion."
Now, is Compassion to be found in Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and elsewhere? Absolutely. But for me, the adherence to Jesus the Christ in His Teachings as well as in the openness to the Logos - the Immanence of God - has shown me The Way (to Be). I made my experiments in Truth, and I found the most complete form for me in Christ. This is my witness to you. I have learned fine things from other faiths, and those things have only enriched my life as a Christian. I was Jewish from birth, so I am a Jewish Christian. I have been blessed with certain Experiences which are the substance of the words, and so, I consider myself a Gnostic Christian. This is as straightfoward as I can be, but I've never regretted my decision depite the resultant alienation from family and shallow friends. I want the Truth. I want to KNOW what is pre-eminently REAL.

+++Peace+++

-MtG


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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Offlinecapliberty
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Disco Cat]
    #6411594 - 12/31/06 05:47 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Disco Cat said:


Time being eternal? I don't see a time. I see one moment in which energy is in constant motion, but that it is the same energy as was 100,000,000,000 years ago, and therefore it's not an issue of time as there is no that time vs this time, because the energy (which is the foundation of it all) that defines all that is in a time is constant. The same energy is still here, in whatever assortment, existing no more or no less.
Then again, I have a suspicion that energy may be ever increasing.

Energy's not something I've studied, but something I want more of, MORE!!! Good energy only.




Energy is a constant, but what isn't constant is in what form change or motion occurs, when referring to life forms, or biological or chemical processes in general, that kinetic energy is defined by motion, which is defined by one point in space to that of another point in space, the stage in which these points are shifted are the distinct patterns in which we can relate, understand and manipulate objects, this is how time becomes its own distinct concept with distinct parameters. Time doesn't have any inherent essence or property, it is only measured abstraction of recognition of common patterns

Our life cycle axis to that of any other phenomenon on any other axis whether its on microcosmic atomic axis or the macro-cosmic solar axis, whatever abstraction you want referring to stages of development your defining that common axis in which that stage is interrelated giving time certain inherited properties within its own life cycle. Meaning after a certain stage of chemical process I'll eventually grow old and decay like a plant giving me only a duration of time that I hold personal significance towards, but yeah other than that time isn't really a entity other than its interrelation dependence of objects defined by an absolute system which life is an absolute system on a biological level.


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6412171 - 12/31/06 08:00 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

That's your whole inflated problem fivepointer. You make demands, proclamations, pontifications, and pronouncements of anathema. I apologize to others here on your behalf because you are clearly incapable of catching the slightest-reality-based clue. Your character and the words you use speak for themselves. I have done nothing more than satirize in the attempt to take the edge off your sharp condemnations. You have NO sense of humor and take yourself too seriously. Lose the self-importance since humility does not make demands because you're merely continuing to make my point about fivepointer. Take yourself to the wilderness and shout at the devil. Since you don't believe in free will, you'll have to aquiesce to predestination. Those who are saved, are saved and those who are not saved are not saved. In either case, your presence is superfluous at best and downright insulting and annoying at most. As my Mom used to say when I was obnoxious: "Go bang your head against a wall."


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6412284 - 12/31/06 08:32 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fivepointer said:
The gospel sets those who believe it free, it is a great thing.




IME, believing in something that sets me free (ie, believing that I'm free) ends as the belief itself ends.

That is, if I believe that something will set me free, I'm essentially believing that a belief will free me (what I have to be set free from I still am ignorant of even as you read this). Yet if I one day simply stop believing that a belief can free me, then I am no longer 'free'.

To me, that is not how I conceptualize true freedom. True freedom to me doesn't require a belief in anything or even in 'true freedom' itself in order to be.


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Invisibledblaney
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6412293 - 12/31/06 08:35 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
I have been blessed with certain Experiences which are the substance of the words, and so, I consider myself a Gnostic Christian.




When I read this, I became curious who the Experiencer of these Experiences was?


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6412915 - 12/31/06 05:53 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

MarkostheGnostic said:
That's your whole inflated problem fivepointer. You make demands, proclamations, pontifications, and pronouncements of anathema. I apologize to others here on your behalf because you are clearly incapable of catching the slightest-reality-based clue. Your character and the words you use speak for themselves. I have done nothing more than satirize in the attempt to take the edge off your sharp condemnations. You have NO sense of humor and take yourself too seriously. Lose the self-importance since humility does not make demands because you're merely continuing to make my point about fivepointer. Take yourself to the wilderness and shout at the devil. Since you don't believe in free will, you'll have to aquiesce to predestination. Those who are saved, are saved and those who are not saved are not saved. In either case, your presence is superfluous at best and downright insulting and annoying at most. As my Mom used to say when I was obnoxious: "Go bang your head against a wall."




You are just mad because someone has exposed your heterodox form of Christianity (of Gnosticism, Mysticism, and Pelagianism), and called you out on it.


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Invisibleimplicitli
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6412933 - 12/31/06 06:06 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

fivepointer, YOU are an example of why i hardly ever attempt to engage CHRISTIANS in philosophical discourse.


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Offlinegnrm23
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: implicitli]
    #6412956 - 12/31/06 06:19 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

mmmmm, heterodoxy...

my pagan priest friend ian suggested that i was orthopraxic - i do go to the rail for the body-n-blood of our savior... but see as my koan the grokking of the lord's prayer (ooooh, can we say together the translation from the aramaic?) & the words of institution... but then again, dr luther was called to a diet at worms to defend against heresy charges (meister eckhart & jon hus both had run-ins with the ecclessia, nicht war?)

the carpenter rabbi told us that his fathers house has many mansions - sounds sorta mahayanist to me, hehheh...


~~~

to all good volk:

happy new year
joyous yule
shalom
miru mir
blesed be
shanti om
salaam/shalom/peace
namaste


--------------------
old enough to know better
not old enough to care


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6412980 - 12/31/06 06:34 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

I am most assuredly not 'angry,' whereas you sir are quite 'mad.'
You have not "exposed" anything about my 'thoughts' since I am as 'up front' about them as I can be. Unlike yourself, I do not identify myself by my thoughts. YOU are the one who applies the 'cookie cutter' of doctrine and dogma to the 'dough' of Pure Consciousness. I am not a Pelagian, a Sabellian, a Montanist, a Modalist, a Patripatrianist, or any of the ridiculous hair-plitting 'heresies' that other madmen tagged other thinkers with. To affirm the mechanics of invisible, transcendental Reality with any kind of certainty is the very height of Luciferian pride and presumption.

I acknowledge The Reality of God, and affirm nothing more than it is an Absolute Mystery. I seek for 'relationship' with this Mystery after the manner of one who is "in Christ," and I have a a newsflash for you: Being "in Christ" is the very crux of mysticism (pun intended). It is not a figurative term, it is an experiencial Reality. It is what Eastern Orthodox Christians call 'theosis' and it is about becoming 'a Christ' in a slightly different sense than 'the Christ' - the appellation usually reserved for Jesus of the Bible.

Theologically, you are attempting to grasp Mercury - the ancient Hermetic symbol for Consciousness - also called Quicksilver, as the word 'quick' means living. Quicksilver, like Consciousness (the new word for 'Spirit') "blows where it listeth" in the KJ language. It moves where it will because it lives. The only way to 'fix' Mercury (in the alchemical language) is to combine it with elements that corrupt its purity. Today, we can freeze Mercury solid, but then like a 'doctrine' which does not evolve, it does not manifest the true nature of living and moving. Another newsflash: the Hermetic and alchemical ideas were condemned by churchmen because they knew exactly what I am saying about Spirit. I learned these things from them after I learned theology and the intellectually dishonest way doctrines were used to control humanity with guilt, fear, torture and death. It was not about the salvation of the masses that Christianity was about - it was about Christian imperialism - political and metaphysical.

You are yourself terribly enslaved by these thoughts and I can only surmise that you believe that your world and life will crumble without the forms that you have adopted to keep your world intact. There is a world of Light outside the cave you remain in. It is the world beyond a veil (into the Holy of Holies if you will). Thus, I have used a Platonic and a Biblical metaphor. Perhaps it is time for YOU to overturn the tables of the status quo, business-as-usual of your own theologizing - not mine, not others, YOURS. Don't worry, as a Hindu philosophy professor once told me: "The sky will not fall."


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Invisibleredgreenvines
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6413012 - 12/31/06 06:48 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Disagreeance with a capital duh


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: dblaney]
    #6413079 - 12/31/06 07:23 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

:smile: Yes! It was a Pure Consciousness Event (PCE) and although I identify myself as being Jewish Christian Gnostic, I have to admit that it is Tibetan Buddhist mysticism that BEST describes the Experience of the Infinite ("Ascent Towards Universality"), and the reflux ("Descent Towards Realization"). First there was only the Infinite (no ego, no personality/memory, no separate experiencing 'I' [I know this is redundant with "no ego"]). It was...The Clear Light which was also Pure Infinite Expanse of Compassion.

Then, The Infinite contracted to a 'point of intense feeling' - a point of "Unbearable Compassion" that instantaneously occurred within a locus - the Lotus of my Heart - and 'I' was back - body-mind-spirit. It was like I had momentarily awakened from a dream - the dream of the phenomenal world. And, as you suggested, it was a moment of supreme paradox in which (excuse the awkwardness) The Infinite bestowed upon this humble creature, a glimpse of what I (we) Really am - 'my face before I was even conceived' - that the eye (I) through which I see God, is the same I through which God sees me.' (The two are Really One! *hush*)

When Mark 'died,' Pure Transcendental Awareness remained - Awareness of Awareness, but not my Awareness (words cannot convey this adequately). Now, if physical death reveals the same Experience, I have nothing to fear or worry about. I will then be what The Gospel of Judas calls 'of the generation of Seth' - one of the Enlightened Ones who enters consciously into Eternal Life. Not 'Knowing' THIS with complete certainty, faith remains until faith gives way to final gnosis, and one Knows for sure.

Peace.

-MtG



--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6413186 - 12/31/06 08:13 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

You may seem to be the microcosm;
In fact, you are the macrocosm.
The branch might seem like the fruit's origin:
In fact, the branch exists because of the fruit.
Would the gardener have planted the tree at all
Without a desire and hope for fruit?
That's why the tree is really born from the fruit
Even if it seems that the fruit was created by the tree.
The idea which comes first comes last in realization --
Particularly that idea which is eternal.



-- Rumi


--------------------


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Moderator Notification [Re: Silversoul]
    #6413395 - 12/31/06 09:42 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Diploid has already brought to everyone's attention that it is agansit the rules of this forum to engage in personalisms. Ultimately, this means that it obstructs a productive discussion when an individual decides they would rather discuss a conceptual identity of the other poster.

It does not pertain to the subject at hand, for one thing, and, for another, it has no real basis in reality, as it is simply squabbling on an assumed identity of another.

This is being carried out in this thread, primarily by fivepointer and Markosthegnostic.I am requesting that this immediately ceases, as of this notification. Any continuation of the personalism battle, or any comment on this notification in this thread, will be deleted. This, coupled with Diploid's previous notification, is fair warning, and any violation will receive follow-up.

We now continue with our previously scheduled programming.


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: Moderator Notification [Re: fireworks_god]
    #6413667 - 12/31/06 11:19 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

O-Kelly Doe-Kelly!


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Silversoul]
    #6413672 - 12/31/06 11:21 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Beautiful!
Thanks.


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OfflineGrimTroll
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6415395 - 01/01/07 08:59 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Isnt it obvious?

God IS Satan.


--------------------
Now pick me up night and whirlwind and let me ride with you to peace of mind and nothing to rebel...


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: GrimTroll]
    #6416532 - 01/02/07 05:30 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Uh...no.


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OfflineEconomist
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6417448 - 01/02/07 02:38 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

fivepointer said:
"I consider the doctrine of "free will" to be a damnable heresy. I also consider Gnostics, Roman Catholics, Mormons, JW's, Universalists and Annihilationists (I could go on..) to be false gospels, and those who hold to such doctrines lost souls." Now that is more correct.



I'm sorry you feel this way fivepointer.

We (the Roman Catholics) still believe that you're trying pretty hard to live a good life, and we'll be happy to see you join us in union with God.

@Implicitli
Please don't label all Christians as believers in fivepointer's doctrine, many of us would be happy to engage in philosophical debate. Please believe me when I tell you that, according to the Catholic Church, if you're asking the question "How do I live a good life?" the answer is probably that you're already doing more than enough. That usually gets lost in the extremism and the slander (We don't tell the Protestants that they're going to hell, but they sure tell us we are), but if you ever want a dialogue I'd be happy to give it.


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InvisibleDisco Cat
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Economist]
    #6417483 - 01/02/07 03:18 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Economist said:
We don't tell the Protestants that they're going to hell, but they sure tell us we are




Or it only seems that way because you focus on the ones that do that. From having lived amongst a Protestant community for 2 years I can tell you that they believe the same in regards to the Catholic denomination.
I remember being shown books written by Catholic priests who even claimed such in their writings.

I believe denominations to be what is referred to when a certain scripture warns against "splitting the body of Christ," and the effect of it is split knowledge as well.


Edited by Disco Cat (01/02/07 08:23 PM)


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OfflineMarkostheGnostic
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Economist]
    #6417699 - 01/02/07 07:05 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Economist said:

We (the Roman Catholics) still believe that you're trying pretty hard to live a good life, and we'll be happy to see you join us in union with God.

@Implicitli
Please don't label all Christians as believers in fivepointer's doctrine, many of us would be happy to engage in philosophical debate.  Please believe me when I tell you that, according to the Catholic Church, if you're asking the question "How do I live a good life?" the answer is probably that you're already doing more than enough.  That usually gets lost in the extremism and the slander (We don't tell the Protestants that they're going to hell, but they sure tell us we are), but if you ever want a dialogue I'd be happy to give it.




I am not here to debate with you (you may have already read my posts). I just wanted to say that when, as a young Jewish seeker I decided to receive a Christian Baptism, I selected the Roman Catholic Church for reasons juvenile, yet ardent, and for the [naively] philosophical reason of trying to attain true 'catholicity' (i.e., universality) in my Christian faith. The juvenile reasons were based on the kindly Catholic family who used to invite my secular Jewish family over on Christmas Day for many years during my childhood. They all (I had been 'in love' with one of their two daughters, 7 years my senior - a blue-eyed, blonde-haied Irish-American girl - my 'baby-sitter'  :smile:) had been a very peaceful family. A second juvenile association was being taught about the crucifixion and the Sacred Heart of Jesus by my Catholic childhood friend Paul at about age 5 or 6. Lastly, my tripping/travel buddy Ed, also Catholic,  volunteered to introduce me to a priest who would give me catechism lessons and Baptize me. All positive associations with Catholicism, along with which I had been steeping my mind in Catholic mysticism, particular Pseudo-Dionysius which made complete sense in accordance with all the acid that I had been using.

I was never Confirmed a Catholic (I later spent 2 years in a Methodist seminary and took an MTS degree), and more recently in my life I have seen the origins of institution Christianity (Roman Catholicism) and its heresiology, inquisitions, crusades and purges, antisemitism and abuses of a 'celibate' priesthood (not to mention its patriarchy of same). In other words, the Shadow of Catholicism has become overwhelmingly apparent to me. This is not to say that I haven't been aware of other Shadows. It was the secular, materialistic Shadow of modern [Reform] Judaism that alienated me in the first place. If I didn't relegate the Exodus to Jewish Mythology, I would have to take issue with the slaughter of 30,000 Israelites who returned to Baal worship while Moses communed with Deity on the mountain (as well as other attrocities)!

I suppose that I am an equal-opportunity iconoclast, yet I never instigate people to leave the fold of their familial tradition. That I did, has proved a lonely and alienating path. I identify myself fairly awkwardly as Jewish Christian Gnostic with Jewish and Christian now being adjectival to Gnostic. A few years ago I would have said that Jewish and Gnostic were adjectival to Christian. However, if being a Christian demands fixed doctrinal and dogmatic expressions of the nature of Jesus Christ, then I simply cannot comply. I will maintain that I have a relationship with Christ as Logos; that I am in Christ, but I will not debate the percentages of humanity and divinity that comprise the nature of Jesus the Christ, and the orthodox versus heterodox views!

I have been called a heretic since I was 19 years old only because I suggested different interpretations of scripture. That used to please me somehow, but no longer. It is just my Realization that mentally-held constructs (doctrines/dogmas) rarely penetrate to the deeper/higher level wherein lies the 'Will' or essential being, and hence doctrines/dogmas do not transform a human being, through 'theosis' into Christ. They merely 'fix' the person at the 'psychic' level (in Gnostic understanding) and maintain division and divisiveness among human beings. The essential Truth dwells beyond the formulations so that a saint is a saint independently of his/her religious framework. Just sharing the nature of my 'heresy.' Since the historicity of scriptures is VERY questionable to me, I cannot state with certainty that the Biblical view of the crucifixion (for example) is accurate and the Qu'ranic view is not. The crux of the matter is (pun intended) the transformation of the human being into what Muslims Name Allah: "The Compassionate, the Merciful." THAT also describes Christ.

Peace.

-MtG


--------------------
γνῶθι σαὐτόν - Gnothi Seauton - Know Thyself


Edited by MarkostheGnostic (01/02/07 08:47 PM)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: MarkostheGnostic]
    #6417810 - 01/02/07 08:04 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

There it is. :thumbup:


--------------------
:redpanda:
If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you

:heartpump: :bunnyhug: :yinyang:

:yinyang: :levitate: :earth: :levitate: :yinyang:


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Offlinefivepointer
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: Economist]
    #6419009 - 01/03/07 01:55 AM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Economist said:
Quote:

fivepointer said:
"I consider the doctrine of "free will" to be a damnable heresy. I also consider Gnostics, Roman Catholics, Mormons, JW's, Universalists and Annihilationists (I could go on..) to be false gospels, and those who hold to such doctrines lost souls." Now that is more correct.



I'm sorry you feel this way fivepointer.

We (the Roman Catholics) still believe that you're trying pretty hard to live a good life, and we'll be happy to see you join us in union with God.

@Implicitli
Please don't label all Christians as believers in fivepointer's doctrine, many of us would be happy to engage in philosophical debate. Please believe me when I tell you that, according to the Catholic Church, if you're asking the question "How do I live a good life?" the answer is probably that you're already doing more than enough. That usually gets lost in the extremism and the slander (We don't tell the Protestants that they're going to hell, but they sure tell us we are), but if you ever want a dialogue I'd be happy to give it.




Actually the official position of Roman Catholicism, as stated in the Council of Trent, (which is still official doctrine today), pronounces Anathema (to be accursed) on anyone who holds to the positions of Reformed Protestantism. Romanists also hold to no salvation outside the RCC. They recently made a doctrinal change that an ignorant person and even a Muslim could be saved outside the RCC. But officially Reformed Protestants are considered heretics and no salvation can exist for them while being outside of the RCC.


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Invisibleimplicitli
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Re: The Biggest Question of Christianity... [Re: fivepointer]
    #6420880 - 01/03/07 05:40 PM (16 years, 1 month ago)

Maybe the biggest problem is fearing your own susceptibility to believing something just because it COULD be an easy answer.


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