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Jillybean said: </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I have seen it stated numerous times that this is a christian site, quite recently in fact.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I believe that most of the "regulars" are pretty aware that this site is not Christian (as far as the audience/posters). But maybe they feel it is because it's Dr. Harley's site and he is a Christian and his books and principles are based upon Chrisitian principles. I've seen people say that they are Christians, etc. but never state that this is a Christian site. I guessed I missed wherever you saw it.

I find it completely understandable though that someone would think or say that. I was thinking about how Dr. Harley is a Christian with his books in Christian bookstores and then I was also thinking about how churches have marriage builder seminars and some Christian sites also post this site on their website. So I have a feeling that quite a few people make the assumption that it's a Christian site when they come here. There is no where where it states that it's not.

So if a person sees his books in a Christian bookstore or at a Christian website (of which there are many that are definitely Christian, mostly as far as the material they post but also their forum participators are by and large Christian people... such as www.growthtrac.com or www.crosswalk.org or www.familylifetoday.org or www.christianity.com , all of whom recommend his books on their sites), well... it's only understandable that a person would come here thinking it's Christian. His teaching is also on Christian radio stations. And I think, if I recall correctly, he speaks at churches. So, is it really a surprise that a person would possibly hear him speak in a church, know that he's a Christian, and then think that his website is Christian.

And actually, I would consider the articles "Christian" as far as they are based upon Biblical principals, but one step in the forums, and it doesn't take long to see that there is a vocal nonChristian population (most vocal in the EN forum). I've seen alot of Christian advice given in the divorced and infedelity boards and have yet to see nonChristians express disdain for it. It's just a guess and could be very wrong, but it seems that I see more Christians in those areas and more people give Biblical advice, offer prayer, etc. That's not to say there aren't posters there though that express offense towards Christians. I just myself haven't seen them (like I have in the EN board where there are all sorts of hostilities towards Christians and anything related). But maybe others have.

As for preaching... well, you just gotta live with it I guess. Kinda like "I'm Precious" said. You will probably continue to see posters quote Scripture. I don't think the Christians are going to leave... I see alot of "regulars" that are Christians. And alot of "regulars" who aren't.

Christianity is strong and thriving not only in America but around the world. You will probably deal with "Bible thumpers" the rest of your life because Chrisitanity will never die out. There will always be those Christians who are quieter and those who are vocal.

Personally, and I hope this doesn't offend too much, but I believe that the "issue" isn't just with the Christians themselves but it's with God and the Bible. Bottom line, you don't want to hear it. It's not necessarily the poster who "turns you off." It's the Scripture itself because you do not believe in God and don't want to hear any teaching about Him.

Since the beginning of time, God and His Word (the Bible) have "offended" people because they simply don't want to hear. It will always be that way until the end of time.

<small>[ March 25, 2004, 01:49 AM: Message edited by: LoveMyEx ]</small>

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BP,

I can't quite keep up with all the posts here but read the one where you gave your problems with religion and wanted to reply with just a few things.

First there are alot of religions. There is only one though that acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of mankind. Even some religions that call themselves Christian don't acknowledge this. They say things like that Jesus was God's son and a prophet, but not God Himself in the form of man.

And I don't understand all of it with my finite mind... how Jesus can be both Son and God, but I've heard it explained like an egg or water. An egg is one egg but it is three: yolk, white, shell. Water is water but comes in three distinct forms: steam, ice, and water. Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are one but yet three distinct Beings as well. Anyways... that's my little lesson for the day! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> But I say all that to share that that teaching right there is what distinguishes the Christian faith from other religions.

And yes, it is an act of faith to believe it. I've never heard God's voice and I didn't live when Jesus was alive. But I believe... simply because I chose to and because when I consider such things as the galaxies of the universe and its vastness and order... when I consider the birth of a baby... when I consider the workings of the mind and the body, how each system works together... when I consider our frailty... and so much more... I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a God.

Okay, back to your "problems" with religion.

I would venture to say that even though you taught Sunday school and had a "born again like" upbringing, you probably never had a personal friendship with Jesus Christ in which you considered and believed Him to be your Lord and Savior. Maybe you did? My thoughts are that you probably didn't, but if you did, you can feel free to correct me and share.

I don't think we have a need for faith, but we have a need for God. My belief is that God is our Creator who greatly loves us and that without Him, we are like sheep gone astray. We live our lives as we please and we do our thing, never acknowledging or serving the Lord, but it is like blindness in which we think we are headed in right directions but can't see that we are lost and blind.

Faith is not a need but it is an act and a choice. Faith is the active acknowledgement of God and His Word. It is saying, "Yes, I believe and yes, I need you God." The need is for a Savior and the faith is acknowledging that need.

And yes, you are right, that my faith in God does indeed provide me with a sense of safety, love, etc. Becaues I walk with God, I experience His protections and provisions. And even when He allows me to perhaps face abuse or danger or tragedy, I know that life is temporary and that someday, I will be with Him and this life will pass away. I know that I am His child and creation and I know my purpose as a result. Living as a Christian is by no means easy or problem-free, but I do see the Lord provide and protect in ways that are often a direct result of my prayers or other's prayers. And sometimes He says no to prayers for reasons only He knows. And I accept that too, knowing that He loves me.

OKAY, as to your wife...

I wanted to encourage you to not base your beliefs on the experience with your wife. I will share with you that my husband was/is a Christian man. However, I could describe him in ways in which you described your wife... as not looking within himself but blaming me and so forth. He also used Scripture to suit his purpose. Taking some verses to support his belief that he was right to divorce me and ignoring others (such as "Do not divorce your wives.")

However, I have to forgive him and I have to understand that none of us, even Christians, are perfect. We fail. Christians fail. We, as Christians, really should be the ones of all people loving the most and having the happiest marriages and being the kindest, etc. It is what God calls us to be because it's how He is... loving, kind, faithful, good. I am sure it grieves Him greatly when He sees us Christians not living as we should and giving Christianity a bad name.

But it does happen, and when it does, He does offer forgiveness and IF we repent and change our ways, He does restore us.

I think your wife, like my husband, used Jesus as... well, I'm not sure the words... um... kinda used the Bible as a weapon in which to pound you? And it's understandable that that would turn you off of religion.

I have been "burned" by other Christians. One of my hardest experiences was when I was a Christian school teacher, of all things! And I had certain Christian parents not act very Christlike towards me or I once overheard the church secretary gossiping about me. Do you know though she is one of my closest friends today and I have never mentioned to her how I heard that because I love her and I know that she is a sinner like me, and I have forgiven it. But I did go through a time of feeling very disillusioned with the church and "hypocrites" but I realized that I can't let that keep me from God. And I have to remember that we are all sinners who do wrong, and the Bible says this: "Love covers a multitude of sins!" That is really very profound and true. If we don't love, then we will hold everyone's wrongdoings against them forever. It is love that helps us to forgive. And love is God. God helps us to forgive.

I don't think I'm articulating myself well here 'cause I'm kinda going off on little mini-sermons <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> , but I do hear what you are saying about your wife and how that turned you off. And I guess I want to encourage you to try to both forgive her and also to not let other people shape your faith. And I don't think your wife is as rare as you might think, unfortunately. There is currently a term called "spiritual abuse" which refers to the using of religion or the Bible or God to manipulate or condemn a person. The Bible is not a weapon with which to condemn someone for not "measuring up." None of us measures up.

As for prayer, prayer is basically communication with God. He loves us. He wants to hear from us. Also, when I pray, it is far more than just requests. It helps me to have a humble heart and a right perspective. For instance, it says in the Bible to pray for your enemies (Jesus' teaching). Well, that's hard! I want to hate my enemies, not pray for them. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> Well, when I do pray for them, it really helps me to forgive. It helps me to trust that the Lord is more than able to handle them. It gives me strength and peace but I am not just praying to the wind. I am praying to the Almighty God of the universe.. my Creator who knows me. Prayer, for a Christian, is indeed powerful and I have seen prayers answered, and of course, they strengthen my faith. And sometimes I have prayed and prayed and felt like God has not heard. Sometimes He seems silent. But I continue to pray and beleive knowing that my patience and perseverence is indeed that strength, hope, and desire that you mention.

I think the reason that we pray for each other is because we love each other and, well, God tells us in His Word to pray for one another. It is a support thing. It is similar to the way it is in here, in a way. You receive strength and comfort from knowing that others care and are involved in your life and that they are willing to help you. I find great strength in knowing that others are praying for me because I know the One to whom they are praying! And I know that He can help me far more than I can help myself or a person can help me.

If there is division and problems between Christians... if we "piss each other off" like you said, well, there are Biblical teachings on what to do. You forgive, you ask for forgiveness, you confront if need be-- in love!-- etc.

Actually, people of faith do study and learn and search. And I believe that Chrisitans or people of strong faith have a better understanding of who they are and their purpose than someone who does not know God. I think though that "low self esteem" is something every person struggles with at various times, Christians including, but it's not because they don't study or learn.

And yes, even Christians face depression. We still live in this world just like nonChristians, and it can be a pretty darn depressing world! And a world that can be really rough on the psyche of a person and their "self-esteem."

BP, you mention that you don't think the Bible has offered guidance in the world of medicine and science and that it only gives answers for the masses, but I would ask you in all seriousness, have you studied the Bible, recently enough that you remember it? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> Unless you know it, you cannot truly know what its contents are, and that's where alot of nonChristians are mistaken. They do not know what God's Word says and they make assumptions based on their own lack of knowledge or based on what others say (many of whom also have no knowledge of God's Word).

On a clear dark night... well, I can recall a time when I worked at a camp in the mountains, and a whole bunch of us went up to this rock under the stars and we sang worship songs to the Lord and we prayed and praised Him and we marveled at His Creation. And I remember another time at the same camp, different rock <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> when a whole bunch of us went to the rock (Called "Lookout Rock" I think) and someone pointed out all the stars and constellations and explained the galaxies, etc. and we were simply in AWE. I always remember that night and how I was blown away by the vastness of the universe and it only caused me to revere and worhsip God all the more! It was a reminder to me of His greatness and power.

But yes, you are right, that alot of Christians do get caught up in t.v., etc. But we have to live in this world like you, and we have to work at jobs and provide for families and we face stress and disease and hardhip just like you. We have to pay our bills and we get tired and cranky, just like you. We face infertility and aging parents and mortgages and deadlines, and on and on... just like you. I guess what I'm saying is that we are not perfect and God accepts those Believers who are studied and scholarly and He also accepts those Believers who are simple and uneducated. And there are both, but neither should be judged or condemned. Some of your statements come across more as judgements as Christians.

If anything religion does NOT keep, it is "social order." More wars have been fought over religion than any other issue. People have been killed, tortured, imprisoned for their faith. Christians around the world are persecuted. Religion may be something created by man, but faith comes from God. Christianity is a faith in Christ as Savior and it goes far beyond being a "religion." To me, it is more of a lifestyle. It is my life and breathe. It's not religion that saves me. It's God. It's not religion that I live for. It's God. Religion is manmade and there are alot of religions in the world. And yes, some of them do control people. And oppress people. Christianity does neither.

You also said, "I think we have developed a sense of compassion, of love, of caring for others, and I think without religion, we would still have that."

Yes, I think that there are many religions that are void of love and compassion, but not TRUE Christianity. God is a God of love. He is a God of compassion and goodness. Unfortunately, even us Christians don't always reflect that to others well, but many do.

If society, as you said, relied on ourselves and each other, it would be a far more scary place than it already is! Our hearts are basically pretty darn wicked. We esteem ourselves and our needs more highly than others. Just look at many posts here in which spouses are bemoaning that fact that their loved one is not meeting their needs.

I see it in children all the time (I am a teacher). I have seen evern kindergardeners, already at a young age, lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, etc. Does anyone teach babies to throw tantrums when they don't get their way? Does anyone teach a very young child to steal something or to tell a lie? No. It's our nature. If we relied on ourselves, we'd all eat each other alive (and many people do!).

As for adopting modern science/technology and having surgeries and the like, of course we do! God has given us gifts and we are to use them. I praise God for gifted surgeons who might save a life. Being a Christian doesn't mean we say, "Lord, I have a tumor but I trust you and so I am not going to do anything about it." God would say to first of all, pray about it and second of all, go do something about it... find a gifted surgeon to heal it if possible. Why would God give a person the gift of being able to perform surgery, etc. unless He wanted us to use those gifts?

It's really not hypocritical at all nor is it a failure with religion. It is common sense and yes, even us Christians have common sense. I can have a surgery and at the same time trust God. I can use a computer but at the same time trust God. And so on. We Christians "adopt" modern science and technology because God created humans with the capacity to do such things, make such things.. and we know that He has given gifts and resources. If we call something "heresy," we would do so because it teaches that there is no Creator. Or we believe it tries to usurp the Creator and do things that He never intended. Or it goes against His Word and His law... it is void of love or faith.

I've never run to the hills or burnt people at the stake though, and I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to there.

You said, "I wonder, when in 40 years, and you can pop a stem cell from your brain or wherever, and grow a new heart for your body. I wonder if the christians will be doing it, or will they still refuse?"

Who knows. But why do you let these things keep you from believing in an Almighty God? Bottomline... you are using Christians as scapegoats for your own lack of faith. You are blaming their failures or judging them, etc. as a means of saying, "See, that's why I'm not a Christian."

Throughout this whole post, it's more of a pointing of your fingers at Chrisitans as being the reason why you don't believe.. whether it be your wife or those who burn abortion clinics or those who run to the hills. But God holds you responsible for what you believe or don't believe and you cannot cast that responsibility onto another person.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I won't go to heaven, nor hell. My life here for 80 years will not determine my ETERNITY. I won't get to see my dead children (miscarriages), my dead brother (he 4, me 6), or my dead dog. I'll die like everyone else, leaving behind only what I have left.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">If you are right,BP, then more power to ya! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> But, if you are wrong, I truly fear for you. IF there is any truth to the Bible, then you will be in for a frightful day oneday when you face God and He asks you if you believed. IF you are wrong in what you say above, then your very life is at stake. Eternity is a very, very long time.

You know you will die. No doubt about that. If you are right and you are just reincarnated or just dirt or whatever, then you have nothing to fear. But if you are wrong... IF there is truth to the Bible... if there truly is a Creator who you will face one day, then your very life is truly at stake.

You also said, "I think people should lose the faith, and find the desire to really learn the answers."

But why? Why does people's faith disturb you so much? You might ask yourself more of that. Is it because you are bothered that you hear it? You don't want to acknowledge God so you don't want to hear about God.

BP, I do have a HUGE desire to learn the answers and I had that desire even as a 12 year old which is when I found the answer... Jesus Christ. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> My faith, and many people's faith is a direct result of a desire to know and to find answers. So many people are hurting and filled with despair, hopelessness, and emptiness. People feel it so strongly sometimes that they take thier lives. So many people are lost and confused and they turn to drugs or crime to give them some sort of "high" to help them with the boredom or despair of life. Jesus is the answer. He gives life where there seems to be none. He heals and He gives hope. And some people come to realize this. Their brokenness often leads them to the place of utter despondency and they cry out to God and He hears.

Anyways, it's hard to talk "kindly" with only type to convey it, but please know that I've said nothing with a loud, sarcastic, or angry "voice." I am really tired right now and too tired to go back and edit it all, so I truly hope nothing sounds angry or rude to you.

I was once where you were. I thought Christians were "stuck in the muds" (well, at least my best friend was!). I thought it was no fun, etc. But God kept drawing me to him. I kept hanging out with my Christian best friend (even though I made fun of her faith and "religion"), I kept going to church with her family, and one day, I believed. I choose to accept Christ even though I knew so little. It was the beginning of my life and the best decision I ever made. I have not been spared of pain, I have sinned even as a Christian, I have been betrayed, I have gotten speeding tickets, and I have been far from perfect. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> But I know that God loves me and that Jesus' blood covers my sin and I know that I have life in Him and so much more.

Anyways, this is really, really LONG and my eyes are burning from sitting in front of the computer so long! I don't even know if you will read it, but I hope that you do.

(I kinda answered your post paragraph by paragraph so that might be why it sounds kinda random!)

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Hootie...and I hate to start this again...

But I have to ask...

Can you PLEASE SHOW ME ONE SINGLE PIECE OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE? Just one?

All I ask is that it is REAL, predictable, provable, anything that "science" would associate as real evidence.

Just one PHYSICAL piece.

Am I the only human alive who hasn't seen the evidence of the supernatural? I really think I am going to start seeking out the occult...I just want to see something supernatural, good or bad. Just once. And I will suddenly have to stop in my tracks and ask "Wow, what was THAT?"

I've seen majic tricks on stage...all I did was look for the mirror/wires/etc. and I couldn't see a thing. VERY IMPRESSIVE...but surely we don't think it was a miracle, do we?

What is the PHYSCIAL EVIDENCE. PLEASE TELL ME.

The bible is a book...to believe it, to take it as the word as you do, that takes faith! You have faith, and believe the book inspired by a diety.

But you have to show me the physical evidence.

That's the difference. In science, we can predict what will happen, perform the experiment, and observe. Maybe we are right, maybe we are wrong. If we are right, and it happens repeatedly, over and over, we say that we think we understand that. If we are wrong, and it doesn't go as we think, than we say we were wrong...and modify the theory, and try again. But there is ALWAYS proof, evidence, reproducibility.

If you can show me proof, that can be supported, predicted, and shown to be repeatable.

If Elijah came back today, and we built the big altar to Baal, and it was not consumed...and then I watched Elijah's sacrifice, and the entire altar, be consumed by god, on demand, 5 times in a row, than I would say, hey, you have something there. It might be god, or it might be one heck of a neat lighting inducer...I'd investigate and determine which. See, that would be proof.

Or if I could see the dead rise off the table...and I could make certian the person was dead...for 3 days....and not be out in the bush were it is possible I just can't detect a heartbeat or other life functions. Let's say if I speared his side and watched him bleed out, I'd be convinced of death. To see him rise again, and to levitate to the sky 40 days later, I would believe something is up...or the aliens were playing games with us. LOL

That is why, I think, we don't believe. You have a nice story...it sounds wonderful...I wish my 80 years here could determine my eternal soul...I really do. Heck, I wouldn't even have to change much in my life.

Actually, on that note, here's a little something for ya.

If I DID KNOW of the almighty, and I was so convinced in his power, I would become the most evangelical convert that history has ever seen. Kinda like I did now, but the other way. LOL</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">bp22 - A more disingenuous "plea" for proof I have seldom seen.

You already have the "proof" you claim and your "bastion" of scientific reproducability is a straw man argument that compares "apples and oranges."

You made a choice to reject Christ as you became exposed to science and "scientific reason" that is decidely pro-evolutionist and tries to make sound like the "scientific method" is the end-all answer to everything. You know that is false if you have truly investigated "scientific claims" and the modifications of many formerly held "scientific truths."

Some things are forever outside of the realm of the "scientific method." Plain and simple. A simple example: pour me out 2 ounces of love please. Yet do you know anyone who questions the existence of this "thing" called "love?"

I can relate to your position in that as I became exposed to science [yes it was my major in college (Biology)] I "rejected" the faith of my youth. It was not until after I had graduated and was faced with having to be honest with myself that I truly examined the "case for Jesus Christ" and found abundant proof that made it clear that a decision "for" or "against" him needed to be made. HE is the crux of the whole thing. On HIM hangs all the other "arguments" that you might choose to take "punches" at.

You sarcastically asked the most vital question in the whole "debate":
Can you PLEASE SHOW ME ONE SINGLE PIECE OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE? Just one?

All I ask is that it is REAL, predictable, provable, anything that "science" would associate as real evidence.

Just one PHYSICAL piece.


The one PHYSICAL piece that you "ask" for is Jesus Christ. He lived, he died, he rose bodily from the grave. He was seen by thousands post resurrection. "Christainity" could have been crushed in it's infancy at that time with total scientific certainty IF it were false.

Without going into a lengthy discussion let me simply put it this way. There are only 4 possibilities about this "great moral teacher", as some would like to relegate Jesus Christ to being:

1. He was a legend. Didn't really exist. Was a figment of imagination.

2. He was a liar. He willfully sought to decieve everyone for his own personal gain. Interesting to note what he endured to perpetuate his "lie."

3. He was a lunatic. He was mentally "not there" in the same way that some mental patients believe that they are Napoleon, or anyone else. A nice guy, but totally nuts in the head.

4. He is Lord (God, Creator, Sustainer, the Word, God incarnate, fully man and fully God, etc.)

There are NO other possibilities.

The first 3 "options" have been repeatedly and thoroughly proven to be "bunk" and floated by those whose agenda is to "attack" Christianity. I could, but won't, cite all that stuff. I leave that up to you and your scientific honesty to investiagate on your own.

That leaves the 4th option. That leaves the remaining question (which of course directly ties into the first 3 options also): Is Jesus Christ who HE said he was?

All of the rest of the arguments, appeals to cosmology, etc. nothwithstanding, are distractions at best and pure bunk at worst. If Jesus Christ is not who He said was and did not rise from the dead (we won't even go into other examples of resurrected bodies like Lazarus), then all faith in His IS foolishness. Likewise, if He IS who He said He is, then all of your arguments for rejection of Him are foolishness.

This is simply an "either/or" issue.

Lastly, again with respect to your insistence upon "scientific method", (i.e., reproducability) it has it's limits. Look no further than origin of the universe and origin of life theories. One thing that I learned in biology is the simple fact that "life begets life." Not one shread of "proof" or "evidence" exists that life ever arose from "non-life" through any evolutionary means. But evolutions IS argued for, vehemently, because there ARE only two options, either life arose from non-life through the theory of evolution OR life arose by the purposeful act of Creator. Since those opposed to a Creator have no other option, they must embrace an unproven theory (evolution) on FAITH ALONE, devoid of scientific proof or reproduceability.

pb22, you have made "science" your god while ignoring the limitations that even science has. That is NOT scientific honesty either.

You give me (an all others through your posting) your speculation to support your position and derision of anything related to Jesus Christ because you can't put it in "model" and reproduce it to prove your theory.

But you are right. It does take faith, one way or the other, and an openness to accept that not all things can be proven by the scientific method, yet they are still true.

Now pour me another glass of love, will you?

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bp,

You want scientific proof that GOD exsist and that Jesus Christ is real? Well if you go by your definition that if something goes the same way over and over then truely GOD and Jesus exsist. Everyday people all over the world choose to believe in GOD and Jesus. Consistently. If something happens over and over again it must be a scientific fact. I guess the inverse would be true about Atheism then. I guess we won't know for 100% sure until the day we meet our demises. But like somebody said before if there is a GOD then do you really want to get caught with your pants down? How many times have you said to yourself I wish I hadn't of done that? Example: One day I left work 10 minutes early, I was in a hurry to get home. My usual route was bogged down with traffic, in my haste to get where I wanted I took a different route. I got into an accident and for the next two weeks I regreted not taking my usual route. Now that is a small time to regret something when there is the thought of eternity. I was a self proclaimed Atheist I wasn't looking for GOD nor did I think I needed Him. But the truth is He pursued me. I won't get into the details of how He "spoke" to me. And before anybody flames me here He didn't actually talk to me in the literal sense. And this is not meant to be a sermon just more of a food for thought. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

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I can hardly add to the great posts that have already been made, especially to Issachar's and Dilbert's proof to the historical reliability of the gospels.

But, BP, as promised, I want to address a couple of your points:

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> So, what happened to me, I lost the need for faith. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Bertolt Brecht asked, “Can you prove that there is a God?”, Herr Keuner asks another question in reply: “Would it change anything about your life if I could prove to you that there is a God? If you say that it would make no difference, then the question is irrelevant. If you say that it makes a difference, then you have shown that you have a need for God.”

If you are not prepared to think of God as someone who is your Creator and your Judge, and to whom you have an obligation and with whom it is necessary to come to terms, and only think of God as some abstract question as you might say, “Are there people living on other planets,” you really won’t get a proper answer. But on the other hand, if you are saying that, “Yes, it does make a difference to me. I really want to know because if there is a God, them I’m going to try to deal with Him,” you’ve shown that you have a need for God. Keuner’s question shows that our presuppositions (both intellectual and attitudinal) will affect our ability to find God.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> …So, that is how science works. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Do we substitute “faith” for “knowledge?” The answer is no. Theology can be a true science (a) because the object of its quest to know, God, is real, and (b) because the means and method by which knowledge is sought are appropriate.

In order for you to know another person it requires self-disclosure on the part of the person whom we wish to come to know. You have to notice what is being said, otherwise you can’t have any faith. You have to make an assent. You have to be willing to place at least some trust is what the other person says. Thus, in the realm of persons, trust (faith) is not an alternative to knowledge, but is a means to know. It’s not that you trust because you can’t know, it’s that you trust in order to be able to know fully. Faith is not unscientific. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> Can you PLEASE SHOW ME ONE SINGLE PIECE OF PHYSICAL EVIDENCE? Just one? </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">In order for us to know God personally, there must be revelation on God’s part. The difference between revelation and mere evidence is that revelation is deliberate self-disclosure, and is intentional. God’s self-disclosure is normally divided into general (that which is available to everybody through nature and conscience) and special (that which God gives in His Word). God has made the conditions of the world in such a way that human beings should be lead to look for Him and then to His Word to find Him.

How do we know that there is a God? “The starry universe above, and the moral universe within.” (Kant)

Everyone has some knowledge of God and we can’t deny God without doing violence to our own reason. (Hodge)

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by liontolamb:
<strong> bp,

You want scientific proof that GOD exists and that Jesus Christ is real? Well if you go by your definition that if something goes the same way over and over then truely GOD and Jesus exsist. Everyday people all over the world choose to believe in GOD and Jesus. Consistently. If something happens over and over again it must be a scientific fact.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Come now, let's not indulge in such silliness. You know that this is neither how logic works nor what bp meant. Silly rhetorical tricks don't advance the discussion, and this one doesn't even get you points for style or wit. If you have only pat answers, you may want to sit back and remain a non-participant in the thread. Most atheists and agnostics have already heard the pat answers, and ceased being impressed with them a long time ago.

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Ya thanks Issachar.


I guess I wiil just go back to my corner.

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I guess that sounded pretty harsh. Sorry for the rather patronizing tone. You pushed a minor button of mine, but that doesn't mean I get to forget about common courtesy.

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LMX - excellent research and comments!
I'm precious - yes, you are!

Those of you that knock, or support, Promise Keepers will be interested to know that Willard Harley and HN/HN are quoted in the PK March/April 2004 newsletter.

I have seen supernatural works, on occasion, but I don't base my belief on Jesus on the works. I believe the Gifts of the Spirit operate today and I believe, and have experienced, divine healing. I also believe if someone has been genuinely healed they need to go to the doctor to have it verified and documented. If the healing is genuine they should be willing to have it proven and share that miracle with others, using the physical evidence.

Last summer I had my foot run over by a tractor while working on a construction site at church. I continued working for a while but my foot swelled so much I finally drove myself to the emergency room. The ER doctor had my foot x-rayed and showed me the film, staing I had many small bone fractures in my foot. I could see the obvious evidence of that. The x-rays didn't lie. She referred me to a specialist and an orthopedist. Because of my insurance (don't you love HMO's?) I couldn't get an appointment for 2 days. I spent that 2 days in prayer and soliciting prayer. My brother took me to the appointment because I had a soft cast on and couldn't drive. My foot was x-rayed again and the orthopedist came in the examining room with a puzzled expression on his face. He had my previous x-rays and the new ones and was comparing them. He said my foot no longer showed many fractures, just one minor fracture that would heal quickly on it's own. He took me out of the cast and ask me to walk. I could walk normally and the swelling had been reduced to almost nothing. I was back at work the next day and I have had no further problems.

Jesus is real in the world today! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! I don't need science or intellectualism to validate my faith, though in this case they did.

I have prayed with people and some have been healed quickly, some slowly, some not at all. I will NEVER quit praying for people to be healed. Jesus is real to me in so many ways.

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i'm precious- I have never spoken a word against the bible or anyone who believes in it. I have never said it was crap. I just don't want others beliefs thrown at me all of the time. I'm a firm believer that religion and spirituality is a very personal matter.

LMX- I guess unless you go to religous book stores you wouldn't know that Dr. Harley's books are sold there. I ordered mine on line.

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Going all the way back to Slap's question about archaeology, a quick Google search turned up a smidgen of info on Luke as a historian.

For a long while, scholars regarded Luke's history as sloppy on the matter of political titles, such as his use of "politarch" for the city council in Thessalonika, since the term was unknown in existing Greek artifacts and manuscripts. Then an arch was discovered in Thessalonika that made reference to the title "politarch". This confirmed that not only was Luke correct, but he had used an exact and specific title instead of a more general one.

Luke provides accurate names and titles for several personages of the first century AD that have been confirmed by modern archaeology, including:

* Sergius Paulus, proconsul of Paphos on Cyprus
* Junius Annaeus Gallio, proconsul of Achaia
* Erastus, city treasurer of Corinth
* "Asiarchs", a local title of authority in Ephesus
* "Protos" ("first man"), title of the chief of Malta

Luke's eye for accurate detail goes right down to his use of correct nautical terms when describing the voyages of Paul. In both his gospel and in Acts, he seems very serious about backing up his claims to have researched the facts as thoroughly as possible.

You will note that none of this "proves" such Christian doctrines as the divinity of Christ or even the resurrection, which is why I've avoided making such claims. For now, I'm content to dispute the idea that the Biblical record of events in Jesus' time is unreliable. It's true that there is not as much external corroboration of the story as we'd like to have, but what we *have* found in external sources tends to support the Biblical record, at least as a history.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by jillybean36:
<strong>I guess unless you go to religous book stores you wouldn't know that Dr. Harley's books are sold there. I ordered mine on line.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Harley's books are carried at nonreligious bookstores, such as Waldenbooks, and are found in the Self-Help section. Seeing as this section is typically only one or two shelves wide and everybody and their brother has a self-help book out, I think it speaks well for Dr. Harley and his approach that HN/HN and other books are still being carried. In the case of HN/HN, that's 18 years or so that it's been on the shelf and still moving copies.

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Issachar,

I guess the point of that was that there is no hard concrete evidence that GOD does exsist to someone who doesn't have the capacity to believe in something that they cannot see or touch. I have never seen the Great Wall of China, sure I have seen a picture of it. But I have never physically seen it or touched it, yet I still believe it exsist.

There are so many things that we don't understand as humans. But that doesn't mean they don't exist.

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Yeah, and I'm sure bp would agree with that in principle. He'd take exception to the example, though, since many people *have* seen the Great Wall, and it would be easy for him to confirm its existence in person if he really wanted to.

With God, it's less easy. Unlike the Great Wall, there's not a persistent "God-manifestation" of some kind that lots of people have seen and that bp could go check out and test for himself. Yes, a lot of people have experienced miracles, but it is difficult for a skeptical outsider to distinguish genuine cases from people who have experienced hallucinations, tricks of the eye, or psychological wish-fulfillment gymnastics. There are enough sham miracles that seekers despair of finding a real signal among all the noise.

You raise a valid question, however, in asking how much evidence is "enough" for bp or another skeptic. Let's say a persistent "God-manifestation" did exist somewhere, and anyone could go see it for himself. Wouldn't a lot of skeptics still reserve judgement against the possibility that they were only seeing some as-yet-unexplained natural phenomenon? Probably. A person ought to consider whether his skepticism is useful or all-encompassing and unassailable.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by liontolamb:
<strong> Issachar,

I guess the point of that was that there is no hard concrete evidence that GOD does exsist to someone who doesn't have the capacity to believe in something that they cannot see or touch. I have never seen the Great Wall of China, sure I have seen a picture of it. But I have never physically seen it or touched it, yet I still believe it exsist.

There are so many things that we don't understand as humans. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Along this same line, I think a lot of it comes down to whether or not one will accept the word of others.

Not to pick on people, but Slapnuts and bp22 provide a perfect contrast. Slapnuts has reviewed what has been written and decided he doesn't believe what the author says. I think he's a skeptic in general, but I respect his decision to decide that he doesn't believe what an eyewitness tells him.

bp22, on the other hand, is quite willing to accept what other people say -- as long as they are scientists. He admits that he isn't a theorist and that some of what others have described is beyond his ken, but he still accepts what they say. Likewise, he accepts many scientific theories with holes in them (such as evolution) based on the idea that we just don't know enough yet and that someday we will when science advances farther. In the meantime though, and until there's hard proof to the contrary, he accepts theories and experimental outcomes because he believes what eyewitnesses to scientific experiments say even though he himself has not seen or touched the physical proof. Bp22, I know you've probably heard it said before, but science is just a different belief system in which faith is a factor just like religion.

I, and many other Chrisitians I think, have decided that what the eyewitnesses recorded (and even the secondhand writers) is reliable information. I know there are many arguments about the accuracy of translations and the passage of time, but even with all of those arguments stacked up, I think it's a pretty tough sell that there's not a bit of truth left in the story.

Slapnuts and bp22: I like you guys and I hope I haven't mischaracterized your positions on anything. I have no doubt I'll be corrected or that you'll clarify as you feel you need to do.

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I doubt that we are going to establish the existence/non-existence of god in this thread. You either have faith that he exists or you don't.

What is Faith?

Merriam-Webster.com say it is:

Main Entry: 1faith
Pronunciation: 'fAth
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural faiths /'fAths, sometimes 'fA[th]z/
Etymology: Middle English feith, from Old French feid, foi, from Latin fides; akin to Latin fidere to trust -- more at BIDE
1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
synonym see BELIEF
- in faith : without doubt or question : VERILY

I'm partial to "The firm belief in something for which there is no proof". Christians will never convince someone with a scientific bend to accept things without proof. It doesn't mean that their premise is wrong . . . it just means they can't prove it. They should probably stop trying . . . it can't be done. I think that Thomas Aquinas came close, but he too couldn't get past the need for faith.

Another definition of faith is the irrational belief in the improbable. From the non-christian’s point of view the whole virgin birth, rising from the dead scenario does indeed seem improbable based on their experience and understanding about the laws of nature . . . Is the belief in such super-natural happenings irrational? I don’t really know. Such events would certainly be outside the scope of any experience I have had in this life.

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As I stated before this most recent detour started, yes, it ALL boils down to faith. Many many many threads in the past have proven this.

As for me, I appreciate all those who like to speak for me. LOL But I will repeat what I have written previously.

Yes, in fact, I was a hardcore born again christian during my youth. Without a doubt, I felt "the presence of the lord". Without a doubt, I accepted jesus as my person savior, and he fully lived within me. Without a doubt, my committment to him was very real. Ask my old friends...they'll reassure for you that I was very much a believer. LOL

However, I can say today, that I will completely renounce all of my faith, and I will say it is totally wrong, and falsely placed. Wrong in the sense that there is no superior diety, and all such beliefs are "false".

My knowledge of the bible has no doubt waned over the past 15 years. There was a time I was rather up on it all, even did a couple years of bible quizzing...LOL...but never was committed to memorizing anything.

So, you can knock me all you like, but rest assured, my faith was as solid as anyone here.


Thanks to Issachar for pointing out how people like to use "word" to try and create "logic". It doesn't work like that, otherwise jesus couldn't make a rock so heavy he couldn't life it. It's the same silly game with words...a complete waste of time, becuase words are words. I'm not slapping you liontolamb. It is often used "tactic" by many. Sufdb started to get into it yesterday, and I told him I just won't go into the philosophical use of words...Do we really exist? Or are we just someones thought? Geez.


I will also repeat my primary problem with religion, my disbelief, is NOT becuase of all the hyprocasy I see in the world today. It is purely becuase of my understanding of the universe we live in, and my "need" to know what I believe is indeed reproducibly provable, ie not taken on faith.

To those who say the christian life is not easy to live, can you please share a few details about the troubles YOU endure? From my ex-born again days, I used to prophelitize...I used to be persecuted for what I believed. I was called the jesus freak, the bible thumper, etc an so forth. Are these the things to which you refer? Is it the refrain from alcohol, drugs, sex, and whatever "worldly" things? Curious...


Contrary to what has been spoken in my name, and as I have previously written above, I would indeed change my life radically if I was shown any proof in the supernatural, let alone proof of a diety. I'd even have to agree that the proof of anything truely supernatural would encourage ME to believe fully that there is indeed a creator, demons, and all the mess.


Without a doubt, my life would radically change. I would instantly drop my current life and follow up in the followings of something. Certainly if my life here, for 80 some years, can in any way determine my life for ETERNITY...I'd gladly endure the wickedest of pain, suffering, poverty, and persecution to assure that I can live ETERNALLY as close to god as possible.

Don't you?

For those who so strongly believe, why haven't you given up everything to serve him? Would he not prefer to have more Mother Theresa's in the world toay????

I'm not being sarcastic...I'm dead serious. Is that not what he has commanded? WOuld that not bring you more jewels in your crown?

To she/he who asked me before, YES, that is what I am saying...why have you not given up everything in this life, all material possessions, all comforts, in order to do his work? No, not sitting in sackcloth...lol. But how about serving your lord doing his work in africa? Asia? South America? inner cities in the states? Why the fancy cars, house, and lifestyle of comfort?

I just don't understand.


If you were up for the big promotion, and your boss had a need for a presentation or something to be done by noon on Friday, would you not give the extra effort thursday night, stay late, to get it done? Perhaps securing the promotion, the extra money??

Then why not do this for your lord, the creator of all things, and secure your place in ETERNITY!???


I really don't understand why the world isn't completely stuffed full of people giving everything to him.


But I already know your answer. He hasn't called you to be a mother thersea. As someone quote his word before, he says tithe to the church, pay your taxes, and do what you are called to do.

Is there ANYTHING that can't be justified, aligned, or reasoned to fit comfortably with religion/god??

Yes, I personally don't accept things on faith. The great wall of china, it's there, I have seen it (in photos only), and have spoken to those who have touched it. Someday I shall too, I hope.

Yeah, I haven't been to the particle accelerators when they detect the top quark. But I believe those who tell me they have done it, becuase they show their proof. And others have recreated it, on their own, and verified it.

I don't understand how folks try to compare their "faith" in jesus, with fact.

Yeah, so many choose to believe, so it MUST be real. LOL So, weapons of mass destruction or just laying on the ground in iraq too...becuase SO MANY BELIEVED. Heck, even I believed somewhat that Saddam probably had some nasty things. Oh well, I was led astray, by W, and his chronies, who have sent many people to die for their own plans, desires, and wishes.


It all boils down to faith. And that's OK...I guess. If it makes you feel good, then go for it! But I just wish other people weren't hurt so much by it...so often. That's the "bad" I see in religion...even without the wars, the killing, etc.


Did anyone read the links I provided? Did anyone actually spend the time to understand the science behind the links? No...becuase you can't do it in 24 hours...or probably in 24 months. I know I couldn't have anyways.

So, when you sit on that rock at camp, and look out into the vastness of the universe....you see signs of your almighty creator, and it stills your soul and confirms your belief.

When I do this, I am awestruck with the insignificance of us humans. I am awestruck with curiousty of what is out there. Am I am amazed that we, the human race, have been able to learn to much, to actually UNDERSTAND much of what is there today. We have accomplished so much, we understand so much, and yet we have so much to learn! It's great!

But so many are just so happy, so content, to have faith in something else.

It's OK, it just amazes me.


Oh yeah...LOVE. Well, if you read the thread of a few weeks ago, or months now, there is MUCH chemisty behind love. The human feelings of it anyways. So, in fact, and I forget the names of the endorphines, but in fact, you probably CAN POUR 2 OZ of love into a cup. LOL

As for caring, kindness, consideration, and all the other things that many animals display....not just humans...yeah, that's also some kind of neurochemical thing. Don't you feel good when you give your spouse and kids a big hug? I know I do.

I'll say it again though...just one piece of evidence...one piece of proof.

And I'll stand behind science, and would like to hear all the things that science, and the scientific method, fail to "explain". We don't know it all, but compared to 100 years ago, we've come a long way!

Be well all....I'm home with a sick daughter today. Perhaps I should just pray that her strep throat goes away....Why should I use the science of medicine and acquire an anti-biotic? LOL

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bp...Contrary to what has been spoken in my name, and as I have previously written above, I would indeed change my life radically if I was shown any proof in the supernatural, let alone proof of a diety. I'd even have to agree that the proof of anything truely supernatural would encourage ME to believe fully that there is indeed a creator, demons, and all the mess.

sufdb....supernatural?

hmmm...so if we take a recording device to an aboriginal tribe and God "speaks" from it, they will now believe in God?

That don't work bp, and it is not how you prove God exists, you use physics, and no, it is not a word game....but unless you (and I) are telepathic, words are all we have to convey information...correct?

You do not prove God exists by works, or deeds, or evidence....you do so by using logic (and applying it to physics). You can (and not saying you are per se) blow that off by saying is all words, but that does not mean you (all of us) won't experience the consequences of a wrong decision in this regard...true. If God does exist, and you don't account for that in your life there could be undesireable consequences...would you agree? Likewise if God does not exist, and you expend resources on the basis God does exist, you have diminished your life, and will experience consequences.

So far your arguments for/against God have not really contained any substance, and that is what I have been addressing. I have only been suggesting the way you go about this, and why one should do so. Frankly your arguments "feel" more emotional than rational, as if you became disillusioned at some point, and now have an emotional investment in your position....it wouldn't surprise me at all if this wasn't intertwined in your marital failure.

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re proof


There is absolutely no kind of "proof" that can substantiate God.

Anything we can "imagine" as adequate proof can be explained by sufficiently advanced science....unless the observation involved an unequivocal revocation of the laws of physics...such as placing mars in orbit around earth and experienceing no gravitational consequences....but even that could be explained by proper application of physical laws and engineering application (albeit the equations would be horrendous).

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bp,

I understand what you are saying? I can tell you with 100% accuracy why I haven't given up all of my possesions and worldly things to follow GOD completely.

I am a filthy rag, a true sinner. I wish I could give some other reason but the truth is I am just selfish. I thank God that he accepts me the way I am.

Having said that, me evangalizing if that is the word we would like to use here is following Him. I pray with my family something a couple a months ago I wouldn't have done. I think if everyone gave up everything to follow him it would be a perfect society. But in an imperfect world quite impossible at this point in time.

Things I have gained from GOD:

I value my family and friends more now then when I didn't believe.

More respect for others opinions, whether or not I percieve them to follow mine.

Assurance that I won't be here forever, and that there is something much better for me when I move on.

Solace when I am deep in despair.

A good friend to share joys that happen in my life when it seems everybody else is to busy with their worldy duties.

The loss of bitterness that I held on to for so long.

I can discuss the deepest and darkest secrets that I would never share with another human.

I could continue on here but I think you get the point.

Things I haven't given up but continue to try:

All wordly things. Really I admit it freely, I wish it weren't so but it is. My life changed but not drastically. Someday I hope not to be as much as a hypocrite as I feel. But I will never be able to live the perfect life, it is just not possible.

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