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BP posted: </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial"> 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.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Where do you get that everyone is supposed to be poor? The Rich Young Ruler? This requirement was especially suited to this man. His riches were that one idol he had to forsake in order to trust in Christ alone. Jesus therefore required of him what He did not require of other rich men, such as Abraham or Joseph of Arimathea. Their riches did not prevent them from trusting in Christ.

The point is that Jesus knows everyone’s idol. Jesus knows perfectly what is competing in your heart with affection for him.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">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.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">bp22 - I have to admit that the bolded part of the above quotation about sums up your knowledge of the subject. That's not meant to "slam you." It means simply that you retain some memories of a juvenile experience and prefer your adult memories based on science. That's fine. I tend to that way of thinking also, it's better to approach things from a more adult and mature perspective.

But you, through the rest of your quoted post above, and through other posts that you have made on this thread, show a markedly less than adequate knowledge of WHAT IS written in Scripture, much less any intrepretation of it. You then resort to an uninformed or misinterpreted paraphrase of Scripture to give an incredulous "aha!, you are all not following Scripture so you don't even believe correctly!"

You seem to be building your whole house of cards argument, or questions if you prefer, from Jesus' talk with the "rich man." When Jesus told him to go and give away all that he had and then come back and follow him. The rich man had asserted that he did all that Jesus had said needed to be done, up to that point. But he held onto his love of money and Jesus used that to point out to him (and to us) that money was his "god."

That is NOT an instruction to be a pauper in order to be a Christian. It merely pointed out that we are to have NO gods other than God in our lives.

As for the various ways that Christians can serve, I might venture to say that there might be a bigger "mission field" right here at home. But regardless, we are not all given the same gifts or calling. It matters not. We are to do all that we can to honor and glorify God wherever we are and whatever we are doing.

Or are you simply envious of people fortunate enough to have resources available?

Regardless, in your lengthy diatribe you failed to address the simple question of "Who is Jesus?" Which of the 4 options do you ascribe to him?

You can rail about all sorts of things, but until you address who Jesus himself is, it's merely an excercise in nonrational verbal diahhrea. You pride yourself, or so it seems from your postings, on logic and the scientific method while at the same time "accepting" that there are some scientific arguments and postulates that you simply "take on faith" because there is no definitive proof or ability to apply the scientific method of reproducable tests.

For example, black holes do exist, right? But does anyone have a credible theory, much less proof, of where the matter and energy go once they are sucked into a black hole? However, we know that matter and energy are both interchangeable and indestructable. So where does all this "stuff" go and what does it "become?"

I'm not talking about a theory when I ask you about Jesus Christ. I am asking you about a real live person of history (at the very least) who made certain claims and who did certain things that were faithfully recorded by eyewitnesses and skilled "scientists" like Luke the Physician.

The claim of "being God" has been made. So which of the 4 possible explanations is the one that you DO believe? Remember, in all of recorded history there is only Jesus who ever claimed to be God, and then backed up the claim with proof.

So if you can stop dancing long enough to answer the question (which you totally ignored in your last post), I would appreciate it. You have laid the "gauntlet down" accusing Christianity and Christ of being false and delusional. I have "picked up the gauntlet" and stand ready to discuss your assertions with you.

THAT is one difference between a adolescent understanding of Christianity and a slightly more mature understanding of it. In a effort to keep the discussion from ranging all over the map, it is my contention that ALL other issues are moot if Jesus Christ is NOT who He says He is. Thus, the 4 possible explanations for who, or what, He is remains the only credible focal point for beginning any such discussion.

I yield the balance of my time back to you, bp22, and await your response.

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I really started to feel bad about the hijacking of this thread so I started one that is dedicated to the subject of GOD or not

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Sudfdb....What I said was, if I SAW a clear example of the supernatural, something that I could in no way explain, then I WOULD be "forced" to believe that yeah, there might be a creator, a supernatural force, and all that goes with it. I am speaking for ME. And I also have to SEE the evidence, the proof, and also investigate and assure myself it is real. So, while the sufficiently ancient civilation may be struck by a digital voice recorder as you say, I would not be. I can understand how that works. So for ME, it would take physical proof.

That is what I am asking for.

I totally disagree, god will not be proven by logic and whatever application of that to physics you can conjure. Nore is anyting in science "proven" by such things. Things are "proven" by countless, repeated experimentation.

People may make logical arguments which lead in a direction of theory...but theory is theory...it is not proven. It always remains skeptical, uncomplete, and just "the working theory" until proven.

Evolution is a great example. It is a theory...it has big problems, gaps, holes. I'm no evolutionary biologist, I understand that it is currently the best "working theory" we have. People continue to learn more, fill in the gaps, etc.

But never, in real science, that I know of, are things ever "accepted" or "taken on faith" in any way. Philosophy?? That's another story.

ForeverHers...Here's what you are asking from me I think. I apologize I didn't answer you directly, my brain can't keep tract of all the points I wish to make as I am reading and htinking about a dozen posts. Sorry. Didn't skip ya on purpose.

--------------
From ForeverHers (I think):

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.)

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

bp22 will add option 5, if that is OK...

And I have to say, I have NOT done any scholarly study on jesus, the man. I do NOT know exactly which book of the bible was written when, by whom, where it was found, who translated it, how many translation it underwent. I am NOT an expert in any way on the vocabulary and vernacular of the day, nor do I understand the change in the wording that would occur by interpretation 1000 years later. Based on what I do know, here's what I'd say about jesus:


5. He was a man who lived and walked the earth. He created a large following of men, speaking about how people should live, the goodness of man, and the potential of mankind. He spoke of love, kindness, caring, sharing, etc. He indeed conjured the anger of the ruling parties at the time, as he spoke against their ruling paridgm, and as people in control in all societies do, they wish to crush the opposition. So jesus was crucified, and no doubt was literally cruicied.

In regards to the miracles, and other "supernatural" events reported to have occured, I do not accept them, personally, as true. I can accept the nature of the "moral" behind the story. I most usually agree with the lesson to be learned. Although I do not believe that the dead rised, the blind could see, and water became wine.

I suspect he was not a lunatic. I certainly don't think there was any desire for personal gain. I do think he was a nice guy, but I suspect he wasn't "nuts in the head".

I think he believed in his cause, he was committed to it, and he totally believed in what he was teaching mankind.

Ossam Bin Laden is not that much different....EXCEPT that ossma has turned to violence in his methods of teaching. But he's clearly committed, clearly not out for personal gain, and clearly in his ways is trying to teach and lead people as to how to live. We don't agree with large parts of his lessons. These lessons I take to be the words of his pals the "clerics" of Islam and whatnot. So, no, I'm not saying jesus and ossama are the same, LOL, I am saying that they have similar characteristics.

Does that answer your questoin?


FINALLY, ALL WHO READ, PLEASE understand...

And PLEASE READ THIS:

My primary problem with religion, god, and all the like...IS NOT THE HYPROCASY OF THE WAY I THINK THE BELIEVERS LIVE. OK, please read that again! Every poster keeps syaing that is my "primary internal struggle" over religion! NO NO NO.

My PRIMARY STRUGGLE is the lack of PROOF! Period.


As the poster above listed her ( I think) reasons for believing....THEY ARE ALL GREAT THINGS! THEY ALL MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD! THEY ARE ALL REASSURING. THEY ARE ALL BENEFICIAL TO LIFE.

But, so is believing in santa claus. So is believing that an apple a day will keep the doctor away. So is believeing that exercise will help you live a long life! So is believing in anything that makes you stronger, provides confidnce, reassurance, and a sense of direction and purpose!

BUT, none of them are necessarily "real"!

Well, I think exercise IS proven to help you live longer and healthier, by and large. Tell that to the select few who die during exercise...

Anyways, my point is, just becuase something "makes you feel better", that is NOT PROOF. Sure, it might work for you. But it isn't "proof".

To allude to politics again, it's like all the "proof" we were "told" about weapons of mass destruction. There were pages and pages, all classified, so we just had to "take it on faith" that Sadaam had everything in the book...or nearly so. And yet, when it comes down to it, there was nothing....apparently...so far.

It's "similar" in my mind. The bible...you can believe it, you can have faith, but it isn't hard evidence.

So, much of America took it on "faith" that W and his friends had EVIDENCE...physical HARD EVIDENCE. So off to war we went, largely, as a nation, supporting him and it. But certainly not all.

So, to me, it is nearly identical. You have faith, I don't. I want to see the hard evidence. Physical evidence.

I think that is what science always says...proof. Not hersay, not "trust me", nothing of that sort. People have taken my words and "restated" them for me. I don't understand everything, LOL, that's true. But that doesn't mean I take anything "on faith" in science. What I don't KNOW, I consider with skepticism, until I understand. That is me, that is my nature.

Did that contribute to my failed marriage? No doubt. I find it extremely difficult to share my life with someone who IS willing to accept things as people say, without analyzing, questioning, and UNDERSTANDING. So YES, I will say that no doubt my attitude contributes greatly to my failed marriage. I think picking my mate at age 12 had WAY MORE TO DO WITH IT, before I knew who I was, what I believed, and what was important to me.

Anyways, please understand, my problem with religion is the lack of proof! I look at, what I see as hyprocrasy, as just a "funny thing" about religion, and those that claim to significance of following it.

Religion, especially christianity, has the wonderful "feature" of being constantly molded to fit all situations.

Anyways, no, I'm very happy with my life. I don't have any envy for the wealth of others. I have what I want, what I need. Sure, I'd like to have more, I'd like to drive a newer vehicle, I'd like to have the cash to finish my house, send the kids to college without questioning were the resoureces will come from. I have made my choices in life, put my kids first. I'm not at all willing to trade away my ability to watch and help them grow, and to spend my "career" learning new things that interest me. Astronomy isn't the career for high finance...LOL. Especially if you're not willing to trade your life away...

Logic doesn't prove anything, let alone god. Physical evidence...that's what is known as proof. In the courts, in science, in FDA testing, etc.

The only place, I think, that physical proof isn't required...is BY DEFINITION...FAITH.

(By the way, I hope nobody is offended are feels like I am "attacking" anyone. I am questioning...and I hope I can get others to question themselves. That is how change occurs in people, when they ask themselves questions, and seek the answers. It's the "being honest with yourself" thing...and it is extremely hard to do. Nothing is harder. )

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by sufdb:
<strong>IMO there are but 2 issues relevant to decideing how one orders their life.

1. Is our universe a created one by design, or a chance permutation of unknown (but of undirected...not purposeful) origen.

2. Given the answer to #1, what do we do next. If we decide "science" says we are created, than the next question is what is the nature of the creator and what does that mean to us. </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">False dichotomy, no? Are these really the only two possibilities? What about 3) the ‘universe’ always existed, no random event about it. Or 4) various combinations of the above. If we assume there is no evidence to support any one of the points above another (a big assumption), 3) is simplest, requires no additional explanation, and is therefore most likely.

Peace of God be with you.

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

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.
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">No others? What about the one that most historians (not theologians) maintain, and that is also compatible with our current scientific understanding of the world: Jesus was a real person, but was not the son of God.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
<strong>

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.

</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Really? Have any actual scientific (i.e. papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals) or legitimate historical (i.e. papers published in peer-reviewed journals of history, not theology) references to support that claim?

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
<strong>

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,

</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Unfortunate that you have a degree in biology and yet don’t understand at a fundamental level what the keystone theory in biology says. The theory of evolution says nothing about the origin of live. That is a field of study called abiogenesis. Whether life was initially created by God or by abiogensis is of no concern to evolution. Evolution is concerned with how the diversity of live developed; i.e. how life changed over time, not how the first form of life appeared.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
<strong>

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.

</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">No scientific theory, law, or fact can ever be proven. This is a common misconception. The word ‘proof’ should be dropped when discussing science. The best that the methodology of science can ever achieve to this regard is to say that: we believe this to be true with a high level of confidence. This is referred to as a scientific fact. Often, scientific theories and laws are regarded scientific facts. Evolution is regarded as a scientific fact by the scientific community. Not based on faith, but based on over 150 years of scientific evidence. But don’t take my word for it, go to your nearest university library and use a academic search engine to search for ‘evolution’ in the peer-reviewed scientific journals (note: pop magazines, journals of philosophy and theology are not considered legitimate scientific sources). You will find thousands upon thousands of papers presenting data supporting evolutionary theory. On the other hand, here is a list of the papers published in the peer-reviewed scientific journals that present evidence claiming to refute evolution:


That’s the whole list. If you don’t believe it, I would ask you to do the search yourself and report back your findings.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">
<strong>

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.

</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Science is a completely different epistemology. It has nothing to do with faith. It requires, among other things, empirical repeatability. Its current 'beliefs' and facts are adjusted or discarded as new evidences are revealed. It maintains no absolute, unquestionable truths.

The peace of God be with you.

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Ishcaar (sp?):

I do believe that liontolamb made a valid point a ways back, about people all over the world believing in God and Jesus, consistently. Christianity is a very "old" religion and I recently read an article somewhere (wish I could remember but I can't) that talked about how amazing it is that it has not only remained very much alive, but it is growing and spreading in places of the world where it is not even legal! In fact, the growth of Christianity is like "booming" in certain countries (moreso I guess than the U.S., from what I read).

You take other world religions like for instance, and they do not spread like Chrisitanity does. Most other world religions are dominant within certain cultures (i.e. Muslims in Middle East, Buddists in China, Hindus in India). But people from all cultures, all races, all ages, all socioeconomic statuses convert to Christianity. And when they do, they spread it and make more converts.

Christianity simply cannot be contained. It will not die. Even during the days after Jesus when Christians were thrown to lions and beheaded, etc... Christianity still experienced tremendous growth.

Those are the thoughts I got from liontolamb's post.

I realize that there are those people who have a need for everything to be explained. And in all honesty, I hold nothing against them but it's hard for me to relate because I don't have that need. I don't have to have everything scientifically explained in order for me to believe something is true.

I don't have to have "proof" that the chair is not going to break for me to sit in it. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" />

It also doesn't matter so much that like you said, "all athiests have heard the pat answers." I mean, I would consider this: "God is love" to be a "pat answer" to an athiest, but it's so profound, so real, and so good. And none of us knows whether it'll be the first or thousandth time that a person hears it and decides to believe. God's word "does not return void." There is power in His Word and God can use even "pat answers" to touch a person's heart.

The one thing that does turn people off is rudeness and unkindness such as would characterize your reply to liontolamb to which he (she?) graciously sought your forgiveness.

<small>[ March 25, 2004, 05:15 PM: Message edited by: LoveMyEx ]</small>

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BP, you asked in one of your posts about what do Christians go through or face? Something like that. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> Sorry, I've read so much that I can't reemmber it all! But you were asking about what they face other than being called a "Jesus freak."

Well, for myself, I have faced my parent's divorce and my own divorce in which my husband sounds similar to your wife and divorced me. I have faced the loss of a job in which I was laid off due to cuts. I am fortunate that I have never experienced tragedy though, like the death of a family member or a crime, etc. I don't know if that is God protecting me and blessing me or not. Even Christians suffer because there is sin in this world. I have been a Christian since I was 12 though and have loved Him since then and prayed, studied my Bible, etc. since then as well. So I do believe that I have been spared from many things as a result.

But, well... let's see.. here are some trials and tribulations in other Christian's life:

A couple (friends of mine) whose 5 year old daughter was riding a scooter/go cart thing and ran into a parked car at such an angle that her neck snapped and she died hours later. These were very kind, upstanding people at my church.

A dear wonderful friend of mine who, after losing her father, know is a caretaker to her mother who has full-blown Alzheimers, who is just frail, sickly, and compltely not in her "right mind." Her and her husband take care of this woman in their home.

A friend of mine whose mother died when she was young.

My ex- husband (he is a Christian) whose 1st wife died of a brain tumor at a very young age, leaving him with 2 young children to raise on his own.

And I know of Christians like Jim Elliot,a missionary who was killed by Indians with spears or his wife who not only was widowed with his death, but whose second husband's death (from cancer I believe) left her a widow once again.

Or take the four missionaries recently who were shot to death. Or the missionary, Graham Stedman (I think that's his name correctly!) and his two sons who were killed by Hindus, I believe, who shot them to death while they were sleeping in a car.

Tragedy touches Christians too. But we don't always view these things as "tragedies" because we know that death has no hold on us and that we will be with Jesus in a far, far better life than this earth.

Sin is on this earth. Satan is real and he is hell-bent on destroying lives, especially Chrisitan lifes. If he can, he would destroy Christianity all together. But he can't. Even death does not stop Christianity or Christians.

So, I think that's kinda what you were asking about? Christians don't have perfect, pain-free lives. Yes, I do believe I have been spared from many things as a result of my faith. I have never feared the law for instance because I've not broken it (well, I have gotten a speeding ticket!). I have never felt I had something to hide or feared someone finding out my "secrets" because I didn't do anything that was shameful and had to be hidden. I didn't fear things like "what did I do last night" (like I overheard a friend once ask after a party) because I've never been drunk. Etc.

But while those things do bless me with great peace of mind in which I am spared some of the worries or problems that others might face, they aren't what save me. I am still very much a sinner and I can't boast of my good works. Any goodness about me is hopefully only a reflection and "proof" of my faith. But it's not what saves me. God's grace saves me. And even though those things give me peace of mind, I still sin and I still battle with it and I still face troubles in this life. We all do.

Others have come to believe in Christ at older ages than what I was and they have experienced more painful things then I have. Some of them have AIDS (Christianity is currently spreading rapidly in Africa, where the AIDS rate is extremely high), some have done drugs, some are murderers like a woman named Carla who became a Christian when. She ultimately received the death penalty and is no longer alive, but even a murderer can come to know Christ and experience joy and peace (even in the face of death).

I accepted Christ into my life at a pretty young age so that helped keep me from many things, but many others don't accept Christ until later in life. No matter. What matters is that one day, this life will pass and we will be with the Lord where there will be no more suffering, no more evil, no more pain. He will "wipe away every tear." For those though who do not believe that He exists and who He is, they will not experience that. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="images/icons/frown.gif" /> I say that with sadness knowing that there are those who EVEN when God does a million things to get their attention, they still will refuse to bow to Him.

Even the thief on the cross, in his final hour, believed and was saved. Who knows if he'd done anything good in his life. He was a thief and had broken the law. But his faith saved him because we are not saved by good works but are saved by faith.

(I don't think you were really discussing salvation and good works, so I kinda took a tangent from the original subject of trials! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> )

<small>[ March 25, 2004, 05:38 PM: Message edited by: LoveMyEx ]</small>

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LoveMyEx....I don't mean what kind of tradgies or trial or whatever you want to call them befalls the christian in geernal,

I mean, What trials and tribulations do you suffer BECAUSE you are a christian?

Your previous comment, I think, was "it's not easy being a christian". To me, that means that, becuase of your chosen faith, you have to endure some additional stuff in life, that say an atheist does not.

I'm curious what those things are...

For a missionary to be killed becuase of his beliefs and his spreading the word to the unsaved, that's an exmaple I can except.

Sounds kinda like Copernicus being placed under house arrest becuase he realized the earth wasn't the center of all.

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LoveMyEx....I've never been drunk. I stole a beer when i was 12 from a paper route customers porch....that's the last drink I had. And I guess I can't say I have never broken the law! I stole that beer to boot! I don't smoke. I've never done drugs. I don't have anything to hide, no dark secrets, no skeletons in the closet.

If you met me in the mall, you'd never have any idea I didn't believe, unless we brought it up somehow. LOL I don't have an earing, I don't have pierced nipples, I don't listen to head banger music. Acoustic for me, please.

The one thing you will find very different though, is that I have the same peace as you. The same security, the same confidence, the same comfort. The same direction and focus in life....but without the belief in a diety. I trust in myself, and those around me. I trust in mankind's ability, and what we can accomplish. And I think when we die, we die. It's done. It's over.

I hate that...I want to live forever. But for me, placing faith in something I can't believe in, it doesn't work.

And again, in my mind, it does hamper society, as a whole, when people have these beliefs.

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You know what I think?

Life is too short for hate.

Peace out.

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bp22- </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">And I have to say, I have NOT done any scholarly study on jesus, the man. I do NOT know exactly which book of the bible was written when, by whom, where it was found, who translated it, how many translation it underwent. I am NOT an expert in any way on the vocabulary and vernacular of the day, nor do I understand the change in the wording that would occur by interpretation 1000 years later. Based on what I do know, here's what I'd say about jesus:
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Okay, so the intellectual honesty and dedication to "proof", to scientific inquiry, is conveniently laid aside in favor of uninformed opinion, bias, and conjecture. I guess we could just as easily say that the Earth IS the center of both the solar system and the universe. Mere speculation now, but I think there IS proof out there that others who have studied the subject could point to the the Earth is not the center that all else revolves around. Not too sure about the universe part though. If the universe is without end, I suppose any point within it could be considered the "center" at any time.

But honest inquiry and investigation before forming an opinion would be lacking, or rejected simply because if I found out my "position" was wrong I might have to change some things that I "like." At the best, you state a theory, accept it as FACT, order your life around you unproven theory, and then blast at others who HAVE taken the time to examine the proof and make a decision based upon their investigation.

Such was I prior to committing to an honest examination of the proof, so I know the reluctance you seem to have to actually DO THE WORK, but let me ask you this, isn't that more of the same denial and justification processes used to justify doing what WE WANT, as in an affair also?

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5. He was a man who lived and walked the earth. He created a large following of men, speaking about how people should live, the goodness of man, and the potential of mankind. He spoke of love, kindness, caring, sharing, etc. He indeed conjured the anger of the ruling parties at the time, as he spoke against their ruling paridgm, and as people in control in all societies do, they wish to crush the opposition. So jesus was crucified, and no doubt was literally cruicied.
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Okay, so let's see where we are in this examination:
1. He was a legend. Didn't really exist. Was a figment of imagination.

NOPE, bp22 says he WAS a real person.

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."

POSSIBLY, bp22 says "He spoke of love, kindness, caring, sharing, etc." but OBVIOUSLY lied about who He really was, the Messiah and God incarnate.

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.

PROBABLY NOT, bp22 states he seemed in control of his faculties and purposefully preached a moral and upright message, BUT IF HE ALSO 'BELIEVED' HE WAS GOD, THEN HE MUST HAVE BEEN A LUNATIC.

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

DEFINITELY NOT, bp22 states unequivocably that HE HAS NOT investigated the person of Jesus Christ for himself and is quite comfortable accepting as 'FACT' and 'PROOF' the conjectures, arguments, and specualation of others and his own 'feelings'. Thus bp22 has claimed the title of 'expert' and is justified in rejecting Jesus Christ based upon NO scientific investigation of his own. He would seem to prefer to be 'led around by the nose' by others. I wonder why someone who professes such "need" for proof and veracity of information would refuse to actually and thoroughly investigate the subject for himself rather than simply regurgitate biased and uniformed views of others.

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In regards to the miracles, and other "supernatural" events reported to have occured, I do not accept them, personally, as true. I can accept the nature of the "moral" behind the story. I most usually agree with the lesson to be learned. Although I do not believe that the dead rised, the blind could see, and water became wine.
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I owe you an apology. I did NOT understand that YOU are incapable of accepting ANYTHING as being true unless YOU PERSONALLY see it and/or experience it. NEVER MIND that others of equal intellectual capacity to your own might be capable of accurately and truthfully recording and testifying to what ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN.

Throw out ALL eyewitness testimony. Throw out ALL historical documents and evidence. Give me Thomas!!!! To paraphrase, "Unless *I* put my hand in his side and touch the wounds myself *I* will NOT believe."

Open the gates to the prisons and let everyone out that was not convicted upon the testimony and personal observation of the victim ONLY! There is no such thing as "evidence, eyewitness confirmation of facts, or reality" beyond that which the INDIVIDUAL can see, touch, feel, and attest to for themselves.

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I suspect he was not a lunatic. I certainly don't think there was any desire for personal gain. I do think he was a nice guy, but I suspect he wasn't "nuts in the head".

I think he believed in his cause, he was committed to it, and he totally believed in what he was teaching mankind.

Ossam Bin Laden is not that much different....EXCEPT that ossma has turned to violence in his methods of teaching. But he's clearly committed, clearly not out for personal gain, and clearly in his ways is trying to teach and lead people as to how to live. We don't agree with large parts of his lessons. These lessons I take to be the words of his pals the "clerics" of Islam and whatnot. So, no, I'm not saying jesus and ossama are the same, LOL, I am saying that they have similar characteristics.

Does that answer your questoin?
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No, it doesn't answer the question. You don't even seem to see the illogic of what you said. "I suspect he was not a lunatic. I certainly don't think there was any desire for personal gain. I do think he was a nice guy, but I suspect he wasn't "nuts in the head". (So he's NOT crazy, a nice guy, altruistic, but nuts nonetheless)

I think he believed in his cause, he was committed to it, and he totally believed in what he was teaching mankind. (But he was totally deluded, or lying, about WHO HE WAS. So a lunatic or a liar still remains as a couple of your choices for him. I grant that you have admitted he DID exist and was not merely a "legend".)



My PRIMARY STRUGGLE is the lack of PROOF! Period.

Well, I think exercise IS proven to help you live longer and healthier, by and large. Tell that to the select few who die during exercise...

Anyways, my point is, just becuase something "makes you feel better", that is NOT PROOF. Sure, it might work for you. But it isn't "proof".

It's "similar" in my mind. The bible...you can believe it, you can have faith, but it isn't hard evidence. I'm sorry, let's all throw out all proven and substantiated "textbooks" and begin "proving" things all over again. What an arrogant and illogical statement by one who professes intellectual honesty and the "desire" for proof but has NOT done any investigation on his own!

So, to me, it is nearly identical. You have faith, I don't. I want to see the hard evidence. Physical evidence. No, you don't. If you did you would be examining the proof that is out there already instead of merely spouting opinion based upon NO facts. There are many facts that are NOT dependent upon scientific "touchy feely reproducability." Ask any historian if they can "prove" the existence of any figure in history and by what means they obtain that proof. You throw up the straw man of translational errors, etc. as prima facia proof that the Bible is "unrealiable" for "proving" anything. But have you bothered to actually examine the wealth of data that exists to prove the historicity and accuracy of the bible and the translations? Nope, just another unsubstantiated "shot from the hip".

By the way, has anyone ever told you that telescopes can only see dimly, but that the light has been so distorted from the passage of time that no conclusions of any truth about what really IS being seen can be made? Until you can actuall "go there" and see it with your own eyes and touch it with your own hands, it's merely a figment of your imagination and doesn't really exist.

No, that's not what I believe, but that's the sort of direction that you sort of logic inevitably takes someone....proof rests SOLELY upon what the individual personally sees and can attest to for themselves. But then, everyone else would reject your "truth" because THEY didn't see it and touch it themselves. Seems at best like a bit of circular reasoning, don't you think?


I think that is what science always says...proof. Not hersay, not "trust me", nothing of that sort. People have taken my words and "restated" them for me. I don't understand everything, LOL, that's true. But that doesn't mean I take anything "on faith" in science. What I don't KNOW, I consider with skepticism, until I understand. That is me, that is my nature.
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Oh balderdash. You accept all sorts of things that others have done before you. You build upon their observations and knowledge. You repeat experiments and investigations when necessary. You hide behind the term "skepticism" the same way that someone hides behind the term "agnostic." "No decision" becomes a "viable decision" becomes "truth" becomes "intellectual elitism". Okay. Let's park the car in the middle of the intersection because we are "skeptical" about which road to take. We have all sorts of preconceived notions about where each road may wind up taking us so INACTION is the "true and best course of action."
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Well, once again, I state the truth, that I haven't done the exhaustive search that I assume some of the professional scholars have done, and of course, that means I don't know anything...and I'm condemned by one who choses to do so. I will agree that my 20 years of immersion in christianity and the born again world was my first 20 years, so I will agree that perhaps only the last 10 are significant, and of those, the last 5 even moreso.

(Actually, I have to modify that. I have continuously, always been exposed to religion and fundamentalism. My wife was that way, my family is partially that way, etc. And the folks here, they don't ever hold back what they have to say. And they never should! However, in all cases, in all exposure, one gets constant exposure and understanding to how, in this case, christians think, act, and carry themselves.)

That's OK...(deleted). LOL

I beg you to find the references in any current journals that claim the earth is the center of anything.

As I have stated, I require physical proof. As I have stated, exaclty as the other poster has, in science, once things are seen as reproducible time after time, we start to consider it understood. Yeah, sometimes those things may be called fact. As the other poster said, all things are subject to change at all times. New findings, new understandings, things always tweak.

The historians I know go through great lengths to verify the information they are reporting. This is extremely difficult. My understanding is they look for verification in other reports of the incidents, and also investiagate and understand the people who are reporting. It is then taken as the best understanding, given the sources. Is it considered as FACT? Then what happened to JFK?

In astronomy, we get one thing from say distant galaxies. Light. Only light. We look at the entire spectrum of that light, and from it, we can learn many things. We say we "understand" what we see, becuase 1. We compare it to tests done in the lab and 2. When applying the proper shifts due to things like cosmological redshift, which is a theoretical predicatable calculable number, it all is consistent. That is why we believe what we see is what we think it is.

Have you done your extensive study in science? Do you understand the underpinnings of physics? Have you seen the symmetries of how everything is the same, sorta, on different scales and levels? Have you investigated how astronomers do claim to understand what they see across the universe? Have you investigated the consistencies of theory, and experimental evidence? Do you know how theories had predicted various phenomena, that were then measured?

It is that understanding, that insight into nature, that has forced me to abandon any belief, or need, or ability to believe in something supernatural. From my experience, what I have learned, and what I see, I do not see how, or why, a creator is necessary to explain the worlds around us.

I'm not better than anyone else. Contrary to many in the science world, I do not intellectulize my existence, and sport my superiority. Many many do. I agree with you there. But I don't. I have told you why I believe what I believe, I have told you why I don't believe in a creator. I have also stated that words, so called "logic" are not proof for anything, to me, they are words.

I do believe in what others have told me, as long as 1. I have investigated the source of information and have learned I can trust them and 2. It makes sense and is generally consistent.

So, when my mechanic calls and says I need $700 of work on the truck, I believe him. He has proven his skills to me and his honesty. If the brake guys tried to tell my wife she needed $700 of work on the front end, I'd be skeptical, because I don't know them, and I have heard the stories of how folks like to create work.

When some of the colleauges at work tell me something, I trust them, I will go and look for myself. When others tell me, I don't trust them, I will go and look, extremely skeptically.

It ALL boils down to FAITH...what are you willing to accept? What are you willing to trust? Not just in religion, but in all things in life. Do you trust an electrician to wire your house properly? Any electrician? Do you trust a doctor to operate on your children? Any doctor?

It seems you are saying that the proof for god is the "ancient" texts. I guess I can't ever find myself to believe in something with is 100% contrary to what I can see, day after day, proven to me.

I guess what I am asking for when I ask for proof...show me physical evidence of your living god. Proof from today. Or undisputable proof from before....although I think we all agree that history is tough to "prove".

The egyptian empire has left us tons of religious proof. We can read it, see it, see the monuments, etc. We KNOW the people had numerous religious beliefs.

But do you believe in Inubus? Where's the Ka? (Is that the eye thing god, right?) Are the gods of ancient egypt proven in the same way as the christian god??

Why not?

What gives?

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">It is that understanding, that insight into nature, that has forced me to abandon any belief, or need, or ability to believe in something supernatural. From my experience, what I have learned, and what I see, I do not see how, or why, a creator is necessary to explain the worlds around us. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">bp22 - Okay, no one said it was "necessary." There are only 2 ways that everything in the universe came into existence. 1)Through natural random processes which many call "evolution" or 2)Through the purposeful act of a Living Creator, by design.

One can easily choose either "model" but it will be dependent upon one's perception of, or belief in, a Supreme Being (i.e., God). Since there are only two choices, one is right and one is wrong.

Of course, if someone wants to try to straddle the fence and not really make a decision they can fall back on the idea that "okay, God created, or 'kickstarted' the whole thing and then turned the eventual outcome out to evolution. That position is analagous to an architect who draws up a beautiful plan for a building, arranges for all the needed supplies to be dumped at the site, and then sits back to let the building assemble itself.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">I guess what I am asking for when I ask for proof...show me physical evidence of your living god. Proof from today. Or undisputable proof from before....although I think we all agree that history is tough to "prove". </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">The "undisputable proof" you ask for is the resurrected Jesus Christ. It was a "physical" event of the sort that you seem to confine yourself to. But unless you are willing to accept that other "sciences" than "hard science" have any merit, it would do little to satisfy your definition of "proof."

If you want to get into textual criticism and the historicity of the Bible, we can do that, but it's not the same thing as a "scientific method" approach to be able to produce "reproducable" experiments to confirm a hypothesis. It IS recognized as a factual approach to literature and the "reality" of people of history and is how things are "proven or disproven" about the past. NONE of the people doubt that George Washington, for example, actually lived and did certain things. They were faithfully recorded and are available for review. But no one is still alive today to provide "verification" of the actual existence of George. The same is true of trying to obtain a contemporary person who can "attest" to the facts concerning George. But you don't doubt the veracity of his existence or what he did, do you?

What I am talking about here is "intellectual honesty." Not that every little thing is "explainable" because it isn't. Not any more that all things in the physical universe are known and explainable. But there ARE certain constants that remain true. Perhaps the most well-known is E=MC2. There are a lot of others and in your field of astronomy you use some of them.

The same is true of Christianity. There is ONE constant that remains true. That constant is Jesus Christ. ALL of Christianity rests on the person of Jesus Christ, and beyond that, on the FACT that he rose from the dead. Without the resurrection, all of the rest is irrelevant.

So the "proof" you seek rests upon the fundamental of "did Jesus actually rise from the dead" or not.

For that you will have to move your criteria for proof into the arena of the "courts", of evidence, of eyewitness testimony, etc. It cannot fit your narrow definitions of either "reproducable events" or personal observation of some miraculous event.

</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">The egyptian empire has left us tons of religious proof. We can read it, see it, see the monuments, etc. We KNOW the people had numerous religious beliefs.

But do you believe in Inubus? Where's the Ka? (Is that the eye thing god, right?) Are the gods of ancient egypt proven in the same way as the christian god?? </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Please, you are more intellecutally honest than that! There are many religions, both past and present, that have at their center "man-made" claims or attempts to explain physcial things or to control others. They DO NOT have a single individual, attested to by followers and opponents alike, who claimed to BE God. Christianity could easily fall into being just "one of those religions" IF there were no resurrection. Since Jesus Christ himself, not to mention prophecy, said that he would rise from the dead, debunking his resurrection would be the surest way to "kill" Christianity.

You may not "like" it that there could be a Creator behind the wonderous universe, but again it's irrelevant if Jesus Christ IS who he claimed to be. In all of history, up to and including today, Jesus Christ is the only person to both claim to be God and to back up that claim with proof of his power over both the physical and the spirit worlds.

So before the discussion can go any further it remains with you to decide WHAT constitutes "proof" for you. If you want hard, scientific proof, I give you the risen Christ. If you want spiritual "proof" I give you the most faithfully and carefully translated text in the history of man, the Holy Scriptures. If you want historical "proof", I give you Jesus Christ, a man who lived and walked this earth, attested to by followers and foes alike, and who had eyewitnesses to his actions faithfully record the miracles that he performed.

This IS the thing that sets Christianity apart from all other religions, or non-religions of the world. It is centered upon the person of Jesus Christ and no one else. It is based upon his claims and his actions and the actual resurrection from the dead of his body. Since it all rests upon "proof" of who He is, we are back to your definition of "proof" for an historical figure.

By the way, you will get your "current day physical realm" proof too. That will happen with his second advent, but by then it will be too late. So as he admonished people of his time, "you have Moses and the prophets but you don't believe. Neither will you believe if someone should rise from the dead. But this is the only sign that you will receive..."

Seriously bp22, you are making a choice based upon feeling and conjecture but not upon an honest appraisal of the available facts. You are free to do so, but is that what you want to embrace as "intellectual honesty" for yourself?

We are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul. Faith IS a part of it as it is with many things as you pointed out with your auto mechanic, but so are other things including an intelligent assessment of the facts concerning this man called Jesus.

"Choose ye this day whom ye will serve..." is as applicable today as it was in ancient days. It's a CHOICE that we make. Use all of your God-given faculties to make the assessments needed to make an intelligent, factually based, choice.

And remember, it IS intellectually honest to NOT throw out data that "proves" our hypothesis wrong, no matter how much we thought it was true up to that point. We may not "want" to, but honesty demands accepting that which is true, not that which is desired. I threw out Chistianity as I got more immersed into science and the postulates of some things, such as evolutionary theory. But you know something, there really is not ONE shred of proof for evolution of life and species. There IS for adaptation within a species, but not one instance of an entirely new species "evolving from another." There really is more proof of Jesus's resurrection than there is to support evolution(none).

God bless.

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</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by bp22:
<strong>
But do you believe in Inubus? Where's the Ka? (Is that the eye thing god, right?) Are the gods of ancient egypt proven in the same way as the christian god??
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Hey Bp22, that's Anubis, not Inubus. Don't you go spelling the name of my favorite Kemetic diety wrong.(Hey, if they're real I want to be buddy, buddy with the guy ensuring I get a fair shake on the scales of truth). Also, it's the Eye of Ra, not Ka. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

As an aside, there are people that still practice the Kemetic faith although I have yet to meet one.

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Thanks NSSO for the corrections...I knew I wasn't on the money with egyptian facts...but I always have been fascinated with their beliefs.


As far as believing in the "risen christ", I will agree with you that you MUST do that in order for the rest of christianity to mean anything.

But, do believe in that, I believe, takes total faith.

You have said that in science, we "accept" that which has been previously proven. You are correct. Every physicist doesn't have to start at 0 and repeat every experiment ever done in order to "see" everything themselves. That is what education is all about.

But NO PHYSICIST will just "accept" things, as taught, until they are understood.

E=mc^2 isn't a "formula" which is just written and "accepted" as fact. It comes from special relativistic theory...and it is totally consistent with evrything else. And it is also experimentally proven.

I understand what you are saying about the "quality" of the bible, and its translation, and its piece as recorded history. I don't know enough about the facts of the bible, and it's passage thorugh history, to truely comment on it "being the most accurate book...".

But, just becuase it is "so", it doesn't "increase the proof" of fact of what is contained in the book. Just becuase it is written, it doesn't mean it is "true".

That requires the leap of faith...to accept...and to believe. That's the difference with history...and science.

History can only be "proven", presumably, by documentation from the day. Its self consistency is reviewed, etc, and it is either believed or rejected as true.

So, yes, I don't doubt the George Washington was a real man, the first President, and a slave owner, but I'm not sure if he cut down the cherry tree or not.

My point is, the historical documentation is very clear, george was a man, he lived.

I also agree, Jesus was a man, he lived. He walked. He talked. And he told people they were his own...(I really like that song, In the Garden, #34 in our old hymnal)

Anyway, I don't believe that he rose from the dead....I don't believe Elijah say the burning bush...I don't believe adam ate the apple...I don't believe in the 7 seals...

I think to BELIEVE those things, in such ancient and loosely recorded history, requires FAITH. FAITH not in historians, and record keeping, and such (as we would have in studying ancient greece, rome, etc) but FAITH that he was lord...

So, I think I understand what you are saying, but I think you are comparing apples to oranges when putting science besides historical documentation.

No matter how good the records are about something as recents as JFK's assination, we still don't really know what happened to him. Sure, he was shot...but by whom? Will we ever know? Maybe if the proper documents are brought to light...but are they authentic? Who knows. Not sure if anyone will ever believe when they ARE released, discovered, found someday.

But science IS something that is self consistent, and measurable.

I don't think you are saying science is 'wrong', I think you are saying it is incomplete.

But I also think you are tyring to build a "statement" that the bible is also something to be taken as "factual", given its course through history.

If we wouldn't accept (many wouldn't anyways) released government papers about JFK, why should we believe the bible???

If the bible was a book, with a christ, or if you were a buddhist, then you wouldn't believe the bible...you wouldn't have the faith to accept it as true.

Anyways, I also disagree, I think it is correct to use the word "necessary" when it comes to invoking a creator. I do think people find it necessary to believe in a creator. Makes them feel better, gives them security and understanding.

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