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#252 Mar 02 2014 at 1:17 AM Rating: Good
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angrymnk wrote:
Kelvyquayo wrote:

Science is a human construct;



And religion isn't?


Religions are the unfortunate afterbirth of mans feeble attempts to reach "God".

Religion is a human construct; I agree with that. I suppose then the real difference between science and religion is that science (usually) admits that it will never find the truth (like most philosophy) and religions (usually) claim to have found the ultimate truth (and is always wrong). Like science religion is merely a tool used by humans to attempt to quantify/codify their interpretations. I say that about religion because no human institution on Earth has the capacity for God's Truth.
Right and wrong, however, are NOT human constructs. The (True) God isn't a human construct. When man attempts to reach up to God's level, then false religions are made.. but if God Himself reaches down to us the Truth is revealed and He has done that through Jesus Christ.

Incidentally, is it not true that (technically) there isn't any truth in science but rather a constant reaching to closest approximations? Scientific Method is to attempt to disprove an existing theory and if the theory cannot be disproved then it becomes a law or a standard: not because anyone actually proved anything but rather because nobody has been able to disprove it?



Elinda wrote:
You didn't differentiate at all between humans an other animals. Other animals have exhibited 'free will', and humans are not any more able to not be humans than panda's are able to be geese.


You have a valid point, however, in context I am referring to the free-will to reject God or accept God and not simply the ability to choose Coke or Pepsi. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

You asked what makes humans different then other animals and my answer is the free will to accept or reject the Creator and His purpose for our creation.

On that note.. I find it quite absurd that people see fit to deny that there is absolutely nothing that makes them special over other beasts. Part of me thinks that it is simply so give people an excuse to act like beasts. Every time I discuss with someone over why and how we are unique over animals there is a moment of clarity where I actually realize how absurd it is to think it. Do animals write plays? Do animals question their existence? Do animals make up religions and false gods and worship idols? Do animals judge one another in terms of theft, murder, and honor?
Does not the list go on and on and on? Is it not painfully obvious how irrational of a statement that it is to sit there and claim that we are no different than other animals? It's nothing but posturing (something humans clearly do share with other animals).
Ellen Ripley said it best: "You don't see them **** each other over for a **** percentage."

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Oh? Should I also take aromatherapy classes in order to know that **** stinks?

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#253 Mar 02 2014 at 2:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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No, you take aromatherapy classes to find out how the stink of **** helps with liver troubles, duh!
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#254 Mar 02 2014 at 2:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Quote:
Do animals write plays? Do animals question their existence? Do animals make up religions and false gods and worship idols? Do animals judge one another in terms of theft, murder, and honor?


We don't know. We do know that some species communicate at a far more sophisticated level than we previously thought.
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#255 Mar 03 2014 at 8:11 AM Rating: Good
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We do know most of them are tasty, and the ones that aren't we have the culinary technology to make them so.
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#256 Mar 03 2014 at 9:09 AM Rating: Good
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Kelvyquayo wrote:
Like science religion is merely a tool used by humans to attempt to quantify/codify their interpretations.
interpretations of what?






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#257 Mar 03 2014 at 9:09 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
We do know most of them are tasty, and the ones that aren't we have the culinary technology to make them so.

Thank god.
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#258 Mar 03 2014 at 6:58 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Kelvyquayo wrote:
Like science religion is merely a tool used by humans to attempt to quantify/codify their interpretations.
interpretations of what?


Interpretation of personal observations of life through study and meditation.
Back in my "shamanic/pagan" days I had encountered a great number of what I would describe as mystical experiences which I would share with other people of a like mind.. I surely wasn't trying to start a religion but usually we would share our experiences and compare "notes" and use that to further enrich our view of the universe. (note that the notion of what was false, delusion, hallucination, deception doesn't really enter into it, at least for this because I'm well aware that most people here would discount everything no matter what).

..but put all of that on a larger anthropological scale and that seems to be at least one basis on how religions and belief systems are formed. Of course there is also going to be an inevitable level of pure deception in order for individuals to appear powerful or to appear more important than they are, "opiate of the masses" type stuff; no doubt. The point is that not all religious beliefs are devised strictly out of a will to dominate other people and may be rooted in a genuine wish to inform and enlighten other people for the purpose of bettering society. Just as I once came on this forum and tried to (in my own way) open people's minds to the possibilities of a grander design than strict materialism I was never seeking to start a religion but rather share my experiences in hopes that it would help other people appreciate their existence more,

Now imagine a scenario where many like minded people came together and choose to quantify and codify their beliefs into some text or some doctrine then a religion is formed. This never happened with my own beliefs because my particular belief at the time contained a concept that nothing that comes from humans can ever really be Truth.. therefore I was forced to remain skeptical of anything that anyone said about the esoteric knowing that no human being could ever have the "true" answers to "why are we here" and I also recognized that this applied to myself.

Samira wrote:

We don't know. We do know that some species communicate at a far more sophisticated level than we previously thought.


For some reason this comment reminded me of this:
http://www.theonion.com/video/scientists-successfully-teach-gorilla-it-will-die,17165/



Edited, Mar 3rd 2014 8:00pm by Kelvyquayo
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#259 Mar 03 2014 at 7:08 PM Rating: Good
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Kelvyquayo wrote:


Right and wrong, however, are NOT human constructs.



Huh? Are you serial? Show me a cat that thinks it is wrong to eat this mouse.
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#260 Mar 03 2014 at 7:14 PM Rating: Good
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angrymnk wrote:
Kelvyquayo wrote:


Right and wrong, however, are NOT human constructs.



Huh? Are you serial? Show me a cat that thinks it is wrong to eat this mouse.


I think there was an episode of one of the Garfield cartoons where Garfield got put on trial for not being a cat or something. I think they used him not chasing/eating his little mice friends as evidence against him. Then his mouse buddy saved him by saying something like "Hey look, he does nothing but sleep all day, cat right there!"
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#261 Mar 03 2014 at 7:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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I've never seen a cat actually eat a mouse. I've seen them playing with mice and breaking them, at which point they gdt kind of bored and leave it for someone to clean up. Also never seen a dog chase a cat, except to play with.

I have seen videos of monkeys using frogs as **** toys though. Not sure if that's relevant to this conversation, but it is pretty funny.
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#262 Mar 03 2014 at 7:25 PM Rating: Default
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Kelvyquayo wrote:
I suppose then the real difference between science and religion is that science (usually) admits that it will never find the truth (like most philosophy) and religions (usually) claim to have found the ultimate truth (and is always wrong).


I don't really agree with that. Science starts with an admission that we don't know the truth, but absolutely proceeds with the assumption that we can learn it by following scientific method. The whole point of science is to create a set of rules by which we can determine to a high degree of certainty if something is "true". What it can't do is ever be certain that something is false. Er, re-reading that, it's a bit more complicated than that, but whatever.

Religion, on the other hand, doesn't generally claim to know "the truth" at all. Religion mostly spends its time telling adherents that it's not necessary to know "the truth", but to have faith that there is a truth and things will work out. Maybe back in ancient times before science came along and gave humans a better way of determining the specifics of how the world around us works Religion filled that role, but at least for the last several hundred years, the primary focus of religion has been to teach people not to worry about finding "the truth", but to have faith that things will work out if you follow a set of moral rules. Religions really are about morals, not truth.

Ask a priest or minister what God teaches us (through the bible or whatever) about why it rains, and he'll likely look at you funny and dismiss the question with a broad "God works in mysterious ways and we're supposed to figure out the world on our own terms". Ask him what God tells us about how to treat our neighbors and he'll talk for hours. That's because religion really doesn't care about the "how" of the world. It's just not high up on the list of things they teach. They'll give some kind of answer if someone really demands one, but for the most part they're more than happy to say "go ask a weatherman".

Quote:
You have a valid point, however, in context I am referring to the free-will to reject God or accept God and not simply the ability to choose Coke or Pepsi. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

You asked what makes humans different then other animals and my answer is the free will to accept or reject the Creator and His purpose for our creation.


This is a really terrible and narrow criteria though. Drop the "reject or accept God" part IMO.

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Every time I discuss with someone over why and how we are unique over animals there is a moment of clarity where I actually realize how absurd it is to think it. Do animals write plays? Do animals question their existence? Do animals make up religions and false gods and worship idols? Do animals judge one another in terms of theft, murder, and honor?


Like this. That's a good argument that there is something more to humans than to the other species on our planet. And it does not require God to make it. I guess my issue with this kind of thing is that I disagree with religious people who feel they have to inject god into everything, just as much as I disagree with non-religious people who feel they have to push god out of everything. Both of those approaches tend to lose the much larger middle IMO.

Edited, Mar 3rd 2014 5:27pm by gbaji
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#263 Mar 03 2014 at 7:26 PM Rating: Good
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I've cleaned up half eaten mice before, cats aren't against eating them once they stop struggling but most house cats won't be all that hungry to start with.
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#264 Mar 03 2014 at 7:40 PM Rating: Good
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I guess it depends on if you live with house cats, or outdoor cats. My cat would routinely leave half eaten animal carcasses in the yard, and bring small carcasses still intact home. I'd wake up to a dead mouse on the doorstep and a small rabbit with it's guts torn out and half eaten in the walkway from the driveway. I think it was 3 times a week we'd have a dead mouse sitting on top of the hood of one of the cars. He'd like using that as a resting place since it was usually warm.
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#265 Mar 03 2014 at 7:52 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:

I have seen videos of monkeys using frogs as **** toys though. Not sure if that's relevant to this conversation, but it is pretty funny.


It is relevant.
I'm pretty sure there are thousands if not millions of videos of human beings using any number of animals as **** toys.
I postulate that for a monkey to do it is not wrong just like it's not wrong for a cat to (seem to) get pleasure out of torturing a mouse.
I would, however, say that it is wrong for a woman to **** herself with an animal and I hope you think very hard on that if you are going to argue with me on this.. because if a woman is doing such a thing then I don't think that it is a very far stretch to say that something seriously wrong happened in this persons life for them to (seem to) get pleasure in such a thing.. and yes.. then I will be forced to bust out the cliché and ask "where do you draw the line?". Who decides what is right and what is wrong? Then I would ask that you take a look at the practices of the Sambia people whose culture tells them that a prepubescent boy performing **** on them is a legitimate rite of passage into manhood.
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#266 Mar 03 2014 at 7:54 PM Rating: Default
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Kelvyquayo wrote:
what is wrong? Then I would ask that you take a look at the practices of the Sambia people whose culture tells them that a prepubescent boy performing **** on them is a legitimate rite of passage into manhood.


It ain't easy being white... it ain't easy being brown*sings*
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#267 Mar 03 2014 at 8:47 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Religion, on the other hand, doesn't generally claim to know "the truth" at all. Religion mostly spends its time telling adherents that it's not necessary to know "the truth", but to have faith that there is a truth and things will work out.

I think that you are oversimplifying it a bit but it would take too long to examine all of the religions and how far their faith is in what they think is the "Truth" or not. I would argue that Buddhists are pretty convinced that their practices are indeed, in truth, the way to enlightenment.. I would also argue that Muslims certainly do believe that it is total truth that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammed is his prophet.. and indeed, as a born-again Christian, I would question any other Christian that claimed to be such without believing that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the saving hope for all humanity that believes.

gbaji wrote:

Maybe back in ancient times before science came along and gave humans a better way of determining the specifics of how the world around us works Religion filled that role, but at least for the last several hundred years,

Indeed religion fulfilled (and still does in many cases) a great many functions ipso facto whether is is to explain the unknown or as a pneumonic device to help them remember when to harvest their crops and when plant them.. In that regard I can agree that the "truth" of a religious concept for a culture just happened to be whatever worked for whatever particular role that it served.

gbaji wrote:
primary focus of religion has been to teach people not to worry about finding "the truth", but to have faith that things will work out if you follow a set of moral rules. Religions really are about morals, not truth.

This statement denotes a fundamental misconception, at least when it comes to the Christian religion. The Christian religion is actually not at all about following a set of moral codes... although I do agree that many other religion are indeed like this.. but what the Christian religion actually teaches is that no matter how hard we try to follow any set of moral codes that it will always be doomed to failure and that simply to believe that Christ, as the God incarnate, was crucified and resurrected for the atonement and salvation of all that believe is the total Truth and that being so, that there is no other way provided by God for a human being to achieve their spiritual potential.. and after that happens a very real transformation happens in the life of a believer.. the following of a moral code is only incidental... however to do desire to do what is "right" is a very good indicator of that spiritual transformation.. but it is not based on it. God's mercy does not depend on works.. as it is impossible to earn mercy. I just wanted to throw that out there.

gbaji wrote:

That's a good argument that there is something more to humans than to the other species on our planet. And it does not require God to make it. I guess my issue with this kind of thing is that I disagree with religious people who feel they have to inject god into everything, just as much as I disagree with non-religious people who feel they have to push god out of everything. Both of those approaches tend to lose the much larger middle IMO.

What you say here is logical.. however it still assumes that there is no such thing as any one Truth and assumes that there is no such thing as any true God. Now I understand that you are trying to maintain neutrality on this and not take a stance for one or the other, which I can appreciate, but don't forget that I am coming at this from the perspective of someone that has (in my own personal experience) had a spiritual rebirth through the power of what is referred to as "The Holy Spirit" which has proven its existence to me through Christ and therefore there is no other possible way that I can present my viewpoint. To do so would be disingenuous and it would also posit the very false notion that everything can be true or that everything can be false and while I cannot pretend to be capable of proving anything that I say about God and Christ to anyone here I will certainly challenge anyone to attempt to explore the possibility that there is an actual knowable truth out there when if comes to the proverbial "meaning of existence". To sit on the fence and to declare that we simply do not have enough information to determine that is to have made the decision to reject that you, personally, ever will know.. That type of thinking is fine when it comes to scientific reasoning.. but when you DO inject an omniscient and omnipotent Creator force into the equation it seems to be intellectual dishonesty to deny that we can indeed know what the Truth is if that being so desired us to know what that truth was. Furthermore, it would not be a far stretch to believe (have faith) in the fact that this God did not create entities equipped with free-moral-agency for a specific or practical purpose. God cannot learn anything new so we can conclude that creation is not an experiment. Free-moral-agency exists so we can conclude that God wants us to use our free will for a specific purpose. In that regard: were God to provide incontrovertible proof of all of this then it would render the purpose of free-will irrelevant. It means that we cannot have any proof until we decide to utilize what is given to us to take the leap of faith and to truly let go of our self-will and to seek to discover God's will. People want proof first and then they want to make a decision but this would counteract the process that is set in place. This is why we were given the capacity for faith and hope beyond observation.

Edited, Mar 3rd 2014 9:52pm by Kelvyquayo
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#268 Mar 03 2014 at 10:03 PM Rating: Default
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I think we're just disagreeing on what "the truth" means. You seem to take it to mean "faith". I'm interpreting it to mean "anything that is true". Religion doesn't generally tell us "the truth" about how rain happens, or how internal combustion works, or electricity, or any of a zillion things that science covers quite nicely.

"The Truth", as you're interpreting it, is about the specific beliefs of the religion itself. So a belief in the divine, perhaps taking a specific form, and providing a specific set of teachings is "the truth" to a religious person. But that kind of "truth" does not intersect or interfere with the "truth" that science provides.


I also still completely disagree with the idea that Religion isn't primarily about teaching and enforcing morality. Doubly so Christianity. I don't know what the **** lame Christian churches you encountered in your life, but I don't know of any that actually teach you that your deeds and thoughts don't matter, but just believing in Christ does. Maybe there are some out there born again groups that teach that, but the mainstream Christian sects (which make up the overwhelming majority of all Christians worldwide), don't only not teach that, they specifically teach the opposite.

Having grown up Catholic, which is the sect which actually has the supposed "get out of jail free" card in the form of a sacrament of Confession, does not teach this. Again, quite the opposite. If you go to a Catholic priest, thinking you're clever and you point out that a Catholic could do whatever he wants for his entire life and then just confess at the end and he's granted an express ticket to heaven, he'll sit your **** down and explain quite clearly how you are dead dead wrong. That may be a misconception that other folks have, but that's not how it works. A Confession has to be real. You have to actually honestly realize what you did was wrong, and intend to atone for it in some way (the whole penance thing). If you're intentionally using it to "get away with sinning", it can't be an honest confession, and funny Kevin Smith films aside, it's not like you're going to trick God with a bit of semantic rules lawyering.

The problem is with people selectively quoting from the bible and not really understanding the context. "Belief in Christ" isn't really about just believing that Jesus was God manifest on Earth. It's a belief in his teachings. Period. No amount of professing faith matters if you don't adhere to his teachings in both your thoughts and your deeds. Again, I think you're putting more weigh on "the truth", when what matters is what you do about it. And the vast majority of Christian sects are quite clear on this. You can't trick your way into heaven. You're supposed to live your life in a way that Jesus would approve.

Doesn't mean everyone does, but that is what organized Christian "Religion" teaches.
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#269 Mar 03 2014 at 10:23 PM Rating: Default
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Oh. This deserves its own response:

Kelvyquayo wrote:
What you say here is logical.. however it still assumes that there is no such thing as any one Truth and assumes that there is no such thing as any true God.


No. You've forgotten that I'm agnostic. I don't care if God exist or not. Thus, I judge ideas based on their validity if we assume either case is true. Put another way, if God is required to exist for something to make sense, it's a bad idea. If God is required to not exist for something to make sense, it's also a bad idea.

The point here is that I don't discount that you could be correct. I just think that when presenting your ideas to a broad world, full of people who either don't believe in God, or don't care, limiting your argument to one which only works if one believes in God (and possibly even a specific version of God), isn't a great approach. Doubly so, when you could make just as good an argument without involving God at all.

Thus, arguing that humans are different/special because we can write symphonies is a far far better argument than saying we're different/special because we can choose to believe in God.

Quote:
Now I understand that you are trying to maintain neutrality on this and not take a stance for one or the other, which I can appreciate, but don't forget that I am coming at this from the perspective of someone that has (in my own personal experience) had a spiritual rebirth through the power of what is referred to as "The Holy Spirit" which has proven its existence to me through Christ and therefore there is no other possible way that I can present my viewpoint.


Of course there are other ways to present your viewpoint. You even did so, yourself. I'm just suggesting that it might be more effective to start with the stuff that doesn't toss God down people's throats. In precisely the same way that I think Atheists more or less instantly lose when they start any argument with "Since belief in God is something completely ludicrous and only stupid people do...". All you accomplish is to alienate a large portion of the people around you, and often end out with a weaker argument than if you'd simply not gone out of your way to impose your own [a]theistic viewpoint on others.


Quote:
To sit on the fence and to declare that we simply do not have enough information to determine that is to have made the decision to reject that you, personally, ever will know. That type of thinking is fine when it comes to scientific reasoning.. but when you DO inject an omniscient and omnipotent Creator force into the equation it seems to be intellectual dishonesty to deny that we can indeed know what the Truth is if that being so desired us to know what that truth was.


Honestly though? If the only "Truth" to learn is that "I AM", then it's not a terribly important truth to me. Now, a deity who could tell me where I left my car keys, that would be useful.

I guess I just place a completely different weight on different "truths" than you do. I don't find any great wonder in simply knowing that God exists. I get that for some people, this is super important and what not, but I'd hope that what you do with that is more important than just "knowing". Cause to me, that's kinda pointless. But then again, agnostics like me are specifically in opposition to gnostic belief, so there's that.


Quote:
Furthermore, it would not be a far stretch to believe (have faith) in the fact that this God did not create entities equipped with free-moral-agency for a specific or practical purpose. God cannot learn anything new so we can conclude that creation is not an experiment. Free-moral-agency exists so we can conclude that God wants us to use our free will for a specific purpose. In that regard: were God to provide incontrovertible proof of all of this then it would render the purpose of free-will irrelevant. It means that we cannot have any proof until we decide to utilize what is given to us to take the leap of faith and to truly let go of our self-will and to seek to discover God's will. People want proof first and then they want to make a decision but this would counteract the process that is set in place. This is why we were given the capacity for faith and hope beyond observation.


Sure. I can buy that. I guess my problem is the idea of using your free will solely to "believe" in God. I would hope that he'd have loftier goals for us humans than that. Developing a better pancake recipe perhaps. I just don't get the "faith for faith's sake" idea. Makes no sense to me. Hell, I even wrote a parable about it at one point in my life when I was trying to explain my own position to other people. I'll write it down for you if you want. I call it "The parable of the mountain and the monastery". It's a real barn burner!
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#270 Mar 04 2014 at 10:52 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I think we're just disagreeing on what "the truth" means. You seem to take it to mean "faith". I'm interpreting it to mean "anything that is true". Religion doesn't generally tell us "the truth" about how rain happens, or how internal combustion works, or electricity, or any of a zillion things that science covers quite nicely.


Quite right. We are kind of all over the map. What I am specifically referring to is the truth of "What is God" or to quote Pontius Pilate "What is truth?" I ask you to consider it this way: If there is any "truth" to God then it would imply that there is a true meaning to our existence that is set by God. This is, of course, assuming that we have an agreed upon definition of the God to which we are referring to. I am not talking about Spinoza's god of a mere force or pattern of nature but rather a sentient, conscious, aware, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal creator of all existence.. which to my knowledge the God of Abraham is the only one in history that is described as such. Ahura Mazda of Zoroastrianism can certainly not be claimed to be as such and even Vishnu is said to have a distinct form as well as having to perform maintenance upon creation which would seem to imply that he/she is still of the universe and not beyond it.. where as the God of Abraham is the only one which claims to have no ultimate form that can be rightfully presented on Earth except for His Name alone.. hence "The Word" (of which Christ is also described as "The Word" which became flesh.. but this may be getting beyond this particular dialog.

Truth, of course, implies something that is known.. that is thought about and processed as such by a sentient mind. If we are to assume that human beings are the sole sentient minds in the universe then it surely may be assumed that human minds would be the deciding factors in what truth actually is.. in which case indeed there is no "true" truth.. because as science does point out.. we can't "know" everything.. and the only truth would have to involve knowing everything. Now to go beyond that: if there is a higher consciousness that exists and that does indeed know everything that this consciousness would naturally have a 'truth' that is more true than our own knowledge of the truth which in essence would have to logically mean that our truth isn't truth at all but a falsehood. Taking that a step further: if there is a sentient creator force such as the God that I am speaking of that created all of creation then the "truth" of that particular entity would supersede all other "truths" and in effect rending all other truths to be false. In that regard: if indeed it is a fact that God is real then it would behoove us to seek to discover that truth above the falsehoods that we seek to hold to and to seek in all honesty and due diligence to know and understand that truth as it would have to be the answer to the question of our existence.

gbaji wrote:
I also still completely disagree with the idea that Religion isn't primarily about teaching and enforcing morality. Doubly so Christianity.


Religion in general: yes; I agree that the idea is to find some area of social standard and this holds true throughout most religions but this is certainly not limited to religions. There are plenty of other social methodologies that seek to teach and enforce the same thing without the irrational "wizard in the sky will punish you" element.. and indeed the religions that have spawned out of Christ's teaching are no exception.

gbaji wrote:
I don't know what the **** lame Christian churches you encountered in your life, but I don't know of any that actually teach you that your deeds and thoughts don't matter, but just believing in Christ does. Maybe there are some out there born again groups that teach that, but the mainstream Christian sects (which make up the overwhelming majority of all Christians worldwide), don't only not teach that, they specifically teach the opposite.


Once again; anyone that actually has good Bible teaching should be able to know that the meaning of the death and resurrection of Christ was not to teach everyone how to get along and to live in peace and harmony and sunshine and lolipops.. I believe this is what is called Dominionism which in my view is a totally false doctrine along with all of the prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen who teach that all you have to do is have faith and live happy and you will transform yourself and the world.. it really is new age paganism repackaged for the lost and gullible. That is the true opiate of the masses. The Bible plainly states that this physical world is NOT our true home and to seek perfection here will be fruitless. This is why the Bible says things like Satan is the god of this world and that this world is passing away and that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. It sounds like, in your Christian upbringing, that you have been duped just like many others if this is what you were taught and what you have concluded. This in no way is to imply that our thoughts and deeds don't matter, as you say.. but that our thoughts and deeds will be replaced in the process of sanctification that comes only after one is "born-again" that is born of the spirit as opposed to our birth of the flesh. This isn't some fringe element of Christ's teaching this is the very essence of Christ's teachings and I might add that Christ was also very clear that there would be a wide array of false doctrine out there so I do agree that the "mainstream" religion of Christianity may teach this but I am saying that just because they are main stream does not make them true when they butcher God's Word in the way that you and I are describing here.

gbaji wrote:
Having grown up Catholic, which is the sect which actually has the supposed "get out of jail free" card in the form of a sacrament of Confession, does not teach this. Again, quite the opposite. If you go to a Catholic priest, thinking you're clever and you point out that a Catholic could do whatever he wants for his entire life and then just confess at the end and he's granted an express ticket to heaven, he'll sit your **** down and explain quite clearly how you are dead dead wrong. That may be a misconception that other folks have, but that's not how it works. A Confession has to be real. You have to actually honestly realize what you did was wrong, and intend to atone for it in some way (the whole penance thing).


I am sorry that you have experienced such things but the doctrine of confession to a priest for atonement is not scriptural. It was a power play by the Vatican for the very purpose of maintaining control of the public. The bible plainly teaching that there is one atonement and it was completed on the cross at Calvary. That is it. All sins were atoned for, past, present, and future for those that believe and are born-again in the Spirit.. This why Jesus said "It is done". Once this transformation happens an individual does not cease to be a "sinner" but is convicted by an indwelling of the Holy Spirit as the process of sanctification takes place and will not be completed until the individual is "glorified" which will never happen why they still exist in this world. The difference between a person redeemed by Christ and not-redeemed by Christ isn't that they are any less of a sinner but that God will not judge them for their sins.. and furthermore this certainly does NOT mean that we are to go on sinning but AFTER the born-again experience we seek to stop sinning and do what is right not out of fear of punishment but rather out of love and gratitude for what God has done for us by providing us with the atoning work of Christ.
This is such a vast difference from the teachings of the Vatican that it is astonishing but there you have it and this is why so many people that have analytical minds (such as yourself) and were raised in the Catholic church reject it.. because it is not what Christ taught. I am not trying to get into an argument against Catholicism but any honest look at the history of the Catholic church and the popes seem to make it very clear that there is something deeply wrong with it. I am not claiming that just because someone is a Catholic that they cannot be saved and I am also not saying that the Catholic church has the sole monopoly for false doctrine. As I said; Religions are just an unfortunate after-birth of of the true teachings of Christ.. They may contain some element of them but all in all they are tainted by human ego, politics, and greed.. just like every other element of human society.
gbaji wrote:

The problem is with people selectively quoting from the bible and not really understanding the context. "Belief in Christ" isn't really about just believing that Jesus was God manifest on Earth. It's a belief in his teachings. Period. No amount of professing faith matters if you don't adhere to his teachings in both your thoughts and your deeds. Again, I think you're putting more weigh on "the truth", when what matters is what you do about it. And the vast majority of Christian sects are quite clear on this. You can't trick your way into heaven. You're supposed to live your life in a way that Jesus would approve.

Doesn't mean everyone does, but that is what organized Christian "Religion" teaches.


At least we agree that "organized Christian Religion" teaches its own thing rather than simply adhere to the teachings of Christ alone. You, however, in everything that you have stated in the above quote are following a prime example of this. You don't seem to understand the purpose of Christ's teachings. Christ clearly taught that He was The Son of God. You are equating it to a simply self-help program to improve ones life. That is taking quotes from the Bible out of context. Ask yourself why the Bible speaks about dying to yourself, crucifying your old self, and becoming born again; as well as becoming a "new creation". It also says that "friendship of the world is enmity with God.. whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" and "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be". It is clearly not simply about changing your deeds and actions to make you more acceptable to God. What you are talking about is salvation by works.. but the Bible teaches that even all of the righteousness that we can muster is worth "filthy menstrual rags"(literally!) to God. It is not by works but by faith alone that we are saved and being "saved" doesn't mean having a happy and peaceful life. In fact, Christ was quote clear that believers would have hardships in their lives. Being saved means to have your guilt taken away in God's sight which is the only way that an imperfect being can dwell in God's presence without being destroyed.
gbaji wrote:

I don't care if God exist or not. Thus, I judge ideas based on their validity if we assume either case is true. Put another way, if God is required to exist for something to make sense, it's a bad idea. If God is required to not exist for something to make sense, it's also a bad idea.

The point here is that I don't discount that you could be correct


But you just said that you don't care if God exists or not. How can you have it both ways? If God exists then if changes everything. If God doesn't exist then it changes nothing. You saying that you don't care if God exists or not seems to imply that you indeed have discounted what I say as being correct. You're refusal to make any decision on the matter is your decision. You have said "I don't care". Therefore it really discounts any value that you would put in the notion of God's existence being relevant to you because if there is a God and you are wrong then you are GRAVELY wrong about everything.. but if there is no God then there really is no change is there? You certainly seem to be convinced (rightly so) that you will never find any proof of God minus any leap of faith.. therefore you openly are declaring that you are content in your ignorance.. which is logical considering what "agnostic" actually means.

gbaji wrote:
I just think that when presenting your ideas to a broad world, full of people who either don't believe in God, or don't care, limiting your argument to one which only works if one believes in God (and possibly even a specific version of God), isn't a great approach. Doubly so, when you could make just as good an argument without involving God at all.


This may be so but the main point of my argument is that without God we ARE no different than animals and there would be no point to any of it. We eat and drink and tomorrow we die. It's not really the point I'm trying to make; but i do take your point.

gbaji wrote:
All you accomplish is to alienate a large portion of the people around you, and often end out with a weaker argument than if you'd simply not gone out of your way to impose your own [a]theistic viewpoint on others.


Again, point taken.. but I still cannot resist to point out that it is just as absurd to make the arbitrary decision to be an atheist rather than to accept that there are some missing pieces of information to rationally make the decision to be an atheist.. in the same vain I would chide a theist that believes in a God for no other reason than that it is simply the easier or more comfortable choice to make without any experience or information to make some an "informed" decision. How is it any more unacceptable for me to state that God is real than for an atheist here to state unequivocally that there is no God? (other than the fact that I seem to be vastly outnumbered! Smiley: lol). But I choose to come here because I know and respect the fact that people here WILL indeed speak their minds and their opinion and will not just try to sugar-coat things under the ruse of giving a **** when they really don't. Perhaps it's because I've been coming here for over 10 years that it's really the only type of debate that I truly respect when it comes to a true and frank discussion of issues that are important to me.

gbaji wrote:
If the only "Truth" to learn is that "I AM", then it's not a terribly important truth to me. Now, a deity who could tell me where I left my car keys, that would be useful.

I guess I just place a completely different weight on different "truths" than you do. I don't find any great wonder in simply knowing that God exists. I get that for some people, this is super important and what not, but I'd hope that what you do with that is more important than just "knowing". Cause to me, that's kinda pointless.


Perhaps this is because you have been (mis)lead to believe that the purpose of knowing God is basically the equivalent to a "buddy in the sky" that can help you improve your view on life.. not unlike "The Secret". If that was all that it was about then I would agree with you.. different strokes and the like.. but this is beyond simply the wonder of knowing. Anyone can convince themselves of any number of false things or even true things to experience that wonder. Just watching some Carl Sagan should be enough for most people.. so could just go around and try to turn everyone on to The Cosmos series.. but this is much more than that. I would be content with just accepting that when I die that my molecules will just get fluxed back into the system of the universe and that's pretty cool. I'd be down with that if I thought that this was the case and you'll just have to take my word on that.. however the meaning of what I am specifically talking about is an entirely new paradigm far beyond mere wonder.

gbaji wrote:
I guess my problem is the idea of using your free will solely to "believe" in God. I would hope that he'd have loftier goals for us humans than that. Developing a better pancake recipe perhaps. I just don't get the "faith for faith's sake" idea. Makes no sense to me.


The belief isn't simply for the sake of belief. God doesn't need an ego trip. There is a loftier goal that He has for us humans; but it isn't for this world. The goal is for us to dwell with Him in the perfected form of creation. The reason is love. Love must be of free will. It's not just for faith's sake. It's the entire plan. People often question the notion of God because of the imperfections of the universe, suffering, and death.. but these things exist because we are not dwelling in the perfected form of creation.. Our very free will makes us imperfect therefore we need something more in order to be capable of dwelling in said perfection but because we are flesh we cannot do it alone and can only do it through loving God.. but because of our fleshly/earthy/imperfect nature we cannot truly express love for God of our own power. In order to achieve this goal we must we willing to abandon our fleshly imperfect nature. The only way that God has provided to do this is to open ourselves up to believe in the work of Christ. Many people believe in God.. I believed in God before I was a Christian but this wasn't enough. We cannot approach God in our own power. It can only be done through what God has provided which is not an action but a reaction to God's work through Christ. That is the reason for all of this. This entire concept is naturally abhorrent to us due to our nature. We have a natural desire to be in control and to love ourselves.. but it is this very nature that makes the faith in God's work actually make a difference. Without the ability to fail in this goal the ability to achieve this goal would be meaningless and impossible because love cannot be forced.
I realize I have just digressed into the most obvious depths of Christian ramblings.. but I hope that what I am saying sheds some light on the wide variety of misconceptions about these matters.

gbaji wrote:
I even wrote a parable about it at one point in my life when I was trying to explain my own position to other people. I'll write it down for you if you want. I call it "The parable of the mountain and the monastery". It's a real barn burner!


Should be interesting. PM if you want or put it here; if you want an honest reaction to it.
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#271 Mar 04 2014 at 11:45 PM Rating: Default
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Wow. Long response. I'll just address on narrow part. I'm assuming you are part of a born again group based on your response?

Kelvyquayo wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I don't know what the **** lame Christian churches you encountered in your life, but I don't know of any that actually teach you that your deeds and thoughts don't matter, but just believing in Christ does. Maybe there are some out there born again groups that teach that, but the mainstream Christian sects (which make up the overwhelming majority of all Christians worldwide), don't only not teach that, they specifically teach the opposite.


Once again; anyone that actually has good Bible teaching should be able to know that the meaning of the death and resurrection of Christ was not to teach everyone how to get along and to live in peace and harmony and sunshine and lolipops.. I believe this is what is called Dominionism which in my view is a totally false doctrine along with all of the prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen who teach that all you have to do is have faith and live happy and you will transform yourself and the world.. it really is new age paganism repackaged for the lost and gullible. That is the true opiate of the masses. The Bible plainly states that this physical world is NOT our true home and to seek perfection here will be fruitless. This is why the Bible says things like Satan is the god of this world and that this world is passing away and that there will be a new heaven and a new earth. It sounds like, in your Christian upbringing, that you have been duped just like many others if this is what you were taught and what you have concluded. This in no way is to imply that our thoughts and deeds don't matter, as you say.. but that our thoughts and deeds will be replaced in the process of sanctification that comes only after one is "born-again" that is born of the spirit as opposed to our birth of the flesh. This isn't some fringe element of Christ's teaching this is the very essence of Christ's teachings and I might add that Christ was also very clear that there would be a wide array of false doctrine out there so I do agree that the "mainstream" religion of Christianity may teach this but I am saying that just because they are main stream does not make them true when they butcher God's Word in the way that you and I are describing here.


Er. You need to read the whole thing, not just selected passage that people have told you to read. The death and resurrection of Christ was to atone for original sin. Not all sins, all the time, forever. It opens up the possibility of salvation in heaven, but does not guarantee it. To do that, one must earn it with both thoughts and deeds (I'll provide the Gospel quotes for you if you're not aware of this). Jesus does say that only those who are "born again" in the spirit can achieve salvation (heaven), but at no point *ever* does he say or even suggest that this is all that is required. This is the great fallacy that born again teachings perpetuate. I know that you have been told to reject those older larger sects (like say Catholicism), but they've spent a couple thousand years writing and thinking and debating the meaning of the words in the Bible. I'm not one to blindly accept "the man's" interpretation, but I also tend to think that rejecting it entirely just because it's from "the man" and leaping to what is at best an amateurish interpretation of biblical passages is a mistake. Study those thinkers because they spent lifetimes thinking about the words and probably have ideas you haven't thought of.

I also completely disagree with the whole "this world isn't ours, it belongs to satan" bit. It almost seems like the theology you've been taught has been carefully crafted to appeal to people who don't want to be held accountable for the things they do. That's a dangerous approach. This world does matter, else why does it exist?

Quote:
gbaji wrote:
I even wrote a parable about it at one point in my life when I was trying to explain my own position to other people. I'll write it down for you if you want. I call it "The parable of the mountain and the monastery". It's a real barn burner!


Should be interesting. PM if you want or put it here; if you want an honest reaction to it.


Ironically, that's what it's about. So I'll whip up a version for ya right here:


Quote:
There was a great mountain. And upon the mountain, at its highest point, there was a great monastery full of light and warmth and wisdom. One day, as night was falling on the mountain, the monks within heard a knocking at the door. They looked out through the grate and saw a man standing there. They asked him "Why have you come to this monastery?". He replied "I was traveling upon the mountain. I walked along its paths, explored its valleys, and climbed its peaks. And the more I saw the more I realized how magnificent it was. Each new discovery lead to another, and another, and I have enjoyed every step of my journey. And as I had explored all of the mountain that I could, the daylight waned, and I found myself here before the door to this monastery, and I thought to take my rest here". "Ah", said the monks. "We too love the mountain and all of its wonderful gifts. We built our monastery here so that those who held the same appreciation could rest here after their journey was done. You are welcome to come inside".

A short time later, another knock came at the door. Again, the monks looked out through the grate and saw a man standing there, shivering in the early night chill. "Why have you come to this monastery?" they asked. He replied "I heard tales of this great monastery and the wonders within. I have spent much time seeking out the greatest wise men to learn of it and searching for maps which would guide me to it. I had to struggle through difficult paths, treacherous valleys, and steep dangerous peaks. But during my journey, no matter how many obstacles appeared in my way, or distractions threatened to take me away from the path, I persevered and continued onward, ever seeking my end goal. And finally, now that night is upon me, I have found the door to this greatest of places and I would like to come in so I may enjoy the wonders which exist within." "Oh", said the monks. "We're sorry. There is no great wisdom for you here. You were supposed to learn it during your journey on the mountain. But you avoided all the lessons it had to teach you. In your haste to get to your journey's end, you have missed the point of the journey itself. We cannot let you in".

And so the man was lost out in the dark and the cold for the whole long night.



Make sense to you? Don't put so much weight on salvation that you forget to live your life.

Edited, Mar 4th 2014 9:47pm by gbaji
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#272 Mar 05 2014 at 7:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I'm assuming you are part of a born again group based on your response?
Was it him labeling himself Born Again Christian several times over the last two weeks that lead you to this assumption, Sherlock?
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#273 Mar 05 2014 at 1:28 PM Rating: Good
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Wow. Long response.

This was a deep meaningful moment of clarity to pots and kettles everywhere. I understand they have agreed to never refer to one another's color again. Fine work, MacDuff
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#274 Mar 05 2014 at 2:26 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Wow. Long response.

This was a deep meaningful moment of clarity to pots and kettles everywhere. I understand they have agreed to never refer to one another's color again. Fine work, MacDuff
Let's be honest, that was a really **** long response even compared to Gbaji's usual walls of text.
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#275 Mar 06 2014 at 12:47 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
There was a great mountain. And upon the mountain, at its highest point, there was a great monastery full of light and warmth and wisdom. One day, as night was falling on the mountain, the monks within heard a knocking at the door. They looked out through the grate and saw a man standing there. They asked him "Why have you come to this monastery?". He replied "I was traveling upon the mountain. I walked along its paths, explored its valleys, and climbed its peaks. And the more I saw the more I realized how magnificent it was. Each new discovery lead to another, and another, and I have enjoyed every step of my journey. And as I had explored all of the mountain that I could, the daylight waned, and I found myself here before the door to this monastery, and I thought to take my rest here". "Ah", said the monks. "We too love the mountain and all of its wonderful gifts. We built our monastery here so that those who held the same appreciation could rest here after their journey was done. You are welcome to come inside".

A short time later, another knock came at the door. Again, the monks looked out through the grate and saw a man standing there, shivering in the early night chill. "Why have you come to this monastery?" they asked. He replied "I heard tales of this great monastery and the wonders within. I have spent much time seeking out the greatest wise men to learn of it and searching for maps which would guide me to it. I had to struggle through difficult paths, treacherous valleys, and steep dangerous peaks. But during my journey, no matter how many obstacles appeared in my way, or distractions threatened to take me away from the path, I persevered and continued onward, ever seeking my end goal. And finally, now that night is upon me, I have found the door to this greatest of places and I would like to come in so I may enjoy the wonders which exist within." "Oh", said the monks. "We're sorry. There is no great wisdom for you here. You were supposed to learn it during your journey on the mountain. But you avoided all the lessons it had to teach you. In your haste to get to your journey's end, you have missed the point of the journey itself. We cannot let you in".

And so the man was lost out in the dark and the cold for the whole long night
.

Make sense to you? Don't put so much weight on salvation that you forget to live your life.


There is much to be said of this parable that you have written. However, rather than give you some kind of philosophical analysis of it I will point you to a parable of Christ that I believe is quite remarkably apropos and I will pray that you take it to heart (and mind).

Matthew 20 - The Parable of the Vineyard Workers 1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the workers on one denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 To those men he said, ‘You also go to my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. 5 About noon and at three, he went out again and did the same thing. 6 Then about five he went and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.

“‘You also go to my vineyard,’ he told them.8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.’

9 “When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. 10 So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. 11 When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: 12 ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’

13 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14 Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my business? Are you jealous because I’m generous?’


This seems to be the answer to your problem with Christ (and religion in general I suppose). you see: in your parable the inhabitants of the monastery were quite ready to judge and condemn the other people seeking entrance due to the quality and circumstances of their journey just like the laborers in Christ parable were ready to judge and condemn certain laborers and deny them their wages because of the quality and circumstances of their labors.. however Christ makes it clear that ALL are welcome regardless of their journey.. as He says "Are you jealous because I am generous?".
Do you see? Do not put so much weight on your earthly life and forget about salvation.
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#276 Mar 06 2014 at 1:19 AM Rating: Good
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Now for everything else..

gbaji wrote:
Er. You need to read the whole thing, not just selected passage that people have told you to read.


Erm. I'm going through it now for the 5th time; and I don't just read it blindly nor listen blindly to others. I also go through the translations and try to understand contexts as well as try to collect as many viewpoints on the stuff as well as the viewpoints of places like the skeptics annotated bible and evilbible.org. You're vastly mistaken if you think that these matters are just something that I haphazardly decided sounded good and chose to adhere to.. especially if you think that I am just parroting some doctrine. Also I think that I became "born again" before I came to believe that the Bible was true or even understood some very essential doctrine..
But I'm really not trying to get into a **** contest over who has a superior understanding of Christ. You have rejected your "religion" whereas I consider my understanding of Christs teachings and work to supersede any human religious institution.

gbaji wrote:
I'm assuming you are part of a born again group based on your response?


Here we go. I'm not busting out scripture to try to convert you (per se). I'm busting out scripture to show you how vastly incorrect you are about claiming that "born again groups" are some anomalous fringe element of Christians.
John 3: 3 Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.


I don't think it can be any more clear than that. He says it three times.. What is your interpretation of this if not what it actually means or that He didn't mean what it says?

gbaji wrote:
The death and resurrection of Christ was to atone for original sin. Not all sins, all the time, forever. It opens up the possibility of salvation in heaven, but does not guarantee it. To do that, one must earn it with both thoughts and deeds (I'll provide the Gospel quotes for you if you're not aware of this).


Romans 8 1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, 2 because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
It atones for all sins for those that believe and are born-again. Those not born again shall be judged and found guilty. Original sin is the origin of the sinfulness of humans beings.. The bible teaches that the wages of sin is death.. spiritual death is the separation from the presence of God.. Thus though original sin we have inherited the sins from Adam. Show me gospel quotes that you think claims that Christs work does not atone for ALL of the sins of the born-again believer.. but I seriously doubt that you will be able to because it's just not true.
Romans 5: 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.[c] 13 In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype[d] of the Coming One.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.[e] 17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification[f] for everyone. 19 For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Again.. am I reading this all out of context?

gbaji wrote:
one must earn it with both thoughts and deeds (I'll provide the Gospel quotes for you if you're not aware of this). Jesus does say that only those who are "born again" in the spirit can achieve salvation (heaven), but at no point *ever* does he say or even suggest that this is all that is required.


You are mistaken. What you are thinking of are "fruits of the spirit". The fruits of the spirit come from being born again. Think about it.. if it is all about grace and mercy then it can have nothing to do with earning anything. One does not earn grace and mercy.. it is a contradiction of the meaning of those two words.

Romans 6 1 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all

14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under law but under grace.



Titus 3 5 He saved us—
not by works of righteousness that we had done,
but according to His mercy,
through the washing of regeneration
and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

6 He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly
through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that having been justified by His grace,
we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.

8 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.


Read carefully. Of course we are called to do good works but this is only a reaction to the regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit which comes from being born-again.
And read here again:
Romans 7 15 For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. 21 So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. 22 For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. 23 But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

Clearly Paul is still struggling with sins that he is committing but would you then say that his salvation is not guaranteed? Note that he doesn't say "how can I stop committing these sins?" and he does not say "what can stop me from sinning?". No he quite clearly states that Christ has saved him from the sins. Paul is fully aware that no human living can be fully sanctified from sinning.. therefore how can you say that we must somehow stop sinning in order to earn our salvation? You are putting the cart before the horse.
Quote:

I also completely disagree with the whole "this world isn't ours, it belongs to satan" bit. It almost seems like the theology you've been taught has been carefully crafted to appeal to people who don't want to be held accountable for the things they do.


Nonsense. How can you say that I use this to not be held accountable when I fully accept that without the salvation of Christ that I am naturally condemned to eternal destruction? You are not disagreeing with some whacked out cult theology.. you are simply disagreeing with scripture either out of stubbornness or out of ignorance.
Have some educations:
Here Satan is called the "god of this age":
2 Corinthians 4 3 But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,who is the image of God.
Here Satan is called the spirit who rules the lower heavens (air) :
Ephesians 2 2 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.
This passage clearly says that the WHOLE WORLD is under the sway of the "evil one".
1 John 5 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.
and finally.. right here Jesus himself states that Satan is the "ruler of this world".
John 12 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said that an angel had spoken to Him.

30 Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.


gbaji wrote:
This world does matter, else why does it exist?


It exists in it's cursed state so that we may be freed from it in order to turn to God for salvation for the purpose of dwelling in His Presence in the New Heaven and the New Earth that awaits those that believe. If the earth were not in the state that it was in then there would be no value at all to the acceptance to God's grace through the salvation of The Christ. I didn't say that it doesn't matter but I am saying that it is not the completed work. This world is passing away and those that do not accept salvation will surely pass away with it.


Edited, Mar 6th 2014 2:30am by Kelvyquayo
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#277 Mar 06 2014 at 2:10 AM Rating: Good
Kelvyquayo wrote:
gbaji wrote:
There was a great mountain. And upon the mountain, at its highest point, there was a great monastery full of light and warmth and wisdom. One day, as night was falling on the mountain, the monks within heard a knocking at the door. They looked out through the grate and saw a man standing there. They asked him "Why have you come to this monastery?". He replied "I was traveling upon the mountain. I walked along its paths, explored its valleys, and climbed its peaks. And the more I saw the more I realized how magnificent it was. Each new discovery lead to another, and another, and I have enjoyed every step of my journey. And as I had explored all of the mountain that I could, the daylight waned, and I found myself here before the door to this monastery, and I thought to take my rest here". "Ah", said the monks. "We too love the mountain and all of its wonderful gifts. We built our monastery here so that those who held the same appreciation could rest here after their journey was done. You are welcome to come inside".

A short time later, another knock came at the door. Again, the monks looked out through the grate and saw a man standing there, shivering in the early night chill. "Why have you come to this monastery?" they asked. He replied "I heard tales of this great monastery and the wonders within. I have spent much time seeking out the greatest wise men to learn of it and searching for maps which would guide me to it. I had to struggle through difficult paths, treacherous valleys, and steep dangerous peaks. But during my journey, no matter how many obstacles appeared in my way, or distractions threatened to take me away from the path, I persevered and continued onward, ever seeking my end goal. And finally, now that night is upon me, I have found the door to this greatest of places and I would like to come in so I may enjoy the wonders which exist within." "Oh", said the monks. "We're sorry. There is no great wisdom for you here. You were supposed to learn it during your journey on the mountain. But you avoided all the lessons it had to teach you. In your haste to get to your journey's end, you have missed the point of the journey itself. We cannot let you in".

And so the man was lost out in the dark and the cold for the whole long night
.

Make sense to you? Don't put so much weight on salvation that you forget to live your life.


There is much to be said of this parable that you have written. However, rather than give you some kind of philosophical analysis of it I will point you to a parable of Christ that I believe is quite remarkably apropos and I will pray that you take it to heart (and mind).

Matthew 20 - The Parable of the Vineyard Workers 1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the workers on one denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 To those men he said, ‘You also go to my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. 5 About noon and at three, he went out again and did the same thing. 6 Then about five he went and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.

“‘You also go to my vineyard,’ he told them.8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.’

9 “When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. 10 So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. 11 When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: 12 ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’

13 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14 Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my business? Are you jealous because I’m generous?’


This seems to be the answer to your problem with Christ (and religion in general I suppose). you see: in your parable the inhabitants of the monastery were quite ready to judge and condemn the other people seeking entrance due to the quality and circumstances of their journey just like the laborers in Christ parable were ready to judge and condemn certain laborers and deny them their wages because of the quality and circumstances of their labors.. however Christ makes it clear that ALL are welcome regardless of their journey.. as He says "Are you jealous because I am generous?".
Do you see? Do not put so much weight on your earthly life and forget about salvation.


I enjoyed the parable. It is shockingly relevant to the modern day. Especially in regards to the minimum wage issue in the US. Many people fretting because they think they are worth more for doing the same job longer.
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#278 Mar 06 2014 at 7:40 AM Rating: Excellent
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Haha, I thought of the same parable during the minimum wage argument although I figured "because God says so" wasn't what I wanted to base an economic policy argument on.
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#279 Mar 06 2014 at 7:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Haha, I thought of the same parable during the minimum wage argument although I figured "because God says so" wasn't what I wanted to base an economic policy argument on.
It would probably work until someone wanted a wedding cake.
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#280 Mar 11 2014 at 8:31 PM Rating: Default
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Kelvyquayo wrote:
There is much to be said of this parable that you have written. However, rather than give you some kind of philosophical analysis of it I will point you to a parable of Christ that I believe is quite remarkably apropos and I will pray that you take it to heart (and mind).

Matthew 20 - The Parable of the Vineyard Workers 1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing with the workers on one denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When he went out about nine in the morning, he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 To those men he said, ‘You also go to my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. 5 About noon and at three, he went out again and did the same thing. 6 Then about five he went and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’

7 “‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.

“‘You also go to my vineyard,’ he told them.8 When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.’

9 “When those who were hired about five came, they each received one denarius. 10 So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. 11 When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: 12 ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’

13 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14 Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my business? Are you jealous because I’m generous?’


This seems to be the answer to your problem with Christ (and religion in general I suppose). you see: in your parable the inhabitants of the monastery were quite ready to judge and condemn the other people seeking entrance due to the quality and circumstances of their journey just like the laborers in Christ parable were ready to judge and condemn certain laborers and deny them their wages because of the quality and circumstances of their labors.. however Christ makes it clear that ALL are welcome regardless of their journey.. as He says "Are you jealous because I am generous?".
Do you see? Do not put so much weight on your earthly life and forget about salvation.


That would be a valid point if I was talking about one of the men complaining that he got an unfair reception relative to the other. But it's not about that. It's about something that you should already know very very well. Only God gets to decide what criteria to use to determine who gets into heaven. Period. Any theology that rests on an assumption that you "know" what to do to be saved, or believe that you are saved, is in direct violation with the dozens of direct statements to the contrary.

The point of my parable was that the second man thought he knew how to get to heaven (well, thought there was value in trying to figure out how to get there anyway). And he was wrong, and suffered for his hubris. What you seem to have gotten backwards with the parable of the vineyard workers is that it was the owner of the vineyard, not the workers, who got to decide what was "fair". It would have been just as wrong for the workers who arrived later to assume they would receive the same pay as those who had worked all day. That's the point. You don't get to decide that you've figured out the correct reward for your actions. God makes that decision. Period. No exceptions. That's the point of the parable.

Similarly, in my parable, the monks get to decide who to let into the monastery, not the travelers. So while that's not the direct point I was trying to make with it, it's not countered by the parable you quoted one bit.
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#281 Mar 11 2014 at 9:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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No, the point of the Vineyard parable is that Heaven is the ultimate reward of all who are saved, from the pious since birth to the deathbed repentant sinner. The worker is indeed complaining that his reward was identical to the reward of the Johnny-Come-Lately's.
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#282 Mar 11 2014 at 9:37 PM Rating: Good
gbaji wrote:

That would be a valid point if I was talking about one of the men complaining that he got an unfair reception relative to the other. But it's not about that. It's about something that you should already know very very well. Only God gets to decide what criteria to use to determine who gets into heaven. Period.


False the only criteria to enter heaven is faith in one Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for all mans sins. Entry to the kingdom is through Jesus Christ, Go read a bible Gbaji!.
An alternate way into heaven is to become Muslim, and suicide bomb a village, there you will be greated by virgins and Abrahams Father with open arms. Go read a Qu'Ran Gbaji!
Or you can be a Jew and claim you have a right by birth, God makes no decree at all, if you are born a Jew you ascend to the heavens to join Abrahams Father. Go read a Tanahk Gbaji!

I love it when folks who don't know anything about religion begin to lecture people on how religion works. God hasn't been a relevant vehicle to heaven since Noah built his ark.
(speaking purely from biblical history of course.)




Edited, Mar 11th 2014 11:38pm by rdmcandie
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#283 Mar 11 2014 at 9:54 PM Rating: Good
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But, aren't those true only because God made it so? Then gbaji would be right, since he said God decides the criteria for deciding who gets into Heaven.
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#284 Mar 11 2014 at 11:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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No one is arguing that God chooses who gets into Heaven (according to the Christian theology anyway). However, that isn't the point of the vineyard parable.
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#285 Mar 12 2014 at 1:33 AM Rating: Good
TirithRR wrote:
But, aren't those true only because God made it so? Then gbaji would be right, since he said God decides the criteria for deciding who gets into Heaven.

I guess in a round about way. Technically since Noah the road to heaven has been in the hands of men and only men. Gods pact with Noah was his removal from the equation. He said he would no longer be the judge of men, and that he would no longer hold men accountable, that this would be upon men to do. Men would forgive men, men would condemn men, and that the gates to heaven would ultimately be opened by a man (St Peter.)

According to Biblical text anyway. So really since Noah, Man has decided the criteria for entrance to heaven.

Edited, Mar 12th 2014 7:09am by rdmcandie
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#286 Mar 12 2014 at 7:24 AM Rating: Good
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rdncandie wrote:
An alternate way into heaven is to become Muslim, and suicide bomb a village, there you will be greated by virgins and Abrahams Father with open arms.
I guess in the same way that the Bible says to invade non-Christian countries and impose Christianity through intimidation and death.
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#287 Mar 12 2014 at 7:30 AM Rating: Good
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All of the major religions have been used, at one time or another, to justify war-mongering.


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#288 Mar 12 2014 at 8:22 AM Rating: Decent
Elinda wrote:
All of the major religions have been used, at one time or another, to justify war-mongering.


Naturally their texts were written by men, and thus can be made to suit the wills of men. Its why Religion is the biggest sham going. Faith in a God or w/e is a natural thing. Organized Religion is a crapshoot at best.

Edited, Mar 12th 2014 10:22am by rdmcandie
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#289 Mar 12 2014 at 12:28 PM Rating: Good
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Gbaji is arguing the Calvinist/predestination viewpoint, which is one frequently used by the wealthy as an excuse for not giving to the poor. I've never been a fan of it.
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#290 Mar 12 2014 at 2:25 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
No, the point of the Vineyard parable is that Heaven is the ultimate reward of all who are saved, from the pious since birth to the deathbed repentant sinner. The worker is indeed complaining that his reward was identical to the reward of the Johnny-Come-Lately's.


Um... And also that it's God (aka the Vineyard owner) who decides the reward, not the workers. And I didn't say it wasn't the worker who was complaining, so I'm not sure what your point was with that. I was responding to a claim that this differed from my parable, but in both it's the Vineyard/Monks who decide who gets the reward, not the travellers/workers. Get it?
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#291 Mar 12 2014 at 2:44 PM Rating: Default
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Stalker rdmcandie wrote:
gbaji wrote:

That would be a valid point if I was talking about one of the men complaining that he got an unfair reception relative to the other. But it's not about that. It's about something that you should already know very very well. Only God gets to decide what criteria to use to determine who gets into heaven. Period.


False the only criteria to enter heaven is faith in one Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for all mans sins. Entry to the kingdom is through Jesus Christ, Go read a bible Gbaji!.


Sigh. There's some difference of opinion over what exactly "though Jesus Christ" means though. Which is kinda the point. Add in dozens of quotes from the man saying "no one but God can know who is saved and who is not", and it should be apparent that anyone claiming to be saved because they've taken Jesus Christ into their heart or followed rule X, Y, and Z, or whatever, is doing it wrong.

Doesn't mean that they aren't saved, but they can't assume it and certainly should not be walking around wearing their status like a badge of honor or something.
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#292 Mar 12 2014 at 2:51 PM Rating: Default
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Catwho wrote:
Gbaji is arguing the Calvinist/predestination viewpoint, which is one frequently used by the wealthy as an excuse for not giving to the poor. I've never been a fan of it.


Absolutely not! Where the **** did you get that impression? I'm arguing kinda the opposite. No one can know they are saved. Period. Not the Pope. Not a born again Christian. Not Mother freaking Theresa. NO ONE. Anyone who claims to know they are saved is violating one of the key teachings of Jesus. He was specifically responding to the thought of the day that you could tell who was favored by God and who wasn't based on their earthly outcomes. Rich people must be favored because God rewarded them with riches, right? And the poor must be disfavored, else God wouldn't punish them by making them poor (or say... lepers).

The problem is that somewhere along the way, Christians have forgotten that this core teaching applies to heaven as well. And in reverse as well. Blessed are the poor doesn't mean that being poor gets you to heaven anymore than being rich indicated favor from God. That's the point.

Edited, Mar 12th 2014 1:53pm by gbaji
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#293 Mar 12 2014 at 3:37 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
Catwho wrote:
Gbaji is arguing the Calvinist/predestination viewpoint, which is one frequently used by the wealthy as an excuse for not giving to the poor. I've never been a fan of it.


Absolutely not! Where the **** did you get that impression? I'm arguing kinda the opposite. No one can know they are saved. Period. Not the Pope. Not a born again Christian.

This is just false. If you follow the words of the bible as the gospel truth, ANYONE can get into heaven by accepting Jesus into their hearts. Thats it. Poof you are magically Heaven approved. Thats all it takes nowadays. Thanks Rome! Why follow all kinds of **** rules that don't make any sense when the only need of acceptance is.

"I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and that through him I will enter his fathers kingdom." Thats it thats all.

Because this might shock you...Heaven only exists in the hearts and minds of men. Thats it. That is the big secret. If you believe you will go to heaven when you die...you will get there.
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#294 Mar 12 2014 at 3:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Has anyone thought about how silly this all sounds? I mean, imagine if I started praying to Gandalf, and saying that I accept Bilbo into my heart as my savior because he destroyed the ring, and I would be welcomed into the Shire when I died. Isn't that a little outlandish?
#295 Mar 12 2014 at 3:45 PM Rating: Good
Belkira the Tulip wrote:
Has anyone thought about how silly this all sounds? I mean, imagine if I started praying to Gandalf, and saying that I accept Bilbo into my heart as my savior because he destroyed the ring, and I would be welcomed into the Shire when I died. Isn't that a little outlandish?

Not if you believe it.

The power of religion exists solely in you.

And Jesus said!

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!, for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21.

Edited, Mar 12th 2014 5:49pm by rdmcandie
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#296 Mar 12 2014 at 3:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Belkira the Tulip wrote:
Has anyone thought about how silly this all sounds? I mean, imagine if I started praying to Gandalf, and saying that I accept Bilbo into my heart as my savior because he destroyed the ring, and I would be welcomed into the Shire when I died. Isn't that a little outlandish?


That's why it's called faith, and not science. Smiley: wink

Edited, Mar 12th 2014 2:46pm by someproteinguy
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#297 Mar 12 2014 at 3:47 PM Rating: Good
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Belkira the Tulip wrote:
Has anyone thought about how silly this all sounds? I mean, imagine if I started praying to Gandalf, and saying that I accept Bilbo into my heart as my savior because he destroyed the ring, and I would be welcomed into the Shire when I died. Isn't that a little outlandish?


Yeah, obviously. It was Frodo/Gollum that destroyed the ring, not Bilbo.
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#298 Mar 12 2014 at 3:48 PM Rating: Good
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Kavekk wrote:
Belkira the Tulip wrote:
Has anyone thought about how silly this all sounds? I mean, imagine if I started praying to Gandalf, and saying that I accept Bilbo into my heart as my savior because he destroyed the ring, and I would be welcomed into the Shire when I died. Isn't that a little outlandish?


Yeah, obviously. It was Frodo/Gollum that destroyed the ring, not Bilbo.


Smiley: lol Whoops.
#299 Mar 12 2014 at 3:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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someproteinguy wrote:
That's why it's called faith, and not science.
The lack of Frost Giants is a pretty compelling and easily provable.

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#300 Mar 12 2014 at 3:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
someproteinguy wrote:
That's why it's called faith, and not science.
The lack of Frost Giants is a pretty compelling and easily provable.

Thor 1, Middle-Eastern Guy constantly mistaken for a blonde white dude 0.
I so want to get to heaven and find out Jesus was really black. Would be so much more entertaining that way.
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#301 Mar 12 2014 at 3:58 PM Rating: Good
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