Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 52658 times)

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #600 on: June 26, 2017, 09:36:34 PM »
Right after my conversion.  Once I was reading it and it made sense for the first time.  It says the Holy Spirit witnesses with your spirit, I know this sounds like hocus pochus, but it is true.  Before that I was like I will give it a chance, but being an agnostic I was highly sceptical of most things.  How can I know this is true?  What if I am falling into a trap?  What if this is all bunk?  I see no way to get faith since I didn't trust anything.  When you trust nothing you have nothing to hold on to.  It says faith is the gift of God, and it is, that is how it happens.

It doesn't sound like hocus pocus exactly, it sounds like religious faith - and I'm curious to understand how you wound up relying on faith if you were such a skeptic to begin with. 

For example - looking at the questions you listed:

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How can I know this is true?  What if I am falling into a trap?  What if this is all bunk?

What sort of study did you do to answer those questions?
Did you study the bible itself (as a document, I mean), archeology, history, etc?
It seems like you would want to look at evidence and weigh it if you were so skeptical.

I guess I just don't understand how faith is a pathway to truth.
Millions of people believe their own religions (which contradict yours) on a faith which is just as strong.
Caracarn clearly believes his own doctrine on faith, never mind all the Muslims, Jews and others who believe their own doctrines on faith and personal revelation.

How can we possibly trust faith if we have no way to confirm the belief it leads us to?

We don't use faith as a justification for any other belief in our lives (and I'd be willing to bet you don't rely on faith for anything else). I find it odd we would trust such an important belief to faith.
Faith doesn't rely on some proof system.  I guess it is always blind.  How does one know what is believed is true?  From my view it is the Word illuminated by the Holy Spirit which convinces me it is true.  I can't prove it by some logical deduction or proof.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2017, 09:49:45 PM by jim555 »

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #601 on: June 26, 2017, 09:50:36 PM »


The long awaited response from one of our pastors on slavery.
Thanks so much for taking the time to post the segments you did.  I can only imagine it was a pain to retype all of that.  I appreciate it.

I'd be curious to read the PDF.  Could I PM you my email address and maybe you could send it to me directly?

In the meanwhile - here are a few things that jumped out at me upon reading what you retyped:

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But eventually God will make right all the things he allows
among which most horrifically is physical death with a close
second, human slavery. Like human death, he never intended
it to be this way, but for now allows it with the goal of
eradicating it:).

Doesn't it seem odd that God had time to tell us to stop wearing mixed fabrics, eat shellfish, and not make graven images but couldn't tell us not to own eachother as property?

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When the laws were given at Mt. Sinai, slavery was universal among the nations of the world.  It was not practical to do away with it all at once.

Something was not practical for God to do?  Really?
That seems a bit hard to believe.

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Slaves were often well treated, as if members of the family.
God treatment was not solely a Jewish characteristic.
Some slaves were entrusted with great authority, could marry, were set free

I think we can all agree that even if the above were true, it is still wrong to own another human as property.

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As to the moral status of slavery in ancient times, it must be recognized that it was practiced by every ancient people of which we have any historic record.....Not until the more exalted concept of man and his innate dignity as a person created in the image of God had permeated the world as a product of Bible teaching did a strong sentiment arise in Christendom in criticism of slavery and a questioning of its right to exist.

This seems like an interesting history lesson (and I mean that sincerely), but it also seems completely irrelevant as part of a discussion on morality.  Since when does the number of people who engage in an activity or its frequency decide what is right or wrong?

The issue was never whether or not slavery was common, but whether it is morally acceptable.


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In New Testament times slaves who became Christians were regarded as true brothers of the Christian free men and fellow heirs of the kingdom of God.  They were bidden to serve their masters faithfully, respectfully, and with a right good will, as if they were serving the Lord Himself (Eph 6:5-8)- even though they should seek to earn or purchase their freedom whenever possible (1 Cor 7:21)

I find it troubling that the only thing Jesus ever said about slavery was to tell slaves to obey their masters.

Overall it seems that your pastor is saying slavery wasn't the way things were 'meant to be.'
He equates it to physical death, as something which is an unfortunate consequence of a fallen world that we must accept - but not as something that is immoral.

I really would like to read the whole thing before saying much more, because I realize it's unfair to judge his stance by only reading a few excerpts.  But I will say that I find it troubling that any religious system would require one to make these types of mental contortions to avoid simply clearly saying that slavery is immoral. 

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #602 on: June 26, 2017, 09:58:38 PM »
Faith doesn't rely on some proof system.

That was the foundation of my question.
It seems that faith is what people rely on when they have no evidence.

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I guess it is always blind.  How does one know what is believed is true?  From my view it is the Word illuminated by the Holy Spirit which convinces me it is true.  I can't prove it by some logical deduction or proof.

What I am getting at is, do you use that standard for anything else in your life?  Is there anything else that you take on faith alone?  Don't you seek evidence and proof for every other belief you have?

Why is this case different?

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #603 on: June 26, 2017, 10:11:53 PM »
And this is why the tenet of tyort1ism is awesome.  It neatly cuts through the gordian knot of faith, scripture, conflict, doubt, inconsistencies and fixes it all with elegant simplicity.  "Good works" don't matter.  Faith doesn't matter.  Religious belief does not matter.  Some writings in some book don't matter.

Everyone gets in to heaven, no matter what.  The end.
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caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #604 on: June 26, 2017, 10:51:52 PM »
And the promised excerpts from Macarthur's Romans Commentary regarding Chapter 3

13 charges against mankind

First, mankind in universally evil, there being absolutely no exceptions.

Second, man is not only universally evil but also spiritually ignorant.  Quoting again from Psalms, Paul says "There is none who understands (see Pss. 14:2, 53:3).  Even if men somehow had the ability to achieve God's perfect righteousness, they would not know what it is or how to go about attaining it.

In his letter to the Ephesians the apostle Paul points out that man's spiritual ignorance is not due to unfortunate outward circumstances (my note for Jim:  this could apply towards the American Indians) or lack of opportunity.  It is due solely to his own innate sinful nature that does not WANT to know and understand, much less obey and serve God.

Men are not sinful and hardened against God because they are ignorant of Him, but to the contrary, they are ignorant of Him because of their sinful and hardened disposition. .... He not only does not understand God but has no inclination to do so.

Fallen and condemned man, trapped in his sin, is similarly confused.  Because he sees it as a threat to his life-style rather than an eternal blessing, he makes every effort to escape the gospel, which the Lord has so graciously provided for salvation.

Third, in addition to being universally evil and spiritually ignorant, fallen man is rebellious.

But man-made religions are demon-inspired efforts to escape from God, not to find Him.  Every person who comes to Jesus Christ for salvation has been sent to Him through the divine intervention of God the Father (John 6:37, 44)

Fourth, Paul charges that men are naturally wayward. 

Fifth, Paul charges that the natural man is spiritually worthless. 

Sixth, the natural man is charged with being corrupt, which is both a repetition of the first charge and something of a summary of the previous five charges.  "There is none who does good," Paul says, "there is not even one."

The seventh charge of Paul's indictment is that by nature fallen mankind is spiritually dead....A spiritually dead heart can generate only spiritually dead words.

The eighth charge is that by nature fallen mankind is deceitful

The ninth charge in Paul's indictment of the unconverted man is closely related to the previous one. 

The tenth charge in the indictment continues the imagery of speaking, describing the ungodly as those "whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness."

The eleventh charge is that the ungodly are innately murderous: "their feet are swift to shed blood."

The twelfth charge in the overall indictment, and the second one that is manifested in man's conduct, is that of general destructiveness.

The thirteenth and last of the charges in Paul's indictment of condemned man is that of his peacelessness

Romans 3:21-25a
How to be right with God

The very reason that religion is universally common to mankind reflects man's attempts to answer such questions.  As noted in the last chapter, people cannot escape feelings of guilt, not only for doing things they know are wrong but for being the way they are.  Man's sense of lostness, loneliness, emptiness, and meaninglessness is reflected in the literature and archaeological remains of every civilization.  So are his fear of death, of existence, if any, beyond the grave, and of divine punishment.  Nearly every religion is a response to those fears and seeks to offer a way of reaching and satisfying deity.  But every religion except Christianity is man-made and works-centered, and for that reason, none of them can succeed in leading a person to God.

Scripture makes clear that there is indeed a way to God, but it is not based on anything men themselves can do to achieve or merit it.  Man can be made right with God, but not on his own terms or in his own power.  In that basic regard Christianity is distinct from every other religion.  As far as the way of salvation is concerned, there are therefore only two religions the world has ever known or will ever know--the religion of divine accomplishment, which is biblical Christianity, and the religion of human achievement, which includes all other kinds of religion, by whatever names they may go under.

Whether he law of God is the Mosaic law of the Jews or the law written in the hearts and consciences of all men, including Gentiles (Rom 2:11-15), obedience to it can never be perfect and therefore can never save.  That is a devastating truth to everyone who seeks to please God on his own terms and in his own power--which is why the gospel is so offensive to the natural man.

Hilasterion (propitiation) carries the basic idea of appeasement, or satisfaction.  In ancient pagan religions, as in many religions today, the idea of man's appeasing a deity by various gifts or sacrifices was common.  But in the New Testament propitiation always refers to the work of God, not of man.  Man is utterly incapable of satisfying God's justice except by spending eternity in hell.

The only satisfaction, or propitiation, that could be acceptable to God and that could reconcile Him to man had to be made by God.  For that reason, God in human flesh, Jesus Christ, "gave Himself as a ransom for all" (1 Tim 2:6),  He appeased the wrath of God.

The Hebrew equivalent of hilasterion is used in the Old Testament in reference to the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies, where the high priest went once a year....But the yearly act, although divinely prescribed and honored, had no power to remove or pay the penalty for a single sin.  It could only point to the true and effective "offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified" (Heb 10:10, 14)

Romans 3:25b-31
How Christ died for God

The theme of the book of Romans, and the heart of the gospel message, is the doctrine of justification by faith alone in response to God's grace.  It is a doctrine that has been lost and found again and again throughout the history of the church.  It has suffered from understatement, overstatement, and perhaps most often, simply from neglect.  It was the central message of the early church and the central message of the Protestant Reformation, under the godly leadership of men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin.  It is still today the central message of every church that is faithful to God's Word.  Only when the church understands and proclaims justification by faith can it truly present the gospel of Jesus Christ.

One of the most significant passages that teaches that truth is the present text (Rom 3:25b-31).  At first reading this passage seems terribly intricate, complicated, and baffling.  But its basic truth is simple, while also being the most profound truth in all of Scripture: Justification for sinful mankind was made possible by God's grace through the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross, and it is appropriated by men when they place their trust in Him as Lord and Savior.

The greatest lie in the world, and the lie common to all false religions and cults, is that, by certain works of their own doing, men are able to make themselves acceptable to God.  The greatest error in the belief is its sheer impossibility.  But the greatest evil of that belief is that it robs God of His glory. 

Paul completely cuts the ground out from works righteousness by declaring, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works"

First we will consider some things that neither prove nor disprove true faith.  Although they will be evident to some degree or another in true believers, they can also be evidenced, sometimes to a high degree, in unbelievers.

First is visible morality.  A person can be outwardly moral yet not be saved.  Some pagans and cultists put many Christians to shame by their high standards of behavior.  When a certain young man came to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"  Jesus told him to keep the commandments and then proceeded to list some of the major ones.  When the man responded, "All these things I have kept," Jesus did not challenge his sincerity.  According to outward appearance and his own human perception of obedience, the man probably was speaking the truth.  But when Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor and then "come, follow Me," the man "went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property" (Matt 19:16-22).  By his refusal to obey Christ, the man demonstrated that his outward obedience to the law was not done out of love for God or for the purpose of His glory but was done out of self-love and for the purpose of his own self-interest.  When commanded to give all of his possessions as well as all of himself to Christ, he refused.  And by this refusal, even his seemingly good works were exposed as spiritually worthless works, because they were done out of selfish motivation.

Second, intellectual knowledge of God's truth is not necessarily a proof of saving faith.   It is possible to have a great deal of knowledge about God's Word and yet be unsaved.

Third, religious involvement is not necessarily a proof of saving faith.

Fourth, active ministry in Christ's name is no certain proof of saving faith.  Outwardly, Judas was as active as any of the other disciples.

Fifth, even conviction of sin does not necessarily demonstrate saving faith.  Mental institutions throughout the world are filled with people who are so burdened by their knowledge of their sinfulness that they cannot function in society.  Their sense of guilt became so overpowering that it drove them to insanity--but it did not drive them to Jesus Christ. 

Sixth, assurance of salvation is not an infallible mark of saving faith.  The world is full of people who are sincerely convinced in their own minds that they are right with God and that their place in heaven is secured.  If being persuaded that we are Christians makes us Christians indeed, we would need no warnings about being deceived by false hopes.  If it were not possible to believe oneself saved when one is not, Satan would have no way to deceive people about their salvation. 

Seventh, the experience of a past "decision" for Christ does not necessarily prove saving faith.  If no evidence of godly living results form the event...it is no proof of salvation.

There ARE, however, some reliable proof of saving faith.  God does not leave His children in uncertainty about their relationship with Him.

The first reliable evidence of saving faith is love for God.  The unsaved person cannot love God and has no desire to love Him.

A second reliable evidence of saving faith is repentance from sin and the hatred of it that always accompanies true contrition.  The second mark of saving faith is the  reverse side of the first.  The person who genuinely loves God will have a built-in hatred of sin.  It is impossible to love two things that are contradictory of one another.  To love the holy and righteous God is, almost by definition, to have a deep abhorrence of sin.

The true believer often hates sin even while he is doing it and ALWAYS after he has done it, because it is completely contrary to his new nature in Christ.  Even though a believer's humanness sometimes draws him into sin and, like Paul, he does the very thing he knows he ought not to do (Rom 7:16), he will have no peace of conscience until he repents of it. 

If a person's sin does not bother him and increasingly put him under conviction about it, that person's salvation is questionable.  The test for true repentance is not simply sorrow....

A third reliable evidence of true faith is genuine humility.  A person cannot be saved as long as he trusts and exalts himself.

A fourth reliable evidence of true faith is devotion to God's glory, which is closely related to the love of God and repentance of sin. 

A fifth reliable evidence of true faith is prayer.  Every genuine Christian will freely admit that he does not pray as often or as earnestly and persistently as he should.  But in their innermost being, communion with his heavenly Father will be the desire of his heart.

A sixth mark of saving faith is selfless love, not only for God, as in the first mark, but also for other people, especially fellow Christians. 

A seventh mark of saving faith is separation from the world. 

An eighth mark of saving faith is spiritual growth.

The ninth and final mark of saving faith is obedient living. 

Hebrews 11 makes clear that God's way of salvation by faith alone extended back to the Fall, when the need for salvation began.



tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #605 on: June 26, 2017, 11:04:49 PM »
So basically per the Christian mythos, god creates imperfect beings, says "you people aren't worth being in my presence", then kills his own son in human form so we then get to be with god.  But only if we recognize how shitty we are and how awesome god is for killing his son for us.

Sorry, but that is some messed up stuff.
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jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #606 on: June 27, 2017, 04:04:07 AM »
caracarn,

I would be curious on what you think about those who never hear the gospel in their entire life, like American Indians before the westerners arrived.  No gospel, no possibility of faith, no chance to be saved.  If God wants every single person saved wouldn't they at least get the chance to say no?
I do not have any answer to that other than what you have said all along.  There are stories of aborigines in Africa for example, who felt the indwelt piece that God places in all of us that clearly points us to him (explained in early chapters of Romans where man is without excuse because of everything he sees in creation), who years later finally hear the message and understand clearly God sent them a messenger to share the good news.  I would also say that Abraham did not hear the gospel, nor did Moses or others, but the Bible clearly says they were saved as their faith was counted as righteousness, so perhaps God allows something similar with those prior to actual access.  I just do not make the leap that your view has that because some people have no access that means God planned who does over all time.  God adjusted his plan to allow for salvation as man moved (as noted above by my pastor's comments on slavery).  Before NT times people were being saved, so there was clearly a path to salvation before the gospel.
Abraham lived hundreds of years before Moses and therefore before the OT.  He had direct revelation of God.  Any one who is saved has the same faith.  Abraham is set as an example of justification by faith apart from works In Romans 4.  Also Noah was saved pre-OT, again by faith via direct revelation.  OT people and NT both are saved by the same faith.  Abraham and Noah had direct dealing and therefore heard the gospel and believed it.  There is no salvation without saving faith. 
Not everyone has the same opportunity to hear.  For example a person born in a remote tribe today may live and die and never hear it.  So they never had a chance to refuse it, right?  According to you what happens to a person like that?  What about a baby who dies ten seconds after birth, no personal sins, no faith?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 04:37:23 AM by jim555 »

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #607 on: June 27, 2017, 04:06:24 AM »
So basically per the Christian mythos, god creates imperfect beings, says "you people aren't worth being in my presence", then kills his own son in human form so we then get to be with god.  But only if we recognize how shitty we are and how awesome god is for killing his son for us.

Sorry, but that is some messed up stuff.
Man was created good and became bad post Fall. 

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #608 on: June 27, 2017, 04:14:24 AM »
I don't see anywhere in the Bible where slave owners are told to free their slaves.  The Bible is a spiritual book and slavery and bondage have spiritual meanings.  Fallen man is said to be in bondage to sin and Satan.  And the saved are in a bond servant relationship with Jesus.

doublethinkmoney

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #609 on: June 27, 2017, 06:15:13 AM »
I wasn't raised Christian but my husband was and in his early twenties decided it didn't make sense to him. He also saw a lot of christians who talked a big game but didn't follow the principles of the faith.

Personally, the Bible is a flawed book. It clearly is tainted with sexism, classism and basically is designed to keep the suppressed "hopeful" for a better life in the next life so that they aren't too concerned with the suffering imposed upon them here and now. It's all about how god will provide, god will save and to be dependent on an outward force to help and save you. It makes people stagnant and no matter what they do- they can turn to god to forgive them.

The religion that I most approve of is Buddhism, I'm not Buddhist. However, the difference is that it encourages oneself to look inward and to focus on changing oneself and how they interact with the world. HOW to be a better person vs just be better. HOW to deal with suffering bc no one will save you but yourself. You control you and are responsible for your behavior and happiness. It empowers people and encourages them to make positive change and not to wait or depend on some saving grace. This is a philosophy I could follow and try to. I also appreciate how in Buddhism they believe you are born perfect and enlightened but we forget as soon as we enter world and have to relearn and find that inner enlightened Buddha within us. Mostly I appreciate how it empowers people to change themselves instead of focusing on other people and converting them. If everyone just focused on making themselves better the world would be greatly improved.

Again I'm not an expert on this philosophy and these are just my thoughts from what I've picked up. I also practice a Budo martial art that has many of these same principles on self refinement.



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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #610 on: June 27, 2017, 06:49:48 AM »
If someone were to ask me "What do Christian's Believe?" the Apostle's Creed is the simplest and clearest expression.
As we talked about earlier in this thread, the 'what' is vaguely interesting on its own - but it's the 'why' that is of much more interest.

So, now that you've shared what you believe, could you tell us why you believe it?
Agreed MrDelane. The "why" is always interesting. I was hoping to bring a unifying statement to rally some of the scattered points we had been discussing.

Here are a few thoughts on "why" I believe.
- I find Jesus to be the most compelling and beautiful figure in history. His words and works draw me and call me to follow.

- The story of the Bible, which finds it's center in Jesus, crafts a narrative that makes the world make sense to me. On a macro level, the scriptures offer me a story a redemption that allows me to thrive and have hope in this life.

- Christianity gives me an explanation and solution for the sin/pain/brokenness inside me and surrounding me.


In the end, I believe Christianity is coherent, intellectually robust, and historically verified.  While those things have strengthened the confidence I have in my faith, it's not the reason I believe. I was drawn in by the beauty of Jesus, the captivating narrative of redemption, and power to fix whats broken in me.

While Christianity is "real", what brought me and keeps me in is the intangible affections and internal compulsion.

Am I bothered that it wasn't pure rationalism that led me into my faith? No.

Most decisions in life are steered by affections and inexplicable desires. Marrying my wife wasn't an act of pure rationalism. I met her, went crazy for her, fell in love. Can I explain it all? No. Does it make sense (are we the roughly the same age, similar life goals, similar philosophy for life/kids/finances, etc)? Yes. But I didn't marry her because it makes sense.

I was drawn to her in a different sort of way.


MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #611 on: June 27, 2017, 07:41:26 AM »
Agreed MrDelane. The "why" is always interesting. I was hoping to bring a unifying statement to rally some of the scattered points we had been discussing.
That's a fair point, and a good effort.  Though it is a bit telling of the difficulty we have in discerning the facts about reality that your attempt to unify the believers led to a discussion of how your beliefs differ.

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Here are a few thoughts on "why" I believe.
- I find Jesus to be the most compelling and beautiful figure in history. His words and works draw me and call me to follow.

- The story of the Bible, which finds it's center in Jesus, crafts a narrative that makes the world make sense to me. On a macro level, the scriptures offer me a story a redemption that allows me to thrive and have hope in this life.

- Christianity gives me an explanation and solution for the sin/pain/brokenness inside me and surrounding me.

I would just like to point out that the first three reasons you listed speak to how it makes you feel and how it helps you makes sense of the world, neither of which say anything about whether or not it is true.

Now clearly, you are free to believe things for whatever reasons you choose, I'm not saying you're not.  But when I hear these style of responses it does make me wonder if you are more concerned with what you might find comforting than what is true.

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In the end, I believe Christianity is coherent, intellectually robust, and historically verified.

How did you verify Christianity historically?

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While those things have strengthened the confidence I have in my faith, it's not the reason I believe. I was drawn in by the beauty of Jesus, the captivating narrative of redemption, and power to fix whats broken in me.

What makes you believe there is something broken in you?  What did you determine that it was, and how does Christianity 'fix' it?

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While Christianity is "real", what brought me and keeps me in is the intangible affections and internal compulsion.

I find it strange that you chose to put real in quotes.
It gives the impression that the reality of the claims are not that important to you.

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Am I bothered that it wasn't pure rationalism that led me into my faith? No.

Most decisions in life are steered by affections and inexplicable desires. Marrying my wife wasn't an act of pure rationalism. I met her, went crazy for her, fell in love. Can I explain it all? No. Does it make sense (are we the roughly the same age, similar life goals, similar philosophy for life/kids/finances, etc)? Yes. But I didn't marry her because it makes sense.

I was drawn to her in a different sort of way.

I would say the two are not really comparable.  I'm willing to bet that marrying your wife involved much more rationality than your belief in Christianity.  Only looking at it on a surface level it is clear that you have first hand experience of your wife's existence, she has provided evidence of her love and commitment for you through her actions, etc.

It seems that an equivalent analogy would have been if someone had simply told you about your wife - a woman they themselves had never personally met but was told about as well. Through the stories you hear she sounds amazing to you, and so you fall in love and decide you'd like to marry her and dedicate your life to her sight unseen.

I understand that you will say you didn't marry her because of the rational evidence I listed above - but I would be willing to bet you wouldn't have considered marrying her even for a second without it.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 07:43:59 AM by MrDelane »

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #612 on: June 27, 2017, 08:09:40 AM »
So basically per the Christian mythos, god creates imperfect beings, says "you people aren't worth being in my presence", then kills his own son in human form so we then get to be with god.  But only if we recognize how shitty we are and how awesome god is for killing his son for us.

Sorry, but that is some messed up stuff.
Man was created good and became bad post Fall.

I don't see how that does anything but agree with at least the beginning of what Tyort1 wrote.
Tyort1 said, "god creates imperfect beings."
You said "man was created good and became bad post Fall."

I'm fairly confident we can all agree that a perfect being, by definition, cannot become bad.
Given that humans 'became bad' we know they must have not been perfect before becoming bad.
Therefore, humans were created (by God) as imperfect beings.

Put more simply:

1.  A perfect being cannot become bad.
2.  Humans became bad.
3.  Humans were not perfect beings.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #613 on: June 27, 2017, 09:00:54 AM »
Agreed MrDelane. The "why" is always interesting. I was hoping to bring a unifying statement to rally some of the scattered points we had been discussing.
That's a fair point, and a good effort.  Though it is a bit telling of the difficulty we have in discerning the facts about reality that your attempt to unify the believers led to a discussion of how your beliefs differ.

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Here are a few thoughts on "why" I believe.
- I find Jesus to be the most compelling and beautiful figure in history. His words and works draw me and call me to follow.

- The story of the Bible, which finds it's center in Jesus, crafts a narrative that makes the world make sense to me. On a macro level, the scriptures offer me a story a redemption that allows me to thrive and have hope in this life.

- Christianity gives me an explanation and solution for the sin/pain/brokenness inside me and surrounding me.

I would just like to point out that the first three reasons you listed speak to how it makes you feel and how it helps you makes sense of the world, neither of which say anything about whether or not it is true.

Now clearly, you are free to believe things for whatever reasons you choose, I'm not saying you're not.  But when I hear these style of responses it does make me wonder if you are more concerned with what you might find comforting than what is true.

Quote
In the end, I believe Christianity is coherent, intellectually robust, and historically verified.

How did you verify Christianity historically?

(just taking part of your response at this point)

My feelings, emotions, or affections are not placed in priority over facts or truth. It would be inappropriate to "feel" something to be real with no basis in reality. What i was describing is the chronology of my journey toward Christianity. Analyzing the facts didn't draw me....beauty did. I can't exactly tell you why a sunset captivates me, but I know it does and I love sitting on my porch in the evenings - soaking in every minute.

Beauty drew me into my faith, but veracity helps keep me there.

Sorry if I implied that facts don't matter. I have a couple advanced degrees in religion, so I have spent a little time working through facts. Having warm fuzzys is pretty fleeting if they isn't any substantial reality behind it.

At the same time, just because something is comforting does't make it not true. But if the Christian story happens to have robust intellectual backing, AND it's a beautiful compelling story of hope...well thats something I can't ignore.

Part (Certainly not all) of Christianity is historical. The Bible claims that certain things happened in history. God became a man, walked among us, died, and rose again. That's a historical statement.

There are dozens and hundreds and thousands of different topics we could explore about the historical statements of the Bible. But that would be a bit excessive for this context. Can we at least agree that any subject we might bring up has already been substantially explore and evidence laid out (I don't want to imply that there is no more work left to do, but rather that a lot of work has already been done)? There is no objection to Christianity that we are going to come up with here, that hasn't already been brought up by skeptics and scholars over the last several centuries. And that, in spite of those objections existing, Christians continue to exist in the most respected and most academic of institutions around the world. If Christianity were truly irrational than would it make sense for academics at Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge to still adhere to the faith?

At the vary least I hope we can set aside the notion that Christianity is (as some would say) an archaic bunch of fairy tails and the idea of God is hogwash believed by the uneducated.

We at least have to agree that really smart people have done their homework and still believe this stuff. There is some academic respect for it, which means there has to be at least some evidence for its validity.

I realize I haven't presented any facts, but this line of thinking at least got me to the point where would take Christianity seriously. And that there are facts out there to be examined.

Here is a good starting point if you are interested. Here is a historical and scholarly approach to the subject "I Cannot Believe Because the Bible is Unreliable"
 https://youtu.be/P5_rTu0-XSQ








zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #614 on: June 27, 2017, 09:49:26 AM »
Jim555, what are your thoughts about the Gnostics and the Nag Hammadi texts?
It is hard to reply to these doctrines since they have no basis in  scripture. 
The Word of God has been preserved by providence and these "lost" texts are not meant to be included as scripture.
Sounds like some New Age mumbo jumbo.

Except that gnostic traditions were around before Christianity and passed down orally.

If you believe that the bible is the authentic word of god then you are worshipping the bible, making it into an idol.

Jesus was not the man he was as a result of making Jesus Christ his personal savior.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:23:03 AM by zoltani »
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #615 on: June 27, 2017, 09:59:29 AM »
Sorry if I implied that facts don't matter.
Not at all, I was simply asking for clarification.  I didn't feel like you implied that they don't matter, I just found it interesting that when asked why you believe that supporting evidence wasn't the first thing on the list (as one would expect it to be for just about any other belief).

Quote
At the same time, just because something is comforting does't make it not true.
Of course.  I think we can all agree that how something makes us feel is completely separate from whether or not it is true.

Quote
The Bible claims that certain things happened in history. God became a man, walked among us, died, and rose again. That's a historical statement.
Agreed.  These are statements made about the facts of the world and we should, hopefully, be able to verify them in some way.

Quote
Can we at least agree that any subject we might bring up has already been substantially explore and evidence laid out (I don't want to imply that there is no more work left to do, but rather that a lot of work has already been done)?

I think we can agree that any subject we bring up has been substantially explored in the past, yes.
I'm not certain we can agree that much evidence has been laid out.

Quote
...in spite of those objections existing, Christians continue to exist in the most respected and most academic of institutions around the world. If Christianity were truly irrational than would it make sense for academics at Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge to still adhere to the faith?

People believe things for all sorts of reasons.
The number of people who believe something and the schools they attend has no affect on the truth about reality.
Even if it did, it puts us no closer to learning the truth about reality since every Muslim, Jew and Hindu could claim the same support.
So how do we distinguish between them?

Quote
At the vary least I hope we can set aside the notion that Christianity is (as some would say) an archaic bunch of fairy tails and the idea of God is hogwash believed by the uneducated.
I can definitely set aside that kind of language, sure. 
But if you mean we can set aside the possibility that Christianity is untrue, then we will have to disagree.

Quote
We at least have to agree that really smart people have done their homework and still believe this stuff.

Certainly.  Much like we have to agree that really smart people have done their homework on Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and other religions and still believe them.  Are you willing to lend them an equal amount of assumption of truth?

Quote
There is some academic respect for it, which means there has to be at least some evidence for its validity.
I'm not certain what you mean by academic respect.  Only 1/3rd of scientists seem to believe in a God, versus 85+% of the general public.
But I am not claiming that is any sort of argument.  Again, the number or type of people who believe something says nothing about the truth of the claim itself, nor about the amount or quality of evidence that may or may not exist.

We should not assume there is evidence for the validity of an idea simply because many people adhere to it.  Instead shouldn't we look at and examine the evidence itself, regardless of how many people accept or reject it?

Quote
Here is a good starting point if you are interested. Here is a historical and scholarly approach to the subject "I Cannot Believe Because the Bible is Unreliable"
 https://youtu.be/P5_rTu0-XSQ

Thanks for the link.  I'll check it out when I'm not at work (pretty sure I'd have a hard time explaining why I'm watching a 90 minute video about the veracity of the bible). 
:)

I will watch it though.  Thank you.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 10:13:47 AM by MrDelane »

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #616 on: June 27, 2017, 10:15:38 AM »
I wasn't raised Christian but my husband was and in his early twenties decided it didn't make sense to him. He also saw a lot of christians who talked a big game but didn't follow the principles of the faith.

Personally, the Bible is a flawed book. It clearly is tainted with sexism, classism and basically is designed to keep the suppressed "hopeful" for a better life in the next life so that they aren't too concerned with the suffering imposed upon them here and now. It's all about how god will provide, god will save and to be dependent on an outward force to help and save you. It makes people stagnant and no matter what they do- they can turn to god to forgive them.

The religion that I most approve of is Buddhism, I'm not Buddhist. However, the difference is that it encourages oneself to look inward and to focus on changing oneself and how they interact with the world. HOW to be a better person vs just be better. HOW to deal with suffering bc no one will save you but yourself. You control you and are responsible for your behavior and happiness. It empowers people and encourages them to make positive change and not to wait or depend on some saving grace. This is a philosophy I could follow and try to. I also appreciate how in Buddhism they believe you are born perfect and enlightened but we forget as soon as we enter world and have to relearn and find that inner enlightened Buddha within us. Mostly I appreciate how it empowers people to change themselves instead of focusing on other people and converting them. If everyone just focused on making themselves better the world would be greatly improved.

Again I'm not an expert on this philosophy and these are just my thoughts from what I've picked up. I also practice a Budo martial art that has many of these same principles on self refinement.


I tend to agree that eastern philosophies make the most sense, Taoism, Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism. The part bolded above is particularly compelling to me. We are born an empty vessel which is filled with words, ideas, thoughts, most of which are not even our own. What percentage of your thoughts could be considered your own original thoughts? That old saying "don't believe everything you think" is true, most of our thoughts are not our own. Enlightenment is just that, loss of ego, of self, and the realization that you are it, god, the universe and everything in it.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #617 on: June 27, 2017, 11:41:35 AM »
Enlightenment is just that, loss of ego, of self, and the realization that you are it, god, the universe and everything in it.
I don't understand this concept.  How can you be the universe and God?

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #618 on: June 27, 2017, 12:48:34 PM »
Enlightenment is just that, loss of ego, of self, and the realization that you are it, god, the universe and everything in it.
I don't understand this concept.  How can you be the universe and God?

How can you not be the universe and god? You are creating your own experience all of the time. I previously posted about this, it is not some new age bullshit. There are a lot of physicists that postulate that the universe simply would not exist without an observer. Matter doesn't even exist, at the sub atomic level everything is just whirls of energy. We are the universe experiencing itself. 

I think Alan Watts said it well:

"We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that “I myself” is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body — a center which “confronts” an “external” world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange. Everyday figures of speech reflect this illusion. “I came into this world.” “You must face reality.” “The conquest of nature.”

This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man (and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin."
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #619 on: June 27, 2017, 12:59:39 PM »
Maybe I'm too "inside my bag" for this to make sense.

Have you seen the Double Slit Quantum Eraser experiment?  Some people interpret the experiment that we exist in a computed simulation and nothing is physically real.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #620 on: June 27, 2017, 01:10:53 PM »
All of the great thinkers have come to the conclusion that we are god, that it resides within us. Jesus came to this conclusion just as Lao Tzu, and Buddha. Was Jesus a Christian? Was Buddha a buddist? Was Lau Tzu a Taoist? No. They came to their conclusions through intense periods of solitude, self reflection, and meditation. They all came to the conclusion that the kingdom of heaven is within you. There are many paths to take, call it whatever religion or philosophy you want, they all teach the same thing. The bible is taken so literally that it strips this power away from its believers.

Here are some samples from the bible:

"The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

“Is it not written in your Law, “I have said ‘you are gods’”?” (John 10:34)

“He who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)

IMO the answers are not in one book or philosophy. Again Alan Watts (who was an ordained priest, btw) is brilliant in stating this:

"Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, open-ness — an act of trust in the unknown.

No considerate God would destroy the human mind by making it so rigid and unadaptable as to depend upon one book, the Bible, for all the answers. For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency."


“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #621 on: June 27, 2017, 01:19:25 PM »
I think you are wresting scripture to try to make a point. 

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #622 on: June 27, 2017, 01:33:33 PM »
Maybe I'm too "inside my bag" for this to make sense.

Have you seen the Double Slit Quantum Eraser experiment?  Some people interpret the experiment that we exist in a computed simulation and nothing is physically real.

I don't like to buy in to the computer simulation idea. I guess it is certainly a possibility, but not a very comforting one to me.

Have you ever practiced meditation? Sitting still, doing nothing. Jesus surely did, so why would Christians not?
Oh, here is one article about the "dangers" of meditation from a Christian point of view. This is utter nonsense IMO.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html


“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #623 on: June 27, 2017, 01:39:46 PM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #624 on: June 27, 2017, 01:44:31 PM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

What makes you come to that conclusion? If you have never tried how would you know that it is or isn't a waste of your time?


“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #625 on: June 27, 2017, 01:55:37 PM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

What makes you come to that conclusion? If you have never tried how would you know that it is or isn't a waste of your time?
Might not be, but I'm not interested enough to find out.

J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #626 on: June 27, 2017, 02:16:50 PM »
Long before I left the faith, I didn't see much value in time spent praying - except for using it to mentally prepare yourself to be a more virtuous person when the next opportunity arose.  I always found that aspect of it quite valuable and still do.

And you can call that type of prayer meditation if you want.

craiglepaige

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #627 on: June 28, 2017, 09:40:12 AM »
I really like this view on the origins of a lot of religions.

https://youtu.be/88GTUXvp-50
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

- Eres Un Esclavo Financiero
https://youtu.be/GO1Fsp4cUTQ

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #628 on: June 28, 2017, 09:47:04 AM »
Meditation seems like a big waste of time to me.

What makes you come to that conclusion? If you have never tried how would you know that it is or isn't a waste of your time?
Might not be, but I'm not interested enough to find out.

I find this sort of thinking -- condemnation of something one has never tried, lack of interest in finding out whether one is wrong -- coupled with certainty that one's own beliefs and path are absolutely correct, fairly amusing. It certainly does not do much to give an outside observer the impression that one is standing on any sort of solid ground.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #629 on: June 28, 2017, 11:03:22 AM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #630 on: June 28, 2017, 11:31:31 AM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

:)  Yes, my mother-in-law is a Jehovah's Witness and believes this, too. For the same reason, she won't take sleeping pills -- because The Devil will get into her head if she allows herself to get drowsy. Not sure why just falling asleep doesn't do the same thing, but hey, I guess you'd have to ask her.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #631 on: June 28, 2017, 12:42:59 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians
That is not my reason for not wanting to do it.  Boring waste of time is the reason for me.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #632 on: June 28, 2017, 12:54:11 PM »
Reminds me of a conversation I had recently.

Me: DH and I were out for sushi a few nights ago...

Friend: Oh, BLECH! I HATE sushi. Ugh.

Me: Huh. Is it just the raw fish (sashimi) you hate? Because not all of it is raw.

Friend: Oh, God, I've never TRIED it. I couldn't. It's just so gross.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #633 on: June 28, 2017, 01:29:17 PM »
That is not my reason for not wanting to do it.  Boring waste of time is the reason for me.

Sitting still and doing nothing for 10-15 minutes a day is a waste of time? I am sure you waste time in some way that could be directed toward meditation. I mean, how much time do you spend on these forums, which is a complete waste of time? You think meditation is a waste of time because you do not understand how it could benefit you.

There was a study I saw that said that most people would rather give themselves and electrical shock than sit for 15 minutes alone with nothing but their thoughts. People's own minds terrify them.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #634 on: June 28, 2017, 01:34:29 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

J Boogie

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #635 on: June 28, 2017, 01:54:26 PM »
That is not my reason for not wanting to do it.  Boring waste of time is the reason for me.

Sitting still and doing nothing for 10-15 minutes a day is a waste of time? I am sure you waste time in some way that could be directed toward meditation. I mean, how much time do you spend on these forums, which is a complete waste of time? You think meditation is a waste of time because you do not understand how it could benefit you.

There was a study I saw that said that most people would rather give themselves and electrical shock than sit for 15 minutes alone with nothing but their thoughts. People's own minds terrify them.

I saw that as well. 

Though there is a certain amount of anti-new age, anti-buddhism that colors how some Christians view meditation, I was always taught that meditation could be a very powerful form of prayer for a Catholic.  Granted, the goal is usually to meditate on Christian themes, but there is actually a mindfulness style meditation warm up that's part of Jesuit app "Pray as you Go".

But Christians tend to have mixed opinions about those crazy like a fox Jesuits.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #636 on: June 28, 2017, 02:36:42 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

There are a lot of Christians who think meditation and yoga is dangerous. Generally speaking, they come from the more fundamentalist wing of Christianity.

Christianity Today has published about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html

I find that there is a correlation between Christians who espouse this view and those who say that celebrating Halloween is satanic. And those who say that dancing isn't something Christians should do because it encourages lasciviousness.

It's not all Christians, but it's not a small number of them, either.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #637 on: June 28, 2017, 02:52:09 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

There are a lot of Christians who think meditation and yoga is dangerous. Generally speaking, they come from the more fundamentalist wing of Christianity.

Christianity Today has published about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html

I find that there is a correlation between Christians who espouse this view and those who say that celebrating Halloween is satanic. And those who say that dancing isn't something Christians should do because it encourages lasciviousness.

It's not all Christians, but it's not a small number of them, either.
There's a lot of all kinds of groups that hold viewpoints that are negative to the perception of the group.

My point was simply in a forum, where I think we would like to try to have a rationale discussion posting what clearly was meant to indicate a view that is supported as Christian is not helpful to the discourse.  There are a lot of non-Christians that think global warming is not happening.  Should I label all non-Christians as clueless because they are not a small number who hold this view?  I think we'd agree not. 

I'm with Boogie in that I think most Christians would say prayer is a form of meditation, so did not view it as indicative of anything other than nonsense.  And I have been involved in a lot of fundamentalist churches and not a single one of them viewed mediation as anything to be concerned about.  It offered time for reflection and quiet and was not harmful at all. 

ETA:  Looking at the article you linked, at best I'd say it is because the author is concerned with "higher state of conciousness" that achieves inner divinity.  Obviously a Christian would have a problem with encouraging someone to think they were a god.  In addition, I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.  At best I'll say this article marks mediation attached to unproveable "benefits" that are in opposition to basic Christian teaching as being something dangerous, but saying this labels mediation in and of itself dangerous is a bridge too far.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 02:56:49 PM by caracarn »

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #638 on: June 28, 2017, 03:04:46 PM »
Come now Kris, meditation is dangerous to christians:

"Eastern meditation focuses on self: centering yourself, your inner self, self actualization, your breathing, physical feelings and emotions. The enemy will do anything to get us to stop focusing on Christ. Furthermore, his ultimate deception is pride or elevation of self. Biblical meditation takes our focus off of ourselves and places our focus on Jesus Christ."

Woah now, you definitely do not want to be in connection with yourself or your body. And having a quiet mind could allow satan to fill it with evil things!

"Eastern meditation empties the mind. Biblical meditation fills the mind and spirit with God's Word. Emptying our mind is actually a very dangerous thing because it gives the enemy room to fill it with his deception."


I can't even believe this nonsense.
http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/58612-6-reasons-this-popular-meditation-trend-is-dangerous-for-christians

It is nonsense so spouting if off here as something Christians believe because you found an internet link is just slightly less nonsensical.

There are a lot of Christians who think meditation and yoga is dangerous. Generally speaking, they come from the more fundamentalist wing of Christianity.

Christianity Today has published about this:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/november/10.78.html

I find that there is a correlation between Christians who espouse this view and those who say that celebrating Halloween is satanic. And those who say that dancing isn't something Christians should do because it encourages lasciviousness.

It's not all Christians, but it's not a small number of them, either.
There's a lot of all kinds of groups that hold viewpoints that are negative to the perception of the group.

My point was simply in a forum, where I think we would like to try to have a rationale discussion posting what clearly was meant to indicate a view that is supported as Christian is not helpful to the discourse.  There are a lot of non-Christians that think global warming is not happening.  Should I label all non-Christians as clueless because they are not a small number who hold this view?  I think we'd agree not. 

I'm with Boogie in that I think most Christians would say prayer is a form of meditation, so did not view it as indicative of anything other than nonsense.  And I have been involved in a lot of fundamentalist churches and not a single one of them viewed mediation as anything to be concerned about.  It offered time for reflection and quiet and was not harmful at all.

There seems to be at least some disagreement in this thread already as to who the "real" Christians are, and what "real" Christians believe. I don't really see that any one person gets to determine that, do you?

The global warming argument isn't very convincing. First of all, I'd have to guess, at least in the US anyway, that climate change denialism is a view much more prominent among Christians, actually, unless you can show me otherwise. Second, it isn't an appropriate analogy unless you can show me how those populations' non-belief in global warming would be an actual aspect of their (non-Christian) faith, since the discussion here is centering on how one's faith determines what they believe. For Christians who deny global warming, for example, that denialism is actually a part of their faith, since it generally goes hand in hand with belief in creationism over evolution, and/or the belief that God is in charge and therefore there's nothing to worry about, or something like that.

Similarly, the Christians who believe meditation is actually bad, or that Halloween is actually bad, have faith-based arguments for this. I know my Jehovah's Witness mother-in-law (who considers herself a Christian) does.

Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #639 on: June 28, 2017, 03:17:33 PM »
Why do you keep trying to push this meditation issue?  Each person has their own conscience and if it offends them to meditate then leave them alone. 
As far as holidays I don't see anything in the Bible about Christmas or Easter and I don't recognize them.  But if someone wants to I don't make an issue about it.
Halloween is another one to ignore for me.

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #640 on: June 28, 2017, 03:17:57 PM »
There's a lot of all kinds of groups that hold viewpoints that are negative to the perception of the group.

My point was simply in a forum, where I think we would like to try to have a rationale discussion posting what clearly was meant to indicate a view that is supported as Christian is not helpful to the discourse.  There are a lot of non-Christians that think global warming is not happening.  Should I label all non-Christians as clueless because they are not a small number who hold this view?  I think we'd agree not. 

I'm with Boogie in that I think most Christians would say prayer is a form of meditation, so did not view it as indicative of anything other than nonsense.  And I have been involved in a lot of fundamentalist churches and not a single one of them viewed mediation as anything to be concerned about.  It offered time for reflection and quiet and was not harmful at all. 

ETA:  Looking at the article you linked, at best I'd say it is because the author is concerned with "higher state of conciousness" that achieves inner divinity.  Obviously a Christian would have a problem with encouraging someone to think they were a god.  In addition, I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.  At best I'll say this article marks mediation attached to unproveable "benefits" that are in opposition to basic Christian teaching as being something dangerous, but saying this labels mediation in and of itself dangerous is a bridge too far.

Point taken. #notallchristians


The hindus or Buddhists could not prove it because they do not say it, not in what I have read. That is an assumption by the writer of the article.

I highly recommend this talk if you want to get an idea of what meditation is "all about":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TjCZRutOKY&t=705s

“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

zoltani

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #641 on: June 28, 2017, 03:22:30 PM »
Why do you keep trying to push this meditation issue?  Each person has their own conscience and if it offends them to meditate then leave them alone. 
As far as holidays I don't see anything in the Bible about Christmas or Easter and I don't recognize them.  But if someone wants to I don't make an issue about it.
Halloween is another one to ignore for me.

What forum rule have I broken?

I didn't know you have the authority to dictate what is posted on this forum.
“The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. What’s important is leading an examined life.”

Yvon Chouinard

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #642 on: June 28, 2017, 03:27:35 PM »
Similarly, the Christians who believe meditation is actually bad, or that Halloween is actually bad, have faith-based arguments for this. I know my Jehovah's Witness mother-in-law (who considers herself a Christian) does.
Trying to get your definition. when you say arguments do you mean stuff they made up that is not in the Bible?  The whole point of my evidences in this thread are the the religious trappings around all the Christian sects are not traceable to any Scriptural reference and meditation and Halloween are both in that category.  You can add to the Scripture and make up added understanding that make you seem like you have something faith-based, but that's only because you made it up and said "cause the Bible tells me so" when you can't actually point to anything that does.  IF that is not what you meant by arguments then please clarify so I can better respond.  Your Jehovah's Witness MIL likely will point to church bylaws (man made mumbo jumbo) for her arguments about sleeping pills (which certainly are not faith based at all) and mediation and Halloween. 

You can certainly make a point about how a practice (Halloween and meditation) can be used in a way that is bad and make it faith based (celebrating the demons, i.e. worshipping them, for Halloween for example), but the argument is not about Halloween then it is about the method of practicing that event.  Halloween is not bad anymore than pink flamingos are bad.  If I made an idol in the shape of a pink flamingo and worshiped it as God then Biblically I would be doing something bad, but that's my fault not the flamingos. 

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #643 on: June 28, 2017, 03:36:49 PM »
Why do you keep trying to push this meditation issue?  Each person has their own conscience and if it offends them to meditate then leave them alone. 
As far as holidays I don't see anything in the Bible about Christmas or Easter and I don't recognize them.  But if someone wants to I don't make an issue about it.
Halloween is another one to ignore for me.

What forum rule have I broken?

I didn't know you have the authority to dictate what is posted on this forum.
How am I dictating what is posted?  You need to calm down, maybe meditate for a while.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #644 on: June 28, 2017, 03:42:01 PM »
For Christians who deny global warming, for example, that denialism is actually a part of their faith, since it generally goes hand in hand with belief in creationism over evolution, and/or the belief that God is in charge and therefore there's nothing to worry about, or something like that.

I'll pull this from my commentary post above to describe this:  The eighth charge is that by nature fallen mankind is deceitful

I can unequivocally say they there is not one verse in the Bible that would indicate the earth cannot warm, that God will keep us from overheating etc.  This is where I would take hard line stance along with Jim (not saying he'd agree with my stance, meaning I'm just going to state a fact that I can back up with Biblical texts like the one stated above), that a Christian who denies global warming as actually part of their faith has a perverted and untrue faith and is being misled by man or Satan.  God is in charge, and if anyone reads the Bible and thinks that it tells us there is nothing to worry about they never got past Genesis 1 when God said it was all "very good".  As soon as you go beyond that it all goes and stays to hell in a handbasket. 

So my point is that no doctrine supports that belief and the person holding it is misled and wrong.

jim555

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #645 on: June 28, 2017, 03:51:24 PM »
Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #646 on: June 28, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #647 on: June 28, 2017, 05:19:47 PM »
I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.

Agreed, their position would be just as unprovable and unjustified as your own.

Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

The thing I find interesting is that the first people to say someone else is not a real Christian are usually other Christians (the same goes for Hindus, Muslims, etc etc).

From the outside looking in we have no choice but to take someone at their word.
If someone tells me they are a Christian, I believe them.  Who am I to say what this person sincerely believes?

But you bring up an important point, which is why this entire thread I've tried to stay away from debating the beliefs of entire religions and instead focusing on what you or Jim or Overflow (or any other individual) might believe.  Because the truth is, regardless of how much we may want there to be a unified system of belief for each major religion, there simply is not.  People are individuals, and I'm not certain I've ever met two Christians, Muslims or Jews who shared every belief in their worldview.

The key questions to me have never changed:  What do you believe as an individual, and why do you feel you are justified in believing it to be true?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 10:57:07 AM by MrDelane »

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #648 on: June 28, 2017, 05:24:40 PM »
I'd like a Hindu or Buddhist to prove to me that they achieve inner divinity.  It'd be the same unproveaable discussion we've been having here about Christian precepts.

Agreed, their position would be just as unprovable and unjustified as your own.

Lots of people create stuff they then weave into the Bible, but it is not in the Bible at all.
Yes, sadly, every Christian denomination. 

That's my point in these responses.  Just because someone tells you "I'm Christian and Halloween is bad." does not mean it's a supportable Christian view.  It means that person, who may be a twice a year "Christian" who attend on Easter and Christmas and has never even touched a Bible is spouting off stuff someone made up and they cannot teach you anything about. 

The thing I find interesting is that the first people to say someone else is not a Christian are usually other Christians (the same goes for Hindus, Muslims, etc etc).

From the outside looking in we have no choice but to take someone at their word.
If someone tells me they are a Christian, I believe them.  Who am I to say what this person sincerely believes?


+1.

But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_of_the_Bible
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #649 on: June 28, 2017, 08:43:57 PM »
But I don't expect people who think they are right and that their (version of the ) Bible is the correct one to admit there is a possibility that's not the case.

I feel as if anyone should be willing to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong about anything.
The illusion of absolute certainty can be dangerous.