PDA

View Full Version : Leader of evangelical council resigns over allegations of gay affair...


Mosca
11-03-2006, 10:39 AM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- The president of the National Association of Evangelicals resigned Thursday after accusations by a male prostitute that the pastor paid him for sex over three years.

The Rev. Ted Haggard said he also is temporarily stepping aside from the pulpit of his church in Colorado Springs pending an internal investigation by the church.

The church official who temporarily has assumed Haggard's post said late Thursday that there has been "some admission of guilt," but not to all of the allegations. He did not give any more details.


Now, I don't really care about this, and I didn't bring it up to point out any hypocrisy; we all have to stew in our own juice, including me sometimes. I wish the man nothing but peace of mind and comfort in who he is, whoever that might be.

What I want to discuss is, why do these guys all rail against homosexuality as if it was something that is a constant temptation? I mean, if you're straight, it's not even an issue; you have no desire at all, resisting homosexual encounters isn't even an issue. There is no temptation to resist, it would be like resisting jumping off a cliff. I'm no psychologist, but in my head something is telling me that if you have someone who is constantly preaching to resist an urge, that guy knows what that urge feels like.


Tom

Livinginthe past
11-03-2006, 11:26 AM
Hmm well I guess alot of people with religious affiliations see the world in a very black and white fashion.

Homosexuality is a sin, and not only that, but just like other sins it is down to the personal choice of the 'sinner'.

I dont get the impression that people who preach against homosexuality actually think everyone is susceptible to this 'temptation' just that those who do sucuumb to the 'urge' are weak of mind and spirit.

I think plenty of people who preach to others , who find the need to lay out the laws of what is acceptable and what is not, are often narrow minded individuals.

I dont however think that those who preach against certain 'sins' necessarily need to be guilty of that 'sin' themselves - its just demonstrating a lack of empathy and tolerance for people who are different to the 'norm' that is forced on us.

NM

DiggetyDank
11-03-2006, 01:22 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15536263/

Now the guy admits he bought meth off the escort, but didn't use it:

"I bought it for myself but never used it," Haggard told reporters gathered outside his home. "I was tempted, but I never used it."

Weak!

augustashark
11-03-2006, 01:28 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15536263/

Now the guy admits he bought meth off the escort, but didn't use it:

"I bought it for myself but never used it," Haggard told reporters gathered outside his home. "I was tempted, but I never used it."

Weak!

Kinda like,

I hit the joint, but I did not inhale!:dang:

Sounds kinda like the same thing.

Livinginthe past
11-03-2006, 01:32 PM
Isn't it funny how you can barely raise a subject without it turning into a republican vs democrat p*ssing match.

And by 'funny' I mean boring and repetitive.

NM

83-Steelers-43
11-03-2006, 03:31 PM
Hell, I'm just happy the guy wasn't caught with an eight year old boy....

augustashark
11-03-2006, 03:46 PM
Isn't it funny how you can barely raise a subject without it turning into a republican vs democrat p*ssing match.

And by 'funny' I mean boring and repetitive.

NM

Life is all about pissing matches! Hell you're old enough to know that LITP!:cheers:

Preacher
12-05-2006, 01:33 AM
I realize I am quite late in this thread... but I figured I need to respond now that I have read it.

Why do conservative evangelical pastors preach against Homosexuality?

Interesting question. Theologically, all sex outside of marriage between man and woman is sin. It is all the same. Therefore, theologically, there is no difference between a person engaging in homosexualtiy and one engaging in heterosexuality (outside of marriage).

I think the reason pastors preach specifically against homosexuality is that they perceive a change of culture and are not correctly addressing the change. Since the Second Great Awakening (mid-1800's), American culture has by-in-large held the same moral standards as Christianity. As a result, the American church has become a trustee of culture, rather than a messenger for Christ.

The result of that issue is that many preachers end up preaching on sins that threaten comfortability in society rather than the tapestry of sin scripture discusses.

Now, I am a conservative evangelical preacher. I am here to tell you that I am just as human as every one of you. I deal with the same temptations, likes, dislikes, anger, as everyone else. Because of the emotional/community isolation forced on pastors, many pastors end up acting out in self-destructive ways. It is very sad.

However, and LITP, this is directed to your post,
It is not that we are "Close-minded." It is rather that we have a vastly different identification and world view. Scripture teaches there are absolute rights and wrongs. There is NOTHING I can do to change those rights and wrongs. In the end, it is my responsibility to annunciate those truths to the world, so that the rest of the world may be warned that they too will be judged by those absolutes. I can't simply "Change my mind." I can say that water is not wet all I want, it does not change the fact that it is still wet.

It also has NOTHING to do with me not being empathetic or tolerant. I get somewhat upset at hearing this charge time and again. I have sat and basic baby sat a AIDS stricken man as he was too sick and high to take care of himself. My friend (another pastor) has sat on the edge of a gay man's bed and just hugged him in his last hours before dying of AIDS... even when the doctors refuse to touch him. Please, Lay off the lack of empathy. It simply is not true.

Nor is the lack of tolerance true. Tolerance is being redefined. Tolerance is not acceptance. I tolerate EVERYONE in my community. I RESPECT everyone in my community (unless they root for the Bengals). However, that does not mean I accept lifestyles and actions as appropriate or right.

And yes, I have had many friends who are homosexual. I also have many friends who are mormon, JW, jewish, a few that are muslim, even a couple that claim buddhism and hinduism.

All of this to say, pastors are charged with two responsibilities. 1. Annunciate the absolutes espoused by scripture and 2. live a life that does not cause people to doubt the first responsibility.

Unfortunetly, Ted Haggard failed in the latter. However, it doesn't negate the former.

sumo
12-05-2006, 11:40 AM
Nor is the lack of tolerance true. Tolerance is being redefined. Tolerance is not acceptance. I tolerate EVERYONE in my community. I RESPECT everyone in my community (unless they root for the Bengals).


:toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

Love it!! - you claim tolerance for all mankind except Bengal fans

Mosca
12-05-2006, 01:47 PM
Preacher, I find danger in a literal reading of the bible; I find that many people are selective in the parts that they choose to believe and those which they disregard.

To the situation of Ted Haggard, I believe that he is a good man, and I wish him peace. From what I've read, he has been a leader in pointing out the importance of not just believing, but in living the word of god; after all, faith without works is dead.


Tom

floodcitygirl
12-05-2006, 01:56 PM
:toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

Love it!! - you claim tolerance for all mankind except Bengal fansWell... you can't blame him there. He is only human!!!! :hunch:

Preacher
12-05-2006, 02:15 PM
Well... you can't blame him there. He is only human!!!! :hunch:

ROTFL... Yep, every human has his limitations!! :sofunny:

BTW.. It was respect that I held back, not tolerance!

Preacher
12-05-2006, 02:25 PM
Preacher, I find danger in a literal reading of the bible; I find that many people are selective in the parts that they choose to believe and those which they disregard.

To the situation of Ted Haggard, I believe that he is a good man, and I wish him peace. From what I've read, he has been a leader in pointing out the importance of not just believing, but in living the word of god; after all, faith without works is dead.


Tom

Tom... This is the second or third thread that you have thoughtfully disagreed with me. I sure wish we lived closer together, Your the type of person I would love to sit down with, pick a subject, and discuss.

As for the literal reading and selectivity, it is based on the hermenuetics which are employed. I beleive a proper hermenuetic is the historico/grammatical method, combined with canonical and form criticism. What that means, is that when I first come to a passage, I ask, what is the grammatical structure (in the original language), and what is the historical place of the passage. Then, I look at what form the language is in. If it is a parable, poem, etc, then the language doesn't allow me to be literal, as certain types of speach are never interpreted literally (such as poetry). Also, everything in the OT is read through the NT. So a person cannot go into the OT and pull out a passage, then ask why a person isn't following the bible. It has to be brought through the fulfillment of JEsus Christ and the NT.

As far as Haggard is concerned. He was probably a very good pastor. It is sad to see what happened.

You are right though... Faith without works is absolutely dead.

Mosca
12-05-2006, 03:10 PM
Preach, I'm not much for discussing this stuff other than as an exercise; but I wouldn't hesitate to sit down and watch the game with you, or pitch in and help out with community projects or stuff like that. Yer a good egg. But you might want to be careful sitting down and talking with me, I might convert you to Darwinism!

The impression I get of Haggard is that he was a good man. His sexuality doesn't change that. But is the sad part that he did it and got caught, or that he had to hide who he is for all those years in order to achieve the good that he did?

As far as the matter of interpretation, once everything gets filtered through a human mind all bets are off. You say this, the pope says that, and Fred Phelps comes off the wall from entirely somewhere else. The same words justify all three positions (and many more unmentioned), and at least yours and the pope's are equally critically arrived at (in the sense intelligent thought is applied to sincere desire for real meaning). Men and women are left to their own faculties to decide which line of thought is right, or to reject belief altogether. If that is the case, then where is the justification for any interpretation's validity? One might as well be a pastafarian. Faith and belief alone are the only rationale, and that is something that by definition is deeply personal within each of us as individuals... and therefore must be respected as personal within each individual. You can tell me that your interpretation is right, but the priest at my church says the same thing, and so does Fred Phelps. In the end, I take what I know and I believe what I believe, and do the best I can with that. Which is all I can ask of anyone, including Ted Haggard.


Tom

3 to be 4
12-05-2006, 06:28 PM
I've been taught an interesting lesson in light of the Ted Haggard situation. Within a week after it all came to life a terrific, energetic worship band called "Desperation Band" came to our church in Kansas and led an amazing Friday night youth worship. The place was packed with hundreds of teens and young adults praising on the Lord. The energy was unbelievable, not to mention the music was great. I walked out there so charged up about these young people and their positive outlook and their enthusiasm. And I was so proud that my church had a huge part in bringing them in. And in fact, the whole process was repeated again that Sunday Night.
Turns out, this band, is the Worship Band for New Life Church in Colorado Springs.
Yes, the church Ted Haggard was pastor at.
the lesson?
these guys are carrying on and helping kids lead positive lives at a time our culture is pretty much a cesspool for todays youth. They arent altering their mission or their work because of the mistakes of a Pastor, because they realize its not about any man, its about Jesus Christ.
Nobody is perfect. And every human will end up disappointing if you make them your higher power. The only one who is perfect is the Lord. And these young people know this and are carrying on in such a manner.
With people like this around him im confident Ted Haggard will turn this situation into something positive. The media may focus on the sinner, but the story is how the work of the Lord goes on

Livinginthe past
12-05-2006, 07:22 PM
However, and LITP, this is directed to your post,
It is not that we are "Close-minded." It is rather that we have a vastly different identification and world view. Scripture teaches there are absolute rights and wrongs. There is NOTHING I can do to change those rights and wrongs. In the end, it is my responsibility to annunciate those truths to the world, so that the rest of the world may be warned that they too will be judged by those absolutes. I can't simply "Change my mind." I can say that water is not wet all I want, it does not change the fact that it is still wet.

I think the problem lies in peoples definition of the 'truth' and 'right and wrong'.

Now, only a mad-man would argue that water is not in fact wet, and I consider it to be a scientific fact beyond argument.

To suggest that alot of what appears in the Bible as being of a comparative level of factuality seems beyond the limits of simple logic and further into the realms of opinion.

Whether you like it or not, the vast majority of people on this planet do not subscribe to any of those 'truths' you preach.

What about Muslims?

Did they pick the wrong horse to back?



It also has NOTHING to do with me not being empathetic or tolerant. I get somewhat upset at hearing this charge time and again. I have sat and basic baby sat a AIDS stricken man as he was too sick and high to take care of himself. My friend (another pastor) has sat on the edge of a gay man's bed and just hugged him in his last hours before dying of AIDS... even when the doctors refuse to touch him. Please, Lay off the lack of empathy. It simply is not true.

You may well be one of the exceptions to the rule, or at least in a definite minority.

Im genuinely sure you had a great deal of empathy for the dying man, but at the end of the day will he not be judged as a sinner who refused to stop his sinning behaviour?

I brought up a theoretical point a while back, asking why people cannot just keep sinning - and then repenting.

I was told that repenting whilst intending to 're-offend' is not considered repentance at all.

So where does that leave a homosexual man who refuses to conform to religious dogma?

It leaves him an unrepentant sinner as I see it.

Nor is the lack of tolerance true. Tolerance is being redefined. Tolerance is not acceptance. I tolerate EVERYONE in my community. I RESPECT everyone in my community (unless they root for the Bengals). However, that does not mean I accept lifestyles and actions as appropriate or right.

Well everyone disagree's with another persons lifestyle, it just that not everyone is as pro-active as a preacher (both professional and amateur) in letting the world know just how much they disapprove.

And yes, I have had many friends who are homosexual. I also have many friends who are mormon, JW, jewish, a few that are muslim, even a couple that claim buddhism and hinduism.

All of this to say, pastors are charged with two responsibilities. 1. Annunciate the absolutes espoused by scripture and 2. live a life that does not cause people to doubt the first responsibility.

Unfortunetly, Ted Haggard failed in the latter. However, it doesn't negate the former.

It must be tough having friends who willingly choose to live outside the light of the lord.

As Jesus Christ is the most important thing in your life, dont you find the company of these people causes great conflict?

Or can you all sit around with a beer and kid each other that you one of you is in for a glorious trip to the promised land - the rest...well they get to burn in hell for eternity.

NM

Stillers#1
12-05-2006, 07:28 PM
:toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

Love it!! - you claim tolerance for all mankind except Bengal fans

I laughed out loud on that one too. This however is a convo I will keep out of.

3 to be 4
12-05-2006, 08:35 PM
[
You may well be one of the exceptions to the rule, or at least in a definite minority.

Im genuinely sure you had a great deal of empathy for the dying man, but at the end of the day will he not be judged as a sinner who refused to stop his sinning behaviour?

I brought up a theoretical point a while back, asking why people cannot just keep sinning - and then repenting.

I was told that repenting whilst intending to 're-offend' is not considered repentance at all.

So where does that leave a homosexual man who refuses to conform to religious dogma?

It leaves him an unrepentant sinner as I see it.


[/QUOTE]

if the dying man, sin and all, believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died on the cross for our sins, and resurrected 3 days later, he will, as Jesus said to the thief on the cross, be in paradise with Him.
If someone does good deed after good deed and leads as close to a perfect life as one could lead but does not accept Christ, he will be the one whose sin will condemn him.

Livinginthe past
12-05-2006, 08:46 PM
if the dying man, sin and all, believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died on the cross for our sins, and resurrected 3 days later, he will, as Jesus said to the thief on the cross, be in paradise with Him.
If someone does good deed after good deed and leads as close to a perfect life as one could lead but does not accept Christ, he will be the one whose sin will condemn him.

So...lead whatever sort of life you like - as long as you have an epiphany at the end of it your path to heaven is assured!?

I guess that point is moot for me anyway, im an atheist by choice and the condemnation of Christ and his heavenly bodyguards is as relevant to me as the Easter Bunny's disapproval.

Speaking in real terms, what happens to the non-believers?

Do you take the burning fires of hell thing literally?

Sounds a little harsh to me.

NM

tony hipchest
12-05-2006, 08:53 PM
Speaking in real terms, what happens to the non-believers?



NMi think its kind of a survival of the "fittest" thing, where the "cream" rises to the top.

ones faith will be measured and the sincerety of their repentance. hence such allegorys, metaphors, fables, etc. such as the mustard seed and camel walking through the eye of a needle.

Livinginthe past
12-05-2006, 09:08 PM
i think its kind of a survival of the "fittest" thing, where the "cream" rises to the top.

ones faith will be measured and the sincerety of their repentance. hence such allegorys, metaphors, fables, etc. such as the mustard seed and camel walking through the eye of a needle.

Sure, I can see how the selection might be made.

I'd just find it amazingly ironic - burning in a hell I never thought existed.

What do you actually think happens to non-believers?

Are they literally set on fire for eternity?

tony hipchest
12-05-2006, 09:19 PM
Sure, I can see how the selection might be made.

I'd just find it amazingly ironic - burning in a hell I never thought existed.

What do you actually think happens to non-believers?

Are they literally set on fire for eternity?i think they are more or less wiped out for eternity. "burning" forever in nothingness and blackness, with no consciousness. pretty much what you perceive death to be like. the lack of the rewards of heaven is "hell" enough. the common images of hell can only be attributed to a tiny portion of the scriptures. modern perception can be more credited to authors such as dante, blake, and milton.

Livinginthe past
12-05-2006, 09:23 PM
i think they are more or less wiped out for eternity. "burning" forever in nothingness and blackness, with no consciousness. pretty much what you perceive death to be like. the lack of the rewards of heaven is "hell" enough. the common images of hell can only be attributed to a tiny portion of the scriptures. modern perception can be more credited to authors such as dante, blake, and milton.

Well thats an interesting take.

Nothingness is what I actually think happens anyway - so I guess thats not too bad.

NM

Hawk Believer
12-05-2006, 09:43 PM
Sure, I can see how the selection might be made.

I'd just find it amazingly ironic - burning in a hell I never thought existed.

What do you actually think happens to non-believers?

Are they literally set on fire for eternity?

Reminds me of an Onion article from years past...

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38673

tony hipchest
12-05-2006, 09:45 PM
Well thats an interesting take.

Nothingness is what I actually think happens anyway - so I guess thats not too bad.

NM some believers will concede that you have accepted your fate, but believers will also pass on the good news and show that there is an alternative. personally, i would rather live the adventures of paradise lost or the divine comedy for eternity, than be blacked out for good with nothingness, no thought, no consciousness. the common image of hell contains a threat of eternal physical pain. after a while the human mind learns to adjust to the pain. i mean think about it. if you were burning forever in fires of hell wouldnt you get used to it? or would you start begging for the nothingness of death?

either way, its nowhere im looking forward to go.

3 to be 4
12-05-2006, 10:59 PM
So...lead whatever sort of life you like - as long as you have an epiphany at the end of it your path to heaven is assured!?

I guess that point is moot for me anyway, im an atheist by choice and the condemnation of Christ and his heavenly bodyguards is as relevant to me as the Easter Bunny's disapproval.

Speaking in real terms, what happens to the non-believers?

Do you take the burning fires of hell thing literally?

Sounds a little harsh to me.

NM

no, its not "lead whatever sort of life you like...". its not as simplistic as that.

If you've accepted Jesus Christ you will allow your heart to be changed by Him through the Holy Spirit. As God becomes bigger in your life, the desire to act as the world does lessens. Being human, a believer will commit sin, but a follower of Christ will have a very hard time staying in sin very long without feeling convicted in his heart. Sin is never acceptable, but being in Christ, the believer is no longer condemned by it. The Blood of Jesus has freed us from the law of sin.

Hell is a seperation from God that God hasnt chosen for us, but that each individual chooses for himself. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, Hell is eternal seperation from God. Without Him, evil and pain and darkness rule.

I cannot be positive the level of the horror of "Hell" and its certainly not what any believer wishes for non-believers. That is why believers are compelled to share the Gospel, because the alternative to this eternal seperation, God's love and mercy that he has for all of us, is real and its available to everyone, no matter what our past has been.

to not share the good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ would be like watching a burning building, knowing of a way for people to escape, and to not say anything for fear of people thinking you were strange.

Everyone has sin, and any sin separates us from God, whether it is Homosexuality, Fornication, Lying, Cheating, Arrogance, it all sin and nobody is clean from it. Thats why "earning your way" doesnt work because nobody can ever be good enough. Thats why God sent His only Son to die on the cross, to pay our penalty, so that we could be free. It was prophesised in the Old Testament, and over 300 prophesies were fulfilled in this one man. And many, many people who witnessed it, who witnessed the resurrected Christ, went to grisly deaths when recanting could have saved themselves.

That all being said, I still would be a non-believer unless I had my own personal experience with Jesus Christ. I wasnt seeking Him, but He sought me out and on March 28, 2005 He made himself known to me in the most unlikely of places, while I was walking in a mall in Florence, SC. There was no burning bush, He didnt show his face or boom a loud voice to me, but I was suddenly and clearly awashed in the undeniable fact that I, for some reason I can not explain, believed in all my heart and soul that Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior. He was alive to me and nothing has been the same since.

And I'm the poster child for not being perfect. As anyone can tell from my posts at times, I still sin. My childishness and the worldly part of me comes out in a lot of my acting out here. And there isnt a day I dont go to my Lord and ask for His forgiveness for falling short. But having Salvation, I believe God corrects me as a loving Father, He no longer condemns me. And I pick myself up, and go at it again. Im a work in progress, but ive been freed from the slavery of the law, and now I live as a new creation in Christ. I told Him the day I got Saved that I could never be the type of "Christian" i had always seen and that it wasnt going to be about Religion or "Christianity" but it had to always be about Jesus Christ. And I believe the Holy Spirit has led me on the right paths. The key for me is to always keep the focus on Christ and to keep very close to the Bible.
http://bibledev.azaz.com/bibleresources/bible_kjv.php

Psalms teaches me about Praising, Matthew and John ( as well as Luke and Mark) tell me about my Lord, Romans teaches me about living by the Law vs Justification by Faith, Ephesians teaches about the church.

hey, i know YOU guys ( and gals) know im all over the place at times. But one thing that is solid and is my rock, is Jesus Christ. While I am nothing without Him, through Him I have everything.

Why am I going into all this now? Because it was placed on my heart to do so.

Dont get sidetracked by Christians or Christianity or Religion or Pastors or Conservatives or Baptists or Evangelicals or Catholics etc etc etc

Its about Jesus Christ, who loved us enough to die for us so that we might live.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jnii5lm604

tony hipchest
12-05-2006, 11:31 PM
Hell is a seperation from God that God hasnt chosen for us, but that each individual chooses for himself. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, Hell is eternal seperation from God. Without Him, evil and pain and darkness rule.
and thats about the best explaination of "hell" out there.

i liked robin williams' "what dreams may come" approach of the subject. a far cry from Tom 'n' Jerry cartoons where spike is the devil. then again, in toms world a big mean dog being the devil isnt that far fetched.

Preacher
12-06-2006, 12:20 AM
no, its not "lead whatever sort of life you like...". its not as simplistic as that.

If you've accepted Jesus Christ you will allow your heart to be changed by Him through the Holy Spirit. As God becomes bigger in your life, the desire to act as the world does lessens. Being human, a believer will commit sin, but a follower of Christ will have a very hard time staying in sin very long without feeling convicted in his heart. Sin is never acceptable, but being in Christ, the believer is no longer condemned by it. The Blood of Jesus has freed us from the law of sin.

Hell is a seperation from God that God hasnt chosen for us, but that each individual chooses for himself. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, Hell is eternal seperation from God. Without Him, evil and pain and darkness rule.

I cannot be positive the level of the horror of "Hell" and its certainly not what any believer wishes for non-believers. That is why believers are compelled to share the Gospel, because the alternative to this eternal seperation, God's love and mercy that he has for all of us, is real and its available to everyone, no matter what our past has been.

to not share the good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ would be like watching a burning building, knowing of a way for people to escape, and to not say anything for fear of people thinking you were strange.

Everyone has sin, and any sin separates us from God, whether it is Homosexuality, Fornication, Lying, Cheating, Arrogance, it all sin and nobody is clean from it. Thats why "earning your way" doesnt work because nobody can ever be good enough. Thats why God sent His only Son to die on the cross, to pay our penalty, so that we could be free. It was prophesised in the Old Testament, and over 300 prophesies were fulfilled in this one man. And many, many people who witnessed it, who witnessed the resurrected Christ, went to grisly deaths when recanting could have saved themselves.

That all being said, I still would be a non-believer unless I had my own personal experience with Jesus Christ. I wasnt seeking Him, but He sought me out and on March 28, 2005 He made himself known to me in the most unlikely of places, while I was walking in a mall in Florence, SC. There was no burning bush, He didnt show his face or boom a loud voice to me, but I was suddenly and clearly awashed in the undeniable fact that I, for some reason I can not explain, believed in all my heart and soul that Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior. He was alive to me and nothing has been the same since.

And I'm the poster child for not being perfect. As anyone can tell from my posts at times, I still sin. My childishness and the worldly part of me comes out in a lot of my acting out here. And there isnt a day I dont go to my Lord and ask for His forgiveness for falling short. But having Salvation, I believe God corrects me as a loving Father, He no longer condemns me. And I pick myself up, and go at it again. Im a work in progress, but ive been freed from the slavery of the law, and now I live as a new creation in Christ. I told Him the day I got Saved that I could never be the type of "Christian" i had always seen and that it wasnt going to be about Religion or "Christianity" but it had to always be about Jesus Christ. And I believe the Holy Spirit has led me on the right paths. The key for me is to always keep the focus on Christ and to keep very close to the Bible.
http://bibledev.azaz.com/bibleresources/bible_kjv.php

Psalms teaches me about Praising, Matthew and John ( as well as Luke and Mark) tell me about my Lord, Romans teaches me about living by the Law vs Justification by Faith, Ephesians teaches about the church.

hey, i know YOU guys ( and gals) know im all over the place at times. But one thing that is solid and is my rock, is Jesus Christ. While I am nothing without Him, through Him I have everything.

Why am I going into all this now? Because it was placed on my heart to do so.

Dont get sidetracked by Christians or Christianity or Religion or Pastors or Conservatives or Baptists or Evangelicals or Catholics etc etc etc

Its about Jesus Christ, who loved us enough to die for us so that we might live.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jnii5lm604

Wow.. God bless.

Preacher
12-06-2006, 12:44 AM
I think the problem lies in peoples definition of the 'truth' and 'right and wrong'.

Now, only a mad-man would argue that water is not in fact wet, and I consider it to be a scientific fact beyond argument.

To suggest that alot of what appears in the Bible as being of a comparative level of factuality seems beyond the limits of simple logic and further into the realms of opinion.

Whether you like it or not, the vast majority of people on this planet do not subscribe to any of those 'truths' you preach.

What about Muslims?

Did they pick the wrong horse to back?

Funny that you pick science as the one thing to be beyond argument, yet scientific "fact" has been re-written and re-dabated more then theological fact. After all, it was a fact that our solar system had 9 planets, until a few weeks ago. Now we have 8 because science reversed a previous scientific fact that Pluto was a planet. At some point, ALL truth is believed by faith.

At least religious people are honest about the role faith plays.

You may well be one of the exceptions to the rule, or at least in a definite minority.

No, actually I am more of the norm. You really need to get to know more pastors and ministers personally before succombing to popular opinion.

Im genuinely sure you had a great deal of empathy for the dying man, but at the end of the day will he not be judged as a sinner who refused to stop his sinning behaviour?

I brought up a theoretical point a while back, asking why people cannot just keep sinning - and then repenting.

I was told that repenting whilst intending to 're-offend' is not considered repentance at all.

So where does that leave a homosexual man who refuses to conform to religious dogma?

It leaves him an unrepentant sinner as I see it.


A person who is serious about repenting is forgiven. A person who is a alcoholic or sex addict or drug addict who repents, knowing that he is going to have to fight the demons again the next night is forgiven. Even Paul the apostle said he struggles with doing the things he doesn't want to do (Romans 7). However, the true Christian will have the desire to live a sin free life, though not always have the strength to do so. That is the human condition.


Well everyone disagree's with another persons lifestyle, it just that not everyone is as pro-active as a preacher (both professional and amateur) in letting the world know just how much they disapprove.

It has nothing to do with my approval or disapproval. I, and millions of others, are commissioned to repeat what the bible has said.

It must be tough having friends who willingly choose to live outside the light of the lord.

As Jesus Christ is the most important thing in your life, dont you find the company of these people causes great conflict?

Or can you all sit around with a beer and kid each other that you one of you is in for a glorious trip to the promised land - the rest...well they get to burn in hell for eternity.

I have a deep and loving respect for all people, because all people are made in the image of God. Yes, there is a sadness at knowing their destiny and the fact they are rejecting it.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...


Whether you like it or not, the vast majority of people on this planet do not subscribe to any of those 'truths' you preach.

What about Muslims?

Did they pick the wrong horse to back?

You are actually wrong. Almost EVERY CULTURE and PEOPLE subscribe to the VAST majority of truths I subscribe to.

Rape=wrong
Murder=wrong
stealing=wrong
etc.etc.

Furthermore, there are four main common narratives in every people group... A creation story, a break with God, a flood, a way to get back to God.

Seems to me that there are VAST absolutes, since pretty much every culture agrees with these. The difference then, is how to get back TO God, which is where religions come into play. And when you decided to study religion, you QUICKLY come to a realizations that Christianity must be dealt with differently then any other religion, because of absolute claims of Christ and about Christ.

BTW... Yes, I do believe that the only people who will be in heaven are those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. THAT is why I preach, Tony. Because I want you in heaven with me for eternity, and every other human on earth... YES.. EVEN BENGAL FANS.

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 06:05 AM
some believers will concede that you have accepted your fate, but believers will also pass on the good news and show that there is an alternative. personally, i would rather live the adventures of paradise lost or the divine comedy for eternity, than be blacked out for good with nothingness, no thought, no consciousness. the common image of hell contains a threat of eternal physical pain. after a while the human mind learns to adjust to the pain. i mean think about it. if you were burning forever in fires of hell wouldnt you get used to it? or would you start begging for the nothingness of death?

either way, its nowhere im looking forward to go.

I definitely think the 'burning forever' would be worse - I would imagine Satan has thought of a way to suspend your ability to get used to the pain - though I have no idea what that would be (maybe we could ask a Detriots Lions fan)

Being serious, most people would prefer option a) paradise, but everyone was born with a brain and a degree of indepedent thought - mine tells me no god exists.

NM

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 06:27 AM
no, its not "lead whatever sort of life you like...". its not as simplistic as that.

If you've accepted Jesus Christ you will allow your heart to be changed by Him through the Holy Spirit. As God becomes bigger in your life, the desire to act as the world does lessens. Being human, a believer will commit sin, but a follower of Christ will have a very hard time staying in sin very long without feeling convicted in his heart. Sin is never acceptable, but being in Christ, the believer is no longer condemned by it. The Blood of Jesus has freed us from the law of sin.

Where does that leave people who many would consider insane?

The type of people that commit all sorts of evil acts (rape, murder) and are convinced that they are doing it all in Gods name?

The way I read it, as long as the sinner believes in God, he will be freed from the condemnation of those sins.

To me that sounds all too similar to the type of logic perpetrated by those who brain-wash young men to be suicide bombers.

To treat life as some type of entrance exam to heaven, where the only qualification is a belief in a superior being, does not seem like the best way to ensure people act the right way toward each other.

Hell is a seperation from God that God hasnt chosen for us, but that each individual chooses for himself. In the same way that darkness is the absence of light, Hell is eternal seperation from God. Without Him, evil and pain and darkness rule.

I cannot be positive the level of the horror of "Hell" and its certainly not what any believer wishes for non-believers. That is why believers are compelled to share the Gospel, because the alternative to this eternal seperation, God's love and mercy that he has for all of us, is real and its available to everyone, no matter what our past has been.

to not share the good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ would be like watching a burning building, knowing of a way for people to escape, and to not say anything for fear of people thinking you were strange.

This I can understand fully.

Naturally if you are on to a good thing, you want to share it with those around you.

Everyone has sin, and any sin separates us from God, whether it is Homosexuality, Fornication, Lying, Cheating, Arrogance, it all sin and nobody is clean from it. Thats why "earning your way" doesnt work because nobody can ever be good enough. Thats why God sent His only Son to die on the cross, to pay our penalty, so that we could be free. It was prophesised in the Old Testament, and over 300 prophesies were fulfilled in this one man. And many, many people who witnessed it, who witnessed the resurrected Christ, went to grisly deaths when recanting could have saved themselves.

Again, Christ dying on the cross for our sins, sounds alot like a 'free pass' to act how they want for those who claim a belief in God.

Its a very strange logic that has a superior being devising a load of rules, then admitting that no-one in their right mind will be able to honor them.

To get around this problem, he absolves everyone in advance by having his son murdered and then crucified by some of the very people he should be trying to save.

What about the Romans who were complicit in Jesus' death?

Surely they can't help but feel like pawns in Gods chess game?

If they crucify Jesus, so everyone can get their 'penalty paid', they basically condemn themselves to a life in hell.

You dont think that, perhaps, God manipulated events to ensure that his son would end up on a cross - only to miraculously re-appear 3 days later?

That all being said, I still would be a non-believer unless I had my own personal experience with Jesus Christ. I wasnt seeking Him, but He sought me out and on March 28, 2005 He made himself known to me in the most unlikely of places, while I was walking in a mall in Florence, SC. There was no burning bush, He didnt show his face or boom a loud voice to me, but I was suddenly and clearly awashed in the undeniable fact that I, for some reason I can not explain, believed in all my heart and soul that Jesus Christ was my Lord and Savior. He was alive to me and nothing has been the same since.



Well I guess thats a major problem for those of us who haven't had a similar 'personal experience'.

You admit that you weren't seeking him, so that means God basically sought you out and converted you to his religion.

My question would be - why hasn't he done the same for me?

It appears he has rubber stamped your pasport to heaven - yet mine is lost in the post.

That really doesn't seem like the behaviour of someone who claims to be all-knowing and all-loving.

NM

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 06:54 AM
Funny that you pick science as the one thing to be beyond argument, yet scientific "fact" has been re-written and re-dabated more then theological fact. After all, it was a fact that our solar system had 9 planets, until a few weeks ago. Now we have 8 because science reversed a previous scientific fact that Pluto was a planet. At some point, ALL truth is believed by faith.

At least religious people are honest about the role faith plays.

Well, I certainly didnt claim all science to be beyond argument - merely the fact that water is indeed wet.

I think it is more honest to admit that knowledge and wisdom comes with time, rather than thinking that the absolute, unwavering truths are laid out before us.

Faith, to me, is the belief in something when you have no rational basis for it.

You might have faith that Browns can have a winning season in 2007/8, for example.



No, actually I am more of the norm. You really need to get to know more pastors and ministers personally before succombing to popular opinion.

I'll readily admit that I dont know any pastors/ministers from the States - however I have spent alot of time close to those in a Catholic environment (both school and church).

I believe there to be something fundamentally wrong with a situation where people require written guidelines in order to work out how they should go about their day.

I treat people with respect and kindness because it seems like the natural thing to do, not because those orders fell from the sky on stone tablets.

A person who is serious about repenting is forgiven. A person who is a alcoholic or sex addict or drug addict who repents, knowing that he is going to have to fight the demons again the next night is forgiven. Even Paul the apostle said he struggles with doing the things he doesn't want to do (Romans 7). However, the true Christian will have the desire to live a sin free life, though not always have the strength to do so. That is the human condition.

I attempted to address this point in the previous post.

Why would God set targets that are unachieveable?

Is it the 'thought that counts'? - that you are constantly battling the human condition (a condition I might remind you that God himself cursed us with) in a futile attempt to rebel against your own nature.

I believe the basic truth that alot of worthwhile things in life require hard work and graft, I just dont think that it is worth considering anything which, by its own definition, is impossible to achieve.



It has nothing to do with my approval or disapproval. I, and millions of others, are commissioned to repeat what the bible has said.

Do you believe that God has chosen you personally to repeat his word?

What do you think you have done to deserve this accolade/honor?

If it is simply his will, why hasn't God contacted me (and other non-believers) in this way - it would make your job alot easier if he made himself known to a few more people.

Its not as if you even need to have an 'open mind or heart' for him to contact you - plenty of non-believers have been contacted through the epiphany method - so why not me?

What have I done wrong?


I have a deep and loving respect for all people, because all people are made in the image of God. Yes, there is a sadness at knowing their destiny and the fact they are rejecting it.

What happened to homosexual people?

I cannot imagine that they are made in the image of God - there is something fundamentally different in their make-up they attracts them to members of their own sex.

Do you believe that homosexuality is a conscious decision?

Most sins seem to be, so why not homosexuality?

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST...


You are actually wrong. Almost EVERY CULTURE and PEOPLE subscribe to the VAST majority of truths I subscribe to.

Rape=wrong
Murder=wrong
stealing=wrong
etc.etc.

Furthermore, there are four main common narratives in every people group... A creation story, a break with God, a flood, a way to get back to God.

Seems to me that there are VAST absolutes, since pretty much every culture agrees with these. The difference then, is how to get back TO God, which is where religions come into play. And when you decided to study religion, you QUICKLY come to a realizations that Christianity must be dealt with differently then any other religion, because of absolute claims of Christ and about Christ.

BTW... Yes, I do believe that the only people who will be in heaven are those who know Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. THAT is why I preach, Tony. Because I want you in heaven with me for eternity, and every other human on earth... YES.. EVEN BENGAL FANS.

The absolutes you mention (rape=wrong, murder=wrong) have already been established as unbeneficial to the human race under most circumstances as a matter of common sense and survival.

If murder and rape were not outlawed by the basic human condition then the our race would have died out long ago.

This was all decided way before it became scripture.

And as you say, merely sticking to those basic tenets of truth (rape=wrong, murder=wrong) wont be enough to get you into heaven.

You have to subscribe to a God who makes himself known to a seemingly random group of people.

NM

Mosca
12-06-2006, 07:29 AM
Funny that you pick science as the one thing to be beyond argument, yet scientific "fact" has been re-written and re-dabated more then theological fact. After all, it was a fact that our solar system had 9 planets, until a few weeks ago. Now we have 8 because science reversed a previous scientific fact that Pluto was a planet. At some point, ALL truth is believed by faith.

Preach, this shows a misunderstanding about science. Science is using observable evidence to explain the physical world. When a better explanation is devised, it will supplant whatever explanation was accepted previously. So, in the late 1700s lightning strikes were accepted as the work of god wreaking vengeance for evil acts; when Franklin demonstrated that they were in fact a natural atmospheric phenomenon that could be controlled, measured, and explained as electricity, the "truth" changed. The world always remains as it is; the explanation for the phenomenon becomes more accurate as more is learned. In that way, "truth" is always a receding target, always in sight but never exact. The only truth can be that the world stands for itself in a 1:1 relationship. The aim of science is to offer a compression of truth to enhance communication and understanding among disparate beings, to reduce the 1:1 relationship but maintain the essence. Sort of like mp3 vs live performance.

Changing the status of Pluto doesn't mean that it isn't there, or that it has changed in some way; it means that the understanding of things is better with Pluto reclassified. But the world is the same.

At one level, water is "wet"; but eventually at some level "wet" will only explain what is felt, because at the quantum level nothing ever really touches anything else. It is only the intense proximity that is experienced, water never actually contacts skin. So, both can be true to the extent that one explanation is useful when bathing, another is useful when studying molecular interaction. Each approximates the world for its own instance and suffices to communicate information.


Tom

tony hipchest
12-06-2006, 09:36 AM
paradise, but everyone was born with a brain and a degree of indepedent thought - mine tells me no god exists.

NMand mine tells me theres something more than this universe just coincidently appearing out of nowhere (what was nowhere before there was a universe?, what existed before the big bang? etc.) one day a gazzilion eons ago. you asked why you havent received your epiphany. thats almost like daring God to prove himself to you before you prove yourself to him. kind of throws out the whole faith aspect of it all. God wants to us to chose and want to be Godly, thats why there are not God loving robots. the curse of the human condition is the gift of free will.

as far as the whole manipulation of the crucifixion, Jesus couldve easilly gotten out of it. he had free will up until the end. throughout the whole old testament, Gods people were asked to make sacrifices of blood unto him. God in turn made a sacrifice in blood unto his people. Jesus was Gods son because God chose to walk the earth as a human and experience, the pain of death himself. and Just as the Holy Spirit of God was in Jesus, and just as Jesus was human, the sacrifice opened the door for all other humans to experience the spirit of Christ in their lives.

whether you believe in the resurrection or not, Jesus was a great man, who walked this earth and did as much for our species as anyone else who has ever breathed air. but just like science has been manipulated by man, so has the bible. and even if you are not a christian, if you read the bible as literature it is really a good read with very pertinent lessons that even effect mankind today. (the trial of Jesus is a fantastic example of the laws, debate, logic, usurping the powers of both the Jews and the Romans)

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-06-2006, 11:07 AM
Well, I certainly didnt claim all science to be beyond argument - merely the fact that water is indeed wet.
As Mosca pointed out...Water is not wet..that which touches water is wet...kind off falls into that whole scientific misconception about the existence of "cold"...cold is merely a lack of heat...

I think it is more honest to admit that knowledge and wisdom comes with time, rather than thinking that the absolute, unwavering truths are laid out before us.
I know quite a few people who are older and NOT very wise

Faith, to me, is the belief in something when you have no rational basis for it.
As I have stated before...I think it ironic that those who talk about rational thinking continue to believe without proof that 1) all existing things poofed into existence from nothing...2) that all matter in creation was once all gathered into one spot the size of a period at the end of a sentence 3) and that its okay for the scientific community to ignore some scientific facts to rationalize a scientific theory

I believe there to be something fundamentally wrong with a situation where people require written guidelines in order to work out how they should go about their day.
You mean like speed limits...laws...work policies?

I treat people with respect and kindness because it seems like the natural thing to do, not because those orders fell from the sky on stone tablets.
But the second half of your statement contradicts the first half by disrespecting christian belief through a condescending statement????

Why would God set targets that are unachieveable?
The Bible is very specific about this...although The Goal is perfection...God knows that we will miss the mark...think of it as target shooting...I can teach my son how to shoot correctly...KNOWING that he will not hit the bullseye everytime. But you teach him to "aim" for perfection and that when he misses the bullseye, there is forgiveness. To teach him that just hitting the target is "good enough" is to lower the standard and ultimatley to achieve less. To teach him there is no target..is to take the chance that he shoots indiscrimanatly, and that he can hurt himself and those around him

Is it the 'thought that counts'? - that you are constantly battling the human condition (a condition I might remind you that God himself cursed us with) in a futile attempt to rebel against your own nature.

I believe the basic truth that alot of worthwhile things in life require hard work and graft, I just dont think that it is worth considering anything which, by its own definition, is impossible to achieve.

Do you believe that God has chosen you personally to repeat his word?
YEs..he requires all believers..but also warns us about throwing pearls before swine.

What do you think you have done to deserve this accolade/honor?
again..according to the Bible ..one who has been "adopted" by Christ..can surely speak for the "family"

If it is simply his will, why hasn't God contacted me (and other non-believers) in this way - it would make your job alot easier if he made himself known to a few more people.
One will never hear if one is not listening

Its not as if you even need to have an 'open mind or heart' for him to contact you - plenty of non-believers have been contacted through the epiphany method - so why not me? What have I done wrong?
You have done nothing any more "wrong" than believers...I am the biggest sceptic in the world and used to laugh at "bible-thumpers...but I wanted to prove I knew what I was talking about...so not only did I read the Bible ...but I also looked into how the Bible was handed down to us....Slowly I began to "listen"...and ....?

What happened to homosexual people? I cannot imagine that they are made in the image of God - there is something fundamentally different in their make-up they attracts them to members of their own sex. Do you believe that homosexuality is a conscious decision? Most sins seem to be, so why not homosexuality?
Your touching on a point that I have made to a pastor in the past...I think it is VERY easy for pastors to preach on homosexuality from the pulpit...In fact I think it is a cop out. The truth is that there are probably NO homosexuals in his audiance. If a pastor feels led to preach on sexual sin..than preach on adultry..internet porn..things that his congregation is probably struggling with. But as our friend,Pastor, has made clear...There is no difference to God in a person who has CHOSEN homosexuality from a congregational member who has CHOSEN adultry.


The absolutes you mention (rape=wrong, murder=wrong) have already been established as unbeneficial to the human race under most circumstances as a matter of common sense and survival. If murder and rape were not outlawed by the basic human condition then the our race would have died out long ago.This was all decided way before it became scripture.
..and how old is scripture?...and when was this decided?

And as you say, merely sticking to those basic tenets of truth (rape=wrong, murder=wrong) wont be enough to get you into heaven. You have to subscribe to a God who makes himself known to a seemingly random group of people.
..I think the key word there is "seemingly"

If truly interested I can recommend some great books for you on Christian apologetics:...More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell...and two bookd by C.S. Lewis...Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy.

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 11:19 AM
and mine tells me theres something more than this universe just coincidently appearing out of nowhere (what was nowhere before there was a universe?, what existed before the big bang? etc.) one day a gazzilion eons ago. you asked why you havent received your epiphany. thats almost like daring God to prove himself to you before you prove yourself to him. kind of throws out the whole faith aspect of it all. God wants to us to chose and want to be Godly, thats why there are not God loving robots. the curse of the human condition is the gift of free will.

Sure, the big bang theory is certainly tough to comprehend (actually I find it pretty much impossible) - just the same as I cannot comprehend what is outside the universe right now.
Its expanding isnt it?

But what area is it expanding in to exactly?

As far as daring God goes - maybe I am, if you can dare something you don't consider to be real.

Why should 3tobe4 get his own personal epiphany when he is out shopping - I spent alot of time bored out of my mind in church listening to scripture - I would have appreciated some direct contact from God at that point.

as far as the whole manipulation of the crucifixion, Jesus couldve easilly gotten out of it. he had free will up until the end. throughout the whole old testament, Gods people were asked to make sacrifices of blood unto him. God in turn made a sacrifice in blood unto his people. Jesus was Gods son because God chose to walk the earth as a human and experience, the pain of death himself. and Just as the Holy Spirit of God was in Jesus, and just as Jesus was human, the sacrifice opened the door for all other humans to experience the spirit of Christ in their lives.

If he could have 'easily gotten out of it' - it seems to me that its fair to call the whole thing a charade - a pretence to test the Romans, which they failed.

I would also question the degree of sacrafice made by someone who knows they are going to rise from the dead in 72 hours - or was Jesus kept in the dark by God?

Maybe the whole waking up bit was a surprise when it happened.

Did Jesus go to heaven after he dided, then leave again to come back to earth?

whether you believe in the resurrection or not, Jesus was a great man, who walked this earth and did as much for our species as anyone else who has ever breathed air. but just like science has been manipulated by man, so has the bible. and even if you are not a christian, if you read the bible as literature it is really a good read with very pertinent lessons that even effect mankind today. (the trial of Jesus is a fantastic example of the laws, debate, logic, usurping the powers of both the Jews and the Romans)

Science can be manipulated by man because it can be a hugely complicated subject (reading Toms explanation of quantum physics nearly made my head explode) - whereas the Bible would appear to be reasonably straight forward in most of its assertions.

Sure alot of points are open to interpretation - but the basic message seems to be :

Believe in me - or find youself locked out of paradise.

An effective threat no doubt, but it just seems a little....unholy.

NM

sumo
12-06-2006, 11:35 AM
Wow - I wish I would have jumped into this one sooner! - fascinating thread - the one view I completely agree with so far is Preach's view of tolerance towards all mankind except Bengal fans - Beyond this I am always fascinated by the atheist point of view - even if your reliance is on human knowledge as we perceive it in our time - no matter how complex the argument - aren't you left asking from where? why? how? - even Stephen Hawking - one of the most briliant scientists of our time - believes there had to be a hand that pushed the process forward at the beginning - in other words, if you subscribe to some kind of big bang/evolution concept (which I agree with to a point) - how does it all begin? why did it all begin? - why are we here? - IMHO, the miracle of the human condition is much more than a science experiment....

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 11:43 AM
As Mosca pointed out...Water is not wet..that which touches water is wet...kind off falls into that whole scientific misconception about the existence of "cold"...cold is merely a lack of heat...

Well that is semantics, I think.

Whether you want break it down to atomic level or not, there is proof that has the effect of making things wet - as the lay person would understand it.

I can't see anything approaching that level of proof when it comes to the existence of God.

You have something called 'faith' that I would probably prefix with the word 'blind'.

I know quite a few people who are older and NOT very wise

Im sure you do. As a general rule people become wiser and more knowledgeable the older they get (up to the point they start forgetting it all again) - exceptions to that rule do not disprove it.


As I have stated before...I think it ironic that those who talk about rational thinking continue to believe without proof that 1) all existing things poofed into existence from nothing...2) that all matter in creation was once all gathered into one spot the size of a period at the end of a sentence 3) and that its okay for the scientific community to ignore some scientific facts to rationalize a scientific theory

I dont subscribe to the big bang theory at all.

That is just a theory based upon the scientific communities 'best guess'.

I have no idea how this all came into existence - and I doubt my mind would be able to comprehend it even if I was told.


You mean like speed limits...laws...work policies?

Thats a fair point and conceded.


But the second half of your statement contradicts the first half by disrespecting christian belief through a condescending statement????

You may have noted the cynical tone of the post, but there was nothing factually incorrect with my assessment was there?

Stone tablets did fall from the sky with the commandments written upon them, did they not?

If by disrespect you mean 'refuse to believe' and 'question the validity of' - then im guilty.


The Bible is very specific about this...although The Goal is perfection...God knows that we will miss the mark...think of it as target shooting...I can teach my son how to shoot correctly...KNOWING that he will not hit the bullseye everytime. But you teach him to "aim" for perfection and that when he misses the bullseye, there is forgiveness. To teach him that just hitting the target is "good enough" is to lower the standard and ultimatley to achieve less. To teach him there is no target..is to take the chance that he shoots indiscrimanatly, and that he can hurt himself and those around him

Thats an interesting analogy.

Expanding it further, it seems that I can shoot as close to the target as I please, but if I dont do it with 'Christian brand' arrows - im basically wasting my time.

Furthermore - one shot with a 'christian brand' arrow absolves the markman of all responsibility for all the wayward shots taken earlier



YEs..he requires all believers..but also warns us about throwing pearls before swine.

What does that mean?

Are the swine the people who are a lost cause?

God made them - he should probably take some responsibility for them.

Then again free will is great - as long as you make the right choice...right?

Seems to me that the 'free will' in operation here is similar to that on offer when your girlfriend asks you if her rear end looks big in that dress.


again..according to the Bible ..one who has been "adopted" by Christ..can surely speak for the "family"

Who is to say who has been adopted?

I could tell you i've been adopted by God and he has a whole new message for his followers - I doubt you could disprove my assertion.


One will never hear if one is not listening

3tobe4 was shopping - he freely admits Christianity was a long way from his mind - then POW! - Christ makes direct contact and he is saved.

If that sounds dramatic, then its because, to my mind, it is.


You have done nothing any more "wrong" than believers...I am the biggest sceptic in the world and used to laugh at "bible-thumpers...but I wanted to prove I knew what I was talking about...so not only did I read the Bible ...but I also looked into how the Bible was handed down to us....Slowly I began to "listen"...and ....?

And you became convinced of the validity of religion?

Im not saying it exists, but like the big bang theory im going to need a little more before I sign up.


Your touching on a point that I have made to a pastor in the past...I think it is VERY easy for pastors to preach on homosexuality from the pulpit...In fact I think it is a cop out. The truth is that there are probably NO homosexuals in his audiance. If a pastor feels led to preach on sexual sin..than preach on adultry..internet porn..things that his congregation is probably struggling with. But as our friend,Pastor, has made clear...There is no difference to God in a person who has CHOSEN homosexuality from a congregational member who has CHOSEN adultry.

Homosexual people probably avoid church because they dont feel wanted there.

If being homosexual truly equates with the other foregiveable sins then I can see no problem - I was just under the impression that knowing you are going to re-offend whilst asking for forgiveness means you wont get it.



..and how old is scripture?...and when was this decided?

I dont know...2007 years?


..I think the key word there is "seemingly"

Do there is a plan then?

That doesnt comfort me.

If truly interested I can recommend some great books for you on Christian apologetics:...More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell...and two bookd by C.S. Lewis...Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy.

Thanks LLT.

A pleasure taking part in this discourse - as it is with everyone on this thread.

NM

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 11:46 AM
Wow - I wish I would have jumped into this one sooner! - fascinating thread - the one view I completely agree with so far is Preach's view of tolerance towards all mankind except Bengal fans - Beyond this I am always fascinated by the atheist point of view - even if your reliance is on human knowledge as we perceive it in our time - no matter how complex the argument - aren't you left asking from where? why? how? - even Stephen Hawking - one of the most briliant scientists of our time - believes there had to be a hand that pushed the process forward at the beginning - in other words, if you subscribe to some kind of big bang/evolution concept (which I agree with to a point) - how does it all begin? why did it all begin? - why are we here? - IMHO, the miracle of the human condition is much more than a science experiment....

Hey sumo,

As an atheist I admit to having no idea as to where the universe as we know it came from.

God gave us the ability to rationalise it - I guess thats what the scientifically minded among us are trying to do - although maybe their fervour to explain it scientific terms is just as desperate as religions all encompassing 'faith'.

The puzzle of 'existence' is one of those enigma's where the further you dig the less you seem to know....

NM

sumo
12-06-2006, 11:59 AM
Hey sumo,

As an atheist I admit to having no idea as to where the universe as we know it came from.

God gave us the ability to rationalise it - I guess thats what the scientifically minded among us are trying to do - although maybe their fervour to explain it scientific terms is just as desperate as religions all encompassing 'faith'.

The puzzle of 'existence' is one of those enigma's where the further you dig the less you seem to know....

NM

You are making Hawking's point - "the further you dig" - the more you have to acknowledge that a "hand" as Hawking states it "pushed" the process forward - but I am confused by your post - are you an atheist believing God gave you the ability to rationalize? - isn't this a contradiction?

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 12:11 PM
You are making Hawking's point - "the further you dig" - the more you have to acknowledge that a "hand" as Hawking states it "pushed" the process forward - but I am confused by your post - are you an atheist believing God gave you the ability to rationalize? - isn't this a contradiction?

Nope, im trying to rationalise religion.

I dont believe in a superior being - although it may well be the best guess available to those who require an answer.

You have to start wondering about where this 'hand' came from - where did the 'superior being' come from or does it simply not obey the rules we understand regarding time, action and consequence.

What was it doing with itself before the universe came into actuality?

Its great to debate these points, but im fully aware that no satisfying answer will make itself known to me.

NM

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-06-2006, 12:56 PM
Well that is semantics, I think. Whether you want break it down to atomic level or not, there is proof that has the effect of making things wet - as the lay person would understand it.
I can't see anything approaching that level of proof when it comes to the existence of God.
actually that dealt more with scientific semantics that proof of God

You have something called 'faith' that I would probably prefix with the word 'blind'.
Aw comon LITP..is that more of that kindness towards hymanity?

Im sure you do. As a general rule people become wiser and more knowledgeable the older they get (up to the point they start forgetting it all again) - exceptions to that rule do not disprove it.
Youre statement was that with age comes wisdom...showing that there are exceptions was my point exactly



I dont subscribe to the big bang theory at all. That is just a theory based upon the scientific communities 'best guess'. I have no idea how this all came into existence - and I doubt my mind would be able to comprehend it even if I was told.
I often feel that way about God...trying to wrap my finite mind around the fact that He created time ..and trying to think waht existence without time must be like makes my ears bleed



Thats a fair point and conceded.
..humbly accepted.


You may have noted the cynical tone of the post, but there was nothing factually incorrect with my assessment was there? Stone tablets did fall from the sky with the commandments written upon them, did they not?
as a non-believer I concede that you wouldnt know that actually God made the commandments on top of Mt. Sinai...and they were walked down the mountain by Moses.


Thats an interesting analogy. Expanding it further, it seems that I can shoot as close to the target as I please, but if I dont do it with 'Christian brand' arrows - im basically wasting my time. Furthermore - one shot with a 'christian brand' arrow absolves the markman of all responsibility for all the wayward shots taken earlier
I think God laughs (or shakes His head in disgust) at out feeble attempts to label our worship of Him...take away the labels and follow his guidlines..yes..IN FAITH...I think thats what he wants from us. And to be truthful..I sin everyday...the Bible says that any man who says he is without sin is a liar and the truth is not in him...I think it is mans knowledge of his sin and his distance from perfection that makes him cognizant of his need to "aim for the target"...and his his NEED for a Saviour to bridge the gap between Gods perfection and our best efforts....
..and no...I am not absolved by and made perfect by my "Christian arrows"...I am absolved by a "substitute" who WAS perfect, and who will stand in my place to be judged instead of me...

Are the swine the people who are a lost cause? God made them - he should probably take some responsibility for them. Then again free will is great - as long as you make the right choice...right?Seems to me that the 'free will' in operation here is similar to that on offer when your girlfriend asks you if her rear end looks big in that dress.
The swine are those people who understand salvation ..truly...and have MADE a conscious decision that they would rather lead the life they have made for themselves instead of the life that God offers. God is not saying they are "swine" but is making the connection that it at some point becomes as useless to keep offering these people the beautiful gift of salvation as it does to offer pearls to swine..neither of whom understand the value of what is offered




Who is to say who has been adopted? I could tell you i've been adopted by God and he has a whole new message for his followers - I doubt you could disprove my assertion.
Well the Bible is also very clear on this....It doesnt matter what you or I think...




3tobe4 was shopping - he freely admits Christianity was a long way from his mind - then POW! - Christ makes direct contact and he is saved. If that sounds dramatic, then its because, to my mind, it is. And you became convinced of the validity of religion?
I dont think God is going to stay within any boundaries that you and I put in front of him...You seem more like me in the way your mind works..I had to have "the proof"and what started out as a rational decision became a decision that defies this worlds rationality.



Homosexual people probably avoid church because they dont feel wanted there.
conceded..sad but VERY true

If being homosexual truly equates with the other foregiveable sins then I can see no problem - I was just under the impression that knowing you are going to re-offend whilst asking for forgiveness means you wont get it.
..again as I explained earlier..I sin daily...but for a believer to sin and willingly thumb your nose at Gods plan would be to place serious doubt as to your true acceptance of Gods plan for salvation


I dont know...2007 years?
Christ was born three years prior to this date ..so the whole Old Testemant was written before then..some books prior to 1300 BC...again not a knock against you...No way you would know this




Do there is a plan then?
?....well....?

Mosca
12-06-2006, 02:12 PM
If you believe, there ain't no talkin' to ya. If you don't believe, there ain't no talkin' to ya. That's why generally speaking, I don't feel the "is there a god" is worth debating.

But when religion tries to explain the physical world I do rebel.

Science is a tool for explanation and simplification of natural phenomena. It is data compression. Its validity is proven when we can take scientific postulates and predict what will happen in the real world; we can make steel, we can design new drugs, we can cure diseases, we can create power. And we can use the explanation of evolution to create better strains of food, wheat that yields more protein and cows that give more milk.

Religion not only fails to explain the world, it is useless for predicting how things behave. You can't load a whole bunch of people into a metal tube and have them all BELIEVE their way to Europe.

When religion attempts to pass off creation myth as scientific truth it loses all credibility. There is not one iota of validity in any creation myth, there is nothing in any of them that explains any part of the existence of the physical world that is verifiable through its use to predict future phenomena; you can't use any of it to engineer anything. It only exists as its own tautology, valid within itself but nowhere else. There is no experiment and no observation that can test the validity of the creation myth, as there is with evolution.

Since the only complete knowledge system is the universe in a 1:1 correspondence with itself, our scientific knowledge of the world will by its very nature always be incomplete. But it never pretends to know the answer to everything. It will only try to explain the questions that are asked, as best they can be understood using that which has already been experimentally verified.

Now the problem arises when one starts to wonder... "If the creation myth doesn't make any sense, what else doesn't? OK, the slaves part. And the dietary stuff. But... I don't like gays, the thought of that disgusts me so let's keep that part. And yeah, the part about loving one another and turning the cheek, that makes sense. But what about this Jesus guy? The virgin birth? Now THAT'S a stretch. Makes about as much sense as the creation myth. The resurrection? I'd bet a dime to a dollar that Chris Angel or Penn & Teller could pull that one off...."

So for a lot of us, it's just not as much of an open-and-shut case as you believers might think. And it is actually very liberating to reach this place; for example, it's easier to understand something like homosexuality as a different way of being human. It's easier to love everyone, not because god and jesus say you should but because you know yourself that it's the right thing to do.

As far as the question of what hand put the universe in motion; I'd ask you, what hand created the hand that you postulate? It has been shown mathematically that it is impossible to create an arithmetic system that is consistently provable entirely within itself (G?del's Second Incompleteness Theorem); since mathematics is a product of human wiring, then it follows that our understanding of existence REQUIRES that we postulate a "prime mover"... but also ask then, who or what created the prime mover? And therefore we have to say that this question is in the end unanswerable from within the system, and that all answers that lie without the system must be guesses.

Whew. That was fun. Let the fighting commence anew.


Tom

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-06-2006, 02:52 PM
[QUOTE]But when religion tries to explain the physical world I do rebel.

Science is a tool for explanation and simplification of natural phenomena. .... Its validity is proven when we can take scientific postulates and predict what will happen in the real world;

This is where I diagree..evolutionists and big bang theorists are some of the worst when it comes to ignoring scientific laws of nature.. The BIG BANG theory relies on a number of hypothetical entities that we have never observed...dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent. Without these as basis for the theory, there would be fatal contradictions between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory....In no other field of physics would this be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory

There is no experiment and no observation that can test the validity of the creation myth, as there is with evolution.
..and other than micro-evolution (i.e no longer needing wisdom teeth)...evolution has yet to find ONE missing link between any species...In fact a recent evolutionist was honest enough to say that the biggest hindrance to furthering the theory of evolution is that if all the evidence was compiled it would fit in one coffin.

Since the only complete knowledge system is the universe in a 1:1 correspondence with itself, our scientific knowledge of the world will by its very nature always be incomplete. But it never pretends to know the answer to everything. It will only try to explain the questions that are asked, as best they can be understood using that which has already been experimentally verified.
Yet evolutionists and Big Bang theorists have CHOSEN to ignore the VERIFIED laws of science...ie..the 4th law of thermodynamics which state.."in every contact of matter with matter, some matter will become unavailable for future use, thus some matter is wasted." This flies in the face of things "evolving" but rather that with time will de-evolve...metal rusts..wood rots...so on and so on.
Also take into count that any body spinning in a vacuum which breaks off into as many pieces as Big Bang theorists believe... would by VERIFIED SCIENTIC LAW...spin in the same direction...yet different heanvenly bodies spin in complete opposite direction...on some planets two of their moons may do this

Just think the scientific community should be held to the same standard

sumo
12-06-2006, 02:53 PM
If you believe, there ain't no talkin' to ya. If you don't believe, there ain't no talkin' to ya. That's why generally speaking, I don't feel the "is there a god" is worth debating.


So for a lot of us, it's just not as much of an open-and-shut case as you believers might think. And it is actually very liberating to reach this place; for example, it's easier to understand something like homosexuality as a different way of being human. It's easier to love everyone, not because god and jesus say you should but because you know yourself that it's the right thing to do.


Tom

Tom - I agree with your first statement and there is no use in trying to "convert" anybody to anything - I suspect you will get several responses to your post - but I would like to point out one impression I get from reading your post above and others that you have written - you do believe that from the "beginning of time" - as it is measured scientifically or otherwise it doesn't matter - the human condition as it exists today is unique and there are things/emotions greater than us (you spell a few of them out nicely in your post) - I hope you take this the right way because I don't mean it in a religious sense - but you do have a high level of spirituality ....now how you explain where this comes from is up to you..

tony hipchest
12-06-2006, 02:55 PM
Did Jesus go to heaven after he dided, then leave again to come back to earth?


NMbelieve it or not he went to hell for 3 days. i would recomment to anyone who has chosen not to believe to read the 1st 5 books of the new testament (mathew mark luke john acts) so atleast they understand what it is they are not believing. they are very short, (suprisingly so, in fact) and they read very quickly. they read like an historical account of a mans life. the 1st 4 books are pretty much the same story as told by 4 different people.

now if these stories were fabricated in a grand scheme to invent a religion you would think all of them would corroberate eachother, but you find the minor inconsistancies and change of details you would expect when 4 people gave accounts of events that happened 50 years prior (or so). the stories of the bible were passed on verbally for about the 1st 80 years or so after the resurrection and then finally written down.

like i said these are easy reads and they dont preach at you. (that comes later in the NT when you get to the letters written by paul) they pretty much detail the history and the philosophy of a man named Jesus. like i said the philosophical principals and logic he uses while on trial is pretty amazing.

Livinginthe past
12-06-2006, 03:53 PM
Thanks to LLT and Tony H for explaining some of the bible stuff I was unaware of (where the 10 commandments come from, and where Jesus went when he died for 3 days).

Maybe I will pick up a bible, as Tony says, its important to understand what you are not believing - I dont for a second imagine it will make me a believer in any sense but the last time I came across a bible is was out of duty rather than an intelligent interest.

I think everyone has done a great job on this thread - and as this debate is essentially unsolvable all we can do is give each other food for thought.

I think Toms posts are incredibly stimulating - gets you thinking about all sorts of stuff.

NM

Preacher
12-06-2006, 03:59 PM
If you believe, there ain't no talkin' to ya. If you don't believe, there ain't no talkin' to ya. That's why generally speaking, I don't feel the "is there a god" is worth debating.

But when religion tries to explain the physical world I do rebel.

Science is a tool for explanation and simplification of natural phenomena. It is data compression. Its validity is proven when we can take scientific postulates and predict what will happen in the real world; we can make steel, we can design new drugs, we can cure diseases, we can create power. And we can use the explanation of evolution to create better strains of food, wheat that yields more protein and cows that give more milk.

Religion not only fails to explain the world, it is useless for predicting how things behave. You can't load a whole bunch of people into a metal tube and have them all BELIEVE their way to Europe...


Whew. That was fun. Let the fighting commence anew.


Tom

Let throw this one back and really get this thread in a tizzy!!

The problem with science TODAY is that it acts more like religion then religion does. If a person doesn't beleive in science, they are new heathen, the new barbarians. There are professors who REFUSE to help students into med school if they do not COMPLETELY subscribe to evolution. Science is the new absolute, and it is unquestionable. Look at how many evangelical athiests have emerged over the last few years.

Furthermore, Science has created massive logical fallacy. Cross-specieal (sp) evolution is the creation myth, and everything must come from it. Thus, anything that is found, is made to fit into evolution, instead of being observed INDEPENDANT of other UNPROVEN theory. However, because of the process, the very observations are woven together into a proof of evolution, and proclaimed to be the newest FACT proving evolution. The problem is, evolution was the original starting point of logic. that my friends, is circular reasoning... Real science in the area of origins of species died a century ago.

Oh, by the way, I always find it funny how the only PROVEN observation was that life CANNOT spontaneously generate... is set aside in the claim by evolution in describing the origin of life.

And you all claim that faith and science don't mix. :dang:

Preacher
12-06-2006, 04:03 PM
believe it or not he went to hell for 3 days. i would recomment to anyone who has chosen not to believe to read the 1st 5 books of the new testament (mathew mark luke john acts) so atleast they understand what it is they are not believing.

Excellent idea.

tony hipchest
12-06-2006, 04:09 PM
Thanks to LLT and Tony H for explaining some of the bible stuff I was unaware of (where the 10 commandments come from, and where Jesus went when he died for 3 days).

Maybe I will pick up a bible, as Tony says, its important to understand what you are not believing - I dont for a second imagine it will make me a believer in any sense but the last time I came across a bible is was out of duty rather than an intelligent interest.

I think everyone has done a great job on this thread - and as this debate is essentially unsolvable all we can do is give each other food for thought.

I think Toms posts are incredibly stimulating - gets you thinking about all sorts of stuff.

NMwell if you do pick up the bible i wouldnt suggest the king james version (although you might understand all the 500 year old verbage better than us americans.) read a study bible that is up to date in the translations and does the best to put those translations in modern english such as the NIV. one of my professors was the president of the "club" of college teachers who worked on modern translations of some of the most ancient texts including the dead sea scrolls. a very smart man who could read and write all the ancient hebrew, aramaic, latin and greek versions of the stories. he taught us that it is important to know what languages are being translated and how old those translations are. paul for instance preached to the gentiles (greeks, romans, and jews etc. and change his tone accordingly) whereas peter preached to the jews pretty much exclusively. a study bible will actually give you references to put certain verses in context and even tell you if 1 ancient word can be interpreted to mean several things (the "red sea" vs. the "reed sea"). so theres no hokey pokey or cover up. it is writen for more of an educational point of view than an evangelical point of view.

again im not suggesting you pick it up to convert you, but because it is one of most spectacular pieces of literature ever written. the bible as a whole looks imposing but if you take the 4 books of the NT which can be considered the meat and potatoes of Christianity, you will be amazed that the whole worldwide religion of Christianity could be derived from so few words and chapters. if you look at Jesus as the main character of this "movie" you would be suprised how few speaking lines he has in this long, long book known as the bible.

tony hipchest
12-06-2006, 04:42 PM
the seperation between science and creationism baffles me. i believe in the big bang. i pretty much know dinosaurs walked the earth millions of years ago. know man painted on the walls of caves 25,000 years ago, and were carving fertility godesses out of rock 5000 years prior. but i also believe that God created man in his image about 5000 years ago. thus the birth of modern civilization and things that made us flourish as a species such as agriculture, farming (God gave us all the plants and animals and let us name them) and record keeping (cunieform sp. heiroglyphics etc)

notice modern civilization begins right where the garden of eden is said to be placed? (modern day iraq between the tigris & euphrates rivers) archaeology seems to support this and other things in the bible as much as dinosaurs.

Preacher
12-06-2006, 04:47 PM
well if you do pick up the bible i wouldnt suggest the king james version (although you might understand all the 500 year old verbage better than us americans.) read a study bible that is up to date in the translations and does the best to put those translations in modern english such as the NIV. one of my professors was the president of the "club" of college teachers who worked on modern translations of some of the most ancient texts including the dead sea scrolls. a very smart man who could read and write all the ancient hebrew, aramaic, latin and greek versions of the stories. he taught us that it is important to know what languages are being translated and how old those translations are. paul for instance preached to the gentiles (greeks, romans, and jews etc. and change his tone accordingly) whereas peter preached to the jews pretty much exclusively. a study bible will actually give you references to put certain verses in context and even tell you if 1 ancient word can be interpreted to mean several things (the "red sea" vs. the "reed sea"). so theres no hokey pokey or cover up. it is writen for more of an educational point of view than an evangelical point of view.

again im not suggesting you pick it up to convert you, but because it is one of most spectacular pieces of literature ever written. the bible as a whole looks imposing but if you take the 4 books of the NT which can be considered the meat and potatoes of Christianity, you will be amazed that the whole worldwide religion of Christianity could be derived from so few words and chapters. if you look at Jesus as the main character of this "movie" you would be suprised how few speaking lines he has in this long, long book known as the bible.

Two other excellent translations are the N.A S. and the HCSB. I like the HCSB the best.

Preacher
12-06-2006, 04:58 PM
BTW....

After the Kramer thread and this thread... I gotta admit, these are some of the most intelligent, RESPECTFUL threads and discussion I have seen on the internet.

Thank you all!

Mosca
12-06-2006, 06:28 PM
I won't argue evolution. Anyone who wants to know about it should go to the source, The Origin of Species. Thing is, I've read the bible, but I'd bet no one here has read Origin (except I'd bet that Preacher has). Anything I would say has been said better there. If you don't go and read it, then you're not really interested in knowing what it is. And that's fine. But please, don't argue against something that you haven't read.

I keep reading things said here about science that misunderstand what it actually is. It is best explanation based on observation, and then tested by experimentation. Does quantum astrophysics get speculative? Sure. It's the farthest frontier of knowledge right now. The way to make it fit the observations is to postulate dark matter and dark energy, and then see if the equations match the observations. All the research at that extreme isn't observation with the naked eye, it's almost all equations and measurement. I'd say it's safe to assume that neither you nor I are qualified to say anything about it except, "Oh, that's interesting." I read a hell of a lot about that stuff, and while dark postulates can make the equations fit the observed measurements, there are other proposed solutions that work in ways that dark does not. It's an exciting place to be thinking, if you're young and smart and curious, and unfortunately for me I'm only curious. Is it fact? The word has no meaning. It's best explanation of the observations.

Trotting out arguments against scientifically accepted explanations of phenomena is to skirt the issue. Defend the biblical view of the origin, based on observation and verified by experiment. It can't be done. It can only be accepted belief on faith.

There's nothing wrong with that, unless you believe that it should be accepted by everyone and taught as "truth". There is no benefit to mankind to have creation myths and religious beliefs taught as truth institutionally, as in schools. That isn't to say that there is no room for ethics and morals in society, it simply means that there is no basis to teach something that is not for the common good. You believe this, he believes that, Jim Jeffs believes in polygamy and Fred Phelps believes god hates homos. Everyone has exactly the same evidence, one 2000 year old book. And to make things even more screwy, Abdul over there has a different, newer book. And so does Jim Jeffs. And those guys over there have different, older books.

On the other hand, the knowledge provided by science is evident all around us. On a large scale, science has provided us with the engineering knowhow to build skyscrapers, airplanes, synthetic fibers, and soap to wash with. On a small scale, quantum theory allows me to type on a laptop and communicate with all of you. And evolution helps understand the action of genes and oncogenes, and how and why life is life, both in the here and now and over large scales of time. And this DOES benefit mankind. And the postulates that derived from these observations and research have been verified experimentally and have been used to make a better life for mankind.

I would accept the argument that mankind has not always used the benefits of scientific knowledge wisely. I accept that those benefits cannot enrich one's soul, that such enrichment comes from within. But they undeniably allow us freedom from want and the luxury to have this discussion, because without that we would be more concerned with scrabbling for comfort and food and shelter.

Preacher, what I'm really amazed at is that we are priviledged to have these discussions on a Steelers football forum. Whenever anyone has asked me to give the short version of what Pittsburghers are like, my answer is "blue collar intellectuals". It is good to think. It is good to have to explain what you've said. It is good to get questioned on such things, and to get called on sloppy logic.

sumo, thanks for the compliment. The imagination of things greater than myself and greater than humanity is a breathtaking pleasure. I'm genuinely fascinated by large scale quantum phenomena, specifically gravity and Bell's interconnectedness theorem, and "spooky action at a distance". There is evidence that universe is actually only one thing, yet we perceive existence as discreet things. And we are many minds; we do not have a hive mind. I don't have an explanation for spirituality, but it's kind of nice not to. I would hope that any scientific explanation of it would also be accompanied with, "Yeahbut did you think of THIS?" After all, knowledge never rests, it keeps asking questions.


Tom

3 to be 4
12-06-2006, 06:58 PM
Where does that leave people who many would consider insane?

The type of people that commit all sorts of evil acts (rape, murder) and are convinced that they are doing it all in Gods name?

The way I read it, as long as the sinner believes in God, he will be freed from the condemnation of those sins.

To me that sounds all too similar to the type of logic perpetrated by those who brain-wash young men to be suicide bombers.

To treat life as some type of entrance exam to heaven, where the only qualification is a belief in a superior being, does not seem like the best way to ensure people act the right way toward each other.

Again, Christ dying on the cross for our sins, sounds alot like a 'free pass' to act how they want for those who claim a belief in God.

Its a very strange logic that has a superior being devising a load of rules, then admitting that no-one in their right mind will be able to honor them.

To get around this problem, he absolves everyone in advance by having his son murdered and then crucified by some of the very people he should be trying to save.

What about the Romans who were complicit in Jesus' death?

Surely they can't help but feel like pawns in Gods chess game?

If they crucify Jesus, so everyone can get their 'penalty paid', they basically condemn themselves to a life in hell.

You dont think that, perhaps, God manipulated events to ensure that his son would end up on a cross - only to miraculously re-appear 3 days later?


Well I guess thats a major problem for those of us who haven't had a similar 'personal experience'.

You admit that you weren't seeking him, so that means God basically sought you out and converted you to his religion.

My question would be - why hasn't he done the same for me?

It appears he has rubber stamped your pasport to heaven - yet mine is lost in the post.

That really doesn't seem like the behaviour of someone who claims to be all-knowing and all-loving.



Where does that leave people who many would consider insane?

The type of people that commit all sorts of evil acts (rape, murder) and are convinced that they are doing it all in Gods name?

The way I read it, as long as the sinner believes in God, he will be freed from the condemnation of those sins.

To me that sounds all too similar to the type of logic perpetrated by those who brain-wash young men to be suicide bombers.

To treat life as some type of entrance exam to heaven, where the only qualification is a belief in a superior being, does not seem like the best way to ensure people act the right way toward each other.

But we arent in charge in deciding what is "the best way", God is.



Again, Christ dying on the cross for our sins, sounds alot like a 'free pass' to act how they want for those who claim a belief in God.

In my previous post I never said or meant to imply that believing in Jesus Christ gave one carte blanche to do whatever one wants. We will answer for everything we do, our rewards will be lessened, but the believer will not be condemned. Those who reject Christ will have to be judged. What I tried to stress is that as one truly accepts the Holy spirit into his/her heart, it is harder to "get away" with acting in the old manner.

this wont be very PC, but the suicide bombers do not believe in Jesus Christ, so they are not getting any pass to Heaven. And Christians who have done evil, heinous things in the past? While nobody knows whats in someones heart, I tend to doubt that a person like that has their heart right with God. Im thinking of the lunatics burning crosses on lawns in the South. I often wonder what kind of personal relationship those people had with Jesus Christ. I cant imagine they really had one.[/B



Its a very strange logic that has a superior being devising a load of rules, then admitting that no-one in their right mind will be able to honor them.

To get around this problem, he absolves everyone in advance by having his son murdered and then crucified by some of the very people he should be trying to save.

What about the Romans who were complicit in Jesus' death?

Surely they can't help but feel like pawns in Gods chess game?

If they crucify Jesus, so everyone can get their 'penalty paid', they basically condemn themselves to a life in hell.

You dont think that, perhaps, God manipulated events to ensure that his son would end up on a cross - only to miraculously re-appear 3 days later?

Not sure where you are going. If God manipulated events, then theres a God, so I dont think you meant that. If you are saying Jesus manipulated events, how did he do that if wasnt God? Jesus didnt crucify himself. Jesus didnt get himself born to the liniage (spelling?) that was prophesised. Jesus determined he would be betrayed by 30 coins, just as prophesised. And if someone COULD manipulate 300 prophesies like this, WHY? to be die an agonizing death? and huindreds more to die agonizing deaths being witnesses to it? The crowd that uses this arguement, that it was all "manipulated" amuses me. For what? to get massacred? What reward was in it for them?
then again if you saying something else, as Emily Latella used to say on SNL, never mind...



Well I guess thats a major problem for those of us who haven't had a similar 'personal experience'.

You admit that you weren't seeking him, so that means God basically sought you out and converted you to his religion.

My question would be - why hasn't he done the same for me?

It appears he has rubber stamped your pasport to heaven - yet mine is lost in the post.

That really doesn't seem like the behaviour of someone who claims to be all-knowing and all-loving.

I was only telling my story. In fact, its not a requirement to wait to be sought. Most believers take steps to Him first. I would suggest that God does seek us all out, and we choose not to listen. God uses people. Maybe hes seeking you out through the people who witness to you. Thats how it started with me. People told me. People prayed for me. It was I who rejected God, he didnt reject me. I was the last person on earth who was going to accept Jesus Christ. But as the song says, "What if it takes 15 times to hear about Jesus? What if im the 3rd person, or the 7th, or the 13th?" Each person who talked to me and prayed for me had a part to play in it. But the choice was mine.
The choice is yours. Your passport has been written. But I'll be the first to admit that faith isnt something thats going to proved with total logic and intellect. That doesnt mean there isnt factual basis to the things that Tony, Preacher, and I have talked about. But sometimes we need to cast aside our ego and reliance on self and throw are hands out at to Him.
God loves everyone, thats why He has made a path to Salvation. Hes not asking for much for eternity. Just acceptance of His Son who He sent to the cross as atonement for our sin.
this was the greatest act of love in history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yMc90WDrow

Mosca
12-06-2006, 07:12 PM
Here's a link (http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~sai/herbert.htm) to a fascinating discussion with Nick Herbert, the world's foremost authority on quantum interconnectedness and Bell's theorem. Bell's theorem, which has been experimentally proven, states that local reality is an illusion and that all things are really only one thing.


Tom

tony hipchest
12-06-2006, 07:18 PM
I would accept the argument that mankind has not always used the benefits of scientific knowledge wisely.

There is evidence that universe is actually only one thing, yet we perceive existence as discreet things. And we are many minds; we do not have a hive mind. I don't have an explanation for spirituality, but it's kind of nice not to. I would hope that any scientific explanation of it would also be accompanied with, "Yeahbut did you think of THIS?" After all, knowledge never rests, it keeps asking questions.


Tom

and just as science has been manipulated and led to the atom bomb, cancer, pollution, etc. the manipulation of religion has led to the crusades, inquisitions, holocaust, slaughter of native americans who wouldnt accept.

i see science and religion as 2 different languages trying to say the same thing. with the merger of the 2 i bet a better picture could be painted of the age old questions "why are we here", "how did we get here", "what is the meaning of it all" "what was before, and what is after" "how will we survive as a species and not become extinct" "what happens when humans no longer exist" "if a tree falls in the woods....".

i like your 2nd statement cause as a kid i was always intrigued by the similarity by the electrons flying around an atom and the planets flying around a solar system. and how the atoms that make up the earth could never be counted just like the suns that make up the universe could never be calculated. which brings me to the concept of the universe being "one thing". popular belief of God is that God is everything. how can a believer say that all the galaxies arent the molecules of God just like all the cells that make up us humans?

anyways - who were Gods parents? what did he do for eternity BEFORE he created everything? im thinking he was pretty bored. these questions are as easilly answered as where the sky ends. and at the ending place of the sky what lies beyond that? a brick wall? (maybe litp remembers me bringing this up in the past.) whats beyond the wall?

the concept of a god is just as easy to understand as the concept of space going on forever in all directions. theres gotta be an ending space somewhere right?

anyways II - great discussions and just as pertinent as whether the steelers shouls switch to the 4-3

lamberts-lost-tooth
12-07-2006, 04:47 AM
I think that alot of people view the Bible and its content as "stories just handed down"..with little historical reliability so over the years there have been many criticisms leveled against it.... These criticisms are usually based on a lack of evidence from sources outside the Bible that confirm the Biblical record....since the Bible is a religious book..many scholars take the position that it is biased and cannot be trusted unless we have evidence from extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is "guilty until proven innocent"... and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt.

This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient documents...they are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they are not. Although it's not possible to verify every incident in the Bible...the discoveries of archaeology since the mid 1800s have demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative...


Here are some examples.....

The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable.... Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla... a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a "late word" demonstrating the late writing of the creation story.... "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.

The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend... until their capital and their records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey. Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from now show that wealth in Isreal was concentrated with the king and Solomon's prosperity was entirely feasible....It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record.... Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq....the very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.

Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar (king of Babylon) who was named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son who served as co-regent in Babylon. Therefore Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel "third highest ruler in the kingdom" ....(the highest available position) ...for reading the handwriting on the wall. Here we see the "eye-witness" nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.

NOW....outside of archeology...Some of the things that I find fascinating about the Bible and helps me to believe it be valid...

Is. 40:22 ...It is he that sitteth upon the sphere of the earth......We are taught that Copernicus discovered the earth was round, or in some cases that it was Aristotle...however the book of Isaiah predates both of these men by several hundred years.

Psalm 103:12...As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. ....this especially fascinating to me..written even before the time of Isaiah. Now follow me here. The psalmist here states from "east to west" for a reason...If you walk north long enough , you will eventually be headed south, or if walking south, eventually you will be going north....BUT you can walk forever east bound and NEVER meet west...or westbound and NEVER be east...the psalmist KNEW (or was devinely inspired as to the roatation of the earth CENTURIES before it was "discovered"


Side note...I appreciate the tone of this thread..thanks people!!!:thumbsup:

stlrtruck
12-07-2006, 01:27 PM
Wow, talk about a great read. I respect everyone's opinions that have been posted on this board. I must also state that I believe without a doubt that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour and without Him, I would spend eternity in the pits of hell.

Now I will try to keep this brief and I regret not jumping into the discussion at an earlier time.

I think most people confuse what Christ instructed us to do with the Word He delivered and the term religion. There are many religious people out there and they manipulate and destroy the very fibers of Christianity based on their flamboyant remarks and deliberate attempt to draw attention to themselves. Christ was never about religion. He hated it when he walked amongst the Jewish population and, IMHO, He still hates it today. Christ was about having a relationship. He wants to have a relationship with everyone! However, unlike other gods who demand certian types of actions or works, Christ says that all we have to do is invite Him into our life!

Christ gives us freedom from sin. Although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and I continue to do the things I shouldn't do. That makes me human and yes I can repent of my actions but that does not give me the freedom to continue to sin. Christ calls me to be a better person. It was earlier this season that I was confronted by the Men's Group that I attend, about putting the Steelers as an Idol in front of my relationship with Christ (and some of you here read that thread). Why now (some asked)? It's now because this is when it was questioned, when I was confronted with where I stood. My point is that God still loves me, Christ still wants to have a relationship with all of us, and He wants to have that relationship right where we stand...all we need to do is ask Him into our life.

As for Darwinism, didn't Darwin suggest that we evolved from single cell organisms (if my biology studies don't fail me)? If that is the case, then why aren't single cell organisms continuing to evolve into humans? I believe that God gave us a brain to use and to build greater things to continue to thrive as living creatures. This means we would continue to make scientific break throughs as our civilization continued. Growth is inevitable.

If we try to comprehend what God was doing before he created the Earth and all living creatures, I believe that we try to understand something that has no boundaries. God's timing is not constrained to a 24 hour day. We can only think in scales based on our own time. God created night and day, thus making it a definite set amount of minutes that man would use in every day life.

As for those who don't believe, I have a challenge for you if you would like to accept it. For one month - every day that you wake up before you get out of bed pray that God reveal Himself to you and I honestly believe that in that time God will make himself revealed to you. He does love you and He wants you in heaven but He gave us free will so that we may live freely (but not as some have interpreted to be without Him). However, I also feel that sometimes for people to see Christ in us it doesn't have to be a bold statement. It can be a smile on a bad day, holding the door for someone, it can be helping someone just get a package of a shelve at a store. It can be many things, it can be one thing...for Christians it is important that we don't get into the "look what I did for Christ" syndrome but instead maintain a "look what Christ did through me" mentality!

And one more for the Atheist. If you would endure me for another minute or two. First take a blank piece of paper draw a circle. Assume that the circle represents all of the known information in the world. Now make like a pie chart and draw in how much of the worlds knowledge you obtain 50%, 25%, 15%, or whatever, and shade that piece in. Now look at the rest of the pie, there is some that is unknown, correct? Is it possible that in the amount of things you do not know is God?

I, like Preacher, do not hate people because of their choices in life. It amazes me that some think that because I pronounce my faith in Christ that I hate other people of different religions or beliefs. However, I do believe that when given the opportunity, it is my job to present Christ to them. Once the seed is planted, it may not be my job to water it.

Bottom line, we are all sinners. And a preacher shouldn't be stuck on only preaching about one subject (in this case Homosexuality). They should remind themselves and their flocks that sin is sin regardless of how society looks at it. God doesn't care if we slept with a woman out of wedlock, if we slept with someone of the same sex, if we lied, or insert any other sin here. All God sees is SIN and it is through the Blood of the Lamb - Jesus Christ that these sins are forgiven.

If a man knocks on your door, you have a choice to answer it or not. Depends on if you want that man in your house (or if he's wearing bengals colors j/k). Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart...all you have to do is answer the door.

And just a reminder, it's not about religion....it's about relationship.

3 to be 4
12-07-2006, 05:30 PM
Wow, talk about a great read. I respect everyone's opinions that have been posted on this board. I must also state that I believe without a doubt that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour and without Him, I would spend eternity in the pits of hell.

Now I will try to keep this brief and I regret not jumping into the discussion at an earlier time.

I think most people confuse what Christ instructed us to do with the Word He delivered and the term religion. There are many religious people out there and they manipulate and destroy the very fibers of Christianity based on their flamboyant remarks and deliberate attempt to draw attention to themselves. Christ was never about religion. He hated it when he walked amongst the Jewish population and, IMHO, He still hates it today. Christ was about having a relationship. He wants to have a relationship with everyone! However, unlike other gods who demand certian types of actions or works, Christ says that all we have to do is invite Him into our life!

Christ gives us freedom from sin. Although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak, and I continue to do the things I shouldn't do. That makes me human and yes I can repent of my actions but that does not give me the freedom to continue to sin. Christ calls me to be a better person. It was earlier this season that I was confronted by the Men's Group that I attend, about putting the Steelers as an Idol in front of my relationship with Christ (and some of you here read that thread). Why now (some asked)? It's now because this is when it was questioned, when I was confronted with where I stood. My point is that God still loves me, Christ still wants to have a relationship with all of us, and He wants to have that relationship right where we stand...all we need to do is ask Him into our life.

As for Darwinism, didn't Darwin suggest that we evolved from single cell organisms (if my biology studies don't fail me)? If that is the case, then why aren't single cell organisms continuing to evolve into humans? I believe that God gave us a brain to use and to build greater things to continue to thrive as living creatures. This means we would continue to make scientific break throughs as our civilization continued. Growth is inevitable.

If we try to comprehend what God was doing before he created the Earth and all living creatures, I believe that we try to understand something that has no boundaries. God's timing is not constrained to a 24 hour day. We can only think in scales based on our own time. God created night and day, thus making it a definite set amount of minutes that man would use in every day life.

As for those who don't believe, I have a challenge for you if you would like to accept it. For one month - every day that you wake up before you get out of bed pray that God reveal Himself to you and I honestly believe that in that time God will make himself revealed to you. He does love you and He wants you in heaven but He gave us free will so that we may live freely (but not as some have interpreted to be without Him). However, I also feel that sometimes for people to see Christ in us it doesn't have to be a bold statement. It can be a smile on a bad day, holding the door for someone, it can be helping someone just get a package of a shelve at a store. It can be many things, it can be one thing...for Christians it is important that we don't get into the "look what I did for Christ" syndrome but instead maintain a "look what Christ did through me" mentality!

And one more for the Atheist. If you would endure me for another minute or two. First take a blank piece of paper draw a circle. Assume that the circle represents all of the known information in the world. Now make like a pie chart and draw in how much of the worlds knowledge you obtain 50%, 25%, 15%, or whatever, and shade that piece in. Now look at the rest of the pie, there is some that is unknown, correct? Is it possible that in the amount of things you do not know is God?

I, like Preacher, do not hate people because of their choices in life. It amazes me that some think that because I pronounce my faith in Christ that I hate other people of different religions or beliefs. However, I do believe that when given the opportunity, it is my job to present Christ to them. Once the seed is planted, it may not be my job to water it.

Bottom line, we are all sinners. And a preacher shouldn't be stuck on only preaching about one subject (in this case Homosexuality). They should remind themselves and their flocks that sin is sin regardless of how society looks at it. God doesn't care if we slept with a woman out of wedlock, if we slept with someone of the same sex, if we lied, or insert any other sin here. All God sees is SIN and it is through the Blood of the Lamb - Jesus Christ that these sins are forgiven.

If a man knocks on your door, you have a choice to answer it or not. Depends on if you want that man in your house (or if he's wearing bengals colors j/k). Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart...all you have to do is answer the door.

And just a reminder, it's not about religion....it's about relationship.

fantastic!! I agree about the focus on one kind of sin over another. those who harp on the sins of one group of people need to keep in mind in Word it says God hates arrogance and pride more than anything.

sin is sin and theres no such thing as being more of a sinner than another person. In Gods eyes, by the law, one sin condemns. But the good news is that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for it all, past, present, and future. Without Christ, we are never good enough. But by accepting His gift to us, we are free.