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Author Topic:   Freewill and hardened hearts
nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 31 of 45 (30922)
01-31-2003 11:13 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by funkmasterfreaky
01-31-2003 4:01 PM


quote:
If I was going on an emotion, I would think that my faith would have been destroyed by the criticism on this site alone.
Nah, the criticism is likely to make Christian faith stronger, because they you get to feel persecuted for your beliefs, and get a bit of a martyred feeling. Always good for feeling righteous.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 01-31-2003 4:01 PM funkmasterfreaky has not replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 32 of 45 (30926)
01-31-2003 11:39 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by zipzip
01-31-2003 10:25 PM


quote:
My personal realization of my need for Christ came about in my mid 20's, when I realized that I could not save myself, and that I saw no meaning in my life apart from Christ (not money, or success, or women, or anything seemed to mean anything in the context of eternal death). About the only thing that came close was the purpose I got from medicine, but even that was predicated on there being an absolute purpose or greater good that honestly seemed (and seems) tailor-made by Christ, the great physician.
Funny, it was in my early twenties that I began to question everything, not the least my half-hearted religious feelings, and I ultimately realized that all religions were most likely man made inventions. I felt no need to be saved once I didn't follow any religion anymore. I then began to think agnostic thoughts, and only then a great deal of guilt and angst fell away from my life and I began to be truly happy.
I was able to find satisfaction and joy in my career, relationships with family and husband, etc. etc., and this coincided perfectly with my "conversion" to agnosticism.
quote:
John, there is (only) one way to figure it out and find out for yourself.
Well, that is a particularly Christian opinion, you know.
quote:
Ask God to help you see him, and ask him to show himself to you, and perhaps more importantly to show you your need for him. Then sincerely look. If you sincerely desire to know him, the Bible says God will make himself known to you. Perhaps he will show himself to you in a physically measureable 'miracle' such as one described in the Bible. Perhaps not; I do not doubt that he will show himself to you if you ask sincerely, however.
The problem with this is, how do we tell the difference, after the fact, between a real divine "sign" and something we just kind of decide is a "sign" because we want it to be or feel that it is?
I mean, people can convince themselves that they have been taken up into alien spacecraft and experimented on with just as much or more conviction and passion as people who say they have gotten "signs" from God.
Why is the first group considered crazy or obviously mistaken and the second group considered perfectly normal but simply having an "ordinary" supernatural experience?
quote:
Think of it this way: It may be that just because you haven't felt his presence doesn't mean that nobody else has.
Very true.
Also, just because lots of people say they have felt God's presence doesn't prove the existence of God.
The Heaven's Gate and Jonestown people all thought the same things, too.
quote:
Maybe the Holy Spirit is a real presence and can interact with human beings who acknowledge Christ -- maybe the happenings of Pentecost were real, and the acts of the Apostles, and the works of Christ. Maybe ... and my point is not to give you a chance to say "maybe not" but to get you to agree that "maybe". Maybe you don't know everything, John. Let's hope anyway that you are fallable, because the Universe sure sounds like an awful, bleak, and hopeless place if you are not.
I can agree with "maybe", but I cannot agree with "reasonable" or "likely".
Are you saying that the universe would be awful, bleak, and hopeless without Christianity and/or God?
That's crazy! The universe is incredibly amazing and wonderful place, full of the beautiful, continual cycle of life.
BTW, I wonder if you can do the same thing you are asking John to do?
Can you say "maybe not"?
[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 01-31-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by zipzip, posted 01-31-2003 10:25 PM zipzip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by zipzip, posted 02-01-2003 3:14 PM nator has replied

  
John
Inactive Member


Message 33 of 45 (30954)
02-01-2003 11:46 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by zipzip
01-31-2003 10:25 PM


quote:
That's ridiculous, John. There are a lot of religions, and for the most part they are all unique.
You have entirely missed the point. That religions have external differences is not the issue. Determining which is correct is the issue. This is the where I cannot tell the difference.
quote:
Christianity makes specific claims that no other religion makes (whatever your stance on its specific claims).
Sorry. No it doesn't.
quote:
About your formative years, John, nobody "grows up Christian".
To quote you, "That's ridiculous." You might want to discuss this with a developmental psychologist or a sociologist. For my part, the I see the issue from the point of view of anthropology and primatology. People 'grow up' in whatever enviranment they happen to be raised in.
quote:
When you got to be old enough to make your own decisions, it sounds like you decided that you didn't need God, and cast off your parents' tutelage.
Dismissive. You make it sound as if I haven't thought about the issue.
quote:
John, there is (only) one way to figure it out and find out for yourself.
Conveniently for you however, any conclusion not in line with your own will be dismissed. I will be told that I have not asked sincerely or did not listen or did not truly want an answer or some such.
------------------
No webpage found at provided URL: www.hells-handmaiden.com

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by zipzip, posted 01-31-2003 10:25 PM zipzip has not replied

  
zipzip
Inactive Member


Message 34 of 45 (30969)
02-01-2003 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by nator
01-31-2003 11:39 PM


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There are a lot of things in life that give us joy, and it is good that you take joy in them. But you will find that your children will grow up and will not need you any longer as they once did, your husband will grow old and will not desire you in the same way, and your prosperity may pass. Even your own life will end. You cannot trust or hope in any of these things.
Jesus Christ claimed that he is eternal and that he has power over death; if the accounts of the NT are true, he backed up his teaching through numerous miracles, including his own resurrection. This is what the Christian hope is -- freedom from sin and death, and an eternal purpose and treasure with our Creator.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by nator, posted 01-31-2003 11:39 PM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by Philip, posted 02-02-2003 2:20 AM zipzip has not replied
 Message 36 by nator, posted 02-02-2003 7:45 PM zipzip has replied

  
Philip
Member (Idle past 4799 days)
Posts: 656
From: Albertville, AL, USA
Joined: 03-10-2002


Message 35 of 45 (31020)
02-02-2003 2:20 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by zipzip
02-01-2003 3:14 PM


You say:
Jesus Christ claimed that he is eternal and that he has power over death; if the accounts of the NT are true, he backed up his teaching through numerous miracles, including his own resurrection. This is what the Christian hope is -- freedom from sin and death, and an eternal purpose and treasure with our Creator.
--This gospel, albeit hypocrites exploit it for their personal gain, is fair and ultimate reason. For what other gospel is there for myself, John, Schraf, you, or any others? The laws of Moses (and all other religions by deduction)? Are they only curse us?
But the redemptive observations we expect to witness on all levels continually suggest this redeeming creator: Jesus the Christ (who is perceived differently by different folks)
That implies He loves John and Schraf while they entangle themselves in this cheek-turning gospel, and is faithful and just to forgive these entities, purge their conscience(s), give each peace, assurance, joy, and the great treasure you speak of.
Interesting how that I've utterly failed to impart any gospel reason to Schraf or John and that you've replaced my metaphysical groanings on their behalf (if that makes any sense).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by zipzip, posted 02-01-2003 3:14 PM zipzip has not replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 36 of 45 (31082)
02-02-2003 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by zipzip
02-01-2003 3:14 PM


quote:
There are a lot of things in life that give us joy, and it is good that you take joy in them. But you will find that your children will grow up and will not need you any longer as they once did, your husband will grow old and will not desire you in the same way, and your prosperity may pass. Even your own life will end. You cannot trust or hope in any of these things.
You are right. I can only live my life as if it matters right now. I can only live my life in such a way that future generations remember me fondly and my works serve to benefit people far after I am gone.
quote:
Jesus Christ claimed that he is eternal and that he has power over death; if the accounts of the NT are true, he backed up his teaching through numerous miracles, including his own resurrection. This is what the Christian hope is -- freedom from sin and death, and an eternal purpose and treasure with our Creator.
That's a pretty big "if", don't you think?
Besides, I think that sin and eternal life are Christian inventions to keep people in line and to be a reward for suffering and a life of denial.
To me, all this Christian hoping is just a incredibly elaborate way to ease the fear of death and the unknown.
The truth is, I don't really know if anything beyond the natural exists or not, and neither do you.
Nobody does.
So, I'll ask again.
Are you willing to do the same thing you have asked John to do?
Are you willing to say "maybe not"?
and,
The problem with this is, how do we tell the difference, after the fact, between a real divine "sign" and something we just kind of decide is a "sign" because we want it to be or feel that it is?
I mean, people can convince themselves that they have been taken up into alien spacecraft and experimented on with just as much or more conviction and passion as people who say they have gotten "signs" from God.
Why is the first group considered crazy or obviously mistaken and the second group considered perfectly normal but simply having an "ordinary" supernatural experience?
You couldn't really answer the questions, and that's why you started preaching.
[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 02-02-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by zipzip, posted 02-01-2003 3:14 PM zipzip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by zipzip, posted 02-03-2003 5:51 PM nator has replied

  
zipzip
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 45 (31177)
02-03-2003 5:51 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by nator
02-02-2003 7:45 PM


Schraf, I hope a little scripture doesn't come off as preaching. I though I had already answered your question. Nobody becomes a Christian unless they've asked the question, "what if?" Doubts are an important part of being a Christian. Ask any Christian and they will tell you the same. That is the stage I was in before I became a Christian.
As far as Christ's claims and the big "if," I don't know how big an "if" this is --> eyewitness accounts, his own personal admission, and congruence with the OT. On the other hand, your big hope is that the NT writers were mistaken (or were liars, since many of their writings do not give editorial conclusions but instead convey stark historical impressions of Christ's day-to-day ministries and miracles). My hope is that they were not; and the basis of my hope is the picture of Christ that I see in the NT. He is so counterintuitive, amazing, and unusual for his time and ours that I can't imagine someone ever thinking him up.
You think Christianity is an invention to keep people in denial...of what? Christianity is just a relationship with Christ, but some people associate it with prohibitions...fine. Sex with multiple partners --> venereal disease --> unwanted pregnancy --> social ruin? Excess alcohol --> alcoholism --> social ruin? Pornography --> promiscuity --> objectification of women --> rape and prostitution --> social ruin? These prohibitions are just common sense attitudes to discourage activities by which people destroy themselves and have been adopted by many societies. But so that you can be complete, go ahead and point out the self-destructive things that Christianity ought to promote.
How is Christianity elaborate? Paul says he preached Christ crucified. That is it. That is why I can read John 3:16 and get the whole story: "For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." That is why the criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus at Calvary only had to ask to be saved and Christ promised him that he would be. That is not complicated or elaborate -- our Creator just wants a relationship with us, wants us back in the family.
On your point about how to know the supernatural... that can be a tough one, and I may not be one to ask because I don't go looking for signs a whole lot. But for most Christians, they know the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives and remember when they did not know him. Miracles like in the OT are clearly supernatural -- Moses asking God to part the sea, Elijah asking God to ignite the water-soaked altar, etc. Likewise, NT miracles are pretty amazing, whether done by Jesus or by the Apostles. These things may be happening today; I do not know, although every once in a while I hear a story that you could argue was miraculous. But on the other hand, I do not need to see these things to believe. As the risen Christ tells the doubting Thomas, people in later generations who have seen less than this (holes in his hands and side) will believe.
The reason for this is, when a person sits down and thinks about the circumstances of their life, Christ's offer of salvation makes sense -- as God told his people in the OT "Come now, let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, they will be made white as snow."
Nobody wants to live apart and be separated for eternity from their creator who "knit them together in [their] mother's womb," and who loves them more than any human father could. Just the possibility should be enough to set someone to finding out if it could be true. If you stop and think, "maybe the Gospel is true and Christ is asking *me* to answer him without any dodging or games," then it can becomes harder and harder to stare him in the face and say, "I don't need or want you." This is the catch, not signs or miracles, just personal honesty to a loving father.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 36 by nator, posted 02-02-2003 7:45 PM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by nator, posted 02-05-2003 10:52 AM zipzip has replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 38 of 45 (31412)
02-05-2003 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by zipzip
02-03-2003 5:51 PM


quote:
Schraf, I hope a little scripture doesn't come off as preaching.
It does when you are trying to influence someone who doesn't believe in the Bible.
quote:
I though I had already answered your question. Nobody becomes a Christian unless they've asked the question, "what if?" Doubts are an important part of being a Christian. Ask any Christian and they will tell you the same. That is the stage I was in before I became a Christian.
"What if" isn't the question, though. "Maybe not" was the question.
quote:
As far as Christ's claims and the big "if," I don't know how big an "if" this is --> eyewitness accounts, his own personal admission, and congruence with the OT. On the other hand, your big hope is that the NT writers were mistaken (or were liars, since many of their writings do not give editorial conclusions but instead convey stark historical impressions of Christ's day-to-day ministries and miracles).
It's not my hope. It's just that I see no reason to hold this particular collection of highly-edited and frequently translated writings about a semi-nomadic tribe of Jewish warriors up as anything amazing.
quote:
My hope is that they were not; and the basis of my hope is the picture of Christ that I see in the NT. He is so counterintuitive, amazing, and unusual for his time and ours that I can't imagine someone ever thinking him up.
LOL! Wow, I sure can, considering how many rewrites he's gone through. Jesus is a completely different person in the gospel of John, for example, compared to the other gospels. He does things on different days, and for different reasons, and the notion that he will come back from the death to lead the Israelites to a military victory over their enimies is greatly played down. Instead, the literal physical "kingdom of heaven", which was unambiguously promised to his followers in the early gospels, was turned into a spiritual reward after death.
Oh, and he isn't really that amazing a character. Now some of those Egyptian and Hindu gods; those are some pretty cool gods, and the Buddha is a pretty wonderful, amazing, counterintuitive character as well.
quote:
You think Christianity is an invention to keep people in denial...of what?
That when you die, nobody knows what happens, if anything.
quote:
Christianity is just a relationship with Christ, but some people associate it with prohibitions...fine. Sex with multiple partners --> venereal disease --> unwanted pregnancy --> social ruin? Excess alcohol --> alcoholism --> social ruin? Pornography --> promiscuity --> objectification of women --> rape and prostitution --> social ruin? These prohibitions are just common sense attitudes to discourage activities by which people destroy themselves and have been adopted by many societies. But so that you can be complete, go ahead and point out the self-destructive things that Christianity ought to promote.
Hatred of homosexuals, keeping women as chattel, slavery, racism, using war to solve your problems; these are all former widely-held Christian values, too, with a lot of Biblical evidence to support them.
Why is this invalid? Why get mad at me because your own religion's history isn't as lily-white as you wish it was? Don't kill the messenger.
quote:
How is Christianity elaborate? Paul says he preached Christ crucified. That is it. That is why I can read John 3:16 and get the whole story: "For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." That is why the criminal hanging on the cross next to Jesus at Calvary only had to ask to be saved and Christ promised him that he would be. That is not complicated or elaborate -- our Creator just wants a relationship with us, wants us back in the family.
The Bible is pretty long. Unless you are trying to tell me that the rest of the Bible is irrelevant beyond that one sentence, then fine, but then why was Mass always a whole hour?
quote:
On your point about how to know the supernatural... that can be a tough one, and I may not be one to ask because I don't go looking for signs a whole lot. But for most Christians, they know the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives and remember when they did not know him.
How is this different from people who remember the time before the aliens visited them and that they continue to communicate with them in their dreams, or what have you?
quote:
Miracles like in the OT are clearly supernatural -- Moses asking God to part the sea, Elijah asking God to ignite the water-soaked altar, etc. Likewise, NT miracles are pretty amazing, whether done by Jesus or by the Apostles. These things may be happening today; I do not know, although every once in a while I hear a story that you could argue was miraculous. But on the other hand, I do not need to see these things to believe. As the risen Christ tells the doubting Thomas, people in later generations who have seen less than this (holes in his hands and side) will believe.
Do you also, then, believe that people have been taken up into alien spaceships? They believe, too, without any evidence.
To me, the claims are exactly the same. Zero evidence. Are they the same to you?
quote:
The reason for this is, when a person sits down and thinks about the circumstances of their life, Christ's offer of salvation makes sense -- as God told his people in the OT "Come now, let us reason together; though your sins be as scarlet, they will be made white as snow."
It doesn't make sense to me, because one needs to accept an awful lot without any evidence to believe.
Also, lots of religions have similar promises of salvation: reaching Nirvana for one. It is a common theme to have that reward be given after death.
quote:
Nobody wants to live apart and be separated for eternity from their creator who "knit them together in [their] mother's womb," and who loves them more than any human father could.
One has to believe in a Creator first. Without even a teensy bit of evidence, I have to say "I don't know" and leave it at that.
quote:
Just the possibility should be enough to set someone to finding out if it could be true.
Anything is possible. Few things that you have claimed are probable.
quote:
If you stop and think, "maybe the Gospel is true and Christ is asking *me* to answer him without any dodging or games," then it can becomes harder and harder to stare him in the face and say, "I don't need or want you." This is the catch, not signs or miracles, just personal honesty to a loving father.
What if I did just what you ask, yet I had no religious conversion?
My guess is that you would say that I didn't try hard enough, or the right way, or something like that.
You see, the only "correct" course of events to you is that I believe as you do. There is no other possible outcome that would be valid, correct?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by zipzip, posted 02-03-2003 5:51 PM zipzip has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by zipzip, posted 02-05-2003 4:07 PM nator has replied

  
zipzip
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 45 (31451)
02-05-2003 4:07 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by nator
02-05-2003 10:52 AM


Schraf, you can believe anything you want. I just think you have a skewed view of Christianity, one that lies far outside of what the mainstream Christian church over the last 2000 years has believed. Christian doctrine, whatever you may believe, has not changed appreciably in 2000 years. This is one reason why I can read Paul's letters and agree with them.
I don't know where you are getting the basis for you assertion of "Hatred of homosexuals, keeping women as chattel, slavery, racism" as Christian values of this or any other time. That is just baseless slander that does more than just border on bigotry.
I was thinking about our discussion yesterday as I read my latest American Medical Association news bulletin -- the headline was about one of only two western trained OB-GYN docs in Yemen who was murdered last month by an Islamic terrorist. The article recounted how the physician, who had given up a lucrative practice in the US driven by a "deep Christian faith", had spent 20 years of her life in selfless service. The hospital that she operated in had been built and supported by millions of dollars of Christian donations over the years. This is the face of the Christian church that I know.
"LOL! Wow, I sure can, considering how many rewrites he's gone through. Jesus is a completely different person in the gospel of John, for example, compared to the other gospels. He does things on different days, and for different reasons, and the notion that he will come back from the death to lead the Israelites to a military victory over their enimies is greatly played down. Instead, the literal physical "kingdom of heaven", which was unambiguously promised to his followers in the early gospels, was turned into a spiritual reward after death."
I don't really see how my post concering the character of Christ was humorous. I have studied the Bible a great deal and read a number of differing points of view regarding the Gospels, and I don't find a basis for your assertions. The four Gospels were written by different men, tailored for different audiences Jew/Greek/etc. and for different purposes. Any thorough exegesis of the Gospels, even by secular writers, would highlight this. But even with the differing viewpoints, the character of Christ is consistent. That is why these four Gospels, and not just one Gospel, were placed in the Bible. That should be obvious. There were other Gospels that were not included, presumably because they did not add any relevant information. Remember, space in the Bible is at a premium and the selections you read in its pages were not randomly chosen.
As far as the Kingdom of Heaven, it is pretty clear to me that the point of Christ's message of the Kingdom of Heaven was that it was not an earthly kingdom. That is why the Gospels recount how he withdrew when his followers came to make him King by force. This has been the clear interpretation of the Gospel since the early Christian church. That is such a simple, fundamental point of Christian doctrine and the teachings of Christ, it is hard to believe that you would bring that up as an argument.
How many rewrites has Jesus gone through? Ancient manuscripts are the basis for today's Gospel. There is no reason to believe that Scripture has been doctored over the centuries, at least not so much that the basic message of Christ has been altered. That is why I can read very old commentaries on Biblical text and make sense of them. This is very similar to the OT, which has been maintained in a pristine state for thousands of years by the fastidious requirements of Judaism. Related books of commentary and rabbic law (Talmud,etc) have been passed down and would be incomprehensible if the original text had been changed significantly.
As for aliens, you seem to have a fascination with them. In likening the Christian with the alien-abductee you appear to be completely discounting the Bible. Christianity has a documentary basis (the Bible) that has a number of historically verified details in it, some that have not been verified but have not been disproved, and a number of miraculous claims that, while amazing, cannot be disproved. Some people will say that I overestimate the historical veracity of the Bible, but point to one specific historical detail in the OT or NT that has been completely and utterly disproved. Or to one apparent inconsistency that remains once ignorance of the Gospel or its historical context has been assuaged.
[This message has been edited by zipzip, 02-05-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by nator, posted 02-05-2003 10:52 AM nator has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by nator, posted 02-06-2003 10:47 AM zipzip has not replied

  
nator
Member (Idle past 2246 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 40 of 45 (31534)
02-06-2003 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by zipzip
02-05-2003 4:07 PM


quote:
Schraf, you can believe anything you want.
Or not believe, as the case may be.
quote:
I just think you have a skewed view of Christianity, one that lies far outside of what the mainstream Christian church over the last 2000 years has believed. Christian doctrine, whatever you may believe, has not changed appreciably in 2000 years. This is one reason why I can read Paul's letters and agree with them.
In the book of Timothy, Paul teaches:
2:11
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
So you agree with that?
quote:
I don't know where you are getting the basis for you assertion of "Hatred of homosexuals, keeping women as chattel, slavery, racism" as Christian values of this or any other time. That is just baseless slander that does more than just border on bigotry.
Come on, Zip, the KKK touts itself as a Christian organization, and at one time only a few decades ago had a membership of millions and a GREAT deal of support from all across the Bible Belt in the southern US. I know, I know, you will say they weren't "real" christians, but the point is, most of them probably thought they were, and also thought that what they were doing was justified.
There are plenty of Bible-based websites, anh ministries, out there that advocate hatred, or at least condemnation in no uncertain terms, for homosexuals.
quote:
I was thinking about our discussion yesterday as I read my latest American Medical Association news bulletin -- the headline was about one of only two western trained OB-GYN docs in Yemen who was murdered last month by an Islamic terrorist. The article recounted how the physician, who had given up a lucrative practice in the US driven by a "deep Christian faith", had spent 20 years of her life in selfless service. The hospital that she operated in had been built and supported by millions of dollars of Christian donations over the years. This is the face of the Christian church that I know.
...and that is an amazing story, and I greatly admire this woman and all the people like her, and all the people who's faith moves them to support work like this.
The point is, though, that the history of Christianity is not only one of sacrifice and helping people. There is also a history of oppression, racism, misogyny, and quite a lot of bloodshed.
Maybe you can ignore all of that, but I can't.
You happen to believe in a Christianity of peace and love and acceptance, but that's not the kind of Christianity that was practiced by the Conquistadores when they slaughtered the Aztecs.
The point is, without religion, or some other ideology of utter certainty, like Fascism or communism, atrocities like the Crusades, or Intifada, or the 9/11 attacks, lynchings, or the Holocaust, are not possible.
quote:
I don't really see how my post concering the character of Christ was humorous.
I thought it was amusing that you thought that there was no way Christ could have been made up by anyone.
quote:
I have studied the Bible a great deal and read a number of differing points of view regarding the Gospels, and I don't find a basis for your assertions. The four Gospels were written by different men, tailored for different audiences Jew/Greek/etc. and for different purposes. Any thorough exegesis of the Gospels, even by secular writers, would highlight this. But even with the differing viewpoints, the character of Christ is consistent. That is why these four Gospels, and not just one Gospel, were placed in the Bible. That should be obvious. There were other Gospels that were not included, presumably because they did not add any relevant information.
Presumably?
quote:
Remember, space in the Bible is at a premium and the selections you read in its pages were not randomly chosen.
Why is space at a premium? Would not ALL the words of God need to be read by his followers?
quote:
As far as the Kingdom of Heaven, it is pretty clear to me that the point of Christ's message of the Kingdom of Heaven was that it was not an earthly kingdom.
That is not clear at all in the bible!
There are several passages in which Jesus very explicitly states that he will return before the people he is speaking to are dead.
Timothy 16:28
Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1
And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
John 12:14
And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
[Prophecy]
Zech.9:9
12:15
Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
The problem with this is that the prophecy in Zech 9:9 is not of a spiritual leader, but of a earthly king and military leader, as illustrated below, emphasis mine;
Zech 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
This is clearly talking about a military leader who will come and conquer the world and make Israel the leader of that world. I didn't post the whole thing here, but it talks of swords, sling stones, strongholds, arrows, and prisoners.
quote:
That is why the Gospels recount how he withdrew when his followers came to make him King by force. This has been the clear interpretation of the Gospel since the early Christian church. That is such a simple, fundamental point of Christian doctrine and the teachings of Christ, it is hard to believe that you would bring that up as an argument.
If you compare all of the Passover/Crucifiction stories in the Gospels, you will see that they are all a little different in their language as time goes on. John, being written the latest, changes the time of crucifiction so Jesus can be framed as the symbolic Lamb of God.
quote:
How many rewrites has Jesus gone through? Ancient manuscripts are the basis for today's Gospel. There is no reason to believe that Scripture has been doctored over the centuries, at least not so much
that the basic message of Christ has been altered.
Well, how can you tell, since we don't have any originals?
quote:
That is why I can read very old commentaries on Biblical text and make sense of them. This is very similar to the OT, which has been maintained in a pristine state for thousands of years by the fastidious requirements of Judaism. Related books of commentary and rabbic law (Talmud,etc) have been passed down and would be incomprehensible if the original text had been changed significantly.
As for aliens, you seem to have a fascination with them.
Um, no. I do have a fascination with the contradictory way religious people often treat alien abduction claims as bunk, but their own supernatural experiences as obviously true, even thou each group speaks with utter conviction and each group has exactly the same amount of evidence.
quote:
In likening the Christian with the alien-abductee you appear to be completely discounting the Bible.
Well, yes. The Bible is only considered true if you believe in it.
quote:
Christianity has a documentary basis (the Bible) that has a number of historically verified details in it, some that have not been verified but have not been disproved, and a number of miraculous claims that, while amazing, cannot be disproved.
LOL! So what? There are a great many "historically verified details", and a great deal of "unverified claims" in the alien visitation literature that haven't been disproved, either.
quote:
Some people will say that I overestimate the historical veracity of the Bible, but point to one specific historical detail in the OT or NT that has been completely and utterly disproved. Or to one apparent inconsistency that remains once ignorance of the Gospel or its historical context has been assuaged.
Either you have independent verification of events in the bible, or you don't. That several cities and people mentioned in the Bible were real doesn't mean much. Roswell is a real place in New Mexico, after all.
I will even say that it is somewhat likely that someone named Jesus lived at that time, was one of many claiming to be a prophet or the son of God, and was and was probably crucified by the Romans.
Does that actually make him the actual son of god, just because this mythology rose up around him and managed to be propagated to this day by his followers? Of course not.
[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 02-06-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by zipzip, posted 02-05-2003 4:07 PM zipzip has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Gzus, posted 02-06-2003 3:34 PM nator has not replied

  
Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 45 (31555)
02-06-2003 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by nator
02-06-2003 10:47 AM


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Schraf, you can believe anything you want.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adding to that zipzip, if you can't prove beyond any doubt whatsoever that your religion is the true one, there is absolutely no reason why i should believe you. Can God punish us for not believing something we can't prove?
[This message has been edited by Gzus, 02-06-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by nator, posted 02-06-2003 10:47 AM nator has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 02-06-2003 9:48 PM Gzus has replied

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 45 (31594)
02-06-2003 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Gzus
02-06-2003 3:34 PM


You bet.
can you stop him?
------------------
Saved by an incredible Grace.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Gzus, posted 02-06-2003 3:34 PM Gzus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Gzus, posted 02-07-2003 5:58 AM funkmasterfreaky has replied

  
Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 45 (31654)
02-07-2003 5:58 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by funkmasterfreaky
02-06-2003 9:48 PM


Not according to you, but i sure as hell can resent him for being such a self-righteous, decieving,.. ****, or i can just (quite rightly) ignore the god concept altogether in favour of nihilism, and who would be so 'knowledgeable' as to claim that i do not have the right?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 02-06-2003 9:48 PM funkmasterfreaky has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 02-07-2003 3:06 PM Gzus has replied

  
funkmasterfreaky
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 45 (31672)
02-07-2003 3:06 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Gzus
02-07-2003 5:58 AM


meh

This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Gzus, posted 02-07-2003 5:58 AM Gzus has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Gzus, posted 02-09-2003 4:02 PM funkmasterfreaky has not replied

  
Gzus
Inactive Member


Message 45 of 45 (31793)
02-09-2003 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by funkmasterfreaky
02-07-2003 3:06 PM


? Eh?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by funkmasterfreaky, posted 02-07-2003 3:06 PM funkmasterfreaky has not replied

  
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