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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    Humanism and the "secular way of life" are derided for a man-centric focus, yet the Christian God is typically perceived as a being with emotions and motivations pretty much like ours. If assigning the creator of the entire universe our characteristics and psychology is not man-centric and, on the whole, completely selfish, I don't know what is.
    as god made us in his image, does it not follow that some of our characteristics are reflected in the true image which is god himself?

    and anyway, i doubt the human consciousness would be able to grasp the true concept of 'god' unless through experience given our current chaotic state of mind. hence, the need to go to church, temple, mosque and still your body and still your mind

    Quote Originally Posted by greed View Post
    I subscribe to Christianity. Sort of. That is, in a very liberal sense. I've found a lot of truth in the underlying messages in the Bible, but I treat most of its stories, including that of Jesus himself, as allegory.

    But then, I treat other religious texts similarly. They're all distilled wisdom passed down through the ages, and many of them speak very similar messages. It just so happens that our culture allows us ready access to Christian resources.

    Regardless of how true the story of Jesus is, it wouldn't hurt to live a life by the example he presented. In the story, Jesus was a man who faced many of the struggles and temptations that we have, yet he lived an exemplary life. Just as, in his own story, Gautama Buddha suffered everyday struggles and achieved Enlightenment, then shared his own experiences with the world so that they may possibly achieve the same, so too has the story of Jesus taught us what we are able to achieve.

    And since God "has made us all in his likeness," we all have a piece of the world-changing power of God inside of us, just as Jesus did. That is, we all have the power to reach happiness and to achieve great things for the betterment of the world around us. Hell is detachment from that power--"separation from God," as it were.

    That's the interpretation that can possibly make sense to me, anyway. On the whole, my definition of God--that which I actually believe--aligns most closely with Spinozism. This is subject to change as I attain a better objective understanding of the world.
    this post makes the most sense.

    i agree with you that the Bible, and all other scriptures and every religious scripture that doesn't directly impart knowledge contains allegories that are there to explain decision making of every day life.

    through these stories and metaphors, we are informed of the choices we have and the decisions we face. even though its been many a thousand years, the basic choices of ethics and morality remain the same. only thing that changes is the acceptance of those choices by the society.

    in my opinion, story telling is also the most effective way of teaching as this allows us to identify with the characters and their situations. this identification appeals to us at a much deeper level of consciousness (intuition?) that can be readily called upon when we do face problems that are echos of the stories we know

  2. #12
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    I don't know if you will be responding to the OP or not, but I will expound a bit...God (Yahweh), God the Son (Yeshua), God the Holy Spirit, One God, but three persons is holy, righteous, just, good, and sinless. He can not look on sin, and He can not have a relationship with us when we are living in sin. Though man was created sinless we are also given free will. We all choose to sin 'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God' Rom 3:23. God loved us so much that He made provision over and over and over again, but we still choose to sin.

    'Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Rom 2:15,16

    Sin in us (our 'flesh') does not naturally want a relationship with God and constantly fails. We are selfish, prideful, and know we sin because God's laws are written on our hearts so that we are aware of it. God gave up His only perfect and sinless Son Jesus Christ, which willingly died on the cross as a final, one time, perfect sacrifice so that we can have a relationship with God. Jesus (Yeshua), out of love for us, WILLINGLY laid down His life as the perfect, sinless, unblemished sacrifice - He was guilty of NOTHING and had no sin in Him, and by doing so, bore the entire world's sin. Since God can not look on sin, that meant Jesus was separated from God during that time.

    What is the gospel? 'Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once...' 1 Cor 15

    It amazes me that God made Himself a man - a humble servant no less! - so He could bear life just like we do - so He can understand from our perspective, feel what we feel, encounter issues just like we do - live life so that He can understand us, walk with us, help us. He allowed Himself to be beaten, mocked, spit on, so that we could LIVE for eternity with God. Though man, Jesus was still God, having all the power of God, yet He used none of it Himself while here, rather, Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit to do the miracles He did, and He fulfilled ALL prophecy, bringing glory to Yahweh God. Jesus did nothing to glorify Himself. His death, burial and resurrection is the only atonement for sin acceptable to God, and that salvation is a free gift offered to all that ask for it. It is not based on a persons righteousness, because we can never be righteous enough, it is based on Jesus Christs righteousness and it is a one time, for all sin, for all time forgiveness available to any that asks for it and wants a true relationship.

    'And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.'
    1 John 5:20

    Today, God gives testimony of Himself in various ways, through conviction of the Holy Spirit, His living Word (bible), fulfilled prophecy, creation itself, and people that are bold enough to speak His truth and tell others what He is doing in their lives.

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." John 5:24

    After we die the first death (our physical body dies), we stand before God, and we will all stand alone. No one will be there to help, there are no excuses, any blame rests solely on our shoulders, everything we have ever said or done is already known and recorded. People that willingly reject Jesus Christs gift of salvation will be judged righteously for their choice.

    'But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He will receive me.' Psalm 49:15

    That is what is important - that God loves us enough to provide a way for us to be saved. But, He doesn't force us to choose eternal life with Him, He allows us to not want anything to do with Him too. That choice is eternal separation from Him. That eternal separation is hell. Hell is not a campground, society, or party of likeminded people, suffering is personal, a person will remember their life and remember the truth, the full value of what they rejected, know what they have lost, and worst of all, know fully who God is, what He had in store for them, how much He loved them and wanted to spend eternity with them, but have no hope of ever changing it - because that was their choice.

    More than 2000 prophecies written thousands of years ago have been fulfilled. God does not lie, He always does what He says He will do. By grace mercy, and love, He promised and gave a way to be saved to any that wish to accept it. Each of us have the freewill to reject salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, but I sincerely pray that anyone reading this today will choose life. If you want tomaccept Jesus as your Savior, simply talk to God and admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised from the dead, and give Him control of your life.

    Here is an example of a prayer that will help you know what to say:

    Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I know that Iím a sinner and that my sin separates me from You. I realize that I canít do anything to earn my way into heaven. I believe that Jesus took the punishment for my sins by dying on the cross and coming back to life. I accept Him as my Savior and Lord. And I will try my best to please You all the days of my life. Thank You for forgiving me and saving me now. In Jesusí name, I pray. Amen.

    If anyone has any questions about this, I am happy to reply.

    P.S. Philosophy has been around since the beginning. God said 'Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ'. Col 2:8
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think the higher levels of discourse on this topic acknowledge that that's a poor reason to follow God. In other word, the "serious" Christians who have progressed from the disciplinarian variation of the faith to the more positive-oriented ones usually have other reasons for obedience to their faith.

    (For example, "This is the best way to live, from what I can tell" or "It has made me a better person and freed me from destructive behaviors" or "If God made the universe, then his way is going to the best and I want to be part of it," etc.)


    Dr. Tim Keller wrote an amazing book called "The Reason for God".
    You can take a look at the whole thing here: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age ... - Google Book Search

    I would suggest at very least reading the first page.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    ThinkingAboutIt, your posts are long, and not written for atheists or agnostics in mind who have a problem with the idea entire of sin. Unless sin is explained, we are explained, God is explained; it is not as factor in and of itself with out an understanding of purpose.

    Might I inquire, are you a Armenian?

  5. #15
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    ThinkingAboutIt, your posts are long, and not written for atheists or agnostics in mind who have a problem with the idea entire of sin. Unless sin is explained, we are explained, God is explained; it is not as factor in and of itself with out an understanding of purpose.

    Might I inquire, are you a Armenian?
    I am neither armenian or calvinist, nor do I believe in denomination, I believe God's word.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    *long exhale*

    Largest con in history (to date).

    I have spent a LOT of time researching religions, even attended a Franciscan college for a while... and I've come to the following conclusions:

    If every religion is so absolutely certian that their religion is correct, there are a lot of people in trouble

    Religion changes and shifts as if on a balance with Science. The more scientific discoveries that have been made, the more the religion alters to explain it. Gods used to carry Sun's and Moon's across the sky with chariots and made it rain when you danced and hummed a tune correctly.

    Religion is a powerful tool for controlling large masses of people.

    One religion has a million contradictory 'rules'. If they were handed down to us by a supreme being, surely that being wouldn't have been so fickle?



    Religion IS politics, plain and simple. Its rules are made, bent, broken and altered to suit the needs of those who desire to influence the decisions and behavior of others.
    Embrace the possibilities.

  7. #17
    Te > Fi > Ni Shaula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm glad this thread hasn't been done before.

    Buford: Whadayawanna do today, Frank?
    Frank: I dunno, Buford, shoot beers cans off that fence?
    Buford: But that's what we do EVERY day, Frank!
    Frank: But what the heck else are we gonna do with all the beer cans, Buford?
    Buford: You're right, good buddy, load 'em up!
    Is not to be held accuntable for peeling errors.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus2968 View Post
    Dr. Tim Keller wrote an amazing book called "The Reason for God".
    You can take a look at the whole thing here: The Reason for God: Belief in an Age ... - Google Book Search

    I would suggest at very least reading the first page.
    This book looks very interesting. I've always maintained that purely by reason, a God is at least as likely as not.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  9. #19
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I've always maintained that purely by reason, a God is at least as likely as not.
    So by extension is [insert anything that hasn't been proven] just as likely to exist as not?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingAboutIt View Post
    Bigass pointless post.

    If anyone has any questions about this, I am happy to reply.
    Q: If god is all-knowing, then why the fuck would he have to incarnate himself as a man to know the human experience?
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

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