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  1. #51
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    For religiously-inclined people:

    What role does religion play in your life? What role would you say it plays in people's lives in general? Why are people religious? e.g. "gives me a sense of purpose," "gives me a sense of certainty," "inspires me to be a better person," "answers difficult questions," "gives me direction," etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Another question (for religious people): how is organized religion related to holiness, in your experience?
    It's my opinion that the word "religion" is synonymous with "worldview;" i.e., a religion is a systematized set of beliefs that a subject uses to interpret his experience.

    Humans organize to pursue common interests. A group of persons interested in becoming holy can and will gather to support one another in their pursuit of holiness.

  2. #52
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    It's my opinion that the word "religion" is synonymous with "worldview;" i.e., a religion is a systematized set of beliefs that a subject uses to interpret his experience.
    + 1,000,000,000

  3. #53
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    + 1,000,000,000
    It seems to me that a religion without the supernatural is like a fish without a bicycle.

    Hey, that makes no sense at all. What I meant to say was that a religion without the supernatural is like a fish without water.

    Yes, this makes much more sense. For religion swims in the supernatural as a fish swims in water.

    See, it does make more sense.

  4. #54
    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    To me people's different perspective's,upbringing, and the kind of information they accept will influence their religious beliefs. Some atheist and agnostics think religious people are unintelligent because of their beliefs but I think alot of our fasle beliefs stem from being misinformed instead of being unintelligent. What I have a problem with is some religious people (esp. intelligent design proponents) mix their beliefs with with various things that are secular and they try to make EVERYTHING conform to their beliefs and damn anyone esle who has different beliefs and perspectives. To me that is really intellectually dishonest and stops exploration of different ideas and the search for truth. And some religious people are guilty of using the god of the gaps argument in support of their beliefs and anything that can't be explained or understood now automatically has some supernatural cause; it is just mentally lazy to use that way of thinking to understand concepts and ideas. I do realize that not all religious people think that way and some search long and hard for some meaning or transcendent truth in all this chaos we call a universe, ultimately, we are all fallible in our methods (even science),some are just more fallible than others.

  5. #55
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Do you feel like your own sense of God aligns almost perfectly with that of your faith community?
    Well to the extent that I affirm most of the same creeds and confessions that my church affirms, yes. I sought out my church in part because it did affirm the same view of God as I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Another question (for religious people): how is organized religion related to holiness, in your experience?
    I think the topic of holiness is an extremely complicated one. From my reading of the Bible I'm led to believe that their are sort of concentric circles of meaning of the term holiness, because it is used in different ways throughout the Bible.

    At the center of the Circle I think holiness is an adjective for God. God is Holy means God is God. In this sense holiness is not an attribute of God that is given to humans. But, God has developed ways for humans to reflect this attribute even if they don't have it in the same sense that God does.

    As IZ mentioned holiness can be related to cleanliness. In this sense it is a moral and behavioral standard. And so we can reflect the moral perfection of God by our behavior.

    But, as IZ mentioned objects can be holy too. But, objects cannot conform to a moral standard.

    That points to a second circle of meaning of holiness: a peculiar possession of God. Merely by belonging to God something can be holy.

    Which raises my objection to IZ's contention:

    Quote Originally Posted by IZthe411 View Post
    But in order for any of these to be holy, a level of cleanness has to be maintained.
    I believe the people of God are always holy because they belong to God and possess the righteousness of Christ. They reflect his holiness. To the extent that God's people behave immorally they betray what they are, but this does not change who they are at their core.


    Also, mixed in with these other definitions of holiness is the idea that to be holy means to be set apart.

    [Most of my thoughts on Holiness are cherry picked from those of DA Carson, an evangelical theologian and contributor to the ESV translation of the Bible]

    So to get back to Gromit's original question...

    Without organized religion I probably wouldn't even know what holiness is. The Israelites were an organized religion... and more. The early church was an organized religion with leaders and meetings. I wouldn't have the Bible without organized religion. And without the organized church in its different manifestations over the last 2000 years I wouldn't have my current view of the Bible.


    Being part of a church sets me apart in this world as a person that belongs to God. Being part of a church informs me of how to be holy in this present world. Being part of a church surrounds me with people who will encourage me to be holy in the moral sense and remind me of the good news that I already possess holiness through the work of Christ.

    ***
    Banana, Can you please define your view of altruism, just so we're clear on things.

    Also let me state that my position is not a strange one at all. for several hundred years protestants have believed, as attested to in the Westminster shorter catechism, that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.


    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    If you do something for selfish reasons (such as reward in the afterlife) then you are not being altruistic. But distinguishing a good deed done freely and one done selfishly would be difficult to discern - a job for your god, perhaps? That He may be familiar with Corinthians is a gauntlet you may have to run.
    Thankfully I'm not judged by my deeds. Because of the insidiousness of sin I think very few of my deeds are done without some sinful motivation. But, Christ's righteousness is mine and I will be judged by the works of Christ not my own.

    I'm trying to draw a distinction between just any selfish purpose and seeking joy in part because it brings me pleasure in God.

    Take into consideration the familiar parable of the prodigal son and the older son's dismay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke 16 (ESV)
    29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might ecelebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, fwho has devoured gyour property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
    The older son did not recognize that the Father himself was the treasure and reward. I want to spend eternity in the new heaven and new earth so that I can experience perfect unification with God and enjoy him.

    I obey God for many reasons, but first and foremost I do it... or I should do it because it brings me closer to the father in whom I can find joy... and who finds joy in me (Zephaniah 3:17).


    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    I can except you believe this but fail to understand why.
    Because, I don't read that passage or any other outside of consideration of the the entire counsel of God's word.



    Ah, an Old Testament man. Good. Please do bear in mind that this is your Bible, not mine. For your god is a socialist god, who cancels debts every 7 years and requires you to spread your wealth.
    I fail to see why this makes me an "OT Man." But, no I'm not ashamed of the OT at all.

    It's a bit anachronistic to say my God is a socialist. My God is a holy God who put in place a set of Laws for his people, the israelites, that were in their best interest at that time in that place. While I do tinker with theonomy (the belief that the OT laws apply today unless they were abolished by the NT) I'm still of the belief that most of the OT law was abolished by the coming of Christ... though much can be learned from it.



    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Could you explain, other than "mysterious ways" how randomness in any way validates your belief in your god. If it looks random, and behaves randomly then it might as well be random (think of a duck). Irrelevant, as far as the man on the street is concerned. Maybe He is too big or even two small to notice his weird creations; maybe he's bored; maybe he decided to abdicate His powers and chill out?
    When I look at the world I do not see randomness, I see order. While I might not know the particular reason why something happens in most instances I can identify the underlying reason why God allows things to happen. And beyond that I'm quite certain that all things occur so that ultimately God might be glorified.



    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    I doubt if your vision in these matters is any better than the next man.
    Your doubt is understandable... especially given that I'm just a stranger on the web.



    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    How can you tell? Really?
    LOL. I'm in no position to answer that question. My experience with romance is limited... which might be evidenced by the fact that I'm answering you late on a friday night.

  6. #56
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    It seems to me that a religion without the supernatural is like a fish without a bicycle.

    Hey, that makes no sense at all. What I meant to say was that a religion without the supernatural is like a fish without water.

    Yes, this makes much more sense. For religion swims in the supernatural as a fish swims in water.

    See, it does make more sense.
    I think the more important factor of religion is that it has a god or gods. Whether or not someone believes in the supernatural at the center of every worldview is a god or gods... one's ultimate authority.

  7. #57
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Strange, I'm not sure I ever connected holiness with cleanliness directly like that before. Hm I'll have to let that idea bounce around for a little while.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  8. #58
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Well to the extent that I affirm most of the same creeds and confessions that my church affirms, yes. I sought out my church in part because it did affirm the same view of God as I did.



    I think the topic of holiness is an extremely complicated one. From my reading of the Bible I'm led to believe that their are sort of concentric circles of meaning of the term holiness, because it is used in different ways throughout the Bible.

    At the center of the Circle I think holiness is an adjective for God. God is Holy means God is God. In this sense holiness is not an attribute of God that is given to humans. But, God has developed ways for humans to reflect this attribute even if they don't have it in the same sense that God does.

    As IZ mentioned holiness can be related to cleanliness. In this sense it is a moral and behavioral standard. And so we can reflect the moral perfection of God by our behavior.

    But, as IZ mentioned objects can be holy too. But, objects cannot conform to a moral standard.

    That points to a second circle of meaning of holiness: a peculiar possession of God. Merely by belonging to God something can be holy.

    Which raises my objection to IZ's contention:



    I believe the people of God are always holy because they belong to God and possess the righteousness of Christ. They reflect his holiness. To the extent that God's people behave immorally they betray what they are, but this does not change who they are at their core.


    Also, mixed in with these other definitions of holiness is the idea that to be holy means to be set apart.

    [Most of my thoughts on Holiness are cherry picked from those of DA Carson, an evangelical theologian and contributor to the ESV translation of the Bible]

    So to get back to Gromit's original question...

    Without organized religion I probably wouldn't even know what holiness is. The Israelites were an organized religion... and more. The early church was an organized religion with leaders and meetings. I wouldn't have the Bible without organized religion. And without the organized church in its different manifestations over the last 2000 years I wouldn't have my current view of the Bible.


    Being part of a church sets me apart in this world as a person that belongs to God. Being part of a church informs me of how to be holy in this present world. Being part of a church surrounds me with people who will encourage me to be holy in the moral sense and remind me of the good news that I already possess holiness through the work of Christ.

    .
    Objects cannot conform, but the user of the objects can set it apart in pursuit of holiness. Take worship. There are many forms of worship. But in the Bible, God has demonstrated what constitutes holy worship, and what does not. The use of Idols in worship is not approved by God, for example. He disciplined his people when they unrepentently participated in it. He disapproved of lame and inferior animal sacrifices. He disapproved of the literal Temple when it became more of a place of commerce than it did for worship.

    So just like something can be set apart by God, it can also be rejected by God for lack of holiness. That's why God allowed Babylon to capture the Israelites. All that they were doing amounted to them being unclean, therefore not acceptible.

    It's a definitely a good thing to recognize the need for God in your life. But accepting him does not mean he's accepting everything you do. Those laws and principles throughout the Bible are there for a reason. If he was to just blow these off, wouldn't that say something about his ability to rule his own creation? His ability to be just? It would make Him look like a fool!

    Like a good parent, he wants the best for you, but won't hold back from disciplining you if you are involved in some wrongdoing.

  9. #59
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Heeey Beefeater... thanks for the thoughts! It seems like a little bit of a self-referential loop here, though:
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I don't seek spirituality merely within myself, because in my experience I am a poor source of truth. I want my spirituality to be based on facts and truth, so I look outside myself. My faith community provides me with answers as to how to seek after and value God both in action and in word.
    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I sought out my church in part because it did affirm the same view of God as I did.
    Your faith community helps to provide you with answers and truth outside of yourself, but one of the reasons you chose it was that it affirmed the same view of God as your own? I promise I'm not trying to criticize you, just understand the process. There must be a part of it that I am missing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    I think the topic of holiness is an extremely complicated one. From my reading of the Bible I'm led to believe that their are sort of concentric circles of meaning of the term holiness, because it is used in different ways throughout the Bible.

    At the center of the Circle I think holiness is an adjective for God. God is Holy means God is God. In this sense holiness is not an attribute of God that is given to humans. But, God has developed ways for humans to reflect this attribute even if they don't have it in the same sense that God does.

    As IZ mentioned holiness can be related to cleanliness. In this sense it is a moral and behavioral standard. And so we can reflect the moral perfection of God by our behavior.

    But, as IZ mentioned objects can be holy too. But, objects cannot conform to a moral standard.

    That points to a second circle of meaning of holiness: a peculiar possession of God. Merely by belonging to God something can be holy.

    Which raises my objection to IZ's contention:



    I believe the people of God are always holy because they belong to God and possess the righteousness of Christ. They reflect his holiness. To the extent that God's people behave immorally they betray what they are, but this does not change who they are at their core.


    Also, mixed in with these other definitions of holiness is the idea that to be holy means to be set apart.

    [Most of my thoughts on Holiness are cherry picked from those of DA Carson, an evangelical theologian and contributor to the ESV translation of the Bible]

    So to get back to Gromit's original question...

    Without organized religion I probably wouldn't even know what holiness is. The Israelites were an organized religion... and more. The early church was an organized religion with leaders and meetings. I wouldn't have the Bible without organized religion. And without the organized church in its different manifestations over the last 2000 years I wouldn't have my current view of the Bible.


    Being part of a church sets me apart in this world as a person that belongs to God. Being part of a church informs me of how to be holy in this present world. Being part of a church surrounds me with people who will encourage me to be holy in the moral sense and remind me of the good news that I already possess holiness through the work of Christ.
    Interesting... more things to consider, particularly the concentric circles of holiness. What do you mean by "people of God"? Do you think holiness can exist outside of followers of the Bible?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  10. #60
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IZthe411 View Post
    Objects cannot conform, but the user of the objects can set it apart in pursuit of holiness. Take worship. There are many forms of worship. But in the Bible, God has demonstrated what constitutes holy worship, and what does not. The use of Idols in worship is not approved by God, for example. He disciplined his people when they unrepentently participated in it. He disapproved of lame and inferior animal sacrifices. He disapproved of the literal Temple when it became more of a place of commerce than it did for worship.

    So just like something can be set apart by God, it can also be rejected by God for lack of holiness. That's why God allowed Babylon to capture the Israelites. All that they were doing amounted to them being unclean, therefore not acceptible.

    It's a definitely a good thing to recognize the need for God in your life. But accepting him does not mean he's accepting everything you do. Those laws and principles throughout the Bible are there for a reason. If he was to just blow these off, wouldn't that say something about his ability to rule his own creation? His ability to be just? It would make Him look like a fool!

    Like a good parent, he wants the best for you, but won't hold back from disciplining you if you are involved in some wrongdoing.
    IZthe411, I would ask you the same question I asked Beefeater: do you think holiness can exist outside of followers of the Bible?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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