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  1. #31
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    my last post on this thread and i'll let you folks have the last word.

    Quote Originally Posted by OptoGypsy View Post
    God supposedly gave us a brain to use and to pray instead of using it is stupid.
    it's not an either/or it's a both/and. what you've written is a myth that a lot of people believe about the christian faith. granted there are some christians who are anti-intellectual. i won't dispute that and frankly they drive me nuts. also, read the story of king solomon in the old testament. it's in 2 chronicles 1. now don't take that passage and generalize to mean we always have to specifically ask God for knowledge about every minute detail of life. that would be frankly stupid. God has revealed all sorts of knowledge to believers and unbelievers in life generally and we are not to ignore that. the bible does not teach people to not use their brains rather it teaches people to lean on God's knowledge over our own say if there is a conflict between the two. think about it: if there really is an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving God don't you think that God would be just a wee bit smarter than you and so it might be wise to defer to that God's knowledge? this absolutely doesn't mean we don't think and wrestle with scripture and philosophy and everything else. see folks like: c.s. lewis, bonhoeffer, barth, wesley, n.t. wright (he's the hot theologian right now) etc. etc. etc. in fact i i think those would be some great writers for you to read if you are interested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hive View Post
    Perhaps. My main point is that you can't produce evidence for the existence of God. It's more like you interpret your own experience and reach the conclusion that God exists. But you can't prove it.
    a lot of it does depend on whether or not you believe the scriptures are true. if you don't yes it is going to be harder if what you want is physical evidence. if you do believe the scriptures then there is a huge piece of evidence right there. i've described a whole lot of other examples of evidence in my previous post to you, but no i can't wave my hand and make God appear. what kind of God would kow tow to that anyway? i can pray and i can ask and i've seen huge prayers answered that there is no way these things could have just happened by chance or whatever. yes, that is my experience and my interpretation of said experiences. here's an example. i was going to a week-long conference. i mentioned it to my good friend and she really wanted to also go but definitely didn't have the money. she figured out she would need $700. we prayed and within a week a couple, knowing absolutely nothing about this as we hadn't mentioned it to a soul, approached her and each handed her a check for $350 because they each believed God wanted them to do so. honestly, i was amazed and so was my friend. i don't know about you but no one has ever handed me money for even $20 out of the blue.

    as for experience we all interpret our own experiences and reach conclusions. that is how life is done whether with spiritual or scientific things. scientists interpret their data and make the best conclusions they can with the evidence they have. so do people of faith. neither is 100% right all the time. have you read anything about the food wars lately and how now some are saying saturated fat is fine for your heart and even good for your health now? i think someone posted a thread about that on here. i've tried looking into it before and all the scientists are giving totally conflicting data and interpretations. scientists and theologians both do it. that is life!

  2. #32
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    I can't prove God exists any more than you can prove he doesn't.

    So why worry about it?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptoGypsy View Post
    Instead of the Romans? The Pharisees are Jews and they started the movement that led to the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazarene.
    This is a furphy put around by the Christians. In fact Jesus was a Jewish Zealot who was put to death like many Jewish Zealots before him by the Romans.

    Pontius Pilate would be no more influenced by the Jews than he would fly. Pontius Pilate was a brutal and experienced killer, who even Rome regarded as too brutal. Pontius would kill anyone who spoke against Rome, and this Jew was a Zealot, preaching revolution, Matthew 20:16 "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

    And as you recall, the Jewish Zealots succeeded in their revolution against Rome in 66 to 70 AD by violently driving the Romans out.

  4. #34
    Senior Member OptoGypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    This is a furphy put around by the Christians. In fact Jesus was a Jewish Zealot who was put to death like many Jewish Zealots before him by the Romans.

    Pontius Pilate would be no more influenced by the Jews than he would fly. Pontius Pilate was a brutal and experienced killer, who even Rome regarded as too brutal. Pontius would kill anyone who spoke against Rome, and this Jew was a Zealot, preaching revolution, Matthew 20:16 "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

    And as you recall, the Jewish Zealots succeeded in their revolution against Rome in 66 to 70 AD by driving the Romans out.
    Are the miracles a fake account? The disciples died for the idea of the revolution and not for the idea that he is God? In other words treating Jesus as God would be similar to treating Lenin or Che Guevara as God

  5. #35
    Senior Member OptoGypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I can't prove God exists any more than you can prove he doesn't.

    So why worry about it?
    I'm surrounded by Christian zealots as peers so it's more in line of a social standing and using it as a tool of spreading word on life and humanity instead of treating it as a ticket to heaven.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I can't prove God exists any more than you can prove he doesn't.

    So why worry about it?
    We become what we worship, so we become the kind of God we worship.

    So rather than asking, does God exist, we might ask, what kind of God do I worship?

    Naturally atheists are at a disadvantage here as they won't admit they worship any God and so they are flying blind.

    When we marry we say, I thee worship, and as we become what we worship, we try to make a wise choice in marriage.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    a lot of it does depend on whether or not you believe the scriptures are true. if you don't yes it is going to be harder if what you want is physical evidence. if you do believe the scriptures then there is a huge piece of evidence right there.
    You can't prove the scriptures are true though, so that'd just be circular reasoning, not evidence. "The written word of God confirms the existence of God."

    i've described a whole lot of other examples of evidence in my previous post to you, but no i can't wave my hand and make God appear.
    You mentioned you knew skeptics who converted, but you didn't provide examples of evidence.

    what kind of God would kow tow to that anyway? i can pray and i can ask and i've seen huge prayers answered that there is no way these things could have just happened by chance or whatever. yes, that is my experience and my interpretation of said experiences. here's an example. i was going to a week-long conference. i mentioned it to my good friend and she really wanted to also go but definitely didn't have the money to go. she figured out she would need $700. we prayed and within a week a couple, knowing absolutely nothing about this as we hadn't mentioned it to a soul, approached her and each handed her a check for $350 because they each believed God wanted them to do so. honestly, i was amazed and so was my friend. i don't know about you but no one has ever handed me money for even $20 out of the blue.
    It's an amazing story, if it's true. The problem is that for every prayer that supposedly gets answered, thousands are unanswered. And there certainly are a lot of people who God doesn't respond to praying for more important things than money for a trip.

    But honestly, I think your friend was lying. Have you thought about how easy it'd be to claim God made sure she got the money to save her from another uncomfortable explanation?

    as for experience we all interpret our own experiences and reach conclusions. that is how life is done whether with spiritual or scientific things. scientists interpret their data and make the best conclusions they can with the evidence they have. so do people of faith. neither is 100% right all the time. have you read anything about the food wars lately and how now some are saying saturated fat is fine for your heart and even good for your health now? i think someone posted a thread about that on here. i've tried looking into it before and all the scientists are giving totally conflicting data and interpretations. scientists and theologians both do it. that is life!
    The difference is that we can evaluate how legitimate the claims of these scientists are by inspecting the data they present and the methods used to retrieve it.
    If the methods of scientist A were more objective and scientifically sound than those of scientist B, then the data scientist A presents will be closer to the truth.

    You can't review a person's religious experience like that, and a religious person can never produce proof of their god or gods through empirical testing. They have to subjectively interpret their experience as divinely induced and accept without evidence that it came from God. That's the leap of faith they're taking. That's what faith is - belief without evidence.
    Last edited by Hive; 05-29-2014 at 08:50 AM.
    I FEEL ALRIGHT

  8. #38
    Senior Member OptoGypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hive View Post
    You can't prove the scriptures are true though, so that'd just be circular reasoning. "The written word of God confirms the existence of God."


    You mentioned you knew skeptics who converted, but you didn't provide examples of evidence.


    It's an amazing story, if it's true. The problem is that for every prayer that supposedly gets answered, thousands are unanswered. And there certainly are a lot of people praying for more important things than money for a trip who God doesn't respond to.

    But honestly, I think your friend was lying. Have you thought about how easy it'd be to claim God made sure she got the money to save her from another uncomfortable explanation?


    The difference is that we can evaluate how legitimate the claims of these scientists are by inspecting the data they present and the methods used to retrieve it.
    If the methods of scientist A were more objective and scientifically sound than those of scientist B, then the data scientist A presents will be closer to the truth.

    You can't review a person's religious experience like that, and a religious person can never produce evidence of their god or gods through empirical testing. They have to subjectively interpret their experience as divinely induced and accept without evidence that it came from God. That's the leap of faith they're taking. That's what faith is - belief without evidence.
    I completely agree with you but as with my friend Yuriy a person can be a christian with out taking creationism, Jonah story etc as literal truth but the story of Jesus Christ is crazy, virgin birth (without God having sex with her unlike the Greek Myths) and resurrection unless you look at it as symbolism but then symbols are for the symbol minded. With that being said Christianity can be a great tool to reach people you wouldn't be able to reach otherwise especially in the U.S.A where the country claims to be 8?% Christian.

  9. #39
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptoGypsy View Post
    Hive is right, Christianity is simply another faith based machine that has been created into one huge easy to get into Frat. Christ has great philosophies and teachings, being Christ-Like/Christian is another lifestyle
    Christianity as an organized religion (or cluster of closely related religions) has certainly become that, though in the first generations after Jesus, it was much more varied and loosely organized. I know you asked about Christianity specifically, but the discussion has included God more broadly. Christianity is not the only set of teachings about God, and being a Christian is not the only way to pursue spirituality. Many of the criticisms of Christianity do not apply to other spiritual paths, though none will prove the existence of deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by OptoGypsy View Post
    Are the miracles a fake account? The disciples died for the idea of the revolution and not for the idea that he is God? In other words treating Jesus as God would be similar to treating Lenin or Che Guevara as God
    The Soviet state did treat Lenin as God, perhaps because they did not tolerate other deific expression. I sometimes use the example of Santa Claus. Yes, there was a real St Nicholas centuries ago who was bishop of Myra, and well known for his charity, especially toward young people. Generations later, an entire legend has been built up around him, with which we are all familiar. Similarly, there was a historical Jesus, who probably did many of the things attributed to him in the Bible: heal, teach, reach out to the marginalized, etc. Similarly, myths of the time involving virgin birth, underworld journey and resurrection came to be associated with him in an even more pervasive legend. But was Jesus God?

    Some - and here I include non-Christians as well - believe there is god in each one of us. The Wiccans sometimes say to each other: "thou art God/thou art Goddess". The Bahai's speak of "manifestations of God", including Jesus, Buddha, Abraham, Mohammed, Baha'u'llah, and others. In their view, these people were not God, but were like mirrors, reflecting God more perfectly than the rest of humanity, who also reflect God, just not as well. Still others link the idea of "God" to the higher power in each of us, to natural forces, to the idea of a collective subconscious, etc.

    If you ever come to believe in God, it will be not because someone laid out some sort of logical explanation, but rather because you had some personal experience which left you with that belief. Your idea of God will not be identical to anyone else's, but in its subjectivity will not be mutually exclusive with it either. Failure to understand this has fueled enormous religious strife through the years.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  10. #40
    Senior Member OptoGypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Christianity as an organized religion (or cluster of closely related religions) has certainly become that, though in the first generations after Jesus, it was much more varied and loosely organized. I know you asked about Christianity specifically, but the discussion has included God more broadly. Christianity is not the only set of teachings about God, and being a Christian is not the only way to pursue spirituality. Many of the criticisms of Christianity do not apply to other spiritual paths, though none will prove the existence of deity.


    The Soviet state did treat Lenin as God, perhaps because they did not tolerate other deific expression. I sometimes use the example of Santa Claus. Yes, there was a real St Nicholas centuries ago who was bishop of Myra, and well known for his charity, especially toward young people. Generations later, an entire legend has been built up around him, with which we are all familiar. Similarly, there was a historical Jesus, who probably did many of the things attributed to him in the Bible: heal, teach, reach out to the marginalized, etc. Similarly, myths of the time involving virgin birth, underworld journey and resurrection came to be associated with him in an even more pervasive legend. But was Jesus God?

    Some - and here I include non-Christians as well - believe there is god in each one of us. The Wiccans sometimes say to each other: "thou art God/thou art Goddess". The Bahai's speak of "manifestations of God", including Jesus, Buddha, Abraham, Mohammed, Baha'u'llah, and others. In their view, these people were not God, but were like mirrors, reflecting God more perfectly than the rest of humanity, who also reflect God, just not as well. Still others link the idea of "God" to the higher power in each of us, to natural forces, to the idea of a collective subconscious, etc.

    If you ever come to believe in God, it will be not because someone laid out some sort of logical explanation, but rather because you had some personal experience which left you with that belief. Your idea of God will not be identical to anyone else's, but in its subjectivity will not be mutually exclusive with it either. Failure to understand this has fueled enormous religious strife through the years.
    Yup on the last part it's a big reasons why there are so many different branches in each religion. Religion is subjective and that is the miracle of it but we do live in an SJ world and believing in a God as a logical thing is like believing in the Easter Bunny

    I enjoyed reading your comparison to St.Nicholas

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