Yes, you made that point. And I responded to it. However, I was surprised to see that you barely addressed the relevant points.
I've re-read your post to which I was responding. It appears I did not address the following:
- people who confess and take communion can have an easier time not repeating their sins
- We have to continually go deeper in our relationship with God
- If a person doesn’t go to confession and communion, then they will likely do that.
- yes, we do seem to be able to become deadened to the wonder of the Eucharist
I did not think they were major points that needed addressing, but since you seem interested, I will.
You qualified on the communion thing, saying it "can"make it easier. I do not disagree with that. But that does not make the that there is anything mystical or supernatural going on. It is just as easily explained by the placebo effect. Or the fact that you have a weekly reminder and focus for introspection and self improvement. If the latter, I do not think that is a bad habit, though I have always found the idea of telling a virgin in a booth all my shortcomings to be...weird. I am not sure if it was a post to you where I talked about my secular prayer, but it is along the same idea.
A deeper relationship with god. I do not know what that means. I do not know how to become more intimate with something that is completely alien, inscrutable, silent and allegedly lives "outside time and space". When I was a believer, I prayed and prayed and never got a sense of god's presence. One night was praying
and I thought "no one is listening to me. No one is hearing my prayers. I am on my knees talking to myself. I am an idiot." If god was present in my life, he kept it completely hidden from me. In other words, there was no relationship. I did not have a partner. Because of that, I was a deist for a year or three.
No confession = repeat sin or do new sins? I am not sure which you mean here. It seems related to the first point I addressed.
Eucharist tolerance. I'm not sure what to say. We seem to agree, though we disagree on cause.
If there was anything I missed, let me know.
Point taken. I’m very glad to hear that. How do you know it’s not because of grace?
Why would I think it was? I've not been to confession or eaten jesus in over 20 years. When I was practicing, it was impressed on me that a weekly dose of jesus was absolutely imperative
. If my last communion has been holding me over this long, then it is less like heroin -where I need a weekly fix - and more like a tetanus shot - a booster that is only necessary every couple of decades.
Plus, I have failed in the first, most important commandment - not only do I not love yhwh, not only do I not believe yhwh exists, I believe that if the bible is accurate, he's not a very nice guy and does not live up to his own morals. I would not worship such a god. I would say that is one strong indicator that the holy spirit has failed me.
Technically, it’s a miracle, which comes from God, and not magic, which doesn’t.
Same thing, different source. Hocus pocus is hocus pocus, whether the guy doing it is wearing a pentagram, and ankh or a cross.
But that’s not the point. You didn’t address the point.
Was the point this: "We have to cooperate with grace."? I thought that was addressed when I said "kind of like prayer plus aspirin cures a headache". Or am I confusing posts?
The Gift of Knowledge is a perfection of the human mind
I don't know what "perfection of the human mind" means.
when we judge human or created things in relation to God.
I don't understand what that means.
When operative it is concerned with differentiating between what is and is not consistent with Faith.
That sounds a lot like fizixgeek's "small quiet voice". He's a mormon and he believes that the holy spirit talks to people who pray. It is one of their doctrines that every white man is a prophet of varying ability. So according to him, the HS guides him like Spider Sense or The Force. His problem, as well as yours, is when two people who are both pious and more or less indistinguishable to an outsider, come to different conclusions via the HS.
When I was practicing, I came to the conclusion that the OT was unreliable and not to be taken too seriously. I decided this because of the Eden story, Noah's flood, Jonah, etc. All the old stories that sound like Mother Goose. And, if I recall rightly, that is also in line with the Vatican's teaching. That is, Genesis etc are not to be taken too literally. Catholics are not biblical literalists or inerrantists. However, my sweet old Granny is
a literalist. Even when I explained to her why she shouldn't be, and that the Smirking Pope
agreed with me, she was recalcitrant.
How is that possible? We both confessed and took communion. We were both ostensibly full of the holy spirit which would have helped guide us to the right conclusion. Yet we came to a radically different conclusions on a matter of faith.
That is just one example between two people. I bet if you sampled catholics across the country you would get radically different ideas on just about every topic of faith. I don't even know how many of the catholics from Mexico and Central America are considered catholic. They are practically polytheistic pagans. Are they not guided by the HS?
You had said “What knowledge have you received from communion?” If I have received any the Gift of Knowledge, it would be that kind.
I don't think I could fairly respond to this since I said above I don't really understand what you are trying to say.
I talked about it a bit above when talking about grace. But I am not sure why I should have to prove something like that. I have no reason to believe in the HS in the first place. But, I'll make a deal, you prove you are not under the control of invisible goblins who dwell behind traffic signs, and I will prove I am holy spirit free.
I hope you have the courage to question whether there were gaps in what you were taught, in what you learned, or what you remember.
Of course. I'm a scientist. I must
have the humility to say "I don't know it all" to call myself that. I am sure that even when I was practicing I didn't know it all and some of what I thought I knew was wrong.
And, in general, what happens to those “shitty people?
They were often rewarded.
Abraham, who was willing to murder his son
, who constantly screwed over pharoahs - rewarded.
Jacob, who was a pathological con-man, who screwed over his brother and father in law
Joseph's brothers, who sold him into slavery - rewarded.
David, who was as big a scumbag as you will ever find - rewarded.
No, the message of the Bible is overwhelmingly one of doing good for others.
I disagree. That is the most minor of themes in the OT. It is all about how the jews are yhwh's darlings despite
their constant infidelity and wickedness. In fact, the major recurring theme of the OT is that Others exist only as a prop for the jews. They are either there to be defeated, thus demonstrating yhwh's goodness and glory, or they are there as tools of yhwh to punish the chronically impious jews. There is never a point where the hebrews are commanded to make friends with a non-jewish neighbor. yhwh was not a universal god.
And as the Bible goes on, that is as the Jews mature as a people, that message gets even clearer.
I don't see it. In the book The Evolution of God, the author, Wright, talks about how and why religions changed. Islam began similar to xianity. Mohammed preached peace and patience and to accept ridicule and to shower your enemies with love. But that was when he was a powerless outcast. Once he got power he was all about beheading the infidels. In other words, his ideology was formed by the situation on the ground.
The religion changed to suit the geopolitics. Judaism got "better" because the people had a different set of needs due to different social and political circumstances. They behaved like blood thirsty barbarians because they were trying to be a conquoring nation. When their kingdom was crushed, their temple burned, it humbled them. They had to adapt to being exiles. This was real politik, not holy spirit. And I feel confident in saying that because xianity and islam followed the same predictable paths.
Slavery in this country was not abolished because of a united xian effort. Rather, xianity was a tool for either side and once one side won out, xianity followed. Even today we see religion following society, not leading it. Gays will eventually have full civil rights in this country. But right now religion is on the fence, but mostly for the status quo. Once the fight is over, mainstream xianity will change to accomodate the social reality.
If you believe in natural explanations at all, you will see there is no holy spirit required. Not only that, but because religion is not at the vanguard of all these social changes, it can be noted that if the HS had anything to do with these moral improvements, it did so by avoiding the most religious people
. Fundadmentalists are by definition against change.
Until we get to the time of Jesus and His message is overwhelmingly clear. That’s the whole point of the discussion from which you branched us.
I am not a NT expert. I gave up on religion when I learned what an obvious fraud the OT was. If the OT was garbage, and the NT was built on it, then it too was garbage even if it said some nice things. From what I have read of the NT, jesus is an inconsistent character who said different things, none of them particularly original or new. In fact, the basic idea of "love your neighbor" stems from the golden rule, which dates back to Hammurabi (1780 BCE) or even Egypt (2040 BCE), both of which predate judaism.
If you are going to claim that the holy spirit move the babylonians and egyptians to come up with that, before anyone had even thought up a "holy spirit", well, you've got a tough row to hoe to convince me.
The first reason is that one way that God has increased the greater good is through the programs of the Catholic Church,
But you originally cited the bible as the document of how god lead people to the greater good. My point was, the bible does not show that. The bible is chock full of examples of yhwh intentionally undermining my idea of the greater good.
You can’t say show me where God has increased the greater good and then ignore the programs that act in His name.
I think I can for two reasons. First, the bible as evidence was part of the original point of discussion. Second, "done in his name" is tacit admission that it was not "done by him". If people do the work but god gets the credit, where does that stop? Is it only for actions you consider good? Because it seems to me that if you want to say god is moving people to do x, y, z good things, then you have to show me how you know he is not also motivating a, b, c horrifically bad things.
However, if you want to limit the discussion to “reading of scripture,” then we I have no qualms about doing so.
I think that is probably the way to go since that was the original conversation.
Personally though, I think we've gone about as far with this as we can. I've made my point, given examples and argued it as best I can. You aren't buying it. I don't know what more can be said.