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Main Discussion Zone => General Religious Discussion => Topic started by: OldChurchGuy on December 29, 2013, 09:06:39 AM

Title: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on December 29, 2013, 09:06:39 AM
Some years ago, I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and one of the members asked to talk with me afterwards.

The family had recently transferred from another church so I didn't know her very well.  Here is her story:

A few years prior she gave birth to a boy with a severely damaged heart so the child lived only a few days.  The pastor fo the church they attended at the time offered consolation and when asked if her boy was in heaven the pastor replied firmly but politely, "no".  The pastor was a "literalist" in his understanding of the New Testament writings and said (as politely as possible as near as I can tell) that since her son did not declare Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, her son was not in heaven.  He was in an area nearby and safe, but not in heaven. 

She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: One Above All on December 29, 2013, 09:39:09 AM
BM
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Foxy Freedom on December 29, 2013, 12:10:35 PM
Important questions with implications OCG.

I would say to the mother that she has more worries than the boy has, and would the boy want that for his mother?

I also think but might not say that the pastor was a control freak who was talking about things he did not know. What does he know about "nearby"?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: ParkingPlaces on December 29, 2013, 01:08:22 PM
While we're waiting for theists to respond, I have a thought on the subject.

To me, situations like this are examples of false complexity making the situation worse.

I have a friend, a young woman, who was pregnant with her second child a couple of years ago. She was quite excited because she wanted two kids, and it would mean a sibling for her year old son. But something went sour at about six months into the pregnancy and she spontaneously aborted.

I asked her how she was feeling. She said she was sad, but too, that she understood that not all pregnancies work out, and that while she wished it had, she had no reason to think that she was immune from the law of averages.

As an atheist, she had no extra stress put on her by wondering if her lost child is in heaven. She dealt with the reality of her loss well. And nine months ago she had a second son, so the story still has a happy ending.

Life is complex enough as it is. If religion is supposed to make people feel better, it shouldn't be concocting more ways to make pain.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: bgb on December 29, 2013, 01:12:56 PM
That is the coldest cruelest thing I have ever heard from a pastor. 
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: magicmiles on December 31, 2013, 06:25:35 PM
I would have told her that I disagreed with her former pastor, but that I couldn't say with 100% certainty of whether her child was in heaven. However, I would tell her that my understanding of God's nature means that I would be very confident that her child was with God in heaven. Her child had no opportunity to either accept or reject Jesus.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Tero on December 31, 2013, 06:30:48 PM
If you gotta have religion and do good deeds, become Unitarian. Nobody goes to hell.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 01, 2014, 05:56:37 PM
I confess to being surprised over the lack of response from my fellow theists. 

Regardless, to the best of my recollection I said something to the effect that I could not imagine a caring loving God looking at a child who had died after only a few days on earth and declare they were not allowed in heaven because they didn't declare Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  So far as I am concerned, your son is in heaven.

She thanked me, smiled, and said "I think so too". 

We never talked about it again.  I like to think I gave her some hope and comfort. 

And what I shared is another example why I am not a literalist when it comes to interpreting the Bible. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: median on January 01, 2014, 07:06:32 PM
I would have told her that I disagreed with her former pastor, but that I couldn't say with 100% certainty of whether her child was in heaven. However, I would tell her that my understanding of God's nature means that I would be very confident that her child was with God in heaven. Her child had no opportunity to either accept or reject Jesus.


And yet the bible says ALL have sinned and fallen short, that there is NONE that do good (not one), that ALL are born in sin. Thus, the implication (under this thinking) stands - that ALL have sinned and are on their way to hell (even unregenerate babies).

I just love how Christians spin and rationalize their superstitious commitments to fit their desires and psychological wants.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: One Above All on January 01, 2014, 07:11:09 PM
I confess to being surprised over the lack of response from my fellow theists.

Then you haven't been paying attention to the average theist on the forum.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Backspace on January 01, 2014, 09:28:01 PM
Realistically, all babies born atheist.  They do not become religious until indoctrinated to be so. Infant circumcision and baptism may placate the parents and church, but the infant knows nothing of why these rituals are being performed.  Therefore the first, literalist preacher was probably closest to the pragmatic target, IMO.

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: median on January 02, 2014, 04:35:04 PM
Realistically, all babies born atheist.  They do not become religious until indoctrinated to be so. Infant circumcision and baptism may placate the parents and church, but the infant knows nothing of why these rituals are being performed.  Therefore the first, literalist preacher was probably closest to the pragmatic target, IMO.

Actually, some studies suggest that we are somewhat 'wired' to believe superstitious/irrational things. I found an article here:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/were-born-to-believe-in-god/ (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/were-born-to-believe-in-god/)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: SevenPatch on January 02, 2014, 07:27:06 PM
Realistically, all babies born atheist.  They do not become religious until indoctrinated to be so. Infant circumcision and baptism may placate the parents and church, but the infant knows nothing of why these rituals are being performed.  Therefore the first, literalist preacher was probably closest to the pragmatic target, IMO.

Actually, some studies suggest that we are somewhat 'wired' to believe superstitious/irrational things. I found an article here:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/were-born-to-believe-in-god/ (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/were-born-to-believe-in-god/)

Yeah, I can certainly agree with the idea that we're born to believe in something supernatural.  It's an easy way to explain things we don't understand.

I would think if a child were born in complete isolation (not being exposed to any existing religion) he/she would probably invent his/her own supernatural being similar to those believe by the earliest humans.  This supernatural being would be responsible for things not understood by the child.  It would be interesting to see what would happen once the child starts discovering how and why things work.

In some sense Backspace is right though, children don't inherently believe in Jesus, Yahweh, Mohammad, Vishnu, Izanagi or any other god.  Without someone telling a child about a specific existing religion today, then there would be no way of knowing about or reason to believe that religion.


Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 02, 2014, 10:33:06 PM
Realistically, all babies born atheist.  They do not become religious until indoctrinated to be so. Infant circumcision and baptism may placate the parents and church, but the infant knows nothing of why these rituals are being performed.  Therefore the first, literalist preacher was probably closest to the pragmatic target, IMO.

Actually, some studies suggest that we are somewhat 'wired' to believe superstitious/irrational things. I found an article here:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/were-born-to-believe-in-god/ (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/09/were-born-to-believe-in-god/)

Interesting article.  There is also a most interesting book titled "Why God Won't Go Away" by Dr. Andrew Newberg along the same lines.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: b.a.worldchanger on January 19, 2014, 04:41:14 AM
Some years ago, I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and one of the members asked to talk with me afterwards.

The family had recently transferred from another church so I didn't know her very well.  Here is her story:

A few years prior she gave birth to a boy with a severely damaged heart so the child lived only a few days.  The pastor fo the church they attended at the time offered consolation and when asked if her boy was in heaven the pastor replied firmly but politely, "no".  The pastor was a "literalist" in his understanding of the New Testament writings and said (as politely as possible as near as I can tell) that since her son did not declare Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, her son was not in heaven.  He was in an area nearby and safe, but not in heaven. 

She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

OCG,

Fascinating question.  I would be curious what, from the New Testament, would lead him to the answer (He is in a place nearby and safe, but not in heaven)?  My guess would be Luke 16, but that is a much different situation on many levels.  Seems reckless to make such an assertion, regardless of how politely, given the questionable theological grounds.  Most Christians I know in evangelical traditions would probably not advocate that particular position.  On the other hand, those who practice infant baptism, may hold a similar position as this pastor did.  I would tend to lean, from what I know of Jesus teaching, towards a position of mercy and grace since an infant is incapable of rational thought nor the concept of "belief".  But, I certainly could be wrong.  Without knowing with certainty, this is not how I would have chosen to respond to the mother of the infant who died.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 19, 2014, 06:30:20 AM
I am assume that the child in question had been baptised as an infant. If that is the case, the god parents would have made a declaration of faith for the child so that the question of heaven or not need not be asked as the child would go to heaven, based on the declaration of faith and promises of the god parents.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: shnozzola on January 19, 2014, 06:50:18 AM
I like to think I gave her some hope and comfort. 

^ This.  Sometimes hope and comfort are more important than our own views of the truth, or even saying we don't know.  We only get some 80 years if we are lucky, which, in the grand scheme of things, is the same a one year, or a day, and as none know anything past that, we should value hope and comfort so much more than we do.

I work with a very religious, and very smart, 30-ish yr old engineer at my job.  He is an amazing manipulator of client's ideas.  After talking with a client, they will generally feel that it was their own idea to do what the engineer wanted.  He is protestant, and would not believe in infant baptism.  Briefly talking religion one day, I asked him about the death of a young child, and how he feels on the subject.  It can be a hard position for theists, requiring thoughts where a theist will not want to go.  But it is heaven, hell, nearby, whatever - and it is eternal, huh?  How much more  important for theists can these thoughts be?  He said the child would not go to heaven.  I didn't ask anything further.

 If workers knew my atheist position, I would "lose" my job (another reason why debates at places like WWGHA are so important) - not fired, it's still illegal here in the US, but just ostracized, bypassed for promotion, etc.  But that topic is for other threads.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: shnozzola on January 19, 2014, 07:32:08 AM
Hello b.a. worldchanger,
                I can't post in shelter.  In the thread in shelter, for Christians to categorize themselves, you said that there are "Minor doctrinal differences, but not a lot of serious disagreements."  The families of Anabaptists in Europe who were killed because of their beliefs may disagree.

From an article I found:

Quote
Anabaptism was made a capital crime. Prices were set on the heads of Anabaptists. To give them food and shelter was a made a crime. The duke of Bavaria, in 1527, gave orders that the imprisoned Anabaptists should be burned at the stake — unless they recanted, in which case they should be beheaded. In Catholic countries the Anabaptists, as a rule, were executed by burning at the stake; in  Lutheran and Zwinglian states, Anabaptists were generally executed by beheading or drowning.

 How do you feel about that?

edit: spelling
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 19, 2014, 07:51:43 AM
I am assume that the child in question had been baptised as an infant. If that is the case, the god parents would have made a declaration of faith for the child so that the question of heaven or not need not be asked as the child would go to heaven, based on the declaration of faith and promises of the god parents.

To the best of my knowledge, the child had not been baptized because of the church they attended at the time. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 19, 2014, 07:59:42 AM
I am assume that the child in question had been baptised as an infant. If that is the case, the god parents would have made a declaration of faith for the child so that the question of heaven or not need not be asked as the child would go to heaven, based on the declaration of faith and promises of the god parents.

To the best of my knowledge, the child had not been baptized because of the church they attended at the time. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

Ah! I suppose I am thin,king from a UK perspective where many families have children baptised at the local Church of England church almost automatically. I's have to agree with you and what you said then. It is difficult to think how anyone can be more cruel to a grieving mother than to say her dead child don't make it to heaven.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: b.a.worldchanger on January 20, 2014, 01:56:24 AM
Hello b.a. worldchanger,
                I can't post in shelter.  In the thread in shelter, for Christians to categorize themselves, you said that there are "Minor doctrinal differences, but not a lot of serious disagreements."  The families of Anabaptists in Europe who were killed because of their beliefs may disagree.

From an article I found:

Quote
Anabaptism was made a capital crime. Prices were set on the heads of Anabaptists. To give them food and shelter was a made a crime. The duke of Bavaria, in 1527, gave orders that the imprisoned Anabaptists should be burned at the stake — unless they recanted, in which case they should be beheaded. In Catholic countries the Anabaptists, as a rule, were executed by burning at the stake; in  Lutheran and Zwinglian states, Anabaptists were generally executed by beheading or drowning.

 How do you feel about that?

edit: spelling

Well, I definitely "feel" it is horrible and tragic, but it is also very different and far removed from my experience.  It is difficult to compare them to one another.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 20, 2014, 05:54:59 AM
She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Why would there be different opinions on what would seem to me to be a pretty significant aspect of a religion?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 20, 2014, 06:02:26 AM
She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Why would there be different opinions on what would seem to me to be a pretty significant aspect of a religion?

Well that's a simple enough question. the woman concerned was in a different religion from OCG. Though they are called 'denominations' in Christianity, in effect in many cases they are al,most a different religion. Thus these different religions have different answers. Things were fine, with doctrine determined by the pope and the bishops until the pope's became corrupt and the church broke up. now denomination have little in common - or else they would not exist.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 20, 2014, 06:13:57 AM
Oh, I get that - but clearly many of those sects have got it wrong.  My question was more on the lines of how that situation could happen in the first place.

I'm also puzzled by OCGs question in the first place.  He clearly realises that different believers will have different responses to the question, and so he seems to accept that there are differences within the broad faith that he follows.  On the "understanding humanity" level, kudos to him.

But.....unless he is saying he believes his answer may be wrong, and is looking for help finding the correct answer, I'm not sure the point of the question?  Again, kudos for continued seeking for the truth, but....

To OCG: assuming I've grokked your motives, can I ask: when you come across aspects of faith like this that carry such clear differences of opinion, does it even make you wonder about the character of the god who would allow such differences to perpetuate?  Not so much with regular FAQs, but by making it clear in the first place?

Just seems to me that - for a religion where eternal afterlife is at issue - the question of what you need to do to get there should be the clearest and least ambiguous part of the faith?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 20, 2014, 06:30:42 AM
Yes, you would think that the means to get to heaven would be clearly stated by the 'creator' who apparently inspired the writing of the bible but, of course, it isn't. the trouble is that the Jewish faith from which the gospel writers may have come was divided on this too with the Sadducees saying there was only Sheol (sitting around in the dark place) whilst the Pharisees claimed there was some sort of afterlife in heaven. The gospel writers didn't get much from Jesus so they don't feature much in their texts. So what we have is mostly 'made up' from snippets in the gospels.

most people see there's a choice, heaven or hell, mentioned clearly in the gospels but the Catholic Church invented purgatory as a place of punishment from which one could finally get to heaven and then introduced a wonderful system by which one could pay the pope or the bishops to get the time in purgatory shortened from those already there. Indulgences were a wonderful money maker based on nothing more than speculation!

It's not, therefore, surprising that the various denominations have split up, in part, on the distinctions about who goes to heaven and how one qualifies for heaven. After all, ensuring people get heaven is a money making activity which benefits the leadership of each new denomination.  Since the bible has nothing to help on the issue, it is easy to play around with the ideas of purgatory, hell and heaven and pick and choose who ought to be allowed to go sure and certain the the knowledge that no one can argue and there's a nil chance of anyone finding out!

After all, there's no need for a new denomination if there's nothing new about it1
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Graybeard on January 20, 2014, 06:53:18 AM
One problem that any philosophy has is that it can only talk in generalities, whereas we know that in a perfect world each case would be judged on its own merits whilst the judge was in possession of all (and I emphasise all) the facts.

The requirement to accept Christ as your Saviour came first. Without considering the later cultural ramifications, this would appear to be a reasonable criterion for becoming a member of a club named after Christ.

Such exhortations were aimed solely at men in a unbelievably strong, patriarchal society where women were property and children were not counted as human until they had survived the first 3 months.

The leader of any cult of personality must have utter loyalty and thus an agreement from would-be members that they understand why they are accepting the absolute leader’s decisions as correct is extracted. This latter point creates a deviant, liar and traitor of any member who then, at a later stage says, “I disagree with that!”

This then makes the group self-policing to the level of the most fundamental member. With the correct minions assigned to the highest positions, the leader’s position is then virtually unassailable.

In the case in point, the thought “What becomes of infants?” came after the statement. Having committed to the proposition that a person must, and without exception, be fully informed of Christ before accepting Him, and with a belief that the leader cannot be wrong, there is only one answer, however unpalatable.

It could be said that there is, within this, an evolutionary advantage – the offspring of the members must at all costs be prevented from dying.

I am reminded (i) of the difficulty that the concept of “The Trinity” causes, but once committed to it, there is no way back regardless of consequence. (ii) the impossibility of the timeline and geographical accuracy of the Nativity – it could not have occurred at the time given, Herod was not alive to order the non-existent Massacre of the Innocents and Bethlehem of Judaea did not exist, but it is now too late to change track.

Such are the failings of “one size fits all” and “My Word is inerrant law.”
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 20, 2014, 07:03:56 AM
Quote
Oh, I get that - but clearly many of those sects have got it wrong.  My question was more on the lines of how that situation could happen in the first place.

I'm also puzzled by OCGs question in the first place.  He clearly realises that different believers will have different responses to the question, and so he seems to accept that there are differences within the broad faith that he follows.  On the "understanding humanity" level, kudos to him.

But.....unless he is saying he believes his answer may be wrong, and is looking for help finding the correct answer, I'm not sure the point of the question?  Again, kudos for continued seeking for the truth, but....

At various times, I've been asked how I changed from being a literalist to a non-literalist and this event from my past helped explain why.  For me, this literalist theology seemed too cold; too cruel.

Quote
To OCG: assuming I've grokked your motives, can I ask: when you come across aspects of faith like this that carry such clear differences of opinion, does it even make you wonder about the character of the god who would allow such differences to perpetuate?  Not so much with regular FAQs, but by making it clear in the first place?

Just seems to me that - for a religion where eternal afterlife is at issue - the question of what you need to do to get there should be the clearest and least ambiguous part of the faith?

Oddly, it has not occurred to me to question God why such differences are allowed.  I think that is because I take the Bible as attempts to explain what it is like to experience God.  Because each of us is unique, I am OK with each of us having a different experience with God. 

Yes, it would be nice if there were no ambiguity in a given religion so there was total unity in understanding it and applying it to our lives.  Similar, I suppose, to the ultimate computer program that has all the "if-then" variables accounted for. 

I apologize if that is a non-answer to the question.   Not sure how else to explain it.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Mrjason on January 20, 2014, 07:38:30 AM
Oddly, it has not occurred to me to question God why such differences are allowed.  I think that is because I take the Bible as attempts to explain what it is like to experience God.  Because each of us is unique, I am OK with each of us having a different experience with God. 


Just out of interest, does your belief that everyone has a unique experience with god stretch to accepting that other religions are as equally valid as christianity because god is accounting to their "if then" variables?

edit fixed quote
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 20, 2014, 07:41:13 AM
Quote
Oddly, it has not occurred to me to question God why such differences are allowed.  I think that is because I take the Bible as attempts to explain what it is like to experience God.  Because each of us is unique, I am OK with each of us having a different experience with God. 


Just out of interest, does your belief that everyone has a unique experience with god stretch to accepting that other religions are as equally valid as christianity because god is accounting to their "if then" variables?

Yes.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 20, 2014, 08:14:13 AM
Some years ago, I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and one of the members asked to talk with me afterwards.

The family had recently transferred from another church so I didn't know her very well.  Here is her story:

A few years prior she gave birth to a boy with a severely damaged heart so the child lived only a few days.  The pastor fo the church they attended at the time offered consolation and when asked if her boy was in heaven the pastor replied firmly but politely, "no".  The pastor was a "literalist" in his understanding of the New Testament writings and said (as politely as possible as near as I can tell) that since her son did not declare Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, her son was not in heaven.  He was in an area nearby and safe, but not in heaven. 

She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

OCG,

I would say I don't think God communicates to us through pastors but through our spirits.  I would ask where do you "imagine" your baby is.  God gave you that beautiful thought for a reason.  To search your own soul and God will comfort you by showing you what your heart seeks.  To please let God comfort your grief and inspire that pastor to quit.  I would share my own testimony of how God comforts me in this way and helps me calm my grief.

Let's see if the pastor dies if bitten by a cobra, then we'll know if he's telling the truth...to get a smile on the mother's face. 

It should be a test given for every leader of every church, right?



JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 20, 2014, 04:05:07 PM
Some years ago, I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and one of the members asked to talk with me afterwards.

The family had recently transferred from another church so I didn't know her very well.  Here is her story:

A few years prior she gave birth to a boy with a severely damaged heart so the child lived only a few days.  The pastor fo the church they attended at the time offered consolation and when asked if her boy was in heaven the pastor replied firmly but politely, "no".  The pastor was a "literalist" in his understanding of the New Testament writings and said (as politely as possible as near as I can tell) that since her son did not declare Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, her son was not in heaven.  He was in an area nearby and safe, but not in heaven. 

She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

OCG,

I would say I don't think God communicates to us through pastors but through our spirits.  I would ask where do you "imagine" your baby is.  God gave you that beautiful thought for a reason.  To search your own soul and God will comfort you by showing you what your heart seeks.  To please let God comfort your grief and inspire that pastor to quit.  I would share my own testimony of how God comforts me in this way and helps me calm my grief.

Let's see if the pastor dies if bitten by a cobra, then we'll know if he's telling the truth...to get a smile on the mother's face. 

It should be a test given for every leader of every church, right?



JB

Personally, I believe the baby is safe with God in heaven.  No way to prove that but that is what I believe. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 20, 2014, 05:57:39 PM


OCG,

I would say I don't think God communicates to us through pastors but through our spirits.  I would ask where do you "imagine" your baby is.  God gave you that beautiful thought for a reason.  To search your own soul and God will comfort you by showing you what your heart seeks.  To please let God comfort your grief and inspire that pastor to quit.  I would share my own testimony of how God comforts me in this way and helps me calm my grief.

Let's see if the pastor dies if bitten by a cobra, then we'll know if he's telling the truth...to get a smile on the mother's face. 

It should be a test given for every leader of every church, right?



JB

Quote
Personally, I believe the baby is safe with God in heaven.  No way to prove that but that is what I believe. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

That is a fine belief to have.  There is Luke 18:15-17

15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them; but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Permit little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God like a little child shall in no way enter it.

I was interested in your interpretation of Mark 16:15-18 Christ's commission to the Eleven.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe: In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


Thanks,

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Add Homonym on January 20, 2014, 09:06:44 PM
If you believe Revelation 7, 144000 virgin men go to heaven.

It follows that if you believe babies are destined to go to heaven, since they are the most pure, the best male Jewish babies will go to heaven, and everyone else will be part of the other tiers in heaven, described in Matt 18, which contradicts what I just said:

[1] At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
[2] And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
[3] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.



However, atheists have a much harder time dealing with the question, because nothing [beyond this world] written in the Bible is true, we shouldn't take comfort from negating it. That is: just because you can disprove the Christian Hell, does not mean that it is not real.

Atheists have some problem dealing with the physical constants in this universe being so "fine tuned". The logical and scientific conclusion is that we live in a multiverse, in which everything may happen, indefinitely. If everything may happen, then the world is far crueler than any grizzly Christian fantasy. If you take the gnostic approach, that "we" can escape from this world, then anybody/soul that didn't escape, either has to either have another go (reincarnation), or be delayed in some form of confusion, or interminable cosmic wait. The reason that this happens may be nothing to do with how skilled that soul was, but whether it happened to receive certain information (training), which may take an insane amount of time, or not even happen on this planet. In a universe where everything can happen, the concept of justice is only a local phenomena, invented by those who self-implement it.

Consequently, we should not be too theoretically affronted by the injustice of God, but instead, ask for evidence of a particular belief.

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 07:45:00 AM
Quote

I was interested in your interpretation of Mark 16:15-18 Christ's commission to the Eleven.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe: In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


Thanks,

JB

Most Bibles will have a note at the end of verse 8 which reads something to the effect that the following verses (9-20) are not found in the earliest manuscripts of Mark. 

Either Mark ended at 16:8 or there is an alternate ending which was lost almost immediately.  As a result, I don't worry about these verses as they seem to have been added after the fact.  Probably by a well-meaning person but probably after the fact.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 07:58:00 AM

Either Mark ended at 16:8 or there is an alternate ending which was lost almost immediately.  As a result, I don't worry about these verses as they seem to have been added after the fact.  Probably by a well-meaning person but probably after the fact.


Yes but isn't this the ever present problem with scripture. By what yardstick can you decide that the main author of Mk is onto the truth and not the later redactor?

After all the theological high-point of the Gospels (Jn 1:1-18) is also considered by most biblical scholars to be a later redaction, should we therefore ignore that to?

While I have always admired your clear head and undoubted compassion I do find your insistence that there is something special about the texts of the New Testament really puzzling.

I admire much of the NT too, and much of the philosophy of Chuang-tz and Lucretius' De rerum natura -  but I am free to pick and choose what I like without complex textual justification.

Why stay so shackled; especially to a book which contains so much hate?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 21, 2014, 07:59:08 AM
that's a good point. OCG. These verse are definitely a later addition though we don't know quite when. Morna Hooker, a mark specialist, reckoned that the gospel was written to read to new 'recruits' whose next step was to find the risen Jesus in their lives.

Anyway, don't anyone go drinking poison or playing with snakes - we don't want to lose members here!

Note:-

The division of the text into later additions is normally based on the style of the text - the words used and the grammar. In this case there is a noticeable change in the style of the Greek text which leads people to surmise it wasn't the original author who we call Mark but whose identity we actually don't know.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: shnozzola on January 21, 2014, 08:21:38 AM
[1] At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
[2] And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
[3] And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

I was one of the greatest apologists in the history of christian apology. For many years as a christian, as I kept watering down my beliefs - I decided that Jesus was actually saying that" the way children experience life is the correct way to experience it," and that enjoying life was experiencing the kingdom of heaven right here, right now.  And also the idea that jesus was only interested in pulling up the people that are not enjoying life, and pulling down those that are holding others down (adding baggage to life) in any way.

edit:  even when the idea of the "greatest" was brought up, jesus seemed to always turn it on it's head, showing how mistaken it is to think that having power helps one to enjoy life.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 08:37:30 AM
Quote

Yes but isn't this the ever present problem with scripture. By what yardstick can you decide that the main author of Mk is onto the truth and not the later redactor?

After all the theological high-point of the Gospels (Jn 1:1-18) is also considered by most biblical scholars to be a later redaction, should we therefore ignore that to?

I don't know that I have a yardstick per se.  For example, I didn't know John 1:1-18 is considered by most biblical scholars to be a later redaction. 

What a person decides to accept or reject is up to the individual.  I am a strong believer that since each of us are unique individuals then our understanding of theism will also be unique. 

Some may call that a cop-out but, to me anyway, the alternative is to mold people to my way of thinking / believing. 


Quote
While I have always admired your clear head and undoubted compassion I do find your insistence that there is something special about the texts of the New Testament really puzzling.

I admire much of the NT too, and much of the philosophy of Chuang-tz and Lucretius' De rerum natura -  but I am free to pick and choose what I like without complex textual justification.

Why stay so shackled; especially to a book which contains so much hate?

I feel the same freedom with the New Testament and Hebrew Bible.  For me, the Bible is a collection of writings written by many people over the centuries all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.  As such, I don't feel obligated to accept all that is written in the Bible as relevant for today.  If that means I am a "cafeteria" Christian, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 08:44:03 AM
I feel the same freedom with the New Testament and Hebrew Bible.  For me, the Bible is a collection of writings written by many people over the centuries all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.  As such, I don't feel obligated to accept all that is written in the Bible as relevant for today.  If that means I am a "cafeteria" Christian, so be it. 


I suppose I am more interested in why you call yourself a Christian as opposed to a generic theist. After all there are many texts which attempt to explain experiences of God, from Epicurus to Motzu to William James. Why are they not scripture?

Surely to be a Christian you are making some kind of special claim for the stories/experiences found in the NT? 
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 09:48:51 AM
I feel the same freedom with the New Testament and Hebrew Bible.  For me, the Bible is a collection of writings written by many people over the centuries all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.  As such, I don't feel obligated to accept all that is written in the Bible as relevant for today.  If that means I am a "cafeteria" Christian, so be it. 


I suppose I am more interested in why you call yourself a Christian as opposed to a generic theist. After all there are many texts which attempt to explain experiences of God, from Epicurus to Motzu to William James. Why are they not scripture?

Surely to be a Christian you are making some kind of special claim for the stories/experiences found in the NT?

I grew up in the Episcopal Church, then for many years was with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the past 15 years or so have been with the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).  One could argue I am a Christian because I never knew any other church experience and that would be true. 

I am a Christian because I have chosen to accept Jesus the Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. 

I am not sure about the question on why various writings are not "scripture".  If you are asking why some of these writings did not make it into the Canon of manuscripts called the New Testament, I am not sure.  Some of them were not yet written and others may have seemed to generic and the people who put the New Testament Canon together may have not known of them.  If you are asking if these writings can give a person a glimpse or idea of God then I was say they are scripture.  How are you defining "scripture"?

Other than accepting Jesus as the Christ, what special claim do you think a Christian theist should make about the New Testament stories / experiences and why? 

Ever curious,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 21, 2014, 10:09:20 AM
Quote
Just seems to me that - for a religion where eternal afterlife is at issue - the question of what you need to do to get there should be the clearest and least ambiguous part of the faith?

Oddly, it has not occurred to me to question God why such differences are allowed.  I think that is because I take the Bible as attempts to explain what it is like to experience God.  Because each of us is unique, I am OK with each of us having a different experience with God. 

Yes, it would be nice if there were no ambiguity in a given religion so there was total unity in understanding it and applying it to our lives.  Similar, I suppose, to the ultimate computer program that has all the "if-then" variables accounted for. 

I apologize if that is a non-answer to the question.   Not sure how else to explain it.

I don't have a problem with every person having a different experience with god (should it exist), my concerns as I said are with the "what happens next". 

I think it is stretching my point to ask for ALL variables to be accounted for - not what I was implying at all.  I'm fairly certain that the Bible is silent on which colour underpants one wears, for example - but once we get up to more important questions, then yes - I DO believe that any god worthy of the description "good", who sets the criteria for eternal afterlife, damn well SHOULD make things quite clear.

Consider: there could be an aspect of scripture that two people are diametrically opposed on - and that aspect is one that will confer or refuse eternal happiness.  Both people hold their opinions honestly and devoutly throughout their lives, based on their understanding of an ambigious passage.

When they die, what happens?  Do both go to heaven, implying that what you believe comes a far second to how sincerely you believe?  In which case, prepare for a heaven full of atheists!

Or does only one go to heaven, implying that correct adherence to scripture is far more important than any amount of good intentions?  In which case, there will be many people who tried all their lives to do the right thing, who are even now suffering for the rest of eternity.  In what way can that god ever be described as good?

That's the quandry I find myself in, which raises its head every time I hear of two believers in the same book who hold conflicting opinions on what it tells us.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 10:17:43 AM
Quote
Just seems to me that - for a religion where eternal afterlife is at issue - the question of what you need to do to get there should be the clearest and least ambiguous part of the faith?

Oddly, it has not occurred to me to question God why such differences are allowed.  I think that is because I take the Bible as attempts to explain what it is like to experience God.  Because each of us is unique, I am OK with each of us having a different experience with God. 

Yes, it would be nice if there were no ambiguity in a given religion so there was total unity in understanding it and applying it to our lives.  Similar, I suppose, to the ultimate computer program that has all the "if-then" variables accounted for. 

I apologize if that is a non-answer to the question.   Not sure how else to explain it.

I don't have a problem with every person having a different experience with god (should it exist), my concerns as I said are with the "what happens next". 

I think it is stretching my point to ask for ALL variables to be accounted for - not what I was implying at all.  I'm fairly certain that the Bible is silent on which colour underpants one wears, for example - but once we get up to more important questions, then yes - I DO believe that any god worthy of the description "good", who sets the criteria for eternal afterlife, damn well SHOULD make things quite clear.

Consider: there could be an aspect of scripture that two people are diametrically opposed on - and that aspect is one that will confer or refuse eternal happiness.  Both people hold their opinions honestly and devoutly throughout their lives, based on their understanding of an ambigious passage.

When they die, what happens?  Do both go to heaven, implying that what you believe comes a far second to how sincerely you believe?  In which case, prepare for a heaven full of atheists!

Or does only one go to heaven, implying that correct adherence to scripture is far more important than any amount of good intentions?  In which case, there will be many people who tried all their lives to do the right thing, who are even now suffering for the rest of eternity.  In what way can that god ever be described as good?

That's the quandry I find myself in, which raises its head every time I hear of two believers in the same book who hold conflicting opinions on what it tells us.

You raise an excellent question and, at the risk of sounding flippant, I don't know the answer.  Rest assured if I do come up with an answer I will post it on this website.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy 
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 21, 2014, 10:20:11 AM
That's the quandry I find myself in, which raises its head every time I hear of two believers in the same book who hold conflicting opinions on what it tells us.

You raise an excellent question and, at the risk of sounding flippant, I don't know the answer.  Rest assured if I do come up with an answer I will post it on this website.

Not a problem you don't have an answer - I don't find "I don't know" to be flippant at all.

I admit however I am curious as to how you deal with not knowing the answers to such questions in relation to your faith?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 10:47:07 AM
Other than accepting Jesus as the Christ, what special claim do you think a Christian theist should make about the New Testament stories / experiences and why? 



While I consider myself an atheist, I do think I have a sense of what theists call the 'divine', that is the depth and mystery of existence. It has been talked of in many ways; Tillich refers to it as that which is of ultimate concern. Otto talks of the wholly other. I have also heard it talked of and the sense of ourselves as finite standing in the face of the infinite etc... Moreover this revelation has within it a sense of ego-loss and thus an ethical insight captured in the principle of agape / compassion. I do not use the language myself but I am happy to accept that for some people this feeling could be called an "experience of God".

What distinguishes Christians from others who share this sense? It is, as you say, the acceptance of Jesus as a personal saviour. However the only reason one could have for accepting Jesus as persona saviour is if he had some special relationship to divinity. The only evidence for this relationship is scripture. Essentially to be a Christian one has to believe in the literal truth of the Gospel's claim to Jesus' divinity - and I have never understood how non-biblical literalists, like yourself, still hold this one claim as definitively true. I suppose this is what I mean about the "special claim" Christians make about the Gospels.

I know it shouldn't bother me - and I like the think of myself as a live and let live kind of guy - but I can't help it, it's like that smudge on an otherwise clean glass...

Anyhow sorry for the rambling reply and thank you for your thoughtful response.  :)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 21, 2014, 11:19:55 AM
I rather think the claim by non-literalists is that the NT is true but does not require to be completely literally true.

For example, The Catholic church takes the last supper and says that when Jesus hands out the bread and wine to the disciples and says 'This is my body' and 'this is my blood' - Roam says that means that the bread and wine of the mass is actually the body and blood of Jesus, though they need Aristotelian philosophy to differentiate the accidence (the appearance) from substance (which is what the bread becomes after the consecration). Those who do not expect the text to be literally word for word would equally  accept the bread and wine but not and actually the body and blood of Jesus but representing those elements.

The NT is not completely clear about Jesus and his divinity and, based on the bible alone, there is no reason why one cannot have various views on this topic. The Early Church picked up on this and started to narrow the choices with the creeds but many Protestant churches today are not so worried about creeds as they are about a relationship with the other which is what Christianity was supposed to be, probably.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 11:43:19 AM
I rather think the claim by non-literalists is that the NT is true but does not require to be completely literally true.

...

The NT is not completely clear about Jesus and his divinity and, based on the bible alone, there is no reason why one cannot have various views on this topic. The Early Church picked up on this and started to narrow the choices with the creeds but many Protestant churches today are not so worried about creeds as they are about a relationship with the other which is what Christianity was supposed to be, probably.

I appreciate this. However; surely it becomes impossible to accept Jesus as a personal saviour without believing that he hold a 'special relationship' to God? Whether or not we require an Aristotelian fudge and describe Jesus as homo-ousia with the father or not it is still necessary that Jesus is more than mere philosopher-mystic.

If Jesus is just a philosopher-mystic then he cannot be a personal saviour for the excellent reason that he's dead! My problem is this; if you are a non-literalist then you have taken the admirable step of saying that you will decide for yourself on what to believe and what not to believe.

I suppose my question is, by what measure do you decide that, say, walking on water should be interpreted symbolically but the resurrection literally?

It seems to me that there is a case of special pleading here. Non-literalists quite correctly assert their capacity to critically evaluate the claims of the NT, but then withdraw that capacity when it comes to the central issue of Christology. Or is there some good reason for holding the Christology true over other claims of scripture?

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Mrjason on January 21, 2014, 11:49:35 AM

Oddly, it has not occurred to me to question God why such differences are allowed.  I think that is because I take the Bible as attempts to explain what it is like to experience God.  Because each of us is unique, I am OK with each of us having a different experience with God. 


Just out of interest, does your belief that everyone has a unique experience with god stretch to accepting that other religions are as equally valid as christianity because god is accounting to their "if then" variables?

Yes.

Some muslim friends of mine hold a similar point of view i.e. god sends the prophet who will be best for a particular people. Most of the christians that I ask this question say no.
Would you consider atheism a particular relationship with god albeit a one sided relationship at least for our lifespan on earth?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: jdawg70 on January 21, 2014, 12:10:00 PM
I suppose my question is, by what measure do you decide that, say, walking on water should be interpreted symbolically but the resurrection literally?
Faith.

How do you know what to have faith in as true?

More faith.

Once you get to a point in inquiry[1] where interpreting a biblical claim as literal looks batsh*t crazy, it becomes symbolic.  If interpretation of that particular claim as symbolic has a significant, detrimental impact on the core of what you currently believe as true (be it the need for salvation, the acceptance of the divinity of Jesus, the acceptance of the infallibility of god, etc.), then the claim falls into a third category by playing The Ultimate TrumpcardTM: mysterious ways.
 1. Be it self-induced inquiry or at the behest of a target of conversation i.e. someone brings it up
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 12:42:31 PM
That's the quandry I find myself in, which raises its head every time I hear of two believers in the same book who hold conflicting opinions on what it tells us.

You raise an excellent question and, at the risk of sounding flippant, I don't know the answer.  Rest assured if I do come up with an answer I will post it on this website.

Not a problem you don't have an answer - I don't find "I don't know" to be flippant at all.

I admit however I am curious as to how you deal with not knowing the answers to such questions in relation to your faith?

Because sometime back in my life, I concluded there are aspects of theology I will never fully understand or be able to completely explain.  The same with other topics in my life such as U.S. History, my field of work, as well as my wife & daughters.  :)

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 12:46:59 PM
Other than accepting Jesus as the Christ, what special claim do you think a Christian theist should make about the New Testament stories / experiences and why? 



While I consider myself an atheist, I do think I have a sense of what theists call the 'divine', that is the depth and mystery of existence. It has been talked of in many ways; Tillich refers to it as that which is of ultimate concern. Otto talks of the wholly other. I have also heard it talked of and the sense of ourselves as finite standing in the face of the infinite etc... Moreover this revelation has within it a sense of ego-loss and thus an ethical insight captured in the principle of agape / compassion. I do not use the language myself but I am happy to accept that for some people this feeling could be called an "experience of God".

What distinguishes Christians from others who share this sense? It is, as you say, the acceptance of Jesus as a personal saviour. However the only reason one could have for accepting Jesus as persona saviour is if he had some special relationship to divinity. The only evidence for this relationship is scripture. Essentially to be a Christian one has to believe in the literal truth of the Gospel's claim to Jesus' divinity - and I have never understood how non-biblical literalists, like yourself, still hold this one claim as definitively true. I suppose this is what I mean about the "special claim" Christians make about the Gospels.

I know it shouldn't bother me - and I like the think of myself as a live and let live kind of guy - but I can't help it, it's like that smudge on an otherwise clean glass...

Anyhow sorry for the rambling reply and thank you for your thoughtful response.  :)

The nature of Jesus is still an "Israel" for me (Israel can be translated as one who wrestles with God).  There are days I am OK with Jesus and God being one and there are days I wonder if he wasn't an enlightened mortal.  But, I enjoy the wrestling rather get discouraged by it so will plod along as one those pleasant delusional Christian theists on this website.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: penfold on January 21, 2014, 02:32:29 PM
... But, I enjoy the wrestling rather get discouraged by it so will plod along as one those pleasant delusional Christian theists on this website.

The thing is OCG, I should, at this point say fair enough. I should say it because we are all entitled to our beliefs.

Yet...

I must confess I find you a frustrating figure. While this may be the first time we have talked directly yours is a name I always look for in a thread. Looking at the posts you make and the comments you leave you are clearly capable of deep thought and a fan of honesty, both literal and emotional. You rightly take pride in what sounds like a strong and valued pastoral role in your church and extending that to this forum. You are indeed a great shelter and confidant to many theists here; you are - if you forgive the phrase - the classic 'avuncular' figure.

However every time you are directly challenged on issues of faith you make this strange manoeuvre: you rarely, if ever, come out in defence of your beliefs but take a conciliatory stand, acknowledging its paradoxes but insisting that I believe what I believe. You strategy reminds me of camouflage. It It does make me wonder if you Christianity is anything more than a comfortable habit - something you put on because (a) it suits you and (b) it keeps you warm at night.

I apologise if I've stepped over the line, but you remind me powerfully of a few friends of mine who for years 'kept going through the motions' because it was easy...

Anyhow; thank you for the conversation.

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 02:58:22 PM
... But, I enjoy the wrestling rather get discouraged by it so will plod along as one those pleasant delusional Christian theists on this website.

The thing is OCG, I should, at this point say fair enough. I should say it because we are all entitled to our beliefs.

Yet...

I must confess I find you a frustrating figure. While this may be the first time we have talked directly yours is a name I always look for in a thread. Looking at the posts you make and the comments you leave you are clearly capable of deep thought and a fan of honesty, both literal and emotional. You rightly take pride in what sounds like a strong and valued pastoral role in your church and extending that to this forum. You are indeed a great shelter and confidant to many theists here; you are - if you forgive the phrase - the classic 'avuncular' figure.

However every time you are directly challenged on issues of faith you make this strange manoeuvre: you rarely, if ever, come out in defence of your beliefs but take a conciliatory stand, acknowledging its paradoxes but insisting that I believe what I believe. You strategy reminds me of camouflage. It It does make me wonder if you Christianity is anything more than a comfortable habit - something you put on because (a) it suits you and (b) it keeps you warm at night.

I apologise if I've stepped over the line, but you remind me powerfully of a few friends of mine who for years 'kept going through the motions' because it was easy...

Anyhow; thank you for the conversation.

I never saw myself in the picture you painted but you may be right.  I realize that is a response your were critical of but I am at a loss on how else to respond.

The challenge / paradox here is trying to express a subjective notion of faith / belief in God to an audience which is seeking objective evidence.  As much as I would truly love to present objective evidence of God's existense, I cannot.  Put another way, there is no ritual, chant, incantation, string of words, or silent prayer which will consistently yield an entity that can be seen, measured and verified as God. 

So if it seems like I am dancing around an issue it is because I acknowledge for the purposes of this website there is no tangible objective proof of God's existense.  Yet, I am personally convinced, based on various events in my life God exists.  The challenge is that since I cannot prove my interpretation is correct I do my best to own the beliefs without getting into the classic "trust me; I know I'm right even though everyone on this website wants proof". 

Believe it or not, the people on this website have helped me a great deal in deciding just what do I believe and why.  And, I hope, that maybe the people on this website have also come to realize not all theists are out to save your souls or look down on you. 

Sincerely,

AvuncularOldChurchGuy :)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: magicmiles on January 21, 2014, 04:03:08 PM
And, I hope, that maybe the people on this website have also come to realize not all theists are out to save your souls or look down on you. 

Sincerely,

AvuncularOldChurchGuy :)

Hi OCG

I hope you don't mind me isolating this part of your post, and asking you a fairly direct question:

Do you in fact believe that all those who have heard and rejected the gospel will be eternally separated from God?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 04:37:55 PM
And, I hope, that maybe the people on this website have also come to realize not all theists are out to save your souls or look down on you. 

Sincerely,

AvuncularOldChurchGuy :)

Hi OCG

I hope you don't mind me isolating this part of your post, and asking you a fairly direct question:

Do you in fact believe that all those who have heard and rejected the gospel will be eternally separated from God?

Personally, no.  I agree with the premise in the book entitled "Love Wins".  The author is an evangelical who has caught hell from fellow evangelicals because he advocates there is no eternal damnation.  Radical idea in some churches.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy 
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: magicmiles on January 21, 2014, 05:33:16 PM
Thankyou for clarifying that.

As you probably suspect, I heartily disagree with that position. I did a bit of googling, and I am in agreement with the critque of "Love Wins" linked here:

http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.7729125/k.E07E/God_Wins_A_Critique_of_Rob_Bells_Love_Wins.htm
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 05:40:55 PM
Thankyou for clarifying that.

As you probably suspect, I heartily disagree with that position. I did a bit of googling, and I am in agreement with the critque of "Love Wins" linked here:

http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.7729125/k.E07E/God_Wins_A_Critique_of_Rob_Bells_Love_Wins.htm

They make a good point.  I suppose no one can be absolutely certain.  But I like Bell's analysis so will stay with it for now anyway.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: jdawg70 on January 21, 2014, 05:42:23 PM
OldChurchGuy and magicmiles -

I'd like some clarity:

Do you both agree that 'eternal damnation' and 'eternal separation from god' are equivalent statements?

I'm inferring it but am uncertain.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 21, 2014, 05:45:39 PM
OldChurchGuy and magicmiles -

I'd like some clarity:

Do you both agree that 'eternal damnation' and 'eternal separation from god' are equivalent statements?

I'm inferring it but am uncertain.

Personally, I would distinguish the two:

Damnation, to me, involves more than just separation.  It also involves a physical punishment. 

As before, I have no way to prove this understanding. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: penfold on January 22, 2014, 05:30:05 AM

Believe it or not, the people on this website have helped me a great deal in deciding just what do I believe and why.  And, I hope, that maybe the people on this website have also come to realize not all theists are out to save your souls or look down on you. 


For what its worth I'm glad you find this community a positive thing in your life; and certainly I would agree that you've provided an excellent example to many of the more combative members of that community.

peace etc...
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 22, 2014, 05:59:22 AM

Some may call that a cop-out but, to me anyway, the alternative is to mold people to my way of thinking / believing. 


Quote

Why stay so shackled; especially to a book which contains so much hate?

I feel the same freedom with the New Testament and Hebrew Bible.  For me, the Bible is a collection of writings written by many people over the centuries all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.  As such, I don't feel obligated to accept all that is written in the Bible as relevant for today.  If that means I am a "cafeteria" Christian, so be it. 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

So you don't believe in witnessing and saving souls?  I thought the bible commands it.  I really don't understand why you use a bible at all.  Most of your ideas seem spiritual not religious.

What do you think Jesus tried to teach us while he was still alive?  I think he taught us to deny religion and love one another.  Remember the sermon on the mount?   Religion crucified your Savior.  I think Christianity disgraces Jesus especially when they're taking innocent lives.  Jesus never said go start a religion in my name, I thought he said spread the Good News.  Well I hate to tell you this but telling people they're going to hell is not good news.

If this hadn't happened there would be no pastor to tell a grieving mother her baby is not in heaven.  She would know from her own spirit that her baby was with God, IMO.

It wouldn't be soooooooooo bad if everyone was like you OCG, but they are not and that's because of the bible, IMO.  I mean the bible is not even mentioned in the ten commandments nor is going to church.  In the story of Jesus these laws were called the Laws of Moses, not God.

You're Savior, Jesus, said be humble.  There is nothing humble about dressing up in your Sunday bests or standing in front of a crowd preaching. 

So please help me understand how you're helping Jesus by supporting the church, a disgrace to Jesus IMO.  A temple to me should just be a place to pray and thank God for your blessings.

Do you not think that the young children in churches deserve the right to find their own path to God or to even be an atheist?  Why program them so young?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 22, 2014, 06:13:37 AM
Quote

I was interested in your interpretation of Mark 16:15-18 Christ's commission to the Eleven.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe: In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


Thanks,

JB

Most Bibles will have a note at the end of verse 8 which reads something to the effect that the following verses (9-20) are not found in the earliest manuscripts of Mark. 

Either Mark ended at 16:8 or there is an alternate ending which was lost almost immediately.  As a result, I don't worry about these verses as they seem to have been added after the fact.  Probably by a well-meaning person but probably after the fact.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

That is not an interpretation OCG.  You plainly can not know for sure, you're guessing.  The atheist here Love your vague responses, it makes things easy for them.  You won't lose my respect for it though but I did give you your first smite.  Is there any part of the bible you do agree with?   
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Add Homonym on January 22, 2014, 06:44:25 AM
[18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
[19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


When you say that Jesus was against churches, do you mean in your humble interpretation?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: jaimehlers on January 22, 2014, 09:26:13 AM
That is not an interpretation OCG.  You plainly can not know for sure, you're guessing.  The atheist here Love your vague responses, it makes things easy for them.  You won't lose my respect for it though but I did give you your first smite.  Is there any part of the bible you do agree with?
With all due respect, junebug, the fact that people who actually study the Bible have come to that conclusion is pretty telling.  As is the fact that you gave him a smite - as you say, the very first smite he's ever gotten - essentially for being honest.  What kind of reasoning is that?

You know, theists have been declaring each other wrong for thousands of years, and it hasn't gotten us anywhere.  I really kind of wish there were more people like OldChurchGuy out there, willing to acknowledge the fact that their understanding is limited and that they don't have the answers, or even most of them.  Instead, we have people, lots and lots and lots and lots of people, who blithely assume that they understand exactly what those passages mean, that they're somehow qualified to tell other people just what 'God' really meant by something he wrote, when in fact they're just as blind as the people they're supposedly leading.

If more theists were willing to admit that their understanding was...lacking, we'll say, and that the Bible didn't actually contain all or even a significant fraction of the 'answers', then the world would probably be a much kinder, more loving place.  You would certainly have a lot less people assuming that their religious faith somehow gave them a direct line to the Creator of the Universe (thus affirming, in their own minds at least, that they "have the answers"), or other such nonsense.

I was sorely tempted to smite you for this post, but I decided not to.  And that's because while it's tempting to smack someone when they say something that I disagree with, all I'd really be doing is justifying my own arrogance.  Kind of the way you acted in your response to OldChurchGuy.  You would have taken one look at it and either blew it off or smited me right back for it.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Graybeard on January 22, 2014, 10:39:14 AM
I agree with jaimehlers:

Junebug,
One of the problems that members have with you is that your thought patterns are irrational. Most of us here understand how other members work and can see their reasoning or what passes for reasoning. With you, it seems to be impossible. OCG states, quite rightly, that certain verses do not appear in early manuscripts. He therefore, reasonably, decides that they are probably added at a later date and are thus unreliable.

And what do you do? You give a reply, which does not relate to what he has said. You smite him for a rational opinion.

Why?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 22, 2014, 11:11:44 AM
[18] And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
[19] And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


When you say that Jesus was against churches, do you mean in your humble interpretation?

When was that added?  Is it original or what?   What does it matter the bible is fiction.  That's my point.  In the scriptures I posted here is a supposed clear cut way to determine false prophecy and it is conveniently discarded to suit a belief.   I think it was all made up.  Isn't this a clear example of cherry picking?  Belief w/o that old book is much easier,IMO. 

Jesus said to not dress up and make long speeches so which one is Jesus which one is an add on.  Or does Jesus contradict himself?  Maybe by church Jesus meant somewhere to pray and give thanks.   Who knows?  I guess the bible is a lot like the Christian you can't never tell what's right and what is wrong.  It confuses the mind.  It sets you up for disappointment. 

Peace and Joy,

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 22, 2014, 12:54:38 PM
I agree with jaimehlers:

Junebug,
One of the problems that members have with you is that your thought patterns are irrational. Most of us here understand how other members work and can see their reasoning or what passes for reasoning. With you, it seems to be impossible. OCG states, quite rightly, that certain verses do not appear in early manuscripts. He therefore, reasonably, decides that they are probably added at a later date and are thus unreliable.

And what do you do? You give a reply, which does not relate to what he has said. You smite him for a rational opinion.

Why?

So you think it is rational to cherry pick the bible GB?  Do you think there is reliable information in the bible anywhere? 

My thought patterns are not irrational.  I was very disappointed in that response.  I went to a lot of trouble finding that scripture and then copying it.
The other scripture I posted concerning the second coming was also deemed incorrect by the bible guru.  Not all Christians are aware of this add on stuff.  In fact there are several churches right here in these hills that hold snakes every Sunday.  They also believe it is a serious sin to change The Word of God aka the bible.  Guess what though, when bit they are poisoned and need medical treatment.  It's news here anytime that happens.  Other Christians say it's testing God. 

Do you think brainwashing small children is OK?  I am dead set against it.

I am mysterious, I like it.  You can't figure me out because you've been too busy trying to change me.  It's actually quite simple, religion disgusts me although I do empathize with the members, they are insecure about God and seek reassurance in the comfort of others.  I just simply believe that intelligence was needed so that we could be.  That there are powers in the universe beyond our control that we should respect.  That we were not meant to have a book/guide; that we can be connected naturally and all we need are our spectacular brains/conscience to understand our purpose.  I can close my eyes and imagine a world that never knew a bible and I see a happier less confused/separated society.  I know the Native Americans wish they had never seen Christians.  Their spiritual beliefs are quite beautiful no bible required!  I feel quite strongly about these things.  I want to leave this world better than I found it.  I think the world is better w/o religion. 

I do not believe God is vain requiring any kind of recognition or worship.

To me that makes the whole bible unreliable.  You shouldn't have to go to college or church to understand God's will, jeese.  It's taking something that is natural to some and making it complicated almost incomprehensible.  IMO, interfering with the personal journey to find what God means to you.

I would like to know if I would still believe if I hadn't been brainwashed to do so by my family?  I can never be sure.  I look at my 7-8 years as an atheist as a purging of my brainwashed mind but I can never be certain that my belief now is not leftovers from a brainwashed childhood.  Anyhow my beliefs are not hurting anyone and I have no regrets.  I'm of the better safe than sorry mindset.

In one of Paul's letters to the Ephesians I think he says not to be religious.  I don't see how you have an organised religion/church and not be religious.  Maybe Paul was bipolar.  Maybe Paul was an opportunist that took advantage of Christ's blood to make a name for himself.

Maybe OCG should write a new bible so that everybody knows what is real and what is not;  maybe narrow the denominations down to less than 10.

I sure hope this helps you and others get me GB.  I'm really a simple human.  You despise religion for what it has done to the world.  I despise religion because of what it has done to the world and God's reputation.  That's what drives me. 


Peace and Joy,

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 22, 2014, 01:28:54 PM
really, June, there's quite a lot more the the bible than juts reading it. After all, you read it in English whilst it was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Trying to arrive at a text to translate isn't that much easier.

For the Old Testament, we have a couple of near complete Hebrew manuscripts to compare with the Hebrew texts preserved by the Jewish community to this day. The Hebrew ext has been well preserved and we can be fairly sure of the Hebrew text. However, not all the words are that well know with some appearing very infrequently in the text so we can still be stuck to translate them. That's how the KJV came up with 'unicorn' whereas other translations use some like 'wild ox' The complications come when you realise that there is another copy of the OT in existence from 200BCE. It is called the Septuagint (LXX) and is a translation into Greek of the Hebrew texts yet it has complications because it is quite a bit longer that Hebrew texts you are familiar with. The difference is, roughly, that which Protestant Bibles call the Apocrypha. (The Dead Sea Scrolls have copies in Hebrew of both versions.)

For the New Testament there are lots and lots of fairly complete not so complete and fairly incomplete manuscripts as well as fragments.The text of putting together the text as we think it was when it was written is a monumental one. There was a Greek text that was 'edited' by [wiki]Erasmus[/wiki] which was the basis of the KJV - I say edited because Erasmus, under pressure from the printers did little with the latter parts of the text. Since then we have been refining the text and as new discoveries turn up, trying to get the text into better form, The United Bible Society publishes what is, for translators, a fairly definitive text. However even that has lots of footnotes  as to which word, when manuscripts differ was used and the other possibilities.

I hope you can see, June that even getting to what we hope is near to the original text is quite a job that it is no means certain is right but is the best we have so far managed. Editors working with the text, however, notice things about the text that causes them to comment. For example, the last few verses of Mark's gospel are rather different from the Greek of the main part of the gospel. There's no definite proof, but it is widely thought that change in the Greek comes about because someone added the verse well after the gospel was written.  The same applies to some of Paul's letters which are considered non-genuine Paul as well as various other bits in the text. It is a little sad that the reader in English cannot see the differences though any good modern translation will have a footnote about significant passages indicating that they make no be original.

So you see, June, the whole question of the text of the bible, and hence which verses are quoted and said to be non-original, is quite a topic and not the simple thing it looks on the surface. So, next time you open  the bible to look up something, take a look at the footnotes and see what the editor though about the passage you were reading.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 22, 2014, 05:25:24 PM
Quote

I was interested in your interpretation of Mark 16:15-18 Christ's commission to the Eleven.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe: In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


Thanks,

JB

Most Bibles will have a note at the end of verse 8 which reads something to the effect that the following verses (9-20) are not found in the earliest manuscripts of Mark. 

Either Mark ended at 16:8 or there is an alternate ending which was lost almost immediately.  As a result, I don't worry about these verses as they seem to have been added after the fact.  Probably by a well-meaning person but probably after the fact.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

That is not an interpretation OCG.  You plainly can not know for sure, you're guessing.  The atheist here Love your vague responses, it makes things easy for them.  You won't lose my respect for it though but I did give you your first smite.  Is there any part of the bible you do agree with?

First, I think all interpretations are guesses.  Educated guesses but guesses none the less. 

Second, since I don't believe these verses are part of the original Mark document, I didn't see a reason to interpret them.  But, if you insist, I will give an opinion. 

These seem to be statements of great faith.  I'm not sure I agree with baptism being part of salvation.  Granted, Jesus was baptized, but what of the thief on the cross?  I had understood speaking in tongues was a gift (according to Paul) which means not everyone has the gift.  Yet this verse seems to be creating a litmus test that one who truly believes will cast out demons, speak in tongues, drink poison with no ill effects, handle serpents with impunity and heal the sick.  There is nothing in the wording to indicate these are "or" statements.  Rather a true believer is expected to do ALL of them. 

I admit I have not spoken in tongues, have not cast out demons, have not drunk any poison, have not handled serpents but MAY have healed the sick if we define "sick" as being emotionally ill.  Physical illness, no.  Therefore, I am not a true believer.

How many of these actions in the above verses have you done? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 22, 2014, 05:51:13 PM
Quote
So you don't believe in witnessing and saving souls?  I thought the bible commands it.  I really don't understand why you use a bible at all.  Most of your ideas seem spiritual not religious.

I think there are many ways to witness and save a soul.  I am not one to stand on a street corner and proclaim a Gospel message.  Rather, I am a strong believer in allowing my actions and words to do the witnessing.

Quote
What do you think Jesus tried to teach us while he was still alive?  I think he taught us to deny religion and love one another.  Remember the sermon on the mount?   Religion crucified your Savior.  I think Christianity disgraces Jesus especially when they're taking innocent lives.  Jesus never said go start a religion in my name, I thought he said spread the Good News.  Well I hate to tell you this but telling people they're going to hell is not good news.

As you mentioned, I think the main thrust of Jesus' message was to love God and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  And I agree that telling people they are going to Hell is not good news. 

Quote
If this hadn't happened there would be no pastor to tell a grieving mother her baby is not in heaven.  She would know from her own spirit that her baby was with God, IMO.

It wouldn't be soooooooooo bad if everyone was like you OCG, but they are not and that's because of the bible, IMO.  I mean the bible is not even mentioned in the ten commandments nor is going to church.  In the story of Jesus these laws were called the Laws of Moses, not God.

You're Savior, Jesus, said be humble.  There is nothing humble about dressing up in your Sunday bests or standing in front of a crowd preaching. 

So please help me understand how you're helping Jesus by supporting the church, a disgrace to Jesus IMO.  A temple to me should just be a place to pray and thank God for your blessings.

Do you not think that the young children in churches deserve the right to find their own path to God or to even be an atheist?  Why program them so young?

I tend to wear slacks and a shirt (no tie) when attending church.  Many men come wearing blue jeans and a shirt.  One man comes wearing sandals when the weather is warm enough.  The women dress from very nice dresses to slacks and a top and some in blue jeans also.

I think I am helping spread the good news by supporting the community activities of our church.  We tend a nice size garden each year in honor of a departed member who succumbed to brain cancer.  All the food is donated to a local food bank.  The youth go on mission trips in the summer helping rebuild areas either with Habitat for Humanity or disaster areas such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.  Many in the church are also involved with the local Habitat for Humanity. 

Yes, I believe the youth have the right to determine their own path to God even to becoming atheist.  If allowing them to think for themselves is programming them young, so be it.  The alternative, to me, is to create a little band on non-thinking believers who worship a set of rules rather than the God behind the rules. 

I hope this helps and your questions are answered.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: SevenPatch on January 22, 2014, 06:05:59 PM
I was sorely tempted to smite you for this post, but I decided not to.  And that's because while it's tempting to smack someone when they say something that I disagree with, all I'd really be doing is justifying my own arrogance.  Kind of the way you acted in your response to OldChurchGuy.  You would have taken one look at it and either blew it off or smited me right back for it.

I smited Junebug.

I gave into temptation.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 07:45:00 AM
Quote

I was interested in your interpretation of Mark 16:15-18 Christ's commission to the Eleven.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow those who believe: In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.


Thanks,

JB

Most Bibles will have a note at the end of verse 8 which reads something to the effect that the following verses (9-20) are not found in the earliest manuscripts of Mark. 

Either Mark ended at 16:8 or there is an alternate ending which was lost almost immediately.  As a result, I don't worry about these verses as they seem to have been added after the fact.  Probably by a well-meaning person but probably after the fact.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

That is not an interpretation OCG.  You plainly can not know for sure, you're guessing.  The atheist here Love your vague responses, it makes things easy for them.  You won't lose my respect for it though but I did give you your first smite.  Is there any part of the bible you do agree with?

First, I think all interpretations are guesses.  Educated guesses but guesses none the less. 

Second, since I don't believe these verses are part of the original Mark document, I didn't see a reason to interpret them.  But, if you insist, I will give an opinion. 

These seem to be statements of great faith.  I'm not sure I agree with baptism being part of salvation.  Granted, Jesus was baptized, but what of the thief on the cross?  I had understood speaking in tongues was a gift (according to Paul) which means not everyone has the gift.  Yet this verse seems to be creating a litmus test that one who truly believes will cast out demons, speak in tongues, drink poison with no ill effects, handle serpents with impunity and heal the sick.  There is nothing in the wording to indicate these are "or" statements.  Rather a true believer is expected to do ALL of them. 

I admit I have not spoken in tongues, have not cast out demons, have not drunk any poison, have not handled serpents but MAY have healed the sick if we define "sick" as being emotionally ill.  Physical illness, no.  Therefore, I am not a true believer.

How many of these actions in the above verses have you done? 

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

OCG,

There now that's an answer. 

When I read this scripture, 10 years ago, I was not aware of it's add on status.  I took it to mean no one is capable of doing these things so no one is worthy to lead another on their spiritual quest.  I believe even the devoted believer has doubts.  I know I do but I still believe and I think it's OK to doubt.  Usually my doubt leads to enlightenment.

I think you are a great guy a true believer.  The smite wasn't because I don't like you,I do, I don't like the bible.  It was to get you to open up some more.  Really get to the meat of the question not just brush it off.  They make fun of cherry picking around here.  They see it as a sign of weakness.  To me God is more credible w/o the biblical interpretation.

My point was w/o all the bad interpretations/religion the mother and God would have worked it out alone bringing the mother closer to God and having no anger at a pastor w/o heart.  I have never needed a priest or a person to comfort my soul, all I do is turn to God and my spirit is full of comfort.  Nope I can't prove that either.  It is between me and God, IMO.

My main objective here at this atheist forum is to show logic and sound reasoning to a belief in God.  The bible and the cherry picking is not sound reasoning.  Atheist think we are irrational and delusional.  You can not "kill these folks with kindness"  I've tried, oh I've tried.  They want stone cold facts.  Tangible evidence.  Neither one of us can provide this evidence but we can provide good reasoning.  I find no good reason in that old bible.

I sing at nursing homes, I saved a woman from jumping off a bridge, I buy cheeseburgers and give them to the local homeless, I do not support a religion with blood/hate on it's hands, no matter how hard you and your church try to be good that blood/hate is still there and your religion/bible is responsible for it.  I embrace every opportunity to show kindness and charity.  Atheist do these things too.

Yelp I agree that the most important thing we as humans can do is to love one another, no religion/bible needed.  I think that the bible/religion is what's tearing us apart.  I think Moses is the most notorious serial killer of all times.   He is very close to spoiling the Winter Olympics.

I've been to a Church of God where they spoke in tongues, it was scary.  Shala ma honda.  The pastor is my distant cousin, older than my dad.  We had dinner at his house after the service and he told me they were faking it.  That when you're truly speaking in tongues there will be an interpreter. 

Peace and Joy,

JB

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 08:01:04 AM
I was sorely tempted to smite you for this post, but I decided not to.  And that's because while it's tempting to smack someone when they say something that I disagree with, all I'd really be doing is justifying my own arrogance.  Kind of the way you acted in your response to OldChurchGuy.  You would have taken one look at it and either blew it off or smited me right back for it.

I smited Junebug.

I gave into temptation.

I think you should be concerned about how much pleasure you took in smiting me.  Please tell me again how it is atheist can be so kind w/o a belief in God?  You certainly falsify that claim.

Like it or not I woke OCG up.  I got the answer I was looking for.  I've got so many it's like nothing. 

It obviously doesn't work or I would be dead by now with all my smites.  hahaha

Jaime was right I shrugged it off and smited you right back.  I could play all day. 

Twisted Sister, Come out and play...We're not gonna take it anymore!!!........... bang head now, not too hard you might get whoop-lash. :laugh:

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Add Homonym on January 23, 2014, 08:03:49 AM

When was that added?  Is it original or what?   What does it matter the bible is fiction.  That's my point.  In the scriptures I posted here is a supposed clear cut way to determine false prophecy and it is conveniently discarded to suit a belief.   I think it was all made up.  Isn't this a clear example of cherry picking?  Belief w/o that old book is much easier,IMO. 

Jesus said to not dress up and make long speeches so which one is Jesus which one is an add on.  Or does Jesus contradict himself?  Maybe by church Jesus meant somewhere to pray and give thanks.   Who knows?  I guess the bible is a lot like the Christian you can't never tell what's right and what is wrong.  It confuses the mind.  It sets you up for disappointment. 


You seem to be awfully certain about what Jesus said, and what his intentions were, considering the Bible is all made up.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Add Homonym on January 23, 2014, 08:09:20 AM
When I read this scripture, 10 years ago, I was not aware of it's add on status.  I took it to mean no one is capable of doing these things so no one is worthy to lead another on their spiritual quest.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/parallel/paral02.cfm

... and it goes on and on.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 08:21:51 AM
really, June, there's quite a lot more the the bible than juts reading it. After all, you read it in English whilst it was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Trying to arrive at a text to translate isn't that much easier.


So you see, June, the whole question of the text of the bible, and hence which verses are quoted and said to be non-original, is quite a topic and not the simple thing it looks on the surface. So, next time you open  the bible to look up something, take a look at the footnotes and see what the editor though about the passage you were reading.

Thanks wheels but I have no desires to study the bible.  I've made my decision that it is not inspired by God and I stand by that conclusion.  It should be holey bible not holy.  You know with an "E".   That would ruin my relationship with God, IMO.  I mean really I am a living breathing homosexual, and the bible clearly despises my kind.  In this simple mind that means the bible is my enemy.  I know the bible is not a person it is an idea but it is written by humans, it is believed by other humans.  A collection of mostly cruel/irrational beliefs.

My point remains that the bible is a roadblock to God not a path to God.  It has created many monsters throughout history, that proves it's unholiness.  I will not be subjecting my spirit to it any time soon, you can trust that.

I can sum the bible and Christianity up real quick.  It goes like this...

In the beginning there was blood and death, a man named Jesus tried to teach us to love one another and then people started spilling blood in his name so there is still blood...and death.

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 08:24:24 AM

When was that added?  Is it original or what?   What does it matter the bible is fiction.  That's my point.  In the scriptures I posted here is a supposed clear cut way to determine false prophecy and it is conveniently discarded to suit a belief.   I think it was all made up.  Isn't this a clear example of cherry picking?  Belief w/o that old book is much easier,IMO. 

Jesus said to not dress up and make long speeches so which one is Jesus which one is an add on.  Or does Jesus contradict himself?  Maybe by church Jesus meant somewhere to pray and give thanks.   Who knows?  I guess the bible is a lot like the Christian you can't never tell what's right and what is wrong.  It confuses the mind.  It sets you up for disappointment. 


You seem to be awfully certain about what Jesus said, and what his intentions were, considering the Bible is all made up.

That seems certain to you?  Please define certain. ;) 
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Graybeard on January 23, 2014, 08:34:01 AM
So you think it is rational to cherry pick the bible GB? 
There you go again. That is not cherry picking. It seems to me more like throwing away obviously rotten fruit. To cherry-pick is to choose only on the basis of your own prejudice. OCG did not do that. I am going to assume that if he came across another inserted verse, then he would reject that too.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 09:14:27 AM
That is not an interpretation OCG.  You plainly can not know for sure, you're guessing.  The atheist here Love your vague responses, it makes things easy for them.  You won't lose my respect for it though but I did give you your first smite.  Is there any part of the bible you do agree with?
With all due respect, junebug, the fact that people who actually study the Bible have come to that conclusion is pretty telling.  As is the fact that you gave him a smite - as you say, the very first smite he's ever gotten - essentially for being honest.  What kind of reasoning is that?

You know, theists have been declaring each other wrong for thousands of years, and it hasn't gotten us anywhere.  I really kind of wish there were more people like OldChurchGuy out there, willing to acknowledge the fact that their understanding is limited and that they don't have the answers, or even most of them.  Instead, we have people, lots and lots and lots and lots of people, who blithely assume that they understand exactly what those passages mean, that they're somehow qualified to tell other people just what 'God' really meant by something he wrote, when in fact they're just as blind as the people they're supposedly leading.

If more theists were willing to admit that their understanding was...lacking, we'll say, and that the Bible didn't actually contain all or even a significant fraction of the 'answers', then the world would probably be a much kinder, more loving place.  You would certainly have a lot less people assuming that their religious faith somehow gave them a direct line to the Creator of the Universe (thus affirming, in their own minds at least, that they "have the answers"), or other such nonsense.

I was sorely tempted to smite you for this post, but I decided not to.  And that's because while it's tempting to smack someone when they say something that I disagree with, all I'd really be doing is justifying my own arrogance.  Kind of the way you acted in your response to OldChurchGuy.  You would have taken one look at it and either blew it off or smited me right back for it.

Not just theists Jaime you can't leave out the atheist POV.

It amazes me how we agree on so many levels but yet you want to smite me for believing the same as you.  I'm trying to prove that the existence of a religion in Jesus's name is in contradiction to what Jesus taught.  Do you disagree with that idea?


So OCG gets laminated for only accepting part of the bible and I get none for not believing any of it.  You make no sense.  I did get a thumbs up way back when so I guess that's OK.  I have had my laminated moments here as well.  Shoot we all need to feel special sometimes. 

If you want the turmoil to end show me right now that you can accept me the way I am.  Quit trying to rage a war with me.  I am not your enemy.  I have tried very hard to be a friend to the atheist and trust me, y'all need some friends on the theist side.  By "your" I mean atheist not you personally but yes you personally as well.  I want nothing less than peace for the human race.  So what do you say, will you be my friend?  I am a loyal friend.  I want turn my back on you when times are hard.  I will defend your atheist POV no matter what though.

Don't you think peace could start by showing respect to those who believe differently?  I have no respect for cruelty, I will be brave and stand against cruelty from believers as well as non believers.  We can be a team without accepting each others POV about the existence of God.

We ALL have to accept a lack of knowledge to get along, don't we?  I'm not the one here that is afraid to admit I don't know all the answers.  It is y'all.  By y'all I mean all atheist I've met here at this forum.

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 09:21:02 AM
So you think it is rational to cherry pick the bible GB? 
There you go again. That is not cherry picking. It seems to me more like throwing away obviously rotten fruit. To cherry-pick is to choose only on the basis of your own prejudice. OCG did not do that. I am going to assume that if he came across another inserted verse, then he would reject that too.

They are all inserted verses are they not?  Did you suddenly start believing some of the bible is actually inspired by God GB? 

Do you think it is more rational to believe in God because of the bible or because nature inspires it? 
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 09:29:57 AM
Check it out!  I'm on an atheist forum arguing the lack of merit for biblical belief in God and the atheist are defending it.  I am beyond amazed.  I am flabbergasted!

I guess it is some progress. 8) 

I would tell you why I think this is happening but I'd be in soooooooooooooo much trouble. ;)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 09:47:14 AM
really, June, there's quite a lot more the the bible than juts reading it. After all, you read it in English whilst it was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Trying to arrive at a text to translate isn't that much easier.


So you see, June, the whole question of the text of the bible, and hence which verses are quoted and said to be non-original, is quite a topic and not the simple thing it looks on the surface. So, next time you open  the bible to look up something, take a look at the footnotes and see what the editor though about the passage you were reading.

Thanks wheels but I have no desires to study the bible.  I've made my decision that it is not inspired by God and I stand by that conclusion.  It should be holey bible not holy.  You know with an "E".   That would ruin my relationship with God, IMO.  I mean really I am a living breathing homosexual, and the bible clearly despises my kind.  In this simple mind that means the bible is my enemy.  I know the bible is not a person it is an idea but it is written by humans, it is believed by other humans.  A collection of mostly cruel/irrational beliefs.

My point remains that the bible is a roadblock to God not a path to God.  It has created many monsters throughout history, that proves it's unholiness.  I will not be subjecting my spirit to it any time soon, you can trust that.

I can sum the bible and Christianity up real quick.  It goes like this...

In the beginning there was blood and death, a man named Jesus tried to teach us to love one another and then people started spilling blood in his name so there is still blood...and death.

JB

I just want to add that I still don't believe it should be that complicated.  That's like a cruel joke God played on mankind.  A point that has been made to me several times over here.  I'm going to give you a book that will teach you to  kill each other and then love one another at the same time.  I think God is way more rational and brilliant than that.  It is up to us to admit lack of knowledge. 

My favorite one was "If God wants us to believe in him be believable". 

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 09:54:49 AM
So you think it is rational to cherry pick the bible GB? 
There you go again. That is not cherry picking. It seems to me more like throwing away obviously rotten fruit. To cherry-pick is to choose only on the basis of your own prejudice. OCG did not do that. I am going to assume that if he came across another inserted verse, then he would reject that too.

OOooo what a dodge.  You missed some questions in that post.  Don't make me start a thread called why can't atheist answer questions! :laugh:
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: G-Roll on January 23, 2014, 09:58:57 AM
Check it out!  I'm on an atheist forum arguing the lack of merit for biblical belief in God and the atheist are defending it.  I am beyond amazed.  I am flabbergasted!

I guess it is some progress. 8) 

I would tell you why I think this is happening but I'd be in soooooooooooooo much trouble. ;)

Just curious,
If you think the bible is not fact based or inspired by god what is it that you would use to try and understand the will of your god? If you feel the whole bible is just made up why wouldn’t you believe that the whole religion is made up?
I am not saying you are wrong it's your faith you can believe whatever you want. It just doesn’t make since to me that you dismiss the sole thing that the Christian god "inspired and left behind."
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 10:27:55 AM
Quote
So you don't believe in witnessing and saving souls?  I thought the bible commands it.  I really don't understand why you use a bible at all.  Most of your ideas seem spiritual not religious.

I think there are many ways to witness and save a soul.  I am not one to stand on a street corner and proclaim a Gospel message.  Rather, I am a strong believer in allowing my actions and words to do the witnessing.

Quote
What do you think Jesus tried to teach us while he was still alive?  I think he taught us to deny religion and love one another.  Remember the sermon on the mount?   Religion crucified your Savior.  I think Christianity disgraces Jesus especially when they're taking innocent lives.  Jesus never said go start a religion in my name, I thought he said spread the Good News.  Well I hate to tell you this but telling people they're going to hell is not good news.

As you mentioned, I think the main thrust of Jesus' message was to love God and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.  And I agree that telling people they are going to Hell is not good news. 

Quote
If this hadn't happened there would be no pastor to tell a grieving mother her baby is not in heaven.  She would know from her own spirit that her baby was with God, IMO.

It wouldn't be soooooooooo bad if everyone was like you OCG, but they are not and that's because of the bible, IMO.  I mean the bible is not even mentioned in the ten commandments nor is going to church.  In the story of Jesus these laws were called the Laws of Moses, not God.

You're Savior, Jesus, said be humble.  There is nothing humble about dressing up in your Sunday bests or standing in front of a crowd preaching. 

So please help me understand how you're helping Jesus by supporting the church, a disgrace to Jesus IMO.  A temple to me should just be a place to pray and thank God for your blessings.

Do you not think that the young children in churches deserve the right to find their own path to God or to even be an atheist?  Why program them so young?

I tend to wear slacks and a shirt (no tie) when attending church.  Many men come wearing blue jeans and a shirt.  One man comes wearing sandals when the weather is warm enough.  The women dress from very nice dresses to slacks and a top and some in blue jeans also.

I think I am helping spread the good news by supporting the community activities of our church.  We tend a nice size garden each year in honor of a departed member who succumbed to brain cancer.  All the food is donated to a local food bank.  The youth go on mission trips in the summer helping rebuild areas either with Habitat for Humanity or disaster areas such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy.  Many in the church are also involved with the local Habitat for Humanity. 

Yes, I believe the youth have the right to determine their own path to God even to becoming atheist.  If allowing them to think for themselves is programming them young, so be it.  The alternative, to me, is to create a little band on non-thinking believers who worship a set of rules rather than the God behind the rules. 

I hope this helps and your questions are answered.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

That does not really address the lack of humility in preaching but kudos to you for being humble.  I'm saying preaching is not humble.  So if God is behind the rules should you not follow them?  Should God not have made the rules easier to define?  No need for answers here these are examples of my reasoning of how the bible makes God unbelievable.

No not allowing them to think for them selves is my definition of programming.  How are they free to chose if they are taught Christianity as small children and the alternatives are not?  It's all well and good in a loving/caring church such as your's but there is some serious brainwashing going on.   My momma said if you lay with dogs you get fleas.  The dogs of religion, IMO, has given the rest fleas.  The whole bunch is spoiled.  Thereby making God unbelievable.  It's just a figure of speech, no harm meant.

If religion makes God unbelievable how is it a good thing?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 10:44:43 AM
Check it out!  I'm on an atheist forum arguing the lack of merit for biblical belief in God and the atheist are defending it.  I am beyond amazed.  I am flabbergasted!

I guess it is some progress. 8) 

I would tell you why I think this is happening but I'd be in soooooooooooooo much trouble. ;)

Just curious,
If you think the bible is not fact based or inspired by god what is it that you would use to try and understand the will of your god? If you feel the whole bible is just made up why wouldn’t you believe that the whole religion is made up?
I am not saying you are wrong it's your faith you can believe whatever you want. It just doesn’t make since to me that you dismiss the sole thing that the Christian god "inspired and left behind."

Nature G, nature and consciousness. 

I do believe the whole religion is made up.

There are many concepts of God left behind and then there's mine.  I mean these days it's like I interpret that from this guys interpretation and I believe this based on that guys interpretation of that guy so on and so on and so on and so on and so on etc etc etc......

I base my belief on things we know not things we don't know.  Except for where does God live; I can only say out there somewhere, it's an awful big universe, maybe infinite maybe not.

I believe; how you believe in God defines you not God.  I also believe how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: G-Roll on January 23, 2014, 11:21:52 AM
Nature G, nature and consciousness. 

I do believe the whole religion is made up.


Do you believe science is made up? I ask because science explains quite a bit about nature and consciousness.
If you feel science produces tested facts of nature and consciousness, and religion is made up why be religious/spiritual?

Quote
There are many concepts of God left behind and then there's mine.  I mean these days it's like I interpret that from this guys interpretation and I believe this based on that guys interpretation of that guy so on and so on and so on and so on and so on etc etc etc......
Ultimately I think that is how we all roll. In some ways. Believers and non believers alike.

Quote
I base my belief on things we know not things we don't know.  Except for where does God live; I can only say out there somewhere, it's an awful big universe, maybe infinite maybe not.
Lol I have no clue what you are saying here. You base your belief on things you know not things you don’t know. So you know where god lives, yet maybe not? Eh?
It is a big universe though I agree with you on that one!

Quote
I believe; how you believe in God defines you not God.  I also believe how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.
Fair enough. Although I think the second statement holds true for both camps. How you act as a Christian defines you not Christianity. And how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: SevenPatch on January 23, 2014, 11:49:48 AM
I was sorely tempted to smite you for this post, but I decided not to.  And that's because while it's tempting to smack someone when they say something that I disagree with, all I'd really be doing is justifying my own arrogance.  Kind of the way you acted in your response to OldChurchGuy.  You would have taken one look at it and either blew it off or smited me right back for it.

I smited Junebug.

I gave into temptation.

I think you should be concerned about how much pleasure you took in smiting me.  Please tell me again how it is atheist can be so kind w/o a belief in God?  You certainly falsify that claim.

Like it or not I woke OCG up.  I got the answer I was looking for.  I've got so many it's like nothing. 

It obviously doesn't work or I would be dead by now with all my smites.  hahaha

Jaime was right I shrugged it off and smited you right back.  I could play all day. 

Twisted Sister, Come out and play...We're not gonna take it anymore!!!........... bang head now, not too hard you might get whoop-lash. :laugh:

I thought it was silly for you to smite someone for doing exactly what you asked them to do.  You didnt even give that person a chance.  I disagree with a lot of responses to the questions I ask but I try to explain what I mean and give the person a chance to understand me before I smite them which may end up just alienating them causing them to mistrust me.

After I read Jaimehlers reply, I realized he was probably right. 

I had to be honest, I gave into temptation with a knee jerk reaction because I don't understand you.

Thank you for your response, it may help me in understanding you.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: jaimehlers on January 23, 2014, 12:32:32 PM
Not just theists Jaime you can't leave out the atheist POV.

It amazes me how we agree on so many levels but yet you want to smite me for believing the same as you.
The reason I wanted to smite you is because you smote someone I respect, and not just that you smote him, but that you smote him because you wanted a different answer than the one he gave.  It was the emotional impulse to wade in and hit you back for what I saw as an unjust attack.  The reason I didn't smite you is because I realized that doing so would simply make things worse.  You clearly felt justified in what you did, and the fact that I would have felt just as justified in smiting you back wouldn't have made any more of a difference to you than your feeling justified made a difference to me.

Quote from: junebug72
I'm trying to prove that the existence of a religion in Jesus's name is in contradiction to what Jesus taught.  Do you disagree with that idea?
Honestly, I don't know.  To a very large degree, it's human nature to venerate things you agree with, as well as anything that champions those things.  It's pretty easy to go from venerating something to making it into a religion, whether it's your own personal religion or something you share with millions of other people.  I don't think you need a deity in order to have a religion.  You just need something that you venerate so much that you don't even think about it.  It doesn't matter whether that thing is a person, a god, science, a government, a principle, or even just a sports team; if you get to the point where it's so much a part of you that you defend it without thinking about it, it's become a religion to you.

Quote from: junebug72
So OCG gets laminated for only accepting part of the bible and I get none for not believing any of it.  You make no sense.  I did get a thumbs up way back when so I guess that's OK.  I have had my laminated moments here as well.  Shoot we all need to feel special sometimes.
I gave him the equivalent of a thumbs-up for two reasons.  First, because I didn't think your opinion was justified, and that was a better way to express it than to smack you down for expressing your opinion, and second, because what he said made sense.  If you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that something was inserted in the Bible after the fact, then it makes no sense to give that thing any special credence.  My opinion goes further than that - we can't actually prove where anything in the Bible came from, and so before I give any of it credence, I would want to see corroborating evidence which supported it.  But I respect OldChurchGuy, despite the fact that I disagree with his beliefs, because he's open to considering that he might be wrong, no matter who says it.  Do you know just how rare that is?  It's something that needs to be encouraged.  So I guess that's a third reason.

Quote from: junebug72
If you want the turmoil to end show me right now that you can accept me the way I am.  Quit trying to rage a war with me.  I am not your enemy.  I have tried very hard to be a friend to the atheist and trust me, y'all need some friends on the theist side.  By "your" I mean atheist not you personally but yes you personally as well.  I want nothing less than peace for the human race.  So what do you say, will you be my friend?  I am a loyal friend.  I want turn my back on you when times are hard.  I will defend your atheist POV no matter what though.
If I have a problem with you over something, believe me, I'll take it up with you.  Otherwise, my attitude is live and let live, as long as other people don't get hurt.  As far as anything else goes?  I just don't know you all that well, and I've had bad experiences with other people who wanted to be my friends but only wanted to take advantage of me for their own purposes, or who were friendly but had emotional problems which splashed on me.  I've found it's better to be cautious until I feel I know someone well enough.

Quote from: junebug72
Don't you think peace could start by showing respect to those who believe differently?  I have no respect for cruelty, I will be brave and stand against cruelty from believers as well as non believers.  We can be a team without accepting each others POV about the existence of God.
And I do respect people who have different beliefs.  The problem comes when their idea of respect is taking their half out of the middle and leaving you whatever they don't take.  For example, those who advocate teaching intelligent design in science classrooms even though they don't have anything that really supports it scientifically. Those who pass on their religious beliefs in a public school classroom and act as if people who don't share those beliefs should just put up and shut up, or else go away.  Those who feel that their religious convictions give them the right to dictate the way other people behave.  They aren't being cruel, they aren't being vindictive, they're just blinkered by their beliefs and simply don't understand how much harm they're doing without even intending it.  Do you see the problem?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 23, 2014, 01:25:26 PM

And I do respect people who have different beliefs.  The problem comes when their idea of respect is taking their half out of the middle and leaving you whatever they don't take.  For example, those who advocate teaching intelligent design in science classrooms even though they don't have anything that really supports it scientifically. Those who pass on their religious beliefs in a public school classroom and act as if people who don't share those beliefs should just put up and shut up, or else go away.  Those who feel that their religious convictions give them the right to dictate the way other people behave.  They aren't being cruel, they aren't being vindictive, they're just blinkered by their beliefs and simply don't understand how much harm they're doing without even intending it.  Do you see the problem?




Let's make a big deal out of a little old smite why don't we.  1-1=0. 

OCG will survive. 

Yes I think it is important for us all to admit a lack of knowledge.  That goes for atheist too.

Is this not the path to PEACE? 

You can't even make peace with me and I'm pretty easy, I hate to admit.  ;) I offer an olive branch and you refuse it. :? 

The way I see it you should not blame others for what you yourself can not even do. 

I'm looking at The Man in the Mirror.  In my case I am a woman but you know what I mean.  This website is so quick to judge others but don't like to look at themselves as "part of the problem".

Just want to add; I try very hard not to be a part of the problem. 

The problem with religion is this, when they are wrong people die.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 23, 2014, 01:38:36 PM
Quote

That does not really address the lack of humility in preaching but kudos to you for being humble.  I'm saying preaching is not humble.  So if God is behind the rules should you not follow them?  Should God not have made the rules easier to define?  No need for answers here these are examples of my reasoning of how the bible makes God unbelievable.

No not allowing them to think for them selves is my definition of programming.  How are they free to chose if they are taught Christianity as small children and the alternatives are not?  It's all well and good in a loving/caring church such as your's but there is some serious brainwashing going on.   My momma said if you lay with dogs you get fleas.  The dogs of religion, IMO, has given the rest fleas.  The whole bunch is spoiled.  Thereby making God unbelievable.  It's just a figure of speech, no harm meant.

If religion makes God unbelievable how is it a good thing?

I get the impression we are not that different.  You don't care for the Bible as it takes away from an accurate understanding of God and I see the Bible as more of a guidebook toward understanding God.  Neither of us is inclined to declare it is the divinely inspried inerrant word of God. 

Your understanding of God is based solely on personal experience and personal revelation, if I understand things correctly.  And I say that I am happy for you. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 24, 2014, 04:03:57 AM
Can we please ALL stick to the subject of the thread please, and not "what smote who for what". 

Can we also please ALL try to leave past history behind and move forwards?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 24, 2014, 04:05:22 AM
So OCG gets laminated for only accepting part of the bible and I get none for not believing any of it.  You make no sense.  I did get a thumbs up way back when so I guess that's OK.  I have had my laminated moments here as well. 

To quote from The Princess Bride....

"You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."   ;)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 24, 2014, 07:23:47 AM
So OCG gets laminated for only accepting part of the bible and I get none for not believing any of it.  You make no sense.  I did get a thumbs up way back when so I guess that's OK.  I have had my laminated moments here as well. 

To quote from The Princess Bride....

"You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."   ;)

It's creative writing, lol.  Na I guess flooring doesn't make sense there.  Oh well I tried.  Maybe it will catch on, maybe not.  Anyway thanks for letting me know.   8) :laugh:

Good One, :laugh:

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 24, 2014, 07:46:08 AM
Quote

That does not really address the lack of humility in preaching but kudos to you for being humble.  I'm saying preaching is not humble.  So if God is behind the rules should you not follow them?  Should God not have made the rules easier to define?  No need for answers here these are examples of my reasoning of how the bible makes God unbelievable.

No not allowing them to think for them selves is my definition of programming.  How are they free to chose if they are taught Christianity as small children and the alternatives are not?  It's all well and good in a loving/caring church such as your's but there is some serious brainwashing going on.   My momma said if you lay with dogs you get fleas.  The dogs of religion, IMO, has given the rest fleas.  The whole bunch is spoiled.  Thereby making God unbelievable.  It's just a figure of speech, no harm meant.

If religion makes God unbelievable how is it a good thing?

I get the impression we are not that different.  You don't care for the Bible as it takes away from an accurate understanding of God and I see the Bible as more of a guidebook toward understanding God.  Neither of us is inclined to declare it is the divinely inspried inerrant word of God. 

Your understanding of God is based solely on personal experience and personal revelation, if I understand things correctly.  And I say that I am happy for you. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

Yes we are O.  We are not that different.  We both seem to believe from values and heart.  I think we are both disturbed by the things people do in God's/Jesus's name.

That is why I feel so strongly against religion.  1 person with a bad understanding ain't that big a deal.  Get 5 million and buddy we got a problem.  In my life experience it seems like sometimes you just need to throw away a failed project and just start fresh with a clean slate.  I mean 4000 denominations, come on now.  That seriously dilutes Jesus and his name.  Church leaders either need to get together and make up their minds or just give up already.

At the very least pass a law that states a pastor MUST have certification from an approved school just like a DR or any other professional.  After all they are dealing with our afterlife, IMO.  I still don't think it's humble to preach.  At least this would make people know the book they are preaching from better.  It's called to the ministry preachers that really spoil the whole bunch.  They are the literalist makers.

What do you think?  Of course I welcome any opinion. ;)

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 24, 2014, 07:49:45 AM
Can we please ALL stick to the subject of the thread please, and not "what smote who for what". 

Can we also please ALL try to leave past history behind and move forwards?


Is "who" not the correct word here?  See we can help each other! ;)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 24, 2014, 11:28:51 AM
Nature G, nature and consciousness. 

I do believe the whole religion is made up.


Do you believe science is made up? I ask because science explains quite a bit about nature and consciousness.
If you feel science produces tested facts of nature and consciousness, and religion is made up why be religious/spiritual?

Quote
There are many concepts of God left behind and then there's mine.  I mean these days it's like I interpret that from this guys interpretation and I believe this based on that guys interpretation of that guy so on and so on and so on and so on and so on etc etc etc......
Ultimately I think that is how we all roll. In some ways. Believers and non believers alike.


Quote
I believe; how you believe in God defines you not God.  I also believe how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.
Fair enough.

Although I think the second statement holds true for both camps. How you act as a Christian defines you not Christianity. And how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.

Hey G,

No I don't believe science is made up.  I am not religious.  I am spiritual because that's what my mind decided was good for me.  It has helped me through some very rough patches.   I am a hopeless romantic, probably hard wired for it.

G, I had just said that you must have missed it.  ;)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: median on January 24, 2014, 01:34:59 PM
And what does "spiritual" mean?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: OldChurchGuy on January 24, 2014, 04:53:34 PM
Quote

That does not really address the lack of humility in preaching but kudos to you for being humble.  I'm saying preaching is not humble.  So if God is behind the rules should you not follow them?  Should God not have made the rules easier to define?  No need for answers here these are examples of my reasoning of how the bible makes God unbelievable.

No not allowing them to think for them selves is my definition of programming.  How are they free to chose if they are taught Christianity as small children and the alternatives are not?  It's all well and good in a loving/caring church such as your's but there is some serious brainwashing going on.   My momma said if you lay with dogs you get fleas.  The dogs of religion, IMO, has given the rest fleas.  The whole bunch is spoiled.  Thereby making God unbelievable.  It's just a figure of speech, no harm meant.

If religion makes God unbelievable how is it a good thing?

I get the impression we are not that different.  You don't care for the Bible as it takes away from an accurate understanding of God and I see the Bible as more of a guidebook toward understanding God.  Neither of us is inclined to declare it is the divinely inspried inerrant word of God. 

Your understanding of God is based solely on personal experience and personal revelation, if I understand things correctly.  And I say that I am happy for you. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy

Yes we are O.  We are not that different.  We both seem to believe from values and heart.  I think we are both disturbed by the things people do in God's/Jesus's name.

That is why I feel so strongly against religion.  1 person with a bad understanding ain't that big a deal.  Get 5 million and buddy we got a problem.  In my life experience it seems like sometimes you just need to throw away a failed project and just start fresh with a clean slate.  I mean 4000 denominations, come on now.  That seriously dilutes Jesus and his name.  Church leaders either need to get together and make up their minds or just give up already.

At the very least pass a law that states a pastor MUST have certification from an approved school just like a DR or any other professional.  After all they are dealing with our afterlife, IMO.  I still don't think it's humble to preach.  At least this would make people know the book they are preaching from better.  It's called to the ministry preachers that really spoil the whole bunch.  They are the literalist makers.

What do you think?  Of course I welcome any opinion. ;)

JB

Passing a law might setting any standards for a minister may be a separation of church and state issue.  But maybe not.  I don't know. 

As always,

OldChurchGuy
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 25, 2014, 03:11:07 AM
At the very least pass a law that states a pastor MUST have certification from an approved school just like a DR or any other professional.  After all they are dealing with our afterlife, IMO.  I still don't think it's humble to preach.  At least this would make people know the book they are preaching from better.  It's called to the ministry preachers that really spoil the whole bunch.  They are the literalist makers.

Passing a law might setting any standards for a minister may be a separation of church and state issue.  But maybe not.  I don't know.

I think the point was to get "the church" to come to a definitive conclusion on what god is, and certify their priests so that there would only be one "official" view of that faith.

Sounds okay at first look, but would be very dangerous in practice.  It would mean that anyone with a conflicting opinion about what god is or wants would.....what?  Be imprisoned, or fined?  Or be a legitimate object of ridicule for not following the establishment line?

It also means that Christianity itself would be banned, being as it is a revision of Judaism.  It would mean, in effect, that whoever had the first idea of god would be the arbiter of what was or was not right.  And if they got it wrong in any way, there would be big barriers in the way of discovering the truth.

If on the other hand we are saying that some non-religious body would have the final say, then likely every opinion would be labelled wrong, since I guess the impartial source would be looking at the evidence behind the beliefs in order to stamp a seal of approval on it.  Again, depends on what the consequences of non-approval would be - but harsh consequences would impact heavily on anyone not agreeing worth the Establishment, and softer or no consequences make me wonder why bother in the first place.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 25, 2014, 05:17:48 AM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 25, 2014, 06:03:03 AM
At the very least pass a law that states a pastor MUST have certification from an approved school just like a DR or any other professional.  After all they are dealing with our afterlife, IMO.  I still don't think it's humble to preach.  At least this would make people know the book they are preaching from better.  It's called to the ministry preachers that really spoil the whole bunch.  They are the literalist makers.

Passing a law might setting any standards for a minister may be a separation of church and state issue.  But maybe not.  I don't know.

I think the point was to get "the church" to come to a definitive conclusion on what god is, and certify their priests so that there would only be one "official" view of that faith.

Sounds okay at first look, but would be very dangerous in practice.  It would mean that anyone with a conflicting opinion about what god is or wants would.....what?  Be imprisoned, or fined?  Or be a legitimate object of ridicule for not following the establishment line?

It also means that Christianity itself would be banned, being as it is a revision of Judaism.  It would mean, in effect, that whoever had the first idea of god would be the arbiter of what was or was not right.  And if they got it wrong in any way, there would be big barriers in the way of discovering the truth.

If on the other hand we are saying that some non-religious body would have the final say, then likely every opinion would be labelled wrong, since I guess the impartial source would be looking at the evidence behind the beliefs in order to stamp a seal of approval on it.  Again, depends on what the consequences of non-approval would be - but harsh consequences would impact heavily on anyone not agreeing worth the Establishment, and softer or no consequences make me wonder why bother in the first place.


Well put Anfauglir.  I don't see any reason these issues of concern couldn't be ironed out.  The first step would be to completely separate the OT from the NT. That will take care of their affiliation with Judaism, sort of.  Take out all inserted verses and insert the omitted ones. 

Isn't there a sense of priority when the constitution is involved.  I think the nature of separation was to keep the church out of government not the other way around. 

I just don't think the problems with religion is going to fix itself.  When things are harmful to society is that not when Big Brother steps in and passes laws?

When someone has doubts or concerns about the doctrine there should be a panel of certified counselors where this person can share their concerns. 

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 25, 2014, 03:22:09 PM
When someone has doubts or concerns about the doctrine there should be a panel of certified counselors.....

Appointed by....?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 25, 2014, 03:24:17 PM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

You may wish to work on that definition.  As you've phrased it, someone like me with zero god-belief is as "spiritual" as you are.  I'm not certain that's what you really want to mean when you use the word.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Dominic on January 26, 2014, 07:32:15 AM
Some years ago, I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and one of the members asked to talk with me afterwards.

The family had recently transferred from another church so I didn't know her very well.  Here is her story:

A few years prior she gave birth to a boy with a severely damaged heart so the child lived only a few days.  The pastor fo the church they attended at the time offered consolation and when asked if her boy was in heaven the pastor replied firmly but politely, "no".  The pastor was a "literalist" in his understanding of the New Testament writings and said (as politely as possible as near as I can tell) that since her son did not declare Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, her son was not in heaven.  He was in an area nearby and safe, but not in heaven. 

She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I don't blame the pastor because he has simply passed on what he believed.  He did the right thing according to his conscience.  He no doubt thought it better to be honest than just tell her something nice to make her feel better.

Having said that, I am fairly certain that he is at least partially mistaken because he has been brought up in a branch of Christianity which takes a literalist approach to the bible.

Does the pastor know what heaven is ?   Does he know what God is ?  Does he know what a soul is ?  Does he know what a child is ?  To answer the mother accurately and precisely would require him knowing all those things and knowing them well.  We get a bit of information about those things from the bible and from Church tradition.  We get a bit of information about those things from life.  We get a bit of information about those things through Church tradition.  We get a bit of information about those things from science and philosophy.  But we are definitely not experts.  We should not pretend to be.  We should not be arrogant by thinking that we know all about these things. 
 
Accepting our ignorance does not mean that we can say nothing, but we need to be humble; admit that we are expressing an opinion; and as very limited beings we should acknowledge especially in matters relating to God that we can have little certainty about how a perfect and all powerful being will influence or determine a soul's future.

Would a perfect being punish a child for dying before it can speak or profess beliefs ?  In my view, to answer 'yes' would contradict the very nature of perfection.  But that is simply my opinion as a Christian and from my overall understanding of Christianity.


Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 26, 2014, 08:09:33 AM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

You may wish to work on that definition.  As you've phrased it, someone like me with zero god-belief is as "spiritual" as you are.  I'm not certain that's what you really want to mean when you use the word.

I wasn't sure about is/are but I'm good with my use of the word "spiritual". 

It does my heart good to believe an atheist is "spiritual" w/o a belief in God.  ;)  I believe we all have "spirit".  "Spirit" is self.  I believe even a tree has spirit.  Every living thing even hardened criminals.  I think their "spirit" has been damaged/broken, abusive childhoods, loss of income, loss of love...loss.

The Force is Strong with This One. :D

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 26, 2014, 08:26:43 AM
Some years ago, I was teaching an Adult Sunday School class and one of the members asked to talk with me afterwards.

The family had recently transferred from another church so I didn't know her very well.  Here is her story:

A few years prior she gave birth to a boy with a severely damaged heart so the child lived only a few days.  The pastor fo the church they attended at the time offered consolation and when asked if her boy was in heaven the pastor replied firmly but politely, "no".  The pastor was a "literalist" in his understanding of the New Testament writings and said (as politely as possible as near as I can tell) that since her son did not declare Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, her son was not in heaven.  He was in an area nearby and safe, but not in heaven. 

She asked my opinion and I gave it.  Before I share what I said, I am curious how you would respond to this story and her question.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

I don't blame the pastor because he has simply passed on what he believed.  He did the right thing according to his conscience.  He no doubt thought it better to be honest than just tell her something nice to make her feel better.

Having said that, I am fairly certain that he is at least partially mistaken because he has been brought up in a branch of Christianity which takes a literalist approach to the bible.

Does the pastor know what heaven is ?   Does he know what God is ?  Does he know what a soul is ?  Does he know what a child is ?  To answer the mother accurately and precisely would require him knowing all those things and knowing them well.  We get a bit of information about those things from the bible and from Church tradition.  We get a bit of information about those things from life.  We get a bit of information about those things through Church tradition.  We get a bit of information about those things from science and philosophy.  But we are definitely not experts.  We should not pretend to be.  We should not be arrogant by thinking that we know all about these things. 
 
Accepting our ignorance does not mean that we can say nothing, but we need to be humble; admit that we are expressing an opinion; and as very limited beings we should acknowledge especially in matters relating to God that we can have little certainty about how a perfect and all powerful being will influence or determine a soul's future.

Would a perfect being punish a child for dying before it can speak or profess beliefs ?  In my view, to answer 'yes' would contradict the very nature of perfection.  But that is simply my opinion as a Christian and from my overall understanding of Christianity.

Hi Dominic it's nice to meet you.

See if all Christians could agree...Oh what peace there'd be.  I blame religion. 

In no way shape or form is preaching humble.  That makes the very invention of the religion Christianity a contradiction to itself.  Making God even more unbelievable than the bible does.  It adds insult to injury. 

I think temples out of respect for Jesus should only be a place to pray and give thanks.  A place to do good for the poor and less fortunate and let the all powerful God speak for itself.

Peace and Joy,

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 26, 2014, 09:16:16 AM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

JB

One can't help but notice that the people who claim to be "spiritual"[1] have been influenced by the theists around them for their entire life. But, less bullshit is still less bullshit, so the "spiritual, who don't belong to a religion" people are more correct than the theists. Many "spiritual" people can even be considered atheists.
 1. Median asked for a definition of "spiritual". It's a good question because it might cause the "spiritual" person to explore what the hell they are actually talking about, and it might help them shed some of their "spirituality".
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 26, 2014, 11:24:26 AM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

JB


One can't help but notice that the people who claim to be "spiritual"[1] have been influenced by the theists around them for their entire life. But, less bullshit is still less bullshit, so the "spiritual, who don't belong to a religion" people are more correct than the theists. Many "spiritual" people can even be considered atheists.
 1. Median asked for a definition of "spiritual". It's a good question because it might cause the "spiritual" person to explore what the hell they are actually talking about, and it might help them shed some of their "spirituality".


But might not spiritual mean something to an atheist too? Like the feelings of awe one has looking up into mountains or even look at deep space picture of thousand upon thousand of galaxies any none of which might house a planet like ours?

<<Mod quotefix>>
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 26, 2014, 12:24:02 PM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

You may wish to work on that definition.  As you've phrased it, someone like me with zero god-belief is as "spiritual" as you are.  I'm not certain that's what you really want to mean when you use the word.

I wasn't sure about is/are but I'm good with my use of the word "spiritual". 

It does my heart good to believe an atheist is "spiritual" w/o a belief in God.  ;)  I believe we all have "spirit".  "Spirit" is self.  I believe even a tree has spirit.  Every living thing even hardened criminals.  I think their "spirit" has been damaged/broken, abusive childhoods, loss of income, loss of love...loss.

Trouble is, the broader you make the definition, the less meaning it has.  You are saying that trees are spiritual as well?  That trees are responsible for their own beliefs?

As you have defined it, I am exactly as spiritual as you are - we are both responsible for our beliefs and have a "self".  Likewise, a tree has a "self" and is, again, exactly as spiritual as you or I.

I have no problem with that definition as it stands.  I just feel it is meaningless as a term because it allows no distinction between any living thing - and if that is the case why use the term at all?  Why not use the simpler (and less baggage-ridden) word "alive"?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 26, 2014, 12:42:51 PM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

JB


One can't help but notice that the people who claim to be "spiritual"[1] have been influenced by the theists around them for their entire life. But, less bullshit is still less bullshit, so the "spiritual, who don't belong to a religion" people are more correct than the theists. Many "spiritual" people can even be considered atheists.
 1. Median asked for a definition of "spiritual". It's a good question because it might cause the "spiritual" person to explore what the hell they are actually talking about, and it might help them shed some of their "spirituality".


But might not spiritual mean something to an atheist too? Like the feelings of awe one has looking up into mountains or even look at deep space picture of thousand upon thousand of galaxies any none of which might house a planet like ours?

<<Mod quotefix>>

Most definitely. Words like "spiritual", "love", and even "sin" mean certain things to theists and atheists alike. It's just that I've seen the word "spiritual" brought into a conversation in similar contexts like this one involving junebug72.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 26, 2014, 12:57:49 PM
It's hard to be alive w/o spirit, IMO.  What separates us from trees is we know we are alive.  We know we will die.  If the tree loses it's spirit, other trees hogging the light, pollution,  it's gives up hope and dies.   When a human loses spirit they hurt others.  The tree will fertilize and benefit the land transcending it's essence into immortality.  The human can become a monster destroying the spirit of others.


Spiritual to me is simply guiding your own spirit w/o the help of religion. 

I hope this gives a better meaning for you to think about Anfauglir.  I'm sure someone could define spiritual better than me.  This is just how I see it.

Thanks for making me think deeper.

JB
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: median on January 27, 2014, 01:50:41 AM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

JB

So spiritual is a synonym for being responsible for what you think is true? This is a useless definition. Btw, you used the word "spirit" in your definition. So the term is circular and therefore IRRATIONAL.

Fail.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: median on January 27, 2014, 03:00:34 AM
^^^Anybody else see the smite MagicMiles gave me for this? LOL. Real mature. Yeah, I can really feel that "love of Jesus", that "fruit of the spirit", and that witness of 'God's love'. Not. You're better at pushing people away from your faith. Nice.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 27, 2014, 06:36:34 AM
And what does "spiritual" mean?

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  It is just a way to prepare my spirit for the physical death.  No church required and definitely no preachers. 

JB

So spiritual is a synonym for being responsible for what you think is true? This is a useless definition. Btw, you used the word "spirit" in your definition. So the term is circular and therefore IRRATIONAL.

Fail.

Well I guess Webster needs to be informed.  When a word is an extension of another word the original word is commonly used to define it.

ex playing: to play.

Spiritual: mindful of the spirit

Spirit: courage, strength, wisdom, self

Here is Webster's

www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spirit?
Merriam?Webster
the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power. : the inner quality or nature of a person.

Thanks for making me try harder.

JB

www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spiritual?
Merriam?Webster
1spir·i·tu·al. adjective \?spir-i-ch?-w?l, -i-ch?l, -ich-w?l\. : of or relating to a person's spirit

edit to add spiritual definition
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 27, 2014, 07:15:46 AM
Spiritual to me is simply guiding your own spirit w/o the help of religion. 

I hope this gives a better meaning for you to think about Anfauglir.  I'm sure someone could define spiritual better than me.  This is just how I see it.

Unfortunately not really.  In the first few posts you said:

Spiritual means you and only you is responsible for your beliefs.  Tick, yes, that's me.There's no trying to control the masses or profits of any kind.  Tick again.I believe we all have "spirit".  "Spirit" is self.  (your clarification on what spirit means)
It is just a way to prepare my spirit (my self) for the physical death.  Tick again.
Spiritual to me is simply guiding your own spirit (again, my self) w/o the help of religion.  And Tick.So in summary - Spirituality is being responsible for your beliefs, not blindly following a religion, not trying to profit from other people, preparing yourself for death. 

Fine, like I said I tick all the boxes, but so far there is absolutely zero god-belief required, and hence I am as "spiritual" as you.  Maybe we are?  Maybe that is exactly and all that you mean.  I just get the sense that that isn't what you mean when you use the word as you've defined it, or that there is more you intend from the term than you are saying?

Incidentally, its not necessarily about someone else defining it "better".  In this case, "better" would simply mean "closer to what I feel but have not articulated".  The only reason I'm pushing it is - as Lot and Wheels have said - people can mean a whooole lot of different things when they use the word "spiritual".  And that means that when someone uses it, it is important to understand what it means to them, in order to make sense of the context they use it in.

EDIT: Just seen your next post - I'll comment in a moment.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 27, 2014, 07:21:35 AM
Spirit: courage, strength, wisdom, self

OK - so far no worries.  Spirit=self, as you've used before.

the force within a person that is believed to give the body life, energy, and power.
the inner quality or nature of a person.

Now here it becomes more complicated, as those are two very different meanings, neither of which really gel with what you've said before.  The first - "a force within that gives the body life" has NO connection to anything you've said before here when you used the word "spiritual" - indeed, it seems to add that extra mystical component that Wheels and Lot were referring to.

Or, it just might mean "electro-chemical activity"!  But either way, both still mean that your spirituality is exactly equal to mine - or median's, or wheels', or lot's.  And if that's the case, why not simply say "we are all human" and have done - why use another word that makes no additional distinction?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 27, 2014, 07:32:24 AM
I believe that, the inner quality or nature of a person, does gel with what I've said before. 

I'm perfectly OK with you guys being as spiritual as me. :angel:

I've got to get on the roof after while and sweep the chimney.  It's going to take some spirit for me to do that.  It's cold, wet and I don't like heights.  My spirit will give me strength.

What do you think?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: wheels5894 on January 27, 2014, 07:33:12 AM
I think the problem here is that the idea of spirituality is really something that comes from religion. The idea of a spiritual person is one who prays a lot, who is close to the deity and who insights into the world of the god concerned.

The problem lies when we separate the word from the religious context and try and fit it into a non-theist context. Does it still refer to contact with a god? Does it imply a religious style of life? I suggest that the word has the meaning the person who uses it wants and it does not have to follow the dictionary definition. Personally, I think the word is really redundant when used outwith the context of religion but that's just me.

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 27, 2014, 07:53:38 AM
I think the problem here is that the idea of spirituality is really something that comes from religion. The idea of a spiritual person is one who prays a lot, who is close to the deity and who insights into the world of the god concerned.

The problem lies when we separate the word from the religious context and try and fit it into a non-theist context. Does it still refer to contact with a god? Does it imply a religious style of life? I suggest that the word has the meaning the person who uses it wants and it does not have to follow the dictionary definition. Personally, I think the word is really redundant when used outwith the context of religion but that's just me.

Good point Wheelie, is it OK if I call you Wheelie?  I hope so I think it's cute.

I guess it matters how you define God.  If you define God as self then yes a non theist contacts God. 

To me spirituality did not attach itself to religion.  Religion attached itself to spirituality to give validity/power to it's claims.  Religion does not own spirit.

This thread is way off track.  Let's continue in the thread I just started out of respect for OCG.  This is his thread.

Sorry O.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on January 28, 2014, 10:48:58 AM
I'm perfectly OK with you guys being as spiritual as me.

And if that's the case, why not simply say "we are all human" and have done - why use another word that makes no additional distinction?
....and carries a whole lot of other baggage with it? 

But fair enough - we are all equally "spiritual".  So no more need to reference the term.  Back to the thread.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 28, 2014, 11:39:09 AM
I'm perfectly OK with you guys being as spiritual as me.

And if that's the case, why not simply say "we are all human" and have done - why use another word that makes no additional distinction?
....and carries a whole lot of other baggage with it? 

But fair enough - we are all equally "spiritual".  So no more need to reference the term.  Back to the thread.
 
Yes you're right.  Thanks to religion. 

I think this thread is dead.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: G-Roll on January 28, 2014, 01:24:23 PM
Nature G, nature and consciousness. 

I do believe the whole religion is made up.


Do you believe science is made up? I ask because science explains quite a bit about nature and consciousness.
If you feel science produces tested facts of nature and consciousness, and religion is made up why be religious/spiritual?

Quote
There are many concepts of God left behind and then there's mine.  I mean these days it's like I interpret that from this guys interpretation and I believe this based on that guys interpretation of that guy so on and so on and so on and so on and so on etc etc etc......
Ultimately I think that is how we all roll. In some ways. Believers and non believers alike.


Quote
I believe; how you believe in God defines you not God.  I also believe how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.
Fair enough.

Although I think the second statement holds true for both camps. How you act as a Christian defines you not Christianity. And how you act as an atheist defines you not atheism.

Hey G,

No I don't believe science is made up.  I am not religious.  I am spiritual because that's what my mind decided was good for me.  It has helped me through some very rough patches.   I am a hopeless romantic, probably hard wired for it.

G, I had just said that you must have missed it.  ;)

Yeah I was agreeing with you. Cool font though. Its kinda spooky with all the colors.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: junebug72 on January 28, 2014, 03:04:19 PM
I was playing around with the "G".  Glad you like it.  :)
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 28, 2014, 07:53:16 PM
As you probably suspect, I heartily disagree with that position. I did a bit of googling, and I am in agreement with the critque of "Love Wins" linked here:

http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.7729125/k.E07E/God_Wins_A_Critique_of_Rob_Bells_Love_Wins.htm

I, on the other hand, am not in agreement.





Quote from: Dipshit Link
Paul warns us very strongly in Galatians 1:8 the danger of preaching another gospel. Unfortunately, Bell here presents another gospel and in doing so, presents a false message of hope that has eternal consequences.


Is Paul speaking of the danger that the other three authors of the "canonical" gospels partook with their preaching of a gospel other than "Mark's"?


To utter "Paul warns" with any seriousness is fucking retarded.

To speak seriously of "eternal consequences" is also fucking retarded.







Quote from: Dipshit Link
Unfortunately, Bell here presents another gospel and in doing so, presents a false message of hope that has eternal consequences.

What's hilarious is that the author of the Gospel of Mark could just as easily say, "Unfortunately, YHWH, Micah, and David here present a false message of hope that has eternal consequences."

YHWH, Micah, and David could just as easily say, "Unfortunately, the author of the Gospel of Mark here presents a false message of hope that has eternal consequences. For one, this motherfucker wasn't even Mark, but what scholars do agree upon, was that he was full of shit."

Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: magicmiles on January 28, 2014, 07:58:51 PM
^^ A very sobering post.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: lotanddaughters on January 28, 2014, 08:06:58 PM
^^ A very sobering post.

Yeah. It's good to see you getting sober from the education that we provide here.

Next time, you'll think before posting a weak link.



He he he he he.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Traveler on January 28, 2014, 08:55:44 PM
I rather like the definition of spirituality on wiki ...

Quote
...The use of the term "spirituality" has changed throughout the ages.[4] In modern times, spirituality is often separated from Abrahamic religions,[5] and connotes a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions aimed at personal well-being and personal development.[6] The notion of "spiritual experience" plays an important role in modern spirituality, but has a relatively recent origin.[7]

... from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

I sort of see it as attempting to achieve our best/highest selves, or seeking enlightenment, or something. Basically, a (mostly) personal journey of self discovery.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Jesuis on February 13, 2014, 01:32:09 AM
Realistically, all babies born atheist.  They do not become religious until indoctrinated to be so. Infant circumcision and baptism may placate the parents and church, but the infant knows nothing of why these rituals are being performed.  Therefore the first, literalist preacher was probably closest to the pragmatic target, IMO.
All babies are born conscious not atheist. The label atheist is adopted later in life through a thinking process.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Anfauglir on February 13, 2014, 03:38:24 AM
Realistically, all babies born atheist.  They do not become religious until indoctrinated to be so.
All babies are born conscious not atheist. The label atheist is adopted later in life through a thinking process.

Yes, good try.  But the point is that babies are not born with belief in any god or gods.

If you believe babies are born with a belief in your god, then surely you should be out campaigning against all other religions - BAD religions that take all those Good Christian Babies and indoctrinate them away from the One True Faith.

What could be worse than that?
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: Ataraxia on February 13, 2014, 03:54:24 AM
All babies are born conscious not atheist. The label atheist is adopted later in life through a thinking process.

I understand your point, but this is a contentious issue. The difference, as I see it, is between an active disbelief and a simple lack of a belief. Right now, there'll be countless amounts of concepts that you are unaware of and therefore you'll lack a belief in those things by default. Then, in comparison, there'll be a tiny amount of concepts that you are aware of that you actively dismiss and do not believe. However, the point is in both cases you do not believe. Nowhere is the definition of atheist dependent on being actively aware of the concept of god/s. Whether it's an unaware adult, a baby or an inanimate object, they are atheist as they either do not, or cannot, believe gods exist.
Title: Re: For my fellow theists
Post by: screwtape on February 13, 2014, 10:50:41 PM
All babies are born conscious not atheist.

1. Atheist and conscious are not mutually exclusive options.
2. Whether newborns are "conscious" is debatable.  Their brains are minimally functional.  But it is entirely likely the "lights are on, but no one is home" yet. 


The label atheist is adopted later in life through a thinking process.

So you are saying everyone is born believing in god?  I find the unbelievable.