Ask a Christian (even about the paranormal)

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posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 11:13 AM
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Hi dominicus, thanks for the response. I haven't responded yet because quite honestly you've put together a boatload of points
. Congrats on that truly, but I'm one who likes to go through the alphabet one letter at a time. No point in discussing the letter L if one does not believe A exists, for example. Where to begin? You've given quite a buffet. I'd like to read through it a few more times, give it more thought and address the points that are key. I'm not looking to 'rebuttal' at all, but certainly would like to discuss/explore a lot of things you've brought up beginning first with what I can find to be the most paramount.




posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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o.k. here a question. Do you believe the book of Enoch was inspired by God. If so or if not ,,why?



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 11:46 AM
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First, I would like to caution about judging whole groups, especially in using words like "dogmatic", "fundamentalist" and so forth. Also all Christians do not believe the same exact details, nor all churches teach the exact line of thinking. They agree Jesus is the Christ who came from God in the flesh. They should be teaching from the same Book, but from that point on, what isn't in the Bible varies as a form of speculation.

For example, even within a church you can ask a question like:

Is our life pre-destined? Or do we have the free will to choose God's love?

People within the church could respectfully debate the topic, both having scriptural support

or how about...

In 'end times', will we be raptured or will we see the tribulation in Revelation?

Again, a mixed bag both scripturally supported.

So what is the right answer? In both cases we'll find out. I believe we were not given the direct answer intentionally.


Originally posted by dominicus
As far as pre-existence.......Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you....."


At first look, I thought "yeah, the way this is worded suggests that perhaps we had an existence before the womb" however, checking another translation, it says:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah 1:5

This one suggest we were created/formed in the womb. So which is it? Given only this verse, I'd say it's a tie or "too close to call". We'd have to look at more to get a determination or clarification.


Originally posted by dominicus
Ok so according to the Bible...Jesus is an incarnation of God himself, and there is also the trinity....God as God... God as Jesus.....and God as the Holy Spirit.


Actually I'm not sure if you'd realized it, but you've made a point for pre-existence here. Since Jesus was around before he was born, one could suggest that we were as well. The only issue I have with that is when Jesus says:

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" - John 8:58

So Jesus was saying he was around before Abraham. One could argue that Abraham came after Jesus without being born yet or that being born does not mean being created. For me, we're back to square one again.

Regarding your personal experiences, thank you for sharing those. They stand on their own. I don't ever believe when hearing them that 'that didn't happen'. I know some things happened to me that I did not understand or could not fully interpret, but know they happened. Figuring them out is a great adventure in life.

Regarding hyptnotists, I once saw a show and my friend was called up. He was told he was a great guitarist (never touched one before in his life) and placed different styles from classical to rock flawlessly. After the show, we asked him to try to play the songs and he couldn't play a note. He described the experience as watching himself doing it but not knowing how it was done. The hyptnotist explained after the show that we experience enough with our senses that our mind can use those experiences to make it up and make it work without inhibitions or normal consciousness getting in the way. When a hyptnotist 'taps into' someone, I have to question what it is they're tapping into.

I like how you've incorporated science into your discussion. I'm a scientist myself so naturally it's pleasing to hear the integration.

I haven't covered the topic 'consideration for other belief systems' that you've brought up yet, but that's coming up.
Just thought I'd review pre-existence first to see if we needed to expand on this subject further.

[edit on 25-6-2008 by saint4God]



posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 09:04 AM
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Hi, how are you??

HELP! I am "talking" with an Islamist at Youtube, he posed the following and I don't have the best answers. I am not really good at biblical "education" and I want to give the right answers. Can you help? Here are the question he posed to me:

ANSWER THIS
HOW CAN CHRISTANTY BE A MONOTHEISM RELIGION HOW DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE FATHER SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. (DID KNOW U GUY BELIEVED IN GHOSTS)

HOW DO YOU BELIEVE IN A HUMAN AS GOD AND THEN BELIEVE GOD IS IN HEAVEN?
HOW CAN THE BIBLE CAN BE CHANGED BY HUMANS? AND STILL BELIEVED AS AN ORIGINAL?
BY DO U HAVE AN OLD TESTAMENT AND A NEW TESTATMENT AND WHATS THE DIFFERENTS


I copied his post to me and pasted it, thus the language issues.


[edit on 15-7-2008 by Bombeni]



posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by Bombeni
Hi, how are you??


Good! I've been in awe recently about all the things that have fallen into place. There have been many days of seemingly directionless struggle that now seem to produce results career and family-wise. Nice to see some success and will enjoy it for as long as it lasts.


Originally posted by Bombeni
HELP! I am "talking" with an Islamist at Youtube, he posed the following and I don't have the best answers. I am not really good at biblical "education" and I want to give the right answers. Can you help?


I'll do my best



Originally posted by Bombeni
Here are the question he posed to me:

ANSWER THIS
HOW CAN CHRISTANTY BE A MONOTHEISM RELIGION HOW DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE FATHER SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. (DID KNOW U GUY BELIEVED IN GHOSTS)


This is a very good question...one that is also brought up in the Bible. Specifically when Jesus was around, people called him blasphemous to call himself the same as God because only God was God. The pinnacle of that discussion is here:

"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?"
"He is worthy of death," they answered." - Matthew 26:64-66

Now if Jesus Christ cannot convince a person who is looked up to as a priest...do you think you'd have better odds convincing someone on an online discussion?

Jesus discusses the Holy Spirit as well, but when we truly see it work is in the beginning of Acts.

But, on to your question. If you have a pizza and cut it into 8 slices. Is an individual slice no longer pizza? The problem is that we think of things in terms of the physical. Has anyone seen a soul? If not, how do you know it exists? If a soul is not made of matter, what is it made of? Can two souls exist in the same space at the same time? I like to think they can. Even if they can't, I'm sure in the afterlife, we'll get a whole new physics lesson.


Originally posted by Bombeni
HOW DO YOU BELIEVE IN A HUMAN AS GOD AND THEN BELIEVE GOD IS IN HEAVEN?


Any "How do you believe..." question is going to be individual. For me, it didn't come until I demanded proof of something that exists beyond the human realm. This was a very stupid way of going about getting the answer, but I did get it. The question for me would be, "how could I possibly deny something that actually happened?" and the answer would be, "I cannot".


Originally posted by Bombeni
HOW CAN THE BIBLE CAN BE CHANGED BY HUMANS? AND STILL BELIEVED AS AN ORIGINAL?


This is easier for me than most other believers because I found God...whom directed me to the Book. I'd invite anyone else to do the same. We don't worship something dead and silent. We live for God who is alive whom we can communicate with. Ask Him. He'll answer...but don't be surprised if you get the same response.


Originally posted by Bombeni
BY DO U HAVE AN OLD TESTAMENT AND A NEW TESTATMENT AND WHATS THE DIFFERENTS


To make a long history short, a testament is a 'telling' or witnessing. In the Old, we had the law of Moses to abide by. God have covenants or promises with us. He had more than one because we kept breaking them along with the law. God had in mind a plan a new covenant promise that would last from the day it started forward. This promise was:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."


Originally posted by Bombeni
I copied his post to me and pasted it, thus the language issues.


No worries, hopefully I got the essence of it. Please let me know if there's something I should clarify. I'd recommend using your own answers though, asking yourself the same questions and consider "how would you describe it to you if you did not believe"


[edit on 15-7-2008 by saint4God]



posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 


Thank you Saint4God. I did use most of your post, rearranged it a little, it came out very well. It seemed like this particular person asked some intelligent questions instead of the usual "Hail Allah" or whatever, and I wanted to give him some decent answers. Not that I expect he will convert or anything, but at least it gave him something to think about hopefully. Thanks again.



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 07:03 AM
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Originally posted by Bombeni
Thank you Saint4God. I did use most of your post, rearranged it a little, it came out very well.


Cool, as long as God and Jesus weren't omitted, I think it'll be okay.



Originally posted by Bombeni
It seemed like this particular person asked some intelligent questions instead of the usual "Hail Allah" or whatever, and I wanted to give him some decent answers.


I think we all deserve decent answers, but know what you mean about being stonewalled. Likewise if you had some questions for the Muslim perspective here on ATS, I'd recommend babloyi. He has clarified a number of questions I'd had.


Originally posted by Bombeni
Not that I expect he will convert or anything, but at least it gave him something to think about hopefully.


One thing to remember is that God is the one who converts, our job is to deliver the message. Expect the unexpected because "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible".


Originally posted by Bombeni
Thanks again.


Sure thing! Glad I could help with the composition and always enjoy our dialogues. It's been a while since the last U2U...I cleared my inbox because it got full so I can't recall where we left off. Feel free to drop a hello anytime.



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 09:52 AM
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Thank you saint4 God for starting this topic. I have more of a comment that a question.I am an agnostic,but I do find things in the bible that gives me comfort and hope.That being said I think the bible is full of clues concerning life in the universe other that us.I'm wondering if you find this interesting as I do.

Hebrews 11:3 "Through faith we understand the the worlds were framed by the word of God,so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
The key word for me in this verse is worlds.I could just mean the other planets in our solar system,but I think its much deeper than that.Since in other places in the bible the name of stars like pleiades (sp) is mentioned I would expect that if the verse spoke of planets in our solar system that it would say so.

Revelation 5:3 "And no man in heaven,nor in the earth,neither under the earth,was able to open the book,neither to look thereon.
What my understanding of this verse means is that they are men/people that are living under the earth.It could be a mis translation that means those living on the earth,but my heart tells me its deeper than that as well.

Revelation 5:14 "And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth,and under the sea,and under the earth,and such as are in the sea,and all that are in them,heard I saying,Blessing and honour,and glory and power,be unto him that sitteth upon the throne,and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Now correct me if I'm wrong the only other "creatures" that's mentioned in the bible that has ever spoke besides man was the serpent in the garden and the four living creatures in Ezekiel. Who or what are these creatures spoken about in Revelation? I'm not a bible expert by any means so corrections are most welcome.

Again this is a very good thread thanks for starting it.


[edit on 16-7-2008 by Tricky63]



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 11:38 AM
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Originally posted by Tricky63
Thank you saint4 God for starting this topic.


Cool, thanks, I was hoping it'd be well received.



Originally posted by Tricky63
I have more of a comment that a question.


Sure thing.


Originally posted by Tricky63
Now correct me if I'm wrong the only other "creatures" that's mentioned in the bible that has ever spoke besides man was the serpent in the garden and the four living creatures in Ezekiel.


I think you've put together a pretty good case that there's a lot of shtuff that we don't understand, beings that are still foreign to us, and the possibility of extra or intraterrestrial life. On of the reasons why I enjoy science so much is the exploration thereof.

There's more mysterious creatures in there as well from Leviathan, to Nephilim, to Behemoth, to dragon-like beasts.


Originally posted by Tricky63
Who or what are these creatures spoken about in Revelation? I'm not a bible expert by any means so corrections are most welcome.


There's three approaches that I've heard when it comes to these phenomena

1.) Allegory/symbolic - Those who take on Revelation and other creature references as not really described, but more as a characterization of what the book is speaking about. For example, if a prophesy was written in 1947 that said, "One day the eagle will overcome the bear", one might point to it in 1990 saying that this was when the United States successfully charged the Soviet Union to take down the Berlin wall which led to their disbanding of the Union.

2.) Partial symbolic/allegory - Meaning that the respresentations are close, but being that the people of the day of the writings couldn't accurately describe what they were seeing, they used the best-fit word they can use to describe it. For example, maybe 'behemoth' meant 'elephant' and 'leviathan' meant 'whale'. Those in this grouping tend to study and critique translation most severely.

3.) Literal - What you see is what you get. When the Bible says dragon, it means dragon. So what if you've never seen one before, you will when the time comes according to the book.

Which it is for certain, I cannot say. I can say though, in applying the Bible and exploring it more, I have shifted from allegoric/symbolic to literal. Felt kind of silly at times when the answer was literally in front of my face and yet didn't see it for what it is. Something to keep in mind though, Jesus did use a lot of parables to describe things to us. The question is, were the prophets doing the same? Or did they 'see and write'? I think this open-ended question is intentional and makes both the discussion and living worthwhile. What's interesting though, is in Revelation, the observer was given the measurements for the new city God gifts to humankind. If you measure it out, the city covers half of the continental United States. It is that huge. Details often point more towards literal than the abstract. The abstracts usually include words such as "suppose" "let's say" "for example" "if" and so forth.


Originally posted by Tricky63
Again this is a very good thread thanks for starting it.


Good deal. I'm glad you've found comfort and hope within the Bible, they are big parts of faith. Now, with getting that from mere paper and ink, can you imagine what it's like to get it from God Himself? It is overwhelmingly awesome, I can tell you that.


[edit on 16-7-2008 by saint4God]



posted on Jul, 16 2008 @ 04:00 PM
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[edit on 16-7-2008 by buds84]



posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 11:08 PM
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I am a Christian my self ( or I like to think so, I don't go to church though I'm kinda scared to honestly) My question is about the ten commandments. I know that one of this is that, that thou shalt commit murder. But how far as a Christian should you take responsibility for murder?( I have not committed or been any where involved in murder so don't worry) For example should a gun maker feel responsible for murder because he or she made a gun that a person used to murder, just by way of association. Or would a soldier that killed an enemy soldier in a war go to Hell, because he or she murdered?

[edit on 7/18/2008 by denynothing]



posted on Jul, 21 2008 @ 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by denynothing
I am a Christian my self ( or I like to think so, I don't go to church though I'm kinda scared to honestly)


Going to church all the time isn't a requirement for being Christian. Thank goodness for that, I don't go all the time. When I do go, it is refreshing and I learn stuff. Regarding being scared, I'd recommend going with another believer-friend should you have one. It can be hard working into a church when you don't know anyone there and are unsure what they teach. Remember also, churches welcome you to come and 'try them out'. If you go one Sunday and don't like it, you can certainly check out another until you find one that feels like home.


Originally posted by denynothing
My question is about the ten commandments. I know that one of this is that, that thou shalt commit murder. But how far as a Christian should you take responsibility for murder?( I have not committed or been any where involved in murder so don't worry) For example should a gun maker feel responsible for murder because he or she made a gun that a person used to murder, just by way of association. Or would a soldier that killed an enemy soldier in a war go to Hell, because he or she murdered?


This is a very good question. I'm not sure I can give a complete answer, but will put it into first person and allow the reader to decide. As a gun-maker, I would feel responsible unless hunting were a necessity for survival and I made hunting rifles. As a soldier, I could not pull the trigger on another human being. Am I guilty if I'm a doctor who supports the military? The job is saving lives, not destroying them...yet a military doctor does support those who do pull the trigger. For me I'm steering clear of the situation entirely and praying for those who are in it.

Keeping in mind, sinning doesn't mean automatically going to hell...else we'd all go there and there'd be no chance to save us, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Christ forgives all sins - past, present and future, however we are charged with the responsibility of 1.) Acknowledging when we screw up and 2.) Changing. Saying "I'm gonna sin, but will say sorry later" is insincere and will likely be seen as such.

[edit on 21-7-2008 by saint4God]



posted on Jul, 27 2008 @ 12:50 AM
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reply to post by saint4God
 

You made a very good point about military doctor, because I want to be a doctor. So I looked into the military and they have good offers and a good retirement plan. But I never thought about healing the soldiers who pull the triggers. To me my belief is ( please correct me if I'm wrong about this) that a person who murders automatically goes to Hell, because there soul is basically lost then, and also thanks for answering my questions I had been thinking about it for a while, and just couldn't come up with an answer



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 07:31 AM
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Originally posted by denynothing
You made a very good point about military doctor, because I want to be a doctor.


I do not believe we can see all ends. Supposing you see a man fallen and going into seizures (this is not fun by the way, I had a few mild ones myself). You rush to help, pad his head from hitting the sidewalk repeatedly and stay with him until he comes around. After you do, he punches you in the face, takes your money and runs off to find the drug that caused his lapse. Did you do the right thing in trying to help him? I like to think that answer is yes. We are responsible for what we do, not what the world does to us.


Originally posted by denynothing
So I looked into the military and they have good offers and a good retirement plan.


Motivation is key. We all need to work to survive in this society. But, hopefully the primary driver is helping others get well. I'm sure it is, it's a tough profession (more than I could handle) but strive to find the job whereas at the end of the day you can rest knowing you've done the right thing. That is worth more than all the gold in the world.


Originally posted by denynothing
But I never thought about healing the soldiers who pull the triggers. To me my belief is ( please correct me if I'm wrong about this) that a person who murders automatically goes to Hell, because there soul is basically lost then,


Ya, I'd like to blow the whistle here and ask where that is. I'd not seen anything that says this is the case. Forgiveness is a primary concept in the belief of God, whether you are a murderer, theif, or average 'joe'. Just to add some perspective on sin:

Sin can be wrong things we do, surely, but that's not all sin is. Sin can be not doing something that's right. For example, if you go outside your house and see your neighbor fallen and bleeding and you do nothing to help her, isn't that a sin? Not helping others when you have the ability to do so can be a sin just like harming them is.

Also, the Bible tells us that even a wrong thought is considered sinful. Christ says that if we feel anger towards our brother we're subject to judgement and the eternal fires.

I wonder how many times a day I sin. 50? 25? Let's suppose I only sin 3 times a day. I'd be practially a walking angel. Over a years time though, that's about 1,000 sins per year. If I live 70 years, that translates to 70 thousand transgressions against God's law. What would happen if I were to go to court and stand before a judge with 70,000 violations of the law? What would he do to me?"

As mentioned previously, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23. So...we're all in the same boat my friend. But, we're not without hope. Even though man is a sinner and cannot earn his way to heaven, we have a saviour who paid that debt of sin. All we have to do is accept him doing so.


Originally posted by denynothing
and also thanks for answering my questions I had been thinking about it for a while, and just couldn't come up with an answer


It's a deep thing to think about, but I wouldn't recommend spending all time thinking instead of doing. If God calls you to be a doctor, be a doctor. Pray, ask, He will answer. Trust, hope, then do.

[edit on 28-7-2008 by saint4God]



posted on Jul, 28 2008 @ 05:57 PM
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reply to post by saint4God
 
Wow you are a real deep thinker and give great advice, and honestly I didn't find the murder thing in the bible, but I heard a pastor or some person around those lines on the radio say that. But thank you for answering my questions and correcting my views



posted on Jul, 29 2008 @ 07:41 AM
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Originally posted by denynothing
Wow you are a real deep thinker and give great advice, and honestly I didn't find the murder thing in the bible, but I heard a pastor or some person around those lines on the radio say that. But thank you for answering my questions and correcting my views


Pastors are human. Best we can do is pray for them as well.

There was a soldier named Paul who took part in persecuting believers. At this time, his name was Saul:

"Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.

And Saul was there, giving approval to his death." Acts 7:58 - Acts 8:1

Paul later is called by God to become one of the most well known missionaries to ever walk the earth. A man who gives the nod to "yes kill him" later has to address those whom knew him and say "I was wrong, God is right". Is he a hypocrite? Or a changed man? Why would God choose someone involved in murders?

Hope it was a help, and thanks for the thought-provoking question



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:03 AM
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Very well i'll bite. Apologies if this has been asked before, but it's a large thread.

1. Your beliefs have no rational basis (It's called faith for a reason
). For example, the bible is NOT a reliable source, whatever you may say. Why then do the majority of Christians in the united states insist on being given equal status with logic based ideas?

2. Let us say that you take a conservative stance on abortion. You therefore are classified as pro life. Do you therefore object to gun ownership and the death penalty? If not, how can you combine these seemingly mutually exclusive thoughts?

Thank you.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 08:14 AM
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Mmmh... I have some:
1)do you believe in Aliens visiting Earth? Is it possible they influenced our religious sistem?
2)what's exactly for you Christ?



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:18 AM
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Originally posted by Venit
Very well i'll bite. Apologies if this has been asked before, but it's a large thread.


It's cool, I'm grateful that it is and who knows, perhaps I have a different way of saying it this time.


Originally posted by Venit
1. Your beliefs have no rational basis (It's called faith for a reason
).


There are many things in my beliefs that seem irrational, to that we can agree. I can say however, that once believing there has been more reason given to daily living than before I was a believer. Stuff makes more sense now...rationally speaking.


Originally posted by Venit
For example, the bible is NOT a reliable source, whatever you may say.


Well, since your mind is made up, should I say anything at all?


Originally posted by Venit
Why then do the majority of Christians in the united states insist on being given equal status with logic based ideas?


Not sure I understand the question. United States does not equal Christian, nor Christian equal United States, firstly. I have to question why a Christian in the United States would feel or think differently than a Christian outside of the US. I hadn't realized there was a difference and would have to familiarize myself with what those differences are. Regarding equal status with logic based ideas, I can say that there's a lot of things that don't appear to make logical sense at first, but do. The faith is similar. It doesn't appear to make logical sense at first, but does.


Originally posted by Venit
2. Let us say that you take a conservative stance on abortion.


Okay. "I take a conservative stance on abortion".



Originally posted by Venit
You therefore are classified as pro life. Do you therefore object to gun ownership and the death penalty?


I do object to the death penalty because, as you've pointed out, it goes against the very definition of "pro life". The term "pro life" has taken on a political meaning instead of a literal one. I would agree that this is "screwed up". Regarding guns, I see no reason why someone in the city would need them. In the country however, sometimes it is necessary to kill your food if this is how you live. If you do not kill your food, I don't know what purpose a gun has as a tool. For me, guns are a coward's way out. It requires no skill to operate.


Originally posted by Venit
If not, how can you combine these seemingly mutually exclusive thoughts?


Hopefully that builds a bit of context. As you can see, being Christian does not mean being american, pro-death penalty, or pro-guns. Within my church there are various viewpoints on these three topics, yet we all hold to the same belief in God. It would probably be worthwhile to hear from other's perspectives here who are Christian too, as no doubt there will be many who disagree with my stances on this issue.


Originally posted by Venit
Thank you.


Surely, I appreciate the questions and welcome any other viewpoints or follow-up.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by Venit
Mmmh... I have some:
1)do you believe in Aliens visiting Earth?


I'm leaning towards the possibility of "yes" though don't believe there's enough evidence to say.


Originally posted by Venit
Is it possible they influenced our religious sistem?


Possibly, but not greatly. Us humans tend to reject or get upset when we don't have constant and personal contact with the One we believe in.


Originally posted by Venit
2)what's exactly for you Christ?


I'm a little confused on the question. Is this regarding my username? saint4God means a saint who is for God. I'm an advocate and worker for the One I serve.





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