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An Experiment for Brave Christians

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posted on Apr, 3 2008 @ 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by idle_rocker


Off topic, off topic, off topic. Are there any more off topics here?

And you aren't trying to sway anyone away from religion? hmmm, not what I'm getting from this thread.



BTS.
It's BTS.
Rules are a little bit strict.
I am swaying nothing.




posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 02:09 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 



i tried the whole asking jesus into my life thing several times and i was dead serious about it. there was even one time when it was on top of a hill in a thunderstorm, which i found to be quite dramatic. but there was nothing, i asked with all my heart, mind, and what i thought was my soul for god to enter my life...


'Asking Jesus into your life' is a phrase that many people find helpful when trying to describe turning to Christ in faith for the first time. However it is meaningless unless you have begun to feel your need for Almighty God to forgive the debt you have incurred before him.

Becoming a Christian is not an 'experience' that we need to cry out for. It begins with an awakening, a conscious awareness that my heart is morally impure, and that it matters. Our conscience does afflict us when we knowingly do wrong, but it does not necessarily lead us to an awareness of guilt before God. That awareness is often only stirred when we are made aware of the character and essence of God: infinite moral purity.

Whereas we tend to measure purity by ticking boxes - done this, haven't done that, allowing us to feel better than some other people, God's purity hits us with immeasurable force. It penetrates our deepest motives, never mind our visible shortcomings. That is why people naturally shrink from the Gospel message. Admitting that God knows us personally, intimately, everything laid bare, makes us shrink away and even detest the message. Only when you begin to realise that it is true can you cry out to God for mercy and understand why people go on about the need to have Jesus in your heart.

I don't know you personally, but from what you have written here and elsewhere I don't think you had reached that point. If you had, you would have read Christ's words with an attitude of 'Dear God, I need help', and not stopped until you had found peace. I know one man who, lying on his bed one night became so aware of his need that he left his wife's side, went of his house, fell on his knees and cried out to God for mercy. In his pyjamas.

Grant me just one petition. Do not laugh or mock. When someone cries out to God like that the tears flow. The parable of the prodigal son is no Sunday school fable. It is a picture of a man who has so disgraced his father he doesn't want to show his face until the point he can do nothing but fall down at his father's feet, weep, and say "I've been such a fool, and there's nothing I can do." The father's willingness to embrace his son is overwhelming. Jesus said: "There is more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance". (Luke 15:7) Mountains and thunderstorms are a superficial distraction. Reconciliation is where it is at.

Oh Jesus, I love you.



[edit on 4/4/08 by pause4thought]



posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


That was such a beautiful way to say it, I was just speechless in thought for a while. When we realize how much we love our children, unconditionally, we can understand the Father's love for us on a smaller scale. We can especially see this if a child has been born with a handicap, or just barely made it here after you have yearned for a child for years. We are blessed with that love, no matter how terrible we have been or even still act. All we have to do is ask.

A lot of people don't come to the Father until they have been brought to the depths of despair. You can compare it to a drug addict that needs to come clean. One of the things you do to help the drug addict is "bring the bottom up", or make the drug addict hit bottom quicker in order to see how bad his condition has become.

Some people hold such bitterness in their hearts, it's even harder to see the truth. Some people wait until their death beds to realize their own mortality. And some people just never do.



posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by idle_rocker
Some people hold such bitterness in their hearts, it's even harder to see the truth. Some people wait until their death beds to realize their own mortality. And some people just never do.


That translates to: Fear of the unknown.
Death is just the beginning of another journey.
What truth are you speaking of?



posted on Apr, 4 2008 @ 08:54 PM
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I don't think there's any doubt here that I'm a Christian. And I didn't become one out of fear. I don't know how you got fear out of what I said, but if that's what you want to read into it...be my guest.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 03:06 AM
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reply to post by idle_rocker
 


Truly the work of God in the heart of man is beautiful. I am a naturally very stayed person, but I have seen grown men weeping over their sin in response to the message of the cross and it melts my heart even thinking about it.

Here is a song that expresses what I mean:

www.youtube.com...

Interesting you should mention handicapped children. I work with kids with learning disabilities, and they bring me immense blessing. Treasure is found in unexpected places...



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 07:25 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


alright, i'm not even going to address this, you haven't been on here long, but look at some of the threads i've started, i tackle this stuff in one of them

here

if you want to stay on the preaching tangent, please take it over here.

and stop preaching in my thread... seriously, this thread isn't about converting anyone, it's about the exchange of opinions pertaining to arguments in a certain book.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 



look at some of the threads i've started, i tackle this stuff in one of them


I just read it, and if you reread my longer post above, the answer to the question you posed is right there. It's not that you were insincere; you had just not understood what 'this stuff', as you call it, means.


and stop preaching in my thread... seriously, this thread isn't about converting anyone, it's about the exchange of opinions pertaining to arguments in a certain book.


What I said was 100% in response to your own comment, which I quoted. Likewise earlier in the thread; the topic has developed, but still concerns the idea that people who believe in God are delusional. Or are we only permitted to respond when we've read the book? (Note: an earlier contributor politely asked you to reveal the salient points of the book, but you did not oblige.)

"Not about converting anyone" - is not the entire purpose of the book in question: changing people's world-view? I don't buy your comment about a pure "exchange of opinions". I think this, you think that, I think this... Is it really so mechanical? Surely there is room for some passion? Boring otherwise. I suggest you ought to expect it when introducing an emotive term like "delusion" in reference to the deeply-held convictions of perhaps three quarters of the world's population.

Let's just keep talking and listening.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by junglejake

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
or if there was substantial historical evidence to support his existence.


Hmm... Does that mean you're interested in taking me up on reading Evidence That Demands a Verdict?


What a horrible book! It has been debunked time and time again. Spend a little time over at www.infidels.org and read the rebuttals. Josh McDowell is not a historian. He presents his arguments well, in most cases, but the arguments are flawed and are often based on bad information.

If you want to know the truth about Christianity, don't read works by Christian historians. Read the unbiased works of secular historians who have no particular view to support. It makes for some interesting reading.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by Neiby
 


I suppose infidels.org has no particular view to support? Or that many of the secular historians are truly open-minded if the evidence points to authenticity and reliability?

There is no such thing as a totally unbiased researcher. They bring their world-view, their presuppositions and prejudices with them - including the common desire to shy away from the possibility that they are personally answerable to someone other than themselves at the end of the day. Or do you believe they are perhaps different from the rest of us?

Personally I prefer to trust the research of those who believe that they will have to answer to Almighty God for the truth of what they say and publish. It doesn't guarantee that they are always correct, but where the two types of authors are diametrically opposed in their conclusions - guess who I trust more?



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


To be sure, Infidels is very biased. Some of the authors are so biased that I don't even bother to read the stuff they write. However, there are several authors whose work is highlighted there that are very objective.

You're right that it's very hard to be objective, but I don't entirely agree that no one can be without bias. It's possible to be unbiased if that is your goal. Let's take news reporting, for example. It is possible to simply report the facts as we know them, but that's not what we usually see, especially in American news. We usually see analysis in the news articles, which is highly inappropriate. Opinion is opinion, news should be news.

The same is true for religious discussion. It is possible to discuss it objectively, but only if all parties to the discussion agree to do so honestly, even if it's not done overtly.

One major hurdle to discussing religion is that the participants often have wildly divergent views of reality. We each also have our own standards for what we'll accept as evidence of something. To a certain degree, we all have certain "sacred cows" that we might stick to no matter what evidence is presented against it. I used to be that way, but I really try not to do that now. I go where the evidence leads, no matter where it leads. If I'm wrong about something and you can prove it to me, I'll gladly change my mind.

Just in the past decade I've changed my political viewpoint and affiliations, my religion/spirituality (a couple of times, actually), my views on reality and my philosophy toward life in general. When I was a Christian, I was inflexible. Now that I'm not, I have the freedom to truly follow evidence where it leads without fear of any nasty afterlife repercussions.

Am I biased? Most definitely, but I'm still flexible in the face of evidence that proves me wrong. At least I try to be, anyway.



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


Why would you trust someone so overtly biased over someone who has no dog in the fight? When it comes to the reporting of fact, always trust the disinterested party. That's just common sense. Why would you trust someone who is willing to twist the facts to fit a particular world view?

I fully understand that this goes both ways. It is not a good thing for a non-christian to twist facts to support their position. I would not respect such a person even if they were on my "side".



posted on Apr, 5 2008 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by Neiby
 


Thanks for a calm, well-reasoned reply. I'm going to read it again. In the meantime here's a couple of things to mull over. I'd really like to hear if you find either of them challenging and thought-provoking, and whether you too would classify faith in God as 'delusional'.

www.belowtopsecret.com...

I'm afraid this second link is only relevant if you're happy to read a few pages & get back later:

www.belowtopsecret.com...

Hope you find them stimulating.



posted on Apr, 6 2008 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by pause4thought
 


PFT, I just now found the time to listen to your song referenced in your post further above. It truly is beautiful and I admire your work with disabled children. That takes a special person to be able to do that.

Those children truly have so much to offer the world if we will only listen to them and the honesty in their words. God makes beautiful things, even if we deem them unattractive.



posted on Apr, 7 2008 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by idle_rocker
 


With regard to that music: ain't it good to just bask in the reality and power of God's love!

Working with these kids I simply hope they see a pale reflection of the love God has shown me. And we can do that in any job...


Those children truly have so much to offer the world if we will only listen to them...


What is particularly pure in many of them is the ability to accept love without reservation, then reciprocate. If only we all responded to God's love in such a way!



posted on Apr, 8 2008 @ 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
here's how it goes, buy "The God Delusion" and read it with an open mind. see what happens and share your experience. it's out in paperback and is only 460ish pages.

if you don't want to take up this challenge, i'd like to see why.

conversely, brave atheists could just read "The Bible" with an open mind and share their experiences to make the experiment equitable.

[edit on 3/31/08 by madnessinmysoul]


someone asked me the same thing a couple of years ago. To be honest its blatantly new age right from the cover. I don't mind reading stuff that is against God as it makes me learn more of the Bible and get to know God more. But when it/the Author has an agenda, without being honest it gets annoying.

david

[edit on 8/4/2008 by drevill]



posted on Apr, 8 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by drevill
 


I have to agree. I received it in the post yesterday as a result of agreeing to the challenge on this thread. I was horrified to see it appears to be a political manifesto that reviles the influence of Christian morals and beliefs.

Don't waste your money...



posted on Apr, 8 2008 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by drevill
someone asked me the same thing a couple of years ago. To be honest its blatantly new age right from the cover. I don't mind reading stuff that is against God as it makes me learn more of the Bible and get to know God more. But when it/the Author has an agenda, without being honest it gets annoying.

david

[edit on 8/4/2008 by drevill]


Yes, and those so called "gospels", they have/had no agenda and were 100% honest and accurate. While it may be "new age" to you, it isn't too others. Seriously, show me a book like this that doesn't have some sort of agenda. Even the bible could go either way with some preposterous agenda.

Why have you all hi-jacked Mad's thread?



posted on Apr, 8 2008 @ 11:46 PM
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Originally posted by pause4thought
reply to post by idle_rocker
 


With regard to that music: ain't it good to just bask in the reality and power of God's love!

Working with these kids I simply hope they see a pale reflection of the love God has shown me. And we can do that in any job...


Those children truly have so much to offer the world if we will only listen to them...


What is particularly pure in many of them is the ability to accept love without reservation, then reciprocate. If only we all responded to God's love in such a way!


Yes! And I really feel for those who don't know His love. I was there once and I just can't describe the feeling of knowing Him vs. not knowing Him. And also to understand your own individual purpose that is for Him. That alone has had an amazing affect on my life. Pure sweetness, beauty, warmth, and peace. Your outlook on life becomes completely different.



posted on Apr, 9 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by bobafett1972
 



Why have you all hi-jacked Mad's thread?


Hi bobafett. As they say in our parliament - "I refer the honourable gentleman to the answer given some moments ago". (My last reply to MIMS.) I have also generally tried to steer things in the direction of the "delusion" issue since that reply. Bear in mind MIMS has not divulged what he sees as the main points.


Yes, and those so called "gospels", they have/had no agenda


Point taken, but much of what they contain in terms of morals corresponds to the most basic of human goals such as integrity, faithfulness, mercy, love and kindness. Without such guiding principles individuals and society become selfish and ruthless, and many would agree with me that the more man has sought to distance himself from God, the more this has, in fact, happened.


...and were 100% honest and accurate.


Yes, we believe that. (A summary of the evidence that they are is available in the thread I provided in a link above.)


Seriously, show me a book like this that doesn't have some sort of agenda.


There are many examples: in philosophical literature, for example, where the arguments on this theme are simply at the level of logic, which is what I was expecting. The history of the debate comes into the book I mentioned, 'Does God believe in Atheists?'


Even the Bible could go either way with some preposterous agenda.


Well put! I think we can agree that this has already been done - take South African apartheid, for example, which took Old Testament verses out of context to justify the very opposite of what the Bible actually teaches: that all men are equal before their Maker.




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