It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Is Religion Simply A Security Blanket? INTELLIGENT Discussion With NO FLAMING

page: 11
50
<< 8  9  10    12  13  14 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 04:09 PM
link   
reply to post by Dave Rabbit
 


Mr. Rabbit, Good day sir!

As I read your opening post…I couldn’t help but think, we all go through different experiences…this is a fallen world, for sure. I appreciate your transparency and completely understand your current worldview, based upon those experiences…

Background:

I am a follower of Jesus Christ…for over 35yrs

I am a statistician…by trade

I am a believer in the secular-influenced-Lawrence Kolberg, and his theory of Moral Development…built upon Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Development…both behavior scientists of the mid 1900’s.

To summarize Kolberg…every decision/perspective/rationale and ultimately BEHAVIOR…is a result of the their PRIMARY stages of development…

Here’s an overview…

Stage 1 – Decisions/perspectives….based on REWARD and PUNISHMENT…this is the most basic (immature)…another way to say it…the ‘stick’ (ruler) or the ‘carrot’ (sweats)…or from a religious perspective…..‘heaven’ and ‘hell.’

Stage 2 – Decisions/perspectives…based on EXTERNAL Influences…another way to say it… “RULES.”

And

Stage 3 – Decisions/perspectives…based on INTERNAL Influences…another way to say… “PRINCIPLES.”

Here’s an example to bring it to life…

“A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.”

The question to ask…to determine…their (current) stage of development is…

Q - “Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?”

A – Stage 1 – “I don’t steal…because I’m afraid of being ‘caught!’

A – Stage 2 – “I don’t steal…because it’s ‘wrong!’

A – Stage 3 – “I don’t steal…because I respect others and their property!” But LIFE is more important…and I’ll pay the price, but a life will be saved!”

Kolberg’s theory is right on, in my book…

His approach, in my mind, is a reflection of the TRUTH documented in the Holy Bible…

Stage 1 – Reward and Punishment – Torah - “...If you eat from this tree, you will surely die…” Genesis 2:16

Stage 2 – Rules - All those old testament commandments…

Stage 3 – Principles – The new testament writers review when the Lord Jesus was asked, “…which is the greatest commandment?” He responded… “…it’s the principle of love…Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbor AS YOURSELF.” Matthew 22:36

“ALL the OT rests on this!” Matthew 22:37

So to bring it home, to answer your poignant questions…I try and surround myself with principle-centered people…people who have worked thru the first two stages but are ‘living’ in the third…

By the way, Kolberg explains, that the transitions from one stage to another…is predominantly achieved through asking…”why?” and that’s what ATS stands for!!!

Thank you for your leadership!!

OT Honored!!!
Philippians 1:3




posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 04:22 PM
link   
It is NOT a security blanket in and of itself.
As, I think, Pause4thought or Truthtellist said, you can have great problems after becoming a Christian.
I was ALONE, (just God and I) after I became a Christian.
Many called me a 'holy-roller' and that I wasn't fun anymore.
I asked one of them, "What do you want, me to be a gregarious drug-doer again?"
After I had tried to get off them for a LONG time.
Then, I couldn't hang out with any friends, even church people sometimes, because we didn't click.

I gave up many boyfriends, to be celibate, because they were the 'same old, same old'.

I actually began to LIKE being alone and peaceful with God!
Also quilting!
Now, just think about the Christian-converted Muslim or Hindu or Jewish person and how hard it is for them, being apostates!
Many have even been killed!
One woman was doused in gasoline and set on fire(In Afghanistan, I think)
IN FRONT OF HER DAUGHTER, and the daughter forgave them and remained a strong Christian!

Just a quick google search about muslim, Hindu or Jewish converts to Christianity and the subsequent violence will open your eyes!

Jesus said, True religion and undefiled, is to visit the fatherless and widows in their time of affliction and to keep oneself unspotted from the world!
Not turn around in circles, beat yourself, kneel in front of statues, or kill people!
Serving people takes work! So does love, but I have been married 14 years and it is worth it!

[edit on 22-9-2008 by Clearskies]



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 04:39 PM
link   

Originally posted by Dave Rabbit
Here are my questions to each of you:

1. Are people religious because they really believe?


Most people are taught to believe their religion at an early age and 'Faith' requires a belief without question. I would tend to turn it around and say that people believe because they are religious.



2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?


Your question implies a 'belief' - and in my opinion 'going through the motions' would generally satisfy a religious guilty conscience.



3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?


Yes.. Pretty much, but don't tell anybody. This is the 'carrot' with which most religions control their flock. We're all aware of what the 'stick' is.


___________

I have never been a religious person. Nature is ammoral and unfair. Many of us need to believe in something higher and more powerful in order to feel safe in this cruel world of ours. I believe religion is a 'crutch' at the personal level - and a means of control by those who hold the power.

With that said.. I respect every person's right to follow whatever religion they wish. I try to live my life in a Christian way and behave as my conscience dictates. Call me a 'Humanist' if a label is required.






[edit on 22/9/08 by Myrdyn]

[edit on 22/9/08 by Myrdyn]



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 05:21 PM
link   
reply to post by OldThinker
 

Hello OldThinker

I will respond only to your example, which I think is a brilliant ethical question.

[“A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1,000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: "No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it." So Heinz got desperate and broke into the man's store to steal the drug for his wife.” ]

From a traditionally religious point of view:-
Of course I would steal from the druggist to get the drug to save someone's life, I would (probably) even kill if he/she tried to prevent me from doing so. So what that I would go to hell for doing something that my religion does not permit. Surely the fact that I am "sacrificing" my eternal well-being (burning in hell) by doing something that actually only benefits someone else - a true altruistic behaviour, is going to count for something when I am being "judged".

From a rational point of view:-
If I steal from someone else, I invadvertently give everyone else the right to steal from me. If the woman lives and we are living peacefully, should someone else come and try to steal from me, should I welcome them and offer them tea before they stroll off with the loot?

From an ethical view point (feel free to disagreee):-
The druggist is certainly not right to take the life of someone by inaction. Therefore I am justified in stealing the formula from him for the benefit of human-kind. I can only hope that social justice sees this in the same light as I do. Killing - now that's a different question, can I kill one to save another? I really do not know.

PS : Since your post I have read some of the online literature around it, but I am still quite ignorant of Kolberg’s theory, please could you post me some links or point me towards some books that could help me educate myself. U2U me as it may be off-topic.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 05:39 PM
link   
I think the title is interesting, questioning whether religion is "simply" a security blanket. The way I look at it, a lot of people gain comfort from all kinds of security blankets, both real and figurative. Is there something wrong with that?

Not everybody has the mental or emotional capacity to face the apparent fact that existence is an essentially pointless, horrifying, and random grind from painful birth to painful death. They need something to either give them hope or scare them into behaving nicely so they don't create even more misery for everybody else.

A lot of people are like little children and are afraid of the dark, and of hidden boogie men. It's probably part of our monkey ancestry, when we had really scary things chasing us in the dark. If some fanciful story helps these people sleep better at night, in true security blanket fashion, I got no problem with it.

I don't really care, as long as they don't try to smother me in it and make me believe, like some people have done in the past. A person's beliefs are their own, whether they choose to believe some crazy story, or I choose to believe they're foolish.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 06:32 PM
link   
I want to add in something else I was thinking of, as the thread progressed.

Every religion on the planet is at once a wonderful thing that can provide personal fulfilment, and a force which has the potential to cause untold suffering.

"God" comes to everyone who looks for him, but how He looks different from person to person, because we all have different personalities, and He knows how to best fit us.

Whether God's appearence is influenced by one's religion of choice, or the religion has been molded to fit the religious conception of a certain demographic is unanswerable, but it truly doesn't matter how you see God so long as you do.

I used to be the arrogant "I am right!" kind of Christian when I was a kid but as I grew up and grew the balls to question what I was seeing, I learned that every religion has the potential to offer people personal satisfaction. If theyfeel fulfiled, that's great.

Being steadfast to religious dictates of how to live your life is a beautiful thing, but the danger of religion is when one allows it to so fully dictate what he beleives that he can't change as he learnes and experiences new things, and feels threatened when he sees someone else expereinceing God in another religious setting. A person (or religion as a group) begins to doubt what he beleives and then feels justified in removing the threat to his dogma. This is the seed that has caused such terrible human suffering throughout the years.

I wanted to type that all up earlier, DR and ATS, but my hand was hurting to badly.

[edit on 22-9-2008 by asmeone2]



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 06:32 PM
link   
A person is the religeon his or her parent are untill they grow the use of their brain. Then they get to look outside their little box. Try out new churches and ideas. I am of the opinion that people who need structure (followers) need "the church". The leaders can find their own truth on their own. Lots of times you see people going to church for "professional advancement" those are the ones who toot two lines of coke before greeting the parishners on Sunday morning. Yes I know that guy. If you can simlify God or whatever you call him to a thought, I think it would be to follow the golden rule. No more, no less. That is the core lesson each church has in it's teachings, but then they convilute it with you're going to hell unless you say two hail marys for thinking that impure thought. I think god likes pretty girls, If he didn't he wouldn't have made them. God is simple and beautful, Religion is self serving and can get corrupt. I just think the lesson has gone too far from it origin. The world is a bad place run by bad people. Our only defence is to try ot be good poeple to counter act the bad. The operative work being "TRY". Just my thoughts. Have a nice day. Nice idea for a thought provoking post Dave.


PS. Thanks Dave for protecting my freedom before I was old enough to know what my freedom meant.



[edit on 22-9-2008 by Mason mike]



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 07:35 PM
link   
I don't believe in a god. I believe in an UNiversal Conscience of it all. It is hard to explain. Most people that have faith us their religion to communicate with this Universal Conscience were others simply feel like their is something out there. not knowing what.. Life is like a Painting... And we are all connected through the canvas.

Anyway thats my thought

Carfulal



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 07:43 PM
link   
1. Are people religious because they really believe?

Believe what?, in an "alledged" force more powerful than themselves?....Is it that these people are afraid to belive anything primarily from themselves whether through lack of imagination, laziness, weakness, conditioning or fear, and religion provides a "no thought" solution? A kind of subconcious fight for un-individualism! The need to "BELONG" is fulfilled. Safety in numbers and all that....mob mentality even. I've seen some "nutters" at work promoting their beliefs. Malfunctioning machines that only output and are imune to response! One "law" and that's it! No questions, no doubts, so afraid their worlds will come tumbling down that they fight "religiously" to keep up the illusion.

2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?

God is almost irrelevant most of the time to the human concept of a personal "heaven" or "hell" except for a vocabulary reference. Probably every speaking person uses biblical (or equivalent) words in everyday vocabulary that have no immediate religious implications......"bloody hell!"..."holy smokes"..."christ" etc. Slang if anything. Kinda negates the "literal" stance of the bible. Blasphemy for all the believers but who among you are truly saints? The "good" place and the "bad" place just isn't creative enough.

3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?

No, they are MADE to believe things like that through self doubt and FEAR induced by religion. Easier to believe a presented image as a solution than unravel the unknown eh?

Fear, fear, fear. Repent, confess, rules, good, evil, sinner, saint, define, define, define...makes me sick.

Tiny little narrow minds with no freedom to see BEYOND...is god that small?

No freedom to think outside the defined area, always influenced by "god" and the human concept of what has been taught about his "creation". Every moment of our lives is a pure and completely unique moment, never completely predictable and never the same twice. To think ANY scripture, word, book, "tale" or belief can predict or define any kind of future or general rule is naive, shallow, lazy and IGNORANT!

THERE IS NO BOOK OF RULES.

It just HAPPENS! To be a better judge of what may happen, use your own eyes!

When I die, I begin the slow and natural process of returning to space and the stars to be born "IN PART" into something else...which is where we all came from and will always go! (route to be confirmed!) If you wish to call it heaven or hell, fine, but for me...it's just my continuing journey.....Just visiting!


Much too big for any little "god" to get his head around.
Far too busy writing rules and "defining" everything, creating heavens and hells, telling tales and just "telling", and from a very small perspective to do with a little germ called "man". A little outdated, and that's where the conflict hits it's mark in these modern times! Religion is based on old "stuff". Imagine going to the pictures and seeing "gone with the wind" for the umpteenth time, same as last month and last year and as long as you can remember? Is that it? Should you not question the outside world or should everything be linked to that one concept....."Frankly my dear....I DO give a damn!"

Inevitable religious decline in favour of individual choice and perception within every area of human development is EVOLVING.
Religion CANNOT
, it just bends a little or gets re-invented. They did it to themselves by commiting it to paper, ha, ha.

"God" is just another questionmark to me. It's up there with "ufos", "bigfoot" and "was my dad realy a good guy?". Show me the holy grail and I'll show you the "made in China" stamp!


I put my faith in more powerful things....starting with the one thing that has the power to be more than any ...... Me.

And if your god were reading this and could type a response, maybe he would type something like:
"Thanks for doing such a good job, it's nice to hear from someone who can stand on their own two feet and not cause a fuss, glad you can sort your "snip" out, keep up the good work and have a good time. I'm so glad you don't need me anymore
...ps, can you tell me how to post a picture in this forum?".

Life..a long and hard road, some walk, some crawl, some drive ferraris, but it is the journey and the view that is important whether you're moving or not.
You can't get "wisdom" from a packet!

For me....I am my own god and I am responsible for all I touch. I try to share my energy when I have surplus and try to be strong when I have none. I can sometimes create it on demand. This is my universe and it shapes itself around me in a fashion that is the result of my "doings" and the "doings" of others and "nature" around me.

I do my best to not hurt myself, be hurt, hurt others or let others get hurt.

I'm sure "he'd" approve!

Not easy, but having been to my own hell and realised my own heaven, I know what's what. I don't expect others to understand but to accept, any confusion simply requires the right questions and any fear of my unknown simply requires strength....your own, not any god's.

Conclusion: God comes without proof. Faith is his proof, but faith is not exclusive to god.
Religion has it's good points, but at what cost to the individual? Too many lazy minds and too much ignorance will continue the struggle of believers and the denial of non-believers.
I accept your god from my point of view, can you accept there may be more from yours?

Peace, Love and light... Nerb.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 07:56 PM
link   
I have always liked this quote:

"There is only one good definition of God;
The freedom that allows other freedoms to exist."
- John Fowles from his book: "The French Lieutenants Woman"


Anything that takes away from this freedom, needs to be wholeheartedly examined!



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 08:11 PM
link   
reply to post by ofhumandescent
 

dave,

this is how i see it. i think we all want justice. there is comfort in this concept and it's a good comfort. not revenge, but equity, equality, and consideration, love, a sense of belonging, understanding and joy. we want nirvana and we want utopia and we don't have the foggiest notion (that will actually work), how to get either one. the problem is dichotomy, really. if you force it, it's no longer justice but tyranny. if you don't force it, someone will take advantage and the pendulum swings wildly in the other direction. the middle of the road is pretty empty most of the time and when it's full, everyone gets stagnant and complacent.

to deny people the opportunity to have these things (justice, joy, etc) at some point in their existence is very bad, but to deny it to them in eternity, is much much worse. i'm praying hard that there is a hereafter so that all the people over the millenia who have been abused, murdered, raped, harrassed, maligned, falsely accused, driven insane, poisoned, nuked, bombed, shot, knifed, starved to death, and so on, will have justice, and a good existence to replace and wipe out the ugly that can be life on earth. anyone who doesn't believe in that kind of far reaching, all knowing justice, needs to get in touch with their heart and say hi.



They said that on the solstice, our December 21/22nd, the Sun had died. Three days later - the 25th, they said the Sun was born or born again. Thus we have a long line of Sun gods given the birthday of December 25th.


just for the record, jesus wasn't born in december. that was a pope idea. pope was caesar part 2. he took pagan teachings/holidays and melded them with christian teachings/memorable events and called it catholicism. those romans imperials were really into the whole world order idea. they were heavily into the concept of ecumenism (forcing religions to meld into one religion---the papal religion).

today, people such as yourself believe that it represents christianity. you were right....dec. 25th is a pagan holiday. but carry that a step further and realize, that no where in the biblical text does it mention it being jesus' date of birth. based on the events described during the time of his birth, it's more accurate to state he was born in september. the whole dec. 25th thing was a papal edict. papal edict does not equal actual events as described in the bible unless they match, and in this case, they don't. so to really deny ignorance on this topic, please remove that part from your evidence since it's not actually true.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 08:45 PM
link   
reply to post by The_Alarmist2012
 

I don't need religion or faith in judgment to know that I am more than the flesh and blood. I know it because I have allowed myself to experience it. Belief is not what allows me to see beyond the scope of religious crutches. Awareness does.

To be, was inevitable. The proof is that we are. We share the same consciousness with our creator and we are all of that primordial energy. Please stop wanting to be right, and allow yourself to be.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 10:54 PM
link   
1. Are people religious because they really believe?

I'm more apt to think that the 'religious' person isn't their proclaimed faith on account of just believing in its theology. I think in many cases it's more a matter of tradition and reverence for the faith of their forefathers. The claims of many religions holy books are outlandish and bring one to believe their contained stories are most likely embellished and symbolized over time.

2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?

I'm not sure many 'religious' people even consider what Heaven and/or Hell could actually be. 'Going through the motions' is certainly how i would describe the church-going experience for many citizens of the world. (this is how I felt through 13 years of roman-catholic upbringing). Religion appears as no more than a business in current times. Salvation for sale!

3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?

I think 'religion', for many people, serves as an answer to life's metaphysical questions... what happens after you die? where did we come from? what am i doing here? - Unfortunately many people are somewhat forced into a faith-specific train of thought via their family and their upbringing barring any possibility for permeation beyond that ideology.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 11:10 PM
link   
My religion is a christian hip hop jedi. I try to make sure i am doing the right thing for the right reason. I despise rap, and the throw away culture that most of western civilization has with fast food and cheap products. I however as the ultimate hypocrite, visit fine institutions such as sonic and or burger king more than once a week. I do not currently go to church but I prey every night that I am not too drunk to forget. when i pray, i ask god, who i know is with me, to be with people close to me. i know that as long as I follow my heart and do what i know is right then i can rest when im dead. I am nice to anyone i meet in person, but i get mad real quick and use foul language with great frequency when i am driving.



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 12:46 AM
link   
Here is what my faith has meant to me:

1. Loving God:

I look at the universe and I ask myself regularly where the beginning lies. I think about the laws of physics and strive to think about how they came into existence. I wonder at the magnitude of everything around me and how existence is simply unfathomable. I then worship the creator.

I'm a youth pastor with two bachelor degrees. One in youth ministry and one in Christian ministry. I've studied 4 semesters of both Greek and Hebrew. I dive into scripture, recognize chiastic structure preserved in the original Greek and Hebrew writings. I see the beauty of poetry and the depth of the preservation of the original texts. I study the structural relationships found throughout scripture for hours upon hours and I see the inspiration of God. I read the words and think about the application to my life. I then worship the creator.

I strive to live in a continuous relationship with the God of the Bible. I strive to live in continuous prayer and see the wonders of the world in everything I do. I desire to seek God's will continuously. This can be as simple as me waking in the morning and asking God to please guide me and help me to make decisions that will glorify Him. It is as simple as walking through the supermarket and asking God to help me to show His love to the person manning the cash register. It is as simple as trying to enjoy every beautiful thing that is so easy to take for granted in every day. It isn't that I literally hear God's voice but rather I sense His leading. I can express my feelings to Him and I can sense His feelings towards me. Yes, it is completely subjective in nature but how this relationship affects my understanding, purpose, and ability to fulfill the needs of those around me transcends these subjective overtones.

God is a person. He is a person who is with me at all times through every moment of my life. I simply am trying to live my life in such a way that I recognize His closeness as much as I possibly can. He understands the best path for my life. He understands what decisions would most help me help the people around me. He understands everything I don't. He understands what will make life most enjoyable, most fulfilling, and what I can do to help this earth look like heaven.

I look back at how horribly I've treated people. I look at the terrible things I've said and thought about them. I think about the self-images I've shattered and destroyed. I think about my own life and the sick and twisted things I've done wasting my time away. I think about all the times I've been lethargic when I could have accomplished so much to glorify my creator. I then worship my creator because he has forgotten these things I've done. I worship him for his complete forgiveness. He gave me life and all He wants is for me to be in a relationship with Him. He is a God of relationships and He continually seeks me. I have turned my back towards him insurmountable times yet he always forgives and he never stops seeking me.

2. Loving People:

Through my relationship with God I have learned that the people around me are the most important thing in the universe to God.

I struggle much with how I see Christianity being displayed throughout the world in relationship to loving people. I simply don't see love. However, what I do see is people acting holier than thou and claiming a higher moral standard than the "sinners", "gays", "adulterous", "alcoholics", "smokers", "atheists".

Let me focus for a minute on the homosexual issue as an example. Do I personally think homosexuality is wrong? The answer for me and my understanding of scripture and what God intended for his people would be that yes it is wrong. However, do I think the magnitude of this sin should be raised so far above other sins that people should walk around with signs reading, "God hates fags", "Gays will burn in hell", or "Homosexuals are evil"? The answer is most assuredly NO. In fact I don't think the magnitude of this sin is any different than compulsively telling little white lies. I don't think its magnitude is any different than struggling with pornography. I don't think its magnitude is any different than secretly desiring to see your friend fail at something so you feel better about yourself. I don't think its magnitude is any different than daily thinking lustfully about the girl that sits next to you in Bible class.

Let me explain this idea a little further. We all make mistakes. We all do bad things or think evil thoughts. We all are inherently selfish. We also all come from different walks of life. We all have different experiences that have turned us into the person we are today. Quite a few of us have experienced molestation, physical abuse, alcoholic parents, broken homes, divorce, and other pains that are unimaginable. We are broken and hurt people. We are people who need built up and the last thing we need is people berating us and tearing us down. I am called to see hurting people and love them in the same way God loves them. I am called to build people up and show them the most fulfilling and best way to live life.

Sin destroys us. It is pure deception and lies. Satan whispers to us that sin will bring fulfillment and pleasure. It slyly lies to us that we will be happy if we pursue it. A few examples:

1. Gossip - It is so enjoyable to talk about other people in a negative way. It makes us feel good about ourselves in a way. However, it is purely destructive and evil. I causes teenagers to write about it in their suicide notes. One little rumor can ruin someone's entire reputation with a school. They may go home and cuddle up against their mother and weep for hours as a result of such a little thing we call gossip.
2. Materialism - The thought that having more stuff will make us happy is a pure fabrication and distortion of reality. What can stuff do for us in 80 years? Where can the large sums of money that we spend the priority of our lives seeking leave us? In the end stuff has no meaning.

Sin is unacceptable because it wastes our life away. It wastes our life away because it goes against the two things God created us for........loving Him and loving people. However, this does not mean that I go around condemning people and hating them because they sin. Jesus ate with the tax c

3. View of the world:

4. How it affects the way I live:[/b



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 12:51 AM
link   

Originally posted by Simplynoone
Hey there Mooo ....(((((((HUGS )))))))))) hope that helps....

Hi Snoo how goes ?
Im having trouble keeping up, my internet explorer keeps closing down for bno apparent reason and it's driving me mad,

Every time come on ATS I get problems with my pc weird.



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 01:08 AM
link   

Originally posted by nerbot
And if your god were reading this and could type a response, maybe he would type something like:
"Thanks for doing such a good job, it's nice to hear from someone who can stand on their own two feet and not cause a fuss, glad you can sort your "snip" out, keep up the good work and have a good time. I'm so glad you don't need me anymore

The large number of religious groups that use the term "sheep" for their followers and "goats" for the "evil people", need to know a little something about sheep and goats. Being a sheep is not a complement. Sheep are very dumb animals, it's true, and they frighten easily. Because of this, their shepherds have to herd them to "still waters" or create a makeshift still pond for them, it's more comforting for the sheep to drink from. Goats, on the other hand, prefer to drink from running waters, rather than stagnating still waters. And, a goat is so smart, it will actually figure out how to open doors to get into a person's house in search of food, instead of starving outside with the humble sheep, waiting for their owners to lead them to their food. I learned this from research and from actual farmers. So, ((if)) there is any truth to the separating of the sheep from the goats, during "judgment day", I wonder who it really is who'll be getting the pat on the head and who'll be booted in the butt for choosing the security blanket and not using the brains that God gave us to contribute to the betterment of this planet.


Nerbot, that post was so good, I saved it to disk for later reading, hope you don't mind.



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 01:23 AM
link   
Here is what my faith has meant to me (Understand that this is written in the context of the two things God created me for………loving him and loving his people):

1. Loving God:
I look at the universe and I ask myself regularly where the beginning lies. I think about the laws of physics and strive to think about how they came into existence. I wonder at the magnitude of everything around me and how existence is simply unfathomable. I then worship the creator.

I've studied 4 semesters of both Greek and Hebrew. I dive into scripture, recognize chiastic structure preserved in the original Greek and Hebrew writings. I see the beauty of poetry and the depth of the preservation of the original texts. I study the structural relationships found throughout scripture for hours upon hours and I see the inspiration of God. I read the words and think about the application to my life. I then worship the creator.

I strive to live in a continuous relationship with the God of the Bible. I strive to live in continuous prayer and see the wonders of the world in everything I do. I desire to seek God's will continuously. This can be as simple as me waking in the morning and asking God to please guide me and help me to make decisions that will glorify Him. It is as simple as walking through the supermarket and asking God to help me to show His love to the person manning the cash register. It is as simple as trying to enjoy every beautiful thing that is so easy to take for granted in every day. It isn't that I literally hear God's voice but rather I sense His leading. I can express my feelings to Him and I can sense His feelings towards me. Yes, it is completely subjective in nature but how this relationship affects my understanding, purpose, and ability to fulfill the needs of those around me transcends these subjective overtones.

God is a person. He is a person who is with me at all times through every moment of my life. I simply am trying to live my life in such a way that I recognize His closeness as much as I possibly can. He understands the best path for my life. He understands what decisions would most help me help the people around me. He understands everything I don't. He understands what will make life most enjoyable, most fulfilling, and what I can do to help this earth look like heaven.

I look back at how horribly I've treated people. I look at the terrible things I've said and thought about them. I think about the self-images I've shattered and destroyed. I think about my own life and the sick and twisted things I've done wasting my time away. I think about all the times I've been lethargic when I could have accomplished so much to glorify my creator. I then worship my creator because he has forgotten these things I've done. I worship him for his complete forgiveness. He gave me life and all He wants is for me to be in a relationship with Him. He is a God of relationships and He continually seeks me. I have turned my back towards him insurmountable times yet he always forgives and he never stops seeking me. He even died for me.



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 01:23 AM
link   
Continued!
2. Loving People:
Through my relationship with God I have learned that the people around me are the most important thing in the universe to God.

I struggle much with how I see Christianity being displayed throughout the world in relationship to loving people. I simply don't see love. However, what I do see is people acting holier than thou and claiming a higher moral standard than the "sinners", "gays", "adulterous", "alcoholics", "smokers", "atheists".

Let me focus for a minute on the homosexual issue as an example. Do I personally think homosexuality is wrong? The answer for me and my understanding of scripture and what God intended for his people would be that yes it is wrong. However, do I think the magnitude of this sin should be raised so far above other sins that people should walk around with signs reading, "God hates fags", "Gays will burn in hell", or "Homosexuals are evil"? The answer is most assuredly NO. In fact I don't think the magnitude of this sin is any different than compulsively telling little white lies. I don't think its magnitude is any different than struggling with pornography. I don't think its magnitude is any different than secretly desiring to see your friend fail at something so you feel better about yourself. I don't think its magnitude is any different than daily thinking lustfully about the girl that sits next to you in Bible class.

Let me explain this idea a little further. We all make mistakes. We all do bad things or think evil thoughts. We all are inherently selfish. We also all come from different walks of life. We all have different experiences that have turned us into the person we are today. Quite a few of us have experienced molestation, physical abuse, alcoholic parents, broken homes, divorce, and other pains that are unimaginable. We are broken and hurt people. We are people who need built up and the last thing we need is people berating us and tearing us down. I am called to see hurting people and love them in the same way God loves them. I am called to build people up and show them the most fulfilling and best way to live life.

I understand that there certain sins some people will struggle with all their lives. I have a close friend who has struggled with alcoholism nearly his entire life. He will sometimes be sober for years at a time and just when it looks like he has defeated his alcoholism an event may happen in his life and he’s right back in the struggle. The same goes for pornography, homosexuality, compulsively telling little white lies so on and so forth. We will all struggle with sin our entire lives. It will not be completely defeated until the day we die.

Does this mean that sin is acceptable? No! Sin destroys us. It is pure deception and lies. Satan whispers to us that sin will bring fulfillment and pleasure. It slyly lies and tells us that we will be happy if we pursue it. A few examples:
1. Gossip - It is so enjoyable to talk about other people in a negative way. It makes us feel good about ourselves in a way. However, it is purely destructive and evil. I causes teenagers to write about it in their suicide notes. One little rumor can ruin someone's entire reputation with a school. They may go home and cuddle up against their mother and weep for hours as a result of such a little thing we call gossip.
2. Materialism - The thought that having more stuff will make us happy is a pure fabrication and distortion of reality. What can stuff do for us in 80 years? Where can the large sums of money that we spend the priority of our lives seeking leave us? In the end stuff has no meaning.

Sin is unacceptable because it wastes our life away. It wastes our life away because it goes against the two things God created us for........loving Him and loving people. However, this does not mean that I go around condemning people and hating them because they sin.

Jesus ate with sinners. Jesus forgave the adulterous woman brought before him. However, many times Jesus harshly rebuked the Pharisees and religious leaders who were pure hypocrites who thought they were perfect and the wisest of the wise. They then used their religiosity for power and monetary gain. I think what we can take from these biblical examples is the idea that of course God hates sin because it destroys our lives and sin is never acceptable, but it can be forgiven. The people who sin can be built up with love, relationships, and teaching. However, hypocrites who feel like they hold a higher moral standard and are more special because of their “relationship with God” may need harsh rebuking and harsh words of condemnation. That may be the only thing that can snap them out of their current state.

God despises sin and he desires to see it wiped from the face of the earth. It sickens him and goes against everything he stands for. However, he loves people. He created people for the purpose of being in a relationship with them. God is love and justice and goodness and as a result of who He is He created us. He created us for these same purposes. I believe I am on this earth not to condemn sinners but to build them up in such a way that they might experience love and forgiveness and respect. Who am I as a sinner to point out the splinter in someone else’s eye when I have a log in my own?

Closing remarks:
It’s 2AM here so if it seems like I go off on many tangents and my thinking seems jumbled I’m sorry! I’m just trying to express myself in the best way I can with words on an internet forum. I’m trying to express how my faith has formed my worldview and how it affects my life and some of the whys associated with it all. I could literally write for days on this subject, however, I have spent only an hour here. I'm especially sorry for all the run on sentences
.

[edit on 23-9-2008 by Bugman82]



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 02:51 AM
link   
I was educated by Jesuits, but am an agnostic by choice and Buddhist by upbringing.
Organised religion in the west has historically been a second power base influencing but outside of the monarchy, as such I believe that many original teachings were corrupted or changed to further serve the political and economic needs of the associated church at the time.
Contemporary religion seems to be as much an act of community, the gathering of people with similar view and beliefs, in a time where communities are becoming increasingly fragmented, as it is an act of fervent religious belief, at least for many Christians I have known.
I challenge anybody to refute that anyone claiming to be descended from God and to be His prophet on Earth, would be quickly diagnosed with an acute mental disorder, sedated, medicated, then quietly incarcerated, and I expect many indeed are.
I'm not so sure that the religion itself is a security blanket, as the associated traditions and rituals are. Both of these are I think important touch-stones for people, reminding them of 'simpler' times and concepts, especially in a world where technology is pushing huge changes in social conditions and personal interactions, and such simplistic concepts as good and evil are becoming indistinct.
Additionally, in such an environment, the packaged codification of morality and tenets of behaviour are attractive. They offer moral support for one's actions, as long as they are within these actions are within that framework, as well as the guaranteed support of your immediate peers. In extremis, this leads to suicide bombers or kamikaze pilots, more normally, it is a societal support function, providing a comparison baseline for behaviour.
Meh I ramble. I think religions used to be needed, a way of codifying behaviour in a society, without active government or law enforcement. Religious belief used to be needed as well, a way of justifying inexplicable events. "The mountain you lived under blew up? Must have angered the mountain god then. Leave an offering.".
Now, however, it seems that there is no room for belief in God in a rational universe. The literal truth of the Bible stretches the credulity of children, and technology has progressed past the furthest visions of the prophets. Belief these days will always be tempered by education and I honestly think any fundamentalist belief in any religion as at worst deluded and at best wanton ignorance.
There cannot be the same belief in God or gods as there was even a hundred years ago in the west.



new topics

top topics



 
50
<< 8  9  10    12  13  14 >>

log in

join