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.

 

God Signs

page: 5
4
<< 2  3  4   >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 08:00 AM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

My main point I was trying to address was that a church can prosper, but in many cases it doesn't have a lick to do with its congregations vigor belief in God, traditions, values or well placed intentions. It can be a business, and a profitable one at that.

I have seen churches prosper in the way you mention, but it is usually short-lived. The late not-so-great Jerry Falwell comes to mind. He had an amazing following at one time! Yet, before the end of his life, his following had dwindled to the point that his congregation consisted only of the weak-minded automatons he had initially brain-washed. Why? Because Falwell was so full of hatred and ire that I wasn't even able to listen to a full sermon from him.

I really believe time is different to us in this physical realm than it is to God in the spiritual realm. Where we see someone prosper temporarily, it seems all too often to be a travesty of justice. Yet, God gets the last word and the unjust prosperity fails, usually in a massive fashion. It just takes longer than we, as humans, seem to expect it to.


No where in the teachings of Jesus Christ does it say to build multi million dollar buildings to worship God, or spend thousands on a billboard for that matter.

I have often wondered at this. Living dead in the middle of the buckle of the Bible Belt, we have churches on every street corner. Some are massive, glorious buildings (even complexes) complete with stained-glass windows that would each cost enough to feed a family for a year. And yet, the most active, vital churches are the ones that operate out of something that looks like a warehouse. There's one of those less than a mile from my house. I can literally stand out in my yard on certain nights and hear the music and singing. I had an occasion to meet one of their members a little while back:

I had been working on my truck (an old Chevy LUV) that had a tapping in it I couldn't find. It turned out it was a sticking exhaust valve, but at the time I didn't know that. Anyway, I took it for a test drive after working on the carburetor, thinking it was a gasoline knock from too much fuel. About a mile from the house, I broke a valve guide and it went crazy clattering. I killed the engine and my son and I decided to push it home.

About 400-500 yards up the road, a car pulled up beside us and the passenger asked "Where are you going with it?" I told him, and without another word he jumped from the car and took position beside my son at the tailgate. He helped push that truck home, and refused to take anything for his time except a cold drink (which I insisted on). He was a member of that church going to Wednesday night service, as it turned out. That was a Christian attitude toward life. Several people drove right by us; some didn't even slow down. Only he stopped.

That church is still growing, so much that they have a second metal building now beside the first.


For example of a commonly misinterpreted story:

Now this is why I like talking about the Bible with others. I was not aware of this custom. It does make sense, however. Jesus seemed to agree with my daddy a lot, who kept saying "Give 'em enough rope, they'll hang themselves."

Funny thing is, this actually reminds me of typical union practices, where total and absolute compliance is often used to shame and even criminalize unfair supervisors. It's a great technique, as it glorifies the abused and condemns the abuser at the same time.

One of the misunderstandings I have come across quite often is where God is attributed with evil works in the OT. What is usually misunderstood is that in ancient Hebrew, there is little to no distinction made between someone committing an act and someone allowing another to commit an act. Example, a man who allows someone to rob a house in his presence and the man who actually robbed the house could both be described as robbing the house. There is a distinction made between them, however, as to their guilt in the robbery, just not in the language used to describe the robbery. It's a very fine line, and one that requires study to determine if an act itself was attributed to God or if God is simply being described as not interfering with the act.

Er, that didn't come out as clear as I wanted... maybe the reader will get what I am saying.



Again is it important that people have a fully developed understanding of such facts? I dont think so.

Perhaps it is the scientist in me that yearns to understand this wondrous creation I find myself in, but I will disagree to a point. I really want to know how it all happened and how it was accomplished. Not to become a god myself, but because every time I discover a tiny truth, I find myself even more amazed... and asking twenty more questions.


I have often said that come Judgment Day when I stand before that throne, I feel sorry for God. I doubt I will be able to stop asking questions.


But while I don't agree with your sentiments, I can certainly understand them. As long as you have your faith and your sincere desire to seek the truth in your own special and unique way, the niche you fill is immaterial.


Oh, and that is an awesome quote. I'm not even gonna try to outdo that one!

---------------------------------
reply to post by GTORick

Again we see the anti-Catholic rhetoric but I see you have expanded it to include all forms of evangelical churchs as well. This is the point I was making with my first post. It is not that you have an opinion but you are judging others with that opinion.

Since the post you quoted was in reply to mine, I feel I should add in my two cents here:

Just because one points out problems with a church, it does not follow that they are condemning that church. There is a huge difference between bashing an entire religion and pointing out perceived problems within the organization of it. Open_eyeballs asked a question. He (she?) has a valid point about seemingly excessive expenditures while there are people in desperate need of help. The purpose of a church is not to build large buildings, but to minister to the poor and the lost.

My initial impression was also one of suspicion, but I believe this thread to be different from the Christian-bashing threads we are all too familiar with. I would suggest that your purpose here is less that of trying to defend a faith or answer a question, and more of a desire to attack others. Jesus never attacked anyone (well,m except for the money-changers in the temple), and many times refused to condemn others, even overt sinners.

How can you defend a faith while denying it?

TheRedneck




posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 10:53 AM
link   
reply to post by GTORick
 



You judged them and said that the money could be better spent somewhere else when it was none of your business in the first place.


Oh it is my business, in the first place. I am allowed to make commentary of how I choose granted to me by the first Amendment of the United States. These signs are in my home town and just as if they were anti-religious those that have an opinion on the matter are allowed to speak their mind as well. You don't like my opinion, don't bother replying to it. My opinion is none of your business... Got it?

I wasn't going to reply to you because all your doing is pushing for an argument, but I couldn't help myself unfortunately..

I stated my intentions for creating the thread. They were to find the motivations of the billboards. If others have seen them intheir hometown, and if anyone knows about them.

Dont like it? Dont post. Continue on...

Have I said the money could be better spent? Hell yes. Thats becuase it could be better spent. Thats my opinion of the billboard. Not the person posting the billboard... It doesnt get much clearer than that...does it?

You say its a judgement on those who posted the billboards. I dont see it that way. For someone who is looking at the thread through a coke bottle of pre-concieved notions, then it probably is. Not my problem. I didnt come here to argue with you or anyone else about your judgements of me and my motivations for the post.

Both of your posts have been bogus and have taken mine out of context. You dont know what you are talking about, and you have an obvious agenda to promote your own judgements of me. (typical hypocrit) So feel free to reply as you wish...Im not intersted in any correspondance with someone like you...

I assure you I wont reply to another of your comments if you continue on the same path.



posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 11:19 AM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 11:24 AM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 12:36 PM
link   
reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Redneck, my post was removed because I had written a response to you telling yopu that I accidentally deleted my post before I was able to actually hit the submit button!...lol
..dont u hate it when that happens?

So when they removed the post below mine they decided to remove mine as well...i guess for reason of fairness?


Okey dokey. thanks for your input! It has been much appreciated...


and I will get a response to you as soon as I have a little more time...



posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 04:49 PM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

I'm a patient guy. I'll be here.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 3 2009 @ 09:47 PM
link   
reply to post by TheRedneck
 


I have seen churches prosper in the way you mention, but it is usually short-lived.


I suppose this comes down to perspective. Because if you look at some of the atrocities executed by the Catholic church and the vile acts committed by some of its clergy for example, then you can see how "short-lived" may not be an accurate statement. Especially considering the catholic Church has been around for upwards of 2000 years. Is this divinely driven? Not in my opinion.

But on the other hand, where corruption and evil had spread through the top tiers of the Catholic heirarchy there still remained very noble and good priests, bishops and cardinals that ran individual churches throughout the ages. Many of these churches continue today to do more for their communities and for others than some countries! So, again, my point comes down to perspective. More likely than not there are two sides to a story. But I am sure you see my point, as I have tried to show that I see yours.

I want to say one more thing about the "church" (be it none denom, evangelical, catholic etc., etc...). I believe many of them play a pivitol role in society. Much like "super community centers." For their ability to give a person peace when someone is troubled. For a shoulder to lean on. For a avenue to clear a conscious. For a way to help understand our beginnings and spirituality, or just to go and spend time with other like minded individuals. There is clearly an integral role many churches play in todays society. Therefore I hold no grudge against any church striving to fill those needs.



I really believe time is different to us in this physical realm than it is to God in the spiritual realm.


While I do not believe in an anthropomorphised God, I tend to agree. If there is some magnificent, omnipotent being that wishes to be worshipped as a "God" then I would imagine the same thing. By the way, I am agnostic and definitely not athiest if you could not tell...


I had been working on my truck (an old Chevy LUV)


Nice. Im a chevy man myself. Got a 72' GMC..custom everything..dana 60s in the front..dana 70s in the rear...383 stroker, aluminum pulley kit, custom vinyl flame interior, lifter about 12 inches with 38s..I like the sand...
unfortunately it just sits in my front yard as I have to finish installing some steering components...dang it! Anyway, sorry for getting side tracked there...


I broke a valve guide


ouch..thats when the devil takes over your toungue...
...


if you know what I mean? bleep..bleepin bleep bleep!!


That was a Christian attitude toward life. Several people drove right by us; some didn't even slow down. Only he stopped.


Sure it is. But have you ever wondered how many of those cara that drove by you were Christian as well?

My Dad (whom believes in God but not that the Bible was 100% truth)always liked to give this analogy about the more hypoctritical Christians...at least the ones in Southern california where I was raised. He was old school to say the least...

Anyway, many Christians whom go to church to pray to God and listen to the good sermon and practice their faith are excellent people while inside the Church, but as soon as its over and everyone heads off out the door and out to their car all that teaching and wisdom they just heard goes right out the window. "They will cut each other off giving each other the finger trying to get to the exit first" he used to say.. Somehow in those 10 minutes leaving the parking lot they lose all consideration and flat out not give a crap about there fellow man... I always found that interesting, but never gave it much thought until I turned 16. I grewup going to christian schools my whole life. I went to a Catholic middle school and high school, and got to witness this stuff first hand. And much of the time I found his analogy to actually be true.

Anyway, my point is I believe more often than not, no matter their religious beliefs, people in general would not stop to help you. Unless a) they had the time and werent in a hurry and b) you did not look like a murderer or something different than themselves. And dont take me as a pessimist for that. I definitely am not. I actually think I am too optimistic much of the time. But that is my take on things of that nature.

Just to mention, I was flat out Christian and believed as many evangelicals all throughout my childhood. I was indoctrinated by it and nevre even thought about doubting the word of God and all it had to say about our lives. I believed the creation story and the whole 9 yards until I was about 15 when my religion teacher taught us Genesis was more of an allegorical teaching. My mom literally threw a fit when I returned home to tell her what I was taught that day. She wanted to go down to the school and give her a piece of her mind. Boy, ill tell you hwhuuut!! My mom has suffered from different psychological problems her whole life, to say the least...When I turned 18 and had been enlisted in the Navy for a few years my faith turned to a more realistic approach (in my mind, anyway) and I became agnostic.

Sorry for the whole long spiel there. I just wanted to try and give you an idea wher I am coming from with my views.


One of the misunderstandings I have come across quite often is where God is attributed with evil works in the OT.


I have to say, this is the most confusing part about the bible to me as well. If you take some of the teachings of Christ and compare them to some of the historical Jewish tales of conquest it is hard to imagine they are talking about the same God. For example: at one point Jews admit to the slaughtering of innocent women and children by "the hand of God" so their ancestors are not able to seek revenge years later after growing into adulthood.

edit to add: In fear of being labeled ant-semitic I completely acknowledge this was a common practice by many of the civlilzations at the that time. by no means was this a unique charactersistic of the Hebrew people.

Just wanted to clarify that, because i have already been missed quoted, taken out of context and had words put in my mouth enough in this thread...



Perhaps it is the scientist in me that yearns to understand this wondrous creation I find myself in,


Absolutely. I feel the same way.

But perhaps I didnt make myself clear enough. For the average church goer, to understand all the different in depth interpretations by those that study this stuff for a living (university theologians, papal advisors etc.) is not as important as the watered down teachings that many churches opt to teach. Thats what I meant when I said the truth may not be as important for ones faith and Christian beliefs. Especially considering many theologians disagree on different aspects of the bible and their intentional metaphors.


I have often said that come Judgment Day when I stand before that throne, I feel sorry for God. I doubt I will be able to stop asking questions.


When you do, give Him a big ole' wuuuzzzzup from O_E
and let him know theres a guy downstairs that has few questions of his own..


Please see "edit to add:" fo rreasons of editing...

[edit on 3-8-2009 by open_eyeballs]

[edit on 3-8-2009 by open_eyeballs]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 06:06 PM
link   
it's really not deep at all, I promise.

My godfather owns the signs, and he leases them to lamar and other companies which sublet to the normal populace.

The main god sign is over his office building, and not only has it hosted the God signs, but also "Happy birthday" to his mom and a congratulations when I graduated. The building is "Greenfield Flower Company" and "An Absoluetly Fabulous Event" and was at one point lightAmerica.

He is a very devout Catholic but is very loose with his interpretation of other religions. He thinks that all gods are really just one God and it really doesn't matter how you pray or worship as long as you do it sincerely.

He donates several million yearly to various charities yearly and was also the one who set up the "light of peace" thing over ground zero. Profit free, I'm going to add.

I can't PM yet or what not, but if the person who started this thread could contact me, I'm sure he would love to have coffee with you.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 07:28 PM
link   
reply to post by Tsriel
 


WOW! very cool... small world huh? I havent seen the other signs you are talking about...

has he ever mentioned why he has decided to post the God signs??

Im glad you havent taken my words out of context the way others have.

I love coffee...used to own a cafe...we served the best espresso in town...in my opinion


I would pm you, but im not sure what that means?? u2u?

Im down for a chat...



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:17 PM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

I suppose this comes down to perspective.

Yes, yes it does. I always am amazed at how two different people can look at a single situation and come up with two completely separate takes, both of which are valid!

As we have done.



While I do not believe in an anthropomorphised God, I tend to agree. If there is some magnificent, omnipotent being that wishes to be worshipped as a "God" then I would imagine the same thing. By the way, I am agnostic and definitely not athiest if you could not tell...

I do not believe in the "old man in the sky" myself, if that's what you refer to. I just know there are unexplained phenomena in the realm of spirituality that are difficult to deny, and that to me indicates we are simply ignorant of an entire plane of existence. God, since He is obviously not physical as we define physical, must exist in that plane.

As I understand agnosticism, it is a belief that we do not know what is out there. If that is correct, I could be considered somewhat of an agnostic as well, as I am ready to admit I am far from having all the answers. I only know there is someone out there, an intelligence, that has proven itself to me beyond any shadow of a doubt. I only wish I were able to prove that information to others; unfortunately I am far too impotent in that respect to do so. I can only state what little I know and what I suspect.

I am reminded of the line from the movie "Independence Day" when Jeff Goldblum's character's father (I can't remember the actor's name to save my life, but he is a popular actor) is praying with the children and the guy comes to him for comfort and says "I'm not Jewish." The line I remember is the reply, "Nobody's perfect."



Im a chevy man myself.

Well, anything that isn't a Ford works for me.

I picked this little thing up for $800 a while back, and have driven it for two years almost problem-free until now. The good part of this unfindable problem is that now I have a new truck, since almost everything has been completely reworked: the fuel system, the ignition system, the clutch... at the most, a new head assembly, including cam, will set me back $500 and the engine will be like new. And it being such a classic and a collectible, I doubt I will have any trouble getting my money back, with interest.


Thank you, mods, for allowing this little off-topic diversion.


But have you ever wondered how many of those cara that drove by you were Christian as well?

I need verification of your question: do you mean a Christian as in they attend a church occasionally, or do you mean Christian as in they follow the teachings and examples of Jesus?

If you mean the former, probably a lot of them. If you mean the latter, precious few.

This is another stumbling block to those who are looking at the religion from the outside. Both groups I specified call themselves Christian. But only the latter are actually practicing the religion. It is very easy to call oneself by a label, but do you realize how many 'rednecks' I have met in my life that were no different than anyone else? Almost as many as I have met Christians who don't follow Jesus.

There is a love that comes upon you when you begin to truly accept Jesus as who He is. It has nothing to do with lust, and it's not the flowery 'do-whatever-you-want-and-I'll help' love that began to gain prominence in the 1960s. It's more of an earnest desire to ease suffering of others, even if that requires you to undergo pain in your own life to help others. I can't pass up someone in need of help any more. I have actually tried, but I always end up turning around and returning to assist them. I can't slack off in my job anymore, even if I could easily justify it according to man's logic. It would hurt someone else who either lost business or had to take up my slack.

So I have a hard time accepting those who do not act similarly as a Christian, even though I don't judge them. It;s their life and they may have one of those different takes on things I mentioned earlier. I simply do not understand how they can call themselves a Christian without understanding the principles behind the religion.


I have to say, this is the most confusing part about the bible to me as well. If you take some of the teachings of Christ and compare them to some of the historical Jewish tales of conquest it is hard to imagine they are talking about the same God. For example: at one point Jews admit to the slaughtering of innocent women and children by "the hand of God" so their ancestors are not able to seek revenge years later after growing into adulthood.

I'm not sure exactly where that passage is, but I have no doubt it's there. It sounds about right.

I found the Old Testament much easier to understand once I realized that it did not try to make the Hebrews out to be great; it simply described actions and ascribed reason to them. Even the great leaders, such as Moses, David, and Solomon were criticized and applauded for different aspects of their lives. The only person who is shown always in a good light is Jesus Himself.


But perhaps I didnt make myself clear enough.

Actually I think you did; perhaps I was a bit unclear.

Complete truth concerning a matter is not always necessary. I have heard it expressed as "Walk in the light you have", meaning proceed as you know, even if you don't know much. Faith does not require vast knowledge; that is why it's called 'faith'.


I like truth. I like knowing. As I said before, it must be the scientist part of me, the logical, analyzing human that wants a nice simple answer for every question. But most people are not like that, and fopr them, perhaps you are correct. I will only add that an absence of truth may not be a problem, but a presence of untruth can.


When you do, give Him a big ole' wuuuzzzzup from O_E

I'd rather you be standing there beside me.


TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 11:34 AM
link   
reply to post by TheRedneck
 



I do not believe in the "old man in the sky" myself,


What I have found through listening to different scholars and theologians who like to speak up about the deities in the Bible are that none of them can conclude or agree they know who or what God is. All they can go off of are the descriptions in the old testament. And of course not all theologioans are Christian, so they differ from person to person and interpretation to interpretation.

I love to hear peoples take on what they believe God is. Even though I dont think it can be proven that their is a God (agnosticism). I am not one to imply their is no God at all. As far as I am concerned, the very earth we sit upon could be considered God or at least our creator, or even the universe itself. But don't get me wrong. I am not of the belief humans descended from monkeys. Spirituality and consciousness did not just happen in my book. It seems clear to me that something guided our formation that enabled our free will...what ever that is I would consider "God." But to worship it is an omnipotent deity is a whole other story for me.

Also, just something I would like to mention is they are along way away from prooving macro evolution from what I understand. So many missing links and unknowns that I wouldnt declare it the absolute truth by any means. But, there is certainly plenty evidence of evolution itself. I always find it interesting how so many staunch Christians deny any form of it. I always ask myself, well if God is the true creator of the universe, evolution would be the simple (yet very complex...dna, and all the cellular structures that make up life) clues to our beginnings given by Him through His nature. I fail to see the argument by Christians that it is not in the Bible (as per their interpretations) so therefore it is false.

What I do speak up against usually is divine intervention. You can not have both free will and God intervening in human affairs. If God does intervine by answering prayers and what not then what we consider as free will is basically a farse. Im sure you have heard of Newtons third law: For every action there is a reaction. This is supposed to be applied to physics, but I have found it can be applied to all principles of reality including spirituality. In its spiritual form the law is known as karma. How many times has something you have done come around to "bite you in the a**?"...As my father used to say. Again, is this divinely inspired? Not in my opinion. Does that mean the universe could have been possibly designed that way from its inception? Sure. How could I or anyone deny that possibility? I couldn't nor would I want to...


Here is an example that some believe is divine intervention directly by the hands of God.

My mom and many people at her old church that she attended to for many years believes her brother was a miracle. They believe God allowed him to recover from serious head trauma caused by a motorcycle accident when he was 24. Doctors supposedly said he would never walk again and he would remain a vegetable for the rest of his life. Yet today he is able to take care of himself and ride a bike and do the necessary things to maintain a life. Though he still lives on the street and has a serious case of schizophrenia; and ultimately does in fact live like a vegetable. No friends or anything due to his refusal to get help or do anything but listen to the voices in his head. But still, some could consider it a miracle. And yet on the other side of the world millions of children continue to die from AIDS and starvation. But for some reason God won't intervine and grant them the most of basic needs. Neither food on their plates or the will to change their circumstances. This doesnt seem like a whole lot from a loving creator, does it?

When I pose such an example I hear the common relpy of: "Well that is what Christians are for, God sends them to feed the poor and give free care and to do their best to help them." But, I always come back to the logical conclusion of why on earth would God choose to save my ex druggy/ alcoholic uncle that blew all of the opportunity in the world, granted to him by the country he lives in, directly but let these chidren starve to death who dont have a penny to their name or have ever even hurt a flea or ever sinned for that matter? Or how about the poor children of vietnam that continually get limbs blown off from stepping on mines that were placed 40 years ago? Would it not be a simple miracle for God to remove these unfortunate scenarios from being allowed to take place? And therefore elimintaing much anxiety, and unnecessary trauma... Its hard to imagine anything good coming from such scenarios.

I could go on for ages about different scenarios where God supposedly intervened in the affairs of different people, cultures (Hebrews in particular) and races. For example: when the massive Persian fleet was crushed by the much smaller greek navy with help from the "ocean Gods". Many Greeks looked at this as God intervening. Same thing with the Japanese that were about to be conquered by the mongols. Twice a storm drowned much of the Mongols navy. This again was attributed to God saving the Japanese. Obviously this is not the case, or God probably would have stopped the bombing sof Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well.

There is simply nothing that has ever convinced me of divine intervention.

But I digress. While my belief is that no one answers prayers per say by performing miracles and granting wishes, I am most definitely not against prayer itself. In fact I believe it has been postulated that prayer, deep focused thought, and meditation are like exercises for the minds eye. Just the fact that your intent and focused on something becominga reality can give you what you need to make that reality come true. The type of prayer that I always find pertinent is the kind where people ask for wisdom, candor, guidance and strength. These kinds of prayers coupled with determination, vigor and humility can create the reality you seek and make any prayer come true. No divine intervention required.



I found the Old Testament much easier to understand once I realized that it did not try to make the Hebrews out to be great; it simply described actions and ascribed reason to them. Even the great leaders, such as Moses, David, and Solomon were criticized and applauded for different aspects of their lives. The only person who is shown always in a good light is Jesus Himself.


This to a large degree is where interpretation can vary. The historical ccounts of the ancient hebrew people is a heavily studied topic. For its Biblical and historical implications. I love history. Especially ancient history. If I could do a "do-over" with my life I just might have aspired to become a historian. I wish I knew and had more time to study the ancient cultures and their knowledge and events they have gone through.

to be continued...


[edit on 5-8-2009 by open_eyeballs]



posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 11:34 AM
link   
continued:

Here is a link to a not so well known theory I came across a while ago regarding the very beginnings of the Hebrew people. I don't know if it is a correct portrayal of the ancient Hebrews or not, so I never tell anyone it is the truth. I don't have the knowledge to determine that. But I have never read anything "debunking" the authors claims. But I found it very interesting. If it is the truth, then it would have a great impact on Judaism and Christianity. If not, the its just another mis understanding. Anyway if the truth his what you are after I would encourage you to read it, because it offers a completely different interpretation of the history of the hebrew people. And just to let you know, it does nothing in the way of trying to paint the Israelites in a bad light. It is just simply a different interpretation of the Torah in particular.

Its not very long either. Just a small article:World Mysteries



Faith does not require vast knowledge; that is why it's called 'faith'.


Agreed



Both groups I specified call themselves Christian. But only the latter are actually practicing the religion.


Another one of those cases that not all Christians agree on. For some, to be Christian one just must believe Christ is the son of God at their death. They will then be able to enjoy the fruits of Christianity and share a place in heaven. So according to this belief, if Hitler overcame his narcicism, drug habit and other ailments that plauged him and asked for forgiveness from Jesus Christ then he would surely be residing in heaven along with the Saints and rest of Christendom. For others they must believe he is the son of God and act as Jesus did to be labeled a Christian.

I have no opinion either way. Some of the greatest people to ever walk the earth have not acknowledged Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Gandhi for example. And some of the most evil have acknowledged him as the Son of God. Hitler for example. And of course this goes both ways as well. I believe the average Christian to be no better or no worse than the rest of us. In fact there are some Christians I have come across that have done more heroic things than anyone else I have ever met. Truly amazingly unselfish things. My mom being one of them. And the other person I am speaking of gives all the credit to God and his beliefs. If all Christians acted as him, it would be an easy 1, 2 knock out for the rest of the religions. But unfortunately, he is the very slim minority as you mentioned.


I simply do not understand how they can call themselves a Christian without understanding the principles behind the religion.


I think it comes down to what each and everyone of us are. No matter our beliefs, faiths, knowledge or understanding. We are all humans, and I would think if their is a God the way some interpret the God of the Bible, then he would understand this as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. I dont think I have ever written such long posts before! Funny how religion can bring out our more deeper thoughts about life...Its been fun bro! And its been great reading your perspective with out being preached to. I am impressed and thankful!


[edit on 5-8-2009 by open_eyeballs]



posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 05:34 PM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

Every so often I come across someone with a topic in mind that decides, for whatever reason to carry on a detailed conversation with me. I had one a while back concerning embryonic stem cell research that went on for a few weeks. It was tremendously enjoyable for me, and apparently for the other party, since their attitude toward me seems to always be one of respect, even when we disagree on a topic.

And in that vein, let me respond to your points.



What I have found through listening to different scholars and theologians who like to speak up about the deities in the Bible are that none of them can conclude or agree they know who or what God is.

It is indeed a difficult question. As I mentioned previously, we seem to have little to no real knowledge of the spiritual realm, and therefore most of what has been postulated is simply a guess. That does include my beliefs as to the nature of God.

But guesses have a place in science. It wasn't all that long ago that Ben Franklin was trying to capture lightning to see if it was the same phenomena that had been recently named 'electricity'. Today, we know much about electricity: how to use it, how to manipulate it, how it will behave under a wide variety of circumstances, and even how to make it carry and manipulate data at billions of cycles per second so you and I can converse over vast distances via the Internet.

All this came about through trial and error, guesses and tests and more guesses until those guesses became hypothesis which became theories and finally led to the discovery of physical laws that control our use of electricity. Perhaps breakthroughs in understanding spirituality willo occur because of these great minds making their guesses and trying to understand what appears unfathomable at present. I hope so, because I have a very good idea of what mankind will find at the end of that search.



I am not of the belief humans descended from monkeys. Spirituality and consciousness did not just happen in my book. It seems clear to me that something guided our formation that enabled our free will...what ever that is I would consider "God." But to worship it is an omnipotent deity is a whole other story for me.


I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of macro-evolution. Unproven and requiring a tremendous leap of faith to accept. I am not one of those you mention who simply dismiss mutation and evolutionary changes on the micro scale, however. I try to put myself in the shoes of the Creator, and I always come to the conclusion that if I were designing a creature, I would want that creature to be able to adapt to changing conditions to survive. I feel certain that the ability of animals and plants to evolve through environmental stress is another example of the awesomeness of creation.

The difference as I see it is that I have accepted that God is an entity with a definite intelligence and sovereignty. As I alluded to before, this has been proven to me on several occasions.


What I do speak up against usually is divine intervention.

I will differ from you here, and present the reasons why I believe free will and divine intervention are not mutually exclusive:

If we begin with an assumption that there is indeed an omnipotent God who created mankind, we can ask ourselves "why?" Well, the Bible states in genesis that God made man "in his own image". As we have already established, God can have no physical image per se. This means that the likeness must be spiritual, and there are two areas where this makes sense. Firstly, God is described many times as the 'Creator'; He creates. So does man. Some men create beautiful art, some create music, some create buildings, and so on. While you could state that there are many who do not create, I believe this could be easily attributed to our society tending to prefer dehumanized workers over creators.

Secondly, and most apt to our discussion here, is the ability to determine one's own destiny: free will. Now for any creator, the ultimate goal is to create something that is on a par with the creator. We as humans strive for realistic thinking androids as the 'holy grail' of robotics, for instance. We want them to be capable of everything we are capable of.

Suppose for a moment that we were able to develop artificial intelligence to a degree that this view of a perfect android were plausible. Even if we gave an android free will, the ability to make its own decisions, we would no doubt still feel empowered to control its actions to some degree. We would not allow such an android to murder us, for instance. We would not allow an android to make life or death decisions for us (hopefully anyway).

Now apply this to God and His creation, man. God has created in us the ultimate dream of any creator: a creation that has the same abilities He has. Mankind has free will and therefore can decide whether or not to do God's bidding. Mankind has the ability to think for ourselves and decide what we consider right and wrong. Mankind has the ability to actually evict God from their existence. This is why there was a forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden; without a way to rebel and disobey, there could be no such thing as free will.

Divine intervention means that God can intervene in the affairs of man. The very idea of free will means this is possible. Now it would be entirely possible for God to inject His will upon all men and force them to act as He sees fit, but in doing so, man's free will would be destroyed. The only way this paradox can be avoided is for God to act upon a direct request (prayer) or at least in the absence of a request to not intervene.

That's why we pray. It is believed that God is so omnipotent that He actually knows what we pray for before we pray for it! But without that 'official' request for aid, God cannot intervene without destroying our free will. That does not mean that God will act on every prayer made; He has free will as well and can refuse to act if He wishes. What determines when God answers pleas for help and when He doesn't? The belief (my belief) is that it is the best interest of those who accept Jesus as His son. There are reasons this is important in the scheme of things, but I'll leave that lying for now.

The point is that multiple existence is completely possible without relinquishing free will from any of those existing. Just as is intervention between those existing.


Here is an example that some believe is divine intervention directly by the hands of God.

I can't speak for God (obviously), but I would wonder if your uncle's survival was indeed a miracle from God... other than to create him with enough strength to overcome the injuries of course. He may have recovered to a greater extent than the doctors expected, but he did not recover completely, or even mostly. He may have lived, but what a life of torture!

I can relate an anecdote of my own. When I was 16, my father was rushed into emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. The doctors gave him a 50-50 chance of survival and said if he did live,m he might be a complete vegetable and not even know anyone or be able to respond.

We prayed. He lived. He recognized everyone he knew. But, he was an invalid. He was bedridden for the rest of his life, able only to slowly stagger to the bathroom even after months of therapy. I wathced this strong man who I loved immensely fall from being strong and independent and capable to being a shadow of what he once was. I kept praying.

After several years of praying for him to be fully healed, I changed my request. I began praying for him to either be healed fully or taken from us completely. I could not bear to see him suffer.

After this did not work, I began to challenge God. I wanted nothing to do with any being who could so carelessly watch one who had served Him suffer so terribly. I have cursed God. I have threatened God. But later on, I realized how little I really understood. Two weeks after I married, my father died, on the 10th anniversary of his surgery exactly. It was the fall after my sister graduated from high school. After the funeral, I learned from my mother that he had always wanted to see two things in life: me married and my sister a high school graduate. He saw both.

Why did he have to linger for 10 years? I really don't know for sure, but maybe there was a reason he was to leave the land of the living. I know I was a rebellious child, always free-spirited and arrogant. Perhaps I needed my world shaken up, to keep me in line. Maybe he wasn't strong enough of spirit to accept the healing that was offered. I do know this: my prayers weren't answered because I was praying for him to be hurt more than I could imagine. Instead of answering my prayers, God answered Dad's prayers. I still thank God every day for doing that.

I can still remember the last time I saw him... shriveled, partially paralyzed on one side, weak of body, and dying... with a huge smile across his face.

I'm almost out of characters and need to take a break here. I'll continue this post in a bit.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 5 2009 @ 07:22 PM
link   
reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Quickly.
Wow man, that was a powerful story. Im so sorry you had to go through that. Im not an emotional guy, but you almost had me choked up there. Im glad you were able to come out of that position stronger! Good for you.

Just want to throw this out there...

Almost the exact same thing happened to my mother. Her mother died when she (my mom) was 21 of a tumor in the brain. She came home and found here mother lying dead on the couch with blood coming out of her nose and eyes. They all knew something was wrong for a while from what I understand, but her mother was such a devout Christian that she did not believe in going to the doctor, so instead of going to get help she prayed and prayed to be healed until she could not pray any longer. She left two babies (that my mom raised with the help of my dad)..My uncle was one of them and the other my aunt. Both of them call my mother "Mom." Well my uncle doesn't anymore, but thats because of the mental issues. It turned my mom away from God completely for a long time, until she had me, and the accident that happened with my uncle. Those two things she felt were miracles and basically brought her back to the Church.

Both my aunt and uncle have lead somewhat (I dont want to say bad) an "off the tracks" kind of life. My aunt has been married 4 or 5 times and has been smoking methanphedamine for some time now. She has never held a job for more than a year(?). You know how my uncle lives, and it doesnt look like its going to get any better for him. They both are in there mid 40s, and both essentially suck off society. Granted they had a really rough childhood, bouncing back and forth from my parents to foster homes and what not. And like I mentioned before, my dad is pretty old school and developed a drinking problem shortly after vietnam. So you can imagine some of the horror stories I have heard. And I dont need to go into my childhood (not nearly as bad as my aunts and uncles) but you can say there was turbulence...Im not going to blame all my parents problems on this situation, but you can bet many problems stemmed from a 20 year old kid (my father) coming home from Vietnam having to take care of two kids that werent his.

Anyway my point is that one would think something of this nature could have been easily avoided. God simply could have answered the request of my grandmother. If He had, I believe things would have turned out much different than they are today.

(will respond to the rest of your post, but it was great and I really do not have any arguments with it...just a few comments)



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:32 AM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

Im so sorry you had to go through that.

You know, I'm not.

It hurt terribly. It left scars that to this day haven't completely healed. But it taught me something about my father, about myself, and about God.

It showed me just how strong my father really was. You like most people who hear this story, feel sorry for me. I feel sorry for him. He loved me and my sister so much that he was more than willing, happy even, to go through a hell I can only try to imagine just to make sure we were on the right track. You see, my sister never was that big on school. I was a nerdy redneck back then and school was just an inconvenience, not something i was going to abandon. Dad knew that. He knew that my sister needed her education, and knew there was a chance she might not get it. He knew how wild I was, and that I needed to settle down and start a family. He never saw his grandson or granddaughter, but the day I brought my future wife home, he asked her quietly to promise him a grandson. She did.

After he had been sick for a few years, I went totally wild. I became a drunk, I played around with illegal drugs, I was into hotrodding and street racing, and I would hazard to say I outran (outdrove) about every local cop there was at one time or another. You ever see The Dukes of Hazzard? With the exception of the camera magic ones, I have performed almost every stunt they did, impromptu, on the street. From taking a Volkswagen Beetle through places four-wheel-drive Jeeps were afraid to go, to taking the same car down switchbacked one-lane roads with the cops in merry pursuit, to jumping railroad tracks in an old Volvo station wagon, to cutting donuts in front of the local cop with my Duster in an attempt to get him to chase me, to out-powering cruisers on a straightaway in an old Dodge Coronet with my masterpiece powerplant growling from beneath the hood, I did it all. I was a regular at the local poker game, and got good enough to buy an old Chevy Van from a cop with my illicit winnings. I loved the irony in that one. I learned how to fight, how to shoot, how to use impromptu weapons of any kind, and to date never lost a fight where I was able to fight back. I had my own gang before gangs were big news, before anyone had heard of the Bloods and the Crips.

But throughout all that, I had one thing that kept me from going over the edge: an old man at home who was helpless, and a mother who desperately needed my help to care for him. Yeah, I was wild, but I couldn't completely cut that string that held me to my roots. Had Dad died right away, there would have been no such string to hold me back. As it is, I am the sole survivor of that gang I mentioned; every other member is either in the State Pen or the ground.

Now I sit here, a decrepit old redneck with almost a half-century of life under his belt. I look back at that life and realize that I could not have survived on my own. There were too many coincidences that worked in my favor, too many things that could have gone terribly wrong, too many instances where something happened that should not have been able to happen. I didn't see them back then; but I do now. So today I am an upstanding member of society... I work steady, I pay my taxes, I own my home, I have had two successful careers and a few businesses I owned for a while. I no longer drink or use drugs... even the legal kind. And more importantly, I have recognized how it was I survived to become what I am.

I went through extreme pain many times throughout those years, but looking back I can see that I still got less than I deserved. Every bad thing that has ever happened to me since that day my Dad went into that surgery has been my fault... not God's fault for ignoring me, nor Dad's fault for getting sick. Mine. I caused my pain and suffering. God allowed me to survive it to try again, and tried to show me where I went wrong. It's not His fault I am so stubborn and bull-headed.

But I also learned one thing about me: I can survive. No matter what. But I need a little help from above. I learned I need God. I learned I'm a complete idiot by myself. And I learned that that's OK, as long as I try to not be so much of an idiot right now.

Today I work diligently as my father did, to raise my children the way they need to be raised: tough, strong, confident, independent, but all the while realizing that they need a little help from time to time too. So far, I think I have done a pretty decent job of it.


I sat down to try and finish that last post to you, but wound up doing this reply instead. heh. I have to get a little actual work done on my project, so maybe this evening I'll get back on it.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 01:13 PM
link   
reply to post by TheRedneck
 


It sounds like we have quite a bit in common, except you got a few years on me
. And its good to hear you don't feel sorry for yourself. Too many people go through life feeling sorry for themselves, not realizing everyone has issues and some of ours are pretty benign compared to those who have to struggle to feed their starving families on a daily basis. (Not saying your problems were benign) I had a few more things that kept me in check though.

After being somewhat of a knucklehead throughout high school and wasting my childhood dream and skills of playing pro ball, I decided to join the Navy. I went in for specific reasons. But lets just say things did not work out as I had hoped...this was because of my past legal issues...Anyway I decided to get married (for the wrong reasons) to my girlfriend at the time. I was 19. She was 17... I got paid an extra $1000/ month just for being married...(Ive never told anybody this btw) so I thought: Hey! This will be a damn good thing. I didnt understand the reprocussions for getting married for the wrong reasons. Not saying that I didn't love her, just that I was definitely to immature, and she was way to immature for such responsibilities. During a two year period I lost a few of them old friends due to drug habits. While I never got "hooked" on anything, it safe to say I have been pretty lucky. The deaths of a very good old friend from high school and then of my roomate in the Navy taught me some good lessons. Since then (and its been years now) any drug intake had been purely recreational...At parties or whatever...

So anyway, after lots of philandering on my part and parting ways with the wife and Navy things got out of control. I spent tens of thousands at bars and just plain being an idiot. Ended up ruining my credit and the businesses I had worked on since leaving the Navy, ultimatley ruining myself and goals...Of course their are other fators, but I take responsibility for my short comings and failures. After reconciling with the misses we had our first son when I was 22 just before I turned 23. He was my birthday present
... Even though I was half lit when I went into the operating room, it gave me a big time wakeup call, and slowly over the first year of his life I began to change my habits.

Today along with my son, my wife, my mom and my brand new one week old daughter I spend my days working and doing my best trying to stay away from the vices that plauged me in the past. It aint easy, especially living in Vegas, but I try to concentrate on things other than drinking and staying out all night being an idiot. The gym, work and of course ATS
keep me occupied for the most part. I would like to add here, thanks for the outlet, and you have been the first person I would ever consider a friend I have met online. Never been real big on the myspace/ facebook things...

Getting back to the subject at hand. I have no quams with your post. Even about divine intervention. You made an excellent argument. My position stands that I have never witnessed or heard of any scenario describing actual divine intervention, but I fully realize where you are coming from.


The only thing I would like to adress is:


God can have no physical image per se. This means that the likeness must be spiritual, and there are two areas where this makes sense.


Where you may have come to the conlusion that God may have no physical image and the likeness may be 'spiritual' many people take this as a literal belief and that the likeness is in fact actually physical. Meaning literally the God of the Bible has arms, legs, head, mouth and all the other characteristics of a man. Including the sexual reproductive organs... It is important to mention this though. Because it shows a lack of reasoning in those perception of what and who God is by some. If a God does have these human characteristics (being anthropomorphized) then he is susceptible to all the same 'sins' humans are. Think about for a second what the basic surviving istinct of humans are. Selfishness. Everything about the human body is used for selfishness (the definition of selfish being one acting upon their own best interest and desires). This is essentialy the most of basic "sins" as well. Dont think of them and their uses in todays times. Think of them for their usage in the neolithic times. Pre-history and pre-biblical. Think about your arms (used for capturing, feeding and taking). Your hands (feeding, and detailed, specific acts, used to either improve the surroundings around you). Your sexual desires and your selfish desires of gluttony (taking more than you need or having excess resources too help your natural instint to procreate). A human body is meant to tackle the basic selfish needs. It is meant to help us to survive, the most basic of selfish act.

Why on earth would a God (in the sense of the biblical interpretation) need any of these features? Even though you agree thedse may not be the traits of such a God, many do in fact believe these things. Going back to what i said about the truth. Is it necessary for everyone to have a reasonable understanding about what God is? Or for that everyone to have a uniform belief in Gods appearance and physiology? Again, I don't think so. The other themes in religion that are preached about are far more important. Unselfishness, love thy neighbor, do unto others as you would have them to unto you. These are humanitarian themes that can be applied on a day to day basis that are far more important than knowing who or what God actually is.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 05:51 PM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

OK, forget continuing that old post. There's plenty to go on here.


To start with I want to say you seem to have come through the fire as well. Congratulations on that, and the same for that baby girl. There is no greater source of enjoyment and fulfillment than raising one's child (even if it is hard to get them to mow the yard
).


I would like to add here, thanks for the outlet, and you have been the first person I would ever consider a friend I have met online. Never been real big on the myspace/ facebook things...

You are more than welcome; we all need that outlet sometimes, and the Internet is big enough and anonymous enough to make a great one. I'm just honored I could participate.


I have made many friends over the years on the 'net, and never once did I start out to do so. I have had the honor of meeting many of them, especially while I was driving a truck for a living. Most were awesome people who I am proud to call friend, while a very few were people I wish I had never known... but that's a different story.

I am touched at the honor you bestow upon me.



Where you may have come to the conlusion that God may have no physical image and the likeness may be 'spiritual' many people take this as a literal belief and that the likeness is in fact actually physical.

I have no doubt this is true, but rare.

One of the most insulting things a person can do to me personally while discussing Christianity is to describe God as "that bearded old man in the clouds". It is true that He is often depicted in paintings as such, but I really don't see how anyone can actually believe in a physical God. Physical things tend to break and wear out, from the toaster in a kitchen to a shovel, to our own bodies (like mine
), to the very sun our planet orbits. All have a definite lifespan, yet God does not. Now if believing that God has a physical image helps someone to attain a sense of the spiritual, then I say that is all well and good.

I tend to think that that is what is really happening when someone describes God as a physical entity; they are really describing their internalized view of what they believe God must be like. To accept the concepts of a completely new realm is a hard leap for many people to make, and that internalized image simply is how they deal with the unknown: by internalizing it toward something known. That is also why painters have painted through the ages their interpretations of what God must 'look like'. It is why there are pictures of Jesus hanging on a cross in many churches. I seriously doubt anyone was taking Kodak's back then... but we can infer what the scene may have looked like and from that create a picture that represents the event, although loosely and with a varying degree of romanticism.

Unfortunately, this can also lead to some confusion for those who are able to grasp the concept of a spiritual God when they enter a church environment. To them, it may indeed appear that these idiots are worshiping some picture... it is ridiculous that a deity could be physical! But look deeper and you will realize that none of them truly belief God's nose itches, or His feet swell, or anything like that.

As to the selfishness of the physical body, that is, to me anyway, self-evident. Think of any animal. That animal does not concern itself with other species, and usually not with others of its own species. Who has seen a wolf cry for the rabbit it just ate? Who has heard a squirrel pity the fox circling underneath its tree? No, the wolf simply goes on it's way to find its next meal, and the squirrel throws nuts at the fox.

Our physical bodies are animal. Period. We have the same bodily functions as the other animals, have the same susceptibility to toxins as the other animals, reproduce the same way as other animals. Our bodies can die and rot just as other animals do. What makes us unique, the only thing that makes us unique, is the spiritual aspect of self-awareness. And it is that spiritual aspect that forms the basis for belief in a superior being, be that being a spiteful God, a loving Jesus, a jealous Allah, Buddha, Gaia, or any number of other beings (real and false) worshiped world over.

I will end this post on one additional note: No matter what, there must be a final truth to the universe and everything in it. We may not know that truth, or we may not know it in its entirety, but it must exist nonetheless. That truth cares not whether we believe in it or not, as it will continue to be the truth whether we believe it or not, just as surely as 2+2=4 whether or not someone believes it does.

The trick is to move to a point where as much of that truth is known and accepted as we can. Some can accept certain truths easily; for others it is a much harder task. All are trying to find the truth, however, in their own unique way. If during their travels toward truth, they need a crutch such as an image of God as a white-bearded man in the sky, holding a lightning bolt, then so be it. It harms me not. But it does harm us when we look at those crutches and fail to realize they are simply a learning aid, not the whole lesson.

I am adding you as a friend on ATS.


TheRedneck


[edit on 8/6/2009 by TheRedneck]



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 11:48 AM
link   
reply to post by TheRedneck
 



As for the fire, well its a constant mental battle. I try to stay out of it, but at times it seems like you are jumping out of one and straight into another...Staying out of bars, away from the bottle and not getting into stupid fights are the only solutions in my opinion. Its life and sometimes its a female dog. In my opinion its just a matter of continuing to bounce...



Congratulations on that, and the same for that baby girl.


Thank you much! The boy, I am pretty sure I will be able to handle... I just pray he isnt like me when he hits them teenager years... a little tough love never hurt nobody...
The girl...well lets just say, shes the reason I am back in the gym...



It is true that He is often depicted in paintings as such, but I really don't see how anyone can actually believe in a physical God.


I think there are a few things it comes down to. 1. Peoples indoctrination at a young age. Normally, the image implanted into the childs head stays with that person because it is how they were taught to view God and these characteristics must determine how "He" acts. As it says in the Bible, there are characters in the old testament whom "walked with God."
Again, many people take this literally. Who knows, maybe it is meant to be taken literally. If so, it introduces a new element into the old testament, and is actually somewhat consistant. That the God of the Bible may be some form of E.T.intelligence that resides in some higher field of consciousness. You can read some peoples interpretation of this in that very long thread Undo (whom is Christian)authored: "Stargates Are Real." But anyway, as someone who went to a Christian school since preschool through high school, I can say without a doubt, not once did anyone ever try to explain to me the spiritual likeness betwen God and human. The likeness was always physical.

2. God is so all powerful "He can do anything with just the blink of His eye." Ive had people tell me this who believe it with no doubt whatsoever. My mom being one of them. So God can manipulate His form as to whatever he wishes, but his true form is a likeness of the human being.

While I dont find either of these points to be accurate in their assumptions about the "God" of the bible, the first at least offers logical explanations and reasonable arguments. As for the belief the God of the Bible is some form of E.T. presence, well it is definitely the opinion of the minority and definitely not well accepted.

But, I think it is more commonly accepeted than not that Gods natural form is of the human body.

By the way, did you ever get a chance to read that world mysteries article?
Its good! Im telling you!. I am still waiting on someone to debunk his claims...



But look deeper and you will realize that none of them truly belief God's nose itches, or His feet swell, or anything like that.


I agree, and I am not trying to focus the thread on such semantics. My only point is that some believe what they are told and read without questioning or reasoning. This goes for Christians and non-Christians alike. Those that believe such things will simply believe it because thats what they have been taught in Sunday school, and that is what is easiest for them to relate to. And its also very similar to the preachers message. Its rare a preacher will stand in the front of his church and do his best to explain the metaphoric lessons in the same stories he has gone through over and over again where he normally only highlights the basic well accepted message.



And it is that spiritual aspect that forms the basis for belief in a superior being, be that being a spiteful God, a loving Jesus, a jealous Allah, Buddha, Gaia, or any number of other beings (real and false) worshiped world over.


In this I whole heartedly agree. This is a fine example as to why the belief in Jesus Christ the way the New Testament would like you to believe is irrelevant. No offence
. It is relevant to those who wish to believe he was in fact the Son of God. Theres no problem with that in my book. But as for the other 4+billion people that may not believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, it is ok for them as well. I have a hard time believing God is going to judge each and every one of us at the end of the day whether or not we believed stories that were written 17-1800 years ago word for word with all the differences in our translations and interpretations. While the stories of Jesus Christ are excellent examples of the better aspects of Judaism and what a belief in one God can accomplish, it is also easily recognizable that in fact Jesus was wrong about some things. For example: He was of the belief that the world was going to end during his lifetime. Of course, that is not the case as I am able to type this here today. Many Christians have felt their lifetime would be the end. The interpretations of the apocolyptic prophecies have all been wrong thus far.



I will end this post on one additional note: No matter what, there must be a final truth to the universe and everything in it.


Amen! Maybe one day we will all be exposed to a pure truth. I can only be envious of those who have already made those conclusions of what the truth is. I can imagine things add up a little easier for them. Whether what they believe to be the truth is in fact the truth, well, who knows!? It very well could be! Coming to some sort of grand conclusion would make life a little simpler I suppose...

The only truth I can say I do in in fact know 100% for sure is that I know nothing for 100%...



I am adding you as a friend on ATS.


Im honored! And ditto! (not that i have many friends on ATS)...I get the feeling many dont share my views when it comes to the more poignant topics of religion and politics. I am neither religious, nor athiest. Nor republican nor democrat. So I argue against them all. That kind aleaves me in the corned all by myself...
...so be it...

Ah well, so be it...Luckily I have always been thick skinned. Its just to bad Im so damned opinionated!...hey thats what ATS is for though, right? Thats what keeps me coming back anyway...

[edit on 7-8-2009 by open_eyeballs]



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 02:41 PM
link   
yeah, not allowed to u2u yet.

but he just really likes religion and can't fathom why anyone else wouldn't. Posting those signs was like his version of missionary work.

I do understand that the signs being that mundane must be vaguely depressing to some people.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 02:54 PM
link   
reply to post by open_eyeballs

Peoples indoctrination at a young age.

You do have a point here.

It is not uncommon for people t hold onto early images and experience throughout their life, even when such has been proven false or harmful. back here in the woods we call it "being set in one's ways", but all it really means is that the life experiences are so deeply ingrained it is almost impossible to completely release them.

Fairy tales are full of magical beings and mystical wonder. Animals can talk, coincidence always seems to save the day, and good always wins over evil. Don't get me wrong; I like fairy tales. But they instill something in our psyche that lasts us for a lifetime. Usually that's a good thing; occasionally it has undesired consequences.

When my children were little and the whole Santa Claus thing was happening, I decided I was not going to try and drag that tale out like some parents do. As soon as my children asked me point blank "Daddy, is there a Santa Claus?", I told them the truth. I have always tried to stress the difference between fantasy and reality to them as soon as they were mature enough to handle the subject matter.

That last sentence is important: As soon as they were mature enough to handle the subject matter. While many may disagree with me on this forum, children are not little adults. They do not have the understanding of the world around them that is necessary to understand every aspect of every situation they encounter. This is why children in church are shown drawings and pictures of that bearded old man in the clouds. It is all they can grasp at the time. In a perfect world, as children grow up they will understand that their early experiences were couched in some romanticism to allow them to grasp greater concepts esier; unfortunately that does not always happen and so we have a few people who no doubt do believe God is sitting in the clouds above holding a lightning bolt.



God is so all powerful "He can do anything with just the blink of His eye."

I believe He can.

Now as to whether He will, or even whether He should, that is another matter. Referring back to my little anecdote earlier about my father, God could have healed him; I believe that with all of my being. But was healing him the right thing to do? Would that have brought about a better or worse future for the two of us? I am certain my life would have turned out differently; the question is whether or not that difference would have been a good one. Look at the change we got with our last President... yeah, we got change: for the worse! Change is not always good.

The only thing God cannot do is lie, because once He speaks a thing, that thing must come to be. That is an awesome power! And with it comes an awesome responsibility: should God speak two mutually opposing things, what would the outcome be? Could the world as we know it simply cease to be in such a paradox?

So God has this responsibility for the reality He created, and in order to maintain that reality, certain things must be. God could speak gravity out of existence to help someone pick up a heavy load, for instance, but then how would the planet and the sun and even the stars stay together without gravity? I think perhaps you see my point here. We inhabit a reality that works so perfectly it is amazing! Why, oh why would a loving God change such perfection over a selfish desire?

So God always does answer prayers. "No" is an answer too.



But, I think it is more commonly accepeted than not that Gods natural form is of the human body.

I don't see that as the predominant belief in my experience, but then again I haven't met all 6.whatever billion people on the planet either.


By the way, did you ever get a chance to read that world mysteries article?
Its good! Im telling you!. I am still waiting on someone to debunk his claims...

Sorry, not yet. I do intend to go back to it at a later time when I actually have time. In all honesty, I don't really even have the time to continue this conversation, but it so fascinating I just have to continue.


Maybe that mill bed will assemble itself. Sure would be nice....



This is a fine example as to why the belief in Jesus Christ the way the New Testament would like you to believe is irrelevant. No offence
.

No offense taken, but as mentioned in the next section of your post, there really is a truth out there. I believe that truth is through Jesus. You (and everyone else on this planet) are free to accept or reject that belief, of course.

My belief is based on a lifetime of hindsight and prayers for knowledge and wisdom. Both are very subjective things.


Maybe one day we will all be exposed to a pure truth. I can only be envious of those who have already made those conclusions of what the truth is.

Ah, but there is no need to be jealous. Seek the truth in earnest, with no preconceived notions of what must be, and it will become apparent to you. The biggest obstacle to discovering truth is believing that something must be true exactly as you understand it. Just as we discussed earlier, the children learn that God is a bearded old man sitting on a cloud, but to truly understand God they must eventually forgo that preconception and realize that there is much mush more there even though what is there may not be as physical as they once believed.

The same principle applies to more spiritual matters as well. Preconception can be a stepping stone rather than an engraved stone.


The only truth I can say I do in in fact know 100% for sure is that I know nothing for 100%...

Neither do I. I only walk in the light I have, looking for more.

That one statement is the first step to understanding.



I get the feeling many dont share my views when it comes to the more poignant topics of religion and politics. I am neither religious, nor athiest. Nor republican nor democrat. So I argue against them all.

Although I do consider myself religious (or spiritual, if you want to use that connotation), I share your political views. Many others on ATS do as well. Now if we could just convince the majority of voters that the two political parties are really just one two-headed snake...

TheRedneck



new topics

top topics



 
4
<< 2  3  4   >>

log in

join