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Are you on the fence with Christianity?

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posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by graphuto
Everyone has the free will to believe.

Also, in this day and age, unless you're living in a third world country, I find it highly doubtful that most havnt been exposed to the message.


That was a quick change of mind. It was my understanding, that you had left us because of the general unwillingness to play by your rules, as expressed by:

Quote: ["You win. Clearly people with Christian ideology and faith are not wanted here, so I will go elsewhere.

Have a good day."]

Btw, you still haven't answered my first post on this thread, which I ofcourse can't or won't press you to do. I thought you maybe just forgot it, so I would like to remind you. There's much more in it than the seemingly 'mocking' first impression.

PS Not ALL christians believe they have the free will to believe. There's the predestination doctrine in its most extreme forms.




posted on Apr, 20 2011 @ 11:18 PM
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As I've said before, I'm admittedly not as smart as you. If you could please pose your post in the form of a simple question?



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 03:13 AM
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reply to post by graphuto
 


So...you're not going to address that I highlighted a clear contradiction in the Bible?



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 03:34 AM
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Why does it matter? What, exactly, does how Judas died have to do with ANYTHING spiritual?
Yes, I'm willing to believe that the Bible was mishandled and misinterpreted by men, but everything important is still there, in my opinion.

This is my opinion of the basic of "how it works"

Old Testament:
So we had the Hebrew laws, which I suppose originated with the Jews, Gods original "Chosen People." People had to sacrafice animals and the like and follow very very rigid laws to be "righteous." The OT prophecies the coming of Jesus Christ, which is "God Manifest in Flesh." He lived the perfect life so that he could bear all of our sins. It is my understanding that the "Holy Spirit" wasn't really available much at this time.

New Testament:
So in comes Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy in multiple ways and he does his thing. He tells us that he needs to die in order to bear our sins, but also so that he can send our "Helper", the Holy Spirit. At this point, we MUST believe that Jesus bore that burden and did this for us, so that we can do the will of God, in order for the Holy Spirit to act in our lives.

Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is rubbish to most, since most of it is spiritually discerned, and that "spirit of truth" comes only from God through Jesus.
edit on 21-4-2011 by graphuto because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 04:00 AM
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By the way, you all should read the Forum Guidelines for this forum before trying to take it off in the direction that you have.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 08:23 AM
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Originally posted by graphuto
That is fine, because if only one person is saved by what they read here, that is more than enough.

I completely understand what you mean about the nature of the wording of the title. This thread is for those that truly WANT to believe, but are having a hard time doing so.

I was trying to participate in another thread, "Creator or Chance Accident: I Will PROVE This To You."
Yet faith and God is not something that can be proved with physical evidence, and my efforts there were less than fruitful.
edit on 20-4-2011 by graphuto because: (no reason given)


Well then I do wish you better results here.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by graphuto
As I've said before, I'm admittedly not as smart as you. If you could please pose your post in the form of a simple question?


And quotes from later posts.

You wrote:

["Yes, I'm willing to believe that the Bible was mishandled and misinterpreted by men, but everything important is still there, in my opinion."]

A sound attitude, but the problem of deciding what's 'important', means that we in reality aren't much closer to an understanding.

Quote: ["The OT prophecies the coming of Jesus Christ, which is "God Manifest in Flesh."]

OT prophesied someone, that's for sure.

Quote: ["So in comes Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy in multiple ways and he does his thing."]

Who was not accepted by a majority of the jews as the one prophesied about in OT (though he must have had some popularity according to bible-texts).

Quote: ["He tells us that he needs to die in order to bear our sins, ..."]

That's at least how the message was presented later.

Quote: ["but also so that he can send our "Helper", the Holy Spirit."]

Now you finally got around to answer my intial question on interpretation-methodology (why didn't you do it earlier?).

And I have some comments on that. Presently we see a decline on ATS from some of the various christianities represented here, on the point of bible-interpretation. Formerly there was a predominance of using one of the 34.000 different doctrinal positions as interpretation-method. Now an elitist group is manifesting more clearly, claiming contact with 'the holy spirit' to be THE thing necessary for understanding.

Now it's no secret, that the (extremist) christianities fight each other, they fight other religions, they fight science/logic, they fight quite a few philosophical schools, they fight secular political models and they ignore epistemological considerations.

It's difficult for me to see, how introducing a 'holy spirit' into this mess makes things better. And not surprisingly, but rather as expected, the same old extremist patterns are repeating themselves again. SOME christians have already started claiming, that bible-understanding is for everybody, without the elitist/specialist 'holy spirit' participation. OTHER christians claim, that they do have the use of a 'holy spirit' and that it's necessary, but that only THEIR version of 'holy spirit' is the authentic one.

A few weeks or so ago, we had a "my holy spirit is holier than your holy spirit" contest ("and you are an incompetent ignoramus, bla, bla, bla" following), not really adding any wisdom for those sitting on the fence. Maybe only reinforcing the impression of extremist christianities as a quarrelsome tribe, which doesn't seem to know, what it's talking about.

Eventually leading to:

Quote: [" At this point, we MUST believe that Jesus bore that burden and did this for us, ..."]

Well, who are 'we' (is it me, Madnessinmysoul, other christians) and why 'MUST' we. This thread is for those seeking an understanding, and if this understanding is, that 'we' just have to listen to authoritative 'MUST' instructions, this has been said for the last 1500 years (sometimes at gunpoint). Besides this kind of argument is presented in various ways on ATS several times a week, so I fail to see the purpose of it maybe except as an expression of a personal messiah-complex.

I can add, that something very similar to the 'holy spirit' exists outside the christianities also (I am e.g. the happy contactee of one such 'holy spirit'). Not making elitist exclusivity claims more convincing.

edit on 21-4-2011 by bogomil because: spelling and addition



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 02:20 PM
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Is there a question in there somewhere?

OT prophesied the coming of Jesus.
Yes, the Pharisees didn't believe it was him, I believe he said this himself a few times. This doesn't change the fact that the old scriptures were fulfilled by him.

Also, I'm guessing there are other spirits besides the "Holy Spirit" which is why the Bible tells us to check everything in our hearts, and pray, and ask for guidance, so that we may hold fast to that which is true.

So, once we move past this, we can dive into the subtle ways in which the Holy Spirit speaks to us through scripture.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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I wish I had enough posts to create my own thread, but sadly it seems "ask questions about Christianity" has been run into the ground and the threads constantly de-railed into personal attacks.

Allow me to help by clearing up some perspectives. Please keep in mind the keyword is perspective. This does not include waving a magical wand of transformation from atheist to believer, but offering a perspective for understanding. Remember, understanding where someone comes from does not mean you must share the same beliefs.

How can I be of help?



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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You are absolutely welcome to come and participate in this thread, and you help however you see fit! Thanks for coming by!



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by OptimusSubprime
 

Yes, I believe a certain Roman emperor Constantine tried to settle the opposition between the Romans and Christians. This is the rise of the Catholic church and he did, in fact, decide what would be included in the Bible. What he took out was a lot that centered on damnation for personal opinion it was too dark. Keep in mind that the Bible is a compilation of holy scripture, not the ONLY holy scriptures. If you wish to question the integrity of the Bible based on man - that must be your own personal soul-search. I suggest a good place for you to start would be the Book of Enoch - a scripture not included in the Bible but certainly a myriad of answers. Good luck.

reply to post by graphuto

Originally posted by graphuto

You're right, I DON'T like having my ideas/beliefs questioned. It makes me feel uneasy in my soul, my spirit, my conscience, if you can follow me (since we're talking about things that can't be proven, I know how much you hate those things.)
edit on 20-4-2011 by graphuto because: (no reason given)


Your heart is in the right place, but you've openly admitted you are "not as smart" as some of the people you invited to ask you questions. In addition, you can't allow people trying to get you to think about the "why" in your faith as a perpetrator but as a strengthener. It is good to understand why you believe what you believe, even through someone playing devil's advocate. You must be able to be held accountable for what you believe because "the winds of testing blow." You welcomed their questions, now the people are asking for answers.


reply to post by madnessinmysoul

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

I'm not paraphrasing what I think, I'm referring to things in the Bible.

Soo...the Biblical lineage from Adam - Jesus allows people to derive an age for the Earth of about 6000 years, this is inconsistent with verifiable scientific measurements for the age of the Earth.


If you're going to bring up contradictions you need to be aware of the Nature of the Beast. Such as the Bible does not state the Earth is 6000 years old (Which makes me skeptical you read it), but also that you've bought the same doctrine as the people who perpetuated it that you so strongly disagree with! Beware. You are arguing against Fundamentalism and not Scripture. So where did the Fundies get the idea the Earth is 6000 years old? It is in fact an outdated medieval theology created by a bishop. James Ussher came to the radical conclusion that God created the Earth on Sunday, October 23rd, at 12:02pm. The funny thing is that a great deal of Christians do not even know the origin of that bogus medieval belief, they blindly believe it because the Church told them to instead of reading the book for themselves. In short, the Earth is not 6000 years old. It is also not a basis and never has been of Christian belief.
edit on 21-4-2011 by UndesirableNo1 because: (no reason given)

edit on 21-4-2011 by UndesirableNo1 because: Codes.



posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


The contradiction you refer to is in two separate books written by two separate authors. You'll find that a lot. You can't think of the bible as a single book. It's a compilation of written stories that began as tales passed along by word of mouth.

The thing to look at is not whether the stories correlate, but rather to understand the importance of why the story would have changed over a certain amount of time. Who was Acts written for versus who Matthew was written for? As an FYI, the author of Acts was likely also the author of Luke, which if I remember correctly doesn't mention what happens to Judas after he betrays Jesus with a kiss.



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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reply to post by SorensDespair
 


...and you ignore the fact that there are people who take these books to be something other than the mythologies you suppose. I'm well aware of the understanding that can be derived from proper contextual reading. The only problem is that there are people who think these books talk about reality.



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by UndesirableNo1
 



Originally posted by UndesirableNo1
If you're going to bring up contradictions you need to be aware of the Nature of the Beast. Such as the Bible does not state the Earth is 6000 years old (Which makes me skeptical you read it),


...it does imply that the amount of time that passed between Adam and Jesus is approximately 4000 years. I'm aware of the nature of the Bible, it's a library of disparate books that have had material added and redacted over many years by various schools of thought.



but also that you've bought the same doctrine as the people who perpetuated it that you so strongly disagree with! Beware.


..I've not bought it, I'm arguing against the people who buy it. You can't argue with them on other terms.



You are arguing against Fundamentalism and not Scripture.


You're right, but I could argue against scripture in so many other ways.



So where did the Fundies get the idea the Earth is 6000 years old? It is in fact an outdated medieval theology created by a bishop. James Ussher came to the radical conclusion that God created the Earth on Sunday, October 23rd, at 12:02pm. The funny thing is that a great deal of Christians do not even know the origin of that bogus medieval belief, they blindly believe it because the Church told them to instead of reading the book for themselves. In short, the Earth is not 6000 years old. It is also not a basis and never has been of Christian belief.


You don't seem to understand where Bishop James got the idea...which was by adding up Biblical lineages which are stated.



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by graphuto
 



Originally posted by graphuto
Why does it matter? What, exactly, does how Judas died have to do with ANYTHING spiritual?


There are massive implications. If Judas killed himself in remorse by hanging then he is a man who was repentant for his crimes. There is an implication of the possibility of remorse....whilst if he just happily bought himself a field, then his death was caused by divine punishment, which means that a deity offs those who offend him.

...which is all just a reduction of the major theological commentary that has gone on.



Yes, I'm willing to believe that the Bible was mishandled and misinterpreted by men, but everything important is still there, in my opinion.


Or you could just go with the more logical answer that it was entirely fabricated by humanity.



This is my opinion of the basic of "how it works"

Old Testament:
So we had the Hebrew laws, which I suppose originated with the Jews, Gods original "Chosen People." People had to sacrafice animals and the like and follow very very rigid laws to be "righteous."


You need to maybe try reading some stuff about how the Hebrews perceived the world and their relationship with the divine.



The OT prophecies the coming of Jesus Christ, which is "God Manifest in Flesh."


Except that Jesus doesn't fit the Old Testament prophecies and they are readily misquoted whenever mentioned in the New Testament.




He lived the perfect life so that he could bear all of our sins. It is my understanding that the "Holy Spirit" wasn't really available much at this time.


Yes, the "Holy Spirit" is a fabrication of the Christian tradition.



New Testament:
So in comes Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy in multiple ways and he does his thing.


...which he doesn't.



He tells us that he needs to die in order to bear our sins, but also so that he can send our "Helper", the Holy Spirit.


Except that this makes no sense on any level. The doctrine of vicarious redemption, aside from being particularly odd that an omnipotent deity needs to do anything , is frankly amongst the most immoral system imaginable.



At this point, we MUST believe that Jesus bore that burden and did this for us, so that we can do the will of God, in order for the Holy Spirit to act in our lives.


Which also doesn't make any sense. Where is the link between "This guy (supposedly) died for our sins" to "I need to believe and worship this being"?

It's a non sequitur.



Without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is rubbish to most, since most of it is spiritually discerned, and that "spirit of truth" comes only from God through Jesus.


Ah, the old "you have to buy the idea before you can understand why you buy it" nonsense.



posted on Apr, 22 2011 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by SorensDespair
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


The contradiction you refer to is in two separate books written by two separate authors. You'll find that a lot. You can't think of the bible as a single book. It's a compilation of written stories that began as tales passed along by word of mouth.

The thing to look at is not whether the stories correlate, but rather to understand the importance of why the story would have changed over a certain amount of time. Who was Acts written for versus who Matthew was written for? As an FYI, the author of Acts was likely also the author of Luke, which if I remember correctly doesn't mention what happens to Judas after he betrays Jesus with a kiss.


Excellent suggestions.

This would mean, that all information, bizarre as it may seem to some individuals or groups, have the same subjective rights to exist, be read or even followed. Only leaving the problem of how all these different world-views can co-exist.

Egalitarian, liberal, secular democracy is, in spite of its shortcomings and imperfection, our best bid presently.

Being a godless liberal myself, my (thus only partly) enlightenment ofcourse won't lead me to: "Death to all fanatics" as a method for ensuring a peaceful society.

But I will go so far as to suggest, that some of them seem to need therapy (Examples from ATS on request).



posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 09:24 AM
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Bogomil/Madness:

If you guys would like to start a thread discrediting Christianity, you certainly have the right to do so. For now, we must agree to disagree.



posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 11:11 AM
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reply to post by graphuto
 


I'm not here to discredit Christianity, I'm asking you honest questions about the Bible within the context of this thread. I'm not challenging the concept of theism, but I'm accepting (for the sake of argument) the premise to wonder why, if there is some sort of deity, it should necessarily be the Christian one.

How about I take it from this position:

Why are you a Christian?



posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 11:14 AM
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So by your own statement, you're arguing for the sake of arguing?



posted on Apr, 23 2011 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


My guess....born into it....brainwashed because of it.




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