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My Personal Crisis of Faith

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posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn
Thank you for a well thought out response. I feel like I am wandering around out in the desert. My soul and spirit seeking the burning bush. I would gladly give up the flesh for a taste of the water from the rock and eat of the heavenly manna. I know the word and there will be those that say I need to repent and ask for God's cleansing. If I draw nigh to him he will draw nigh to me. So much of what I learned in Bible College and in ministry has not been born out in the world I have worked in. I could never stand by and see my children or any children suffer. Yet there seems to be some idea in the church that someone who suffers like Job did is experiencing a noble thing. Did God really agree to that test to prove satan wrong? I can understand some of the old testament stories and that it may be the human attempt to explain why we go through such trials. I realize religion has been used to justify any number of wars and I am sure it was used in those days as well. The analogy of the quilt is a good one but it requires a loose stitch that remains flexible because we are all cut from different cloth.

edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: misspelling.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 07:08 PM
reply to post by grayeagle

Hey there

My story is somewhat similar - I was raised in a born again christian church (very strict literal adherence to the new testament).

I thought I had a personal relationship with Christ, but turns out I had a "relationship" with the values, systems and dogma of the church; it was a warm, safe, elitist community, which enhanced ones own view of themselves.

I discovered alot when I left the church and traveled the world - first in a military, secondly as a normal citizen.

If you try and "take in" all the good and evil in the world, you will go insane. There is no rhyme or reason; how can one explain the death of a child due to malnutrition vs the beautifully blessed life of someone in the west? Does God play a hand in this? Or is this a result of free will?

If pain and sickness and death is a result of our own "free will" and living separate to God, then how can we explain the death of children who cannot exercise free will? They did not choose to be born in a country which cannot support them.

There may be a higher power, but if there is, that power views us the same way we view the insects which surround us - maybe a degree of empathy, but we do not forge relationships with single ants to fulfill their life.

We, as humans, have a hierachy of needs; once the basic needs are fulfilled (food, shelter, warmth), we start to long for the less necessary but psychologically important ones, which are

1. Love
2. Friendship
3. Community
4. A belief in something bigger than ones self

This is where I believe "religion" steps in - it provides an answer and a response to the need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

We can put all of our wants, desires and fears into a community of like minded people, and these people reinforce that we are good, wholesome people, and we will pass into the divine at death.

If you really want to explore a relationship with a higher power, leave your church; leave all the dogma and society which surrounds it, and explore the relationship as a personal one, away from the noise of a community of likeminded people.

My 2 cents

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 07:37 PM
This is a discussion about the Divine.

We can trace origins of Judeo-Christian beliefs to Akkadian, Babylonian, Phoenician and Sumerian beginnings. Before them is prehistory and oral tradition, so we cannot truly know where these early cultures borrowed from. But these early cultures are Origin of Western religious systems. From them comes beliefs in Trinity godhead(s), Monotheism, theologies of Heaven and Hell, Afterlife, Angels, Salvation, and many tenants that make up today's Judeo Christian Theologies.
Religions tend to borrow and assimilate those that came before them, then they attempt to erase the culture they borrowed from. This repeats in our history time and again, and is recorded in the Bible among many historical references. we are doing the same today.

It is no accident Christ implores us to seek the Truth, after him would come lies and deceit of rulers and nations to abuse his teachings for their own end(s). If we take only what Christ teaches and use that as basis for Christianity, it will conflict with what becomes Popular Christianity. But this does not mean what Christ taught becomes void, it is a more defined theology of what our ancestors believed tens of thousands of years ago.

The Divine will always escape our ability to explain or define its purpose. Maybe we are never meant too, and are passengers on its ship and nothing more.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 08:48 PM
reply to post by grayeagle

I think what you wrote is the problem. Find yourself and love yourself. Stop looking for a building and a book to make you whole. Then you will know real happiness!

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 08:48 PM
reply to post by ExCommando

I couldn't agree more. Very well said ExCommando!

OP: One experiences free fall when you let go of all the man-made religious dogma. It's always hard to search for the truth on your own, but it's necessary, and it's a sure sign of spiritual maturity. There is something in you that can't take the lies anymore. Instead of blind faith you want answers that don't insult your thinking brain. I've been there, and so have many others. I can't tell you what your spiritual path looks like, but be assured - you are moving forward, not backwards.

In my experience, and it is only my personal experience that could be tainted by many unknowns, you must let go of your ego, pride, preconceived knowledge, and expectations. Once you're "open", you will be able to hear what God has to say. There is a season and purpose for every living being.

Best of luck on your journey!

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by ExCommando
I am where you are. I do not participate in organized religion any more. I am finding more and more people moving more and more along the same lines. I want to live an unselfish life and live in community with others who are free from the "churchiness" and want to live lives of love and kindness toward others. Thank you for your response it is an encouragement to me!

Also to you allisone. Thank you You both confirm in me what I am pursuing. And it is scary but I appreciate th fact that I am not alone!

edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:06 PM

Originally posted by jacygirl
reply to post by AfterInfinity

That's true! Also....being a "religious" person doesn't always mean 'good' person.
If they are believing things to be true, but not backing it up with their actions....then they are really just hypocrites, right?
(I'm sorry....I seriously think I've sort of hijacked the original thread, and my original train of thought seems to have been derailed (lol) I'm going to just stop for now).

(I apologize....not usually such a ditz.....

Everyone is a hypocrite at some point. We all fail being perfect human beings, and those that won't admit it, only show they are imperfect as well.

Being religious doesn't mean that you will always be"good" , it means that you know you aren't always good, and need forgiveness ,and hope that through grace you can improve on your shortcomings.

People who expect religious people to never fail or stumble, don't really understand the concept of why those people believe in Christ.

To the OP , I'm sure that God looks down on his creation with much sadness because of the deep love and care He has for us, for the very reasons you mentioned. He won't stop many sad and horrendous things from happening, and I have questioned that myself many times, and I feel your pain.

It always leads back to Him giving free will, and how far He will go in intervening( perhaps because of prayer) and for whatever higher purpose he may have that we don't see or understand, because our concept of time, and pain and healing, is not as advanced as the Divine.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:26 PM

Originally posted by grayeagle
reply to post by liveandlearn
Thank you for a well thought out response. I feel like I am wandering around out in the desert. My soul and spirit seeking the burning bush. I would gladly give up the flesh for a taste of the water from the rock and eat of the heavenly manna. I know the word and there will be those that say I need to repent and ask for God's cleansing. If I draw nigh to him he will draw nigh to me. So much of what I learned in Bible College and in ministry has not been born out in the world I have worked in. I could never stand by and see my children or any children suffer. Yet there seems to be some idea in the church that someone who suffers like Job did is experiencing a noble thing. Did God really agree to that test to prove satan wrong? I can understand some of the old testament stories and that it may be the human attempt to explain why we go through such trials. I realize religion has been used to justify any number of wars and I am sure it was used in those days as well. The analogy of the quilt is a good one but it requires a loose stitch that remains flexible because we are all cut from different cloth.

edit on 06/02/2011 by grayeagle because: misspelling.

Yes, excellent. My loose thread is in my sig. Some years ago I realized that I stepped out of my box only to step into another. That seems to be a tendency of so many seekers. Maybe it is the need for comfort or a search for an identity to a group or just something, some way to define yourself.

Wish I could tell you your desert will go away...and maybe it will. Mine didn't but I do have oasis's along the way. And sometimes there are very long...even years worth of desert. However, I would never go back. And that is the big DEAL, once you start, you can't go back because you can't unknow what you have learned.

As for Job. Maybe it is not so bad as you think nor as literal as is written. Perhaps it is speaking of the inner treasures instead of the outer treasures, but outer treasures is all that the people could understand at that time. Maybe you need to empty yourself of your inner treasures (beliefs,traditions, etc.) so that you can be filled with truth and allow your true spirit or soul to grow and reign.

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 09:39 PM

Originally posted by Blue Shift
Well, as it turns out, there is no "God" (whatever that's supposed to be), and all the stories that you were taught has a kid are just there to give you some kind of manufactured context to justify existence.

Funny thing is: yours is also just a story ...

posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 11:38 PM

Stop looking for answers from something that does not exist

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 12:10 AM
reply to post by liveandlearn

I feel it has been very helpful hearing from all of you, fundamentalist, pentecostals, mormons, JW, Sitchins all of you. It tells me that this is an important topic in the world today and the search for truth and purpose is a lifetime career. Somehow just knowing you are out there on eternity road with me is comforting. So thanks for walking and talking with me! I guess it is like they say what is important is to remain in the journey. But I am looking for the occasional oasis!

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 12:46 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

In response to your initial post, greyeagle...

Matthew 19:30

"But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first."

That is my best guess. We won't understand these things while on earth, but I hope we will understand when we meet God.

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 01:30 AM

Yeah, these times, getting darker, no hope but where there is much sin, much grace. The world is close, very close to the 2nd Pentecost, read Revelation 6:15-17. God doesn't give exact dates but prohecy says "soon"....Protestant and Catholic. It could happen in 2013. Like Paul, we will be thrown off our horse, no doubt this event is divine. All the world, all souls will be shown the Truth by God and every soul on the earth will experience an NDE like life review. Only God knows every moment of our lives. The best way to prepare, is CONFESSION. We will all wish the rocks to fall on us, seeing our soul as God sees it. This is a great gift of
love no matter how painful.

Examine your life, your conscience, repent from the heart and confess your mortal sins to God now. Catholics
have to do more, they must go to Confession. A guide would be going through the 10 Commandments as a lot of examine your conscience websites do that you can search. Remember, all the sexual sins are mortal and must be confessed. This terrible time, some of them have been put into law! 2nd, I am sure you already have one, start a daily prayer life. Pray every day from now on. Prophecy (private revelation) states and it fits Scripture, we will not feel the spiritual pain of seeing "CONFESSED" sins during this "awakening" also known as the Great Warning.

On, "faith alone", look at it 's source, a man, it came from the mind of Martin Luther not God. There are so many
verses in the Gopel to refute it. James 2:24 cancels it flat out. God's way, you must be a doer of righteousness.
He meant "false works", there is a difference, God didn't mean all "works." Our "works" are our life choices.

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 01:47 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

Hi Grayeagle...look, I'm just going to cut to the chase.

I too was the pastor of a church for many years.

As a Jewish convert to Christianity in my teens, to 25 years as an evangelical minister I remained searching and unfulfilled. I simply could not reconcile the problem of "evil" with God's perfect love. The "answers" that I had been taught in Bible College did not satisfy me. The "answers" from the "church" also fell very short of even making sense. The "answers" that I searched for deeply for in the Bible for years were of little comfort as well. The millions of "answers" that I received from well meaning Christians also did not suffice nor did they even make any REAL sense.


The very essence of my soul eventually hungered for deeper Spiritual insights. I was inwardly driven to reach out and seek new heights. I was determined that there simply HAD to be an answer to this delima of "evil" and I was determined to find it !!!

I was certain that such loftier Spiritual levels and plateaus existed and though only a very few Christians had even attempted to make the journey I was determined to be among them in this rare and noble quest.

The old adage “When the student is ready the teacher will appear” proved itself to be true and my journey into the attainment of higher Spirituality and inner peace began.




I know what freedom you long for. I know how frightened you are of questioning your beliefs. I’ve been where you’ve been. I’ve wrestled every nagging uncertainty that you are wrestling with. I know what you seek but have been afraid to find. I’ve been teaching it to others for over 18 years.

I cannot simply write out this answer to you here on ATS as it needs a bit of in depth explaination.
I can, however, message you and should you be so inclined I can help you from there.
Of course you are not obligated to reply and I hold you close to my heart in Christian love no matter what you should decide.
If we do touch base then,hopefully, the answer which I received will lift this burden and restore your faith as well.
But be warned my brother as it may seem very foreign and maybe even a little frightening to the ears of most prepared to expect the unexpected.

edit on 24-10-2012 by lapi7 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 01:49 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

1. For the most part, apparent contradictions occur as a result of not having all the facts. It seems like many of us have fallen into the error of placing far too much faith in our own theology/understanding (of lack of understanding) rather than in God AS HE IS.

When things don't work out as we would want or think is best, we have a tendency to blame God for being unfair. NOT that God is answerable to us, or that He has to make sure everyone understands what He does or doesn't do, or when, or why, or even how. It is the other way 'round - WE are answerable to Him.

The world, and all that it contains (including man), is His creation. He made it all, owns it all, and has complete and full right to do with it all as He wishes - without the need to explain or justify everything or anything.

2. When God set up the world, He gave man an incredible thing - the freedom of choice. (Note: I won't bother trying to defend that statement from all of the gainsayers out there. So argue amongst yourselves.) The upshot is that we've all made some horrible choices along the way. Real choices have real consequences; long lasting consequences ... sometimes horrible consequences.

But along with that freedom to choose, is our responsibility to try to make things better in the short term, and God's part is to provide a way to get man's heart fixed, and provide us with instructions and duties towards the world ourselves and to one another. Lastly, God has provided a future long term solution, knowing that too many will fail to rectify or try to ease the suffering in this world.

So, the question more becomes "Why do WE allow suffering to continue when much of it could be eliminated by making correct choices?"

3. The Kingdom of Heaven is just that - a kingdom belonging to God where only loyal citizens are permitted. When people decide to reject God's lordship in favor of being their own ruler (or following someone or something else), then there are consequences for that as well.

It's man's choice and it seems few are willing to really submit to God's lordship and worship him and serve him in spirit and in truth (reality). When man persistently rejects God's lorship (and I'm afraid most do/will) then they face an eternal future without God and all that is good.

For many (most?) people I am afraid an eternity of chances to change their minds and turn to God would not be enough to move them towards a wholehearted commitment to God. He alone is in the position of knowing who would and who would not - way outside the scope of my ability to judge.

Eternal consequences. Yep! It's a big deal, but again, ultimately our future is a product of our own choosing.

4. The paradox of faith and works is an old one, but not too hard to resolve. Faith is more than mental ascent or abstract belief - it is a inward decision to commit and entrust yourself to God as Lord. That commitment of heart and mind and soul and body, that very alignment and sublimating your own desires to the will of God (when rightly understood) produces "good works".

Many invest themselves in "good works", but their hearts are far removed from God as Lord - therefore he can say (at the end), "I never knew you."

5. Yes! All of creation IS groaning (in one way or another) for redemption. But few want to choose God's way or God's Lordship. I'm afraid at least some of the guilt for this rests with some of the followers of God who are often quite ignorant or simply wrong hearted and wrong minded. The bad examples are too numerous to mention, but their failures have brought disrepute upon God and all believers.

I suppose in the not too distant future God will put an end to all of the mess we've made of things. Till then, we are left with the weighty task of rightly interpreting God's messages to us, and held accountable to help all those we can along the way.

I sincerely sympathize with your plight and hope that at least something of what I've said makes at least a little bit of sense to you. Forget the naysayers and mockers and "alternatives" being pro-offered. …

God has not forgotten you.

Best regards

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 01:50 AM
I didn't read through all the replies but in the old testament when God said destroy all the animals in one village but in the next village they were to destroy all the animals and people, these were instances where the people had been corrupted with the fallen angels. There were 'Giants' in the land. Some don't teach the fallen angel reason for the flood but it makes sense. Noah was found perfect in his generations. Noah was not perfect but he was perfect in his DNA. Satan tried to corrupt what God had originally created. This was what Goliath was and what the Israelites saw in Caanan. Giants were the evil that had to be destroyed. These would not have the soul that we have. Humans are just as bad today as they were then but for some reason God wanted to destroy all of them. Its because they weren't really human. Look at the things they are doing with stem cell research and cloning today. Jesus said in the last days it would be as in the days of Noah. We are doing the same thing to the human race as was tried once before. If this creation hasn't got the soul God created for each of us, imagine how evil it could possibly be. Reread those passages with new eyes and ask God to lead you in understanding. I believe you'll see God wasn't being cruel; He was trying to save mankind.

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 01:51 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

Wow ... you sound like a classic example of demonization. (Demonic spirits)

You most likely had weak faith to begin with, and you seemed an easy target. However, have you tried to bind these thoughts and their source? Have you prayed to the Holy Spirit to show you truth through the word of God?

Contrary to popular belief, a Christian cannot be possessed; however, he can have a demon build a " stronghold " in his life and oppress him. The demon does not simply go because you keep begging God to show you the way or light. It most likely has grounds in your life, and you are giving it permission to be there. For example, un-confessed sin or unforgiveness.

If you have ever tried to cast out a demon, it is very hard to do if the person is not willing to rebuke the grounds the demon has infested or willing to fully give him / her self over to Chirst, Yeshua. You are being contradictory. You keep begging for God's help, but you refuse to accept it. Demons will flee from you in the name of Jesus, but remember, the Demon possessing the person has permission to be there, he isnt attacking you, but attacking some one else. So the demon will mock you and God because you do not know what you are doing if you do not address the grounds in which the demon has permission to be there. They will also trick you, you can cast them out, but they will just come back if the grounds have not been claimed in victory, and they will come with reinforcements which means the next session isnt going to be very fun.

If you are constantly pounded with thoughts that you arent worthy to be a Christian, this isnt from the holy spirit, but a Demon. Try rebuking the thoughts and binding their source in the name of Jesus or Yeshua. If they instantly go away, it is most likely demonic "darts / arrows". Familiar spirits.

Remember, a demon isn't going to manifest to a Christian, most of the time. Why? Because the demons knows that fear will so overwhelming he will gladly turn to God and instill fervor into him so he doesn't have to fear manifestation again. So they are subtle, quiet. They send thoughts, influence. If you are a Christian, their Goal is to KEEP you from leading souls to Christ. You are already sealed, you are going to haven. However, they will trick, deceive, and discourage you all day long to keep you from winning souls.

Of course, this could also be that you are relying on your own understanding way more than the Word of God.


If you want to know more, send me a PM, i can explain it more in-depth. The points you are speaking of has been discussed time and time again.
edit on 24-10-2012 by milkyway12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 01:56 AM
reply to post by grayeagle

I grew up in many religions and only two I made the choice out of them all in my young adult days,as a child I was always confused about religion, especially during my studies. I was not sure why my mother had frequently went in and out of different religions. I only know life as a child was hard for me because i grown into an abusive family making education hard for me in school and even more in church.
It just seemed the more I questioned my spiritual teachers about God and Jesus the more they found me a menace, I thought I was there to learn, but I always got the feeling I am not welcomed, they deemed me a man with too many questions, I thought it over a bit and thought just maybe they are not religiously educated themselves and did not know how to answer me and so avoiding me was their escape.
I have throughout my life prayed and prayed many times and I feel I have not been answered by God, by Jesus.
So much pain, so much guilt, how was I to learn to ask for help and forgiveness if I dont get answers from those who teach me, or from those who i worshiped and prayed too.
I did learned and noticed one thing throughout my church jumping days, they all seem to be the same, but the only difference that divided me from them was they always mocked other religions and most of all the church was a bit segregated, meaning the rich on one side and poor on the other, they the rich were very snobs and always questioned who are we, where we from and if someone in my family had did a crime we get judged for that.
I jumped up one time and said how can we call ourselves brothers and sisters if you only mock and avoid people, this is the house of the lord, do you think or feel you are more mightier than god that you can insult people?
You all suppose to be christians and they are suppose to support one another and here you are insulting the less fortunate and ruining innocent peoples lives..Is that what Jesus did in his church? I think not, he had open arms to all faiths and he respected them for who they were, it did not matter if you were a Muslim or monk, we all learn from each other, we all suppose to care for each other and yet you do this too your peoples, you call yourselves a Christian, you say a true christian..what is a true christian, to me a Christian is someone who believes in God, who believes in Jesus and if you have people around you that focus on
bias hateful insults to others you could not be worthy enough to be a christian. Because I said that in my church in front of my church people, they voted me out, they said i was a sinner and need to be tossed out and they did.
Today in my life I claim I am a roman catholic, but in reality I am me and I believe in god, I believe in Jesus and most of all they gave me the feeling to believe in myself, its not about prayers not being answered, its about strengths and will to do and overcome, we have to work hard to become better, with have to put our faith in our father and God. that is all is needed. No church has the right to abuse, reject or lie to you, they are suppose to be a man of God, so we grow knowing our battles and questions has been answered, it just takes time, and that time is all depends on your will and might to believe in yourself to carry on in life, So as for me wanting to see Jesus, wanting to see God to know if they really exist has been answered, they showed themselves in my heart, in my mind and most of all gave me love to love others no matter what they said or did to me... So in life we must make whats best of the remaining life we have now and progress to the future when we do meet our father and our God in heaven, I have my ups and downs, but I know being here on earth is a test for me, and I truly believe I will have all my questions answered one day, either its on earth or in heaven. I dont go to any churches anymore due to the past i had, and so I pray at home, i read the scriptures at home and as long as I believe in God and jesus and I pay tithings by donating to charities I should be fine. I am an outcast because people believe you not a christian if you follow others beliefs or not attend to church and pay tithings...Church tithings to me is not used well in most churches, and I was as a child molested by a holy figure, but I dont have to hate god or jesus for others ignorence, I just feel closer to God in my home. So never let other control what you feel or think, just go with what you feel, and if you feel you have sinned, dont worry you are forgiven and life goes on... Peace to you and hope my words helped a bit. Peace

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 02:01 AM
Nearly every religious person has had such crises of faith, and the problem is that people aren't being taught the right things. They get all their beliefs from a preacher, and they get all their beliefs hammered into their heads in seminaries. It is therefore the church's agenda that gets preached, the church's choices in interpreting scripture. It is that agenda that is flawed; it's self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating. The bad translations of Coine Greek into Latin into English don't help, either. But.

The real problem is frames of reference. We down here with our limited three-dimensional view of an eleven-dimensional universe can't possibly even comprehend what's really going on out there. God's point of view, his frame of reference, is so vastly wider than ours that you have to admit he can see a lot more than we can. He knows many things we don't. It is our lack of understanding what things are like from God's perspective that leads to crises of faith. It is caused by our own ignorance.

Allow me to address specific points... is getting harder for me to imagine a merciful god who would command the utter destruction of men, women and children by the sword as spoken in the Old Testament... The world is so full of hunger and pain... Can you really allow that to continue and yet be a merciful God?

This dichotomy between Old Testament God and New Testament God is a classic that few people can think their way around, but there are possible explanations. If reincarnation is real, for instance, God knows that anyone killed can have a chance to come back and try again to live a worthy life, and thus, slaughtering all those heathens was doing them a favor because when they came back, that heathen culture wasn't around anymore to poison them. But he only did it up to a certain point; now, those poisonous cultures stick around, poisoning the minds of their children in an endless, pointless hate cycle. (Palestine vs. Israel.)

The world is not full of hunger and pain because of God. The world is as we've made it. Some people have divine influences guiding their actions; some are rather the opposite. No evil in the world is of God. This is why the story of Job was put in the Bible, to show the things Satan does to us. God let Satan do what he wanted to Job and his family (maybe one of them was reincarnated as an Apostle, who knows?), and what'd Satan do? A swarm of murderous barbarians. A lightning storm. Another band of marauders. A tornado. These aren't things God did. He was letting Satan do them.

I submit that nothing has changed. God has allowed Satan full dominion over this planet for thousands of years now. Every bad thing that happens is Satan's doing, either directly (natural disasters) or indirectly (marauding bands of marauders aren't likely to be Godly people, meaning they follow the other guy). That is the symbolism of Job. What if God is still allowing this for the same reason: tests of our characters? What if we're all Job? If that's the case, it's the answer to why God lets bad things happen to good people. And remember the frames of reference. It's likely that God knows this life, here, on Earth, is totally meaningless aside from his reasons for creating it. We're here to learn, to improve, to be purified, to prove ourselves. We are not here to be Blackwater goons or Monsanto CEO's, making themselves comfortable at others' expenses. Eighty years or so is nothing compared to the vast stretches of cosmic time, and we all exist throughout all of it. We just can't remember that other life right now. This is the dream. The Kingdom is the reality.

Whether one individual's life here is a hundred years long or only a hundred days, it's roughly the same percentage of eternity. What happens to us here will, for most of our existence, be just a brief memory. A dream we once had. An idea for a story we might write one of these eons. And those who don't get it will end up all alone in a dark, empty universe, selfish to the end. Which may never come.

“Saved by faith not by works,” but “faith without works is dead,” appear to cancel each other out.

I don't know off-hand the church's official explanation for this, but here's mine. Okay, I admit it, it isn't mine, it's by Titus. Titus 3:5 specifically...

"He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by the cleansing bath of the new birth and renewing of the Holy Spirit..."

We'll be saved from eternal death by Jesus. He makes us better people than we were before accepting him; that's the rebirth. Our love for him and his philosophy should make us go around doing good things, random acts of kindness, all the time, every opportunity we can handle. If you're saved, you will do good works, just like if you're ginger, you will burn in the sun.

And I've run outta room.

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 02:01 AM
To continue...

I have become weary with the hunger and pain and suffering I see in the world.

It will all pass, in the blink of an eye. God will get around to sorting us out.

Why would man’s sin condemn him to eternal pain?

Guilt. The pain of eternal guilt. You will know everything you did during this blink-of-an-eye life, and the evil you've done unto others ("sins") will haunt you forever. It isn't about punishing sinners. It's about... The less sinning you do, the less guilt you'll have for eternity, and the less people who have you to blame for something. God loves us so much (we're all tiny little splinters of his spirit) that he doesn't want us spending eternity with guilt. I imagine that's where forgiveness comes in. If you get forgiveness from those you've wronged, the guilt vanishes completely. Everything we do here is being recorded; someday you'll be able to go look at every moment of every person's lifetime and know everything they chose to do. You might think you're getting away with cheating on your wife, but ummm... no. You ain't. It's a sin whether it pisses her off now or in the afterlife. Better get it out of the way now...

Would you really exact eternal pain to those who have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior because they haven’t heard the gospel?

See previous post, re: reincarnation. At some point, every soul will have heard the Gospel if the number of souls is not infinite (which I don't think it is). I'll just go ahead and say I'm pretty convinced of reincarnation. Why? Christ's transfiguration event. Read along in Matthew 17. Moses and Elijah appear and talk to Jesus for a while. It's actually after the transfiguration that it gets interesting. Verses 12 and 13...

I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished." ... Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Doesn't that sound to you like Jesus was saying that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah, who lived 800 years earlier? It's at least evidence for the "pro" side of reincarnation. So if reincarnation is real, then what we think of as "death" is an illusion. Nobody ever dies; only the body, the vessel, our clothing can die. But the only memory our bodies have is the chemical one in our brains; if the soul has its own memory, you can only access it when you're "dead." Or maybe... when you're dreaming. Dreams are the junction between spirit and soul, between you and your "higher self." I believe that's why you can't go very long without sleep before you go insane. I'm really digressing.

To sum up, we can't think outside the box enough to see reality from God's perspective. We have to just have faith in him, to believe that he's got everything under control, that he has a plan and we're all part of it. It's not impossible to believe once you realize how your own limitations of knowledge and comprehension interfere with your perception of reality. We can't know what's going on; therefore, we don't even know that it's bad to have something bad happen to you. It only looks bad from where we are. Suspend your preconceptions, listen to the Holy Spirit whispering to you. That's why it's there. It's the only teacher you need.

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