a question for devout Christians

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posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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Originally posted by jmdewey60
reply to post by AQuestion
 

I am sorry that the term grace sounds like pop religion to you. Perhaps you can give us another definition for what grace means.
Another . . compared to what?
You didn't give one that I noticed.
What I mean that sounds like modern pop-culture religion is the sentence structure where you hang that word, grace, out there as an appendage, as if people are supposed to automatically pick up on its meaning, to insert their own, whatever they like, maybe being saved as in a guaranteed free ticket on the next outgoing transport.
edit on 29-11-2012 by jmdewey60 because: add Bible quote: "For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19


Dear jmdewy60,

Use any dictionary explanation you wish. Post your answer and we can all review it.




posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by AQuestion
 

Use any dictionary explanation you wish. Post your answer and we can all review it.

When you read a verse that says something like " . . . by grace . . ", it is because the word translated as grace is in the dative form in the Greek, so the "by" is understood because the dative is describing the purpose for which the action is taking place.
The word translated as grace is a noun, not a verb, so it is not describing an action. The action is "being saved". The purpose of that action is so that the persons, namely the church, can be in a state of grace, or favor, in the eyes of God.
The church, including everyone in it, was saved from the world doomed in its sins, the people who are not looked upon favorably by God (by definition).
edit on 29-11-2012 by jmdewey60 because: add Bible quote: "For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God." Romans 8:19



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 02:44 PM
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Part 1
I have read the Bible several times. It is beautiful. It is amazing. It is ugly. It is full of contradictions. It has been misinterpreted and used for convenience on many levels. I will answer you with what I believe, because it's not up to me to answer for every Christian because we are all different inside and our perceptions are different. There are genius Christians. There are stupid Christians. There are good and evil Christians. It's just like any other group in society whether a committee, city, or family. This might get a little long, because mixed in with my beliefs are how I came to them. I am not a preacher. To my small religious town I am a sinful, backsliding heathen and I am willing to admit it. I spent years bouncing from different religions to atheism and to what I believe now. I was even once the main writer of the atheism section of a very popular and large website.

To begin to understand Christianity you have to understand Jesus and his revolution or revelation. The Jews were under the laws. They were told by their religious leaders to follow these laws exactly or they were under condemnation from God. Jesus said it was not the truth, that He was the way and the truth and their teachers/leaders did not really know God. He taught this in so many ways, "it is not what goes into a man that makes him unclean but what comes out of him because this shows what is inside his heart" which goes along with "they shall be known by their fruits" Now our fruits are our end results. Our end results are sort of like the blind man touching the elephant thing. We see a little piece.

Say I am filled with anger and hate towards my child and abuse them. The beginning of my fruit is to turn my child away from love. This spreads out like a ripple.I have caused damage and brought darkness into the world. It doesn't matter if I follow every religious doctrine, dogma, or law man has come up with. I had an "evil" heart and it manifested (came to fruit) on Earth. IT doesn't matter what I thought my heart was full of either. Everyone thinks they are right at the time, but that doesn't mean they are. And that is where we have grace come into the picture as a part of salvation. We can't get it right on our own. We can make laws until people are barely able to move without it being illegal, but the human heart is what it is and the law won't change that. In the big scheme of things we don't always know when we're wrong or right. We've tried to create utopia for ourselves over and over and we can't. Democracy, dictatorships, capitalism, socialism, communism: they were all supposed to be the big answer to our problems on earth. Then there are the religions we tried to change and perfect people that have caused more harm than good. All of our systems have been flawed because we are flawed. So the Bible says and so we can obviously see in the world. This is why I believe the Bible over witchcraft (Wicca). We cannot "do as ye will and it harm none" because we do not see the ripple of our actions only what is right in front of us.

"For by the measure with which you judge, you too shall be judged". We can't judge who someone else is to God. We can judge a momentary action as right or wrong, but not the entirety of that person. We have to be humble and keep a forgiving attitude. We have no idea what caused them to sin. Next, we are not perfect either and don't know what harm we may have caused in the world. Finally we have no idea where they are heading in life or after. If we condemn someone in our mind we must condemn ourselves because we have all sinned. Sin begins in the heart, not the action Jesus taught, which is why I believe the Bible over the Koran. I know action begins with thought. We all have thoughts of doing wrong so cannot cast stones. We are all weak in different ways.

I was molested as a child. Why? No idea. But I know sin begets sin. I felt destroyed. I slept around, did drugs, drank,stole. In my late teens I had an abortion so yes, murder. With psychology I could sure explain everything I have done in life, but so could my molester. Feeling justified is not being justified. Having a good reason doesn't undo the damage.

I could say that person destroyed me. But am I destroyed? Is another person responsible for my bad decisions? No. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I excused and justified myself. I was angry,scared and willful. Everyone is. But no matter how much we think we are destroyed, we're not. Inside of us is an incredible strength and beauty that we can tap into, but often don't. It can't be destroyed. We don't touch it often because we are so busy with the outer world. "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven" "It is among you" or "within you" This why I am not an atheist. I should be destroyed according to modern scientific thought. I received no love as a child. I was unwanted, beaten, molested, raped, raised by a pedo and an alcoholic.Neither genes nor environment worked in my favour.



posted on Nov, 29 2012 @ 05:17 PM
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reply to post by icmom
 


So if it's not nature or nurture, why am I not destroyed? If you knew my whole background you would be amazed at how I have turned out. I come from a family of drunks, drug addicts, pedophiles, killers, and other criminals. I have nothing on this Earth to thank for my life. There is resilience, but resilience breaks down. And I don't mean I am just not messed up. I feel inside me an overwhelming joy when I want to pay attention to it. I have good relationships with my kids. They are good kids. I have a strong marriage. I know I am a valuable human being and see others the same way. I am able to forgive. I have never been to counselling.

When a child lives with no love their brain chemistry and neurons are affected. This is scientifically proven. It can lead to a disorder called Reactive Attachment Disorder. This causes the child to be compassionless and disconnected from others. This is why so many orphanage adoptions go bad. Even as adults though these neurons can be repaired with love. So hate and indifference do cause physical testable damage, and love heals. I don't have the studies on hand to prove but anyone can look them up. It took us all the best equipment and minds to know this, yet somehow thousands of years ago this was already written down in some messed up book by savage people without the help of brain scanning imagery or over priced psychologists. A touch with a feeling of love behind it causes neurochemical changes in the physical brain? How can that be? How can it be that an orphaned baby can be fed their bottle and have the physical nourished, but without love die?

Why is there a placebo effect and a nocebo effect? Scientifically, the same chemical should have the same effect on each, but it doesn't. The results so often have to do with our beliefs and attitude. Not in every situation but often enough. There is so much unexplained in the world.

Back to the Bible, though. What does it mean for something to be the word of God or inspired word of God? Does it matter? In the New Testament it says we will stumble over the cornerstone. What is the stone? I think the stone is the words vs the essence. "Did God really say that?" the serpent asked Eve. We argue semantics and miss the point. Does it matter if Jesus rode one or two asses, or if he says we are reconciled to God through love? Is the message pointless because the Catholic church didn't know Jesus birthday? It's a message not a historical document. There is poetry, proverbs, myths, action and adventure, good guys and bad guys who you can't tell apart. There's timeless advice and advice that is useless to us but may have been very relevant to our ancestors. It's a tool. What a tool is used for depends on the quality of the person who holds it. One might see the tool as useless and stupid. One might use it to bash someone's brain in with. It all depends on whose hand the tool gets into. That's why not everyone was initiated into the mystery religions. We see the example in Acts where the apostles are healing out of love and another wanted to receive the holy spirit to heal and make money for himself. The selfish one was denied.

I'm not an apologist. People either believe something or they don't. I was not brought to God by any person. I am where I am despite them. I read, I observed. I read far outside the Bible. I tested and tried. I tried reading literally and then allegorically. I wanted to understand what it was saying and after many years I began to. The older I get, the more I am beginning to understand and see the point of it. Abraham walked away from his culture and religion and set out to meet with God on his own terms. His was a culture of please the gods and sacrifice to get what you want. Jesus was the end of that thinking. "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice." In the beginning God said "Come with me into my Sabbath" Later through a prophet "But what is the Sabbath for but to do good, to care for the orphans and widows, to rescue the oppressed, to feed the needy" and again "these people worship me with their lips only. They will never come into my Sabbath" and Jesus the fulfilment was healing on the Sabbath and enjoying some fresh corn on the Sabbath and was found by the religious to be worthy of death because he pointed out to them they wouldn't leave an ox in a hole on the sabbath so how could they have such little compassion for their fellow humans and yet say they knew God. The Sabbath is an invitation to rest with God, a gift, not a burden. We fumble over the correct days of the week and the correct religion and its all tripping stone. It has been discovered that serotonin is increased by giving. We give and a feel good chemical increases in our body. To me that's a message. I believe because I see enough of reality in the Bible. The message of it is freeing. And ya that was long




posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 11:47 PM
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reply to post by icmom
 


Dear icmom,

I am sorry that I did not read your words sooner. They are amazing. You get it, it is about love as you described it. Peace.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 07:32 AM
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reply to post by jiggerj
 

God did not intended in the first place to give a message everyone would understand even though it was meant for everyone, why? I don't really understand and that kind of makes me mad.
Argument that the message is not understood by every single mind and soul:
"When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path." (Matthew 13:19)
I think there are more examples, but this was the first and the last that came to my mind for now.





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