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2011, DO you beleive it?

By akaivan · 60 replies
May 23, 2006
  1. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    [this post is in two threads, cause I really didn't feel like editing out 8000 characters!]

    Watching made a good point, which applies to ANY faith. Simply that, yes, most religions think they are the only one, got it. But, if any person believes their faith to be wholly 100% true to the bone, then it is IMPOSSIBLE to "accept" any other faith. Some people would tell me, "dude, I don't want to hear you, stop pushing your beliefs on me". But by the same token, I wouldn't let some other faith into my house who tries to indoctrinate me either.
    There is no acceptance.

    Now, "tolerance" is another thing. It can only go so far. I can tolerate somebody from another religion wearing some kind of vudu head gear walking around the mall. But I wouldn't tolerate them building a shrine there. I mean, you know what I mean? It's like, people can go around in school doing/saying/wearing whatever they want. But Christians can't have the 10 commandments, or wear a shirt that says "Jesus lives" or whatever. Have to remove "God" from the national anthem. Can't say a prayer over lunch food (which it desperately needs :) ). So who is the intolerant one?
    Sometimes I read the news and wonder, who is intolerant? Seems to me everybody is intolerant of Christianity. Of course that is a big statement, but "sometimes" it feels like it. SOMETIMES! lol

    Anyway that's off the point. I just think it's true that if a person of a certain faith who believes 100% in their faith, there can be no acceptance. There can be no acknowledgment of another "way".
    If a person DOES accept other faiths, they obviously have little faith in their own, and they really don't know what "truth" to go by. Can't really say "the only truth is no truth." If there is any truth at all, then it is an absolute truth, and it would not be a wasted life spent trying to find it.
    It's like somebody saying "I don't believe in absolutes" and you say "you really believe that?" and he says "absolutely". lol. Like saying "their are absolutely no absolutes". Huh?
    Atheism is a faith, or religion as well, it's the belief in no God. Since most would say God is not provable, or that He isn't observable in science, it can also be fair to say that whether you actively believe IN a god, or actively REFUSE to believe in one, they can be equal in their faith. You have faith that god exists, or have faith that there isn't one. It's still a choice.
    Just because there are a LOT of religions, doesn't mean the conclusion is you shouldn't believe. It's like, I go to the store to buy cheese and see 50 different kinds. That doesn't mean I should walk out and decide there must be no cheese.
    Instead, I think the plethora of religions must mean one thing, there must be SOME kind of higher, spiritual power. Think about it. People are MADE to worship things, and they always gravitate to worshiping something bigger then themselves. A big one of course is money. Other times it can just be things, or athletes, or movie stars, or whatever the case may be. There is not one human on earth who is born who doesn't naturally gravitate to wanting to place something in high honor, even to the point of worship. A Christian would say God "wired" us that way. Because that's what we were meant for. But sadly that worshiping spirit is spent on many other things in life.

    If a person walks into some random church where people are singing songs and maybe raising their hands or swaying side to side, people would say they are weird. But is that not much different worship then going to a rock concert where people are, very similarly, worshiping the band, raising their hands, swaying side to side and utterly getting "into" that band? It's worship, and people were meant to do it.
    So by that token, even the most remote, outcast, people in the world, have gravitated to worshiping an unseen being. So I think the vastness of Deity worship gives greater evidence to the fact that their must BE something?

    And Spike, I know what you mean about how a lot of religions could really be worshiping the same God, but maybe with a different name, if that's what you said, or meant, at some point in this thread. But anyhoo, that's valid, maybe they are, but maybe they don't know God fully? In other words, it would be like getting married but the only thing you have of your wife is like a foot or hand. Maybe it is God, but they don't have the whole God, the whole understanding of who He is and what He's about and what He's done on earth. Perhaps their view of God is some strict totalitarian, where if they don't do their rituals, God with strike.
    Or perhaps their view is that God is a big jolly Santa Claus in the sky, looking down with big rosy red cheeks and will ultimately let most people into heaven just cause they were "basically good".
    Our view of God is not one which "helps us". Our view is not one that allows EVERYBODY into heaven just based on a relative better-then-the-next-guy scale. Our view is not that we ourselves will ascend in life to become gods ourselves. Our view is not that He abandoned us down here to figure things out with a muddled and incomprehensible "word", and will judge us in the end based on whether we figured out the puzzle or not.
    Our view of God is that He is Lord of lords and King of kings. He sits on the throne, holding the universe in the palm of his hand. And is, in all things, sovereign. He is THAT greatly big, and also greatly small that he takes care of even the lowliest things.
    Mathew 28-30 "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin......if God so clothe the grass of the field.....". God has his hand on even the smallest of details, and knows the number of hairs on your head. So no, I don't he just abandoned us here to figure things out.

    Our view of God is that He is both great and small. Both loving AND just. Neither overrides the other, and is quite as you said Spike, a "balance". It can't be said of God that he will let people in heaven cause they had pretty good lives. Even though it sounds loving, it's not, because God is also JUST, and CANNOT tolerate sin which must be judged. And God said what happens when you sin in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
    Wow, there is the gospel summed up :)

    I won't preach, I'm trying to say what our view of God is. This view of God as laid out in the Bible, puts God in a very high place. One in which we simply can't rationalize Him down to a stature which brings us up higher even in our spiritual state. It's God who "was, and is, and is to come", and Malachi 3:6 which says "For I am the LORD, I change not;". God would have to change every time he allows or didn't allow someone into Heaven, because He is judging relatively. He would have to have no standards to go by, just a "you were pretty good". In order for God to never change, He would have to have extremely absolute laws governing even His own behavior. Now this could be fulfilled, for example, if EVERY sin were laid out like a list, and if you break less then 4 a day, you're in. That would be an absolute, unchanging law. But that's not what the Bible says. It says just that, you sin, you die. You break the law, you go to jail, forever. That is an absolute law, and it doesn't mean He's unloving, it means He is JUST, and righteous, and unchanging. His Love gave a way out. That's all I'll say about that.
    As you can see, a Christian perspective of God doesn't help us much, it's not an easy faith. And God did say "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.". And "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:". Those statements obviously throw out views of God which make Him to be a big push over. A "pie in the sky", and "jolly saint Nick". It's a healthy FEAR of God that begins your wisdom. You don't fear God if you are not even worried about your own eternal safety. Unless of course you just don't believe in that kind of afterlife, which many do. But that is our view in any case.

    Oh yea, and no I don't mean to throw out all the OT, lol. It has way to much good stuff. It contains the prophesies which Jesus fulfilled. In contains the Psalms and Proverbs, two books that if every human followed, this world would be a pretty dang good place to live. It teaches how husbands and wives should love each other. It obviously contains the history of the world (if you believe it ;) ), and the entire reason for our faith. Well, I mean there is no NT without the OT. What I mean is that all those strict laws don't apply. All the "thou shalt not" and the "thou shalt" commands. Jesus said he came to fulfill the law. Therefore it is done, don't have to go through those ceremonies again. There are 3 banks of laws in the OT, this basically sums them up:
    MORAL: Applies to all people. Duration: Ends when "heaven and earth pass away".
    CEREMONIAL: Applies to all believers. Duration: From Adam's fall until Christ's death.
    CIVIL: Applies to all Israelites and strangers in the land. Duration: From the time of Moses until the dispersion of the Jews.

    [continued on next thread ... :) ]
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    [continued from last thread... ]
    Christ's death fulfilled the ceremonial laws, they no longer have to be done, such as sacrificing being the big one. Civil laws lost their force when Israel ceased to be a nation. But the moral laws such as "love thy neighbor as thyself" will continue, which is how we are to live with other humans.
    Though it is important to note that just because the OT civil laws don't apply, that we are free from all civil law. Instead we are instructed to obey whatever laws we are under as a human, as a citizen, which is written: "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake".
    So while we don't have to follow the civil laws of the OT, we ARE to be under the "higher powers". As long as those power don't force us to do something against God's other laws. For example if the government made Baal worship the national religion, a Christian would NOT obey that civil law.
    Another interesting way to think of it is, we are to obey any laws which are repeated in the NT. Which pretty much all the moral laws were, as well as the 10 commandments. Well actually 9 I think, don't remember.
    So then, and "eye for an eye" was actually, I am thinking, a civil law. There were other such laws such as what to do if somebody steals your livestock, or steals money etc...
    So besides some old law, there is a million uses for the OT. Just wanted to clear that up.

    I know it's true that arguing religions is pointless, it's pointless because, as mentioned, once a person believes wholly in a thing, they can't accept any other. So anybody who presents his position as somewhat "accepting", just because they have no faith they call their own, their ideas will seem right logical!
    Spike makes perfect sense when talking about multiple religions and they "could" all be true, or maybe they will all lead to the same place. But he couldn't be saying that if he himself adhered to a faith of his own :)
    After all, you can't call it a "faith" if in fact you are not believing wholly in a thing. And calling it a religion is meaningless because the word "religion", to me, sounds like just a set of rituals you do to be "in". May God do away with "religions"! What people aught to have is FAITH. And do away with religion. I can't think of where but I think Jesus reprimanded somebody for their practices, their rituals. However, that doesn't mean you sit on the couch a lazy bum because you have faith. James repeats it THREE times: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
    And Jesus says: "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."
    Basically it's saying, and many more versus to back it up, that IF you become a follower in Christ, you WILL have good works. But there are other versus which states that works alone do nothing.
    Ephesians 8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    I think "not of works" means pretty clear that there is nothing you can DO, to gain entrance into Heaven. Which includes simply living a "good life". You can see the logic in that? It is human fault, we tend to boast in our accomplishments. Men tend to always take the path of work. That is, they want to work toward something, earn it, pay for it. They want all the glory and honor of obtaining that reward so they can boast. How much more does a person boast over their new car, then if a car was given to them free? How much more dear to your heart is a thing that you worked hard to get, versus getting for free?
    Well lucky for us, we don't have to work to enter heaven, but instead accept the free gift of salvation through Christ. Not of works, lest any should boast. But AFTER being saved, your works mean much more, because you are not doing them to gain some kind of favor, but instead doing them to bring others in, or to give glory to God.

    Alright, I'm done. Once again I hope that doesn't sound like preaching, but instead I want to reveal some more Christian thinking. And you can see, this way of life is not come about by rationalizing God until He makes sense, and then believe THAT. But instead it is a faith wholly presented by scripture. There is nothing we can "make up" about God, or think up because is it logical or rational. One simply has to humble themselves and believe it. Which I do. And that is my view of God. As written.

    This view doesn't come from being told it by my parents. It's not simply cause I was raised that way. There are countless stories of people coming to faith from EVERY walk of life. People from every culture, raised in whatever religion they were brought up in. People come to faith after lives of terrible sin. And a lot of people grow knowing no religion whatsoever, and turn to Christ. So it's not perfectly fair to say that we believe this because our parents told us so. Then it wouldn't really be faith would it? But instead just learning. I could be taught that the sun is square all my life, but some day I'm going to learn that that shape is, in fact, round. And I'll have to UNlearn that. Such is not the case with the Bible. If it were really provable to be false, people would have to UNlearn it and be done.

    Granted, in all fairness, people do turn from faith. But then one has to wonder, was the faith ever really there? Or are they backsliding and will eventually return? After all the Bible teaches that once you are saved by the blood of Christ, once your name is in the book of life, you can NOT be UNsaved. So those are special cases of either never being saved in the first place, or they are going through denial or something :)
    Going to church every Sunday, reading a Psalm every night, following the basic commandments and moral law, and helping a granny across the street sometimes, doesn't make you Christian. For those are works, and "religion" happening. Coming to faith is a changing of ones entire life and outlook and belief. But in fairness, again, joining most religions is a changing of ones life. So a lot of things are similar in religions, but the view of the divine and unseen things of the universe, is altogether different in most cases. And to deny there ARE any unseen things, well, that's just rebellion and blinding ones eyes. But if that floats your boat, and you are not willing to explore the possibility of the divine, then there is nothing I can do. But if I've shared my own faith, perhaps even explained it in depth, that is also ALL I can do. God will do the rest. But agreed, a lot of Christians tend to "push their religion" a little to harshly. There is no doubt there. But understand it comes from a rather sort of URGENT need to "save" as many people as possible from darkness. You understand this concept if you liken it to, say, a fire in your house. You are the guy in the house, and your roof is on fire but you don't know it. A "Christian" comes running in saying "leave your house, it's burning down!!" but you say "look dude, I don't believe what you believe, I don't believe there is a fire, so you need to be more open minded to other possibilities. Maybe it's just really hot in here, or maybe that smoke I see is just some water on the oven." And the Christian is "pushing it" with his "no, you don't understand, you will die soon if you don't get out, you have to leave now!". And you can guess what happens next.
    The Christian has, under that faith, a desire, and command, to share the gospel to the world, because it's a very sad thing for a person to die who isn't saved. So the next time you hear a Christian, near forcefully pushing his faith on you, at least understand why, because it's very important to us, like an emergency even.
    The other reason we push it so much is because a lot of them are very excited about the faith. Like when you receive a great gift and you're so happy you got it that you run around showing it to everybody and calling everybody on the phone to tell them you got it. Like a beaming young woman showing off her wedding ring after the proposal.
    For those two reasons you can understand. Christianity isn't like some underground Masons or white-witches campaign, they don't run around sharing their awesome newfound faith with everybody. In fact a lot of it is very secret. Such is not the Christian faith, it is a spectacular thing in our eyes, giving us a desire to share to everybody we come in contact with.

    Once again I hope I don't sound like I'm preaching or pushing anything, hopefully this is taken as just a looking glass into the Christian way of thinking. Also take note, if you want to know when a Christian is preaching, wait until he yells "repent". A lot of time was spent preaching in those days on that subject. Mark 6:12: "And they went out, and preached that men should repent.".

    Now there's preaching! But I didn't "invite" anybody to do anything, or tell you to "repent". So hopefully you don't think I was preaching. lol
    You can liken those earlier scriptures to Spike in this forum. Spike is the "god" of this forum, and I must work out my "post" with fear and trembling! lol

    peace (sorry for the length, again, but typing in the quick reply box, it never seems that long!)
  3. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    When you were comparing religions to cheese. You wouldn't say there must be no cheese. You would either pick the one you like the most, or pick none because you dont like cheese. Metaphoricly, I dont like cheese.

    Theres always a stereotype on atheism. To put it simply there are 4 types:
    1. Atheists who deny or disbelieve the existence of a God.
    2. Atheist who deny the existence of god and simply think religion is stupid or just a waste of time.
    3. Atheist who believe that there is no god and that religion should be suppressed.
    4. Atheist who believe that there is no god and ACTIVELY preach religion should be suppressed.

    I'm number 2. And really religion is a waste of time. "not of works", you don't get to heaven by going to church. Well, if someone has no faith but still goes to church and prays and such. It is a waste of time.

    I believe that religion, religion being established groups of people that have ceremonys, is pointless. It says in the bible it is. Now faith on the other hand is great. If you have it good, but i don't. The closest i've been to faith was a drug induced state of euphoria, haha. And i know the next post is going to include ways to reach faith......
  4. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Would you be so kind as to point that out in chapter and verse please?

    Thank you. :approve:
  5. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Once again Vig, you are perfectly right. Your views actually come very very close to an agreement with my view. I've merely made one more small jump from that point I think, which I'll come to later, but first I would like to discuss one or two points (but not all of your excellent (as always) essay-style post. (some complain of long posts. I love them :p)).

    I think you and I may be using a different definition of the word acceptance. Would it be fair to say that your definition is the religious one, where acceptance means believing that another faith may be the right way?

    I use the word In very much the same sense as you've written above, except that I envision it inside of a situation where all faiths are agreed on the concept of it being wrong to push their beliefs on other people. In this sense, acceptance is simply knowing that, from the human perspective (the one in which we interact with each other every day).

    Tolerance is to say "Well, that really gets on my nerves," or "I don't like it," or "That irritates me for some reason," with the additional statement of ... "but I'll put up with it". I don't really think that's a very christian thing. It's a self-martyring application of "turn the other cheek" in a situation where no real harm or inconvenience has been done to you in the first place when it comes to this subject.

    Acceptance, as per the definition I'm using, is to say (or rather simply know), "As far as I am concerned the way I adhere to is the one true way. Nobody will change that, nor are they trying to. As such I shouldn't try to change what they believe. They are obviously have their own faith, and from a human perspective, they have as much right to feel about their religion as I do about mine." ...and of course to know that if interested in your faith, they'd talk to you about it. In the case of Christianity, I feel that that last part is particularly relevant given the status of Christianity in the public mind, and the fact that it's so readily available.

    The way I had attempted to put it before was to put youself in the place of God, or rather (as that would be true blasphemy! lol), try to put yourself above the world looking down on it from within His "line of sight" (after all, the goal of any religion is usually to try to be more like God, while knowing that you will never be God). Try to see the whole of the worlds religions, including your own, and ask yourself, "what is God thinking while looking at this now?". Promptly realise that you can't possibly know that for sure, and then come back to earth knowing that He could have many reasons for it all, and probably does, but know that while being confident that He certainly wouldn't have a problem with you yourself on account of you following His Word. That's really the only thing I was trying to get across. My explanation in this post in the paragraphs above this does away with this concept, but in this paragraph I thought I'd try to get it across as I meant it one more time.

    I feel your pain, I really do. Without meaning to cause offence, but your country is really screwed up when it comes to religion and the state.

    In a country with separation of Church and State (a good thing), Why they hell would town councils be allowed to have prayers before each meeting, why do you have the "one nation under God" motto everywhere, and why is it a self-professed Christian nation?

    Further more, in all this, why the HECK they keep religion out of schools to such an extreme extent is beyond me. I mean, not having Christian School assemblies each morning (like we have in the UK) is one thing. I good think infact as it avoids co-ercing and controlling people into one faith (in our country, it may well be part of the reason that so many are NOT christian to be honest). ...But to then say that private individuals can't practise their faith on State property is absolutely rediculous, especially given the complete and total mess (and possibly even hypocracy) over the whole separation of Church and State. There should be consistancy IMHO. Separation of Church and State needs to happen consistantly, and needs not apply to private individuals so long as it doesn't exclude people of other faiths. That's what it's all about. Still, thats another thing entirely, and we'll try to avoid bringing politics into an already deep and complex discussion. I just thought I'd show my understanding and support for your situation there in my own little way. I hope you know what I mean.

    Oh, but I could :p . The very fact that I could suggest trying to look at it from Gods perspective does indeed imply that I have a faith of my own. As I said, while I don't count myself as Christian I am a very spiritual person. I've yet to find a name for what I believe though. To be honest, I'd be more than happy to never find such a name, because as soon as I found one, I'd have to fight with the risk of letter-boxing myself and going with the crowd - effectively following a religion rather than a faith. This, I believe, is why true Christians are comparatively rare. I would gues that, roughly speaking, I could be considered to be a neo-pagan, which is in itself nothing more than an umbrella term for a loose collection different spiritualities. And even the term neo-pagan doesn't really fit what I believe. If I preached what I believe, I could probably start a religion of my own, but that would be 1, wrong, and 2, far to much effort for something that ultimately goes against every thread of my very being.

    I actually agree 100% with the rest of your paragraph. I would like to suggest though that you can 100% believe in your own faith, but that doesn't bar you from trying to think from the perspective of, or otherwise tap into some form of higher conciousness. You could argue in fact that it is our DUTY to do so, and then stand back in awe of the whole mysterious thing. With a lot of the spiritual experiences given in the bible, it seems to me that if you can read them and know that you haven't experienced those feelings, then you're doing something wrong :)

    I forget the book, chapter and verse of this one, but somewhere (OT I think) there is the story of a man who's done everything right, bt has still had a rediculously hard time of it. He complains to god and demands to know why, whereupon god answers with his own set of ineffible questions - the moral of which was to know two things, being that while the teachings of the faith are right and correct, there's a whole lot more that goes on which we couldn't ever hope to understand, and so what right do we have to make demands of God on that basis? The story imparts a certain knowledge and wisdom, but as far as I can see, unless when recalling it you can personally feel the whole range of human emotion (even if only slightly), including love, hate, anger, awe, fear, and respect, you aren't really readining it right, or true in your faith.

    Personally, I hold the same views in light of religion and faith. I see a faith as not just a belief, but something to live by (though obviously not to impose on others). As such I prefer the term spirituality to faith. You are perfectly correct about the definition of religion, and as far as I am concerned, as you, the world would be far better without it. There's be far less war for a start.

    (continued in next post...)
  6. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168


    As an ex-christian (you'd never have guessed, eh? I guess it's obvious when you think about everything I've said and agreed with), The question of was the faith really there is an interesting one. (it's also obvious that I'm comfortable with not being Christian anymore given that I have my own faith).

    It contains within it many concepts such as what is faith without knowledge or wisdom, etc, etc. To answer the question directly, I would say that I did have faith. I did actually pray and even audiably asked to recieve Christ in my life - mind, body, and soul. At that time, I very much felt like I had done. Now though, I don't even believe in Christianity itself personally. Never the less, that time did change my life, and even to this day, as you can tell, I follow what is ultimately a similar sense of morality, even if it isn't the christian morality. In essense, it is my very own sense of morality. In my mind, from a higher perspective, perhaps there are any number of reasons for this. Perhaps I'm right, or perhaps you are, or perhaps we're both wrong. Perhaps, if you are right, it's Christs influence in my life that guides me. If I'm right, it's not. Maybe I'm saved, maybe I'm not. In truth, I don't personally care because I'm not Christian and personally no longer believe in the concept of being saved - but that doen't alter my own history, and has no bearing on the faith I have now.

    In fact, my forename actually means "Christ Bearer", which could imply to carry Christ. It could also refer to St.Christopher, the ex-patron saint of travellers who was decanonised when his origins as a jackle headed god were made public (ie, Anubis - egyptian god of the underworld, lord of the dead, and the son of light (his father being Ra, the god of the son)). I just thought I'd mention that as a point of interest.

    Absolutely, though ultimately, the view of the divine pretty much boils down to the same thing usually. Even in polytheistic religion, as the divine is merely broken down in such religions into a number of lesser gods, who actually just represent aspects of the divine in an attempt to better understand the whole.

    And indeed, that person "denying" the fire is right. It is not for the Christian, once told, to remove the element of choice that (from the christian perspective) God gave to us all. Of course, from a physical perspective, it doesn't apply anyway, but from a religious perspective, any one religion could claim the exact same analogy.

    He He. No, you weren't preaching, and your input is as valuable as ever Vig.

    Given though that you've given me an excuse...

    Ok, I didn't mean that seriously :D . Preaching is alien to me, I just like jokes :).

    Seriously, I'm not a God of this forum. Sure, I layed down a few rules for this discussion perhaps (I guess) that weren't official, but I'm sure everyone would agree that they have kept the whole thing civil, flame retardant, and haven't really stifled free speech in the process. It's remained only a discussion rather than a pointless argument. Theres no need to tremble before me - You might consider me a bit of a wimp in person. LMAO. It's only the risk of offending others and breaking the rules to be worried about. I'm less of a god and more of a maintainer of tidyness and order according to the rules and responsibility that I have to follow :)

    20 GOTO 10 ;)
  7. WinDoWsMoNoPoLy

    WinDoWsMoNoPoLy TS Rookie Posts: 252

    Ephesians 8-9: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

    Quoted from vig. I guess religion isn't really a "waste of time". That is a personal opinion. You may enjoy going to church so it isn't a waste of time to you. But if the ultimate goal is to go to heaven, you don't need to go to church. Actions do not get you to heaven, faith does.
  8. TheWatching

    TheWatching TS Rookie

    Don't Delete this please, just tell me if you think it too edgy??? I will conform to the forum rules, I am trying to =) lol

    So many replies I can;t even read them all....Wow...it is a good thread though. I wanted to clarify that my "acceptance" of other religions does not include my agreement that they are one of many ways to God or Heaven. I believe there is only one way.

    My "tolerance" of that person in the "other" religion, is merely filled with compassion because they do not see as I see. Sorry this is the only way I can see it lol my way.

    I did not ask to be a Christian really, I have been through so many other, mind trips, including drugs, new age, my doubts of God exisitng at all, Hinduism, Budhism, UFO's, Astrology, Wicca, Shamanism, Egyptology, and some other really wierd stuff involving hallucinogenic drugs used as pathways to the other side. All of which have led me to believe that spirit itself exists, and that you can get really tangled up into a lot of things that you do not really understand. Spirit is like other dimensions of existence, and I think their must be intelligence in those other dimensions. Once I got to that point, I began looking for proofs of God/Intelligence/Creator here on the planet, how can you really tell that He is real if He exists in spirit. And I listened to many people.

    What really stuck out to me was people talking about prophecy being fulfilled. And if you think about this, it makes perfect sense. We live in 4 dimensions. Height, Length, Width, and Time. In what way could a God that exists through and outside of all of our dimensions, altogether in eternity, knowing both the beginning and the end, contact and communicate to his people in a sure way, that is beyond debate. That way would be to foretell of events that would happen hundreds and sometimes even thousands of years in advance. Touching His finger through time, a barrier which we cannot break, nor change, nor predict with reasonable accuracy. Most of the time we do not know what will happen tomorrow, much less hundreds of years from now.

    I am only saying all this because, this is how my logical, proof requirements were fulfilled. I knew that spirit existed, other dimensions at least. But how to interpret that into something that even remotely makes sense is a whole different concept.

    It is somewhat circular reasoning, but usually debates about God end up regressing all the way to the beginning, "the big bang", how do we know that God made everything, or that everything came from nothing and went bang all of a sudden. Both ideas are very hard to grasp or believe.

    "The Non Acceptance"

    THat is why Christianity is so much more about personal testimony in a believer's life. And also about logical arguments of God's proof of presence through touches outside of our dimensions. Hence if a person has truly seen amazing events occur personally and supernaturally in their lives (Outside of their parents upbringing) then they are changed inside somehow, by what they view with their eyes, digest with their minds, and believe with their whole heart and soul. I think this is a more accurate view of how people form their worldview. Some people never do get past what their parents taught them. Me? I was raised Catholic and rebelled hardcore for awhile. I was looking hard for something that would bring all the pieces together.

    I found that "something", in the Book Of Revelation, which I had never been taught by my parents. A paradigm or world view that really finally made sense. And prophecies that will be fulfilled in the future, this was what I was looking for.

    I also found a bunch of other really bad ways to go before that time, and had to extract myself out of a lot of pain and consequences over years of time, and even still, I suffer from what I have exposed my mind, heart, and body to. SO my beliefs are so ingrained in personal experience that I cannot possibly give legitimacy to other views that are way out of line with what I have learned in my 33 years. Nothing else worked for me. Well maybe for a bit, but it all got worse with time, until I found Christ.

    "The Tolerance Part"

    I must say this though, I believe that not all people will become Christians, in fact this is a truth of the bible. These are people that I have "Compassion" for, and I pray for. I also believe that some are in the process of learning jsut as I did what really works for eternity and for this life, and they will come to a saving knowledge of God. I am still learning this in ever greater detail. For what I believe, it is sad to know that those who do not and will never share my beliefs, who acknowledge their unbelief in God, according to my belief, it puts that person in danger of judgement and eternal seperation from God. I did not write it, but it has been impressed upon my heart that it is true. But that is why, according to the bible that God has waited so long, and so patiently, so that the number of those who will come is complete. I do not know when it ends, but it seems to me like it is getting close.

    Bottom line, Christianity is supposed to be in it's truest form, a relationship with God, through Jesus. And the message is so different then any other religion. And so humbling. Admitting that I am a sinner, and I am wrong? Who ever wants to do that? But that is what Christians do, and they are restored by the grace of God through Jesus sacrifice and the death he willingly died to cover our sins, and sanctify our lives so that we learn to not sin anymore. THis is so deep to me and so difficult....in fact impossible to do on my own. So we rely on God's grace and mercy to forgive us again, and we try to listen to His Spirit so that we do not continue to repeat the sins....
    Hope that was not too personal or debating...Spike....my intention was only to clarify more deeply why there is a difference between my acceptance and tolerance of other religions. What I believe is so different, and so validated in my life, that anything else looks like "a waste of time"

    Good day all.
  9. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Is there actually a point to this thread?

    May I remind you all, that this is a pc tech forum and not some kind of pulpit for personal indoctrination.

    Obviously everyone is entitled to believe whatever one wants. However, simply believing in something doesn`t necessarily make it correct, or even advisable.

    The fact of the matter is this. There has been (and no doubt will be), more death and destruction in the name of religion thoughout the millennia than any other single cause. Bearing that in mind, is religion such a good thing? I think not.

    Believing in this or that, without any facts, or evidence to back it up, is in my opinion absolutely futile and maybe actually counter productive.

    Every religion in the world, thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong. Plainly this cannot be. What if all religions are wrong, then what?

    Anyway, that`s my 2 cents for what it`s worth.

    Regards Howard :)
  10. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Wish I could put together words that well, lol.

    Spike ole buddy, I think we know what it is we don't see eye to eye on now, so I won't circle back around and start in again on the points you made.

    But you're right about the state of "the church" in the USA. We used to be the Christian capitol of the world, now it is so bad, other countries like Australia and China are sending missionaries HERE! lol
    What's even worse is the media over here. The media controls this country and that's what I think! Whatever politics the movies spout, people tend to lean toward. And of course TV. People spend 20-50 hours a week on the thing, what a place to indoctrinate people with whatever they want!
    I don't have TV, and what little I've seen, I don't really want it.

    About the whole "parents taught" thing. Yes, that's a valid reason for some. But I agree with Watching that the Christian faith is far more based on personal experience then coming to it from an intellectual point. That is to say, you don't become Christian because suddenly somebody "proved" God to you and "proved" Bible history of Jesus. But obviously as talked about, that does NOT mean that the Bible and Christianity is not logical and defensible! It is not a blind faith, in other words.
    Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
    This deserves a couple other translation version:
    ESV - "For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
    NKJV - "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,"

    This tells me that creation shouts creator. The presicion of nature, the beauty and perfection of how it all works, are "clearly seen", making Gods "invisible" attributes understood by the "things that are made". Even to the point of understanding His "eternal power and Godhead".
    Year after year science uncovers more mico details of how things work, things so precisly made in their function that one has to wonder how it could EVER be random chance.
    That verse says that we should KNOW there is a creator simply by looking at the world around us.
    But back to the point, is it not just as fair to say that, perhaps public school and college has not equally or MORE so indoctrinated a person with religion? I mean, little children are force-fed evolution right from the start, as fact. Showing them pictures of "ape-men" that have long since been rejected or proved to be hoax. Or, do you think that just because it's a school ( or college), that everything you learn is true? Hmm. Afraid not. Public schools are run by the government and therefore have to be politically correct. Public schools buy their books from publishers who have to skew their content so the big spenders will purchase them. I know that based on the disgusted comments of one such publisher of public school materials. Who admitted they create books to make sure their spendy California buyers will pick them up.

    All that just goes to show that you have to go find out things for your own self! These people are not your friend, the world isn't run by nice guys who want the best for you. The world is run by the corporations, whos only objective is the bottom line. Reach as many people, and as many wallets, as possible, no matter what it takes. Think about it, everything you do from picking a new car, to buying groceries, or watching TV or a movie, is backed eventually by a corporation who is only interrested in the bottom line.

    I guess in the end, only God knows our hearts, only God knows His plans for our future. And truth will always be the last man standing.

    It's been said, "would you rather have the whole truth with a few condeming details left out? Or no truth at all?" Because in the end, both lead to the same thing.
    But if you want the WHOLE truth, you have to spend your life in persuit of it. Because your eternity may rest in the balance. Lucky for us, we can hold the truth in one hand, and don't have to look to far! That is if you believe it of course. Which I do. And that is your choice.

    The nifty thing about being a Christian and having our Bible is that our lives can be subject to it. We are accountable to it. It gives us the answers. We don't HAVE to logicaly find our own conclustions. We don't have to rationalize to find our own way. It's right there, black and white. We don't have to rest on the fallable intellect of men to tell us what is what. That is, if you believe the Word to be fully inspired. Which I do, it is very "freeing" to just believe what it says.
    Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

    That is a two-edged sword. While it IS saying trust only the bible. It is NOT saying that we have to dumb ourselves and never listen to facts of science. 100% true facts which are observable and testable, don't go against the bible. Though as everyone knows, every kind of theory and thesis and educated guess fits nicely OPPOSITE the biblical text. Such as the nuclear bomb evolution, which honestly doesn't have any facts to support it. It has always been a theory and a guess, no matter how many big words the PHDs use :)
    However, it must be there because its the only other explanation, and mankind has ever been forecfully trying to prove it.
    Of course there are a million other issues besides evolution that go against biblical history, but none can really be stated as fact. And trust me, I've had hundreds thrown at me, and my bible stands firm.
    However, that is not the reason for a person to become a believer, which, as stated, is a personal experience.
    That also doesn't mean the bible is illogical or not rational. It is, when taken as a whole with no outside influence, it's perfectly rational and logical.

    Ok well thats all for now, this thread has been fully hijacked! lol

    Sorry I didn't take the time to proof read or spell check this, gotta be on the move...
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    There were a lot of good points in that post Vig. :)

    Well, I pretty much think that we've discussed everything that cneeds to be discussed here, in a long and round and about way :) To end this thread, I'm going to close it now, and here shall remain Techspot's one and only religion thread, searchable forever more :)

    If anyone has any objections, please PM me :)
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