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do nonbelievers burn? - Page 5

post #81 of 116
Mamapie...did you just quote Garrison Keeler?? OMG I love you will you marry me??

I have about 6 Lake Wobegon tapes in my car..LOL
post #82 of 116
Thread Starter 
Yes, I will marry you so long as you promise not to keep in touch with Berlinda Lou. If you did not get that , PM me.
post #83 of 116
Originally posted by Nursing Mother

Very true mamapie, and I received the newsflash!! however if my faith is all in vain, what have I really lost? I'm just back with everybody else. But If the Bible turns out to be the truth, God's truely inspired word, then what has everybody else lost?......a chance to embrace that Truth, and that would be sad indeed.

Sorry NM I'm going to side with pie on this one. This is the kind of statement that puts me off jc and his merry bunch of fans.

What about finding the truth within you and letting others do the same? Why the need to spread the gospels without regards to native beliefs? Why put down (which is essentially what you do when you try to convert others to your way of thinking) religions that have existed for longer peiods of time then christianity?

There is an excellent story I just read about christians and their treatement of natve americans in the last 100 years or so, told by a NA woman, Zitkala Sa.
http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A91 (this is her bibliography). One of the things she accurately describes is her loss of identification with Native culture when christians took over.

So what if the bible turns out to be the Truth? I already know that I am an individual as are you. Why are you worried about my (or anyone else's) soul when my beleifs may dictate what my soul might be doing for the next millienium or so?
post #84 of 116

Taking a deep breath.....

Here goes. I didn't know whether I should jump back into the mud pit, but here goes. First, I'd like to say I am loving this read; it has been really open, and I like the light hearts that have come with what is to many of us a heavy subject. 'Kay.
I think 3boys' point is a really good one, and I'd just like to add that, although most people (Muslims included) don't know/believe it, the Qur'an explicitly states (I know because I read it myself, although I cannot give you quotes, and for that I apologize) that the good souls of many religions will be with our Creator after the end of times.
For this reason, I HAVE to respect their Scriptures and the laws and values based on them as valid. The way it is put in the Qur'an is that every people has been sent a prophet to bring the word and lead people in His way. It also says we have been made many nations and religions so that we may know one another--not so we may judge one another, or exploit one another, etc.
I am certainly not trying to say that Muslims have been in any way exemplary on these points. I am saying that the Book that we (Muslims) regard as our (as in all our) Lord's own words tells us plainly that we are not owners of the only system. It also tells us that judgment lies with the Creator alone, whose mercy and justice are beyond our comprehension, and that no one else can atone for our sins. Period.
It also tells us that past Scriptures have been changed.
On that point, we know that the Church at some point(s?) in history decided on the canon--the books included in the Bible, right? Doesn't the exclusion of some Scripture automatically make anyone nervous? Also, in Karen Armstrong's "A History of God," she talks about, I believe it was the Council of Nicea, where many Christian leaders from all over the world were invited by, I think, Constantine, and he said more or less, "agree on something, we'll call it Christianity, and I'll convert to it." They disagreed hotly because the (mostly) Western Christians had developed the trinitarian view, and the rest had not. So they fought about it until the other Christians left in disgust...the story in the book is longer, but those are the bones of it.
Sorry about the length, and PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, I do not intend to belittle anyone else's beliefs, I am looking for an informed answer to some of my questions. I was raised Catholic, and stayed such through confirmation, and was very active in my Christian life. I know there are good people and bad people everywhere. I want to hear what you think about all this. Thanks for your honesty and respect in this really intimate discussion.
post #85 of 116
Thread Starter 
while I disagree with NM that the edict that to be saved is the only path to salvation, and while I believe that it was added by man and not God as a form of coercion and propaganda, isn't it the duty of all Christians to witness and to try to save?
post #86 of 116
It is the duty of all Christians to "share the good news."

I don't believe there is anything about coersion in the NT. The apostles said what they had to say, and interacted with those who resonded.

AND -- I'll say it again -- we don't "save" people. God saves people.

It is also the duty of all Christians to heal, to love, to open their homes and hearts, to go the extra mile and to give what others need.
post #87 of 116
Thread Starter 
I do not know whether there is anything about coercion in the NT, but I find it suspiciously coercive to imply that those who keep their own faiths rather than convert will not have a fruitful afterlife, and I believe that this was added in and not something any kind of God that would love would do.

Please do not flame me, I see it how I see it and again, respect your beliefs but do not agree with them.
post #88 of 116
I didn't think I was flaming.


And no doubt -- many Christians behave in coersive ways. But responding to your accusation that it is "the duty of all Christians" .... I think that is a misperception. Probably a misperception shared by many Christians as well.
post #89 of 116
Thread Starter 
duck I didn't mean you were, I was speaking in general and see how it appeared I was speaking to you.
post #90 of 116
Thread Starter 
I wish to God there were more true believers who did live like Jesus and put out a good example to the world, but ya know I still think no matter how much Christians live by the "good book" people will be antagonistic and bitter against those who claim to be Christians and preach the gospel as Jesus did and talk out against sin. It just all unfortunately come with the territory
NM before I finish this quote, let me say, this sounds like poor persecuted little Christians... this thread is about trying to understand, not pick on, so don't try and turn it into that. I am not bitter against Christians but am so towards most churches.

NM Christians own the earth. And think the rest of us are damned. I would hardly say that Christians are persecuted. They have been and can be, but are not overall.

The extinct religions of our ancestors, now there is some persecution for you...
post #91 of 116
Thread Starter 
NM, yes, that is what I am saying. I do not believe God wrote the bible. Christ may be the way, but he could not possibly be the only way.

I do not buy into the bible wholesale by any means. That is the main problem we are having coming to an understanding.
post #92 of 116
there ain't much truth in me. I am not a little god or buddha that happens to have greatness and truth lurking in me. Looking into ones self is the classic humanistic idea that is preached as us day and night. I don't buy the falsehead that all truth comes from within ourselves, I believe that to be the biggest lie and deceitfullness and will end up turning more away from God then ever before. We are all bad people, we all sin, we lie, we are selfish, we are surrounded by sin and devastation.
Yes, NM, but what about Romans 1:19-20: "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine natrue, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made."
And then 2:15 -- "what the law requires is written on their hearts...."

NM -- I respect the Bible as a revalation of God's will. And I agree heartily that we cannot save ourselves, but depend on His goodness and grace. But I also think that truth can be found in our own hearts as in all of God's creation. And if a person seeks God with her whole heart, she will find Him -- even outside the pages of the Bible.
post #93 of 116
NM, your god believes in free will, yes?

Humans *choose* to "sin"...to lie to cheat to commit adultery or murder, to be covetous, to commit atrocities on other cultures, to commit genocide (with or without the blessing of their "faith"). How much of that sin and devastation is caused by those claiming to be of your faith? How much of it is caused by the same type of rejection of others' truth as you are putting out to the world?

I wasn't cursed at birth, I reject the notion that being born of woman because of the act of making love automatically brands one as cursed.

My baby was conceived in love, not sin, will be born in love and will be taught that free will includes consequences...all without the dubious benefit of the "truth" found in the bible. I'm sure that much of it was translated exactly, and I'm equally sure that things have been edited, translated incorrectly and just plain deleted because the Pope or King or religious leaders in power at the time just decided they didn't like what was being said, or decided for the masses that the "truth" had changed.

post #94 of 116
Thread Starter 
mamaduck you are making me want to convert!

NM I know Christians are not immune to persecution.

What I meant by Christians owning the earth is this...

the world is ruled by white anglo saxon protestent men. It is natural to look out for your own.
post #95 of 116
Thread Starter 
I have to say, this thread has managed not to turn into a Christian bashing frenzy, and in the interests of communication I hope it can get back on track right now.

People will twist any religion to suit their needs, not just Christianity, though Christianity is of course most evident as Christians own the world.
post #96 of 116
Thread Starter 
No NM, we mustn't. What works for you is not universal. The only people who should use the term we are editors and people with tapeworms, to paraphrase the great Mark Twain.
post #97 of 116
Originally posted by Nursing Mother
I am just sorry that some people use that as an excuse not to believe in Christianity.
ahem. sorry...an EXCUSE? i don't have any excuses for not believing...i CAN'T! does that make sense? i cannot intellectually or spiritually participate in something that to me is utterly nonsensical. it's not as if i CHOOSE not to believe, it's that i can't. i can't subscribe to the notion. it just doesn't work that way, i'm not wired like that....can't can't can't can't. it's not an excuse, it's not a choice. the entire things smacks of a sham to me. it's silly.

i've said it before but i will reiterate...i spent my entire childhood and teenage years waiting to be in on the secret, like santa claus. i know that may seem disrespectful to you but it's not intended to be, it's the truth of my life. growing up, i often wondered if there was something wrong with me that i couldn't buy into the idea.

forgive me, i am not trying to put you or your belief system down. and i am thankful for you that things can be that simple. and i don't think less of your intellect. i just CAN'T. in the same way that you can't NOT believe in christ and god and the whole shebang, i can't believe.

how wonderful for you that you have found a faith that provides you with healing and comfort. i'm still looking.

sorry, i just got annoyed by the excuse thing. it's not an excuse. it just IS.
post #98 of 116
Thread Starter 
I agree. I need no excuse to not buy into Christianity. I just do not. I love much of the faith except for this:

The belief that non-believers burn in hell for not believing, no matter why or what they did here on earth.
post #99 of 116
NM – I’ve come to a place in my life that I can’t say people are basically sinful anymore.

It is this idea that people are basically evil – basically sinful and worthless in their own right – that justifies the evil that we do to each other. It is what drives the authoritarian parent to spank. What drives the patriarchal husband to control his wife. What drives the church leaders to degrade, humiliate, and reject members of the flock. What drives people to war. This idea that we need to break each other’s will, to mold each other into the image of God. (Why anyone thinks they personally have transcended their own sinful nature to the extent that they are in a position to “mold” someone else – I have no clue.)

But have we forgotten that we were created in the image of God? Our original state was one without sin. At our deepest level, our truest selves are the most pure. And it is this “self” that God intends to bring forth. To “save.” He looks at all the layers of garbage we have built up over the years, and he mourns the loss of the beautiful daughter he created. He reaches out and offers to bring her back, even to the point of sacrificing himself in my place. How can I not respond to that? How can I not be in love with Him? Be devoted to him.

We love him because HE first loved us. Obviously, He sees something worth loving about us. Something basically good about us, perverted and warped as we may have become. There is no shame in the effort to seek out that aspect of ourselves. The mysteries of our own hearts are as powerful a testament of God's creative abilility as anything "beyond" ourselves. Perhaps even more so, because we are the aspects of creation that he has chosen to save.

And no, I don’t think anyone else can perform that miracle on my behalf. But it seems arrogant to assume that my salvation depends upon my belief. As though God needs “credit” for what he has done, or else he’ll withdraw the offer. If my baby jumped into a lake, I’d jump in after him and pull him out. He might kick and scream, insist that he was just going for a swim – forever hate me for ruining his fun. Refuse to admit that I saved his life. But I’d do it again if I had to.

I don’t know the answers. I really don’t. Probably, I ought to read my Bible more.

This whole thread is depressing me. I really don't like "not knowing." I really also don't like the feelings that so many non-Christians have about Christians. That we somehow "get off" on all this condemnation. I really don't. NM -- I know you don't either.

(editing because -- oops -- i forgot where i was and inadvertantly used a bad word. so sorry. )
post #100 of 116
NM you are right about those types of excuses. and i have been known to describe my inlaws and their behaviors and how they leave christianity flat for me. but those things to me are simply accentuators. they drive the point home even further. but i do not hide behind them from the start. i live by my personal philosophy and i see things in the world that validate my POV. stbxdh is a shining example.

my parents are very devout and they have no behaviors that scream that christianity is fake. i am happy for them that they have it, it gives them peace. it doesn't give me peace...it keeps me up at night trying to correlate their beliefs with what i see in the world and i never can. it just doesn't make sense. perhaps my problem is that i don't have the faith equivalent to a mustard seed. but again, i just can't.

mamaduck, i love your idea that people are not basically bad/evil/sinners/whatever. and i am sorry this discussion depresses you...i find it very illuminative.
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