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As a Christian I have a difficult time understanding... - Page 12

post #221 of 251
Exodus 20:5 (New International Version)

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

and really it doesn't matter if God falls into our little boxes of good or bad. he is still our creator. we can believe whatever we want about him but he He is far more complex and complete than we can ever grasp. He is perfectly just in all he does because they are his rules. This is His world.

He has commanded us to love each other to conduct ourselves in a certain way. Through His actions and through His laws he has shown His great care and love and mercy for us. but that doesn't make Him one of us or subject to our rules and commands.
post #222 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyL View Post
That story above was pretty funny.

I used to have books on NDE's and alien abductions and all sorts of New Age stuff back in my pre-Catholic days.

One of the hallmarks of New Age thought is the denial of absolute reality and absolute truth. There is no reality as far as the New Age theory goes, which is a denial of creation itself. Hell is just as much an actual place as the earth and the sun and the moon and the stars and everything else that God created. Why would it be so hard to grasp that He made Hell when He made everything else here? It is not "self"-created, but it is self-chosen, if you will, and Catholic theology has always been very clear about that. In other words, God doesn't "send" you to Hell - you literally "send" yourself there by choosing to reject Him and reject His word. Again, an aping of the original doctrine on the part of the New Age.

The devil himself is also a being created by God, not some mystical creation of collective thought - but, a real being. And he is a fallen creature that no longer has his original glory, because he (Lucifer) chose not to serve.

God did create a place where He sent the devil and his angels to be far away from the world (underneath, not above in the heavens - so, no galaxy far away) but He did not promise that the world would be purged from its fallen state until Christ's return. Hence, the reason why the devil and his demons are still here corrupting God's fallen world. The Bible calls him the prince of this world for that reason, but he is only allowed such actions as God wills it, and God promised there is a finite amount of time before the end of days for this to occur.
I do not consider myself a new ager as I do not deny the absolute truth and absolute reality. I just do not believe the churche's version it. Again what the churches said and what people actually experienced are 2 different things. Call it new age hogwash or whatever else I do not doubt universal testimonies. especially recent ones. I have more faith in that than I do writings they were handed down by word of mouth 2000 plus years ago and I am sorry but people 2000 yrs ago were not as evolved as they are today. An example would be that we would never consider stoning someone to death even for the most horrible crimes against humanity. Yet back then if a man was just caught sleeping with another man that would be his punishment. Same thing as prostitution.
post #223 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I guess this is what makes me a bad Christian in the first place. I think God is better than that, i.e. better than being jealous, and proud and strict. Of course as a creator he has a right to feel and be all kinds of things, but I always thought he was the ultimate good being free from all the "dark" such as jealousy and pride. I thought he was only filled with love and wisdom.

I'm happy to pray to him, and to marvel at the magic of the creation, but I want to give it to him freely, instead of it being under the pretence of punishment if I don't, kwim?
God is much better than that. It is my belief that the ultimate perfect being of unconditional love would not command worship or have any jealousy. If God is all there really is who could he possibly be jealous of? Plus unconditional love is that love that has no strings attached nor does it demand anything in return. I believe we exist for one reason. Because of God's love for us and nothing else.
post #224 of 251
bolding mine...
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyL View Post
In the God's eyes, and therefore the Church's teachings, the only appropriate context for an expression of lust resulting in sex is within the Sacrament of marriage, and its primary purpose is to produce a child. The enjoyment and bonding that the man and woman experience as a result of sex is secondary, NOT the primary purpose of sex.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
I don't confuse lust and love, but I think many people do when they talk about homosexuality.
Yes, I agree with you on that point, Oriole.
post #225 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post
God is much better than that. It is my belief that the ultimate perfect being of unconditional love would not command worship or have any jealousy. If God is all there really is who could he possibly be jealous of? Plus unconditional love is that love that has no strings attached nor does it demand anything in return. I believe we exist for one reason. Because of God's love for us and nothing else.
I'm so happy to see you say these things, they make perfect sense to me.

I don't feel the urge to change religions, or to look for a different church, I am simply trying to be honest with myself as to how much of what church presents is true.

Love being the ultimate measure of all good makes much better argument than quoting scripture on why it's ok for God to be jealous and proud yet demand the opposite from us.
post #226 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Exodus 20:5 (New International Version)

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

and really it doesn't matter if God falls into our little boxes of good or bad. he is still our creator. we can believe whatever we want about him but he He is far more complex and complete than we can ever grasp. He is perfectly just in all he does because they are his rules. This is His world.

He has commanded us to love each other to conduct ourselves in a certain way. Through His actions and through His laws he has shown His great care and love and mercy for us. but that doesn't make Him one of us or subject to our rules and commands.
ITA. People can say "What would God be jealous of? Jealousy isn't love. I don't believe God is jealous, He is 'better than that'." But His very words tell you othewise.

I personally could not believe in God, or believe that Jesus is my one and only way to salvation if I did not believe 100% of the Bible, His word that He has given us so that we can understand better His true nature.

It's all or nothing for me.
post #227 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Human pride is bad. we have done nothing in which to be proud of. God created the heavens and earth with a word. he is eternal. the great I AM. he breathed life into us. He can be proud and jealous and strict and do things however he wants. He is not a human. he is not created. He is so far above us and the limits of our imaginations. To apply human emotions and limitations to God is to really fail to grasp who He is. Or at least who He isn't.

IMHO failure to worship God on His terms trumps anything you did good or bad in your relationships with other people. we weren't created for this life. we were created for God and our lives were created to serve Him. you may have done what you needed to have a good life here but you failed to grasp you obligation to your creator and God.
Worship of God, though, is not simply "bowing down" - as a matter of fact - that's a very pharisaical way of describing worship (Matthew 7:21-22, Luke 6:46, Luke 11:39, Romans 8:14-17). Worship is the acknowledgment of the relationship that God has created between God's Self and us. It is the actual working out of the faith that has been given to each of us (and that looks different in every person). And the Christian life looks like Romans 12. And verses 9 through 21 might be a nice reminder to a few of us in this forum who seem to think that their view, understanding, and perspective trumps everyone else's (except, of course, the Pope and God).
post #228 of 251
Quote:
Why does a kind, self-sacrificing, loving Christian deserves eternal paradise any more than a loving, self-sacrificing, kind Budhist?
I am sure this has been touched on several times, but I wanted to point out that Christian doctrine on salvation isn't about *deserving* heaven. Kindness and self-sacrifice are heavily emphasized in Christianity, but it is a mistake to think we can get into heaven by being "generally good".
post #229 of 251
exactly.

and yes it is also about our relationship with him but even if he didn't want a relationship with us wopuild we still worship him. regardless of how we feel about him or what we think of the way he operated he is still worthy of our complete and total devotion. the fact that he is good and loving (I think all his laws are fair and just and show us love even if they make us pouty about not getting our way) and wants us badly is bonus. but I don't base my desire to praise and worship on "what has God done for me lately' or what he is going to do for me one day or even what he has done for me in the past. The worship comes from acknowledging who he is and who i am.

and yes worship is more than bowing down. But bowing down is the beginning of the relationship.
post #230 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
and yes it is also about our relationship with him but even if he didn't want a relationship with us wopuild we still worship him. regardless of how we feel about him or what we think of the way he operated he is still worthy of our complete and total devotion. the fact that he is good and loving (I think all his laws are fair and just and show us love even if they make us pouty about not getting our way) and wants us badly is bonus. but I don't base my desire to praise and worship on "what has God done for me lately' or what he is going to do for me one day or even what he has done for me in the past. The worship comes from acknowledging who he is and who i am.

and yes worship is more than bowing down. But bowing down is the beginning of the relationship.
Not only do I find your choice of language ("pouty" and "what has God done for me lately") offensive and unkind, but I think you're really misunderstanding what I mean when I say what we are given by God. If you had read the scripture that I referenced, Romans 12, you might have understood that I meant the mercy that God has had on us as demonstrated by our spiritual gifts.

Romans 12: 1-8
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Notice: All of these are things we are actually called to DO - WITH OUR BODIES, not just some mystical "bowing down." Actions do not "save" us, they ARE our worshipful response to the mercy of God.

Furthermore, our relationship with God IS what matters. If God didn't want to emphasize relationship between God and humans, then that picture would not be SO prevalent throughout the scriptures.

Peace.
post #231 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I am sure this has been touched on several times, but I wanted to point out that Christian doctrine on salvation isn't about *deserving* heaven. Kindness and self-sacrifice are heavily emphasized in Christianity, but it is a mistake to think we can get into heaven by being "generally good".
A bit OT...

So you believe the main thing was has to do is be Christian? That works don't matter if you're not Christian? I'm a bit confused, please explain.
post #232 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasL View Post
God is much better than that. It is my belief that the ultimate perfect being of unconditional love would not command worship or have any jealousy. If God is all there really is who could he possibly be jealous of? Plus unconditional love is that love that has no strings attached nor does it demand anything in return. I believe we exist for one reason. Because of God's love for us and nothing else.

While it is true that we exist only because of God's love for us and nothing else (as He loves His creation) I think it is sort of a misnomer to say God's love is unconditional, when the more accurate term is to say God's love is infinite.

God's love has all kinds of 'conditions,' if you will. There are all sorts of things that He asks us to do if we love Him. He expects us to show our love for Him and He expects us to stay free from sin, so I would think of that as a 'condition.' But, He still loves us infinitely, even when we have hardened our hearts and turned away from Him and He still gives us graces to return to Him.

But, He is a jealous God, BTW, as he says in scripture.

Oh, I also wanted to add that the act of worship I don't see as a 'bowing down' in a derogatory manner. You're not being forced down - it's something you do out of humility. It should humble one, I think, to realize the power God has over His creation. What is that axiom (or maybe it's a scripture passage?) "...fear of the Lord is the start of wisdom..." or something like that.

FWIW, He also says that at Christ's Second Coming during the General Judgment, every knee shall bow to him - those in Heaven, those on earth, and those in Hell (including the devil and his demons and the condemned) - everyone. There will be no exceptions - all will recognize Him and worship Him as God at the end of days.
post #233 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
Not only do I find your choice of language ("pouty" and "what has God done for me lately") offensive and unkind, but I think you're really misunderstanding what I mean when I say what we are given by God. If you had read the scripture that I referenced, Romans 12, you might have understood that I meant the mercy that God has had on us as demonstrated by our spiritual gifts.
I have Romans 12 memorized. it is truly an amazing passage. I just have a different take on it. And by bowing down I mean not just your body but your whole life. submitting to his leadership and Lordship and following Him. Becoming a living sacrifice. If one stubbornly refuses to give up anything for him (our own human desires, preferences, and whims) we have in no way bowed down to him. We have in no way become living sacrifices. If we think our crap is acceptable t him then we don't know and failure to know denotes lack of a relationship. We can't just pretend we have a relationship and be sure of our salvation but this is what I am seeing preached in a lot of churches.


and I am sorry my choice of words offended you. the point I was trying to make is that some people (it was not directed at you personally) really have crappy attitudes and are only willing to like God on their terms. and that kinda sucks. and does not appear to be OK with God.

I am not going to keep going around and around on this. you are free to disagree.
post #234 of 251
Proverbs 9:10 (New International Version)

10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 (New International Version)

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools [a] despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 9:10
10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
post #235 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Which nicely ignores the fact that the Church of Rome unilaterally made that change, when it had no authority to do so.

I'll have to write more later as I'm already late for work.

This one goes more in depth and specifically answers EO criticism of the filioque (though I'm sure you still won't like it )

http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/filioque.html
post #236 of 251
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Proverbs 9:10 (New International Version)

10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 (New International Version)

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools [a] despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 9:10
10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
This is where I don't read the bible literaly. I don't believe that any meaningful love can be based on fear, nor do I believe that the most wise being in the universe would want EVERYONE on earth to fear him.
post #237 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
This one goes more in depth and specifically answers EO criticism of the filioque (though I'm sure you still won't like it )

http://www.catholic-legate.com/articles/filioque.html
I don't have time to read it in it's entirety at this moment, but it isn't a matter of liking vs not liking. From what I saw as I glanced over the article, it focuses on Latin translation. Which, frankly... who cares?

The main point is that the Church of Rome had no authority to make a unilateral change to the Creed. None.
post #238 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
This is where I don't read the bible literaly. I don't believe that any meaningful love can be based on fear, nor do I believe that the most wise being in the universe would want EVERYONE on earth to fear him.
When I was in LDS seminary (a program high schoolers go through in the early morning) we talked about what it was to "fear" God. Here is the definition of fear...
Quote:
1.a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
2.a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
3.concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone's safety.
4.reverential awe, esp. toward God.
5.that which causes a feeling of being afraid; that of which a person is afraid: Cancer is a common fear.
The 4th and bolded is the definition we came to the conclusion we are suppose to feel towards God. Not to tremble in our boots at the thought of Him or to run away with our tail between our legs but to have extreme reverence out of respect for our Creator and Father.
post #239 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Proverbs 9:10 (New International Version)

10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Proverbs 1:7 (New International Version)

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools [a] despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 9:10
10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Ah, thanks for that! :

Here's St. Jerome's original:

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7/DRV

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence." Proverbs 9:10/DRV
post #240 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
This is where I don't read the bible literaly. I don't believe that any meaningful love can be based on fear, nor do I believe that the most wise being in the universe would want EVERYONE on earth to fear him.
God is not a tyrant. No one has any reason to "fear" Him in the sense you are using. The 'fear' referred to is as Maggie stated - out of reverence, respect, and awe at His awesome power and our nothingness in relation to it.
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