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#91 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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#92 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 12:19 PM
 
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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.
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#93 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 12:53 PM
 
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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.

peace,
Christina
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#94 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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#95 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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#96 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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#97 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 01:49 PM
 
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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.
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#98 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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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.
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#99 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 03:15 PM
 
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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. )
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#100 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 03:46 PM
 
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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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#101 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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duck needs to start her own branch of Christianity!
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#102 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 04:13 PM
 
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I like to think of God as an AP parent. Would you send your children to a burning lake of fire if they disobeyed and did not repent? Or if they never understood or held fast the same ideals as you have?

God is love.

Not hatred, fire and damnation.
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#103 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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right on dfoy
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#104 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 04:24 PM
 
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duck needs to start her own branch of Christianity!
Yeah, well, that is just what Christianity needs, huh? One more denomination. One more person jumping up and down in class, waving their hands and yelling "I KNOW THE ANSWER!! Everyone listen to ME!" Ugh.

I have a fever and I keep grasping for thoughts and then loosing them. It is very frustrating. But there was something else I wanted to say! I dunno. Probably just as dangerous as posting drunk....

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#105 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 05:00 PM
 
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Quakers (a Christian religion) have a belief that there is that of God in each of us, and that we need to listen to that Light when it speaks to us. It sounds a little like duck's philosophy to me.

Yes, people do bad things. Some do monstrous things. But they also do incredibly kind, generous, loving things too. I refuse to accept that we are all evil and base at heart, and are only capable of doing good if we are "saved." I know too many good, kind, gentle people who are agnostic and athiests to believe that for a moment.
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#106 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 05:04 PM
 
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You're talkin' Ezzo here and I stay way way away from that kind of dogma, so please don't put me in that catogory.
No worries -- I don't. But it is still basic assumptions about human nature that lead to such crap. Too scary for me. I guess you agree with me -- that people are more complicated than that.

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but how shall we then discount the words of Jesus when He said those who don't believe will have spiritual eternal death? I
A chapter and verse would help me here.

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You know I love you all
Yup. I love you too.
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#107 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 06:01 PM
 
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AP parents know there needs to be consequences. But I doubt they think about a lake of fire, hell and damnation. JMHO.
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#108 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 06:17 PM
 
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Another thing about AP parents -- they recognize that their children are at different places developmentally at different times, and that no child follows exactly the same pattern as another in terms or readiness for different levels of consequences. God must deal with each of us exactly where we are -- and only He knows how much we are capbable of believing/accepting, etc... The Bible supports the fact that he holds some of us to higher standards than others, based on what we have been given. (Oh -- somewhere in Matthew and then in Romans too. Maybe elsewhere.)

I realize there may be people who don't live up to the lowest possible standards -- who don't care, who don't try, who may believe, but still actively rebel against God, etc.. But who am I to judge who those people are? I don't know where they are at spiritually or how ready their hearts are. Only God knows that -- being the "in tune" parent that he is. So I really can't say who gets punishment and who is redeemed. Anymore than a stranger will know when my tantruming 3 year old needs a hug and good meal, or needs to spend some time in his room giving the rest of humanity some "space."

I don't know -- maybe if my "baby" were 25 and jumped in a lake, kicked me in the shins and told to leave him alone -- maybe I would just go sit on the shore and cry over him. Who knows. The point being -- only God knows how mature I am spiritually.
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#109 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 06:46 PM
 
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It is interesting that some people see the Christian God as an AP parent. Every time I read the Bible, I think God is the archetype of an abusive father. He gets mad when people don't submit fully to him and does something drastic like flood the world, drowning most everyone, then he feels bad about it and says he's sorry and he won't do it again..... He threatens his children with Hell and all I can think of is a raging parent hissing, "You'll do as I say or you'll be sorry!" (Being sorry translating to get a whuppin' or some such pain.) He plays favorites, he makes examples of his children....if he were a mortal father, he'd be condemned as a monsterous tyrant! But others read the Bible and come out of it feeling that God is love, a beautiful concept. It's interesting how things can be interpreted SO differently by different people.
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#110 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 06:51 PM
 
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Rock on Mamaduck ! I agree with so much you have said here!

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#111 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 06:59 PM
 
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Mamaduck, you are pretty right on.
There have been many teachers throughout history -- I do not think Jesus was and will be the only one. The thing that has always gotten me down about organized religion was the need to "convert" others to the church's way of thinking. I mean, missionaries "spreading the good word" to third world nations and ancient aboriginal tribes have caused so much harm and suffering.... it is not up to Christians to "know the mind of God" and to tell people that they need to convert or be damned. They are, then, judging other people and the way that they choose to live their lives... and doesn't the Bible mention that men (something else that kinda irks me, all that "Father" and "Man" and "God" stuff, that patriarchal crap that keeps women subservient) should not pass judgment on one another, that it is ultimately up to "God"?:
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#112 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 07:09 PM
 
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Thanks NM. You got me to finally open my Bible. It has been too long...

It is interesting in John 3 -- that he says "whoever does not believe is already condemned." The word "already" jumps out at me. He goes on to talk about people choosing not to "come to the light" and so they remain in darkness. Seems to me he is supporting what we have said -- that hell is an individual decision a person makes to remain apart from God.

Tempted to recite the whol section here, but I'll refrain. It is just very beautiful. I love where it says "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to codemn te world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

It is not as though he condemns some and saves others. It is more like -- we are all condemned and he found a way to fix it. Which IS very good news, IMHO.
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#113 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 07:17 PM
 
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I can't keep up.

Candiland -- I would never claim to be "right on." I feel to unsure of too many things. But what I know for certain is that God is good. Because if He weren't -- well, then what is the point?

As far as missionaries doing harm -- sigh. So much pride. So much arogance. I know. And I am no better because there was a phase in my life when I was a zealous "preacher" sort of person.

But there are missionaries who do good. Who bring medicine. Who teach. Who care and love people. I've met LOTS of them. The bad kind definately get more press.

I admire people who share the gospel, by and large. But I think it really needs to be done in the spirit of "sharing the good news" and not with the motive of conversion. It is an offer of Hope to those who need it and should not be used as an opportunity for self-glorification. The "I know best - you better pay attention" sort of attitude. Jesus did not take rejection personally (forgive them, they know not what they do) -- why should we? Again -- it is supposed to be a beautiful offer of Hope.
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#114 of 116 Old 07-24-2002, 07:36 PM
 
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woo!! we need a refreshment break.

**starts handing out margaritas and virgin margaritas**

Not all those who wander are lost 
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#115 of 116 Old 07-25-2002, 12:45 PM
 
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I'm perfectly content to let all the believers have heaven--throw a big party-woo hoo!

I'll be happy in my next incarnation--and if I have anything to do with it, it will be heaven on earth...
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#116 of 116 Old 07-25-2002, 02:30 PM
 
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Mamaduck, I think you misunderstood what I meant. I meant "right on" as in "I agree with what you said"
Reading your posts, then NM's posts, I realize that the Bible can be interpreted thousands of different ways. I think it depends on how someone was raised, the things they were taught by their parents and church, and the life experiences that they went through to bring them to their own "truth" and conclusion about the Bible's messages. I don't think there is right or wrong when it comes to interpreting the various messages transcribed in the Bible. Everyone's truth is different, and there are stories and verses to support virtually everyone's notion of who God is and how people should "Be".
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