This time here I'm going to step totally out of the "debate" mode and simply allow others to express their thoughts and hopes about God. I will not be responding to this thread at all. I also expect others who participate in the EvC forum to step back and not "argue" with the participants who might respond to this thread.
IN OTHER WORDS, THERE ARE TO BE NO RESPONSES IN THIS THREAD AT ALL. JUST LET EACH PERSON WHO RESPONDS RESPOND FROM THEIR OWN HEART.
I think this is only fair considering how much we Christians have messed up each other's perception of God by arguing with one another.
Since I will not be responding, I will trust that God guides the appropriate moderater that he chooses to respond to anyone who starts to make an issue of someone else's veiws (ie., starts to argue with other poster's points of views) within this thread.
PS: Please note that this information is fair game for other threads. It is, however, not to be used against each other within this thread itself -- since there are to be no arguments within this thread itself.
Sound of Silence - Paul Simon - "Wednesday Morning 3A.M.", 1964 writes:
Hello darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again, Because a vision softly creeping, Left its seeds while I was sleeping, And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone, 'Neath the halo of a street lamp, I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw Ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking, People hearing without listening, People writing songs that voices never share And no one dare Disturb the sound of silence.
"Fools" said I, "You do not know Silence like a cancer grows. Hear my words that I might teach you, Take my arms that I might reach you." But my words like silent raindrops fell, And echoed In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made. And the sign flashed out its warning, In the words that it was forming. And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenement halls." And whisper'd in the sounds of silence.
Trying to put God into words, or what he means is almost impossible. But I'll try my best.
Loving, Faithful, Righteous, Forgiving, Friend.
These are the things I know about God from personal experience. We tend to put God in a box, but he always finds a way to be larger than that box, no matter how big of a box you put him in. We grow in the Lord as he reveals things to us when we have a heart to seek him.
This time here I'm going to step totally out of the "debate" mode and simply allow others to express their thoughts and hopes about God.
It's just a catch-all concept about the things we wish were true about the universe.
People who do bad things and escape punishment? There's a "god" that will make sure they get punished after they die. Bad things happen to good people? There's a "god" who will protect you, or, if he doesn't, don't worry about it, because it's all for the best, somehow.
As a humanist, I'm heartened that the vast majority of human beings are good people; the evidence of this is the qualities that they invest in their god. So long as humans hunger for justice and equality, hunger enough to deify those desires into a being to be worshipped, we'll never stop working to achieve those ideals in this world. Of course, maybe it's better not to waste the time with worship but simply to apply yourself to achieving those ideals in the only world that matters - this one.
Well as is evident from my name I don't actually believe in a god, so from that respect gods and God mean nothing to me. If I were the only person alive it would be as simple as that, end of discussion, but i'm not however so in the very least the concept of a god exists and is abundant around me in the people I know who are religious. So from that side of it I guess gods (and God in particular since the majority of religious people I know are christian) has at least some impact on my life. The traditions and practices, the buildings, school assemblies etc. To some extent it's a concept that I see myself as having to endure, but then it also brings a lot of happiness to people so I don't think it's too much trouble for me to live with it. The good things the concept brings out in people will hopefully outlast the bad, and after recently visiting Rome i've seen a lot of the good things (both Christian and otherwise).
Therefore the Sage dwells in nonactive affairs and practices the wordless teaching. The ten thousand things arise, but he doesn't begin them; He acts on their behalf, but he doesn't make them dependent; He accomplishes his tasks, but he doesn't dwell on them; It is only because he doesn't dwell on them, that they therefore do not leave him.
Tao Te Ching, trans. by Robert G. Henricks
Edited to correct a typo.
This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 02-Nov-2005 06:11 PM
I hope God exists. If he does, He knows this about me.
I believe God exists. If he does, he knows this about me.
I don't know if God exists. If he does, he knows this about me.
He knows I hope, believe, yet don't know. He is content.
I hope God saves innocent babies from violence. He knows this about me.
I hope all good people go to heaven. He knows this about me.
I hope all evil people never wake up again, as only good things deserve to never end. This He knows about me.
I guess if he exists, he knows things about me. I'm content to acknowledge that I'm naive and I know little.
I hate people judging one another. He knows this about me.
I hate being judged, as it impinges onto my freedom, and I am expected to do things people do, or act in a certain way, that other fellow-servants will not judge me.
If there were no judgements, life would be heaven.
I'm pretty confident if people were selfless more, we could create heaven on earth. Maybe God knows this, I guess he's a patient guy, like the bible says.
I hope for all these things. Why? Because if God exists, all the good things I hope for represent him. He becomes my good works. Christ knew it, and that gave him permission to call himself God. He died for others, and was holy, if you do this too, then when people look at your face, they have seen God, literally.
Doesn't matter about any of those silly little labels. You can be anyone. An atheist, theist, naturalist, rich man, poor man, lollypopman, weather girl, shoe-shiner, businessman, boffin:), scholar, teacher, pet dog.. whatever....., (as I said, these are judgements of you). If you follow this goodness that is inside you, you are God on earth. It's in everyone, that is, goodness.
Even serial killers can be friendly. People are shocked by this. I'm not. There is good in everyone, and evil. It's all a matter of choice. Choose the bad, and you get the glory of the world and then die. Choose the good, and you don't get anything. Maybe it's not about getting something. Maybe it's about being more than an animal, hence Christ was not tempted in the desert. Maybe the only way to truly be a giant, is to be small. To be a servant. Maybe to not be an animal, you have to be as innocent and as humble as an animal. Like an orang.:) To have that all-conquering Groundhog day that Bill Murray finally got right! Oh if only, the world was full of Jars!(not cookie ones).
I know what You're thinking. You're thinking, "what the hell, what a mind-job, I can't be bothered with all that". That's the very thought man has been having since day one, and he's going to end up at square one with that attitude. Heaven itself is achievable. What if Christ's return is infact the return of what Christ stands for? Goodness? How's that for an interpretation? Kind of contradicts the literalist- interpretation eh? But so what! Just because their interpretation is popular doesn't mean mine isn't true!
So don't call my good works a fantasy, when they're full of reality. Believe my works! and judge me not.
If you say my God is a fantasy or fairytale, then you directly contradict every good work I have ever done.
This message has been edited by mike the wiz, 11-03-2005 07:29 AM
A completely fictional concept that I find forced down my throat at every turn. An imaginary friend that people just can't seem to grow out of. A crutch on which the weak minded can lean so that they don't have to learn to stand on their own two feet. A concept that is at the heart of every bad thing in the entire world. A dangerous and cancerous idea that has crippled scientific progress for milenia.