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Author Topic:   The Suicide of Thought... (Rob and sidelined only)
Suspended Member (Idle past 5163 days)
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Joined: 06-01-2006

Message 1 of 22 (324606)
06-21-2006 9:35 PM


“To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true. So that he who says of anything that it is, or that it is not, will either say what is true or what is false."
Aristotle Metaphysics 1011b25

If someone says that we are all sinners, the response is often,

"It is not truth or fact for everyone".

but is that response true?

Not in reality. Let me explain:

1+1=2 is true for everyone, even if someone does not believe it...

The earth is spherical, even if someone believes it is flat...

We are all sinners, even if some do not believe that...

What is the problem?

If I can't say what is true, then how can anyone say what is false? Such an objection is really just a way of saying what is true, just contrary to the rejected truth claim. we have to ask, "is it true that it is false?" That is the only way to affirm it!

We cannot affirm a negative! Philosophy 101.

Only the truth is affirming, so every rejection can be true only by inferring another truth claim.

All truth claims are implicitly absolute.

So in denying truth, we are making a truth claim.

If folks want us to believe that they are righteous and sinless, it is they who have an evidence problem. Because the only way that is possible, is if they are Gods, because there is no such thing as a perfect man unless He is God incarnate!

Many cannot even bring themselves to consider that 'one man' was sinless and God's true Son, but in denying their sin, they expect us to believe that they are that man?

I personally am not insulted that I am rejected for speaking the truth. But I do get frustrated that people are so obstinate (like me).

Humanity rejects Jesus, and that is their individual perogative. He forces us to decide in an absolute and affirming fashion whether He was a liar or God in the flesh. It's totally up to the individual.

Those who proclaim Christ are just doing what they know is right, because they know their Lord. If we don't like it, then so what. It's their perogotive as well to call it as they see it, even if we think they're mad.

We should understand that rejecting, is equal to proclaiming truth. Many do not understand that they imply truth everytime they denounce something, and not just when they affirm something.

I don't understand the problem. If we don't like people speaking the truth, then we should be consistent and stop doing it!

We can't say that we disagree without contradicting ourself and proclaiming truth of our own.

So we should be consistent, by shutting our mouths if we do not believe in absolute truth.

Those that believe in truth should be consistent by speaking truth with boldness and without fear. They are the true rebels...

G.K. Chesterton spoke about this kind of inconsistency long ago in his book Orthodoxy:

"But the new rebel is a Skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be a real revolutionist. And the fact that he doubts everything, really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind, and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but also the doctrine by which he denounces it.

Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity and then curses Mrs. Grundy when they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is a waste of time. A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland and Ireland because they take away that bauble.

The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mind. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything."

(Orthodoxy, Chapter title - The Suicide of Thought / 1908)

Edited by Rob, : source edit...

Edited by Rob, : source edit...

Edited by Rob, : got that source ironed out...

Any biters in the stream?

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by sidelined, posted 06-26-2006 2:02 PM Rob has replied

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Message 3 of 22 (326719)
06-27-2006 3:31 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by sidelined
06-26-2006 2:02 PM

In point of fact we are all sinners if, and only if, we agree that sin is an actual condition.

Drug addicts are drug addicts, long before they are willing to accept that reality and seek treatment. They're belief is a cop out, and is only denial. They choose not to see because they are so deticated and enslaved by their quest for enjoyment.

Jesus, in John 5:6, asked a man who had been invalid for 38 yrs, if he wanted to get well?

One would think the answer is obvious, but unfortunately the man replied with rationalizations and excuses for why he was in the condition. Jesus then comanded the man to get up, and the man made the correct decision in response. We can choose to accept such forceful calls on our bluff, but many do not!

People think they are hidden in their sin. What they do not realize is that those who are free from the prison see right through the fig leaves. And as they try to share the good news of how to be free, they are mocked and abused for speaking the truth and shedding light on the situation that so many choose not to see.

Funny how truth seems to be something people are convinced that their group are the only ones that are correct in and all others are deluded.

Not funny at all! Everything is that way; including what you just said in that quote.

The truth is exclusive! If there is a Metaphysical reality, then it is absolute! as Bertrand Russel said, 'Unless you assume a creator, the question of lifes purpose is meaningless."

If it is not absolute, then it would include all faiths and beliefs.

In which case, such a reality would exclude the Christ's claim that He does not include all faiths and beliefs.

So no matter how you slice it, truth is exclusive! If it were not, then 3+3 would equal whatever we want it to equal. Some real dumb-asses may even prefer that it subtract and equal -17! Such thinking is simply nonsensicle.

Your final statement "We are all sinners, even if some do not believe that..." can only be true if we establish that the condition for "sin" is valid.

I completely agree! So what do you make of the child sex industry, or the idea of burning atheists as witches?

If there is no absoute moral law coming in from the transcendant, then how do you propose that we should (which implies purpose)invent something that is meaningless?

And in case you do not suppose we should do anything; then on what grounds do you suppose that I am wrong whereby to debate me on this subject which is neither right or wrong?

Calrity is found in putting pieces of a puzzle together so as to make an intelligible picture possible. It is called shedding light on an issue, or making known, or revealing, or explaining in a manner that reflects reality. Reality being true or untrue just as Aristotle said so clearly...

I don't think we really need to question those questions. They tend to dispell any myths... The rejection of morality is not based on a lack of evidence. It is based on a desire to continue sinning, and in denying that we understand.

Is it clear to you, that it is not clear?
Or are we clear?

As Muggeridge said, "The depravity of man is at once, the most imperically verifiable reality. Yet at the same time, the most intellectually resisted fact."

Our preferences matter little against the tide of reality. Some people love their neighbors, and others eat them.

Do you have a preference?
What right do you have, to deny them their right to eat you???

Job chap 13:6-12: "Hear now my argument; listen to the plea of my lips. Will you speak wickedly on Gods behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him? Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God? Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive men? Would not his splendor terrify you? Would not the dread of him fall on you? Your maxims are proverbs of ashes; your defenses, defenses of clay!

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by sidelined, posted 06-26-2006 2:02 PM sidelined has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by sidelined, posted 06-28-2006 10:06 AM Rob has replied
 Message 9 by sidelined, posted 07-01-2006 11:45 AM Rob has replied

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Message 4 of 22 (326789)
06-27-2006 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by sidelined
06-26-2006 2:02 PM


I long ago gave up on the seeking truth, since I find it far more productive to seek clarity and I find this to be something that is consonant with an atheist viewpoint wherein there is no supernatural "background" to the world and the universe is neutral to our existential angst.

As Bertrand Russel said, 'Unless you assume a creator, the question of lifes purpose is meaningless."

We can't make sense, i.e. make clear, that which is shrouded in darkness by definition. God said, 'Let there be light!'

Question: Does the monotheistic tradition of an intelligible universe have any impact on modern science?

Answer from Paul Davies, theoretical physicist / Australian Centre for Astrobiology:

‘The worldview of a scientist, even the most atheistic scientist, is that essentially of Monotheism. It is a belief, which is accepted as an article of faith, that the universe is ordered in an intelligible way.

Now, you couldn’t be a scientist if you didn’t believe these two things. If you didn’t think there was an underlying order in nature, you wouldn’t bother to do it, because there is nothing to be found. And if you didn’t believe it was intelligible, you’d give up because there is no point if human beings can’t come to understand it.

But scientists do, as a matter of faith, accept that the universe is ordered and at least partially intelligible to human beings. And that is what underpins the entire scientific enterprise. And that is a theological position. It is absolutely ‘theo’ when you look at history. It comes from a theological worldview.

That doesn’t mean you have to buy into the religion, or buy into the theology, but it is very, very significant in historical terms; that that is where it comes from and that scientists today, unshakably retain that worldview, as an act of faith. You cannot prove it logically has to be the case, that the universe is rational and intelligible. It could easily have been otherwise. It could have been arbitrary, it could have been absurd, it could have been utterly beyond human comprehension. It’s not! And scientists just take this for granted for the most part, and I think it’s a really important point that needs to be made.’

It is my contention that atheists have no foundation by which to claim anything, as there is no purpose or meaning to pursue understanding of any kind.

Truth is the fuel of man. Without it, man becomes a puff of air!

If that is not true, then as King Solomon said, I am only chasing after the wind.

I do not think there is a God since I see no way that such can be consistent with my POV. That said does not mean that there is no god, it just means that I am unconvinced by the arguements made is all.

That makes you an agnostic.

You still have not offered a convincing arguement for absolute truth ,just a obstinate unyielding POV. Such is life and I think that you are incorrect. So sue me or present a far more convincing arguement.

Philosophically, the only thing that can be absolute is God (in whatever form such a being or reality exists). So ideas like justice, morality, and mercy, have no meaning whatsoever unless God exists. Our conventions may be our beliefs, but they are not necessarily reality. On that we wholeheartedly agree!

You have not established that you are speaking the truth. You have only established by proclamation that you believe that you speak the truth. If you make a statement in which I feel you have been in error then it is up to you to defend it. If at the end of it all you have failed to convince me then it is too bad thatI am such a pigheaded fool incapable of seeing the obvious. I do not hold this to be the case with you. If I feel that you are missing something then I do not think it is my mission to convince you otherwise. I will not try to talk somebody out of a position that they talked themselves into in the first place. Sorta along the lines of teaching a pig to sing y'know?

Jesus said as much, for some of what you said is true! 'Don't cast your pearls before swine.'

It is not my duty to convince you of anything. I see my job as only questioning your assumptions. If we find our own assumptions to be false, then it is irrelevant how we were made aware. In that sense, anytime we see more clearly (as you like to put it), we can hear God's voice just a little clearer. Because without truth's power to wield it's sword, there is no difference between any of our assumptions, other than that we are mistaken to seek clarity in any venue...

I am not convinced you are a swine, so I hope any pearls lobbed from my position are shiny enough to shed a little more light on these matters.

When they were thrown at me, I was slowly, but methodically... suprised!

Edited by AdminPD, : Added Great Debate Header

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by sidelined, posted 06-26-2006 2:02 PM sidelined has not replied

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Message 6 of 22 (327330)
06-28-2006 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by sidelined
06-28-2006 10:06 AM


Why do you use the term dumb-ass? I mean, yeah, I am an ass but I think it alittle premature to assume I am dumb.

I was not reffering to you. And I do not think you are dumb in any stretch of the term.

I was speaking in general. I suppose that neither of us would be suprised to learn that some dumb-ass may claim that 3+3 subtracts, and equals -17.

We have law against killing because that breeds a climate of fear and we cannot properly enjoy each other if we do so. That we have a rule against stealing makes sense because it is disheartening to work hard in the living of life to allow the hard earned gains to taken without fear of reprisal. Thus we find that placess of High crime are also places of restricted freedom and enjoyment.

Enjoy? Disheartening? Restricted freedom and enjoyment?

I do think you have let the 'cat out of the bag' sidelined...
Earlier in your response, you agreed with the quote I supplied from Bertrand Russel ('Unless you assume a creator, the question of life's purpose is meaningless.'), and you said:

I agree that life is meaningless hopeless and in the end you die.

But you clearly assume a purpose... That life is to be enjoyed. It is not to be disheartening. And you moralize that crime leads to a lack of freedom.

You said:

We're here for a good time, not a long time.In my view this does not mean that we must despair though this is up to the individual. To me it means that while I am alive I shall think great thoughts drink fine wine and eat fine food. And of course dance to the music.

You are attaching meaning and purpose...

I only wish to point out a grave inconsistancy.


Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by AdminPD, : Added Great Debate Header

This message is a reply to:
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Message 8 of 22 (327667)
06-30-2006 2:09 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by sidelined
06-28-2006 10:06 AM


An addendum to my last message...

C.S. Lewis used the metaphor of ships at sea to address the issue of ethics. He said that when ships are at sea, the crew must answer three vital questions: (1) how to stay afloat; (2) how to avoid bumping into other ships; and (3) why it's at sea in the first place.

How to keep from bumping into other ships and staying afloat are really meaningless without the answer of why you’re there. How do we know we’re not there to bump into other ships and sink? Think about it…

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

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 Message 5 by sidelined, posted 06-28-2006 10:06 AM sidelined has not replied

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Message 10 of 22 (327995)
07-01-2006 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by sidelined
07-01-2006 11:45 AM

Re: A further reply to post #3


Sidelined, I am unmoved by your responses. I am also sure that you are unmoved by my own. It is not my job to persuade, though I'm sure I would relish any accolades that would accompany such a transition. I would like to address your latest response with a series of questions and responses from another thread. They are less likely of being off topic here as well. Hope they add some clarity to your worldview, though I do not suspect that you would admit it any time in the forseable future...


So I ask the question why do you try to support your faith through these science forums?

That is an excellent question...

I am curious as how you find the question to be excellent? Mostly I am interested in how you are thinking about the question, how you interpret it, and perhaps what it means to you in a broader context?

My initial reason was that it seems to be a waste of time. I do not get the sense that many 'scientific' people are using science to find the truth, but rather to debunk religion. That is called 'bias'. It is like I told a friend of mine... 'Evolution dosen't sell because it is true, but because it is what the market wants.'

I say that because even though I think irreducible complexity and other issues are cut and dry, I have seen for myself how a person can deny that interpretation of the evidence by getting into minutia that totally clouds the issues, such as the definition of information and probability theory.

Those are not fully mathematical and testable issues, and are instead left to the individual to 'choose'. The convention may insist on a definition, but that is ultimately irrelevant as many an empiricist will deny morality as convention, and therefore not true.

The other reason I thought it was an excellent question, is that I thought I was more clever than I have turned out to be. I operate under the same conditions as many others. I tend to project my own interpretation onto others, and I consider myself to be an honest individual. Others may view all people as manipulative because they are themselves manipulative. It is simple transference.

I have found that my education in the terminology and facts within the body of science is far less than adequate to change the hearts of many in this forum. However, even if it were adequate, I do not suppose it would matter for the crusade in question. You cannot defeat a person that refuses to admit defeat.

I for one admit defeat, in as much as I do not posses the power to change anyones heart on these matters. I came into this forum with a partial understanding and appriciation of the fact that only God has that power. I think I have a greater uppriciation for that fact now.

I am just a man, and as such do not create reality (other than whatever evils I can perform to corrupt the reality that already exists), so my proclaimations of truth are rejected without thought by many as a rejection of me. Fruit is born when an individual looks past the prophet and his faults.

This entire excersize has revealed more of my own wickedness and pride to me than I thought existed. My quickness to defend my good name has made me realize that too often I have not sought to glorify our Lord, but myself.

The truth is all that matters, no matter where it is ultimately found. That has always been, and will always be, our redeemer. We are lost, and seek to understand why we are here. But we can never posess such knowledge, without accepting the fact that to be lost, means to not recognize the way, though it is right in front of you in the form of a fork in the road.

Many do not take the fork I preach because of the moral implications. Our Lord has hidden all of reality behind our ablity to be honest to the point of rejecting one's self and his/her sinful desires.

Since our desires are natural, then I ask you, what is wrong with anything?

Perhaps it is the attempt to control ourselves that is our disfunction. Maybe we should simply be who we really are. No hang-ups man!

If we do that, then we will be closer to repentance than pretending our hearts are pure. God only asks that we be honest with Him. Take off the fig leaves and tremble before His holiness. If we ask Him, he will forgive all sin and reveal Himself and mysteries we never thought we'd know. You can know!

But if we insist on our fig leaves, then He cannot forgive and open our eye's because we refuse to see. He is not a fascist, and will not force His reality upon us. The irony, is that that is the only thing we were made for, but we want our sin too. We can't have reality and our sin, because God's reality is perfect.

We set our bar too low and underestimate the relativism of our relativism. We rationalize and obfuscate, searching desperately to have it both ways. When He finally defeats us (sometimes by using very imperfect men), then our eye's begin to open. And reality is so shocking and wonderful...

...that our view of science is skewed in the rush to reconcile things which will not be reconciled with any simple clarity.

What is the definition of science?

Well, appearently it is whatever you want it to be...


Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by sidelined, posted 07-01-2006 11:45 AM sidelined has not replied

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Message 11 of 22 (358162)
10-22-2006 4:42 PM

Back to this whole buisiness of 'Sin'.
The story of the Bible?
Is it really reasonable?

"In every guilty man, there is some innocence. This makes every absolute condemnation revolting." (Albert Camus)

One of the biggest problems we have with Christianity is the doctrine of sin. It is the bold insistence that man is corrupt and evil; fallen in his nature. The Bible makes this plain, and makes no apologies for this view. The claim is made as simple fact. Man is a beast.

It was Malcomb Muggeridge who said, ‘the depravity of man, is at once, the most empirically verifiable reality, but at the same time, is the most intellectually resisted fact.’

We would much rather believe that we are sick, but not 'sinful'.

Hobart Mowrer, who at one time was president of the American Psychological Assosiation said, "For several decades we psychologists looked upon the whole matter of sin and moral accountability as a great incubus and acclaimed our liberation from it as epoch making. But at length we have discovered that to be free in this sense, that is, to have the excuse of being sick rather than sinful, is to court the danger of also becoming lost… In becoming amoral, ethically neutral and free, we have cut the very roots of our being, lost our deepest sense of selfhood and identity, and with neurotics, themselves, we find ourselves asking, "Who am I, what is my deepest destiny, what does living mean?" (Hobart Mowrer, [Sin, the Lesser of Two Evils] American Psychologist 15 (1960): 301-304.)

The biggest problem in most minds (including my own) is that a good God would not condemn people to an eternal hell for sins committed, since it is not our fault that we are born into this fallen state. But the God of the Bible does not condemn people for this reason. The sin that is unforgivable and worthy of such eternal isolation from God is a different animal altogether.

Biblically, we are not sinners because we do evil things. We do evil things because we are sinners. Our actions are a result of our hearts. And our hearts are desperately wicked.
Jesus spoke plainly on the subject:

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.'
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Luke 6:45
The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

It’s like my son. He is 5 years old, and has much to learn. It is not his fault that he is human and born ignorant. He has not learned to master himself. I certainly do not condemn him for his faults. But I do expect him to respond to teaching and rebuke now. And later in life, I expect him to respond to reason.

Now, if he refuses to cooperate. If he ‘consciously refuses’ to respond to reason, using all of the excuses and rationalizing one would expect from a defiant man, then we have a whole different animal. His condemnation is not my will but his. He is his own man, and out of relationship with me by his choice. He will take (forcibly) his own way, motivated by the very pain he is looking to escape. If he will not accept my forgiveness, then he remains un-forgiven even though I love him unconditionally. His position is one of pure spite, pride, and power.

This is the situation with mankind. We are who we are because of our environment and our DNA. Richard Dawkins, a renowned naturalist at Oxford said, "There is no such thing as right and wrong, we're all just dancing to our DNA." That is by the way a Biblical doctrine called the natural and sinful man. It is the result of the disconnect with his supernature (God).

In light of Dawkins statement, how much more profound and up to date are Jesus' words, "You must be born again!" If the world is falling apart as the Bible says, and if the creation is in decay and we along with it, then we half rightly ask, ‘how is it, that I am condemned for being what I have no control to be otherwise?’ If the whole universe is collapsing simply because one component (mankind) has failed in his divine duty, then how is that my fault?

It’s a good question…

But that is not the issue. The issue is that God has reached down from eternity, into our universe of finitude and decay, and offered His own right hand to pull us out, and we refuse!

He offers us a new birth into a living hope and we refuse!

And we do so because we have made peace with our sin and learned very quickly to enjoy it. We have at some point become allied with evil and enemies of God by choice.
We confidently insist that we have it under control and will find the answer apart from God. In the mean time, we intend to take all that we can ‘now’, and plunder whatever pleasures we can experience by our own will.

That is the sin that condemns us. And it is ‘we’ who condemn ourselves, not God. He loves us just as we are, and offers not only to forgive, but to lead us out of Egypt as well. We do not know ‘the way’ by default. And to refuse His leadership is to deny the voice of reason; the voice of truth. If he loves us unconditionally and we refuse to let Him, then it is total denial of loves embrace. It is self imposed isolation; the creature, imposing derision, upon the merciful creator who gives nothing but forgiveness, goodness, righteousness, justice, and mercy in return which by nature is not an imposition but free. Love and salvation are free gifts.

That is the sin that makes a victim of circumstance, into a beast that cannot be recovered.

Matthew 12:31 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

God will forgive, but we will not let Him. We become the ones holding out on God. He will not violate our will.

In our minds we blame God for it all and are unforgiving ourselves.He is the one ultimately responsible for creating evil. Well, He says as much Himself.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.
So he took the responsibility upon Himself to provide justice for our sin and mercy to the sinner. He paid the price; a heavy price. He offers peace to us in return. All we have to do is accept it, and allow Him into our lives. The buck stopped on the cross if you’ll pardon the crude analogy. He said, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.

We are slaves to sin (our fallen world, its environment, and our DNA). He commands us to be ‘born again’ through Him. If we refuse, then we condemn ourselves to what we are now.

He offers all the answers… but we prefer to have our own way. And a good God cannot allow that to be the case for eternity, and has confined us to this half life, so that some might be saved. The only alternatives would be to destroy us instantly without allowing anyone to escape; or, to allow this malaise to go on ‘forever and ever’ (minus the Amen).

Here we are folks, trapped in isolation in a universe so vast, that we really have no excuse to believe that we are in control of anything. Yet we believe the lie we tell ourselves.

The man who imposes ‘his own truth’ (isolation) upon us… is ourselves. Reality has been there the whole time waiting for us to come to our senses.

John 3;16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

NOTE THIS- 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

AND HERE IS THE SIN 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever 'does not believe stands condemned already' because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

Matthew 9:13
But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

You do not have to be religious or pious to find God. Those are the people who will never find him. The teachers and Pharisees rejected him, because they thought highly of themselves. The idea that they were sinners was luducrous. They are the righteous Christ speaks of (the self-righteous). To them, Jesus is a weak and wretched fool. You only need to see that you are a sinner (which only requires honesty) and then you can hear Him because you hear ‘the truth’ and can follow Him.

John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Isaiah 1:18
"Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Nehemiah 9:15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. 16 "But they, our forefathers, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, 18 even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, 'This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,' or when they committed awful blasphemies. 19 "Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the desert. By day the pillar of cloud did not cease to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen. 22 "You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers. They took over the country of Sihon king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan. 23 You made their sons as numerous as the stars in the sky, and you brought them into the land that you told their fathers to enter and possess. 24 Their sons went in and took possession of the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites, who lived in the land; you handed the Canaanites over to them, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with them as they pleased. 25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness. 26 "But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they put your law behind their backs. They killed your prophets, who had admonished them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. 27 So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies. 28 "But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. 29 "You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32 "Now therefore, O our God, the great, mighty and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes--the hardship that has come upon us, upon our kings and leaders, upon our priests and prophets, upon our fathers and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. 33 In all that has happened to us, you have been just; you have acted faithfully, while we did wrong. 34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our fathers did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the warnings you gave them. 35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways. 36 "But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our forefathers so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.

It is us, imposing ‘our way’ upon ourselves.

Albert Camus said, "In every guilty man, there is some innocence. This makes every absolute condemnation revolting."

Is Mr. Camus absolutely condemning the concept of 'absolute condemnation'?

He is! And he proves that justice must be absolute by imperitive and displays the irrationality that motivates a crowd to choose ignorance over reason when given the clearest of two options. Such a choice is the lesser of the two threats to the will of the crowd, who chooses to live their own way, absolutely.

Matthew 27: 21 "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered. 22 "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!" 23 "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" 24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"

Such a scene is absolutism, condemning absolutism...

It is mankind, crucifying himself!

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Message 12 of 22 (396589)
04-21-2007 1:13 AM

New topic
Then why the punishment for exercising free choice?


It's not that God wants to punish us. He does not. But His justice requires payment. He filled that requirement. We are already in the state of lost-ness. He has reached down with His own 'right hand' to offer us what He wills for us (eternally). If we refuse, then we stay in the state of confusion we are already in. And that is essentially what hell is.


I would like to debate this issue with you Rob ,however it will drag the topic too far away from the issue concerning food for NF survivors. Perhaps we can engage in debate in another thread concerning those points you make.

Since we have this thread, we should use it...

I would love to discuss it with you. But let's do try to have a discussion. I think I am growing weary of debate. At least in the sense that I have caused, or in the sense that is so common here.

What is your question on the issues I have raised?

As an aside, I really have to limit my time here. It may be that I have to give it up completely. It is becoming a problem...

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by sidelined, posted 04-21-2007 2:21 PM Rob has replied

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Message 14 of 22 (396657)
04-21-2007 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by sidelined
04-21-2007 2:21 PM

Re: New topic
Just what do you consider this lost-ness to entail and by what means did you gain insight into this condition?

it is the state of being unable to discern reality. It is the disconectedness from the very nature of the existence we are 'in'.

It is telling that we ask the questions we do. That we cannot 'see' reality as it is.

It is the state of fallen man blinded by his own physical desires and the sin at the root of them. And that sin is pride. It is the motivation to take control of that which does not belong to us. It is the envy that others have power or material which makes us feel inadequate. It is the loss of the ability for our mind to control our emotions.

As one Evangelist put it, we hear with our eyes and think with our feelings.

I am so tempted to defer to Lewis on this issue. But I will not do so. I do reccomend you read Mere Christianity if you have not done so. He aswers these questions with incredible clarity. He is an excellent communicator for those who 'want' to think about it.

I'll put it in my own words and paraphrase him only.

Our instincts are the keys. Our will is the one who must play the tune.

We are messed up Sidelined. Our physical (natural desires) are not in balance with our Spiritual nature (that of the thought life and moral intuition). We are meant to be 'whole' (Holy) beings, and we are broken.

Instead of seeing with the conscious thorugh the eyes, we instead see with the eyes devoid of the conscious.

I don't know if I have adequately answered your first question.

As for the second, 'how do I know?'

It began by hearing this whole side of the argument and considering that it may be true. I had abandoned the Christian faith as a teenager. I proceeded to enter into many different worldviews looking to answer the fundamental questions of 'what' life is...

I can relate strongly with Lewis on something here. He said in his book 'A Pilgrims Regress' (one that I have not read btw, but have heard this concept quoted) that he entered into many worldviews like atheism and pantheism in his search for the truth. And somethng in his intuition told him that this wordlview was not right. I had no rational answer, I had no logical answer. I rejected it (or kept it at a distance) purely on intuition. It was ony after I found Christ that I could look back and take a regressive journey. For now I understood why i had rejected all else along the way.

I can only say that I came to see that my own motivations were selfish. That I pretended to be 'good' on the outside to satisfy the expectations of my community. But inwardly I thought it all a sham.

At the request of my wife we started attending a church after the birth of our first son (who was still in the hosptial the morning of 9-11). I listened with skeptical patience.

To make a long story short, I finally conceded in my own heart that I had no clue as to life's real purpose. I just didn't know, and if I was to go on in this little parade we call 'life', I had to know why.

I also knew I was a sinner. I likde to judge other people (particularly those considered 'liberal') as 'the problem'. But I began to see that the problem was not liberals or conservatives. The problem was not Nazi's or homosexuals. It was not Jews or Muslims.

The problem was me and you.

But I was not thinking of you, I was thinking of me.

I confessed to God my inability to comprehend what was true and what wasn't. I confessed I would be rightly condemned if judged by an all seeing God. I confessed that I was utterly lost without Him.

I asked Jesus to forgive me, and to take my life as His own and show me the way. I didn't know what to expect, but I was broken.

To my utter shock, something happened. To describe it is not possible other than to point to things others have said like, 'the peace that passeth understanding'. I was blind but now I see.

All of those kinds of things that once seemed only like meaningless platitudes uttered by the emotionally desparate to me, now came to life within. I could see reality from a different vantage point. It was Christ.

It was as though my conscious which had so often been my enemy, was now empowered, or energized, by the most natural thing of all. I suddenly had the ability to see behind my subconscious and unravel all of the illusions that had bound me.

I'll add this...

It is not as though I have every answer. It is just that I have so many that I would lose ground by going to any other worldview. So it is still ultimately faith. But at such an increased level of understanding, that it is not even comparable to my former ideas about 'faith'.

I was blind, but now I see.

And that is why I go through this sometimes torturous game of desperately trying to tell others who can only think with their natural minds.

Because this is it! This is the answer.

We are already condemend. We live in a dying world. A world meant to be God's paradise, but we rejected Him.

He would be in His rights to bring justice upon us all right now, but He is also merciful. He does not wish for any to be lost. But reality is so far from us that when he speaks we see Him as a threat. Yet He says, 'be not afraid'.

Life is sooo much bigger than we thought.

We really want to just be left alone. So does my boy when he is getting into trouble. But because I love him, I discipline him. He needs to understand much more in order to be who he 'really' is.

Only Christ can tell us who we 'really' are. And we are much bigger than we want to be. And that is telling...

We each have to choose. If we choose to stay in the dark, God will honor our descision. But who's fault is it then?

See, God does not condemn. We condemn ourselves. He saves and offers our true destiny and eternal glory. But we must choose to take His hand and ask. Not for any other purpose other than for us to see for the first time, our position relative to His. It is admitting that we are not God.

If you call upon the name of Jesus (and mean it sincerely) in your heart, you will be saved. No magic words... just brutal honesty.

When He opens our eyes, then we know...

Jesus said it Himself. "then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free".

Free from what?

Free from the blindness of sin...

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by sidelined, posted 04-21-2007 2:21 PM sidelined has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by sidelined, posted 04-22-2007 12:36 PM Rob has replied

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Message 16 of 22 (397035)
04-24-2007 1:27 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by sidelined
04-22-2007 12:36 PM

Hope this helps
I'm just going to be real with you here S.L... you take it however you must.


It is obvious in reading through your posts that you have had a great deal of turmoil in your life and that the result of your struggles and searching was to take the road that many choose in Christianity and submit to your emotional weariness and don what I consider to be an even more unhealthy attitude by assuaging youdespair in the cloak of imagination and psychological parrying of the hurt you feel.

Actually, it is not like that at all...

I suffer more now, than the initial struggles that brought me to Christ (as bad as they were). And that was quite a shock to me at first, until I read more of what Jesus had to say. And His spirit confirmed those words for me on the inside. It was, and is, like reading what I was already thinking when I arrive at a new level of understanding and wisdom.

You see, I didn't really think there was much wrong with me at the time. I was a normal family man in many respects. The only thing I knew with certainty, was that I was a sinner. And I don't know what to tell you, other than I believed what Jesus said without really comprehending much more than that. I recognized His Word as 'truth'.

It was only after the 'new birth', that I have been faced with my real issues. The one's I hid from for so many years. I thought my eyes were opened before, and now I realize it is a continuing process. I can't handle too much at once, and just as He promises in the scriptures, He only gives me what I can handle. But as I see myself more clearly (in His light) I realize why no man can see the face of God and live. What terrifies me, is that many will hide from the reality of thier own self, and on the day of their departure they will be thrown full strength into reality. So I have some idea what hell will be like now. No more hiding. No more games. We'll be face to face with Him with nowhere to run.

That is painful. Whether it is accepted now and dealt with by His ways, or whether we are thrust into it as our attempts to control our own mind is taken from us.

For me, that is the cross bearing Christ promises. He gives us the strength to not only 'see' reality, but helps us endure the transition. It's not exactly the 'goodtime' theology (be it secular pop psychology or not) that so many are seeking today. It is 'real' and sometimes excruciating.

But many things in this life that are good, require sacrifice and pain. So we should not be suprised to think that anything that is genuine is all happy feelings. It wouldn't be 'real' life if it was. It is only a dream that does not exist other than in our temporary minds eye.


You say you were utterly shocked to find that something occured and yet you admit to being broken and in despair so why do you find it strange that you should feel different after having unburdened yourself to a group that would support you when you accept their beliefs? Having just expressed the remorse and admitting that you felt lost and alone to a group or even to yourself about your feelings can be a powerful experience right?

I have only now (about 4 years into my conversion) begun to 'unburden myself'. I was (and still am to some degree) too 'bound up' with fear (even after my rebirth) to confess who I really am to others. So that is not the powerful experience I was talking about.

It is just as I said before... I cannot describe the 'experience' other than to say that many of the things I once considered 'hopeful cliches' like, 'I was blind but now I see' make sense now...


I have heard this many times throughout my dealings with some Christians and I have been puzzled by what precisely was meant by this as it seems to me that they are anything but filled with peace.I have known many before and after their conversion and I have not noticed any difference in their actions from before.

The peace comes from knowing Him personally. That is part of the experience I had. I have no doubts who He is now...

As for the lack of change, I have often wished that the surrender was immediate. For some it is very fast (as God enables for His own plans for each). But what are we asking? That He control us like some dog on a leash? That God kill what is uniquely 'you' and 'me' so as to make us into someone else?

We do have to die, whether we accept Him or not. But His ways are higher than our ways. He teaches and trains us to walk on our own. He does not control us like puppets. He wants us to understand, not believe blindly. Our failures are what make 'us' aware of our weaknesses so that we can deal with them. And that is the part that is getting me right now...

God already knows my brokenness. He knows me far better than I know myself. But He wants me to see it. Not fun, but healing after we realize we're still alive. When I see what is wrong, then I can make sense out of why He said that 'this or that' is the 'right' way to live in whatever the issue may be. Until I deal with the consequences, His Word often makes no sense. But when faced with my failures, and unable to deny truth (because He indwells me) I realize that once again His Word stands fast.

Eventually, after going through this process enough times, one stops questioning Him, since He has proven His Word over and over again. That is when 'real' mature faith is developed.

I'm like you in many regards... I am a rationalist for one. And when I here very mature Christians speak of trusting God without being able to see how things will play out I am astonished! But they are not. God rewards those folks with many blessings. To you and me, some of those blessings may appear to be curses. But they are no longer thinking about this life the way I once did or you may still. They have seen things you and I can only dream of. They know Him more than many of us can possibly imagine. To us it is luducrous.

Even so, I have seen enough to know that that is where I want to be. But it is not up to me but God. He pushes me toward His plans for my life. And though I don't fully understand them, they are the only plans that will ever truely satisfy.

I have a purpose... And far from forcing me into it, He is training me to let go of what I want (in my human ignorance) and see how much bigger the picture is from His perspective. It is not much different 'in kind' than a caoch who sees potential in a kid who has no clue of his own skill. And He knows how to bring it out, even though the kid may think the caoch is killing him along the way.

Many of his friends may stand on the outside of the game and come to the 'wrong conclusion', that there is no point in him enduring such treachery. But in reality it is love at work, not sadism.


I have also done the accept Christ into your life bit back when I thought my mother was dying and I was sincere in my need to accept such and the end result was that nothing occured so what do I make of this? That I was rejected and that God hates me or was I not sincere and broken enough?

I don't know S.L... That is something you'll have to answer. But I know for a fact that God does not hate anyone. He loves us more than we can comprehend. Enough to die for us. It is so far removed from our twisted perceptions of love, that the cross intitially makes no sense whatsoever to many. He gave us the tools. We have to study it, and think with the mind He gave us. We have to want to understand. And it is not only cerebral. We must also listen to our heart. The two combined in harmony is what 'real' thinking is.

Just as a good judge in court does not hate anyone, God does not either. But He will not be bribed. And He will not allow us to determine what His heaven (court) will be. We have some idea how 'Just' it would be, by looking at our own lives here on earth and in time.

Heaven is God's reality. If we want it, we must do it His way. And that is because he litterally is good. There is no allowance for less that heavenly. So we can have it His way (which means we have to trust Him until we understand more); or, we can have it our way... forever!

Trust me when I tell you, you wouldn't want to live under my idea of 'the perfect and eternal life'. Not even I want to live by my own perceptions.

And that is why the Gospel is good news. We can know what reality is if we trust Him. The training is difficult, and makes no sense to those who insist on playing God over their own lives (and worse, those of others).

It is about control.

I confessed to God my inability to comprehend what was true and what wasn't. I confessed I would be rightly condemned if judged by an all seeing God. I confessed that I was utterly lost without Him.

SideLined: This is telling as well since the despair you felt is so obvious in these statements. Can I ask you if you were told to what you must say in order to be saved or was this by your own conviction ?

The reason I ask is that this is quite close to the words that the group I ran into gave to me to speak and I was wondering if it was different in your case.

I was not told what to say. I was however, led in prayer.

But the words were from my heart at that time. In other words... although the pastor was leading the congregation in the prayer, to me he could not have chosen more accurate words to mirro my heart. It was more than coincidence; it was supernatural.

Many things converged. My heart and mind were on the same page. And in some mysterious way, the pastors words seemed meant only for me. I was not even thinking of the others in the room at that moment. It was deeply personal.

That is the truth! And it is not something you can fake. It is not even something you can conjure up on your own. You cannot wish it to happen. Only God can lead us to that place.

So the words were not magic. There was no incantation or repetitious quality to them. God was not going to show up like some genie in a bottle ready to grant me my three wishes. It was real. That is the best way to describe it... it was real.

There are as many ways to say that prayer as there are people. And each Sunday the pastor leads us in a different prayer when it comes to asking Christ into our life. The words I told you I prayed were not quoted. I don't remember the exact words. I just remember what it was about. But I remember that Sunday. It was different from the others inwhich I prayed a simmilar prayer.

What matters is the heart. You need not even speak them. The question is, do you really mean it. Are you really laying it all down?

I'll add another twist to this testimony... I am only now beginning to realize what I agreed to. And several times the pressure I have experienced was so bad (nearly suicidal), that I wanted to forget the whole thing and go back to my old self. But I couldn't. Because I have met Him in that personal way (close encounter of the third kind if you will), it is impossible for me to pretend it didn't happen. Now that I know, I am trapped. And I thank God for that because I am just not strong enough.

Now that tells you something about me. And it told me something about me. And now I know why Jesus said He will not lose any. It is the seal of the Holy Spirit. I am His, even when I don't like it.

And that's a good thing because I always sucked at sports because I am a quitter. But unlike a human coach, this friend of mine never gives up on me.

And so even though I am miserable in may ways according to human eyes (including my own), I have a joy and peace on another scale that is vastly greater than this temporary life in time. And with that joy and hope, I have endured more troubles than I ever thought I would perceive, let alone face head on.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by sidelined, posted 04-22-2007 12:36 PM sidelined has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by sidelined, posted 04-25-2007 8:52 AM Rob has replied

Suspended Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 2297
Joined: 06-01-2006

Message 17 of 22 (397084)
04-24-2007 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by sidelined
04-22-2007 12:36 PM

Re: New topic
...what I consider to be an even more unhealthy attitude by assuaging youdespair in the cloak of imagination and psychological parrying of the hurt you feel.

I wanted to add something about this... I ask you to consider that your perception is out of court.

If you were to go back and look at some of my past conversations, you would notice that I used to be very offended by comments like the one you made.

When we are offended, it is always our pride that is in control. And at it's root is deep insecurity.

The only cloaking of despair that was going on, was the false image of myself that required an imaginative and and psychological costume so as to keep my bubble intact.

That bubble has been in the process of being broken by Christ. So though I may seem unhappy at times, we must not forget that happiness is often achieved by holding to false ideas of reality. And people will fight and kill to hold on to them.

One of my false ideas was that I could come into EVC and present the Gospel in a 'new way'. I was going to set them straight, since I had been on the other side of the coin. I believed in evolution et al and had made the transition.

But I found myself offending people at every turn. And their attacks on me were not only shocking but dissapointing. Even crushing.

I'd rather be crushed, than offended. It means that Love is slowly taking root.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by sidelined, posted 04-22-2007 12:36 PM sidelined has not replied

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Message 19 of 22 (397275)
04-25-2007 10:22 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by sidelined
04-25-2007 8:52 AM

Re: Hope this helps
Well this brings a further muddying of the fields out in the open since you are already convinced of the truth of Jesus words before you even accept him into your life how do you determine that you have not merely talked yourself into the psychological status you now operate in?

Hold on there...

I wasn't convinced that Jesus words are true. His words are true!

Do you see the difference?

Let me place the burden on you. Show me something He said that isn't true.


More to the point how do you convince others that such is not the case?

Let's stop beating around the bush. Psychological status? You mean that I am mad?

Compared to whom? Those who know the truth?

How can I convince anyone of something they refuse to accept? A child cannot be taught if he makes up his mind not to submit to the teacher.

I've stood on the other side of the fence Sidelined. I was 33 years old when I came to faith. I let go of my 'psychological status' in our 'relative perceptions of reality' that you appear to refer to as sanity.

I have given up faith in America, human wisdom, materialism, political freedom, etc (hedonism IOW). They are all going to parish. They are momentary empires and strategies. They are the goal posts that move.

What can be believed in? Why am I here? What is reality? Who am I? Who is God? None of these questions are answered by my old 'psychological status'.

Can you bring me back? Are you my savior? Can you help me to see the light? Can you answer those questions for me?


First though let us begin by examining the things that you considered the struggles that led you to Christ.

Why do you want to know?

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by sidelined, posted 04-25-2007 8:52 AM sidelined has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by sidelined, posted 04-30-2007 11:24 PM Rob has replied

Suspended Member (Idle past 5163 days)
Posts: 2297
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Message 21 of 22 (398492)
05-01-2007 1:07 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by sidelined
04-30-2007 11:24 PM

Re: Hope this helps
You convince someone with the strength of the argument you present to justify your position on a subject.

Your statement is false. You have phrased it as an absolute. It assumes an honest intent in the audience, which is never always true.

Jesus said to Pilot, '... everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'

That is an astounding statement, and He intended it to be an absolute as were many of his comments. And without question, my favorite Christian philosopher, summed up Jesus' words astutely:

"In any interplay between a person and information, the first test, is not the veracity of the information, but the honesty of the person."
(Ravi Zacharius)

Perhaps you deny that. But I would hope you do not do so absolutely.

That is all I have to say in response to your last post. It is not up to me to convince you of anything. So I am not failing my mission or deterred in any way at this point. You are free to believe what you want. But I do not have to let your descision affect my happiness. I am being told to wipe the dust off my feet and move on. I am free.

If this is in any way a mystery to you, or seen as some lame attempt to win an unwinnable argument, then may I suggest C.S. Lewis' book 'The Great Divorce'. In particular the story of the 'Tragedian' and the 'Dwarf' in chapter 12. It encapsulates the physchological terrorism employed by so many to bring down an otherwise faithful minister of the true Gospel of Christ. Personally, I have had enough of it from you even though I wish you well, and God's speed.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

Edited by Rob, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by sidelined, posted 04-30-2007 11:24 PM sidelined has not replied

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