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Author Topic:   Encouragement From A Believers Perspective
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 9 of 37 (808219)
05-09-2017 9:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Thugpreacha
05-03-2017 10:11 AM


Really drops the ball for those who need it most
Phat writes:

your comments on the piece from my Pastor and whether or not you agree with the premise

As with most religious ideas. I agree with the overall sentiment - that sometimes we just need some motivation to go and defeat the giants affecting our lives. But not the specifics as proposed by your Pastor

I suppose that some believe that we collectively are all that exists, while others believe that a Creator became human and communed with us at one point in time

I am of the belief that these are not the only two options.

From a believers perspective, A peaceful, successful, and mentally healthy life can not be gained solely through secular psychology---we need our belief and the stories that come with it.

From my perspective, I would need to add some more context to your statement.
If you mean "can't do it without God" I would respectfully disagree. There are many who do just that.
If you mean something along the lines of "can't ignore the strength that comes from belief and communal stories" I would agree with you. I would just point out that such things can offer their strength just as well without the involvement of God. Myself, I believe in love and the goodness of the human spirit in other people. Such things are a bit more concrete than 'God,' and yield the same something-more-than-yourself strength.

That all being said. From my perspective, I still wouldn't say that my way is "the only" way. And I would endorse that you use whatever-way-seems-to-work-best for you. And I would ask you allow the same courtesy for me.

And now, into your Pastor's sermon:

Phat's Pastor's Story writes:

Whatever this giant is in your life, day after day it has been robbing you of power. You’ve tried to stop the taunts, but you feel immobilized. Held back. Paralyzed from moving forward. Ultimately, you know you’re not living the fullness and freedom of life that God intends for you.

I agree with everything up to and including this paragraph. I think the setup is something that most people deal with (some on a daily basis) and something that requires a solution or other avenue of help to deal with.

The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. It starts with believing that even though the giant you’re battling might be big, it’s not bigger than Jesus. ....
Jesus has already overcome the enemy.

This, I believe, is a part of the problem with religion. Yes, we all face big problems. Yes, there are ways to go about tackling/mitigating them. However, religion doesn't stop there... it jumps straight to "this will definitely solve all your problems!!" Such a claim is flat-out wrong, and easily shown to be wrong and only leads to give people a false sense of security. Some people will have that false security tested to the level that shows the deception for what it is and destroys the illlusion, leaving them with less help than what they started with... from the very 'tool' they lean on in order to try and gain help. I find such things disgusting.

The proof that it is flat-out wrong: Some giants are bigger than Jesus. Or, at a minimum, there are some giants Jesus does not (or has not) overcome. Specifically, there are situations that exist that are destructive and simply more powerful than anything Jesus can do (or has done) to prevent them. There are many specific examples (cancer, abuse, rape, war, natural disasters, infant-terminal birth defects...) but there's no reason to get into them. The point isn't that we shouldn't fight against such things (we should, because sometimes we definitely can win). The point is that these things do exist, and there are times that they are stronger than us and that's not our fault.

People die from things like this all the time. Many of those people fully believe in Jesus to save them. He just... doesn't. Maybe Jesus can't, maybe Jesus doesn't exist, maybe Jesus has another plan.... lots of 'excuses' abound, but they all miss the point. The point is it's wrong to say things like "Jesus has already overcome the enemy" when it's clear that Jesus has not done so. Jesus allowing the enemy to kill certain believers because He has another plan for them is not the same thing as Jesus already overcoming the enemy.

The pastor attempts to hedge his bets on this issue by talking about burying the dead-snake-head in the ground because the poison can still hurt you.
If "the enemy" (the poison from the dead-snake) can still hurt you... then Jesus has not "already overcome" the enemy. The danger is still there, and we still have to rely on not-Jesus to mitigate it as best as possible.

When religion ignores this point, and people live their lives and run into such things and become extremely disappointed and let down... that's where the danger of this sort of we-can-fix-all-idea is a very, very negative thing.

And the worst part is... you don't have to forsake Jesus just to understand the fact that some issues in life are too big to overcome. Religion could easily take the stand that Jesus is there as a guide to help you overcome whatever problems you can, and mitigate-as-best-as-possible the problems that cannot be fully defeated.

THAT is a great message. And THAT message can be done religiously with Jesus at the helm (if desired).
The benefits of such a message is that it deals with reality, truth and honesty and does not rely on "selling a quick fix" to it's audience.

If you truly want to see victory over the giants in your life, you need to understand your dependency on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ.

The rest of the message contains lines such as the above.
My point would be that Jesus Christ is not necessary to see victory over the giants in one's life (my life is a living proof of this).
To be clear: I do not have an issue with someone using Jesus Christ to overcome the giants in their life. In fact, if it works for someone, I would personally encourage them to use Jesus Christ to overcome their giants. My issue is with anyone who says that Jesus Christ is the only way for everyone to overcome all possible giants. This is easily shown to be false.

And, again, the only reason to promote such an obviously-incorrect idea is to promote one's own ideas for selfish reasons instead of looking to reality for honest resolutions to honest problems.

Pastor's Story Part II writes:

The giant of fear can get a foothold in your life and begin to dominate you. It can demoralize you and ultimately diminish God’s glory in your life. It can chew away at your life, erode your sense of confidence, rob you of sleep, blind you, and steal your praise to God. Fear is a relentless giant.

Again, I agree with the sermon's setup up to and including this point.
Like any great embellishment, it bases it's foundation in reality and truth.

But then we immediately run into the same error:

And it is one that must fall through the power of Jesus.

1 - No, it doesn't have to be Jesus to remove or mitigate this fear. There are other avenues as well. Some will work better than others for different people, because people are different.

2 - No, Jesus cannot remove ALL fears. Most? Sure, for some people. Even to the point of "all fears that most people will ever encounter in their lives." However... this is not the same as jumping to a complete ALL. There certainly are fears that Jesus cannot conquer (or, at least, chooses not to conquer). Or are we trying to say that no Christian has ever had a chronic, debilitating fear of anything? Such a claim is trivially not true.

And again, the real answer is that even Jesus can only mitigate certain fears and isn't able to remove ALL of them.
Just as every tool we've ever devised without Jesus.

Some people will work better believing in Jesus.
Some people will work better using other tools.

But nothing (including Jesus) has ever had the ability to solve ALL fears for ALL people.

Of course there are miracle-stories of Jesus solving huge fears for some specific people.
Just as there are miracle-stories of non-Jesus-tools solving huge fears for other specific people.

But to claim that anything (including Jesus) is able to solve ALL fears for ALL people in ANY circumstance is simply laughably false... and very dangerous to someone who believes it and ends up in a circumstance where such a method does not provide the expected 'catch-all' help.

It is much healthier to teach reality. Prepare for reality. Understand that Jesus might remove many, many fears... and help mitigate ALL fears to some degree... but cannot remove ALL fears. Such a lens helps more, and doesn't let anyone 'fall through the cracks.'

To summarize... I believe your pastor is trying to help, however he can. However, I think his naïve way of offering Jesus as a plan to help ALL problems causes more issues than it solves for the ones who really need such help. And that's a massive, massive shame.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Thugpreacha, posted 05-03-2017 10:11 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Davidjay, posted 05-09-2017 9:33 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 11 of 37 (808224)
05-09-2017 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Davidjay
05-09-2017 9:33 AM


Re: Jesus can solve all fears as in All
Yes.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Davidjay, posted 05-09-2017 9:33 AM Davidjay has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Davidjay, posted 05-09-2017 9:52 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 21 of 37 (820497)
09-21-2017 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Tangle
09-21-2017 1:42 PM


Re: From "A Tension Of Faith"
Tangle writes:

Oh, right, it gave them comfort......god as panacea, that's the best you've got?

I think this sort of downplays the importance of mental health for any and all humans.

To those who require it, "god as panacea" is extremely important. They very well could spiral into devastating depression without it.

Could they not have been "trained" (for lack of a better word) differently over the course of their life?
I think they certainly could. But coulda/woulda/shoulda doesn't really matter when faced with a hurricane in the here and now.

At the moment of that terrible disaster, "god as panacea" worked, worked well, and may very well have been the only thing that possibly could work for some of them.

I find that to be a "very good" and "very important" thing.
And I don't think it's right for anyone to try and take such a thing away from anyone, or even insult it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2017 1:42 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2017 2:50 PM Stile has responded
 Message 23 by Faith, posted 09-21-2017 3:17 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 25 of 37 (820508)
09-21-2017 3:29 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Tangle
09-21-2017 2:50 PM


Re: From "A Tension Of Faith"
Tangle writes:

But because it makes some people feel better is not proof of the existence of god and admitting that it's a panacea demonstrates that.

I completely agree.

Sure, but as the false notion of god dissipates, people can no longer rely on the false premise and have to learn to cope with reality. It's leaving home and growing up.

Some people learn to cope with reality by laying their fears upon their imagination.
Like telling someone "it's going to be okay..." when you can't read the future.

You know you don't know.
They know you don't know (maybe).

But it can still help them feel better.

People can and will do what they do, that's not the point is it?

I believe "the point" is whatever anyone claims for themselves (as long as they're not hurting others.)

Here we're looking for what's real, indirect benefits from the imagination is not what we're at.

We are?
Why?

Why is "what's real" so important?
Why can't someone else decide to live their life chasing dreams and imagined things?

Maybe "the point" of someone else's life if to specifically gain indirect benefits from their imagination?

That's not my point.
I think that's a bit of a dumb point.

But I wouldn't stop anyone else from following it if that's what they wanted.

I want to do what I want... and I don't want someone to decide I shouldn't be able to do what I want... just because they don't want the same thing.

In that vein, I don't think I (or you) should be able to decide whether or not someone choosing to follow imaginary things is "right" or not. I don't think that's for you to decide, and I think it cheapens "humanity" or even "intelligence" if you think you should be deciding such a thing.

I'm not in any position to take it away from anyone, what's happening across modern societies is a realisation that the thing they believed in was a fantasy. It's an inevitable consequence of the advancement of actual knowledge. It's simply growing up and learning how to live an independent life.

If that's what happens, then that's what happens.
I just think it should continue along naturally, and that no one has the right to "force it" on anyone else.

For certain specific goals I think it can (and should) be forced.

Like, say "doing science" or "trying to learn about reality."
If those are the goals... then yes, everyone following those goals should be using the best methods known so far to further such things. Anything less just seems... counterproductive.

But, in "general life"... such a goal is not as assumption we can just place on everyone.

Some people couldn't care less if space is cool or not, or whether or not evolution took place, or what makes a crystal structure.
And I think it's important not to force such people into such goals either.

I think the "goal of life" should be decided upon by the individual.
I decided upon mine, and I would be greatly hurt if someone forced me to only follow another.

And the question of "how the religious are dropping in popularity" is a question of general life goals... not under the scope of some sort of specific, agreed upon goal.

And who is insulting anyone?

I don't know. Perhaps no one. I still don't think such ideas should be insulted by anyone. Even if no one is insulting them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Tangle, posted 09-21-2017 2:50 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by Tangle, posted 09-23-2017 3:22 AM Stile has responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 31 of 37 (820675)
09-25-2017 9:15 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Tangle
09-23-2017 3:22 AM


Re: From "A Tension Of Faith"
Tangle writes:

Stile writes:

Some people learn to cope with reality by laying their fears upon their imagination.
Like telling someone "it's going to be okay..." when you can't read the future.

You know you don't know.
They know you don't know (maybe).

But it can still help them feel better.

Sure, but you know, so what?

I think helping people feel better is important.

I don't know how to start to answer that - it seems pretty important to know what is real and what is imaginary doesn't it?

Yes. That wasn't the idea, though. The idea is that it's okay for people (if they want to) to follow something that is part of their imagination. Just as "okay" as it is for someone to follow something that can be validated against reality.

You seem to have imagined a position I hold that I do not. Where are you getting all this from?

I'm simply answering your questions, with a bit of extra rambling added in.
Take from it what you want.

People can do what the hell they want within the law, no matter how daft I think it is, and I have no interest in trying to stop them. But I will point out in places like this that I think it's daft.

And if you call something daft that I think is important, I'll point that out.

What I'm saying is that people are dropping their primitive beliefs all across the modern world. They're doing it quite naturally and without anyone forcing them. It's just part of how our societies are advancing, by accumulating real knowledge of the world and abandoning false and superstitious explanations.

With this, I fully agree.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Tangle, posted 09-23-2017 3:22 AM Tangle has not yet responded

    
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