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Author Topic:   do you really Believe we are damned?
Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 88 (47918)
07-29-2003 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by nator
07-29-2003 9:37 AM


What you say makes perfect sense on a moral level, and I think it's something that even genuine Christians struggle with. I once heard someone ask why a perfect God would want to spend eternity with people who didn't believe in him or trust him, spent their lives deriding him and his "believers," and led others away from him. If they die in this state, would God welcome then with open arms because they had lived moral lives? He's loving, yes, but if he already offered them salvation "for free" and they didn't accept, is he obligated to save them after they die? According to the Bible, murder, etc. are all forgiven with a repenting heart, but the only unforgiveable sin is "blaspheming the Holy Spirit," which is taken to mean turning one's back on the Holy Spirit/God's redemptive gift. I guess you'd have to ask yourself what is worse, sinning against man and repenting, or sinning against God and not repenting? Of course if you dismiss Christianity altogether then this is a meaningless question, but nonetheless it's an interesting thought.
This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by crashfrog, posted 07-29-2003 3:59 PM Jake22 has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 88 (47920)
07-29-2003 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by Jake22
07-29-2003 3:20 PM


I guess you'd have to ask yourself what is worse, sinning against man and repenting, or sinning against God and not repenting?

Which causes the most harm? Sinning against people, I would think. Sinning against God can't really be that much of an inconvinience for him, after all. Whereas theft or murder can really ruin your week, no matter how contrite the sinner may be at the end of the day...


This message is a reply to:
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Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 88 (47924)
07-29-2003 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by crashfrog
07-29-2003 3:59 PM


quote:
Which causes the most harm? Sinning against people, I would think. Sinning against God can't really be that much of an inconvinience for him, after all. Whereas theft or murder can really ruin your week, no matter how contrite the sinner may be at the end of the day...

Good point. I suppose the issue relates to why God, assuming his existence, created mankind. If the extent of our purpose consists of being nice to each other, then I'd assume that you're absolutely right. It wouldn't matter if we hated God or denied his existence, as long as we conducted ourselves morally. If, however, God expects more from us, then the story changes. Of course it all depends on one's view of our purpose, which in turn defines the notion of "sin."
I definitely agree with you that sinning against God doesn't inconvenience him, but I don't see how that matters when one considers justification. Someone can hate me, put me down, or deny me credit for my great accomplishments. They may not commit crimes against me or inconvenience me, but I still wouldn't invite them to my home (if I were morally sovereign with no responsibility to a higher power...as a Christian, though, I have a responsibility to treat them with love nonetheless). I hope that makes sense.
Just as a note, feeling regret at the end of the day is not sincere repentance without a change in actions.
Jake


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by crashfrog, posted 07-29-2003 3:59 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by nator, posted 07-30-2003 12:11 AM Jake22 has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 211 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 49 of 88 (47945)
07-30-2003 12:11 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Jake22
07-29-2003 4:45 PM


quote:
Someone can hate me, put me down, or deny me credit for my great accomplishments. They may not commit crimes against me or inconvenience me, but I still wouldn't invite them to my home.

Isn't it a bit disingenuous for God to have created us with full knowledge that many of us would never hear about Christianity, or find it unsatisfying, or leave belief in the supernatural behind altogether due to lack of evidence, then punish us for our God-given natures?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Jake22, posted 07-29-2003 4:45 PM Jake22 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 50 of 88 (48096)
07-30-2003 8:59 PM
Reply to: Message 49 by nator
07-30-2003 12:11 AM


quote:
Isn't it a bit disingenuous for God to have created us with full knowledge that many of us would never hear about Christianity, or find it unsatisfying, or leave belief in the supernatural behind altogether due to lack of evidence, then punish us for our God-given natures?

What kind of evidence should God provide? Maybe some supernatural healings, command of nature, raising the dead? Perhaps this should be accompanied with people to record the evidence for subsequent generations? Sounds like he took care of that part. Of course, many people don't accept the Bible, and by doing so they deny the very evidence that you call for. You say it's disingenuous for God to leave us without evidence, and then you do all within your power and beyond to discredit and disregard this very evidence (I don't mean you in particular, just the general mood of the site.)

Your comment in regards to hearing the gospel would require a whole new string, so I take your point and won't offer a response here. As for your comment about not finding Christianity fulfilling, I would most confidently argue that when one truly experiences God, it is not dissatisfying. It is humbling, awesome, and eerily clarifying, and too often people substitute the "religious stuff" for Christianity. That is such a shame. Christianity is a personal and very real relationship with God through Jesus. If someone "becomes a Christian" and then decides they're not satisfied, then either they are offering an excuse or they had never truly received the Holy Spirit.

Obviously there's no evidence I can offer to support my claims of communion with God, and I won't attempt to. The gospel message was validated at the time with the supernatural, and if the same were done today, many people would doggedly try to discredit it. I have been blessed to have experienced God in a very personal and supernatural way, but it was only after I submitted to him.

Ok, I'm done preaching . I don't mean this message to debate or try to prove anything you said wrong. Even if I tried to do so, without a doubt it would be dismissed as the ramblings of a simple, unscientific person who would rather "feel good" than accept the truth. Hehe, oh well. I just felt like sharing some thoughts. Thanks for putting up with my ramblings, and I've enjoyed the feedback. Take care guys.

Jake

[This message has been edited by Jake22, 07-30-2003]


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by THEONE, posted 07-30-2003 10:43 PM Jake22 has responded
 Message 56 by IrishRockhound, posted 07-31-2003 9:15 AM Jake22 has not yet responded
 Message 57 by Rrhain, posted 07-31-2003 10:14 AM Jake22 has responded
 Message 59 by crashfrog, posted 07-31-2003 5:59 PM Jake22 has responded

  
THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 51 of 88 (48102)
07-30-2003 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Jake22
07-30-2003 8:59 PM


Christianity is a personal and very real relationship with God through Jesus.

I have a question about this. Second commandment says something like :

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Ex. 20:2 - 3)

No other gods before me. So why a need for mediator? The phrase
"very real relationship with God through Jesus" sounds like a "very real relationship with my wife through a priest in the Church next door". How real can it be? I'm not trying to make fun of anybody's believes here... just trying to understand them that's all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Jake22, posted 07-30-2003 8:59 PM Jake22 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Jake22, posted 07-31-2003 12:10 AM THEONE has responded

  
Autocatalysis
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 88 (48110)
07-31-2003 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by nator
07-30-2003 12:11 AM


I have to add in here a wonderful story I was told about a missionary in new guinea.

This missionary didnít speak the local language of the particular village ( not surprising since there are more languages spoken in new guinea than the rest of the world put together) so his initial attempts to communicate the concept of hell involved a small oil painting. Depicted in this painting was a great many fires, white people burning and a dark individual with a fork like spear. Now it took quite a bit of time to convince the locals that a bonfire and roasting white men was a bad thing. Quite frankly, they thought a great feast was in the making. The picture was hastily withdrawn!


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Replies to this message:
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Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 88 (48111)
07-31-2003 12:10 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by THEONE
07-30-2003 10:43 PM


Hehe, sorry for the confusion. Jake the token Christian to the rescue!

From a Christian view, the second commandment forbids one from elevating a thing/person/idea to a position worthy of worship. Also contained in the Law was the system of sacrifice to justify the Israelites before a perfect God. The Bible says only through blood can there be forgiveness for sins. It would then be accurate to say, from a Christian perspective, that the Israelites were justified to share in God's forgiveness and presence through the sacrifice.

Jesus had a similar purpose as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins, except that his sacrifice was permanent and extended to all who would accept. In this way the Levitical Law was a precursor to Christ, God's ultimate redemptive plan. Thus, to say that one has a relationship with God through Jesus is to say that Jesus' death gives the justification before God and thus the ability for one to have communion with God and to belong to him (as the Israelites did).

Also, something that I mentioned once before, which someone basically said, "no, you're wrong," is that I've been told the phrase "have no other gods before me" is more accurately translated as having no other gods "in my face." I heard this from Howard Jackson. Jackson is is a published scholar of the late second temple and early Roman imperial periods (hehe, interestingly he was the technical consultant for the Last Temptation of Christ). He speaks and teaches Hebrew and Greek, along with biblical studies, and he told me that the best translation is one that suggests a flaunting of objects of worship before God. All I have is his word for it, so take that as you will, but he is an immensely smart fellow .

Okay, here is the general Christian view of being justified to God through Jesus. Instead of like having a:

quote:
real relationship with my wife through a priest in the Church next door
,

it's more like having a real relationship with your wife through touch, speech, and other modes that allow you to directly "commune" with her (to use some churchy jargon). That may be a pretty lame analogy, but it kinda gets the point across, eh?

Thanks for the reply and especially for the respectful tone of your message!

Jake


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by THEONE, posted 07-30-2003 10:43 PM THEONE has responded

Replies to this message:
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THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 54 of 88 (48133)
07-31-2003 4:39 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Jake22
07-31-2003 12:10 AM


Okay, here is the general Christian view of being justified to God through Jesus. Instead of like having a:

quote:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
real relationship with my wife through a priest in the Church next door
---------------------------------------------------------------------

it's more like having a

real relationship with your wife through touch, speech, and other modes

You having a relationship with MY WIFE....through touch and speech and just what other modes are we talking about here? And Jesus is in on it? Jake, I thought you were a good Samaritan.... This deeply hurts me. Man... I have to go put a smack down on my old lady now.... and don't let me catch you touching and speeching again!!!

[This message has been edited by TheOne, 07-31-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Jake22, posted 07-31-2003 12:10 AM Jake22 has not yet responded

  
THEONE 
Inactive Suspended Member


Message 55 of 88 (48134)
07-31-2003 4:41 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Autocatalysis
07-31-2003 12:02 AM


quote:
I have to add in here a wonderful story I was told about a missionary in new guinea.
This missionary didnít speak the local language of the particular village ( not surprising since there are more languages spoken in new guinea than the rest of the world put together) so his initial attempts to communicate the concept of hell involved a small oil painting. Depicted in this painting was a great many fires, white people burning and a dark individual with a fork like spear. Now it took quite a bit of time to convince the locals that a bonfire and roasting white men was a bad thing. Quite frankly, they thought a great feast was in the making. The picture was hastily withdrawn!

LOL... LMFAO


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Autocatalysis, posted 07-31-2003 12:02 AM Autocatalysis has not yet responded

  
IrishRockhound
Member (Idle past 2478 days)
Posts: 569
From: Ireland
Joined: 05-19-2003


Message 56 of 88 (48166)
07-31-2003 9:15 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Jake22
07-30-2003 8:59 PM


quote:
As for your comment about not finding Christianity fulfilling, I would most confidently argue that when one truly experiences God, it is not dissatisfying.

So what happens if one experiences God, but rejects Christianity? Pagans experience a variety of gods - but by the traditional view of Christianity, they should be burned at the stake as witches etc.

quote:
Of course, many people don't accept the Bible, and by doing so they deny the very evidence that you call for.

Not true. Using the same example - a Wiccan, for instance, accepts all sorts of supernatural events, but rejects the Bible because it's not part of their religion. They accept evidence of the divine, but why should they attribute it to a god they don't believe exists?

quote:
If someone "becomes a Christian" and then decides they're not satisfied, then either they are offering an excuse or they had never truly received the Holy Spirit.

That is merely your opinion. There are a few people on this site that left Christianity for other reasons, myself included. Is it so hard to admit that Christianity may be in some way flawed, or that it is capable of driving people away?

There's my two cents -> $0.02

The Rock Hound

------------------
"Science constantly poses questions, where religion can only shout about answers."


This message is a reply to:
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Rrhain
Member
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 57 of 88 (48176)
07-31-2003 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Jake22
07-30-2003 8:59 PM


Jake22 writes:

quote:
If someone "becomes a Christian" and then decides they're not satisfied, then either they are offering an excuse or they had never truly received the Holy Spirit.

This sounds suspiciously like the test to see if someone were a witch: Toss the suspect into a river while bound hand and foot. If the accused floats, then the person is a witch for water will not accept a witch. Time to set up the gallows. But if the accused sinks, then the water is accepting and the person is innocent...and drowning.

You're basically impugning the integrity of anybody who has left Christianity. Not a very nice thing to do. If you're not willing to accept other people as being honest about their personal revelations, why should people accept yours?

------------------
Rrhain
WWJD? JWRTFM!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Jake22, posted 07-30-2003 8:59 PM Jake22 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Jake22
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 88 (48234)
07-31-2003 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 57 by Rrhain
07-31-2003 10:14 AM


I'll try to just briefly address all of your enjoyable posts .

TheOne writes:

You having a relationship with MY WIFE....through touch and speech and just what other modes are we talking about here? And Jesus is in on it?

Hehe, my deepest apologies. I'll stop calling, I swear, but I make no guarantees for JC.

IrishRockhound writes:

That is merely your opinion. There are a few people on this site that left Christianity for other reasons, myself included. Is it so hard to admit that Christianity may be in some way flawed, or that it is capable of driving people away?

You're completely right, I only offer my own opinion. I know that many people worldwide "feel" God, but I think in most cases it is an emotional, counterfeit response (including, and maybe especially, Christians).

I mean no disrespect at all to anyone on the site, as so far I have nothing but admiration for nearly everyone here. I don't doubt that sincere people turn to Christianity and then are driven away. I personally believe that "religion" gets in the way of God and prevents people from knowing him. When we start focusing on the establishment or on ourselves instead of God himself, it's easy to get sidetracked. This is accompanied with judgmental yet lackadaisical attitudes, religious politics, and trying to be moral for others instead of focusing on God, his plan, and his worship. Some people get past the impeding churchiness and still don't find God, and this is something with which I personally struggle, and for which I have no answer. Some people will tell you it's predestination, or that they were brainwashed to believe otherwise (hehe, it's funny that Christians use that word too). I don't know.

I certainly will not stand on a soap box and tell people that they gave up without trying...I know some (including I think crash, shraf, or someone else's post that I read) persevered through much hardship and concluded that everything they had been taught was false. I respect them for sincerely trying to make things click. I went for nearly 15 years as a Christian and there were maybe 5 times that I experienced God insomuch that I received a deep and almost supernatural peace and assurance during prayer. A few times it was regarding a request that God answered, and it always happened according to what I was told in prayer (including "no" to my request, but knowing he answered according to his plan for my life was very reassuring in an odd way). Just to note, I am comforted during prayer all the time, but nothing that convinces me beyond all doubt that I am experiencing God.

Now, the Bible warns against feelings, saying that they don't prove whether or not one has the Holy Spirit. I know that God spoke to me at those times, but I would never expect anyone else to have confidence in my experience. Whenever I hear someone talk about their experiences of God, my reaction is skepticism. Perhaps I'm jaded, but I think there's a danger in thinking you "feel" God when it's really just your self-induced emotional experience.

Okay, back to what I was saying...I didn't experience God in a certain and unexplained way until I had known him for 15 years (perhaps more accurately 9 years, as the first 6 consisted of only church, saying grace, etc. and I doubt in retrospect if I had a true relationship at that point). I had an issue that was causing me much pain, and it was a point of anguish and constant prayer. The Bible guarantees that Christians will suffer for their faith, in order to mold character or just because it's a crappy world, and I didn't know if God was using the experience for something. In short, he eventually answered me in a truly supernatural way, unexplained by anything except his touch and revelation. It was kind of weird and awe-inspiring. I won't get into the details, as it pretty personal...but if you guys are sincerely curious (as opposed to wanting to tell me what a weirdo I am ), I'll certainly share.

We are never guaranteed to have supernatural experiences with God (well, aside from spiritual stuff like receiving the Holy Spirit). At any rate, they certainly don't occur often, at least in my experience. I have 100% faith in God and Christianity, and I sometimes wish he would have used that experience on someone who was questioning instead of wasting it on me, so to speak. This was the only thing in my entire relationship with God that could not be dismissed as coincidence no matter how hard one tried. Okay, I guess my faith is more like 90% ...it must be our natures to doubt, even with proof. Like that Bible says...something like, "Lord I believe! Help me in my unbelief."

Sorry, I'm rambling and not getting to any points. I believe when people reject Christianity it is often because of pride, guilt, fear of change, or other factors that make them want to doubt. However, I wholeheartedly agree that many sincere people are driven away from Christianity. Oftentimes, the flaws of human nature (pride, selfishness, etc.) on the part of those claiming to be Christians are responsible. In these cases, I blame those "Christians" nearly 100%, and I mean no condescending attitude whatsoever.

Rrhain writes:

You're basically impugning the integrity of anybody who has left Christianity. Not a very nice thing to do. If you're not willing to accept other people as being honest about their personal revelations, why should people accept yours?

I hope I addressed the integrity issue above. As for accepting other people as honest, I don't doubt that people feel what they feel. What I doubt is that it is genuinely from God. I certainly don't have it all together, and I am learning every day and trying to walk with God (and stumbling along the way). I don't expect people to accept my revelations, as trust of a random internet personality is naive at best . I am not trying to prove anything, but I guess I felt like sharing my own experiences.

Alright, this is a long, boring post and I commend anyone who has suffered enough to make it this far! Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts, and please know they are conveyed with the utmost respect. By the way, that New Guinea post...hilarious.

Jake


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Rrhain, posted 07-31-2003 10:14 AM Rrhain has not yet responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 88 (48240)
07-31-2003 5:59 PM
Reply to: Message 50 by Jake22
07-30-2003 8:59 PM


Sounds like he took care of that part. Of course, many people don't accept the Bible, and by doing so they deny the very evidence that you call for. You say it's disingenuous for God to leave us without evidence, and then you do all within your power and beyond to discredit and disregard this very evidence

If the Bible is true, how is it that it can be so easily disproven and refuted? Surely the truth can withstand inquiry?

If you have to accept the Bible without query, without discernment, without putting it under the microscope, how is it at all evidence?

I have been blessed to have experienced God in a very personal and supernatural way, but it was only after I submitted to him.

If the evidence it takes to believe is only accessable/revealed after you already believe, then it's not evidence for your belief. It's just circular reasoning with faith-based blinders.

Real evidence is objective. Real evidence is convincing no matter what belief you already have - assuming you're of a mind to go with what evidence implies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Jake22, posted 07-30-2003 8:59 PM Jake22 has responded

Replies to this message:
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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8829
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 60 of 88 (48248)
07-31-2003 7:33 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by crashfrog
07-31-2003 5:59 PM


Real evidence is objective. Real evidence is convincing no matter what belief you already have - assuming you're of a mind to go with what evidence implies.

"no matter"? no, that isn't true, it is possible for pretty smart mind to be blinded by belief in spite of pretty well any evidence. That's even true on the scientific side. New concepts sometimes are finally accepted as a consensus rather than with unanimity. Then final the few holdouts die off.

The ability to ignore evidence is pretty much all powerful if the belief is strong enough, I would say.


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 Message 59 by crashfrog, posted 07-31-2003 5:59 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

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