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Thread: Which religions are represented here?

  1. #65
    fatboy's Avatar
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    Odysseus: I was going to PM you but people here have skirted around what I was going to ask you anyway.
    Again I look forward to replies like your previous ones and ask you not to take this as an attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]The purpose of a Mission in spreading the word is the same Calling as those 12 Apostles whom Christ ordained Himself. No one can seek the Kingdom of God first unless they know about it, and WHY they should seek it. That's we did as Missionaries. Spread the word.
    Am I correct in assuming that ONE OF the ultimate goals of your religion, and certainly of the missions themselves, is to try to convert as many people as possible, and ideally everyone, to your religion?
    Have you seriously considered the consequences of what would happen if you were completely successful?

    The reason I ask is becaue this has special relevance to me and where I live, here in Bali. If you browse the internet and look at sites for Bali you will find that EVERY SINGLE site mentions the art, the dances, the architecture, the ceremonies and the way of life of the Balinese.

    Bali is a small island and has almost no natural resources that would enable it to sustain itself yet it does extremely well, in fact I am confident in saying that the average standard of living in Bali is higher than anywhere else in Indonesia.
    Bali's success is 100% due to tourism.

    Bali's beaches, mountains, coral, etc are all OK but certaily not better than, for example Thailand or other similar SE Asian destinations.
    Why Bali does well is because of it's culture, all those aspects that I mentioned earlier. The Balinese are Hindu but their Hinduism has developed to become quite different from the Indian Hindu in many ways.

    Balinese culture is completely entwined in their religion. Their dances were created to tell stories about their gods, they hold ceremonies every full moon (pernama) every dark moon (tilem) and almost every day in between for their gods, the buildings (not just the temples but everyone's house, and everyone has their own temple at their house!) are extremely ornate and very unique and are designed to please the gods. Every aspect of their lives is somehow related to their religion. The tourists that come to Bali LOVE to see this because it is different and unique and it is something they cannot see wherever they have come from.

    If the Balinese as a race were to convert to your religion (or any other) there would be no need for any of this, it would basically result in the destruction of their culture. As a worst case scenario there would no longer be any reason for tourists to come (why bother flying all the way to Bali for the beaches when they are the same as the ones at home or in the Caribbean (spelling?))and eventually it would destroy the economy too.

    How much have you thought about what converting people to your faith means to the people you are converting, and what they are giving up when they convert?

    Cheers, Troy.

  2. #66
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    I myself am a man of science with some faith in the unknown. I do like to beleive that #### sapiens are not the most intelligent "thing" that there is. I do however beleive in what I can interact with with my senses. I wasn't aware of just how many different people belong to this group. It's very interesting to me. I'm also surprised how many aetheists are present.

    INTERESTING [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]
    Joe By the way how many Joes or Josephs are there in the group?
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

  3. #67

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    Arrow

    Ah! And Troy has brought us back to the value of diversity again. Wonderful - genetic, cultural diversity. Very precious. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    (And -- "...people like you..." ?) hmmm [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img]
    Interesting that we can't type out our species name, eh? Try it this way -- h0m0 sapiens. And I tend to agree with you on that.
    I think that would be a great new topic, Joe. I know of at least one other Joseph. Give it a try. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Oh, & welcome to the forum, Joe! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img]
    Restore our biosphere, create a new culture of kindness.

  4. #68
    fatboy's Avatar
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    Jim:

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I realize our society is big on relativism, humanism, new agism and existentialism, but somewhere down the line one has to deal with absolutes and reality. Here are some absolutes: God created...
    You can throw my beliefs in any "ism" basket you want but the fact is that I cannot honestly accept the idea that an ultimate being created any of this and I have yet to see any physical evidence that anything else that you have posted is either absolute or reality?
    .
    I typed out a more complete reply for you but I have decided that this is not the place Éļ.

    I would like to thank everyone that is participating in this thread for allowing it to continue as it has so far without anyone getting upset. I can (and fully intend) to pose these same questions in some of the theology forums that I haunt but the people on those forums have sharpened their debatings skills on many "theological newbies" like me and they have their answers ready. At the moment I, like Lanvenderdawn, am more interested in hearing what people I know (from here on the forum) think/ believe/ live.

    Regards all, Troy.

  5. #69

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    Atheist

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  6. #70
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif[/img] Clitoria ternata. Sorry people just wanted to see if it would catch that which is an actual plant(nice looking flowers). Now back to the real topic.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

  7. #71

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    Hi all

    I grew up in a Baptist church since I was old enough to remember. Iíll be the first to tell you Christians can be some of the most hypocritical people I know of.
    But in the same respect they can also be some of the most loving. This is also true of people from other religions, to include atheist. After high school I joined the Army. Long story short: I was married when I went in. Finished basic &AIT,
    Was stationed in Germany and immediately deployed to Bosnia in May of 96. As a convoy Gunner. Came home, marriage fell apart, wife left for the states, Countless affairs, drugs, alcohol, you name it Iím sure Iíve done it at least once. I really was very angry with God because of ďall Heíd done to meĒ. I stopped going to church after Bosnia. I told Him if he would just keep my marriage together I would serve him. I thought Iíd held up my end of the bargain, so why didnít He? I knew in my heart there was a God, but I no longer had the desire to serve Him.

    I didnít know what to make of the evolution stuff either. I was taught that the earth was created in 7 literal days, and was only approximately 10,000 years old. Science can prove rather accurately that this is not true. So, I was back to the beginning where did we come from? I began to study all aspects of this in order to appease my ďmonkey curiosity ď, as Barry would put it. In studying I found theoryís, extrapolationís, guesstimations. There is evidence of evolution- fine but how did life begin. Could it possibly be through chance? My answer comes as a resounding NO! The smallest matter containing life is made up of millions of subatomic particles. Scientist can clone, but the matter, which is used in this already, contains life. We can not create life in a controlled environment. So is it possible given Billions of years life can form on itís own from complete chaos? Even if you took the bones in the human body (216 I think) and laid them side by side, gave them an undetermined amount of time the odds of them forming is something like 1 in 216 to the 10th power, or 2,160,000,000,000. This figure doesnít even include the odds of them coming together in an operable form.
    Now when I considered that life at itís most basic level contains millions of subatomic particles the number gets pretty ridiculous as to the odds of life forming
    By chance. It actually takes more faith to believe in a random creation of life than it does the Creator. The math doesnít lie on this. How then could I believe life evolved from a single celled organism? Science canít back up this theory. The biosphereís within this world alone attest to this. We know that with the extinction of a species within a biosphere other species will adapt, or evolve (whichever you care to use) the ability to perform the task formally performed by the extinct species. This measure insures the survival of that particular biosphere. But to say
    That, that biosphere evolved over billions of years into a successful habitat can not be supported. It is evidence that the animals most likely occurred in-groups. Sounds like the Genesis account to me.

    As for human nature, I experienced first hand in Bosnia the old saying, ďThere is no such thing as a foxhole atheistĒ. If I were to stab someone with a knife Iíd bet good money the first words out of their mouth would be ďOh GodĒ
    I believe we all posses a God shaped void in our lives that come from inherent knowledge of the Creator. When facing death Iíve watched the staunchest atheist instantly become a praying man.

    Iíve lived my life at both ends of the religious spectrum, and it has become apparent to me that that when I follow what I believe to be Godís plan for my life
    I experience fullness Iíd thought unobtainable. When I live life according to what I believe to be His word, and actively seek a closer relationship with Him
    The effect on my life, and family simply can not be ignored. I do not believe we can know the complete mind of God, and only know now what He has chosen to reveal to us. But as a parent I know I need the love, and respect of my children. I donít want them to love me based on the sole fact that Iím their parent. I want them to love me because they have a choice, and they chose to love me of their own free will. That kind of love is one of the most precious kinds of love I know. Surely this isnít far from what our Creator has in mind.

    The problem I then faced was this. If Iím dealing with the creator who obviously exists outside of the restrictions of time and space, He not confined to that which he has created. This being must be perfect and righteous, so how can I the created bridge the gap between the perfect, and the corrupt. I say corrupt because I believe in absolute truth. I believe that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. I believe sin is the word humans use to describe the corruption of what was once good. I believe that, because of the law you are all familiars with that I stated above, sin carries with it consequences, and that consequence is death. But I canít believe a creator who claims to love me would want me dead. So what then can be done about the consequences Iíve incurred on myself? You see I began to understand that all those times I was angry with God I was not. I was selfishly upset that I had to deal with the consequences of my own corruption, or the corruption of others that had affected me. I began to understand that God did not want this separation between us, but something had to be done about this corruption. I then began to believe that God sent His Son to be the reaction to my actions. A perfect sacrifice offered once and for all
    To permanently seal the barrier between us. I believe that Jesus Christ is his Son.
    There were 166 prophecies about the Messiah. For some one to be able to fulfill 50 of them would be something of a marvel, but when Christ fulfilled every single prophesy given a minimum of 600 years before His birth, how can I say this? HE SEALED THE DEAL. Iíve read here where people are turned off by ďreligionĒ because of the inherent guilt it tryís to place on us. The way I understand it guilt is instigated by our conscienceís reaction to wrong doing. A built in proximity alarm to alert us that were heading in the wrong direction. For a man without a conscience is the final step into the world of the criminally insane. So it is reasonable to me a dose of guilt over wrong doings is there so that we can make restitution for those actions. When we fail to right the wrong we commit in society
    The guilt increases. When we begin to harden our heart against our guilt we are in danger of searing our conscience. I still screw up; I still experience guilt I TRY to right my wrongs. If itís something Iíve done to someone I must seek his or her forgiveness, then stand before my Creator and seek His as well. Itís funny guilt melts with forgiveness. I no longer carry the condemnation of my guilt, because I myself have forgiveness. I stated that I belonged to the I just know movement. This is a self-described name that basically means: I just know Jesus is the way, I just know Jesus is the TRUTH, I just know Jesus is the life I KNOW THAT JESUS IS MY GOD!
    Itís actually a song by a metal group I listen to DiscipleĒ www.disciplerocks.com
    Well I started out to give my 2cents, but it looks like Iím at a dollar fifty, so Iíll finish up. These are my beliefs, and how I arrived at them.
    I always suspect everything is a trap....thats why I'm still alive

    Times fun when you're having flys

  8. #72
    Odysseus's Avatar
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    Hey, Fatboy!

    You know what, there are already Balinese who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] I wonder if some of them even work for a company that does some of these traditional dances. I wouldn't be surprised!

    Take Hawaii for example. They have a richly diverse culture. On the islands the MOST VISITED tourist attraction is the Polynesian Cultural Center. That is actually OWNED by the Mormon church. The Polynesian Cultural center provides a place for tourists to go and enjoy learning the Hulu dance, experience a REAL Polynesian Luau celebration, and showcase hundreds of true polynesian descendants dancing their traditional dances! Most if not ALL employees and performers are LDS! (Latter-Day Saint=Mormon) These performers aren't dressed up anything different than the culture they belong to! If you have seen the movie "The Other Side of Heaven" you could have seen a Mormon missionary serving in the LDS branches living in Tonga. The members there were NOT AT ALL required to dress in a style "uniform" to what maybe Americans were wearing when attending church. The Tongans never touched pants but kept to their culture. If you haven't seen the movie, you need to. It was a great film. The best yet, about missionaries from the LDS Church.

    Along with geneology, we LOVE to preserve culture and people's way of life. Our Church does not bend on the commandments, anyone who does needs to properly repent. But as for ADDED rules like never showing your legs or stomach (or anything similar) in public it is NOT a "commandment" in our Church. The Prophet has not issued personal preferences of his own and called it a "commandment". Never does the Prophet issue NEW commandments of His OWN regarding ticky-tack preferences. However, in a world increasingly falling into trouble with drugs and teen pregnancies, he will admonish the youth of the church to raise their personal morale, standards, and character by looking clean, to help us stay living clean. Following the advice given by the Prophet, will help us keep our standards high and worthy of the Holy Ghost. For example, receiving a tattoo is not a SIN. Not at all! However, the Prophet has said that one should respect their bodies and give others the impression that they are nice well mannered citizens by avoiding what the world may stereotype. He will quote the Bible in Corinthians where it says the "body is the Temple..." Just like Temples all over the world, we should treat our bodies Sacred and Holy as does the Buddhist in their Temples. We shouldn't dessicate our bodies and get tattoos. But, no one is less an upstanding member if has a "Mom" or "Rachel" tattoo on them.

    So, in summary of my response to your question, Fatboy. Our Church LOVES and RESPECTS all cultures. What Mormons in each church building all over the world teach on sunday afternoon or morning, WILL BE THE SAME DOCTRINE as laid out by Christ. Every church is unified in teaching the SAME doctrine's according to lesson plans laid out by Apostles and Prophet of our Church. If you were to attend a meeting in Hong Kong this Sunday you will be taught the same doctrine, you would receive that same day in Apia, Somoa. But, each different country will have their own different ways of living their lives.

    The people in Bali making their income from tourism doing those dances could join the church and continue doing those dances representing the traditions and culture of their people without any conflict of our religion. As long as they do it in representation and not in actual worship as did those from the past. However, I have never seen the Bali traditional dances and if they involved sex or human sacrifice (which I DOUBT they do) they would not be able to participate as a member of the church. But, if they don't blatantly reject Christ or break the commandments, then the wonderful and beautiful dances should ALWAYS be preserved! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] Without a doubt.

    If in the future Bali becomes like polynesia, and the Church grows in numbers, I guarantee the church will fund the building of a center similar to the Hawaiin Polynesian Center where the culture will be preserved, displayed, and will never die. That is, if they haven't built a similar center already! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Fatboy you'd be surprised. As obscure the Mormons seem, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a very strong presence all over the world. Our funds and supplies given in times of disaster and war are found in EVERY country. A funny story. A tornada hit a city causing GREAT damage. Our church responded with volunteers, food, medical supplies, and etc. The mayor or someone similar stated officially at a news conference the following. "We would like to thank the two churches whose support has been very crucial and generous. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and also the Mormons." (paraphrased) Innocently, this man had no idea that both churches were in fact the same. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Let me know if I could clarify even better what I mean. It's late right now and I'm doing my best to be as brief as possible while being very complete. I have enjoyed this communication with you very much, Fatboy. Thanks for being so nice and respectful with your questions too.
    Odysseus
    Wife and I in the Netherlands. Sure miss living out there.

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