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View Poll Results: Survey on Member Religious Preferences - Choose what best describes your beliefs

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  • Far East religions i.e. Taoism, Hinduism, Confuciousism, Buddhism, etc.

    3 2.75%
  • Islamic religions

    0 0%
  • Jewish religions i.e. Messianical Jew, Yiddish, Orthodox etc.

    0 0%
  • Christian religions organized before 1800 A.D.

    19 17.43%
  • Christian religions organized after 1800 A.D.

    24 22.02%
  • Pagan

    4 3.67%
  • Atheist

    23 21.10%
  • Different religion not based on a belief of traditional God(s).

    2 1.83%
  • I draw my beliefs from one or more religious traditions to make it my own.

    16 14.68%
  • Don't affiliate with a religion or have any interest.

    18 16.51%
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Thread: Survey on Member Religious Preferences

  1. #241
    fatboy's Avatar
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    Peter:
    Before I go on I want to make sure you don't misinterpret my intentions here. If you wake up in the morning and feel like you have a best friend to watch over you and it makes you a better person then I'm all for it and have no desire to try and convince you that you are wrong. My reason for chiming in here is simply that Aaron obviously has his own, similar feelings yet because his opinions about his best friend are different to yours you are now telling him that he is wrong and I feel he is being ganged up on because he is in the minority.

    People have believed in gods of some type or other as far back as recorded history and it's a pretty safe bet to assume that each group has always thought that their god was the only REAL one. Even now, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Christians all have a book that is claimed as being "The Book" and each group is sure that theirs is the right one? The one thing you all have in common is that you only have human interpretation to go by when following whichever book you use and it's quite arrogant to tell people that your interpretation is 100% correct and someone else's is wrong.

    Let's take the Bible as an example. Imagine that every member of your church was to read it in isolation (of each other), and each person was then interviewed in detail about what each story in the bible meant, what were the nuances of the original authors, what was on their minds, etc. I am positive that no two people would read the same thing into every word and story in the entire book. This is made even more difficult by the fact that you are not even reading it in language it was originally written in!
    I speak English, Indonesian and Japanese quite well and I can tell you there are words in all three of those languages that simply don't translate properly from one language into another. You can get close, but not exact and depending on the complexity of the language and also the way people of a particular race think, it can be almost impossible to try and translate some things. Try translating a sarcastic comment into either Japanese or Indonesian. A Japanese friend of mine rang me up last week to ask me what I was wearing to a party and I told him a ballerina's tutu. The phone was silent for about 15 seconds and then he asked, in all seriousness, what colour? It doesn't work; neither of those races appreciates that type of humour.

    Now, you have a 2,000 year old book that was written by a couple of different races of people that are quite alien to you, in a time that is quite alien to you, and that has been translated from several different languages, and you are trying to tell someone that their interpretation of some of the words is incorrect? Think about it...

    Wolfpackgurl:

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] There is more then just that that sums up Christianity that just shows that we are a religion.
    Exactly!
    It does just show that you are a religion, and that is what it was meant to do. It does not say that is ALL that you do as a religion but those points are what qualifies something as a religion.
    Do you believe in a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe (ie God)?
    Yes? Then your belief is called a religion.

    Do you follow a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader (ie Jesus)?
    Yes? Then your belief is called a religion.

    Christianity is a religion.
    You can try to deny it all you want however if you said yes to either or both of the above two points then you would be wrong. Religion is simply a term to describe something and not at all derogatory and I think that denial that your belief is a religion is just an attempt at trying to make your religion appear more legitimate.

    Mike:

    Thanks for your input too

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] Thanks for your input, but the creation story does not demand a literal interpretation of genesis Chapter 1. With the you can have various styles of writing; poetry, history, letters, prophecy, picture language,the law and even song! That does give the reader an insight how to interpret. For example, how are we to interpret "A third of all the stars fell to earth.." in Revelation?

    To answer briefly about the creation story, it is a poem ( it actually rhymes in its original language) to remember the Sabbath. In essence, the truth is God brought it all about. The Hebrew word 'Yom' which is used for day is not neccessarily a 24 hour period, but a period of time. Though God could have spoken the Earth in an old state, that is not his character at all.
    I personally believe in a 15,000,000,000 year old Universe, but I see no basis for conflict between Science and religion, after all Einstein said "Science without Religion is blind, religion without science is lame'. Stephen Hawking was quoted to have said when coming with the Big Bang theory there is a place for God in all this.
    Pure speculation and interpretation as per my post above to Peter.
    I have read a lot of the Bible (I admit to finding it difficult to wade through some parts of the OT) and read Genesis most recently just a few weeks ago and I didn't notice any side notes saying which parts of the Bible were not meant to be taken literally?
    How can you read a book that is claimed to be the word of God and "know" which parts are to be taken literally and which are not if it is not specified? Again, unless you were there and directly involved in the original writing of the book then your understanding will be rudimentary at best.
    I too have read Hawking, his references to God were pretty vague and his leaving them out wouldn't have made any difference to the book.

    Can I ask, does God actually speak with you?
    If this is personal then that's fine but I am intrigued.
    If you don't mind then I'd like to know what kind of voice God has, male or female? Old, young? What kinds of things does God say?
    I would LOVE to find that there is a God, why would I not?
    If God really speaks to you then I will be the first to admit that I am wrong.

    If he doesn't then it isn't a relationship any more than you can have a relationship with a chair or your TV.

    Cheers, Troy.

  2. #242
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    Troy,
    Christianity as a religion is not a bad thing. What I am saying is that many people just view it as the beleif in God and the rules that go with it. Following Christ does not just mean following all the laws of the Bible and going to church every week. I call Christianity a faith, rather than a religion.

    This is not a matter of me being right and others being wrong. I have found everything in the Bible to be true. If I found one flaw, I'd start living for myself right away. God has worked through me in ways that I cannot deny his existence. Many of these things would never have happened by chance. There is no part of the Bible that can be scientifically disproven. Neither can anything contradictory to the Bible be proven. How can someone be right if they beleive two contradictory things?
    Peter

  3. #243
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    Peter

    The definition of religion that I posted doesn't go into the specifics of how devoted people must be in their beliefs, or how they implement those beliefs into their lives and in the context of the definition it is irrelevant. The fact that you hold those beliefs is the definition of religion.

    If you want flaws in the bible and are willing to objectively read them type “debunking” and "bible" into google and you’ll get pages and pages. Try this one for a starter http://www.cygnus-study.com/

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]There is no part of the Bible that can be scientifically disproven. Neither can anything contradictory to the Bible be proven.
    I disagree with science not being able to disprove events depicted in the bible however the point is moot, science doesn't need to. The bible does a good enough job contradicting itself. Have a look at this page:

    Biblical contradictions

    Two people cannot be right if they believe two contradictory things, that isn’t my point. My point is that you need to consider the fact that it may not be you that is right, and I wanted to demonstrate that your basis for being so sure you hold a monopoly on correct interpretations is not actually that solid.

    Cheers, Troy.




  4. #244

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    Hi Troy,
    Though I have never heard the audible voice og God, I have heard him speak clearly to me. The primary way how God speaks is through the bible to Christians, but just now then he leaves a strong impression on someone or speks through another Christian in the words of prophecy or word of knowledge (See 1 Corinthians Ch 12 about spritual gifts!) and have had many word spoken over me which was absolutely spot on for me. The speaker had no idea about me or my situation at the time.
    For my own experience, I felt God clearly speaking to me about seeking him in 1990 when I had a difficult time spiritually speaking which I will nnever forget.

    If you want my study notes on biblical interpretation, I will gladly email them to you.

    The difference between Christianity and other religions is with Christianity you God seaking man, and with religions you have man seaking God. All other religions saay 'Thats the way, do that...' and with Jesus he said 'I AM the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me..'

    An astonishing claim!
    Best Regards

    Mike King

    NCCPG National collection holder of Sarracenia

    http://www.carnivorousplants.uk.com

  5. #245
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Troy, may I call you Troy? As Mike has said, the Bible has many writers, with different personalities and styles, with different motives for writing what they wrote. Some of it is historical. Some of it is poetry. Some is wisdom. Some is praise. Some is chewing out people for their apostacy. Looking at the context of the particulat book or letter or writng, one can usually determine what is metaphorical as opposed to literal. Yes, Christians do debate some things - but these are truly peripheral issues to the main message: We are sinners; we deserve spiritual / eternal death; God loves us anyway; God provided the way for our salvation; All we need to do is put our faith / confidence in Jesus.

    It is true that if you allowed a bunch of people to read the Bible and then took a poll as to what they got out of it - you would find differences - and some of those differences eventually lead to off the wall / dangerous theology. That is why the Bible itself encourages us to "not forsake the gathering of the brethren." We need each other, not only for worship, but for checks and balances. Many Christians attend Bible studies to learn and grow as well as help prevent bad theology. that doesn't mean that all will or even should see eye to eye in all applications to their lives. That is because we are different in our strengths and weaknesses. For example, one Christian may have been an alcoholic and now has to refrain totally from anything that remotely puts them in a situation of temptation / spiral again. Anther may have never had a problem with alcohol and can have an occasional beer without it becoming a major disaster. Their views / applications to specific things will be different. The Bible allows for differences of application because we are different from each other.

    If one is truly desiring to know how to interpret the Bible, correctly, then all one needs to do is ask God for Him guidance / instruction / perspective. You pray. You read. You get help from folks that have more experience. You seek checks and balances from other people. You don't put yourself in a position to be a "lone wolf" and make the Bible say what you want to believe. You sincerely have the Bible shape you - not the other way around.

    So, your homework assignment is: 1)Ask God for His theology. 2)You read His Word. 3)You get with Christians to get their input. 4)Repeat steps 1->3, repeatedly.

  6. #246
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    As for the first example the website you posted it is obviously written by someone who has never studied the Bible. We have all been created by God, so he owns us. He allows us to make our own choices, but he still has complete authority over us. When he instructed the Israelites to go to war over other nations, he was merely using them to carry out his plan. In the ten commandments God commanded us not to kill (or murder). We don't have the authority or ability to judge other humans. As I said, God owns us, so it is up to him to allow us to live or not.
    Peter

  7. #247
    fatboy's Avatar
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    Mike:


    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Though I have never heard the audible voice og God, I have heard him speak clearly to me. The primary way how God speaks is through the bible to Christians
    Disappointing, but hardly surprising.
    But that's enough, I don't wish to try to belittle or detract from whatever it is you feel. If it is God then you are lucky to have such close contact with him/ her.

    Jim:

    LOL - Please call me Troy! That's my name.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]As Mike has said, the Bible has many writers, with different personalities and styles, with different motives for writing what they wrote.
    My understanding is that the bible is God's word.
    If everyone had different motive's when they wrote their contribution then the person reading it is subject to whatever motives the writer had. As you have already agreed, 10 people can write or describe the same thing and yet see it differently. This leaves massive room for error and only increases my doubts about the veracity of the Bible.

    I can agree with the content of much of your post as you seem to be able to understand that there is a possibility of various interpretations of what is in the Bible. That is what I hoped for with my posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] Looking at the context of the particulat book or letter or writng, one can usually determine what is metaphorical as opposed to literal.
    Given the factors I have outlined in previous posts I am highly sceptical that you can determine these things as they were intended by the orginal author. Christians firmly believed that the earth was created in 6 days until this was scientifically disproven and then this part of Genesis suddenly became a metaphor? It's a matter of convenience rather than determination.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]You sincerely have the Bible shape you - not the other way around.
    If you are "determining" what people meant rather than reading it and taking it literally then aren't you shaping the Bible?

    Again you allude to "knowing" what is correct in the Bible.
    I "know" there is no Christian God.
    When it comes to sheer numbers of people, I am in the majority on this earth so who is right?

    Peter:
    I not someone's tool.
    Particularly if that someone is petty and hypocritical ie telling us not to kill and then ordering it on a grand scale themselves.

    In Exodus 11:9 God sends ten plagues on Egypt because Pharaoh won't release the Hebrews, but he deliberately hardens Pharaoh's heart so he refuses to release the Hebrews making these plagues necessary in the first place - God admits this is so he can perform 'his wonders'.

    How do HONESTLY reconcile, in your mind and in your heart, that your god, who is supposed to be all loving, can do things like this?
    I am not asking you for an answer, just think about the ethics of it.
    If I have to resort to your kind of reasoning to excuse this kind of hypocracy then I figure my life is better without him.

    Cheers, Troy.




  8. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I not someone's tool.
    Troy, I beg to differ. God uses everybody wether in a good way or a bad way to carry out his plan. Sure, you make your own choices. But God often puts circumstances in your life to make certain decisions. Since I started living for God I have seen him use me in good ways.

    If Pharaoh had previously treated the Israelites well, the issue would probably never have come up. He didn't, so there was no reason for God not to have hardened his heart.

    God may love everybody, but that doesn't mean that he'll ignore sin. God created us, he has complete authority over us, and doesn't need us. He wouldn't be wrong to give us all miserable lives and use us for his own entertainment. Yet he has done so much for us, and even gave us the possibility to live with him eternally. What do we do? We ignore his presence, and in some cases bow down to other "gods".

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I am not asking you for an answer, just think about the ethics of it.
    God doesn't work by ethics. Ethics are what man has put in place of morals. Imagine you made a bunch of lego people. You give them a set of rules to follow for their own safety. Instead they ignore you, and break all the rules. They think they know what is right and what is wrong, and go by that. The go and make their own legos, which they hold in greater respect than you. You would be completely right to rip every single lego apart.

    Every time God commanded the Israelites to go attack another nation, he provided a good reason. He was fully justified to do so.

    Peter

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