User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 36 of 42 FirstFirst ... 26323334353637383940 ... LastLast
Results 281 to 288 of 329

Thread: Lets discuss beliefs

  1. #281
    scottychaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western New York, USA
    Posts
    2,970
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Luis,
    I was exactly like you when I was 16..
    I basically ignored all religion through my entire teens and 20's..
    on the rare occasions I did think about it, it was only to think of how wrong it all must be..
    for example, I know for a fact that evolution is real and creationism is pure fiction..I still believe that, and always will.
    because to me, which is more likely to be true? the entire fossil record of the planet, or a book?
    if the planet contradicts the book, which is more likely to be right?
    no contest..reality (the planet) is the truth and the book is fiction..no problem.
    so it follows that the bible is partly fiction..no problem, I can accept that.

    My parents sent my sister and I to Sunday school when we kids..like 4 or 5 years old.
    I was never clear why since we never went to church otherwise..
    I guess they just wanted us to get a basic underlying feel of our "cultural faith", even if they themselves werent "practicing"..
    and other than Sunday school, I had no further religious teaching at all..which suited me fine.
    I remember saying, just a few years ago, that "the LACK of religion while growing up was one of the greatest gifts my parents gave to me"
    because I felt all superior because I didnt have any religious "baggage"..which presumably made me more "open minded" right?
    now..im gratefull my parents gave me just that little nudge of Christian teaching..today I feel like it was a seed that was planted and laid dormant for 30 years..

    So now im 36..
    im engaged to a wondefull Woman who happens to be a Christian..
    it didnt bother me that She was a Christian and I wasnt, because I wasnt actively AGAINST religion in general, I had no real problems with it..it just "wasnt for me."
    So Deb always knew I was "a skeptic"..we talked about religion a lot in our early dating years..(we dated 5 years before we got engaged)
    So she asked me to read a few books that were written with skeptics in mind.
    so I said "sure"! because im open-minded right?

    The first book was "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel.
    its a book that looks at Jesus from the perspective of a skeptic, a historian, an archaeoligist..can we prove Jesus was real and was who he claimed to be by looking at historical evidence alone? good book!
    it makes a good case for the reality of Jesus *without* relying on just faith alone..

    the second book is excellent! I am really getting a lot out of it.
    it is "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.

    (Lewis is best known as the writer of the Narnia Chronicles, he was a devout athiest for many years, he went to College with JRR Tolkein and was one of his closest friends..it was through many discussions, over many years, on the subject of religion with Tolkien and others while they were students and professors at Oxford that led Lewis to eventually become a devout Christian..after being an unshakable athiest as a younger man!)

    So..the BBC asked Lewis to do a series of radio talks to the British public during WWII on the subject of Christianity, to try to explain basic faith to the war-weary public.
    Those radio talks are gathered together to make up the book "Mere Christianity"
    Lewis has several interesting theorys on WHY Christianity must be real, based only on human nature..going back to a very primal level. He starts it all out very simply, basically giving a simple theory that proves the existance of God!
    its very convincing..I cant find anything to dispute it.
    then he goes on to more and more complicated matters..but all the while still using the tone of someone talking to a skeptic..
    A quote on the back of the book says
    "C.S. Lewis is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who would like to be a Christian but finds his intellect getting in the way."
    that was SO me!!
    I kept convincing myself I was too smart to believe in all that nonsense!
    but the more I read and learn, and I have been going to church, the more sense it is all making..
    im changing, and im liking it! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    I can STILL believe in evolution over Creationism..because I can believe that God created life and evolution is his method for letting it change..
    I dont have to believe the entire bible is literal fact.
    and im fine with that.
    some people (Christians) will say I CANT believe that!
    but they are just humans..im not required to believe exactly what they believe. everyone has their own unique concept of God, their own unique relationship with God that is unlike anyone else's.. So if my "overall idea" of Christianity doesnt agree with someone else's 100%, then so be it..
    the minor details are different among the Christian sects, the main idea is the same.
    im not bothering with minor details right now..im just trying to get my mind around the big picture..
    the important thing is just trying to get to know God..another thing Lewis says is "if this analogy doesnt work for you, discard it"
    go with what makes sense to you..

    and another big bonus of that idea for me is I dont HAVE to be like the extreme "religious right" wackos!
    I cant stand them..the people who kill abortion doctors "in the name of God"..
    or the people who think THEIR persoal moral beliefs should be LAWS that everyone has to accept..grrrrrr..
    (im very strongly pro-gay rights, something a "Christian isnt supposed to believe in"..yeah right..since when is Jesus a big fan of opression?
    for years I disliked ALL of Christianity because of those kinds of extremists..
    well, I discovered most Christians are not those people at all!
    (just like the ideas of the 911 terrorists dont even remotely represent the truth about Islam.)
    So that was a big help to me..I can ignore certain "Christians" if I choose!! its ok to think they are wacked!
    I CAN be a Christian, have a real relationship with God, and I dont HAVE to agree with all those humans!
    woo hoo! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    that was quite a lightning-bolt for me..freed up my mind a lot.

    I would HIGHLY recommend "Mere Christianity" to anyone..
    its the first book that has really helped me make sense of religion..
    I feel like I hit the "pause" button at age 5 in Sunday school, skipped 30 years, and am just now "starting" again..
    im just starting to learn..
    and "starting to believe" is MUCH more intellectually challenging than NOT believing in religion was!
    I think there is FAR more to learn over on this side..
    Scot

  2. #282
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Western New York
    Posts
    18,768
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    To [)]: I tried to write within the quote, as I do in a PM and it didn't work out too well. Glad I answered the one I wasn't clear about. That reminds me too much of work. Someone would ask me a question and before I get my act together with an intelligent answer - they figure it out. Anyways...

    I'm not sure if you are referring to the canon or not, but I will assume so and answer accordingly. From what I have read, the O.T. was determined by several Jewish rabbis in 90 AD, at the Council Of Jamnia.

    The N.T. was an ongoing process for almost 3 centuries, argued over and haggled with, by many people. Different church fathers at different times and places, had differing lists of book - not radically different ones, but a little less than 90 %. Apparently what motivated all that was some Bishop (whose name escapes me) was a bit off the wall and came up with some heretical teachings. So people decided it was high time that they get together and put together a canon of the N.T.

    It is well known that we have no original manuscripts and there are different documents out there (Syriac, Septuaigint, and a few more). None of them are in perfect agreement. And of course that bothers a lot of people. It doesn't bother me because none of what is different or in dispute has anything to do with the very basic tenets of Christianity - or Jewish theology. And eveytime someone discovers some ancient parchment buried somewhere (like the Deads Sea Scrolls), it confirms what we have today. Again, looking at the big picture, the trees, as it were, nothing has changed. Nothing is contradictory. Nothing is inconsistent.

    To be sure, humans, with all their failings, have put the Old & New testaments together. And just like the people who have put the modern translations together, in spite of and because of their limitations, they pray for wisdom and guidance. They also get together with other people for checks and balances to guard against corruption, personal biases, etc... This is where trust comes into play - trust that God is somehow guiding these people to produce a document that accurately conveys what God wants. So we trust the Jews at Jamnia, the Christians at Nicea, and the highly educated folks of differing theological backgrounds, to reflect what God wants.

    The Bible is clear on the subject of "false teachers" trying to get people with "itchy ears" to be lured away from the truth. Ya don't need much. All you need is a charismatic individual with differing theology, combined with people who have just enough Biblical knowledge to be dangerous and confused, along with hurt and disillusionment. That formula produces an instant cult (Jim Jones, David Koresh, etc...)

    The Bible is also clear on "testing the spirits". If it doesn't come true, it isn't from God. If it contradicts the Bible - it doesn't hold water. I would consider an individual like Billy Graham to be a modern day prophet. There are others out there and there are charlatons as well. You best believe that a person like Billy Graham, with all that influence and respect, prays a lot and reads a lot, and tries to be as blameless before us all as he can be.

    I can't say much about God speaking in an audible voice, because I have never heard one. The bible speaks of a small, still voice - perhaps the holy Spirit, giving someone "a word from the Lord". Others pseak about perceiving an "impression" from God. Now this I can relate to. But any Christian worth their salt will pray for discernment as to whether it is from God, satan, or from one's own thoughts. That brings us back to "testing the spirits". The Bible is clear that anybody claiming to have "a word from the Lord" had better have some checks and balances in place before proclaiming anything.

    Did I answer your questions? If not, feel free to PM me and we can banter on the side.

    For those who are debating who killed Jesus: On a strictly human level, the Jewish leaders at the time very much wanted to do so, but were prohibited by their law. That is why they appealed to and manipulated the The political leaders (Herod & Pilate). Technically, Pilate made the human decision. Again, the Bible is clear that the responsibilty for the crucifixion was soley on Jesus. He specifically told Pilate that Pilate had no authority over Him, other than what God allowed. Jesus further said that He voluntarily laid his life down. This was all part of the plan that He talked about during His ministry. God sent His Son as a sacrifice, in order to save all humanity, if they put their faith in Him. Nothing is cryptic here. Read it for yourselves. The only thing required is a heart-felt faith.

  3. #283
    endparenthesis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    1,262
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (scottychaos @ Mar. 28 2005,5:20)]So she asked me to read a few books that were written with skeptics in mind. so I said "sure"! because im open-minded right?
    Out of curiosity (and playing devil's advocate again), have you read any similar books "for skeptics and people on the fence" describing other major religions? If so, how did they sound to you? If not, what happens if they're equally convincing?

    Many religions contain parallel messages (they come from the same roots, they agree on basic human rights in ways that intuitively make sense to us, etc.), but many of them also are entirely conflicting. Look at some of the eastern religions vs. some of the western ones on their basic view of reality itself.

    If you read similar excellent books, whilst trying to put the last book you read out of your mind temporarily, and they all turned out to be extremely persuasive and you could find yourself agreeing with all of them on their own merit... well, how would you personally reconcile that? I guess gut instinct would probably be the last thing you have to go on? Or you'd just consider them all different pieces of the puzzle like a lot of people do?

    Not to question the strength of your beliefs, but in general I'm convinced that a lot of Americans are christian simply because we're in a primarily christian environment. If some of those people had been born in a muslim environment, they'd be muslim. They're bombarded with arguments that sound extremely convincing from one religion, and hear almost nothing from the others. They haven't been exposed, or exposed themselves, to the equally convincing arguments from those other places, either because they feel their belief systems are "finished", or because they hear how silly those other beliefs are from the authority figures in their own churches and don't bother.

    When it comes down to it, for many of them they believe what they believe because they just happened to read one book first rather than another. It was the appeal to the part of them that needs to believe they aren't alone that was important.

    It's weird how in this forum it feels like there's this christian-athiest polarity... as if those are the only two options available to us. All part of being in a christian country I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (jimscott @ Mar. 28 2005,5:47)]Did I answer your questions? If not, feel free to PM me and we can banter on the side.
    I think so. Like I said, I was going through hypotheticals.

  4. #284

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,344
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]ok no offense alpha but if thats the way you think then constantine, julius ceasar, tiberius, nero, the assiarians, confucius, the tokogawa clan, etc... are all not historical facts, you might believe they existed but they are not facts.
    I really don't know what the situation is with those people but I can't call something a historical fact with just the things you've shown me. Why?
    Tacitus- if the date of his birth is right, he was BORN about 25 years after jesus was supposed to have died, so he must have gotten his information from someone else. Considering that myths and legends about now (even more so back then), it wouldn't be surprising at all that his source might have been mistaken.
    also the way he said it... "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea" I don't know his writing style or anything but for all I know he was just writing like people today do. That isn't saying christ was a historical fact, that is saying christianity is named after christ who died in the hands of...
    Pliny the Younger- born even later than tacitus, and he said:
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath
    that's just describing christianity. If you really want to you can interpret it as saying that christ who was a real person was treated as a god but that's stretching it.
    Josephus-
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he . . . wrought surprising feats. . . . He was the Christ. When Pilate . . .condemned him to be crucified, those who had . . . come to love him did not give up their affection for him. On the third day he appeared . . . restored to life. . . . And the tribe of Christians . . . has . . . not disappeared
    ... that's just like the bible! I don't see why I should believe that he thought jesus was a historical fact. Just like I shouldn't believe that "on the third day he appeared... restored to life" is fact.
    the Babylonian Talmud- the dates are when it was compiled... so that really doesn't mean anything... ok, if hanged and if yeshu mean what they say there, then that's pretty good.
    Lucian- born 120 AD, same as Pliny the Younger.
    so what do we have? a couple of bad sources and one talmud which I don't really know anything about so I can't say.
    Not enough for me to say jesus was a historical fact.
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
    wikipedia rocks! (except for species info)(CPers-add your vast knowledge of CPs to wikipedia&#33
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it
    Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything

  5. #285

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Zone 9
    Posts
    455
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Not to question the strength of your beliefs, but in general I'm convinced that a lot of Americans are christian simply because we're in a primarily christian environment. If some of those people had been born in a muslim environment, they'd be muslim. They're bombarded with arguments that sound extremely convincing from one religion, and hear almost nothing from the others. They haven't been exposed, or exposed themselves, to the equally convincing arguments from those other places, either because they feel their belief systems are "finished", or because they hear how silly those other beliefs are from the authority figures in their own churches and don't bother.
    True. We get bombarded from early childhood with certain ideas; the whole public school system has had all religion taken out of it.

    Peter
    the cellist

  6. #286

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,344
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I was exactly like you when I was 16..
    I basically ignored all religion through my entire teens and 20's..
    Maybe you were like me but I'm not like you :P.
    I don't ignore religion... I like to talk about it as you all know.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]so it follows that the bible is partly fiction..no problem, I can accept that.
    I can't. If I'm going to base my spiritual beliefs on something, I want it to be real and not fiction. If one part is fiction, how much else is fiction? Why would a book inspired by god have any fiction in it?
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] I wasnt actively AGAINST religion in general, I had no real problems with it..it just "wasnt for me."
    I wouldn't say I'm really AGAINST religion but I am in a way... I'm definately against religion for myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]basically giving a simple theory that proves the existance of God!
    its very convincing..I cant find anything to dispute it.
    Since I don't have that book anywhere close and since it's so simple... can you tell us what the theory is? maybe we can find something to dispute it [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]"C.S. Lewis is the ideal persuader for the half-convinced, for the good man who would like to be a Christian but finds his intellect getting in the way."
    I am DEFINATELY nowhere like that. I'm not even 1/10th convinced nor do I want to be a christian, and my intellect gets on the way of nothing :P
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]So if my "overall idea" of Christianity doesnt agree with someone else's 100%, then so be it..
    it's not about disagreeing with someone else's, it's about disagreeing with the bible. The bible says adam was created from dust and eve was created from his rib. it also says noah built an ark and got all the land animals there.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]for years I disliked ALL of Christianity because of those kinds of extremists..
    well, I discovered most Christians are not those people at all!
    I don't dislike the people themselves, I dislike their ideas and why they have those ideas. I have many christian friends and I know the vast majority of christians aren't like those extremists.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I think there is FAR more to learn over on this side..
    like?

    I'm going to try to read that book some time, but I can't promise it'll be any time soon. I have tons of other things i'm supposed to read first :P want to know how many links I have in my "to do" folder? 35 (and most of them are about science! that should say a lot). other people have also recomended me other books, etc.

    And also like I said a while back, I don't believe just because there's no historical evidence or something for some things said in the bible, it's that the mere concept itself doesn't make sense to me. I also can't ignore questions like where god came from, why he created anything, why he created us so we could suffer, why he punishes people FOR ALL ETERNITY (does anyone here get what for all eternity is? I know I don't...), why he doesn't give us good reasons to believe, etc...
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
    wikipedia rocks! (except for species info)(CPers-add your vast knowledge of CPs to wikipedia&#33
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it
    Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything

  7. #287

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    2,344
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]True. We get bombarded from early childhood with certain ideas; the whole public school system has had all religion taken out of it.
    since when is public school your whole life?

    (darn I'm tired)
    Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish-Euripides
    wikipedia rocks! (except for species info)(CPers-add your vast knowledge of CPs to wikipedia&#33
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it
    Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything

  8. #288
    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    3,472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the only real problem i have with christianity is that harcore christians= hardcore republicans, wich wouldnt be a big deal at all exept hardcore republicans= bad for the enviorment
    that makes no logic

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •