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#935340 - 12/05/11 05:43 PM Christianity Question...  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
I'll be the first to admit that I know little about Christianity. I do know in order to get to Heaven one must be born again.

Now the question...

If I were "born again", I would spend eternity with the Lord in Heaven. Heaven from my understanding is a wonderful place - free of pain, filled with joy, and having peace in my heart forever.

Now... what if I made the cut and my two sons didn't? How exactly am I suppose to be free of pain and have peace in my heart if my two sons are suffering in the bowels of Hell?

This conflict of the concept "Heaven" would affect most of us (at least the ones going to Heaven).

So I'm asking any born again Christians to explain this if they can.

Please, no nasty attacks on anyone responding to this question. That's not my intent in asking this.

Thanks, John smile

#935343 - 12/05/11 06:08 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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glynda Offline
glynda  Offline

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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 8,557
Princeton Texas
I can't answer your question John...but, I feel I'm going to Heaven, cause I feel I've done all my bad time...and being so sick lately, I really have felt closer to God...he has been by me for a long time now..every since my mom died..at times I didn't know what we/I was gonna do..and he always showed me the way...so, even if I don't know your answer...I feel you and your sons are gonna be ok......and be together......

glyn

#935349 - 12/05/11 07:50 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: glynda]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Glad to hear you feel close to God. Hope the future treats you better.

My question just pertains to the "born again" concept in getting into Heaven.

Thanks for replying Glyn.

Take care, John smile

#935355 - 12/05/11 09:13 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Feb 2005
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Hi John:

You have opened the door to that part of Christianity I have always wondered about. I have never had the concept of Heaven explained to my complete understanding. Instead, I have blindly accepted that it would be a better place than the earth we presently inhabit.

In my deepest hiding place... I have wondered if the "ancients" developed the concept to keep the faithful "hitched to the wagon." I have also wondered if the concept of the "other place" (hell) is not really what we make of our lives while we exist as humans on earth. I have rationalized that having these doubts does not conflict with my faith. Ultimately, Christianity is primarily the belief that goodness will overcome evil... through the acceptance that Jesus was the Son of God and died for our sins.

As a Christian, I do not expect to be rewarded. To my way of thinking, being "born again" is nothing more than having belief in Christ and all he stood for. I do not link Heaven with being born again... but I also know that many Christians do.

I do know that the Colonies that became the United States were Christian settlements and that the resulting Country was a Christian Nation for hundreds of years until our Corrupt High Court began to chip away at the cornerstone that made us a great nation. I wonder how the high courts in Saudi Arabia would respond if I told them they must change their government to accomodate my beliefs at the expense of their core beliefs?

My guess is that I would disappear quickly and painfully with my head on a lance. How the Supreme Court rationalized their way into their present position on separation of church and state is a mystery to me? Our coins state, "In God We Trust!"

Toleration is fine... but not at the expense of being a Christian Nation.

Merry Christmas!

#935365 - 12/05/11 09:59 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Dave Rice]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

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Well I am an Atheist as you all probably know by now..the concept of God or heaven is a non starter with me as it is so full of ambiguities and holes it could not possibly exist....The question that always puzzles me MOST is...what about the folk who have never heard of Christ or are so indoctrinated from birth into other beliefs that they will never get a chance to be born again... are they going to be denied on account of being ignorant about the existance of Jesus Christ till they reach the pearly gates ?...I do not think that the born again concept or the interpretation most folk put on it has been thought through.....how can there be a wonderful place called heaven...when everyone has such a different view of peace and happiness....some folks nirvanna would be other folks hell.

#935376 - 12/05/11 11:16 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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There is only one definition of "born again" that makes any logical sense to me. When a baby is born, it is a new creature with no regrets, baggage, remembrances, or expectations.

There is no way the conventional Christian belief is possible because it would mean that the "sinner" would be aware of his, (all be it) forgiven past. If Heaven is the pure bliss and all it's inhabitant's are pure, that implies no remembrance of a former life. Heaven would be so full of light that the only possible way we could experience it and remember loved ones in this life is that there is a spiritual component to all of us now that only is cognoscente of the spiritual identity of others. So, if you have any hope for heaven, give up the childish idea that it is some kind of Cosmic Reward in the hereafter. If it is real, it must be something like a child being born, no remembrance of an old life. God, which must by definition be the Great MIND, is assumed to be a better Father than us earthlings, so ask yourself, "If God is Love and I love my children and would never wish them harm, how much greater must be the Love of this Great Mind be".

Big Jim doesn't believe in the Christian God and who can blame him? The Christian God, as espoused by conventional Christianity is a cruel insult to mankind. It would make God manlike instead of Man Godlike-a requirement for Heaven, wouldn't you think? However, hidden in the Gospels you will find, if you really try to think independently, the Truth and yes, Fundamentalist, the life of Jesus is the key but not the way you think it is. It is the key by the life he lived, not because you have cherry picked Gospel lines and "invented" the idea that Jesus died for our sins and that the death somehow pays for all our transgressions. No Jesus didn't pay- we will have to pay until we get it right. Jesus has been made and scapegoat and that infuriates people like Jim, who is probably more Agnostic than atheist. To be honest, all of us are agnostic because we just don't know and will probably never know. My Father asked this question in a poem written 60 years ago. One stanza is:

What is this thing we know as life?
Extreme degrees of wealth and strife?
Or is it Hell and Heaven too?
Depending upon your point of view? *

Samuel Russel Harris "The Elephant Child revisited" 1950


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#935382 - 12/06/11 12:03 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Samuel Harris]  
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Lynn Orloff Offline
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Lynn Orloff  Offline
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PA of the great USA
John it's so good you are asking. You may get dozens of different answers. In the end, only you can decide since you have a God given free will. It is the most important decision you will ever make in your entire life, because by not accepting this free gift you are rejecting God so it is a decision either way. I do know that being born again means being born of the spirit. When we are born we have a physical birth when our mother delivers us through childbirth. When and if we come to accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior we become born again, i.e. born of the spirit. It's not a second physical birth but rather a first spiritual birth. This happens very simply by asking for forgiveness and meaning it. The answer is always yes and God knows your heart. Nothing more nothing less nothing else. I am not at all a "religious" person but rather I have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, big difference!!!

As far as getting saved and then realizing there may be family members or loved ones you feel are not, well I am not totally sure on this issue so I looked up that question and this is what I found (whether it's technically 100% correct I am not sure)

Question: "Will we remember our earthly lives when we are in Heaven?"

Answer: Isaiah 65:17 tells us, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” Some interpret Isaiah 65:17 as saying that we will have no memory of our earthly lives in heaven. However, one verse earlier in Isaiah 65:16, the Bible says, “For the past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from my eyes.” It is likely only our “past troubles” that will be forgotten – not all of our memories. Our memories will be cleansed, redeemed, healed, and restored – not erased. There is no reason why we could not possess many memories from our earthly lives. The memories that will be cleansed are the ones that involve sin, pain, and sadness. Revelation 21:4 declares, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Hope this helps John and I may I say very humbly, I am no expert on all things biblical, but basically it comes down to whether or not you believe the Bible. Some do some don't and it's always been like that since the beginning of time and will be till the end. Very simply I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died for sinners of which I am one, I believe with my whole heart I will spend eternity in Heaven and I do believe in Hell as well.

Call me crazy, call me kooky
Call me nitwit, call me loopy
Words like that they don't offend me
I have Jesus who defends me
Someday He will call my name
At Heaven's pearly gates
I know I'll be invited in
And man will it be great!!! smile


Best of decisions,
Lynn smile



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Always open to collaborations smile

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#935390 - 12/06/11 12:31 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Lynn Orloff]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Well John,
They say the written word goes back about 6000 years so people have been pondering, mumbling, bickering, authorizing about this for at least that long. And the final answer is just as far as it was 6000 years ago. And, there is a lot of info that people take for fact that is pure fiction. At least one noted gospel type said several decades ago that the Bible doesn't promise you you will go to Heaven.

There is the Practical side of Religion that everybody pretty much agrees on and then there is the Theoretical side that the Jury is still out on. I have always done the best I can and never worry about the consquenses.

The esteemed Billy Graham tells people on one side of the coin to Accept Jesus as there Savior but on the other side of the coin tells them nothing they do will get them into Heaven. So, that begs the question, why try to do anything good, it isn't going to help you get into Heaven. Now my take is there is no such thing as being saved or no such thing as being lost. And it is amazing how people can get it all screwed up. And you will never hear anyone in a Church asking pointed questions. Those that do usually wind up leaving for another church, or starting their own. Glad to clear things up.


Ray E. Strode
#935400 - 12/06/11 03:52 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


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Nashville Tennessee
Simple: remember Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own saying, "There's no crying in baseball?" Well, there's no mourning in heaven. It's here where we mourn and fear, so it's here where I encourage everyone, my family and my friends, to let Jesus come into their lives.

And Ray, the old "Faith vs. Works" has been hashed over for two thousand years. You can read a lot of it in the writings of Paul and mostly it comes down to this: you only have to believe to be saved, you're saved by grace, you don't have to do good works...but once you're saved you'll want to do good works.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

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Mike Dunbar Music

#935412 - 12/06/11 09:52 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


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Discussion is fine. Attacks are not. If people want to discuss this without attacks and insults, then fine. But it's all on a short short leash. So act accordingly. If you are not comfortable communicating and exchanging ideas or opinions that do not insult or attack others personally, then don't respond on this thread.

Proceed with care and caution or not at all.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#935413 - 12/06/11 10:01 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Question for Christians.....will I as an Atheist/Agnostic who has spent most of my life disputing the existence of God and questioning the morals and ethics of religions be saved?...Now I am a basic honest person who tries very hard to help my fellow humans ...but do not believe in God or at the very least have major issues with the way God is perceived and the corruptness of most religions....I simply do not get it how folk who have been cruel and dishonest to their fellows get saved but I do not....simply cause they claim to be born again and I do not....When it comes to the day of judgement....and it will be a long day with all those billions of folk who have ever lived being there....I hope I am not near the end of the queue....I think that I would have more to say in judgement about the way God has behaved than he would have to complain about my life... and like a true Brit I would complain bitterly about him keeping me waiting and his poor service to mankind....another question for Christians is what happens if God is Muslim, or Hindu or a Jew or some other religion or perhaps none of the recognised manmade religions...or heaven forbid a woman?...they will be left with a lot of egg on their faces.
I adopt the opinion that we invented God not the other way around.....cause if he had created us then even assuming he was less than perfect he should have made a better job of it....what kind of compassionate creator stands around and just watches as his imperfect creation goes into self destruct mode....if he made the world in six days it would take less than a heart beat to sort it out.....why has he allowed all this to happen?

#935420 - 12/06/11 11:56 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Aug 2002
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Everett Adams Online content
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Everett Adams  Online Content
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,NL Canada
Lynn and Mike got it right. We are all sinners living in a sinful world,the prince of this world is Satan. We are influenced by him every day to do evil. God sent His only son to tell us the right way to go to enter into heaven, He was crucified by the religious leaders of that day,but that was part of God's salvation plan.Pure blood had to be shed for forgivness of our sins, if we believe it and accept Jesus as our saviour,we are saved, if we do not,then we are lost. Jesus said" If you have me, you have the Father, if you don't have me, you have not the Father".

All the info you are seeking is in the bible, read it with an open mind and an open heart,truely seeking the truth and it will be revealed unto you.God wants no man to be lost,Satan wants every man to be lost,choose which one you will follow.If you are not for Jesus, you are against Him,there is no neutral ground in this battle for souls.

#935426 - 12/06/11 01:10 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Everett Adams]  
Joined: May 2001
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Well,
This conversation can go on forever. It has been rumored that at one time things were perfect in Heaven. But, your friend and mind, namely Lucifer, threw a monkey wrench into the works. Now a point to ponder, if thing were ever perfect in Heaven, they would have had to be perfect for Lucifer too. So if things were perfect for Lucifer, he would have never rebelled, would he?

And just to throw gasoline on the fire, why did this all powerful, all knowing God make all of us imperfect individuals and expect us to know exactly what to do to fix the problem? Yes, there are more questions than Cartier's little liver pills and the beat goes on. Some of you remember that Preacher that predicted the end of the world, a few weeks ago. And then we have the Mayan Calender, so beware of December 21, 2012.


Ray E. Strode
#935427 - 12/06/11 01:40 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Dottie Offline
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Dottie  Offline
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Hi Jim,

I don't pretend to know much about God but I have read a lot of the Bible and I'm a firm believer. I was very fortunate to have had the grandfather I had. He was the most spiritual person I've ever Known. You may not believe this but people would go to him that had warts and he would touch them, pray and they would go away. You could see peace in his eyes like I've not seen since. So because of him I've never doubted that God exist.

Again I don't pretend to know much but this is what I believe.

Question for Christians.....will I as an Atheist/Agnostic who has spent most of my life disputing the existence of God and questioning the morals and ethics of religions be saved?...If you ask God to save you and you sincerely mean it he will. Now I am a basic honest person who tries very hard to help my fellow humans ...but do not believe in God or at the very least have major issues with the way God is perceived and the corruptness of most religions..I couldn't agree with you more about this, people use God for their interest, it's very sad..I simply do not get it how folk who have been cruel and dishonest to their fellows get saved but I do not..Jesus said this and I've always loved this! If two man owe a debt one owes a LOT and the other a little, if both of their debts are wiped clean which man will be the most grateful? The more forgiveness the more love. So yes I believe you can be save no matter what you've done if you sincerely want to be. You can,anyone can...simply cause they claim to be born again and I do not....When it comes to the day of judgement....and it will be a long day with all those billions of folk who have ever lived being there....I hope I am not near the end of the queue....I think that I would have more to say in judgement about the way God has behaved than he would have to complain about my life... and like a true Brit I would complain bitterly about him keeping me waiting and his poor service to mankind..I can't remember where I heard this but it's another thing that has stuck with me. Someone was complaining/praying asking God why do you let all these people starve to death and his responce was why do you. The Bible cleary tells us to feed the hungry, to help those in need and if everyone did that no one would be hungry.[/color].another question for Christians is what happens if God is Muslim, or Hindu or a Jew or some other religion or perhaps none of the recognised manmade religions.I think that what's important is that you believe he exist. He is the truth/word and then the word was made flesh which was Jesus. He was made flesh to live among us, to spread the truth, to experience life as a human, to show us how we should live. He had witnesses to spread the word after his death. I can see where it would be hard to believe, if I hadn't seen God work in a FEW people I might not believe either. There is so much we don't understand that's where faith comes in. If we had all the answers there would be no need for faith..or heaven forbid a woman?.God is a spirit or at least that's what I've read and believe.I don't believe he's black, white a man or woman .they will be left with a lot of egg on their faces.
I adopt the opinion that we invented God not the other way around.....cause if he had created us then even assuming he was less than perfect he should have made a better job of it.I think he gave us everything we need to become wonderful, loving caring people, but it's our choice. He wants us to love him because we want to...what kind of compassionate creator stands around and just watches as his imperfect creation goes into self destruct mode. Again we live here, I think we should be the ones that help folks that need help. Jesus showed us how to live but it's up to each of us to do it ..if he made the world in six days it would take less than a heart beat to sort it out.....why has he allowed all this to happen? Why do we allow it, I believe that's the question we should be asking. smile

Of course this is just what I believe based on what little I know mixed with faith!

Dottie

Last edited by Dottie; 12/06/11 01:44 PM.
#935428 - 12/06/11 01:40 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Everett Adams]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Thanks for all the replies. I absorb them all.

Lynn answered my specific question, and I especially thank you for that: "Answer: Isaiah 65:17 tells us, “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”

Though this "born again" Biblical answer is a bit troubling to me, I can see this would be the only way to handle the conflict of leaving loved ones behind.

What is more troubling, I feel Heaven is built on a false premise. With the erasing of our memories, reality becomes fantasy, thus, our happiness in Heaven is only possible by extracting those we loved most from our minds. Shielding us from painful realities by deception.

Though I'd be delighted to discover an afterlife if loved ones were included, I find this scenario and quote: "we are an end in ourselves" a bit kinder.

I was born with a free will and developed an objective mind, but it appears having unconditional faith in the New Testament (being born again) is the only key that unlocks Heaven's Gate.

Though I believe that "life" (being born, created, coming into existence, and everything else) was the work of the Creator (God) and didn't happen from an accidental "Big Bang", at the same time the Biblical stance of being born again as a prerequisite in entering Heaven doesn't sound logical.

Thanks to everyone for their opinions and info and especially for keeping this discussion civilized.

Best, John smile


#935430 - 12/06/11 01:53 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Dottie Offline
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Hi John,

I don't believe that there will be any sorrow in heaven and that we are all brothers and sister. That's what Jesus was trying to teach us, love your neighbor as you love yourself. If we worried about our neighbors care and comfort like we worry about ourself can you imagine what the world would be like? Jesus will live on earth again, lion will lay down with the lamb. I can't remember if it's 100 or 1000 years but that's when we will actually live like God wanted us too.

So I believe when we go to heaven we will really feel like everyone is our brothers and sister and we won't be aware of anything painful. I imagine it to be like when we die our energy is released and it's that energy/spiritual being that goes to heaven. Of course this is just what I believe and I don't think anyone really knows. smile

Dottie

Last edited by Dottie; 12/06/11 01:57 PM.
#935432 - 12/06/11 02:00 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Hi John,

This is an interesting thread you've started.

I don't attend church and have philosophical struggles with various forms of organized religion that I've studied, but I have come to believe that trying to please God, by becoming more like him, results in ultimately allowing us to be closer to him. The more we please, the closer we are to him. The more we don't please, the farther we are from him. Being close feels wonderful (heaven), while being far away feels miserable (hell). Thus, for instance, someone who treats children kindly is getting closer to God, while a child abuser is far away and miserable. So it 's more a matter of degrees of closeness. And if our children are living miserable lives, we're not watching them writhe in hell. We just know that they need to struggle harder, to learn more, to get closer, and there is always hope that they will get closer.

It seems to me this is like the parent/child relationship. The child wants to be close to the parent, to please the parent, and the more he doesn't do what pleases the parent, the farther away he is, and the more miserable. That's why children try so hard to please their parents. And this, I believe, is the same with God. As his children, we try to please him. We want to please him, to be close to him. Because being close to him feels glorious, and to be far away feels hellish. Of course, then the whole debate begins about what God finds to be pleasing...

Also, I believe that if/when we achieve a more "God-like" state, then we will grieve for all those who struggle, not just our children.

Oh, to Big Jim's question about why God would let us suffer...my belief is that while we're suffering, it is leading to something bigger that we can't see. Sort of like when you have a toddler, and he starts walking, you don't go to extraordinary lengths (full helmut and gear, for instance) to make sure he never feels any pain when he falls or hits his head. As a parent, you realize that in order to get to the greater goal of walking without falling, he needs to take his lumps along the way. So, with this ultimate goal in mind, you allow him to feel pain. I believe that this is how God works. He lets us take our lumps, knowing that it is leading to some greater understanding or goal that we may not be able to see yet.

Lisa

Last edited by Lisa Gundling; 12/06/11 02:05 PM.
#935451 - 12/06/11 04:42 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Lisa Gundling]  
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Scott Campbell Offline
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I think trying to please God by the way we conduct ourselves is a worthy endeavour - even if it turns out that he doesn't exist. smile

Scott

#935454 - 12/06/11 04:51 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Scott Campbell]  
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Mark Kaufman Offline
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Originally Posted by Scott Campbell
I think trying to please God by the way we conduct ourselves is a worthy endeavour - even if it turns out that he doesn't exist. smile

Scott


I agree. I trust the word written in my heart so much more than any of the doctrines we're all supposed to choose between, with an incorrect choice dooming our souls for eternity.

#935461 - 12/06/11 05:13 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Aaron Corley Offline
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This has been an interesting thread to read. I think of all the comments so far, Lisa's are closest to what I believe, although I'd like to elaborate on it a little.

First, I want to share some personal information to set the stage for everything else I want to share. Please indulge me. I have two small children. The oldest is in kindergarten. It would pain me a great deal if one or both did not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and then seek to follow Him. I realize, however, that I cannot control everything they do and it wouldn't be right for me to do so either. Sooner or later, they are going to grow up and leave home (at least, that's the plan). When that time comes I hope I have prepared them to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. Until then, I teach them and try to influence them to do the things that will make them happy and successful.

I believe that God is my Heavenly Father. Like any loving parent, He wants to share the best mortality has to offer with His children. He wants them to make wise choices. He wants them to know that He loves them.

Just like I am wiser than my children, He is wiser than all of us. He sees the world with all its suffering, death and evil differently than we do; its all apart of His plan for us. According to the plan, our existence is divided into three segments. This life is the second. I've heard it described like the second act of a three-part play or the middle book of a trilogy. We don't remember the first act, when we lived with him (and everyone else) because the purpose of this second act is to test us--to found out the real desires of our hearts--and to give us the experience with opposites that we could not get in His presence. Only by coming to this world, without any memory of our prior existence, could the test yield accurate results.

However, Father in Heaven has not left us completely alone. He influences us all the time. Our conscience is one way; it helps us discern between good and evil. He has spoken with prophets like Adam, Abraham, Moses and Isaiah. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to model a perfect life for us to follow.

History has demonstrated over and over that some people follow those influences and bless others as a result, while other people live contrary to those influences with disastrous effect. A lot of people fall in the middle, however, not leading particularly exemplary lives, but not being particularly evil either. Just as I cannot live my children's lives for them and could be disappointed by some of their choices, God permits this because He values each of us and our agency so much.

If this is the second part of the trilogy, then the life after we die, commonly referred to as heaven and hell, is the final installment. Only Heavenly Father knows how it will turn out. At that time, He will determine who will return to His presence and who will not. Some will not want to return and even God will feel their loss, but He will not make that choice for them. However, since only He knows the content of their hearts--atheist or believer--I think there will be a lot of surprises about who ends up where.

In spite of all this, I believe the presence of God is a wonderful place filled with eternal joy, peace and happiness. Just as my children are too immature to understand adulthood at this point in their lives, we too can only guess what it will be like. His promises are sure, however, whatever He has in store for His children will eclipse everything that we suffer and lose during this life.

I hope that gives you something positive to think about. Above all else, have hope. People can literally change overnight and we never know what tomorrow will bring. If we trust in Him all things will eventually work out for our benefit.


Looking for a good book about lyric writing? Visit http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=959266

Check out my music at http://www.soundclick.com/aaroncorley
#935483 - 12/06/11 07:04 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Aaron Corley]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Having read and re read all the posts....I am even more confused.......why bother with any kind of religion especially as it creates division and confrontation between different faiths...why bother trying to be godlike and do unto others in the first place as there is either no punishment or reward for our behaviour here on earth.....especially as in the end we will ALL be saved regardless of what we have done or what we have believed in as long as we accept God once we finally come face to face with him.....none of that makes sense....I am confused as to what happens to folk who have mental illness and are not responsible for their actions...and babies who die without knowing anything much and how some people can claim that they know best and their way is the only way with absolutely no proof only a gut feeling or the fact that they have been indoctrinated into believing what they believe.....it is all so confusing and to my mind balderdash.....I have a major problem with ALL organised religion...I have an even bigger problem in believing in God rather than the big bang, evolution and a coincidence theory.....did God send the meteor that wiped out virtually all life forms so that the dinosaurs would die and mammals would evolve?....I find the whole idea of any supreme being a totally illogical and dare I say it preposterous proposition.....If such an entity of supreme intelligence did and does exist and he did in fact create us then how come he made so many schoolboy errors.....and how come he refuses to sort out the problems he created.
That said I do hope that more people try to act as God would want us to.... with more kindness and respect for each other.....some religious god believers might want to pay particular attention to this....as historically many religious people are the worst when it comes to acting in the way god would want.

#935488 - 12/06/11 07:22 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Scott Campbell Offline
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Originally Posted by BIG JIM MERRILEES
why bother trying to be godlike and do unto others in the first place as there is either no punishment or reward for our behaviour here on earth.....


Because it's one way for an individual to fit well into society. Not the only way but still a good way smile

Scott

#935499 - 12/06/11 08:08 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Scott Campbell]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Big Jim,
I believe you have discovered the secret of religion. Mass Confusion!


Ray E. Strode
#935505 - 12/06/11 08:43 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Online content
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I always go back to this simple question; What created the universe? (If you say "Big Bang" then what created that?). God is what none of us knows. Organized religion is many things to many people. It can be something of great beauty and peace or something of great ugliness and violence. It mirrors people in general because people will corrupt anything they touch, fight to change or adjust it, make it more in their image and liking, use it to keep people under their thumb. Religion, ironically, is a mirror image of government. But God is still that which science can't explain and which even an atheist can't either. There's no question the living things on earth are all elegant designs. Hard to believe it's all random. And if it IS all random, why aren't new species popping up out of nothing all the time? Things in the natural world are surprisingly orderly. Humans are the opposite. We are simply the top predator on a predatory rock floating through space. But something created everything and the "big bang theory" is nothing more than that... and religion is also a theory and ones that have been around far longer than the big bang theory interestingly enough... yet Atheists religions is in effect science... but science is proven wrong daily. They just had to completely rewrite all the knowledge surrounding the conditions that must exist to support life. They found that life can spring up from arsenic and nothing more. That sure changed everything.. but you don't see much finger pointing about how unfounded science is and hateful insulting arguments about how stupid someone must be to believe in our tiny and mostly incorrect knowledge of our tiny universe which is a dot in the vast sky.

I believe life is teaming all over the universe. I disagree with most organized man made religions because of many of the same reasons Big Jim choose not to believe in any of them. But... I believe in God. And I believe in a certain amount of fate which nudges each of us in certain ways, sometimes we pay attention or notice, often we do not. But, religious people and non religious people should all agree in the golden rule: Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you. Whether there is anything after death or not, I can make the same compelling argument why we should do the right thing as often as we can and do as little harm to others as we can manage. To do otherwise is just as evil whether there's a heaven or not. To do the right thing is goodness no matter whether there is a hell or not. So what harm is there in letting people peacefully practice religion? When it crosses over to evil, however, no matter what name is on the religion, it should be treated swiftly and harshly to keep it from repeating, whatever it takes.

To some, Government and/or science's knowledge base is their "deity." To others, it's something less easy to disprove, God.

Which is easier to believe in and least likely to be disproven? You make the call.

Brian


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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#935509 - 12/06/11 09:30 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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You nailed it Brian.....everyone is entitled to believe in what they want to.....Whilst I might not agree with certain beliefs or see any logic or much good in them I would defend that right with my life....but on the other hand nobody has the right to inflict pain on others whether in God's name or not....most Atheists I know are pacifists who fit well into any society with decent morals and we are in the main honest caring folk who pretty much follow Christian ideals anyway albeit without actually believing in God or following the dogmas associated with certain religious orders or sects....I wish even more religious folk would practice their own ethics and follow their own commandments and teachings.
Now I know a lot of good kind people who are deeply religious.....but there are those who go to church on Sunday but who are robbers, murderers, liars and thiefs mon-sat.....I do not quite understand how they can be so hypocritical.
I just watched the news and a whole bunch of people in Iran are wanting death to all infidels...now these people are deeply religious and follow their fundamentals to the letter.....sadly they have been brainwashed into this behaviour.....cause they are told that they will get all sorts of rewards in heaven if they murder in the name of Allah the one and only God.....no God I could ever support could sanction this nonesense....God should be a personal thing...without all the hoo-hah of organised religious nonesense.

#935514 - 12/06/11 10:15 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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We are born not knowing why we exist. Some say they know why, but they can't prove it. Some declare faith, and they wrestle with it for the rest of their lives with varying degrees of success.

This is fine by me.

Declaring that I don't know why we are here probably makes me Agnostic, but I don't think I am. (Q: Are you an agnostic? A: I don't know.) But I do believe we all share a fundamental understanding of positive vs. negative, of light vs. dark, of pleasure vs. pain, of kindness vs. cruelty, of peace vs. war, of prosperity vs. turmoil. In the end, we call it all either good or bad. Well, that all looks pretty simple to me.

I've devoted my life to Good--in other words, I strive to live by the Golden Rule, and I hope that pleases God. If it does not, then I will accept my fate with a clear conscience.

#935516 - 12/06/11 10:46 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
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Mark

"I've devoted my life to Good--in other words, I strive to live by the Golden Rule, and I hope that pleases God. If it does not, then I will accept my fate with a clear conscience."

Well said.....I can only agree.....If there is a God and he wants more from anyone then he is not for me anyway. If he accepts less then we will have a debate and he had better put a good case forward for me to be on his side.

#935549 - 12/07/11 03:22 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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Much of our history has been created and tainted by actions of those who use religious beliefs inappropriately for personal gains and the interests of themselves and others of their cultures and times. This includes sinners from all the religions and beliefs spawned in our shared history on earth.


But there's also more basic truths in our shared history that includes prophets and sages and wise observers who have provided solid spiritual ideas about God and principles and purposes of life.


I have seen and experienced how belief in God and ideals of God are adopted and applied with very positive and sometimes amazing results throughout the world today and by all religions, as it has throughout our shared history.


So I believe that what’s fair and desirable is that every individual be free to worship God in their own way, without interference, and followers must respect another’s right to do the same. To do otherwise is to assume to know God's mind and purpose.


Hence to condemn people to hell, or assume there is only one way into Heaven, is to me arrogance. There is also no certainty Jesus ever said this. Christianity developed over centuries, and was substantially completed by the Council of Nicea which spawned the Nicene Creed, which is the Christian affirmation of faith. Since then (325AD), more than 20 Ecumenical, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Councils have added pronouncements of faith and doctrine. There was an age of Reformation via Martin Luther and other great teachers that officially began in 1517 when Martin Luther published The Ninety-Five Theses.


All of this affected modern day Christian doctrine and belief, including "born again Christianity" but it was ALL promulgated, by a long chain of fallible humans enmeshed in their times and events.


So to me, condemning those who question or those who are born into other religions to Hell because they have not accepted Jesus as their personal saviour is the same as saying "I know God's mind in this matter", even though it was largely a product of the minds of men.


I wholeheartedly believe everyone should spend less time emphasizing how different we are from other believers, and more time thinking about God, and appreciate how different religions have enriched us and how close our core beliefs are. We should embrace these commonalities because they are truly worthy lessons to live by.


Firstly, our prophets agreed we should respect one another’s life and property and family and ways and beliefs and generally treat others as we ourselves want to be treated.


In addition our prophets also taught and encouraged self discipline, self sufficiency, self improvement, charitable giving and compassion, humility, truthfulness, to not steal or to harm or kill others.


And Aristotle taught the golden mean, which finds its way through life by understanding the extremities and looking to walk a reasonable path with temperance, justice, courage and wisdom


In addition I’ve come to believe and learn and understand and respect that all that is good in religion is due to its ideals and is about God, and all that is bad about religion is due to the character flaws and selfish actions of individual followers that rest in other arenas of human behaviour, where religion is a piece of a larger strategy.


So I also believe that killing or badly harming, lying or stealing in the name of God or religion should be reviled as the ultimate hypocrisy and morally repugnant.


And I’ll pass on believing our universe and our reality will continue to search for the undeniable truth of questions posed by the reality of the lives of our prophets.


Until then I believe we’ll keep asking. Its our dilemma as thinking, enquiring minds and flowers in God’s gardens.





If writing ever becomes work I think I'm going to have to stop

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#935554 - 12/07/11 03:42 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Voorpostel]  
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We are talking about ourselves as we are alive right now at this second. What if you die as you are typing? Questions, Questions, Questions.

Is Hitler in Hell? Is Mao in Hell? Is Stalin in Hell? Is Sadam in Hell? Is Jeffery Dahmer in Hell?

Is Mother Teresa in Heaven? Is John Lennon in Heaven? Is Graham Henderson in Heaven? That's all I care about.

#935570 - 12/07/11 11:25 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: ben willis]  
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Raleigh, ya'll
I'm glad Lynn addressed your actual question John.

I should leave it at that...I really should...Ahh, temptation, the only thing I can't resist.

By definition, I am a "born again" Christian. Have been for decades. But I have trouble with a faith that is built out of hard and fast doctrines like a deck of cards where, if you pull just one card out, the whole thing tumbles down. Faith, IM(very)HO, should be a living, breathing, adaptable Thang. Everything in it should be questionable, and if a satisfactory answer isn’t found, then the search for the answer needs to be widened...Of course, this has led some to consider me a bit of a heretic, but in a friendly kinda way.

Regarding eternal punishment. Scripturally speaking, and speaking only for me, we are not immortal beings. In Genisis, God removed the Tree of Life so that we could not eat of it and live forever in our fallen state. The tree returns at the end of Revelations, where, in a purified state, we can then partake of it.

Ben mentions hell...So, what happens to those in "hell"?…Hell, currently, is an existence without God…Scripturally speaking, again, according to Revelations, at the end, Death and Hell are cast into the Lake of Fire, which was made for the devil and his angels(who are immortal), and mortal beings will be consumed(rather quickly I suspect), and their existence will end...The "judgement" may be eternal, but the suffering is not...Our "existence will simply cease. No life, but no pain either. I just can’t go with a God who’ll condemn a soul to suffer forever due to a cosmically brief appearance here on earth.

What is probably my most heretical belief though, is that reincarnation is part of God’s grand design, and the Council of Nicea(sp?)got it wrong when they eradicated what was, at the time, a very prominent Christian belief...There was no profit for the "organized" church in reincarnation...Pity...It’s a fascinating thing to contemplate.

What if we, as souls, were meant to evolve? What if we, as souls, had that evolution disrupted by the fall of Lucifer and the chaos that ensued? What if Jesus, the Christ, through His Sacrifice, allows us to "evolve" in one lifetime? What if, during Christ's thousand year reign of peace on earth, all souls who haven't quite "evolved" are brought back into a perfect world where the answers are, indeed, easy?

At the end of that thousand years comes Revelation's Final Judgement, and the offer of the Tree of Life...Methinks there won't be many not partaking...After that, scripturally speaking, the old heaven and earth will pass away(right Lynn?)...And what lies beyond, is beyond our comprehension, so just give it up!...

To my beloved Christians, let’s not go down the Hebrews "it's appointed unto man once to die" road...Not here, please...

Faith is allowed to be questioned. Unbelief, is also allowed to be questioned...An open mind, combined with an open heart and a little searching outside the box will never do ya no harm...sigh...I knew I shouldn't have...

Peace, to all...

Midnite


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

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#935580 - 12/07/11 12:50 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: MidniteBob]  
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Everett Adams Online content
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If you have the choice to accept Jesus as your saviour and you reject Him, you are lost and still in your sins.You can accept Him on your death bed and be saved,but you will have no rewards as having done good things in Jesus name. Many a good generous person will not go to Heaven because they have not accepted Jesus as saviour. Our good deeds are as filty rags to God. Why did Jesus have to come and die for our sins if it was possible for us to make Heaven by doing good deeds on our own. God doesn't ask much of us but He does ask that we believe that Jesus was His son, and that He came and died for our sins and that He rose again from the grave, if we believe this in our hearts and confess it with our mouths before man, then we are saved.

Wide is the road that leads to destruction and narrow is the road that leads to Heaven. Many have no problem saying Jesus was a good and righteous and honest man, but will not confess Him as the Son of God, why?

#935625 - 12/07/11 05:06 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Nigel Quin Offline
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Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
I do know in order to get to Heaven one must be born again.

That puts you slightly ahead of me in the knowledge stakes then smile


Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
Now... what if I made the cut and my two sons didn't? How exactly am I suppose to be free of pain and have peace in my heart if my two sons are suffering in the bowels of Hell?

John , everything and everyone you love will be in your heaven and that is all that matters. If you are concerned about other people’s heavens then your brain will need to be the bigger than the universe itself. It cannot be reconciled using earthly measurements e.g. time and space – if it could it just wouldn’t be heaven now would it? grin

#935627 - 12/07/11 05:33 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Drifter Offline
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Have FAITH! We, with our finite minds, cannot concieve the working mind of the alpha and omega. To be so enabled would be outside our realm of thinking.


"No one is free, even the birds are chained to the sky." - Bob Dylan

"A song is anything that can walk by itself." - Bob Dylan

Myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/davidjacksonsongwriter

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#935629 - 12/07/11 05:43 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Drifter]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Wow! This thread is really movin' along. Not bad for one question.

Anyway, I'm happy this debate is staying civilized. A lot of interesting replies!

Best, John smile

#935643 - 12/07/11 07:22 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Aw Well,
The first thing here is you are assuming there is a Place called Heaven and a place called Hell. Some of course buy into this Theory and some don't. And over the last 6000 years a lot of bogus information has been passed off as fact, without any real checking to see if it is true or otherwise. And all of this supposition that there is actually a place called heaven and a place called hell was and is the musings of man.

We all lose loved ones on a regular basis and don't know what or where they go. We all go thru every conceiviable thing that happens in the Univeres over time. What you are going thru all depends where you are on the Cosmic Scale. So let me use my Paint Bucket Secereno.

In the paint bucket there are little pigments of paint. As you stir the paint the pigments that were next to each other will start to seperate from each other. So your loved ones will also seperate from you as time goes by. If you stir the paint long enough every bit of pigment will return to it's former location as it was before you started to stir the paint. How long it will take of course no one knows but it will happen.

Scientests/Astrologers talk about the Procession of the Equounoxes. The procession advances one degree every 72 years. For a complete cycle from the first degree of Aries back to the first degree of Aries takes 25,920 years. So the shortest period you and your loved ones will be together as they are today is 25,920 years.

I don't suscribe to any physical place as Heaven or Hell but sycholigialy speaking there probably is.

Ther have been a few cases of people coming back and remembering their past. Bridy Murphey was one. You can Google to read about it.

The thig that disgusts me the most is paople getting into Religion and never do any real checking to see if the are right.
Years ago my mother got involved in the Seventh Day Adventsts. They celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. My older brother got involved in the Calavery Babtist Church They Celebrate their thing on Sunday. My mother needed my brother to cut her grass. But she didn't want him to cut it on Sadurday, because that was the Sabbath! He wouldn't cut it on Sunday as yo might well imaigine!

I knew a guy that was a Catholic. He married a Protasant. His mother gave him holy hell for marrying outside his faith. Religion? Me and Big Jim is on the same page here. Have a nice day!


Ray E. Strode
#935662 - 12/07/11 08:55 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Daddio Offline
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Daddio  Offline
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I am kind of late commenting on this.
To John: There are totally different relationships in the afterlife. You will be attached to entities in different ways than in this dimension. Folks who see loved ones at death have that experience to make the transition easier. Attachments to things/people of this dimension will be gone. We are in school now to learn. What we learn will be of value in the next existence, most of which is to balance selfishness and selflessness.

Big Jim: Forget religeon! Think of friendship. The ultimate Spirit wants to be friends with you. There is no ceremony, only friendship. You can be yourself with your friends. Sometimes you mess up the relationship and you have to fix it, but a friend is a friend through it all. You cannot see this friend, but if you act like They are there, they will react to you. You never know how good a thing is until you try it for a while, just you, no one else. May Scotland last forever!!!!

#935673 - 12/07/11 09:49 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Little_stevie_b Offline
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Little_stevie_b  Offline
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Hi John,

Well, this has turned into quite an interesting thread.
And to think it's about theological beliefs and no arguing, LOL.
I guess it's my turn to put in my two cents.

A very brief history of the Biblical story...ahem...

In the beginning God made everything and declared it good.
His crowning achievement was mankind. Adam and Eve were created
to love God and vice versa. They were place in a garden that
was a paradice and their job was to work the garden. There were
two trees in the center of the garden. One was the tree of life
which they were free to eat. The other was the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil and the only rule was that they were
not to eat the fruit of that one tree. The penalty of breaking
that lone law was death. Whether or not it was a
literal tree or symbolism has long been debated.

Anyway, as the story goes, the fallen archangel Lucifer, now
called Satan which means adversary approached the woman in the form of a serpent
and tempted
her into eating of the fruit and giving some to Adam (which simply
means "man." in Hebrew) Satan asked if God really said that
they could not eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden. Eve said
that they could eat of all the trees except the one in the center
which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but she stretched the truth by saying they
could not even touch it. Satan said that they wouldn't die. That God
knew if they ate of it they would be like God and know good and evil.

After eating the fruit they knew they had sinned and hid themselves
from God as they now realized they were naked. God asked "Who told
you that you were naked?" Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed Satan. God
kicked them out of the garden. God said "Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said,
Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now,
lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Ge 3:23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground
from whence he was taken.

Interestinly the word "us" is used by God. It is plural in the Hebrew text
which is merely one of the passages from which the "trinity" comes from
but that is another story.

The rest of the Old Testament is the story of God's relationship with the
Hebrew people who came from the lineage of Abraham who pleased God due to
his "FAITH" Part of the story of Abraham is when he was tested by God to
sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham went through with the sacrifice till God
stopped him before he could sacrifice Issac because Abraham had been faithful
and trusted God by faith as I mentioned before. God provided a lamb without
blemish to take Isaac's place. God blessed Abraham and his decendants and from
them would come the messiah or the one who would deliver the Jewish (HEbrew)
people centuries later in the form of Jesus Christ which means messiah.

God set up religious observances that the Jews had to follow to atone for their
sins including The ten commandments and animal sacrifices which had no blemish.
Jesus would later fulfill the "LAW" through His becoming a living sacrifice without
blemish. He is the only man who ever lived without sin and through his death and resurection He would take the sin of the world and conquer death. Jesus was called the Lamb of God for that reason. He was God in the flesh or at least
all of God that could be contained in a finite human being.

Jesus' birth, death and resurrection were foretold in hundreds of prophesies in the
Old testament in shockingly detailed form (a bit much to be mere coincidence). In his
death (sacrifice) as God's only begotten son he took on the sins of the world and became
sin itself as a substitute for all mankind. He conquered death through his resurrection
so that those who accept his atonement by faith will have everlasting life. Those who
don't are still condemned through the LAW for their sins and will suffer everlasting
punishment.

This is of course is a very incomplete synopsis of the Biblical story but now we come to the
concept of hell. I'll leave it off here and continue in another post.




#935674 - 12/07/11 09:50 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
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Little_stevie_b Offline
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OK, now we come to the concept of hell. There are basically three
schools of thought concerning hell. First off, there are three
words that are translated into English for hell. The first is in
the old testament and it is the Hebrew word Sheol which means the
grave or pit. The second is the Koine Greek word hades which means
the obode of the dead. Koine Greek is the common Greek written in the
time of Jesus and has little in common with the modern Greek language.
The third word translated hell is GEHENNA. It is only used as hell
about 11 times in the new testament. This is where the prevailing
belief about hell comes from as a place of fire and brimstone if you
will.

Gehenna is a reference to the valley of Hinnom which was/is a ravine outside
the city of Jerusalem. It was the city dump and was also used to burn the
carcasses of dead animals. The fire was kept burning all the time as more
refuse was brought in. There is reference to it as the place where the worm
never dies. This is a reference to maggots eating upon the soot left behind
and doesn't mean that there were immortal worms. It was also the place where
propitiatory sacrifices were made to Moloch, a false god.

Hell is described as a place of eternal punishment. Those who subscribe
to this hell of everlasting fire and brimstone are describing it as a
place of eternal punishING, not just punishMENT. There is a difference.
Everlasting punishING is used to describe a never ending torment of the
soul in what we would think of as physical torture for all time. Everlasting
PunishMENT would be more indicative of a state of finality. The punishment
is everlasting but the result has an end as far as being consumed as the
"fat of lambs." If you put a blow torch to a piece of fat it is consumed
totally till nothiing is left of it. It does not continue to burn forever.

Another school of thought is that the wicked will suffer a second death after
the "Great white Throne" judgement and will simply cease to exist.

The third school of thought is that the wicked and unbelievers will suffer
everlasting separation from God.

There is scripture that people use to buttress their argument over these
schools of thought in each case.

I don't know the answer anymore than anyone else does on this matter but
my thinking is that it will come down on the side of everlasting
punishMENT, not punishING as Gehenna is used more symbolically and only
mentioned 11 times in all of scripture.

Furthermore, one of the main laws of hermeneutics, or the discipline of
studying scripture, is that when there is a question on a word you compare
scripture to other scriptures and then if there is still a question, you go
to the first usuage of the word.

The first time death is used is in Genesis in the Garden of Eden. That's
Where the tree of life was. When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden
it was guarded by cheribims so they couldn't re-enter and eat of the tree
of life and live forever. If sinfull man automatically has an "immortal" soul, why
would he have to be kept from the tree of life? It makes no sense.

Add to that the reference in Revelation where in the center of the "New Jerusalem"
there would stand the tree of life.

Like I said earlier, I don't know the real answer and no one else can either this side
of heaven but I personally think that either the unbelievers are annihilated (cease
to exist) or are at least eternally separated from God where God, being a God of love
gives them what they wanted.

Those who accept God's pardon from sin based on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus by faith
will live forever in paradice.

For those who don't, I'll use one final analogy. Suppose a man is in prison. The King
offers him a full pardon for his trangressions (sins). The jailer opens the cell to let him free.
He can accept the pardon and walk out free or choose to stay in his cell and continue to suffer.
The choice is his. He has no excuse if he choses to remain in his punishment.

#935681 - 12/07/11 10:56 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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Wow! A very interesting read Stevie.

John smile

#935690 - 12/08/11 12:07 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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Texas
Thanks, Stevie... for two very interesting posts. Your effort is greatly appreciated. I know men and women of the cloth who could not have presented these points any better.

While I'm at it... Big Jim... no matter what you believe... it is obvious that you possess a good heart... provide your fellow JPFrs with good information and feedback... and generally care for your fellow man. That's significant to me.

#935716 - 12/08/11 03:58 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Mackie H. Offline
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Mackie H.  Offline
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Posts: 8,673
NASHVILLE, TN
John--

On just JUST YOUR QUESTION--I have pondered similar ideas a long time--Mine are pretty much resolved by being a BELIEVER--I grew up in an Orphanage and that was tough enough--After alcohol, drugs, personal problems--I got my DUCKS aligned by introspection and study, and now I’m at PEACE, AND I feel IT’S BECAUSE-- I AM A BELIEVER--THE BELOW REFERENCE MAY HELP EXPLAIN WITH SOME SCRIPTURES--- I HAVE POSITIVE THOUGHTS NOW -- 73 YEARS YOUNG, --THOUGH AT TIMES I STILL HAVE TEMPTATIONS FROM THE BAD SIDE--I AM A BELIEVER IN A ONE TO ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD--IF NON-BELIEVERS IN A FAMILY DON’T ACCEPT JESUS AS SAVIOR--IT APPEARS THEY ARE EXCLUDED--

JUST MY INTERPRETATION--HERE’S A LYRIC THAT SHOWS MY FEELINGS:

ALL WHO BELIEVE
© 2011 Mackie Humphries

V1
Angels are calling - come home....come home......
From somewhere high - come home....come home
In glowing clouds - voices of praise
If you believe - it’s not too late

CH
All who believe
And take his hand
Will pass through to
The promised land

V2
No time to waste - come home....come home......
Our loved ones wait - come home....come home......
Their faces smilin’ - all Heaven sings
Kneel down and pray - ‘neath Angels wings.

CH
All who believe
And take his hand
Will pass through to
The promised land

The last days are near
Come to HIM ...........in PRAYER........

All who believe
And take his hand
Will pass through to
The promised land

All who believe....... will pass through.........
All who believe.............................................



http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/how_to_be_saved.html


By faith in Jesus Christ ALONE we can be saved.

Salvation is NOT found in a religion or good works, but in a Person... The LORD JESUS CHRIST!
John 11:25, “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”
John 14:6, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Mark 1:15, “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
1st Corinthians 3:11, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Galatians 3:26, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”


Mackie

#935761 - 12/08/11 02:38 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Mackie H.]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Too much coffee: Read in sections, day to day! smile

Written or typed words in any book are of course written by people. That is the only thing that is a certain. Seems people created God in the His, (man's) image, then wrote it was God who made people in HIS image. ??? I ask...Who actually had the penis to be called a HE? A god in the sky or outside the Universe sky or a men on earth who wrote stuff? Where were the women authors?!!!! Why not a vagina being the real birth giving creating power for all to fall under? Women are the ones who actually have life MADE in them, and give birth! Reborn! Why are men involved in telling others what creation is all about? We just look on and go,,,Wow! The women are the makers of life, besides "whatever" the main Director of everything is. THAT director's chair would not be there to hold up an ass from hitting the ground. smile Yet,,,people call God HE, or HIM. ??? The Father as Jesus has been said to say, says much about how even he didn't think of women being the birth givers! THEE most basic no brainier,,,,missed by the great one! Men in power, even for the loving minded people, was and still is the belief of many men. If there are also lava,,,before people,,,why isn't a god looked at as a giant lava entity!? Why not THEE Star? Since there are more stars than people,,,,why not the ultimate "star" being God? Why a people image for God then? Obvious, isn't it? They were the ones writing the book! People!

I think the writings about Jesus and his loving advice have been misinterpreted, and worse, used for those 200 years later to start a controlling club in his name. (nice huh)? Control over people through the use of fear from being killed if they didn't show up, and also being TOLD to fear a God. Nice again, huh?

How is that related to what Jesus had been reported to say in his speeches? Where's the love Man!? (The first hippie peace movement), that not until the 1960's, did some take to the same look and approach for living. They too were laughed at by the establishment and some killed. Jesus made it so they didn't need any place to have them feel heaven.

Bottom line as I see it: LOVE everything and everybody as best as we can. Deal with our mental and physical struggles, and try to help others near us. The rest is BS. ($$$), which "control over minds through fear and muscle means, makes for huge profits.

My dad loved everything he did, and gave his love to his family and friends, including money he couldn't spare to some family relatives that were down and out for a while. He kept his word to everyone, even when it didn't benefit him. I saw one great example of this when a neighbor saw we were looking at a tree to be taken down, and offered my dad a deal of half the price of the guy who just left in his truck. My dad said "No thanks, I already made a deal with that guy". The neighbor asked to see the contract, and that it could be broken. My dad said, "There's no contract, I shook his hand and told him he has the job".
Half price....from $1600 to $800. My dad said No Thanks! He shook someone's hand for the job's deal.

Honestly, Integrity. What else does anyone need to think or do or say to live in peace for any Eternity that may or may not exist as we would be able to "think" or "feel" after death? Doesn't the brain do those two things in our living bodies? THAT is the only facts we really have to truly KNOW. Anything else is putting "faith" in what People wrote in times when they didn't know very much about anything. People were wiping their butts with their GOOD hand up till about 200 hundred years ago! Think about 2000 years ago! And we want to believe all the things "they" thought and wrote about? WHO hears GOD? In words to write down? Could it be our creative brains? Hmmm. Look at all the creativity that goes on with just us Just Plain Folks! The brain is a very complex organ! "THINK" about that!

My dad is my God although I do try to have the loving words of Jesus handy. My father is the only father I actually KNOW though. (know-though?) Imagination is a wonderful thing, and can also be misleading and causing "convictions" in our brain's specific area for just that, that our brain WILL make sure it is not shaken from. That explains the fanatics of ANYTHING who KNOW they KNOW! Understanding how the brain works has me understanding those extreme, sometimes angry people who seem to have more hate than the average criminal!

For the ones that "do" love all the time? GOOD for them and everyone around them! We need more love and caring. It's the LOVE and actions of LOVE that matters.,,,,, Not what anyone professes and believes.


Born Again? Heaven Or Hell? Why worry about something we only take others word for it ALL, who started controlling religions for their benefit and power. Long ago generations have passed the fear and belief gene to us now about those very early teachings. Just like personalities are passed down, and we are at the mercy of our family tree, so are our passed down fears and behavior habits. The brain is a dedicated organ for info,,,any of it! It will produce what we think. Be careful what you think I try to think like my dad. Glad I have his genes, along with my mother's!

(All you need is Genes....bump bump bump-bump-baaaa)"

Ask me again about my dad.


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=322686





#935764 - 12/08/11 03:28 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
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Daddio Offline
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Louisiana
Before the Bible, there was relationship. Today, it's still relationship (friendship). The Bible was given as a teaching aid that could be easier to spread than a few teachers, and that didn't happen until the renaissance. Unfortunately, subjective interpretations have caused lots of problems.
True, it's all about love, but not the warm fuzzy kind. We can't love everyone and that's not what it means. The love the Bible talks about is "unselfish concern for others". I don't have to like you, but I can reach out to you and help you when you are in need and that's all we are required to do. We don't have to feel guilty if we don't 'like' someone. You are free to if you want to though and it's not my business.
Grace is about being 'guilt free', so we can have a true relationship even though sometimes we might be unworthy. Friends and family take you with all your warts and you take them too even though none of you are perfect.

To stay on the subject, when your spirit leaves the body, there are no brothers, sisters, mothers, dads and children. In the next existence, there are only spirits that relate to other spirits in new ways. The spirits still in bodies must make their own decisions and travel their own paths. You do what you can while in this life but let those concerns go in the new life just as you let the body go.

#935767 - 12/08/11 03:44 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Daddio]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Gee John I was trying to be nice. But as I said, the Jury is still out on Organized Religion. It came back for me a long time ago but for others it is still a mystery.


Ray E. Strode
#935768 - 12/08/11 03:47 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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I think we all evolved into Seekers from our Hunter-Gatherer Roots. The Concept of a Superior-Overseeing-Intelligence goes back far-beyond Christianity, as does the concept of Good-vs-Evil. As for Hopes of an Afterlife, even Neanderthals buried their dead.

The idea that our minds are "wiped-clean" after our death is a fallacy. I enjoyed a lotta chatting with JPF's IdaMarie Naelitz..a very-Enlightened 70-Something Yr Old, who's done many a Hypnotic Regression Session...& has something like 4 Previous Lifetimes she can tell you, now, all-about.

I've never had time/loot to try H-R, but plan on it, someday, since Christianity never did have ALL the Answers I've sought for 66 years now.

IF you study all the Life Forms that already exist on THIS planet...just WAIT 'til the first Confirmable ET, with an Intelligence Superior to OURS arrives here, then try to tell me "WE're the Image of GOD"... (Yet DNA seems to be God showing us SOMETHING that SHOULD Unite ALL of us Living Creatures into a better Understanding of What's It ALL About?)

As for the Issue of Heaven...Hmmm...MOST of the Near-Death Returnees describe that not-too-secret Tunnel of Light, leading back to a Very Bright Source/Clustered with LOTS of Little Lights (translated into Souls)..in some kinda Special Place.

Call it What You Will, there are now 11 "Known" Dimensions which somehow explain Matter/Energy/Time/etc...and Heaven's probably for-sure safely-tucked-away in one of those Higher-than-4 Numbered Dimensions, to keep us Eternally-Questioning, yet Never-Tinkering with the Entry Exam.

There'll ALWAYS be a Higher Intelligence than Ours running-the-show. It's just Up to Us to Admit It, & Go Along with The Program, while killing-off the Fewest Numbers of those who don't agree with us.

JMO,
Stan

Last edited by "Tampa Stan" Good; 12/10/11 03:39 AM.
#935781 - 12/08/11 06:24 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: "Tampa Stan" Good (D)]  
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Mike Dunbar Offline
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Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
For anyone interested in Christianity, or those who have questions about it, here are two good resources:

http://www.gotquestions.org/

http://www.biblepath.com/index.html

And here you can find many translations of the Bible in English and many other languages:
http://www.biblegateway.com/





You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#935841 - 12/09/11 03:45 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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MI
Perhaps there is a reason for our not understanding.


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#935853 - 12/09/11 05:30 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 108
Andrew Jackman Offline
Serious Contributor
Andrew Jackman  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 108
Colorado
I was raised a Christian and was pretty content to believe that for much of my life. However, the past couple of years I feel I've drifted away from Christianity. To be honest, I never quite felt that spark that all my Christian friends seemed to feel, and this lead me to explore other faiths and ideas. I'm still exploring and growing, but I'm not really sure what I'd call myself. I still believe in God, no doubt. Nothing has ever shaken my belief that there is a God. I'm just not so sure anymore it's the Christian-Judeo God that I was brought up with.

The question of the thread was a really good one. I'd never really taken that into consideration before. To the poster who said that we will only forget the suffering, I'm not sure that's the correct context of that verse. I was always under the impression that that verse referred to God's "forgetting" of our sins post-repentance. I think it makes much more sense for us to completely be wiped clean of all memory. It almost seems like reincarnation, only without the cleansing cycles. Interesting stuff.


~There's a road that I must travel, may it be paved or unseen; Though I am hindered by a thousand stones, still onward I crawl down on my knees~

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#935881 - 12/09/11 10:15 AM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: Andrew Jackman]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
We are all fumbling about in the dark.....simply because we do not know...and are second guessing.....the problem I have is that second guessing is exactly that.... second guessing. All beliefs are based on second guessing and myths fantasy and historical inaccuracies....handed down from generation to generation are used to explain the unexplainable.....so like the Chinese whispers game these beliefs become more exaggerated badly interpreted and farther away from the truth.
Our beliefs are dependant upon where we live, who our parents are and how open or narrow minded we as individuals are.....many folk worldwide as soon as they are born are indoctrinated into some crazy narrow minded ignorant religious sect and know no better......one thing for sure is that they cannot ALL be right.....trying to sort out the truth from the madness is difficult if not impossible.....
Religion is a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands....some religions spend nearly all their time cruelly persecuting and even murdering non believers...whilst the rest of the time is spent indoctrinating their followers into their own barbaric ways.....
Meanwhile science continually throws a spanner in the works by discovering things that question a lot of fundamental religious beliefs Eg the big bang and evolution....Rather than accept that they are wrong religions have traditionally buried their head in the sand or mock these discoveries as being acts of the devil or that the discovery is flawed and made by infidels....
Now I have read the Bible from cover to cover many times and other religious books are part of my regular read...I have also read Harry Potter.....ALL are a good read and portray good V evil but ALL are just pure fiction nothing else...written by folks with a great imagination based on myth, fantasy and dare I say ignorance...none bare any resemblance to FACT or reality...I cannot take any of these books seriously as a basis for any faith or religion and am amazed that some people could take every word literally or quote chapter and verse as being the word of God....These books are so full of flaws, inaccuracies and downright contradictions that cannot be taken seriously.
Civilisations traditionally have used religion to gain power and control the population...Some have invented many Gods to cover every aspect of their lives and worship them in the mistaken belief or forlorn hope that their fate/luck can be altered by a wishful thinking prayer or two or a sacrifice or offering made.....sadly prayers are never answered.....and to the best of my knowledge if there is a God he has never stepped in to answer or change things.....
I have had many discussions with religious people and when I put these points across they get out the Bible or Koran or whatever and start quoting...or they simply say it is Gods way and who are you to question it....or it is a test of faith to suffer.
I am afraid I find it all BS and madness.....
Perhaps if MORE folk gave up their beliefs and concentrated instead on living and helping their fellows AND this planet..then a lot of the suffering caused by religion would be reduced. As for belief in God well that is a personal thing....dogma or laws relating to religion and its beliefs should never be thrust upon folk who do not follow. In my country laws are passed and certain things are made illegal or frowned upon just because some minority religious organisation want it that way. The list includes Abortion and genetics, Licensing and opening hours, opression of women, contraception, gay marriage and goes on and on......Why should the ideals and dogma of a few be forced upon the many who do not follow these practices.

#935892 - 12/09/11 01:48 PM Re: Christianity Question... [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,317
John Lawrence Schick Offline
Top 25 Poster
John Lawrence Schick  Offline
Top 25 Poster

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,317
PA
Thanks to everyone for all the interesting replies.

I've been thinking about this subject for quite awhile. I guess the answer will only surface when I make the transition from life on Earth to wherever??? If ever???

Anyway, this subject has been more intense the last two months while watching my mother die. She finally past away this morning at 7AM. My wife, Sandra and I got to the nursing home just in time to say goodbye.

Death is so strange, yet so natural. I'm relieved that my mom is no longer suffering.

John

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