The Gloomy Quest for Hope - Christmas 2014

Discussion in 'Help From Above' started by elagache, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    The perils of too many watches . . . (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope)

    Dear Jeff, Marc, James, and V-8 Buick "armchair philosophers,"

    My short-lived attempt to be part of organized religion began to die on September 13, 2001. I had returned to the Catholic faith of my upbringing and at the time I was with the Catholic Community of the University of California, San Diego where I was working. We had organized a interfaith moment of prayer on campus and had invited other Christian groups, a Jewish rabbi , a Muslim representative, and I if I recall correctly, even someone from a Indian religious tradition. As host, one of our leaders made a brief and neutral introduction calling upon all of us to: "Find a common sense of spiritually to seek peace in the face of this violence." Then the other leaders started to speak and . . they started to hint that their faiths were really the better way for all of us to get along. I really lost heart in that moment. If there had ever been in a time in my life when the world needed to put its differences aside - that was it. Instead, there was the competition between religions that was at the root of the 9/11 attack.

    Americans are very competitive about everything - including religion. The myriad of Christian denominations try to be civil about it, but oddly enough, the real battle is over economics. If there arent enough believers you there wont be enough cash to pay the unavoidable expenses associated with organized religion. The Catholic Community at U.C. San Diego was so small it couldnt afford to build it own church and had to rent worship space in a Protestant church. The situation is unavoidable, if you are different than the next Christian group down the street, you need reasons why you are a better Christian group than the alternatives. If you arent better, your worshipers will look for a better deal.

    So even within Christianity, agreement is much harder to come by than it should be. There is a Christian veneer that most of us accept, but we all thread lightly when trying to find out what we actually agree on. Thats why religion is a taboo subject on places like this forum. The only reason I can get away with writing this, is that is isnt religion - is it philosophy about religion. When we consider the common beliefs about monotheism - there just isnt all that much which is common. Thats why 9/11 happened and we are still fighting Muslims to this day.

    Our situation is infinitely more difficult than say in our polytheistic past. In those days, you didnt worry about the people in the next town believing different things that you did. Their gods truly were different from yours. Indeed, if you read the Jewish scriptures, youll find their prophets tacitly acknowledging the existence of other deities. Their point wasnt that other gods didnt exist, instead they were imploring the Jews to worship their proper god: Yahweh. The reason we are having such a hard time with religion is quite simple: our world view is absolutely impossible. If there is one God, then there has to be a single consistent set of beliefs that allow us to worship that God. If there isnt, our God isnt internal consistent and we really need a God that isnt self-contradictory.

    You can toss this out as a logicians lament about religion, but I sincerely believe all this has deeply troubling spiritual implications. Ive complained that government takes basically an atheist stance, but it has no choice really. We have no agreement on a common set of religious beliefs that we would allow government to follow. As I said, my essay is a truly desperate attempt to see if human spirituality makes sense, but this sort of scholarship is likely to ruffle somebodys religious feathers, so scholars wont risk their reputations on it. If there really is exactly one God, and there truly is some way to obtain redemption from it, we have no certainty about how to obtain it. We are the man with way too many watches.

    There is a religious joke that if you think about it really isnt funny:

    Jesus returns to earth and the first thing he does is call the pope. Jesus tells the pope: Ive got good news and bad news. The good news is that Ive come to bring salvation to the earth. The bad news is that Im calling from - Salt Lake City!

    Well, nobody wants to be in the predicament the pope experiences in that joke. With all the inconsistencies in our monotheistic faith, it is certain that lots of people are precisely in the popes predicament. However, you want to describe redemption, lots of people are wrong about it. If believe as I do that Jesus is our savor, then what can Jesus be but disappointed? He died so that we could finally get it right and clearly we havent. Is some form or another, the other monotheistic faiths must be the same mess. If that doesnt make you discouraged, I sure cant understand why.

  2. bhambulldog

    bhambulldog 1955 76-RoadmasterRiviera

    For some of the same reasons you cite, I don't attend church anymore. I study and worship in my heart and home.

    And as far as getting it right, I think we are to do the best we can while on this earth. And, in the next life we get it right.
  3. 66electrafied

    66electrafied Just tossing in my nickel's worth


    You've got a nice way of saying what a lot of people are thinking, thank you for clearing it up.

    All I can say is "agreed" everything. My own philosophy on organized religion is that it has done more harm than good; - that paradox thing I referred to. A great idea and a noble concept twisted and humanized for personal gain. There's also the idea that you've suggested, who's God or version of God is the correct one, and is it really worth dying for? What if you're wrong? I get that. That's why I turned more to spirituality and away from mainstream plebeian stuff.

    I can't remember the quote, but Christ had the right idea (in my mind) when he suggested that all one has to do is look inside and be brutally honest; the answers are there, and you will see God in yourself.
  4. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    All men are created equal, mind /Body /Spirit ! when they sinned in the garden they died spiritually ! and in order to regain that third part of humanity ? they must come back to God in humility & repentance.
    And that is where Jesus came to restore that which was lost to all men ! He is the anti-Adam as it were ! God in his wisdom has forged a way for men to be accepted ! ( he is the substitute- propitiation - payment for OUR sin /sins )
    Jesus said very clearly John 14:6 I am the way / the truth / and the life and no one comes to the father but through me, Revelation 3:20 behold I stand at the door of your heart & knock, and if anyone who opens the door I will come into his /her heart & supp (fellowship /commune ) with them & they with me !
    Up until this point man is incapable of fellowship with God because of the spiritual death Adam & Eve suffered ( 1 Corinthians 2:14 )the hopelessness men feel is that created desire for communion with a creator that God has instilled in man.
    The choice is ours to a certain extent & it is up to us to Seek him? although it is his grace which draws you (election) that is another subject for later :) but the bottom line is seek him while he maybe found !
    But do it with a humble heart & with repentance & Christmas & life as a whole will have the meaning God intended for his creation.
    Hey Happy New year & may God truly bless you with his presence this day & everyday ? :)
  5. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    The numbers don't add up. (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope - Christmas 2014)

    Dear Gary and V-8 Buick seekers of spiritual hope,

    I used to know the scriptures as well as you do, but unlike you I suppose, they just didn't make me hopeful anymore. Since I really wanted to be hopeful, I started trying to understand what went wrong. The essay I have written is mostly an explanation of what is wrong with our spirituality right now. I've had to completely recast my spirituality in order to find hope once more, and I had to use all my skills as a physicist and philosopher do to it.

    I wrote this essay has a full-bore intellectual exercise to justify the following claim: One can be as intelligent as any human being on planet Earth, accept our scientific understanding of our world as far as scientific methodologies permits, and still believe in salvation through Jesus Christ. That's a mighty tall order.

    If you feel your scriptures are "good enough," consider this: Last time I checked, Christianity was only accepted by about 1/3 of humanity, and Christianity isn't exactly a closely guarded secret. So it stands to reason that 2/3 of the human race are already without hope. Now please explain to me: if Jesus is as powerful as traditional Christian doctrine insists, and Jesus really is trying to save everybody, how on Earth could we be in mess like this?

  6. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    The mess we are in is because of mans free will to reject an all powerful God, it is the natural rebellion that was unleashed when man sinned against a holy & righteous God.
    I don't have all the answers ! but the key is a personal relationship with God the creator and his chilton book is the bible.
    When one comes to a relationship with Jesus, a personal bond is opened that is not understood in human terms ! but in spiritual terms.
    A key verse that shows this is 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
    This is from the apostle Paul, it is showing the deadness of mans heart towards God before his conversion ! Paul was a Jewish scholar & well versed in the O.T. and had full knowledge as men understand scripture.
    However it was not until the Damascus Rd. experience that he was acquainted with God from the spiritual side of the whole human creation (mind / body / Spirit-Soul )
    I cannot do this for you or anyone else ! it must come from man himself alone with a humble heart & desire to know God ! then he will be found ! and then the learning begins with what God calls a new creation ( you )
    The Holy Spirit of God actually seals the new believer with power to understand God's word.
    The rest of life is lived by faith & trust in a God who truly loves us and will show you all things you need to know for now !
    It is a step of faith that will give the answers that men seek ! It is God's way and there is no other ! now if we see what God has done (creation) ? can't we trust him by faith to lead us to the place he has prepared for those who LOVE him ?

    Matthew 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. This is the answer to your question of many being messed up in a messed up world
  7. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Limits of tolerance (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope - Christmas 2014)

    Dear GKMoz and V-8 Buick folks struggling with that so-called perfect solution: tolerance.

    Well, I do have a huge problem with your all powerful God: Islam. I'm not trying to criticize it, I'm trying to understand why it exists at all. After 9/11, I tried to do what we were supposed to do if we are going peacefully co-exist with other religions. I bought a copy of the Koran and bought a "Catholic's guide to the Koran." It was a very interesting book, but a book that was ultimately very hard to take. I couldn't finish it.

    I got far enough along to learn something that at first glance is very strange. In the Koran the two personalities that are discussed most frequently are ( in order ) Jesus and Mary. On second thought though, it does make sense. When Islam got started there were lots of Christians and Allah needed to provide an explanation as to why Jesus was "doing his job then" but now everybody should listen to Mohammed.

    Well, the Koran clearly provided a compelling explanation for some people (about 1 billion people at the moment.) On the other hand, the Koran has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for the purpose of Mohammed's message to the 2 billion Christians on planet Earth.

    Now we are told there is (count'em) - ONE - God. But the Bible and the Koran couldn't possibly have the same author. Allah and Jesus aren't one in the same, that would be skin to a God with schizophrenia.

    So I have my theories, but I don't think anyone should take this inconsistency lightly. We are quite literally killing each other over these conflicting world views.

  8. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    Re: Limits of tolerance (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope - Christmas 2014)

    Perhaps this might give you a explanation ? MacArthur is an excellent teacher of God's word & rather has this allah vs God thing defined ? imho

    As I pointed out in previous posts, the natural man is incapable of truly comprehending the meaning of God's word on his own ? that would include religious ppl as well as secular ppl It is spiritually discerned !
    And no one is truly spiritual on their own ! it must be given by the Holy Spirit of God & that ONLY comes through a personal relationship with God / Jesus as per my example of the Apostle Paul /Peter at pentecost / other disciples throughout scripture !

    2 Peter 1 :19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

    God bless & I sincerely hope you find the God of the bible as millions have in the past & will in the future ? ( When you seek me with ALL your heart you will find me ) paraphrased

    " so-called perfect solution: tolerance. " man is incapable of true tolerance ! just look at this so called tolerant PC we have now ?
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2015
  9. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Faith in the face of Islam (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope - Christmas 2014)

    Dear GKMoz and V-8 Buick folks struggling with faith,

    In 1990 I got a 3 month internship at a French Information Technology research institute. There I befriended another student from Algeria who was a Muslim. Working conditions were bad and we both were homesick, so I really felt we were "brothers in the misery." Yet, one day this man just blurted out: "As a Muslim I have a right to kill you." To say the least, I was taken aback by this sort of thinking - I thought he was my friend.

    Well, okay I'll grant you that point, but where I'll draw a line is where you also claim to comfortable: I should be able to make sense of my relationship with God. If I can't, where am I going? So since you claim to have a good relationship with Jesus Christ, what would your response be if a Muslim co-worker confronted you with the claim that I faced?

    Understand the spiritual crisis this represented to me. As a friend, I wanted this man to have the blessings of salvation that I hoped I had. However, how could that be if he harbored feelings like this?

    In countries like France and Germany, the tensions between the Islamic and Christian world views are close to boiling point. Your sense of spirituality is very personal, but we live in a world and we have to get along. In effect, your personal sense of spiritual fulfillment is a bit selfish. Since you are comfortable in your salvation, you seem relatively unconcerned about all those other souls who appear not to have it. If one of them chops your head of, you may get to heaven - but that might not be the most pleasant way to get there.

    So are you saying that those who read the Torah or the Koran cannot be saved? Do you believe every tradition has a path to salvation even if they reject that Jesus died on the cross to secure our salvation? Neither point of view seems reasonable. If there is one God, then our desperate need to get along should be as clear as our constant prayers for peace. Obviously, we cannot be expected to sort out the inconsistencies between out various faiths. We need God's help in learning what parts of the respective faiths need to be set aside so that we all can experience God as God intends us to be experienced. Yet, prayer for harmony between religious traditions are repeated over and over again. What we most desperately need from God to avoid bloodshed hasn't materialized. Without it people do argue and those arguments cannot be mediated. If you truly believe that God is calling you do this, how can anyone else disagree?

    Well we wouldn't have "PC," if we all had a single faith that called upon all of us to live out our lives in the same way. In the United States, there is a rosy claim of Christian solidarity, but there is a reason religion is a taboo subject in places like forums. It turns out that people violently disagree about what we "supposedly all agree about."

    My Grandfather fought in the trenches during the battle of Verdun in 1916. My father was an adolescent in German-occupied France during World War II. Instead of a happy childhood, he ran around working for the French resistance when he wasn't digging bodies out of bomb rubble. Maybe your faith can take all that horror in stride, but mine was dashed upon the rocks of real human misery.

    Like you, I cannot question the benevolence of Jesus. I just cannot swallow the idea that Jesus is omnipotent but would have done nothing to prevent events like the first and second world wars. I have no idea how you can believe this. I've written my essay so that I could sleep at night. Honestly, I have no idea how can you can have the optimism that you do.

    There is a saying:

    Optimistics believe we live in the best of all possible worlds.

    Pessimists fear that this is best that we can hope for.

    In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a pessimist.

  10. GSXMEN

    GSXMEN Got Jesus?

    Jeremiah 33:3
    Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

    In short, I would suggest you literally call out to God to show you His Truth.

    He wants all of us to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus. He won't force you to do need to come as you are - on your own.
  11. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

  12. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

  13. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    PSALM 36
    Notice the vast contrast between verses 1-4 and 5-12. To have no fear of God means no reverence and respect for God, or even disbelief entirely. How cold, empty and lonely this person must feel inside. To be without any hope for tomorrow. Self sufficiency is good to a point and we all should be. Yet inside each of us dwells a burning hunger for greater understanding of life and faith. Then read the concluding verses 5-7. See the joy and fulfillment of those of us who have come to know God by faith and experience his forgiveness, love and guidance. There is no greater peace or victory in life than resting in His grace and walking daily in His love....To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord.
    THE transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
    2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
    3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
    4 He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
    5 Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
    6 Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
    7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
    8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
    9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
    10 O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
    11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me.
    12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.
  14. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    European struggles with religion - and our own. (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope)

    Dear Scott, Gary, Jerry, and V-8 Buick world observers,

    In case you hadnt heard, the news from Europe isnt good. In France, there is continued violence from Muslim extremists. In Germany there is protest and debate over whether or not Western civilization truly can incorporate Islam without undermining its own foundations. There is another controversy in France over a new novel that questions the role of government in much the way that the novels Brave New World or 1984 did. However, the plot of this novel is what would happen if the next French president was a practicing Muslim. With Frances substantial Muslim minority and Europes lack of resolve on immigration reform, it is more likely a question of when instead of if.

    None of you guys liked the essay that started this thread, but my principle intellectual adversaries were the academics that I once worked with. Oddly enough, I really think they would be forced to concede every point I made. In particular, my argument about the impossibility of a secular underpinning of western morality came straight from my undergraduate course on the philosophy of ethics. The professor and last author we read basically gave on the whole project because we cannot compel free humans to behave morally. Morally needs a motivation that reason cannot provide. That didnt stop the professor from making a direct attack on Christian values by proclaiming his personal choices from a position of university authority. Academics preach tolerance, but continue to insist that Christianity is need of having its wings clipped. How much further must Christianity be undermined in the name of creating what academics insist is merely a level playing field? I took that class in the early 1980s, but I still remembered it on September 11, 2001. I wonder how that professor has responded to Islamic terrorism considering his moral position presumably remains completely ungrounded.

    I suppose I agree with Islamic extremists on one point: the west has allowed our moral standards to decline to horribly unacceptable levels. Those extremists might agree with me that it is the rise of science and technology that has caused us to lose our concern about moral conduct - even if science has no clue about how to make humans get along. Since our religious views do not agree (whatever our rose colored glasses suggest,) we live together using the vocabulary and world view of science and atheism. There is nothing else we share. Clearly Christianity cannot long endure under these conditions.

    My spirituality has come to embrace the second coming and how Jesus could have live on earth as an immoral man who is the King of kings. Ive come to realize that the western world has material things that have their origin in what Jesus would need to live on earth. So Jesus will have a house, cars, recreational vehicles, cameras, and much of the things we take for granted today. My struggle to keep my wagon alive is in part an attempt to live out that spirituality. I have realized that Jesus would be just as offended as I am at the idea of throwing away a car every 5 years. Jesus would have a relationship with his cars, and because of those relationships, those cars will also last forever. After the second coming, Love with have a dominion over the physical world that is very different than the world we know about today.

    I think that is where present day Christian spirituality runs into a very serious impasse. Our world is not that world Ive just described. Our lives are driven by economic and social mechanisms that Darwin would more easily understand than Jesus. In a dog eat dog world, Christian morality is little more than nice guys finish last. Considering how competitive and uncouth our political system has become, if the King of kings ran for president, would he have a chance? In medieval times, moral corruption was just as rampant, but believers understood they had to take on that desperate uphill battle against the status quo to be saved. Honestly, can we survive at all in our western world if we struggle against sin as those medieval Christians did?

    It seems to me that the only real Christians are people that are completely comfortable with the idea that someday they will look Jesus straight in the eye, shake his hand, and say: Welcome home Jesus! We have really missed you! I fear the struggles in Europe (and the United States) are an attempt to avoid looking Jesus in the eye someday. As institutions and people, we havent made a world that Jesus could simply return to and immediately be happy. If Jesus cannot do that, then no Christian should be happy.

  15. Ken Mild

    Ken Mild King of 18 Year Resto's

    I am not sure what was meant by calling several an "armchair philosopher". :Do No:

    I hate philosophy when it comes to trying to "understand" Christ, as if He can be "understood". And I hate "religion"....another man-made quagmire. Jesus is not a religion. Jesus just is. One who believes in Christ Jesus is a Christian. What we've done by allowing the creation of 10's of thousands of other denominations to suit our perverted interpretations of being a Christian or to fit our comfort level, well, that's a whole other thread.

    If I ponder or meditate on anything, it is scripture, with an open heart to the Holy Spirit's guidance and wisdom in doing such. If I fall down I get up again, not in my strength, but in His. Letting the conditions of the world depress us is having disbelief. We are all concerned but shouldn't be so depressed about it that it ruins our day, week or year. Our reward is not here. In this life, unfortunately, my expectations of man are not high. As Jesus said, "..... I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

    We complicate the Word of God with our intellect and what our limited understanding of God is in our own minds, all of us, some more than others, instead of faithfully letting Him lead us. We can't help it. It is our human nature. But we can't get stuck there. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We do not become wise with PhD's in order to gain an understanding of God. The Gospel is quite simple. We gain an understanding of God by first dying to self. Then, trusting Him and not us. Coming to the end of ourselves. Asking Him to give us spiritual understanding. Not the understanding you can get from a book or a professor.

    1 Thes 1:18-31

    Christ the Power and Wisdom of God
    18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

    I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.

    20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26 For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; 27 but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; 31 therefore, as it is written, Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.

    .....I used to sit and try to figure out the meaning of life years ago, and why everything is the way it is. But now, Christ in my heart assures me that all these things that are happening, sickness, death, natural disasters, lying, cheating, deception, evil acts of terrorism, etc. are all due to the sin nature of man and are all temporary. Just as all the pleasures in this life are temporary. We live in a fallen world since the fall of man in the garden. Christ provided a way out. For those that need to see to believe, and there are many of us, "..Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb 11:1 Think about that. Substance of something you cannot hold in your hand; evidence of something you cannot see. Man looks at things just the opposite way.

    "...the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14-15

    ".... Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, Peace be with you. 27 Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing. 28 Thomas answered him, My Lord and my God! 29 Jesus said to him, Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. John 20:26-29
  16. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

    I don't recall saying I did not like the first post. I respect everyone's views whether they are the same as mine, or not. Let's agree that I'll not push my beliefs on anyone and ask that everyone do the same for me.
    AND, Thanks again to Ken Mild for his wisdom. Never met the man, but I like, and respect, his insight and intellect.
  17. Ken Mild

    Ken Mild King of 18 Year Resto's

    I respect you as well Jerry. I don't know about my intellect. I am a scarred human being in need of a Savior. That's me in a nutshell. :eek:
  18. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

    In my book, you're a good man that someday I'd like to meet and have a couple cold beverages with. And we are "in the same boat". The worst scars we ever receive in our lifetime are the ones that cannot be seen, just felt.
  19. Ken Mild

    Ken Mild King of 18 Year Resto's

    Maybe one day the Lord will use our Buicks to bring us together for a cold one. :beers2: Ditto on the scars my friend.
  20. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Christians and athiests have the same problem. (Re: The Gloomy Quest for Hope)

    Dear Ken, Jerry, and V-8 Buick masters of scripture,

    I don't know of any other way to respond to your point of view but to insist that you are trying to "push on a rope." Those passages of scripture that you find so comforting simply aren't hopeful for me anymore. In case you haven't noticed, I'm not alone.

    The reason philosophers abandoned the attempt to secularize western morality cuts just as harshly against Christianity. If the scriptures don't inspire people anymore to behave morally - they won't. Isn't that very much the moral landscape that seems to be unfolding around here?

    At least in the past, people liked to refer to the United States as "God's country." Alas, the United States is also the strongest proponent of capitalism, which is little more than social Darwinism. Overy one hundred years ago, Christianity tempered the ruthlessness of economic competition, but people like Andrew Carnegie did enough harm to many people to be left with very a guilty conscience. Andrew Carnegie lived at a time when most people at least "talked the talk" when it came to Christianity. Today you can cite scripture until you are blue in the face. Sure, the choir will applaud, but many will yawn, and some people will get really mad at you. Christianity simply isn't the universal that you are all counting on when you start digging into your Bible.

    I'm definitely not happy about it. I used to find comfort from the scriptures and in case you hadn't noticed I could - really - use some comforting at this point. It is time that all you guys accept a very inconvenient truth: people like me do exist. I don't think you can blame my Dad for losing faith when his adolescence was lived out in the war zone surrounding the D-Day landings. My story isn't as dramatic, but I have been broken in an analogous way in a country that stubbornly insists we all have enough freedom to succeed. I think we all have enough injuries of one sort or another to know that is just a delusion.

    Eventually the gap between the scriptures and reality just became too large - I just couldn't swallow it anymore. The crisis that Christian faith now faces is that people like me are rapidly becoming a majority in the western world. As this happens, whether you are a believer or not, the moral underpinnings of western civilization will be undermined and our civilization will collapse.

    Yeah, it is as serious as a heart attack.


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