This is still the " help from above section " ?????

Discussion in 'Help From Above' started by GKMoz, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and seek my face? then will I hear from heaven and heal their land ........God
     
  2. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

  3. Eric68GS

    Eric68GS Well-Known Member

    Amen and much needed in our country right now!
     
  4. moleary

    moleary GOD Bless America

    X2:pray:
     
  5. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Which side of salvation? (Re: This is still the " help from above section " ?????)

    Dear Gary, Jerry, Eric, Mark, and V-8 Buick spiritualists,

    I read this yesterday, but wanted some time to think about how to respond to it. Sadly it seems to me that "if" part of that prayer isn't true anymore. People aren't willing to humble themselves anymore, so can God heal their land? Human beings have free will, so the wicked can serve as a monkey wrench to healing - and do. I've lived long enough to hear prayers like this many times, are we asking for something that is truly in the interest of all, or could we inadvertently standing in the way of Jesus?

    My sister showed me a fish recipe from a Catholic priest of all things who is a skilled chef and author of several cookbooks. This priest made a claims that should resonate in all of us. He said that we should realized that Jesus was (to use the current slang: ) a foodie. Jesus enjoyed life and clearly wasn't ready to abandon even after he was crucified. The disciples clearly believed the second coming was imminent - they expected his return within their own lifetimes. I think it says a lot about how they recognized that Jesus was the human being everybody wanted to be - instead denying himself the pleasures of human experience like Buddha, fulfilling what a human can be - happiness without sin.

    But what will happiness look like after the second coming? If Jesus is a foodie, he will appreciate excellence in cooking. But how can humans eat meat if the lion can lie down with the lamb? The Gospels suggest an answer but one that is very hard to believe. If from water can become the finest wine, could meat come from some other mechanism than slaughtering animals - why not? I'm beginning to realize that fulfillment of human happiness requires a fundamental transformation in the very way things exist. The world of the second coming will be recognizable to us in some respects, but utterly foreign in terms of how things work. It is a literal "quantum leap" from the world of today and I'm starting to suspect that quantum mechanics is evidence of a mechanism to make such sweeping change possible.

    To me the acid test of a Christian is an acceptance that salvation is completely dependent on Jesus's return. Until that happens, the world will be mediocre and miserable. Are we really open to that totality of change? The second coming is judgement day and I think we have to accept that there will be some harsh judgements. The devil has managed to send the human race scurrying in all sorts of wicked directions and Jesus has to deal with that. At the same time, if we truly believe in our faith, we have nothing to fear. Whatever trauma may occur at the moment of transition will soon be forgotten in the happiness that follows.

    We live in a world where people seem resigned to put up with compromise. For all the progress that science and technology has given us, we cannot manage to maintain the roads - much less maintain the peace. I think we all need to search our souls and ask ourselves - "on which side of salvation do we stand?" If we aren't striving to reach that new world that Jesus wants to live in with us - we are part of the problem - not the solution.

    Edouard
     
  6. Eric68GS

    Eric68GS Well-Known Member

    Beautifully said and a real "gut check" for us all. I wish the answer was a simple yes I am on the right side. But I think for many of us it depends on the day, the circumstance or the hour. We've complicated our lives and blurred the truth that many struggle to even understand the real truth (God's word) and the fact there is only one way to heaven, through Jesus Christ. I am far from perfect and try to do right (fail miserably on a regular basis). But I agree, we live in a world full of stumbling blocks and as a whole will face the consequences of those choices. We may not agree with everything, but our passiveness has lead to compromise or acceptance in some cases that has brought about the world we live in today. While maybe we done condone recent happenings, we don't actively work against them either. Really appreciate the truth and thanks for sharing!
     
  7. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Live with the devil as Jesus did. (Re: The " help from above section " ?????)

    Dear Erik and V-8 Buick spiritualists, . .

    I agree that you have "the right stuff" and indeed that's the sort of attitude that will get you across. I think people worry too much about their failings because that's exactly what the devil wants. No human is perfect and we live in a world populated with imperfect things. We have to just cope with those imperfections. In a way that people might find controversial even Jesus was "imperfect" in a way. Part of ourselves is our relations with the world. Jesus's perfection was unfulfilled precisely because the world he lived in was imperfect - his full potential was never realized. That's the underlying explanation for the crucifixion.

    The second coming is the moment that the devil "gets the boot." Until then, we have to cope with the devil's interference as best we can. That includes not giving it any joys from our anxiety.

    Edouard
     
  8. Eric68GS

    Eric68GS Well-Known Member

    I like it! Hey I say more and more that Jesus can come any day. There are obvious unknowns when it comes to the final days as far as how it plays out. But I grow tired of a world full of hate greed and and just sin in general. I can only imagine a world where Jesus is King and peace exists. True peace, the kind of peace we have never known. But even as I imagine it, I know my vision of it is no where near as good as what it will really be like. We must endure and continue to grow. the Lord knows I need to grow!
     
  9. bhambulldog

    bhambulldog 1955 76-RoadmasterRiviera

    [h=1]Deuteronomy 28English Standard Version (ESV)[/h][h=3]Blessings for Obedience[/h]28 And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
     
  10. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz



    agree ! :) :) :)
     
  11. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Why you should take Pascal's wager. (Re: "help from above section " ?????)

    Dear Eric, James, Gary, and V-8 Buick spiritualists,

    I was tossing around some ideas inspired by this thread and came to a realization that should have been there all along, but somehow at least hadn't become clear to me. There is a lot of quibbling about God's omnipotence, but as far as I know Judaism, Christianity, and Islam agree on one "limitation" of God's power: God cannot force a human being to do good against that person's will. An important corollary to this that God will not force a person to become aware of God's existence. In other words, God can be "completely invisible" as a sort of intention. I put "limitation" deliberately in quotes because it seems to me that this is an intentional choice about the sort of relationship God has with humans.

    Since philosophers like to turn things around and I have an existential way of thinking, I couldn't help but ask myself: if for some people God effectively doesn't exist - what is nature of that sort of a relation from God's perspective? If God doesn't exist to an atheist, do atheists exist for God? Normally relationships are symmetric, so at least it should be possible for God to be in a state where indeed atheists don't exist.

    All this leads me to a view that should be obvious but I don't think is stated clearly. The western monotheistic tradition is about a process of sifting. There is good and evil upon the earth, clearly we all would be better off without the evil. What these traditions are implying is that we are the mechanism by which this sifting out of good and evil is being accomplished. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the sifting mechanism is perfect for reasons I'll explain in moment.

    One implication is a much more satisfying answer to the question of "why bad things happen to good people?" If our task is to sort out what is good from bad - unfortunately that means being exposed to bad. Until evil has been sorted and disposed of somehow, we are vulnerable to evil because the messy state of the earth. That's the reason why the sifting mechanism might be effectively "hasty." People are getting hurt as things stand right now. Some way to shelter the good is an urgent priority. So atheists may not believe in God, but nonetheless not be bad people. Still they might not be saved because they didn't demonstrate that goodness in the spiritual way required for salvation.

    All this leads me back to Pascal's Wager. Pascal argues that even if we cannot be certain God exists, that effectively it is a safe bet do assume it. There is essentially nothing lost by doing God's will and potentially everything to gain. An atheist rarely claims that he/she can prove God doesn't exist. Instead they simply claim they don't have any reason to believe God does exist. However, the theology of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all agree that a human being could not believe without somehow God "cheating." So what the atheist feels is a "safe" position is nothing more than a kind of laziness that invites damnation. Since proving that God doesn't exist just as impossible as proving that God does exist, the best anyone can do is Pascal's wager.

    This won't settle any arguments of course, but it makes the condition of our world surprisingly clear. It also perhaps explains something about why judgement day is portrayed as so harsh. Viewed in this way, judgement day isn't exactly a trial. Instead it is precisely what Christian rhetoric describes it as: salvation. The analogy is more like a ship rescuing people from a sinking ocean liner - but cannot save all of them. I do believe there are reasons for revelation, so here is an example were writers have seen the future and watched the non-believers insisting they deserved to be saved too, but they didn't have the faith to join in salvation. Clearly many people today do not believe such things can happen. We are close to the point when they will be proven wrong.

    Edouard
     
  12. custom

    custom Got Kenora?

    As a Christian, I see the logic of Pascal's "Wager" as a progression of what is really wrong with the collective and individual spiritual condition of our nation, even within the "Christian" community itself. The rationale of simply saying one believes in God and "trying to follow God's will" just to hedge their "wager" as an insurance policy of some sort in case there is a God is seriously flawed. The Bible tells us that even Satan and his demons believe n God.
    When one comes to Christ, he or she acknowledges they are a sinner, asks for forgiveness, is willing to repent and accepts the free gift of His salvation, becoming a new creature in Christ and free to have an ongoing personal relationship with God. It is thru this relationship that God will reveal His will for our lives.
    Christians are to live by faith and we know that God, by His Word, assures us that eternal life is promised and God does not go back on His promises.
    We claim to be a "Christian" nation. Yes, this country was founded on Christian principles but all we have to do is look around and everywhere we see evidence where progressive secularism has brought us to a place where the majority of the country will respond to a poll claiming they are Christian but live to the contrary. We mock God at every turn and in the name of political correctness we continue to slide down the slippery slope and justify our sinful actions and demand they be accepted in this day and age by saying only God can judge and that we are all "God's children". That is false. We are not all God's children. We are all God's creation. Only by accepting His gift of salvation makes us a child of His. As far as judging is concerned, yes only God can judge a man's soul in the end but in the interim He also gives Christians the discernment to identify evil, to call it out and with His help, flee from it.
    .

    In regards to atheists, it is a matter of the heart.....when it comes down to it most will tell you the reason they do not believe there is a God because they see no evidence of him. This is usually based on what they have seen or personally experienced. This opens the door for a response in Christian love.

    Pollster George Barna conducted a poll and asked people What one question would they ask of God if they had the opportunity..by an overwhelming margin the question was Why is there so much suffering and evil in the world?
    So, what is evil? Evil is not something that has an existence all its own. Rather it is a corruption of something that already exists. It is not an actual entity but a real corruption in an actual entity.

    I believe Dr. Don Rhodes stated it best in saying that the problem of evil may be viewed in simple form as a conflict involving 3 concepts:
    Gods power, Gods goodness and the presence of evil in the world and that common sense tells us that all 3 cannot be true at the same time. Solutions to the problem of evil typically involve one or more of these concepts.......either limit Gods power, limit Gods goodness or, modify the existence of evil such as calling it an illusion or making human determinations. (sound familiar?)
    If God made no claims to being good, then the existence of evil would be easier to explain. But God does claim to be good. If God were limited in power so that he was not strong enough to withstand the power of evil, than again evil would be easier to explain. But God does claim to be all powerful. If evil were just an illusion that had no reality, the problem wouldnt really exists in the first place. But we know it exists and it is real.
    Today we are impacted by two types of evil, the first being moral evil committed by free moral agents (war, hatred, crime, discrimination, suicide bombings) and the second being natural evil (earthquakes, floods, famine, hurricanes). God is good. God is all powerful, yet evil exists.
    Prominent thinkers and philosophers, many agnostics or atheists have concluded that based on their observations of suffering and evil, the God of the Bible does not exists. One wrote of God, is he willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able but not willing? Then he is spiteful. Is he both willing and able, wherefore what is evil? If God is all-good and all-powerful then such atrocities as Hitler killing 6m Jews would have never happened.
    But even before considering what the Bible has to say about evil, the agnostics or atheists who make this claim by defining Hitlers actions as evil and saying that there wouldnt be evil if God could stop it first have to answer this question.what criteria is something to be judged as evil in the first place? How does one judge what is evil and what isnt? What is the moral measuring stick by which people and events are morally appraised? By what process is evil distinguished from good and evil and vice versa?
    In order to define what is evil we have to have a moral law. If we have a moral law we have to have a moral law giver. If you have neither than there is no such thing as evil. But we do have a moral law (God's Word) and a moral law giver (God).
    To distinguish between good and evil we must have an infinite reference point that is absolutely good. We find that in God for he is the definition of what is absolutely good. If God does not exist than there are no moral absolutes by which one has the right to judge something or someone as being evil. And if there is no God and each individual human is here randomly by chance, then how can we hold anyone accountable for their actions?
    So in the end, the reality of evil actually requires the existence of God rather than disproving it.
     
  13. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

    /\/\/\ Very good. Thank You.
     
  14. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    The bible's God or the philosopher's God? (Re: "help from above section ")

    Dear Mark, Jerry, and V-8 Buick spiritualists,

    You guys are much sharper than me on this one, but my memories of the Bible are of passages in the old Testament were the prophets make statements to the effect:

    "Do not worship other gods, worship your god Yaweh"

    Isn't that a tacit admission at those other gods exist? Jews never did claim that every other culture was stupid and their gods didn't exist at the time.

    At the same time, the Gospels to insist on one God, but I don't recall anything about infinity in the Gospels.

    I do agree that an omnipotent, infinitely benevolent, and infallible God does not exist. However, I don't think the Christian religious experience came up with that concept. I think this is a creation of theologians inspired by philosophers and mathematicians. As such, it is a kind of "straw man" that is easily disproved. To put things in perspective, infinity itself is a concept alone. We have absolutely no evidence that infinity exists in the physical world. Anything we are aware of is a finite distance or time from us. Infinity may not exist, if it doesn't, can an "infinite God" exist?

    I experience spiritual phenomena everyday. It is every bit as real to me as the rising of the sun. So to me the problem is why doesn't everyone experience such things and why doesn't everyone experience the same sort of spiritual phenomena? Buddhism exists and seems on the face of it utterly incompatible with Christianity. Is one of these faith traditions just wrong?

    I know people don't like this point of view, but somehow there has to be a single underlying reality to experiences that all humans are having. There has to be a single cause to human spirituality. That means something is messing with our minds for some of us to believe in Christian salvation while Buddhists are literally seeking to stop the futility of endless reincarnation.

    We should be very careful to insist that any human being is mistaken. All the faith traditions have created beautiful and worthwhile things. All have done evil of one sort or another. For all the difference in doctrine, human religion seems sadly all too human in its failings. We can blame ourselves alone for this, or we can conclude even our faith can be "hacked" by the devil. We should resign ourselves to this with the same grim determination to nonetheless overcome it as medieval Christians did.

    Edouard
     
  15. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    A deeper search will show that those "gods' are not God as we percieve the word !
    And there is a single way! John 14:6 it is thee only way of Salvation!
    The other "religions" are as you say "Man made' and carry no weight with an all knowing creator!
    I know it sounds too simple to be true? I lived where most are living now with the rolling eyes etc.
    But the actual living God came into my life when I submitted to his perfect plan in HIS required way with humility /repentance/ and acceptance of HIS provision of a substitute- payment for my sin /sins
    JESUS !:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
  16. custom

    custom Got Kenora?

    Re: The bible's God or the philosopher's God? (Re: "help from above section ")


    Edouard,
    I hope my reply here does the topic and God's word justice.....


    "You guys are much sharper than me on this one, but my memories of the Bible are of passages in the old Testament were the prophets make statements to the effect:

    "Do not worship other gods, worship your god Yaweh"

    Isn't that a tacit admission at those other gods exist? Jews never did claim that every other culture was stupid and their gods didn't exist at the time.

    At the same time, the Gospels to insist on one God, but I don't recall anything about infinity in the Gospels."




    In the Old Testament the worshipping of "other gods" refers to the various idols man created. There were also "gods" man imagined and gave names to as they began to turn towards the worshipping of the stars or various aspects of creation as opposed to God. You will find mention of this in the book of Jeremiah where the people were warned to both avoid or turn away from such practices.
    In the New Testament we are warned that in the "last days" we would see an escalation of man worshipping the creation more than the creator. We see evidence of this everyday in our society.
    In Luke 12:34 we are told that "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Anything that we place a higher value on, or put ahead of God can be considered a god.......money, fame, job etc.....
    Many people do not realize that Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:4 even mentions "another Jesus" in the New Testament.........what he is referring to is not an actual person, but the false portrayals of Christ being taught by false teachers. That practice is alive and well today, whether it be a TV evangelist who portrays God as an ATM or from a pulpit or college classroom where the word of God is being compromised by trying to convince people that certain sins really aren't sins in Gods eyes. (another discussion).

    I do agree that an omnipotent, infinitely benevolent, and infallible God does not exist. However, I don't think the Christian religious experience came up with that concept. I think this is a creation of theologians inspired by philosophers and mathematicians. As such, it is a kind of "straw man" that is easily disproved. To put things in perspective, infinity itself is a concept alone. We have absolutely no evidence that infinity exists in the physical world. Anything we are aware of is a finite distance or time from us. Infinity may not exist, if it doesn't, can an "infinite God" exist?



    My first comment would be is that it takes just as much faith to believe God does not exist as it does to believe that He does.
    I cannot answer the scientific aspects of the universe or infinity because there are things that God has not revealed to us in this life here on Earth. However I can understand and accept that God, and His Word are eternal and that heaven is real.

    I experience spiritual phenomena everyday. It is every bit as real to me as the rising of the sun. So to me the problem is why doesn't everyone experience such things and why doesn't everyone experience the same sort of spiritual phenomena? Buddhism exists and seems on the face of it utterly incompatible with Christianity. Is one of these faith traditions just wrong?


    I cannot speak to the "spiritual phenomena" you experience everyday but my question would be, regardless of what it is, why do you believe that others do not experience the same thing? Could it be that you are describing the sensory aspects of your life, the thoughts and emotions that bring about feelings? Not making claims in your case, just trying to understand so excuse me if my interpretation is not accurate. Salvation in Christ is not a feeling, it is based on faith, the belief that God is who He says He is, never changes and will do what He says He will do. This is a great comfort to Christians as there are days, we as humans have our doubts and at times we question God for various reasons. But Christ as man understands what we are going thru.

    As far as comparing "religions" or various belief systems goes, we could spend many, many pages discussing the various aspects of each. But in short you will find that Christianity is based solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross and that nothing we do as sinners can save us from the punishment we deserve. With God we are told He is "no respector of persons", in other words God loves everyone and offers each one of us the free gift of salvation thru Christ if we accept Him and conversely those who reject Him will in the end face the same judgment. Christ invites us to have a personal relationship with Him and offers us salvation.
    In all other "religions" the underlying theme is based on works, not faith and forgiveness.
    Note that I put the word "religion" in quotes. Reason for that is that organized religion which is man-made should not be confused with a true personal relationship with God. You mention 'traditions" and yes, they exist within religions but traditions do not save man.

    "I know people don't like this point of view, but somehow there has to be a single underlying reality to experiences that all humans are having. There has to be a single cause to human spirituality. That means something is messing with our minds for some of us to believe in Christian salvation while Buddhists are literally seeking to stop the futility of endless reincarnation."




    In Romans Chapter 1 vs. 20 we are told "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly see, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse".
    What this tells us is that all we have to do is look around and we can clearly see His power in the His creation and that it is not of man. God has instilled in us the knowledge that we were created and that there is a higher power.
    God created us in His own image. We were created to worship and glorify God. Mankind fell short with Adam and we are all born with a sin nature. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". Romans 3:23. It is God's convicting and pricking the heart of man, opening the eyes to the fact that he is a sinner which moves one to seek forgiveness and want to repent.
    We should be very careful to insist that any human being is mistaken. All the faith traditions have created beautiful and worthwhile things. All have done evil of one sort or another. For all the difference in doctrine, human religion seems sadly all too human in its failings. We can blame ourselves alone for this, or we can conclude even our faith can be "hacked" by the devil. We should resign ourselves to this with the same grim determination to nonetheless overcome it as medieval Christians did.


    Yes, there are positive instructions found within the various faiths. However, we are clearly told by Christ in John 14:6. "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but be me." Christ instructed his disciples to "go ye into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature" so that this truth may be shared.
    You are the correct, the devil is actively seeking to keep man from God. He knows his ultimate fate and judgment.
    It is sad that throughout history to see the result of what happens when men who claim to be of God, act as if they were God.

    Give God a chance. Look into his word and you just may find the answers to some of the questions you have.:TU:
     
  17. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Spirituality across "deep time?" (Re: "help from above section ")

    Dear Gary, Mark, and V-8 Buick Spiritualists,

    I'm sorry, I really need to write another thread to capture the key ideas that are rolling through my head right now, but here is a few thoughts.

    Well, that sounds like an easy dismissal of what other cultures were doing, but what might have placated Jewish believers of the time should not satisfy us so easily. There are 7 wonders of the ancient world - not a single one of them a devotion to the Jewish God. Are you trying to tell me all those masterpieces of engineering and art were created by fools who were making up a false religion just to amuse themselves alone?

    There is a more serious problem. In Turkey is for the moment the oldest religious structure: Gbekli Tepe:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

    It dates back to perhaps as far back to 14-16,000 years ago. More importantly, Klaus Schmidt has made a very compelling case that this structure was the basis for the first civilization. At the time, there were natural sources of grain, so this structure predates agriculture. So there was no reason for any bringing together of people beyond the small bands that are thought to have existed. Schmidt argues that a civilization came into existence for religious purposes alone: to construct Gbekli Tepe complex. Following Schmidt reasoning, religion brought about civilization. It isn't the case that civilization came first and humans then had idle time to "invent" religion.

    Unfortunately for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, Gbekli Tepe is clearly a polytheistic temple. So following your line of reasoning, humans accidentally invented civilization following a false set of spiritual inspirations. I think anyone who wants to believe that spiritual forces are real would want to accept that Gbekli Tepe is a genuine manifestation of spiritual forces of good. Perhaps flawed, nonetheless polytheism can be a force for good and that needs a plausible explanation.

    Monotheism is a recent phenomena. Is it correct to dismiss any other religious phenomena has somehow "mistaken?" If so human beings have been "mistaken" for over 10,000 years more than we have "gotten it right." That just doesn't sound reasonable.

    I personally agree with you, but I don't think most atheists realize that!

    The spiritual "problem" that Buddha is trying to solve is utterly different and indeed deeply pessimistic. Buddha had a revelation that his future would nothing but endless reincarnations that would not represent any kind of progress. Buddhism is an attempt to break out of this futile process of endless reincarnations.

    That's why I see it has incompatible with Christianity. Buddhism has no notion of salvation whatsoever. Instead it seems to be attempting to cope with the possibility that salvation is impossible. Could such a thing exist? That's about the only way I can reconcile the two religious traditions occurring within 500 years of each other.

    If things are as simple as this . . . why aren't things as simple as this? I'm not being facetious, but I fear grimly realistic. Before Islam, Christianity had spread through most of the former Roman Empire. If that message was as simple and reassuring as you describe it, how could so many be converted to Islam so quickly? Today, only about 1/3 of the human race is Christian. If God is accessible to everybody, why are so few able to "tune in?" Never have people had free access to information, never have people been so able to compare what the various religious traditions and consider what "their heart" feels is correct. Freedom does not seem to lead to a natural attraction to God's love as you present it.

    Indeed we are in different spiritual places, but I see the heavy hand of the devil in those facts. If the devil can throw the majority of the human race out of touch with God, well we aren't as free as we would like to believe.

    I'm sorry, but here is where I see things very differently. This account of creation is far too static to fit what science tells us about the world. I do accept that human beings as we see them today did evolve from common ancestors to apes. Where I break sharply with science is in the idea that human are simply biological objects. In my view humans are spiritual beings and this evolved with us to make a clean break with the animal kingdom. In my view spirituality is emergent, it has changed across geological time and that provides an explanation for why the earth was once hostile to live but now provides a home for life. It also allows for an explanation for things like mass extinction events and predicts that they would grow smaller over time - as they have.

    Christianity provides comforting explanations for a human world. But I cannot shallow this eternal God watching over His creation being utterly disseminated by phenomena like mass extinction events. The suffering of living things is suffering. I cannot see God having infinite love and yet permitting living things to suffer horribly when they are incapable of sin.

    I need another way to understand these things. Not finding one that I found satisfactory, I had little choice but cobble one of my own.

    When you can give me a plausible reason why God created dinosaurs, allowed them to rule the earth for 100 million years, and then exterminated them - leaving nothing but their bones for us to puzzle over . . . I'll consider it.

    Edouard
     
  18. schlepcar

    schlepcar Gold Level Contributor

    I prefer the K.I.S.S. meaning of "faith" as clearly defined:..........2.strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.synonyms: religion, church, sect, denomination, (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief, ideology, creed, teaching, doctrine"she gave her life for her faith"a system of religious belief.plural noun: faiths"the Christian faith"a strongly held belief or theory."the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe"...............Believing life is fair,uninspired,uneventful,non-tragic,anything less than overwhelming......is unacceptable to a real Christian. I despise intelligence that attempts to prove or disprove the existence of one's God. We were obliged to accept the agony of our sins as soon as the serpent sold us on accepting the fruit. The basis of Christianity is accepting Jesus as being resurrected for our sins. Other countries practice their own religions,the key difference being that it may be part of a larger culture tying them together as a people. When America was strong,we too,were tied together through similar comradery. We are all so spoiled and intelligent now,that we don't even know who to thank.
     
  19. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Horrors can break faith (Re: This is still the " help from above section " ?????)

    Dear schlepcar and V-8 Buick spiritualists,


    Well, in a way that was sort of the point I was trying to make. We should be cautious in deciding exactly what Jesus can and cannot do. If Jesus can bring about salvation - enough said.

    Well, I split this situation into two cases. I hate like you the intellectuals that were my curse in the U.C. Berkeley Philosophy department. I've posted my story about Hans Sluga who started the Philosophical Methods course with a perfectly sweet and friendly: "I'm going to show to you all that the concept of God is - incoherent." Considering I still post is this topic, he didn't convince me!

    However, the reasons I struggle with these questions are because of people like my Father who couldn't accept religious teachings because of the horrible things he saw growing up in war torn northern France during World War II.

    As I've said here, I spent about 10 years being a practicing Catholic before problems like what my Father described force me reconsider Christian doctrine and try to come up with a more satisfying explanation of why evil exists.

    What K.I.S.S. means for people will not surprisingly depend on the person. When you have studied the philosophy of Heidegger, you have a much bigger challenge to come up with a reasonable account of spirituality, precisely because you need to come up with counter-arguments to Heidegger's objections. Fortunately, we don't all have that sort of obstacle. Still, I think any believer needs to be sensitive to people like my Dad and to some extent me. I haven't had experiences as horrible as my Dad, nonetheless I have had an "extensive" education at the "school of hard knocks." Bad things happen to good people, good institutions, good nations, even in a way, good cars. Why this happens and how we react to it could either make the world a better place or play into the hands of evil.

    Edouard
     
  20. schlepcar

    schlepcar Gold Level Contributor

    I wasn't arguing your points because I think we are on the same page with philosophy as a part of an "individual" education. I think what irritated me the most about "higher" education was the time spent on convincing freshmen and sophomores that there belief systems were likely b.s. It was not just the philosophy classes,but also psychology, literature and other liberal minded instructors who somehow answered all of life's problems while hiding in a concrete structure built by real men. I was actually surprised it took so long for someone to make a story like "God's Not Dead". I think if half the parents in the country knew the "knowledge" that is being trapped in their students head,we would boycott a lot of universities. Institutions shovel out a lot of garbage and label it as the gospel of truth. It is not scientific,empirical,or even mathematically true in its nature,but more sinister and controlling in its administration. I think the two scariest groups in this country are young people and old people. They both are easily swayed in one direction or another. We are either young enough to bend to all of this crap through the brainwashing process or too old to fight it off.
    You are right about the effects that certain situations have on certain people. After WWII my grandfather became more religious than ever while other vets were denouncing it altogether. I have had a lot of real education(the kind money can't buy)and I sided with a lot of gramps views while disagreeing with some of them. I think it would be a mistake to assume all war survivors went through the same experience,but I gather a lot of information from them and it is not always negative. It is surprising how God sometimes forces us to make a decision whether we are ready or not.
     

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