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Justin
 
Reply Sun 16 Apr, 2006 12:06 pm
I attended Church today where my family has gone to church for years and I have to say that it wasn't what I'd consider one of the best sermons I've listened to.

In the Church my family goes to, they have a leader or preacher as in all churches. There's always someone standing behind the pulpit teaching his or her version of what they conceive to be the truth. The church I attended today, as I have times in the past, seem judgemental of other doctrines and faiths. Very little of the Bible is actually read but there is a lot of teaching on how we should live and be saved. Doesn't the Bible teach not to judge? However most Churches I've attended seem quick to judge all that are not followers of their philosophy of life and Bible. "Judge not, lest ye be judged.". Anyone ever heard of that?

Saying your a Christian and living it are two very different things. It's not often you'll find a Christian that lives like a Christian should live. Granted, that's understandable because many of the Christians are followers of the teachings of their leaders, many of which don't know or understand everything about what they are teaching.

In my personal experience with Religion and God and this omnipotent, omnipresent power and being, I've come to the understand that Religions divide people, they don't unite. All religions have their own doctrines and beliefs and it has divided people and created a lot of chaos.

All that being said, I'd like to talk about Religion and different beliefs. There are so many roads to take in the journey of life, which is the right road and which is leading down a path of destruction?

Please feel free to comment. It's interesting to gain an understanding of what other beliefs are and what they are founded on.
 
tMeeker
 
Reply Fri 8 Sep, 2006 02:12 pm
@Justin,
Hey Justin,

My name is Trey Meeker, and this is my first posting on this forum. I read your post, several months after you wrote it, so I hope it's not too late for you to make a response after mine.

I understand the immense confusion you have to be experiencing right now, there are a tremendous amount of roads to take in this life, and you are exactly right.........how are we to decide which road is the right road, which one is the answer to everything? The essence of everything? Nearly every human in this world is asking the same question you are, however they choose not to acknowledge their search for truth, they are secretly denying their emptiness.

I am telling you right now, and everyone else who is reading this message, what the answer to everything is, what the truth to everything is. Why is that we as humans spend our entire lives searching for the answers, and no one seems to ever fill this empty void. I know without in doubt in my mind the Jesus Christ is the answer to this world, that is why we feel this empty void, we haven't filled it with presence of the Holy Spirit.

Now before you quickly go on to a new post, because I said the name Jesus Christ, let me explain to you how I know this. I realize you've probably been to church your whole life, you've heard a million sermons, you've heard all about Christ......and frankly you have never really cared nor have you understood what all the frenzy was about. But bro, let tell you this not as a friend, not as some distant stranger, not as a family member, I'm telling you this as a fellow member of the human race, Jesus Christ is the author and architect of this giant universe. He is the answer to everthing, He is beautiful creator, our savior, our Lord, and our truth.

Every religion out there, every other one besides Christianity, in all of these religions you have to work your way to Heaven. It's all based on you, you are the one who has to do the work to get to Heaven. All except my faith in Christ, I can't work my way to God, I'll never be good enough............never. Jesus Christ is the only way we can get to Heaven, there is no other way. I'm not claiming this, I'm telling you this.
In Christ, we have no admit our sin, accepting Him as savior and Lord, and denying ourselves, realzing that He alone can save us. And by doing this we gain an eternity in Heaven.

And right now you're thinking, but how do you know that Christianity is the right religion? How do you know you are right? What if you are wrong? Here's how I know.........I believe. I have faith, and that's what is so hard for us as humans to do, we find it so difficult to believe in something we can't see. Why is that? We think, if science has discovered it, then it must not exist! But why do children find it so easy to believe in things that they cannot see?

You have to trust me, I promise you, I assure you, this is the only faith, this is the reason for everything, this is the essence of everything. It all comes down to Jesus Christ, He was who He claimed to be, and He is the Lord whom I will pursue all the days of my life.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sun 10 Sep, 2006 07:29 pm
@Justin,
First of all, welcome to the Philosophy Forum. Thank you for expressing your thoughts freely.

The science of man is the least known at all. How can we live life without knowing why. It's the question of lifetime!

I do believe in Jesus and what he taught. I find the most important teaching is: Love Ye One Another!

Faith is the most power moving force and a man must develop faith to replace fear. I respect your faith Trey. I also have faith in Jesus, however I cannot control that thirsting desire to understand life a little more. My thirst is only for truth.

Religions are defined by mankind when there is but only one mind (deity). Therefore I'm thinking that this relationship is not between us and the Church... and it's not between us and our Religious Leaders... and it's not between us and our Families, - Its between us and God. Jesus said God was with us. I don't believe we should have to seek out a relationship with God when we are the physical thought creation of God. The search for God and the desire to get closer to God is misunderstood because God is omnipotent and omnipresent:

Quote:
Omnipotent: adjective 1.almighty or infinite in power, as God. 2.having very great or unlimited authority or power. -noun 3.an omnipotent being. 4.the Omnipotent, God.

Quote:
Omnipresent:


Bottom line is Jesus was the light of the world and God is Light, and we must also become light as co-creators of our lives and our very existence.

Thanks for posting. I look forward to more posts by you. These posts are timeless. Feel free to respond to any post you wish and at any time.
 
tMeeker
 
Reply Mon 11 Sep, 2006 10:17 am
@Justin,
Hey Justin,

Thanks for the reply, I'm really glad you took the time to read my post. I read your message and I have taken some time to analyze where you're coming from. I'm not trying to make you become a Christian, and I'm not trying to influence my beliefs upon you. But if you knew what the answer to everything in this world was,(Christ), then wouldn't you shout that answer all across the world? It's like if you had the cure for cancer, would you not race across the world telling everyone you could? I understand you believe in Christ, and you seem to know that He is God, and He is the all-powerful creator. But one thing I do have to stress is that you are right, we do not choose God..............God chooses us to become Christians. God has already predestined whom He will save, and because of this many people will inevitably question free will. You have to understand, because of the fact God chooses those whom He will save, that means whenever he chooses you, you are convicted by the Holy Spirit to become a follower of Christ. I do agree with you that I find it very offensive that people view Christianity as just another religion. Chrisiantiy is not a religion..........It's our life, it's our very lives, Christ is our source for living, our reason for living, and everyone out there in this world is searching for this reason for living.

You said you are desperately seaching for truth. I can tell you what truth is, truth is not found in the things of this world. If truth could be found in this world, why did Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle spend their entire lives searching for truth, but never found it? They were looking for truth in this world! It's not in this world. Truth is Christ, Jesus is Truth.
John 14:6,"Jesus said:I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one can come to the father except through me." Jesus did not just claim to be truth, He claimed to be "the truth." He is the reason for everything, and the He is who He claimed to be.

I don't know if you are a follower of Chirst, maybe you are, maybe you aren't. But I am telling you.............you don't become a Christian until you are chosen by Christ. And when you are chosen, you deny yourself, begging for forgiveness, asking Christ to save you from the sorrowful future which awaits you, and making him Soveriegn Lord of your life. I really respect the fact that you understand the absolute magnitude and soveriegnty of Jesus Christ, but for those who cannot even begin to comprehend His beauty, sharing my faith is like literally like casting pearls before swine.

Trey Meeker

"Truth cannot be found in the things of this world, but in the God who created them."
--Trey Meeker
 
amenotatsujin
 
Reply Tue 19 Sep, 2006 02:28 pm
@Justin,
1 Cor 1:11-13 wrote:
My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas "; still another, "I follow Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?


I think this passage shows that not only should we not judge, but we really shouldn't have all these denominations. This is something all Christians should work on.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2006 02:24 pm
@Justin,
"But one thing I do have to stress is that you are right, we do not choose God..............God chooses us to become Christians. God has already predestined whom He will save, and because of this many people will inevitably question free will. You have to understand, because of the fact God chooses those whom He will save, that means whenever he chooses you, you are convicted by the Holy Spirit to become a follower of Christ."

I couldn’t help but notice the frequent use of the word “choose”. When you use this word I think you are making a mistake by personifying God. I (rightly or wrongly) associate the word “choose” with a decision and options. I don’t think God, as an omniscient (all knowing) being, chooses. If a being knows all there is to be known there would be no decision to make, because everything always is. Since God is presumably outside space-time he already knows everything that has, is, and will happen inside our universe of space-time. No other decisions will be made, nothing else is left to be chosen. And if you think about it, God, knowing everything, would have never made any decision, because it would have just been.

Kierkegaard said that God does not think, he creates. This aides in what I am trying to bring forth. It is easy for someone to say that God is omniscient or all knowing, but my guess is that these people rarely stop and think what it means to be truly omniscient. This is why I urge you to think about the omniscience of God. Reflect on what it means to be all knowing. Think about the ramifications, the power, the glory, and you, like myself, might get a brief glimpse of the awe of God.

P.S. Please don't think I was attacking you or what you believe or say. I firmly believe my quote (we must doubt everything), and arguing is one of the best ways to doubt.
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Wed 20 Sep, 2006 08:54 pm
@Justin,
May I ask you, de Silentio, something? Do you not believe that if God created all, He would know what it is (and for this purpose, all of what it is) He created?
And since the Bible says that He created everything...
It would make sense that He would know everything, He would be omniscient.

And you wrote that 'God, knowing everything, would have never made any decision, because it would have just been.' I can know how a robot that I might create can function, but that does not mean that I've actually created the robot; I would just have the fundemental knowledge of how my personal robot would function (should it exist[or rather, should I ever bring it into existance]), correct?
 
tMeeker
 
Reply Thu 21 Sep, 2006 11:17 am
@Ragnell,
de Silentio,

Very impressive, you really know alot about the Christian faith, and have a pretty good understanding of the magnificence of God. However I do have to reaffirm my point the God does choose us.

You are right, God is not in the context of time, and He is not subjected to the effects of it either. However, God does intervene with His creation throughout time and history to choose those whom He will save. Now this certainly raise the question of free will.......if God chooses whom He will save then how can we be at fault if we do not become a follower of Jesus Christ?

To question why God chooses the "elect" or whom He will save is to question the goodness of God. And when you question the goodness of God, you are questioning if God has the ability to make the right choices. I understand how it would seem unfair that God chooses whom He will save, however we first have to come to the conclusion that God is ultimately and soveriegnly good.........and then we can realize that who He chooses to save is rightly good.

If you do believe that God is in ultimate control of everything.....then who plants the seed of the Holy Spirit to convict us that we need to accept Christ? God does! God gives us the desire to repent for our sins and to beg for his forgiveness...........so in reality God really does choose whom He will save, because He alone gives us the desire to repent. And at first glance this seems unfair, however we have to reflect that God is good.........and whoever He chooses is always good.

This is a very difficult concept to comprehend....and if you disagree with me, don't worry, this is a very heated debate in the Christian church today.
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Thu 21 Sep, 2006 08:49 pm
@Justin,
Hmm... well said, tMeeker. Perhaps, though, you should make a distinction between the two 'good's; God's ultimate goodness, which we may call 'Perfection' and man's goodness, which we cannot call 'perfection'.
And let me raise a point. If God gives us the desire to repent, are you saying that only some of us (Christians) actually follow that desire? I merely ask this because someone else might interpret that section of your post as 'God only puts this overwhelming desire in a few people whom He randomly picks to follow Him, and leaves the others to die'.
 
Justin
 
Reply Fri 22 Sep, 2006 07:25 am
@Justin,
Great discussion.

tMeeker - Thank you for your post and insight however, I have to disagree with you on when it comes to who or how God chooses.

God creates in the form of mind thought energy. God is a creating God. God chose to create Us and being that God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent... and all good, God knows no evil. Therefore God doesn't create that which is evil. So why would God step away from his Omnipotence to create a mankind that is evil then choose not to save him?

We are the creation of God. Flat out. God created mankind in his own image (as it says in the Bible). We are all chosen. God doesn't create evil, nor does God predetermine who will enter into his Kingdom... This is his Kingdom and God has created this. It's each of us individually that has to choose God. If the, 'Footprints are in the Sand' but we choose not to see them, this doesn't mean we aren't already chosen, it just means that we haven't chose.

The desire inside man comes ever nearer as mankind evolves from the animalistic stage of consciousness to a more knowing consciousness of the presence of God all around us and the unity in mankind.

We are not a separate creation from God, we are the creation of God and in his image and his energy is surrounding us and is walking with us if we choose to know this.

On top of all that, Jesus didn't choose us, we chose to follow the teachings of Jesus. Jesus didn't come to preach that only certain of us are chosen, on the contrary, Jesus came with the message of unity and to "Love ye one another".

There is a division in the Christian Church and some Christians believe they are chosen, while others believe we are all chosen but it's our decision to choose to listen.

The bottom line is there is but one Creator of all of us and this Creator is good and is within each and everyone of us because we are the 'mind thought creativity' One Creator. That choice has already been made, it's up to us to listen and recognize the voice of God crying out from within us. No matter how bad the man may be, there is good in all of us and there is love in all of us. If we don't know the essence of Love, how can we know God when God is Love!

Until mankind understands that there is a "Universal One" and that we are all connected in unity through the creator of the universe, there will always be division and disagreement. Our job is not to judge but to become one with the Light of God and build that light that's inherent in each and every one of us. The choice is ours and ours alone. We choose the follow the ways of the world or the ways of God.
 
tMeeker
 
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 03:13 pm
@Justin,
First off Justin, thank you so much, for being an understanding Administrator of the philosophy forum. The last philosophy forum I was on, really wouldn't let you say what your beliefs were.......before they kicked you out. So thank you and I appreciate that we can all get along on at least one forum here on the internet.

Second, we seem to disagree on this matter, but I guarantee you, we are not the first two to have a disagreement in the history of the world about the soverignity or "elect" of God.........so there's no reason to really loose our, well for lack of a better word, "cool" over the very delicate matter at hand.

We both have our beliefs, and life goes on. However I really did enjoy this discussion.

Oh a Ragnell, in response to your post.........I'm actually really glad to see another Christian on this site,(and if you're not I'm sorry If I offended you). However, it is my belief that God chooses exactly whom He will save, and yes He places the desire to come to know Him inside each of us. Now, yes this is absolutely with out a doubt, so difficult to comprehend, but like I said......I'm not forcing you to believe it.

I'm thinking about starting a full discussion upon fatalism and free will on a post here in the forum soon, so feel free to voice your opinion. Thanks.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 23 Sep, 2006 06:33 pm
@Justin,
Tmeeker - thanks for your post. Yes, we're going to disagree. It's part of who we all are. The purpose of why we are all here is to discuss philosophy and share our insights with others. Also feel free to open a new thread in the proper category to discuss fatalism. --For now I better keep this on topic before I get the boot. Smile
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 07:24 pm
@Justin,
So much to respond to, so little time.

tMeeker, when you say: "However, God does intervene with His creation throughout time and history to choose those whom He will save." I think you are missing the point of my post. I never meant to imply that God doesn't intervene. I don't think what I said negates that possibility, I was actually trying to stay away from the whole Free Will dilema. (It's seems to be another post)

Your other quote: "To question why God chooses the "elect" or whom He will save is to question the goodness of God. And when you question the goodness of God, you are questioning if God has the ability to make the right choices."

I disagree. To question whether God "elects" people is to question the interpretation of the Bible. I believe the big defense for election is in Exodus when God says he will harden who he chooses and save who he chooses (paraphrased). Our interpretation of God's word could very well be wrong, especially our translations.

The goodness of God can never be in question, since it is in the definition of God that he is completely good. However, to attempt to understand what is Good, one must question and doubt the many possibilities, since it is not innate. Questioning whether, and questioning what are different.

"first have to come to the conclusion that God is ultimately and soveriegnly good" In the famous words of Ayn Rand, Check your premises. The first thing (at least I think) is to come to a conclusion on whether God does infact elect, then you can discuss what election means.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 07:31 pm
@Justin,
Justin, "God creates in the form of mind thought energy." What makes you think God thinks? You are personifying God. Thought, rationality, decision making, these are human qualities. Why would an Omniscient God posses these? An omniscient God has no need for these attributes, thought it not a necessity.

"God knows no evil" - how can evil exist (whether God "created" it or not) and an omniscient God not know about it?

Sorry to be short and blunt, my son demands attention (though the demand is not direct from him, it is inside me)
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Mon 25 Sep, 2006 08:10 pm
@Justin,
Don't worry, tMeeker. I am very much Christian.

de Silentio, what makes you believe that God does not posses attributes of thought and reasoning? If He posseses infinate wisdom and knowledge (as is the meaning of 'omniscient'), doesn't He need to think in order to act with these in mind? And in the Bible, one can hear His thoughts, as He spoke to the prophets and such. In order to speak, one must have to reason and think, else one would not be able to find the words (or emotions, should anyone believe that God communicates only with those).
Do you see something differently?
 
Justin
 
Reply Tue 26 Sep, 2006 04:29 pm
@Ragnell,
de Silentio - Isn't God the center of all thought? Isn't it possible that God is the single, One, universal mind? When God thinks, it is. I feel that we are all the mind thought creativity of God. Defining what God is, is another thread all together.

As far as God knowing no evil, I say that based on the condition that God is Love. It says in the Bible that if one doesn't know love, then he doesn't know God, (not quoting). Why, I don't know all the answers to this but I do know that Love and Light are two very important things in the Bible and are right in line with the teachings of Jesus. Maybe evil exists because the man of the world thinketh evil.

That get's us back to choices. Mankind as a whole chooses worldly things. Success to most men is based on money, fame, cars, and all those other worldly possessions. This is a choice. We can choose to be people of the world (Very Short Term) or people of the spirit (Enternity). When we can open our minds and consider Eternity, rather than this brief moment in history... maybe then it will bridge that communication gap with the single source of all creation and then God can work in our lives.

Lot's to discuss. One thing leads to another. Definately a good thread!

tMeeker - Did you ever consider that God has called each and everyone of us? However, if there's something that has broken or damaged that communication link, we wouldn't be able to hear God calling us anyway. God has chosen us and created us. It just might be that we have to be still enough to listen.

Just some additional thoughts!
 
tMeeker
 
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 09:37 am
@Justin,
Interesting ideas, you have all put out some well relayed thoughts and points.

Justin, here's my belief when it comes to whom God saves. You are right that God technically gives every single person the opportunity to become a Christian. However, doesn't God already know who is going to become a Christian? Of course He does. He has already predestined those whom He will save from Hell. Now, You are right that we make the choice in repenting of our sins and failures, begging for His forgiveness. But He is the one who gives us the desire to do that......for He plants the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

That where I'm coming from on this matter. God's Soveriegnty and Predestination is a very "touchy" matter for many people, but I'm sure when we get to Heaven........we can ask Him what the answer to this question is.

"Many are called, but few are chosen."
 
Justin
 
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 10:05 am
@Justin,
If one is a Christian and believes in Jesus and the message that he gave to this world, then one would have to be inclined to believe that we are all children of God. The glorification of Jesus rising from the dead opened those doors for everyone. Jesus didn't die for a certain peoples sins, he died for the sins of the world so that "all" can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Where is the Kingdom of Heaven? Could it be that the Kingdom of Heaven is found in the spirit and not some huge mansion in the sky? Likewise, the Kingdom of Hell could also be an internal condition of the spirit.

That verse, "Many are called, but few are chosen". May be better written as, 'All are called, but very few will listen'.
 
de Silentio
 
Reply Wed 27 Sep, 2006 09:00 pm
@Justin,
Justin, Maybe there is a discrepecy on our definition of think. "Think", defined explicitly (search "define:think" in Google) repeatidly refers to calling from memory, or focussing on paticular thoughts. When a human thinks, he/she churns their memory, deducing, inducing, assuming, recalling, creating ideas, etc. God, being "all knowing" (all the time), would not have the limitation of only having so many thoughts at one time, like a human. No need to deduce, recall, etc. Therefore, God would not think. When you say God thinks to create, it is like saying a car flies to move. (or saying a car does X to move)(I retract the statment in quotes)

Also, "As far as God knowing no evil, I say that based on the condition that God is Love", just because God is love, it does not mean that God is nothing else. All knowing means All knowing, the only way God could not know evil, is if God is not all knowing. I know evil (evil being against the will of God, sin), God knows all my thoughts and actions (me), Therefore God knows evil.

Again, sorry to be blunt. Logic demands process, process demands time, and time I do not have. If I am unclear because of my flawed logic, please let me know.
 
Ragnell
 
Reply Sat 30 Sep, 2006 07:10 pm
@Justin,
And yet, if you say that a car spins its tires to move, you would be correct, would you not?
And you listed 'creating ideas' in your post. One does not 'fall back on one's memory' to create, am I wrong?

As for the second half, I say this: Of course God knows evil, but He does not condone it. He never follows it. A characteristic we humans sadly do not have.
 
 

 
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