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A Simple Letter back from a Christian
Posted: 23 September 2006 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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Christians live a life wrapped around hearsay.  Not one living Christian has had a divine revelation as descibed in the Bible.  No booming voices from the sky… no ressurections… no virgin births.  As such, anything they promote as TRUTH about the virtually unknowable is suspect.

Gotta step in here. 

No virgin births? 
Any virgin who wants one can have a child and remain a virgin.  A virgin can have as many children as they want and remain a virgin.  Why they would want to skip the more interesting part of conception I can’t speak to.  But please stop using virgin births as arguments against Christians.  It’s possible, science proved it.  Move on.

No resurrections?
None that I’m aware of yet.  But I look forward to mine.  I (and I’m sure you agree)  don’t count the extant stories of tears in the eyes of bodies in the morgue causing said dead bodies to be “resuscitated”.  I believe the term “resurrections” implies someone dead a long time, and possibly, decomposed to dust. 

There are two simple explanations for “no resurrections at this time”:

1) We don’t have enough understanding of DNA/RNA/Genes to regrow a finger, let alone an individual.  That will take a few more years, or a few hundred more years.  But it will happen.  If I thought it necessary, I’d instruct my grandchildren to make sure they bring me back.  After all, my grandchildren are quite possibly going to be immortal.  Don’t believe me?  Ask a geneticist for his/her prediction on how long it will be before the aging problem is solved. 

2)  How will they resurrect me from the dust left over in my coffin?  They won’t.  They’ll just use my grandchildren’s DNA to “map” back to me, clone me and shove me back in.  Just like virgin births today, resurrections will be possible sometime in the future.  Just wait for it.  Don’t try the “your clone won’t be you” gambit.  Since science has proven that matter and energy are interchangable (and indestructible), you have to have a concrete-hard closed mind not to admit that there is at least a possibility we have a “soul”.  I would argue that we are not physical people with souls of energy, rather, we are beings of energy inhabiting physical bodies.  Of course, it sounds kinda “star trekian/sci fi channelish”, but if you only believe in carbon-based life, you might be wrong.  As for me, I’m going to be really nice to my grandchildren. smile


No booming voices from the sky? 
Why would God use a booming voice?  He never has before.  He uses a “still small voice”, always has, always will.  I"ve heard it, Many others have heard it.  Booming voice?  That would blow His cover, don’t you think?  When God wants the world’s attention, he’ll get it.  In the mean time, listen for the “still small voice”.

No Divine Revelation as described in the Bible?
I personally have never had one (at least, not a face to face).  But I believe that there have been several occurances in the not too distant past.  There were even witnesses numbering 1, 3 and 12.  Of course, they have been ridculed, rejected as liars and murdered and persecuted for their claims.  And right here in the good ol’ USA.  Go figure. 


Here’s my question: 
When are “scientists” going to stop beating the old horse called “Big Bang Theory” to death and start making real progress again?  My answer: About 2012-2014, when they look into the universe with more powerful telescopes than we have today and discover that the furthest objects from us are fully formed galaxies that are far older than 15 billion years (recently upgraded from 13-14 billion years, we should have a party everytime they push it back).  Of course, they may not stop beating ol’ BBBT, maybe they’ll continue ignoring facts and just “adjust their models of the origin of the universe to account for this new data”.

Oh, silly me.  The new data has to conform to the existing dogma of BBT.  Otherwise, alot of people are going to look foolish and have alot of ‘splaining to do.  Chant with me now: “Dark matter, dark energy, we’ll never be able to detect it but it’s there.  Because if it wasn’t there, we have no idea why the expansion of the universe is accelerating.”  This chant can be followed with “infinite number of universes we can never detect.  As long as we say we can’t detect them, we don’t have to explain them.”

Be sure to use a monotone voice while chanting.  And one last tip, use Occam’s Razor to shave prior to the chant session.  You won’t have that “itchy-hair growing back” feeling.

smile

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Posted: 24 September 2006 03:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Franklin, thanks for the honest reply. You’re the first Christian on this forum that I’m aware of to own up to it. I hope you stay honest and not just honest but excessively frank about these matters, especially with your parishoners. Don’t they deserve to know certain important facts about the history of their religion? A repeat of the craziness will become less likely as a result of excessive frankness coming from people like you.

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Posted: 24 September 2006 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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Thank you for your reply homunculus and I appreciate all of your replies to my message and my replies.  I am enjoying this conversation we are having and I hope that all of you are as well enjoying this conversation.  For me as a Christian I believe that Christianity is at the very core a relationship between the infinite and the finite, between the deity and the man.  This relationship is more than just emotionalism though emotions do partake in the relationship between GOD and myself.  If I built my relationship with GOD solely on emotions, well, I am sure we can all agree that emotions come and go, good days and bad days.  GOD, in this relationship I have with Him, is NOT Dr. Phil or Oprah.  I myself do not wish to be a yo-yo worshiper (that is, whose relationship is solely and only based on high and low emotional expressions and thinking).  This relationship is more than just mental reasoning, though mental reasoning does play in a part as I have shown at least using myself as an example.  Yes there is reasoning when expressing the relationship, but if I was solely to build this relationship on reasoning, then I would be nothing but an armchair theologian who knows all the nice “neat” words found within such studies as systematic theology, but I would be nothing more than a dusty old man who could not look into himself and into his very soul.  To me Christ comes to me, as we would read in the Gospel of John, as living water and living bread to quench and to feed my mental and spiritual thirst and hunger.  This is not something you can create a scientific model for, and I am at peace with that because I am at peace in what I believe.

——-

To you, SeanK, yes I do not see GOD standing right before me and handing me the Bible, but then again, do I have to have you right in front of me to hand me the check?  We may never meet face to face, so how then can I be sure that you are the one sending me the check?  I have to have faith.  By taking that check to be processed at the bank and by taking the Bible to be processes in my mind and in my heart, I must have faith that that check, that that Bible, is true.  Either that or I hide the check or hide the Bible in fear.  In the sense of GOD, I have faith that through my meticulous study, I draw upon the eyes opening revelation that these men who wrote the Bible, coherently and successively were indeed writing “in the Spirit” of GOD’s revelation toward history, prophecy, and wisdom.  That is, that though hundreds upon hundreds of years, maybe even a thousand years, between one writer and the next still has a coherent bond and revelation from OT to NT that can only, in my views, by the very power of GOD’s omnipotence and omnipresence and intimacy.  You choose to disagree with me, SeanK, and that is fine with me, you are entitled to your belief as much as I am, and I can accept that.  I only hope that you may, if you are indeed curious at least to know some of the materials that I myself have studied over the years of being a Christian, that you will pick one or two of the books I’ve mentioned up.  Not asking you to agree with me, not trying to make you shout “Amen,” I’m only humbly coming here…as mentioned many times before…to express my belief through intelligent conversations with all of you.

——-

To you, cdael, concerning why I believe in Yahweh through Christ Jesus in comparison, say, to worshiping Osiris or Baal or Zeus.  Interestingly enough, for a while, I was actually a pagan/Wiccan.  The pagan/Wiccan belief is that there is a force, an entity, beyond what we see and hear who comes into our “lives” (as in solitary Wiccans) and “societies” (as in covens) through archetypal forces that are, as believed now by most pagans/Wiccans, the gods and goddesses of yesterday expanded upon in today’s society.  Whenever I would practice Wicca ceremonies, let’s say Calling Down the Moon, I was not having a personal relationship with a GOD wanting a personal relationship with me, I am instead following paths that I believe will bring power to myself to change myself and my surroundings by calling to this god or that goddess.  When I used ceremonial magic in such ceremonies as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, I am not having a “one on one” conversation with a deity based upon love and intimacy of mind and body and spirit, instead I am trying to control forces to do what I want them to do. 

These are not deities who have stepped into human history like I believe GOD has through Jesus Christ.  These are not deities who have known the worlds and my own pains, questions, considerations, like I believe GOD knows of intimately through being not just the Creator but also the Savior.  Short definition I know, but I think it gets to the point.  Christianity, on the other hand, shows that the entity, the Creator of all things and all peoples, is personal, has a personality (Father, Spirit, Son), that enacts throughout history first through what we see in the OT and then what we see in the NT.  That this GOD is not the creation itself to be channeled but a personal Being with a personality who wants a one on one relationship with me through the Cross.  That in the OT this GOD spoke through prophets, and that (as foretold by many of those prophets like Isaiah) the final revelation of GOD Himself is Christ Jesus, born of virgin birth, miraculous life, died on the cross, and rose again on the third day.  This is more than a historical lesson for me, this is more than a spiritual emotionalism running amoke, this is clear, precise reasoning and love founded between the eternal GOD and the finite me.  You do not believe that, and like to SeanK, that is fine, for me, after a long time of examination, meditation, consideration, I come to believe that the Bible is the truth.  Concerning other religions such as Islam, or maybe Shinto, yes you are right, they say I am wrong just as I say to my Islam friend that I believe he is wrong.  And I can live with that.  As long as I have the freedom to say what I believe in an intelligent, respectful sort of way, I am willing for you as well to be able to say what you believe in an intelligent and respectful sort of way.

——-

To you Run4orest, what are Christian values and beliefs?  I can, again, only say for myself, so I am speaking for myself but I am also speaking as what I will preach to those of my church and classes.  Yes Christianity has changed over the time period between Jesus Christ’s resurrection and the apostolic time period (that we see in Acts and the letters and the Book of Revelation) between today’s Christian church.  There are of course a lot of same held beliefs between the Christians of yesterday and today, but there are also a lot of differences.  As you might read in Revelation, the Church of GOD (that is, all of the churches, not just the Roman Catholics, or the Methodists, or the Southern Baptists), there were faithful churches and there were backsliding churches, there were stagnate churches and there were dynamic churches.  The church is only as good as the people in it, and if those people in that church are deep in the relationship with the Mystery, then that church will grow like seeds planted on fertile grounds.  On the other hand, if those churches are just (as I have seen for myself) card carrying card exchanging churches that are used more as a social club or those churches preach only one sermon (whether it is just the politically correct social church sermon like some churches or the hell fire and brimstone churches found in other churches), that that church is closed minded and only focused on a small portion of the greater, larger, magnificent picture that is GOD through Christ. 

Yes you are right to say that it is wrong to go out and shoot someone, so too do I say that it is wrong to go out and shoot someone.  Your beliefs and values are based upon what is seen, what you wish for society to be structured as, and what society (with all its failings and all its egotism) says should not be done.  For me, on the other hand, I believe it is wrong to go out and shoot someone because that person is more than just a human life living here and living now.  That each person is a living body, but also, on a greater scheme, I view that each person is a living soul.  That each person was shaped body and soul by GOD so that that person will have free will and will choose the live lived by that free will—whether it is for GOD or for some other religion, principle, or idea.  Murder is wrong because you are destroying a creation by the Creator.  You say society and individuals, individuals who have follies and uncertainties, individuals who have egotism and who have lusts, can create the utopian vision.  I say that because this is a Fallen world, because we are in need of a Savior just like a drowning man is in need of a Savior, each and every one of us individually will become something greater through the Cross that leads to GOD Himself.  You say society by human hands can create a utopian world, I say that man’s follies will always make the walls tumble down—that only in GOD and through GOD can there be completion for individuals and for the world.

——-

Finally…
I hope all of you are having a great weekend.  I am needed elsewhere, I hope I have brought some food for thought.  I hope each of you takes care of yourselves and that Monday wont be a downpour on you!  Have a greaet day and evening!

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Posted: 24 September 2006 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Are you dense?  Explain how any of this is divine?  So you are saying that Jesus was born through artificial insemination now?  Wow.  Your god was birthed via syringe.  Now I see what all the hub bub is about.

I never said Jesus was born via artificial insemination.  And I never mentioned the Divinity of Christ at all.  I’m simply stating that ridiculing Christians about a “virgin” birth, which is clearly possible, is a reflection on you, not them.  Am I dense? Maybe.  But I don’t deny the possibility of a virgin birth and denigrate others for believing in one when modern science has clearly proven it possible.

Booming voice… was sarcasm.  The point being that God supposedly regularly TOLD people what to do and think in biblical times.  Since those times..  nothing.  Here is a possibility.  There was nothing then too and you are living a sham of a life.

First, I never said I was a Christian. You assumed it.  And then you “went off” on Christianity.  And all I did was state an opinion based on cold hard facts. Doesn’t bode well for you, I’m afraid.  Second, your sarcasm betrays your anger and leads me to believe you have the same problem as a vast majority of Christians, specifically; you do not have an open mind.  Third, you clearly are not an expert, nor even particularly well informed, regarding Christianity in it many forms.  In fact, you appear to be as ignorant about science and Christianity as most Christians are.  Continued in the next reply….

As this stands alone, this is a reasoning fallacy.  Provide supporting facts, or stop writing.  Don’t expect that this forum will allow you to blindly state things as fact without supporting evidence.  I am not saying you are definitely being untruthful, but we have no way of knowing now do we?

See above regarding your lack of knowledge regarding Christianity.  Since you don’t know much about it at all, and since you are clearly as irrational as most other people (whether Christian, Atheist, Muslim, Jew, Mormon, Scientologist, what have you) it is pointless to continue discussions with you.  Carefully read the above statement.  I never said any of the “beliefs” of the above groups are irrational.  I simply stated that, regardless of your beliefs, you are either rational or irrational.  You are irrational.  Why can I say that with certainty?  Because any time I get angry, I also get irrational.  It is human nature.  Anger and Rationality are mutually exclusive, IMHO. 

I realize I did not provide the facts you requested.  Nor will I do so.  If you are a rational, thoughtful person, you will study enough about Christianity to understand my statement.  Quite frankly, I’ll bet a lot of Christians understand it.  And then they’ll “go off” on why those particular witnesses deserved what they got.  After all, “mainstream Christians” will vehemently argue that those men, some of whom not only claimed “Divine Revelation”, but had the audacity to claim “face to face conversations with Divine Personages” are evil, lying, “possessed” men and deserve to have been persecuted and murdered.  Once you find out the names of the men, you’ll laugh your ass off and immediately dismiss their claims.  And so we come to….

Nobody has.  Pray harder.

Yes, they have.  Study harder.

Ah.  Ignore the fact that humanity was created from a rib bone.  You are so silly.  All astronomical accounts demonstrate THROUGH OBSERVATION that the universe is expanding outward from a center.  The beauty of science is once a hypothesis is disproven, science allows for incorporating new data for new theories.  You will always be stagnant in your belief that we are rib people.  Talk about a 2000+ year old dead horse.

I never said humanity was created from a rib bone.  I never said that the universe was not expanding.  I said that the BBT no longer explains all the facts that have been obtained “THROUGH OBSERVATION” and that anything that doesn’t fit into BBT is currently being ignored, or, “used to modify our models that describe the formation of the universe”.

The beauty of science is once a hypothesis is disproven, science allows for incorporating new data for new theories

  You don’t know very much about how alternate theories to the BBT are being accepted by “scientists” do you?  I’ll bet you don’t even know enough about the science behind the BBT to understand why it is starting to break down.  You certainly missed my point regarding dark matter/dark energy. 

You, my friend, are not as informed as you think you are.  You also are allowing anger and your current beliefs (or lack of them) to cloud your thinking.  But, worst of all, you’ve closed your mind.  And so it saddens me to have to discontinue any discourse with you.

Adieu.

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Posted: 24 September 2006 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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Just curious, SeanK, I realize you are discussing with the other chap, but seeing that you like astronomy…there are several books I notice come in at the store in the Nature section concerning astrophysics et cetera, want me to get their titles and authors for you?

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Posted: 24 September 2006 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Great, I will do that tomorrow night.  Glad to see another astronomy buff.  I would have loved to have taken classes in my undergrad time period but I rather stink at math! LOL.  Got through it, but boy was it rough.  Still I do keep tabs on books dealing with astrophysics and quantum physics and theoretical physics.  Have a good eve!

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Posted: 24 September 2006 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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[quote author=“FranklinBR”]

——-

To you, cdael, concerning why I believe in Yahweh through Christ Jesus in comparison, say, to worshiping Osiris or Baal or Zeus.  Interestingly enough, for a while, I was actually a pagan/Wiccan.  The pagan/Wiccan belief is that there is a force, an entity, beyond what we see and hear who comes into our “lives” (as in solitary Wiccans) and “societies” (as in covens) through archetypal forces that are, as believed now by most pagans/Wiccans, the gods and goddesses of yesterday expanded upon in today’s society.  Whenever I would practice Wicca ceremonies, let’s say Calling Down the Moon, I was not having a personal relationship with a GOD wanting a personal relationship with me, I am instead following paths that I believe will bring power to myself to change myself and my surroundings by calling to this god or that goddess.  When I used ceremonial magic in such ceremonies as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, I am not having a “one on one” conversation with a deity based upon love and intimacy of mind and body and spirit, instead I am trying to control forces to do what I want them to do.

Hi, Franklin…There is something I don’t understand here.

You used to be Wiccan.  You participated in many rituals, ceremonies, whatever.
Do you not see that Christianity shares the same plausiblility with Wicca or any other imaginied faith?
To me, being a Druid, or a wiccan or an animist is the same as believing in this book that has been handed down to us, edited and re-edited for 1500 years.  You don’t see the parallel?  If you’re going to follow an Abrahamic faith, why don’t you follow the most current version.  Islam, or Mormonism?  They have the most recent Updates, so why not them?  They have as much right as you to claim insight into the Mind Of God.  Probably more so.
Funny thing…Most people I have known who believe in Wicca, or native American religions are people who grew up in strict dogmatic faiths (i.e. Catholic or orthodox).  They reject their faith, and not being able to function without unseen authority, find some made-up reincarnated religion.

I don’t know, maybe you did that and then came back, but I think you are seeking some kind of meaning to the world and have glommed back on to the faith of your fathers.  You need to look beyond that.  Faith is often a product of fear.  If I am totally off base let me know, but I think I’m probably right.

The fact is, you don’t KNOW that there is a GOD.  The Muslims don’t KNOW, the Shintos don’t KNOW, and the Hassidic Jews don’t KNOW.  No-one KNOWS.
Once you get past that little step, you can move towards some kind of enlightenment (??!!??).  Allow the words of Charles Schultz’ Linus to creep into your heart.  When Linus was in sunday school, he raised his hand, and asked to the teacher, “Have you ever considered that you might be wrong?”  I believe he got detention.

craig.


btw, hope you had a good weekend as well…...Go Bears!

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Posted: 24 September 2006 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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Hey, thanx Sean!

I’m looking forward to using that software.  I can’t see many stars where I live, so maybe I can use the software as a proxy.

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History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

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Posted: 24 September 2006 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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[quote author=“switch”]
The fact is, you don’t KNOW that there is a GOD.  The Muslims don’t KNOW, the Shintos don’t KNOW, and the Hassidic Jews don’t KNOW.  No-one KNOWS.

Once you get past that little step, you can move towards some kind of enlightenment (??!!??).  Allow the words of Charles Schultz’ Linus to creep into your heart.  When Linus was in sunday school, he raised his hand, and asked to the teacher, “Have you ever considered that you might be wrong?”  I believe he got detention.

craig.

I didn’t know about this, so had to google to verify :D.


http://www.peanutscollectorclub.com/bewrong.jpg

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This way to the Unasked Questions—->
<—- This way to the Unquestioned Answers

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Posted: 24 September 2006 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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Greetings to you switch and yes I’m having as good as a weekend as any.  I work at a bookstore as I believe I mentioned and well, we’ve have been having all kinds of fun stuff going on like inventory.  If any of you have worked retail I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.  I will make a list of titles that you might want to look into to get a feel for where I am coming to, at the end of this little message back.  Easier that way at least for me.

Now concerning myself in Wicca.  I came to Wicca not because I was chased away by my family’s church nor by strict parents domineering religion over my head like some kind of axe over a condemned man.  In fact just the opposite, most of my childhood in the church and in my family we were fairly liberal in our religious beliefs.  We believe in evolution, abortion, all religions are the same, and a lot of the other catch phrases you hear.  I was dissatisfied yes, but that was because there was no spiritual nourishment.  For example my father likes to point out that the church at that time was the kind of church with sermons that lulled you to sleep then when you woke up, you gave business cards to the chap next to you.  Church was a social occasion, not a spiritual one.  When I got into undergrad college I turned away from Christianity.  I began through instructors to read works such as B. Russell’s works, along with works dealing with the Koran, Buddhism, and a lot of other works…along with slowly beginning to study Wicca. 

When I went to Florida to finish up my BA in History I found a group of like-minded people.  I worked with them, studying them, exploring with them.  I wont go into the detail.  And all of this mind you occurred through the 90s.  I didn’t start really studying Christianity, and I mean taking a hard look at Christianity through the study of theology (all the different levels of theology, from prophecy to ID et cetera), archeology, and all the other fields that make up the background study of Christianity.  I studied and I realized that it was futile, it was of no worth, being a pagan…this decision came about through various means both intellectually and spiritually, through both reason and emotion.  Needless to say I came back to Christianity, became stronger in my faith, up to the point where I am now in seminary so that I can become a minister as soon as…you might say…I finish the “ten year plan” (any of you in Master’s programs know what I am talking about!). 

So is my turning to faith by way of the fear factor?  Was my coming back to Christianity caused by mere depression toward life, or faer of being alone, or any of the other ideas that you speculate toward my coming to Christianity?  Do I cringe to the Bible afraid of my shadow?  No.  Fear does not play in my faith.  What fear there is can be paralleled with the same fear and love that you would hold your earthly father.  Now yes I know several people through the years who have been controlled by fear (say fear of the end of the world or fear of hell or what notp—basically chicken little fear, you might say) or by controlled family members (parents dominating and demanding that their children do exactly as they say).  Not ALL Christians are like that, a good majority I have found both in the church I go to now with my folks and also in the school that I go to, have come to Christianity with a passion, a love, a driving force to have eyes that see and ears that hear.  That is the meaning of Christianity to me.  I am not out to getting on television with slick back hair and tell everyone that if they send me checks I will pray for their acne problem.  Nor will I get up on the podium and slam the Bible against the heads of my congregation.  For me, when I become a Minister (not if), I will do so, so that I can spread love, I can spread the majesty, I can spread the joy, the strength, the integrity that I find in my relationship with GOD through Jesus Christ.

What about the idea that the Bible has been edited and reedited again and again until the very meaning of what we see now in the Bible is so beyond what was known first century Christians, much less known in comparison to Israelites up to the Maccabeen era, I would have to emphatically say I disagree.  In fact, from my studies, I have found that the word of GOD in the pages of the Bible are very close to the same message as that found in the most ancient of scripts for both OT and NT.  In fact, I would dare to say that there is far more integrity in trusting the message being passed on through the past two thousand years in the Bible to that of believing that Plato wrote what he wrote or Homer wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad.  In fact if you study the historiographical material that we have today in comparisons to the earliest of Gospels, or better yet, to that of the Dead Sea Scrolls, you see that the message and the meaning is the same.  The sentence structures, et al, are different, yes, but the message is still loud and clear.

But then am I just following one of Abrahamic theologies?  Yes.  But I am following the natural evolution of the Abrahamic covenant that went from Abraham to Moses (who wrote the Torah) to that of King David to that of the major and minor prophets (along with all the others who wrote the OT), and finally prophecy and meaning was fulfilled in striking clarity by the coming of Jesus Christ.  I would like to point out to you that one of the best things that have happened over the past hundred years was the turning away from the replacement theology to reawakening and enrapturing the church once again in the Jewish beauty of the Bible…that is, embracing the Jewish foundations of Christianity.  For myself personally, one of the most exciting revelations for me has been in my Old Testament courses at the seminary I am going to.  The more I study Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, the more I see the grandeur and the mystery and the majesty of the King that I worship.

So what do I worship?  I worship GOD/Yaweh through Christ Jesus/Yeshua.  The more technical term that I would use is that I worship through the study and the examination and the prayerful intake of what is called covenantal theology—that is the study of the covenants starting with Abraham to Moses, from David to the returning Jews (around the time of Ezra), reaching the peek at the birth and life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and then will be fulfilled with the covenantal “exclamation” mark as found in the Book of Revelation that has ties with those books such as Daniel, Isaiah, and the Olivette Discourse that you find in the Gospels.  This is a growing relationship between my GOD and myself.  I don’t quiver and quake at His feet in fear of Him striking me with some kind of lightening bolt or whatnot.  Instead this is development of the mind and the heart and the soul that you can’t make a scientific model for, you can’t write mathematical equations because it goes beyond that to the most inner source of man’s being.  Of my being.  Of my being as a Christian and one who has a covenant with GOD through Christ Jesus.

This being that is a part of me, this inner foundation that I stand upon no matter what, is one that drives me and works in me every single day.  I respect gays that I work with and I even hang out with them, if they ask me an opinion, I freely give it to them, but I do not ever…because I am a Christian with love in me… strike them or belittle them or name call them.  Same goes to the women I have known in life who have had abortions.  They know where I stand but I still call them friends, respect them, and am there when they need me to be as an ear and as a friendly face.  Same goes in my belief in peace, while I respect the troops, I oppose war and murder and death and oppression.  I fight against rape, enslavement, poverty.  Why?  Because I am a Christian and have a relationship with GOD, I am willing to make a stand no matter what.  I do this in the peace that I have in me.  I am who I am with the Christian worldview that I hold both in thought and in passion, in intelligence and in emotions. 

So what am I asking from you and the others of this board?  Why am I taking all this time in coming here over the past several days?  I guess what I am asking is that you respect me, as a Christian speaking up in Mr. Harris’ debate found in his books and articles.  He seems, and I know he doesn’t mean to seem like this, to think that I’m a fool and an idiot.  I’m not.  I’m an intelligent human being.  I care for others.  I respect others.  I ask the same toward myself.  Respect my worldview as I respect your worldview.  We disagree on our worldviews, but I believe that just because two people may disagree on worldviews, those two people can respect each other in full.  If you wish to know where I am coming from, then ask, if you wish to read some of the sources that I have read, then please, feel free to pick up some of the titles I’ve mentioned before and will mention in a moment.  You don’t have to agree with me and I’m not trying to seek any and all of you in some mass internet conversion to Christianity.  I just humbly ask for respect and kindness to me as I respect and give kindness freely to Mr. Harris and to all of you.

Here are some other titles you might find of interest that will help you, as I use the cliché “walk in my shoes” so that you understand why and what I am:
The Real Jesus by Luke Johnson
Kingdom Prologue by Meredith Kline
Israel, the Church, and the Last Days by Messianic Jews’ Keith Intrater and Dan Juster
What if Jesus had Never Been Born by D James Kennedy
Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible by John Haley
The Bible at Qumran by Peter Flint
Eschatology, Messianism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Craig Evans and Peter Flint
So What is the Difference by Fritz Ridenour

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Posted: 24 September 2006 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Oh wow..Mia…Thanx.

The second one was the exact one I was thinking about.  Linus gets in real trouble for that if I remember right.

I thought about putting in the fact that Charlie Brown says “I think I’ll leave”, but I wasn’t sure about the context.

Charles “Sparky” Schultz grew up very religious and had a serious lapse of faith in his mid-thirties.

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Posted: 24 September 2006 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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Well, (the aptly named) Franklin,

I respect your beliefs, even if I think they are silly.

You obviously are well educated, can you not see that a belief in Christ is the same as a firm belief in Al-lah, Krishnah or the Great Pumpkin?

I mean, not to be facetious, but Millions believe that Jesus (Yeshua ben Josef)was a minor prophet.  What makes thier beliefs any more correct than yours?

As far as the study of scripture, what do you think the search for Q?  Of the Nag Hamadii text?  Don’t any of these give you doubt?  I mean, it’s almost like the Dire straits song..“two men say they’re Jesus…one of ‘em must be wrong…”  I was serious about Linus….didn’t think that Mia would have dug it up, but I’m glad she did.  That strip was one of the first things that got me thinking..

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Posted: 24 September 2006 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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I wish to point out that I for one say that “I do not know everything that there is under the sun.”  I have studied the Q through the works such as those by Raymond E Brown and Arthur G Patzia.  The Q documentation is important and holds a great deal of interest but is only partial in the overall structure and study of the development, and no pun intended, evolution of what is the NT scripture.  The Q documentation helps one see the progression in the development and the study and the understanding of the Gospels.  This is of course dealing with the Matthew, Mark, and Luke documentation and evolution of said documentation.  I personally through in depth study believe that the Gospel writings occurred within thirty some years after the Resurrection.  What we learn now and in the future concerning Q is fair game.  As I am in NT courses right now, I will probably learn a lot more concerning both this and the next mentioned Gnostic Scripture…if allowed on this board onward, then if you wish, ask me again and I might be able to write another novel length reply! Just kidding about the length reply, hopefully!

I have also studied the Gnostic scriptures through readings such as that by E. Pagels, along with the source materials of the Nag Hamadii.  The study of the Gnostic scriptures have actually fermented my faith in that of the New Testament because, unlike the Gnostic scriptures, the NT documents DO have a correlation and synchronization with that of the Old Testament.  While the Gnostic scriptures, in their various forms because no two Gnostic scriptures are alike, can easily be seen as being developed through outside sources and not the evolution of the Jewish religion, Christianity based on what we read today in the NT can.  That is, you see the connections and the bindings between Isaiah and Matthew, you see the bridges built between Isaiah and Daniel and Revelation.  You see how the Torah is revitalized and expanded upon in Acts.  All together from Genesis through Revelation there is a linear progression of development on the prophetic, the historic, and the theological level.  In a sense, there IS evolution from one level of the covenant to the next level of the covenant. 

Unlike some Christians out there that I’ve known, I do not shrink back in fear when I look at the Da Vinci Code novel at work.  Roll my eyes.  Yes.  Fear it. Nah.

So in conclusion for this evening…Do I trust what I believe, yes!  Do I say I know everything, No!  Do I continue to learn, yes!  Do I believe that GOD places this learning before me so that I will grow deeper in my relationship with Him in Christ?  Yes!  Is that part of life, yes!

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Posted: 24 September 2006 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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Just curious, seeing that this discussion has had about 800 viewers and is now hitting page 4, does this mean that when we have had 1000 viewers Mr. Harris will give us a block party?  I’ll have ribs and Ice House beer myself.  :shock:

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Posted: 24 September 2006 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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go look at the big bang thread that threatens to suck the universe into itself with its own Dark Matter….......I think it’s about 8000 pages long by now…...

it’s too late for block parties.  Time for basement poker. :twisted:

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