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irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 08:21 PM
I just have one question that's been nagging me lately. (By the way, you = collective/general)

You can believe in virgin births, angels talking to people, miracles like walking on water, turning water into wine and feeding thousands off of 5 things (or so). You believe in the Resurrection, Assumption, and Immaculate Conception.

However, you do not believe in God speaking to people. You believe in the power of prayer and a communication between yourself(ves) and God. Oddly, though, the connection is a one way street. God cannot talk directly to you - lest you be called insane, madman, etc and generally shunned from the religious community.

Thus, I am left wondering: Why is this?

Am I wrong in assuming - based on past events, actions, words and intents of believers everywhere - that people with a direct line to God are someone addled in the brain? Is this where I am wrong? Or is it something else?

a1na2
08-06-2007, 08:29 PM
I just have one question that's been nagging me lately. (By the way, you = collective/general)

You can believe in virgin births, angels talking to people, miracles like walking on water, turning water into wine and feeding thousands off of 5 things (or so). You believe in the Resurrection, Assumption, and Immaculate Conception.

However, you do not believe in God speaking to people. You believe in the power of prayer and a communication between yourself(ves) and God. Oddly, though, the connection is a one way street. God cannot talk directly to you - lest you be called insane, madman, etc and generally shunned from the religious community.

Thus, I am left wondering: Why is this?

Am I wrong in assuming - based on past events, actions, words and intents of believers everywhere - that people with a direct line to God are someone addled in the brain? Is this where I am wrong? Or is it something else?

You might try talking to those that have heard directly from God. Does God have to speak in an audible voice for the communication to his own? I don't think you can apply your rules to God.

If everyone here totally understood God we wouldn't need faith to operate. Sometimes you just have to trust. I do, but there are times that my faith wanes. I can't explain why good people die nor why rotten people are allowed to live. What I do know is that God is and will be, we are bound by time, God isn't.

Good luck in your search.

Cochise
08-06-2007, 08:39 PM
If you think of the number of people on the earth through the time period covered by scripture, he did appear in a more direct fashion to a tiny number of people even in those days. It was an extremely rare circumstance even back then.

I'm not convinced he doesn't still act in those ways, maybe with the same degree of rarity or more. Certainly it doesn't happen even a fraction of the time people claim it does. A good idea would be to be pretty skeptical if anyone says that they are speaking for him or that they have some secret that no one else does.

Ultimately though, I don't think he owes us an answer to every question about his actions or methods, so to speak. If he's who he claims to be - that is to say, benevolent - then the way he does things is going to be the right way even if we don't understand it. I mean, I don't understand how electricity works in the fullest sense, but I still flip light switches knowing that the light is going to come on if I do.

My opinion, anyway.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 09:04 PM
If you think of the number of people on the earth through the time period covered by scripture, he did appear in a more direct fashion to a tiny number of people even in those days. It was an extremely rare circumstance even back then.

I'm not convinced he doesn't still act in those ways, maybe with the same degree of rarity or more. Certainly it doesn't happen even a fraction of the time people claim it does. A good idea would be to be pretty skeptical if anyone says that they are speaking for him or that they have some secret that no one else does.

Ultimately though, I don't think he owes us an answer to every question about his actions or methods, so to speak. If he's who he claims to be - that is to say, benevolent - then the way he does things is going to be the right way even if we don't understand it. I mean, I don't understand how electricity works in the fullest sense, but I still flip light switches knowing that the light is going to come on if I do.

My opinion, anyway.

Yes, but why be skeptical? I mean, you are not skeptical in the least about all of the "miracles" that happened. I named many. I just think it appears as a double standard - regardless of where science/rules come into play.

Jenson71
08-06-2007, 09:09 PM
I just have one question that's been nagging me lately. (By the way, you = collective/general)

You can believe in virgin births, angels talking to people, miracles like walking on water, turning water into wine and feeding thousands off of 5 things (or so). You believe in the Resurrection, Assumption, and Immaculate Conception.

However, you do not believe in God speaking to people. You believe in the power of prayer and a communication between yourself(ves) and God. Oddly, though, the connection is a one way street. God cannot talk directly to you - lest you be called insane, madman, etc and generally shunned from the religious community.

Thus, I am left wondering: Why is this?

Am I wrong in assuming - based on past events, actions, words and intents of believers everywhere - that people with a direct line to God are someone addled in the brain? Is this where I am wrong? Or is it something else?

What about God having a nice long conversation with Moses as a burning bush?

Cochise
08-06-2007, 09:12 PM
Yes, but why be skeptical? I mean, you are not skeptical in the least about all of the "miracles" that happened. I named many. I just think it appears as a double standard - regardless of where science/rules come into play.

I don't see miracles as a big intellectual hurdle. If God exists, then he's certainly capable of doing all those things.

If someone says "God told me this", then the first place to go is to see if it's congruent with scripture. If it's not, then he didn't.

Beyond that, I guess you don't really know, but since it is always such a rarity that a person was spoken to audibly or appeared to physically, I would start out as skeptical just on probability. In the same way as if someone told me "I was sitting in the first row on the 50 yard line at Super Bowl 1", I might be skeptical - because only a handful of people in all of human history can actually make that claim, so what are the chances that one of them is standing in front of me right now?

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 09:19 PM
I don't see miracles as a big intellectual hurdle. If God exists, then he's certainly capable of doing all those things.

If someone says "God told me this", then the first place to go is to see if it's congruent with scripture. If it's not, then he didn't.

Beyond that, I guess you don't really know, but since it is always such a rarity that a person was spoken to audibly or appeared to physically, I would start out as skeptical just on probability. In the same way as if someone told me "I was sitting in the first row on the 50 yard line at Super Bowl 1", I might be skeptical - because only a handful of people in all of human history can actually make that claim, so what are the chances that one of them is standing in front of me right now?


The above just brings me to another question. Why can't God "update" the scripture? That is, by talking to Person A he is updating - or trying to - the scripture?

And your last paragraph trots out the probability argument. And I must ask, in reply, what are the chances of any of the aforementioned "miracles" that he can produce, especially since they aren't much of a hurdle as they're within his power? What are the chances of God having a human son rather than daughter? What are the chances of Jesus not being simply like someone you are skeptical to believe now?

CHIEF4EVER
08-06-2007, 09:29 PM
The above just brings me to another question. Why can't God "update" the scripture? That is, by talking to Person A he is updating - or trying to - the scripture?

And your last paragraph trots out the probability argument. And I must ask, in reply, what are the chances of any of the aforementioned "miracles" that he can produce, especially since they aren't much of a hurdle as they're within his power? What are the chances of God having a human son rather than daughter? What are the chances of Jesus not being simply like someone you are skeptical to believe now?

I get the feeling that you are asking these questions to verify unbelief rather than seeking clarity of belief (if that makes sense to you). I will answer anyway, from a purely theological standpoint. GOD doesn't need to 'update' his word. He meant what he said the first time. If you want to talk about probability, what are the chances that one person could fulfill over 100 prophesies by genealogy, action and consequence? I can tell you the chances of that are about the same as winning the powerball lottery each and every time for an entire year. Christ did just that.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 09:33 PM
I get the feeling that you are asking these questions to verify unbelief rather than seeking clarity of belief (if that makes sense to you). I will answer anyway, from a purely theological standpoint. GOD doesn't need to 'update' his word. He meant what he said the first time. If you want to talk about probability, what are the chances that one person could fulfill over 100 prophesies by genealogy, action and consequence? I can tell you the chances of that are about the same as winning the powerball lottery each and every time for an entire year. Christ did just that.

While the first sentence isn't entirely true, the jist of it is partially true. I am not seeking to get back into Christianity at all, but I cannot help be bugged by some of the beliefs. Thus, I ask those who know.

Why doesn't God need to update his word? Why can't he give us hints on Abortion, stem cell research, etc etc? Instead, we are bound by people's interpretations. And those are - by Christian definitions (and I agree) - fundamentally flawed.

CHIEF4EVER
08-06-2007, 09:41 PM
While the first sentence isn't entirely true, the jist of it is partially true. I am not seeking to get back into Christianity at all, but I cannot help be bugged by some of the beliefs. Thus, I ask those who know.

Why doesn't God need to update his word? Why can't he give us hints on Abortion, stem cell research, etc etc? Instead, we are bound by people's interpretations. And those are - by Christian definitions (and I agree) - fundamentally flawed.

What beliefs are you bugged by? What is unclear about GOD's intent concerning the sanctity of human life? If I am not mistaken, you view a pregnacy as an organism. I view it as a human life which we are responsible for. Regardless of the stage of development. It is our belief systems which make us different in this regard.

a1na2
08-06-2007, 09:43 PM
While the first sentence isn't entirely true, the jist of it is partially true. I am not seeking to get back into Christianity at all, but I cannot help be bugged by some of the beliefs. Thus, I ask those who know.

Why doesn't God need to update his word? Why can't he give us hints on Abortion, stem cell research, etc etc? Instead, we are bound by people's interpretations. And those are - by Christian definitions (and I agree) - fundamentally flawed.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations ...

He basically addresses abortion. And in the 10 Commandments he decries murder. So if he knew you before you came forth one might consider that God reveres life from conception, if that truly is life then abortion is murder.

Cochise
08-06-2007, 09:46 PM
The above just brings me to another question. Why can't God "update" the scripture? That is, by talking to Person A he is updating - or trying to - the scripture? And your last paragraph trots out the probability argument. And I must ask, in reply, what are the chances of any of the aforementioned "miracles" that he can produce, especially since they aren't much of a hurdle as they're within his power? What are the chances of God having a human son rather than daughter?

I wouldn't think it would be possible as an imperfect human to know everything he does and why he does it. To fully understand his motives you would have to know everything he knows and share the same nature.

What are the chances of Jesus not being simply like someone you are skeptical to believe now?

I think we can judge the veracity of his claims based on the fact that he fulfilled prophecy that can be verified to have been written before his time. If you were to search for all the prophecies of the messiah in the old testament, it becomes clear how difficult it would be for one person to fulfill all of these. Isaiah for example contains a lot of those.

And I think that is the way it was meant. If you think about it, God knew how many people would come along claiming that they were the messiah. He had to give people a way to identify the right one.

People of the time knew that the messiah would be born of a woman, it was prophesied that he would be born of a virgin, that he would be God's son (verified by voice at his baptism according to scripture, which people at the time who witnessed it could have verified), that the right person would be from the house of David, born in Bethlehem, that he would be capable of prophesying, that he would be preceded by a messenger fitting the description of John the Baptist, that he would be capable of performing miracles, that his side would be pierced by a spear at his death, the manner in which he would die, etc etc. And especially, that he was dead and came back. All those things (and a lot of others) were evidence to pile up for people to know who was the right one, when he came along.

So, whereas he could point to all this prophecy to verify his identity, somebody who says today that God spoke to them in a dream may or may not be telling the truth, but I don't have any way to know.

Anyway, I'm not an expert theologian or anything, just some thoughts. I would certainly be careful to point out that I'm fallible and don't know all the answers to everything either.

Cochise
08-06-2007, 09:49 PM
Why doesn't God need to update his word? Why can't he give us hints on Abortion, stem cell research, etc etc? Instead, we are bound by people's interpretations. And those are - by Christian definitions (and I agree) - fundamentally flawed.

If he gave us explicit instructions on every topic anyone would ever face, the book would be infinite in length! I'm kidding, but I think that his way is to give principles that we apply to the situations we find ourselves in.

Really, today's issues are not all that different from those of the ancient world. Some people would leave an unwanted child out to die of exposure in the days before abortion.

I think humanity has always been faced with many of the same basic questions, even when the situations have changed.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 09:50 PM
Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations ...

He basically addresses abortion. And in the 10 Commandments he decries murder. So if he knew you before you came forth one might consider that God reveres life from conception, if that truly is life then abortion is murder.


And yet the Bible also condones the death penalty and doesn't disown slavery.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 09:52 PM
I wouldn't think it would be possible as an imperfect human to know everything he does and why he does it. To fully understand his motives you would have to know everything he knows and share the same nature.



I think we can judge the veracity of his claims based on the fact that he fulfilled prophecy that can be verified to have been written before his time. If you were to search for all the prophecies of the messiah in the old testament, it becomes clear how difficult it would be for one person to fulfill all of these. Isaiah for example contains a lot of those.

And I think that is the way it was meant. If you think about it, God knew how many people would come along claiming that they were the messiah. He had to give people a way to identify the right one.

People of the time knew that the messiah would be born of a woman, it was prophesied that he would be born of a virgin, that he would be God's son (verified by voice at his baptism according to scripture, which people at the time who witnessed it could have verified), that the right person would be from the house of David, born in Bethlehem, that he would be capable of prophesying, that he would be preceded by a messenger fitting the description of John the Baptist, that he would be capable of performing miracles, that his side would be pierced by a spear at his death, the manner in which he would die, etc etc. And especially, that he was dead and came back. All those things were evidence to pile up for people to know who was the right one, when he came along.

So, whereas he could point to all this prophecy to verify his identity, somebody who says today that God spoke to them in a dream may or may not be telling the truth, but I don't have any way to know.

Anyway, I'm not an expert theologian or anything, just some thoughts. I would certainly be careful to point out that I'm fallible
and don't know all the answers to everything either.

Then I must ask, though I think it might digress into another realm with different questions, why any prophecies are taken seriously while ones today are shrugged off - regardless of who says them? Moreover, many works of literature make prophecies and later works based on them fulfill those prophecies. What makes these different?

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 09:52 PM
If he gave us explicit instructions on every topic anyone would ever face, the book would be infinite in length! I'm kidding, but I think that his way is to give principles that we apply to the situations we find ourselves in.

Really, today's issues are not all that different from those of the ancient world. Some people would leave an unwanted child out to die of exposure in the days before abortion.

I think humanity has always been faced with many of the same basic questions, even when the situations have changed.

Fair point, but in 2000 years he has nothing else to say or convey?

Cochise
08-06-2007, 09:57 PM
And yet the Bible also condones the death penalty and doesn't disown slavery.

If the question is "Does it speak on a particular topic", that we can determine pretty easily. If the question is, "Why does it take this position", that's something else. I think it would be quite arrogant of us to decide that we know what's right better than he does.

As far as social ills on which it doesn't speak, I think the answer to that is that it seeks to reform society by starting the work inside of people. If we exemplify the ideals presented therein, we'd naturally find slavery repugnant.

CHIEF4EVER
08-06-2007, 10:00 PM
Fair point, but in 2000 years he has nothing else to say or convey?

HE conveys things all the time for those who are receptive to what he is saying and the medium he is saying it through (I don't mean that to be consdescending, please don't take it that way). Prayer is our way of communicating with HIM, HIS WORD is his way of communicating with us (with EXTREMELY rare exceptions). Another way of his communicating with us is through inspired preaching (the work of his Holy Spirit through his ordained ministers). Don't confuse inspired preaching with nutballs like Fred Phelps. In his word it is written 'a tree is known by its fruit'.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:00 PM
If the question is "Does it speak on a particular topic", that we can determine pretty easily. If the question is, "Why does it take this position", that's something else. I think it would be quite arrogant of us to decide that we know what's right better than he does.

As far as social ills on which it doesn't speak, I think the answer to that is that it seeks to reform society by starting the work inside of people. If we exemplify the ideals presented therein, we'd naturally find slavery repugnant.

Perhaps the last statement is true. Yet it cannot be denied that it [The Bible] was used for the majority of the defenses FOR slavery. Which makes me wonder whether those people interpreted wrong or what. But if so, who's to say what's right? By what criteria are you going by to discern whose interpretation is correct and whose is wrong?

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:03 PM
HE conveys things all the time for those who are receptive to what he is saying and the medium he is saying it through (I don't mean that to be consdescending, please don't take it that way). Prayer is our way of communicating with HIM, HIS WORD is his way of communicating with us (with EXTREMELY rare exceptions). Another way of his communicating with us is through inspired preaching (the work of his Holy Spirit through his ordained ministers). Don't confuse inspired preaching with nutballs like Fred Phelps. In his word it is written 'a tree is known by its fruit'.

Well, how do you know God isn't behind Phelps? That's just my point. It is easy to write off people as crazy, insane or the ilk because they claim to know what God says, thinks and would do. However, every believer thinks these things at some point. Hence, why you have the belief that I should not confuse it with Phelps (Which, for the record, I agree).

Now, my next question to you would be what word does he communicate to us? If you mean the Bible, we still come to the same question: What if he wants to update it? What if he already has?

Jenson71
08-06-2007, 10:03 PM
There's a pastor named Ron Phillips who reads the Bible and explains to his sheep how such and such a passage means America needs to give weapons to Israel and such and such a passage means America needs another Republican in office. Very great stuff. If you have a Christian channel, he might be on it sometimes.

SLAG
08-06-2007, 10:04 PM
However, you do not believe in God speaking to people.

The Catholic Church believes in Private Revelations that have throughly investigated by the Vatican and Scientists.. that are then deemed approved for following of the faithful if they wish


Thus, I am left wondering: Why is this?

most protestant communities deny tradition and follow "sola scriptura


Suggested Reading:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0503frs.asp

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13005a.htm

http://www.catholicdoors.com/isit/isitchur.htm

Cochise
08-06-2007, 10:10 PM
Perhaps the last statement is true. Yet it cannot be denied that it [The Bible] was used for the majority of the defenses FOR slavery. Which makes me wonder whether those people interpreted wrong or what. But if so, who's to say what's right? By what criteria are you going by to discern whose interpretation is correct and whose is wrong?

You can take something good and use it in an unintended way for evil. You can kill someone with a baseball bat. That doesn't mean the baseball bat has no merit when applied correctly.

The entire work is not just a series of rulings, a list of rules. It presents an ethos. If one person's interpretation on a particular issue is incongruent with the rest of the work as a whole then we can look at it and identify a non sequitur. You could interpret it incorrectly to say that donkeys can talk if you wanted to - but you have to look at the context of the whole to see that this was not the intended meaning.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:10 PM
The Catholic Church believes in Private Revelations that have throughly investigated by the Vatican and Scientists.. that are then deemed approved for following of the faithful if they wish


most protestant communities deny tradition and follow "sola scriptura


Suggested Reading:

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0503frs.asp

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13005a.htm

http://www.catholicdoors.com/isit/isitchur.htm


And this only clutters the discussion because of Church bureaucracy. The church must deem them approved. By what criteria are they following? I must insist that if there was a God - which I openly admit I think is rather unlikely but cannot completely deny it as a possibility - he would not approve of the current Catholic Church and the way it runs. No offense, but I must be blunt on that front. And for that matter, I think I should stop down this path before we cross the point of no return.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:13 PM
You can take something good and use it in an unintended way for evil. You can kill someone with a baseball bat. That doesn't mean the baseball bat has no merit when applied correctly.

The entire work is not just a series of rulings, a list of rules. It presents an ethos. If one person's interpretation on a particular issue is incongruent with the rest of the work as a whole then we can look at it and identify a non sequitur. You could interpret it incorrectly to say that donkeys can talk if you wanted to - but you have to look at the context of the whole to see that this was not the intended meaning.

Perhaps this is the case, but by what criteria are you to say if it is congruent with the rest of the piece? And for that matter, with 1 Billion people believing a certain interpretation, one enters the numbers game = if an interpretation is popular it is then correct. Which his a logical fallacy.

Cochise
08-06-2007, 10:17 PM
Well, how do you know God isn't behind Phelps? That's just my point.

If you look at what he says from an uneducated point of view, you might come to the conclusion that Phelps is right. He quotes verse whatever, which out of context seems to mean what he says it means.

But Phelps presents the idea that God hates gay people, that he takes pleasure in smiting them, etc. You know however if you are familiar with the context of the whole, that this is not true at all. While clearly that behavior is set out as sinful, one sin is basically the same as any other, and he doesn't hate anyone. I think he's grieved when people sin but he doesn't hate any of us. If he hated us he would not offer people a second chance.

It's not possible to speculate on Phelps' motivations, maybe he has some issues that make him act in the way he does. Maybe he's nuts, maybe he's got ulterior motives, maybe he's honestly mistaken about what the bible really means, I don't know. But if you aren't familiar with the truth then you can't identify a phony. He misleads people often on just that basis. They aren't familiar with the whole of the work enough to know that what Phelps says doesn't wash when you put it in context with what we know about God's nature. If/when they learned more, they'd eventually come to realize this.

CHIEF4EVER
08-06-2007, 10:19 PM
Well, how do you know God isn't behind Phelps? That's just my point. It is easy to write off people as crazy, insane or the ilk because they claim to know what God says, thinks and would do. However, every believer thinks these things at some point. Hence, why you have the belief that I should not confuse it with Phelps (Which, for the record, I agree).

Now, my next question to you would be what word does he communicate to us? If you mean the Bible, we still come to the same question: What if he wants to update it? What if he already has?

Because a tree is known by its fruit. The actions of a 'Pastor' are easily reviewable by Scripture and the biggest novice in the church can review and make decisions by what is contained therein. What Phelps is doing doing goes against Scripture.

I have already answered your question concerning 'updating' his WORD.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:22 PM
If you look at what he says from an uneducated point of view, you might come to the conclusion that Phelps is right. He quotes verse whatever, which out of context seems to mean what he says it means.

But Phelps presents the idea that God hates gay people, that he takes pleasure in smiting them, etc. You know however if you are familiar with the context of the whole, that this is not true at all. While clearly that behavior is set out as sinful, one sin is basically the same as any other, and he doesn't hate anyone. I think he's grieved when people sin but he doesn't hate any of us. If he hated us he would not offer people a second chance.

It's not possible to speculate on Phelps' motivations, maybe he has some issues that make him act in the way he does. Maybe he's nuts, maybe he's got ulterior motives, maybe he's honestly mistaken about what the bible really means, I don't know. But if you aren't familiar with the truth then you can't identify a phony. He misleads people often on just that basis. They aren't familiar with the whole of the work enough to know that what Phelps says doesn't wash when you put it in context with what we know about God's nature. If/when they learned more, they'd eventually come to realize this.

Like I said, I am on your side with respect to Phelps, so perhaps he isn't the best example to expound upon.

What if Person A made the claim: God wants people to know that stem cell research is not immoral.

Would you believe the person that made that claim? What would you need to believe it, if not?

Cochise
08-06-2007, 10:26 PM
Like I said, I am on your side with respect to Phelps, so perhaps he isn't the best example to expound upon.

What if Person A made the claim: God wants people to know that stem cell research is not immoral.

Would you believe the person that made that claim? What would you need to believe it, if not?

Well, for one thing, I think everyone is in favor of stem cell research. There are a lot of stem cell lines that have already been harvested sitting out there frozen or whatever. I don't think anyone says not to do anything with those. There are other places to get stem cells too, besides farming and destroying embryos specifically for that purpose.

It may go back to your questions about slavery. We aren't given a verse that says "Thou shalt not experiment on thine stem cells". But what principles do we know that might apply here? Is it wrong to oppress people for no reason? Is it wrong to take their life to benefit ourselves?

I think the issue basically boils down to when you think life begins, if it's conception, then embryonic stem cell research is more or less medical experimentation on unwilling human subjects. If you think life begins at some later point, then it's just tissue.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:41 PM
Well, for one thing, I think everyone is in favor of stem cell research. There are a lot of stem cell lines that have already been harvested sitting out there frozen or whatever. I don't think anyone says not to do anything with those. There are other places to get stem cells too, besides farming and destroying embryos specifically for that purpose.

It may go back to your questions about slavery. We aren't given a verse that says "Thou shalt not experiment on thine stem cells". But what principles do we know that might apply here? Is it wrong to oppress people for no reason? Is it wrong to take their life to benefit ourselves?

I think the issue basically boils down to when you think life begins, if it's conception, then embryonic stem cell research is more or less medical experimentation on unwilling human subjects. If you think life begins at some later point, then it's just tissue.

I think you came close, but I don't think you answered the question. The slavery example is moot given that the supporters of slavery often used scripture as it's defense - which worked quite well.

Perhaps I should, for the sake of argument, change the claim to: God thinks life beings at birth.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:47 PM
Because a tree is known by its fruit. The actions of a 'Pastor' are easily reviewable by Scripture and the biggest novice in the church can review and make decisions by what is contained therein. What Phelps is doing doing goes against Scripture.

I have already answered your question concerning 'updating' his WORD.

Yet what criteria is said novice going by?

mlyonsd
08-06-2007, 10:50 PM
I think the issue basically boils down to when you think life begins, if it's conception, then embryonic stem cell research is more or less medical experimentation on unwilling human subjects. If you think life begins at some later point, then it's just tissue.
Absolutely f'ing Bingo.

There are plenty of us out here that are not religious yet struggle when life begins. For us it has nothing to do with God.

Something as routine as a miscarriage or a still birth can have profound repercussions in one's mind and how unprotected and vulnerable a human life really is that can't speak up for itself.

Some people might call us stupid or backwards. Unfortunately when they say that they don't recognize compassion is the driving force.

For some of us anyway.

irishjayhawk
08-06-2007, 10:57 PM
Absolutely f'ing Bingo.

There are plenty of us out here that are not religious yet struggle when life begins. For us it has nothing to do with God.

Something as routine as a miscarriage or a still birth can have profound repercussions in one's mind and how unprotected and vulnerable a human life really is that can't speak up for itself.

Some people might call us stupid or backwards. Unfortunately when they say that they don't recognize compassion is the driving force.

For some of us anyway.

I realized the mistake of choosing that example.

mlyonsd
08-06-2007, 11:08 PM
I realized the mistake of choosing that example.

I wasn't singling you out. I just was noting Cochise's response to the question explained my stance on the subject better than I ever could.

BigCatDaddy
08-07-2007, 10:18 AM
My old testament memory if failing me right now. Did the Israelites ever make another race of people their slaves? I remember reading about debt slaves, or those who did work do pay off a debt to another.

Baby Lee
08-07-2007, 10:29 AM
I just have one question that's been nagging me lately. (By the way, you = collective/general)

You can believe in virgin births, angels talking to people, miracles like walking on water, turning water into wine and feeding thousands off of 5 things (or so). You believe in the Resurrection, Assumption, and Immaculate Conception.

However, you do not believe in God speaking to people. You believe in the power of prayer and a communication between yourself(ves) and God. Oddly, though, the connection is a one way street. God cannot talk directly to you - lest you be called insane, madman, etc and generally shunned from the religious community.

Thus, I am left wondering: Why is this?

Am I wrong in assuming - based on past events, actions, words and intents of believers everywhere - that people with a direct line to God are someone addled in the brain? Is this where I am wrong? Or is it something else?
Mormons, . . . just saying. ;)

stevieray
08-07-2007, 10:29 AM
Holy Spirit.

Jilly
08-07-2007, 02:51 PM
Irish Jayhawk,

I completely understand your questions and as a believer of some Ultimate Reality, I have asked them myself a million times. There have been moments, as a Christian where I have doubted and there still are and there always will be. I am radical in that I don't believe in the virgin birth, I don't believe in a physical resurrection, I have some questions about the miracles that happen in Scripture and I often wonder why god doesn't talk to us through horses or parting of Red Seas. Having a belief like this is complex and it isn't easy, but it's real.

Yet it all has to do with interpreting what is happening around me, the presence of what I feel and experience. I've experienced resurrection - maybe not in coming back from the dead, but in finding myself healed after life has torn me apart. I've experienced miracles, maybe not a physical seeing or walking on water, but walking on water in that I did something I never thought I could do. I've experienced the parting of the Red Sea - maybe not walking through two walls of water, but when seemingly at a dead end, I've somehow found a way out. And for me and my faith, there have been times when I know it wasn't my own doing...when I felt something powerful and comforting urging me and nudging me, speaking to me sometimes in a shout and sometimes in complete silence. I don't think God is done speaking....to me or to anyone really. I think the problem lies in not believing what we are seeing and not listening to what we are hearing.

Mr Luzcious
08-08-2007, 02:11 AM
I find it strange that different people can believe such incredibly different things, and yet be given the same label. Christian, that is.

luv
08-08-2007, 02:12 AM
I find it strange that different people can believe such incredibly different things, and yet be given the same label. Christian, that is.
Agreed.

Jilly
08-08-2007, 10:28 AM
I find it strange that different people can believe such incredibly different things, and yet be given the same label. Christian, that is.

I think it's sad that we are too ingrained in our own belief systems to even entertain that this is ok. Seems to me that part of our (christians) problem is that we are so controlled by dogma and tradition that we aren't even comfortable with maybe not having things all figured out. We leave no room for unanswered questions.

Pitt Gorilla
08-08-2007, 11:04 AM
Why doesn't God need to update his word? Some religions believe that he does.

Also,
many Christians don't believe the Bible word-for-word (it was written, edited, and translated by man) or in things like the virgin birth. I've attended two different churches during my lifetime and both more or less view the Bible as a guide instead of a word for word account. I know people who will grill that idea, but it makes a lot of sense to a lot of people.

Mr Luzcious
08-08-2007, 01:24 PM
I think it's sad that we are too ingrained in our own belief systems to even entertain that this is ok. Seems to me that part of our (christians) problem is that we are so controlled by dogma and tradition that we aren't even comfortable with maybe not having things all figured out. We leave no room for unanswered questions.

But it renders the label useless. I can say I'm a Christian, but that doesn't really tell you anything anymore. Kind of defeats the purpose of having the label in the first place.. Plus, it's never nice to be associated with Fred Phelps.

Jilly
08-08-2007, 01:36 PM
But it renders the label useless. I can say I'm a Christian, but that doesn't really tell you anything anymore. Kind of defeats the purpose of having the label in the first place.. Plus, it's never nice to be associated with Fred Phelps.

True, Fred Phelps is an IDIOT.

....the term "Christian" was actually first used by those who were not "Christians". So, the term became a label in an almost derogatory manner to lump people together who believed Jesus was the Messiah or the Christ (Messiah in Greek) and that was around 100 CE or so. But this was the way almost every name of a particular religion came about.

I tend to believe a person is a "Christian" if he or she is a "follower of the Way." Which is what the Disciples were termed. Meaning that if one follows in the way of Jesus, then he or she is a Christian.

Mr Luzcious
08-08-2007, 01:46 PM
True, Fred Phelps is an IDIOT.

....the term "Christian" was actually first used by those who were not "Christians". So, the term became a label in an almost derogatory manner to lump people together who believed Jesus was the Messiah or the Christ (Messiah in Greek) and that was around 100 CE or so. But this was the way almost every name of a particular religion came about.

I tend to believe a person is a "Christian" if he or she is a "follower of the Way." Which is what the Disciples were termed. Meaning that if one follows in the way of Jesus, then he or she is a Christian.

I don't really see how where the name came from changes anything...

And yet there are people who don't fall into that category who are still considered Christians. :shrug: