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Old 08-06-2007, 08:21 PM  
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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A Sincere Question to Christians/Catholics

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?
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:39 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:04 PM   #4
irishjayhawk irishjayhawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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?
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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?
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
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?
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIEF4EVER
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishjayhawk
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a1na2
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.
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
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?
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