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 Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity. 
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
WarEr4Christ wrote:
This is one of the MANY reasons that type/text is not a very good communicator, because it does not include the emotions and facial features which make up the majority of our communication.
Kinda like the Bible and other 'scripture' :wink:
WarEr4Christ wrote:
Wags: to your point, the information that you and others are trying to put before me, although interesting, doesn't really benefit me. Let me HUMBLY explain it like this. If I am on my way to Detroit, I don't need a road map that will take me to Auburn Hills, or Plymouth, or Grand Rapids, I need a map that will take me to Detroit. The information that you speak of, from other sources, other beliefs, and other things, tend to muddy the water. Its not that a conversion would take place, but the potential of corruption by something that is almost the truth but not entirely. For example: If in heading to Detroit, I'm off by 1 degree, in the distance of the trip I'll miss it entirely because of that 1 degree. Man is the author of all of the materials that have been pushed my way, it's their human perspective on a wide variety of topics. But the Bible is the "INSPIRED word of God." If God wants to communicate to His people in a language they understand, He could choose to do it physically, verbally, or in writing. Physically we would all perish because of our sin natures, and inability to be within His holy presence, Verbally, still happens on occasion, but not in the context with which you might think. And written, through the Scripture which has been proven that in the course of time to have remained true to form. Dr. David Jeremiah, a Christian Pastor, quoted the last line in much more detail, and reference points but I can't find that, or I would provide it here.
Nice example of 'Christian Arrogance.' You don't 'need' anything, but us 'sinners/infidels' do, huh? Seems to me that you 'need' more confidence in your faith as you apparently are incapable of reading or thinking about something without fear of it changing you or your faith in someway. Personally I know I have the capacity to ponder, consider, read, think, etc on several topics without having to accept them
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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it"-Aristotle
That said, who's to say that God or Jesus isn't trying to communicate to you through us? Perhaps He or They want you to open your eyes to all that the World has to offer, not just a particular myopic view of it.

BTW, just CAPITALIZING a word doesn't make it fact; if you want to come across as humble, then you should humble yourself by your actions, not words.

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March 25th, 2014, 11:31 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Your mindset is very unfortunate and to be totally frank, quite dangerous. It is the same type of mindset that produced the attacks on 9/11, and indeed, most of the truly evil acts humans have committed.

I have written on this forum that I view religion to be a threat to mankind. I have realized it is a little more nuanced than that: It is not religion that is a threat, but the sort of willful ignorance you are advocating. If, after weighing the facts, you decide your way is the right way, then so be it. But to refuse to even entertain opposing viewpoints is just detestable. Thankfully, you are not a very intelligent person, otherwise your existence would frighten me.


March 25th, 2014, 11:37 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
I see that no matter how I respond, I'll either be arrogant, or myopic, especially since we view things from two separate perspectives. The wisdom of mankind, including my own, falls so far short and yet it's touted as if it were the answer to all questions. The evidence you've requested has been provided via so many avenues, but you can't see it. No worries, I'll step out, because I don't wish to do any more damage.

I'm completely comfortable with being a firebrand, because the very "religion" that is so dangerous is not one that would board a plane of innocent people in the name of whoever. So if you consider letting someone serve you, love you, act on your behalf when you can not as being dangerous then watch out. The only thing I'll strap on myself is a tool belt as I head to the families roof that needs repair, or I might blow up my bank account trying to meet the financial needs of someone who can't meet a need in their life. Or worse yet, I might use hate speech like, "Jesus loves you," "How can I help," or, gasp "Can I pray for you?" Yup, you're right, people that choose to live like that need to be on the FBI's top ten list, because they are a bunch of scoundrels.

Those Blood Bought Born Again Christians are evil people, watch out for them, they might actually love you, and care for you, and care enough about your eternal future, that they'd like to introduce you to Jesus. Yeah watch out for those guys and girls.....

Not worth debating anymore, because no matter what or how i say it, it's just going to develop in a negative way, so I'd rater bow out so as to prevent further angst.

I'm out....

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March 25th, 2014, 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
WarEr4Christ wrote:
I see that no matter how I respond


Actually, it is just quite simply how you respond. You could say, and this is just an example, I'd like to share a book that is important to me and in return I'd be happy to read something that explains your point of view.

When you "view things from two separate perspectives", that is how you come to understand one another. Not by continually suggesting people read your material and then by commenting that you won't read any of their material, because it is a waste of time.

You claim that you want to introduce people to Jesus, let me tell you brother your communication is having the exact opposite effect. This isn't so much about your faith being a "firebrand" or religion being "dangerous", it's about your approach to the subject and anyone who tries to engage in a real conversation with you.

One of my dearest friends in the whole world is a born again Christian (reborn about 10 years ago) who lives in Michigan. We get together every Christmas in Ann Arbor with my other best friend, a Jew who has decided to become more Hindu than anything. As you might imagine, our conversations are quite interesting. They know how fascinated I am with just about every form of faith and I tend to leave the state armed with various books on the two faiths which I am more than happy to read. In return, they listen and are willing to consider my point of view and explore their spirituality outside of their current paths. It's a two-way openness that is lacked in any conversation with you and hence the reactions you get.

Again, it isn't the message - it is the way the message is presented. One way communication works well for dictators who use force to impact their beliefs, but it doesn't belong in any true dialog.

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March 25th, 2014, 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Pablo wrote:
WarEr4Christ wrote:
I see that no matter how I respond


Actually, it is just quite simply how you respond. You could say, and this is just an example, I'd like to share a book that is important to me and in return I'd be happy to read something that explains your point of view.

When you "view things from two separate perspectives", that is how you come to understand one another. Not by continually suggesting people read your material and then by commenting that you won't read any of their material, because it is a waste of time.

You claim that you want to introduce people to Jesus, let me tell you brother your communication is having the exact opposite effect. This isn't so much about your faith being a "firebrand" or religion being "dangerous", it's about your approach to the subject and anyone who tries to engage in a real conversation with you.

One of my dearest friends in the whole world is a born again Christian (reborn about 10 years ago) who lives in Michigan. We get together every Christmas in Ann Arbor with my other best friend, a Jew who has decided to become more Hindu than anything. As you might imagine, our conversations are quite interesting. They know how fascinated I am with just about every form of faith and I tend to leave the state armed with various books on the two faiths which I am more than happy to read. In return, they listen and are willing to consider my point of view and explore their spirituality outside of their current paths. It's a two-way openness that is lacked in any conversation with you and hence the reactions you get.

Again, it isn't the message - it is the way the message is presented. One way communication works well for dictators who use force to impact their beliefs, but it doesn't belong in any true dialog.

Well said.

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March 25th, 2014, 2:39 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Yeah, war, it's not muddying the waters to look at different views. It's like saying "I'm conservative, I can't look at liberal publications because it might muddy my thoughts." You can only strengthen your arguments by knowing what the other side believes. They aren't going to hurt your faith, only make it stronger. But by refusing to understand others, it only makes them not want to understand you. Knowledge is power. Faith isn't destroyed by knowledge. For me, it's only grown it stronger. You're only limiting yourself to close all doors to greater understanding.


March 25th, 2014, 2:56 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Point received....

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2 Chronicles 10:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


March 25th, 2014, 3:55 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Fellas,

I woke up this morning and began to review my comments and thoughts over the past couple of days and realized that I owe you a HUGE apology. Although a lot of my answers are true to SOME extent, many were more reactionary, and didn't illustrate what I've been trying to share for a long time. In my effort to be determined and focused, I did indeed become myopic and arrogant. I would ask for your forgiveness in this, as it totally derails what I've been trying to say.

Any faith that can be easily shaken and thrown off by reading a topic is actually no faith at all. In trying to maintain my determination for the goal, I closed my mind to the point of discussion which is mutual conversation. Again, that showed a weakness of perspective on my part and illustrated what is wrong about Christianity from my opinion. Instead of engaging IN conversation, I was only willing to give, instead of receive. I'm embarrassed, and again ask for your forgiveness on this.

Having said that, is there a potential author or topic that we could discuss form both sides? I will do my best to give it a go, so that I can see your perspective as well as my own. But please keep in mind, there are several of you, and one of me, so 20 topics may be a bit much to handle. So if we could take it one by one that would be a lot easier to handle.

Again, I apologize for the myopia, and arrongance, and hope that we can begin a true discussion that is mutually inclusive. Be blessed!

Oh and the capitalization isn't for fact but emphasis. :P

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2 Chronicles 10:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


March 26th, 2014, 8:07 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Are there any scientific studies on the Spiritual? I remember while growing up, there was talk of ESP, Extra Sensory Perception, but have there been any studies on Spiritual things? Does this interest anyone here?

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2 Chronicles 10:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


March 28th, 2014, 8:33 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
WarEr4Christ wrote:
Are there any scientific studies on the Spiritual? I remember while growing up, there was talk of ESP, Extra Sensory Perception, but have there been any studies on Spiritual things? Does this interest anyone here?


As a seeker of truth and knowledge, of course I find all this stuff and claims fascinating...

James Randi has offered a cool $1M to anyone who could perform/display any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power. He actually started way back in 1964 with $1,000 offer, then later raised it to $10K. Since 1996 it was raised to $1M. Last I heard about 1,000 have actually participated in the challenge (which forces them to perform under a controlled environment). They have also challenged many of the more famous physics, etc. to the challenge, most have turned down the challenge others have accepted at first and then backed out.

Guess how much they have paid out to all these folks over the course of the lasts 40 years? Well, it doesn't take a physic to come up with that answer.

I do find it interesting (mostly, how many people fall for this stuff - it just blows my skeptical mind), we have a similar group here in Dallas called the North Texas Skeptics that I follow (there are other local organizations throughout the country and the world). Here they offer a $12K prize - guess how many times that has been paid out. The same as Mr. Randi. It's funny how accurate all these people either claim to be or are when they control the conditions. Put them under a controlled environment and I can predict the outcome every time - they will come up with all sorts of creative excuses.

As for the spiritual, there have been a number of studies done. Of course, when they are done by a biased group like a church - as you might expect - there can be some interesting findings. When they are done by a third party and the conditions are controlled, wanna guess what the results are? Many believe in the power of prayer, but scientifically it is easily disproven. The largest study was done in 2006 called the "Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP)" project ran by a Harvard professor. Using over 1,800 coronary artery bypass surgery at six hospitals, those in which prayer was not used 51% had major complications or death within 30-days, for those in which prayer was used, 52% had a negative outcome within 30 days.

Christians worldwide (and insert any belief system of your choice) who use prayer have pretty much exact same percentage of whatever they pray for than non-believers which can lead to only one of three explanations: 1) God doesn't hear your prayers, 2) God hears your prayers, but doesn't interfere with life here on Earth, or 3) God doesn't exist.

Those who want to believe will find reason to. They will remember the times when their prayers were "answered" or read stories of "miracles" that seem to back up their beliefs. They will credit God with everything good that happens in the world and blame the devil for bad things. Of course their beliefs will be back up by "proof" pretty much on a daily basis. Funny how none of this evidence ever shows up on any independent statistics or studies...

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March 28th, 2014, 11:26 am
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
Pablo,
First: thanks for responding, I was beginning to wonder what happened.

Second: I found this to be very interesting, but it also brought up something from my perspective....

"Christians worldwide (and insert any belief system of your choice) who use prayer have pretty much exact same percentage of whatever they pray for than non-believers which can lead to only one of three explanations: 1) God doesn't hear your prayers, 2) God hears your prayers, but doesn't interfere with life here on Earth, or 3) God doesn't exist."

I'm not meaning any disrespect here, but there appears to be an error in the thinking in these three responses.

First: If God is God, and the "Creator" of all life, is He subject to the whims and demands of that which He created? Does the Queen of England answer to, and make policy decisions based upon the input of her subjects? It's probably a bad example, but the best I could offer on short notice.

Second: The STEP program sounded more like a side show or experiment, than it did a faith based effort. Just because I choose to go into Hospital X and pray for these patients, doesn't mean that God is required to move or act because I prayed. This goes back to the above, in that He is the authority, and as a Christian, allows us to participate in what He's doing.

Side note: My duty as a Christian, is to seek the Lord in prayer, find out where He is working and then join Him there. As I'm praying the Lord will move in my heart by an emotion, a word picture, an impression that encourages me to pray in a particular way. IF I am just going in to pray like I said in #2, what is the benefit of it? It's human words, human efforts, and devoid of any power. God isn't an experiment, or a hidden discovery that He needs us to prove His existence, He asks us to believe first and then He'll show himself.

That is what is so difficult about trying to share in an environment like this. Wags made the comment about talking about it as compared to walking it, but unfortunately he doesn't have the opportunity to see that I do walk my faith everyday. Failures and all.

I have seen miracles take place, that could happen no other way than God, and yet I can't quantify it through documented evidence. Physical healings, unexplained provision, divine protection, and much more....

What I would like to know is how could an example be illustrated for you, an agnostic, that would show you the evidence you request? The only thing that I can think of that might do that is LOVE, and that's explained away as chemical interactions within the brain.... How could I, a believer, demonstrate to you something that would begin to open your mind?

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2 Chronicles 10:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


March 28th, 2014, 12:55 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
First, the queen doesn't need to respond to the whim of her subjects, ie) option 2 (he hears but doesn't interfere).

Second, I gave one example of a study. There are others but I'm not about to post them all. Bottom line is, the effect of prayer can be proven to not exist scientifically.

Third, "I have seen miracles take place, that could happen no other way than God" - as I've said, you see what you want to see/believe in. If something can't be explained easily, what is the first conclusion you jump to?

Physical healings, unexplained provision, divine protection, and much more.... Let's just take physical healings - do you know how many have ever occurred in a "controlled environment"? An ounce of belief is a scam artists pot of gold. How many people believe in physics? Those who want to believe, it is a divine God given talent of course. The work of these folks is miraculous. Again, until you really test it.

"How could I, a believer, demonstrate to you something that would begin to open your mind?" First, my mind is already open. Being "skeptical" does not mean my mind isn't open, just look at your comment earlier in the thread about looking at anything other than your faith to find out whose mind is closed my friend. If you really want to demonstrate something you think will begin to open my mind, you must open yours first. Now that would be a miracle!!!

What lack of proof do I need to present for you to really reconsider your faith?

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March 28th, 2014, 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
I see your point about the perspective thing on #3

Going back to the Queen, isn't she not the over all authority? So if she chooses to act on behalf of one of her subjects, that's her choice, but not a requirement? However, if she calls upon one of her subjects to get involved, isn't it their duty to "obey."

It almost appears that we're talking about the same coin, but one side is heads, the other tails, and the dividing line is what? Perspective? Belief?

Let me take this one step further if I can. Think of Elizabethean India, they've not seen the Queen but only heard of her. They see her people acting and operating on her behalf, but yet they still believe she exists right? Why is that? Is it because her representatives said so, or did they come into the country and begin to change how things were done? You speak of a controlled environment, but doesn't that make God a sideshow? We are now in the position of telling Him how he's going to act, and if He chooses not to act in that particular fashion, then He doesn't exist? Is that proud or arrogant to take that stance? What I'm trying to do is identify the authority of God, over mankind, and if we look at it from that context then we can begin to see things differently. My examples may be crude, but I can't think of a better way of suggesting it. I'm really not looking to argue, I'm trying to ask legitimate questions, that would develop a context for the way we approach God. If we act as if WE are the authority, and have things figured out, then why is it we can't get our "gods" to do anything? Do we dare put any other god on trial? Think back to the story of Elijah who challenged the prophets of Baal. He mocked them, challenged them, and this went on for a day or more, and as the story goes, a mere mention to God through Elijah cost those prophets their lives, and demonstrated to those presence who He was. Do we have the right to demand such an example?

This is not for conversion, I'm asking for your perspective. I'm done attempting to convert, because that is pissing you fellas off, and that was not my original intent. But by way of conversation, I'm trying to understand the thinking behind your points of view. If this is upsetting, let me know and I'll stop asking right now...

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2 Chronicles 10:14, "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


March 28th, 2014, 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Questions about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity.
The folks in India have never seen the Queen of England personally, but they have plenty of proof she exists - I hope I don't need to provide examples. If she interfered with their lives in some fashion, you could statistically measure it. If she ordered medical care in a poor Indian village for example, their cure rates would be different than those in which she didn't give her attention.

God only has "authority over mankind" because of the stories about him. Funny, in those Biblical stories he actually impacted life her on Earth. They believed, because he would part seas and such. What logical conclusion can we derive from that? 1) he wanted them to have a real relationship with him, thus he revealed himself but that is no longer the case (perhaps he liked them more), 2) he used to exist but doesn't anymore, 3) the stories are fictional and he never existed? I guess you might say he did all this so we would know him, then had a book written about it, and now because of this book modern folks just need to have faith - LOL.

"If we act as if WE are the authority, and have things figured out, then why is it we can't get our "gods" to do anything? Do we dare put any other god on trial?"

If God is the authority and really wants to have a relationship with us, that is very simple to make happen. BTW - that isn't a trail. And if we did put him on trail, there is something that must exist to find the truth and get a conviction (or in this case, prove his existence) - it's called evidence. I'd dare put any God on trail. Lack of evidence certainly leaves room for "reasonable doubt" now doesn't it. Then again, you need an "impartial jury" to have a "fair trail" and reach the "truth".

Look, I answered your question of what it would take for me to reconsider. You didn't respond to that nor my question - not surprisingly. That is the way we could have developed a context for moving forward. Time for me to exit this thread for awhile once again.

/Peace out!

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March 28th, 2014, 2:09 pm
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