View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently September 30th, 2014, 5:50 am



Reply to topic  [ 56 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4
 Noah's Ark, before Noah... 
Author Message
Lionbacker Rehab Guru
User avatar

Joined: January 26th, 2006, 9:08 pm
Posts: 1202
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
Blueskies wrote:
Basically think about atheism in the context of employment.

You're either an employee or you're not. You either work for GM or you don't. There's no, "well, I'm sure if I work there."

You're either employed, or unemployed. You're either a theist or an atheist in respect to some or all religions.

Horrible analogy. During that the past 30 years I have been self employed and an employee at the same time. Oddly, included in that time, I worked at GM but being 'employed' by someone else. I've also been earning money through stock investments. I've also done a fair amount of professional work for free, not to forget the charitable work I've done, also for free.

I am definitely a Theist, even in my acceptance of other religions, but I do accept that other religions may have validity in the eyes of God. I would not be surprised to one day discover that there are many Atheists in heaven who have their eyes squeezed tightly and their fingers in their ears as they say to themselves, 'This is all a bad dream. This is all a bad dream.'

_________________
Climate Change - happening every second, of every minute of every day ever since the world was created. Needless to say it's man's fault.


January 30th, 2014, 5:45 pm
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Posts: 9464
Location: Dallas
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
Blueskies wrote:
ag·nos·tic
agˈnästik/Submit
noun
1.
a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena


I take a bit of exception to this definition. As an agnostic, I do believe it can be "known", we just aren't there yet. If there is a second coming, it will be known. I also believe science will lead us ultimately closer or farther away from believing eventually.

My guess is that the greater our understanding, the less likely God's existence. However, I can also see that we could move further away, and then some sort of "ah ha" moment or discovery that ties everything together making a much stronger case for a creator (God or some unknown entity at this point).

What I find most fascinating in both of your points (BS and TM) is that both of you seem to admit some sort of "agnostic" bent in your faith or lack of it, no matter how small.

Blueskies wrote:
Do I "adamantly" believe that there is no god? no.


TruckinMack wrote:
You could say I am personally Christian and otherly Agnostic. It's a stretch, but I could see it. God showed me a path. I am willing to concede he showed other people a different path.


Perhaps agnosticism is the common ground we all share, to different levels of course. I do find it funny when people say I'm not willing to "commit". I feel no need to commit in that sense, I'm committed to be open. In reality, I don't think "man" has the answer yet and I personally believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Call it randomness with some purpose behind the randomness if you will. Let me give some examples...

1) if there is a God, I don't think he created me "special" on purpose. Maybe he is behind DNA, but like when I make a soup without following any specific directions I throw in a bit of this and a bit of that. The ingredients are the same, but the mixture is slightly different each time. Not necessarily on purpose, but each time the dish comes out their are slight variances. It is that uniqueness, like a snowflake or a fingerprint, that makes it special - not because I was specifically designed following some exact instructions. God didn't make me special, he created the environment that makes me special.

2) if there is no God, there does seem to be some sort of life force in effect. There is still a randomness to the soup of ingredients required for life, but what is the driving force behind the mix coming together to create life and continuously evolving into higher forms of life? In reality, aren't we doing more harm than good to the planet which houses us? Without us here, our planet would (without some external force) surely exist until the end of time (the suns demise). Isn't there a much greater chance now that we destroy Earth by raping all of its natural resources or simply blowing it up in some catastrophic war?

3) there is a God, nothing like we imagine, and he isn't our creator. Perhaps God does exist, but he created some other species living on another planet. Like man, this species loves to create and explore. Is it hard to imagine man taking some of the building blocks of life, plopping them down in an environment (say another planet) and then watching it evolve or leaving it for thousands or millions of years to see the result? With our 3rd rock from the sun, perhaps some alien civilization placed the building blocks of life here and you are here as a result.

4) there is a God, nothing like we imagine, and he is our creator. In fact, perhaps there are tons of Gods, each one creates a unique individual in his or her image to live life on Earth. In essence, we each have our own personal God.

I could continue to speculate, all sound as plausible if not more so than Christianity to me. Why cut off any possibility? Aren't we just really greatly reducing the chance of ever really finding out the truth? As an Agnostic, I love peeking down the possibility of each of these paths, they are all equally exciting to me. In reality, just like the police who zero in on one "person of interest" right from the start. You had better have it right or you will never discover what really happened. Start with a truly open mind and anything and everything is possible, including the truth!!! Take one path and you never really know what all else you are missing, if you have chosen one path, I hope you "guessed" right but the chances are not in your favor.

_________________
Image
LB Tweet


January 30th, 2014, 6:31 pm
Profile WWW
QB Coach
User avatar

Joined: October 26th, 2005, 11:48 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Elkhart, In.
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
Pablo:

Man you've given me SO much to attempt to answer, I hope I do it justice. But might I first say that we need to clarify Christian....

Prior to the 3rd Century, it was not Christians who were putting people to the sword, instead they were on the receiving end of most of that persecution because they were AGAINST the religious institutions of the day. As Christianity spread because of the persecution, and with the message that they bore, it gained in popularity. In the 3rd Century, Constantine centralized the Christian faith, and made it the state religion. The "word" was removed from the common people and given to priests whose duty it was to instruct the people. This created a hierarchy of class, and became the basic model for what is considered church today. Over time, and under the influence of men, the church has drifted away from the original teachings of Jesus. As time has gone by, and especially in this country, the form of Christianity has become commercial, and plastic. There's no substance to it, and people are abandoning Christianity and the church because there is no substance to it.

What I'm talking about and have been talking about is a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. It is real, and personal, and can not be explained or understood outside of the experience.

You are asking me to think and believe instead of believe. I've been asking you to experience by belief, because IF you would honestly choose to believe with all of your heart and mind, you would then experience and understand. But until you are prepared to take that step, we can't speak on the same subject because you can't understand the basis for my belief.

So Christianity post 3rd century have done many of the atrocities that you speak of, because they were lead by leaders with ulterior motives, or sin, or just about anything else. However, Christianity is not alone in this venture, Voice of the Martyrs can give you all of the statistics you wish to read on how many Christians lose their lives annually to atheist nations, or Muslim nations.

The interesting thing, and one that is hard to explain is that in my relationship to Jesus Christ, I now become His. I was once a slave to self, and therefore chose things that benefited me. But when I became a Christian, and more importantly started to surrender to Jesus, then I became a servant to Him. But here's the kicker. It is Jesus living IN me, the decisions I make are influenced by Him. I still have a choice and can do what I'm encouraged to do, or I can choose to go my own way. In choosing the latter, I am again pursuing self. So by definition I am a slave to Christ, or a slave to self. In my desire to pursue Christ likeness, then I do my best to make decisions based upon how He would act in a given situation. I know how he would act by reading the Bible, and spending time with Him in prayer. It is there that my mind is transformed, and my perspective changed.

Pablo, what was your faith background? Catholic?

I'd like for you to know, and anyone else here, that the Christianity I'm speaking of is tangible, personal, and it flies directly in the face of CHURCHianity. My decisions to live like Christ, do as He did, and minister along the way are the reasons behind why I wrote the book. Because life is a journey, and I want to reach as many people as possible while I'm here. I've seen legalistic Christianity, and it breaks my heart to see how many people have been burned, disenfranchised, hurt, and demoralized because they didn't meet a set of rules. Well, if I am to be firebrand, then so be it, because that's exactly what Jesus was in His day and the people loved him, and the Church hated him because he challenged their legalism, their sin, and their authority over the people, and this cost Him his life.

Can you see the difference?

_________________
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."


January 30th, 2014, 7:01 pm
Profile
Lionbacker Rehab Guru
User avatar

Joined: January 26th, 2006, 9:08 pm
Posts: 1202
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
I found a path. It has been good for me. Might another path present itself as better? I'll take it. Perhaps God would like be to become a Deacon.

As for me limiting my chances? As funny as that sounds, let's pretend entrance to Heaven is a lottery. Who has a better chance of winning, one who bought a ticket or one who did not?

Not to fear, Pablo. If you are following a path that pleases God, I am certain he has a ticket waiting for you.

_________________
Climate Change - happening every second, of every minute of every day ever since the world was created. Needless to say it's man's fault.


January 30th, 2014, 7:04 pm
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Posts: 9464
Location: Dallas
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
WarEr4Christ wrote:
You are asking me to think and believe instead of believe.


And you are asking me to take thinking out of the equation. No thank you, I believe there is a reason "God" gave us a brain, I prefer to use it. (sorry, couldn't resist)

TruckinMack wrote:
As for me limiting my chances? As funny as that sounds, let's pretend entrance to Heaven is a lottery. Who has a better chance of winning, one who bought a ticket or one who did not?


Like the lotto analogy, let's go with it. As for limiting your chances, you've done exactly that again by limiting your subset of possible answers. The person who "has a better chance of winning" isn't one who bought a ticket (in your case Christianity) or the one who did not (Atheist) - yet those are the only two choices you give. How do I know, simple I go back and look at those rare few that have won the lotto. What do they virtually all have in common? One, they bought a ticket and two, they have bought many lotto tickets before picking the winner.

I really hope you won the lotto with your first ticket. While you think your playing the "odds" with that ticket, I much more likely to cash in by really playing the odds - buying multiple tickets.

See what happens when you can both think and believe, you can dramatically improve your odds of winning.

_________________
Image
LB Tweet


January 31st, 2014, 10:37 am
Profile WWW
QB Coach
User avatar

Joined: October 26th, 2005, 11:48 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Elkhart, In.
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
I'm not asking you to stop thinking, and just believe! But what I am asking is that you believe before you think. This is why it's called a leap of faith.

Picture your son trying to jump from a dock into your arms, while you are standing in the lake. You know you are going to catch him, and you are trying to encourage him to make the jump. But it comes down to time and trust. I am praying with Great Expectation that you and others whom I've had the opportunity to meet in these forums, will come to see Christ. I can not force you, nor will I. Love is a choice, and as such, must be given the ability to choose. Your choice will determine your future and I'm trusting that you and others will someday, make the right choice.

But like that father, I am only trying to encourage you by my experiences because that is all I have. I can't show you any other way than what has gone on in my own life.

However a thought came to me this morning that seems to fit this scenario.

BS has been trying to illustrate what an Atheist is, or believes. I can not understand it, because I am not one. He can give me all of the examples, and statements, and ways of thinking; but until I choose to disavow God and His existence, I'll never be one.

The reverse is true for being a Blood Bought Born Again Christian. I can explain it, tell you about it, illustrate who Jesus is/was, and provide as much info as possible, but until you become one, you can't fully understand the relationship, nor the reality of it.

Modern Christianity has circled the wagons, and gone the American Wa which is bigger, better, nicer, neater, and more dynamic in order to draw the people. But the people aren't coming! They don't fit the bigger, better, nicer, nearter, and more dynamic mold, and it doesn't meet their needs. However, the Christian who sees the need, and goes and meets it, expecting nothing in return, truly demonstrates the Love of Christ, and becomes the hands and feet of God. The only new people attending these worship palaces are Commercial Christians who didn't hear what their itching ears wanted to hear (health and wealth, prosperity and live your best life now messages) so they travel from church to church planting their "seed money of faith" in order to get the rewards of their investment. That is PLASTIC, and SIN, and UNBIBLICAL. The World sees it, and wants no part of it! BUT the church that is on the front line of distress, and loving without cost, or expectation is the Church in action and there is a MAJOR DIFFERENCE.

_________________
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."


January 31st, 2014, 10:56 am
Profile
Lionbacker Rehab Guru
User avatar

Joined: January 26th, 2006, 9:08 pm
Posts: 1202
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
Pablo wrote:
See what happens when you can both think and believe, you can dramatically improve your odds of winning.
I beg to differ with my brother in Christ, (though maybe once I did not - more on than in a bit).

By all means I believe God put us down here to use our brains. There is no part of me that says, 'Gosh, I should stop being a Catholic Christian, it is hurting me by (blank). Not my faith. Not my brain. Not my little toe. True I get irritated with TPTB in the Catholic Church who say stupid things like, 'We want Obamacare.' That Catholics also still get the Lords prayer wrong is grating as well. Still, when I see the leaders of my faith making a mistake I step up and say something (to the great consternation of my old priest and the patient amusement of my current priest). I guess I'm doing the 'If you see something, say something' thing. You don't give up on your side when it stumbles. You reach out a helping hand.

I cannot help but see God all around me everyday. (Strangely, even in the writings of BS. I see him reaching out and trying to grow, but his inner petulant monkey keeps wanting to throw poo... So far the monkey is winning. ) Perhaps once I was like W4 and had to take a leap into my faith. I spent several years pretending to not be a Catholic. I went to a Lutheran church. I visited a few synagogues. I studied Zen Buddhism. I tried being an Atheist. The trouble was when I wasn't doing all those things I was talking with God (W4 might call it praying) virtually everyday. Eventually I noticed my hypocrisy and said, 'Enough. It's time to go home.' That was around 1978. I've never looked back.

Many Christians get hung up on many verses of the Bible. I don't. I figure either I'm not ready to understand what's been written, or the translation (from Ancient Hebrew? Aramaic?) is poor. As I mentioned earlier, I don't believe the commandment is 'Thou Shall Not Kill', which is nigh impossible. At the very least I have to kill plants to live, (let alone the tasty animals that make steak and bacon). I believe the commandment is 'Thou Shall Not Commit Murder', which of course leaves the definition of murder wide open. Self defense? Abortion? Capitol Punishment? War? Are any or all of these murder in the biblical sense?

As an aside: My son is presently in the Army and only a few days from Kosovo. If by chance he sees an innocent little girl 100 yards away walking towards his men and strapped with explosives, giving him mere seconds to do something. Would it be murder? I hope he never has to find out.

Finally, Pablo, if your brain says 'Don't pick a religion. Stay agnostic.' I have no problem. As long as you are living a life that would be pleasing to God, I think you have a lottery ticket firmly in your hand. One of my favorite sayings, though I cannot remember the author is, "I don't know how to best please God, but I firmly believe that trying to please God, pleases God." At the moment (and someday you may find a different path) you are not committed to the belief that 'God is.' I don't think He blames you for this, though I suspect He is working diligently to change your mind. (When someone on your side stumbles, you don't give up on them, you reach out a helping hand.)

_________________
Climate Change - happening every second, of every minute of every day ever since the world was created. Needless to say it's man's fault.


January 31st, 2014, 11:29 am
Profile
RIP Killer
User avatar

Joined: August 6th, 2004, 9:21 am
Posts: 9464
Location: Dallas
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
TruckinMack wrote:
As long as you are living a life that would be pleasing to God, I think you have a lottery ticket firmly in your hand.


Excellent overall post TM, especially this part. Since you have studied Buddhism, you obviously get the concept of karma. You seem to have incorporated their "ticket" karma into heaven and meshed it into your Christian beliefs - I like the mash up. As an Agnostic, I think the Buddhist out of all the religions, have the "ticket" has right as anyone.

See, we have a Christian and an Agnostic finding common ground in Buddhism! Your study in other religions is paying dividends from a communication standpoint, it also brought you closer to your own faith. You've combined "thinking" and "believing" to put you on your pathway, I totally respect that and appreciate you sharing.

_________________
Image
LB Tweet


January 31st, 2014, 11:42 am
Profile WWW
Fired Head Coach (0-16 record)
User avatar

Joined: April 5th, 2007, 5:51 pm
Posts: 2281
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
I will probably add more to this later time permitting, but I wanted to say thank you to those who are able to discuss this in a positive manner. As I sad before I love reading these viewpoints as an Agnostic. Here is my story (sorry im long winded):

I was born into a non-religious family. I vaguely remember going to a church a few times when i was a kid, but my mom told me it was one of those open to all religions congregations, and even that didn't last. My parents were divorced from when i was 3 but both households were the same (didnt talk about god at all). When i was 12 I met my best friend, and started spending a lot of time with his family (parents still together, awesome family, loved all of them), even spending the weekend with them, and everyday after school since his Mom was stay-at-home. They went to a local Presbyterian church every Sunday, and after a few years I decided to go with them. They had a youth group program which I joined with him, even though i was unsure. I was (as many kids at that age are) search for a purpose/meaning to life. I Had 1 great experience with a weekend retreat, and enjoyed the camaraderie and personal reflection time, but within 3-4 months I noticed this youth group was really divided into little cliques that just reminded me of high school and so i stopped going. I went to the main church from there for a few months but had lost whatever connection I initially felt on that retreat. I found myself sitting in a pew, head bowed while we asked for forgiveness for our sins, and I felt out of place. My own silent words rang hollow in my ears. To be honest, I wouldn't say i was sure I was in the wrong place, but I knew I felt wrong being in that place and pretending I felt something I didnt. I figured, If this group does "have it right with their god" then I was being blasphemous just by pretending. I got up and walked out mid sermon and never returned. I was 17 at that point.

Soon after that I sought refuge in Science, reason and logic, and called myself an Athiest for a long time, but found myself curious about other religions. Eventually in my mid 20s I admitted I just wasnt sure, and couldnt rule any option out. I was interested in studying world religions, but never got around to taking any classes I wanted to on the subject. Read a few books (but not enough). I eventually came to identify myself as agnostic.

In the last few years, my favorite readings in this are hve been focused on tolerance and understanding. For anyone that hasnt read him, Mitch Albom is an amazing author. I can say without a doubt that Have a Little Faith is an incredibly moving 2 stories about tolerance, love, and faith, from what some would consider "opposing viewpoints". Tuesdays with Maurie is also 1 of the best books I've ever read. I would recommend both to people of all faiths (or none). For the fellow Agnostics out there, I am currently working my way through Gregg Easterbrooks "Beside Still Waters" which is a little high brow for me (another big word i dont understand - sonofab!tch) but a great book about trying to reconcile having and/or understanding faith in a world governed by science. Currently I am 34, and have recently been very interested in the search for inner peace, potentially parts of Zen Buddism, although I don't really follow karma nor believe in it. I believe in being good, and doing good acts, simply for the sake of being good and doing good acts. The whole do unto others policy. That said Meditation escapes me (racing mind/thoughts) and I am not sure where to go from here. Had I not been married and anchored where i live (so cal) I honestly would have considering going to a temple that was built out here and spending 6 months searching for peace, but I have obligations. Whats are your guys thoughts/recommendations in this regards.

Lastly, thanks again for being open and sharing people despite the tough topics of conversation we often have here.


January 31st, 2014, 7:55 pm
Profile ICQ WWW
QB Coach
User avatar

Joined: October 26th, 2005, 11:48 pm
Posts: 3039
Location: Elkhart, In.
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
I have a story to share with you DJ-B and thank you for being so open with your own. That is an amazing journey through your life and it gives a lot of insight. Per your request, I'd like to share with you two things. 1. John Eldredge wrote a book called, "Epic: the story God is telling". It is a low brow, written by a common man, and very interesting. The book goes a long way in illustrating God as an author, and we each have a role to play in the "movie" of our lives. No one else can play our part, we are the lead character, and so on. It's entertaining, and a pretty easy read.

Back in 2010, I went to North Carolina to take part in a Dangerous Hearts Men's Boot Camp (retreat). On Saturday, we were sent out for reflection time after hearing some very interesting life experiences and teaching points from the instructors. Well I had noticed on the camp map that there was cliff that over looked the camp and I really wanted to go sit on that cliff, so I drove to the location to try and find it. Everything said and done, I couldn't locate it, but I did wind up sitting on this boulder overlooking a herd of cattle. So as I sat there I began to pray, and said, Lord I've driven all the way to North Carolina to unplug from my normal routines, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd speak with me. I cracked open my Bible and tried to read, but couldn't. I cried a little bit because of some struggles my wife and I were going through with a MVA that she had recently been in. I started to just sit back and listen, trying to discern any and every noise. As I sat there, I kept hearing someone or something walk up behind me. Keep in mind, this was 11;30 am and bright sunlight. Every time I heard the foot steps I'd turn around and there was no one there. Finally, it was getting on to lunch time, and I was getting hungry, and wanting to get back for chow. I was also getting frustrated because I'd been asking the Lord to speak, and he hadn't chosen to. So I started packing my stuff up, and just as I stood up, a very clear, and distinct voice said, "He that wishes to save his life, will lose it, but he that gives up his life shall keep it." I instantly started crying because I thought that meant that my life was going to be required of me. Since that time, I've come to understand that in order to follow Jesus Christ, and walk as He walked, I have to give up the desires for my life. The hopes and dreams that I wanted, have now taken second seat, because where the Lord has called me to work, requires more of me. It's not an easy life, and there is some difficulty to it, but the rewarding thing to me, is to be a tool in the hands of the Lord, as He uses me to minister to people.. I have no doubt that he's real, and interactive, but I struggle with sharing these kinds of experiences for others to see. Thanks again for sharing yours.

_________________
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."


January 31st, 2014, 9:25 pm
Profile
Lionbacker Rehab Guru
User avatar

Joined: January 26th, 2006, 9:08 pm
Posts: 1202
Post Re: Noah's Ark, before Noah...
TruckinMack wrote:
As an aside: My son is presently in the Army and only a few days from Kosovo. If by chance he sees an innocent little girl 100 yards away walking towards his men and strapped with explosives, giving him mere seconds to do something. Would it be murder? I hope he never has to find out.

I posted this last Friday, and then today read,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2549768/The-4-year-old-Al-Qaeda-fighter-Syria-shooting-AK-47.html

_________________
Climate Change - happening every second, of every minute of every day ever since the world was created. Needless to say it's man's fault.


February 3rd, 2014, 5:47 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 56 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.