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Thread: The proper fear of God

  1. #1 The proper fear of God 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    What is the proper fear of God?

    To some the fear of God appears to be a fear of this terrible threat from a powerful being. It seems indistinguishable from the cowardice to surrender to the threat of a gunman waving a gun around and the sefishness of someone that obeys the gunman at the cost of other just to preserve his own life. I know that this is not the proper fear of God because I know that this is not the character of God. God is the one who loves us better than we love ourselves and we can trust in Him better than we can trust ourselves. Why oh why then should we have any fear of Him?

    The proper fear of God is nothing like that, for it has nothing to do with threats and promises. The proper fear of God derives simply from the fact that He is beyond our ability to manipulate in any way. He knows the truth and He knows what is required for us come to eternal life in a relationship with Him and that is a reality that our wishful thinking and deal making attempt at manipulation simply cannot change. There are no magic words or short cuts that will get us there. There are no passwords to let us through. There is no secret knowledge that will show us the way. There are no rituals (whether you call them communion or baptism) that will put God on our side. There are no dogmas that you can agree to that will bind God to you in some kind of contract. There are no political causes you can champion that will bring you into God favor. There are no works, missions or tasks that you can do for Him that will earn you His acceptance. This is what is scary.

    The only answer is faith. You must surrender completely and put your head into the mouth of the lion of Judah and He will either save you or dispose of you. Knowing my sins and my unworth that is a fearful thing to do indeed and yet this I will do because is the one thing that I am sure is worth doing, for I understand quite clearly now that His will is more important than my own. This is what salvation by grace alone through faith alone means: that only God can save us and all that we can do is put our faith in Him. When we do that, then it is our love for Him that guides the rest of our life. Do our flaws vanish? No. Do we suddenly have all the right answers? NO! Will we stop doing anything at all because nothing we do is important anymore? No. We will do our best in faith out of our love for Him. But there is ONE thing that should definitely change, for that if nothing else should be the measure of our faith and that is that we cannot think that the answer lies inside of us. How then can we measure others? We should know that we cannot do so.

    But it is inevitable that men should remake Christianity into another legalistic religion trying to bind both God and men in their habitual attempt to manipulate and control all the things in their world from the day they are born. And so they will change the scripture from a gospel message of liberation to a textbook of instructions. And in this way the words of Jesus go right over their heads, "you search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they which bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life" (John 5:39-40). Unwittingly the Christians that do this have repeated the error of the Pharisees and doing this they "shut the kingdome of heaven against men; for you neither enter yourselves, nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you traverse see and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves." As unwitting as all this is, Christians really should know better because in taking it on themselves to speak and act for God in telling others the way they must go, such a result is inevitable.

    Jesus came that we would have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10), by bearing witness to the truth (John 18:37), because the truth will set us free (John 8:32). What does this mean? That God would put us in chains to say that we can only do the approved things on a list? Those that think this have made God a small and tiny light in a vast darkness, which is a lie! It is God and His goodness that is infinite and it is evil which small and insignificant. Thus the message of the gospel is not to accept chains of slavery but to leave our dark hole behind and to let God liberate our spirit by letting His inspiration teach us how to make the most of our lives, and that is not a regimented program of cookie cutter lives but one of infinite possibilites.


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    I have never really understood the idea of God-fearing. To me it just sounds insane that someone should fear God. God is love and I cannot fear God. I humble, serve, and devote myself to God and God's message not because I fear God, but I love God, I know God loves me, he loves all of us, and to me the only way to react to such unlimited love is to love in return, to the best of my ability.


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    It is not some human organized church that is in control to dictate what men should believe. God and His word ALONE is the authority and so we are free to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as best we are able without the manipulations of men to stand in our way
    here is one of your errors. following the Holy Spirit means we also stay within God's word and do not contradict them and we are not given permission to sin, or call God a liar.

    if you are an evangelical then you need to be standing upon creation not evolution.

    We can contrast that with the Catholic churches
    if you are going to talk about the 'catholic' church please make a distinction between a). catholic--universal and b). catholic-- roman catholic church. there is a difference andi t is an important one.

    The fact is that a very large number of fundamentalist Evangelicals like you eventually decide that this kind of humbling oneself to the direction of God can only be found in Eastern Orthodox Church.
    you are labelling me without proof or authorization. violation of your own protests against me.

    You are the one reshaping Christianity into a door custom cut to your shape so that only you (and those who cut out whatever portion of their brain that cannot fit into your tiny little skull) can get through.
    you would be wrong.

    the rest of the post i am ignoring as it sounds like on e big rant and i am tired of readin MM's 'books' in response to simple posts.

    I have never really understood the idea of God-fearing. To me it just sounds insane that someone should fear God. God is love and I cannot fear God
    being a God of love does not mean that God does not punish. if that were so, there would have been no flood, sodo and gomorrah would have existed longer and many other people would not ave been put to death for their sins.

    the word 'fear' hear, if i remember correctly, is means closer to respect, obey regard highly (but i am doing this off the top of my head and i am sure Mm will write another thesis bashing me for that)

    yeas God loves you bt that doe snot mean we get to freel disobey and ignore His commands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KomradRed
    I have never really understood the idea of God-fearing. To me it just sounds insane that someone should fear God. God is love and I cannot fear God. I humble, serve, and devote myself to God and God's message not because I fear God, but I love God, I know God loves me, he loves all of us, and to me the only way to react to such unlimited love is to love in return, to the best of my ability.
    I can sympathize, and because I think it has to do with the innate tendency of human beings to try to control their environment, some people who are particularly lacking in this tendency may thus find this fear difficult to understand.

    See if the following excerpt from "The Silver Chair" by C. S. Lewis helps.

    "If you are thirsty, you may drink."
    "Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.
    "I'm dying of thirst," said Jill.
    "Then drink," said the Lion.
    "May I--could I--would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill.
    The Lion answerd this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gased at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
    The deliscious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
    "Will you promise not to--do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill.
    "I make no promise," said the Lion.
    Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
    "Do you eat girls?" she said.
    "I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
    "I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
    "Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
    "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming a step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
    "There is no other stream," said the Lion.
    I think the understanding of C. S. Lewis about the proper fear of God is one of the greatest things he has to teach in his writings.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    the rest of the post i am ignoring as it sounds like on e big rant and i am tired of readin MM's 'books' in response to simple posts.
    I hardly expect someone who cannot even be bothered to look up things in a dictionary to read anything substantial like my posts. Conclusion: I don't write them for your benefit.
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    It is strange to fear God to me. I am afraid of my inability to properly live what I have been asked to live, not that the Lord is unmoldable or incorruptible. Also, short posts dont encapsulate the complex arguments some people may need to post in order to continue a discussion.
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    WTF!!! Arch, did you just say FEAR means RESPECT??? MM doesn't need to bash you for that, I will. Fear can NOT become respect. it is FEAR. If you do as God says because you FEAR his wrath, than you have no respect for Him. Respect is the acceptance and aknowledgement of an individual, or in this case diety, as who they are: Fear of an individual is a desire to be disasociated(forgive the spelling) with them; you fear what you do not know, and as a result you tend not to bound in to it. When you face your fear, you challenge that which frightens you, and hold it up to the light to examine it, so that you may better understand it. If you FEAR God, then you DO NOT RESPECT Him, because fear is irrational, and fear is reserved to that which you do not know. You respect the known and may treat it as you will, but you cease to fear it. A man who is God-fearing, is really a man who respects the power of God.

    You've lost a lot of merit with me Arch, you cease to confront your fears of the unknown, and seek comfort in the breast of your God. Be a man, Face your Fears!
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
    -Plato

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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    the word 'fear' hear, if i remember correctly, is means closer to respect, obey regard highly (but i am doing this off the top of my head and i am sure Mm will write another thesis bashing me for that)
    Nope, I am actually going to defend you. LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    If you FEAR God, then you DO NOT RESPECT Him, because fear is irrational, and fear is reserved to that which you do not know.
    Incorrect. As any psychologist can tell you, there is both rational fear and there is irrational fear. You should feel some fear at the edge of a cliff and you should feel some fear of fire. But both of these fears can be irrational if instead of helping to preserve your life they put your life in further danger. If the fear of heights causes you faint and fall off the cliff then that is not very rational, is it? If the sight of a burning candle causes you jump out a window to your death that this is not rational either, is it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    fear is reserved to that which you do not know.
    The fear of the unknown is a specific fear and yes it is an irrational fear.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    A man who is God-fearing, is really a man who respects the power of God.

    You respect the known and may treat it as you will, but you cease to fear it.
    Seems to me that this is what arch was saying, and that you are both suggesting that "respect" is a good word for a fear that is rational.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    If you do as God says because you FEAR his wrath, than you have no respect for Him.
    So in my words this simply translates to: The fear of punishment and threats is not the proper fear of God.

    So what about the man that comes into a building with a gun and expects to be obeyed? Will you murder other people at his command? For those who believe that Christianity is all about the threat of hellfire and obedience over conscience, what they call the fear of God seems to be an attempt to make cowardice a virtue.

    But the real question is, when we are admonished that we should fear God, what does this mean? Does this mean that we should not do bad things simply because we are afraid of being punished? I don't think so. I really think it has more to do with taking His place and acting as if you are God or you speak and act for God. I think THAT is incompatable with a proper fear of God. I think that usurping the position of God by taking it upon yourself to judge others is something which demonstrates a lack of the proper fear of God. I have no doubt that arch thinks that I have done this, but he is wrong.
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    briefly:

    verb 1 be afraid of. 2 (fear for) be anxious about. 3 archaic regard (God) with reverence and awe.
    have to go again.
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    You've lost a lot of merit with me Arch,
    why would i lose merit when i knows things you do not? i just couldn't bring back to memory fast enough the meaning that i wanted. the word 'respect' was as close as i could come as it has been a long time since i used the words 'revere' and 'awe'.

    if you are going to deal with the Bible, you can't limit yourself to the modern popular definitions of words. so many old meanings are lost and it is a shame as english is losing its versatility and other good characteristics.

    thanks to MM, it was unexpected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    yeas God loves you bt that doe snot mean we get to freel disobey and ignore His commands.
    On the contrary I think it is clear that we are free to disobey His commands. But it very probably a dumb thing to do, and the question is why? Is it dumb because it is like refusing to do what the man with the gun is telling you to do, or is it dumb because His commands are like, "don't play too close to the edge of the cliff".
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    feeling fear is an instantaneous and 'in-the-moment' emotion, not the same as having a fear. To have fear is what I call irrational, feeling the fear of death is a result of having that respect for what the gunman can do, and is rational. But I don't believe that it is the same thing as having a fear of gunman. That is the point I am trying to make, and that is where I find the phrase "Having a proper fear of God" to be irrational. Same with the cliff. I'm sure any person, when facing that cliff face dead on and having the ability to look down will definitely feel a rational fear of falling, death, or even being wrong; but to fear cliffs, in general, is irrational. That is the difference I draw between Respect, and Fear. Having respect of something is different than having a fear of it. Respecting the cliff or the gun is just the understanding of what they are, what they do, and what can happen through them. Fearing guns and cliffs is having a sense that they are dangerous, no matter what. Fear is born from a lack of understanding or an unwillingness to learn of the subject on which you are afraid. Respect God, respect His love, His Wrath, and His power.


    ...And when you see the clouds swirl into the shape of a skull and crossbones, and they open to reveal a mighty entity bathed in glowing light hurl a bolt of lightning your way, feel the fear of death to the point where you crap your pant. Just never be afraid of God until that exact point, because it is pointless to feel that fear when he is not in the process of smiting you.


    As MM said, we are free to disobey those commands, and in doing so, we must live (exist for eternity, perhaps) with the consequences of those choices. Just one more reason I hope that I'm right in my atheist ways, because otherwise, I'll be spending a lot of time in a lake of fire.
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    briefly:

    Quote:
    verb 1 be afraid of. 2 (fear for) be anxious about. 3 archaic regard (God) with reverence and awe.


    have to go again.
    please keep in mind that i corrected my limited post with the correct words and idea so addressing the word 'respect' would be chasing a dead end street.

    I think it is clear that we are free to disobey His commands. But it very probably a dumb thing to do, and the question is why
    i do not think you went far enough. yes we are free to disobey but we are not free to do so.
    we have free choice so yes we can freely choose to disobey (Jonah) and by choosing to disobey we also choose to face the punishment that comes with that disobedience (whale/3 days) but we are NEVER granted permission by God to sin or disobey, especially those who have chosen to follow Jesus and God's commands. you gave up that freedom by agreeing to follow them and their words.

    Just one more reason I hope that I'm right in my atheist ways, because otherwise, I'll be spending a lot of time in a lake of fire
    you are not right. change while you can before it is too late.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    I think it is clear that we are free to disobey His commands. But it very probably a dumb thing to do, and the question is why
    i do not think you went far enough. yes we are free to disobey but we are not free to do so.
    we have free choice so yes we can freely choose to disobey (Jonah) and by choosing to disobey we also choose to face the punishment that comes with that disobedience (whale/3 days) but we are NEVER granted permission by God to sin or disobey, especially those who have chosen to follow Jesus and God's commands. you gave up that freedom by agreeing to follow them and their words.
    How can we tell the difference between the work of God and the religions of men that people create as a tool of power and manipulation. It is easy. All we have to do is look to see which motivational structure it matches.

    The one that is a tool for power and manipulation will have the rhetoric of bondage telling you that you have to do certain things to be accepted. Telling you that you have to believe certain dogmas and follow certain rules and rituals - these become the hooks by which they string you along. You have to support those that follow the rules (or say they do), those that conduct the rituals, and those that are supporting the agenda consistent with the dogma you must believe. Furthermore prepared for when you begin to wriggle on your hook they will tell you that your acceptance requires obedience and loyalty that forbids you to think things which are prohibited. These are the chains of control.

    The work of God is not like this. He has no need for power and control. God is the creator of life and so His motivations are to promote life and love in what He has created. Therefore the rhetoric of bondage does not come from Him. Yes he will warn you of dangers. He will warn you against the things that put you into bondage - bondage to people and to bad religion as well as bondage to bad habits that destroy your free will. We see constant reminders of this throughout the old Testament as well as the New.

    In the Old Testament God's repeated refrain is that He sets before us life and death, "therefore, choose life." In other words it is a matter choice not obedience and a matter of consequences not punishment. We see God's rejection of religion in Isaiha (right away in chapter 1) which He makes it clear has nothing to do with Him or what He wants. We see His warning in 1 Samuel 8 when the people demand a king, where He warns them of what they can expect and tells Samuel that this demand for a king is essentially a rejection of Him. People prefer a king to God because a king can be manipulated so that His power can be twisted to serve their desires no matter how corrupt or destructive those desires are. So in this age of democracy, where there are no kings, there is only religion to be twisted and used for this perverse desire for power and control over others.

    In the New Testament the conflict is immediate and stark. Jesus rails not against the pagans and the non-religious but the against the most religious - the Pharasees who were the rabbis and scholars that spent their life devoted to the study of scripture and doing what it said. He reveals how the hooks have been laid and how the real motivation for what they do is power and manipulation. When you read this in the gospels, this is startling, because this is not the same-old same-old of religion -- this is NOT consistent with the use of religion for manipulation and control. Furthermore we see that Jesus refuses to play the game and goes against the grain of human manipulation all the way, rejecting their effort to make Him their king - their TOOL. Jesus does not say, you will be punished for your sins, as the religious leaders say, but instead says, your sins are forgiven, so sin no more. Why? Because the message He brought was not the one of manipulative religion that threatens dire punishments for infractions of holy laws but about liberating the human spirit. He shows them that what, the only law that is truly from God, was really all about and that was God's desire to promote life and love.

    So when someone comes along with this message that Christianity is all about obedience to their laws and their dogmas which you must believe or else, it is quite clear to me where the motivtation for this is coming from -- not from God but from the work of men to pervert Christianity into their tool of power and manipulation. Christianity has been fighting against this distortion for 2000 years and in that fight they have adopted all kind of rhetoric to help. Some of the best was given by Jesus Himself such as Matthew 23:8-12, but there was also the words of Paul that salvation is a gift of grace and comes through faith and not by works of law, or that Christ is the ONLY mediator between God and man. And yet the supreme manipulators that men are, still manage to twist and pervert the words of the Bible to crush the human spirit in their desire for control. Thus there are revivals when these words of Jesus and Paul are rediscovered and people are empowered to rise up and throw off these chains once again. But the pattern of history in this attempt at perverting the good news continues...

    What is kind of humorous is the inherently contradictory nature of the manipulative religons -- every one of them claiming that they are the one true path which you must follow or else be damned. They all pull in different directions because it is a lot of different people using for power and manipulation. Simply stepping back a pace, the whole lot of them make a pretty amusing picture. I see it and I laugh. But also see something else which doesn't fit this patter and which they cannot touch. A God of love and creator of life that has no need for power and thus has no need to do these things that the religions of men do.
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    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    condemned by whom? unforgiven by whom? The real question is, what do you want? If you get what you want, can you complain?
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    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    are you sure? i would investigate first before condemnng yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    condemned by whom? unforgiven by whom? The real question is, what do you want? If you get what you want, can you complain?
    I'm not sure I follow what you mean by this mm, is it not written in the Bible, a dictum by God that one who takes their own life is, by all rights, committing a sin against God by said transgression, and condemned to Hell by said God? Or, am I mistaken and suicide is not a sin, and someone who takes their own life given passage to heaven?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    condemned by whom? unforgiven by whom? The real question is, what do you want? If you get what you want, can you complain?
    I'm not sure I follow what you mean by this mm, is it not written in the Bible, a dictum by God that one who takes their own life is, by all rights, committing a sin against God by said transgression, and condemned to Hell by said God? Or, am I mistaken and suicide is not a sin, and someone who takes their own life given passage to heaven?
    And if Christians get to go to heaven when they kill themselves, why don't Christians just commit a mass suicide?
    "Democracy is a problem because it treats everyone as equals." - Betty Fischer

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    Hell is strange. Some see it exactly as Dante pictured it; an endless plane of horror and agony, fire and brimstone, pain and despair. Other simply see Hell as existence without God.
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    Dante made the claim that Hell is frozen at it's heart... not an endless expanse of fire and brimstone, you may want to reread Inferno, it is a good book, though, at least.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    I know, and 3 mouthed Satan chews on the bodies of traitors in said frozen layer.
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    am I mistaken and suicide is not a sin, and someone who takes their own life given passage to heaven
    the question about suicide is not that is it sin or not but is it the unpardonable sin? the successful candidate does not get to ask for forgiveness after they do it and they died in sin BUT if that were true and we do not get to heaven because we do not ask for forgiveness for a sin then what about all those people who die suddenly without a chance to ask for forgiveness/

    it would be cruel of God to deny heaven to those people, many who spent decades following and obeying him.

    we do not commit suicide because it is wrong to do so and we let God be in control of our lives. we are to prepare for that moment but we wait till God says, 'it is time' because we know we still have work to do for Him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    condemned by whom? unforgiven by whom? The real question is, what do you want? If you get what you want, can you complain?
    I'm not sure I follow what you mean by this mm,
    LOL I am asking what do you believe? and what do you want? Life is not just about observation but also about participation. Is heaven something that interests you? If so what do you think this heaven thing is all about anyway?


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    is it not written in the Bible, a dictum by God that one who takes their own life is, by all rights, committing a sin against God by said transgression, and condemned to Hell by said God?
    Does it really? I just did a search of the Bible and the word "suicide" isn't in it. I did a search of the topic of suicide in the Bible and the best that sites could come up with is an argument from a passage saying that your body is a temple and you should not defile it. Or this one: "Do not be a fool--why die before your time?" (Ecclesiastes 7:17b) Falls pretty short of what you are saying doesn't it. In fact, I came up with sites which said very clearly that the Bible is completely silent on this topic. I think this is certainly something that the Catholics believe with their refusal to bury the suicide on hallowed ground. But where did their belief come from?

    But in any case, what is the Bible to you? Does its contents have some significance to you? Do you read it or do you just react to what you imagine that it says? I think you reacting to the way others of tried to use the Bible to enslave you. They will tell you not only that you have to believe what it says but will tell you what it says, and the question is why should you believe them? After all, if they suceed in making you their slave then they don't want you to believe that you can escape by killing yourself, do they? And that of course suggests to us where this belief of the Catholics may have come from in dark ages when all the western world was under its power.

    And what about this idea of hell as eternal punishment, do you really believe that? Does it make any sense to you? It certainly does not to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    Or, am I mistaken and suicide is not a sin,
    And what is sin? Is it all those things which make life worthwhile or are they just the opposite -- those things which make life stupid and meaningless?


    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    and someone who takes their own life given passage to heaven?
    And if Christians get to go to heaven when they kill themselves, why don't Christians just commit a mass suicide?
    And if you believe that there is nothing after death then why not kill yourself to escape any inconvenient problems in life--- and... if you are going to kill yourself then why not indulge in a little mayhem and violence to take whatever you want and kill whoever you want in the process?

    Your reactive philosophies that only complain about the beliefs of others are empty and inane as well as silly. That is NOT thinking for yourselves! So how about a little proactive cogitations and answer the real questions. You can start with: Is their anything wrong with suicide or not?

    I certainly have an opinion on the matter, but first I would like to see you get out of this reactive mode and see you really think for yourselves.
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    Speaking of suicide, in Ancient Rom and the Rajput states of medieval India suicide was seen as an acceptable practice. In Rome suicide was way to maintain your honor or family standing; there are tales of Roman soldiers and statesmen, who after committing very dishonorable acts in the eyes of their fellow Romans, would kill themselves to preserve their honor. I believe there was a certain Roman centurion who was part of Gaius Marius's army that was engaging the Cimbri, fainted during battle and relieved himself while being carried by his troops across a river. When faced with the choice of either being disowned by his father for his cowardice, the young centurion impaled himself with his sword, thereby restoring his and his family's honor.

    In the Rajput states of India it was not uncommon for the wives of Rajputs to throw themselves onto the funeral pyres of their husbands after they had died. This tradition had practical aspects as it well, as a wife who threw herself onto the pyre would not be a burden on the surviving family.
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    I do not believe any of it, I was raised Catholic, and that is where i got the suicide deal... I have not read the Bible in it's entirety, nor do I intend to at this point in my life. I do not believe that there is a Heaven nor a Hell. Neither appeals to me as a likely hood, nor a desirable place to go. I would rather have my existence cease, than spend an eternity in paradise... I am now at the state of contentment with that fate, and like I said, I was a suicide. I did it, just to see if there really was an afterlife, just to see if heaven and hell really are real. I was clinically dead for nearly half an hour. I'm alive today because of a true freak occurrence, my brain had electrical firings, 27 minutes after my t.o.d. was called, concentrated in the lower areas of brain that controlled my heart and diaphragm. Pure luck, and I do not attribute it to God... I don't remember getting up. Honestly, I don't remember the six months that followed that event, I only remember hitting a scaffold, waiting to bleed out, and being put in the ambulance; I passed out in transit to the hospital. The medical report is my memory. I am now an atheist, because as I died, I simply "blinked" away six months of my life. I did not see God. I did not see Heaven, nor Hell. I didn't even have a sense that time passed. Make of me what you will, I really don't care how you see me, and I don't have a need to prove myself in any way to anyone nor anything. I have read a few books of the bible, and in more than one translation, and I have personally come to the conclusion that it is a subjective book that is very likely only barely related to the mass of original books. I give no merit to the book, I see it in the same light as I see the myths of all other religions and nations (personally).

    I will, probably, read more of the books, but in a more literary sense than spiritual. I see the morality of the Bible to be lacking with respect to the modern world, I have read a bit of Leviticus, and I find the laws contained in that book to be cruel and archaic, just as the times they were written in were. I do not believe Jesus of Nazareth was born immaculately, nor do I believe he is the Messiah. I do not trust religion on the whole, but I do enjoy the discussion, and I do enjoy the debate.

    I am Atheist, but I try to respect the ideal of religion, because I recognize that it has the possibility of being true, and, I might be wrong in choosing to cast off religion and take the route of saying that there is no God. I'm open to looking at religions objectively and not jumping to the immediate conclusion that it is inherently wrong. Challenge the ideas and structure of my "belief." We can have a discussion about it. But, if you have to self righteous and disregard what I have to back my argument, or simply disregard everything that disagrees with you and claim that it is therefore false; I won't give too much respect to your point of view either.
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    That is incredibly interesting. Was your brain without oxygen for nearly 30 minutes, or were you mainly considered brain dead? What was the medical reason given for your recovery? Sorry if this sounds uncaring but your experience sounds very interesting and if you would indulge please do. The human body and mind are amazing things. I myself am a mildly clinically depressed schizoid and experiences like this are very interesting.
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    Well the point of my questions was to get a bead on your comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I'm a suicide dipshit, I'm condemned to hell either way... unforgivable sin and whatnot...
    To see what that was all about.

    Well, now that it is clear that your comment was intended as a criticism of this sort of belief rather than an honest expression of self condemnation (which is what the comment says literally), I can make a sensible response. Let me first quote the following which is something I wrote that can be found on my blog:

    Quote Originally Posted by blog of mitchellmckain
    I will give no obedience to the sadistic god that will resurrect the suicide from the dead and to add insult to injury will proceed to torture this poor person for an eternity on top of that. He will do the same to anyone with a bad thought but somehow what he does to the suicide seems particularly cruel and unnecessary to me. Why can't He just leave them alone?
    This was just one of the 7 different Christian ideas of God that I do not believe in, as I explained in the comment area of my blog. I think this particular one is in agreement with a large part of the sentiment which you are expressing in your comment. As you can see, I see the suicide as a significant case for the measure of what can be considered a rational theology. It is a reason why I believe in the "immortality of the soul" rather than ONLY the resurrection of the dead. It seems quite absurd as well as sadistic that God would resurrect people from the dead in order to condemn them to eternal torment.

    But, I believe that we are eternal spiritual beings and thus that suicide as an attempt to escape one's problems is something that cannot succeed, for our real problems are inside ourselves in who we are and that is not something we can escape from. However we can see from the above comments that escape is not always the motivation for suicide. Anyway, the legalistic approach to "suicide is a sine", is quite absurd for it seems to me that there is a continuous spectrum between simply living your life in a dangerous world and suicide. I cannot see where we can draw the line. Death is unavoidable and so I don't see any particular virtue in clinging to life at any cost. So I simply believe that suicide is not a solution to what I would call spiritual problems. However it may be a valid solution to a painful lingering death or a means to solve some other sort of problem for others.

    Furthermore I see us as constantly be faced with this choice between life and death: Life representing acting in faith to participate in life and developing habits which increase our abilities and potential, and death representing habits which decrease our abilities and potential including a passivity that lets life pass one by. In so far as suicide represents the latter then I would say yes it is a sin, but I don't think this is necessarily the case.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I do not believe any of it, I was raised Catholic, and that is where i got the suicide deal... I have not read the Bible in it's entirety, nor do I intend to at this point in my life. I do not believe that there is a Heaven nor a Hell. Neither appeals to me as a likely hood, nor a desirable place to go. I would rather have my existence cease, than spend an eternity in paradise...
    Indeed, the typical vision of heaven as a neverending vacation singing praises to God is not appealing to me either. I think there is often a confusion between the ideas of existence and life. Eternal existence is something I believe we already have. But life is more than existence. To me life necessarily means growth, excitement, creativity, love, wonder, challenges, passion, and learning, and so "eternal life" can only mean an unlimited and neverending supply of such things. This does seem like a possibility to me, for I see in what life we have right now, a considerable array of such things, such that a single life time is quite insufficient to exhaust it. And to me any existence without these things would be certainly be a hell and thus the oblivion of nonexistence would indeed be preferable.

    To put it another way, it is clear to me that if there really is any kind of existence after death and there is some sort of heaven-hell spectrum then the difference between heaven and hell would have to simply be having those things that make life worthwhile. Thus to me it is apparent that the whole point of of any religious message would be to offer insight into what are these things that make life worthwhile and how we can find them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I am now at the state of contentment with that fate
    Ah yes... sweet oblivion... LOL It is truly NOTHING to fear.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I did it, just to see if there really was an afterlife, just to see if heaven and hell really are real. I was clinically dead for nearly half an hour. I'm alive today because of a true freak occurrence, my brain had electrical firings, 27 minutes after my t.o.d. was called, concentrated in the lower areas of brain that controlled my heart and diaphragm. Pure luck, and I do not attribute it to God... I don't remember getting up. Honestly, I don't remember the six months that followed that event, I only remember hitting a scaffold, waiting to bleed out, and being put in the ambulance; I passed out in transit to the hospital. The medical report is my memory. I am now an atheist, because as I died, I simply "blinked" away six months of my life. I did not see God. I did not see Heaven, nor Hell. I didn't even have a sense that time passed.
    I am of the opinion that the belief in God (and other things of Christianity and religion) are not of universal benefit to everyone. In fact, this plays a central role in my whole theology. I reject as absurd the idea that the separation between man and God was a result of God's inability to abide with sin. Instead I think that the cause was simply that the presence of God in the life of man became something that did more harm than good, and thus it was for our benefit that God had to change the way in which He pursued a relationship with us.

    I think there is abundant evidence in psychology that for many people their belief in God plays an important role in their psychopathology and thus the best course of treatment would be to disabuse them of their rather unhealthy belief in God. Thus it is quite natural for me to believe that God would provide the pivotal experience that would cause someone to become an atheist and that this would represent not only an improvement in their mental heath but also an occasion for spiritual growth. I see the change from the blind irrational faith of institutional religion to the skepticism of atheism as one of spiritual growth, and thus as odd as it may sound, I believe that members of the latter group are actually more spiritual than the former. You will of course probably prefer a different terminology. LOL


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    Make of me what you will, I really don't care how you see me, and I don't have a need to prove myself in any way to anyone nor anything.
    I quite agree. I believe that all the proofs of God's existence are all foolishness. None of them have any objective validity. I consider the popular thesis that morality depends on relgious belief to be completely absurd and I think that view is a form of relativism which I call "divine relativism". On that front I am an ethical pluralist, and in regards to the theological implications, I believe that the portion of morality which is not arbitrary convention is derived from rules of logical consistency to which even God is subject -- part of what the scholastics (in historical theology) would call the necessary knowledge of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I am Atheist, but I try to respect the ideal of religion, because I recognize that it has the possibility of being true, and, I might be wrong in choosing to cast off religion and take the route of saying that there is no God. I'm open to looking at religions objectively and not jumping to the immediate conclusion that it is inherently wrong. Challenge the ideas and structure of my "belief." We can have a discussion about it. But, if you have to self righteous and disregard what I have to back my argument, or simply disregard everything that disagrees with you and claim that it is therefore false; I won't give too much respect to your point of view either.
    I believe that the diversity of human thought is as necessary to our survival as the diversity of our genetic pool, and that is a much more important reason to rejoice in the diversity of human ideas about religion than any far fetched possibility that they might be correct. I am a pragmatist and that means that I believe that the effect of believing something is part of its truth value. Our concepts, beliefs and premises are like the organs of human mental life, and thus comparing truth of different religions can be like comparing the lifestyles of different species of animals. Who has the truth, the dog or the bird? They live their lives as they know how. It does not mean that they are equal. It just means that they are different.
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    In the Rajput states of India it was not uncommon for the wives of Rajputs to throw themselves onto the funeral pyres of their husbands after they had died. This tradition had practical aspects as it well, as a wife who threw herself onto the pyre would not be a burden on the surviving family
    i have heard of this.

    I am now an atheist, because as I died, I simply "blinked" away six months of my life. I did not see God. I did not see Heaven, nor Hell. I didn't even have a sense that time passed.
    why would you expect to see heaven or hell right away?



    I have personally come to the conclusion that it is a subjective book that is very likely only barely related to the mass of original books. I give no merit to the book
    that is because you read it without help and with the wrong desires in your heart.

    Challenge the ideas and structure of my "belief." We can have a discussion about it. But, if you have to self righteous and disregard what I have to back my argument
    what is there to challenge? start a new thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by KomradRed
    That is incredibly interesting. Was your brain without oxygen for nearly 30 minutes, or were you mainly considered brain dead? What was the medical reason given for your recovery? Sorry if this sounds uncaring but your experience sounds very interesting and if you would indulge please do. The human body and mind are amazing things. I myself am a mildly clinically depressed schizoid and experiences like this are very interesting.
    My heart stopped, no machines, I was brain dead, and I was dead dead. A dead body will often have electrical discharges in the brain that will cause that creepy hand movement or kick that freaks a lot of people out when they see it. I'm the first recorded incidence of having those discharges essentially "kick start" my heart and lower brain. The oxygen left in my blood dissipated through my brain and I had neural activity restart and, effectively, bring me back to life. I doubt that I was the first time that this sort of thing has happened, but I'm probably the first in the last hundred years of recorded medical and neurological history.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    I have personally come to the conclusion that it is a subjective book that is very likely only barely related to the mass of original books. I give no merit to the book
    that is because you read it without help and with the wrong desires in your heart.
    I read it Sunday school, at a catholic church. I started reading the bible with the intent of getting a better understanding of God and what I was told it sad, and like I said in my last post, I didn't make it incredibly far.

    You shouldn't need help to understand the bible. The more I read, the more I understood of what it said, the portions of the OT that I made it through anyway. I doubt having someone "explain" it to me would ave helped my understanding either way, after all, that's what the priest did.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    start a new thread
    why? this thread has been answered and the point is pretty much gone. If MM tells me that I need to put the answers to the questions you have asked me in a different thread I will, but otherwise, why?
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    what is there to challenge? start a new thread
    why? this thread has been answered and the point is pretty much gone. If MM tells me that I need to put the answers to the questions you have asked me in a different thread I will, but otherwise, why?
    I can quite understand arch's response even if not how he expressed it. To this, "here is my position, so prove me wrong" sort of challenge, my response is simply silence, for I feel no need to respond to it in any way. I am not here to make anyone change their belief.

    As for starting a new thread, the thread has been wandering far from the original topic from Easter to Evangelical Christianity to the fear of God to suicide. I hope you forgive my intervention as a moderator to split the thread into two threads so that this thread contains the later half of the thread "Origins of Easter" which had wandered off topic.
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    in all reality, it was the right move mm, it helps keep threads on topic, something that this subforum has a tendency to often go off of...
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    I read it Sunday school, at a catholic church. I started reading the bible with the intent of getting a better understanding of God and what I was told it sad, and like I said in my last post, I didn't make it incredibly far.

    You shouldn't need help to understand the bible. The more I read, the more I understood of what it said, the portions of the OT that I made it through anyway. I doubt having someone "explain" it to me would ave helped my understanding either way, after all, that's what the priest did.
    what i meant by help was not having a human explain it to you but have the Holy SPirit guiding you. the bible is very clear that a person needs to be a believer to grasp what God is teaching and they need the help of the Holy SPirit who leads one to the truth.(not interpretation).

    ---------------------------------

    Good job MM
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    I have a feeling this is still the wrong thread title for where I'm sure we will end up taking this, but definitely a good decision.

    Anywho, I was a full believer in the bible, in God, when I read it. I wanted to understand God, and his teachings, but, as you may have gathered, I kind of did something that cut that short.
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane_Mathamatition
    I have a feeling this is still the wrong thread title for where I'm sure we will end up taking this, but definitely a good decision.
    Well first off the title must reflect the content of the OP. But I think it does lead naturally into the rest of our discussion because it is still about this idea of God promoted by many Christians and demanded by archies cult comparable to the gunman entering a public place and thinking that his gun entitles him to respect and obedience -- in other words a god obsessed with power and obedience and using ultimate threats to demand it.

    This idea of the "fear of God" is right at the center of things because for those who believe in the gunman god, this is their way of making a virtue out of cowardice. I on the other hand, see in this god of theirs the character of the "god of this world" for intimidation and cowardice is the way of the world. And when confronted by this being and his threats, it is only stubborn defiance that I see any virtue in. Presented by the devil with a choice between reward for service and the threat of torment for defying him, I will invariably choose the latter. He can use all the intimidation he wants, saying that I cannot win, and it means nothing to me for opposition to evil is the only reward that I require.

    We can recognize the difference between God and the devil by their character. The one true God of goodness, love and life simply would not work in such a manner. One can see His motivativation quite clearly in the nature of life itself. Instead of this manipulative intimidation, He offers a genuine choice: we can either be the author of our own destiny all the way to the bitter end, or we can ask for His guidance to achieve a better destiny than we are capable of achieving on our own.

    There is no surprise that there are people like arch who cannot understand this, but must have a god of power to rule them. They are like very small children who will take no responsibility for their lives and who will only respond to threats of punishment to make them do what they must for their own good. But when children like this gain the power to impose their childish will on others then they are frankly the worst monsters that you can imagine.
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    There is no surprise that there are people like arch who cannot understand this, but must have a god of power to rule them. They are like very small children who will take no responsibility for their lives
    really? we have to take responsibility for our lives and 1 of those things is choosing to follow Jesus or our own way. i prefer to follow Jesus as 'to obey is better than sacrifice'.

    we all give an account so we are not being irresponsible but know that what we say and do is going to be judged. it is better to implement what Jesus wants than not.

    the proper fear of God is'awe' and 'reverance' recognizing who God is, what power He holds, what He has done and will do, etc., and then humbling ourselves to submit to is ways.
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    mm

    The OT teaches the people to fear god. Their god is a chauvinist bully.

    In the NT, Christ is portrayed as an 'all loving God' with his closing statement 'Love your enemies'.
    I woulld modify that to 'tolerate' your enemies, since this is more practicle. Ha ha.

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  38. #37 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What is the proper fear of God?

    The only answer is faith. You must surrender completely and put your head into the mouth of the lion of Judah and He will either save you or dispose of you.
    While it's quite honorable of you, Mitchell, to attempt to define your god as more of reverence, an adorning and awe-inspiring entity over the vicious, murdering despot described in the bible, it still all boils down to cherry picking ancient myths and superstitions to suit ones personal beliefs, as you've clearly demonstrated.
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  39. #38 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What is the proper fear of God?

    The only answer is faith. You must surrender completely and put your head into the mouth of the lion of Judah and He will either save you or dispose of you.
    While it's quite honorable of you, Mitchell, to attempt to define your god as more of reverence, an adorning and awe-inspiring entity over the vicious, murdering despot described in the bible, it still all boils down to cherry picking ancient myths and superstitions to suit ones personal beliefs, as you've clearly demonstrated.
    Call it what you will, we are free to decide what we believe and what we do not. More importantly we are free to decide what we will value and what not and therefore what sort of God we will worship and what sort of God we will not. This is the case, regardless of the fact that just like God's existence, His character is a matter of fact and not of preference. I will see any attempt to deny this as manipulative nonsense, because this is part of the freedom of self-determination. I decide who I am and no one else. What will happen will happen and our choices and beliefs are what prepare us for them. Typical of a pragmatist, I have made my choices according to what I believe will best prepare me for that.

    I read the same Bible that you do and that I do not pick and choose, I simply take away a different message from it than you do. I believe that what is there CAN be explained by the God of love that I believe in. Yes, to a very great extent, this is indeed an everday matter of faith. One chooses to believe the best of those whom one chooses to love. It is implicit in the choice to love that the one that is loved is worthy of that love. But although it is a matter of faith (and that it is so is unavoidable), that does not mean that it is blind faith. I have good reason to believe in the God that I believe in, both in evidence of my senses and in the acts of God recorded in the Bible, whether you find a sufficient reason to believe the same things or not.



    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    really? we have to take responsibility for our lives and 1 of those things is choosing to follow Jesus or our own way.
    Absolutely correct. I choose to place my life in His hands because I do not trust my own.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    i prefer to follow Jesus as 'to obey is better than sacrifice'.
    Yes and love is better than obedience. That is the pattern of a child growing up.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    we all give an account so we are not being irresponsible but know that what we say and do is going to be judged. it is better to implement what Jesus wants than not.
    Indeed! And what Jesus wants has to do with love.


    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    the proper fear of God is'awe' and 'reverance' recognizing who God is, what power He holds, what He has done and will do, etc., and then humbling ourselves to submit to is ways.
    No Pharisee would say any different.
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    The OT teaches the people to fear god. Their god is a chauvinist bully.
    you would be wrong about that. you are also thinking that sinful man's ideas are greater than God's, you would be wrong on that as well.

    While it's quite honorable of you, Mitchell, to attempt to define your god as more of reverence, an adorning and awe-inspiring entity over the vicious, murdering despot described in the bible, it still all boils down to cherry picking ancient myths and superstitions to suit ones personal beliefs, as you've clearly demonstrated.
    you description of God is wrong and do not grasp who God is or what he is entitled to from His creation.

    No Pharisee would say any different.
    the pharisee card is always played when the spoiled, rebellious people are deprived of doing things their own way and are called back to doing things God's ways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    The OT teaches the people to fear god. Their god is a chauvinist bully.
    you would be wrong about that. you are also thinking that sinful man's ideas are greater than God's, you would be wrong on that as well.
    Give up on this. I've read the OT, it's full of shit.

    It promotes slavery, racism, war, sexism and stoning to death for minor crimes, and there is no way you follow it word-for-word.

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    While it's quite honorable of you, Mitchell, to attempt to define your god as more of reverence, an adorning and awe-inspiring entity over the vicious, murdering despot described in the bible, it still all boils down to cherry picking ancient myths and superstitions to suit ones personal beliefs, as you've clearly demonstrated.
    you description of God is wrong and do not grasp who God is or what he is entitled to from His creation.
    It's not god being described; it's the christian faith. From an atheist point of view, that is the personification of 'god'; the poor fools who do things in His name. Now, I know you don't follow every rule in the bible, because, let's be honest, who could? And I know that you live by it's teachings. So therefore you are picking parts to agree with, and neglecting other parts. Therefore, the bible is only a guide to your faith, and is not fundamental to your belief.

    I am not openly mocking you here, I am explaining why you can be a christian without the bible, so before you throw a malicious comment back at me, think about it. You don't believe in the bible, only parts of it.

    In my opinion, christianity is a sort of relative scale, as to how much of the bible you believe in. I believe in certain parts, such as no killing, etc.

    Therefore christianity is a spectrum disorder. (Again, I do not mean this in an insulting way)

    Hmmmm....

    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    No Pharisee would say any different.
    the pharisee card is always played when the spoiled, rebellious people are deprived of doing things their own way and are called back to doing things God's ways.
    A I have often said, god is always welcome to visit me for a quick chat.

    He is, however, yet to accept this invitation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    No Pharisee would say any different.
    the pharisee card is always played when the spoiled, rebellious people are deprived of doing things their own way and are called back to doing things God's ways.
    In other words it is the card that is played when someone like you tries to twist the word of God into a tool of power and manipulation, because 13 times in the gospel Jesus identifies the primary object of his anger and fustration as the religious people who use God as their personal TOOL. Isn't it wonderful how God has sabotaged the efforts of people like you and the Pharisees and the Judaizers in the writing of His word.

    You see. I am not taken in by your deception. Your ways are not God's ways just as your words are not God's words. I don't need you as my priest to mediate between myself and God or as my interpreter or as my teacher, for Jesus makes it absolutely clear that we require no human teacher or interpreter for the Holy Spirit is our teacher and our interpreter, and Paul made it absolutely clear that we require no human priest or mediator because Christ is the only priest and mediator that we will EVER need.

    I am not like you because I do not point to myself and say you have to live and believe my way in order to be right with God, I do not point to my words and say this is how you must understand what God is saying. I steadfastly point to the Bible as the word of God for people to read for themselves and tell them to follow the guidance of God Himself in their lives, which may lead them to any of the multitude of Christian organizations from evagelical to Eastern Orthodox or any other religion or philosophy because it is not for me to say, but for God to lead them because He is the only savior. I simply laugh at your declaration that you are "the way the truth and the light, and no one comes to the Father except through" you. LOL
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    In other words it is the card that is played when someone like you
    NO, it is played by someone like you who want to change what God says and live their lives their own way not God's. MM forgets that there were prophets who told people how to live, they were not pharisees but men of God who did not compromise their faith nor God's words to appease an evil desire.

    It promotes slavery, racism, war, sexism and stoning to death for minor crimes
    no you need to do a deeper study on those words. have younot looked at the patriot act or the 3 strikes our out laws or other harsh judicial decisions which have put people away for stealing a piece of pizza.

    Now, I know you don't follow every rule in the bible, because, let's be honest, who could? And I know that you live by it's teachings. So therefore you are picking parts to agree with, and neglecting other parts.
    you assume far too much

    I am explaining why you can be a christian without the bible
    how can you be a chirstian without God's words and guidance? sorry you need the Bible to be a christian or you would have no idea of right and wrong in the christian life.

    In my opinion, christianity is a sort of relative scale, as to how much of the bible you believe in. I believe in certain parts, such as no killing, etc.
    you would be wrong.

    A I have often said, god is always welcome to visit me for a quick chat.
    if you want to chat with God you have to humble yourself, repent, ask forgiveness and then be an obedient servant.
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    how can you be a chirstian without God's words and guidance? sorry you need the Bible to be a christian or you would have no idea of right and wrong in the christian life.
    Yeah you have to know what to do with the virgins after you kill their family *flips to Numbers 31:18* Oh, you give them to your men to rape. I am so glad I know the difference between right and wrong.. *gives virgins to men*
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    *flips to Leviticus 20:13* KILL THE GAYS!!!
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    The parts are not greater than the sum of the whole, so Christ taught that you should love your neighbor as yourself, telling the parable of the good Samaritan to show that you should treat all people as you yourself would like to be treated; with dignity, love, and kindness.
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    but kill the gays, and rape the virgins left over after murdering every man in the city
    Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools, because they have to say something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeologist
    The OT teaches the people to fear god. Their god is a chauvinist bully.
    you would be wrong about that. you are also thinking that sinful man's ideas are greater than God's, you would be wrong on that as well.
    I never said anything about sinful mans supremacy but that is what the OT teaches.
    Bullies instill fear in others.
    The current Islam and communism do that and they are derivitives of the OT, IMO.

    Our Constitution (CN) is an 'indirect' endorsement of Christ as a Preacher/Reformer because it outlaws 'cruel and unusual punishment' and since Christ was murdered because of his criticisms of the chauvinist jews , our CN also allows 'free speech'.

    So, our CN does not instill fear in anyone.

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  49. #48 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    Call it what you will, we are free to decide what we believe and what we do not. More importantly we are free to decide what we will value and what not and therefore what sort of God we will worship and what sort of God we will not.
    Cheery-picking by any other name.

    This is the case, regardless of the fact that just like God's existence, His character is a matter of fact and not of preference. I will see any attempt to deny this as manipulative nonsense, because this is part of the freedom of self-determination. I decide who I am and no one else. What will happen will happen and our choices and beliefs are what prepare us for them. Typical of a pragmatist, I have made my choices according to what I believe will best prepare me for that.
    You choose your doctrine to suit your beliefs. And sorry, chief, gods existence is not a fact.

    I read the same Bible that you do and that I do not pick and choose, I simply take away a different message from it than you do. I believe that what is there CAN be explained by the God of love that I believe in. Yes, to a very great extent, this is indeed an everday matter of faith. One chooses to believe the best of those whom one chooses to love. It is implicit in the choice to love that the one that is loved is worthy of that love. But although it is a matter of faith (and that it is so is unavoidable), that does not mean that it is blind faith. I have good reason to believe in the God that I believe in, both in evidence of my senses and in the acts of God recorded in the Bible, whether you find a sufficient reason to believe the same things or not.[/quote]

    Evidence of your senses and the bible? Is that any different from any other Christian who has completely different views than you, like archy, for example?
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  50. #49 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    This is the case, regardless of the fact that just like God's existence, His character is a matter of fact and not of preference. I will see any attempt to deny this as manipulative nonsense, because this is part of the freedom of self-determination. I decide who I am and no one else. What will happen will happen and our choices and beliefs are what prepare us for them. Typical of a pragmatist, I have made my choices according to what I believe will best prepare me for that.
    You choose your doctrine to suit your beliefs. And sorry, chief, gods existence is not a fact.
    Sorry I wasn't more clear for you. The question of whether God exists and the question of what His character is, are matters of fact and not a matter of preference like picking ones favorite color. He either exists or He doesn't and if He exists, His character is what it is. BUT this doesn't change the fact that what one values and what sort of God one decides to worship IS a matter of choice regardless of this. You can chant "cherry picking" til you are blue in the face, and I will still have no regard for arch's god of power. Perhaps he isn't picky and will worship whatever has a big enough gun, but I will not. The threats and promises of the man (or god) with a gun (or other sort of power) are meaningless to me and I will not give my obedience to such a man (or god) who manipulates people in that manner. I will not serve the "god of this world".


    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But although it is a matter of faith (and that it is so is unavoidable), that does not mean that it is blind faith. I have good reason to believe in the God that I believe in, both in evidence of my senses and in the acts of God recorded in the Bible, whether you find a sufficient reason to believe the same things or not.
    Evidence of your senses and the bible? Is that any different from any other Christian who has completely different views than you, like archy, for example?
    Not different in the sense that it is just as subjective and not something that I expect to convince a skeptic. No, I don't participate in the delusion of the fundies (whether theistic or atheistic) that their beliefs are only based on objective evidence.
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  51. #50 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    You can chant "cherry picking" til you are blue in the face, and I will still have no regard for arch's god of power. Perhaps he isn't picky and will worship whatever has a big enough gun, but I will not. The threats and promises of the man (or god) with a gun (or other sort of power) are meaningless to me and I will not give my obedience to such a man (or god) who manipulates people in that manner. I will not serve the "god of this world".
    I don't need to chant "cherry picking" when it's so blatantly obvious from you and from archy. There is no difference. He cherry picks what he wants and you cherry pick what you want, just as all theists do.

    This isn't even a case for debate.
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  52. #51 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    I don't need to chant "cherry picking" when it's so blatantly obvious from you and from archy. There is no difference. He cherry picks what he wants and you cherry pick what you want, just as all theists do.
    Just exactly no more or no less than you cherry pick and choose what you will believe. This whole "cherry picking" BS is the most idiotic manipulative rhetoric imaginable. It is one of the stupid ideas that you yourself have cherry picked from back in your fundamentalist Christian days. But it is as barmy as this "God is not a God of confusion" bull crap concocted as the flimsiest excuse for the contempt of others. Manipulative religions that don't want people to think for themselves have come up with this "cherry picking" BS rhetoric as a thinest covering for their fascist approach that either you are with "God" (code word for them) or you are against "God" (code word for them) and so either you believe every bull crap thing they tell you to believe or you are damned.


    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    This isn't even a case for debate.
    No, it is far too contemptible for that.
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  53. #52 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Just exactly no more or no less than you cherry pick and choose what you will believe.
    I never expected you to stoop to kindergarten playground tactics, Mitch.

    I'm in no position to cherry pick. The laws of physics chooses for me.

    This whole "cherry picking" BS is the most idiotic manipulative rhetoric imaginable. It is one of the stupid ideas that you yourself have cherry picked from back in your fundamentalist Christian days. But it is as barmy as this "God is not a God of confusion" bull crap concocted as the flimsiest excuse for the contempt of others.
    Your emotional charged response in the defensive speaks volumes, Mitch. It speaks to the denial of your position to decide for yourself what you'll believe from your religion and what you won't.

    Manipulative religions that don't want people to think for themselves have come up with this "cherry picking" BS rhetoric as a thinest covering for their fascist approach that either you are with "God" (code word for them) or you are against "God" (code word for them) and so either you believe every bull crap thing they tell you to believe or you are damned.
    No, it's just that you and every other Christian clearly demonstrate the cherry picking of your beliefs. It is an observation, Mitch. Simple, really.
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    I'm not going to read everything, I will just assume it devolved into some sort of argument or maybe a few arguments, none of which have to do with the point.

    I have long forgotten, but in reading a book by Manly P. Hall called Secret Teachings of All Ages, about the symbolism of various Mysteries and secret societies, I read that there were 7 "spirits" of God, that is, 7 ways of experiencing His Glory in the Kabbalistic Mysteries.

    I can't for the life of me recall each of the 7, but Fear was the first, furthest and most vulgar experience of God and Mercy was the last, closest and purest.

    I will try to find them again, it is pretty interesting.

    Fear is the stepping stone, it must be overcome to experience Truth. I once read of a school of philosophers who's initiation was to meditate on a hill over looking the plaque victims as they were thrown into a gorge until they overcame their fear of death.

    It is the fear of death which keeps us from living faithfully. The fear of being wrong which prevents us from learning. The fear of messing up that prevents us from trying. The fear of rejection that prevents us from having healthy relationships. The fear of God keeps us from His Mercy. Subject to fear, life seems dark and light seems small. While I wouldn't know, overcoming fear life becomes bright and your realize there is no darkness and that you just had your back turned, fear of loosing your self was in the way.
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  55. #54 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Manipulative religions that don't want people to think for themselves have come up with this "cherry picking" BS rhetoric as a thinest covering for their fascist approach that either you are with "God" (code word for them) or you are against "God" (code word for them) and so either you believe every bull crap thing they tell you to believe or you are damned.
    No, it's just that you and every other Christian clearly demonstrate the cherry picking of your beliefs. It is an observation, Mitch. Simple, really.
    Yes and I am saying that when you cut the BS rhetoric this so called "cherry-picking" means absolutely no more than thinking for oneself rather than letting some pseudo-religious manipulator do your thinking for you. But perhaps you are so un-used to thinking for yourself that that you have bought into this rhetoric, and so in becoming an atheist you have simply switched to a new party line as a replacement for the old fundie christian programing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    I can't for the life of me recall each of the 7, but Fear was the first, furthest and most vulgar experience of God and Mercy was the last, closest and purest.
    I guess that you are refering to the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiah 11:1-2
    There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. (NKJV)
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    Not that, but something similar. I think it is in a description of God's throne. I don't quite remember, I will find it though.
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  58. #57 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    Yes and I am saying that when you cut the BS rhetoric this so called "cherry-picking" means absolutely no more than thinking for oneself rather than letting some pseudo-religious manipulator do your thinking for you.
    I'm sure you'll blow enough steam to drive a turbine for a week trying to defend this one, Mitch.
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  59. #58 Re: The proper fear of God 
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    Yes and I am saying that when you cut the BS rhetoric this so called "cherry-picking" means absolutely no more than thinking for oneself rather than letting some pseudo-religious manipulator do your thinking for you.
    I'm sure you'll blow enough steam to drive a turbine for a week trying to defend this one, Mitch.
    Is that like what the losing team in a steam engine race says, "they use too much steam". LOL
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