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  1. #161
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    Oct. 15, 2007
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    Where the rubber hits the road for me is tithing. If there are 50 people at a service, then 10% is a lot of resource and power being given away. That this money finds its way into PAC's and toward the lifestyle of the privileged is not in doubt. I can't do it, nor can I go to a service and not provide money. So I stay away.



  2. #162
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    Bluey. This is one of the most relaxed and informative discussions this forum has engaged in and you are working very very hard to pull it astray with your personal agenda.

    "Yes, this is part of the discussion here, how very religious people think, very telling."

    You are far too intelligent to truly believe that it is right to paint all religious individuals with a single brush.

    Can we please move on?


    4 members found this post helpful.

  3. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    I have stated my position on this, have the quotes about this that are still out there, was questioning why the main statement was gone, that's all.
    There is no secret main statement. You are mistaken.

    You said others saw the post...where are they?



  4. #164
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    Jun. 16, 2009
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    Honest question here, I am a former Christian that is sort of stuck on the fence.

    1. How do I believe in something that has no scientific proof?
    2. If the bible was hand selected by people, how do I know that people didn't just arrange it to make a nice story?

    I had so many questions before this that I have now forgotten..


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by shall View Post
    Where the rubber hits the road for me is tithing. If there are 50 people at a service, then 10% is a lot of resource and power being given away. That this money finds its way into PAC's and toward the lifestyle of the privileged is not in doubt. I can't do it, nor can I go to a service and not provide money. So I stay away.
    What an interesting point! Tithing is founded on an awesome principle of supporting those in the community in need. Today it definitely seems like religious institutions find great ways to pad pay checks and fund massive church expansion over aiding others.

    Many churches do not require tithing but I agree that being at a church that uses their funds improperly would be exceptionally off-putting.

    A religious organization I'm involved with seeks funding through other churches. They ask members to consider tithing but all money goes straight into supporting smaller organizations overseas. I've always felt comfortable with this because I felt like I could see where my money was going. Giving to a megachurch would definitely take an act of faith to trust that the funds would be properly used.


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  6. #166
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeucesWild11 View Post
    Honest question here, I am a former Christian that is sort of stuck on the fence.

    1. How do I believe in something that has no scientific proof?
    2. If the bible was hand selected by people, how do I know that people didn't just arrange it to make a nice story?

    I had so many questions before this that I have now forgotten..
    Study comparative religions and you will see a thread emerge, where from the first ones we have records and all thru what is known as the western world, the stories repeat themselves.

    Why? Because those are good fables, good stories for humans to learn what is right and wrong, changed as the cultures and civilizations changed, but basically the same ones, that permit societies to get along, creating some kind of order and guidelines.

    Today, all that is well codified in secular life, the religion/beliefs part not as relevant any more for that purpose, but of course still relevant for so many individuals, still driven by what that kind of thinking has made us.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #167
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
    My faith is like the most decadent, delicious chocolate cake recipe. I carry it around with me all the time and if the moment presents itself then I’ll offer it to someone. I want to shout the recipe from the roof top but I don’t want my actions to turn someone off the cake so I only offer it if someone asks. Even if they ask for the recipe, I cannot force them to bake the cake, I merely provide them with recipe for future reference.

    Misguided Christians carry around a baked chocolate cake wherever they go. They offer the same slice over and over again and then get angry when people decline a smooshed, fuzz covered slice of cake with a hair sticking out of it. They bake cakes just to throw them at people from street corners demanding that they try the cake or burn in hell. They take something amazing and turn it into something that unappealing and gross.

    So many people are turned off of cake because of the way the cake is presented. That’s a real shame because I think when you have an opportunity to try the cake when the time is right, it is pretty unforgettable.
    I really love this analogy. But what about the people who just plain don't like chocolate cake, they don't now nor ever will? Are they OK too? What if they prefer vanilla? Or cheesecake, or creme brulee? Or they're diabetic and can't have cake AT ALL??

    As far as I can tell, we're all equal regardless or our gastric/spiritual preferences, right?
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #168
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    Oct. 18, 2008
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    Deschapelles, Haiti
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    Quote Originally Posted by shall View Post
    Where the rubber hits the road for me is tithing. If there are 50 people at a service, then 10% is a lot of resource and power being given away. That this money finds its way into PAC's and toward the lifestyle of the privileged is not in doubt. I can't do it, nor can I go to a service and not provide money. So I stay away.
    The Presbyterian congregation I grew up in didn't support PACs, it founded a coordinated foodbank. Tithes don't have to be linked to one congregation in many branches of Christianity. My tithes and offerings now are split between my church in Haiti, a bit to the church back home, local projects in Haiti, and sometimes other organizations including HAS.
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog



  9. #169
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    Mar. 3, 2007
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    North-Central IL
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    Bluey, please let's not derail the thread this way. Please, it's going so well and civilly...
    Quarry Rat


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeucesWild11 View Post
    Honest question here, I am a former Christian that is sort of stuck on the fence.

    1. How do I believe in something that has no scientific proof?
    2. If the bible was hand selected by people, how do I know that people didn't just arrange it to make a nice story?

    I had so many questions before this that I have now forgotten..
    This is a decent explanation about the canonization of the bible: http://www.gci.org/bible/canon

    The bible is the ultimate love story but it is many stories put together. Some are more historically based and others are beautiful poems and songs. An important thing to note is that the bible is not a chronological story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Some books are different perspectives of the same events (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).

    If you are interested, there are some great resources exploring how the books were chosen. An important part of the process is whether or not the prophecies predicted came to fruition. In many cases we have historical evidence that these prophecies were fulfilled (rising and falling of empires, ways in which people were born or died, etc.). The fulfillment of these prophecies are also an important way that people who are searching for "proof" have found answers about Jesus being who He said He was. I've read about books that were briefly accepted were put aside when prophecies predicted to happen during a specific time period never came about.



  11. #171
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    Oct. 25, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    The 9/11 hijackers were devout believers. God and heaven were real to them.
    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    One correction-they were not believers in the God of the New and Old Testament, God the Father and Creator...and they were not believers in Jesus Christ the Savior.



    The distinction is critical.
    I think the combination of these two thoughts/posts is where Bluey was coming from. I caught it too... To me (at least), the implication was that believers in Jesus would never have done such a thing.
    *friend of bar.ka

    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnvh View Post
    I think the combination of these two thoughts/posts is where Bluey was coming from. I caught it too... To me (at least), the implication was that believers in Jesus would never have done such a thing.
    Glad to know someone else remembers having read that.
    Those two posts quoted were Bristol Bay responding to the paragraph about 9/11 and LMH trying to respond to Bristol Bay about that.

    I still wonder, if LMH didn't delete that paragraph, where did it go?

    Anyway, my point was that to think that Christianity and those that follow it would never kill others for their beliefs, with 2000 years of history to prove different, Spanish Inquisition anyone, that is a very large myth to swallow.

    As I said before and will state again, Christmas is a good time to reflect and be thankful for all that is good about Christianity and try to forgive all evil it has done.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #173
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    Aug. 28, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    See, I have this little thing inside me that you can call whatever you want, my guilt, my conscience, whatever, that is ALWAYS making an assessment of what I do and say and thinking how it could be better. Doesn't everyone have that, or is it only me? I feel SO self-driven to try to live up to this. I am way harder on myself than I think anyone else could be. I don't see that as a supreme being. I see that as part of me, which, of course, you could interpret to be a God being.
    I've always thought people wanted/ needed religion to make sense of the world. They want security in a world where (in the words of Dean Winchester ) "random unpredictable evil comes out of nowhere and rips you to shreds".


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #174
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    Mar. 3, 2007
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    North-Central IL
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    We've all made mistakes, that doesn't mean the message is invalid... I'm not out to convinced or convert anyone, but it's helped me a lot.
    Quarry Rat



  15. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mosey_2003 View Post
    We've all made mistakes, that doesn't mean the message is invalid... I'm not out to convinced or convert anyone, but it's helped me a lot.
    I know a local that used to drink very much.
    Then he "got religion", his words and has been sober now for a good 25 years.
    He never misses a chance to tell everyone about "finding Jesus Christ, his Savior".



  16. #176
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    That's still painting with a broad brush... And really, good for him. Maybe he could use some tact, but...
    Quarry Rat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #177
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    Dec. 2, 2004
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    Ohio
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    721

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    But what struck me about what this pastor was saying was that it's all about God and focusing on God and giving into him and how you just need to let him in to be saved and whatever. If you're that way, fine. But my thoughts kept going back to WHY do you have to keep preaching "look to God/Jesus" to save you and do right? It seems to trivialize people and what we all (most) know. We know how to care and behave and do right and be good and care. Why do we need to look to something else to do that for us? Are we that immature and unintelligent that we need something in the middle?
    Great thread . I'm among those who was expecting a train wreck and am quite delighted instead to see this thoughtful, intelligent conversation. Thank you everyone .

    I'm a Christian in the sense that I've accepted Christ as my Savior and given Him Lordship of my life. He's in charge and I follow His guidance and direction as best I can in my decision making process. I've been praying and studying His Word (the Bible) for decades to learn what His will for me is and I'm still studying. I guess I'm slow like that . I'm not very good at putting my faith into words, but I'm going to attempt to address this one question Beentheredonethat asked.

    You ask why we spend so much time focusing on God - the short answer is because He's worth it! There is always something else that seems more immediate (read - of this worldly life) to give our attention to. When we go to church, it's time to set all that aside and focus on the Lord.

    I accepted Christ as my Savior after first studying different religions/faith-beliefs and gaining enough personal humility to realize that I needed a Savior to enter the presence of a holy God. I am not worthy to enter God's presence on my own merits. Being forgiven does not equal being on equal footing with God. I don't have a Savior to do right, I have a Savior to cover me for the times when I don't do right.

    Confusion is sometimes caused by a difference in definition of the concept of "right". As an orthodox, Bible believing Christian, I accept the Biblical definition of "righteousness". By that definition, we are counted as righteous not for any good deeds, but rather simply because we believed God.

    It's very important to understand who gets to make the rules. In Biblical Christianity, God makes the rules and we follow those guidelines. Not too many people argue with the wisdom found in the Ten Commandments. God's a good rule maker! I'm not saying I've never broken any of those commandments (that not coveting thing I find especially easier said than done).

    Being a Christian is about defining what we have faith in. All people have faith in something, though not everyone can define that faith. I had enormous faith in my mare. I truly trusted that she would never intentionally do anything to harm me. I placed my trust and my life in her care on a regular basis. Not being able to predict the future, I could never say for a fact while she was alive that she wouldn't change her mind. But I had faith that she would do her best for me. She's gone now, so I can now know and say for a fact that she never intentionally as long as she was alive did anything to put me in harm's way. My faith in her was not misplaced.

    I have faith that God will accept me into His Holy presence because His Son died on the cross to enable me to enter into Heaven with God. I've placed my faith for that in Christ. On the other hand, I'm not waiting for the Lord to show up to clean my house. I think maybe I'd better do that myself.
    <><



    3 members found this post helpful.

  18. #178
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    Sep. 13, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
    Bluey. This is one of the most relaxed and informative discussions this forum has engaged in and you are working very very hard to pull it astray with your personal agenda.

    "Yes, this is part of the discussion here, how very religious people think, very telling."

    You are far too intelligent to truly believe that it is right to paint all religious individuals with a single brush.

    Can we please move on?
    AMEN TO THAT!!!
    Bluey, please Are you trying to derail a very civilized sane conversation on a very touchy subject.. Shades of Slaughter threads come to mind.
    We get precious few days of Off topic as it is.
    "you can only ride the drama llama so hard before it decides to spit in your face." ?Caffeinated.



  19. #179
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    Bluey I never denied that quote above and as far as I know it is still there. I never deleted it and still stand behind what I wrote.

    You implied I deleted something that said 'Muslims' did it...and I never did and never implied it or intended to imply it. As I said more than once, you were mistaken.

    It is on page 2, post 37 and you can clearly see there is no indication that it has been edited. Post show when they have been edited.Now perhaps you can stop implying I am being sneaky and dishonest??




    Bristol Bay wrote that the pilots believed in GOD...perhaps some Son of Sam creature can claim to do heinous crimes in the name of 'god' but that is just being plain crazy...that is not a person who has God in his heart. That is not even a 'good person' who does not believe in God. Crazy people fly planes into buildings.

    Bristol Bay implied God-fearing people murder in the name of God...and that is simply not the case on 9-11. I never read any information that said this attack was in the name of the God worshipped by Jews and Christians.

    SO yes, can we move on now? I think this sub-topic has been discussed and clarified sufficiently.


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  20. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    Bluey I never denied that quote above and as far as I know it is still there. I never deleted it and still stand behind what I wrote.

    You implied I deleted something that said 'Muslims' did it...and I never did and never implied it or intended to imply it. As I said more than once, you were mistaken.

    It is on page 2, post 37 and you can clearly see there is no indication that it has been edited. Post show when they have been edited.Now perhaps you can stop implying I am being sneaky and dishonest??




    Bristol Bay wrote that the pilots believed in GOD...perhaps some Son of Sam creature can claim to do heinous crimes in the name of 'god' but that is just being plain crazy...that is not a person who has God in his heart. That is not even a 'good person' who does not believe in God. Crazy people fly planes into buildings.

    Bristol Bay implied God-fearing people murder in the name of God...and that is simply not the case on 9-11. I never read any information that said this attack was in the name of the God worshipped by Jews and Christians.

    SO yes, can we move on now? I think this sub-topic has been discussed and clarified sufficiently.
    No, that is the post you were responding to Briostol Bay mentioning that no, that those 9/11 muslims were not christians, as you had posted, was not quite so.
    I already quoted that one recently, when first wondering where your paragraph went.

    In your paragraph was the numbers 9/11 and that is what I can't find.
    Sorry if you didn't delete that, but it sure was there, that is why Bristol and someone before had touched on that in their posts.

    Anyway, guess that will be one of those cyber misteries, to ponder over.

    My point was, I hope already explained enough, that evil is every place and christians, as that paragraph was saying, were not above it.
    That statement was bothering me, as it shows how some can do wrong in the name of their religion and others can brush it off because they have such a strange idea of what that is.

    It is how humans think, for good and bad, in all we do, following religions also, in the right setting.

    Those are serious questions and living in the Bible Belt makes this a very interesting situation.
    Over the years, I have been told now by several very different people that I would be very welcome in their church, to come by and that I, that they have known now for decades, was a better christian than most anyone they know.
    Of course, because what is good that Christianity demands that shaped our western world is what makes sense good, honest people would do anyway, if they follow the religion part of that or don't go to a local church.

    I have noticed that years ago, many locals would be very good to go to church every Sunday, then travel to the race track, so we got to see them there and do stuff that they didn't want those at home to know about.
    Today, not so much, people really do more with their families and if they are doing other, less acceptable, is not as public as it was before.

    I had a cousin that taught comparative religions in the University and I always thought that was so interesting, from the human side, how religions shaped cultures and societies and individuals.
    People that dismiss religions off hand are missing so much, as it was probably one of the main forces that made humans who they are today.

    It is clear that societies were built on people that were wired to be believers and those that were not were marginalized, ostracized or outright killed.
    We are now and have been for a few centuries to a point where we can, as societies, use those traits of the ones not wired to be believers, but more rational thinkers and questioners of all.
    That may be changing the balance to less believers, more indifferent to religion's Pied Piper offerings of personal safety and happy feelings.

    All times have been interesting, ours no different.
    Will be interesting to see where we go in the, I think, near future.
    In a way it is scary, with the history of violence in the name of religions, the veneer of civility being very shallow, for what I can see, living in the Bible Belt.
    Who knows, a more secular world won't be easy either, there are no actions without reactions.

    Religious people used to be the majority and fight and live with others of different religions, non believers had to hide and were not accounted for.
    Now religious people are having to live with those that are indifferent to religions and questioning what those demand of their followers in greater numbers.
    An interesting situation, reflected in our current politics.


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