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  1. #21
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    LMH, that was an excellent response. I was trying to think of how to explain the answer to the OP and others who posted, then I saw your reply.

    It keeps running through my head that I should add the bible verse of John 3:16.

    "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life."

    Yesterday my family went to a Christmas Eve service that had an excellent drama portrayed by children. There was even an adorable paint donkey named Salsa, i believe, to escort Mary and Joseph down the aisle to the stable, but I digress. God gave us Jesus as an opportunity for us to get to heaven and reside with God for eternity after we pass from earth if we believe in Him, ask forgiveness for when we sin (we're human so that's going to happen), and try to lead a good, Christian life that includes good deeds, believing in God, and trying to follow His ways. It's certainly about the moment when you become a Christian, yet every bit as important to be a Christian in your everyday life.

    I want to add that there are many types of churches with different types of pastors and music worship teams. If you go to one or two churches and it doesn't grab you, try a different one. God knows we're all different and need different things, so be open to looking at a variety of churches. My parents like traditional, I like contemporary, my daughter prefers Presbyterian while I seem to be happier with the Nazarene church, and that's all okay.

    It's also okay to ask questions, in fact, ask lots of questions.
    This is something that come from the heart but it starts with the brain. Faith is one of those things that takes trust and letting go....not an easy thing, but once you've experienced it, it makes a lot more sense.

    Enough of my rambling for now.

    I'm typing on my iPhone so my screen makes it a bit harder than if I was home on my pc and hopefully this all is readable.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
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    You ask some very good questions. If you are interested in studying the 'why' of religious type questions, I could suggest some great books for you, starting with Jesse Bering's 'The Belief Instinct.'

    Christianity is well engrained in our tradition here in North America, especially in the US where religious institutions are mightily supported and even propagated by their tax-free status. So they have mixed missions - their low overhead makes it easier to support charity missions such as soup kitchens. But they need to keep the butts in the seats and therefore need to have attractive entertainment value, or an emotional hook that keeps people coming back.

    You may very well have detected the preacher's own lack of conviction, or shallowness of conviction. Many, once they study the Bible, realize it for the bundle of myths, songs, documents, letters, folktales, history and propaganda that it is. There are lots of non-believers among the priest caste.

    And Christianity has adapted as it does so well. There are thousands of flavors of Christianity out there, from Bible literalists to Anglican Bishop Spong who is essentially an atheist.

    Many have come to conclusions like yours and go for a more direct connection with the divine (Quakers would be a Christian sect that does that). I wish you well on your journey. You sound like the kind of person who cannot be dishonest with yourself.
    Last edited by Babs; Dec. 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM. Reason: wrong word


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
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    My coworker has gone back to the church after a period of being more secular, where "things" don't always bring happiness, and I'm a little humbled that she would give me gift of this book.

    She hasn't asked me a thing and I'm grateful not to be pestered.

    She's doing her best to live a life by example. It's very restful and calming.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  4. #24
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    Another quick reply-I actually think it is a bit 'judgmental' to think there is less sin in church people...actually I think there is the same amount anywhere.

    For me it is the opposite...I am involved in church and seek a relationship with Jesus Christ because I AM fully aware that I am a sinner in need of a Savior!

    Yes as my relationship with Christ deepens I hope my actions reflect his place in my life...BUT I am 100% certain that I and everyone else falls short-those that believe and those that do not. Without a doubt.

    If Christianity was about being a good person, we would all be in trouble.

    I am Christian and I have accepted Christ as my Savior because I acknowledge and understand that I am not and will never be 'good.'


    13 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
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    Amen to that! And I agree with your views on preaching and evangelism. We don't save people, God does.

    I was saved 4 years ago and God has turned my world inside out and upside down LOL!! The impossible and amazing has happened to me and folks see it. If they ask, I answer. I am open about being a born again Christian and I am open about my natural ability to be a huge flaming butthead at times . I am thankful to God for working me through my tough moments, and the realization that I am not "good", or "a good person most of the time" without Him is important to me.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    Another quick reply-I actually think it is a bit 'judgmental' to think there is less sin in church people...actually I think there is the same amount anywhere.

    For me it is the opposite...I am involved in church and seek a relationship with Jesus Christ because I AM fully aware that I am a sinner in need of a Savior!

    Yes as my relationship with Christ deepens I hope my actions reflect his place in my life...BUT I am 100% certain that I and everyone else falls short-those that believe and those that do not. Without a doubt.

    If Christianity was about being a good person, we would all be in trouble.

    I am Christian and I have accepted Christ as my Savior because I acknowledge and understand that I am not and will never be 'good.'
    I like that, shows some humanity.
    Being humble is a good beginning to knowing ourselves.
    Self knowledge brings us eventually to some understanding of who others may be.



  7. #27
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    I might add to this thread that it is about selflessness and humility before powers greater than us.

    I am reminded of a line from the movie, "Second Hand Lions".
    It is not as important if a story is true, but whether it is worth believing in.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
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    My question is, why do some people require religious faith while others do not?


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
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    Why do some people require Xanax? Or horses? Or a nice garden? Or a significant other? Or kids? We're all individuals and these things make our life better.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunridge1 View Post
    My question is, why do some people require religious faith while others do not?
    One answer we seem to be coming with today is that most are wired to be believers easily, is an evolutionary advantage.
    Others missed out on that wiring and, well, can't see what all that spiritual rhapsody is all about.
    A bit like being color blind, but it is faith blindness.
    Of course there is more to faith than that, like for so many in the USA, being indoctrinated from birth, a cultural determinant, an accident of birth.
    We would not be who we are or believe what we do if we had not the life experiences we have had.

    If you are of the faith that believe God created all, you may have to admit that maybe He also created the unbelievers.


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  11. #31
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    What is the evolutionary advantage? Control of the masses?


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  12. #32
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    I used to go to mass at the church near my home in Italy. It was all in Latin, I didn't understand a word of it. I didn't know anyone there. But I liked the routine. The pattern. I think that for some folks, there's a component of establishing routine and order and finding parameters within which to operate.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, I think there is safety in numbers, a sense of community has been proven to have positive mental health effects, and frankly, religion did provide parameters for societal behavior which tended to keep people safer and better cared for than operating alone.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    6 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    What strikes me about most religious people is they are good people and do good things, and I want to be involved with doing all of that.
    I believe most people are good and do good things, religion doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it.


    13 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by lolita1 View Post
    I have been told a number of times now that many christian holidays (like xmas & easter) are actually old pagan holidays. That to convert the pagans they used the same days but for a different god & also use to errect the christian churches where the pagans used to gather.
    This is very true. The new god takes over the special day and the old god is turned into the bad guy. Most gods follow, what Joseph Campbell's "A Hero's Journey" throughout their life.


    And I think that because you have studied religions, (I too have studied religions) and the great thing about it, is that you have opened up your mind to different ways of thinking; were most super religious Christians do not seek or want to learn about other worldly religions.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crackerdog View Post
    I believe most people are good and do good things, religion doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it.
    The 9/11 hijackers were devout believers. God and heaven were real to them.

    The reason why my good friends who have been partners in life longer than me and my husband are not allowed to legally marry, while Charles Manson and Susan Smith are free to do so despite being imprisoned convicted murderers, is that some religionists had their way.

    Include me out.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


    12 members found this post helpful.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
    Do you know what I mean? I'm not trying to start a fight or put anyone down, but it's kind of hard to ask people who truly believe this. WHY do you have to worship Jesus/God, and not just be a good person on your own? I get the community thing, but . . .
    I'm also thinking that this is a really good question which is REALLY hard to answer in just a short BB post. I'll toss out an idea FWIW on the logic behind a potential answer:

    If the only thing that exists is 3 dimensions and 5 senses, and a gazillion light years really buffers us from all other intelligent life in existence, then 'be good any way that works for you' is the most sensible. But if there's more to existence than that, if there are other intelligences out there who aren't restricted by the 3 and 5, humans certainly don't have any control over them. If there's more to our own existence than this life, we don't seem to have the control we want over what it will be. That's when the question of how we relate to that Someone(s) More becomes really important.

    Now why many people including me believe that the Bible's 'take' on the makeup of the More is way more accurate than anything else - never gonna fit within a BB post. Not the least because many people do take an honest crack at walking out the implications of that 'take', and their experiences in life back it up in a way that particular individual can understand. Do other people say exactly the same thing about their preferred 'takes'? Certainly. Do the Someone(s) More take orders from any of us as to how the universe is allowed to exist? Certainly not. The proverbial ball is in the humans' court to take a good look beyond 'just being nice in the here and now' to try and figure out what we're dealing with. If there's more than this life, than what's out there can really matter and have consequences.
    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


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
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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.

    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.


    8 members found this post helpful.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunridge1 View Post
    What is the evolutionary advantage? Control of the masses?
    Maybe that too in the application, but individually, it gives those that are wired to be part of groups the many advantages in life that brings for humans.

    If you are not wired for that, if you are more the "show me", lets think this thru first before agreeing type, if you are intensely individualistic, working within a group may become harder.
    Becoming somewhat to very much an outcast is a distinct possibility, unless you can sell your difference to the group you want to be part of.

    Evolutionary advantage generally favors those that happily work within human groups.
    The down side, yes, some take advantage of the captive audiences faith provides their society to control them for their purposes.
    Look at how so many vote in the USA as a very clear example of that, some even voting against their conscience, just because their Sunday sermon told them to.


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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMH View Post
    The reason many Christians get in your face or scream and preach is often because they know the results if someone fails to accept that Jesus Christ is the Savior. Granted the screamers are handling it...well...all wrong.

    And many have great egos and forget to be humbled in the knowledge of God rather than elevated in that knowledge. Just another example of people getting it wrong...sadly.

    Hope that helps somewhat.
    what are the results if you fail to accept jesus christ is your savior?
    My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE


    4 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
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    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.
    Oh, boy, you can't see how, in the big picture, all religions are so very similar as to the differences being only in the interpretation?

    Study history of religions and you will see where your Christian religion has it's roots, some of the stories in the Bible already told centuries ago in other religions, practically word by word.
    Vedas anyone?


    10 members found this post helpful.

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