hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Nov, 2008 12:11 am
@tenderfoot,
Alan Watts said exactly that, about 50 years ago.
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  2  
Reply Fri 28 Nov, 2008 10:29 am
@tenderfoot,
tenderfoot wrote:

I reckon they should flush the Bible as well
ok so the bible koran talmud torah pentateuch? bagwam thingy vita et al. should be pulped.

No they should not. They should be placed in university libraries where academics can study them, and well out of the way of public readership.
0 Replies
 
daniellejean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:09 pm
Okay, so I read through the entire seven pages just so I could make sure I wasn't repeating anybody with what I am about to say.

Much of this is addressed to our friend Michael.

First off, I would like to say that I think that pastor in North Carolina is HORRIBLE and is distorting the message of Jesus. So my points about Islam (or what Michael has informed me about Islam) are not to suggest that I think that the pastor was anything but stupid in putting up that sign.

But I am wondering first why nobody has taken the time to point out to our well-informed Michael that there are not, in fact 66 Bibles, but 66 books in the Bible. In case you didn't know, a book of the Bible is like a Sura in the Qu'ran. So, there is only one Bible (if you don't consider possible translation issues).

Secondly, I would like to say that humans are incapable of being completely free of sin. That is why we need Jesus Christ. You are right Michael in saying that sin needs punishment, but that is where Jesus and His sacrifice come in. I could not believe a faith that tells me that God will punish all sinners (or criminels) according to their sins (or crimes) because that would mean we would all, including those whom we think of as extremely pure, be condemned to death because we are limited human beings who cannot attain the purity that God has imagined for us because of Satan's power on our world. Jesus Christ died so that we would not have to suffer the punishments corresponding to our crimes.

There is a responsibility attached to that, however. It seems to me Michael, that your problem with Christianity is that it seems too easy to 'get out of jail free'. But we have to enter into a relationship with Jesus (God) and accept His gift of salvation and continually lay our sin and weakness before Him. So, it is not a 'get out of jail free' card because we have to recognize our need for God. And as others have pointed out, God promises that if we ask we will receive. In Islam, it would seem that even if we ask, we might not receive, because logically speaking we probably do not deserve to receive since we are sinners.

Think of it this way. Most children do not do anything in particular to deserve the love of their parents. And indeed, as children, they are incapable of doing so. But their parents love them anyway and will always love them, even when they do wrongly. And if their children did wrongly, and their child faced death as a punishment, a true parent would be willing to give his or her life for the child. And so Jesus has done.

I have not always felt this way. You can look through my old posts on A2K to see just how deep my cynicism toward God went. My questions about Christianity were abounding, mostly due to the intolerance and apparent political agenda of Christians in America, and also for some very personal reasons. Sometimes I wonder why God even needed a sacrifice like Jesus'. But in the end, the reason Michael believes in Islam is the very reason that Jesus had to die - because justice is important. But justice doesn't always take the form we think it does. This will open a whole barrel of monkeys, and I'll try to stay away from anything deeper than that. But let me just say that, in spite of the doubts I may have, the God I believe in (Jesus Christ) is the only God I've ever come a accross that exhibits pure love for His creation.

If some political figures or pastors distort that with hatred, I am sorry about that. Genuinely and truly sorry because it means that people who do know how God is Love are always going to have a hard time proving it because the general public will associate God with religion, not love. I am not anti-religion, but stuff like this really scares me.

Wow! This has turned into a long post! I've only gone on about the basis of Christianity here because NewSoul's posts frighten me a bit because of their emphasis on punishment. Why should we be so concerned with punishment anyway? If we love God and love one another, as Jesus asks us to, we have nothing to fear. And even if we don't, I believe God will keep reaching out to us with His infinite love (perhaps that's just the Universalism in me coming out!) until we are able to. Of course, that's debatable within Christianity.

Comme point finale, je voudrais dire que je ne vois pas l'importance de tout ce français. Je me suis perdue quand j'ai lu cette bataille. Si on parle bien le français, formidable. Mais puisque ce site web est anglophone, cela n'a aucun importance. Mais enfin, c'est juste mon opinion. A bientôt!

As a final point, I don't understand the importance of all this french!
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:13 pm
@joefromchicago,
The pages (of the koran) shouldn't just be torn out and flushed unused....
0 Replies
 
daniellejean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:19 pm
As a supplement to what I just wrote here is a quote from Jim in one of my previous threads - one from about a year ago - that was extremely helpful in understanding Islam and Christianity.

"I am a Christian. If anything, living in a Muslim country made me re-examine what I believe and why I believe it, and made my faith stronger.

Now comes the part that some people might not appreciate. Every religion in the world today is basically the same. You earn your salvation solely through your own efforts. The religion has a set of rules, and how well you follow these rules determines your standing with your god(s). And of all the religions I have studied, Islam has the most rules that govern every aspect of a Muslim's life.

There is one exception to this - Christianity. The New Testament teaches there is nothing you can do to earn or deserve salavation. A Christian believes that salvation is obtained only through accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, not through mindlessly following rules.

I hope this is helpful to you. "
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 10:00 am
@daniellejean,
thanks for the thoughtful and intelligent post Danielle. I was beginning to doubt an adherent of any religion was capable of stringing a few sentences together.

In English or French. And certainly not both.
0 Replies
 
daniellejean
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 04:12 pm
'Twas my pleasure.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:54 am
@daniellejean,
which reminds me of the story I just heard from my teacher friend who recalled a pupil asking exemption from a lesson because of a French oral examination.

Mai oui, bon chance....the teacher replied

What? said the student.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 11:58 am
@Steve 41oo,
and the maths teacher congratulating the student on gaining 60% in the statistics exam.

"What's that out of?"

was the reply

0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:16 pm
@daniellejean,
daniellejean wrote:
The New Testament teaches there is nothing you can do to earn or deserve salavation.

According to some.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 12:55 pm
@joefromchicago,
According to Christianity.

You might not agree Joe but thats the essence of it.
daniellejean
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 06:29 pm
I should have been more specific in saying that protestant christianity teaches that salvation cannot be earned or deserved. Catholics also believe in original sin, but in my experience being brought up in the Catholic Church, there was a big emphasis on confession and doing good works - which essentially amounts to trying to earn salvation.

While I do not believe that is bad or wrong in itself, and as much as I hate to negate my Catholic roots, I would say that I am beginning to believe that it is misguided. We should always try to be the best we can be out of our love of God and because we are made into a 'new creation' (in 2 Corinthians, can't find the verse right now) by our relationship with Him. But we cannot earn God's love or our salvation through those actions.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 06:39 pm
@Steve 41oo,
Steve 41oo wrote:

According to Christianity.

You might not agree Joe but thats the essence of it.

And your interpretation of scripture is authoritative because ...?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 09:12 am
@daniellejean,
daniellejean wrote:
But we cannot earn God's love or our salvation through those actions.

Why not? We can certainly earn god's displeasure through our bad actions, why can't we earn his love through our good actions?
0 Replies
 
daniellejean
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 11:30 am
Joe,

We can please or displease God with our actions. But we cannot earn our salvation or lose it in that way because humans are sinners and will always fall to sin. The thing we can do to have salvation is to believe in Jesus Christ. While I don't necessarily want to cite a clichéd bible verse, John 3:16 says it very clearly: "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son so that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life." So, it's simple, you believe in Christ as your savior and He will be your savior.

That doesn't negate the importance of sin, however. Because when we sin, we reject God's law, and Jesus says that if we love Him, we will follow His law. By accepting Christ, He will send us His Holy Spirit so that we may act gracefully (that is, non-sinfully) as often as possible. And when we consciously choose sin over God, we assert our independence from Him and thus assert that we don't need Him. If we do this often enough, we begin to reject Christ as a savior. So, sin can lead people to lose their salvation if they do not turn back to God for help. My earlier point was not that sin doesn't matter, but that if we accept Christ, and renew this constantly through prayer and devotion, God will deliver.

As far as the question of whether or not my interpretation is any more valuable than anyone else's, I'd have to say I don't think it is because I am human. But I am offering to the discussion what I have thought and prayed about and what seems to make sense to me through prayer and study.

There are still plenty of issues surrounding Christianity that bother me, such as this priest who put up this sign about the Koran, or the political nature of Evangelical Christianity in America, but I am coming to believe more and more that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. I maintain a certain universalism that would bother many contemporary mainstream Christians, but I won't elaborate on that here. The point is just that we all have to use our consciences, our hearts, and prayer to come to an understanding about God. So, I have no more authority than you do, and never said I did.We may not all agree, but I believe He will reveal himself to us all in due time.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 01:33 pm
@daniellejean,
daniellejean wrote:

That doesn't negate the importance of sin, however. Because when we sin, we reject God's law, and Jesus says that if we love Him, we will follow His law. By accepting Christ, He will send us His Holy Spirit so that we may act gracefully (that is, non-sinfully) as often as possible. And when we consciously choose sin over God, we assert our independence from Him and thus assert that we don't need Him. If we do this often enough, we begin to reject Christ as a savior. So, sin can lead people to lose their salvation if they do not turn back to God for help. My earlier point was not that sin doesn't matter, but that if we accept Christ, and renew this constantly through prayer and devotion, God will deliver.

Well, that doesn't make any sense. According to you, bad acts can lead to a person losing salvation, but good acts can't lead to a person gaining salvation. Life is like a demerit system, where there are no pluses, only minuses, and with the total being added up at the funeral. Where's the incentive there? What's the point of doing good acts when there's no ultimate difference between the person who does only good and the person who does the maximum allowable amount of bad, so long as they both accept JC as their personal savior?
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 10:02 am
Good game Joe !

The central issue here is not about the "logic" of the message, but about the sociopathic method of communication.

I personally might believe that all "religious" texts "should be flushed", but I am unlikely to pursuade others of this by confrontational public billboards.
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 10:44 am
@fresco,
Hi Fresco! how are you? cold? Well I think of you as Al Fresco

I've come to the conclusion that all religions are actually terminally bloody BORING.

0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 05:13 pm
Greetings Steve!

I tend to agree on the boredom factor for religious texts which all fall into the continuum of word magic, spells and incantations.
0 Replies
 
Fountofwisdom
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 01:56 am
Has anyone heard of tolerance? Constitutional rights to religious freedom?
0 Replies
 
 

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