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kinda off track but...religion
August 16, 2001
3:35 am
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Amaree
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The Gospel According to ST.JOHN
1-14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life: and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own recieved him not.
12 But as many as recieved him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have all were recieved, and grace for grace.
Holy Bible King James version

August 16, 2001
1:28 pm
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Ladeska
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Amaree....you know, years ago, while in Bible college I observed alot of things. I saw people who were convinced that the only way they could "witness" to someone was to shove scripture under their noses, tell them - this is the way and doggone it you'd better accept it, too!

I was completely turned off by that, as was most of the people that were supposed the very ones that these people said they cared about. But, if you "care", if anyone cares....they "respect" that a person has a right to their own mind, to do their own evaluation, to be intelligent.

First and foremost, God must respect that as well, since He gave us - the ability to use it. And if our search brings us front and center to a realization at some point - then it does. But, if we try and push people or slam stuff down their throats, we actually do the opposite of what we might otherwise "profess". We drive them away, put a very bad taste in their mouths for Christians and rather enforce the stigma that is already there about how rude, pushy and arrogant alot of Christians can be. I tend to say - "what Christians" in reference to these people b/c not everything that quacks like a duck - is a duck. Jesus was quite straight-up about that one as well as the prophets. There are those who are wolves in sheep's clothing and there are those who are extremely immature in their walk with Christ. Both can do great damage...

Paul in a nutshell says that he earns the right to come along side someone, by getting to know them, earning their trust...in order that...he may have the opportunity to tell them at some point what he believes.

That takes time and it takes sensitivity and sometimes it's a fit and sometimes it isn't. People have very few windows that are open in their lives whereby they will "receive" anything other than their own thoughts. If we slam dunk when the door is definitely not open - then we have greatly err'd. We are responsible before God - to know when and to know - when not to. Otherwise, ego has a hay day with us and whatever we do in the "name of God" will be so much spit to the wind and basically full of our own hot air with God's name slapped on it.

Most of the "so-called" witnessing that goes on in the real world - is about a person's life and how they are seen by other people. They read "that book".

It's okay for people to be intelligent, to ask questions, to search and it's okay for us to maybe help them do that or to at least "respect" them and not fear this whole process. It's a good process, not a bad one. It's also okay if it raises some questions inside us. If God is who He says He is in the Bible - we will knock and we shall find.

I'm sure Tez has read the Bible. What is really being searched for here is real communication about the questions asked. More than anything else, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and is full of manners, full of respect and bends to where each of us lives... Otherwise, we would all be an inkspot by now. Sometimes it is best to listen much, talk little and come "alongside of" very carefully, very sensitively.

August 16, 2001
2:49 pm
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gingerleigh
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Amen, Sister.

August 16, 2001
6:32 pm
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Ladeska
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gingerleigh....hi cutie.

August 16, 2001
7:01 pm
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Hi all.

Thanks for your kind thoughts and nice postings.

Amaree.

Like Ladeska says, I have read and studied the bible. As a gung ho Christian, I clung to the life raft of present day Christianity until I discovered that there was nothing to fear from letting go of it.

An American Catholic priest freed me. His name was Father Richard Rohr. He said on his tape, "Pray and trust in the Holy Spirit to lead you to the promised land." I did that and finished in an ashram in India. I'm no longer clinging to that Hindu life raft either. I've discovered that there is no sea to drown in except the sea of ignorance.

If Christ walked on the earth now, I would be putting some pretty tough questions his way. But, you know what... I think he would have answers that would blow my mind away!! The only problem is that the Christians of today would behave in much the same way as the Pharisees did so long ago. They would call him an imposter, a fraud, a megalomaniac and would crucify him on the cross of the public media and brand him a heretic.

I apologise if this offends anyone, but I sincerely believe it to be true.

August 17, 2001
12:15 am
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Amaree
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This I have to write to you all, involving what is important in one's life. This is love, joy, health, peace. Is it important to you all? I am believing it is the most important things you seek. Is it true? If not what are you seeking?
Tez and Ladeska
Do you know the Holy Spirit? Are you Baptised with the Holy Spirit? Do you have the evidience of this by speaking in a unknown tongue?

August 17, 2001
11:19 am
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Ladeska
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Amaree....Okay.....Now I know where you are coming from... I have no need to prove to you what my personal relationship with Christ is or is not. What I very much "know" is not of - man's tradition or about man's ego and what that produces.... Hopefully you will keep some of what I've said here in the back of your head as you go through life. But, getting caught up in your debate is quite contrary to the code I live by, so I won't be engaging with you.

August 17, 2001
12:24 pm
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Ladeska
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Tez....someone just corrected me on email and told me you were male and not female. Oops!

But, no apology needed in my direction. I completely undersand what you said. And yes....He would have answers for you. (smile) And yes, he would be crucified all over again. No doubt in my mind.

But....the thing with me is - I didn't come to what I believe through man. God revealed Himself to me....I guess knowing how I am and that I was truly searching - He just did it. That was back when I was 9 years old and in the quite the horrible situation all the way around. And that has continued all my life. Can't explain what happens, don't need to really, ya know? What is - just is. If the sky is blue - it's blue.

I could care less what anyone digs up or says is in whatever translation. When it comes to man - I don't trust very easily. And especially when it comes to the "church" - I've seen too much that has been done in God's name down through history that had absolutely nothing to do with God. Religion is power - a way to control the masses - pure and simple. And that has equated to much bloodshed and an extreme amount of hypocrisy that God Himself will take people to task on one of these days.

You know....just knowing what I know about God's heart...it's all rather simple to me, we are all on our own path and some people need to do certain things, take journeys, look here, look there, experience this, experience that and true enough - it may bring us all back to the drawing table where our crayons and coloring books are. (smile) Oh well, we have to do - what we have to do.

But, God knows all that and in the "journey" much is learned about us, about Him and that's so very important. God knows each heart though, knows how we tick, knows what we need and we have free will. What I really know personally is when I really want to know something - it is shown to me. It may take awhile, it may come from a source I'm not looking at it and it may take a while for me "get it" (smile) but when I do - I go....Whoaaa....way cool.

People ask me about - okay, so here's a person that never heard the Gospel per say, lived in another culture, was raised stealing and whatever in order survive...they die - what happens? I say...from what I know of God - it's like this. What mankind does with it's free will - mankind does...and God judges each one on the amount of light they have been given. But, if a person never got their questions answered, never had a chance in life, was hemmed in all the way around....just like the thief on the cross....in that last milisecond, or last half of a breath - God is able to pretty much stop time and sit down and talk with us - answering all and offering us His heart and a place in His Kingdom - regardless of the good deeds we did not do here or whether or not we read a tract or lived in church.

We need time, God doesn't. Just like in a dream that may seem to last forever - so can the talk God has one on one with us, bypassing whatever mankind has done to us, bypassing whatever untruth is here. That....is the God I know.

Even though there is free will, there is also mercy and understanding and a love that says...."I know what you went through, I know how your brain works and - I am here - with you, waiting, watching..."

As far as Christ is concerned....well, wouldn't we need His blood to mingle with ours in order to correct a spiritual DNA that had gone south? Second Law of Thermodynamics is pretty unstoppable unless God does it Himself - through us. Undoing the eternal spiritual path, but also giving us the choice. And it makes sense to me that he chose this way to communicate to us about "love" to give from His own heart, His only Son as a sacrifice. That hits home with us. Just like it did Abraham and Issac (his only son). Important story - Mt. Moriah. He had Abraham go through the ropes of doing what He did later with His Only Son. God chose the place and it's the same place - Mt. Moriah and Calvary. He was leading us somewhere....

He was giving us a word picture that talks to everyone regardless of where they come from. Mt. Moriah means - Where the Lord Provides - and so He did - and did it through the line of Abraham because of his faithfulness. I about flipped out one night when I read this and realized what was what here. Quickly looked up whether or not Mt. Moriah was where the temple was built and where Jesus was later crucified and there it was - plain as day...it was. Never heard it preached on and I had to wonder why? It's so powerful, so beautiful - this story to us. But...again, guess it was just for me. He gives me hugs like that sometimes. (smile) And basically says to me - don't waste your time trying to talk to the pharisees in robes - they won't like you much and there's a reason for that. I understand that deeply now...brings me closer to His side actually and makes me sad because I understand a "little bit" about why He went off by Himself so much and why He had to talk in riddles....they were always waiting with a trap....hating light, pure love, wanting the power for themselves. Such is the state of our ego without Him. The light is on, but no one's home, we're not complete.

The Xerox repairman can visit us, but the one who created us is the only one that can fix us. His initials are stamped there.... All I know, Tez, is that - He is very much "with you" and is closer than you realize to your heart of hearts. (smile)

In the midst of all there is - He walks....there is a road that goes beyond man's knowledge, beyond what is written, beyond what we can sketch out...it is there that He waits for each of us. Sometimes....I really have no words for that place...but very much know of it's existence.

August 17, 2001
4:39 pm
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Cici
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Intersting thread, you guys.

Why is it that this has turned solely into a focus of the analysis of Christianity? Granted, fundamentalist Christianity has been the focus. What about Catholocism? I grew up Catholic, did the stations of the cross every day during lent, went to mass twice a week, studied the Bible. Catholics, of course, aren't in the same vibe as Protestants. Not much speaking in tongues or witnessing to speak of.

Anyway, in my religious studies I began to wonder about the Mother. Mainly because there was a dramatic shift in popular religion during the fall of the Roman Empire (it always surprises me how few Christians know about the history of their faith, and how different the current belief system is from the one engendered by Christ). It was almost like a divorce - and the children were forced to choose between the Mother and the Father.

Obviously, we chose Daddy in the West.

BTW - Buddhism, as far as I know, professes no creation story (which makes this lean more towards philosophy system than religion). Then again, it's an anomaly among world religions.

Also, I don't necessarily agree that meditation is prayer without words. They seem to be geared towards quite different ends, yes?

August 17, 2001
6:40 pm
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Ladeska, Cici, Amaree.

Phew! Thanks so much for your very interesting postings, the thought and the time that went into them. I've saved them to my hard drive. I will study them off-line and return to post a response.

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