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Experiencing God
August 13, 2008
12:49 am
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soofoo
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Tez,

There is an implication in your posts that Christians are not critical thinkers. Perhaps some are not. But certainly being Christian does not exclude critical thinking. St Thomas Aquinas was a great thinker. I have a book recommendation for you, it's called "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. He makes a great case.

Okay, now I'm really tired. I'l have to get back to this tomorrow. I'm very interested in this topic I but need my brainy sleep.

August 13, 2008
12:55 am
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soofoo
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Okay wait, wait!!

Tez,

My question is, What was dangerous about the religious indoctrination you received as a child? And also, what sort of religious upbringing did you have?

sleepily yours, soofoo

August 13, 2008
10:42 am
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soofoo
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Tez, you said "Consider the needs for a moment of a God who is perfect, whole and complete. From your definition, such a God would have no needs, wants, desires, aspirations, attachments, emotions ... whatsoever."

I said that God could be pleased or displeased and that this was not the same as a human emotion. God's love is perfect, whole and complete. Ours is not. Nonetheless we have access to a sort of metaphorical understanding of God through our own systems. "God made man in His image" Genesis 1:27. Therefore, our understanding of what it means to be pleased is a fair representation of what it means when God is pleased. It is not the same thing, just as a picture of a cat is not a cat. A picture of a cat is very, very, far off from being a cat. The cat has bones, blood and organs and it jumps, eats, sleeps whereas the picture is just ink and paper. Certainly, ink and paper are not at all the same as a living cat. Still, a picture of a cat gives us an idea as to what a cat is. We can learn about a cat from observing a picture of it. Our emotions are like a picture of God's emotions. They aren't the same stuff at all, but they can give us an idea as to what God's emotions are like.

Perfection, wholeness and completeness, does not mean the absence of need. In other words, it does not mean a state of being to which need does not apply. I would imagine a pebble might be in such a state. I imagine that a pebble does not want, need, aspire, emote, attach. This is not a state of perfection but a disability of the pebble.

God is not as foreign to us as a pebble. His love for us is not akin to our love or appreciation for an inanimate object either, although, my guess is that you don't believe that.

His love for us is somewhat like the love we have for our children. It also is not exactly the same as that love. The picture of a cat and real cat analogy applies here also. That is why he calls Himself our Father. A father loves his children not just for who they are, but for who they are struggling to be. A father loves his children knowing that there are some things they can't know yet, and will learn as they grow. A father loves his children for who they are, but still expects more from them. He puts their shoes on their feet when they are very young, but by the time they are 5 years old, he expects his child to put his own shoes on. If the child refuses, the father may let him go outside without shoes and feel the pain of a gravely driveway, because that lesson is more satisfying to the child since he learned it himself. A father loves his child no less when the child says "I hate you! You don't love me! You're a liar!" He loves his child when the child disobeys, out of ignorance, disdain, rebelliousness.

Unlike human fathers, God does not make mistakes, He is never unloving, never has a bad day and just can't do it. This is what is meant by perfection. The love he intends is always the love he shows, this is what is meant by complete and whole. If he is pleased or displeased with us it is always appropriate.

August 13, 2008
3:05 pm
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Tez -

Having read your postings for many moons, a pattern is apparent. It saddens me.

Your references to a "Christian Bible" are comical because 2/3 of the writings contained in the Bible are NOT "Chr

August 13, 2008
3:08 pm
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Tez -

Having read your postings for many moons, a pattern is apparent. It saddens me.

Your references to a "Christian Bible" are comical because 2/3 of the writings contained in the BIBLE ARE not Christian in origin. They are Jewish Scriptures, including the Pentateuch (first five books, credited to Moses) and historical, poetical and prophetic Jewish works. Additionally, the books of the "Chr

- Ma Strong

August 13, 2008
3:10 pm
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Additionally, the books of what could be termed the "Christian" portion of the Bible (less than 1/3 of same) were recorded by -- drum roll -- JEWS: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul. Paul was a Pharisee, a highly educated Jewish scholar.

- Ma Strong

August 15, 2008
3:10 am
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soofoo

On the 13-Aug-08 you wrote:

"but they can give us an idea as to what God's emotions are like."

Emotions, being a part of the limbic system, formed over the eons of evolution in an earlier stage of the brain development, are survival orientated. Pleasure and pain are 'carrots' and 'whips' respectively that generally speaking motivate us towards behaviors that enhance our survival prospects. Even animals have emotions. Our primate cousins in particular are almost identical to us in regard to their emotional centres. They have very much the same kind of amygdala reactions as we do.

Sugar, when consumed to excess and inappropriately, is not good for us. Nevertheless sugar gives us an energy boost. It is understandable that eating sweet things gives pleasure. Pain, even emotional pain, is a warning to us that our survival is under threat in some way. A child, if abandoned by its mother, feels terrible emotional pain. This is survival orientated emotional pain or extreme 'displeasure' if you like. It is this childhood emotional pain of rejection and abandonment that adults feel retriggered in their emotional centres after a relationship breakup.

How can your God's survival prospects be either enhanced or diminished under threat, such that He is either pleased or displeased? It simply doesn't make any sense.

These quotes of yours were written down by mere men in the hebrew scriptures long before there was any understanding of the workings of the brain. The Christians simply adopted many books of the Jewish religion in putting together two thirds of their bible.

To think that your God is anthropomorphic is simplistic thinking. Your God of the bible was created by man in his own anthropomorphic image and likeness - not the reverse.

About your God you said:

"His love for us is somewhat like the love we have for our children."

One day in Auschwitz concentration camp a truckload of young, naked Jewesses was heading for the gas chamber. The naked girls were shrieking, screaming, howling, and begging pitifully to their God to save them from what they knew was their impending death by cruel Zxylon gas poisoning. A rabbi helplessly witnessing this terrible scene, outstretched his arms to heaven and loudly prayed to his Jewish God to save these potential mothers to be. Needless to say the girls all suffered a terrible death. When the rabbi realized that his prayers were unanswered, he simply screamed out: "There is no God!!!!"

Would you as an all knowing, all powerful and unconditionally loving Mother stand idly bye indifferent to the pleas and suffering of your young Jewish daughters?? Of course you wouldn't.

This is of course, unless, you (1)didn't know of their plight or (2)you couldn't do anything about it or (3)you didn't care or (4)a torturous life and death was in each of the young Jewess's best interests.

Which of the four options do you think applies to your God, the God of Abraham? Or do you see a fifth or sixth alternative explanation?

August 15, 2008
4:00 am
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StronginHim77

On the 13-Aug-08 you wrote"

"... Your references to a "Christian Bible" are comical because 2/3 of the writings contained in the BIBLE ARE not Christian in origin. They are Jewish Scriptures, including the Pentateuch (first five books, credited to Moses) and historical, poetical and prophetic Jewish works. Additionally, the books of the "Chr

- Ma Strong"

So? Tell me something that I don't already know.

Could it be that you missed my post "many moons" ago, giving the exact ratio of old testament to new testament pages clearly delineating their Jewish origins?

Or are you implying that 2/3 of your bible, the old testament, is to be ignored as being non-Christian and therefore irrelevant - not the literal and inspired word of your God?

Or are you implying that Christ did not want these Jewish scriptures included in your(His) bible?

Did Constantine and his bishops at the Council of Nicea throw out many 'good' scriptures and keep a lot of 'nonsense' instead?

You seem to be supporting my case here - are you not? I'm puzzled by that support. It is out of character.

And then you wrote:

"Additionally, the books of what could be termed the "Christian" portion of the Bible (less than 1/3 of same) were recorded by -- drum roll -- JEWS: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter and Paul. Paul was a Pharisee, a highly educated Jewish scholar."

So? This is common knowledge. What is your point?

Many times in the past I have made the point strongly that Christianity is a sect of Judaism. Your statement above only substantiates that fact. Paul was the one who institutionalized the Christian church ensuring its survival by 'Romanizing' it. Hmmm!

Paul even withstood James, Christ's sibling, to the teeth over fundamental basic issues. So here we have Paul, not even having ever met Christ let alone having been one of his apostles, shoving James into oblivion such that there isn't even a gospel of St. James surviving!!! Why are there only 4 gospels when there were 12 apostles????? Hmmm!! Something is smelly in Denmark! Could it be that the other 8 gospels or testaments to Christ's message didn't survive the Pauline tests of what Paul and later Constantine wanted in their Romanized version of the new Christian religion?

We are fortunate that despite Paul's and later Constantine's best efforts, the Gospel of St. Thomas, Mary, Phillip, Judas etc survived to be dug up in 1945 at Nag Hammadhi. Yes even Judas Eschariot the one suspiciously 'black balled' as a betrayer by the favoured 4, wrote a gospel!!! So much for the story of Potter's Field and his alleged suicide. Judas's gospel tells a different story - what we have left of it.

I challenge you and your fellow pastors to explain the writings of Thomas!!! Much of what Thomas wrote sure makes a hell of a lot of sense from a Buddhist perspective. But from a Christian perspective it is mostly unintelligible and is therefore summarily dismissed. Hmmm!!

No - I feel very sure you will duck such a challenge just as you side step every other one by throwing in irrelevant, red herrings like those above. You obviously having been thoroughly brainwashed by the Christian party line, I can expect little else. This makes me feel so sad realizing this.

Here you are a Christian pastor who will not face this challenge to the fundamental principles that underpin your beliefs, head on with alacrity in your heart! What would your Christ think of you if he was alive today reading this?? I doubt that he would duck such a challenge. In fact I doubt very much if Christ would be even a 'Christian' in today's Christianity, in any denomination, let alone yours. In fact the modern Christians would probably 'crucify' him all over again as a terrorist after a trial by military propaganda in the multimedia after a lengthy imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay.

August 15, 2008
11:29 am
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Wow. Impressive tirade. Reminds me of my kids when they were two...

- Ma

August 15, 2008
9:56 pm
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soofoo
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Your argument seems to be this:

1. emotions are survival oriented.

2. God does not need to improve his prospect for survival

Therefore, God does not have emotions.

But 1. is incorrect. Your claim that all emotions are survival oriented is false. Emotions can in fact, inspire people to act in ways that actually reduce their survival odds. For example, a soldier (who has no young to protect) and who willingly dies for his country because of his love for it. Compassion for the needy can cause people to part with resources for survival.

My view is not simplistic, it is metaphorical.

The second problem you brought up is the problem of pain. It's probably the best argument against the existence of God. If God exists, and is all-powerful and all-good then why does he allow innocent people to suffer?

August 15, 2008
10:06 pm
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StronginHim77, throw Tez back some criticisms of Dalai Lama. Best way to deal with this.

Ask him if he thinks its ok for Dalai Lama to be against homosexuality.

Ask him about the serfs that were enslaved until the 1950's to serve the Dalai Lama's.

He also believes in reincarnation. Thats not much different than any other irrational belief that cannot be supported by scientific evidence.

August 15, 2008
11:37 pm
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StronginHim77

On the 15-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Wow. Impressive tirade. Reminds me of my kids when they were two..."

As expected - you failed to address the questions regarding the serious flaws in your beliefs again, I see.

August 16, 2008
2:35 am
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Tez, how is reincarnation possible? As again, you've failed to address this serious flaw in your own beliefs as well.

August 16, 2008
8:52 am
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Hi Giggles
Glad I found you here. Anytime we bring up God everyone has different veiws. Two people can read a verse in the Bible and each take it different. I dont feel people bashing each other is very nice. Hey none of us are perfect cause if we were perfect My Higher Power that I call Jesus would not have had to die for us. I believe he Loves all of us. As i raised my daughter I expected her to obey me. She tryed the best she could to follow rules to protect her. There were times she screwed up. Jesus wants us to obey and respect him. Sometimes we screw up. He still Loves us just like we still Love our children. I feel he puts people in our life to help us.I dont think if we make a mistake he is going to Zap us with a Lighting bolt. We may have some hard times because of it. I feel he never turns away from us he helps us through the rough times if we ask him. I was reading what you wrote and I agree with it. Thats what I belive and how I feel . Im sure im going to get blasted by someone who reads this.
If thats how they feel its ok. Giggles I hope you have a Wonderful Day .God Bless You

August 16, 2008
2:53 pm
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((((Gunnyface)))) I am glad you found me too :o) Thanks for the encouraging words and for your input. I just posted this because I thought I'd share my thoughts on this book that I truly enjoy !!!

He never does turn away from us. It's us that turn away from Him. It took me years to figure this one out. BUT hey better late than never.

I hope you have a wonderful day also, and God Bless you !!!!

August 16, 2008
10:52 pm
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guest_guest

On the 16-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Tez, how is reincarnation possible?"

Before I will take you seriously and answer that question for you at some considerable length, firstly you will have to define for me in your own words, not with some lazy cut and paste, what you understand by the concept of reincarnation.

To make it simple enough for you to follow my requirements, if you simply say: "a person is born again into another body", then I will require you to explain your understanding of what constitutes a "person". So you see, when dealing with someone of your limited understandings, answering your question isn't a simple process.

You absense of any depth of thought will be exposed for all and sundry to see. As a consequence, you will in all probability throw in lots of irrelevant inanities to take the heat of yourself.

So I usually ignore your questions. It is much easier for all concerned that way.

Then you wrote:

"you've failed to address this serious flaw in your own beliefs as well."

There is a difference between you and Ma Strong. I had much more respect for Ma Strong's intelligence. That is why I was prepared to discuss the 'flaws' in her religious beliefs with her, in the vain hope that she would disabuse me of my misapprehensions. When she came back with personal abuse I have had to assume that she could not carry out this disabuse.

That is the difference. Get it?????

August 17, 2008
12:46 am
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Tez

If you dont believe in reincarnation (whatever your definition of it is), why dont you say that you dont believe in it, while giving a short definitation of it? Why throw back more questions unless you didnt want to answer me?

Now, I dont want to dig up the places where you've said you believe in reincarnation.

>> That is the difference. Get it?????

Calm down. Whats wrong Mr. Buddhist, anger management problems..? Where's your peace? Whats the difference between you and me if you loose your cool like that?

August 17, 2008
2:52 am
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guest_guest

On the 17-Aug-08 you wrote:

"Calm down. Whats wrong Mr. Buddhist, anger management problems..? "

The above statement is a classical example pf the projection about which I was speaking. Do you have an inkling of what projection is? Read and learn.

August 17, 2008
10:18 am
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Nah I'm fine.

August 17, 2008
10:43 pm
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guest_guest

On 17-Aug-08:

"Nah I'm fine"

I didn't think you had any inkling of what 'projection' is. Yet you are compulsively doing this repetitiously.

Step 1.

Go read up on the psychology underpinning 'projection' and 'transference'.

Step 2.

Turn within and look at what and who it is that you are both 'projecting' into and 'transferring' onto me respectively.

Step 3.

Deal with what is triggering off your emotional pain; triggers generated by your unconscious memories of that person(s).

Step 4.

Get on with the rest of your life.

Alternatively if you are too lazy to do the hard yards mentioned above then seek out a good therapist and spill your guts!

August 18, 2008
1:02 am
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Soofoo, your explanations in your August 13 post were really cool.

Tez, I don't think the gnostic gospels are accepted in most Christian denominations. Includes St. Thomas.

I think you'd find that "Christians", meaning those who follow the common churches- pentecostal, Catholic, baptist, etc., don't even know about the gnostic gospels.

free

August 18, 2008
7:42 pm
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I would like to go back and address the actual title of this thread (as it relates to my own personal experience:)

"Experiencing God"

I duuno EXACTLY WHAT this was one night - but one time - in the middle of the night - I sat straight up in my bed out of a sound sleep....and felt SOMETHING!!!!!!

It is really hard to describe.

(This coming from a person surrounded by all kinds of dictionaries......)

All I know is that I witnessed some kind of power.

The only way I know how to even begin to ATTEMPT to describe is - is that - if you could take all of the power and force of all of the tornadoes, hurricanes, tsumanis, earthquakes, thunder, lightning, in the world....that all of that power was not even a drop - NOT EVEN A SINGLE DROP in the bucket!!!!!!

It was a feeling of "force" quite literally BEYOND my own comprehension.......

It actually expanded BEYOND comprehension....but not beyond feeling.

At first, I met with this fear.

Then afterwards, the fear subsided and was replaced with an absolute sense of awe.

I don't know - to this day - exactly what that was.

I just know that it was quite the experience.

(I was completely sober and without any kind of medication at the time - in case some of you were wondering.....)

Just AWE-some - to be sure.

To experience a scant feeling of 'the unknowable.'

This happened to me many years ago.

I can recall it as if it were yesterday......

I think that it could be easy to just get stuck in the fear of it all because it was so powerful...but fear is not what 'it' was all about.

I dunno anymore than that.

Anyway, this title thread made me think about it........

August 18, 2008
9:58 pm
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Hm..

A 2 year olds tirade most definately won't include words beyond 2 syllables, comparitive study or religious examples that only those who can read, and grasp detailed concepts, can comprehend.
I think there would be lots of WAH's, and " I don't wanna do dat" or "I hate you's" or screaming, all being repeated over and over, in Tez's post..if he were acting like a 2 year old. There would be lots of sniffing and crying too.

I see lots of rational facts, archeological proof ( the Nag Hamadi findings)peppered with the occasional italics, bold and underline to emphasize a thought or specific idea, and a highly educated person trying to debate with those who just don't have the skill level.

That is frustrating for sure!Really can warrant one sentence inappropriate replies.LOL

Like how a stubborn, ignorant, kindergarten child responds to a teacher who is trying to teach language......."But you said BARE, not bear, you said a bad word!"
"Ok Timmy, now lets see what the two words, tho they sound the same, really mean"

No you said a bad word!

I didn't see any derogatory terms or "duhs" in the response's Tez gave.

Tez...I don't have the skill level, or education you do, nor the energy to dredge up old debates I've had elsewhere.
It sure felt good to see the facts laid out there as they ARE, not this twisted religeous crap people follow today.

Why is it better to remain in this primative religeous state? Embracing an editted version of spirituality?

Whew!There are people on AAC who don't beleive the doctrination, brainwashing within religeons, and are more esoteric about spiritual experience.

As an Agnostic, I feel comfort in that.

August 19, 2008
1:21 am
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Thanks MsGuided for your interesting observations. I appreciate your clearly presented thoughts and opinions.

August 19, 2008
1:25 am
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TruthBtold

Thanks for sharing your experience with "the unknowable" with us on the 18-Aug-08.

I certainly don't know what it was that you experienced. But I certainly hope that the experience changed your life for the better.

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