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Jesus isn't the ONLY way
May 28, 2009
11:16 am
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marypoppins
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(((Cary)))

Tez,

That IS an interesting article - "Why I'm not a Christian".

Mezzo3,

I like what you wrote:

"Life is the miracle. The present moment is the only time we are alive. In every moment, when we have awareness, no matter what our faith, life reveals itself to every one of us. I think the distinction between miracle or not-miracle is whether or not we pay attention and notice it."

Hope you are both well.

Mary

May 28, 2009
11:18 am
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Hope you are ALL well...

May 28, 2009
2:41 pm
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Mary,

Now that sounds more like it! It is hard not to allow the negative energy from organized religion bring you down. Keep your focus on what you believe and your realtionship with a Higher Power as you know it, or not at all if that is where you are.

Best,

Cary

May 29, 2009
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Jesus said: "This sky shall pass away, and the one above it shall pass away. And the dead are not alive, and the living shall not die. In the days when you consumed the dead, you transformed it to life--when you come into the Light, what will you do? On the day when you were united, you became separated--yet when you have become separated, what will you
do?
" - Thomas 11.

May 29, 2009
12:02 pm
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thomas on crack, maybe. hey Tez, thanks for the interesting (?) article. me, erudite? i had to look that one up. i’ll try to be brief with my response although we’re dealing with a lot of material and wayward views, and then there’s the article. let me get right to it.

1) her references were correct but her eisegesis (compare to exegesis) of the text seemed to make the Bible simply a pretext for rattling off her opinions. i've heard many people say what they think about God. but any opinion that man has about God is irrelevant. evidently, however, she’s not above making text up to support her opinions. for example, the author states that in Numbers 31, Moses said, “The lord says spare the lives only of the young girls who have not slept with a man, and take them for yourselves, so that we may multiply into a great nation.” perhaps she needed to add those last few words about multiply into a great nation to support her contention that the young girls were raped by the soldiers, but it’s not in Numbers 31.

the author then states, “So now I ask you, if you could not marry a Midianite, just what were these virgin woman who were to help multiply” good for? i’m thinking what kind of a depraved woman comes up with this statement, and who said you couldn’t marry a Midianite? Moses was married to a Midianite. the forbidden unions are listed in Deut. 7:1-5.

did she think like minded atheists wouldn’t read the Bible? please read Numbers 25:6-9. were these two married as she contends? does it say his wife? were they speared through the genitals as she says? why is she making this and the rape stuff up? isn’t the slaughter of Midian enough to get her point across?

genocide is genocide, but a little context to make sense of it from God’s point of view. Israel was engaging in acts of sexual immorality (not marriage) with the woman of Moab. the Midianites lived in Moab at the time. since this was part of the pagan cult that was worshiped by the Moabites, the Israelites joined in these idolatrous practices when they got involved with the women. this was a violation of the first commandment. God had ordered Moses to take vengeance on the Midianites because they had corrupted God's people (Num. 25).

2) you want me to evaluate the validity of an atheist’s logic? first of all, no offence meant, but as we see here an atheist needs to exhaust all their logic to defend a falsehood. people today who reject Jesus continue to prove that man can't know God's truth, or they wouldn't be rejecting Jesus. they can try by logic to find it, but they won't find it--because it is not knowable in that way. brilliant Romans and educated, well-known Jews schooled in the Old Testament together crucified Christ. that shows how far off human wisdom can be from the truth.

second, no doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. in Psalm 50:21 God says, “You thought that I was just like you.” but God is not like us, nor can He be held to human standards. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8, 9). nuff said. if you have a particular question on one of her points, i’d be happy to answer it. it’s certainly an error rich article, too bad, really.

grace and peace

May 29, 2009
12:16 pm
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glittered when he walked
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Sorry this statement just leaves me speechless: "genocide is genocide, but a little context to make sense of it from God’s point of view."

God's point of view? Gott Mit Uns?

May 29, 2009
8:16 pm
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bereft

Thanks for your very thought provoking and mentally challenging response. Because of my time limitations at the present moment, I will address only the first part of your response. The rest I will follow up with another post later.

You wrote:

"thomas on crack, maybe. hey Tez, thanks for the interesting (?) article."

I guess that your response was based upon your thinking that this passage - reportedly spoken by Christ by Thomas - is 'gobble-dy-gook'. It is my unproven and unsubstantiated belief that the vast majority of Christians then and since have had the same response as you upon reading Thomas's Gospel. However, I think Thomas gives a very different perspective on Christ to that given in the four gospels that Constantine ratified and promulgated as being 'kosher' . I further suspect that the basis for this ratification was based upon the easily understood nature of these four biblical gospels. I think that Christ was a mystic who was not easily understood by the vast majority of his followers. Knowing this, I believe that Christ, as did the Buddha, gave his teachings at different levels to account for this lack of understanding of his teachings at depth by his followers then just as it is now.

According to the mystic apostle, Thomas, Jesus said:

"This sky shall pass away, and the one above it shall pass away. And the dead are not alive, and the living shall not die. In the days when you consumed the dead, you transformed it to life--when you come into the Light, what will you do? On the day when you were united, you became separated--yet when you have become separated, what will you do?"

I'm definitely not on crack or any other drug of any kind. Yet taking the Buddhist perspective, this is my piecemeal interpretation of the above passage:

"This sky shall pass away, and the one above it shall pass away...

All 'things' in this universe are impermanent. According to the Buddha, this is a universal truth.

"And the dead are not alive,..."

Inanimate objects do not have conscious awareness associated with them as do sentient beings.

"... and the living shall not die.

The conscious awareness of sentient beings has no beginning nor end and thus knows no such termination of consciousness as 'death' would seem to imply.

"... In the days when you consumed the dead, you transformed it to life ..."

When 'alive', sentient beings such as yourselves consume both inanimate and 'once living' foodstuffs therein creating 'living' cells within your bodies.

"...when you come into the Light, what will you do? ...

Near Death Experiences(NDEs) are reported as entailing seeing a supernatural "Light". The Bardo Thodol states that this "Light" is the pure, clear luminescence of our own minds - though few of us will recognize this. Thus, through ignorance of this 'fact', we will react very differently according to our beliefs at that stage. "What will you do?" is Christ's challenge to us; now, while we are in the position to learn the truth about this experience that is coming to all of us without exception.

"...On the day when you were united, you became separated..."

At one stage your conscious awareness was completely undifferentiating. Then upon taking on the practice of participating in the generation of and interfacing to higher levels of cellular organizations such as the brain that animates sentient beings, your conscious awareness started reifying, differentiating and labeling 'objects' from the undifferentiated 'whole'. You created a 'subject', your 'self', and objects, 'selfs' and 'forms' of every kind that are other than you. All such separation is an illusion.

"--yet when you have become separated, what will you do?"

Now that this delusion of 'self and other' has taken a firm hold of your 'mind', what will you do to return to your original state of enlightened consciousness?

Since the Buddha's teachings are based upon his own actual mystical experiences and Christ seems also to have been a mystic whose teachings were likewise based, it appears reasonable that Christ's teachings as reported by Thomas can be readily understood when coming from a Buddhist perspective. Even the bible's reports of Christ's experiences in the desert prior to his 'coming out' make a lot more sense when seen as Christ's meditation experiences while doing battle with the delusions of his own mind on its final stages towards 'enlightenment'. This is not to imply that Christ's experiences were any less 'real' - whatever 'real' means.

Shalom.

May 30, 2009
2:19 pm
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I identify myself as a Christian and an Episcopal flavored one at that.

This site is for HEALING and getting over whatever brought us here. Banging people over the head with religion is not what is going to bring them to Christ. Yes, God hates sin, but telling someone you have sin in your life is why you are depressed hurts more than it helps. Often times it keeps them from getting the medical help they need.

I had an aunt who was shot and paralyzed when she worked for a bank that was robbed, there was a well known evangelist who toured the country in the 1970's she went to one of his revivals looking for healing and was told that God wouldn't heal her because there was sin in her family.

I appreciate that the Site Coordinator still allows us to discuss religion on this side since WE ALL managed to get it banned from the other side.

Bereft, please know that I say this as a fellow Christian, please tone it down just a little. You are not winning friends and most importantly you are not influencing people. I have watched more people turn away from God because of the type thing you are doing than I have watched come to God because of it.

Ma and Healing and Peace and Someone Else has been the voice of reason on this thread and I would like to thank them.

Mary has just simply pointed out that it is really arrogant of we Christians to think that we have the secret password into heaven and that all should think kand do as we think and do...Doesn't that negate free will?

I happen to Believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, The Truth, and the Light but once you tell me you aren't interested ... well thanks for sharing. I honestly believe that for some people the only experience they will have with Christ is through me as a reflection of Him. HOW MANY OF US HERE HAVE BENEFITTED FROM THE WISDOME OF MA STRONG? I know I have. I have been angry with her for saying some of the things she said to me early on but when I calmed down I realized she was right and said what I needed to hear. By the same token Mary Poppin's has pissed me off, she has called me on some things and made me angry. When I calmed down I realized she was right.

Bereft I am begging you to be a kinder, gentler, version of yourself. Banging people over the head isn't helping

Destiny, I like you but must ask you what you gain from stirring up the shit with Mary Poppins? As my MIL used to say: When you stir up shit all you do is stir up the stink.

Bitsy

May 30, 2009
3:13 pm
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(((Bitsy))) Well, I wish I were at the beach, as you are.

You're right that we're fortunate to be able to post about religion and everything else here. You and I have gone through a lot since we started posting here - and learned much about ourselves through our interactions with others here. Some of the lessons haven't been so easy, have they?

I've gone on a kind of journey with this thread and the other. I won't comment specifically on any one person anymore, but people show who they are - how they may be hurt and/or damaged and fearful in the words they post - in what they say and how they say it, regardless of the topic, people reveal themselves.

Sometimes we're triggered - reminded of mom or dad or maybe even the nuns at Catholic school. All opportunities to learn.

Love, peace, and healing to us all.

Mary

May 30, 2009
7:45 pm
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Here are the words I am trying to say. Bereft you do not have to be wrong for Mary to be right and Mary you do not have to be wrong for Bereft to be right. I cannot take credit for the saying I read it somewhere else just now and it made so much sense to this thread.

Bitsy

May 31, 2009
7:44 am
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Bereft.

You also wrote:

"2) you want me to evaluate the validity of an atheist’s logic?"

I don't see that atheism of the lady has any relevance to the validation or otherwise of her logic. As a gung ho practicing Christian at one time, I desperately tried to validate the illogical, contradictory nature of the bible in my attempt to quell my cognitive dissonance. I'm still trying to understand how highly logical, scientifically minded quantum physicists can compartmentalize their minds into parts that accept religious superstitions totally uncritically, yet in other compartments maintain a very critical scientific approach to the nature of their reality.

You also wrote:

" ...first of all, no offence meant,..."

None taken.

You also wrote:

"... but as we see here an atheist needs to exhaust all their logic to defend a falsehood."

No I don't see quite see this at all. I see that reason is being used to expose superstitious beliefs quite effectively.

You also wrote:

"... people today who reject Jesus continue to prove that man can't know God's truth, or they wouldn't be rejecting Jesus...."

This statement implies that those who don't reject the concatenated and understandably shallow teachings of Jesus as found in the Bible, can know their God's truth. This is not logical. It is pure belief. If a Hindu wrote: "... people today who reject Krishna continue to prove that man can't know God's truth, or they wouldn't be rejecting Krishna...." you would most probably rightfully scorn this statement as being belief based only. Yet you fail to see that your own 'certainty' is faith based alone and without a basis in reason.

You also wrote:

"... they can try by logic to find it, but they won't find it--because it is not knowable in that way. ..."

The Buddha said the same thing about his mystical teachings. He said that his teachings were like fingers pointing at the 'moon'; they are not to be mistaken for the 'moon' itself. Does this mean that the Buddha's teachings are to be taken on board as uncritically as Christian biblical scholars appear to do in regard to the bible? The Buddha was emphatic that we should not take his or any other authority's teachings as being true without first verifying them from our own experience.

You also wrote:

"... brilliant Romans and educated, well-known Jews schooled in the Old Testament together crucified Christ. that shows how far off human wisdom can be from the truth."

I don't think thatthis statement of yours shows anything other than the bigoted and closed minded nature of those people that you mentioned. They would have had crucified anyone who dared to stand up to them and who incited their Jewish flock to reject their superstitious religious beliefs. It says nothing about the validity or otherwise of Christ's teachings.

You also wrote:

"... second, no doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. ...

This is unsubstantiated conjecture. If I wrote: "... no doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that belief in the existence of some God is absolutely mythical superstition." I would be just as remiss for writing that. In fact it appears that the superstitious minds of primitive man naturally attributed supernatural powers to demons and deities of all kinds. Atheism seems to have had very few adherents in primitive societies who tried to explain crop failures away in terms of retribution from angered deities. This is unsubstantiated conjecture on my part also, just as was yours in your statement.

You also wrote:

"... in Psalm 50:21 God says, “You thought that I was just like you.” but God is not like us, nor can He be held to human standards. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8, 9)."

Yet the bible also states that we humans were created in the image and likeness of God! - Genesis 1:26, Genesis 5:1, James 3:9 et. al.

This is just another example of the biblical contradictions of which I spoke earlier.

You also wrote:

"... nuff said. if you have a particular question on one of her points, i’d be happy to answer it. it’s certainly an error rich article, too bad, really."

How can you reconcile your belief in the existence of Satan, who supposedly was created and empowered by your God, with your belief that your God is all powerful, all knowing and infinitely loving and good?

She wrote:

"... verse Isaiah 45:7. “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I the lord do all these things”. The Christian God outright claims that he is indeed the source of evil. So how can he then claim to be sinless?"

The King James version certainly contains this quote. My question to you is: 'how can you reconcile your God creating evil with being infinitely loving and good?'

Namaste.

June 1, 2009
11:17 am
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glittered when he walked
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.....e_question

In other words, one cannot use a conclusion as a premise in the same argument.

June 1, 2009
7:56 pm
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glittered when he walked.

To which argument(or statement) do you refer?

June 2, 2009
9:43 am
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glittered when he walked
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tez,

not yours - my apologies. Just the circular logic I see in the posts of others at times.

To wit:
Q: Can you know that Jesus Christ was the son of God?
A: Yes
Q: How?
A: I read that Jesus said so in the bible.

June 2, 2009
9:48 am
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glittered when he walked
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and please..it's either "glittered" or "g-man" or "g-mun', not even my mother calls me by my full aac name. ; )

kidding, any resonable facsimile thereif will do.

June 2, 2009
9:49 am
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err...thereof.

June 2, 2009
9:56 am
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I am really "out of the loop." Thought Tez had left these threads or been banned or something?

Tez, please straighten me out and share what really happened?

- Olde Ma Strong

June 2, 2009
9:59 am
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Glittered,

I can always count on you to make me smile. You really do entertain me to no end.

Thank you for that 🙂

Lolli

June 2, 2009
11:25 am
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Popping in to say that Tez was NEVER banned. Guest was banned.

So good to see you posting, Tez. Hope you're well.

Mary

June 2, 2009
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Lolli,

Thanks : ) and might I say every time I see your name on here the "schoolhouse rock" adverb song goes off in my head.

specifically "Lolli lolli lolli get your adverbs here..."

http://video.google.com/videos.....hoolhouse#

June 2, 2009
12:07 pm
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in my opinion, an interesting article:

"The Strategies of Christian Fundamentalism" by Joseph R. Kiefer II @ http://secweb.infidels.org/?ki.....#038;id=39

June 2, 2009
4:34 pm
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Tez, sorry for the delay. thank you for taking the time to respond to my previous post. i appreciate the thought you’ve brought into this discussion, your rebuttals, and the ideas you have expressed.

i've posted about the canonicity of the Bible before. God gives the books of the Bible their divine authority. God’s people recognize this authority but they do not determine its authority. as you said, God's people have not recognized the gnostic gospel of thomas, and it was also rejected by various councils in church history. Eusebius, shortly after it was written, said that it should be “cast aside as absurd and impious” because its style and content clearly show it not to be apostolic.

however, having yourself admitted that about the gospel of thomas, you continue to offer as logic your unargued bias ("It is my unproven and unsubstantiated belief"), mere opinion ("Thomas gives a very different perspective on Christ"), ignorant conjecture ("Constantine ratified and promulgated the gospels" and the basis for it), arbitrary statements (I think that Christ was a mystic), and relativism ("Knowing this, I believe that Christ, as did the Buddha.."). within one paragraph, you have proven my point that an atheist needs to exhaust all logic to defend a falsehood.

people say Jesus was a great teacher, or Jesus was a prophet, or Jesus was moral leader, or Jesus was a man with Christ consciousness, or Jesus was a philosopher, and you make Him out to be a mystic based on a spurious gospel. well Jesus is not a mystic. Jesus is God. no mystic can baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. He was not delusional in the wilderness. He was not on his way to "enlightenment." He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

now glittered (whoa, g-man) may claim here "circular logic, circular logic," but then deny within this claim that he needs God to account for the laws of logic and inductive reasoning, not to mention uniformity in nature, predication, human dignity, an invariant moral code, laws of science, mathematics and everything else that underlies all his thinking,...but i digress.

all men reason in a circular manor, it’s just that unbelievers reason in a vicious circle. i'm placing an unbeliever’s circular reasoning, which is filled with self-contradiction and irrationalism, over against a believer’s circular reasoning based on the Bible, which makes total sense out of life.

Jesus did teach at different levels to be sure, but not to account for lack of understanding as you would have it, Tez, but of unbelief. often in his parables he would obscure the truth from unbelievers while making it clearer to his disciples (Matthew 13:10-17). unbelief is the cause of spiritual blindness or deadness, or as thomas might have said when he wasn't following buddha, “and the dead (spiritually) are not alive (spiritually).”

by definition, atheists are spiritually dead. not only are atheists spiritually dead and blind, but they are fools (Psalm 14:1). following the logic of a fool is the same as the blind leading the blind. say, isn't that in the Bible?

but you say, “No I don't see quite see this at all. I see that (the author's) reason is being used to expose superstitious beliefs quite effectively.” how is there reason in fabrications? how is there logic in adding her own text to make a point? what it proves is that from a depraved mind come depraved opinions. are you condoning her spurious logic? are you saying her conclusions justify her means?

how can the author possibly know enough to stand in judgment of the God of the Bible? her “certain” positions are actually uncertain as they are based in her own conclusions and feelings. she crucifies reason as her rationalism rests on irrationalism. God is never to be measured by what seems fair to human judgment. are we so foolish as to assume that we who are fallen, sinful creatures have a higher standard of what is right than an unfallen and infinitely, eternally holy God? what kind of pride is that?

my contention was people today who reject Jesus continue to prove that man can't know God's truth by logic or human wisdom, or they wouldn't be rejecting Jesus. as i pointed out, the life of Jesus is an illustration of this truth.

most of the Jewish people totally and absolutely rejected their own Messiah in spite of seeing miracle after miracle over a period of three years. now they had all the proof necessary (John 10:38), but when it was all said and done, they screamed for His blood and executed Him. the Bible says the unbeliever doesn’t recognize spiritual truth because he is spiritually dead (Eph 2:1). man's problem is not intellectual, it's moral.

you say the buddha said we should not take his or any other authority's teachings as being true without first verifying them from our own experience. by rejecting any concept of a God who is truth in His very being, atheist have cut themselves off from any connection to truth that transcends their transitory experiences, and yet this is the Way to which buddha points you to? if there is not God, then do you recognize there is not truth beyond your own experience? how do you know what is true and what is false? how do you know what is right and what is wrong? my experience and your experience is not the test or proof of Biblical truth. experience does not override God's truth.

you may say in your logic it is "unsubstantiated conjecture" that the natural mind despises the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. i say, look to the questions you have asked. the proud Jewish leaders said about Christ, "We will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19:14; John 1:10-11). human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything, that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. in the end, we have no credible reason as to why we reject Christ, save our pride (1 Cor. 1:20).

there are no contradictions in the Bible (WHAT? !! GASP!) and you have based your rejection of the Bible and Jesus on supposed contradictions. the problem with your first question is a confusion about what it means to be made in the image of God. being made in the image of God is not the same to having the nature of God. man is created in the image of God in the sense that he is a person as God is a person, possessing mind, will, and emotions, that he is reasonable, unique among creation, a ruler over creation, and capable of personal relationships.

we bear the image of God, but we do not share His nature or substance or make-up. we are not omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, or infinite. God is the only being that is holy in and of Himself. we are made in His image and have dignity because of that, but we are not an exact duplicate of God in any sense of the word. that status is reserved for the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Col. 2:8, Heb. 1:3, 2 Cor. 4:4).

i will answer your last question and the author's question in a later post. i need a cup of tea.

grace and peace

June 2, 2009
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bereft

Thanks for your post of the 2-Jun-09 in which you wrote:

"Eusebius, shortly after it was written, said that it should be “cast aside as absurd and impious” because its style and content clearly show it not to be apostolic."

This statement only reinforces my belief that the dominant, but shallow thinking fathers of the early Christian church rejected Thomas's gospels because they didn't understand them. The words "absurd and impious" would certainly be the words I would have used at one time long ago in describing the Gospel of St Thomas; at a time when I was a gungho practicing Christian.

Would you deny that the Gospel according to St. Thomas is his genuine teachings? Of course I have no proof that it is or isn't. Have you? I base my unsubstantiated belief in the authenticty of St. Thomas's gospels on the very deep insights contained therein. This Gospel is my basis for my belief that Christ was a mystic. This gospel helps me make any sense out of the four gospels contained within the bible.

I certainly do not believe in either the authenticity of the bible as containing anything like Christ's
message at any depth. I believe that the bible contains only what the earliest followers with the exception of Thomas, and perhaps Judas and Phillip, could grasp.

Would you agree that Paul and Rome largely determined what the Christian church believes today?

Do you agree that two thirds of the bible is a plagairisation from the scriptures of Judaism thus making modern day Christianity a breakaway sect of same?

Just look at the idea of the 'sacrificial lamb' whose body and blood is sacrificed for the remission of sins on the altar at every celebration of every Catholic mass in the form of the eucharist. This practice smacks of imitations of the days of primitive, superstitious, sacrificial practices of early Judaism.

Would you deny that Catholicism is genuine Christianity in practice?

I suspect that your fundamental belief that the bible contains the inspired word of your Christian God underpins your faith in the validity of what it contains. Is this suspicion of mine correct?

June 2, 2009
7:13 pm
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StronginHim77

On the 2-Jun-09 you wrote:

"I am really "out of the loop." Thought Tez had left these threads or been banned or something?

Tez, please straighten me out and share what really happened?"

Mary cleared that matter up in her post of the 2-Jun-09. Thanks Mary.

I don't want to dredge up old grievances - so I will let 'sleeping dogs' lie.

June 3, 2009
12:59 am
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saying the bible elps somepeople lead a better life is one thing....that's just awesome..ya know?

But saying Jesus Christ is the son of God because it says so in the bible is like saying santa claus exists because of the "The Night before Christmas."

While you may "believe" that "God" made life the universe and everything...you cannot prove it, nor can i disprove it. It's just absurd to use circular logic that begs the question. Are we to believe that countless brilliant christian and non-christian philosophers have failed where these others have now succeeded by claiming 'well it says so in the bible." or "because there is logic, God must exist."

Yeah..Betrand Russell, Immanuel Kant, David Hume, etc. are just complete fools. I mean geez..Descartes at least offered a more eloquent ontological argument that nonetheless "begged the question" as well. It's a bare assertion.

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