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Jesus isn't the ONLY way
June 10, 2009
9:14 pm
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A poem by St. John Of The Cross, the Christian mystic:

"Stanzas Concerning An Ecstasy Experienced In High Contemplation

I entered into unknowing,
and there I remained unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

1. I entered into unknowing,
yet when I saw myself there,
without knowing where I was,
I understood great things;
I will not say what I felt
for I remained in unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

2. That perfect knowledge
was of peace and holiness
held at no remove
in profound solitude;
it was something so secret
that I was left stammering,
transcending all knowledge.

3. I was so 'whelmed,
so absorbed and withdrawn,
that my senses were left
deprived of all their sensing,
and my spirit was given
an understanding while not understanding,
transcending all knowledge.

4. He who truly arrives there
cuts free from himself;
all that he knew before
now seems worthless
,
and his knowledge so soars
that he is left in unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

5. The higher he ascends
the less he understands,
because the cloud is dark
which lit up the night;
whoever knows this
remains always in unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

6. This knowledge in unknowing
is so overwhelming
that wise men disputing
can never overthrow it,
for their knowledge does not reach
to the understanding of not
understanding,

transcending all knowledge.

7. And this supreme knowledge
is so exalted
that no power of man or learning
can grasp it;
he who masters himself
will, with knowledge in
unknowing,
always be transcending.

8. And if you should want to hear:
this highest knowledge lies
in the loftiest sense
of the essence of God;
this is a work of his mercy,
to leave one without
understanding,
transcending all knowledge.

"

June 12, 2009
8:50 pm
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Healing.. and peace
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Tez, thanks for those last few post! I love reading them, and your take on them.

June 14, 2009
12:16 pm
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on my way
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Hey Tez,

Wish I could offer with some hard core explanations to you. I know that these are questions that you have had for awhile now, and it still seems as if you have not received any answers that you can accept.

All i can say is that first it is a matter of faith, then a matter of acceptance, then a matter of personally knowing and realizing that your life has changed and continues to change. Faith is the key, and I know after conversations with you that 'blind' faith is difficult for you to understand and accept.

I grew up with religion, but by faith entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have salvation but it is a daily walk. Regarding evil....God created satan, but did not create his will. So at this point in time, free will runs rampant. Even though I have been saved, I still have free will for example. It causes adversity in my life, but not evil. I would have to pursue evil on my own to make evil in my life and I do not choose to do that. I choose to pursue God and all that He represents, yet my free will causes adversity in my life. So, there is a difference between 'adversity' and 'evil' in the world.

I don't know if you have noticed or not but Israel is the focal point of all the trouble that is to come. Everything is playing out and will play out in the Middle East. Iran is poised to attack, as well as the surrounding countries. Watch the Middle East. Currently, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are in jeopardy....two states are being proposed as you may know. God will not allow the Jewish people nor Israel to be destroyed, He will protect them. These are prophecies in the Bible that are currently coming to pass.

I don't know how to help you understand. I know where your heart is, and I know your belief system. It is different than mine, and I know that no one has ever been able to answer your questions about evil or why God allows evil. I hope one day soon that someone can do this for you.

Take care,
omw

June 14, 2009
2:15 pm
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soofoo
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Tez,
I like that poem.

Having a mystical experience is like that moment when you've been walking all around the house looking for your glasses and you finally realize that you are wearing them.

It seems impossible that everything that has ever existed and will ever exist is already inside of you, but it is true. It's all there and there is no need to go anywhere else.

June 14, 2009
9:35 pm
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marypoppins
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Tez,

There are no answers to some questions. Maybe we'll find out more when we die, maybe not.

Not knowing is uncomfortable to many, so they hold on to explanations of life's mysteries that can't be proven. However, believing they're true helps them sleep at night and get through life.

In my opinion, the idea of a loving father-figure god, who beieves people need "saving" is very appealing to people who have grown up in abusive homes. Surely the idea of rewards in heaven has given some hope to poor masses and helped to attract martyrs for various causes.

I think it's okay to continue questioning and searching. For some people, there's no other way to live.

All the best to you!

Mary

June 15, 2009
11:05 pm
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marypoppins

You wrote:

"However, believing they're true helps them sleep at night and get through life."

I suspect that you might be right.
The interesting thing is that mystics of any persuasion do not seem to fear death, nor do they seem to me to resort to quoting scriptures from any religion. But not knowing all the mystics who ever lived, I am probably wrong here.

How often did Christ resort to quoting from those scriptures contained within the bible or from any other for that matter? Rarely, I believe. I find it incredible that Christ rarely justified, clarified, quoted from, explained in more depth and elaborated upon the scriptures contained within the old testament of the bible. Was this because Christ was a mystic? Or was there another reason? For that matter, for what reason were the old testament scriptures included in the Bible??? Did they fill in all the blanks that Christ's mysticism left unfilled?

Perhaps there is another reason. Perhaps mystics, in seeing reality for themselves, know that there are no words to convey an impression of that reality other than ineffectively in verse or in ineffable writings.

For example see this verse:

"7. And this supreme knowledge
is so exalted
that no power of man or learning
can grasp it;
he who masters himself
will, with knowledge in
unknowing,
always be transcending."
- St. John of the Cross.

This was written by an eminent Christian mystic and a cannonized saint - not some crack sniffing hippie. This verse for me means:

Absolute knowledge of reality is so exalted that it is far beyond the intellect to grasp , or words to describe it that only those who master their own minds to the extent that their thoughts no longer master them, will with the vision of 'pure mind' always be seeing through the delusions of the common perceptions of ordinary mankind to what underpins all forms including common perceptions of same.

These illusionary 'common perceptions' also include, I believe, the generally accepted meaning of the scriptures contained within the bible.

I believe that the only hell that Bereft or anyone else will ever see is that which the deluded mind generates within the ego boundaries of that same mind - irrespective of whether attached to a body or not. Such a hell would seem to be 'real' to that mind none the less, IMHO.

Om mani padme hum.

June 15, 2009
11:14 pm
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soofoo
14-Jun-09

"Tez, I like that poem."

Me, too.

"It seems impossible that everything that has ever existed and will ever exist is already inside of you, but it is true. It's all there and there is no need to go anywhere else."

Yep! Inside of Bereft, and you too. But have the dualistic terms 'inside' and 'outside' any real meaning outside of the constructs of the ego mind? That is the 'sixty million dollar' question!!

June 15, 2009
11:16 pm
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on my way

On 14-Jun-09 you wrote:

"Hey Tez,

Wish I could offer with some hard core explanations to you."

Thanks for trying, anyway.

June 15, 2009
11:18 pm
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Healing.. and peace

On the 12-Jun-09 you wrote:

"Tez, thanks for those last few post! I love reading them, and your take on them."

Thanks for your thanks. I hope everything is both 'healed and peaceful' for you - at least for today, if not some others.

June 16, 2009
1:19 pm
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“How often did Christ resort to quoting from those scriptures contained within the bible or from any other for that matter? Rarely, I believe. I find it incredible that Christ rarely justified, clarified, quoted from, explained in more depth and elaborated upon the scriptures contained within the old testament of the bible....for what reason were the old testament scriptures included in the Bible???...Tez

first, Jesus was the theme of the old testament. He said to the Jewish leaders, "Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39). Revelation 19:10 declares, "Worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

second, this is what He taught: "Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He [the Lord] expounded unto them [the disciples], in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:27).

Jesus fulfilled the old testament. Matthew 5:17--"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Matthew 26:24--"The Son of man goeth as it is written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born." Matthew 26:54--"How, then, shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"

Luke 16:17; 18:31--"It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail ... Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished."

Jesus believed the old testament. Matthew 22:24-32 the sadducees were questioning Jesus about the resurrection, "saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren; and the first, when he had married a wife, died and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother; likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.... And last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Issac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."

as you can see, Jesus took the precise terms of Scripture very seriously.

Jesus also acknowledged the power of Scripture. when Jesus was tempted by Satan, He responded each time by replying, "It is written" (Matt. 4:3-10). He used the power of God's Word to combat Satan. does it sound to you, Tez, that Jesus was on His way to enlightenment?

Jesus literally fulfilled hundreds of messianic prophecies. for example, Christ was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; Matt. 2:1), He suffered and died on a cross (Ps. 22; Matt. 27:46; John 19:28), and He rose from the dead (Isa. 53:9-10; Ps. 16:10; Matt. 28).

Jeus established the truths of the old testament. Adam and Eve--In Matthew 19:4-5 Christ said, "Have ye not read that he who made them at the beginning, made them male and female; and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh?" the Flood--Jesus believed in a literal Noah and a literal flood. in Matthew 24:37-38 He said, "As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark." Abraham's hope--Genesis 15:6 says Abraham was justified by faith. Jesus said, "Your father, Abraham, rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad" (John 8:56). Sodom and Gomorrah--Jesus confirmed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot's wife (Matt. 10:15; Luke 17:29, 32). the burning bush--Jesus confirmed the miraculous call of Moses (Mark 12:26). manna from heaven--Jesus spoke of the manna that was provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness (John 6:31-51). the brazen serpent--In John 3:14 Jesus referred to the brazen serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness.

rarely, Tez? rarely? time and again Christ repeatedly confirmed the authority of the old testament. in addition, He established the sufficiency of Scripture to save mankind; "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them" (Luke 16:29). in context His point was miracles are not necessary for men to be saved; all that is needed is the word of the prophets.

He who is the Truth knew, believed, and submitted to the inspired writings with no reservations.

finally, there are only three possibilities concerning Jesus' testimony to Scripture: 1) there are no errors in Scripture; 2) there are errors, but Jesus didn't know them and therefore was not God; 3) there are errors and He knew about them but covered them up and is not holy. if God is holy, if Christ is holy then we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

ye do err, Tez, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. keep pressing on, brother.

grace and peace

June 16, 2009
1:54 pm
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Hey all! Its been a while...

Tez, thanks for posting the words from the Mystics! I really enjoyed them.

As a christian I personally believe that Christ is the only way... FOR ME.

I believe that the creator is higher and more knowledgeable than any human could possibly imagine. With that in mind, I find it hard to belive that I can Mari, could place the creator in a box... As if he/she/it (whatever you would like to place there) was not more powerful than my personal ideologies beliefs and ideas.

I have met people of many faiths and some without organized faiths who I honestly believe in my heart were spiritual and had a connection just as I believe I have one.

The table cannot describe the carpenter.... in that i mean the created should not try to describe the creator and place the creator in a box.

There is truth to severals faiths that I find inspiring and uplifting. We can all learn from each others beliefs and lack of beliefs. (One of the greatest learning experiences for me was befriending an Atheist in college. We have a wonderful friendship and we haved learned and grown together)

It amazes how people will continue to but heads and argue about something that no human (in my oppinion)can prove

My beliefs are what they are and I would never tell someone my faith is the only way... How do I know that Jesus isnt with them? I dont.

None of us have all of the answers.. I do love learning what other answers people have developed however.

Love and Peace to All!

Mari

June 16, 2009
7:48 pm
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bereft

I again thank you for both your learned response and the time and effort that you so obviously expended in producing same.

You wrote:

"ye do err, Tez, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. keep pressing on, brother."

Thanks for your valiant efforts to disabuse me of my ignorance. I have every reason to believe that your knowledge of the bible is far superior to mine and I have nothing to believe otherwise.

Yet still I am puzzled. You do do not seem to give any quotes anywhere in your response that show Christ quoting from the old testament and following up with an elucidating explanation for the more difficult passages, therein showing how they do not contradict the concept that there exists a loving God.

I previously wrote: "How often did Christ resort to quoting from those scriptures contained within the bible or from any other for that matter? Rarely, I believe. I find it incredible that Christ rarely justified, clarified, quoted from, explained in more depth and elaborated upon the scriptures contained within the old testament of the bible..."

I guess that 'rarely' is a word that conjures up in the mind a ratio of the number of statements Christ made to the number of quotes that he made from the old testament.

Perhaps you might kindly give me a biblical reference to where in the new testament I might find a passage showing where Christ quotes a passage from the old testament, such as the quote from Leviticus below, and then clearly shows how the love of Christ's God(his primary message, no?) shines through such obviously offensive passages?

"Lev.15: 19-30.

19 " 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

20 " 'Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. 21 Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 22 Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening.

24 " 'If a man lies with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean.

25 " 'When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.

28 " 'When she is cleansed from her discharge, she must count off seven days, and after that she will be ceremonially clean. 29 On the eighth day she must take two doves or two young pigeons and bring them to the priest at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 30 The priest is to sacrifice one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. In this way he will make atonement for her before the LORD for the uncleanness of her discharge."

If the bible contains the literal word of your God then, no matter in what context this scripture was written, how offensive is this to women in general???? I would dare to say that it demonstrates the ignorant and superstitious nature of the misogynistic male dominated society that spawned the Hebrew patriarchs who wrote the Jewish texts that were plagiarized into the Christian Bible. But, I'll let the women here answer for themselves.

There must have been many questions addressed to Christ regarding the reconciliation of many of the problematic old testament passages, such as the one above, with that of the existence of a loving God. I cannot find them in the new testament. Would you kindly at your convenience provide me with such a new testament reference?

Thanks again for your past efforts.

June 16, 2009
8:11 pm
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Mari Kwante

I thank you for your lovely from the heart response of 16-Jun-09. I particularly liked what you wrote below:

"My beliefs are what they are and I would never tell someone my faith is the only way... How do I know that Jesus isnt with them? I dont."

But unfortunately not all Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc are as understanding as you. I wish they were.

I regard the old testament of the bible as the work of those who subscribe to the tenets of the Hebrew faith. Regarding the new testament, I see that Christ's words have been bludgeoned, concatenated and force fitted into the mold of that primitive Judaic belief system - sacrificial lambs, etc. This in not to imply that I think Christ was from the same Hebrew mold. I do not think that. I believe that Christ was a mystic who was, sadly, grossly misrepresented by the most dominant of his successors. The pharisee convert Paul springs to mind as I write this.

Would Bereft deny this? Is not the present day Christian Church largely a Pauline construct? How different would the present day Christian church be had Thomas been more dominant? But then what mystic throws his weight around like the politician, that was Paul, did? Was not Paul, the ex-pharisee, largely responsible for the Romanization of the Christian Church that we know today in the West?

June 16, 2009
9:21 pm
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Bereft.

Showing great insight, you also wrote:

"Finally, there are only three possibilities concerning Jesus' testimony to Scripture:

1) there are no errors in Scripture;

2) there are errors, but Jesus didn't know them and therefore was not God;

3) there are errors and He knew about them but covered them up and is not holy.
"

Only three possibilities? I see another possibility.

4) There were errors, Christ knew of them and either corrected or eliminated them. But these corrections or eliminations were never included in the early Christian scriptures as these corrections or eliminations would have destroyed the validity of the bible as being the literal word of your God. Alienation of the Jews would have then followed. The Jewish higher echelon would have hated Jesus for making these corrections or eliminations and conspired to have him crucified. Whoops! They did! Interesting ... ...

Then you wrote:

" ...if God is holy, if Christ is holy then we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God."

The conclusion "then we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God" does not necessarily follow from the two initial premises, "if God is holy, if Christ is holy".

If item 4) above is a valid possibility, and I believe that it is, then it is obvious that your conclusion does not follow.

June 17, 2009
1:25 am
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The Reality of the divine Religions is one, because the Reality is one and cannot be two. All the prophets are united in their message, and unshaken. They are like the sun; in different seasons they ascend from different rising points on the horizon. Therefore every ancient prophet gave the glad tidings of the future, and every future has accepted the past.

June 17, 2009
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it seems to me, Tez, that you have a difficult time dealing with reality. when you disagree with the Bible, you merely change what it means by what it says to fit your preconceived notions or beliefs of how life should be. how does it seem to you?

first, you ignore the obvious in my response and say you are puzzled. you said i didn't give any quotes anywhere in my response that show Christ quoting from the old testament and following up with an elucidating explanation.....and i gave you Luke 24:27. i think that is your answer.

you then added..."for the more difficult passages, therein showing how they do not contradict the concept that there exists a loving God." although you didn't mention that in your original post, i answered with Matthew 22:24-32. the sadducees were trying to trap Jesus in a question about resurrection and he quite simply pointed out the error in their ignorance. you see, that was a "difficulty" in the old testament to that Jewish sect, not the laws relating to ritual cleanliness, which they accepted and didn't find "offensive."

in continuing your ignorance (at best) or deliberate misunderstanding, you rant about how this "demonstrates the ignorant and superstitious nature of the misogynistic male dominated society that spawned the Hebrew patriarchs who wrote the Jewish texts that were plagiarized into the Christian Bible."

why didn't you include the previous two chapters in Leviticus concerning continuing and occasional emissions of men and their state of being untouchable not to mention the things they touched? what was your motive, Tez? were you trying to enrage the sympathetic women here with your omission? is this ploy more logical than the atheist "argument" from evilbible? you can do better, Tez.

you asked me to provide a new testament reference to reconcile a problematic old testament passages, such as the one above, with that of the existence of a loving God, that will clearly show how the love of Christ's God shines through such obviously offensive passages. the Bible has your answer.

first, Jesus' attitude toward the laws about bodily uncleanness was the same as His attitude toward the food laws (Matt. 15:17-20). when He came He announced the end of their authority because God would open the church to Jews and Gentiles equally. these Israelite laws separated Jews from Gentiles by illustrating Israel's unique function in God's program, which ended temporarily (until the Millennium) with the death of Christ.

finally, my friend, please turn to Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; and Luke 8:43-47 for your example. these verses describe Jesus' encounter with a woman having an issue of blood for 12 years. please read them as they are, without your mysticism and "perspective." Jesus received her, healed her body, restored her social standing, and saved her from her sins. this woman found all that her heart desired in Jesus. what are you waiting for?

“If you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God “ (Pro 2:4,5).

grace and peace

June 17, 2009
9:56 pm
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bereft

Thanks for your post and your well intended observations and insights. One such observation was:

"it seems to me, Tez, that you have a difficult time dealing with reality. when you disagree with the Bible, you merely change what it means by what it says to fit your preconceived notions or beliefs of how life should be. how does it seem to you?"

This is an interesting perception that you have. But like all perceptions it is prone to be biased by one's own past experiences. True?

You asked me how it seems to me. I guess this warrants an honest, straight forward answer. I will try to be as respectful as I can.

In your statement above, it seems to me that you are making some assumptions that I do not make. For example, you wrote above:

"when you disagree with the Bible, you merely change what it means ...

As I see it the presumption that you seem to me to be making here, is that:

1. There is only one correct interpretation of any biblical passage,

2. That you possess that correct interpretation as though it were as solid as a bar of gold in Fort Knox,

3. Given any particular interpretation of a bible passage there can be only one perception of what that interpretation means.

It seems to me that you have, for whatever reason, adopted what I choose to call the fundamentalist Christian paradigm in thinking that hinges upon unquestioning faith that:

1. every word in the bible has been placed there by your God.

2. No errors in translation from the original scriptures are possible.

3. No errors in your fundamentalist interpretations, even if they differ from other more free thinking Christians, are possible.

then you continued with:

<>"... by what it says to fit your preconceived notions or beliefs of how life should be."

Not believing that I am the possessor of absolute truth, nor believing that you or any other fundamentalist Christian is either, I naturally, just as you do, use my preconceptions in trying to make sense out of what in the bible appears to me to be often downright nonsense. Leviticus appears to me to contain a smorgasbord of such superstitious and offensive material.

Very provocatively, you naughty boy :-), you wrote:

"why didn't you include the previous two chapters in Leviticus concerning continuing and occasional emissions of men and their state of being untouchable not to mention the things they touched? what was your motive, Tez? were you trying to enrage the sympathetic women here with your omission? is this ploy more logical than the atheist "argument" from evilbible? you can do better, Tez."

I would have liked to quote many other references to highlight the obvious misogyny in the bible. But as you can obviously understand, time, space and the attention span of others places these limitations on all of us. As for what appears to me to be your rather cynical suspicion of my motives, I can see why you would think that. They say that we project the demons in our own psyche into others when we sit in judgment on them. But I fully realize that you didn't accuse me of this, that you were only asking. So in good faith, I will answer you - again as honestly as my deluded conscious mind allows.

My answer to your question is this: I doubt that the good Christian women here would react as you imply. Most of the women here, with a few exception, to my knowledge are not fundamentalists. Therefore, they would in all probability believe that not every word written in the bible is God inspired, but inspired and written by flawed human beings. I guess that, like me when I was a practicing Christian trying to make sense out of biblical nonsense, they would let their God inspire them in regard to both what to read and how to interpret it. I think that most of the good Christian women here would see my quote and simply dismiss it for what it is; just a lot of primitive, ignorant, misogynistic, sexist, tribal beliefs from Jewish antiquity. My reason for quoting what I did was to demonstrate dramatically to you that the bible does not contain lock, stock and barrel, absolute truth and flawless divine guidance in every word it contains. Can you admit - even to yourself for one moment - that this statement of mine just might be true???? This does not negate the bible completely as being worthless, any more than it condemns the Bhagavard Gita, the Upanishads or the Rig Vedas to the scrap heap.

May your God go with you and grant you all the peace and serenity that you heart desires.

June 18, 2009
11:44 am
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Tez,

You wrote:
"Then you wrote:

" ...if God is holy, if Christ is holy then we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God."

The conclusion "then we must believe that the Bible is the Word of God" does not necessarily follow from the two initial premises, "if God is holy, if Christ is holy".

If item 4) above is a valid possibility, and I believe that it is, then it is obvious that your conclusion does not follow."

Well done..and that should be obvious. using logic. Additionally there are more than 4 possibilities (as I'm sure you are/were aware). At the core of all of this are the bare assertions that 1. God exists and 2. that Jesus Christ is God. That is the question that is being begged. And as an aside.."If god is holy? are there unholy gods that exist? Isn't all of this akin to saying "If a car is an automobile, then....x y z"

Put another way..if this line of illogic is acceptable as proof, then consider that Islam need only point to the Koran to "prove" that Allah exists and Mohammed was a perfectly accurate prophet. Or alternatively, That the Book of Mormon proves that God Exists and Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were 100% accurate. Or that Dianetics by L Ron Hubbard is proof of the claims of scientology.

NONE OF THEM PROVIDE PROOF nor do they even provide good evidentiary support IMO. If they did, we wouldn't call it faith now would we?

June 18, 2009
12:22 pm
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glittered when he walked
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At long last can we agree that it is invalid to conclude that Jesus Christ is God based solely on the idea that "well, it says so in the Bible." If you choose to BELIEVE that jesus Christ exists and is the son God and GOD WROTE the bible, you don't point to the Bible as proof of God anymore than you can point to something David Koresh said to prove his claims divinity/quasi-divinity.

That should be as plain as the nose on your face.

The following argument is invalid.
A man lived who wrote a book in which he claimed that he was Napolean reborn.

Therefore, he is Napolean reborn.

June 18, 2009
2:35 pm
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marypoppins
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Well, Glittered, I don't think you're going to get certain people to admit to their circular reasoning. Some people need to believe the Bible is the inspired and error-free word of God. And they will go to great lengths to try and "prove" this. Some need to believe Jesus is real. Others need to believe that a drunken ex was the source of all his/her problems. The list goes on.

Denial or faith? People hold on to what they need. The tighter the grip, the more dependent they are.

Mary

June 18, 2009
4:55 pm
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glittered when he walked
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I can accept that some folks beleive in God, Allah, Joseph Smith, etc. I can also accept that some people "need" to believe the same. I can accept that for some their belief is so strong that to them it may as well be fact.

I don't accept the illogic of Jesus is God, just because it says so in the Bible. Those who purport such an invalidity to others in attempt to persuade should recognize that such an argument does the exact opposite. It's the uber "hard sell."

Perhaps such folks live on a slippery slope of "there can't be any errors in this divine tome, for if there were, everything in which I believe is reduced to nonsense. The pity of it is, it needn't be so. Is there wisdom in the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc? Sure there is. But not all of us need to force ourselves to live as if every word is infallible or unmitigated divine truth. If that were so we'd have to abandon a christian faith because the gospels of Luke (3:23) and Matthew (1:16) do not describe the same lineage/genealogy for Joseph, the husband of mary, the mother of Jesus. I'm not a big believer, but I wouldn't reccommend to anyone that they abandon their faith based solely on that.

June 18, 2009
5:25 pm
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bereft
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thank you, glittered, for your fine contributions. you argue some convincing points, although with some errors.

first of all, Tez's forth possibility in my logic model is actually a continuation of my third possibility. Jesus correcting or eliminating error would be "covering them up," would it not?

my argument is "Jesus' testimony to Scripture," not Scripture's testimony to Jesus. your error (confusion?) is in your conclusion that we can then "point to the Koran to 'prove' that Allah exists"...or that the book of mormon proves that God exists, etc.

now, i could defend Scripture from outside Scripture, but then i would make human reason the ultimate determiner of Scripture’s truth. it's far better to let Scripture defend itself and let Scripture be the ultimate determiner of its own veracity.

and so i take what is called a presuppositional approach to the defense of Scripture, i presuppose the truthfulness of Scripture. i assume it to be so. and any faithful, diligent exercise in studying Scripture will yield the fact that this is truly the Word of God. therefore, i let God (Jesus) speak in defense of the Word which He has written. premise: Jesus is a Holy, Righteous God, He cannot lie, therefore, His Word is true. Jesus testified to it's truthfulness.

as you have rightly expressed, man is not epistemologically neutral. epistemologically, you and i do not ultimately agree on anything because each interprets every “fact” from a different starting point. here's something to chew on, it is my contention that in the end, all men have faith and they reason from that faith. unbelievers say that they have facts but their facts rest in nothing, chance, irrationality...right? after all, no god. God’s creation becomes a proof for His non-existence. cool. they offer no intelligible basis on which to build a world view. therefore, the question must ultimately become for every man, “what is the object of your faith?”

by the way, whereas Matthew's genealogy is coming down through Joseph, Luke's traces Jesus back through Mary. no errors, right?

grace and peace

June 18, 2009
7:08 pm
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marypoppins
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round and round we go...

June 18, 2009
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marypoppins
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Glittered,

You wrote:

"But not all of us need to force ourselves to live as if every word is infallible or unmitigated divine truth."

You're right. We don't. However, some people do need that. You know, the all or nothing kind of thing? That black or white thinking that is so typical of addiction?

Have you noticed the pattern in Bereft's posts? He thanks the poster and then proceeds to tell him/her how he/she is WRONG or MISTAKEN.

All the best to you.

Mary

June 18, 2009
11:03 pm
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glittered when he walked
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bereft,

No. No error. Pointing to what whatever jesus is claimed to have said vis a vis old testament (and vice versa) proves nothing to me other than the writers and assemblers of those books of the bible to care to be in agreement. One statement in one neither proves nor disproves the other when it comes to the greater question of the existence of God. That's like saying santa claus was introduced with a white beard in the Night before Christmas and again later in the Miracle on 34th street.

In this past within this thread you have pointed to the bible as a proof that God exists. I'm saying that is not a valid conclusion.

The matthew and Luke passages read as follows.

KING JAMES Luke: "And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,"

KING JAMES Matthew: "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ."

Those statements are incongruous. "Joseph son of heli" and "Jacob begat Joseph"

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