RELIGION

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Imported, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Imported

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    roedhunt: OK folks. I read in several topics that the subject of religion comes up, but it is/is not relative to the original topic. Maybe religion was a topic awhile ago, but I will start one now..

    Now remember all, this is ONLY a discussion and not a judgment of people’s beliefs. So be nice. ::)

    I'll start this with my own beliefs (which I KNOW will open a big can of worms...).

    Like many, I was raised under the belief that God exists and Jesus Christ was my savior. Through the years, I studied many types of religions, wondering why there was so many forms. Something was always gnawing at me with questions in mind. How did this all start? Was it the first religion? And so forth.

    Through studying, I found out that Paganism was before Christianity. So I read about it and learned the Christians abolished all religions and demanded that this was the ONLY religion. Christians were taught to judge other religions and convert everyone to Christianity. If they refused, they were punished. Some by death.

    Even today, Christians still judge others that do not believe in Christianity. They try to make others feel that their religion is wrong and that they will burn in hell. Or, question them on WHY they don't believe in Christ or God. They believe that the "Good Book" is the ONLY way to live and believe in.

    For me, it burns my ass that I am to be judged instead of acknowledging that there IS other religions and that THEIRS is not the only one.... :mad:
     
  2. Imported

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    wvalady1968: [quote author=roedhunt link=board=99;num=1081230359;start=0#0 date=04/05/04 at 22:36:59] For me, it burns my ass that I am to be judged instead of acknowledging that there IS other religions and that THEIRS is not the only one....  :mad:

    [/quote]
    For me, I think it's unfair to lump all Christians with the fanatics. Many of us, and I know that I speak for at least one other person here, are very tolerant of the beliefs of others. The basic tenet of Christ's message is LOVE.

    John 13:35 - By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

    John 15:12 - This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

    etc. etc. etc. etc.

    The fanatics get caught up in the finger pointing, the hatred, the name calling, but they are vastly in the minority. And IMHO, they may believe they are speaking for God, but they aren't speaking for my God.

    [climbs down off yet another soapbox]
     
  3. Imported

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    JoeAgain: [quote author=wvalady1968 link=board=99;num=1081230359;start=0#1 date=04/06/04 at 05:17:07]
    For me, I think it's unfair to lump all Christians with the fanatics.

    [/quote]

    I think this is true of all religions. Most religious people are upstanding people, but there are always those who wield religion as a weapon, and use the threat of damnation, ancestor disgrace, etc., as a means to an end, and unfortunately these are usually the most vocal and fanatic, thus recieve the most attention.

    To me, religion is merely a set of fables and allegories meant to instill virtues among the general population. I am not a religous person, but habor no ill will towards them, I just feel it's a rather outdated and archaic set of rituals. You however have the right IMO to believe in any kind of fairy tale you want without me judging you. What chaps my ass is that very rarely is this same understanding extended to someone like me.
     
  4. benderten2001

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    I'm no expert by any means. I know however, what I believe in, try to live by, and (hopefully) can relay to others through how I behave, conduct my personal life, and treat others. As a popular bumper sticker says in my area of the country: "I'm not perfect...just forgiven."

    One of life's great lessons for me came a few years ago when I was able to discern a big part of the problem in our current age is the inability to seperate the terms "religion" and "spiritual faith". Religion....is (seemingly, or can be) a series of endlelss rules and regulations while on the other hand, spiritual faith is a personal relationship with a "higher power" above one's self. There really is a big difference between the two. One's "religion" often sets impossible expectations upon an individual to live by and conform to while the other-- a "spiritual faith" introduces the principle of relying on that "deep inner leaning" towards a power higher than ones own ability for guidance and assurance in day to day life. Each of us has this "inner voice" within us searching for a "connection" beyond our own physical being and existance. It's unfortunate how many of us though,struggle to deal with it or simply acknowledge that it truly exists. Not being in touch with that inner feeling, that inner need to "connect" can be a major problem for many and it can further complicate life.

    Each of us comes from different backgrounds and experiences in life. Until we each (individually) get to a certain plain or level in life, it IS difficult to relate to those who live by a "spiritual faith". I can understand this. It's one reason I try to not "ram and cram my faith" too hard upon another. I DO become concerned about others though, and the instability that's often demonstrated in their lives. Many are truly NOT happy individuals and I only wish I COULD help them. I have finally accepted however, that I can only do so much towards helping others. There's a point I must step back.

    My faith (Christian) allows me to believe in a sovereign God who (somehow, amazingly so) loves me BEYOND human definition. I am accepted for who I am and not "what" I am. God's son (Jesus Christ) walked this earth in human form as part of God's master plan to bring about my total acceptance into the "family of God" by sacrifice of Christ's blood on the cross. I don't pretend here to understand everything there is to know about why blood was required or why a good, (absolutely sinless man) had to die on a cross. But, He did. And that's all any of us need to know (and believe in our hearts) to be called a "Christian". We don't earn favor with God by doing good deeds. We come to God by our faith in Him and His son. The "works" or "deeds" result by how we live our lives day to day because we WANT to, not because we HAVE to.

    This affords me here one other avenue of comment---what a Christian as myself is doing here, the LPSG, in this kind of website. --Admittedly, it's an issue I have dealt with before here and very much so on a most personal level. I still wonder about it, really. Having struggled with sexual issues all my life--including self-esteem issues, and not feeling "good" enough (i.e. big enough), I have come to realize God wants me to enjoy my earthly life and look upon sex much differently...God gave us sex and He blessed sex to be used around certain perimeters which He ordained--marriage. We can either accept this, modify this, or totally reject this...it's our own individual choice. But, we will never be able to change God's plan on this whole matter. But, far be it for ME to debate this issue because I won't.
    --I can't.

    My point though....sex should NEVER be something in life we are ashamed of, struggle with, or allow to ruin our lives. God wants us healthy, happy, and whole.
    THAT would include the ability to enjoy our sexual lives.

    It's been noted time and time again that God works in mysterious ways....And, for those of us who believe in Him, he often does. If God can command Hosea to marry a prostitute (Hosea 1:2) .....(otherwise asking a man of faith to do such an unthinkable bizarre, strange thing!) then perhaps God also has myself and countless others here who speak up from time to time, to help encourage fellow LPSG members and motivate them to some degree. I'd like to think so. I know I enjoy being in this forum ;). Some have shared how they enjoy my "take" on the various issues. I speak my mind and often get close to getting into trouble, I know. --Or, making trouble! (which I really don't intend to do deliberately)

    I just strongly believe my "message" should be one of encouragement to others (men especially); that we all are on such common (human) ground regarding our sexuality. We need to quit beating ourselves up over some of the same, mutual feelings we all have. We need instead...to just get on with enjoying life. We have men of all ages in this forum and we all need to listen, guide,and help one another from time to time. If someone can see in me the God I believe in and His son whom I try to follow in my daily walk on this earth, then my time here IS, and has been very WORTHWHILE. :)
     
  5. B_RoysToy

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    Since I've been letting my religious beliefs filter through in posts on several threads of different subjects, I think I should take advantage of roedhunt's thoroughbred devoted to that alone and join Allie's crusade.

    Christianity has taught me that God is love, i.e., in the beginning there was love, love displaces all thoughts of being exclusive and unacceptive to others regardless of their beliefs. True, many cruel acts have been done throughout history in the name of Christianity, but this is because of misunderstanding by apostles (including Paul) after Jesus' crucifixion. Humans make mistakes and let sin have its way sometimes.

    I was raised in the Presbyterian, USA church by devoted parents, but in my early 30s I studied theology to determine what I believed, regardless of my upbringing, as roedhunt indicated he had done. My LPSG slogan is Seek and Ye Shall Find, because sometimes we have to work hard to come to any satisfying solutions. I felt my love for money might be keeping me from having a closer relationship with God, so I decided to beginning tithing. Soon, God changed my life one night in November of 1957. I knew when it happened and I knew I had been changed, but my proof came a couple of days later when I realized like a bolt of lighting that I no longer was prejudiced against the blacks. I had been raised biased and it was innate to my thinking. A ton of bricks had been taken off my shoulders.

    Thanks for hanging with me during all of my, as Allie said, soap boxing, but this is who I am.

    Luke
     
  6. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

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    I was baptized ROman Catholic, but was never a devout Catholic because of my father's interference. But the more I reflect upon it, the more I realized it may have been all for the better.

    I personally have no interest in pursuing a group that has hypocritical roots in. Why, askes you? If you remember, the Romans didn't believe in Christ, and crucified him for it. Then when all was said & done, they realized what they'd done, and decided to assimilate christianity into their lives.

    That's no way to believe in a religion, if you ask me.
     
  7. Imported

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    hawl: In the succinct words of the late Katharine Hepburn, "I'm an atheist, and that's it". I usually try to end my discussion of the various hocus-pocus theories right there, but I guess sites like this provide more backup ammo, quotable quotes, etc. : www.celebatheists.com/index.html and www.visi.com/~markg/atheists.html . Hey, whatever works for you, whatever gets you through the night. Pray to your couch, see if I care. Just don't try to get me involved in some holy war to free the cushions.
     
  8. jonb

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    Well, where I'm coming from, religion is a collective experience for the entire nation, so we don't discuss it online.
     
  9. Imported

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    roedhunt: That is an interesting comment jonb. But as you can see on the other posts, religion is discussed online.

    BTW roystoy, roedhunt (me), is not a "he" but a "she". ;)

    As I recall, Jesus wanted all to practice whatever religion they wanted and not confined to one. Jesus was also a Jew. Funny how Christians are not...

    One of the things I hear frequently from Christians is to believe. Having faith. The Lord will provide. But a person will be judged by his deeds and not his/her belief. A killer can believe in God, yet his deeds say otherwise.

    I believe God only cares about a person's DEEDS, not beliefs. It's what YOU DO that counts. Not what you believe. I may believe that you'd be better off dead, but it's not the same thing if I actually killed you. What I BELIEVE and what I DO are two totally different things.
    It is indeed one's DEEDS, not one's BELIEFS that matter.

    And all religions do not teach the same thing. They DO teach the same principles: do not kill (which should be DO NOT MURDER, by the way...taken from the original Hebrew/Aramaic it was written in) and so on. But Judaism teaches a very DIFFERENT IDEA in the following area: Jews are NOT ALLOWED (at the risk of SINNING) to tell anyone else that other religions are false. That's why there are NO JEWISH MISSIONARIES. They believe there are no false religions. All people have equal access to heaven, ...based on their deeds alone. NOT their beliefs.
     
  10. Imported

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    slamdunklayup: Just a few friendly things to think about roedhunt...

    1. Jesus said that "no one comes unto the Father except through me." We can argue all day about whether or not that is intolerant, but saying that Jesus believed in the validity of all the Hellenistic religions that surrounded him in that day misrepresents him.
    2. Jesus was a Jew. Early Christians also considered themselves Jews and worshipped in the Synagogues along with their brethern. They longed to keep their Jewish ties. It was the fall of Jersusalem not long after Christ's death that led Jews, not Christians, to put their attention on more pressing matters and disregard the Christian Jews who were now embracing these Gentile, Roman enemies.
    3. You mentioned that a killer can believe in God, yet his deeds say otherwise. God cares about deeds, not beliefs... Yet, roedhunt, it was a murderer that hung on a cross next to Christ. He faithfully looked to Christ and was told that He would be in Heaven with Jesus that very day. He did nothing religious and was such a bad person that the Roman authorities saw fit to crucify him, which he himself said he deserved. It was belief that saved this murderer.
    4. You mentioned "do not kill" should be "do not murder" in the original Hebrew/Aramaic. Jesus spoke Aramaic. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. I can read Hebrew and I'm afraid the correct translation is "kill." The King James is the only english translation that goes as far as to translate it "murder." Every other translation goes with "kill" and I agree.

    This is a strange place to have a religious discussion, by the way. I don't care to comment any more, but I just saw some claims about another person's religion that simply are not true by anyone's interpretation of their sacred text.
     
  11. Imported

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    Javierdude22: Slamdunk, thanx for the clarifications, right on the mark. We're a diverse group, I actually do think it is great we can discus this topic, even here. I do realise in first sight it must be weird, but it's just another part of who we are I guess.

    Religion for me is very important. It defines my life in greatr part, not because my parents or the context I come from told me, because I chose to. I won't go into detail too much about my feelings towards it, that's too personal.

    I am aware that there is a great polarization between different kinds of beliefs, the three major ones in my view at the moment being Christianity/Judaism, Islam, and atheism. Weird enough I have only one very close friend who is a Christian, with her I talk a lot about it. All my other friends are either atheists or 'There must be something more'-ists, and a lot are Muslim and Hindu. I have the greatest discussions with them and it strikes me how we agre so much. Our opinions take different routes once politics gets in the way, thats why I do think politics and religion should have no ties at all.

    So we have a great respect amongst eachother, tolerance isn't evn an issue, it's simply there. Live and let live, that's the key, we'll find out who's 'right' afterwards.
     
  12. Imported

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    roedhunt: Funny how many has posted their views based on the Bible and so forth in other forums.. But not many has commented in here... ???

    Interesting to say the least...

    To slamdunklayup: Your opinions are interesting...


    1.) Jesus never spoke against anyone except the religious leaders of that day (and their religion) who were misleading the people. To clarify my previous statement...Jesus wanted all to practice whatever religion they wanted and not confined to one. As long as they believe in the salvation and in God.

    2.) Faith and deeds
    James 2:14-24
    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? [15] Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. [16] If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? [17] In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
    [18] But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
    Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. [19] You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder.

    3.) Murder
    Translators differ over whether “kill,” “murder” or another choice best translates the Hebrew ratsah. Less common than two other Hebrew words for “kill,” it is almost always used to describe the premeditated, intentional taking of an innocent human life. (Deut. 20; Deut. 17:2-7).
    What God wrote, if properly translated, was more along the lines of "Thou shalt do no murder." Thus, when God ordered His people, through Joshua and later through King Saul, to go into battle and utterly destroy the enemy -- even the women and children -- He was not commanding them to violate his commandment. Rather, He was ordering them to carry out an act of war against those who had rejected Him and warred against His people.
    In Romans, Paul tells us that one of the things God has ordained governments to do is to carry out acts of war to protect the people. There is no conflict here with the 6th Commandment.

    And I do agree with slamdunklayup. There are a lot of claims about another person's religion that simply are not true by anyone's interpretation of their sacred text.
     
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