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Passions in Poetry

Out on a limb...

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Temptress
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-15-99
Posts 7276
Mobile, AL


50 posted 02-26-2002 01:12 AM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

Okay..
I'm often very reluctant to enter huge discussions like this since I believe what I believe and state simply that.(which some believe is "pushing" from me just because I state my faith firmly never will understand that)

Anyway..bear with me. Reading back over this thread, a few things that disturbed me a bit that I wanted to clear up if I could.

Severn said:

"It's like...sigh...they are infused with a belief that God can conquer even the hardest non-believer, so who gives a damn how it's said as long as the message is given."

Yes, Christians are infused with such a belief. Some of them are infused with it because they have faith that it can happen, and some believe in it because they have actually witnessed such a thing. I know many who have witnessed it just like I have, so I have a firm belief that even the most hard non-believer can become a Christian. If you had something wonderful to give someone who you thought could benefit from it and you had seen it work before, wouldn't you go out and try to give it to someone else who you thought would benefit from it?

As far as the "not giving a damn" how the message is delivered. I think you should know that not all Christians have a terrible presentation method when it comes to their faith. Yes, screaming, "You're a sinner and you're going to hell" in someone's face and beating them over the head with a bible is going to make a person a very afraid and reluctant or it might even cause them to let their stubborness for being confronted in such a way stand in the way of what they are curious about.  (I hope I'm making sense)

I believe the best way and the most non judgmental way for a Christian to present their faith and "win souls for God" (which...yes..is their mission, and who could begrudge anyone for standing up for what they believe in and offering it to others)is to simply ask, "Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior..etc.." Usually if the person says no the Christian might ask if they would like to know Him or would like to hear about Him.  This is one of the best ways I have been approached, so I've seen it work..which would make it something I believe can work for someone else. Then, there is always "alter call" at a church where a person can listen to the message and make their own decision without being personally and individually confronted. (still hoping you can make some sense of this) Really, I just wanted you to know that not all Christians have the attitude that you state above, so it isn't fair to judge a whole religion based on what only a part of the people (who could very well be hypocrites..because I believe there are people in every religion that bring that particular religion a bad rep)have done or failed to do.  How do I know this? Its because I've seen it. Perhaps you haven't come across the right people or the right people haven't encountered you. I certainly wish I could introduce you to my family for proof that not all Christians have the approach you speak of.

Severn said:
"Why should they care, if in their rationale, the message and not the delivery is the most important?"

Like I said, that kind of rationale doesn't belong to every Christian. The message and the delivery are both important. As far as why should they care? They care because it is their job and duty as Christians to care.  They are required to lead both by example in actions AND by spreading the Word by voice.

Let us also be reminded that Christianity does not equal perfection as a person. Christians slip "or backslide" just like everyone else does. So, if a Christian makes a mistake in presentation of their faith then we really shouldn't be so quick and harsh to judge them individually or as a group. In the end, the test is whether or not they keep turning to God for their faith and for strength to live by His teaching the best they can.

Alan said:
"Alan
I agree that Christians work to convert people because it is their holy mission, and not because they genuinely care about others"

Again, it is not fair to judge the whole group based on what only some are doing wrong.  As I told Severn, I wish I could introduce you to some members of my family, who are Christians,(and in addition..to some of the Christians I've met) to prove to you that there are Christians out there who wish to convert people BOTH because it is their mission AND because they genuinely care about others. I have seen it work, so I believe fully in the existence of Christians who have that balance.  

As far as discussion quality..I don't know if I've done any good here. While I consider myself to be an intelligent person, I've never been able to make a presentation of example and discussion on here like some of the better ones here (like Brad and Ron..who do it amazingly). I've always been better with poetry and getting my point across with my creativity than speaking or discussing "out loud". So, yes, I'm being self conscious as usual, but that is just the way I am.

LOL! I may have just gotten in over my head here, but I noticed things that disturbed me and felt moved to comment. I use the third person because although I have a Christian background, I cannot rightly say that I am a Christian at this point. I make my statements based no what I've been raised with, and what I would live by were I to make a full committment to my faith. Lack of full committment isn't because I don't believe in the things I speak of, but is perhaps a laziness on my part to do what God truly requires of me(there are things I am reluctant to give up it seems that I know I would have to)...but that is left for God, whoever he decides to send as a messenger to me, and myself to discover and deal with.

To all who take the time to read and really understand what I'm saying...thank you.

*Jenn*

For all who watch.Dare you say hello? Come in and ask the questions that are on your mind, but spare me your judgement until you truly sipped of me.

Denise
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Member Seraphic
since 08-22-99
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51 posted 02-26-2002 01:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Could I possibly be that person, Jenn? LOL

Actually, your commitment to God is not what makes one a Christian. It is simply what He has done for the sinner, ie, on the sinners behalf. All He asks of the sinner is that the sinner appropriate to himself/herself what He has already done through faith, ie, to just take God at His word, to be "fully persuaded" that what He says is true, and He is able also to bring to pass what He has promised. For example, "Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness". (Emphasis mine). It is a gift, pure and simple. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." (Emphasis mine). Issues of commitment, good works, repentence, perseverence, etc. are matters after one has first received the gift in all its glorious freeness, motivated by a heart of gratitude and love for His "unspeakable gift". I have several good Christian links on my site in the middle of the page if you want to check some of them out. They explain it much better, I'm sure, than I can. The Gospel message is simple and easy to understand. Some people just can't believe that it is that simple and therein lies their problem. It's not easy for folks like me who had been indoctrinated in a "works salvation" to just "let go and let God", so to speak. But that is the Gospel message. It's not about what we do, it's about what He has done. That's what makes true Christianity different from all other religions in the world. It's the only one that offers man redemption totally apart from man's work and effort, by His grace through faith in what He has done. Hope this helps!
http://artisticwords.homestead.com/home.html
Mysteria
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52 posted 02-26-2002 02:11 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Well...I have found those that are most secure within themselves and their belief system find no need not shout it out but keep it close to their heart.  Amen!

and

If you are going to preach it, discuss it or disagree with it - move it to a discussion forum and remove it from a poetry section, but what do I know, I see it, and if I don't like it I push the "X" in the corner of my screen.
Temptress
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-15-99
Posts 7276
Mobile, AL


53 posted 02-26-2002 03:58 PM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

whats wrong with writing poetry about it?
Just because its there doens't mean anyone has to read it. The poetry is fine, but when the discussion starts it should be moved to a discussion forum.

We may not agree with everyone who posts religious poetry here, but then again, we don't have to read it.


Why read something if you think you're not going to like it?

For all who watch.Dare you say hello? Come in and ask the questions that are on your mind, but spare me your judgement until you truly sipped of me.

Auguste
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since 02-16-2000
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By the sea


54 posted 02-26-2002 04:24 PM       View Profile for Auguste   Email Auguste   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Auguste's Home Page   View IP for Auguste

Jennifer, as a Christian, it is my duty to bring others to know Christ.  I have always thought it best to lead by example.  I don't and won't push my beliefs on anyone, but if they're willing to listen, I'll share my faith and how it's changed my life.  

The liberal news media likes to bash Christians and looks for the fanatics among us to show the world how narrow-minded and radical we are in our beliefs.  Every religion has it's fanatics and fools, but not EVERY religion is regularly attacked by the liberal press.  How often do you see a report on the good things Christians and Christian organizations are doing for people in this country and for countries around the world?  It's almost as rare as hen's teeth.  I'm weary of seeing Christianity bashed and bad-mouthed!  Find another group to pick on, or better yet, get a life!  I'm talking to the news media here.


  

Michael Auguste~
There is more depth to the heart than the mind can comprehend and it only has boundaries when we choose to fence it in.  

Interloper
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Member Rara Avis
since 11-06-2000
Posts 8628
Deep in the heart


55 posted 02-26-2002 05:17 PM       View Profile for Interloper   Email Interloper   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Interloper

Right on Michael!

We seem to agree on how to live our Christian lives

Heck, we Christians are really happy that atheists and polytheists no longer throw us to the lions (just kidding, Brad and EVERYBODY else )
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


56 posted 02-26-2002 07:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Interloper,

You're not going to let me wiggle out of this one, are you? The 'but' in my compliment does not void the first clause (It's only that people tend to place more emphasis on any perceived negatives than they do positives. "Too many notes" as the emperor said to Mozart after praising him.).

You're not the only one who does this, but I don't understand it. Everytime I read "with a person of you're intellect" or "I'm not the smartest kid on the block" I'm always thinking, "What does that have to do with anything?"

I'm sure we both agree that the smartest person in the world can make mistakes (I think the record IQ is 226, from a person who has led a remarkably undistinguished life given that number -- or so we're led to believe and expect). I'm sure we also agree that we can learn many things from children and from those who are slow learners. We have an entire literary tradition of the fool/child/innocent as truth teller.

So why worry about it?

True, we have to make choices about what to read and who to listen to but reputation is based on more than intelligence. If you remember the anti-intellectualism thread, Tim made the excellent point that academics place too much emphasis on intelligence when choosing politicians. I agree but it does seem that not only academics, but everybody sees intelligence as some sort of determining factor with regards to respect (anti-intellectualism just means it determines you're disrespect).

If you've decided to read me or anybody, read the argument, the poem, or whatever. If I make a mistake, call me on it (not worried you won't, of course), if you disagree, tell me and give your reasons. But I simply see no point in extrapolating my IQ from whatever I say and then using that as a point to disagree with that specific argument. This goes as well for "I'm only of average intelligence". Why does this matter? If you have a point, make it, and let me try to decide its value without having to worry about YOUR IQ level.

Paradoxically, I see nothing wrong with claiming a lack of knowledge in any specific area. This is something you can change. As a result, you're essentially telling someone that you're in an inferior position and that you wouldn't mind learning more. At the same time, if you claim superior knowledge without proving it (the secret, my experience, after years of study, I know -- I was watching Fox news yesterday and Holbrook was doing this), you pretty much force me to say, "Prove it."

True, there are certain situations where this is necessary (national security, the promise of secrecy and so forth), but if you have to rely on the "I know" arguments to make your point in a free forum of ideas, it's probably best not to say anything at all.  

See the distinctions?

Now obviously this isn't all meant for you, but you gave me the opportunity and I took it.

Jenn,

I agree with just about everything you say, and I don't think Allan meant all Christians either (and if he did, that's easily enough disproved). Auguste makes a distinction between fanatics and Christians and my own example is certainly that of the fanatic, but that's not quite the appropriate distinction for me.

I suppose the easiest way to understand this is to find an Indian Islamic newspaper in English and read it. Don't read it as if they were different from you, read it as if it were a newpaper in the United States and, I hope, you'll be able to glimpse the feeling that troubles me.  

Officially, the United States is a secular nation; unofficially, it's hard to see it as anything but a Christian country -- a point lost on most Christians for some reason; perhaps they simply assume that their rituals, their thinking, their language is the natural one?

Aside: Auguste, I disagree, the liberal media do not bash Christians, they bash anything outside of their own (largely Christian inspired) views of what is natural.

Christians ARE the majority, the rest of us are in the minority.

Secularism is not really a religion; it is a tool of language and action to avoid confrontations that most of us neither have the time nor the patience to endure in our everyday (quotidian) lives. Religion, at its best, is a difficult subject, full of passion, energy, thought, and ideas that can literally change your life. A conversation such as this should not be taken into lightly. The Christians I refer to are the ones who break the rules of secularism and attempt to engage in conversation at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

If someone comes up to me and asks me on the street, while I'm walking to work, on a date with my wife, or discussing last night's soccer game with a friend, "Do you know Christ?" How am I supposed to respond? I do not want to enter into this conversation at this time, it should have been clear from the context that I am not interested in this particular conversation at this particular time. The rules of secularism do not hurt the freedom to believe or to speak, they channel them into the appropriate time.

I fail to see how their motivation should be seen as a reason for this break in what we can call, not misleadingly, a 'social contract'. I believe that it trivializes the importance of religion.

A long time ago, a question was posted in this forum (although it would be in the Lounge now): Who was the most important person of the last thousand years?

Inevitably, someone said Jesus Christ. Now, believe it or not, I think a case can be made for that answer but no case was made, it was assumed that it was the correct one -- no explanation needed. While the rest of us were stuck wondering if the question was simply misread, "Who was the most IMPORTANT . . . .", one can imagine the defensiveness of a person who takes the position that how the message is presented is nothing compared to the what of the message. If I got the question wrong, who cares, the only thing that matters is the message.

It is an argument by assertion, by authority, and by arrogance.

It is what I called an "I know" argument and, if you read my response to Interloper,  you already know that I consider this to be superfluous, frivolous, and annoying.

Thus, you end up trivializing the very thing you want to promote.

Inevitably.

Brad

PS Thanks for the compliment.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


57 posted 02-26-2002 07:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Interloper,

I like this:

"Heck, we Christians are really happy that atheists and polytheists no longer throw us to the lions (just kidding, Brad and EVERYBODY else )"

I was afraid that you were taking my comments more personally than I intended (see above). Glad you're not.  

Of course, it should be pointed out that, like the Christian persecution in Tokugawa Japan, Christians were never the only ones being persecuted.

Brad
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


58 posted 02-26-2002 10:35 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

This is going to be my last post in this thread.

It was never my intention to further aggravate the situation. I simply wanted a little respect for my beliefs. The constant helpful correction of my beliefs got to be a bit insulting. I just thought I would say something about it.

So it's said. The people who know me, know my heart. Never my intent to offend, nor do any harm.

And seeing how this is going, I truly wish this thread would just be locked.
Alicat
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since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


59 posted 02-26-2002 10:47 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Thread locked on request by author.

Alicat
Alley/Lounge Mod
 
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