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Kaoru
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0 posted 02-07-2004 06:45 AM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru


Do the questioners always get the folks that want to convert them?

Are we seemingly weak people?

I don't believe in god.
KristieSue
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1 posted 02-07-2004 07:43 AM       View Profile for KristieSue   Email KristieSue   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit KristieSue's Home Page   View IP for KristieSue

I highly doubt it's to convert someone...

just to get to know people more and what makes them tick...what they think and who they are...to compare how they think compared to us...etc.

I don't think people mean to offend :-) And, you most certainly don't have to feel obligated to answer.
Brad
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2 posted 02-07-2004 07:47 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

No, we are not weak. Some, however, do want to believe. They, the believers, prey on them.

It's not a bad thing, really.
Stephanos
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3 posted 02-07-2004 10:47 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Do the questioners always get the folks that want to convert them?
Are we seemingly weak people?



and

quote:
No, we are not weak. Some, however, do want to believe. They, the believers, prey on them.



Remember that Christians think (whether rightly or wrongly) that everyone needs to come into a right relationship with God, whether this need is yet realized by an individual or not.  So from their view of things, a desire to consider God, or openness to the Christian faith, is anything but weakness in the derogatory sense.  Humility can, after all, be mistaken for weakness.


And so a person's "want to believe", to the Christian, is a proper and right desire.  Not only so, it is the response which Christians feel best fulfills and explains manifold desires that already exist in most people.  A desire for morals, for example, or for meaning that turns out to be more than arbitrary mental games ... the Christian believes, can only be satisfied in Christ.    


So on the part of a Christian, there doesn't have to be condescending pride or harbored insults in telling someone about the Gospel.  At least it can be done out of a genuine concern.


And Brad, I'd always rather "Pray on you", than "Prey on you".  


Stephen.
  

Brad
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4 posted 02-07-2004 11:46 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I thought this was interesting:
http://www.reason.com/0402/cr.tc.in.shtml


quote:
Assessing O’Hair’s legacy, Le Beau is skeptical, ungenerous, and, I think, mostly correct. Atheism has found little traction, though it is largely tolerated with nonchalance. Nor is society noticeably more comfortable with the critical approach to religious belief O’Hair advocated. (Witness the ease with which Americans accepted the notion that the September 11 attack, the most dramatic expression of religious belief in our time, was the work of a few knaves out to hijack a great religion.) Ostentatious displays of piety that would have been considered in poor taste in O’Hair’s time are near prerequisites for high elective office. The nation appears comfortable in a state of indeterminacy with regard to God’s presence on our money and in the Pledge of Allegiance.


[This message has been edited by Brad (02-08-2004 12:11 AM).]

Susan Caldwell
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5 posted 02-09-2004 10:09 AM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

Meg~

Valid question. Watch the news this morning?  Hear about the pilot that identified all the Christian flyers and asked them to talk to the non-Christian’s? *sigh* I would have had a big problem with that as you can't just smile and walk away on a plane...

As I said in the other thread, I consider myself agnostic.  I hold firm to that.  However, I do love to hear others beliefs and find the study of theology very interesting.  I don't mind people talking to me about what they believe.  It's only when they start asking to save me that I get a bit "pissy".  

I have studied enough of the bible to know it says to "bear witness".  Meaning those that believe and embrace should bear witness of their beliefs to others.  I respect that, to a certain degree.  Just as I respect everyone’s individual right of freedom of religion.  It's a part of why this country was founded.  

So I guess what I am trying to say is, it's all good...as with everything in life, you take what you need from what is said to you and you let the rest go.  Life is too short.

  
Tais
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6 posted 02-09-2004 11:23 AM       View Profile for Tais   Email Tais   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Tais's Home Page   View IP for Tais

I don't  think that all of the questioners would be ones trying to convert. Maybe so, maybe not.

To me, the important issue is whether we know how to explain why we believe in God or why we don't. And neither of these 'whys' have actually been accurately said or proven...either way.
The ones who believe (me included), either have this feeling inside where they know God exists, or they researched it and came to that conclusion (when they were trying to prove the opposite) - like Einstien.

The ones who don't believe, haven't given much 'proof' of the lack of existence either.

But there are some beliefs today, which seem less probable to exist, than the existance of God. But seem to have many followers who don't question that existence.

People believe in horosocopes and aliens. Is there proof to that? Lots of coincidences, and lots of 'evidence' but did anyone ever see an alien? Yes, they claim they have. But people also claim that they saw Jesus, Mary and saints (which I believe because of my Faith).
Faith is not facts: to have faith is to believe without proof.

I myself, have prayed in the past and lots of my prayers were attended. I have witnessed 'miracles' which happened to me and my kids. Coincidence? Or just plain destiny? Whatever people would like to call it, to me, it's the hands of God, answering the prayers.

So, I would love other people to feel what I feel, like many would like me to feel what they feel. But that 'feeling' cannot be used to convert people unless they really want to know.

But that all depends on the question:

"Do people  want to really know about God, or is it just another question?"

Tais
Kaoru
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7 posted 02-09-2004 12:30 PM       View Profile for Kaoru   Email Kaoru   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Kaoru

The main reason for this post is that I'd questioned christianity, and came to my own conclusion.

I do not hate anyone for what they believe but,
I do dislike those who try to push that belief upon me or others.

I have been attacked, personally, by a couple of friends of mine who are devout christians. I have never judged them for their beliefs. As soon as I state my disbelief, they put up the defenses as if I were telling them that they shouldn't believe because I don't.

Then, to make matters worse, once they've calmed themselves..they try to convert me. Consistantly saying that they'll pray for me, that there is still hope for me.

As if I've lost all hope just by making my own personal decision.

Yes, it frustrates me. The contradictions frustrate me. Religion itself frustrates me.

I don't want to spend my whole life searching for "truth", when I'm not even certain there is a truth.

Perhaps we're created by the christian god. Perhaps we're the children of the pagan gods.
Or, maybe we're just complex biological creatures..and when we die, we simply cease to exist..completely.

The fact is, there is not a truth... there is only what we, as humans, can speculate as the truth.

I think it's RIGHT to question.

But after awhile, when no answer seems to make sense to a person.. they answer the question themselves.

Susan Caldwell
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8 posted 02-09-2004 02:33 PM       View Profile for Susan Caldwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Susan Caldwell

Meg~

I dare say your "friends" have not taken the time to get to know and respect your beliefs.  These are certainly not the kind of friends I would want.

Obviously this frustrates you.  Therefore, maybe you need to surround yourself with people that give you and your opinions a bit more respect.  

Ron
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9 posted 02-09-2004 03:51 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Someone wants to convert you to their beliefs; i.e., they want to change you.

You want them to stop trying to convert you; i.e., you want to change them.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other?
Essorant
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10 posted 02-09-2004 04:33 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

There would not be different foods if we were all supposed to eat the same.
Brad
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11 posted 02-09-2004 06:53 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Someone wants to convert you to their beliefs; i.e., they want to change you.

You want them to stop trying to convert you; i.e., you want to change them.


Hmmm, Someone wants to shoot you; i.e., they want to change you.

You want them not to shoot you; i.e. you want to change them.

A baker's dozen?
Ron
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12 posted 02-09-2004 08:08 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

When my kids were still kids, Brad, there were two all too common complaints that would inevitably surface on any lengthy drive.

"Daddy, make Robin stop hitting me."

"Daddy, make Becky stop looking at me."

Guess which was more likely to get my attention?
Brad
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13 posted 02-09-2004 09:12 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Exactly, not all actions or intentions are created equal (Assuming, of course, that we both agree that the hitting is the one worth paying attention to.).

You never quite know what people are going to say these days.



It's an odd situation, but in the back of my head, I keep wondering what the responses would be if Kaoru were a Christian being badgered by aetheists.  

Ron
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14 posted 02-09-2004 09:20 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

LOL. Isn't that a bit like asking what would happen if a car salesman was being badgered by pedestrians?
Stephanos
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15 posted 02-11-2004 12:20 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The fact is, there is not a truth


How do you know that you simply haven't found it, or realized it yet?  You seem doubtful of all except your negation.  You seem to hold your negation as exclusively absolute.  Why do you not doubt that?  Or perhaps you do.  Just asking questions.


Stephen.
Stephanos
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16 posted 02-11-2004 12:23 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
LOL. Isn't that a bit like asking what would happen if a car salesman was being badgered by pedestrians?



Not exactly.  Staunch atheism is "faith-like" indeed.  Often very inclined to proselytize, and eager to free people from the so called shackles of religious delusion.


Stephen.
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17 posted 02-11-2004 12:35 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Kind of hard to convert an absentee though, isn't it?

If y'haven't noticed, Kaoru left the building.

No offense, but it occurs to me that's some pretty ineffective witnessing.

Stephanos
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18 posted 02-11-2004 12:48 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Serenity,


She's still in there somewhere.
Can you presume to know who's beyond reach?
God is Love.  


Stephen.
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19 posted 02-11-2004 12:58 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I may or may not agree with you, but I am going to presume to argue her point for her.

Let's say God is a radio station, and the channel you are tuned to is perfectly suited to your needs and your tastes. I believe Kaoru was asking for a little respect to be allowed to listen to her own brand of music-- or even silence--without the distraction of what you and I both perceive to be the most beautiful music that could possibly exist.

Persistant witness sometimes annoys people because the witness is presuming that they are wrong about a personal matter in the first place.

Shrug.

I haven't a problem with it, but I honestly believe that the most effective testimonial is to be a living testament.

A difficult task, if not impossible.

Peace to you, Stephen. I appreciate your consideration.
Stephanos
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20 posted 02-11-2004 01:55 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I may or may not agree with you



It would be interesting to hear you views.  I wouldn't attack you.  I've grown to like you.  Though I might challenge your views, as you challenge mine.  It's good for us both, and may show us where we both may need to consider some other vantage.  That's what this kind of forum is for.    


quote:
Let's say God is a radio station, and the channel you are tuned to is perfectly suited to your needs and your tastes.


That may be where the parting occurs.  This analogy makes God subservient to our needs and tastes.  It makes us the center, and God our instrument.  It's not that I don't believe that God ultimately is the fulfillment for our needs and tastes, it's just that I couldn't come to him on that basis alone.  Neither do I think that anyone else can, based upon the revelation in the Bible.  I had to accept his authority in my life first.  He was Lord and Creator first,  personal savior second.  Not our terms, but his.  Else our needs and tastes will always be frustrated.


quote:
I believe Kaoru was asking for a little respect to be allowed to listen to her own brand of music-- or even silence--without the distraction of what you and I both perceive to be the most beautiful music that could possibly exist.



I agree.  There is a time to speak, and a time to be silent ... a time to plough and sow seeds, a time to water seeds with nothing more than loving kindness, and a time to let them grow of their own accord.  Christians are often bad garden hands, and need correction.  Myself included.  Her Christian friends very well may be going beyond their proper relation.  I've had Christians do the same to me, and the irritation was great.  But this I also discovered, in hindsight ... that there was a time, when ANY mention of eternal things was out of place in my mind.  Almost any comment, especially about my own salvation, angered me to no end.  And I was plain wrong about that.  I was in rebellion to God, and my heart was hardened against him.  Though in the final analysis, he changed my heart and not those who spoke to me.  But I certainly cannot now say that they shouldn't have done what they did.  Especially when it was done with concern.  I concede that there needs to be more thoughtfulness and gentleness surrounding the transmission of truth ... especially truth that happens to be difficult to receive.


quote:
I honestly believe that the most effective testimonial is to be a living testament.
A difficult task, if not impossible.



I agree wholeheartedly.  The most painful trial of the Christian is the need to be like Christ, and to shine with his light rather than with the incapable self.  But with God all things are possible.  I'm glad he hasn't given up on me, or you.    


quote:
Peace to you, Stephen. I appreciate your consideration



Peace to you as well, Serenity.  I will try to be considerate.   thank you also for yours.




Stephen.  


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21 posted 02-11-2004 02:37 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Wow.

Thank you so much. That reassurance of not being attacked is a big issue for me right now. And even better, I think I believe you wouldn't. (Um, "trust" issues, too, nothing personal, just bad programming on my part.)

And speaking of programming, I do wish you would reconsider my radio analogy. I'm rather fond of it myself, because in my perception it defines us as the instrument. "God" would be the music. (For the sake of discussion I'll not quibble over pronouns.)

Now to take that a step further, let's say we agreed that the music coming from, say, a station designated as WWOZ, located at 82 on your FM dial. Even with our acknowledgement that we are receiving "God" from the same source, our dials still would not tune in exactly the same, just by the fact that we do not occupy the same physical space. The variance might be minute, but it would still be there. There are some folks, who, in their enthusiasm are prone to presume to tweak the dial for other people.

It really is all about respect to me.

But I do have more thoughts on this, but forgive me if I take things a little slowly.

And thank you so much.

I'm not very confident on communication skills right now, and I think your graciousness is lovely.

Stephanos
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22 posted 02-12-2004 03:29 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
And speaking of programming, I do wish you would reconsider my radio analogy. I'm rather fond of it myself, because in my perception it defines us as the instrument. "God" would be the music. (For the sake of discussion I'll not quibble over pronouns.)



Only, with a radio and a radio-station, there is no moral incumbency upon the radio to be tuned in to a particular station.  The radio does not depend upon the station.  God's relation to us might be more like the owner of the radio relates to the radio.  Though any merely mechanistic analogy sounds a bit cold and impersonal.  Such analogies can be useful.  

Back to the primary difference though ... One analogy still makes the listener the one for whom the radio tower exists.  The listener's needs, not responsibilities, are paramount in your example.  But with God, our responsibilities must be recognized before any exacting demands are made concerning our needs.  This might sound harsh, but remember that God has been providing for needs all along.  It's not that God is tastefully suited for the ears of the radio listener.  It's that God actually made the ears to begin with.  His claims on our lives (and his kindnesses) are on a deeper level than we at first can imagine.  


quote:
Now to take that a step further, let's say we agreed that the music coming from, say, a station designated as WWOZ, located at 82 on your FM dial.


Wonderful Wizard of Oz no doubt!  How subtle you are Serenity.     That's cute.


quote:
The variance might be minute, but it would still be there. There are some folks, who, in their enthusiasm are prone to presume to tweak the dial for other people.



What if the message of the radio station were all important, telling evacuation plans for a coming disaster to the island?  And what if there were islanders who thought they had the right station but didn't, or were adamantly insistent upon listening to morning island jazz, instead of bothersome details from the "outside"?  

Respect would still be needed.  But any ideas about "all stations being equal" would have to be firmly denied by those who knew.  


more later,

thanks for your patience.

Stephen.  

    
serenity blaze
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23 posted 02-12-2004 04:26 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

well, I'm not sure pouting is allowed in this forum, but I will stand by my loosely geared analogy, poutless, if necessary!


I do have to disagree on the one source issue. Music is one art form with many varieties of expression. The God/dess of my belief is much like that, and I have a firm belief that the "Ultimate Divinity" has the ability and the wisdom to reveal Itself to the mortal mind in forms that are accessible to them. In other words God appears to people in forms that they can understand. It's all music--but I suspect here is where we'll part ways m'friend. And that's okay with me (not that I don't like you're company or anything) but more because I do now consider you a friend and respect you, and your rights to follow your own inclinations. To do otherwise would be a violation of the spirit of the gift of free will--and I wouldn't assume to usurp that gift. You have the right to choose, as do I.

Keep in my mind, though, I really do happen to like WWOZ and if you touch my dials without asking you just may get your hand smacked.
http://www.wwoz.org/


It's listed as 90.2, but on my little radio in the kitchen, nodding and smiling, it's 82.

The truth is just so neat, ain't it?

(laughing with ya again, and btw, this is probably one of the best Jazz and Blues radio stations in the world. Er, if you like that sorta thing. )
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24 posted 02-12-2004 07:35 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Wow ... I thought your radio station was fictitious.  It really was "island jazz"!


More later,

Stephen.
 
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