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Passions in Poetry

Distance and Enchantment

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Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


25 posted 08-20-2005 12:34 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 see your point and understand...and a very good question, I can't answer that Stepanoes, wish I could...except to say, I believe in no religion inparticular.



Lee J.  I was only trying to point out that you are already believing very particular things religiously.  That's not a bad thing.


quote:
What I can say, is when I look at nature, and the vital importance of all things, how we're all so connected, the human body, nature, the exact revolutions of each planet, the power of the mind, or the body's ability to heal, the miracle of birth, space & planets, & beyond to other solar systems...the emensity of the universe, the miraculous dimensions, the power of love...molecular science...my gosh, how can one not believe there is something very wise and powerful...



For example, what you've described above is nothing less than belief in a transcendent personal God.  There are only three religions in the world that believe that.  I would say that believing in such would definitely identify you with a particular religious vein ... even if you have not settled on one of the alternatives down that road.  

quote:
I don't believe God in all his divine power made women to be beneath men, to be withheld from the scriptures, to be looked upon as a slave with no mind, other then to conceive children...I really don't believe God had that in mind...



I don't either.  And there's a pretty good case that the Bible doesn't teach anything like that.  Of course some people have duped others by teaching scripture out of context, by bringing out points that seem to support their particular imbalance, and deftly hiding or not making mention of scriptures that would seem to contradict their personal abuse.  


quote:
and if Adam and Eve were a true story, then who came first, prehistoric animals or prehistoric man
where was the garden of Eden?  Why have we never found the arc?



Those are all good questions (best taken one at time), as long as their mere existence doesn't rule out belief.  Are these questions that you are really asking now, or are you just rhetorically reminding me that there are many many questions surrounding the faith?  If you are, then yes, I am very aware of that.  And I am not a stranger to having questions.  I don't like it when people tell me to believe without questioning anything, either.  I think we were supposed to question and seek.


quote:
Why so many religions with altogether different beliefs


There are many ways to answer that question.

Firstly, I would say that it's because human-kind was created with a need and desire ... a kind of innate knowledge that there is something higher to worship.  


But why would there be so much falsehood, contradiction, and turmoil associated with religious belief?  Christianity would attribute much of this to the fall, and to Satan.  If there are conscious evil forces at work to turn us away from the truth.  If somebody "doesn’t want us to get it" then wouldn’t it be reasonable to suppose that counterfeiting would be one of his methods?


But if that's the case, then the question arises: Why is there so much truth and goodness in ALL religions? Because lies can't even operate apart from the truth.  And the nature of truth is in liberality, not in miserly withholding.  Truth is flung far and wide because God wanted it that way.  He has a reason for it.  And whatever is true, or lovely, ultimately points to Christ.  One of the most liberating things about coming to faith in Christ, for me was not having to think that other religions are bad through and through.  Of course the Bible says that there is only one true God, and only one divine person through whom we may come to him, but it doesn’t suggest that there is no truth or beauty outside of Christendom.  


quote:
how did some from the muslim religion actually come to believe that killing people is what God wants?



Well, Justice is an attribute of God.  But so is Mercy.  I would say that the Muslims, have lost this balance, and therefore are convinced that they are doing God a favor by administering what they are sure is justice.  If there is no spiritual understanding of mercy and love, through Christ, then things are bound to be lopsided.  And the so-called revelation given to Mohammed (who was literally a warrior), and its message of Jihad is believed by Muslims to supercede the New Testament which says "Blessed are the Peacemakers".      


quote:
There are many things left to question...and it isn't Satan making me question the Bible, as I love God and His Son very much!



I'm not trying to disrespect you at all, for your beliefs.  That’s not my intention.  I'm just trying to clarify by asking you to explain what sounds like a contradiction to me.  You said earlier that you believe “no religion in particular”, yet here you say say that you love “God and his Son”.  Isn’t that particular to Christianity?  That’s getting pretty specific, since the divine sonship of Jesus is THE central doctrine of the Christian belief.      


quote:
But I don't believe in my heart, they would surpress women from even an important job like being a deciple? Man is a whole derived from two halfs, one could not be without the other.



Neither do I.  The women in the New Testament were definitely disciples (ardent followers) of Jesus.  And you are right, Genesis 1:27 says "God created man in his own image ... male and female he created them".  As if "man" in God’s eyes was summed up by these two members together in glorious union.  Though I believe that there is some difference of authority in marriage, I do not believe that men are "better" than women ... just different.  


quote:
Jesus was a man and why would God not grant him the spiritual gift of knowing physical love?  so so many of the old time fundamentalists feel that Jesus was celebate.  Why, b/c apparently in their own minds Jesus would never stoop that low?  Which in my mind tells me, these people actually believe physical love is something very wrong...well it's not!  

To me, making love, is the only thing we have to give of ourselves to another, which is a precious and miraculous gift, and not be shared with just anyone.



Your second statement actually answers your initial question.  You said that making love is a "precious and miraculous gift", which is "not to be shared with just anyone".  Well, the Jews (including Jesus) always understood sexual relations outside of Marriage to be fornication.  Since the most reliable documents about Jesus (the synoptic gospels, and the gospel of John) record that he was indeed unmarried celibate, it would stand to reason that a man who was better than any other man, would avoid the sin of fornication.  Now if you are basing your belief on the psuedepigraphal works (written much later by dubious authors), as Dan Brown does, then you are going to get a different picture of Jesus.  

I believe that Jesus was celibate because 1) it is more tenable belief (historically speaking), and 2) because his life was set apart for an itinerant ministry to the poor, sick, oppressed people of Israel, and also to eventually be misunderstood, betrayed, captured by the authorities, and crucified for the sins of the world.  Marriage would only have been an incumbrance, getting in the way of what he came to accomplish for his mystical Bride, the Church ... for you and me.  As soldiers leave their marriage delights to go overseas and fight for their country ... so Jesus left his marriage rights WILLINGLY to accomplish something higher.  That doesn't mean that Marriage is bad.  He never taught that.  And I don't know any preachers / ministers / or Christians who teach that.  Though I'm sure there are fringe groups who do so, at the expense of true-to-the-text Biblical interpretation.    


Again, you don’t have to believe that sexuality means "stooping low", or "something very wrong", to believe that Jesus was celibate.  I believe he was celibate for reasons specific to his calling, not out of any a priori condemnation of sex.  Jesus was not an ascetic.  

The New Testament teaches that sexuality, and marriage, are wonderful gifts of God to be celebrated.  They just happened to be gifts that Jesus denied himself, because he loved us enough that he felt he had something more important to do.           And I'm more than glad that he did.  


quote:
what I care about is how you treat me now, regardless of my beliefs...or how insulted one becomes b/c I express my opinion...as long as I express respectfully, thoughtfully, with great allowance.


I am not at all insulted.  And I will try to treat you with respect.  That doesn't mean I won’t challenge your beliefs, as you do mine.  Even those who disagree may do so in a kind manner, don't you think?


quote:
What I care about is when I see people who do believe in the Lord by their religion only
make comments like, "You've got to be saved to go to heaven"  or "you've got to hang around with people of our faith"  or hear a woman speak the words, "If a person of another color joined our church, I'd leave".  how utterly narrow minded...



I'm not sure what you mean when you say "by their religion only".  But, isn’t it reasonable to suppose that someone who calls Jesus "Lord", will at least try to adhere to what he said and taught?  Otherwise, it seems to me, that "Lord" is much too strong a word.  When Christians say "You’ve got to be saved to go to heaven", they are only believing and restating what the text of the Bible says in various places, and particularly relating things that Jesus spoke.  I still think such a thing can be said with both respect and love.  In fact, if I really believe it, you should less of me if I obscure it, just because I want you to like ME.  That's thinking more of myself than of you.  Of course I do want you to like me too.             


"You’ve got to hang around with people of our faith" ... and "if a person of another color joined our church, I’d leave". ... Concerning these, Lee, you're absolutely right!  How utterly narrowminded.  I can’t defend these statements at all.  And if I ever hear things like that it makes me just as angry as you.  


quote:
No sir, from the beginning of the time I was confirmed, I started asking questions, and was silenced or scolded b/c they didn't have answers...
  


I don't think you should ever have been scolded for questions.  Even if someone happens to be right, they can create an unnecessary offense, and make it impossible for someone to even want to learn from them.  Maybe they mistook your questions for irreverence or something.  I assure you I don't want to make that same blunder.  I am thrilled that you are so inquisitive.  


quote:
God knows my needs, the one thing, I would like to believe is that Jesus' seed might very well be walking this earth...it's not a impossiblity.



God does know your needs, intimately.  And no, it’s not an impossibility.  I definitely believe that his "seed" is walking the earth ... maybe not through a literal genetic posterity, but through faith and a new birth.  Jesus once asked onlookers, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" and pointing to his disciples said "Here are my mother and my brothers, for whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother".  


Stephen.
LeeJ
Member Patricius
since 06-19-2003
Posts 13093
SE PA


26 posted 08-22-2005 07:43 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Dear Stephan

First allow me to say, that I do like you!!!  

and feel great appreciation/admiration, that you've taking the time to discuss this issue.  

It is so difficult expressing in forums as one cannot see another’s facial expressions, and please allow me to clarify...my statements were not directed at you personally, nor did I think you were attacking me.  

I write as I speak, and unfortunately when I say you, I mean, anyone....let me clarify...  

Upon writing, “I don’t care where "you’ve" (should have been I don't care where "anyones" been) but how "you" (should again have been, but how that person) treats me now.  Unfortunately, its how I express myself meaning, not you, individually/singularly but anyone out there who I meet.  People as a whole…..understand?
Sorry for the confusion

Honestly, never thought you were attacking me, rather, enjoying this, like  two people over coffee, picking each others brains...

You have expressed some good view points...adding, even though you may be right about my belief in God and His son, I won't ever allow it to govern my personal being as a religion...to me, it is my faith, not my religion!  

Stephan, thank you for taking the time to converse in this forum to help me understand your points of view...you've been very kind patient and informative...

Sincerely
Lee J.
Stephanos
Deputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


27 posted 08-22-2005 04:33 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephan, thank you for taking the time to converse in this forum to help me understand your points of view...you've been very kind patient and informative...



You are very welcome, Lee.  
I enjoyed the exchange very much.  

Stephen.
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