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Passions in Poetry

Second Coming

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Stephanos
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75 posted 08-22-2007 10:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike:
quote:
Unfortunately, Stefan, it doesn't, unless you are stating that those who make the statement (including the religious leaders) that one cannot enter Heaven without first acknowledging Jesus Christ as their Savior, is inaccurate or, at least, open to debate. If you are trying to make the claim that those who don't claim to believe in Jesus are actually believing in Jesus without knowing it, then that would be such a weak reply that I'm sure that's not your claim...so i'm still lost.

You're right that the Bible is clear about the necessity of belief and confession for salvation.  That of course is only possible for those who hear the gospel and respond.  For those who don't get to hear, for those (for whatever reason) alienated from overt Christian teachings, there may yet be opportunity outside that vein.  You banter with Ron about accepting Christ after death, but I could entertain the idea of a post-mortem opportunity to believe ... if we are talking about those beyond the direct call of evangelism.  (and though at first glance it might seem absurd to think that anyone could choose to reject God at that point, the nature of sin and self is such that I don't think it would be impossible-  I've heard people say that if they saw God face to face, they would reject him ... And, for some, I believe they might).  That doesn't mean that second, third, and limitless opportunities are forever spilled for those who have heard, and still decide against.  I think Ron's question was a good one, as to when it might be too late to change one's mind.    

After Lewis' quote that I gave you above, he went on to say:

"If you are worried about the people outside, the most unreasonable thing you can do is to remain outside yourself."

and in his essay "Man or Rabbit" he wrote:

"The question before each of us is not “Can someone lead a good life without Christianity?” The question is, “Can I?” We all know there have been good men who were not Christians; men like Socrates and Confucius who had never heard of it, or men like J. S. Mill who quite honestly couldn’t believe it. Supposing Christianity to be true, these men were in a state of honest ignorance or honest error. If there intentions were as good as I suppose them to have been (for of course I can’t read their secret hearts) I hope and believe that the skill and mercy of God will remedy the evils which their ignorance, left to itself, would naturally produce both for them and for those whom they influenced. But the man who asks me, “Can’t I lead a good life without believing in Christianity?” is clearly not in the same position. If he hadn’t heard of Christianity he would not be asking this question."


These quotes only express something which I agree with, that knowledge increases accountablility.  We may be sure that God's mercy is wide enough to be truly mercifcul, and not so wide as to be brute force.  That puts my mind at ease about those who are unreached by human evangelism, without easing the responsibility of those who do hear the gospel.  


Again, while you may disagree, I hope you understand what I'm saying.  Exclusivity of salvation through Christ I do stand by, as well as evangelism, and the necessity of faith and profession for those who hear, and the mercy of God working in untold ways for those who don't.  I don't see how any of these are contradictory.

Peace,

Stephen    
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76 posted 08-23-2007 12:06 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ok, Stefan...your first paragraph there makes it clear that facts (like what religious leaders actually say)mean little to those who wish to create their own scenarios and that's ok. I suppose that's what "blind faith" is all about.

I'm glad your mind is at ease....that's the bottom line. Best to ya...
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77 posted 08-23-2007 12:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Of course it would defeat their purpose, Ron. A thousand years after you're dead you're not going to church praying for forgiveness, not slipping money into the collection plate and not going to war because your leaders claim it is your religious duty to spread the word and defend your faith. You and Stefan both conjecture on what you may do hundreds of years after you die....not what you must do now. This is not the Scopes trial and Darrow is not making the point that 7 days in Genesis might actually be 700 centuries. When I hear the preacher say, "You must accept Jesus as your Savior to enter the kingdom of Heaven - and you have thousands of years to do so", then I'll be more apt to agree with you.

When you start offering up possibilities like the ones you mention to give your position weight, it makes any reasonable debate or exchange fairly impossible.

I surrender and confess that I have no idea what choices men may have enturies after they die. I only know what religion preaches you must do....and they speak of NOW, while you are still alive. Events happening thousands of years from now are left to dreamers and poets
Huan Yi
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78 posted 08-23-2007 08:56 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,

Can I at times
say once
in a thousand years or so
come over to your lotus
for a bowl of sake?


John
Stephanos
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79 posted 08-23-2007 10:37 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Balladeer:
quote:
Ok, Stefan...your first paragraph there makes it clear that facts (like what religious leaders actually say)mean little to those who wish to create their own scenarios and that's ok. I suppose that's what "blind faith" is all about.


Mike, you can dismiss something by calling it unfactual.  But even our own human nature suggests that it wouldn't be unreasonable.  We treat others according to their unique circumstances.  So may God.  


The only thing I was suggesting is that anyone offended about what God might do to "those of other faiths", may be surprised about how much mercy is given, especially to those who never get the chance to hear.  I just have to believe that's just not a good excuse for anyone, if that's what's stumbling them, since they have to be far more dogmatic than scripture is to say with certainty that God's plan is simply to "damn all the heathen".

But to suggest mercy in the way I have, doesn't diminish, one iota, the urgency or responsibility to believe the Gospel.  If the window of repentence is a gift, then who can take it for granted?  The principle is being accountable for what you know, and the plan varying accordingly.  I think Ron's statements about 1000 years after death, were probably hyperbole, to make a point.  If a well-aquainted person had not been inclined to surrender long before then, perhaps they never would?  


There's a passage of scripture (Romans chapter 11) where Paul is speaking about how God dealt with the Jews and the Gentiles, respectively.  The Jews of course represented those who "had heard, and heard often".  The Gentiles, on the other hand, were always viewed (by Jews) as out of God's favor, ignorant, and apart from his blessings.  God dealt differently with them according to the knowledge they had, and how they had used it.  For the Jews the day of severe judgment had come (though not final rejection).  For the Gentiles, they were warmly brought into the fold.  In describing this phenomenon Paul wrote "Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God".


I think what I've been trying to describe to you is simply that we can make the mistake of imagining God too kind where he is stern, and too stern where he is kind.  Our fallen minds can percieve him as curmudgeonly where he is precisely liberal and unfettering ... and as a sugar-daddy, precisely where he is more like a Captain or a resolute King.  


All I'm suggesting about God, is the likelihood of something you understand from your own human nature ... circumstantial discernment.  


Mike, I respect you.  You are intelligent, and a worthy discussion partner.  I'm not trying to attack your views so much as give you a different perspective to consider.  If you think it's time to stop the conversation (judging from your comments) than that's okay.  I only felt that I hadn't explained myself adequately.


Peace.          
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80 posted 08-24-2007 08:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Thank you, Stefan. No, I don't take your words as an attack at all and I don't mean for mine to be, either. I just get a little frustrated by responses that leave me saying "huh?".

Mike, you can dismiss something by calling it unfactual.  But even our own human nature suggests that it wouldn't be unreasonable

Suggest tha what wouldn't be unreasonable? Resonable means "with reason". I made the statement that religious Christian leaders state the one must accept Jesus Christ to enter heaven. Now that is indeed a fact. I am responded to with comments like "We must believe that God is kind" and "Perhaps we can accept Jesus 1000 years after we are dead and that would count" as counterpoints, all of which do nothing to refute the fact that that is NOT what preachers preach. You also claim that people have told you that they would reject God if they met Him face to face in the afterlife. Not only do I find that to be incredible, I find it equally incredible that it would even come up in a conversation....especially multiple times.

Conversations like this remind me of the current Geico commercial where the caveman is talking to the shrink and she comes up with  some flowery, vague interpretation to make a point and, when asking him if he would care to respond, he sits there for a second and then says. "Yes, I have a response....WHAT?"

Perhaps that is why they say never argue politics or religion...
Huan Yi
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81 posted 08-24-2007 04:09 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,294395,00.html


So where is she now?


PS

"If there be no God, there can be no soul."

is a conclusion I don't understand.


.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (08-24-2007 06:47 PM).]

TomMark
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82 posted 08-24-2007 04:56 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

It was very nature and normal for  her to write those, esp living her kind of life.

it is her personal opinion and it is good to think and rethink and think again about the whole Bible.

[This message has been edited by TomMark (08-24-2007 07:07 PM).]

Brad
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83 posted 08-24-2007 07:08 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Sorry for the interruption, guys:

quote:
Can I at times
say once
in a thousand years or so
come over to your lotus
for a bowl of sake?


You bet, but if it's in the summer, make sure it's cold.

It's been a while, but I bet I can still make a decent bowl of green tea.
serenity blaze
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84 posted 08-24-2007 07:11 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

oooh.

Cold sake....

really?

hmmmmmm...

uh oh.

Somethin' I never tried.

(It's gonna be your fault, too, Brad!)

Ron
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85 posted 08-24-2007 07:21 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Of course it would defeat their purpose, Ron. A thousand years after you're dead you're not going to church praying for forgiveness, not slipping money into the collection plate and not going to war because your leaders claim it is your religious duty to spread the word and defend your faith.

Okay. So explain to me, Mike, how accepting Christ on one's death bed (or on death row, which I believe you already mentioned as endemic) is greatly different? In my experience, the nearly-dead are only marginally more spry than the already-dead; witness the fact that the priests rush to the side of the dying rather than rushing the dying into the nearest church.

quote:
When you start offering up possibilities like the ones you mention to give your position weight, it makes any reasonable debate or exchange fairly impossible.

That's because we're talking about very different things, Mike. You're talking about organized religion, with a stark cynicism that is at least partially justified by human history. I'm not talking about what men might or might not do. I'm not exploring human motivations. I'm trying, rather, to reconcile how different passages of the Bible can all be true.

quote:
I think Ron's statements about 1000 years after death, were probably hyperbole, to make a point.

The number was picked at random, Stephen, but it wasn't necessarily intended as hyperbole. If the dead are to be resurrected en masse, it might come in five minutes or in five millennia. We're already faced with a pretty big "if," so the time frame seems largely unimportant to me. One random number seemed as good as any other.


serenity blaze
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86 posted 08-24-2007 07:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

quote:
In my experience, the nearly-dead are only marginally more spry than the already-dead; witness the fact that the priests rush to the side of the dying rather than rushing the dying into the nearest church.


Oooh.

That's really good, Ron. Thank you! (I'll quote you when I borrow that.)
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87 posted 08-25-2007 10:58 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Okay. So explain to me, Mike, how accepting Christ on one's death bed (or on death row, which I believe you already mentioned as endemic) is greatly different? .

Ron, I don't claim that they actually accept Jesus Christ on their death bed, or death row...but they say they do. Why? They are at the end, facing certain death at last. My guess is that many do it out of pure fear. They have got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. That's about the right time to grasp at any straw, just in case, wouldn't you say?

witness the fact that the priests rush to the side of the dying rather than rushing the dying into the nearest church.

You lose me there. First, if the dying could be rushed anywhere, it would be a hospital. Second, the church IS where the priest is. One doesn't have to be sitting in the church to be saved. The dying one is not "saved" by the altar, candles, statues or artifacts of the church, but by the priest trying to get him to accept Jesus before he goes. (he doesn't tell him he has thousands of years to make up his mind )

I DO agree with one thing you said, though. We are indeed talking about two different things and I AM talking about organized religion, which is different from one simply having personal beliefs. I speak against the "my way or the highway", believe in our guy or you're wrong, accept out faith or burn in hell for eternity type of banter types. I speak against the priests who preach the word of God while molesting children, the Pope preaching aid for the poor while living in a billion dollar hotel, the tv evangelists enticing the gullible to send those preayer requests in (with money), and all of these people saying that whoever does not believe in their brand of faith is doomed for eternity. None of these things have really anything to do with whatever God there happens to be. They are all human endeavors and they are what I attack. Religion is a product. Preachers are the salesmen. I abhor the tactics of those who try to sell by shame or threats or intimidation.

(haven't had my morning coffee yet
Stephanos
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88 posted 08-25-2007 11:24 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Mike,

And yet none of those observations (many of which I agree with) means that exclusivity of salvation through Christ, is merely an invention of man's greed, or just another expression of sectarianism.

Nor does it mean that there are not devoted and holy men of God even today, who preach salvation in Christ, for the glory of God and the benefit of the hearers.  

I would suggest that you keep your keen discernment, and radar for hypocrisy  (we really do need that), without becoming hardened against all.  The only difference between a reformer and a rebel, is that one knows there's a buried pearl worth digging for, the other is just slinging mud.  I'm actually convinced that you'll prove to be the former and not the latter.


Or ... you could just go to Starbuck's and slake that Caffeine Monster within.     


Stephen
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89 posted 08-25-2007 01:13 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Balladeer
----My guess is that many do it out of pure fear. They have got one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. That's about the right time to grasp at any straw, just in case, wouldn't you say? ---

Are you sure that they grasped their straw?
God listens to heart not words. If God runs His business as you said, no wonder you have your doubt, I'll surly run away from Him and ignore all morals and rules.

And to get into the organized religion? you might have to be able to  recite Psalms 119 and at least 500 huors Pre-Bath101 in Missionary school. (same as pre-natal class to get some knowledge about birth and delivery). Think about it!!! next year, they may ask for a Phd in Theology to get admitted.  


[This message has been edited by TomMark (08-25-2007 04:07 PM).]

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90 posted 08-25-2007 05:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No worries, Stephen. I know that there are many good people out there, also and that they outnumber the bad...they just don't get the publicity!

We have one such individual at the local church here...reverend Smiley (Yes, that's his real name). If you choose to attend church, he will speak of Jesus and the kingdom of Heaven. Outside of the church, you will not hear it and yet, after spending time with him, you will understand Christianity better than any sermon can teach. He leads by example and lets his  actions speak for him. Whether or not I agree with his beliefs, I have a tremendous respect for the man.  I'm sure there are many like him out there and they are a credit to what they represent.  
Huan Yi
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91 posted 08-25-2007 07:09 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Still, no one has even tried to answer
my question:


"So where is she now?"


Let's say there is
a life long atheist and God
like to the deeply doubting
Mother Theresa after death
reveals himself as a fact.
Does that atheist's then
acknowledgement get him in?


.
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92 posted 08-25-2007 07:22 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Huan, I'll ask God when I meet Him. and I am sure that there will be ways to get back to you.
Stephanos
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93 posted 08-26-2007 08:08 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John,

I would like to try.  But I can't just yet.  I'll explain why I think that Mother Teresa can't (or shouldn't) be compared to an atheist.  


Stephen
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94 posted 08-26-2007 03:33 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

When you ask "where is she now" what exactly do you mean?

Physically, or in the hearts and minds of those who loved and admired her?

And?

I've been waiting to see if someone would point out the obvious similarity and comparison to Mathew 27:46 ...
Stephanos
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95 posted 08-26-2007 05:59 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Karen,

Why wait when you can do it yourself.



Stephen
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96 posted 08-26-2007 06:20 PM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Stephanos, I'll still waiting for your response.  *smile*
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97 posted 08-26-2007 06:27 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Points of Comparison
1.God
2.son of God
3.love
4.sin
5.death

Jesus
1. Knows absolutely there is a God
2. Knows clearly that he is son of God and his job in this world
3. is God's love
4. no sin
5. dead of no-sin..(death is the consequence of sin)
Jesus cried for the  no.5

Mother Teresa
1. Doubt if there is God
2. Doubt if there is Jesus, the son of God.
3. do not feel the love sometime
4. A Sinner
5. she died as average human being.

Mother Teresa cried for 1,2,3. every body(Christian) thinks like this...esp in a very difficlut time. Still she, within her limited ability either from God or from herself...she gave lot and lot to others...... Nonetheless,she is a gread human being.

[This message has been edited by TomMark (08-26-2007 07:16 PM).]

serenity blaze
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98 posted 08-26-2007 07:07 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Since Huan Yi asked the question, I thought I'd wait for him to reply, Stephen, since I asked him to clarify it a little bit--if that's all right with you



I mean, if I wanted to have a conversation all by myself, I'd write a book.

OH.

heh, heh?

nevermind *cracking up*
Stephanos
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99 posted 08-26-2007 10:15 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Iliana,

I'll get to it.  Let me get a day off or two first.


Karen,

Acutally to write book is a way to hold a conversation with thousands of people.  If you listen, they'll talk back.


And ... I don't know that it's like John to return and answer his own questions.  They're usually totally rhetorical.  (no offense John)  That's just his style.


Stephen
 
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