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Passions in Poetry

Second Coming

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Stephanos
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100 posted 08-27-2007 06:23 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John:
quote:
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?


I'm not sure that I can answer everything you're trying to ask.  But I would like to suggest that there are different kinds of doubting ... or rather, different hearts behind the doubting.


In speaking of Jesus' disciple Thomas, who is most famous for his 'doubting', A.B. Bruce wrote:


"concerning the doubt of this disciple. It did not proceed from unwillingness to believe. It was the doubt of a sad man, whose sadness was due to this, that the event whereof he doubted was one of which he would most gladly be assured. Nothing could give Thomas greater delight than to be certified that his Master was indeed risen. This is evident from the joy he manifested when he was at length satisfied. 'My Lord and my God!' that is not the exclamation of one who is forced reluctantly to admit a fact he would rather deny. It is common for men who never had any doubts themselves to trace all doubt to bad motives, and denounce it indiscriminately as a crime. Now, unquestionably, too many doubt from bad motives, because they do not wish and cannot afford to believe. Many deny the resurrection of the dead, because it would be to them a resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt. But this is by no means true of all. Some doubt who desire to believe; nay, their doubt is due to their excessive anxiety to believe. They are so eager to know the very truth, and feel so keenly the immense importance of the interests at stake, that they cannot take things for granted, and for a time their hand so trembles that they cannot seize firm hold of the great objects of faith--a living God; an incarnate, crucified, risen Saviour; a glorious eternal future. Theirs is the doubt peculiar to earnest, thoughtful, pure-hearted men, wide as the poles asunder from the doubt of the frivolous, the worldly, the vicious: a holy, noble doubt, not a base and unholy; if not to be praised as positively meritorious, still less to be harshly condemned and excluded from the pale of Christian sympathy -a doubt which at worst is but an infirmity, and which ever ends in strong, unwavering faith."


also, in explaining Jesus' words "Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe", Bruce wrote:


"little does He mean to say that all the felicity falls to the lot of those who have never, like Thomas, doubted. The fact is not so. Those who believe with facility do certainly enjoy a blessedness all their own. They escape the torment of uncertainty, and the current of their spiritual life flows on very smoothly. But the men who have doubted, and now at length believe, have also their peculiar joys, with which no stranger can intermeddle. Theirs is the joy experienced when that which was dead is alive again, and that which was lost is found. Theirs is the rapture of Thomas when he exclaimed, with reference to a Saviour thought to be gone for ever, 'My Lord and my God.' Theirs is the bliss of the man who, having dived into a deep sea, brings up a pearl of very great price."  (A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve)


"How long, O LORD ?
Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
" (Psalm 13:1)


St. John of the Cross, also wrote of the "Dark Night of the Soul", where a believer goes through and intense period of lonliness and abandonment and doubt.  When it comes to Sister Teresa, I will agree that the length of this 'dark night' is perplexing.  But personally, I see no reason why such a thing should color or define her whole Spiritual tenor.  She obviously said many other things which were contrary to the spirit of darkness and doubt, and faith-affirming.  Even in her darkness, she professed "such deep longing for God", which I find antithetical to true unbelief.  As Karen pointed out, the greatest believer of all (Jesus) went through such moments.  To put it simply, I doubt her doubts, perhaps as much as you may doubt her faith.  


Lastly, I don't see that such bereavement, longing, and lonliness for something that doesn't exist (among countless people) makes much sense.  On the other hand, it makes sense that such pining feelings flow from a once held knowledge of God's presence.  To try and explain such a phenomenon in mere Freudian or Evolutionary terms, gives rise to a doubt more profound even than Mother Teresa's.  


To answer your question about the atheist ... I'm not sure.  But I do think that even an atheist may hope that his doubts are the kind that will ulimately prove to be what I described above.  Such a hope would at least begin to suggest a kind of impregnation of faith.  Faith does not exclude intellectual questions, but since the question involves the whole person (heart motives as well as the mind), mere intellectual difficulties are not necessarily fatal to it ... anymore than intellectual difficulties are fatal to unbelief.        


Stephen
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101 posted 08-28-2007 01:31 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Michael Vick announced today that this ordeal has caused him to find Jesus....hallaleujah!
Stephanos
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102 posted 08-28-2007 11:25 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

His statement may or may not be genuine.  Time will tell.  Still, I don't think he's saying it to escape public responsibility, or to get a cheap and quick respect, seeing that most of the media, like you, tend to scoff at such statements.  I do know that exposed sin and public humiliation is often a precondition for coming to Christ.  Those who think they're "okay" simply don't usually come.  Maybe that's why many of these confessions prove false.  When things are looking better, and the amenities of fame and fortune dull the sense of spiritual need, such well-meant words are forgotten.  Either way, the better response from us is to either hope its for real, or if you can't yet do that, to hope for the best without ridicule.


Stephen
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103 posted 08-28-2007 10:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

A very Christian thing for you to say, sir,however, if you think Vick really found Jesus based on his butt being in this sling, I'm sending you a brochure of all the swampland we have done here for sale.

Label me a doubting Thomas, I suppose...
Stephanos
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104 posted 08-29-2007 09:40 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I'm only reminding you Mike, that in a sense, all our butts are "in a sling" at some point or another.  With Thomas, he wanted the thing he doubted to be true.  


Stephen  

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105 posted 08-30-2007 01:51 PM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

Where is he?   Oh, where oh where can he be?
Where does one search for the omnipresent?
Where does one find that which is said to be...
ALL  in  ALL ?

::smiles::

Christ is Mind    Mind is Christ
Buddha is Mind    Mind is Buddha

Christ or Buddha will never be found...apart from Mind.

Apart from Mind...there isn't even a "you" to search for such.

I   will never leave you or forsake you

Enjoy !!!!
Stephanos
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106 posted 08-30-2007 04:08 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Absorbing Christian doctrine into Buddhism is too easy ... or maybe too hard.  There are too many texts which assert that Christ is not simply another term for universal mind.  "I will never leave or forsake you" is not the same as "there is no I or you".  Of coure a belief system which doubts that prepositional truth (and ultimately human individuality) exists, texts become totally elastic and irrelevant.  It would be more accurate to say that you don't adhere to Christian teaching (within its own world-view), than to say it really means Eastern Monism, if only you accept Eastern Monism first.


Stephen
    
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107 posted 08-30-2007 04:48 PM       View Profile for XOx Uriah xOX   Email XOx Uriah xOX   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for XOx Uriah xOX

(((easy)))   (((hard)))   Fun thoughts

Monism...is a fun thought
Universal...  is a fun thought
text...is a fun thought     ::smiles::

When no thoughts arise...Does the universe appear?
When thoughts cease...What text is seen?

None of these things appear until the "I am" thought arises.  All other thoughts are rooted in the "I" thought.

As was stated in the "What is Truth?" thread...
Find that which is constant.
Does not appear and disappear
Exist prior to phenomena
Exist in the absence of phenomena.
That is Truth

Where will you look?

::smiles::   Enjoy !!!

Essorant
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108 posted 08-30-2007 05:23 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The Dinosaurs will probably return before Christ does.
Stephanos
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109 posted 08-30-2007 05:41 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Uriah,

I can't make much of your reply.  But I guess I'll respond by saying that I don't deny the eternal nature of God.  (eternity seems to be the gist of what you're trying to say)  That still doesn't make our minds the same thing as God's, only likenesses.  Nor does that rule out the fact that Eternal Word became man in historical incarnation.  And that God-man will return and judge the world.


Essorant,

Why do you think so?


Stephen.
Huan Yi
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110 posted 08-30-2007 05:53 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"The Dinosaurs will probably return before Christ does."


Agree;
only much bigger and with a lot more teeth.
No sense in being eaten alive twice.


.
Essorant
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111 posted 09-17-2007 01:24 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The Holy Fossil saith so
Stephanos
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112 posted 09-17-2007 01:30 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ever read 2nd Peter chapter 3?


Stephen

Essorant
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113 posted 09-17-2007 02:03 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Yes.  How far should I believe in it?
Sunshine
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114 posted 09-17-2007 05:23 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Re: Mother Teresa, I found the end of the article to be enlightening:

quote:
The late Pope John Paul II, a great admirer of Mother Teresa, began the process of beatification immediately after her death. This required proof of a miracle cure performed through her intercession, and in 2002 the Vatican recognized as a miracle the healing of a stomach tumor in an Indian woman, Monica Besra, who laid a locket containing Mother Teresa’s picture on her abdomen. A second miracle is required for the nun to proceed to canonisation.


One could liken the early learning stages of religion to the early learning stages of marriage.  Then, as one ages, expands in knowledge, and purportedly becomes somewhat wiser, it seems then that one would ask more questions of what still seems so very elusive to them. Why is that?

Is it because expectations of "love" haven't been met? What are the limits? Where are the boundaries?  What turned the "hot" passion [zeal] off, or perhaps it was a "who" and not a "what".  Compare them, and one might see that Mother Teresa's marriage to her faith left her wondering where all the clowns had gone, for surely the circus of life is more than cotton candy and wild animals.  Isn't it?

I am not surprised, Huan, that you would bring in that link to this particular conversation. It makes sense that one would tire of seeing poverty, illness, dis-ease, and wonder, "Oh, where ARE you, Lord?"

To me, it is quite simple. Even for her questions which she wrote in privacy, she still acted and lived in His Word and in His Light.

We all question everything. I'm sure He does, too...


Stephanos
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115 posted 09-17-2007 07:47 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Yes.  How far should I believe in it?


As far as you possibly can.

Stephen
Essorant
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116 posted 09-18-2007 05:17 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

That seems a fair answer.
 
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