1. Joined
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    24 Apr '05 05:27
    i want to belive in the christian god, but there are many things about the faith that make no sense to me. here are just a couple:

    1. am i to believe that our only purpose here on earth is to worship and glorify god? that seems egotistical on god's part to the extreme. what satisfaction could god possibly derive out of forcing me to try but knowing that i could not possibly live up to his standards? plus, sometimes it seems to me that we are just some sort of game to god -- why would you create adam, and put him in a beautiful garden, and then include a forbidden tree? for kicks and giggles? to me, that is just setting us all up for failure.

    2. also, to me, god's way of transmitting vital information to us concerning how we must live seems inefficient. it relies on introducing jesus at one specific point in history and then basically assuming that the word will reliably carry on down through the generations. just to make it more interesting, jesus often spoke in parables to those who would listen.

    i am not here to offend anyone; i am just confused on many matters that i think are crucially important. i am open to all forms of criticism and alternative viewpoints.
  2. Standard memberDarfius
    The Apologist
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    24 Apr '05 09:02
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    i want to belive in the christian god, but there are many things about the faith that make no sense to me. here are just a couple:

    1. am i to believe that our only purpose here on earth is to worship and glorify god? that seems egotistical on god's part to the extreme. what satisfaction could god possibly derive out of forcing me to try but knowing ...[text shortened]... i think are crucially important. i am open to all forms of criticism and alternative viewpoints.
    Hello, Lemon, I want to welcome you to RHP first of all. Those are some great questions, and I want to reassure you with what God says in His Word, the Bible:

    Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

    Actually, our purpose on Earth is to make a choice. Our choice is to accept that no matter how good we are in life, it is filthy and evil compared to God, and as such, we deserve Hell but His sacrifice on the cross paid our way to Heaven. Or we can make a choice against Him, deny our Maker, the one who gave us existence and gives us breath, and die in our sins. If we choose the former, He works in our lives and molds us not into someone worse than who we were, but into who we were MEANT to be, before our sins twisted us. Glorifying God is something we do because He is worthy of it. When you look at the stars, and you know He molded them, or your family, and you know He crafted them, who is like Him? He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Your soul cries out to praise Him when you know Him.

    He gets no pleasure out of you failing to live a sinless life, but He gets pleasure out of you turning to Him because He is your only hope, your rock, your Savior. If we could open the Bible and find one word, it would be FAITH. God just wants us to acknowledge that without our Maker we are nothing. Without Him to save us from our self induced punishment in Hell, we would all suffer. He would have been well within goodness and justness to leave us to our fate, but His love for us was too great.

    We are no game, dear Lemon. We are one of His most beautiful creations. We are intelligent enough to stand in awe at His Majesty and have free will to be able to choose to do so or not. Don't you see? If Adam never had the possiblity of disobeying God, we would be glorified slaves. We would be happy, of course, but it would be a shallow form of happiness, when we've never known sadness. God would forever know that it wasn't our choice and that He forced it on us. He did not set us up for failure, He set us up for victory through Him, and with it, the truest love there is.

    What better way of transmitting vital information than the Bible? It preserves our free will, and it gets His message accross. It is our choice to see if the Bible contains God's message to us, and no one forces us to. God didn't 'rely' on anything. He inspired those men while they wrote and He protected His Word throughout the centuries, insuring that men would be able to see it. And He chose the Jews to be His beacon to the world. He promises to protect them until the end of time to proclaim His existence. Have you heard of the War of independance or the Six Day War in 1967? In both, Israel was vastly outnumbered by Arab neighbors and won. Even non-believers thought the Six Day War that won them Jerusalem was a miracle. God uses Israel to proclaim His existence to this dying world, because of His love for us.

    Jesus spoke in parables because of the many proud people who weren't interested in His message. As difficult as it is to believe, some people CANNOT love God, because they are too in love with themselves. People saw Jesus' miracles and explained them away, because they worshipped themselves more than their Maker. Jesus said in the Gospels "Father, I thank you for hiding this (His message of salvation) from the wise and the prudent, and revealing it to the meek.' Those who want truth and not comfort will find God, He promises us. If you read the Gospels, Jesus ALWAYS explained His parables to His disciples (when they were alone) because they wanted the truth.

    I understand you are confused. Let me show you a quote from God's Word in 1st Corinthians 1:

    18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (unsaved)foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

    20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the philosopher of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

    23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks (Gentiles) foolishness;

    24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

    25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

    27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

    29 That no flesh (man) should glory (boast) in his presence.


    The hardest lesson Man has to learn is that only God is worthy of praise and not Man. Once we learn that, we are open to the truth, and open to His everlasting love and His grace, which saves us from wrath.

    I will end with a few verses I think are important, and I want you to know you are in my prayers.

    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again (from flesh to Holy Spirit), he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.















  3. Standard memberthesonofsaul
    King of the Ashes
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    24 Apr '05 10:07
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    i want to belive in the christian god, but there are many things about the faith that make no sense to me. here are just a couple:

    1. am i to believe that our only purpose here on earth is to worship and glorify god? that seems egotistical on god's part to the extreme. what satisfaction could god possibly derive out of forcing me to try but knowing ...[text shortened]... i think are crucially important. i am open to all forms of criticism and alternative viewpoints.
    Very good questions indeed. And I apologise for all theists in the sheer wordiness of Darfius' responce. He sensed blood and he swam as fast as he could to the source.

    Wait, that's not fair. He truly does fear for your everlasting soul, and that should always be taken into account.

    However, I do not fear for your soul. I think you are on the right path for salavtion, but of course I'm not the one who makes that judgement. However, as the sole vocal non-Christian theist on this site (that means I'm the only one who regularly admits it) I feel obliged to respond to your post.

    First, I have to ask: What do you mean by the Christian God? Do you mean the idea that there is a single God who is our Creator and Father, or do you mean the specific God of the Christian scripture? It is an important difference. Dafius has said m ore than once that my God is akin to Santa Claus. Now to address your questions.

    Everything that God does and thinks is of course by definition right and correct. However, the story of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for a very human perspective on our relationship with God. It is not the literal truth. Is it inspired by God? Probably. One has to assume that all art, music and literature is inspired by God for it is all within His creation. Unless you believe in Satan and that Satan has the power to create, but that is a different thread, and I'm falling off my track.

    The story of Adam and Eve, when taken literally, seems to suggest that we sinned before God's eyes, He was disgusted with His grandest of creations, and he cast us from Eden with all the force that Holy Disgust could muster. You and I both, it seems, have problems with this. However, when it is taken into account that this is a human perspective and a human story the metaphor begins to take on a different shape; instead of the thrown-out child, we become the runaway. That is, we did not sin against God, but ourselves, and more importantly, when we began to think that we knew what is Good and what is Evil and we had the power to judge which was which, we became seperated from God, doomed to forever be deaf to the sounds of the angels, the True Word of God which is sung in a language that we can never fathom while we remain human. Yet even though we are doomed in this way, God still walks beside us and within us, still whispers to us. His angels still sing to us, and occasionally we catch barely a wisp of it. Our mind struggles with it, determined to find a way to bring it into our self-imposed prison. The result of this is art, music, poetry and prose.

    In short, we cannot know the mind of God, and we need only to forgive ourselves. God forgives us automatically at that point. See the story of the prodigal son in the Gospel.

    As for the need to worship, I'm afraid I'm at a loss as to where to go to accomplish this. I find that the more liberal Christian churches, such as the United Methodists and the ELCA Lutherans and most Baptists, at least have flexible minds and have sermons that are inspirational even to those who do not wish to accept the tenets of the faith. After all, you don't have to join the chuch to attand every week. The Methodists, I know, would even be cool with you taking communion sans oaths.

    This was sort of the shot-gun approach, but I hope I hit some of your questions. If you have any more feel free to ask.

    ... --- ...
  4. Subscriberno1marauder
    Humble and Kind
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    24 Apr '05 10:18
    Darfius: Even non-believers thought the Six Day War that won them Jerusalem was a miracle


    Utter nonsense. The Israeli armed forces staged a lighting sneak attack that destroyed the Arab air forces on the ground; then pushed their well-trained and militarily superior forces through the Egyptian forces in the Sinai in a matter of days. This was no "miracle" or even a surprise to military experts; the Israelies had done the same thing in 1956. They then turned on the far weaker Jordanian forces and quickly defeated them; no "miracle" there either. God was not seen firing lighting bolts down on the Arab forces in this campaign to the best of my knowledge. Please read an unbiased military history of the campaign rather than fundamentalist web pages if you want the real facts, Darfius.
  5. Standard memberfrogstomp
    Bruno's Ghost
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    24 Apr '05 12:30
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    i want to belive in the christian god, but there are many things about the faith that make no sense to me. here are just a couple:

    1. am i to believe that our only purpose here on earth is to worship and glorify god? that seems egotistical on god's part to the extreme. what satisfaction could god possibly derive out of forcing me to try but knowing ...[text shortened]... i think are crucially important. i am open to all forms of criticism and alternative viewpoints.
    1} Up to Abram the stories in Genesis came from Chaldean Mythology. It was Abram that founded the monotheistic religion using the father of the Indo-European Sumerian gods , An ( the Semetic Accadian's Anu) as a template for El. The gods of that pantheon were not exactly friendly toward mankind, having created us to be their slaves.

    2) read the words of Christ and judge for yourself the validity of them.
  6. Standard memberfrogstomp
    Bruno's Ghost
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    24 Apr '05 12:423 edits
    Originally posted by Darfius
    [b]Hello, Lemon, I want to welcome you to RHP first of all. Those are some great questions, and I want to reassure you with what God says in His Word, the Bible:
    b]
    When was Paul elevated to god status?

    You show such a lack of understanding, you describe a god that hates man, an insecure god ,in essense a god that's not worthy of the love it demands!

    It's you, Darfius, that is confused.
  7. Et in Arcadia ego...
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    24 Apr '05 14:221 edit
    Only someone with a twisted mind would associate the Biblical Kingdom of Israel with the modern Israeli state, which, incidentally, was founded on terrorism. No miracles there. But then again, Protestant fundalmentalism knows no logic or reason, so D. is just continuing on in his ridiculous tradition. Knowing that, is he really the one to be giving spiritual advice to someone with valid questions? My advice would match the above post: read the Bible, and then make your own mind up on these things. Or discuss them with healthy-minded individuals. Don't bother about the lunatics out there- and there are plenty of them, too. Good luck, mate!
  8. An' it harms none...
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    24 Apr '05 15:19
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    However, as the sole vocal non-Christian theist on this site (that means I'm the only one who regularly admits it)
    Youre not the only one although when I have admitted it in the past I've gotten some odd emails
  9. Donationbuckky
    Filthy sinner
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    24 Apr '05 16:30
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    i want to belive in the christian god, but there are many things about the faith that make no sense to me. here are just a couple:

    1. am i to believe that our only purpose here on earth is to worship and glorify god? that seems egotistical on god's part to the extreme. what satisfaction could god possibly derive out of forcing me to try but knowing ...[text shortened]... i think are crucially important. i am open to all forms of criticism and alternative viewpoints.
    We deserve Hell ? What a beautiful religion Christianity is. Wake up and look at things rationally. No "GOOD" God would allow such a evil concept to persist. Its wrong and it's evil. Hell is for the primitive man of days gone by.
  10. Arizona, USA
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    24 Apr '05 17:39
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    ... am i to believe that our only purpose here on earth is to worship and glorify god? that seems egotistical on god's part to the extreme...
    The church I grew up in taught:

    1) The human race is a miserable, forsaken, vermin-infested bunch of wretched worms.

    2) The thing that the unblemished, Almighty Creator of the entire Universe desires more than anything else is to be told by wretched worms how worthy He is of praise and love.
  11. Arizona, USA
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    24 Apr '05 17:43
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    ... also, to me, god's way of transmitting vital information to us concerning how we must live seems inefficient...
    There are about a billion Christians (the Roman Catholics being a large part of them) who are certain that what God meant when He saw to it that the Bible contains the instructions for women to be silent in the church is that God does not want females to be head pastors of congregations. There are hundreds of millions of other Christians who are certain that God meant simply that women are not to interrupt church services with their loud whispering.

    So could God have been more efficient in instructing us on this matter? It would seem so.
  12. Not Kansas
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    24 Apr '05 17:51
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac
    The church I grew up in taught:

    1) The human race is a miserable, forsaken, vermin-infested bunch of wretched worms.

    2) The thing that the unblemished, Almighty Creator of the entire Universe desires more than anything else is to be told by wretched worms how worthy He is of praise and love.
    1. The human race may be a wretched bunch of vermin-infested worms.
    2. We have the power to improve.
    3. We will never improve by following the bible to the letter.
  13. Joined
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    24 Apr '05 18:23
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Hello, Lemon, I want to welcome you to RHP first of all. Those are some great questions, and I want to reassure you with what God says in His Word, the Bible:

    Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and [b]those that seek me early shall find me
    .

    Actually, our purpose on Earth is to make a choice. Our choice is to accept that no matter how good ...[text shortened]... , I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.















    [/b]
    hi darfius,

    you obviously seem to have established a real connection with the bible. part of my problem with christianity lies in the bible itself. i guess i could give an analogy:

    i am a teacher, and i love to teach. at the end of the day, i want nothing more than my students under me to do well and get good grades (i wish i could give them all A's, but sadly, some do not deserve it). so, when i give them an exam, i go out of my way to make the directions (the written instructions) as clear as possible, so that i give them every opportunity to succeed -- and so that they know precisely what i am asking of them. in the end, i think whether or not my directions are clear is decided by the students, which is to say, if more than just a few of them were confused, then the directions were unclear (regardless of how well the rest understood them). i have read at least most of the bible, and i find parts of it confusing. and i have seen smart men (at least in my estimation) argue endlessly about certain parts of the bible mean and what they mean. on a test so important (worth the entire final grade), why would god not make the instructions more clear? or do you think that the fault in understanding is completely our own?
  14. Joined
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    24 Apr '05 18:30
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Very good questions indeed. And I apologise for all theists in the sheer wordiness of Darfius' responce. He sensed blood and he swam as fast as he could to the source.

    Wait, that's not fair. He truly does fear for your everlasting soul, and that should always be taken into account.

    However, I do not fear for your soul. I think you are on th ...[text shortened]... but I hope I hit some of your questions. If you have any more feel free to ask.

    ... --- ...
    hi thesonofsaul,

    to answer your first question, i was speaking specifically about the god of chrisitian scripture, as laid out in the bible.

    i tend to agree with you that taking the bible less literally at certain junctures makes much more sense to me. which is another question for me: how much of the book was meant to be taken strictly literally? i personally don't think "all of it" would be a satisfactory answer.
  15. Joined
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    24 Apr '05 18:37
    Originally posted by buckky
    We deserve Hell ? What a beautiful religion Christianity is. Wake up and look at things rationally. No "GOOD" God would allow such a evil concept to persist. Its wrong and it's evil. Hell is for the primitive man of days gone by.
    hi buckky,

    yes infinite dwelling in hell does seem rather harsh to me...to cast away the evil doers on the day of judgment seems quite reasonable; i'm not sure if it seems reasonable to me to send them to hell for an eternity of pain. if you punish a child, i think it's generally most effective if the duration is just long enough to make them think sincerely about what they did wrong...i don't know...
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