1. The KillerFrogs

God Has A Plan For Your Life

Discussion in 'Hell's Half Acre' started by ThisIsOurTime, May 4, 2020.

  1. I'm a Christian but I take issue with the idea that Christians are "better" people than anyone else. And I see that attitude A LOT around the church. In fact, thinking you are better, or more moral, than your non-Christian neighbor is probably about the most un-Christian thought you can have.

    And again, I may be way off base here, but this aura seems to permeate throughout a lot of churches. It probably drives away many potential converts to be honest.
     
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  2. If we're being intellectually honest, then be honest that there were people of varying religions, some of which would be completely heretical to christian philosophy, that were doing good works, fighting against unjust infanticide, corruption, persecution WAAAAY before Jesus roamed the earth. Probably people of no particular faith as well. You say Christians put in the work, and seem to suggest that they were the first ones to do so. That is revisionist history. The bible tells you that. The pagan Persians helped the Israelites against Babylon.

    From time immemorial, and certainly before 0 AD, people have been defining right and wrong without having to resort to asking God. If you can't tell me that unjustified homicide is evil for example, without consulting the bible... then I don't know what to tell you - we're not on the same page. We're shouting at each other from completely different sections of the library.
     
  3. And for the record, no, I can't promise you that Jesus existed, or that if he did he did everything exactly as the gospels tell us. I was raised catholic but now can only be 100% firm and honest in my belief in a deity, without further qualification. And I'm fine with that. I certainly don't think any God of love is going to hold me accountable for which or none of the 500 different versions of religion I choose.

    I am not arrogant enough to pretend I can speak with authority about Him/Her/It. To paraphrase someone great whom I can't think of offhand, I do not believe the same God who endowed us with reason and intellect intends for us to forgoe their use. I have belief and faith to an extent but I'm not going to put blinders on to clearly illogical or artificial thought processes.
     
  4. Christians are only better in the sense that they are honoring God and keeping his commandments. It isn't like they attain a greater IQ or run faster because they become a Christian. The rain still falls on Christians just like everyone else. We still have many of the same problems, disappointments, and so on. However, I do know some Christians do find that living out the Christian life does give them greater peace of mind which can be helpful when dealing with the hardships of life. I know because I have experienced this myself in my own life.

    True, Christians are called to love their neighbor as themselves but the first commandment held above all is to love the Lord thy God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are to be a light unto the world that attracts others to the faith. There are certainly some folks who call themselves Christians who forget this but part of the Christian aim is the hope that all would come to the faith and honor God.
     
  5. if we ALL are made in God's image, it isn't possible for any human to achieve salvation on their own otherwise Christ would not have had to die for ALL our sins, and salvation is available to all than the concept or being better or worse than others on this world is the same trap that that the sadducees and pharisees fell into.

    i appreciate how you value your faith thisisourtime and are willing to express it, but none of us deserve salvation despite how we try to live our lives and yet salvation is available to all of us no matter the life lead up to the point of death.
     
  6. I think examples of infanticide will be hard to come by because most of the pagan faiths prior to Christianity did not value human life. As I said they encouraged child sacrifice, human sacrifice, abortion, infanticide and some even championed the nobility of suicide.

    I am not saying a non-Christian can't be moral but we do have to first determine and define what exactly is good or bad because opinions can vary when you get into the weeds. For example, an atheist could follow Christian morality save not honoring God and so he would be leading a moral life up to the extent that it would be immoral of him to reject his Creator.

    Ok, but the bible makes the claim that such things are etched in our hearts by God. So we do have some working knowledge of what is right and wrong simply by being born. It is the atheist or even an agnostic, that really has to contend with the question about why is murder wrong as they have subjective morality standards?

    Do you really believe that you are in a better position to determine what is right and wrong compared to God? If you are like the rest of us, you probably have made some mistakes, occasionally forget some things, have a limited understanding of the world and have only lived a brief moment on this earth compared with the many years the earth has existed. Whereas God doesn't have any of these limitations.

    Look at it this way. We are very complex creatures with our cells, blood, organs and how they all interact. But from the sky looking down on us, we would all appear as just mere specks of dust on the earth and the earth is a pretty big place. And 1.3 million Earths could fit into the size of the sun. And the sun is just one star in a universe that is estimated to have 100 billion stars in it. And God made all of that. Sure I might have my good days where I feel like I did something special but in relation to all that God has seen and created, it is not even a contest. He has a much better vantage point and experience to judge what is good and evil.
     
  7. You're making a ton of assumptions about what is true in the universe. I get that it's on faith. I understand that tradition and a 2,000 year old book means something more to others than to me. I respect that, but respectfully decline to follow you down the path. Pretend I'm from Missouri, I need to be shown. I'm not just accepting it all whole hog. I also read portions of works of literature that are over 2k years old. Those texts saying there was a lady named Helen in Troy, and a whole war was fought over her that included participation from gods and demigods. The age of that text didn't make it true, and certainly not verbatim.

    I'm not in any better position to judge right and wrong than any other human. But as a human, I have certain things that "feel" right or wrong. You say that's God writing it on our souls. I say it's just as reasonably described as something like social instincts that have been ingrained through procreating humans over thousands of years. In the end, we're talking about the same thing that doesn't REQUIRE a God to exist (though does not mis-align with a God's existence either).

    Just remember that a bunch of philosophies around kindness, love (multiple forms like agape, philos, etc), charity, and justice were adopted into Christianity, but were appearing in (pagan) Greek and Roman philosophy far before Christianity was even born. Neither of us will know if we're right until it is too late to discuss it further.
     
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  8. Thank you, I appreciate your kind words.

    When I say we are made in the image of God, I am not saying that we are God. I am not advocating some type of pantheism. Instead, I am talking about that we have God's righteous attributes. For example, I like how it is described here:

    "For example, God is love, and God’s love is perfect. Humanity shares many of God’s attributes, and we were originally created to reflect God’s perfect character in righteousness and holiness. While God has character traits that He does not share with humanity (e.g., God is self-existent, omniscient, omnipotent), we can still see His shared attributes in humanity today, even though they are distorted by sin. Attributes such as love, self-awareness, justice, grace, and mercy are distinct from attributes associated with animals. They are part of the very being of humanity."
    Source: https://answersingenesis.org/genesis/what-is-image-of-god/

    As for the discussion of salvation I do agree that it is a free gift from God but one must turn to God to accept the gift. You are then going into the old faith only or faith + works discussion. As a practical matter, I don't see much distinction in how it plays out. If you believe in faith only, as a natural outpouring of that faith, it doesn't get you into heaven but you should want to do good works. This is why James says faith without works is death in James 2:14-26.

    We are in agreement that Jesus loves us as he proved that on the Cross as he died for our sins. But the question is do we love him or as in John 14:15, "Jesus says, if you love me, keep my commandments." Or consider 1 John 2:4, "He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." The point being that if you are a Christian you should feel compelled to do works and keep his commandments for the same reason that you might not break your father's rules as a kid because you loved him and didn't want to let him down.

    When someone sins, they should feel wounded by the process as they have let down God. If someone sins and it doesn't bother them, I would say that is a problem. It would raise a question in my mind if the person was truly saved in the first place.
     
  9. We need sports...If ever there were proof, it’s this thread.
     
  10. I don't think any serious scholar disputes the existence of Jesus. For example, here is a list of Ancient non-Christian sources.
    http://www.garyhabermas.com/books/historicaljesus/historicaljesus.htm#ch9
    People can disagree over his deity which is where the debate really is.

    It is a mistake for you to assume that Christians do not use reason and believe on blind faith alone. As Christians we are called to use reason and believe there is good reason to believe in God and Jesus Christ is God. Have you looked into this issue and the historicity of the bible? If not, I can recommend some books to consider and a couple of them are from atheists who through trying to discredit Christianity ended up becoming Christians in the end.
     
  11. I love sports and they have been a big part of my life. But they mean little in comparison to these larger faith and purpose of life issues. If you haven't considered these issues before, I recommend you do take some time to do so. In my humble opinion, I think you would be all the better for it in the long run.
     
  12. I believe in the soul, the [ the old ricardo ], the [ muschi ], the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
     
  13. I'm not interested in what a scholar says. All I stated was, "I cannot promise you". And that is true. I did not live in that era. Cannot tell you anything firsthand about the life of Jesus. Neither can scholar X. Historical documentation generally gets less solid the further you go back.

    And maybe I do assume that Christians don't reason. This comes from my experience with bible literalism and people of that philosophy. Apologies if I did. I'm prickly about it because many many people I have run into have told me something is true "because the bible says it". It's exasperating and I'm tired of dealing with that attitude.

    I don't want your books either. I don't even find enough time to read several things I want to read. I don't need to be brought to christ or the faith. Just fine over here. Let's just agree to disagree.
     
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  14. LOL that did make me giggle. I'll release the entire series if that happens to be true.
     
  15. But of course we accept a lot of things in our life that we didn't experience firsthand. I learned a lot of things in my classes at TCU that were written about by others. For example, we wouldn't dispute George Washington was our first President. Yet, we weren't there back when he was sworn in. Instead, we accept it as a historical fact. And I wouldn't necessarily agree that just because something comes from an old book that it has less validity than a new book. There are plenty of new books that are not-trustworthy or weren't properly vetted and plenty of old books that are gold in terms of their knowledge. And when we are talking about the bible we are not talking about just any book as it really is a collection of books. A lot of time and effort was spent to preserve it and copy it. As it stands it is the most copied book out of all of antiquity. That alone should tell you something of the worth those people felt it had. If they felt it lacked legitimacy, it never would have been treated in such a reverential manner.

    Understood. We are a work in progress and at various points in our journey. Sometimes people make mistakes or act as they should not out of ignorance or pride. We also have our share of hypocrites too who maybe haven't taken the whole counsel of God to heart. But the important thing is to remember that we follow Jesus and not the individual. He is perfect and we are not.

    You sound like my brother. I would recommend audiobooks as you can play them while working out, going for a run or doing errands. Even though you said you don't want them, I am going to leave a few examples just in case you change your mind or someone else reading this is curious. Regardless, it was good talking with you and take care of yourself.

    The Reason For God by Timothy Keller


    The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel


    Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace:


    The Problem of God by Mark Clark


    The Historical Jesus by Gary Habermas (not an audiobook)
     
  16. You cannot petition the Lord with Prayer. The Lizard King himself confirmed it.
     
  17. As long as we are answering theological questions here on Frog Forum (!), here's a question I've long wondered about, and all those who believe strongly in "going to heaven" and "going to meet my loved ones again", etc, might know the answer. Say I live 75 years and "go to heaven". When I meet my loved ones there, at what age am I meeting them? Am I meeting my 93 year old grandfather, or the 56 year old grandfather I knew as a boy. Am I meeting my mother as she was when she passed at 88, or my Mom whom I loved as a teenager. And am I going to spend eternity as I am now, a 91 year old, or as another age? And most of all, will heaven be as boring as sheltering in place?? Etc. Etc. Anybody know?
     
  18. The answer is yes.
     
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