Falling Towards Apotheosis
One of Bush's talking points in the campaign was constantly mentioning a "pre-September 11th" mentality (I'll disregard the fact that it was the administration themselves who had that mentality on 9/10). But if there's one thing that became clear to me yesterday, it was the fact a majority of Americans have a pre-19th Century mentality.
I honestly thought we were growing as a people. Being who I am, I see the good in most people. I dont think about only myself, I worry about others. I grew up fairly religious, church every Sunday, but left after I became disenfranchised with the intolerance and hypocrisy of the church. I've lived in Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern Florida, and Northern California. I'm part of the MTV generation. I've seen a growing acceptance of other cultures and lifestyles wherever I've lived, and was under the belief, through friends and acquaintances, as well as the media, that the country was also approaching enlightenment.
Yeah... I was wrong.
When the country is in utter shambles, when people are scratching just to get by, when secrecy is commonplace, and when we are always at war with Eurasia, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised that a platform based on We Hate Fags would decide the future of our nation. More than 20% of the people who voted considered Moral Values to be the number one priority in selecting the president. Moral Values... this doesn't even mean family values any more (Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country, so that can't be it); moral values has become code for Homos Go Fuck Yourselves (But Not Literally). Terrorists and the insurgents in Iraq, our actual enemies, come second to men and women who express love in ways that we can't deal with.
I have many conservative friends who I respect. They're conservative on issues, on policy... I can debate policy. I can be swayed by issues, and possibly sway them on issues. I may get angry when friends ridicule welfare, or decry the pro-choice movement and support the death penalty in the same breath, but these are discussions I actually enjoy. I am a Proud Member of the Reality-Based Community.
A friend recently said that Kerry will be blamed for this loss by his supporters. I disagree. Kerry ran a great campaign. A war-time president was nearly unseated for the first time in history. The voter turnout was amazing. Young voters came out in droves... but so did everyone else! Bush received the most total votes ever in history... but you know what? Kerry received the second most votes in history. This wasn't a landslide. This simply reinforced that we are in a culture war. Future vs. Past. Facts vs. Faith.
I, and the Democratic Party, cannot debate faith. It's why theocracy scares us. It is impossible for a people, a nation, to move forward when facts get in the way. When theocrats shun environmental reform because of a belief that The Rapture will come before we run out of fossil fuels... there is nothing I can do but stare slack-jawed.
I believe it was Napoleon who said "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich". Well that's only half true now... religion is what keeps the rich in power.
I don't think that what happened on Nov. 2 was some kind of major shift like you're suggesting. I think it reflects the "conservative" tradional views of people from the last 100 years. It's not, in my view anyway, some kind of "new phenomenon" that's sweeping the land. What you saw is simply the conservative viewpoint that has existed since this country began... and even long before that...
I think the general, longer-term trend is a slow abandonment of morality. Heck, we're a LOT less moral nowadays than in the past. Take a look at 1954 and then 2004! There's a HUGE shift towards things like gay marriage, open sexuality, crassness, drug abuse, etc...
And getting to a WHOLE different topic (maybe I shouldn't) is this thought: I think you are religious. I think EVERY man is religious because every man accepts some standard of right and wrong. My standard comes from God, so they call me "Christian". An athesist doesn't believe in a God, so they become, in a sense, their OWN God because they believe that they can dictate what's right or wrong. They follow the religion of secularism where man can determine what's right and wrong for himself. There's no God to consciously ascribe to, but in reality, their mind is their own God.
I think every man has faith but the difference is... in what? Faith is not the opposite of fact. Faith and fact can and should co-exist.
And your analysis of our attitudes towards gays is way off. I don't "hate fags" or tell "homos to F themselves". But I do want to protect what I believe marriage is against a degradation of it.
As I read your posts I'm kinda shocked at how much you seem to be blowing things way out of proportion. You make it sound like we're on the fast track for disaster when it's simply not true. There isn't evidence for statements like that. Yeah, the war in Iraq has had some hang-ups, but a heck of a lot less people have died there than in any other war we've fought. The economy fluctuates, but we're certainly not living in 1929 right now. I just don't see the imminent doom that you are forecasting for us. You don't have to agree with what's going on, but to be so "afraid" of the current state of affairs is over the top. You live in a time and place second to none... with freedoms, justice, wealth, and opportunity that no other people have ever known or dreamed about.
My Son - you are obviously wise beyond your years!!!
K-Man (not to get personal), but you still have some aging to do. My faith is my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night.
I do not attend any religous affiliation on a regular basis - but have visited most on more than one occassion.
I not only support same sex marriages - I also perform them.
I support our constitution and the ammendments written into it through the sweat and blood of generations before us - including the right to Free Choice.
According to the people voting for Bush, I am not a moral individual nor am I a Christian.
There was a time when Christian meant you believe in Christ - since when do Catholic's and Kerry not believe in Christ, nor the fact that he is our personal saviour.
Hate is not Christian - "Love your neighbor as you would love yourself" - This country is angry and scared and when such ugliness prevails - someone must be the scapegoat - in the past it has been women, blacks, immigrants (I could go on). Today it is the gays and lesbians who have stepped over the line by asking to announce to the world that they love one another - that they are committed to one another, that the will support and be supported by one another that are "Christians" scapegoats - love and let love does not exist in your bibles????
When our country (any country for that matter) is faced with the most important election of their lifetime - when they watch and learn and ask the right questions about the important issues of the day - when the future of the world lies in who they choose to vote for. If that decision is based on these elements - then the winner deserves to win and will be a wise and just ruler. But when after months and months of debates and campaigning it comes down to the President's personal moral thoughts and judgements - it does become a scary and volatile world.
I too am scared - but mostly I am sad - sad for me - sad for Kerry - sad for our country and most of all sad for the world. Life in America has once again become about exclusion
Dear Anonymous -- It is you, my friend, who is mistaken.
Love the sinner, hate the sin. I do not hate any man. I have had close friends and coworkers who are gay and I love them as any other. I do not, however, love their sinful lifestyle.
And I certainly hope that you get your theology straight. If you are a pastor (which I'm guessing if you can marry people), God has said that you will have to give a special account of your actions as such. Perhaps you've missed Romans 1:26 and 27 which reads as follows:
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Not the Old Testament Leviticus reference you mentioned earlier, Holz).
These are hardly "accepting and embracing" words but were spoken by God himself through Paul. And who are the "them" that are referred to here? vs. 18 -- "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness". These men are described as completely wicked and under God's judgement. This "love and let love" nonsense is not in my Bible... I don't know which one you read.
What's in my Bible is that God detests and will punish the wicked acts of men... homosexuality included.
I challenge you to point out REAL Christians "scapegoating" or "hating" gays. You won't find it. Because those that do so are not Christians. It's simply unfair for you to say that I hate gays just because I oppose their lifestyle. You don't know me.
Nor is it fair for you democrats to assume that all Bush supporters mindlessly follow him by faith. You are the one needing maturity when you make such a ridiculous blanketing statement. There are those of us who believe in the republican philosophies spanning all subjects... who hate abortion and tax-and-spend government programs... who rightly felt that Kerry lacked the convictions necessary to fight this war... that Kerry butchered the only alliances we had in the name of "building strong alliances"...
Clinton was a fine president?!?! Maybe you missed the whole info leak to China. Maybe you didn't notice that he was too busy doinking Lewinsky to go get Osama bin Landen when we knew EXACTLY where he was... Clinton was too worried about his image in light of Zippergate that he backed down on bin Laden. He could have prevented 9/11 from happening long before it did. Let's not even mention how he lied to all of us and made a mockery of the position of president.
K-Man - Although I post as anonymous - I thought I made it clear that John is my Son. He is a kind, intelligent and openminded individual who I am very proud of. I enjoy reading your comments and think you are as opinionated as he and his family. It seems to be that you are searching for truth - so that gives me promise.
Me wrong??? You do not hate??? Well both of these statements may be incorrect - but obviously you are either scared or scarred. You have never heard a verse in the bible that says "Love thy Neighbor as you Love yourself"? It is one of; if not THE, most important message God has for us all. And one that will positively benefit your own world should you begin to practive it.
"Judge the sinner but not the sin"? That is just a play on words when not practiced in deeds - it is your other words that speak volumes. Who are you to say what is a sin? Christ taught us "judge not less yea be judged". Unless you have never had pre-marital sex, unless the only time you have sex - you are making love to your wife - and only in the act of procreating - unless you have no kinky secret sex life - then you are in no position to throw the first stone according to "The Bible".
As to the republicans voting on more important issues than Same Sex Marriage - over 20% say they voted based on morality issues - 85% of these voted for Bush - which unless you are unable to comprehend this fact - means that America decided that religion (organized) will decide our country's future for more years that just the next four.
I applaud your faith - but you need to know that The Creator is a kind and loving Ruler of the Universe. He is the author of our salvation. I hope that you are openminded enough to realize that the bible are His words edited and interpreted by all kinds of men (and not all of them of good charater) throughout history. Pick your favorite verse in the bible - post it and then allow inviduals to interpret its meaning. I think you will find as many thoughts as responders.
Believe in God - believe that Christ is His son - but know that you are his son as well. Know that faith is individual and sacret - a sin is only a sin when you believe in your heart and mind that it is. Be Christ like in your heart mind and deeds and you will not have to question your own fate nor feel entitled to define the fate of others.
"I think you are religious" ... "Faith is not the opposite of fact"
What it comes down to (and something I think I confused myself on my intial writing) is not highlighting the difference between Religion and Faith. I've come to fear religion. Faith endures. Same difference in a belief and an idea. An idea can be changed.
"I just don't see the imminent doom that you are forecasting for us"
That was the same thought process that people had towards the people who didn't support the Iraq War.
"with freedoms, justice, wealth, and opportunity that no other people have ever known or dreamed about."
Hahahahahahaha.... *deep breath*... Hahahahahaha. Yeah, and I have a bridge to sell you in New York.
"Please forgive me if I got too "personal" this time! "
Iz all good, not too personal... towards me that is. My mom on the other hand... well, thankfully, she can take care of herself.
Although I've joined this discussion a little late, if it's still even active, I've wondered what exactly about homosexuality is a sin. What defines it as a sin? Is just the physical act, a lust that is declared as unnatural? Is it a combination of physical love and emotional love.? Say two people spend their whole lives together, through good times and bad. One of them goes senile, and the remaining one takes care of the sick one unto death. The living person grieves at the funeral, cause the one person that they cared about most in the world, who they shared all of the great experiences that life has to offer, and all of the bad too, who they cared for every moment of their life and loved with every bit of their heart is no longer there. Except they were two guys, and their relationship is labeled as sinful. Where they doing something wrong at the end of their lives just living together? Is the healthy person sticking around cause they have nothing better to do, or because they truly and deeply care about the well being of the other, because they love that person? I realize that this is a fairly hypothetical situation, but at what point do they cross that barrier into sin? If it is just the sex that is wrong, can an older gay couple or older person who is no longer sexually active be considered to be living in sin? Is it separate from sex, like an emotional attachment? At what point does that emotional attachment to another person become wrong because they are they same gender as you? Is it a combination of the two, physical and emotional feelings, that are considered wrong? These feelings are essentially the same, whether between a homosexual or heterosexual couple, whether a one night stand or a relationship that lasts for 60 years. In my mind, I fail to see how one is so clearly wrong and the other so right. How does one repent or be forgiven, or dare I say, be "cured" of homosexuality? If it is considered a problem, then there has to be a way to solve that problem. Is being gay a choice, or just how you are? What exactly makes being gay a sin? I cannot wrap my mind around that viewpoint. The way I see it, love is pretty much the only thing that makes the human race worth a damn. It is the only positive point that stops me from forsaking everything and living alone in the woods for the rest of my life. Most of the time I think people are fuckin stupid and worthless, and I can barely stand to be around anyone, but love flies in the face of all that negative garbage that crowds my head. It sounds corny and cliched, but the more love in this rotten world, the better, whoever it is between.
Actually the most important message God has for us is the first part of that quote "Obey the Lord your God with all your heart" then comes "love thy neighbor as you love yourself."
You said "Unless you have never had pre-marital sex, unless the only time you have sex - you are making love to your wife - and only in the act of procreating - unless you have no kinky secret sex life - then you are in no position to throw the first stone according to "The Bible"." Actually both Kamin and I fit your little scenario! Never had pre-marital sex, only with each other after we were married, and no kinky secret sex life outside of each other.
The Bible is not just an interpretation but the very words of God. Yes humans wrote it but it was inspired by God. I'm sure God himself could handle making sure the Bible was written how he wanted it without man's interpretation. The Bible says so too. If you don't believe that it is God inspired then it is not worth believing any of it. If it weren't God inspired then the Bible would be no different than a comic book, which has morals in it too. By the way, God is not open-minded so neither am I.
In response to Jay:
What makes homosexuality a sin? Well if you are a Christian, God says it is a sin. Bottom line.
In response to all who are scared:
Oh come on 4 more years of Bush isn't going to ruin America so quit being scared... that's lame!
When a person sins, they are choosing to commit an action which goes against what God finds acceptable. So I am assuming that every person is, from birth, heterosexual. Later in life, they choose to be homosexual, and in doing so, sin. This has to be the true, because if God created a human being who was gay, He would create a human being incapable of redemption, correct? Homosexuality is a choice, like all other sins, and one of which everyone is potentially capable of, like all other sins. Also, I was wondering which version of the Bible is the correct one. I'm not being a smartass, I'm curious to know which published version is the right one, because there have been many versions and revisions of the Bible throughout history. I don't want to sound like a smartass with any of my questions, I'm just looking for clarification of a viewpoint that is different from mine.
"What makes homosexuality a sin? Well if you are a Christian, God says it is a sin. Bottom line."I've asked this of several religious folks, and never gotten a satisfactory answer, but here goes.
The Bible says homosexual acts between men is a sin, (in Leviticus and other places). But it also says many many other things are a sin. Examples : Sharing a meal with a person of another religion; Eating shrimp ; Eating lobster; Getting a tattoo; Wearing two different types of cloth together, such as a cotton and polyester shirt; planting two different types of seed, such as a mixture of grass seeds in your garden. And so on. It's quite an extensive list.
Christians (most sects of them anyway) have decided that these laws are not worth considering. They are not worth keeping.
So what makes one decide that this particular law is worth keeping?
There were biblical passages endorsing slavery. Slavery is now considered immoral. Is God pro-slavery?
Conservative Christians used biblical passages to argue against inter-racial marriages. The state of Virginia continued to outlaw inter-racial marriages until 1967. Is God against the mongrolisation of the races?
Clinging to the idea that homosexuality is a sin, while churches have been picking and choosing which laws to propagate and which to ignore, is (in my opinion) an unchristian thing to do. It's prejudicial and hypocritical.
The types of "laws" that you speak of come almost exclusively from the Old Testament of the Bible. In the O.T., holiness was based on adherence to the "law" of God which was designed to set a people apart (the Isrealites). God set up all kinds of laws for the people to follow, many of which seem odd to us... like the ones you have mentioned.
When Jesus came, he ushered in the New Testament and in doing so, completely changed "the system". With Jesus, holiness was no longer based on adherence to the law, but faith in Christ. Galations, for example, discusses the struggle of the old "justified-by-the-law" mentality of the Jews and the new "justified-by-faith" Christianity that Jesus brought.
In doing away with the law as a means of being right before God, many of the specifics of the law (designed to set the Jews apart from the world during the O.T.) became useless and unimportant. This is why Paul (a Jew) began to not follow the law that he had kept perfectly for his entire life to that point.
It is in the New Testament where we see the modern-day church set up and guided by Jesus himself and through his apostles. In essence, it is the New Testament that lays out the will of God in terms of behavior and sin. The O.T. is still useful in understanding God's plan and his law... indeed, Jesus elaborated on certain things from the O.T. (ie the 10 commandments). Furthermore, understand that certain books of the New Testament were actual letters written to churches that dealt with specific issues in that church and culture that we can apply the essence and truth behind them while not always applying the specifics of the situation.... ie. women not speaking in the church.
Read Romans 1:26 and 27 (New Testament) which I wrote out in an earlier comment here. This is a New Testament teaching... not one in the "doesn't apply to us" column. This was Paul writing to the church at Rome making God's will perfectly known regarding homosexuality.
Most people worship an ido. They believe they are worshipping God, but their "God" is one that they have created in their minds. They believe that this God loves and accepts all people and will accept them into heaven because they've been good people. The REAL God has told us that this is total nonsense. I can elaborate on this thought with Bible verses if you'd like me to, but I don't want this comment to get too long for now....
A clarification on my last post... I didn't intend to make it sound like justification was through adherence to the law during the O.T. Justification itself was always through belief in God but the law given to the Isrealites was meant to teach them to be distinct and different from the world around them. The word "holy" means "set apart".
That's an interesting take on things. I've gone back over the letter of Paul, and I am still not convinced. Let me try to quickly explain why.
Paul mentions many things in his letters which are thrown out by modern christian sects. I've mentioned his attitude to slavery already. He also prohibits (for example) the wearing of gold or pearls.
Now you can argue that these things are Paul's instructions meant to apply to a specific church or a specific people for a specific place and time. But if that's the case, you can argue the same for any prohibition against same-sex acts.
One could argue, for example, that it makes sense to temporarily prohibit homosexual acts in the early days of the church, because it was more important to have many children, surrounded as they were by warlike tribes willing to destroy them.
You mention "holy" means "set apart", so I'll mention some linguistic points. In the original greek, the words used are "malakoi" or "malakee" and "arsenokoitai"
But in Pauls' time, the standard word used for male homosexuals was "paiderasste". We know this, because there's quite an astonishing amount of homosexual literature surviving from the Greeks of that time period.
So it's not at all clear that Paul meant male homosexuals. In fact, from a linguistic analysis point of view, it is more likely that he was criticising the indolent promiscuity of individuals, rather than the same-sex aspect.
"Arsen" means "man"; "koitai" means "beds". "Arsenokoitai" typically means male temple prostitutes. (That is, those who engaged in ritual sex in pagan temples. Fertility ritual aspects etc...) The Greek text of the book of Kings makes that clear.
To summarise, there's no way of knowing for certain what "Gods will" is when you're dealing with a quadruply translated text whose nuances are far from clear. And given that there has been many interpretations and relaxations of what christians used to think of as "law", I still think there is a personal bias in choosing to hold certain "laws" as true, such as the racial bias in sustaining slavery and segregation.
Your milage will no doubt vary, as this isn't something we can convince one another on. (After all religious dogma resists personal interpretation.) But thanks for explaining your position.
Kamin knows no Greek. Manchild does. Kamin offers respect to Manchild!
If you don't mind, I'm gonna forward those thoughts to my dad who knows some Greek and some Hebrew and who has been a pastor for 30-some years. Let me see what he has to say... since I have nothing to say at all!!!
I will be interested in what your father has to say, (since you've been easy going and informative in your arguments, and I suspect that runs in your family) but I doubt either of us will change our opinions. As I mentioned (though maybe it wasn't clear) I don't think there is a definitive interpretation of what Paul wrote, so I'm not claiming any one position is correct. I do however, think that where there is room for doubt, then it is a mistake for any human to claim that they know the mind of God. I can think of nothing more arrogant than to look at a biblical passage which is open to more than one interpretation, and to say "Well, I think what God *meant* to say, was..."
Lastly, I'll just throw this in as an FYI, I have no problem with any church choosing to adhere to it's own laws (whether or not I find those rules to be wrong, or immoral, or outdated, or anything). I don't mind the Catholics never allow women priests, or if the Jews never eat pork, or if gay-church weddings are never going to happen. I think our point of disagreement comes from whether or not the State's ideas on marriages should co-incide with any religions ones.
Actually the most important message God has for us is the first part of that quote "Obey the Lord your God with all your heart" then comes "love thy neighbor as you love yourself." **********Well, in my opinion – although, I believe that God has asked us to love Him and follow Him only - there is no need for the first part if you follow the second part. Also – I would like to point out your wording – which differs from many text. "Obey the Lord your God with all your heart" The Lord YOUR God??? - there is only one God – Throughout the world there are thousands of words which mean H2O – but I find that closed minded individuals all agree that “THE” Creator should only be referred to as God”. I doubt God would ever have used the term YOUR God. This reiterates my previous comment - The Bible is simply man’s interpretation of His words.
With regard to biblically non-sinful sexual relations. You have stated “Actually both Kamin and I fit your little scenario! Never had pre-marital sex, only with each other after we were married, and no kinky secret sex life outside of each other”. **********Like many of your responses – I refer to the words of Paul and Art – “A man (or woman) hears what they want to hear and disregards the rest”. You missed the point that unless you are only having sex (and non kinky sex) to procreate it is a sin according to your bible.
“The Bible is not just an interpretation but the very words of God. Yes humans wrote it but it was inspired by God. I'm sure God himself could handle making sure the Bible was written how he wanted it without man's interpretation. The Bible says so too. If you don't believe that it is God inspired then it is not worth believing any of it. If it weren't God inspired then the Bible would be no different than a comic book, which has morals in it too.”
*********God gave us free will – it was the writers responsibility to determine what they believe God meant. If for no other reason than it has been tanslated mulitple times - you must understand that fact if you are ever going to have a healthy relation with Him. He allows for our failures and our successes. I am sure you have attended bible study – have you had an open forum where everyone speaks aloud their interpretation of the verse – it is much like whisper down the lane.
By the way, God is not open-minded so neither am I.
***********I am so so sorry for you – God is just and kind and very very openminded – he is incapable of making a wrong decision – to this end it is impossible to be closed minded. You should get to know God as a kind and loving deity who wants nothing more from us than self-love and happiness.
“What makes homosexuality a sin? Well if you are a Christian, God says it is a sin”.
***********If you are a Christian, you are following the doctrine of whichever non-denomiational score card you follow. It is their leaders who you are following – the very same people who didn’t like one rule from an exisiting religion based in Christianity, so they decided to open their own. That is what is determining for you – what a sin is. Nothing is a sin unless in your heart you believe it to be. If you feel that you would be committing a sin if you had “UNNATURAL” sex – this is your sin only – do not randomly or harmfully apply it to others.
“Oh come on 4 more years of Bush isn't going to ruin America so quit being scared... that's lame!”
************Do you in anyway pay attention to the state of affairs and the judicial system – we are in a time of upheaval in this area of the government which will determine the rights and liberties of your children – may you never have to bury a daughter who was forced to have a back alley abortion do to Bush’s personal religious beliefs.
Blessings on your ideas, it is a starting point for truth growth. But know that you are young and have not had time to explore the world and its multi layers of faith based organizations. Make your own decisions based on knowledge and love for a kind loving God, and not on some interpretations of a Johnny come lately organized religion, who couldn’t following the rules as they were written.
I'm a friend of your son and by no means wish to have any sort of disaccord with you. Quite simply, you do not hold to the infallibility of scripture and that it is God's inerrant word to us... inspired by him... his actual words. For that reason, there is not point to use the Bible to debate things. If you do not accept every word as though spoken from God's mouth, then not a single word in the book is worth more than an Aesop's Fable or Mother Goose story.
You refuse to believe the truths about God... that He has created some men solely for the purpose of destroying them... That his anger burns against men who disobey him... That God DOES want something more from us than self-love and happiness...
When we don't see eye-to-eye on the value of the Bible, then it is a useless tool for debate. I warn you only of this... There IS a God and there are absolute truths regarding who he is and how he works. Those truths are revealed in the Bible. If you refuse those truths, you refuse that God. If you deny those truths, you deny that God. If you hate those truths, you hate that God.
I do not create my own ideas of who God is. To do so is to worship an idol and not the true God. I use scriptures alone to understand him. Should you be interested in hearing it, I would be perfectly willing to show you scriptural evidence for everything I've said about God.
Again, I have no interest in a "fight" with a friend's mom. I hope you don't see any of this as such. A friend (or mom) of John's is a friend of mine... even though we might not see things the same way.
The Cavalry has arived! Kamin, where were all these points of view when you and I were having this debate? It seems I could have used the backup. Anyway, kudos to you all for saying what you believe. I can tell you that it is often hard to do for fear of being judged. And before I start the whole debate again, I'm bowing out of this discussion.
(Holz… congrats on a post with 25+ comments. That’s quite a feat!!!)
Basically, my whole system of belief is based on my belief that the Bible is inerrant (as it claims to be). If it’s NOT inerrant then I’m wasting my time. If it’s just another man’s collection of thoughts (like any other book) then why put “divine significance” on it and follow it religiously? It doesn’t make sense. Heck, I’d rather go out and get drunk, use drugs, and party with hot babes than listen to what some guy from 2,000+ years ago thinks.
If the Bible is nothing more than a “faulty” story then I’m wasting my time every Sunday morning. Because once you allow it to be wrong on one count, you can’t trust anything that it says. Sure, it’s got some nice ideas for peaceful living in it, but the message of what God says is meaningless.
I believe differently about it. I believe that the same God that has the power to speak the world into existence (yes, I’m am a creationist) could CERTAINLY author a book and make sure that it stays faultless and inerrant for us to read. It’s not stretch to believe that if you believe in God.
I don’t believe that it can be shown that the Bible is factually wrong anywhere.
"There is no need for the first part if you follow the second part" So if you love your neighbor, then don't worry about loving your God... maybe I am misunderstanding you, but that doesn't even make sense.
"God gave us free will – it was the writer's responsibility to determine what they believe God meant." See that is were our views totally diverge. I don't believe that at all. I don't believe in free will and the writers of the Bible wrote exactly what God wanted them to.
"If for no other reason than it has been tanslated mulitple times - you must understand that fact if you are ever going to have a healthy relation with Him. He allows for our failures and our successes." No, God does not allow for our failures and our successes, he thinks all your righteous acts are like filthy rags. To be right with God you need to be holy which is the only way you will get into Heaven (God does not allow for our failures) and only through Christ can you been seen as holy (God does not allow for our successes either.) It is what Christ did, not what you or I can do, that makes you right with God.
"I am so so sorry for you – God is just and kind and very very openminded – he is incapable of making a wrong decision – to this end it is impossible to be closed minded. You should get to know God as a kind and loving deity who wants nothing more from us than self-love and happiness." That is a bunch of hogwash that makes you feel good when you put your head on the pillow at night. That is not at all what God says about himself in the Bible. Yes he is a loving God, but a just God as well. You are right that he is incapable of making a wrong decision. Like I said before God doesn't care if you think your good deeds are something that makes you right with him, he says the only way you are seen as righteous and holy is through his son. God doesn't seem to be very open-minded about that. There is one way, God's way... not my way or your way. I understand God through what he has given me to understand him through, the Bible. I do not make up what I believe he is like in my head, my God is the God I read about in the Bible... I wouldn't put my eternal state on a God I made up with no basis of why I believe the way I do. I do now know God as a kind and loving God because I know I am right with him. Before I was saved, I did fear him, I was scared, but not anymore. The Bible references on many occasions to fear God... I think it is scary to know you are not right with God and are on the road to spending eternity in Hell and that is why so many want to put their eternal state on their own good deeds. I take no self pride in my salvation, it is not anything I did; it is what Christ did that made me right with God. I do not take the holier than though approach because it is not something I did that makes me right with God. I am still a sinner, like you, and fully deserve Hell, but through Christ alone I will be seen as faultless on judgment day. Anyone who does not accept Christ as their savior, will not be seen as faultless and will hear the dreadful words of God "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." See I just don't see God very open-minded on that issue.
"Nothing is a sin unless in your heart you believe it to be. If you feel that you would be committing a sin if you had “UNNATURAL” sex – this is your sin only – do not randomly or harmfully apply it to others."
Unfortunately God does not feel that way. He did give us a conscience, but he is the one who determines what a sin is. What you said would be nice though if it were true. What about murderers who do not feel bad about murdering their victims because they hated them. I guess under your thinking it would not be a sin and we shouldn't harmfully apply it to them.
"...may you never have to bury a daughter who was forced to have a back alley abortion do to Bush’s personal religious beliefs." Oh so you care about the one person's life and not the other. I'd be sad to bury my daughter and my grandchild as well, but that doesn't make it right to murder a baby.
Just because I am younger than you does not mean I am less mature or don't know as much. Although we disagree on almost every issue does not mean I have growing up to do.
Please do not let anyone think that I would be offended, judgemental or uninterested in another's opinion.
If you know John - then you should know that this is who we are - debate is away of life, and rarely do we all agree.
I also would like to congratulate everyone participating in this open and widely opinionated discussion. Which I might add is moderated by my son, John - Good Work! (oozing with pride.
I apologize if anyone felt I implied that maturity comes; only through, or at all - simply because of ones age. But, I do believe that maturity unfortunetly allows for more tests to one's faith to base a more realistic view upon.
I think that this blog is a perfect example of what is happening in the US. Division, debates, anger and superiority prevail across our country. Our land is becoming as divided as Jerusalem itself. Our borders divided by moral issues as opposed to economic. We are talking about faith - faith in one God (pick a name??). The Palestines and Jews are more closely linked than any other 2 religions, yet their war is without true beginning nor without visable end. They; like Bush, have the nerve to credit their war with God's will - Believe me, He says "NOT in my Name" and definately does not prefer one man over another, regardless of chance of birth, color or choice of religions.
Do not forget; that we, like the Palestines and Israelites are all (except you darn atheists) talking about the same God. How many sets of rules do you think he has for 1 race of people (1 Human World)?
Before it gets too heated and serves to further spread more evil blackness throughout the world in the facade of blue and red, I would like to simply say - look around you - view life - view nature - hold a new born baby as well as a dying soul. If; after doing this, after opening your mind and heart to these elements of beauty, you still believe in an angry and judgemental God who holds out a chance for redemption and everlasting beauty in one hand, but then snatches it away for eternity with the bible in his other - simply because you either missed reading John 3:16 or you never left the Cathloic Church, Islamic Temple or Jewish Synagogue (thus never actually hearing this message)- then in the end - all I can say - is well at least you believe in something. Blessings!
I know, without a moment of hesitation, that I will someday, stand before Our Lord and he will welcome me home with open arms and a loving heart. He will call me His daughter and I will live amongst my brothers, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Jerry Garcia and my sisters, Mary, Mary Magdelene, Mother Theresa, not to mention Janis Joplin. Without that belief I do not know - nor do I ever want to know, how you can get up in the morning.
I want to thank all those who've left their thoughts here, it's been... enlightening, so to speak.
Jay, I want thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel on the matter. For a guy who once said "I'm not gay, I just hate people", you came off surprisingly eloquent on your fellow man there.
I got into a screaming mathc yesterday with two friends (one is a Mormon) on whether homosexuality is a genetic, and they compared it to "some people are born with the urge to kill people, and they fight it"... I nearly drove off the road in a rage.
I'm not gonna touch all the Bible verses bein' spun... as a wise man said, "even the Devil can quote scripture". One thing though:
"Because once you allow it to be wrong on one count, you can’t trust anything that it says."
What are your thoughts on The Vatican not publishing specific writings? If none of the Bible is infallible, shouldn't all of the teachings be made public? Maybe that's another discussion down the road...
Kathy, I just want to let you know that the God the Bible describes is also a loving God, like the one you describe. Just because he will send people to Hell for not believing in his son does not make him ONLY angry and judgmental. Everyone deserves Hell, God is just by only choosing some for Heaven and some for Hell. The fact that he saved a sinner like me shows he is a loving God. The difference in us is that you think you can get yourself to Heaven (by your "good" merits) and I give God the credit for my salvation (by jesus' sacrafice.)
And after many postings, we've all come to the same conclusion that Kamin, Pam and I came to voer countless long e-mail. We don't agree. That's all that came of this. Maybe I'm being cynical, and we have at least gotten a better understanding of where eachother stand, but I just feel so drained after these conversations and can't help but feel that I've spent alot more time on them than was necessary. And if you all think I'm a prick for expressing this, then think of it as a cheap way for me to be POST #30!!!!111one lol
I bet I could pull it off. The only problem is my ignorance regarding the subject. I know nothing about politics. All I know is my opinion and that doesn't work well to make objective arguments out of.
Watching: Lost, Heroes, 24, Criminal Minds Listening: Brobdingnagian Bards Reading: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman Playing: Final Fantasy XII Eating: Healthy...er Doing: Running... hopefully Wishing:
Comic Quote of the Week
"It's trying to end the suffering of everything. Do you want to discuss our options? Maybe together we can, you know, workshop?"
"Okay, best way to stop a ten-story godlike monster from destroying existence? I'm gonna go with hitting, you have anything?"
AKA: Ozymandias, DrOzymandias, Darth Angelus, Darque Feonix, Trip McNeely Kicking ass for: 29 years Job: UWing Systems Design Specialist Walking Theme: Believe It Or Not by Joey Scarbury Most watched movie: The Princess Bride Most read book: The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
"Let a man get away with fuckin' you once, you stay bent over so's he can fuck you again whenever he damn well pleases. An' if one man can do it? Another will too. An' another, an' another still. So's being fucked, that's yer life. 'Til who you were, you ain't. 'Cause all you are is an asshole." 100 Bullets #42