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Thread: The Holy Bible/God/Jesus

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    Default The Holy Bible/God/Jesus

    This is the thread to discuss teaching in The Bible, the message of God and purpose of Jesus. We could continue the conversation from the other thread, or start a new one. Discuss chapter by chapter or certain themes and messages.

    Have some questions? Concerns? Maybe together we can find the answer from reading the text. Personally, my favorite topic is Jesus and what a remarkable thing that he did for all of us. The expression of Love in his action of dying for us just blows my mind.

    So, I will leave the topic of discussion open for suggestion, I am pretty much up for anything.

    Whosoever Shall Call Upon the Name of the Lord Shall Be Saved!

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    Rule #7 Lyri's Avatar
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    Okay, I have some questions.

    I'm not trying to make a point here, although I guess I am, I'm just honestly confused by this.

    You say the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin, which I don't disagree with, I've seen it there in black and white. But why, in this day and age, is it STILL regarded as such a hateful thing, when there are so many other things in the Old Testament that no one bats an eyelid at now?

    We are no longer allowed to sell out children into slavery. Isn't that going against what the Bible teaches?

    We no longer put people to death for working on the Sabbath.

    According to the Bible, touching the dead skin of a pig makes a person unclean, yet the NFL is making billions.

    Planting different crops side by side is considered a sin.

    Wearing clothes made from two different threads is a sin.

    Why were these things considered so ridiculous, and stupid enough to be forgotten about, but homosexuality is considered bad enough to remain such a disgusting thing by religious people?

    Most of the things I've pointed out are about money. Working on the Sabbath will make someone more money. Planting more crops in a field will make more money. The NFL rakes in millions every month, I'm sure. Look how much money the inventors of denim have made.

    As I said, I'm not trying to make anyone look stupid, or spit all over someone's beliefs. I'm just honestly confused by this, and I would like the insight of a religious person to please explain it to me.
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    Maybe more a note than a real question, but I would like to mention it anyway because it's important for me. I'm a Christian as well and my father is a minister of a Protestant church, and he marries gay couples in church. Some elders in our congregation are openly gay as well. I think the most people on this board probably do know that being a Christian and being gay can go together, and this post is not for anyone specific. But as somebody who is all for equal rights but who is also a Christian, these kind of discussions are pretty hard. Because I wouldn't even want to be part of a religion/community where people are locked out for whatever reason. And I'm glad that the doors of my church are open to all.

    In general I've the same questions as the ones Lyri raised in the post above me, I don't understand why some Christians decide to follow some bible rules and ignore others. I think we all got a nice set of brains to think about matters ourselves and to come up with our own opinion. In my opinion, the bible is a wonderful masterpiece full with amazing stories, lessons and other knowledge. But it's still a book written a very long time ago, the world changed since then. We got answers on many questions thanks to science, answers which should not be ignored in favor of a text written centuries ago.
    Last edited by Nina; 19-07-11 at 07:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nina View Post
    In my opinion, the bible is a wonderful masterpiece full with amazing stories, lessons and other knowledge. But it's still a book written a very long time ago, the world changed since then. We got answers on many questions thanks to science, answers which should not be ignored in favor of a text written centuries ago.
    Exactly and in my opinion it's something to base your beliefs and way of life but not something to read as just black and white because religion and beliefs are never just black and white.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyri View Post
    Okay, I have some questions.

    I'm not trying to make a point here, although I guess I am, I'm just honestly confused by this.

    You say the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin, which I don't disagree with, I've seen it there in black and white. But why, in this day and age, is it STILL regarded as such a hateful thing, when there are so many other things in the Old Testament that no one bats an eyelid at now?

    We are no longer allowed to sell out children into slavery. Isn't that going against what the Bible teaches?

    We no longer put people to death for working on the Sabbath.

    According to the Bible, touching the dead skin of a pig makes a person unclean, yet the NFL is making billions.

    Planting different crops side by side is considered a sin.

    Wearing clothes made from two different threads is a sin.

    Why were these things considered so ridiculous, and stupid enough to be forgotten about, but homosexuality is considered bad enough to remain such a disgusting thing by religious people?

    Most of the things I've pointed out are about money. Working on the Sabbath will make someone more money. Planting more crops in a field will make more money. The NFL rakes in millions every month, I'm sure. Look how much money the inventors of denim have made.

    As I said, I'm not trying to make anyone look stupid, or spit all over someone's beliefs. I'm just honestly confused by this, and I would like the insight of a religious person to please explain it to me.
    I am not offended by your questions and certainly don't feel as though you are spitting on my belief system for asking them, so while I can't speak for everyone, no worries there on my account.

    Hang in there with me for a second if you can, because it might appear as if I am taking the long way in my attempt to answer this question as I understand you asking it.

    The Old and New Testament are two entirely different covenants and given, as I understand it, for two entirely different reasons. In the Old Testament, God creates the world, the heaven and man/woman. Sin is introduced and therefore it becomes more difficult, if not impossible at times, for God to keep that window of communication between us and him open. The reason, as I understand it and in pretty simple terms, is because God can not look directly upon sin. That is because he is Holy and Righteous.

    We see God choose Abram, later named Abraham, due to his link to God through his Faith. Notice that "The Law" did not yet exist and would not exist until the time of Moses and the Ten Commandments.

    The 10 were this:

    1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

    2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

    3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

    4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

    5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

    6 “You shall not murder.

    7 “You shall not commit adultery.

    8 “You shall not steal.

    9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    10 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”


    The Old Testament does offer additional instruction to the Israelite people as to how to live, perform rituals, what makes them clean and unclean, etc...
    The atonement for sin is also spelled out and consists of making offerings in the temple to God which could have been grain offerings, animal offerings, etc...

    What we are taught and shown, upon further view and in contrast to the New Testament, is that the entire message of the Old Testament was in pointing to the arrival of the Messiah and to prove that a savior was needed because it is not possible to use the law and get to Heaven. In other words, The Law proved that without the Messiah, people could not maintain right standing with God. The Old Testament was also God putting the blood line together that would deliver the Messiah.

    The New Testament is the arrival of the Messiah, which is the word of God made flesh, The son of God and the third trinity of God. Any and all of these definitions are used to describe Jesus. The New Testament shows that the prophecies surrounding the Messiah are fullfilled with Jesus (There were a lot of them)

    So with the arrival of Jesus, our savior, he was sent and came, to overcome death (sin) and take the punishment in place of us. He literally took all our sin and paid the price of our freedom with his blood. Jesus, fully man and fully God, took the place of all the atoning animals from the Old Testament as the sacrifice required to remain in the presense of God. This was the game changer. His believers are called to be humble, meek, generous, have patience, act in love always, demonstrate self control, offer mercy, love God and be compassionate. When asked which commandment was the most important, Jesus said to love God with all your heart, mind, strength and spirit and he added a commandment, which is to love one another as you love yourself.

    So, while the Old Testament demanded sacrifice and atonement just to stay in the presense of God, the New Testament, offers a savior who already paid the price of our sins.

    In conclusion, Jesus in the New Testament argues against the believers of their time and their "religion" by stating that God wasn't interested in a religion but rather a personal relationship with others. Jesus changed the theme to that of love, tolerance and self control. We learn in the New Testament that there is NO condemnation for those in Christ, while the Old Testament, before the price was paid, was all about guilt and shame.

    Sadly, while a lot of people claim to follow the teachings of the New Testament, actions indicate a more legalistic (Old Testament) view is in action. Something Jesus did not approve or condone because the people were not acting in love for anyone.

    Concerning unclean animals, such as pigs? God made all animals clean and acceptable to eat in the New Testament. We are not under that law. In fact, we are under only two laws to this day. Love God and love each other.

    Why were these things considered so ridiculous, and stupid enough to be forgotten about, but homosexuality is considered bad enough to remain such a disgusting thing by religious people?
    In my honest opinion? The word Abomination, from the Old Testament. It has been my experience that all followers of God are a hair shy of falling back into legalism. I struggle with it myself, knowing full well that it isn't the way. It takes a person seriously grounded in Jesus and accepting of the strength he offers and correction he hands out, to even begin to behave the way we are called to behave in the Bible.

    Followers of God aren't perfect and some of them fall back into a legalistic way of thinking. For the legalistic follower, the standard that they hold you to is the exact standard they hold themself to. They expect themselves to be perfect and you too. They feel guilt, shame and humiliation because they aren't perfect and think you should too. They aren't very happy as legalism is defined as a dead practice, centered around dead Faith. So while I truly sympathize with those folks trapped in that horrible mind spin, I also feel just as sympathetic for those they hurt on their downward spiral. That is my take on it. I appologize for taking such a long way to get to the point but I felt that you needed a little more back history to understand what I am really trying to say.

    In my opinion, the bible is a wonderful masterpiece full with amazing stories, lessons and other knowledge. But it's still a book written a very long time ago, the world changed since then. We got answers on many questions thanks to science, answers which should not be ignored in favor of a text written centuries ago.
    The Bible is the only source of total and absolute truth that exists. It is the living word of God, intended to set us free. That is my belief.

    In our world, the answers to science are always changing, proving that what we believed to be truth wasn't really truth at all.

    Whosoever Shall Call Upon the Name of the Lord Shall Be Saved!

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    So you simply ignore science? Just because it evolves? You don't believe it's possible that people can figure out new things? I'm working in a biology lab and every year new methods make it possible to do even more, and yes sometimes a hypothesis is proven wrong by new work. Which is only good because it's one step closer to understanding how something works. Besides results after using new techniques often just prove assumptions wrong, the most scientists won't officially conclude anything without having really good reasons to do so.

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    So, while the Old Testament demanded sacrifice and atonement just to stay in the presense of God, the New Testament, offers a savior who already paid the price of our sins.

    In conclusion, Jesus in the New Testament argues against the believers of their time and their "religion" by stating that God wasn't interested in a religion but rather a personal relationship with others. Jesus changed the theme to that of love, tolerance and self control. We learn in the New Testament that there is NO condemnation for those in Christ, while the Old Testament, before the price was paid, was all about guilt and shame.

    Sadly, while a lot of people claim to follow the teachings of the New Testament, actions indicate a more legalistic (Old Testament) view is in action. Something Jesus did not approve or condone because the people were not acting in love for anyone.
    I'm not sure if this is what you were aiming for, but from that statement right there, the way it's written, to me, suggests that you're saying that, in the New Testament, Jesus came along and said everything they believed in in the past was wrong, and this is the new way that they should show their faith.

    Is that correct?

    Because if it is, then why is it STILL suggested that homosexuality is wrong? If Jesus claimed that the Old Testament should be thrown out and that He would show them a new way to believe, then surely ALL of those old 'laws' or whatever should be thrown out, not just the ones that makes their lives easier by getting rid of them.

    It's double standards and it just makes me think that people are just using their faith to condone their bigotry.

    Also, another thing I want to point out.

    In MY version of the Bible (I live in the UK, as you know) which is The King James, the commandment actually says 'Thou shalt not KILL' not murder.

    There is a huge difference between the definitions of the words 'kill' and 'murder'.
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    So you simply ignore science? Just because it evolves? You don't believe it's possible that people can figure out new things? I'm working in a biology lab and every year new methods make it possible to do even more, and yes sometimes a hypothesis is proven wrong by new work. Which is only good because it's one step closer to understanding how something works. Besides results after using new techniques often just prove assumptions wrong, the most scientists won't officially conclude anything without having really good reasons to do so.
    No, I never even implied that. I don't ignore anything we have figured out in this world, what I said is that it is my belief that The Bible is the only source of absolute truth that exists.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lyri View Post
    I'm not sure if this is what you were aiming for, but from that statement right there, the way it's written, to me, suggests that you're saying that, in the New Testament, Jesus came along and said everything they believed in in the past was wrong, and this is the new way that they should show their faith.

    Is that correct?

    Because if it is, then why is it STILL suggested that homosexuality is wrong? If Jesus claimed that the Old Testament should be thrown out and that He would show them a new way to believe, then surely ALL of those old 'laws' or whatever should be thrown out, not just the ones that makes their lives easier by getting rid of them.

    It's double standards and it just makes me think that people are just using their faith to condone their bigotry.

    Also, another thing I want to point out.

    In MY version of the Bible (I live in the UK, as you know) which is The King James, the commandment actually says 'Thou shalt not KILL' not murder.

    There is a huge difference between the definitions of the words 'kill' and 'murder'.
    Well to be totally fair, Jesus said outright that he didn't come to erase the law but to fullfill it. Being in the presense of such a Holy and Righteous God requires a snow white sin free presentation, something that isn't possible without being washed by the cleansing blood of Christ. That was the whole point of all the animal sacrifices from the old Testament, coving the sins with blood.

    Why wouldn't it still be considered a sin to be homosexual, to kill, to steal, to lie, etc? Jesus did not erase the law, he fullfilled the punishment required for those sins. There are tons of sins, homosexuality being just one.

    Aside from fullfilling the law and providing the way for us to remain in the presense of God, Jesus lay down an entirely different way of thinking. Where "religious" people were full of judgements, Jesus said do not judge, unless you also want to be judged. Where the people were full of unforgiveness, Jesus said forgive so that my Heavenly Father can forgive you. Jesus turned everything the "religious" people thought upside down and sideways. He stated that he came to reveal the truth, not hide it. To bring everything out into the open.

    So, we aren't called to throw the old laws out, per say, as loving each other will cover the other commandments, as will loving God, but rather we are called to remove all judgement, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness, hard heartedness, etc... out. The New Testament is about letting Jesus in and doing everything we can to help other people in their needs. While it doesn't erase the law, Jesus changed everything.

    There are a few translations of the Ten Commandments, another version lists the commandement you reference as : Thou shall not spill innocent blood"
    Considering that unless you speak the language the Bible was originally written in , there is no way to translate word for word, they do the best they can and the message is pretty much the same. When I am in question, unless I am personally convicted otherwise, I pick the version that makes the most sense based on the teachings of Jesus. In this case, I would say that you shouldn't intentionally kill anyone but even then, remember that Jesus expanded that commandment to include ...if you have hate in your heart for another, you have committed murder.

    I honestly couldn't even begin to speak out about why other people react the way they react to certain sins and while I think it's true that it's possible that some might use religion as an excuse to "condemn" sinners, it's worth mentioning that the message of The New Testament is to renew your mind from those old ritualistic and damning tendencies.

    It seems a lot more complex to me than you describe it here but I am sure you are correct in some instances. Hiding behind faith in the name of God to assign blame, condemnation, judgements, etc... that is still a form of legalism and the opposite of what Jesus teaches. To he who judges, blames, condemns and refuses to forgive, reaps judgement, shame, condemnation and unforgiveness of their own sin upon themself. It really isn't a place anyone would want to be and something that I wish all those who fall back into legalism could grasp. Their choices and failure to follow Jesus assigns them more blame than the sins that they are so concerned with others committing.
    That's the other thing about legalism, Jesus tells us to remove the log from our own eye before tyring to take the splinter out of anothers. Which is just a nice way to say that we have a hard time seeing/accepting our own sin but sure can point out everyone elses pretty easily.

    If I might ask you a question, why did you say that it makes someone's life easier for homosexuals to be gone?

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    Why wouldn't it still be considered a sin to be homosexual, to kill, to steal, to lie, etc? Jesus did not erase the law, he fullfilled the punishment required for those sins. There are tons of sins, homosexuality being just one.
    If it's still considered a sin to be homosexual, why isn't it still a sin to wear clothes made from more than one thread? Why isn't it still a sin to plant two different crops side by side?

    THAT is what I'm having trouble understanding. Why one 'sin' is worse than others? Why should one be disregarded and not others?

    If I might ask you a question, why did you say that it makes someone's life easier for homosexuals to be gone?
    No, that's not what I meant, and my apologies if that came across wrong.

    What I meant was that people got rid of the laws and rules that made their lives...not more difficult, but their lives are certainly easier now that working on the Sabbath is no longer punishable by death. Or than no one thinks touching the dead skin of a pig makes them unclean.

    The fact that they still hold up the one law or rule that shouldn't affect them in the slightest speaks volumes to me. Is this really because of one word? Because the word 'abomination' is used in conjunction with homosexuality? Is that really what makes this rule more important than the rest?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    No, I never even implied that. I don't ignore anything we have figured out in this world, what I said is that it is my belief that The Bible is the only source of absolute truth that exists.
    You can't say that the bible is absolute truth without ignoring scientific facts. By example the 'age' of our planet or the evolution. The scientific proof is undeniable in this case.

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    firstly, interesting thread. since i never learned religion in school and we're not an overly religious culture here in Australia...well, at least i don't think we are, despite living in the City of Churches, i've found this an interesting read.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lyri View Post
    I'm not sure if this is what you were aiming for, but from that statement right there, the way it's written, to me, suggests that you're saying that, in the New Testament, Jesus came along and said everything they believed in in the past was wrong, and this is the new way that they should show their faith. Is that correct?
    that is an interesting question. i have the exact same questions about my own faith in Buddhism. i'm a strict vegetarian and also don't eat the five pungent vegetables (onion, garlic, scallions, chives and leek, because they are considered sinful in our religion due to the belief they cause anger and lust), but anyway, we're allowed to eat eggs, milk, dairy, some cheese (as long as it doesn't contain animal cultured enzymes), etc which i always found odd, because i understand why, in our culture, we shouldn't eat animals (sin, karma, mercy, killing, etc), but we're allowed to eat the products of animals. i did question it once, and someone told me that God in his mercy has allowed this, which was not the answer i wanted to hear... so i didn't bother asking anymore. i love eggs and couldn't live without milk in my coffee, so i'm not complaining, but there's always questions. there's also practicing Buddhists who say they're allowed to eat meat, except on the first/fifteenth of the lunar calendar and special Buddhist days, so i just assume they're following another 'updated' version of the same religion. i.e. some Buddhas must've come along and said that was ok. who knows.

    anyway, sometimes it does seem hypocritical... there are the core beliefs, then over time, they seem to have been modified to accommodate certain people's current living situations. in the past, practicing Buddhists had to leave their homes/families to become monks, but these days, one can still practice Buddhism within family.

    i've never read the Testaments, but the bolded above were my exact thoughts. my interpretation of the above comments though, are: some follow the New Testament, some follow the Old Testament.. then there are probably those in general, who just don't like homosexuals (because of traditional views that it goes against human biology because they can't reproduce or perhaps they just don't know any different), and the ones who protest against homosexuality's existence for rights or acknowledgment are most likely the latter two.

    there are so many different versions/interpretations of the same religions out there...sometimes it's hard to keep up with what's what and what is truly the correct interpretations of the original Bible or teachings.

    Q1. i have a personal question for Christian beliefs. obviously, they believe in Heaven and Hell, but what constitutes one going to Heaven or Hell? is there only 2 options for judgment? what about the in-between...the good people, who don't believe in God/Jesus? or just the people who don't do good or evil? i see myself fitting into this category. i don't do any evil, but i have the general hateful thought. i don't go out of my way to help others or do virtuous deeds, but i would consider myself nice and considerate. where would i personally fall within Christian guidelines?

    Spoiler:
    in my culture, there seems to be a lot of guidelines of how one would be able to return to Heaven, which make it seem impossible, and that the most virtuous people may only reach a lower level of Heaven, while the rest will either end up in Hell or return to Earth via reincarnation. in our culture, we also believe that we are all brothers and sisters (because we're all children of God) and our aim is to 'return' to Heaven, because that is where we were originally from...i don't really remember why we ended back on Earth (maybe it got overcrowded), but we did and God has thrown us tests/obstacles to only allow his believers to return. interesting note though, is that Buddha scriptures have said that Buddhas have been sent to Earth over certain periods of time to help save us, but i would ask, after finally achieving Buddhahood and returning home to Heaven, why would one want to come back down to earth and risk being corrupted and never going home? they say it's because of their compassion, which to me, just makes it an endless cycle, that either way, whether i truly commit wholeheartedly or halfheartedly, i'm either going to end up back on earth or in Hell.
    Q2. this might seem like an ignorant question (i really don't know much about other religions), but does one have to be baptised in your religion to be able to go to Heaven after death?
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    but anyway, we're allowed to eat eggs, milk, dairy, some cheese (as long as it doesn't contain animal cultured enzymes), etc which i always found odd, because i understand why, in our culture, we shouldn't eat animals (sin, karma, mercy, killing, etc), but we're allowed to eat the products of animals.
    That has to do with ancient times and circumstances and poverty. Not everyone had animals back then, and the ones that had, well, they had a few. If they had started eating them, there wouldn't have been any left for everyone. So religions just came up with things like that, "you are not allowed to eat that animal, it is sinful, but you can eat its products like eggs etc, or there must be periods of fast to prove your loyalty and faith to God, etc.
    Or another example in Christian religion during periods of fast. One can't eat oil, but he is allowed to eat olives, which can be explained a) because it took time and effort to make oil from olives, so it was more expensive, and b)at that time, the places where they were making the oil were not so clean, full of rats and c0ckroaches and mice, etc, so the oil was not considered "clean", since it had "meat" in it (but basically the aim was to prevent diseases from spreading, since not "clean" oil with the meat of rats and c0ckroaches also meant diseases). And this goes up until nowadays, so people can't eat oil but they can eat olives, but of course, the circumstances and the sanitary conditions have changed, but not the religious ones which still stick onto their old beliefs.

    To understand one religion and its rules, one must look back at the place and time and circumstances that the religion was established and started flourishing.

    what about the in-between...the good people, who don't believe in God/Jesus? or just the people who don't do good or evil?
    If those people have heard of Christianity and decided to stick to their religion and not follow Jesus, they will go to hell.
    If they have never heard of christianity. they will be judged by their actions, but always according to the christian beliefs of what is right and what is wrong.
    So, to answer your question, what will happen to you, if the christian God is the right one, well, you will end up in hell, because you have heard of christianity, you have learned about Jesus Christ and what he teaches, but you have decided to stick to your religion instead.
    Last edited by zianna; 20-07-11 at 06:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zianna View Post
    If those people have heard of Christianity and decided to stick to their religion and not follow Jesus, they will go to hell.
    is that because that's the only other option? and does that include virtuous people and those who do many good deeds in their life but don't have Jesus in their heart?
    Quote Originally Posted by zianna View Post
    If they have never heard of christianity. they will be judged by their actions, but always according to the christian beliefs of what is right and what is wrong.
    So, to answer your question, what will happen to you, if the christian God is the right one, well, you will end up in hell, because you have heard of christianity, you have learned about Jesus Christ and what he teaches, but you have decided to stick to your religion instead.
    that is interesting, because i would've thought that if you were a practitioner of one of the five major religions and practiced wholeheartedly under that religion, you can still go back to Heaven.
    so what about those who've never heard of Christianity or religion altogether, and do evil, because that is all they've known? are they judged less harshly or not harshly at all, because they'd never 'had the opportunity' to be saved by Jesus? and although, i know those who know of their religion and choose not to practice/follow it (because it's the same in my religion) are judged more harshly, i personally don't see the fairness in it. e.g. why should a person who cheats, steals, kills, etc be judged less harshly because he has no morals nor ever been exposed to religion, compared to someone who has religion at heart, but doesn't practice it wholeheartedly for their whole lives, but i guess if Hell is the only option for those not able to return to Heaven, then i guess it doesn't matter, unless you take into account severity of punishment in Hell...then i would go back to the matter that i don't see that as fair. that is for Christians i mean... since i'm Buddhist and believe in karma/reincarnation and that majority of us will just return to earth (as human or animal - because animals have souls and it would be considered killing/spilling blood to eat them).
    Last edited by doppelganger47; 20-07-11 at 07:12 PM.
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    According to christianity, there is only one hell and one heaven. Things that describe hell and heaven, (fire and torture in hell and green vast fields and blue skies in heaven etc) are only to make people kind of understand what it is. Basically hell is the torture and suffering that the human soul will feel in the afterlife away from God, and heaven is the bliss that it will feel by being close to God.

    So, the people who are evil, will feel more suffering being away from God, regretting their past actions as well, than the people who were good but decided to stick to their religion and ended up in hell as well.

    Q2. this might seem like an ignorant question (i really don't know much about other religions), but does one have to be baptised in your religion to be able to go to Heaven after death?
    Yes, that is the "reason" why enfants get baptised, to avoid the chance of something happening to the enfant and die and end up in hell. At least that is what the religion says, because the real reason behind is to "declare" another member in their dogma or their religion. The more members, the more power the church gets, it's always been like that.

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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Lyri...If it's still considered a sin to be homosexual, why isn't it still a sin to wear clothes made from more than one thread? Why isn't it still a sin to plant two different crops side by side?

    THAT is what I'm having trouble understanding. Why one 'sin' is worse than others? Why should one be disregarded and not others?
    Anything that was listed as a sin in the Old Testament, unless specifically altered by God himself or Jesus, is still in effect. It seems as if you are referencing all the various instruction that God gave in Leviticus here;

    " 'Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD. 15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 16 " 'Do not go about spreading slander among your people. " 'Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD. 17 " 'Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. 18 " 'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. 19 " 'Keep my decrees. " 'Do not mate different kinds of animals. " 'Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. " 'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material. 20 " 'If a man sleeps with a woman who is a slave girl promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for a guilt offering to the LORD. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the LORD for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven. 23 " 'When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden. For three years you are to consider it forbidden; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD.

    It seems to me that all these instructions are additional laws intended for the Israelites and while I wouldn't begin to argue the validity of what God ordered them to do, I also can't claim to know or understand all the different ways that God works, or what he is trying to achieve. From my own perspective, which may mean nothing whatsoever, it appears as if God is trying to set his people apart, (Holiness) from the rest of the World.

    What I meant was that people got rid of the laws and rules that made their lives...not more difficult, but their lives are certainly easier now that working on the Sabbath is no longer punishable by death. Or than no one thinks touching the dead skin of a pig makes them unclean.
    Jesus did away with that old way of thinking when he fullfilled the law with his death and resurrection. Jesus challenged the notion of "working" on the Sabbath, by calling into question the motives of their actions. Concerning the pigs, God had already cleansed all animals, making that law null and void.
    Don't forget that one purpose of The Law, was to show us that we are unable to follow it and thus, need a savior. Jesus.
    For what's it is worth, I think the lives of those who try to follow The Law, rather than Jesus, is a life full of fear, bitterness, sadness and despair.

    The fact that they still hold up the one law or rule that shouldn't affect them in the slightest speaks volumes to me. Is this really because of one word? Because the word 'abomination' is used in conjunction with homosexuality? Is that really what makes this rule more important than the rest?
    In fairness, some of the other Laws expired, so to speak, but I do understand what you are saying here. I do think that one word has a lot to do with the reaction of a Law following believer reacting the way they do, it is a strong word. Add that to the stories surrounding the evil raping homosexuals in the Bible and fear might play a part as well. These are just my guess's, whose to really say for sure why people behave badly?

    Nina...You can't say that the bible is absolute truth without ignoring scientific facts. By example the 'age' of our planet or the evolution. The scientific proof is undeniable in this case.
    The Bible doesn't contradict anything that we know and I can share what I believe to be absolute truth and with all confidence in the validity of such a statement. I don't find science of any kind to be "undeniable". Most of what we learn, are taught, follow...is simply what we know today. The truth of science could change within the next decade, year, month or minute. The Holy Bible does not ever change.

    Q1. i have a personal question for Christian beliefs. obviously, they believe in Heaven and Hell, but what constitutes one going to Heaven or Hell? is there only 2 options for judgment? what about the in-between...the good people, who don't believe in God/Jesus? or just the people who don't do good or evil? i see myself fitting into this category. i don't do any evil, but i have the general hateful thought. i don't go out of my way to help others or do virtuous deeds, but i would consider myself nice and considerate. where would i personally fall within Christian guidelines?
    To go to Heaven, a person must confess that Jesus is the son of God, sent to die for our sins and then repent of their sins. Anyone who refuses the gift of Jesus and his blood, offered by the Holy God, is sentenced to undergo the wrath of God and be forever separated from him for eternity. This is Hell.
    There is no in between except to say that ignorance is not a denial, from what I understand. We are not help accountable for what we do not know or have never heard.

    The question about what type of Christian that you would be can only apply if you accept the gift of Jesus, without that, there is no Christianity to fall under. We are taught that works of the flesh (trying to buy your way into heaven) is legalism, while fruits of the spirit (Good deeds done as a result of allowing the holy spirit to work within you) is the New Testament.

    Q2. this might seem like an ignorant question (i really don't know much about other religions), but does one have to be baptised in your religion to be able to go to Heaven after death?
    Different sectors believe different things. My personal belief is no, since John the Baptist said that while he baptised with water, the one to come (Jesus) would baptise with the Holy Spirit. Having said that, I still think it's a good thing to do as a public declaration of your faith. I am planning to do it soon.

    Another arguement for NOT needing the baptism is that the thief hanging beside Jesus on the cross was not baptised and Jesus told him that he would see him that very day in Heaven. Jesus is not under the strict Law because he fullfilled all of it. IMO, that would include baptism. I know others will disagree and that's o.k.

    Zianna...That has to do with ancient times and circumstances and poverty. Not everyone had animals back then, and the ones that had, well, they had a few. If they had started eating them, there wouldn't have been any left for everyone. So religions just came up with things like that, "you are not allowed to eat that animal, it is sinful, but you can eat its products like eggs etc, or there must be periods of fast to prove your loyalty and faith to God, etc.
    Actually, God had some pretty specific instructions for what the Israelites ate, before he made all animals clean and considering that he was blessing them hand over fist, it doesn't appear to be connected to poverty.

    1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: 3 You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud. 4 " 'There are some that only chew the cud or only have a split hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. 5 The coney, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you. 6 The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a split hoof; it is unclean for you. 7 And the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. 8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you. 9 " 'Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams, you may eat any that have fins and scales. 10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales--whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water--you are to detest. 11 And since you are to detest them, you must not eat their meat and you must detest their carcasses. 12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be detestable to you. 13 " 'These are the birds you are to detest and not eat because they are detestable: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, 14 the red kite, any kind of black kite, 15 any kind of raven, 16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk, 17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, 18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey, 19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat. 20 " 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be detestable to you. 21 There are, however, some winged creatures that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground. 22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper. 23 But all other winged creatures that have four legs you are to detest. 24 " 'You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. 25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. 26 " 'Every animal that has a split hoof not completely divided or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches [the carcass of] any of them will be unclean. 27 Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening. 28 Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. They are unclean for you. 29 " 'Of the animals that move about on the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard, 30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon. 31 Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening. 32 When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean. 33 If one of them falls into a clay pot, everything in it will be unclean, and you must break the pot. 34 Any food that could be eaten but has water on it from such a pot is unclean, and any liquid that could be drunk from it is unclean. 35 Anything that one of their carcasses falls on becomes unclean; an oven or cooking pot must be broken up. They are unclean, and you are to regard them as unclean. 36 A spring, however, or a cistern for collecting water remains clean, but anyone who touches one of these carcasses is unclean. 37 If a carcass falls on any seeds that are to be planted, they remain clean. 38 But if water has been put on the seed and a carcass falls on it, it is unclean for you. 39 " 'If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches the carcass will be unclean till evening. 40 Anyone who eats some of the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash his clothes, and he will be unclean till evening. 41 " 'Every creature that moves about on the ground is detestable; it is not to be eaten. 42 You are not to eat any creature that moves about on the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is detestable. 43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them. 44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves about on the ground. 45 I am the LORD who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. 46 " 'These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves in the water and every creature that moves about on the ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.' "

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    Rule #7 Lyri's Avatar
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    I understand what you're saying, Cheryl, and I thank you for taking the time to try to explain this to me, but I've come to the conclusion that I will never, EVER understand why someone falling in love or being with a member of the same sex is considered a sin. Or why the 'law' that it is an 'abomination' still remains when so many other ridiculous 'laws' from that book of the Bible have been disregarded. Because in my eyes, it's like some religious people are saying that homosexuality is just a big of a sin as murder. And that is just one more reason that I'm glad I'm Atheist.
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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyri View Post
    I understand what you're saying, Cheryl, and I thank you for taking the time to try to explain this to me, but I've come to the conclusion that I will never, EVER understand why someone falling in love or being with a member of the same sex is considered a sin. Or why the 'law' that it is an 'abomination' still remains when so many other ridiculous 'laws' from that book of the Bible have been disregarded. Because in my eyes, it's like some religious people are saying that homosexuality is just a big of a sin as murder. And that is just one more reason that I'm glad I'm Atheist.
    You're very welcome and again, I am sorry that circumstances around you, people's attitudes about your friends, etc.. have left such a bitter taste in your mouth concerning a God who loves you, regardless of what anyone else thinks about that.

    I don't understand everything either...maybe someday. I continue to wish the best for you.

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    Slayer stormwreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    Why wouldn't it still be considered a sin to be homosexual, to kill, to steal, to lie, etc? Jesus did not erase the law, he fullfilled the punishment required for those sins.
    To be honest, I think the condemnation of homosexuality by many modern Christians is an example of just the kind of legalism you talk about. These are not people who go to the Bible to learn God's word: they've already made up their minds in advance, and they're going to the Bible to pick and choose quotations looking for justification for their pre-existing prejudices. Leviticus uses that same word, 'abomination', to describe both men having sex with men, and men who eat shellfish. But one line is frequently quoted, and the other is ignored. It seems hypocritical to me. The long list of odd prohibitions in Leviticus about what people can and can't do is dismissed as not relevant to modern society - except for the things that these people personally find distasteful, and which they try to justify as still applying now, even though the commandments before and after it in the Bible are now ignored.

    I do have a question for you: when you say that the Bible is "true", do you mean every single word of every book is unalterable, divine law? For example, do you consider St Paul's epistles to have exactly the same value and ultimate truth as Jesus's own words in the Sermon on the Mount? Or do you believe that some parts of the Bible, being written by fallible mortals, might contain misinterpretations, or be metaphorical, or be open to argument, or be 'advice' rather than 'commands'?

    (I know that the majority Christian belief in Britain is definitely towards the second: the Bible is a holy book, but it was written by people who are not perfect.)

    ****

    Quote Originally Posted by doppelganger47 View Post
    i'm a strict vegetarian and also don't eat the five pungent vegetables (onion, garlic, scallions, chives and leek, because they are considered sinful in our religion due to the belief they cause anger and lust)
    That's interesting because I think it's connected to the first part of my post. Is it "Don't eat garlic" that's the core belief of Buddhism? Or is "Don't get angry" the core belief? And if modern science proved that actually, garlic doesn't make you angry, should Buddhists therefore say, "Oh, well, in that case we can eat it after all. (Just in moderation, as with all things.)"?

    (For some reason, I initially wrote 'Buddhist' as 'Buffhist' in that last paragraph. I suppose Buffhism is following the teachings of Buffy? )


    Q1. i have a personal question for Christian beliefs. obviously, they believe in Heaven and Hell, but what constitutes one going to Heaven or Hell? is there only 2 options for judgment? what about the in-between...the good people, who don't believe in God/Jesus? or just the people who don't do good or evil? i see myself fitting into this category. i don't do any evil, but i have the general hateful thought. i don't go out of my way to help others or do virtuous deeds, but i would consider myself nice and considerate. where would i personally fall within Christian guidelines?
    Some Christians also believe(d) in Purgatory as a halfway house between Heaven and Hell. If you've been sinful but weren't utterly lost and damned, you went to Purgatory to be cleansed of your sins before being allowed into Heaven. Purgatory was nasty, but at least you had the hope of being set free from it eventually.

    Other Christians reject that idea, and only have Heaven and Hell. However, some say that most people will go to Heaven, and only the truly irredeemable will go to Hell; others say the opposite, that only the truly pure and faithful will get into Heaven and it's tough cookies for all the rest of us.

    Buddha scriptures have said that Buddhas have been sent to Earth over certain periods of time to help save us, but i would ask, after finally achieving Buddhahood and returning home to Heaven, why would one want to come back down to earth and risk being corrupted and never going home? they say it's because of their compassion, which to me, just makes it an endless cycle
    Well, presumably once you attain Enlightenment, you know the way to return to Heaven at any time you like - you just put off going back there out of compassion and a desire to help others. Yes, you risk getting entangled again, but it's a price you're willing to pay. From an outsider's perspective, Christian doctrine of Jesus becoming mortal and dying for our sins and Buddhist doctrine of Bodhisattvas returning have a lot in common.

    Actually I have a question for you too: you talk about God, but I thought Buddhists didn't believe in God? (Or at least, not in one single all-powerful God.)

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    To be honest, I think the condemnation of homosexuality by many modern Christians is an example of just the kind of legalism you talk about. These are not people who go to the Bible to learn God's word: they've already made up their minds in advance, and they're going to the Bible to pick and choose quotations looking for justification for their pre-existing prejudices. Leviticus uses that same word, 'abomination', to describe both men having sex with men, and men who eat shellfish. But one line is frequently quoted, and the other is ignored. It seems hypocritical to me. The long list of odd prohibitions in Leviticus about what people can and can't do is dismissed as not relevant to modern society - except for the things that these people personally find distasteful, and which they try to justify as still applying now, even though the commandments before and after it in the Bible are now ignored.
    THIS. This right here is what I've been talking about all along. It is very hypocritical. VERY nice post.
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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormwreath View Post
    It seems hypocritical to me.


    I do have a question for you: when you say that the Bible is "true", do you mean every single word of every book is unalterable, divine law? For example, do you consider St Paul's epistles to have exactly the same value and ultimate truth as Jesus's own words in the Sermon on the Mount? Or do you believe that some parts of the Bible, being written by fallible mortals, might contain misinterpretations, or be metaphorical, or be open to argument, or be 'advice' rather than 'commands'?

    (I know that the majority Christian belief in Britain is definitely towards the second: the Bible is a holy book, but it was written by people who are not perfect.)

    ****

    It is VERY hypocritical and that was the same behavior that Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrits because of.

    As to your question... for me to believe in a Holy God who created the Universe and everything in it, it isn't hard for me to then also believe that the same Holy God made certain that his Holy Bible contains exactly what he wants it to contain. Paul was infused with the power of the Holy Spirit and didn't come up with the things written by himself. That would be my honest answer. I believe The Bible is the truth, all of it. That doesn't mean that I understand all of it, I don't.

    I also believe that The Bible was written by people who were not perfect but that doesn't diminish my faith in God's ability to put his message out perfectly. If that makes sense?

    It has honestly been my experience that when you read The Bible, God reveals things to you as it applies to you, so it becomes a pretty personal oriented experience but definately a supernatural experience. It has literally changed my life, for the better, all the way around. I can see why people have defined The Bible as the living word of God for so long. If the book didn't have God's annointing, it couldn't accomplish what it accomplishes in the lives of so many people. I really wish that I could do this topic more justice, it delivers more than I can personally describe.
    Last edited by cheryl4ba; 22-07-11 at 05:48 AM.

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