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Thread: The Holy Bible/God/Jesus

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    Quote Originally Posted by stormwreath View Post
    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.)"?
    i was born into a religious vegetarian family, so i just grew up not eating these things without really questioning why, but i think it's it was written in teachings that the five pungent plants contain five different enzymes that have negative effects on the five organs of the body (lungs, heart, spleen, kidneys and liver), thus affecting us physically and spiritually in a negative way.
    Quote Originally Posted by stormwreath View Post
    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.
    our culture believe in the bolded. i think we believe in purgatory as well, which is where most will end up in our culture, because only those who actually reach enlightenment and Buddhahood can return to Heaven, and only the most evil will end up in Hell. although, we also believe in reincarnation, so i don't really remember if souls have to suffer in purgatory or Hell before being reborn back into the world as a human or animal.
    Quote Originally Posted by stormwreath View Post
    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.)
    i guess our culture is a bit of a mixed religion then, although we don't really call it a religion and moreso a way of truth. we follow mostly Buddha teachings, but we do believe that God created the world (although i think sometimes we call her Heavenly mother). in general, we believe in God and Jesus being sent down to earth as a messenger of God, just like how Buddhas are reincarnated back into humans to save humanity. when we learn about the teachings (sort of like a Bible study), we mostly go through Buddha scriptures, teachings from Saints and use references from the Bible. I've never read the Bible or any sort of Buddha scriptures before (can't read chinese), because they kind of bore me to sleep (listening to someone talk for hours on end), but also because the teachings are more for us to understand and believe why this pathway is the right one, but we obviously still have to put into practice the teachings to get anywhere. to us, there are the five major religions, and those each have individual alternative pathways to Heaven. that's why i find it a bit silly for one Christian to say that unless you're Christian, there's no way you can get to Heaven, and if they don't believe in purgatory, they're basically saying we're all going to Hell...because that completely disregards teachings of every other major religion.
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    that's why i find it a bit silly for one Christian to say that unless you're Christian, there's no way you can get to Heaven, and if they don't believe in purgatory, they're basically saying we're all going to Hell...because that completely disregards teachings of every other major religion.
    Do you believe that religions somehow flow together? I ask based on your statement that disbelief in purgatory disregards other religions.

    I believe that you can't go to heaven if you don't accept Jesus ( AKA - Being Christian) because that is what Jesus taught. He said, I am the way, the truth and the life and no-one comes to the Father except by me. As extreme or silly to you as it sounds, this is exactly what The Bible teaches and exactly why the world needed a savior. The Bible says "For God so loved the World (you and me) that he gave his only begotten son"

    I found this on Purgatory

    Purgatory is a belief that is almost unique to the Roman Catholic Church.

    The Catholic church teaches that salvation involves a gradual process of sanctification over time. Believers can lose their salvation and become isolated from God. But they can regain it through church sacraments. Few people can be accepted directly into Heaven at death. Those who are in a state of mortal sin at the time of their death are sent to Hell. Purgatory cleanses the remainder from the temporal consequences of the sins that they have collected during their lifetime on earth. Eventually, the latter will be eligible to be transferred to Heaven.

    Conservative Protestants generally believe that salvation is achieved by a person repenting of their sin and trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Once this is done, they are assured that they will attain Heaven at death. Unsaved persons -- perhaps including those who have never heard of Jesus or Christianity or the process of salvation -- will spend eternity being tortured in Hell. Purgatory does not exist.

    Liberal Protestants, progressive Christians, Agnostics, Atheists, Freethinkers, etc. generally reject the idea of Purgatory and Hell because the concept of imprisoning people for thought crimes (e.g. believing in the wrong God), and torturing them there for all eternity is incompatible with their interpretation of the Bible and of the nature of God.


    Sorry to bust in on your ongoing conversation. I wanted to try to clarify.
    Last edited by cheryl4ba; 22-07-11 at 07:59 AM.

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    I've got a question for the board... do we have any Quakers on here? A good friend of mine is a Quaker, and it seems such a lovely approach to religion. I'm just curious I suppose!


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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    Do you believe that religions somehow flow together? I ask based on your statement that disbelief in purgatory disregards other religions.

    I believe that you can't go to heaven if you don't accept Jesus ( AKA - Being Christian) because that is what Jesus taught. He said, I am the way, the truth and the life and no-one comes to the Father except by me. As extreme or silly to you as it sounds, this is exactly what The Bible teaches and exactly why the world needed a savior. The Bible says "For God so loved the World (you and me) that he gave his only begotten son"
    i believe the five major religions are all valid religions and pathways to return to Heaven. i believe Jesus is a messenger from God, but who's to say Mohammad and Gutama Buddha aren't messengers from God also, and that Allah and God aren't the same? the world needed a savior, but because of the world consisting of many cultures, races and languages, how can one man spread the word of God worldwide without it being lost in translation, which is why i think God sent other messengers to spread his teachings across the world.
    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    Purgatory is a belief that is almost unique to the Roman Catholic Church.

    The Catholic church teaches that salvation involves a gradual process of sanctification over time. Believers can lose their salvation and become isolated from God. But they can regain it through church sacraments. Few people can be accepted directly into Heaven at death. Those who are in a state of mortal sin at the time of their death are sent to Hell. Purgatory cleanses the remainder from the temporal consequences of the sins that they have collected during their lifetime on earth. Eventually, the latter will be eligible to be transferred to Heaven.
    this sounds reasonable and is what i believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    Conservative Protestants generally believe that salvation is achieved by a person repenting of their sin and trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Once this is done, they are assured that they will attain Heaven at death. Unsaved persons -- perhaps including those who have never heard of Jesus or Christianity or the process of salvation -- will spend eternity being tortured in Hell. Purgatory does not exist.
    personally, i would disagree with this stance, but not because i have another religion, more because i don't see how it makes any sense that all you have to do to go to Heaven is repent your sins and trust in Jesus. i mean, any Christian can do that right? it doesn't even imply that you need to practice any teachings or have virtue. it just implies that you need to repent and have Jesus at heart. i mean, we repent our sins to God on a daily basis in our lives within our religion and we have God in our hearts. also, it disregards other religions because it's saying all Buddhas wouldn't have gone to Heaven because they are not Christian nor followed Jesus, despite having attained enlightenment through years of practice. this also does not make sense to me because what about time before Christ? if Jesus is the one and only savior and pathway to God, then everyone born before his time would've been condemned to Hell?
    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    Liberal Protestants, progressive Christians, Agnostics, Atheists, Freethinkers, etc. generally reject the idea of Purgatory and Hell because the concept of imprisoning people for thought crimes (e.g. believing in the wrong God), and torturing them there for all eternity is incompatible with their interpretation of the Bible and of the nature of God.
    no Purgatory and Hell would also mean no Heaven and no afterlife. i can understand why some would think like that. sometimes it's easier to believe that they may not exist, because honestly, there's no tangible proof, and it does make it easier to enjoy the sins of life and human nature. i only say this, because almost everything in life is considered sin.
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    personally, i would disagree with this stance, but not because i have another religion, more because i don't see how it makes any sense that all you have to do to go to Heaven is repent your sins and trust in Jesus. i mean, any Christian can do that right? it doesn't even imply that you need to practice any teachings or have virtue. it just implies that you need to repent and have Jesus at heart. i mean, we repent our sins to God on a daily basis in our lives within our religion and we have God in our hearts. also, it disregards other religions because it's saying all Buddhas wouldn't have gone to Heaven because they are not Christian nor followed Jesus, despite having attained enlightenment through years of practice. this also does not make sense to me because what about time before Christ? if Jesus is the one and only savior and pathway to God, then everyone born before his time would've been condemned to Hell?
    The New Testament is centered around Faith in Jesus and what he accomplished coming to die for us. It totally doesn't rely on us but on him.
    If you ever get a chance, or have some free time, you should read it for yourself.

    Your way of thinking goes against what The Bible teaches because you assume that we can ever "deserve" to go to heaven by our own works, which ignores the Holiness of God.
    I don't know what you mean by having attained enlightenment but it sounds like more of the same, in which people think they can make it into heaven by their own merits, which the Bible teaches isn't possible.

    As to what happene to people born before Jesus? I can't say. I can say that before Jesus, the Jewish people were God's only chosen and Jesus came and changed that too, to include all people. I would hate to even start guessing about other people and their salvation before Jesus came and thankfully, I don't have to guess about mine.

    i believe the five major religions are all valid religions and pathways to return to Heaven. i believe Jesus is a messenger from God, but who's to say Mohammad and Gutama Buddha aren't messengers from God also, and that Allah and God aren't the same? the world needed a savior, but because of the world consisting of many cultures, races and languages, how can one man spread the word of God worldwide without it being lost in translation, which is why i think God sent other messengers to spread his teachings across the world.
    I only believe in God, the one and only creator of this Universe. I believe that Jesus was not only named the son of God but is actually fully God come to live in flesh and save us. In the old Testament God said that he looked down upon the Earth and could not find one righteous man to work through to save us, so he came and did it himself.

    The world did, does and will always need a savior and when you believe in God, who created everything and holds all things together, why is it hard to imagine that he has totally represented himself in this one book? It isn't hard for me to believe but I have had God encounters or experiences to feed my faith.

    I think a lot is riding on getting this one topic right, if possible. Everyone should examine the text, pray and seek their own encounter with God/Jesus, it is my belief that if you do that, he will reveal the truth to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    The New Testament is centered around Faith in Jesus and what he accomplished coming to die for us. It totally doesn't rely on us but on him.
    If you ever get a chance, or have some free time, you should read it for yourself.
    not everyone can read holy scriptures or the Bible and understand its deeper meaning, and i don't think normal people can either. i mean, we can read it, but whether we truly understand the deeper meaning in the text is another thing, and i am not one of those people - i'll leave this for more divine beings to explain to us. also, Holy teachings have been passed down orally for centuries before being committed onto paper, and as well all know, there can be misinterpretation, especially when it's being translated into another language, such as English, which is why i think not one single book/scripture would have the 'only' answers and that finding similarities amongst other Holy scriptures/teachings would prove its truth. plus, reading holy scriptures would put me to sleep. my parents are always telling me to stop browsing the net, watching tv/movies, reading novels and whatnot to read holy scriptures or holy books, and yes, i know i'm totally wasting my time here on earth and will most likely go to Purgatory or Hell (according to the teachings that i know), but oh well. i'm just struggling enough as it is to get through normal human life, let alone returning to Heaven.
    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    I only believe in God, the one and only creator of this Universe. I believe that Jesus was not only named the son of God but is actually fully God come to live in flesh and save us. In the old Testament God said that he looked down upon the Earth and could not find one righteous man to work through to save us, so he came and did it himself.

    The world did, does and will always need a savior and when you believe in God, who created everything and holds all things together, why is it hard to imagine that he has totally represented himself in this one book? It isn't hard for me to believe but I have had God encounters or experiences to feed my faith.

    I think a lot is riding on getting this one topic right, if possible. Everyone should examine the text, pray and seek their own encounter with God/Jesus, it is my belief that if you do that, he will reveal the truth to you.
    this is where we can agree to disagree. i believe God sent messengers across the world to spread his teachings throughout the different races/cultures, and you believe these (Mohammad, Buddhas, Saints) are just ordinary men/women (or Holy messengers who failed to save the world?) and that Jesus is the only messenger from God, but is God himself. i do think that if he couldn't find one righteous person to save us, then we obviously don't deserve to be saved...not even one truly righteous person exists? there were plenty of historic Biblical people who are written as prophets or messengers from God. anyway, sometimes i wonder why God even created different races/cultures/languages, if we were all meant to be Christian? why men had all the power in the past, why black people were seen as a lower class of human, why slavery existed, why poverty exists, why thousands of years down the track and we still have trouble accepting other humans as equal. my religion tells me that karma and reincarnation is the reason, but if Christians don't believe in karma/reincarnation, then why is the world still like this.
    and if Jesus is God himself, why did it take him so long to come down to save us...because humans have existed for thousands of years before Christ.

    btw, i didn't mean that Allah is another God, i just meant it's the same God, like 'hello, bonjour, ni hao, aloha' - same thing, different language.
    Last edited by doppelganger47; 22-07-11 at 03:25 PM.
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    Conservative Protestants generally believe that salvation is achieved by a person repenting of their sin and trusting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Once this is done, they are assured that they will attain Heaven at death. Unsaved persons -- perhaps including those who have never heard of Jesus or Christianity or the process of salvation -- will spend eternity being tortured in Hell. Purgatory does not exist.
    Not true. I am protestant, and I was a pretty high up in my church before I lost my faith, and I can tell you that my church definitely do believe in Purgatory.

    They also don't just believe that putting your faith in the Lord and repenting your sins to Him is enough to get you into Heaven. You have to live your life as a good person, treat others with respect, like you would expect to be treated.

    The way you describe it, it's like your saying that it's enough just to repent your sins. Someone can go out and murder someone, but they can still get into Heaven because they repented their sins, even though they go out and do the same thing the next day.

    anyway, sometimes i wonder why God even created different races/cultures/languages, if we were all meant to be Christian? why men had all the power in the past, why black people were seen as a lower class of human, why slavery existed, why poverty exists, why thousands of years down the track and we still have trouble accepting other humans as equal. my religion tells me that karma and reincarnation is the reason, but if Christians don't believe in karma/reincarnation, then why is the world still like this.
    That is a very good point.
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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doppelganger47 View Post
    not everyone can read holy scriptures or the Bible and understand its deeper meaning, and i don't think normal people can either. i mean, we can read it, but whether we truly understand the deeper meaning in the text is another thing, and i am not one of those people - i'll leave this for more divine beings to explain to us. also, Holy teachings have been passed down orally for centuries before being committed onto paper, and as well all know, there can be misinterpretation, especially when it's being translated into another language, such as English, which is why i think not one single book/scripture would have the 'only' answers and that finding similarities amongst other Holy scriptures/teachings would prove its truth. plus, reading holy scriptures would put me to sleep. my parents are always telling me to stop browsing the net, watching tv/movies, reading novels and whatnot to read holy scriptures or holy books, and yes, i know i'm totally wasting my time here on earth and will most likely go to Purgatory or Hell (according to the teachings that i know), but oh well. i'm just struggling enough as it is to get through normal human life, let alone returning to Heaven.
    this is where we can agree to disagree. i believe God sent messengers across the world to spread his teachings throughout the different races/cultures, and you believe these (Mohammad, Buddhas, Saints) are just ordinary men/women (or Holy messengers who failed to save the world?) and that Jesus is the only messenger from God, but is God himself. i do think that if he couldn't find one righteous person to save us, then we obviously don't deserve to be saved...not even one truly righteous person exists? there were plenty of historic Biblical people who are written as prophets or messengers from God. anyway, sometimes i wonder why God even created different races/cultures/languages, if we were all meant to be Christian? why men had all the power in the past, why black people were seen as a lower class of human, why slavery existed, why poverty exists, why thousands of years down the track and we still have trouble accepting other humans as equal. my religion tells me that karma and reincarnation is the reason, but if Christians don't believe in karma/reincarnation, then why is the world still like this.
    and if Jesus is God himself, why did it take him so long to come down to save us...because humans have existed for thousands of years before Christ.

    btw, i didn't mean that Allah is another God, i just meant it's the same God, like 'hello, bonjour, ni hao, aloha' - same thing, different language.
    I totally understand what you mean when you say that not everyone has the deeper understanding that exists in The Bible but I also know, from personal experience, that reading it for yourself, things are revealed to you. It has happened to me personally. While it's true that I don't know everything or maybe even the half of it, I did learn enough to be certain of my salvation and develop a personal relationship with God.

    I really can't answer all the questions concerning why God does things within a certain time frame, in my mind if he chooses to do it that way, it is the best way that it could have been done. I do see, by reading, that God chose a certain blood line to deliver The Messiah through and that the entire message of the Old Testament is how desperately the world needed the savior to come. Anything else that God had in mind? I couldn't begin to guess.

    I don't know what you mean about the world still being this way, what way exactly? IMO, the world is full of evil but I can't see how Karma could correct that. The Bible does teach of reaping and sowing but I am not sure that is what you mean?


    Not true. I am protestant, and I was a pretty high up in my church before I lost my faith, and I can tell you that my church definitely do believe in Purgatory.

    They also don't just believe that putting your faith in the Lord and repenting your sins to Him is enough to get you into Heaven. You have to live your life as a good person, treat others with respect, like you would expect to be treated.

    The way you describe it, it's like your saying that it's enough just to repent your sins. Someone can go out and murder someone, but they can still get into Heaven because they repented their sins, even though they go out and do the same thing the next day.
    I am a protestant and this is exactly what I believe, that through accepting Jesus Christ as my savior, I am saved. Going out and committing murder, in most circumstances, isn't something that a Jesus loving individual would even contemplate. Not saying someone can not be forgiven for murder because The Bible proves otherwise with Moses and David.

    I wasn't trying to describe anything, per say, what I brought over I found on the net, as I wasn't all that familiar with Purgatory and the person trying to explain it didn't have all the details either. So those aren't my thoughts but from a source available online brought in to help define purgatory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    I don't know what you mean about the world still being this way, what way exactly? IMO, the world is full of evil but I can't see how Karma could correct that. The Bible does teach of reaping and sowing but I am not sure that is what you mean?
    the current world is chaotic with so many horrible things happening every second. i don't really mean karma is the cause, and wouldn't correct that, because karma is a neverending cycle of cause/effect.

    i was thinking more along the lines of if you're born into that situation, then it's your own karma from your previous life that's taken effect, and what you do in your present life will determine the karma of your next life (because we believe what/who you reincarnate into is determined upon your karma). so, i guess maybe it's some sort of punishment...so perhaps these things exist to punish one for their bad karma? but i don't really know if i believe that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by doppelganger47 View Post
    the current world is chaotic with so many horrible things happening every second. i don't really mean karma is the cause, and wouldn't correct that, because karma is a neverending cycle of cause/effect.

    i was thinking more along the lines of if you're born into that situation, then it's your own karma from your previous life that's taken effect, and what you do in your present life will determine the karma of your next life (because we believe what/who you reincarnate into is determined upon your karma). so, i guess maybe it's some sort of punishment...so perhaps these things exist to punish one for their bad karma? but i don't really know if i believe that.
    In the way that you describe it, I guess I don't believe in Karma at all. I also don't believe in reincarnation as the Bible doesn't mention or describe either of these two concepts in any of the passages that I have read. I admit, I have a little more to go before I have read the entire thing but up to this point, I haven't seen it in there.

    I do agree that the world is chaotic and pretty harsh to a whole lot of people but for the most part, I attribute that to the fact that we are all born wrong, with the sin nature, and way too preoccupied with personal gain rather than helping each other out. When the world is centered around concepts such as greed, self promotion, over inflated notion of self worth and total self absorption the evidence of the failings in our world are that of our own. IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    In the way that you describe it, I guess I don't believe in Karma at all. I also don't believe in reincarnation as the Bible doesn't mention or describe either of these two concepts in any of the passages that I have read. I admit, I have a little more to go before I have read the entire thing but up to this point, I haven't seen it in there.

    I do agree that the world is chaotic and pretty harsh to a whole lot of people but for the most part, I attribute that to the fact that we are all born wrong, with the sin nature, and way too preoccupied with personal gain rather than helping each other out. When the world is centered around concepts such as greed, self promotion, over inflated notion of self worth and total self absorption the evidence of the failings in our world are that of our own. IMHO.
    i don't think we're born wrong at all. God created us all, and when we are first born, a baby's heart and nature is innocent and pure. a baby is born without sin in their heart. obviously as we grow older our heart becomes clouded with sin, but i wouldn't say God created humans with the sin nature.
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    Interpreting the New Testament can be tricky: we have Jesus's commands and then we have the teachings of the apostles.

    The tricky part is that Paul and his other Christian brothers and sisters were for the most part in the days trying to reconcile Jewish law with a new religion, Christianity. This is a passage from Corinthians "For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn: but if it is a shame to a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be veiled." For centuries women never went to church without wearing some kind of head covering because they thought the Bible was telling them they had to do so. But if you dig deeper into the issue you realized that a lot of the early congregations were fighting about how much they should conform to Jewish law, especially non-Jewish converts, and sometimes Paul just went with the prevailing custom.

    Now, I'm pretty sure most modern Christians, myself included, don't take the Corinthian verse literally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reddygirl View Post
    Interpreting the New Testament can be tricky: we have Jesus's commands and then we have the teachings of the apostles.

    The tricky part is that Paul and his other Christian brothers and sisters were for the most part in the days trying to reconcile Jewish law with a new religion, Christianity. This is a passage from Corinthians "For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn: but if it is a shame to a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be veiled." For centuries women never went to church without wearing some kind of head covering because they thought the Bible was telling them they had to do so. But if you dig deeper into the issue you realized that a lot of the early congregations were fighting about how much they should conform to Jewish law, especially non-Jewish converts, and sometimes Paul just went with the prevailing custom.

    Now, I'm pretty sure most modern Christians, myself included, don't take the Corinthian verse literally.
    Hi Reddy.

    I think it helps to read this in context, so here it is...

    And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ's. 2 I am so glad, dear friends, that you always keep me in your thoughts and you are following the Christian teaching I passed on to you. 3 But there is one thing I want you to know: A man is responsible to Christ, a woman is responsible to her husband, and Christ is responsible to God. 4 A man dishonors Christ if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. 5 But a woman dishonors her husband if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head. 6 Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair. And since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, then she should wear a covering. 7 A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is God's glory, made in God's own image, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For the first man didn't come from woman, but the first woman came from man. 9 And man was not made for woman's benefit, but woman was made for man. 10 So a woman should wear a covering on her head as a sign of authority because the angels are watching. 11 But in relationships among the Lord's people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women.

    I also believe that it was to be taken literally. The passage goes on to explain the why's of the command and I don't think it would have been presented that way if it was only a metaphor for something else but that's just my opinion.


    i don't think we're born wrong at all. God created us all, and when we are first born, a baby's heart and nature is innocent and pure. a baby is born without sin in their heart. obviously as we grow older our heart becomes clouded with sin, but i wouldn't say God created humans with the sin nature
    While I respect your opinion and disbelief that we are born wrong, the bible does make it clear that since man fell from Grace, with the sin of Adam and Eve, we are now as a result, born with a sin nature and in God's eyes, that is wrong and not what he wants for us.

    I haven't had much trouble recognizing and accepting my own level of wrong but I know it might seem like a crazy statement if you hadn't read The Bible and teachings.

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

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    Library Researcher behringtheweb's Avatar
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    "Before you echo Amen in your home or place of worship, think and remember. A child is listening."----Mary Griffith

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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behringtheweb View Post
    "Before you echo Amen in your home or place of worship, think and remember. A child is listening."----Mary Griffith

    I'm not sure what that means, lol.

    On another note, I have a question if we have any Catholics in the house...
    Why is the practice to confess sins to a priest, rather than recognizing that Jesus is the hight priest and go between from us to God?

    This is something that I have wondered for a while and recently got a chance to ask a couple of people who are practicing Catholics but they did not know or understand it either. It was just something that the church does that they didn't really get.

    Can anyone answer this question? As a church going member?

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

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    The Dark Avenger NileQT87's Avatar
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    I'm an agnostic-leaning-atheist, who is nonetheless from a Christian societal background (I happily celebrate all the secularized Christian holidays and fully realize that half of those celebrations are pagan, but are fun for kids of all ages). At the same time, I absolutely love walking in all the gorgeous cathedrals of Europe, I love mythology from all over the world and find the history of many religions to be a fascinating thing.

    For the record, "separation of church and state" means the exact opposite of what people today think it means.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Jefferson
    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.
    The American Founding Fathers had a very different idea of the separation of church and state: it was meant to PROTECT THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE! Context is everything. Those calling for the ban of the Ten Commandments from courthouses don't understand what that non-law (it's just from a personal letter of Thomas Jefferson) actually says.

    I saw someone mention the Quakers up above... My family, the Wings, were actually part of the Quaker settlement in America (possibly amongst the very first, being that they came in 1632 aboard the William & Francis, the second ship after the Mayflower). Funny thing, the Pilgrims and Quakers hated each other. My paternal ancestor, Rev. John Winge was also an Anglican reverend for the Church of England (he gave a service with the "Queen of Hearts", Elisabeth of Bohemia, daughter of King James Stuart I, in attendance) before his wife, her father, also a reverend, and their four sons came to America (they had moved to the Hague, Netherlands--many who fled religious persecution in England went to the Netherlands prior to journeying to the New World) and some of them converted (including Stephen, the one I'm related to--one of his sons was killed in King Philip's War, in which the Indians may have killed 1/3 of the European settlers in the New World--boy, you don't hear about that one!). I do know that the Quakers were terribly persecuted in the New World. The Wing Fort House in Sandwich, MA is the oldest house in America still owned by the same family (1641). Amazingly, that side of my family traces back to the Danish vikings in 550! My maternal side is the Grames (clan Graham of Scotland) and the German Wolfs, though they only arrived in America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Speaking of the Wolfs, I just ended up with two German family bibles printed in Berlin in 1899 and 1900 (with genealogical information written in the front).

    But it's interesting how most of my early ancestors' history is very much a product of religion (both Anglican and Quaker).

    And well, since European history is one of my favorite topics, you can't go an inch without needing to understand religion. A topic that has recently interested me is the Spanish under Isabella and Ferdinand chasing the Moors out of Granada (the Reconquista) and all the attempts the Ottomans made to conquer Europe. Off-hand, Vlad "the Impaler" Dracula stopped the Ottoman Turks from conquering Wallachia in present-day Romania--in his notable way of impaling his enemies in front of his castle, of course. Sultan Süleyman "the Magnificent" tried to conquer Europe and was stopped at the Gates of Vienna in the mid-16th century and then they tried to conquer again in 1683, only to be stopped again at the Gates of Vienna by the Polish king! Not to mention all the medieval attempts during the Crusades. And there have always been problems with the Christian Copts and the Muslims in Egypt (Egypt being one of my favorite countries--hence my screen name!).

    Another interesting religious anecdote is the fact that the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaten was probably invented the first monotheistic religion in human history... all because he was a terribly disfigured person who didn't believe that the many Egyptian deities were favorable to him--so he made his own deity, the Aten, who loved him. He probably had Marfan's Syndrome (his son, Tutankhamen, whose mother was likely Kiya--who appears to have disappeared from history shortly after giving birth and her probably mummy seems to have had her face bludgeoned--and many of his 6 daughters with Nefertiti also show signs of the elongated head/limbs and wide hips--and in fact, Tutankhamen's own mummy and clothing bares out his odd measurements--they do have Akhenaten's badly preserved skeletal remains that were found in a female sarcophagus!). They just did a bunch of CAT scans on the remains of Queen Tiye (Akhenaten's mother--they also have a tooth found her canopic jars and a named hair sample from Tutankhamen's tomb for her), Kiya and Tutankhamen. Akhenaten has also been confirmed to be who his remains were assumed to be (the shape of the skull is a bit hard to miss).

    Taking apart the Exodus is probably my favorite topic regarding the Bible. There are some interesting archaeological/Egyptological and scientific theories regarding explaining that particular myth. My favorite explanation would be that several unrelated real-world events were combined and aggrandized over time. The volcanic eruption of Thira on Santorini (for which ash has been found in Alexandria and evidence was found of this absolutely cataclysmic event all the way over in China! this disaster was very likely larger than even Krakatoa and is also the best explanation for the disappearance of the Minoan civilization overnight and probably Plato's Atlantis myth, as well) would explain the plagues of Egypt. ...The sky growing dark from all the ash in the air (there'd have been a massive tidal wave, as well), red plankton turning the Nile red, the frogs coming out of the Nile because they'd get sick, the locusts coming after that, the eldest child receiving first pickings of the contaminated food, which would explain the first born sons dying, etc... Thira really could have caused something that catastrophic! Interesting thing that the sunsets were bright red for about a year halfway around the world after Krakatoa in the mid-1800s (art of the time often shows these bright red sunsets). This theory also postulates that Ahmose I was the pharaoh of the Exodus and that the Hyksos invaders were perhaps the Israelites! The Hyksos were foreign invaders that ruled Egypt, by the way. The Egyptian version of those events don't paint them as slaves!

    Quote Originally Posted by [URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmose_I]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmose_I[/URL]
    Several stelae detailing the work done by Ahmose were found at Karnak, two of which depict him as a benefactor to the temple. In one of these stelae, known as the "Tempest Stele", he claims to have rebuilt the pyramids of his predecessors at Thebes that had been destroyed by a major storm.[45] The Thera eruption in the Aegean has been implicated by some scholars as the source of this damage, but similar claims are common in the propagandistic writings of other pharaohs, showing them overcoming the powers of darkness. Due to a lack of evidence, no definitive conclusion can be reached.
    But then you get into the problem of the Elephantine Island stele from the reign of Merenptah (Ramses II's 13th oldest son--he outlived more than half of his 100-200 children, being that he died at age 92 in battle after a 67-year reign--in fact, he probably drowned in battle, given that the embalmers were unable to cross his arms into the royal position), which says that the Hebrews were still without a home (if you take it literally that they wandered in the desert for 40 years), which would place the Exodus during the reign of Ramses II (and the Bible does in fact mention the city of Pi-Ramesses--the Ramessides were all in the 19th and 20th dynasties, so that's rather specific). And it's well-known now that the Red Sea was a translation error made by the medieval European monks from the original Aramaic (the Sea of Reeds is a marshy area that you can barely even find on a map--and those medieval monks probably didn't have a clue about it). Also, Ramses II's first born son, Amun-her-khepeshef died around 50 years old from a strike to the back of his head (if that's his mummy in KV5--or "King's Valley 5").

    Also, the Moses reed basket myth appears to have been lifted from King Sargon of Sumer, who was floated down the Euphrates in a reed basket. This also supports the idea that the volcanic eruption of Thira several hundred years prior to Ramses II's reign was conflated with the later pharaoh (or perhaps the famous Ramses II "the Great" at the city of Pi-Ramesses sounds a little more exciting as a defeat than Ahmose I--but the latter would definitely mean that the Hebrews wandered the desert for several hundred years, not 40!).

    A few things to chew on. I'm too much of a slave to history and science to be able to believe, but I also have a problem with atheists, who equally BELIEVE that they know "the truth" as well--which is why I'm an agnostic. I also see all mythologies as being oral traditions that take from historical events and natural occurrences, but were changed over time through oral storytelling and misunderstanding how things work (see the Demeter myth as a way to explain the seasons or Nut, Geb and Ra as a way to explain the sun moving through the sky). I don't see any of the modern religions as any different. But I love the stories all the same.

    Also, as a massive Elvis fan (see avatar and many before it), some of the most beautiful songs ever written and sung are of the gospel genre.
    Last edited by NileQT87; 10-09-11 at 09:36 AM.

    "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
    "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Welcome to the thread, Niles. I didn't agree with everything that you wrote but I did enjoy reading it, as it was interesting and well designed. Thank you for sharing so much about yourself, your family history is very interesting.

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

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    Hellmouth Tourist TD_Addict's Avatar
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    I grow up in a household where we were somewhat religious, well, my mum was. I went to a Catholic primary school and then a Christian high school. Back then I was thinking about whether to believe or not. Now, I don't. I believe in things that I can see with my own two eyes. I see people going to heaven as some sort of fairytale really. It gives hope to those who are going to die or who might be afraid of death in that there is a second life waiting for them. The thing is, when you die, you get buried and your body is eaten by maggots. While there are some things I agree with in the Bible such as the obvious "Thou Shalt Not Kill" the rest of it is pure nonsense, i my opinion. Therefore, I tend not to believe in God and all this.

  19. #39
    Graveyard Patrol plamivasi's Avatar
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    Throwing my two cents in here.

    I consider myself a Christian and I believe in God.
    However, to be frank I don't believe in the church as an institution. I like going there because I feel at peace but I honestly think that if you believe in God, you don't need to go there in order to connect with him. God doesn't live in the church. Your heart is his sanctuary, His being is yours. God lives in every single one of us. We are his creation after all.
    "I never think of the future. It will come soon enough."

  20. #40
    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plamivasi View Post
    Throwing my two cents in here.

    I consider myself a Christian and I believe in God.
    However, to be frank I don't believe in the church as an institution. I like going there because I feel at peace but I honestly think that if you believe in God, you don't need to go there in order to connect with him. God doesn't live in the church. Your heart is his sanctuary, His being is yours. God lives in every single one of us. We are his creation after all.

    I agree with this A LOT, as I also don't believe that you must attend church to connect with God. The church, if functioning correctly, is a place of worship and for other believers to come together and help less fortunate people, while spreading the good news of the Gospel. Much of the time it appears as if the physical church has been lead astray. Not all of them, but a good few.

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

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