Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 37 to 54 of 62

Thread: The Worst of all Sins

  1. #37

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Eastern Suburbs, Vic
    Posts
    6,258

    Default

    I think my brain's stopped working (don't panic, the part that works my lungs and heart is still okay).

    I'll throw out some completely random thoughts I had along the way.

    Meekness = self-controlled strength. Jesus was given as an example of meekness.

    You're right Hoob, I approach things in the bible from the 'this is truth' kind of angle, because I believe that all scripture is God-inspired, and if I can't trust one part of His word, then can I trust any? That doesn't stop me from being thoughtful about things though, I can still question things, work through apparent contradictions and so on.

    Bath, suffering in the world is kind of hard to get hey. Now I think about it, you being a reader and all, I wonder if you wouldn't appreciate Phillip Yancey. He wrote a book called Where is God when it hurts? And some others too, my fave by him probably is What's So amazing about Grace? (do you like my random capital letters in there to signify the Title of A book? :P)

    The Bible is one of the ways God reveals himself to us. I think another way is through his creation.



    You're right Hoob, the debtor should be gracious, because God has been gracious to us - there's a story in the bible where a king cancels a man's debt, the man promptly goes and demands someone who owes him money pays him back, and gets him thrown in jail. The king finds out, and needless to say, things don't end too well for the man. As God forgives us, so we should forgive others.

    Turning the other cheek I think is about meekness (controlled strength). In not fighting back or demanding our rights, we model Jesus, and people can be taught by that, that example speaks truth and grace to people in a way that fighting back never could.

    Think I've thrown out enough random thoughts for now. And please, please, if something sounds fishy to you, demand chapter and verse of me, I've quoted or referred to much bible without referencing (too lazy), but I'll find the exact source for anyone who wants to know.

  2. #38
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    Ryn i didn't study to the extent of the texts i covered for my degree, no, but i do know long psalms and passages and prayers off by heart because, well, because that's how my brain works. I have a favourite psalm (121), a favourite book (Ruth), and favourite passages (Ruth 1:16-17, Revelations 7:15-17).

    I do have faith Bath, i just don't "get" what organised religion is for. Like i know there is a force beyond the everyday in the world but it doesn't take the form of a thinking, feeling, human-like entity to me. I suppose it's more the force of nature although i'm not a pagan either. I have a strong belief in the presence of goodness in even the most evil person, or at least in the capacity for good, and i know nothing can happen to me that i won't be able to handle, but i cannot concieve of where a Christian (or Jewish, or Islamic) God would fit into that, or what the bible, going to Church etc. offers me in that vein, if that makes sense?

    Bx

  3. #39

    Default

    Bec, that's how I felt as a teenager, believe it or not. There was something out there, higher-power wise, but I didn't know what. The crunch was when I realised that there could be no life whatsoever on this earth without a creator - and this was in the middle of an A-level biology lesson! Once you realise there is a God then you want to find out more, which is why I studied quite a few different religions and teachings before realising that we all needed a saviour, which is why I went to Church again - although I was still quite open-minded to it all even then. I'm still looking for something that will show me it's all completely wrong, because my mind boggles that someone, especially God, could love me that much.

  4. #40

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,686

    Default

    The Bible teaches us about a God who made us, loved us, and created a covenant by which we could live together - God and man. He would give us life and perfect happiness with him and with each other. We would obey him (not eat from the tree he commanded us not to eat from) and love him. This would bring glory to him. We slapped him in the face instead. Adam rejected God's promises and demands, though he knew it would bring him death. He was driven out of the garden God made, and the whole creation was cursed because of his sin. Immediately God promised that he would make a way for peace to be restored between God and men. The whole Old Testament foreshadows that coming Saviour. The sacrifices and ceremonies point to his coming, and teach us about who God is and what he expects of us. In Christ, we see that God himself would pay the penalty for our sin - amazing grace! He made a new covenant with men - believe in Me, and eternal life is yours. The point of all this is not about what we get out of it, first and foremost. God made men to glorify him. That's what we are here for. In showing mercy, grace, and love to us, God brings glory to himself - what an amazing God that he would love people like us! Our obligation then, is to live in a way that pleases him. And that he lays out for us in the Bible. The church - the group of people who believe - are called a body. They belong together. The are called to help and serve each other, to the well-being of the whole group. The New Testament speaks about men who are undershepherds (under Christ) of the flock - the people of God. Those are the men who guide and lead the church. I can't go into great detail about the rest right this minute - my poor kids are waiting for me. I just wanted to get down a few scrambled thoughts about where organized religion comes from, and why we need something more than belief in a god.

    Also - about pre-Christ "saints" - all are saved by faith in the promises of God. Abraham, etc, believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness (covenant keeping). Hebrews 11.

    And, about the authority/inerrancy of the Bible - all Scripture is God-breathed, and useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (loose quotation of 2Timothy 3:16,17)

    I'll try to re-read the previous posts and catch up properly here - it's been a long holiday weekend in Canada, and I've been busy like crazy!

  5. #41

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,686

    Default

    Ahhh, I wish I had time to properly go through all the posts that everyone has made. I feel like we touch on so many different ideas and then move on without finishing the discussion. And, re-reading my previous post, it seems very random and disjointed. Sorry about that - so many thoughts swirling around in my mind - it's hard to get them all down rationally in a couple of minutes!

    A thought on meekness - yes, Hoobley you are right. Everyone Christian should be meek. "In humility, consider others better than yourself..."

    Is it prideful to consider the Christian faith the only truth? Well, I think that depends on whether you believe in absolute truth or not. The Bible says that Jesus is the only way to the Father. I believe that the Bible is true. So then it follows that I believe that everyone who does not know/accept Jesus is lost. So that's why Christians will try to convert others. We believe that there is only one way to God, and we want as many people as possible to come with us! It would be pretty callous to say with the Bible that there is only one way to God, but to allow our friends and neighbours to continue on dead-end paths if they want, without caring! It's not about pride here, but faith, I think. It's not arrogant to say "Here is the way to have fellowship with God." Pride would say "Here is the path God laid out for me to have fellowship with him, but I will find my own way. I don't like His way."

    As far as having doubts about my faith. Yes, I certainly have. It seems so useless sometimes. It would be so much easier to just "go with the flow" and not have to stand up for things that are currently unpopular and considered backwards. For me, the proof is what I see around me. This world in all it's marvelous and incomprehensible complexity didn't happen by chance. Someone made it. Someone made me. That Someone is obviously intelligent and powerful. The God that I see in the Bible matches what I see in the world. The state of mankind that I see in the Bible matches what I see in the world. It does take deeper study to understand what the entire Bible says about God and men and the world. It is something that you can study all your life and still be learning new things. It does finally come down to faith, though. This is what I believe. And I've heard it said that to a believer, no explanation is necessary, but to an unbeliever no explanation will suffice. I'm not sure if I agree completely with that, but I can see what they mean.

    Another thought on organized religion. What the Bible says about God is that he is a Father. We are his children. He wants a relationship with us, and he created us for that purpose. That's what we are supposed to be doing. Loving and worshiping him. To acknowledge his presence is a start, but that is the same as your child acknowledging that she has a mother. You want more than that. And, he/she owes you more than that.

  6. #42
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    Cricket, thanks for another few very enlightening posts

    Two things which i wanted to talk a bit about - that worship isn't about our benefit but God's, because that's what he created us for, and that we want and deserve more than recognition from our children (and thus God also does). I know you hadn't tied these two together, but i suppose they are linked in my mind. I actually really don't think DD owes me more than acknowledgement. Of course i would like her love, her respect, her friendship when she is grown, i want to be close with her, but i very much feel the burden of all of that is on me, not her. I will love her, and hopefully i will be loveable to her. I will respect her and hopefully be found to be worthy of her respect. I will be open with her and hope i can earn her openness with me. My parenting of her is unconditional, i will do everything i can, everything i feel i should, to raise her well, and if she feels no gratitude for that, well, i'm not doing it for gratitude but because it is the Right thing (for me) to do. So it is for me. She owes me nothing. I owe her the whole world, and i work out each day how i'm going to deliver. If i do my absolute best and she grows up cruel, disrespectful, ungrateful, that will be at least in part (and i shall no doubt feel in totality) MY failing. With the privilege of parenting her i accept that my best might not be good enough and work to be better each day. And so i suppose that's why the parent/child = God/humanity analogy has never made sense to me. Without a true faith in what the bible (or other books for other faiths) say, the rewards from God seem intangible. I do not really believe that i will go to hell for not believing, because i don't believe i will go to heaven if i do. If i already believed in SOMETHING i could at least come at it from that POV, but i just do not find the ring of truth in any of it for me. I'm not saying pridefully that the religions are wrong and i have the answer - i don't, not even for me! But equally i cannot MAKE what i find untrue into truth for me.

    I suppose i agree in the main with the statement you mentioned:

    that to a believer, no explanation is necessary, but to an unbeliever no explanation will suffice
    as it describes so exactly how it feels to me. I do not believe. It's not that i am making a choice, it just ISN'T true for me. I cannot find faith in something i'm unable to really believe - it'd be a fallacy for a start, and i doubt that God, if there is one, would be unable to tell the difference. To give you a comparison it's like someone telling me tomorrow that cars don't exist - i would have REAL trouble overcoming my belief in them enough to walk into the busy-looking road. So it is with Faith. None of the faiths i've learned about feel like the complete (or even partial in some cases) truth to me. None of them speak to me. I have "tried on" a few in my teens and early twenties - learned, joined in, tried to believe. But ultimately the solace that i see others who have faith finding in their own particular faith (which i know isn't constant, but it is constant enough that they do not abandon the whole idea) is never there for me. There are things in me that cannot be explained by most faiths, Buddhism was the closest i found that explained the world to me in a way i could actually grasp, but i am not a buddhist. Paganism speaks to me about the powers of the earth i am so familiar with within myself, but i'm not a pagan.

    I am wandering this road, and i see those with Faith, i see their faith, but they are on the other side of a nameless void which, for whatever reason, i cannot breach.

    Bx

  7. #43

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,686

    Default

    Ok, here I am - I didn't actually fall off the face of the planet. Busy summer over here, and I've been thinking about your post for a couple of days trying to decide how to respond best.
    First of all, I hear what you are saying about parents and children and God and His people. The crucial difference, I think, is that God is a perfect father/husband. There is no reason that we should not respond in love to God, once you know who he is. Human parents might fail, and their children might have an excuse to act as if they do not exist. (although, I think a child always owes his parents respect. They gave him life. But that's a bit of a different issue.)
    God himself creates that analogy and the analogy of a husband and wife in the Bible. Ezekiel and Hosea, if you are curious. Ezekiel actually blends the analogies, slightly, which of course, doesn't work in real life, but it displays the kind of relationship that God has with his people. God speaks of himself as a man finding an abandoned and unwanted infant, adopting that child and raising her up and giving her everything she needed, and then, when she was grown, he married her. (as I said, not a "real-life" analogy, but you can see the picture - he meets her needs for her whole life long, though he had no obligation to her.) In Hosea, God is pictured as a husband who knowingly marries a prostitute, and loves her, despite her constant unfaithfulness. He took her when no one else wanted her, loved her and provided for her every need, but still she chased after other men, and claimed that they gave her her food and drink, etc.
    God permits himself to be vulnerable, in a sense. He desires our love. (not needs - God is God, he needs nothing!) He creates a relationship with us that is totally in our favour. His goal in this is that his name is glorified by the great love he shows to us. What we gain from this relationship is peace with God and with ourselves and eternal life. We know who we are, and where we came from and why we are here, and where we are going. We know who is in control of the world and that he holds all things in his hands. We trust him as a faithful Father. (this doesn't mean that we expect that everything will always go perfectly smoothly for us. But God promises that when he brings difficulty in to our life, he does it with a reason, and he will walk with us through it, and give us the strength to bear it.) We know where our loved ones are, after they die, if they had faith.
    We were made to be in relationship with God, and that is what the human race needs. The whole world runs from one thing to the next looking for peace and meaning in life, looking for something to fill that void. Pride often keeps us from coming to God, (which brings us back to the original post. And this is why I would agree that pride is the worst of all sins, from God's perspective, because it keeps us from looking for, and finding forgiveness.) We are like little children in the world - we need a Father. When we say we don't, and we try to do it on our own, we hurt ourselves, just as surely as your child will be hurt if she rejects your parenting.
    The Bible says that to live apart from God is death. And, in order to live with God, we need to live according to the covenant he laid out for us to have fellowship. But we can't. That's why there is a Saviour. God himself paid the price for our covenant-breaking.
    I would highly recommend that you read C.S. Lewis's works Hoobs. I think you would greatly appreciate his writing. He went through some of the same struggles that you are, and writes about them in a clear and candid way. (I'll track down some titles for you. Or maybe Bathsheba can post some?)
    I'd also highly recommend the book Total Truth, by Nancy Pearcy, as well as the ones by Phillip Yancey that were previously recommended.
    And of course, I'd encourage you to re-read the Bible, and see if you can read it with the assumption that it is true. See if it answers your questions.

    And, as far as creating in yourself a faith that will "fool God", you can't. But He'll give you the real thing freely.

  8. #44

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    7,100

    Default

    Great post Cricket I'll come back to it after I have spread some love IYKWIM
    I'll also post a list of C.S Lewis' theological titles like you suggested.... I love his "plain speak" style.

  9. #45
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    Thanks Cricket, i have read almost everything Lewis has written already. Is Total Truth the Intelligent Design theory book? Or was that something about Panda's psuedothumbs? I know she's written on that. Unfortunately i find there is only as much evidence for intelligent design as i do for evolution and thus i'm not hugely convinced by either of them.

    I do believe, (or rather am aware, since it feels like saying i believe in rain when it is ACTUALLY raining - i.e. not much of a leap) in a higher or all-pervading force that is the germ of creation and life behind things, but i cannot connect that up to the Christian rendering.

    I suppose my main problems are; how does one reject the concept of reincarnation when one can REMEMBER other lives? And what does one do with one's psychic ability, having accepted it is evil?

    Want to know something interesting, at any one time about 12,000 people worldwide believe themselves to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. Even as populations grow and shrink the number stays pretty constant. I have met one such person. I don't think he is what he thinks he is, but he is certainly SOMETHING.

    Bx

  10. #46

    Default

    Bec, when you open yourself to psychic influences the Bible teaches you are opening yourself to demons, which means the "memories" of a past life are fed from a demon. Once you know it is demonic it is easier to accept as evil and ask for it to be excised.

    Did you know there is no evidence for goop>human evolution? In all the hundreds of years we have known about evolution it has NEVER happened. Yes, there have been mutations, like birds with slightly different beaks, but they are still the same species. Like the "new black squirrel" - a genetic mutation that colours the grey fur black and increases testosterone, therefore aggression. But the grey and black squirrels are still the same species. Evolution MAY have happened, but it would have needed divine help. I don't know HOW God made the world, only that He did.

  11. #47
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    Bec, when you open yourself to psychic influences the Bible teaches you are opening yourself to demons, which means the "memories" of a past life are fed from a demon. Once you know it is demonic it is easier to accept as evil and ask for it to be excised.
    I have spent much of my life trying to CLOSE myself from this. I have been psychotic from sleep deprivation to avoid Those dreams. I have been drunk for weeks (which works but has obvious drawbacks) to avoid Those pictures in my head. It isn't something one volunteers for. It's like saying you opened yourself to being blonde-haired and that is evil, it's so involuntary. 90% of the time my visions are of what will happen in neighbours next year, but sometimes i know who is getting a baby soon, who will die soon (that's a HEAVY one!), when something bad is coming.

    As a child i was terrified to go into Church because one of my teachers told me i had the devil inside me because i knew he'd broken his favourite mug the night before (i'd innocently said "maybe your wife can buy you a new mug?" when he was marking my work, i was 6). I thought God was going to "get" me when i went in, i thought they were going to put me in the witch hole in the wall and leave me to die in the dark all on my own. I'm actually crying about this now! This has gone way o/t. I need to come back another time.

    Bx

  12. #48

    Default

    Hugs Bec love, I really didn't mean to upset you there. Please know that God is loving and is NOT out to "get" you at all, nor am I, nor, I am sure, is anyone else here.

    There are several instances in the NT where Jesus drives out demons (and only the authority of God can do this). These demons were not wanted nor invited, they just crept in where they could. Someone with demons is NOT demonic nor are they to be punished.

    Hugs again.

  13. #49

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    South Eastern Suburbs, Vic
    Posts
    6,258

    Default

    Bec. You're so brave to be asking questions even when the answer is confronting. Ryn's right, God loves you to bits, bible says so.

    Just an aside for anyone who might be following along, to clear up the idea of demons etc. Ryn's not suggesting that the amazing Hoob has horns and a tail and red eyeballs (unless she has red contacts, and that would just be cool, and maybe a bit freaky!). Satan's self-appointed job (according to the bible) is to draw people away from God - if he was obviously evil, then we would all recognise that wouldn't we and say 'well obviously God's the better option, I'll go with him'. Because we're not dumb. Well, not that dumb.

    But Satan is tricky, and all he wants is to draw people away from God - if that means that someone believes in anything other than God, he's achieved his purpose. So people can believe in pleasant things, and live a happy life, have great experiences, whether earthly ones like a great family and wealth, or spiritual ones like psychic abilities - but as long as God's not in the picture, Satan's happy.

    I promise I'm not a raving lunatic who roams the streets shouting about the devil in my underpants or anything (really! :P) - BUT I do think that way too many Christians are scared to mention Satan in the fear that people will think they're crazy - but how will people believe they need saving if we don't mention what the bible says the danger is?

    Perhaps that comes back to pride being an awful sin again - many Christians are more concerned with making sure we don't look silly, than the salvation of others...

  14. #50
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    A few weeks ago i was cooking and i suddenly had to pee. DD followed me into the bathroom. As i was washing my hands i saw my forearms red and blistered. I BOLTED into the kitchen in time to grab DD back from within an INCH of the handle of a pot of strongly boiling water.

    Once i got on a bus to go 10 miles. After 2 i felt incredibly dizzy and "wrong" so i got off and rested at a bus stop in a rough area i'd normally not have wanted to go NEAR. I got the next bus and not a mile later passed the one i'd gotten off, the window i'd been sat closest to had been put in with a brick. Luckily my seat had still been empty.

    When i was about 5 we were all in the family car and my dad was reversing out of a parking space onto a road. As he began to move i yelled "STOP!" and he did. As he braked a car passed our tailgate at about 40mph and clipped the bumper off. If he hadn't stop his car would have hit the side of our car. My parents quizzed me for about an hour as to how i saw it (i could barely see out of the window - the days before booster seats) and i kept telling them i saw it "in front of my head".

    Quite recently DD was playing on a climbing frame and i felt that sensation in my belly like when you go over a bump or dip in the road. I walked over to the edge of the platform just in time to catch her as she fell off it.

    I knew for weeks before 9/11 that something was coming. The night the Piper Alpha burned i had terrible screaming nightmares that i was on fire.

    I have thought about this a lot. I know what the Bible has to say about it. Please try to understand that it is VERY difficult to me to understand that i and my loved ones have been saved repeatedly from pain, from suffering, by the devil. It is not that i welcome this now. I just don't question it anymore. I saw a friend's father recently. He is going to die soon. I can see the shadow on him. I saw it on my own mother and she was gone within days. I think he has longer, maybe half a year or even a whole one. He has not mentioned illness to his family, but i know he knows there is one. It is SO hard when it's you to accept it's external evil that gives you this mechanism.

    It's as if i am looking in the mirror. Blue eyes from mum, curls from dad, skin tone from the devil himself. It's hard to rationalise. Perhaps that's the point, in which case i suspect i cannot be saved. It's hard to know you have to feel deeply your regret at and apologise for what you are, have always been.

    Bx

  15. #51

    Default

    Bec my darling, I do really feel for you. But please know this. The devil isn't concerned if he benefits you in this life or not. You can be helped by him here, financially, physically, emotionally... but what about the next life? That's what Satan's after, not this life. He can give you all sorts of "gifts" because the price is your very life.

    Please don't apologise for this. You are not demonic, you are not evil. Please do not apologise for who you are. You can be saved - trust me, demons can be driven out no matter how many or for how long they have been there. You are a wonderful person and I don't think any amount of demons could ever make you less than that.

  16. #52

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    7,100

    Default

    I don't think that having super sensitive sensory perceptions is necessarily indicative of demonic possession or manipulation... but that's just my take on it. It's a tool... and as with all tools it's how you use it that counts. Hands are tools and they can do the devil's or God's work. Your brain is your tool Bec you simply have a more finely tuned one than most of us.... and maybe it's a case of (to draw an engineering analogy) the more complex your tool = the more potential for things to go wrong. I'm not saying you are 'going wrong' but you do seem mighty distressed *more hugs*

    Can I at this point recommend The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis. as an excellent text to support our discussion on the nature of the devil... oh and it's a very funny read too! Great post too Nelle
    Last edited by Bathsheba; July 8th, 2008 at 11:23 PM.

  17. #53
    paradise lost Guest

    Default

    Ryn if the devil is helping me protect my baby then i guess (since i have tried to rid myself of the Sight and cannot) i'll risk Hell, i would give for her my life eternal. If that is the battle the devil can win within me, that for love i would risk Hell, he is welcome to his victory.

    Bx

    ETA - yes Bath, the memories of how it was at time when i was a kid are quite distressing. I didn't realise how much in fact. I'm relatively at peace with the Sight in most cases now, but when i think of it from the perspective of Christianity of COURSE it's distressing. It's like being shown something incredibly precious one can never have. Do you know, when i was about 9 i read that a unicorn would only sleep with its head in the lap of a virgin and i sobbed for a month because my virginity had been taken years before by my abuser. I was young enough to believe in unicorns and yet somehow old enough to be soiled to them. Pretty hard going. This is similar i suppose. I have always been this way. My mother tells me that i was born knowing her, and she'd had 6 kids so i'm sure she knew what she meant, thate there was a difference for her, that she could see. I talked about "when i was a big lady" and "when i had a willy like (my brother's)" from before i can now remember.

    A Christian teacher (not the one i talked about above) once came to visit my primary school to talk to us. She showed us a mug (what is it with mugs and my stories!?). It was a pretty bone china mug. She asked us if we thought it was pretty. We all said yes. She asked us if we looked like the mug would God think we were Good? We said yes. She showed us the inside of the mug, which was loaded with filth. She said the devil was inside us all and looked like the filth in the pretty mug and that god could see inside us too. This must have been the same term as the other "mug" incident in fact. I was that dirty mug in my head for many many years.
    Last edited by paradise lost; July 8th, 2008 at 10:41 PM.

  18. #54

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chasing Daylight...
    Posts
    2,091

    Default

    Bx it sounds like a lot of harm has been done to you in the name of "christianity". I'm so sorry that people who profess to know and imitate God have caused you so much pain over the years. There's a lot more I could say, but I just want to leave it at that. I'm sorry.

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •