A simple test we can all try.
Can it really be this simple? It appears to be, when you apply logic. Of course, living in denial or cult-like state is a different story. Always search for truth, is how Socrates and those dudes tell us. Always search for the REAL TRUTH.
I asked Jesus to appear, and he did it. Problem is...people don't see what they don't truly want to see.
Appearing doesn't always occur in a visual sense.
Then the Bible needs to get more specific or it's just not very informative.
Originally Posted by D Rock
There's your second problem. It's not about what's in the Bible. It's about what's in your heart.
I see Jesus everyday...anytime I look for Him...I find Him.
Logically, the odds are stacked against the Jesus story being real. But even if it's just a fairy tale, it still has some value.
Originally Posted by lloydroid
The Jesus story could be the one fairy tale it's generally acceptable to believe in when we are adults. And by believing in that story it allows people to hold onto their childhood innocence and be generally accepted in doing so in society. And without it, people couldn't maintain hope/innocence.
I've often wondered if the need to believe is driven by ego and fear of the unknown. And I realized the need to disprove is driven by the same ego and fear.
Gotta say it's such an interesting topic. People are willing to die for something that has close to 0 odds of being true.
On the flip side, why bother peeing in another man's wheaties? We all are the same and seeking the same stuff even when we are looking for polar opposites. We are what we hate, right? Sometimes I also wonder if the Christians are the most anti-Christian and the non Christians are those of true faith?
At the end of the day, almost everything in the world is upside down. Jesus taught that too btw.
I suppose I look at it a bit differently Flippy. When I take a walk in the woods, hang out on the beach, look into the eyes of my daughters...I know as much as I can know there is a God who created all of this. I know as much as I can know that this isn't a random happening...it was directed and created. When I study, science, medicine, the Bible, addiction etc I see God there.
The nature of God, and how He has revealed Himself or not revealed Himself to his creation is what is up for debate in my mind. Would a Creator be interested in what He created? That is when personal revelation, experience shape personal belief. I do not believe Christians have the only access to God. I do not believe God has only revealed parts of His nature to a few people. I do not believe the God who has revealed Himself to me through relationship would ever torture His creation for all of eternity. The fact that most Christians believe this concerns me more than anything else about the faith. I do believe we have a Creator interested in each of us...in personal relationship and growing us up spiritually. And I use the Bible as a vehicle for learning...not about history...not about science...but about me...relationships...and the revelation of God to man.
But, I am also a firm believer that those of faith shouldn't be militant, aggressive or judgmental. We shouldn't force our faith on anyone. It shouldn't be used as a political stance by a political party. And I fully respect your ability to think about things the way you want to think about them. It's not my place to change that.
This is all fine. I was just trying to find some middle ground between the 2 of you and try to point out your thinking's not that different.
Originally Posted by Shawn
If you don't call your revelations "God", then you're probably both on the same page. Your "God" word could be something spiritual, something bigger than yourself, an idea beyond your understanding to an atheist or agnostic.
Whether the concept of "Jesus" is real or just a story isn't really that significant in this context either. It's just the path to your "God" or enlightenment, or spirituality, or awakening. It's just a concept that's transformed your life and got you to a different place.
Everyone wants something more. Everyone wants to be better. Everyone wants to be happy.
Using religious words/ideas sometimes come across as trying to talk to a French guy in German and vice versa. It's just plain hard to understand a believer's point of view without thinking they're nuts if you're a non believer. And vice versa, believers sometimes have a hard time connecting with non believers once they've crossed over to the believer side.
That's actually NOT my problem; conversely, it's my point. "What's in your heart" is what matters, not what some Pope or priest, or congregation tells you. "What's in my heart" is what matters the most and why in trumps many so-called Christians who pronounce their faith while having the same mean heart when it really comes down to it. Just one more local example. A local publisher of a little local magazine had a monthly column where he endlessly plugged being "conservative, Christian and republican" ad nauseum with a photo with his family. Every single issue he would repeat how he was so super into Jesus and being GOP. But not once, but twice, he went on a coke/booze fueled bender where he disappeared for a week or 2, leaving his family and wife not knowing where he was, while he was accompanied with hookers. But, upon his returning, he would pop back up with his column and lecture everyone on giving second chances and how "He has sinned, as everyone has, and he has 1st-hand understanding of how one can fall but rise back up with the help of Jesus." I'm sorry, he's a douche bag. He's a con man. He's a liar. He's a pig. He even strikes women.
Originally Posted by D Rock
But under the Christian model, he can just continue to do these awful things, as long as he says he is sorry, and, bingo, just like that, he is back into the fold, until his next indiscretion, at which point he will just say "he sinned but is back with Jesus" and all will be fine again. At what point do you stop going along with the "he sinned but he is sorry" and just call him what he is, which is a creep, who will never stop being a creep, and will keep telling you how he is cool with Jesus again? How about a child molester who keeps raping children but also keeps finding Jesus. You OK with him? After all, we all sin, so we can't judge him.
OK, so, using that model of thought, God also created cancer, AIDs, etc. Why would an all-loving God create those things?
Originally Posted by Shawn