• 2007 AAR League

    @ncscswitch:

    @Jennifer:

    I honestly don’t think there are other options, Jerm.  I only see two options for the after-life:

    1)  You go to heaven and live your days in bliss worshipping God.

    2)  You go to hell and live your days in torment because you realize that God no longer loves you.

    And that my friend is the sign of a closed mind.  Everyone else be damned, I have the one true and ONLY way.

    Also, that second option above is in direct contradiction to Christian principles.  I leave it to you to figure out why it is not consistent with Christianity (darn shame when the Pagan knows more about Christianity than half of the Christians).

    I know this is from way back, but I have to comment on this. As a former Christian, I have to agree with Switch - a lot of Christians aren’t very Christian. Hell was the first Christian idea that I had to struggle with and eventually discard. It just doesn’t make sense:

    1. God created and loves us all unconditionally
    2. God invites us to love him (her/it - don’t understand how a superhuman being can have a gender)
    3. If we worship God etc., then we get to enjoy an eternity of bliss
    4. If we don’t accept Jesus as our saviour, then we are condemned to an eternity of torment.

    So how do you reconcile #1 and #4? Especially in a western liberal democracy, where everyone otherwise believes that what you believe is the one thing you should never be punished for.

    Our admittedly imperfect state will punish us for murder, arson, theft, etc. but you can have any faith or political view and as long as you are not hurting others, you have freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of expression.

    Then on the other hand we have this supposedly all-loving Creator. If you fail to believe in him ON FAITH (ie, without solid, empirical evidence), then for that failing this loving God will sentence large hordes of his children to eternal torment. If that’s how it works, then God essentially created a universe the end result of which is untold suffering.

    I was born a skeptic, and raised Christian. I spent decades in internal turmoil for my failure to “just believe.” I’ve finally let go of that and the last two years of my life have been the happiest, most fulfilling years of my life. I’m a little miffed that I had to spend 18 years feeling extremely guilty, inadequate and generally like a worthless Christian, but my glass is half full, and I have half my life left.

    Finally, I just couldn’t believe in a God who would make so skeptical by nature and then condemn me for it for eternity. Now I’m no longer a worthless Christian, but a good and happy person, and at least the rest of my life won’t be wasted.

    You just can’t have a loving God and also eternal punishment for such a harmless sin as expecting just a bit of evidence for what you are asked to believe. It’s not consistent.

    I especially can’t believe in a God that would punish anyone who doesn’t fit Jennifer’s definition of what it takes to be saved.

  • 2007 AAR League

    your missing the idea I think Frood and I’m sorry you feel that way about the christians and that you think you wasted half your life.

    God is perfect…

    your not allowed to enter heaven in a sinfull state. You must be saved and re-born again from your old nature.

    if you truly believe upon him and call upon him for salvation you are saved. after you are saved you cannot lose your salvation.

    nobody in this world is perfect, and we all make our mistakes. We all sin by choice. But if you recognize this and repent and are fully trusting on your lord and savior Jesus Christ and are truly saved you have nothing to worry about it.

    @ncscswitch:

    Well hey, we have folks who want to disregard the reference to Lilith in the same book of the Bible… and that from someone who read the whole thing and has presented themselves as being very knowlegable about it…

    Again I will echo What Shinning Bowie Stated:

    @Shining:

    Yeah that is pretty obvious from actually READING the Bible before you comment on it. Your post didn’t make you seem very worthy to debate on subjects of the Bible, if you didn’t know something that obvious…… sorry if that sounds harsh… but it’s kinda common knowledge

    Again Switch you are looking to man in these areas thinking such things are actually true, like the screeth owl meaning sometihng else and that the bible is missing parts. You say this is widely known…. I in fact have never head of this before.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Oops, sorry - when I said worthless Christian, what I meant was that I felt that I was a worthless example of what a Christian should be. I felt guilty, inadequate, etc.

    I have nothing against Christians, I just don’t share their belief system.

    I spent roughly 20 years fighting my inner nature and trying to believe. I suppose that was a “choice.” Then I finally realized I couldn’t change who I am and how my mind works.

    If you think that that amounts to “sinning by choice” I suppose you are free to think of it that way. But that logic only works internally from within your belief system - there’s no external validation. All these religious arguments end up being circular, sometimes it’s just bigger circles. No one comes out and says “Jesus must be the saviour because Jesus is the saviour and therefore what he says must be true and he must be the saviour” although sometimes it comes close to that.

    Mr. Ed could also say he’s the saviour but that wouldn’t make him the saviour. I could say it and it wouldn’t prove anything. So why does the fact that someone said it 2000 years ago (or someone wrote that he did) mean we have to believe it?

    I spent 20 years desparately wanting some reason to believe, I think that’s a fair effort. If God is out there and wants to show up on my doorstep and turn water into wine or call down fire from heaven, I’ll be impressed and admit I was wrong. In the meantime, I’ve got other stuff to do.

    God, if you’re reading this board, then please stop by anytime. Given your omnipotence, I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Or if you really are too busy, have one of the angels swing by with a flaming chariot to give me a tour and explain how souls are made. Whatever. I’m sure you can come up with something impressive.

    All right, I’m now taking bets on whether I’ll have a personal, verifiable visit by the almighty. I’ll take any odds (how about 1,000 to 1). However, it can’t be something lame-ass like a homeless guy shows up and that’s really God visiting me etc. I think there has to be non-burning fire as a bare minimum. A huge crack in the earth with view of tormented souls would really seal the deal. However, I’m not holding my breath.

    Mmmm. Sacrilicious.


  • God has stopped by this board many times through those proclaiming his word.

    Sometimes God really does show people things like cracks in the Earth with tormented souls (i.e he showed John the Apostle the future in the form of Revelation), but usually you have to be really close to God to get something like that. My grandmother was really close to God but was troubled that 3 of her 4 children weren’t Christians. After a while, she had a dream that she was in heaven, but saw only 1 of her children there with her. She asked God where the others were, and he replied “They will be here with much prayer.” That sort of thing happens when you are close to God.

    Christians aren’t accepting the whole Christian premise on blind faith either. Almost all Christians have had God reveal himself to them in some way (i.e. answered prayer, evidence of divine protection, guidance through life), and that is why they keep their faith. However, it is true that you have to accept God by faith at first, like a little child. The miraculous answered prayer comes later.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Yeah, well, that didn’t work out for me, and I at least have had the good fortune to have heard about this whole scheme.

    So I suppose if it’s true, I’ll end up in hell. Fortunately, I don’t believe in it.

    Just as an experiment, try thinking from a different set of assumptions. The Christian system is only compelling once you accept its basic beliefs as true. But if you try thinking without them, try thinking with a different set of assumptions, you see that from the outside, Christianity is logically inconclusive as far as proving the truth of anything.

    Or, as another experiment, try coming up with an argument that does not rely on your assumptions. Show me, without relying on faith, that faith is necessary.

    “God has stopped by this board many times through those proclaiming his word.” - that’s lame and you know it. All I’m asking is that an omnipotent being occasionally do something himself, or that claim of omnipotence starts sounding pretty shallow. And the more impressive miracles in the Bible don’t count either.

    I don’t give a rat’s tuckus what a bunch of people 1,930 years ago wrote about Jesus, or what some desert tribe wrote about their patron deity 3,000 years ago. That proves nothing more than any other ancient text.

    Independent. Verifiable. That’s the sort of proof you need to come up with. I expect it will arrive about the same time a 12-foot tall old guy with a big white beard shows up on my porch and introduces himself as the almighty.

    Browsing through quotes for another thread, I came across this:

    The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.
    The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.
    -Lazarus Long


  • Funny how the evolution poll “evolved” into a theological debate.  :lol:


  • From the initial post this was a religious thread and not an evolution thread.

    The entire thread is actually on topic based on the original post that started it.

    I will say this…  those who ahve been posting from the Christian Perspective have done a great job…  the have firmly and completely reminded me of a part of the reason why I am NOT Christian.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Hey Switch,

    as a Chrisitian, I have a general concern for the lost. I will not force anything upon them. If giving the opportunity during conversations to bring the matter up of God then it is wise to do so. ( I will quickly get a general feel if they are interested or not and you can easily stop if they ask you to stop. ) another option is to simply hand out a panflet with instructions how to be saved etc… and leaving them with the option of reading it. ( this again will not force them to read it and they can disegard the matter )

    Christians shouldn’t be forcing these matters on anybody. it is our choice to believe or not and to abide by the bible to the best of our abilities.
    not sure if somebody mentioned earlier about being forced to give 10% of our wages to the church ( again nobody is forced to do so in this case - it is written in the bible and we do follow it )

    You may be surprised about me actually. My parents don’t go to church and I didn’t grow up in a christian home.
    So I do know about the other perspective.

    Poeple are afraid to become christians or are turned away from the matter because it will effect there lives, there will be changes and for the most part people will not like these changes. ( no drinking, no smoking etc… etc…)

    The bible explains perfectly the situations going on.  And Actually Frood echo’s a lot of people in the bible mentioned. In there mentions the “people” where always looking for “signs”  but they are warned to not look for signs.


  • @Jermofoot:

    Funny how the evolution poll “evolved” into a theological debate.   :lol:

    And it’s quite sad that evolution is always associated with a theological debate. It doesn’t happen when talking about Einstein’s relativity theory, Smith’s free market theory or when explaining what is the Planck’s constant. Problem is too many people think that natural selection theory is way easier to understand than the other things mentionned above. actually, it is not…

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    Avin:

    When Sean Connery goes to Gaelic Speaking Nations he only uses the Name Sean Connery and when he’s in France it’s Jean and when he’s in America it’s John, right?  I mean we all just change our name to translate into the native tongue of the country we’re visiting, don’t we?

    Oh, we don’t?  Okay, well then why do you think Saul did it?  Perhaps you just desire that to be the case so you can have a “flaw” in Christianity and their beliefs.

    He renamed from Saul to Paul.  Anyone not trying to read more into the Bible then is written there will see this as the case.  I think you’re just over thinking the situation.  He changed his identity when his religion changed, to reflect that his name changed as well.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Jennifer I’m afraid you and I aren’t reading the same version of the English Bible. The Book of Romans deals extensively with the fact that all men are BORN sinners, and the books of John, and Hebrews, state the fact that Salvation is a permanent thing.

    EDIT: That is of course, if you read the King James Version… I have no idea what the other more modernized versions have to say about it.

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Shining:

    Jennifer I’m afraid you and I aren’t reading the same version of the English Bible. The Book of Romans deals extensively with the fact that all men are BORN sinners, and the books of John, and Hebrews, state the fact that Salvation is a permanent thing.

    EDIT: That is of course, if you read the King James Version… I have no idea what the other more modernized versions have to say about it.

    No, all men are sinners.  Even Jesus said the children were free to play near him because it was like those who will populate heaven.  (One of his sermons when the apostles tried to shoe away the kids so Jesus could rest.)  If the children were not sinners, because sinners cannot be in heaven, then how can you be born with the stain of sin on your soul?

    I also have problems with God holding what your ancestors did against you.  God will judge you on your resume (which better include a reference from Jesus!) not on your parent’s resume.

  • 2007 AAR League

    By Jesus saying “for such is the kingdom of heaven” in reference to the children, he was basically trying to say, that he came to save all men, not just those who were important, or of a certain age, at the time of his ministry. And bible says in Romans 5:12 that by “one man sin entered the world”. It’s hereditary, because Adam sinned, his seed is not worthy of the kingdom of heaven, though, babies, up to what Baptists consider “the age of accountability” do enter the kingdom of heaven if they die without maturing to the point that they can understand that they are sinners. But you can’t say that children are pure and sinless that’s for sure, a baby that cries just for the attention even if nothing is wrong, is being selfish, a child who lies has sinned, a child who disobeys his parents has sinned. You’re born a sinner by the very nature of man.


  • Okay, well then why do you think Saul did it?

    Because that was common practice at the time. Many people in the Bible who lived in different cultures took two different names: one Hebrew name and one foreign name. Prominent examples include:

    Esther (Esther 2:7) whose Persian name was Hadassah.
    Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, (Daniel 1:7) who were given the Babylonian names Belteshazzar, Shadrach,  Meshach, and Abednego respectively.

    The Apostle Peter (Greek: Petros) is often referred to alternately in the New Testament as Cephas (Hebrew), both of which simply mean Rock. (for instance, see  Gal 1:18-2:14)

    Those examples are simply taken directly from the Bible. I was not using any sort of website to look up anything, they are just from memory. I am certain that more exist, however that ought to be enough to dispel your notion that people did not change their names - they quite frequently went under two names depending on the cultural context, when there was a mingling of cultures, as is the situation with Paul.

    Perhaps you just desire that to be the case so you can have a “flaw” in Christianity and their beliefs.

    What makes you think I am looking for a flaw? Personallly I don’t see how this is a flaw in Christianity. I am simply claiming that you don’t know your Bible well enough to bother defending it.

    He renamed from Saul to Paul.  Anyone not trying to read more into the Bible then is written there will see this as the case.  I think you’re just over thinking the situation.

    Actually I think you’re reading something that is clearly not there. Show me where it is written that he renamed. I have cited several verses from the Bible, you have yet to cite one. The only time you have attempted to cite any specific verses to me, it was in the other thread where it was clear that the passage meant the opposite of what you were trying to make it say. Somehow this gives me little confidence you will be able to prove your point. All I have from you are assertions. If you say it often enough, it will not magically appear when you open your Bible.

    He changed his identity when his religion changed, to reflect that his name changed as well.

    Again, SHOW ME WHERE. You can claim this as often as you like, but you have yet to back this up. I have given you several specific verses that seem to counter your claim, including when he is called Saul AFTER becoming a Christian, but you have not given one.

  • 2007 AAR League

    @NoMercy:

    Hey Switch,

    as a Chrisitian, I have a general concern for the lost. I will not force anything upon them.

    …(snip)…

    The bible explains perfectly the situations going on.  And Actually Frood echo’s a lot of people in the bible mentioned. In there mentions the “people” where always looking for “signs”  but they are warned to not look for signs.

    Gaa. Don’t you see how empty that is? I can just as easily say “As a Free thinker, I have a general concern for the misguided and muddleheaded.” I’m only lost from the viewpoint of your frame of reference. From my own, I’m recently saved, and you’re the one who needs correction. Who’s to say between the two of us which is right? Me or you? I vote for independent, verifiable reality, not assumptions that have to be accepted “on faith.”

    And again with the Bible. Who cares what it says, when the issue is whether the whole thing is true. Let’s see something independent that corroborates it.

    I still have no takers on any bets that the Almighty will lift a finger to give me an incontrovertible sign. PM me, name you odds and your bet. I’ll give the Almighty 12 months from today to find some time in her busy schedule.

    Don’t you see how convenient it is to say “Don’t look for signs”? You basically explain away the need for proof, and make people feel guilty for asking to see it. Very handy when you have no actual proof.

    Consider this analogy. An unfaithful husband comes home from cheating on his wife. His wife is suspicious and demands to know where he’s been. Instead of a direct and honest answer, the husband says “I can’t can’t believe you have to ask. I’m Insulted. Don’t you trust me? You should not be doubting me, what kind of wife are you?” Very convenien, and manipulative. You feel bad for asking, and the husband (or the Church) gets off without having to answer the hard questions.

    Once you see it that way, it becomes pretty transparent. From within however, it is impossible to make an informed decision as to the truth. Information is withheld, and you have to go on faith, which only works as long as you accept that system. Once you reject the call for blind faith, the whole system crumbles, and there is no way to rebuild it, because even the need to accept things on faith must be accepted on faith. Well, that doesn’t work for me, so sue me.


  • @Shining:

    Jennifer I’m afraid you and I aren’t reading the same version of the English Bible. The Book of Romans deals extensively with the fact that all men are BORN sinners, and the books of John, and Hebrews, state the fact that Salvation is a permanent thing.

    EDIT: That is of course, if you read the King James Version… I have no idea what the other more modernized versions have to say about it.

    If that is true, I guess I’ll get stuck in Heaven.  I did the whole “salvation” thing in my pre-teens during a short stint in one of thoe Church of God places with the whole “accept Christ as your Lord and Savior” thing.  So, if it is permanent, then y’all will have more than a few Pagans in Heaven, including me apparently.  :evil:


  • @Avin:

    Well MauserBob, Shining Bowie, or Jennifer, if you are confident you can find that in the book of Acts, please enlighten me where it states that Saul was renamed Paul.

    I guarantee that you won’t find it.

    Saul continues to be called Saul after his encounter with Jesus… see all of Acts chapter 9. No mention of renaming to Paul.

    Furthermore, Saul continues to be called Saul when he is sent on his first missionary Journey: see Acts 13:2.

    Saul is called Paul for the rest of the book of Acts, and Paul refers to himself by that name in his letters, with no mention of being renamed, even though he recounts his history a couple times.

    If you find a reference to him being renamed, I will concede the point but it looks to me like the Bible makes absolutely no reference to Saul being renamed at any point.

    Rather the names Saul and Paul are really the same name: the Hebrew form is “Sha-ul”, which is Romanized to Saul, and the Greek form is “Paulos” which is Romanized to Paul. When you first meet him in Acts it is in the Hebrew context, but the bulk of his life he is seen in a Greek context. He is still both Saul and Paul. No renaming takes place.

    I have a hard time reading this thread when defenders of the Bible get Biblical facts wrong.

    I have no idea what you’re picking nits over. We know his name was Saul; we also know he also went by “Paul”. Our first introduction to this man is in the Book of Acts, where we see him going by both names. So……what is the problem? Am I to understand that you’ve been babbling on now for 3 pages because there is no verse that specifically states when he started using the name “Paul” ? I personally never said that there was. I took your question as asking where you find him using/going by/being called  “Paul”, and I answered you correctly…and to be more specific, Acts 13:9 is the first mention of him being called by both names, though it clearly does not state when the first instance of this occured. I cannot speak for Jennifer, but I interpret what she originally wrote to mean basically the same thing. Surely your whole purpose has not been to nitpick over semantics?

    Rob.

  • 2007 AAR League

    Switch, salvation also only works if you believe, and mean it from your heart, since you don’t appear to believe now, I highly doubt you did then.


  • I did then.

    But does God have a legal requirement about beign of an age to enter into a legally bidning contract?  If so, I was probably too young for it to be enforced 😛

  • '18 '17 '16 '11 Moderator

    @Shining:

    By Jesus saying “for such is the kingdom of heaven” in reference to the children, he was basically trying to say, that he came to save all men, not just those who were important, or of a certain age, at the time of his ministry. And bible says in Romans 5:12 that by “one man sin entered the world”. It’s hereditary, because Adam sinned, his seed is not worthy of the kingdom of heaven, though, babies, up to what Baptists consider “the age of accountability” do enter the kingdom of heaven if they die without maturing to the point that they can understand that they are sinners. But you can’t say that children are pure and sinless that’s for sure, a baby that cries just for the attention even if nothing is wrong, is being selfish, a child who lies has sinned, a child who disobeys his parents has sinned. You’re born a sinner by the very nature of man.

    Then how do you explain Mary, whom the Catholics call a Virgin because she was free from sin.  If all men are born with sin on their souls through no fault of their own, then Mary would not have been a “virgin” by Catholic standards.

    No.  Men make or break themselves in the sight of God.  Adam’s eating of the forbidden fruit only resulted in the curse of the soil.  Eve’s resulted only in the curse of painful child birth.  God did not curse all men and women with sin for the act of eating of the fruit.

    If he had, then he would have specifically stated in plain terms that we were all cursed with an initial sin on our souls.

    Furthermore, if we had original sin on our souls, then why did the Jews not have to atone for this sin at temple like they did for other sin?  After all, the price of sin is death.  So if they were all born as sinners then they would have had to kill something the instant they were born!

    No, original sin didn’t start until the Catholic Church.  It was part of their policies of grabbing money, land and power to include original sin and purgatory and a myriad of other things to sucker men out of their money.  The Catholic Chruch’s leadership were very despotic and evil.  This has just kept going even after the fall of teh Catholic Church from a state power to a religious organization.  No where in the Bible does it mention Christening or Original Sin, etc.

    When Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is made of people like Children, he meant exactly that.  Those in heaven will be as innocent and pure as children.


  • Avin, were you and others looking for where in the Bible Saul changed his name to Paul? Wasn’t it here:

    Acts 13:9
    Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,


  • Jennifer, doesn’t this verse imply original sin:

    Romans 5
    12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.

  • 2007 AAR League

    trust me,

    The catholic Religion is a totally different ball-game.
    I disaprove of many many many things they do and disaprove many of the customs and teachings they do.


  • @madscientist:

    Avin, were you and others looking for where in the Bible Saul changed his name to Paul? Wasn’t it here:

    Acts 13:9
    Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,

    That supports the OTHER view, that he went by BOTh names, not that he changed his name.

    If he had changed it it woudl read
    “Paul, who had been known as Saul…”

    Also is inclusive, so BOTH names were used, fitting with Avin’s statements.

    And I have to echo Mauser… this is a MASSIVE case of picking a nit!


  • @MauserBob:

    We know his name was Saul; we also know he also went by “Paul”.

    If that’s your stance, then I have no issue with you. However I do take issue with Jennifer who seems to think that there was a man named Saul who deliberately changed his name to Paul as a way of indicating his newfound Christianity. Particularly in her last post she clearly espouses this view. This has no precedent in the Bible, and I take issue with her when she is supposedly defending the Bible yet seems to fall prey to basic fallacies regarding it. I am convinced that what I called her on in the other thread, her idea that the Bible endorses the theology that “God provides for those who provide for themselves” (which I do not think is a Biblical doctrine) is of the same sort. It makes me think she has not read and understood the Bible on her own own, but relies on the teaching of others for her theology and often does not check it back to the Bible herself. Some of the other disputes in this thread (such as the concept of original sin) may fall into that category as well, but given that orginal sin is a lot more complex of an issue, I am not picking on her for her stance on that, especially since there are some Christian denominations which either reject the concept or downplay it. But Paul being somehow a “new name” is pretty basic and follows straightforward from a few specific passages and is easily demonstratable from the Bible directly.

    @madscientist:

    Wasn’t it here: (…)

    I was wondering if anyone would actually find that. You will notice I referenced Acts 13 before; I was wondering if Jennifer would actually read it for herself. As you see, that confirms my position, not the “renaming” idea. Paul (Paulos) and Saul (Shaul) were two alternate names that Paul was known by. The verse does NOT say Saul decided to change his name to Paul, it said that he was also called by a different name. The implication consistent with the way Jews were named in the Bible and in that time, as I pointed out in my last post, was that Paul was the Greek name and Saul was the Hebrew name.

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