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The Love Of Jesus


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I know for a fact that the Jesus I read of in the Bible matches up with the Jesus I have experienced. This is an Absolute truth that works for everyone.

 

 

No you don't, and no it doesn't.

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I don't believe that Jesus is real simply because the Bible or a person or a theologian tells me so, I believe Jesus is real because I have experienced Him and His Love for me. And it has been through this Love living inside of me that I have grown, matured, and experienced a higher form of Love than I ever have known. Christianity has never held me back, if anything, Christianity has transformed my love into what it is today.

 

You would do well to question the whole value of "experience".

 

Most of you have questioned my love on this website. You say it's because I am a Christian that I cannot truly love people, especially those who disagree with me.

 

I don't know who said that. On the contrary, you specifically said that because I am a heathen I can't "love correctly" whatever that is supposed to mean. It is you that are questioning our love. That isn't very loving, is it? Yet you say you love everyone. You don't seem accepting of us. If you love us, I think you should try harder to understand us.

 

It is certainly true that many of us, myself included, have experienced behavior from Christians that isn't loving. I am unwilling to broadbrush the whole group of people, however. I wouldn't say "Christians are unable to love." That would be ignorant.

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I need a couple of days (at the most) to digest what I have just read, research some Theologians on the topic, and then get back to you.

Arrgh... :banghead:

 

:HaHa:

 

Larry, I hope in no way do you interpret anything I've said as saying you don't or can't know love. I know sometimes in my many words, those points I think I'm emphasizing get overlooked. I feel I have shown that love and compassion to you from the outset. It's in the spirit of that that I see past what otherwise might offend in order to reach to the heart of another human being in the interest of broadening dialog and understanding of exactly that: Love. But Deva does make a point above, that it was your word choices, not ours or mine, that limited another by saying we can't know "correct love". That's what people responded to.

 

Now why the bang head emoticon... I've said repeated throughout my replies how you are relying on theologians to define truth for you. Now you just completely agreed with me and totally made my whole point! You're going to come back with a theological answer!

 

You can if you wish, but I will say at the outset, as I've said numerous times in my posts, that there is no way that a mental interpretation of an ancient text defines what is Absolute and True. All one needs to do is point to the 30,000 plus denominations of Christianity to prove that: and please don't try to reduce it down to say they all believe the same basic thing, because that hardly qualifies you to then say your higher level intretations of what it means to be a Christian or saved even, is absolute. What about Universalists? They believe Jesus died for everyone and everyone is saved, meaning each and every one of us have full access now through him, even if we aren't aware of it! They too believe the "same basic thing", but I'm sure you have difficulty extending that Absolute Truth you believe you know to them being True also.

 

My point is, quote any theologian you want, but expect me to shred it on the principle of the Spirit. I really don't like arguing Calvin vs Armenius, or Trinity vs Demigod, or Universalism vs Exclusivism, using a reading of the text. The Truth is not found there in Absolute and defining way not to be looked at any other way for truth for all the reasons I mentioned before, but will undoubtely need to lay out again to hopefully drive that point home. "In that day will my law be written on the tablets of the heart." You are still looking to tablets of stone, trying to define God by a "correct" interpretation of texts. "Lean not to your own understanding." By all means turn to the priests and scribes for truth if you need to in order to maybe be able to see the living Truth beyond it, that truth that lives in and is available to everyone.

 

In Peace

 

Keith

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AM,

 

I have seen you quote people and link me to documents many times in this discussion. So, are you saying that it's okay for you to quote people to back up what you are saying but not for me? Doesn't seem fair does it? I will be researching all points of view as I continue to look into your arguments, that includes looking at far smarter men and women than me to see how they battled the fight. When I see something I agree with then I will quote.

 

Look, I realize that I'm battling an uphill battle, and perhaps I'm wasting all of our time, but as for now I'm still in this and am going to use all of my resources available to put up a good, intellectual argument. You know it's funny, when you all read things, it enlightens you; yet, when a Christian reads the Bible or any other Theological book, it only blinds them to the truth that's really out there. Kind of hypocritical don't you think?

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AM,

 

I have seen you quote people and link me to documents many times in this discussion. So, are you saying that it's okay for you to quote people to back up what you are saying but not for me? Doesn't seem fair does it? I will be researching all points of view as I continue to look into your arguments, that includes looking at far smarter men and women than me to see how they battled the fight. When I see something I agree with then I will quote.

I did think about that after I posted this, that you might point that out. When I quoted Sri Arobindo it was because I liked how he said this, and I respect his intellect and great Soul. He's the only person I've cited besides myself that I'm aware of at the moment. I don't cite people like that to argue to show how to properly interpret a "correct" reading of an ancient text. He is expressing something he sees through experience and thought, and I feel that is valuable, but not to say there is no other way to read or understand something.

 

You certainly may cite theologians you feel helps you express how you see things, but my caution is about using them as 'authorities' to negate other points of view. I didn't mean you can't cite others, but my hope is that you don't rely on them for a 'correct' understanding of something that cannot be grasped through reason.

 

Look, I realize that I'm battling an uphill battle, and perhaps I'm wasting all of our time, but as for now I'm still in this and am going to use all of my resources available to put up a good, intellectual argument. You know it's funny, when you all read things, it enlightens you; yet, when a Christian reads the Bible or any other Theological book, it only blinds them to the truth that's really out there. Kind of hypocritical don't you think?

I don't consider any of this a waste of time. Not at all. Even if at the end of the day we walk away in disagreement, it is hard to deny that already there has been value both ways I believe, though I can only say so for myself at the moment. Communication is happening, and that shows me something quite valuable, and expresses something quite value - if it can be recognized.

 

BTW, it seems if you take what I've been saying about relying on theologians to define God for you, to say that I see it as only blinding them to the truth that's really out there, then I feel sad that I have failed to communicate. I don't believe that. That would be a contradiction to what I believe. There is truth in there, certainly. I don't dismiss your experience. I don't disregard its reality and value to you. Not at all. In fact, I think there are some truly positive and beneficial things in there.

 

But there are problems that can occur when it becomes a system of truth that followers turn to the texts with reason and logic without the Wisdom of Spirit, i.e., priests and scribes, that that higher truth within it can become side tracked and even lost. There's an old saying that "If you see Buddha in the road, kill him." That captures the spirit of what I mean. It's not about killing the old guy, it's about seeing beyond the guy to the Truth that exists beyond all forms and symbols. You cannot rely on the knowledge of another. You must find it in yourself.

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I am glad that you are in agreement with me that this has not been a waste of time. If nothing else I have gained a better understanding of what you and others on this site feel and believe. My eyes have been opened to a new world, and even though I don't agree with the principles I do better appreciate them.

 

Until my next post (sometime tonight)...

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

Larry

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Even if I did suggest that was an accurate statement, which I don't, that is the last thing that I have experienced while on this website. While I have been shown respect, I have not been shown Love (and yes I am guilty of the same thing and I know it's hard to do when you don't know me personally).

Why am I reminded of Christians who claim all atheists are angry people and that they've never met an atheist that wasn't angry only to act surprised when an atheist gets angry at their bigotry?

 

 

Most of you have questioned my love on this website. You say it's because I am a Christian that I cannot truly love people, especially those who disagree with me.

Where did anyone ever say anything remotely like this? Quote the member who said Christians are incapable of truly loving people.
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I am glad that you are in agreement with me that this has not been a waste of time. If nothing else I have gained a better understanding of what you and others on this site feel and believe. My eyes have been opened to a new world, and even though I don't agree with the principles I do better appreciate them.

 

Until my next post (sometime tonight)...

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

Larry

Thank you! That means a lot to me. Truth becomes served. There's a quote I just read in Sri Aurobindo this morning that fits this,

 

"All affirmations are denied only to lead to a wider affirmation of the same Reality. All antinomies confront each other in order to recognize one Truth in their opposed aspects and embrace by the way of conflict their mutual Unity."

 

(The Life Divine, pg 38)

 

There is a truth that the disagreements point to... if it can be recognized.

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You know it's funny, when you all read things, it enlightens you; yet, when a Christian reads the Bible or any other Theological book, it only blinds them to the truth that's really out there. Kind of hypocritical don't you think?

 

Not at all. A xtian is already wearing blinders of dogmatic faith. He therefore reads scripture and commentary with prejudice so whatever he reads just thickens the blinders. An unbeliever reads with an open mind looking for new information, something different, not just a different colored regurgitation of something already consumed.

 

Show an atheist something truly new that is rational and thoughtful, and you get his attention every time. He will accept or reject it on its own merits, and not because it doesn't fit his current worldview or preconceived notions. Atheists are flexible that way--always willing to bow to real truth.

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Snakefoot,

That has to be one of the most ridiculous claims I have ever heard. So a person who has never known Christ, say a Muslim in the Middle East, who converts to Christianity based upon a new Truth he has realized, has put blinders on? There are many Christians, outside of Westernized civilization who have no idea of "dogmatic theology" and yet still embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Perhaps it's not them being blinded, but it is you by putting on your "blinders" towards Christianity. Be honest: If the truth of Jesus Christ showed itself to you, would you believe or would you bury yourself with your own blinders and regurgitate what you have been tricked into believing?

 

Please do not come to me with your stereotypes of Christianity. They are useless and do no good to this discussion. Perhaps it is your unwillingness to bow to the Real Truth that makes it this way. Just a thought

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Snakefoot,

That has to be one of the most ridiculous claims I have ever heard. So a person who has never known Christ, say a Muslim in the Middle East, who converts to Christianity based upon a new Truth he has realized, has put blinders on? There are many Christians, outside of Westernized civilization who have no idea of "dogmatic theology" and yet still embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Perhaps it's not them being blinded, but it is you by putting on your "blinders" towards Christianity. Be honest: If the truth of Jesus Christ showed itself to you, would you believe or would you bury yourself with your own blinders and regurgitate what you have been tricked into believing?

 

Please do not come to me with your stereotypes of Christianity. They are useless and do no good to this discussion. Perhaps it is your unwillingness to bow to the Real Truth that makes it this way. Just a thought

 

I was "stereotyping" based on your own criteria, as established by, "...when a Christian reads the Bible or any other Theological book..." So, if anyone is stereotyping...well, it isn't me.

 

If you want to expand my original observation to encompass your new criteria, simply substitute "religionist" or "theist" for "Christian" and there you go.

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But what blinders is a "theist", "religionist" or "Christian" putting on when they have no idea of any preconceived notion of any dogmatic theology? What about those people in cultures that have no Christian theology established within them? What do you do with those converts?

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But what blinders is a "theist", "religionist" or "Christian" putting on when they have no idea of any preconceived notion of any dogmatic theology? What about those people in cultures that have no Christian theology established within them? What do you do with those converts?

 

All religion adherents, regardless of stripe, follow a dogma. Otherwise, it would not be a religion. Just because someone changes religions does not mean they are free of religious dogma. It is the same lollipop, just a different shape and color: Yahweh instead of Allah, Ganesh instead of Buddha, or whatever.

 

ETA: And when someone adopts a religion cold, rejecting any teaching not consistent with that religion is required. Dogma is inherent.

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But what blinders is a "theist", "religionist" or "Christian" putting on when they have no idea of any preconceived notion of any dogmatic theology? What about those people in cultures that have no Christian theology established within them? What do you do with those converts?

 

 

I know that a lot of people in evangelical/fundamentalist churches are taught, "The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it!"

 

That strikes me as being a blinder. To the extent that this attitude is prevalent in these converted , non-Western Christians, I would say they have put on blinders.

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But what blinders is a "theist", "religionist" or "Christian" putting on when they have no idea of any preconceived notion of any dogmatic theology? What about those people in cultures that have no Christian theology established within them? What do you do with those converts?

 

All religion adherents, regardless of stripe, follow a dogma. Otherwise, it would not be a religion. Just because someone changes religions does not mean they are free of religious dogma. It is the same lollipop, just a different shape and color: Yahweh instead of Allah, Ganesh instead of Buddha, or whatever.

 

ETA: And when someone adopts a religion cold, rejecting any teaching not consistent with that religion is required. Dogma is inherent.

To address the current exchange about wearing blinders, I'll add a couple points of moderation (not meaning as a site moderator, but as a middle-ground voice).

 

First it is incorrect to say that all religion equals dogma. That is simply untrue and unfair. I know plenty of moderate and liberal practitioners of a faith that are hardly what could be called dogmatic. Dogma means being inflexible and rigid, holding a doctrine as absolute and crushing to any and all views of differing perspective. That does not define religion as a whole, but it most certainly can be there in some organizations and individuals - based on personality types.

 

But trust me when I say that even atheists can be just as dogmatic as religionists. You have as wide a spectrum of individuals within atheism as you do within Christianity, from dogmatic fundamentalists, to moderates, to liberals. I just had the President of the MN Atheists group in my home the other night and we were talking about that very thing with full agreement (it was part of a group I belong to that brings atheists and theists together for discussion topics about religion). What I've learned is that the black and white mentality is not created by religion per se, but those with a black and white mentality learned through culture and personality types, are drawn to the dogmatic groups. Leaving Christianity's fundamentalist camp does not automatically mean you are now moderate or liberal. Often times it just becomes flipping the coin over to the opposite side, but it's still the same mentality. You know you are right and they are wrong. True/False.

 

As far as biases, everyone has them. The key is to being able to recognize it in ourselves, and as a result, to maybe not hold Truth with so tight a damned grip! The minute you clutch it and state, "I now KNOW the Truth!", is the minute you don't have it. Truth is found in growing into it.

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But what blinders is a "theist", "religionist" or "Christian" putting on when they have no idea of any preconceived notion of any dogmatic theology? What about those people in cultures that have no Christian theology established within them? What do you do with those converts?

 

All religion adherents, regardless of stripe, follow a dogma. Otherwise, it would not be a religion. Just because someone changes religions does not mean they are free of religious dogma. It is the same lollipop, just a different shape and color: Yahweh instead of Allah, Ganesh instead of Buddha, or whatever.

 

ETA: And when someone adopts a religion cold, rejecting any teaching not consistent with that religion is required. Dogma is inherent.

To address the current exchange about wearing blinders, I'll add a couple points of moderation (not meaning as a site moderator, but as a middle-ground voice).

 

First it is incorrect to say that all religion equals dogma. That is simply untrue and unfair. I know plenty of moderate and liberal practitioners of a faith that are hardly what could be called dogmatic. Dogma means being inflexible and rigid, holding a doctrine as absolute and crushing to any and all views of differing perspective. That does not define religion as a whole, but it most certainly can be there in some organizations and individuals - based on personality types.

 

But trust me when I say that even atheists can be just as dogmatic as religionists. You have a wide a spectrum of individuals within atheism as you do within Christianity, from dogmatic fundamentalists, to moderates, to liberals. I just had the President of the MN Atheists group in my home the other night and we were talking about that very thing with full agreement (it was part of a group I belong to that brings atheists and theists together for discussion topics about religion). What I've learned is that the black and white mentality is not created by religion per se, but those with a black and white mentality learned through culture and personality types, are drawn to the dogmatic groups. Leaving Chrisitianity's fundamentalist camp does not automatically mean you are now moderate or liberal. Often times it just becomes flipping the coin over to the opposite side, but it's still the same mentality.

 

As far as biases, everyone has them. The key is to being able to recognize it in ourselves, and as a result, to maybe not hold Truth with so tight a damned grip! The minute you clutch it and state, "I now KNOW the Truth!", is the minute you don't have it. Truth is found in growing into it.

 

I must disagree on several points.

 

Unless an adherent to a given religion follows that religion's tenets (a.k.a. dogma), then they are not followers of that religion. And regardless of brand, all theistic religions are based on a god. Belief in that god is not optional, ergo, rejection of any teaching or truth that disavows existence of that god is a requirement in order to follow the respective religion.

 

Blinders are mandatory, even if a believer is the epitome of liberal in their beliefs.

 

As for atheists being "dogmatic," there is a difference as I have already mentioned: Atheists reject tired, old arguments for existence of gawd, but most are willing to listen to/examine new evidence when presented. If it is truly something new, they will ponder and then reject or accept on the strength of the evidence and not dismiss out of hand because, "it argues for a gawd so it must be wrong." Do they do this for repackaged old arguments? Of course they do, just as any rational person dismisses arguments for a flat Earth or the sun revolving around it. But, present most atheists with a reasoned, rational argument and they will at least listen, albeit skeptically.

 

ETA: Most atheists do not claim to "KNOW the truth," they just do not accept theistic "truth."

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ETA: Most atheists do not claim to "KNOW the truth," they just do not accept theistic "truth."

The "dogmatic atheist" is sometimes considered to be any atheist that says there are no gods. It may have taken years of struggle and study, careful weighing of arguments, and open-minded exploration of any and all avenues, but when that's done, it's done.

 

With nothing new "under the sun" presented by theists, it remains reasonable to rely on the work already done.

 

Do I really have to consider Pascal's wager again to say it does not mean that there is a god?

 

I think it is useful to review the meaning of the word dogma.

 

a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof

a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative; "he believed all the Marxist dogma"

 

Atheism offers no such "code of beliefs" or even doctrine. Tenets, creeds, and fixed interlocking beliefs are the foundation of dogma, not a "firmly held belief based on reason, deduction and evidence".

 

It is not dogmatic to hold that the earth orbits the sun. There is sufficient evidence to reject the geocentric hypothesis.

 

Same with gods.

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As far as biases, everyone has them. The key is to being able to recognize it in ourselves, and as a result, to maybe not hold Truth with so tight a damned grip! The minute you clutch it and state, "I now KNOW the Truth!", is the minute you don't have it. Truth is found in growing into it.

 

Very good. Yes, Antler, we don't connect sometimes, but this statement, and the remainder of this post, is right on the mark. It is also one thing to think you have the truth, and another to announce it and expect others to conform.

 

I see the trap I still fall into from time to time. Condemning "us vs. them" thinking and then realizing I am doing it myself. Maybe all we can do is just realize it.

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I have not read the entire thread but only skimmed, so this might already have been addressed. If so, I apologize for the redundancy.

 

Since the babble NT defines love (patient, kind, not jealous, etc.), declares "gawd is love," and and further holds that Jeebus is gawd, one can safely presume the definition is of "the love of Jeebus." Therefore:

 

If a non-xtian displays or demonstrates these love attributes toward others, is he displaying the love of Jeebus?

 

If a xtian does not display or demonstrate these love attributes toward others, does he not have the love of Jeebus in him?

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Wow, I didn't realize I could tick off so many people with one simple post. Let me just say this: you all have upped the ante so I have to take my discussion to the next level. I need a couple of days (at the most) to digest what I have just read, research some Theologians on the topic, and then get back to you. However, in the meantime allow me to be personable for the first time on this post:

I admit, I was a little more than ticked off. :P

 

I look forward to you coming back after your research and then putting them away and being personable again. :HaHa:

 

I am not perfect (I know, I know a shocker). These last couple of weeks have been hard for me, I've been accused (not on this site) of being too harsh and too "militaristic" and not being compassionate enough. In no way do I perfectly reflect the love of Jesus Christ in anything that I do. Yet, at the same time I feel as if I do love and I always have been a "lover" of people. I would even argue with you, actually agree, that even before I was a Christian I still genuinely "loved" people. Perhaps you are right, perhaps it is because we are all created in God's image that we do have the ability to Love. But, what you have got to understand is that I have had a different experience with Christianity than everyone here on this site; that is only the case because I have grown stronger in "my religion" as you put it, instead of leaving. I don't believe that Jesus is real simply because the Bible or a person or a theologian tells me so, I believe Jesus is real because I have experienced Him and His Love for me. And it has been through this Love living inside of me that I have grown, matured, and experienced a higher form of Love than I ever have known. Christianity has never held me back, if anything, Christianity has transformed my love into what it is today.

Thank you so much for this Larry. I love to hear you talking from your heart and there is nothing wrong this.

 

Now you would, or should say, "great Larry! That works for you, but it doesn't work for me and that's okay too." Let me say two things to that:

Even if I did suggest that was an accurate statement, which I don't, that is the last thing that I have experienced while on this website. While I have been shown respect, I have not been shown Love (and yes I am guilty of the same thing and I know it's hard to do when you don't know me personally). If you are going to preach to me about what Love is truly about, then show it to me. The second thing I would say to the comment above is this: Because of my experience with Jesus Christ I believe that what He says is true. I have spent many years (probably not as many as most of you here) really studying this Jesus that I have put my trust in and I know for a fact that the Jesus I read of in the Bible matches up with the Jesus I have experienced. This is an Absolute truth that works for everyone.

Larry, this is the first time that you have shown us even a glimpse into the real person you are. It's really hard to show you love when you keep telling us that we can't have it. We've been trying to say all along that we all have this love in us, each and every one of us. Sometimes we don't allow it to be expressed due to several reasons, but it never goes away. It's still there behind the cherubs with the flaming swords. :D

 

I agree 100% with your statement, "This is an Absolute truth that works for everyone." But, only if it is taken to mean that anyone, anywhere, anytime can know this love. I really don't think you do, but I can hope! :HaHa: Jesus doesn't always work for everyone, but I've heard that there are really loving people the world over.

 

I'm going to inject some of my thoughts here about religion and it's commonalities, if you don't mind.

 

There are two main themes in all the major religions. They use different words and symbols, but what they are talking about is the same. The first concept deals with the state of humanity as being a little off kilter. Paul understood about this, all humanity understands this.

 

Christianity calls it "Original Sin"

Hinduism calls it "Maya"

Buddhism calls it "Dukha"

 

All of these are pointing to the idea that people cause suffering for themselves and others.

 

The next concept deals with a cure to this.

 

Christianity calls it "Salvation"

Hinduism calls it "Moksha"

Buddhism calls it "Nirvana or Awakening"

 

This is all pointing to the understanding that this love is attainable by us if we look within ourselves. I can't see Christianity being any less or more insightful into the human condition than any other religion. They are saying the same thing.

 

 

Most of you have questioned my love on this website. You say it's because I am a Christian that I cannot truly love people, especially those who disagree with me. Isn't that what you are accusing me of saying? Allow me to answer your assumptions about me and my love by saying this: It is because I am a Christian, because I love everyone with every ounce of my being, that I even attempt to come on a website that completely disagrees with my viewpoint so that I can enter into a debate. It is because I love with every ounce of my being that I sit here now and say that I love because God first Loved me. So what now? I may not understand this love thing yet, but I am trying. Through it all, I still hold the point that it is only through God that I can fully love, and that only comes through Jesus Christ.

I haven't accused you of not being able to truly love. I know you can. I said that maybe why you don't feel it (you said this yourself) is because of the mindset that your understanding of Christianity has led you to portray yourself as here. Please know that I have been trying to point it out to you since the start about your use of disclaimers when you know you are saying something that offends others. Since you recognize this, you know it isn't coming from your heart, but from your theology. Speak to us through your heart as you have done in this post and we will accept your belief as being good for you. When you speak through your institution, you are less than warm and will receive a chilly reception.

 

Some short post. I will be back on tomorrow with a theological response to AM and others. Until then...

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

 

Larry

I look forward to it.

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Scott,

 

Your inference is correct, the Love of Christ is only something that Christians can truly experience the fullness of. That experience is hard to describe (I know, it sounds like a cop out), but for me it is a peaceful closeness to the God who created me and loves me. When I worship Him, pray to Him, serve others, speak of Him to others, I truly feel a presence of God that is more than words can describe.

 

Sorry, I'm sure that doesn't help but for me to describe something that is indescribable is kinda hard. I'll keep thinking and will get back to you.

 

Peace, Love, and Soul

Larry

 

Holy Batman !

 

An exclusive drug sold by an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient god through Jesus Christ. The Walmart of happiness for the living. Wendytwitch.gif

 

But still... I guess its alot better than the 72 virgins promissed to Islamic Jihadists only if you die flying into a tower filled with americans.

 

 

I've had it with exclusivity scams.

 

 

.... movin on lmao_99.gif

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Most of you have questioned my love on this website. You say it's because I am a Christian that I cannot truly love people, especially those who disagree with me. Isn't that what you are accusing me of saying? Allow me to answer your assumptions about me and my love by saying this: It is because I am a Christian, because I love everyone with every ounce of my being, that I even attempt to come on a website that completely disagrees with my viewpoint so that I can enter into a debate.

 

 

I don't question your love at all Larry. What I question is a system of belief which rewards sincere but theologically incorrect hearts with hell. A system which virtually guarantees that most of humanity is going there ("Narrow is the way and few there be who find it"). A system which says "love your enemies" but also promises "judgement without mercy" for unbelievers.

 

I am one who sees and appreciates the nuggets of spiritual truth found throughout the bible BUT when taken as the literal absolute "Word of God" a lot of problems arise.

It is because I love with every ounce of my being that I sit here now and say that I love because God first Loved me. So what now? I may not understand this love thing yet, but I am trying. Through it all, I still hold the point that it is only through God that I can fully love, and that only comes through Jesus Christ.

 

I'm so glad you have experienced God's love for you, no matter how you came to a knowledge of it. But again, if you are going to try and defend the concept that the entire theological belief system of Christianity is an expression of "perfect love" I don't think you will be successful.

 

Let me say this as to my understanding of the Creator's core nature (ie: God is love): I can sometimes see more of God's nature written upon the consciences of atheists than I see it written upon the pages of entire libraries filled with theological books.

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Snakefoot,

That has to be one of the most ridiculous claims I have ever heard. So a person who has never known Christ, say a Muslim in the Middle East, who converts to Christianity based upon a new Truth he has realized, has put blinders on? There are many Christians, outside of Westernized civilization who have no idea of "dogmatic theology" and yet still embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Perhaps it's not them being blinded, but it is you by putting on your "blinders" towards Christianity. Be honest: If the truth of Jesus Christ showed itself to you, would you believe or would you bury yourself with your own blinders and regurgitate what you have been tricked into believing?

 

Please do not come to me with your stereotypes of Christianity. They are useless and do no good to this discussion. Perhaps it is your unwillingness to bow to the Real Truth that makes it this way. Just a thought

You know what Larry, the truth of Jesus Christ did show itself to me...after I left it. It is there and it is in other religions and it is there in other philosophies. Don't you think the truth can be strong enough to be expressed multiple ways? The truth is silent, but when recognized it knocks you off your feet. The truth is larger than any one person's expression of it. But, the impact it has is for this very reason. It can't be contained or boxed in. It can only be talked about and people do love to talk about it.

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Let me say this as to my understanding of the Creator's core nature (ie: God is love): I can sometimes see more of God's nature written upon the consciences of atheists than I see it written upon the pages of entire libraries filled with theological books.

I have realized this myself and have said many times that atheists are the most "spiritual" people I have ever spoken with. They have dropped the rigid beliefs (or never had them) and are open to "Nature's" wonders.

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I've seen some anger, some frustration, some biting back, and some arrogance (paragraph 3). Those ounces were not being loving. Were you loving Shyone with every ounce of your being? I see other ounces at work. You sound like a regular, diverse person.

Phanta

I was rude, inappropriate and let my emotions get the better of me. I don't blame the pastor one bit for responding in kind. I think we've gotten past that.

 

I have stayed out of this thread in general because for some strange reason my response is terribly emotional.

 

Now that my nose is sticking in, let me say in the calmest way I can that ...

 

The interaction is interesting. Carry on.

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