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My Pastor Sets Me Straight


Fish153

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@Fish, thank you for the thoughtful answer.

As for your questions, the problem is they are all based on the premise/belief that the Bible is true and authoritative.

 

3 hours ago, Fish153 said:

But how could someone become un-born again? Once you are a child of God you are forever a child of God. How could a genuine child of God renounce Jesus and turn back forever? Is that possible?

Asking these questions is kind of like asking, "how can someone renounce Santa Claus?"

I think first you have to be willing and open-minded enough to explore the origins of the bible before you can try to interpret the meaning of its contents. I think you also have to be honest and ask yourself, what would it take to convince you that the bible is not what you believe it to be? If you are unable to answer that question, then you will never be able to get the answers you seek. Are you willing to read biblical experts who have come to a different conclusion than you?

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19 hours ago, Fish153 said:

 

........For example: just yesterday we took our dogs to the beach. I was using GPS and it literally told me to make a left turn into the ocean. It said to turn left, when it meant right. It upset me enough that I literally gave my phone the finger and cussed.

 

.....It is impossible for me to be perfect. And especially when others are judging what "fruits" you are showing or not showing to their liking.

 

Yeah, that's happened to me a few times too but since I usually have the big picture of my entire journey on my screen at one time, I usually know to turn right or left no matter what the phone says. I have the sound on primarily for the purpose of not missing turns when they come up. Although it can still be done, it's now hard for the GPS on the phone to trick me 🤡 when I have the full trip picture on screen.

 

If you decide to stick around this forum for awhile, there are other discussions here than religious proselytizing that you can join in on as long as one follows the topics of others. And we do have a club of imperfects here also, so in this way you might be less imperfect than myself, for instance, in our discussions :) since sometimes I use inappropriate words, even in my postings, sometimes saying "flock that " Other Christians sometimes join in here  by asking what they believe to be unanswerable science questions, making comments in the science vs religion forum, asking of other's beliefs, comments without religion, are other ways of joining in that you can find. 

                       cheers  my friend 🍺

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51 minutes ago, freshstart said:

@Fish, thank you for the thoughtful answer.

As for your questions, the problem is they are all based on the premise/belief that the Bible is true and authoritative.

 

Asking these questions is kind of like asking, "how can someone renounce Santa Claus?"

I think first you have to be willing and open-minded enough to explore the origins of the bible before you can try to interpret the meaning of its contents. I think you also have to be honest and ask yourself, what would it take to convince you that the bible is not what you believe it to be? If you are unable to answer that question, then you will never be able to get the answers you seek. Are you willing to read biblical experts who have come to a different conclusion than you?

 

When talking with Christians, I usually use the soft touch as I do with women when "seduction" is my goal for their own good :)  btw,  where upstate do you live. I visited Livingston Manor, which is about an hour north of Monticello, for a  couple of weeks -- if you know where Monticello is.

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54 minutes ago, pantheory said:

where upstate do you live

Monticello is catskills area, I think. I suppose it would be more accrate for me to say I live in "western NY." Anything north of NY city is sometimes referred to as "upstate," especially by those living in the city or Long Island.

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13 minutes ago, freshstart said:

Monticello is catskills area, I think. I suppose it would be more accrate for me to say I live in "western NY." Anything north of NY city is sometimes referred to as "upstate," especially by those living in the city or Long Island.

 

yeah, maybe I should have realized that upstate can also mean almost anywhere in NY north, westerly, and off Manhattan since I've heard the expression before   :)

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3 hours ago, Fish153 said:

Thank you Professor!

You're welcome (literally).  Stick around this time, okay?  

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15 hours ago, Fish153 said:

Walter--

Please remember, I am human. I get very angry with myself at times for being so impatient, or uncaring towards others. A Christian should display mercy, love, patience, understanding, kindness, etc.

 

But there are times when we don't. Those are usually the times you hear "and you call yourself a Christian!?" When you say you are a Christian you are held to a higher bar. You are not "allowed" to be unkind. The problem is we are ALL sinners, and we fail.

 

For example: just yesterday we took our dogs to the beach. I was using GPS and it literally told me to make a left turn into the ocean. It said to turn left, when it meant right. It upset me enough that I literally gave my phone the finger and cussed.

 

I immediately told my wife I was sorry as she looked at me with disgust. Within moments I was repentant and sorry for yielding to such feelings.

 

Does that mean I am not a Christian? That I am not forgiven? Does that mean that I show no "fruits" of Christianity in my life? Is one post made on this board the measuring rod for Grace in my life? I don't think so Walter. People can be very harsh in their replies. They can be very judgmental. Though I try to be as gracious as possible, there will be posts where frustration appears, or I am responding in the same way I have been addressed.

 

It is impossible for me to be perfect. And especially when others are judging what "fruits" you are showing or not showing to their liking.

 

You are still missing the point, Fish.

 

This is not about me in any way.  This is about what the bible says when it comes to how true Christians should live and behave.  I made that quite clear in an earlier post.

 

The NT sets down helpful markers and indicators of just how born again Christians should behave.

If they deviate from these indicators by displaying bad spiritual fruit, then they have failed the test.

A test not devised by us agnostics and atheists to trap them.

But a test whose conditions are plainly written down in the gospels and the epistles.

 

All I am doing is what the bible says should be done.  Jesus said it himself.  'By their fruits you will know them.'

 

If you think that I'm not allowed to use the bible to guide me because I'm an atheist, then please say so.

 

 

Walter.

 

 

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Walter---

So do you expect (per this "test" you are using) that Christians are to be "perfect" and NEVER display "bad fruit"? That is an impossibility. If you (or the one who created this "test") judge Christians by that "test" they will ALWAYS fail the "test" at some point. I could be gracious, kind, forgiving, loving , for 20 posts and then "blow it" by displaying frustration in the next post. According to your "test" I am therefore not a Christian. That is a hard test to pass. lol.

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Walter---

To put it more plainly. The New Testament speaks of "fruits". You are correct. But it also points out that all Christians "sin" also.

 

It says "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have no sin we make God a liar.."(1 John 1:9,10).

 

So does the NT teach that true Christians will ALWAYS display good fruits? No-- it does not. So the "test" you are using is not allowing for faults and failings-- something every Christian experiences.

 

If you are going to use the NT you need to use it "in context".  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Fish153 said:

Walter---

So do you expect (per this "test" you are using) that Christians are to be "perfect" and NEVER display "bad fruit"? That is an impossibility. If you (or the one who created this "test") judge Christians by that "test" they will ALWAYS fail the "test" at some point. I could be gracious, kind, forgiving, loving , for 20 posts and then "blow it" by displaying frustration in the next post. According to your "test" I am therefore not a Christian. That is a hard test to pass. lol.

 

You're still not following, Fish.

 

These are not my expectations.

 

These are the how the bible says truly born-again Christians will behave.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Fish153 said:

Walter---

To put it more plainly. The New Testament speaks of "fruits". You are correct. But it also points out that all Christians "sin" also.

 

It says "If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have no sin we make God a liar.."(1 John 1:9,10).

 

So does the NT teach that true Christians will ALWAYS display good fruits? No-- it does not. So the "test" you are using is not allowing for faults and failings-- something every Christian experiences.

 

If you are going to use the NT you need to use it "in context".  Thanks.

 

So what you seem to be saying Fish is that if the NT is read "in context" then Christians behave just like everyone else?

 

They cuss, they get angry, they hate, they get jealous, they envy others, they get drunk and they are selfish?

 

If that's so, then please explain what this passage means, especially the last sentence.

 

Galatian 5 : 19 - 21.

 

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 

20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 

21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. 

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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On 5/14/2022 at 12:42 PM, Fish153 said:

...

I don’t know but thought I would drop in to say I am still investigating every angle of deconversion....

One "angle" I suggest that you study is information, writers, speakers and sources that have little, if anything, to do with the Bible, the various Abrahamic religions or religions in general.

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Walter-- Yes-- Christians are like everyone else. They still HAVE a fleshly nature within them.

They have received a NEW nature, but it is always possible for them to fail and sin.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the other day I got angry and cussed at my GPS. I did it in a moment of frustration and weakness. My wife looked at me with disgust-- a look of "and you call yourself a Christian!!??"

 

I immediately apologized to her, and confessed to God I had "sinned". I asked Him to help me to "walk in the Spirit so I don't fulfill the desires of the flesh". I do not CONTINUOUSLY cuss in a habitual manner. I don't INTEND to do that. It happened and I repented of it. I DESIRE to change and the Spirit will help me to do that.

 

However, according to your "test" if someone observed me at that moment they would conclude I am not a Christian.

 

That is an unfair test. We are all human. The test should include repentance, a desire to change, confession of sin, etc. You cannot expect a Christian to ALWAYS be displaying "good fruits" non-stop, 24/7.

 

As much as they DESIRE to be walking in the Spirit at all times, we ALL have faults, and fail in many ways as the book of James states.

 

I really don't know what else to say Walter. Again, you have to read things in context.

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Sdelsolray—-

 

But deconversion has everything to do with the Bible doesn’t it? I know you no longer believe it, but you can’t study deconversion from Christianity without referring to the Bible or Abrahamic religions can you? I want to know how someone who used to believe the Bible now says it’s “make-believe”. I think that is the angle I’m looking at— but thanks for the suggestion.

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19 hours ago, Fish153 said:

Sdelsolray—-

 

But deconversion has everything to do with the Bible doesn’t it? I know you no longer believe it, but you can’t study deconversion from Christianity without referring to the Bible or Abrahamic religions can you? I want to know how someone who used to believe the Bible now says it’s “make-believe”. I think that is the angle I’m looking at— but thanks for the suggestion.

 

Hey again Fish153,


As you can understand, everyone here has a somewhat different story and explanation why they departed Christianity. As for me, I never went through a conversion process and never stopped going to church. After studying Christianity and other religions about age 12 onward, I finally came to a Eureka moment about age 16 when I said to myself that all religions were entirety BS. Ever since then I view Christian and all other religions as no different than Greek Mythology 

 

It wasn't just religion that I believed was totally BS,  but some accepted science theory also. After several years I was able to formulate different science theory, and slowed down going to church. I then went to no particular Christian church, but went to Christian and non-Christian churches and temples. I looked for those performing charitable works for others not necessarily in their faith, and not requiring anything, not even religious studies for their charity. As you may guess, there aren't many of them, because almost all believe that bringing someone to their faith is a very charitable undertaking for the person's own good.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Fish153 said:

Walter-- Yes-- Christians are like everyone else. They still HAVE a fleshly nature within them.

They have received a NEW nature, but it is always possible for them to fail and sin.

As I mentioned earlier, the other day I got angry and cussed at my GPS. I did it in a moment of frustration and weakness. My wife looked at me with disgust-- a look of "and you call yourself a Christian!!??"

I immediately apologized to her, and confessed to God I had "sinned". I asked Him to help me to "walk in the Spirit so I don't fulfill the desires of the flesh". I do not CONTINUOUSLY cuss in a habitual manner. I don't INTEND to do that. It happened and I repented of it. I DESIRE to change and the Spirit will help me to do that.

However, according to your "test" if someone observed me at that moment they would conclude I am not a Christian.

That is an unfair test. We are all human. The test should include repentance, a desire to change, confession of sin, etc. You cannot expect a Christian to ALWAYS be displaying "good fruits" non-stop, 24/7.

As much as they DESIRE to be walking in the Spirit at all times, we ALL have faults, and fail in many ways as the book of James states.

I really don't know what else to say Walter. Again, you have to read things in context.

 

Ok then Fish, let's give you the benefit of the doubt here.

 

If your behaviour as a Christian is indistinguishable from that of a non-Christian, where does that leave us?

 

You could be a deceitful non-Christian claiming to be a true Christian.

 

By your own definition, we cannot use your behaviour to tell the two apart.

 

Since a lying non-Christian can make exactly the same claims that you do, we are left guessing.

 

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walter--

A Christian should be displaying the fruits of the Spirit. And more so the more they mature in growth through the Holy Spirit.

 

It should not be "normal" for a Christian to be cussing habitually, or to show no patience or humility.

 

But the "test" you are putting forth fails terribly if one should happen to observe a Christian in a "moment"of anger and declare the person not to be a Christian due to this one occurrence.

 

Have you observed this person for a long period of time and seen them to be loving, kind, patient, humble, etc? Can you then make a full judgment upon them based on one moment of anger? Christians do not become super-human once they are born-again. They are sinners, filled with faults. They are saved by Grace, not their abilities.

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4 hours ago, Fish153 said:

..............Have you observed this person for a long period of time and seen them to be loving, kind, patient, humble, etc? Can you then make a full judgment upon them based on one moment of anger? Christians do not become super-human once they are born-again. They are sinners, filled with faults. They are saved by Grace, not their abilities.

 

You and Walter are both right about one thing, you can't judge a person by their outward appearance or behavior. Take me for example, I am kind, loving, compassionate, empathetic, friendly to all,  a good Samaritan, patient, I like most people and animals, am very charitable, almost a tree hugger, I love art and music, I don't eat meat, am not easily angered, am very stable and calm normally, but am not very often humble or meek as you can tell.  But with many Christian-like qualities and actions such as being very friendly to strangers, I am sometimes mistaken for a religious person concerning their comments to me. But I may be the most confirmed atheist that anyone could ever meet, even though I would never say that to someone I didn't know.

 

If Christ or God presented himself to me in person to explain things, I would first question whether he was the deity he claimed to be, Upon "proof" I would spend as mush time as he wanted, listen very carefully to him and take notes if possible, but afterwards I would go to a mental institution for evaluation -- and commit myself if needed.

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55 minutes ago, Fish153 said:

Walter--

A Christian should be displaying the fruits of the Spirit. And more so the more they mature in growth through the Holy Spirit.

 

It should not be "normal" for a Christian to be cussing habitually, or to show no patience or humility.

 

But the "test" you are putting forth fails terribly if one should happen to observe a Christian in a "moment"of anger and declare the person not to be a Christian due to this one occurrence.

 

Have you observed this person for a long period of time and seen them to be loving, kind, patient, humble, etc? Can you then make a full judgment upon them based on one moment of anger? Christians do not become super-human once they are born-again. They are sinners, filled with faults. They are saved by Grace, not their abilities.

 

You've neatly sidestepped the problem that I've outlined to you, Fish.

 

 

Because your behaviour is indistinguishable from a non-Christian, how do we know if you are genuine or not?

 

You could be a genuinely saved and reborn Christian.

 

Or you could be a deceitful non-Christian pretending to be a true Christian.

 

Both of you can make the same claims and since your behaviours are identical, we cannot tell you apart.

 

 

So how are we to know if you are a genuine Christian?

 

Please address this problem.

 

 

Walter.

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Walter--

Please see Pantheory's post above yours. As you can see he is an atheist. How do we know he is a "genuine" atheist? We couldn't judge him on his fruits-- if we did we might think he is actually a genuine Christian. He would display the "fruits" you are looking for in a Christian. He says he is very kind and gracious, and I believe he most likely is.

 

To determine if he is a genuine atheist I would need to hear what he believes. A genuine Christian is known by what they believe also. The Bible says that everyone who believes Jesus is the Son of God is born-again. The fruits are a RESULT of the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Therefore a genuine Christian believes Jesus is the Son of God (they believe Jesus is God)-- Jehovah's Witnesses believe Jesus is an angel and therefore they are not born again, or genuine Christians. They may be sincere, but they are sincerely wrong.

 

So a "genuine" Christian (according to the Bible) believes in a DEFINITE thing: Jesus is the Messiah, the very SON OF GOD. He is God in the flesh. And as you observe this person daily you begin to see "fruits" of compassion, kindness, forgiveness, etc. BUT you cannot determine a person is a genuine Christian ONLY by their fruits (as you want to do), because atheists can also display compassion, kindness, etc.-- just as many people do also.

 

You seem to be looking for a black or white answer. But as I mentioned you must read the Bible in "context".

If you want me to prove I am a genuine Christian by being 100% compassionate for 100 days in a row I can't do it.

 

But if I tell you that I believe Jesus is God, and died on a cross for me, and display fruits of kindness and love the majority of the time, then yes,I would say I am a genuine Christian.

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2 hours ago, Fish153 said:

 

To determine if he is a genuine atheist I would need to hear what he believes. A genuine Christian is known by what they believe also. The Bible says that everyone who believes Jesus is the Son of God is born-again. The fruits are a RESULT of the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

Yes, I have no beliefs in writings, religious, science or otherwise. I believe in some people I know, and in my own logic. I have studied many religions and believe them all to be no better than Greek mythology.

 

I think religion offers some good morals like the golden rule, the Good Samaritan, and some people who practice it, but I made a bet many decades ago, my immortal soul against a six pack, that all religions are BS -- knowing that neither devil nor angel would ever pay off the bet or debt and claim my so-called immortal soul  :)

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51 minutes ago, Fish153 said:

Jesus is the Son of God

 

That's not what it says, not in John. You have taken a misinterpretation of the bible and then claimed that your misinterpretation indicates what a "real christian" is. 

 

See 11:15 forward: 

 

 

It's never said that one man and one man alone, jesus, is THE son of god. So that can't be the criteria for what constitutes a "real christian."

 

What it says is that believing that jesus is "a son of god," which involves extending that belief to everyone else as well. Jesus is playing the role of a solar avatar hero who extends out to everyone as a figure symbolic of humanity, the human condition. 

 

Yeshua: 

 

Yud - "to create"

Heh - "to reveal"

Vav - "to secure"

Shin - "to consume / destroy"

Ayin - "to see, to know, to experience" 

 

"Real christians," when you look closely, went extinct at some point after an orthodox tradition took control and then went on to pervert what appears to be a completely different original message. And you are at this moment pandering to "false christians," and false christianity by default. 

 

I'll give you the benefit of assuming that you've done so in ignorance, not intentional malice. 

 

 

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