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Alright, I read through most of the discussion with Orbital, playaa, Word and others, and decided it would be best to simply type out some basic fundamentals of Christianity. The first and foremost thing everyone must grasp about Christians, is this. We don't all know what's going on. None of us have all the answers about Christianity. There are some things God has chosen to not reveal to us. As a Christian I've learned to simply live with that. He has given us what we need to know, what he chooses not to reveal, he does not require us to know to love him better. Second, any man or woman who tells you they know all the answers about Christianity, or that they know what God's up to, is lying to you. We have the Bible, it's God's word dictated to man. The books were selected by men inspired by God to be collected into one single work we call the Bible. There are countless translations of it, but the message is the same throughout. God created the heavens, the earth, and all the inhabitants of both. After walking (literally) with God for no-one-knows how long, man decided that he ought to be as wise as God and broke the trust and the friendship he had with God.

Let me take a few minutes to explain using simply human logic why I believe there is a God and why we can't get to him. This is taken from a book I highly recommend by C.S. Lewis called Mere Christianity. When Lewis began to look into this, he was an athiest. He believed man was the ultimate being, that there was no spiritual realm. He set off to disprove God using human intellect. The answers he received convinced him of God's exsistence. Simply as a matter of interest, Lewis was the most popular lecturer at Cambridge University in England for many years. He taught Renassance Literature.

 

Everyone has at one time said the words "That's not fair," or "I should get that seat, I was here first!" Or perhaps, "Come on now, I gave you some of mine, you ought to give me some of yours." Children and adults alike say these kinds of things every day. Think now about what you are saying when you say "that's not fair!" The speaker is appealing to a kind of standard which he expects the other man to know about and live by. It is not simply saying, "I don't like your behaviour" but it points to some knowledge they both have of a rule. The other of them very seldom says "to hell with your standard, I'm gonna do this anyway!" Instead he tries to make some excuse for what he's been doing, or pretends there is a special reason he must sit there. In all if you listen to this kind of a conversation you get the idea that both parties have a clear idea of a Law that they both live by. This Law is refered to by some as the Law of Human Nature. It does not have to be taught. Even a young child has a sense of right and wrong. It's rather amusing to watch some children, you can tell they know what to do, and what not to do, and they sit there thinking about it. They look up at you, then look around, and you stand there waiting to see what the child will do. This Law of Human Nature is found in all races and countries. Some will say races are very different in morals. This is not true. Imagine what a civilization would be like if it was truely different. A civilization where running away in battle was admired, or where a man could be proud of double-crossing the people who loved him most, where murdering your family while they slept was honourable. Man may differ on opinions when it comes to how many wives you should have, yet not many will say you ought to just go around taking whatever woman suits your fancy. Selfishness has never been something to be proud of in any civilization, though many differ on who you should be un-selfish toward, your family, your friends and family, the poor, everyone, yet no one will say selfishness is a good thing.

 

I've got to run to supper, so I'll continue later. For now, think on this: Find a man who says he does not believe in right or wrong, and talk to him for awhile. That same man will soon say something like "That's not fair." Then ask him what fairness is.

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Saying this in defense of Playaa, Word and I, it seems as if you had NOT read all our posts. This is not the first time, someone has gotten irratated with the Questions and Answers of that post. You completely got off any course, and just blatantly went and made a post. I was the ONLY one asking questions, or most of them, sorry if I haven't acounted for anyone. Just stick to the post we have already made, it makes no sense to go out and just repeat what other people have said. I do not understand this post, and I dont' think you even read ourst. No one asked for the complete basis of Christianity through YOUR eyes, I asked for different views, by different Christians, only to understand their views, yet you come and do the exact opposite of what you have said, yOU are TELLING us, the basic rules of Christianity. WHy have you done this? A waste of time in my eyes.

I wanted to ask some questions to better understand, just as I know a lot of other people want to, you are just telling us that you are right, and we are wrong. I am sorry if I sound a little irratated, but why couldnt' you have stuck to the prior post?

 

It was a Question and Answer, it was MY questions, I am sorry, if other people wanted to take part fine, but I just wanted some clarification and understanding on my terms, and I am so happy that many people are willing to share with me their views on life, and that I am gracious for, but this is un-necessary of a post. If you have your view points, post them in the previous topic that Playaa and Word and others have so greatly taken part in. This makes no sense, this topic. You are just telling everyone your views and that everyone else is wrong.

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You're coming at Christianity wrong Orbital. What's the good of asking questions about people turning to salt, or water being made into wine? They do not tell you ANYTHING about Christianity. They are simply historical facts. You want to know what Christianity is, read some of the Bible. Christianity is not useless speculation about little events. Christianity is a relationship with a God who made us, loves us, wants to be our friend, and ultimately wants us to come live with him. i will tell you about Christianity, but I won't spend time answering random quesitons until you understand the basis of it. Otherwise I waste both our time. Questions will always lead to more questions unless there is a solid foundation of knowledge of what you are asking about.

 

and for the record, i wasn't irritated until now

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Those were my basic points, I do not SOME things about Christanity. I suppose maybe it's not completely the right way to go, but it's MY way, how can you tell me what's right or wrong? These good folk are spending their precoius time helping me learn more about their way of life, and they are willing to spend time explaing the things I want to know. What says you it's wrong? I do respect your views on that I should learn a foundation, but I have spent a lot of my time questioning religion, and I have asked around. I do not the very basics of Christianity, but the posts and reactions they put lead to more discussions. So, please do not tell me I am wrong. This is my way of handling it,and it's not harming anyone else.

 

As the Bible says, NO man is righetous, so I don't think you go against that rule. But you sure don't act this way.

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I hopefully established that there is such a thing as Right and Wrong. Now I venture to say that every one of us has done wrong, even today. Not one of us has every day in our lives conducted ourselves in the manner we expect others to conduct themselves. You would never have agreed to repay that favour if you had known how busy you were going to be. You had to pocket those breathmints because you were so hard up for cash. And so on, and so forth. As I'm telling you this now strings of excuses for all your mis-behaving are running through your mind. Proof that you believe in a Law of Human Nature.

 

I'm not going to take the time to explain why I believe God created the universe, but will simply say this. If the universe was created, one cannot find the creator by studying the universe, for the creator is above the facts of the universe because he created them. Look to the universe and the contents of it to see God's handiwork, however you will not find God in the universe. He is above it and through it, but no scientific study will find him.

 

So we have two things that may teach us about this God. One is the universe he created, a truely beautiful place, but no friend to man, save this one planet. The second is the Moral Law we find in our heads. A look at this shows us a God who values right conduct, selflessness, courage, fair play and honesty. We also may notice that the Law is particularly hard on the one keeping it. A God who operates on this Law will have no pity for the one who breaks it, no matter how hard or how painful it is. Think of the multiplication table. There would be no sense in asking the multiplication table to let you off this once because you were distracted and didn't get the sum correctly. A God who operates on a Moral Law will be no less forgiving. That's a harsh God and one I doubt you want to meet. For none of us measure up to his Law, and if he's not going to let us off the hook, than we're lost. However, if he were to make exceptions, than he would be soft, and not even worth following. What is the good of a Law if no one has to keep it? So God must be absolutly good. If the universe is not governed by absolute goodness, than we have been misled all our lives. If anyone tells you they would like to come face to face with the God who is wholly goodness, he is an idiot.

 

Now, we can get to Christianity. For Christianity does not make sense until you realize that you have no hope of getting to heaven on your own. Once you realize that God is totally good, and you are not (making you bad) and you realize that pure goodness can have no contact with the impure, then you can recognize your predicament. Orbital said he thought Christianity was a forgiving religion. What is the need to forgive if you have done nothing wrong? If there is no ultimate Law, than none of us need ask for forgivness for anything. However, if pure Good stands in our path somewhere along the way, forgiveness will suddenly become very important to us.

 

There are different views of God. Only one of them can be right. Some are more right than others. But one thing I've learned and stick to above all else, God does not change based on what we think of him. A god that acted however we think he should act is no god at all, but instead a puppet sewn in our heads to make us feel good. Another think we cannot have is a simple religion. The world is not simple, though it may look it, therefore God and our relationship with him cannot be simple. A table may look simple, but a scientist will tell you about all the atoms and molecules inside the wood and metal, and will boggle your mind with facts about that "simple" table. However, those that would say Christianity is too difficult would not be content with the beliefs of a six year old child about God in heaven and the devil down below, simple though they may be. Christianity is not neat either. One would guess the creator of the planets would make them all even distances around the sun and away from each other, yet they are set in odd patterns, and a slight error in their distances would incinerate or freeze each of them. There is no order to the universe, yet if Christianity where invented by a man one would expect it to have order.

 

One question was "who is the devil and how did he get here?" God, we established, is purely Good. One would naturally think the devil is purly bad. However, this is not so. Even the devil is dependent on God to be who he is. Therefore he is under God and ultimately subject to God. There is no such thing as being bad for badness's sake. Nothing is purely bad. A bad man, say a cruel man, is simply one who twists good things to use for himself. Greed is considered bad, yet money, or the desire for it, is good in itself. Greed is the excess of a good thing, it takes a good thing and makes it a god, and foregoes all else to get that one thing. The devil, when created had a choice of right or wrong, and chose to rebel against the right. God did not create evil. Evil is good, twisted around and miss-used. How did God let the devil disobey his will? God's will made it possible for the devil, and for every one of us, to disobey his will. It's similar to a teacher that tells students she would like them to study while she runs to the office. Her will is that the students study while she's gone, yet by not being there she's giving them the option of going against her will and doing something else.

 

Why would God make us out of stuff so bad that we could go wrong so easily? Yet to think that way is all wrong, for the better stuff a creature is made out of, the more stronger and freer it is, the better it will be when it goes right, and also the more damage it will do if it goes wrong.

 

How did the devil go wrong? No one but God can tell that. Yet the strongest guess ventured yet is this. Once a creature has a self, and a will of it's own, there is the possibility of that creature putting itself first. Man is eternally against God because the original man decided he wanted to "be like gods" as Genesis put it. Man wanted to be masters of their own destinies, and find a way to make themselves happy outside of God. Thus we have human history: war, poverty, prostitution, ambition, classes, empires, slavery - all futile attempts at finding something to make man happy.

 

Why can't man make himself happy? God invented us. It's like a mechanic invents an engine. That engine must have fuel to run. More precisely, gasoline. Nothing else will power that engine. God is the fuel for the human machine. He is the only thing that will make us work properly. Think back on history, civilizations are founded, terrific energy is expended, institutions devised, yet every time cruel or corrupt people rise to the top and the machine conks.

 

What did God do that worked? He left us a desire to do right. He left us stories scattered throughout all religions and people about a god that dies and comes back to life and somehow through that gave live to men. And he spent centuries hammering into one people what kind of God he was and what he wanted out of his people. Those people are the Jews. Then one day a Jew begins walking around claiming to be God. In a religion like Hinduism it is no big thing to claim to be one with god, or a part of god, or in god. This man, however, was not a Hindu, and was clearly saying he WAS God. In the language he used, God meant a being outside of the world who had made it and was infinately different from it. Understand that and you will realize it is the most shocking, outlandish thing ever uttered by human lips in all history.

 

Jesus said he forgave sins. If I had stepped on your toe, Jesus forgives me for stepping on your toe. Yet he never asked you what you thought of it, your toe is still hurting, but Jesus acts as though he is the one who's toes were stepped on. Unless he really is God, this is so perposterous as to be hilarious. The only way this makes sense is if He is the God who's laws have been broken and whos love is wounded in every sin. Yet even the enemies of God will not read his words and laugh at them. The reader who has no idea who Jesus is, will not find them funny when he reads the words Jesus said. Therefore, anyone who says Jesus was a good teacher, or a moral man, is making a very comic statement. What moral teacher would claim something so hilarous as to say he could forgive your neighbor for letting the dog dump on your lawn without asking you about it.

 

 

 

This is something I've wanted to say for awhile. It's not directed only at Orbital, though he's the one who's been asking quesitons. I hope I've helped.

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I'm actually not sure why Crowbar made this topic either, but all I can see is that it is annoying Orbital, which in turn annoys Crowbar......so the only thing this post is going to do is anger some ppl......so it's probably pointless...

crow, I'm glad you'd like to share you views, but it would be cool if you stayed with us on it.....

and Orbital, I'm not sure why this post annoyed you so much, but I think crow was just trying to put his 2 cents in.....

 

so let's all hug and go blow some things up...

k?

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Guest [Rangers] Word
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Now I'm jealous, how did you get your whole post to fit? My computer crashed every time I tried to post mine so I had to do it in 5 posts.

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Why can't man make himself happy?  God invented us.  It's like a mechanic invents an engine.  That engine must have fuel to run.   More precisely, gasoline.  Nothing else will power that engine.  God is the fuel for the human machine.  He is the only thing that will make us work properly.  Think back on history, civilizations are founded, terrific energy is expended, institutions devised, yet every time cruel or corrupt people rise to the top and the machine conks.

Heheh. Need I remind you that gasoline and all combustion engines are hopelessly outdated? But the people that benefit from them are deeply entrenched and don't care too much for change. And gasoline is a mixture of several hydrocarbons. Far from a pure substance.

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So it ain't a perfect example, but there are not many of those lying around. The perfect example is the human heart and soul itself. Aside from God tell me one thing that makes a person truly filled with joy? Everything has been tried, and all things have fallen short of making man happy.

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Christianity is a relationship with a God who made us, loves us, wants to be our friend, and ultimately wants us to come live with him.

what about serial killers and child molsters and the people who flew into the world trade center??? does he want them to come live with him?? i wouldnt want to go "live" with a god that wants people like to live with him

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obviously he wouldnt want those people in his kingdom. he still loves them though. its a tough thing to understand. and in heaven, you dont live with eachother as we think of it. th efocus in heaven is god, not the people in it. anyway, he doesnt want those serial killers an whatnot in heaven, if however, they are sittin in their cell and realize, i was so wrong, and they burst into tears and are SINCERELY sorry for what they have done, and they plead to god to come into their hearts and let jesus rule what is left of their life.. THAT is the person god wants. the new person, not the one that committed those acts. its a tough thing to understand cause we dont think that way. but.. its god's way.

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i wouldnt want to go "live" with a god that wants people like to live with him

you need to see people as god sees them in order to understand the love that christians, myself, have for ALL people. i dont care what you have done, if you are still a human and still alive, i will love you. but, we are not capable of that kind of love, at least giving it. well, a few people like mother teresa maybe, but i know im not. personally, id say let those people rot in hell. but god wants them to come to him and be saved. he loves them like he loves you and me, and we will never understand until we ask him in heaven. thats the basis of christianity, is the undying love that god has for us, his creations.

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whew....tired of talkin religion...I had a pretty good idea what i believed in before and after reading thousands of post here, it just made it stronger...

Noone is gonna change their views, if you have any questions go back and do some reading

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That link isn't really describing anything or making a case against Christianity. It's summarizing the feelings of one man on the work of another man without showing any proof. It says that Michael Martin proved that Christianity was wrong without actually showing or even stating why or how he proved it. The only point he really made was that he was an atheist, which he actually did prove with some clarity, but beyond that his discussion was just speculation on another atheist's work.

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Guest [Rangers] Word
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Not you Watchtower, I was talking about the author of the article being an atheist. Sorry I didn't specify.

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what about serial killers and child molsters and the people who flew into the world trade center???  does he want them to come live with him?? i wouldnt want to go "live" with a god that wants people like to live with him

Love the sinner hate the sin.

 

A simple sentence a complex idea. That's the answer. Ponder it and you'll eventually see the truth of it.

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Isn't it a basic thing in Christianity that a Christian must believe Jesus died for their sins? This CHRISTianity?

 

Crowbar, that was an eloquent post but not exactly laying the foundation of Christianity but of that of human religion.

 

The bible is read by many. Many interpret it their own way. But the basis of Christianity is the one thing mentioned above.

 

Am I a Christian? Not if I don't believe Jesus died for my sins is what most Christians tell me (personal experience). They also tell me I'll go to hell for it (personal experience). Then they'll lift their noses at me as if they were better (personal experience).

 

I love god. I know he/she exists. I know right from wrong. I read the bible and interpret it my own way from time to time. I love my fellow neighbors. I follow the 10 commandments to the best of my ability. I don't go to Church. What am I?

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I'm not quiet sure the part about Personal Experience with people saying you have to believe Christ died for your sins and then telling you you'll go to hell for it...kinda got lost..

 

But if you truly accept Christ as your personal savior then yes you are a christian..if not then you are a good man with a "planted seed" that will hopefully take root.

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