Ok guys, here are my two main posts from Jenn's discussion, please repost at minimum your latest reply to me when you join...Thanks!

 

Post #1:

 

Hi Jenn,

 

Congratulations to you and your husband!

 

I am new to this thread and I admit that I did not read all of the comments up to this point, but if it is not too late, I would like to encourage you in you rrelationship with Rachel.

 

First, a little bit about me:  I grew up in the south and the traditional church and rejected Christianity around the age of 12.  I spent the next ~ 10 years pursuing Atheism in the sense of being a LaVeyan Satanist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanism#LaVeyan_Satanism (as are many Athiests whether they know it or not) until I was almost 22.  I was completely anti-christ and anti-religion. I sold drugs and threw parties...among other things.  After wandering through spiritual darkness for many years I had come to realize that I was in a place Jesus called Hell.  I made some spiritual decisions and decided that I was rejecting Christianity even though I knew so much about it having grown up in it, but there was something I felt like I was missing.  Something I did not understand and to me, the highest form of ignorance is rejecting that which I do not understand.  I decided to submit myself to the teachings of Jesus Christ and that is what I did.  I came to realize that what He teaches is so far from what the church as a whole teaches.  Over the last 8 years since I gave my life to the mystery of the Christ within us and found my place as a Son of the Most High God, who is simply Life and Love.  Now, I am a registered nurse and will be a doctor in less than two years :)  In the last 8 years of studying scripture, seeking wisdom, and serving and loving people through the anointing (literally: the Christ) in me, I have come to learn many things.  A few of those things, I would like to share because I think they might help.

 

1) The teachings of the church and many of the dogmatic doctrinal ideas of most Christians are not what Jesus taught.  They are fueled by the demonic spirit called Religion and they keep our Father's children from truly entering into a relationship with Him.  Jesus taught us simply 1) to love God (God = Love, Love= God, God = Life, Life = God, etc)  and 2) to love others as we love ourself.  He commands us to heal people, to feed people and to simply serve others in selfless love.  He DOES NOT command us to build his church or to convince others to become Christians.  He does tell us to spead the word of the Kingdom of heaven which He says twice in scripture is a spiritual place here among us right now.  This means to let people know that they are truly all children of the Most High God, children of Life and children of Love.  We are commanded to tell them that they can, in fact, have a personal relationship with the force of Life that permeates the entire universe.  I say this all to point out that your friend Rachel is probably sick of religion as are many people.  This is key to understand.  Jesus tried to minister to the "Christians" of His day...they were called the Pharisees.  He soon came to turn the focus His ministry on the "Atheists" of the day...the Gentiles.  My point is that Jesus didn't push religion...he didn't even like religion...He pushed Love and Freedom and Service and Healing etc, etc...

 

2) I have been in ministry (service) for the last 8 years and I can tell you that it was a while before I came to realize that, although I know many awesome christian brothers and sisters that really do love me, I have many people in my life that are atheists, wiccans, hindus, etc that have loved me regardless of my life path and have always been there for me.  These are my true family.  I share this to point out that it is your love for Rachel and your acceptance of her no matter what and this attitude is what is going to win her and keep her as your close friend in this situation.  You well know that the manifestation of the Spirit of God in and through you will reveal itself as love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, self-control in your relationship with her.  This is what we are called to sister...not religious ideas and dogmas.  To point, would any of those (love, joy, peace, etc) push Rachel away if you expressed them to her? No.  Would religious ideas about Jesus?  Yes. The religion would, but the true Spirit of Christ will not push away or destroy relationships...even more evidence that religion is not what Jesus is about for He would never push any away from Himself.   With that said, my friends know that I love our Father and have found my path via the teachings of Christ and I do have opportunities to talk about those teachings on rare occasions, but only when they bring it up.  The church tells us that we have to beat people up with evangelism, but I am here to tell you to NOT feel guilty for not pushing Jesus (the religious Jesus) on her.  I have come to understand that for me to say I have to "convince" someone to become a Christian, is to say that I do not have any confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit to do His job.  It is the presence of the a pure Spirit of Love in one's life that brings them to repentance, not clever arguments and convincing.  Loving her is more powerful than any sort of convincing that your words could ever do...this is the presence of the Spirit within you operating in her life.  (I do understand that you will miss the fellowship with her and that is expected, but do not give up hope and control yourself when the urge comes to discuss Jesus-stuff with her.  I actually, have learned many ways to talk about spiritual things with those that despise Jesus including words that are non-offensive etc.  It is nice to be able to have an entire conversation about Jesus and important spiritual things without saying "Jesus" or other trigger words.  If you are interested and think it might be useful to you, I would be happy to share some of that with you :)

 

3) I want to briefly address the Hell issue.  I don't know about heaven or hell after this life and I am sure you have your own ideas.  However, I want to encourage you to not concern yourself with whether or not Rachel will go to hell when she dies, but rather be concerned that she may find it here on Earth before then.  Continue to be a source of grace and mercy and unrelenting love to her and your light in her life will be a constant beacon if she should begin to find herself traversing into the deeper layers of the underworld.  I have seen the depths of hell...maybe even as deep as Tartaros and I can say that the only way I found my way into the kingdom, into complete freedom, was because I had faithful people in my life daily praying for me and loving me regardless.  Pray constantly and faithfully.  

 

4) I did see at the beginning of this thread where you said that you had many Christians telling you that to continuing a relationship with her would mean being "unevenly yoked".  I bet you have also heard the one about "what fellowship can light have with darkness?" or something to that effect.  Let me tell you now that those people, while having good intentions, are wrong, IMO.  The pharisees only hung out with other pharisees and religious christians hang out with other christians.  Jesus tried to hang out with the "religious christians" of His day and soon got sick of it.  So, He decided to hang out with the godless and the druggies and the crazies and the rejects, etc, etc.  He loved those that were free from religion and offered love and acceptance to those among them who could find it no where else.  By pursuing her, you are following the example of Christ more than most Christians are and will begin to see Him in places and understand His love in ways that most Christians will never know.  So, you keep it up and don't listen to that demonic religious spirit that will try to convince you through others (many of whom you trust and probably have the deepest respect for) to leave her alone.   (As an aside, I would love to hear of any other arguments "christians" may try to throw at you in an attempt to get you to abandon her...)  

 

Well, I could ramble on and on as I am rather long-winded, but that addresses most of the main points that I wanted to touch on.  Forgive me for the deepness in some areas and some of the spiritual ambiguity in others.  I was hesitant about posting such an openly christian response in this forum...thought about sending it privately instead, but I guess the response shall be interesting if nothing else.  I am looking forward to hearing how things go and will pray that you and Rachel may both continue to find freedom from religion while at the same time, growing and strengthening your relationship with the Father of all of creation, whose Son is Jesus Christ and whose children are Rachel and Jenn (among others as well ;)  

 

Post #2:

 

Hi Samuel,

I am not sure how it is you can suppose to know me well enough to attack me so based on a single post of mine. I will briefly address your concerns, however, if you would like to continue this discussion, maybe you could start a new thread so as to not clog up thread with unrelated conversation.


1) "you're religious, wrong and turning the so called bible upside down, you're sure that gentiles were atheists!" - Ummm...yes, I am sure. The word "Gentile" is derived from the latin word "gens" originally meaning "clan or family". It is translated in the English Bible from the Hebrew texts as "Gentile, heathen, nation or people" from the Hebrew word "goy" and from the Greek texts of the New Testament usually as "Gentile, heathen, nation or people" from the Greek word "ethnos". The usage of the word "Gentile" in the greek and hebrew texts refers to people who are non-Jews and typically carries the connotation of a broad sense of the all of the people of the time who did not believe in the God of the Jews (i.e. - non-Jews). There are specific scriptures that carry the particular connotation of a person who is god-less (ie - an Atheist: from "-theist) meaning one who believes in a god and the prefix "A-" negating the following suffix) and likens these "atheist" as Gentiles. It's ok if you didn't know this. One really has to study this stuff for oneself to really pick up on these sorts of things.

2) "Atheism is not satanism" You are correct in that Atheis is not satanism. I never said it was. I understand how someone reading quickly through my post might have misinterpretted this idea. What I said was that many Atheist cleanly fit the criteria for LeVeyan Satanism. Have you read the Satanic Bible written by Anton LaVey? There are many shades of Satanism and there are many Atheists who do not fit anywhere within the a-theistic ideas conveyed by LeVey, but there are many who do...I was one of them. www.religioustolerance.org explains LaVeyan Satanism as a "small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges responsibly, exhibit kindness to their friends, and attack their enemies." Read the Satanic Bible...you can find a free copy here: www.thesatanicbiblefree.com "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

3) "and I was called antichrist but I didn't have anything to do with the devil" I am sorry you were called anti-christ. One can be against (anti-) Christ and not be Satanic or have anything to do with the devil. I believe you. There are many names for spirits that are against Christ...one is Satan, which literally defined, means "the false accuser" Have you ever been accused falsely? If so, then you experienced a Satanic spirit operating through whoever was falsely accusing you. I have encountered him on more than one occasion...even recently I might add :)

4) "and you must have a ton of latent guilt from religion because you're so called wild demonic trip is having fun maybe too much which is constrained by religion and you went to what you know as repenting." I see how you might assume these things, though I can assure you that I am completely free from all guilt. I have been forgiven for everyone I have hurt and every offense I have ever committed. In fact, I have found a place where I live under a pouring rain of perpetual or constant forgiveness. In staying in this place, it allows me to immediately forgive others when they offend or hurt me :) Proof = The fact that I forgive you because your response to my attempt to encourage Jenn was a little hurtful but it is ok, I still love you and would do anything for you and I don't even know you :)


5) "Prove to me you know squat about you're old atheistic ways and state great points that turned you into an atheist." If you would like further proof, please start a new thread and we can discuss it as much as you like. It might be good to give the others who will assuredly attack me a ready avenue to do so without clogging Jenn's thread. Looking forward to talking with you more :)

 

 

 

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It's less confusing than you think.

 

The First Church of Atheism was born out of necessity. Created by Paul and Jacki McMaster, the FCA is the first society of its kind. Dedicated solely to ordaining atheists so that they too may perform ceremonies previously performed by religious men.

 

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/index.php/about/

Ok, so I read your profile page and to be quite honest, I am embarrassed to know that you are from my state. I am also concerned about what exactly led you to hold such a strong opinion against atheists. From your profile: 

 

"Atheism, to me, is more about pushing personal hate-filled agendas towards Christianity in some sort-of rebellious stance against the church. This usually stems from some personal insult incurred on some past experience with a "Christian" or the christian "church". For me, atheism was all about me and I just could not live so selfishly anymore. I realize this is not everyone's experience but it was mine"

 

I must ask, what was your past experience? I had no such experience and it was not due emotional reasons that I rejected Christianity. In fact, I love my former church. I had a lot of GREAT experiences there. (my daughter has attended several of their events-not any of their services though) But those great experiences do not change the fact that it is all make believe. I rejected Christianity in the same way I rejected Islam, Judaism, Taoism, Hinduism... History (not the Bible's mock form) is a wonderful thing. 

 

One other thing, I am not (and have never been) a hate-filled person nor have I ever pushed a hate-filled agenda. I encourage you to study humanism. It is the main philosophy behind many atheists, not satanism. I understand that some atheists may come across as "hateful" or overly aggressive. We refer to those as anti-theists. There is a difference. 

 

I truly believe that you did not understand atheism when you were in your teens and now, you have a misconstrued perception clouded by your delusional beliefs. 

Well, hopefully...you won't be embarrassed for too long :)  

 

I actually wrote that in a hurry and I need to go back and completely change it.  I know it sounds like I am saying all atheists, but like i said in my response to you above, I know it is not all atheists, it just was that to me and the atheists i knew at the time.  I have come to learn that my experience does not reflect the majority and that is why i have come here...to learn.

 

I hope i answered your question about my past experience above, but if not I can go into more detail.  Why do you say that it is all make believe?  How have you come to reject the historical accuracy of the accounts in the bible?  

 

I never knew that there was such a thing as an anti-theist.  I just considered that form of atheism to be the general form of atheism.  I guess that is like saying that all christians or even the majority of them are the bible thumping, fire breathing, hell fire brimstone ones.  Thank you for clarifying that.  I guess that is what I was...an anti-theist and not a humanist.  :)

 

Not sure I can flow with the delusional beliefs, but I agree that my perspective was not complete as a teen.  

 

So, what is humanistic atheism to you and how does that look in your life on a daily basis?

the quick answer Chris...

 


Humanism is a philosophy which in most cases embraces Agnosticism or Atheistic belief about the non-existence of a deity. But it goes further to create moral and ethical systems based upon reason and logic. It regards humanity as the measure of all things. Humanists emphasize a belief in the importance of doing good in society.
Thank you James, I have read up on humanism a little bit, so I get the gist of it, I am interested in hearing from people and what this looks like on a practical day to day basis in the life of the humanist.  I am sure accounts will vary but this is what is going to give me the best understanding of what it means to people.

Ok, I’m going to try to organize my responses in one post in order to put the 2 above together.  Let’s clarify some things, please. You have stated several times that Satanism can be a form of atheism and I took a glance at the webpage you recommended.  The first paragraph of the website is proof that this particular branch of religion is theistic. (Theistic- meaning to believe in a higher power)

 

“Anton LaVey's message was that we should embrace our carnal nature as humans instead of turning our back on it because it is considered sinful. His writing of The Satanic Bible was him saying he'd had enough of conformity and was a Slap in the Face to the hypocritical Christians.”

 

First, the word “sin” is a Christian term.  According to the theology, sin is inherited through our ancestors and is the main reasoning behind Jesus’ death. Sin can be anything from premarital sex, homosexuality, child molestation, lying, eating too much, drinking too much, ect ect ect. . As an atheist, I do not believe in the concept of sin. I do believe in morality and ethics which exist because of our innate nature and was not given to us through the Bible. (Though, that is a totally different discussion on its own)..I digress. The whole point is, if you believe in a higher power, some sort of supernatural force of any kind, you are not an atheist. Period.

“So, as you can see, I didn't worship Satan of the Bible, I essentially worshipped material things and ultimately myself”

Then, you were not a Satanist but a materialist and an egotistical person (which sounds right of a 15 year old boy) and it may or may not have anything to do with religion.

One more thing to make clear, atheism is not a religion just as not collecting stamps is a collection. Think about it this way, atheism and theism as at the top with little branches coming out of each one. On the theism side, you have all the polytheistic and monotheistic gods/religions ever to be known by man. On the atheist side, there are philosophies like humanism. Some may say that humanism (and others) could be seen as religion though I would beg to differ that as well. Point: Atheism is not a religion-Theism is not a religion.

 

Please, list some of the historically accurate details of the Bible.

 

I say that it’s all make believe because it is. When our ancestors become aware of their existence, they started asking questions. Why does it rain? Why does that bright yellow thing only show up half the day? Why is the earth shaking underneath my feet? Who’s doing that? With that, our species went from formulating simple ideas to more complex ones. Man created the gods and all of their stories. (Btw, we now have the answers to all of those questions..Did you know in the day of Jesus they thought that the Heavens rested in the sky and that Earth was the center of the universe? Why didn’t Yahweh (when he was making his appearances) say “Oh yeah, and uh..by the way..the Earth isn’t the center of the universe and neither is the Sun. Yeah, while you guys were making sacrifices for me, I was busy building billions and billions of other planets.”)

 

Humanism, to me, is doing good for the sake of doing good. I do good things, not in fear of punishment or for the promise of eternal happiness, but because I want to make an impact on humanity during my short lifetime. There is no selfish reasoning behind it. I don’t want my name to be famous or my face remembered. If I can help someone survive another day, that’s good enough for me. This is mainly my reasoning behind going into the psychology field (still a student). There’s a lot of information out there on the internet and in books about humanism.

Never stop learning.

 

 

 

well stated scarlette!!

Actually, go back and read that quote from the site again.  It simply says that this branch of Satanism simply is to the "satanist" the idea that I am going to live my life embracing my carnality and not being ashamed of it.  So, are you saying that if someone believes that there is a spiritual realm or something to that effect but does not believe in god then they can't be an atheist?  There must be atheists out there who believe in such things and are genuine in their atheism.

 

My understanding of "sin" is a little different from your own.  The greek word literally means, "to miss the mark".  I understand that there is actually nothing that we can do that is sin, but rather, sin is failing to do the very one thing that we must.  I know this is different from most peoples understanding, but after a lot of study and exploration I am pretty confident in my understanding of that.  we can discuss it more if you want but if not then thats ok too.

 

My definition of religion comes from here:

 

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/religion

 

As you can see, number 4 "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith".  From what I understand up to this point, atheism fits this criteria, thus I feel the freedom to call it a religion.  I actually adressed this in a little more detail in my reply to user: Apple on the previous page.  So, instead of duplicating that discussion, let us take this up there :)

 

Historically accurate details of the bible?  I can link you to some credible places.  There are a lot of sources and many intelligent people who have dedicated there lives to proving or disproving that simple fact via science and as a scientist, I am convinced as to the historical accuracy of a lot of the ancient texts.  There is probably even a history channel documentary on this the would be credible and even fun to watch.  Actually, check out this 9 part series that they did: 

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2A12pmt0NY  

 

it's scope is broader than texts but it does include some of them.  

Here is one more scriptual related: 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO15z8Jv0_I

 

Anyways, I could spend days regurgitating historical accounts, but if those two links wont do for you for starters, then let me know and I will get you some good reading material that is more credible than just my word for it.  Oh, and non-religious too.  I personally, hate stuff like that that is obviously biased.  You have to make sure you find scientific sources that are free from bias and give you all sides of the picture.  I am sure you agree :)

 

 Actually, there is a lot of "modern" scientific discoveries that are mentioned in the bible.  I hate to link you to a christian site but this one does have some good references to some really interesting scriptures if you really are interested:

http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/scientificfactsintheBibl...

 

It sounds like your view on humanism and life is very much the same on my view on life :)  I feel the same way about all of this that you said, "...to me, is doing good for the sake of doing good. I do good things, not in fear of punishment or for the promise of eternal happiness, but because I want to make an impact on humanity during my short lifetime. There is no selfish reasoning behind it. I don’t want my name to be famous or my face remembered. If I can help someone survive another day, that’s good enough for me. This is mainly my reasoning behind going into the..." but for me it is the medical field.  So see, we actually are very much the same in the practical day to day aspects it seems.  :)  

 

Looking forward to your response!

 

 

“ So, are you saying that if someone believes that there is a spiritual realm or something to that effect but does not believe in god then they can't be an atheist?  There must be atheists out there who believe in such things and are genuine in their atheism.”

 

To my knowledge, I do not know any atheist who believes in a supernatural realm. Most (if not all) atheists base their opinions on evidence and reality. To this day, there has never been any credible evidence that points to some sort of supernatural dimension. I’m sure the majority of people on the site will agree with me on this point.

 

“I understand that there is actually nothing that we can do that is sin, but rather, sin is failing to do the very one thing that we must. “

 

You’re opinion is very different than that of mainstream Christianity. From the way I understand it, sin is an action. It is an action that defies the will of god. I must ask, what is the one thing we must do in order not to sin?

 

I feel as if you skipped over what I had to say about atheism not being a religion. I believe I explained it in the simplest terms. However, since you said you are open minded and with that brings the ability to change one’s opinion, I will try again.

Religion: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

Ardor: Passion

Faith: believing in something where there is no proof; firm belief and loyalty toward god.

 

Atheism and theism hold no belief systems or principles other than you believe in god or you don’t. It is the philosophies underneath which can be named religions. Atheism also required no faith. Now, from here, you may say “well, atheists don’t have proof of god either!” And to that I say to look into who has the burden of the proof in this situation. Either way, atheism and theism=not a religion.

 

“Actually, there is a lot of "modern" scientific discoveries that are mentioned in the bible.  I hate to link you to a christian site but this one does have some good references to some really interesting scriptures if you really are interested:”

 

I would like to point out the fact that you have previously said to look for “unbiased” scientific evidence but you direct me to a Christian website. I took a look at their ‘evidence’ and I find it to be the same rationalization that the Muslims use when trying to prove the Quran’s scientific knowledge. (How do you know the Quran isn’t the one true holy book when it also has verses than can be interpreted to have modern scientific meaning?)

 

I’ve seen the 2nd documentary that you listed. Why do you think that these other gospels were not put in the Bible? IMO, it is because it would destroy the current Christian theology. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene shows her as a priestess who traveled around the Middle East spreading the word of Jesus and was in no way a prostitute. There is even speculation that she married Jesus and birthed his child. Eventually, she was buried alongside Jesus in his tomb. (If you have Netflix, rent the Tomb of Jesus- We’ve found his tomb but it now rests underneath an apartment building.)

 

It seems to me, and this is only my opinion, that you have not fully looked outside of the Christian religion. When you were 12, something happened to you that made you turn against your familiar religion. Instead of researching and learning, which isn’t anything I would expect of a teenager, you lived your life as any rebellious teen would. When you matured, you turned to the philosophy you knew best: Christianity. There are loads of ideas and philosophies out there from Aristotle to Nietzsche. (For an easy intro into these ideas, check out the book Sophie’s World) There are ideas like deism (which most of our founding fathers held) that the world was not controlled by a personal deity, one that does not interfere with personal lives (a god that just set things in motion and let everything take its course) I’ve also read something about a sect of Christians that believe Yahweh died (from old age, no less) and that there is nothing controlling the world now and that we must be the ones to help the universe survive. These people would not be considered atheists because they believe that a god once existed.

 

I’d like you explain a few things to me please:

What is your idea of god?

Do you believe that Jesus died FOR your sins?

Do you believe that the only way to eternal bliss in heaven is through accepting Jesus as your savior and worshipping him?

Do you think that the Bible is the moral compass of the world? (why or why not)

Does god have plan (determinism) or are we able to make our own decisions (free will)?


Hi Scarlette,

 

So, I was looking and this was on the website for the atheist church:


What we believe.

  • The First Church of Atheism is formed around the belief that the mysteries of life can be explained through science and reason. We aim to provide a place for atheists to become ordained, for free, as well as a hub for atheists to find ministersto perform their ceremonies. This is our doctrine:

    “Nothing exists besides natural phenomena. Thought is merely a function of that natural phenomena. Death is complete, and irreversible. We have faith solely in humankind, nature, and the facts of science.”


So, I would imagine, based on this and what you said that if their are atheists who believe in dimensions or forces beyond those which science has uncovered to this point then they must be few and far between.  While I personally do believe the atheist doctrine presented above, I also refuse to limit myself to the above doctrine as well.  This also addresses the non-religion stance of atheism.  I just was under the impression that because there is an officially recognized national atheist organization that is registered with the other religions and protected by the same laws as a religion and because there is an established atheist church that operates to perform the same duties that other religions offer, just from an atheist stance and because atheism fits my definition of religion which i get from the dictionary, I just feel comfortable considering atheism as a religion in my view of things.  But I guess since there are atheists out there who do not consider atheism a religion then that means it is not.  I am glad we got that cleared up. :)

 

You are correct in that my definition of sin is different than most of christianity...as are many of my views and beliefs.  How can I answer your question in a non-religious sense.  Sin, to me, is when I am confronted with an opportunity to love someone and I fail by not listening to that little voice within me.  That is sin.

 

Sorry about that link.  I was tired and I glanced over it and I have seen some good lists like that, that do have some good scripture references, but after going back and looking over that list again, only a couple of those references were good.  I will do better next time.  I can throw a couple at you real quick, I think it is interesting in leviticus where we are commanded what types of animals we can eat and which ones we can't.  For instance, "god" says we can't eat pigs.  We now know that pork is a very unhealthy meat and is a common vector for various pathogens.  We are told that we can't eat shellfish.  Look at how many people have shellfish allergies and react with a type 1 hypersensitivity immune response (aka - anaphylaxis).  Today, we can give epinephrine, but back then, people would die.  We can't eat monkeys, we know know that they harbored the HIV virus.  So, leviticus, protected people from these things before we even knew about them.  To me, that is scientific proof.  I have seen others about scriptures talking about the floors of the oceans and the world being round and such things that were not known at that time.  Oh, another that I like, was in the early scriptures, "god" or really one of the Elohim, came down into abrahams camp, (i think it was abraham) and told them to quit defecating in the camp and instructed them to go so many meters out of the camp and dig a hole and defecate and cover it up.  I thought this was very interesting instruction especially knowing why they were instructed to do this.  Sanitation and sickness and all.  I can provide the references if you want, but just saving time at the moment by not.

 

I agree that the current days theology has been shaped by the accepted texts and the texts were picked through and chosen.  I think there are other texts that should have been included and may even have been if they had have been in wide enough circulation at the time.

 

As far as not fully looking outside the christian religion, well, you are right in some ways regarding my path and experience, however, I have looked quite a bit beyond christianity and still continue to.  I love philosophy and theology and science.  I do not believe god is a being.  Which I suppose should just lead me into answering your questions:

 

What is your idea of god?

To me, a god is anything that someone worships or esteems most in ones life.  That one things that a person's life revolves around.  The one thing that drives a persons thoughts and actions.  Whether it is money or Jesus or Allah, or their children and family or themselves.  A god can be anything one bows down to.

 

Do you believe that Jesus died FOR your sins?

I believe Jesus died because he knew that was what he had to do.  I also believe Jesus was one of the Elohim and that it was his mission.  He confirms this in some ways to me when I read what he was saying in the garden before his death and what he says from the cross as he is dying.   I understand the sacrificial system and it is true that Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice.  I do not believe that he did, I know that he did.  In retrospect, I think I had to believe that he did first, but now that I have experienced the power of the sacrifice in my life, I know it to be true if that makes any sense.  It is like if you hand me a present,  can believe there is something in the box, but until I unwrap it and accept it, I won't know it.

 

Do you believe that the only way to eternal bliss in heaven is through accepting Jesus as your savior and worshipping him?

I don't know if it is the ONLY way but I do know that it is a way!  I also do not believe in heaven and hell after death.  I believe they are places here and now among us.  This is what Jesus teaches and I agree.  I actually watched that movie "the kingdom of heaven" with orlando bloom again last night and it conveys this same thing!  So many people take jesus' teachings literally and it is from this ignorant interpretive process that we have come to see so much violence and crap perpetrated in the name of jesus.  Oh, and I believe the word eternal is more properly conveyed as the idea of existing in the present.   And I hope that other religions teach ways to finding the secret place and I am currently searching this out to see if it is in fact true cuz I have a feeling that it is...I could go on and on but oh well...

 

Do you think that the Bible is the moral compass of the world? (why or why not)

No, and nor do I think the Bible is an infallible rule but, but I think it is a revelation of an infallible Ruler.  I think that every person on this earth has a moral compass within them.  I also think that we all have the nature of a beast or an animal within us as well.  So, in one sense, as a biologist I see humans as animals.  I also believe that we all have a moral compass within us though we are not all submitted to this or willing to be guided by this moral compass.  I wouldn't limit the moral compass to humans either.  I think at least some animals may have a moral compass as well, but I have only seen one study that seems to lend convincing evidence if this in monkeys but I don't think we can confidently say yet.

 

Does god have plan (determinism) or are we able to make our own decisions (free will)?

I define fate and destiny as being similar but different.  I see fate as a way of our own choosing (free will...we define our purpose) and destiny as a predetermined path (determinism...we have a purpose).  "A man who refuses to seek his destiny is a man that stumbles and struggles through and to his fate."

So, to simply answer your question, I believe in them both.  :)

 

I would be interested to hear what your perspective is on those questions?

 

Chris I worked with gentleman name Noyes (pronounced noise) he can talk for the longest time and never commit to anything. We would joke that he was the No Yes man. Based on what I just read I think you could take the title from Noyes.

Your god is anything you choose to worship, your living by free will/determined path. The Infallible ruler could not come up with an infallible book. You believe in blood sacrifice but what god is that you believe it about, just Jesus or one of the other things that can be worshiped?

This is beginning to sound like "Noyes".

Jim,

 

Cute...insulting, but cute.  To some it is noise, to some it is music.  Whatever it is, it works for me and I am under no obligation to define myself to you or anyone else for that matter.  I could care less if you understand me because I did not come here to debate or to be understood.  I am fulfilled, complete and at peace with my self and my "noise" and I owe you nothing.  If you wish to understand, then feel free to explore and do so.  If it is too much effort for you then I encourage you to find another thread with people that cleanly fit into your boxes about what people should think and believe if they are to call themselves this or that.  :)

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