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Old 03-18-2011, 03:04 PM   #136
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Perfection would mean whole or without needs that needed to be filled.
But it's interesting that, in the Creation myth, the only thing declared not good by God is man being alone. Which makes me think that perfection is not as you describe it, but rather as needs being met by others.

I'm not sure self-sufficiency is the same thing as perfection.
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Old 03-18-2011, 03:09 PM   #137
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But it's interesting that, in the Creation myth, the only thing declared not good by God is man being alone. Which makes me think that perfection is not as you describe it, but rather as needs being met by others.

I'm not sure self-sufficiency is the same thing as perfection.
But I think you're projecting human needs onto God. MAN should not be alone.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:12 PM   #138
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I have no reason not to believe that Hell, and religion, were inventions of centuries ago to control the masses. I have no reason to believe the Bible is anything more than a book written by a number of different men riffing on some vague idea of what is moral. As far as I'm concerned, I'm completely certain it was all made up to scare people into submission. It's something that makes sense, it's something that's been documented, and it's something plausible. Religion is in no way plausible.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that I just flat out dislike religion.

I most recently attended mass five days ago.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:14 PM   #139
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But I think you're projecting human needs onto God. MAN should not be alone.
I've found it interesting, in my personal walk, to look at the places where God and I are similar -- where perhaps His divinity connects with my humanity. If there's any truth to Jesus' words that "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you," and if there's any truth to the idea that I am made in the image of God, then I don't have a problem looking at God and saying, "Gee, if it's not good for *me* to be alone..."

And again, if God is Love, and Love needs a recipient in order to be completed, then Love is perfect only when it is received.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:18 PM   #140
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I'm becoming more and more convinced that I just flat out dislike religion.
I dislike religion as well. But you and I probably have different definitions of religion.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:20 PM   #141
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I've found it interesting, in my personal walk, to look at the places where God and I are similar -- where perhaps His divinity connects with my humanity. If there's any truth to Jesus' words that "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you," and if there's any truth to the idea that I am made in the image of God, then I don't have a problem looking at God and saying, "Gee, if it's not good for *me* to be alone..."

And again, if God is Love, and Love needs a recipient in order to be completed, then Love's perfection is only found when it is received.
Good stuff. The Gospel is sweet music to my ears!
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:25 PM   #142
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I don't think it was invented to control the masses. To do that, you have to jump past several thousand years of the development of various beliefs, all over the world, and skip straight to the part where they start to have some sort of organisational structure to them.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:30 PM   #143
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I don't think it was invented to control the masses.


to me, a guy named Moses coming down from a mountain saying that he has a bunch of rules given to him from an indisputable authority so you better follow them seems like a pretty good way to get people in line. said indisputable authority gets people to strap bombs to their backs or fly airplanes into buildings, so believing that you understand what he wants is quite a motivator in a way that nothing earthly could ever be. to really get people to do what you want, you've got to invoke the supernatural.

of course, none of this proves or disproves anything, but it does get at the structure of how religion functions, and it is absolutely intended to modify and shape human behavior.

... and thinking about it, this isn't really a rebuttal of your point -- it wasn't "invented," nor was a sense of a deity ever really an invention, i agree ... i just think that it's been used as a tool of control for a very, very long time.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:32 PM   #144
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I don't think it was invented to control the masses. To do that, you have to jump past several thousand years of the development of various beliefs, all over the world, and skip straight to the part where they start to have some sort of organisational structure to them.
The worst thing that could have ever happened to Christianity was Constantine. The first time -- but not the last -- that the faith was co-opted by politicians and used as a weapon against others.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:36 PM   #145
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to me, a guy named Moses coming down from a mountain saying that he has a bunch of rules given to him from an indisputable authority so you better follow them seems like a pretty good way to get people in line. said indisputable authority gets people to strap bombs to their backs or fly airplanes into buildings, so believing that you understand what he wants is quite a motivator in a way that nothing earthly could ever be.
This is probably a topic for a different thread, but are all gods created equal? The one who said "do not murder" may not have been the same one who apparently demanded suicide in his name.

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to really get people to do what you want, you've got to invoke the supernatural.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." ~ the Declaration of Independence
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:42 PM   #146
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... and thinking about it, this isn't really a rebuttal of your point -- it wasn't "invented," nor was a sense of a deity ever really an invention, i agree ... i just think that it's been used as a tool of control for a very, very long time.
Yes, I was, in a sense, saying that it all always starts with an innocent or geniune "Why?" and What/Where/When and How comes later.

And the development is far more complicated anyway. Saying a bunch of guys just knocked up the Bible... that thing is coming from all over the place. Whether or not it's divinely inspired or whatever, sure, but I mean, your example of Moses coming down one day with 'the rules' - Did he? Or did someone else say he did later? So why did they say it? In total, was the creation, passing down and compilation of all of these stories done with the intent to control the masses, or was it all part of the creation of a strong folk narrative for a race of people? A narrative intended not for control, but to give strength?

The truth is probably, bit of both, at varying times, and it jumbles together.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:40 PM   #147
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This is probably a topic for a different thread, but are all gods created equal? The one who said "do not murder" may not have been the same one who apparently demanded suicide in his name.



"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." ~ the Declaration of Independence
If we're to believe the Bible is the word of God (which I still think is the most absurd thing about Christianity), the God who said do not murder said homosexuality is a sin.

All gods are not created equal, but all gods are created.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:41 PM   #148
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I don't think it was invented to control the masses. To do that, you have to jump past several thousand years of the development of various beliefs, all over the world, and skip straight to the part where they start to have some sort of organisational structure to them.
Beliefs weren't invented to control the masses, but religion certainly was.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:15 PM   #149
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And again, if God is Love, and Love needs a recipient in order to be completed, then Love is perfect only when it is received.
Isn't this false? Love doesn't imply a return on your investment, at least not the sort of unconditional love God is supposed to manifest.

Which is why the whole character of God - at least in traditional interpretations of the bible - is mired in contradictions. It's hard to even know where to begin.
God creates Man with "free will." How many times in my life have I heard it said that God didn't want us to be robots...he gave us free will!
But that free will is an illusion wrapped up in an ultimatum: love me. worship me. Or else! (tough love?)
What that or else entails is obviously up for debate in religious circles, but the fact remains that there is an or else. This seems to indicate to me that God loves our worship more than he loves us; which is fairly twisted. Wouldn't a truly loving god create for the love of creating? A veritable Tom Bombadil! But this god seems to be addicted to praise. Requires praise and adoration.

Jesus will say, "depart from me I never knew you". Oh, what love! Just bask in it!

I would contend that any average human being is capable of greater love than this.

Of course, as I said, that is all based on traditional mainstream interpretations of the bible. I've no doubt that there are sophisticated theologies that have a healthier way of looking at it all. But, this is what I grew up hearing.
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Old 03-18-2011, 11:31 PM   #150
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Isn't this false? Love doesn't imply a return on your investment, at least not the sort of unconditional love God is supposed to manifest.
Nathan didn't say that love requires reciprocal action or reciprocal love. He said that for love to be perfected, it needs a recipient. And he's right. If a person has all sorts of love in his heart but doesn't share it with anyone what use is it?

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This seems to indicate to me that God loves our worship more than he loves us; which is fairly twisted.
God loves us so much that he was willingly tortured and crucified to redeem us from the natural and spiritual consequences of our sins; the sins that we each choose to commit.

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Jesus will say, "depart from me I never knew you". Oh, what love! Just bask in it!
Jesus won't say "depart from me I never you" because someone won't worship him or for any sin. He will say "depart from I never knew you" because in order to know God, you must be born again. And no, contrary to popular belief "born again" is not just an evangelical's term; Jesus tells Nicodemus that in order to enter Heaven, a man must be born again.

This rebirth is the same as in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, all things are made new."

Paul goes into great detail what this means, but I'll put it in a nutshell by copying and pasting from my Gospel website, God Loves You!

"Man's spirit is imperfect - not holy and righteous like God. God is perfectly holy and righteous, and as such cannot abide in the presence of anything less than perfect holiness and righteousness. It's his very nature. God can't exist contrary to his own nature.

But God is not happy with that. He wants everyone to have eternal life with him. 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that "God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance". God so loves the people of the world that he devised a rescue plan. He sent his only son, Jesus to Earth. The price of sin is spiritual death. Christ willingly paid that price for us by allowing himself to be crucified in our place. It only worked because Christ is perfect and holy not only in spirit, but also in flesh, unlike man. Christ paid the debt that we could not pay. He rose again on the third day, thereby defeating death.

Bringing God's answer, his "rescue plan", into your life is quite simple:

* Confess to God that you have sinned against him and that you are sorry for it.
* Ask him to forgive you of your sins.
* Ask him to come into your heart and be Lord of your life.
* Put your faith in Christ and what he has done for you.

Your sins will be forgiven, and Christ will make of you a new spirit clothed in his holiness and righteousness. He will make you, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 puts it, a "new creation". When God looks at you from that point on, he will not see sin; he will see the blood of Christ that has washed away all guilt."


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I would contend that any average human being is capable of greater love than this.
"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13

And that's what Jesus did.

In fact, Jesus went further; he laid down his life for his enemies:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life." Romans 5:6-10

I do not think that the "average human being" would lay down his life for his enemies.
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