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Old 04-20-2003, 02:51 PM   #1
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A few thoughts & questions

As some of you may have read in my journal, recently I decided to have a look at the Bible. (out of curiosity)

There's a few things that confuse me:

1. The differences between the Old testament and the New testament.
For example, there is the "eye for an eye" and there's the "turn the other cheek" - how do those go together?
Also my impression is that, according to the Old testament, only the "chosen people" (Israelis) go to Heaven, whereas they go to war to other nations - and in the New Testament, if I understand correctly, the apostols are to convert people from any and all nations.
If I understand correctly, God is much more harsh in the Old testament - even Israelis themselves get killed for lacking faith. Whereas in the New Testament it seems to be a more open, loving figure.

2. What are the differences between the Hebrew faith and Catholicism that starts with the first Christians? And is the figure of Messiah that Israelis speak of meant to be Jesus? Is Messiah a human, an Earthly leader or God's messenger?

3. Can all sins be forgiven by entering the faith? I mean, suppose a murderer has guilty conscience and gets baptised, goes to church etc... - does that erase all of the bad things he's done? Or, if a person is calculating and gets baptised "just in case" - does that count for something or not?

4. Somewhere in the New Testament I read that "if you don't enter God's kingdom as a child you never will" (or something similar to that). Really? Is it too late to get baptised in, say, your teens or adult life?
Besides, isn't God (and religion) too complex of a concept to be grasped by children?

5. What's the difference between being religious and being spiritual? If you're spiritual, does it mean you believe in "something higher" but not necessarily in the shape of God?

6. The hardest to accept (most peculiar, if you will - apart from existence of God and God/Jesus miracles and rising from the dead) parts about Christianity in particular for me is the idea that people should repent and all of them are bad sinners and that we should be afraid, or that so many people were turned to Christianity by force or killed over religion - or that people could buy the forgiveness with money at priests.
I mean, certainly there are people that do horrible and evil things but surely someone like a child is innocent. Also, isn't God supposed to be good and loving - a "Father"? Why should people fear their creator?

7. Is it true that Jesus spent some time in India, learning and studying? He didn't spend his whole life in Palestine?
Is Jesus a human (being born by Mary, having died on the cross) or not (being God's son, and risen from the dead)?

8. Also is it true that the famous shrowd had traces of blood (after all, dead bodies don't release fluid) and that priests framed another sample when it was tested?

9. If there is Heaven, then why is there Hell? Wouldn't God want for all people to be with him after they die? (everyone deserves a second chance...with grace?)


I hope I don't offend anyone here with these, (curiosity killed the cat!) I'm just interested to find explanations and answers.
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Old 04-20-2003, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: A few thoughts & questions

I don't know the answers to all those questions, and I probably don't know the correct answers to even the ones I'm trying to answer, but as someone who's also recently started to learn more about Christianity, I just wanted to share my thoughts on a few of your questions. Hope that's okay

Quote:
3. Can all sins be forgiven by entering the faith? I mean, suppose a murderer has guilty conscience and gets baptised, goes to church etc... - does that erase all of the bad things he's done? Or, if a person is calculating and gets baptised "just in case" - does that count for something or not?


As I understand it, it would depend on what the person's true intentions were. If a person who had committed a horrible crime were truly to feel remorse for what they had done and were to ask forgiveness from God, then they would be forgiven for their sins.

However, if a person were to feel no remorse for what they'd done, and just be baptised and go to church "just in case" and continue to do horrible things even after claiming to believe in God, then even though other people might believe they had changed, God would know what their real intentions were. That person might be able to fool other people, but God knows everything about every person and so would know what that person was really doing.

Besides, I think if a person truly believes in God then they would want to follow His will for their life, and that would mean they couldn't continue to act in ways which they knew were wrong.

Quote:
4. Somewhere in the New Testament I read that "if you don't enter God's kingdom as a child you never will" (or something similar to that). Really? Is it too late to get baptised in, say, your teens or adult life?
Besides, isn't God (and religion) too complex of a concept to be grasped by children?
I don't think that's right, although of course it could be different in some religions. People I have talked to about Christianity have told me that a person can be baptised at anytime in their life. Which is kind of important to me, since my parents decided that I shouldn't take part in any religion as a child, I should wait until I was old enough to decide what religion I wanted to practice.


Quote:
9. If there is Heaven, then why is there Hell? Wouldn't God want for all people to be with him after they die? (everyone deserves a second chance...with grace?)
I think He does want all His people to be with Him. And He gives all people that chance, but many people choose to reject that. We only have that chance because of grace, we don't "earn" it or "deserve" it.


So...sorry if none of that made any sense, and I'm even more sorry if it's actually completely wrong. Please someone correct me if I am wrong :-)
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: A few thoughts & questions

most of these things vary based on religion, denomination, or even person to person...beliefs vary, but i'll try to be objective in stating mine...

Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
As some of you may have read in my journal, recently I decided to have a look at the Bible. (out of curiosity)
first of all, that's awesome. i'm glad you did

Quote:
1. The differences between the Old testament and the New testament.
For example, there is the "eye for an eye" and there's the "turn the other cheek" - how do those go together?
Also my impression is that, according to the Old testament, only the "chosen people" (Israelis) go to Heaven, whereas they go to war to other nations - and in the New Testament, if I understand correctly, the apostols are to convert people from any and all nations.
If I understand correctly, God is much more harsh in the Old testament - even Israelis themselves get killed for lacking faith. Whereas in the New Testament it seems to be a more open, loving figure.
the biggest difference between the old and new testaments is that the new begins with jesus' birth. in the old testament, the isrealites were required to give up sacrifices and offerings to god for thier sins, but now jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice. as for the "eye for an eye" thing, that was mostly rule at the time in the land. the christian belief would be the more "turn the other cheek" principle.

#2 isn't my area since i'm not catholic...

Quote:
3. Can all sins be forgiven by entering the faith? I mean, suppose a murderer has guilty conscience and gets baptised, goes to church etc... - does that erase all of the bad things he's done? Or, if a person is calculating and gets baptised "just in case" - does that count for something or not?


that's the wonder in jesus' sacrifice and god's grace. we have but to ask for forgiveness and he will do so. getting baptized and going to church is not what makes your sins desolve. only true faith can do that. god can see our hearts and knows whether or not we're sincere. therefore, a just in case baptism will do little good if the faith isn't there. jesus christ said that there's only one way to god...and that's through him. he is "the way, the truth, and the light." no man can save himself just through his own scheming.

Quote:
4. Somewhere in the New Testament I read that "if you don't enter God's kingdom as a child you never will" (or something similar to that). Really? Is it too late to get baptised in, say, your teens or adult life?
Besides, isn't God (and religion) too complex of a concept to be grasped by children?


i tihnk that's mean that we must have the faith of a child. we must be as children before god. i think you're referring to the story of the the children around jesus where the disciples tried to push them from him and he said "let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for theirs is the kingdom of god." baptism is a symbolic representation of becoming a child of god.

Quote:
5. What's the difference between being religious and being spiritual? If you're spiritual, does it mean you believe in "something higher" but not necessarily in the shape of God?


this likely varies from person to person. i believe religious is more of a "i go to church every sunday and pray 3 times a day" thing, but spirituality can mean a number of things. it could mean what you mentioned, but it could also mean that they believe in god and jesus, but don't believe in the "sunday service christianity" thing...

Quote:
6. The hardest to accept (most peculiar, if you will - apart from existence of God and God/Jesus miracles and rising from the dead) parts about Christianity in particular for me is the idea that people should repent and all of them are bad sinners and that we should be afraid, or that so many people were turned to Christianity by force or killed over religion - or that people could buy the forgiveness with money at priests.
I mean, certainly there are people that do horrible and evil things but surely someone like a child is innocent. Also, isn't God supposed to be good and loving - a "Father"? Why should people fear their creator?


i think what you're talking about is more catholic, so one again i don't know much about that...but here's what i think...no one can buy forgiveness. it is a gift from god. simple as that. grace. also, people can be forced to go to church, or forced to say they're christian, but no one can force faith onto someone else. that's why it's called faith. i also believe that humans are sinful by nature. every sin to god is equal. a white lie is as bad as wanting to kill someone is as bad as actually killing someone (in god's eyes)...that's why we need god's forgiveness. god is love. humans are what mess things up. fearing our creater is not necessarily in the sense you're probably thinking. i consider it more of a reverant respect for his awesome power.

Quote:
7. Is it true that Jesus spent some time in India, learning and studying? He didn't spend his whole life in Palestine?
Is Jesus a human (being born by Mary, having died on the cross) or not (being God's son, and risen from the dead)?


i don't know about the first part, but...jesus is both god and man. he is god, but he was sent down in human form to suffer the ultimate price for the sins of the guilty (us)...

once again, #8 should be answered by a catholic because i don't believe this.

Quote:
9. If there is Heaven, then why is there Hell? Wouldn't God want for all people to be with him after they die? (everyone deserves a second chance...with grace?)


this is a question that many believers struggle with. i believe that god gives everyone a second chance after death, before sending them to hell. he loves us so much, but he has also given us the choice to live how we please and believe what we want.


Quote:
I hope I don't offend anyone here with these, (curiosity killed the cat!) I'm just interested to find explanations and answers.
questions are good! they make me consider what i believe as well...which is always good. once again, i'll say that beliefs differ from church to church and person to person. i am not catholic, so i probably have a very different faith from that...but we all believe in one god, the creater of all.

hope this helps you out a bit...
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Old 04-20-2003, 11:41 PM   #4
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No, you're not offending anyone. I'm sure a lot of people have asked what you're asking at one point because what the Bible says about God and Jesus does sound confusing.

I want to answer all of your questions, but that would take forever. So here are some that I could explain:

Quote:
2. What are the differences between the Hebrew faith and Catholicism that starts with the first Christians? And is the figure of Messiah that Israelis speak of meant to be Jesus? Is Messiah a human, an Earthly leader or God's messenger
Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity. It was really the only Christian branch until it was divided in two during the Middle Ages, creating the Catholic Church in Rome, and the Orthodox churches in Eastern Europe.
Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah described by the Jews. He is human, but He's also God, God on Earth. In a sense, He is God's Messenger, because He does preach the Word of God.


Quote:
5. What's the difference between being religious and being spiritual? If you're spiritual, does it mean you believe in "something higher" but not necessarily in the shape of God?
I think the difference between religion and spirituality is that religion is the institution and spirituality is about developing a relationship with God, and getting to understand your own soul.

Religion to me is when someone relies on an institution to help define their lives, and tell them what God is all about. Spirituality requires you to do that on your own, and get to know God on your own, rather than having someone make up your mind for you and tell you what to believe.

Quote:
7. Is it true that Jesus spent some time in India, learning and studying? He didn't spend his whole life in Palestine?
Is Jesus a human (being born by Mary, having died on the cross) or not (being God's son, and risen from the dead)?
I doubt every much about Jesus going to India, or any place else in the world. There's no logic to that because He was meant to preach the Word of God to people. If He went to India, or anywhere else, that would've discredited Him. People would've shrugged off what He said because it would've gotten around that He travelled the world, and got His information from those places. So no, Jesus did not study anywhere else. He stayed in Palestine all His life.

And yes, Jesus was Human...and also God. I know that's sounds very hard to understand, but its the truth.

Quote:
8. Also is it true that the famous shrowd had traces of blood (after all, dead bodies don't release fluid) and that priests framed another sample when it was tested?
Yes, the Shroud of Turin does have blood on it, along with the image of a man who was crucified and had the same wounds as Christ. I don't know about those framed samples. I just know that there have been numerous tests on it, trying to prove or disprove that it is Christ's burial cloth. The blood on the shroud is human blood, no one can explain how the image got there. But carbon dating says that the shroud dates to the Middle Ages. I have questioned about the Shroud, and if you are wondering if whether or not the Shroud is real, well, I think it is a fake. Even though so much evidence says its legitimate, there have been some tests that make me think that its a hoax - an incredibly great hoax done by a massive genius.


You know what you should read? Read "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. That man gave his input on what Christianity is all about and tried to explain some of the things most people don't get, such as Jesus being both Man and God. He gave the best explanation about things like that, and when I read it, it cleared up a lot of things, and made everything make sense. It's really great. So, try it. I'm sure it would help answer some of your questions.

Also, there was this book called "God: A Biography" by some author I can't remember. It tried to explain why God was the way He was in the Old Testament: why was He violent at times, etc. The book tries to explain His personality in a sense. I've never read it, but I've read book reviews about it, and it sounded pretty interesting. Hope it helps.

Well, I hope I cleared up a few things for you. But I recommend those two books to help you.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-21-2003, 12:52 AM   #5
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Re: A few thoughts & questions

Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
As some of you may have read in my journal, recently I decided to have a look at the Bible. (out of curiosity)

There's a few things that confuse me:

1. The differences between the Old testament and the New testament.
For example, there is the "eye for an eye" and there's the "turn the other cheek" - how do those go together?
Also my impression is that, according to the Old testament, only the "chosen people" (Israelis) go to Heaven, whereas they go to war to other nations - and in the New Testament, if I understand correctly, the apostols are to convert people from any and all nations.
If I understand correctly, God is much more harsh in the Old testament - even Israelis themselves get killed for lacking faith. Whereas in the New Testament it seems to be a more open, loving figure.

2. What are the differences between the Hebrew faith and Catholicism that starts with the first Christians? And is the figure of Messiah that Israelis speak of meant to be Jesus? Is Messiah a human, an Earthly leader or God's messenger?

3. Can all sins be forgiven by entering the faith? I mean, suppose a murderer has guilty conscience and gets baptised, goes to church etc... - does that erase all of the bad things he's done? Or, if a person is calculating and gets baptised "just in case" - does that count for something or not?

4. Somewhere in the New Testament I read that "if you don't enter God's kingdom as a child you never will" (or something similar to that). Really? Is it too late to get baptised in, say, your teens or adult life?
Besides, isn't God (and religion) too complex of a concept to be grasped by children?

5. What's the difference between being religious and being spiritual? If you're spiritual, does it mean you believe in "something higher" but not necessarily in the shape of God?

6. The hardest to accept (most peculiar, if you will - apart from existence of God and God/Jesus miracles and rising from the dead) parts about Christianity in particular for me is the idea that people should repent and all of them are bad sinners and that we should be afraid, or that so many people were turned to Christianity by force or killed over religion - or that people could buy the forgiveness with money at priests.
I mean, certainly there are people that do horrible and evil things but surely someone like a child is innocent. Also, isn't God supposed to be good and loving - a "Father"? Why should people fear their creator?

7. Is it true that Jesus spent some time in India, learning and studying? He didn't spend his whole life in Palestine?
Is Jesus a human (being born by Mary, having died on the cross) or not (being God's son, and risen from the dead)?

8. Also is it true that the famous shrowd had traces of blood (after all, dead bodies don't release fluid) and that priests framed another sample when it was tested?

9. If there is Heaven, then why is there Hell? Wouldn't God want for all people to be with him after they die? (everyone deserves a second chance...with grace?)


I hope I don't offend anyone here with these, (curiosity killed the cat!) I'm just interested to find explanations and answers.
Hi, I'm glad you're looking into the Word. I pray that God will lead you into a relationship with his son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I will offer my thoughts on your questions. Please forgive my many typos, I am very sleepy.

1)There does seem to be a vast difference between the Old and New Testaments. However, I think those differences are very necessary to show the way to salvation. From the moment fo the first sin, the sin nature entered the world. Every man and woman born after that had a sin nature. Man tries to do the right thing and please God, but it can't be done by man. That's because God is completely, 100% perfect, and his standard of acceptance is 100% spiritual perfection, because he is holy and light, and the Bible tells us that darkness and light cannot abide together. Man cannot be 100% good by tehir own works, so man is doomed to spend eternity away from God. In the Old Testament, God set his standards of perfection down in writing, the law. Old Testament people were required to try to live by the law as much as possible. The purpose of the law wasn't to give man a way to enter heaven. God knows man can't go through life without sinning. The purpose of the law was to show man what God's holy standards were, so that men would try to do what's right, and fail, and thus know taht all their efforts are in vain; to know that they are helpless. This points the way to their need for a Savior. In the New Testament,a long came Christ, teh savior whom had been prophecied. he paid the price for our sins, because as a perfect man who had never sinned, his blood washed away sins and allows any person who would follow him to ahve a new life and a new nature, a new spirit. No one can come to teh Father through their own works, so Christ paid the price. Now, anyone who is a born again believer has been completely forgiven of all sins, past present and future. That's why the Old Testament seems a bit harsher; because man was living under teh burden of teh law, and God dealt with them under teh constraints of teh law. But now, in teh new testament, Christians are under God's grace.

2)Many Hebrew prophets (Isaiah, Daniel, etc.) prophesied about the coming Messiah. Tehy prophesied a man who would not build an earthly kingdom and revolution, but a spiritual kingdom of those who would follow him. This man would pay the price for their sins, because man can't. The man who fulfilled all of the prohecies and characteristics of the Messiah was Jesus Christ. He was God the Son in human form, sent to earth by God the Father to rescue a dying world. And he did that, on the cross.

3)If a person honestly feels sorry for his sins, and confesses them and decides to follow Jesus, the Bible tells us that all sins, past present and future, are forgiven. A true Christian may sin after that, but he will not want to, because he has the Holy Spirit and the new nature, teh nature of Christ, in him now.

4)When the Bible speaks about "coming as a child", it's not talking in terms of age, but in terms of attitude and faith. The faith of a child can be summed up in this example; a child clings to its motehr's breast because it trusts the mother. It doesn't necessarily understand everything about its mother, but it has faith that the mother loves it. Faith can also be decribed as not seeing something, but believeing it is there. We don't see the wind; we see the effects of the wind and believe by faith that the wind has caused those effects.

5)To me, the difference between being religious and "spiritual" is thus: All people are spiritual, because all people are basically spirits with skin. They may no know it, and they may serve evil and not Christ in their spirit, but they are spiritual one way or another. To me, religion is man trying to reach God, through his own works and efforts. Christianity is not about that. In Christianity, God knows man can't recah him, so he sent His son to do teh work, and die on teh cross. That redemptive work of Christ provides the way for people to have a relationship with God. Christianity is not religion; Christianity is about how God reaches us, not teh other way around.

6)God doesn't want to punish anyone, really. The Bible tells us that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to a saving knowledge of Christ. God's plan from the very beginning was for man to live in peace with God. But when man sinned, the sin nature entered the picture and every man born after that time was tainted by sin. The simple spiritual nature of God is that he is so holy, he can't even abide in the presence of unholiness. That is why Christ was sent, to provide a way that all sins can be forgiven and washed away. When God looks at a Christian, he doesn't see sin, he sees teh rightesousness that his shed blood has given to teh Christian. That si love, right there. Christ is our escape route from hell.

7)The Bible doesn't tell us much from Jesus at age 12 to Jesus at age 30. One thing we know is that Christ did live in Egypt for a while. He probably didn't learn from teachers in india, because his heritage is Judaism and that's what eh spent his time studying. Christ was both 100% man and 100% God. In order to know what we go through, he had to be born as a man, to suffer the things we suffer, to fight the temptations we fight. But he never gave into the temptations. He never sinned. That is why his perfect life was an acceptable sacrifice. The Bible tells us that teh cost of sin is death. Christ paid that cost on the cross. If he hadn't been both perfect human and God, his death would have meant nothing.

8)I have no idea.

9)God does want everyone to go to Heaven. My answer to #6 goes into this.

God bless ya!
Mike
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Old 04-21-2003, 02:56 PM   #6
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Great questions. I am glad you are searching and hope you do not find any answers offensive.

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The differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament
I am sure you will get a number of different views on this question, but as I see it, both the Old and New Testament come from the same God and have the same message – salvation is by faith.

Abraham followed God by faith. Subsequently, the people wanted rules to live by, where we get the Law. Phrases like “eye for an eye” were meant as limitations to punishment or retribution, not as a way of life. The value of the Law today is that it shows us our sin. Because of Jesus Christ, however, we do not need to perfectly comply with the Law for salvation (as if we could anyway). Compliance with the law is summed up by (i) loving God and (ii) loving our neighbors (everyone).

Quote:
Can all sins be forgiven by entering the faith?
Yes. God’s promise is to forgive all sins of those who believe. The question of “who really believes” can only be answered between the individual and God. Belief is from the heart, not just something we say.

Quote:
Is it too late to get baptized in, say, your teens or adult life?
I believe you may be referring to Matthew 19:14 – ‘Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."’ (See also Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:16). It suggests that we approach Jesus as little children, that is, with unconditional love. As adults, we tend to put conditions on love (i.e., what do I get out of the deal). It does not suggest that you can only come to faith as a child (although, small children are capable of understanding and having faith in Jesus Christ).

Quote:
What's the difference between being religious and being spiritual?
To me, being religious means complying with the tenants of a denomination or following the teachings of a particular religion. It can tend to be legalistic. Spiritual is a very broad term – almost everyone is spiritual at some level – It just varies on how they exercise or fill the spiritual void in life.

Living by faith in Jesus Christ is something different, but it involves aspects of being religious and spiritual.

Quote:
The idea that people should repent and all of them are bad sinners and that we should be afraid
There are a couple of different concepts in your question, so I won’t address all parts of the question. All people are sinners in need of a Savior – no one is exempt from this status. Salvation cannot be purchased or forced.

The fear of God is not one of being timid. We should approach God’s throne with confidence. “Fear” is more an awesome respect and the sadness we feel when we disappoint.

Quote:
Is it true that Jesus spent some time in India, learning and studying?
Not addressed in the Bible. There may be some speculation on this point, but I am not sure how we benefit from such speculation.

Quote:
Is Jesus a human (being born by Mary, having died on the cross) or not (being God's son, and risen from the dead)?
Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man.

Quote:
If there is Heaven, then why is there Hell?
Generally, humans want to avoid the idea of eternal punishment or eternal separation from a loving God, so we create the concept of a second chance. I guess we can only say from our perspective, God wants all people to be with Him. Otherwise, we fall into the trap of trying to identify who is or is not saved. God knows who will believe; which suggests God knows who will not believe.

As for the concept of Hell, there is plenty of debate on whether it means eternal separation from God, eternal punishment or annihilation. I guess I’m not too concerned about what Hell really will be since I know I’m not going. J



I hope this helps in some way. Feel free to keep on asking!

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Old 04-21-2003, 11:46 PM   #7
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Keep in mind and heart, there are some things that will only be revealed to us only, when we are in the presence of GOD. This is part of the reasoning of coming unto him as a child, with questions and awe and complete trust. It really does begin with the children. A child is born with no hate, prejudice or malice. we must strive to teach in a better way. As much as I hate to say it, it seems so far off from where I look. don't know all the answer's, and won't untill I have moved into His higher realm..
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:04 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the answers everyone!

Stories for boys: not a Catholic? Then are you a Protestant?

80sU2isbest: I noticed the typos.

Nbcrusader: No I wasn't offended. I was just worried that a believer might be offended by someone asking questions like this. "Compliance" word made me laugh because it reminded me of the bickering in the War forum.

I'm not exactly sure where I am with the religion department - I might look into other religions too - Buddhism, Islam (I'm not sure I'd get Koran in a library over here, though) before thinking any more. Just gathering info for now...


In the meantime, here's a U2 related question: in some of their songs Bono speaks rather angry of faith - for example Wake up dead man, If God will send his angels, Peace on Earth...is that kind of attitude acceptable for believers? I mean, isn't God to be trusted without questoning?
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2girl
In the meantime, here's a U2 related question: in some of their songs Bono speaks rather angry of faith - for example Wake up dead man, If God will send his angels, Peace on Earth...is that kind of attitude acceptable for believers? I mean, isn't God to be trusted without questoning?

My own personal answer to this question is no. I believe that God created humans with minds in order that we might use them. An unquestioning faith (while admirable and desirable in many instances) can be very dangerous. In my own opinion, questioning can only make faith stronger (if, indeed, it was true faith to begin with).

For a couple of years, I've been reading texts from and about not only Christianity but other religions as well. Some people I know were incredibly concerned that I would then lose faith. But all my reading and thinking has only drawn me closer to the faith I've always had. In fact, I feel that I've gained a new appreciation for faith and what a truly incredible thing it is.

As for U2, I think that Bono's lyrics reflect somewhat of the same position. There are so many times in life when blind faith just doesn't and can't satisfy. These seem to be the times that those songs speak of. But if you look and see how Bono answers his own pleadings:

Wake Up Dead Man is followed by Beautiful Day and the entire All That You Can't Leave Behind Album

If God Will Send His Angels is followed by Staring At the Sun

Peace On Earth (and in my opinion, U2's whole career) followed by Grace

Though Bono seems to call out with questions... he always answers with more faith in God and more trust in the things he believes.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-25-2003, 05:28 PM   #10
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Originally posted by U2girl
Stories for boys: not a Catholic? Then are you a Protestant?
yeah. i was raised christian reformed.

and well said, hippy.
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Old 04-26-2003, 04:44 PM   #11
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Re: A few thoughts & questions

Hello U2girl , here is my view to your questions:


Quote:
1. The differences between the Old testament and the New testament.
For example, there is the "eye for an eye" and there's the "turn the other cheek" - how do those go together?
Also my impression is that, according to the Old testament, only the "chosen people" (Israelis) go to Heaven, whereas they go to war to other nations - and in the New Testament, if I understand correctly, the apostols are to convert people from any and all nations.
If I understand correctly, God is much more harsh in the Old testament - even Israelis themselves get killed for lacking faith. Whereas in the New Testament it seems to be a more open, loving figure.
afik the "an eye for an eye" phrase was much missinterpreted it was about not taking more as revenge - so a kind of non-escalation. As i see it god gave us the old testament, we f**ed it up, we didn't understand it and jesus told us how to interpret the old testament (approx. 3/4 of the new testament are quotes from the old one)

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3. Can all sins be forgiven by entering the faith? I mean, suppose a murderer has guilty conscience and gets baptised, goes to church etc... - does that erase all of the bad things he's done? Or, if a person is calculating and gets baptised "just in case" - does that count for something or not?
Everything can be forgiven by god and i think he will forgive everyone who truely regrets. But we, the humans, can't judge if someone really regrets or not, we can just speculate about it.

So i think both, a "just in case" baptizing or baptizing of kids is meaningless

It's not about making a deal with god, it's about loving god, and your free (not because of advantages or because of fear) decision to give your live to god.

Quote:
4. Somewhere in the New Testament I read that "if you don't enter God's kingdom as a child you never will" (or something similar to that). Really? Is it too late to get baptised in, say, your teens or adult life?
Besides, isn't God (and religion) too complex of a concept to be grasped by children?
As others mentioned it's not about age, but when we are starting with our spirituality we are childs and we can grow there too (never read that passage, can you remember where it is?)
I'm also unsure if it's to complex for kids -children are sometimes closer to the truth then we when we try to "solve" it with logic.

Quote:
6. The hardest to accept (most peculiar, if you will - apart from existence of God and God/Jesus miracles and rising from the dead) parts about Christianity in particular for me is the idea that people should repent and all of them are bad sinners and that we should be afraid, or that so many people were turned to Christianity by force or killed over religion - or that people could buy the forgiveness with money at priests.
I mean, certainly there are people that do horrible and evil things but surely someone like a child is innocent. Also, isn't God supposed to be good and loving - a "Father"? Why should people fear their creator?
It's not about being affraid, it's about love. I know that there are some pastors around who try to scare people into their religion, but when i read in the bible i really see a different god.

Not everyone who says that he is a christian really is one!

Quote:
7. Is it true that Jesus spent some time in India, learning and studying? He didn't spend his whole life in Palestine?
Is Jesus a human (being born by Mary, having died on the cross) or not (being God's son, and risen from the dead)?
I never heared about that india theory .

Jesus was/is human and god in one, like light (in physics) is particle and wave the same time

Quote:
9. If there is Heaven, then why is there Hell? Wouldn't God want for all people to be with him after they die? (everyone deserves a second chance...with grace?)
I belive that our whole life is just one chance after the other. I have no idea what hapenes after the death. I don't know if hell exists, somewhere i heared that the idea and the theory of "hell" was developed long after jesus death. Since i didn't spend much time to think about that maybe someone other can confirm or falsify that.

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Old 04-26-2003, 05:31 PM   #12
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Kalus, I liked your answers. For once, we agree on allmost all things!
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Old 04-27-2003, 07:42 PM   #13
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80sU2isBest:
i guess we would agree on more things if we had the time to discuss it

At least with other conservatives here it was not the what but the how which devided us

But i'm Glad that we agree on the really important things (believe). I enjoyed to read your posts in this section too.

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