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Old 01-04-2005, 05:16 AM   #151
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I don't agree that this kind of event is inconsistent with the existence of a loving God, but I also don't agree that God is not to be questioned. Maybe I draw this more from a Jewish tradition than a Christian one, but I always liked a Jewish conception of conversation with God. The Jews I know are very comfortable with doubt, conflict, even anger as far as God goes, and they believe that "having it out" with God eventually makes their faith stronger and their relationship with God closer.

There are some great images of that kind of struggle in the OT--Jacob wrestling the angel is one of my (and Bono's, too, I think--LOL) favorite Bible stories ever. And the book of Job is almost one lengthy argument with God--carried on by Job, a righteous man who loses everything and finally wants to know why. And he does actually get some answers.

Is God "answerable" to us in the way that a child is to a parent? No, of course not. But I think that it's irresponsible of us to simply sit back and say, "Oh, whatever, it's God's will." It might well be God's will, but to not struggle with that, to not continue to ask questions of oneself and of God and of our fellow persons of faith, is a cop-out. Albert Einstein it was, I believe, who said that God would not have bestowed us with reason if God did not expect us to use it.
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:35 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
I don't agree that this kind of event is inconsistent with the existence of a loving God, but I also don't agree that God is not to be questioned. Maybe I draw this more from a Jewish tradition than a Christian one, but I always liked a Jewish conception of conversation with God. The Jews I know are very comfortable with doubt, conflict, even anger as far as God goes, and they believe that "having it out" with God eventually makes their faith stronger and their relationship with God closer.

There are some great images of that kind of struggle in the OT--Jacob wrestling the angel is one of my (and Bono's, too, I think--LOL) favorite Bible stories ever. And the book of Job is almost one lengthy argument with God--carried on by Job, a righteous man who loses everything and finally wants to know why. And he does actually get some answers.

Is God "answerable" to us in the way that a child is to a parent? No, of course not. But I think that it's irresponsible of us to simply sit back and say, "Oh, whatever, it's God's will." It might well be God's will, but to not struggle with that, to not continue to ask questions of oneself and of God and of our fellow persons of faith, is a cop-out. Albert Einstein it was, I believe, who said that God would not have bestowed us with reason if God did not expect us to use it.
Agree 100%
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Old 01-04-2005, 06:43 AM   #153
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
Maybe I draw this more from a Jewish tradition than a Christian one, but I always liked a Jewish conception of conversation with God. The Jews I know are very comfortable with doubt, conflict, even anger as far as God goes, and they believe that "having it out" with God eventually makes their faith stronger and their relationship with God closer.


Bra-VO.

i was raised catholic, but my mother is from brooklyn and i've spent ages visiting Manhattan, so maybe i was really meant to be jewish, since this makes SO much more sense to me than the sometimes shrill preachiness i hear out of more Christian mouths. argue, fight, debate -- isn't that what God would want, for you to use your brain and make faith (or its absence) a living, breathing, burning concept?
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Old 01-04-2005, 06:54 AM   #154
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A pastor once told me, "Go ahead and yell at God. He's big enough to handle it."

And I think that's a necessity for genuine faith. It's not living in the shallow end of a repetitive religion, but being honest enough to show your REAL self to God, and waiting for Him to show His REAL self to you.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:06 AM   #155
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Oh, I have no trouble getting angry with God! I figure He can handle it.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:30 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
There are some great images of that kind of struggle in the OT--Jacob wrestling the angel is one of my (and Bono's, too, I think--LOL) favorite Bible stories ever. And the book of Job is almost one lengthy argument with God--carried on by Job, a righteous man who loses everything and finally wants to know why. And he does actually get some answers.
I think Job teaches us a lot in these type of situations. Job is an interesting conversation between Job, God and some of Job's friends.

After all his children died, Job was faced with the choice of turning away from God or worshiping. He chose worship.

The Psalms are another great source of expressions of doubt, anger and dismay to God. But as you read through the Psalms, the result is the worship and praise of the Almighty.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:47 AM   #157
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

The Psalms are another great source of expressions of doubt, anger and dismay to God. But as you read through the Psalms, the result is the worship and praise of the Almighty.

well, of course. no instruction manuel is going to tell you that the product you've just purchased doesn't work.

isn't the process the most important thing? the journey? seems to me that Faith is almost irrelevant to the process of confirming, or denying, Faith. these days, with my Faith well on the wane, i'm finding the process of systematically dismantling my Faith (my own atomic bomb, perhaps) to be hugely frustrating and rewarding, but always enriching, and perhaps it might be a path back to Faith, or perhaps not.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:50 AM   #158
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A process is meaningless if there is no proper starting point or frame of reference.

For Christians, there are three parts to salvation:

Justification
Sanctification
Glorification

The sanctification is the journey you reference.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:54 AM   #159
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
A process is meaningless if there is no proper starting point or frame of reference.

For Christians, there are three parts to salvation:

Justification
Sanctification
Glorification

The sanctification is the journey you reference.

sounds like the end has been predetermined by the start. doesn't sound like a legitimate process to me, more like a structure designed to reinforce a particular belief system. "glorification"? and as i mentioned earlier, salvation is beside the point, its how the process manifests itself in how life is lived that ultimately matters.

also, by using the term "for Christians," you've already created a false-choice structure that will inevitably lead you to a predetermined conclusion.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:55 AM   #160
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Quote:
Originally posted by stammer476
A pastor once told me, "Go ahead and yell at God. He's big enough to handle it."

And I think that's a necessity for genuine faith. It's not living in the shallow end of a repetitive religion, but being honest enough to show your REAL self to God, and waiting for Him to show His REAL self to you.
I like this too.

Obviously the end of that anger, that conflict can--and should--be greater praise of God and a better relationship with God. But I'm drawn to what Irvine mentioned--the journey, the process. I think that is just as important as where you "end up," so to speak.
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:41 AM   #161
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god hasn't any blame for nothing, if many would read the bible, STUDY the bible, they would have all their question answered, many don't know nothing about god but are ready to go down on him, HIS reign will come, the right day not now yet, and he will make everything clear, all the ones who died will be rewaked, this is what jesus did when he came on the earth and died for us, isn't that not a loving god enough? someone who sent his own son to redeem us, this is no fiction, this is the truth. the fact is that many don't have christian knowledge, it is better to do other things as to sit down and study the bible and try to get all the confusion clear, everytime when something bad happens it is god who wanted it, we must believe in him, we must trust his word, otherwise that's the way how we live, in sadness, despair, mistrust. it isn't right to say, if there's a loving god why doesn't he avoid all the catastrophes? no, there's a god, and his name is YAHWEH, and HE will LEAD us to salvation, he will take each hand of us if we just give our trust to him, and most of all, if we serve his word
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:57 AM   #162
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god hasn't any blame for nothing, if many would read the bible, STUDY the bible, they would have all their question answered, many don't know nothing about god but are ready to go down on him, HIS reign will come, the right day not now yet, and he will make everything clear, all the ones who died will be rewaked, this is what jesus did when he came on the earth and died for us, isn't that not a loving god enough? someone who sent his own son to redeem us, this is no fiction, this is the truth. the fact is that many don't have christian knowledge, it is better to do other things as to sit down and study the bible and try to get all the confusion clear, everytime when something bad happens it is god who wanted it, we must believe in him, we must trust his word, otherwise that's the way how we live, in sadness, despair, mistrust. it isn't right to say, if there's a loving god why doesn't he avoid all the catastrophes? no, there's a god, and his name is YAHWEH, and HE will LEAD us to salvation, he will take each hand of us if we just give our trust to him, and most of all, if we serve his word

dear, not everyone who believes in God believes in the Bible, let alone take it literally. there's more out there than your specific conception Christianity.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:17 AM   #163
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dear, not everyone who believes in God believes in the Bible, let alone take it literally. there's more out there than your specific conception Christianity.
my specific conception? no, i'm sorry, you aren't right.

isn't it a huge contradiction, not everyone who believes in god believes the bible? if you believe in god you believe the bible, because he wrote the bible, and we must act in our lives following what the bible teaches us, the bible is god's word, and it's one word, there can't be 1000 conceptions, there's only one, and it's god's conception, it's up to us to get inside, search god
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:33 AM   #164
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:16 PM   #165
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There is a language barrier going on here--let's keep that in mind.

I think what Irvine means, babyman, is that some people who believe in God (either the Judeo-Islamo-Christian God or else some other sort of monotheic deity, Great Spirit, what have you) are not necessarily Christian, and would therefore not regard the Bible as the best or only source of answers to these questions. Jews and Muslims believe in much the same God as Christians do, but obviously they do not find the Bible to be THE authoritative text. Same for agnostics, certain pagans, some followers of Native American religions, perhaps even Buddhists or Taoists (I could be wrong on that one)--they may believe in, or at least be open to believing in, one sovereign God, but not necessarily the same God of whom Christians speak.

Maybe that'll clear some things up.
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