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Old 03-07-2001, 03:24 AM   #31
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I just find it intriguing that madamc, who wrote that she is Roman Catholic, uses the Jewish way of writing "God," and several other beliefs (both on the Virgin Mary and including her belief on the origin of homosexuality coincidentally enough) is not Roman Catholic. This is not a slam against madamc at all, because religion is definitely very personal, and I respect everyone's religious beliefs.
I was born into a Roman Catholic family, I was baptised as a Roman Catholic. Like, I have said before, I have studied other religions. My thoughts on the Virgin Mary are not Catholic, obviously, and neither are my thoughts about Christianity Christian. Just because I was born in a certain religion, shouldn't keep me from learning about other religions, keeping me ignorant.

People here seem to forget that Christianity isn't the only religion in the world, and the bible isn't the only "holy book". People also seem to forget that Christianity is like a pot pourri of many theologies, Judaism the most prominent. So all Christians, and Catholics a like, have Jewish roots. Hey, it's the same G-d! There's only one. And your Lord, Jesus, was a Jew, and Mary was a Jew, and Joseph, etc.

Melon, for the last time, my assumptions of the origins of homosexuality wasn't a religious one, it was a medical one.

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Oh and BTW, I love that quote from Karl Marx, "Religion is the opium for the people." That is exactly why I am 100% for separation of church and state, because religion can definitely be used for evil. However, just because it can be used for evil doesn't mean that it is always evil.
The purpose of that quote is that religion drugs the people. Remember, Catholics and Christians are/were not allowed to question authority, and weren't allowed to read. The church knew early on that knowledge is power. Knowledge is power is another Kabbalah teaching. If you keep people from gaining knowledge, they won't have any power. So, metaphorically, the Christian religion (the ones who believe in christ, like catholics, protestants, etc) gave reasons for people to beLIEve, like a pusher gives drugs to a person, ready to consume. Like a drug, Christianity gave people hope, false hope, because the poor stayed poor and were manipulated to stay that way.

I am more of a spiritualist. I just say what I have learned on my own. And yes, religion is personal.

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Old 03-07-2001, 03:27 AM   #32
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And about science not having any explanation for the "healing" of your father - that does not mean it was a divine power. People used to pray for good weather before we explained the weather with science (and subsequently became able to predict it with a high degree of accuracy). When the weather was good, it was an answer to prayer. When the weather was bad, they just didn't pray hard enough. Now we know that it was all a waste of time because weather patterns don't react to prayer.

Sure there are things that science can't explain right now but science is gradually taking power away from your gods. Eventually, the definition of god will change to adapt to science. As Albert Einstein said, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which is based on experience, which refuses dogmatic eplanations. If there's any religion that would cope with the scientific needs it will be Buddhism...."
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Old 03-07-2001, 03:34 AM   #33
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Originally posted by Diemen:
Madam, you have a really strange definition of believe if you say I don't believe. So believers aren't allowed to have any doubts? That's pretty ridiculous. I have plenty of doubts, but that doesn't stop me from believing. Faith and belief are intimately connected to one another, and to suggest that in order to believe you have to rid yourself of all doubts is pretty far-fetched. I am sure my grandparents had plenty of doubt at whether my dad would ever walk, but that didn't stop them from believing. Belief in the way I'm familiar doesn't mean totally giving up all your inhibitions and human doubts - but it means that even with those doubts, you know that you are on the right path and are determined to stay on it.

I really don't like it when people label believers as mindless sheep. I never claimed to have no doubts. I don't know with absolutely certainty (hence, without any doubt) that it was the Virgin Mary who helped my dad. But I believe it was.
Well, I don't have any doubts that there is a G-d, and that I am in one with G-d. I know, and knowledge is power. BeLIEvers do have doubts. Look at the word I put in caps... LIE... isn't that a clue. The english language is loaded with riddles. My definition of beLIEf, as I said before, is insecurity, loaded with doubt. I have gotten rid of the word "beLIEf" out of my vocabulary.

I never said that believers were mindless sheep. Even if I did, why don't you like it? I don't want to pick on you, but do you feel like you are following, and not on your own spiritual path?

Another thing, Jesus is said to be a shepard, and his followers are his sheep...Jesus, the shepard, guides his sheep. Is that a good thing?
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Old 03-07-2001, 03:41 AM   #34
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Originally posted by DC:
I have one question about the virgin conception of Jesus - Why does the Gospel according to Mathew give the geneology of Jesus on Joseph's side if he was not sired by Joseph? This doesn't make any sense.
Because the term "virgin" meant that she was "in one" with G-d. She was pure minded. In hinduism, we can say that all her chakras were aligned, and she was in perpetually enlightened.

It is said that Joseph was chosen to be the step father of Jesus.

There is a book that talks about Jesus, but I dont remember the title...it is highly controversial. Once I get hold of the title, I'll post it here.

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Also, what kind of complications would occur during pregnancy and childbirth if the hymen was still intact? I assume it would have to be intact, otherwise no one would really know if she was a virgin or not.
I think the hymen would have broken when she started to dialate.

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Old 03-07-2001, 10:13 AM   #35
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Yes, Angela, that does explain my annoyance. We have images in the sanctuary, but in my 28 years of attending the Methodist church, I can not recall an instance of worshipping any of these items. I also do not consider the heavier use of images in the Orthodox or Catholic churches to be "idol worship." They are images, statues, etc. much like my stained glass window, used to relate the human features of Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, or whomever.

I do recall from visiting a Hare Krishna temple in New Orleans in 1993 that they informed us that they do pray directly to the idols in their temple, colorful little doll-like statues of Krishna, Vishnu, and other deities. But I'm not Hare Krishna and did not participate in praying to them.

No offense was taken at either your response nor that of Madamc. I just wanted to note for the record that I do not worship idols.

Also, DebbieSG is correct that putting any other object or person before God is idolising.

[This message has been edited by U2Bama (edited 03-07-2001).]
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Old 03-07-2001, 10:18 AM   #36
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I also do not consider the use of icons in the Orthodox or Catholic churches to be "idol worship." They are images, statues, etc. much like my stained glass window, used to relate the human features of Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, or whomever.
remember when moses found out that his people were worshipping the golden calf? a statue? whether it's human or animal, it's a statue, or a picture, and that is idolising. why isn't it idolising? because the catholic churches do it? that doesn't mean its right. it's still a sin. you are looking up to jesus, mary and joseph instead of G-d. To worship G-d, you don't need a picture or a statue.
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Old 03-07-2001, 10:34 AM   #37
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Originally posted by madamc:
remember when moses found out that his people were worshipping the golden calf? a statue? whether it's human or animal, it's a statue, or a picture, and that is idolising. why isn't it idolising? because the catholic churches do it? that doesn't mean its right. it's still a sin. you are looking up to jesus, mary and joseph instead of G-d. To worship G-d, you don't need a picture or a statue.
The people were "worshipping" the golden calf. Catholics and Orthodox Christians who I know explain to me that they "worship" God the Trinity, not the statues, images, etc. I'll admit I'm not very sharp on all of the "rules" of Catholicism, but if you could give me the Catholic church's official position on idol worship, that would be helpful. Thanks.

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Old 03-07-2001, 02:34 PM   #38
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Using any type of idol, statue or picture and kneeling in front of it, lighting candles, praying to it or anything else remotely similar is idolatry.

Something I've found very curious is that people find statues that drip blood, glow, etc....Let's suppose it was real; a God-made miracle.

The point is exactly that: What is the point of seeing a statue of the virgin crying blood, for example?

All the miracles made by Jesus, using the power given to him by his Father (who are NOT one), had a purpose. Bleeding statues have no purpose.

Can someone care to explain this?

kerc

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Old 03-07-2001, 04:20 PM   #39
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madamc, from what I can tell, you are saying that Christianity is inherently hypocritical because it condemns idolatry yet institutionalizes idolatry in it's rituals. Regardless of whether you believe what Christians believe, I think it can be shown that Christianity is consistent with it's view of idolatry.
As madamc pointed out, Moses rebuked the Israelites for worshiping a golden calf, a statue. I agree with madamc that the fact that it was a statue of an animal is insignificant. Whether it was a statue of a human, or a picture, a pizza, or even an idea, worshipping an idol rather than God is considered a sin in Christianity. Are there Christians guilty of hypocritically commiting idolatry? Certainly. I think we can agree from the above discussion that hypocrisy is something all people are prone to commit, and that Christians are no exception. But madamc seemed to be saying that hypocritical idolatry was a regular part of Christianity. She mentioned "looking up to mary, joseph, and jesus" as an example. Christianity does not consider "looking up to" something other than God to be idolatry. If someone were to worship Mary or Joseph as God, Christianity would condemn that. As for Jesus, Christianity considers him God, and therefore certainly should be worshipped. The images and icons used in Christianity are not meant to be worshipped. madamc, you're right, you don't need a statue to worship God. But that doesn't mean that the existence of a statue represents idolatry.
I wrote this in 1 or 2 sentence pieces over the span of 45 minutes, so I'm not sure that it's very coherent. Sorry if I just added to the confusion.
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Old 03-07-2001, 04:22 PM   #40
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ahhh...I just saw melon's post.

Melon, I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one. Well said.
By the way, I think I'll post a new topic on Catholisism and Mary that you might be interested in responding to.
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Old 03-07-2001, 11:04 PM   #41
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madamc, are you a believer in kabala (sp?)? Just curious...
yes i do study kabbalah

www.kabbalah.com
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Old 03-07-2001, 11:08 PM   #42
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G-d is spelled that way in Hebrew, because they don't use vowels in their spelling. Its not a respect thing, its their language.
The Lord's name is not "God"--if it was, you could not verbalize the law without breaking it ("You will not take the Lord your God's name in vain")

Dream Wanderer--in the OT it specifically states that if a man claims that his wife was not a virgin, and it turns out she was not--she was stoned. The sex laws in the OT are sverely slanted to favor the males, but they are there, sex was not allowed (for females at least) before marriage. Joseph even thought of leaving Mary when he found out she was pregnant, because he knew it wasn't his, and did not want to be dishonored by marrying a non-virgin. God convinced him otherwise.

The geneology of Joseph was shown so that those who believed him to be human could accept him as the chosen one because he was descended from the line of David (as was foretold in the OT).

kerc--I don't know that I would credit God for statues that drip blood, etc. The Bible says that Satan will "appear as an angel of light". People flocking to see a statue of Mary for whatever reason takes their eyes off God--the devil's whole goal.

madamc--what is this "Kabbalh"(sp?)--very interesting, would like to check it out.


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Old 03-08-2001, 01:53 AM   #43
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I go to a Presbyterian church and we do not have representations of Jesus or any other figure (except for the nativity scene during Christmas).

The existance of statues and Jesus on the cross is one of the arguments Protestants have with Catholics. We figure Jesus has gone to the cross, but is now at the right hand of God.

Having said that, the act of dying on the cross is essential to our faith, because that is the way he atoned for our sins and saved us all. That is important to keep in mind.

Before I became a Christian, I was in a very dangerous situation and, being in a Catholic home, prayed to the crucifix on the wall for safety. God answered my prayer; he sent Jesus.

The bible is very severe in this matter: "You shall not make for yourselves a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them" (Duet 5:8-9a). I take that to include making any picture of anything. The Moslems prohibit drawings of anything but the abstract, after this. But Jesus frees us from the law. He did work on the Sabbath when it was good and right.
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Old 03-08-2001, 03:10 AM   #44
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kabbalah is the foundation of theologies...it's what judaism is based on. remember when g-d told abraham to kill his son? and when he almost did--he thanked abraham for his loyalty and gave him "knowledge"? well kabbalah is that knowledge...secrets of the universe...not until this century has it become available to "common" people. it's a real eye opener.

for real "hardcore" kabbalah, you have to be male, over 30, and married with children. but anyone can study it. i like kabbalah's philosophy and its use of fortune telling

a great site to start from is http:www.kabbalah.com

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Old 03-08-2001, 03:55 AM   #45
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madamc, are you a believer in kabala (sp?)? Just curious...

Let me repeat this once again: Catholic statues are NOT idol worship! This is actually a long-running controversy (i.e., the Byzantine Empire once ordered the burning of all icons and statues because the emperor thought it was idol worship), but it all depends on how you view the statue or icon. If you lost the statue, would you feel like God no longer exists? That is idolatry. Do you feel that it is just a visual representation of God who is invisible otherwise, and if the statues were destroyed, would you realize that they were just 'statues'? That is not idolatry. Many of you seem to imply that God is some dim-witted Being in the sky who doesn't know what our true intentions are. I guess I grow weary of that. If you truly believe that praying to statues is idolatry, then don't do it, because it would be in violation of your conscience, but don't start painting everyone with the same brush, just because you dislike and don't understand something.

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