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Old 11-15-2001, 03:41 AM   #61
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Originally posted by Anthony:

And what about the countless of Muslims, who believe that everything the Prophet Mohammad wrote down was divinely given to him? Weren't those words directly given to him by God (admittedly, through the angel Jibreel)?
I am not observing that you are self-righteous or calling yourself better than non-christians, all I'm pointing out is that, judging by your view that Christianity IS THE way, by implication, everybody else is following a self-delluded and completely misguided way. The way I see it, what you're saying essentially is that if you don't recognise Jesus as THE way, you're suffering from self-delusion.

As long as the way takes you to God, does it matter if a person takes it via Jesus, or Mohammed, or even Hypothetical Joe from down the street?

Ant.
Let me put it this way: if any of the Branch Davidians (followers of David Koresh) made it into heaven, it's not because David Koresh saved their souls.

[This message has been edited by speedracer (edited 11-14-2001).]
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Old 11-15-2001, 05:56 PM   #62
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
It's just that that's what Christians do - we find comfort in being in agreement in prayer with other Christians.
Perhaps you do. But perhaps "we" don't.

I am Catholic.

But I also agree with the Hindu view that there are multiple paths to salvation. God works through all of us, and we are presented with the opportunity not to only pray, but to be productive members of society in such a way where our thoughts and deeds improve our own lives, and the lives of those around us.

I believe that a life well-lived is one where we strive to be the best, to discover our true nature, to eventually merge with God.

There are many enlightening things I see in all major world religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikkhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism. I believe we can all be saved.

I agree with a lot of what you said, but the statement I quoted, I thought was presumptuous.



[This message has been edited by anitram (edited 11-15-2001).]
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Old 11-15-2001, 06:53 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram:
Perhaps you do. But perhaps "we" don't.

I am Catholic.

But I also agree with the Hindu view that there are multiple paths to salvation. God works through all of us, and we are presented with the opportunity not to only pray, but to be productive members of society in such a way where our thoughts and deeds improve our own lives, and the lives of those around us.

I believe that a life well-lived is one where we strive to be the best, to discover our true nature, to eventually merge with God.

There are many enlightening things I see in all major world religions - Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikkhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism. I believe we can all be saved.

I agree with a lot of what you said, but the statement I quoted, I thought was presumptuous.
[This message has been edited by anitram (edited 11-15-2001).]
I'm sorry you don't take comfort in being in agreement in prayer with people. Christians are one body, the body of Christ, and we are instructed to be in unity with each other. And since prayer is the way to communicate with God, Christians need to pray with and for each other.

You said "we" do not, then said you said you are Catholic. Are you saying that Catholics don't find comfort in praying together? I hope that's not what you're saying, because that's not true. Also, since you call yourself a Catholic, do you also call yourself a Christian? Some Catholics are Christians, some are not, just like some protestants are Christians, and some are not. It has nothing to do with what church you go to; but acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior, and believe in Him.

I will ask you this; as a Catholic, where do you get the idea that there are many roads to salvation? I must say I've never heard that preached in a Catholic church. It's certainly not in the Bible. Christ say He is the only way to eternal life. If you are a Christian, how can you reconcile believing that there are many roads to Salvation with the fact that the founder and head of your religion, Christ Himself, said that He is the only way?
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Old 11-15-2001, 07:16 PM   #64
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
I'm sorry you don't take comfort in being in agreement in prayer with people.
I never said that. I said that perhaps "we" don't. Meaning that not all Christians find comfort in prayer with only other Christians.

Quote:
You said "we" do not, then said you said you are Catholic. Are you saying that Catholics don't find comfort in praying together? I hope that's not what you're saying, because that's not true.
I don't need to "pray together" to find comfort. Not all Catholics do, just as not all Christians do. I can pray in church, as part of a congregation, or I can pray by myself. I don't find one any more comforting than the other. It's my personal choice, and there are others like me. Particularly the ones who don't even attend church. Nobody said that collective effervescence is the only way to become comforted.

Quote:
I will ask you this; as a Catholic, where do you get the idea that there are many roads to salvation? I must say I've never heard that preached in a Catholic church. It's certainly not in the Bible. Christ say He is the only way to eternal life. If you are a Christian, how can you reconcile believing that there are many roads to Salvation with the fact that the founder and head of your religion, Christ Himself, said that He is the only way?
Have you ever read any of the books written by Deepak Chopra?

I find him to be fascinating, eloquent, and thought provoking.

I'll try to explain to the best of my abilities, though I'm not always the most clear person. A few days after 9/11, my mother was watching Larry King (whom we usually avoid like the black plague, but that's a whole other matter ), and he had representatives of different faiths on. He had a Catholic priest, a Christian minister (I'm not sure what denomination he was), and Imam, a Rabbi, and Deepak Chopra.

While the rest of the men were interrupting each other and arguing about the path to heaven, Chopra was avoiding religious talk in favour of spirituality. He said that he didn't believe that only one group of people will be saved. And that if you live an honourable life, then why get penalized for not having the right religious affiliation? With all that happened, this made the most sense to me. My mother, and grandmother, both extremely devout Catholics (pray up to 5 rosaries a day, keep the traditional friday fast and so on) also said this was what made most sense to them.

I know what Jesus said in the Bible. I went to Catholic schools my entire life, up to University, where I took some comparative religion courses. I am very familiar with the Biblical verses you've provided. I guess the best thing I can say is that I'd like to think the God I believe in is merciful and not vengeful. The reverend on King's show said "Our God is a very jealous God, and if you don't believe in him, and accept Jesus, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God." I found this to be very disturbing. I think God is omnipotent and not jealous. I think he loved all humanity so much he gave up his only Son. And I choose to believe that all of us can be saved, can be liberated. Whether you be a Christian in the south of the US, or a Sikh in the north of India. So long as you're a good person.

Those are my views. Maybe they oppose yours, but that's what makes this world an interesting place.

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Old 11-15-2001, 08:07 PM   #65
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Originally posted by anitram:

I know what Jesus said in the Bible. I went to Catholic schools my entire life, up to University, where I took some comparative religion courses. I am very familiar with the Biblical verses you've provided. I guess the best thing I can say is that I'd like to think the God I believe in is merciful and not vengeful. The reverend on King's show said "Our God is a very jealous God, and if you don't believe in him, and accept Jesus, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God." I found this to be very disturbing. I think God is omnipotent and not jealous. I think he loved all humanity so much he gave up his only Son. And I choose to believe that all of us can be saved, can be liberated. Whether you be a Christian in the south of the US, or a Sikh in the north of India. So long as you're a good person.
I believe in a loving and merciful God, also. That's what Jesus's sacrifice was all about. You said it best when you said "I think he loved all humanity so much he gave up his only Son". That is exactly 100% correct. So the fact that you can make it to eternal life through Jesus is the prime example of God's love. Man sends himself to hell, by being 'unholy" and "sinning"; seperating himseld from God. The Bible says that light and darkness cannot abide together. So, as it stood before Jesus came down to thsi planet, man was alienated and with no hope of spending eternity with Jesus, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And imperfect people cannot live in Heaven with a perfect God. God cannot abide in the presence of sin. So, there was a dilemma...what could God do? He decided to do the only thing that He could do. Since the wages of sin is death, only the perfect man's death could pay the price. In steps Jesus Christ, to claim his people, to redeem his children. His death on the cross and subsequent victory of death and Satan when he rose from the dead is the way out for anyone who will believe in Jesus. It is a free gift to anyone who will accept it. How much more loving can you get than to lay down your life to take upon the sins of the world so that people could be victorious over death. So, you see, when a man goes to hell, it is not because God sent him there - it is because he sent himself there. But when a man goes to Heaven, it is only because of the grace of God.
I will end this note with two more questions, and I'm not trying to be smart alecky, but I would like you to really think about this:
1)You state yourself that you believe that Jesus died on the cross for us, but you also said something about men being saved by "being good". If man could be good enough to save himself, why did Jesus bother through going through the crucifixion, one of the most painful ways to be executed? Why didn't he just say "They're good enough. I'll accept them"?
2)Also, if you can be saved by other religions, why did Jesus bother through going through the crucifixion? Why didn't he just say "Let them be saved another way"?
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Old 11-15-2001, 09:12 PM   #66
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
I will end this note with two more questions, and I'm not trying to be smart alecky, but I would like you to really think about this:
1)You state yourself that you believe that Jesus died on the cross for us, but you also said something about men being saved by "being good". If man could be good enough to save himself, why did Jesus bother through going through the crucifixion, one of the most painful ways to be executed? Why didn't he just say "They're good enough. I'll accept them"?
2)Also, if you can be saved by other religions, why did Jesus bother through going through the crucifixion? Why didn't he just say "Let them be saved another way"?

You have chosen to believe that if one is not a Christian, he cannot be saved. I don't believe that. I can't convince you to believe what I believe, and you shouldn't try to convince me to have your faith.

You know what I believe?

That the 8000 Muslims, who were slaughtered on a summer day, at the hands of "Christians", in Srebrenica, in Bosnia, through no fault of their own, have been saved.

There was a little boy, a Muslim, in Sarajevo. He was wounded by a mortar shell. He was 10 years old, and developed sepsis. They didn't have enough antibiotics in Sarajevo, so they tried to transport him to Serbia. At the border, the Serbs spat on them and sent them back. He died before he made it back in Sarajevo. He died in agony, begging his parents not to let him go. You better believe I am convinced he was saved.

That the 6 million Jews who died in the gas chambers, many of them at the hands of Christians, have been saved.

That the Hindus and Muslims who have died in terrorist attacks in Kashmir, through no fault of their own, have been saved.

You can choose to believe they haven't been saved because they weren't Christian. I respectfully disagree, and that's the end of this discussion for me.
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:02 PM   #67
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Just so you know, I do believe that ALL children will be saved. That is a Christian belief. I also believe that the mentally handicapped and can't understand teh Gospel and people who have never heard of Jesus will be judged by different criteria than those who have knowingly rejected Christ.
Also, I'm not really trying to convince you to start believing the way I do. It is the Holy Spirit's job to move in people to try to bring them to a relationship with Jesus Christ. I just try and share the word. Christ has given me the gift of salvation. I care about people, so I want to share that with others. Some people will listen, some will not. It doesn't bother me on a personal level if people reject what I say. If people reject Christ, that's what makes me sad.
However, I will quote the Edge, from an interview from around 1982 or 1983. He said "Christ is like a sword that divides the world. It's time I got in line and let people know where I stand". To me, that says it perfectly. There is no middle ground with Christ. You either believe that he died on the cross to set men free or you don't. And if you truly believe that God sent him to die on the cross, then you really must ask yourself the question I asked in my last post - "why would God send his son to die if there were other roads to the Father?" And the answer is, he wouldn't. So, either Christ is the Son of God and is the only way to God (as He himself said), or He is not the Son of God. But he would not have voluntarily laid down his life if other religions would do the same trick.



[This message has been edited by 80sU2isBest (edited 11-15-2001).]
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Old 11-15-2001, 10:07 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram:

That the 8000 Muslims, who were slaughtered on a summer day, at the hands of "Christians", in Srebrenica, in Bosnia, through no fault of their own, have been saved.

That the 6 million Jews who died in the gas chambers, many of them at the hands of Christians, have been saved.
.
A born again Christian is one who has the Holy Spirit living inside him, and would never do these things. True, someone who "calls himself" Christian might, but I doubt that he ever truly had Christ in his heart. Some people call themselves Christian because (1)It's a cultural term (2)They were brought up in a Christian family or (3)Because they go to church. None of these makes a person a true Christian. Becoming a Christian is all about a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Old 11-18-2001, 12:34 AM   #69
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While the rest of the men were interrupting each other and arguing about the path to heaven, Chopra was avoiding religious talk in favour of spirituality. He said that he didn't believe that only one group of people will be saved. And that if you live an honourable life, then why get penalized for not having the right religious affiliation?



Chopra is not only avoiding religious talk, he is avoiding God. Who decides what an honourable life is? Are any of us capable of truly living one? Do you feel that you can always do what's right and never do things that will harm others? Do you always know when you are doing things that are indeed harmful? Jesus says that even to harbar anger toward a person is murder, a grave sin. Who's standard are we living by when we judge our actions to be "honourable?" Oslama Bin Laden thinks what he has done is honourable.

The Judeo-Christian tradition looks to the Law, written in the ten commandments and the Old Testament, as the standard for perfect living. As readers of this book find out, no one can achieve this standard that God set down. Even David, beloved by God, murdered and committed adultery. The law that God gave us confronts us with our sin and convinces us we can't save ourselves. In fact we need a savior to redeem us, and this is Christ. Christ has already died for all of our sins, and has bought our forgiveness. There is nothing we can do to win God's favor but accept his son and receive his grace, forgiveness that is unmerited. Because we "all sin and fall short of the glory of God."

When you accept Christ you receive the Holy Spirit. This is the power of God working in you. Only under his direction can your actions be right. You can try many paths (and I did) but you've got to get rid of your baggage and repent before God, admitting your sins and asking for Christ to come into your life, to travel the one that is truly serving God .

[This message has been edited by DebbieSG (edited 11-17-2001).]
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Old 11-18-2001, 12:55 AM   #70
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I think people think too hard. We're all so busy trying to justify every last detail of the Bible that we're losing sight of the totality of the message.

Romans 13:8-10 -- "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law."

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-19-2001, 01:11 AM   #71
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Jesus said it, and so did the Beatles, All You Need Is Love.

I tend to think people don't think enough these days. We accept what's happening too easily without questioning why and seeking answers. (A prime example is the power deregulation in California, noone thought to look into whether this was really a good idea and the public just followed the adverts saying we'd have cheaper energy, and three years later we're having blackouts because it is being mismanaged).

You've got to read more of the Bible to find in I John 4:16b: "God is love" There is so much richness to be found in this book, you must read it yourself to discover an understanding of God. Everyone will get something out of it that is meaningful to them. It is complex and seemingly contradictory but it gives a complete picture of God's redemptive work on earth.

But you do have a point melon, that goes back to I Cor. 13 (v2b): "and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." Gotta keep that in mind .
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Old 11-19-2001, 10:39 AM   #72
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Originally posted by DebbieSG:
I tend to think people don't think enough these days. We accept what's happening too easily without questioning why and seeking answers. (A prime example is the power deregulation in California, noone thought to look into whether this was really a good idea and the public just followed the adverts saying we'd have cheaper energy, and three years later we're having blackouts because it is being mismanaged).
Hehe...I totally agree. They neglected to mention that regulated electricity prices are usually priced far below and far overproduced than what the economic equilibrium would dictate. Hence, it didn't surprise me when prices went sky high, and the "shortages" were really the private utilities cutting production sharply. Funny how it took the utility commission to find that the "shortages" were a lie, but this is the exact reason why utilities were regulated in the first place in the early part of the twentieth century. Are people so idealistic to believe that, somehow, business would be ethical on its own? Call me an idealistic fool, but I think some industries are too essential to be subject to capitalism, and electricity should be a non-profit business.

Getting back to the original topic, I think it's all about equilibrium. Some people, most definitely, don't think about God enough. Then there are others who just think way too hard, and I guess it was this contingent I was referring to. I don't think God intended for it to be that complicated!

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-23-2001, 04:21 AM   #73
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Anyway... Peace be with you all.


**Note to self, search by user name more often**



You can't imagine how glad I was to read this post!!
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