Could the Christians on here please explain this to me? - Page 4 - U2 Feedback

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Old 01-24-2003, 05:59 PM   #46
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Awesome - I look forward to visiting the local congregation here.
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Old 01-24-2003, 06:13 PM   #47
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Insightful question Mrs. Edge. This topic always reminds me of something I read in "What's So Amazing About Grace" by Philip Yancey. (any spelling errors are mine)


..Paul started with: Why be good? Really, that is the wrong question. It should be: Why love?

One summer I had to learn basic German in order to finish a graduate degree. What a wretched summer! On delightful evenings while my friends sailed on Lake Michigan, rode bikes, and sipped cappuccinos in patio cafes, I was holed up with a Kapomeister tutor, parsing German verbs....I endured such torture for one purpose only: to pass the test and get my degree.

What if the school registrarhad promised me, "Philip, we want you to study hard, learn German, and take the test, but we promise you in advance that you'll get a passing grade. Your diploma has already been filled out." Do you think I would have spent every delectable summer evening inside a hot, stuffy apartment? Not a chance. In a nutshell, that was the theological dilemma Paul confronts in Romans. (7:1-6).

Why learn German? There are noble reasons, to be sure - languages broaden the mind and expand the range of communication - but these had never motivated me to study German before. I studied for selfish reasons, to finish a degree, and only the threat of consequences hanging over me caused me to reorder my summer priorities. Today, I remember very little of the German I crammed into my brain. "The old way of the written code" (Paul's description of the Old Testament law) produces short-term results at best.

What would inspire me to learn German? I can think of one powerful incentive. If my wife, the woman I fell in love with, spoke only German, I would have learned the language in record time. Why? I would have a desperate desire to communicate mit einer schonen Frau. I would have stayed up late at night parsing verbs and placing them properly at the ends of my love-letter sentences, treasuring each addition to my vocabulary as a new way of expressing myself to the one I loved. I would have learned German unbegrudgingly, with the relationship itself as my reward.

That reality helps me understand Paul's gruff "God forbid!" response to the question "Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase?" Would a groom on his wedding night hold the following conversation with his bride? "Honey, I love you so much, and I'm eager to spend my life with you. But I need to work out a few details. Now that we're married, how far can I go with other women? Can I sleep with them? Kiss them? You don't mind a few affairs now and then, do you? I know it might hurt you, but just think of all the opportunities you'll have to forgive me after I betray you!" To such a Don Juan the only reasonable response is a slap in the face and a "God forbid!" Obviously, he does not understand the first thing about love.

Similarly if we approach God with a "What can I get away with?" attitude, it proves we do not grasp what God has in mind for us. God wants something far beyond the relationship I might have with a slave master, who will enforce my obedience with a whip. God is not a boss or a business manager or a magic genie to serve at our command.

Indeed, God wants something more intimate than the closest relationship on earth, the lifetime bond between a man and a woman. What God wants is not a good performance, but my heart. I do "good workds" for my wife not in order to earn credit but to express my love for her. Likewise, God wants me to serve "in the new way of the Spirit": not out of compulsion but out of desire. "Discipleship," says Clifford Williams, "simply means the life which springs from grace."
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Old 01-24-2003, 06:26 PM   #48
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Great analogies olive - thanks for putting that up
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Old 01-24-2003, 06:31 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally posted by bonosloveslave
Jessica,
Only love that comes from a free choice of the will is *true* love. Voluntary choice is the key Ė love isnít genuine if thereís no other option.
(I'm just on here for one second before I rush out to do a belly dancing gig, but I wanted to quickly ask this as it jumped out at me right away...)

Animals (dogs anyway), love unconditionally, it's true love even though they don't have free will in the same sense we do....we could have been created as a more sophisticated version of that!

Back later to read everything else....

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Old 01-24-2003, 07:11 PM   #50
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I can see what you're saying Jess - though I wonder if animals really do love unconditionally - do they even love at all? As a pet owner and a 5/9ths vet, of course I would instinctively say that my animals love me and they do so unconditionally. We are probably anthropomorphising that emotion however (which in English means "Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena").
When a mother dog is nursing her puppies, cleaning them, caring for them, we say, awww, what a good mom, she really loves her babies...... But does she? Or is she acting on instinct? I'm not sure that they love us unconditionally either. Yes, they seem "happy" when provided the basics of life, many are "forgiving" even when the owner abuses or neglects them. But there are other animals whose behavior is forever changed when they are mistreated, and they become aggressive, "trusting" no one.
Doesn't unconditional love = a love that can't be changed by anything?

Ack - I feel like I'm diverging again.....and please don't misunderstand me, personally I do think my pets love me and miss me when I'm gone, etc., just pointing out that there is some debate out there on that issue.

So, why didn't God just make us sophisticated dogs? Good question for Him someday, although I would say that because He created us for fellowship with Him, He made us in His image, and He knew it would be the most meaningful relationship when we *choose* to be a part of it.
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Old 01-24-2003, 07:16 PM   #51
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Very well said Beth.
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Old 01-25-2003, 12:29 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
I am still really hoping it was a joke.
sorry, i was angry.
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Old 01-25-2003, 02:35 PM   #53
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Olive, that was a great analogy! Thanks!

Bono'sloveslave, I picked the animal analogy because I knew you were a future vet, and I work in a Humane Society....and yes, you're right, we do tend to anthropomorphise.

On a side note, my family is particularly guilty of anthropomorphising....I remember once we were cleaning away some junk, and my sister's boyfriend was with us. Someone asked him if he wanted this ruler. He said no. My sister then pretended to cry and said "the poor ruler! look, you've made him cry...and now he has no home! He says please don't throw me in the garbage! boohooo hooo!" It made her boyfriend so upset he kept the ruler!

Anyway, I digress. Another question. Just supposing for arguments' sake, I did decide to pursue the Christian path. With me, it would have to begin with accepting all this on an intellectual level, (and accepting all these troubling scenarios described earlier). I think that even if I read the Bible from cover to cover and attended classes, this would still be intellectual understanding, but it would take much longer to seep into my heart and soul.

It would be like marrying someone you didn't know, based solely on recommendations of friends. Does this love just seep in one day, or hit you like a thunderbolt? And if I am still only on the intellectual level and am suddenly hit by a bus, am I in deep trouble? And then how do you decide to pick one of the bazillions of denominations, because each of them thinks the other is wrong!

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Old 01-25-2003, 02:52 PM   #54
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I think I still have your address, I'm gonna send you 2 books that might help with the understanding some of the intellectual questions. Again I know I'm repeating myself and have recommended these to others on the board, but "The Case for Faith" and "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel are very insightful books, with an incredible amount of research and lots of interviews with experts in theology, philosophy, ethics, etc.

Actually - you're going to RARHOF in 2 weeks right? I can bring them then, might actually get them sooner than you would with the dang US Postal service
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Old 01-25-2003, 02:55 PM   #55
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Mrs. Edge, if you have any questions at all, feel free to ask me here or PM me. I always try and put aside my own emotions to answer it objectively as possible, even if that is not a completely possible task.

But, really, I don't know where to start, so, if you have anything you want to know specifically, I offer my assistance to you.

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Old 01-25-2003, 03:09 PM   #56
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You guys are so sweet! Thank you!

Bonosloveslave, I'm not yet sure about the RARHOF....I am theoretically choosing betw. Vegas and Cleveland, but perhaps I can find a way to do both...the problem is I also have to plan a trip to Holland in June and this will all be very $$$!

But I really do want to go....I will let you know for sure soon. Any chance of you going to Vegas? PM me if you like!
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Old 01-25-2003, 03:21 PM   #57
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Vegas would be fun, but I'll be in a rotation where I'll be on-call on the weekends. Cleveland is within driving distance for me, so $ is less of an issue.
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