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Old 07-02-2002, 02:27 AM   #301
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Arun and RavenStar

You surprise me.

You mean my limited experience with people of all sorts of background and religious affiliations whom I have had intimate friendships with? You mean my limited experience of living in one of the most diverse nations in the world and being naturally curious and eager to get inside other people's heads?

You seem to assume that I have never once looked beyond my own nose about anything that I believe in since I was born. No matter how many times I tell what I have been through in my life if I express a strong opinion as a Christian then I am automatically limited and narrow minded. Is that it?

How is it that you know me and what I am about? How quick you are to find some little quibble so you can have an excuse to write off everything I have said.

I did not believe in God at all to start with. Then I thought that all religions taught the same exact things. I was a liberal, a politically-correct new-age poster child at one time. I did not set out in life to make the world fit into my biases.

It was Christians who convinced me to be a Christian by their greater degree of joy compared to my other friends. I didn't become a Christian and then conclude that Christians were just naturally happier because I am one of them.

And why is it that to say something is different or something is more is the same as saying that everything else is worthless? Did I say that no one but Christians are happy? I know my friends are happy from having spent time with them over the years. I happen to think that people of other religions are very happy and content. I know they are as happy as humans could be on their own. I used to think myself that I couldn't possibly be any happier or more content with my life and my beliefs.

But there is more happiness than even that. And its available not just to some perfect holy people, its available to all. It is truly abundant, overflowing pouring down on everyone who has ever lived and its still not exhausted. Its free and without condition except that we must be instructed in how to recognize it.

It is what Hindu holy men have renounced everything for but we don't have to renounce anything for it but our determination to do everything our own way.

It is the paradise that other religions are told they must wait for but a portion of it is here and now.

It is being with God now not later. When He touches us just a little, we must sing for joy even in our darkest hour.

This is what Christianity teaches us about God.

Christianity also teaches that God never meant for finding Him and being with Him to be as hard as we make it out to be. Finding God is easy. He comes to us and we have no doubt about it. And the reason why he makes it so easy is because we have more important things to do in this life. Our job is to ease the suffering of other people physically, emotionally, spiritually. This job can't wait until we have attained the perfect way of life and its too big a job for us to be worried about anything else. It is more than we can handle ourselves but we also must be involved. And so God in his Mercy lends us His own hand to get us through.

We all convince ourselves that we could never be as brave as our heroes. That we could never do what they do. But we can when God shares Himself with us. Everyone of us is quite literally a MLK or a Mother Teresa or a Gandhi. We are all of us superheroes in waiting if we unite ourselves with God the way he intended. And when we are united with God in the way the Hindu holy men dream of, but we are also energized into action to help others no matter how scary that might be, then this is the happiness that I am talking about Christians having. Most people on this earth don't have it. Because if they did, it wouldn't be the place that it is.

So yes, in my wide experience, Christians are happier because all of us are taught clearly, simply easily how to be happiest of all people.

And there is pretty much just one step to being as happy as we are. That is, believe that Jesus is truly the Christ whose teachings are therefore imperative and eternal. All the other steps to happiness then flow easily from that first one.

Renouncing your culture and politics and becoming a white, male American Pentacostal is not necessary to become a follower of Christ. Becoming a faceless conformist is not necessary. None of what you think you would have to sacrifice is neccesary to sacrifice except for your grudges and your pride. Because Jesus is the Christ, he is bigger than any religion. He is even bigger than Christianity, the religion closest to Him. None of the Christian practices or observances that you happen to disagree with are as important as accepting Him and following Him. Not the Trinity, not original sin, not communion, not going to church, none of them. It does not matter if you are a Catholic or a Baptist. These things are not what our faith depends on (though they have been known to very helpful to us) Our faith depends on the reality of Christ and on us following His unique example into a gentle but fearless service of mankind.

In the end the greatest happiness can only come from uniting with God Himself in order to devote ourselves to giving others happiness and relief. That is what being a Christian is all about.
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Old 07-02-2002, 10:19 AM   #302
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what do you define as accepting...and following christ??


I define it as the following


Obeying jesus's two commandments


and understanding that your life is meant for something greater...namely god, and not to fulfilling of our own desires.


and I completely agree with your statement of christ being bigger than religion.
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:36 AM   #303
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May I ask what jesus' 2 commandments are?
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Old 07-05-2002, 11:55 AM   #304
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
May I ask what jesus' 2 commandments are?
I believe they would be "love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind" and "love your neighbor as yourself".

i might be wrong tho.
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Old 07-05-2002, 01:07 PM   #305
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Right you are, Sula.

In response to the question, "What is the greatest commandment?":

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. - Matthew 22:37-40.
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Old 07-05-2002, 01:27 PM   #306
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Thanks
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Old 07-07-2002, 01:41 AM   #307
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Arun V,

Sorry its taken me so long to get back to you but I really havent had the time to make a thoughtful reply to your question until now. I am also really glad that you said something because I was worried that I had killed this thread for sure with my last post! I seem to have a knack for that.


Quote:
Originally posted by Arun V
what do you define as accepting...and following christ??


I define it as the following


Obeying jesus's two commandments


and understanding that your life is meant for something greater...namely god, and not to fulfilling of our own desires.

I would have to very much disagree with your definition. Yes the commandments you cited are very important but they are said to be the most important, not the ONLY important ones. As you can see from the quote Bubba provided, Jesus is being asked which is the greatest commandment in The Jewish Law. What He says is that the Law hangs on these two commandments. He does not say to follow just those two and you'll be ok.

The Gospels relate that Jesus actually tied these two commandments into a much more radical and specific body of teaching which, it turns out, is nothing short of an entire plan of action for implementing these commandments in the fullest sense possible. And so if we are to truly follow Him we must take him at his word and follow all of His directions and believe what he taught us to believe, and not pick out the stuff that we decide that we like. Otherwise, these wonderful commandments end up being reduced to mere sentiment on the order of something like "be a good boy, mind your Parent and play nice with others. "

In other words The Gospels must be accepted in their entirety because they are the most specific guide we have for obeying the commandments Jesus thought were the most important in the way He felt was best. As such, The Gospels in their entirety must be classified as part of the Way of Christ and not lumped in with the Christian religion.

In fact I believe it is vital that the Gospel accounts of Jesus be considered as being just as much above religion as Jesus Himself is.

But I'll explain this in more detail tommorrow. Right now I gotta go to bed. I have to be up early tomorrow.
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Old 07-09-2002, 05:39 PM   #308
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
I would have to very much disagree with your definition. Yes the commandments you cited are very important but they are said to be the most important, not the ONLY important ones. As you can see from the quote Bubba provided, Jesus is being asked which is the greatest commandment in The Jewish Law. What He says is that the Law hangs on these two commandments. He does not say to follow just those two and you'll be ok.
I side with her. Everything Jesus said can be boiled down to those two commandments.

In fact, I think that you can be "ok" even without doing those things. The only time Jesus told someone they would go to heaven (or paradise) was to a man next to him on another cross... and he followed not set of rules or instructions... he simply looked over and said "remember me when you enter into your kingdom."

And that was the simple faith, belief, trust, and humility that God is looking for in us.
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Old 07-11-2002, 11:40 PM   #309
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I think I need to link this topic to my sig so I don't have to explain every detail about Satanism again in some other post.
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Old 07-16-2002, 07:29 PM   #310
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LMAO
I'm on this other board and they got SO offended when I even mention Satanism. If only they could be as open-minded as people on here and actually learn about something before it offends them.
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Old 07-16-2002, 10:55 PM   #311
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God ...higher than any beautiful words , people are not smart ( not yet if we get lucky after 1000-2000 years maybe ) enough , and religion is a positive movement , remember one of the first and main sins from Buddism is to disrespect other religions .
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:33 PM   #312
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I'm not buddist. The first sin in my religion is stupididty, followed by pretentiousness, solipsism, self-deceit, herd conformity, lack of perspective, forgetfulness of past orthodoxes, counterproductive pride, and lack of aesthetices.
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Old 07-17-2002, 04:25 PM   #313
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the first, and technically only sin, in my religion (though I hesitate to call it that) is quity simply Pride, or Selfishness.
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Old 07-18-2002, 12:12 AM   #314
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And what religion might that be? (sry if you have mentioned it)
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:56 AM   #315
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That would be Christianity.

The only real sin is Pride, or putting yourself first, before others. It's the idea that you don't need God. Or the attitude that "I'm good enough to do what I want." It's always looking out for number one, without regard for the feeling of other people. Virtually every "sin", or crime, or personality trait that we dislike, stems from this.

And I also believe that "sin" in the noun sense, does not really exist. God does not see us with a tally of different sins that we have on our record. Sin exists in the verb sense... and it is simply living in a manner that goes against those two basic rules of Christianity we discussed earlier.
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