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Old 07-18-2002, 04:01 PM   #321
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And incidentally, to all those who aren't Christians, sorry about all the jesus-speak and "christian-ese"... I didn't mean for my comments a few posts up to turn into this. I'm trying not to write my posts in a way that people can't understand what I'm talking about.
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:27 AM   #322
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There's no need to say sorry King Pin, althought a muslim, I'm interested in other religions, especially in christianity, I'm talking with a lot of christians in the internet,

about the communities and differences between Islam and Christianity, so I wanna know, how do the christians understand their religion....

I think that in the USA there are more christians, who really believe in the bible, in Germany, where I live, most ppl are "pro forma" christians.......most have problems with the trinity, as well as the muslims
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Old 07-22-2002, 10:39 AM   #323
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Quote:
Originally posted by KingPin

What I am talking about is the idea that God looks at each of us with our sin tally for the day... 4 lies, 2 cheats, 1 insult, 3 lusts, etc. etc. That is ridiculous. Why? Because the Bible says that God is love, and when it describes love it says that love keeps no record of wrongs. So from that, I don't believe God is counting my many sins, waiting for me to ask for forgiveness again. That removes the concept of grace... it makes God out to be a stickler in heaven, waiting for us to screw up... watching for us to make another mistake, which is such a twisted view of God that it makes me sick. God is sitting in heaven, loving us with all his heart, hoping we'll return that love.

The sins of all the world have been forgiven already... it's just whether or not we accept the forgiver.
this is put very nicely.

God is our father and like an earthly father he will not come to us at the end of the day and give us a list of things we should repent of. Like an earthly father he will just enjoy it when we come to him and tell him how much we love him and how sorry we are that sometimes we fall down and how grateful we are that he is there to pick us up.
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Old 07-22-2002, 02:57 PM   #324
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I have a more lengthy reply to Kingpin that I just have to get typed in to the pc. But since I may procrastinate for a few more days yet, I thought I would say this real quick

I believe that Christians are exempt from the tally of sins hanging over our heads. Kingpin and Basstrap have both misunderstood me. For me sin the noun still exists BUT it works on the people who haven't been saved through belief in Jesus as we are taught in the Bible. I believe that non-Christians are working against insurmountable odds in trying to achieve their own salvation. I believe that non-Christians are far more prone to be adversely affected in their souls by the sin thats in the world because they lack the immunization of the Holy Spirit whom they reject.

I do not believe that everyone, Christian and non-Christian is running around with a pure, clean soul right now as Kingpin seems to be implying when he says that sin ceased to be a stain or a warping influenece on the world when Jesus died on the cross. What he seems to be saying is that no matter what you believe, everyone is already saved even if they don't know it yet. For me, the Bible clearly only gaurantees salvation for those who believe in Jesus and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit through that belief. Otherwise, it is much harder to achieve salvation mostly because even small sins like intellectual pride can warp a soul by stealing its full energy and its full capacity to Love which may keep it from fitting through the door of heaven.

The only gaurantee that our souls work at full capacity is to have the Spirit, who is God, dwell in us. Only God can prevent the power of sin to harm the soul and only he can put a soul back in its original condition ie it being a finite but perfectly suitable place for Him to dwell. Only His presence can bleed the soul of its petty sins which are the greatest danger to us and our salvation since they turn us into the opposite of the heroes we were meant to be and we will be judged in the end by how far we end up from that ideal.

That said I believe that our God who is both demanding and loving has created a door to heaven that is sufficiently wide for all Christians no matter how sucessful and wide enough for the most innocent non-Christians to fit through it. But it is by no means wide enough to accomodate all non-Christians.
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Old 07-22-2002, 03:07 PM   #325
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I don't know how you got this business of everyone being saved by reading kingpins post!!

I think is main qualm was with you personifying sin like its "coming to get us". Sin is a thing not some omnipresent person. It is something which exists on earth and acts as both a means AND an end. It can be the temptation and the result of the temptation.
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Old 07-22-2002, 03:41 PM   #326
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I was not personifying sin. If you will go back and read my post, you'll find that i was careful to characterize sin as a disease or else like a carcinogen much like radiation or a chemical in our environment. Poisons and diseases cannot think or act independently like a person can but they nonetheless effect the people who live where they are present. They can get you without having to consciously act.


I also exempted Christians from the warping effects of sin. Though we continue to sin, sin cannot warp our souls. If we are truly repentent of our daily sins, they are washed away by God as if they were nothing. If we are truly repentent we cannot fall from Grace.

There is no scenario where the sincere believer in Jesus will be rejected by God. However, those who reject Him and make their hearts hard will find their chances to be iffy at best.

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Old 07-22-2002, 04:15 PM   #327
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BTW Kingpin did make a statement to the effect that everyone is already forgiven, they just have to accept the forgiver. This is what led me to believe that he believes in universalism which is a Christian heresy (I don't mean that as strongly as it sounds. Thats just the word for it) Universalists use almost the exact same language when stating their belief that everyone regardless of belief is already saved. Maybe Kingpin only flirts with that line but doesn't cross it knowing better than that, but his statements make it seem otherwise.

He did say that sin, the noun, the stain, ceased to exist when Jesus died on the cross. That could very easily mean that non-Christians are as little damaged by sin as Christians are. From there its a very small step to say that non-Christians are already saved.

In my understanding, the orthodox Christian position (thats little "o", not big "O") is that escape from the stain of sin is only a potential, an offer extended to everyone. It is not already a fact which only has to be accepted. I know that we are getting into some high theological semantics here, but I sincerely believe that the distinctions in this case are very important.

If anyone wants to be gauranteed heaven, they MUST believe in Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Our Risen Lord.
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:18 PM   #328
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
If anyone wants to be gauranteed heaven, they MUST believe in Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Our Risen Lord.
And what if someone would rather not go to heaven?
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:31 PM   #329
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Dude, you just said it yourself.

"If anyone wants to be gauranteed heaven, they MUST believe in Jesus Christ, The Son of God, Our Risen Lord."

That's exactly what I mean by:

"The sins of all the world have been forgiven already... it's just whether or not we accept the forgiver"

Are you saying that when Jesus died he didn't forgive everyone's sins? He only forgave some of them? Or the sins he forgave changes according to us... so if I ask forgiveness, then he forgave more sins than if I hadn't asked him? Jesus's death didn't overcome sin? It just covered the sin of certain people? I would call that heresy.

You also said this:

"He did say that sin, the noun, the stain, ceased to exist when Jesus died on the cross. That could very easily mean that non-Christians are as little damaged by sin as Christians are. From there its a very small step to say that non-Christians are already saved."

I'm not flirting with any heretical lines. I'm telling it as the Bible tells me. The Bible says that Christ became sin, and died (thus sin ceasing to exist), freeing us from the old law of a sin record, where we were always under a death sentence for our sins. He took that sentence away and placed it on himself. I'm not saying that everyone is saved. Not at all... I'm just clarifying the problem. He has salvation in his hands... do I accept him, and receive that gift? Or do I reject him, and push that gift away? This is the issue that we face today.

I do believe that we are all capable of sinning and so we will. I don't believe that God is counting all those sins (love keeps no record of wrongs), waiting for someone to say they're sorry... God is waiting for them to love Him and thank Him for what He did. And when a person truly does that, they will realize that they have sinned in the past, and turn from it, working towards a life that pleases God.
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:46 PM   #330
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar


And what if someone would rather not go to heaven?
Well, if someone did not want to go to heaven, at least the heaven that Christianity believes in, then they would have to know that God loved them intensely, wanted to spend time with them, and wanted to feel their love in return, but they'd still turn away from it. They would have to feel in their heart that they did not need help from God, and that they did not need anything he offers. (For someone to not want to go to Heaven would mean that they do not want to feel loved or valuable, they do not want to be happy or at peace, they do not want life and knowledge, etc.)

It should be noted that if they believe in the Christian idea of heaven, then they would are automatically ascribing faith in the concept of hell, which is essentially complete and utter separation from God, and complete separation from everyone and everything else. They would be choosing to be completely alone, without love, or light, or truth, or happiness, or even the hope of any of those things.

I believe that if someone truly understood what Heaven is, and truly understood what the alternative is, then they would jump at the chance to enter heaven, and take part in all that God is offering us in heaven.
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Old 07-22-2002, 05:35 PM   #331
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Quote:
Originally posted by KingPin
Well, if someone did not want to go to heaven, at least the heaven that Christianity believes in, then they would have to know that God loved them intensely, wanted to spend time with them, and wanted to feel their love in return, but they'd still turn away from it. They would have to feel in their heart that they did not need help from God, and that they did not need anything he offers. (For someone to not want to go to Heaven would mean that they do not want to feel loved or valuable, they do not want to be happy or at peace, they do not want life and knowledge, etc.)
I think its far more simple than that: worship something other than God. In today's world, that usually means, worship yourself. Put your own desires above what's best for everyone else, and Christianity suggests that the consequences will follow.
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Old 07-22-2002, 05:50 PM   #332
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RavenStar,

Heaven by definition is any place where you would be the most happy and blissed out and you would never get bored of it.

Everyone wants to go to heaven.
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Old 07-22-2002, 07:55 PM   #333
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In that case, to me "heaven" is the Music Camp I go to.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:21 AM   #334
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Heaven by defintion also means that we get to be blissed out for all eternity too. So music camp would be close but since it is of finite duration, it could not technically be heaven.

Basically, heaven, to use your choice, would be the music camp that never ended but you would never get bored with it. You would never have to deal with anything you didn't want to deal with ever again etc. You would feel happy and fulfilled all the time.

Mine is a bit complicated to explain and I feel I can't really do it justice, but I see heaven as a place where there is no more destructive suffering like starvation, war, or emotional suffering etc. No hate or jealousy. But it would still be an interesting place with lots of challenges for those who are happiest when they are challenged like myself. It would be a chill place for those whose bliss is to chill. It would be full of the most amazing music including (especially) the 3 or 4 Nirvana albums that were never made. And everyone would be a big family, with noone cut off from one another. In other words there wouldn't be all these separate individual heavens but one great common heaven.

There would still be great thunderstorms and sunsets, volcanos and all the cool stuff we have here except noone would ever be hurt by the violent parts of nature.

Basically heaven would be all cool and no lame, forever.

I know it aounds like a pipe dream, but when I look at how f***ing amazing the universe is, I see the possibility of something even more amazing, maybe a whole other universe or universes. And I see the present universe as the work of a Being with enough imagination to make heaven rock like this universe never could. In fact it could even be said that Heaven is another universe that we gain access to when we leave our present bodies. Or else its the next universe which will replace this old one when the cycle of creation starts again. Or maybe we would get all the feeling of adventure and fulfillment we need just sitting at the feet of God. Whatever, being an optimist, I don't think its a stretch to believe that there is more and better out there waiting for us.

The Bible supports this view that there is more and better out there when it talks of a new heaven and a new earth. Although it describes these in metaphor, the message is still clear that we are to expect something really cool that will change everything.
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Old 07-23-2002, 06:19 PM   #335
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Spiritual pipe dream....
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:51 PM   #336
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Quote:
Originally posted by RavenStar
Spiritual pipe dream....
fuck pipe dreams.
I've experienced a little bit of heaven of earth and if its anything compared to the real thing
than I will be elated
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:04 PM   #337
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Thats right Basstrap, fuck spiritual pipe dreams! Go vital existance!
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:33 AM   #338
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Thats right Basstrap, fuck spiritual pipe dreams! Go vital existance!

Why does heaven, or religion for that matter, have to be a denial of vital existence? I fucking love existence and I believe in getting every last drop out of life and my religion backs me up on this. For me no one affirmed the value of man and of human existence more than Jesus. His story is the only one in the Abrahamic tradition where it is said that divine perfection came and coexisted in the physical plane with humans and enjoyed life while he was here. He had human friends whom he loved. He ate good food and drank good wine and went to weddings. Contrasted with other religions of this tradition who believe that God is too perfect to mix this way with us mere humans or else he would stop being so great, and you have a wonderful affirmation that in spite of the bad things about existence, there is still enough that good about it and us that The Divine wouldn't find it so awful to come for a visit IN PERSON.

Kind of like what I was saying in another thread. Who would be the greater King? The one who held himself aloof to maintain his perfect oh so royal dignity or the one who entered into the homes of his subjects and ate with them at their tables? And what kind of message would visiting King be sending about the value of his subjects lives? Would it be the same message if he just emailed them and told them he valued them?

For me I do not long for heaven while rejecting this world. For me heaven will be an extension of this wonderful existence. I believe that my wondeful existence won't cease when I die and it will actually get even better. I can't get enough and I want more and that's one the reasons (out of, like, a million) that I believe in my religion.

I've said it before but I'll say it again. Religion maximizes life and existence by saturating it with hope, joy, challenge, love and expectation beyond and in excess of the dry limits of pure rationality. It heightens experience and existence with maximum positivity. For me this is especially true of Christianity. As a believer I am having a blast. There are no limits to my horizons except the minimum restrictions not to hurt myself or others. Not even death can stop the party. The universe is my inheritance as a Child of God and I am looking forward to getting my full inheritance someday.

I agree with what Basstrap said. If the good stuff about this life is any indication of what heaven is like then I can't wait. And if it looks anything like Ireland, I'll be ecstatic.
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Old 07-24-2002, 02:58 AM   #339
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RavenStar,

You have a really negative view of spirituality. Where did you get the idea that spirituality is a denial of life? Did you have some bad role models or what?

To all the unspiritual out there,

Whats the point of setting limits on what's possible? or of limiting how amazing the universe can be?

That is not to say that i am against applying the brake now and then to the human imagination. Its good for us. But when we try to define the limits of the universe to the merely physical or measurable, that just seems too uptight to me.

Who is to say that the life energy that animates us and separates us from other creatures doesn't in fact continue into another phase of existence when we die? What do we know about it really? It seems pretty unique and for all we know, our consciousness could be the rarest most unique thing in all the universe. The life in us could capable of wonders we can't even imagine. It could be so dynamic and energetic that nothing can really put an end to it.

So why then would a different level of existence necessarily be a pipe dream? Isn't it scientifically possible that there are other universes? Isn't it scientifically possible that there was a universe before this one and that there will be another after this one? And what is wrong with equating Heaven with these modern concepts?

What if what we think of as death is really a step into another existence or universe of amazing freedom and possiblity for the life force in us? What if death means that we then enter into the ultimate communion between ourselves and the great life energy that animates the universe. ( Of course, even for us modern Christians, that force would actually still be a conscious and distinct set of Persons. I am not going all New Age here ) What if life as we know it is just some kind of larval stage for us?

I didn't get a chance to say this before, but I believe that Heaven won't just be different in terms of the lack of physical suffering found there. I think all the rules will be different. For instance, time and distance might become irrelevant. We might be able to explore a distant solar system without having to travel there. Or we could be in a crowd and still feel like we were cruising Rt 66 in an old Mustang. Intimacy with a loved one could go beyond sex. We could be high all the time but still be bright and functional. And although we would still have some sort of material existence, Heaven would not end up being some Fantasy Island type place where we would gorge endlessly on all the things we were denied in life. I think Heaven would be beyond the physical as we know it and beyond all present limits but it would be even more satisfying to us than the pleasures of physical existence. There would really be no such thing as insatiable greed or lust because we would be perfectly satisfied in everyway just existing there.

Going even beyond this, I think that all of this would be possible just by hooking up with The Creator after our death and tripping out on what he could teach us about what he knows. He knows everything about everything and through Him we could explore anything we wanted to, even the past. We would have ages in which to learn and experience and we would never run out of things to learn and experience.

Is it so impossible to believe that there could something like this in store for us? Why not have a little fun imagining what a new and improved existence might look like?

As you can probably tell, I've been having a lot of fun imagining the possiblities!
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:04 AM   #340
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I have been misquoted
woe is me

out, yo
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