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      01-22-2016, 09:36 AM   #287
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I think he was talking about countries like Sweden, France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK, Spain, Austria, etc. Not countries with govt imposed secularism.
This ^
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      01-22-2016, 10:27 AM   #288
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As interesting as this conversation is, it is also pretty pointless. The debate isn't really about religion....religion is just a means to an end. To the religious, the destination is everything, the method of getting there, no matter how non-sensical, is utterly irrelevant. If people had been programmed for thousands of years to believe that eating brussell sprouts was the path to heaven, that's what we would be discussing right now. No offense intended to anyone, but if we removed the carrot at the end of the stick that is eternal life, religion would not exist.

Last edited by Doc Oc; 01-22-2016 at 10:34 AM..
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      01-22-2016, 01:00 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Doc Oc View Post
As interesting as this conversation is, it is also pretty pointless. The debate isn't really about religion....religion is just a means to an end. To the religious, the destination is everything, the method of getting there, no matter how non-sensical, is utterly irrelevant. If people had been programmed for thousands of years to believe that eating brussell sprouts was the path to heaven, that's what we would be discussing right now. No offense intended to anyone, but if we removed the carrot at the end of the stick that is eternal life, religion would not exist.
+1

Also known as, a comfort system/coping mechanism.
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      01-22-2016, 01:51 PM   #290
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It could be because they have enforced single child only policies (e.g. China's forced abortions) or gulags (Russia) where they place anyone who doesn't fit the government-socio norm. Do those societies even track teen pregnancies?
Right, that is why crime and violent deaths are low.
If you lived under a regime that had such severe penalties, you probably wouldn't commit many crimes. The real criminals are in the government, and get away with murder.
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      01-24-2016, 11:53 PM   #291
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What I find more interesting than whether there's a god or not is that apparently god... creator of the whole universe, creator of atoms, electrons, physics and all kinds of insanely complicated and intricate systems is very concerned about you eating meat on Fridays!

And if you are Jewish forget about it, he probably spent more time coming up with those rules than he did with quantum mechanics!
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      01-25-2016, 05:03 PM   #292
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If you lived under a regime that had such severe penalties, you probably wouldn't commit many crimes. The real criminals are in the government, and get away with murder.
I'm talking about Germany, Sweden, Norway, etc...
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      01-26-2016, 06:35 AM   #293
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Originally Posted by Doc Oc View Post
As interesting as this conversation is, it is also pretty pointless. The debate isn't really about religion....religion is just a means to an end. To the religious, the destination is everything, the method of getting there, no matter how non-sensical, is utterly irrelevant. If people had been programmed for thousands of years to believe that eating brussell sprouts was the path to heaven, that's what we would be discussing right now. No offense intended to anyone, but if we removed the carrot at the end of the stick that is eternal life, religion would not exist.
Is the promise of an after-life integral to the religious person - anyone care to comment?
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      01-26-2016, 02:07 PM   #294
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Is the promise of an after-life integral to the religious person - anyone care to comment?
Good subject... I believe that is what moves religious people to do good to others. As I stated before, it is the ticket to paradise instead of going to hell.
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      01-27-2016, 07:34 AM   #295
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Good subject... I believe that is what moves religious people to do good to others. As I stated before, it is the ticket to paradise instead of going to hell.
I don't know if the average believer has thought that far. I mean if you go to church every week you would be indoctrinated.. but how much of it is really just a social group, even for the ministers..
In the average believers brain, I think they just try to hold these thoughts in their rational mind, and go on living in their 'church group' which is the main point of religion as I see it.
IOWs it's not really about challenging beliefs, it's like going to rehab for the companionship rather than to get off drugs.
Nobody really lives on the edge of their beliefs.. for most ppl it's a miniscule part of theirs lives, and should be, until something happens when their beliefs in the world blow up and they have to start again.
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      01-27-2016, 01:12 PM   #296
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i share bill maher's opinions.
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      01-27-2016, 01:23 PM   #297
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Faith is one thing but truly believing in the "book" is crazy. Scientology is a book too. There are lots of books. BTY- books are written by MAN.
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      01-27-2016, 03:29 PM   #298
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Faith is one thing but truly believing in the "book" is crazy. Scientology is a book too. There are lots of books. BTY- books are written by MAN.
You mean truly believing in only certain sections of a book because my book is better than yours?
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      01-27-2016, 04:22 PM   #299
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Originally Posted by M3 Number 86
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Originally Posted by Jbrock22 View Post
Faith is one thing but truly believing in the "book" is crazy. Scientology is a book too. There are lots of books. BTY- books are written by MAN.
You mean truly believing in only certain sections of a book because my book is better than yours?
You got it.
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      01-27-2016, 04:32 PM   #300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbrock22
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Originally Posted by M3 Number 86
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Originally Posted by Jbrock22 View Post
Faith is one thing but truly believing in the "book" is crazy. Scientology is a book too. There are lots of books. BTY- books are written by MAN.
You mean truly believing in only certain sections of a book because my book is better than yours?
You got it.
Crazies.

My wife and her family is very religious but I wouldn't say to a detriment but sometimes I think to myself ummmmm.......
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      01-27-2016, 06:59 PM   #301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
Is the promise of an after-life integral to the religious person - anyone care to comment?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
Good subject... As I stated before, it is the ticket to paradise instead of going to hell.
I would say for me the initial idea of an afterlife is what opened up the possibilities of Godís existence to me but does not remain a driving force for my faith. The so called carrot only led me to consider and listen to the biblical perspective. Again, religious ideology alone is not and never will be enough to hold up under a naturalistic worldview. There has to be something greater. Itís more than simple indoctrination, though there are many that as you said, that have not really thought that deep into their reason for believing. The real hurdle for those that hold the naturalistic view of life is the reality of a relationship with the one we believe in. The carrot only leads us to God himself.

I am hopeful that the question was asked with good intention, to actually learn how we think and feel; though I will say up front, that I am already aware of most of the oppositionís views and opinions and continue to believe in spite of them. Not out of stubbornness or blind obedience to indoctrination (though I am sure many will still disagree). But as I have stated before, because of the relationship I have with the one who I believe is God that came over time, through experiencing Him.

This relationship for me is real and has had specific outcomes. It surpasses the threat or reward ideology that most assume we follow. Itsí the reality of new life that I see and experience daily that I cannot deny and therefore, keeps me from regressing back to a purely naturalistic worldview.

As for why I follow the biblical perspective? Why is the God I say I have relationship with the God of the bible and not some other religion?

Ravi Zacharias and Stuart McAllsiter answer it well:

Consider the question of the human condition. How are we to live? With all our education, experience, and insight, we are still mystified by what we do and donít do, what seems to be right or true or good in a way that is really lasting and effective. And yet, in a world of competing and combative claims, we are often left confused and divided in the hope of any kind of shared diagnosis and solution. Nothing seems to work.

We seem to swing from rampant idealism to the most barbarous actions. In todayís globalized world, people, ideas, cultures, and ideologies are being flung together into a desperate mix, with many clashes, uncertainties, and unknown outcomes. What does it mean to be human? Who says so and does it matter? Donít all views lead to harmony and justice? And by simply granting space, time, and freedom, will we not finally achieve the Brave New World?

The problem at the heart of the human condition is the problem of the human heart. It seems we all need heart surgery and some real internal work if external realities are to be impacted and changed.

We all know in our deepest thoughts that there are things in life and within us over which we have little or no power, and for which we have little or no comprehension. The good news is that the God of the bible has provided a cure, the desired effect, for this very concern. The hope of inner renewal that leads to outward change is part of what He offers to the human dilemma and the most challenging questions of our time. Truly, what we need is not more moralizing and polishing of externals but deep heart surgery and a new beginning. Indeed, we need the very gift of new creation in the One who makes all things new. This ďmagicĒ is done through Jesus.

What the saving grace of Jesus does is utterly unique. When we trust in Him and receive Him with the surrender of our will, He brings the new birth that He promises. He brings the peace that He promises. All other worldviews call us to a self-betterment. We morally lift ourselves by our own volitional bootstraps. In Jesus Christ, He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He fulfilled the law. He writes the law in our hearts so that we seek to honor Him. It is not so much that we are bad as much as the fact that in our natural condition we are dead to Him. His work in us breathes new life. The new hungers and new longings come from his work within our hearts.


From my point of view, the only solution given by any source to the condition of our hearts is the biblical perspective. Because my heart has been changed as a result of this relationship. Neither science nor religion has the power to change a heart. They can change our minds, but not our hearts.

God, along with our cooperation, is the only one that can change our hearts.

So my question back to you is what would you do if one day you actually called out for God and he answers you? Would you dismiss it as delusion or would you call on Him again to see if it was real? The answer to this question may help us all understand the uniqueness or foolishness of faith and how it applies to our specific worldview.
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      01-27-2016, 07:39 PM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1smokehouse
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimlock View Post
Is the promise of an after-life integral to the religious person - anyone care to comment?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KlausPA View Post
Good subject... As I stated before, it is the ticket to paradise instead of going to hell.
I would say for me the initial idea of an afterlife is what opened up the possibilities of God√ā¬ís existence to me but does not remain a driving force for my faith. The so called carrot only led me to consider and listen to the biblical perspective. Again, religious ideology alone is not and never will be enough to hold up under a naturalistic worldview. There has to be something greater. It√ā¬ís more than simple indoctrination, though there are many that as you said, that have not really thought that deep into their reason for believing. The real hurdle for those that hold the naturalistic view of life is the reality of a relationship with the one we believe in. The carrot only leads us to God himself.

I am hopeful that the question was asked with good intention, to actually learn how we think and feel; though I will say up front, that I am already aware of most of the opposition√ā¬ís views and opinions and continue to believe in spite of them. Not out of stubbornness or blind obedience to indoctrination (though I am sure many will still disagree). But as I have stated before, because of the relationship I have with the one who I believe is God that came over time, through experiencing Him.

This relationship for me is real and has had specific outcomes. It surpasses the threat or reward ideology that most assume we follow. Its√ā¬í the reality of new life that I see and experience daily that I cannot deny and therefore, keeps me from regressing back to a purely naturalistic worldview.

As for why I follow the biblical perspective? Why is the God I say I have relationship with the God of the bible and not some other religion?

Ravi Zacharias and Stuart McAllsiter answer it well:

Consider the question of the human condition. How are we to live? With all our education, experience, and insight, we are still mystified by what we do and don√ā¬ít do, what seems to be right or true or good in a way that is really lasting and effective. And yet, in a world of competing and combative claims, we are often left confused and divided in the hope of any kind of shared diagnosis and solution. Nothing seems to work.

We seem to swing from rampant idealism to the most barbarous actions. In today√ā¬ís globalized world, people, ideas, cultures, and ideologies are being flung together into a desperate mix, with many clashes, uncertainties, and unknown outcomes. What does it mean to be human? Who says so and does it matter? Don√ā¬ít all views lead to harmony and justice? And by simply granting space, time, and freedom, will we not finally achieve the Brave New World?

The problem at the heart of the human condition is the problem of the human heart. It seems we all need heart surgery and some real internal work if external realities are to be impacted and changed.

We all know in our deepest thoughts that there are things in life and within us over which we have little or no power, and for which we have little or no comprehension. The good news is that the God of the bible has provided a cure, the desired effect, for this very concern. The hope of inner renewal that leads to outward change is part of what He offers to the human dilemma and the most challenging questions of our time. Truly, what we need is not more moralizing and polishing of externals but deep heart surgery and a new beginning. Indeed, we need the very gift of new creation in the One who makes all things new. This √ā¬ďmagic√ā¬Ē is done through Jesus.

What the saving grace of Jesus does is utterly unique. When we trust in Him and receive Him with the surrender of our will, He brings the new birth that He promises. He brings the peace that He promises. All other worldviews call us to a self-betterment. We morally lift ourselves by our own volitional bootstraps. In Jesus Christ, He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He fulfilled the law. He writes the law in our hearts so that we seek to honor Him. It is not so much that we are bad as much as the fact that in our natural condition we are dead to Him. His work in us breathes new life. The new hungers and new longings come from his work within our hearts.


From my point of view, the only solution given by any source to the condition of our hearts is the biblical perspective. Because my heart has been changed as a result of this relationship. Neither science nor religion has the power to change a heart. They can change our minds, but not our hearts.

God, along with our cooperation, is the only one that can change our hearts.

So my question back to you is what would you do if one day you actually called out for God and he answers you? Would you dismiss it as delusion or would you call on Him again to see if it was real? The answer to this question may help us all understand the uniqueness or foolishness of faith and how it applies to our specific worldview.
My opinion is that all religions are geographical and were the laws of the land in that period of time in that specific place to prevent anarchy and expanded as travelers roamed the earth. Early form of government.

American Indians danced to the rain gods and it rained allowing their crops to grow. No difference.

We have governments and laws now. And science.
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      01-27-2016, 07:40 PM   #303
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"So my question back to you is what would you do if one day you actually called out for God and he answers you? Would you dismiss it as delusion or would you call on Him again to see if it was real? The answer to this question may help us all understand the uniqueness or foolishness of faith and how it applies to our specific worldview."

In your post there are many metaphor's that really can be interpreted in different ways. The word heart comes up a lot and of course you see this a lot in religious discussions but how are you defining heart? Certainly not literal - I would hope. I'm assuming you mean emotion or compassion which every human being (bar a psychopath) has. I've been told to let Jesus in my heart before... What does this mean?? Let a made up voice in my head play on my emotions? Or does it mean appeal to my emotional side as opposed to my logical side which is not very smart in most real world situations.

From the quote you posted your author try's to make the case that without guidance from your scripture we are not capable of making consistently sound decisions and this is just utter nonsense. There are moral and immoral clear situations in the world in which we live. For example is it moral to kill innocent children out of jealousy? Of course not but the Christian god himself sure condones it within writings of the bible.

I am also perplexed by your claim that god has spoken to you. So if I am to understand you correctly you heard a voice and that voice gave you direction? I think the only direction I need if I should start hearing voices is to the nearest psychologist.

Although Christianity is not the worlds biggest threat right now, compared to radical Islamist, that has not always been the case. All religion shares some blame in conflicts that happen around the world. Bush himself turned much of the middle east into a holy war zone "god is on our side". Scary shit man!

Nope I want a intellectual that uses sound judgement in charge of the nukes please!
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      01-27-2016, 11:42 PM   #304
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Can't people just follow a code of "niceness" without aligning themselves up to a fairy story?

The power of religion is quite frankly, terrifying. The vast Cathedrals, the Mosques, the wars, the deaths and so on; it's hard to fathom how so many people fall for it. But then look how many fall for the ideals of mad dictators.

Just try and be nice. That is all that's needed.
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      01-28-2016, 12:08 AM   #305
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I live my life very simply
I try and treat everyone around me the way I'd like to be treated if the script was flipped
It isn't hard to do and requires no faith nor facts or science
If I wouldn't want someone to key my car out of jealousy or hate, I would not do it to other peoples cars
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      01-28-2016, 06:29 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1smokehouse View Post
I would say for me the initial idea of an afterlife is what opened up the possibilities of Godís existence to me but does not remain a driving force for my faith. The so called carrot only led me to consider and listen to the biblical perspective. Again, religious ideology alone is not and never will be enough to hold up under a naturalistic worldview. There has to be something greater. Itís more than simple indoctrination, though there are many that as you said, that have not really thought that deep into their reason for believing. The real hurdle for those that hold the naturalistic view of life is the reality of a relationship with the one we believe in. The carrot only leads us to God himself.

I am hopeful that the question was asked with good intention, to actually learn how we think and feel; though I will say up front, that I am already aware of most of the oppositionís views and opinions and continue to believe in spite of them. Not out of stubbornness or blind obedience to indoctrination (though I am sure many will still disagree). But as I have stated before, because of the relationship I have with the one who I believe is God that came over time, through experiencing Him.

This relationship for me is real and has had specific outcomes. It surpasses the threat or reward ideology that most assume we follow. Itsí the reality of new life that I see and experience daily that I cannot deny and therefore, keeps me from regressing back to a purely naturalistic worldview.

As for why I follow the biblical perspective? Why is the God I say I have relationship with the God of the bible and not some other religion?

Ravi Zacharias and Stuart McAllsiter answer it well:

Consider the question of the human condition. How are we to live? With all our education, experience, and insight, we are still mystified by what we do and donít do, what seems to be right or true or good in a way that is really lasting and effective. And yet, in a world of competing and combative claims, we are often left confused and divided in the hope of any kind of shared diagnosis and solution. Nothing seems to work.

We seem to swing from rampant idealism to the most barbarous actions. In todayís globalized world, people, ideas, cultures, and ideologies are being flung together into a desperate mix, with many clashes, uncertainties, and unknown outcomes. What does it mean to be human? Who says so and does it matter? Donít all views lead to harmony and justice? And by simply granting space, time, and freedom, will we not finally achieve the Brave New World?

The problem at the heart of the human condition is the problem of the human heart. It seems we all need heart surgery and some real internal work if external realities are to be impacted and changed.

We all know in our deepest thoughts that there are things in life and within us over which we have little or no power, and for which we have little or no comprehension. The good news is that the God of the bible has provided a cure, the desired effect, for this very concern. The hope of inner renewal that leads to outward change is part of what He offers to the human dilemma and the most challenging questions of our time. Truly, what we need is not more moralizing and polishing of externals but deep heart surgery and a new beginning. Indeed, we need the very gift of new creation in the One who makes all things new. This ďmagicĒ is done through Jesus.

What the saving grace of Jesus does is utterly unique. When we trust in Him and receive Him with the surrender of our will, He brings the new birth that He promises. He brings the peace that He promises. All other worldviews call us to a self-betterment. We morally lift ourselves by our own volitional bootstraps. In Jesus Christ, He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He fulfilled the law. He writes the law in our hearts so that we seek to honor Him. It is not so much that we are bad as much as the fact that in our natural condition we are dead to Him. His work in us breathes new life. The new hungers and new longings come from his work within our hearts.


From my point of view, the only solution given by any source to the condition of our hearts is the biblical perspective. Because my heart has been changed as a result of this relationship. Neither science nor religion has the power to change a heart. They can change our minds, but not our hearts.

God, along with our cooperation, is the only one that can change our hearts.

So my question back to you is what would you do if one day you actually called out for God and he answers you? Would you dismiss it as delusion or would you call on Him again to see if it was real? The answer to this question may help us all understand the uniqueness or foolishness of faith and how it applies to our specific worldview.
Thanks for the great answer.
Reminds me of the long discussions I used to have with a convert friend.

I am interested in what you mean by 'heart' -the subconcious (intuition, vs. the 'rational', or logical mind), or a sense of morality/judgement with or without respect to the felt emotions of guilt, anger etc. ?

What does 'faith' mean in the most commonly used way - is it willpower?

I am trying to de-construct belief using psychological facts..

The way I see it so far, when one is talking to God, one is in fact conversing with the self - just that it is the conscious (logical) mind conversing with the sub/unconscious part of you, because as has been proven, the vast majority of the mind is outside the purview of the conscious, hidden programs that run silently in the background unless special attention is made to observe them.

The construct of a 'God' (if you will forgive me for the apostrophes) as an outside agent: -how does this differ from philosophical "thought experiments", or an imaginary friend? (forgive the insolence)

I am starting to wonder if this God with personhood, or agency, is a prop by bad consciences (I am aware this may be offensive) to outsource their own blame or irresponsibility. I base this on a casual observation of people I know that are diehard Christians, of whom I can see the massive characters flaws. -But instead they 'chose' to believe in a god and then cast the dispersion on to the non-believers such as myself as THE morally corrupt people, without ever taking a look at themselves. (oh, the irony)

In the end, a person's religion is only as good as they themselves are..
But let me try provoking the believers - have you ever tried to accept the blame yourself for your own shortcomings? Rather than subscribe (pun intended: lol, is it that easy) to an institution that promises you absolution for all the wrong you have done JUST if you believe (but not really)?

These comments are made in jest AND in seriousness, if you find yourself seething in rage then you have no looked very deeply within yourself - GOD is not self-help made easy.
Any retorts are welcome.
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      01-28-2016, 08:40 AM   #307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1smokehouse View Post
I would say for me the initial idea of an afterlife is what opened up the possibilities of Godís existence to me but does not remain a driving force for my faith. The so called carrot only led me to consider and listen to the biblical perspective. Again, religious ideology alone is not and never will be enough to hold up under a naturalistic worldview. There has to be something greater. Itís more than simple indoctrination, though there are many that as you said, that have not really thought that deep into their reason for believing. The real hurdle for those that hold the naturalistic view of life is the reality of a relationship with the one we believe in. The carrot only leads us to God himself.

I am hopeful that the question was asked with good intention, to actually learn how we think and feel; though I will say up front, that I am already aware of most of the oppositionís views and opinions and continue to believe in spite of them. Not out of stubbornness or blind obedience to indoctrination (though I am sure many will still disagree). But as I have stated before, because of the relationship I have with the one who I believe is God that came over time, through experiencing Him.

This relationship for me is real and has had specific outcomes. It surpasses the threat or reward ideology that most assume we follow. Itsí the reality of new life that I see and experience daily that I cannot deny and therefore, keeps me from regressing back to a purely naturalistic worldview.

As for why I follow the biblical perspective? Why is the God I say I have relationship with the God of the bible and not some other religion?

Ravi Zacharias and Stuart McAllsiter answer it well:

Consider the question of the human condition. How are we to live? With all our education, experience, and insight, we are still mystified by what we do and donít do, what seems to be right or true or good in a way that is really lasting and effective. And yet, in a world of competing and combative claims, we are often left confused and divided in the hope of any kind of shared diagnosis and solution. Nothing seems to work.

We seem to swing from rampant idealism to the most barbarous actions. In todayís globalized world, people, ideas, cultures, and ideologies are being flung together into a desperate mix, with many clashes, uncertainties, and unknown outcomes. What does it mean to be human? Who says so and does it matter? Donít all views lead to harmony and justice? And by simply granting space, time, and freedom, will we not finally achieve the Brave New World?

The problem at the heart of the human condition is the problem of the human heart. It seems we all need heart surgery and some real internal work if external realities are to be impacted and changed.

We all know in our deepest thoughts that there are things in life and within us over which we have little or no power, and for which we have little or no comprehension. The good news is that the God of the bible has provided a cure, the desired effect, for this very concern. The hope of inner renewal that leads to outward change is part of what He offers to the human dilemma and the most challenging questions of our time. Truly, what we need is not more moralizing and polishing of externals but deep heart surgery and a new beginning. Indeed, we need the very gift of new creation in the One who makes all things new. This ďmagicĒ is done through Jesus.

What the saving grace of Jesus does is utterly unique. When we trust in Him and receive Him with the surrender of our will, He brings the new birth that He promises. He brings the peace that He promises. All other worldviews call us to a self-betterment. We morally lift ourselves by our own volitional bootstraps. In Jesus Christ, He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He fulfilled the law. He writes the law in our hearts so that we seek to honor Him. It is not so much that we are bad as much as the fact that in our natural condition we are dead to Him. His work in us breathes new life. The new hungers and new longings come from his work within our hearts.


From my point of view, the only solution given by any source to the condition of our hearts is the biblical perspective. Because my heart has been changed as a result of this relationship. Neither science nor religion has the power to change a heart. They can change our minds, but not our hearts.

God, along with our cooperation, is the only one that can change our hearts.

So my question back to you is what would you do if one day you actually called out for God and he answers you? Would you dismiss it as delusion or would you call on Him again to see if it was real? The answer to this question may help us all understand the uniqueness or foolishness of faith and how it applies to our specific worldview.
While I respect what you said I believe changing your heart is as easy as changing your mind. While you believe a supernatural being stepped in, I believe it was nothing more than your subconscious doing what it does. Perception defines reality.
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      01-28-2016, 09:01 AM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Em135eye
Can't people just follow a code of "niceness" without aligning themselves up to a fairy story?

The power of religion is quite frankly, terrifying. The vast Cathedrals, the Mosques, the wars, the deaths and so on; it's hard to fathom how so many people fall for it. But then look how many fall for the ideals of mad dictators.

Just try and be nice. That is all that's needed.
Uhhhh - your "fairy story" analogy isn't nice at all - it's insulting. Much less that all you perceive of religion is wars and death; and you ignore all of the good done in the name of religion?
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