8 “Remember this, keep it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.
9 Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.
10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’
11 From the east I summon a bird of prey;
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned, that I will do.
12 Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted,
you who are now far from my righteousness.
13 I am bringing my righteousness near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,
my splendor to Israel.
1“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
11“The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
14“They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16and cry out:
“‘Woe! Woe, O great city,
dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet,
and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’
As Christians, we live in the world, while not being of the world. That places certain strictures upon us, like obeying both civil and criminal law, being accountable for our actions in the world and so forth.
But the New Testament church did those things, lived in a world even more tumultous than ours, and did so while,
"...continu(ing) stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts 2:42-47.
The Acts, the letters from the early apostles, including Paul, Peter and so forth, are given to us as the template for how the church should live amidst a world for whom Christianity is a joke.
And naturally, we, as the church, refuse to heed that word.
Well this explains a lot star. I have never clicked on this part of the forum and for good reason, it is about as bare as purgatory. My "beliefs" will only get me in trouble. The law only applies to those who accept it, as the law is a contract. Religion is no different and by accepting the terms of the agreement you are bound to a whole new set of rules that govern not only your actions but also your thoughts and perception. Religion doesn't offer enlightenment it only limits people in life by narrowing their thinking. It requires that one accept blindly the teachings and ideals of others, and it does not allow you to question those philosophies.
Faith is a funny term to use when it applies to religion because having "faith" implies that there is some doubt. I don't understand why people so openly accept the word of religious figures who interpret ancient teachings into their own. The truths of the world are out there to find on your own, why believe someone else? Why waste the little time we are given preparing for an afterlife that may not be what we were taught?
Eternity is a scary thing when you really think about it. Is that what most of you really want? To be conscious for eternity? That would get pretty boring after a while, no milestones, no existence of time, a beginning and an end. That would suck. I am happy knowing that my time will end, like everyone else who came before me and there is nothing I can do about it. In the mean time I have no use for some other guy's propaganda and rules. Do what you like to do, but don't do as your told.....
"Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid." 1 Timothy 5:24-25.
"Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." Second Timothy 2:19.
I do find it interesting how many people who have “never clicked on this part of the forum” have suddenly found their way here; seemingly all to attack and chastise me. They all want to attack me for being a Christian yet I have not professed to be one, nor have I tried to convert anyone. . I wonder how many actually read the “words” I posted. And how many just lashed out blindly?Most of them sound as if they are trying to justify their deeds/life to themselves rather than anything I did or said.
Seems if you shine a light in darkness people do not like the reflections they see of themselves
Dude talk about not reading what people post. The few times we have debated you chose one sentence of my post and straw maned me to death. Why don't you actually confront the arguments instead of acting like a martyr or a victim of persecution. I grew up Christian and was confirmed so I am no stranger to the catholic church and their teachings. My rant wasn't aimed at one ideology, it is for everyone who can't think for themselves. People who use their faith to dictate their stances on political issues.
I am a firm believer in separation of church and state and that goes for political discussions. In this country you can believe what you want but you can't force those beliefs on others. If a politician (like Rick Santorum) is consulting his faith to make laws and policy that is forcing his beliefs on others who may not feel the same. The same can be said about our policy on Israel, it is not a political agenda it has the stink of religion. I say use your reason, facts, and ethics to decide your stance on political issues and not some other guy's interpretation of some teachings.
Truth be told I am disappointed in you more than anything. I knew you did not like religion but I did not think it blinded you so.
That is hilarious, it's the pot calling the kettle black, when the kettle is stainless steel pal. Don't accuse me of being held prisoner by beliefs that I don't have. I try to get around the whole religion thing. What bothers me the most is that almost everyone I argue with uses their pre packaged "conservative/religious" reasons for their beliefs. What about the facts? What about ethics? What about reason? What about what is best for the country? That is what concerns me the most.
Don't judge my beliefs because you don't know what I follow, although it is not a major organized religion. My dislike for religion may fuel some of my posts and beliefs but it doesn't effect my beliefs nearly as much as it effects yours. The fact I don't agree with someone else's ideals means that my "beliefs" are my own, so I am bias because I follow my own beliefs? Besides there is nothing to cause me to be blind because I am not constrained by anything, you are the one who is blind because of the set of rules you agreed to. I don't fear hell or anything in the afterlife so I don't worry about my thoughts or opinions being a sin. You on the other hand always have it in the back of your conscience that if you go against the rules you will be doing something wrong, and you could face the consequences. I have no limits to my thinking and you do, period.
Most super religious folk just don't think for themselves and lean on their religious bias for guidance in the political realm. My guidance comes from rationalizing every issue one by one.
Abortion is a good example. So you say that my dislike for religion is what causes me to be pro choice, where you are totally wrong. My stances on most issues simply happen to be the opposite of most religious people. I am not just choosing the opposite of the church, the church is choosing it's side for the wrong reasons. I argue that it is none of your or the church's business what women do with their first trimester fetuses, that it is positive for population control, and it helps reduce the overall number of broken homes/foster children. I am looking at the big picture and you are not looking past your religion that blinds you of the benefits of the issue. Besides I enjoy pi$$ing you religious folk off.
The one thing I will admit to is that I do tend to push my beliefs on others, but it is not on purpose. I only ask that people try to view the issues from another perspective, but I know that is a lost cause in almost every case. If I had my way I would never have to talk about religion, especially in the political forum. That is why I never had come to this part of the forum, and I don't intend to return.
Clearly your hate of religion does not affect you at all.
Like I said tell me any lie you like but don't lie to yourself.
Am I also to assume since you were “confirmed” catholic you have the same hang ups in the back of your mind?
Love bang but you really need to examine why this bothers you so.
The reason it disturbs me is because so many people choose to buy into scams like Mormonism and Scientology. One is based of things that can be proven wrong, and the other is based of science fiction writings. These are good examples of wacky expressions of faith that influence the average person to change the way they act and think. I am just surprised that people are so gullible and easily deceived, and that they will defend their faiths with violence and hatred.
The older religions are really no different. They all derive from the same basic concept or story and are tailored for the followers. Christianity gained popularity as an alternative to the Muslim religion because the Jews don't allow people to convert. Also all three religions are loosely based on the worship of the sun and stars with their being one god (the sun) the disciples (the planets), etc. Many of the stories of different religious prophets were conceived from the movements of the stars. It is no coincidence that many prophets throughout the ages from different religions share many common traits. It is all basically the same story....
I don't think there is anything wrong with having faith, and it is your right to believe what you want. But when that turns to extremism and people start bombing abortion clinics and starting holy wars then there is a problem. I also don't like it when law and policy are created with a religious bias, and I am entitled to be upset because it goes against my beliefs. Look at the spanish inquisition and the salem which trials, that is what happens when religion mixes with law. Unlike you I am not claiming that I am being persecuted or discriminated against. I only ask people to think outside the faith that they were taught at a young age. I submit that not all religious teachings are negative and there is much to be gathered from the vast wealth of philosophy written in many different religious tomes.
I think that religion should be between man and his creator and nobody else, that includes the hierarchy of the church and it's employees. It shouldn't influence the way people think and act, and how they spend their money because then it just becomes about wealth and power (or controlling people). That is exactly what I am against. If you know the history of Christianity then you know damn well that it has been used for those two things numerous times. Not to mention that is has been used as an excuse to exterminate people, wage wars, and to do other unspeakable things. Religion in the hands of unethical people will always lead to corruption, just look at every other facet of our lives. It is human nature, no system is immune to it, and to say that it doesn't happen within the church and it's teachings is naive.
Christianity is a parody of the worship of the sun, in which they put a man called Christ in the place of the sun, and pay him the adoration originally payed to the sun. -Thomas Paine
Interesting video that relates the details of Christianity and Judiasm to the pagan religious beliefs of Egypt. There are shocking similarities of the stories of the bible and ancient Egyptian fables that are based on astrology. What is ironic is that Christianity frowns upon astrology, considers it to be totally false, and associates it with witchcraft and sorcery. At the time of the conception of the old testament astrology was in fact widely accepted and practiced as religion in the region. Our ability to measure time and to navigate originally comes from the stars. It is no coincidence that many of the stories in Bible have references to astrology. Heaven originally references the stars and not a magical and eternal resting place. I don't support everything the video presents as fact because I don't know for certain but it is interesting to see the similarities. Check out the video and decide for yourself......
Christianity gained popularity as an alternative to the Muslim religion because the Jews don't allow people to convert.
Some, perhaps many people in the time of Jesus were non-Jewish believers in the God of the Torah, so the ready acceptance of non-Jews into the Church (as described in Acts) accounted for a great deal of the rapid spread of early Christianity. Islam came centuries later.
As for finding similar archetypes in disparate ancient texts, there are many plausible explanations for most of those cases. Familiarity with stories passed down through generations, altered to fit the times. would surely account for a lot. But the Bible can't be explained away as a series of fables. Reading the texts themselves, even in translation, provides ample evidence of actual experiences, which though perhaps explained in archetypal language, I don't interpret as simple cultural rehashes of mythical tales, celestial and otherwise. There is far too much specificity and unique human experiences in the Bible to dismiss it so simply. It's far more complicated than that.
Christians believe that since Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection were unique events, that everything about that time and place were propitious. The Roman world was at peace. The Roman road network made travel easier than it would be for more than a thousand years afterwards. Interest in philosophy and religion was high, and people were looking for something new. People knew the shadows well. Acts 17:16-34 NIV - In Athens - While Paul was waiting for - Bible Gateway
I'll tell you what my "issue" is, I don't fit into a political group or one linear way of thinking, and that includes religion. I look around me and everyone has their minds made up when it comes to politics and faith because they for the most part are programed to go with the group. Also most people who belong to one group blame the opposite side of the spectrum for the problems we face today whether it be political or religious. I fall outside all of those groups, and up until recently I had pretty much ignored politics and what was going on in the world.
I just turned 30 a few months ago. I argue with the likes of you for fun and to challenge your "faith" and knowledge, and because I get a kick out of it. To me religion is laughable and to argue with the fanatics is a waste of time, but I am also hard headed and won't back down from my views. I don't pretend to have all the answers or the only perspective on the issues, but to follow modern religion is just silly. I just makes me laugh that many intelligent people just accept what they are told without questioning it. What happened to everyone who came before Christ? Are they all in hell? There may not be any facts to prove that there is no god or that the prophets are full of it, but to me the writing is on the wall for everyone to see. And if you can't see it you will when you die.
The only reason I came to this thread is because the political thread was quite for a few days. I come here for amusement and to speak my mind. If you really knew who I was you would know that I will argue for the sake of arguing and that the topic doesn't even matter. What are we going to accomplish here anyways? Things beyond our control will go on as they always have and it is even out of the control of the people who claim that they have control. Chaos theory is the way of the world and I am well aware of it. The only thing we can ask for is to lead a happy and fulfilling life and to provide for our children so that they may do the same. Happiness can't be measured or fabricated it is a state of mind. It is being content and thankful for what you have, and knowing that the probably could be a lot worse too. Everything else is meaningless, including what is going on is Israel. The less that exterior variables effect my life the better and that is what I am always in favor of. Less government and less control. Don't bother responding because I am not returning to this forum. I will continue to speak and debate with you on the political forum. No hard feelings on my part.
Interesting video that relates the details of Christianity and Judiasm to the pagan religious beliefs of Egypt. ... I don't support everything the video presents as fact because I don't know for certain but it is interesting to see the similarities. Check out the video and decide for yourself......
I didn't see that post until this afternoon. I did watch the video. There is some truth, and some that is plausible. But I disagree with its central thesis that Christianity (and Judaism, for that matter) were "plagiarized" from earlier myths and were essentially fabricated religions from their very origins.
One argument often forwarded by Christian apologists for the similarities described is that the earlier myths constituted "natural man's" imperfect striving towards understanding the divine, that it was only in the "fullness of time" that pagans etc. were told the real and complete story behind their myths. From a logical standpoint this is circular reasoning, but I studied all this quite a lot twenty some-odd years ago, and believe as an explanation it has considerable merit.
Where the video really falls short is in its explanation of the origins of the church. It's wrong in so many ways I hardly know where to begin. Not surprisingly, there is plenty of good material written on the subject for anyone interested -- and you may already be well-versed in it.
For anyone interested, one could do much worse than
And for primary sources,
Once I'd read some good modern histories of the early church alongside those and other primary sources, the new age explanations only seemed plausible around the margins. For one thing, people do not typically change their entire lives and even martyr themselves over myths, dreams and fabrications. One big question for those who claim Jesus never existed is, at what point did the lie become perceived as the truth? How did so many people from different walks of life become so swept up into a lie that they were able to convince many more others to die for it? The idea that Jesus was a Roman fabrication is particularly ahistorical. For nearly three centuries, the Roman authorities, for the most part, considered Christianity a menace. Even after Constanine, as late as the early 5th century, Augustine wrote City of God to try to justify why Rome's troubles weren't due to Rome's abandonment of paganism.
I also read some of the gnostic writings, and found them unpersuasive. Few are "authentic," in the sense of the gospels and letters that made it into the New Testament.
Miracles demand great evidence in our age of reason. Leaving aside for a moment the question of the resurrection for Jesus, I agree with those who say it takes nearly as much faith to believe Jesus never even existed.
What happened to everyone who came before Christ? Are they all in hell?
That's been argued since the beginning. Christianity in actual practice is full of people who spend their lives trying to cram biblical texts into seamless belief systems, and many others who follow them more closely than they do the Spirit of agape and truth. Those are only two of the ways in which Christians go wrong. There are many others. I've lived some of them.
The video is right in pointing out how manipulated monotheism makes us susceptible to the false belief that we are separate from the natural world. Burning witches and heretics was the curse of earlier times, and God willing won't be repeated. But, in our generation, it is this error that will have profoundly negative effects on all future generations.
That isn't my only argument it just begs a pretty big question. Yes we have the old testament, but what about prehistoric man, Egyptian, the Maya and Aztec, native americans, ancient chinese, vikings, etc? Many of these cultures and organized civilizations were around thousands of years before the old testament. Many of these cultures worshiped the stars and were unaware of the existence of God, who apparently created them. I guess God waited a while to speak to Moses, and bestow his rules and his existence upon us. If one God really did exist then why would he leave it up to our time and place of birth being the most significant factor in our given religion? So all of the people born in ancient Greece, and Asia are doomed to hell? We refer to their religions as Mythology, and what separates modern religions from Egyptian and Greek mythology? Very little.
And all of the people today that are born in countries or even households that worship a different god, or no god at all are considered wrong and sinners? I would hope that if there is a god that he would judge people by their actions and moral decisions and not by their beliefs or practices.
Babies are born with original sin? I mean who came up with that one BTW? That seems like a good argument for why people should baptize their children asap. Many of the so called ideals and beliefs people are taught regarding religion also have guilt tied to them. We are taught to be guilty until we confess our sins to our preacher. The church might as well be the NSA and the CIA, they probably know more dirty secrets than both combined.
The other question that non believers ask is "well if there is a god then why does he allow the world to suffer and people to sin"? Well Christians have come up with an explanation for that too but it is hypocritical to their own beliefs. God can't control free will of man, so in other words God can't control anything really. Then why bother praying to him if he can't force someone see the light, or do something that they don't want. What would his purpose be then? On the other hand religious officials throughout history have often said that certain events are the will of god, or that he wills certain "beneficial" things to happen. This brings up the idea of fate and whether things are predetermined to happen, or if we really do have free will and aren't being controlled down a predetermined path that was set for us. This is contradicting and falls in line with many hypocritical ideals of the church. Whenever the church wanted to do something (like initiate the crusades for example) they simply proclaimed that God himself willed it. The show Futurama had a celestial rendition of God in one of it's episodes and he said that "When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all..." That is the basis for modern religion, God does the least amount of meddling possible to ensure that people don't lose faith, but at the same time he also doesn't want people to rely on him for everything.
Taking things on faith is giving up instead of seeking further knowledge. Religion has been responsible for covering up truths for thousands of years. They reject accounts of history, and scientific evidence proving against their teachings. Deception for the sake of benefits or in many cases self preservation has always been a calling card of Christianity. Any attempt to sway people away from the beliefs in their teachings has always been meet with fierce opposition, evolution is a good example of this. The church was also responsible for slowing scientific research and discovery for fear of blasphemy. Many scholars and scientists feared publishing or sharing their work in many fields and were forced to make progress in secret. I know that this is not the case nowadays but until a few hundred years ago scientists could be labeled sorcerers or whiches and could have faced death or imprisonment.
Not to mention that religions have promoted war, genocide, torture, and repression of liberties and all in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit. Thank god that I didn't live several hundred years ago or I would have been crucified. It baffles me that now that we actually have the right to choose what we wish to believe (a right not afforded to many people throughout history) and people still swallow this garbage. I could understand the acceptance of religion if it were forced upon us like it was hundreds of years ago, but now that we actually have a choice. Wow...