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froggy, we were specifically talking about last-minute believing and asking forgiveness... so that part was already established.

Feb 18, 2012 - 07:00 pm
AverageJoe
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Deeds without belief are a great thing. But without belief, you're living outside of God's word and his plan for you. Without accepting God, you will not get to the Heaven that he has promised. I know it sounds like a raw deal, but it is what it is.

Feb 19, 2012 - 12:34 am
HipKat
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I could just imagine that conversation.

"...but you just admitted all I ever did in my life was help my fellow man and try to make the world a better place..."
"Hey, sorry man, it is what it is."
"It is what it is??"
"Yeah, I don't make the rules."
"YES YOU ****ING DO!!"

I just like the fact that God evidently has such a self-esteem problem that the only way to get to heaven is to worship him. Even if you follow all his other major rules.

To God, calling yourself a Christian, and thinking of yourself as one, is actually more important than what you do here on Earth.

You'll try to back off of it from that angle and say it's not that simple and even if someone calls themselves a Christian and they're "really not" then it doesn't work that way...

but c'mon. This is such a joke.

You know why religion exists and Christianity still thrives in a civilized and educated world?

Because knowledge is ****ing hard. It takes a certain amount of intelligence, experience, and, depending on the area you'd like to gain some insight into, a lot of reading.

Answering questions like "How was the universe created?" is supposed to be difficult. It's taken us thousands of years just to come up with a workable theory that hasn't been completely ripped to shreds yet... and we're still learning more every day.

Religion tries to make it easy. It promises you answers to all the tough questions that most of us have no business pretending we know that answers to.

They make it easier still to believe you have gained some wisdom... it's a placebo effect and it really works.

But the rest of us don't have to listen to that **** or pretend any of you are qualified to tell us who god is, or anything about the world, science, medicine, the universe or how we should be living our lives.

Feb 19, 2012 - 06:51 am
TylerSutherland
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TylerSutherland writes:

But the rest of us don't have to listen to that **** or pretend any of you are qualified to tell us who god is,



Which begs the question...WHY do you keep coming back for more? You're either feeding an insatiable ego and need to prove to all of us how stupid we are and how smart you are...or you're curious. I'm betting on #1.


Feb 19, 2012 - 07:16 am
AV8R
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It all comes down to that old question: What if we're right and you're wrong?

Feb 19, 2012 - 07:59 am
HipKat
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You know we went to a funeral yesterday at a church. I was TURNED OFF by church in my younger days so badly that I said I'd never go back to "church"

My wife & I agreed yesterday that if "church" was like the one yesterday, we'd literally never step in to one.

It really matters... It really matters how engaging and open a church is to keep your interest, and help you develop a passion for it.

If churches were boring, we'd literally have to serve Him on our own. I TOTALLY understand some of these guys that have been turned off by "Church" or "Religion.", because I have been there.

It's 2012, and there are so many awesome choices. I'm thankful for my church family, and I can't wait to get there.

Feb 19, 2012 - 08:32 am
Kevster
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Amen, and Riverside isn't just a Church that is a singular entity in the community, Riverside IS the community. The work they do at the Dream Center, especially with the kids they work with and the programs they offer, and the life skills they provide is something no city should be without. Riverside has embraced the sense of Community and promotes it like no place I've ever seen.

You don't have to believe in God to appreciate the work they do.

Feb 19, 2012 - 10:55 am
HipKat
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AverageJoe writes:
and belief w/o deeds??



I just like the fact that God evidently has such a self-esteem problem that the only way to get to heaven is to worship him. Even if you follow all his other major rules.



First to AJ: Belief without deeds is also wrong. It makes you a practical atheist--someone who sits in church and listens to the service every week without letting it go beyond that. They leave God in church after the service and live a life without God between Monday and Saturday. That's not a Christian.

Tyler: God doesn't have a self-esteem issue. Not at all. We were made to worship Him and share in everything He's ever created. He WANTS to live alongside us. I, as a Christian, don't follow God's rules out of obligation. I follow them because I am in awe of His love for me and I WANT to do His will. It's a natural extension of my relationship with Him.

Let me put it to you this way--let's say you fell hardcore head over heels in love with someone who was very giving to you. That person held nothing back from you. Not only that, that person forgave ALL of your shortcomings, all of your past mistakes, everything you'd every done wrong. This person simply said: "I forgive you." And then this person loved you with a no-holds-barred kind of love, the kind of love that brought you peace and security and let you know, without a doubt that no matter what, this person was ALWAYS going to be there for you. As a demonstration of your love for this person, you would naturally want to do good. You'd want to do whatever it took to make this person happy. You'd want to worship this person for how good he/she was to you. You'd want to do this not out obligation but out of love. It's that simple.


Feb 19, 2012 - 03:23 pm
froggy
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First we need God in our life. If you beleive or not he is the one that makes everything happen. Yes we have free will to do as we please if not we would be robots yes God is all knowing but hes is a loveing God. Never would he steer you wrong. Knowledge is from reading Gods words but to understand we need God in our lives. You can resd and think you understand what you have just read but remember we have a Grand Creator and it is his will that we are here not ours. The Bible is a great story that is to help us understand what we are here for the knowledge we get from reading it has never done any thing bad people have. Knowledge of God helps us to understand him his ways what he wants of us. Yes people can go through life with out God in there life. Never is life easy not even for those that have God in there life. Remember Jesus said that if you loved God that you would be hated in this world he also stated that there would be signs of the end. Today we see all of the world and its power there are people that do good deeds but so many for there own reasons. One thing that rings out in my world is Preach the Good news of the Kingdom and the end will come just as in Moses day when they marked the door with the blood we go door to door but we are not marking them to be saved we are marking them for distruction you have to make the move to be save we try to help. Help the world all you want after all it is passing away Help yourself to be saved let your knowledge of God grow in your hearts and minds he will show you the way.

Feb 19, 2012 - 03:25 pm
tntrecycling
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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, Lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths."
That works for me but not for others. If you are an athiest that is your right. "Judge not least ye be judged."
There is a huge difference between faith in a universal God and man made religion/churches which believe that they are the only ones who have the answer.And, they are the only one's who will be saved.
I believe that when I attend church it is because it is meaninful to me; but how one leads his/her life is what we will be held accountable for in some way and in some form after death. Of course if one believes in the spirit of God/love/good/ one must also believe in the presence of the devil/bad/evil.
As far as being self serving I believe that "it is in giving that we recieve", regardless of your belief system as we all share a common humanity.


Feb 19, 2012 - 06:23 pm
mckmary
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Thanks, mckmary. I think you've got the right idea.

You express your beliefs without insinuating that others like myself are lost. It sounds like you can see good in people without God, and sometimes evil in those with. The message I take away from your words is that Judgment is ultimately left to God, if he exists, and nobody can or should claim to know otherwise.

I wish more people could feel the same way about it as you do.

Feb 19, 2012 - 10:30 pm
tapeworm
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Well,

I tell ya, Av8r it's a lot more #1 than #2, but that seems healthy.


This topic is "If you are an atheist, why are you?"
What I said in my previous post, is a big part of answering that question. I don't believe god really touches anyone, and feelings we describe as the "Holy Spirit" having an impact on the way we see things... is a chemical reaction in our brains.

It's not that I want to prove how smart I am... I can't claim universal knowledge or answer all those questions, I'm just suggesting we leave it to the people who have proven they're qualified to answer some of them.

I don't think religious people are stupid, just not seeing the question clearly or objectively. Religion has such a personal impact that smart and stupid, frequently, do not apply.

It seems logically flawed to try to answer real world questions with religion.

Ultimately, it's up to you personally to make decisions on what you believe, but I say follow the evidence.

Feb 20, 2012 - 03:20 am
TylerSutherland
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Here's my evidence. Pretend there is no God.

What if I had gotten so low, so lost and so depressed that I truly wished for death and and truly gave up on life completely to the point the subconsciously my survival instincts kicked in, created this scenario in my mind of God revealing himself to me which caused me to fool myself into joining a delusion shared by millions of people all over the world and from that I'm happier, feel better about myself, love people more, study one of the greatest philosophical books every written and become a member of a large community all affected in the same way by the same delusion.

A delusion so grandiose, that it's motivating people all over the world to live similar lives, reaching out to people in their communities, making sacrifices for those in need, providing shelter, comfort, and the tools that can help people live better lives. Even people that aren't under this same spell.

And over the course of my own life I continue to grow and shed the darkness that had embraced my life up to that point and I learn to worship and praise the Lord that my "delusions" are centered around.

Is that a bad thing? Doesn't the end justify the means?
Isn't that better than putting any negative effort at all into convincing people that are living the same way how wrong they are?

And, if you subscribe to any type of life after death theory, in so doing, I create a personal "heaven" based on the life I lived after this event?

Compared to the people I know that aren't believers, that criticize all of this, that put energy into telling believers how wrong they are that could be better spent in many other areas, that are themselves, in many cases, shrouded in the same gloomy darkness that I and others have been in, that would rather cling to nothing rather than to something that offers hope and salvation, that would rather prove how wrong we are over how we right we could be, what are we as believers doing wrong again?

Feb 20, 2012 - 06:32 am
HipKat
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Well said, HK! +1

One of the strongest Christians I know is also one of the smartest. He's an engineer and someone who questions everything by nature. He's a philosophical thinker and some of his arguments really make me think about God and also to admit that we don't have all the answers (we never will). His best answer to the "What if there's no God?" question is, "Okay, what if there is no God? The world would still suck. I'd still be miserable but now I'm totally alone." If that were the case, what a truly miserable existence this would be for many, many people.

Feb 20, 2012 - 09:01 am
froggy
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TylerSutherland writes:
Well,

I tell ya, Av8r it's a lot more #1 than #2, but that seems healthy.


This topic is "If you are an atheist, why are you?"
What I said in my previous post, is a big part of answering that question. I don't believe god really touches anyone, and feelings we describe as the "Holy Spirit" having an impact on the way we see things... is a chemical reaction in our brains.

It's not that I want to prove how smart I am... I can't claim universal knowledge or answer all those questions, I'm just suggesting we leave it to the people who have proven they're qualified to answer some of them.

I don't think religious people are stupid, just not seeing the question clearly or objectively. Religion has such a personal impact that smart and stupid, frequently, do not apply.

It seems logically flawed to try to answer real world questions with religion.

Ultimately, it's up to you personally to make decisions on what you believe, but I say follow the evidence.



We can agree to disagree on God, but your post was well said.


Feb 20, 2012 - 09:29 am
AV8R
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