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Old 01-17-2009, 12:26 PM
 
178 posts, read 349,953 times
Reputation: 75

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DayoftheLord View Post
I agree with it. I'm not here to judge the megachurches and the televangelists, that's God's job. But it's my personal feeling that a man or woman of God who is in authority and has influence over millions should be as flawless in their owns lives as possible. They should live simply and not live in mansions and fly personal jets. ALL of the money coming into a ministry should go to God's work, not what's left over after paying million dollar salaries and mortgages.

Some feel they are entitled to reap the benefits of a large, prosperous ministry because they work hard. I don't see it that way. God does not deny his own prosperity.....being prosperous is not a sin. But does prosperity always mean rich? Not in my opinion. Teaching monetary prosperity is wrong.

Now as far as Christians gathering in fellowship, that comes in many forms and it is always good. But that doesn't mean it has to be in a church building. We are fellowshipping right now.
I agree. The only part I disagree with is the bolded part. We must know that no one is in authority, we are all preachers. So that in mind, we needn't worry about being as flawless as possible since our transgressions shouldn't hinder the faith of another. We must focus on pleasing God at all times and pray for forgiveness when we fall short.

I'm glad to see you accepting the truth as it is from God and not from long-held beliefs or what those in "authority" would tell us.
If the truth is your sincere and honest desire, then God will reveal it to you. This is a prayer that will always be answered. It might take a different amount of time for each of us, but you can bet it will be perfect timing.

 
Old 01-17-2009, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 14,925,297 times
Reputation: 7014
In late 1958 I was baptized in a small but growing SBC church. I had just turned 10. A month or so prior to that I was in the woods near my home......we lived well out in the country (it is now mostly suburbs) at the time, with cows, hogs, geese, turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats and horses........but the woods is where I spent much of my spare time. I learned where the copperheads and moccasins hung out, I fetched home squirrel and rabbit for dinner, I caught crawdads and used them for bait for perch and crappie. There was a place....a kind of cave at the edge of a cliff with openings at two sides where there was enough room to sit, build a fire, and look over the creek and woodlands.....that drew me. The old ones of the Cherokee called such places a "place of power" but I knew nothing of that......it was simply a place that I went to when I was depressed, or sad, or troubled, or angry. I was sitting there one day, quiet, just watching the woods and the creek when I heard a voice ask me why I hadn't come to Him yet. Like a kid, I simply said "I don't know." We talked for a while about love, salvation, and witnessing.......I know a lot of this can be hard to believe....it is equally hard to describe what was happening to me. I know I went to the pastor of our church and talked about it. He talked to my parents and we all discussed it. and a few weeks later I was baptized and I knew that this was what I needed to do. Fast forward nearly a decade. I was on after lookout on a tincan in the Gulf of Tonkin during an artillery support run when the VC opened up from a shore battery. They were dropping HE in our wake, walking them up about 50 yards at a time. Like I said, I was sitting on afterlookout, which put me above the drone helicopter and 1,000 gallons of jet fuel and 40' behind a gun mount full of HE, williepeter, and starshells. The gun was a 5" 38, with each projectile weighing about 60 pounds and each cartridge weighing about 30 pounds. In short, if we were hit anywhere near there, I would not survive the initial blast and it would probably cut the ship in half and sink in less than five minutes.

As they walked the shells up our wake, I saw with clarity that I was going to be dead within a few minutes. Then my friend from the cave spoke to me again. He told me to not worry, that He was with me, and that there are worse things than dying, and if I were to die, that He would be with me all the way through it and to not worry. I had an incredible calmness settle over me. The VC's last shot splashed the fantail of the ship.

Since that day I talk daily to Jesus. I didn't/don't always take him to "good" places......but there is nothing I can show him that He isn't aware of.......He took all men's sins with Him, so He knows the really overwhelming evil that can lie in a man's soul and heart. We've been in bars around the world, and He reminded me that He first sought men who were fishermen........rough, hard living, calloused men of hard work and hard living. As an aside, I asked Him why He chose fishermen. And He told me it's because they willingly face overwhelming odds, they face death and danger, they work hard......to not work hard in that occupation means you die young......and not only do they persevere in that environment, they thrive.....and He needed that kind of iron in men to be the kind of apostles He needed.

But like you DOTL, I have found the greatest joy, the greatest communion, the clearest conversations when there is no one around, when there is nothing but the sun, the wind, the trees and creeks. In Matthew 6 He talks about prayer and He says (in most the translations) to put yourself into a secret place..... a closet.....and talk to Him......that if you talk to Him where others can hear, then all you will receive is the applause and admiration of others. But for a response from Him, secrete yourself in a private area. I always found that a "prayer closet" was claustrophobic for me, while the deep north woods when I lived in Ontario, the mountains of the Pecos Wilderness, the woodlands out my back yard today, were places where I could be alone, I could talk to Him, and He could and would talk to me.

And if you continue to go to the mountain and talk to Him, it becomes easier to talk to Him when you are away from the mountain. Jesus communed with the Father constantly, yet when He had to talk "seriously about grave topics" He went to the wilderness, He went to the Garden......As I recall, He only went to the tabernacle to teach. To learn, He went to where God had created the chapel......the Gardens and the wilderness. This part of our "Christian education" has been missing......but the cynical side of my nature says that it is hard to pass an offering plate if the congregation is scattered throughout the woods and mountains.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Arizona
777 posts, read 1,278,570 times
Reputation: 173
It’s hard to think of the creator of this amazing universe when we look at manmade objects and artificial environments all the time.
In times when I’m feeling down a bit, I find that just looking at God’s creation lifts my spirit and enlarges my perspective on a situation.

I love a good walk or bike ride where I can at least look at leaves and clouds and feel the air around me.
A hike with some great scenery is extra special.

As for the discussions on CD, some of them get out of hand and even personal.
These make my heart heavy and my thoughts sorrowful. We’re supposed to love one another.
Even when we disagree on certain things, there is the commonality of trust in Christ which should supercede all else.

CD offers a platform for people to talk about issues, Scripture, ask questions, and generally seek a better understanding.
As such, I see it as having potential to do good as well as harm.

While the charge of debating scripture was probably leveled in my direction, I think it was actually the subject matter which was found to be objectionable.
Initially I was just going to let it go, but that statement has led to this thread.

I see nothing wrong with presenting what Scripture says about a topic, and with exploring various implications if done for edification.
Past a certain point, it does become a matter of “my side verses your side”, and the pursuit of truth fades away.

As for debating scripture being sinful is concerned, it can lead to sinful attitudes and behavior.
However, I see nothing wrong in discussing what God has said as long as the goal is truth.
Strife is sinful, but discussing and even debating Scripture is not.

If I am wrong and it is sinful to discuss the Scriptures, this forum and others like it should be shut down.
Everyone can continue with the comfort of their own ideas.
People seeking answers can also determine their own interpretation according to what they find acceptable and pleasing.
I for one think that would be a huge mistake.

Perhaps it would be good if more of the threads and posts here were offered for edification and exploration leading us closer to God.
It would certainly be a better witness to those readers who may not know the Lord.
I will try to keep that in mind and maintain a loving attitude with all aspects of my posts, rather than just approaching them as pertaining only to the topic at hand.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,026,237 times
Reputation: 58210
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodpasture View Post
In late 1958 I was baptized in a small but growing SBC church. I had just turned 10. A month or so prior to that I was in the woods near my home......we lived well out in the country (it is now mostly suburbs) at the time, with cows, hogs, geese, turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats and horses........but the woods is where I spent much of my spare time. I learned where the copperheads and moccasins hung out, I fetched home squirrel and rabbit for dinner, I caught crawdads and used them for bait for perch and crappie. There was a place....a kind of cave at the edge of a cliff with openings at two sides where there was enough room to sit, build a fire, and look over the creek and woodlands.....that drew me. The old ones of the Cherokee called such places a "place of power" but I knew nothing of that......it was simply a place that I went to when I was depressed, or sad, or troubled, or angry. I was sitting there one day, quiet, just watching the woods and the creek when I heard a voice ask me why I hadn't come to Him yet. Like a kid, I simply said "I don't know." We talked for a while about love, salvation, and witnessing.......I know a lot of this can be hard to believe....it is equally hard to describe what was happening to me. I know I went to the pastor of our church and talked about it. He talked to my parents and we all discussed it. and a few weeks later I was baptized and I knew that this was what I needed to do. Fast forward nearly a decade. I was on after lookout on a tincan in the Gulf of Tonkin during an artillery support run when the VC opened up from a shore battery. They were dropping HE in our wake, walking them up about 50 yards at a time. Like I said, I was sitting on afterlookout, which put me above the drone helicopter and 1,000 gallons of jet fuel and 40' behind a gun mount full of HE, williepeter, and starshells. The gun was a 5" 38, with each projectile weighing about 60 pounds and each cartridge weighing about 30 pounds. In short, if we were hit anywhere near there, I would not survive the initial blast and it would probably cut the ship in half and sink in less than five minutes.

As they walked the shells up our wake, I saw with clarity that I was going to be dead within a few minutes. Then my friend from the cave spoke to me again. He told me to not worry, that He was with me, and that there are worse things than dying, and if I were to die, that He would be with me all the way through it and to not worry. I had an incredible calmness settle over me. The VC's last shot splashed the fantail of the ship.

Since that day I talk daily to Jesus. I didn't/don't always take him to "good" places......but there is nothing I can show him that He isn't aware of.......He took all men's sins with Him, so He knows the really overwhelming evil that can lie in a man's soul and heart. We've been in bars around the world, and He reminded me that He first sought men who were fishermen........rough, hard living, calloused men of hard work and hard living. As an aside, I asked Him why He chose fishermen. And He told me it's because they willingly face overwhelming odds, they face death and danger, they work hard......to not work hard in that occupation means you die young......and not only do they persevere in that environment, they thrive.....and He needed that kind of iron in men to be the kind of apostles He needed.

But like you DOTL, I have found the greatest joy, the greatest communion, the clearest conversations when there is no one around, when there is nothing but the sun, the wind, the trees and creeks. In Matthew 6 He talks about prayer and He says (in most the translations) to put yourself into a secret place..... a closet.....and talk to Him......that if you talk to Him where others can hear, then all you will receive is the applause and admiration of others. But for a response from Him, secrete yourself in a private area. I always found that a "prayer closet" was claustrophobic for me, while the deep north woods when I lived in Ontario, the mountains of the Pecos Wilderness, the woodlands out my back yard today, were places where I could be alone, I could talk to Him, and He could and would talk to me.

And if you continue to go to the mountain and talk to Him, it becomes easier to talk to Him when you are away from the mountain. Jesus communed with the Father constantly, yet when He had to talk "seriously about grave topics" He went to the wilderness, He went to the Garden......As I recall, He only went to the tabernacle to teach. To learn, He went to where God had created the chapel......the Gardens and the wilderness. This part of our "Christian education" has been missing......but the cynical side of my nature says that it is hard to pass an offering plate if the congregation is scattered throughout the woods and mountains.
Wow, that's quite an amazing story GP. You described your battle experience so well I could almost envision being there. There's one thing we all seem to forget when we're here arguing back and forth.....and that is that we all have real life experiences that have contributed greatly to who we have become. Who we are as people, and who we are in Christ.

My ex-husband used to tell me that he would go deer hunting not only for the deer, but to be one with nature and talk to God. I didn't buy it at the time, and I still can't understand how a man who is the most hyperactive person I have ever met could sit in a treestand for 12 to 15 hours without moving. It is the most contradictory thing I have ever seen. He spent thousands of dollars on deer hunting toys so I just thought the line about talking to God was to make me feel better about the money spent.

I can understand it now, although I still don't understand the need to kill beautiful animals just for sport and to spend thousands of dollars on the junk to do it with. I went to the mountains for free!!

I think it's great that you have a close personal relationship with Jesus and that you actually speak with Him, and He with you. I don't understand why I don't hear an audible voice, but I hear from Him nonetheless. It gets frustrating or it has in the past because I felt God was ignoring me, but now I know where to go and what to do to hear Him. I sat and wrote 6 pages while there, but I think next time I will just go and sit. It's a tourist spot and I was eventually interrupted by tourists taking pictures so I'll have to find a more secluded spot with no interruptions like your caves.

Thanks for sharing, GP. My focus from now on will be on my own walk, not someone else's. Unless God speaks directly to me about my personal beliefs, they will not change. But how I convey those beliefs must change.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 04:44 PM
 
Location: MI
1,289 posts, read 1,903,924 times
Reputation: 290
Oh, DotL...I hope someday you will share what you wrote...or at least an overview. I am so happy for you... The Lord is good.

Goodpasture...I always enjoy reading your experiences. Thank you.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 05:21 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,026,237 times
Reputation: 58210
[quote=Richio;7041998]
Quote:
Itís hard to think of the creator of this amazing universe when we look at manmade objects and artificial environments all the time.
Yes, it is.

Quote:
In times when Iím feeling down a bit, I find that just looking at Godís creation lifts my spirit and enlarges my perspective on a situation.
Me too, Richio. It's not like this is the first time I've spent time alone in nature....I've done it many times simply because it made me feel better. But this was the first time with my heart right and seeking God's face.

Quote:
As for the discussions on CD, some of them get out of hand and even personal.
These make my heart heavy and my thoughts sorrowful. Weíre supposed to love one another.
Even when we disagree on certain things, there is the commonality of trust in Christ which should supercede all else.
It's made my heart very heavy too at times, and at times I have felt complete joy and the presence of the Holy Spirit here. It's just like any other real life situation, really.
Quote:
CD offers a platform for people to talk about issues, Scripture, ask questions, and generally seek a better understanding.
As such, I see it as having potential to do good as well as harm.
Agreed.
Quote:
While the charge of debating scripture was probably leveled in my direction, I think it was actually the subject matter which was found to be objectionable.
I didn't read that far back to find who the post that I quoted was directed to so I can't really speak to that.
Quote:
Initially I was just going to let it go, but that statement has led to this thread.
Oh no, it didn't lead to this thread. It was just one singular post (I assume you mean the post by scgraham) that stuck out and struck me because I'm feeling convicted right now. My purpose for starting the thread was to share my experience and what I was feeling, and Bideshi's post helped me put it in perspective.
Quote:
I see nothing wrong with presenting what Scripture says about a topic, and with exploring various implications if done for edification.
Past a certain point, it does become a matter of ďmy side verses your sideĒ, and the pursuit of truth fades away.
There isn't anything wrong with discussing scripture. That in and of itself is not a sin. But when you have such a large array of beliefs from around the globe trying to come together on one discussion board, it never remains civil. It's impossible, imo. What Scgraham said about sharing and then leaving it alone is what I'm talking about. There are sure to be debates to follow and questions, but no one seems to be able to draw the line and it turns ugly. Many scriptures have come to mind as I'm typing this about such as speaking to something once, and then again but after that shake off and move on. That just doesn't happen very often.

I'm more concerned about the seekers that read this board. If you and I were to bow out of all of the future debates/arguments, would that really change anything here? Not likely. But if we turn around the way we respond to reflect Christ, strictly adhere to presentation, answering sincere questions about the presentation and then move on when it's obvious that it's going south....I think that will change something. One thing that I have learned is that we can set the tone, and it becomes infectious no matter what one believes.

There are always going to be those that are here simply looking for a fight, and the only way to deal with that is to ignore it. There's obvious flaming and trolling, but such is the way of the world. I'm trying with everything I have, especially prayer, to not get sucked into that nonsense any longer because like someone said (SunshineAnn, I think) in her thread, thousands are reading this board. I've said that many times too, and I've known that for a long time. I can't allow myself to be responsible for anyone's disillusionment because of something I said or didn't say. This has got to be taken more seriously by all of us that claim Christ. If I find myself getting sucked in again, I'm stepping away until I get my heart and mind right again.
Quote:
If I am wrong and it is sinful to discuss the Scriptures, this forum and others like it should be shut down.
Like I said above, it's not discussing the scriptures that is wrong. I just don't think anyone is going to change anyone else's mind. God has to do the convicting, just like he's doing with me right now. Present it, lightly discuss it and then move on when you see another wanting to fight about it.
Quote:
Perhaps it would be good if more of the threads and posts here were offered for edification and exploration leading us closer to God.
They are offered for that in most people's minds. That's why I do it, but my motives always get questioned and I get accused of trying to do something that was never even in my mind. There's a very fine line to be walked here, and I can only act, react and speak for myself. I'm going to be more Christ-like in my posting, or I won't be posting at all anymore.

Quote:
It would certainly be a better witness to those readers who may not know the Lord.
Exactly. That's my main concern.

Quote:
I will try to keep that in mind and maintain a loving attitude with all aspects of my posts, rather than just approaching them as pertaining only to the topic at hand.
Perfect. Me too.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Pawnee Nation
7,525 posts, read 14,925,297 times
Reputation: 7014
This is a comment regarding the use of scripture.............

I am a real estate appraiser. I teach appraising. In fact, I teach the formal ethics course in appraising and am listed by the Appraisal Qualification Board as a Certified USPAP instructor.

USPAP is the acronym for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. It is the rules you must live by if you are a real property appraiser. The trouble is, the only real rule is to act and perform ethically. Now we all know that you cannot teach ethics.....actually, I suppose you can teach the fundamentals of ethics, but knowing ethics is not the same as being ethical. USPAP provides a broad outline as to some basic tenets. It deals with two (primarily) areas....the first is the research and development of an opinion of value, and the second is the method of communicating the results of that research and development. The things that we teach in class are not rigid rules, despite some peoples efforts to make them that way. It is more a guideline that should be interpreted to apply to specific situations.

I find that scripture is a lot like that. It does not really provide specific rules as "You must do this," or "You must do that." or "You must Not do this other thing." It is more a "Given the example of love and self sacrifice by Jesus, how should I act in this situation." WWJD is really a profound theology because it requires you to respond to the world as though you were Jesus! the scripture is not a set of rules. For every rule that you find in one chapter of the Bible you will find it's contradiction in another chapter. It is the APPLICATION of the scripture that is important.....not the do's and don'ts found in parsing the words and sentences and paragraphs.

Argue all you want about original sin or virgin birth or hell or rapture or whatever.......ALL that stuff is irrelevant until such a time as it is faced. What is relevant today is how you relate to each other TODAY, how you care for those who are ill or infirm TODAY, how you treat your fellow man TODAY.

I was horrified when I read a thread about torture and how it's prohibition was not in the Bible. Can you imagine Jesus EVER waterboarding someone? Yet a supposedly "good Christian" tried to dismiss it as being something that was somehow acceptable. CAn I imagine Jesus having a glass of wine or a cold beer? Certainly. How about holding a womans hand? Eating and enjoying a really good dinner. All are perfectly normal and acceptable for Jesus to have done. But to order the bombing of Iraq or Palestine? To have a man or woman paraded around on a leash naked amidst jeers and catcalls? Is this what Jesus would have done? If not, why on earth would we countenance it by our "leaders?"

Parsing scripture defeats your witness. Arguing over trivialities defeats your witness. Living life with love and compassion, frequent private prayer, and being ethical when no one is watching......THAT will validate your testimony and make your witness worth noting.
 
Old 01-17-2009, 06:45 PM
 
40,196 posts, read 26,826,705 times
Reputation: 6059
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodpasture View Post
This is a comment regarding the use of scripture.............

Parsing scripture defeats your witness. Arguing over trivialities defeats your witness. Living life with love and compassion, frequent private prayer, and being ethical when no one is watching......THAT will validate your testimony and make your witness worth noting.
Amen. We are of like mind, GP . . . and it would appear to be like Jesus'.
 
Old 01-18-2009, 11:36 AM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,026,237 times
Reputation: 58210
I just wanted to share a little excerpt of what I wrote there on that mountainside in the little open chapel:

"The beauty of this place is unriveled. As I looked up into the sky just now from where I sit, through the dark clouds the sun's rays are shining down on one spot of the mountains below me. At first glance, I thought that there was fog rolling in, but the sun's rays are actually visible. A long, dark cloud stretches out in front of the slanted sunbeams and I can see the rain coming down out of the dark clouds. The strong wind and slanted rays are pushing the long, dark cloud along at a pace that the darkness cannot keep up with. Now, the sun and it's vivid rays take precedence as the wind quickly turns the darkness into light."

After I wrote this paragraph, it struck me how this is metaphoric for good and evil. God's power and Satan's weakness. The sun's rays represent how visible God really is, especially in nature. The long, dark cloud that brings rain represents evil hovering over our lives. The roaring rush of the strong wind and the slanted rays represent God in all His power and glory, always in charge and always able to push Satan out of the way. One day soon, God will push Satan out of the way permanently.

There are many commemorative plaques all over this open chapel in honor of people who either worked at the camp or were a part of it's success. I wrote down what a few of them said.

From time to time
We must find a place for ourselves
Alone
Where fresh breezes can blow through
Restoring
Replenishing
There is a need for times of silence
Times to fill days with golden smiles
And dream the greater dreams (no author mentioned)

In Memory of Eugene E. Stone, III 1907-1997
_______________________________________


John 11:25-26

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."

"There awaits men at death things they have neither looked for nor dreamt of." (Heraclitus)

In memory of James Croft Ashmore 1926-1945
 
Old 01-18-2009, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 44,656,736 times
Reputation: 58626
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayoftheLord View Post

From time to time
We must find a place for ourselves
Alone
Where fresh breezes can blow through
Restoring
Replenishing
There is a need for times of silence
Times to fill days with golden smiles
And dream the greater dreams (no author mentioned)

In Memory of Eugene E. Stone, III 1907-1997
_______________________________________
I think one of the biggest weaknesses in the body of Christ is the thought that gathering with fellow believers at church and reading/praying through out the week will build a personal friendship with Jesus. These things are important.....but they don't forge an intense relationship. The best times of my Christian walk was when I've sat in complete silence saying nothing at all while Jesus blows His breath in a breeze across my face and I know that we love each other.
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