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Old 08-14-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,729,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
So if grace is God's 'unconditional love and/or favor' then what makes "grace" different from just God's love? In other words, how do you identify grace? June came upon the following passage written by Paul Tillich --which made grace sound rather nice-- but she's still not sure what it IS or how you'd even know it's "grace." (Is this making sense?)

"Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life...It strkes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage. Sometimes at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying: 'You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know. Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later. Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much. Do not seek for anything. Simply accept the fact that you are accepted."

-quoted from "The Shaking of the Foundations"
I admit to reading a few posts, and skimming over others. But Junie, this is my take on Grace, and although it is in a very simplified way, it is profound. First let me say that I believe that Man has totally made a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to deciding what is what in Christianity. By breaking it down into simple terms, it makes total sense.

I am a mother who loves her child. My love surpasses anything that child could do, be it murder or whatever, I will still love my child.

I want to do for my child the very best that I can do for him/her. Teach him things, make his path easier, give him comfort, food, shelter, understanding, etc.

God does the same for us, He chooses to give us all He does and bestows it upon us for the taking. Why? He loves us.

Now, whether we accept it or not is a different question.

But His Grace is everything, whatever we need. I have experienced HIs Grace in my deepest despair, as comfort. It was as if He picked me up and put me in the cradle of His arm and comforted me. I've experienced it as a blessing of extra, and at the moment it is my garden overflowing.

God's Grace to us overflows the cup, never ending.

Just because we all do not acknowledge His Grace does not mean it is not there....for it is....

What we do with the Grace gives us opportunities for much blessing. If we recieve His Grace and Praise Him for it, thank Him for it, the cup of blessings flows into our lives tenfold. Not just as money, but in relationships, jobs, everyday living....it makes our valleys and low points more bearable, gives us hope and strengthens us.

That is how I define Grace.
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:59 AM
 
4,669 posts, read 3,905,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mb64282 View Post
There are several traditional beliefs that have now been refuted, although I do not think this one will be, as we cannot go back in time and see for ourselves, I'm sure other beliefs that were once accepted we thought would never change. Let's all try to be nice. Attacking someones faith and calling them less of a Christian than you without insight into their heart doesn't sound like something Jesus would want. Any discussion on faith matters is good, whether it be a wrong case or not, better than not discussing it. By the way, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians as well.

Ask a mormon or jehovah's witness what they think of mainstream Christians. If they're honest they'll tell you that they believe some very different things.

Think about it: mormons and jw's teach RADICALLY different things about who Christ is, the nature of God and other things. How can they both be considered Christians?

I think it's somewhat dishonest for her or others around here to throw the title "Christian" around and claim to be one when they deny most of what Christianity embraces. Would it be fair for me to claim to be a muslim if I held to none of its teachings?
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis
4,325 posts, read 5,134,705 times
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Get over it already! This thread isn't about what a christian is, as June has already stated.
Start another thread if it bothers you that much. Better yet, take it to God!
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:07 AM
 
Location: nc
1,244 posts, read 2,452,460 times
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I've personally known only one of each, and nothing struck me as that far-fetched...except the Jehovah's witness Church kicked my friend out because they found out he was drinking and smoking, I wouldn't call that grounds for kicking someone out, heck he wasn't even going that much as it was, but my sister's co-workers are Jehovah's witnesses and I think it is actually quite sweet that they try to get people to join even though they believe so little will see eternity, like wow that could be your spot your giving away! And Mormons, not believing in hell, I think that is sweet also! These faiths are both very disciplined. What strikes you as so odd? I read you on a previous post you are Catholic, you should know about being seen as odd in mainstream America then. Unless you live in the north, lots of Catholics up there.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: nc
1,244 posts, read 2,452,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend1111 View Post
Get over it already! This thread isn't about what a christian is, as June has already stated.
Start another thread if it bothers you that much. Better yet, take it to God!
you're right, not thread topic, just surprised
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:12 AM
 
7,788 posts, read 10,452,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiangel_writer View Post

I have experienced His Grace in my deepest despair...and at the moment it is my garden overflowing.

Just because we all do not acknowledge His Grace does not mean it is not there....for it is....

...And this ^ is absolutely beautiful!

Ironically, it was when June read the line "it is my garden overflowing" that she went "Ah...now it's making a bit more sense to me!" --June is, admittedly, somewhat ("somewhat!?" ) off the beaten path in how she makes connections in order to better understand things at times...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aiangel_writer

That is how I define Grace.

And June's glad it is.

Take gentle care.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:02 AM
 
4,669 posts, read 3,905,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend1111 View Post
Get over it already! This thread isn't about what a christian is, as June has already stated.
Start another thread if it bothers you that much. Better yet, take it to God!
will do.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:52 AM
 
20,306 posts, read 15,661,748 times
Reputation: 7433
Grace is Gods mercy in action. Grace is everything that God is free to do for man on the basis of the cross. Because of the work of Christ on the cross in paying the penalty for our sins, He satisfied the demands of Gods righteousness,and thereby reconciled us to God. Therefore, God is free to express his love toward us without compromising His Holiness which is His righteousness and justice. Ephesians 2:8,9 'For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no one should boast.'
And, Titus 3:4-7 ' But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.'

This is grace.
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Nowhere'sville
2,345 posts, read 3,816,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I LOVE NORTH CAROLINA View Post
That is not Christian doctrine because the Bible does not teach that. We love Him because He first loved us. I'm telling you this because it is what the Bibles teaches. The other stuff is man's legalism.
Also when you become a Christian your thoughts and desires change and some of that "bad stuff" you just don't WANT to do anymore.

Sorry, I'm calling you on this one. I WAS a Christian. I pulled back because I found the whole thing to be confusing and messed up. When I'd hear the OT preached on I'd be repulsed and think "how can I sit here and pretend to LOVE this monster of a god?!" My thoughts and desires were just fine before church. I was (still am) married...had no desire to be unfaithful or look a porn or anything of that nature. Not a thief. Not a murderer. No desire to be a thief or murderer. I could go on.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:23 PM
 
7,788 posts, read 10,452,492 times
Reputation: 3392
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMae1 View Post

Sorry, I'm calling you on this one.

Upon her first reading through of this thread today, June initially glossed over this ^ one, and made little of it. Interestingly enough, however, it somehow managed to stay on her mind. (What very little is left of June's mind by a Friday!) --But it struck June that there was something almost ironically comical about the fact that here June is, (a nonbeliever) yet you, DaniMae, (if I'm not mistaken?) at one time was someone who was a 'believer' if not a Christian. (?) And while June can relate to what it is that you speak of, addressed in your posts, she somehow can't help but feel that there is more:

June, (for reasons all too sadly apparent) is the last person to make ANY determination as regards what "is" or "is not" Christianity. Likewise, June had at least some reason in mind in starting this thread. (Arguing over what defines a Christian wasn't exactly in her overall mindset, but things just sorta evolve the way they do at times, ya know?) --However, there is something incredibly compelling --at least for June-- in terms of what you have said.

While June intellectually understands what people have posted here in their kind hearted attempts to help her understand what "grace" is, it is somehow ironic to her that it was that one post that mentioned "at the moment it is my garden over flowing." --Call June nuts, (trust me, it's been done, but the state of Massachusetts allows me to practice anyway, those damn heathen fools!) but June's not seeing a whole lotta OT doctrine, dogma, or anything else in gardens a-bloomin'. And yet, for some reason, that resonated with her. It's difficult to get angry, resentful, or just down right mad at an over flowing garden, just as it is for June to get angry, resentful, or mad when she sits here in the pre-dawn hours and waits to hear the geese fly overhead...

What June is saying (to you and everyone else who has been kind enough to post here) is this: June is the LAST person to know what "grace" is. None the less, if we assume it exists, (?) then at the very least it has to rise above discord. It has to rise above, and independently exist on it's own. It can't be dependent upon interpretation, or denomination, or orientation, or subjective persuasion. It somehow either "is" or "is not."

--So if an over flowing garden somehow resonates enough with this nonbeliever such that she can go "Ah! So that's it!" she somehow doubts that whatever it is that resonates in her is anything to strenuously argue.

...And for those who disagree, or would wish to, June would say this:

-Permit her to just continue to look at the garden in her back yard, choked and overgrown with weeds, (analogy time here, folks) and find that same resonating sense of "whatever" upon discovering the one, lone flower that somehow managed to survive; that wasn't strangled to bits by the weeds.

...And if the geese just happen to fly overhead at that very same moment, then, well....?


Take gentle care.
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