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Old 03-07-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: USA
1,246 posts, read 2,082,009 times
Reputation: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by GCSTroop View Post
Mari,

I'm not saying that people finding God is not therapeutic for many. I'm not saying it doesn't have a profound effect on many people. Don't try to push it in that direction.

My point in all of this has been that I find it so distinctly horrible that a loving, caring, 'sentient' being would sit back and watch a child get raped yet he intervenes in the most trivial of manners.

If there is a God, of which, I am almost certain there isn't... Than he is, in my opinion, not interfering with the good OR the bad. He's not helping you score points on the SAT and he's not helping little girls escape a sick rapist.

Try something some time. Sit back... listen to what people are thanking their God for and praying for. Listen to how ridiculously petty all the things they attribute to him are. And yet, look at all of the "real bad" in this world and ask yourself why he did nothing to intervene. Why would he help someone on their SAT and yet, watch a ten-year old girl get raped? Does one have a higher precedence on his "To-help" list than another?

Again, regardless of this, it does not disprove a god in entirety. I don't like what Hitler did but it doesn't make him any less real . However, it does, at least for me, raise some SERIOUS questions as to the "love" that this so-called all-powerful, all-knowing being exhibits and that makes me question not just the Christian god, but all gods deemed "loving."

It seems entirely more accurate to me that if we are going to attribute the good and bad to this world that Satan is the more powerful presence and the good things that happen are because of Satan's fallen angel "God."

However, in all of this, I am trying to avoid the deadly pitfall of this sort of debate where I admit that god is a 'something'. I do not. I deny god, Jesus, and all the rest. There's a hefty amount of proof that's going to convince me otherwise and merely saying that God 'loves' has proven to me, to be a logical fallacy of enormous proportions. It doesn't seem he gives a flying hoot what the heck happens and it's only predicated on faith that people think he actually meddles with their trivial affairs in life.
I apologize for making it seem as if you were going in the direction of finding God not being theraputic. That actually was not my intention. When I was posting it, I was thinking along the lines of a testimony how God can bring healing in these situations and meant for the person who has taken in this child. Guess I should have seperated it into two seperate posts.

As for what you were saying about listening to what some people pray for. I agree with you a 100% that some people pray for some really petty things. I've heard people praying to win the lotto so they can buy a boat or take another vacation, or for their football team to win the superbowl or baseball team to win the world series. Real petty if you ask me. However, I don't much think that God actually wastes time on prayers like these.

I am very passionate about my faith so I will defend it. However, I am not one of these high holy rollers who attaches everything to either God or the devil. If I could not go to the beach today because it is raining it is not the devil out to get me. If, on the other hand, it was sunny and I was able to go to the beach, I don't believe that God went out of his way to do that just for me. However, I will praise God for the rain as it is needed, and I will also praise God for the sun, as I enjoyed it.

I guess at this point in my life I am understanding God more and more. My son is 19 years old and just recently I went through an ordeal with him. As a loving mother I wanted to protect him, to say hey you are going to hit your head against that wall and it is going to hurt. I wanted to place a nice fluffy pillow to break his fall when he falls. But, I had to come to the understanding that he has the freedom to make his own choices. As much as I wanted to protect him, he was not going to learn from hearing me say something or from me removing an obsticle. The only way he was going to learn is through his own experience. And he did. Now he is back home and realizing the mistakes he made and that mom was right.

I am glad you brought Satan into this because a lot of people forget that he is out there. And you are right, his presence is very powerful in the world. He is the one that causes bad stuff. He too has a purpose. His purpose is to try and win souls, much like God. How does he do this, by making God's creation doubt their very creator. For every person he can make doubt God and turn bitter towards God, is another soul that hopes to gain.

So why God would allow it? The reality is that no answer that I can give or that is given by us humans is going to ever satisfy those who do not believe in God and who question this very thing because there is no making sense of evil or pain or suffering. Let's just look at a death, regardless of the circumstances as natural as they may be, how do you explain to a grieving child why their mother or father had to go away. There is no explanation that will ease that child's questions, that child's pain.

However, for those of us that do believe in God, we just know, understand and trust that there is a loving God and that he is still sitting on that throne and that while things may not always make sense to us here on earth, now at this time, there is nonetheless a deeper purpose and that in the end God can and often does find a way to turn that which the enemy meant for bad, to good for those that believe in him and are called by his name. Thats our faith, thats our hope and for many of us thats the foundation that has been built upon the experiences we have had in our own personal lives where we have seen God do just that.

Just to share... I remember once reading somewhere that evil is allowed to be seen around us in order that we may examine ourselves, our own lives and our own hearts and find that within all of us there is some evil.

For example... the bible tells us that it is not just the action but even the thought that is sin.

* If a man so much as looks at woman and lusts for her, he has committed adultery in his heart.
* There is the power of life and death in the tongue. To speak ill of another is speaking death upon them. In the heart one has committed a sin against that other person.

Like these there are many other things that can be brought up. Things associated we sins that many if not most of us carry around us everyday, jealousy, anger, resentment, envy, gossip, etc. What I read though stated that when we see evil around us, we feel for those that suffered it, we pray for them, but what we should also be doing is searching ourselves and repent for what evil we carry around within us, as we all have wrong thoughts at one point or another or have done something wrong. However, if we never seen evil, never experienced evil, how would we be able to begin to recognize it within ourselves.

I also remember reading that when something horrible happens, we often are very quick to ask "why does god allow people to die", however, do we take the time to ask God "why does he allow us to live"? The reality is that when we question God as to why he, such a loving, compassionate and all knowing God allows evil to continue in the world, should we not also ask this same God who also has wrath, why we as sinner's deserve his mercy and opportunity to enter into his kingdom. For every question that can be asked there is a contrary one that can be asked as well.

The bible however is clear on one thing, that there will come a day that God will rise up and put the works of Satan to an end. The book of Revelation is all about this time. That is the encouraging hope the Christian holds on to. That in the end God win's the war, though we fight many battles until then.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,584 posts, read 8,528,142 times
Reputation: 3956
Mari,

For the record, I wasn't implying that your whole post meant that I found the notion of God 'un-therapeutic'.

Here's the thing. Just as you agree that people pray for petty things such as winning a football game, winning the lotto, etc.. etc... these people OBVIOUSLY feel as if God had a part in it. They truly feel that God made a decision to aid them in their quest for whatever petty venture it is.

However, it seems to me that it is the people deciding for themselves what this God is responsible for. What, I ask, is the defining act that God decides to intervene and aid someone and what is the act that he sits back on? In other words, you and I both feel it apt to consider that he is not helping a team win a football game. But, I think we should put this in perspective...

What if a football player on that team had died in an accident the previous week? Let's say the team goes out, plays a fantastic ball game, makes a miraculous comeback and everything is great. Was it God helping? Was it the dead persons' spirit helping them? The football team might say it was. The coach, the players, the fans, they might all say it was divine intervention. But, why SHOULD we attribute that to an act of God? Why SHOULD we say that an angel helped the team win?

Where is the delineation of what God does or doesn't do? He obviously doesn't help rape victims. He obviously doesn't even help people tortured with sexual abuse for years on end. If he's not helping people on football fields, and he's not helping people when they're being raped, and he's not helping people when they're being tortured, than at WHAT POINT is he stepping in and helping? It seems that there is a large matter of subjectivity when you really think about this as to what God interferes with and doesn't and people love to attribute the things in THEIR life to his actions. Yet, someone always has it worse and isn't being helped.

Do we REALLY believe that God helped win a football game? Even if the team lost a player earlier in the week? What is the signifigance in all of that? It seems to me that the signifigance is that the team lost presumably a good friend and teammate and that was their motivation. However, they attribute that motivation to a "deity" or a "spirit force". It's real to them. It's VERY real to them. But, you and I agree that it's probably not very likely. So what exactly is the point that it DOES become likely? What's the act? What are the premises and the defining factors? Why are we attributing otherwise perfectly natural occurences to a "spirit force"? Isn't that just an argument from incredulity to say "I can't believe we won the game! Thank God!!!!" Well, no, don't thank god... Thank yourselves for reaching deep down and fighting the internal conflict.

It has nothing to do with God, Satan, angels, demons, spirits, ghosts, bogeymen, Easter Bunnies, Santa Clauses, leprechauns, fairies, trolls, wizards, witches, magical rings, unicorns, or imps. It has nothing to do with God, Zeus, Shiva, Ra, Thor, Odin, Baal, Chaac, Allah, or any other god. Yet, there is a reason why these different thoughts and notions of God have persisted throughout humanity:

It's a simple explanation for the otherwise odd occurences that happen in our life. We, as pattern seeking animals, love to attribute the occassional crazy occurrence to that of incredulity and give all the glory to god. We love to decline the bad things as "god-like" because it doesn't suit our purposes. God watched a rape occur? That's not God!!! That's Satan! Well, if we were created in his image, than I am sickened at the thought that man would sit there and just watch rapes occur. I tend to think that is not the case and man would intervene given the chance. Yet, God does not. God just sits there, twiddles his thumbs, and for over 200,000 years has just sat said "I sure do hope they find their way to me."

For the same reasons the Greeks believed in Zeus and Athena, and for the same reasons that the Muslims believe in Allah, and for the same reason Peter believes in Puff the Magic Dragon, so do people believe in the Christian God as their one and only god. This same "belief" seems to function in all directions. It is capable of believing in Gods of good and gods of bad. It's capable of believing in the absurd gods and the rational gods. However, there is no one defining theory of god that mustn't require an absolute surrender of rationality and logic. To say that a belief in the Christian god is more rational than that of the Islamic god is like saying it's more rational to believe that leprechauns exist in comparison to unicorns.

Apparently, it's what we decide to make of God in our own minds that suits our needs and that is why there are so many errant discrepancies in what people believe as regards God. There is very rarely an agreeance of what Jesus said, what God did, what God does, what Satan does, or what any other deity does other than what a person makes it out to be in their mind. Therefore, just as another thread implies:

The paradox is once again met. People believe what they want to believe.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:43 PM
 
9,601 posts, read 3,310,827 times
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Great post,mari4him, You explained this very well.

Just know for many 'OLD AGE' comes. Then you will have plenty of time to think about the wrong doings you have done in your life time and it can EAT YOU ALIVE.

I'm watching a 90 year old man, who has lost the love of his life, most of his children are there for most needs, but not his emotional and lasting love he could have had with his children at his age. Some of his children will have nothing to do with him. Most all his friends, young and old have gone to HEAVEN, before him and he sits and thinks about the WILD LIFE that he enjoyed, at the expense of his family and the secrets his friends didn't know.

This man NEVER planned on living this long, he has come close to dying a couple of times, he would just pull through. Now he sits alone and lonely, in the last days of his life. I truly believe, if it wasn't for the FORGIVENESS of his family and the prayers they offered to God ,he would be worst off then he is. With their FORGIVENESS of his family, God has given him a comfortable place to think long and hard about his DIRTY DEEDS in life.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:44 PM
Status: "Semi-retired. working some, taking off some." (set 1 day ago)
 
9,801 posts, read 10,969,939 times
Reputation: 4994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasdrubal View Post
how can staunch Christian conservatives aprove war, discrimination (against gays, against blacks in the past), the death penalty, etc?

It's quite the contrary of what Jesus taught.
Are you a Christian? Just asking, before I reply...
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:23 PM
 
Location: USA
1,246 posts, read 2,082,009 times
Reputation: 739
GCSTroop....

I promise I will come back and address your posts. I have my thoughts in my mind but my fiancee just got here for a weekend together. I will try to come back before sunday night but if not will be back by then.... I just didn't want to leave this and have you think I was avoiding your questions.

3-Shephards... thank you
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
6,584 posts, read 8,528,142 times
Reputation: 3956
Quote:
Originally Posted by mari4him View Post
GCSTroop....

I promise I will come back and address your posts. I have my thoughts in my mind but my fiancee just got here for a weekend together. I will try to come back before sunday night but if not will be back by then.... I just didn't want to leave this and have you think I was avoiding your questions.

3-Shephards... thank you

Trust me. No pressure from me! Respond if and when you feel like doing so. This isn't high school, we don't have homework assignments to do.

Enjoy the time with your fiance.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 4,176,692 times
Reputation: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasdrubal View Post
how can staunch Christian conservatives aprove war, discrimination (against gays, against blacks in the past), the death penalty, etc?

It's quite the contrary of what Jesus taught.

Saying we're Christian and merely believing in Christ, has very little to do with

being Christian
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:28 PM
 
Location: Earth
3,797 posts, read 4,216,751 times
Reputation: 2482
Yes it's very ironic but a large number of Christians "distort" the teachings of Jesus. And for good reason too, if you take the words in the new testament literally they can have an "upside down" meaning to them. Not to say that all Christians do because that would be generalizing, but many of Christ's words are misinterpreted.

Love to all my brothers and sisters and may the light of truth shine through all darkness.
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:34 PM
Status: "Semi-retired. working some, taking off some." (set 1 day ago)
 
9,801 posts, read 10,969,939 times
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The thing I find most "ironic" is that those who most disdain Christianity attempt to use the teachings of Christ against us. Almost as if they latently accept that the very belief system they shun is, paradoxically, morally superior...?
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Earth
3,797 posts, read 4,216,751 times
Reputation: 2482
Yeah they're turning his words against us! Who's us?

Just Kidding I think I know what you're saying though. The words taught by Jesus were never condeming or spoken of in a superior or controlling mindframe. The whole "thou shalt be damned" thing has absolutely nothing to do with the light of Christ.
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