On religion and such

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by BOBLAWLESS, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. chadk Be the guide...

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    I've considered it quite a bit. But it just doesn't add up in my opinion. What qualifies as religion anyway?

    What historical prophets are you referring to? Pagans for example might have many gods. I'm only aware of one prophet who not only claimed that there was one God, but also claimed to BE that God. Christianity is very unique in that way.

    As a Christian, I must recognize what is specified very clearly in the Bible (a few verses among many more):

    John 14:

    5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
    6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

    8Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

    9Jesus answered: “Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

    ...

    16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.


    Matthew 7:14
    14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

    Luke 13:24
    He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

    Mathew 7:
    15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
    ...
    21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
    ...
    24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
    28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.


    From a biblical perspective, I can't support the idea that there are many ways to God. I can see how that is appealing from the outside though...



    And again, if you have never heard the gospel message, you won't be judged for not accepting Christ. I can support that with scripture if desired. You will still be judged in some way, but scripture isn't clear beyond that.

    Anyway, I'm just sharing what I think is the Christian perspective. I think I'm right, or close to. And I repect that you may think I'm wrong and you are right. But sharing our thoughts on this subject is that this post is about...
  2. redwoods r. surdyk

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    Can Someone Find Backyard He Will Know The Divine Truth
  3. Roper Idiot Savant

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    It's not about wrong and right it's about right and right...I don't think Christ is wrong.
  4. pwoens Active Member

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    them tricky Christians....now everyone who has read this thread has been exposed....they have no excuse when judgement time comes.....mwaaahaahaaaaaahaaaaa :clown: We got em fellas....now we can leave it alone.... :p
  5. chadk Be the guide...

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    "I don't think Christ is wrong."

    Hmm, so Christ says he is the ONLY way. You say he is right. David Koresh says he is the ONLY way. You say he is also right. What does it take to be 'wrong'? Was Jesus lieing? Did the 'writers of the bible' just get those parts wrong and should have chosen more 'inclusive' and 'tolerant' wording? Maybe these guys are all spritualizations \ reincarnations of the same spiritual being - and thus, they are all right (and yet wrong) at the same time. Of course the Bible has some words for this 'spirit of confusion' as it sounds like i'm describing...

    Just trying to understand your perspective....
  6. Bright Rivers Member

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    I know everyone but Bob, Chad, and Roper are burned out on this thread, but I really want to see Bob hit triple platinum, so I’ll do my part to help him get there . . .
    In the final book of the well known children's novels, the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis gives a captivating and controversial illustration on this point. In that series, Aslan, a great Lion, is a metaphor for Christ, and Tash is a false god. When the protagonists finally reach the afterlife, they are surprised to find a devout follower of Tash there. Here is how C.S. Lewis tells it (in the words of Emeth, a devout follower of the false god, Tash, recounting what happened to him after he reached heaven):

    “For always since I was a boy I have served Tash and my great desire was to know more of him, if it might be, to look upon his face. But the name Aslan was hateful to me. . . .

    “So I went over much grass and many flowers and among all kinds of wholesome and delectable trees until in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant’s; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honor) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou has done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted. Does thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.

    “Then he breathed upon me and took away the trembling from my limbs and caused me to stand upon my feet. And after that, he said not much but that we should meet again, and I must go further up and further in. Then he turned him about in a storm and flurry of gold and was gone suddenly.

    “And since then, O Kings and Ladies, I have been wandering to find him and my happiness is so great that it even weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvel of marvels, that he called me Beloved, me who am but as a dog.”

    ***

    I will make two observations on the point: (1) it’s a good thing for all of that it is God, and not his children, who make the call; and (2) the 7th chapter of Matthew makes it clear that when we do get to heaven, we will all be a bit surprised at who is, and who is not, there. Food for thought.
  7. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    What if all of it; the Bible, Scrolls, Testaments, Koran, etc- all of it- is just a metaphor for an experience beyond form, beyond the sense of time, distance, proximity or place, even beyond the phenomenological universe?

    What if everything that the Sages, Prophets, Seers and Mystics, (Christian and otherwise), have tried to tell us was always limited by the confines of human consciousness and perception, the very lexicon of the ego.

    So the whole time- a few thousand years now- they were pointing toward an experience of Truth that has always been beyond the ability to explain or describe, much less understand in egocentric human terms. Maybe they just couched it in terms we could but barely begin to understand, because that is all that was available- like teaching children, or idiots.

    What if "Heaven or Hell" is not a place but a state of mind?

    What if what we call life is just a dream?

    Maybe that is why: "Heaven is full of atheists". :eek:

    (At least an empty vessel can be filled.)

    Maybe the only real limitation on the experience of Truth first-hand is simply our degree of willingness to accept it.

    Maybe the only real humility in life is peace of mind.

    The possibilities would be Infinite. :cool:
  8. Randy Knapp Active Member

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    Oh sage Bright one, I have always been a follower of CS Lewis since I read the Narnia series to my son when he was growing up. That is why I recommended his book Mere Christianity in an earlier post. It should really challenge the inquisative, intelligent minds of those in this thread who are active seekers.

    Randy
  9. Bright Rivers Member

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    I always knew there was something I liked about this Randy fellow. Note to all: Please do not refer to me as BR any longer. Henceforth, I shall be addressed as "Sage Bright One." :)

    P.S. -- I second Randy's recommendation of Mere Christianity.
  10. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    IMHO, Bob Triggs' post makes the most sense. I can only add:

    "God gave you a brain and He expects you to use it."

    K
  11. chadk Be the guide...

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    Kent, when you finally start using yours, let us know....

    Just kidding (my emoticons aren't working right now or i'd have posted a clown face...)

    Are you suggesting that those of us who are 'religious' are not using our brains as much as you who are 'more enlightened'?? Or are you saying that, in general terms, there are both atheist and religious alike who should spend more time using their old noggins? In that, I could agree...

    "some of the most blinded and ignorant people i've ever met inlcuded Phd's and scientists"
  12. Randy Knapp Active Member

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    In the spirit of the "Bright One" I must address the latest...

    In chapter 2 of the The Silver Chair (the sixth book in CS Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia) . Jill was crying because she was lamenting after her friend Scrubb fell off a cliff. The following statement is made:

    "Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

    I would substitute , "Philosophying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

    In the final book of the Torah, the book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of Moses, the fifth book of the Bible, the 12 tribes are poised to enter the Promised Land after wandering in the desert for 40 years following their liberation from over 400 years of Egyptian bondage. Moses addresses the people:

    " See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgements, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land wither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life , that both thou and thy seed may live..." Deuteronomy 30:15-19

    Evolution is a smoke screen. Philosophy is a smoke screen. The numbers of non-believers is a smoke screen. Non-believing Bible scholars and scientists are a smoke screen. The hypocrasy of those who call themselves Christians is a smoke screen. "I can't believe because a loving God wouldn't send all those ignorant folk to Hell "(whatever and whereever that is) is a smoke screen. Other religions are a smoke screen. Pointing to your good works is a smoke screen. God didn't send his only begotten Son to be one of us and live among us and teach us, only to be nailed by us to a cross so that we could sit back on our laurels and be "holier than thou" and point fingers at each other. He did it because there was no other way. And what do we have to do?

    "Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

    Jesus said, " Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39

    John said, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5: 11-12

    The apostle Paul said, "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." 1 Timothy 1: 15-16

    John also said, " He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But to as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" John 1:11-12

    "Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do."

    Wise men still seek Him.

    Randy
  13. Roper Idiot Savant

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    I doubt it... :hmmm:
  14. Kalm Member

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    There are cetainly some brainy christians, I would count you among them chadk. But Kent might be indicating tendencies. If you took a group of devout, not luke warm, but devout followerers of any faith against a group of atheists, which would have the greatest amount of Phd's? Which would be the most open minded and willing to learn? Which would speak in absolutes and profess that they have the answers without being able to prove a thing? Which group would tend to toward greater intelligence?

    Perhaps knowing God is the ultimate intelligence, but that requires faith. Here on earth we have different methods of measuring I.Q.
  15. redwoods r. surdyk

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    he who truly believes shall be saved , he who dont is a gambler, holding a bad hand
  16. chadk Be the guide...

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    Roper said: "I doubt it... "

    Why? Sounds like a cop-out to me. While I certainly have my own strong opinions, I like to hear other people express and defend theirs. Do you only like to play if nobody challenges you??
  17. chadk Be the guide...

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    What do you mean by 'devout'? I would consider Randy, Bright Rivers, etc to be 'devout'. And there are cetainly many I would consider 'devout atheists'.

    I don't consider the Phd comparison a good measuring stick for ignorance vs intelligence. You can be crazy smart in one specific area, and be completely ignorant about most everything else. In the computer feild I see that a lot. Some of these 'computer geeks' are scarey smart when it comes to computers and programming, but I don't know how they survive in the 'real world' away from their computers and dark offices...

    But I but if we took a group of random devout Jewish men, ages 30-50 and compared them to a group of randam devout atheists of the same age bracket, that the Jewish men would have a much higher education and successful career paths than the atheists.



    "Which would be the most open minded and willing to learn?"

    Well, since most Christians and other religious people I know have a great appreciation for science, education, and learning in general - as well as a strong commitemnet to their faith, I'd say it is at least even. Many atheists i've come accross are extremely closed minded against any notion of faith or God.

    "Which would speak in absolutes and profess that they have the answers without being able to prove a thing?"

    Answers to what? Absolute about what? Does having faith and conviction make you ignorant? Atheists have just as much likelyhood of being closed minded as anyone else. They have faith that they are right just like anyone else.

    "Which group would tend to toward greater intelligence?"

    Depends on how you measure intelligence. SAT scores? IQ tests? I'd say they are going to be pretty equal. People are people. Your intelligence level does not determine your outlook or philosophy on life or where you place your faith.

    Anyway, I just don't think the idea that atheists are smarter than Christians is going to hold any water. Or vise versa for that matter.

    Look at those on this board for example. From little I know about the individuals on this thread, it seems that our education levels are pretty equal, our IQs are pretty equal (collectively - there are probably a few standouts on each side), etc.
  18. Roper Idiot Savant

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    Chad, this is gonna be my last response to you or this thread. Read what you just said above. I offered my opinion, you don't seem to like it. Sounds to me like you're guilty of your accusation to me...so I'm not playing anymore, not that I ever was.

    Hasta la vista amigo...via con Dios!
  19. Bright Rivers Member

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    Surely you are not suggesting that “luke warm” believers are more intelligent than devout believers. A man who says he believes, but will not act on the belief, is either a liar or a fool, and probably both.

    As for atheists, I think that if you assembled the greatest minds in history and sorted them by religious inclination, the atheists would form a small and unimpressive contingent. There are a few great minds who have said, “There is no god,” but most intelligent non-believers are not atheists – they are agnostics or perhaps deists of one variety or another. I can respect the intellect of a man who says, “I do not know.” But to claim the existence of a thing unseen is not nearly as impossible or arrogant as to claim the non-existence of a thing unseen, for the former can be based on evidence and faith, but the latter cannot be known absent omniscience. Besides, I tend to agree with the great novelist John Updike who said his greatest repulsion to atheism is that it is so “intellectually disinteresting.”

    “Small amounts of philosophy lead to atheism, but larger amounts bring us back to God.” – Francis Bacon
  20. Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

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    Hmm... It's too bad that people have had their feathers ruffled, but that is what discussions such as this will do. Like it or not, this is an area which everyone feels passionate about. We all have something we are trying to fill, and we all fill it with our own version of religion (a term I really dislike almost as much as religious). What differs among us is what our 'religion' is. For some it is a belief in God the Father, for others it is some incarnation of a prophet and for others it is Nature (or God's creation if you will). I came upon this post long after it started and it has been intriguing to read the posts and see how they changed.

    I would agree with those that have pointed to organized religion as one of the downfalls of our society today. But I would strongly disagree with those that point to Christians as the problem. The problem comes with the organization of man. If you believe in the Bible and that we were all created in God's image (but evil was introduced into the story when Satan was cast down), then I think our longings and desires make a lot of sense. Think about what you desire, the general scope. Our desire is for the story that fulfills what we hope our lives will be. We want adventure, love and romance. We want a good fight and we want to know that the good guy wins. And amazingly enough, we all desire the same thing, that story.

    I know that I will not persuade anyone that there is a God and that he created this world in which we live, so I really don't try, not with words anyway. But I do find it interesting the lengths we go to to make sure our words are heard, that our story gets told. And how passionate we are about our stories. Hmm...

    Well, it's back to work (though I would rather just stay here and enjoy the community that is growing around these little gatherings...).

    Willie Bodger