On religion and such

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

  1. Even if I wasnt so tired and sleep deprived, I still would not have understood a word you wrote Jimbo ;) :clown: :p
  2. Can you all please slow down a little. I find this thread really interesting, but amidst having to go to work, caring for a sick child, and the angry looks from my wife ("on the computer again :beathead: ), I'm having a really difficult time keeping up much less post some of my own wacky views on religion.

    I will say that I am extremely encouraged by the views of some our more devout christian members - pwoens, teeg, jesse, etc. Especially in acknowledging some of the corruption of the present day church.
    At one time you could have counted me amongst the christian bashers. But when I drive past a presbyterian church in Spokane and the sign out front reads "How can one pray for peace while endorsing a war", I become even more angry at the idolatrous posers who give fair-minded christians a bad name. I can only imagine how a true believer feels. The way I look at it, an ass is an ass - regardless of belief sytem, ethnicity, sexual preference etc. If your religion assists you in not being one, then more power to you.

    "My one true religion is kindness." - The 14th Dalai Lama
  3. Ha Ha, pwoens, it is all beyond understanding! How can something be known that cannot be understood? By directly experiencing with no ideas or words or descriptions. But don't be afraid to stand under it, on top of it, or kick it around. Its all experience for Mind. We are Mind. We are god(s)!

    An ancient philosopher named Patanjali wrote down some shizz that are now known as the Yoga Sutras. I am not a Hindu, but I have studied these Yoga Sutras. An interesting one states that: Conciousness tends to identify with whatever vehicle it is functioning thru, and because of this, the ego sense arises.

    Patanjali is suggesting here that this Consciousness that is functioning through you and me and everyone else (mobile portals, we are) is the SAME Consciousnes, and that our own sense of personal identity (our ego) is an necessary illusion created from each of us being in the World and locally situated in a particular place, each of us with our own perspective. This may be a tough concept to swallow, but Patanjali was saying that beneath the veneer of our personalities, egos, personal history/conditioning, and genetics, we are God.

    On another note, Alan Watts once called Mother Nature a "mutual eating society." Eat and be eaten. Continuous renewal on the wheel of death and rebirth...otherwise there would be no change. The concept of "eternal life" is, IMHO, misapplied to individuals....life is eternal, but we as indivisuals all must die and our carcasses take their places once again at the bottom of the food change.
    I don't personally believe in heaven or hell (or reincarnation, either).... only eternal change. The concept of karma is not mystical, it is simply cause-and-effect. Conciousness never dies, but the ego dissolves at death. Life itself goes on.

    You see, it all becomes clear with words and more words! :rofl:

    Jimbo, time-space coordinates unknown :cool:

  4. Well, I take back everything I ever said about you :clown: :rofl: Maybe I will go fishing with you someday :p

    seriously though....do you want to fish saturday? drop me a pm if you are interested??

    oh, and that look from the wife, I get that all the time and it sucks ;)
  5. I can't say with 100% certainty that I have walked with you, but I bet our paths have looked similar at some point. Check your PMs.
  6. Old Man and Bob - and anyone else who asked about where Cain met his wife... My Old Testament prof in college had this answer that I really liked "he met her at a dance...". :thumb:

    Genesis and Revelations are 2 of the most mysterious books of the Bible. Fitting that they are the first and last books in it. Genesis tells us that God created the universe and life. It clearly isn't supposed to be a biology, chemistry, geology, genetics, history, or astronomy lesson. He created us to be smart and creative and knew we'd put the scientific puzzle pieces together on our own over time (sometimes we try to force pieces to fit that really don't, but that's the nature of puzzles and people...). Genesis - God created the heavens and the earth. God is the beginning and the end. There is no God before Him or after Him. God created all life. God created mankind in His image. Not that we are like little gods, but that we have many qualities the reflect our Father\Creator.

    Genesis is clear about many things and yet mysterious about many others.
    As with all of the Bible, it has been designed that way. If there was no mystery, no faith required, no questions, no doubt - there would be no logical choice. Everything would be in perfect black and white, right and wrong, good and evil, yes and no, blah blah blah. Some like to pretend that it is like that, but it can't be. Only God can see it that way. For us, there HAS to be a mystery. We HAVE to have free will. God does not want to think for us or choose for us. He does not want robots. He wants us to come to Him on our own choosing. For that to happen we HAVE to have compelling choices.

    I know my Bible pretty well. I did my own research on it's history. I know why the specific books are there and why others have not been included. I know the text has been preserved amazingly well through time. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't have any doubts or any questions. I have faith and confidence in God, but I am just an ordinary, imperfect person. And I find the mysteries of the Bible are real no matter who you are and how strong your faith is. And no, faith is not 'blind', or to be put more bluntly, based on ignorance and baseless hope. While there surely many who do fit that description, most Christians I know who have a strong faith are very bright and thoughtful people. And at the same time there are many ugly, selfish, hateful people who attend church and call themselves Christians. Again, this is because we are all imperfect people. I don't always "act like a Christian". But that should not reflect poorly on the nature of God and Jesus Christ (by the way, the nature of God is the SAME in the Old and New testament. What changes is how we relate to Him).

    Anyway, there are a lot of misconceptions about what a Christian is and how a Christian should act. Even within the Christian community. But as you study and learn about Christ and his message, you learn that the essential heart of the message is clear enough for a child to grasp, but the deeper mysteries of God and Bible will only be made clear when we meet Him face to face.
  7. I'm curious. My parents told me there are three things you never discuss at a social function. Money, politics and religion.

    They didn't explain why, but as I got older I realized that you don't discuss money because it creates an artificial tension on your guests has nothing to do with being social.

    And you don't discuss politics or religion either because you aren't going to convert anyone to your side and everyone's just going to get upset.

    So my queston is has this discussion been worth anything? Has anyone changed their minds or have they simply become more entrenched in their own views?

    Have we unwittingly bitten into Bob's plan to divide an conquer? Is there now a camp of "grouped-together-christians defending their position"?
  8. Lately, I have not been able to check in here as often as I’d like. Once or twice a week for a few minutes at most, just to see what’s on the menu. Regrettably, no time to post. But in the case of this thread, I’m making time, for when an old man asks about such things at midnight . . .

    I am glad that people are asking questions about God and faith. Even absurd questions about God are good if they get people thinking about spiritual matters. Like the kid in GI Joe’s asking which flavor Powerbait to soak his treble hook in. At least he’s on the right track. “Here kid, try the Chroma-Glow with glitter.” If he keeps at it, I’m sure he’ll pick up a fly rod one day. Saved, finally.

    If you’re looking for someone to convince you that God is real, the Bible is true, or that Noah could build a big enough boat, don’t look at me. I cannot explain God – I won’t even try. I do not have empirical evidence from three independent sources. I won’t try to convince you of anything. All I can do is relate my own experience.

    When I was a kid, I thought Disneyland was real. The older I got and the more often I went, I began to see through the façade and realize that it’s all a big production. Fun, but fake. When I was in college I got pulled into an Amway type MLM thing. At first, I thought it was the most brilliant marketing plan ever and I was going to make a million bucks. It didn’t take long to realize that something was missing. It was a house of cards – a big ponzi scheme.

    My experience with Christianity is exactly the opposite. There are plenty of reasons to doubt. The questions raised in this thread are but the tip of the iceberg. But the longer I have followed Christ, and the more I investigate, and the more diligently I seek God, the more convincing proofs I see that God is real and that He has a plan. If it was all show and no substance, I would have the opposite experience, wouldn’t I? I am an educated man with advanced degrees. When exactly am I supposed to realize that I’ve been sold a bill of goods? And though I have seen “men of God” fail all around me, I have never seen the word of God fail. To the contrary, in over twenty years of following Christ, it is when I have turned away from Him, and from His words, that things have always begun to unravel on me.

    Of course, my own experience will never convince anyone but me. But I must tell you, it certainly has me convinced. I only suggest that you keep on asking and searching. Jesus (and chadk) called the kingdom of God “a mystery.” Indeed, it is. And while I don’t have it solved yet, two decades of sleuthing has me more intrigued than ever.

    And if it all seems just a little too far fetched for you, a little ridiculous, a little foolish, don’t feel bad. I believe that’s exactly what God had in mind.

    “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. . . . For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” I Corinthians 1:18
  9. I actually enjoy seeing what some people come up with as reasons not to believe. Jesus was gay, Jesus smoked dope, Jesus was a rich man, Jesus was simply a good moral teacher, Jesus was made up like a fairy tale, etc etc.

    I appreciate the oringal challenges that many bring up that cause me to pause and think. If I shy away from tough questions and bold challenges, what does that say about the depth of my faith? Besides, like anyone good at debating, it helps to know and predict the other side's arguements in advance. As I raise my boys I'll discuss these things with them. Let them know what they will be confronted with when they hit the universities and dine with those who are 'enlightened' in the ways of the world...
  10. BR - welcome back!!! And nicely said :thumb: :beer2:
    I was about to send you a PM or email to see if you were still alive...
  11. Your assumption is false, that's not it at all. People who don't believe as you are not going out of their way to find reasons to debunk your faith. On the contrary...most christian leaders go out of their way to debunk evolution, reincarnation, natural selection, astrology, astronomy, geology, the energy that is mother earth, the kinship we share with other living creatures...things we hold dear that in many christian eyes are "ungodly, evil and must be destroyed"...the old "love the sinner, hate the sin" argument...it's only a sin in your eyes.

    We were not given dominion over all living things...we are a part of all living things. I truly envy my Bhuddist friends...they've got it right and we could all learn something from them.
  12. "People who don't believe as you are not going out of their way to find reasons to debunk your faith."

    Certainly not all of them, but many do actually do just that. I run into them quite frequently...

    "most christian leaders go out of their way to debunk..."

    Many do, but I wouldn't say most. Most Christians understand that God created science and they love it for what it is - a way to understand, in a limited way, God and His Creation.

    "...we are a part of all living things. "

    Perhaps you are right. But I don't personally think so.

    "I truly envy my Bhuddist friends...they've got it right and we could all learn something from them."

    Why do you envy them? If they have it so 'right', why don't you convert???

    Well, I finally wrapped up my project at work, so I'm off for a few days of trout fishing on the dry side of the state. :beer2:
  13. theft, murder, adultry, ect....I would tend to think most every logical person, regardless of religion, would agree these are sins. So if you do not consider things of this nature sinful, then the scales on your eyes are thicker than I could ever imagine.

    Why envy them? You could research it and become one if you so desired. I mean, we are " a part of all things" aren't we?

    I must have skipped that part in the bible that told me to destroy all things I didnt agree with :confused: Could you point me to that part of the scripture? Thanks Dave :thumb:
  14. Never mentioned them but since you brought it up...many cultures have no such thing as adultery...polygamy and polyandry was not uncommon in early tribal culture-then came the missionaries and then came the soldiers.

    Murder is bad...unless of course you are fighting a holy war or are having trouble converting the heathen masses in far off lands.
    They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

    Theft...Once the heathen masses have been vanquished...we just can't let the resources go to waste.
    As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you. (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

    Personally, I don't have a void in my life I feel needs to be filled by identifying with one particular mindset. By following a single dogma I may become limited in my view of the world and could fall into self-righteousness. :thumb:

    btw: My buddy got one coho...I dug some clams.
  15. Been an interesting discussion for sure. I am not religious but was raised that way and I have found one thing that really makes this whole argument mute.

    When it comes down to it religion is faith based. Faith and rational , fact based thinking are really two separate things. You cannot prove God exists, you just gotta believe. Faith trumps all and there is not a whole lot I or others can really do to persuade someone who has faith. It is maddening but that is how it is. Whenever I have ever argued my science based beliefs with a believer it always ends with the same thing...the person ultimately ends it with 'I have faith'.

    My only problem is when someone's faith interrupts my or others way of life. Keep the faith to yourself and I am fine with it. I am all about letting others make thier own choices in life and can say a decent amount of christians seem OK with this.

    Power and religion are always a dangerous mix and this has been proven time and time again in history. Why is this? I am not entirely sure but I think it all boils down to faith. The person in power believes they are doing the right thing in God's eyes with no real way to check in with God for a status report. Followers of that person in power are confronted with quite the dilema. If they do not go along with it they might possibly be going against Gods will which is a big no-no in the scripture. That person in power now wields quite a bit of sway whether it be the town preacher or the president of the United States. Scary stuff can and does happen when that power is abused. Unfortunately most people in the world do not have enough backbone to confront these folks out of fear.

    Some will stand up and cry foul but it usually is only a few and a couple beheadings take care of that ;)

  16. I'd be happy to...

    "He that sacrifice unto any god save the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed" (Exodus 22:20)

    "He who is not with me is against me" (Matthew 12:30, Luke 11:23);

    "he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him" (Leviticus 24:16)

    "Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy....And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein.." (Numbers 33:52-53).

    Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2)

    Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp. But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle. "Why have you let all the women live?" he demanded. "These are the very ones who followed Balaam's advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD's people. Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves. (Numbers 31:7-18)

    Woman with “familiar spirits” must be stoned to death. (Leviticus 20:27)

    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)

    Anyone proselytizing for another religion is to be put to death, and if that person is a member of your family, you are to strike the first blow to kill him or her (Deuteronomy 13:5-10)

    I'm getting tired now...I can do some more later.

    Pat...I'm not so sure we are reading the same book?
  17. Interesting thread started by Bob-the-Tolerant who gets the willies from all these born-agains and fundamentalists. I hesitate to weigh-in on these discussions because faith doesn't come by persuasion (Eph. 2:8, Romans 8:29-30/NKJV). However, it's hard to let pass D Moocher's assertions on the nature of Christianity. Although I'm glad to see he is reading his Bible, or at least knows how to use a concordance, I humbly disagree with his statements. It's quite possible to take individual scriptures or snippets of scripture out of context and paint a pretty grim picture. In truth, the Bible is all about the history of redemption; it's all about grace. From Genesis 3:15 through Revelation, the Bible is about God's covenant to save sinners. A covenant sealed by the blood of His only begotten Son and motivated by a love too profound to truly comprehend (Romans 8:35-39). There are many books/chapters/verses/doctrines of Scripture that I don't fully understand, including some of those you mentioned, but that keeps me coming back for more. But included in those things I don't fully understand are: grace (Rom. 5:6-11), how to love my enemies (Luke 6:27-36), how to forgive someone 70 times 7 times, how to forgive consistently and entirely (Matthew 6:14-15), how a father loves a prodigal (Luke 15:11-32), and on and on. Christianity is not devoid of boneheads and obnoxious folks; we're all sinners who work out our faith imperfectly (Rom. 8:18-19). However, the essence of that faith is grace, grace, and more grace.
  18. Good post sean. I promised myself that I wouldn't get involved in this post but I guess I lied. My knowledge of the Bible is limited. All I'm going to say is that please, let's not use math to try to prove that the Ark was real, OK? The dimensions of the Ark? Are you kidding me? Can't we just have faith that it was real, that God helped Noah or something? I thought faith was faith and that you couldn't disprove it with logic or science. It doesn't bother me when people argue for religion based on faith, or when people try to disprove it with reason. What does bother me is when people try to justify miraculous events with reason. If God is omnipotent, then he can do what he wants, who cares what the damn dimensions and weight capacity of the boat is. Why don't you just take God out of the picture and say Noah was just the best carpenter ever? That said, I really don't care who believes what as long as it makes you happy and doesn't hurt me, other people or the environment.
  19. I can see this rapidly degenerating into a tit-for-tat argument. When you read the bible, you see evidendce of gods love...when I read it I see evidence of contradiction, fear, vengance and hate...the same for the Torah and Koran (what little I do know of them). We apply our own personal filter to everything we read...you may dismiss passages I find critical to my position and vice-versa.

    I was raised in a strict catholic house, I attended catachism for years, I've been confirmed a "soldier of God"...I do have some knowledge of the subject...not as much as I would like to have. It was all empty.

    I believe in the science...the testable, the confirmable, the rational...all else is folklore and fairytales.
  20. "But to be honest, I think I am drained by people." Andy Goldsworthy

    Such a naughty boy I am I have fear to write less the righteous should villify me some more and heap more scorn upon me and claim that I am trying to divide and then to conquer (conquer? conquer what might I ask?). Were there no divisions on the board before I wrote this post? Am I a divider? Must the messenger always be slain? Is religion a forbidden subject?

    Truthfully, I just thought it might be entertaining and informative to have a religious discussion: calmy, cooly and yes, with some tolerance for divergent opinions. Yet, there is an ugly undertone here that I find disturbing--a sort of let's get these bastards that don't agree with us. I can't fish with guys like that; they make me nervous and I fish to relax.

    I'm going to chill out on this though I am full of thoughts on the subject because it is an important one in our lives and should not be ignored, not swept under the carpet, not "off limits" so to speak.

    But I will always wonder how anybody can have the unmitigated gall to take the bible (itself so difficult to grasp, so convoluted, so vague and filled with contradictions) and claim it says this or that. Who are you? Some sage from heaven come down to tell us all what the real poop is? Have you no shame? Does your ego have no bounds?

    And so I suppose if there is something about some Christians that does piss me off, it is this attitude: "I've got the answers to it all and you should listen up to me." Such bravado has had little impact on my thinking and I suppose it is why I don't go to church and listen to someone pontificate about the way the world should be or, more importantly, how I should be. Plus I suspect a lot of these self-righteous know it alls. The BTK killer was president of his church, you know.

    Bob, the Thanks to all that contributed to this discussions and please continue. I am not sure if it has been of much value but I have been astonished by some the wisdom and energy presented in these last six pages. Fly fishermen may be many things but they are definitely not stupid. :beer2: And yes, most Christians are really good at heart. And so to are those who remain apart. :thumb:

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