On religion and such

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

  1. Are you talking about Paul the apostle who lived during the lifetime of Christ? The only Biblical contemporary?? How about James, John and Peter all apostles and authors of New testament books they virtually lived with Jesus for 3 years. What about Mark author of the second book of the New Testament he was one of the young men who followed Jesus.
    Even the secular Jewish historian Josephus mentions the historical Jesus.
    jesse clark
  2. I'm talking about the writers of the New Testament. Most were written towards the end of the first century.
  3. All of the books of the New Testament were written after Jesus died but before the end of the First century. All of the writers were contemporaries of Jesus. Of the Gospel writers only Luke (who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts), appeared to write his book about Jesus from interviews instead of personal accounts of being with him. All of the other writers spent considerable time with Jesus.
    Paul who wrote much of the New Testament was in a leadership position in the Jewish Sanhedrin (the ruling body of the Jewish temple). He probably knew of Jesus and heard him preach. In his own writings he talks about "meeting" Jesus on the road to Damascus when he was converted. He also says that he recieved teaching from Jesus in the desert for three years after his conversion.
    The New testament is the writings of people who knew Jesus and were intimately involved with his life. These accounts (matthew mark luke and john) are real historical accounts of Jesus.
    jesse clark
  4. The truly interesting info I have on the dead sea scrolls and other historical writings is that they have substantiated not detracted from the historicity of the Bible. There has been achaelogical authenticity for every old testament book in entirety but Esther. There is more manuscript authority from ancient sources for the Bible than any other historical document. The fact of the matter is that any serious study of ancient manuscripts of Biblical writing has consistently been authenticated by achaelogical findings and serious scholarly study ; and, those who consistently oppose the Bible do so on the basis of a "faith" much less substantiated than those who believe.

    I find other logical deductions also more biased among those who disbelieve over those who believe. For example, those who would choose to dismiss the teachings and practises of believers fail to realize or comment on the goodness of a Christian world view versus that of any other secular or religious group. Non believers always seem to bring up seemingly difficult sayings in the Bible or seemingly non Christ like behavior in believers without giving credit to or arguing against the actual teachings of Christ nor their positive effect on mankind. In Seattle alone there are countless charitable groups doing good works for the hungry, poor, mentally ill, disinfranchised, and homeless and all are either started by, maintained by, or served by Christians and their churches. How many like kind charities can you name from other religious groups let alone non religious ones that serve these? And if you come up with one or two, do they serve all in need or just their own?

    What are the Ten Commandments?

    1. Have no other gods other than God.

    2. Don't have Gods made by human hands.

    3. Don't use God's name to support a cause not God's.

    4. Keep one day out of seven as a rest day.

    5. Respect your parents.

    6. Don't murder.

    7. Don't satisfy your sexual lusts outside of marriage.

    8. Don't steal.

    9. Don't lie to hurt another.

    10. Don't lust over that which rightfully belongs to another and not you.

    Are these so bad? Jesus said you could sum them up by loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and by loving your neighbor as yourself. Is that a bad thing?

    Can any of us say that we have kept our own self imposed rules and standards let alone God's? Are we in need of a Savior? I think the answer is obvious. If God emptied himself of his power and authority in order to voluntarily become one of us to meet his own perfect standard for his creation, is that a bad thing? If he showed us the way personally and then gave us the free choice to follow or reject him, don't you think it behooves us to consider the possibility that just maybe it isn't a myth and we really do need him? Is it possible that he inspired certain chosen men to record what we need to know in a way that those who recognize their need for him might be able to understand it, but only if they are really interested, but likewise in a way that would give the truly selfcentered just enough doubt to reject it? Just maybe he doesn't want those he created to be so arrogant and selfserving as to think that they could possibly be as wise as their own creator? Afterall, what would you say to an amoeba or slug that tried to make itself equal to you? But then again, you can't make an amoeba; can you? In fact man can't even string together more than a few strands of a tiny part of a chemical concoction that could be called part of an amino acid chain let alone give it "life."

    Besides, do you really think if someone or ones were to make up the Bible, they would do so the way it is?

    As was asked before: would you die for something you knew to be a lie?

    And one other thing: when you read the Bible or read it in the past, did you ever say, "God if this is real, reveal it to me. Speak to my heart. I want to know you. I want to know the truth." Or, did you read it to find something to discredit or prove your point? Or did you read it to say, "So there. I read it. So what?"

    I'm educated. I have a Bachelor of Science degree. I read literature. I listen to NPR among others and subscribe on line to major newspapers. I don't have my head in the sand and I consider science and modern thought. I try to obey the laws of logic in my thought processes. I am against the current war in Iraq. I think torturing prisoners is wrong. I believe we are to be good stewards of our God given resources. As a firefighter (I'm a Lieutenant on an engine company and have been in operations in the Seattle Fire Department for 25 years),I have seen thousands of people dead or dying or near death. I have seen men and women at what we would consider their humanly best and their humanly worst and trust me on this, if I didn't have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (which I do), then based on what I have witnessed, then I would want to have it. The same goes for my year in combat during Viet Nam as a US Marine Helo pilot.

    I could give you countless reassurances of my faith by actual answers to prayer I have personally experienced in my own life, let alone the lives of others, but it would take faith on your part to believe me. And if you won't believe the signs all around you as a flyfisher in this beautiful, if fallen, creation, then how can I expect you to believe me?

  5. Randy....excellent post!! You by chance have a proby working at your station by the name of Earl? He is stationed at Seatac and is my brother-in-law.

    As I have viewed this post with nothing but a loving and caring heart, I also have this little birdie (Jesse) in the back of my head mentioning Mathew 7:6. As much as I would love to see a seed planted and the scales removed from some eyes, It's simple a matter of that analogy about leading a horse to water...

    BR....I am very humbled :eek: Thank you for the kind words and keep on keepin on my brother.
  6. No proby named Earl...Seatac is not the same department as Seattle.

  7. Asia, anyone heard of it? Birth place of Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism. I guess I'm tired of people typing the word "god" in big bold letters and then watching as the debate of existience begins soily based on the Western concept of God.

    Meanwhile, I sit in the middle going, "What about Eastern religions?" Don't they exist? Most of the world's population would seem to think so and have thought this way for much longer than most Western religions have been around. Are there any Hindus, Taoists, or Buddhists out there interested in having a conversation about religion that doesn't require a prime mover? I think I saw a grand total of two in this entire discussion. I've been a confessed Buddhist (Tibetan) for about five years now, but I still feel very much like a novice. With all of the well read and highly intellegent people here at this site there must be some
    of you that are knowledgable in at least one or all three of these religions. I'd even like to hear from some of the Pagans or Agnostics at this point. Throw me a metaphysical bone here.
  8. Bob the Dead Sea scrolls were not discovered until 1947 your college days were in the past by then weren't they. ;)
    jesse clark
  9. Jesse:

    Just another of your assumptions that is faulty. I was ten when they were discovered, a little early for college, let alone having already past that point.

    Bob, the I was the class of 1964. Masters 1965. :ray1:
  10. Steve,
    Yes, there are a few of us out here who have studied Eastern religions a little bit. I used to practice zen meditation and have formally studied Patanjali's Yoga Sutras in college (U of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, Philosophy 491: Yoga Philosopy...got an "A"). I have also studied and read alot about Taoism.

    I can recommend three books that offer up a better discussion than I am capable of here:

    Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Informal talks on Zen meditaton and practice) by
    Shunryu Suzuki. (1970, Weatherhill). Suzuki-roshi, of the Soto school of Zen, came to the U.S. from Japan in 1958 and founded the Zen Center in San Francisco. I highly recommend this to anyone interested in Zen practice, as it is an excellent primer on Zen meditation. Don't just read about it, try it! Zen is not really so much a religion as it is a form of personal psychotherapy! Calm down that "monkey mind" of yours! (Good luck!!! Mine is outa control :rofl: )

    Tao, The Watercourse Way, by Alan Watts. (1975, Pantheon Books). As clear and concise a discussion of Taoism that one will find anywhere. I also recommend this highly.

    The Science of Yoga, by I.K. Taimni. (Quest Book edition 1972, originally published by Theosophical Publishing House, India, 1961). An academic discussion of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Taimni translates each sutra from the original Samskrta (Sanscrit), carefully analyzing each word in context to arrive at Patanjali's intended meaning, and then discussing the meaning of the sutra. Very heavy and slow going, but for serious students of Yoga philosopy, recommended reading.

    Haven't gotten into Tibetan Buddhism much, although I have read some of
    W.Y. Evans-Wentz's Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, 1967 Oxford University Press.

    No sense in me rehashing any of the stuff from the above. There's your reading list for the summer! :ray1:

    Jimbo, Time/Space Coordinates Unknown...returning to Here/Now whenever.
  11. I find other logical deductions also more biased among those who disbelieve over those who believe. For example, those who would choose to dismiss the teachings and practises of believers fail to realize or comment on the goodness of a Christian world view versus that of any other secular or religious group. Non believers always seem to bring up seemingly difficult sayings in the Bible or seemingly non Christ like behavior in believers without giving credit to or arguing against the actual teachings of Christ nor their positive effect on mankind. In Seattle alone there are countless charitable groups doing good works for the hungry, poor, mentally ill, disinfranchised, and homeless and all are either started by, maintained by, or served by Christians and their churches. How many like kind charities can you name from other religious groups let alone non religious ones that serve these? And if you come up with one or two, do they serve all in need or just their own?

    Yet again, thank you for proving my past post. I love the fact that when few christians do good all of you point to it and say "see how great we are." But when a few of you do bad in the name of God then you say "don't let a few rotten apples spoil the bucket".
    I am not a christian, yet I do celebrate Christmas(not as the birth of christ but as a time to celebrate giving, sharing and loving your follow man). Every year even as a single mother that could bearly afford a simple christmas for my kids, I have taken my boys down and to pick ornaments off of the giving tree. The whole time my children pick out presents for other kids they know that it means less for them. And yet every year my kids are excited and ask to go. They even talk about how they can earn extra to help and what they are willing to give up to help. You want to talk about caring and sharing. My youngest is always first in line to help our neighbors, these same neighbors that tell their kids that they can not do sleep overs at our house because we are not christians or let my son join their christian boy scout troop. I watch him not judge these people, but help them instead. Who among you can say that you truely love your fellow man as my 12 year son? I try to follow his example of caring, but as an adult who sees the hurt that these people inflict on him it is not as easy.
    Yet you right a post saying that the christians do great works and the non christians don't.
    Other post have asked would someone die for a lie or would someone make up the bible. Yes, people have died for a lie ask those in Waco or do you believe that was true. And I do not think that the bible is false. It is a journal that people wrote about before and after a man named Christ lived. We have many books today that are jounals that talk about times and lives in ancient times. To argue over what is containted in them is really not the point. Just as if you and I went on a fishing trip and then wrote about it. I can asure you that are writings would be about different things. That wouldn't make you or I wrong. Just different. Christians believe that the writings in the old testment points to a man named Jesus and the non christians don't. The Christians believe that the stories in the New testament are stories about Christ in a certain way, the non-christians don't.
    You also ask if I have prayed about what we read. YES YES YES. You assume that because I did not get the same answer to the same questions that I must be wrong and you must be right. How do you get from San Diego to San Fransico? There are about 5 different freeways that get you there. Depending on if you want a straight shot or maybe a little longer scenic route. My way may not be your way, but we are both right.

  12. On the post of Isis, I think you meant Osiris. Isis was his wife. A great goddess if I do say so my self.

    The Discovery of Osiris(his body was dimembered and his loving great wife had to go find all the peices) was the great autumn festival of the religion. It celebrated the death of the God on October 28th, and His resurrection on November 3rd.

    Also, he was not born in a stable or put in a tomb, but you may have been thinking of some other gods like Mithras, who was long revered by the Persians and the Indians.
    He went with twelve disciples as he traveled far and wide as a teacher and illuminator of men.
    He was buried in a tomb from which he rose again from the dead -- an event celebrated yearly with much rejoicing.
    Every year in Rome, in the middle of winter, the Son of God was born once more, putting an end to darkness. Every year at first minute of December 25th the temple of Mithras was lit with candles, priests in white garments celebrated the birth of the Son of God and boys burned incense. Mithras was born in a cave, on December 25th, of a virgin mother. He came from heaven to be born as a man, to redeem men from their sin. He was know as "Savior," "Son of God," "Redeemer," and "Lamb of God."

    Or maybe you were referring to Attis, who was born of the Virgin Nana on December 25th. He was both the Father and the Divine Son. Tthe celebration of Attis' death and rebirth
    On March 22 a pine tree was brought to the sanctuary of Cybele, on it hung the effigy of Attis. The God was dead. Two days of mourning followed, but when night fell on the eve of the third day, March 25th, the worshippers turned to joy.

  13. Lisa:

    Nicely written and quite interestinq--I should say refreshing. You get tired of the same old stale crap all the time and I applaud your effort to report on something different.

    I would enjoy your take on the "Dead Sea Scrolls." When they were first discussed there was talk of banning them because they spoke of heresy:
    namely, that Jesus was not the son of God but rather a deranged Essene who wandered out of the desert at age thirty believing himself to be god as
    many did at the time. The scrolls taked about this man as having much charisma and quite a following in a remote outpost of the desert, populated with a sect of Jews about whom very little was known, even to this day. Things that he said were very similar in philosophy to Jesus Christ, a man supposedly from Narzareth. But the scrolls argued that he was an Essene; he was this deranged man. When I say the scrolls argued, I should say it was some of those scolars who read the scrolls, not who wrote them, who made these observations.

    The reason that there is practically nothing known about the life of Jesus until he was thirty is because he was living among these Essenes who ultimately stoned him and drove him from thier culture. It was advanced that the birth of Chirist was made up to explain questions about his genesis somewhere around the second century. Other stories, such as the resurrection, are also believed to have been fabricated at a later date.

    There was a Jesus, people knew him, but only a series of myths that followed his death made him a god. The reason that Christianity became a major religion was two fold. One, it had the Roman Empire in place so that it could spread quickly. And two, it was a religion that offered an alternative to the brutality of the Romans who had little or no regard for human life or suffering.

    Bob, the This will surely bring a fatwah down on my head. But remember I never said that I believe any of the foregoing or that I reject it for that matter. As I said at the outset of this discussion, I simply do not have enough information to hang my hat upon the Christian cross. But religion, while it bores most, seems to interest me. Sorry if any of this is offensive--it is simply a point of view:confused:
  14. Bob,

    I have not read the dead sea scrolls. I do remember them being talked about when I was little, but growing up in a very christian home they were dismissed. I mostly remember them as being dismissed because the church in which my family belonged stated that it was not translated by divine inspiration, but by man and therefore could not be trusted to be translated correctly. When I began seeking out my own personal path, I was looking more for a spiritual world that was open to differences instead of conformity.

    (I know that a lot of christians are going to be upset at this....so let me explain what I mean by that. The christian world is very structured and anything outside of that structure is a sin. I am not saying that it is wrong or that people that are christians are sheep that blindly follow. What I am saying is that I did not fit inside of their structure, yet I know I am a good person. And yes I would put my ethics and personal beliefs of right and wrong up against most good christians and I am sure that they would be equal.)

    Back to the first paragraph. I was not as hard core pressed to prove the bible wrong. I think that the values and stories of heroic people are great. I was more interested to find a place were my own thoughts and feelings of truths were consitant with what that "religion" taught. There was never a reason to read the dead sea scrolls. I have never been out to prove christianity wrong. Which I felt would be the only reason to read them. I now though, after hearing all of this talk would be interested in reading them. Is there an internet site that has them?

    On a side note, Christianity became the main religion in around 300 AD because they needed to bring a peace to Rome. There was a lot of fighting amongst not only the christians and nonchristians, but amongst the christians themselves. Constatine the "something I forget" was the leader of Rome at the time and deceided he would unify all the christian groups and force the pagans to become christian. He had a great meeting with all of the leaders of the different christian groups. They then deceided what books would be in the bible. Then to make the pagans happy he stole all of their holidays and some of their religious rituals and made them christians. That was the start of the Catholic church. If anyone is interested on the Catholic website is where most of this information on the great meeting was found.

  15. I just took a few minutes and read through this entire thread again. What an amazing group of intelllegent people we have that participate in the WFF family.
    I am so thankful that we live in a country that so far has been tolerant of the differing views of religion being freely expressed. As strongly as I believe in Jesus Christ and often as strongly defend my faith I am never worried that I will be shunned by the citizens or rulers of my country.
    There are those who strongly disagree with me and have at times made their points strongly enough that the barbs of their criticism hurt. But if a person is going to have a few convictions that they will really stand for, regardless of the opposition, that person should be prepared to meet those that feel just a strongly on the other side.
    There have been comments that we must have something better to do than discuss religion, and those that say no-one will be changed because of the discussion. I disagree, people are changed when they have an opportunity to talk about closely held beliefs, some practice their apologetics and become stronger in their faith. Some may by hearing passionatly presented opposition become more patient and tolerant of people with whom they disagree.
    The action/reaction on the thread is slowing down and we may be near the end. But the discussion will continue because it is the eternal question. "Who is God and What will man do with Him"[/I
    What is the commandment of most importance. Jesus was asked? Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself, this is the greatest commandment of all.
    Blessing on you all.
    jesse clark
  16. Well said, Jesse. and I completely agree. The subject must never become taboo. We must never become intolerant or distainful of those with whom we disagree. It is such an important topic in our lives that we should always be able to talk about it and on this forum is no exception.

    We do have so many intelligent people. Because of this, I always feel that no topic is off limits. Bring it up. They will have something to say. I, too, am happy that we live in a culture where there is enough tolerance that one can express himself or herself. This is not always true around the rest of the world.

    Bob, the Keep the faith whatever the faith may be. :)
  17. Holy cow, you guys really went to town on this thread. I think all of you have done some really great work during this discussion. It's quite a read. Very cool.
  18. There are many of us that are VERY worried because the tolerance you see today is the intolerance I see comming tomorrow.

    Three new appointees to the Supreme Court under this administration (or even worse, the Wolfowitz administration in 2012) and your fear may become my reality.

    PS:...I can't believe this thread is still going on!
  19. Mooch:
    Intolerance and persecution will just strengthen your faith, don't worry about it look forward to it, imbrace it. :thumb:
    jesse clark
  20. "Three new appointees to the Supreme Court under this administration (or even worse, the Wolfowitz administration in 2012) and your fear may become my reality."

    Aren't you being a little overly dramatic with this (where's the drama queen emoticon when you need it...)? The country is getting more and more secular. No adminstistration or Supreme Court is going to stop that.

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