Figuring Out Religion

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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Jul 31, 2022 1:24 pm

joypog wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:41 am
Mountaineer wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:36 am
joypog wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 5:16 pm
Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Jul 30, 2022 4:37 pm
This might curl your toenails. Especially the Elizabeth Warren worldview. God help us. Is life worth anything to these types?

https://overcast.fm/+F1mtom-s
That podcast was a classic case of nut-picking. I could easily respond with the extreme anti-abortion bill drafts that don't provide a carveout for the life of the mother. And let's not pretend that Josh Hawley is above performative jackassery.

I would recommend that we avoid the worst examples of both sides...and when we indulge in consuming self righteous fare, we should avoid dehumanizing our political opponents.
And we should avoid dehumanizing our unborn children, frequently by the cruelest means imaginable.
Unitil you figure out how to love Elizabeth Warren, you are as pagan as she is.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Did I touch a nerve? What makes you think I don't love EW? From the Mindreading 101 course you apparently have taken, what are the characteristics you belive I've displayed in all my comments on this "figuring out religion" thread? Please forgive me if using the word dehumanizing (i.e. killing, an act of evil) of the unborn upsets you. I'm more of a Luther guy, you know, a theologian of the cross that calls a thing what it is; a theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. And a Christ guy, you know, the One who does not tolerate evil, the One who does not sweep unpleasant truth under the rug, the One who speaks of forgiveness, which by the way was the topic of our sermon today. Thus, I can say, as I think Christ says, that killing unborn humans is evil and not good like EW apparently thinks and says. Even people who do the vilest things, or supporting them can be forgiven if they receive the gift of repentance and believe in Christ's promises. Thus, I call abortion evil but can at the same time say those who have done it or had it done on the advice of others or themselves to plead for Christ's forgiveness and mercy. I pray that EW does so too.

Blessings to you joypog, fellow child of God. If I have misunderstood your comments I hope you will forgive me; I certainly respect your right to whatever opinions you have and hope I've never committed the dreaded ad hominum to you or others. I hope you avail yourself of the gifts of repentance, forgiveness, and mercy too; I ask for it daily.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:33 pm

Read the Lord's words carefully. You don't get to wait on loving your enemies until after they repent.

What I saw in your previous posts was a dismissal of leftists as a faceless "type" and a defensive deflection response when I wrote a both-sides comment about the dehumanization of political opponents.
(How do you feel when our leftist friends call you a monster who advocates for forced birth even when it kills the mother?)

Together, your posts were steeped in a poisonous tone that undermines the love you claim to hold dear.

You can get away with such language when chatting in your Lutheran echo chamber.

But want more Jesus in this nation? Then live up to His impossible demands in deed and word.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:07 pm

joypog wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 2:33 pm
Read the Lord's words carefully. You don't get to wait on loving your enemies until after they repent.

I DON’T. NEITHER DOES GOD.

What I saw in your previous posts was a dismissal of leftists as a faceless "type" and a defensive deflection response when I wrote a both-sides comment about the dehumanization of political opponents.

LEFTISTS IS A KINGDOM OF THE LEFT TERM. I DON’T THINK GOD FAVORS LEFTIST OR RIGHTIST. HE JUST WANTS ALL TO KNOW HE WANTS ALL TO BE SAVED. SATAN WANTS US TO TO LOOK FOR THINGS OTHER THAN GOD FOR SECURITY, IDENTITY, AND MEANING. THAT IS, TRUST IN SELF RATHER THAN GOD.

(How do you feel when our leftist friends call you a monster who advocates for forced birth even when it kills the mother?)

I DON’T ADVOCATE FOR THAT. AND, I REALLY DON’T PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO VALUES THAT AREN’T SCRIPTURAL.

Together, your posts were steeped in a poisonous tone that undermines the love you claim to hold dear.

SORRY YOU INTERPRETED ME THAT WAY.

You can get away with such language when chatting in your Lutheran echo chamber.

REALLY SORRY YOU VIEW LUTHERANS (CHRISTIANS) THAT WAY.

But want more Jesus in this nation? Then live up to His impossible demands in deed and word.

IMPOSSIBLE FOR HUMANS. ONLY CHRIST CAN DO THAT.

SO DO YOU FORGIVE ME? I FORGIVE YOU FOR MISINTERPRETING ME.
My response in CAPS IN YOUR POST. YOU OBVIOUSLY KNOW SCRIPTURE VERSES. DO YOU THINK WE MIGHT BE TALKING PAST EACH OTHER? OR DID YOU HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE WITH SOME HIGH-HORSE CHRISTIANS AND ARE FEELING VINDICTIVE, UNVALUED, UNLOVED, MISUNDERSTOOD? It’s never too late to ask Jesus for the gifts of repentance, forgiveness, mercy. I hope you find what you feel is missing in your life. Emptiness is awful. Thanks for the discussion and your time.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Sun Jul 31, 2022 4:25 pm

We may well be talking past each other.

I'm not religious. I've fortunately never had a traumatic experience within the religion; I just no longer believe in the truth claims of the Bible. But my parents are still devout and I respect those who are.

However, I have zero respect for the current version of degenerate Christianity that has taken over the politics in this nation.

That's why I bristle whenever a Christian sidles near modern evangelicalisms' cruel divisive rhetoric. It is ruinous to our discourse and defames the great religion it represents.

To be fair, I don't think you meant to be malicious, and I grok your frustration with the hard left - I have similar feelings about the hypocritical right. But take a moment to reread what you wrote and try to see how it could be read as callous dismissal of a group of people that you love. Conversation is difficult, especially in the minefield of written medium.

Yes it's unfair to hold Christians to a higher standards while frenzied wokesters run wild with their euphoric declamations. But one is a religion of grace while the other is a pseudo-religion of raw power.

Trust that grace will win out. God's on your side.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Kbg » Sun Jul 31, 2022 10:41 pm

Desert wrote:
Sun Jul 31, 2022 7:41 am
And I appreciate especially the bolded statements above. I'm going to be thinking about that for some time here.
Glad to give you something to think about.

A core personal belief of mine is that I'm a flawed person and make way more mistakes in life than I wish I did. I also know I'm strongly influenced and have been shaped by life's experience for good and bad. We all get both refined and warped a bit by this thing called life...and if that is what I do, and what I am subject to I need to cut everyone around me a big piece of slack and I just hope they will do the same for me.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:23 pm

Just finished Stephen Prothero’s God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World

As can be gathered from the title, he does not believe that all religions are ultimately the same. Instead, he posits that Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism, Yoruba Religion, and Daoism explore different questions and come up with different solutions.

With that premise, the book is a survey of these eight religions (plus atheism) covering their histories, sects, and philosophies. Quite an interesting listen as an audiobook. I certainly recommend.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by vnatale » Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:39 pm

joypog wrote:
Tue Aug 09, 2022 11:23 pm

Just finished Stephen Prothero’s God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World

As can be gathered from the title, he does not believe that all religions are ultimately the same. Instead, he posits that Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism, Yoruba Religion, and Daoism explore different questions and come up with different solutions.

With that premise, the book is a survey of these eight religions (plus atheism) covering their histories, sects, and philosophies. Quite an interesting listen as an audiobook. I certainly recommend.


However, here is a question for all here.

Given the type of people who are here which is skewed atypical to the general population in that we are more logical and rely more upon facts rather than emotions....I'd be surprised (extremely) if anyone did not agree that every one of us is subject to the same laws of the physical world.

I can proclaim as much as I want that I do not believe in gravity. But guess what? If I jumped off my roof it does not matter one bit what I believe. I am 100% going to be fully subject to the laws of gravity. I could take this in a covid direction that the virus does not care what your political beliefs / ideologies are but I will leave it solely at this comment so as to stay on the theme of this topic - religion.

I prefer to say "spiritual beliefs" rather than "religion".

I hope that I've made my case that no one here doubts any of the laws that we are all subject to irrespective to how we chose or chose not to believe them.

Would this not be the same in the spiritual world? Let's confine it to what happens to you when you die.

Are we not going to be all subject to the same spiritual laws no matter what you believe? What I'm getting at is that I may believe in a Heaven or Hell while you believe you just end.

Let's stipulate that one of us is right and say it is your beliefs that are correct.

Or, I'm saying that we cannot both be correct holding conflicting spiritual views, particularly when one of them is the correct one and the other is mutually exclusive to the first one.

The book states that there are Eight Rival Religions.

I've been trying to establish here that there must be a definitive set of spiritual laws that apply to all of us. Since no one but Jesus has permanently come back from the dead we otherwise have no information from anyone else as to what really happens when we die.

Is it possible that all the eight rival religions each have some bits of the truth of the absolute spiritual laws or that some of them have a higher percentage of the truth than others?

Do you believe that there is an absolute set of spiritual laws that govern all of us? I'm not asking you which one. That would be a next level question. Just asking if similarly to you believing that we are all governed by the same set of physical laws of which we have identified and understand many of them through scientific process.....do you believe there is some absolute set of spiritual laws that govern us? Again not asking you to identify what those are.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:11 am

I'd say that Prothero would say the question itself is an example of a Christian conception of religion. Christianity is uniquely focused on sin and salvation to be mediated via belief in correct doctrine. His argument is that other religions are not nearly as focused on orthodoxy and explore other aspects of humanity, such as Confucianism and a well ordered society (Confucius had zero interest in cosmology or metaphysics).

On my end, as a non-dogmatic atheist, I'd say that there might be some wide laws of psychology, but the human mind - and society - is extremely malleable. As such, I'm not inclined to put much notion into the idea of spiritual laws, at least anything more detailed than "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Of course there are pathologies, mental illness and societal chaos, that result in dire outcomes. But outside of those edge cases, I think the human experience is quite variable.

to pull from the original premise of this forum, selecting an investment portfolio is mix of divination with a scientific flavor...and look at all the different portfolios that the members on this forum have landed upon, even though we were all drawn to this place due to Mr. Browne's PP.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by vnatale » Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:22 am

joypog wrote:
Wed Aug 10, 2022 12:11 am

I'd say that Prothero would say the question itself is an example of a Christian conception of religion. Christianity is uniquely focused on sin and salvation to be mediated via belief in correct doctrine. His argument is that other religions are not nearly as focused on orthodoxy and explore other aspects of humanity, such as Confucianism and a well ordered society (Confucius had zero interest in cosmology or metaphysics).

On my end, as a non-dogmatic atheist, I'd say that there might be some wide laws of psychology, but the human mind - and society - is extremely malleable. As such, I'm not inclined to put much notion into the idea of spiritual laws, at least anything more detailed than "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

Of course there are pathologies, mental illness and societal chaos, that result in dire outcomes. But outside of those edge cases, I think the human experience is quite variable.

to pull from the original premise of this forum, selecting an investment portfolio is mix of divination with a scientific flavor...and look at all the different portfolios that the members on this forum have landed upon, even though we were all drawn to this place due to Mr. Browne's PP.


However taking it out of the realm of which spiritual laws apply to us while we are all living .... and strictly focusing on what happens to you when you die ... do you think that the same set of spiritual laws apply to all of us when we die? I cannot imagine it to be any other way.

If it is true that we simply vanish and there is no afterlife, how can that apply to some but not to others?

If we can make choices now which result in us ending up in Heaven or Hell, how can that not apply to all?

If we experience reincarnation, how can that not apply to all?

Again, I'm stating that the same set of physical laws apply to us irrespective to our beliefs of what they might be.

Seems logical that when we die, we'd all be subject to the same set of spiritual (or death) laws that exist irrespective of what our beliefs are.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Wed Aug 10, 2022 5:57 am

If there is a metaphysical reality beyond the here and now, then yes it would apply to all people. However I also believe it's unimportant (except for the religions that make a big deal out of it).

It's like the literal inerrancy of the Bible. The book is self contradictory without mental gymnastics that would make a sophist proud. But does that fact really matter all that much? It depends. For some it means everything, for others it means nothing. And that stance does not determine whether one is a Christian or not - and that's for a religion that generally prizes orthodoxy.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Thu Aug 18, 2022 6:47 am

When the South Loosens its Bible Belt
Interesting Russell Moore opinion piece about the secularization of Southern Christianity.

I generally agree with the proposition that a churchless Christianity is much more dangerous to the republic - and to christianity - than a churched version.

I also agree with the Skye Jethani's comment in the Holy Post podcast that the church needs to actively denounce such heresy (discussion at the article at the 25:55 mark). After all, Paul was much harsher on apostates than on the pagans around him.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Sat Sep 03, 2022 12:53 pm

It is an old story that, while we may need somebody like Dominic to convert the heathen to Christianity, we are in even greater need of somebody like Francis, to convert the Christians to Christianity.

-GK Chesterton, Chapter 1, Saint Thomas Aquinas
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by joypog » Wed Sep 14, 2022 2:28 pm

Jonathan Tjarks, a basketball reporter, just passed away at the young age of 34. He wrote two articles about his disease and his faith. The first discusses his diagnosis, and the second discusses his family. Powerful stuff, especially the one about his son.

The Long Night of the Soul

Does my Son Know You?

He was also interviewed on the Good Faith Podcast in March.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Wed Sep 14, 2022 2:58 pm

joypog wrote:
Wed Sep 14, 2022 2:28 pm
Jonathan Tjarks, a basketball reporter, just passed away at the young age of 34. He wrote two articles about his disease and his faith. The first discusses his diagnosis, and the second discusses his family. Powerful stuff, especially the one about his son.

The Long Night of the Soul

Does my Son Know You?

He was also interviewed on the Good Faith Podcast in March.
Thank you! Powerful words indeed. Haven’t listened to the podcast yet but the articles are great.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Kbg » Wed Sep 14, 2022 5:12 pm

They were great articles.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Wed Sep 14, 2022 6:41 pm

Nice article by Chuck Norris (a.k.a. Walker, Texas Ranger) re. the Queen and her death.

https://www.wnd.com/2022/09/queens-top- ... faith-god/

"My wife, Gena, and I extend our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, the residents of Great Britain, Europe and indeed the world in the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

When we heard last Thursday that the queen died at the age of 96, my first thought was how much she reminded me of my 101-year-old mom, Wilma Norris Knight. They both represent a bygone era of class, compassion, humility and service to God and country (in that order) that we desperately need today.

What many in the U.S. may not realize is that the queen of England bears as unique a role with religion as she does in politics."

See the link above to read the entire article.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:08 am

From Portals of Prayer:

Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
JOHN 6:68

On the heels of a hard teaching, many of Jesus’ disciples turned inward with discontented complaining. To them, His words were a “hard saying.” The Greek here means “hard to accept,” not hard to understand. They got Jesus’ meaning; they just didn’t like it. Feathers ruffled, they responded from offended feelings and turned away from Jesus. There was another reaction, however. When faced with a hard message, Peter’s response was not to turn inward and grumble but to turn outward with acceptance. Rather than sifting Jesus’ message through the filter of human reasoning and emotion, Peter brought human reasoning and emotion under the authority of the message. In doing so, he set the pattern for all Christ-followers: we must align ourselves to Jesus, not the other way around.
Jesus fulfills all the prophecies of a Savior, and there is no greater message than the one He brings. This means that we accept Jesus’ words even when they are hard to hear, for they are life itself. We do not craft Him into our image; rather, we submit ourselves to Him. It may be unpopular, but truth often is. No matter how much time passes or what the current cultural climate is, Jesus’ words are still true and life-giving, sufficient for all people across all time.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Dec 03, 2022 3:26 pm

Title: WAITING, HOPING, LONGING
Scripture #1: Romans 8:25–27
But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Scripture #2: Luke 2:25–26
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Poetry & Poet:
“Prayer”
by John Frederick Nims

We who are nothingness can never be filled:
Never by orchards on the blowing sea,
Nor the rich foam of wheat all summer sunned.

Our hollow is deeper far than treasure can fill:
Helmets of gold swim ringing in the wells
Of our desire as thimbles in the sea.

Love cannot fill us either: children’s love,
Nor the white care of mothers, nor the sweet
Concern of sister nor the effort of friends;

No dream-caress nor actual: the mixed breath,
Lips that fumble in dark and dizzily cling
Till all nerves tighten to the key of love.

The feasted man turns empty eyes about;
The king builds higher on a crumbling base,
His human mouth a weapon; his brain, maps.

The lover awakes in horror: he gropes out
For the known form, and even enfolding, fears
A bed by war or failing blood undone.

For we who are nothingness can nothing hold.

Only solution: come to us, conceiver,
You who are all things, held and holder, come to us,
Come like an army marching the long day
And the next day and week and all that year;

Come like an ocean thundering to the moon,
Drowning the sunken reef, mounting the shore.
Come, infinite answer to our infinite want.

Her ancient crater only the sea can fill.

WAITING, HOPING, LONGING

We stand in the dark—but we are facing the dawn in the East. We can see it coming in the sky, as our picture shows. We are waiting. We are “wait-ers.” We need an “infinite answer to our infinite want.”

As we wait, we are filled with longing, with a need for consolation, like Simeon.

How long, oh Lord? How long?

As we wait, we run out of prayer.
And we find, to our astonishment, that the Holy Spirit has been interceding for us all along—and our prayers of longing become enlivened as we join in the prayers of the Holy Spirit.

He is praying for you right now.
Shocking. Mind-blowing. God Almighty, the Ancient of Days, the “Watcher of Mankind,” as Job calls Him, stoops to intercede for you and me. The Trinity talks amongst Himself on our behalf.
Such a mystery leaves us without words as well. But not without hope.

We will not see Jesus until we die, and so we hope in faith for that day, when we will go Home.

“Here, There, or in the air,” we Moody students used to say to each other as we parted in the 70s, “See you again!” We thought we were so cool. And yet, we meant it, too.

The older I get, the more I long to see Jesus.

For Simeon, it was different…rather than the next big event being death, the next big event was seeing the Messiah. His trajectory was: See the Messiah –> Die –> See the Messiah!

We have his prayer after he had seen and held (!) the baby Jesus: “I’m ready to come Home now, Father, for with these eyes, I have seen the Messiah, the Hope of Israel. I am an eyewitness to the Glory. There’s nothing left for me here, now. I am replete.”

Mary and Joseph recognized a trustworthy soul, and they handed over their precious son to this old stranger. Mary stayed close by, though, close enough for intimate conversation. And holding his Messiah in his wrinkled arms, Simeon prayed and prophesied.

Looking down, he sees his Creator, his Redeemer. And soon, Simeon will see Jesus again—in Eternity, once he dies, falling asleep here and waking in Heaven. He will meet this Savior again, not as a baby, but as a conquering King. And Israel will be consoled, even as Simeon is now.

Think of that meeting and sharing in Heaven: these two Hebrew men who have known both birth and death…Jesus and Simeon.

Simeon sees Jesus and is satisfied. He has waited all his life, day after day, in growing faith in the God Who keeps His promises to console His people, to come to them and make His home with them. The longer he waited, the stronger his faith: “I won’t die until I see my Redeemer.”

It is the Holy Spirit who gave Simeon the patience to wait. It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the patience to suffer long in this life with faith, to be patient and to hope in our God and His promises. Long-suffering, patience, is one fruit that the Holy Spirit develops in us over time. In practice, this looks like perseverance in seemingly unanswered prayer, with watchful expectation—and even suffering with hope.

We don’t give up on opening our hearts to God; indeed, where else would we go? There is no one else who will answer and console us. Like Simeon, we want Him!

Waiting on God demonstrates faith. Waiting instills hope. Waiting for God is predicated on the reality that the invisible spiritual world coexists constantly with the visible physical world, and that God is present and doing something. This faith is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was “upon” Simeon, indeed: our Romans passage tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for all the saints as we wait on God.

Stop and sit with this for a minute—for what are you waiting? About what are you praying? God Himself, the Holy Spirit, prays with you and for you, about that very thing! And so, even as we wait, we hope. We know that there is far more to life than what we see and that our Heavenly Father is present and is attending to us and our concerns. And so we wait with hope.

Psychologically speaking, one of the indicators of maturity is the ability to delay gratification—to wait patiently with desire, yet to wait in hope. It takes maturity to be able to tolerate the tension of unfulfilled longing. Simeon embodies this maturity. He has been faithful in the dark. And now, the Light of the World has come, and Simeon recognizes him.

Our Father God has not left us alone. He has put His Spirit in our hearts, we are signed and sealed and waiting for our final deliverance from these mortal bodies into our heavenly bodies. We are waiting to go Home and to see our living Savior face to face, to know as we are known. And so we remind each other of this and tell the good news: “The night of waiting is almost over, dawn is coming in the East, hold on a little longer, King Jesus is coming soon for us. He came once, He will come again.”

He will come for you. He has promised.

Dr. Betsy Barber
Associate Director of the Institute for Spiritual Formation
Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Psychology
Talbot School of Theology
Biola University
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