Figuring Out Religion

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Mountaineer
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:07 pm

"Repentance, then, is nothing other than the appropriate reception of God's Word of Law and Gospel. The Law comes and preaches to us, showing us our sin, our failure, our desparate wicdkedness, our lack of love, and whatever else is filthy and rebellious in us, and we are contrite. The Gospel comes with the sweet and glorious Good News that the Son of God came in our flesh and blood to bear our sins and be our Redeemer and Savior, and we believe it. The Law works contrition. The Gospel works faith. (And then both play their parts in the resulting love expressed in the Christian life.)"

A Martyr's Faith in a Faithless World - Bryan Wolfmueller
"And this is the very aim of the devil, to cause a man to think his knowledge and wisdom the greater, the further he departs from the Word." - Martin Luther
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:44 pm

We look around us, we observe, we know things are not "right". We see sickness, temptations, sorrow, and death. We inherently know this is not the way it should be.

Then there is the extra dose of suffering for being a Christian. In several ways, being a Christian makes life more difficult. You can't go to brunch on Sunday morning; you are expected in church. You can't go along with the jokes in the locker room. You can't embrace the culture's understanding of life, of love, of what is good. To be a Christian is to be an outsider in this sinful world. The world is the combined forces of the culture that stand against Jesus and His kingdom. The world is the devil's kingdom of darkness and all the things that go along with it. The devil sees to it that the world attacks Christians. The devil delights in afflicting the Lord's people. Part of the problem is the so-called prosperity gospel. Preachers in this strain, many famous and well-known, lie to Christians and tell them to expect a life of comfort and ease. These are lies, dangerous lies, because they train us to tempt God, to expect from Him things He hasn't promised. Suffering is not the problem; shallow roots are the problem. The Lord intends for us to have roots sunk deep into His Word, anchored to His promises.

A Martyr's Faith in a Faithless World - Bryan Wolfmueller
"And this is the very aim of the devil, to cause a man to think his knowledge and wisdom the greater, the further he departs from the Word." - Martin Luther
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonm2 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:02 pm

Mountaineer wrote:
Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:44 pm
Then there is the extra dose of suffering for being a Christian....you are expected in church.
Amen to that.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonm2 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:22 pm

My 42-year-old daughter is the last remaining believer of my three kids and as I'm watching what she's going through in a horrific situation I can only think to myself how much better she would be able to function if she would abandon her illusions of supernatural intervention. She prays to Jesus only to have her hopes crushed to pieces and then she has to ask herself what SHE might be doing wrong and why isn't Jesus answering her prayers. Then she has to exert what little energy she has to strengthen her faith instead of spending that same energy on doing what she logically can to improve her own situation all by herself.

At some point you just have to really stop and think that if a bear is chasing you in the woods you really have to save yourself or else the bear is going to eat you.

It's not being mad at God. It's just realizing that the bear is going to eat you. Whether God is watching and cares about that or not is a completely irrelevant consideration.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Wed Nov 13, 2019 5:00 am

Jacksonm2, I am so sorry that your daughter, and you, are suffering on this side of the Last Day.
"And this is the very aim of the devil, to cause a man to think his knowledge and wisdom the greater, the further he departs from the Word." - Martin Luther
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by dualstow » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:09 am

jacksonm2 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:22 pm
Whether God is watching and cares about that or not is a completely irrelevant consideration.
That reminds me of something I read about Zen Buddhism. It said that Zen doesn't actively deny God. It just advocates behaving the same way whether God is there or not.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by pugchief » Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:52 am

dualstow wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:09 am
jacksonm2 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:22 pm
Whether God is watching and cares about that or not is a completely irrelevant consideration.
That reminds me of something I read about Zen Buddhism. It said that Zen doesn't actively deny God. It just advocates behaving the same way whether God is there or not.
That is very good advice.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Xan » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:47 am

pugchief wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:52 am
dualstow wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:09 am
jacksonm2 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:22 pm
Whether God is watching and cares about that or not is a completely irrelevant consideration.
That reminds me of something I read about Zen Buddhism. It said that Zen doesn't actively deny God. It just advocates behaving the same way whether God is there or not.
That is very good advice.

Concepts like "relevant", "should" (implied by "advocate"), and "good" imply eternal, objective truths. Fundamentally, they assume there is a moral right and wrong. If God is not there, none of those things makes any sense. Anything that goes, "if not God, then you should" or "if not God, then X, Y, or Z is good" is pretty much nonsensical.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by pugchief » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:53 pm

I took that to be more of a "golden rule" comment, i e you should behave properly regardless of whether there is a God or not. That way you win no matter what, and so do the people around you
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by dualstow » Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:05 pm

Xan wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:47 am
If God is not there, none of those things makes any sense. Anything that goes, "if not God, then you should" or "if not God, then X, Y, or Z is good" is pretty much nonsensical.
Did I mention that zen is also about not trying to make sense? O0

No, seriously, that's one of the teachings.
Introduction to Zen Buddhism, by D.T. Suzuki
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by vnatale » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:04 pm

jacksonm2 wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:22 pm
My 42-year-old daughter is the last remaining believer of my three kids and as I'm watching what she's going through in a horrific situation I can only think to myself how much better she would be able to function if she would abandon her illusions of supernatural intervention. She prays to Jesus only to have her hopes crushed to pieces and then she has to ask herself what SHE might be doing wrong and why isn't Jesus answering her prayers. Then she has to exert what little energy she has to strengthen her faith instead of spending that same energy on doing what she logically can to improve her own situation all by herself.

At some point you just have to really stop and think that if a bear is chasing you in the woods you really have to save yourself or else the bear is going to eat you.

It's not being mad at God. It's just realizing that the bear is going to eat you. Whether God is watching and cares about that or not is a completely irrelevant consideration.
I once had a pastor telling me that if a farmer was praying for a good crop that that farmer should also be praying with a hoe in his hand -- meaning doing his part in making the prayer come to fruition.

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by vnatale » Wed Nov 13, 2019 6:07 pm

pugchief wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:53 pm
I took that to be more of a "golden rule" comment, i e you should behave properly regardless of whether there is a God or not. That way you win no matter what, and so do the people around you
That is what Jesus stated as the second greatest commandment:

Matthew 22:34-40 34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: "'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Vinny
"I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats."
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