Christianity

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Dontaskme
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Re: Christianity

Post by Dontaskme »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:29 pm
I spent a loooong time with you, waiting for you to say something that wasn't empty drama, hoping something interesting would be forthcoming.
Suppose I do come up with something meaningful, suppose every single human being alive were able to connect with perfect meaningful dialog ...then what? we all say something meaningful to each other, then what...we all have a big party to celebrate our joint meaningful reality. Then what?

What are we all to do with our meaning? ..it's almost like meaning is something we must strive for, but why?

Why does conversation have to be meaningful ..what will that change about the nature of reality?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:43 pm There is no fixed definition of what 'salvation' is.
Sure there is. And it's not at all hard to see that in different contexts, it means essentially the same core thing.

"Salvation" is a rescue that comes from God.

Whether one is talking about personal salvation or national salvation, about salvation now or salvation later, about salvation from the judicial penalty of sin or salvation from the presence of sin in a practical sense, both the agent of the salvation and the nature of it are identitical. God does it, and mankind needs it.

So it is received by faith in God.
...salvation and redemption, in social and political terms...

These are not found in the Bible anywhere, actually. In Biblical terms, neither society, with its self-willed efforts at its various utopias, nor politics, with its strategizing, manipulating and propagandizing, offer any genuine hope of salvation to anyone. Again, salvation comes from God.

Torah says this, too.

"For your salvation, I wait, O God." (Genesis 49:18)

Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will perform for you today;" (Exodus 14:13)

"The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation." (Exodus 15:2)

[Of Israel in rebellion] "Then he abandoned God who made him, And rejected the Rock of his salvation." (Deuteronomy 32:15)

How often does God have to repeat this, until man gets the point? There is no salvation in man: salvation is from the Lord.
You have said that to be 'saved' is to have been freed from the consequences of sin. As if by some act of contrition, some act of declaring commitment, or simply a willingness to receive it, that the slate is wiped clean. Well, that is the idea behind Catholic conversion as well (when there was lengthy preparation in advance of being admitted into the body of the Church). But in the old-school sense of what Catholicism is, it involves a life-long commitment to a whole range of activities, a social doctrine and a spiritual commitment.

This is a key difference between Christianity and Catholicism: Catholicism says salvation can be achieved by joining the chuch and performing (to use your word) "acts." But in Christianity, "acts" do not save...good deeds reveal the fact of a man's having-been-saved; they form no part of the dynamic of salvation itself.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Many Evangelicals describe their 'redemptive experience' as a moment's decision. They came to the end of the line of their own wills, and surrendered in one moment. It has never seemed to me to be enough (though I do not doubt that many Christian Evangelicals go on to continue their 'walk with Christ' and their 'discipleship to Christ' with many other levels of commitment (which I do not deny and which I respect).
God's plan never pleases men. They want honour for themselves. They also want power: they want to be able to "do something" to earn their salvation. They want it in their hands. And when it is done, they want to be able to save some credit for themselves; to have some way to remember that they did "earn" it after all...

To give up oneself to God...that's galling to the spirit of mankind. To call upon God to save one is an admission of failure, of powerlessness, of inability. Our natural inclination is against that. But without it, there is no salvation; for salvation is from God, not from man.

"...when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but according to his mercy..." (Titus 3:4-5)
And in a sense that I do not think can be denied any particular person can have a 'conversion experience' as they often describe, and who could make any statement at all as to whether it was 'genuine' and who could say if it was truly 'effective'? Who would make that assessment? There is no external assessor.
God is the Assessor. And the person himself or herself knows what he or she is trusting.
When you examine the more wacky manifestations of lunatic Evangelism, who could say that these people, the people that enact this or those it is enacted on, have not been 'truly and definitely saved'?
Oh, one can always find extremists, wacky people, and so on. They exist in all human spheres and in all places. They aren't the way to judge the authentic.

The Bible says that human beings are sinful. Some are sincere, and some are insincere. Some are genuine, and some are charlatans. The Bible has warned us it will be so, and invites us to make our assessment by the "fruits" (meaning, the actions) of those who may claim to know God. But it does not invite us to judge the genuineness of their salvation...only the compatibility of their deeds.

You and I are not the assessors of salvation. That's between the person and God, and God both sets the terms of salvation and discerns the truth or falsehood of it in a person's life. We have every reason to be skeptical of how some people carry on. And we are not oblgated to follow them or to proclaim their genuineness, either. Maybe we really cannot say, either way.

But I think we're better to look to ourselves, are we not? We have enough to do with that. It is most important for us to attend to our own relationship with God, and to accept His salvation personally. For one thing is sure, as John Locke reminded us: that when God judges, we stand or fall before Him all by ourselves. It's a lone venture. We give account for no man but ourselves, and no man is able to give account for us.

When Judgment comes, God Himself will take care of all frauds and charlatans. Our best interests lie in making sure that we are not among them.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:55 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:29 pm
I spent a loooong time with you, waiting for you to say something that wasn't empty drama, hoping something interesting would be forthcoming.
Suppose I do come up with something meaningful
That would be great.

Have you got anything? I mean, something that does not depend on a game, on cute wordplay, on absurd allegations that "nobody exists," and so on?

If you had that, I'd be happy to talk with you. Otherwise, not so much.
Dontaskme
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Re: Christianity

Post by Dontaskme »

Just so you know IC...it's not you that I insult, it's the beliefs you project on to the world of apparent otherness, aka your reflection.

Just know that every belief can conflict with opposite beliefs that's all, it's never to do with the actual presence that is your personhood.

Obviously you are going to defend your belief against insult, that's normal, we all do that, you want meaningful, and will feel the need to defend your need for meaningful by rejecting what is not meaningful for you. I understand that.

I feel so much compassion for the consciousness expressing itself as human. I know how much it hurts to be insulted for holding a precious belief, and the need to defend it...I know how much beliefs are of great value to people.


So all I want to say is ... I love you IC..even though I have never met you and know nothing about you, you could be a pathological liar for all I know...but that's never your fault, and that's why I have great compassion for every living sentient creature that knows it is alive, because I know how hard it is to long and yearn to find some meaning in what to me is ultimately meaningless. . but that doesn't mean I do not love ...I know I have no choice but to love because there is no other option, since no one ever chooses to come here....and that's because there is only one of us here, and that one is love. Sometimes love hates because love is unconditionally free to feel any which way it desires to feel.

Anyways...yeah, I guess that's my rant over.
Dontaskme
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Re: Christianity

Post by Dontaskme »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:15 pm
I'd be happy to talk with you.
I understand. I know what you are saying, and I love that you are so open to other peoples conversation. I know that ..ok

I'm sorry IC for not being meaningful enough for you...as far as I can tell, you and I express the same one God in different ways that's all. I'm sorry for appearing to be a meaningless obnoxious poster, who appears to be in opposition to you. In reality, I know where you are coming from, it's just that what we think about God is expressed differently that's all.

It's funny how when sunflowers cannot find the one and only sun... they tend to then just face off which each other...everything is alive and conscious, everything needing sustenance from the sun, without which they will die. I suppose that's what Jesus the son means, it's the metaphor for the sustainer of life..right?

I just don't like the pain part, and would rather not have been born to have to experience it...but not wanting to be born,doesn't make me a miserable person having a rotten life.

The thing is, we both think about God in very different ways...but ultimately I feel compassion and empathy for you because I know the sensation of both physical and mental pain, therefore I know you do too.

I don't even know why I fight with you IC..because you always seem to have a knack of making me like you even though I treat you like shit. I always seem to want to be drawn to you, is all I am saying.
Dontaskme
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Re: Christianity

Post by Dontaskme »

IC...I know you are an intelligent being. I can only know that because I am intelligent too, but I have personally been frustrated with the human beings capacity to not really understand what is meant by love.

Do you know what love means IC...you say you want meaningful conversation with others ..how about I start a thread about the true meaningful meaning of what love means?

Will you be willing to talk about this subject? I have no secret agenda here, I'm not trying to pull you, or make a move on you, or anything like that, so don't think I am..I just want to connect with another being that I know exists somewhere in this universe who is genuinely interested in understanding the true and real meaning of love...which is what God is supposed to be ..right?

I will not insult you ever again, ok...and another thing, if I ever need a friend to rely on in times of deep trouble, I would only choose you to talk to, I would call on you, that's how much I trust in someone like you.

I know I'm an idiot, I'm the idiot not you.

PS..I love henry too, but not sure about the 3rd amigo.. walker, I'm still trying to figure the walker character out.


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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:40 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:15 pm
I'd be happy to talk with you.
I understand. I know what you are saying, and I love that you are so open to other peoples conversation. I know that ..ok

I'm sorry IC for not being meaningful enough for you...
It's alright. I'm not angry with you, or upset even over things you have said about me. I'm a fallible human being, too. We all need a break now and then.

At the same time, let's modify our conversation style with each other a bit, okay? It would work much better.

I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a young man once. He was always in trouble, always breaking the rules, always in the center of any problem that arose in the place where I was working.

One day, I sat him down, and said, "Frank, I know what you're doing. People don't give you enough attention, so you act out. I get that. But have you ever thought about this: that there are good ways and bad ways to get attention?"

He looked at me in confusion. I could see that the thought of getting attention positively was something he'd never considered.

I continued, "If you do things people like, they'll give you attention, praise, support and friendship. If you only get attention by raising a fuss, then they'll give you attention...but only the bad kind." I could see this was an entirely new thought for him, and one he would think about.

I don't know if that thought really changed him. I hope it might: he was setting himself up for a lonely, hostile future if he didn't understand the difference. I wouldn't wish that for him.

I would just say the same about conversation. One can induce it by saying provocative, insulting, wild, irrational, confused, stylish, ironic or hostile things; but one only gets a certain kind of conversation from that. Or one can invite conversation by being as honest, truthful, direct, clear, sincere, etc. as one can. One gets a different kind of conversation from that.

But here's the thing: for good conversation to happen, both participants have to contribute in the second spirit. Let's do that.
I'm sorry for appearing to be a meaningless obnoxious poster, who appears to be in opposition to you.

I sense you're not that...I mean, you're not when you're at your best, anyway. That's why we're still talking. But we've got to carry forward in good faith with each other, or the conversation will just break down again. And it will only take one of us reverting to the other style to tank things.
In reality, I know where you are coming from, it's just that what we think about God is expressed differently that's all.

I suppose that's what Jesus the son means, it's the metaphor for the sustainer of life..right?
:D He IS the sustainer of life.

We might better say, "The Sun is a metaphor for Him." After all, the Sun the creation; He's the Creator. Only one is the original, and the other a mere metaphor.
I just don't like the pain part, and would rather not have been born to have to experience it...
Do I ask, "What's your pain," or is that too much information for me to ask? I don't want to pry.
I don't even know why I fight with you IC..because you always seem to have a knack of making me like you even though I treat you like shit. I always seem to want to be drawn to you, is all I am saying.
I can't answer that question for you, of course.

You and I don't really know each other, as persons, I know. We know only each other's conversation, and only so much as either of us puts out here. Despite the prickliness of our exchanges at times, I have no antipathy to you, even when I find the things you say unkind sometimes or perhaps merely obscuring. Sometimes, honestly, I can't make heads-or-tails of some of the things you "throw out" in these exchanges, and you seem to have some reluctance to being pinned down to specifics.

There could be good reasons for that. Maybe there's really something on your mind...something you really want to say, or to work through, but you've been reluctant to "put it out there" in a place like this. In which case, I can't blame you...this forum can be awfully hostile and cynical, at times. But I've long felt that there's something you want to say that you've never yet said.

Maybe it's not to me you want to say it...and this place isn't maybe the best place to say it, I don't know...but I have a feeling that something is on your mind, and it has to do with your talk of pain and not wanting to be here. So maybe I can just encourage you to talk about it to someone; maybe, at least on this forum, all you can do with reasonable safety is signal your displeasure with life, not necessarily explain further. But if so, I don't think you're ever going to get a fair hearing here, and maybe a fair hearing is what you really need.

Either way, I think you need to talk about something. I've sensed that for a long while. So why not find a counsellor you can trust, and do some of that talking out of things? I think you'd feel better. That stuff you say about pain and life, that looks to me like unprocessed hurt. But you also seem to want somebody to listen to you about it.

Or am I wrong?
Dontaskme
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Re: Christianity

Post by Dontaskme »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pmDo I ask, "What's your pain," or is that too much information for me to ask? I don't want to pry.
Thanks for your long reply, which I read in full, and it made so much sense to me...because I recognise an intelligence in you that is myself, so thanks. I do not need a counsellor IC...I've risen above such a requirement, not to sound too above myself, but I already know myself, and feel comfortable and happy in my own skin. So yeah, you are wrong about the counsellor idea.

My pain is not finding the love that is God, with another human being, that's all I've ever wanted, is to have that God marriage with another human being...my pain is knowing that dream marriage is unavailable with earthly beings. It seems everyone craves love, but no one seems to know how to pull it off properly.

I do, I know how to pull it off properly, but I've never known anyone else know how, so in the end I just gave up hoping I ever would, and chose to go it alone.


I do not mean marriage in that I want to get married...I just mean I would like people who are married to stay married...to stay in love, and never leave each other.

I would like to think that if we are going to be alive we might as well love each other, otherwise what's the point of being alive.


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Sculptor
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Re: Christianity

Post by Sculptor »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm
Or am I wrong?
Yes. Wrong as per usual.
Not only wrong, but out-of-date, and out-of-touch with reality.
Alexis Jacobi
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:13 pm "Salvation" is a rescue that comes from God.

Whether one is talking about personal salvation or national salvation, about salvation now or salvation later, about salvation from the judicial penalty of sin or salvation from the presence of sin in a practical sense, both the agent of the salvation and the nature of it are identitical. God does it, and mankind needs it.

So it is received by faith in God.
The Psalms are replete with various messages about salvation and redemption. Redemption can mean, and did mean, literal liberation from a state of slavery. It meant liberation from the dangers of surrounding enemies, and this can be taken in many different ways. Sometimes salvation meant as well material salvation, ie salvation from the conditions of impoverishment. While I can understand that you associate salvation with divine help and divine guidance, and there is soundness in this basis, what I am getting at is that there are many different levels to processes of the aid of God.

And there are many different ideas about what the result of salvation is.

It is, as I see things, important to recognize the influence of notions of liberation (deliverance, redemption and salvation) in our Occidental world and so in this sense I think I agree that the origin of the idea of freedom has deep connections with Christian theological ideas in conjunction with Greek concepts. This is not hard to see when one examines and understands how Christians define a sovereign person and the sanctity of persons.

It seems to me that when you personalize salvation, and liberation, and redemption, into something that the divine agent grants after being implored for it, that a mistake of a sort is made. Because the ideas are not persons, and are impersonal, and therefore anyone who gets involved with the ideas -- with theological ideas let's say, or ideas about the sanctity of the person -- concomitantly gets involved with the processes.
This is a key difference between Christianity and Catholicism: Catholicism says salvation can be achieved by joining the chuch and performing (to use your word) "acts." But in Christianity, "acts" do not save...good deeds reveal the fact of a man's having-been-saved; they form no part of the dynamic of salvation itself.
I think that if there is misunderstanding it is more in the fact that you have a limited grasp of what Catholicism proposes, and how it conceives of salvation. But moreover that Christian work is necessary in conjunction with, and in relation to, one's spiritual status. When one 'joins' the Church, and this was true in the early days, a long period of preparation was required. This is a catechesis-process and it makes sense to me. The way I would put it is that, yes, in a spiritual sense salvation is received freely as a gift. But a response is necessary as well, in my view, as demanded. And I also believe, because it is logically necessary, that one's status of 'saved' can be lost. It is necessary that this be the case.
God's plan never pleases men. They want honour for themselves. They also want power: they want to be able to "do something" to earn their salvation. They want it in their hands. And when it is done, they want to be able to save some credit for themselves; to have some way to remember that they did "earn" it after all...
You will have to spell out what *God's plan is* for those who become mystically and in a sense magically saved by the remission of sin, or from the consequences of sin as you put it. Because it seems to me that any number of people, millions, maybe billions? have been 'saved' in the Evangelical sense. But this does not mean a great deal really, though perhaps to them, or inside of them, it does.

My understanding of the dynamic of life itself, at a structural level, in biology, in natural systems, in ecological systems, is that beings strive for power. The name of the game is domination, where that becomes possible. What holds it in check are ecological forces -- other beings essentially -- who also are fighting in the same way.

You have not successfully presented to me how the 'salvation' you define, which is internal and invisible (an inner turning), changes or alters the basic dynamic of life as I have defined it. What I think that you will do is if I present some 'saved Christian' who yet is deeply involved int he power-games of the world, you will say "Oh but that person is not a true Christian".

But what I am trying to point out is that there are millions of (in this case I refer to) Evangelicals who declaim their 'saved condition' -- and who can say that they are not? But their following actions do not necessarily bespeak what can only be interpreted as a necessary renunciation from worldly power-games to some sort of Christian quietism.

And there is something in what you say that removes human will and intentionality from the equation. People attain things for themselves and by themselves all the time. And I am not sure what you recommend, that they say "No, I didn't do it, God did it!" It is a typical claim, isn't it? And yet they did, very much, do it in the sense that they chose it, and they worked for it.
To give up oneself to God...that's galling to the spirit of mankind.
You will have to define what results from 'giving oneself up to God'. Because if you mean actual material sacrifices, or something like 'renunciation from the world', yes, that is extremely difficult and only certain people seem to want that, or to be capable of it.

But all that you are doing is pointing out that man, by nature, is stubborn and rebellious. But the larger question is In what way will one connect with 'God's plan'? What is that plan? I see many many people making all manner of different declarations about what that is. You only refer to it abstractly.
They exist in all human spheres and in all places. They aren't the way to judge the authentic.
That may be so. But we can all identify the Evangelical sort. The upraised hands; going into what looks to be a holy trance; the intonations of their prayers, and then for example the sort of religious service of the Pentecostals. These are all parts-and-parcels of a religious form.

And Benny Hinn fits within that (horrifyingly).
When Judgment comes, God Himself will take care of all frauds and charlatans. Our best interests lie in making sure that we are not among them.
This may be true -- and it has seemed true to me -- but it is not enough. If Christian salvation is just a *state* arrived at (to be 'saved') I am not sure if it can have much purpose in this world. But that is another issue, isn't it? Christian depreciation of *the world* and indeed of building things here in this plane.

BTW here is a good short video of Jordan Peterson talking about Nietzsche's God Is Dead.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:34 pm ...dream marriage is unavailable with earthly beings...
That's as tidy a summary of the situation as one could make, I'm sure.

But is that unexpected? What led us to expect it would, could or even should be?

But if we knew it already, whence the disappointment? Why would we feel disenchanted, or cheated, or even upset that human beings are not gods?

I think maybe it's because, on some level, we know things ought to be better. And maybe not all of us can define that sense of "ought": but it's real and felt deeply. We cannot shake the sense that we have been "cheated" of something.

From a Christian perspective, we could say that it's a product of a fallen world. People are not what they ought to be, and don't do what they ought to do. But there might be hope for something better, nonetheless.

But from a purely secular perspective, we have to ask where we're getting this sense of being cheated. Evolution promised us nothing, in that regard -- it's not even capable of doing so. So there's no grounds for a complaint, and...and this is crucial...nobody to hear us or care if we complain, and nobody to owe us anything better than we get.

So it's clear you're feeling unhappy with the way the world is on this question. Anyone can see that.

But I suppose you're going to have to interpret that feeling, and decide what it means. Does it mean that there's a God who meant for you to have better, to have the thing you feel you're lacking, but for the present, you've been ripped off for it by human betrayal -- but you still have a right to long for it, because you genuinely have been let down? (Christian version) Or does it mean you never had a right to expect any better in the first place, and should just get over it? (Secular version)
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:45 pm The Psalms are replete with various messages about salvation and redemption.
Redemption is an aspect of salvation...but salvation is the overarching concept.

They're distinct concepts. If you've never found reason to take a look at Systematic Theology, you wouldn't have reason to realize how precise these concepts actually are. They're not nearly so fuzzy as it appears you imagine they are. There are able scholars who have literally gone through every Scriptural mention of them, evaluating their respective nuances and implications, and arriving at quite firm definitions of terms.

Obviously, you and I can't do all that here: a good book on Systematic Theology is a really big, heavy tome. But it's worth knowing that such things exist, and that the philosophical work has been done on these things to create the kind of precision of discussion that you seem to be imagining not to be there.

It is. Check it out, and you'll see.
...there are many different levels to processes of the aid of God.
When you asked for a definition of salvation, this is why I gave you two. I did my best to summarize in "common sense" language myself, but also felt I owed it to you (since you're obviously quite intelligent) to add in the more expansive, sophisticated exposition you saw in the second definition. It's a sophisticated question, actually.

But sophisticated things aren't necessarily unclear things. Salvation is actually an extremely precise and well-defined concept. Multifarious, it is indeed; but it is not contradictory, not variable, not at all a confused concept. The theology around it is quite solid, you'll find.
And there are many different ideas about what the result of salvation is.
There are both good, clear ideas, and foolish bad ones. But the existence of the latter is of no consequence to the reality of the former.

To illustrate, there are many ideas today about what 2+2 might total to (as hard as that is to imagine: https://newdiscourses.com/2020/08/2-plu ... -equals-5/). But 2+2 is actually quite a clear, precise concept, with a definite answer of 4. The rest is nonsense. We can simply disregard most opinions on that subject.
how Christians define a sovereign person and the sanctity of persons
There is no "sovereign" person, in Christian thought...nor is anything "sanctified" unless it is "set apart to God," which is the proper meaning of that term.

You see, Systematic Theology isn't wimpy on these questions. There are answers.
It seems to me that when you personalize salvation, and liberation, and redemption, into something that the divine agent grants after being implored for it, that a mistake of a sort is made. Because the ideas are not persons, and are impersonal, and therefore anyone who gets involved with the ideas -- with theological ideas let's say, or ideas about the sanctity of the person -- concomitantly gets involved with the processes.
Hmmm.

Well, I could say much about this. One thing is that I didn't "personalize" a thing: God did. I'm just repeating what He says about it in Scripture. That's why I quote...so you can see for yourself, without imagining the ideas are just mine, and so that you can criticize my understanding of the text, if you feel that's warranted.

But the second is perhaps more important. These things are not "ideas," not mere "concepts." These are terms the Scriptures use to illuminate the process of exactly how salvation dynamically works. So one can read the "ideas" and not take them to heart; in which case, the only "process" one is involving oneself with is not salvation but only idle speculation or curiosity.

I say again what both Torah and the New Testament insist is the case...what the voice at Sinai told Israel is true: those who hear God speak are responsible for what they hear. There is no safety in "intellectualizing" instead of responding obediently...not when God speaks. When He speaks, man must respond. There is no other option.
When one 'joins' the Church,

This is yet another Catholic-Christian difference.

By Catholicism, one is saved by joining the Church. Period. As the old axiom goes, "Ex ecclesiam, nulla salus": nobody is saved outside of the Church. In Christianity, one becomes a member of the Church only AFTER salvation, as a product of it...not as a condition of salvation. Being in the Church itself has nothing to do with saving a man or woman.

This explains the long period of catechesis, as well. Catholicism depends on a person joining the Church and performing its "sacraments," participating in its rituals (particularlly the Mass, but all the rituals) and remaining in its fold; if one gets out of that, one is lost again. Not so in Christianity: in Christianity, one comes very simply, through faith in Jesus Christ, and without embellishment or ecclesiastical inventions. And churches themselves, while they are congregations of saved people, have in themselves no power to save. That is God's prerogative, not man's, as I showed in my last message.
God's plan never pleases men. They want honour for themselves. They also want power: they want to be able to "do something" to earn their salvation. They want it in their hands. And when it is done, they want to be able to save some credit for themselves; to have some way to remember that they did "earn" it after all...
You will have to spell out what *God's plan is*
I just meant to use the term very generally. What I mean is simply that, at least naturally, man never likes God's ideas. They're too galling to human pride. That could be said of any of the many things God has planned.
...it seems to me that any number of people, millions, maybe billions? have been 'saved' in the Evangelical sense. But this does not mean a great deal really, though perhaps to them, or inside of them, it does.

That depends. If "being saved" is just an inner feeling they have, then it's worthless, obviously. It might not even be true they're saved, in that case. But if salvation is, as Torah and the New Testament both say, the work of God, it means everything.

HaShem does not do inferior work.
My understanding of the dynamic of life itself, at a structural level, in biology, in natural systems, in ecological systems, is that beings strive for power. The name of the game is domination, where that becomes possible. What holds it in check are ecological forces -- other beings essentially -- who also are fighting in the same way.

But think of what a grim view of life that is.

All creatures struggling to have power, and each biting and killing the others to get it? That's truly "nature red in tooth and claw," to quote Tennyson.

Is that all that's going on here? Is it anything but a reductional view of life? I would say it is. But we can explore the bad consequences of that view if you like. It's rather Nietzschean, if not even Social Darwinian, actually.
What I think that you will do is if I present some 'saved Christian' who yet is deeply involved int he power-games of the world, you will say "Oh but that person is not a true Christian".
You haven't given me the chance.
But what I am trying to point out is that there are millions of (in this case I refer to) Evangelicals who declaim their 'saved condition' -- and who can say that they are not?
God can, of course.

But as I said earlier, our concern should be more with ourselves than them.
"No, I didn't do it, God did it!" It is a typical claim, isn't it?

Not from anybody I know. Who are you thinking of?
To give up oneself to God...that's galling to the spirit of mankind.
You will have to define what results from 'giving oneself up to God'. Because if you mean actual material sacrifices, or something like 'renunciation from the world', yes, that is extremely difficult and only certain people seem to want that, or to be capable of it.
Oh no...not at all.

Psalm 51:14-17

Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
Lord, open my lips,
So that my mouth may declare Your praise.
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, God, You will not despise.


Metanoia. Once again, metanoia is the key. A spirit that is " broken" toward God is one that has given up his own preferences and beliefs, and instead decided to bow to God, admitting the truth of His assessment of us, and appealing to Him for His salvation. This, God does not ever despise.
But all that you are doing is pointing out that man, by nature, is stubborn and rebellious. But the larger question is In what way will one connect with 'God's plan'?

As above.
Benny Hinn
Benny Hinn is what's called a "Charismatic" televangelist.

I wonder what HaShem will say to him?

Never mind. I can read Scripture. 2 Peter 2 says,

"But false prophets also appeared among the people [i.e. in the days of ancient Israel], just as there will also be false teachers among you,[i.e. in the Last Days] who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their indecent behavior, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. ..."

If Christian salvation is just a *state* arrived at (to be 'saved') I am not sure if it can have much purpose in this world.

It has huge significance.

You spoke earlier of a view of life driven by the will to power. That is, indeed the situation of mankind without God. Power...his own power...becomes man's only possible goal and idol, and life turns into a struggle for the domination of some by others. That's a nasty, bitter world.

What will free a man from the will to power? Giving up his power. Why would he do that? To experience the power of God in his life. The Bible talks about "death to self," and rebirth to "new life." In the birth that comes from above, man gives up his own power, and accepts the power of God in his life. After that, he no longer has a desperate, competitive need to dominate others: he can serve them unselfishly, knowing that his hope and his reward are with God.
But that is another issue, isn't it? Christian depreciation of *the world* and indeed of building things here in this plane.
It's not a "deprecation." It's a rethinking of the importance of those things, a placing them in a new light, the light of God.

Christians, you cannot help but notice, are not quietists. Most are in terms of politics...but that's because politics are the strategy of men without God. In matters of charity, kindness, giving aid, sharing and so forth, you will find that Christians are extraordinarily active. And you'll find them in education, medicine, exploration, science, academics, philosophy, the arts...any area in which humankind may be benefitted, you'll find active Christians.

These are active people: just not in the ways the rest of the world values.
BTW here is a good short video of Jordan Peterson talking about Nietzsche's God Is Dead.
Thanks.

I like Dr. Peterson. He's a rare voice of sanity in a largely insane world. And he's doing some very interesting thinking about spiritual matters lately...
Here's one you might enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbVwV8_TEkM
Age
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:10 pm
Age wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:16 am
Here is a GREAT EXAMPLE of just how 'condescending' some human beings really were, back in the days when this was being written.

You are wasting your time insulting IC...aka ( some human beings ) he is a self-claimed untouchable, while being the first one to piss and moan when the insult is on him.
But I NEVER 'insulted' "immanuel can" here and I have NEVER 'insulted' "immanuel can" anywhere.

I was only POINTING OUT just how 'condescending' some human beings really could be, back then.
Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:10 pm He hasn't quite mastered the concept of a teflon mind. It's quite hilarious really. I'm sure IC has cursed objects many times, even though we all know objects are deaf dumb and blind, so who on earth he is referring to when he too curses, is anyone's guess, oh wait...I have an idea! :lol:

IC is untouchable, I really hope for his sake he understands that's just not true, I'd hate to walk around with shit in my pants and never know it...Oh wait! .... :lol: shit happens right, there are reactions to what is always a unitary action...but that knowledge does not compute with IC, he doesn't quite grasp the absurd irrational notion of oneness, because his head grew too big it blocked out the sun. Also, IC uses covert abuse, it's a tactic he uses to blindside you into believing that he is the good guy and you are just a piece of crap.
When 'you' say "you" here I hope 'you' are NOT referring to 'me'. As I have NEVER been blindsided into even 'thinking' 'that' let alone 'believing' that 'that' was true at all.
Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:10 pm But we all know that He can give it, but he cannot take it.

That pearl of wisdom is for IC...not you Age, just so you know before you go getting your knickers in a twist too.
.
WHY do you use 'metaphors' so often, and not just speak from thee Truth ALONE?

Also, WHY would you even begin to ASSUME such a thing as you have here?
Age
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:47 pm
Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:34 pm ...dream marriage is unavailable with earthly beings...
That's as tidy a summary of the situation as one could make, I'm sure.

But is that unexpected? What led us to expect it would, could or even should be?

But if we knew it already, whence the disappointment? Why would we feel disenchanted, or cheated, or even upset that human beings are not gods?

I think maybe it's because, on some level, we know things ought to be better. And maybe not all of us can define that sense of "ought": but it's real and felt deeply. We cannot shake the sense that we have been "cheated" of something.

From a Christian perspective, we could say that it's a product of a fallen world. People are not what they ought to be, and don't do what they ought to do.
This is VERY True, for 'you', adult human beings. BUT, contrary to "christian" teachings, ALL children ARE and are born PERFECT.

ONLY adult human beings CAN, and DO, do Wrong.

Children CAN NOT, and so NEVER, do Wrong.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:47 pm But there might be hope for something better, nonetheless.
OF COURSE there is 'hope'. If there was NO 'hope', then there would NOT be ANY of 'you' left. You would have ALL committed suicide by now.

Anyway, there ALWAYS remains the 'hope' that 'you', adult human beings, WILL CHANGE, for the better. And, I can ONLY SHOW 'you' HOW to CHANGE, for the better. I can NOT 'make' 'you' do some 'thing' that 'you', "yourself", do NOT 'want' to do.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:47 pm But from a purely secular perspective, we have to ask where we're getting this sense of being cheated. Evolution promised us nothing, in that regard -- it's not even capable of doing so. So there's no grounds for a complaint, and...and this is crucial...nobody to hear us or care if we complain, and nobody to owe us anything better than we get.
'you' can complain all you want to "immanuel can", but if 'you', "yourself", do NOT do what is needed for 'you' to CHANGE, then do NOT ask for help/forgiveness from some 'thing' else. ONLY 'you' can CHANGE what 'it' is 'you' COMPLAIN about.

And, WHY would 'you', a, supposed, 'adult human being', WANT someone else to 'hear you' or 'care' about your COMPLAINTS?

Are 'you' STILL REALLY just a 'child', in Life?
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:47 pm So it's clear you're feeling unhappy with the way the world is on this question. Anyone can see that.

But I suppose you're going to have to interpret that feeling, and decide what it means. Does it mean that there's a God who meant for you to have better, to have the thing you feel you're lacking, but for the present, you've been ripped off for it by human betrayal -- but you still have a right to long for it, because you genuinely have been let down? (Christian version)
Let down by 'what', EXACTLY ("christian version")?
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:47 pm Or does it mean you never had a right to expect any better in the first place, and should just get over it? (Secular version)
Since when would a FULLY 'matured, adult, human being' expect 'better'?

After all it is 'you', the adult human being, who has created 'this world', which 'you' are now EXPECTING 'better' from?

If 'this world' is NOT up to 'your liking', then JUST CHANGE 'this world', (to how 'it' 'ought to be'). Or, do I REALLY have to do absolutely EVERY thing for 'you'?
Age
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm
Dontaskme wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:40 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 7:15 pm
I'd be happy to talk with you.
I understand. I know what you are saying, and I love that you are so open to other peoples conversation. I know that ..ok

I'm sorry IC for not being meaningful enough for you...
It's alright. I'm not angry with you, or upset even over things you have said about me. I'm a fallible human being, too. We all need a break now and then.

At the same time, let's modify our conversation style with each other a bit, okay? It would work much better.

I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a young man once. He was always in trouble, always breaking the rules, always in the center of any problem that arose in the place where I was working.

One day, I sat him down, and said, "Frank, I know what you're doing. People don't give you enough attention, so you act out. I get that. But have you ever thought about this: that there are good ways and bad ways to get attention?"

He looked at me in confusion. I could see that the thought of getting attention positively was something he'd never considered.

I continued, "If you do things people like, they'll give you attention, praise, support and friendship. If you only get attention by raising a fuss, then they'll give you attention...but only the bad kind." I could see this was an entirely new thought for him, and one he would think about.

I don't know if that thought really changed him. I hope it might: he was setting himself up for a lonely, hostile future if he didn't understand the difference. I wouldn't wish that for him.

I would just say the same about conversation. One can induce it by saying provocative, insulting, wild, irrational, confused, stylish, ironic or hostile things; but one only gets a certain kind of conversation from that. Or one can invite conversation by being as honest, truthful, direct, clear, sincere, etc. as one can. One gets a different kind of conversation from that.

But here's the thing: for good conversation to happen, both participants have to contribute in the second spirit. Let's do that.
I'm sorry for appearing to be a meaningless obnoxious poster, who appears to be in opposition to you.

I sense you're not that...I mean, you're not when you're at your best, anyway. That's why we're still talking. But we've got to carry forward in good faith with each other, or the conversation will just break down again. And it will only take one of us reverting to the other style to tank things.
In reality, I know where you are coming from, it's just that what we think about God is expressed differently that's all.

I suppose that's what Jesus the son means, it's the metaphor for the sustainer of life..right?
:D He IS the sustainer of life.

We might better say, "The Sun is a metaphor for Him." After all, the Sun the creation; He's the Creator. Only one is the original, and the other a mere metaphor.
Up post you talk about; one can invite conversation by being as honest, truthful, direct, clear, sincere, etc. as one can.

So, how about 'you', "immanuel can", START just being Honest, Truthful, Direct, Clear, AND Sincere and just answer WHY do 'you' refer to God as a "he"?

If 'you' do NOT, then OBVIOUSLY 'you' ONLY pick and choose who 'you' want to converse with. And that inevitably has always only led to those who give 'you' the 'attention' that you SEEK, WANT, and DESIRE, and that only comes from those who LISTEN to 'you' and who NEVER QUESTION NOR CHALLENGE 'you'.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm
I just don't like the pain part, and would rather not have been born to have to experience it...
Do I ask, "What's your pain," or is that too much information for me to ask? I don't want to pry.
The 'pain part' is from just being abused as a child.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm
I don't even know why I fight with you IC..because you always seem to have a knack of making me like you even though I treat you like shit. I always seem to want to be drawn to you, is all I am saying.
I can't answer that question for you, of course.

You and I don't really know each other, as persons, I know. We know only each other's conversation, and only so much as either of us puts out here. Despite the prickliness of our exchanges at times, I have no antipathy to you, even when I find the things you say unkind sometimes or perhaps merely obscuring. Sometimes, honestly, I can't make heads-or-tails of some of the things you "throw out" in these exchanges, and you seem to have some reluctance to being pinned down to specifics.
Here is an example of just how NON-CARING adult human beings REALLY WERE, back in those days.

What "others" say is seen as 'just things thrown out', and even when one can NOT make so-called "heads-or-tails" of what "another" says, then would on just about EVERY occasion NEVER absolutely ANY attempt to even try to work out what the "other" was saying. The underlying BELIEFS and ASSUMPTIONS that were being made at those times prevented ANY CURIOSITY from ARISING. So, just judgments and/or ridicules were being made, even if only within.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm There could be good reasons for that. Maybe there's really something on your mind...something you really want to say, or to work through, but you've been reluctant to "put it out there" in a place like this. In which case, I can't blame you...this forum can be awfully hostile and cynical, at times.
Especially considering the Fact that 'you', "immanuel can", can be one of the worst offenders here and the most awfully hostile and cynical of them all here.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm But I've long felt that there's something you want to say that you've never yet said.
If you have NOT YET been able to WORK OUT what 'it' is EXACTLY what they want to say, which they have never yet said, then could this be because 'you' have NOT YET LEARNED how to LISTEN, properly nor FULLY?
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm Maybe it's not to me you want to say it...and this place isn't maybe the best place to say it, I don't know...but I have a feeling that something is on your mind,
This is the second time you have used the 'mind' word, in this post, as though 'you' know what you are talking about. So, would you now like to share with the readers what this 'mind' 'thing' is, EXACTLY, to you?

If no, then WHY NOT?
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm and it has to do with your talk of pain and not wanting to be here.
REALLY?

So, you have heard from "another", and for quite some time now, that, 'They are in pain, are suffering, wish that they had NEVER been born, and do NOT want to be here, living' and you JUST have a 'feeling' that there is some 'thing' wrong, (or in your words, "you have a feeling that there is something on that one's mind").

Is it REALLY NOT BLATANTLY OBVIOUS, to you, that this 'one' has probably had one of the WORST childhood experiences, EVER?
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm So maybe I can just encourage you to talk about it to someone; maybe, at least on this forum, all you can do with reasonable safety is signal your displeasure with life, not necessarily explain further. But if so, I don't think you're ever going to get a fair hearing here, and maybe a fair hearing is what you really need.
Well the one known as "dontaskme" here has, obviously, NEVER received a 'fair HEARING' here, from the one known as "immanuel can". As can be CLEARLY SEEN and PROVED True above.
Immanuel Can wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:13 pm Either way, I think you need to talk about something. I've sensed that for a long while. So why not find a counsellor you can trust, and do some of that talking out of things? I think you'd feel better. That stuff you say about pain and life, that looks to me like unprocessed hurt. But you also seem to want somebody to listen to you about it.

Or am I wrong?
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