God wants us to all get along, but within the context of truth.
Do we get to just make up what we think is true? Do we use the Bible as a starting point for truth? As the final statement of truth? Do we discard and minimalize it away so we can believe anything we want?
I have to put in my two cents worth here.
Patrask, I fully understand your response.
But examine this: if Christ is the light of the world as it is stated in scripture, it also writes that, This light enters every person that is born. The light in a Father or Mother is a light that is given to them. And if we love this light we see in another person, then how much more the source of the light itself. When we say 'light', examine also what that means: it means there exists the very essence of compassion, of the goodness of human nature, of sympathy, of caring, of hope, of love itself. That is what is inbred in every single person born. When Christ was talking about hating mother and father, he is referring to be in many ways disconnected to the very relationship God wants us to be gathered to, which is to embrace all these God-given attributes which are the very nature of Christ. Anything less is not worthy of heaven. Thus, embracing the nature of Christ, you embrace Mother and Father far more than you could in the natural embrace of human understanding. When Christ left his Father's house in heaven, he also left all the wonder of heaven (which is unimaginable) and took upon himself the body and path of a Earthly servant. He was showing us what love truly is: all about learning thruout life to lay aside the self and replace the emptiness with the love of what God calls us to, which is a deeper and far more meaningful relationship with God and others around us.
If we follow the Lord's example, He certainly loves His Mother.
Oh, we'll all go together when we go;
when the air becomes uraneous;
We'll all go simultaneous;
We'll all go together when we go.
I never forgot that one.
In order to understand what you read as Scripture, one must understand the historicity of the time Scripture was put onto papyrus. One must look outside of Scripture for the nuances of the statements. When Christ tells you to drop your plow and go and buy a sword, when he is saying that to follow Him you might have to hate your mother and father, this is a call to war, not love. War agaisnt who or what. That is not in the Scripture passages. The Bible has been redacted by so many for their own ends, that the messages are now conflicted and even contradictory in nature. The finding of the Deal Sea Scrolls has shead some light on this situation. Taking Scripture verbatum is insufficient to fully understand what is written there. If one were to follow exactly what is said in Scripture, one would do some very strange and contradictory things in life. We live in a time when much of this new information is becoming available to us; for much of the history of the Bible that was not the case, with the Bible being the only source of instruction for those who follow its teachings. Lucky are we to be in this time.
Patrask: One never understands actual Scripture by understanding the historicity of the time Scripture was put onto papyrus. Oh, that's a part of it, and can be applied in its own purpose. But scripture can only be understood, (according to scripture) by the infusion of the Holy Spirit. Period. If you don't have the Holy Spirit's insight to understand scripture, you are left with human reasoning.
The first commandment of God is to Love God. A lot like the picture of getting married: you forsake all others when you marry your wife. In that case, you proclaim a sort of war on all other women. You cut them short of any relationship that would harm your relationship with your wife. God's foremost demand of us is to love Him. And the second commandment is likened to the first: Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hinge the whole law of God. But put things first, not second things first.
Marvellous lyrics indeed! And a propos this very thread:
Oh the catholics hate the protestants,
And the protestants hate the catholics,
And the hindus hate all the muslims,
And everybody hates the jews.
- Lehrer, National Brotherhood Week
You really left me there, Phil. My creator has given me a physical organ, the brain, to use for my time on this earth. I use it to reason and learn about the world, and God, by asking questions that may, at this time, have no answers. The answers may be forthcoming in time as Human Reasoning adds to the knowledge base and we KNOW more. I realize that I can KNOW God through faith, in what ever I choose to believe in, a set of practices, called a religion. But I beleive in the validity of Human Reasoning, else, why did my creator allow me to have it? We all search for answers to the unanswerable questions, because they are so interresting and at the same time troubling to us. The Buddists have a saying, if you meet the Buddha, kill him, meaning, I think, that your search is not over and must continue, indefinitely.
I was correct:
P.S. I have been accused of being a Buddist. I am not, but I follow a similar path to enlightenment; I ask questions and look for answers. I use the power granted to me by my creator, the power of Human Reasoning.
I think that you view reason as the ONLY path to truth. We disagree on this. As I believe in God, and I believe in God's creation of man, I agree with you that reason is a gift of God to be used in helping us find truth. Indeed, in Acts, we are told several times that Paul "reasoned from scriptures". But I think your scope is too narrow. In addition to reason, we have the mystical possibility of a direct encounter with God through the spirit. You appear to discount this as a path to truth. I do not. Why to you seem to claim reason is the ONLY path to truth? Or do I misunderstand you?
Mr. Dark: I agree with what you wrote.
Patrask: Don't be "left me there".
The experience one has of the Holy Spirit is imperative! What's it like? It is likened to looking thru two eyes instead of one. With one eye you miss an additional dimension of depth. Likewise, stereo makes music alive in the middle of your head when you put on earphones. A one-ear-working-only person wouldn't experience this.
Maybe this is a little difficult to consider, but the Holy Spirit allows you to think with the mind of Christ. In fact that is demanded in scripture, so that the "fallen" human reasoning is replaced by Christ Himself. You can thwart the Spirit by all sorts of ways, especially sexual sins. Or anger. Etc. But maintaining a clear conscience in regards to a moral purity, is also a God given ability. The Holy Spirit is that: Holy, complete, making one complete, a whole person. It is necessary to have the Holy Spirit in order to "see thru" into scripture's meaning.
I think the problem is how one defines Truth. Truth in my scientifically trained mind, is a statement that can be confirmed by a series of actions, experiments, measurements, and can be repeated as confirmation. Thus, is vision, of this world, our perception of this world, in the human mind, or is the human mind in the neurons and synapses of the brain, and can we, methodically and systematically understand how these neuruons transmit electrical impulses that cause the brain to perceive a scene? What do I perceive when I am on LSD, or some other so-called mind altering drug, is that reality, or some other state of consciousness? Since my mind has been affected by the chemical in some way, my perception has been altered. How and why are things to be studied and understood, so that we can then better understand how the brain actually perceives daily reality, the universe and the concept of God.
Many religious experiences are akin to what the brain experiences in the presence of DMT, a chemical made in the human body, originating in the pineal gland. Ingesting DMT will automatically induce an altered state of consciousness, some will see angels, other devils, but all who have had this experimental treatment experience something like a religious vision. This leads me to believe that the penial gland is there to provide a service, supply DMT when needed for survival. Or, conversely, for communication with something that is outside of normal daily perception. Is this God's way of communicating with humankind? Could be.
The problem still lies in the definition of the word Truth. Is Truth what I would belive it to be, or can it be more carefully understood by analysis and examination and through testing of hypotheses? One man's truth can then be another's as well, confirmed by unbiased third party validation.
Refernce worth reading: DMT - THE SPIRIT MOLECULE A doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences
by Rick Strassman, M.D. ISBN 0-89281-927-8
I read on.
Jesus said, "I am Truth!"
First question: what does that mean? It means that when you let yourself be drawn into a relationship with Christ (Second question: well what does THAT mean)? Okay, answer the second question first: it means you accept and believe what is written about Christ in scripture, including asking Christ to take over your life.
Now the first Question: When Jesus said he is Truth, it means that by accepting Him you will enter into a life changing and character changing experience, usually thru much time, pain and suffering, that has at its end, you becoming Christ-like. And by being Christ-like, you inherit Christ-understanding of the meaning of being completely human as God intended. Insight into why the world exist and you exist becomes personal and occasionally apparent with explanation. You are now thinking with the mind of Christ, Christ thru whom everything was created. It is no longer a whim of imagination, or fanciful thinking, but rubber-meets-the-road reality. Truth becomes visible to one's life.
As you will have to let everything go, all pre-conceived notions, wealth, health, when you physically die, so you set aside self while alive, to let God in. Painful yes. Emotionally at times brutal. But you are given an understanding Truth that is far more real that what simple human understanding knows.
I agree with Mr Knox. Jesus is all in all, the way, the life, the ultimate destiny for everyone, even those who do not yet know it.
King of Kings, Lord of Lords, etcetera.
The absolute truth for all truth-seekers.
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