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72 Responses

  1. John T says:

    Sad, but true. Many say they want honesty, authenticity, and genuineness in their faith journey, but few are willing to live that out, or let others do it.

    I think the time is right for a revival of (excuse my love for the KJV) “unfeigned faith.”

    Thanks for being brave enough to make this issue public, and more so, thanks for making it real in your own life.

    I hope Ace Moving has other trucks available!

  2. Wes Hopper says:

    If your denomination and congregation have willingly “given up truth for certainty” as Bishop Spong says, then perhaps you should search out a pulpit where giving up certainty in the search for truth is honored. They do exist and I wouldn’t attend anywhere else.

  3. paul says:

    Perfect. Painful but perfect.

  4. nakedpastor says:

    i would agree wes. fortunately, i’m pastoring a congregation that is very tolerant. nice to hear from you.

  5. Societyvs says:

    Love the cartoon – so true – this seems to be the wicked trap of the church…orhtodox stance that cannot be challenged – nevre mind wrestled with without one losing some connection to that same congregartion. People want certainty – they just would hate to know how uncertain some of this stuff can be.

  6. Brian says:

    I feel fortunate that this has not been my experience in the church. I’m constantly encountering people in the church who are yearning to dine on the feast of good questions than be spoon-fed the pablum of certainty.

  7. Tiggy says:

    You should be an Anglican , Dave, then you can doubt all y ou want. In fact, given the right parish, you can believe whatever you want.

  8. fishon says:

    funny how the fashionable crowd of those who doubt and question think they are the only ones that think things out. What a bunch of suppossedly superior, elitists. They [yea, some of you] just hate anyone that has drawn a conclusion and makes a stand.

    If I had any talent, I would draw a cartoon of all the thinkers and questioners that are soooo afraid to take a stand on anything–well of course, they take a stand on NOT taking a stand. What a cowardly way to live.
    fishon

  9. Tiggy says:

    God, Fishon, you’re SO rude! You just come on here and insult everyone.

  10. bkw says:

    It’s not a cowardly way to live; it’s a thoughtful way to live. After all, the Lord calls us to love Him with our minds as well. Good for you, Fishon, for having drawn a conclusion – I don’t hate you because you have.

  11. Dave says:

    fishon has a very valid point, stated in such a way as to be heard.

    The problem as I see it is that one side is dead certain about absolutely everything, right down to what kind of t-shirt you should wear, and see anything less than absolute certainty as a sign of weakness.

    And the other side’s only absolute value is tolerance.

    And you wonder why dialogue is so impossible.

  12. nakedpastor says:

    fishon: from my own personal experience, it has cost me a great deal more, within the church, to question. And yes, you are right, I take my stand on it.

  13. nakedpastor says:

    dave: i don’t believe dialogue is impossible.

  14. Societyvs says:

    “They [yea, some of you] just hate anyone that has drawn a conclusion and makes a stand.” (fishon)

    I don’t think I hate anyone that makes a stand – I do it all the time. Commenting is taking a stand in some form.

    I just think questioning a lot of that stuff is neccesary for a person to say ‘I believe this and I stand by it’. Whether that is through study or personal experience of living the ideals out.

    “What a cowardly way to live.” (Fishon)

    Cowardly? In which way exactly? I am not sure you have been on the side of the debate against leadership in the church and been ostracized – have you? It’s pretty deflating as an experience and cuts deeper than any physical wound I have experienced.

    I wanna state something for the record, since we are talking cowardness and bravery. I have been condemned 14 times in about 3 years – one of those people is yourself – by conservative Christians for not beliving the same as they do. And each and every time I have to ‘stand up’ and defend what I say to the most detailed point (which includes my integrity).

    Yet, the side that makes the claims (again – usually Conservative Christians) does very little detailing of their arguments – almost as if they have never considered many ideas – just what they are willing to ingest. If that is bravery – have at er’.

    My point is about knowing what you believe and why – as the pastor in the cartoon is stating – questions and doubts about some of the ideas in churches interpretation to arrive at the most reasonable conclusions based on hard work and study. No one said this was going to be easy – and I am not sure faith should be (the scriptures we are dealing with are quite complex and from another historical era).

    To me, standing in that spot – taking heat from your own fellow faith believers is just as hard a spot as any Conservative will ever stand in during their lifetime. And yes, this is a stand.

  15. martin says:

    Hey guys, new here but i like this site. I myself am walking a difficult road with a person called the Thruth and have learned along the way he can be trusted and yet I have so many questions and also doubts. Doubt is not wrong, nowhere in the bible it is said doubt is sinful or wrong. To doubt is in our nature and to not doubt can be a way to be ‘conservative’, to not use the opportunity to grow and learn and question things. All I know is for certain is that God is. He will be there and I will find out along the way how He is what He is. It is a great and adventurous journey and sometimes pretty tough. But I love it.

    I am a youthpastor and also share this journey of mine with the teenagers. I don’t pretend to know it all, to be a strong and undoubting christian. That is not a fair picture and I think can ruin them (oir their faith for that matter) for life if I pretended to be something I’m not.

  16. Tiggy says:

    People have always said I was very brave because I say things even when I’m scared. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and be different from the majority and to not conform because you believe something different.

  17. Tiggy says:

    Well that isn’t MY only absolute value. Mine are truth, courage, love, kindness, understanding, relationship, openness. There may be some more.

    It’s easy enough to be a fascist and take an ‘it’s my way or the highway’ approach.

  18. Brian says:

    I like Tiggy’s list, and I would add: justice, hope, resurrection, peace, abundant life, liberation and light.

  19. Tiggy says:

    The child, healing, sunlight, a voice, music, ecstasy.

  20. preacherlady says:

    Why do we believe whatever it is we believe? Because someone…church, mother, father etc. told us? because the Bible says so? If thats the case, how do we know its the truth? I was raised Roman Catholic…I was taught that the Catholic church was the one true church and that anything they told me was the truth. They taught I would go to hell if I ate meat on Friday, that if I said certain prayers a certain number of times that I’d get time off from purgatory…etc. etc. Since then, I’ve heard the Pentacostals preach that if you drank, smoked, wore slacks, jewelry, makeup, or read any translation of the bible other than the KIng James you would go to hell. All of these people think they have the one true way. No-one agrees on exactly what the Bible says…so it is only in living in the question that we can find the truth. The truth comes by taking a scripture, a belief, into contemplation. The truth isn’t an intellectual pursuit and those of us who have tried to find it in theology have only found the philosophy of God, and not the truth of God. The truth comes to us internally, and is understood in the spirit long before the mind can express it. The question is of vital importance…the ideas of men have been found to be wrong over and over and over again…scripture has been used to form cults…the bottom line is that we don’t know who is going to hell or what hell is or if there is one as it is usually depicted and it isn’t our decision…we don’t know where Grace is extended. All we can do is “seek first, the Kingdom of God…” and that is by going within.

  21. Dave says:

    preacherlady, you’re half right.

    All beliefs and truth-claims are by their nature conditioned by community, whether that community is a local church, a family, or the books on your shelf. We are not blank slates or free-choosing rational beings. We’re conditioned creatures and that’s the way God intended it.

    The Bible isn’t the truth because it fell out of heaven. We don’t believe that it was inspired by God because its writers said they were. We believe both of those things because we are a part of the historical community that has been reading it, and commenting on it all the way back to the people who edited it, and all the way back to the people who wrote it. We believe it is God inspired truth because we trust the people on whose shoulders we stand.

    You’re absolutely right that authority has been abused. Constantly. And will always been abused. But (and I hate when people use latin quotes, but I think this one is very appropriate so here goes) “abusus non tollit usum”. Wrong use does not preclude proper use. The fact that the essential role of the community has been constantly abused doesn’t mean it is no longer essential.

    So I do worry for people who feel like it is up to them to discern the truth of God personally. I don’t believe human beings are capable of such feats. We trust in faith that we have the truth, or that we have the One who is the truth. But it wouldn’t be faith if we can’t acknowledge that we might be mistaken. There are some churches where voicing that last sentence would get you thrown out.

    But “going within” is no more of a guarantee of actually having the truth than anything else. You can delude yourself just as easily as someone else can.

  22. preacherlady says:

    Dave…you got that right about expressing the fact that we might be mistaken…how dare we disagree with the statements of faith! Now you and I disagree. Jesus said”…seek first the kingdom of God ” he also said”the kingdom of God is within you” The Kingdom of God is described as peace, love, joy, patience, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. So, He said to make our first priority to seek this kingdom. Now if its in you, you aren’t going to find it in a book…the book may contain the description of someone else’s journey. I agree that just because there are abuses, it doesn’t make everyone an abuser. Bear in mind, the fact that the Roman Catholic church had all of Christianity for aproximately 1500 years, so it was on that race consciousness that every thing else was built and it was only because people questioned that error that there have been any changes. The Bible has passed through so many hands over the years, and has been in the hands of scholars who had no spiritual knowledge, we can’t be entirely sure what some of it says. No the essence of it can’t be lost, but the meaning of some passages which aren’t a part of the essence can and have been. Example…read the 23 psalm and note what you think it means. Now read the book A Shepherd Looks At the 23 Psalm…its a lot different than it seems. Yes, you can be deluded by going within, but if you are studying scripture and go within with your questions you’re not likely going to be deluded. Just going within willy nilly will get you new agey airy fairy drivel. I believe that God intentioned us to be blank slates to be conditioned by Him only and that the things that come from the carnal mind are not of Him. This is why Paul said we were transformed by the renewal of our minds. Once we have the MInd of Christ, the transformation comes. God can not be discerned with the intellect.

  23. Tiggy says:

    I read that as A. Shepherd looks at…. and I was trying to think if I’d heard of the writer and theologian, A. Shepherd.

    I don’t think we’re blank slates. We don’t arrive as blank slates.

  24. Dave says:

    preacherlady, you said, “The Bible has passed through so many hands over the years, and has been in the hands of scholars who had no spiritual knowledge, we can’t be entirely sure what some of it says.”

    But you also base your position on a very particular, and probably dubious, translation of Luke 12:21.

    ?

  25. Titfortat says:

    But you also base your position on a very particular, and probably dubious, translation of Luke 12:21.(Dave)

    I would imagine they are all pretty dubious. Afterall, none of the original writers are around to tell you what they really meant. So its all just heresay, which in a court of law, pretty much means nothing.

  26. Dave says:

    No. They aren’t all dubious. That scripture in particular is most usually rendered “in the midst of you” which makes more sense in the context (Jesus is either referring to himself as the kingdom, or to the kingdom of God being all around us if we would only search it out in each other, as opposed to gazing at our navels).

    The Bible is not hearsay. It’s just that this verse in particular is difficult to responsibly translate as “within you.”

  27. Titfortat says:

    Dave

    Of course it is hearsay, why the hell do you think there are so many translations of it. Nobody agrees on one version. There are over 33,000 forms of Christianity out there, somehow I dont think there is a consensus. Thank God you have faith. lol. 😉

  28. Dave says:

    Unfortunately, we owe a great number of the newer translations to the number of words that have to be changed in order to copyright a new translation.

    No matter how many variations of Christianity there may be, of course there is a consensus. There has to be. That’s how you can tell the groups are variations of Christianity, and not some other religion.

  29. Tiggy says:

    I think the best translation of the aforementioned verse is, ‘The Kingdom of God is present’. The original Aramaic may not necessarily have distinguished between within and without, it may have just been saying it’s here, and when you think about it in terms of what we know of physics, there actually is no within and without.

    Of course there’s the addtional dimension that Jesus said the Kingdom was present and was coming. Don’t know how well Aramaic tenses line up with English ones, but I can envisage something that is flowing as being both present and coming.

  30. Dave says:

    It wouldn’t be Aramaic. It would be Koine Greek. The only Aramaic words in the Gospels are “Abba” and the cry of dereliction.

    The word in question here is “ento”. The only other place it is used in the NT is when Jesus instructed the Pharisees to clean the “ento” of the cup as well as the outside (Matt 23:26). But a common use of it in other Greek texts is “within” or “in the midst of”.

  31. Tiggy says:

    Well it was translated from spoken Aramaic words presumably. If it’s ento meaning inside, then why are you saying it means around us? ‘In the midst of’ seems lke a good phrase.

    Sorry if i’ve got confused, but I’m very upset right now and also trying to give advice I don’t have to a friend.

  32. Titfortat says:

    Dave

    But where’s the consensus, because we all know that Calvinists sure as Sheit wont think Universalists are being invited to the dance. 🙁

  33. Dave says:

    True calvinists don’t even know if they themselves are invited to the party!

    There’s always going to be a fringe that thinks everyone else is a heretic, but among the vast majority of Christianity there is a broad consensus. For instance, we all believe the Apostles’ creed and the Nicene creed.

    Tiggy, I’m sorry to hear you’re in a bad spot right now. Perhaps we should leave the Bibilcal authorship discussion to another time.

  34. preacherlady says:

    The entire new testament is hearsay. The gospels were written 30 years after the fact by scribes who may or may not have known the eyewitnesses. The red letters we attribute to Jesus sound good …as if we really knew what Jesus said. To my knowledge, the apostles didn’t have a tape ministry. The stories about Jesus follow common motifs used in religious literature way before Christianity….death and resurrection…virgin birth…wise men. The writers had the old testament to make sure what they wrote matched up And translations are in dispute, as are some whole passages. However…the spirituality allegedly taught by Jesus is sound…it matches the teaching of all the other spiritual paths, it adds to the others a consciousness that was so perfected that it could pay the karmic debt of the human race and shows the full potential a human being can reach, and it eliminates the need for the belief in reincarnation.

  35. preacherlady says:

    Now, how does what I wrote in my previous post affect my beliefs ? It has given me a greater understanding of Jesus…it has given me insight into the Christ…it has given a greater understanding of how we become the sons of God…it has given me a greater conviction that if we spend our lives living the Sermon On the Mount, we will be on the right path.

  36. Societyvs says:

    “For instance, we all believe the Apostles’ creed and the Nicene creed.” (Dave)

    I don’t. They seem to be creeds of convenience more than creeds of scriptural comparison. Although I will admit all the ideas in the creeds exist in the writings of the NT (cause they do) – they just aren’t as clear cut as those creeds would have one believe. There was also differing views within the texts that do lend legitimacy to all form of ‘heretics’ that grew out of the Gentile influx.

    “it has given me a greater conviction that if we spend our lives living the Sermon On the Mount, we will be on the right path” (PL)

    I agree 100%! The direction found within Matthews beatitudes and the sermon after it (the beatitudes function as an intro of ideas about to be discussed). The good news really is that God is into us – and wants us to be into Him, each other, and ourselves (to some degree). If we start from the premise God likes us and accepts us (despite the whole sin thing) – faith is not burdensome I found.

    On a side note (and in regards to the original cartoon), most people want an easy faith with little to no thinking involved. I find that the majority of society is not deep thinkers and could not be troubled to open a book or research a damn thing. The cartoon is correct because this is the norm in society (I would guess about 80%+) – people that do not want to consider the bigger picture in anything – religion, politics, or even medicine. They just want their stuff spoon-fed to them more or less. The people on here are quite the anomaly.

  37. Dave says:

    Obviously, it’s not up to me to convince anyone of the truth of the New Testament and the Creeds. God is the one who gives faith.

    But I do wonder, SocietyVS, preacherlady, and david (thanks for the add, by the way), have you ever considered that you’re trading one kind of bondage for another? Isn’t bondage to the self, to your mood, opinions, disposition, and history, a form of bondage as well?

  38. fishon says:

    preacherlady said, on December 3rd, 2009 at 2:14 am
    Now, how does what I wrote in my previous post affect my beliefs ? It has given me a greater understanding of Jesus…it has given me insight into the Christ…it has given a greater understanding of how we become the sons of God…it has given me a greater conviction that if we spend our lives living the Sermon On the Mount, we will be on the right path.
    ————but before that, in a previous post you say:The entire new testament is hearsay…The red letters we attribute to Jesus sound good …as if we really knew what Jesus said. To my knowledge, the apostles didn’t have a tape ministry.
    ——————–Alice, how is it possible to have a “greater understanding of Jesus…insight into Christ,” if as you say, “The entire new testatment is hearsay”?
    If it is hearsy, then logic says you don’t have a clue as to whether Jesus really said such a thing (Sermon On the Mount). You just choose to believe or hope he did.

    So, you choose to attribute to Jesus the Sermon on the Mount; but do you attribute to Jesus, John 14:6?
    fishon

  39. fishon says:

    Societyvs said, on December 3rd, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    On a side note (and in regards to the original cartoon), most people want an easy faith with little to no thinking involved. I find that the majority of society is not deep thinkers and could not be troubled to open a book or research a damn thing. The cartoon is correct because this is the norm in society (I would guess about 80%+) – people that do not want to consider the bigger picture in anything – religion, politics, or even medicine. They just want their stuff spoon-fed to them more or less. The people on here are quite the anomaly.
    ————-Oh yes, Societyvs, “…quite the anomaly.” Thank you for proving out my earlier statement: fishon said, on December 1st, 2009 at 4:19 pm
    “funny how the fashionable crowd of those who doubt and question think they are the only ones that think things out. What a bunch of suppossedly superior, elitists.”——-NOW I CAN ADD USING YOUR WORDS: “The people on here are quite the anomaly.”
    fishon

  40. preacherlady says:

    fishon…yes, I accept all of the things attributed to Jesus as said by Jesus, because whether he actually said them or not they are the teachings of a man who was the Christ and had the Spirit without measure. I think its necessary to separate the things he said as those which came out of his humanity ie. cursing the fig tree, throwing tables over in the temple, sweating blood in the garden, etc. and the things he said as the Christ…all of the I AM statements. We were created to walk on this earth as Jesus did, and He was the only person thus far who has manifested The Christ in its totality. The two have become so intertwined that it gets forgotten that our salvation rests on the Christ IN US, the hope of glory…that Jesus said that we could do all he did and more. Discerning the Name of the Lord is what is important (Romans 10:13…Acts 2:21)…these say whosoever…NO ONE left out… who calls upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved. This is why we are the body of Christ…this is how we can be called the sons of God…this is how we can be joint heirs to the throne with Jesus. If we follow the teachings of Jesus, if we recognize our unity…the whole human race…we can fully realize the Christ. We can, but of course it isn’t likely that we will…this is where Grace comes in…if we are pressing towards the mark…if we are seeking the manifestation of the Kingdom of God in our lives on a daily basis…if we are seeking God because He Is, not what He can do for us, then we are on the right path.

  41. fishon says:

    preacherlady said, on December 3rd, 2009 at 7:33 pm
    fishon…yes, I accept all of the things attributed to Jesus as said by Jesus, because whether he actually said them or not they are the teachings of a man who was the Christ and had the Spirit without measure.
    ————-But how can you be sure that jesus really said those things attributed to him, after you acknowledge that the words are “hearsay.”

    YOU:whether he actually said them or not they are the teachings of a man who was the Christ and had the Spirit without measure.
    ————How can you say that when you say:The entire new testament is hearsay?
    Hearsay by its very nature is unreliable. And maybe Jesus never said such things–therefore–how can you attribute “the Christ” to him, on hearsay evidence? I am totally confused? You deny some of the things said in the New Testament because you call it hearsay; yet you are so sure someone is the Christ because of hearsay words.
    fishon

  42. preacherlady says:

    fishon…it’s a paradox. There’s no doubt that its hearsay…anything written by a third party 30 years after the fact is hearsay. That said, here’s what happened. One night at bible class one of my students handed me a challenge, as students are wont to do. I always ask them to define what they believe, and one kid said he thought the bible was a bunch of myths and doubted the existence of Jesus. I didn’t let it show, but I was upset. How was I going to get this guy back on track and believing what I wanted him to? i mean after all I WAS the teacher! In the next few days I wondered where you’ld get if you just followed the teachings attributed to Jesus and realized that whether Jesus existed…whether the bible was akin to Bulfinch’s Mythology…it was the soundest teaching ever written! If we follow the Sermon On the Mount we are well on the way to spiritual soundness. Its a teaching for all people of all times…it applies to the Jew , the Gentile, the Hindu, the Moslem, the atheist…and it will bring us to a knowledge of the Christ…the kingdom of God on earth. Hearsay or not it is sound and by this i choose to live my life.

  43. Tiggy says:

    Hey, Fishon, I was thinking….. if you don’t want to shoot moose, but show that you can, you could paintball them.

  44. Titfortat says:

    Hearsay by its very nature is unreliable.(fishon)

    Thats why its called “blind faith”, and you fishon have that in spades. 😉

  45. Titfortat says:

    …if we are seeking God because He Is, not what He can do for us, then we are on the right path.(Preacherlady)

    Geez, if I didnt know better I would have though this was fishon talking.

  46. preacherlady says:

    Titfortat…whats the resemblence? I think fishons reason for seeking God would be because the bible tells us to….but I don’t know…fishon…why should we be seeking God?

  47. Titfortat says:

    Do you ever ask yourself why seeking god is the “right” path?

  48. preacherlady says:

    Titfortat…as a matter of fact, yes. If there is a better way to run my life than using common sense and innate intelligence, I want to know. I became a believer when I was healed of a serious condition that medical science could do nothing about. For the past 30 + years I’ve been on a spiritual path. Do I ever ask myself why on earth am I doing this? Of course!

  49. fishon says:

    Tiggy said, on December 3rd, 2009 at 9:43 pm
    Hey, Fishon, I was thinking….. if you don’t want to shoot moose, but show that you can, you could paintball them.
    ——–tiggy, it was an elk, but the principle is the same. This was the last week of the season, and I decided not to go——–I really don’t need the meat, so no need to kill.
    What made me decide to not go was, I had a guy call and ask me if I wanted 6 geese he had killed. He didn”t eat them, he just kills them. Got me to thinking about why I was hunting an elk. Now if I was starving, that would be different, but I am not close to that. So some elk out there is running free.
    fishon

  50. preacherlady says:

    fishon…you questioned why I chose to believe if I believe the NT is hearsay. You, I, and every person who calls themselves Christian have based their faith on hearsay evidence. The gospels wouldn’t stand up in any court on the planet. So why do we believe? Either because someone told us to or because the content resonates with our hearts. There can be no other reason…nothing is going to make them written by eye witnesses and in the original languages. So, why do you believe in the scriptures ?

  51. Societyvs says:

    “it’s not up to me to convince anyone of the truth of the New Testament and the Creeds” (Dave)

    I believe the New Testament – I never said that…I would contest the creeds by all means though.

    “have you ever considered that you’re trading one kind of bondage for another?” (Dave)

    If you think being able to think freely and delve into the scriptures without the bias of denominationalism is a ‘bondage’ – then yes I am in bondage. Then would also have to consider when Moses helped free Israelites from slavery just to live in Canaan under the Torah (as in indepedent nation) as a movement from bondage to bondage I suppose. At some point we just have to make clear what bondage is?

    I don’t feel I moved from the church into another form of bondage – not at all. I feel I was freed from a form of mental bondage that held me captive – safety was to stay within the theological lines and was also the pathway to promotion and acceptance. I feel those lines are wrong in many places and yet I must believe them, even against my personal study, if I want to remain. So what is bondage? For me, it would be going back to the church and being part of a group that really is just playing the status quo.

  52. Societyvs says:

    “What a bunch of suppossedly superior, elitists.”——-NOW I CAN ADD USING YOUR WORDS: “The people on here are quite the anomaly.”” (Fishon)

    Ok. But that includes you also Fishon as one of the people that blog on here and are debating many of the finer points of the gospel and many theological subjects. Maybe we are elitists – I doubt it personally – but I can admit that we all try to figure out this faith more and more as we discuss issues. This includes you fishon also – welcome to the club of those who prefer to think about their faith and fully engage their mind.

  53. Societyvs says:

    “Do you ever ask yourself why seeking god is the “right” path?”

    Morality and direction supplied with hope I will always choose. What other path do you suggest?

  54. Societyvs says:

    “Either because someone told us to or because the content resonates with our hearts” (PL)

    I believe because the content does resonate with my heart – the ideas work when tried – and have improved my life and outlook immmensely. I also think there is a lot of factual things being said within the NT texts – and some stuff that has been added in – but as long as we can get the ‘good news’ of the message – we can certainly ascertain it is God does care about measly old us.

  55. fishon says:

    preacherlady said, on December 4th, 2009 at 4:31 am
    So, why do you believe in the scriptures ?
    ———-Alice, I had a emotional, physical, and spiritual wrestling match with God when I was a mocker of God. I will say no more, because I will not put that amazing encounter with God up for ridicule. I realize my answer to you can open up all kinds of things, but enough said.
    fishon

  56. Tiggy says:

    I hope no one here would ridicule that. Wrestling with angels is something I believe strongly in.

  57. fishon says:

    Societyvs said, on December 4th, 2009 at 11:07 am
    This includes you fishon also – welcome to the club of those who prefer to think about their faith and fully engage their mind.
    ———Oh that is the point, Societyvs. Millions who think a lot like me do think about our faith and why we believe, unlike the cartoon paints we fundies “I realize that I’ve adopted most of what I believe without thinking: NP.”

    Many on this site agree with David that we don’t think what we believe out. Why? Because we don’t come to the same conclusions; therefore, we could not possibly be thinking and checking out why we believe. This particular cartoon of David’s says that loud and clear along with many others of his other cartoons.

    So, Societyvs, I don’t mind being in the club of thinkers [though I don’t articulate well], but there are millions more in the club than David and the choir like to believe. David’s characterization of we who don’t think or believe like him speaks for themselves. That is why his choir loves his work so.
    fishon

  58. nakedpastor says:

    fishon: at some point in our lives we have to realize that no matter what we say or believe, there can be found people to agree with us. everyone can have their choir. in fact, if anyone speaks out at all, there will be assenters and dissenters both. can’t be helped. you don’t have to gather them. just raise your voice and they’ll be there. which is why i believe there is Truth beyond all our opinions and beliefs.

  59. Titfortat says:

    Morality and direction supplied with hope I will always choose. What other path do you suggest?(Societyvs)

    Im not suggesting anything, Im just pointing out the fact that know one actually knows what a God would actually be proposing. Afterall, if anyones so called god created this earth they would realize it created the nasty shit too. The bigger question is, what is its purpose? Who gets to determine what morality really is? Do you? Do I? Or should we leave it to fishon?

  60. preacherlady says:

    fishon…I understand your share your wrestling match with God. My own conversion experience was rather bizzare and I don’t share it often. people are apt to throw stones at such stories, so they are best left alone. But from what you didn’t say gives me the clue that you are discerning the truth with your heart and not your intellect…and thats the way to discern truth.

  61. preacherlady says:

    oops…somehow the word reluctance to got erased!

  62. fishon says:

    preacherlady said, on December 4th, 2009 at 6:53 pm
    fishon…I understand your share your wrestling match with God. My own conversion experience was rather bizzare and I don’t share it often. people are apt to throw stones at such stories, so they are best left alone. But from what you didn’t say gives me the clue that you are discerning the truth with your heart and not your intellect…and thats the way to discern truth.
    ——————–Hehehe. Sometimes, intellect is sooooooooooo overrated, isn’t it?
    And at the end of the day, the intellectual [whatever that means] is going
    to be worm food just like the rest of us.
    fishon

  63. preacherady says:

    fishon…I always say that God had to give me a spiritual lobotomy to get my attention! The next year or so is gonig to be interesting. One of my closest friends, a diehard intelectual theologian, is gettiing his PhD. He as chosen The Kingdom of God as the gospel as his disertation topic…I think that will last about 10 min. as an intellectual pursuit.(I’m having arough time writing…I’m using my daughters netbook…its sooo teeny!)

  64. Dave says:

    np: but just because there is a group that agrees with each other doesn’t mean every group has found a portion of the truth. Cough. NAMBLA! Cough. Cough.

  65. Tiggy says:

    Oh I don’t think so. I reckon he’ll end up taking a very historical appraoch and looking at changing ideas of the Kingdom of God through the ages. I think it sounds very interesting – there are so many aspects to it.

  66. preacherlady says:

    no, he won’t be able to just stick to the historical aspects. For one thing, I won’t let him! I know we’ll spend many hours and many bottles of malbec discussing it.

  67. Tiggy says:

    Oh I didn’t mean he’d only do the historical ones. I thought you were saying there wasn’t enough material. Sounds fun anyway. I don’t know what malbec is, but most things in bottles are promising.

  68. preacherlady says:

    WONDERFUL, FULL BODIED, LONG FINISHING, ARGENTINIAN WINE

  69. Tiggy says:

    ‘Long finishing’?? I bet it doesn’t take YOU long to finish it!

  70. Societyvs says:

    “The bigger question is, what is its purpose? Who gets to determine what morality really is? Do you? Do I? Or should we leave it to fishon?” (T4T)

    I would say purpose is determined by the indivdual. Morality is also determined by the indivdual(s). I would say we have some guidance (religiously) for the matter at hand – and even that is subject to personal interpretation. However, we also have some conscience that provides us with ‘guilt’ (and by this I mean useful guilt).

    I am not sure about much – but on the subject of morality of humanity and the fair treatment of one another some things must exist – including laws to keep the whole society in check…some take this on a personal introspective level and some do not (thus laws). I think if we follow the rule of law in a society we do good – but that’s not all – the law only specifies what the limits are for ‘actions that will be punished’. What if we want to do actions that are ‘not punishable by law’? What if we see glitches in the ‘goodness’ of the law of our country?

    In the end, we can only make these disctinctions with knowledge of human relations and what an ideal would be for each scenario. We need information (exterior to us), relationships (experience about the idea), and introspection (how we can change things from within us). We are not an island (obviously) and live in community – so no gets to decide what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ – this is based on concensus of the community.

    I think we all have that much of a part to play in the functioning of a good society that works for all involved. We have some responsibility to make ourselves confrom to the norms and seek others benefits (which in turn seeks ours). I use the bible as a guideline for looking into many moral ideals – but in the end – I seek them for the benefit of all who have to know me. Morality seems to be based on relationships working well…immorality is based on the opposite. At least, this is the biblical stance I see on the subject.

  71. joe says:

    are you United Methodist?

  72. nakedpastor says:

    joe: not united methodist, but vineyard. why do you ask?