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HolyGround >> What could God do to convince you he exists?


6/10/13 3:23 PM
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Kung Fu Joe
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770mdm -

So are we talking about what God could do to convince you he exists or are we talking about passages that just say a person is a fool if they don't believe?  The request and the passage are not the same conversation.  My point is there's nothing God could do to convince people of his existance. He revealed himself at Mt. Sinai and Christians believe he walked the earth among us.  Yet, despite everything he is still questioned.  So there's really not much he could do.  I think the Psalm 14:1 passage is talking to people who already believe or understand Gods message.

I posted Psalm 14:1 only in response to your claim that the OT says nothing against atheism.

As for how God could convince us of his existence, I should think that is rather simple. If God exists, he could easily reveal himself to the whole world. An omnipotent being certainly has power enough to do that.

If not everyone believes God exists, there are only three possible explanations:
1. God does not exist.
2. God exists, but does not want every human to believe in him.
3. God exists and wants everyone to believe in him, but does not have the power to make that happen. Phone Post
6/10/13 5:36 PM
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770mdm
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Ah, okay, but Psalm 14:1 just says your a fool for not believing.  There is no actual injuction leveled against you if you're an athiest. 

Why doesn't God reveal himself?  I pick #3.  He does have the power to reveal himself but knows our twisted nature lurking beneath the surface of our persona's.  Because anything we encounter as seeing or physically perceiving can be turned into an idol.  Even knowing the ineffible name of God can be turned against him.  Neither the nature nor the art cannot teach us anything about righteousness, holiness, or basic human decency.  Nature cannot teach us anything about these things.  In the case of artistic depictions we may in fact even end up over glorifying the sculpter or artist.

6/10/13 6:10 PM
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770mdm
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Thinking about it a little more - I have a few thoughts.  1 thought is that the idea God very well may be limited and cannot reveal himself.  This, though, wouldn't take away from the fact he is Master of the Universe. 

Then again God HAS developed a way for himself to be revealed to you and me.  Death.  We perceive death as final but in Gods eyes it's just another turn in our journey.  Just as a baby in the womb cannot perceive the outside world until it is born into it we may not be able to perceive the next world in our journey in a similar way.  We are initiated to Gods presance in this world & he is revealed to us in the next.  It may be a cop out answer but were God to reveal himself in this world as I mentioned above it wouldn't lead to a life of righteousness it would lead to worship.  Staying incorporeal & trans-natural is the only way to go.

Another thought is just as a computer programer who creates a virtual world cannot create a being within that world who can fully comprehend the programer God may operate in the same way.  Once the program finishes the entirety of all that was the created generated virtual person goes entirely back into the mind of the programer that created him. 

 

6/17/13 3:42 PM
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BKViper
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God couldn't make us believe?

Uh, me thinks you be under-estimating the power of a God.

If this is truly an all powerful being, he could simply remove free will and force all sentient beings to believe in him without question.

6/17/13 5:12 PM
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770mdm
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I'm not so sure God's power includes brainwashing.  If he is going to create human beings why create them at all if all you're going to do with them is take away their free will? 

God wants the free worship of a free people. 

6/17/13 6:18 PM
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jrrrrr
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I think some of you are missing the concept of free will. It does not mean that god does not have the power to do something. it does mean that god does not want to force the belief on you (us).

Would you want to be in a relationship where you forced your perfect girl to say that she wants to be with you? Now some level of mind control would be cool for a awhile. Get that girl that you desire but ignores you. At what point in time would you look at her and realize that the relationship isnt real and is in fact dishonorable...

The concept is that god does wnat the relationship with you, but only if you want it as well. Its the only way to have a real honest relationship.
6/17/13 6:37 PM
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mongrel 911
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I posted this on another thread but thought it might fare better here. The book "A year of living biblically", the author spends one year and faithfully follows all the tenets, the 10 commandments, and even immerses himself in the facial hair and clothing and customs. In the end he is a agnostic.
No divine "I am God" message or what the Christians spout "Ask Jesus into your heart" nothing. What a perfect opportunity for an ethereal being to say "Good job buddy, I'm right here". But nothing in the end. I read it hoping I could find some spark of my faith. The whole concept of free will is only an excuse as to why God doesn't do anything. It's all bs folks.

Link- http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-Living-Biblically-Literally/dp/0743599330
6/17/13 9:12 PM
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jrrrrr
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mongel, what I would probably discuss with the author is what was he expecting?
was he expecting god to say that? If he was looking to live like an orthodox jew...well there are already orthodox jews.

was he llking to get a book sold...well he did get his book sold. i remember seeing him interviewed for it but not much else. I'm sure he got a few shekels out of it.

Was he looking to get closer to god? I think that is the question.

I'm going to vote you up just because you decided to give your post another chance...
6/17/13 9:34 PM
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770mdm
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mongrel 911 - I posted this on another thread but thought it might fare better here. The book "A year of living biblically", the author spends one year and faithfully follows all the tenets, the 10 commandments, and even immerses himself in the facial hair and clothing and customs. In the end he is a agnostic.
No divine "I am God" message or what the Christians spout "Ask Jesus into your heart" nothing. What a perfect opportunity for an ethereal being to say "Good job buddy, I'm right here". But nothing in the end. I read it hoping I could find some spark of my faith. The whole concept of free will is only an excuse as to why God doesn't do anything. It's all bs folks.

Link- http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-Living-Biblically-Literally/dp/0743599330

Yep I read that book too.  AJ Jacobs wrote that book based off of the experiences of, I think, his uncle Gil Locks or Gutman Locks who also wrote a book based on his interpretations of the scriptures called "Coming Back to Earth".  He started out as a spiritual seeker, wound up going to India and after many years became an Indian Yogi and Guru.  Super intense training.  He came back to the US from India and became the famous Central Park Guru.  He meditated in Central Park for several weeks and made such a huge impact he was written about and followed for a long time.  He delved into Christianity for a bit but ultimately settled into the religious life of his roots.  He followed the Torah Commandment by commandment.  He moved to Israel and is there now a devoted chassid.  So just because AJ Jacobs didn't find spirituality doesn't mean it's not possible. 

I was at a conference which highlighted AJ Jacobs and his book "Living Biblically" with a panel of people including Cory Booker - Mayor of Newark NJ & Shmulie Boteach- Rabbi, author, lecturer.  Jacobs said he learned a great deal about religion and religious life that he will pass onto his son.  When asked by an Orthodox Jew from the stands why Jacobs didn't use what he learned as a beginning point or stepping stone to a deeper more meaningful Jewish life, he really couldn't answer the question.  I would say he lives in a very secular world - ultimately - has married a woman who's not religious, views his uncle with a fair amount of contempt.  He's just not then nor ever was in a real reigious mindset for the long haul.  It was more about the book than having a real religious experience that would last throughout his life - in the way you are thinking about it.

You can read his uncles book here: http://www.thereisone.com/books&music.htm#ComingEarth

You can see the Uncles website here: http://www.thereisone.com/index.htm

6/17/13 10:13 PM
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mongrel 911
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jrrrrr - mongel, what I would probably discuss with the author is what was he expecting?
was he expecting god to say that? If he was looking to live like an orthodox jew...well there are already orthodox jews.

was he llking to get a book sold...well he did get his book sold. i remember seeing him interviewed for it but not much else. I'm sure he got a few shekels out of it.

Was he looking to get closer to god? I think that is the question.

I'm going to vote you up just because you decided to give your post another chance...

The author writes that he was fixated with religion and thus searching for some development. The author's profession is writing so of course he wanted to sale books. I do believe he was searching for God. Aren't we all?

I guess in my view after losing my faith and being constantly counseled that prayer and asking for it would make it come back. So far nothing but dead air from the other side. Thanks for the vote.
6/17/13 10:29 PM
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mongrel 911
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770mdm - 
mongrel 911 - I posted this on another thread but thought it might fare better here. The book "A year of living biblically", the author spends one year and faithfully follows all the tenets, the 10 commandments, and even immerses himself in the facial hair and clothing and customs. In the end he is a agnostic.
No divine "I am God" message or what the Christians spout "Ask Jesus into your heart" nothing. What a perfect opportunity for an ethereal being to say "Good job buddy, I'm right here". But nothing in the end. I read it hoping I could find some spark of my faith. The whole concept of free will is only an excuse as to why God doesn't do anything. It's all bs folks.

Link- http://www.amazon.com/The-Year-Living-Biblically-Literally/dp/0743599330

Yep I read that book too.  AJ Jacobs wrote that book based off of the experiences of, I think, his uncle Gil Locks or Gutman Locks who also wrote a book based on his interpretations of the scriptures called "Coming Back to Earth".  He started out as a spiritual seeker, wound up going to India and after many years became an Indian Yogi and Guru.  Super intense training.  He came back to the US from India and became the famous Central Park Guru.  He meditated in Central Park for several weeks and made such a huge impact he was written about and followed for a long time.  He delved into Christianity for a bit but ultimately settled into the religious life of his roots.  He followed the Torah Commandment by commandment.  He moved to Israel and is there now a devoted chassid.  So just because AJ Jacobs didn't find spirituality doesn't mean it's not possible. 

I was at a conference which highlighted AJ Jacobs and his book "Living Biblically" with a panel of people including Cory Booker - Mayor of Newark NJ & Shmulie Boteach- Rabbi, author, lecturer.  Jacobs said he learned a great deal about religion and religious life that he will pass onto his son.  When asked by an Orthodox Jew from the stands why Jacobs didn't use what he learned as a beginning point or stepping stone to a deeper more meaningful Jewish life, he really couldn't answer the question.  I would say he lives in a very secular world - ultimately - has married a woman who's not religious, views his uncle with a fair amount of contempt.  He's just not then nor ever was in a real reigious mindset for the long haul.  It was more about the book than having a real religious experience that would last throughout his life - in the way you are thinking about it.

You can read his uncles book here: http://www.thereisone.com/books&music.htm#ComingEarth

You can see the Uncles website here: http://www.thereisone.com/index.htm


I think uncle Gil was a cult leader and is a character. The author states he was secular but was fixated on religion. When asked the question about why not delve deeper into a more meaningful life, I think Jacob answers that in the book. There was no "feeling" of anything except a healthy dose of respect for the traditions.

I liken it to a quote from Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (no country for old men) I always figured when I got older, God would sorta come into my life somehow. And he didn't.

It's just hard to believe in anymore.
6/18/13 3:42 PM
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770mdm
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Does your belief depend on others?  If everyone believes then you will too?  I think there is a difference between what God & scripture is trying to teach us and what our religious institutions are trying to teach us.  The conflict is, my belief, is that God and scripture is teaching us to believe in ourselves!  But religious institutions are teaching us to believe in God - Make manifest his presence in the world.  I think God and scripture are our guides - we can recognize Gods presence in us.  We recognize our own imperfections yet are being taught life lessons along the way.  As we recognize Gods imperfections we can relax about our own and concentrate on how that belief & sense of righteousness can overcome any oposition or get us though anything.   

6/18/13 5:30 PM
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mongrel 911
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770mdm - 

Does your belief depend on others?  If everyone believes then you will too?  I think there is a difference between what God & scripture is trying to teach us and what our religious institutions are trying to teach us.  The conflict is, my belief, is that God and scripture is teaching us to believe in ourselves!  But religious institutions are teaching us to believe in God - Make manifest his presence in the world.  I think God and scripture are our guides - we can recognize Gods presence in us.  We recognize our own imperfections yet are being taught life lessons along the way.  As we recognize Gods imperfections we can relax about our own and concentrate on how that belief & sense of righteousness can overcome any oposition or get us though anything.   


My belief didn't depend on others. My faith was always there when I was surrounded by others who had none. My relationship with God was personal. As to your other comments, sure everyone has they're own personal view.

The reason I posted about the book is here is a guy for what ever reason goes on a one year journey into the bible and still doesn't connect with God. The bible says its pretty easy in Romans 10:9.

I feel it just proves more evidence that it is cleary a superstition.
6/18/13 6:59 PM
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mongrel 911
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bozy -  I grew up in a pentecostal church. I knew of God but never really had a relationship with him. At age 5 I was diagnosed with a bone disease in my hips. I couldn't play sports or walk for the most part. I went to the shriners hospital for years being put in differant braces and wheelchairs off and on. Nothing worked.

They said at 18 I would need hip replacements on both hips. One day at the office I asked the dr if I could play football that year. This idiot said " son with your condition you will never play sports. God himself can not heal legg calve perches disease"

Went to church had the elders pray over me. Felt a warm oil over my body. 3 months later the xrays showed nothing. Just little scarring that's it. Played 4 years of football and 18 years later no pain and no hip replacements

All the questions I have in this life, "is God real?" Is not one of them Phone Post

Not being disrespectful to your story, its great by the way but why are you so special when literally millions of others suffer? But you appear to credit prayer and God for your healing.

I recently saw a documentary on faith healers. There was a gentleman who had fallen from a roof and ended as a quadriplegic. From his account he had always been devoted to God and his faith. He attends these faith healers hoping that God will make him walk again. The documentary ends with him wheeling himself out of the church. I am sure this gentleman felt he was special too.
6/18/13 8:18 PM
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mongrel 911
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Great story and glad for you but believing it was a miracle or God did it doesn't make it true. Did you see another Doctor for a 2nd opinion? surely this type of miraculous healing would be documented by the medical field.

Also when I lost my faith I realized how arrogant Christians are about they're faith. I think he showed love and faith by attending these charlatans who promised miracles all the while God remains silent. Why wouldn't this man ask why God had forsaken him? It's a legit question. My ex-wife a Pastor, said that God will drag through every imaginable storm and then bless you.

All of these things are just psycho babble.
6/18/13 9:14 PM
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770mdm
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mongrel 911 - 
770mdm - 

Does your belief depend on others?  If everyone believes then you will too?  I think there is a difference between what God & scripture is trying to teach us and what our religious institutions are trying to teach us.  The conflict is, my belief, is that God and scripture is teaching us to believe in ourselves!  But religious institutions are teaching us to believe in God - Make manifest his presence in the world.  I think God and scripture are our guides - we can recognize Gods presence in us.  We recognize our own imperfections yet are being taught life lessons along the way.  As we recognize Gods imperfections we can relax about our own and concentrate on how that belief & sense of righteousness can overcome any oposition or get us though anything.   


My belief didn't depend on others. My faith was always there when I was surrounded by others who had none. My relationship with God was personal. As to your other comments, sure everyone has they're own personal view.

The reason I posted about the book is here is a guy for what ever reason goes on a one year journey into the bible and still doesn't connect with God. The bible says its pretty easy in Romans 10:9.

I feel it just proves more evidence that it is cleary a superstition.

Fair enough.  Just so you know when someone really wants to connect to God they don't publicize it.  The fact he proclaimed what he was going to try and do then jot it all down for the world to see just screams that it was all contrived.  A real journey requires an environment.  Find one you'd like to be involved with and emmurise yourself.  I respect your view - that was just my two cents.

6/29/13 4:48 PM
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prof
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Wow. Just holy effin' heck that video was full of stupid.

A poor little Omniscient, all powerful God just "couldn't" figure out a way to get his own creation to believe in him.

This leaves the Korean rapper PSY more brilliant and powerful than God, since PSY seems to have no problem whatsoever convincing people all around the world that he exists.

For that matter, no one who ever met my dog doubted my dog's existence afterword. My dog is apparently more accomplished in the "getting people to believe I exist" category of power than an All Powerful God.

It's astonishing the twists Christians will allow themselves to get into in order to avoid the obvious.

Prof.
6/29/13 10:23 PM
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770mdm
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prof - 
Wow. Just holy effin' heck that video was full of stupid.

A poor little Omniscient, all powerful God just "couldn't" figure out a way to get his own creation to believe in him.

This leaves the Korean rapper PSY more brilliant and powerful than God, since PSY seems to have no problem whatsoever convincing people all around the world that he exists.

For that matter, no one who ever met my dog doubted my dog's existence afterword. My dog is apparently more accomplished in the "getting people to believe I exist" category of power than an All Powerful God.

It's astonishing the twists Christians will allow themselves to get into in order to avoid the obvious.

Prof.

God want's to be worshiped freely by a free people.  He is accessible to anyone who cares to enter into a relationship with him. 

Why would it be so difficult to see that God doesn't reveal himself on purpose?  I know the title of this thread is what could he do to convince you...  I suggested that God did create a way to reveal himself to us and that would be what happens to us after our death.  Just like a baby 'feels' his mother in the womb but cannot comprehend who or what she is until much later after birth. 

God want's you to learn more from him than PSY or your dog.  If you are so easily convinced with what PSY says....  Your dog may teach you a lot but you will never truly learn righteousness in relation to others through him or understand righteousness in relation to the holy or divine.  

 

6/29/13 11:58 PM
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prof
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God want's to be worshiped freely by a free people.


Then He should start by showing he actually exists.
Being hidden isn't conducive either to worship, or a relationship, or even to free will. You can not be free to make a choice that you don't know exists, or can't believe exists.

I could hardly have a relationship with my wife if she never let me know she existed.

I suggested that God did create a way to reveal himself to us and that would be what happens to us after our death.


Uhm...aside from the fact there's no evidence for that, it ends this conversation. If God isn't revealed until we die, there's no point talking about it now, let alone pretending to be in any "relationship" with this hidden God while we are alive.

And the dude in the video was just asinine. He blithely dismisses the idea that if God appeared talking to everyone simultaneously in their language, that no one would be convinced and call it a republican religious right "trick."
That of course is a joke, since it could hardly explain such an astounding world wide phenomenon. But that's all he uses, a joke, to dismiss that an All Powerful God could display His existence convincingly to mankind...and on the basis of this joke, says "See, God has no options here..."

It's just astoundingly dumb. Only someone utterly committed to Christianity already could wish to be swayed by such meager arguments.

Prof.


6/30/13 4:23 PM
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770mdm
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Another angle I took on explaining why God doesn't reveal himself was because he's not perfection.  Only Christians asume God is perfection - but that doesn't necessarily take away from him being Master of Creation.  It may be something he can't do or we can't comprehend.  The plant & animal world will never be on the same cognitive level as we are.  But anyway - I don't think God revealing himself would be a good thing or even a healthy thing.

Have you seen what crazy over zealous religious folk do with even the notion or idea of God?  It's best he be hidden & his name kept a secret. 

Thou shalt not take up (nasa) the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold guiltless the one who takes up His name in vain. (Exodus 20: 7)

"The real target of the injunction may be the attempt to live in the world assuming that “God-is-on-our-side.” That is, what is “vain” about the forbidden speech may have more to do with an inward disposition of the heart than with words overtly spoken. To speak the Lord’s name, unless instructed to do so, is to wrap yourself in the divine mantle, to summon God in support of your own purposes. It is to treat God as if He were sitting by the phone waiting to do your bidding. In the guise of beseeching the Lord in His majesty and grace, one behaves as if one were His lord and master. One behaves, in other words, like Pharaoh.

There is a deeper issue, having to do less with misconduct and more with the hazards of speech itself. Treating anyone’s name as something that one can “take up” or “lift” is to take him up, as if by his handle. Like making images of the divine, trafficking in the divine name evinces a presumption of familiarity and knowledge. To handle the name of the Lord risks treating Him as a finite thing known through and through. Even if uttered in innocence, the use of the Lord’s name invites the all-too-human error that attends all acts of naming: the belief that one thereby knows the essence.

What’s wrong with worshipping visible images or the things they represent? Even if, as we have reason to believe, it rests on an error—mistaking a mere likeness for a true divinity—it seems harmless enough, at most a superstitious waste of time. But the practice and the disposition behind it are hardly innocuous. To worship things unworthy of worship is in itself demeaning to the worshiper; it is to be oriented falsely in the world, taking one’s bearings from merely natural phenomena that, although powerful, are not providential, intelligent, or beneficent. Moreover, paradoxically, such apparently humble submission masks a species of presumption. After all, human beings will have decided which heavenly bodies or which animals are worthy of being revered, and how these powers are to be appeased. In addition, the same human beings believe that they themselves, through artful representation, can fully capture these natural beings and powers and then, through obeisance, manipulate them. Worse, with increased sophistication of the craftsmen comes the danger that people will come to revere not the entities idolized but the physical idols as well as the sculptors and painters who, in making them, willy-nilly elevate themselves.

Perhaps the most important reason is that neither the worship of dumb nature nor the celebration of human artfulness addresses the twistedness and restlessness that lurk in the human heart and soul. To put the point positively, neither nature nor artfulness teaches anything about righteousness, holiness, or basic human decency. Indeed, the worship of nature or of idols may contribute to the problem. Making the connection explicit, the Lord vows to visit the “iniquities” of the fathers on the sons, unto the third or fourth generation."  Leon R. Kass.

7/2/13 12:59 AM
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bigsakimoto
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"What could God do to convince you he exists?"

The major religions of the world agree that God's grace is required for true faith. Everything else is mimicking.
7/2/13 2:11 PM
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770mdm
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Uh, join the conversation dude.  Blanket statements of Gods Grace means nothing to an atheist.  And that has nothing to do with what he could do to reveal himself.  You can't "see" Grace.  And also this isn't about what "Religions" say.  Institutionalized religion is subjective. 

7/4/13 1:27 AM
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bigsakimoto
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Edited: 07/04/13 1:37 AM
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"Uh, join the conversation dude."

Thank you for the invitation.


"And that has nothing to do with what he could do to reveal himself."

Grace is the method through which God reveals himself. It has everything to do with it.

"Institutionalized religion is subjective."

Yet they all have the same root, goal and core message of divine love.
7/5/13 9:12 AM
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770mdm
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My apologies for being a jerk & I don't disagree - I'm just saying know your audience better.   

7/5/13 11:03 AM
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Kung Fu Joe
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bigsakimoto - "Uh, join the conversation dude."

Thank you for the invitation.


"And that has nothing to do with what he could do to reveal himself."

Grace is the method through which God reveals himself. It has everything to do with it.

"Institutionalized religion is subjective."

Yet they all have the same root, goal and core message of divine love.
Grace reveals nothing, in and of itself.

Let's say I have a friend who sees my wallet on the counter. My friend takes twenty dollars from my wallet when he thinks I can't see him, but I managed to witness the theft. Now, let's pretend that I decide to be graceful, let him keep the $20, and never say a word about the whole thing.

How would my friend know that he had been given my grace?


As to your "all religions have the same goal" comment, that is absolutely untrue. There are a very great number of religions which have absolutely nothing to do with "divine love." Buddhism, for example, doesn't even necessarily imply any deity, let alone a personal god with emotional attachments to human beings. Polytheistic religions like Hinduism, Shinto, Asatru, and many different Native American faiths similarly have no concept of universal divine love. According to Scientology, the whole idea of "divine love" is a result of engrams carried by the body thetans which cause all the problems in the world.

"Divine love" is a concept mostly known from the big three Abrahamic faiths. It is not universal to religion. Phone Post

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