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Old Sep 12, 2014, 09:59 AM   #901
burgundyyears
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Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
Are you disputing my claim the US base religious conservatism is trying to turn Christanity into the suedo-State Religion or are you saying that the spectrum of religious belief is not part of the same disease, a skin rash, that turns into skin cancer?
I'm being more existential about the threats different groups and governments pose. There has been, historically, different groups in the U.S. that tried to establish a state religion with greater or less (and mostly less, especially long-term) success. In the Middle East, that is the norm of existence, and as far as I can tell, that form of governing is popularly acclaimed. So sure, there are minorities whose views in the U.S. concern me, but to draw the moral equivalence line between them and, say, ISIS, is just bizarre.
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Old Sep 12, 2014, 10:33 AM   #902
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Originally Posted by burgundyyears View Post
I'm being more existential about the threats different groups and governments pose. There has been, historically, different groups in the U.S. that tried to establish a state religion with greater or less (and mostly less, especially long-term) success. In the Middle East, that is the norm of existence, and as far as I can tell, that form of governing is popularly acclaimed. So sure, there are minorities whose views in the U.S. concern me, but to draw the moral equivalence line between them and, say, ISIS, is just bizarre.
If you can't discern between a rash and cancer, obviously, you've missed my point. And I did start by saying that methodology is the prime difference between fanatics in the East and conservatives in the West. The root of the issue is belief in God, and what you are willing to do for God. Trying to shove your religion down other people's throats is far less offensive than murder, but both of these motivations come from the same source, trying to please your imaginary friend. I do believe that the current terrorist flavor of the month (IS) are religious carpetbaggers, more interested in control and power, than pleasing Allah.

The ideal religion is live and let live. I'll suggest to you that for humans this is practically impossible to achieve as evidenced by current events around the globe.
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Last edited by Huntn; Sep 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Grammar
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Old Sep 12, 2014, 10:53 AM   #903
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgundyyears View Post
I'm being more existential about the threats different groups and governments pose. There has been, historically, different groups in the U.S. that tried to establish a state religion with greater or less (and mostly less, especially long-term) success. In the Middle East, that is the norm of existence, and as far as I can tell, that form of governing is popularly acclaimed. So sure, there are minorities whose views in the U.S. concern me, but to draw the moral equivalence line between them and, say, ISIS, is just bizarre.
Serious question, anyone aware if the Buddhists tried to politically establish themselves in the USA?
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Old Today, 10:28 AM   #904
kalsta
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1. How did you become aware of your God?
By awareness, do you mean knowledge or perception? I knew of God, like most people I guess, by hearing him talked about, and reading. My parents weren't religious while I was growing up (we didn't go to church) but we did have one or two Bible story books floating around, and I remember having some (not much) religious teaching in primary school. My perception of God, however, wasn't very strong until much later when I left home and the lady I rented from invited me to her church. There were times there, particularly during worship, that I experienced such a strong sense of his presence. It made me want more.

2. How did you become aware of your God's expectations and rules?
Ancient book. :-)

3. How did you decide that God is perfect?
Hmm… I suppose it just always made sense, that the creator wouldn't be subject to the same kinds of flaws we see in people. I mean, we see incredible good in people too—love, compassion, creativity. I'd expect those qualities to be amplified in someone with the ability to create and give life to such people in the first place. As I came to have actual experiences of God, there was always such a strong sense of love and peace. But I concede that whatever God's full character, I am probably not able to comprehend it all, so to accept that he is perfect requires quite a lot of faith.

4. How did you decide God is omnipotent?
Since my understanding of God is as creator of the entire Universe, again, it seems logical that he is not bound by the laws of that Universe. He may however, be limited by his own character or by logical constraints (i.e. not able to make a rock so big that he can't move it, and other nonsense like that.)

5. How did you decide you owe God your allegiance?
Hanging out with God always seems to bring me back to a knowledge of my need for him. Not sure how best to describe this, so I'll rely on a quote from Jesus: 'Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.' Inviting God into your life is like asking for a big spotlight to be turned on and focused on your heart and mind, which can be unpleasant, because we all have some stuff there we'd rather not be seen—especially not by someone you want to impress! So that's the paradox of the relationship… When you become aware of God, you want to make him proud, but the closer you get, the more exposed you feel and aware of stuff you're ashamed of. But that's where his grace comes in, and you realise he loves you anyway—love like a parent who would die to save their child. My most powerful spiritual experience (about 7 years ago) brought this home like nothing else. It's that love that fuels my allegiance.

6. How did you decide that God demands obedience and especially worship?
In my experience of modern churches, you tend to hear more about grace than obedience. So you could be forgiven for thinking obedience isn't important. But like I described above, you can't draw close to God and not become aware of stuff that he wants to change. And these days I invite that. I say bring it on. I want him to change me, to weed out old habits, and make me more giving, more compassionate, more loving. These are all good things! We only fight them because we think we know better, and our pride craves personal autonomy. As you come to trust that God knows better than you do—even knows you better than you know yourself—then you start to become a more willing partner in the process.

As for worship, it's one of the best experiences there is! I can understand why worship would sound like such a burdensome thing to most people—you know, bowing down and telling God how great he is, etc. But there's a two way expression of love that happens in worship, and when you're in that, it can be incredibly wonderful. Think of being in love with someone. Is it burdensome to tell them you love them? No, it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

6. How did you decide you don't have the right to question God?
I question God all the time! I think he wants us to ask questions and to be honest with him. I mean, I do it with respect, although not always as much as perhaps I should. Picture a father and child (in a healthy family). The child asks for a certain toy. The dad says no. The child is upset and wants to know why he can't have it. I know I'm not alone in doing this kind of thing with God! Child may even throw a tanty, but at the end of the day, things are resolved somehow, and even if child didn't get what they wanted, the love between father and child isn't in question.
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Old Today, 06:47 PM   #905
Huntn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalsta View Post
1. How did you become aware of your God?
By awareness, do you mean knowledge or perception? I knew of God, like most people I guess, by hearing him talked about, and reading. My parents weren't religious while I was growing up (we didn't go to church) but we did have one or two Bible story books floating around, and I remember having some (not much) religious teaching in primary school. My perception of God, however, wasn't very strong until much later when I left home and the lady I rented from invited me to her church. There were times there, particularly during worship, that I experienced such a strong sense of his presence. It made me want more.

2. How did you become aware of your God's expectations and rules?
Ancient book. :-)

3. How did you decide that God is perfect?
Hmm… I suppose it just always made sense, that the creator wouldn't be subject to the same kinds of flaws we see in people. I mean, we see incredible good in people too—love, compassion, creativity. I'd expect those qualities to be amplified in someone with the ability to create and give life to such people in the first place. As I came to have actual experiences of God, there was always such a strong sense of love and peace. But I concede that whatever God's full character, I am probably not able to comprehend it all, so to accept that he is perfect requires quite a lot of faith.

4. How did you decide God is omnipotent?
Since my understanding of God is as creator of the entire Universe, again, it seems logical that he is not bound by the laws of that Universe. He may however, be limited by his own character or by logical constraints (i.e. not able to make a rock so big that he can't move it, and other nonsense like that.)

5. How did you decide you owe God your allegiance?
Hanging out with God always seems to bring me back to a knowledge of my need for him. Not sure how best to describe this, so I'll rely on a quote from Jesus: 'Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.' Inviting God into your life is like asking for a big spotlight to be turned on and focused on your heart and mind, which can be unpleasant, because we all have some stuff there we'd rather not be seen—especially not by someone you want to impress! So that's the paradox of the relationship… When you become aware of God, you want to make him proud, but the closer you get, the more exposed you feel and aware of stuff you're ashamed of. But that's where his grace comes in, and you realise he loves you anyway—love like a parent who would die to save their child. My most powerful spiritual experience (about 7 years ago) brought this home like nothing else. It's that love that fuels my allegiance.

6. How did you decide that God demands obedience and especially worship?
In my experience of modern churches, you tend to hear more about grace than obedience. So you could be forgiven for thinking obedience isn't important. But like I described above, you can't draw close to God and not become aware of stuff that he wants to change. And these days I invite that. I say bring it on. I want him to change me, to weed out old habits, and make me more giving, more compassionate, more loving. These are all good things! We only fight them because we think we know better, and our pride craves personal autonomy. As you come to trust that God knows better than you do—even knows you better than you know yourself—then you start to become a more willing partner in the process.

As for worship, it's one of the best experiences there is! I can understand why worship would sound like such a burdensome thing to most people—you know, bowing down and telling God how great he is, etc. But there's a two way expression of love that happens in worship, and when you're in that, it can be incredibly wonderful. Think of being in love with someone. Is it burdensome to tell them you love them? No, it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

6. How did you decide you don't have the right to question God?
I question God all the time! I think he wants us to ask questions and to be honest with him. I mean, I do it with respect, although not always as much as perhaps I should. Picture a father and child (in a healthy family). The child asks for a certain toy. The dad says no. The child is upset and wants to know why he can't have it. I know I'm not alone in doing this kind of thing with God! Child may even throw a tanty, but at the end of the day, things are resolved somehow, and even if child didn't get what they wanted, the love between father and child isn't in question.
Thanks for sharing!
My reply is not meant to be sarcastic or judgmental.

You became aware of God as an adult. I'd say the majority of theists were indoctrinated at a young age. There is no judgement associated with the validity of the choice as an adult. If indoctrinated as a child, I have to wonder how much independent thinking is going on. Many people latch onto a religious precept and stop thinking. They just accept.

You felt a presence in church. You assumed these good vibes were God? I frequently have good vibes that I don't know what to attribute to, but I don't assume this is God. However it could be bleed over from the spiritual world.

Rules and regs- ancient book. How can you trust this book? Faith is the only answer as it's stories are dated, factually erroneous (my opinion), and out of touch with modern life. There are so many issues with the Bible, it becomes very hard to attribute it to the the perfection of God. More like a flawed 2000 year old human stab at it.

Perfection and Imnipotence- requires much faith to accept this premise. The problem is with something, far greater than ourselves we can no longer judge it's limits? Why should it be assumed that God exists for eternity? Why can't its energy fade over millennium? Might as well strike all the limitations. Accuracy of such judgements are unknown.

Alliegence- interesting reasoning. Why do you suppose God created us with flaws especially if we are created in his image?

Worship- I don't feel like worship is part of a healthy relationship, especially when God is viewed as a good deity. Compare it to a family. Should children worship their parents? . If it is presumed to be a good deity, I'll propose it is good simply because that is its nature Do you revere and admire a grey hound for being fast? It is what it is. However this does not preclude a relationship built on love.

Questioning God- there are conservative theists who believe that the message of the Bible whatever they take from it, shall not be questioned.
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