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Tisha T
Jan 13th 2008, 09:36 PM
What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
:hmm:

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 13th 2008, 11:20 PM
There'll be some debate about what you have to do, but I guess I can tell you one of the biggest thing towards first letting me know that I was.

All the pain, all the regret and hurt I had built up over the years for the many things I knew I'd done wrong. I tried to bury them deep enough inside me that I could ignore them, but I could never hope to forget them, and it really wouldn't take much at all for the pain to rise to the surface. Even when they weren't at the surface, they were there under my skin, and in many ways which I didn't recognise at the time, they had an influence on everything I did, and on the person I was. The very instant that I accepted that no matter how much remorse I could bring myself to feel for my actions, it simply could not compare to how they would appear through Christ's eyes, he took them off me. The deeds which I have done simply no longer carry any weight. I look back with a slight sadness that I was without Christ then, but there's simply no pain and no regret, and no sorrow for the countless wrongs I've done.

So I suppose that is, for me, all it takes - admitting that you are a sinner in need of a redeemer, and recognising that it must be Christ.

TEITZY
Jan 13th 2008, 11:52 PM
What does one have to do to be saved

Hi Tisha,
Salvation is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9) and we cannot earn it by good works, or going to Church, being baptised, knowing the Bible etc., so in that sense we don't have to do anything. The Bible clearly states that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23) under God's judgment and there is no way that WE can pay the price for our sin or enter heaven by our own efforts. God's standard of righteousness (or goodness if you like) is sinless perfection and no one (except Jesus Christ) has attained to that standard. In fact the Bible says we are born sinners so sin is really a part of our human nature that we cannot change.

All the above has its origins in the beginning of creation (the Book of Genesis) which you may be familiar with. It's important to understand that God created the universe and man because this means He sets the rules and we are accountable to Him. God created man perfect (without sin) but Adam & Eve chose to disobey and that is when sin entered the creation and that is why we have death, pain and suffering in this world. Also since we are all descended from Adam and Eve (the original sinners) we inherit their sin nature as I mentioned above.

Just as a side note (lest I assume too much), when I talk about sin I am referring to things like lying, stealing, bad thoughts, adultery, swearing and the like which are essentially covered in the 10 commandments. All it takes is ONE sin to separate us from God (that's all it took for Adam & Eve). Many people think they are somehow 'safe' from God's judgment because they have not committed a 'big' sin like murder but God will judge all sin even if it's just a 'white lie'. If we are honest we all have to admit that we have broken God's law many times and though it may not be a big deal to us, it certainly is to God.

Because there is nothing we can do to save ourselves from sin the only solution (if anyone is to be saved) was for God to intervene and provide a way of salvation so that our broken relationship (which began when Adam & Eve sinned) with Him could be restored (we all need to understand and personally acknowledge that our sin separates us from God). God's way of salvation (the only way by the way:)) was to send His Son (Jesus Christ) to pay the price for our sins, a price that we could not pay. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life (since He was God) and then offered up His life (since He was also human) as a substitionary sacrifice for our sin. In effect Christ bore the punishment for our sin on the cross so we could escape the punishment of God which we rightly deserved. However Christ's sacrifice will only benefit us if we personally place our faith & trust in Him as the Son of God who paid the full price on the cross for our sin.

Unfortunately Christ's sacrifice is not for everyone, since many (most people actually) simply have no desire to be saved from their sin and in fact they love their sin and hate God becuase He said He will judge sin and sinners. Many people (religious people) who believe in God and Jesus also fail to receive God's forgiveness because they also trust that their good works, their church or family linage will get them to heaven. So it's not merely a matter of knowing or believing the facts about God and Jesus (James says even the devils believe & tremble), but it is about committing ourselves (our eternal souls) to those facts that makes all the difference. The Apostle Paul said:

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst (1 Tim 1:15).

Only those who acknowledge their sin, and are sorry for their sin (what the Bible calls repentance), need to come to Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus didn't come to save those who believe they can save themselves (eg. the religious Pharisees), but rather for those who realize they cannot save themselve and need a Saviour.



and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
:hmm:

God's Word (the Bible) tells us that we can have assurance of our salvation (1 John 5:13). We also have assurance because salvation is the work of God for us and we receive it through simple faith in Christ and what He did on the cross. If salvation is up to us then we can never be sure if we have done enough to be accepted by God or to get to heaven and anyway the Bible clearly teaches that we can never do enough to save ourselves in the first place. Of course these assurances are useless if the Bible is not a reliable source of information on spiritual matters. However the Bible can be trusted and has proven to be reliable source of information wich is clearly inspired by God (evidence for the accuracy of the Bible is plentiful and I'm sure if you do a search here you will find many threads on the topic). If God is who He says He is, then we can trust his Word to be faithful and true.

When we place our faith in Christ we also receive the Holy Spirit and He dwells within us and provides an internal witness that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16). There is also the assurance of a changed life and desires motivated for a new found love for God and for others. A restored relationship with the Living God has a transforming effect on ones life that will be seen by others and experienced by the believer.

Sorry for the long-windedness, but please keep asking questions if you need to clarify things or want to know more.

Cheers
Leigh

threebigrocks
Jan 13th 2008, 11:52 PM
You need to acknowledge that there is a God who is holy and just, lover of your soul, creator of all that is. To understand in your heart that God, who loves you, who wants to know you but most of all wants you to know Him so He can love you. To know that our desire to favor anything which is against Him seperates us from Him, and such from the love of the creator who holds our eternity in His hands.

That has to convict a person to the point of knowing that they must repent, remove ourselves from sin, or be seperated from the very nature of our being forever.

When you know this, and accept it, that is when you change your ways either with or without concience effort. You believe through faith, because of the grace given us through Christ Jesus that He is your redeemer and your hope for salvation. You begin to change from the previous person you were and leaving it behind to walk in a life please to Christ. You become a new person.

We will be saved when we are judged after death at the time the whole world is judged. Now we have through faith (not something you can hold in your hand, not solid or concrete) the hope of salvation if we continue to walk a life pleasing to Christ though obedience. That obedience is what proves our faith true and makes us able of being judged worthy to enter eternity with God.

So, we cannot save ourselves. We are not instantly judged when we repent and change. Christ did the work on the cross to pay our price for our sin, and then we prove that we truly accept that and walk a Christ like life by our actions, thoughts and deeds being of Him, not of ourselves or of anyone or anything else around us on this earth. We simply need to accept that grace, and change because of it. We can be assured of it because God cannot lie, nor does he go back on His promises. If we do our part to live according to His Son Jesus, He will redeem us!

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 06:19 AM
Thanks, ID, T, and TBR for your answers.

So all one has to do is just BELIEVE in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and that's it? Is that all? :eek:

th1bill
Jan 14th 2008, 08:05 AM
What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
:hmm:
.. What one need do is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for their sins to be saved. The way you know you are saved is a many fold situation. At the very moment of salvations origin there is an infilling of the Holy Spirit of God that suddenly give one the peace that truly does pass all understanding.
.. The best testimony for a time like this is the one that is irrefutable and so here it is. The night that I was saved I was on stage in a Texas honky tonk singing in the New Year for a bunch of drunks. I was stone sober, drinking Dr. Pepper and the Spirit came over me and I knew that very moment that I was in the wrong place and that after twenty-five years of trying to become famous that I would never perform on that stage again.
.. I was at a point in my life that I was without a band, my wife was divorcing me, my truck had been repoed and I needed that three hundred dollar pay check worse than I had ever needed it before. In spite of my needs, as I saw them right then, I walked away from the obvious source of my down payment for another vehicle and I knew hat everything was going to be alright. That is the peace I spoke of. It made no sense at all to the natural man and yet I was certain that God had me covered.
.. God did indeed supply my need and I went into His service and my life has never been the same since. I have never made an insane amount of money and yet I have never been without from that time forward. Before that night I never had a day in my life that I was not in need. There are sixteen years of assurances since but this is not the place to publish a book either.
.. If you believe and publicly proclaim your faith, begin to study the word of God with a church family and trust God, He will lead you into a state of repentance that will leave your worldly friend a gasp. You will also be attacked by legalists that will do their best to destroy your faith and to force you to bear the yoke of their legalism but that attack from the forces of Satan is also an assurance of your salvation. You just need always to remember that if they hated Jesus (a.k.a. God) they will also hate you.
.. I hope to see you in Heaven and we'll be seated together at the table to feast.

TEITZY
Jan 14th 2008, 08:46 AM
Thanks, ID, T, and TBR for your answers.

So all one has to do is just BELIEVE in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and that's it? Is that all? :eek:

Sure that's it, providing you understand clearly who Jesus is (the sinless Son of God) and why He came and that you are a sinner and that His death is sufficient to pay the full penalty for your sin.

Perhaps you could tell us why you think you need Jesus? Lots of people followed and sought after Jesus, but many for the wrong reasons. So why are you seeking Him? (sorry I'm not trying to be rude, I just want to be sure you understand what we have told you in regard to salvation).

Cheers
Leigh

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 10:09 AM
Perhaps you could tell us why you think you need Jesus? Lots of people followed and sought after Jesus, but many for the wrong reasons. So why are you seeking Him? (sorry I'm not trying to be rude, I just want to be sure you understand what we have told you in regard to salvation).

I am a 'recovered Christian':pp, I used to be Baptist, then Methodist, then non-denominational, then Pentecostal, finally United Pentecostal, then Deist, then agnostic, and finally I don't believe anything from any religion any longer. I use the term atheist lightly; I cannot define myself by what I am not. That means I'm a-doctor, a-geologist, a-everything but electronics engineer.

While I was a Christian, I knew many people struggled with this question - What assurance do I have that I will not be rejected at the day of judgment. I wanted to see whether people are still struggling with that one, or whether times have changed. It looks like attitudes have changed, or perhaps only those who have absolute assurance of their salvation has responded.

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 11:03 AM
Unfortunately Christ's sacrifice is not for everyone, since many (most people actually) simply have no desire to be saved from their sin and in fact they love their sin and hate God becuase He said He will judge sin and sinners. Many people (religious people) who believe in God and Jesus also fail to receive God's forgiveness because they also trust that their good works, their church or family linage will get them to heaven. So it's not merely a matter of knowing or believing the facts about God and Jesus (James says even the devils believe & tremble), but it is about committing ourselves (our eternal souls) to those facts that makes all the difference.

Sorry, TEITZY, but you must have us atheists confused with someone else.
We don't hate god! We hate god as much as we hate leprechauns, and faeries, and golems, and minotaurs. Do YOU hate faeries? I doubt it, and why? Because you know faeries don't exist, so what is there to hate? You might hate the concept that a hobgoblin stands for, but you certainly can't hate hobgoblins now, can you?


Many people (religious people) who believe in God and Jesus also fail to receive God's forgiveness because they also trust that their good works, their church or family linage will get them to heaven. So it's not merely a matter of knowing or believing the facts about God and Jesus (James says even the devils believe & tremble), but it is about committing ourselves (our eternal souls) to those facts that makes all the difference.
On that point, we are in agreement. Statistics, for what they're worth, show that in countries like mine and yours, Christianity is by far the largest religious group. Yet, in my many discussions with many, many Christians since my deconversion, the level of ignorance of what Christianity is all about is astounding. The majority might as well not call themselves Christian because their mistaken ideas are so far off the mark.

:hug:

TEITZY
Jan 14th 2008, 11:50 AM
While I was a Christian, I knew many people struggled with this question - What assurance do I have that I will not be rejected at the day of judgment. I wanted to see whether people are still struggling with that one, or whether times have changed. It looks like attitudes have changed, or perhaps only those who have absolute assurance of their salvation has responded.

In my experience in evangelical circles, I think Christians probably have less assurance now than they did when evangelicalism was at its peak in the the first half of the 20th century. Attitudes towards the Bible have certainly changed but its truth about the certainty yof our salvation remains the same.


Sorry, TEITZY, but you must have us atheists confused with someone else.
We don't hate god! We hate god as much as we hate leprechauns, and faeries, and golems, and minotaurs. Do YOU hate faeries? I doubt it, and why? Because you know faeries don't exist, so what is there to hate? You might hate the concept that a hobgoblin stands for, but you certainly can't hate hobgoblins now, can you?


Well when I used the term "hate" I was using it in a hyperbolic sense for those who don't love God or recognize His authority over their life. Technically you are correct in that an atheist could never hate God since you cannot hate someone you believe does not exist. However most atheists tend to find the concept of God highly irritating and see religion and faith as things which stiffle common sense and scientific progress. Of course in reality Biblical Christianity has done the exact opposite of that in countries whose foundations were built upon a Christian/Judeo ethic. The Bible is very black and white, you are either for God or against Him, you are either a child of God or a child of satan, you either belong to God's kingdom or satan's kingdom. If you love the world (you are worldly or materialistic) then you are the enemy of God.

Cheers
Leigh

Duane Morse
Jan 14th 2008, 12:09 PM
No one truly understands, and no one truly KNOWS!!!


We have faith - which can not be seen, nor felt, nor heard, nor touched.


In the end,, no one really KNOWS.

We believe, and we have faith in.
That's all.


Faith in something always implies a doubt in that something.

TEITZY
Jan 14th 2008, 12:21 PM
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

I don't see any doubt in that statement, only assurance of what God said will indeed come to pass.

Cheers

Leigh

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 12:34 PM
I concur with the first half of your post. Christianity is becoming more and more fragmented, and the message becoming more and more diluted. This is especially true for the TBN-style prosperity gospel. I watch TBN if there is no other comedy on TV :lol:


However most atheists tend to find the concept of God highly irritating and see religion and faith as things which stiffle common sense and scientific progress. Of course in reality Biblical Christianity has done the exact opposite of that in countries whose foundations were built upon a Christian/Judeo ethic. I'm not sure I agree with you there. In terms of seeing RELIGION as an irritation, you're right, but not for the reasons you suppose.

Let's play 'what if?'. What if you live in a Muslim country? would you not find many of the laws unjust, illogical, irrational, or just plain silly?
Most democracies of the world are, at least on paper, secular. There's total freedom of religion, sometimes freedom from religion, a judiciary seperate from any religio-political system, and so on.

What we see happening across the globe is a polarisation of political thought, making governments MORE religious, not less. Both the US and the UK have openly religious agendas and slowly the secularisation of governments is being eroded in favor of more and more religious overtones. GW Bush and Tony Blair have had a lot to do with it, but it is not limited only to those countries. The problem is how much religion should be mixed with politics, and as the religiosity of the government grows, so the individual freedoms of it's citizens becomes restricted to be in line with the morals of a particular religion. Left unchecked, we will all be living under Taliban-style rule.

It is THIS that is the irritation felt by atheists - What you believe is your own thing. When what you believe bears down on what I may do or say against my own judgement of what is just, is where the problems start. Fair enough, it is a two-way street, but in my opinion a properly secular state offers greater freedom to its citizens, and more protection for its citizens to believe whatever they want without hindrance.

Phew - Long-winded, I know, but bear with me...


However most atheists tend to find the concept of God highly irritating and see religion and faith as things which stiffle common sense and scientific progress. Of course in reality Biblical Christianity has done the exact opposite of that in countries whose foundations were built upon a Christian/Judeo ethic. You mention stifling common sense and scientific progress. I think we have scientific progress in spite of, not because of Biblical Christianity. The RCC has only recently apologised to Galileo. The Christian right regularly opposes medical research and technology. The Christian right regularly opposes scientific progress on evolution, cosmology, physics, biology, to name but a few fields of studies. It is when Theology professors with PhD's from dubious centers of 'learning' try to argue about the history of the planet using a two-thousand year old book, and try to get their myopic, irrational ideas put forward as credible science that the rational community becomes livid.


And that is my two cents.
/soapbox
;)

threebigrocks
Jan 14th 2008, 04:01 PM
We can be sure that our promised salvation will be given us, if we walk a Christ - like life. If our thoughts and deeds line up with what is pleasing to God, we know that we are holding true to the faith. If we are out of the will of God, we will know because of holding our thoughts and actions up to scripture.

We can be assured that we are promised salvation. And we hold the hope of that salvation through faith, because of grace.

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 05:23 PM
We can be assured that we are promised salvation.

Somehow I can't shake the feeling I've heard this before.
Oh, yes, it's about my payrise. I can be assured my company has promised a payrise.
I can slip up. My company can slip up. That's no guarantee that I WILL see that promised payrise. I don't intend to make a mockery, I'm being dead serious. We all commit little errors of judgment that you call sin. We do it daily. We do it knowingly sometimes, and sometimes we only realise we did it after the fact. And sometimes we find out later that what we did was wrong, but didn't know at the time we did it that it was wrong.

There's a saying that goes "No individual raindrop thinks it caused the flood". At what point does one draw the line and say the accumulation of so many 'sin-points' costs us our salvation? According to the Bible, sin is sin, irrespective of the severity or impact. Indeed, Jesus went so far as to say the intent to sin is already sin even before the deed is done. Who can live with that much self-control without living in a cloister?

As Duane Morse says, no-one is absolutely, positively sure of their ticket to heaven. All one can do is hope that one can get in under the wire. For me, the cosmic crap-shoot is too much uncertainty, and I wouldn't live with that fear 24/7/365. I'd go :crazy:

dljc
Jan 14th 2008, 05:47 PM
We are to examine ourselves in the Light of God's Word and see if we are walking in the Spirit or in the flesh. If we are walking in the flesh, guess what? We have back-slidden or fallen away completely. Examining ourselves in the Light of His Word means to see if we are keeping His commandments and instructions. What it boils down to is are we listening to Him, or are we listening to the other guy which includes our sinful nature.

If we are walking in the Spirit, then we can be assured that He will keep His promise to us.

RoadWarrior
Jan 14th 2008, 06:07 PM
Thanks, ID, T, and TBR for your answers.

So all one has to do is just BELIEVE in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, and that's it? Is that all? :eek:

Not quite, Tisha. Believing is critical, but so is repentance. Repentance means turning from your old ways, toward God. Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be "born again" and there are many scriptures that say this in different ways. John 3:3, John 3:7, and 1 Peter 1:23 all use that same expression.

It means repentance from the old life, and entering in to a new life in Christ.

Are you seeking to be saved, Tisha? Is the Lord calling to your heart?

Frances
Jan 14th 2008, 06:35 PM
What assurance do I have that I will not be rejected at the day of judgment.

The same faith in God's Word that led to Salvation in the first place. I suggest that although you were involved in many churches and denominations you were never a Christian.

To be a Christian you must acknowledge that you are a Sinner and have earned God's Wrath, trust Jesus Christ to be God, Who came to earth as a baby, died on a Cross paying your penalty for your Sin, then rose bodily from the dead enabling you to live a New Life with Him, and you will have submitted every part of your life to Him and asked Him to fill you with His Spirit. Assurance of Salvation will be experienced through Peace, Joy, a desire to read the Bible at every opportunity, and spend time with Jesus a gut-level knowing that you have been Forgiven by God for all Sin - among many other things. From your reading of God's Word you will have discovered that He is totally trustworthy and He never rejects those who are faithful to Him.

threebigrocks
Jan 14th 2008, 06:44 PM
Tisha, we can't compare the promises of man to those of God. Man will fail. You may not get that raise. But God has never backed down on a promise throughout the whole of scripture. To compare man to God in that respect is like comparing an apple to window. There isn't a comparison, no similarity. Our faith must rest in God, not in man or the world.

And yes, sin is sin. Thing is, when we are broken enough to know that what we do and say and think as a man in this world, of the flesh, we stop living like a man of the world according to the flesh and begin to live according to the Spirit. We don't live like your boss who tells you a raise is coming. We live like we don't belong here and over time, as we walk in that new self denying the flesh more and more, the things of this world have less of a hold on us and those things do not make or break us as a person.

That "pile of sin" is set aside when we take on the new person, and turn from sin through true repentance. It is removed as far as east is from west - opposite of our new self because we stand as righteous because of Christ. If He is our identity, if we are true to remaining in that identity because of Him and the grace given to us through Him, then we are no longer seen as a dirty, stained sinner. We are seen as worthy.

Thing is, all of us will die - our bodies will cease to exist in this world. Not one of us will make it out alive. Everyone that ever was, is and will be is going die. Our bodies will return to the dust of the earth. We can't take that payraise with us.

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 06:53 PM
The same faith in God's Word that led to Salvation in the first place. I suggest that although you were involved in many churches and denominations you were never a Christian.


Ouch, Frances. That hurts.:cry:

How can you, who does not know me from Adam, suspect my sincerity?

I'm afraid this 'No TRUE Scotsman' fallacy gets used on us very often. It never loses its sting.:cry:

RoadWarrior
Jan 14th 2008, 07:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frances http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1500503#post1500503)
The same faith in God's Word that led to Salvation in the first place. I suggest that although you were involved in many churches and denominations you were never a Christian.


Ouch, Frances. That hurts.:cry:

How can you, who does not know me from Adam, suspect my sincerity?

I'm afraid this 'No TRUE Scotsman' fallacy gets used on us very often. It never loses its sting.:cry:


Hi Tisha,

I'm sorry that it hurts. But is it not the truth? You have been often a bridesmaid, but have you ever become a bride? Many people spend time in church, associate with Christians, have a "Christian lifestyle" and even call themselves Christians, but have no fruit in their lives that bear witness to repentance or a changed life. Part of the fruit of repentance is a deep abiding peace and knowing that you belong to Him.

We here who are Christians do not want to hurt you, that is never our intent. But I suspect that you are already hurting, already in pain, and that is why you come here to ask questions. Something in you longs for God, knows that there is something more than what you have experienced.
I am sorry that we are clumsy in our efforts to show you what we know. :( I would love to see us always showing the world how lovely the Lord is, what sweetness and light it is to know Him. But we are fallible human beings, and we stumble a lot, especially in our communication. Also there are many out there who have their own agenda.

Let me be an encouragement to you, that if you are sincerely seeking Christ, that He is longing to be found by you. The power to find Him comes in seeking Him with your whole heart.

Part of repentance is in turning your back on all the things you thought you knew about Him, and coming as a little child - to Him, not to other human beings. He is a big God, the Creator of all that is, and yet He cares deeply about you.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 14th 2008, 07:38 PM
Somehow I can't shake the feeling I've heard this before.
Oh, yes, it's about my payrise. I can be assured my company has promised a payrise.
I can slip up. My company can slip up. That's no guarantee that I WILL see that promised payrise. I don't intend to make a mockery, I'm being dead serious. We all commit little errors of judgment that you call sin. We do it daily. We do it knowingly sometimes, and sometimes we only realise we did it after the fact. And sometimes we find out later that what we did was wrong, but didn't know at the time we did it that it was wrong.

There's a saying that goes "No individual raindrop thinks it caused the flood". At what point does one draw the line and say the accumulation of so many 'sin-points' costs us our salvation? According to the Bible, sin is sin, irrespective of the severity or impact. Indeed, Jesus went so far as to say the intent to sin is already sin even before the deed is done. Who can live with that much self-control without living in a cloister?

As Duane Morse says, no-one is absolutely, positively sure of their ticket to heaven. All one can do is hope that one can get in under the wire. For me, the cosmic crap-shoot is too much uncertainty, and I wouldn't live with that fear 24/7/365. I'd go :crazy:
Nah. When He took the punishment for my sins, He took it for everything I'd ever do across my whole life. There's no fear that I'm accumulating too many black marks, because when He saved me He tore down the score card, or at least that half. Maybe I'm still getting gold stars, I don't know :D

How do I know I'm saved? How do you know that you're looking at a computer screen right now? The evidence of your eyes is, I'm sure, enough to convince you. Likewise, you know you've heard a song because you assume your ears aren't deceiving you. You don't think you've tasted chocolate, you know, right? But then, you know that it's just the fleshy matter in your head interpreting electrical impulses.

I know I'm saved. I know with it every aspect of my being. I know my saviour is alive in me and is with me always. I do not 'hope' I am saved, I do not 'think' I am saved - I know it with an intensity compared to which my other senses are the vaguest of impressions. I know that I am saved in the same sense that I know that I think and I know that I feel.

I don't wake up every day and desperately try and ensure I'm going to heaven. Life in Christ isn't hoping to win the lottery one day. It's waking up every day and being handed a blank cheque. Whatever support I need, whenever I need His guidance, whenever I need to simply feel His presence, whenever He wants to show me His love, whenever He needs to show me the many errors of my ways, whatever I need to get me through the day, He is desperate to give to me. He wants to fulfill my every need, He does not leave me wanting and He does not leave me guessing.

Salvation has completely transformed me, and continues to do so on a daily basis - you cannot live with the saviour inside you taking a hold of your life and not notice. The single absolute infallible solution to every problem I could ever face has entered my life.

I do not "think" I am saved, I know.

Amazedgrace21
Jan 14th 2008, 07:42 PM
What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
:hmm:

Hello Tisha T.,

I read through some of this and I can offer a starting point to approach a few things.


Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 (New King James Version)

I don't know if you are familiar with this verse which is why I am sharing it and it seems like there is a lot going on here that needs to be set to the side for a moment and if you don't mind, I would like to go back to this statement of yours:


I used to be Baptist, then Methodist, then non-denominational, then Pentecostal, finally United Pentecostal, then Deist, then agnostic, and finally I don't believe anything from any religion any longer. I use the term atheist lightly; I cannot define myself by what I am not.

Using reason here, since you stated you once were a Christian..then you shared the evidence you offered regarding attending various denominations and finally the observation you believe anything about religion any longer. IMHO, that sounds like defining yourself by "geography":)..not who are what you are in terms of your salvation and personal experience with Christ.

Either you had one or did not..if you have had not had one..you were never saved or a Christian to begin with..and if you at one time had one, then this is an all together different situation here. It sounds as if you never did so I am unsure why you are attempting to make the distinction you are no longer a "christian" here..when it is more appropriate to approach this from the basis you never were if this is the case.

Do you know if you ever were a Christian to begin with and if you are stating that you once were..what was the reason you thought you were one if you don't mind sharing here?

The reason I ask is that I was raised as A Roman Catholic from birth, my family by and large almost all devout, traditional Catholics for generations..but this did not make me a "christian'..it was just "geography' in respect to where I attended church and the identity of the owners of the church and their religious doctrine. Same thing can be said of Methodists, Lutherns, Budhists, Muslims etc, etc..

As a Christian, I base my identity on being one in respect to very different standards that you seem to believe are used by Christains in doing so..
would you say this is accurate?

As a former Roman Catholic, I was aware of what my parent's believed, they raised me with these beliefs and introduced me to the question of God's existence being one that had an answer of "yes"..and the process was religious but that did not make me a Christian...it simply gave me the foundation to pursue what one is and introduced me to the bible as a means to do this. I was indoctrinated into a religion and all of its practices but this did not make me a "christian"..I no longer call myself a Catholic, not attend this church..I attend a church, I am a member of a church..but this does not make me a Christian.

My opportunity to be receptive to God's invitation to have a relationship rested upon a number of things in terms of being led to this verse of scripture I shared, and then being able to understand its relevence as it applied to the historical record of Jesus.

That was what challanged me into having to approach all of this in terms of if I believed in what the evidence presented and then the responsibility was mine in regards to my response to it in terms if it met that burden.

I say I am a Christian because it is my testimony that it did Tisha..I believe God exists, that there can only be one true God and that Jesus Christ was ( is) indeed the Son of God..based on a great deal of evidence.I did so recognizing my position as a creation of His and as a sinner from God's perspective of me and all of this..and he was inviting me to have a relationship with Him that by faith is based upon the history of the past, by love , one that exists in the present and by hope one that will remain eternal after my flesh dies becasue I have a soul and I have accepted Christs word on this.

None of the other things you touched on are actually issues or matters that have any bearing on if one is a Christian or not, or why..:hug:

Do you understand this?

YSIC,
Grace

Tisha T
Jan 14th 2008, 09:14 PM
Thank you, AmazedGrace, for an eloquent and thoughtful post.

To you and anyone else that suspects any personal insincerity, I was a Born-again, Baptised, praying, worshipping, believing Christian in the fullest sense of the word. I had no doubt of my salvation, no doubt in Jesus, His divinity, His purpose, his Power. The bible was the inerrant word of God, I proselytized at every opportunity, and I was a living monument to what Christ could do in a person's life. The escalation of my church-going was me trying to find ever-better ways of serving and worshiping Christ. That was me for 25 years.

And then I started actually reading the Bible. Not skimming through it, cherry-picking the juicy bits, but READING it. The passage that truly caught my attention was Numbers 5 which describes the Jealousy Offering. The whole ritual smacked of witchcraft to me, and that was the first time I began to critically search the Bible. I read through the entire OT looking for other cases of similar ideas, but I found none. But things that were absurd, I found a dime a dozen. Anyone here can google biblical absurdities and find rich pickings, if they wish.

Oh, if I can explain the anguish I felt! The guilt! the betrayal! I felt alternatively like a Judas or a Nicodemus. No matter how much I sought my Lord earnestly, tears in my eyes, a widening chasm unremittingly formed. At first, I simply accepted that there was a God, a Supreme Being, but that the Bible did not describe Him. Later, I was forced to ask myself what evidence I could muster to prove the existence of such a supreme being, and came up wanting. Perhaps it existed, but to what unfathomable purpose? The nature of eternity and infinity left me asking whether a god-type being COULD exist, or was even necessary. And finally, as I stand today nearly a decade after chancing upon Numbers 5, I have a peace and serenity that cannot be explained unless you join me on this side of that great chasm, the chasm of uncertainty.

So... No more digs about never being a Christian. I was as much a Christian as any one of you. One of the most painful insults you can deliver to an ex-Christian is to doubt their sincerity or integrity.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 14th 2008, 11:27 PM
I have a peace and serenity that cannot be explained unless you join me on this side of that great chasm, the chasm of uncertainty.

So... No more digs about never being a Christian. I was as much a Christian as any one of you. One of the most painful insults you can deliver to an ex-Christian is to doubt their sincerity or integrity.
Without Christ there is, quite literally, nothing there to bring you peace. How you could suggest there was amazes me. It shows a real lack of understanding, I'm afraid. I'm not trying to hurt you - but you simply didn't know Christ. I'm sure you were striving towards good ends with a genuine heart, and there's plenty of people who call themselves Christians just like you, but you were missing the absolute, fundamental core. Sorry, but you were not, in the true sense of the word, a Christian.

I lived for most of my life with what I considered an absolute certainty that there was no God, and not once during that time did I experience anything but the palest imitation of the supernatural peace, the peace beyond all understanding which only comes through knowing Him. I thought I was as peaceful as anyone could be at the time - just as a child who can't go out and play 'til he's done his chores considers himself the very worst off on the whole planet. Until you've seen how much more there is, your scale is utterly meaningless. I'll say it again - It is only through Christ that you can know true peace.

You have considered yourself many things, you have undeniably been misguided, and you are clearly confused. But you were never a Christian, and what you know now is far from peace.

You were a Christian for 25 years before you started reading the bible properly? That is very, very odd indeed...

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 15th 2008, 12:05 AM
Let's play 'what if?'. What if you live in a Muslim country? would you not find many of the laws unjust, illogical, irrational, or just plain silly?I would expect nothing else from a false religion, to be honest.

Most democracies of the world are, at least on paper, secular. There's total freedom of religion, sometimes freedom from religion, a judiciary seperate from any religio-political system, and so on.
What we see happening across the globe is a polarisation of political thought, making governments MORE religious, not less. Both the US and the UK have openly religious agendas and slowly the secularisation of governments is being eroded in favor of more and more religious overtones.I find it hard to consider Bush's "religion" as having any impact on his agenda. From the rest of your posts you seem to be a realist, and it's pretty clear his proclaimed Christianity goes that far - proclamation - and no further. And who can blame him, to get the bible belt on your side you can't do much better. You spoke earlier of people calling themselves Christians who are ignorant of what it entails - If Bush genuinely believes himself to be a Christian he hasn't the slightest conception of what it means.

GW Bush and Tony Blair have had a lot to do with it, but it is not limited only to those countries. The problem is how much religion should be mixed with politics, and as the religiosity of the government grows, so the individual freedoms of it's citizens becomes restricted to be in line with the morals of a particular religion. Left unchecked, we will all be living under Taliban-style rule.You're comparing Christian morals, which perfectly mirror the rules every secular government has ever determined sensible as laws, with the utter insanity of extremist islam? Are you serious? Even if you do not make a distinction between the two religions on the grounds that one is accurate and the other is not, surely you can see there's a slight difference between the two?

It is THIS that is the irritation felt by atheists - What you believe is your own thing. When what you believe bears down on what I may do or say against my own judgement of what is just, is where the problems start. Fair enough, it is a two-way street, but in my opinion a properly secular state offers greater freedom to its citizens, and more protection for its citizens to believe whatever they want without hindrance. I suppose you are talking about Islam again. Their attitudes to free speech in particular certainly can be horrendous, we've no disagreement there.

Phew - Long-winded, I know, but bear with me...
You mention stifling common sense and scientific progress. I think we have scientific progress in spite of, not because of Biblical Christianity. The RCC has only recently apologised to Galileo. The Christian right regularly opposes medical research and technology. The Christian right regularly opposes scientific progress on evolution, cosmology, physics, biology, to name but a few fields of studies. It is when Theology professors with PhD's from dubious centers of 'learning' try to argue about the history of the planet using a two-thousand year old book, and try to get their myopic, irrational ideas put forward as credible science that the rational community becomes livid.It's interesting you should mention evolution, and seem to think it's a credible theory. Still taught in schools as though it were fact, though, so I can't blame you. I despair that there's such desperation to refuse the slightest possibility of a foot in the door for religion that we are intentionally teaching something which we know is wrong. Teaching an outdated, and patently incorrect theory, on the grounds that science has yet to come up with a better explanation of our origins. Now that is absurd, myopic and irrational, and it goes against all the noble dreams science aspires to, to enlighten, to search for truth.

dljc
Jan 15th 2008, 12:59 AM
Thank you, AmazedGrace, for an eloquent and thoughtful post.

To you and anyone else that suspects any personal insincerity, I was a Born-again, Baptised, praying, worshipping, believing Christian in the fullest sense of the word. I had no doubt of my salvation, no doubt in Jesus, His divinity, His purpose, his Power. The bible was the inerrant word of God, I proselytized at every opportunity, and I was a living monument to what Christ could do in a person's life. The escalation of my church-going was me trying to find ever-better ways of serving and worshiping Christ. That was me for 25 years.

And then I started actually reading the Bible. Not skimming through it, cherry-picking the juicy bits, but READING it. The passage that truly caught my attention was Numbers 5 which describes the Jealousy Offering. The whole ritual smacked of witchcraft to me, and that was the first time I began to critically search the Bible. I read through the entire OT looking for other cases of similar ideas, but I found none. But things that were absurd, I found a dime a dozen. Anyone here can google biblical absurdities and find rich pickings, if they wish.

Oh, if I can explain the anguish I felt! The guilt! the betrayal! I felt alternatively like a Judas or a Nicodemus. No matter how much I sought my Lord earnestly, tears in my eyes, a widening chasm unremittingly formed. At first, I simply accepted that there was a God, a Supreme Being, but that the Bible did not describe Him. Later, I was forced to ask myself what evidence I could muster to prove the existence of such a supreme being, and came up wanting. Perhaps it existed, but to what unfathomable purpose? The nature of eternity and infinity left me asking whether a god-type being COULD exist, or was even necessary. And finally, as I stand today nearly a decade after chancing upon Numbers 5, I have a peace and serenity that cannot be explained unless you join me on this side of that great chasm, the chasm of uncertainty.

So... No more digs about never being a Christian. I was as much a Christian as any one of you. One of the most painful insults you can deliver to an ex-Christian is to doubt their sincerity or integrity.Well, I took your advice and googled the phrase you mentioned. Now, if you want to believe a bunch of atheists and skeptics, then go right ahead, you are doing exactly what we get accused of. Agreeing with like minded folks only.

Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

If you read my previous post, you'd know exactly what happened in your situation. If you really were a Christian. Here's what I see in your post above. You went to church and listened to the preacher, you went through the motions of being a Christian. But until you actually read the Bible for yourself, not led by the Holy Spirit, you decided this wasn't for you. So you can see why folks have said you never were a Christian. You were a Christian in name only.

Read the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Now which soil do you do you think the seed fell on with you?

Many times people want to use the following verses to say that one is always saved.

John 10:
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Now, doesn't it make sense that if you heard His voice and followed Him, that no man could pluck you from His hand? If you heard His voice, you couldn't deny Him.

You see, it really works two ways. I can't deny that I've spoken to Him. And that I know Him and He knows me. Because I hear His voice. So did you ever hear His voice?

watchinginawe
Jan 15th 2008, 03:34 AM
So... No more digs about never being a Christian. I was as much a Christian as any one of you. One of the most painful insults you can deliver to an ex-Christian is to doubt their sincerity or integrity.Tisha T, you will have to excuse us for wondering if you were ever a Christian when you offer that you "hadn't cracked The Book" for 25 years. :rolleyes:

And regarding painful insults, how do you think that Christians receive your comment about being a "Recovered Christian :pp"? Added to that, you sought us out to make that comment to us, not the other way around.
How does one KNOW one is saved?:hmm: Well, we can know by the Spirit of God. When we are born again (skipping the details here), we are born spiritually and the Holy Ghost gives us assurance that we have been born again. Like a PLL of sorts we respond to God and are tuned to the things of God. Where there was only noise before we suddenly become aware of His presence in us and respond. We are changed.

When we know something Spiritually, "KNOW" is a pretty good term to use IMO. We don't "feel" it though we may have sensations of physical feeling. We don't "see" it, "smell" it, "taste" it, or "hear" it. We just "KNOW" it. A whole new world of eternal sensory input is opened unto us.

I hope that helps some.

Amazedgrace21
Jan 15th 2008, 05:15 AM
Thank you, AmazedGrace, for an eloquent and thoughtful post.

To you and anyone else that suspects any personal insincerity, I was a Born-again, Baptised, praying, worshipping, believing Christian in the fullest sense of the word. I had no doubt of my salvation, no doubt in Jesus, His divinity, His purpose, his Power. The bible was the inerrant word of God, I proselytized at every opportunity, and I was a living monument to what Christ could do in a person's life. The escalation of my church-going was me trying to find ever-better ways of serving and worshiping Christ. That was me for 25 years.

And then I started actually reading the Bible. Not skimming through it, cherry-picking the juicy bits, but READING it. The passage that truly caught my attention was Numbers 5 which describes the Jealousy Offering. The whole ritual smacked of witchcraft to me, and that was the first time I began to critically search the Bible. I read through the entire OT looking for other cases of similar ideas, but I found none. But things that were absurd, I found a dime a dozen. Anyone here can google biblical absurdities and find rich pickings, if they wish.

Oh, if I can explain the anguish I felt! The guilt! the betrayal! I felt alternatively like a Judas or a Nicodemus. No matter how much I sought my Lord earnestly, tears in my eyes, a widening chasm unremittingly formed. At first, I simply accepted that there was a God, a Supreme Being, but that the Bible did not describe Him. Later, I was forced to ask myself what evidence I could muster to prove the existence of such a supreme being, and came up wanting. Perhaps it existed, but to what unfathomable purpose? The nature of eternity and infinity left me asking whether a god-type being COULD exist, or was even necessary. And finally, as I stand today nearly a decade after chancing upon Numbers 5, I have a peace and serenity that cannot be explained unless you join me on this side of that great chasm, the chasm of uncertainty.

So... No more digs about never being a Christian. I was as much a Christian as any one of you. One of the most painful insults you can deliver to an ex-Christian is to doubt their sincerity or integrity.

Thank you for sharing this response Tisha, it is helpful to understand your personal experience in order to try to respond to your original question.

I should have clarified and offered that as having been raised as a Roman Catholic, I really was clueless about so much..I was told I was going to heaven and had nothing to worry about since I was one so long as I 'behaved' and abided by receiving all the sacraments which never occured to me to challange or question and basically just floated through my first 17 years of life with this mentality of sorts..albeit having no doubt in God's existence..no connection to my faith..and really not satisfied with what I was being told..but I was not a Christian, Tisha...not based on what I knew or did not know, that came later.

I was away at college and went through a personal journey of sorts where eventually I arrived at the place where I had a basis of information and opportunity to examine what it means to be a Christian and this was when I did in fact accept Christ as my Savior..I had none of the exposure or experience you obviously did where this would have been presented to me at an earlier time in my life..but perhaps becasue of my own experience this is why I became a Christian,,I had been prepared for when I would be able to recognize what this meant.

Actually it was by examing all the world cultures and religions becasue my major was in World History and having a minor in Humanities ( I double majored in Education as well)..this was the first opportunity I had a chance to be very exposed to other things outside of my experience as a Roman Catholic and was a part ofwhat brought me to Christ..process of elimination so to speak..

Since you have shared so many things here in terms of your position and what brought you to your own conclusions..perhaps I can offer some more observations and leave them with you for some consideration.

You said:


And then I started actually reading the Bible. Not skimming through it, cherry-picking the juicy bits, but READING it. The passage that truly caught my attention was Numbers 5 which describes the Jealousy Offering. The whole ritual smacked of witchcraft to me, and that was the first time I began to critically search the Bible. I read through the entire OT looking for other cases of similar ideas, but I found none. But things that were absurd, I found a dime a dozen. Anyone here can google biblical absurdities and find rich pickings, if they wish.

Just for the record here, I began reading the bible in English when I was in High School becasue a friend shared theirs with me..everyone in my home was in latin and we were taught not to read it..that we had to accept the information we were given by our priest as the relevent things we needed to know, so to speak. Mind you I am 52 yrs and this was the old, more traditional Roman Catholic way's back then,things have changed a bit.. I had nuns and priests for teachers from first grade through 10th grade.

My exposure was limited to the New Testament and so very little exposure to the Old Testament..I had no clue how the Bible was set up or how the basis for howit was organized, the actual relevence of each of the books, no clue what Revelation was about..and even at the time I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, I did not have much of that under my belt..just the basics.

The rest has been a work in progress and until I actually became a believer, none of the bible made sense to me..but after I did..everything started to "click" as they say.. the lights went on..and I could make sense oof everything..and yes there were parts that were daunting like Numbers and I had to work through a lot of this by becoming more acquainted with many things..but the relevence of it all was now meaningful..there was a point why all the things that were happening.

So by what you have shared, I can see and somewhat understand why when you first picked up the Bible and began reading it, you would not have been able to correspond what you were reading..and certainly why this long period of your life absent doing so was built on a lot of teachings from others but no direct work on your own to correspond this with the bible.

For one thing Tisha..if you had pursued this a bit..there is much about Numbers that has very deep significance that is far from absurd regarding Christ..if it was understood what was being accomplished with Israel as the chosen people at this juncure in Biblical history and how these laws were also foreshadowing Christ birth and life..as in the example of natural marraige and the subjects of fidelity, faithfulness, purity, defilement, etc.

There is much symbolism entailed in the actual ceromonies of the Law institued for very legitimat reasons if you examine what was going on and what the foundation was for it.

Now to be very honest, if someone has no clue of these things, they would dismiss some of this as strange and also be viewing them from our perspectives of our current world..and if one already has a position formed that there is no God and the bible is just another form of history book 'about ancient cultures and their religious practices' apart from the centrality of the Old Testaments message of the promise of the coming Messiah, again , this would be lost on them as they read these things.

I don't know why you felt betrayed when you read it..or mistook these scriptures as evidence of some paganistic ritual, but if you had had an orientation of what the Old Testament was about and the relevence of them in context to what was being written and why it was by men who were instructed by God to do so..I very honestly don't see how you could have..or why , if you did this was offensive to you, if you were seeking the message within them that you say others who reject Christ find absurdities.

What is absurd and why? It seems fair to say the average athiest is not going to have a clue what these scriptures represent or any appreciation for the bible to begin with because they have begun with the position its all untrue and absurd to begin with.

In short Trish, the Old Testament was primarily prophecy foretelling of Christ's birth, his life and his death, establishing the promise God, the Father made in Genesis after the fall,,tracing each step of this promise being fulfilled and setting the stage for Christ to be born at such a time it was promised He would be.

Thats far from absurd, its a historical fact, irrefutable evidence of God's faithfulness, character and promises coming to bear over four thousand years of mankinds history. Thats the message that is most relevent and present that seems to be ignored when ever these fruitless attempts to try to discredit the bible are made by those who are not to happy with the problem of what to do about Christ and the matter of of the issue of salvation..

It creates a huge 'problem'...and becasue of the "Christ" in Christianity, Christians create a huge dilema for those who do not believe God exists.We are the evidence He does :)! The bible is the inerrent Word of God, so many of these folks who 'think' they have found errors, simply haven't..what they have not done is either found their error in misunderstanding something or they quite honestly couldn't care less, all of that is about something else entirely.

Now granted there are many religious denominations and theologies that squabble about what the bible says..PO-tay-toe, or pa-TAH-toe regarding many subjects..there are very fundemental scriptures that speak to each and everyone of us about Christ and the one I shared with you , is the bottom line here in respect to what distinguishes a Christian, as a Christian..

If you ever believed that, for what ever reason you may have had at the time you chose to stop believing it when you did..I say this in past tense only becasue it appears you did stop from what you have shared, and it's all past tense..it's still true, it always was..:hug:..going back and dismissing it as being true simply is not reasonable based on the explanation you offered why..

As I am not sure what your purpose is here but if you are seeking and searching to have that relationship with Christ you said grieved you when you felt you had been betrayed in some way based upon how you may have misinterpreted something..there are folks here who can help you regain this lost trust, step by step.

But if you have no desire, then I am not quite sure what your purpose was for asking what you did..becasue many things you have shared demonstrate some confusion on your part about a lot of things..is there some way one of us could help you or are you simply venting about what you find hard to understand about things we don't have issues with.?

It really makes a difference in respect to what we can offer here. No one want's to change your mind, and will try to answer questions if you wish, :) but are more than glad to help you if you are seeking and searching for a reason to allow your heart to be changed by Christ!:hug:

YSIC,
Grace

Tisha T
Jan 15th 2008, 10:42 AM
This adult version of "Was, was not, was, was not, was too, ..." can go on forever and is becoming tedious. If you want to believe that I was not sincere then that is your prerogative. Because you cannot conceive that you could ever lose your faith doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It does happen, and far more often than you think. There are literally dozens of support-group websites for those who have stepped away, or those who are thinking of doing so. They are all well-attended.


From ImmenseDisciple:

It's interesting you should mention evolution, and seem to think it's a credible theory. Still taught in schools as though it were fact, though, so I can't blame you. I despair that there's such desperation to refuse the slightest possibility of a foot in the door for religion that we are intentionally teaching something which we know is wrong. Teaching an outdated, and patently incorrect theory, on the grounds that science has yet to come up with a better explanation of our origins. Now that is absurd, myopic and irrational, and it goes against all the noble dreams science aspires to, to enlighten, to search for truth.Please, please pick up a textbook on evolution and the scientific method before dismissing evolution as a pack of lies. If you think evolution is nonsense, you must be a creationist. What flavor are you? Old- or New-Earth?



WatchingInAwe:

When we know something Spiritually, "KNOW" is a pretty good term to use IMO. We don't "feel" it though we may have sensations of physical feeling. We don't "see" it, "smell" it, "taste" it, or "hear" it. We just "KNOW" it. A whole new world of eternal sensory input is opened unto us.I'm sure you mean well with this statement. I'm sure you mean in the sense that you have assurances about your salvation. Assurance that God is in control. Assurance that God will somehow take care of you and protect you from harm in today's traffic. BUT...
Subjective reality is a very dangerous thing. For some, they just 'know' they can walk across the road without being hit by a car. Others just 'know' they can walk on water. The list of things that people do because they think they hear the 'voice of God' is astonishing and depressing. If you need examples, I can deliver several. The list grows daily.

watchinginawe
Jan 15th 2008, 12:31 PM
I'm sure you mean well with this statement. I'm sure you mean in the sense that you have assurances about your salvation. Assurance that God is in control. Assurance that God will somehow take care of you and protect you from harm in today's traffic. BUT...
Subjective reality is a very dangerous thing. For some, they just 'know' they can walk across the road without being hit by a car. Others just 'know' they can walk on water. The list of things that people do because they think they hear the 'voice of God' is astonishing and depressing. If you need examples, I can deliver several. The list grows daily.Tisha T, you came to this site and you asked the question. If you asked your question with the thought that we were going to pull a contract with God out of the fireproof safe and display it to you, then I apologize.

But I want you to konw that your belief that God doesn't exist or that Jesus Christ wasn't who He said He was is also subjective reality. And as you said, that can be a very dangerious thing. ;)

To be instructive to you, I didn't say that we just "pop this in our head". I fear this is what you did for so many years. I stated that we know God Spiritually. That is where our assurance comes from. Now you may believe that the Spiritual does not exist and is subjective, but for me, that bus has left the station. While I might spurn God and thus my assurance of salvation I would never be able to convince myself again that God doesn't exist (which is what I believe your question is about in the first place). That would be subjective deception of the worst kind. Knowing that God exists, it would probably leave me like the following scripture states: Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

If that offends your sensibilities then I don't apologize.

God Bless!

Tisha T
Jan 15th 2008, 04:42 PM
From WatchingInAwe:

Tisha T, you came to this site and you asked the question. If you asked your question with the thought that we were going to pull a contract with God out of the fireproof safe and display it to you, then I apologize.

You're not the first person to inquire about my purpose on this thread. I thought I made it perfectly clear in post #8. Somehow the focus of this thread has moved from what Christians believe is the path to salvation and has turned into a character assassination.

Can we move on now?

RoadWarrior
Jan 15th 2008, 05:00 PM
You're not the first person to inquire about my purpose on this thread. I thought I made it perfectly clear in post #8. Somehow the focus of this thread has moved from what Christians believe is the path to salvation and has turned into a character assassination.

Can we move on now?



I am a 'recovered Christian':pp, I used to be Baptist, then Methodist, then non-denominational, then Pentecostal, finally United Pentecostal, then Deist, then agnostic, and finally I don't believe anything from any religion any longer. I use the term atheist lightly; I cannot define myself by what I am not. That means I'm a-doctor, a-geologist, a-everything but electronics engineer.

While I was a Christian, I knew many people struggled with this question - What assurance do I have that I will not be rejected at the day of judgment. I wanted to see whether people are still struggling with that one, or whether times have changed. It looks like attitudes have changed, or perhaps only those who have absolute assurance of their salvation has responded.


Hi Tisha,

I've pulled up the quote from Post #8. Perhaps you can understand why we wonder as we do. It sounds like you are here from mere curiosity, and perhaps we have already answered your question. Or rather questions, because there are two in your OP.

1. How does one KNOW one is saved?
2. What does one have to do to be saved...?

I don't know if attitudes have changed, or if you are just seeing a different "group" of Christians here from the ones you knew in the various groups you were in previously.

I think this maybe has already been said many different ways, but some of us are keenly aware that there is a huge difference in a Christian lifestyle (regardless of what denominational coat it wears) and actually being born again.

Please speak to what questions might still remain for you, or do you feel that we have adequately responded?

You asked if we can move on now. Please let us know how you want to move on from here. We will do our best to move forward with you.

May the Lord cause His face to shine on you this day!

Tisha T
Jan 15th 2008, 06:29 PM
Curiosity certainly is the driving justification.

I joined this board mostly to lurk and feel the pulse of the Christian Zeitgeist. The two related questions I asked were in an attempt to create some discussion and find out more about how many of you deal with the theme of salvation.

Things haven't changed much from what I recall a decade ago, but it does seem (for at least the majority of this board) that people are more assured of their salvation now, and understand better what is required for salvation.

Whether that is a function of the efficacy of your moderators, or better teaching in churches remains to be seen. But before I was able to develop that line of enquiry, the thread got sidelined to assassinate my character. I admit that I fed the discussion, but only so far as I felt that I could get my point across in a reasonable manner. Obviously I couldn't.

Right. So where were we? I recall a slight difference of opinion between ThreeBigRocks, Duane, and Teitzy. Let's return to there.


You need to acknowledge that there is a God who is holy and just, lover of your soul, creator of all that is. To understand in your heart that God, who loves you, who wants to know you but most of all wants you to know Him so He can love you. To know that our desire to favor anything which is against Him seperates us from Him, and such from the love of the creator who holds our eternity in His hands.


We can be assured that we are promised salvation. And we hold the hope of that salvation through faith, because of grace.





Sure that's it, providing you understand clearly who Jesus is (the sinless Son of God) and why He came and that you are a sinner and that His death is sufficient to pay the full penalty for your sin.


No one truly understands, and no one truly KNOWS!!!


We have faith - which can not be seen, nor felt, nor heard, nor touched.


In the end,, no one really KNOWS.

We believe, and we have faith in.
That's all.



.. What one need do is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for their sins to be saved. The way you know you are saved is a many fold situation. At the very moment of salvations origin there is an infilling of the Holy Spirit of God that suddenly give one the peace that truly does pass all understanding.

Carry on...

maryanneoke
Jan 15th 2008, 06:41 PM
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son N.I.V. Version. Well as long as you believe and follow his commandments you will be saved.
Watch out for doubt, becasue that comes from satan. Also repent daily and remember to forgive anyone that has wronged you. Forgiveness is a big part. Don't leave this world with an unforgiving heart.
There is another one. Do not steal from God. Be sure to give to the pour or give at your church or both.
If you follow the commandments and you will be safe for all enternity. Safe with the Lord.

Amazedgrace21
Jan 15th 2008, 07:56 PM
Somehow I can't shake the feeling I've heard this before.

There's a saying that goes "No individual raindrop thinks it caused the flood". At what point does one draw the line and say the accumulation of so many 'sin-points' costs us our salvation? According to the Bible, sin is sin, irrespective of the severity or impact. Indeed, Jesus went so far as to say the intent to sin is already sin even before the deed is done. Who can live with that much self-control without living in a cloister?


All one can do is hope that one can get in under the wire. For me, the cosmic crap-shoot is too much uncertainty, and I wouldn't live with that fear 24/7/365. I'd go :crazy:


Hello again Tisha,

Is this what you are asking to be responded to with some sort of application in terms of how a Christian can affirm their confidence in Christs promises regarding their salvation yet still be capable of sinning no differently than an unbeliever and what it is that makes us believe our sins will be responded to differently when we die?

If that is the case, then thats about what forgiveness is about and how this works from the cross because of what Christ did on it for all sinners.

That is central to this question being answered Tisha..

it's not about if sin exists..it does IMHO as sure as evil does, all people can and do sin ..and in the face of this truth, it does come down to some serious eventualities if God does indeed exist in approaching the "cosmic crap shoot" questions of his part and position in all of this.

As far as refering to Jesus and what he said about sin and our conditions and why He came to do something about this, by acknowledging that he did indeed exist and the Bible is the record of this, we can't avoid the issue can we?

There are only two approaches here..walk away from the cross He died on and deny the claims of Christ's or turn to it and approach them sincerely and with intelectual honesty regarding what they represent if they are true.

The assurance of our salvation does not rest upon our ability to do anything here Tisha to change the outcome, that all rest's in Christ and what He did..and the debate ended regarding all of our spiritual conditions...we all have failed and are unable to undo the mess.

This observation of yours that we all keep sinning and becasue we do , can never, ever have assurance we will make it to heaven becasue of this is true, if we place our assurance upon our works..

An example of this application would be when I was a Catholic..lol!! I don't think there are enough rosaries or candles able to be prayed or lit to undo my sins if I had ten life timees to expend towards trying to appease God this way and earn my way' back into His graces..simply not going to happen and I will not be seeing heaven if that is the only way we can once the bill comes due for giving account for our lives on judgement day. I figured out when I was 17 years old that I was already "damned" simply because it was impossible to the perfect, good Catholic girl..and I gave it a good run too..it just never was enough..:)

Jesus did not teach these things Tisha..he taught against them and the ones he laid into were the ones who did this, aka. the Pharisee's and Scribes with all of their laws and rules about what assures one of their salvation. Sadly there are denominations of churches where men and women still get much of this fouled up and teach some pretty unscriptural things about salvation and what is supposed to be the assurance we may have about our salvation,nor is it any wonder folks run screaming from them totally in despair and their faith damaged by these lies.

My point simply being that no matter how some try to blame these things on Christ or God, they are not the ones at fault here when this happens..and its a mistake not to distinguish this and run away from God because of anothers actions. That's the time when we need to turn back to the Word of God and seek its council about such matters and rely upon His character and Christs promises as our assurance.

I know of few Christians who have not had to face these really tough questions of how to determine Gods promises are indeed reliable,the ones who seem to succeed and grow in their faith are the ones who chose not to ever doubt this and wait upon Him to show this to be true.Sometimes we see this evidence in our lives with very specific answers..but by faith its not in this lifetime we expect the final answers at all..this about our souls Tisha..God never said it was about that..

If God does not exist, then we have not waisted our lives in any sense at all if we lived with a hope of something beyond the grave and saught to be a part of it based upon what Christ offered us..hope is never bad when it rises above the problems and motivates us to greater,higher and the most noble of purposes in how one uses their lives with moral integrity. Assuming, we die and "poof" that's it when its all said and done.

But if it is not..then we have much more here we need to discern regarding the Character and nature of the God Christ said we are going to face and give an account for our lives. A healthy dose of fear is not inappropriate either..considering His position and ours as we kneel before Him.

Yet the relationship Christ taught us about that this God seeks with us is not one based upon fear at all, nor about striving for rewards in heaven or on earth at all..but one of love. That is what forgiveness is all about and why salvation is relevent to our lives. It's about being invited to have this relationship with God and finding our assurance in its promises through Christ. The problem of sin is that it disrupts this loving relationship as the priority it should be given, needs to be in our lives and that is the focus we need to give sin..what on this side of the grave could or would be worth missing the opportunity to have it or to ever bring harm to it that could be avoided by making a choice not to?

Can sin cause us to lose our salvation?...Tisha..there is a huge distinction about running to opportunities to continue to sin becasue there never was a genuine change of heart as Christ spoke to that is part of becoming a "forgiven sinner" and the ongoing changes in our lives where we come to hate sin so much because it seperates from our fellowship with Christ, we learn to run away from it.

This is about trusting Christ's promises because of who He is..not ourselves because of who we are...some have that message very confused for many different reasons and leave their faith for that reason.

The lie is that while we live on this side of the grave..we can't go back and return to Christ and allow Him back into our lives by confessing our foolish choices..the lie is that Christ is not there for those who want to have him in their lives..this is Satans agenda from the get go to keep this lie going..and in the scheme of things, this is one crap shoot not worth gambling and risk losing IMHO, considering Satan's character and agenda with His lies.

No man or woman can give you assurance of Christ's promises not being sufficient and this comes down to examing the bible in respect to God's faithfulness when Christ arrived in the equation..that is the only evidence you need to rely upon..God's word..

Dismiss Gods existence and His word and there you have it..there is a consequence if one is wrong, and IMHO, something once again to be very fearful of..."oop's..I made a mistake because someone told me it was all a lie and a fairy tale and it looked good on paper when I saw it!" is not going to work..

If the matter appears settled for many on this side of grave, all I can offer is that the evidence was always here and that breaks my heart for the ones who ignored it..God offer's the same evidence to those who have found their rest in the assurance of their salvation to those who do not chose to have this and it was their choice that allowed them to throw this away.

Are there those walking around with all of the wrong reasons and motives for claiming they are saved when they are not?..Absolutely Tisha..life as a Christian is about making sure we have not given ourselves this opportunity to do this..thats why the relationship has to be pursued with God for that to be brought to light.

If you are seeking some scriptural basis to see how that works, that is another subject I am sure can be discussed if this is what you would like to. It seems the relevence of God's character can only be relevent or signify relevence if one abides by allowing for the concession God exists.

It seems sort of odd and simply illogical to spend so much time ripping apart the character of God by those who do not believe in His existence, I never quite understand why this bothers them so much to establish in others mind's things that should not matter when one does not believe in Him or care if they are wrong.Nor am I suggesting you have done this, at all, I have seen no intentional disrespect at all and thank you for this.

You just mentioned how wrong it is to participate in character assasination, and it's been my experience in general, as a Christian that it always comes down to an attack that either God's exsistence or His character are lies ..as well as claims that Christians are intellectually dishonest when they offer their positions on why they are Christians and what is their assurance of salvation.

Thats why I was pointing the direction back to Christ to distinguish that we should never put our faith in religion or others but in Christ alone. :hug:

Take care and if there is anything else you wish to discuss, please feel free to do so..don't be so concerned about what others think of you Tisha..keep your eyes on what really matters here when its all said and done when it comes to the cross..if its assurance you are seeking, it is there to be found in Christ.

YSIC,
Grace

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 15th 2008, 11:23 PM
you must be a creationist.
Do you mean I must believe in God? Check under the name, you're right - but "creationist" is a term with connotations I'm not keen of. It somehow suggests I'm making an effort to justify my belief through evidence within the scope of the meagre understanding of life which science provides, I am not, I need not. I have a problem with "creationists" in that they have obliterated the playing field of logical discussion. Anyone who presents the case against evolution is immediately labelled either a creationist or, perhaps, a creationist sympathiser :D as opposed to merely a scientist who retains his respect for truth and has no blind, illogical terror at leaving any room for God. The inevitable ostracization from the scientific community no doubt prevents many from bothering to come out with the plain truth. There are of course many other grounds on which it is possible to argue against religion, even if there were not, there is simply no call to teach known, provable fallacy as fact.

Let's keep it simple, I believe in God, who is by definition the creator. That alone does not rule out the big bang or evolution.

I have considered the big bang a staggering stab in the dark for a long, long time - that has nothing to do with my relationship with God. It amazes me that we are expected to have any faith in it simply on the grounds that it is one of the few theories which holds together at all. As for evolution, for a long time I assumed that the bare structure I had been taught in school must hold together, as it seemed a perfectly logical and reasonable theory. But then, I would - textbooks supporting evolution rarely bother to mention the insurmountable flaws, it spoils the tone. Are you simply assuming, as I did, that it must be true? If you look at the case honestly and still hold the same opinion, I'd welcome you to start a new thread disputing that it is impossible.

Please, please pick up a textbook on evolution and the scientific method before dismissing evolution as a pack of lies. I went to school - I'm aware of the theory. Lucky for me, the textbooks are written in a manner which I can understand. The 'textbook' for my life, on the other hand, is written in such a way that it was physically impossible for me to understand it as an unbeliever. Completely oblivious to this fact, I dismissed it as lies - a mistake I believe many people make.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 16th 2008, 01:07 AM
Right. So where were we? I recall a slight difference of opinion between ThreeBigRocks, Duane, and Teitzy. Let's return to there.
Quote:Originally Posted by TBR
You need to acknowledge that there is a God who is holy and just, lover of your soul, creator of all that is. To understand in your heart that God, who loves you, who wants to know you but most of all wants you to know Him so He can love you. To know that our desire to favor anything which is against Him seperates us from Him, and such from the love of the creator who holds our eternity in His hands.


We can be assured that we are promised salvation. And we hold the hope of that salvation through faith, because of grace.


Quote:Originally Posted by Teitzy
Sure that's it, providing you understand clearly who Jesus is (the sinless Son of God) and why He came and that you are a sinner and that His death is sufficient to pay the full penalty for your sin.

Quote:Originally Posted by Duane
No one truly understands, and no one truly KNOWS!!!

We have faith - which can not be seen, nor felt, nor heard, nor touched.

In the end,, no one really KNOWS.

We believe, and we have faith in.
That's all.

Carry on...
:OFFT:

Duane's perspective is interesting. It's one I can't really relate to, so I'm not exactly qualified to comment.
Looking at TBR's whole post, he starts by saying that we need to know something of the nature of God. He then says we need to recognise that we are sinners, and that being sinners seperates us from God. Then we need to believe we were redeemed by Christ, God's son, or God born as a man to put it another way. Finally, we've got to live a life emulating the perfect one of Christ Himself as proof of our acceptance that He has redeemed us. So, if I may be so bold as to summarise:
1) Recognise that you are a sinner, understand that being a sinner seperates you from the loving God.
2) Recognise that Christ, being the only perfect man there will ever be, and further being God Himself, redeemed you by His sacrifice.
3) Devote your life to emulating Him as proof that you have accepted the sacrifice.
I'd just suggest the last step there is redundant. God can see the truth behind our actions, he knows what we hold true, we need never proove any belief to Him by our action.

Teitzy says that as well as believing He died for us we need to understand why Christ came (encapsulating understanding that sin seperates from God) and who He is (the perfect man and embodiment of the loving God), know that we're sinners, and know that His sacrifice paid the price for our sin. So in step form again:
1) Recognise that you are a sinner, understand that being a sinner seperates you from the loving God.
2) Recognise that Christ, being the only perfect man there will ever be, and further being God Himself, redeemed you by His sacrifice.

No disagreement when you boil it down like that, aside from the step which with all due respect I deem redundant. I boiled it right down to "admitting that you are a sinner in need of a redeemer, and recognising that it must be Christ." myself, which summarises the two steps. I'm surprised that we're in quite such agreement myself, to be honest :D

Tisha T
Jan 16th 2008, 08:26 PM
So, to be saved...

It seems everyone is agreed that we must accept that we are all sinners; that Christ died for our sins and wants to forgive us; that we need to believe that He died for our sins; that His death is sufficient to pay for the sins we have and will commit; that He loves us and seeks a personal relationship with us; that He is the same God who created everything we know.

But to be SURE of our salvation, well that's a sticky question, and where opinion is divided. Some just KNOW in some form of extra-sensory perception; some have FAITH that they are saved; and some have HOPE that they are saved.

Moving on, how does one KEEP their salvation? Are there ways salvation can be lost? It is a moot point that almost all of our readers will believe I've lost mine. If that is what you believe, then would you explain precisely why you believe that to be so, given the (admittedly meagre) history of my deconversion?

dljc
Jan 16th 2008, 08:36 PM
Moving on, how does one KEEP their salvation? Are there ways salvation can be lost? It is a moot point that almost all of our readers will believe I've lost mine. If that is what you believe, then would you explain precisely why you believe that to be so, given the (admittedly meagre) history of my deconversion?You asked so here it is. You can do just what you did, and walk away from Him. If you do that, then you have lost your salvation.

Romans 1:
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

If you really were a Christian you broke the covenant, not Him.

Tisha T
Jan 16th 2008, 09:20 PM
Romans 1:
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

If you really were a Christian you broke the covenant, not Him.

Reading strictly by Romans 1, I reckon the majority of 'Christians' are guilty of at least half of those at some point in their lives.

Perhaps Duane has a point.

RoadWarrior
Jan 16th 2008, 09:42 PM
So, to be saved...
...
Moving on, how does one KEEP their salvation? Are there ways salvation can be lost? It is a moot point that almost all of our readers will believe I've lost mine. If that is what you believe, then would you explain precisely why you believe that to be so, given the (admittedly meagre) history of my deconversion?

Tisha, I wanted to start this post with some scriptures that I think are meaningful about salvation, then I will get on to how it is kept:



Pr 28:18 Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, But he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

Mt 10:22 But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Mk 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Jn 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Ac 16:31 So they said,"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

Ro 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

1 Co 3:15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
NKJV



In my experience, this "getting saved" is like getting born again - it is a starting point. From my viewpoint, I have known people all my life who were "stillborn" to use a symbology I made up for the purpose. It is as if people believed it was enough to "pray the sinner's prayer" and then they had a "ticket to heaven" and could do as they pleased.

Early in my return to the Lord (like you, I was away for many years, but I did come back) I came across this:


1 Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
2 Co 2:15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. NKJV



The phrase "are being saved" indicates to me, not a one-time event, but an on-going process. With this in mind, I began to pursue what it would take to endure to the end, or to use your question, how could I keep my salvation, my walk, my relationship with the Lord to the point that I will be found in Him when I leave this world.

Again with the born-again concept that Jesus told Nicodemus was the way to enter the kingdom of Heaven, I think that a newborn child must have sustenance to sustain life. A physical being must be fed with milk, then solid foods, and learn to eat and to feed themselves, pretty much in that order. So also a spiritual being (a born-again Christian) needs to take in the pure milk of the word, and learn how to read and study the Bible for herself.

In John 15, Jesus uses the phrase "abide in me" several times. I think it is significant.

Similar wording is also in this:
1 Jn 2:24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life. NKJV

This is a rather long post, to state a very simple truth. If you want to be saved and to keep your salvation, it must be more than a ritual you perform. It must be a new life, and you must sustain that life by feeding and nurturing it.

Thanks for asking the question. It was good for me to review this and think about what a long way I have come from the days when I turned away from the church and lived in the world. Once I even envisioned starting my own "religion" because none I had seen met my needs! :rofl:

I'm so glad I learned the truth about Jesus!

dljc
Jan 17th 2008, 04:58 AM
Reading strictly by Romans 1, I reckon the majority of 'Christians' are guilty of at least half of those at some point in their lives.
You are correct. However, we have a mediator Jesus Christ, who has paid for our sins just as you do if you will get on your knees and cry out to Him. He is your only way to the Father.

This will help explain this better.

Rom. 3:10, "As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one...'"


Rom. 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."


Rom. 5:12, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."


Rom. 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Rom. 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."


Rom. 10:9-10, "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."


Rom. 10:13, "For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

It's not too late.

Amazedgrace21
Jan 17th 2008, 06:21 AM
I'm curious Tisha if you would not mind shedding some light on this matter..why does it matter to you about if someone can lose their salvation?

It sounds as if you were fully aware of your standing with God when you decided to walk away from Him regardless of the consequences and appear to now be of the mindset He neither exists or it is not relevent as a concern regarding the outcome of where your soul resides in eternity...

It also sounds as if you find God objectionable as being your's and I presume would not want to be stuck in heaven for an eternity having to put up with Him as you perceive Him to be a source of displeasure or offense to you for some reason that you have not disclosed or obligated to do so..

Hell is basically a place God has provided to accomondate those who haveand abide in this position towards Him..and see His heaven as the last place they would want to be if He is..it would seem terribly cruel on God's part to disregard this and "force" heaven upon Him..nor forces any one to chose to love Him and His commandments.

Those that do so, do so because they chose to, they chose to because they love Him nor ever want to be seperated from Him, that's why their salvation is important to them and they chose to not to throw it away as the precious gift it is. The motivation is not "fear" at all..but love.

Accomondating the wishes of those who hate Him or hate His commandments hardly seems unfair or cruel :confused God does not desire for any one to chose Hell but he permits it because that is their choice, their preference, their perspective of "heaven" is being apart from God....doesn't it seem rather hypocritical to ignore this?

Ultimately God alone will review the innermost motives and intentions of everyones hearts and the only reason one would have 'lost" their salvation would be because they chose to reject God nor ever truly loved Him at all..and He will present them with the evidence that this was true. They may have loved the idea of God, the idea of heaven but there was no new birth and life that proceeded from that birth.

Judas was such an example...his sin was no worse than Peter's or Paul's ( Saul's) but the hearts were completely different when it came to much. What does distinguish them is indeed what God searches and distinguishes when He examines our hearts and what assures our salvation.

th1bill
Jan 17th 2008, 07:06 AM
.. The very most comforting thing about the fact that this argument always comes up is the fact that those of us that take the scriptural position is that we find ourselves in such good company. (Galatians) Paul was always pursued by the Judaizers and they were forever wanting to add something to the Gospel so as to keep themselves in the upper crust of the thing. In the Book of Romans, Paul spells out the requirements for salvation, quite clearly. I have used the Roman Road to salvation so many times in the last 17 years and as a result I have lead hundreds to the foot of the cross and seen them saved.
.. The road is Romans 3:10 &23, Romans 6:23a, Romans 5:8 and Romans 10:9 & 10. And after leading them in the sinners prayer I like to remind them to always remember 1John 5:13. This is the Gospel that Paul received at the hand of Jesus, under whose tutoring he was seated for three years in Asia Minor. (Gal. 1:18) And Paul was quite emphatic about folks that added to the Gospel;
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
.. People will forever want to be in some exclusive club and as such will always find a way to add "just one more thing" to the gospel, but gospel means truth. Add, that which was never there and it is not the truth and therefore it is not the Gospel. Before I knew, let alone understood the Gospel, I was saved. I walked onto that stage a lost man and I walked off a Born Again Christian, filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul, the murderer of the Church of Jesus, the Christ was blinded on his way to stamp out Christianity and he was forever saved in that moment, not because he believed and was baptized , not because he believed and repented, he was muttering curses and on his way to kill more of those stinking Christians. Saul was saved and renamed Paul because God took away his sight and he believed God.
.. Friends, I implore you, do not believe me! In fact never believe any man. Instead believe God and what God has preserved for you in His holy scriptures.

Duane Morse
Jan 17th 2008, 07:36 AM
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Well, the only reason to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" is if - you are not really, without a single doubt, absolutely, 100% sure.


And we can never be that sure of anything, because we are not (as God is) all-knowing, all-wise, or all-powerfull.

We always rely on faith, and faith alone.

Tisha T
Jan 17th 2008, 11:09 AM
Just letting you know I have read the last few posts, but time is short. Busy, busy, busy! Deadlines!
I'll post a reply as soon as I get a chance, probably MUCH later tonight.

AmazedGrace, your post is a thread-mill. There are so many items in there that require a thread on their own to clear up! A lot of what you have mentioned appears in the non-believer communities as objections to the faith. I'd like to pursue those further at a later time!

I'm outta here! C'ya! :hug:

Amazedgrace21
Jan 17th 2008, 06:07 PM
Just letting you know I have read the last few posts, but time is short. Busy, busy, busy! Deadlines!
I'll post a reply as soon as I get a chance, probably MUCH later tonight.

AmazedGrace, your post is a thread-mill. There are so many items in there that require a thread on their own to clear up! A lot of what you have mentioned appears in the non-believer communities as objections to the faith. I'd like to pursue those further at a later time!

I'm outta here! C'ya! :hug:

Well I look forward to hearing about your own personal perspective Tisha to what ever extent you feel by showing specific reasons or events that led to your journey away from your faith. As for the general reasons and issues Atheiests take offense with the beliefs of Christians, :)..these are nothing new or issues I am unaware of or why they feel and think faith is a delusion that is harmful to society in general.

I have many atheists in my circle of acquaintences and friends despite our fundemental differences on this subject..one of them was Sam Harris actually,so as I said, this is not a request to be given any of the reasons that have not already been offered as there are none I am unfamiliar with nor have been discussed exhaustively regarding much when it comes to each groups intellectual honesty in these matters.:hug:

There are also many former atheists and agnostics who have very heartwarming stories of their own experiences to share why they departed from their frmer postions as well. So I don't think there is much to clear up in regard to any concern you may have that I am unfamiliar with some of these thngs, they are very often discussed here at this forum to the extent their are those simply seeking clarification to rexamine their own position for various reasons due a personal desire to do so.

On occasion others come here to simply attempt to "convert" someone like myself and demonstrate their new found awareness or choice to depart from their former faith with some agenda to demonstrate we are foolish for not seeing things as they have come to refer to as socially normative and use to construct their moral standards and justify ethics. That's nothing new or original in terms of why this takes place.

I just wanted you to be aware of this in respect to feeling obligated to go there in a discussion in the event you may be under the impression I was suggesting that was the reason I asked if you minded sharing you own personal reasons as they were formulated by your experiences and if you desire respond to where we went in different directions in terms of why we did to what ever extent you are seeking an explanation for my reasons:hug:

Perhaps in the process of doing so share some aspects of the considerations that were present for your own personal consideration in the event you desire this and are genuinely seeking some insights for your own personal reasons to examine or re-examine them. My curiosity is satisfied reagrding why others chose not to believe as I do when it comes to why they have chosen to refer to themselves as atheists and that is their choice and one I do not see as appropriate to debate over at all.Nor am I am the one seeking to have my position changed here, I am content with my choice as well,albeit it may not be agreed with it's merits by others.:)

Have a good day Tisha, I look forward to hearing what is you wish to share about your own situation as it applies to why you are interested in others of faith who have found their reasons and comforts to have assurances in Jesus and the promises of Gods Words sufficient in spite of being aware of the same issues that brought you to a place where that was no longer adequate for you as a personal choice.

YSIC,
Grace

Tisha T
Jan 17th 2008, 10:01 PM
It's nearly midnight, I'm tired, and desperately in need of a shower and a cup of tea. Chamomile. The good news is we made our deadline. Keeping the customer satisfied, is what it's all about.

When I get tired I tend to ramble on a little, so please forgive me! So many questions! First off, AmazedGrace, I'm interested to hear your take on Sam Harris. What kind of person is he in the flesh, so to speak? (No pun intended :D) I've followed some of his articles and I find most of his logic sound, but don't you think he's beginning to sound a little like a rationalist David Icke?


I've had time to ponder a few of the questions posed and answers given. (Some of my work is just repetitive, time-consuming drudgery, giving some time to think) Two questions from you all seem to repeat regularly: How or why did I 'lose' my faith, and what am I doing here.

Let me start with what I'm doing here.
Many of us grew up in small towns with little to offer to us when we grew up. Some stayed and worked in the grocery store, or at the corner filling station. Most of us heard the call of the big cities and went off in search of fame and fortune. (You all still with me here?) Later in life, we may feel a nostalgic wish to return to see how the old town is doing, or we stop by on our rush from one big city appointment to another. It's nice to look around, see what's changed, what's stayed the same, speak to old friends, and find out what has happened while you've been gone. Most of these visits end up reaffirming your decision to leave when you did, and serve to remind us of what we've gained and what we missed out on.

That is why I'm here, and it has taken me up to now to really understand it myself.

Onward... More on Tisha T's apostacy. And more time to think :)
I typed a whole lot of gibberish and I've just wiped it all out. I'm going to finish my tea, have my shower, and into bed. Enough, I say! I think the chamomile is doing its magic. If I relax any more I'll be a puddle on the floor.
Goodnight, everyone!
:wave:

Amazedgrace21
Jan 18th 2008, 06:05 AM
When I get tired I tend to ramble on a little, so please forgive me! So many questions! First off, AmazedGrace, I'm interested to hear your take on Sam Harris. What kind of person is he in the flesh, so to speak? (No pun intended :D) I've followed some of his articles and I find most of his logic sound, but don't you think he's beginning to sound a little like a rationalist David Icke?


I really have nothing extraordinary to share about Mr. Harris, my interest was to simply observe him present his position and use the opportunity to form some conclusions regarding it. He came across as an affable , inteligent type of personality, reserved yet extremely dogmatic, had a Ben Stiller thing going on..as he is nine years younger than my oldest child, I have some insights to where his world view arose from in terms of other factors.

I found some very blantent flaws in his logic, which curiously enough were shared by many of his own colleagues within the atheists community.My impression is that he sincerely believes his positions are without errors and tended to stay in character with those who are in a form of self-denial and trapped within their own systems of details and perceived logic of them.

A lot of his information is skewed badly with errors and to be blunt what I would call lies that he presents to others and has lost the objectivity to recognize them. I would also venture to say that he is a bit confused and mistaken that his proof is not in error is based upon the acceptance of his proof by the very ones who have been deceived by it. It's kind of difficult to refer to the pursuit of a form of spirituality that exceeds religion while arguing the case that no such reality can exist..:confused

I would not put him in the same league with David Icke, if we are speaking of the same individual, that individual IMHO, has serious isues with any form of reality..Sam Harris may have what I would suspect are textbook, emotional issues regarding religion that are of "nurture one" regarding his upbringing which he is reluctant to disclose and distances himself from.

I also suspect this is probably why he has chosen this venue of rebellion and attacking religion with the position of anger and contempt that is very visably present by virtue of the absence of his "logic" being absent or able to sustain his extremely subjective approach of solutions as the agenda of his mission route to "fix the world" by removing what he perceives as dangerous threats to him..and a vehicle for his "daddy issues".

While I appreciate the metaphor that was used to illustrate your reasons for dropping in, I guess perhaps, what caught my attention was the extreme sense of betrayal and sorrow you said you experienced when you found what you perceived to be contradictions or lies that proved everything you ever knew about God was all a lie and that the existance of God was demonstrated to you in some manner to be a lie after having a personal relationship with Him as a Christian..

It's sort of a contradiction to validate ones experience was an authentic reality, then to state in effect, the next stage was a break up in terms of walking away from someone one ( aka Christ) and then proceed to a place where the reality is defined by stiputalating the breakup resulted in God ceasing to exist by virtue of disappointing you and causing the break-up..

So that was my point of curiosity,that you formed the conclusion that you never knew God at at all by virtue of now disavowing His existence based upon new information you felt was not presented to you..and led you to believe you were something you never were.

That would suggest by approaching this logically, you never had a viable relationship or experience of faith with God at all and this just eventually came to light when challanged by other issues or more attractive alternatives presented themselves to you.

Please note I am not judging here Tisha, just interested how one can say they "knew" God personally and by virtue of making this acquaintence walked away from a relationship with Him, then claim He does not exist or have a concern or interest in the subject of salvation and what provides assurance of it? Was not the choice to reject ones opportunity for it evidence of why ,as in your case, an obvious answer? You were the one who left for the "big city" using your metaphor..but you departed from a point of origin if this makes any sense , in order to have left?

That you found nothing sustainable left to motivate you to stay does not equate with faulting the town as unable to sustain those who chose the town or perhaps chose to leave the city to settle down in a town nor does this discredit the existence of the town simply becasue you prefered a city to the town now does it?:)

As I am familiar with the nature of that evidence as it is sustained by others who call themselves atheists as "proof"..I also examined it and found it full of errors and misrepresentations, which is why this "proof" failed to persuade me at all..if anything it was a source of reassurance that deepend my faith as it withstood the tests of such challanges.

I was born in the big city,but I live in a very rural community I am familiar with both choices, and I based my choice of a home where the home provided the opportunities the other alternative denied..that was based upon preference..

One who insists on the postion that God requires evidence to be real also is one who who has to provide evidence that He is not...

Your own evidence that God is no longer real seems to be based upon the evidence that He was, but ceased to be real to you...in so much as you cease to acknowledge His existence, which is not evidence of that He does not..at least this was the impression I am taking from what you have provided,:confused

What distinguishes you from me was my preference , aka . my choice to continue to acknowledge Gods existence nor have any desire for this to cease to be the real one you said you had..unless of course you never actually had it..it's one or the other is it not? :hug: That does not seem to be a basis to suggest my experience is not real on the basis you never had it,if that was the case..

As I said, just curious, this is your journey and I am just a guest on it to what ever extent you find that profitable....

The proposition that equate's God's existence as a bad thing and the alternative that He does not exist a "good one" fascinates me when it comes from those who would have to conceed they would owe their existence to Him and this is something "to resent" or find objectionable? :hmm:

Tisha T
Jan 18th 2008, 06:31 AM
Just popped in for a quick break, and I'll answer in more detail later. But about David Icke...
Yes, the very same individual, the one with all the reptilian aliens running around controlling governments :lol:

David used to be a rationalist, atheistic type who tried to sell atheism before it was 'cool' to do so. My opinion is that he found the kooky factor to be a market he could make a buck out of. Instead of saying to all the hairy-legged ladies with the crystal necklaces that they were all wrong, I think he decided to lead them. "You know, you're absolutely right, but you don't know the half of it. There's plenty more besides!" I think he's having (reasonably harmless) fun at the expense of people who, quite frankly, shouldn't be trusted with a TV remote. (People who don't trust TV remotes, either :))

A good friend who has retired married a widow recently. She's a BIG follower of Icke, subscribes to his website, buys and reads all his books, and so on. He just smiles and waves, and lets her get on with it. I'm in the fortunate position of having a ready supply of Icke's rubbish to peruse at leisure as he passes on this :crazy: stuff to me.

Duty calls, gotta dash again! Tisha T, the busy little bee!

mcgyver
Jan 18th 2008, 01:50 PM
What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
:hmm:

I think that this question is answered quite succinctly:

"He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:12-13 NKJV)

and:

"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV)

Gulah Papyrus
Jan 18th 2008, 02:37 PM
What does one have to do to be saved, and how does one KNOW without a doubt that one IS saved?
:hmm:
Do you truly want to be saved? You are saved...without a doubt! Tell Jesus you want to be saved, tell him about your sinning, and then repent from your sins.

Done.

After that you will begin a lifelong journey on which you cannot lose.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 19th 2008, 04:02 PM
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
It was the baptism of the Spirit which saved me, and I know I am saved simply because I know that the Spirit is within me. I hold the promise and gaurantee of my inheritance, I am purchased and sealed, His possession.

Tisha T
Jan 19th 2008, 05:13 PM
While I appreciate the metaphor that was used to illustrate your reasons for dropping in, I guess perhaps, what caught my attention was the extreme sense of betrayal and sorrow you said you experienced when you found what you perceived to be contradictions or lies that proved everything you ever knew about God was all a lie and that the existance of God was demonstrated to you in some manner to be a lie after having a personal relationship with Him as a Christian..

It's sort of a contradiction to validate ones experience was an authentic reality, then to state in effect, the next stage was a break up in terms of walking away from someone one ( aka Christ) and then proceed to a place where the reality is defined by stiputalating the breakup resulted in God ceasing to exist by virtue of disappointing you and causing the break-up..

So that was my point of curiosity,that you formed the conclusion that you never knew God at at all by virtue of now disavowing His existence based upon new information you felt was not presented to you..and led you to believe you were something you never were.

That would suggest by approaching this logically, you never had a viable relationship or experience of faith with God at all and this just eventually came to light when challanged by other issues or more attractive alternatives presented themselves to you.AmazedGrace, I'm not sure whether, as a child, you were taught the Santa myth. Santa knows all the boys and girls, he knows whether they've been good or bad, and he rewards all the good children with nice toys and candy, and all the bad kids with socks and jocks. Most western kids learn the story from their parents from their very first Christmas. Eventually, sometime between seven and ten, they put two and two together and work out it is all just a story. Santa doesn't exist, no matter how many fat old men with fake beards you see. There are no elves cobbling toys together in a factory at the North Pole. (Sorry, kids reading this!)
Was that your experience of Christmas? If not, can you imagine it?

As a Christian, I believed the myth of Jesus and God as much as any kid believes the myth of Santa. You don't think it is a myth, obviously, but your fervor is indistinguishable from that of the child.

What happens when the child grows up a little? He may hear rumors from his friends. Recognise some wrapping paper. Overhear whispering between Mom and Dad. Try to work out how he gets down the chimney without getting his red suit dirty. Lots of little things, little incongruences, all adding up. He's learning some stuff in school, stuff that doesn't fit with the story. Reindeer don't have red noses that glow in the dark. They don't fly. Sleighs without wings don't have the proper aeronautics. His bag is too small. And so on. I think that's enough for you to get the point.

Precisely the same happened to me on a more adult level. Besides the Jealousy Offering incident, there's the age of the universe. The creation of plants before the sun. Noah's ark. Rainbows. Archeological refutation of the exodus incident. Evolution. Geology. The mysterious, undiscovered Garden of Eden. Jacob and Esau's birth story. At first, I tried to find evidence to prop up the stories. The more I learned, the more I found, and every time, the supposedly perfect Word of God was found wanting when compared with what can be seen, touched, felt, smelled, tasted. This was at the end of my United Pentecostal days, and as a baptised, healed, healing, playing, singing, footstomping Child of the Living God, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me.

Later I accepted that if there IS a god, the bible certainly wasn't describing it, and most certainly was not inspired by this god.

Just like the child who feels a little betrayed by their parents, and feels like they betray Santa by first not believing all the things he is supposed to be able to do, and then not believing he exists at all, that is what I felt.

I am not alone. There are hundreds, thousands, probably millions of us who started life believing a religion and eventually rejecting it. Johnothan Edwards, the Olympiad, is a recent example. A great many priests, ministers, pastors have stepped away.

I can tell you that it is far, far easier to carry on living a lie, saying one is a Christian, that to stand up and walk away. It takes courage and conviction of many orders of magnitude than conversion to walk away. Do you think I decided I WANT to burn in hell? Of course not. Do you think I decided I hated heaven? Not on your life. Instead, I braved condemnation of my family, loss of many friends, so that I no longer had to lie to myself.

Enough! Time for dinner. C'ya!

dljc
Jan 19th 2008, 05:32 PM
As a Christian, I believed the myth of Jesus and God as much as any kid believes the myth of Santa. You don't think it is a myth, obviously, but your fervor is indistinguishable from that of the child.
Tisha,

I know you've probably thought I've been harsh with you in the past posts I've made in this thread. But you see, when I see someone say they were a Christian and then they make a comment like this. I am reminded of this verse from 1 John 2:

19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

This is why I've included the biggest word in the dictionary when responding to you "if" you were a Christian. Had you ever believed and known Him you couldn't say what you said above. Think about it.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 19th 2008, 05:42 PM
AmazedGrace, I'm not sure whether, as a child, you were taught the Santa myth. Santa knows all the boys and girls, he knows whether they've been good or bad, and he rewards all the good children with nice toys and candy, and all the bad kids with socks and jocks. Most western kids learn the story from their parents from their very first Christmas. Eventually, sometime between seven and ten, they put two and two together and work out it is all just a story. Santa doesn't exist, no matter how many fat old men with fake beards you see. There are no elves cobbling toys together in a factory at the North Pole. (Sorry, kids reading this!)
Was that your experience of Christmas? If not, can you imagine it?

As a Christian, I believed the myth of Jesus and God as much as any kid believes the myth of Santa. You don't think it is a myth, obviously, but your fervor is indistinguishable from that of the child.

What happens when the child grows up a little? He may hear rumors from his friends. Recognise some wrapping paper. Overhear whispering between Mom and Dad. Try to work out how he gets down the chimney without getting his red suit dirty. Lots of little things, little incongruences, all adding up. He's learning some stuff in school, stuff that doesn't fit with the story. Reindeer don't have red noses that glow in the dark. They don't fly. Sleighs without wings don't have the proper aeronautics. His bag is too small. And so on. I think that's enough for you to get the point.

Precisely the same happened to me on a more adult level. Besides the Jealousy Offering incident, there's the age of the universe. The creation of plants before the sun. Noah's ark. Rainbows. Archeological refutation of the exodus incident. Evolution. Geology. The mysterious, undiscovered Garden of Eden. Jacob and Esau's birth story. At first, I tried to find evidence to prop up the stories. The more I learned, the more I found, and every time, the supposedly perfect Word of God was found wanting when compared with what can be seen, touched, felt, smelled, tasted. This was at the end of my United Pentecostal days, and as a baptised, healed, healing, playing, singing, footstomping Child of the Living God, this was the worst thing that could have happened to me.

Later I accepted that if there IS a god, the bible certainly wasn't describing it, and most certainly was not inspired by this god.

Just like the child who feels a little betrayed by their parents, and feels like they betray Santa by first not believing all the things he is supposed to be able to do, and then not believing he exists at all, that is what I felt.

I am not alone.
I'm with you :D
I rejected the fairy story at around age 12, and didn't come one inch closer to believing it again. I did not come to the decision that it was more plausible, and indeed, still don't think it sounds any more 'likely'. It's unlikely that planting a tiny brown teardrop will produce a tree covered in dozens of apples inside each of which is a dozen more teardrops - nonetheless, I have accepted this fantastical truth as fact, because I know it is such. Likewise, the exceptional, staggering, fantastical fact that there is indeed a God who created this world and who cares for me. It still sounds preposterous, but it is true. To come back to your parallel - it's like I had realised that there was no such thing as Santa many years ago, I had gone my whole life thinking it ludicrous to believe there was, and then I came downstairs one Christmas Eve and saw Him putting presents around my tree...

I have no choice but to accept that no matter how amazing and fantastic and staggeringly stupid it may sound, there is indeed a God. To deny it would be to blind myself to the truth, my initial experience with Him and my life since has been an utterly undeniable testament to this truth. I recognise completely that you cannot accept this as such - as I say, I've walked in your shoes, and right now I would either be laughing at the person telling me this, or pitying me them that they could possibly delude themselves so completely. It was totally outside of my understanding, totally opposed to my view of the universe, went drastically against the logic and reason I had developed over the years and above all else, just plain silly. Like you say - it's like saying you believe in Santa Claus. At my baptism I compared it rather to believing in Goldilocks. I know where you're coming from, I really do. I'm kinda impressed, actually, that you seem to be treating everyone with genuine respect despite the fact that we believe in goldilocks. I wouldn't have.

But here's what it comes down to:
When I say to you that I know for a fact that there is a God, that He was born as a man, and that He died with the weight of my sin upon Him and rose again, there's only 3 possibilities. You've ruled one of them out.
So am I a fool, or am I a liar?

RoadWarrior
Jan 19th 2008, 05:43 PM
....

I can tell you that it is far, far easier to carry on living a lie, saying one is a Christian, that to stand up and walk away. It takes courage and conviction of many orders of magnitude than conversion to walk away. Do you think I decided I WANT to burn in hell? Of course not. Do you think I decided I hated heaven? Not on your life. Instead, I braved condemnation of my family, loss of many friends, so that I no longer had to lie to myself.

Enough! Time for dinner. C'ya!

Tisha, I hear ya. I know what you are saying because I also walked through that rejection of religion as it had been handed to me. It is enormously sad to me that people are turned away from Christ because of the actions and teachings of "Christians" who miss the mark of who and what He is.

I distinctly remember a conversation I had once with a counselor. I told him that I would really love to believe in God, but I could only believe in something that is real. It was a few years later that I was finally able to understand that God truly is real, and how He is real. I never had a chance to go back to that kind man and tell him I now understood. It is my prayer for you that as you continue to walk through your life, you will also come to know the real God. You may be far away from here and never come back to tell us so, but I pray that you will gain the knowledge you hunger for.

If you hang out in some of the forums around here you will see people arguing endlessly about things. To me it is like living in the mud, like mudfish. In other forums you will find people soaring like birds in the sky with much joy and love evident in the very posts that they write.

To me, it is like that to know God. It is to get out of the mud of my own limited understanding, and to enter into a realm beyond myself. I cannot explain it in a few words, but I know that the reality of God is more real than the physical world in which we live and experience ourselves. This world and everything in it is temporary, is passing away, is constantly changing. But God is eternal, does not cease to exist, and does not change. Human understanding of Him does come and go, and does change.

But He .. !

He exists, whether or not we believe He does. He was there before the worlds came into being, and He will still be there when the universe collapses back into itself.

The stories of the Bible, well, not everyone demands that they be literally understood, although many people do demand that. I think that it is more important to look into what is being told us about God in the stories, than to argue about whether they actually happened in just the way they are told.

The stories of the OT show the formation of a people, the Israelites, the Jews. Out of those centuries of that formation, came the flowering of Christianity. Those stories are enormously important to the roots of our belief, but our belief is not in the stories themselves.

Our belief, our faith, our trust, is that Jesus was and is as enduringly real as God the Father. He is there in the beginning, and He is there at the end.

You do not need to abandon your intelligence at the door of knowing God. Indeed, if you use that intelligence to seek Him instead of to reject Him, it will be your best friend in discerning God's truth from the traditions and practices of mudfish.

watchinginawe
Jan 19th 2008, 05:48 PM
I am not alone. There are hundreds, thousands, probably millions of us who started life believing a religion and eventually rejecting it. Johnothan Edwards, the Olympiad, is a recent example. A great many priests, ministers, pastors have stepped away. I did this too. At least I thought I did. I called myself a Christian, believed "the myth" as you say, joined the Church, and then stepped aside and declared my unbelief; joining "the millions".
I can tell you that it is far, far easier to carry on living a lie, saying one is a Christian, that to stand up and walk away. It takes courage and conviction of many orders of magnitude than conversion to walk away. Do you think I decided I WANT to burn in hell? Of course not. Do you think I decided I hated heaven? Not on your life. Instead, I braved condemnation of my family, loss of many friends, so that I no longer had to lie to myself. I'm not impressed anymore with the courage of believing myself. Talk about "made up". :rolleyes: Been there and done that. Oh, I thought I was "honest" all right. Honest with myself. Now, that was the way to live life. So much so that I had to tell others, just like you are here. I sought them out vigorously. In fact, I was totally consumed with spreading the "gospel of watchinginawe". And yes, I talked about the "comfort" of a made up belief system and how it was a crutch that I threw away to be able to stand on my own. I also thought a lot of myself then, being under my own judgment. :hmm: How could I fail?

My braver (and honest) reasonings were still before me at that point in my life. Here you are finding that out for yourself, but not realizing it yet.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 19th 2008, 06:05 PM
I can tell you that it is far, far easier to carry on living a lie, saying one is a Christian, that to stand up and walk away. It takes courage and conviction of many orders of magnitude than conversion to walk away. Do you think I decided I WANT to burn in hell? Of course not. Do you think I decided I hated heaven? Not on your life. Instead, I braved condemnation of my family, loss of many friends, so that I no longer had to lie to myself.
Not wanting to start a debate or anything, we kinda started on the wrong foot and wouldn't want to revert, but - was it really easier? Was it easier to live with doubt, or to live with no ultimate consequence, free to do and think whatever you choose?
You certainly didn't decide you wanted to burn in hell, you decided there was no hell to be worried about burning in. Reminds me of a CS Lewis quote I read earlier, we didn't stop burning witches because we stopped thinking it evil to worship satan and call on Him for power, we stopped burning witches because we stopped believing they existed. You stopped living out Christian traditions because you decided you didn't need to, but not because you didn't want to go to heaven - but because you didn't think there was one.

Tisha T
Jan 19th 2008, 07:27 PM
See? It's not that difficult to grasp. :idea:

It is very, very difficult, perhaps as difficult as coming out as gay. You KNOW you're going to disappoint your Christian parents, upset you spouse, and be hounded by friends who constantly question your motives and earlier commitment. (A bit like here, actually ;) )
But with it comes a great sense of relief. Not relief that you no longer believe, but relief from the mental anguish of being unsure whether this path will lead directly to the fiery pit or not. I'm sure there are fellow atheists reading this who would agree if they were allowed to post on this thread.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 19th 2008, 07:36 PM
I'm not sure - is that a response to me? Either way - you fancy responding to my other post? I guess you don't want to come out and call me a fool, but it's clear that's what you believe. I really don't mind, you can go ahead and be honest :)

RoadWarrior
Jan 19th 2008, 07:45 PM
See? It's not that difficult to grasp. :idea: .... You KNOW you're going to ... be hounded by friends who constantly question your motives and earlier commitment. (A bit like here, actually ;) )
But with it comes a great sense of ... relief from the mental anguish of being unsure whether this path will lead directly to the fiery pit or not. ...

Tisha, I think people here want to know what happened, I'm sorry if we come across as hounding you. Actually it is a privilege to have an opportunity to meet you and grieve with you over your painful journey. We can also rejoice that you feel relief from the mental anguish that came from trying to believe in a false religious system.

We are also witnesses to our own journeys; we know that you are not at the end of yours, but that you are in the early stages. We want to hold out a promise to you, an encouragement.

When we can get past the false beliefs, we can be scraped down to the bottom of our belief structures, then there is room to build on truth.

Amazedgrace21
Jan 19th 2008, 08:16 PM
See? It's not that difficult to grasp. :idea:

It is very, very difficult, perhaps as difficult as coming out as gay. You KNOW you're going to disappoint your Christian parents, upset you spouse, and be hounded by friends who constantly question your motives and earlier commitment. (A bit like here, actually ;) )
But with it comes a great sense of relief. Not relief that you no longer believe, but relief from the mental anguish of being unsure whether this path will lead directly to the fiery pit or not. I'm sure there are fellow atheists reading this who would agree if they were allowed to post on this thread.

Hi Tisha,

Thanks for the response and it may surprise you to hear this coming from a Christian, but I actually do understand the context of how you perceive what happened to bring about this end result, and that many sincere folks do this believing and feeling as they form a conclusion such as yours...that it is a painful ,dissappointing experience for them as such..that's authentic in respect to the reactions being genuine.

I can also speak to the reaction my own family took when I departed from the Catholic Church and became a Christian..and the "coming out party' you speak of, it was an extremely painful reception to be at the receiving end of that went on for years...:hug:

The thing is Tisha..rarely were they responding to certain truths but rather reacting to some very badly misinformed bits of info they corresponded together incorrectly and may not have had an opportunity to re-examine things from a perspective where they came to realize they did indeed misunderstand things. This is exactly what Satan would love to see happen..

A lot of this is how folks relate to religion through personal experiences and to be very honest, degree's of intellectual honesty and objectiveness when they approach all of this..which I mean as in what information they are relying upon and how they are corresponding it.

In the world there is a thing called 'humanism' that is a world view that relies soley upon the individuals 'feelings' dictacting truth and reality as they perceive it and is someting that it is an indoctrinated view that works in how life works on so man levels..it comes at us from so many angles and sources most don't recognize that is actually a belief system in itself that is very real and the acceptable religion of the secular world.It's very exploitive and rampant in our culture..and actually has been a "movement" intentionally excecuted and deployed as such over the last 30 years.

It has an origin and roots with "men", real human beings who advocate this and work pretty relentlessly to maintain its presence through all areas of academia, philosophy, 'religion', government, and especially within our culture..it has an origin..it arrived from a school of thought , from specific individuals at a specific juncture of history and it's roots are in postmodernism and the school of relatvism when it comes to the intellectual aspects of reasoning..its a subject within itself..and one that does bear the credit ( and responsibility) for many folks abandoning God and their faith, as this is its genaral purpose and mission statement.

I encountered this academically when in college, it was part of the requirements of my degree to have to take many courses and become proficient in them in order to obtain my degree..so your assumption that my fervor is indistinguishable from a child is not quite an accurate conclusion why I have embraced Christ as my Lord and Savior.

On the contrary, I did not have a any basis to begin with in respect to actually recognizing His claims or an actual appreciation of the bible..that was absent..I genuinely can tell you this, becasue it's true..I didn't realize for the better part of of 19 years that Jesus held a "rank" so to speak above his earthly mother or the many Saints I had been taught about..that he was simply a man, was the human manifestation of being God's son, but not 'a god'..that he performed miracles like any other saint and his death was just another miracle bestowed upon a human being by God..

Furthermore, I was raised in an environment where I was profoundly aware of the concept of hypocrisy when it came to religious beliefs in regards to humanbeings who had one talk opposed to another walk..my baptism, nor one of the other sacraments I was obliged to be indoctrinated to by my parents signified anything to me beyond a high school diploma or drivers license in their relevence..they were simply sentimental landmarks and ceremonies everyone was supposed to participate in to mark their progress of entering adulthood.

I couldn't look at the world and all of the evidence in nature and deny God's existence..I couldn't recognize evil for what it is and not recognize it's counterpart was as real, and by process of elimination I could reason if God was not responsible ( as I saw no evidence of his involvement, just the absensce of it)for what was wrong with many things that I could discern as bad and wrong going on., for me personally, this left human beings as the culprits..

I came to the juncture I did with a profound need and desire to try to figure these things out..why was I here, what was my purpose, why did evil exist..what was God's position on this and where did God come into the picture as I had come to understand Him..where was all this "stuff" coming from..I could turn to text books to learn about Zeus, or the history of Santa..I understood creationism and I was being taught evolution..being required by law to learn it...I was seeking a resolution for the contradictions between what I had been taught and what I was now learning..and it was a very deeply , profoundly serious journey of a young adult in the midst of some very complicated issues in life..

My idealic childhood ended pretty abruptly when I was around ten years old Tisha..I was seeing and having to process things some adults never have had to.So if anyone had a reason to not ever trust God, I was definately in "that line", so unlike you I did not have him on a pedestal at all..I had a cross hanging in my room and a picture of Him in my kitchen..and I went to visitstatues and pictures of him at church every day I went to school for our daily mass service and then again Sundays..but He was .at that stage in my life the equivalent of the Santa, a character with no tangible experience with Him outside of a "knowledge about"..and then again only transfered knowledge about God from other human beings, very failable, normal human beings.

The reason I am sharing this is we all start out as atheists and agnostics of sorts Tisha, something happens for a reason when we enter into this relationship with God as Christians that most don't understand because of the very nature of it.My fervor is not based upon anything remotely equivalent to Santa Claus Tisha..nor did "I check my brain at the door" about the bible when I picked it up and actually examined it and learned all about its history, it's claims and became acquainted with Christ..I just stopped treating it childishly thats all..and gave it it's proper and deserving respect as the Book it is..it's not a piece of literature that is the equivalent of the Illiad and the Odessy by Homer, nor is it a poetry book or another book of philosophy or wisdom literature..HUGE distinction.

Those 'contradictions' you mentioned and how you reacted to them were things I pursued in order to be able to find a response for..you might say I demanded evidence and allowed for the evidence to speak for itself..not the words or opinions of others about it.
I studies Darwin to determine what his 'act' was all about and what this evolution business is all about..and by the way I am a "nerd"..I have a minor in Biology and Earth Science among others.. I was reading my fathers medical journals and Natural Geographic when I was in third grade..when most little girls wanted to grow up and be a princess, I wanted to explore the bottom of the oceans and find dinasaur bones..when I asked "why and How".."because" and "because. I said so!" did not work on me..my parent's spent a fortune appeasing the dear Sisters and very perturbed Priests from validating my ticket to send me off to hell to deal with my escapades of trying to figure out a lot of things..lol!

I wish for your sake and I say this out of sincerity, not arrogance or intention to disregard or disrespect your position Tisha, that you would reconsider some of the thngs you have concluded for these reasons, along side of the ones you offered ..and perhaps consider what it takes for an atheist or agnostic to leave their positions and turn to God and embrace Him....the reasons for doing so merit this reconsideration. and it should not be arrogance, false pride, ignorance or fear that prevents this. The point being is that when one actually does voluntarily allow themselves to examine all of these things from Christs perspective, it changes so much when the desire to is sincere and authentic.

I get the sense that this has not been something you have allowed yourself to do..You have provided your own answers to your own questions, have listened to everyone else and their words and opinions..but this is not the same..Christ is not a fairy tale like Santa for one..and there is absolutely nor correspondence between Him and Buddah or Zeus..don't confuse a man made version of the truth with the authentic relevation of it from God himself.The very presence of Intelligent Design in the universe speaks to our creator's existence. Darwin's theories have been soundly exposed as "wrong" but not abandoned due to some very serious reasons folks should be concerned about if this is true, and it is. I urge you to examine the nature of these reasons and the profound dangers of them to the extent they have already had a very serious impact upon your own life and views of God.IMHo, you have been deceived Tisha, but you have not yet recognized by whom or why.

There is a legitimate reason to ask if indeed you have, and seriously consider by whom in the event it has not been God.. does this matter and would it change things if you could recognize this in terms of your desire to have a relationship with God? That was what mattered to me and why I am a Christian Tisha..that's the bottom line here.I understand about what it means to stop living for a lie and to begin lving for and with the truth!:hug:

That is the only thing I am advocating here..that you have it and the opportunity to make an honest, legitimate choice based on having it Tisha..nothing else.That is entirely your choice, right and responsibility to do with it what you want. You have the same deal God gave me and I have simply offered to you what I chose to do with it..:)

Tisha T
Jan 19th 2008, 09:37 PM
I'm not sure - is that a response to me? Either way - you fancy responding to my other post? I guess you don't want to come out and call me a fool, but it's clear that's what you believe. I really don't mind, you can go ahead and be honest :)

:lol:

Sorry, ID. I'm not going to fall for that false dichotomy.
Fool? Obviously not.
Liar? I hardly know you.
Some atheists may call you deluded, perhaps.
Here's what I think: You believe what you believe because that is the conclusion you came to, given what you know and understand. I believe what I believe given what I know and understand. I'm an avid reader, an absorber of everything from fiction to non-fiction. I always have three or four books going at the same time, one fiction and the rest non-fiction. Any poll or published study you pick up shows a clear correlation between the level of education, level of general knowledge, and religiosity. That's part of the reason why universities have such so few religious folk. That's not to say that religiosity is a sign of poor education; what it means is that higher education teaches one to think more, to evaluate more than what the general populace does. There are numerous very learned Christians (or Muslims, or ...) and many non-believers I'm ashamed to share DNA with!

Tisha T
Jan 19th 2008, 09:57 PM
AmazedGrace, RoadWarrior

I'm not ignoring you!:hug:
It's late and I'm having some difficulty concentrating on your last few posts to be able to respond adequately. I'll be back tomorrow!

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 19th 2008, 10:55 PM
:lol:

Sorry, ID. I'm not going to fall for that false dichotomy.
Fool? Obviously not.
Liar? I hardly know you.
Some atheists may call you deluded, perhaps.
Here's what I think: You believe what you believe because that is the conclusion you came to, given what you know and understand. I believe what I believe given what I know and understand. I'm an avid reader, an absorber of everything from fiction to non-fiction. I always have three or four books going at the same time, one fiction and the rest non-fiction. Any poll or published study you pick up shows a clear correlation between the level of education, level of general knowledge, and religiosity. That's part of the reason why universities have such so few religious folk. That's not to say that religiosity is a sign of poor education; what it means is that higher education teaches one to think more, to evaluate more than what the general populace does. There are numerous very learned Christians (or Muslims, or ...) and many non-believers I'm ashamed to share DNA with!
Some atheists may call me deluded, or the one I'm talking to right now is calling me deluded? :D That's a nice way of saying I'm a fool, as well you know.
But as I said - it's not a dichotomoy, there's the obvious third option - that I'm right. If you can think of another, let me know :)

Drawing a parallel between being educated and having faith is certainly an interesting one. You specifically say that you're not suggesting that everyone who's ever rejected God is more intelligent than everyone who's ever accepted Him, as that would of course be ludicrous. There have been many millions of intelligent and rational Christians over the years, regardless of what you may see on your TV today :D

Accepting this though, you can't really say that it's simply that atheists have made "the educated choice", that they've decided based on the greater view their intellect gives them of "the big picture". The link between education and religion, then? We think we know a lot more than we do - we think we can figure out just about everything, in fact - and we can never hope to make sense of God. Our intellect is so stubborn in this regard it gets in the way of even accepting the possibility, and it's only once we've accepted the possibility and been brought to the light that intellect stops being a problem.

I know this because I've lived this. I thought I was a massively intelligent person, to be honest :D
I was well aware of how gifted I was as a child, and I always found everything very easy to pick up, and to understand. My brain seemed hardwired for maths in particular, even from a very early age, and my passion for stories drove me to become an avid reader. Once you've read a few thousand magical, incredible stories, though, and someone tells you to take one seriously - you can't help but feel like they're insulting your intelligence. You're not falling for that one! You refuse to even accept the possibility that it could be the case.

I'm fairly certain that I never would have changed my mind, in fact, I don't think I could have. Nothing short of a glimpse of infinite glory could ever bring me to Him - so that's precisely what He gave me, and in an instant everything I thought I knew fell to dust, I simply had no choice but to accept that I had been absolutely, completely wrong.

You know I'm not a fool, and I have nothing to gain from lying to you.

Tisha T
Jan 20th 2008, 02:15 AM
Some atheists may call me deluded, or the one I'm talking to right now is calling me deluded? :D That's a nice way of saying I'm a fool, as well you know.
But as I said - it's not a dichotomoy, there's the obvious third option - that I'm right. If you can think of another, let me know :)



Oy, ID, would you stop putting words in my mouth?
Re-read my post. I said 'some atheists may...'; The next line reads "Here's what I think:"
Calling a Christian a fool would be Pot. Kettle. Black. You forget, I was a Christian once. I wasn't a fool then, I'm not one now, and neither are you. I pulled this from google by going "define:fool"...



make a fool or dupe of
a person who lacks good judgment
chump: a person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of
gull: fool or hoax; "The immigrant was duped because he trusted everyone"; "You can't fool me!"
jester: a professional clown employed to entertain a king or nobleman in the middle ages
horse around: indulge in horseplay; "Enough horsing around--let's get back to work!"; "The bored children were fooling about"If you feel any apply, please help yourself.

Delusion, on the other hand:

(psychology) an erroneous belief that is held in the face of evidence to the contraryPerhaps delusion DOES apply, after all. Perhaps you haven't seen much of the contra-evidence against religion. It may be worth taking a peek.

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 20th 2008, 10:56 AM
Oy, ID, would you stop putting words in my mouth?
Re-read my post. I said 'some atheists may...'; The next line reads "Here's what I think:"
Calling a Christian a fool would be Pot. Kettle. Black. You forget, I was a Christian once. I wasn't a fool then, I'm not one now, and neither are you. I pulled this from google by going "define:fool"...
If you feel any apply, please help yourself.

Delusion, on the other hand:
Perhaps delusion DOES apply, after all. Perhaps you haven't seen much of the contra-evidence against religion. It may be worth taking a peek.
There's no evidence that God doesn't exist, nor could there ever be any...

Tisha T
Jan 20th 2008, 12:45 PM
There's no evidence that God doesn't exist, nor could there ever be any...

That is true. In logic, it is impossible to prove a negative. Surely you've heard of 'Russel's Teapot'. No-one can prove that doesn't exist, either.

But your god sure goes out of his way not to be found...

ImmenseDisciple
Jan 20th 2008, 01:08 PM
But your god sure goes out of his way not to be found...

Or you go out of your way not to find Him. Hard to say...

Anyway, this is futile. Hope that you find yourself, in spite of yourself :)

Amazedgrace21
Jan 20th 2008, 07:54 PM
Hi Tisha,

As I am not sure what more discussion you would like to engage in if at all you do..I would like to invite you to engage in a bit of a challange of sorts for the sake of examing the power of words..and to see if there is an interest on your part to examine the concept of absolute truth.

As you have indicated you were steeped in a foundation of Christian background..

Most claims of error are based on failures of man, doctrinal beliefs that are not found in the Bible, ignorance of the scriptures or ignorance of history. The biggest claim I hear is that Christians are hypocrites. I ask why you would think there would not be hypocrites in Christian circles? Christians are still men.

The Bible never says that when we accept Christ that we become divine and without fault. Hypocrites are not only in the church, but they are in every part of society. That is not the failure of God, it is human nature.

We always want others to think that we are better than we are and we always try to cover our faults. On the job, each of us knows of at least one person who has been hired that is not qualified. They present themselves as a fit for the job, but when hired we find that they presented a different picture of themselves than what is reality. That is hypocrisy.

Do we quit our jobs because there are hypocrites? You can’t learn to identify what is real by studying the counterfeit. There are lots of counterfeit $20 bills out there but how many of us will throw away all of our 20s because there are counterfeits floating around?

My request is that you would consider participating in discussing the first few chapters of Colossians as this book approaches the original teachings of the earliest Christians in an environment where they were the ones perceived as the legitimate 'atheist's' by their culture and the standing world view regarding them..just "these words" carry some very significant challanges any true free thinker may want to examine before they dismiss them if they are interested about salvation through faith..

I understand and accept it if you have no desire to do so but IMHO, there is a case for absolute truth and from there raises the terms of what makes something "moral", moral at all..

George H. Smith who gave a speech entitled ‘Why I am not a Christian’ (which was renamed from ‘Atheism: a case against God’) says that the significance of freethought is that no one can make you believe anything you do not wish to believe. The significance of the ‘free’ in ‘freethought’ is that you are morally free. These two heavily quoted atheists give us insight into atheism. I believe the desire is to choose your own morality. God gives us moral direction that opposes the atheists desire to do what he or she wants without any constraints.

This discussion would set forth what God's words have to say about this and perhaps see where there is a case that the problem here is not God's moral truth at all but any truth that is apart from it.

It's up to you , I am operating on some pretty consistent responses from you that I would like to see some discussion about simply because I am concerned about them.An atheist will often claim that we must prove the existence of God and that because a Christian cannot prove beyond a doubt that God exists, atheism will not accept this God. Is this rational reasoning?

There is nothing except personal experience that can prove God without any room for doubt. The personal experience explanation is the biggest criticism I hear atheist make about the Christian belief in God. I partially agree with this opposition. Personal experience does not carry a lot of weight if it stands alone. It is like a character witness in a trial. A character witness in itself means little, but coupled with good evidence it carries a lot of weight. Even in a trial, the jury cannot make a judgment without any doubt whatsoever.

The only way a verdict without doubt could be reached would be if all twelve jurors were eyewitnesses to the account in question. A verdict is reached by a careful examination of all evidence – both pro and con to the defense. The biggest failure of atheism is not that they question God or the Bible.

The biggest failure of atheism is the refusal to acknowledge the credibility of any evidence that does not support the predisposed verdict. If an atheist is a true thinker, he or she will look at evidence that supports and contradicts their ideas. The same is true about a true disciple of Jesus.

the question is not whether or not Christians believe this , the real question should be, is this what the Bible teaches about faith? After all, it is the Bible that is in question here, not the beliefs of a select few.

I can say without question that a true Biblically founded Christian does not believe in blind faith. I do not believe in blind faith and the Bible does not teach blind faith. The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". In other words, the promises of God are so real to us that we consider them as tangible substance because we know God will keep His promises.

We base this principle on the evidence of things not seen. The key is the evidence. We can’t see God with our eyes but we know God is real and His word is true based on the evidence that we have seen. We can’t see God, but we can see the evidence.

Like a jury in a trial. We stand in judgement of the evidence. Which verdict do we believe to be true? Some of the evidence can be see with our eyes, but most of what the Bible tells us is based on the testimonies of eye witness accounts and not our own witness.

The atheist discredits the Bible because he or she cannot be an eyewitness. I have heard more that one atheist say that they would only believe if God would reveal Himself undeniably before their eyes. This poor idea makes for bad judgment. How much of our knowledge is based on personal experience?

The problem with personal experience is that a person can testify to it after making a decision but it does not help in the decision making process. We believe science, not because we have done every experiment first hand, but we believe based on credible people who did these experiments or testified that they or another person did these experiments.

The same is true for almost all of our knowledge in almost every subject. An atheist told me that the genealogy listed in the Bible was not credible because there was no one alive today that could say they saw each of these people. He applied this type of argument to the Bible’s claims and to every piece of evidence that validates the Bible’s claims. This is not an argument but an excuse not to look at evidence. Historians do not dispute these records. If this logic is applied, every piece of history is discredited on every level. To reach a true verdict, you must examine all of the evidence.

Colossians is an excellent example of this venture being undertaken in the context of the early church..and examing what 'happened' there, replete with evidence of realities that were recorded for us to examine. What convinced these folks that Christ is God and led them to abandon their former man made religions?

If you are interrested, I thinks thats a great place to consider these things in the context of what God said, "happened" and see if that is the absolute truth!:hug:

What would be the harm in doing this, after all these are "just words" right?:)

Tisha T
Jan 20th 2008, 08:13 PM
Here's answers to several posts that I have left hanging.

dljc: 1 John 2:19 does indeed say what you posted. You neglected to post verse 18, an integral part of the passage:


1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us: for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Seems these 'end-times' are like the proverbial watched kettle. I am not an antichrist. From Wikipedia: The term [antichrist] itself appears 5 times in 1 John and 2 John of the New Testament — once in plural form and 4 times in the singular, and is popularly associated with the belief of a competing and assumed evil entity opposed to Jesus of Nazareth. The term is also often applied to prophecies regarding a "Little horn" power in Daniel 7, and is used in conjunction with many end times teachings.

Road Warrior: You said:
The stories of the Bible, well, not everyone demands that they be literally understood, although many people do demand that. I think that it is more important to look into what is being told us about God in the stories, than to argue about whether they actually happened in just the way they are told.To those that demand a literal understanding of the Bible: How much contrary evidence will it take before you will even entertain the possibility that some of the Bible's stories are not literally true; that they are figurative stories?
To those who require less-stringent interpretation: Where do you draw the line between literal fact and allegory?


AmazedGrace21: You mention that Darwin's theories have beed 'soundly exposed as "wrong"'. Would you care to offer a link or a citation so we can all see your source for the claim?
As for Intelligent Design, I only have one word for you: Dover.


ImmenseDisciple: I appreciate your wishing me well. That was a most gracious exit, and is a testament to your character.


To all of you, it is an honor for me to be able to talk about these things with you, even though this medium is so impersonal and, well, anonymous. I'm sure we would all be quite comfortable with each other if we met, and I truly enjoyed our conversations. I think this thread has really run its course. Naturally if you want to continue, I'll be more than happy to, but we are so far off topic now there's no hope of bringing it back.

I'd like to part with one last observation. Several posts have alluded to, or acknowledged, my respect for all of you. Most of you are more familiar with an incendiary approach from non-believers. I like to think that most of the trolls who frequent this (and other Christian boards) are newly-deconverted Christians who are going through the betrayal and anger phases of their deconversion. There's no-one who hates smoking as much as an ex-smoker, and I think much the same reasoning follows here. Try this: The next time an all-guns blazing troll becomes belligerent and hateful, ask them how long ago they deconverted. If it's not less that a year, I'll retract my statement.
My motives are different. I've made peace with that phase of my life long ago, and I have an inner peace and serenity which is based on respect and genuine love for my fellow humans. I am not here to ridicule, but to understand.

Good Night! :hug:

RoadWarrior
Jan 20th 2008, 08:32 PM
...
Road Warrior: You said:
To those that demand a literal understanding of the Bible: How much contrary evidence will it take before you will even entertain the possibility that some of the Bible's stories are not literally true; that they are figurative stories?
To those who require less-stringent interpretation: Where do you draw the line between literal fact and allegory?

...

Hi Tisha,

I am less concerned about drawing a line, than I am in understanding what God is saying. I try to read the Bible being aware of it on more than one level, not the least of which is this: "What is it saying to me personally?" I like to pray this prayer:

Lord, help me to see, to understand

what You are saying
why You said it
how You want me to think
and how You want me to live

in light of Your word.


My blessings to you, Tisha,


May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
The sun shine warm upon your face
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Tisha T
Jan 20th 2008, 09:16 PM
Hey, AmazedGrace, we must have posted within seconds of one another!

Sure, I'll be happy to discuss Colossians with you - Tomorrow. Where I am, it's approaching midnight already :hug:


These two heavily quoted atheists give us insight into atheism. I believe the desire is to choose your own morality. God gives us moral direction that opposes the atheists desire to do what he or she wants without any constraints.
No, I choose who I want to believe. For every immoral atheist, I'll show you two immoral Christians. (The stats are on my side here).
By your reasoning, the prisons should be full of atheists. They're not.


I can say without question that a true Biblically founded Christian does not believe in blind faith. I do not believe in blind faith and the Bible does not teach blind faith. The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". In other words, the promises of God are so real to us that we consider them as tangible substance because we know God will keep His promises.
Well, he certainly seems to keep his promises, but only when he's in the mood. His mood seems to follow the statistics of pure chance fairly closely, as far as I've seen. Now I could trot off several instances of promises he (or his son) has made, but that may seem like cherry-picking on my part. Why don't you select a dozen promises, and we can discuss them. And as for Heb 11:1, that's a weasel statement of note.


We base this principle on the evidence of things not seen. The key is the evidence. We can’t see God with our eyes but we know God is real and His word is true based on the evidence that we have seen. We can’t see God, but we can see the evidence.
We can't see the air we breath, but we can see it's effects which allows us to infer that the air has several properties. It must be divided into very small particles that have some mass and that can move, for one. I'm not going into physics 101, but you get the idea.
So what evidence of God have you seen that could not be explained as well, or better, by any other hypothesis?



The same is true for almost all of our knowledge in almost every subject. An atheist told me that the genealogy listed in the Bible was not credible because there was no one alive today that could say they saw each of these people. He applied this type of argument to the Bible’s claims and to every piece of evidence that validates the Bible’s claims. This is not an argument but an excuse not to look at evidence. Historians do not dispute these records. If this logic is applied, every piece of history is discredited on every level. To reach a true verdict, you must examine all of the evidence.
I'd agree with you that your atheist was knitting with only one needle, but he's not entirely wrong. It may be a little absurd, but I can't fault his logic. Not looking at evidence is one of the biggest problems atheists have with Christians! When will you pick up a scientist's version of an evolution textbook, and switch off that inane Answers in Genesis website? Get a proper geology textbook, then go and stand in the Grand Canyon and try to convince yourself it is less than 6000 years old. Learn about the modern 'Doolittle' experiments of learning to communicate with animals. What you find out may astound you.

Anyway, now it is really, really, good night! :sleeping:

dljc
Jan 21st 2008, 03:59 AM
Here's answers to several posts that I have left hanging.

dljc: 1 John 2:19 does indeed say what you posted. You neglected to post verse 18, an integral part of the passage:
Seems these 'end-times' are like the proverbial watched kettle. I am not an antichrist. From Wikipedia: The term [antichrist] itself appears 5 times in 1 John and 2 John of the New Testament — once in plural form and 4 times in the singular, and is popularly associated with the belief of a competing and assumed evil entity opposed to Jesus of Nazareth. The term is also often applied to prophecies regarding a "Little horn" power in Daniel 7, and is used in conjunction with many end times teachings.
So you are going to take the word of Wikipedia over God? What did Jesus say?

John 3:15-19
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.



I also left this out earlier when I quoted Romans 1:

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

If you aren't for Him, you're against Him. Are you not?

I agree with ImmenseDisciple if you weren't trying so hard not to see Him, you might see Him. But then that would mean you'd have to come into the light and get out of the darkness, so that might be a hard choice.


Let me ask you something. Can you describe the most beautiful sunset you've ever experienced, to someone who has been blind from birth? You have to describe the colors, and cloud formations to someone who has never seen any of these things. Can you do it?

Amazedgrace21
Jan 21st 2008, 05:21 AM
Hey, AmazedGrace, we must have posted within seconds of one another!

Sure, I'll be happy to discuss Colossians with you - Tomorrow. Where I am, it's approaching midnight already :hug:


No, I choose who I want to believe. For every immoral atheist, I'll show you two immoral Christians. (The stats are on my side here).
By your reasoning, the prisons should be full of atheists. They're not.


Well, he certainly seems to keep his promises, but only when he's in the mood. His mood seems to follow the statistics of pure chance fairly closely, as far as I've seen. Now I could trot off several instances of promises he (or his son) has made, but that may seem like cherry-picking on my part. Why don't you select a dozen promises, and we can discuss them. And as for Heb 11:1, that's a weasel statement of note.


We can't see the air we breath, but we can see it's effects which allows us to infer that the air has several properties. It must be divided into very small particles that have some mass and that can move, for one. I'm not going into physics 101, but you get the idea.
So what evidence of God have you seen that could not be explained as well, or better, by any other hypothesis?



I'd agree with you that your atheist was knitting with only one needle, but he's not entirely wrong. It may be a little absurd, but I can't fault his logic. Not looking at evidence is one of the biggest problems atheists have with Christians! When will you pick up a scientist's version of an evolution textbook, and switch off that inane Answers in Genesis website? Get a proper geology textbook, then go and stand in the Grand Canyon and try to convince yourself it is less than 6000 years old. Learn about the modern 'Doolittle' experiments of learning to communicate with animals. What you find out may astound you.

Anyway, now it is really, really, good night! :sleeping:

Well I am very gratful and thank you for your willingness to run through some things and using Colossians as a starting point to do this..

How about before I respond and we go off on tangents regarding some of the other things you mentioned..we hold a thought on them for a bit and try to see how each of us observes what written in the first two Chapters of Colossians..and what we think it means..if this OK with you?

The reason I ask is because IMHO..we have an opportunity to step back in historical context of the 1st Century folks who were being given 'these words' and attempting to discern the relevence of them in a society that was the original version of what we have going on around us today in our own..

We all use language, aka "words" to communicate right? Well I took a course in Logical Positivism when in college, and the thrust of the course was to establish the principle that words can't communicate things we can't see...I was not trying to be rude..perhaps simply a generational thing going on here..but I raised my hand and asked the Prof. quite bluntly, "if this is true Doc..then why are you using word's?" Needless to say it made the duration of the course a challange in terms of "invisable line' these words exposed regarding some of this stuff in its application versus theory..:lol:

I also enjoy the irony of the setting of 1st Century Christianity..it was the time and place in history where Christians were the 'atheist's of the day becasue they would not worship "idols" and religionsthat were centered around Gods and of course Romes own darling , Ceaser who was the "official God" by law no one was free to not worship or were breaking the law..and in the case of the early Christians why they were considered criminals..I would think this would be an interesting perspective to approach some of this from to try to discover why these folks in this church were willing to go against this system, knowing what the consequences were..why the Words shared with them had the effect that they did..

Obviously words can have meanings and they change lives for a reason..they have the effect of an atimic bomb in respect to how they can and do..as in the case when someone says, "I love you or I hate you", "Will you marry me?".."I am sorry but we found cancer.."

Colossians is a letter from Paul, it bears a message about God and to folks who were the 'atheist's' of their day..and I believe there is evidence here to offer you this that has a pretty strong case for why the Word of God has changed lives and that there is a basis for examing and coming to an understanding how and why..

Hebrews 4:12 can't be ignored if one is willing to consider absolute truth does exist, that we have the Word of God to examine as a truth and it always stands on its own legs because Jesus is indeed the truth..and as I mentioned before..it always comes down to Jesus.:hug:

As for my thoughts or opinions regarding Darwin and the other stuff Tisha..I come from WV, the coal and natural gas state :) ..some ofmy best buddiesin the world are mineral geologists and mining engineers..my own bro-in law is a geologist and runs his own gas wells..I have a minor in Biology and Earth Science and got descent grades..and I have family in Arizona and have a frequent visitor to the Grand Canyon and University of Arizona..along with many other places..and done some work on archeological digs..there as well as in WV regarding the studies of the indigenious native Indian cultures, I also am fascinated in forensic medicine.. so I am not uninformed or uneducated about some of the things you suggested I may benefit from brushing up on..

My creation views have some teeth in them because I was around scratching my head and rear end trying to sort some of this stuff out for a long time, 35 years plus of doing exactly this and through academic means of approaching all the stuff out there generating the debates.LONG, long before answersingenesis was around..

I think were we to engage and have a nice discussion where I could impart some of this in more detail, I could hold my own with my own personal search into these things..on a semi sophisticated level..the point is I just don't go there beyond a point when the spirit isn't to examine some of this but simply an exercise in futility based on the personalities opposed to the info. :) To be honest, a lot of this comes down to a generational dividing line IMHO..I have a lifespan that has had its feet in both camps and am able to respond as such being familiar with both and am aware how things worked before a lot of this stuff came aboard as well as why and how, that's all!

Why don't you take your time, read over and reacquaint yourself with the first two Chapters of Colossians, and when you are ready and if still willing we approach what these 'words' convey to us and why. Let me know and I will offer some places we can perhaps take up a discussion about it if this is agreeable to you!:hug: Feel free to share what you see as the perspective one should or can derive from "these words"..

I look forward to hearing what you think these things mean..as you have two different vantage point's to share regarding your change inposition towards them.

Tisha T
Jan 22nd 2008, 10:26 AM
Hi, Amazed,

I'm still here. Seems things got off to a rocky start on the 'heaven' thread. I hope it comes right;)

I agreed to examine Colossians mostly because it will give us both some practice. I haven't had to discuss religion seriously for a number of years and so I'm a little rusty on the apologetics. It all gives me a chance to revisit them and see whether any of the debates have changed. So far things look very similar to Thomas Paine's days in the 1700's. The same old arguments and rebuttals keep going around ad infinitum; only the actors on the stage seem to change.

Of necessity, we will bump heads with any discourse, and I hope you understand that. We will both be annoyed and irritated by the arguments and standpoints of the other. I'm up for it, I will not take offence as long as it is the argument targeted without any ad hominems. I undertake to do the same.

For any casual readers, I need to warn you that in this discussion, you may be offended by some of the things I will say. I ask you respectfully to accept the remarks from whence they come and not to join in until the discussion has run it's course. Obviously, the moderators carry the final word, so to speak.

A last thing I would like to clear up, Amazed, is the subject you brought up, your considerable education and knowledge. Please understand that when I answered you, it was not directed towards you specifically, but to the broader audience. From now on, during this 'Colossians' argument, I shall be limiting my responses to you only, and if I do respond for the audience, I shall make that clear.

Over to you...

watchinginawe
Jan 22nd 2008, 03:56 PM
While we are excited about discussion of the scriptures and illumination of the same, Chriatians Answers isn't a debate forum. We aren't going to go forward with this thread.

Thanks to Tisha T and all who took the time to participate.