Religion, Spirituality, or Lack Thereof


#1422

It has nothing to do with fear. Christians don’t follow God out of fear of hell. God never says or shows any actions that say “follow me or face hell or follow me or you will be punished”. God doesn’t rule by fear or control with fear. God knew that we would bring sin into the world, fail Him, disobey Him, do horrible things over the course of history, hate, be prideful, etc. He knew we would do all that before He created us, yet He still created us and gave us free will to decide for ourselves who to serve. And He didn’t stop there. He knew that we would need a way out of our sin, so we wouldn’t doom ourselves to hell. Even before He created us, He put a system in place that involved a sacrifice of a perfect lamb to allow anyone who wants it, the gift of life. He knew, before He ever created us, before we eer had the chance to fail Him, that He was going to give Himself up to our world, become a human, and die at our hands as the perfect sacrifice, all because of hw much He loved us.

God loved us first. So we love Him back. God served us first. So we serve Him back. God showed us mercy and grace that we never deserved, so we are grateful and show others the same kind of mercy and grace. And because He did good for us first, we show others that same goodness and kindness.

Now you might see it that way, and you are free to do so (free will and all), and I am not here to try to change your mind, just to offer the perspective from the inside.


#1423

What is everyone’s favorite piece of text from their holy book(s) or favorite philosophers? I’d love to hear them.


#1424

Sin- tied to the concept of what is evil…

Ah, EVIL, bwa, ha, ha!!! So many images come to mind when we think “evil”. Surely we don’t need to be saved, because WE are not EVIL!

What is evil? Real Evil? Is it what we see in the horror movies? We picture something hideous, scary, eat-your-still-beating heart, demented, causing damage and death to large groups of people… Is that what evil is? Things like that are like evil on steroids, evil so huge that people cannot relate to it on a personal level. Does evil apply to everyday people like you and me?

Definition of Evil: 1. Morally bad; wicked. 2. Causing injury or any other undesirable result.

Do you think our morals could be God’s law written in our hearts like he promised? Could evil be breaking that law? Have you ever been morally… not 100%? (and thus morally bad, and therefore evil?) Is evil really that simple and commonplace? Have you ever caused an undesirable result? Told a white lie? Fudged a little? Cheated? Etc… Are we, each and every one of us, by definition, evil?

Before you automatically say no, look at the definition again. Have you ever caused an undesirable result, even by accident? Can we be so perfect that we NEVER cause harm, whether physically or emotionally?

We are not perfect. The ability to cause undesirable results is inherently in us. Being saved means that there is a way to be brought out of those undesirable circumstances. Do you want that? I do. That’s what it means to be saved.

I suppose it would help if we understood what salvation is.

Definition of Salvation: 1. The process or state of being saved. 2. Deliverance from sin and penalty, realized in a future state. 3. Any means of deliverance from danger, evil, or ruin.

Deliverance from sin and penalty- Jesus took the penalty for our sin upon himself; deliverance performed 2000 years ago, realized in a future (future for him at the time of the crucifixtion, now for us) state. This means Jesus is our salvation.

It really has nothing to do with fear. It’s all about understanding and defining what we are talking about.


#1425

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in, some of us just go one god further.” – The God Delusion.


#1426

That is a lovely deal you have that.

Tell me should I if I find myself in a beartrap beg the hunter to release me because the hunter is a good person?

Who set up the bear trap, in the case of Abrahamic religions… Mr God himself. He is responsible for everything, check the book. Good AND evil! He even claims he is good AND evil.

That makes him inherently an evil bastard, as much as a good savior.

Have fun thinking about that one. The coin has two sides, you can’t blame that on yourself.


#1427

HEY! If you don’t believe you don’t have to name call. I’m sure the purpose of this thread was to become more religiously aware. Your comments aren’t furthering the thread.


#1428

Where are you getting that? God never claims to be evil and He is not evil. I’d love for you to share where you got that from


#1429

Except in your analogy, you are claiming that God put the trap there just to trap you and hunt you, to get you to ask Him to free you, and you are compleely or at least mostly innocent. Of course that doesn’t make any sense and makes for an evil overlord type.

Using the same analogy, the hunter is not God, but demons, the trap is there because we allowed it to exist in the first place, and we got ourselves caught in it by getting ourselves into a situation that we were warned about by God, making us to blame, only to have God come to us, find us, and trade places wiith us in the trap, freeing us while paying the price Himself.


#1430

That’s an interesting quote to say the least.


#1431

Well, I couldn’t think of another right now, but I have over a hundred holy books and favourite philosophers, so my answer will likely change.


#1432

I’m no longer Christian, so I’m not really the best person to try and help explain this, but I’m going to give it a go anyway to the best of my knowledge.

God created everything. He created you and all others. But at that point, free will and a conscience allow a person to make their own decisions in life. They make good decisions, bad decisions, and so on. To us, time moves forward one second at a time. But to a god, the end is already known. However, knowing that end does not mean He created you with the purpose of reaching that end. He creates a person, that person goes about their life and dies, and then judgement befalls them. All of this is understood simultaneously to a god, because time is not so linear. However, just because God is aware of what will happen, does not mean that people don’t make that path themselves.


#1433

Isaiah 45:7 King James Version (KJV)

7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

Of course that could be the old testament days when things were a bit more filled with battles and wars.

I will not say sorry for opening these lovely ideas. Since, if you stare to long into the light, you are blinded. If you sneak to long into the shadows you are blinded too.

Duality is part of the systems we are part of, and good and evil are bound together. Darkness and light, good and evil. And IF… I say IF there is 1 creator god… said god created all that. Including the bad parts.
Now what does that means for us?


#1434

That is part of the reason why I highly dislike the KJV. It’s translation sucks quite frankly.

(1) The word translated “evil” is from a Hebrew word that means “adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, misery.” Other major English Bible translations render the word: “disaster” (NIV, HCSB), “calamity” (NKJV, NAS, ESV), and “woe” (NRSV).

(2) The context of Isaiah 45:7 makes it clear that something other than “bringing moral evil into existence” is in mind. The context of Isaiah 45 is God rewarding Israel for obedience and punishing Israel for disobedience. God pours out salvation and blessings on those whom He favors. God brings judgment on those who continue to rebel against Him. “Woe to him who quarrels with his Master” Isaiah 45:9. That is the person to whom God brings “evil” and “disaster.” So, rather than saying that God created “moral evil,” Isaiah 45:7 is presenting a common theme of Scripture – that God brings disaster on those who continue in hard-hearted rebellion against Him, which is clear when you read the whole chapter in context.

(3) Good and evil were not created. Goodness has existed forever, because that is what tthe essense of God is. Good. Evil is a result or effect of free will, something else that was always in exsistance, because God has free will.


#1435

This is actually a good question. Does God, god, gods have free will?

I remember I heard that angels don’t have free will. And I remember hearing discussions that in Heaven, in order to be sinless, there is no free will as well.


#1436

If you had two choices in front of you, one you knew would lead to good results, one that would cause harm, which would you choose?

Besides, Jesus said we don’t know what we’ll be.


#1437

How @KaylaWinchester explained it is why I like comparing different versions of the Bible (comparison bibles make it really obvious). I like getting direct translations when possible. I learned long ago that the definition of a translator is a liar, because he can only come close if the one language doesn’t have a word that the other language has.

Have you ever seen books on Wattpad where someone blindly used whatever word popped up in a thesaurus? The similar word just doesn’t fit how they are using it. Same concept.


#1438

And please, opening lovely thoughts are fine, makes us all understand better :slight_smile:


#1439

Translations and interpretations will always have some level of inaccuracy. When reading or watching something translated or interpreted into another language, it’s important to consider the meaning of the content and its intent, and not look too deeply into the exact wording chosen. You can translate the same statement multiple ways and still have it maintain the original intent. But if the exact wording is what you focus on, then you might misunderstand the point of it. There’s also additional context to the original word choice like cultural ones and how that time period uses a word. Every word has a denotation, but the connotations change depending on the overall usage of the word, as well as when and where.


#1440

If you want to read scripture exactly as it was written, learn to read in Hebrew and Aramaic for the “Old Testament” and Greek for the New Testament.

As @Arynneva said, no translation will ever be perfect. And word-for-word translations often end up gibberish due to grammar and syntax difference.


#1441

Eastern Orthodox Christianity doesn’t, thankfully, have original sin, which is probably my least favourite religious doctrine