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Love and Religion

  1. Aug 17, 2003 #1
    Recently i visited an uncle who is a pastor. I've also been trying to learn more about religion and spirituality in general. we got in a little argument that left me terribly unnerved.

    aside from he's comments that i wouldn't understand this and i wouldn't understand that, and remararks about 'one day i hope you'll see the light' he said a lot of other things that seemed so stupid to me. He told me that his god (christian god) is a jealous god, as stated in the bible. when i said i believed god was an embodyment of love, he told me that though that was true, he still could be merciless. admittedly he can't argue for hill of beans, but i just kept quoting scripture at me and it was just intimidating seeing as he is almost 40 years older than me.

    when i finally left the conversation, i was so upset, and i hated 'his' god. i wanted nothing to do with christianty or anything relating to it, except jesus, with whom "I'm tight." i left feeling as if god's love was too hard won, and that it was entirely unworth it to bother trying. i have a severe inability to understand how any religion would preach anything but words of love. apparently however i'm completely naive and ignorant.

    i thought all gods were here to help humans love eachother, but that i guess was just a childish dream, whereas in reality god just once dominion over us and cannot love us enough to grant us free will and the ability to stare him in the face instead of always bowing in prayer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2003 #2


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    Sounds like perhaps you only got half the story. At least, I certainly hope that's what happened.

    If you get the impression that Christianity teaches that we can never earn God's love, then you get the correct impression. However, the God that Christianity teaches does not require that His love be earned, He gives it freely. This is a basic fundamental of Christianity, and cannot be separated from that faith. IOW, any religion claiming the name of "Christianity", that does not believe in Grace (unmerited favor) is not Christianity at all.

    As for the following statement:

    I tend to view the phrase "all gods" as an oxymoron, but I suppose that's just a monotheist thing. But if we are to include all of the "gods" that have ever been taught, worshipped, or believed in, then the idea that they were all "here to help humans love each other" certainly does not seem to be the case. Mamman, the God of material wealth, advocates agreed and selfishness at the expense of others. All of the sun gods of which I am aware (Rah, Helios, etc.) were noted for their callous viciousness, as were most of the Greek and Roman gods. I do not understand the Hindu belief system as much as I will in the near future, but it is my impression that none of their gods are thought to actually "love" their followers, nor to place much priority on followers loving one another. But I may be mistaken about that, I still have a lot learn.

    I'm assuming that the part about how God "cannot love us enough to grant us free will..." was just venting, right? I mean, if there is a God, and He does not permit us free will, you would not have been able to type that, if you follow my (somewhat twisted) logic.:wink:
  4. Aug 17, 2003 #3
    "I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being."
    - Dan Barker

    Hello Gale17,
    I consider religion to be about control. In that line of thought preaching about dreadful punishment and so forth is done primarily to keep people in line.
    Carrot and stick stuff, imo, and because fear is a useful tool to control with it gets used quite a lot.

    Are you open to allowing Jesus to guide you and do you believe that if you were, he actually would/could do such a thing?
    If after years of sincere seeking, study, and prayer you should not find satisfaction, would you then accept the words of others, such as your uncle, believing that perhaps they are somehow closer to God than yourself?

    Of course your uncle hopes one day you'll see the light, but which do you think he would most prefer; that you actually see the light or that you take his word on everything? For me, that bulb is too dim for viewing.
  5. Aug 17, 2003 #4


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    To put it another way, do you believe in a book, or do you believe in the love of God?
  6. Aug 17, 2003 #5
    Remember...if there was a 'God' and 'Satan'(which I don't belive in for a second', then the churches would be the creation of Satan.
  7. Aug 17, 2003 #6
    Ok, well he gave me like a ton of literature to read in the two weeks i was there, but i was only able to read a bit. i learned a lot about grace and free will and soverignty (however it's spelled, i'm too tired/hungover to care) And when reading it i realized, because of how i feel about christ and whatnot, that i lived in pretty damn good grace. I had issues with soveirgnty though. the whole idea of just bowing heads bothers me. i felt that if i lived in perfect grace that god and i would be in such harmony that i'd never even think of him as my lord. i refused to call jesus my lord, although i accept him whole heartedly as my personal savior. but i guess i missed something, cause i have pretend i'm a dog or something in order to really believe in god. i love him, he loves me, i trust him, he trusts me, it seems equalish to me. grace.

    unless it was part of god's big plan that i be all bitter so that you can attempt to convince me with twisted logic that i have free will so that i'd argue against your statement with another statement of equally twisted logic just so that you'd again write a statement like your last so i'd write another like this until i got so confused i just submitted to god's will just to stop my head from hurting, eh? eh?
  8. Aug 18, 2003 #7
    Gale, you have a choiceless choice. You make the best choice possible at every instant of your existance. You could never have done anything different and yet you make choices daily this is reality. Never give up because in the end life is perfect physics and every action does have an equal and opposite reaction. All of life is bound into one singularity and not a black hole. There is something more that many most or some on this forum do not comprehend. It is not that there is more in life but it is that that which is there "is". As to wheater there is a god, ask yourself this question are you concious? The duality that the fools of this forum like to ascribe to a non existance total concious and yet we give something to humans out of nothing and make it special and place ourselves above all(who is playing god? Is one piece of dirt any greater than any other?). There are many questions you can ask yourself if you really want to know. You have the power to answer them all. I also note. I am the only one on this forum that I can attest actually knows what gravity is. All of what I know is based on this and one major experience.

    Have fun thinking as opposed to those who do not.
  9. Aug 18, 2003 #8
    Gale, you should also approach the situation with the knowledge that people who claim to be the only one with the only answer, or that everyone is wrong except for them, is probably blowing smoke up your butt...
  10. Aug 18, 2003 #9
    Belief is a complex animal. I'm sure your Uncle believes he's trying to help you by haranguing you with his views on god/jesus/faith. We all are responsible for finding our own path. Some find comfort in the certainty of exact meanings and literal interpretations, often to the exclusion of of their own spirituality. Some look at the big picture then figure if you follow the spirit of the teachings, that the details will take care of themselves. Some consider all information is required to come from an authority (pope/priest/bible), while others feel that with some guidance and spiritual seeking, it arises naturally from within.

    Your Uncle cannot live your life for you, go to heaven or hell for you, or even go to the bathroom for you. Your faith is your own, be comfortable with it, responsible for it, and don't sweat what someone else thinks or doesn't think about it, no matter how good their intent.
  11. Aug 18, 2003 #10
    Gale, God is love. God is Good. God is the loving creator of the universe including us. We are of God and God is of us.
    Jesus is my Lord, my master, my father, my brother, my friend and mentor. He is my savior and redeamer. He is my constant companion.

    Like I am a son, a father, a grandfather, lover, husband, friend, companion etc. so is Jesus and God. Love is free and uncondition or it isn't love its control. Serving God or Jesus is freely done or it is not serving but obeying. Accepting that there is something greater than yourself is what is meant by bowing our heads and worshiping. It is for our benifit not God's. God does not need our blind obediance or worship but wants our freely given love and acceptance of his glory and power for our sake not his.

    Neither God nor jesus want slaves nor conscripts but loving volunteers, followers and freely willing servents. As Bob Dillion sing; "We all got to serve sombody."

    Your uncle is wrong and you are right but not completely right yet.
    If you and Jesus are tight then you know that he is the one constant in our life and our world. You can and will depend on him and his love. He will never let you down. If you fall he will help you up, dust you off and set you feet again on your path. If you are unable to stand and go on, he will carry you until you are strong enough to stand again on your own two feet. If you do not then stand on your own he will let you know that he cannot and will not carry you forever. For this he deserves your love, honor and gratituted.
  12. Aug 18, 2003 #11
    God is whatever you want it to be, like an imaginary friend that other people believe in too!!

    Sorry...I couldn't resist!
  13. Aug 18, 2003 #12
    haha, i'm sorry people but i was just fooling around. i'm actually pretty strong in my faith, no worries. i'm not as ignorant or close minded as my last few comments lead you all to believe. aside from that, this isn't a thread intended to make me change my 'unbelieving ways.' i just grew up in an environment that lead me to believe in a lot of crazy things. one thing was that god is love, and that he wants people to love, and a lot of other things focussing on the absence of love and happiness today. it just really shocked me to hear a pastor, my uncle, sounding so negative about an entity that to me was only the most positive.
  14. Aug 18, 2003 #13


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    Then good for you. Good especially that you have chosen to address your belief in God as what you agree with, and love, than what is taught or preached mindlessly as the right way. Keep doing it, and be honest to yourself in your consideration of your faith, not afraid to chance or look.

    And remember, the door to the Legion of Satan (aka your local friendly atheists) is always open. And pleasantly warm.:smile:
  15. Aug 19, 2003 #14
    And the music is much better!!
  16. Aug 19, 2003 #15
    What is that your James Randi look there Zero? It looks like the outfit he was wearing on that Nova program I saw awhile back. Of course it also looks like the Grim Reaper, although I think he James Randi are one and the same.
  17. Aug 19, 2003 #16
    Another nonsense post from you, huh? Just once, ONCE, you should post something coherent, for variety.
  18. Aug 19, 2003 #17
    Ineed, life is very "slippery" now isn't it? We must be careful that we don't give the whole thing away! :wink:

    Of course I think that would probably be about right, for if the Grim Reaper were to show up at my doorstep, he would probably show up as the "cold objective truth."
  19. Aug 24, 2003 #18


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    Originally posted by FZ+

    And remember, the door to the Legion of Satan (aka your local friendly atheists) is always open. And pleasantly warm.


    You two are TWISTED! (I LIKE that!! )
  20. Sep 21, 2003 #19
    Hi Gale17!

    I made a serch at google for "love religion" and your post popped out!
    I read it out of curiosity. Your relative, don't think from his common sense, just from preconcieved thoughts, i don't judge him, but he doesn't know what his talking about. You seem to me like a humble seeker for the truth. Don't turn away from the Bible becuase of another person, he doesn't have patent on God or the truth, nobody does. It's only whith sound reason and a humble heart one should approach the truth, otherwise it's impossible to understand God, His love and truth. The Bible just seem to be contractdictive, the Bible also has an inner meaning, not just an literal meaning, every word is like that in the Bible. Exactly like when Jesus spoke in parables, the parables had an inner meaning.
    Just listen to what Jesus has to tell you, don't listen to this and that from other people, as long as they don't speak whith love and wisdom.
  21. Sep 21, 2003 #20


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    Ok... I agree with what you say... the heart of it. But can skeptical religion truly work? Can something that has a book which is announced to be absolutely true be completely consistent with an open minded, flexible spiritual outlook?
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