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Found 18 results

  1. The liberal idea of an anti-utopia is well-presented in The Handmaid's Tale. Abortions and lesbianism are horrific crimes. Less competent men exercise total control over much smarter women. Religious hypocrisy literally runs the country. Old, barren spinsters take out their repressed spirituality on young, vibrant women. If you want to see such a world you need only tune in to Hulu. The conservative anti-utopia would be one in which abortions were available on demand--perhaps even funded by the state. Children could go to government or school representatives to obtain said abortions, or simply to seek confidential counseling without parental approval. Gay marriage would be a basic human right, and opponents would be ostracized, if not prosecuted. Young, telegenic, less-competent religious leaders would garner large crowds, much to the chagrin of the more seasoned, devout elders. If you want to see such a world you need only open your eyes.
  2. Hello All. Recently I find myself getting far to worked up over certain issues of politics, and religion when someone has strong opinions contrary and often somewhat antagonistic to my own. It seems like the internal calm I used to maintain is easily turned into a raging fire lately. I am a firm believer is sharing differing beliefs, thoughts, ideas, world views, and experiences. How do you find that you keep yourself from getting engulfed in the misery others seem to enjoy spreading? How has applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ helped you?
  3. As a life-long Mormon (so far), I've always known that one of the requirements to get into the celestial kingdom is to be a faithful member of the church (LDS, obviously). I have also often heard the question come up (and wondered it myself) whether if someone that's never heard of the church or its teachings would be penalized (not allowed into the highest kingdom) simply because they weren't members, and if that would even be fair. My teachers have always answered that question saying that everyone will have the chance to discover the church throughout their lifetime and whether they decide to explore it would be their choice, therefore making it fair for everyone. However, there are many countries on the Earth that do not give citizens the freedom of religion. For example, the majority of people in China are unaffiliated with a religion and general Christianity only accounts for about 5% of the population. China only has 5 registered religious organizations, which are the Buddhist Association of China, Chinese Taoist Association, Islamic Association of China, Three-Self Patriotic Movement and Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association. Any religious groups outside of this can be subject to anything from harassment, forced conversion, imprisonment, and torture. These horrible consequences have happened many times before. Now, for my question. In the scriptures, it has stated several times that it is very important to follow the laws of your country. So, say someone from China or anywhere with similar laws had discovered the church and had maybe even gotten to the point where they were praying and reading the Book of Mormon, etc. If they were to continue practicing Mormonism, would that be considered a sin if it is illegal in their country? And if so, how would they be able to enter the celestial kingdom without having to leave the country? Please, only leave relevant answers! I have been wondering this for a while and I would like to see what other people think.
  4. I LOVE this!
  5. JAIL HOUSE RELIGION Some say that God must live inside the walls of prisons since so many seem to find him there. Is it really surprising that the Creator reveals himself in dark places? Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible contain great stories of jailhouse religion. Joseph’s prison experience demonstrates that the God of the Old Testament is the same loving and faith-inspiring one found in the New Testament. Joseph was the head slave in Potiphar’s household. The master’s wife tried to seduce him, but he fled the scene. The woman claimed that Joseph tried to rape her, and her husband believed the tale. As a result, he spent approximately 10-12 years in jail—labeled as a sex-offender. Despite the injustice of it, Joseph was a model prisoner. Both his fellow inmates and the prison’s staff respected him. God gifted Joseph with the ability to interpret dreams. Despite the justified anger he might have felt towards Egypt, and its rulers, he used his gift to help Pharoah’s staff, and then the king himself. The apostle Paul, and his partner, Silas, went to prison frequently. They dared proclaim what they had seen and heard—that Jesus is risen from the dead! Their boldness led to tremendous church growth, and it angered Rome’s leaders. So, they were beaten and jailed. Like Joseph, they were model inmates. They sang praises to God late at night. Then an earthquake shook the prison, resulting in open doors. Nevertheless, Paul and Silas stayed in their places, as did all the prisoners. The head jailer was so amazed that he and his whole family converted to faith in Jesus. Why did Paul and Silas stay put? Why did Joseph use his supernatural gifts to help Egypt? These prisoners had faith. God showed himself inside those walls, so they could believe that all would end well. The results vindicated their faith. Joseph correctly predicted that a severe famine would hit Egypt, and then administered stock piling and rationing. Ultimately, he saved his own family, and his “host country” from starvation. Similarly, Paul and Silas received apologies from the magistrates, and were publicly escorted out of the jail, completely exonerated. Christians believe in life turn-arounds. We welcome those releasing back into our churches. Some have even turned from lives of crime to full-time service in gospel ministry. Why not? Adam and Eve committed the original sin, yet taught their children to sacrifice offerings to God. Moses killed a man, yet led Israel out of Egypt. King David committed adultery, lied about it, then had the woman’s husband killed. Nevertheless, God declared him a man after his own heart. In much the same way, Paul was the Christian church’s most zealous opponent, yet he becomes author of over half of the New Testament. “Jailhouse religion” is a phrase oft-spoken with cynicism. This prison chaplain enthusiastically endorses the kind of faith found during incarceration. After all, were we not all captives of our own sins and follies? Listen to the audio presentation of this message at:
  6. In the fall of 2015 there was a report that Norway's CPS took children away from a Romanian Pentecostal family. The case was sparked by a principal's report that the family seemed to be indoctrinating children with a "radical Christianity." Later, the agency insisted that spanking was the real issue. At one point it came out that 3% of immigrants have had their children taken. Their CPS says there are cultural issues, that the immigrants often don't understand that they are not allowed to abuse their children in Norway, and that government will defend the tikes. Only after nearly 8 months, a lost appeal, and an international outcry, did Norway relent. Still, those little sparks of sanity keep us hopeful, do they not?
  7. America was founded, and is united, by our dedication to freedom. Pilgrim's fled religious persecution, and sought a society in which they could worship God according to the dictate's of their conscience. Today some argue freedom of religion is too costly. They say it hurts other groups, and allows hatred and bigotry. Too many Americans shed blood, for us to give in to such division. God sent Jesus to free us from sin--to set captives free. Those who would attempt to suppress faith in their name of their own freedom fall for Satan's ruse. "Take the fruit and you will be like God, knowing good from evil."
  8. … and yours is wrong! I do not say that, nor do I mean it. However, in today’s post-modern milieu it is almost an offense to even say, “I am a Christian.” The simple statement is interpreted as a religious triumphalism, an arrogance, and an intolerance of all else. Ironically, those most offended are not my fellow religionists, but the rising tide of “nones.” Those who have no religion, or no organized religion, or who are “spiritual, but not religious,” or just who choose not to be bothered with such things, tend to be the ones who put a bite into the question, “Why is your religion right?” Still, the only way to answer the question is with innocence. That is, as if the enquirer really wants to know. I am a Christian because monotheism, universal appeal, and sacrificial love all strike as essential elements to a God that is real, and whom I would follow. In today’s world, if God is not one then they are not all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere-present. They are limited. We shall, through invention and progress, eventually surpass them. I would rather go about my life than be encumbered by demigods that just might bless me. Along the same track, if God is one, then does He care about us—about me? If not, again, I would avoid him. If God cares, would He not find a mechanism to show that care, and bring about interaction, that is all over the world. He would not limit himself to a tribe or language. Finally, is God good? I will not debate the presence of evil in the world today. Rather, I look to the simple love story of Christianity. God condescended to sending his Son, to become God-in-the-flesh. A real, historical, human. Jesus died so we could live. What a love story! No other God-story reads like that. So, I prayed. I believed. Now I follow—a God who’s religion is universal, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere-present. The God who loves me. That’s why I am a Christian. That’s why I am right.
  9. My daughter is thinking of being a psychologist. We are encouraging her. However, one area of concern is the integration of religious faith and this field. Historically, there is the perception that psychology is at odds with religion. The issue of sexual orientation and identity has highlighted this concern--especially with APA's rejection of reparative therapies. Things are not always as they seem. APA is realizing that a psychology vs. conservative religion dichotomy was developing--and that such should not be the case. A break through seems to have developed with APA's endorsement of the SIT (Sexual Identity Therapy) framework. In essence, it recognizes that some clients find their religious identity to be more important than their sexual orientation, and that shunting their sexuality to the side, to live celibately, or even eventually, to live in a mixed-orientation marriage, can be ethical and beneficial. Is anyone familiar with the SIT framework? One of the best known psychologists using it is Dr. Warren Throckmorton (Grove City College).
  10. I’m not religious. What does that mean? I don’t do meditation, hang crystals, around, or fear the number 13? Perhaps. More to the point, though, is the message: I’m not sure if there is a god, and the question does not consume me. Often, this comment is made when the speaker realizes they are engaging a person who is religious. I’m such a person. I go to church more than once a week. I pray. I read the Bible. I seek God, even as I say I am already filled with his Spirit. Okay—I’m a minister. So, I often hear people say, “I’m not religious.” Sometimes—especially if I attempt even the most minor inquiry or pro-God statement, I’ll see a hand go up, and a quick, “To each his own.” That’s a wall—a boundary. It means, do not engage me in this topic. I’m not a judge. When it comes to spiritual matters my faith says that only God can judge. And, indeed, many “I’m not religious people” are bright, kind, honest, and diligent. To such people I have a question though. What if there really is a god? What if he does care? The Torah, the New Testament, the Qur’an, and even the Book of Mormon all teach that if one sincerely seeks after God she will find him. The corollary is obvious. If one does not seek after God He will not be found. At least not until the Final Day—that one where God makes himself known to all.
  11. Psychologist earn their keep. They do grueling work, usually 1:1, often seeing the ugliest that humanity has to offer. $90-130 per hour is dirt cheap, in my book. Considering that the car repair shop charges the same, I'll double down on my uber-respect for those in the counseling field. An interesting shift has taken place, however. Even 20 years ago, I can remember that most inmates did not want to see the psychologist. They were okay with us chaplains, though. Today the tables have turned. A recent poll indicated that 42% of those in Portland, OR are unaffiliated with any religion. 34% in Seattle, and 32% in San Francisco. This got me to thinking. People will spends years--sometimes decades--resolving psychological issues stemming from dysfunctional relationships with their parents. Again, this is time well spent. On the other hand, they balk at seeking a relationship with Father God. Too busy. Who knows/cares if there really is God? How can one know which religion is true? But really--the message is that they do not care to take the time to even begin such an inquiry. Ironic?
  12. Apparently the 3 Muslims that were killed in North Carolina, in part over a parking dispute, died at the hands of a progressive Atheist. There was a lot of talk about this being a hate crime--an anti-Muslim murder. Now that the killer is identified as liberal, there is nothing but crickets from most mainstream news outlets. THOUGHTS?
  13. What are people's thoughts on the origin and nature of the world's religions, including Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Daoism, Hinduism, etc? I fully believe the LDS church is true and of God. At the same time, I've read a lot about Eastern religions (Buddhism, Taoism), and to be completely truthful, they've been a great help to me also, and I've found nothing in them that contradicts truth I've learned through the Book of Mormon, LDS teachings, etc. Indeed, at some level, they both seem very much compatible, teaching one to be a "peaceable follower of Christ", yet in the case of the Eastern philosophies, it's almost like they know the truth/have followed the light within themselves, yet know not from whence it comes (Christ). What are other's thoughts on the validity/truthfullness of the world's religions? I've thought about this a great deal, and truly believe that people like the Buddha, Lao Tzu, etc, were very spiritual and inspired people, living in a time/place where the gospel was not restored. Like all religions (Christianity as well), the pure original teachings can be corrupted, turn into idol worship, lose their purity, etc. But, from my understanding, these other religions are truthful as well, perhaps without the "fullness" of the restored gospel, yet nonetheless inspired speak of truth. Thoughts? (Sorry for the two back to back forum questions, these thoughts just came to me now =))
  14. I work 3rd shift at a gas station and a few nights ago this guy comes in. It is obvious he is drunk, he even mentioned he was. So he goes outside and his car won't crank. The battery is dead. So he comes inside to ask if I have jumper cables. I'm left with three options. 1. Jump off his car 2. Tell him I don't have any 3. Tell him yes I have them but that he is too drunk to drive, And put myself in the position of arguing with a drunk while all alone at 3 am. Without much thought, I chose to tell him I didn't have any. We teach our kids it's never okay to lie. But is it sometimes necessary?
  15. hello .. I wanted to know, what's happen after the death ? cremation or not ?, when someone dies what happens if it was of different religion; the family can decide it for the deceased? Or the person is alive when she gave her opinion on who decides after his death? Excuse me if the question was asked, and excuse me for mistakes . death is that like a sleep ? ...... ......(on ne vit qu'une fois)
  16. I am a non-member and have recently entered a relationship with member of the LDS church. I want to find a special gift for Valentines (with Christmas being too late) and wanted some advice on appropriate jewelery. My girlfriend and I have had several conversations about differences between LDS and Catholicism - something we do to try and give me a better understanding of her faith. She has particularly commented on how LDS focus is away from the cruxification of Christ and so there are less reference to this in the images used by the LDS church. My question is: is a crucifix on a chain inappropriate? If so, is there something of similar religious significance that is obtainable as part of a piece of jewelery? I would like to give something to her that she can relate me when attending church, praying at home, etc. Sorry for the long story and I hope to hear suggestions from you all (direct to my forum mailbox would be great). :)
  17. Is religion a force for good? The knee jerk reaction from most people who hold to a religious belief is "yes, of course it is." Then when you point out that religion is used to motivate people to commit suicide bombings they will likely concede that this isn't always the case. In one instance though someone said religion is always a force for good because the intentions are always good, even those of a suicide bomber. My reply was that "the path to hell is paved with good intentions". However the question got me thinking, is religion actually a force for anything? There are many definitions for religion around, one is: "A collection of practices, based on beliefs and teachings that are highly valued or sacred" My own take is that religion is the beliefs and teachings that are highly valued or sacred. The practices are seperate. There are many religions and many churches. I believe that while humans always have free will that it is the church and the way they encourage members to act that determines whether or not the church becomes a force for good or bad and this is regardless of the intentions of the church leaders of the individuals within the church. Take Islam. The teachings of Islam include concepts of peace, love and many other upstanding moral values and yet certain extremist sects, churches if you will, manage to use it to "radicalise" people and turn them in to suicide bombers. Islam as a religion is neither a force for good nor evil rather it is how the church teaches it that determines the acts of the attendees. I posit that religion is not a force for anything, that it is a catalyst around which churches are built. That it is church leaders and the individuals within the church that determine if the church is a force for good or not. I posit that many issues surrounding religion stem not from the religion but the presumption by some that religion is good therefore what the church commands under the trappings of religion must also be good. That the problems in most cases are not with the religion but with the church leaders. It's amazing how good teachings can be twisted to serve someone else's "greater good". Thoughts?
  18. Hello. Tonight I had a conversation with a fellow user. I will not give the name. I wish to post the emails we exhanged. I expressed my opinions on the questions this person brought up. It lead to an interesting conclusion on my view of the church and religion all together. I still want to be a member of the church and follow most of the teachings. My true feelings came out and it may be upsetting to other members. I apologize if that is the case. I'd be interested on other peoples take on what transpired. Thanks. :) --------------------------- user: Do you believe everything Joseph Smith taught about God the father? me: Hello, No, I don't believe everything that Joseph Smith taught. user: so why do you call him a prophet of God if you don't believe everything he taught in his sermons? me: The LDS church calls him a prophet of God. I've never personally called him a prophet. He may be correct in some teachings and wrong in others. He makes mistakes like everyone else who has ever lived with the exception of Jesus Christ. user: Sir how could you not agree with all of his teachings, the LDS church calls him a true prophet of God right? What prophet of God ever made mistakes because they aren't like you and me me: I can answer your question with a broader answer. The LDS church claims to be the only true restored church on Earth today. I don't think there is a church that has 100% of all the facts correct. As long as I accept Jesus Christ into my Heart and try to live a good life, I should probably be granted everlasting life in heaven. I'm a member of the LDS church because I've found it to be the one I'm most comfortable with. user:How do we know if someone is truly a prophet of God? and also are there Biblical guidelines for testing someone claiming to be a prophet? me: I recently listened to an evangelical talk about how one can tell if a person is truly a prophet of God. They stated a question. "What is the prophet's track record in foretelling the future?" Hopfully the prophet should be correct all the time. Joseph Smith was not right all the time. I'm not well versed in the Bible, so I'll unable to give you any biblical references about prophets. My advice is to continue to do research and pray about what is pondering in your heart. You will recieve an answer. user: So sir you've just stated yourself that Joseph Smith wasn't always right yourself. And I'll give you one example of a Biblical text that clearly states what a true Prophet of God is. Deut 13, verses 1-3, Israel was warned about false prophets who would try to lead them after strange gods. If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut. 13:1-3) So sir by biblical standards Joseph Smith was a false Prophet. I'd also like to pose the question to you have you ever asked yourself what the Bible says about seeing what is true and how to do that? and also what does the Bible say about trusting in your own heart? These are serious things to ask yourself because by what you've said and by what the Bible says you are believing in a False God by what Joseph Smith is teaching and you as a Mormon will be judged according the the standards of the Bible. So this subject should dearly matter to you sir. all paths don't lead to heaven. I'm only trying to ask questions and reavel what the Bible teaches and what truths aren't taught to you in the Mormon Church. I pray that you would be willing to ask some quesitons yourself for Joseph Smith is clearly teaching against what God explicitly taught in the Bible and there are sever consequences to pay for following another God me: You have a good point there. I did mention earlier that I did accept Jesus Christ into my Heart. I know the bible warns us that there will be false prophets. They will decieve the elect. I can trust in those teachings. Other things in the Bible I don't believe in. One example is the great flood. I believe there was a massive flood. I don't believe it covered the entire earth and all of God's Animals and plants were on an Ark. To be totally honest with you, I have thoughts on several religions being accepted by God. Christianity, budism, new-agers, muslims, all worship the "one source" of God. It depends on what you believe. I have chosen Christianity even though it may not be perfect. user:Sir let me ask you this. Why did God give us the Bible? me: God has given man teachings to help us understand Him and what he expects of us. The Bible is one example. The Quran is another example. Many teachings were givien to man thousands of years ago. Through out time, these teachings have been translated. I'm sure many are out of context of the original teaching. This was done by man by his own failings or gain. Diferent cultures wanted to have the teachings to meet what they expected. That is why there is such diversity in religion. Unfortunatly, these different belief systems have caused wars and will continue to. I think we should respect any persons belief system and not judge them. user: So your going to say that God gave us the quran? on what basis do you have to say such a blasphemous thing? And with your other comment your willing to doubt the sufficeny of God in the ways that he gave us his word in the Bible? me: God gave us teachings. Man compiled the Bible, Quran, and other written works that other religions read. That's my belief simply stated. If you feel I'm going to Hell for what i believe in that's okay with me. End on conversation. user: Sir I'm only asking questions please don't assume judgment. I am being sincere and care about you. Don't feel I'm trying to tear you down or anything by no means is that the case sir. I'll let you be and pray about words of encouragment for you. Have a wonderful evening and I look forward to talking more me: With your permission, i'd like to post our entire conversation in the forum section. I will not use your name. I'm sure many members would be surprised in what my take on religion is. thanks the user did not respond about permission. Since I did not use the name, I felt it would be ok to post this.