Faith and Politics


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54 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

That may well be true--at least often. However, sometimes hypocrisy can dishearten the potential seeker. There are  a few skeptics who will never be persuaded. Then there are the ready-made converts that just need to be asked. What of those in the messy middle? For them, a believer walking in holiness, under the anointing of the Holy Ghost, might well make the difference.

100% agree.  

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9 hours ago, Traveler said:

The other day I was listening to the car radio when an advertisement came on.  The essence of the ad was that everyone is going to Hell (eternal or forever punishment) unless they believe in Jesus Christ.  The ad had two individuals talking - one said that they thought they would go to heaven.  The other asked, "Have you ever told a lie?'  The first answered that everybody at some time has told a lie.  The second said that without believing in Jesus Christ they will go to Hell. ... I do not understand your point?????

 

This sounds like Ray Comfort (he has quite a few witnessing videos on Youtube, and this is his standard approach). The idea is that IF one believes that obeying the 10 Commandments will get one to heaven then it is incredibly easy to show that we all fail (as the Bible says--all have fallen short...there is none righteous). So, instead of relying on good works, which are never enough to repay for our commandment-breaking, turn to Jesus and accept His free gift of mercy and forgiveness. That's his point.

My point is that opponents of God would hate to live forever in heaven given that God was everywhere, always.

Edited by prisonchaplain
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9 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

This sounds like Ray Comfort (he has quite a few witnessing videos on Youtube, and this is his standard approach). The idea is that IF one believes that obeying the 10 Commandments will get one to heaven then it is incredibly easy to show that we all fail (as the Bible says--all have fallen short...there is none righteous). So, instead of relying on good works, which are never enough to repay for our commandment-breaking, turn to Jesus and accept His free gift of mercy and forgiveness. That's his point.

My point is that opponents of God would hate to live forever in heaven given that God was everywhere, always.

Not being expert in how some religion define things in detail.  It is not part of the Trinity doctrine (Traditional Christianity) that G-d is in essence everywhere present?  Do you really think that one can escape the presents (influence, power and awareness) of G-d - even in the deepest recesses of Hell?

To clarify my opinion and understanding.  I am of the notion that the glory, power and all other attributes of G-d is known and felt in great detail - even in the deepest recesses of Hell and that Hell is not a sanctuary void of shame or divine awareness.  My point is that I am of the notion that it makes no difference if someone is in heaven or hell - what they hate or love remains the same.  I think I am more of the opinion that heaven and hell are not places we go but rather that which is within us.  Only because it is the logic that most makes sense to me.  Because your opinion appears to be different I would be most pleased to learn more of your thoughts. 

 

The Traveler

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On 2/17/2022 at 11:57 AM, Vort said:

Let's quantify this. Exactly how much better than the Average Joe does a Christian have to be in order to meet the unbelievers' high standards? 26.5%? A meter and a half? Twelve pounds? $1120?

Again, it's not us who set the standard. And frankly, it's not so much that I expect Christians to be better than me. It would be more accurate to say that I expect believers to live their gospel, which in a lot of ways is faith-neutral. As I said, I like a lot of Christ's biblical teachings. There's a lot of stuff in there that transcends dogma. Teachings like "Love thy neighbor", "judge not", and "help the poor" are universal and there are many non-believers who strive to live by those standards.

On 2/17/2022 at 11:57 AM, Vort said:

For that matter, why does anyone care what the unbelievers think on such issues? How is their opinion at all relevant to a sincere Christian? Do we ask a whore to instruct us on sexual morality? Do we look to 14-year-old high school freshmen to teach us graduate-level physics?

When you're instructed to be a "beacon on a hill" (I think I got the term right), it can't hurt to have some awareness of how you're perceived by those you're trying to light the way for. Are you setting the right examples? Are there things about the way you interact with others that might pollute the way people perceive your church? 

On 2/17/2022 at 11:57 AM, Vort said:

But every true Christian (Scotsman or otherwise) knows that your first battle against evil is within yourself, and that battle never really stops during your lifetime. You, Brother or Sister Christian (cue Night Ranger), will inevitably fail sometimes. You will betray yourself and find a reason to justify doing the evil thing, even though you know that you will need to repent. And your repentance will be all the more bitter and painful because it was intentional. Such self-betrayal is a form of hypocrisy.

Nobody's perfect. And no one's looking for perfection from believers. I just want to see people try their best to practice what they preach. They'll stumble sometimes, but everyone does. That doesn't matter. What matters is the earnest effort, and I feel like some Christians have willfully stopped trying to be the beacon. It just seems to me that nowadays there are a lot of Pharisees masquerading as Christians. 

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8 hours ago, Godless said:

Nobody's perfect. And no one's looking for perfection from believers. I just want to see people try their best to practice what they preach. They'll stumble sometimes, but everyone does. That doesn't matter. What matters is the earnest effort, and I feel like some Christians have willfully stopped trying to be the beacon. It just seems to me that nowadays there are a lot of Pharisees masquerading as Christians. 

One of the most bigoted, narrow-minded, and willfully ignorant individuals I have ever had the misfortune of encountering was a self-described "free thinker" with a doctorate in the social sciences who insisted on trolling a particular internet forum that has since ceased to exist.

She was very arrogant, believing that her doctorate made her functionally invulnerable. She had the degree, she was right, and that was to be the end of it. If you posted anything contradictory, no matter how well-documented, she'd either side-step it or pretend you never said anything.

Matters came to a head when a controversial study was released claiming that "religious" children had more trouble separating fact from fiction than "secular" children. A website I'm on that discusses now religion is handled in the news (it's run by several veteran reporters, and since I'm a newspaper writer IRL...) decided to look at how the study was being covered, and someone in the comments found a link to where the study could be read for free. We all poured over the study, and in doing so found many shocking flaws in its design and execution. For example, they defined "religious" as "attends private school" and "secular" as "attends public school", definitions that are utterly meaningless due to how many factors dictate where children attend classes. Our general conclusion was that the study was such a mess it never should have been published, and we mutually chose to table matters until subsequent studies on the topic shed more light on the matter or the people who did the study chose to revise it. 

The "free thinker" in question, however, took the study at face value, started crowing about it, and held it up as "proof" that her bigoted sentiments towards people of faith were justified. When I tried to explain to her how flawed the study was, she and one of her allies told me that as a "non-scientist" (direct quote) I had "no right" (also direct quote) to question anything that appeared in a peer-reviewed journal. When I linked her to the other discussion and showed her a dozen people with relevant qualifications all saying "Yeah, this study is too poorly done to be credible", she exploded in rage and literally started cussing everyone out

What would you do if I - or someone else who witnessed this fiasco - started judging all free thinkers by the actions and sentiments of this person? 

You yourself would admit that this person was far removed from the norm, correct? 

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1 hour ago, Ironhold said:

You yourself would admit that this person was far removed from the norm, correct? 

Yes. Now, to revisit the original topic of this thread more or less, imagine that people who think, act, and talk like that were filling the seats of state legislatures, governorships, and the US Congress. They may not represent a majority of their demographic, but the majority generally seems unbothered by their antics because it doesn't affect them directly. But they're saying and doing things from their positions of power that are harmful to people who don't share their worldview. Suddenly you have "far removed from the norm" folks writing state policy, maybe even national policy eventually. Again, it may not affect you directly because your beliefs align closely to theirs, even if you don't practice them the same way. But in this scenario, who do you think the nonbelievers are going to focus their attention on? And at what point does the "silent majority" become complicit in the actions of their more radical and vocal counterparts?

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4 hours ago, Godless said:

And at what point does the "silent majority" become complicit in the actions of their more radical and vocal counterparts?

Several thoughts. One, the silent majority of reasonable moderates simply doesn’t exist anymore. The people who elected Nixon over McGovern in 72 have either all died (not being grim, it’s how life works) or swung to the hard left or hard right. 
 

The moderates in the parties are HATED by their bases. Ask yourself-do you like Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema? Your feelings on them are how the right views Susan Collins and Mitt Romney. 
 

Finally, and most heartbreakingly, the bases in the parties have become so extreme that they’ve lost perspective. Look at what the Trumpers did to Liz Cheney. You know, that raging leftist. They kicked out a woman who voted republican 96% of the time because she refused to bow to god emperor Trump. Your side (descriptive, not pejorative) would love to do the same to democrats who dare to be pro life or pro gun. 
 

So you can be pro life, anti tax, pro gun, pro death penalty….yet if you are pro gay marriage too, the right kicks you out. If I’m pro gay marriage, anti gun, anti death penalty but think life begins at conception…well good luck getting anywhere as a democrat. 

Edited by LDSGator
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On 2/19/2022 at 4:38 PM, prisonchaplain said:

It may well be speculation on my part that God absents Himself from hell. I have always thought so. 

Logic fails us on both sides of this discussion. Yes, it's commonly thought that God is omnipresent, so hell would offer no escape from God's presence. On the other hand, can God exist where there is constant evil? Do good and evil truly co-exist eternally--in hell?

Satan is not the ruler of hell, and that place is for punishment, not as an atheistic paradise. On the other hand, what makes it horrible could well be that God chooses not to be present there--in any way. There may be wailing and gnashing of teeth at the reality of God's absence, but those who oppose Him might find it even worse if He were there, always to see, always to breathe in, always to sense. Perhaps it is God's mercy that He chooses to not be in this one place.

Edited by prisonchaplain
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On 2/19/2022 at 5:38 PM, prisonchaplain said:

It may well be speculation on my part that God absents Himself from hell. I have always thought so. 

I always appreciate your input.  However, from scripture and personal experience - it seems obvious to me that G-d does not withdraw his influence from anyone or any place but that the opposite is what happens.  That is, that individuals and certain places have withdrawn from G-d and become "blind" to Him and his influences.  Jesus called such methods as: those that have eyes but cannot see and ears but cannot hear.

 

The Traveler

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