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For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Posted by FlowergirlDeb2 (debbie337@msn.com) on
Fri, Jun 14, 02 at 14:03

OK. I understand that I have been critical about your words on past posts that refer to the Bible. I believe that my reasons for being so critical stem from the fact that I honestly have never studied the Bible, and although we are good, trustworthy, hardworking, and modest people, my family has never instilled in me the importance of the Bible's words, or it's meanings. So, at the risk of sounding like a paranoid "wanna all of a sudden believe in it all" , my reasons for asking these questions are simple, I will be honest.
I have always believed in God. I pray, I give thanks, and I DO tell my children that it is because of God that we have such beautiful and important things like the blue sky, oceans, butterflies, and people that love and care about us. We don't go to church, and I'm not sure why, we just don't go. I get confused when religion comes up, because I don't know what the Bible says, and I have never had the sort of faith required to consider myself a true "believer." It's not that I need some kind of PROOF, I just lack knowledge in the meaning of religious scriptures and I don't know where to begin.
What do you think of the Rapture? About Tribulation, or pretribulation? What does this all mean, where can I find out more about it all, and how can I educate myself, and my children? What's going to happen to people like me?
I don't know.
I figured I could count on you to at least gladly give me some sort of direction, because I have been so critical and doubtful in the past.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Flowergirl Deb,
I appreciate your sincerity and openness. Please feel free to e-mail me and I will discuss my beliefs and why I believe the way I do.
I have had a deep concern for you and others who have had strong opposite views.
May I just refer to one Scripture to emphasize the love of God that being John 3:16. Study the Scriptures.
I don't profess to know all the answers but if you will contact me I will help you search for the answers.
Thanks again Deb. Please feel free to e-mail.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Hi Flowergirl,

The "Bible" is actually many "books" rather then chapters of the same book. Then there are over fifty versions of that compilation. I generally refer to a version of the King James bible. Within a typical bible there are two halves, the Old Testement and the New Testement. The Old Testement generally refers to people and things that took place before the birth of Jesus.

I am an atheist, but I like to read and the Bible is one of the many books on my bookshelf. Christians are the middle religion, between the Jews and the Muslims. The major difference between the groups being the "prophet" that they choose to buy into. The Bible provides some guidence for those that are lost in this world and need to be told what to think or do. While the advice is often sound sometimes it is contradictory and you still must use your own judgement.

It seem Jesus was this young single carpenter that liked to run around with his gang dealing drugs and hanging out with the hookers. Jesus was a rebel who talked alot of trash about the government and even did a little vandalism. Not that Jesus was any big time bad guy or anything like that, but times were hard and the people needed someone to blame for the problems of the time. With his long hair, big mouth, and bad attitude it was natural that he be picked up by the authorities. Now ol' judge Pilate didn't see any big problems with Jesus but the people were shouting for a conviction (some things never change). So Pilate caved in to the demands of the stupid drunken masses... "ecce homo". They had a good time torturing Jesus and humiliated him by nailing him up with a couple of common criminals. While crucifixtion is normally a slow and painful death Jesus expired early. If you like spooky stories read about the spear that they poked Jesus with sometime... way cool.

Perhaps the biggest lesson of the Bible is that people are okay when you get them alone but in groups they are stupid and cruel. The Bible contains many different stories, some read like soap operas others like science fantasy. The Bible even has dragons and sorcerers in my favorite book.
If you are curious then the Bible is certainly worth a read. Try to keep in mind that it is actually many books and don't get bogged down in the stupid names like Jehoshaphat or Nebuchadnezzar just read along and pick up the story.

: )

michael


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Bunnyman,
Could you site Scriptures of Jesus' drug dealings? talking trash? vandalism? bad attitude?
I will be praying for you. God loves you and I love you. I hope you get to know Him in a personal relationship of faith and trust.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Gardenboy,

So that little deal with the money changers I call vandalism... have you a better term?

"ecce homo"

: )
michael


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Hey Deb good luck in your studies. I am Baha'i. I believed in all the principles of this religion before I ever knew about it - then I learned about it and was excited to finally have something to call myself! You should read about it, I think there are a lot of things that you would like.

I used to think a lot about Christianity but I decided there was no reason for me to spend my time compromising and justifying all the things wrong with that religion and the evil it has perpetuated so that I could fit it to my morals and the things I have faith in, which I was totally secure with.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.us.bahai.org/


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Hi Michael,
I found this site concerning cleansing of the temple.
Jesus said, "my house will be a house of prayer", but you have made it a "den of robbers".
I call this zeal and cleansing of the temple not vandalism. The following may be of help: http://www.ultranet.com/~tldcms/bscleans.htm

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.ultranet.com/~tlclcms/bscleans.htm


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Gardenboy, THANK YOU, I will be contacting you in e-mail very soon. Be prepared for a LONG LONG read though! Michael, I also appreciate your post, the way you explain things brings them where I seem to better understand! :) Anita, I went to your suggested site and that sounds wonderful!! I am sending for info. so that I can learn more.
What I am interested in, or searching for I guess is God, Jesus, my personal spirituality, inner peace maybe, I really don't know. The Bible does confuse the heck out of me!! I understand there are versions that use "regular" language, what is it, "lay" terms, to tell the Bible's stories. I will be looking for one of those!
To make a LONG story short, I feel right now that I am at the best, most content place I have ever been in my life. I have struggled with many emotions and uncertainities that have put my husband and children through pain, along with myself. These things happened years ago, and it has taken me SO LONG to be able to finally accept myself, and have faith in myself and feel worthy of the life that I have been given. I have personal goals, school is the most important one for me right now, I have interests and hobbies that I am actually GOOD at, like painting, crafting, gardening. I just feel a void as far as religion, I don't feel complete as a person....you know????
Anyway, thank you all for letting me do this here! I will be in touch Gardenboy, within the next few days!! THANK YOU.


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So Gardenboy,

The moneychanger had a right to do business... it was Jesus who took the law in his own hands and broke it. From a law & Order perspective that is vandalism. Graffiti artists try to justify damaging private property by saying that it is for the public good. Jesus certainly did a little more damage then our modern paint can artists! I did note that Jesus was not a "big time" bad guy and that Judge Pilate really didn't see anything wrong with his behavior.

Look at all of the long haired, dope smoking, beer drinking, skirt chasing, young carpenters working an honest job around the town. If your God has returned where else would you expect to find him? Will you know his face when it is before you? Perhaps you are one of those looking for the white war horse with Jesus chopping the heads off of infidels?

: )
michael


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Michael,
Obviously we have extreme differences in our points of view. (understatement of the year)
You may feel free to contact me by e-mail.
I just don't understand where you are coming from. In the meantime I will be praying for you.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Please know, Gardenboy that I will be writing you a lengthy e-mail, but I want to be certain that I have the time and will not be interupted!! :) Deb


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

I will pray for you Flowergirl and also Gardenboy that God will speak through you in a way that FG understands. FG, please be careful about some versions that are more modern and do not have the best translations of the original text.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Flowergirl Deb - I'm certainly no biblical expert, just a humble student of the scriptures. You asked about tribulation & "end times stuff" in your original post. I'd say for the answer, read the Revelation (last book of the bible). Don't be taken in by all the trash published now - the Second Coming novels, etc. They are not accurate to the bible, but to some funamental churches' views of what they think the Revelation says. Also be comforted that people from the day after Christ rose have thought they were living in the "end times" and that Christ was coming agin immediately - and that's been 2002 years. Good luck in your quest. I've read the bible many times over, and read many books on the bible. My advice - skip the books on what they bible is supposed to say, and just read the source - the actual bible. It's a tough read but worth it!


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Momma Bird,
Good point. A lot of revelations was written with a lot of symbolism, so it is very open to interpretation.

I read it prayerfully, and ask that God speak to me when I read the bible, and then I take the message I receive.

I like preachers who qualify what is factual, or historical, versus what is their interpretation. Not all biblical scholars qualify their teachings, though.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Thanks MommaBird and Karen! :)


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Yeah yeah! Revelations has the dragons and sorcerers!

"Rapture" has different meaning depending on who you ask. Something about dropping what ever you are doing, forgetting everything, and killing infidels when JC returns.

: )
michael


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Aww Gardenboy,

I'm really sorry you don't understand. As you can see from my posts I don't have anything against Jesus. I'd be glad to have him in my home a guest. So many admirable traits... he took pity on the sick, lent a hand to those that were down, looked beyond a woman's past to the kind heart within, and stood up for what he thought was right. Lots and lots of things for even a hard core atheist like me to like, admire, and emulate. Funny how the drugs (water to wine miracle), hookers (mary m.), and criminal acts (money changers) cause some so called christians to deny him.

No, I'm not much for religion but Christ was a cool dude and in many ways I want to be like him. Really, we are not that far apart.

: )
michael


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Michael, would you please get in touch with me through email?
My dictionary defines an atheist as a person who believes that there is no God. A person who ignores his duty to God; a godless person.
You have described
Christ from a physical view point. Do you view Christ in some way from a Spiritual view? Miracles? As God? God's Son? His Church? Holy Spirit? Submission? Commitment? Resurrection? Ascension?
Please email me your thoughts.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

If you want to learn about Christianity, Revelations is probably NOT where you should start. It, in general, will not make much sense due to all the symbolism, etc. Even most people who claim to understand do not agree among themselves about its actual meaning.

Probably the most beneficial will be Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Acts (first 5 books of the new testament) to start with. These books tell of the birth and life of Jesus, and they are not that hard to read. The first four are basically different versions of the same story, so a lot of material is repeated.

A widely accepted modern language translation is what is called the "New International Version (NIV)," although many believers refuse to move away from the King James Version (the one most often quoted, with all the "thees" and "thou's", etc.) I would recommend the NIV if you want a modern version.

And, Momma_bird is right. The "endtime" books are not much help. They are just the opinions of individuals. And, the "Left Behind" series, that I think she was referring to, is actually fiction (and the authors admit so). Although the series is based loosely on scripture, the books are fiction.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Thank you!! I do believe though, that I had some assistance when I found the first book in the "Left Behind" series...because I have been trying to understand where God fits into my own life for years, I just never took the time to really work on it. If I hadn't glanced at the bookshelf in the library that one day, I wouldn't have seen the book...and when I grabbed it off of the shelf I had NO IDEA what it was about, I just thought it looked pretty interesting!! I'm not under the impression that the Rapture will be happening soon, and that I MUST be saved because of this, I simply need to understand and learn about Jesus and God for ME, for personal spirituality and peace. I would very much prefer the NIV you mentioned, anything that would make the Bible easier to comprehend would be wonderful!! Thanks again!! :)


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

You can also visit www.bible.com, click on BIBLES, and get an online version to read (for free).


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THANK YOU!


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

No doubt about it, the Bible is an excellent book. I do not, however, believe in everthing it says. I do believe in the "Big Ten" however. I'm also disputing whether I believe Jesus of Nazareth (is that right?) was the son of God or not it. It doesn't all fit... I would not want to live life "by the Book" because I find it restrictive...

You might say I'm pretty outspoken for a 15 y/o Roman Catholic boy...

Charles


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Thanks for sharing Charles!!


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

This may help.. Let me know what you think...

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.hendersons.net/straitway/2001/04062001.htm


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Wow, there are sure some angry people on here. Garden boy, I admire your grace under fire.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

I'm surprised Spike didn't wipe out this thread. Too hot a topic for these forums.

Flowergirl, if you choose to read the bible do so from the beginning (Genisis). But, by the sound of your first post, it sounds like you are trying to find a way to believe in that particular religion. If that is what you want, don't read the bible.

I read the bible, cover to cover. I am now a born-again Pagan.

If you do decide to read the bible, do yourself a favor and read it yourself. Use your own mind and the reading comprehension skills that that God gave you. What the bible says and what the various Christain religions says it means are two (or 3 or 4) totally different things.

Kay.


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RE: For Arkansasgardenboy, and anyone else interested

Kay H,
I would suggest that you study the Bible for in the Scriptures you think you have eternal life. You can know that you have eternal life with Christ. Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Just reading for the sake of reading has little value. Let God guide you in His Word. Seek to know His Perfect Will. Apply the Word. Obey it. Ask someone to help you. Seek to be pleasing unto God. May you seek to know God.


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Kay H,
I understand where you are coming from. I agree about your comment about reading it yourself and think one should and let the holy spirit help interpret it. I find it hard to understand however, that so many well known Christians(Ministers,Evangelists, etc.) have different enlightment experiences. Obviously the spirit was not with them at the time of reading. I think that is what AGB is saying "Just reading for the sake of reading has little value." But why so many denominations. I used to attend a Free Will Baptist Church and have since left. I could never quite agree with the notion that any clothing(shorts) above the knee is sinful. Not that they turned people away for this, but attire was specifically mentioned and adhered to at events such as Basketball in sweat pants for the Church team. I now attend a Baptist Church, which I enjoy. I know these are trivial issues in regards to the main issue of believing Jesus was the Son of God, but they always haunted me.
Flowergirl, I have to say that looking for answers is the first step in finding what you seek. I wish you well on your journey. I too walk the same path.


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