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Why do people proselytize?  Do they really think people are going to say"Yes, you are absolutely right. I will turn from my sinful, depraved existence and devote my life to your version of religion."

Has it ever occured to them people might like their own version of religion for a reason?  Most people's religion is the result of study, contemplation and exploration.  They have probably studied the proselytizer's religion and found it very lacking.

Don't they realize proselytizing goes against what religion should truly be about.  Every person chooses their own path to God.  Even if you go to the most fundamentalist church, you will notice at least some slight variations in how religious matters are believed. (If there aren't any you better run away quickly because you are in a brainwashed cult).

Proselytizing disrespects the differences people have in religion.  What they are really saying is, "My religion is the only valid one out there.  Your religion is at the very least wrong, and at the worst a manifestation of the devil that must be destroyed at any cost."  That attitude has turned religion into a force of destruction and discord, instead of a source of healing and harmony that it could and should be.

Lets remember the great teaching shared by most major religions, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  I won't attempt to proselytize, so please show me the same respect and courtesy and not try to proselytize me.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 02:42 AM on January 11, 2003 | IP
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What if someone knows something you don't? There should be no problem hearing someone one out, right? I mean if you say that they have probobly already explored and wieghed out the religion's, then they obviously want truth, right? What if you have propelling evidence? Let's not draw ourselves away from the truth that we claim we want. Let's not suffercate ourselves in a box. There is a propelling case for Christ, and I am exited to share it! What other religion has the obvious factual evidence present in Christianity? (prophesy, historical, archeological, logical)  
    Benjamin
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 7:46 PM on January 13, 2003 | IP
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Judiasm has it.
Christianity has a little bit of historical and archeological evidence (but more towards saying Jesus existed, which no one denies anyway), even less prophetical (I am of the firm belief that it is possible to twist a prophesy to almost any outcome) and absolutely no logical evidence.
So I should amend my previous statement and say that Judiasm has no less evidence than christianity does. same with islam. And buddhism. and hinduism. and Jainism. and etc.


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"If stupidity got us into this mess, why can't it get us out?" -Will Rodgers<br><br><br>"Neither man nor nation can prosper unless in looking at the present, thought is steadily taken for the future." -T. Roosevelt<br><br>"Might I remind you that extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice, is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater<br><br>

Respect through Excellence only
 


Posts: 789 | Posted: 8:20 PM on January 13, 2003 | IP
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Benjamin:  Would you be willing to sit down with a Muslim, or a Wiccan, or an athiest and let them tell you why their beliefs are the only true beliefs in their opinion?  Would you take the time to read and try to understand the Koran, the Wiccan bible, or an athiest freethought tract?  Would you want them to pray to their god for you if they have one?  Would you even consider that their beliefs could be valid?  And would you do all these without trying to convert them to you own beliefs, but only listen to them and try to understand?

If your answer is no to any of these questions why would you expect someone to do these things for you when you are unwilling to do them for someone else?
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 07:07 AM on January 14, 2003 | IP
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Hey ladies and gentleman,
  I am greatful to see some response. It's unfortunate that people can so easily disregard the evidence, all of which is astounding. You know what is really amazing though, how people can shut down their own reasoning. That's right, I believe that the Holy Spirit pulls at everybodies heart, but we still have the ultamite choice (God still respects our freedom of choice). It seems that I used to be so stubborn (I was living a horrible life) that I would never listen to the truth. I always knew it was real though. Go figure, Jesus loves me!!
                 Benjamin
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 2:47 PM on January 22, 2003 | IP
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i think people should proselytize. if u believe in something genuinely enough (like Hell), you should do everything in your power to convince others.

-Alex
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 6:18 PM on January 22, 2003 | IP
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Benjamin:  You didn't answer the question about giving others a chance to proselytize you.  How come?
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 08:45 AM on January 23, 2003 | IP
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quit striving on strife!
        -Benjamin
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 8:09 PM on January 23, 2003 | IP
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I must assume Benjamin is to insecure in his faith to let some one proselytize to him the way he want to proselytize to others.  What other possible reason could there be for his unwillingness to listen to another persons religious views with respect and willingness to learn.  He must be afraid they would convince him he has been wrong in his beliefs.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 03:20 AM on February 5, 2003 | IP
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I was lost in the darkest of wickedness, I was drowning in the deepest of pits. I gasped for breath, barley able to sustain life. I was on my way to hell and God saved me, Jesus grabbed me. He immediatly began to clean me and feed me (physically and spiritually). No one else can do that but Him. Only Jesus can save, only Jesus can heal. I know the answer, I am so secure I cannot be shaken. The call and anointing of the Most High God are irrevocable and far beyond the foolishness of the enemy. There is none like His majesty, and no one can uphold His glory. He is like the drink to the thirsty, like the morsel for the hungry. He is the only salvation, in Him alone I receive my comfort. Only the God I serve can execute righteous judgement. To the God of my salvation be glory and honor forever and ever, Amen.
Benjamin
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 9:26 PM on February 6, 2003 | IP
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But Benjamin, what if someone knows something you don't?  You would have no problem hearing them out, right?  You obviously want the truth, right?  What if others have compelling evidence?  Don't draw yourself away from the truth that you claim to want.  Don't suffocate yourself in a box.  There are compelling cases to be made for religions other than christianity, and people are willing to share it with you.  WHY WON'T YOUR EVEN LISTEN TO OTHERS???
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 7:36 PM on February 8, 2003 | IP
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  Imagine that someone has found out for the first time that 2+2=4. The gentleman was interested in his discovery because he came from an illiterate society. So now that he knows the absolute truth, surely you don't suppose that he should continue searching?! Of course he should not, that would be proposterous. Even if someone presents a propelling case suggesting that 2+2=3, it is somewhat irrelevant considering he has abtained truth without a shadow of a doubt. Many people, not even completely searching for truth but rather for controversy, would even suggest that 2+3=4. Some would try to bring in confusion, and would suggest that 4+4=8, those without understanding that that is irrelevant to the topic at hand. The gentleman would be wise to remain confident that 2+2=4, regardless of opposition.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 4:14 PM on February 9, 2003 | IP
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Also the gentleman would be missing out on the truth.  So if you want to continue to live in your own ignorance that is your choice. But don't try to persuade others of your truth, when you won't even in your silly story accept that 4 + 4 = 8 because it brings in confusion to your limited ability to conceive of what the truth really is.  I feel sorry for someone so blinded by their beliefs, that even knowing that something is true they still won't believe it.  How sad!!!
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 03:04 AM on February 10, 2003 | IP
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would suggest that 4+4=8, those without understanding that that is irrelevant to the topic at hand.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 3:17 PM on February 10, 2003 | IP
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How can the truth (4+4=8) ever be irrelevant to the topic at hand?  You must not be very good at proselytizing if you can not accept truth.  It makes all of your arguments seem ridiculous when you dismiss truth as irrelevant.  Religion SHOULD BE a search for truth, not just blind acceptance of what others have told you to be true.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 08:59 AM on February 12, 2003 | IP
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For some reason, Christians think their option is the only choice available. For example, what if you are wrong and the Muslims are right? You’ll miss out on the 72 hours and suffer the torments of THEIR Hell. What if the REAL God doesn’t like sniveling followers using Faith to believe impossible nonsense? What if, instead, the REAL God appreciates independent thinkers that disbelieve appropriately, since God has offered no real proof of its existence? It may turn out that the REAL God doesn’t need a bunch of “Yes-men” believers tagging along “under foot” (pardon the anthropomorphism). Maybe he/she/it would rather have the more interesting instances and fulfillment of its creation like Ingersoll, Twain and Edison around. They’d make eternity much more interesting, don’t you think? We’d wager that a GOOD God wouldn’t want blind belief and worship. The God you worship is a monster for punishing people for using their “God-given” intelligence to make an informed opinion against the existence of a deity based on the evidence available (which ranges from lacking to nonexistent).

You know, maybe life really is a religious test. In this test though, those that are sheep, those that blindly follow an ancient “survive-the-brutal-desert-based” mythology (Christianity) are destined for oblivion. But, those that appropriately disbelieve all the nonsense wind up being the only ones worthy of the REAL God’s presence.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 04:03 AM on February 14, 2003 | IP
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You say you’ve read the bible. Well, we have too. We found it to be an uninspiring, often boring, misogynistic, cruel, incorrect, genocidal, contradictory, threatening mythology. Christians speak of their religion as one of love, but if you consider what is really written, you find it to be quite the opposite.  Christians even use a gruesome torture device as their leading symbol. We don’t find the human sacrifice of God’s only begotten son, which is meant to redeem mankind for a (mythical) transgression in the Garden of Eden, inspiring or deserving of devotion. What does being God’s only begotten son mean anyway? Also, we wouldn’t consider the act of sacrificing ANY of our own children, for ANY reason, as an act of love. This whole sacrifice scenario is a macabre twisted morality.

Also, we’ve looked into MANY other religions. (Have you?) As it turns out, they all exist to satisfy basic HUMAN needs. Early religions provided simple answers to common everyday mysteries. All of these everyday mysteries have been solved by science. For the most part, religions persist by playing to people’s fears and misgivings.

The only religious mysteries left seem to be: “What happens when we die?” and “How did it all begin?” Science has pretty good answers to both of these questions too, although much is yet to be learned. Religion isn’t satisfied with the reality that science provides though because science, by nature, is tentative rather than absolute and because science doesn’t provide the answers religionists want to hear.

Let’s consider the first question: When we die, we truly become dust. What makes us alive is the symbiotic nature of all our bodily functions. Our brain provides us with consciousness and self-awareness. It doesn’t make sense to think of ourselves as being ourselves outside of the context of our body/brain. Altering the brain through surgery or disease alters our consciousness. When the brain dies, our consciousness dies. You may not find it inspiring or comforting, but it IS reality.

Now to the second question: Currently, we look at the Big Bang as the beginning of space-time, but our current space-time might simply be an instance in a particular expansion phase of infinite expansion/contraction cycles. We’re still investigating these possibilities. Even if it turns out that some quantum fluctuation caused a unique manifestation we now call the universe, it would be simple-minded to call the cause of something you don’t understand, “God”. You can’t explain something you don’t understand with something else you don’t understand. It is a circular argument to postulate a God, since it begs the question, “What created God?” To create something as complex as the entire universe would take something of far greater complexity. Do you have any idea how large the entire universe is? Or, how insignificant humans are in comparison to it? Even if the Deist view is allowed, it doesn’t imply a Personal God. It makes sense that the universe either occurred naturally or it is simply a particular instance in an expansion/contraction continuum.

How do we know something is true? Our different world-views have different answers for this question too. You say that you know the Bible is the TRUTH. How do you know that it is the TRUTH? What evidence do you use to support the notion that it’s the TRUTH? Are there ANY parts of the Bible with which you have SOME reservations? Are you familiar with the convoluted path the Bible took to become what you read today? Are you familiar with what was left out of the Bible, and why? Are you familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls and what they contribute to our understanding of the period? We think that what you mean to say is that you BELIEVE the Bible to be true.


 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 04:08 AM on February 14, 2003 | IP
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It’s NOT true that people have been trying and haven’t been able to disprove Christianity. First of all, you can’t disprove something that doesn’t make falsifiable claims. Secondly, Biblical criticism has been a fairly recent development. Up until the 18th Century, ANY criticism would get you killed or tortured in the most gruesome fashion. The late 19th Century saw most of the claims reduced to mythology. The Scientific Age has all but destroyed any mystery the religion may have held. All of the surviving claims made by religions are made in ways that CAN’T be tested. This is another reason religion survives. Mainstream Biblical scholars don’t even believe in the Bible anymore. Literal belief in the Bible is an extreme view. The Biblical scholars that still teach literal belief in the Bible sequester themselves in their own schools. They don’t associate with the scholars at “The Jesus Seminar ” or with others that are willing to point out the fallacies. Hiding their heads in the sand and not acknowledging the philosophical dis-proofs and contradictions inherent in their theology is simply disingenuous. Even though Christianity can be shown to be mythology, the concept of God can’t be proven or dis-proven. The concept of God is never clearly defined or given attributes that can be verified or falsified. This is why religion requires Faith to believe it. If something CAN be proven, Faith ISN’T required. As Mark Twain said: “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so”


 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 04:12 AM on February 14, 2003 | IP
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 5 4 3 2 1 0 -1    
   Jesus of Nazareth is as established as any one else in history, even before this discovery. We have Josephus (historian of the first century) mentioning Jesus,"...a man named James, the brother of Jesus, who was called the Christ...". That was from the historical work "The Antiquities". That work holds water in the eyes of nearly every scholar (there is no dispute over it). Then we have a piece in "Testimonium Flavianum", also by Josephus, that tells us about Jesus. Just to get a little of it down,"About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call Him a man.... When Pilate, upon hearing Him accused by men of the highest standing among us, had condemned Him to be crucified.... On the third day He appeared to them restored to life...." Keep in mind that we have found the historical accounts recorded by Josephus to be extremely accurate, and all of his works have gained him a vast amount of credibility. Now let's take a look at Tacitus, one of the most renowned historians of the time. He recorded,"Nero fasened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had it's origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievious superstitution, thus checked out for the moment, agian broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome.... an arrest was made of all who pleaded guilty... an immense multitude was convicted."  From Tacitus' reports we find out that: the Christ was crucified under Pontius Pilate, miricles must have had skeptics calling it a "mischievious superstitution", that it "checked out for the moment" when Christ was crucified but broke back out dispite the persecution the followers were being subjected to (they saw Christ ressurected and that propelled them to follow Him agian),  and they could have saved themselves by not pleading guilty but instead (they were so filled with God's power) they took the penalty and would not deny their Master.  So even the absolutly anti-Christian sources give us confirmation to Jesus' character.
Let's see what Plint the Younger says about the Christian faith, as another non-Christian first century source. (he also went into the early second century)  "I asked them if they were Christians, and if they admit it, I repeat the question a second and third time, with warning of the punishment awaiting them. If they persist, I order them to be led away for execution...I am convinced that their stubbornness and unshakable obstinacy ought not to go unpunished.... They also declared that the sum total of their guilt or error amounted to no more than this: they had met regularly before dawn on a fixed day to chant verses alternately amongst themselves in honor of Christ as if to a god...This made me decide it was all the more necessary to extract the truth by torture from two slave-woman, whom they called deaconesses. I found nothing but a degenerate sort of cult carried to extravagant lengths."   From this obviously non-Christian document from about A.D. 111, we can gather alot of information. We learn how they knew that Christ was God, how thay were so strong in their faith thay were willing to be slaghtered by the bunches (this would not have been the case had not Christ ressurected), and we learn that they were guilty of nothing other than worshiping Christ.
  -In fact Simon Greenleaf, the founder of the Harvard University of Law, was very skeptical of Christs existence, and was seen as a skeptic. When He, however, looked over the evidence, and dissmissed anything that was not concrete, he came to an interesting conclusion. He found that not only was history showing that Jesus was a real figure, but he found that the death and ressurection is as established as any other event in human history, based on the evidence.
   -Scholar's date the texts of the new testament all before 96 A.D.. In fact, scholars (even non-Christian)  have brought back some of the Gospels to less than 7 or 8 years after Christ. These accounts would have never made it to us today had they not been accurate, especially given the almost immediate vast production of these accounts. If the Roman's had the ability to prove these events to be false thay would have jumped on the opportunity. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God..."  2 Timothy 3:16

 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 2:16 PM on February 14, 2003 | IP
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      It would be a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. His wrath is coming, we must repent, or we will burn for an eternity. Do not fear man who can only kill your body, but fear God who can throw your soul into damnation beyond your worst imaginary conception. Jesus saves.
               
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 2:22 PM on February 14, 2003 | IP
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The Bible is filled with tales of such fabulous deeds as these, and fundamentalist Christians believe that every one of these stories of miraculous achievements is literally true. If the Bible says that the prophet Elisha retrieved an iron axe head that had fallen into the Jordan River by making the axe head float ( 2 Kings 6:7), then fundamentalist Christians insist that this literally happened. If the Bible says that the body of a dead man whom a band of Moabite marauders cast into Elisha's tomb revived and stood upon its feet when it touched the bones of Elisha ( 2 Kings 13:20-21), then fundamentalist Christians insist that this literally happened. If the Bible says that a donkey conversed with its owner in a human voice ( Num. 22:28-30), then fundamentalist Christians insist that this literally happened. If the Bible says that an earthquake opened the graves in a cemetery after which the dead people in the opened graves revived and went into the city of Jerusalem ( Matt. 27:51-53), then fundamentalist Christians insist that this literally happened. If the Bible says... but why continue? I could fill this entire post with examples of other events just as fabulous as these that the Bible presents as actual historical occurrences--all of which fundamentalist Christians believe literally happened exactly as recorded.

In accepting the literal truth of stories like these, fundamentalist Christians accord the Bible a privileged status that they deny the literature of other nations contemporary to biblical times. Belief in the supernatural was commonplace back then, and so the literature of the times reflected that belief. The Jewish historian Josephus, for example, claimed that during the feast of unleaven bread just before the Jewish-Roman wars, a light so bright shined around the temple altar at the ninth hour of the night that it gave the appearance of "bright day time" for the space of half an hour (Wars of the Jews 6:5.3). He reported that a heifer being led to the altar at the same festival gave birth to a lamb in the midst of the temple and that the eastern gate of the temple, which was so "vastly heavy" that 20 men had been needed to close it, was seen to open "of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night" (Ibid.). He went on to report that a few days after the feast, just before sunset "chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds and surrounding the city" (Ibid.).

Not even radical fundamentalists believe that these events actually happened, even though the works of Josephus contain some of the same miraculous claims that are in the Old Testament. His Antiquities of the Jews told of Noah's ark through which life on earth was saved from a great flood (1:3.2-5), of God's confusing of tongues at the tower of Babel (1:4.3), of God's appearance to Moses in a burning bush (2:12.1), of Moses' parting of the Red Sea (2:16.3), and of many other miraculous acts that are also recorded in the Bible. Fundamentalists, of course, believe that if Josephus recorded stories of miraculous deeds that have their parallels in the Bible, then they should be believed insofar as they agree with the biblical accounts, but if Josephus wrote about miraculous deeds that don't have parallels in the Bible, like those mentioned earlier, then they may be rejected.

To say the least, there is an inconsistency in this approach to evaluating historical claims. For one thing, Josephus was far removed from the time of Noah and Moses and, therefore, had no opportunity to investigate firsthand the miraculous feats that allegedly happened in those days. On the other hand, Josephus, an actual participant in the Jewish-Roman wars, was alive and in Jerusalem at the time that the altar in the temple allegedly shined like the light of day at the ninth hour of night, when the heifer gave birth to a lamb in the temple, and when the heavenly chariots and soldiers were seen running about in the clouds. He had the opportunity to interview witnesses and gather firsthand information about the events. Whether he actually did so is not known, but at least these were events that allegedly happened right in his midst, so if one is faced with the choice of believing either the miraculous claims that Josephus made for his own time or those that had presumably happened centuries before, it would be more reasonable to believe the claims that he had at least had the opportunity to investigate personally.

The truly rational person, of course, will accept none of the fabulous deeds that Josephus wrote about, whether they have their parallels in the Bible or not, because rational people realize that the Bible is no different from the other literature of its time. The people of those times, in all nations, believed that miracles happened routinely. The Roman historian Suetonius, for example, recorded as a fact that while Roman magistrates publicly argued about where to take the body of Julius Caesar to be cremated, two "divine forms" came down with torches and set fire to the bier on which Caesar's body was lying in state (The Twelve Caesars, Penguin, 1979, p. 52). He reported that Caesar's "soul" was seen as a comet for seven consecutive days about an hour before sunset (Ibid., p. 53). He reported that some had seen the spirit of Augustus Caesar ascending to heaven in the crematory flames (Ibid., 111). Suetonius told of a woman named Claudia, who to prove "her perfect chastity" prayed to refloat a boat grounded in a mud-bank on the Tiber river, "and did so" (Ibid., p. 114). A footnote in the Penguin version of the book dates this event at 204 B. C., so it is unlikely that a woman living in Rome at that time would have been praying to Yahweh, the Hebrew god. Bible fundamentalists, therefore, would say that if the boat in this story did actually float free from the mudbank after Claudia's prayer, the pagan prayer had had nothing to do with it. On the other hand, they would argue with their dying breath that Peter's prayer to the "true" God was directly responsible for raising Dorcus from the dead (Acts 11:40), a feat that would be far more difficult to accomplish than floating a boat free of a mud-bank.

Bibliolaters like to talk about the "uniqueness" of the Bible, but actually it is a rather ordinary collection of writings for the times that produced it. The Old Testament often speaks of Yahweh's leading the Israelites to victory over their enemies, but the literature of surrounding nations tells of gods who led their people to victory too. The Moabite Stone, discovered in 1868 east of the Dead Sea, recorded the victories that the god Chemosh had led Mesha, a Moabite king mentioned in 2 Kings 3, to win over his enemies. The text reads much like a page from the Old Testament.


 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 08:36 AM on February 20, 2003 | IP
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  Interesting that God predicted, in the Bible, that there would be a revived Roman Empire isn't it? I mean thousands of years before hand God knew that the "iron" would become "mixed with clay". Look at the European Union, hmmm, that is exactly what God was telling Daniel the prophet about. It is the Roman Empire (iron), but now it is a different variation of it, just like God said the "iron" would become "mixed with clay". No big deal for God though, I mean He has things under control to say the least. He's got the whole world in His hand. And He loves us whom He has called.
 


Posts: 0 | Posted: 7:06 PM on February 20, 2003 | IP
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Just because I'm Christian doesn't mean I'm a sheep. I'm trying to learn about other religions , and have always been fascinated with others' beliefs. I'm strong enough in my faith to be able to read what others have to say with an open mind. Not that I haven't had doubts... I've just found that the path that I'm on is what God has planned for me. It's my way of relating to God. Different religions are only different pathways to the same God; it isn't so much what you believe in, so long as you do believe. So I won't force my religion on yours, or my beliefs. Maybe all religions have truth in them- not the exact, eternal truth, but something worthwhile.

But don't you think that atheists trying to force their beliefs down others' throats aren't any better than the religious who try to convert others with the idea that they are the only one's right? Religious folks aren't the only proselytizers out there.

Lastly, all the absurd things that people belive because of religion are the result of faith. Religion isn't based on tangible, concrete fact, but on what you believe without any proof. Although proof exists for and against religion, we just accept that we can't know everything and that it must be a part of God's plan and let go- not trying to know every detail of the universe, because that's impossible.


-------
Eat cheesecake.
 


Posts: 1 | Posted: 5:22 PM on March 6, 2004 | IP
    
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