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Author Topic: The Neverending Thread (was SATAN DECEIVES YOU)  (Read 101662 times)
Rob
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« Reply #400 on: September 23, 2003, 16:53:46 »

Timeless - I guess you are right!

Yeah, I do tend to dump Christianity, because I have become more and more dissolusioned with it over time. But thats more the fault of the organisations than that of the Bible. Fair play.

Oh, and I should add that the most spiritual man I have ever met was a Catholic Monseignor, very holy man, you could feel it just being in his presence. Unfortunately he had been sent to watch over the flock in the falkland island - he should have been sent to a high density place which really needed him. Again, the fault of the organisation, not the person. So it goes...(I do have ask "why" though)

Rob
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timeless
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« Reply #401 on: September 23, 2003, 17:05:22 »

Dear Inguma, MustardSeed, James, and Robert,

Additionally Robert stated, "Zen Buddism is an atheistic religion." I very much disagree with this statement. I have zero interest in arguing it though.  But again it could be seen as a slight.  

While an atheist could take up the practices of Buddhism I doubt the atheist could fully benefit from the riches of Buddhism without at some point starting to believe in a higher Source.  Also, much would revolve around one's definition of God.  Who can define God to all our satisfactions?  

Respectfully,
timeless
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« Reply #401 on: September 23, 2003, 17:05:22 »

logoVisit the website of Astral Pulse creator Adrian Cooper.

Home of the best selling book Our Ultimate Reality.

Astral Projection, Metaphysics and many other subjects.

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Passionate-fool
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« Reply #402 on: September 23, 2003, 17:56:51 »

I have done a little bit of reading about ancient Japan and its wars.  You might be surprised to see how many times they invaded China.  You might be even more surprised to find out why.  China was considered to be the land of the gods.  The holy land so to speak.  So, I cannot at all agree with the idea that holy wars have not been started by Buddhists.

God bless,

Passionate-fool
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« Reply #403 on: September 24, 2003, 01:16:47 »

You go to the church, you kiss the cross
You will be saved at any cost
You have your own reality
Christianity
You spend your life just kissing butt
A trait that's grown as time has passed
You think the world will end today
You praise the Lord, it's all you say

Jesus saves, listen to you pray
You think you'll see the pearly gates
When death takes you away

For all respect you cannot lust
In an invisible man you place your trust
Indirect dependency
Eternal attempt at amnesty
He will decide who lives and dies
Depopulate Satanas rise
You will be an accessory
Irreverence and blasphemy

Jesus saves, no need to pray
The gates of pearl have turned to gold
It seems you've lost your way

Jesus saves, no words of praise
No promised land to take you to
There is no other way

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Mustardseed
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« Reply #404 on: September 25, 2003, 19:47:46 »

False Prophet I would appreciate if you would refrain from sending me your PMs with your lyrics. Thanks

I do have a reason for making my point. Naturally. I have a problem with non substantiated statements and claims, "pushing" certain religions, this time Buddhism, by people claiming to be unbiased. I also feel that there is too much "manpleasing" going on here and that everything RB says is accepted without being questioned. I find this not only silly but also a bit dangerous. It seems to me that any claim he makes is accepted as the Gospel truth. I am sure you all remember the fateful thread that started with RB "baiting" and "challenging" any Christian etc. Dont wanna open that can of worme again[Wink] I have a faith and life experience that rings true to me, anyone who makes statements on a board putting it down as a lie or putting their "faith" up as better, will be asked to substantiate such a claim. It is also my belief that

      HE WHO STANDS FOR NOTHING MIGHT FALL FOR ANYTHING

I furthermore find it funny how you all jump to his support when anyone has the audacity to question him. You sound so protective[Tongue]. He made the statement I did not. I also do not follow your reasoning. If You want to "blame Christianity" for the corrupt lifestyle you all live, the advancement of medicine, innovation education, while at the same time glorify Buddhism, hinduism etc. It shows me that none of you who are posting has ever lived for any significant time in a country "made great" by these religions.Have you?? It seems to me its the same superficial hippie adherence to the oriental religions purely becourse its hip appeal and pocket philosophy. I heard that Richard Gere is gonne retire as a Buddhist munk in 2005, Madonnah is into Jewish Mystisism, its no different than when the Beatles all turned Hare Krishna or Mahrarishi Mahraresh became famous.

Regards Mustardseed
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« Reply #404 on: September 25, 2003, 19:47:46 »



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timeless
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« Reply #405 on: September 25, 2003, 21:23:28 »

Dear Mustardseed,

I agree that there is a definite disrespect for Christianity shown by those administrating and having the greatest influence over this site. You and I are not the only ones to feel this way.  Other moderate Christians have said the same thing in PM to me and have left the site because of it.

I have great respect for Christianity.  Though as a moderate Christian I hang on the far left.  I also believe all roads lead to the same end.  That any religion if approached with deep devotion, love, compassion, and self reflection can achieve the same end but I do not think any of these is better that Christianity...nor worse.  

Christianity is my main religion and always will remain so.  However, I have no fear of looking at other religions, mythologies and cultural beliefs.  I believe they provide a road towards, compassion and understanding, which are taught in the Bible.  I do not believe for one second that Jesus would disrespect a nonpious, loving, compassionate holy man.  I am not talking about money hungry, power hungry pious preachers.  I am talking about holy men who have forsaken all and given their heart to God (who has many names...the Source).  Nah! Can't see it happening.  

A person who seeks to understand grows in compassion but does not have to fall for anything...except God's light and love.  And I know when I see God's light and love.  And I know when I do not see God's light and love.  This is my compass.

Best Wishes to you,
timeless    

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kakkarot
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« Reply #406 on: September 25, 2003, 23:19:41 »

quote:
there is a definite disrespect for Christianity shown by those administrating and having the greatest influence over this site


i'm quite surprised by that statement timeless, for i have never felt that this is so. there are times when i've seen rb and adrian and other admins/mods say not so nice things about christianity, but what i saw (regarding specifically rb and adrian's posts) were them talking about instances when christianity has been less than christian, or about christians who seem less than christian.

from much of robert bruce's own articles, he seems to take an incredibly heavy slant towards christian ideas/philosophies/teachings/doctrine/etc.

but then, i've not seen everything that's been happening here over the past few months, and i certainly haven't seen that "fateful thread" mustardseed was talking about (though i'm going to go look for it now[|)]).

however, i do completely agree that some people do look to robert as though everything he says is god-given. but still, that is not robert's fault.

and yes i realize that i am "jumping to his support" here, but i have done the same for others who i felt were being criticized a bit too harshly (i would have even done it for goingslow had i been around at the time, though i know he sort of hated me by the time he left).

but anyway, my point is: i am christian (and have stated so many times) and have felt absolutely no ill-feelings towards me because of it. so i sincerely hope that it's not just because i've been away, but that it is because there is no true ill-feelings towards christianity (but then, as i've said so many times, "belief and truth are not the same thing", though they are not neccessarily opposites either).

~kakkarot
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no_leaf_clover
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« Reply #407 on: September 26, 2003, 00:10:50 »

What has happened with Allanon and Narrow Path happened because of their preaching, not because they were Christian. No other religion has its members on this forum trying to convert people, and people don't want to be converted. No one replies to messages giving quotes from the Quran and how we should accept Allah and that Jesus was just a prophet, but if they did such a thing in the same manner that Allanon and Narrow Path did, the same thing would happen to them. The supposed attacks on Christianity came forth naturally from a resistance to such attempts to convert people here. You would see little to none of it if it wasn't for Allanon and the like.
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James S
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« Reply #408 on: September 26, 2003, 02:40:01 »

To risk repeating myself (from another topic):
quote:
Though most religions will go to great lengths to try and prove that their god is perfect, in doing so they more often than not only succeed in showing the failings of their religion.

The christians on this site who do not seem to be bothered are those who treat their belief as more than just rules, interpretations and comparisons, they treat christianity as a spiritual way of life and they seem happy enough to allow others to follow their own beliefs. This shows that they are secure in their spirituality, and have embraced the essence of what Jesus taught us.

I think those who feel threatened by the beliefs or the belief related comments of others need to really sit down and work out what they truely believe in and really be at peace with their beliefs, whatever they might be.
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Mustardseed
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« Reply #409 on: September 26, 2003, 03:08:08 »

In the light of BR statement:

"No wars or persecutions have ever been caused by Buddists. I don't think the same can be said for any other religion."

Please read this article and comment . Thanks I found it informative Regards Mustardseed
   
Buddhism and Violence

By Bernard Faure

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bernard Faure is Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University.

Is Buddhism pacifist? One would think so, to hear the Declarations of the Dalai Lama and those who claim there has never been "Buddhist war." So has Zen Buddhism's "drift" to militarism been only an aberration, after the timeless message of Gautama, the warrior-prince who, once he became the Buddha, preached nonviolence? We are not simply faced here with a gap between theory and practice. Even though Buddhism has no concept of a "holy war," it doesn't mean its doctrine does not at times legitimize the recourse to violence and the just war.

In whatever countries Buddhism has became official ideology—whether Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia or Tantric Buddhism in Tibet or East Asia—war has often been zealously waged. At present, the Buddhists of Sri Lanka, for example, have openly taken up the struggle against the Tamil freedom fighters. What is true of Japanese Zen holds equally for other forms of Buddhism. Long before its lyrical metaphysical flights exerted their charm, Buddhism took hold first and foremost as a tool for protecting States.

The Buddha's sermons seem, however, to condemn all violence, toward oneself and toward others. Suicide, it is true, is not formally forbidden. And Buddhism remains ambivalent toward the interiorized form of violence that is asceticism. Well-ordered violence begins with oneself. Chinese monks, to show their determination, would sometimes mutilate themselves—cutting off or burning one or more of their fingers. In extreme cases self-denial could extend to self-immolation by fire. We recall the horrific image of the Vietnamese monk who, at the start of the U.S. military intervention in his country, chose this death as a sign of protest.

Murder, on the other hand, is clearly condemned. As the Buddha states in the Brahma Net Sutra: "If a child of Buddha himself kills, or goads someone else to kill, or provides with or suggests means for killing, or praises the act of killing or, on seeing someone commit the act, expresses approval for what that person has done, or kills by way of incantations, or is the cause, occasion, means, or instrument of the act of inducing a death, he will be shut out of the community."

Buddhist compassion extends to all beings. By the principle of karmic transmigration, animals are perceived as future Buddhas or past humans, linked to us perhaps by ancient bonds of kinship, so that it seems natural to extend our concern to them. Furthermore, Indian Buddhism distinguished itself from Brahmanism by its rejection of animal sacrifice—whence its vegetarianism. Yet it does not appear that the first Buddhists were strict vegetarians, and the Buddha himself, if we are to believe legend, was said to have died from indigestion after eating pork. If vegetarianism and the related concept of nonviolence gradually took hold in India, the credit seems to belong to Jain rather than Buddhist ascetics. In societies such as Tibet and China, in which a meat diet predominated, a less strict clergy sought to eradicate its sins through grand rites that set fish and birds free.

On the iconographic plane, if compassion is well expressed by serene images of meditating Buddhas, the angry gods of Buddhism and Mongolia partake, conversely, in a puzzling symbolic violence: does it mark a return of the repressed, an outlet for real violence, or is it, on the contrary, its mirror-image, indeed, its underlying cause?

Buddhist law often had to bow to reason of State. But in many instances it also provided an ideology for counterforces, inspiring peasant revolts in the name of a millenarianism centered on the coming of the future Maitreya Buddha. In one of these movements, in China, arising at the start of the sixth century c.e., the rebels, using the Buddhist title of "Grand Vehicle" (Mahayana), undertook to rid the world of its "demons"—starting with the era's Buddhist clergy.

In Japan, on the other hand, Buddhism managed to pave the way for feudal struggles, creating a new type of religious figure, the "warrior monk." It is only at the end of the sixteenth century, after centuries of internecine struggles, that the great monasteries were subdued by the military government. The ensuing subordination explains in part why, after the Meiji Restoration (1868), Japanese Buddhism proved no force against militarism, and fell into line with "spiritual mobilization."

Thus, Japanese militarism blended Buddhist doctrine with the imperial sauce, reducing it to its simplest expression, to bend it to official propaganda. The Buddhist theory of selflessness served, for instance, to justify giving one's life for the Emperor, while the notion of the Two Truths (conventional and ultimate) served to explain the contradiction between the principle of respect for human life and patriotic duty. However, these ideas are not merely belated deviations in the necessary adaptation of Buddhism to Japanese culture. They have a long history.

In fact, reasons for bending the principle of nonviolence were never wanting. There were considerations of a practical nature: when Buddhist Law is threatened, it is necessary to ruthlessly fight the forces of evil. Kill them all, and the Buddha will recognize his own. Murder in this case is piously qualified as "liberation," since the demon, duly killed out of compassion, will be released from its ignorance and can then be reborn under better auspices. The crucial moment in Tibetan ritual dances comes when the priests stab an effigy personifying the demon forces. This ritual is thought to repeat a monk's murder of King Glang dar ma (842), a persecutor of Buddhism (as such, clearly "possessed" by Evil). Various other theories use this same casuistry, including the idea that it is just to kill out of charity or compassion, to prevent another person from comitting evil.

Indeed, how can one kill another person, when, according to good Buddhist orthodoxy, all is emptiness? The person who kills with full knowledge of the facts kills no one, since he has realized that all is but illusion, himself as well as the other person. The idea, moreover, is not exclusive to Buddhism, since it can be found in the Hindu scriptures, in the Bhagavad Gita. In China a Zen text similarly states that, if a murderous act is perfectly spontaneous, it is of the same order as a natural disaster, and thus entails no responsibility. One finds this sort of sophism in the writing of Zen apostles like D.T. Suzuki. Here as elsewhere, the recourse to higher truths provides justification for the worst aberrations.

Thus, there have been, and will again be, "Buddhist wars," and Buddhism's superiority in this regard is entirely relative. Yet, on the whole, it remains more tolerant than the other great religions and ideologies—which is no small matter, at a moment when the world seems threatened once more by fundamentalisms. In every age, the Buddhist clergy's will to power has been balanced by the ideal of compassion. But Buddhist doctrine, in order not to remain a dead letter, must take account of the violence inherent in the human heart, in society, and in Buddhism itself.

translated by David Jacobson

Source: A shorter version of this article appeared in Le Monde, October 12, 2001.

From Correspondence: An International Review of Culture &
Society, Issue No. 9, Spring 2002. Copyright 2002 by the Council
on Foreign Relations, Inc., All rights reserved. Please reprint or
distribute only with this reference.  

 
PS As so many other points I have tried to make I am doubtful this will be adressed. It will most likely be explained away , or ignored. Insted the conversation will turn to me and how picky I am and before long the thread will be "somewhere else". There are many things I wouuld like to express and respectfully disagree w/RB about from his statement of faith All in good time
 
 
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Rob
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« Reply #410 on: September 26, 2003, 10:04:17 »

quote:
Indeed, how can one kill another person, when, according to good Buddhist orthodoxy, all is emptiness? The person who kills with full knowledge of the facts kills no one, since he has realized that all is but illusion, himself as well as the other person. The idea, moreover, is not exclusive to Buddhism, since it can be found in the Hindu scriptures, in the Bhagavad Gita.


omg omg....I would like to refer back to what I said about people trying to interpret texts from a lower level of consciousness than that which created them, and so coming to horribly distorted conclusions......as you prove, this is not limited to Christianity!!!!!

OK maybe I should just stay out of this discussion from now on but I am a little irked so:

 
quote:
I furthermore find it funny how you all jump to his support when anyone has the audacity to question him. You sound so protective


Lol hhm you will notice I also "jumped to the support" of shadowdancer a few pages back, and "jumped into confrontation" with RB a while before that.......so.......can I say jumping to pre-fabricated conclusions?

If you have to know, and I wasn't going to say this, a good part the reason I replied was because you were taking a fine toothcombe through his words. You do not extend this privaledge to me, or anyone else, so what you were doing was precisely the polar opposite of what you accuse people like me of doing - then when I jump in its because I am being defensive!!!?!....think about it....
If, on the other hand, you were being so ruthlessly picky with ANYONE elses post, I would likely have replied in the manner I did.

Ach, enough stirring for one day.

....and folks, if any of you have a problem with what I say, just give me a good slap round the face aight? You've allowed to call me by my name and tell me to f-off if you like (I dont think anyone on these forums has the capacity to actually offend me....I'm not even sure such a thing is possible these days). Being a mod means nothing, I'm just expressing my opinions, that OK isn't it...??

Rob
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oh and btw Timeless:

 
quote:
That any religion if approached with deep devotion, love, compassion, and self reflection can achieve the same end but I do not think any of these is better that Christianity...nor worse.


Once you have reached the stage you have described it becomes possible to evenly approach any religion or none, but by that point the religion is not necessary. The purpose, and only purpose IMO, of religion should be to lead people to that level while making sure they dont hurt others as much as possible along the way. And some religions have better ways of doing this than others, while some have none which are readily approachable. This is not me putting one religion down, far from it, its me realising the nature of the things we are confronted with. It IS me being objective.
Although I have often debated with myself, whether the ability to "succeed" (LOL) spiritually (ROFL) is something you are born with, or something which the outside world can nudge you towards. I tend to sway to the former, in which case it doesn't matter much which path you take. Likely, you'll end up carving your own. I dunno.....
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« Reply #411 on: September 26, 2003, 19:10:45 »

(RB)I have been asked a number of times to explain my conception of God. This is not that of an old man sitting on a throne in the clouds. I see God everywhere I look, in the act that not only created the universe, but that continually creates every moment and every thing and every life.

(MS)Agree

(RB)As a mystic, my conception of God is very simple and pragmatic. Inside everyone, every animal and lifeform in the universe, resides a part of God, a divine spark. This is of course most evident in the higher and more complex species, like humankind, albeit at times a little difficult to see clearly.  

(MS)Agree with that too

(RB)To me, life and humankind are the eyes and ears and consciousness of the universe,

(MS) Now we start to pull apart I do not think we are the conciousness of the universe, though we have the potential to be.I believe that conciousness in man, is the presence of God. However some people have no consiousness and display an abhorrent lack of morality. In a way they have crossed over and have become the voice (consiousness?) of the dark side. The embodiment of various grades of evil.Being led astray they are now activly leading others astray too.
 

(RB)Through the act of living in such infinitely wonderous diversity, God's understanding of life evolves, and through this God evolves.

(MS) only if there an acceptance and understanding of the fact that it is Gods power.!!! It is actually possible to reverse the growing trend and get to the point of understanding less and less and less of God like turning off a TV and seeing the picture turning into a tiny point.

(RB) It is this intimate connection is expressed in the Godname 'Shadday' (that's how you say it), which in essence means that every human has a spark of God inside their hearts, which is of the same fire that burns in God.To not conceive of God as existing in a state of perpetual evolution and perfect growth is to accuse God of stagnation, which is an imperfect state of being.

(MS) Not so. God is in my opinion perfect me does not change, he has the same "personality" if one can call it that, the same parameters, etc. The things that please him are the same and the things that displease him are also the same constantly he is not confused nor confusing but simple. I would rather say that, saying that God changes and that he has different standsrds at different times makes him like us. We are the ones that change not him. "God is LOVE and he that loves is known of God and he that does not LOVE does not know God" 1Jn 4:8

(RB) Without evolution, there would also be no purpose or meaning to life in its entirety, that is, unless one considers life to be some kind of divine cosmic amusement park.

(MS) Not an amusement park all though maybe parts are. But more like a school, with grades. A starting point and a finishing line.Exams the whole thing.Sometimes we pass them sometimes we dont. (ever felt like you were being tested on your conviction and previous learned skills??) A race to find Gods will in our lives , to Love and to use the gifts that he has given to the best of our abilities to Love Him and others.But we are Changing for sure as our understanding of God deepens , evoluting if you will.

(RB)A part of God exists inside everyone. (MS)YES

(RB)But its impossible to divide a part from its whole, for they are one and the same. Because of this, I say that we are all God.

(MS)I believe this is a major mistake. In a joking way, just becourse I work in microsoft does not mean I am Bill gates.(Remember THIS IS A JOKE!!!) Just becourse my dog has teeth hair eyes ears etc as I do does not mean I am a dog or that a dog is a man. We may share similarities but we are not the same. We might be made from the same stuf but we are not God.

(RB)And the only difference between the average person and a person of spiritual accomplishment (with some degree of spiritual enlightenment) is that the latter 'realizes' this a little more keenly and intimately than does the former. This is why faith can move mountains, because the essence of faith is the realization of one's connection with God.  No matter how one conceives or words this connection, regardless of one's beliefs, all are looking in the same direction.

(MS)In a odd way I agree here but I believe that you put way too much importance on realizing your spiritual enlightenment. Many poor illiterate people with no Phd and very little time for delving into things of this nature are very spiritually evolved in my book. Enlightenment as I see it is closeness to God or alignment with his Spirit. So even a poor farmer in some field somewhere who shows unselfish love, a soldier who without worry of his own life saves his friends, a mother that labours day after day with her wayward kids or a father that works 2 jobs to take care of his family can have as much enlightenment as any enlightened mystic IF THEY LOVE .

(RB)As for the diverse religions on this planet, as is being discussed as well on this thread, I think that their major surface differences evolved through historical and cultural necessity. And no matter what the religion or belief that has evolved to suit any particular culture, all are looking in basically the same direction.

(MS) With due respect I disagree.  Most, if not all but one, teaches that this degree of enlightenment and ones closeness depends on something you do, either meditate, pray, work, labour, sacrefice, learn, etc etc and only ONE teaches that there is nothing you can do. That closeness to God is something HE DOES, a gift that we can only recieve, and a goodwill we recieve from Him as we delight ourselves in him, taking on His nature  by LOVING Him and everyone around us like ourselves.

(RB)Btw, Zen Buddism is an atheistic religion. It is not so much a religion as a 'way'. Zen teaches one how to live one's life to the full in every moment. By doing this, one grows closer to the 'essence' of life, which is creation, and this closeness nurtures spiritual growth and evolution.

(MS)Yes it would appear that that is Zen teachings wether they are the Truth remains to be seen.

(RB)I have the highest respect for Buddism, as by large Buddists are gentle spiritual people who quite literally would not harm a fly. No wars or persecutions have ever been caused by Buddists. I don't think the same can be said for any other religion.

(MS) we covered that allready in the above posts.

Food for thought....

Regards (MS) Mustardseed



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« Reply #412 on: September 27, 2003, 03:09:45 »

The mistake in your analogy was making God (Bill Gates) a leader, but only a segment, of the universe (Microsoft). This is where our differences shine. You conceive of God as your Head, I concieve of IT as the whole. In other words, your God is Bill Gates, while my God is Microsoft.

... I can't believe I just said that.
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« Reply #413 on: September 27, 2003, 03:49:05 »

Wow, twenty eight pages....
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“Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of creation), before We clove them asunder, and We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?”
(The Qur'an, 21:30)
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« Reply #414 on: September 27, 2003, 09:13:39 »

Tab, I can't believe you said that either!

Now you've done it! You've just found the one thing God CANNOT forgive.....worshipping Micro$oft.
You're going to Hell now boy!! Its an eternity of BLUE SCREENS for you! [}:)]

[Smiley]
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« Reply #415 on: September 27, 2003, 20:15:05 »

To give a taste of reality to the starving.....

Religion is a tool for connecting with "god". Now while there are many in most religions that seek to connect with "god" and better themselves there are always going to be those who choose to use religion in the same way a psychopath will use a knife to inflict harm. The religion becomes merely a tool in which psychos, zealots, etc can force their own idiocy onto others. In this way horrendous things can happen and those who commit them can justify them according to their religion when twisted to fit their own disturbed notions of reality.

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« Reply #416 on: September 28, 2003, 00:15:11 »

First of all, a few notes:
1) This is gonna be long. sorry
2)I haven't read the entire thread. I got to about page 11 and the urge to add my two cents overcame me. So I apologize if I say anything that's been said aready.
that out of the way, here we go...

Allanon, you are a psychopath (no offense). IMHO, you're everything a true evangelist shouldn't be. My "crazy" evangelism idea is as follows: sit down with someone and ask what's so great about their religion, then tell 'em what's so great about yours. All of this done in a friendly manner, not "BELIEVE ME OR BURN, SINNER!!!" This does two things: 1) makes the person edgy and view you as an enemy, and 2) makes them ignore you ("why should I listen to your threats of "hell"?). Of course, this can only be done with the consent of the person involved, all else is simply cramming the gospel down one's throat, and that isn't good at all. Anyway, you share beliefs, maybe offer them a bible, then (here's the crazy part), you walk away and pray for the person! You've told them the gospel, that's all you need to do. Put the rest in God's hands, man, because nothing you say or do is gonna get anybody else to believe! You could talk 'til you're blue in the face (heck, you probably have), but it won't do any good until you put it in God's hands.
Now then, to say something else to the rest of the forum. Not all Christians are psychopaths (but I'm sure you know that). A lot of people like to dis true Christians because of things other people have done in the name of Christianity (Allanon, witch trials, bombing abortion clinics, etc). I'm getting sick of people doing un-Christian things and claiming to be Christian, it doesn't help any.
I don't wanna come of as "all-knowing", so lemme ask something this way: Ask me some questions about Christianity, and I'll try to answer them in the best way possible, because I feel smart tonight and I wanna answer some questions and hopefully shatter some misconceptions created by Allanon.
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« Reply #417 on: September 28, 2003, 00:44:14 »

I think he was banned a while ago acctually.
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« Reply #418 on: September 28, 2003, 00:52:01 »

ah...well, sorry for floating this to the top, then.
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« Reply #419 on: October 04, 2003, 01:01:59 »

Ok I will have to come to terms with this. The topic is dead. It seems that silence is the best defence. If someone challenges you and you feel you cannot answer the argument......say nothing! Very effective. Noone is gonna read throgh this many posts but if someone does, it is interesting reading!!!!
Regards Mustardseed
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« Reply #420 on: October 05, 2003, 16:20:28 »

Yes...this very large thread does have A LOT of interesting stuff in it. And--very indicative of the current state of disagreeing positions.  But, perhaps it is time to put a "pad-lock" on it!

I will make it a sticky however--albeit a locked sticky.  All new comments can now be taken to the "Modern Religion Chat" thread.

Peace,
Beth

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« Reply #421 on: October 08, 2003, 13:02:30 »

Which topic? There are too many in here.
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« Reply #422 on: October 09, 2003, 06:16:05 »

G'day Folks!

To preface this post, in relation to some other posts I've read in this thread:  I find the accusations that Adrian and I are anti Christian both childish and offensive. These unfounded accusations arose because we dare to question and investigate the origins and roots of Christianity in these forums. And also because we did not 'submit' to the opinions and bible quotes thrown at us by various bible bashers, which amounted to nothing more than emotional blackmail. This has been explained a number of times in various posts.

We stand for free thinking exploration, not dogma!

There is a huge difference between 'attacking' and 'investigating' something. RB.

--------------------------------------


My new comments to the post below will probably not be added to by me again. They are in response to a rather unphilosophical post, the manner and theme of which deeply saddens me.


(RB)To me, life and humankind are the eyes and ears and consciousness of the universe,

(MS) Now we start to pull apart I do not think we are the consciousness of the universe, though we have the potential to be.I believe that consciousness in man, is the presence of God. However some people have no consciousness and display an abhorrent lack of morality. In a way they have crossed over and have become the voice (consciousness?) of the dark side. The embodiment of various grades of evil.Being led astray they are now actively leading others astray too.

RB2 Your reasoning here is unsound and off the point.

If a being is alive and thinks then it is by definition, conscious, eg, has consciousness.

Your statement that consciousness in man is caused by the presence of God also contradicts your statement below, where you say that God and humanity are separate, and that is proven because you and your dog don't share the same set of teeth.

But you attempt to redefine 'consciousness' by adding a 'morality' factor, and then suggesting that those who do not have sufficient 'morality' are not really 'conscious' in the eyes of God. An ant is conscious; a fish is conscious; a dog is conscious, etc.

Either God creates 'everything' and is in 'everything' or He is not.  You cannot have this both ways.


(RB)Through the act of living in such infinitely wondrous diversity, God's understanding of life evolves, and through this God evolves.

(MS) only if there an acceptance and understanding of the fact that it is Gods power.!!! It is actually possible to reverse the growing trend and get to the point of understanding less and less and less of God like turning off a TV and seeing the picture turning into a tiny point.

RB2 Acceptance? by whom? by your narrow definition of God? What you say is a moot point. Again you seem to be dividing the universe up into those who are 'morally conscious' and those who are(in your opinion) 'morally unconscious'. But this does not work. Your statement above could only apply to a select few, eg, maybe to those people 'moral' enough to be in your religious group.

(RB) This intimate connection is expressed in the Godname 'Shadday' (that's how you say it), which in essence means that every human has a spark of God inside their hearts, which is of the same fire that burns in God.To not conceive of God as existing in a state of perpetual evolution and perfect growth is to accuse God of stagnation, which is an imperfect state of being.

(MS) Not so. God is in my opinion perfect me does not change, he has the same "personality" if one can call it that, the same parameters, etc. The things that please him are the same and the things that displease him are also the same constantly he is not confused nor confusing but simple. I would rather say that, saying that God changes and that he has different standsrds at different times makes him like us. We are the ones that change not him. "God is LOVE and he that loves is known of God and he that does not LOVE does not know God" 1Jn 4:8

RB2 I disagree. You seem to limit God to the position of a bored, all knowing and all powerful despot that exists in perpetual stagnation, incapable of growth and evolution. As I have said, I think what you say reduces 'the meaning of life' to nothing more than a mindless amusement park full of toys designed for the egotistical amusement of God. I also think you are making a big mistake by separating humanity, and all living beings for that matter, from God.

My conception of God is vital, intelligent and interesting. It is also a far more workable and productive concept.

(RB) Without evolution, there would also be no purpose or meaning to life in its entirety, that is, unless one considers life to be some kind of divine cosmic amusement park.

(MS) Not an amusement park all though maybe parts are. But more like a school, with grades. A starting point and a finishing line.Exams the whole thing.Sometimes we pass them sometimes we dont. (ever felt like you were being tested on your conviction and previous learned skills??) A race to find Gods will in our lives , to Love and to use the gifts that he has given to the best of our abilities to Love Him and others.But we are Changing for sure as our understanding of God deepens , evoluting if you will.

RB2 Saying that God is a part of everyone, but that only people evolve and not God, is illogical. If God is a part of everyone and everyone evolves, then logically God also evolves. You can't have this both ways without overly complicating things.

You also seem to be hinting at a reincarnational model in your above argument, which does not seem to fit in with the Christian beliefs you have adhered to so far. It is also way off the point.

By the old Christian model, all people who do not complete and pass their 'exams and tests' fall into eternal damnation, including babies and children who die before they can live any kind of spiritual life. Everything in my experience tells me that this is untrue, and a politically motivated and people controlling untruth at that, eg, emotional blackmail to make people conform to the rule of the church.

I say again, separating humanity from God, and then dividing up the 'conscious' universe with Christian morals, in my opinion, produces an unworkable and dogmatic paradigm so narrow minded and incomplete that every finger that ever existed would not even begin to plug all the holes.

(RB)A part of God exists inside everyone.

(MS)YES

RB2 Your agreement above disagrees with your earlier disagreements, and also disagrees with statements you've made within this post. Again, this comes down from your belief that although God made everything and a divine spark exists within everyone, He and they are still separate.  As I have said, I think this model is unworkable and contradictory.

(RB)But its impossible to divide a part from its whole, for they are one and the same. Because of this, I say that we are all God.

(MS)I believe this is a major mistake. In a joking way, just becourse I work in microsoft does not mean I am Bill gates.(Remember THIS IS A JOKE!!!) Just becourse my dog has teeth hair eyes ears etc as I do does not mean I am a dog or that a dog is a man. We may share similarities but we are not the same. We might be made from the same stuf but we are not God.

RB2 Your analogy does not work, as it attempts to shift the meaning of my original words away from their intention.

But I will add to my earlier statement by saying that one can no more separate God from a man (or from a dog) than one can separate them from their respective DNA.

(RB)And the only difference between the average person and a person of spiritual accomplishment (with some degree of spiritual enlightenment) is that the latter 'realizes' this a little more keenly and intimately than does the former. This is why faith can move mountains, because the essence of faith is the realization of one's connection with God.  No matter how one conceives or words this connection, regardless of one's beliefs, all are looking in the same direction.

(MS)In a odd way I agree here but I believe that you put way too much importance on realizing your spiritual enlightenment. Many poor illiterate people with no Phd and very little time for delving into things of this nature are very spiritually evolved in my book. Enlightenment as I see it is closeness to God or alignment with his Spirit. So even a poor farmer in some field somewhere who shows unselfish love, a soldier who without worry of his own life saves his friends, a mother that labours day after day with her wayward kids or a father that works 2 jobs to take care of his family can have as much enlightenment as any enlightened mystic IF THEY LOVE .

RB2 Well, isn't that nice....  

Your opening statement in the above is unphilosophical. You seem to be accusing me of considering myself to be above and beyond other mere mortals, as if I were some kind of cult leader type person. This is something that I take great pains 'not' to do.

Realization is absolutely essential to enlightenment. Enlightenment cannot occur without the staggered realization process. One can become close to God in many simple ways, yes, but one cannot become enlightened through this because enlightenment is a direct result of the realization process. They are indivisible.

You also contradict yourself in the above, as you say there that selfless action can cause closeness to God, which is contrary to your following statement, where you say that closeness to God is a gift that cannot be earned through spiritual actions, but only given by God. You cannot have this both ways.

(RB)As for the diverse religions on this planet, as is being discussed as well on this thread, I think that their major surface differences evolved through historical and cultural necessity. And no matter what the religion or belief that has evolved to suit any particular culture, all are looking in basically the same direction.

(MS) With due respect I disagree.  Most, if not all but one, teaches that this degree of enlightenment and ones closeness depends on something you do, either meditate, pray, work, labour, sacrefice, learn, etc etc and only ONE teaches that there is nothing you can do. That closeness to God is something HE DOES, a gift that we can only recieve, and a goodwill we recieve from Him as we delight ourselves in him, taking on His nature  by LOVING Him and everyone around us like ourselves.

RB2 Your above answer is illogical and off the point. This seems to be a narrow minded Christian statement that basically says that 'your religion' is right and that 'every other religion' is wrong.

Saying that spiritual effort and action have no effect on one's spiritual level, and that closeness to God only comes as a surprise gift from God, is illogical and unspiritual. This reduces humanity to mindless drones, who cannot by their own efforts grow closer to God. This is an unworkable model.  Note that by this you also discount all your own spiritual efforts and actions to grow closer to God.

(RB)Btw, Zen Buddhism is an atheistic religion. It is not so much a religion as a 'way'. Zen teaches one how to live one's life to the full in every moment. By doing this, one grows closer to the 'essence' of life, which is creation, and this closeness nurtures spiritual growth and evolution.

(MS)Yes it would appear that that is Zen teachings wether they are the Truth remains to be seen.

RB2 Well, Buddhism is probably the largest religion in the world, so they must have 'something' going for them:)

(RB)I have the highest respect for Buddhism, as by large Buddhists are gentle spiritual people who quite literally would not harm a fly. No wars or persecutions have ever been caused by Buddhists. I don't think the same can be said for any other religion.

(MS) we covered that allready in the above posts.

RB2 I saw your critique of my above statement in your earlier post. This, even though I added an explanation immediately (just after making the original statement many days ago) to clarify my intention. I am very disappointed that you continue in your attempts to disagree with my every word.

My intention was clear in my original post, in that *BY LARGE* Buddhists are pacifists. To clarify again: "no wars have ever been mounted in the name of Buddha, or in the name of Buddhism. I defy you to contradict this statement.

And please, twisting tales of Buddhist monks immolating themselves, and calling these 'violent acts', is bloody pathetic! Such acts are great spiritual statements by devout men, usually against invasion or oppression. They are also illustrations of incredible self-control, eg, if you see pictures of monks doing this, they don't move a muscle while they slowly burn to death. Very few people on this planet have 'that' level of self-control.

RB2 What you have done in this post, and at many other times and in many other places, is to break the rules of philosophy, especially the rule of charity, in the worst possible ways. By this, I mean that you seem to habitually take words and statements at their lowest possible meanings, and then twist these in ways to unfairly criticize people and cause arguments.

And on that note, your 15 minutes are up.


Have a nice day....


RB.

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« Reply #423 on: October 09, 2003, 13:10:15 »

Dear Robert
I am sorry that you feel that way about it all . I am reading your posts and trying to understand it all but it is hard to make sense of for me. There are a few things I have had some problems with and yes I do not agree with you on your view and religion but I have said that before and it does not bother me that much. I am determined to try to have my say though and figure it out for myself. I have a sneaking feeling that I am getting banned soon,( your statement that my 15 min is over) which would be sad for me but I will probably get over it.[Smiley]This I do disagree with, and see as merely a silencing of opposing views. I have tried to be nice about it but I guess you do not feel that I am in agreement enough. I do find that there is (in my opinion) too much Censure on the forum Sticky points and one sided agression, and it does seem that Christians are fair game in general. Anyway why am I sitting here talking to myself. Maybe I will read the thread over again and try to understand how it came to this. If you guys do ban me I will only say I enjoyed the chat and thanks for the books. They were a big help. My universe does make sense to me Robert you all fit in too, and I do not condemn you or anyone else for their faith. What we were having was a philosifical discussion about the nature of God, and the universe in general. I never expected that you would turn around and say "wow MS now I get it" merely a sharing of viewpoints and comparing notes. I am no mystic writer or philosopher with a PhD, but just felt a need to share how my life has worked out so far, and just for the record you did throw out the "bait" and ask for Christians to explain their Faith. I never came on the Forum with the intent to blast anyone or cause trouble.

Regards Mustardseed
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« Reply #424 on: October 10, 2003, 03:03:03 »

Dear Robert Bruce

As you said you will no longer talk to be, you call me "childish and offensive" "a bible basher", accuse me of "emotional blackmail", tell me I am "unphilosophical" and "way off the point" and "narrow minded"....Then you say you are not attacking me.

(RB)There is a huge difference between 'attacking' and 'investigating' something. RB.

You also accuse me of living By the old Christian model, and believing something that I ceartainly do not believe namely

"that all people who do not complete and pass their 'exams and tests' fall into eternal damnation, including babies and children who die before they can live any kind of spiritual life. Everything in my experience tells me that this is untrue, and a politically motivated and people controlling untruth at that, eg, emotional blackmail to make people conform to the rule of the church."

Please see my comment on  this subject where I state that contrarily to Church opinion I do not believe that people are damned if they die without having recieved Jesus. I explained in this post that this is in my opinion one of the biggest mistakes of the Christians.

Then you state "Well, Buddhism is probably the largest religion in the world, so they must have 'something' going for them:)"

yes Robert they do . If nothing else they have numbers, but in my opinion the majority is not always right on the contrary they seem to be generally wrong.

Lastly you then state "I mean that you seem to habitually take words and statements at their lowest possible meanings, and then twist these in ways to unfairly criticize people and cause arguments.

And on that note, your 15 minutes are up.


Have a nice day...."

Well Robert I have had a hell of a day, had a lot of doubts about myself introspected some and felt like excrement. I never intended to hurt or attack anyone , but maybe I am just too bad and dont even know how evil I am. I have a lot of self doubt and can add your above statements to them. Then I can try to muddle through and figure it all out without you. I will have to seeing my 15 min are up. I genuinly have the greatest respect for you and had the best of intentions to understand. I believed Allannon was rightly banned for being unkind and condesending but take a look at the mirror once in a while, you are still just a man Robert.

Peace to you
Regards Mustardseed



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