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Thread: Why faith is so difficult....Cain murders Able

  1. #61
    Boolit Bub Txcowboy52's Avatar
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    Well said !

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    Yes, but it's very convenient to have all we now know of science supporting belief. It'll only take us right up to the threshold of belief, but not over it. The rest MUST be made up of faith. And without the "conversion experience," nobody would cross over, I think. That feeling, when you KNOW you're in the presence of God, and that He's reaching out to you to come to Him, and accept His wonderful salvation and Love, is one that conquers all doubts and fears, and coming forward and accepting it all is THE most important step a person can ever make. It's truly beyond words to describe. But it's very, very real, and not just some figment of our imaginations. You can take THAT to the BANK! I feel sorry for those who've never had it, or turned away from it.

    But Christ does not, and has NEVER meant for anyone to be damned. Only they can make that decision for themselves. And it's a shame that so many do.
    Science puts the age of the universe at 14 billion years. The earth at 3-4 billon years. Man was a result of evolution. Does that mesh with your understanding of the Bible?

    I can tell you the Evangelical church I attend does not accept science....in fact science is ridiculed.
    Don Verna

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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Science supporting faith is not an argument I will ever make. It convinces nobody and therefore has no value. Hell fire and damnation is also a vain approach. Fear is not a motivator of faith, love is. In I gave up trying to convince folks to accept what they have already rejected as it is a vain thing in general. Humans are moved to faith by a deep seated emptiness in our hearts and souls. We are created to be connected to our creator and when that connection is broken we feel it, even though we not know why we feel the void in our souls. "We love Him because He first loved us.".
    I understand, Char-Gar, but I'll just have to disagree with you on this one. If one comes to know and understand that even science now, has come right up to the very threshold of proving that God must be, then how could it not attack and overcome the doubts of those who have traditionally put their faith in science? But you're most definitely right about love being the great motivator that brings folks to Christ. Emphasizing that was Billy Graham's big "secret" in bringing so many to light.

    I've seen and heard people approach non-believers with haughty Bible thumping and quoting, and nothing but derision in their voices and hearts, and never have I seen that do anything but push people farther from belief. I know these Bible thumpers mean well. It's just that for most of them, that's all they really know, and when they feel the need to "evangelize," that's all they have to offer. They're not mature yet in our faith. You are. Whenever you speak, I always listen, and listen closely. I would really like to meet you one day, and hear one of your sermons, and shake your hand. You are obviously very mature in our faith, and whenever we disagree, I always remember what you've said. It just might come in handy some time, or lead me to yet another discovery.

    And you're also right about that empty hole in the middle of people who do not know Him. I believe that emptiness causes those who don't believe to be like little kids, who've had something taken away, or don't have something that the other kids have. They just react with spitefulness and hatred and do their very best to make those with the goods unhappy and dissatisfied. But it never seems to work, and though they know that, they can't help themselves, and do it anyway. God be with you, my friend. You're always valued here.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Several have implied that the Holy Spirit is how the Lord speaks to man. Is this conscience or something distinct?
    The Holy Spirit, I believe, is that portion of Christ Himself that He left here on earth to dwell amongst us, and provide us with constant contact with Him. Don't ask how this communication system works, I only know that it does. One doesn't need to know how a cell phone works, technically, in order to use one effectively, right? It's a lot like our souls being a small portion of God, that was instilled within us when God breathed the breath of life into us. Both are immortal, and that tends to mean they're of God, or a part of Him. If God is truly God, then why couldn't He perform this? It would be a very simple task for Him, I think. And as to the Lord speaking to us through the Holy Spirit, how could it not do so, with its being a part of God? So the real question here is how could the Holy Spirit NOT speak to us, isn't it?

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Science puts the age of the universe at 14 billion years. The earth at 3-4 billon years. Man was a result of evolution. Does that mesh with your understanding of the Bible?

    I can tell you the Evangelical church I attend does not accept science....in fact science is ridiculed.
    It meshes with my understanding of current scientific theory, and those theories are more and more coming to support and/or prove Christianity and all the stories in it, to if not be True, then at least to be very much credible and believable. More and more scientists at the higher levels, who are not pre-disposed to be averse to belief, and who go where the evidence leads them, are coming to CHrist, and those who disbelieve are having a harder and harder time defending their doubts. So yes, I pretty much believe at this time that God chose to make the universe very much in the way that science describes it. I do NOT believe in Darwinian evolution, as it has come to be defined and perceived, however. Darwin's theory was just that, a THEORY, and he himself in the last chapter of "Origin of Species," enumerated a number of problems with it, and seemingly clearly owned up to its maybe not being quite true. Adaptation has been pretty well proven by current scientific standards, but Darwinian evolution has not, and in fact, the fossil record, which Darwinians had hoped would provide "proof" of the theory, has increasingly cast great doubt on it - enough in fact, to indicate that it is NOT valid!

    Most of us put the books down, except maybe the Bible, when we leave high school. Some of us continue reading and learning, even to include the "hard sciences," and the realms of physics are absolutely fascinating. Astronomy, and all it's discovering is also a key to understanding our universe, and whence it came, and why it must be here. And all these DO indeed affect our view of God and His creations, so when we hear of some new discovery, why don't we more mature Christians (none of us ever completes that growth) utilize that knowledge and make it a part of the reasons we believe? When some realize that science truly does support belief, they tend to initially give a look a little like a deer caught in the headlights at night. They'd been led to believe that science and faith MUST be at odds with each other, when nothing could be further from the truth. We've been through many cycles now, of science being claimed to deny our faith, due to some new "discovery," but given a little time, that new "discovery" seems to never pan out, and is replaced by a new explanation that more fully fits, and which unintentionally supports our faith. But most have never heard of these things, and only know what they were taught in high school, or have heard in the mass media, which is also averse to supporting our faith, mostly.

    There is no substitute for knowing, and keeping up with science is the only way to NOT come up quoting something that's been supplanted, and is now "old hat," and one with holes in it big enough to drive a Mack truck through! But it's VERY interesting, and even rapturizing sometimes, and anything that edifies us, really, is something that God wants us to be a part of. It's just part of His good will toward us. Plus it keeps us busy, and that in turn keeps us out of trouble. Do we serve a worldly wise God, or not?

  6. #66
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Man creates the problem between religion and science, when he/she makes erroneous assumptions. On the religious side, folks assume that the writer of Genesis intended to write a "scientific" account of the various creations (world, mankind etc.). If we assume that the writer of Genesis was trying to write a theogical statment of the nature of God, the all conflict resolves itself.

    The writer of Genesis never trys to explain how, when and where God came into existance. He starts with a given that God does exist and goes on to explain God's nature and power. Go through the first few chapters of Genesis and draw out the verbs of God's actions, i.e., God saw, God named, God separated, God called, etc. etc.. In these verbs we see our first picture of who the God of creation is and the scope of his power and authority over earth and all that is one it.

    Bottom line is the animosity between God and science begins with an erroneous assumption about the intent of the writer of Genesis. This comes about when folks take a literal (verbal dictation) theory of the Bible.

    People who are "science driven" start with a rejection of a God who creates and then go on to shoe horn all religion into their false assumption. Their understanding of religious faith is very childlike. Some years ago, I bought Arnold Toynbee's one volumn "History of the Earth, which was published after his death. In the first chapter he denies any involvement by God in the history of the Earth. When I read his reason, I was overcome with sadness. This great, highly educated man had a childlike understanding of Judeo/Christian thought. If was obvious he rejected that which he did not understand and so it goes with many science types.

    Thus, we have this and similiar threads and arguments. I realize that nothing I have said, could say or will say can change anybody's base assumption. But hey, it is worth a shot. I will now leave you good folks to return to your respective corners and get ready for the next round.
    To start your post with that and then follow with a string of assumptions is quite ironic

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    To start your post with that and then follow with a string of assumptions is quite ironic
    You can call them assumptions or whatever you wish, but we're talking here about faith and Truth, and those things are rather concrete, when they're found, and not subject to "assumptions." I'd think you knew the difference.

  8. #68
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    The fact that he seems to know what millions of separate people think (based off one dudes book) is an assumption. One that has nothing to do one’s faith.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Not one dudes book. I spend 50+ years in academic study, follow up research and real world experience, all to be a teacher of the Christian faith and how it operates in the real world. Throw in for good measure a serious study of how human beings and human society functions. This is the path God placed me upon and what I know and understand was hard won over an extended period of time. In those 50+ years, I have been a Pastor, Missionary and Univ. Professor. I hold a Bachelor's degree, a Masters degree and two Doctoral degrees, all from fully accredited institutions of higher learning.

    I am not trying to blow my own horn, but to inform you of my background and standing to say the things I have said. What I say is not a chain of assumptions, as you so wrongly assert, nor the product of "one dudes book". It is knowledge accumulated over a half century of study and experience.

    I am very near the end of my run now, and I share what I know and not what I assume. Accept or reject, it makes no difference to me, how I feel or what I think.

    I pray God's richest blessings on you and all that read this. This ends my involvement in this and like threads on this board. I won't get sucked into an ongoing debate on the subject at hand.
    All that and you still falsely assume that folks have rejected God. Perhaps not everyone believes exactly like you do.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Not one dudes book. I spend 50+ years in academic study, follow up research and real world experience, all to be a teacher of the Christian faith and how it operates in the real world. Throw in for good measure a serious study of how human beings and human society functions. This is the path God placed me upon and what I know and understand was hard won over an extended period of time. In those 50+ years, I have been a Pastor, Missionary and Univ. Professor. I hold a Bachelor's degree, a Masters degree and two Doctoral degrees, all from fully accredited institutions of higher learning.

    I am not trying to blow my own horn, but to inform you of my background and standing to say the things I have said. What I say is not a chain of assumptions, as you so wrongly assert, nor the product of "one dudes book". It is knowledge accumulated over a half century of study and experience.

    I am very near the end of my run now, and I share what I know and not what I assume. Accept or reject, it makes no difference to me, how I feel or what I think.

    I pray God's richest blessings on you and all that read this. This ends my involvement in this and like threads on this board. I won't get sucked into an ongoing debate on the subject at hand.
    This, this here! This is what I mean when I say, "I do not have blind faith."! The proof is out there, that the Bible, especially the New Testament, is the most reliable of ancient manuscripts! Whether you study and research yourself, is up to you. Likewise, belief is also up to you!

  11. #71
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Correct, there is no need for "blind faith". In my case, I became a Christian at age 29 because of a deep need in my heart. However, I was not willing to accept New Testament Scripture as the "the rule and guide for faith and practice" until I had convinced myself that it was indeed a true, accurate and reliable set of documents. To that end I closed up my Law Office and entered Seminary.

    By the end of my first year in Seminary, my time in the libary gave me confidence in New Testatment documents as true, accurate and reliable. I did not learn this in class as the various professors assumed it to be so and did not attempt to provide evidence to support their beliefs. Lawyers are trained to do research and that served me well as I haunted the Seminary Library.

    I went to Seminary to answer questions and while there, received my calling to ministry. The rest as they say, is history.

    So, I had faith, but it was not blind. I had to satisfy my mind as well. Folks who hold that the Christian faith has no intellectual and historical credibility just have not studied enough to know what they are talking about.

    I have learned along the way that it is useless to argue with the faithless. The time and energy are better used in more fruitful ways. Faithful people can have their faith enhanced through solid teaching. Faithless people have to pee on the electric fence.

    Best wishes and prayer for your long and useful life.
    We are not so far off as you imagine. Your personal evidence is simply not enough for me. You had to convince yourself, that to me is telling.

    Where you find me faithless, I find you slightly arrogant to assume you have it all figured out. I imagine we are not too different morally, but disagree on our thoughts of the afterlife.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    I am not trying to convince you of anything. I have not considered how far or how close we may be on any subject. I am simply stating the facts, as I know them to be. I never said, anything about finding you faithless. The statement I made was broad, general and not directed to anybody specific. I never accused you of finding me faithless. I simply said I fit into your definition of it. Failure to take other people’s thoughts into account fits into my definition of arrogance.

    I have been called arrogant before, and am not bothered by it. My Grandfather, who raised me, told me "Son, if you don't want to make waves, don't every say nothing, don't ever do nothing and don't ever be nothing.". I guess being called arrogant just goes with the role of trying to teach the faith. I don't think teaching confusion and uncertainity goes with the role of being a teacher of the faith. You are throwing around the two extremes as if a middle ground does not exist. You can be sure of your own faith, but it does little to encourage others to believe. Likewise my uncertainty does not mean I believe in nothing, but rather that what was enough for you is insufficient for me.

    I don't recall any conversation about the "afterlife" so I can't see how you would know what I believe on that subject. True but I feel it appropriate to assume a little given the background you shared. Identifying as a Christian does mean something to me.
    I can understand that many don’t like their beliefs challenged, but this is a thread on the difficulty of faith in the “deep theological” sub forum. And to be fair, I am not picking on you but my questions are the culmination of several discussions I have had with various members here. I am not trying to get into a pissing match but rather attempting to comprehend a different point of view.

  13. #73
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    "Best wishes and prayer for your long and useful life."

    Char-Gar, this is indeed a blessing from you. I pray, I use my life to the glory of God!

  14. #74
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    T McD
    "attempting to comprehend a different point of view"


    If you seek comprehension, perhaps you'll consider posting the points you question.

    I have a few I'd like to see discussed, but am reluctant to pose them at this time. You see, just because I don't agree with a nuance in my brothers understanding, I have no desire to tear him down, or invite the scoffers an opportunity.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    T McD
    "attempting to comprehend a different point of view"


    If you seek comprehension, perhaps you'll consider posting the points you question.

    I have a few I'd like to see discussed, but am reluctant to pose them at this time. You see, just because I don't agree with a nuance in my brothers understanding, I have no desire to tear him down, or invite the scoffers an opportunity.
    First off, feel free to ask any questions, I’m game.

    My questions are:

    How can one know the true nature of God? My premise is one cannot, we can just grasp at straws of partial truths.

    Given that, when does confidence turn into arrogance? How can you be so sure of your thoughts on God? At some point insistence on the “right” way is nothing more than common vanity.

  16. #76
    Boolit Master
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    Define "truth"?

    I'll add, define God as well.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    Define "truth"?

    I'll add, define God as well.
    Truth is hard to define, I will readily admit. Truth is a constant, unchanging and universally applicable. If something meets that criteria, I would say it’s true. Feel free to add or critique.

    The definition of God is what I feel is unknowable. We can use Christ for the sake of this discussion, but my question is independent of deity.

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    The first question must be "Is there a God?" That is a reasonable starting point I feel.

    If your answer is "No there isn't." Then that sorts that out. Pretty much end of discussion. Why argue after all?

    If your answer is "Yes there is." then the next question is, "What is God Like?"

    That is where the complications set in. Far too many to adequately present even a sample of views here.

    Here is my major objection to the perspective of many Christians though. I present this as religious discussion here centres upon Christianity.

    Imagine a good man. A doctor perhaps who has saved many lives, done many good works, has hurt nobody, and who is a very kind and humble man who prays many times a day. He is a Muslim. (For the avoidance of doubt he prays to the same God as Christians and Jews. He thinks of that God somewhat differently to Christians and Jews, but it is categorically and beyond the slightest doubt the same God.) Such good people do exist BTW for those who are wondering. One day a Christian 'missionary' for lack of a better word, knocks on his door, hands him a bible, and gives him words of Christ as the only route to salvation. The doctor thanks him kindly, closes the door, and puts the bible away because he feels he has no need of it, the Koran serves his needs and has done since he was born. He continues his good works till the day he dies. According to very many Christians he is off to hell for all eternity, trillions upon trillions of years burning there. Really? This is the decree of a kind and loving God? And don't kid me that it's due to the decisions of this good and kind man. According to that type of Christian, it's God that made the rules, and if those rules are utterly unfair and indeed cruel, where's the love in that?

    Of course, that's not the views of all Christians, just an unknown, to me, percentage (probably most here, at a guess). Some Christians will say that such a man will be welcomed in heaven, judged upon his life. So, back to the eternal question, which Christians do I follow?

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Truth is hard to define, I will readily admit. Truth is a constant, unchanging and universally applicable. If something meets that criteria, I would say itís true. Feel free to add or critique.

    The definition of God is what I feel is unknowable. We can use Christ for the sake of this discussion, but my question is independent of deity.
    Truth is where most get hung up. In our daily lives we really accept many things as truth. Ex. My car it won't explode when I turn the ignition on, we trust in that truth, my food won't poison me, when I pull the trigger on my 375 H&H it's not going to pt the breach through my skull. In a court no one is ever convicted on absolute truth, jurors are instructed to use a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Why? Because there can always be an imaginary scenario where the one on trial is innocent, and you would never be able to disprove these imaginary scenarios.

    If your willing to accept a beyond reasonable doubt definition, the conversation can proceed, but if one must disprove every imagined scenario in order to prove truth, that is a self defeating exercise leading to futility.

    Christ, ok. I'll add father God, the creator.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Correct, there is no need for "blind faith". In my case, I became a Christian at age 29 because of a deep need in my heart. However, I was not willing to accept New Testament Scripture as the "the rule and guide for faith and practice" until I had convinced myself that it was indeed a true, accurate and reliable set of documents. To that end I closed up my Law Office and entered Seminary.

    By the end of my first year in Seminary, my time in the libary gave me confidence in New Testatment documents as true, accurate and reliable. I did not learn this in class as the various professors assumed it to be so and did not attempt to provide evidence to support their beliefs. Lawyers are trained to do research and that served me well as I haunted the Seminary Library.

    I went to Seminary to answer questions and while there, received my calling to ministry. The rest as they say, is history.

    So, I had faith, but it was not blind. I had to satisfy my mind as well. Folks who hold that the Christian faith has no intellectual and historical credibility just have not studied enough to know what they are talking about.

    I have learned along the way that it is useless to argue with the faithless. The time and energy are better used in more fruitful ways. Faithful people can have their faith enhanced through solid teaching. Faithless people have to pee on the electric fence.

    Best wishes and prayer for your long and useful life.
    Yes!!!

    I would have remained an atheist, if I had not been advised to start with the NT.

    It is sad that the Bible starts with an account of creation that, if taken literally, is so patently unsupported by what man now believes about the earth and universe.
    Don Verna

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