'There are many paths to god.'

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by TrainingForUtopia, Mar 11, 2002.

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  1. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    Wylding

    Paul says something very similar...the verse escapes me at the moment, but as I recall he was looking at the statues of different gods the Romans had erected and he comes to the one for the unknown god.

    You're thinking of Acts 17. Paul had noticed a statue with an inscription "To an unknown God". He refers to it and tells them about God, since they have admitted themselves that he is unknown to them. I think he was using it as a visual aid, rather than making any deep theological points about it.

    I was speaking with my aunt a while back. She said something to the effect of "I worship God in my own way. I haven't got a clue what he's like." I remembered Paul, andsaid "Well, since you don't know about God, let me tell you about him."


    The interesting thing is that Paul doesn't condemn them all...

    I didn't condemn my aunt either. Neither Jesus nor the apostles condemned Gentile non-believers. They always spoke respectfully to them. They only spoke condemingly to the religious people of the day who ought to know better, like the Pharisees for example. Paul wanted to speak at respectfully to them as possible.

    Paul makes it clear that the worship of idols is not the same as worshipping God, but rather it's the same as worshipping demons:
    Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord's table and the table of demons.(1 Corinthians 10:19-21)


  2. Republic_Clone_69 Jedi Knight

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    Gee... Christianity is such a tolerant, compassionate faith. [face_plain]

  3. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    Gee... Christianity is such a tolerant, compassionate faith.

    We should definately be compassionate. But tolerant... I'm not too sure. Many people think that Christ just tolerated anyone and anything. He didn't. They didn't kill him because they thought he was a nice guy, they killed him because he was so offensive. Was he being tolerant when he made a whip and drove all the traders from the temple area. Was he being tolerant when he called the religious leaders of the day "children of the devil"?

    Respecting people is important, but speaking the truth is also important. Jesus did both. The Bible says that he came with grace and truth. Grace without truth is wishy-washy. Truth without grace is TFU.

  4. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    Darth_SnowDog

    In the Gospel of Thomas, one sees a Christ who expresses his intention of a much more direct relationship with God, without intermediaries between God and the believer... including himself. This is Christ... this is humility. Unfortunately, for some odd reason... Gospel of Thomas was not accepted as Canon by the Vatican.

    When the 27 New Testament books were canonized, the church was merely making an official list of the books that were already in use and regarded as authentic.

    They didn't have a pile of 50 or so books, sit down and think "Right, which of these do we choose." Imagine if there were churches that were using any of the books not eventually chosen - there would have been an uproar.

    The reason the church chose to make an official list was because there were many sects and cults springing up, each one claiming to have found manuscripts written by the apostles. And, what a surprise, in each case, those newly-found books supported the stance of the sect in question.

    It's the same reason why the church of today has rejected the Book of Mormon, or the numerous Jehovah's Witnesses' literature.

    The Gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic work. The Gnostics were a sect that believed that the way to heaven was through a secret knowledge (gnosis), much like the present-day Jehovah's Witnesses. They also believed that the body was in itself evil, particularly the woman's body.

    The Gospel of Thomas is not what we expect from the other gospels, in that it's not the story of Jesus' life. It's a collection of 114 sayings. Some of them are similar to those we see in the other gospels, such as the parable of the sower. But the sayings that are unique to the Gospel of Thomas are clearly Gnostic:


    (1) And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."

    (14) Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits.

    (19) Jesus said, "Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being. If you become my disciples and listen to my words, these stones will minister to you. For there are five trees for you in Paradise which remain undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall. Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death."

    (39) Jesus said, "The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves."

    (77) Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there." This displays a clear pantheistic teaching, completely foreign to the rest of the Bible.

    (114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life."
    Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." Displays typical Gnostic distain of women

    Funnily enough, it was the Gnostics who discovered the Gospel of Thomas.

  5. Republic_Clone_69 Jedi Knight

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    We should definately be compassionate. But tolerant... I'm not too sure. Many people think that Christ just tolerated anyone and anything... Was he being tolerant when he made a whip and drove all the traders from the temple area. Was he being tolerant when he called the religious leaders of the day "children of the devil"?

    Respecting people is important, but speaking the truth is also important




    That, right there, pretty much sums up why I'm not a Christian.
  6. sleazo Jedi Master

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    grand moff, im sure you would have been first in line to persecute the cathars during the inquisition for heresy.
  7. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    It was just the opposite with me. When I was growing up I had an image of Jesus as being a very weak person, and it completely put me off. When I read the gospels for myself and saw him as a strong, no-nonsense kind of guy - it appealed to me.

  8. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Sep 10, 2001
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    We should definately be compassionate. But tolerant... I'm not too sure.

    I'll try to remember that so next time I see a Bible-thumper, I'll give them a hug first before I tell them to burn in hell.

    (77) Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there." This displays a clear pantheistic teaching, completely foreign to the rest of the Bible.

    And the other Gospels which deal with Christ are right because...?? Because the church says so. Of course, if I were a salesman trying to gain power, influence or money, I wouldn't tell people that they could get the equivalent of my product anywhere else.

    (114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life."
    Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven." Displays typical Gnostic distain of women


    And this makes Thomas less contradictory than the rest of the Bible, which is replete, I'm certain, with it's own myriad contradictions?

    There's no basis upon which the Gospel of Thomas should be taken to be any less valid than the rest of the Bible... nor should the Bible be considered any more valid than the Gospel of Thomas... If there were evidence to suggest it, I'd be enthused to see it coming from a non referential-source (i.e. the Church or the Bible itself).

    When I read the gospels for myself and saw him as a strong, no-nonsense kind of guy - it appealed to me.

    No nonsense = intolerance? Wow... I guess I should join the Nazis or the KKK... they always use strong imagery to project a no-nonsense kind of intolerant attitude... So did David Koresh, by the way.




  9. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    grand moff, im sure you would have been first in line to persecute the cathars during the inquisition for heresy.

    Probably not. I've got no idea who they are. ;)

  10. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    And this makes Thomas less contradictory than the rest of the Bible, which is replete, I'm certain, with it's own myriad contradictions?

    I seem to recall asking you, Snowdog, in the Alleged Contradictions thread to name just one example of internal contradictions in the Bible. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you didn't.

    Could you please, maybe in that thread as it's a little off-topic here, name just one of the myriad contradictions.

  11. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Sep 10, 2001
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    Sure... the two accounts of Jesus lineage are through different ancestors... now the argument has been made that one line was the mother's side and the other was the father's side.

    Now why the hell would the Bible go to all this trouble to drill home the point that Jesus was of divine origin and immaculate conception, and then give us the lineage of his father who wasn't really his biological father?

    There's one.

    But I digress... I for one believe in some of the substance of the Bible, some of the substance of Gospel of Thomas... not all of it. I'm not an absolutist... if someone tells me that the Eiffel tower is plaid, I'm not obligated to say the Eiffel tower never existed.

    Here I was suggesting to Wylding to check out the Gospel of Thomas because it has some interesting implications, and along you come and poop on the party. You said it yourself... this isn't a contradictions thread... so why are you debating the issue here? You brought it up, I merely defended my position.

    I'd say you're just afraid of what might happen if people start thinking for themselves... god forbid. The more important question is... why are you afraid? Are you afraid you might be wrong? If you're so confident of the Bible's legitimacy as-is... you shouldn't feel the need to spontaneously rain on another's parade... especially when two people from opposite sides of the spectrum are finding a common ground on which to relate with one another... a truly benevolent thing... which, by your comments on tolerance, seems to be a problem for you.
  12. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    SnowDog

    Sure... the two accounts of Jesus lineage are through different ancestors... now the argument has been made that one line was the mother's side and the other was the father's side. Now why the hell would the Bible go to all this trouble to drill home the point that Jesus was of divine origin and immaculate conception, and then give us the lineage of his father who wasn't really his biological father? There's one.

    Already answered this one in the Alleged Contradictions thread.


    But I digress... I for one believe in some of the substance of the Bible, some of the substance of Gospel of Thomas... not all of it. I'm not an absolutist... if someone tells me that the Eiffel tower is plaid, I'm not obligated to say the Eiffel tower never existed.

    True.


    Here I was suggesting to Wylding to check out the Gospel of Thomas because it has some interesting implications, and along you come and poop on the party.

    I apologize for the poop. I would've let it go. But you did make a point of saying the church didn't accept it as canon, because of fear of what it would do to the status quo. I just wanted to stick up for the church and say what the deal was with the Gospel of Thomas and why it was rejected.


    You said it yourself... this isn't a contradictions thread... so why are you debating the issue here? You brought it up, I merely defended my position.

    My point was about one of the many reason Thomas' Gospel was rejected. You then said the Bible contains "myriad contradictions". I merely challenged your comment.


    I'd say you're just afraid of what might happen if people start thinking for themselves... god forbid.

    Absolutely not. I always stress the importance of doing your own thinking. I've read the Gospel of Thomas a few times for myself and come to my own conclusions about it. I always encourage people I know to read and study things for themselves. There's quite a few Christians I know who've never read the Koran or the Book of Mormon - I always encourage them to.


    The more important question is... why are you afraid? Are you afraid you might be wrong?

    I wasn't aware that I was coming across as afraid. But I'm not anyway.


    If you're so confident of the Bible's legitimacy as-is... you shouldn't feel the need to spontaneously rain on another's parade...

    This has happened before with us. Remember the Virgin Birth stuff in the Evolution thread. I'm sorry that I interrupted the flow of the debate with you and Wylding. But if you don't want it to happen, perhaps you should refrain from making off-hand comments. You did it with the "almah" thing, and you did it again with the accusation against the church not accepting Thomas' Gospel.


    especially when two people from opposite sides of the spectrum are finding a common ground on which to relate with one another... a truly benevolent thing... which, by your comments on tolerance, seems to be a problem for you.

    Touche, point taken. Back to you and Wylding....

  13. sleazo Jedi Master

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    Aug 13, 2001
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    the cathars were christians who did not interpret the bible literally like you do who were massacred by the catholic church during the inquisition. They even roasted people covered in oil in ovens like during the holocaust.
    what im saying is the organized church of literalists has been persecuting people for years who do not follow "the only way to know god" which is through authoritarianism.
    You remind me of these people
  14. Neon_Ninja Jedi Knight

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    Feb 27, 2002
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    Okay, on this one I can't be silent...

    They even roasted people covered in oil in ovens like during the holocaust.
    what im saying is the organized church of literalists has been persecuting people for years who do not follow "the only way to know god" which is through authoritarianism. You remind me of these people.


    On the one hand we have persecution and roasting in oil. On the other we have We should definately be compassionate. But tolerant... I'm not too sure. Heinous crime against humanity vs. an opinion post on a Star Wars site.

    How is it that these two things remind you of each other? Did you somehow miss the part about compassion? Compassion does not allow for oil roasting. Just because someone feels like he's got some good information and would like to share it does not mean he wants to roast you in oil if you disagree.
  15. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Sep 10, 2001
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    Monkey: My entire point of rebutting your reiteration of my claims of inconsistency is this: If I say the sky is blue... very few, if any, of the world's 6.5 billion inhabitants will disagree with that observation.

    If I say that Jesus and the Bible are the only way to god, about 4.5 billion (70 percent) of the world's population wouldn't agree with that assessment.

    Fact: The Bible's meanings are still under debate 2000 years after its supposed inception... even within the religion's own denominations.

    How can a document be so inarguably clear and unambiguous if even its own followers cannot agree as to how it should be interpreted? To say otherwise defies the concept of clarity.
  16. sleazo Jedi Master

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    Aug 13, 2001
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    it doesnt sound like he wants to share an opinion it sounds liek there is only one way. That is why i made the comparrison to other christian literalists
  17. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Grand Moff Monkey,

    'It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God." Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.'

    I agree that this verse isn't quoted as much as it ought to be. I really like it. If you look at the whole of John 6, it should make more sense. After feeding over 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish, they still didn't get it. The next day, they asked Jesus for a sign to show them why they should believe him. Imagine that! If it was me I'd have said "You dumb-asses! I fed you all yesterday out of nothing! What do you want from me??"

    The crowd then refered to the manna (bread) that God rained down from heaven for the Israelites. This bread was what they needed to give them sustenance in the desert. Jesus says that he is the Bread of Life. He quotes Isaiah's word, and says that everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to Jesus. They's listened to the Father, but not learnt from him. If they'd learnt anything they wouldn't dare ask Jesus for a sign after the miracle he performed for them the previous day.



    Many people listen to God, but sadly not many learn from him. It's like when we're at school - we sometimes listen to the teacher, but we don't learn from him or put it into practise.


    It's interesting to note that through your entire post, I don't disagree with you at all. However, my orginal point still stands: One can come to God through the Father then to Christ.


    'Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?'

    It's very important not to ignore the context of this verse. Paul was writing to the church at Corinth. To the believers. It is the believers in Christ who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them.


    Yes, Paul is writing to the believers, but he doesn't single them out in this statement. He doesn't say, Only you who are in Christ have the Holy Spirit dwelling within your bodies.


    'Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.

    With regards to verses on meditation, yes - meditation is important. But what is meditation, biblically speaking? Meditation simply means "to mutter". In Joshua Chapter 1, Joshua is told to meditate on God's word. Think about it, study it, mutter it again and again under your breath. The more you think about it, the more it becomes real to you. It's not about emptying your mind or focussing on one spot. On the contrary, it's about focussing on God's word and his promises.

    You quoted Psalm 119:15, and that's exactly what it says: 'I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.'


    I don't accept your version of the word meditate. The bible says to "Be still and know that I am God." There is no other way that I know of to be more still than in silent meditation.

    I'll give you another verse that profoundly shows us that meditation is a solitary thing...

    Genesis 24:63
    And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming.

    Here we see Isaac out in the field, eyes downcast (Question: How is it that we see the Buddha meditating?), and in the evening when it's quiet. So here in Genesis we read of someone who was practicing a solitary, presumably still, eyes downcast (in the Tradition of the Buddha), type of meditation and nowhere do we read of any muttering.

    I've done some asking around and digging into the past of Christianity...I spoke with a Jewish Rabbi who helped confirm this...there is a Judaic tradition of meditation that was passed on to Christianity, but through the years for whatever reason it has been left by the wayside. I suspect that the chruch leaders eventually became fearful that their followers would come to knowledge of God through scripture, prayer and meditation that would leave them (the leaders) out of the loop. Therefore to keep their power base secure they declared it verboden in one wa
  18. Shedao15 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2001
    star 4
    You know Christ was quite a weak person. He was a scrawny, weak, scruffy looking BLACK PALESTINIAN. His strength, was in his spirit and courage. He was killed not because he was offensive, but because he claimed to be God, and by Jewish law that was blasphmey, and blasphemy had but 1 punishment--death.

    As for the Cathars, you over simplify the cult. They were quite harmful. They taught that to eat was sinful, and children were evil because birthing was an abomanation. This led to them killing off eachother including infants. Now then I won't pretend that Inquisition didn't come after them. As a matter of fact they were the primary reason the Holy Office for the Roman Inquistion was formed. However, history has shown us that tales of people dying in the hundreds of thousands and by the millions, and deviant cruel punishment and exucutions, are simply untrue. The inquistion still exisits today, its now called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Since its formation in the middle ages, around 2,000 people have dies. All they same way--burning at the stake. However, every death was carried out and ORDERED by the SECULAR authorites not the Church. The church was merley the investigative and trial arm of the Inquistion. Sins were commited and the Church has done its best to apologize, but it must be noted. One cannot apply the standards of today to those of centuries past. Human life had little value in those times, and more importantly it must be understood, that in Europe the only valuable thing these people had was their church. They saw the Cathars and others as trying to destroy the only valueabe thing they had. This doesn't justify all of the abuses of the church, but does give you and understanding behind some of these actions.

    As for being tolerant. It is foolish to say that Christ was not tolerant. His intolerance was towards ideas. Never people. I do not tolerate Satanism, but I love Satanists. I do not tolerate terrorism but I love terrorist. Christ did not tolerate Phariseeism but he loved the Pharasiees. So you are required by a faith in Christ to be tolerant of every person on this earth. to forgive them of all wrongdoing no matter how truly evil and sadistic it may be, and to love everyman just as you love yourself. If you do not, you can say you believe in Christ all you want but you will not see heaven. Also, just because you say that doesn't mean that you do. For the action speaks louder than the world. To be true Christian would mean, going up to Hitler, hugging him and saying I love you as a brother, and I forgive you for your crimes. Then pleading that he not be executed but rather spend his life in prison. This does not mean love what he did, no, wholesale slaughter is never justified. It does mean loving the human being. If you cannot do what I have stated, you need to re-examine your faith in Christ and find out what is wrong. To truly believe in him you have to do what i said, not just say that you will, but be prepared to do it.

    Also, it is key to remember wht St. Augustine taught. One does not get into heaven because of what they believe they get there because God allows them to come in. The most pious Christian has the same chance as Hell as the Satanist, and the same chance of heaven. So be humble an do not think that because you profess your faith in Christ as God you are any better than Jeffery Dahmer, Stalin, or bin Laden, because you are not. You are just as flawed and just as human, and just as wrong, as those men.

    Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
  19. sleazo Jedi Master

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    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    being as how history is written by the victors your description of the cruel cathars does them a great injustice.
  20. Shedao15 Jedi Master

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    No it does them nothing, I merley speak of what is true. that is what they believed. They were not a persecuted little band of hippies. They were a cult, and they did a lot of damage physical and mental to those around them, the could be compared to the modern day Falun Gong. They were just as persecutory as the Church. The diffrence was their scope was not as large as the churchs. This does not justify Vhurch abuses, however it does put things in perspective.

    EDIT: you should pick up the book "The Perfect Hersey" somtime, it will enlighten you on the Cathars and Albigensiens
  21. Wylding Jedi Grand Master

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    Aug 13, 2000
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    They were a cult, and they did a lot of damage physical and mental to those around them, the could be compared to the modern day Falun Gong.

    It's interesting to note that often the definition of a cult is simply a matter of numbers. If, for example the Heaven's Gate people had 3 billion followers, they would be called a valid major world religion.

    As for physical and mental damage, almost all religions are guilty of this at one time or another. Even your own precious Catholic faith turned a blind eye and comitted the sin of inaction during the time of the holocaust...IN LIVING MEMORY no less! I won't even go into the barbarity of the Inquistion.
  22. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

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    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Wylding: Good points on your posts! Especially with the similarities and the nonexclusivity of Christ which he himself has, on occasion, endorsed and on the issue of "cults" vs. "religions"...

    'It is written in the prophets, "And they shall all be taught by God." Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.'

    Again... this is restated in Hinduism, in the reverse:

    "O Arjuna, those who worship devotedly different demigods, although faithfully; they also worship Me only; but in an an unauthorized manner."

    a few related passages:

    From Gospel of Thomas...

    Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven." - 44

    From The Bhagavad Gita:

    "Worshipers of the demigods go to the demigods, worshipers of the ancestors go to the ancestors, worshipers of the ghosts and spirits go to the ghosts and spirits and My worshipers certainly come to Me." - 10:25

    "I am equally disposed to all living entities; there is neither friend nor foe to Me; but those who with loving sentiments render devotional service unto Me, such persons are in Me and I am in them." - 10:29

    "One swiftly becomes endowed with greatness and justly obtains everlasting peace. O Arjuna declare it boldly, My devotee never perishes." - 10:31

    The bible says to "Be still and know that I am God."

    Here are some excerpts from translations of Chapter 10 of The Bhagavad Gita, the last of which is perhaps the most striking:

    "O Arjuna, I alone am the creator, maintainer and destroyer of all creation, of knowledge I am spiritual knowledge and of arguments I am the logical conclusion."

    "Know thou that whatever is beautiful and good, whatever has glory and power is only a portion of my own radiance. But of what help is it to thee to know this diversity? Know that with one single fraction of my Being I pervade and support the Universe, and know that I AM."


    Here's an interesting comment acknowledging that even scripture cannot contain or describe all that god is, and that within the scriptures God doesn't describe verbatim everything that he does:

    "O Arjuna there is no limit to My transcendental majestic opulences; but all these accounts of such majestic opulences are mentioned by me only in brief."


  23. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Actually since the church burned the records of the cathars when they were killed, most of their culture went along with it. Therefore the infpormation you speak of is church propaganda that makes it not seem so bad for killing over one million people.
    Oh thats right they deserved to be persecuted because they drank blood or whatever other false accusations the curch gave regarding any group they were trying to squash
  24. Grand_Moff_Monkey Jedi Knight

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    Nov 29, 2001
    star 3
    Actually since the church burned the records of the cathars when they were killed, most of their culture went along with it. Therefore the infpormation you speak of is church propaganda that makes it not seem so bad for killing over one million people.

    If most of their culture went along with the burnt records, ho wcan you be certain that their history was re-written. How can we know for sure?


    Oh thats right they deserved to be persecuted because they drank blood or whatever other false accusations the curch gave regarding any group they were trying to squash

    Again, how can we know it's false?

  25. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Again, how can we know it's false?"

    The burden of proof is on the prosecution, not the defense. Except in witch burnings.
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