Why is it so important for those of you who are religious to convert others?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Wormie2, Jan 16, 2002.

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  1. StarFire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2001
    star 4
    I'm not doubting the words--it's a completely different argument (someone should make a topic debating the Council of Nicea sometime . . . )
    I do find the interpretation interesting, both that into English and the way in which it is perceived.

    But I have to run. I'll reply more in-depth tomorrow!
  2. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    "Why search with a critical mind? Are you trying to disprove the Bible for others, or prove It for yourself?"

    I can't disprove something that can't be proved in the first place. To be human is to ask questions.
  3. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    See ya later, StarFire. :)


    EDIT: "I can't disprove something that can't be proved in the first place. To be human is to ask questions."


    True. I ask questions myself. Believe me. But I ask the questions expecting to find the answers. And if I don't find the answers, I don't stop believing, but rather realize that I can't understand the Creator completely. I can, however, understand what He wants me to do, and what He says is the "Law". The rest are little questions that, in the end, don't really mean much. It's fun to try and figure out the answers though.
  4. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    All i can do is trust what my gut tells me.

    "Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but uprightness of the decision."

    -Thomas Jefferson, (on believing or not believing in the NT).

    "The rest are little questions that, in the end, don't really mean much."

    They do to me.
  5. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    I don't agree with him, on many levels, but people will have their disagreements, I guess. ;)


    I think I'll be heading out now. Be back tomorrow, hopefully. :)


    EDIT: I didn't mean to say what matters to you isn't important, you know. I just meant that in the grand scheme of things, it won't make that much of a difference if we figured out the answers or not. The Bible gives us what's really important, and just barely touches on subjects that won't mean anthing if we find the answers to.
  6. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    "I don't agree with him, on many levels,"

    That's not the point. I was using that particular quote to illustrate the way i felt about the importance of questioning with a critical mind.
  7. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    True, but most people have a critical mind on things they don't want to be true, yet on something they really want to believe they'll get answers very quickly.


    I know, I do this myself sometimes. But believe me, I've wondered if I was following the right thing. But for some reason, I just keep coming back to the Bible.


    Anyway, go ahead and argue this, but I won't be able to reply tonight. I must get my beauty sleep, you know.


    'Night :)
  8. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Question: Why were Jesus' last words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
  9. Doright Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 5
    I may be wrong.. ***vague remembering going on from a bible class I took a couple years ago. ***

    In those days when a person wanted to quote a bible passage. (it would be what we call the OT now) They would just quote the first couple of lines or something like that.
    Jesus was quoting a verse. When you read that whole passage you get an idea of what he was going through.
  10. Doright Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 5
    From the book of Psalms

    22:1
    My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [Why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my groaning?
    22:2
    O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou answerest not; And in the night season, and am not silent.
    22:3
    But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
    22:4
    Our fathers trusted in thee: They trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
    22:5
    They cried unto thee, and were delivered: They trusted in thee, and were not put to shame.
    22:6
    But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people.
    22:7
    All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, [saying],
    22:8
    Commit [thyself] unto Jehovah; Let him deliver him: Let him rescue him, seeing he delighteth in him.
    22:9
    But thou art he that took me out of the womb; Thou didst make me trust [when I was] upon my mother's breasts.
    22:10
    I was cast upon thee from the womb; Thou art my God since my mother bare me.
    22:11
    Be not far from me; for trouble is near; For there is none to help.
    22:12
    Many bulls have compassed me; Strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
    22:13
    They gape upon me with their mouth, [As] a ravening and a roaring lion.
    22:14
    I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.
    22:15
    My strength is dried up like a potsherd; And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; And thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
    22:16
    For dogs have compassed me: A company of evil-doers have inclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.
    22:17
    I may count all my bones; They look and stare upon me.
    22:18
    They part my garments among them, And upon my vesture do they cast lots.
    22:19
    But be not thou far off, O Jehovah: O thou my succor, haste thee to help me.
    22:20
    Deliver my soul from the sword, My darling from the power of the dog.
    22:21
    Save me from the lion's mouth; Yea, from the horns of the wild-oxen thou hast answered me.
    22:22
    I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the assembly will I praise thee.
    22:23
    Ye that fear Jehovah, praise him; All ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; And stand in awe of him, all ye the seed of Israel.
    22:24
    For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither hath he hid his face from him; But when he cried unto him, he heard.
    22:25
    Of thee cometh my praise in the great assembly: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
    22:26
    The meek shall eat and be satisfied; They shall praise Jehovah that seek after him: Let your heart live for ever.
    22:27
    All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah; And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
    22:28
    For the kingdom is Jehovah's; And he is the ruler over the nations.
    22:29
    All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him, Even he that cannot keep his soul alive.
    22:30
    A seed shall serve him; It shall be told of the Lord unto the [next] generation.
    22:31
    They shall come and shall declare his righteousness Unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done it.










    Here is the verse. basically it tells of a Man who even though he is going through a really bad time he is still has faith in God and that everything would be ok in the end. Jesus was being killed in front of his followers. I think this verse was to let them know that even though it looks bad now things will still be ok in the end.


    So even as he was being nailed to a tree he was able to give his followers a verse to read later that would or may give them some comfort after witnessing his death.
  11. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Thanks, Doright - that's a beautiful passage, and I had forgotten it. Your answer is the best one I've heard, and it makes sense. In fact, it probably blows the chances of starting a debate on this point. :D

    I've heard some wildly varying answers on what Jesus meant or why he said those words, and most of them lead to some very serious contradictions and lead to good debate.
  12. Doright Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 5
    LOL. I didn't mean to ruin your fun. ;)


  13. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    LOL, Doright. No problem. I'm not debating for fun, anyway - I'm really looking for stuff where the debate might reveal something worth learning. If your post covered the meaning of that passage for everybody, and no one wants to present an alternate take on it, that's fine by me. I learned something from your answer, anyway.
  14. Cailina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 1999
    star 4
    Isurus in response to your question on page 8, I'd do none of the above. I wouldn't tell anyone because they have to find it for themselves and the way they find it might well be different from mine.

    "I've not heard of many Christians converting to other religions. While there are some out there, there aren't near as many Christians converting to other religions as there are people of other religions converting to Christianity."

    Oh? PPOR. According to www.religioustolerence.org The percentage of Christians worldwide is around 33% and dropping. And Neo-paganism is one of the fastest growing religions.

    "True, but most people have a critical mind on things they don't want to be true, yet on something they really want to believe they'll get answers very quickly."

    I have a critical mind when reading the bible because while I want to believe something, I am not sure what to believe. I believe that all religions are paths to God and I must find the one that is right for me.

  15. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Here's a question:

    Some say that God gave humans the capacity to do evil because He wanted us to follow Him by choice, not because we were programmed to.

    If that's the case, will we have the capacity to sin in Heaven? If so, why not let those who sin on Earth enter Heaven, since those already in Heaven are already sinning just as much? If not, then won't we all be "programmed" to follow him--exactly what some claim He doesn't want?

    It's also been said that God created hardship so that man would continue to rely on Him. This is what's known as "Munchausen by proxy syndrome," where a parent constantly poisons his or her child, keeping the child sick so that it needs the parent more. Morally and legally, this practice is generally frowned upon.
  16. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Cailina, good point - I agree with you about people only finding their way on their own. And your Neo-paganism stat sounds right, too - a lot of disaffected Catholics I know, in particular, discover in paganism much of the roots of modern Catholicism (which absorbed many pagan rituals in order to more easily convert the British isles). Paganism offers them a less guilt-ridden religious experience, I believe.

    Geist, more very good points! One of the big problems I have in debating with Christians is that I have NEVER YET MET ONE OF THEM who is willing to acknowledge that "love me or die" is not really a choice! If an abusive spouse tells his/her mate "love me or die", that can later be used to excuse the spouse for killing the abuser in a "battered spouse syndrome" defense. How come when God does it, it's loving?

    Now, I ask that as a serious question, and I would be happy to hear a serious answer. But all I've gotten in the past is, "It may not be much of a choice, but it is still a choice."

    To which I reply, "Okay, dude, then give me all your money or die. Your choice." :D
  17. IellaWessiriNRI Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2001
    star 4
    Well... think of it this way. God says to you, "You can either follow me, accept my gift of salvation to you, and enter into my eternal kingdom and spend eternity with me, or you can choose to reject my love, and you can spend eternity separated from me." Isn't that a choice? Because that's basically what God offers. Hell isn't about eternal suffering - it's about eternal separation from God, which will most likely translate into eternal suffering once you realize what it really means. It's not something that God inflicts on you, though.
  18. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Good way of putting it, Iella. :)

    I agree. The choice is not to love God or die, it's to be with God for eternity, or don't. But God is the only good, the only peace, the only love. To be seperated from him would be worse than flames scorching your body for eternity. But at the same time, as Iella said, this is something you choose to do. I've seen several people just on these message boards that choose to seperate themselves from the God of the Bible. In that way, they made the choice to "go to hell" when they die. If you don't want to be with God, He won't force you.
  19. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Not sure if I posted this before... but I think the lyrics speak for themselves:

    "Witch Hunt" by Rush
    Lyrics by Neil Peart

    The night is black, without a moon.
    The air is thick and still.
    The vigilantes gather on
    The lonely torchlit hill.

    Features distorted in the flickering light,
    Faces are twisted and grotesque.
    Silent and stern in the sweltering night,
    The mob moves like demons possesed.
    Quiet in conscience, calm in their right,
    Confident their ways are best.

    The righteous rise
    With burning eyes
    Of hatred and ill-will.
    Madmen fed on fear and lies
    To beat and burn and kill.

    They say there are strangers who threaten us,
    Our immigrants and infidels.
    They say there is strangeness to danger us
    In our theatres and bookstore shelves,
    That those who know what's best for us
    Must rise and save us from ourselves.

    Quick to judge,
    Quick to anger,
    Slow to understand
    Ignorance and prejudice
    And fear walk hand in hand.

  20. cydonia Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    This is from losingmyreligion.com...

    "On the other side of the coin, is it right to worship something simply because you fear it? Is it right to bow to a dictator, no matter how evil this dictator is, if doing so will keep you from going to the gas chambers or to the ovens? Who is more worthy of admiration, an individual who refuses to succumb to an evil dictator, regardless of the threats of harm, or an individual who sells his soul for the promise of a reward?

    Looking at it in a slightly different way, if a man said to a woman, ?Love me or I will hurt you? is there anyone in their right mind who believes that the woman would really love the man to avoid being hurt? She might profess love and she might, in order to avoid being hurt, behave in a manner that seems loving, but deep down inside, I doubt that she would ever really be able to love such an individual. I know I wouldn?t.

    What would Christians who believe that hell awaits those who do not become Christians think of a mother who said to her child, ?Love me by the time you are six, or I will bake you in the oven.? In this case, the parent does give the child a choice, but what kind of choice is it?

    Some Christians have compared Jesus sending people to hell to a parent who says to a child, ?Don?t go into the street or you will be hit by a car.? This analogy fails, however, for many reason, the most obvious one being that in the case of Jesus, hell (unlike the cars) does not exist beyond his ability to control it. A more accurate version of the analogy of the parent warning his child about the dangers of going into the street would be a parent who says to his child, ?Don?t go into the street or you will be hit by a car.? Then when the child goes into the street, the parent jumps into his car and runs the child over.

    Many Christians, when evangelizing, attempt to paint a kind and compassionate portrait of Jesus by stressing how deeply saddened he is when he has to put people in hell. However, if the parent who bakes her child in the oven when the child fails to love her weeps as she preheats the oven in which to bake her child, would we really believe that she was grieved over her decision? Or if a parent weeps as he beats his child to death, should this cause us to believe that the parent is a compassionate and loving individual, who only has his child?s best interest at heart?"
  21. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    By the way, I meant "die" in the sense of separation from God, as Christianity teaches that is the only real death.

    But God is the only good, the only peace, the only love. To be seperated from him would be worse than flames scorching your body for eternity.

    My point exactly - that's a coercive choice, a choice based on fear, not hope.

    A choice based on hope is between two or more things, any of which might lead you where you need to go. For example, two job offers. Both will pay, both will offer benefits, both take the same amount of time away from you each week. But one may be more fulfilling than the other, or offer nicer co-workers, etc.

    The choice between God's love and separation from God's love is more like the choice between a job and no job at all (with no financial support from any other source). You can either take the job, or plan on starving to death. This is an ultimatum, not a choice.

    Let's say a parent has a kid who keeps getting himself into jail. Once they've tried to help him stop his criminal behavior every way they can, eventually they just have to let him stay in jail a while, right? And this is parallel to how we (the errant kid) separate ourselves from God's love (our family home) through out own bad choices.

    Except for one problem: the kid in jail is still going to get his basic needs met, and he has a hope of getting out - he still has hope. But the alternate choice to God's love presents no hope at all. That makes it no choice at all.

    EDIT - cross posted with Cydonia:
    "A more accurate version of the analogy of the parent warning his child about the dangers of going into the street would be a parent who says to his child, ÒDonÕt go into the street or you will be hit by a car.Ó Then when the child goes into the street, the parent jumps into his car and runs the child over. "

    Oh, man, that's a good way of explaining it. Thank you.
  22. Palpazzar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    A choice is nothing more than a decision between two options. The consequences do not determine if something is a choice or not.

    But you would be hard pressed to find a true Christian that was a Christian because of fear. Read 1 John 4:18. Fear is not the basis of love and God knows that.
  23. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Palpazzar, if a choice is a choice is a choice, then I guess if a rapist demands you let him rape you or else he will kill you, and you choose to be raped.... you consented, and it wasn't really rape at all?

    Sorry if my example offends, but this is a REALLY slippery logic slope.
  24. Jedi_Master201 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2001
    star 5
    Eh, first off, the problem you have with this choice between God and death can hardly be compared to being raped and being put to death. Following the God of the Bible is a noble act. It does more better for the world than it does worse. Please don't give me examples of people using the Bible to do wrong, because they are not truly follwonig God, but rather folloing themselves.


    As to your point, this really cannot be compared to being a Christian or going to hell, because being a Christian cannot be compared to being raped.


    And if he consented, it wouldn't be rape, because he agreed to it. It would be rape if he didn't agree, and yet the guy still did it to him.
  25. Palpazzar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    Well, I have the choice to lose my life now don't I? Options do not have to be pretty for it to be a choice.

    Think of the moral dilemas in war. If you were ordered to go on a suicide mission, would you? If you chose to, you would die. If you didn't you might be costing the lives of your friends. Certainly, you would face consequences for not doing it. Not pretty, but a choice.
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