Darwinism

Why we must make sure the Darwinists lose

Spread the love

Here, in “Justification by Faith”, Darwinist atheist Michael Ruse comments on Christopher (new atheist) Hitchens’s esophageal cancer diagnosis ( bad news):

Third, with Hitchens I simply don’t see that deathbed conversions, especially those done in fear or pain, are worth a thing. They have about as much validity as a confession forced out through waterboarding. I have often wondered, when I am on a plane, if it were announced that it was hijacked and we were on the way to the White House or whatever, what then would I do? Would I tell Jesus that I am sorry? I confess that I might. But if Jesus thinks that that is worth anything, then he loses my respect entirely.

This is merely disgusting. Death concentrates the mind on what is real. Look at other examples of the human race: Todd Beamer, the guy who was a devout Christian, took charge of a plane captured by terrorists, possibly aimed at the Capitol or the White House. He said the Lord’s Prayer with an emergency services worker before shouting Let’s roll! to other men on the plane, creating a disturbance that probably resulted in the plane’s crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, losing all on board. But those people were doomed anyway, and he prevented vastly worse disorders.

Michael Ruse wouldn’t respect Jesus if he told him he was sorry for his sins, and Jesus accepted that fact? Well then, I don’t respect Michael Ruse. And you can decide whether you are better off living in Todd Beamer’s version of American society or Michael Ruse’s. One must choose.

Too many people, in my experience, do not understand what is at stake.

62 Replies to “Why we must make sure the Darwinists lose

  1. 1
    Matteo says:

    Oh sure, deathbed conversions are not worth a thing. Just as that feeling you have on your wedding day is not worth a thing. Nor is the feeling you have during the birth of your first child.

    No. The transcendent and singular mean nothing and the humdrum means everything. On the extremely rare occasions when the veil is lifted, the only rational thing to do is to turn your head away.

    It is a gray, dreary, empty world that the atheists inhabit.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    This guy did not make his peace with God while he was on his ‘death bed’, yet luckily,,, well watch the video to find out,,,

    Former Atheist Howard Storm’s Hellish NDE – 2009 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF7AzxplsME

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    This video has a reenactment of Howard Storm’s Near Death Experience:

    Hell – A Warning!
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4131476

  4. 4
    Ilion says:

    Too many people, in my experience, do not understand what is at stake.

    Too many people refuse to understand what is at stake.

  5. 5
    goodusername says:

    “Death concentrates the mind on what is real.”

    Sure, moments of intense fear are when we are at our most rational… such as when people in foxholes cry for mommy, because, you know, she’ll actually show up when we do that.

    One would think that this would go without saying, but Ruse wasn’t referring to people who face death in the manner that Todd Beamer did. Beamer was able to face death bravely and do the rational thing. Ruse humbly admitted that, instead of a Todd Beamer, he might possibly behave more akin to the guy crying for mommy.

  6. 6
    Bruce David says:

    Here’s the problem: you can’t see what you can’t see, and one’s world view will blind one to what falls outside its possibilities.

    An atheist simply cannot see that impending death might in fact tear away some of the veils that hide the truth, because they already “know” the truth, and it doesn’t include that possibility.

    I don’t necessarily agree that “it’s a gray, dreary, empty world that the atheists inhabit.” My brother is an atheist, but his life is full of love, excitement, and service even so. But I do believe that atheists miss the most joyful and sublime experiences of which we humans are capable. I also believe, however that each of us will have as many earthly lifetimes as we require to fully extract what is possible from this material existence.

  7. 7
    tgpeeler says:

    Bruce, I can think of at least one reason why this may not be so (many earthly lifetimes).

    Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

  8. 8
    pilotfo64 says:

    Actually, we are all on the airplane destined for death. Some of of us are in the front and some in the back. But we are all on the plane. It takes seeing the ground for some to realize it.

  9. 9
    howard says:

    Mr Ruse’s problem, of course, is that he has not truly seen the Jesus Christ of whom he so glibly speaks for who He truly is – the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Once that reality strikes home – once we understand our true predicament in the light of that reality, and once we understand that because of that revelation, creation and humanity have a future, then such foolishness is like mist dying in sunlight.

  10. 10
    Heinrich says:

    Do the Darwinists who must be made to lose include Christians, like Ken Miller?

  11. 11
    Bruce David says:

    tgpeeler: You wrote,

    “Bruce, I can think of at least one reason why this may not be so (many earthly lifetimes).

    Hebrews 9:27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,”

    My question to you (and to all Christians) is, how do you know that the Bible is correct? What is it that makes the Bible a more reliable source of spiritual truth than, say, the Buddhist scriptures or the Hindu holy texts, or indeed, the Conversations with God series of books which constitute my own source of spiritual sustenance?

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David, though I am far from a thorough apologist for the Bible, here are a few notes I’ve collected:

    First and foremost as to establishing God’s deep personal involvement with man, there are millions of people in the world, including myself, who have personally experienced Jesus Christ in their lives when they have called on Him in times of need in their lives. Here is one such story in this following video:

    Experiencing Jesus Christ – Francis Chan – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4928919

    Besides the personal witness of Christ’s reality from millions of people who have experienced the presence of His spirit, many people, including myself, argue that the Bible itself is proof of God’s supernatural and personal involvement with man because it is ‘alive’, and I mean that in a way that specifically differentiates the Holy Bible from inanimate objects. This is because the words of the Holy Bible have in fact ‘come alive’ and spoken directly into my life in times of need in my life:

    Strange But True – Miracle Testimony
    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfNTNocmRjZGtkdg&hl=en

    Hebrews 4:12
    For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

    The Word Is Alive – Casting Crowns – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3ucyoy7sbk

    Interestingly, the Bible also has a ‘hidden watermark’ of a ‘heptadic structure of sevens’ which authenticates it as inspired by God:

    The Holy Bible – God’s Watermark Of Authenticity – Ivan Panin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4136566

    As well there is a very mysterious ‘Bible Code’ in the Bible that, though not ‘conclusive’, has some very interesting results:

    Scientific Reliability of the Bible – Bible Code Mystery Discussed At 26th Minute of Video – Don Johnson
    http://www.vimeo.com/11746912

    Historically, the Bible has indeed proven extremely resilient in its historical accuracy with stunning archaeological confirmation:

    Archeology: Digging for the Truth of the Bible – Dr. Don Patton – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWawVUZg3Es

    Dead Sea Scrolls – Dr. Don Patton – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....7621315062

    This following site has a bunch of different, and interesting, archaeological finds supporting the Bible:

    Real Discoveries
    http://www.realdiscoveries.com/

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    cont, Bruce David:

    This following video has some very persuasive evidence for the Arc Of The Covenant (A very interesting talk on Noah’s Ark is on a adjoining video at the site):

    Arch Bonnema Speaks about Noah’s Ark and the Arc of the Covenant
    http://video.google.com/videop.....381710825#

    As well, there is actually very strong archaeological evidence tracing all human races to the three sons of Noah:

    Tracing Your Ancestors Through History – Noah’s Descendants – video
    http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/ancestors.xml

    TABLE OF NATIONS (GENEALOGY OF MANKIND) by Tim Osterholm
    Excerpt: The fact is, that wherever its statements can be sufficiently tested, Genesis 10 of the Bible has been found completely accurate; resulting partly from linguistic studies, partly from archaeology, and, more recently still, from the findings of physical anthropologists, who are, to this day, recovering important clues to lines of migration in ancient historic times. As implied in verse 32 of Genesis 10, this Table includes everybody; meaning that so-called fossil man, primitive peoples (ancient and modern) and modern man are all derived from Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
    http://www.soundchristian.com/man/

    The following videos outline some surprisingly strong geological evidence for a global flood that will make any honest person scratch their head in wonder:

    Startling Evidence That Noah’s Flood Really Happened – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....1519871387

    The following video is very interesting for it shows a geological formation that is now known to have been formed by a catastrophic flood, yet Charles Darwin himself had ‘predicted’ the geological formation was formed ‘gradually’:

    Where Darwin Went Wrong – geology video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3darzVqzV2o

    This following secular article ‘honestly’ admits that ‘some big canyons’ were formed by catastrophic floods:

    Secular Geology Admits to Rapid Canyon Formation by Megafloods – June 21 2010
    Excerpt: “Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.” Quoting Michael Lamb of Caltech, co-author of a paper in Nature Geoscience, the article said that such is not always the case: “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100621a

    The following article investigates eight anomalies of the Grand Canyon that strongly suggest rapid formation by a catastrophic flood of global proportions:

    Eight factual descriptions of the Grand Canyon
    http://www.canyonministries.co.....iew/31/54/

    This following article points to a global anomaly in sediment layers. A anomaly that would be expected from a global flood perspective:

    Ancient Earth Smackdown at Santa Fe Tells Global Story – August 2010
    Excerpt: “Geologist John Wesley Powell called this major gap in the geologic record, which is also seen in other parts of the world, the Great Unconformity.” Clicking on the link elaborates further: “The Great Unconformity is a geologic feature that exists across the world at a relatively consistent rock strata (or depth relative to sea-level).” Any unconformity worldwide in its extent would seem to require to a global catastrophe.
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100810a

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    cont. Bruce David,

    Here is a site that, though written from a Young Earth perspective, gives a fairly good overview of the many strange anomalies in the fossil record that point to an ancient global flood:

    The Fossil Record
    http://detectingdesign.com/fossilrecord.html

    Yet to be fair here is a paper outlining some fairly reasonable objections to a global flood (of note: Dr. Ross has endured a fair amount of ‘mudslinging’ from other Christians for holding to the ‘local flood’ theory):

    Noah’s Flood: A Bird’s-Eye View – Hugh Ross
    http://www.reasons.org/astrono.....-article-1

    This following video, and article, are very interesting for they talk about the scientific evidence for a ‘genetic Adam’ and a ‘genetic Eve’, and how the evidence relates to Noah’s flood:

    Does human genetic evidence support Noah’s flood? – Fazale Rana – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4116168

    Book Review; Who Was Adam?: A Creation Model Approach to the Origin of Man:
    Excerpt: The Bible claims that there was a genetic bottleneck at the Genesis flood. Whereas all females can trace their ancestry back to Eve (through the three wives of Noah’s sons), all males trace their Y-chromosomes through Noah (through his three sons). This predicted discrepancy for molecular dates of mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome data is actually seen in the scientific literature.
    http://www.godandscience.org/n.....05-09.html

    The following video is downright eye-opening with its evidence:

    The Physical Ashen Remains Of Sodom and Gomorrah – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwTVFk1HK3Y

    These following videos show, that as far as the historical evidence is concerned, Jesus assuredly rose from the dead.

    The Historicity Of The Resurrection Of Jesus – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYdzUYyIKMM

    Defense Of The Historical Jesus From Supposed Higher Criticism Of Biblical Text And Historical Reliability – William Lane Craig
    http://www.vimeo.com/11144955

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    cont. Bruce David,

    Even though this historical evidence for the Bible is certainly very strong, I feel the Bible finds a greater level of verification for its claim for supernatural (divinely inspired) authorship from the hundreds of precisely fulfilled, and unambiguous, prophecies in it that can be verified by numerous outside sources. (of personal note: I consider Nostradamus to be a fairly ambiguous, after the fact, prophet). Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events-in detail-many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors. (The remaining 500 or so reach into the future and may be seen unfolding as days go by.)

    Here are a few resources showing the clarity and authenticity of Bible prophecy:

    The Bible: The Word of God? Extraordinary Claims Demand Extraordinary Evidence – video
    http://video.google.com/videop.....2491778083

    Probability Of Just Eight Prophecies Being Fulfilled – Jesus – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041170

    The King Jesus (A Precise Mathematical Prediction)
    http://www.iclnet.org/pub/reso.....esenpr.htm

    The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948 – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041241

    The Signs of Israel’s Rebirth: Lesson 1: The Parable of the Fig Tree
    Concluding Statement: Now it should also be perfectly clear what the parable of the fig tree in the Olivet Discourse means (Matt 24:32-34). As the disciples were walking into the city on Tuesday morning after Palm Sunday, they noticed that the tree which Jesus had cursed the day before had withered and dried up. Later, on Tuesday evening, when the memory of the withered fig tree was still fresh in their minds, Jesus spoke the parable in question. He said that when the church sees the fig tree leafing out again, it will know that “it is . . . at the doors.” The Greek for “it is” can also be translated “he is.” In prophecy, “door” is often a symbol for the passageway between heaven and earth (Rev. 4:1). What the parable means, therefore, is that when the nation of Israel revives after its coming disintegration and death in A.D. 70, the return of Christ will be imminent.
    http://www.themoorings.org/pro.....rael1.html

    Even Sir Isaac Newton, who is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, scientists who has ever lived, was a avid student of Bible prophecy:

    Sir Isaac Newton’s Prediction For The Return Of Christ – Sid Roth video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041154

    This following video gives ‘astronomical’ weight to the preceding prediction by Sir Isaac Newton and is indeed very sobering:

    Mark Biltz Talks About The Return Of Christ On Sid Roth – Solar & Lunar Eclipses – 2014 – 2015 – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4056071

    As well, contrary to popular belief of many people in today’s church, powerful miracles are not something that only happened in the early Christian church, there are still powerful miracles happening today, such as the blind seeing, the dead being raised, and the deaf hearing:

    Real Life Miracles – Blind See; Dead Raised; Deaf Hear – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4596829

    Heidi Baker – Real Life Miracles From God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4596832

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    cont. Bruce David,

    Precisely fulfilled prophecies, and powerful miracles, are compelling hard facts in and of themselves; yet there is one more piece of solid physical evidence which bears powerful witness to the Bible’s validity and also sheds an undeniable light on God’s deep personal commitment to man; The Shroud of Turin. The Shroud of Turin is one of the most scientifically scrutinized artifacts in recorded history. Through a rigid process of elimination, through all materialistic possibilities, it becomes crystal clear; the way in which the photographic negative, and uniquely three dimensional, image of the man on the Shroud of Turin had to be imprinted was ‘supernatural’ in its process.

    The Turin Shroud – Comparing Image And Photographic Negative – interactive webpage
    http://www.shroud.com/shrdface.htm

    Shroud Of Turin’s Unique 3 Dimensionality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041182

    All attempts to reproduce the Shroud fail:

    Experts Question Scientist’s Claim of Reproducing Shroud of Turin – Oct 6, 2009
    http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/gets.....ber=98037#

    Many solid lines of evidence pointed to the Shroud’s authenticity back in the 1980’s, yet the carbon dating of 1989 indicated a medieval age. In spite of many other, more reliable, lines of evidence establishing the Shroud as authentic, many people unquestionably accepted the carbon dating as valid and presumed the Shroud to be a medieval fake.

    THE SHROUD AS AN ANCIENT TEXTILE – Evidence of Authenticity
    http://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

    Shroud Of Turin – Sewn From Two Pieces – 2000 Years Old – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109101

    The Sudarium of Oviedo
    http://www.shroudstory.com/sudarium.htm

    In a fairly recent breakthrough, the carbon dating question has been thoroughly addressed and refuted by Joseph G. Marino and M. Sue Benford in 2000. Their research, with textile experts, showing the carbon testing was done with a piece of the Shroud which was subject to expert medieval reweaving in the 1500’s had much historical, and photographic, evidence behind it. Their historical, and photographic, evidence was then scientifically confirmed by chemical analysis in 2005 by Raymond Rogers. Thus, the fact that a false age was shown by the 1989 carbon testing has been accepted across the board scientifically.

    New Evidence Overturns Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4222339

    The following is the main peer reviewed paper which has refuted the 1989 Carbon Dating:

    Why The Carbon 14 Samples Are Invalid, Raymond Rogers
    per: Thermochimica Acta (Volume 425 pages 189-194, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of California)
    Excerpt: Preliminary estimates of the kinetics constants for the loss of vanillin from lignin indicate a much older age for the cloth than the radiocarbon analyses. The radiocarbon sampling area is uniquely coated with a yellow–brown plant gum containing dye lakes. Pyrolysis-mass-spectrometry results from the sample area coupled with microscopic and microchemical observations prove that the radiocarbon sample was not part of the original cloth of the Shroud of Turin. The radiocarbon date was thus not valid for determining the true age of the shroud. The fact that vanillin can not be detected in the lignin on shroud fibers, Dead Sea scrolls linen, and other very old linens indicates that the shroud is quite old. A determination of the kinetics of vanillin loss suggests that the shroud is between 1300- and 3000-years old. Even allowing for errors in the measurements and assumptions about storage conditions, the cloth is unlikely to be as young as 840 years.
    http://www.ntskeptics.org/issu.....oudold.htm

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    cont. Bruce David,

    Rogers passed away shortly after publishing this paper, but his work was ultimately verified by the Los Alamos National Laboratory:

    Carbon Dating Of The Turin Shroud Completely Overturned by Scientific Peer Review
    Rogers also asked John Brown, a materials forensic expert from Georgia Tech to confirm his finding using different methods. Brown did so. He also concluded that the shroud had been mended with newer material. Since then, a team of nine scientists at Los Alamos has also confirmed Rogers work, also with different methods and procedures. Much of this new information has been recently published in Chemistry Today.

    This following is the Los Alamos National Laboratory report and video which completely confirms the Rogers’ paper:

    “Analytical Results on Thread Samples Taken from the Raes Sampling Area (Corner) of the Shroud Cloth” (Aug 2008)
    Excerpt: The age-dating process failed to recognize one of the first rules of analytical chemistry that any sample taken for characterization of an area or population must necessarily be representative of the whole. The part must be representative of the whole. Our analyses of the three thread samples taken from the Raes and C-14 sampling corner showed that this was not the case……. LANL’s work confirms the research published in Thermochimica Acta (Jan. 2005) by the late Raymond Rogers, a chemist who had studied actual C-14 samples and concluded the sample was not part of the original cloth possibly due to the area having been repaired. – Robert Villarreal
    http://www.ohioshroudconference.com/

    Shroud Of Turin Carbon Dating Overturned By Scientific Peer Review – Robert Villarreal – Press Release video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041193

    Now that the flawed carbon dating is finally brought into line, all major lines of evidence now converge and establish the Shroud as authentic. This rigidly tested, and scrutinized, artifact establishes the uniqueness of the Shroud among all ancient artifacts of man found on earth. I know of no other ancient artifact, from any other culture, which has withstood such intense scrutiny and still remained standing in its claim of divine origin. It is apparent God thought this event so important for us to remember that He took a “photograph” of the resurrection of Jesus Christ using the Shroud itself as a medium. After years of painstaking research, searching through every materialistic possibility, scientists still cannot tell us exactly how the image of the man on the Shroud was imprinted.

    How Did The Image Form On The Shroud? – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045581

    “The shroud image is made from tiny fibres that are (each) 1/10th of a human hair. The picture elements are actually randomly distributed like the dots in your newspaper, photograph or magazine photograph. To do this you would need an incredibly accurate atomic laser. This technology does NOT exist (even to this day).” – Kevin Moran – Optical Engineer

    “the closest science can come to explaining how the image of the Man in the Shroud got there is by comparing the situation to a controlled burst of high-intensity radiation similar to the Hiroshima bomb explosion which “printed” images of incinerated people on building walls.”
    Frank Tribbe – Leading Scholar And Author On Shroud Research

    This following video, which I’ve listed previously, and article give fairly deep insight into what the image formation on the Shroud signifies for us:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993426

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection?
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    This following recent video revealed a very surprising holographic image that was found on the Shroud:

    Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words ‘The Lamb’ – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041205

    Even with the advantage of all our advanced space-age technology at their fingertips, all scientists can guess is that it was some type of electro-magnetic radiation (light) which is not natural to this world. Kevin Moran, a scientist working on the mysterious ‘3D’ nature of the Shroud image, states the ‘supernatural’ explanation this way:

    “It is not a continuum or spherical-front radiation that made the image, as visible or UV light. It is not the X-ray radiation that obeys the one over R squared law that we are so accustomed to in medicine. It is more unique. It is suggested that the image was formed when a high-energy particle struck the fiber and released radiation within the fiber at a speed greater that the local speed of light. Since the fiber acts as a light pipe, this energy moved out through the fiber until it encountered an optical discontinuity, then it slowed to the local speed of light and dispersed. The fact that the pixels don’t fluoresce suggests that the conversion to their now brittle dehydrated state occurred instantly and completely so no partial products remain to be activated by the ultraviolet light. This suggests a quantum event where a finite amount of energy transferred abruptly. The fact that there are images front and back suggests the radiating particles were released along the gravity vector. The radiation pressure may also help explain why the blood was “lifted cleanly” from the body as it transformed to a resurrected state.”

    If scientists want to find the source for the supernatural light which made the “3D – photographic negative” image I suggest they look to the thousands of documented Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s) in Judeo-Christian cultures. It is in their testimonies that you will find mention of an indescribably bright ‘Light’ or ‘Being of Light’ who is always described as being of a much brighter intensity of light than the people had ever seen before. All people who have been in the presence of ‘The Being of Light’ while having a deep NDE have no doubt whatsoever that the ‘The Being of Light’ they were in the presence of is none other than ‘The Lord God Almighty’ of heaven and earth.

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The NDE of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    It should be noted: All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian culture, NDE studies I have looked at have a extreme rarity of encounters with ‘The Being Of Light’ and tend to be very unpleasant NDE’s save for the few pleasant children’s NDEs of those cultures that I’ve seen (It seems there is indeed an ‘age of accountability’). The following study was shocking for what was found in some non-Judeo-Christian NDE’s:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.

    Another very interesting point about the Shroud is, since the Shroud had to be extremely close to the body when the image was made, and also considering the lack of any distinctive shadow patterns on the image, it is apparent the only place this supernatural light could have possibly come from, that made the image on the Shroud, was directly from the body itself ! Yes, you read that last sentence right:

    THE SOURCE OF LIGHT WAS THE BODY ITSELF !!!

    God’s crowning achievement for this universe was not when He created this universe. God’s crowning achievement for this universe was when He Himself inhabited the human body He had purposely created the whole universe for, to sanctify human beings unto Himself through the death and resurrection of his “Son” Jesus Christ. This is truly something which should fill anyone who reads this with awe. The wonder of it all is something I can scarcely begin to understand much less write about. Thus, I will finish this portion of my paper with a scripture.

    Hebrews 2:14-15
    “Since we, God’s children, are human beings – made of flesh and blood – He became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could He die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could He deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.”

  18. 18
    Upright BiPed says:

    Love ya BA. …Now stop it.

    🙂

  19. 19
    Bruce David says:

    bornagain77:

    Forgive me if I don’t include your posts in my response :).

    There is much too much to respond to in detail, so I will keep my remarks general.

    1. As for the Bible being “alive” in the way you describe, I know that there are Muslims who would say the same about the Koran, and I am certain that there are also Hindus and Buddhists who would echo those sentiments with regard to their own sacred texts.

    2. My question was not about the historical accuracy of the Bible, it was about its spiritual accuracy vis a vis the other holy books that exist in our world. Buddhism and Hinduism both tell us that we incarnate many times in the course of our spiritual development. How do you know that the Bible is right and they are wrong about that?

    3. I don’t doubt that Jesus existed, and that he performed miracles, or even that he rose from the dead in his physical body. But Paramahansa Yogananda also performed miracles, for example, and after his death, his body, although unembalmed, remained in an undecayed state for several weeks until it was interred. This points to what I believe is the true message of Jesus: that he came to show us by his example who and what we are (as did the Buddha and many others). We are each of us One with the Father, and all made in His image and likeness. When we come to know this, which customarily takes many hundreds of incarnations, each of us will realize the powers we already possess, which are God’s (given to us by Him) “Have I not said, ye are gods?” Now THAT fills ME with awe!

    We are NOT sinners who need Jesus to get us back into God’s good graces. We are His sons and daughters, made in His image out of Himself, each one of us treasured and loved unconditionally by Him. There is nothing we can do to lose that love, which is a beacon, ever calling us Home. And eventually every one of us will heed that call and find our way back to Him, which will mean simply remembering what was there within us all along.

  20. 20
    avocationist says:

    Thank you Bruce.

    By the way, Michael Newton was a hypnotherapist who was an atheist and then through his work accidentally took a patient into a past life, and in the end he developed a technique of not only taking people into memories of past lives, but into the spirit world between lives. He has hypnotized thousands of people of various spiritual persuasions, and he does not tell them what to expect but gets very consistent results as to what goes on. And what they all remember is reincarnation.

    You can google him.

    It’s the best way I think, to remove from Christianity the horror, and uplift it to a thing of beauty. For it is indeed obvious that most people are not spiritually ready to go to heaven, and there is little point in having a God who magically makes a reserved few ready and deserts the others?

    Or, as I say, everyone goes to heaven, but few get to stay there.
    I do indeed believe, that if a person is able to really live Christ’s teachings and achieve unconditional love for his fellow man, that he no longer will need to come back here. That is the hurdle.

    Born Again: we might have fun with this, but right now I am not at home till Tuesday so I can’t make a long post.

    The people in the Jesus’ time seem to have believed in reincarnation when they asked Jesus if John the Baptist was Elijah. And when they asked if the man born blind had sinned or his parents.

  21. 21
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David and avocationist,

    First, as far as what I can gather for rigorous studies on Buddhist and Hindu NDE’s, the results are not comforting for those who would want to hold to the “God saves everybody despite their beliefs” philosophy.

    To reiterate this Buddhist study I listed before:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm

    This one for Tibetan Buddhist:

    A Comparative view of Tibetan and Western Near-Death Experiences by Lawrence Epstein University of Washington:
    Excerpt: Episode 5: The OBE systematically stresses the ‘das-log’s discomfiture, pain, disappointment, anger and disillusionment with others and with the moral worth of the world at large. The acquisition of a yid-lus and the ability to travel instantaneously are also found here.
    Episode 6: The ‘das-log, usually accompanied by a supernatural guide, tours bar-do, where he witnesses painful scenes and meets others known to him. They give him messages to take back.
    Episode 7: The ‘das-log witnesses trials in and tours hell. The crimes and punishments of others are explained to him. Tortured souls also ask him to take back messages to the living.
    http://www.case.edu/affil/tibe.....4&

    Here is a Hindu study:

    India Cross-cultural study by Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia Medical School and Dr. Satwant Pasricha of the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore, India
    Excerpt: “Suddenly I saw two big pots of boiling water, although there was no fire, no firewood, and no fireplace. Then, the man pushed me with his hand and said, “You’d better hurry up and go back.” When he touched me, I suddenly became aware of how hot his hand was. Then I realised why the pots were boiling. The heat was coming from his hands! When I regained consciousness, I had a severe burning sensation in my left arm.” Mangal still had a mark on his left arm that he claims was a result of the burning. About a quarter of Dr Pasricha’s interviewees reported such marks. http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/apr/06pas.htm

    In fact the Buddhist and Hindu religions were the most horrifying types of Near Death experiences that I could find for non-Judeo Christian cultures. Yet the other foreign cultures did not fair to well either;

    The Japanese find death a depressing experience – From an item by Peter Hadfield in the New Scientist (Nov. 30th 1991)
    Excerpt: A study in Japan shows that even in death the Japanese have an original way of looking at things. Instead of seeing ‘tunnels of light’ or having ‘out of body’ experiences, near-dead patients in Japanese hospitals tend to see rather less romantic images, according to researchers at Kyorin University. According to a report in the Mainichi newspaper, a group of doctors from Kyorin has spent the past year documenting the near-death experiences of 17 patients. They had all been resuscitated from comas caused by heart attacks, strokes, asthma or drug poisoning. All had shown minimal signs of life during the coma. Yoshia Hata, who led the team, said that eight of the 17 recalled ‘dreams’, many featuring rivers or ponds. Five of those patients had dreams which involved fear, pain and suffering.

    One 50-year-old asthmatic man said he had seen himself wade into a reservoir and do a handstand in the shallows. ‘Then I walked out of the water and took some deep breaths. In the dream, I was repeating this over and over.’

    Another patient, a 73-year-old woman with cardiac arrest, saw a cloud filled with dead people. ‘It was a dark, gloomy day. I was chanting sutras. I believed they could be saved if they chanted sutras, so that is what I was telling them to do.’

    Most of the group said they had never heard of Near-Death Experiences before.
    http://www.pureinsight.org/node/4

    Near-Death and Out-of-Body Experiences in a Melanesian Society by Dorothy E. Counts:
    Excerpt: “When you were in your village you claimed to be an important man. But in this little place you have been eaten up by a knife, a dog, and a pig. And now fire will utterly destroy you.” When the loudspeaker had finished, a fire blazed up and destroyed the remains.
    http://anthropology.uwaterloo......Death.html

    In fact despite the wide spread belief that NDE’s are basically the same across different cultures this simply is not true:

    Several studies (Pasricha, 1986, Schorer, 1985-86) & Kellehear, 1993) Murphy 1999,2001) have indicated that the phenomenologies of NDEs is culture-bound. (Of Note: Judeo-Christian Culture NDEs are by far the most pleasant “phenomena”)
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindestxt.htm

    etc… etc..

  22. 22
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David as far as trying to ‘equalize’ Jesus to ‘Buddha and others’ who “came to show us by his example who and what we are”

    To quote CS Lewis:

    In his famous book Mere Christianity, Lewis makes this statement, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.”
    http://www.greatcom.org/resour.....natic.html

    And to quote Jesus’s own words:

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    http://bible.cc/john/14-6.htm

    And seeing as a very strong case can be made ‘scientifically’ for this ‘spiritual truth’,,,,:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3993426

    ,,,,, I would say that I hold a extreme amount of skepticism for any counter argument that tries to trivialize Jesus, who I hold to have been God incarnate with a capital G, with any other ‘good moral teacher’ who came to show us the way.

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce I would like to stress one more fact since you alluded to this fact in your post,

    Yogananda also performed miracles, for example, and after his death, his body, although unembalmed, remained in an undecayed state for several weeks until it was interred.

    Bruce cheating entropy for a while is one thing, defeating death entirely is quite another fact altogether. A fact that should gain immediate interest of anyone who is facing death. Which is everyone of us! A fact that sets Christ completely apart and that I always found to argue very strongly for Christianity. As I heard said by many preachers before, You can go to the graves of all the other founders of all the other major religions of the world and find the remains of a body, yet, as the Shroud stubbornly testifies despite many attempts to refute the shroud’s authenticity, if you go to the tomb of Jesus you will not find the remains of a body for He has risen.

    Matthew 28:5-6
    The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.

    Burial places of founders of world religions
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B....._religions

  24. 24
    Bruce David says:

    To avocationist:

    Thanks. I have copies of both of Michael Newton’s books (Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls), and have read each more than once. One interesting point that is made in them relating to ID is that some of his clients practice creating living things between lives. I get the distinct impression that the creators of life on Earth were souls just like ourselves (only far more advanced).

    To bornagain77:

    I am not trivializing Jesus. Rather, I am exalting the rest of us. We are all made in His (God’s) image and likeness and are One with Him, but we have forgotten (and this forgetting is all part of the Plan, by the way). Jesus came to remind us by his example. Jesus was one of the most advanced beings ever to incarnate on earth, granted, but in essence we and he are the same. Many spiritual masters have walked the Earth, some of them approaching his level of mastery, some of them less so. Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda’s teacher, for instance, returned to Yogananda in his physical body after he died.

    I assume that your lengthy discussion of NDEs is supposed to prove that only Christians go to Heaven. I have a couple of responses:

    1. How do you account for the positive NDEs experienced by many people in the West who have not accepted Jesus as their savior? (I know one such myself personally.) Surely if your view is correct they should have seen images of the Hell that awaits them if they don’t repent.

    2. There are other possible explanations for the phenomena. Seth (of Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts) and others tell us that what we experience immediately after death is a function of our beliefs about it. This state, however, doesn’t last. Gradually or rapidly, depending on the strength of those beliefs, the newly arrived soul is brought out of his or her illusion into the truth.

    With all due respect, bornagain, the God you believe in is a self-contradiction, an oxymoron. How could an infinitely loving, compassionate, and omnipotent God have created a system whereby a child, for example, who is born into an Arab family in Saudi Arabia and taught from birth that the Koran is THE source of truth and who believes it because we are programmed (by God, presumably) to believe what we are taught as children be consigned to Hell for all eternity? This is NOT the action of a loving God.

    The vision presented in Conversations with God, however, IS self consistent: There is no One True Path to God. All paths lead to Him, eventually. The credo of any religion should be, “Ours is not the only way, ours is merely another way.” All of us, every one of us, goes to Heaven when we die. We do get the chance to review, in detail, our most recent life and learn all the lessons included therein, but this is done with love and compassion. God is not angry and punitive. God is gentle, loving, and compassionate, calling each of us back to Him through the halls of eternity, a call which is impossible to ignore forever. We are all going Home, each and every one of us.

  25. 25
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David, The NDE studies I listed were of foreign cultures completely removed from any Judeo-Christian influence. Thus you have not even addressed the pressing concern that is made clear by the foreign studies I presented. If you dig through the foreign culture NDE’s on the NDE website, as I have, you will find that there are some children of foreign cultures that have positive near death experiences, whereas this ‘positive’ aspect drops off severely for adults. Of the precious few adults that do have positive Near Death Experiences in foreign cultures you will find that in the great majority of these cases they were heavily influenced by the Judeo-Christian culture in their upbringing. That people in this Judeo-Christian country have positive NDE’s and that they do not now knowingly profess to have accepted Christ is not really that surprising for me in that I am sure that they believe deeply in spiritual things,, much like you do right now,,, and I believe that deeply held Christian influences, that were ingrained in them as they were a children, at say Christmas and Easter, or say that Christian Grandparent who taught them how to pray, are what ‘saves’ them from the ‘negative’ NDE’s that are a preponderance in foreign cultures. I am with you in that God is gentle, loving, and compassionate, calling each of us back to Him through the halls of eternity, Yet I cannot deny what is self evident from the studies nor from Jesus’s own words:

    A few videos I’ve collected on NDE’s

    Near Death Experience Miracle Healing – Atheist Out Of Body – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4094105

    The Near Death Experiences Of Children – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4109139

    Near Death Experiences – Children – Guardian Angels – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsTeSnFk6TA

    The Day I Died – Part 1 of 6 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es9u6oi3El8

    Former Atheist Howard Storm’s Hellish NDE – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF7AzxplsME

    Hell – A Warning! – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4131476

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David, I’m not sure if you’ve seen this video yet, but I had to reload it tonight, so here is the new link that works:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life! – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5070355

    This following article video is slightly off topic but it is a heart tugger:

    Armless Pianist Liu Wei Defies Odds On ‘China’s Got Talent’
    http://new.music.yahoo.com/blo.....ot-talent/

  27. 27
    riddick says:

    Yet more evidence of our rapidly-devolving culture is witnessed by the fact that The Chronicle of Higher Education decided to publish this drivel in the first place. What relation Ruse’s essay has to higher education is a mystery to me. Of course, Ruse has good liberal bonafides, so I suppose the CHE would feel justified in publishing anything submitted by him.

  28. 28
    avocationist says:

    Born Again,

    What is the pressing concern made clear by the studies? It seems that in heaven there will be a few orientals and blacks, and mostly white people, if the end of world history is indeed at hand.

    That there are more foreign children having positive experiences indicates that they have less negative ideas ingrained in them. Those other cultures do not believe in the Christian hell, but they do believe in some hells to work off bad karma.

    I’m not sure why you think nonbelievers in this country would have positive NDEs when they are often told they are going to hell. They should be afraid.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Avocationist you ask,

    “What is the pressing concern made clear by the studies?”

    To reiterate this Buddhist study I listed before:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm

    And this one for Tibetan Buddhist:

    A Comparative view of Tibetan and Western Near-Death Experiences by Lawrence Epstein University of Washington:
    Excerpt: Episode 5: The OBE systematically stresses the ‘das-log’s discomfiture, pain, disappointment, anger and disillusionment with others and with the moral worth of the world at large. The acquisition of a yid-lus and the ability to travel instantaneously are also found here.
    Episode 6: The ‘das-log, usually accompanied by a supernatural guide, tours bar-do, where he witnesses painful scenes and meets others known to him. They give him messages to take back.
    Episode 7: The ‘das-log witnesses trials in and tours hell. The crimes and punishments of others are explained to him. Tortured souls also ask him to take back messages to the living.
    http://www.case.edu/affil/tibe.....6&

    avocationist, That you would ask ‘What is the pressing concern made clear by the studies?’ makes absolutely no sense?,,, Do you somehow feel that the NDE’s are not really happening to these people? Well I beg to differ,,,

    Near Death Experiences – Scientific Evidence – Dr Jeff Long M.D.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The Extremely ‘Monitored’ Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    I don’t understand your ‘racial’ division either, in which you say only white people go to paradise,,, Do somehow think that only white people are Christian? well this sobering NDE from Africa, in the last half of this video, begs to differ

    The Lazarus Phenomenon
    http://www.premiertv.twofourdi.....75ad6bf5dc

    The way I see it avocationist is that you are trying to hold that these ‘places’ that these NDErs go to are not ‘real’, but I hold that they are real.

    You then state:

    “I’m not sure why you think nonbelievers in this country would have positive NDEs when they are often told they are going to hell. They should be afraid.”

    I’m glad they don’t go to hell in their NDE’s, but are they really non-believers as perhaps Howard Storm was?

    Former Atheist Howard Storm’s Hellish NDE – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF7AzxplsME

    Hell – A Warning! – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4131476

    ,, That the positive NDE sample you would try to use is from within a Judeo-Christian culture does not bode well when the NDE samples you are trying to ignore are from cultures with no Judeo-Christian influence. I simply can’t see in the evidence where you would feel confident enough in your conclusion to gamble your soul by rejecting Christ,,, You are not even challenging the fact that Judeo-Christian cultures are having, BY FAR, the most pleasant NDE’s!!!!

    Basically as far as this ‘all paths lead to God’ non-sense, why in the world did Jesus die on the cross if it was not to save us from sin, death, and hell?

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life! – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5070355

    This scripture seems fitting for that “conversations with God’ book:

    Matthew 24:4
    And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

    Or as they say in AA, “I going to dance with the one that brung me!!”

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    Avocationist you ask,

    “What is the pressing concern made clear by the studies?”

    To reiterate this Buddhist study I listed before:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.

    And this one for Tibetan Buddhist:

    A Comparative view of Tibetan and Western Near-Death Experiences by Lawrence Epstein University of Washington:
    Excerpt: Episode 5: The OBE systematically stresses the ‘das-log’s discomfiture, pain, disappointment, anger and disillusionment with others and with the moral worth of the world at large. The acquisition of a yid-lus and the ability to travel instantaneously are also found here.
    Episode 6: The ‘das-log, usually accompanied by a supernatural guide, tours bar-do, where he witnesses painful scenes and meets others known to him. They give him messages to take back.
    Episode 7: The ‘das-log witnesses trials in and tours hell. The crimes and punishments of others are explained to him. Tortured souls also ask him to take back messages to the living.

    avocationist, That you would ask ‘What is the pressing concern made clear by the studies?’ makes absolutely no sense?,,, Do you somehow feel that the NDE’s are not really happening to these people? Well I beg to differ,,,

    Near Death Experiences – Scientific Evidence – Dr Jeff Long M.D.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The Extremely ‘Monitored’ Near Death Experience of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    Blind Woman Can See During Near Death Experience (NDE) – Pim von Lommel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994599/

    Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper (1997) conducted a study of 31 blind people, many of who reported vision during their Near Death Experiences (NDEs). 21 of these people had had an NDE while the remaining 10 had had an out-of-body experience (OBE), but no NDE. It was found that in the NDE sample, about half had been blind from birth. (of note: This ‘anomaly’ is also found for deaf people who can hear sound during their Near Death Experiences(NDEs).)
    http://findarticles.com/p/arti....._65076875/

    I don’t understand your ‘racial’ division either, in which you say only white people go to paradise,,, Do somehow think that only white people are Christian? well this sobering NDE from Africa, in the last half of this video, begs to differ

    The Lazarus Phenomenon
    http://www.premiertv.twofourdi.....75ad6bf5dc

    The way I see it avocationist is that you are trying to hold that these ‘places’ that these NDErs go to are not ‘real’, but I hold that they are real.

    You then state:

    “I’m not sure why you think nonbelievers in this country would have positive NDEs when they are often told they are going to hell. They should be afraid.”

    I’m glad they don’t go to hell in their NDE’s, but are they really non-believers as perhaps Howard Storm was?

    Former Atheist Howard Storm’s Hellish NDE – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF7AzxplsME

    Hell – A Warning! – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4131476

    ,, That the positive NDE sample you would try to use is from within a Judeo-Christian culture does not bode well when the NDE samples you are trying to ignore are from cultures with no Judeo-Christian influence. I simply can’t see in the evidence where you would feel confident enough in your conclusion to gamble your soul by rejecting Christ,,, You are not even challenging the fact that Judeo-Christian cultures are having, BY FAR, the most pleasant NDE’s!!!!

    Basically as far as this ‘all paths lead to God’ non-sense, why in the world did Jesus die on the cross if it was not to save us from sin, death, and hell?

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life! – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5070355

    This scripture seems fitting for that “conversations with God’ book:

    Matthew 24:4
    And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

    Or as they say in AA, “I going to dance with the one that brung me!!”

  31. 31
    Bruce David says:

    bornagain77,

    You asked,
    “…why in the world did Jesus die on the cross if it was not to save us from sin, death, and hell?”

    That’s easy. He died to show us that death is not the end, that life continues after the death of the body. He also, in my view, was showing us what we are all capable of (“These works and greater shall ye do.”) The truth is there is neither sin, death, nor Hell.

    You also said,
    “I simply can’t see in the evidence where you would feel confident enough in your conclusion to gamble your soul by rejecting Christ.”

    This hearkens to what bugs me most about Christianity. It always comes down to some version of the admonition to accept Christ for fear of going to Hell. You say you believe in a compassionate, loving God, yet you also believe that God will punish anyone with an eternity in Hell who does not accept Christ. You believe in a God who rules us through fear. Can you not see the contradiction in those beliefs?

    Fear of Hell didn’t come from God, and it didn’t come from Jesus. It came from church clergy who needed to be able to control their flocks, and you have bought the party line. I don’t have a soul, I AM a soul, and am eternal. God’s love is infinite and unconditional. What could I possibly have to fear from that?

  32. 32
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David, one glaring problem with your ‘don’t worry, be happy, everyone goes to heaven religion’ is that the foreign NDE studies I listed clearly indicate that cultures not influenced by Christianity are going to hell!!! You have provided no rigorous study to counter that fact!!! Do you deny the validity of the studies just because they are distasteful to you? That is not science!!! It seems to me you have chosen a ‘comfortable’ belief system for yourself because you cannot broker, in your mind, the thought that God would allow people to go to hell, and I admit that it is a very horrendous punishment for even people like Hitler in all his evil. Yet regardless of what my preferences are in this matter as far as the evidence now sits, you are in no position to sit there and tell me your preferences of how you think God ought to run this world. Now if you present rigorous studies, to counterbalance the ones I’ve presented for negative NDE’s for foreign cultures, then I will be more than willing to give you a fair shake for I also certainly find it difficult to balance an infinitely loving God with hell. Yet despite my druthers of how I would like things to be in reality I am forced, in my search for truth, to give greater creed to that which has the most integrity.

    A few more videos I’ve collected:

    Hindu Woman asks Jesus to Make Himself Real – HE DID!!! – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKp8w1qR5XM

    Monk and Jesus Miracle Story
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOLEW3heQwA

    here is the transcript:

    The Buddhist Monk and Jesus
    Excerpt: Monk “And then the man turned and he walked away, going toward the door. And when he got to the door, he turned back around, and he said,

    Jesus: ‘My name is Jesus.

    Monk: “Now, I had never heard that name before, so I didn’t know who Jesus was. He didn’t tell me anything else about himself, only his name. And then I think I must have fallen asleep again. But later on in the night, I felt warmth in my leg. By morning, I had feeling. And when the doctors came to prep me for surgery, my leg was healed.”
    http://www.asiastories.com/?p=7

  33. 33
    avocationist says:

    Hi Born Again,

    I do believe in NDE’s but am quite skeptical that other cultures have significantly different ones. But I also think that an NDE can begin with a fearful scene because of the conditioning of our cultures, and there are people in the west who have had hell scares, too. But they generally don’t really last.

    Why I say mostly white people in heaven? Sure there are some oriental Christians and quite a few blacks, but in the scheme of world history, it will be mostly whites. I just cannot fathom your belief system! It looks like you think a kid in a foreign culture might get into heaven but not the parents. This is so arbitrary.

    I agree with Bruce about the fear factor. I just got a couple more of those little Christian missionary tracts. They always are basically a threat. God loved you, and if you don’t believe it, your’re going to hell. Not for a while – forever. God gave you free will so that if you use it in any way but one – you’re going to hell. Not for a while. Forever.

    The sad thing is that this belief system prevents people from becoming real Christians, because Jesus taught us to become unconditionally loving and compassionate, and this requires a bit of doing – but the God of Christianity is uncompassionate, chaotic in his mercy, and ultimately has a cosmic plan with little depth or beauty.

    I believe in a God whom I can admire and love without reservation. The cosmic plan is so amazing that no human mind will devise a better one and say, Gee, I wish God could do it some other way…

    I have no fear of God for I have been born again, saved by lighting the divine spark within. God is ever with me and shall be.

    I know a God who is good. What is goodness? Let us think about that.

    Apparently the pressing concern is that more people in the east are going to hell. And what, we should convert them. But the whole thing is too absurd. It’s late already. What about the vast hordes for whom it is too late? What an arbitrary system of a careless or bizarre god!

    As a follower of Jesus, I can never be happy if even one person is in torment or darkness and despair forever and ever.

    Why would God want belief or loyalty given through coercion? How is this light and not darkness?

    I’m going to look at some of your links and videos.

    Basically as far as this ‘all paths lead to God’ non-sense, why in the world did Jesus die on the cross if it was not to save us from sin, death, and hell?

    Because in the beginning of Matthew he said to do good to those who abuse you, to love your enemies. In the ultimate test, and what other test could be worthy than the most rigorous one? he proved himself a man of his own word: he felt compassion on the men crucifying him and prayed for them.

    He says, “If you want to go to heaven and be with the Father, you must be like this.” And then he demonstrates it.

    He led the way. Words are cheap.

    He died on the cross to inspire love in our hearts, so as to reconcile humans with God.

    It’s possible that the important thing is not the death but the incarnation. I don’t know what to believe about the personage of Christ and I don’t expect that we can know since so many lies and distortions fill history, but as all the human race are connected, having one perfect one could uplift us all and this is what I see in the parables of the leaven. Jesus is the leaven and will eventually raise the whole loaf.

    We are in hell now. Jesus helps us escape. We escape by the Holy Spirit, the inner relationship with the divine, the needed grace to become immune to this place. Overcoming selfishness, unthinking cruelty and judgementalism. Love your fellow man, and love God. That’s how you get out of hell.

    He even gave us a Get Out of Hell Free card. It’s “Judge not that ye be not judged.”

    By the way, the Eastern Orthodox Church does not teach that God required the death of Jesus in order to forgive us and they consider that a horrid teaching. They say as I did above that the reconciliation is one of love.

  34. 34
    bornagain77 says:

    avocationist, beautifully written message of love, and I agree with much of of what you wrote, but I could go on and on with points I find exception to, (but isn’t that the way it always is with religious discussions LOL) But I will stress one point that I have maintained throughout,,, you, nor Bruce David, have not countered the rigorous studies I presented that show foreign cultures to have horrendous NDE’s. Thus, although I may dislike the fearful messages of those hell fire and brimstone preachers every bit as much as you do, I cannot dismiss their foundational warning to people to accept Christ or else, for I find the basic premise of their message to hold the truth as far as the evidence is concerned.

    You said that you are “quite skeptical that other cultures have significantly different ones (NDE’s).” Well avocationist please tell me exactly why I should take your ‘feelings’ for how God ought to run this world (‘don’t worry, be happy, everyone goes to heaven religion’) over what the best evidence I can find states? Do you think the researchers, who were not Christian by the way, rigged the results? Exactly why should I give your inability to reconcile a loving God, with a just God, any weight at all? Do you see the weakness of your position yet?

  35. 35
    avocationist says:

    Well, Born Again, I think about these things a good portion of the day. Uplifting Christianity is my purpose in life. My calling.

    I cannot refute what you say about the NDEs of other cultures without doing some research time and some thinking time. You know, you do post rather a lot of stuff…with what I have done so far on my own I have not come across this idea.

    I don’t think it is fair to characterize my position as one of feelings about how God ought to run the world. It is a logical system and a mystical system with great coherence.

    Whereas, the more time goes by the more flabbergasted I am that I once and so many others accept the common theology. You do indeed have a huge system of scripture and interpretation to bring forth. Whether it is best to deconstruct it piece by piece, which I am sure can be done, or cut through the mentations to fundamentals, I am not sure. But I perceive that Jesus chose the latter, and it more or less did not work. It worked for some and it worked for a while, but the normal types who like to take control in this world eventually won out.

    But I don’t think he had the option of deconstruction. He would have been stoned within the week.

    I’m pretty sure he was not a lover of Jehovah. He never used the word.

    Can you please explain to me how you find my words beautiful and say you dislike preachers of hellfire as much as I, yet you see no contradiction in remaining with it out of, well, a bit of fear and a feeling that there is no other option? Is this really the God whom you can love with all your heart, all your soul and all your MIND?

    Is it not obvious this indicates a problem and perhaps solutions you have not thought of?

    Oh, and of course there is no conflict between a loving God and a just God. What is just about never forgiving finite sins of a weak creature? That is infinite punishment. What could be more wicked and unloving than that? Karma or “you shall not get out until you have paid the very last farthing” is just, but not hell.

    Does God have any attributes which are not good? Can any of his attributes be in conflict with one another? Can any of God’s good attributes make you uncomfortable in any way?

    “We tell you this that your joy may be full: God is light and in him is no darkness at all.”

    The question I wonder is, do you really want to consider another view? Would you be interested in really good news?

  36. 36
    Bruce David says:

    To avocationist:

    Very nice post. I pretty much agree with what you said as well.

    To bornagain77:

    Regarding the NDEs: You are committing a logical fallacy (whose technical name slips my mind) in which you conclude that evidence that is merely consistent with a particular hypothesis or theory constitutes a proof. You remind me of the Darwinists who hold that because biogeographic facts, vestigial organs, and “junk DNA” (assuming there is any such) are consistent with neo-Darwinism, that the theory is proven. They (and you) ignore the possibility that there could be any other explanation that fits within the context of an alternative theory. You also ignore the facts that seem to contradict your theory (as do the Darwinists). Avocationist and I have both pointed out inconsistencies in your interpretation of the data as well as offered an alternative explanation, yet you continue to insist that the difference between Western and Eastern NDE experiences proves not only that there is a Hell, but that only those who accept Christ will avoid it.

    You characterize my view of God as just my “‘feelings’ for how God ought to run this world”. My statement is much, much stronger than simply “feelings”. I contend that your view of God is logically contradictory. It’s wrong the way an assertion that if you put two objects together with two other objects, you will have five objects is wrong. I assert that an infinitely and unconditionally loving omnipotent being cannot create a Hell and put souls into it for all eternity simply because they didn’t accept Christ as their savior, and still remain infinitely and unconditionally loving. It’s a logical contradiction. God is either infinitely and unconditionally loving or He created a Hell for those who fail to accept Christ. Both cannot be true.

  37. 37
    avocationist says:

    BA,

    Re the article about Thai NDE’s
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm

    Goodness. This isn’t much of a mystery, and of course I do admire Buddhism and Hinduism, being mostly familiar with the nice, sanitized versions. Here we have a situation in which 95% of the population are familiar with exactly one visionary text about life after death and it is reinforced throughout the culture.

    It is full of heavens and hells, though not eternal ones. There is a lot of guilt and worry, and emphasis on the accrual of positive and negative karma.

    It may be that Thais feel more worried because their religion teaches that it is the balance of good and evil deeds, weighed in the scales which determine their fate. Since many people feel guilty as well as have plenty of not so good deeds, they may experience negative NDEs. Christians may have a tendency to assume they go to heaven, although I have not at all been favorably impressed by the attitude or confidence with which Bible Christians and their families face death in my line of work.

    The lack of a tunnel I can’t particularly see a reason for. Most westerners who have had NDEs, especially if you go back a couple of decades, didn’t know in advance about tunnels and such.

    I am suitably impressed that this Thai religion is also full of negativity. Ah, the human condition…

    The article states that the eastern experience of a herald of death (servant of Yama) versus the western tendency to have an OBE is a stark difference. However, it may be that the Thais have less resistance to out of body ideas and are less impressed by it, especially as they do so much meditation. But the herald of death is common to both cultures. It’s just that the Thais totally expect it to be a servant of Yama and in the west it can be an angel, an unspecified light being, and quite commonly a relative.

    It looks like the Indians and Thais go down a road instead of a tunnell.

    I am critiquing this as I go. I have to say I am a bit taken aback that there is so much negativity and fear of hell in Thailand. But a few see visions of heaven and so that shows that it is not acceptance of Jesus which is the cause of a good experience. Thais are not expecting a magical release from their own karma. They do not believe in an eternal hell, but neither do they believe they can get away with their bad deeds. Their society is described as one in which individuality is much less, and one spends one’s whole life not choosing one’s profession, not choosing one’s spouse, and following in the parent’s footsteps. So it seems reasonable that they may not pray for help as often as western people do when they see visions of hell.

    And perhaps because of this they have less expectation of a loving being like Jesus or perhaps an angel, coming to help them. Although it must be noted that all these bad visions did not include the person actually suffering torment, and the same has been true of all the western hellish NDEs I’ve seen as well.

    By the way, the authors do not believe NDEs are genuine.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David, you accuse Christianity of being logically inconsistent but it is not. In fact Christ’s work on the cross was necessary for to make payment for our sins.

    Propitiation
    In Christianity, propitiation is a theological term denoting that by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., that ‘satisfaction’ or ‘appeasement’ by which it becomes consistent with His character and government to pardon and bless sinners. The propitiation does not procure His love or make Him loving; rather, it renders it consistent for Him to exercise His love towards sinners.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation

    i.e. we are unable to cleanse ourselves from sin and death through our own works, in the eyes of a infinitely just God, thus it is necessary for God to redeem us from our fallen state since we are unable to do so ourselves. But you would probably say “Why doesn’t God just forgive us in His infinite power and love?” Yet once again if you ask that question you are forgetting the infinite justice of God that must be dealt with!

    It seems to me that you, and avocationist, seem to think that if we all just ‘think right’ and have a positive attitude that we all can avoid hell and go straight to heaven, but that is in essence saying that we can, by our own works, earn enough merit to go to heaven, which is exactly the type of religion that every other religion is on the face of this earth save for Christianity. Christianity is actually built on the grace of God that was purchased through Christ’s work on the cross where God Himself has made a way for us to be in right relationship with Him, whereas all other religions in the world are built on man’s works for trying to earn God’s favor.

    Though to be sure, many Christians treat Christianity as if it were actually a religion of man’s works instead of God’s grace, and end up getting on the endless treadmill of trying to ‘earn’ God’s love, which you guys can already sense the inherent fallacy of. What you guys fail to see is the necessity for the infinite justice of God to be dealt with. A good book on this subject is Dr. Dembski’s ‘The End Of Christianity”.

    William Dembski’s New Book “The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World” Is available at Amazon here:
    http://www.amazon.com/End-Chri.....038;sr=1-1

    Excerpt of the book here: Finding a Good God in an Evil World – William Dembski
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Does God Exist? – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4007708

    Thermodynamic Argument Against Evolution – Thomas Kindell – Part 1 of 3 – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4168488

    As well Bruce David and avocationist; The cross and the resurrection of Christ were not something that was done in a corner out of the eyes of people, it was done for all to see. And as The Shroud of Turin stubbornly, and persistently, testifies even to this day, for all to see, that Christ was, and is, exactly the way God Almighty has chosen to deal with fallen people in this fallen world in His infinite justice:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5070355

    As a end note: avocationist, I found your rationalizations as to exactly why foreign NDE’s are overwhelmingly horrendous to be lacking in depth of integrity.

  39. 39
    avocationist says:

    BA,

    As a end note: avocationist, I found your rationalizations as to exactly why foreign NDE’s are overwhelmingly horrendous to be lacking in depth of integrity.

    Lacking integrity? That is an odd thing to say. But did you read it? The conclusions I have come to seem very obvious to me. And you did not address that some Thai’s seem to be headed to heaven despite having the wrong religion. But to simply say it lacks depth – I cannot accept that unless you tell me why. For I read it carefully and my conclusions make sense!

    Now, as to the death on the cross being a requirement for forgiveness, again, I want to stress that the oldest and most consistent church in Christendom with about 13 countries and four of the five original bishoprics (losing only Rome) having remained within its fold, this church does not and has never taught this.

    They DO teach that we are saved by it, but that it brings hearts to repentence. I personally do not believe that his death was necessary but was an epic tragedy in that his teachings needed more time to take hold.

    In my opinion this whole long theology is a rationalization of men, wanting to make a nice, neat story line to their satisfaction. Bringing God down to the human level. But Jesus taught the opposite!

    In the parable of the rich man who forgave his servant a huge debt with no strings attached, the only thing which made him mad was that the servant was utterly unwilling to extend this same kindness to another servant who owed him a tiny debt. The original servant threw himself at his master’s feet and begged forgiveness and it was granted. Why did Jesus use this parable?

    Jesus quoted Hosea to the pharisees and said, “Go and learn what this means: ‘I will have mercy and not sacrifice.’

    How is it he would make such a point of this if in fact the entire purpose of his life was to satisfy a need for sacrifice???

    [Jesus himself said that his purpose in being born was to bring truth.]

    Why would Jesus teach us to go to a higher level and forgive others if God is not willing to forgive us? For in your theology, God does not forgive and you have not ever been forgiven. How is it that I can forgive but not God?

    A PAID DEBT IS NOT FORGIVENESS!!

    If I owe the bank ten thousand dollars and they are going to repossess my car, but my rich uncle goes in an pays for it – the bank is happy. The bank does not care who paid, they just want their money. So God is like the bank.

    There is a term, financially, for forgiveness of debt. And guess what it means? It means exactly that – no more debt, no punishment and no one had to pay. If someone pays, it’s not forgiveness.

    I opened a Billy Graham book at random and found this line “God demanded a death.” I’m sorry but how does this jive with

    God is love
    Love remembereth no wrongs?

    How is it that humans make up such stuff, about a God who is so totally constrained that he must demand an evil thing in order to allow us into his presence?

    Why is human sacrifice such a terrible wrong if it is the most glorious and necessary thing for God?

    Even psalm 51 in the Old Testament which is full of human sacrifice, says,

    For you desire not sacrifice or I would give it,
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A contrite heart thou wilt not despise.

    You may say that my belief or other religions teach that we save ourselves by our own merit, but you nonetheless believe in a God who must be propitiated.

    No, I don’t believe in salvation by my own efforts. I believe in grace. Salvation is mostly a matter of surrender. The main action of the soul is to say yes, and not resist.

    But purifying the soul is a long and glorious process, one which Jesus likened to the bridal chamber. It is a love relationship and a process.

    It is a cheapening of our true state to think that some souls will be pardoned while having little work done on them, for rather arbitrary reasons, and that perfectly salvageable souls who didn’t get enough time to accept Christ will be thrown away forever who are no worse than another. This is justice? Wisdom?

    How about allowing souls ample time to learn, to make the right choices and to freely walk with God? Is there a reason with all eternity at our disposal that we should be squeezed into an inadequate situation?

    Time’s up!

    This kind of theology is dangerous for it allows people to be lulled in believing in a cheap salvation in which they are essentially passive.

    You made no real argument against Bruce. He said your God was inconsistent, possessing both evil and good qualities. This is precisely my argument as well, that Christian theology slanders God the Father in his character, and as a lover of God I find that painful to witness.

    I also know the great joy that comes of understanding that God is good, utterly good, with no darkness at all.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    avocationist, Seeing as I actually have evidence for the resurrection of Christ, and thus for the fact that the ‘debt’ for sin and death was paid by Christ,,,

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5070355

    ,,, and seeing as I actually have evidence that non-Judeo-Christian cultures have a overwhelming majority of of horrendous NDE’s,,,,

    A Comparative view of Tibetan and Western Near-Death Experiences by Lawrence Epstein University of Washington:
    Excerpt: Episode 5: The OBE systematically stresses the ‘das-log’s discomfiture, pain, disappointment, anger and disillusionment with others and with the moral worth of the world at large. The acquisition of a yid-lus and the ability to travel instantaneously are also found here.
    Episode 6: The ‘das-log, usually accompanied by a supernatural guide, tours bar-do, where he witnesses painful scenes and meets others known to him. They give him messages to take back.
    Episode 7: The ‘das-log witnesses trials in and tours hell. The crimes and punishments of others are explained to him. Tortured souls also ask him to take back messages to the living.

    ,,, then I must conclude that belief in, and acceptance of, Christ is paramount to salvation to such a wonderful paradise as is mentioned in Judeo-Christian NDE’s. You protest that your ‘logic’ demands that a good God would not allow such a thing as the cross to set us free from death.,,, avocationist, your protest from your ‘logic’ rings very hollow in the face of such evidence.

    You are in a very peculiar position avocationist, on the one hand you accept that the NDE’s are indeed real occurrences, which also I find them to be ‘real’ from other lines of evidence, yet on the other hand you are arguing that it is merely ‘psychological factors’ that are preventing these people in foreign cultures from experiencing the extremely pleasant NDE’s of Judeo-Christian cultures, yet you stubbornly want to subtract belief in Christ from this ‘psychological factor’. You contend that if they can ‘just be enlightened’ to the overwhelming love of God and released from the shackles of fear, such as supposedly you and Bruce David are (minus Christ of course), then you say they would have extremely pleasant NDE’s just as in western cultures. But this position of yours has no actual evidence to support it, such as mine does, as for being the truth for how things actually are, save for what ‘you feel’ is your sterling ability to reason that ‘this is the way that reality should be’. Yet avocationist, not to belittle your ‘reasoning ability’, but why in blue blazes should I stake the eternity of my very soul on what ‘you feel and reason’ is the mistaken propensity of people to trust in Christ with their souls, when the actual evidence is telling me that people who trust in Christ are actually having such wonderful NDE’s in the first place, and people who are minus Christ are having such horrendous ones??? It makes absolutely no sense to me to give up something that is shown to be a safe path to eternity (Christ), for a line of thinking that I find to be shaky, to put it mildly.

  41. 41
    bornagain77 says:

    avocationist, Seeing as I actually have evidence for the resurrection of Christ, and thus for the fact that the ‘debt’ for sin and death was paid by Christ,,,

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5070355

    ,,, and seeing as I actually have evidence that non-Judeo-Christian cultures have a overwhelming majority of of horrendous NDE’s,,,,

    A Comparative view of Tibetan and Western Near-Death Experiences by Lawrence Epstein University of Washington:
    Excerpt: Episode 5: The OBE systematically stresses the ‘das-log’s discomfiture, pain, disappointment, anger and disillusionment with others and with the moral worth of the world at large. The acquisition of a yid-lus and the ability to travel instantaneously are also found here.
    Episode 6: The ‘das-log, usually accompanied by a supernatural guide, tours bar-do, where he witnesses painful scenes and meets others known to him. They give him messages to take back.
    Episode 7: The ‘das-log witnesses trials in and tours hell. The crimes and punishments of others are explained to him. Tortured souls also ask him to take back messages to the living.

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    ,,, then I must conclude that belief in, and acceptance of, Christ is paramount to salvation to such a wonderful paradise as is mentioned in Judeo-Christian NDE’s. You protest that your ‘logic’ demands that a good God would not allow such a thing as the cross to set us free from death.,,, avocationist, your protest from your ‘logic’ rings very hollow in the face of such evidence.

    You are in a very peculiar position avocationist, on the one hand you accept that the NDE’s are indeed real occurrences, which also I find them to be ‘real’ from other lines of evidence, yet on the other hand you are arguing that it is merely ‘psychological factors’ that are preventing these people in foreign cultures from experiencing the extremely pleasant NDE’s of Judeo-Christian cultures, yet you stubbornly want to subtract belief in Christ from this ‘psychological factor’. You contend that if they can ‘just be enlightened’ to the overwhelming love of God and released from the shackles of fear, such as supposedly you and Bruce David are (minus Christ of course), then you say they would have extremely pleasant NDE’s just as in western cultures. But this position of yours has no actual evidence to support it, such as mine does, as for being the truth for how things actually are, save for what ‘you feel’ is your sterling ability to reason that ‘this is the way that reality should be’. Yet avocationist, not to belittle your ‘reasoning ability’, but why in blue blazes should I stake the eternity of my very soul on what ‘you feel and reason’ is the mistaken propensity of people to trust in Christ with their souls, when the actual evidence is telling me that people who trust in Christ are actually having such wonderful NDE’s in the first place, and people who are minus Christ are having such horrendous ones??? It makes absolutely no sense to me to give up something that is shown to be a safe path to eternity (Christ), for a line of thinking that I find to be shaky in its premises.

    further notes here:

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blog.....is_19.html

  42. 42
    Bruce David says:

    bornagain77:

    Justice? What exactly is justice, not to mention infinite justice? That someone should pay for their sins? How? By suffering commensurate with the sins committed? Let’s say we grant that for the sake of argument. Then, as avocationist has already asked, where is the justice in an infinite amount of suffering for a finite amount of sin (because no one can commit an infinite amount of sin in a finite lifetime)? “Infinite justice” makes no more sense than the assertion that an infinitely loving God could create a Hell and put people in it.

    Now let’s look a little more closely at the notion of sin. Most Christians, I believe, regard sin as a violation of God’s moral laws. But let’s say I believed everything else you said and wanted to try to live according to “God’s law”. Where exactly do I find an unequivocal statement of what exactly that is? Do I believe the Catholics, who say that contraception is a sin? Fundamentalist Christians who hold that dancing and non liturgical music is a sin, not to mention homosexual activity? More liberal Protestants who believe that any loving relationship, gay or straight, is permissible? And have you noticed that the notion of what is sin and what isn’t evolves over time, even within the same Christian denominaton? You can’t really use the Bible as your guide, either, because it contradicts itself (e.g., an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” and “turn the other cheek”) and has admonitions that no one today would accept (e.g., if your son is disobediant, take him to the city wall and stone him). How can I believe in sin when the concept becomes so elusive when you get down to the nitty gritty?

    God (in Conversations with God) says that there is no right and wrong, only what works and what doesn’t work given what you want to accomplish. He not only gave us free will, He gave us true freedom. He will never punish us, no matter what we do (this is not to say there won’t be consequences). If you want to return to Him (and we all do; it’s built in), then one thing that works is to always come from love in everything you do. Another is to recognize and act as though we are all One, and One with Him (because we are). (And by the way, if you think living like this is easy, you are mistaken. The paths that avocationist and I have chosen for ourselves are anything but easy.)

    Why am I going on like this? I really don’t have any particular stake in whether you believe me or not. The Truth is the Truth, and we will all find out when we die, no matter what we believe in this particular lifetime. I am convinced, however that two thousand years of religious ideas of sin, separation (of us from each other and us from God), better and worse, and good and evil have clearly not worked, not if we want a world in which people live in harmony with each other and the earth. It’s time for a re-thinking of these ideas if we want the human race to survive on this as yet beautiful planet.

  43. 43
    bornagain77 says:

    And Bruce David, if you would fight so hard against Christ I would rail with you against ‘religion’, but since it seems you have thrown the baby (Christ) out with the bathwater (religion), I must ask does your ‘logic’ negate the fact Jesus actually rose from the dead and reconciled finite man with infinite God? As I have repeatedly pointed out with this video:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5070355

    It seems to me that the sheer audacity of someone rising from the dead has completely failed to make any impression on you whatsoever as to the underlying implications underlying the fact of His resurrection. I really don’t care what ‘logic’ and reasoning you use to try to dissuade me from being a Christian, in that I hold Christ is THE WAY to God, and frankly until you resurrect from the dead and walk through a wall, I will tend to be less than impressed with your arguments against Christianity, to put it mildly.

    ,,, As well Bruce,, just to let you know, I know my redeemer lives for He lets me know He is around by neat little miracles He does to comfort me!

    MY REDEEMER LIVES – NICOLE C MULLEN VIDEO WITH LYRICS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p4G2GbPYQA

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    correction:

    if you would NOT fight so hard against Christ

  45. 45
    avocationist says:

    For heavens sake BA,

    No one is telling you to give up Christianity. I am merely pointing out that it is quite possible to have a very different theology based upon the same scriptures.

    You say that because Jesus rose from the dead it proves your theology of exactly why he died and what it accomplished for God and us.

    There is a difference between an event, and the interpretation of the event.

    At any rate, you have not responded to any arguments or questions. I take it that you are not interested in discussion of ideas.

    You have shown no interest at all.

  46. 46
    Bruce David says:

    To avocationist:

    Once again, you have hit the nail right on the head. I have really enjoyed your posts on this thread.

    I think that there comes a point when you just have to accept that “there are none so blind as those who will not see”, and bless them on their journey (all paths eventually lead us Home anyway). There is one quote from Conversations with God that I just love. God says, “If you are seeking God you are in luck, because I’m too big a target to miss.”

  47. 47
    bornagain77 says:

    avocationist, John 3:16

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce David: John 14:6

  49. 49
    bornagain77 says:

    avocationist you state:

    it is quite possible to have a very different theology based upon the same scriptures.

    Please reconcile what Bruce is saying,,,

    (all paths eventually lead us Home anyway).

    with John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Just exactly how am I to reconcile that scripture with you guys ‘enlightened understanding”.

  50. 50
    Bruce David says:

    bornagain:

    re. John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    First, bear in mind that the English version of the New Testament was translated from Greek, which was translated from the original Aramaic, which was not written down until many years after Jesus’ death. It is quite possible that the two translations altered the original meaning in subtle but significant ways. It is even possible that someone added that quote later and the Jesus never said it at all.

    Second, note that Jesus did NOT say, “…and if you don’t come to the Father through me, you will suffer in Hell for eternity.”

    Third, the meaning of “through me”, like much of what Jesus said, is open to multiple interpretations. It could mean the traditional Christian interpretation of accepting Jesus as one’s personal savior, but it could also mean “by being as I am”, or “by being the way and the truth and the life”, or by following his example.

    Finally, I come back to my original question: How do I know that the Bible is right and all the other sacred scriptures in the world are wrong (The Koran, the Buddhist scriptures, the Tao Te Ching, The Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, The Book of Mormon, etc.)? Or, once again, Conversations with God? I have to choose based on my own best understanding, and the vision of God, our relationship to Him, and the purpose of Creation expounded in Conversations with God speaks the most profoundly of all of them to the deepest yearnings of my soul.

  51. 51
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce sure sounds ‘rationalizing’ to me; but I will give you one good reason, out of many, to trust the Bible more that others:

    It is also very interesting to note that among all the ‘holy’ books, of all the major religions in the world, only the Holy Bible was correct in its claim for a transcendent origin of the universe. Some later ‘holy’ books, such as the Mormon text “Pearl of Great Price” and the Qur’an, copy the concept of a transcendent origin from the Bible but also include teachings that are inconsistent with that now established fact. (Ross; Why The Universe Is The Way It Is; Pg. 228; Chpt.9; note 5)

  52. 52
    bornagain77 says:

    Bruce do you know how long that ‘something lost in the translation’ argument has been around?

    Yet as William Lane Craig points out in excellent fashion here:

    Can We Trust The Bible Written 2000 Years Ago? Dr. William Lane Craig
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reYBCz_kf1c

    That argument has no traction.

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is a better video Bruce:

    Defense Of The Historical Jesus From Supposed Higher Criticism Of Biblical Text And Historical Reliability – William Lane Craig
    http://www.vimeo.com/11144955

  54. 54
    bornagain77 says:

    This one should blow your socks off Bruce:

    The Precisely Fulfilled Prophecy Of Israel Becoming A Nation In 1948 – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041241

  55. 55
    Bruce David says:

    Ok, bornagain, you choose to believe in a petty, punitive, angry, control freak of a God who rules through fear and would condemn a soul to an eternity of suffering for the “sin” of a sincere belief in a non-Christian religion. Be my guest.

    For myself, I choose to believe in a gentle, kind, loving God who guides but never punishes, who is a friend and partner, who is there for us always and in all ways, who is directly accessible to all of us and needs no intermediaries, who created us in His image and likeness and gave us total freedom, who loves and cherishes each and every one of His children, no matter what we believe nor what we do, who created this physical existence that we may experience the magnificence that each of us is, and who calls us back to Him throughout eternity, with infinite patience waiting for each of His beloved children to finally hear and heed that call. Now there’s a God to whom my heart can say YES.

  56. 56
    lars says:

    @Bruce David,

    Now there’s a God to whom my heart can say YES.

    But we are called to worship him with all our mind, as well as our heart. We are called to worship him in Spirit and in truth. If we choose to believe things about God contrary to what he has said about himself, we are calling him a liar. We are claiming to have better taste than he himself has. In other words, we are remodeling him in our own image.

    Plenty of people have given their hearts to gods of their own making. Our only guard against the deceitfulness of our own hearts is to give His revealed Word priority over our hearts, and be transformed (not transform him) by the renewing of our minds.

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually Bruce David, despite your gross mischaracterization of God to the contrary, I believe in the infinitely loving God, who loves us/me so much that He chose to endure the cross rather than to be separated from any of us for eternity.

    Hebrews 2:14-15
    “Since we, God’s children, are human beings – made of flesh and blood – He became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could He die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could He deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.”

    And remember Bruce, I actually have evidence that this is exactly how God decided to interact with reality,,,,

    This following video, which I’ve listed previously, gives fairly deep insight into what the image formation on the Shroud signifies for us:

    The Center Of The Universe Is Life! – General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5070355

    If scientists want to find the source for the supernatural light which made the “3D – photographic negative” image on the Shroud I suggest they look to the thousands of documented Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s) in Judeo-Christian cultures. It is in their testimonies that you will find mention of an indescribably bright ‘Light’ or ‘Being of Light’ who is always described as being of a much brighter intensity of light than the people had ever seen before. All people who have been in the presence of ‘The Being of Light’ while having a deep NDE have no doubt whatsoever that the ‘The Being of Light’ they were in the presence of is none other than ‘The Lord God Almighty’ of heaven and earth.

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    The Day I Died – Part 4 of 6 – The NDE of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    It should be noted: All foreign, non-Judeo-Christian culture, NDE studies I have looked at have a extreme rarity of encounters with ‘The Being Of Light’ and tend to be very unpleasant NDE’s save for the few pleasant children’s NDEs of those cultures that I’ve seen (It seems there is indeed an ‘age of accountability’). The following study was shocking for what was found in some non-Judeo-Christian NDE’s:

    Near-Death Experiences in Thailand – Todd Murphy:
    Excerpt:The Light seems to be absent in Thai NDEs. So is the profound positive affect found in so many Western NDEs. The most common affect in our collection is negative. Unlike the negative affect in so many Western NDEs (cf. Greyson & Bush, 1992), that found in Thai NDEs (in all but case #11) has two recognizable causes. The first is fear of ‘going’. The second is horror and fear of hell. It is worth noting that although half of our collection include seeing hell (cases 2,6,7,9,10) and being forced to witness horrific tortures, not one includes the NDEer having been subjected to these torments themselves.
    http://www.shaktitechnology.com/thaindes.htm

    ,,, This is all straightforward evidence Bruce that backs up my position 100%, whereas all you have for evidence, Bruce, are your ‘feelings’ as to how God ought to run reality!?!

    ,,,That you would object that any moral standard should be upheld towards man by God in regards to any man’s future eternal destiny, in fact argues very forcefully against the ‘total freedom’ you say that God gave each of us. Are we or are we not free to accept God’s terms of forgiveness through Christ or not? You want to ‘freely choose’ God on your own terms, minus submitting to Christ, without ever truly being morally accountable to any of the actions that you may do here on this earth. For you eternity and morality is cheap,,, and unchanging moral principles are just so much fluff to be ignored because they are inconvenient for you. i.e. it is much easier for you to deny that sin separates/d us from God than it is for you to admit that the sinfulness of man is beyond man’s ability to control and had, and has, to be dealt with by God Himself through Christ. That you would object so strongly to the way God has in fact chosen to deal with sin and death through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, as is made plainly clear with the evidence I presented, in fact reeks of rebellion for you are in fact trying to dictate to God how he should deal with sin and death, though He has in fact made it clear for all to see exactly how He did chose to deal with it.

  58. 58
    Bruce David says:

    bornagain, I’ve said my piece. You don’t accept my reasoning, nor what inspires me. We will have to leave it that we disagree. Go in peace.

    lars: If you will read this whole thread, you will see that the basic issue here (at least from my point of view) is the question of which religion’s scriptures (and which interpretation of those scriptures), if any, represent the truth. Every person who believes in a particular interpretation of a particular scripture will give you very good reasons why their holy book is revealed truth and all the others are in error or worse. Thus, each sincere seeker is thrown back onto his own judgment and resources to decide the question for him or herself.

    For myself, I find that what God says (what He reveals, in other words) in the Conversations with God series of books is the most in tune with reality, logically consistent, and inspiring words attributed to God that I have ever encountered. Thus, I believe that they represent the closest approach to truth available to me.

  59. 59
    bornagain77 says:

    But Bruce, for you to believe what is ‘in tune’ with you, and to ignore the evidence, is no better than what evolutionists do when they ignore the overwhelming evidence for design in life just because it conflicts with their worldview. Bruce you are merely rationalizing a god that agrees with your preconceived conception of how a ‘good’ god ought to act instead of rigorously investigating and determining the reality of how the living God actually does act within the reality He created. When you mold your conception of your god to accord with your morals, instead of molding your morals to accord with God, you have in fact rendered both your morals and your god illusory. You say that people will always give a good reason for believing the way they do, yet you have provided ZERO evidence, other than your personal whims, for why you believe what you do.

    ,,, Here is a cool video that reminded me very strongly that morals are not of our own making,,,

    Amazing Coincidences Surrounding The Crucifixion Of Christ – Mark Biltz – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4236805

  60. 60
    Clive Hayden says:

    Bruce David,

    Every person who believes in a particular interpretation of a particular scripture will give you very good reasons why their holy book is revealed truth and all the others are in error or worse. Thus, each sincere seeker is thrown back onto his own judgment and resources to decide the question for him or herself.

    If anything and everything we read were really so subjective as you claim it to be, why should I take what you’ve written to be objectively true? You write as if you are exempt from this same calamity of subjectivity in what you intend to convey, yet your whole premise depends on it. When turned back around on you, your very premise defeats your claim; it’s self-referentially incoherent. Either there is objective meaning in what you write, in which case there is objective truth in other cases too (such as scripture), or else there is only subjective meaning in what is written, which includes what you wrote. You can’t have it both ways.

  61. 61
    Bruce David says:

    To Clive:

    I believe you misapprehend my point. I was raised by agnostic parents who had the philosophy that they would not teach us, their children, any particular religion so that we could then decide for ourselves. So I, as a seeker of truth, look at all religions and spiritual paths as having equal right to claim their validity. Then how do I choose which one to believe? Every religion has its masters, saints, and clergy assuring us that it knows the truth. What authority other than my own inner knowing is there to evaluate which ones, if any, are correct?

    I am not claiming that there is no objective reality. I am saying that there is no escaping the necessity of judging for oneself what that reality is. We can use whatever information is available to us to help us make that decision, and any such decision will be provisional pending further experience and thinking. But we must make the choice ourselves what and/or whom to believe, based on our own best judgment.

    The majority of people believe what they believe because someone (parents, clergy, teachers) told them what the truth was and they bought it. But this is also a choice–the choice to believe what one is told–even if the choice often is not made consciously.

  62. 62
    Bruce David says:

    To Clive:

    In case you are interested here are some of the conclusions I have drawn so far regarding the nature of reality:

    Every religion contains truth and of necessity error also. The truth comes from the depth of understanding of the religion’s founder, but there are many sources of error.

    First, there is the fact that language is an imperfect medium for conveying that kind of truth. At best, language can only point to the truth. This is exacerbated by the fact that we English speakers read the original words in translation, often translated more than once, and translation inevitably distorts the meaning, no matter how carefully the translation is done.

    Second, the founder of each religion was speaking to a particular people in a particular culture at a particular time in history, and his message was necessarily tuned to their capacity for understanding.

    Third, those who came after the founder inevitably lacked his depth of understanding, and their motives were often less than pure, so their interpretations of the original message introduced further error.

    Given all of this, it might seem impossible that any of the original insight could have survived, but it has in all cases, as witnessed by those in each religion who have obviously seen deeply into the truth. In Christianity, I would name Meister Eckhart, Hildegard of Bingen, and St. Francis. In Islam, many of the Sufi saints clearly knew a great deal, notably Rumi, Hafiz, and that sublime philosopher, Ibn al Arabi. I know less of the historical figures of Buddhism and Hinduism, but the Zen masters of Japan come to mind, and more recently, Paramahans Yogananda and his teacher, Sri Yukteswar. But even these saints and masters often do not give us the unvarnished truth as they see it, constrained as they are by the necessity of not saying anything that would be construed as heresy by their respective religions.

    As I have already noted in this thread, I personally see the Conversations with God series of books as presenting the closest approximation to the truth of anything with which I have yet come in contact. (Although even they are not immune from error, as God Himself points out in a couple of places in the books.) I regard these books as genuine revelation. The author, through whom the revelation is delivered, is by his own repeated admission certainly less than a perfect human being, in no way comparable to Jesus, the Buddha, or Mohammed. However, he has one essential quality for the task–his intention to be a pure channel for the truth is as perfect as it is possible to be and still be human (IMHO). In addition, God’s words through him are delivered in the language you and I speak, English, and are unconstrained by any need to avoid heresy (and they are heresy in every religion of which I have enough knowledge to be able to tell).

Leave a Reply