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    Default what does the bible really teach?

    Is the study publication JW use as a study guide along with the bible, to help make it easier to understand the bible. I will post a chapter each mon, along with questions to help keep the thoughts expressed, freshly in mind after each subsequent chapter. Feel free to ask any questions. Very good read. Enjoy!

    Is This What God Purposed?
    READ any newspaper. Look at television, or listen to the radio. There are so many stories of crime, war, and terrorism! Think about your own troubles. Perhaps illness or the death of a loved one is causing you great distress. You may feel like the good man Job, who said that he was “drenched with misery.”—Job 10:15, The Holy Bible in the Language of Today.Ask yourself:Is this what God purposed for me and for the rest of mankind?Where can I find help to cope with my problems?The Bible provides satisfying answers to these questions.THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT GOD WILL BRING ABOUT THESE CHANGES ON THE EARTH.
    “He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore.”—Revelation 21:4

    “The lame one will climb up just as a stag does.”—Isaiah 35:6

    “The eyes of the blind ones will be opened.”—Isaiah 35:5

    “All those in the memorial tombs will .*.*. come out.”—John 5:28,*29

    “No resident will say: ’I am sick.‘”—Isaiah 33:24

    “There will come to be plenty of grain on the earth.”—Psalm 72:16

    BENEFIT FROM WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES Do not quickly dismiss what is presented as mere wishful thinking. God has promised to bring these things about, and the Bible explains how he will do so.But the Bible does more than that. It provides the key to your enjoying a truly satisfying life even now. Think for a moment about your own anxieties and troubles. They may include money matters, family problems, loss of health, or the death of a loved one. The Bible can help you to deal with problems today, and it can provide relief by answering such questions as these:Why do we suffer?How can we cope with life‘s anxieties?How can we make our family life happier?What happens to us when we die?Will we ever see our dead loved ones again?How can we be sure that God will fulfill his promises for the future? what the Bible really teaches!GET TO KNOW YOUR BIBLE

    THERE are 66 books and letters that make up the Bible. These are divided into chapters and verses for easy reference. When scriptures are cited in this publication, the first number after the name indicates the chapter of the Bible book or letter, and the next refers to the verse. For example, the citation “2*Timothy 3:16” means the second letter to Timothy, chapter*3, verse*16.

    You will quickly become familiar with the Bible by looking up the scriptures cited in this publication. Also, why not start a program of daily Bible reading? By reading three to five chapters a day, you can read the entire Bible in a year.

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    Default Chapter 1

    What Is the Truth About God?

    Does God really care about you?
    What is God like? Does he have a name?
    Is it possible to get close to God?
    HAVE you ever noticed the way children ask questions? Many start asking as soon as they learn to speak. With wide, eager eyes, they look up at you and ask such things as: Why is the sky blue? What are the stars made of? Who taught the birds to sing? You may try hard to answer, but it is not always easy. Even your best answer may lead to yet another question: Why?

    2 Children are not the only ones who ask questions. As we grow up, we keep asking. We do this in order to find our way, to learn of dangers that we need to avoid, or to satisfy our curiosity. But many people seem to stop asking questions, especially the most important ones. At least, they stop searching for the answers.

    3 Think about the question on the cover of this book, the questions raised in the preface, or those at the beginning of this chapter. These are some of the most important questions you can ask. Yet, many people have given up trying to find the answers. Why? Does the Bible have the answers? Some feel that its answers are too hard to understand. Others worry that asking questions could lead to shame or embarrassment. And some decide that such questions are best left to religious leaders and teachers. What about you?

    4 Very likely you are interested in getting answers to life’s big questions. No doubt you sometimes wonder: ‘What is the purpose of life? Is this life all there is? What is God really like?’ It is good to ask such questions, and it is important that you do not give up until you find satisfying, reliable answers. The famous teacher Jesus Christ said: “Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.”—Matthew 7:7.

    5 If you “keep on seeking” for answers to the important questions, you will find that the search can be very rewarding. (Proverbs 2:1-5) Despite what other people may have told you, there are answers, and you can find them—in the Bible. The answers are not too hard to understand. Better yet, they bring hope and joy. And they can help you to live a satisfying life right now. To begin, let us consider a question that has troubled many people.
    IS GOD UNCARING AND HARDHEARTED?

    6 Many people think that the answer to that question is yes. ‘If God cared,’ they reason, ‘would not the world be a very different place?’ We look around and see a world full of war, hatred, and misery. And as individuals, we get sick, we suffer, we lose loved ones in death. Thus, many say, ‘If God cared about us and our problems, would he not prevent such things from happening?’

    7 Worse yet, religious teachers sometimes lead people to think that God is hardhearted. How so? When tragedy strikes, they say that it is God’s will. In effect, such teachers blame God for the bad things that happen. Is that the truth about God? What does the Bible really teach? James 1:13 answers: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” So God is never the source of the wickedness you see in the world around you. (Job 34:10-12) Granted, he does allow bad things to happen. But there is a big difference between allowing something to happen and causing it.

    8 For example, think about a wise and loving father with a grown son who is still living at home with his parents. When the son becomes rebellious and decides to leave home, his father does not stop him. The son pursues a bad way of life and gets into trouble. Is the father the cause of his son’s problems? No. (Luke 15:11-13) Similarly, God has not stopped humans when they have chosen to pursue a bad course, but he is not the cause of the problems that have resulted. Surely, then, it would be unfair to blame God for all the troubles of mankind.

    9 God has good reasons for allowing mankind to follow a bad course. As our wise and powerful Creator, he does not have to explain his reasons to us. Out of love, however, God does this. You will learn more about these reasons in Chapter*11. But rest assured that God is not responsible for the problems we face. On the contrary, he gives us the only hope for a solution!—Isaiah 33:2.

    10 Furthermore, God is holy. (Isaiah 6:3) This means that he is pure and clean. There is no trace of badness in him. So we can trust him completely. That is more than we can say for humans, who sometimes become corrupt. Even the most honest human in authority often does not have the power to undo the damage that bad people do. But God is all-powerful. He can and will undo all the effects that wickedness has had on mankind. When God acts, he will do so in a way that will end evil forever!—Psalm 37:9-11.
    HOW DOES GOD FEEL ABOUT INJUSTICES WE FACE?

    11 In the meantime, how does God feel about what is going on in the world and in your life? Well, the Bible teaches that God is “a lover of justice.” (Psalm 37:28) So he cares deeply about what is right and what is wrong. He hates all kinds of injustice. The Bible says that God “felt hurt at his heart” when badness filled the world in times past. (Genesis 6:5,*6) God has not changed. (Malachi 3:6) He still hates to see the suffering that is taking place worldwide. And God hates to see people suffer. “He cares for you,” the Bible says.—1*Peter 5:7.

    12 How can we be sure that God hates to see suffering? Here is further proof. The Bible teaches that man was made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26) We thus have good qualities because God has good qualities. For example, does it bother you to see innocent people suffer? If you care about such injustices, be assured that God feels even more strongly about them.

    13 One of the best things about humans is our ability to love. That also reflects God. The Bible teaches that “God is love.” (1*John 4:8) We love because God loves. Would love move you to end the suffering and the injustice you see in the world? If you had the power to do that, would you do it? Of course you would! You can be just as sure that God will end suffering and injustice. The promises mentioned in the preface of this book are not mere dreams or idle hopes. God’s promises are sure to come true! In order to put faith in such promises, though, you need to know more about the God who has made them.
    GOD WANTS YOU TO KNOW WHO HE IS

    14 If you want someone to get to know you, what might you do? Would you not tell the person your name? Does God have a name? Many religions answer that his name is “God” or “Lord,” but those are not personal names. They are titles, just as “king” and “president” are titles. The Bible teaches that God has many titles. “God” and “Lord” are among them. However, the Bible also teaches that God has a personal name: Jehovah. Psalm 83:18 says: “You, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth.” If your Bible translation does not contain that name, you may want to consult the Appendix of this book to learn why that is so. The truth is that God’s name appears thousands of times in ancient Bible manuscripts. So Jehovah wants you to know his name and to use it. In a sense, he is using the Bible to introduce himself to you.
    When you want someone to get to know you, do you not mention your name? God reveals his name to us in the Bible

    15 God gave himself a name that is full of meaning. His name, Jehovah, means that God can fulfill any promise he makes and can carry out any purpose he has in mind.* God’s name is unique, one of a kind. It belongs only to him. In a number of ways, Jehovah is unique. How is that so?

    16 We saw that Psalm 83:18 said of Jehovah: “You alone are the Most High.” Similarly, Jehovah alone is referred to as “the Almighty.” Revelation 15:3 says: “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity.” The title “the Almighty” teaches us that Jehovah is the most powerful being there is. His power is unmatched; it is supreme. And the title “King of eternity” reminds us that Jehovah is unique in another sense. He alone has always existed. Psalm 90:2 says: “Even from time indefinite to time indefinite [or, forever] you are God.” That thought inspires awe, does it not?

    17 Jehovah is also unique in that he alone is the Creator. Revelation 4:11 reads: “You are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power, because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created.” Everything that you can think of—from the invisible spirit creatures in heaven to the stars that fill the night sky to the fruit that grows on the trees to the fish that swim in the oceans and rivers—all of it exists because Jehovah is the Creator!
    CAN YOU BE CLOSE TO JEHOVAH?

    18 Reading about Jehovah’s awe-inspiring qualities makes some people feel a little uneasy. They fear that God is too high for them, that they could never get close to him or even matter to such a lofty God. But is this idea correct? The Bible teaches just the opposite. It says of Jehovah: “In fact, he is not far off from each one of us.” (Acts 17:27) The Bible even urges us: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.”—James 4:8.
    The Bible teaches that Jehovah is the loving Creator of the universe

    19 How can you draw close to God? To begin with, continue doing what you are doing now—learning about God. Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Yes, the Bible teaches that learning about Jehovah and Jesus leads to “everlasting life”! As already noted, “God is love.” (1*John 4:16) Jehovah also has many other beautiful and appealing qualities. For example, the Bible says that Jehovah is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and truth.” (Exodus 34:6) He is “good and ready to forgive.” (Psalm 86:5) God is patient. (2*Peter 3:9) He is loyal. (Revelation 15:4) As you read more in the Bible, you will see how Jehovah has shown that he has these and many other appealing qualities.

    20 True, you cannot see God because he is an invisible spirit. (John 1:18; 4:24; 1*Timothy 1:17) By learning about him through the pages of the Bible, however, you can come to know him as a person. As the psalmist said, you can “behold the pleasantness of Jehovah.” (Psalm 27:4; Romans 1:20) The more you learn about Jehovah, the more real he will become to you and the more reason you will have to love him and feel close to him.
    The love that a good father feels for his children reflects the greater love that our heavenly Father feels for us

    21 You will come to understand why the Bible teaches us to think of Jehovah as our Father. (Matthew 6:9) Not only does our life come from him but he wants the best life possible for us—just as any loving father would want for his children. (Psalm 36:9) The Bible also teaches that humans can become Jehovah’s friends. (James 2:23) Imagine—you can become a friend of the Creator of the universe!

    22 As you learn more from the Bible, you may find that some well-meaning people will urge you to stop such studies. They may worry that you will change your beliefs. But do not let anyone stop you from forming the best friendship you can ever have.

    23 Of course, there will be things that you do not understand at first. It can be a little humbling to ask for help, but do not hold back because of embarrassment. Jesus said that it is good to be humble, like a little child. (Matthew 18:2-4) And children, as we know, ask a lot of questions. God wants you to find the answers. The Bible praises some who were eager to learn about God. They checked carefully in the Scriptures to make sure that what they were learning was the truth.—Acts 17:11.

    24 The best way to learn about Jehovah is to examine the Bible. It is different from any other book. In what way? The next chapter will consider that subject.
    ***There is more information on the meaning and the pronunciation of God’s name in the Appendix.


    WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES
    God cares about you personally.—1*Peter 5:7.
    God’s personal name is Jehovah.—Psalm 83:18.
    Jehovah invites you to draw close to him.—James 4:8.
    Jehovah is loving, kind, and merciful.—Exodus 34:6; 1*John 4:8,*16.

    Study Questions
    1, 2.*Why is it often good to ask questions?
    3. Why do many stop trying to find answers to the questions that matter most?
    4, 5.*What are some of the most important questions we can ask in life, and why should we seek the answers?
    6. Why do many people think that God is uncaring when it comes to human suffering?
    7. (a)*How have religious teachers led many to think that God is hardhearted? (b)*What does the Bible really teach about the trials we may suffer?
    8, 9.*(a)*How might you illustrate the difference between allowing wickedness to exist and causing it? (b)*Why would it be unfair for us to find fault with God’s decision to allow mankind to pursue a wayward course?
    10. Why can we trust that God will undo all the effects of wickedness?
    11. (a)*How does God feel about injustice? (b)*How does God feel about your suffering?
    12, 13.*(a)*Why do we have good qualities such as love, and how does love affect our view of the world? (b)*Why can you be sure that God will really do something about world problems?
    14. What is God’s name, and why should we use it?
    15. What does the name Jehovah mean?
    16, 17.*What may we learn about Jehovah from the following titles: (a)*“the Almighty”? (b)*“King of eternity”? (c)*“Creator”?
    18. Why do some people feel that they could never get close to God, but what does the Bible teach?
    19. (a)*How can we begin to draw close to God, and with what benefit? (b)*What qualities of God are most appealing to you?
    20-22.*(a)*Does our inability to see God prevent us from getting close to him? Explain. (b)*What may some well-meaning people urge you to do, but what should you do?
    23, 24.*(a)*Why should you continue to ask questions about what you are learning? (b)*What is the subject of the next chapter?

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    ^^^ that's a lot of writing lol

    I plan on reading the Bible from front to back, once I get some free time ..

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    Originally Posted by KING~POETIQ
    ^^^ that's a lot of writing lol

    I plan on reading the Bible from front to back, once I get some free time ..
    I am not a Christian, but I have a tremendous love for Jesus and his apostles.

    The bible, especially the new testament: home to Jesus' main teachings, is full of hidden meanings (hidden because we can't wrap our head around many of Jesus and his apostles' sayings, unless we come to the teachings with innocence and a humble mind, ready to learn slowly and contemplatively, looking to reform errors in our understanding, daily).

    Here are just a few biblical quotes that I have saved on my FB page, because they struck me as very profound and meaningful, along with my personal explanations (based on my understandings).

    "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -The Apostle Paul
    • Explanation: Don't focus on that which is temporary, e.g., cars, money, health, or losses of either. In fact, if you lose any of these, be happy, in the knowledge that this has always been the case (with temporary things) and your spirit only yearns for the eternal
    "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also." -Jesus
    • Explanation: Reflect on what you treasure. If it is something petty, cheap (as is the case for all of us in this world), what does it say about you? Where can you practice, daily, directing your love?
    "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death." -John The Apostle
    • Explanation: Love is the practice central to Jesus' ministry, not rules or hierarchy, just wordless love. Clearly, John wants us to know that we cannot be liberated, ascend to spirituality, without practicing real love.

    "Whoever has been forgiven little loves little." -Jesus
    • Explanation: This is part of Jesus' reply to a pharisee who looked down on Jesus for allowing an adulteress to touch him. He explained, as he does throughout the new testament, that he forgives even the greatest of sins, more so than all of the powerful men who showed no mercy when Jesus always did, for all people. This should make all spiritual men and women who judge others seriously question their actions. In addition, here we learn that, without real love, we are cut off from the divine.
    "My beloved brethren... hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" -James the Apostle
    • Explanation: Poverty goes beyond material possessions. Inner poverty (of ideology, racial identity, nationalism, organizational affiliation, etc.) is the state necessary for an individual to be enriched, i.e., be heirs to the kingdom of God. And again, love is key.
    "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." -Jesus
    • Explanation: Jesus' message is about giving us rest, peace. And he calls himself meek (i.e., submissive); he says his burden is light, i.e., it is easy. Anything that feels painful about serving Christ is false, either on an individual's part or his religion's part.
    My suggestion for taking on Jesus' light burden: get yourself a NIV (New International Version) bible, which is non-denominational and used throughout English-speaking nations; and read with one goal: to truly know Jesus' message. If you want to ask me some questions, I will certainly answer them.

    PEACE & LOVE to all

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    Originally Posted by OGKnickfan
    I am not a Christian, but I have a tremendous love for Jesus and his apostles.

    The bible, especially the new testament: home to Jesus' main teachings, is full of hidden meanings (hidden because we can't wrap our head around many of Jesus and his apostles' sayings, unless we come to the teachings with innocence and a humble mind, ready to learn slowly and contemplatively, looking to reform errors in our understanding, daily).

    Here are just a few biblical quotes that I have saved on my FB page, because they struck me as very profound and meaningful, along with my personal explanations (based on my understandings).

    "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." -The Apostle Paul
    • Explanation: Don't focus on that which is temporary, e.g., cars, money, health, or losses of either. In fact, if you lose any of these, be happy, in the knowledge that this has always been the case (with temporary things) and your spirit only yearns for the eternal
    "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also." -Jesus
    • Explanation: Reflect on what you treasure. If it is something petty, cheap (as is the case for all of us in this world), what does it say about you? Where can you practice, daily, directing your love?
    "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death." -John The Apostle
    • Explanation: Love is the practice central to Jesus' ministry, not rules or hierarchy, just wordless love. Clearly, John wants us to know that we cannot be liberated, ascend to spirituality, without practicing real love.

    "Whoever has been forgiven little loves little." -Jesus
    • Explanation: This is part of Jesus' reply to a pharisee who looked down on Jesus for allowing an adulteress to touch him. He explained, as he does throughout the new testament, that he forgives even the greatest of sins, more so than all of the powerful men who showed no mercy when Jesus always did, for all people. This should make all spiritual men and women who judge others seriously question their actions. In addition, here we learn that, without real love, we are cut off from the divine.
    "My beloved brethren... hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?" -James the Apostle
    • Explanation: Poverty goes beyond material possessions. Inner poverty (of ideology, racial identity, nationalism, organizational affiliation, etc.) is the state necessary for an individual to be enriched, i.e., be heirs to the kingdom of God. And again, love is key.
    "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." -Jesus
    • Explanation: Jesus' message is about giving us rest, peace. And he calls himself meek (i.e., submissive); he says his burden is light, i.e., it is easy. Anything that feels painful about serving Christ is false, either on an individual's part or his religion's part.
    My suggestion for taking on Jesus' light burden: get yourself a NIV (New International Version) bible, which is non-denominational and used throughout English-speaking nations; and read with one goal: to truly know Jesus' message. If you want to ask me some questions, I will certainly answer them.

    PEACE & LOVE to all
    I'm one of those "Christians" cause my parents are. I really haven't ever given the bible a good look. The New Testament looks interesting the way you put it.

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    Originally Posted by MBlackVJesusP7
    I'm one of those "Christians" cause my parents are. I really haven't ever given the bible a good look. The New Testament looks interesting the way you put it.
    I grew up kind of like that: my folks were Christians, so I was one. However, I knew nothing about Jesus (though I thought I did, basing that belief on what I was taught). I would read the bible on my own and not be able to understand the meanings behind what was said. Preachers could not reach me (thankfully) with their warped interpretations and the parts of the bible they focused on, usually violent and threatening: hell and death or salvation (as leverage to force obedience, with no regard to the gaining of my love), as well as endless, pointless rules that could not bear the fruit Jesus asked be borne: love and compassion for all.

    This was a huge turn off and caused me to pursue other religions, as well as atheism, a journey which taught me a lot that would later help me understand and appreciate Jesus' message for what it is and not for what baggage-laden humans that we are confuse it for.

    I discovered that Jesus taught we should love all and hate none. He taught that we should love our enemies, which essentially means we should eventually have no enemies, as we continue to practice, and grow in, the law of love. Jesus taught never to judge and that in our efforts not to judge, we should even violate religion, as he did, protecting an adulterous woman from stoning (in spite of it being mandated in the old testament that she be stoned).

    He constantly rebuked his apostles for essentially trying to get him to follow old testament customs and laws that he, the "Good Shepherd," as he referred to himself as, felt were unfair to his sheep. Why? Because real love, one can see, was always what Jesus felt should win the day, not rules or the piling up of people into black-and-white categories of good and bad. Jesus, contrary to preachers I have spoken to, I am sure would never condemn a good Buddhist, Muslim or Hindu. Jesus understood and understands people, when we could not, would not, will not and cannot. This should inspire humility in us, when we dare consider condemning others, even those who we have allowed ourselves to believe have harmed us.

    Ultimately, you must find Jesus for yourself. The words of the bible are a guide to find what is behind the words. Find what is behind them and do not become trapped in words!

    Some resources: go to biblegateway.com and just read some new testament scriptures (read a couple of gospels and then check out the epistles, i.e., the letters of the apostles to the early Christian communities... the themes of light, of peace, of justice will shine through, if you abandon all search for a way, for rules, in your reading and focus on the heart and the law of love which has no conditions, taught by "the light that shines in the darkness," Jesus.

    Jesus surely even loves the devil and pities him for his ignorance, contrary to what many would say. Hate is only a hindrance, Jesus taught.

    Number two: The greatest Christian mystic, in my opinion, is Thomas a Kempis, a Catholic medieval monk. Here is his devotional medieval text, The Imitation of Christ (the most read Christian text outside of the bible) it's precious:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    Of course, feel free to stay in touch, if you get stuck on a concept or teaching, in the course of your spiritual journey. I will offer my point of view, but ultimately you should find the truth on its own merits, denying others' egos but most of all your own, in which the biggest barrier to wisdom lies, is key.

    Lastly, I should say that I am not proselytizing, as I am not a Christian: I am spiritual and love God, my concept of which is definable only in feeling and not words. If you were a Buddhist or showed interest in Buddhist texts, I would steer you in a different direction (appropriate to your interests). My goal is to help people find God (as they see It, She or He) and not just books or membership in an organization, which if not done for the sake of union with God (as called for in Hinduism, Christianity and other religions) is worthless.

    Divine Grace to you all, my Beloved.
    Last edited by OGKnickfan; Jan 01, 2011 at 03:57.

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    Its a closed book.
    It limits knowledge.

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    Originally Posted by metrocard
    Its a closed book.
    It limits knowledge.
    So how come its principles and teachings, if applied in ones life today, are beneficial?

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    Originally Posted by Knicks4lyfe
    So how come its principles and teachings, if applied in ones life today, are beneficial?
    How is it beneficial when the knowledge is limited?

    Knowledge should be unlimited, and adoptable to change and the environment.

    The bible isn't that. Its outdated, closed minded, limited and its against humanity.

    If the bible was editable and open to new ideas, I would embrace it fully.

    Keep in mind I was raised roman catholic due to my environment and my family tradition. I have nothing against religious people, I just wish they actually used the theology into good and productive use. You don't have to agree my brother. I just say it how it is.

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    Originally Posted by metrocard
    How is it beneficial when the knowledge is limited?

    Knowledge should be unlimited, and adoptable to change and the environment.

    The bible isn't that. Its outdated, closed minded, limited and its against humanity.

    If the bible was editable and open to new ideas, I would embrace it fully.

    Keep in mind I was raised roman catholic due to my environment and my family tradition. I have nothing against religious people, I just wish they actually used the theology into good and productive use. You don't have to agree my brother. I just say it how it is.

    I completely agree with your statement, on this being a closed book. In the new testament, Jesus is saying the same thing you are.

    He wants people to find something that exists beyond the words, he did not speak just to have the words written down. So, to get stuck on the words is to miss the point. The problem is that people often do not understand that: as Jesus said, one must come to him like a little child or be utterly lost in oneself: in the form of one's own impediments, which one often believes are great characteristics, e.g., faith in money or romance as the path to happiness.

    Many religious people, instead of coming to Jesus as little children (full of innocence), come to Jesus and other spiritual teachers with loads of baggage: anger, hate, bitterness, greed, and so their understanding is colored by such, when they actually need the pure knowledge of Jesus, to overcome the baggage that colors their practice of "religion."

    When such people spoke to me, in my younger years, I confused their message with Jesus', because this is how they presented things. I wonder if this has been your experience.

    In any case, only recently did I re-read the new testament, beginning to end, with no end in mind (no one directing me to a page, no one interpreting for me, just me and the book). I let the message speak for itself and came to understand Jesus cared not for rules: he never condemned anyone, he in fact broke biblical rules regularly for the sake of those in need of help. He simply wanted peace and happiness for all beings.

    I'm not saying this as a Christian, by the way, just someone who loves Jesus' message.

    After over a decade of studying many religions, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Jainism, being an atheist and an agnostic, etc., I have come to see that every person has a conception of something supreme, be it Krishna or the physical universe, naming it is insignificant. All the great teachers directed us toward something supreme, some name it, others do not. It is in spite of ourselves, and not because of ourselves: names, religious membership, it exists.

    When a self tries to define the supreme, rather than telling you it exists and that you should find it for yourself, he is psychologically imprisoning you. This is why people like you and LJ and me, who question the cage, are capable of the most spirituality.

    I know, it seems ironic, but I think it's clear. Anyway, I hope this is not offensive to you, I'm not trying to tell you what to think and hopefully this does not come off that way.

    I do recommend you read the new testament, as I did, with no end in mind, no one directing you, from either side: atheists/agnostics or Christians, so that perhaps you find the message of Christ. Let me know what you find: it would be interesting to know.

    Here are a couple of links I use:

    Sacred Texts has some of the most important books from almost every religion:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    This is the online version of The Imitation of Christ, which is the book that made me want to read the new testament, after years of having given up on the bible. It is basically the point of view of a medieval monk, Kempis, who writes on his love for Christ, addressing various topics: anger, selfishness, love, etc.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    EDIT: Biblegateway is very good, if you want to read the new testament at home (Matthew is the first book of the new testament, I copied that link in here for you. Just use the arrows to move from section to section)

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    PEACE
    Last edited by OGKnickfan; Jan 14, 2011 at 17:39.

  11. #11
    Veteran KBlack25's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by metrocard
    How is it beneficial when the knowledge is limited?

    Knowledge should be unlimited, and adoptable to change and the environment.

    The bible isn't that. Its outdated, closed minded, limited and its against humanity.

    If the bible was editable and open to new ideas, I would embrace it fully.

    Keep in mind I was raised roman catholic due to my environment and my family tradition. I have nothing against religious people, I just wish they actually used the theology into good and productive use. You don't have to agree my brother. I just say it how it is.
    This.

    I'm not a religious person at all, but what I get out of it are certain teachings: be nice to other people, try and do good work for those around you, to allow yourself to listen so that others will listen to you.

    Too often religion has become a way to separate us all. One group thinks they are right, the other thinks they themselves are right; and they do not relent. It frequently causes war, death and travesty when it should be creating unity. My problem is not with religion, it is with people who use it as a separator not a unifier.

    I've gotten certain things out of my religion, but I am not naive enough to believe that if someone does not believe what I do they are doomed to an eternity of pain and suffering. I simply prefer to use religion, and I wish others would do the same, to teach people how to be good to each other and unify the world rather than divide it. It does not matter how you get to the teachings, whether you believe in Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, or in Flying Spaghetti Monster. If you get a positive message and it helps you be a better PERSON (e.g. you do not berate or threaten others who do not believe in what you believe with eternal damnation) THAT is most important.

  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by metrocard
    How is it beneficial when the knowledge is limited?

    Knowledge should be unlimited, and adoptable to change and the environment.

    The bible isn't that. Its outdated, closed minded, limited and its against humanity.

    If the bible was editable and open to new ideas, I would embrace it fully.

    Keep in mind I was raised roman catholic due to my environment and my family tradition. I have nothing against religious people, I just wish they actually used the theology into good and productive use. You don't have to agree my brother. I just say it how it is.
    Not sure on what level u mean limited knowledge, so I will ask u to expand on that thought.

    The bible is def not outdated. It's principles, if followed, would allow humanity to live prosperous. It's only closed minded to those who wish to ignore God. And it promises an ever lasting relationship with the supreme being. No limitations with that at all.

    God does not wish to limit humanity from a growth standpoint. But he will not allow ideas rooted in unrighteousness.

    Diff seein u post here. Respect.

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    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    We should all agree that our belief requires us to have some form of faith.

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    Enlightened OGKnickfan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Paul1355
    We should all agree that our belief requires us to have some form of faith.
    True: but I have a great deal of respect for the atheist (he who is allegedly seen as having no faith), in the sense that he wants more than just stories and is ethically disturbed by what he sees amongst the various religious people and their teachings.

    Instead of arguing with the atheist, I think the theist needs to accept the challenge [posed by the atheist] to think about how to tangibly experience his beliefs, thus gaining the atheist's respect. Ultimately, thinking about one's beliefs, trying to find something more than the words, which is what often frustrates atheists, is a positive thing.

    On the other hand, the atheist should take care not to confuse people who follow religion, with no real experience of what they teach, and mere faith, with people who have found "the tangible," few in number, of course, but still there.

    It's easy to hold oneself above reproach, in regard to belief or anything else, but it is the easiest way to ensure oneself is a fool, no matter what one believes.

    Faith, as such, should only be directed at self-enclosing thoughts and actions, e.g., being full of oneself.

  15. #15
    Veteran Paul1355's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OGKnickfan
    True: but I have a great deal of respect for the atheist (he who is allegedly seen as having no faith), in the sense that he wants more than just stories and is ethically disturbed by what he sees amongst the various religious people and their teachings.

    Instead of arguing with the atheist, I think the theist needs to accept the challenge [posed by the atheist] to think about how to tangibly experience his beliefs, thus gaining the atheist's respect. Ultimately, thinking about one's beliefs, trying to find something more than the words, which is what often frustrates atheists, is a positive thing.

    On the other hand, the atheist should take care not to confuse people who follow religion, with no real experience of what they teach, and mere faith, with people who have found "the tangible," few in number, of course, but still there.

    It's easy to hold oneself above reproach, in regard to belief or anything else, but it is the easiest way to ensure oneself is a fool, no matter what one believes.

    Faith, as such, should only be directed at self-enclosing thoughts and actions, e.g., being full of oneself.
    good quote

    Atheists usually know more about other religions, very true.

    But they usually just group Christianity, islam, everything in one category and call it religion and then say religion ruins societies, causes wars etc.

    You can't put belief in God into a box and call it religion. It's a lazy way of getting across your points. "Oh religion does this and that" so they can argue multiple types of faiths simultaneously.

    Too many differences yet most of them promoting peace and happiness and the Koran/Bible don't sound that different at time.


    NOW

    the theists is usually stubborn and most of what they say is experiential. The experience is something you really can't discredit. But how they got the experience can blow people away so much that they believe, this is the essential thing that theists should address.

    Seeing people go from killers to believers in Christ, an example being the Son of Sam, Apostle Paul, etc is something that I can't explain other than the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Men radically changed forever.

    Of course you can say this about any person and any religion.

    But the experience of the Jewish people, Christ, and the followers of Christ is what Christians need to focus on to influence people to the truth. The incredible odds of how everything unfolded the way it did.

    If you discredit stories, as you explained about the atheists, that they won't listen to stories, then most atheists might never understand scripture because it is all about stories. The interpretations, evidence relating to the text, supernatural experiences, is something that theists should focus on.


    My approach to non believers has changed significantly since i last argued people on this forum.

    Attacking gets us no where, now i've learned. Mocking gets us nowhere as i hope most of you have learned.

    Respecting each others faith is step one, which most people on this forum have not even completed.

    Then you can compare and contrast.

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