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Christianity [OT] The Word became flesh and dwelt among us

kevm3

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Testimonies of those who were heavily involved in the occult and came to Jesus are interesting because it affirms the power of prayer and the protection afforded to Christians who are actually abiding by the Word of God

 

Game Analyst

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Today's resources:

Video: Last Days Instruction (Jude 1:20-25, Revelation 2-3)


What the COVID-19 Drama Has Revealed About Our Institutional Character
COVID-19 has blown the lid off the last vestiges of political restraint in modern centralized politics. It shows us what statist ideologues will dare to do when they are confident they can do what they want to do with few or no consequences.
The Worldwide Lockdown May Be The Greatest Mistake In History
Michael Levitt, professor of structural biology at Stanford Medical School and winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry, recently stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that when we come to look back on this, the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor.”
Reaching Out While Staying In
So, let’s spend some of this stay-at-home time we now have to redouble our efforts to pray for our unsaved friends and neighbors. For some of us, this may mean developing a new discipline. For others it may be re-energizing an old one. Either way, we must “devote ourselves to prayer” (Col. 4:2) and “not lose heart” (Luke 18:1) in this important component of outreach.
DOES GOD EXIST?
One proof has to do with the existence of the universe. How did the universe come into being? This might seem like an obvious question, but philosophers weren’t always puzzled by this, since—for centuries—most believed the universe had no beginning at all. But many scientists now believe that the universe came into being very suddenly in what is called the “Big Bang.”
Take the Shutdown Skeptics Seriously
“Why should we assume that a crashing economy would leave the healthcare system standing?” Fleshing out the matter, she writes, “You can’t keep the hospital lights on without keeping on the lights of the economic sectors undergirding it. Yes, our doctors and nurses are running out of masks and gloves, which is a serious problem. It would also be a serious problem if we lost the means and the manpower to make more, or if the hospitals ran out of cash on hand to buy more beds, ventilators, etc. And there’s the rub. We are being told we can’t fight the virus without pausing the economy, yet we can’t fight the virus without the economy.”
Franklin Graham Is Taking Down His N.Y. Hospital, but Not Going Quietly
His critics accuse him of discriminating against L.G.B.T. people. “Just because I don’t agree doesn’t mean I’m against them,” he said.
 

Bolivar687

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One nuance of christianity that often goes missed (and the christian church is to blame) is that the goal of the religion is to surrender authority to God, not to build an earthly authority to carry out God's commands. The underlying goal isn't to build up an "earthy kingdom" but to pave the way for God's kingdom (which comes from within). The goal is to elevate the earthly soul toward heavenly things, not to claim heavenly authority when carrying out "earthly" things (i.e. not to build an authoritarian-state structure that uses religion to control the populace). The ideal permeates our literature, our legal system, our culture, and it's fascinating to trace a lot of this stuff back to the good ol' Bible.
Yes but we should not neglect the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ. The Old and New Testament both also attest that temporal authority is derived from God, even if the ephemeral rulers themselves govern poorly.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Yes but we should not neglect the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ. The Old and New Testament both also attest that temporal authority is derived from God, even if the ephemeral rulers themselves govern poorly.
I view that as one of the key paradoxes of christianity and a source of much bloodshed and arguments (historically).

The Bible tells us to respect authority because God puts rulers in place. We are also told that God controls the heart of the king like channels of water in his palm. And the christian "plan" (in a manner of speaking) started by establishing an earthly body of apostles and converts who carried out their great commission. I agree that in order for the earthly church to function, we must still obey certain authorities within the church and set up a reasonable hierarchy. This all makes sense to me and is biblically sound. I'm also no stranger to the arguments surrounding papal primacy, the role of the earthly church body, and denominations, let me put it that way.

Where conflict arises for me is when a local church or even a church denomination squelches God's Spirit by sticking to the traditions of man instead of the guidance of Christ through the Holy Spirit. That is to say, if we assert that Christ is the active head of the Church not a far-off patron just watching us flail around, then we must assume he breathes life into the church through the action of the Holy Spirit.

But open your heart up to unsound teachings, and then a church may be caught up in other "winds of doctrine". These "winds" also try to "breathe" into the church, and a church without root can be completely uprooted and pulled away from the truth just like in Jesus's parable about the sower throwing seed down on rocky soil. I've seen it happen.

So it's both and neither. The earthly authority of the church cannot impart nor stand between the saving relationship between Christ and an individual soul. Yet, the church is not altogether worthless. It's in the middle. We are the imperfect bride. I attend a Lutheran church and I remind my wife that for hundreds of years, there was no "Bible" because there was no canon. Sola scriptura was the impetus for a whole lotta trouble. The church is the living history of the body of Christ, not something to be treated with suspicion which a more protestant mindset. I forget where you land demoninationally, Bolivar687 Bolivar687 , so I apologize if I'm stepping on any toes.

I guess I would sum that rant up like this: the church is one big earthly organization that is stumbling toward becoming more Christ-like, imperfectly. We have to accept when our attempts are imperfect, yet our imperfect attempts do not discredit the role nor the authority of the church in the larger christian paradigm.
 

#Phonepunk#

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One nuance of christianity that often goes missed (and the christian church is to blame) is that the goal of the religion is to surrender authority to God, not to build an earthly authority to carry out God's commands. The underlying goal isn't to build up an "earthy kingdom" but to pave the way for God's kingdom (which comes from within). The goal is to elevate the earthly soul toward heavenly things, not to claim heavenly authority when carrying out "earthly" things (i.e. not to build an authoritarian-state structure that uses religion to control the populace). The ideal permeates our literature, our legal system, our culture, and it's fascinating to trace a lot of this stuff back to the good ol' Bible.
this is nice. God certainly must claim ultimate authority over all, it is the main function of his being. even when scientists use physics to rewind the clock and discover the origin of the universe, they find that it indeed emanates from a single source. a source which is one of limitless energy, which gives birth with a word to creation.

on one level this can be taken as a metaphor for the act of creating itself. the "Cartesian idea" that we think in words is highly relevant in the Book of Genesis, and here, it is demonstrated. one must be able to communicate to the world, to the Earthly realm, the reality that one wishes to create. Genesis also demonstrates many truisms of the act of creation, such as that of Iteration. when creating something, whether it be a bicycle, or a surf board, or a film franchise, the natural evolution of creation, through successive iterations, allows more and more complexity to be introduced, as well as a meta framework that provides meaning generated from experiencing the series.

the more you practice, the better you get, this is an artistic truism that exists in every and all creative disciplines. the first person you will ever draw will probably be made of simple shapes; circles, lines, little else. the next one adds more complexity. by the time you have spent years, or decades, drawing people, your skills result in far more complex renderings. even AIs work in this way. so the book of Genesis does as well, starting with the most simplest elements (light) and gradually getting more complex (planets) and more complex (vegetable/animal kingdoms). the complexity increases, the universe is created almost fractally, simple elements bifurcating into complex. the existence of God and his face on the waters before the mention of "Let there be light" (the first creation) to me depicts that even before light, even in the paradoxical nonexistent dark, God was there, establishing his ultimate authority, giving comfort and grace to even those without light. from light we got into three dimensional objects, and Genesis has man formed from the clay of the Earth itself. Earthly life is part of us, we cannot deny it, and should not be ashamed of it, for it is a God given thing, Life. yet worldly toil and the tolls Earthly existence takes on all living things are a sin we cannot wash away. God commanded Adam to take care of his habitat and celebrate the here and now, not live an ascetic life cut off from the world. stewardship of the planet is a huge part of Christianity, a fact i wish climate change people would embrace, if they could get over their anti-Christian bias.

the way i see it, God is this underlying transcendent organizing principle, which is Love, and which binds the universe. the purpose of spiritual practice seems to be to experience that God, that love, which permeates all. imo there is no physical effort needed to attain this, for it is a grace, given by God, not through worldly toil. it needs to be realized internally, as a spiritual experience. God within all. "Luminous beings we are".

imo spiritual practice should calm the loud and distracting influence of Earthly things (which these days aren't even connected to physical planetary reality anymore but the hyper unreality of pop culture, social media and the internet) and let that underlying light shine through. imo spiritual and political concerns should really be detached, or at the very least, if you are a spiritual person, the last thing you should want to do is get into politics. of course this needs to be qualified with, there is nothing wrong if one is spiritual and decides to do so. religion is ultimately a personal experience, it is "living your truth", and i think political power should be available to almost everyone.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Massive and thoughtful reply so I will try to go bit by bit and respond #Phonepunk# #Phonepunk#

this is nice. God certainly must claim ultimate authority over all, it is the main function of his being. even when scientists use physics to rewind the clock and discover the origin of the universe, they find that it indeed emanates from a single source. a source which is one of limitless energy, which gives birth with a word to creation.

on one level this can be taken as a metaphor for the act of creating itself. the "Cartesian idea" that we think in words is highly relevant in the Book of Genesis, and here, it is demonstrated. one must be able to communicate to the world, to the Earthly realm, the reality that one wishes to create. Genesis also demonstrates many truisms of the act of creation, such as that of Iteration. when creating something, whether it be a bicycle, or a surf board, or a film franchise, the natural evolution of creation, through successive iterations, allows more and more complexity to be introduced, as well as a meta framework that provides meaning generated from experiencing the series.
The Bible is full of events that are both metaphor and historical. The principle events of creation in Genesis also have a lot of parallels to various psychological processes and natural relationships, if you are also willing to take the texts metaphorically and symbolically.

The other side is that the God of the Bible is purported to be a historical God, and that is why the historicity of the Bible has been in debate since forever. A historical creation by the Biblical God at a real point on the timeline is implicit. A historical death and resurrection on the cross at a real point on the timeline is implicit. It's a controversial claim, on its face, especially in a world where dispassionate, scientific observation is considered the norm and spiritual experience is considered the "irrational" response.

the more you practice, the better you get, this is an artistic truism that exists in every and all creative disciplines. the first person you will ever draw will probably be made of simple shapes; circles, lines, little else. the next one adds more complexity. by the time you have spent years, or decades, drawing people, your skills result in far more complex renderings. even AIs work in this way. so the book of Genesis does as well, starting with the most simplest elements (light) and gradually getting more complex (planets) and more complex (vegetable/animal kingdoms). the complexity increases, the universe is created almost fractally, simple elements bifurcating into complex.
This goes along with what I mentioned above, so it sounds like I'm on the same page as you. Well put. The grand order of the universe and its iterative nature is a real thing. Large structures also appear on smaller scales and on even smaller scales, iterating in a predictable pattern. Even societal patterns are analogues to patterns in the family and patterns within an individual's psyche. The comprehensive order of everything that exists is absurd without an explanation of some kind.

the existence of God and his face on the waters before the mention of "Let there be light" (the first creation) to me depicts that even before light, even in the paradoxical nonexistent dark, God was there, establishing his ultimate authority, giving comfort and grace to even those without light. from light we got into three dimensional objects, and Genesis has man formed from the clay of the Earth itself. Earthly life is part of us, we cannot deny it, and should not be ashamed of it, for it is a God given thing, Life. perhaps if they could get over their keyboard atheism Climate Change warriors would find a lot of pro-environment stuff in the first books of the Bible.
I can't disagree with that.

the way i see it, God is this underlying transcendent organizing principle, which is Love, and which binds the universe. the purpose of spiritual practice seems to be to experience that God, that love, which permeates all. "Luminous beings we are indeed". spiritual practice should calm the loud and distracting influence of Earthly things (which these days aren't even connected to physical planetary reality anymore but the hyper unreality of pop culture, social media and the internet) and let that underlying light shine through. imo spiritual and political concerns should really be detached, or at the very least, if you are a spiritual person, the last thing you should want to do is get into politics. of course this needs to be qualified with, there is nothing wrong if one is spiritual and decides to do so. religion is ultimately a personal experience, it is "living your truth", and i think political power should be available to almost everyone.
Well the absurd claim of christianity is not only that God exists but has a personal involvement with human history, not an aloof role as observer or all-calculating Intelligence sitting somewhere far. God is constantly punishing and bestowing miracles, supplying wisdom and sending into exile, rescuing and condemning. He has been a very involved God, but the tricky part is that we can't shrug and claim that it's all metaphorical. Whether someone draws the line at creation itself or says "well, the actual historical parts don't start until Abram and the covenant with his family", it implies that at some point in real human history, some of these things happened. And Christ is the most controversial claim of all since dead people don't generally come back to life after 3 days, nor rise into the sky with a bunch of people watching, reportedly.

I don't think religion is necessarily about "living your truth". Religion is about observing, studying, and aspiring to a truth that resides outside yourself. The whole premise rests on the assumption that you're only acting that way because a higher power laid down those guidelines. Your subjective viewpoint on the divine truth isn't the focus of religion. You are there to learn a divine truth that has already been revealed and to test whether it is true or not.

As an aside, I think Politics should be informed by a person's spiritual and ethical beliefs. However, there also needs to be a greater maturity when it comes to the role of the gov't.

i.e. I may have beliefs about someone's lifestyle choices, but it isn't my concern to battle against their beliefs in the political sphere or to worry about those outcomes. It's all tangential to the things that God holds me accountable for.
 
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Bolivar687

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I view that as one of the key paradoxes of christianity and a source of much bloodshed and arguments (historically).

The Bible tells us to respect authority because God puts rulers in place. We are also told that God controls the heart of the king like channels of water in his palm. And the christian "plan" (in a manner of speaking) started by establishing an earthly body of apostles and converts who carried out their great commission. I agree that in order for the earthly church to function, we must still obey certain authorities within the church and set up a reasonable hierarchy. This all makes sense to me and is biblically sound. I'm also no stranger to the arguments surrounding papal primacy, the role of the earthly church body, and denominations, let me put it that way.

Where conflict arises for me is when a local church or even a church denomination squelches God's Spirit by sticking to the traditions of man instead of the guidance of Christ through the Holy Spirit. That is to say, if we assert that Christ is the active head of the Church not a far-off patron just watching us flail around, then we must assume he breathes life into the church through the action of the Holy Spirit.

But open your heart up to unsound teachings, and then a church may be caught up in other "winds of doctrine". These "winds" also try to "breathe" into the church, and a church without root can be completely uprooted and pulled away from the truth just like in Jesus's parable about the sower throwing seed down on rocky soil. I've seen it happen.

So it's both and neither. The earthly authority of the church cannot impart nor stand between the saving relationship between Christ and an individual soul. Yet, the church is not altogether worthless. It's in the middle. We are the imperfect bride. I attend a Lutheran church and I remind my wife that for hundreds of years, there was no "Bible" because there was no canon. Sola scriptura was the impetus for a whole lotta trouble. The church is the living history of the body of Christ, not something to be treated with suspicion which a more protestant mindset. I forget where you land demoninationally, Bolivar687 Bolivar687 , so I apologize if I'm stepping on any toes.

I guess I would sum that rant up like this: the church is one big earthly organization that is stumbling toward becoming more Christ-like, imperfectly. We have to accept when our attempts are imperfect, yet our imperfect attempts do not discredit the role nor the authority of the church in the larger christian paradigm.
No toes stepped on! From my experience in this thread we have a lot of common positions, especially in this post.

It's an interesting dynamic between scripture and tradition. I'm certainly no fan of sola scripture or man-made liturgical experimentation. We should follow Saint Paul's example, only humbly passing down that which we received from the Lord.

At the same time, tradition and ecclesiology are the stewards of scripture and the charism God has established with mankind. One example is how the Church compiled the biblical canon even before the Church Fathers with the translation of the Septuagint. The Bible is really the inspired written record of God interfacing with mankind through his consecrated and hierarchical priesthood.

The biggest debate in the Catholicism and perhaps Christianity more broadly for the last 150 years is whether we should scrutinize tradition through the lense of scripture, or if it's the other way around. I for the most part fall on the latter, subscribing to Pius XII's encyclical Humani Generis addressing this issue, attempting to pre-empt the changes which were to come afterwards. We confess an apostolic faith, so I respect doctrine developed within that continuity. Christ prayed for us to remain one, and once people detach themselves from the branch of St. Peter, the divisions never stop.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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No toes stepped on! From my experience in this thread we have a lot of common positions, especially in this post.

It's an interesting dynamic between scripture and tradition. I'm certainly no fan of sola scripture or man-made liturgical experimentation. We should follow Saint Paul's example, only humbly passing down that which we received from the Lord.

At the same time, tradition and ecclesiology are the stewards of scripture and the charism God has established with mankind. One example is how the Church compiled the biblical canon even before the Church Fathers with the translation of the Septuagint. The Bible is really the inspired written record of God interfacing with mankind through his consecrated and hierarchical priesthood.
Yes, this last paragraph is definitely something that many protestants do not grasp. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox alike understand the relationship between church and scripture and tradition and history. It's a shame but it's pretty common for the average protestant (the giant umbrella including lutherans, baptists, charismatics, etc) to be uneducated on the origins of the Bible, especially the New Testament.

For the average christian, however, I do not feel as though these subjects need to be understood/discussed for a saving faith. That's an area where the liturgical churches (Catholics and EO) seem to stumble. I do believe in sola scriptura when it comes to a saving faith.

I think the prevailing Catholic/Orthodox attitudes toward "unauthorized" salvation outside of the church is a blind spot. It is a plainly unchristian attitude. The idea that the shattered pieces of protestantism must fold back into the catholic church is not one that I hold considering the church's self-contradictions. It conflicts with the lesson Jesus taught when washing the disciples' feet, and I guess its cosmic irony that St. Peter was the one who didn't quite get the meaning at first.

The biggest debate in the Catholicism and perhaps Christianity more broadly for the last 150 years is whether we should scrutinize tradition through the lense of scripture, or if it's the other way around. I for the most part fall on the latter, subscribing to Pius XII's encyclical Humani Generis addressing this issue, attempting to pre-empt the changes which were to come afterwards. We confess an apostolic faith, so I respect doctrine developed within that continuity. Christ prayed for us to remain one, and once people detach themselves from the branch of St. Peter, the divisions never stop.
There's an entire branch of study called hermeneutics, one of the precursors to modern science. Scrutinizing scripture through the lens of tradition and history is only natural. Being able to reference statements made by pre-canon church fathers alongside scripture passages can lead to a richer understanding of the scripture. It's a useful practice.

That said, I don't think pure reason can result in a divinely-inspired interpretation of the Bible. That is the fundamental split incited by Martin Luther. The fundamental change in christian thinking he brought to the table was the idea that any person who could read the Bible therefore had the right to read it if they chose and had the right to come to their own conclusions.

Now to be fair, the catholic theology has changed, backpedaled, and contradicted itself over the course of time, too. I don't say that as a condemnation, it's just another flaw of a group of brothers and sisters in christ. Protestants splintered from catholisicm. Orthodoxy split from catholicism. The catholic church has rifts and disagreements between its internal sects. For the church to keep acting like only one side was to blame for these splits is to ignore the correction of a godly brother, but on a grand scale (is how I see it).

All that said, I would like all church congregations to be able to convene and find common ground in God's family, and also to worship and take sacraments together, and to slowly return to our Mother churches. The ecumenical idea is the path forward. That also means the catholics and eastern orthodox need to bury the hatchet and restore a true union of bishops. True reconciliation could never be something as simple as "okay the official Baptist denomination has joined the catholic church and disbanded, only 12,355 splinters to go". Grand movements would be needed for a healing to occur. For man it is impossible but for God all things are possible.
 

Helscream

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What about the legends from before the time Jesus came to Earth? Greek, Roman, Sumerian, Indian, Chinese and other legends depicting heroic feats. They are even mentioned in the Bible Genesis 6:4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
So for some strange reason I typed out a reply, but apparently closed my web browser and didn't hit the post reply button. That was a few days ago, but here is what my reply was suppose to be.

If I were to asked such a questions I would reply with the following;

Ecclesiastes 1:9,10,11
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.


What we tend to think is new, is actually incredible old. That mankind simply if anything repeats what has been planned or done before (especially Satan and the Kingdom of Darkness).
I wont go on another rabbit trail, but think of something like the theory of evolution. Is it really a new concept? Did not ancient peoples of multiple nations think that in the beginning there was the primordial chaos, the great void? Then out of that Chaos came Order? Is Evolution so far from this ancient concept? The Creation tale in the Bible is the exact opposite.

Deuteronomy 32:7,8,9
7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.


Going all the way back just after the flood you have what is called the Table of Nations (Genesis 10). After the Tower of Babel mankind was given many new tongues and were divided. When we look at Deuteronomy 32 we see that while God appointed Himself as the Sovereign as God of Israel. Other nations/peoples were appointed different authority because they did not want to adhere to the God of the Bible. What kind of authority were they appointed? I would say Paul in one of his letters tells us.

Ephesians 6:12
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

These principalities, powers, rulers of darkness, and spiritual wickedness are those that were appointed to authority over the nations. They rebelled against God and set off on their own path apart from the Most High and His plans for humanity. These entities are where we get the other religions, gods, goddesses, deities, demi-gods, etc etc. Which brings me to my last passage to bring up.

Psalms Chapter 82

1 (A Psalm of Asaph.) God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.


These beings will one day be judged for how they abused their appointed positions as authorities over the nations. So I dare say let all the heathen gods be real, because they all will face judgement from the God of gods. Before the Great White Throne they shall be made accountable for their wickedness, and these so called gods will die like mortals.
 

Tesseract

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Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure — the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit.
These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one's heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God — more, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?
 
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Article: Rehearsing the Legends: Final Fantasy VII Remake and Why We Retell Stories (5/13/20)

"In playing through Final Fantasy VII Remake, I couldn’t help but reflect on the value my own faith tradition places on the act of retelling. As Christians, our history, our community, and our rituals are founded on the eternal telling of the central story of human history. As James K.A. Smith describes in Desiring the Kingdom, “we humans are liturgical animals . . . our loves and desires are aimed and directed by habits that dispose us to be the kind of people aimed at certain visions of the good life.” Our liturgies are a habituation of the Gospel, and in embodying it through our love for neighbor and our care for the marginalized, we, too, retell our history as a source of revelation."
 

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New Resources:

Sermon: 5/16/20 - The Ultimate Shelter (Job 19:23-27)


Is Christianity a Body-Hating Worldview?
The Bible is not a puritanical document that forbids sensory pleasure. Psalm 23 displays a remarkable sensitivity to visual, auditory and tactile satisfaction through its description of lying down in "green pastures" and walking besides "quiet waters" (v. 2).[16] Christ enjoyed dinner parties and was even accused, though unfairly, of being "a glutton and a drunkard" (Luke 7:34). He was questioned as to why his disciples continued to eat and drink when John the Baptist’s disciples fasted and prayed (Matthew 9:14-16; Mark 2:18-22; Luke 5:33-39 and Luke 7:36).
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British author and journalist Douglas Murray stops by to discuss the U.K.'s response to the Coronavirus, his new book, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity, the destruction of Europe, the difference between conservatism in the U.K. and the U.S., his thoughts on President Trump and the Royal family, and much more.

What Does It Mean to Love Your Enemies?
Love for one’s enemies is Jesus’ radical alternative to the world’s way of loving neighbors and hating enemies, but “undiscriminating love will mark disciples out as sons of your Father, for the son shares the father’s character, and it is the character of God to dispense his natural blessings on all alike.”5 Jesus says, “[God] makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matt. 5:45).
Podcast: Suffering, the End of Life and Assisted Suicide — Part 2
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Cutty Flam

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Any thoughts on “Anger”

I could use some advice. I’ve always had intense anger issues. It’s gotten worse over the years, worse and worse. To the point where, in recent years, I’ve actually feared the evil in my heart and have seen how destructive, potentially, it can build to

For example, I was so angry over something small in the grand scheme of things, over a friend essentially cheating me out of some money that I had evil, vile, just very angry and hateful and dangerous thoughts. My anger was manifesting into mental wrath it seemed. I don’t think I have ever felt so ashamed in my life, once I had realized just how inhumanely I was thinking towards my friend. Never so ashamed of myself in my life

I want to change, I want to heal, and I want to have a broad understanding of what ager is, what it can do, and what it will take to fight it all from a biblical and eternal perspective

But as I understand it currently, even God has anger and wrath and will express it to his creation(s)? In certain ways?

I’ve had many losing battles with anger, to the point where my mind is basically useless that evening due to the static it caused in my brain. When I get extremely angry, it’s almost like my faculties are hanging by a thread and it’s just a very sad feeling because I know all I can do is sleep and pray to regain my balance. I’d say I’ve had like a half dozen or so evenings where I was severely pissed off like that and was stuck in my head with unreal thoughts—all fueled by hatred and anger

Any thoughts on this will be appreciated beyond what you can know. This has been a lifelong battle and maybe I need to look at it from a different angle to see it clearly and to find a solution. Or maybe anger is a gift and a curse in a way? Not really sure, all I know is I want to change and have for years but never seem to cover substantial ground. It all boils down to not knowing much about it I’m sure

Any insight? I felt like this thread would have some very wise problem solvers and simply very wise people in general. I would definitely think deeply upon any advice
 

mcz117chief

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Cutty Flam Cutty Flam I had/have a similar problem as you. I talked about this with my confessor, I seriously considered psychiatric help but in recent months my anger issues have improved considerably, so much so that the people around me are more and more coming out and saying that they noticed I have become a lot nicer and more pleasant to be around. I'm not sure what happened, but the same situations that made me lose my mind just a few months back now make me laugh or I just wave them off. The only major difference I can remember is that I prayed, sincerely, that God would take me by my hands and guide me and I will give myself to him fully come hell or high water. I made no demands, just "your will be done". Other than that I'm not sure what could have improved my mood so drastically and so quickly. I haven't had any major, life altering changes or anything of the sort.
 
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Cutty Flam

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Cutty Flam Cutty Flam I had/have a similar problem as you. I talked about this with my confessor, I seriously considered psychiatric help but in recent months my anger issues have improved considerably, so much so that the people around me are more and more coming out and saying that they noticed I have become a lot nicer and more pleasant to be around. I'm not sure what happened, but the same situations that made me lose my mind just a few months back now make me laugh or I just wave them off. The only major difference I can remember is that I prayed, sincerely, that God would take me by my hands and guide me and I will give myself to him fully come hell or high water. I made no demands, just "your will be done". Other than that I'm not sure what could have improved my mood so drastically and so quickly. I haven't had any major, life altering changes or anything of the sort.
I believe it. I used to read often about Jesus’ words and try my best to follow them, I prayed a lot too. I believe God gives in ways in which we need. A lot was wrong in in my life but God always seemed to give me peace of mind in those times. And there was a lot that would have set me off today, but back then it was as if nothing or no one could affect me really. My emotional intelligence was high powered and I had a fairly strong grasp on a lot of things

Thank you. I think I need to be in deep thought and conversation with Our Father more often so I’ll pray
 

mcz117chief

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I believe it. I used to read often about Jesus’ words and try my best to follow them, I prayed a lot too. I believe God gives in ways in which we need. A lot was wrong in in my life but God always seemed to give me peace of mind in those times. And there was a lot that would have set me off today, but back then it was as if nothing or no one could affect me really. My emotional intelligence was high powered and I had a fairly strong grasp on a lot of things

Thank you. I think I need to be in deep thought and conversation with Our Father more often so I’ll pray
The strangest thing, right, is that it didn't even occur to me to be angry. Back then I had to try hard to suppress that anger but now I don't even start to get angry in the same exact situations.
Good luck and lots of blessings, my man. Being filled with hate is terrible and the feeling of it gnawing at your soul is truly terrifying. I wish and pray that you get it under control or get rid of it all together <3.
 

Ornlu

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Any thoughts on “Anger”

I could use some advice. I’ve always had intense anger issues. It’s gotten worse over the years, worse and worse. To the point where, in recent years, I’ve actually feared the evil in my heart and have seen how destructive, potentially, it can build to

For example, I was so angry over something small in the grand scheme of things, over a friend essentially cheating me out of some money that I had evil, vile, just very angry and hateful and dangerous thoughts. My anger was manifesting into mental wrath it seemed. I don’t think I have ever felt so ashamed in my life, once I had realized just how inhumanely I was thinking towards my friend. Never so ashamed of myself in my life

I want to change, I want to heal, and I want to have a broad understanding of what ager is, what it can do, and what it will take to fight it all from a biblical and eternal perspective

But as I understand it currently, even God has anger and wrath and will express it to his creation(s)? In certain ways?

I’ve had many losing battles with anger, to the point where my mind is basically useless that evening due to the static it caused in my brain. When I get extremely angry, it’s almost like my faculties are hanging by a thread and it’s just a very sad feeling because I know all I can do is sleep and pray to regain my balance. I’d say I’ve had like a half dozen or so evenings where I was severely pissed off like that and was stuck in my head with unreal thoughts—all fueled by hatred and anger

Any thoughts on this will be appreciated beyond what you can know. This has been a lifelong battle and maybe I need to look at it from a different angle to see it clearly and to find a solution. Or maybe anger is a gift and a curse in a way? Not really sure, all I know is I want to change and have for years but never seem to cover substantial ground. It all boils down to not knowing much about it I’m sure

Any insight? I felt like this thread would have some very wise problem solvers and simply very wise people in general. I would definitely think deeply upon any advice
I applaud you for recognizing your issue. We all have our own issues; it's up to us to recognize them for what they are, and do what we can to improve on them. :messenger_heart:

Your issue and my issue are one and the same, based on reading your post. I personally have never been one to "burn hot", or lose control of myself in the immediate moment due to anger. I have that (in my opinion) worse trait, of "burning cold". When I get really enraged with someone, I think about it all the time, and all sorts of terrible things run through my head.

For me, what has mellowed me out a lot is just getting older, being married, and having kids. Being forced to live for people other than myself really seems to help with that blinding rage. I get those terrible thoughts, then think "Would my wife or kids be proud of me for this", and can eventually stop thinking about "getting even". My 30's have been a lot more peaceful, and brought me a lot more enjoyment than what I was doing in my teens and 20's.

I wish you the best, brother. If you ever want to talk, please shoot me a pm. You sound like you're already walking the right path, and you've already done the hardest part of seeing your own flaws. Most people never get that far along.
 

Game Analyst

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“Looking unto Jesus, let us run”


Ravi Zacharias, Now with Jesus
It was his Savior, Jesus Christ, that my dad always wanted most to talk about. Even in his final days, until he lacked the energy and breath to speak, he turned every conversation to Jesus and what the Lord had done. He perpetually marveled that God took a seventeen-year-old skeptic, defeated in hopelessness and unbelief, and called him into a life of glorious hope and belief in the truth of Scripture—a message he would carry across the globe for 48 years.
Obituary: Ravi Zacharias
When Ravi Zacharias was a cricket-loving boy on the streets of India, his mother called him in to meet the local sari-seller-turned-palm reader. “Looking at your future, Ravi Baba, you will not travel far or very much in your life,” he declared. “That’s what the lines on your hand tell me. There is no future for you abroad.”
Ravi Zacharias (1946–2020) and His Legacy
Zacharias draws on a range of apologetic approaches, which he weaves into his presentations. We have already noted the importance of Geisler, Lewis, and Schaeffer; this list can easily be extended to include writers such as G. K. Chesterton and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. This shouldn’t, however, be understood to imply that Zacharias is a derivative thinker, lacking originality. His “3-4-5 Grid” is a good example of his own distinct approach, which emphasizes the importance of a worldview’s rationality, while insisting that its existential importance cannot be overlooked. The issue isn’t simply whether a worldview is rational; the deeper question is whether it is liveable.
3 Lessons I Learned from Working with Ravi Zacharias
Ravi’s message wasn’t so much the intellectual credibility of the faith (though he has done more than anyone else in this generation to commend that); it was Christ crucified. When Paul said, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2), he didn’t mean that he only talked about the cross; rather, he meant the cross was the animating heart of everything he did say. Ravi’s goal wasn’t to demonstrate the shallowness of, say, secular thinking; his goal was to present Christ. He didn’t preach an argument; he used argumentation to preach a person.
Ravi Zacharias (1946-2020): Evangelist, preacher, friend
So, where did his courage and confidence rest if not in academic accolades? First and foremost, his trust was in Christ. He had a devoted personal commitment to Christ and a deep life of prayer and studying the scriptures. But I believe that the muscles of his courage were also profoundly shaped by his early preaching tour of the Far East. In 1971 as a 25-year-old Ravi went to Vietnam where he preached up and down the country to US military personnel and to captured Vietcong members. On various occasions he barely escaped with his life. The scale of the response to the gospel in that time and in a further trip in 1974 to Cambodia, built a confidence in him that it is God who rescues and saves and that the work of the evangelist is a calling from God. And Ravi Zacharias was an evangelist to the end.
Ravi Zacharias Lectures (60 of them)


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"Where is God in a Pandemic? What is the value of human life, and how do we care for the least among us during COVID-19? Leading evangelical thinker Tim Keller will join BioLogos founder..., current NIH Director [and this year's The Templeton Prize recipient] Francis Collins for a conversation on these important issues at the intersection of faith and science." (5/18/20)

 

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New resources:

The FAQs: What Christians Should Know About QAnon

Last week, an article in The Atlantic brought renewed attention to the political cult known as QAnon. As Adrienne LaFrance writes, “To look at QAnon is to see not just a conspiracy theory but the birth of a new religion.” About three-quarters of U.S. adults (76 percent) say they have heard or read nothing at all about QAnon. But while they may not know the name, they have likely seen QAnon propaganda on social media (President Trump has frequently retweeted QAnon-related accounts on Twitter, and some parenting and lifestyle “influencers” promote the views on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook). Although it’s still on the fringe, Christians should be aware of the threat this political cult poses to the global church.



Worship:

The original version of "The Blessing"


UK version:


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Cutty Flam

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Have an issue I could use some advice on

My car was stolen a month ago. Took one month to get it back. Was very lucky that the thief was an idiot. Well, the thief is back maybe with an accomplice because two of my cars have been broken into now. They seem to want ours more than anything. I’m about to buy a couple of steering wheel locks, and I’m also going to take steps towards getting a CCW for protection as well as a shotgun. When I finally get that handgun, I hope I never have to use it, but if I see that fucker inside my truck (I have a clear view of it in a few different spots, I’m going to shoot and it will likely hit knowing my level of precision. They stole my car already, they tried to steal more stiff last night, they stole a car five streets down from me, a really nice little neigborhood I walk around all the time. I have a very keen ear, and I can be just as quiet in my stealthy movement. If I catch them slipping, I’m shooting, and I am shooting to kill. There may be laws in place in my strict anti-gun State of CA but I don’t care. I’m not going to let a coward to from me or mine and get away. If I can, I’m taking his life with a bullet and sending a message. And it makes sense too, because an intelligent thief comes ready with weaponry. It is even said in the bible that thieves have cone to kill I’m pretty sure

I know it’s wrong to kill. But it’s my life of his/hers? and I don’t believe causing fear and stealing something that affects my very own livelihood deserves any kind of pass. I’ve made up my mind to kill the man w he n the time comes if and when it comes

What are your thoughts, from a biblical perspective, eternal perspective, what would God likely be saying to me?

I know at all costs, I should never kill if I can avoid it, but they’re invading my territory and they’re actively trying to claim what isn’t theirs at my expense. If there was an emergency and I was alone with myself or with somebody who needed help and I couldn't rush them to the hospital, and had to call for an ambulance? Those minutes could the deciding factor of whether one lives or dies. Minutes. Transportation is so crucial to survival. And higher quality of life if you want to get down to it, and go more in depth. So this thief is putting my life in potential danger in several ways

I am furious. I want justice, and I know cops can only do so much. The only thing holding me back, is staying safe for my family’s sake, this state that has backwards laws involving guns and protection, and God is the ultimate influence on my decision. I know He knows my heart and all of our hearts. That’s why I want the most logical situation to this situation. Something I know that wont bring shame to myself and others. I want to glorify God, but this world can be hell sometimes. How can I simply turn the other cheek in this situation? Is there a way? This is survival and we all die anyway. I have a choice to make. I’m willing to live with taking a life if it means that life belongs to a coward
 
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mcz117chief

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You are very frustrated, I understand that but I am certain you will feel different once you let it roll around in your head for a while. Taking someone's life is a one-way street, it will change you to some extent, it does some more than others. I know it is infuriating to have your possessions, your privacy and safety violated. I know that since I was a victim of crimes many times in my life, including burglary and I know the anger and desire to see the person suffer terribly, but that isn't the right way.
It may sound weird but you should also think about the thief just a little bit, we are all God's children and maybe (just a tiny maybe but nevertheless) he is in some very terrible situation that, in a way, could have forced him into a life of crime, be it bad parenting, sick relatives, bad role-models etc.
Getting a CCW is never a wrong thing to do imo. I am from Europe but I very much understand the importance of the 2nd amendment. I personally would think twice before shooting someone but using it as a tool to intimidate a burglar is not a bad thing, but shooting someone in the back is. I don't think there is a single state in America where shooting a man running away from you is justifiable.
So, what would I do. Get CCW but also get a few cameras, install them around or inside your car and let them record the culprit. You can then bring the recording to the police. If that doesn't help then I'm not sure what I would do. Maybe park the cars somewhere else for a while. He could lose interest in them.
The absolute most ideal situation (we are approaching fantasy land territory) would be to confront the thief and talk with him, offer him help or something. I know it sounds a bit crazy but I think everyone deserves a chance at a good life, not just one chance but all the chances we can give them.
When it comes to theology, then God does not enjoy death but knows that it is sometimes necessary in the current cosmic situation we find ourselves in (being outside of the Paradise and the Kingdom of Heaven and all) but only as a last resort to help end suffering. Therefore, don't kill unless it is the direst of circumstances: your life is in danger, your relatives are in danger, any person at all really if it is in danger, Nazis/Commies took over your neighborhood/Europe etc. Deadly force should only be used to liberate others, never to conquer.
You could also try praying for the thief to grow a conscience, wouldn't hurt to try.

Just my 2¢.

Stay strong, brother. And know that we love you, God loves you, you are a child of God and God will always, no matter what, love you with his infinite love.
 
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Cutty Flam

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You are very frustrated, I understand that but I am certain you will feel different once you let it roll around in your head for a while. Taking someone's life is a one-way street, it will change you to some extent, it does some more than others. I know it is infuriating to have your possessions, your privacy and safety violated. I know that since I was a victim of crimes many times in my life, including burglary and I know the anger and desire to see the person suffer terribly, but that isn't the right way.
It may sound weird but you should also think about the thief just a little bit, we are all God's children and maybe (just a tiny maybe but nevertheless) he is in some very terrible situation that, in a way, could have forced him into a life of crime, be it bad parenting, sick relatives, bad role-models etc.
Getting a CCW is never a wrong thing to do imo. I am from Europe but I very much understand the importance of the 2nd amendment. I personally would think twice before shooting someone but using it as a tool to intimidate a burglar is not a bad thing, but shooting someone in the back is. I don't think there is a single state in America where shooting a man running away from you is justifiable.
So, what would I do. Get CCW but also get a few cameras, install them around or inside your car and let them record the culprit. You can then bring the recording to the police. If that doesn't help then I'm not sure what I would do. Maybe park the cars somewhere else for a while. He could lose interest in them.
The absolute most ideal situation (we are approaching fantasy land territory) would be to confront the thief and talk with him, offer him help or something. I know it sounds a bit crazy but I think everyone deserves a chance at a good life, not just one chance but all the chances we can give them.
When it comes to theology, then God does not enjoy death but knows that it is sometimes necessary in the current cosmic situation we find ourselves in (being outside of the Paradise and the Kingdom of Heaven and all) but only as a last resort to help end suffering. Therefore, don't kill unless it is the direst of circumstances: your life is in danger, your relatives are in danger, any person at all really if it is in danger, Nazis/Commies took over your neighborhood/Europe etc. Deadly force should only be used to liberate others, never to conquer.
You could also try praying for the thief to grow a conscience, wouldn't hurt to try.

Just my 2¢.

Stay strong, brother. And know that we love you, God loves you, you are a child of God and God will always, no matter what, love you with his infinite love.
Thanks for the reply man. I read it. I’m going to read it a few more times or so in the day or so to come as well. And think deeply on it. I know it’s not right to kill, so maybe I’ll consider more strategies to hinder the thief. I was thinking writing a sincere and powerful letter and putting it on the window speaking about God and Jesus and the truth

But to be completely honest, this guy knows what the potential results for him can be. He has to, unless he’s utterly retarded or thinks he’s invincible. Some even steal just for the thrill and because they can and it’s so easy to just take and gain instantly. These cars are worth thousands usually. That’s a months worth of work or even more depending on the car and such inside, all for maybe what, a night of thievery? They’re at large in the area right now, they know what they’re doing and what they’re doing is against God’s will the same. It would be foolish to speak to the thieves. If they’re armed then it’s game over for me. It would be similar to that one guy named John who went to an Island to teach of Jesus and instead was met by barbarians who took no chances with outsiders and he was speared and shot at by many arrows. Killed. I know the game out here. It’s cutthroat. Gangs don’t stop they’re going to continue to run shit. I’m not even concerned with it, but I am furious at someone thinking they can fuck with me repeatedly and not reap the reward for their actions. If I get a clear view of an intruder inside my truck late at night, I’m shooting right through that wind shield and hopefully I’m taking him down. Hopefully not kill him, but I’m going to shoot, I’m going to knock his ass out unconscious with a kick to the fucking head, and then I’m calling for his ride to the pen. All this assuming he is alone btw, with no accomplice. I’m going to fight back, and if I get a chance to speak to the news or anything I’m simply going to tell them this Is America. We fight to protect, and protect is what I did. You want to act up in a country that’s filled with heavily armed citizens? That’s an ill-advised choice, my friend. Your ass is bound to get dealt with at some point

I’ve been wrong in my life. I’ve sinned and I am a sinner. But I have always tried to do well by people in treating them fairly according to how they’re acting. A thief comes to steal and whether they know it or not, they themselves are taking a part of the rightful owners support and livelihood. I’m not standing for that. In fact, why ever take the chance. If they’re in the wrong, why should innocent blood be shed? Shoot that motherfucker in the torso and then if he’s still alive we can have our heart to heart talk while we await the cops’ arrival. i actually want to see that pussy ass coward bleed on the cold concrete. Dumb motherfucker doesn’t even realize the value of his life, he’s playing with it when he goes out at night to ruin others’ lives

I wont make excuses for these idiots. Everybody has a sharp conscience, unless they’re some kind of monster who at some point lost it. But they know. They just don’t give a fuck and for some reason, think there aren’t guns in America

There’s a difference between forgiving something small, a small mistake in life made by someone, and blindly turning the other way in the face of potential danger and hostility pointed towards you and your family. That’s a highly aggressive act, I’ve never stolen a single thing in my life from another man’s territory, not a thing from another man’s property. And these fools have the never to come up to damn bear the front door, near a close by room and attempt to steal actual vehicles. That’s some nerve. I’d say they’re brave enough to do that, thry should be brave enough for the gunfire when it comes

I want to see the power of sparing their health and lives by not having to shoot, but this is the second time in a month and a half, they’re targeting my area and my cars specifically. I’m very set on retaliating
 
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Nixonomics

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RIP Ravi Zacharias. I don't share his world view, but I have always had immense respect for him. He was one of the most intelligent and enjoyable apologists to listen to. I'm sure his legacy will serve as an inspiration for others in these trying times.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Have an issue I could use some advice on

My car was stolen a month ago. Took one month to get it back. Was very lucky that the thief was an idiot. Well, the thief is back maybe with an accomplice because two of my cars have been broken into now. They seem to want ours more than anything. I’m about to buy a couple of steering wheel locks, and I’m also going to take steps towards getting a CCW for protection as well as a shotgun. When I finally get that handgun, I hope I never have to use it, but if I see that fucker inside my truck (I have a clear view of it in a few different spots, I’m going to shoot and it will likely hit knowing my level of precision. They stole my car already, they tried to steal more stiff last night, they stole a car five streets down from me, a really nice little neigborhood I walk around all the time. I have a very keen ear, and I can be just as quiet in my stealthy movement. If I catch them slipping, I’m shooting, and I am shooting to kill. There may be laws in place in my strict anti-gun State of CA but I don’t care. I’m not going to let a coward to from me or mine and get away. If I can, I’m taking his life with a bullet and sending a message. And it makes sense too, because an intelligent thief comes ready with weaponry. It is even said in the bible that thieves have cone to kill I’m pretty sure

I know it’s wrong to kill. But it’s my life of his/hers? and I don’t believe causing fear and stealing something that affects my very own livelihood deserves any kind of pass. I’ve made up my mind to kill the man w he n the time comes if and when it comes

What are your thoughts, from a biblical perspective, eternal perspective, what would God likely be saying to me?

I know at all costs, I should never kill if I can avoid it, but they’re invading my territory and they’re actively trying to claim what isn’t theirs at my expense. If there was an emergency and I was alone with myself or with somebody who needed help and I couldn't rush them to the hospital, and had to call for an ambulance? Those minutes could the deciding factor of whether one lives or dies. Minutes. Transportation is so crucial to survival. And higher quality of life if you want to get down to it, and go more in depth. So this thief is putting my life in potential danger in several ways

I am furious. I want justice, and I know cops can only do so much. The only thing holding me back, is staying safe for my family’s sake, this state that has backwards laws involving guns and protection, and God is the ultimate influence on my decision. I know He knows my heart and all of our hearts. That’s why I want the most logical situation to this situation. Something I know that wont bring shame to myself and others. I want to glorify God, but this world can be hell sometimes. How can I simply turn the other cheek in this situation? Is there a way? This is survival and we all die anyway. I have a choice to make. I’m willing to live with taking a life if it means that life belongs to a coward
Ask God to show you how to resolve it and then sit on your hands for a bit. If you are serious about wanting a way forward that fixes the issue but also honors God, ask for guidance in prayer. Who knows what kind of answer or solution will appear.

You should also be responsible with the things God has given for you to look after and if there's a threat of violence against your person or your property, it would be foolish to ignore it. I mean, your course of action may still be to do nothing at all and to trust God with the resolution, but ignoring it entirely isn't the answer. If buying a gun is how you uphold your responsibility -- in an overall sense, not as a response to this specific problem -- then you should do it. I would still advise against planning ahead for some kind of confrontation.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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For certain self preservation is understandable. However, imo no life is worth losing a car, better to lose a car, which can be bought again, than lose a life, which is a gift from God, and cannot be purchased with any amount of money.

I would say to be nonviolent but I also know that in situations like this sometimes that does not matter. The Bible says a great deal about this matter because it is something humans have had to deal with for thousands of years or more. Try googling some info and perhaps there will be a story you can find and relate to that lets you realise what you truly feel.

But err on the side of peace. Hopefully you can get a nice steering lock and keep them out that way.
 
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You say that the holy is "the presence of the limitless that is always present by his nature...." There is truth in that. God is omnipresent. But there is more to holiness than that. God is pure – morally. He cannot even look upon evil. There is a deep beauty in holiness. Holiness is not a miserable religious person looking down on everyone else – but what the Bible calls the 'beauty of the Lord our God'. Most of all we see that beauty in the person of Christ who is 'the altogether lovely one'. To know him is to know ultimate love, truth and beauty.
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Edited audio of my webinar from the virtual European Leadership Forum (ELF) conference 2020.
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Perhaps churches will need to do the same for much of the British population as we come out of the Covid-19 crisis. The trouble is that the government, aided by the media, has been far too effective in instilling fear in people. Fear, shame and guilt are great ways to control people. When you are told that if you go for a walk in the country you are ‘killing people’, or if you visit your elderly parents you are ‘destroying the NHS’, it can be a powerful motivation.
 
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Cutty Flam

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Best Bible App?

I need one with teachings of every verse, ideally. There’s so much I fucked up in the past when reading the bible in my late teens. I took a lot of stuff literally because I didn’t know any better, and caused some hardships for myself. Nothing serious type harm, but I do want to learn more and get closer to God and Jesus and align with their teachings and ways

I’m not too sharp with the content of the bible. Never went to church in my life. Literally all that I know is what I have read myself and from what I have asked others online when I had questions

If anyone has a really good app they like and can recommend, I’ll download it. I want to go back to the life I lived when God was a huge factor in terms of how I thought, acted, and lived my life. And if I am ever strong enough to do so, I hope to bring glory to Him one day
 
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mcz117chief

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Best Bible App?

I need one with teachings of every verse, ideally. There’s so much I fucked up in the past when reading the bible in my late teens. I took a lot of stuff literally because I didn’t know any better, and caused some hardships for myself. Nothing serious type harm, but I do want to learn more and get closer to God and Jesus and align with their teachings and ways

I’m not too sharp with the content of the bible. Never went to church in my life. Literally all that I know is what I have read myself and from what I have asked others online when I had questions

If anyone has a really good app they like and can recommend, I’ll download it. I want to go back to the life I lived when God was a huge factor in terms of how I thought, acted, and lived my life. And if I am ever strong enough to do so, I hope to bring glory to Him one day
The first thing you have to realize is that the Bible is a book of experiences with the Living God. So the best way to start is to read it yourself and try to put yourself in the story as an observer, imagine Jesus talking to you. Once you get that, you can start hunting on-line for all kinds of articles by all kinds of Bible scholars and how they interpret the texts. Their interpretations will be varied, depending on where they come from, what denomination they are part and what school they attended. It is a wild west when it comes to understanding the Bible, my friend, but always start with yourself. Read the texts, listen to them speaking to you and once you have an understanding you can look at other people's experiences.

To answer your question directly, I don't use any apps but if I need an interpretation of any text then I just google them on-line. You will find hundreds upon hundreds of thorough examinations of practically every verse (including books outside of the canon).
 

Scotty W

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Best Bible App?

I need one with teachings of every verse, ideally. There’s so much I fucked up in the past when reading the bible in my late teens. I took a lot of stuff literally because I didn’t know any better, and caused some hardships for myself.
I am an amateur literary critic who hopes to go pro one day. The rule I try to follow is something I originally saw attributed to Anthony Hopkins: read a text over and over until you inhabit it. The text will eventually overcome your misconceptions, and make you aware of the assumptions that you are bringing to it. A great writer reads you with his or her text, and it would be a shame to defeat that process, or give over that pleasure to another text.

Here is another problem with this: if you ask a Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian which commentary is the best or most objective, obviously they are going to recommend something which, in the long run, will make you interpret the Bible like a Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian. All commentaries run this risk, even if they claim to be something else: I have a friend who had this Bible with a ‘moral commentary’ on each verse, and it made me want to throw the book out the window it was so insipid, committing atrocities like turning the Song of Songs into a small catalogue of moral rules. As Bultmann said, “There is no presuppositionless exegesis.”

With that said, clearly you should have something for basic information like where the land of Ur was, maybe a small bio on Bildad the Shuhite or Melchizedek, and so on, but please, do your best to make sure that outside resources fill in the occasional blank, rather than providing the skeleton.
 
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mcz117chief

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I am an amateur literary critic who hopes to go pro one day. The rule I try to follow is something I originally saw attributed to Anthony Hopkins: read a text over and over until you inhabit it. The text will eventually overcome your misconceptions, and make you aware of the assumptions that you are bringing to it. A great writer reads you with his or her text, and it would be a shame to defeat that process, or give over that pleasure to another text.

Here is another problem with this: if you ask a Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian which commentary is the best or most objective, obviously they are going to recommend something which, in the long run, will make you interpret the Bible like a Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian. All commentaries run this risk, even if they claim to be something else: I have a friend who had this Bible with a ‘moral commentary’ on each verse, and it made me want to throw the book out the window it was so insipid, committing atrocities like turning the Song of Songs into a small catalogue of moral rules. As Bultmann said, “There is no presuppositionless exegesis.”

With that said, clearly you should have something for basic information like where the land of Ur was, maybe a small bio on Bildad the Shuhite or Melchizedek, and so on, but please, do your best to make sure that outside resources fill in the occasional blank, rather than providing the skeleton.
Well, there you have it, Cutty. Pretty much what I said :)
 

Scotty W

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Well, there you have it, Cutty. Pretty much what I said :)
Pretty much the same :)

I will add a few more things. Most of my reading is Shakespeare, and apart from a few plays, I need to read them 3 or 4 times before it clicks. But when it does, o boy does it ever. Furthermore, Shakespeare and, I think, the Bible have enough power to break the interpretive chains that civilization has put on them, if you read carefully, slowly and respectfully. Speaking for Shakespeare commentators, they are not all fools. It is a tremendous thing to encounter the primal power these texts can have, because they act upon our very experience of the world.
 

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Listen this interview of W.A.S.P.'s Blackie Lawless:

He goes pretty deep talking about his faith and Christianity. Great stuff!
 
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Cutty Flam

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I am an amateur literary critic who hopes to go pro one day. The rule I try to follow is something I originally saw attributed to Anthony Hopkins: read a text over and over until you inhabit it. The text will eventually overcome your misconceptions, and make you aware of the assumptions that you are bringing to it. A great writer reads you with his or her text, and it would be a shame to defeat that process, or give over that pleasure to another text.

Here is another problem with this: if you ask a Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian which commentary is the best or most objective, obviously they are going to recommend something which, in the long run, will make you interpret the Bible like a Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopalian. All commentaries run this risk, even if they claim to be something else: I have a friend who had this Bible with a ‘moral commentary’ on each verse, and it made me want to throw the book out the window it was so insipid, committing atrocities like turning the Song of Songs into a small catalogue of moral rules. As Bultmann said, “There is no presuppositionless exegesis.”

With that said, clearly you should have something for basic information like where the land of Ur was, maybe a small bio on Bildad the Shuhite or Melchizedek, and so on, but please, do your best to make sure that outside resources fill in the occasional blank, rather than providing the skeleton.
Great advice. I'll start reading the bible more often. I'm a fan of the King James Version the one with the old style writing. If I knew Hebrew, I'd imagine that would be the best way to read the bible? Because that was the earliest transcribed version and most accurate? But you're right, I think I will cover more ground that way, and will come to more truths if I'm not constantly looking into others' interpretations most likely. I'll stick to looking up things I don't understand at all and just keep trying to progress

Thanks Scotty
 

Scotty W

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Great advice. I'll start reading the bible more often. I'm a fan of the King James Version the one with the old style writing. If I knew Hebrew, I'd imagine that would be the best way to read the bible? Because that was the earliest transcribed version and most accurate? But you're right, I think I will cover more ground that way, and will come to more truths if I'm not constantly looking into others' interpretations most likely. I'll stick to looking up things I don't understand at all and just keep trying to progress

Thanks Scotty
No prob Cutty. I like the King James version best as well. Progress in study is marked, in part, by asking continually better questions. Another thing I would suggest is to get a version that is easy on the eyes. Most Bibles are printed in columns with tiny print- to save space obviously- but I find it so much easier to breathe on a clean page with regular sized text.
 

mcz117chief

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If I knew Hebrew, I'd imagine that would be the best way to read the bible? Because that was the earliest transcribed version and most accurate?
Hebrew for the Old Testament but Koiné Greek for the New Testament. You can read the original texts in Greek if you know the language. There are some differences but they are minor and are only helpful when you dive into tiny details, like for example that the Ark Noah uses is described as a "box" and not as a ship.
 
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Ministers of Justice
Normandy is seeded with American dead because America joined with her allies to tell the innocent victims of Nazis malevolence that they were greatly esteemed. The innocent needed to be protected and rescued, things taken needed to be restored to their rightful owners, an evil regime needed to be discredit, resisted, punished, and stopped; and its ability to do further evil destroyed. That American youths had to travel to foreign lands to do so is not glorious. Per Truscott, that many had to die in order to do so was not glorious. But, pace Truscott, that so many were willing to do so is, I assert, glorious. Those who died can rest well knowing they were called to be their brothers’ keepers, and they were not found insufficient. Truscott, I trust, would agree.
Never Give In, Never, Never, Never, 1941
When Churchill visited Harrow on October 29 to hear the traditional songs again, he discovered that an additional verse had been added to one of them.
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Video: Jordan Peterson, Politics, Religion and the Intellectual Light Web
Religiosity has become a dividing line in the culture war and in politics. Why? Are secularist disabled by their inability to comprehend because they intentionally dismiss religious language? We'll take a good look at a conversation between Michael and Karen and examine whether Zizek and Zero Day can really understand what Jordan was up to.
 

#Phonepunk#

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Great advice. I'll start reading the bible more often. I'm a fan of the King James Version the one with the old style writing. If I knew Hebrew, I'd imagine that would be the best way to read the bible? Because that was the earliest transcribed version and most accurate? But you're right, I think I will cover more ground that way, and will come to more truths if I'm not constantly looking into others' interpretations most likely. I'll stick to looking up things I don't understand at all and just keep trying to progress

Thanks Scotty
one good resource i discovered is a book called Everyman's Talmud. this is a plainly written book that is a kind of classic in the Jewish community, and it greatly expounds upon the many meanings in the Jewish Bible. so it goes into a lot of depth about the Book of Genesis, Exodus, all of the classic OT stories, and it brings in the perspective of the Jewish traditions that informed those writings to begin with. it has tons of Jewish folk stories and wisdom that lends context to so much in the Bible. no need to read Hebrew if you can read the classical interpretations of learned Rabbis. i highly recommend it.


Long regarded as the classic introduction to the teachings of the Talmud, this comprehensive and masterly distillation summarizes the wisdom of the rabbinic sages on the dominant themes of Judaism: the doctrine of God; God and the universe; the soul and its destiny; prophesy and revelation; physical life; moral life and social living; law, ethics, and jurisprudence; legends and folk traditions; the Messiah and the world to come.
i believe there are e-book versions and likely even a free pdf floating around...
 
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Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion are among the fundamental individual liberties which are protected at a constitutional and international level. Do Christians still have the right to a voice in the public square and how can we engage with contemporary culture? We believe that Jesus is Lord and so, using biblical examples, this session discusses how we can speak the Truth and work for the good of society.
 

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"Daryl Davis is a black Blues musician who builds friendships with members of White Supremacy organizations. Through this he has helped convince over 200 white supremacists to renounce their ideology and leave their organizations. He is joined by one of these men, Jeff Schoep former director of a Neo-Nazi organization who is now a Human Rights Advocate." (5/28/20)

 

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