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Archive for Friday, May 3, 2013

Letter: Evil deeds

May 3, 2013

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To the editor:

Jesus addresses tragedies similar to those in Boston, Texas and Bangladesh in Luke 13:1-5. The issue with the people seemed to be whether those who survived were less sinners than those who perished. Jesus’ response looked beyond this: “Unless you repent you will likewise perish.” Seems pretty harsh given the circumstances, yet that is exactly what he meant and means today.

We can choose to go our own way and perish eternally, or we can repent and do it God’s way with the promise of everlasting life. Why is this so? John explains the results of our choosing in John 3:16-19: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.”

In other words, God gave his Son, and us free will, so that we have a choice to accept his plan for dealing with sin in our life. Jesus says we can interpret the weather (Luke 12:56); but, we can’t interpret the times. Don’t let your fig tree be cut down (Luke 13:9)!

Comments

JohnBrown 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Humans crave certainty. But the universe is an uncertain place.

In the absence of facts, understanding and knowledge, humans can quite easily "explain away" the unknown by invoking unseen deities.

This creates several problems.

First, such "invoking" tends to keep us ignorant. Second, those who do the "invoking"...if they do it right, can increase their money, power or prestige. Third, the early teachings, no matter how benevolent, tend to be moved aside and replaced with "teachings" that tend to reinforce the holding of/increasing of such monies, powers, or prestige.

In Christianity, we've gone from the Sermon on the Mount to the Crusades and the Inquisition, to the current Catholic Church protecting evil-doers who molest children. This protection was given to conserve the money, power and prestige of those in power.

There are lots of good words that have been spoken about the intent of this or that god, but the actions taken by the people who claim to "believe' in those words are reprehensible.

The Kansas Taliban say that all life is sacred. They believe this so much they are willing to kill for it.

The Don't Tread on Me Crowd say they believe in freedom, but they are not willing to let women make up their own minds about abortion.

It's all hypocrisy based on gaining, or preserving,money, power or prestige.

JohnBrown

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Kirk Larson 11 months, 2 weeks ago

All this talk of free will implies that god does not know what we will do next. But isn't god all knowing and knows what the future holds (otherwise, what use has prophecy)?

Stepping out of this morass, I don't consider myself an atheist, I just think all religions were created by men.

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verity 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I was raised as a Christian and I was taught that people should know, by the way you lived, that you were a Christian and that your life should be such that they would want to be like you.

The sermons preached here by the absolutists send me in the opposite direction.

That is all.

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Leslie Swearingen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

No, no. I consider myself to be a very religious person and I have never tried to force any of my beliefs on anyone. I can value all the beliefs and all the faiths in the world and still yet hold onto my own with passion. I know that others will find this to be contradictory, but I find it quite easy.

I value Ganesha as a symbol of wisdom and the removal of obstacles. I read in the WsPo that a study shows that if you clench your right hand while you are memorizing something, and then you clench your left hand while trying to recall it will be easier. Is that study any different that using icons and symbols to focus your thinking?

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JohnBrown 11 months, 2 weeks ago

My invisible friend is more powerful than your invisible friend.

JohnBrown

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yourworstnightmare 11 months, 2 weeks ago

It is the burden of the religious to argue their points using facts and reasoning that can convince all, religious and non-religious alike, that their point is valid.

This is difficult, as religion is ideology, belief in something in the absence of or despite facts and evidence.

This is why the religious usually resort to invoking their ideology and beliefs as fact and evidence and proof in defense of their views.

Such arguments do not and should not hold any water in any moderate and sensible democracy.

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Alceste 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"God is a Concept by which we measure our pain.....": John Lennon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5YJ4NTM5zU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5YJ4NTM5zU by Alceste

2

yourworstnightmare 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The good thing about freedom is speech is that anyone can express an opinion, no matter how idiotic, childish, insipid, and wrong.

The other great thing about freedom of speech is that if they choose to express such an opinion, others can criticize that opinion as being idiotic, childish, insipid, and wrong.

The act of expressing an opinion does not make it correct. Mr. Burkhead is one of the religiously-insane, invoking magical religious thinking and ideology to "argue" a point.

In other words, idiotic, childish, insipid, and wrong.

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jafs 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"I do believe my conception of God is the only one"

This statement, although short, encapsulates so much of what is wrong with religious believers that it's startling.

It takes God and cuts him down to human size, narrowing the scope tremendously.

It sets the stage for religious wars and intolerance.

It suggests that although God created the entire universe, and myriad different people and cultures, that one particular culture has the only truth about him.

Then the further conflation of God with Jesus does even more of the same.

Having been a religious studies major, and seriously considered ministry several times, I'm not anti-religious by any means, but I do find this sort of thing troubling. Any God worth the name is bigger than our understanding, and not capable of being confined to one time and place, or one book, etc.

Churches and other traditions can serve as a pathway to the divine, but people shouldn't mistake the pathway for the goal.

5

Liberty275 11 months, 2 weeks ago

" Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already"

That is such a flawed strategy. If I don't believe in god, then since I'm condemned anyway I might as well be evil. If your god was thinking, he would have said "be a just and fair person and you will get some heavenly reward". That way even people like me that wouldn't believe in gof if you stood him in front of me and made him do magic tricks would still be "just and fair".

God needs to concern himself with what people do and not what they think.

And seriously, do you need a god to tell you to not be evil?

2

hedshrinker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Christians cloak themselves in self-righteous piety; that is the "card" they consciously or unconsciously use to trump other lines of argument; in KS, in much of the South, etc. all you have to do to win the argument is mention your Christian beliefs (practice is not required) and you have moved to the head of the line. For a country that espouses independence of thought and diversity, I find this bias highly objectionable; don't prattle to me about how you Christians are persecuted and how you're sick of others foisting their belief systems on you (ie jhawkins earlier comment about being sick of left-wingers, gun control, pro-choice proponents forcing their ideas on others).

4

Alceste 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Is God any busier now than He has been in the past?

0

MarcoPogo 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anybody else hear Geddy Lee singing in their heads right now?

0

Leslie Swearingen 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Jesus was never trying to teach about inter-gender relationships but a universal love that influences how we treat each other day to day.

God created everyone on this planet not just Christians and all are equal in the eyes of God. Asking why bad things happen to good people just does not make sense because there are so many variable involved. Everyone is making a decision right now that may or may not impact upon me. The decisions I make today are going to have an impact on both myself and those around me.

Joseph Wambaugh's book, "The Onion Field", traces the paths that two police officers and two killers took that led them to that field on that night. Once you have all this information you can better understand what happened and why.

We, on the other hand, cannot possible have all the information that we would need to fully understand why because we cannot do the immense amount of research needed and by the time we need everything would have changed. The world would have gone around one more time while we were pondering.

1

jack22 11 months, 2 weeks ago

How can Jesus teach us love? The guy didn't even have a girlfriend. Zeus, on the other hand, is someone we should all be praising. All this cold weather is a direct result of our having forsaken him. Praise Zeus, he'll make our crops grow and give us nice weather on the weekends.

2

consumer1 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Believe in God or don't it is called free will. If you choose to believe, "amen" if not, be prepared to suffer eternally. It is that simple. You get to choose.

0

verity 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There is a difference between arguments based on facts, even if we dispute exactly what the facts are or how to interpret them, and arguments based solely on faith and the assumption that what one believes is fact with no evidence whatsoever.

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jafs 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There's an odd thing about this free will discussion.

If God gave us free will, but then imposed draconian punishments for choosing differently from what he wanted us to do, is that really a free choice?

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Don Brennaman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

is it ok to believe there is a god unworthy of praise?

0

koman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Christians continually play the bias card - how they are so condemned for simply believing. Can you imagine what the outcry would be if the Muslims in this country attempted to insinuate their faith and beliefs into the institutions of our country the way the christians do? The wailing and gnashing of teeth from the right would be deafening! The bible may be "the truth" to you, it's science fiction to many. Your "god" may not be my "god". When men begin to define God and the intentions of that deity, that's where things go terribly wrong. This may be a revelation to many of you, but you don't have to be a right-wing, fauxnews watching kochhead in order to be patriotic and spiritual. Maybe stepping outside of the confining environment of your megachurch will help you see that.

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msezdsit 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Theres those two words again. No need to read anymore. Guess that is what headlines are for.

0

ThePilgrim 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Carl, did you even read the verses you quoted? Verses 3 and 5 start with "No" in answer to "did they sin more than the others to deserve this?" Then he makes a global statement about repentence. Likewise in John when the disciples asked whether the man blind from birth sinned, or did his parents sin to deserve this? Jesus answered "no" again. The first century world had the view that if bad things happened to you then you deserved it. If good things happened to you or you were rich, then you deserved it. Does this sound familiar? This is the way most people believe today. And especially our governnor, who believes that the poor obviously did something to deserve it.

4

Lynn731 11 months, 2 weeks ago

HE gave all of us free will, that includes evil doers. Though what they do is sad, they will pay for their sins eternally. I am no minister, or bible historian, but that is the way I see it. HE also says we must help ourselves, which means protecting our and our families lives. Law enforcement often arrives too late, takes reports, and processes crime scenes. There aren't enough to always be nearby to do the job for us.

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Paul R Getto 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Relax. It's just magic and it cannot hurt you, unless the beliefs become law.

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jayhawxrok 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I so tire of Bible thumpers trying to shove their beliefs on the rest if us.

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bballwizard 11 months, 2 weeks ago

My question is why did God let this happen? Someone so powerful can't stop evil against innocent children?

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