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Do you believe in God?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 17, 2006

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Photo of Trisha Shrum

“Yes, although I choose not to define my idea of God because that would be putting limits on something that is by definition limitless.”

Photo of Thomas Speers

“Not in the biblical sense. I think we should stop using that word to refer to what people are trying to express. I have faith in the fact that there is a certain energy underlying and permeating existence, but I wouldn’t call it God.”

Photo of Lyndsey Varella

“I don’t really believe in God or religion at all. I believe in science and evolution. I think some people can believe in both and have it fit in very well with their lives, but not me personally.”

Photo of Jackie Franke

“Yes. I was raised to believe that Jesus Christ came and died for our sins and will come again.”


sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

Larry: "Honestly, after reading some of the statement above, I felt more sadness than anger or the urge to fire off sarcastic comments. I'll leave that to Jonas."

Read twice before you post, Larry; that last barb doesn't help the tone of the day.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 11 months ago

"All of my encounters with organized religion have been bad ones, starting with the time a former boss "invited" a co-worker and myself to "Friendship Day" at his Baptist church and told us that he would fire us if we didn't go."

Wow. That's a good story. I'm guessing your boss knows religion very well, but doesn't know God very well. He didn't want to be shamed by showing up empty-handed on Friendship Day; so in his fear of being judged a failure by his church, he threatened you. That speaks much of how messed up that guy was, and speaks little about who God is. That is what causes so many to turn from God: the bone-headed moves of so many who claim to know him.



Shelby 10 years, 11 months ago

I believe that children are our future teach them well and let them lead the way show them all the beauty we possess inside...

Ken Miller 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes, but sometimes that belief has been challenged. Like on 9/11. Or when I faced personal health crises. Or divorce. But when you take time to really think about each of these situations, you come to find that the negativity and sin originate from man, not God.

gccs14r 10 years, 11 months ago

It doesn't matter if you believe in one god or a thousand: if you think that you're subject to the whims of an omnipotent invisible being for eternity, you have something seriously wrong with you and should seek professional help. You're just not that important.

Larry 10 years, 11 months ago

come on sgtwolverine - do you really think I need to read my comments twice. Was there anything inaccurate about my previous post?

Blue Ribbon post for the day goes to oldenuf.

xfactor 10 years, 11 months ago

I've often wondered what certainty feels like, but I'm not certain that I could be certain of anything, except in the contextual sense where there would be a lack of doubt. I feel the contextual certainty would most likely not be true because the absence of doubt would be my beilef that I have no doubt, which wouldn't necessarily make my certainty an absolute truth.

junco_partner 10 years, 11 months ago

I was yelled out his name about 40 times late last night

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

OldEnuf: Thank you, sir, for pointing illumination towards the terrible mime threat within our midst. As some of you know, I have been a long time proponent for the trophy hunting of all mimes, and the quick eradication of their leadership, most especially that vile creature Das Ubermime. I believe the time has come to initiate the mime purification. Anyone else who sees this threat like I do, let us band together before all of us get stuck in small invisible boxes, because we all know that by the time that happens, the mimes have already won.

rwales 10 years, 11 months ago

If there is no God because of all the bad things in this world then who is responseable for all the bad things? If man is the one who does all these things then why do we blame a nonexistant God? I fail to see the logic in your arguments.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

Gootsie, dvds make old shows available to everyone. I mean, two of my favorite shows are the A-Team and Macgyver, and I wasn't really watching tv when they aired...

Besides, Walker isn't THAT old.

Ceallach 10 years, 11 months ago

Gootsie!!! Be very careful (if not careful, then quiet) in Wacky Waco!! I almost ended up in jail there last spring break :( No kidding. They have some crazy city police officers there. I had almost let my Irish mouth overload my (well you get the idea :) before I shut up and let one give me a distressingly cryptic "warning" about how they handle "my kind" in Texas. Waco should be kicked out of Texas.

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

It's okay Sgt. Larry's tomfoolery affects me very little.


sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

I thought Mulligan Day was for soup lovers.

beatrice 10 years, 11 months ago

No, and it saddens me to think of all the killing around the world over that fact that people can't agree on their opinions about god.

That is it for me today, because I don't feel it will do any good to try to argue with anyone over faith. It would be too much like trying to convince a suicide bomber that he really won't get his 72 virgins when he arrives in heaven.

I_Bejewel 10 years, 11 months ago

"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion."

--Abraham Lincoln

RonBurgandy 10 years, 11 months ago

TOB - I had the same thought (regarding Shoemaker).

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

RI, sorry, It's Gaudy Day...(You should fit right in!) ;)

Yes, I believe in God. Do I think I am superior because I capitalize? No. That would be silly. Do I think my religion is superior to others? Well, some, maybe....mostly, no. That would also be silly. I think most of us are trying to get to some place we call Heaven, but I don't think we all have to take the same path. (It would get crowded.)

christie 10 years, 11 months ago

... Let the earth bring forth the green herb..... ... Let the waters bring forth life ..... ... Let the earth bring forth living creatures of its kind ...

Sounds like evolution to me - set by the hand of God. It's all there - Genesis. Go ahead, read it yourself.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

Larry, I did not make any reference to accuracy; I made reference to the tone of your comment.

AngelKing 10 years, 11 months ago

If God truly knows everything, and if every child is made by the hand of God, why does God create children who grow up and make decisions that lead them into Hell? Didn't he know that's what they were going to do?

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

OMB, does that museum talk about Chuck Norris, the most fearsome Texas Ranger ever to stalk this earth?

Richard Heckler 10 years, 11 months ago

The God that approves greed,bombing and killing? The God that teaches peace,love and compassion? Father Moon and Mother Nature?

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

Remember when Conan O'Brien would have a lever he pulled that caused a snippet of Walker, Texas Ranger to play? Cute.

I'm proud of you sgt to be open to the old stuff. Or kind of old stuff, I mean.

beatrice 10 years, 11 months ago

RI: Save the Daylight Fund! I thought you were wanting me to contribute to a "Save the Gay Rights Fund." Either way, the answer remains, no.

sgt: sssshhhhh -- ietqua on the eelersSta. I didn't want people getting too upset with me around here. All I know is that the game was so one-sided, here in Phoenix they actually switched in the middle of the 4th quarter to the Jets - Miami game. Speaking of football -- with last night's loss, the Arizona Cardinals are beginning to invent new ways to lose. As a friend told me, their offense was good, their defense was good -- but they lost because the offense's defense wasn't very good at all.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

I'm just concerned about it setting someone off with more unnecessary comments.

But tomfoolery is a great word. Well done! Vocabulary points for you.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 10 years, 11 months ago

It's unfortunate to see how man's failures to be just and loving have caused so many to reject God's love and justice. We live in a world full of a lot of bad stuff (wars, guys with goofy pony-tails not telling his sexual partners about his HIV, mimes...) which causes so many to have disorganized thoughts about God. We are sure we don't "like" Him because the world he gave us is such a mess; but when a child gets cancer, there are no agnostics or atheists (everyone prays).

What do I believe? I don't believe in athiests. I put them in the same category as bigfoot: you can say they exist, but when put to the test, everyone turns to God. I've asked many many people this question, and the answer is always the same: "Have you ever prayed to God?" The answer is always yes. I believe we all start out with a belief in God, but that living in a fallen world sometimes erodes that belief. I think we all experience that in different ways, but I think that is the experience of so many who say things like "there is a certain energy underlying and permeating existence". People say that kind of thing because it takes the edge off of having to wrestle with the idea that God is a real PERSON, a relationship that one has to confront. So many of us have a relationship with God that is like a bad marriage. We just don't know where to begin dealing with the pain of the relationship, so we just don't talk about it and decide to live seperate lives. If we do divorce, we then say "it never really was a good relationship" even if that's a lie.

God is not an "energy that permeates existence", He's my Father and has demonstrated to me that He loves me. None of us have been abandoned by Him, even though the message we have heard may sound that way.

acg 10 years, 11 months ago

I don't know if there's a God. I want to believe there is, but I can't be sure, which is why I can't be religious. To truly be a religious person, one must have that blind faith and I don't possess it. I have prayed to God before, oldenuf, I think your comments were on the mark for the most part. I follow the basic teachings of Jesus, not so much because they are the teachings of Jesus, but seem to be common sense for any human being to follow (you know, don't kill, lie or steal, etc.) but I wrestle with the God question daily. I don't care for it when people wave their bibles in my face, try and tell me how to live based on their bibles or do things in the name of God. I think, if he's up there, that really pisses him off. Wow, what a good OTS question to discuss today. Let's just all keep it civil (I will too, scout's honor).

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

Py, I guess "technically" Mulligan is a stew, but I can water it down. When I was a wee one, we used to call it "ice cream bucket" soup. Mom kept a plactic tub in the freezer that all the leftovers went into. When it was full...soup! It was always delicious. (Gross as it sounds)

Kuku_Kansas 10 years, 11 months ago

Well....relatively civil answers so far.

It's only 7:22am however.

While I do not believe in God, I do actually enjoy attending Catholic mass. Not sure what it is/why, particularly after growing up non-denominational.

Fact is, I respect and value others' beliefs. I try to not throw my agnostic/atheist (still not even sure what I truly am) down onto others.

Kuku_Kansas 10 years, 11 months ago

I am hoping people do not become overly-hatred responding to this topic today.

No, I do not believe in a God.

roger_o_thornhill 10 years, 11 months ago

Seriously, which god? There are more than one. Even if (you) only believe in one.

voice 10 years, 11 months ago

I know that God lives. I know that Jesus sacrificed himself in Gethsemane and at Golgotha to atone for the sins of all people. I know that because of His sacrifice that we will all be resurrected and judged by the only One who can know our hearts, and whose mercy is extended to all. There is a way that everyone can know and not just believe. We are literally brothers and sisters, children of God, and the first thing we must learn is that God lives. The second is that we must LOVE one another and practice CHARITY which is the pure love of Jesus the Christ. Those are the priorities. Nothing is more important...all the rest of the debate is manmade. God is intelligence and love, justice and mercy, patience and eternal....and very, very real. I hope that each and every person comes to understand that God is not about war, pain, and discouragement. His puroose is light, truth, and most of all, hope...hope in a dark and dreary world. I know these things are true, I pray that each of you may know the same one day, and that this knowledge will bring you home.

jayhawks71 10 years, 11 months ago

Larry's "prayers answered" reflects confirmation bias and the "drive" to seek order in chance events; we are pattern seekers and if we look for a pattern we are likely to find it.

For example, people believe in ESP based on evidence that includes such coincidences as "I thought of my brother and then he called me." That one memorable event sticks out like a sore thumb(aka von Restorff effect), and we tend to remember those events, "hits" and forget all about the "misses."

Anyone see that relatively recent study that found that prayer didn't help people to recover from illness any better than those who were not prayed for. In a statistical sense, there was NO difference; for those of you that just hate statistics, the absolute data showed that those who were prayed for actually did slightly worse than those who were not prayed for (but again, not statistically significant). "God" sure does work in mysterious ways! And yes, of course "god" is a sports fan, "god" is infinite and has all the time in the universe (and beyond) to influence every action in the universe!

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

Really Ceal? My respect for you just went through the roof! I've been asked to leave a bowling alley before, but never a city.


sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

jonas, have you seen the Bud Light advertisement with the guy dressed as a refrigerator? I love the end when he opens his freezer door into the mime's face.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

RI, No soup for you! (Mulligan or otherwise) p.s. I wouldn't be on my knees in your presence so much if gas didn't rise. :oP

jayhawks71 10 years, 11 months ago

Gootsie, wasn't that Hey CULLIGAN man? :-)

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

OMB, I will be in Waco this weekend hopefully watching the Jayhawks win. Shall I bring my rubbers?

Ceallach 10 years, 11 months ago

bea, it also saddens me! But I don't see it changing anytime soon. btw, is that considered heaven for the virgins? :-\

I do believe in God (which I capitalize not because I think I am superior, but because He is superior). I do not have great words of wisdom or criticizism for those who do not share my beliefs, agnostic and pagan alike. I made stops at both in the past. Stops which I believe helped me tremendously in my spiritual walk. I do not remember ever thinking there was no God, just having so many questions. However, when I stopped looking at Christians and took time to look at the Christ, I found (and continue to find) answers that bring me inner peace and rest. Which is what I hope for you all, inner peace and rest.

xfactor 10 years, 11 months ago

What I find important is choosing good over evil, having compassion for others and taking the time to be there for others even when I feel I don't have time. Coincidentally this happens to parallel the teachings of Jesus, whether you believe him to be a historical or religious figure. I choose to believe, even though I have many questions, because I agree with the teachings of Jesus.

Kat Christian 10 years, 11 months ago

With all my heart and life. May God bless you ALL each and everyday. AMEN!!

Bone777 10 years, 11 months ago

I was going make a joke on this topic and my power shut off for the last 30 minutes. Yikkess!!!

God is love. God is love. God is love.

The rest you can blame on the politicians.

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

Thomas came close to what I believe. . . which coming from another mouth sounds like something from a strange trip, but what the heck.

I can believe in god, but certainly not God. People who capitalize or give proper names are trying to show or prove their superiority.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

blue, maybe they'll force Columbus to buy Royals season tickets -- and go to every game.

Oh, by the way, bea, the Steelers were impressive this week. I have more hope for them now, after having seen them play up to their potential. And the Lions actually managed to win a game, though I suspect they won because they replaced most of the Lions roster with Tigers players.

pelliott 10 years, 11 months ago

I believe in love, sounds silly but there it is. The best people in my life find love and faith in their religion, some of the worst use religion to find justification for hate and bigotry.

unite2revolt 10 years, 11 months ago

Do you think topics like this massively help out ljworlds google ad revenues????

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

Jayhawks, oh yes. It was Culligan.

Never mind.

Amen. (I'm sure this subject is over..hahaha)

canyon_wren 10 years, 11 months ago

Thanks, oldenuf--you expressed my feelings exactly in such a great way!

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

R_I, I always thought Mulligan Day was a personal floating holiday.

Larry 10 years, 11 months ago


No tone intended. Just a statement made based on facts.

Kontum1972 10 years, 11 months ago

they say he is in the white DC...hangin

justthefacts 10 years, 11 months ago

Everyone has a right to believe or not believe. Free will. No way to force anyone to accept gifts, including faith. And no need to be upset or mad at people who do not agree with your views.

My personal answer is "yes" very much so. Many reasons. Here's just one:

One day while driving (a long way) to work, I was talking aloud (to myself and/or Gd). Things were at a really low point in my life. I finally concluded by shouting aloud that it seemed to be true that there was no Gd, that people just made up the story so they didn't feel so hopeless about everything. I told the air that G*d better let me know if I was being a fool to believe, and pretty soon!

At the very next moment, I crested a hill and skidded to a close stop behind a long line of cars (stopped for a school bus on a rural road). I was not happy; now I'd be even later for work!

Then I saw it. The small truck stopped in front of me had a personalized tag. It read "I AM".

End of story for me.

Speakout 10 years, 11 months ago

After reading all of the above posts, I find most people judge God or the belief in God on the things mankind has done or said. In my belief, God clearly says that He is the creator of all things and never said that His was ONLY love or peace. Without the opposites we do not know what Love and Peace are. He brought to us a magnificient world to live in and perhaps there are others out there, too.

Yes, I believe in God. I believe that everyone on earth belongs to Him and to Him we will all return with all of our strengths and weaknesses. He asked us not to put anyone above Him or equal to Him...but some do. I think that is an unforgivable mistake.

What does God Want? To be worshiped as the one and only God of all mankind. I think that is obvious, don't you?

Roadkill_Rob 10 years, 11 months ago

You are all so naive. God is obviously only a sports fan...that's why a baseball player points to the sky when he gets a double. DUH!!!!

Aiko 10 years, 11 months ago

Oh, the "Shoemaker Incident". The sea's were angy that day my friend! What happened to him?

tir 10 years, 11 months ago

Do I believe in God? Which one?

The petty, small-minded God of petty small-minded people?

The bloody Kill-the-Infidels God of bloody-minded terrorists?

The liberal God that loves gay people and wants to allow them to get married in the church?

Phred Phelps' God, who hates gays and is punishing America because our nation tolerates them?

The Catholic God, represented on earth by the Pope who can do or say no wrong?

The God that inspired the Inquisition, the massacre of the Huguenots, and the Crusades?

The God on the Almighty Dollar, in whom we trust?

The God that inspires total strangers to help each other in times of crisis?

The God that brings us together or the God that divides us?

You know what I believe? I believe people create a concept of God in their own image, and that we have done, and we continue to do, all manner of good and evil in God's name. I also believe that we have to live with the consequences of that.

Ceallach 10 years, 11 months ago

What a day to tune in late :- I'll never catch up!!

Bone777 10 years, 11 months ago

Pywacket wrote - 'I find it immeasurably comforting to know that all order and all chaos can be explained (even the parts for which we have not yet unlocked the explanations)'

The reasons those 'explanations' have not been unlocked yet, is because Adam & Eve didn't eat enough apples.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

Walker, Texas Ranger. Oh yeah. Gets my bumps goosing, he does!

Sgt, why do you know about him? You aren't old enough, are you?

jonas 10 years, 11 months ago

I must admit I would have a problem with a creator that believes he should be worshipped. Respected, yes, worshipped, no. Do parents believe their children should worship them?

acg 10 years, 11 months ago

I had completely forgotten about the *** incident. Oh that was amusing! OMB is one of my favorites, anyway. I love how he's always




Thanks :)

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

TOB, you know us SW Kansas chicks. We are tough on men.

jayhawks71 10 years, 11 months ago

someone else's comment... "...and if every child is made by the hand of God, why does God create children ...."

If a son is defined as a male child of a "father" and if we are all children of god, then perhaps jesus, as "son of god" was just like any other human male and the concept of "jesus as god" is simply an error in interpretation?

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

I am also hoping this stays civil. This sort of question too often incites strongly emotional responses from all sorts of people.


Larry 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes! Too many past prayers have been answered. So many people claim that their prayers have not been answered, but the Bible speaks clearly that your Faith in God will answer your prayers. There is no doubt in my heart that God is real.

Honestly, after reading some of the statement above, I felt more sadness than anger or the urge to fire off sarcastic comments. I'll leave that to Jonas.

Don't get to read this much anymore. Where is Ms. Canada? I look forward to her response.

H_Lecter 10 years, 11 months ago

Have you ever noticed that people scream his name when they're in extreme pain (or is it ecstasy)?

I have a little sign in Latin above the basement steps that translates, "In the basement, no one can hear you scream."

funkdog1 10 years, 11 months ago

Sorry, OldEnuf2BYurDad, but when a child is sick, I don't pray. I keep the family in my good thoughts, but I don't pray. Why? Because no one is listening.

And "no athiests in foxholes" there have been a couple of times I thought I was going to die, and I still didn't pray. I'm not bragging; it's just that no one is listening.

I used to pray, but then I grew up.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 11 months ago

No you all. Remember the commercial, "Hey Mulligan Man!"

It is definitely Pure Water for All Day.

"p.s. I wouldn't be on my knees in your presence so much if gas didn't rise. :oP" - SUE WINS!!!!!

Ghost78 10 years, 11 months ago

Just like many previous posters, I grew up in a church, and sometime in my teen years rebelled and lost touch with the value of being at that church every Sunday. Now, as 30 approaches, I'm back in a church every Sunday with my wife and daughter, and the sermons are far more entertaining and meaningful. One of the things I like most about my church is that the pastor has a firm grasp of the non-literal qualities of the Bible. God is not a "spiritual energy" that is without rhyme or reason. God is not exclusive to any religion. I believe in something more than myself and the science of this universe that we live in. There are intangible qualities that tie people together as family or community, and the essence of those connections is what God is to me. The Bible is an interpretation of God as a father figure, a perfect man committing the ultimate act of selflessness, and a guiding force of love and understanding. Many of these same qualities can be found in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. I don't look for God to solve my problems, but my motivation to help others is derived in part from lessons learned at Sunday school or bible study. There is certainly an ugly side to any religion, when individuals take scripture out of context and use it promote hatred or violence. For anyone who followed a similar path to mine, please just remember that religion is an imperfect concept, just like people, and you get out of it what you put into it. There are also many things in our daily lives that distract us from what is truly important, and maybe a weekly reminder will help your state of mind. Believing in something outside your realm of understanding, whether it is God or something else, can add some much needed perpective to daily life.

enochville 10 years, 11 months ago

No. And I am sorry that I missed the discussion today. I did however attend Dawkins' "The God Delusion" lecture and loved it!

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 11 months ago

Do you believe in God? -No.

Do you belive in unicorns? -No.

Do you believe in the tooth fairy? -No.

Do you believe in Middle Earth? -No.

Do you believe in Leprechauns? -No.

rednecknascarfan 10 years, 11 months ago

yes i do believe in god. after all he is a creater our father and our saviour. he who dont believe in god needs to burn in hell. people say they dont believe in god but yet when something goes wrong everybody finds someway of blaming god

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 11 months ago

Well, yes. I believe in a Goddess and a God which are basically physical manifestations of the male/female aspects of the entity Divine . . . . who was not in Pink Flamingos.

middleoftheroader 10 years, 11 months ago

i guess i'm the last one so i'll say it...AMEN

jayhawks71 10 years, 11 months ago

AA, you didn't actually fall for rednecknascarfan being a legit persona did you? RNNF is a caricature of the bible belt.

And, one of my favorite quotes:

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

-Galileo Galilei

Bone777 10 years, 11 months ago

What the hell? You did not just AMEN my Amen. It is too early/late for that!


Grundoon Luna 10 years, 11 months ago

Guess I did, Jayhawks, and I thought the Goddess gave me better sense. bowing head in shame The post was so true to the moniker and I fell for it like a ton of bricks. But how fabluous! That was beyond sarcasm, it was . . . E-acting! Redneck deserve to be nominated for the E-cademy Award!

Tychoman 10 years, 11 months ago

I haven't decided yet, and I'm in no rush to find out. People shouldn't be rushed to pick a faith, or even whether to have one or not. Faith is the most personal thing someone can have.

The closest equivalent to a belief in God is that a person can do anything they want. I'm more of a secular humanist than an agnostic. Agnostic just sounds more mystic so I like it better.

I have a question: I love "This Week in God" on The Daily Show when Stephen Colbert worked the God machine like a butter churn. Everyone knows that he said something different each time before he hit the machine. One of these times, he shouted out the word "die-ay-nu." That's a bad spelling but it's the only way I can spell it out phonetically. Does anyone know what it means? Sorry for the long post.

knowuh 10 years, 11 months ago

I believe that people can learn miraculous things from eachother, but to credit a word labelling an entity of sorts is an act of ignorance that leads to all sorts of dismissive behavior. God is a manifestation that allows people to pursue ungodly acts without doubt of reason. The Bible is the most popular version of the telephone game to date. God is a distraction that dilutes the thought process and allows people to feel satisfaction, leaving tolerance to be a mum topic as jesus drives down a six lane highway in his stretch limo

knowuh 10 years, 11 months ago

and may i add that the lecture given by Richard Dawkins last night was particularly interesting. feel free to click a link

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

knowuh, you display the exact intollerance that you spout against. That is so Phelpsish of you.

I_dew 10 years, 11 months ago

"The Bible is an interpretation of God as a father figure, a perfect man committing the ultimate act of selflessness, and a guiding force of love and understanding".

My favorite parts are when he loses his cool with his servant(s) of the moment and sends fire or some other effective killing agent to wipe out them out and teach them a lesson.

Like the time when he got angry at the young boys who were making fun of the crazy looking old guy wearing animal skins who happened to be a prophet of the almighty (makes you question the possible identity of some of the individuals roaming the streets of Lawrence?) and sent out a bear to tear them apart.

Or the time when he takes his most faithful servant at the time, Job, and stands by while the alleged bad guy murders Job's kids and destroys everything he owns, then gets angry when Job asked'Why'.

Great documentation of a real stand-up guy. A real source of inspiration to me, too.

mali_mom 10 years, 11 months ago

In response to I_dew,

You seem to be demonstrating Ghost78's point, that using incomplete context is a common mistake when interpreting the bible. Do you actually think the point of that story is that God wants us to unleash bears on neighborhood hooligans? Preaching aside, maybe translating the bible literally is just a bit foolish.

wasted_talents 10 years, 11 months ago

First, I will simplify the question from my personal point of view NOT from a RELIGOUS view.

If I think back several decades ago about my great great parents and what they left me after their death.( maybe our traditional houses, antiques and my parents). In reality, I did NOT see them, but I know that they were existed in life and had done a lot in my family's life.

Second, from my religious view, I believe in the ONENESS of God, and I know that He exists if I apply my simple example above because He is the One who created the universe and mankind and the only One who is right to be worshiped.

ms_canada 10 years, 11 months ago

I am here, Larry. It is very late and I have had a busy day so just got OTS And I guess everyone knows by now that I do believe in God, absolutely. funny thing, just this morning we began a new Bible study in my ladies group, it is called Believing God. not in God, but believing what God has told us and promised us in His Word. by faith we each made a pledge to remember 5 statements God is who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says I am. I can do all things through Christ. God's Word is alive and active in me. Too many people dismiss God because of all the sin, hatred and violence that they see around them. Think about that. What would the world be like if God just simply killed off all the people who were wicked and evil. Would there be anyone on this planet? Do you honestly believe that there are any perfect people on this earth? Is there even one person who has never done anything wrong? All God asks of us is that we be obedient to His commands as best we can. He does not expect us to be perfect in this life. He has given us His Holy Spirit to help us. It is up to us if we avail ourselves of this Helper. But the important thing is that we know we are sinners and can never get to Heaven on our own. We can never be perfect enough to warrant Heaven. So He came to earth as Jesus Christ to take our sins upon Himself and all we have to do is accept the gift of Eternal life that He offers us freely. That is what I believe. I believe in God and I believe God.

I_dew 10 years, 11 months ago

To a point, yes. I am, however, at a loss to find enough context to make acceptable the behavior of any character who demonstrates the type of behavioral outbursts and outright violence toward mankind that god displays in scripture.

Interestingly, women who are victims of domestic violence will often claim that their partner is a great, caring person 'most of the time'. I guess it depends upon what you expect from others, how much you are willing to put up with from them, and how much you need that person or image in your life.

You are correct, it is the responsibility of each individual to project and interpret what they will from the passages of superstition and folklore that have come to be accepted as scripture. I just find it a curious choice at a time in our history when less abusive, unpredictable options are readily available.

manyblessings 10 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I believe in God. There is no way I could deny Him. He changed my life more than I ever dreamed was possible when I accepted His son Jesus in to my heart. I will never be the same again. I love Him with all my heart soul and strength. Thank you Lord for all that you have done for me and I pray that the people on here who don't know you will experience the same life changing joy that I have found in You. May they cry out to You in their souls and recieve the peace, forgiveness and love that only You can provide. May they discover Your amazing grace and endless mercy.

sreynold1 10 years, 11 months ago

I would rather go thru life believing in God and finding out that he does not exsist when I die instead of not believing and finding out the HE DOES.

gccs14r 10 years, 11 months ago

I think it's better to be a good person because it's the right thing to do, rather than be good because of fear of eternal retribution from a god.

mashmonster 10 years, 11 months ago

I was patiently waiting for the volley of mindless and parrotish "amens" to come soaring in...

bjamnjm 10 years, 11 months ago

I most identify with the post by OldEnuf2BYurDad, yesterday at 7:54 AM. I noticed lots of posts about people and religion but the question was whether or not one believes in God. People and religions make lots and lots of mistakes but God doesn't.

gccs14r, if/when you develop a relationship with God you'll understand what people here are writing about when they write of a relationship with him or call him father and/or believe God is a real person. You would/will learn that one desires to be obedient out of love. You'll strive to be Christ-like out of love for the father and in the process you will see your life change. Your circumstances may or may not change, for example, I've become quite ill to the point I am almost home-bound and yet I know, beyond a doubt, that God not only exists but he blesses me daily in ways beside physical health which are beyond my wildest dreams.

Whomever believes in God shows reverence to him but once a relationship with him is established the fear of "eternal retribution" is no longer an issue. Fear of oneself being punished for eternity is a fear only someone who doesn't know God would have or who has rejected him. Seek him like treasure and you'll know what I'm talking about.

People are a mess and so are religions, however, God is perfect. People and religion may fail you, they have failed me to many times to count but you can always go to God, you can always count on him, no matter what. He can be as close as you'll let him be.

The Christian should always show grace when speaking to you or anyone else who does not know God. If they aren't graceful then remind them they should be and reference the book of Romans.

God bless.

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