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Agnostic, I realized that you accidentally stumbled upon the web site. I apologize if I didn't make that clearer in my original post. I also realize that you and I may never see eye-to-eye on this, or many other things. For reasons that should be apparent.I'm also an eternal optimist. An empty glass has air in it, and air has water vapor, right? Therefore it is full of water.I'd like to discuss your responses to my questions, and ask another question.You say that actions speak louder than words. I would say James 1:27, and actually the whole book of James, which is 4 chapters long. I would also say that going to church does not make anyone a Christian. You may have been told that in Catechism. And missing church doesn't mean that someone is going to the "hot-place".And I did a little reading about Fred Phelps, I actually didn't know that much about him. Believe it or not, us Christians have largely ignored him. Er, ah, I may have been too mild in my initial criticism of him. I would consider him and his little merry band a cult, and by the way, he doesn't care for what I would consider a correct expression of the Christian Faith. I might even be tempted to use the term wacko cult. Loonie cult:maybe.Could you quantify what makes a better Christian, or Buddist, or Agnostic? Or whatever? You made an analogy with your back yard. What constitutes a well kept backyard? It wouldn't be mine, I hate mowing.In the interest of refining the question: What makes Fred Phelps behavior bad, and Mother Theresa good? Even disregarding the limelight and fame and activism thing. What if Mr. Fred was just a rude person, that cuts off people when driving, never leaves a tip, and never says anything nice to anyone. Would Mr. Fred be any less of a dork then?Is Mother Theresa any more or less than an anonymous sister in her order, who spends her days in prayer, study, and meditation? And works at a soup kitchen, telling every one she serves that Jesus Loves them. (Or would that be forcing God on them?)

Comments

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

"telling every one she serves that Jesus Loves them."And, if someone should think Jesus doesn't exist or doesn't love them, then she would be disagreeing with them. Is she "forcing" God and her beliefs down their throats?Is being agnostic, someone who really doesn't know or someone who definitely knows God doesn't exist? If they don't know, how could they have an definite opinion about it?

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, Nothing, you or I can do...I fall short...

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

"Is she "forcing" God and her beliefs down their throats?Is being agnostic, someone who really doesn't know or someone who definitely knows God doesn't exist? If they don't know, how could they have an definite opinion about it?" My question is about what is good and what is not. I intended the second example to be thought provoking; I was using Mother Theresa as a template for that example. An agnostic can have feelings about whether or he wants someone to say "Jesus Loves you" that wouldn't have to be predicated on his feelings about God's existence. I hope that explains my thinking.

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

Gr,I know that you are in Christ, as I myself am. I can see the passion from your posts. I have the same passion.About your 8:09 post, Ag answered a question that I asked him. I believe that he gave a great answer, for Ag's salvation is between him and Christ. Nothing you or can do can save or condemn him. As for whether or not he was scripturally accurate or not, what is that to you and me? Is he in fellowship with us? (I know there's a verse on that, but I don't remember where.) I understand his annoyance with you. What you say in this internet medium it is too easily misconstrued. 1 Peter 3:15, but remember the meekness and fear part. Believe me, I've done the exact same thing.Please accept my comment in the spirit offered, and I hope that you will always accept me as your brother in Christ. RS

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

"Maybe not a reaction to my comment but an ongoing disagreement with me? Hence, my comment about him being offended with those who disagree with him."Sooo, be a peacemaker... That is your calling.

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, I did see one theological problem:"How does one make peace with someone who objects to anyone who disagrees with them?"In His will...Is there any other way?

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

"I believe that he gave a great answer, for Ag's salvation is between him and Christ. Nothing you or can do can save or condemn him."You're going to have to help me out here. He had just talked about works earning heaven or hell followed about deserving heaven or hell. Then he called it all brainwashing and said it wasn't for him to decide so he wouldn't worry about it."I understand his annoyance with you."I said nothing hateful, harse, nor aggressive. I said it with gentleness and respect. He responded in an angry manner. Why? From what you said and then re-reading what he said, maybe he was talking about how that relates to others. It is unclear from the statements. Maybe this "first" or "second" sentence, which I do not know which ones are referred to of which comment or paragraph, might have some meaning.His reaction surprised me. If he was referring to his affect on other's salvation rather than his own, a simple comment about me misunderstanding would suffice. However, his spewing of proselytizing seemed out of line to me. Maybe not a reaction to my comment but an ongoing disagreement with me? Hence, my comment about him being offended with those who disagree with him.

ReadingSports 6 years, 7 months ago

I don't recall suggesting that you change your views. And I wouldn't unless I saw a theological problem; I don't see a theological problem. Please go back and look at your post. Pray over it. Could someone take offense at it? Could it be perceived as lecturing? Personally, I would also avoid arguments as much as possible. As a Christian, once you start to argue, then you've lost.Admittedly, there are folks posting here that have animosity toward Christians, but we should never get angry or retaliate. That means pray that every word you post is glorifying to God. I also apologize for talking to you in this way in a public forum. That is not biblical, but we don't know each other; otherwise.

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

And if someone disagrees with me, I should change my views solely to make "peace"? I think not. How does one make peace with someone who objects to anyone who disagrees with them? Agnostic isn't one of the main ones I'm referring to. Some think they are right and any who not only disagrees, but merely suggest there may be a different opinion get all bent out of shape.

gr 6 years, 7 months ago

Well, I've gone back and looked at it several times. I still don't see anything offensive about it. This is assuming he meant regarding choice for himself - which it isn't, as he said so, you said, and it does appear to me as if his previous comments could be intending that.I see a generic comment related to what the Bible says. And, it doesn't seem to be "beating someone over the head with it". Lecturing? Doesn't seem to be with the connotation implied. You'll have to tell me the difference of that and comments disagreeing with his statements."As a Christian, once you start to argue, then you've lost."Argue - correct - instruct?I would say I was doing the latter two. Difference?"but we should never get angry or retaliate."Yep, I tend to take pleasure in dishing it right back. Hard to resist sometimes, but you're right, that's wrong. (Are you "lecturing" me?)"I also apologize for talking to you in this way in a public forum. That is not biblical, but we don't know each other; otherwise."Not sure what that would mean if we did know each other - other than since we don't know each other, it doesn't matter. I take no offense from your comments. You did not call me an idiot, a liar, or say it's an established fact not needing anything to back it up. So, since you are coming across as reasonable, I return it - I hope I am being just as reasonable. Even if we may not agree - though I am just unsure of on what. To me disagreement isn't something to get bent out of shape over, but something to discuss as we are doing. Maybe you can help see another perspective as there was another who reacted in a irrational response to my comments (to me, that is). Then it was like, 'if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you'.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, I haven't gotten back to you, I've been distracted. And I don't have that much time to post anyway.I would make a distinction based on tone:.They're going to take offense to the Gospel, no matter what: You want to present the gospel as Christ would present the Gospel, and not annoy the listener with your tone. That's what the meekness and fear in 1 Peter 3:15 is all about. And once again, believe me, I'm not that good at this either. But a "cord of three strands" is difficult to break. I hope that I'm part of your cord, and you're part of mine,Correct and instruct: that's something you can only do with a willing listener. And something you should really only try with another Christian. Generally, if you try to correct a non-Christian they're going to respond with hostility. Discuss. Express your views, but don't correct. "Once we start to argue": General statement, nothing specific; though, I suspected that you might be enjoying dishing it out. And I am correcting as long as you're a willing listener. Besides, I'm frequently tempted to dish it out myself, and sometimes do. Look at my recent little dust up.Public forum:The correct Christian model is never to correct in public, and once again it's not to hard to see it go horribly awry.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

I think I see what you are saying.It makes sense. Tone does carry more than words.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Then I guess God has given us the right words to say and ears to hear. Praise...the...Lord!

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