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do you believe the Torah and the Holy Bible


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#61    IamsSon

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 05:29 PM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 06 March 2013 - 10:30 AM, said:

Some Christians are so entrenched in doctrine they would view accepting others as being a doormat.
I'm sure there are, just as there are atheists, pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who would act the same way since we are all human.

Look, as I have stated several times, my concern has to do with the fact that you've taken Biblical passages completely out of context to interpret them in a way that supports your view.  The "Christians" you rail against for causing incredible harm throughout history while claiming to be doing things in the name of God, love, mercy, Jesus, unity, or "The Church" all did the same thing.  They found a passage or passages in the Bible, did not pay attention to the proper meaning given to them by the context (of the verses/chapters that came before or after, by the whole book, by the culture of the author/original audience, or by the other books of the Bible), and used them to give legitimacy to their beliefs and the actions they took as a result of those beliefs.

I urge you to re-read the passages you claim support your view, read the articles I posted which thoroughly examine those passages.  Maybe you need to look to the writings of other religions to find in-context support for your view.   I believe your view most reflects Buddhism.  I encourage you to look into that.  There are some Buddhists here on UM who may provide guidance to the texts that contextually support your belief.

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#62    Spiral staircase

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

I did not say you were being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits.  Please do not place words in my mouth.

I wouldn't do that and I even began my statement with, "If you think..."

Of course "being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits" is typical American Christian commentary toward a view like mine. You might not know this if you are not from here. It was even insinuated earlier in this very thread when another posted to me, "whatever spirit that is, I doubt it's the Holy Spirit."

Unsure how you feel about their view? Can I safely assume even with any differences you might have with American fundamentalists, both doctrinal or how they understand certain verses differently, you would consider them fellow Christians?.

Now when it comes me you offer this, "From what I can tell you do identify yourself as "Christian"."

Brother, do you know where to draw the exact line of who is a Christian and who is not?

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

The single and solitary reason I disagree with you is that your definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word.  It is textually inconsistent, therefore, to insert your own definition and supersede your personal interpretation over that of the textual definition.  Likewise, I don't "need" you to agree with me, I'm just pointing out what is!  You can choose to research the biblical definition of judgement, or you can choose to accept your own personal definition of judgement.  Personally, I choose the biblical definition.  It's up to you what you do with the Bible, it's your life and your decision.

Thank you for agreeing that we don't have to agree with each other but that we can still share our views with each other.

As a favor, instead of telling me, "to research the biblical definition of judgement," and that my, "definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word," could you just tell me what you believe the biblical definition is, how exactly do you perceive my definition to be, and how exactly do the two not align?

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

I thought my answer covered the entirety of the question/s you asked.  The other two questions you raised were:

1- Will you answer what you think about the goddess and those who follow her? Do you blaspheme her? Do you believe they are on a path to hell?

2- When it comes to the view that there is only one true path, and that view has been the source which has allowed so many others to suffer at the hands of those who believe that view, what are your thoughts on the harm that view has caused?

I felt that both answers were covered under the third question, which was: "And most importantly how do you square away your belief that "not all paths lead to heaven" (and I am not discussing paths of violence or hate but other beliefs such as Buddhism, paganism, and atheism) without assuming those on those paths are also destined to not be permitted in heaven just based on their path?"  The first question, in particular, is virtually answered word-for-word, except that I didn't answer whether I "blaspheme" the goddess.  The answer is probably yes, I do blaspheme the goddess, but only insofar as believing she doesn't exist (which is the same blasphemy as non-Christians lay towards Yahweh/Jesus).

A very different answer than a typical American fundamentalist response but it should serve as an example that not all Christians believe pagans are being "tricked by the devil" since I don't believe that either.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

The second question is more detailed, because it has to take in large parts of human history, and naturally arguments about what causes all the wars and disagreements we as a species have had.  In general, I lament that people have taken things too far throughout history to the point of the sword, killing in the name of whatever God they believed in.  Those who understand Jesus' teachings understand that they should never have been so judgemental in the first place.

A huge cop out (I don't believe an intentional one on your part) answer in my view since it attempts to claim in essence this is just a "human problem" and not a "Christian problem" per se.

So with your view we accept humanity and we are a part of it when it comes to explaining away the harm Christianity has caused but when it comes to actually accepting humanity the Church is doing a horrible job.

At least from what I have seen here. It might be different where you are at.

The belief that only one path leads to heaven has caused great misery and not just in the past but today. Some Christians treat others horribly today over this view, their own family members at times, and this single view is responsbile for so much suffering.

The cultural aspects and response you gave was well informed, interesting, and spot on, but it dodged the heart of the matter.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

A large part of this was the political power that the heads of these religious organisations gained, the power to influence popular opinion.  I am not convinced that all these religious wars and persecutions would have been avoided simply with an encompassing belief in all paths leading to God.  I seriously think that had religion not been used as an excuse to promote segregation and violence people would have found other ways to justify hatred towards others, regardless of what their religion teaches (which should be "love your neighbour" as the second greatest command).

This is true and I can agree with but it still ignores (I don't believe you intentionally dodged) that this single doctrine of only one path goes to heaven as being the single source of misery for many.

I believe that there is one path for those who want to yoke themselves to the Bible. Then they should follow it all to the best of their ability and knowledge. I do this and greatly assume you do as well.

For others they are going to be judged by their own conscience, accused or excused by their conscience, because the same laws are already written on their hearts. (Romans 2:14-16)

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

Apologies for not fully answering before, I figured I would deal primarily with the biggest question you raised, but hopefully I've fixed that up, I can't see any other questions you asked.

Thank you.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

I'm sorry, but I just can't see how God would send his only son to die for us, and then say that only through Jesus can we be saved.... and then turn around and say "believe whatever you like, it doesn't actually matter anymore".

I wouldn't exaclty tell others to "believe whatever you like" and while you might accuse me of that, that is besides the point and has nothing to do with understanding other paths have just as good as chance as leading to heaven.

If you believe another path is not going to heaven then you have blasphemed what that path holds sacred. Sorry for that but that is not the example given in Acts 19 when the city clerk said, "You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess."

I am sorry but the same cannot be said of you either.

I am a Christian and don't believe those who follow the goddess are going to hell.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

These are special cases not addressed in the Bible.  The Bible only speaks of two types of people - those who have heard and accepted the message, and those who have heard and rejected the message.  It speaks nothing of the Native Americans who haven't ever even heard of Jesus.  It doesn't speak of the Chinese kid who has never heard about Jesus.  It doesn't speak of the child who dies as a baby.  I personally believe that we are ALL given  chance to accept Jesus at some point.  During our lifetime, if we hear the message then we have the choice to reject or accept it.  If we don't hear it during our lifetime, then God will search those people's hearts after their death, and know with certainty how we would have reacted to God's message IF we did hear it.  I also don't believe that children need to have accepted God.  They are innocent and sinless and therefore have not lost their place in heaven, thus if they die as a baby they are going to heaven - at some point in their growth, they will develop cognitively to the point where they can consciously choose to accept or reject God and at some point they do reject God, thus committing sin (it is not my place to say what age that is, every child develops at a different rate, and in the end only God can know for certain).

Interesting theories on these "special cases"  especially about God searching hearts after one is dead to present them the message to see how they would react. This is extrabiblical or can you provide scripture?

Interesting how your theories are acceptable to you.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

These groups of people are not mentioned in the Bible as to their fate, so we have to hypothesise based on other sections not directly related.  I find this to be a very different thing to saying that therefore all people regardless of whether they accept or reject God are saved.

One has to choose to be under the law. No one can be forced. Romans 2 is clear on the following: Those under the law will be judged by it. Others will not be but by their own conscience.

I think we are in agreement with the latter, you just call it "searching their hearts after death" for a lack of a better term, just not in the first part because it seems if you believe one is forced to be under the law the moment they hear it. I don't think so. Can you show scripture either way for that too?

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

If they hear the message and reject it, then they have to deal with the consequences, regardless of the horrors they may have experienced at the hands of so-called Christians.  I don't believe a person could be so turned away from God that they are physically incapable of returning.

You could be accused for a lack of empathy. Some are hurt that bad. Believe it. I don't think God will condemn them to hell. We definitely shouldn't, not even in our minds even through the logical deduction of: this person follows this path>this path does not lead to heaven because it is not the one true path>so yes, someone who follows that line of thinking thinks that person is going to hell and the Bible says you don't get to say who goes to heaven or hell so come on.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

They may have prejudices a mile long against Christianity but that doesn't make them incapable of searching out God.  With God, all things are possible.

Of course all things are possible but just speaking raw numbers I doubt every person hurt by Christians and who have turned away from God because of it are going to come back, and out of all those who don't I doubt all of them they are all hellbound.

But as you said with God all things are possible except in my case I apply it toward God giving all those who have been hurt and don't return to a belief in God as still having a chance to go to heaven, while it seems you are applying it toward God sending all those in that group to hell because His great feat of "doing the impossible" in your view is God making someone so abused by other Christians to damage them to somehow heal them and have them come back to Christ (how patronizing of you BTW), guess what God might send those from other religions or belief systems, even modern science and psychology, and if they heal through that, or if they died unable to heal, I believe they still have a chance, sorry to say but by your logic all these people end up in H-E-double-L.

No way man.

But please do compare how you envision God doing the impossible and how I envision it, but I offered Biblical scriptures to support my view, you don't have to agree that it supports it, thank you for reviewing it and discussing it in either case, but I think you should now provide scriptures to support your view.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

The Bible actually says that those under the Law are doomed - the Law actually condemns us.  Those who are no longer under the Law but under Grace have received salvation as a free gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9).  No Christian today is under the Law - though as Christians we do express our desire to live for God by adhering to the Law, the Bible clearly states that we are under Grace, not the Law.  

Oh now you too are trying to refute Romans 2 using other scriptures.

You can ignore it, write it off, or whatever but it is still going to be there.

View PostParanoid Android, on 06 March 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

I don't see it as "cheating" per se.  I simply can't square a God who requires repentance and a desire to worship him who then turns around and says "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually.  Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care".  The two views are incompatible in my opinion (and I believe, the opinion of the Bible).  I'm not demanding you agree with me, I'm simply sharing how I see it.  Best wishes,

~ PA

One has to choose to follow. There is no "Heard it once then you are bound by the Book" rule.

Also the following are words I have never said or would, they are yours: "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually.  Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care"

And many Christians are giving the latter part of that message exactly ("ignore ME all you like, I don't really care") by saying if you don't believe like us you are going to hell even if they try and say it nicely by saying their is only one true path to heaven without saying you are going to hell directly.

There is one true path for believers, but for those who choose not to believe, yes, even they too have an equal chance to go to heaven, now you, just because you chose to follow do not mean you have a better chance, it is not a game, you have not bettered your odds.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 12 March 2013 - 05:04 PM.


#63    Spiral staircase

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:46 PM

View PostIamsSon, on 06 March 2013 - 05:29 PM, said:

I'm sure there are, just as there are atheists, pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who would act the same way since we are all human.

Look, as I have stated several times, my concern has to do with the fact that you've taken Biblical passages completely out of context to interpret them in a way that supports your view.  The "Christians" you rail against for causing incredible harm throughout history while claiming to be doing things in the name of God, love, mercy, Jesus, unity, or "The Church" all did the same thing.  They found a passage or passages in the Bible, did not pay attention to the proper meaning given to them by the context (of the verses/chapters that came before or after, by the whole book, by the culture of the author/original audience, or by the other books of the Bible), and used them to give legitimacy to their beliefs and the actions they took as a result of those beliefs.

I urge you to re-read the passages you claim support your view, read the articles I posted which thoroughly examine those passages.  Maybe you need to look to the writings of other religions to find in-context support for your view.   I believe your view most reflects Buddhism.  I encourage you to look into that.  There are some Buddhists here on UM who may provide guidance to the texts that contextually support your belief.

Don't forget about the Christians still harming others over that one single view: there is only one path to heaven. It is not just historical. There is no railing other than to point out that it is time the Church begins moving in a new direction and leaves behind the hateful and divisive thinking that has characterized American fundamental Christianity which is on a well welcomed decline.

Also you are not in any position to be offering spiritual advice to another especially unsoliscited. That would indicate you believe to be my spiritual greater. You fail to recognize my view most reflects the Bible. Love God, love your neighbor, and that means all mankind.

Thinking others are going to hell for following what they hold sacred is not only blasphemy of what others hold sacred but also not very loving of mankind.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 12 March 2013 - 04:47 PM.


#64    Paranoid Android

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

I wouldn't do that and I even began my statement with, "If you think..."

Of course "being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits" is typical American Christian commentary toward a view like mine. You might not know this if you are not from here. It was even insinuated earlier in this very thread when another posted to me, "whatever spirit that is, I doubt it's the Holy Spirit."

Unsure how you feel about their view? Can I safely assume even with any differences you might have with American fundamentalists, both doctrinal or how they understand certain verses differently, you would consider them fellow Christians?.
Without meeting them personally (either in real life or online) I can't make a "judgement" as to whether they are true Bible-believing Christians.  For example, I know IamsSon from this forum.  He is an American and I believe he is also a Christian.  However, I cannot make the same judgement about other Americans who call themselves Christians.

I can't say the same thing about Australians who call themselves Christians, either.  There are members here from Australia who call themselves "Christian" that come across to me as distinctly un-Christian in their views.

I don't judge demographics.  I judge individuals.  And yes, I'm using the word "judge".  Something I shall discuss later in the post.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

Now when it comes me you offer this, "From what I can tell you do identify yourself as "Christian"."

Brother, do you know where to draw the exact line of who is a Christian and who is not?
Yes, I do.  But only God can judge you on it (and yes, I used the word "judge" again, in a completely different context to the last sentence - more on this later in the post).


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

As a favor, instead of telling me, "to research the biblical definition of judgement," and that my, "definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word," could you just tell me what you believe the biblical definition is, how exactly do you perceive my definition to be, and how exactly do the two not align?
I did tell you what the biblical definition was in an earlier post.  I'll repeat part of what I wrote:

(T)he biblical understanding of judgement also has strong overtones of condemnation, and that is a matter of the heart.  If I warn someone that their actions may lead to severe consequences then that is  warning done out of love, if I say the exact same thing but with an intent to accuse and belittle and heap hatred on them, then that is condemnation.

In my post I used the example of a drug addict.  This time I'll directly relate it to sin, condemnation, and personal beliefs.  Suppose I tell someone that they are not following the correct path.  I warn them of the dangers of the path they are on, and try to point them to the right path.  In order to decide whether I am Judging (in a biblically wrong fashion) is to check my motives!  Am I telling them this out of a genuine desire to help?  If so, then I am not breaking God's "Judge not" statement.  However, I might be saying it in order to make them feel weak, helpless, or to make myself feel good and special, or to simply express hatred for a view different than my own.  There are many reasons other than a genuine desire to help them, and if I use one of those selfish and ungodly desires as my reason/s then I am definitely "Judging" in an unbiblical sense - that is, I am setting myself up as God, and declaring a condemnation on them.

This is something only God can know about me.  I can say I'm doing it for the the right reasons, but in my heart I may not be.  Or someone else may interpret my reasons as being selfish and/or godless, when the reasons are godly (or vice versa).  But only God has the Right to condemn me.

This is the biblical understanding of Judgement.  So going back to my earlier comments about knowing IamsSon and "Judging" him as being a Christian.  It is a matter of me hearing IamsSon over the course of the time I've known him, and deciding that he is portraying characteristics that align with that of Christ and Christianity, and therefore "judging" that he is a brother in Faith.  But I could be wrong, my judgement may be in error, and IamsSon may not actually be my Christian brother after all.  Only God can decide whether IamsSon is truly a follower of God.  It is not my place to Judge that, even though I have developed an opinion on the matter.

Likewise someone who professes to be Christian that I do not see as a brother in Christ, I am well within my Right to hold that judgement, but only God can bring condemnation for that.  Biblical Judgement is strongly geared towards the condemnation aspect of Judgement.  I therefore submit that simply holding a belief that other paths do not lead to God are not a form of biblical Judgement.

Your personal definition of Judgement has removed this condemnatory element and expanded it to be all forms of Judgement (as if "discerning" is no different from "judging").


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

A very different answer than a typical American fundamentalist response but it should serve as an example that not all Christians believe pagans are being "tricked by the devil" since I don't believe that either.
Ultimately everyone who is not a follower of Christ is being led astray by Satan.  That's his role as our prosecuting angel, the deceiver.  God ordained this role for Satan, and Satan is carrying out with aplomb.  But in saying that, it is unhelpful to lay that accusation at people who don't agree with my beliefs.  Especially since laying that accusation at one person gives the impression that Satan has gone out of his way to deceive that individaul, and they alone, while other people are not subjected to that deception.

It is also a matter of note that I am not perfect.  I am not the sole bringer of Truth when it comes to God or the Bible.  I have things wrong in my theology, though I am constantly applying myself to find those flaws and iron them out.  Laying the claim that someone is being "tricked by the devil" sets up a false dichotomy in which the person is setting themselves up as being totally free of such trickery.  Where my fault in theology lies (which I do not believe to be faults), there lies the trickery of Satan in my own life.  Depending on the motives, it could even be seen as an act of Judgement in the condemnatory sense that Jesus demands us not to Judge.  


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

A huge cop out (I don't believe an intentional one on your part) answer in my view since it attempts to claim in essence this is just a "human problem" and not a "Christian problem" per se.

So with your view we accept humanity and we are a part of it when it comes to explaining away the harm Christianity has caused but when it comes to actually accepting humanity the Church is doing a horrible job.

At least from what I have seen here. It might be different where you are at.

The belief that only one path leads to heaven has caused great misery and not just in the past but today. Some Christians treat others horribly today over this view, their own family members at times, and this single view is responsbile for so much suffering.

The cultural aspects and response you gave was well informed, interesting, and spot on, but it dodged the heart of the matter.
I can't disagree with the pain caused by this view.  But that doesn't mean it is false.  But I cannot ignore the "human" aspect to it.  We as a species have always been distrustful of that which is different.  It's an evolutionary trait going back to our times as hunter-gatherers, where competing tribes were to be feared.  Having a belief that is viewed as the only true path can be exploited by this evolutionary fear of the unknown, especially in the past.  But now as education improves and we learn tolerance, then that part of humanity, in my opinion, is going to slowly be enveloped by our intellect (though it will be long before it is completely wiped from our genetics, kids will still not trust that which is different - eg, the bully who picks on the only Asian kid at school).

But as I said, the harm that this may have caused does not disqualify it from being true - what if Christianity really is the one true path?


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

This is true and I can agree with but it still ignores (I don't believe you intentionally dodged) that this single doctrine of only one path goes to heaven as being the single source of misery for many.

I believe that there is one path for those who want to yoke themselves to the Bible. Then they should follow it all to the best of their ability and knowledge. I do this and greatly assume you do as well.

For others they are going to be judged by their own conscience, accused or excused by their conscience, because the same laws are already written on their hearts. (Romans 2:14-16)
And according to that same text in Romans 2:14-16, their actions condemn them.  I'll quote my New Oxford Annotated Bible on the matter:

2:14-15 - Paul recognises (despite 1:18-32) that there are morally sensitive and responsible Gentiles, however far short they may fall of God's righteous demands ~ Page 1363

I understand what you are implying, because the text says they are condemned, but it also says that they may "even be excused" by their actions.  However, in the broader theological canvas of Romans, while sometimes their actions may excuse them, the fact that their consciences do also condemn them, they are already condemned unless they have some way to undo that condemnation.  And theologically, I cannot support any other way except Jesus being the way to undo that condemnation.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

I wouldn't exaclty tell others to "believe whatever you like" and while you might accuse me of that, that is besides the point and has nothing to do with understanding other paths have just as good as chance as leading to heaven.

If you believe another path is not going to heaven then you have blasphemed what that path holds sacred. Sorry for that but that is not the example given in Acts 19 when the city clerk said, "You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess."

I am sorry but the same cannot be said of you either.

I am a Christian and don't believe those who follow the goddess are going to hell.
The term "blaspheme" in the Greek implies vilification, spouting hate and lies about something (in this case, the goddess Artemis, in Acts 19).  It wasn't simply the disbelief in a certain path.   I know now why you asked me if I blasphemed the goddess.  Not believing in Artemis is not the blasphemy that the people were bringing to the Christians in Acts 19.  This blasphemy they were accused of (and exonerated by the same passage) was direct confrontation against the goddess, spreading hate and distrust of her by their words.  So while I may have "blasphemed" Artemis in the sense that I don't believe she exists, I have not blasphemed her in the sense of spreading hate speech against her or those who follow her.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

Interesting theories on these "special cases"  especially about God searching hearts after one is dead to present them the message to see how they would react. This is extrabiblical or can you provide scripture?

Interesting how your theories are acceptable to you.
The Bible says nothing of these cases so we have to use other parts of the Bible to support our case.  And since several positions can be argued, while this is what I believe will happen, it is not something I will dogmatically hold to.  If forced into dogma, the answer I can best give is "I don't know".  While I believe what I believe, if I am wrong then I am wrong and so be it (as said, the Bible is not exactly clear on the issue).

So while my theories are acceptable to me, they are by no means absolute.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

One has to choose to be under the law. No one can be forced. Romans 2 is clear on the following: Those under the law will be judged by it. Others will not be but by their own conscience.

I think we are in agreement with the latter, you just call it "searching their hearts after death" for a lack of a better term, just not in the first part because it seems if you believe one is forced to be under the law the moment they hear it. I don't think so. Can you show scripture either way for that too?
Rom 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.
Rom 7:6  But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
Rom 7:7  What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."
Rom 7:8  But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.


This goes beyond the question you asked but is also relevant to my point.  The purpose of Romans 2:14-16 is found here.  Even without the Law, Gentiles can know the Law.  "You shall not covet" and yet people covet.  Not all act on it, but without the Law they knew what was in the Law and their own actions betray them.  However, it is only by dying to our fleshly lives that we are released from the Law.  This is another point you made.  You referred to Christians being "under the Law", but this passage refutes that - Christians are not under the Law, but under Grace.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

You could be accused for a lack of empathy. Some are hurt that bad. Believe it. I don't think God will condemn them to hell. We definitely shouldn't, not even in our minds even through the logical deduction of: this person follows this path>this path does not lead to heaven because it is not the one true path>so yes, someone who follows that line of thinking thinks that person is going to hell and the Bible says you don't get to say who goes to heaven or hell so come on.
I could be accused of a lack of empathy, but it's the truth.  Not everyone gets to have a peachy life, and not everyone is going to have a fantastic experience with Christianity.  However, I maintain that with God all things are possible and thus if God wants to have chosen a person for salvation then God can do that regardless of what hurtful things have happened to them in the name of Christianity.

I have a friend who I know from a country town about two hours west from where I live.  When her Christian friends found out she was a Pagan, then kidnapped her, took her into the bush, and attempted an exorcism on her.  Needless to say our first few meetings weren't always pleasant.  A lot of the prejudices she had of Christianity were not let go.  However, because her best friend was my best friend's cousin, she stuck it out and eventually decided that not all Christians were likely to go and kidnap her and torture her for her beliefs.

And yes, I know people have experienced much worse in the name of Christianity (eg, Conversion Therapy for gays, not something I would ever approve but something some people have done).  We don't get to choose our life, we can only choose our options within our life.  If God wants to save someone, he will, regardless of the bad upbringing.  If you want to accuse me of a lack of empathy for that belief, then so be it.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

Of course all things are possible but just speaking raw numbers I doubt every person hurt by Christians and who have turned away from God because of it are going to come back, and out of all those who don't I doubt all of them they are all hellbound.

But as you said with God all things are possible except in my case I apply it toward God giving all those who have been hurt and don't return to a belief in God as still having a chance to go to heaven, while it seems you are applying it toward God sending all those in that group to hell because His great feat of "doing the impossible" in your view is God making someone so abused by other Christians to damage them to somehow heal them and have them come back to Christ (how patronizing of you BTW), guess what God might send those from other religions or belief systems, even modern science and psychology, and if they heal through that, or if they died unable to heal, I believe they still have a chance, sorry to say but by your logic all these people end up in H-E-double-L.

No way man.

But please do compare how you envision God doing the impossible and how I envision it, but I offered Biblical scriptures to support my view, you don't have to agree that it supports it, thank you for reviewing it and discussing it in either case, but I think you should now provide scriptures to support your view.
Well, the context of Matthew 19:26, the comment that "all things are possible" with God, it is referring to the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.  The man had done what was physically necessary (do not murder/steal/commit adultery/honour parents), but he had not given himself to God, and so Jesus tells the man to sell all he has and give it to the poor, then come follow him.  The man goes away sad.  So this will be my first piece of quoted passage to support that not all go to heaven.  This rich man went away sad, the implication being that he could not attain eternal life without his dedication to God.  Jesus comments of the rich man that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  But with God, all things are possible".  In other words, with God's help, the rich man could enter the kingdom, but not while he still treasures his treasures more than he treasures God.

Honestly I could quote a dozen passages that supports my view, but I will content myelf with one further quote for the sake of brevity.  The previous quote should make it clear that the rich man could not reach heaven while still in love with his riches (ie, not following God), but this one deals with the question succinctly:

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
~ 1 John 5:12


Simple.  Whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the son does not have life.  I have a feeling you're going to answer by quoting the rest of that chapter, in which the author writes that "not all sin leads to death", but I would argue this is a physical death (eg, "sinning" in the sense of going against a judicial law that may invoke the death penalty, as opposed to sins that do not carry such a burden).  The wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23), which is a direct contradiction to 1 John 5:16 unless the passage refers to physical and spiritual death (Romans 3 refers to death of the spirit).  

If you desire, I can post several more passages in the future, but as noted, for the sake of brevity I'll stick with these alone.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

Oh now you too are trying to refute Romans 2 using other scriptures.

You can ignore it, write it off, or whatever but it is still going to be there.
I refuted Romans 2 earlier in this post (see above when I refer to the Law condemning us).  Ephesians 2:8-10 is just one of many passages that compare the covenant of the Law, which leads to death (see above in my quote of Romans 7) compared to Grace, which leads to eternal life.  Romans 2 is not, and never will be, a free pass to Gentiles who are condemned or excused by their actions.  


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

One has to choose to follow. There is no "Heard it once then you are bound by the Book" rule.
On the contrary, even without hearing the Law we are bound by it.  It's mere existence is enough.  Romans 2 clarifies that by saying that even Gentiles know the Law without reading it when they do what is right.  And when they do what is wrong and are ashamed by it they too condemn themselves by what they know to be innately right or wrong.  Thus the Law condemns us all, in which case salvation is required.  

Of course, if you never hear the message of salvation then that is a matter for debate, since the Bible does not address those types of people.  But I addressed that earlier in this post so I'll leave it there.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

Also the following are words I have never said or would, they are yours: "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually.  Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care"
Perhaps you did not say them, but to me they are synonymous.  If you don't have to follow God in order to attain salvation, then I see no difference (except perhaps semantics) between that and acting however we like.


View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

And many Christians are giving the latter part of that message exactly ("ignore ME all you like, I don't really care") by saying if you don't believe like us you are going to hell even if they try and say it nicely by saying their is only one true path to heaven without saying you are going to hell directly.

There is one true path for believers, but for those who choose not to believe, yes, even they too have an equal chance to go to heaven, now you, just because you chose to follow do not mean you have a better chance, it is not a game, you have not bettered your odds.
It's not a game of chance.  I've already won.  Even if I don't get to heaven I've already won.  Even if everything I believe is an absolute lie my life has been bettered by it, so it's not a case of bettering my odds by choosing one path over another. But if I do want to attain the Christian heaven, I need only be reminded of 1 John 5:12 - whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the son does not have life.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android, 13 March 2013 - 01:26 PM.

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#65    libstaK

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:38 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:


It's not a game of chance.  I've already won.  Even if I don't get to heaven I've already won.  Even if everything I believe is an absolute lie my life has been bettered by it, so it's not a case of bettering my odds by choosing one path over another. But if I do want to attain the Christian heaven, I need only be reminded of 1 John 5:12 - whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the son does not have life.

~ Regards, PA
Hi PA,
I couldn't help smiling at what was highlighted here.  How is a person bettered by believing what could be "an absolute lie" that states that those who follow one view have life and those who do not, do not have life?

Just curious as to how those two ideas commune harmoniously - if it is possibly an "absolute lie" then how has it bettered you to believe that a portion of your fellow man lack life?

"I warn you, whoever you are, oh you who wish to probe the arcanes of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside.
If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find other excellencies?
In you is hidden the treasure of treasures, Oh man, know thyself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods."

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#66    Paranoid Android

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 01:46 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 13 March 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:

Hi PA,
I couldn't help smiling at what was highlighted here.  How is a person bettered by believing what could be "an absolute lie" that states that those who follow one view have life and those who do not, do not have life?

Just curious as to how those two ideas commune harmoniously - if it is possibly an "absolute lie" then how has it bettered you to believe that a portion of your fellow man lack life?
I was speaking of my personal life.  What I have gained in following God, a sense of wonder for the world we have, a sense of assurance and comfort during tough times, a circle of friends that help me through tough times, the conviction to turn my life around and make it one worth living.  Even if there is no heaven at the end of it, I've already won.

When sharing my beliefs with others (if they wish to hear it - I would never push my views onto them) there are several ways to approach.  There's the pure theological approach - what I believe, and what the Bible says about it.  But there's also the benefits that I mentioned in my previous post.  My beliefs brought me so much, and while I would never disrespect another person by preaching to them if they didn't want to hear what I wanted to say, if they were open to it, I'd like to share that.  The belief that not all paths lead to God add to this a sense of urgency to be faithful and true to my beliefs.  To not "fudge" the truth as I see it in order to be politically correct, but to be faithful in relaying the theology of God, the good and the bad, so that they can come in with open eyes rather than a closed and dogmatic mind.

So even if I am wrong, and there is no heaven, or if all paths lead to heaven, my life is still the better for my beliefs and I would not have them any other way.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 13 March 2013 - 04:02 PM.

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#67    IamsSon

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 04:42 PM

View PostLeave Britney alone!, on 12 March 2013 - 04:46 PM, said:

Don't forget about the Christians still harming others over that one single view: there is only one path to heaven. It is not just historical.
First, how is it harming others?  If you mean it harms them because they feel insulted or feel slighted by the fact that a proper reading of Jesus's teachings in the Bible clearly indicate He placed Himself as the only proper and complete sacrifice that would cover the sins of mankind, and that accepting His sacrifice as the payment for your sins is the only way to be reconciled to God, then it is not the view that is hurting them, it is their own insecurities that are doing so.  There are many religious people who do not consider this a true view and so are in no way "hurt" by it.

Now, if you are saying that there are people who use this view as a weapon to bludgeon others with, I will agree there are such people.  But I will counter that this is a human action and not an action encouraged by Christ or by the in-context teachings found in the Bible, and that there are people who use whatever difference they have which they consider makes them superior to or better than others to belittle those others.  If you read the news you will find that there are Buddhist priests carrying on actual violent activity against other Buddhist priests over a particular Buddhist belief, that there are Muslims who are actively hunting down and killing other Muslims because of differences in belief; heck there are even atheists who look down and belittle other atheists because they are not "hard" enough.

Please explain how this is not a historical view among Christians.

Quote

There is no railing other than to point out that it is time the Church begins moving in a new direction and leaves behind the hateful and divisive thinking that has characterized American fundamental Christianity which is on a well welcomed decline
So, basically, you believe it's time for the whole of Christianity to abandon Christ's teachings and enter apostasy.

Quote

Also you are not in any position to be offering spiritual advice to another especially unsoliscited. That would indicate you believe to be my spiritual greater. You fail to recognize my view most reflects the Bible. Love God, love your neighbor, and that means all mankind.
Although I do not consider myself your spiritual superior, I do believe your interpretation of the Bible is wrong given that you're very obviously taking verses out of context to make it seem they support your view.  You seem to think loving everyone means accepting whatever they believe as true and I just don't see the logic in that view, nor the in-context Biblical support for it.

As to the advice that you re-read the Bible passages, read the articles I posted and also look into other religions that actually do have in-context support for your views, you are certainly welcome to ignore it, I just thought you might be happier if you found a religion whose texts actually do support your religious beliefs instead of having to ignore the whole context of the Bible to convince yourself that your view is what the Bible supports.

Quote

Thinking others are going to hell for following what they hold sacred is not only blasphemy of what others hold sacred but also not very loving of mankind.
That's your opinion, which you support with out-of-context Biblical passages and by ignoring other passages completely.

Edited by IamsSon, 13 March 2013 - 04:53 PM.

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#68    Spiral staircase

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:28 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Without meeting them personally (either in real life or online) I can't make a "judgement" as to whether they are true Bible-believing Christians.  For example, I know IamsSon from this forum.  He is an American and I believe he is also a Christian.  However, I cannot make the same judgement about other Americans who call themselves Christians.

I can't say the same thing about Australians who call themselves Christians, either.  There are members here from Australia who call themselves "Christian" that come across to me as distinctly un-Christian in their views.

If Jesus walked into your church it is doubtful you would recognize Him as a Christian either.


View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

I don't judge demographics.  I judge individuals.  And yes, I'm using the word "judge".  Something I shall discuss later in the post.

Doubtful since it is most likely you would judge Christians who subscribe to the New Age.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Yes, I do.  But only God can judge you on it (and yes, I used the word "judge" again, in a completely different context to the last sentence - more on this later in the post).

And how exactly can you tell? Do you have the "gift of discernment" as frequently understood as being described in 1 Corinthians 12:10?

If so that is awfully bold to claim that for yourself then to use your gift online.

Maybe you are basing your view "that you have the ability to tell who is a Christian or not" on some other scripture? Can you provide it?

Or are we expected to just believe you?

In either case I am doubting you can as you are not the Holy Spirit.

Instead I am more inclined to believe that you are part of traditional Christinaity which is hostile to other beliefs no matter how you veil it, you reject others, that is fine, but that type of Christianity is considered backward to some of us.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

I did tell you what the biblical definition was in an earlier post.  I'll repeat part of what I wrote:

(T)he biblical understanding of judgement also has strong overtones of condemnation, and that is a matter of the heart.  If I warn someone that their actions may lead to severe consequences then that is  warning done out of love, if I say the exact same thing but with an intent to accuse and belittle and heap hatred on them, then that is condemnation.

I am using judgment in the way Romans 2 uses it. It is the same Greek word also used in Romans 14.

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

—Romans 14:10

And whatever you do out of love must be well concealed love because I have seen none of it displayed here.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

In my post I used the example of a drug addict.  This time I'll directly relate it to sin, condemnation, and personal beliefs.  Suppose I tell someone that they are not following the correct path.  I warn them of the dangers of the path they are on, and try to point them to the right path.  In order to decide whether I am Judging (in a biblically wrong fashion) is to check my motives!  Am I telling them this out of a genuine desire to help?  If so, then I am not breaking God's "Judge not" statement.  However, I might be saying it in order to make them feel weak, helpless, or to make myself feel good and special, or to simply express hatred for a view different than my own.  There are many reasons other than a genuine desire to help them, and if I use one of those selfish and ungodly desires as my reason/s then I am definitely "Judging" in an unbiblical sense - that is, I am setting myself up as God, and declaring a condemnation on them.

A very political way to arrive at your decision but most of us can easily see when others cast judgment.

Also you are compaing someone who is saying not to judge others, that is my view, with drug addicts.

But you are right, you do this, I, I, I, beause it is your "genuine desire to help them" but that does not mean it is the Spirit or It's desire, it sounds very much like your own even if you claim you are checking off all these other motives, remember when one tries to not do something so hard they focus on it so much and end up doing it.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

This is something only God can know about me.  I can say I'm doing it for the the right reasons, but in my heart I may not be.  Or someone else may interpret my reasons as being selfish and/or godless, when the reasons are godly (or vice versa).  But only God has the Right to condemn me.

But you have the right to condemn others just for being on another path, indirectly your logic leads you to this even if you claim you avoid it, you are not the exception among traditional Christians, but it is these traditions that are causing harm.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

This is the biblical understanding of Judgement.  So going back to my earlier comments about knowing IamsSon and "Judging" him as being a Christian.  It is a matter of me hearing IamsSon over the course of the time I've known him, and deciding that he is portraying characteristics that align with that of Christ and Christianity, and therefore "judging" that he is a brother in Faith.  But I could be wrong, my judgement may be in error, and IamsSon may not actually be my Christian brother after all.  Only God can decide whether IamsSon is truly a follower of God.  It is not my place to Judge that, even though I have developed an opinion on the matter.

All based on your own mind's logic. You are right only God can decide so why are you doing it? He is a Christian in your eyes, I am not, but that is not for you to decide even if you already have.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Likewise someone who professes to be Christian that I do not see as a brother in Christ, I am well within my Right to hold that judgement, but only God can bring condemnation for that.  Biblical Judgement is strongly geared towards the condemnation aspect of Judgement.  I therefore submit that simply holding a belief that other paths do not lead to God are not a form of biblical Judgement.

You are within your right. Show me in the Bible now where it says what exact rights you have.

Yeah, that is right, it doesn't.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Your personal definition of Judgement has removed this condemnatory element and expanded it to be all forms of Judgement (as if "discerning" is no different from "judging").

You were wrong after all in the way you perceived my definition. I have now given it to you in this post: the Greek word krino

And of course there is a difference between discernment and judgment. I already asked if you actually are claiming to have the gift of discernment? If so why all the checking of lists to insure you are not judging in the flesh, the Holy Spirit would just operate, it wouldn't doubt Itself, It would work through you, but that is not how you described it, your own words are not describing the gift of discernment.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

Ultimately everyone who is not a follower of Christ is being led astray by Satan.  That's his role as our prosecuting angel, the deceiver.  God ordained this role for Satan, and Satan is carrying out with aplomb.  But in saying that, it is unhelpful to lay that accusation at people who don't agree with my beliefs.  Especially since laying that accusation at one person gives the impression that Satan has gone out of his way to deceive that individaul, and they alone, while other people are not subjected to that deception.

You think by not saying the accusation that it makes you better than those who do? You think it and thus you will operate just as them in essence. There are no loopholes. You have not bettered your odds this time either.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

It is also a matter of note that I am not perfect.  I am not the sole bringer of Truth when it comes to God or the Bible.

But you are quick to judge paths and by extension it is judging those on them. There is no middlge ground.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

I have things wrong in my theology, though I am constantly applying myself to find those flaws and iron them out.  Laying the claim that someone is being "tricked by the devil" sets up a false dichotomy in which the person is setting themselves up as being totally free of such trickery.  Where my fault in theology lies (which I do not believe to be faults), there lies the trickery of Satan in my own life.  Depending on the motives, it could even be seen as an act of Judgement in the condemnatory sense that Jesus demands us not to Judge.  

So you don't tell someone they are being "tricked by the devil" even if you actually believe "everyone who is not following Christ is being led astray by Satan"?

This is your way of ironing out theology?

Some try to find God more with their heart than head. Those who use only their minds are rigid and that is not how the Spirit works.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

I can't disagree with the pain caused by this view.  But that doesn't mean it is false.  But I cannot ignore the "human" aspect to it.  We as a species have always been distrustful of that which is different.  It's an evolutionary trait going back to our times as hunter-gatherers, where competing tribes were to be feared.  Having a belief that is viewed as the only true path can be exploited by this evolutionary fear of the unknown, especially in the past.  But now as education improves and we learn tolerance, then that part of humanity, in my opinion, is going to slowly be enveloped by our intellect (though it will be long before it is completely wiped from our genetics, kids will still not trust that which is different - eg, the bully who picks on the only Asian kid at school).

Well my view is that plenty of Christians have and continue to do ugly things to non-Christians, and I know whose side God is taking in the end.

Some even reject or harm their fellow Christians by claiming they are not Christians at all as if they are the Spirit to decide.

Christianity needs to change to not harm others. You obviously don't think that is a problem or issue worth pursuing. Understandable because you are part of the traditional Christianity.

I do agree with you that we are evolving as a species to work better as groups and respect the individual but there are plenty of fringes including the one plenty of traditional Christians are on.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

But as I said, the harm that this may have caused does not disqualify it from being true - what if Christianity really is the one true path?

You are justifying the harm your belief and religion has caused instead of trying to diminish it. I cannot support you in that but can recognize your view on this singular issue for what it is: backward.

View PostParanoid Android, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 PM, said:

And according to that same text in Romans 2:14-16, their actions condemn them.  I'll quote my New Oxford Annotated Bible on the matter:

2:14-15 - Paul recognises (despite 1:18-32) that there are morally sensitive and responsible Gentiles, however far short they may fall of God's righteous demands ~ Page 1363

I understand what you are implying, because the text says they are condemned, but it also says that they may "even be excused" by their actions.  However, in the broader theological canvas of Romans, while sometimes their actions may excuse them, the fact that their consciences do also condemn them, they are already condemned unless they have some way to undo that condemnation.  And theologically, I cannot support any other way except Jesus being the way to undo that condemnation.

Theologically you cannot support another way but just plainly reading the Bible without dogma to guide me I can also plainly understand.

Posted ImageParanoid Android: "The term "blaspheme" in the Greek implies vilification, spouting hate and lies about something (in this case, the goddess Artemis, in Acts 19).  It wasn't simply the disbelief in a certain path.   I know now why you asked me if I blasphemed the goddess.  Not believing in Artemis is not the blasphemy that the people were bringing to the Christians in Acts 19.  This blasphemy they were accused of (and exonerated by the same passage) was direct confrontation against the goddess, spreading hate and distrust of her by their words.  So while I may have "blasphemed" Artemis in the sense that I don't believe she exists, I have not blasphemed her in the sense of spreading hate speech against her or those who follow her."

Don't forget you believe that "everyone who is not following Christ is being led astray by Satan" even if you don't want to tell them to their face they are being "tricked by the devil".

That is blasphemy to all other paths including that of the goddess Artemis.

Posted ImageParanoid Android: "The Bible says nothing of these cases so we have to use other parts of the Bible to support our case.  And since several positions can be argued, while this is what I believe will happen, it is not something I will dogmatically hold to.  If forced into dogma, the answer I can best give is "I don't know".  While I believe what I believe, if I am wrong then I am wrong and so be it (as said, the Bible is not exactly clear on the issue)."

The point I was making is that your extrabiblical beliefs are no better than other extrabiblical beliefs held by others. The point was made because you probably consider my view extrabiblical but you won't even give it the respect you give your own extrabiblical views.

Except my view was already backed up with scripture, you don't have to agree, your narrative is yours, but as noted it is rather plain reading once you remove dogma as a filter.

Posted ImageParanoid Android:"So while my theories are acceptable to me, they are by no means absolute."

Just more certain than those of others right? Vanity, meh.

I have to go for a bit, this is rather lengthy, but I wanted to at least post something within a week. Thank you so far and if you don't beat me to it I will definitely try to add in part 2 ASAP.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 19 March 2013 - 04:36 PM.





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