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ranrod

How much do looks matter for Christians?

139 posts in this topic

I would think that it had a redish color unless the sauce is made with yellow heirlooms. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

The friggin difference is that the FSBM is the largest straw man concocted by a group of people claiming to be more logical than another. If you don't see the contridiction then I'm afraid all these good people are haveing a discussion that is way over your head, and the real actually educated atheists are face palming every time you open up with tired immature comments.

Oh really now. Please do explain the "contradiction".

In what way exactly is your belief in Jesus, the virgin-born human-god halfbreed, whose flesh you claim to eat in church occasionally, more rational than the Flying Spaghetti monster?

I am all ears.

Edited by Zaphod222

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And I would not expect you to. I guess the only thing i try to acomplish in these discussions is to try and soften the heart of Christians a bit. being honest, I guess it bugs me a bit that respectable people think I will suffer spiritual death ( or in some cases hell), because I do not believe what they do. A pet peive I guess. I certainly don't think that about them. I'm not terribly emotional about it, but Christian dogma is hurtful, ends friendships, separates people and communities, and has prooven to be down right dangerous in the wrong minds, so I guess I feel obligated to speak up. Do you think christianity will ever open up and be truely tolerant of others as a whole?

It depends on what you mean by "truly tolerant". I think it is tolerant already (at least it is where I live), but if you mean it in terms of accepting other worldviews as an equally correct path to God/heaven, then I doubt you'll ever get that. The central point of Christianity is that Jesus suffered and died in order that we may be saved. If I were to say another path will also lead to heaven, what I am really saying is that Jesus did not need to die. That God sent his only son to suffer in this world just because he could. The suffering had no real purpose because God made other ways to reach heaven also.

A God who would make his son suffer and die to give us one way into heaven, but then offer alternative ways into heaven. to me that God is a monster. The only way I can understand the sacrifice of Jesus to be a loving act is if there is no other way but the Cross, an ultimate action with an ultimate result.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Alot of you all are talking gibberish and saying the same thing over and over again. Apparently looks matter when you have some people to be devought but were slave master's and killers of native american's.Then there is the quote "with liberty and justice for all",hardly so before speaking about anything religious remember the history of war in the world from leader's who were so called christians. Not to mock anybody's religion but grab a grip of yourself.

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Most people haven't looked at the evidence. Some have and still arrive at the belief that it is false. Others examine the evidence and arrive at the belief that it is true. I guarantee you most people (even people who grew up in Christian homes) have never read the Bible except at church, and then only so far as their minister asked them to. Take myself, for example, I didn't grow up in a Christian family. I only turned to Christ when I was 19-20 years old. I've been a Christian for approximately thirteen years. In that time I have taken the time to study my beliefs in detail. Last year, I ran the adult Bible Study group at my church (maybe I'll continue this year as well, I haven't considered it much). I encouraged those in my group to do their own study and research, but some of these guys have been in Christian families their whole entire lives and still don't really know about whatever book or topic we're studying each week.

The term "faith" is often abused. Your final paragraph is a perfect example of such abuse. The evidence is flimsy by necessity so that we must come to God by "faith"? That is not accurate at all. Though it is often quoted as such, the word "faith" in biblical contexts is not "believing in the absence of evidence" (or the more hardcore "believing in spite of evidence to the contrary"). This may be a modern usage of the term, as if faith and belief are synonymous. But in biblical contexts, the word faith is better thought of in terms of "trust". I trust that what the Bible saying is true, and I trust to the extent that it affects the way I live and interact with the world.

I disagree, I am certainly not 'abusing' the definition of 'faith', and you provide the reasoning: many Christians have not read the bible yet still speak of 'faith', so there is no reason to narrowly define it as PA's or the biblical version. Have you considered what 'faith' means to Christians who don't study the bible, which you agree is a large set, and considered that they possibly don't mean it in the sense of the biblical or PA definition? I've had multiple conversations with Christians, and I'd seriously doubt it would be difficult to find examples, who use faith indeed in much the sense of 'believing in spite of the absence of evidence' (although I wouldn't put it so black and white, I do think Christians have 'evidence' but that it is very insufficient to conclude, 'the Christian God exists'). Perhaps many of these Christians are not as educated about 'Christianity' as you are, but that doesn't change what 'faith' means in the context of their belief.

As a matter of fact, 'God wants us to have faith' is pretty much the number one response I've heard to the question, 'If God actually exists and wants us to believe in him, why doesn't he make his existence obvious'. Obviously that's anecdotal data so it deserves a big grain of salt, but face it, God has done a great job at hiding his existence. I don't think that's accidental, and again, I thought was already addressed by Christian theology. Why does God hide his existence from a theological standpoint if we all supposedly do not require any type of 'believing in spite of the lack of evidence' in order to conclude solely using reason that he exists? If we cannot conclusively get to his existence solely using reason and evidence, then what is your name for the whatever it is (faith, trust, hope) that does get you to that conclusion when added to the evidence that does exist?

There's a well-known analogy of a tightrope walker named Blondin, who stretched a rope across the Niagara Falls and pushed a wheelbarrow full of bricks across. He asked the assembled crowd if they believed that he could push the barrow over with a human being inside. The crowd cheered, saying that he was the Amazing Blondin and could do anything. "So who wants to volunteer to get in the barrow"? There's little historical information about what happened next. Some websites say no one stood forward, some say that one person put up their hand, some websites say that the question wasn't asked to the crowd at all but to a Reporter who was interviewing him. The details aren't really important. The concept being presented is what is important - saying that Blondin could do anything, and having faith enough to step forward and get in that wheelbarrow is entirely different. And it is this "faith" that is being referred to in the Bible. It is not the faith of someone simply believing without evidence.

Interesting analogy, I'll have to think about that one some more. At first blush, I'd say where the analogy breaks down is that apparently people do not actually believe that Blondin can do anything, if they did there'd be no reason not to get in the wheelbarrow. Unless your point is that yes that Blondin can do anything, but they don't 'trust' him to not let them fall from the wheelbarrow for whatever reason, something that Blondin must then be doing purposely since he can do anything. I don't think this carries over well to God. If you really believe that God exists, there's no reason to not get in the 'wheelbarrow'; God by his nature does not lie and is good and certainly has the power to keep you from falling. The only reason not to get in the wheelbarrow that I can think of offhand has to with people doubting that God would not lie or is not good or doesn't have this power, and if you remove those attributes, it raises the question whether the people actually do believe in 'God' in the first place; if they believe God lies, then they don't believe in 'God'. Thought-provoking example nonetheless.

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I disagree, I am certainly not 'abusing' the definition of 'faith', and you provide the reasoning: many Christians have not read the bible yet still speak of 'faith', so there is no reason to narrowly define it as PA's or the biblical version. Have you considered what 'faith' means to Christians who don't study the bible, which you agree is a large set, and considered that they possibly don't mean it in the sense of the biblical or PA definition? I've had multiple conversations with Christians, and I'd seriously doubt it would be difficult to find examples, who use faith indeed in much the sense of 'believing in spite of the absence of evidence' (although I wouldn't put it so black and white, I do think Christians have 'evidence' but that it is very insufficient to conclude, 'the Christian God exists'). Perhaps many of these Christians are not as educated about 'Christianity' as you are, but that doesn't change what 'faith' means in the context of their belief.

As a matter of fact, 'God wants us to have faith' is pretty much the number one response I've heard to the question, 'If God actually exists and wants us to believe in him, why doesn't he make his existence obvious'. Obviously that's anecdotal data so it deserves a big grain of salt, but face it, God has done a great job at hiding his existence. I don't think that's accidental, and again, I thought was already addressed by Christian theology. Why does God hide his existence from a theological standpoint if we all supposedly do not require any type of 'believing in spite of the lack of evidence' in order to conclude solely using reason that he exists? If we cannot conclusively get to his existence solely using reason and evidence, then what is your name for the whatever it is (faith, trust, hope) that does get you to that conclusion when added to the evidence that does exist?

To be honest, I don't care how other Christians use the word "faith". To me, the only correct definition of faith is the one provided within the Bible. And that definition is inevitably linked to the concept of Trust. If someone wants to define Faith with a non-biblical understanding, that is their choice. But they are wrong to do so.

Interesting analogy, I'll have to think about that one some more. At first blush, I'd say where the analogy breaks down is that apparently people do not actually believe that Blondin can do anything, if they did there'd be no reason not to get in the wheelbarrow. Unless your point is that yes that Blondin can do anything, but they don't 'trust' him to not let them fall from the wheelbarrow for whatever reason, something that Blondin must then be doing purposely since he can do anything. I don't think this carries over well to God. If you really believe that God exists, there's no reason to not get in the 'wheelbarrow'; God by his nature does not lie and is good and certainly has the power to keep you from falling. The only reason not to get in the wheelbarrow that I can think of offhand has to with people doubting that God would not lie or is not good or doesn't have this power, and if you remove those attributes, it raises the question whether the people actually do believe in 'God' in the first place; if they believe God lies, then they don't believe in 'God'. Thought-provoking example nonetheless.

The point is that one can talk the talk as much as they like. They can praise Blondin and tell him he's the best in the world and can easily push a person across the Falls in a wheelbarrow. But paying lip-service like this is not faith. True faith is having the conviction in your beliefs to stand up and get into that wheelbarrow. The analogy was to show what Faith really is. Faith is not mouthing words of belief in God. Anyone can say "I have faith in God". But true faith, biblical faith, is not just your words, but the conviction of your beliefs to stand up and allow that conviction to change the way you act in the world. That is biblical faith, and as I said above, if someone wants to change that definition to suit themselves, that is a choice they can make but they would be wrong to do so.
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Because the paintings were being composed by Europeans, and it was more appealing to the eye to paint a white Jesus.

Isn't it blasphemy to paint a false image of Jesus? If not, should Americans paint a Jesus that looks more like Michael Jordan now?

In contrast some Jews believe it's blasphemous to even write down "God". English subtitles in Israeli films will say "G-d" instead.

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Christianity is not the only religion in the world. Hindus and Buddhists have their final destination. Christians who are in the Book of Life have their place with Jesus Christ. It's not complicated. To have Jesus Christ in your heart the truth of grace from God comes in the picture. Only God can give that grace into a person's thinking and heart. Knowledge that God exists is throughout the internet but is it in your heart? It's the meaning of being born again. You will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit like an invisible wind. John 3:6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

You're obviously right that Christianity is not the only religion in the world, but that does not mean all religions are equal, or all are true. In almost any other human endeavor/interest there is rarely an issue when one points out that out of many possible choices only one is right, or that not at all right, but for some reason some people seem to think this just does not apply to religion.

And I would not expect you to. I guess the only thing i try to acomplish in these discussions is to try and soften the heart of Christians a bit. being honest, I guess it bugs me a bit that respectable people think I will suffer spiritual death ( or in some cases hell), because I do not believe what they do. A pet peive I guess. I certainly don't think that about them. I'm not terribly emotional about it, but Christian dogma is hurtful, ends friendships, separates people and communities, and has prooven to be down right dangerous in the wrong minds, so I guess I feel obligated to speak up. Do you think christianity will ever open up and be truely tolerant of others as a whole?

Why do you think it's up to Christians to just "soften their stance?" You act like it is our desire to have many/most to be lost, when, I think for any Biblical Christian the reverse is true and we feel like God, who, as Paul points out in 1 Timothy 2:4 wants all to be saved.

I think you are confusing "accepting" with "tolerant." No sane Christian who studies the Bible can remain true to what is clearly taught in Scripture and also accept that there are many paths to salvation. So, what you are asking in effect, is if Christians will give up Christianity and accept the beliefs of others.

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Oh really now. Please do explain the "contradiction".

In what way exactly is your belief in Jesus, the virgin-born human-god halfbreed, whose flesh you claim to eat in church occasionally, more rational than the Flying Spaghetti monster?

I am all ears.

First off I'm not Christian genius nor catholic ( the flesh eaters you are talking about). Non Catholics do not practice comunion. ( eating bread wafers).

The FSM is what is called a STRAW MAN a logical fallacy.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

The contridiction is that people such as yourself will claim the a belief in god is illogical while using a logical fallacy like the FSM which in fact makes their argument Illogical by definition.

But I'm sure you were not thinking of that while trolling.

Edited by Seeker79

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Oh really now. Please do explain the "contradiction".

In what way exactly is your belief in Jesus, the virgin-born human-god halfbreed, whose flesh you claim to eat in church occasionally, more rational than the Flying Spaghetti monster?

I am all ears.

Seeker is not a christian and not all christians have communion.

Edited by SpiritTraveler

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Non Catholics do not practice comunion. ( eating bread wafers).

not all christians have communion.

Most Christian groups will have a communion of some kind. However, it is primarily the Roman Catholics who believe in the concept of Transubstantiation. Most other groups simply think of the bread and wine as reminders of what Christ did, there is no literal flesh or blood of Jesus. Personally, my church has communion once a month, though I don't necessarily think it should be a ritualised event such as what it is. I feel Jesus' primary intention of the communion was for it to be an informal event that took place when believers met to share a meal with one another. But that's aside the point at this stage.

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Isn't it blasphemy to paint a false image of Jesus?

No. Why would it be blasphemous to paint a false image of Jesus? Of course, if the picture was depicting Jesus doing something sinful, that may be grounds for blasphemy, but the simple image - no.

If not, should Americans paint a Jesus that looks more like Michael Jordan now?

Why? Jesus wasn't African-American! Chances are he wasn't 6'6" either.

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So, what you are asking in effect, is if Christians will give up Christianity and accept the beliefs of others.

Not give up Christianity, but yes. God may have reveled itself to many others in different contexts. It's quit obvious that for quit a while in north America or Paupa New guinea that there were souls dieing that never new of Christ and lived their own spiritual lives. Native Americans were doing just as good or better as any Christian nation pre Colombian. The had a solid spirituality connecting with god and nature. How can another spiritual and intelligent person then come and say "no no you have got it all wrong" and actually consider themselves still rational. What makes one spirituality more valid than another? Is it age? Is it how closely it matches scientific data? Is numbers of adaherants? What validates Christ as god and not some rebel rabbi? If I told you right now that I am god and you should have faith in me, would you believe me? Why not? Couldn't a modern day Christ type on an Internet forum?

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Do you people also worry if the Flying Spaghetti Monster is black, white, or pink-striped?

If not, why not?

What is the friggin difference?

Jesus (as opposed to god) is historically accepted as a real entity. The flying spaghetti monster is not.

Second it does not matter what colour an imagined being with no influence over millions of people's live is, whereas it is important to maintain historicla verisimiltude as far as possible for a real human being worshipped by bilions.

For example, jesus was a jew, as were all his first followers. They worshipped in synagogues and on saturday and followed jewish rituals and practices, and his teachings both transformed an element of judaism and created a nexus between judaism and its own historical antecedents and 2000 years of christian theological evolutionary development. Thus christ's jewish appearance is important, if not his actual personal looks.

Ps in my cultural experience spaghetti is always a light browny tan colour and so i perceive the FSM as being of that colour However i am not an exclusivist on the matter and would accept a black FSM as an equally legitimate construct. Not sure about pink striped. Hard to imagine a pink striped monster, unless it was a bit ambivalent about its sexuality. Maybe if it was a female pink striped monster, but then christ was definitely male.

Edited by Mr Walker

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To be honest, I don't care how other Christians use the word "faith". To me, the only correct definition of faith is the one provided within the Bible. And that definition is inevitably linked to the concept of Trust. If someone wants to define Faith with a non-biblical understanding, that is their choice. But they are wrong to do so.

Of course they are not 'wrong', you're pretending like 'faith' has one definition. By your same logic here, are scientists 'wrong' when they use the word 'theory' as 'guess' ('I have a theory that Baltimore won the Super Bowl because they were motivated by the impending retirement of their longtime linebacker, Ray Lewis') because that is not consistent with what 'theory' means in a scientific sense? Here are the top 2 definitions from dictionary.com, which roughly cover what we are talking about:

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

You don't dispute (or care actually) that Christians use 'faith' in the sense of definition 2 when discussing why they believe in God. With all very due respect man, I think it's a bit rich for you to accuse me of 'abusing' the word 'faith' here. The fact is that I'm using the word faith consistently with how some Christians use the word (and who are under no obligation, even though it is confusing, to adhere to the biblical definition; they can use definitions 1 and 2 in different contexts), although I fully admit I may be misinterpreting exactly what these Christians mean. In addition, here's a quote from you on the problem of evil thread, emphasis mine: "I agree with you that God knows what will happen, but that doesn't lessen my belief in him, or in my belief that predestination and free will can coexist (despite being mutually exclusive concepts)." I'd say you've done far more violence to those two much less ambiguous terms than I have to 'faith' (although I sympathize with you that the limitations of language and our limited comprehension get in the way of discussions concerning both predestination and free will).

The point is that one can talk the talk as much as they like. They can praise Blondin and tell him he's the best in the world and can easily push a person across the Falls in a wheelbarrow. But paying lip-service like this is not faith. True faith is having the conviction in your beliefs to stand up and get into that wheelbarrow. The analogy was to show what Faith really is. Faith is not mouthing words of belief in God. Anyone can say "I have faith in God". But true faith, biblical faith, is not just your words, but the conviction of your beliefs to stand up and allow that conviction to change the way you act in the world. That is biblical faith, and as I said above, if someone wants to change that definition to suit themselves, that is a choice they can make but they would be wrong to do so.

It's probably my fault for not communicating clearly and talking about other subjects, but I don't see how this fits in to our conversation, although I appreciate the information. This mini-thread started when I responded to an objection you made to another commenter saying that the truth of Christianity I assume is based on 'flimsy evidence'. I've attempted and I'm sure failed to keep this discussion within this context: is it upon reason and evidence alone that one is to conclude that God exists and how good is this evidence? I'm interested in both what the bible says about this and what Christians say about this, but those are not necessarily always one in the same. Yes, I said I thought that some amount of 'faith definition 2' is inherent in many Christians beliefs and in the theology somehow in general, I guess I've never heard someone (successfully) defend the idea that one can conclude God exists using the exact same reasoning from evidence that I use to conclude the sun exists. Nor have I seen that many Christians attempt it. Regardless, I don't think your discussion here of Faith/Trust and what people say and give lip-service to has much to do, I don't think, with the context of the reasoning and evidence for God and whether or how 'faith definition 2' is involved. If it does, then I would argue that it doesn't matter what we call it, 'Trust' still has the same issue as 'faith'; I wouldn't go as far as 'without proof' like the definition, but 'Trust' involves some type of leap, you don't really 'trust' what you know.

Again, thanks for the info, I do recognize that this conversation is pretty far afield of the thread topic, but I appreciate your responses. If I feel that I can better put in to words my points on this subtopic, I may start another thread on it in the future.

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Not give up Christianity, but yes.

So, "Yes."
God may have reveled itself to many others in different contexts.
Romans says that God reveals Himself to all through His creation and through our conscience. Expecting Christians to accept anything else would require they stop being Christians.
It's quit obvious that for quit a while in north America or Paupa New guinea that there were souls dieing that never new of Christ and lived their own spiritual lives. Native Americans were doing just as good or better as any Christian nation pre Colombian. The had a solid spirituality connecting with god and nature. How can another spiritual and intelligent person then come and say "no no you have got it all wrong" and actually consider themselves still rational. What makes one spirituality more valid than another? Is it age? Is it how closely it matches scientific data? Is numbers of adaherants?
What makes every spirituality as good as every other? And if you really believe this, then why would you expect Christians to give up their spirituality since it's as good as any other exactly as it is, including it's requirement of exclusivity? So, are all religions as good as all others? Or are all religions except Christianity as good as all others?
What validates Christ as god and not some rebel rabbi? If I told you right now that I am god and you should have faith in me, would you believe me? Why not? Couldn't a modern day Christ type on an Internet forum?
Jesus fulfilled specific prophesies.

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this is a dumb thread

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Jesus (as opposed to god) is historically accepted as a real entity. The flying spaghetti monster is not.

Was there there some guy called Jesus in Palestine 2000 years ago? Heck, yes! There there thousands of guys called Jesus. Just there are today.

Was Jesus the result of some fictitious supernatural being impregnating a virgin Mary? Just as much as there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The difference is zip, zilch, nada, nix,. nill.

So, you are discussing the skin color of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. No banana, try again.

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First off I'm not Christian genius nor catholic ( the flesh eaters you are talking about). Non Catholics do not practice comunion. ( eating bread wafers).

The FSM is what is called a STRAW MAN a logical fallacy.

Is not. It is an entirely valid comparison. There is no logical reason to regard believers in the bible in any different from believers in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

An irrational belief system is an irrational belief system. To claim that one irrational belief system is superior to another irrational belief system is simply not a position that you can defend.... other than by posturing and name-calling.

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Was there there some guy called Jesus in Palestine 2000 years ago? Heck, yes! There there thousands of guys called Jesus. Just there are today.

Was Jesus the result of some fictitious supernatural being impregnating a virgin Mary? Just as much as there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The difference is zip, zilch, nada, nix,. nill.

So, you are discussing the skin color of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. No banana, try again.

Just in case you missed my post on the matter -

The difference is that the majority of historians accept that there most likely was a person named Jesus who began the movement later known as Christianity. In contrast, the FSM can be traced to a physics lecturer protesting the Evolution/Intelligent Design in 2005, whose words were later picked up and turned into an internet meme via bloggers and such.

That's a pretty big difference. While the FSM meme might work in a discussion about religion in the classroom, it's illogical to extend that to claim no difference between this and a person who most historians agree was a real flesh-and-blood human being.

Even if the discussion were about God and not Jesus, there's still the matter that we KNOW the FSM was invented in 2005, 7-8 years ago. We cannot have that same knowledge about a being thousands of years old. Even if it is an entirely invented being we cannot pinpoint where it started and certainly we cannot pinpoint that it was created as an ironic counterbalance to the evolution/creationism debate.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android

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I think Zeus had it right the whole time, opps Jesus my bad.

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Of course they are not 'wrong', you're pretending like 'faith' has one definition. By your same logic here, are scientists 'wrong' when they use the word 'theory' as 'guess' ('I have a theory that Baltimore won the Super Bowl because they were motivated by the impending retirement of their longtime linebacker, Ray Lewis') because that is not consistent with what 'theory' means in a scientific sense? Here are the top 2 definitions from dictionary.com, which roughly cover what we are talking about:

1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

You don't dispute (or care actually) that Christians use 'faith' in the sense of definition 2 when discussing why they believe in God. With all very due respect man, I think it's a bit rich for you to accuse me of 'abusing' the word 'faith' here. The fact is that I'm using the word faith consistently with how some Christians use the word (and who are under no obligation, even though it is confusing, to adhere to the biblical definition; they can use definitions 1 and 2 in different contexts), although I fully admit I may be misinterpreting exactly what these Christians mean. In addition, here's a quote from you on the problem of evil thread, emphasis mine: "I agree with you that God knows what will happen, but that doesn't lessen my belief in him, or in my belief that predestination and free will can coexist (despite being mutually exclusive concepts)." I'd say you've done far more violence to those two much less ambiguous terms than I have to 'faith' (although I sympathize with you that the limitations of language and our limited comprehension get in the way of discussions concerning both predestination and free will).

Definition 2 is a modern definition. It is not in the Bible. I think perhaps the definition came into Christian belief because of a misinterpretation of Hebrews 11:1.

On the matter of the layman theory vs the scientific theory, perhaps you inadvertently proved my point for me. Those pesky Young Earth Creationists ridicule evolution by saying "it's only a theory". Scientists and most of the rest of us shake our head at their misuse of the word "theory". Likewise, if someone says Christian faith is "believing without evidence", then Christians who know what biblical faith is shake their head at the misuse of the word. Just because a word has different meanings does not mean both are valid within certain contexts. Biblical faith is never "believing without evidence". Modern understanding of the word has that implication, but it is not what was intended in the original language 2000 years ago.

It's probably my fault for not communicating clearly and talking about other subjects, but I don't see how this fits in to our conversation, although I appreciate the information. This mini-thread started when I responded to an objection you made to another commenter saying that the truth of Christianity I assume is based on 'flimsy evidence'. I've attempted and I'm sure failed to keep this discussion within this context: is it upon reason and evidence alone that one is to conclude that God exists and how good is this evidence? I'm interested in both what the bible says about this and what Christians say about this, but those are not necessarily always one in the same. Yes, I said I thought that some amount of 'faith definition 2' is inherent in many Christians beliefs and in the theology somehow in general, I guess I've never heard someone (successfully) defend the idea that one can conclude God exists using the exact same reasoning from evidence that I use to conclude the sun exists. Nor have I seen that many Christians attempt it. Regardless, I don't think your discussion here of Faith/Trust and what people say and give lip-service to has much to do, I don't think, with the context of the reasoning and evidence for God and whether or how 'faith definition 2' is involved. If it does, then I would argue that it doesn't matter what we call it, 'Trust' still has the same issue as 'faith'; I wouldn't go as far as 'without proof' like the definition, but 'Trust' involves some type of leap, you don't really 'trust' what you know.

Again, thanks for the info, I do recognize that this conversation is pretty far afield of the thread topic, but I appreciate your responses. If I feel that I can better put in to words my points on this subtopic, I may start another thread on it in the future.

I was showing the difference between belief and faith! Saying "I believe you can carry me across the Niagara Falls" is one thing. To have the conviction to get in the wheelbarrow that is something else. And true biblical Faith is not possible until you get in that wheelbarrow, proverbially speaking, naturally. I can say "I believe" all I like, but if my belief does not lead to the TRUST required to step up and do something about it, then that is not true faith.

If God came up to me tomorrow and said "Paranoid Android, sell your computer, you need to go to Africa to spread my mission", I have two choices (assuming I'm not crazy and hallucinating, but for the purpose of this analogy let's say it's real). 1- I could say "Yes God, I believe".... and then post on UM about how I had a vision, and keep discussing and arguing this, but never actually stand up and do something about it. Or 2- I could get up, sell my computer for the ticket I need to Africa, find a Missionary organisation, tell them I'm ready to go on Mission, and then go.

The second of these is biblical faith. The first one is not. I can believe God all I want, but if I am not going to turn that belief into action, then it is not real faith. It is a fake faith. Non-biblical faith.

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I doubt looks would matter for any intelligent Christian/follower of Jesus.

But I bet there are those who think he was white.

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T

Yes, Jesus did say this. Nowhere does it refer to "faith", though. He just says those who accept Jesus without seeing him in the flesh are "blessed".

The word faith is not referred to in the quote but it is meant. To believe without seeing is faith. You don't have to use a word to get the message across.

one of several answers: firm belief in something for which there is no proof

http://www.merriam-w...ictionary/faith

I have never seen Jesus but I do believe in him. Is that not faith?

Edited by SpiritTraveler
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No. Why would it be blasphemous to paint a false image of Jesus? Of course, if the picture was depicting Jesus doing something sinful, that may be grounds for blasphemy, but the simple image - no.

OK here's a painting of Jesus armwrestling with Satan. I say that Jesus is on the left and that handsome devil (painted as a Caucasian because why not?) is Satan is on the right.

post-108987-0-16301200-1360885583_thumb.

No sins that I can see here. Any problems with it? I guess Jesus isn't as attractive as Satan but you say there's no problem as long as Jesus isn't depicted as committing sins.

Why? Jesus wasn't African-American! Chances are he wasn't 6'6" either.

Why not? Jesus wasn't European-Caucasian either.

What difference does it make how tall he was? Is height important to Christians? I know Christian Bibles added three feet onto Goliath's height.

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On the matter of the layman theory vs the scientific theory, perhaps you inadvertently proved my point for me. Those pesky Young Earth Creationists ridicule evolution by saying "it's only a theory". Scientists and most of the rest of us shake our head at their misuse of the word "theory". Likewise, if someone says Christian faith is "believing without evidence", then Christians who know what biblical faith is shake their head at the misuse of the word. Just because a word has different meanings does not mean both are valid within certain contexts. Biblical faith is never "believing without evidence". Modern understanding of the word has that implication, but it is not what was intended in the original language 2000 years ago.

...

I can believe God all I want, but if I am not going to turn that belief into action, then it is not real faith. It is a fake faith. Non-biblical faith.

That's fine, I totally believe you, 'Biblical faith' or 'Faith' capitalized is not believing without evidence, it's something more specific involving trust and acting on it. Unfortunately for both of us, we didn't create a different word that refers to the modern definition of the word faith involving believing without evidence, as Christians invoke the word faith in this sense. Thus, 'the faith that Christians have' is not just restricted to 'Biblical faith', and leaves the term 'Christian faith' ambiguous as to what specifically is being referred to. Now I don't remember what formulation of faith I used, and I'm sure no matter what I said it is legitimate and fair for you to have interpreted me as referring to Faith. Is it fair to say that Biblical faith follows after a belief in God has been established? Am I correct that Biblical faith has almost nothing to do with how a believer arrived at this belief, unlike modern 'faith' which for some people is to some extent involved sometimes in arriving at their belief?

I was showing the difference between belief and faith! Saying "I believe you can carry me across the Niagara Falls" is one thing. To have the conviction to get in the wheelbarrow that is something else. And true biblical Faith is not possible until you get in that wheelbarrow, proverbially speaking, naturally. I can say "I believe" all I like, but if my belief does not lead to the TRUST required to step up and do something about it, then that is not true faith.

If God came up to me tomorrow and said "Paranoid Android, sell your computer, you need to go to Africa to spread my mission", I have two choices (assuming I'm not crazy and hallucinating, but for the purpose of this analogy let's say it's real). 1- I could say "Yes God, I believe".... and then post on UM about how I had a vision, and keep discussing and arguing this, but never actually stand up and do something about it. Or 2- I could get up, sell my computer for the ticket I need to Africa, find a Missionary organisation, tell them I'm ready to go on Mission, and then go.

I think where I'm getting blocked is that I'm still thinking about how 'belief' and 'trust' are interrelating here, specifically in "I can say "I believe" all I like, but if my belief does not lead to the TRUST required to step up and do something about it, then that is not true faith.". I can parse that a few ways. Is it possible for someone to believe with as much certainty as possible that the Christian God exists and to believe Jesus is their savior, and not have 'true faith', they don't put it into action? That would probably be the clarifying question for me. I don't think you mean it simply as 'some people say they believe but don't really'. One issue I have is that I keep wanting to end your sentence not with 'then that is not true faith', but with 'then they apparently don't actually really believe in the Christian God, for if you did you would automatically or by definition possess the trust required". If you don't trust enough to not put your faith into action, to stop or at least struggle against sinning I believe would probably be the primary requirement, in some sense it seems you don't believe in the Christian God. I think I'm overlapping what we had discussed briefly on another thread concerning whether it's really consistent or accurate to refer to 'Christian terrorists', and am probably just needlessly talking myself in circles just because of semantics here.

Concerning your example where God orders you to be a missionary, I guess, not believing myself, that maybe I've never thought of what's really going on when Christians intentionally sin or disobey. I suspect I've mistakenly thought that this happens partly out of doubt that their religious beliefs are correct, and maybe it is for some even if it's just for a short time, but I guess I've never considered someone who truly believes with absolute certainty and then commits adultery for example. If you truly know God is watching you and disapproves of what you are doing, I have trouble understanding how anyone can then do it, but as I said I just started thinking about it. I understand your missionary example as clarifying what Biblical faith means, but as a real scenario, I don't even understand why option #1 is there; the way you've defined it, it was certainly God, and I don't then understand not obeying an order by the Supreme Being of ultimate goodness who promises to provide you the ultimate reward.

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