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SoWhatNow

The Kingdom of God.

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Noteverythingisaconspiracy

At first I almost skipped reading it. Now I'm glad I didn't. :yes:

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papageorge1

@SoWhatNow

Your name carries my question. What do you believe about our reality?

As I see it, a materialist-atheist belief has many holes too.

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Rlyeh

Well the Bible isn't a science book or even a very good book on ethics.

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jaylemurph
24 minutes ago, Rlyeh said:

Well the Bible isn't a science book or even a very good book on ethics.

Using the Bible to justify anything is exactly like using Mein Kampf to justify something: they're both propaganda, not historical, moral or philosophical texts.

--Jaylemurph

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Piney
3 hours ago, SoWhatNow said:

Why would something divine require mortal couriers? Does God not have the ability to speak to our minds? And if it can only be propagated by man, how did God reach the first man that gained faith?

Something taught by George Fox and preached by Quakers for over 300 years. :lol:

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jaylemurph
8 minutes ago, Piney said:

Something taught by George Fox and preached by Quakers for over 300 years. :lol:

And Martin Luther, 200 years before that, although he’d probably add some nasty anti-Semitism in there, somewhere.

—Jaylemurph 

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Will do
Posted (edited)

 

-

 

Edited by Will Due

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XenoFish

Quit preaching Will.

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spartan max2

It sucks. I know what you're going through. I made a post on UM too when I finally came to the acceptance that I no longer believe God exist. I had a close friend die when I was young and it was hard for me to accept that I will never see her again (and still can be hard for me at times)

Humans are the closest thing to a "God" that there is and that is terrifying. 

In other ways it is liberating. 

So be kind and don't lose your compassion. It seems like a paradox to type, but God not existing makes kindness both the most important thing in the world and not matter at all.

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papageorge1
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, spartan max2 said:

 I finally came to the acceptance that I no longer believe God exist. I had a close friend die when I was young and it was hard for me to accept that I will never see her again (and still can be hard for me at times)

Just want to point out that belief in the traditional Christian God concepts and the 'life after death' questions are not necessarily linked. Too often the debate in western culture has been 'Christianity vs Atheism (materialism)'.  In our greater globalization, education and exposure the debate table is bigger than that. 

Edit: Atheism and materialism are not necessarily linked but they most often go together in western thought.

Edited by papageorge1
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jaylemurph
Posted (edited)

Materialism and atheism are not the same thing, and it’s sloppy thinking to suggest they are.

It’s like saying communism and democracy are opposites. They’re just not.

—Jaylemurph 

Edited by jaylemurph
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papageorge1
2 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

Materialism and atheism are not the same thing, and it’s sloppy thinking to suggest they are.

It’s like saying communism and democracy are opposites. They’re just not.

—Jaylemurph 

I'll agree with that. I should say 'most' atheists in the 'Christianity vs. Atheism' debates are materialists but atheism and materialism are not necessarily linked. I stand corrected.

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Will do
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

Materialism and atheism are not the same thing

 

Neither is morality and spirituality. 

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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Will do
4 hours ago, SoWhatNow said:

Why should the measure of the fact of the existence of god be proportional to the effort of our minds and imagination, and not the power he displays in reality?

 

Maybe it's because justice demands that reward follows effort.

 

 

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and then

One thing's for sure about the kingdom of God... no one will be there against their will.  Everyone gets to choose.

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Sherapy
7 hours ago, SoWhatNow said:

The Kingdom of God

 

While studying the book of Genesis, especially the creation account, trying to fit the account to what we know from science about the earth and its history I found some interesting things. What was immediately apparent was that if Genesis was to be taken literally there would be extreme conflict with reality and how the world works beyond just the apparent conflict of "God created" and science. The order of 'creation' would be impossible scientifically, I'm sure it is not necessary to go into details.

 

Now if one is determined to believe in the biblical God there are different ways to go here. One option is to say that Genesis is literal and nothing is impossible for God and that it happened exactly how it was written. God can bend nature to his will. Then the apparent question one has to ask is what you base that on. How do you know God can bend nature to his will? The only honest answer is: You have been told about God, and that that is his ability. It is not based on something you have observed or tested but on hearsay (or dubious subjective things at least). A preacher told you or you read about it in a book probably - nothing objective.

 

 Now if you still want to believe in God, one other way is to say Genesis is not meant to be literal and is symbolic. This provides relief because facts cannot accuse it. You may even come to such a symbolic understanding of it that it strengthens your faith.

 

The common thing in both these ‘outs’ is that it STARTS with belief in God. Belief in God makes you ignore science, belief in God makes you look for a symbolic meaning, and both are on the journey of subjectively reinforcing ‘God’ and strengthening faith. The best question then is: Why do you believe in God and why summon this entity in the first place? If I take myself for example, the answer has to be that I was taught about God since childhood. My parents showed no doubt when teaching me he exists and my young mind came to accept that as fact, not theory. I sometimes wonder if I would believe in God if I wasn’t told and taught about him, and the answer, even though it hurts me deeply is probably: No. My whole spiritual journey has been a personal effort to justify something built on the foundation that god exists. And this is a question any faithful person should ask: What is the origin, the root of my faith? Was I told there is a God? Is God the origin of my faith or is the person that told me about him or wrote about him the origin? These questions should be terrifying to a faithful person because it means your faith in the divine has a mortal origin. What is the use of blindly accepting that Moses or Abraham spoke to god when you were not there? Has he appeared to you personally? Imagine the doors that we leave open if we can wholeheartedly believe what we read or what was said about Abraham without at least some unease. This applies to any written text, or oral tradition…you were not there!

 

This is where I normally bring to mind where Jesus sends out his followers to preach. Why would something divine require mortal couriers? Does God not have the ability to speak to our minds? And if it can only be propagated by man, how did God reach the first man that gained faith? It’s all a mess really, and nothing that justifies an objective decision.

 

Related to this, in a study of the symbolism in Genesis the creation of the firmament (Heaven) stands out for me. From referencing other texts and especially Jesus’s words to the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, I came to the conclusion that Heaven is an intellectual place between what we know and what we do not. There are ‘waters’ above heaven and ‘waters’ below heaven according to the creation account. Since I understood waters to symbolically mean information, the waters below heaven would represent information we can test and analyze and understand – symbolized by the sea. (Hence the apostles were fishers of men, baptism in water, passing through the waters of the red sea etc.). This sea becomes dry land, a solid foundation when we analyze and organize the data into a solid foundation of understanding. The waters above heaven represents information we are not privy to, that is beyond what we can test and statistically analyze, I thought, represented in reality by things that are observed that are hard to understand or scientifically comprehend. I think my mind was telling me something, and this was a blow to my faith and I spent a lot of time praying about it. Why would God show me that he resides between what we know and what we don’t know, a grey area? I asked. To top it off this finally explained to me why God seems to move as science progresses. He was a God of harvest and the sun and thunder etc until we understood how the planets, weather and seasons work. This is why religion and spirituality are quick to jump on quantum woo these days.

 

SoWhatNow? When I look at the overall journey through the Bible there is a realization that becomes apparent. God was mainly physically active in the Old Testament and this completely diminishes in the new, being replaced by a spiritual God. ”God is a spirit, and those that worship him must worship in spirit and truth”. It changed from slaughtering animals on masse and sprinkling their blood to “The Kingdom is no part of this world.” From “kill every man woman and child” to “If my kingdom was part of this world my followers would fight so I would not be delivered…” The Bible is a written account of the history of a drawn out realization that God is not real and that the Kingdom is a state of mind.

 

This has been a painful battle for me, hence my conflicting comments here on the forum. Sometimes you need to boldly say something that you believe with confidence so it can be exposed to scrutiny, and you can hear the echoes of your own internal questions that are not allowed by faith.  

 

I use to think that god was keeping me from doing bad things, when others might call this basic morality, and that’s true. There is no need to call God into existence to be moral. I also know when I pray and God answers ‘spiritually’ it is my mind finding the solutions. I started crying as I wrote this, because I realize it’s actually ‘Me’ and society holding me responsible…not some external entity, and I may be worth something after all.

 

My whole ‘spiritual’ journey has been an effort by myself to justify God. He has done nothing. It’s all internal, and fueled by the wish to justify the unquestioned premise that he exists, which I inherited and was taught. He has become progressively more spiritual and less real as my mind slowly came to the realization that I’m alone. He lives only in my mind and when I die ‘my subjective god’ dies too.

 

Where was god throughout the history of this world? Animals, his supposed creation exist by brutally murdering each other and eating the spoils raw, sometimes while the victim is still alive (I live in Africa, and I’ve seen this first hand). Our species has followed the suit of brutality despite all our religion, and have done even worse because of it. And whoever says it’s only since ‘sin’ came into the world, just go to the closest museum with a carnivorous dinosaur exhibit and look at the teeth; then realize this brutality is ancient- pre Homo sapiens. He did not care then, and doesn’t care now. Just look at the person on their knees praying, that ends up brutally murdered, while the local pastor prayed for a new c-class merc and got it promptly. Hence my only escape was to to spiritualize religion.

 

As much effort as I’ve put in to believe in god, I have realized that the Kingdom is no part of this world (read: doesn’t exist), because if it turns out to be something ‘within me’ or existing in my mind it is indistinguishable from imagination.

 

Religions and religious texts thrive and find power in taking the existence of god for granted and building faith and guilt to fuel themselves after that, but they cannot escape the devastating question that science, reason and logic are exposing them to. It defends itself with ‘faith’, a remnant of how we tried to create solid ground from an ocean of information when we were intellectual infants and terribly scared in ages past. Yet, they cannot escape the fact that god was a product, not a cause. We were the cause. I’ve realized this with great tribulation. This is not easy for me to say btw.

 

Why should the measure of the fact of the existence of god be proportional to the effort of our minds and imagination, and not the power he displays in reality?

 

Beautiful, brought tears to my eyes.”

 

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XenoFish
7 hours ago, and then said:

One thing's for sure about the kingdom of God... no one will be there against their will.  Everyone gets to choose.

One man's heaven is another man's hell. 

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Jon the frog

The Kingdom of T-Rex

While studying the book of Jurassic park,  especially the creation of dinosaur part with fossil dna, trying to fit the account to what we know from science about the earth and its history I found some interesting things. What was immediately apparent was that if jurassic park was to be taken literally there would be extreme conflict with reality and how the dna works beyond just the apparent conflict of "living dinosaur creation" and science. The order of 'creation' would be impossible scientifically, I'm sure it is not necessary to go into details because everybody know that dna become a mess quite rapidly and it's impossible to read  after about 1.5 million years.

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