Satanic cult leader

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Murfreesboro
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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Murfreesboro » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:03 am

I think one reason our cultural anxiety about end-times seems to have escalated is that, since WWII, we have been aware we have the means to destroy the world ourselves. However, our minister points out that, according to the Bible, God is in control of it. Man won't decide when to destroy the earth. God will.

Of course, that line of thinking offers little consolation to those who do not believe in the Bible at all.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by MacPhantom » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:37 pm

I guess I just personally find it curious that a book that is purported to be the inspired word of the omnipotent creator of everything would be so vague as to require expertise in symbolism and numerology to figure out such a simple, yet unarguably important question like "when is the anti-christ going to come and bring about the end of the world?" Is it possible that a more simple explanation for the 144,000 souls prophesied to be saved would be that that number made sense in terms of the population of the people who set the words to paper, and that, like much else found in ancient texts, it is no longer even remotely relevant to a modern society 2000 years removed? The application of Occam's razor has become almost cliché, but some of these explanations and justifications have become so unmanageably complex as to be nearly farcical or intentionally ludicrous.

If these are timeless, universal truths, which must be believed under penalty of eternal damnation, why do they appear so dated and obtuse? Is not the simplest explanation that they are fables for their time and place, worthy of study for cultural understanding, but not at all suited for the foundation of a 21st century life?

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Andybev01 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:49 pm

"The application of Occam's razor has become almost cliché"

Almost? 8)
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by MacPhantom » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:04 pm

Clichés are completely devoid of value. Shaving, on the other hand, is a fine thing.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Rising Dead Man » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:37 pm

All this armageddon stuff does freak me out. :shock:
Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
As though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat...
~Nicholas Gordon

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Murfreesboro » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:35 pm

Mac, that's a reasonable objection, and it deserves a better response than I am likely to be able to give. My understanding is that God values our faith, and we can't very well demonstrate faith if we are told everything outright. I have thought about this truism many times in contexts having nothing at all to do with God, actually. For example, I love to fantasize about time travel. I would love to be able to go back in time and, say, talk to historical figures I admire, tell them how everything they were striving for worked out. Yet I realize, too, that if such a thing were possible, I would be robbing their endeavors of meaning. We can demonstrate our character only when we don't know that what we are striving for will succeed. Does that make sense to you?

I also imagine the relationship between man & God to be very much like a passionate, contentious love affair. I see that illustrated very well in Genesis Chapter 32, when Jacob wrestles with the Angel all night. At dawn he tells the Angel, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me." Then the Angel touches Jacob's hip and cripples him for life. But he also gives him a new name, "Israel," which means (I believe I am remembering this correctly) "He who strives with God." I love that story. It affirms the power of God, but in such a way that the man is recognized. In fact, one of my favorite things about the Bible--both Old and New Testaments--is the emphasis in it upon naming individuals.

I think sometimes the symbolism in the Bible is put there to intrigue our minds and prompt us to ask questions. But of course, Revelation is written in a style peculiar to itself and not at all like most of the other books. If you read through the Bible, you will find every type of literature imaginable in it. The four Gospels are comparatively straightforward in style, and in fact, were criticized by early readers (Augustine, for example) because their style was so simple and lacking in ornamentation.

I remember once a few months ago that you raised a similar objection about the antiquity of the Bible, and its being too much an artifact of its time to have any meaning today. I believe I told you then that I see all literature, especially (but not exclusively) the Bible, as having ongoing relevance because I believe that human nature is fundamentally unchanged across the generations. My older son was agreeing with me on this point last spring. He was taking a Chaucer class in college, and had read the great romantic narrative poem Troilus and Criseyde. In the first book Troilus sees his love, Criseyde, for the first time among a crowd of people at a religious service. She sees him looking at her and looks back at him, "As if to say, 'What? Can I not stand here?' " My son said that in that instant, he knew the people of Chaucer's day were exactly like us. He said he had seen that very expression. We are no different.

I realize that nothing I have said is very likely to change your mind, but perhaps it will help you to understand my POV. :)

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by MacPhantom » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:56 pm

I think there are some fundamental things about being human, baser urges and higher emotions, that we have in common with our ancestors, even those who lived two millennia ago. But to say we're exactly the same... it just isn't so. Our advanced knowledge of science and technology, our ever more liberal sense of justice and morality, our awareness and familiarity with people of different races and cultures... our notions of equality and worth, regardless of race or gender. These things make us better than our ancestors, more just, and we shouldn't discount them. I can't believe we should look to rules written by a society that didn't see men and women as equals for guidance today.

And again, we aren't talking about an interesting thought experiment like time travel. We're talking about what will be an eternity of peace or punishment. An eternity! The stakes could not be higher! Could a loving and just entity condemn for eternity a person who failed to believe something so convoluted? Or thousands of people who were raised to believe something slightly different? Perhaps we'd be better to ask, if an omnipotent being were to condemn for eternity unbelievers or misguided believers, could we ever consider it benevolent or just?

I understand your perspective as well as I can without knowing what it's like to actually believe. I think believers and non-believers approach the whole thing from opposite angles. Believers begin with the premise that there is a God, and then seek to explain the world through that perspective. Things in the Bible that don't make sense are "symbols"; contradictions are "allegories"; outdated concepts are "metaphors". For me, I seek to answer the God question and the validity of religious texts by viewing the world, and seeing if they make sense. For the believer, the leap of faith itself is the heart of the religious experience. For me, it is antithetical to every fiber of my being that keeps asking "Why, why, why." I think we essentially crave different things, and are satisfied in different ways.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Murfreesboro » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:28 am

Well, I can respect that perspective, Mac. And I think the perpetual questioning, the "why, why, why" you speak of, is religious in its own way, too. Certainly it's very honest.

My take on the "Eternity of punishment" you mention is that God doesn't send anyone to Hell. I think we send ourselves there.

I guess we are always going to disagree about our degree of "kinship" with people of past generations.

Gotta run take kids to school & doctor now--chat later--

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Pumpkin_Man » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:13 am

Very interesting point bout the questioning or asking "Why...why.....why?" Abraham asked God if he would spare Sadom and Gamorah for the sake of 50 just sould, 20 just souls or even 10 just souls. Moses questioned as to why he was the one chosen to lead the people of Isrial from the land of Egypt. Job asked "Why" on numerous ocassions as to why satan was allowed to destroy his life. Even Jesus Christ asked ".....My God, my God, why hath thou deserted Me?"

So I have to agree with Murfree that we are very much like our ancient ancestores, even down to asking "why?" As you pointed out, we do view women as equals, we have come a long way with it comes to culture and diversity, but all in all, human nature is very much unchanged form my POV. And believe it or not, in the Bible, you have the Book of Ester, the Book of Ruth, and the Virgin Mary. It is well known within the Catholic Faith, that Jesus Christ, all though a man, came from God and a woman. Man had nothing to do with it. Mary was also elevated to the status of Queen of Heaven. She's 2nd only to Christ Himself in God's Kingdom.

As for the Bible not being "with it" in terms of the 21st century, I saw a very interesting documentery on History International, and also did some on line reading about the Bible Code. Some say it's a "parlor trick" but I think that there's more to it then that. The Bible Code many accurate predictions regarding nuclear bombs, Hitler, the Holocaust, 9/11, the invention of Airplanes, and a whole host of others. I think that the Word of God is very relavant to today's world and beyone.

I understand your skepticism, Mac. I have two brothers who are die-hard agnostics who do not believe that anything of the Bible is truth or of God. They present the very same arguments as you did, and some times it's hard to answer the questions they ask. The key word here, is "faith." God wants us all to have faith in His Word, faith in his Church, but most importantly faith in Him. Remember the passage about "Doubting Thomas." Jesus said ".......You believe because you have seen. Blessed are they who have not seen yet believe..." That's what faith is all about. There is no "logical or scientific" epllanatrion to these truths. I just "know" them, and have faith in them.

Mike


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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Andybev01 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:18 am

If I had a time machine I would go forward in time far enough to take notes on exactly when my enemies will die, and then go back in time and tell them.

'Course, I'm evil that way.
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by iHaunt » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:31 am


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Andybev01
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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Andybev01 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:31 pm

That guy must be a hoot at parties. :roll:
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Ciuin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:31 pm

iHaunt wrote:Check this link here!
http://www.demonbuster.com/halloween.html

I wish there were some illistrations for that incredible story


MacPhantom wrote:These things make us better than our ancestors...
I really have to disagree with you there, all religion aside.
'All the water's dead. All of it. And the taps don't work either.'

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Andybev01 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:56 pm

I'm not convinced that any omnipotent or omniscient being who clamors for worship and sacrifice is 'God'.
All you that doth my grave pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now so you must be,
Prepare for death & follow me.

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Re: Satanic cult leader

Post by Ciuin » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:27 pm

Andybev01 wrote:I'm not convinced that any omnipotent or omniscient being who clamors for worship and sacrifice is 'God'.
:salut:
'All the water's dead. All of it. And the taps don't work either.'

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