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  1. #1041  
    Sorry to quickly jump back in here with a question like this, but:

    Last summer, during one of the usual overly wicked thunderstorms we get down here in Atlanta, lightning struck and burned a church (nobody got hurt).
    What made this noteworthy was the fact that there's an unaffected strip club, just a couple of blocks away from the church.
    It was even mentioned on the radio, how ironic this was.

    Should anything be read into this? Did any "Being" (Satan?) knowingly have any control over this happening?
    Did any "Being" (God?) knowingly allow this?
    Last edited by dbdoinit; 03/01/2010 at 09:02 AM.
  2. #1042  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    There's a forth possibility: the "scholar" who thought up those comparisons has been completely discredited. In other words, there are no such striking similarities.
    Not really. Just his comparisons. There are lots of things that have been applied to the story of Jesus, and especially to religious holidays, that were outright stolen from other religions and stories, and only 5 of his comparisons were shot down, others may be true. But here are some things that are unrelated but known to be true, just so you can see the point:

    Jesus was not born in December. He was born in late summer. There was no pine tree in the stable where he was born (and before someone says thats not a part of the religious observance but something separate, find me a single catholic church without evergreen boughs inside, at a minimum.) The evergreens, decorations, and timing were stolen from a pagan winter festival. The evergreens symbolize continuing life in the dead of winter.

    Easter is even worse. The timing is roughly the same, but the similarity ends there. Bunnies? Eggs? This is a pagan fertility festival, and though the church doesn't officially support the bunny/egg/chocolate thing in the celebration of mass, they don't push against it either like they do with the commercialization of Christmas or the whole X-Mas thing.

    And those are really the two biggest Christian holidays, so don't you think if anything was going to be sacred enough to keep true and accurate, it would be the birth, death, and resurrection of our savior? And if not, how can you trust any of the other things the church tells you to celebrate?

    ----

    Side note, but kind of related, back to something Sudoer said (I don't know if I 'll have time to do a point by point reply today, that thread was getting long...) but on belief you said that my definition allowed belief to change and the word of God must be true always...

    My belief, and your belief, and the belief of everyone in the church, must be allowed to change. Not a single one of you has ever heard the word of God directly from God. You are reading that word from a document, the bible, that has been repeatedly copied, translated, copied some more, translated some more, modified slightly by the kings and rulers that were commissioning all this copying and translating, parts of it have been destroyed or lost, etc. Point being, this document is definitely no longer the original, and may not even resemble the original, and even if it does, may not have the right context without the portions that have been lost. And even if the Bible was 100% complete, perfectly translated, and never modified in the slightest, large portions of it were written not by direct witnesses, but through divine inspiration. If God gave 500 people the exact same vision, and all 500 of them wrote a book of the bible about it, you would have 500 different descriptions of the same thing. Your life and experiences will color what you see, and it will come out in your writing. You will write about the things that you found important, which will change from person to person according to background, age, culture, and the time in which they live. Some things in the bible, no matter how much the church wants to say it is a "Timeless Document" simply do not apply anymore, and for a really easy example, look up just about any passage about women's rights. Women are pretty much property like livestock in the bible. Does the church feel that way today?

    Point being, I know God's word is true, by definition alone. Because God is infallible and all powerful, the moment God says something that isn't true, it becomes true. God's word shapes existence. So God's word will never change.

    But we are receiving Gods word from a thousand's year old document, written by men, not God, much of which spent hundreds of years being passed down orally (ever played "telephone" when you were a kid?) and the rest of which has been through a lot. Parts of it have not survived to us today. We may not have it right. We may be missing some context that changes the meaning completely. We may have it right, and in the proper context, and just not understood it properly yet. So our belief has to be allowed to change, at least until God comes down here and tells us directly. My trust in God does not have to extend to trusting the the Bible, or even the Pope completely. He is a man, who makes mistakes just like the rest of us. The moment you say your beliefs are beyond reproach, that you are 100% right and nothing in the world can change it, you are saying that you are god. Only God can ever say that.
    Last edited by jverity; 03/01/2010 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Clarity (I hope)
  3. #1043  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    We had different definitions of "harm" in mind. Thanks for pointing this out. I'll use the example of the temptation of Adam and Eve in the garden as an example. You may not "buy into" what I'm saying, because the meaning is theological rather than literal: Before the fall, Adam and Eve were to live immortally, but the consequence of their original sin was mortal life on Earth. That's physical harm. Also I'm told that the Greek word for "serpent" is more something like what we'd think of today as a "basilisk". While Satan may not be able to "physically harm" people, he does trick them into otherwise thinking he can. Why do you think Eve was tempted and Adam did not stand up to the serpent. If he was simply just a snake, Adam might have just called upon the name of God. Adam felt physically threatened and it affected the physical actions that he took.

    Another example in Mark 5:1-14 is where Jesus cast a Legion of unclean , spirits out from a man and into a herd of swine, and the swine killed themselves running down a steep bank and into the sea.
    Just wanted to point out that the serpent of the garden was not the devil, but an animal, that God punished for his actions by having him crawl on his belly in the dirt etc, etc, and that it was God who caused the physical harm to Adam and Eve (and all of mankind) by punishing them for eating the apple.

    Other problems I have with that story:

    Adam and Eve did not know right from wrong until AFTER they ate the apple. So as they ate it, they didn't know that it was wrong to do so. So punishing them for doing something they didn't know they shouldn't do seems wrong to me.

    The god (small g on purpose) in that story can't be God because he fails two definitions of God, namely Omni-Presence and Omniscience. He was not present in the garden and did not know who put who up to eating the apple. Adam blamed Eve after questioning and Eve blamed the serpent (who, once again, was not Satan). The story says specifically that God asks them who told them they were naked, and asks if they ate of the tree. If he were either present everywhere or all knowing he would have known already, as it happened, and not have to ask.

    And in the last example you gave, that was not Satan, but demons, who were cast in to hell with Satan when God expelled him from heaven. They fought along side Satan in his fight to take heaven, but by definition are not very reliable followers and may have been acting on their own in this case. Satan does not cause direct harm to anyone throughout the bible.

    In fact, the only place where I think he may have caused even indirect harm to someone is in the story of Lot. Maybe that was Satan's goal all along, a win-win situation for him. Go challenge God about one of his followers, and get God to torture the guy to Prove he'll still believe in him. If the guy denounces his faith, Devil wins. If god tortures a good faithful soul to no avail, Satan got God of all beings to bring more pain and suffering in to the world, against the most faithful of humans, so Satan still wins. Technically, the god of that story is guilty of the sin of pride, because the true God would have nothing to prove to Satan, and no reason to torture anyone.

    The only thing stopping me from believing this explanation is that I can't believe God would be dumb enough not to realize these two conclusions and instead just tell Satan to go (back) to Hell. Instead, I choose to believe it's just a story a human threw in there with no basis in reality but just meant to make a point about being faithful to God.
    Last edited by jverity; 03/01/2010 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Added part about Lot
  4. #1044  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Sorry to quickly jump back in here with a question like this, but:

    Last summer, during one of the usual overly wicked thunderstorms we get down here in Atlanta, lightning struck and burned a church (nobody got hurt).
    What made this noteworthy was the fact that there's an unaffected strip club, just a couple of blocks away from the church.
    It was even mentioned on the radio, how ironic this was.

    Should anything be read into this? Did any "Being" (Satan?) knowingly have any control over this happening?
    Did any "Being" (God?) knowingly allow this?
    It has nothing to do with God. Strictly 'wrong place, wrong time.
    If the church was built where the strip bar was, and the strip bar where the church was....

    When natural disaters occure, it doesn't pick and choose.

    I'm at my treo, but I also have a scripture that supports this reasoning.
  5. #1045  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Sorry to quickly jump back in here with a question like this, but:

    Last summer, during one of the usual overly wicked thunderstorms we get down here in Atlanta, lightning struck and burned a church (nobody got hurt).
    What made this noteworthy was the fact that there's an unaffected strip club, just a couple of blocks away from the church.
    It was even mentioned on the radio, how ironic this was.

    Should anything be read into this? Did any "Being" (Satan?) knowingly have any control over this happening?
    Did any "Being" (God?) knowingly allow this?
    Maybe God's part in it was that no one got hurt. Maybe the church was being eaten by termites and he needed to destroy it before it colapsed on the congregation. Maybe it was too small for the number of people going there and God wanted them to have the insurance money to help build a newer bigger church.

    Those kinds of stories work both ways. Down in Empire, Louisiana there was a rectangular church that floated off of it's foundation during a flood, turned completely around to face the river instead of the road, and was set back down perfectly on the slab. They just needed new steps at the front and side doors. Coincidence? Maybe.

    But then during Katrina, the church floated off of the slab again. The water in the area stayed there for over a day and a half, and when it had receded the church was back, perfectly on it's slab again, but facing the original direction towards the road. This second time around wasn't just a quick spin. While it was floating it was more than 20 feet above the ground at the flood's worst point. But it never went anywhere.

    Coincidence? Still, maybe. I think far too many things get chalked up to being a miracle. But it's pretty amazing. Being right next to the river, the current alone should have made sure that church ended up in the gulf, but to end up perfectly on the slab so that no construction work has to take place at all, just clean up and order new pews and an alter, not once, but twice, that's amazing.
  6. #1046  
    I'd like to add;

    This is such a sad distortion that many so called christian religions are guilty of.

    Comments like; 'he did it to test us'
    or when someones life is ended early; 'he wanted another angel'

    The result by many is to blame God when we lose a loved one in a disaster.
  7.    #1047  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Sorry to quickly jump back in here with a question like this, but:

    Last summer, during one of the usual overly wicked thunderstorms we get down here in Atlanta, lightning struck and burned a church (nobody got hurt).
    What made this noteworthy was the fact that there's an unaffected strip club, just a couple of blocks away from the church.
    It was even mentioned on the radio, how ironic this was.

    Should anything be read into this? Did any "Being" (Satan?) knowingly have any control over this happening?
    Did any "Being" (God?) knowingly allow this?
    Maybe God loves his children in the strip club. (If I were in a strip club and heard that lightning struck a nearby church at the same time, I would personally take that as a "warning shot".)

    Secondly, which building created a terminus of least resistance through ionized molecules in the air? (I can also guarantee you that's the building that the lightning struck!)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  8. #1048  
    I remember someone telling me a story of a guy, who was a good christian, who was supposed to get a job in the Twin Towers. He chose not to take it. And the story is passed speculating that maybe God was looking out for him because he was such a good christian.

    I would love to reply to people who reason this way; 'Yeah, but why didn't God 'look out' for the ones that died?'
  9. #1049  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Maybe God loves his children in the strip club. (If I were in a strip club and heard that lightning struck a nearby church at the same time, I would personally that as a "warning shot".)

    Secondly, which building created a terminus of least resistance through ionized molecules in the air? (I can also guarantee you that's the building that the lightning struck!)
    Exactly. The strip club is probably single story with a tarred roof, and maybe a neon sign. The Church is probably multi story (at least height wise even if it's only single story seating) with a steeple and a metal cross on top.

    I don't think god really needs to be involve in a discussion about where lightening will probably strike.
  10. #1050  
    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    Maybe God's part in it was that no one got hurt. Maybe the church was being eaten by termites and he needed to destroy it before it collapsed on the congregation.
    ^THAT is very funny. GREAT possible reason. LoL

    Those kinds of stories work both ways. Down in Empire, Louisiana there was a rectangular church that floated off of it's foundation during a flood, turned completely around to face the river instead of the road, and was set back down perfectly on the slab. They just needed new steps at the front and side doors. Coincidence? Maybe.

    But then during Katrina, the church floated off of the slab again. The water in the area stayed there for over a day and a half, and when it had receded the church was back, perfectly on it's slab again, but facing the original direction towards the road. This second time around wasn't just a quick spin. While it was floating it was more than 20 feet above the ground at the flood's worst point. But it never went anywhere.

    Coincidence? Still, maybe. I think far too many things get chalked up to being a miracle. But it's pretty amazing. Being right next to the river, the current alone should have made sure that church ended up in the gulf, but to end up perfectly on the slab so that no construction work has to take place at all, just clean up and order new pews and an alter, not once, but twice, that's amazing.
    ^And THIS, is truly amazing. Great story, i wish i could've been there to see all that.
  11. #1051  
    Quote Originally Posted by berdinkerdickle View Post
    I remember someone telling me a story of a guy, who was a good christian, who was supposed to get a job in the Twin Towers. He chose not to take it. And the story is passed speculating that maybe God was looking out for him because he was such a good christian.

    I would love to reply to people who reason this way; 'Yeah, but why didn't God 'look out' for the ones that died?'
    Exactly.
    I'm 100% sure there were some "good Christians" in there that didn't make it.
  12. #1052  
    Eccl. 9:11-12
  13. #1053  
    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    I don't think god really needs to be involve in a discussion about where lightening will probably strike.
    Why not?
  14. #1054  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Maybe God loves his children in the strip club. (If I were in a strip club and heard that lightning struck a nearby church at the same time, I would personally take that as a "warning shot".)
    Well, we all know you wouldn't be in there anyway, right? lol
  15.    #1055  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Well, we all know you wouldn't be in there anyway, right? lol
    I've been in strip clubs for some bachelor parties a few times.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  16. #1056  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I've been in strip clubs for some bachelor parties a few times.
    Hmm.
    Isn't that "frowned upon"?
  17.    #1057  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Exactly.
    I'm 100% sure there were some "good Christians" in there that didn't make it.
    Sinners are given the free will to sin and God will take the effects and allow a greater good to occur. That still doesn't mean lives taken by the immediate result of such a sin will be spared. I'm thankful for how many were still able to escape death on that day.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  18. #1058  
    My "wonderful" Pre just decided to reboot itself while i was following Sprint Nav directions.
  19.    #1059  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Hmm.
    Isn't that "frowned upon"?
    Of course it is. I never said I was perfect.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  20. #1060  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Of course it is. I never said I was perfect.
    Oh.

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