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Author Topic: Why do you believe in God?  (Read 506 times)

meno silencio

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Why do you believe in God?
« on: February 13, 2018, 11:33:05 am »
A discussion with Ehbowen about belief in the Christian god. Any rebuttals or further discussion very welcome. I am no expert, and I'm always searching for new viewpoints!


I'm really not wanting to derail your intro thread, but I felt the urge to speak up. I've spent a lifetime trying to get closer to the Christian God...and I've come pretty close, on occasion ;).

Your derailment is more than welcome! I'm always curious to hear from people who are happy in the Christian walk. In fact my lover is, and has always been a happy Christian. I wouldn't have it any other way.


I'm not in any position to proclaim a change in policy...not yet, at least...but I get the very strong impression that a change in policy will be forthcoming, in much the same way that the Jewish dietary laws were superseded two thousand years ago. Yes, Jews who wish to are still free to observe those laws, but the rest of us who follow the God of the Bible are under no such constraints.

Now, if you can bear the friendly debate : D I've heard people say things like this before. My biggest problem is that when I look over the scope of history, I see the change in the practice of Christianity coincides with human events. My intuition says that the religion has human fingerprints all over it. I end up with the same conclusion as Lavey that 'god' is simply a reflection of the person who created him, intended to make us worship the creator of said 'god'. When I started really looking deeper into Christianity and asking questions, this was one of the things that bothered me quite a bit (and also the 'don't ask questions' policy some people have).


My best guess is that the Biblical prohibitions on paganism and the occult were grounded in two basic principles: First, there is very real spiritual interference "out there." The Entity Also Known As Satan is very fond of what we computer geeks might call "man in the middle" attacks. You think you're talking to Brighid; she thinks she's talking to you; but some Bad Guy may be listening in. As long as what you both say doesn't pose a threat to him, he may not interfere and you may have some genuine communication...but as soon as it DOES pose a threat, well, "loose lips sink ships."

That's a very interesting theory. It makes sense on some levels. I have to admit I'm not entirely convinced that an 'entity' like god does not exist, as well as malicious entities. I simply don't believe that the bible and the Christian church have any sort of monopoly on the matter. : D As far as I can see though (crazy people aside), the big prohibition on occult matters stems from the church feeling threatened by various pagan religions. All the way back to the golden calf, and most notably during the crusades and after they'd conquered pagan nations. After all this is also the reason that all the Christian holy days coincide (or come close to) the pagan holidays, it was easier to do that than to convert them.


Again, this is speculation between friends; please don't tell anyone, "Eric told me it was okay!" God is perfectly capable of speaking for himself (herself?) when the time is right. And, also, I will not be discussing this subject any further in this thread. If you want to follow up, please quote this and start a new thread in "Non-Pagan" or "Miscellaneous." I also respond to PMs.

hehe same here, speculation between friends.

ehbowen

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Re: Why do you believe in God?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 01:46:00 pm »
Now, if you can bear the friendly debate : D I've heard people say things like this before. My biggest problem is that when I look over the scope of history, I see the change in the practice of Christianity coincides with human events. My intuition says that the religion has human fingerprints all over it. I end up with the same conclusion as Lavey that 'god' is simply a reflection of the person who created him, intended to make us worship the creator of said 'god'. When I started really looking deeper into Christianity and asking questions, this was one of the things that bothered me quite a bit (and also the 'don't ask questions' policy some people have).

Or does it look like that because God is a real person, working with and through real persons, and those real personalities color...and, IMHO, enhance...the results? I don't think that the apostle Paul was taking dictation; rather, he was writing what was in his heart and God was looking over his shoulder saying, "Yes! That's exactly what I want to say!" And feeding him ideas to make the end result better and better. God dropped a hint; Paul ran with it and developed an idea, God cross-examined it and brought up the thought, "Well, what about this?"...and so forth. So the final result is the best of both personalities and perspectives.

As far as, "don't ask questions"...at least from my experience, God is quite willing and even eager to talk. But he wants to make sure that his words and thoughts aren't misrepresented and misused. If you want to hear anything more from him than what was set down in black and white two thousand years ago, you must first know what he said two thousand years ago and have it internalized to the point that you can recognize forgeries which don't fit his personality...without at the same time burning out your own willingness to inquire and consider the possibility that the things you have been taught all your life really don't work out in the long term and have to be revisited.

That's a very interesting theory. It makes sense on some levels. I have to admit I'm not entirely convinced that an 'entity' like god does not exist, as well as malicious entities. I simply don't believe that the bible and the Christian church have any sort of monopoly on the matter. : D As far as I can see though (crazy people aside), the big prohibition on occult matters stems from the church feeling threatened by various pagan religions. All the way back to the golden calf, and most notably during the crusades and after they'd conquered pagan nations. After all this is also the reason that all the Christian holy days coincide (or come close to) the pagan holidays, it was easier to do that than to convert them.

I don't want to get too far off on that tangent. I think the emphasis is because my God prizes quality over quantity. He wanted a people who would be completely devoted to him and that he could bless, and by others seeing how he worked in their lives and wanting to join them. Israel was the first real try...not the greatest of results. The church did better, at least for the first couple hundred years until they got fat, dumb, and happy. I think times are ripe for a third swing at the old Mr. Spalding.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

meno silencio

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Re: Why do you believe in God?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 11:18:51 am »
Or does it look like that because God is a real person, working with and through real persons, and those real personalities color...and, IMHO, enhance...the results? I don't think that the apostle Paul was taking dictation; rather, he was writing what was in his heart and God was looking over his shoulder saying, "Yes! That's exactly what I want to say!" And feeding him ideas to make the end result better and better. God dropped a hint; Paul ran with it and developed an idea, God cross-examined it and brought up the thought, "Well, what about this?"...and so forth. So the final result is the best of both personalities and perspectives.

So then sort of like Buddha, who comes in many manifestations as needed with the one and only goal of rescuing people from this burning world?

As far as, "don't ask questions"...at least from my experience, God is quite willing and even eager to talk. But he wants to make sure that his words and thoughts aren't misrepresented and misused. If you want to hear anything more from him than what was set down in black and white two thousand years ago, you must first know what he said two thousand years ago and have it internalized to the point that you can recognize forgeries which don't fit his personality...without at the same time burning out your own willingness to inquire and consider the possibility that the things you have been taught all your life really don't work out in the long term and have to be revisited.

I think that's a fair assessment. : D 

I don't want to get too far off on that tangent. I think the emphasis is because my God prizes quality over quantity. He wanted a people who would be completely devoted to him and that he could bless, and by others seeing how he worked in their lives and wanting to join them. Israel was the first real try...not the greatest of results. The church did better, at least for the first couple hundred years until they got fat, dumb, and happy. I think times are ripe for a third swing at the old Mr. Spalding.

I've always had more of an issue with Christians than I have with their God. Certainly most of the violence and sadness perpetrated in God's name stems from a uniquely human cruelty.

That aside, your version of god sounds less... divine, but more believable. And I must say this has been one of the most enjoyable discussions about Christianity I've had. Most Christians I meet are ill-informed about their own religion and can only parrot cyclical or 'reductio ad absurdum' arguments. I would have a whole lot more respect for the religion in general if they made more of a point to educate themselves about something that supposedly entails eternity in either hell or heaven. It seems like most Christians are just scared to look at their own roots deeply, like what they find might destroy their faith, and if it does, then what kind of faith is that.

Are you familiar with Origenes contra Celsus? As I recall Origenes basically said the same thing about God, and that was 'he's all powerful. Why should I be afraid of charges leveled against him? He can defend himself.' (I'm paraphrasing of course ; p)

ehbowen

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Re: Why do you believe in God?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 01:24:52 pm »
So then sort of like Buddha, who comes in many manifestations as needed with the one and only goal of rescuing people from this burning world?

I don't really know Buddha well enough to speak intelligently. But I've come to feel that the key to understanding how this universe really works is iteration and repetition. Somewhere, somewhen out there someone is seeing how events come together. If he doesn't like it, he hits the "undo" key and resets events to the beginning and tries to get them to come out more in his favor.

As long as we're talking "many manifestations" there is no consistency or direction to this crazy quilt. The key to resolving the issue for good and all is to set up a single, consistent solution which the Bad Guys have no way around. I think that a lot of possibilities have been tried and perhaps are still being tried. The one I am focused in upon is the person of Jesus Christ...and the rest of his family, with a personal emphasis on his baby sister.

It's not that events are predestined or predetermined in any way; there really is free will in the truest sense. The reason the past does not change is that all of our consciousnesses extend into the future...and, from the perspective of eternity to come, we see that there is no better solution than the one presently on the table. At least, IMNSHO.

That aside, your version of god sounds less... divine, but more believable.

Again, from what perspective? I believe that Reality takes shape in layers, and the fundamental background layer is that the God of the Bible is Sovereign over past, present, and future. But, yet, at the very same time, in one very pivotal layer he was human enough and vulnerable enough that he could be assaulted, arrested, and killed. Both are true at the same time.

My own believe is that omniscience, etc., is real...but that it is constantly developing as events progress. God is not static, he is dynamic and growing. But at the end of the process...the far end...knowledge is perfected, omniscience is perfect, and God will be all in all. And, since he transcends time, he is able from that point to reach back and sculpt events so that they converge in a way which will, ultimately, be perfect.

And I must say this has been one of the most enjoyable discussions about Christianity I've had. Most Christians I meet are ill-informed about their own religion and can only parrot cyclical or 'reductio ad absurdum' arguments. I would have a whole lot more respect for the religion in general if they made more of a point to educate themselves about something that supposedly entails eternity in either hell or heaven. It seems like most Christians are just scared to look at their own roots deeply, like what they find might destroy their faith, and if it does, then what kind of faith is that.

The whole thing about eternal heaven and hell...I think that there has been ebb and flow over the millennia. At one point, my God was just trying to break away and create "A World of Our Own," hoping that the monster would eat us last. Then, for a time, it looked like it might be possible to establish a beachhead in this world which could be an ongoing point of physical contact...aka Israel/the Temple. Then, after Israel fell away, in a desperation move Jesus came to this world himself hoping to reboot the process. Following the crucifixion and resurrection, it was the Bad Guys who were in the hot seat for a while. But they managed to corrupt the church, and the worm turned again. Martin Luther and the writings of the Apostle Paul succeeded in re-kindling the flame. The Bad Guys countered with modernism and "higher criticism"; Fundamentalism became a bastion holdout.

Right now, though, I think the opportunity is right for my side to go for the jugular. I've said elsewhere on this forum:

Quote
What are the options? "Live and let live" doesn't work--I get the very strong impression that it has been tried. More than once. Anarchy inevitably gives rise to tyranny.

That leaves victory, surrender or eternal war.

I choose victory.


« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 01:27:47 pm by ehbowen »
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

meno silencio

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Re: Why do you believe in God?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2018, 10:48:29 am »
I don't really know Buddha well enough to speak intelligently. But I've come to feel that the key to understanding how this universe really works is iteration and repetition. Somewhere, somewhen out there someone is seeing how events come together. If he doesn't like it, he hits the "undo" key and resets events to the beginning and tries to get them to come out more in his favor.

I'm no Buddhist myself but reading the Buddhist scriptures was def. one of my more mind expanding experiences : D

I agree entirely about this cyclical nature of the world. I mean it's hard not to come to that conclusion. I haven't had time to give a serious contemplation to how it fits with fibonacci's sequence, but it is all cyclical (whereas the sequence is a spiral found everywhere in nature.).

Of course now, like your undo button, people are speculating that we're all generated by a computer. Whatever it is, I don't think it can really be equated to our puny technology. I mean, the chances are that there's something bigger than us out there, and we could simply be like cells in a human body, but I personally don't think that this bigger-than-us entity is 'divine' (by which I mean that sort of old idea as infallible, perfect from start to end, immortal, incorruptible ect.) or even interested in us really, if it even does exist... That's the question of the hour though, does it exist.

As long as we're talking "many manifestations" there is no consistency or direction to this crazy quilt. The key to resolving the issue for good and all is to set up a single, consistent solution which the Bad Guys have no way around. I think that a lot of possibilities have been tried and perhaps are still being tried. The one I am focused in upon is the person of Jesus Christ...and the rest of his family, with a personal emphasis on his baby sister.

Oh goodness, don't get me started on good guy vs. bad guy. Who are the bad guys to you?

That aside I completely understand the focus on Jesus and his family, bible aside, it's something worth looking closely at.

It's not that events are predestined or predetermined in any way; there really is free will in the truest sense. The reason the past does not change is that all of our consciousnesses extend into the future...and, from the perspective of eternity to come, we see that there is no better solution than the one presently on the table. At least, IMNSHO.

Ditto here, everything being predetermined wouldn't make a lick of sense.


Again, from what perspective? I believe that Reality takes shape in layers, and the fundamental background layer is that the God of the Bible is Sovereign over past, present, and future. But, yet, at the very same time, in one very pivotal layer he was human enough and vulnerable enough that he could be assaulted, arrested, and killed. Both are true at the same time.

My own believe is that omniscience, etc., is real...but that it is constantly developing as events progress. God is not static, he is dynamic and growing. But at the end of the process...the far end...knowledge is perfected, omniscience is perfect, and God will be all in all. And, since he transcends time, he is able from that point to reach back and sculpt events so that they converge in a way which will, ultimately, be perfect.

I don't know if I can put my finger on it, but dynamic and growing= something imperfect, to me at least, something that needs to mature. It's like the Kabbalistic idea that the universe is a reflection of God, that God wanted to see himself so created everything, but as it gets further from him, spreads out, grows, it becomes less perfect, even though it's still God.




The whole thing about eternal heaven and hell...I think that there has been ebb and flow over the millennia. At one point, my God was just trying to break away and create "A World of Our Own," hoping that the monster would eat us last. Then, for a time, it looked like it might be possible to establish a beachhead in this world which could be an ongoing point of physical contact...aka Israel/the Temple. Then, after Israel fell away, in a desperation move Jesus came to this world himself hoping to reboot the process. Following the crucifixion and resurrection, it was the Bad Guys who were in the hot seat for a while. But they managed to corrupt the church, and the worm turned again. Martin Luther and the writings of the Apostle Paul succeeded in re-kindling the flame. The Bad Guys countered with modernism and "higher criticism"; Fundamentalism became a bastion holdout.

Right now, though, I think the opportunity is right for my side to go for the jugular. I've said elsewhere on this forum:

I commend you on your passion. I guess that's one thing we both agree on, it's time for Christianity to shed it's old antiquated skin. We may look at it from different perspectives, but it's the same conclusion basically. <3

ehbowen

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Re: Why do you believe in God?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2018, 10:06:21 pm »
I agree entirely about this cyclical nature of the world. I mean it's hard not to come to that conclusion. I haven't had time to give a serious contemplation to how it fits with fibonacci's sequence, but it is all cyclical (whereas the sequence is a spiral found everywhere in nature.).

Inasmuch as Reality is at all cyclical, I believe that it is so in a way akin to the movie Groundhog Day. Events keep getting reset over and over and over, and some entities who do not perceive the time stream in the way that we do may believe that to be the natural and fundamental condition of things. I personally believe that we are building towards the point where we will "get it right"...and wake up to find it is Tomorrow.

Of course now, like your undo button, people are speculating that we're all generated by a computer. Whatever it is, I don't think it can really be equated to our puny technology. I mean, the chances are that there's something bigger than us out there, and we could simply be like cells in a human body, but I personally don't think that this bigger-than-us entity is 'divine' (by which I mean that sort of old idea as infallible, perfect from start to end, immortal, incorruptible ect.) or even interested in us really, if it even does exist... That's the question of the hour though, does it exist.

I'm less concerned about the what and the how than I am about the who and the why. Exactly what you will find when you dig down to the bedrock of Reality is, IMHO, Subject To Change Without Notice. Two millennia ago the Greeks were arguing over whether "stuff" was fundamentally continuous or whether there was a tiniest particle which could be called an "atom". When alchemy transitioned to chemistry the question of whether atoms existed was pretty much settled, but why they did what they did wasn't. A little over a century ago we thought we had the answer nailed down; protons, neutrons and electrons were the "fundamental building blocks of matter". Uh, wait a minute, positrons and quarks and leptons and....

I believe the world was created in six literal solar days and, on the seventh, God took a day off. But he (they!) got right back to work next Monday morning. (Yes, I know about the Sabbath and...just humor me, OK?) I think that every single time that we think we're really getting close, God migrates Reality to a new fundamental structure. It's still consistent with the old one; nails and screws continue to work as well as they did with Noah's Ark and nuclear reactors will be excellent sources of power for centuries to come...but it keeps us on our toes. And, IMHO, opens the door for new and ever more exciting possibilities. Warp drive, anyone?

Oh goodness, don't get me started on good guy vs. bad guy. Who are the bad guys to you?

There is a personality which Christians refer to as Satan. Or Lucifer. Some even use the terms Old Scratch or Beelzebub or...you get the drift. But this is, IMHO, inadequate. I believe that there is a personification of Evil...but exactly who and what it is, we're still finding out. In other words, I believe that the Devil is a composite personality.

Something I saw once regarding the difficulty of "wrangling" spiders for a movie: "Spiders are cannibals. If you put a hundred spiders in a box, pretty soon what you've got is one big, fat, happy spider." So those who fall under the influence of sin end up as part of that composite...including the entirety of the human race. That's not to say that there isn't a driving force/personality behind Evil; there is. But he (she?) hides. Making a "deal with the devil" NEVER works...if you lose, he demands that you pay up in full; if you "win" he says, in so many words, "Oh, you made that deal with Lucifer. I'm Beelzebub. I'm not bound by it."

I see this pattern in many of the categorically evil personalities which we recognize, especially in the prevalence of murder-suicides. The Evil One is happy enough to manipulate his pawns into doing his bidding...but when they get caught, he leaves them to shoulder the consequences and goes his merry way. Once in a great while, though, I believe that he gets so invested into a personality that he becomes intertwined with it...to the point where there is a very real possibility that divine or even human justice might close in on him. So Hitler immolates himself in his bunker. Lee Harvey Oswald is himself murdered days after he murders Kennedy. The rage monsters shoot up movie theaters with high-powered rifles...which they then turn on themselves the instant some armed citizen pulls a handgun.

So, I think that the conventional appellation of "Satan", "Lucifer", "Devil", etc. is inadequate. If we get to that personality, and quit, there may be a power behind the throne who escapes to wreak havoc another day. I honestly think that at this point in the sequence, even God himself is still uncertain of how deep the rabbit hole goes or what's down inside of it. The only course of action which I see is to keep after it and go all the way, regardless of how long it takes. So although I do still throw the terms "Satan" and "Devil" around, when I'm really serious I refer to the enemy as the Evil One and/or the Bad Guys.

I don't know if I can put my finger on it, but dynamic and growing= something imperfect, to me at least, something that needs to mature. It's like the Kabbalistic idea that the universe is a reflection of God, that God wanted to see himself so created everything, but as it gets further from him, spreads out, grows, it becomes less perfect, even though it's still God.

If you try to tell my niece that her kids are "imperfect", watch out—she's armed!

Seriously, I think that's the reason that one of the metaphors for Heaven...and, IMHO, it's not just a metaphor; in some branch of Reality it is as tangible as a slap in the face...is the gates carved out of a single enormous pearl. A pearl forms around an irritation...a flaw. But, after years and in some cases decades or centuries of accretion, you can end up with a "pearl of great price" which is worth sacrificing everything else in your life for...Matthew 13:45-46.
--------Eric H. Bowen
Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

meno silencio

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Re: Why do you believe in God?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2018, 11:15:05 am »
Inasmuch as Reality is at all cyclical, I believe that it is so in a way akin to the movie Groundhog Day. Events keep getting reset over and over and over, and some entities who do not perceive the time stream in the way that we do may believe that to be the natural and fundamental condition of things. I personally believe that we are building towards the point where we will "get it right"...and wake up to find it is Tomorrow.

That's a new viewpoint for me. It sounds a bit like the idea of reincarnation, but more extreme. To me, looking at nature in general it sounds, illogical. But we can agree to disagree : D

I'm less concerned about the what and the how than I am about the who and the why. Exactly what you will find when you dig down to the bedrock of Reality is, IMHO, Subject To Change Without Notice. Two millennia ago the Greeks were arguing over whether "stuff" was fundamentally continuous or whether there was a tiniest particle which could be called an "atom". When alchemy transitioned to chemistry the question of whether atoms existed was pretty much settled, but why they did what they did wasn't. A little over a century ago we thought we had the answer nailed down; protons, neutrons and electrons were the "fundamental building blocks of matter". Uh, wait a minute, positrons and quarks and leptons and....

IMHO there is a built in order to the chaos of the world in general. Most creatures don't care, they're too busy surviving, propagating. Humans on the other hand.. Now we finally have the ability not only to look super close at the puzzle, but to pull back and see everything as a whole (like the spirals in the galaxy, and the millions of galaxies we never knew existed).

But that's the what and how.

The who and why.... Well I'm also concerned with that. I'll be the first to admit that I've not come to a conclusion, and I sometimes wonder if it's one of those questions you might regret receiving the answer to. Here's the bottom line, I'd LOVE to believe in God and this ever so tidy black and white, heaven and hell, redemption ect. But that's the only conclusion that I HAVE come to so far, is that it doesn't add up.

I believe the world was created in six literal solar days and, on the seventh, God took a day off. But he (they!) got right back to work next Monday morning. (Yes, I know about the Sabbath and...just humor me, OK?) I think that every single time that we think we're really getting close, God migrates Reality to a new fundamental structure. It's still consistent with the old one; nails and screws continue to work as well as they did with Noah's Ark and nuclear reactors will be excellent sources of power for centuries to come...but it keeps us on our toes. And, IMHO, opens the door for new and ever more exciting possibilities. Warp drive, anyone?

They indeed! : D I feel odd about people who don't believe in the literal translation of that verse. I mean we're talking about an all powerful God after all. I'm also not at all convinced that God is at all masculine. The kabalistic version makes more sense, the half/half, niether/nor. 


There is a personality which Christians refer to as Satan. Or Lucifer. Some even use the terms Old Scratch or Beelzebub or...you get the drift. But this is, IMHO, inadequate. I believe that there is a personification of Evil...but exactly who and what it is, we're still finding out. In other words, I believe that the Devil is a composite personality.

Something I saw once regarding the difficulty of "wrangling" spiders for a movie: "Spiders are cannibals. If you put a hundred spiders in a box, pretty soon what you've got is one big, fat, happy spider." So those who fall under the influence of sin end up as part of that composite...including the entirety of the human race. That's not to say that there isn't a driving force/personality behind Evil; there is. But he (she?) hides. Making a "deal with the devil" NEVER works...if you lose, he demands that you pay up in full; if you "win" he says, in so many words, "Oh, you made that deal with Lucifer. I'm Beelzebub. I'm not bound by it."

I see this pattern in many of the categorically evil personalities which we recognize, especially in the prevalence of murder-suicides. The Evil One is happy enough to manipulate his pawns into doing his bidding...but when they get caught, he leaves them to shoulder the consequences and goes his merry way. Once in a great while, though, I believe that he gets so invested into a personality that he becomes intertwined with it...to the point where there is a very real possibility that divine or even human justice might close in on him. So Hitler immolates himself in his bunker. Lee Harvey Oswald is himself murdered days after he murders Kennedy. The rage monsters shoot up movie theaters with high-powered rifles...which they then turn on themselves the instant some armed citizen pulls a handgun.

So, I think that the conventional appellation of "Satan", "Lucifer", "Devil", etc. is inadequate. If we get to that personality, and quit, there may be a power behind the throne who escapes to wreak havoc another day. I honestly think that at this point in the sequence, even God himself is still uncertain of how deep the rabbit hole goes or what's down inside of it. The only course of action which I see is to keep after it and go all the way, regardless of how long it takes. So although I do still throw the terms "Satan" and "Devil" around, when I'm really serious I refer to the enemy as the Evil One and/or the Bad Guys.

My biggest problem with this is how easy it is to categorize anything and anyone you don't agree with or like as the 'bad guys' or evil. I saw this constantly when I was a Christian, it was quite frankly alarming.


If you try to tell my niece that her kids are "imperfect", watch out—she's armed!

Seriously, I think that's the reason that one of the metaphors for Heaven...and, IMHO, it's not just a metaphor; in some branch of Reality it is as tangible as a slap in the face...is the gates carved out of a single enormous pearl. A pearl forms around an irritation...a flaw. But, after years and in some cases decades or centuries of accretion, you can end up with a "pearl of great price" which is worth sacrificing everything else in your life for...Matthew 13:45-46.

hehe I won't be so callous (I have my own) and nature has wired us to consider them perfect.

But as I've said before, it sounds wonderful, and I'd love to join you in your belief, but it still doesn't add up for me. : D Agree to disagree.

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