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Jim

Re: What is good about the deity?

"The LORD is my shepherd,
     I have everything I need."
(Ps 23:1,GNB)
'nuff said.
Leonard James

Re: What is good about the deity?

Jim wrote:
"The LORD is my shepherd,
     I have everything I need."
(Ps 23:1,GNB)
'nuff said.

I suppose if you are one of the poor sods dying of starvation and can convince yourself of that you will derive some comfort.
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Re: What is good about the deity?

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Jim

Re: What is good about the deity?

In the same psalm, Len, the psalmist - David - says;
"even if I walk in a valley dark as death,
I will not be afraid, for You are with me..."

Notice that God did not say "You won't walk through the valley..." but when we do walk through it, it won't be alone.
I don't have the answer to the question of suffering, well, not completely.
But speaking as someone who pops enough pills a day to sound like a human maracca, and who has to apologise to lamp posts, I know that my Lord is with me, assuring, leading, guiding - just as He promised.
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Leonard James

Re: What is good about the deity?

Jim wrote:
In the same psalm, Len, the psalmist - David - says;
"even if I walk in a valley dark as death,
I will not be afraid, for You are with me..."

Notice that God did not say "You won't walk through the valley..." but when we do walk through it, it won't be alone.
I don't have the answer to the question of suffering, well, not completely.
But speaking as someone who pops enough pills a day to sound like a human maracca, and who has to apologise to lamp posts, I know that my Lord is with me, assuring, leading, guiding - just as He promised.

No, Jim, I'm sorry ... that is just a belief, and believe me you can get by perfectly well without it. I am speaking from experience.
Jim

Because I met Him.
Leonard James

Jim wrote:
Because I met Him.

No, Jim ... you believe that you met him.
Jim

No, Len,
I KNOW I met Him, long before I started reading or studying the bible, or being bored stiff at theology lectures.
I experienced His presence in my life in a non-religious situation - my bedroom. That feeling of His presence has neve really left me, even when I landed on my spiritual backside a few times.
Nor will it.
Leonard James

Jim wrote:
No, Len,
I KNOW I met Him, long before I started reading or studying the bible, or being bored stiff at theology lectures.
I experienced His presence in my life in a non-religious situation - my bedroom. That feeling of His presence has neve really left me, even when I landed on my spiritual backside a few times.
Nor will it.

I know the feeling ... but it is an illusion, Jim.
IvyOwl

Jim wrote:
Because I met Him.


How did you know?

I've heard Pagans claiming to have met their gods. I can't argue against an individuals personal experience of course but I've met no gods. For most people this meeting was a special and sacred experience so I can appreciate why they'd not want to reveal details.

What is puzzling me is, if these gods are real entities why are they so reluctant to make themselves known to more people?

IO
Leonard James

IvyOwl wrote:

What is puzzling me is, if these gods are real entities why are they so reluctant to make themselves known to more people?

IO

They're shy, Mary Ellen, they're shy!
IvyOwl

To be clear I meant to ask how did you 'know' it was the Christian God?

I've had the experience of sensing a presence ... usually a kindly one at that but it passes as soon as I examine the feeling.

My brain produced it to answer a need.

IO
cymrudynnion

Willow wrote:
I don't doubt you believe that to be true Jim, even though I cannot for the life of me understand why you believe it to be so.
Then have a chat with someone close to you and you will then understand
Jim

How do I kmow?
Well, I was an atheist church member....
Well, you had to be a church member to be a Boys Brigade officer, and I did - the BB being a father substitute for me. I'd parroted the church membership promises and never darkened the doors again.
The BB Captain gave me a class to teach - about the BB in Africa, and suggested I read the first three chapters of Acts. Now, as I said, I was atheist - studying Egyptology, I couldn't see why anyone could believe this, or any other, theology.
So I looked at the text, made notes about church expansion, and tried to get on with my life...
and failed.
Acts 1:8 stuck in my mind, and I couldn't shift it.
No matter what I tried, for over a month, that one text stuck.
So, one night in November 1977, feeling like a prat, I said "God, if you're really there, do something."
He did.
A feeling of joy, of presence and peace filled me; a feeling I'd never felt before, but have felt often since. I was aware in a way I can't put into words without going into theology speak, that I wasn't alone, and that awarness has never really left me.
That's when I started looking at the scriptures for myself, and repentance and confession - all that stuff - came later.
But the initial acceptance of God in my life was a moment like no other.
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Leonard James

Jim wrote:
How do I kmow?
Well, I was an atheist church member....
Well, you had to be a church member to be a Boys Brigade officer, and I did - the BB being a father substitute for me. I'd parroted the church membership promises and never darkened the doors again.
The BB Captain gave me a class to teach - about the BB in Africa, and suggested I read the first three chapters of Acts. Now, as I said, I was atheist - studying Egyptology, I couldn't see why anyone could believe this, or any other, theology.
So I looked at the text, made notes about church expansion, and tried to get on with my life...
and failed.
Acts 1:8 stuck in my mind, and I couldn't shift it.
No matter what I tried, for over a month, that one text stuck.
So, one night in November 1977, feeling like a prat, I said "God, if you're really there, do something."
He did.
A feeling of joy, of presence and peace filled me; a feeling I'd never felt before, but have felt often since. I was aware in a way I can't put into words without going into theology speak, that I wasn't alone, and that awarness has never really left me.
That's when I started looking at the scriptures for myself, and repentance and confession - all that stuff - came later.
But the initial acceptance of God in my life was a moment like no other.

Thank you for that explanation, Jim. I have no doubt that you sincerely believe that what you experienced was God's presence. I sometimes have the same feeling of awareness, warmth, peace and joy ... an enormous oneness with everything and a deep understanding of life. When I believed, I interpreted it as God's presence, too ... but now I realise it is just a state of mind that can suddenly overwhelm me. I believe people who practise meditation experience a similar feeling.
IvyOwl

Yes thankyou from me also Jim and I'm pleased for you that you experience such a feeling of certainty and get so much joy from worshipping your God.

I will just  point out that you already had the Christian God concept firmly rooted in your mind even though you didn't actually believe. You needed some reassurance and your brain gave it to you through your cultural reference points. I'm not decrying it as an invalid experience but if say you'd been brought up in another country or been a slightly different person with stronger reasons not to believe you'd have had the reassurance through the presence of another God or maybe none as per Leonard.

Your experience of your god is no more and no less valid than someone elses experience of theirs.

IO
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Jim

IO;
If that had been a one-off experience, I would have been justifiably sceptical; yet it has not been. Possibly due to my visual imparment, I have learned to trust this bond which exists between God and I (That sounds so pretentious - it isn't meant to. )
Over the years, as I have explored my faith, I have been aware, many times, of that same feeling of joy and certainty of His presence.
As far as other faiths are concerned, I have no real knowledge of a personal, constant bond between individual and gods.
I know a few friends who have converted from Hinduism and Islam; both assure me that their faiths put no stress on such a relationship, whereas Christianity makes it an essential.

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