Author Topic: FAQ  (Read 3767 times)

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Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #40 on: July 15, 2023, 03:09:17 PM »
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Grace

1Cor 1:3 . . Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Although grace is an important element in Christianity; I seriously doubt that John Q
and Jane Doe pew warmer have an adequate concept of it. I suspect that quite a
few are under the impression that grace is somehow a quantifiable substance like
butter and gasoline; but in regards to God, grace is an abstract noun that
expresses personal qualities.

The Greek word translated "grace" basically means graciousness: defined by
Webster's as kind, courteous, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful,
altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful,
warm, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.

Cordial stresses warmth and heartiness

Affable implies easy approachability and readiness to respond pleasantly to
conversation or requests or proposals

Genial stresses cheerfulness and even joviality

Sociable suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others

Generous is characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit; viz: magnanimous, kindly,
and liberal in giving

Charitable means full of love for, and goodwill toward, others; viz: benevolent,
tolerant, and lenient.

Altruistic means unselfish regard for, or devotion to, the welfare of others; viz: a
desire to be of service to others for no other reason than it just feels good to do so.

Tactful indicates a keen sense of what to do, or say, in order to maintain good
relations with others in order to resolve and/or avoid unnecessary conflict.

Compassion defines a sympathetic awareness of others' distress, coupled with a
desire to alleviate it, i.e. empathy.

When all those lovely attributes are combined, they produce a pretty good picture
of the bright side of God's personality. There's a dark side too; but grace doesn't go
there.

FYI: It is due to God's graciousness that lost souls are being spared their worst
nightmare.

Eph 2:8-9 . . For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not
from yourselves. It is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.
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Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2023, 04:40:48 PM »
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Knowing Your Religion Is Right

I've been an on-going student of the Bible since 1968 via numerous sermons,
lectures, seminars, books, Sunday school classes, and radio programs. In all those
55 years nobody yet-- not one preacher, not one author, not one Sunday school
teacher, nor one radio speaker --has ever produced rock solid, iron clad, empirical
evidence for the existence of an afterlife.

And still I am a die-hard believer that an afterlife exists-- not because it's proven to
exist but because my intuition insist it exists.

Mark Twain once remarked that although he didn't believe in an afterlife, he was
nevertheless inclined to expect one. You see, his sharp wit may have sufficed to
silence his critics; but utterly failed to silence his suspicions.

Now of course feelings are not facts; nevertheless feelings, when they're strong
enough, easily overwhelm logic and reason. In other words: I don't need a holy
book to tell me something awaits people beyond death's door; my intuition tells me
so, in spite of common sense insisting otherwise.

Faith is believin' what you know ain't so.
(Mark Twain )

Every so often I get asked how I know that my religion is right. My answer is: I
don't know if it's right. Then of course they want to know how it is that I believe in
my religion when I don't know whether it's right.

That's a fair inquiry. Most of the people who ask me those kinds of questions are
genuine; they're not trying to trip me up and make a fool out of me. They are
honestly curious. So I tell them, in so many words, that though I don't know if my
religion is right, my conscience tells me it is; in other words: I cannot shake the
conviction that the religion I believe in is right.

Why does anybody believe what they believe? Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Bah?'?,
Hare Krishna, Jehovah's Witness, Mormon, Catholic, Baptist, Judaism, Voodoo,
Wiccan, Jain, Druze, Native American, etc, etc, etc. The answer? Because it grips
their heart-- the core of their being --which is very different than persuading
someone with logic and reasoning.

When folks are persuaded to buy into a religion by means of logic and reasoning,
they can be just as easily persuaded to renounce it by logic and reasoning. But
someone whose heart is gripped by their religion is not so easily removed
regardless of how strong, how sensible, how convincing, nor how logical the
opposition's argument-- and die-hards aren't limited to religion; atheists and
agnostics can be just as resolved.
_

Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2023, 02:09:23 PM »
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The Rich Man, Lazarus, And Abraham

Fiction can be defined as stories about people, places, and events that, though
untrue; are plausible; viz: realistic.

Fantasy can be defined as stories about people, places, and events that are not
only untrue; but implausible; viz: unrealistic.

For example: a story about a wooden boy like Pinocchio is unrealistic; while a story
about a boy with autism is realistic. The difference between Pinocchio and the
autistic boy is that the one is compatible with normal reality; while the other is far
removed from normal reality.

I have yet to read even one of Jesus Christ's parables that could not possibly be a
real-life story. They're all actually quite believable-- banquets, stewards, weddings,
farmers sowing seed, pearls, lost sheep, fish nets, women losing coins, sons leaving
home, wineskins bursting, tares among the wheat, leavened bread, barren fig
trees, the blind leading the blind, et al.

Now; if Christ had told one that alleged the moon was made of green cheese; we
would have good reason to believe that at least that one was fantasy; but none of
them are like that. No; there's nothing out of the ordinary in his parables. At best;
Christ's parables might qualify as fiction; but never fantasy because none of them
are so far removed from the normal round of human experience that they have no
basis in reality whatsoever.

Luke 16:19-31 is commonly alleged to be a parable; which of course implies that
the story is fiction; and some would even say fantasy. But the parable theory has a
fatal flaw. Abraham is not a fictional character: he's a real-life man; the father of
the Hebrew people, held in very high esteem by at least three of the world's
prominent religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. And he's also the friend of
God (Isa 41:8). I simply cannot believe that Jesus Christ-- a man famous among
Christians for his honesty and integrity --would say something untrue about a
famous real-life man; especially about one of his Father's buddies.

And on top of that, the story quotes Abraham a number of times. Well; if the story
is fiction, then Jesus Christ is on record testifying that Abraham said things that he
didn't really say.

There is something else to consider.

The story of the rich man and Lazarus didn't originate with Jesus Christ. No, it
originated with his Father. In other words: Jesus was supervised.

John 3:34 . . He is sent by God. He speaks God's words

John 8:26 . . He that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which
I have heard of Him.

John 8:28 . . I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the
Father taught me.

John 12:49 . . I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, He
gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 14:24 . .The word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent
me.

So, by alleging that Luke 16:19-31 is fiction/fantasy, the parable theory slanders
God by insinuating that He's a person of marginal integrity who can't be trusted to
tell the truth about people, not even about His own friends, which is ridiculous
seeing as how Titus 1:2 and Heb 6:18 testify that God cannot lie.

God's impeccable character is what makes that narrative all the more disturbing.
Unless somebody can prove, beyond a shadow of sensible doubt, that Christ's
Father is a tale-spinner; I pretty much have to assume the narrative was drawn
from real-life; and if not drawn from real life, then at least based upon real life.

In other words: there really is an afterlife place of conscious suffering where people
endure unbearable anxiety worrying their loved ones are on a road to where they
are and there is no way to warn them; which brings to mind the survivors of the
Titanic watching their loved ones go to Davy Jones while utterly helpless to do
anything about it.

People for whom I feel the most pity are parents that brought up their children to
walk in mom and dad's ideological footsteps and the ideology turned out to be
mistaken. How do people in the netherworld bear up under something like that on
their conscience?
_

Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #43 on: July 18, 2023, 04:34:28 PM »
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The God Begotten Of God

FAQ: One translation of John 1:18 speaks of the only begotten god; while another
speaks of the only begotten son. Which translation is correct?

REPLY: Either one will do.

The thing is: were God to produce a child as opposed to adopting a child; then
God's offspring would be a reproduction of Himself, i.e. a divine being; which is
something that John 1:1 and Phil 2:6 strongly suggest if not outright clearly verify.

In other words: God's only begotten son hasn't always been a human being-- he
was originally a spirit being; and now he's both simultaneously. That dual existence
of his can be very confusing at times.
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Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #44 on: July 19, 2023, 03:12:06 PM »
~
Jesus Afraid?

Matt 26:42 . . He went away a second time and prayed: My Father, if it is not
possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.

Jesus must've been really dreading the ordeal that he was facing because he
prayed like that three times.

During this scene an angel showed up.

Luke 22:43 . . Now an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening Him.

I've been curious for some time now to know exactly what that angel did to
strengthen Jesus. Did it bring him some water, or a bite of high energy food?
Possibly.

Luke 22:44 . . And being in agony, he was praying very fervently; and his sweat
became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.

The Greek word translated "agony" basically refers not to pain, but to struggle.

Well; I may be wrong about this (and maybe even in trouble for saying) but I
suspect Jesus was right on the edge of panic and/or a nervous breakdown, and
thinking seriously about bolting for the door-- so to speak --when his Father sent
that angel to calm him down because oftentimes when people are in a high state of
anxiety; they can't think straight. (cf. Matt 4:11)

FAQ: Is it possible that Jesus actually perspired blood?

REPLY: Hematidrosis is a condition in which capillary blood vessels that feed the
sweat glands rupture, causing them to exude blood; occurring under conditions of
extreme physical or emotional stress. Severe mental anxiety activates the
sympathetic nervous system to invoke the fight-or-flight response to such a degree
as to cause hemorrhage of the vessels supplying the sweat glands.

I think it may be significant that God selected a medical professional to report this
incident instead of a man from among the twelve apostles.
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Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #45 on: July 20, 2023, 03:35:44 PM »
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Jesus' Demise

Islam's holy book-- a.k.a. the Koran --alleges Christ didn't pass away on the cross.

"And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the
apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared
to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt
about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and
they killed him not for sure." (The Women 4.157)

The Bible attests Christ died.

"And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into Thy hands I commit my
spirit. And having said this, he breathed his last." (Luke 23:46)

"When they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break
his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a
sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his
testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also
may believe." (John 19:31-35)

Since Jesus was somewhat elevated, (it's not stated exactly how high) the spear
point would have entered his body at an upward angle. The text doesn't say which
side was penetrated, but from John's description, and judging from the intent of the
soldier to leave no doubt about Jesus' death, the heart side was very likely the side
they cut into and the spear point would've entered just under his rib cage.

The heart is surrounded by a membrane called the pericardium; which serves to
contain a serous material resembling water to prevent the surface of the heart from
becoming dry and/or chafed by its continual motion. It was very likely this which
was pierced and from which the water flowed. The point of the spear also seems to
have reached one of the ventricles of the heart, and the blood, yet warm, rushed
forth, either mingled with, or followed by, the liquor of the pericardium, so as to
appear to John to be blood and water flowing together. Though not medically
accurate in our day, John's calling the serous fluid "water" was accurate enough in
his own day.

Jesus was quite deceased; and the Romans themselves certified his death.

"Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting
for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate was
surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked
him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so,
he gave the body to Joseph." (Mark 15:43-45)

Even if Jesus had somehow managed to survive crucifixion and the soldier's spear,
he would've certainly died from suffocation later during the preparation of his body
for burial.

"And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and
brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took
they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner
of the Jews is to bury." (John 19:39-40)

Myrrh is a gum resin. The aloe of that day was a thick liquid taken from an aromatic
tree and used in medicines and cosmetics, etc. Blending those two ingredients
together produced a nice sticky goo that could be slathered and plastered all over
dead folks to retard putrefaction and/or seal in odors and thwart vermin.

Anyway: first they put a towel over Jesus' face and secured it by wrapping his head
with strips of cloth. Then they wound his entire body with the same materials; and
finally cocooned him with a paste made from a mixture of myrrh and aloes; and not
just a thin film of it, but seventy-five pounds of the stuff (the equivalent of a
hundred pound weight). Finally, they wrapped him all up like a burrito in a large
linen sheet. In other words: Jesus wasn't just buried, he was packaged.
_

Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #46 on: July 21, 2023, 03:20:21 PM »
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Christ's Recovery

There lacks a universal consensus regarding the characteristics of Christ's
resurrection. Some say his crucified dead body was restored to life. Some say that
his crucified dead body was exchanged for a glorified body. Still others say that
Christ's crucified dead body not only didn't recover, but he came back with a spirit
body; and his post resurrection physical appearances were done as an angel
disguised in a fully-functioning human avatar. All sides of the debate can support
their positions with scripture proof texts.

It's evident that Christ has a glorified body at present (Philip 3:20-21) but I really
don't think such was the case out at the cemetery.

John 2:19-22 . . Jesus answered them: Destroy this temple, and I will raise it
again in three days. The Jews replied: It has taken forty-six years to build this
temple, and you are going to raise it in three days? But the temple he had spoken
of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he
had said.

Had not Christ's crucified dead body been restored to life as it was, then his
prediction in that passage would be easily proven false because the temple he
spoke of was "this temple" viz: the body he was standing in as he spoke with the
Jews.

FAQ: If Christ didn't come back from death with the glorified body spoken of in
Philip 3:20-21, then how and when did he obtain it?

REPLY: The deceased among Christ's believing followers are on track to be taken up
to meet him somewhere above the clouds (1Thes 4:14-17) but not before their
remains are restored to life. Then; on the way up to meet The lord, their natural
bodies will undergo a sudden, miraculous transformation. (1Cor 15:51-53)

I believe it's safe to assume that Christ's body underwent the very same process
while on the way up to heaven per Acts 1:9 so that today his body is no longer a
normal human body; but instead a superhuman body to which all his believing
followers' bodies will one day conform.

FAQ: What about the fact that he was able to pass through a locked door? (John
20:19, John 20:26). Surely a normal human body could never do such a thing.

REPLY: The Greek word translated "shut" in those passages doesn't necessarily
indicate a bolted door; merely a door that's closed as opposed to a door that's ajar
or wide open. But I think it might be okay to accommodate those convinced in their
own minds that the boor was bolted.

Well; Jesus Christ was virgin-conceived, walked on water, calmed storms, restored
withered limbs, put the lame up on their feet, healed blindness and leprosy,
multiplied loaves and fishes, converted water into wine, instantly reattached a
severed ear, restored the dead to life, withered a fig tree, levitated into the sky,
etc. Come now; what's one more miracle more or less for a man like that?

NOTE: The spirit-body theory is really lame because Jesus' glorified body is capable
of dining upon ordinary foods and beverages.

Matt 26:29 . . I tell you: I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until
that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.

Luke 22:15-16 . . I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I
suffer. For I tell you: I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of
God.

Luke 22:28-30 . .You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I
make a covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a
kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom

BTW: Paul mentions in 1Cor 15:1-4 that Christ was raised from the dead according
to the scriptures; there's at least two. One is the story of Jonah; which Christ
appropriated as a "sign" of his own resurrection. (Jonah 1:17, Matt 12:40). Another
is in the book of Psalms at 16:8-10 (cf. Acts 2:22-36)
_

Offline OutWest

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Re: FAQ
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2023, 03:41:03 PM »
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Sons And Bums

Deut 21:18-21 . . If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey
his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his
father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of
his town. They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious.
He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." Then all the men of his town
shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you.

Webster's defines "profligate" as completely given up to dissipation and
licentiousness; i.e. shamelessly immoral

A "drunkard" refers to heavy drinking; which implies all-nighters and/or wild parties
and such.

Those words don't describe minor children, rather, of-age children, i.e. legally
adults still living at home and mooching off their parents instead of out on their
own, working for a living to support themselves.

There's a rule of thumb that says "When you live in our house, you'll live by our
rules". Well; the bum described in Deut 21:18-21 not only mooches off his parents,
but does whatever he pleases in their home, not caring how mom and dad might
feel about anything.

These days that's becoming more and more common when 26 is the new 21. Kids
are staying home longer than they used to. Well; there's nothing intrinsically wrong
with kids staying home longer, but when their lifestyle becomes intolerable for their
parents, it's time for them to move out.

Why is the punishment so severe for bums? Well for starters; it violates one of the
Ten Commandments.

Ex 20:12a . . Honor your father and your mother,

Failure to comply with that command merits dying before one's time.

Ex 20:12b . . that your days may be prolonged in the land which The Lord your
God gives you. (cf. Eph 6:1-3)
_

 

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