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Something to think about

Posted by onyx 
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Something to think about
January 21, 2011 01:13AM
With the stink in America at the moment over Governor Bentley's remarks, I thought it might be interesting to examine the issue of inclusivism, pluralism, and exclusivism...

so what are your thoughts?

I have certainly had my ideas change. I realise that it is not JUST christians who get into heaven...our leader was not a christian winking smiley so who is allowed? Are there qualifiers? What's the rules? And are we able to judge the rules?

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Something to think about
January 21, 2011 01:56AM
I will be up front that I don't know a lot about Bible verses and all the different religions. When I was a child I was raised going to several different types of churches. I have always known that there was more to it than what was preached on Sunday morning. In my heart I have always known that I should treat everyone like I would like to be treated and I am usually not judgmental. I also believe that it is not my place to judge a person if they are going to heaven or not because I see only a very small part of them, where God sees the whole picture. So to me it should be very interesting when I get to heaven to see who is there. I'm sure there will be a lot of surprise





ps Since I am a nurse I don't write the best in the world.

News flash:
God is not angry with you. He loves you.
If you don't believe that,
or think it's too good to be true,
or that I'm making it up - ask Him! smiling smiley
Re: Something to think about
January 21, 2011 05:57AM
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I will be up front that I don't know a lot about Bible verses and all the different religions.
Sometimes, I think knowing that we don't know everything is certainly conducive to making us more accepting of others! Too right.
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When I was a child I was raised going to several different types of churches. I have always known that there was more to it than what was preached on Sunday morning. In my heart I have always known that I should treat everyone like I would like to be treated and I am usually not judgmental. I also believe that it is not my place to judge a person if they are going to heaven or not because I see only a very small part of them, where God sees the whole picture. So to me it should be very interesting when I get to heaven to see who is there. I'm sure there will be a lot of surprise
Yeah, that ^^^. Nicely put; you relate things to your OWN experience rather than saying "this is the way it is...this is absolute truth!", and you bring us back to the God who does know the bigger picture.
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ps Since I am a nurse I don't write the best in the world
Sorry, Toni, but I have to call "RUBBISH!" on that one. Honey, don't sell yourself short; you have a world of experience and love to give that ONLY you can give because it is yours alone to give. There are no Pulitzer prize winners here (well except for that good-looking J/Nodens fella)...so don't think that any of us are trying to compare writings. Papa and I and everyone else here are interested in the heart of the matter; which is the matter of the heart. Please keep writing down yours.

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Something to think about
January 21, 2011 11:17AM
Onyx flattery will get you a pint whenever we meet!

Here's my take, there is a song by Michael franti that has the line "god is to big for just one religion' and I can see that, but then you get hit by no one comes to the father except through the son, which on first glance makes out that all in heaven will have to be Christians, but does it?

Is Christ limited to Christianity is he not bigger than that? If people are touched by love and respond to love are they not touched by god and responding to him?

The concept of how WE limit god I find really interesting, my friend Justin who organised the wassail play I was in the week before was getting hassle about stuff and was thinking about jacking it all in; he took himself off somewhere to think and found a natural spring, he took a drink and as he did a Robin joined him, he told me that in pagan times robins were seen as good spirits so he took it as a sign to press on. Ok so I can as a 'christian' say god can talk to me through all of his creation but when someone who hasn't met dad yet says creation spoke to him, is that wrong or is dad speaking to him in a way he can relate to as another piece in the puzzle?

There's a bit in the shack that says all roads don't lead to god, but god can be found on all roads.
Re: Something to think about
January 21, 2011 11:42AM
I just get annoyed when Christians use Christianese in ways that hurt someone else's potential to see Father as a loving God.

Let me just put Governor Bentley on my list of people who are NOT HELPING!
Re: Something to think about
January 21, 2011 05:25PM
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williamfens
Let me just put Governor Bentley on my list of people who are NOT HELPING!

YeahHaha good one

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SuperJ
no one comes to the father except through the son, which on first glance makes out that all in heaven will have to be Christians, but does it?
Squish
I think not. I think that verse it talking about forgiveness and grace -- the fact that through Jesus, we can all have access to God. I don't think its a lipmus test, but an explanation of the importance of what Jesus did. SoapBox

How does everybody else see this verse?
Re: Something to think about
January 21, 2011 07:04PM
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"SuperJ
no one comes to the father except through the son, which on first glance makes out that all in heaven will have to be Christians, but does it?"

I think not. I think that verse it talking about forgiveness and grace -- the fact that through Jesus, we can all have access to God. I don't think its a lipmus test, but an explanation of the importance of what Jesus did.

How does everybody else see this verse?

Good point, T! It cannot be a litmus test; else we are still being tested for something that was FINISHED...we were bought by blood, paid in full. So absolutely, it is recognition of what he Jesus has done in opening the door to the Father wide, that we all may enter in.

That leads my thinking to a related topic; Universal Reconciliation. An amazing treatise on which is here: [www.growthingod.org.uk]. Papa keeps bringing this topic back to me at the moment, as though it holds a key for me to get rid of some more of my mentalfundalist chains.

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Hasn’t the church always taught eternal judgement? Don’t nearly all Christians agree on it? The answer is no. There were early church fathers who believed in universal salvation. Of these Origen is probably the best known.

In the last 400 years Bible translations have nearly all followed the traditional view of eternal punishment. No doubt this has had a strong influence on popular belief. Even so there have been people who have disagreed.

Any way the church is not always right! The majority of people who call themselves Christians believe the Pope is head of the church, and everything that goes with that! At times in church history almost the whole hierarchy has been utterly corrupt both in doctrine and in life. It should never surprise us to find the majority in error. We must learn to seek God for ourselves, and, if necessary, follow him alone.

The church has had an interest in teaching eternal judgement. Unable to attract people by showing the love, joy, peace and forgiveness offered freely in Christ, the church has depended on threats of future torment to keep its grip on its members. Eternal judgement has been the party line. All verses that contradict it have been ignored or twisted to mean something different from their obvious meaning. We are so accustomed to the lie, that we find it difficult to accept the truth.

And welcome to William Fens, too! Good to see you here, brother!

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 12:47AM
Back in the late 1940s a member of my family took his own life. This is not talked about among the living today, there is too much stigma and not enough answers.

In discussing this whole situation with a close member of my family, we brought up the whole 'religious' viewpoint of whether someone who takes their own life (even though previously a 'christian') would then get into heaven. Traditional church teaching (especially, I would think in the 1940s) taught that they are doomed to hell forever. But I'm not so sure. I don't believe we have the right to judge anyone's soul - the condition of it, nor their heart. The Egyptians did it (down with Anubis) and look where it got them!! In my personal case, the family member suffered terrible things during the war, he was a POW, had to bury people alive etc... I'm sure the enormity of it all messed with his mind until two years after returning home, he couldn't face it any more. I believe he wasn't in his 'right mind' as the son found him on his (the son's) birthday. So......

....... I personally believe that God looks at the heart and soul, not at the mind. Who are we to judge? We only see what is on the outside, although out of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).

God is a just God - and I have to agree with dogwoodflr - it will be very interesting to see who makes it into heaven.
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 10:43AM
Regrettably, it often seems my list of folks who are NOT HELPING seems to grow quickly and includes so many who are so visible...

Pat Robertson
Varied Catholic Church Officials (nothing to see here... move along)
Westboro Baptists...

etc...
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 10:48AM
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Ricy
Back in the late 1940s a member of my family took his own life. This is not talked about among the living today, there is too much stigma and not enough answers.

In discussing this whole situation with a close member of my family, we brought up the whole 'religious' viewpoint of whether someone who takes their own life (even though previously a 'christian') would then get into heaven. Traditional church teaching (especially, I would think in the 1940s) taught that they are doomed to hell forever. But I'm not so sure.

As someone who has suffered with Depression, I'd hate to think that Heaven is reserved only for the healthy. There could've been a few time I might've allowed a bus to hit me or my car to go off the road over the past 2+ years. It's only been since some therapy and medication and healing that those ideas have disappeared. Pretty sure Heaven is for ultimate healing.
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 03:48PM
The whole idea that God judges our hearts in order to decide if we deserve to go to heaven seems to me to deny that Jesus paid the price for ALL of us and for ALL we have done, are, will do, or will become.
Isn't Jesus blood a gift, not earned by anyone?
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 04:51PM
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Theresa7
The whole idea that God judges our hearts in order to decide if we deserve to go to heaven seems to me to deny that Jesus paid the price for ALL of us and for ALL we have done, are, will do, or will become.
Isn't Jesus blood a gift, not earned by anyone?

To paraphrase a few recording artists... We'll never get what we deserve or what we've earned, but we can be blessed to get what we need.
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 06:40PM
For me heaven or living in gods total love is for the broken, the healer comes to those who need healing not to the well.
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 06:44PM
by the way welcome Williamfens, it would be good to hear your story background etc, just cuz im nosey!
This isnt a depression forum but there are many here myself included who have, are or are connected with those who suffer from depression.

Again welcome

J
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 07:41PM
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J(uk)
by the way welcome Williamfens, it would be good to hear your story background etc, just cuz im nosey!
This isnt a depression forum but there are many here myself included who have, are or are connected with those who suffer from depression.

Again welcome

J

Let's see if I can summarize my (recent) story:

I've always been one to avoid larger social groups (and norms).

In college I met my wife. We married after I was out of college one year and had been working with a local school district as a music teacher.

We enjoyed married life with no children for quite some time.

In 2001, we bought a home.

In 2004 we became pregnant and my job situation began to change dramatically (schedule-wise). We had said it many times that "if we hadn't just become pregnant, my wife would've encouraged me to resign after that big schedule-shift." Frankly, if we had a better faith in God's provisions for us, as I do now, I would have.

I'm not sure if it was that year that my Depression began to set in. It was hard to tell, since I had always been a withdrawn person. We're fairly certain though, that's when the seed was planted.

Over the next 5 years, my schedule began to stretch me thinner and thinner and provided for even less contact with co-workers. There were signs and symptoms throughout (looking back) that I may have been battling Depression the whole time. Within the 2008-2010 school years, the Depression had a strong hold on me and I began to engage in much angry public ranting about how awful my employers were. During those years, I still sought alternative employment, but turned some of it down because "I couldn't afford the pay cut."

Upon entering January of 2010 I had *finally* come to understand that I was, in fact, Depressed and was ready to seek treatment. At the end of February, I took a Medical Leave for the remainder of the school year and submitted a resignation, effective at the end of the school year.

While a look back and thought of how I could've avoided certain turmoil, I also look back and can see how God spared me from worse.

For those *wondering* about Depression Symptoms, read: [www.mayoclinic.com] Reading the list is what clinched it for me. Until I read that list, I thought it was my fault and/or my weakness that I cried during my commute to work daily, often thought about driving right off the road, and had moments of confusion and trouble with my memory. I actually experienced EVERYTHING on the Symptoms list by October 2009.
Re: Something to think about
January 22, 2011 11:21PM
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Theresa7
The whole idea that God judges our hearts in order to decide if we deserve to go to heaven seems to me to deny that Jesus paid the price for ALL of us and for ALL we have done, are, will do, or will become.
Isn't Jesus blood a gift, not earned by anyone?

Ok - that probably got lost somewhere in translation - what I was trying to get across is that

....... yes, Jesus paid the price for ALL of us - none of us deserve it

....... but doesn't it still comes down to a heart/faith attitude? If we have accepted Him as our Lord and saviour, and accepted his FREE gift, then our mental stability doesn't enter the equation - I was referring more to the fact that humans (the IC) have decided who is 'deserving' enough to enter His rest. So the 'judgment' was in regards to the heart/faith attitude and the acceptance of His gift, not about the deserving.
Re: Something to think about
January 23, 2011 01:37PM
Good Post! Thanks for clarifying -- you're right, I missed it the first time. (Must be the time change. winking smiley )

I guess I just have a difficulty seeing the line between these:
"the heart/faith attitude and the acceptance of His gift" and "deserving".

It seems that the IC majors on having a good heart/faith attitude, and by having such (even if we claim it in/through Christ), then we can attain heaven. Seems so close to "I'm a good person at heart".

Maybe this is just one of my sore spots -- the times I react to something that pushes an old button.
Sorry, Ricy. I'm glad you said something. smiling smiley
Re: Something to think about
January 23, 2011 01:50PM
Hey William!! Before a month goes by without even realizing it:

Thanks for sharing about yourself and for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate hearing your perspective. Squish
Re: Something to think about
January 23, 2011 04:29PM
Hey William thanks for sharing some of your story, and WELCOME!!! You'll find this a peaceful part of the web. Good folk here. So again welcome.

Wow depression common affliction for so many. I too suffer from it a bit( I think) this year has been very stretching for me from a work point of view, and other things. I can relate to the feeeling of being stretched so very thin, like too little margarine over too much bread. The organization that I work for treats its worker pretty poorly, we sarcastically comment that we work in a Nazi bootcamp. Many of us have had conversations about what we would have done 20 plus years ago if we knew how the work situation would end up. For me I've got 5 years before I can retire at the earliest and would still take a pension hit...don't know how I'll make it but that is a story for another thread.

Onyx I've been thinking tons about some of the topics that you mentioned, earlier in this thread. Inclusivism, Exclusivism, Pluralism... Ultimate reconciliation. For me it isn't some abstract intellectual exercise it is a matter of the heart. The Christian story line especially the one put forward by the penal substitution crowd ( it tends to be the most poplulary known and accepted version of the cross) just leaves me cold. I love Wayne's teaching on the cross as curative. But still I have questions, not easily answered.

I too realise and have come to learn that the early church had a much more tolerant view of ultimate reconciliation, I must confess to having the genuine hope that this is really the case as the god I grew up with is really just an sick twisted insert colourful metaphor of your choice creepy dude, not an endearing presence.

I'll end my ramblings with this thought, what if all of humanities encounters with Papa post mortem were more like the ones that Mac experienced in the Shack than what the Christian religion has told us awaits in all in the afterlife. Wouldn't that be sweet.

An interesting book that I've been reading on the whole subject of Ultimate reconcilation vs other views is called
Her Gates Will Never Be Shut. by Brad Jersak.
Re: Something to think about
January 23, 2011 04:46PM
Hi William, nice to see you here. I have to agree that depression happens to alot of us. I am treating my 14 yr old for depression. And mine has been rearing it's ugly head since I have been unemployed for most of the last 18 months.
For me I just trust God and it has been okay just a few bad days. But another story for my daughter, at least we are working on it and she knows she needs help.
Zinger what a wonderful thought about heaven being like the Shock. Also will have to look for the other book.
Now to try to stay warm, I am ready for summer 30+ inches of snow and temps cross to 0 (32C) it's cold

News flash:
God is not angry with you. He loves you.
If you don't believe that,
or think it's too good to be true,
or that I'm making it up - ask Him! smiling smiley
Re: Something to think about
January 23, 2011 09:42PM
Theresa7 - no worries - it is very easy to mis-interpret what someone is saying - especially via this forum as we don't have the luxury of instant 'rebuttal' (to coin a debating term) - also - I'm not the greatest at stating exactly what I mean - when I read what I have written (anytime), naturally I know what I am talking about, so it makes sense to me.

Years ago, when trying to organize an event, I listed everything on the newsletter, the time, the venue, etc - but left out one important detail.... the date!!! Yet I had proof-read the entire document about six times!!! So, what I am alluding to is... I'm sorry that the misunderstanding occurred Squish.

William... I agree with
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Theresa7
Thanks for sharing about yourself and for sharing your thoughts. Appreciate hearing your perspective.
Re: Something to think about
January 26, 2011 11:55AM
Got this in an email.


BEST POEM IN THE WORLD

I was shocked, confused, bewildered
As I entered Heaven's door,
Not by the beauty of it all,
Nor the lights or its decor.

But it was the folks in Heaven
Who made me sputter and gasp--
The thieves, the liars, the sinners,
The alcoholics and the trash.

There stood the kid from seventh grade
Who swiped my lunch money twice.
Next to him was my old neighbor
Who never said anything nice.

Bob, who I always thought
Was rotting away in hell,
Was sitting pretty on cloud nine,
Looking incredibly well.

I nudged Jesus, 'What's the deal?
I would love to hear Your take.
How'd all these sinners get up here?
God must've made a mistake.

'And why is everyone so quiet,
So somber - give me a clue.'
'Hush, child,' He said,
'they're all in shock.
No one thought they'd be seeing you.'

JUDGE NOT!!

Remember...Just going to church doesn't make you a
Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Every saint has a PAST...
Every sinner has a FUTURE!
Now it's your turn... Share this poem.

Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - It has no point!

News flash:
God is not angry with you. He loves you.
If you don't believe that,
or think it's too good to be true,
or that I'm making it up - ask Him! smiling smiley
Re: Something to think about
January 27, 2011 01:13AM
Laughing
Yeh that's the truth of it

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
- Lenny Bruce
Re: Something to think about
March 31, 2011 07:10AM
Happy Dance

((DWFlwr))
Love the poem.

"We are so accustomed to the lie, that we find it difficult to accept the truth." Talks about 'conditioning'.

For me its a bit like changing my 'maine' (main) shampoo/ conditioner so that when others in the 'pack' see me they can say "Wow where you get that shine"...

Kind of reminds me of an old song -

Lord the Light or Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus light of the world shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Shine Jesus shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your word
Lord and let there be light.

Lord I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance,
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

As we gaze on Your kindly brightness.
So our faces display Your likeness.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me. Shine on me.


mmm

LH
(I better pour more on, i've gotta lotta maine)
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