In Reply to: Again, there's the matter of semantics and more... posted by Shawn on August 30, 2011 at 01:49:19:
It's not possible for any one Christian, or even any groups of Christians, to "make" anyone become Christians. You have to WANT what the God of Jews and Christians want for YOU, the personal YOU.
What you call a "real friendship with God" many might term something else entirely, finding themselves "in tune with the Universe" and being happy, finding their purpose and their niche in life....
I am only addressing people who seek after God and eventually follow Him. If you're content with your religion, faith, belief, etc, then there is nothing that can be said or done to make you believe anything different. I'm expressing how truly born-again Christians experience God.
And claiming that it "changes you so much for the better" definitely cries out for the tag "relatively speaking..." IMO, lol. One might ask, "As compared to what/who? Better than what?"
Sure, relatively speaking, I *am* a better person than I used to be. I'm not at all saying I'm better than any other person~~just a much better me. I used to be a cruel person who responded to things/people as I was treated and fell into a vicious cycle of hurting other people because of my own hurt.
I'm much better able to see beyond myself and genuinely care for other people.
A "real Christian" defined by whose standards?
My God's. >: ) The WHOLE Word of God. Not just a verse here or a passage there, but a reflective balance of who He is. When you read the Bible through God's eyes, you'll read the Bible very differently than through human eyes. The perspective changes. It's not thru man's will that this happens, but God's.
One's "Good News" does not apply to all...
Sure it does, when the recipient wants It to. When someone doesn't want It, nope, doesn't apply at all.
And there is something particularly malicious about the compilation of scriptures that were sacred to a certain people in a certain place and time, "translating" it so as to be made useful to the western world's monarchs and henchmen, using it to impose and regulate and demand conformity of the people whose lands are desired by the monarchy of the day. There's nothing good about the destruction of hearth and home, forest and farmlands, the loss of life and annihilation of perfectly good people who dared to pause and question or outright disagree with that which was being forced upon them...not to mention those who were gathered together and burned or boiled in their own places of meditation and worship.
From my studies, the Bible was delivered to the special group, the Hebrews/Israelites, but it was also available to be delivered to other nations, as well. God promised Abraham that he'd be the father of many nations (Hebrews as well as heathen/Gentile/foreign), and that He would bless those who blessed Abraham (and his people) and curse those who cursed Abraham (and his people). As the apple of His eye, God delivered most of the wicked people/nations/lands into the Israelites' hands. Sometimes it took some reading, but the reason for their wickedness was revealed at some point in their existence--most often it's the iniquity of the fathers--generational sin that was never addressed and repented. When He did not deliver the enemies into their hands, it was because the Israelites sinned against Him in some way; when the sin was discovered and dealt with, they were able to resume their conquests and with victories. Protection was given to heathen nations who recognized the Hand of God on the Hebrew/Israelite people and became followers of Him. (Rahab, Ruth, Nineveh, Darius, Nebucchadnezer, etc.)
Fast forward some centuries....
God is still in the business of protecting His people, even the heathen/Gentiles who became His people through belief in His Son and all that He is. He still blesses those who blesses His people and still curses those who curse His people.
I don't see why it's so easy for today's so-called believers in Christ to ignore what happened to those who lived in the pre-Christian times, at the hands of the Christians. Go ahead and say they weren't "real" Christians...oh yeah? The Old Testament is a testament to the same practices, in the name of Jehovah...They killed every living thing, everything that moved, and then excused themselves by claiming that "God" told them to do it. No, I'm not buying that. I didn't buy it back in my childhood days in Sunday School and I'm not buying it now.
What good comes of tearing down and destroying the beliefs of those who have for centuries worshipped and cared for the earth, the sky, the moon, the sun, the stars---by telling them that they're so wrong to do so, they must worship the white man's God (the maker of all of that)... and then the white man God-worshipper proceeds to kill and destroy the planet and that which attempts life upon it?
: What??? No, thank you.
: Don't talk to me or the millions (dead or alive) who think like me about Good News or Amazing Love.
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