Was looking at your conversation with Tim regarding the Pope’s statement. While I am not Catholic I certainly am impressed with what seems to be a truly great man saying things that have needed to be said by someone in his position.
Your conversation reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite Presidents.
“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.”
Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
16th president of US (1809 – 1865)
You taught me long ago that that little voice in our head, the one that tells us what is right and what is wrong can be interpreted as the voice of God. Maybe it is, maybe its simply a social tool which evolved in all of us through millions of years of interaction. I’m not sure there may even be a difference between the two or if it even matters.
Hi, Todd –
Oft have I heard/read Christians speak of the quiet little voice inside. Sometimes I hear it. When I hear it, I attribute it to something far bigger than myself. What it is, I don’t know, nor perhaps, as you say, does it matter? But it gets my attention.
As do informational dreams, being spoken to in plain English in my sleep not necessarily quietly, sudden revelations/knowings when I am awake, body sensations, emotional sensations.
I read once of Republican bigwigs traveling from the East Coast out to Illinois to “interview” Abe Lincoln, who seemed headed to being the Republican presidential candidate. During the “interview” – I wonder if they knew they were being interviewed? – one bigwig told Lincoln it was said he did not attend church, was that true? Lincoln said, yes, that was true, but he would attend church if he could find one where God was in charge.
Another time I read Lincoln had said, when the Lord wanted him to do something, He found a way to let him know; and when the Lord didn’t want him to do something, He found a way to let him know that, too.”
That pretty well sums up my sentiments and experience, too.
I told someone in Key West this morning, that the Pope’s pronouncement turned the world upside down, and I was glad for it. I wonder, though, why it took so long? Why only now, this Pope?
I agree with you of course. It is an important issue. I have seen God save my life. I have seen God correct me when I have sinned. I often (not always) feel His presence. Have we ever discussed Pascal’s wager?As I have said before, it would be my great desire to see more people in Heaven than one might assume given the traditional interpretation of the Bible. But the consequences are serious if one assumes one can get to Heaven merely by doing good works. I would not want to risk all by “betting” on that proposition.
Is it possible that God cannot simply forgive all?
I have not discussed this concept with any theologian.
God in one sense is not all-powerful.
In every and all senses, Tim, God is all-powerful and can do anything and everything God wants to do, whenever God wants to do it. Lucky for humanity, God has more tolerance for our stupidity and wickedness than we have.
I believe that most theologians would agree that God could not sin.It may not be possible for God to have sinners in His presence.I have wondered why it was necessary for God to sacrifice His son to forgive sinners. Why not just offer salvation to those who believe in Him?
Perhaps He had no choice. Perhaps He could not save sinners without the shed blood of Jesus. The Bible of course teaches that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. So God could not have simply announced that if a sinner believes in God and asks forgiveness for his sins, he will be forgiven.
The next question would be if God could allow Jesus sacrifice to save even those who do not accept it and acknowledge it.
And perhaps once more God could not do so even if He wanted to. Similar to the argument that God could not have saved sinners without Jesus’ sacrificial death.But even if He could allow the salvation of all, even those who reject Jesus, one cannot criticize God for not allowing the ultimate redemption of all. We may wonder how a God of love could send many to hell but we cannot substitute our concept of fairness for God’s standard.Now I agree with you that none of us can truly understand God. Based on what the Bible teaches as understood by thousands of theologians through centuries, I would not want to risk an after-life apart from God by believing I could obtain salvation solely by my good works. Way too much at stake for such a gamble.
It really doesn’t matter what you, or anyone believes, Tim. All that matters, actually, is how God sees things, thank, God. Otherwise, our fates would be decided by human beings. You fret far too much. God sees what’s in your heart and what you do, and what you don’t do. That’s what should concern you about God. That, and living as Jesus tells you in the Gospels that you should live.
You say you often feel God’s presence, but I wager my life and my soul that God did not tell you all but Christians born again in the spirit, as you and other Christians define that, only go to heaven when they leave this life, and everyone else dies and goes to hell and burns there forever.
In the fall of 1995, I was told in my sleep that it is very easy to mistake Lucifer for the Holy Spirit. Then came a terrible, wrenching course in my seeing just how true that was in me, in other people, in several Christian churches, in Christendom.
Lucifer infiltrated Christendom early on and inspired many misunderstandings, not to mention awful behavior. This new Pope has unhinged nearly 20 centuries of erroneous doctrine. Now remains to be seen how that plays out.
If you wish to see a description of what it was like for Peter and other disciples to be born again in the SPIRIT, read the early parts of Acts of the Apostles. That’s what it means to be born again, Tim. Applying that definition of born again to your salvation formula, Tim, you and nearly every “born-again” Christian on this planet dies and goes to hell and burns there forever.
Fortunately for you and all of Christendom, that is not what happens when Christians not born again in the SPIRIT leave this life. Fortunately for the rest of us, Tim, you and people who believe as you do, do not get to determine what happens to us when we leave this life.
What amazes me, Tim, is, you preached and preached and preached your version of salvation and hell and eternal damnation to me for months, and then you write to me lamenting the Pope has lost his mind and is preaching for the devil, without apparently once considering God arranged the timing of that for you to learn of it and then inform me of it.
While God often works in mysterious ways, Tim, there was nothing mysterious about what God arranged to try to get your attention, and you apparently have not even yet considered that is what has happened. Lucky for you, and for others who believe and think as you do, that God is so tolerant.
You are all tangled up in your mind, Tim. You should try living from your heart. That’s where God lives inside of you, Tim, in your heart.
Maybe Sancho Panza, in a fit of maniacal revenge :-), somehow arranged for me to receive this yesterday:
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2013 19:48:32 -0600
Subject: Growing the Tea Party Movement
Are you interested in leading a nationwide Tea Party organization powerful enough to produce sweeping political change by reshaping the values of society? The following strategy would persuade mainstream voters into embracing conservative principles while renouncing the failed liberal philosophy. Want to learn more?
YOUTUBE VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuI3u6cLwYQ
Subject: RE: Growing the Tea Party Movement
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:13:15 -0500
Received this today from a retired psychiatrist, who, during his long career down here in Key West, was the School District’s psychiatrist and treated lots of people in his private practice.
Sloan: The caretakers and promoters of hell are called the TEA party.
I have that on good authority—Jerry
Personally, I, Sloan, think the Tea Party, the Republican Party and the Democrat Party all work for the Devil, but in different ways.
I also think Christianity works for the Devil, and Catholicism works for the Devil, and Islam works for the Devil, to drag the big Western religions to the party.
However, I found Pope Francis’ recent pronouncements refreshing: that just by doing good anyone can get into heaven after leaving this life, even Atheists.
If everyone was doing good 2000+ years ago, what need would there have been for Jesus to come to this planet? Rhetorical question.
What does the Tea Party think about Peter’s community in Acts of the Apostles?
Chapter 4The Christian Manner of Life
32 Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas (which means, Son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field which belonged to him, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. Chapter 5Ananias and Sapphira
1 But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard of these things.
There is a short but poignant grinder pump pronouncement at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on that link today, and by clicking on this link at anytime: