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Featured We're all just cowards

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Tranquil Servant, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    are you proposing?......when the hour is at hand

    we stand before God
    and pretend the situation is not overwhelming

    I don't think God and heaven will ask if you are afraid

    it will be obvious
     
  2. Faithofchristian

    Faithofchristian Well-Known Member

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    But you didn't know the light was burned out or a power failure until you went to turn the light on, then you found a power failure or the light being burned out.

    Therefore you had the faith in turning the switch that light would come on.

    No matter how you try to cut it,
    It took some amount of faith in believing the moment you flip the switch that the light would come on.

    Just because you can't accept the simplest facts, doesn't take away from facts.
     
    #42 Faithofchristian, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  3. Tranquil Servant

    Tranquil Servant Was M.I.A for a while

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    Yes of course! Both believers and non-believers alike will be afraid (that is of course, if there's a God which I do believe there is). But not only that......ppl love to be bold and courageous when they're in the safety of their own space and hidden behind a keyboard but let something life- altering/ending happen; (and this something I always think about) what if someone kidnapped you (not you personally, I'm generalizing) and gave you a choice to either denounce what you believe in and live or don't denounce what you believe in and die. Which would you choose? (you don't have to answer; this is just something to think about) I personally don't know what I would choose. I do believe and have faith in God but I have had a doubt or two in the past which I'm not ashamed to admit and notice that I included myself when I said "we are all cowards" because yes I believe in God but I don't pretend to have all the answers and pretend like I never have doubts or fears or like I have everything figured out. It's easy to say "I'm never scared" or "I'm not afraid" if you're just imagining a situation but have never been in that situation....And it's so ironic that the first people to say "I'm not afraid" or to claim to have unwavering faith are usually the first ones to yield.
    I'm not targeting anyone in particular.:nogood:
    And okaaaay!:rolleyes:, maybe I shouldn't have used the word "coward" but anyone who is afraid to admit they're afraid sometimes, really is a coward.
     
  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Baconist
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    Enlightened cowardice is OK.
    Revoltistanian battle cry....
    "Damn the torpedoes...full speed astern!"
    Fear armed enemies, not invented gods.
     
  5. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Confidence based on experience is NOT faith, no matter how you try and cut it. Faith would be if I believed the light would come on when I flipped the switch, even though I had never seen a light switch before.
     
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  6. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad you brought this up.
    I was watching a short clip yesterday, and it got me thinking of how people with strong faith are a testimony to the truthfulness and reliability of not only the Bible, but the reality of its author - the true and living God.
    Recall this...
    Damnatio ad bestias (Latin for "condemnation to beasts") was a form of Roman capital punishment in which the condemned person was killed by wild animals. This form of execution, which first came to ancient Rome around the 2nd century BC, was part of the wider class of blood sports called Bestiarii.

    The act of damnatio ad bestias was considered entertainment for the lower classes of Rome. Killing by wild animals, such as lions, formed part of the inaugural games of the Flavian Amphitheatre in 80 AD. Between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, this penalty was also applied to the worst criminals, runaway slaves, and Christians.


    Execution of Christians
    The use of damnatio ad bestias against Christians began in the 1st century AD. Tacitus states that during the first persecution of Christians under the reign of Nero (after the Fire of Rome in 64), people were wrapped in animal skins (called tunica molesta) and thrown to dogs.[25] This practice was followed by other emperors who moved it into the arena and used larger animals. Application of damnatio ad bestias to Christians was intended to equate them with the worst criminals, who were usually punished this way.

    There is a widespread view among contemporary specialists that the prominence of Christians among those condemned to death in the Roman arena was greatly exaggerated in earlier times. There is no evidence for Christians being executed at the Colosseum in Rome.

    According to Roman laws, Christians were:
    1. Guilty of high treason (majestatis rei)
      1. For their worship Christians gathered in secret and at night, making unlawful assembly, and participation in such collegium illicitum or coetus nocturni was equated with a riot.
      2. For their refusal to honor images of the emperor by libations and incense
    2. Dissenters from the state gods (άθεοι, sacrilegi)
    3. Followers of magic prohibited by law (magi, malefici)
    4. Confessors of a religion unauthorized by the law (religio nova, peregrina et illicita), according to the Twelve Tables).
    The spread of the practice of throwing Christians to beasts was reflected by the Christian writer Tertullian (2nd century). He states that the general public blamed Christians for any general misfortune and after natural disasters would cry "Away with them to the lions!" This is the only reference from contemporaries mentioning Christians being thrown specifically to lions. Tertullian also wrote that Christians started avoiding theaters and circuses, which were associated with the place of their torture.
    Reminds me of Daniel in the Lion's den.

    Paul said...
    1 Corinthians 15:30-33
    30 Why are we also in danger every hour? 31 Daily I face death. This is as sure as my exultation over you, brothers, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If like other men, I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, of what good is it to me? If the dead are not to be raised up, “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” 33 Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.

    The small clip I watched, was about a group of Christians, who were willing to die, rather than renounce their faith.
    So fearless in the face of death, and faithful unto death these Christians were, that all of them stood firm, without compromise. All of them even survived a death march, which resulted in the death of about 11,000 other prisoners. Another 10,700 others were shot for not keeping up the march.

    These Christians courageously stood firm for their faith, even though they could have gained freedom, simply by accepting military service.
    No one wants to die a violent death, but at the same time, there are persons who do not fear death, at all.
    The scriptures state the reason - 1 John 4:18, 19 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts fear out, because fear restrains us. Indeed, the one who is fearful has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love, because he first loved us.

    Apparently these only have one fear. Matthew 10:28
     
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  7. Faithofchristian

    Faithofchristian Well-Known Member

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    Meaning of Confidence as defined in the Webster Dictionary ---"the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
    "we had every confidence in the staff"
    synonyms: trust, belief, faith, credence, conviction.

    Faith as defined in the Webster dictionary.
    When you have faith, you trust or believe in something very strongly. ... This noun comes from the Old French word feid, meaning“faith,belief,trust,confidence,
    pledge.

    There you have Faith and Confidence both meaning the same thing.
    But then you will argue with it of course.
     
  8. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    My position on gods has nothing to do with fear. Au contraire. I learned to live without false reassurances, and now feel quite comfortable without any god belief or expectation of an afterlife.

    What do you have to say to people that don't need the comforting that you seem to think we do? Religion has nothing to offer me. I am perfectly content believing that I am mortal, finite, and that when I die, experience will end.

    I expect the next 13 billion years after death o be a lot like the first 13 billion were before birth. There is no reason to believe otherwise, and it is not difficult to live with, but I suspect that one must start in the first half of life. After a lifetime of religious thinking, it's probably all but impossible to shake up your worldview and social arrangements, many of which depend on you continuing to profess the same beliefs or face the scorn and rejection of so many of your friends, family, and church members.

    What I admire most is the person who rises from his knees and takes his proper place in the universe as the bipedal ape that he was born to be, in possession of some but not all of the answers, and content saying that he doesn't know what is not known.

    The enlightened ape realizes that there may be no gods watching over him from afar, that his existence might end forever with his death, that the universe might not care about him or know that he is in it, that we who populate the surface of this planet may be all the life that there is for light years in every direction - lives that are insignificant everywhere but here on earth and even here, insignificant to all but a handful of people and animals that may love us, and that things on earth won't get better by putting our hands together and hoping, but by making them better ourselves.

    Because as far as we know, that's how it is, and after decades of living with these ideas, I am fine with them - quite comfortable.

    Also, instead of telling atheists how we think and what we believe, how about asking us? You didn't get very much right in my case. For example, you wrote, "If you want to actually not be afraid of what comes after, you must therefore believe in a God that not only has an afterlife but also gives Grace." I am living proof that that is incorrect. I am not afraid of what is to come despite holding no such belief. My life is better for it. I wouldn't trade it for the religious life I left over three decades ago, which was obviously not satisfying if I left it, and doesn't seem to be doing much for the religious people I know.

    You're also very incorrect about what somebody like me wants. I want no more money and no more power. I successful enough by virtue of being happily married, having more good friends than a person has a right to expect, living in a beautiful place populated by relatively happy people (we expatriated from America almost 10 years ago), some of the best weather in the world, all the freedom I can use, and means that easily support the simple and humble life style that we prefer. I have no fear of death.

    But I'm not here to sell you on my way of living life. As I indicated, if you're not still a young woman, making the transition that I made so many decades ago will be much more difficult and disorienting for you than it was for the younger me - perhaps impossible - with much less to offer in return. Perhaps your belief in an afterlife is indispensable to you now - a lifeline you can no longer risk letting loose of for fear of incurring an existential crisis that can no longer be dealt with without religious beliefs.

    It's a lot like quitting smoking. It's easy at 20, a lot harder at 40, and often impossible after age 60.
     
    #48 It Aint Necessarily So, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  9. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    So inaccurate statements about reality that nonetheless cheer people up are 'true' for you?
     
  10. Tranquil Servant

    Tranquil Servant Was M.I.A for a while

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    Thank you for this brother:blush::wink:
    I pray for such courage:praying:
     
  11. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Well certainly if you want to use the definition of faith that is synonymous with confidence. However, it doesn't apply the the religious definition of faith. When I'm told that the bible is the word of God and that I just have to take it on faith, they are not telling me to take it on 'confidence'. They mean I have to believe it without verifiable evidence... I just need to accept it on faith.

    It's true that people can have confidence in something BASED purely on faith. But my confidence that the lights will come on when I flip a switch is NOT based on faith, but rather past experience and my understanding of how electricity works.
     
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  12. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    :)
    Prayer is a big part of it, but prayer must be accompanied by faith.
    James 1:6-8
    6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.

    So it's important to know the one who's got your back.
    Romans 10:13-15
    13 For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” 14 However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? 15How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!

    When you said you pray for courage, one name instantly popped int my mind - David. It reminded me of his words to Goliath.
    “You are coming against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I am coming against you in the name of Jehovah of armies, the God of the battle line of Israel, whom you have taunted." - 1 Samuel 17:45

    The three companions of Daniel had courage too.
    Daniel 3:16-18
    16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17If it must be, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the burning fiery furnace, O king, and to rescue us from your hand. 18But even if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold that you have set up.”

    From my experience as long as one has come to know where to find true refuge, and takes it, they gain courage... since they know who has got their back - they fear nothing, and no one.
    Proverbs 18:10The name of Jehovah is a strong tower. Into it the righteous one runs and receives protection.

    Psalm 118:10-12
    10 All the nations surrounded me, But in the name of Jehovah, I warded them off. 11 They surrounded me, yes, I was completely surrounded, But in the name of Jehovah, I warded them off. 12 They surrounded me like bees, But they were extinguished as quickly as a fire among thorns. In the name of Jehovah, I warded them off.

    Psalm 124:8 Our help is in the name of Jehovah, The Maker of heaven and earth.”

    That phrase is mentioned 18 times in Psalms alone, and is associated with protection, and salvation. Evidently one must know Jehovah.

    "Superman" does not even come close to that one. So imagine. ;)
     
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  13. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    @QuestioningMind
    It depends on whom you talk to apparently.
    To my knowledge, the Bible is only one piece of evidence for faith.
    Romans 10:16, 17
    16 Nevertheless, they did not all obey the good news. For Isaiah says: “Jehovah, who has put faith in the thing heard from us?” 17 So faith follows the thing heard. In turn, what is heard is through the word about Christ.
     
  14. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    I'm really struggling to understand what you're trying to say here. Of COURSE faith follows the thing heard. You can't have faith that the bible is the Word of God if you've never heard of the bible. You can't have faith that magical fairies exist if you've never heard of magical fairies. The question is, once someone introduces me to the bible and tells me that it's the Word of God, how am I to verify that claim? I can either wait until some sort of verifiable evidence is presented before believing that it is the Word of God or I can simply accept the claim without any verifiable evidence. In other words, take it on faith.
     
  15. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Do you imagine that Christians believe the Bible, just because?
    Why do you think there is no verifiable evidence that the scriptures are true?

    I am saying that those who tell you that you need to take something by faith without evidence, are of one sort of people. Other people believe that faith is evidenced based.
    Here is another example - Hebrews 11:6Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.

    Why do you imagine that Christians do not have evidence that God is? Do you think that only by seeing God [​IMG] , does one have evidence?
     
    #55 nPeace, Feb 18, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  16. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    Do you imagine that Christians believe the Bible, just because?

    I imagine there are many reasons Christians believe the bible, though I suspect that the vast majority of them believe it simply because their families and communities told them to.

    Why do you think there is no verifiable evidence that the scriptures are true?

    Because I have yet to be presented with any verifiable evidence that any religious scriptures were written by anyone other than fallible human beings. I certainly understand that there are plenty of people who consider their belief in God and the bible to be based on evidence. However, from my experience what they consider to be evidence does not constitute verifiable evidence for me. The fact that my friend prayed to God she'd get a job and then got one might be 'evidence' to her that God is real, but not to me, since in reality she was probably just the most qualified applicant for the job.

    In my opinion quotes from the bible do not qualify as verifiable evidence that the bible was in any way influenced by some God being. First you must present verifiable evidence that the book wasn't just written by fallible men before you can give any weight to its contents.

    Do you think that only by seeing God does one have evidence?

    Certainly not all verifiable evidence is something that is seen. The wind can't been seen, but it can be felt against my skin and measured. Do you have any evidence for God that can be verified in a similar manner?
     
  17. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    I strongly suspect a pending situation

    after my last breath.....I stand from this carcass
    heaven will appear to see whatever stood up

    I believe the peace of heaven is guarded
    so a question will be pressed upon me......though it will be obvious my response

    What do you believe?

    my response would be written on my face.....so to speak
    we cannot hide what we really are
    we entered this world naked
    we leave the same way.....even more so
    we cannot hide the manner of mind and heart that we become

    and the angelic will ask again.....
    This is what you believe?....!!!!!

    followed by.....WHO told you THAT?.....
    WHY?.....did you believe it?

    they will then deal upon me the consequence that ever I did nod my head

    and then they will go looking for the guy that deceived me
     
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  18. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    You seem to think that there must be some kind of evidence to show that a supernatural entity wrote the words of the scrolls. Is that the case? Do you think that human writers could not be used by God?
    This is the claim the Bible makes, and I find there is evidence to back those claims.

    Of course. I would not just believe that there was wind, if I had no evidence for it, so why would I believe in God, if I had no evidence.
    I think that some persons may do this, but I don't believe that make sense, or is beneficial.
    Why not ask your friend, and see what she says.
     
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  19. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    That describes reality for everyone who has ever lived. :) It's all metaphors. All reality is perception. So back to my original question, whose model of reality is reality? The answer is none of them, and all of them. If it allows you to function and find meaning, then it is truth.
     
  20. Tranquil Servant

    Tranquil Servant Was M.I.A for a while

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    I've actually been christian pretty much all my life and never have I felt like I know more about Christ than now. After having my faith tested because of personal problems and ppl (like most of the ppl on this website:rolleyes:), I felt compelled to learn more about what I claim is my way of life. I learned more (in a matter of a few months) reading, researching, asking questions (on this website esp.) and looking for answers on my own than I did going to church my whole life. So I do feel like I know Christ and I feel like my doubt actually helped strengthen my faith but just like a marriage or any other committed relationship, it takes a lifetime (maybe not a lifetime) to really know someone.....
    And as for fear..... I try to not let the enemy's lies lead me to fear cause I know it's one of his tools...
    One of my fears in the past was being afraid to post anything on this website (I blame this website for a lot of the good and bad it caused in my life lol:p) because I feel like it's dominated by more non-religious ppl than religious ppl which is weird cause the website is called Religious Forums right!? Idk how that happened but anyways, in the past when I first joined this website, I would ask a question or answer questions from a Christian perspective but would always get responses from non- believers always asking for proof and basically insulting me or making me feel like a savage for believing in God and the Bible. Or fellow Christians judging me for asking questions. Now I ignore the negativity and insignificance. I care more about what I believe in and unlike some ppl on this website, I don't spend hours trying to (insult, humiliate, ridicule and) convince ppl that what I believe is right because in the end those ppl are really just trying to convince themselves. I know MY belief is right (even if it's not right to anyone else).;)
     
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