Greetings from totalitarian Germany

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Feb 19, 2021
17
10
3
54
Germany
#1
Hello Y'all !

New here, just found your forum in an internet search.

Thanks for running the forum.

I'm new to Christianity since about six months to a year. I currently live in Germany, am originally from the Netherlands, and was raised (as many are in Europe, probably increasingly many) in an un-Christian and rather narcissistic environment, in which no one believes in Virtue or in values [1].

[1] Where the word "values", for me, means: not the rules that you impose on OTHERS, but the rules that you impose on YOURSELF. Which, in my view, is a critical difference in how the word "values" is used on the one side by narcissists and the political left (where it means the rules for OTHERS), and on the other side conservatives and Christians (where it means the rules that you impose on yourself). The core thing here is that a belief in values that are values for YOURSELF (like Virtue and Brotherly Love) sets energy free in yourself -- which energy then emanates outward. In contrast, narcissism only destroys "spirit" and energy, not only in the narcissist himself, but also in everyone he is in contact with.

Since a few months, it has now finally become clear to me that I am probably a relatively "spiritual" person. The situation that here in Western Europe almost no one believes in Virtue any more is somewhat getting "on my nerves", I feel it is sapping my strength. I think I need to relocate to a part of the world where a reasonably large part of the population still believes in Virtue. It seems not unlikely to me that culturally I am more an American than a European.

See my Bio for more details.

I definitely "feel" something inside me that seems to correlate with most things I've read about Christianity, namely a kind of inner "fire". However, whether I am a Christian probably depends on how you define the word "a Christian". I do believe in the "fire" of Virtue and Brotherly Love, and it seems very obvious to me that this would equate to the term "the Holy Spirit". However I absolutely do NOT believe in any kind of supernaturalities. The miracles in the Bible (like the Red Sea parting in Exodus) should in my view not be read literally, but metaphorically. In general I strongly believe that the whole Bible should be read metaphorically. I suspect (therefore) that I am a kind of Quaker. I also strongly believe that Science and Reason on the one side, and Christianity on the other side, are not in logical contradiction to each other. I do NOT believe in an "afterlife". The whole point, for me, is that the "Spirit" should be in us HERE and NOW.

Why am I here? To connect with, and discuss with, like minded people. To connect with Christians of all kinds, and compare their views with mine. It would also be interesting to connect to some Quakers, and compare their views with mine. Also I would love to discuss with some "real" Americans (the type of American you see in Europe is almost without exception a leftist atheist).

Some discussion topics that are urgent for me:

1. Pacifism. Does "turning the other cheek" mean that violence is ALWAYS disallowed, even (for example) to defend from a rabid dog, or from a homicidal maniac attacking you?

2. Totalitarianism. In my view it is clear that Western Europe is right now becoming steadily more totalitarian. Which I would link to the disappearance of Christianity from Western Europe. And more to the point I would tend to perceive a strongly anti-totalitarian message in the Bible. The Hebrews in the O.T. constantly struggle to free themselves from oppression by totalitarian tyrants. And the "saviour" Jesus frees the soul from all kinds of "worldly" indoctrination, in which I would completely include that of the modern mass media, who are constantly pushing hypes that put FEAR into people, fear that is then misused by governments to push through repressive laws (which is literally the thing that is happening currently in Germany). I would say that the message of Jesus frees people from that fear. So my question is: how do you guys see all this?

Okay, so I am looking forward to interacting with you guys! Curious to find out whether I fit in here. Best greetings and may the Spirit be with you all.

---

PS: I see in the "new profile posts": Makarios2021, Wednesday at 10:25 PM, writing "Depressed. Need help". Makarios2021: if you see this: hi there. One problem here is that replying via PM costs money. Post a public forum post, simply describing your situation even if briefly (you have to give people SOMETHING to consider, to react to). Make people see you, and ENABLE them to respond, and then they WILL respond. "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
 
Jul 19, 2019
82
80
18
#3
A good day to you, JoshuaCaraccioli; allow me to be the first to welcome you to CC. I hope that you find the fellowship and the discussion you set out to find.

I'll have to read through your post a few more times before I can fully understand everything you said - a lot of first-world issues for a third-world girl! (So glad life is way more simple here in Africa! :))

I'm just a simple young lady with a simple faith in Jesus. I take the Bible literally and I've seen God work miracles. He's met me where I'm at in my circumstances and transformed my life, and I pray that He would like-wise do the same for you. Just meet with you reveal Himself to you like only He can :)

I like your fire and your boldness and I hope you enjoy your stay here :)
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,773
3,982
113
#5
Hello Y'all !

New here, just found your forum in an internet search.

Thanks for running the forum.

I'm new to Christianity since about six months to a year. I currently live in Germany, am originally from the Netherlands, and was raised (as many are in Europe, probably increasingly many) in an un-Christian and rather narcissistic environment, in which no one believes in Virtue or in values [1].

[1] Where the word "values", for me, means: not the rules that you impose on OTHERS, but the rules that you impose on YOURSELF. Which, in my view, is a critical difference in how the word "values" is used on the one side by narcissists and the political left (where it means the rules for OTHERS), and on the other side conservatives and Christians (where it means the rules that you impose on yourself). The core thing here is that a belief in values that are values for YOURSELF (like Virtue and Brotherly Love) sets energy free in yourself -- which energy then emanates outward. In contrast, narcissism only destroys "spirit" and energy, not only in the narcissist himself, but also in everyone he is in contact with.

Since a few months, it has now finally become clear to me that I am probably a relatively "spiritual" person. The situation that here in Western Europe almost no one believes in Virtue any more is somewhat getting "on my nerves", I feel it is sapping my strength. I think I need to relocate to a part of the world where a reasonably large part of the population still believes in Virtue. It seems not unlikely to me that culturally I am more an American than a European.

See my Bio for more details.

I definitely "feel" something inside me that seems to correlate with most things I've read about Christianity, namely a kind of inner "fire". However, whether I am a Christian probably depends on how you define the word "a Christian". I do believe in the "fire" of Virtue and Brotherly Love, and it seems very obvious to me that this would equate to the term "the Holy Spirit". However I absolutely do NOT believe in any kind of supernaturalities. The miracles in the Bible (like the Red Sea parting in Exodus) should in my view not be read literally, but metaphorically. In general I strongly believe that the whole Bible should be read metaphorically. I suspect (therefore) that I am a kind of Quaker. I also strongly believe that Science and Reason on the one side, and Christianity on the other side, are not in logical contradiction to each other. I do NOT believe in an "afterlife". The whole point, for me, is that the "Spirit" should be in us HERE and NOW.

Why am I here? To connect with, and discuss with, like minded people. To connect with Christians of all kinds, and compare their views with mine. It would also be interesting to connect to some Quakers, and compare their views with mine. Also I would love to discuss with some "real" Americans (the type of American you see in Europe is almost without exception a leftist atheist).

Some discussion topics that are urgent for me:

1. Pacifism. Does "turning the other cheek" mean that violence is ALWAYS disallowed, even (for example) to defend from a rabid dog, or from a homicidal maniac attacking you?

2. Totalitarianism. In my view it is clear that Western Europe is right now becoming steadily more totalitarian. Which I would link to the disappearance of Christianity from Western Europe. And more to the point I would tend to perceive a strongly anti-totalitarian message in the Bible. The Hebrews in the O.T. constantly struggle to free themselves from oppression by totalitarian tyrants. And the "saviour" Jesus frees the soul from all kinds of "worldly" indoctrination, in which I would completely include that of the modern mass media, who are constantly pushing hypes that put FEAR into people, fear that is then misused by governments to push through repressive laws (which is literally the thing that is happening currently in Germany). I would say that the message of Jesus frees people from that fear. So my question is: how do you guys see all this?

Okay, so I am looking forward to interacting with you guys! Curious to find out whether I fit in here. Best greetings and may the Spirit be with you all.

---

PS: I see in the "new profile posts": Makarios2021, Wednesday at 10:25 PM, writing "Depressed. Need help". Makarios2021: if you see this: hi there. One problem here is that replying via PM costs money. Post a public forum post, simply describing your situation even if briefly (you have to give people SOMETHING to consider, to react to). Make people see you, and ENABLE them to respond, and then they WILL respond. "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
Welcome to CC, Josh!:):coffee:

I see that you have read some of my posts. You should be excited to know that you are getting into something far deeper and heavier that you realized. Your culture and upbringing have caused you to discredit the Spiritual realm. I was put into a public school system. That brainwashed me into a material-based worldview. I respect you for being honest about your beliefs. Many Christians put on a false face and pretend to have Faith in things unseen and unproven by men's science when Sunday rolls around. All the rest of the time they just blend right in with the crowd. God calls those the "lukewarm".

Revelation
3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

The Spiritual realm can never be discovered by men's science for at least two reasons...

1.) God intended it so. He wants men to come by faith, not scientifically proven facts.
Hebrews
11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

2.) The modern scientific community seems to feel the need to discredit anything that might point to an omnipotent designer of all things. A mere suggestion of God seems to generate disgust and anger in them (except on Sundays).

You must leave the world far behind you if you would follow Jesus. Count the cost of following Him, but also count the cost of rejecting the sin-cleansing blood that Jesus spilled for the sake of your eternal soul 2000 years ago.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

A person will either spend eternity in Hell or in Heaven. Salvation is free, but we must accept it. We must accept it on His terms, not our own.

Revelation
3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
16,721
9,099
113
#6
Welcome to CC, Joshua! Sorry to hear your nation is so far from God. I hope you find some encouragement here.
 

TabinRivCA

Well-known member
Oct 23, 2018
6,600
6,325
113
#9
Nice to meet you Joshua and welcome to CC! Re Pacifism I would say to be led by the Holy Spirit in any situation. Being the last days, it's no surprise what is happening, it's all prophesy and nothing happens w/o God's knowledge. Keep the faith and God bless and keep you!
 
Feb 19, 2021
17
10
3
54
Germany
#10
Hello all! Many thanks to all of you for the very cordial welcome! I will get back to you all ASAP. (Unfortunately I have an important delivery deadline tomorrow which until then will eat up all my remaining time; I hope it was OK for me that despite this I submitted my post on Saturday.) I am sort of juggling eggs, trying to connect with people despite of a load of crises and commitments going on. I am extremely eager to reply and to discuss further with you guys. I expect to be able to begin posting replies on Wednesday. Till then and with best Greetings.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,773
3,982
113
#11
Hello all! Many thanks to all of you for the very cordial welcome! I will get back to you all ASAP. (Unfortunately I have an important delivery deadline tomorrow which until then will eat up all my remaining time; I hope it was OK for me that despite this I submitted my post on Saturday.) I am sort of juggling eggs, trying to connect with people despite of a load of crises and commitments going on. I am extremely eager to reply and to discuss further with you guys. I expect to be able to begin posting replies on Wednesday. Till then and with best Greetings.
Don't worry Josh. Just do the things that you must do. We'll all leave the lights on for ya!:giggle::coffee:
 
Feb 19, 2021
17
10
3
54
Germany
#12
Hello all, many thanks again to you all for the friendly welcome.

I appreciate it that the population of this forum is not only teenagers (as in most other internet forums) but also includes older people.

Deade, out of curiosity, if I may ask, what is the meaning of your username? It sounds like the word "dead", but that can hardly be the intention, or is it?

I like your fire and your boldness
Ooh, many thanks for that remark, TimothyGirl. I love you for that remark.

On miracles: the American Orthodox monk Seraphim Rose has said: Miracles are not the right reason to accept Christianity. (See his little book _God's Revelation to the Human Heart_, which is online at https://b-ok.cc/book/5670062/a9a908 , at page 22.) Namely his argument is that miracles are everywhere, specifically he states that magicians can also do miracles. But a religion should, and here I agree with him, not be adopted because of some magic tricks that it can perform, but because of the change it creates in the heart of people. What is your view on this, TimothyGirl?

A concrete question to you Timotygirl: Are you convinced that Christianity (or the Christian God) is the *only* religion (or the only "power") that can work miracles, or do there in your view beside this also exist other "powers" that can also work miracles? Many Christians seem to believe in an "evil power" (or powers, plural), that can do supernatural things of an *evil* kind.

---
Oyster67, many thanks for your extensive post.

I respect you for being honest about your beliefs. Many Christians put on a false face and pretend to have Faith in things unseen and unproven by men's science when Sunday rolls around. All the rest of the time they just blend right in with the crowd. God calls those the "lukewarm".
I am glad to read this. That kind of thing is especially prevalent in the Netherlands; there is even a Dutch neologism for it, namely "iets-ism" ("iets" = the Dutch word for "something", i.e. it translates into English as "something-ism"), which even has a Wikipedia page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ietsism . This is a kind of rough unspecified "feeling" that there must be "some kind of spiritual power" out there, however it has no intellectual or moral content. I strongly reject "iets-ism". My criticism of "iets-ism" is that it is only a vague feeling, and that as such it is not related to the search for truth. I regard iets-ism as empty and lazy, intellectually, spiritually, and morally.

However, I also reject many things in Christianity [1]. I do not do this for the purpose of maligning Christians (the fact is that I am discovering that I *like* Christians -- I am discovering that I agree with Christians on seemingly almost all moral and political issues, and also I like the superb way how Christians do social interaction.) Rather, I do this because I am searching for the truth. I am the type of person who is unable to accept and believe things of which I am not convinced myself. I refuse to be an actor who just does make-believe, who just mouths words or creeds that he does not really believe in.

[1] In which it seems to me I should be in good company among Christians, since every kind of Protestant rejects some aspects of Catholicism, and doesn't every Christian also reject the indiscrininate wholesale genocide of whole conquered cities ordered by the Jewish God at many points in the Old Testament?

I think I am the complete reverse of "iets-ism". Namely I reject all supernaturalities, including the "undefined power" of iets-ism; but also I reject the existence of "God" in the sense of a kind of all-powerful despot sitting in the sky that controls everything (i.e. the kind of God as in ancient Uruk and Egypt and in the old testament). So in this sense I am very definitely an atheist.

However I do believe in a kind of "Light" or "Spirit" that works in people (and this "Light", I equate it to the "Holy Spirit" of the New Testament, very much like the Quakers are doing). But beware I do not believe it is supernatural; I am convinced that instead it is a psychological phenomenon that can be understood scientifically. But the crucial point is that I am totally certain that this scientific understanding does not change the thing, it still remains the same powerful thing that has the same powerful effect on the heart (soul, psyche) of people. And this effect on the heart of people is, in my view, what Christianity is all about (I am curious who of you will agree with me here).

Also, in my view, it does not matter very much HOW a person arrives at discovering the "Holy Spirit". Some people arrive at it via belief in the miracles as described in the Bible. Some people *explain* the change that their discovery of the Holy Spirit has worked in them as a supernatural miracle. I explain the change that it has worked in me via my own language as a rationalist and scientist. My thesis is that the end effect, the effect that the thing works in the heart (psyche), remains the same, and that the only difference lies in the "language" in which you "rationalize" (express, formulate) the thing that is happening in you. I do classify myself as a Christian in the sense that I think I am a follower of the doctrines of Jesus (in the same way that Thomas Jefferson writes in the preface of his _Jefferson Bible_ which I like a lot). But at the same time I am still in a certain sense an atheist. I think that would probably fit into the category of "atheist Quakers". But the point for me is that these classifications are just words. The important thing is not words, but how the Holy Spirit works in people.

Oyster67, I have more comments to make on your post, but the above may cover some of the most important points, and for now I will leave my reply at this point. I like your penchant for discussion, and also your positive mindset and frankness.

---
General question: Are there any Quakers on this forum? If you are a Quaker and reading this, then give me a buzz, would love to hear from you.

---
Meanwhile, since starting this thread, I have I discovered on the forum the thread about the "Other Cheek" issue (https://christianchat.com/bible-dis...fight-rather-than-turn-the-other-cheek.197247) and the many threads about politics (https://christianchat.com/conspiracy-corruption-discussion-forum/), which please me very much and which by merely reading them already clear up much of my need for interaction on these points. These threads totally confirm for me that my views on these things are squarely in the middle of those of Christians.
- Totalitarianism equals narcissism, and both of these are (metaphorically speaking) of the Devil, or more accurately stated: Narcissism and Totalitarianism is of people who are "empty" inside (empty of morality and virtue and therefore empty of the Holy Spirit). A person who has found the Holy Spirit will not be able to morally accept either Totalitarianism or Narcissism.
- And also, the "other cheek" statement by Jesus can not be meant as an absolute (since it seems absolutely clear that Jesus never intended to say that a Christian should "turn the other cheek" when some tyrant is attacking his child or his wife, anyone disagree on this?).

However, I would still be curious to hear from people from other parts of the world on how politics works in their part of the world, specifically concerning fearmongering by governments and by the mass media. I'll probably turn to the politics threads for this.

---
With best Greetings and may the Spirit be with you all. Thanks for running the forum and for filling it with life.
 
Jul 19, 2019
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#14
Ooh, many thanks for that remark, TimothyGirl. I love you for that remark.
Your openness and thoroughness is quite refreshing, Mr. Caraccioli! Or should I call you "Oom Joshua" instead? :LOL:
Makes me love you in return! :)

...A religion should, and here I agree with him, not be adopted because of some magic tricks that it can perform, but because of the change it creates in the heart of people. What is your view on this, TimothyGirl?
You know, my initial reaction was that I totally agree with that and I was going to respond accordingly. But then... the Spirit cautioned me not to be so dogmatic about my approach and then gave me several Scriptures that challenged my own theology! :oops: So, if you wouldn't mind, I would prefer to put this on the backburner and get back to you once I've prayed about it and searched out the answer for myself... :unsure:

I read through your entire post and much quickened in my spirit in response, but you will have to be patient with me this time as I will don't have time to respond this evening.

But no less, thank you for the discussion and I pray that the Lord Himself will lead you to the truth that you are seeking.
Regards,
TimothyGirl
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,773
3,982
113
#15
I like you, Joshua, but I must present Christianity to you as it is, not what you would like it to be. Jesus, the Son of God, declared that His Way was the only way. He said that men were born into sin and that if they did not accept His death on the Cross as full payment for their sins, and follow Him, then their souls would perish in Hell for all eternity. God has prepared a future home in Heaven for you, Josh, but you will never see it unless you come humbly before Him and worship Him and follow with simple, child-like faith.

Matthew 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

I know that it runs against our grain to bow down to our Maker. It was not always so. Read the first several chapters of the Bible to see how it started out and what went wrong. Don't believe the Bible is true? Then you have nothing to be afraid of. How can you call something a lie if you don't even know what it says?

Acts
4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,773
3,982
113
#16
doesn't every Christian also reject the indiscrininate wholesale genocide of whole conquered cities ordered by the Jewish God at many points in the Old Testament?
No. I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that God destroyed the whole world with a universal flood 4,300 years ago. I have no problem with God purging the entire Earth with fire in the future. God will punish all those who reject His Son. He will punish them in eternal hellfire for all eternity. I have no problem with that either. God loves you and has wonderful plans for you, Josh, but if you reject His dear and precious Son, then you will wish you had never been born. When I was young, I thought like you think, but I eventually came to realize that there was no excuse for rejecting the precious gift that my Maker offered me. There is no excuse for the man who rejects His Maker.

Psalms
2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish [from] the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed [are] all they that put their trust in him.

God gave His dear Son for you. Now you know. Now you are accountable for what you do with that knowledge. Giving your life to Jesus is not a suggestion or alternative lifestyle. It is required of all men to do so before it is too late.

2 Peter
3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,
3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
 
Feb 19, 2021
17
10
3
54
Germany
#17
Hello Oyster67, thank you for your replies, and for expressing the things as you believe them to be without circumlocutions or euphemisms.

It seems we have found some very definite points where we differ in views (beliefs).

You are correct, I am creating my own version of Christianity -- a version that I believe is the correct one and the true one conform the spirit of the teachings of Jesus, but which may indeed be so much distant from the views of the majority of Christians that in their perception it is no longer correct to call me a Christian.

What I am doing is I see a progression from the Mesopotamian-style God in the Old Testament (which is a god only for one people), to a more abstract idea of "God" in the New Testament (where God is for all people and is more about morality than about nationalism), and then what I am doing is I am following that path toward abstraction away from the O.T. God even further. Which means first of all that I am interpreting many things in the Bible (and especially in the O.T.) in a very metap
horical sense (apparently much more metaphorical than you).

become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
I read the "little children" as: Free your mind of all false dogma. And I read the "kingdom of heaven" as the state of mind a person is in when he hes found the Holy Spirit, and I read Luke 17:21 ("the Kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU") in exactly the same way. It is not about "heaven" (as some place you go to after death), it is about how to live here and now.

God gave His dear Son for you.
I reject that part of Christianity. I think it is emotional blackmail, of exactly the kind that narcissists are constantly doing. I do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. I believe that he was only an inspired man (as Paul and many others were also). I believe that the "Son of God" thing is entirely "apocryphal" (i.e. cobbled on afterward, and not part of the original message of Jesus.

No. I have no problem whatsoever with the fact that God destroyed the whole world with a universal flood 4,300 years ago. I have no problem with God purging the entire Earth with fire in the future. God will punish all those who reject His Son. He will punish them in eternal hellfire for all eternity. I have no problem with that either. God loves you and has wonderful plans for you, Josh, but if you reject His dear and precious Son, then you will wish you had never been born. When I was young, I thought like you think, but I eventually came to realize that there was no excuse for rejecting the precious gift that my Maker offered me. There is no excuse for the man who rejects His Maker.
That is scary. I thought that Christianity was the religion of Love. I came to Christianity because, via the path of discovering Brotherly Love, I have found a way out of the narcissism that permeated the environment I grew up in. This Love thing is what brought me to exploring Christianity. In my view, Love is a force against hate, or formulated better it is a force that dissolves hate (from the mind of people, beginning with yourself).

But now you are giving me the impression that (some?) Christians do foster hate inside themselves.

To be sure, I do agree on the "hate" thing in one respect, namely I say that it is correct to hate Evil, and correct to want to combat Evil. But I say also that the process (manner) of combating evil should go in a way that is "loving" and reasonable and measured, and not in a way that is "hateful" and fanatic. I say that if in combating Evil one becomes permeated oneself by a spirit of hate, that this means that you are not combating evil but that instead evil has captured you.

I say that killing off the whole population of a city, men, women, and children, **even if they are all completely impregnated with an evil mindset**, is not conform the spirit of the teachings of Jesus. In my view, the Jesus-way would be to first try to win them back (= to convert their minds to Goodness), and if that is not possible (like with inveterate Narcissists) then to leave them alone to rot in their own bog; and if even that is not possible (because they are actually ATTACKING you physically), only then --in last resort-- draw your sword and start the killing. But starting the killing as step one (as the Jews do in the book of Joshua in the O.T.), without even being attacked yet, that is surely not conform the teachings of Jesus.

With best Greetings and may the Light be with you.
 
Feb 19, 2021
17
10
3
54
Germany
#18
Hello TimothyGirl, thank you for your reply.

Interesting, do you speak Afrikaans?

Just call me simply "Joshua" or "Josh", if you like.

You know, my initial reaction was that I totally agree with that and I was going to respond accordingly. But then... the Spirit cautioned me not to be so dogmatic about my approach and then gave me several Scriptures that challenged my own theology! :oops: So, if you wouldn't mind, I would prefer to put this on the backburner and get back to you once I've prayed about it and searched out the answer for myself... :unsure:

I read through your entire post and much quickened in my spirit in response, but you will have to be patient with me this time as I will don't have time to respond this evening.
That is very good indeed. Think for yourself. Please note that I am only a "seeker"; whatever I write is only me brainstorming aloud while seeking. Also, there is no time pressure. And also, **please** do criticize *me* in case after reflection you discover some things where it seems that I was wrong in anything that I wrote. I am here to learn.

But no less, thank you for the discussion and I pray that the Lord Himself will lead you to the truth that you are seeking.
And I thank you.

By the way, TimothyGirl, is your username related to 1 Timothy, chapter 2 ?

With best Greetings to Zimbabwe and may the Spirit and the Light be with you.
 

oyster67

Senior Member
May 24, 2014
4,773
3,982
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#19
I do not believe that Jesus was the son of God.
Hebrews
10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
10:31 [It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
 
Feb 19, 2021
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#20
I do not believe that Jesus was the son of God.
Or more accurately stated: I do not believe that Jesus was the son of God in a LITERAL sense.

The Bible is (I think) clearly full of metaphorical language, even at the level of individual words. Hebrew "son of" is often employed in a figurative sense: If there is some group or tribe, say the tribe of Dan, then "son of Dan" (just to create an arbitrary example) is often meant to mean a person who belongs to that group, that tribe (and not a person whose biological father is named Dan). So likewise, I would read "Son of God" metaphorically, to mean a person who is filled with "the spirit of God". (In which latter expression, in turn, I further read the word "God" not as meaning a despot residing in the sky, but as a synonym for the Holy Spirit.)

It seems clear that we have here bumped into the contrast between on the one side a literal interpretation of the Bible (probably a majority of Christians and probably a majority on this forum), and on the other side the view of the Quakers (which is where I clearly belong).

Jesus even at one point says *explicitly* (Matthew 13:13) that he is speaking in parables. Which I take to mean, that his words are, quite generally, not intended to be taken literally, but that instead his words should almost always be understood metaphorically.

(I also have a feeling (based on reading other things from history) that in the time the N.T. and O.T. were written, people were much more used to speaking metaphorically than we modern people. But that is an entirely separate argument.)

On the other hand, of course, you have your literal Bible. So there is likely no solution for this controversy, for this difference in interpretation. Literal-minded people will interpret things literally (no offense intended), and abstract-minded people will always keep on refusing to interpret things literally.

Peace and Light be with you.