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Religious guys... How fervent are you?

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And at no point, including today, have Jews been the majority in Israel. That is why they don't want a one state solution. They'd be the minority.

No one there wants a one state solution, except perhaps the Palestinians. But the Jews have never minded being the minority. They can prosper in just about any environment. Extremist Islam cannot and will not ever share anything.

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So I've been in Israel for about two weeks now. Obviously, you see a lot of religious stuff here.

 

The ultra orthodox Jews with their side locks and hats and such. The Muslims with their forehead bruises. Some weird Armenian Christian sect im not familiar with. The whole damn country shuts down from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Etc.

 

Today, we were in the old city of Jerusalem. Went to the church of the holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

 

People were doing weird ass stuff man. There is a rock slab where Jesus was prepared for burial. People kneel and put rosaries or other objects on it to absorb holy power or whatever.

 

A group of 50 or so eastern Europeans was chanting the hail Mary in whatever language in line to go in the tomb. I mean for an hour and a half without stopping.

 

People were swooning and almost passing out from the enormity of being there.

 

It really kinda weirded me out. It was very... Culty.

 

Do any of you take it that seriously?

 

Culty seems like a good word for it. Ever been to a Kansas Jayhawks basketball game? Culty also applies. A Michael Jackson or Elvis concert? Same. The culty part of evangelicalism in the U.S. is the replacement of Jesus with Israel worship, based upon some various "end times" theories and teachings. It's part of what got Trump elected in that he promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem, as if that were to usher in a string of events that would benefit believers.

 

The compiled bible we have teaches that the old covenant (Mosaic law) economy ended, whether one believes in Jesus as the Messiah or doesn't. Most of Israel doesn't believe that the Jesus of our bible was the Messiah. Even the Jewish leadership in that last generation of the disciples didn't believe He was their awaited Messiah, though the calendar and math should've told them otherwise. They are still awaiting another. All of Paul's writings in the bible speak to the fact that being an heir of Abraham was based upon faith and not upon cultural or dna heritage (not all Israel is Israel, Rom 9:6). The mystery of God was that Jews and Gentiles, alike, would be part of Abraham's "family" (Eph 3:3-4). The law of Moses was intended to bring the Israelites under sin, not to bring salvation. They wanted the keeping of the law to set them apart and make them the exclusive heirs of Abraham. That is still the case today. The law, instead, put them in the same position as Gentiles...all are "sinners" (Gal 3:21,22). The "last days" referred to the last days of the old covenant, temple economy. The temple system was the "wall" (for lack of a better word) that was keeping separation from the uniting of Jews and Gentiles. It's destruction was foretold in Luke 21 (Matt 24), and was the necessary catalyst to the coming of the new covenant kingdom (Rev 10:7, 11:13-15).

 

Church has made it much like Plato and paganism in order to believe. It teaches about a God who is angry with people because they can't be obedient, so a sacrifice is needed. That's what all cults taught. So, a sacrifice was offered in the form of Jesus. The bible does affirm that Jesus was made the substitute, or propitiation, for sin (1 John 2:2). I don't want to gloss over that fact, or minimize it. He was the reconciliation with God for iniquity...the sacrifice necessary to confirm the Abrahamic covenant with all peoples. But, what does that do for us if we believe (have faith)? To say that it gets us into "heaven" as a reward is merely to paganize the sacrifice. All cults tried to appease the various angry gods with sacrifices so they could gain a reward...rain, love, fertility, whatever. Ours teaches it gets us "heaven," which it very well may. It seems, instead, to qualify those of faith for a vocation, a job. They are deemed the royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9,10). The point of the priests was to bear the laments of the people to God, and to bear the image of God back to the people. What that means in the new covenant heavens and earth is that believers are to be more fully human In Christ...to be able to relate and to share in the sufferings of those in the world and pray those laments to God, then be the face of God back to that same hurting world.. I'm not sure it is to make believers more God-like, or them to act more holier-than-thou. But, to recognize the sufferings of Jesus in the sufferings of those born in His image, and to lament with them. A vocation (as a reward). How many "fervantly" share in the laments and sufferings of those in the world and take those to God? My $0.02. Peace!

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What is fervent? when the little boys go to the priest and count his sperm?

 

It's a person. Used to be a member here. Fervent Ro.

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Im on the fence with a higher power existing. I do think if there was a God that created the entire universe, one of the only entertaining things to do would be to create life and give it the illusion of free will to see if they would love you.

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George Michael had faith.

He usually had his faith buried in some guy's crotch in a public bathroom.

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There are some things I just think are too much. I was raised catholic and have been with my grandma many times to this special holy place in Athens, GA (at least I think its holy, cant remember since I was probably 9-10 last time I went with her). Nowadays Im more of a common sense Christian. Where you do good, treat people right, help others, believe in God and Jesus, and worship them. Dont go to church as much as I used to. Mainly cause I havent found a good church around here that I like.

 

One I went to in San Antonio had two separate places you could listen to the service. The main chapel where the preacher preached and the band played. However it gets loud in there. So my wife and I would sit in the *cafe* area that was a separate building but had a giant movie screen where they projected the service on. Could sip on a caramel macchiato while watching the service in a more relaxed atmosphere and not as much noise.

 

My sister and her family either visited when they went to Italy or are planning on visiting the Vatican that has these doors (this is what I remember her telling me and cant remember the exact details so forgive me if some is inaccurate) that they only open once every ten years I believe. And if you walk through them then all your sins will be cleansed. That I find a bunch of bologna but I would still do it for the experience. Same with visiting Jerusalem. Never knew about the place where Jesus was crucified and the rock his body was prepared on was there (didnt think it would still be around) but I would definitely want to see it. I wouldnt be putting stuff on it and worshiping it like others but I would still be in awe about it.

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The guy who believes in jesus is sane. But the guy who believes in Batman is crazy.

How are the the two differentiated? You're both f'n nuts!

 

People get confused and think the Bible is about an alternate history. Its not. Its supposed to be a guidebook for how to live on the planet Earth.

 

Stuff like the Bible was borne out of a realization that your gut feeling is wrong almost all of the time. Your gut feeling is basically a hard-coded morality and was designed to help you survive in the stone age, when life was nasty brutish and short. It does its job for THAT environment perfectly well. But we're not in the stone age anymore. We're in an advanced society and your hard coded morality in your gut feeling has not evolved at all. If you follow your gut feeling today, you'll just wind up becoming some thug in a jail cell, or living in some broken, crumbling dysfunctional society where everyone hates each other. Your gut feeling requires a software patch.

 

The Bible is nothing more than an attempt at a software patch for your gut feeling morality. The Bible redefines your gut feelings as "sin". It says everyone is born in sin and must be saved, which is a pretty way of saying everyone is born is a gut feeling morality that is broken and no longer works and to save you we need to patch it.

 

The Bible tells basically the same story over and over again via parables or books of the OT. They are all pretty much the same. And they are designed to TRY to get across its own specific idea on how to patch your gut feeling morality.

 

The Bible teaches that to patch it correctly, you need to become humble, kind, and lack confidence. And then it teaches you need to meditate on these teachings constantly to make sure your gut feeling doesn't reject it all and push you to go back to your default morality settings. But like every story in the OT is mostly the same in that God selects some humble person who lacks confidence and says "ok this is my prophet / example of the ideal human", and go and try to get that city / group of people to go along with it. And then they don't and they get wrecked. Even in the New Testament you see it with Jesus being humble, kind and lacking confidence, and every single 1 of his 12 apostles also are humble, kind and lack confidence. Its interesting to note that there is only ONE character in the entire Bible that is confident and strong and tries to teach others to be the same: Satan. Satan approaches Eve in Eden and tells her to be more confident in herself, do for her, and grab that apple and eat it. Satan approaches Jesus in the desert and tells him to be more confident, believe in himself, be strong, and turn the desert into a paradise. None of the 10 commandments teach confidence but instead they teach humility and respect and kindness. So you can see that being confident is a huge massive major sin to the people who wrote the Bible. The Bible promises nothing but a huge major struggle to get its morality across, that many will reject it loudly at every turn. But it points out that if you don't do these things, society will be dysfunctional and eventually humanity will destroy itself if it does nothing to stop its own gut feelings. According to the Bible, if you eliminate confidence and boasting and everything your gut feeling pushes you to do, you will create heaven on Earth and any other morality is death.

 

Wether you believe the Bible has the correct patch or not is up to you. But the Bible has its morality patch, and it tries to communicate it with storytelling, wild tales, legends, etc. People get lost focusing on proving/disproving the wild tales and miss the core message.

 

According to the Bible, western civilization should be crumbling because everyone now firmly believes in being confident and strong and fighting to carve out their own turf and being combative. Those are all the hallmarks of a stone age morality borne out of listening exclusively to what your gut feeling tells you to do. So the Bible says our civilization will collapse into war and hate and destruction. We have totally and completely lost everything the Bible taught.

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There are some things I just think are too much. I was raised catholic and have been with my grandma many times to this special holy place in Athens, GA (at least I think its holy, cant remember since I was probably 9-10 last time I went with her). Nowadays Im more of a common sense Christian. Where you do good, treat people right, help others, believe in God and Jesus, and worship them. Dont go to church as much as I used to. Mainly cause I havent found a good church around here that I like.

 

One I went to in San Antonio had two separate places you could listen to the service. The main chapel where the preacher preached and the band played. However it gets loud in there. So my wife and I would sit in the *cafe* area that was a separate building but had a giant movie screen where they projected the service on. Could sip on a caramel macchiato while watching the service in a more relaxed atmosphere and not as much noise.

 

My sister and her family either visited when they went to Italy or are planning on visiting the Vatican that has these doors (this is what I remember her telling me and cant remember the exact details so forgive me if some is inaccurate) that they only open once every ten years I believe. And if you walk through them then all your sins will be cleansed. That I find a bunch of bologna but I would still do it for the experience. Same with visiting Jerusalem. Never knew about the place where Jesus was crucified and the rock his body was prepared on was there (didnt think it would still be around) but I would definitely want to see it. I wouldnt be putting stuff on it and worshiping it like others but I would still be in awe about it.

Basically the theme for the movie Dogma--plenary indulgence. Good flick.

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Science likes to talk about the Great Filter. Some issue that prevents intelligent life some advancing. For humans, the Great Filter would have to be a deadly cocktail of listening to your gut feeling (which turns you into a thug) combined with everyone having nuclear weapons. That civilization should nuke itself off the planet fairly quickly.

 

Amazingly, society seems to have flipped it around backwards to actually believe a religious society would nuke each other rather than a secular one.

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There's a distinct difference between Faith and Religion.

 

Faith = Is what I believe and how I live my life. I don't have to explain it anybody, nor do I burden anyone with it in return.

 

Religion = Is a money based Ponzi scheme, created to exploit the weak/poor and trick them into thinking somebody or someone gives a shiit about them. When you are guilted into tithing so an evangelist can live in a 18,000 sq ft. home and fly in his own personal $65m G650 - you've been duped.

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There's a distinct difference between Faith and Religion.

 

Faith = Is what I believe and how I live my life. I don't have to explain it anybody, nor do I burden anyone with it in return.

 

Religion = Is a money based Ponzi scheme, created to exploit the weak/poor and trick them into thinking somebody or someone gives a shiit about them. When you are guilted into tithing so an evangelist can live in a 18,000 sq ft. home and fly in his own personal $65m G650 - you've been duped.

Not all religious organizations are like that.

 

I know exactly what our Pastor, worship leader, secretary and Sunday School teacher make (including housing costs for the Pastor). None of them are living in the lap of luxury. The pastor is the only one who gets any sort of benefits, and they're pretty average.

 

I also know how much is received through donations and how much is spent on our core ministries. Child care, weekly lunches for the elderly, backpacks full of food for needy kids every week, fixing dilapidated homes throughout the community, mission trips to help orphans in Africa, addiction treatment and recovery, helping at risk teens, and so on. We aren't sitting on a mountain of cash like the Vatican. Whatever comes in, goes back out by way of helping someone in need.

 

I would never contribute money to a televangelist or a celebrity preacher. Our church is strictly focused on making our community better for everyone in it. I wouldn't be a part of it otherwise.

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not fervent at all... in fact, fervent makes me uncomfortable.

as I get older, I ponder "religion" more... I try to understand it, want to understand it because it impacts our world so much... but, like politicians, there isn't really one religion that fits me perfectly - I'm Irish Catholic but respect/appreciate a lot of Buddhist concepts.

I guess overall I do believe that there is a shared connectedness or consciousness that all people (and maybe living thins share)... that goodness and good deeds and kindness can easily spread to lift up the larger community and affect people mentally and physically - is that "The Holy Spirit"? I don't know... I'm not even really comfortable typing/saying "The Holy Spirit" because I'm so skeptical of organized religions, and the corruption/manipulation that can come from them.

 

This whole topic reminded me of a video from a youtuber I follow - I admire this guys camera work and story telling - I'm guessing he's Mormon and from Utah and pretty deeply religious - but none of his other videos are religious. I'm guessing this imagery does a pretty good job of depicting a lot of what you're talking about TTBOM.

 

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"Peace will come when the Arabs begin to love their children more than they hate us" - Golda Meir

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