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Jagged Zen Monkey

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Jagged Zen Monkey last won the day on January 7 2012

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About Jagged Zen Monkey

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  • Birthday 12/29/1970

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  1. I too struggle with any type of literal blood sacrifice. When I think of what Jesus actually did, I tend to view his sacrifice in terms of a life dedicated to the Father, which is oddly enough what we are called to do ourselves [Romans 12:1]. God does not demand spilled blood [surely], but I do think he expects us to present ourselves as living sacrifices as Jesus did. This amounts to living our lives in obedience to God's will. If we take Jesus' life, his teachings, and his actions to heart then God's will is for us to love one another and serve one another's others needs. Even Jesus, the son
  2. I think the term hell has a predominately negative stigma attached without cause. Once upon a time the term "Christian" was a term with a negative stigma attached also. Modern Christians use the term hell to connote something brutally negative, when in reality I think hell is simply a place of learning. This place of learning is riddled with both pleasure and pain. Both pleasure and pain are needed if we wish to further ascend. Beyond this, the pains others experience often move us to compassion, whereby we come to view humanity as being one, as opposed to being something separate from ourselv
  3. Being that we do experience such contrasting lives, I might suggest that karma plays a major role in the quality of life we each experience. Like the rich man who lived a great life, yet failed to be a good steward, we too face certain karmic debts when we ourselves neglect the needs of those we come in contact with. I've been very blessed as well, George. However, I do my best to be a good steward by sharing my blessings with those who are in need.
  4. I quite agree with your sentiments about life not being bad. However, for many life is a nightmare. I think the goal is to lessen the woes many experience in life by being good stewards, which is something the rich man was not. I think we all have our karmic debts to pay, so life next time round may or not be as pleasant as the life you lead today. This is why I view life to a place of learning. We may very well learn to become good stewards over many lifetimes. Once we have learned to be good stewards, and embrace our call as good stewards, we are then able to move forward in God's kingdom, w
  5. Your late night thoughts are very similar to to how I view things as well. Not exact, but close! I've not made it past my distractions, thus I'm still learning here in "hell", which could very well turn at any moment. Ahhh to be free! Maybe one day, eh?
  6. I agree with the majority of your post. We need both pleasure and pain to ascend. To me hell is not a bad thing. Hell is merely a means to ascend and a place of learning that prepares us for greater things. If it's not heaven then it's hell is the thought here. I don't think anyone will ever know it all or be in a position to look down on others. I think those who first learn how to live effectively in love, peace, and unity will be preserved after death and sleep until the kingdom is established by the living. At which time I believe the dead will be raised (reborn) into God's kingdom. Those
  7. Could be, but this life teaches us many things about living and how life works. If there is more after, then it likewise makes sense that this life is meant to prepare us for what's to come. If a person cannot see value in the life lessons learned here, or how life leads us to lead better lives through our experiences, then I'm not sure what to say. You, in effect, suggest that it makes no sense to think that life prepares us for the kingdom. Surely you don't think we are ready for the kingdom as we are. How would that work exactly? If the kingdom will be free of evil and wickedness, then
  8. I agree in a literal sense that hell as a place of tormenting punishment does not exist, but how then do you interpret the parable of the rich man and Lazarus? Sure, it's metaphor but how is that metaphor used and what is it meant to convey according to your understanding?
  9. It certainly works for and makes sense to me. For some hell is a literal place of punishment. For others it is simply the grave. Still for others it is something else entirely. No matter how we view hell or the second death, Jesus most certainly taught that such a place exists. I'm not sure how Progressives view Jesus' parable of the rich man and Lazarus or how progressives view reincarnation, but the view I presented above does resonate with me. Not only is it hopeful, but I believe it is biblical also. I'd love to hear the board members views of what hell is and perhaps even an explanation o
  10. When my atheist cousin wrote to me with questions about hell, I wrote the following in reply. He's about as well versed in scripture as the average Christian. "I believe we currently reside in the hell Jesus spoke of in his parables. Likewise, I believe this is where we will return if we fail to make the grade. Like the rich man in Jesus' parable, we too may very well face a potential life of torment once again if we neglect our duties in this life. I believe being reborn in this imperfect world is the second death spoken of in the book of Revelation. I believe that life on this earth a
  11. My suggestion is to watch the sun rise, listen to the orchestra that begins around day break, song birds, squirrels, bugs, etc. Watch the fog lift from the ground, feel the cool breeze, and breath it ALL in! My goodness! We begin again every morning we rise from bed. God is spoke about in the bible, but God is felt, seen, heard, and experienced in nature itself. The beauty present in this world is awe inspiring to say the least. Here's a good song for ya:
  12. It is a moral injustice to punish someone other than the person/s who committed the crime, but it is believed that God does just that. There is something fundamentally wrong with this mindset. Why would a just God punish an innocent man instead of the those who are guilty? I simply don't understand how a just God could punish an innocent man for "our" transgressions. Where is the justice in that? I know God loves us, but if God is truly just, then wouldn't he make us take responsibility for our own actions? Did Jesus truly give his life for us, or could it be that he simply showed us th
  13. What is there to say about religion? Should I focus on the intolerance many religions nurture, the righteous indignation championed, the hate filled bigotry held by many, and the murderous wars that have ensued? Or, shall I focus on the hope it offers to many? If hope, then what shall I say about the hope offered? If I focus on the former, then what can I say apart from the obvious? There is no doubt that religion offers hope to many, but what are the many hoping for? For some religions, their martyrs hope to be rewarded with many virgins upon death. For other religions, those
  14. I started a new blog last night and though some of you may be interested. It's called, "The Heart of Creation": Reclaiming Paradise. JZM
  15. Jesus says if we had the faith of a grain of mustard seed that we would say to the mountain: "Be ye removed" and it would be removed. We are what we are. We were born to be great! We were born to love! We were born to overcome and live an abundant life! THAT is who WE are and we need to have faith in who WE are. We are not inherently wicked as some believe, nor are we hopeless as a people. We are children of the most high, created to know unsurpassed greatness. We just need ample faith in order to become all we were born to be. What is our purpose and God's will for us? For I co
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