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Free Will And Evil.


jerryb
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"If a seeking person came to you,and asked how your life as a christian differs from hers as a moral non-christian,what would you tell her?" Phil Yancey

 

I am struck by the simplicity and yet the complexity of this question. What say you?

 

 

Blessings...and anticipation,

 

Jerryb

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I would say, We may believe or not believe in God, but if we break His divine law we’ll be punished. This is the law of nature because we are all connected so we just can’t do what ever we want. This is not a question of religion, but a question of science. We are all spiritual beings, but because of our materially conditioned minds we are under the laws of nature. We can observe this in evolution, species flourishing, suffering and going extinct. The laws of nature are applicable to everything whether we believe in God or not, it doesn’t matter. We are all under nature’s law because there is only one law controlling us, and we are all under God’s law because there is only one God.

 

http://thinkunity.com

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I guess my answer would depend on whether "moral non-Christian" meant atheist or if my friend had another faith.

 

Let's assume atheist.

 

I guess I'd tell her that my life as a Christian gives me hope ... Hope for purpose in this life ... Hope for something after this life ... I'd say that I love God and see God in every flower, every bug, every sunrise and even every person ... I'd say that I'm not a Christian so that I can have a moral code, and that I don't love God because I'm afraid that I'll be punished if I don't... I'd say I love God because I can't help it.

 

I might go on to explain "Why Christianity" instead of Buddhism or Neopaganism or Judaism ... but that is another story. :)

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I would say that it gives me a peace of mind that allows the core of my being to transcend the temporal limits of my flesh from time to time. And, it gives me an assurance that I will always be accepted as a significant, yet tiny, portion of a greater whole that is God's essence, whether I am living in this body or not.

 

flow.... :rolleyes:

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I guess my answer would depend on whether "moral non-Christian" meant atheist or if my friend had another faith.

 

Let's assume atheist.

 

I guess I'd tell her that my life as a Christian gives me hope ... Hope for purpose in this life ... Hope for something after this life ... I'd say that I love God and see God in every flower, every bug, every sunrise and even every person ... I'd say that I'm not a Christian so that I can have a moral code, and that I don't love God because I'm afraid that I'll be punished if I don't... I'd say I love God because I can't help it.

 

I might go on to explain "Why Christianity" instead of Buddhism or Neopaganism or Judaism ... but that is another story.  :)

 

Aletheia.

I like what you said.."I'd say I love God because I can't help it".

I wish I could say that too....but the thing that haunts me is, I do have a choice...I don't have to love God....but oh,I so WANT to. I feel a bit like Yancey when he wrote,"For long stretches...achingly long stretches, I have sat with my headphones on,desperate for some message from the other world...yearning for reassuring

contact,and heard ONLY STATIC."

So what do I do when I hear only static?

 

 

Blessings

 

Jerry

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I would say that it gives me a peace of mind that allows the core of my being to transcend the temporal limits of my flesh from time to time. And, it gives me an assurance that I will always be accepted as a significant, yet tiny, portion of a greater whole that is God's essence, whether I am living in this body or not.

 

flow.... :rolleyes:

 

 

Hi Flow,

 

I love that portion of your reply that says" I will ALWAYS be accepted as a significant,yet tiny,portion of a greater whole that is God's essence".

I don't mind being tiny....but I do weant to be significant. And that beautiful word 'essence'....which the dictionary defines as "a substance distilled or extracted from another substance(God). Maybe that's really all christianity was meant to be from the beginning....we are the distilled,extracted presence of God in this world.

I can live with that!

 

 

Blessings to you my friend,

 

Jerry

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All things will be well, and all things will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

 

Christianity, or faith, gives me the assurance that whether or not I understand it, God has a purpose (to prosper, not harm) in it all. I know that I can't understand it all and I trust that He can, so I can relax.

 

The wonder of significance and love, IMO, Jerry, is that there is ever anything but static. Those moments of Knowing, brief flickers of contact give me hope and trust that sustain me. I tend to think that it is not God not broadcasting, but me not tuning in well.... once I learn (as I do over and over :( )to get quiet and do the things that put me back in tune my life and sense of God improves.

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All things will be well, and all things will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

 

Christianity, or faith, gives me the assurance that whether or not I understand it, God has a purpose (to prosper, not harm) in it all.  I know that I can't understand it all and I trust that He can, so I can relax.

 

The wonder of significance and love, IMO, Jerry, is that there is ever anything but static.  Those moments of Knowing, brief flickers of contact give me hope and trust that sustain me.  I tend to think that it is not God not broadcasting, but me not tuning in well.... once I learn (as I do over and over  :( )to get quiet and do the things that put me back in tune my life and sense of God improves.

 

 

Cynthia,

 

Excellent post!

 

I especially like what you said about 'not tuning in'. I am still working on that myself.

And you are also right about 'the wonder that there is ever anything but static'.

Slowly,but surely I am learning to 'get quiet' and listen.

Thanks for reminding me to do that.

 

 

Blessings

Jerry

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Aletheia.

I like what you said.."I'd say I love God because I can't help it".

I wish I could say that too....but the thing that haunts me is, I do have a choice...I don't have to love God....but oh,I so WANT to. I feel a bit like Yancey when he wrote,"For long stretches...achingly long stretches, I have sat with my headphones on,desperate for some message from the other world...yearning for reassuring

contact,and heard ONLY STATIC."

So what do I do when I hear only static?

 

 

                                              Blessings

 

                                              Jerry

 

I don't mean to imply that I don't have free will to NOT love God. I mean to say that I have arrived at a place in my life where, despite all the crap, I love God anyway.

 

It has taken me a long time to get here. I struggled with theodicy for a while. I struggled with the "invisible God" for a while. But as you intimated from flow's post, we ARE distilled essence of God. The WHOLE WORLD is distilled essence of God.

 

And so with that in mind, when I find myself unable to be still, unable to tune in, and all I hear is static, I am able to step back and realize (profoundly) that the STATIC itself is the distilled essence of God.

 

I loved Yancey's book so much and much of the time I can relate, but because of my ontological views I think I have a slightly different perspective. I don't think of God as being invisible, somewhere "out there," I look at the world, the stars, people, a sunset, and I literally see God. :)

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"If a seeking person came to you,and asked how your life as a christian differs from hers as a moral non-christian,what would you tell her?"  Phil Yancey

 

 

I doubt anyone would ask me the question simply because it is outside the realm of my reality. I'm not trying to convert anyone so there would be no reason for the question to be asked.

 

I would however be very happy that the person was moral -- by moral I assume one means that she is an anti war activist and doing something good with her life to make other people's lives better.

 

I've met athiest who are more Christ-like than many Christians.

Edited by October's Autumn
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