To ArtemGr…

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Thank you for stopping by my blog. Your comment was welcome, as are all comments, even from people who disagree with me. I read your letter last night right before bed, and began composing an answer instead of sleeping, which was stupid since I can’t remember any of it today, but there you go.

It was the first thing that I thought of this morning, so here I am. I’m still debating with myself exactly what I want to say, so this may end up being more of a random nonsense entry, but since I’m still depressed, and therefore still wanting to write, here goes!

You wrote:

First, i would like to comment on your literary style, which is, well, pretty stylish for my taste. You write with sure and sharp strokes, which might be a touch of a true writer. I enjoyed reading your last entries. And not only because of the literary style, of course, but intricacies of why else are hard to put into words.

Um, thank you, I think. I am glad that you enjoyed my last entries, but I have to say that ‘pretty stylish for my taste,’ is a bit ambiguous. Sounds kinda like when someone tells you you’re style of dress is ‘unique’ but they really mean horrible. It’s cool, though. I liked they way you worded it. It actually made me happy, which is damn near miraculous right now!

I would like to begin from the end, and answer your question of “Is it even possible to reconcile myself to that?”, that is, the question about the importance of godhood of Jesus Christ. Again, I’m not feeling important enough (in your personal existence) to convince you, that is why i hope I won’t try to argue with you, but will just lay some answers, in case you need them, and if I miss something, you can always inquire me further on any topic concerning Christianity.

Thank you for that. I do appreciate the way you made it clear that your aim isn’t to argue. I’m not crazy about arguing, but I do like a good discussion. There’s a fine line between the two, and I’m always excited when I can have a ‘debate’ of sorts without getting nasty. I’m a bit of a drama queen, but I avoid confrontation at all costs. Weird, huh?

So anyway. I’ll just take your answer and ask questions or share my own point of view, or ramble aimlessly for a bit as the mood hits, and we’ll see what happens, okay?

Here’s my favorite part about blogging.  I’ll continue this tomorrow, and continue until I finish, or until I lose interest and move on to something else.  No offense, I just do that sometimes.

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About Shelbi

Work-at-home wife, mom of three kids, and caregiver for my brother, who has Cerebral Palsy. Never a dull moment, in other words. No idea how much I'll post, since I'm super busy these days, but maybe I'll get over here once in a while.

6 responses »

  1. “Um, thank you, I think. I am glad that you enjoyed my last entries, but I have to say that ‘pretty stylish for my taste,’ is a bit ambiguous.”

    – Well, i wouldn’t say more because it would be critics (in a sense of “reasoned judgement or analysis, value judgement, interpretation, or observation” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critics), and criticizing another person is like, say, lecturing Shakespeare on the subject of Shakespeare.
    But since you say it was ambiguous, i would risk expanding by saying that what i seem to like about your writing is that it is serious but instead of being boring, it’s humorous, it’s reserved, but instead of being secretive, it’s sincere. It reminds me of an Orthodox icon: plain (austere) in stature, but soft (kind) in emotion.
    What bothers me, is that there is sometimes a cynicism, which might imperceptibly change kindness into humour into satire, change austerity into indifference and contempt. But that is a possibility which i fathom more with imagination and experience than with eyes.

    “I do appreciate the way you made it clear that your aim isn’t to argue. I’m not crazy about arguing, but I do like a good discussion. There’s a fine line between the two, and I’m always excited when I can have a ‘debate’ of sorts without getting nasty. I’m a bit of a drama queen, but I avoid confrontation at all costs. Weird, huh?”

    – Perhaps you don’t want drama to turn into a farce? Like when you start saying something important, and all you got is “huh?”.

    “So anyway. I’ll just take your answer and ask questions or share my own point of view, or ramble aimlessly for a bit as the mood hits, and we’ll see what happens, okay?”

    – Deal.

    “Here’s my favorite part about blogging. I’ll continue this tomorrow, and continue until I finish, or until I lose interest and move on to something else. No offense, I just do that sometimes.”

    – And i would do some random pickings on what i happen to accidentally notice when searching for a way to format the followup comments on this site. Here it is, you write:

    “I feel free knowing that I am doing my own research and taking responsibility for my own beliefs, and I also feel that I’m closer to God because of it. He’s real, and although I continue to use the Male pronoun, I’m fully aware that God is just energy [as we all are just energy] and that he is neither male nor female, but spirit, [or energy, as I said before].”

    – The word ἔρδω means “to do”, an act. Derivative εν-εργός (energy) thus means “in act”, or “active”. There is a difference between the essence and the act. What is essence to as is an energy to God. That is, the whole world is an act of God, His doing. To us our world has essence, to Him it is an energy, an act. You see, the One who created everything, can not be a part of that which is He created. What you’re saying, that we and the God are of the same energy, is logically unsound.

    You say: “… Which leads me to another thing. We all use different filters and terms to say/experience the same things. For a Christian, if I talk about evolution [the theory of which I believe in, by the way] or positive thinking, or ‘The Secret’ they [c]lose their minds and refuse to hear anything I might say because they believe that those things are contrary to what the Bible says.”

    – Let me quote G. K. Chesterton: «If evolution simply means that a positive thing called an ape turned very slowly into a positive thing called a man, then it is stingless for the most orthodox; for a personal God might just as well do things slowly as quickly, especially if, like the Christian God, he were outside time. But if it means anything more, it means that there is no such thing as an ape to change, and no such thing as a man for him to change into. It means that there is no such thing as a thing. At best, there is only one thing, and that is a flux of everything and anything. This is an attack not upon the faith, but upon the mind; you cannot think if there are no things to think about. You cannot think if you are not separate from the subject of thought. Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am.” The philosophic evolutionist reverses and negatives the epigram. He says, “I am not; therefore I cannot think.”»
    There is a science which is called Biblical Archeology (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_archaeology, for example), which we studied here on a theological faculty in university, and i assure you, that it uses the usual archaeological methods, and that there is a lot of Orthodox Christians who have and had nothing against evolutionary development of the world, even before that archaeological science was conceived. What real Christianity is usually opposed to, is the uses of science in a way of “Chewbacca defence” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chewbacca_defense), like when people imply that the notion of evolutionary development is opposite to the notion of Creator. Evolution is, in fact, a miracle, in that the developing from minerals to a human being is so probabilistically unlikely, that it is deemed impossible without an intervention from outside, for every kind of species. So, real Christianity opposes not the fact of evolutionary development, but attempts of turning it around. When these people try to remove the Intelligence behind the evolution, they turn “progress” into a random thing, to which it would be equally good if man “evolutionized” back into a monkey. By professing the notion of blind progress they turn it into a meaningless mutation. That is close, indeed, to the philosophy of ancient China and, to some extend, of Chinese Buddhism – where there was a notion of a blind energy called Qi, which is sometimes rolled into forms, which we know as thyself and the world around us, and when these forms are uncurled, the energy flows back to the pool. That senseless existence is what Christianity opposes in evolution.
    Another case of the FUD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear%2C_uncertainty_and_doubt) i’d like to mention is the notion of saying that human beings where *slowly* “progressing” into the sentient beings we know at our time. That is surely in conflict with a Biblical notion of a human being, which was created fully sentient and free. And it is simply false. See http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/Genomics-Neanderthal.html (http://blogs.msdn.com/dsyme/archive/2006/12/06/using-fsharp-to-help-show-we-re-not-neanderthals.aspx for some technical details). According to modern science, Homo Sapience appears not long ago, and all these notions of primitive and animal existence, when we slowly emerged from Neanderthals to sentient beings, are historically no more than a bluff.
    As for the Biblical chronology, it is no secret that Bible was first committed to writing by Moses, and that the chronology before that time wears only a symbolic notion. Take, for example, the genealogical trees Bible shows after the Noah: all the names mentioned there have a specific translation, so it is possible (and have been done by researches) to show how these names correspond to specific nations, and how the genealogical trees in the times before Noah and Abraham corresponds to the settlement of nations around the Globe.

    Well, sorry I’ve bothered you so long with all this evolutionism. If you skipped some, i wouldn’t argue, since the subject is not that important, apart maybe from showing you that Christianity I know is a sound religion, and, in the person of it’s saint fathers, always fought superstition, and have been the patroness of science, for (as one of our saint fathers said) “science is not an ally to superstition”.

  2. Hey, you came back! Welcome. It’s obvious to me that you are very knowledgable about these things, so thank you for coming back.

    I’ll write a post, too, but here’s a short [heh, yeah right, like I could do anything short] response:

    My view of evolution includes an intelligent being that guides the whole thing. I believe in God, and I would never use evolution as a means to try to disprove his existence, ’cause that’s not really a goal of mine.

    I think most of my problem lies not in whether God and Jesus are real, but in the notion that Christianity is the ONLY true religion, that you can’t get to God without Christianity, and that if you don’t ‘accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal savior’ that you will go to hell for eternity.

    I used to believe that. I was an evangelical [Church of the Nazarene, who, by the way, believe that they hold truest to the Gospel] and believing it caused me ridiculous amounts of pain.

    It was excruciating to look at people and love them and know that they were good people and yet be told that it didn’t matter. That all that mattered was whether they knew Jesus.

    It also hurt to believe that people who had accepted Jesus but still did certain things or ‘backslidden’ as conservatives like to call it, could lose their salvation and end up in hell with the unrepentant.

    Then there are the people who are sincere christians, but they do so much damage in the name of God that people run screaming from anything to do with Christianity [fundamentalists fall into this group] they love to tell the sinners that they’re going to hell and sit in judgement on their neighbors, but they really do love Jesus.

    I have a hard time believing that someone who damaged more people than they brought healing to would go to heaven because they obeyed the ‘laws’ and accepted JC as lord.

    I dunno if that helps you understand where I’m coming from, but hopefully it does?

  3. “I have a hard time believing that someone who damaged more people than they brought healing to would go to heaven because they obeyed the ‘laws’ and accepted JC as lord.”

    – There is a lot of questions here.
    1) What is a damage? Is pain a damage? Does doctor damages us when he cut us?
    2) Why should you believe these people will go to heaven? They may, and they may not. They say they believe in Him? But are they? It is for our Lord to see, whether they truly tried to believe in Him, or just pretended to.

    Take you for example. You say you believe in God, but what is that God you believe in? You believe in a God who formed the world out of his own essense. It is not Christianity at all, it is the so-called pantheism, and you can see that you aren’t believing in a Christian God from the very first verse of the Bible, when it says that God created the world from nothing, and not from His essence. You believe in your imagination, and not in the God who professed Himself in the Bible. Thus you reject the supernatural revelation, that is, that God professes Himself, and even founded a Church of His followers from the start of the human history. By rejecting supernatural revelation you reject the very choice of whether to believe it or not. Do you really believe?
    So, when Christ says: “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life” (John 6) – it is not as simple as it seems. True belief in Christian God is inseparable from real communion with Him, because you believe in the God who knows everything, in God almighty, it means already, if you believe in Him, that you walk in His Light (see John 3:19-21), that you live for Him, not just for yourself. That’s why St. Clement of Alexandria talks about two faiths. Real faith is inseparable from sainthood, from theosis, but it takes time to even understand what real faith is.

    It seems i partly answered the first subject of the “Run Away!!” thread, but i’ll go there and see if i can talk some more.

  4. Damage in this context means someone who sits in judgement [in the form of condemnation] of another person, or uses fear to try to convert someone. “Turn or Burn” type stuff.

    I understand it’s possible that while you may not employ those methods yourself [don’t know if you do or not] you do appear to agree that anyone who doesn’t accept Christianity will spend an eternity in hell. Plus, there are many people who will say, ‘Well, it’s the truth, so how can I say it any other way?’

    I’ve seen what that type of teaching does to people. It makes them hate God, and that’s not what God is about.

    God is about love. He’s about ‘wooing’ us to him, not threatening us with eternal damnation to get us to follow him.

    You said:

    “Thus you reject the supernatural revelation, that is, that God professes Himself, and even founded a Church of His followers from the start of the human history. By rejecting supernatural revelation you reject the very choice of whether to believe it or not. Do you really believe?”

    I don’t think I reject any ‘supernatural revelation’ by saying that God used his own energy to create the universe.

    The first verse of the Bible says:

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

    Um. It doesn’t say one way or the other what he created it out of, just that he did. How is what I said contradicting something that isn’t there?

    Do I reject the ‘infallibility’ of the Bible? Yup. And here’s why. The Muslims believe that the Koran is the only true supernatural revelation of God.

    The Latter Day Saints believe that the Book of Mormon is another, equal to the Bible, supernatural revelation of God.

    The Jews believe that their Talmud and Torah are a supernatural revelation of God, but that the New Testament isn’t.

    You want me to go on? The only thing that makes the Bible [OT/NT] any more supernatural revelation-y than any other Holy book in any other religion is whether you believe it is… it can’t really be proven beyond a doubt this side of eternity, can it?

    This is invigorating. You’re pretty good at riling me up. Hopefully I’m keeping the emotion part under control, though. Debates are good, and if anything, you’re forcing me to really solidify the ramblings of my mind into [hopefully] coherent thought.

    I don’t know if we’ll ever reach a common ground, but it’s still fun for me, so I’ll continue if you want.

  5. “God is about love. He’s about ‘wooing’ us to him, not threatening us with eternal damnation to get us to follow him.”

    – I agree.

    “Um. It doesn’t say one way or the other what he created it out of, just that he did. How is what I said contradicting something that isn’t there?”

    – My, you really aren’t catching with me. In my first post i mentioned that word “barah”, “creation from nothing”, used specifically only in these important places of the Bible – about creation of material and invisible world (first verse) and about creation of a free human being (second chapter).

    “Do I reject the ‘infallibility’ of the Bible? Yup. And here’s why. The Muslims believe that the Koran is the only true supernatural revelation of God.”

    – My point of interest last year was exactly how Islam have been started, that is, the biography of Mahomet. So, please, don’t start. Comparing Quaran to Bible can only make me laugh.
    I would recommend
    http://answering-islam.org.uk/Books/Al-Kindi/
    http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Muir/Life1/
    http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Muir/Life2/
    http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Muir/Life3/

    “I don’t know if we’ll ever reach a common ground, but it’s still fun for me, so I’ll continue if you want.”

    – Shelbi, this blog doesn’t have an email notification, or at least i am not receiving them, so it is tiresom to browse all threads only to check for the possibility of your answer. I would’ve preferred this discussion to be by email from the start. Does the blog shows you my?

    I’m glad you’re still having fun. That’s a rare quality. ; )

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