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matpal
04-26-2004, 09:46 AM
I post this because I see so many questions in the vein of "Why do I have to accept Jesus? I'm a good person."

I hope this article will clear up some of these questions. It is a bit long, but it is one of the best things I have ever read.


The Black Sheep
I once heard an analogy of a little girl and a sheep. A little girl saw a cute white sheep standing in the middle of a green field, and thought, "My what a beautiful sheep! It's wool is so white and shiny!" A snowstorm then crept in and left a layer of pure white on the field where the sheep was still standing. The girl had a startling revelation "Oh...that sheep isn't as clean and white as I thought it was. Actually, it's pretty dirty, sorta brownish. Eww."

Such is life with me. For 17 years I lived genuinely thinking I was a genuinely good person. I mean, I always knew I could be better, but being better was no concern of mine as long as I just didn't get any worse. In hindsight, I actually don't think that getting any worse would have caused me to reconsider my assessment of my "goodness". But, my viewpoint was skewed. I was comparing myself to the thugs and punks that I hung around with...I was like a sheep admiring it's own beauty in a grassy field. I believed God existed, but I was ignorant of my folly.


Proverbs 20:6
"Most men will proclaim (to) every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?"

It is natural for man to proclaim his own goodness, yet, they are flattering themselves. We all know what it is like to be constantly acclaimed by men and women. "Oh, he's so good!", they say if you please them. "Oh, he doesn't deserve that!", they say if they see you get splashed by water as a car drives over a puddle. And since we like to be flattered, we happily ignore the truth. We begin to comfortably think, "I am that good. I don't deserve that." And as you build up your reputation, other people buy into the lie as well.

Suppose I stole a crayon, and word of it began to spread in the community for some reason. I can imagine the reactions: "He stole a crayon? Big deal! He's a good person. Stealing a crayon doesn't matter. What's on TV?". And they are correct. Stealing a crayon doesn't matter...to them. But in God's eyes, the law is broken regardless of the value of that which was stolen. The value of the object stolen does not excuse the one who stole it from having broken the law. Yet to man, the value doesn't always matter. Why not? Because they know they are guilty of similar offenses. For them to condemn me for stealing a crayon would remind them of their same error. And so it continues. Only the "real sinners" get blamed for anything. "Oh my! Adultery?", we say. "He murdered someone? How terrible! What a bad person." We would look for any excuse to proclaim our own perceived goodness. People today are genuinely shocked when they read in the newspaper about someone getting killed in a drive-by-shooting. But why are they shocked? Are they shocked that someone broke an objective standard?

No. They are shocked because they "could/would never do something like that". The flattery continues. If everybody's doin' it, nobody seems to mind, because if everybody's doin' it, to admit that it was wrong would be to admit your own error. Yet most men will proclaim to everyone his own goodness. The world doesn't understand that we are like sheep in a field of the greenest grass.

But this little lamb can no longer proclaim his own goodness. He has seen the snowy land in the distance and gone to get a closer look. Sooner or later he found himself standing in the midst of the snow, surrounded by perfect white on all sides. He saw no other sheep around to compare himself to. It was just him against the snow.

So you see, ever since I finally compared myself against the pure snowy-white backdrop of God's perfect law have I been unable to proclaim my own goodness. For 17 years, I derived my own "goodness" by comparing myself not to God's standard, but to man's standard. And by man's standard, I am virtually blameless. By man's standard, I am not a Hitler or a Stalin, or an abortion doctor or a rapist. By God's standard, I am. Once I stopped comparing myself to the other sheep, I saw my true colors.

Once comparing myself to the righteousness of God, I could see clearly my true position before Him.


Romans 5:20
"The law was added so that the trespass might increase."

God, the good shepherd of the sheep, saw that His little ones had gone astray. Not just some of us, but rather all of us have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way. Rather than allowing His sheep to fall off the cliff, He graciously got out His shepherding stick and attempted to show us the true depth of the error of our ways. Since we have all gone astray, were we to rely on ourselves or each other to warn us of our impending doom, we would merely follow each other off the cliff. Were we to compare ourselves to others to see how good or bad we are, we would only begin to proclaim our own goodness again, and fail once more to see the error of our ways. We would continue to be blind to the objective truth, as long as we desire to flatter ourselves by comparing ourselves to subjective truth.

Knowing this, God gave us the law that we might turn our eyes upon it and see that we are walking comfortably to our demise. He gave us the law (the objective reflection of His own morality) wrote it on our hearts and placed it in our consciences, that it might be a continual reminder that though we may be highly esteemed by men, we have all fallen far short of God. Below, in boxes, are the ten moral commandments which God gave us.


Exodus 20:3
You shall have no other gods before me.

I couldn't begin to list the number of 'gods' that I have but before the LORD Almighty. O, how often I have placed my desires before those of God! How many other gods have I followed...not only figurative gods, such as my undivided attention to girls, homework, etc, but I even concocted my own version of what I thought God should be like once in High School. I have followed the 'god' of my sinful impulses. I have broken the first commandment.
I am an idolater

matpal
04-26-2004, 09:47 AM
Continued.....


Exodus 20:4-6
You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

I of all people am the most guilty of this commandment. I have turned my attention away from God more times than anybody but He Himself could count. I have bowed down in service to even the most vile things by man's standards. Consider how much more guilty I am for having bowed in service to those things which disgust God. I have bowed down to the prince of darkness, overcome by his hollow to 'give me the world' if I would only bow down to him. I have broken the second commandment.
I am an idolater.

Exodus 20:7
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

I am certain that more curses of the name of God have left my mouth than praises. I have blasphemed His name both intentionally and unintentionally. I have trampled His name through the mud. Oh, what a sinner am I! I have broken the third commandment.
I am a blasphemer.

Exodus 20:8-11
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Not only have I broken the true Sabbath (Hebrews 5), but I have willfully gone against what my false notion of the sabbath was! For 17 years I thought that following the fourth commandment meant to go to church on Sunday. Oh, how many times did I go against my own conscience by refusing to go every week! Not only have I not kept the Sabbath, but I have (almost comically) rejected to follow what I wrongly thought the sabbath was. I have broken the fourth commandment.
I am a sabbath-breaker.

Exodus 20:12
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

My poor mother and father...what did they do to deserve such an obstinate child as myself. I cannot begin to describe how much I have broken this commandment. I have broken the fifth commandment.
I am ungrateful.

Exodus 20:13
You shall not murder.

Some people might thing this is where I get to rest from accusing myself of wrongdoing. Rather, I have broken this commandment as often as Hitler or Stalin. We are taught in Matthew 5:21 that he who hates his brother has commit murder in his heart, and in violation of the sixth commandment. Oh, how I have hated. I have hated God, man, and myself. I have desired men to die. I have broken the sixth commandment.
I am a murderer.

Exodus 20:14
You shall not commit adultery.

According to man, I have not broken this commandment either. But according to God, I stand as guilty as any rapist. We are taught in Matthew 5:28 that to even look lustfully upon someone else is to commit adultery with them in your heart. If you could see into my heart and see all the lustful thoughts I have ever had, you would quiver in disgust. I have broken the seventh commandment.
I am an adulterer.

Exodus 20:15
You shall not steal.

I've never stolen a car, or robbed a bank or a house, or anything like that. Or have I. I have taken my parent's car without permission. I have taken things from other people's house. Some might consider these minor offenses, but God does not. The law is broken regardless of the magnitude of the offense. But I have not only stolen physical things. I have stolen things far more precious. I have stolen people's freedom and joy. I have stolen the value of many girls by lusting after them. I have broken the eighth commandment.
I am a theif.

Exodus 20:16
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

HAHA! Oh man am I guilty. I have broken the ninth commandment.
I am a liar.

Exodus 20:17
You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor

Sometimes I think that all I have done in my life is covet. When I think back through the years, I can hardly think of a single moment where I did not desire that which was not lawfully mine. I have desired money, women, possessions, power...everything under the sun. I have broken the tenth commandment.
I am covetous.


Like I said...the sheep doesn't look so white against the snow. And, the longer I live, the more I see just how sinful I am. Like an onion with a rotten core, the years have revealed layers upon layers of filth, each new one darker and more putrid than the previous one. But one might think that despite the plethora of sin that I am guilty of, some more drastic than others, that for the most part, I am guilty of relatively minor infractions. By man's standards, they would be correct. But not by God's perfect standard. The law of God is by no means relative. It does not matter which angle you break it at, or what the value of that which you have stolen is, or how many times you have sinned. I freeze up every time I read these words of the Bible:


James 2:10
[font color=red]"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of (breaking it) all."[/color]

I read these words and remember a stained-glass window that I made once, and how, whenever I see light shining through it, all I ever notice about it is the little crack in the bottom right hand corner of it. That one little crack completely shatters the beauty of the whole window. Likewise, one "little" sin shatters the perfection of the whole of God's Law.

But I have not just "cracked" God's law. Oh no. I have reduced it to a mound of microscopic shards! I am not good! No! I am evil! I, having broken every single one of God's commandments, am a lying, theiving, covetous, adulterous, sabbath-breaking, ungrateful, blasphemous, idolatrous MURDERER. Like the prophet Isaiah, I see myself in the midst of the holiness of God and cry out, "Woe is me! I am RUINED!"


Romans 3:19-20
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

This much, I knew for sure. I could not stand before a holy God! My mouth was stopped. I could no longer boast before Him, even in the least bit. I knew that my best obedience amounted to nothing before God...my disobedience outweighed it by 100%. I had never done a good deed. Not a single one. There might be some who would have me think otherwise, but to them I say, "No, not I."


Isaiah 64:6
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags...

Yea, even those deeds which I might be tempted to flatter myself with as being truly righteous are nothing but the filthiest rags in the sight of God. Because of this, I cringe every time someone calls me "good". I am anything but. When people casually ask me how I am doing, I cannot truthfully reply, "good". No. I have seen the extent of my own sin. So how do I reply to such a question? I, of all people, have reason to reply, "miserable. ruined. hopeless." That is...if the story were to end there. Despite my sin, I cannot bring myself to reply this way either!

"But," one might wonder, "how can a lying, theiving, covetous, adulterous, sabbath-breaking, ungrateful, blasphemous, idolatrous murderer have any hope or reason to not despair? He is guilty! He must die."

He would be correct, too. Were I set before the gavel of any honest judge or jury on this planet, the verdict would return "guilty". And the sentence would justly be returned, "death".

And I should have died, long ago. That I still have a pulse dumbfounds me. I don't deserve it. I never have deserved it, and I never will. But surely, I deserve even less (or is it more?) than instant death. If instant death were the extent of the punishment which I deserve, and I didn't die, that alone would be enough reason to jump for joy at the mercy given me. But, having confronted the depth of my sin, I see clearly that I deserve eternal death. Not only that, but I deserve instant eternal death! I deserve the worst possible scenario. My (in)ability to keep the perfect law of God shows me this.


Isaiah 59:2, 64:6
But your iniquities have separated
you from your God...
...and like the wind our sins sweep us away...

Just as any human judge would certainly seek to uphold the full extent of the law (and, just as we would expect him to), we should expect God to act with the same integrity. We understand the value of the law, and we understand that there are consequences for breaking it. Must I bring to mind the endless devastation that mankind's greed, pride, lust, and hate has resulted in? Broken families, broken bones, broken hearts, and broken spirits. Nations living in despair, poverty, oppression, and death.

matpal
04-26-2004, 09:50 AM
Continued....


Someone, we know, has to pay for this.

And justice maintains that the perpetrator must pay for that which he is guilty of. Yet were you to bring me before a human court, no human judge could ever list the atrocities which I have committed. All he knows is that I am guilty, guilty, guilty. He doesn't know the full extent of it. After all, he's only human. He can only punish me according to what he knows I am guilty of. How much more able would an omniscient God be able to punish someone to the full extent of the law? Yea, He will not only call to account those things which are plain to see. He will not only call to account those few times when we beat our spouse, or those times when we commit adultery, or...murdered. We read that God's justice goes much further than that:


Matthew 12:36
Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

Were I to even begin to count the careless words that have slipped out of my mouth...were I to even begin to count the idle thoughts which have consumed my mind...I do not doubt for a moment that I would be counting them into the end of eternity. I see no end to my sin. I am a bottomless pit which gets only deeper still.

But, it were not so much the quantity of my sins which has cooperated in carving out this infinite bankruptcy, as much as it were the quality of my sin. Were I to have broken the speed limit, I would have to stand before the judge to accept a penalty which reflects the integrity of the law which I broke. Perhaps I would have to pay 500 dollars. The law has a value, and the punishment reflects that value. But consider that the laws of men are but reflections of men, yet the law of God is a reflection of Him. The law of the LORD is perfect, because it reflects the perfection of God. Were I to dent the mirror of God's perfection, what would I have to pay to mend it once again? Certainly not 500 dollars. Not even only a million, or a billion dollars. Rather, I would be infinitely indebted to God. And yet, this is for just "one crack". Our sin against God is infinitely bad, because it goes against His infinite goodness. And like the just judge that He is, He will require us to pay the full sum. Only then would justice be maintained.

But you, like I once did, might ask yourself, "How? How could I possibly pay back to God the debt that I owe Him? I am but a man! I cannot even stand before Him...how then could I even begin to, with these finite hands, repair the infinite chasm which seperates me from right standing with Him? Oh, how could I ever!" Unfortunately, your logic is correct: You, being finite, could never even begin to pay off the infinite debt you owe God. The debt remains, no matter how hard you try. As long as that debt remains, you will be "separated from your God", as Isaiah once said.

But how my heart faints to say what I must say next. You who are downtrodden by sin, captive by your wrongdoing, and indebted to your transgression...you are not a sheep without a Shepherd. Were I to post the signs of the law all around you, warning of the forboding cliffs ahead, wouldn't you cry as I did, "But where else should I go? I see only cliffs! Where shall I turn and be spared?" Fortunately, the law of God was not only intended to bring to you the knowledge of impending doom, but it was intended to point you away from it. Following it could never save you...it could only point you in the direction of One who could.


Galatians 3:24-25
"The law was put in charge to lead us to [the Messiah] that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."

Justified? "But, you must be mistaken...I could never be just again. I have this debt, you see, one which I could never remove no matter how hard I tried. My sin separates me from God."

At this point you may realize that you are unable to restore your just position before God, since you are guilty of transgressing the law of God. A debt stands before you and God, and unless it is paid for in it's entirety, it will remain. The debt is infinite...it could not be divided into a series of smaller debts. The full sum must be paid at once. Our infinite sin must be taken out of the picture. The odds, however, are certainly against us, since we all like sheep have gone astray. We are all in this together. And, it is precisely because we have gone astray and transgressed the perfect law of God that we cannot justify ourselves. Only Somebody Who has not transgressed that same perfect law, Who has the ability to suffer the infinite punishment which our sins deserve, could ever restore us to a just position before God.

Yet, we read in the Bible of only One who is good by God's objective standards:


Mark 10:18
"No one is good--except God alone."

And we read of only One who is infinite in capacity...the One who is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. The One, Who when asked, "What is Your name?" responds simply with "I AM WHO I AM". Surely, God alone is immortal. He alone is all-knowing. He alone is all-powerful. He alone transcends space and time.

It appears as if we are in a quandry. It appears that the only One Who could ever meet the requirements, is God Himself. This poses a couple of obvious problems, however. First, God has never broken His own law, therefore He doesn't deserve to pay the debt which we do deserve to pay. Secondly, even if God were to pay the debt for us...He couldn't, since He is immortal!


Romans 6:23
"The wages of sin is death..."

If the wages of sin is death, and the only one able to pay that wage in full is the infinite God of all creation, we are at an impass, for, how can the immortal die? Only man, who is mortal, can die.

In light of everything I have said up to this point, when I consider what lies ahead, I can barely get the words out. Oh yes, I am able...and yes, I am willing. But the sheer magnitude and glory of the conclusion of this story is ineffable. Indelible. Unthinkable.

As I said before, the sheep were not left without a Shepherd. God, the Overseer of our lives, obviously had a plan in mind. After all, as we wander nearer and nearer to the eternal abyss, He placed the warning signs of the law all around us, as if He were pleading with us to change direction. "But to Whom should we go?", we ask the Shepherd? "Where should we flee to?"

And the Shepherd replies, "You just stay right where you are. I will come to you."


John 1:1,14-15
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...
...and the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Shepherd...became a Sheep.

The infinite and immortal God clothed Himself with mortal flesh, and walked among us as one of us. Certainly, this doesn't happen every day. Nor did it happen without reason. Nothing that God ever does is without reason. But for what reason could such a marvelous thing have?

Certainly, this Sheep's peers must have thought it odd that He, unlike them, never walked astray. He didn't sway from side to side, like they did. Nor was any deceit found in His mouth. This Sheep asks,


John 8:46
"Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?"

And the sheep all reply "No, not I. You are the Holy One of God. You are the Righteous One."


John 1:29
"Behold(!), the Lamb of God(!), who takes away the sin of the world!"

Oh, can it be? Like I said, I can barely get the words out.


Isaiah 53:7
"...He was led like a lamb to the slaughter..."

But that makes no sense at all. This Lamb had never broken the law! He was not a transgressor, yet, He was led to the slaughter anyway.

WHY?

Isaiah 53:4-12
Surely HE took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered HIM stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But HE was pierced for our transgressions,
HE was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon HIM,
and by HIS wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on HIM
the iniquity of us all.
HE was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
HE was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment HE was taken away.
And who can speak of his descendants?
For HE was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people HE was stricken.
HE was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though HE had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the LORD's will to crush HIM and cause HIM to suffer,
and though the LORD makes HIS life a guilt offering,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
After the suffering of HIS soul,
HE will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by HIS knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and HE will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give HIM a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because HE poured out HIS life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For HE bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Fellow sinners, do you understand these words? Read them for yourselves.

HE suffered YOUR punishment.

HE paid YOUR debt.

HE was forsaken for YOUR transgressions.

"Oh, Dan, won't you tell me His name, that I might praise Him and live for Him forever and ever!"

matpal
04-26-2004, 09:51 AM
Concluded.....

I will.

John 1:16-17
John (the Baptist) testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, `He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ...

JESUS, THE CHRIST

Jesus Christ, the Divine, Infinite, and Immortal God, has done it. He has given His life as restitution for sins. He did so by willingly coming to Earth as a man, fulfilling the perfect law of God (which we never could), and humbling Himself for our sake, by dying on a cross, forsaken by God Himself.


John 19:17-18
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others--one on each side and Jesus in the middle...
Mark 15:33-34
At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

John 19:30
...Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


Those three last words spoken by the dying Lamb of God, are the three words I shall remember unto my grave: "It is finished". What is finished? Our ransom. Untranslated, the word (in Greek) is "Teletestai". "Tetelestai", literally translated, means "It is finished".

I work at a library, checking in and out books. When someone returns a book, I stamp inside the back cover, "RETURNED", followed by the date it was returned. The used stamps in Jesus' time too. Whenever a person had paid their bills or taxes, the tax-collector would write on that person's papyrus bank statement, "TETELESTAI". By this, they meant simply, "PAID IN FULL".

Paid in full. My debt to God, that infinite debt I owed God because of my sin against Him. That debt that I could not pay, yet would have been eternally punished for instead. Jesus Christ, the infinite God of all creation, has paid off that same infinite debt that I owed God, in full.


Pay to the order of: insert name here
In the amount of: INFINITE DOLLARS and no cents

God invites us all to lay hold of the sacrifice of Christ. If you do, the benefits of Christ's sacrifice will be freely given to you. All we must do is trust that God really did do such a thing for us, and make a choice to trust the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross as the sole means by which we could be brought back into right standing with God. Yet, most of us will not. And this is simply because most men will proclaim to every one his own goodness. Even if God were to place that glorious sacrifice before their very eyes, they would never accept it. They would rather stand before God by their own righteousness, because they have never considered what their own "righteousness" amounts to in His sight. But as for me, whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

So why title this "The Black Sheep"? Simply this: I believe that Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God, the Sheep Who, when standing among the snow of God's law, blended in perfectly, has taken upon Himself all the filth of us sin-steeped sheep, becoming sin -- becoming pure sin, completely black -- for the sake of those sheep, so that those sheep could in turn take upon themselves the snowy white righteousness of that perfect Sheep. All who do so will be able to stand before God once again, not having a righteousness of thier own which comes by the law, but rather by the righteousness which is from God, and is accepted by faith, once for all.

And so to answer the question I asked previously, how would I answer to the question "How are you?". My response could only truthfully be "Better than I deserve". For, I was like a sheep going astray. But now, I have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul. I plead with you: If you see yourself in my shoes...if you see yourself a sinner deserving Hell...and you don't know Jesus Christ...throw yourself upon His mercy. Ask Him for mercy. He will surely give it if you truly want it. None ever regret it who on Him rely. And please, email me. My email is tearministries@hotmail.com

If you have read this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Quantum_Man
04-26-2004, 10:16 AM
Good deal matpal. You said it all! ;)

jake24
04-26-2004, 12:21 PM
great post i could not have said it better myself.

Jcfreak_02
04-26-2004, 01:59 PM
Sticky?

matpal
04-27-2004, 08:58 AM
Shamless bump :)

Has to be some more thoughts on this....godd, bad, ugly, watcha think?

bts327
04-27-2004, 11:52 AM
Yes I am all of these things. I am a liar, a theif, etc, etc. This is fact. So am I to be rid of these things by imposing a counter-action towards them; accepting a figure or idol as the image my mind has constructed, or am I to be rid of them by accepting them and understanding what has brought them about in me?

If I am to be made aware of these things and that the solution is to accept a doctrine, then what are my motives for doing so if I choose to comply? I want to be free of these things because they bring misery upon myself and to others, yes? The key word is in the former sentence; "I". If "I" am seeking salvation or knowledge of that which is absolute then I am feeding the very mechanism which keeps me from salvation and knowledge of the absolute; "me". After all it is because of "me" wanting things for "myself" that I am all of these things in the first place, is it not? So if I am seeking to become babtized or saved then my motives are for self gain. Surely this is not the way to God.

If I accept these things and do not deny them then I can be aware of them the next time I act them out. I can see directly and personally the consequences of these things. If I can begin to understand not only what has brought these things about, but what has brought about their precursors, and so on, then I shall be liberated because I will see the futility of seeking continuance through action based on the idea of self.

This to me is the true acceptance of Jesus; the stripping away of the things which call me to salvation in the first place.

CerealKiller
04-27-2004, 12:09 PM
Dear Lord,

If you can hear my prayer, please get matpal of bb.com to stop lecturing us on his inane superstitions which are neither logical or reasonable.

It's obvious he fears the unknown and his basis for believing in you is fear of eternal damnation. Copying and pasting others drivel is his way of dealing with his terror. Please grant him the serenity of an original thought so he can appear more like a human being an less like a brainwashed zombie.

matpal
04-27-2004, 02:02 PM
Dear Ceralkiller:

You have shown that you fear what you do not understand. You fail to see that Christianity is not a set of rules, superstitions, or fairytales that we must blindly accept. It is built on love and is fed by unmerited grace. You mistakenly assume that because I copy and paste an article that I am a "zombie." You neglect that we are told to test ALL things, and always have a reason for what we beleive. Itis clear that you do not understand that we are to love God with all our strength, heart, and MIND. Nothing is to be taken on blind hope. Please realize that fear is a basis for nothing, but the love of Christ is the foundation that I rest on. It would also be nice if you yourself had a worthwhile comment instead of acting like a 10 year old. PLease accept that this is a forum dedicated to religion and if you dislike posts contained here in, please, for goodness sakes, get your carcass outta here.

blaker00
04-27-2004, 02:13 PM
Ok lets be honest. If there is a god The creation far outweighs the creator. Personally if there is a god I think he's on break for a while or just sittin back watching how everything is going to turn out. Wait he already knows.

I'm what you call agnostic, to me the bible is just silly. I mean we live in a time with better technology and we still don't know how the hell a guy in a boat can capture every damn animal and still float. How the hell can one guy part a sea? Im still laughing at the tower of babel explaining how languages spread throughout the land.

And my favorite. Adam and eve. If god knows everything then he knew adam was going to eat the apple before hand. He set you up to screw you. Anyways im out.

matpal
04-27-2004, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by bts327
Yes I am all of these things. I am a liar, a theif, etc, etc. This is fact. So am I to be rid of these things by imposing a counter-action towards them; accepting a figure or idol as the image my mind has constructed, or am I to be rid of them by accepting them and understanding what has brought them about in me?

You are to do neither, friend. For if you accepted some "figure" that your mind has accepted, someone you want that "figure" to be, you would not be any closer to Christ than you are now. And a knowledge alone of sin does not lead to a repented life, but the Holy Spirit does.



If I am to be made aware of these things and that the solution is to accept a doctrine, then what are my motives for doing so if I choose to comply? I want to be free of these things because they bring misery upon myself and to others, yes? The key word is in the former sentence; "I". If "I" am seeking salvation or knowledge of that which is absolute then I am feeding the very mechanism which keeps me from salvation and knowledge of the absolute; "me". After all it is because of "me" wanting things for "myself" that I am all of these things in the first place, is it not? So if I am seeking to become babtized or saved then my motives are for self gain. Surely this is not the way to God.


Since your premise is flawed, it is natural that any colcusion drawn from it will be flawed as well. You have failed to realize that seeking God in the Christianity sense is not about "feeling good" about one's self or getting away from any misery you may be going through. If you comprehended what Christ actually did, you would reaize this, but since you do not, you do not understand.



If I accept these things and do not deny them then I can be aware of them the next time I act them out. I can see directly and personally the consequences of these things. If I can begin to understand not only what has brought these things about, but what has brought about their precursors, and so on, then I shall be liberated because I will see the futility of seeking continuance through action based on the idea of self.


Your logic is flawed once again. Let us assume that you are aware of your sin, things taht would pre-dispose you to sin, and you do want to desperatly turn from it. That is no way means tat one could avoid such downfalls. You are trying to acheive an perfect means by an imperfect method, mode, and environment.



This to me is the true acceptance of Jesus; the stripping away of the things which call me to salvation in the first place.

It seems that you have no idea of what calls one to salvation to begin with, nor do you understand Who Jesus is. How have you come to your conclusions other than through your own misguided philosophy?

CerealKiller
04-27-2004, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by matpal
Dear Ceralkiller:

You have shown that you fear what you do not understand. You fail to see that Christianity is not a set of rules, superstitions, or fairytales that we must blindly accept. It is built on love and is fed by unmerited grace. You mistakenly assume that because I copy and paste an article that I am a "zombie." You neglect that we are told to test ALL things, and always have a reason for what we beleive. Itis clear that you do not understand that we are to love God with all our strength, heart, and MIND. Nothing is to be taken on blind hope. Please realize that fear is a basis for nothing, but the love of Christ is the foundation that I rest on. It would also be nice if you yourself had a worthwhile comment instead of acting like a 10 year old. PLease accept that this is a forum dedicated to religion and if you dislike posts contained here in, please, for goodness sakes, get your carcass outta here.

Dear matpal,

You wanted a reaction, so you got one.

When I fear something I deal with it.

When I don't understand something I acknowledge it by saying -- I DON'T KNOW. Too bad you fear these words and instead try to pass off things you choose to believe in as facts when in fact they are guesses.

The facts are we are born and we die. What happens after that is anybodys GUESS. Just because YOU CHOOSE TO BELIEVE in something doesn't make it a fact, whether it's in your infallable bible or not.

Things like heaven, hell, eternal life, eternal damnation, god, the devil, are simply mental concepts at this point, derived by people with overactive imaginations and absolutely no evidence.

I truly have sympathy for you because you remind me of a woman suffering from Battered Woman Syndrome. You've been terrorized into believing in something because you fear the consequences of what will happen if you don't. You can't see the forest for the trees. If you could you'd do a better job seperating fact from fiction.

You really ought to re-read your bible if you think the god described in it is a loving god worthy of your adoration. The god of the bible is a quick to anger, slow to forgive, tyranical monster with almost no redeeming qualities.

Your article clears up nothing.

BIONIC MAN
04-27-2004, 06:22 PM
we all deserve hell and death according to the law were dead , but that is why jesus is so important becuase the blood is the sacrifice for sins that pleases god . with the blood your are EXONERATED by jesus and he only asks you follow him.

blaker00
04-27-2004, 08:12 PM
god you guys sound like cult members.

look if there's a god he wants you to use what he created.
A mind! and not use it for someone elses mind control.
A sin is only there because the omnipotent allowed it there. Use the sins and and goods and you will have a good life. Too much sinning is bad too much good is bad as well. Life is about balance. Lets hope we all live balanced lives.