The Meaning of Faith in Great Sadness

FranklinRobertson
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The Meaning of Faith in Great Sadness

I want to talk about two events that have happened this same day. The first event, please. I received one of those usual emails from this or that Christian organization. This time the organization was talking about how Lowes (the store) was calling Christmas Trees, "Family Trees" in order to be so-called politically correct. Some people might think this is a big deal. That it is important to fight against the politically correct that seems to go out of its way to decimate and deter Christians or any form of Christian openness. Now so many people might think that we should go on the defensive, do our best to fight the good fight, but often times we find ourselves in the middle of silly wars that should not have been started in the first place. I think that now, because I have had to witness to a second event that has happened today. Yet it was the second situation that put this first situation into perspective. This second situation shows that the first situation, the anger and the resentment for a company who calls their Christmas Trees "Family Trees," was just plain silly. This second situation was quiet. Silent. Except for tears of a mom and father. This second situation was witnessing a child dying.

One of the greatest tragedies that is faced in our world is the loss of a child. In the past several weeks, I’ve known two couples who have lost mere babies. The latest death occurred for a couple who had gone and graduated from the same seminary that I am attending. Their child who was healthy on Friday obtained a horrific virus that killed her by Monday night. What can a person really say to such a tragedy? I find it interesting that the same minister who could probably write dozens of sermons concerning the anguish of 9-11, is also the same minister who is often caught off guard and without word when faced with the loss of a child or trying to minister to a family who has lost a child. In this day and age of unbelief in God, especially God through Christ, so many people seem to label Christians as only being Christians when tragedies hit–that God is a crutch and only a crutch, forevermore. Yet when I observe these people, families and friends, of those who have lost a child, especially, crutch is the last thing that these people need. What they need is God, what they want is an answer as to why. Alas, in this world of ours with so much pain and turmoil, God and the answers are hard to find.

On our lips we may ask why, we who are Christian, we who attend church or shepherd a church; however, deep inside, I think that our hearts and minds are going through storms, and thus why is by far the last question that is being asked. We ask "Why me" or "What did we do wrong" or "Why couldn’t this have happened to someone else." We want an answer here and we want an answer now, and we think (faithfully at first), that all we need to do is open the Bible and there the answer will show itself in all colour. For you see, I think that all of these questions are valid, but I think the greatest question that seems to be out of reach (at least when it comes to easy answers) is "God, where were you to allow this to happen"...especially when we see our child passing away due to a virus or a twist of accidents. This is not a leaning upon God as a crutch, this is asking God where was His goodness that we (especially those of us who are in the ministries) ask so painfully, so heartbreakingly. It is easy for a man and a woman to ask this question and then turn their backs upon God. Who would blame them, we might superficially ask, when they faced the most horrific of circumstances.

Yet the brave man and woman goes beyond just flipping through Scripture and expecting an answer to be spelled out in full colour, the brave man and woman will ask these questions and wait for God to answer these questions, in His time, in His place. This doesn’t mean that the brave man and woman are able to stand on their feet while asking these questions and waiting for an answer. Most men and women fall to their knees crying in such anguish that mere words fail to fully justify and define the pain. How could we do anything but cry aloud to the heavens and all the stars in the sky, and to God Himself, when we see a product of love die before our very eyes. Quietly though we are told to be faithful. Not that faith is the easiest thing to find at such a moment as this. Quietly, we are told to lean upon God. Not that trusting God is easy at this time, as well. Still, we are called, quietly, gently, because God is the one to whom we are to look toward the most. Even when we are beating our fists upon the very earth which has shallowed our child, we are called. That though this world is indeed a valley of shadows and death, God is still there, on His throne, in His righteousness, and with all His love...thus faith.

So many people who are not Christians seem to think that faith is an easy word to choose, to hold onto. That when people become Christians, earnestly striving to live a life for God through Christ, that faith is a meter of how the brain fades away. That with faith, Christians think that all the answers now come easily. Faith isn’t like this, not at all. Faith is something that grows and struggles and cries and laments. Faith is something that gets beaten, battered, and bruised. Just like Jesus Christ who took upon Himself to carry our burdens to the Cross. From the Cross to the Grave. To the Grave to the Sunday morning when He, triumphantly, rose again. This is where we begin to see the answer. In Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the answer to our sorrows when we have children die before our very eyes. Faith is not an easy thing to hold. It is as slippery as can be. Yet faith, by the power of God, in the heart and in the mind, brings those who face trauma into a greater light, the light of the witnesses that surround us who have also felt the same pain, and who now, those with God, now know the triumph of holding onto God through even the greatest of crisis...and that in this crisis, God is holding onto those in mourning.

Faith is not a moment of easy answers to easy questions. This is not true when becoming a Christian, this is not true when being a Christian and facing the greatest of pains such as the loss of someone who has been loved, someone who has a possible future, a hopeful future, a meaningful future–such as when someone losses a child. When Christians talk about true faith, the faith that is there during the greatest times of darkness, Christians are talking about a strength that no atheist could ever understand, ever employee, ever be surrounded by, out of the atheist’s own choice. Faith aims at bringing us to understand God’s goodness, especially seen through Jesus Christ for Jesus Christ IS God before us, in the flesh, in all accountability, and in all love and justice. Faith is a foundation that helps to keep us from drowning in the cynicism, in the questions, in the cliche answers, in the uncertainties. Faith is not afraid of us asking about our doubts, faith helps us to recognize those doubts and leads us to where God wants us to be led. To the answers, to Him, to Him through Jesus Christ. Doesn’t make things easier. For I think one and all would agree, life is not easy, but we are brought to that foundation of certainty.

And it is this certainty that is there that will help take us through even the greatest of griefs faced, such as in the loss my fellow students are facing, their child of two and a half months dying over a day’s worth of hours. God will minister to this couple. God is probably already ministering to this couple, through His goodness, through His faithfulness to our faith (even when that faith is shaken to its very foundation). This doesn’t mean that things will be easy for this couple. Funeral arrangements. Grieving family members. Grieving friends and fellow students. Yet God is Good, and God is just, and God is holy, and God is true. We, unlike the atheist who has no foundation to stand upon (or even to kneel upon when facing loved one’s deaths), know that there is a greater story that is happening, a true story, a powerful story–the story that is God’s story, the story that is spread across God’s kingdom from one side of the universe, to us, to the other side of the universe. Through faith in this God, this true God, we are able to realize that there is more than what we can see, even if all we see before us is a tiny grave. That in God, through Christ, in faith, the grave has been conquered and death is not the final victor.

God is the victor. And it is in this God that I know I trust and love. And it is in this God that I know I can live with, die with, and be with everlasting across the ages. Yes this is a sea of sadness, this world that we live in. There are wars and rumors of war, there is pain, there is suffering, there is heartache. There is, still, someone greater than all of that, and that is God, God through Jesus Christ. I do not know all the answers. God does not give us all the answers. Still, even in the valley, I shall trust in God through Christ because I know there is a greater plan afoot, a greater play that is being produced, a greater symphony that is being sung. Even in the darkness, I shall have faith in God, even in the midst of pain, I shall have faith in God. Yes indeed we sometimes find ourselves focusing upon the superficial such as some store is calling the Christmas Trees the "Family Trees"–but that is not really what counts the most. We maybe should take a stand for what is right, but we should not billow and forget that stories, tragedies many of them, are being acted...and in all these acts, we are to play a part, aiming toward showing that God is the victor against death, against grief, against pain. That in the end, indeed, it is all about God. and God's love for us.  Amen.


Fish
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What disgusting drivel.

What disgusting drivel. How dare you suggest that at the height of human suffering that they fall down on their knees to worship an invisible child-slaying beast? How dare you make light of their plight as some sort of "grand design" and suggest that their pain is "just"? This is the sort of religion that is most henious. It is the religion that dehumanizes pain and suffering and asks people to accept these things as the ultimate plan of some imaginary creature.

You say that atheists have no foundation to stand on, but that claim is foundless. How can you say that those who believe in the joy and beauty of life and who celebrate its richness are the ones who are lacking? Those who support us in times of need and crisis, pain and trial are our fellow men and women. They are the ones who comfort us, provide us with warmth and love. How can you trivialize their generosity and sacrifice by suggesting it is all the result of some totalitarian being?

I find your comments insulting and degrading to all people.


BizarroAzrael
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...   What?

...

 

What?

 

FranklinRobertson wrote:

I want to talk about two events that have happened this same day. The first event, please. I received one of those usual emails from this or that Christian organization. This time the organization was talking about how Lowes (the store) was calling Christmas Trees, "Family Trees" in order to be so-called politically correct. Some people might think this is a big deal. That it is important to fight against the politically correct that seems to go out of its way to decimate and deter Christians or any form of Christian openness. Now so many people might think that we should go on the defensive, do our best to fight the good fight, but often times we find ourselves in the middle of silly wars that should not have been started in the first place. I think that now, because I have had to witness to a second event that has happened today. Yet it was the second situation that put this first situation into perspective. This second situation shows that the first situation, the anger and the resentment for a company who calls their Christmas Trees "Family Trees," was just plain silly.

Yes, they are Fern trees. Duh.

 

I can only imagine how persecuted you feel. I think it must be like how I feel about the Star Wars Special Editions. Greedo never shot first!

Quote:
This second situation was quiet. Silent. Except for tears of a mom and father. This second situation was witnessing a child dying.

 

Yeah, I see why you lead with the irrelvant tree thing.

Quote:
One of the greatest tragedies that is faced in our world is the loss of a child. In the past several weeks, I’ve known two couples who have lost mere babies. The latest death occurred for a couple who had gone and graduated from the same seminary that I am attending. Their child who was healthy on Friday obtained a horrific virus that killed her by Monday night. What can a person really say to such a tragedy? I find it interesting that the same minister who could probably write dozens of sermons concerning the anguish of 9-11, is also the same minister who is often caught off guard and without word when faced with the loss of a child or trying to minister to a family who has lost a child. In this day and age of unbelief in God, especially God through Christ, so many people seem to label Christians as only being Christians when tragedies hit–that God is a crutch and only a crutch, forevermore. Yet when I observe these people, families and friends, of those who have lost a child, especially, crutch is the last thing that these people need. What they need is God, what they want is an answer as to why.

 

Word to the wise, where you meant to put a distinction, you put hyperbole.

 

Quote:
Alas, in this world of ours with so much pain and turmoil, God and the answers are hard to find.

On our lips we may ask why, we who are Christian, we who attend church or shepherd a church; however, deep inside, I think that our hearts and minds are going through storms, and thus why is by far the last question that is being asked. We ask "Why me" or "What did we do wrong" or "Why couldn’t this have happened to someone else." We want an answer here and we want an answer now, and we think (faithfully at first), that all we need to do is open the Bible and there the answer will show itself in all colour. For you see, I think that all of these questions are valid, but I think the greatest question that seems to be out of reach (at least when it comes to easy answers) is "God, where were you to allow this to happen"

 

How is that "Out of reach" exactly? If the doctor was at Starbucks whilst this happened I would like to know what the fuck he was thinking.

Quote:
...especially when we see our child passing away due to a virus or a twist of accidents. This is not a leaning upon God as a crutch, this is asking God where was His goodness that we (especially those of us who are in the ministries) ask so painfully, so heartbreakingly. It is easy for a man and a woman to ask this question and then turn their backs upon God. Who would blame them, we might superficially ask, when they faced the most horrific of circumstances.

 

You don't know what "superfical" means, do you?

Quote:
Yet the brave man and woman goes beyond just flipping through Scripture and expecting an answer to be spelled out in full colour, the brave man and woman will ask these questions and wait for God to answer these questions, in His time, in His place.

 

...

Why?

 

Quote:
This doesn’t mean that the brave man and woman are able to stand on their feet while asking these questions and waiting for an answer. Most men and women fall to their knees crying in such anguish that mere words fail to fully justify and define the pain. How could we do anything but cry aloud to the heavens and all the stars in the sky, and to God Himself, when we see a product of love die before our very eyes. Quietly though we are told to be faithful. Not that faith is the easiest thing to find at such a moment as this. Quietly, we are told to lean upon God. Not that trusting God is easy at this time, as well. Still, we are called, quietly, gently, because God is the one to whom we are to look toward the most. Even when we are beating our fists upon the very earth which has shallowed our child, we are called. That though this world is indeed a valley of shadows and death, God is still there, on His throne, in His righteousness, and with all His love...thus faith.

So many people who are not Christians seem to think that faith is an easy word to choose, to hold onto. That when people become Christians, earnestly striving to live a life for God through Christ, that faith is a meter of how the brain fades away. That with faith, Christians think that all the answers now come easily. Faith isn’t like this, not at all. Faith is something that grows and struggles and cries and laments. Faith is something that gets beaten, battered, and bruised. Just like Jesus Christ who took upon Himself to carry our burdens to the Cross. From the Cross to the Grave. To the Grave to the Sunday morning when He, triumphantly, rose again. This is where we begin to see the answer. In Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the answer to our sorrows when we have children die before our very eyes. Faith is not an easy thing to hold. It is as slippery as can be. Yet faith, by the power of God, in the heart and in the mind, brings those who face trauma into a greater light, the light of the witnesses that surround us who have also felt the same pain, and who now, those with God, now know the triumph of holding onto God through even the greatest of crisis...and that in this crisis, God is holding onto those in mourning.

I'm mostly putting these in because this is such a bitch to read, could you not condence a little?

 

Quote:
Faith is not a moment of easy answers to easy questions.

We know, it fails to answer some really fucking easy ones.

Quote:
This is not true when becoming a Christian, this is not true when being a Christian and facing the greatest of pains such as the loss of someone who has been loved, someone who has a possible future, a hopeful future, a meaningful future–such as when someone losses a child. When Christians talk about true faith, the faith that is there during the greatest times of darkness, Christians are talking about a strength that no atheist could ever understand, ever employee, ever be surrounded by, out of the atheist’s own choice. Faith aims at bringing us to understand God’s goodness, especially seen through Jesus Christ for Jesus Christ IS God before us, in the flesh, in all accountability, and in all love and justice. Faith is a foundation that helps to keep us from drowning in the cynicism, in the questions, in the cliche answers, in the uncertainties.

I think that was my favourite part. Yeah, questions are bad, we might not like the answers! You may be looking in the wrong place to avoid the cliche answers though.

Quote:
Faith is not afraid of us asking about our doubts, faith helps us to recognize those doubts and leads us to where God wants us to be led. To the answers, to Him, to Him through Jesus Christ. Doesn’t make things easier. For I think one and all would agree, life is not easy, but we are brought to that foundation of certainty.

And it is this certainty that is there that will help take us through even the greatest of griefs faced, such as in the loss my fellow students are facing, their child of two and a half months dying over a day’s worth of hours. God will minister to this couple. God is probably already ministering to this couple, through His goodness, through His faithfulness to our faith (even when that faith is shaken to its very foundation). This doesn’t mean that things will be easy for this couple. Funeral arrangements. Grieving family members. Grieving friends and fellow students. Yet God is Good, and God is just, and God is holy, and God is true. We, unlike the atheist who has no foundation to stand upon (or even to kneel upon when facing loved one’s deaths), know that there is a greater story that is happening, a true story, a powerful story–the story that is God’s story, the story that is spread across God’s kingdom from one side of the universe, to us, to the other side of the universe. Through faith in this God, this true God, we are able to realize that there is more than what we can see, even if all we see before us is a tiny grave. That in God, through Christ, in faith, the grave has been conquered and death is not the final victor.

God is the victor. And it is in this God that I know I trust and love. And it is in this God that I know I can live with, die with, and be with everlasting across the ages. Yes this is a sea of sadness, this world that we live in. There are wars and rumors of war, there is pain, there is suffering, there is heartache. There is, still, someone greater than all of that, and that is God, God through Jesus Christ. I do not know all the answers. God does not give us all the answers. Still, even in the valley, I shall trust in God through Christ because I know there is a greater plan afoot, a greater play that is being produced, a greater symphony that is being sung. Even in the darkness, I shall have faith in God, even in the midst of pain, I shall have faith in God. Yes indeed we sometimes find ourselves focusing upon the superficial such as some store is calling the Christmas Trees the "Family Trees"–but that is not really what counts the most. We maybe should take a stand for what is right, but we should not billow and forget that stories, tragedies many of them, are being acted...and in all these acts, we are to play a part, aiming toward showing that God is the victor against death, against grief, against pain. That in the end, indeed, it is all about God. and God's love for us. Amen.

 

Bull. Shit.

 

How nice of god, yeah he killed kids or allowed them to die or whatever, but yeah. Do you have a point anywhere there? Did you think if you typed another words one would just form?

 

Don't get me wrong, it's a great tragedy those kids have died, and I have nothing but sympathy for the parents, but you? What the fuck is wrong with you? What is this "strenght" you talk about? That athiests don't have? Why trust god and Jesus? What are they supposed to have done to earn trust? Enough trust that allowing babies to die is okay?


FranklinRobertson
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You have the wrong

You have the wrong presupposition. But you have the right to that presupposition. That is in your hands. God is not a "child slaying beast" though it is understandable that you may think so, as that is what a lot of people think when they fail to bring the reality to its natural conclusion. Why is there pain and death? Why is there anguish? We do not know why life holds all that is holds. However, we know that for certain there is hope that is found in faith, in the faith for God through Christ. The reason I posted this is because I believe that this is important to understand, you don’t seem to understand faith. Faith, and the wisdom in faith, is a strength found through the being silent for a moment and realizing the entirety that is of this universe...the heights of hope and the valley of anguish.

The difference is in perception, the difference between the couple who holds in faith in the Lord and the couple who only sees "now" in lack of faith. The Christian, the one who holds in faith, and this faith is grounded and strong even in the midst of tears, sees that there is a greater reality, a stronger kingdom, than the power that is seen only at the graveyard. The atheist, yes, receives love and friendship, and the atheist deserves to have this love and deserves to have these friends. Yet the atheist does not see beyond the graveyard. This is not a mere "cloud in the sky" hope that the Christian holds onto, this is not mere faith that’s a crutch, this is instead a realization that while we may not understand the questions or the answers this side, we will one day have our questions answered.

It is not about dehumanizing pain, it is about asking and finding the answers that surround this pain. It is easy to toss away hope and faith. People do that. I imagine that there are many an atheist, or other religious ideology, that has quit Christianity because they are quick to say there are no answers to be found and no answers to be understood. We must dig into the pit that we find ourselves. And as we dig, we must face what we are going to face, and we must seek what we are truly trying to find. Instead of being quick to call God a "child killer" and run away from exploration into our pain, into our longings, we should instead do what such couples as the ones I know are doing: facing the reality, asking the questions, and seeking the answers through the heartache and the tears.

Still your reply begs to question something that you constantly say, something that a lot of the atheists I know, have to say...words such as "totalitarian being" and "child killer." Not that I am quickly going to label back to an atheist and say an atheist is "bitter" or "cynical" or whatnot. These are simplistic answers and tags that are so quickly aimed at God and so quickly aimed at atheists. Fascinating. Life is filled with tragedy, as wisdom shows, it rains on both the guilt and the innocent. Yet again, just as in the before mentioned perception, so too is perception... a greater wider perception...needed in this instance. It is easier to label this or that and not truly seek the questions that are yearning in the heart and mind of man and woman. It is easier to label than to find answers.

I appreciate your reply, thank you for your post.


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If this story is true, then

If this story is true, then I offer my condolences to yourself, but more importantly to your friends.

It is nothing short of heartwrenching when situations are so bad and seem so out of our control that it seems necessary for those involved to turn away from reality and hide from it.

I certainly don't doubt that some people can get such comfort from their faith, but it has never made much sense to me.  I would find myself a little uneasy if there was any reason to believe that there might be an omni-potent deity whose PLAN could very well include the painful deaths of myself and/or my loved ones.  If such a deity exists, there is no escape from the earthly consequences of his whims it would seem. 

 History shows that the faithful and unfaithful alike all die with an equal chance of extreme pain, loss of dignity and lack of humanly conceivable justice.  Though I myself may consider even such comfort as you have described as irrational in light of what I have just said, I still don't doubt that some people do feel more comfortable with faith, but it still has no relevance to the existence or non-existence of god.


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FranklinRobertson

FranklinRobertson wrote:

You have the wrong presupposition. But you have the right to that presupposition.

What presupposition? Do you just have a word-a-day calender or something? The only presuppositions I see are yours, that not only is there a god, it is the Christian god. You started with the conclusions and tried to force reasoning to fit it, failing miserably.

Quote:
That is in your hands. God is not a "child slaying beast"

Of course not, he's fictional.

 

Quote:
though it is understandable that you may think so, as that is what a lot of people think when they fail to bring the reality to its natural conclusion. Why is there pain and death? Why is there anguish?

There is death because organisms can't keep going forever, they wear down until they can function no longer. Pain is a natural mechanism that comes from our reaction to harmful things. If we loose a loved one we can react to the pain to help prevent it happening to others for the sake of the species, and we know that sticking a hand in a flame causes pain, so we don't do it, so we don't fuck up our hands that way.

 

Quote:
We do not know why life holds all that is holds.

 

So we better make shit up!

 

Quote:
However, we know that for certain there is hope that is found in faith, in the faith for God through Christ.

No we don't. Not if you can't prove god exists, and is looking out for our best interests, and won't just fuck it all up. You are talking about delusion.

 

The rest is aimless hyperbole, I'm not going to bother addressing it, you make no valid points whatsoever.



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I know that if I were

I know that if I were suffering grief from the loss of a family member, I'd be comforted by the thought that my loved one's death was caused on purpose and that the sum total of my loved one's life on Earth was to serve as a cog in some twisted Rube Goldberg machination intended to get me to worship and love the very being responsible for arranging their death in the first place.

But then again I'm a complete and total sociopath. 

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


FranklinRobertson
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I think what I am talking

I think what I am talking about is the difference of the presupposition that the Christian has and the atheist has–while at the same time striving to gain an understanding of my own feelings toward the tragedy that I have seen rock the foundations of the small seminary that I go to. The Christian does not gain cliche answers by looking toward God and expecting an answer right then and there; the atheist does not gain cliche answers by not looking at God and instead looking to the world for answers right then and there. And there would be nothing but foolishness if the Christian thinks that cliche answers are on the lips of God just as there would be nothing but foolishness if the atheist thinks that cliche answers are on the lips of the world. The perception brings us to answers if we seek for those answers earnestly. The perception of the Christian is that of a man looking down from a mountain, the perception from the atheist is that of a man looking up to the mountain (and thus does not have the same periphery vision).

To come to Jesus in times of mourning is not an easy thing to do. We want to do what you seem to be doing, calling God a "child killer" and fail to find wisdom and peace where we should find it, in God through Christ. When we come to Jesus Christ, we come to Him with all of our scars and all of our wounds. Why? Because, as we see in the Book of Revelation, He too comes to the Throne with all His scars and all His wounds. What makes us who we are, through the torment and the pain, will always be there...how we perceive this though is the difference between the true Christian and the true atheist. The true Christian, no matter what, even in the most painful of moments, still finds God trustworthy in the face of torment. The true atheist, no matter what, sees no tomorrow, still that is his choice.

What the Christian seeks and finds is not by simply founded by calling God a "child killer," though that doesn’t mean the anguish isn’t strong for parents such as these. In fact these parents are filled with heartache, and I prayerfully feel for them. What the atheist finds in friends and families is a good thing, indeed, but I don’t think that (at least from the atheists I’ve seen and the atheists I’ve known and know) they are able to look as far as the Christian is able to look when seeking the answers that plague the heart and mind. Still your answer and the other fellow’s answer are important to me, and I thank you for your replies, because that helps me to consider what needs to be considered when I deal with future tragedies as the ones I’ve seen in the past few weeks. A lot of times when I watch the pain that comes to people, whether Christian or not, people seem to grasp at the easier answers and questions instead of digging a bit deeper, where the true peace can be found. What I hope for, by these discussions, is a greater grasp at what it means in ministry.

Again, thank you for your perceptive and interesting responses.


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FranklinRobertson wrote: I

FranklinRobertson wrote:

I think what I am talking about is

 Try being sure.  You got nothing but waffle and I'm tired of having to read you're long-winded, meandering posts.

You offer no reason whatsoever to have faith.  None.  You say we should believe the bible, just because.   That we should cling to the idea that sky daddy is looking out for us in spite of the suffering in the world he could presumably prevent.  No proof, no reasoning, not even comfort, just because.


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FranklinRobertson

FranklinRobertson wrote:
The true Christian, no matter what, even in the most painful of moments, still finds God trustworthy in the face of torment.

I suppose that this is true. In the face of torment, the true Christian can trust that, tomorrow, God will still be serving up plenty of torment to go around.  

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


Eloise
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Woah, wednesday morning

Woah, wednesday morning sermon ... interesting.

If I may make on observation, the point to this is here:

FranklinRobertson wrote:

So many people who are not Christians seem to think that faith is an easy word to choose, to hold onto. That when people become Christians, earnestly striving to live a life for God through Christ, that faith is a meter of how the brain fades away. That with faith, Christians think that all the answers now come easily. Faith isn’t like this, not at all. Faith is something that grows and struggles and cries and laments. Faith is something that gets beaten, battered, and bruised.

..correct?

And the question then goes to what reasons a Christian chooses to hang on to this faith in the face of sadness...

To that you said:

Franklin Robertson wrote:

Yet faith, by the power of God, in the heart and in the mind, brings those who face trauma into a greater light, the light of the witnesses that surround us who have also felt the same pain, and who now, those with God, now know the triumph of holding onto God through even the greatest of crisis...and that in this crisis, God is holding onto those in mourning.

...

God will minister to this couple. God is probably already ministering to this couple, through His goodness, through His faithfulness to our faith (even when that faith is shaken to its very foundation).

...

Yet God is Good, and God is just, and God is holy, and God is true. We, unlike the atheist who has no foundation to stand upon (or even to kneel upon when facing loved one’s deaths), know that there is a greater story that is happening, a true story, a powerful story–the story that is God’s story, the story that is spread across God’s kingdom from one side of the universe, to us, to the other side of the universe.

...

That in God, through Christ, in faith, the grave has been conquered and death is not the final victor.

and the reasons to hold on to faith:

1. God works through the people comforting you.

2. It's Gods story and in God's story death is not the 'final victor'

 

So my questions back to you :

(1) is a vaguely positive statement, but how is it true? By what mechanism does this happen. How does god get into the people around you, how does he work through their hands? In this age of over a century of enlightenment, where we all (westerners) have education, information and health supporting our individual intellects, What positive ontology has christianity come to regarding omnipotent omnipresence?

(2) Define 'final victor' and clarify why death is not it.

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Zombie
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I used to be and feel just

I used to be and feel just like you do FranklinRobertson, I'm glad i grew up and grew out of it. life is too short to beleave in such drivel. Its guys like you that cause atheists to band together to oppose you. Thanks for that. Laughing out loud

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1. Your writing: needlessly

1. Your writing: needlessly verbose.

2. You never come to why faith, only assert faith; and from that, continue to assert.

3. The faith you describe is indistinguishable from self-delusion.


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FranklinRobertson

FranklinRobertson wrote:

You have the wrong presupposition . . .

If god kills children it is by definition a child killer. Your attempts to hide your blind assertions and outright lies in the language of faith and god are quite transparent. Your assertation that atheists are bitter and cynical is easily dismissed in the face of atheists who have not had a great deal of exposure to fundamentalists such as yourself, and so would have no opportunity to become bitter by religion.

Your claim to not be dehumanizing is contradicted by your statements that humans are no more than pawns in the game of some powerful being who pulls strings from the background, hiding in shadows, afraid to show itself (and why would it be that afraid?). You say that a person's pride and shame is not his own, but belongs to some other entity. You say that a person's only worth is measured by some invisible unknown rubric. You say that a person's hopes and dreams are secondary to those of the unseen master.

You claim that a Christian is on a mountaintop? And because of it he believes people to be ants, and he believes the empty skies to be reality. Only by living among the trees and the beauty and life of the natural world can you understand the true value of joy and pain, and the value of humanity in all its forms.  It is the simplest matter to use poetic metaphor to create the appearence of support for any argument.

For you to continue to claim that humans have no intrinsic value independent of some "higher" being is to devalue all people's sacrifice and charity. It is insulting and degrading.


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Given that I think very few

Given that I think very few people here actually believe in the existance of Sky Patriarchs, lets get off this "God is a Child killer" thing... its unproductive.  The side putting it forward doesn't believe in said god and the side hearing it will never believe that god is some kind of Child Murderer.

 You asked alot of questions which you answered already without any need from a sky man.

 "Why me"

"What did we do wrong"

"Why couldn’t this have happened to someone else."

"God, where were you to allow this to happen

All answered by the fact that the child passed away due to a virus or a twist of accidents.  The atheistic position is that there was no plan for it.  No god that did or did not allow a child to die based on some plan.  I find reasurance that when things like this happen, its because they just happen.  I find a feeling of physical illness when I hear people in these situations told "God has a plan".  Yes, you believe that God has a plan... and it involved allowing a child to die of a painful virus.  Where is the consolation in that?

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