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1  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Loneliness on: August 18, 2014, 11:40:33 AM
Well, then getting back to loneliness.
I have at most a vague idea of how it is that people who are surrounded by people are lonely and feel alone. I do not say that to imply they are nuts to be so. Just that since I do not feel lonely ever, and actually intentionally get alone to be alone as a break, its hard to make myself understand.
.....

Jeff: I seem to remember you saying several times, like in this quote, that you don't ever feel lonely. Can you elaborate on that?

I grew up with intense overbearing feelings of loneliness, and they peaked when i was "hitting my bottom" on "self-will run riot".  But once i turned to Christ, and asked Him to have His Way with me, the loneliness began to disappear, and i seldom feel it, and never with the previous intensity.

I attribute that to the habit i have of reminding myself that Jesus is always with Me, although i imagine that is just Him inspiring the remembering.  Anyway, it is hard to feel lonely when we start really pray-talking with Him.

And you?
I haven't felt lonely since before Christ took hold of me and I met my wife in my early twenties. I am sixty now. I do sense His presense, and I and my wife get along well. We are happy and comfortable with one another. We do a lot together around our little farm and in our home. I get along fine with my kids, and the spouses of those that are married. I have worked at the same place for thirty-one years and have a number of friends here at work. We don't socialize outside of work, but have each other's backs here. And some are believers and some are not. I just don't feel lonely. My wife and I have good friends among her and my family as well.
.........

Yeah, maybe i should have clarified what i meant.  The "loneliness" i feel sometimes now isn't the same kind of crushing, despairing kind of feeling which i once had (before Christ).  Back then it was like "no one really knows me, no one wants to know me, no one understands me, no one wants to understand me, the universe doesn't want me, nobody wants me", etc, etc, with massive amounts of self-pity attached.

Now, quite a few years later (after Christ), the "loneliness" isn't a wallowing in self-condemnation and self-loathing, as much as a feeling that God wants to use me in someone elses life, and i am being prepared for that service.  It is a longing to be His instrument -- "here i am Lord, choose me for Your work".

There is no more lingering question about whether i am accepted, loved, and cared for.  Even when "disaster" of some kind strikes, and all looks bleak, and my emotions start to "freak out", i am quickly reminded that He is still in charge, and has a great learning experience for me to go through, and He will use it to develop me according to His Plan.

I don't have any certainty that there will never again come a time of the old "loneliness" feeling, but i have a high confidance in Him that He will get me through it if it comes, and that we will be even "closer" (or better stated, perhaps, that i will appreciate our oneness even more).  Make sense?
2  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Lonely David pleads for God's turning on: August 18, 2014, 11:23:05 AM
Then why is it that we do not constantly sense the presence of God?  (Or maybe you do and it's only just me.)

We get busy "doing our thing", like surviving, seeking enjoyment, etc.  And at first, even after we have received our Savior, we are used to "running our lives our way".  It takes a slow educational process to begin to really see our need for continual contact with God in us, and that may take some of us very long, some seem to "get it" quickly.

Fortunately our Lord (and Best Friend) is supremely patient as well as talented at guiding us to connect with Him more frequently and a little more continuously.  Probably no one will attain, in this life, to the level of perfection of openness to God and obedience that He demonstrated to us.  But when we "see Him face to Face" and this human fleshly nature is removed/replaced, i believe we will be in a complete unity of heart-purpose and Presence which doesn't end.

Sounds like something worthy of at least one HalleluYah!!!!
3  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: TT.UU.LL.II.PP.s still bloom on: August 18, 2014, 11:14:20 AM
I'm getting out my weed killer and spraying. 

Weed killer might kill the original t.u.l.i.p., as well as the broader one.  But to be fair, i should repeat with my version, the original one, for comparison.

As usually stated t.u.l.i.p. stands for:  (T)otal Depravity, (U)nconditional Election, (L)imited Atonement, (I)rresistible Grace, (P)erseverance of the Saints.

Note that i am saying this set of concepts are true but limited in scope, whereas the revised version is broader and includes more Scripture.  Thus, both arminianism and calvinism would be partially true, but the higher truth would include both.  Here's the suggested revision again for consideration:  

.....
Just suppose there are Scriptures which seem to support the broader t.u.l.i.p.  And suppose those concepts show the love of God as defined by 1 Cor 13 more clearly, while also validating the original T.U.L.I.P. as being true for "the elect".

Here are the broader concepts again:

Totally dependent righteousness
[No one has any real righteousness apart from Christ living through them.]

Unforced election
[Being "saved" is never coerced on anyone, we must come to seek it and receive it, by His grace not by our abilities.]

Limitless atonement availability
[Christ's death was sufficient for all people, but His Life must be received for true atonement.]

Invitational grace
[Everyone is to be invited to receive the grace of God in Jesus, though many will refuse Him.]

Persistence in Christ
[No person can persevere into eternity apart from the persistent work of Christ in their lives.]
.....
4  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: August 18, 2014, 11:00:17 AM
We all hijack each others threads... cool

Ok so I'll bring it back..

Even the idea of everlasting eternal torture . There... Smiley


Hey, hijacking can be fun -- i've done a little, too, as you know.

But, yes, this particular topic seems extra important to me since i, like big orange, struggled with whether God could be so cruel as to torture most people forever -- deliberate, premeditated, "justified" by His Law, cruelty.  

And i imagine any thinking person has some question about the doctrine of unending conscious suffering caused by the same God Who is "perfect love", and took on human form and died for us to prove it.  Granted some folks, and you may be one of them, can just "shelve" the conflict on a back shelf of their mind.  I couldn't seem to "shelve it".

So i obsess on the topic for the benefit of those who also experience distance in their relationship with our Heavenly Dad, because they have been taught that their "lost" relatives and friends, and maybe themselves, are to be kept alive eternally just so they can suffer immeasurably and unmercifully.

Few topics in systematic Christian theology appear to have the potential to keep people from fully trusting Him.  So i do what i can to offer an alternative, which fits Scripture much more thoroughly than the few verses which might seem to support the doctrine, and yet don't support it when examined closely.  

Hope you don't mind me "re-tracking the hi-jacking" a bit.   cool
5  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: August 17, 2014, 11:52:07 AM

m.l.: "....Many folks (we'll call them "Literalists") are usually arguing strictly from what the text "says". n these cases, a preponderance of citations/passages which seem to stand for or against a certain view will determine whether its "true" or not."

K_k:  Yes, i agree that when Scripture is consistent on a particular subject, when there is a great "preponderance" of passages which agree with each other and give various facets of the same reality, then that is the truth unless clearly contradicted by other passages.

And if you look at the outline above in the first post, i believe you will see a very consistent, logical presentation of great amounts of Scripture which agree that mankind is not immortal unless given immortality at the Resurrection of Believers.  And mortals who reject the Source of unending Life (Jesus Christ) are terminated/destroyed in the final Lake of Fire.

m.l.:  "Once one has picked a side, the outstanding/contradictory passages are simply ignored."

K_k:  You will find some of the seemingly contradictory passages explored and explained in the Appendix of the outline above.  If you have any others, i would be very glad to study it and reconcile it with "conditional immortality".


Why waste energy on this topic?  Consider whether it might affect your relationship with God if He is planning to deliberately keep the majority of all human beings alive forever so He can torture them non-stop, without mercy.  Then consider whether it affects your attitude toward Him if you see that His Word says the lost will be tried fairly, and finally be terminated, in mercy and compassion, since they will not want to spend eternity in intimate union with their Creator.

You may be able to "blow off" the subject, but i couldn't.  I just "had to know" how the standard idea of hell could be consistent with our God Who took on human form and died for us so we wouldn't have to die the final death, unless that is what we persistently wanted.   His perfect love is revealed in Him sending His Son to die for us, to pay the penalty for all we have done/now do/will do, so perfect justice is served, while perfect mercy is shown to all who will receive it/Him.

And the Word is highly consistent on the subject, as the above outline shows.  Unless, of course, you can find some inconsistencies in it?  I'm quite willing to consider that i might be wrong -- but only if it can be shown Biblically, since the Bible has proven itself to be the most reliable source of information on spiritual matters which is available.  And i'll gladly repent if you can show me, in the Book, that all people are immortal in any way.

Feel up to the challenge?  (Could be fun, if we let it be...)
6  Forums / Key Life Forum / So what about pot? on: August 17, 2014, 11:19:07 AM

There may have been other topics about marijuana at F&G, but i wanted to share this summary of the effects of it.  As a once-upon-a-time pot-head, completely dedicated and proudly addicted to it, i can verify the list from my own experience.  I am not arguing against medical use of it, but that often becomes a convenient coverup for "recreational use" and then full blown addiction.

-------
Some sobering facts on marijuana:

Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States.

How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?

...altered perceptions and mood,

...impaired coordination

...difficulty with thinking and problem solving

...disrupted learning and memory.

...rapid heart beat, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety...even small amounts of marijuana can cause temporary sterility in men. Marijuana use can upset a woman’s menstrual cycle.


Marijuana also affects brain development, and when it is used heavily by young people, its effects on thinking and memory may last a long time or even be permanent. A recent study of marijuana users who began using in adolescence revealed substantially reduced connectivity among brain areas responsible for learning and memory. And a large long-term study in New Zealand showed that people who began smoking marijuana heavily in their teens lost an average of 8 points in IQ between age 13 and age 38. Importantly, the lost cognitive abilities were not fully restored in those who quit smoking marijuana as adults.

    Marijuana smoke is an irritant to the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections. One study found that people who smoke marijuana frequently but do not smoke tobacco have more health problems and miss more days of work than those who don’t smoke marijuana, mainly because of respiratory illnesses.
-------

If anyone has a good analysis of pot-smoking from a Biblical point of view, please share it.  Otherwise, i will share the best of what i have seen.
7  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: August 16, 2014, 08:33:04 PM

Sorry i insinuated you were acting bigoted on the subject of after death sleep-states.

My problem with the standard approach is that every place the Scripture describes death as a sleep, most theologians add the idea of only the body is "sleeping".  But that puts an extra word in the verses.

For example,

Acts 2:29
"Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day."

Here, as elsewhere, the usual approach is to say this is only referring to David's body.  But it says David is dead and buried, not just his body.  And this was after the Resurrection of Christ.  Couldn't theology be altering the passage to fit cherished dogma?
8  Forums / Key Life Forum / Re: Fun with Bad Science. on: August 16, 2014, 08:25:26 PM

Attention!!  Calling all WORC's!!  Where are you?

I need some bad science fun today.  (((As if there isn't lots of it available perpetually)))

Speak up...
9  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Loneliness on: August 16, 2014, 08:18:54 PM
Well, then getting back to loneliness.
I have at most a vague idea of how it is that people who are surrounded by people are lonely and feel alone. I do not say that to imply they are nuts to be so. Just that since I do not feel lonely ever, and actually intentionally get alone to be alone as a break, its hard to make myself understand.
.....

Jeff: I seem to remember you saying several times, like in this quote, that you don't ever feel lonely. Can you elaborate on that?

I grew up with intense overbearing feelings of loneliness, and they peaked when i was "hitting my bottom" on "self-will run riot".  But once i turned to Christ, and asked Him to have His Way with me, the loneliness began to disappear, and i seldom feel it, and never with the previous intensity.

I attribute that to the habit i have of reminding myself that Jesus is always with Me, although i imagine that is just Him inspiring the remembering.  Anyway, it is hard to feel lonely when we start really pray-talking with Him.

And you?
10  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Lonely David pleads for God's turning on: August 16, 2014, 08:03:24 PM
Quote from: Jesus
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

I've always wondered:  Did Jesus have a constant sense of the Divine Presence that we ordinarily only catch fleeting glimpses of?  Why should this be, if the Holy Ghost lives in all believers?


The Holy Spirit is the same as the Spirit of Christ, if i am reading this verse correctly. 

Romans 8:9
"But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

Then we have (remembering that Jesus is Truth):

1 John 5:6
"This is He Who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit Who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth."

Jesus said He only said what the Father told Him to say, and only did what the Father showed Him to do.  Perfect obedience, perfect oneness with God.  So would He have a "constant sense of the Presence of God"?  Seems like He would, though He was very busy at times and needed to take breaks to "recharge" His human vehicle with dedicated prayer/Presence sessions.

What do you think?
11  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Lonely David pleads for God's turning on: August 15, 2014, 08:27:12 PM

Jesus often went off to be alone, and He spent the time communing with our Father/Dad.  The only time i can think of regarding Him being lonely is when He was dying on the Cross and cried out "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"   (Matt. 27:46, Mark 15:34)  Yet what a loneliness that must have been!

So Christ understands our feelings of loneliness, and He reminds us, if we let Him, that when we asked Him to come into us as Savior, He never leaves us or forsakes us.  He is always right where we are, whether we feel Him or not.

And sometimes we can, with His help, replace the lonely feelings with gratitude that He is right here and now, in us, -- always.  And if we can't seem to find that gratefullness, then it may well be that the loneliness is merely a preparation for a soon-coming opportunity for service, as He brings someone into our lives that may need our experience, our strength, our hope (in Him).

The main thing is that we keep seeking, so we can be finding, knocking so we can find more opening, asking so we can receive, more of His Presence, and less of our obsession with our feelings.

2 Chronicles 16:9
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him."
12  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Our riches in Christ on: August 15, 2014, 07:50:00 PM

The first post above lists most all the verses relating to the topic of our riches in Christ.  Did i miss any?  Here's some of the broadest descriptions:



Yes, and one of the greatest mysteries is how Jesus Christ becomes/is our "all in all".

Total unity through Him.  And more shall yet be revealed....

1 Corinthians 15:28
"Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him Who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."

Ephesians 1:22-23
"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church,  which is His Body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all."

Romans 8:31-32
"If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"

2 Peter 1:2-3
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who called us by glory and virtue..."
13  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: TT.UU.LL.II.PP.s still bloom on: August 15, 2014, 07:40:22 PM

Tulips may wilt, but they are "perennial" so they will very likely rise again.

Isn't it interesting that this particular t.u.l.i.p. fits many Scriptures differently than the original t.u.l.i.p. concepts?  I wonder if anyone can devise a better one which fits all Scripture...
14  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: August 15, 2014, 07:32:13 PM

Hey, bigor: what happened to the Fudge book?  I'm still looking forward to hearing some of his best writings.

For now, one of the best introductions to "conditional immortality" which i have seen (besides Pinnock's work) is still the following (though he classifies it as "annihilationism" which stresses the ending, rather than the reason for the ending-by-elimination):

http://www.heavensfamily.org/ss/e_teachings/the-hell-debate-annihilationism
http://www.heavensfamily.org/ss/e_teachings/the-hell-debate-annihilationism-part-2
http://www.heavensfamily.org/ss/e_teachings/the-hell-debate-annihilationism-part-3
15  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: August 15, 2014, 07:21:42 PM
I can't believe anyone out there actually believes in soul sleep anymore.  For crying out loud. 

Paul often refers to the time between death and resurrection as "sleep"; see 1 Corinthians 15:6 and 15:51 for example.  Jesus referred to Lazarus as "asleep", John 11:11. Job 7:21 and Daniel 12:2 refer to "sleeping in the dust".  "That's a metaphor!  Don't take it literally!", you say?  Fine, but how does the sleep metaphor work unless you are in a less-than-conscious state from which you can be awakened?

....

So much for tradition-based bigotry...  If we only believed the actual wording of Scripture, our theology would be much closer to the intended meanings.
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