Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Charleston Eulogy

PRESIDENT Obama traveled to Charleston, South Carolina to deliver the eulogy for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine victims of last week’s shooting. It was an emotional speech, which included this memorable passage:

Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group. The light of love that shone as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle. The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court, in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that.

Near the end his speech, Obama began to sing “Amazing Grace.” Soon, the congregation joined him. Watch:

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99 thoughts on “Obama Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Charleston Eulogy

  1. Grace times even more grace, the Supreme Court have just affirmed, confirmed, guaranteed, protected, upheld, chiseled into un-amendable bedrock eternal granite the fundamental right of gay and lesbians to enter into the holy matrimony as a basic human right that is their rights as Americans. Surely Australia must now follow suit or be left behind, shunned, suffer ridicule and embarrassment over our bigotry and discrimination and hate speech.

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    • Obama isn’t the first president to speak about the concept of grace. One of my favorite quotes about grace is by John F. Kennedy, who said, “I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty.” But this was an exceptional moment, when a president spoke at length about something so tender, so ephemeral and so difficult to describe that we don’t ever talk much about it. Obama chose this occasion for a surprisingly profound exploration of what grace means here, today, and for all of us.

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      • Grace, the gift of seeing life as a blessing rather than a curse, is a mystery.
        Author Phillip Yancey wrote that grace — the concept of a humanity receiving an unconditional celestial gift — was Christianity’s greatest gift to the world.
        But he also said many Christian churches failed to recognise the grace of God and instead had become “temples of righteousness” and “dens of political correctness”.
        Two thousand years ago, prostitutes and outcasts apparently flocked to Jesus, who apparently accepted them openly and without reservations.
        Many modern churches are, unfortunately, not that graceful. Social outcasts who would have flocked to Jesus the man are often too afraid or embarrassed to seek help at His modern churches.
        That is a tragedy.
        Writer C.S. Lewis thought grace was uniquely Christian. He contrasted the concept of Christian grace with the legalism of Judaism, the nine-fold path of Buddhism and precepts of Hinduism — all attempts to come closer to the Creator through effort.
        There is, as Karen Armstrong says in A History Of God, a modern resistance to seeing God as an entity that offers love freely.
        Advances in medicine, biotechnology and computer science have further exiled the idea of a God of gifts.
        But despite the age of spiritual supermarkets, where almost any philosophy goes, there remains an almost universal, insatiable longing for connection with the creative force.
        Augustine, the fourth century mystic, for years tried to find ways of becoming closer to his God. He concluded there was nothing he could do to make God love him more. Or love him less. It was purely a matter of grace.

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      • Jesus may have accepted the outcasts “openly and without reservation” but there was a stipulation and expectation that they “go and sin no more”.

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      • Hi Monica,
        You quote there a stipulation of Jesus that those coming to him must ‘go and sin no more’. As a matter of interest, I checked through my Concordance and discovered that the injunction is actually listed twice only, and both occasions are in the Gospel of John. The earlier Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke dont mention it at all.

        Strictly speaking, i can see not a single reference anywhere, in the Gospels, that Jesus ever knocked anyone back who ‘came to him’ – outcasts or any other. Strictly speaking, I’m struggling to locate anyone other than the Disciples themselves who actually ‘came to him’. Just about all others were momentary and occasional meet-ups. Mary of Magdela of course was one exception, and she had already had her sins forgiven, as we are told.

        So I cant quite see that there was any such ‘rule’ or obligation that Jesus put people under. I dont think even the Samaritan woman at the well, was told not to sin any more. The Rich young Ruler and others were similarly not so instructed either. They were occasionally given other rules they should follow. But as far as I can read it, outcasts and all were always welcomed by Jesus. Sure some of them may well have changed their ways and been converted, but that was not due generally to any injunction quoted in the Gospels.

        Cheers, Rian.

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      • Hi Rian,

        You might like to read what ‘Got Questions Org.’ has to say about this as they express my intended meaning far better than I can. It’s under the heading “Why did Jesus tell people to “go and sin no more” if sinlessness is impossible?”

        And I wasn’t implying that Jesus “knocked anyone back who came to Him”. But to know Jesus is to understand that he is holy, and that to follow Him; his ways, is to forsake all and reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. The Jesus I know has never taken kindly to my justifying my sin. I can’t imagine that he would have been any different when he walked the earth with his disciples. The Jesus I know does not ‘wink’ at sin even though many of his priests and pastors do. The Jesus I know hates me being a hypocrite. He expects me to die to self (my sin nature) and go through the painful process of having “Christ formed in me”. Why would he expect anything less from others?

        Cheers

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      • Bryan,
        Are you suggesting there that absolutely none but Christians EVER see life ‘as a blessing rather than a curse’?

        The quote from Yancey that grace was ‘Christianity’s gift to the world’, sounds a bit presumptuous. Does that mean that absolutely no-one before or since the coming of Christ believed in or valued ‘grace’ other than Christians???? From what I’ve read within Judaism, there is a definite understanding of Grace, and they certainly regard life as a blessing among its more spiritual exponents. And that especially in view of the fact that they dont include a doctrine of Original Sin in their ‘Theology’. That makes it much more sensible and believable.

        I find it hard to quite come to grips with your contention about how much your God loves us all. It surely is all very well that God’s love may be quite unconditional. But, that is no use in any fashion, according to Christian teaching, when the ultimate and crucial benefit is actually and exclusively the essential Christian Salvation. All the unconditional love in the world is totally meaningless, when that Salvation is totally and absolutely for all eternity seen as conditional. I suspect that an awful lot of Christians of all persuasions in the past 2000 years would not agree that just EVERYBODY is loved by the God equally.

        Many from both the Catholic and the Evangelical Protestant camps have maintained to the nth degree that God only loves the one who is saved and committed to Christ. It just doesnt read to me like a deity’s love when some of the great Fathers and exponents of Christianity in the early centuries spoke gloatingly of how they (along with their God) would rejoice during their eternity in heaven, to watch the eternal diabolical suffering of the unsaved in hell.

        I pointed this out before, and if anyone doubts this, then check this site.. ‘Tentmaker.. Quotes from Christian leaders on the mythology of hell.’

        I can imagine holding the view that one would do better to dispense with that beautiful and desirable ‘unconditional’ love, but just to have much less of a conditional salvation. Just struck me that if grace and love are truly gifts of God to the world, then it is not such an entity as ‘Christianity’ that offers it to the world. Rather it is the God himself.

        Personally despite being one who is not a Christian believer or participant, I find no difficulty in conceiving or experience of Grace and Love from the Divine. My own faith carries all that quite successfully; and in the process I have a total unreserved conviction.
        Cheers, Rian.

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      • PG and davinci,
        Thought I’d tackle you together here.

        Dont you guys just love your Prophecies!!! Funny how they are brought up in every generation, and just never seem to get realized. Cant really see that Newton is much of an example in regard to Prophecy. Sure he was a very bright boy indeed, but rather narrow and out-dated in his style of Bible study. Please call me when we start seeing the real events from Revelation and Daniel taking place.

        Now in regard to those warnings about sinning in the Gospels, as attributed to Jesus. Well they are just typical apocalyptic pronunciations for the world at large, and very generalised as all such have to be, AND just the sort of thing that loads of prophets come out with. I guess Jesus may well have foreseen some of the terrible events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, but we cant really know, as there is little evidence to demonstrate just exactly what he said.

        Anyway, what I observe when I read the Gospels is that by contrast for the people who had thrown in their lot with Jesus, there were really very few stern commands dished out to them. He would appear to have been a pretty gentle sort of teacher, although warning them of difficult days ahead, and offering some corrections from time to time. I certainly get the impression that anyone who approached him with humility (and faith?) was treated kindly, with no major injunctions about their behaviour. It was always the ones who retained their pride and relied on their status who copped the big blasts from him.

        As I stated before, those two examples of commanding specific individuals to ‘go and sin no more’ are quoted only in John. The earliest Gospels that presumably should be better and more accurate records if such be possible, don’t have him tossing such commands at the folks who came to him for help or healing, as far as we can see.

        Yep just as you might ask of people who write like me to declare their ‘faith’ in Evolution, I might have just asked if you declare your faith in the Deluge myth of Genesis. But that has been answered. Anyway sure, I personally ACCEPT Evolution as the very best working explanation of the way things have changed over billions of years. I cant for the life of me see just how or where I have any specific ‘faith’ in it. I cant really imagine just what advantage or disadvantage I would go through if I did have such ‘faith’!

        Rather fascinating comments by scientists claiming to prove existence of a god via computer. Since I already have a full-blown faith in the Divine already, I dont need to pursue that for myself. there is no indication in the write-up that any of these gentlemen were spotting a Christian deity in their results! Such folk are far more likely to go for a Pantheistic or Deistic divine source.

        Cheers to you both, Rian.

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      • Josephus refers to Esther.
        http://www.herealittletherealittle.net/index.cfm?page_name=Bible-Code-Ten-Sons-Haman

        If you go to a fairly ordinary copy of the Hebrew bible, eg. the Jerusalem Bible, the names of Haman’s sons are indeed written in a column and the mysterious smaller letters are reproduced. Pointing to 10 hung in year 5707? Divine authorship?

        For those sceptical no amount of evidence shall ever be sufficient.

        Very very recently archaeological evidence for one of King Saul’s sons was published, A single name, a fairly obscure name, is now established in history as fact. 2000 years of scepticism about that name hasn’t gone away though. In perfect bias, anti biblical scholars say, it must have bee a different Eshba’al.

        http://news.discovery.com/history/archaeology/rare-inscription-bearing-biblical-name-found-in-israel-150616.htm

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      • Hi again PG,

        I dont know of course whether the story of Esther is authentic or not. But it doesnt alter the fact that it reads like a pretty folk tale. My argument remains. If you simply altered the word Jew throughout to Canaanite or Assyrian, then surely you would not be able to regard it through Christian eyes as pointing to the God.

        Of course Esther would be mentioned by Josephus. As far as I recall, he details all of the Old Testament books. So what does it prove? It is a time-honoured and treasured folk tale of the Jews as I argued.

        Seem to recall reading that the name Esther is not a Jewish name. It appears to be a name given in honour of a hugely popular pagan goddess. Dont really know just what that might indicate. But one wonders…….

        I’d remind everyone that loads of fictional books contain legitimate names of real historical characters, as well as historical places. It doesnt mean that the fiction is necessarily true in other respects.

        Cheers, Rian

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      • Rian :

        “Dont you guys just love your Prophecies!!! Funny how they are brought up in every generation, and just never seem to get realized. Cant really see that Newton is much of an example in regard to Prophecy. Sure he was a very bright boy indeed, but rather narrow and out-dated in his style of Bible study.”

        The Newton that wrote the song “Amazing Grace” was not Isaac Newton but John Newton.

        Secondly, how on earth do you begin to insinuate that I was talking about prophecy and Isaac Newton when I discussed the song Amazing Grace?

        You also wrote:

        “Please call me when we start seeing the real events from Revelation and Daniel taking place.”

        Where do I start? There is a rabbinical curse on those trying to compute the year that the anointing of the Messiah took place. This was prophesied by Daniel the prophet in Daniel 9:25 and was fulfilled to the letter in AD 27.

        Then there is the prophecy of Daniel 8:1-8 which describes the defeat of the Persian Empire by the High King of the Greeks (Alexander the Great), some 250 years before it happened. Not only that, but the prophecy relates how Alexander the Great’s empire is split into 4 parts, long before the event took place.

        You want to see the real events of Daniel and Revelation taking place? Stop reading the opinions of those who have deliberately set themselves to discredit these books and compare the events described in these books with the record of history. But you won’t do this. You will ignore the record of history (particularly when it agrees with the bible), so that you can go down the next step and ignore the Bible, then indulge your lusts and fantasies.

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      • hI davinci,
        I’m perfectly aware that the Newton who composed the words of Amazing Grace was not the Scientist. Cant recall exactly who, but someone mentioned Isaac Newton and his take on prophecies, and it was that comment and other references that I was pointing to.

        As far as so-called prophecies in Daniel are concerned, most reputable scholars are certain that Daniel was written well after the events rather than a few hundred years prior. There is good evidence to demonstrate that the book is clearly anachronistic in a number of points, and simply cant belong to the period it is claimed for.

        I must confess I know nothing about a Rabbinical curse connected with the Annointing of the Messiah. And I just dont know what is supposed to have happened in (what did you say?) 27AD??? Sounds a bit iffy.

        OT prophecies are nowhere near as convincing as you seem to believe. I’ve already pointed out that those influential prophecies which are claimed to have prophesied the life and nature of Jesus, simply dont add up. All or most of them are very easily demolished, as I’ve said before.

        cheers, Rian.

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    • Is there a word for hating conservatives Bryan?
      What word would you invent for it? Because you, love like Jesus Christ, resurrected Son of God, right? But the left, the ABC type left, was/is already about love, love, love, free love, moral high ground love, grace sermons like it’s so natural?

      Any research? any change to him? how many times did Barry/ Barack say the name of Jesus in this speech? Any? I saw your proof clip though and instantly thought the pauses, the gravitas pauses, the dramatic, King George Speech pauses, were political theater from an expert. A professional of the highest order Dianna Ross type cry on cue. Is a speech, a professional’s speech, all it takes to convince you?

      The divided house now unites around the rain bow flag and everyone is happy happy happy, all without pills. Utopia gets so much closer. See the power you have.

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      • Look the speech is here:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/06/26/transcript-obama-delivers-eulogy-for-charleston-pastor-the-rev-clementa-pinckney/

        sacred place, this church, not just for blacks, not just for Christians but for every American who cares about the steady expansion…

        (APPLAUSE)

        … of human rights and human dignity in this country, a foundation stone for liberty and justice for all.

        allah or satan could have written this speech, or signed off on it.

        But here is a funeral with the President singing about Grace and how many times did he say the Name Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth. that Jesus..
        You guessed it, Not once.

        But, air bags, I hate, right? Bigotry, right? Churches aren’t for Christians? No they are state owned and operated instruments.

        And this theatre impressed you. Because he sang that song?

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      • Silly allegations that Barack Obama secretly practices Islam or is an atheist, or that he is the anti-Christ of Christian eschatology, have been suggested since he campaigned for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and have proliferated since his election as President of the U.S. in 2008. As with conspiracy theories surrounding his citizenship status, these false claims are promoted by various fringe theorists and political opponents.[ U.S. bloggers and talk radio hosts have particularly promoted the theories. Despite the fact that these assertions are false, belief of these claims in the public sphere have endured and, in some cases, even expanded during Obama’s Presidency according to the Pew Research Center, with over one in seven Americans (including one third of conservative Republicans) labeling him as a Muslim.

        Barack Obama’s response[

        I’m a Christian by choice. My family didn’t—frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church.
        So I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead—being my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper, treating others as they would treat me.

        And I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes, and that we achieve salvation through the grace of God. But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.

        That’s what I strive to do. That’s what I pray to do every day. I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith.

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      • Phil, If you ever bothered to even try to be accurate you would know as president, Barack Obama has mentioned Jesus Christ in a number of high-profile public speeches — something his predecessor George W. Bush rarely did in such settings.

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      • No-one said he wasn’t good at this Geoff. Again ad hominem is not an argument.
        …… we achieve salvation……..unquote

        Yeah right. This is what you wanted me to read,,,,,, in plain sight. In attempting to discuss God’s right to interfere in His Creation I suggested to the boys, my children, God’s children by rebirth, that God owns this, His Creation. He can break it any time He wants. It’s His prerogative of power. Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD. So what does Laodicea mean other than those fabulous words, “human rights”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMUgNg7aD8M
        Yes, I’m a conspiracy nut job. Not a shred of doubt to that claim you make about me. It’s only on facts we disagree.

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      • Yes you are a conspiracy nut job Phil. And a dangerous one too because you don’t check the facts. Spreading false witness is a sin mate.

        Origins: In September 2008, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos for ABC’s This Week news program. When the subject of the interview turned to Senator Obama’s assertion that Republicans were attempting to scare voters by suggesting he is not Christian, the following exchange occurred:

        MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: You mentioned your Christian faith. Yesterday, you took after the Republicans for suggesting you have Muslim connections. Just a few minutes ago, Rick Davis, John McCain’s campaign manager, said they’ve never done that. This is a false and cynical attempt to play victim.

        OBAMA: You know what, these guys love to throw a rock and hide their hands.

        MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But the McCain campaign has never suggested you have Muslim connections.

        OBAMA: No. No. No. But I don’t think that when you look at what is being promulgated on Fox News, let’s say, and Republican commentators who are closely allied to these folks …

        MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: But John McCain said that’s wrong.

        SEN. OBAMA: Listen, you and I both know that the minute that Governor Palin was forced to talk about her daughter, I immediately said that’s off limits. And …

        MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: And John McCain said the same thing about questioning your faith.

        SEN. OBAMA: And what was the first thing the McCain campaign went out and did? They said, look, these liberal blogs that support Obama are out there attacking Governor Palin. Let’s not play games. What I was suggesting — you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith … That last sentence was a straightforward statement: Senator Obama was not proclaiming his “Muslim faith”; he was acknowledging that Republican nominee John McCain had not specifically promulgated the false rumor that he (Obama) was a Muslim.

        Unfortunately, at this point of the interview, George Stephanopoulos — apparently not understanding the context of Senator Obama’s response — mistakenly attempted to correct him by interjecting the words “Your Christian faith.” This non sequitur briefly threw Senator Obama off track; he repeated the words “My Christian faith” and then returned to the point he was trying to make:
        OBAMA: What I was suggesting — you’re absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith, and you’re absolutely right that that has not come …

        MR. STEPHANOPOULOS (interrupting): Your Christian faith.

        SEN. OBAMA: My Christian faith — well, what I’m saying is …

        MR. STEPHANOPOULOS (interrupting): Connections, right.

        SEN. OBAMA: … that he hasn’t suggested that I’m a Muslim, and I think that his campaign upper echelons haven’t either. What I think is fair to say is that coming out of the Republican camp, there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I’m not what who I say I am when it comes to my faith, something which I find deeply offensive, and that has been going on for a pretty long time.

        A very brief, out-of-context segment was then clipped from that exchange and sent winging around the Internet as proof that Senator Obama had “admitted his Muslim faith,” something even the conservative Washington Times acknowledged was false:

        But illustrating the difficulty of preventing false rumors about his faith from spreading, anti-Obama groups within one hour of the interview had sliced it out of context and were sending it around via email. They also were blogging about it.

        Mr. Obama, who is a Christian and often proudly speaks about how his faith has influenced his public service, said he finds it “deeply offensive” that there are efforts “coming out of the Republican camp to suggest that perhaps I’m not who I say I am when it comes to my faith.”

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      • If truncated quotation is a sin this is a glass house.
        Any way, the quotes are real even if the Frank Underwood, April Fools day joke about a man spitting in Jesus face is a tad unfair on people of faith.
        Now talking mistquotes and false witnesses do you think the truncated quote of me personally above was fair to the intention of the author? honestly

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      • Yes I do. I told you before that I wasn’t going to post your dangerous conspiracy theories that have no evidence. I note that you do not acknowledge your obvious error over the Obama Muslim video. You can’t admit that you are ever wrong can you?

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      • no, while that one incident has a level of ambiguity that simply may have confused the reporter in real time, the one who was there trying to ascertain intent that is, it’s part of a broader case. The broader case includes, “we achieve salvation”, FranK Underwood Jokes, harassing servicemen out of office for having bible quotes as screen savers or Chaplains using Jesus’ name in prayer. It’s not one thing. It’s myriad. It’s also a case about fulfillment of end-times prophesy that Isaac Newton himself had the good sense to treat seriously.

        So I forgive you for misquoting above.

        Note this is about a slave trader who helped end slavery. Is that Eulogy fair on John Newton’s reading of the Eternal Gospel.

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      • Hi PG and Bryan,
        I dont think that ‘Amazing Grace’ actually mentions the name of Jesus or of God for that matter. But I only know the first and commonly used verse. Sure, the overall theme of the ‘song’ is couched well and truly in Christian terms with Grace and Salvation clearly spelt out.;

        Reminds me how the Americans (and loads of others) just love the inspiring songs that Rogers and Hammerstein put into their Musicals. There is the one sung by the Mother Superior in Sound of Music – ‘Climb every Mountain’; and then in Carousel (a great favourite of mine) you have the obligatory mother figure singing ‘You’ll never walk alone’. It is repeated at the end with great emotional appeal when the school girls sing it. In any case, the way in which Billy Bigelow (the ‘anti-hero’) is engaged in the fairytale heaven is rather cute. Those guys were both Jews if I recall rightly, and neither of these contains a single genuine religious reference.

        You get a similar ‘sacred’ song in Student Prince, but only in the movie. Romberg who was Jewish didnt put one in. That was ‘I’ll walk with God’. That at least did mention God! Recall that enormously popular song that came out in – what, the fifties? ‘I Believe’. Sung by Frankie Laine wasnt it? Chirpy little lyric about believing, ‘showing the way’ and etc etc, but heaven only knows just what it was that was being believed! It was in rather coy language that the message of another old favourite pop song was put. Recall ‘The old master painter from the faraway hills’? All very pretty indeed, but scarcely likely to please an Evangelical, I guess. No Christian demands or obligations in these. All very comforting indeed.

        Cheers, Rian.

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      • God wants us to love. And not a twisted, crabbed, narrow tolerance, which often comes in the guise of condemnations, instructions and admonitions that try to masquerade as love, but actual love.

        Love means: getting to know LGBT men and women, spending time with them, listening to them, being challenged by them, hoping the best for them, and wanting them to be a part of your lives, every bit as much as straight friends are part of your lives.

        Love first. Everything else later. In fact, everything else is meaningless without love.

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      • Quite right Rian, amazing grace doesn’t mention Jesus by name, by specific proper noun name, it does mention The LORD, His WORD, my Shield. And depending on how you do translating LORD can be name, as Hebrew/ Aramaic doesn’t have capital lettering. Point is only by the Holy Spirit can someone say Jesus Christ is Lord. There isn’t ambiguity in John Newton’s words.

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      • The song is profound. It neatly embraces the truth that what defines God is not the Ten Commandments, or any dogma, but unconditional love and grace that is available for drug dealers, prostitutes, losers as much as it is for the preachers and saints.

        The New Testament word for grace is charis, which means gift.

        The notion of God’s love coming to us free of charge, no strings attached, seems to go against every human instinct. The Hindu belief in karma, the Buddhist eight-fold path, and the Muslim code of law supposedly offer ways to some sort of salvation outside this world. Only Christianity dares to make God’s love unconditional.

        The strongest argument in favour of grace is the alternative, a world of ungrace.And the world craves grace.

        C.S. Lewis said grace was Christianity’s unique contribution to the world. He said grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us more . . . and grace means there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. That’s amazing grace.

        We cannot save our souls through good works or status in the world. Only through admitting that we can achieve little without heavenly help

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      • and worth adding the footnote: Esther doesn’t cite the name of God, yet the book of Esther if riddled with the fingerprints of God. As such it possibly corresponds to a time of silence in Heaven, and or anti Christ on Earth.

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      • Alright Dom, you have the microphone, let’s be pragmatically specific.

        Who or what is the Abomination that Causes Desolation?
        When and where will you see it?
        What is the most abominable act in scripture?
        When Jesus said “look up” He meant look up at what?
        What signs did Jesus announce to look for?
        What are Sodom’s sins according to Ezekiel?
        What has made people simultaneously rich and stupid?
        What things will a leader in Laodicea say?
        What Shia prophesy possibly relates to the US president?
        Which letters in the New Testament did Jesus specifically write?
        Who are the wise and who are the foolish virgins?
        How could Jesus’ return be while some slept and some worked in the field?
        How could a specific future event for some, possibly take place on a Sabbath, but not so for others?
        Why wouldn’t someone want to be pregnant in those days?
        Taken the above quotes of Mr Obama, can a case be made that he neither understands nor respects Christianity central claims? Given his status as commander and chief is he actively persecuting Christians right this very minute?

        And what things that are recorded of Jesus in the gospel did He neither say nor do according to your expert knowledge?

        then I’ll take advice in my splinters!

        Ps. A once in two thousand year conjunction of Venus and Jupiter over Regulus Star tomorrow – are Dodge, Larson, Setterfield et al correct about the Magi, schooled under Daniel?

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      • Rian,

        You obviously haven’t looked hard enough when you wrote:

        “So I cant quite see that there was any such ‘rule’ or obligation that Jesus put people under. I dont think even the Samaritan woman at the well, was told not to sin any more. The Rich young Ruler and others were similarly not so instructed either. They were occasionally given other rules they should follow. But as far as I can read it, outcasts and all were always welcomed by Jesus. Sure some of them may well have changed their ways and been converted, but that was not due generally to any injunction quoted in the Gospels.”

        Here is the evidence you ignored:

        John the Baptist
        “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance” Luke 3:8; Mat. 3:8.

        Jesus Christ
        “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Mat. 3:3.

        Jesus Christ again, when discussing disasters
        “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3-5

        The Prodigal Son
        “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” Luke 15:21

        Jesus Christ on why we sin
        “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.”
        But then He says:
        “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
        John 8:35.36.

        In short, Jesus did not have to use the formula “Go and sin no more” to those that came to Him.

        Want more?

        “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32.

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      • —-=PhillipGeorge(c)2015 on June 29, 2015 at 23:01 said:
        ‘and worth adding the footnote: Esther doesn’t cite the name of God, yet the book of Esther if riddled with the fingerprints of God. As such it possibly corresponds to a time of silence in Heaven, and or anti Christ on Earth’ —

        I think PG, you are reading the book of Esther through rose-coloured Christian spectacles.

        An unbiased reading of it suggests little more than a pretty folk tale that could have come out of the Arabian Nights. An heroic female who gets to be queen (in a pagan society), following her successful sexual testing by the king (who just dumped his previous wife in a fit of pique), and then manages to save her kindred people through plot and counter plot against a wicked Vizier..

        Look, if the story were not in the Bible, and did not identify the kin as being Jewish (in a number of verses) and offering some other national or religious grouping, you would be ignoring it completely as bearing any relevance to your faith.

        The ‘fingerprints of God’????? Oh please! It reads simply as a Jewish folk tale that applauds the solidarity of Jewish society and its family orientation, giving in the process a rationale for a national celebration. The rest of your comment reads like a bit of tortured logic to give it all some extra meaning.
        Cheers, Rian.

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      • The song “Amazing Grace” was written by John Newton, who was converted from being a slave trader to an abolitionist.

        As such the statement:

        ” It neatly embraces the truth that what defines God is not the Ten Commandments,but unconditional love and grace that is available for drug dealers, prostitutes, losers as much as it is for the preachers and saints.”

        Is utterly wrong.

        When John Newton became an abolitionist he was brought in harmony with the Ten Commandments specifically the ones about murder and stealing (which he was breaking by being part of the slave trade). This was done through grace.

        God explained it this way in the Old Testament:
        “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Gen. 3:15

        Whilst this verse has an application to Christ, it has an application to us. If it wasn’t for God’s grace, there would be no resistance to the devil. Because of the entrance of sin in the world, we are naturally in harmony with Satan. Enmity against Satan is a plant of heavenly origin.

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      • Hi Mon,
        Yes I read through the Got Questions on this topic, – for which thankyou.

        I will consider a bit more before I offer any reply on the ‘sinlessness’ question. But for now, I would want to comment on the reference to the ‘Woman taken in adultery’ account. For a start, as is commonly pointed out the authenticity of the story is a bit dubious, since its appearance in the Gospel according to John is anomalous. Certain of the Fathers, I read, considered that the story was not appropriate for Christian consumption, since they couldn’t go along with an adulterous female getting away with it.

        I am well aware of the fact that the general opinion today is that the story just must be for real, because it expresses the compassion and forgiveness of Jesus. It might have come from some other authentic source.

        The passage in Got questions says – ‘It goes without saying that the woman caught in adultery did not return to her infidelity. She had met Jesus. She would not be perfect. No one is. But she was forever changed. Her eyes had been opened to the depravity of what she was doing. Sin no longer held the appeal it once did.’

        Sounds beautiful, but——-Takes an awfu lot for granted about her character and her future.

        The thing that concerns me about the tale is this, and I’ve never seen it mentioned or tackled by anyone to date. Taking it that the story is authentic, no-one appears to have considered just what the life of this adulterous woman would have been like after this interview with the Master. Just think realistically. This was no welfare state. All the repentance and reform in the world would never have established any security for her. There was at that time no court or Christian community round who would look after her. Jesus had actually DISMISSED her with his forgiveness and blessing. He couldnt have taken her on as one of his entourage for many reasons. The rest of society was caught up in the legalistic Judaism that is so frequently cited. She was forever UNCLEAN.

        She would have become a real pariah to her society. She would have been shunned from the Temple. She would have been regarded by any men that she was seen by as fair game. I find it hard to imagine that any conceivable life would have been possible for other than to become a prostitute. If she was actually married or betrothed, neither her family or the family of her husband would have anything to do with her. For that matter, she might have had her condemnation dropped by the guys who brought her to Jesus, but other Jewish mobs would quickly have come to learn about her and probably would get round to lynching her anyway.

        I suppose when taking all this for granted, and that she did become ‘Christian’ whatever that might mean prior to the establishment of the Church, she would almost certainly have become the very first Christian Martyr.

        Give it some thought.
        Cheers, Rian.

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      • The ‘fingerprints of God’????? Oh please!

        No Rian, I don’t think you shall be. I rather think you’ll be discomforted at the opening of historical records. Poetry aside, I usually ask people to declare their faith in evolution when I hear something like you’ve just said. Someone else somewhere else used to say “sky daddy” mockingly to belittle Christian faith. It doesn’t./ didn’t work.

        Forensically one notes the idiom, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. I also believe God Himself killed every human alive at the time except for exactly eight people on a boat that grounded somewhere in the former Armenia prior to their wholesale slaughter to extend Muslim territory in those days. Thanks for your consideration,

        If you really want to take on the formal logic behind the ability to conceive of possibilities then try it;-
        http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/scientists-use-computer-to-mathematically-prove-goedel-god-theorem-a-928668.html
        You are saying God/ Jesus doesn’t have fingers?

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  2. “Following the Supreme Court’s ruling that ‘same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry in all States,’ many wondered how Christian leaders in the U.S. would react. But despite lingering stereotypes, many religious folk in the U.S. are now supportive of same-sex marriage. In fact, a recent survey found that ‘among religiously affiliated Americans, supporters today actually outnumber opponents.’ Here are some inspiring words from Christian leaders, including evangelicals, Catholics, and Protestants, who have expressed their support for yesterday’s landmark marriage equality ruling. There’s a lot of work left to do, but it’s nice — for once — to savor the sweet feeling of Christians actually sounding like Christians.”
    http://sojo.net/articles/christian-leaders-us-voice-support-scotusmarriage

    Like

    • Recently I read “true” Christians support gay marriage. Upon asking what a true Christian was I recieved no reply. The person stated they were a Christian but was not biblical minded. Hmmmm.

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      • So what is the answer to Alexie’s question on what a true Christian is Bryan?

        Saying that “Christians” have disagreed on various subjects does not answer the question.

        How do you test whether someone identifying as a Christian is genuine or not?

        As a Christian how do you explain the fact that the verse below condemns your comment?

        “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” 1 Cor. 1:10

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      • Davinci, A “true” Christian is one who admits he/she is a sinner and needs repentance through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

        The verse you quoted does not say that Christians can’t have differing opinions on some things. And obviously they do. To imagine that ALL Christians have the same opinion on EVERYTHING is ridiculous. What Christians have in common and believe is the definition I’ve written above.

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      • In the eyes of many people, those who in reality ‘worship’ the bible as the Word of God, who is Jesus and therefore part of the Trinity the bible is sacred, and true, because it says it is (!!)

        It has some great wisdom in it, and many phrases from it have entered our everyday language, as with the works of Shakespeare.

        What is a ‘true’ Christian? Perhaps by their fruits you shall know them..

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      • Bryan,

        You wrote:

        “The verse you quoted does not say that Christians can’t have differing opinions on some things. And obviously they do. To imagine that ALL Christians have the same opinion on EVERYTHING is ridiculous. What Christians have in common and believe is the definition I’ve written above.”

        Your statement is so ridiculous on so many levels, I can only scratch the surface here.

        1) You are confusing personal opinion versus fundamental principles of the Christian religion. Disagreements in religious circles fall in either one or the other category.

        2) Vietnam and Iraqi Wars, gay marriage, and social justice are attacks on the basic foundations of what defines Christianity. These are not inconsequential issues that are mere matters of opinion. Rather they are battles between what God says versus what the devil says.

        3) Stem cell research is a matter of opinion. We do not have the Holy Spirit’s definite answer on this issue at the moment. This issue and others like it have not been settled yet one way or another.

        4) Your definition of what constitutes genuine Christianity (ie. what Christians have in common) is wishy washy at best, without the backing of a “thus saith the Lord”. The Christians in America have no compunction in abolishing the Rebel Flag because of the South Carolina shooting. At the same time they take it as a justification to rebel against anyone who teaches as a Christian duty that a Christian must be extremely careful in what s/he hears, reads and sees. Thus whilst they abolish the Rebel Flag, they are in direct rebellion against the One who said “keep your heart with all diligence because out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).

        Fortunately we don’t have to blunder along failing to distinguish between personal opinion and foundational doctrines when it comes to Christianity. God has manifested His grace by giving us His Word so that we need not have the Carolina Shootings, nor El Presidente singing “Amazing Grace” as a funeral song.

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      • You’re talking through your bottom again davinci

        Explain to me how you think the Vietnam and Iraqi wars and “social justice” are attacks on the basic foundations of what derives Christianity.

        At the same time they take it as a justification to rebel against anyone who teaches as a Christian duty that a Christian must be extremely careful in what s/he hears, reads and sees

        Examples?

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      • A “true” Christian is one who admits he/she is a sinner and needs repentance through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

        Can you tell me why you think that’s wishy washy at best?, What bit do you disagree with exactly? Be precise

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  3. Yes Bryan, Grace indeed. Recently I spoke with a young Christian man struggling understanding the world. How his faiths fit in. Why things happen? Why has God made the world the way it is and a host of other struggles. I asked him, as someone who truly understands grace, imagine a world without grace, without Jesus, without His peace and love. He understood that even though his questions may not all be answered, that it all makes more sense with grace.

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      • More sense!
        Many have tried!
        God is dead!
        Nietzsche believed that more and more people would eventually realize this death in God, and move closer and closer to Nihilism — the belief in nothing. After this belief in the death of God, Nietzsche tried, to the best of his ability, to find meaning in life by looking past Christian morals. He did not succeed and died a pityful end.

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      • Died of brain cancer according to wikipedia.

        Brain cancer – must be an example of the design of a nurturing and loving God.

        OR there is no god and it’s just a quirk of nature.

        Hmm which position makes more sense, I’d say the later.

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      • Hi Dom

        So if somebody was selling you a new car and told you that if you braked too hard the chance that the car would explode would increase by 50% – you’d then say to yourself “wow what a well designed car I must have one”

        OR would want to see something in the non-exploding car range?

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      • Hey Dom,

        Gee that link was interesting – seems that salt, trans-fats, vegetable oils and sugar etc are carcinogenic.

        I wonder how all that stuff got on the planet in the first place – by accident or design ?

        🙂 🙂 🙂

        PS increase 50% on what ??

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  4. Thinking fats and slow. Two ways our minds work. How does this affect rational thinking ciews? Faith?

    https://hbr.org/2011/06/the-big-idea-before-you-make-that-big-decision

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/books/review/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman-book-review.html?referrer=&_r=0

    Even if we could rid ourselves of the biases and illusions identified in this book — and Kahneman, citing his own lack of progress in overcoming them, doubts that we can — it is by no means clear that this would make our lives go better. And that raises a fundamental question: What is the point of rationality? We are, after all, Darwinian survivors. Our everyday reasoning abilities have evolved to cope efficiently with a complex and dynamic environment. They are thus likely to be adaptive in this environment, even if they can be tripped up in the psychologist’s somewhat artificial experiments. Where do the norms of rationality come from, if they are not an idealization of the way humans actually reason in their ordinary lives?

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  5. Good points on logic Phillip.

    This is another as the statment is made about becoming a Christian and that its meaning is obs ure yet at the same time “she would CERTAINLY become a CHRISTIAN martyr.
    Some things never change Phillip.

    “I suppose when taking all this for granted, and that she did become ‘Christian’ whatever that might mean prior to the establishment of the Church, she would almost certainly have become the very first Christian Martyr.”

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    • Hi Alexie old mate,
      Still interested to cross words or swords with me, do I see? True, i dont change in regards to bringing up new and controversial ideas and questions. But I sure hope and trust that I continually change and grow in understanding and insight. I’m not afraid to change my mind or to develop new ideas. I didnt get demolished by you guys some two and a half years ago, you know.

      Well, in regard to my comments on the Woman taken in adultery, let me get you to clarify your take on the story.
      According to Got Questions.. – ‘It goes without saying that the woman caught in adultery did not return to her infidelity. She had met Jesus. She would not be perfect. No one is. But she was forever changed. Her eyes had been opened to the depravity of what she was doing. Sin no longer held the appeal it once did.’

      Do you take the verses about her in Gospel according to John as being authentic?
      Why? Because it sounds like Jesus? or because it shows up in Scripture?

      Do you specifically dispute my suggestions about the lady’s following life in the harsh Jewish society? Isnt she damaged goods to the Jews? Do you feel that she could possibly be completely safe from exploitation, since she is damaged goods? Dont you think that to the Jews she would be automatically seen as unclean?

      Along with the writer in Got Questions, do you hold a rose-coloured spectacle view of her definitely being a reformed and changed person? And logically too, since she met and was changed by Jesus in that case, then dont you agree that she would have to be considered from then on as a Christian? With a life lived on the edge from then on, and with no-one in her family or her husband’s, that she would manage to live very long without persecution? and logically, persecuted to death?

      Over to you. Cheers, Rian.

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      • “I didnt get demolished by you guys some two and a half years ago, you know.”

        Why would you believe this? There is that bias again! I am not here to demolish anyone. If i see something not logical or a contraduction i point it out sometimes. Also, just because you ask lots of questions with lots of paragraphs does not mean I need to spend my time answering them all. Your current discussion is with Mon and mine is with Phillip.

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      • Good on you Alexie. It still looks as if you are simply unable to answer them, unless there is some routine set answer.
        Rian.

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      • Starting trouble again? Then cry and blame me for some sort of negativity?
        You know I will not be drawn into your games. Plus others here have answered many if your questions. It is not all up to me although I value your confidence in my answers.

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      • Actually Alexie,
        Going back these couple of years, I dont think it was matters of logic that usually brought about our debates. Rather it usually concerned interpretations of Scripture and particular matters of historical fact and opinion.

        Sure a few of the group have offered their opinions. Dont know that any have actually answered many of my questions. About the best we can hope for, I guess.

        Cant really see any games I’ve played. I’m sincerely and carefully offering opinions and bits of information based on historical events and circumstances. I just dont like taking commonly accepted ideas for granted. But the history of Christianity has brought up many adjustments to these, as people have asked brand new questions or suggested brand new interpretations.

        Cheers, Rian. (unrepentent as ever)

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    • I reacted the same way as you did Rian when I first read those words by Got Questions Org. regarding the ‘Woman taken in adultery’. I feel they are taking liberties and being presumptuous because their comments can only be regarded as speculative at best. But, be that as it may, perhaps you too are being presumptuous?

      The undeniable fact is that Christianity was birthed as the direct result of Jesus’ mission/ministry here on earth, and that He performed many miracles and touched and transformed many lives. So, despite the odds that may have been stacked against the poor woman, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

      I imagine a different scenario to your’s Rian. I have no reason to disbelieve that she did not find a safe haven amongst other Believers whose lives Jesus changed and transformed, and that she was forgiven, loved and accepted by others who looked out for each other. In fact, I expect nothing less. But, who really knows what ever happened to her? No-one now.

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      • A good read Rian: ‘The Adulterous Woman’ by Dave Miller at Apologetics Press Org.

        Love, Mon

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      • Yes a reasonable rationale Mon,

        But is there actually any evidence at all for groups of persons helped by Jesus who banded together in any way, at this stage? Remember they would not be joined together by any specific ‘Christian’ worship or doctrine.The most such folk would have in common, concerning their understanding, was that Jesus was a Prophet, that he came from God and was most likely the Messiah.

        Taking it that they were Jews (and the fact of course that the woman taken in adultery had to be Jewish since she was being ‘judged’ under Jewish law) she would still have been proving herself unclean among the people. AND any folk caring for her who would also be Jews would be rendered unclean too in the eyes of the Temple authorities, through contaminating themselves with her, thereby breaking the intention of the Torah.

        These were tight knit communities you know, and who and what was in or went on under the neighbours’ noses was well known and watched by the Temple authorities. Everyone who was known as Jewish was obliged to pay the Temple Tax. We find accounts of a few persons who were healed by Jesus being shunned or condemned by the Temple authorities.

        I would have to disagree with you that ‘Christianity was birthed as the direct result of Jesus’ mission here on earth’. Sure, one can legitimately argue that Christ and his teaching represented the spirit that engendered Christianity; but I would say as most authorities put it, that Christianity actually was birthed at Pentecost. And that was when the first organized grouping of the faithful was formed. I dont think anything much about Jesus was formulated in any systematic fashion until after the Crucifixion, with the faith engendered by the reports of the Resurrection.

        To my knowledge, no-one has ever brought up any serious discussion or evidence about groupings or communities of Jesus followers (other than the Disciples and the attendant women) existing until Pentecost. All followers appear to be either family units or just individuals. If you have anything on the subject, I’d be interested to read about it.

        Cheers/Love, Rian.

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      • Yes mon, she saw Jesus, she saw Grace, she experienced acceptance and like the woman who touched his clothing and was healed, the adulterous was saved with faith the size of a mustard seed. Amen!

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      • Alexie, – an old one from me.

        There isnt a single word indicating that either the adulteress or the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, had any knowledge of the Incarnation, or of all the other things that one is supposed to believe in for the sake of salvation. All it took was FAITH! Just my old contention concerning the REAL essence of Christianity. when I brought it up two and a half years back, I got shot down in flames for it!

        Anyway, neither you or PG answered the very simple few questions I asked about the adulteress. I’d still like to know if ALL of my ideas or thoughts there still happened to be wrong.
        Rian.

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    • I’ll reword that then Alexie,
      Dom and Rian-now’s response to the gospel is largely to know what didn’t happen.
      That sort of knowledge, of knowing what didn’t happen of what doesn’t exist, is in some ways, more impressive than people who know what did happen and believe merely in what does exist. It takes a greater measure of ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you know exactly what. There’s that word again, selection bias.

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      • More logic Phillip.

        “I would have to disagree with you that ‘Christianity was birthed as the direct result of Jesus’ mission here on earth’. Sure, one can legitimately argue that Christ and his teaching represented the spirit that engendered Christianity;”

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      • Alexie,
        Sure, certain of the teachings of Christ represented the SPIRIT THAT ENGENDERED Christianity. But I stand by my endorsement of the precise words that I quoted. – that Christianity ACTUALLY WAS BIRTHED at Pentecost.
        This I read about in almost every bit of writing I see on the Christian church in the Apostolic period.

        Interesting to note that the writings most given to the business of Christian living and doctrine, were the Epistles of Paul. And he says almost nothing about the general teachings and healing practices etc of Jesus. His essential message centres about the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. So, along with Pentecost, Paul’s teachings represented the real birth of the Christian Church.

        Cheers, Rian. (picky and cussed as always)

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  6. I thought it was beautifyl when Obama sang Amazing Grace. We have an amazingly beautiful faith. It is based on the Bible, historical narrative and our experiences of God

    But From the classroom to the living room, we aren’t always as in control of our decisions as we think we might be. Many academic studies and personal anecdotes point to the fact that our decisions, actions, and behaviour are often not the result of calculated reasoning, but rather, are often snap responses based on emotion and intuition, shaped by the surrounding environment. The study of fast and slow thinking highlight this as confirmation bias.but the one area of experiencing God is a spiritual one. How does this fit?
    It gets worse for the athiest as they have no spiritual dimension to believe in. They hold up rationalism as everything but they may not be as rational as they think.
    It gets worse for the liberal christian though.
    Its odd they would one construct an argument, grounded in an appeal to biblical authority in an attempt to prove that divine authority is not needed for one’s religious practice? Then throw in confirmation bias with no experience of God and you get s real mess.

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  7. Facts about amaung grace:

    The first known recording of the song was made by The Wisdom Sisters in 1926.
    There are 972 known musical arrangements of the hymn.
    In March 1796 at the age of 70, Newton wrote in his journal “Oh it was a mercy indeed to save a wretch like me” – he still applied the lyrics of the hymn to his own life story.

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  8. Understanding

    Jesus did not break any laws with His mercy.

    The Pharisees who read what Jesus wrote and heard what he said were faced with a dilemma. His response upholding the Law of Moses by telling the accusers to stone the woman, was putting them in a position in which they would have to commit a sin in their own eyes by breaking their manmade Pharisaic law against picking up a stone on the Sabbath in order to uphold God’s Law. The catching out jesus devised by the scribes and Pharisees—making Jesus choose between the Law of Moses and the authority of Carsar was now flipped, making them have to choose between God’s Law and their own manmade law.

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    • I haven’t heard this event was on a Sabbath/ not certain that can be proven? What I understood was that it was unlawful at the very least because both the man and woman had to be stoned, man then woman in that order.

      If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

      The aspect of rebelling against Caesar is slightly oblique. Without the accused man there they were all at fault through asymmetrical application of the law/ unequal weights and measures – full stop – period – case closed.

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      • Good points. Others have worked out it was the sabbath. If so it adds weight to what Jesus was writing.

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      • I cant imagine just how anyone can calculate that the apocryphal story of the woman taken in adultery could be set on a Sabbath.

        The story is only included in John’s Gospel in our Bibles, and we dont even know just where it came from.

        Attending the Temple was a practice that Jesus and the disciples did on any day, we read elsewhere. So it’s a bit of a stretch to attach any extra details of the event to it.
        Rian

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    • Scholars are cautious about the story of the woman caught in adultery.

      When Dallas Theological Seminary professor Daniel Wallace examined New Testament manuscripts stored in the National Archive in Albania last June, he was amazed by what he did not find.

      The story of the woman caught in adultery, usually found in John 7:53-8:11, was missing from three of the texts, and was out of place in a fourth, tacked on to the end of John’s Gospel.

      “This is way out of proportion for manuscripts from the 9th century and following,” Wallace said. “Once we get into that era, the manuscripts start conforming much more to each other. Thus, to find some that didn’t have the story is remarkable.”

      http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/aprilweb-only/117-31.0.html

      Biblical scholars do agree on two things: The Bible story should be set apart with a note, and Christians should be cautious when reading the passage for their personal devotions.

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      • Some context

        http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2012/03/21/an-interview-with-daniel-b-wallace-on-the-new-testament-manuscripts/

        But to suggest that these alterations change essential affirmations of the NT is going far beyond the evidence. The variants that he produces do not do what he seems to claim. Ever since the 1700s, with Johann Albrecht Bengel who studied the meaningful and viable textual variants, scholars have embraced what is called ‘the orthodoxy of the variants.’ For more than two centuries, most biblical scholars have declared that no essential affirmation has been affected by the variants. Even Ehrman has conceded this point in the three debates I have had with him. (For those interested, they can order the DVD of our second debate, held at the campus of Southern Methodist University. It’s available here.)

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      • http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/john_gospel/Chapter%208.htm

        Part of the problem is that the story of the adulterous woman is not found in any of the most important early Greek manuscripts that have survived, nor is it found in the Egyptian Coptic Church’s Biblical texts. However, three eminent 4th century Church Fathers, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, all testify to its authenticity. Jerome included it in his Latin Vulgate Bible translation, which was translated using the oldest and best Greek and Hebrew texts that existed in the late 4th century. St. Augustine maintains that this story was always part of John’s Gospel but that it was excluded from many copies because Church authorities feared it would be misinterpreted to suggest that Jesus condoned adultery. The ease with which Jesus forgave the woman was hard to reconcile with the stern morality of an early Christian Church fighting pagan debauchery and licentiousness. Sexual purity was a very foreign concept to most pagan gentiles. Evidence to suggest the veracity of this claim does exist. Many ancient manuscripts that do not contain this story have a blank space between the end of what we designate as John 8:2 and the beginning of the Light of the World discourse [8:12]. Some of these manuscripts not only have the gap but also have scribal notation marks indicating a missing passage.

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      • But there may be a reason why John doesn’t let us know what it is that Jesus wrote in the dirt. John 9:13-16 suggests that this day is the Jewish Sabbath. Writing was forbidden on the Sabbath unless the writing did not leave a lasting mark [Mishnah Shabbat 12:5]. Writing with fruit juice or in sand or dirt was permitted. We do not know if He was writing Scripture verses or the sins of the accusers but whatever He wrote His actions show that He did keep the Law perfectly. Not only was the writing not permanent but the record of what He wrote was also not permanent. Jesus did, however, deftly remove Himself from the Pharisees’ trap while placing the accusers in a trap of

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      • Thanks to everyone who put in those extra bits about the story of the woman taken in adultery. I have duly retained the information for my files.

        The only things I would query would be the following. If friend Augustine was convinced that the passage was authentic, then it indicates that in his time, (fourth/fifth centuries), the verses were debatable. It would suggest that apart from perhaps earlier writings concerning it, there was no concensus or certainty. So it still hangs in the balance somewhat. The other thing is that I just cannot conceive of how any authorities could have come to any sort of definite conclusion that the ‘event’ happened on a Sabbath. Actually I’m rather surprised that an adulterous woman, – unclean as she was, would be dragged about in the Temple, where the interview was supposed to have happened. In the process, on the Sabbath, I find it hard to imagine too, that any of the Priests would have been involved, when it was the day they were most likely heavily committed to Temple duties.

        Talking of Jesus writing on the ground, I recall years ago, Revd Leslie Weatherhead in answering a relevant question on the same passage, stated that some have believed that Jesus was writing the sins of the accusers. Others rather romantically thought that he was writing the famous words from the OT story of the Writing on the Wall… Mene Mene Tekel etc. Weatherhead himself suggested that since a woman caught in adultery was stoned naked, that Jesus in compassion, didnt want to add further to the woman’s shame and discomfort, bent down to take his eyes off her.

        Just recalled, to change the subject, when I was young, there was an old joke going round of a mis-spelling of the words written on the wall. It ran ‘Minnie, Minnie, tickle a Parson’.

        Cheers, Rian. – again thanks for the extra information on the passage.

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      • From the garden of Eden till now, the strategy hasn’t much changed: “did God really say?”

        I’ve tried to fathom ahead of time how the great white throne Judgment shall work. One of the reasons I think all men are without excuse is simply the science-jurisprudence-logic of it.
        The bible makes claims. A prima facie case if you like.
        A rebuttal, any rebuttal, needs to be based on the existence of evidence to the contrary. [a lot of people blinded by pseudo science think evolution has done exactly that]

        “Is there any evidence to substantiate the biblical claims?” is not the right question. [Even though plenty of affirmations exist in nature] It is not how the law works. A legal claim is validated simply on the basis it’s existence.

        Eve’s reply to satan should have been, “Do you have some evidence that He didn’t?”

        A testament stands, without evidence of fraud to invalidate or negate it. A signature and a witness make it more certain but it only has to exist for it have force and effect in law. Men, all men, are without excuse. We live under biblical writ.

        Fortunately we can live forever, through it and by it. Jesus can confirm who He is if you ask Him. He did so for Thomas.

        1. The bible exists.
        2. There is no evidence contrary to it’s overt claims.
        3. If any doubt exists people can simply ask Jesus to confirm Himself to them.

        Thus all men, everywhere, before the throne of Judgment, are, legally without excuse. If they are not justified by Faith, they are condemned – is the nature of reality. God said Eve. Yes, God did say, Eve – you heard it right the first time.

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      • in this instance “Faith” means, accepted in good faith. accepted for value.
        When you receive a promise from God on that legal basis, you get to “share in” Jesus Christ’s own inheritance.
        It isn’t merely “big”.
        It’s planet shaking, earth changing, dead resurrecting, elements burning, eternal truth.
        Unto Him, be all power, dominion, glory and honour, Now and forever.

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  9. *** Jesus may have accepted the outcasts “openly and without reservation” but there was a stipulation and expectation that they “go and sin no more”. ***

    OK so of the Christians here how many have accepted Jesus and from that point onwards have then commenced living completely sinless lives ???

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    • When you answer how a quirk works then I might answer your question. Remember you made the initial statement about cancer being a quirk is better.

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      • Hey Alexie,

        Firstly I’ve asked to rephrases “how a quirk works”. As a question that makes no sense to me.

        Secondly there is no relationship between the questions so the answer to one is not dependant on the answer to the other.

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      • Look, if you cannot answer then say so but I am sure we all know the statement you made originally was silly. But at least not pretend you do not understand. Makes you look even sillier.

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      • For Bub
        You stated:

        “OR there is no god and it’s just a quirk of nature.

        Hmm which position makes more sense, I’d say the later.”

        So how does the quirk of nature work?
        You said it makes more sense. Explain.

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      • Thank you for clarification.

        http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/48/7/1697.short
        Evolution of Cancer Genes as a Mutation-driven Process

        Cancer is primarily a somatic genetic disease resulting from the accumulation of several precancerous mutations in a cell lineage. The evolution of highly oncogenic retroviruses has been used as a model for the evolution of a cancer cell. The properties of intermediates between one set of replication-competent retrovirus and protooncogene progenitors and the homologous highly oncogenic retrovirus were analyzed to differentiate between selection-driven and mutation-driven models of this evolution. In this case and in some other cases where sufficient data are available, it appears that the intermediates in the evolution of highly oncogenic retroviruses are not transforming, indicating that they were not formed in a purely selection-driven process. Furthermore, analysis of retrovirus mutation rates indicates that there is a high rate of mutation in retrovirus replication such that the evolution of highly oncogenic retroviruses could be mutation-driven. Other evidence is mentioned suggesting that oncogenesis in general is at least partially mutation-driven, although mutational mechanisms are involved that are different from those involved in the evolution of highly oncogenic retroviruses.

        Or as per Wikipedia
        Classically, cancer has been viewed as a set of diseases that are driven by progressive genetic abnormalities that include mutations in tumor-suppressor genes and oncogenes, and chromosomal abnormalities. However, it has become apparent that cancer is also driven by epigenetic alterations.

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      • So its not a quirk then!
        Is not the design of evolution interesting? I wonder why it happens? Whete did the information come from I wonder?

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      • Hey Alexie,

        Well I don’t know about you (seriously I don’t) but I’d consider a mutation to be a quirk.

        Like

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