It’s too early to quit

jordan

BASKETBALL legend Michael Jordan said he had missed more than 9000 shots in his pro career.
“I’ve lost more than 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Albert Einstein admitted he was not all that smart. “It’s just that I stay with problems longer,” he said.

“I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”

Thomas Edison invented the incandescent light bulb, but only after more than 10,000 unsuccessful attempts. A reporter once asked Edison how it felt to have failed so many times. How was he able to go on? Edison replied: “I haven’t failed 10,000 times, I’ve discovered 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Writer Tom Robbins said there was nothing wrong with failing as long as it did not stopus from trying again.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.

The truth is that perseverance is the key to spiritual success.
It is a gateway to holiness.

The Book of Hebrews defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

The word used for faith in Hebrew is usually emunah. The root of the word means craft.

That is because in Jewish thought, belief in God is like a craft — a skill or set of techniques that are studied and perfected. It’s not something that you are born with.

Belief is a process, anchored in hope. Perseverance demonstrates the underlying hope, an inner belief that God is good and rules the world.

Therefore, ultimately things must turn out for the best.

We were not born accidentally or by mistake. God told the prophet Isaiah: “You were in my care even before you were born.”
To another prophet, He said: “I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live.”

God created each of us for a reason.

Our lives have profound meaning that perhaps can only be unveiled by persevering.
Determination will get us up to where we need to be.

Sometimes it is enough to just trust in God.

“After you have done everything to stand, stand firm then,” the Apostle Paul told the early Christians.

We will face times when we suspect everything is finished.

Instead, we could be facing new beginnings.

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83 thoughts on “It’s too early to quit

  1. “That is because in Jewish thought, belief in God is like a craft — a skill or set of techniques that are studied and perfected. It’s not something that you are born with.”

    This helps to explain going from doubt to certainty.

    “Belief is a process, anchored in hope. Perseverance demonstrates the underlying hope, an inner belief that God is good and rules the world.”

    Which leads to character.

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  2. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;…

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  3. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.…

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  4. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

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    • You and I, and everyone else, will get something wrong today, and tomorrow, and every day. We don’t really have a choice. The best we can do with our broken souls and hearts when faced with our inadequacy is to realise we are human, admit it and then learn to forgive the imperfections in others.

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      • “You and I, and everyone else, will get something wrong today, and tomorrow, and every day. ”

        Absolutely correct proposition and one which surely is much more in line with the evolutionary process rather than intelligent design.

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      • As I see it the evolutionary process doesn’t care if things work well or efficiently as long as they work well enough to get buy

        Intelligent design on the other hand implies a designer who with some care designs the organism. You’d expect something created by design to work well or efficiently.

        As C S Lewis said something like “Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. ”

        Should a brain specifically designed for the purpose of thinking
        (by a perfect creator) really “get something wrong today, and tomorrow, and every day.”

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      • To get buy?
        Yeah I know what you meant. God didn’t create us as perfect human beings. But human beings with free will, the possibility of being redeemed and the ability to know that we can make mistakes and be forgiven.

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      • HI Bryam,

        “God didn’t create us as perfect human beings” – this raises an interesting point why should we need forgiveness for making mistakes ?

        If we’re not created as perfect human beings then mistakes are to be expected. Indeed us making mistakes would be part of the design.

        Why do we need forgiveness for acting in accordance with the design of our creator?

        I’m quite struggling to get my head around that one.

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      • I can understand a design that includes imperfections. I have a handy little chess app on my phone and if it could play perfect chess all the time it would consistently beat me and I’d find that frustrating. But at the easier settings it makes mistakes, or it least it appears to make mistakes, by playing less then perfect chess it is acting as per its design and I have a chance of competing.

        What I still can’t wrap my head around is why we need to seek forgiveness for the mistakes.

        To me it would be like the developer of the chess app getting upset because on level 4 the app just can’t seem to see a knight fork coming most of the time. That’s the way it’s designed. ‘

        If we are designed to be imperfect why are mistakes an issue at all?

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      • Hi Bryan,

        Yep the chess app is designed, we’re not.

        OK different analogy us needing forgiveness for our choices is a bit like saying a newborn needs forgiveness for crying in the middle of the night when it’s hungry.

        Crying in the middle of the night when hungry is within the “design” of the newborn. If you don’t want to get up in the wee hours to feed them and change them then don’t have them.

        In a similar manner if God didn’t want us to make poor choices then we should have been designed without error. His design, his choice.

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      • But the choice of God is to get “upset” when the human makes mistakes. Forgiveness must be sought, sacrifices made etc.

        That would be like the parents of the newborn choosing to get upset when the baby cries in the night when hungry.

        If humans are designed by God then we act in a manner consistent with his design. I still can’t get my head around the need to seek forgiveness from God for acting in accordance with God’s design.

        That God gives us choice isn’t really the point, the point is that God requires us to seek forgiveness when our choices aren’t in accordance with his ideals.

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      • Hi Bryan,

        Sure I can try – but as somebody recently said – “You and I, and everyone else, will get something wrong today, and tomorrow, and every day.”

        So try as we might it would seem that mistakes are inevitable.

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      • Bubba, your concept of God seems to be of one not perfect. Not all knowing, everywhere present, all powerful. Imagine if you were right, and these aspects were just comparative, a Being wiser, more powerful than we can be, more able to be present. A totally good Being struggling with evil, needing help.

        How would you help such a One? Perhaps you unwittingly already are.

        These are not my beliefs. I adhere to the theory that this is a school where we are being trained. I have no thirst for a heaven world, in fact look on that desire as being of self interest rather than any aspect of use or service. I am here just to do what I can, and if I’m badly failing I know God is merciful and understanding, will place me where he wants me, whether He is a Being, a Bureaucracy, an Idea – a Whatever!

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      • Hey Strewth,

        Nope in my discussion on this blog I’m assuming a perfect, omniscient, omnipotent God.

        As I understand it that’s the general Christian concept of God.

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      • Ok then Bryam give me a simple answer to a simple question
        – why do I need to ask God’s forgiveness for making mistakes when me making mistakes is his plan for me.

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      • Really – a little while ago it was “an interesting question”

        Again it leads to the conclusion that you’re just making stuff up on the spot.

        As to the premise we’ve discussed at lengths that humanity is designed to be imperfect therefore will make mistakes / poor choices. Your have stated that we “need forgiveness for our
        choices. ”

        The premise in entirely supported by our conversation to date.

        Why not try something along the lines of “there are some things we’re just not meant to know in this world” or “God works in mysterious ways”

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      • Can animals sin? Can little children sin? If sinning is falling short of perfection, what is perfection in an animal? In a child?

        If we consider awareness of wrong-doing as sin, children can be aware, and so can animals. What about an adult who believes his behaviour is justified, is unaware that it is morally wrong? If he has a personality disorder or mental illness?

        [There is no inconsistency in maintaining, on the one hand, that man is morally accountable for most of his misdeeds and that psychological rather than medical training is basic to competence in the personality disorders, “and affirming, on the other hand, that the latter disorders are genuine manifestations of illness.” On these points, issue is taken with the positions of Szasz (1960) and Mowrer (1960). “Szasz’ (1960) contention that the concept of mental illness ‘now functions merely as a convenient myth’ is grounded on four unsubstantiated and logically untenable propositions” which are specified and criticized. “Definition of behavior disorder in terms of sin or difficulties associated with ethical choice and responsibility would substitute theological disputation and philosophical wrangling about values for specifiable quantitative and qualitative criteria of disease.” From Psyc Abstracts 36:02:2JA69A. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) ]

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      • That sounds like God created us to be imperfect because otherwise we wouldn’t need him.

        Still doesn’t explain why we need forgiveness for being imperfect.

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      • “your original question was interesting. Your last one is not”

        Considering it’s essentially the same question differently phrased that’s an amazing observation.

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    • Bubba, we have only one way of knowing God – personal experience.
      We have only one way of knowing ABOUT God – the bible.

      Now the bible tells us that God believed that people could actually build a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven,” and came down to Earth to see what the people were doing and what their intentions were.

      When “the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.”

      When Israel made princes, “and I knew it not:”

      When the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

      Anyway, what does freedom of choice mean if God, who knows everything, already knows the outcome? An omniscient God would know in advance (and from all eternity).

      Fortunately you don’t have to believe everything the Bible says, to believe in a God truly worthy of worship. We may not know much ABOUT God, but we can know God’s presence.

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  5. Michael Jordan apparently was cut from his high school team. He went home and cried. He obviously got up the next day and continued spending hours at his craft.

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  6. What it is

    Generally translated as faith.

    We’re used to thinking of faith as a strategy for people who can’t think for themselves. “The fool believes everything,” Solomon writes, “the wise man understands.” Emunah, however, is an innate conviction, a perception of truth that transcends, rather than evades, reason. Quite the contrary, wisdom, understanding and knowledge can further enhance true emunah.

    Nevertheless, emunah is not based on reason. Reason can never attain the certainty of emunah, since, reasonably speaking, a greater reasoning might always come along and prove your reasons wrong. In this way, emunah is similar to seeing first hand: Reason can help you better understand what you see, but it will have a hard time convincing you that you never saw it. So too, emunah endures even when reason can’t catch up.
    http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1398519/jewish/Emunah.htm

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  7. Just lovely, Bryan. Don’t know if that’s the right word, but that’s the word that came to me. Thanks for the encouragement, and for speaking out when the need arises. I mean, that’s what real love is about, isn’t it, caring enough to risk all for the sake of another’s well-being. Sometimes the truth hurts, but I’d rather the truth spoken in love than a ” let’s pretend everything’s okay” for the sake of keeping the peace at all costs; live and let live. Who is a true friend?

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      • Bryan,
        I was just a little curious to observe the comment there some halfway down your column. You quoted that belief in God is not something you are born with.

        Now, some few months back, everyone was crowing about the apparently demonstrated fact that everyone IS born with an automatic belief in God.

        So how do we reconcile these statements?
        Rian.

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      • Wrong on both counts Rian. You have misunderstood. Be more clear please.
        The substance of God is born within us. It’s up to all of us to understand that. Some do. And some obviously don’t ever get there.
        Belief is a process, anchored in hope. Perseverance demonstrates the underlying hope, an inner belief that God is good and rules the world.

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      • its fascinating Rian tries to “catch” people being contradictory but cannot seem to see it the multitude of times in himself.

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      • “its fascinating Rian tries to “catch” people being contradictory but cannot seem to see it the multitude of times in himself.”

        It fascinates me how you can pull someone up on their grammar and yet fail to capitalise a sentence.

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      • Alexie.

        That would be “Stu, Rian’s little side kick.” You know, a proper noun, capitalised. Used for words like “Stu” and “God”. 😉

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      • And there really should be an apostrophe in “its” as in this instance it is being used an abbreviation of “it is” rather than as a possessive.

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      • If we are going to make grammar an issue, though I don’t see why on such a site, perhaps we should use “he and I” when these are subjects and “him and me” for objects.

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      • I agree Strewth – we shouldn’t be nitpicking about grammar during conversations here. I just wanted to point out Alexie’s hypocrisy in trying to point score against Rian regarding grammar, when his own posts are full of them.

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      • “I agree Strewth – we shouldn’t be nitpicking about grammar during conversations here. I just wanted to point out Alexie’s hypocrisy in trying to point score against Rian regarding grammar, when his own posts are full of them.”

        Interesting as what I said was in another thread and so stu followed me to this thread and has posted 3 times about it. One might think the hypocrisy, nitpicking and point scoring is obvious.
        I notice you missed the context of which it was written. 🙂

        Maybe you now need to debate me on what I actually said, if you can.

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      • Alexie.

        “Interesting as what I said was in another thread and so stu followed me to this thread and has posted 3 times about it”.

        Interesting that you feel so strongly about it you needed to reply three time,s yet still can’t capitalise a proper noun

        “Maybe you now need to debate me on what I actually said, if you can.”

        Feel free to point me to (a) an example of me debating you on something you haven’t said or (b) A particular point or issue you would like me to address. It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint something specific, given your recent prolific contributions to this blog and propensity to reply to your own posts.

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      • and to prove my point you reply again about grammar. You have sunk to the depths of depravity nitpicking about my grammar while calling me out for nitpicking about grammar. It is like a person murdering another person to point out the murder another human that has murdered. You have sunk to my great depths of hell by committing acts of murder against the english language.
        There are a multitude of points you have side stepped to get to the nitpicking about grammar. You are a pirate plundering on the high seas all the grammar you can find jotting and jilting to and fro.
        Alas you are either Rian in fancy dress or indeed the greatest side kick this side of the treasure island. Arrrrrrrrr!

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      • Alexie.

        “and to prove my point you reply again about grammar.”

        It is interesting that you choose to make a point about my reply to you about grammar by replying to me again about grammar.

        “You have sunk to the depths of depravity nitpicking about my grammar while calling me out for nitpicking about grammar. It is like a person murdering another person to point out the murder another human that has murdered. You have sunk to my great depths of hell by committing acts of murder against the english language.”

        It’s hard to respond to this, but thank you – it has made my day. And “English” is spelt with a capital “E”.

        “There are a multitude of points you have side stepped…”

        I alluded to your prolific point making in my previous post and requested that you nominate a specific issue to address. There’s no need for me to side step what isn’t there.

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      • Dear oh dear, Alexie,
        You have just got so many ideas about me completely wrong.

        Please point out to me any instances of when I have ‘contradicted myself’. IF by any chance I have done so, I’d like to know about them, in order to set things in order and consistency.

        About the only thing I can possibly nail down at this stage, that has given you that opinion, could be the vexed issue that I bring up periodically about Certainty. Let me put it this way.
        When I discuss certainty, I’m not saying anything about everyday matters, or ‘mottos’ or such. I am exclusively referring to spiritual things/truths/realities. Get it? The practical facts and reliable things of daily life are a different matter. For the moment, I believe it is reliable and accurate to state as I did that ‘Certainty divides us and Doubt unites us’. It demonstrates and proves itself in daily practice about spiritual beliefs, doesn’t it?

        So, trying to explain a bit further just where I stand. I virtually hold onto NO absolute and ultimate certainties at all. Oh, I have a large number of ‘convictions’ about spiritual things. And these are based on a lifetime of thinking, reasoning, reading, intuiting, praying etc. And I maintain a strong faith in these, and in the Deity that I revere.

        But I DO NOT CLAIM THAT MY CONVICTIONS ARE PRECISE CERTAINITIES. They are not eternal realities. They are not irrefutable truths. They are not necessarily final. I leave them all open for future unfolding or rethinking or rediscovery or revelation. What I have at present as my convictions are those things that I have found to ‘work’.

        Heavens, I may even eventually discover that Catholicism is the ‘truth’. Maybe even Evangelical Christianity. Who knows just what the Divine Source has for me.

        Think about it. But do tell me some examples of how I’ve been confused or been contradicting myself. Anyone?
        Cheers, Rian.

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    • The European Union commissioners have announced that an agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications (rather than German, which was the other possibility).
      As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).
      In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard “c” will be replaced with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but keyboards kan have one less letter.
      There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” and “fosforous” up to 20 persent shorter.
      In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments wil enkourage the removal of double leters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.
      By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by “v”.
      During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou”, and similar changes vud of kors be aplied to ozer kombinations of leters.
      After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Zen ze drem vil hav finali kum tru.

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      • Alexie old mate,

        Well I must say it was most gratifying, (if as well amusing and ironic) to see you taking on board my shots about studying the early Church and its fathers. You denigrated my quotes the other day from Tertullian, and now here you are quoting him yourself. Rather wet I fear.

        What you failed to quote in the process is that Tertullian was probably the most fanatical and fluent of the early Fathers. It is probably not surprising that he got round to complaining that it was actually the very ‘cream’ of his congregation who were deserting him to go over to the Gnostic Valentinus.
        Let’s see what he said about women (rather anticipating the rants from St Jerome a century or two later on). This is how he addresses ‘everywoman’.

        ‘And do you not know that you are an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives on in this age; the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the devil’s gateway… the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image – man. On account of your desert –that is death, even the Son of God had to die.’ He also wrote that all women should wear perpetual mourning (in black) as a sign of their remorse for being descendents and of the same sex as Eve.

        How do you feel about that, ladies?

        You also failed to mention that Tertullian eventually deserted orthodox Catholic Christianity to join with the fringe heretical sect of the Montanists. They emphatically believed that the Millennium was coming shortly, and among other things maintained that one could never fast enough, and also that one should never flee from persecution. Yes, nice to know that he who wrote so much and so fluently about the beauties of persecution and martyrdom, was one of the very ones who succeeded in evading it.

        Funny too Alexie, that you laughed at me for ‘looking up my books’; and here you are looking up your books and authorities. Sorry old mate, but it just doesn’t wash. Anyway in the meantime just keep on learning a bit about the early Church and its Fathers. It will do you good.

        Of course all the early Church fathers of the orthodox Catholic Church denigrated and condemned Gnosticism. It is as usual largely their writings and authority which survived. All the alternative churches and religions represented danger to their power and their authority. Sad to remember that one of the major reasons the early Gnostics failed to survive was simply because unlike the orthodox, they were pacifists and not greatly interested in proselytising. They just got beaten into the ground by the prevailing church, which then was able to crow that ‘you see, they simply didnt survive the early centuries.’

        Cheers Rian.

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  8. Apparently I cannot speak on gnosticism as Rian is the man.

    Gnosticism is a dead end street but worse than that it is people quiting before they finally know who God really is. NO Biblical scholar believes that there is any significance to the Gnostic writings. Thhey did not appear until several hundred years after Christ, they are worthless as a guide to Jesus’ life. The New Testament is fluidly linked to the Old Testament, the Gnostic writings reject the existence of God, creation , the goodness of matter and flesh and the necessity of a blood atonement in Christ. Christianity is an extension of Old Testament Judaism while Gnosticism is an extension of Eastern religions such as Buddhism.

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  9. Tertullian rejected the Gnostic attempt to mix the Christian faith and pagan and heathen myth. He was positive that the Christian faith is the only true doctrine and religion because it is revealed truth through Jesus. It is not human wisdom but upon the wisdom of God Himself. Writing in his “Prescription Against Heretics,” Tertullian Said, “These heresies are the doctrines of men and’of demons, produced for itching ears of the spirit of this world’s wisdom . . . . For philosophy it is which is the material of the world’s wisdom, the rash interpreter of the nature and the dispensation of God. Indeed heresies are instigated by philosophy”.

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  10. Sometimes it is a brilliant idea to quit the path that leads to nowhere.
    A gnostic saying was “Seek and you shall find.”

    What were they seeking and who were they seeking?

    Sadly gnostics do quit the search for God and look for him by taking themselves as the starting point.

    It was fine for Christians to ask deep questions. Gnostics take their answers from the wrong authorities, mostly from themselves.

    To Tertullian the Gnostics were guilty of a great sin as using their own inner experiences as more important than the word of God.

    “Irenaeus found their arrogance astounding: They imagine that they themselves have discovered more than the apostles, and … they themselves are wiser and more intelligent than the apostles.”

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    • 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

      8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

      9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

      10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

      11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

      12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

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  11. Yet another broad open statement :-
    “God created each of us for a reason”
    What was the reason for Genghis Khan ?
    “O”
    To thin out the numbers of Homo Sapiens to enable the natural re-establishment of plants and animals.
    Don,t blame me for showing the folly of absurd statements.

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    • If a person thinks this world is all there is then GK has no purpose but if you believe there is an after life then you will see many people were saved.

      The invasions happened at the height of the golden age in the Middle East. People were getting more and more corrupt. These invasions had people think more about God and brought people back to God.

      I believe we are entering into another period where people are getting more and more corrupt.

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    • You seem to make enough yourself CB, absurd statements that is.
      The unknowable cannot exist and neither can your statement.

      But as someone who believes there is a universe and a God that actually exists I would say the reason or purpose someone is here does not by default mean that what they do is following that purpose. Easy to think clearly in a world of no illusions.

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    • Dom, this is twice in a month I agree with you. I need pain relief.
      Or something stronger. Yes, it certainly seems like things are getting more corrupt across the globe. Even just looking at sport with FIFA, athletes on drugs, Olympic committees, Qatar scandal, cycling and so on.

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      • 🙂 I was thinking morally corrupt with one of it’s manifestations being greed such as in your examples.

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      • R U sure you agree Alexie. Sinners trying to wash away their own sins is something like Eve trying to cloth herself with leaves.

        Unless sinners are worshiping God in Holy Spirit and in Eternal factual history Truth aren’t they mocking God’s Unchanging Word?

        do you agree? Is it the bowel in which the sop is dipped?

        hated of all men for my very specific name’s sake. So much in a name I have to go on here saying Muhammad was not Jesus Christ, baptized in the Holy Spirit by John, as attested to by multiple witnesses.

        So much hangs on this idea of people trying to improve themselves “by man’s standards”

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    • “If a person thinks this world is all there is then GK has no purpose but if you believe there is an after life then you will see many people were saved.”
      Yes. To look at just one short mortal lifetime is short sighted in the extreme.
      “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
      “A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

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  12. “An inner belief that God is good and rules the world.” Yes. Good will always overcome evil in the long run.

    This is so whether you believe Isaiah 45:7 – “I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things,” (in which case God has purposes beyond our understanding}, or believe, as I was taught, that evil is our creation, not God’s, but that he can then turn our evil to good.

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  13. I found this on a website and thought it will be fascinating to post here.

    Quitting Christ

    If this person really exists and they actually did leave Christianity then it tells us a lot about the person. See what we come up with. I have gone trough it many times and have my own views.

    http://testimonials.exchristian.net/2008/08/quitting-christianity-after-23-years.html

    Quitting Christianity after 23 years
    Sent in by Virginia

    Christianity thrives on human suffering and yearn for community. It was precisely under these circumstances that I committed myself to Christ at 19 years old, when my family got into serious trouble — father filed for bankruptcy, my parents separated.

    With all the yearning for care and love upon the utter shattering of my family, my high school pals who were Christians befriended me.

    I began fervently witnessing Christ, became a cell group leader on Bible study, witnessed to friends and relatives about Jesus and the salvation, using the tracts supplied from my church.

    I was active in church and in my college years, also leaded evangelizing activities witnessing Jesus. However, I sensed in the entire ethos of this set of belief, some incompleteness.

    It promised one being “new in Christ”, with Christ Lordship, a person should be filled with blissful joy and contentment. It was not the case, the blissful atmosphere common in Christian community were mainly externalized activities expressing contentment.
    In the core, the person’s problem, their pains and hurts were never really addressed — the religious experience serves only to numb one’s sense.

    I gradually felt the sharp incongruity as I became more aware of the many contradictions within the Bible, and contradictions with contemporary social reality.

    For example, the Bible prohibits woman from assuming any leadership role or ministerial role, yet I saw many women who are talented leaders and fine ministers.
    Similarly, the way Genesis described the origins of life do not reconcile with clear scientific evidence.

    Yet the most disturbing aspect of Christianity was its hypocrisy. As I got acquainted with church leadership, with larger circles of Christian, their behavior and methods of dealing with others is so unchristian — lies, deceits, double-talks, abusive use of powers etc. — all carried out under the veil of a smiling face uttering Jesus’ love.

    For years, I wrestled the issues, trying to find ways out by reading contemporary theological works from Karl Bart, Hans Kung etc. — I was overwhelmed with long elaboration of a set of belief attempting to “re-explain” the Bible — which raised more questions than answers — the Bible became so malleable that you don’t really needed it — just place any contemporary philosophical thought and slab the “God” label and that’s it.

    I considered Catholicism, primarily due to its beautiful liturgy, yet I found myself avoiding the key question — Christianity started from a immutable assumption — we owe our existence to God and God is the one that give us life and meaning. We are not permitted to ask if God existed, this is something the Christian theologian referred to as stopping “infinite regression” — but is this the right place to stop ?

    Attempt to use existing apologetic materials on the origins of life, creation etc. lead me to nowhere — for I read enough materials that clearly debunks ideas like Intelligent Design etc.

    I finally asked the question: do our cosmos come to existence because of a creation ? My discovery tells me that, we simply cannot find evidence that our cosmos are created — Christians like the sound of a creation by God more and cannot bear the seemingly impersonal description of how matters/energy exchanges.

    I look to atheist sites like infidel.org and books by Richard Dawkins — and there I realize that Christianity is the “gap” worshiper — whenever there’s something inexplicable, “God” is the default — the inconsistency of Christian’s approach to answer questions about scientific truth prove to be a very strong push factor that cause me to say no — I am not into superstition — no matter how Christians packaged their “scientific ideas” — that very assumption of God (requiring unquestioning faith) cannot be accepted — it leaves the ultimate core in the balance — we based our outlook of life, morality etc. on something that simply “accepted as truth”.

    Moreover, on issues of morality, God is silent and permits so many flavours of understanding — hardly a sure way for basis of morality.

    As I satisfied and convinced myself that God existence is so improbable, I announced my resignation from Christianity, and embraced atheism — only to my surprise that I can let go of the burden of defending a set of inconsistent ideas and be free to be a person of reason.

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    • pseudo scientific enlightenment; a dime a dozen. She’s a skim reader. The serpent’s very same offer.
      She could begin with a simple Phd project. Make life from inorganic/ non living materials. The next evidence she needs is to take any living thing and induce the mutations that change it from one kind of animal into another. Fruit flies have a fairly short life span for example so changing them into moths or butterflies or even simple dragon flies, should be within her scientific purview.

      ie. she sold her inheritance for a crock of Dawkinsonian pottage.

      Second/ perhaps biggest point is: where exactly did she marry and have children? She’s a woman and seems to have missed her biological clock opportunity for a ship’s captain.

      Churchians have done more to destroy Christianity than atheists. same as it ever was…….

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      • “Quitting Christ” ?

        Ahh………but He will not quit her if she truly belongs to Him. 😉

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      • Though, God will not force us to remain His children. And I do not believe Alexie that once saved we are always saved. I do not believe in so-called ‘irresistible grace’ that does not allow us free will to repudiate the commitment we once made. Throughout the Bible we find warnings against falling into temptation and apostasy, so therefore I believe the complacency that comes from a sense of absolute security is not only dangerous, but out of place for a Christian.

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      • Hi Mon

        I seen many years with Romanian Baptists who believed you can lose your faith. I know Hebrews 6 was a major section of the Bible they used. We used to debate for hours in love and friendliness. It was much fun. God does not forsake us and we are sealed by Him. There are so many verse that say once saved you are saved. Without going into all the details I would say what people believe is losing salvation is actually losing your treasures in heaven.

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    • I do believe the future will bring her blessings. She has had to shed a dead faith in order to gain a living one, as I’m thinking God in his own time will grant her experiential proof of ‘his’ existence, an indisputable relationship.

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    • I do not believe this person exists and is but an atheists ploy.
      A persons story is not so cut and dried as this one.

      “Christianity thrives on human suffering and yearn for community. It was precisely under these circumstances that I committed myself to Christ”

      This is like blaming a psychologist for your problems.

      “With all the yearning for care and love upon the utter shattering of my family, my high school pals who were Christians befriended me.”

      THIS TOTALLY CONTRADICTS THE OPENING LINE.

      “However, I sensed in the entire ethos of this set of belief, some incompleteness.”

      Again this is like blaming the psychologist for your in completeness that you came into the sessions with.

      “a person should be filled with blissful joy and contentment. It was not the case, the blissful atmosphere common in Christian community were mainly externalized activities expressing contentment.”

      I do not know of one Church or Bible verse that promises this. Only in Heaven is this complete.

      “In the core, the person’s problem, their pains and hurts were never really addressed — the religious experience serves only to numb one’s sense.”

      This sound like a classic atheist projection and not a persons story.

      “For example, the Bible prohibits woman from assuming any leadership role or ministerial role, yet I saw many women who are talented leaders and fine ministers.”

      Classic double speak.

      “For example, the Bible prohibits woman from assuming any leadership role or ministerial role, yet I saw many women who are talented leaders and fine ministers.”

      Maybe the fact there were women in the roles should have been enough to actually read the Bible.

      “Moreover, on issues of morality, God is silent and permits so many flavours of understanding — hardly a sure way for basis of morality.”

      100% not a Christian speaking here or even once was a Christian.

      “only to my surprise that I can let go of the burden of defending a set of inconsistent ideas and be free to be a person of reason.”

      A nail in the coffin for me that is person does not exist and it is but an atheist ploy. In fact a smart atheist could have come up with something much better than this.

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  14. It’s too early to quit
    What !
    I have the option of growing longer legs so I can just walk up to that Basketball hoop and with one hand pass the ball threw the hoop to the other hand.
    ps
    I have imagined BASKETBALL being played by very very short people and the court being scaled down to their proportion in comparison to those giants playing the game .

    Like

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