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rrobs

Stop the Shootings

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rrobs    3
10 hours ago, Rocky said:

I'm telling you that I believe your vague claim that all you've really been trying to get at is "the general message of the Bible" is dubious. You've made specific claims about specific things in the Bible while at no time offering either an actual argument about those specific claims. What difference does it make how long it took me to complete any course?

Here's an example, "The Bereans didn't demand Paul back up all his claims (Acts 17:11)." That's a specific claim about a specific message in the Bible. There's a lot of background we're not getting about that situation... either from you or from a plain reading of the verse you cited. Before I take any claims from the Bible at face value, I want to critically evaluate them.

PFLAP was intended to do just the opposite -- get people to believe VPee's claims without critically evaluating them. In fact, criticism was stifled by way of peer pressure and leadership direction.

Point taken. You have valid claims. Thanks for the input. It has helped. I'll take it to heart for my next post. I always like to improve.

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rrobs    3
54 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

The Bible is an expression of our collective evolutionary wiring over generations.  God is the sum of many abstracted ideal concepts haggled over millennia. 

That you think in such an absolute view about God is a misguided but practical survival skill for a group.

The media you have cited is propaganda.  To be used over the short-term.  Not the long-term no-guarantee-but-best-bet that a god embodies.

So you are somewhat comparing apples to oranges.  Which is why I don't think there's a great point in your statement.  You can't contrast the two like that, media and religion. 

 

 

Not to negate your point, but I personally would hate to find out that the Bible is nothing more than a collective evolutionary writing over generations. Why?

1Cor 15:19,

               If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

I'm counting on the Bible being the word of God and that everything he says in it is true and will come to pass.

I cracked up on your bacon wrapped armadillo eggs. One of the funniest posts I've seen. Thanks for the laugh!

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Bolshevik    339
1 hour ago, rrobs said:

Not to negate your point, but I personally would hate to find out that the Bible is nothing more than a collective evolutionary writing over generations. Why?

1Cor 15:19,

               If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

I'm counting on the Bible being the word of God and that everything he says in it is true and will come to pass.

I cracked up on your bacon wrapped armadillo eggs. One of the funniest posts I've seen. Thanks for the laugh!

I meant "wiring" as in how our brains function.  The circuitry that has developed for a multitude of reasons.  Not evolved writing.  

I don't think we are at completed odds, though.

You're welcome for the laugh.

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TLC    26
8 hours ago, Bolshevik said:

The Bible is an expression of our collective evolutionary wiring over generations.  God is the sum of many abstracted ideal concepts haggled over millennia. 

That you think in such an absolute view about God is a misguided but practical survival skill for a group.

 

What hogwash.  Doctrinal forums are predicated on the acceptance of scripture as truth.  So, if you don't accept scripture as truth, your running off at the mouth don't mean squat in a discussion about what the truth is inside a doctrinal forum.  (But feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong.) 

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Bolshevik    339
12 minutes ago, TLC said:

What hogwash.  Doctrinal forums are predicated on the acceptance of scripture as truth.  So, if you don't accept scripture as truth, your running off at the mouth don't mean squat in a discussion about what the truth is inside a doctrinal forum.  (But feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong.) 

I never said I believe scripture is not truth.  Far from it.

I was teasing out the comparison Rrobs was making between the media and scripture.  Maybe he can elaborate.

I'm not sure what prerequisite you're referring to as far as the doctrinal forum or if it is important.

 

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spectrum49    9

rrobs:

I'm assuming you meant well by starting this topic. Having read it entirely, I did appreciate your having admitted the following concerning your own treatment of Acts 17:11:

Oct 12th: "Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I learned something from it." (and) "Sometimes I go too fast. Gotta slow down, especially in handling God's word."

Oct 13th: "Point taken. You have valid claims. Thanks for the input. It has helped. I'll take it to heart for my next post. I always like to improve."

So, (at least) this demonstrates your willingness to concede a point when convinced otherwise, which causes me to consider you "might do the same" if I dare responding to an appeal you frequently made throughout, namely:

Oct 6: "...please tell me from the word where anything I said is not aligned with that word."

Oct 7: "I didn't ask you, the reader, to support my claims. I asked to to show me where I'm off. So far nothing and I don't think there will be anything because what I said is in perfect alignment with the word. If you don't think so, then tell me where."

Oct 11: "But after all this why hasn't anybody told me where my post if off the mark?" [and] "I would think that anybody that disagrees with my post should explain why they disagree..." [and] "So again, where is my post off? If anybody can tell me chapter and verse where I'm off, then I will change my thinking on the matter."

That said, OKAY rrobs: "I'll bite": But first of all, know that my intent is NOT to be argumentative. And please be mindful that (although I WILL include scripture references) I'm hoping the ones I choose will suffice as "authoritative enough in your eyes" to support my position, without "going on and on" --- which would tend toward overkill. I'll also appeal with what's considered by most as "good old common horse sense". (Yet, if you STILL require further clarification, I'll certainly try to be patient.)

In your first paragraph, you began: "The quality of life of a society is ultimately determined by the thoughts that each individual in that society holds in their mind. Those thoughts in turn are dependant on the things each individual is told by sources outside of ourselves. That is basic to life."

You're proposing that what society becomes as a whole is entirely dependent upon what individuals think, which is derived from what they are told. And the KEY word which stands out to me is "TOLD", which (in your second paragraph) speaks of what some refer to these days as the "lame-stream media". (LOL)

But! Let's back up and continue your remarks in that first paragraph, where you provide THE REASON why your proposal must be true: "Someone telling you they love you fills your mind with positive thoughts. Should that same person tell you they hate you, your mind tends towards more negative thoughts."

Personally, I must disagree with your reasoning here, because (unlike the Word of God) what you've declared is NOT always true. Simply: Just because "someone says they love me" my mind is NOT "full of positive thoughts". What if I hear that from someone who has proven in times past that he hates me? Am I full of joy? NO WAY! (I'm just not gullible enough to take him seriously.)

And let's also evaluate what you said next: If that SAME person (the one who hates me) admits that he hates me (which is actually being honest!) does my mind "tend toward negative thoughts"? HELL NO! Why not? Because I evaluate what I hear BEFORE I dare let it influence my heart. In other words, I think for myself.

And after that, you then propose "your solution" to this problem (which I've just demonstrated is NOT a problem to me personally) saying: "To reverse this each individual must change the diet upon which their mind feeds."

And just what is it you're trying to "reverse"? In context, it can only refer to (using your own words) "a society with a low quality of life." In other words, you're implying that it's possible to change society for the better...which actually sounds like an admirable endeavor. But (alas) this hope of yours is quite futile. Let me explain why I believe this to be true:

Underlying all of this is the crazy notion that "if enough individuals would stop feeding their minds on the negative media from the world and put on the positive message from the Word of God, then society will improve."

But sadly, there just aren't enough individuals to accomplish such a thing. Even if a MAJORITY of the world's population promoted things of a positive nature, that STILL wouldn't "reverse the trend". Why?

First of all, the only ones who COULD accomplish this (if it were even possible) would be those who trust in the TRUE God. Assuming this would be "the real Christians", what does Scripture answer to that? One example is: "Many are called, but few are chosen." Assuming you understand what's behind that statement, you KNOW we'll never have a majority in that regard, so you can forget that as "a possible solution to the ills of society".

But even that's a moot point when you merely consider this one verse: 2Tim 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (And please don't forget to also consider "the overall context" of that verse!)

Spiritually speaking, this describes the very nature of they who make up the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet. No matter what we do, society in general IS going to become worse and worse, both in numbers and in quality. And there's NOTHING you or I can possibly do to "reverse that trend".

And if you ever get to where you suppose you're succeeding in such a "worthy endeavor", then your mind is in direct opposition to what God has already declared to be the future of society as we know it. Surely, we understand that (eventually) ALL OF THIS will be replaced with "a new heaven and earth".

Concerning the rest of your original post (Matt 4:4 and 2Pet 1:3, with explanations as to how they relate to the matter at hand) --- all of that is little more than an attempt to support your premise that individuals can (as you said near the end) "do something positive to change the course of our world".

So, can we individuals have ANY impact on society whatsoever? YES! We can share the light of the Word with people and do our best to teach them how they might "think for themselves" and enjoy their lives here upon earth until Christ returns.

BUT! Can we reverse the trend in society from just getting worse and worse to somehow becoming better and better? Or are we ever going to "change the course of our world" and negate what God prophesied concerning its eventual destruction? Sadly, no!

And truthfully, I'm not sad about that one iota. Rather (knowing I've been "saved from the wrath to come") I'm quite ELATED!

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Rocky    708
1 hour ago, spectrum49 said:

rrobs:

I'm assuming you meant well by starting this topic. Having read it entirely, I did appreciate your having admitted the following concerning your own treatment of Acts 17:11:

Oct 12th: "Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I learned something from it." (and) "Sometimes I go too fast. Gotta slow down, especially in handling God's word."

Oct 13th: "Point taken. You have valid claims. Thanks for the input. It has helped. I'll take it to heart for my next post. I always like to improve."

So, (at least) this demonstrates your willingness to concede a point when convinced otherwise, which causes me to consider you "might do the same" if I dare responding to an appeal you frequently made throughout, namely:

Oct 6: "...please tell me from the word where anything I said is not aligned with that word."

Oct 7: "I didn't ask you, the reader, to support my claims. I asked to to show me where I'm off. So far nothing and I don't think there will be anything because what I said is in perfect alignment with the word. If you don't think so, then tell me where."

Oct 11: "But after all this why hasn't anybody told me where my post if off the mark?" [and] "I would think that anybody that disagrees with my post should explain why they disagree..." [and] "So again, where is my post off? If anybody can tell me chapter and verse where I'm off, then I will change my thinking on the matter."

That said, OKAY rrobs: "I'll bite": But first of all, know that my intent is NOT to be argumentative . And please be mindful that (although I WILL include scripture references) I'm hoping the ones I choose will suffice as "authoritative enough in your eyes" to support my position, without "going on and on" --- which would tend toward overkill. I'll also appeal with what's considered by most as "good old common horse sense". (Yet, if you STILL require further clarification, I'll certainly try to be patient.)

In your first paragraph, you began: "The quality of life of a society is ultimately determined by the thoughts that each individual in that society holds in their mind. Those thoughts in turn are dependant on the things each individual is told by sources outside of ourselves. That is basic to life."

You're proposing that what society becomes as a whole is entirely dependent upon what individuals think, which is derived from what they are told. And the KEY word which stands out to me is "TOLD", which (in your second paragraph) speaks of what some refer to these days as the "lame-stream media". (LOL)

But! Let's back up and continue your remarks in that first paragraph, where you provide THE REASON why your proposal must be true: "Someone telling you they love you fills your mind with positive thoughts. Should that same person tell you they hate you, your mind tends towards more negative thoughts."

Personally, I must disagree with your reasoning here, because (unlike the Word of God) what you've declared is NOT always true. Simply: Just because "someone says they love me" my mind is NOT "full of positive thoughts". What if I hear that from someone who has proven in times past that he hates me? Am I full of joy? NO WAY! (I'm just not gullible enough to take him seriously.)

And let's also evaluate what you said next: If that SAME person (the one who hates me) admits that he hates me (which is actually being honest!) does my mind "tend toward negative thoughts"? HELL NO! Why not? Because I evaluate what I hear BEFORE I dare let it influence my heart. In other words, I think for myself.

And after that, you then propose "your solution" to this problem (which I've just demonstrated is NOT a problem to me personally) saying: "To reverse this each individual must change the diet upon which their mind feeds."

And just what is it you're trying to "reverse"? In context, it can only refer to (using your own words) "a society with a low quality of life." In other words, you're implying that it's possible to change society for the better...which actually sounds like an admirable endeavor. But (alas) this hope of yours is quite futile. Let me explain why I believe this to be true:

Underlying all of this is the crazy notion that "if enough individuals would stop feeding their minds on the negative media from the world and put on the positive message from the Word of God, then society will improve."

But sadly, there just aren't enough individuals to accomplish such a thing. Even if a MAJORITY of the world's population promoted things of a positive nature, that STILL wouldn't "reverse the trend". Why?

First of all, the only ones who COULD accomplish this (if it were even possible) would be those who trust in the TRUE God. Assuming this would be "the real Christians", what does Scripture answer to that? One example is: "Many are called, but few are chosen." Assuming you understand what's behind that statement, you KNOW we'll never have a majority in that regard, so you can forget that as "a possible solution to the ills of society".

But even that's a moot point when you merely consider this one verse: 2Tim 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (And please don't forget to also consider "the overall context" of that verse!)

Spiritually speaking, this describes the very nature of they who make up the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet. No matter what we do, society in general IS going to become worse and worse, both in numbers and in quality. And there's NOTHING you or I can possibly do to "reverse that trend".

And if you ever get to where you suppose you're succeeding in such a "worthy endeavor", then your mind is in direct opposition to what God has already declared to be the future of society as we know it. Surely, we understand that (eventually) ALL OF THIS will be replaced with "a new heaven and earth".

Concerning the rest of your original post (Matt 4:4 and 2Pet 1:3, with explanations as to how they relate to the matter at hand) --- all of that is little more than an attempt to support your premise that individuals can (as you said near the end) "do something positive to change the course of our world".

So, can we individuals have ANY impact on society whatsoever? YES! We can share the light of the Word with people and do our best to teach them how they might "think for themselves" and enjoy their lives here upon earth until Christ returns.

BUT! Can we reverse the trend in society from just getting worse and worse to somehow becoming better and better? Or are we ever going to "change the course of our world" and negate what God prophesied concerning its eventual destruction? Sadly, no!

And truthfully, I'm not sad about that one iota. Rather (knowing I've been "saved from the wrath to come") I'm quite ELATED!

THAT is an argument. One that's worth the time to consider. (Contrast that with Spectrum49's use of the word argumentative above)

I do not necessarily endorse it as my view of life or the Bible... but that's okay. But It is a legitimate presentation of a reasonable thinking process that incorporates one person's understanding of the Bible without trying to shove something down anyone's throat. It's not a regurgitation of something in an anachronistic class presented by a cult.

 

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rrobs    3
17 hours ago, spectrum49 said:

rrobs:

I'm assuming you meant well by starting this topic. Having read it entirely, I did appreciate your having admitted the following concerning your own treatment of Acts 17:11:

Right, I did not mean to start a fire-storm.

Oct 12th: "Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I learned something from it." (and) "Sometimes I go too fast. Gotta slow down, especially in handling God's word."

Oct 13th: "Point taken. You have valid claims. Thanks for the input. It has helped. I'll take it to heart for my next post. I always like to improve."

So, (at least) this demonstrates your willingness to concede a point when convinced otherwise, which causes me to consider you "might do the same" if I dare responding to an appeal you frequently made throughout, namely:

Nope. I don't know everything. Maybe it seems I think I do, but I don't. I learn every day (a lot of days anyway) and often something that goes against long held beliefs. I'm always willing to change. More that willing, I'm happy to change when I find more information.

Oct 6: "...please tell me from the word where anything I said is not aligned with that word."

Oct 7: "I didn't ask you, the reader, to support my claims. I asked to to show me where I'm off. So far nothing and I don't think there will be anything because what I said is in perfect alignment with the word. If you don't think so, then tell me where."

Oct 11: "But after all this why hasn't anybody told me where my post if off the mark?" [and] "I would think that anybody that disagrees with my post should explain why they disagree..." [and] "So again, where is my post off? If anybody can tell me chapter and verse where I'm off, then I will change my thinking on the matter."

That said, OKAY rrobs: "I'll bite": But first of all, know that my intent is NOT to be argumentative. And please be mindful that (although I WILL include scripture references) I'm hoping the ones I choose will suffice as "authoritative enough in your eyes" to support my position, without "going on and on" --- which would tend toward overkill. I'll also appeal with what's considered by most as "good old common horse sense". (Yet, if you STILL require further clarification, I'll certainly try to be patient.)

No argument, just discussion. Good. There is a fine line between the two. Sometimes I find myself in what I consider to be a discussion with someone that they considers an argument. Maybe it's my demeanour. It's certainly not my heart. Not to say everybody else should know that. I understand people generally go by what they see. Obviously I do something that makes people see what is not really my intent.

In your first paragraph, you began: "The quality of life of a society is ultimately determined by the thoughts that each individual in that society holds in their mind. Those thoughts in turn are dependant on the things each individual is told by sources outside of ourselves. That is basic to life."

You're proposing that what society becomes as a whole is entirely dependent upon what individuals think, which is derived from what they are told. And the KEY word which stands out to me is "TOLD", which (in your second paragraph) speaks of what some refer to these days as the "lame-stream media". (LOL)

But! Let's back up and continue your remarks in that first paragraph, where you provide THE REASON why your proposal must be true: "Someone telling you they love you fills your mind with positive thoughts. Should that same person tell you they hate you, your mind tends towards more negative thoughts."

Personally, I must disagree with your reasoning here, because (unlike the Word of God) what you've declared is NOT always true. Simply: Just because "someone says they love me" my mind is NOT "full of positive thoughts". What if I hear that from someone who has proven in times past that he hates me? Am I full of joy? NO WAY! (I'm just not gullible enough to take him seriously.)

And let's also evaluate what you said next: If that SAME person (the one who hates me) admits that he hates me (which is actually being honest!) does my mind "tend toward negative thoughts"? HELL NO! Why not? Because I evaluate what I hear BEFORE I dare let it influence my heart. In other words, I think for myself.

People (at least me) react on some level to what they perceive. I may not react strongly to someone telling me they hate me, nor if they tell me they love me. Still, there is some level of reaction and someone telling me they love me is more pleasing to my ears than hating me. Maybe I'm unique in that. Maybe I just don't have enough self esteem to totally ignore such comments. I think God tells us the tongue is an unruly member, and that we should speak kindly to one another

Kind words do have an effect;

2Chr 10:7, Prov 15:1, Prov 16:24, I Cor 5:11, et. al. (many more)

Prov 15:1,

A soft (love) answer turneth away wrath: but grievous (hate) words stir up anger.

I know I took some liberty with soft = love and grievous = hate, but it can't be too far off, if at all.

And after that, you then propose "your solution" to this problem (which I've just demonstrated is NOT a problem to me personally) saying: "To reverse this each individual must change the diet upon which their mind feeds."

And just what is it you're trying to "reverse"? In context, it can only refer to (using your own words) "a society with a low quality of life." In other words, you're implying that it's possible to change society for the better...which actually sounds like an admirable endeavor. But (alas) this hope of yours is quite futile. Let me explain why I believe this to be true:

Underlying all of this is the crazy notion that "if enough individuals would stop feeding their minds on the negative media from the world and put on the positive message from the Word of God, then society will improve."

Improving just means better that it was, not necessarily solving the problem altogether. I suppose "reverse" makes it sound like I'm promulgating the latter, but that was not my intent. Should have chosen a better word I suppose.

But sadly, there just aren't enough individuals to accomplish such a thing. Even if a MAJORITY of the world's population promoted things of a positive nature, that STILL wouldn't "reverse the trend". Why?

Jesus couldn't even do it.

First of all, the only ones who COULD accomplish this (if it were even possible) would be those who trust in the TRUE God. Assuming this would be "the real Christians", what does Scripture answer to that? One example is: "Many are called, but few are chosen." Assuming you understand what's behind that statement, you KNOW we'll never have a majority in that regard, so you can forget that as "a possible solution to the ills of society".

But even that's a moot point when you merely consider this one verse: 2Tim 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (And please don't forget to also consider "the overall context" of that verse!)

Spiritually speaking, this describes the very nature of they who make up the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet. No matter what we do, society in general IS going to become worse and worse, both in numbers and in quality. And there's NOTHING you or I can possibly do to "reverse that trend".

And if you ever get to where you suppose you're succeeding in such a "worthy endeavor", then your mind is in direct opposition to what God has already declared to be the future of society as we know it. Surely, we understand that (eventually) ALL OF THIS will be replaced with "a new heaven and earth".

My success lies in speaking the word, not in changing the world to Disney Land. In truth, hardly anybody I speak the word to believes me. So besides the scriptures that say few believe, I have my own experience. No pollyanna attitude in my mind.

Concerning the rest of your original post (Matt 4:4 and 2Pet 1:3, with explanations as to how they relate to the matter at hand) --- all of that is little more than an attempt to support your premise that individuals can (as you said near the end) "do something positive to change the course of our world".

So, can we individuals have ANY impact on society whatsoever? YES! We can share the light of the Word with people and do our best to teach them how they might "think for themselves" and enjoy their lives here upon earth until Christ returns.

BUT! Can we reverse the trend in society from just getting worse and worse to somehow becoming better and better? Or are we ever going to "change the course of our world" and negate what God prophesied concerning its eventual destruction? Sadly, no!

I understand you to say that there is no complete solution, that the world will get worse as time goes on and you gave appropriate scriptures. I agree. I never thought that we could create heaven on earth. Like you said, that will never happen. I was more saying, like you said,

So, can we individuals have ANY impact on society whatsoever? YES! We can share the light of the Word with people and do our best to teach them how they might "think for themselves" and enjoy their lives here upon earth until Christ returns.

If someone had shared the word with any of these shooters, maybe at least one of these shooting would have been prevented, hence a better world, sleight as the improvement might be. But you are right, it'll never be a bed of roses. There has never been a time in history when TRUE (dare I say it) Christians have been anything more than a very small proportion of society. Three quarters of the time since Christ they have seen them burned at the stake. Wouldn't surprise me is it starts up again like that. Not saying it will, just wouldn't be surprised.

And truthfully, I'm not sad about that one iota. Rather (knowing I've been "saved from the wrath to come") I'm quite ELATED!

I'm with you there!

 

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rrobs    3
15 hours ago, Rocky said:

THAT is an argument. One that's worth the time to consider. (Contrast that with Spectrum49's use of the word argumentative above)

I do not necessarily endorse it as my view of life or the Bible... but that's okay. But It is a legitimate presentation of a reasonable thinking process that incorporates one person's understanding of the Bible without trying to shove something down anyone's throat. It's not a regurgitation of something in an anachronistic class presented by a cult.

 

I often tell people that I am witnessing to that I'm just telling them what the book says (to the best of my ability, not always right. who is?). Their believing the things I say is totally optional. I sleep well because of what I believe, not because of what somebody else believes. I don't think that those who believe otherwise than myself are a lesser person. What if I had thought that about Saul? I would have been surprised down the road!

Simply quoting a Bible verse to someone is often taken as "shoving it down their throat."  It's an interesting book in that regard.

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Rocky    708
8 hours ago, rrobs said:

I often tell people that I am witnessing to that I'm just telling them what the book says (to the best of my ability, not always right. who is?). Their believing the things I say is totally optional. I sleep well because of what I believe, not because of what somebody else believes. I don't think that those who believe otherwise than myself are a lesser person. What if I had thought that about Saul? I would have been surprised down the road!

Simply quoting a Bible verse to someone is often taken as "shoving it down their throat."  It's an interesting book in that regard.

In case you may have been unsure, my post you quoted was not intended to suggest you should answer it or answer to me.

Yet, it seems you felt compelled to dismiss the points I made.

I simply was affirming the post Spectrum49 made and contrasting it with how you started this thread (and how you have attempted to make most of your points on GSC).

Spectrum49 cited scripture but importantly reflected on his understanding of those passages. His argument was scripture-based but his thought process was demonstrably different than yours... at least from how you present your arguments.

It will not be useful for you to dismiss this comment or my previous one. You seem to convince few, if any, people here with your approach.

But if you don't want or need the insight. That's okay too.

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Rocky    708
8 hours ago, rrobs said:

If someone had shared the word with any of these shooters, maybe at least one of these shooting would have been prevented, hence a better world, sleight as the improvement might be.

Really? How could that have changed the outcome for any mass shooting perpetrator?

I'd suggest that there's a lot going on in the life of such a shooter that you seem to be massively unaware of. Also, that there's a lot going on in society that doesn't seem to factor into how you assess such situations.

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waysider    655
On 10/4/2017 at 7:32 PM, rrobs said:

The quality of life of a society is ultimately determined by the thoughts that each individual in that society holds in their mind. Those thoughts in turn are dependant on the things each individual is told by sources outside of ourselves.

Back in the days of the Renewed Mind class, we were taught about a sort of thought replacement therapy. The basic concept is built around identifying unwanted thoughts and replacing them with thoughts we deem to be more appropriate. Remember "En garde!"  and retemory cards?  This assumed that thoughts with a scriptural basis were preferable to thoughts without scriptural basis. One example of how the the process works is as follows: You take a glass of red kool-aid  and set it under a running water faucet. As the clear water replaces the red kool-aid, the solution becomes increasingly clearer until, finally, no trace of the red coloring remains. For some of life's problems, this may be a viable process. For others... not so much. 

 

Sometimes things just don't fit this concept. If a person has a chemical imbalance, all the thought replacement in the world, by itself, is not going to have lasting results. Achieving a desired chemical balance may be the answer. At other times, a combination approach that involves correcting the imbalance and adjusting the thoughts is the correct course of action.

 

Also, some things that are actually based in normal human behavior have been classifieds as unacceptable behavior by society. Such are societal mores. This is where people learn to condition their behavior , despite any thoughts they may have. For example: for a heterosexual man, it's quite normal to have sexually oriented thoughts about women. (apply the same general idea to homosexual individuals.) What is not normal/acceptable is to act impulsively on those thoughts. You can talk until you are blue in the face, you will not erase those urges. What you can do, however, is to educate that person in regards to what is socially acceptable behavior.

 

In conclusion, trying to apply Pollyanna techniques to a complex issue is a recipe for potential failure.

 

I leave you with THIS musical thought for consideration.

 

 

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T-Bone    459
On 10/4/2017 at 6:32 PM, rrobs said:

The quality of life of a society is ultimately determined by the thoughts that each individual in that society holds in their mind. Those thoughts in turn are dependant on the things each individual is told by sources outside of ourselves. That is basic to life. Someone telling you they love you fills your mind with positive thoughts. Should that same person tell you they hate you, your mind tends towards more negative thoughts.

 

The influence on our thoughts, and therefore our quality of life, by NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, Google News, et.al.  is nothing short of grossly underestimated. In fact, it would be fair to say it’s given no estimation whatsoever. But that doesn’t change the fact that 24/7 our minds are assaulted with words and images that definitely tend towards the things that make us full of anxiety, doubt, fear, and a general feeling of helplessness. That makes for a society with a low quality of life.

 

To reverse this each individual must change the diet upon which their mind feeds. Man’s philosophy, moral concepts, and their false religions are a poor diet indeed. All that unhealthy food  needs to be replaced by healthy food.

 

Matt 4:4,

 

But he (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

 

The devil had just asked Jesus, after having fasted for 40 days, to change the rocks into bread. Jesus could have thought, “Hey, that sounds like a great idea. I’m starving!” That would have ended the whole plan of redemption. Instead, he thought about something God said in his word. Matthew 4:4 is a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3 which Jesus undoubtedly thought about without ceasing. That and the entire Old Testament which he knew like the back of his hand. His mind was filled with thoughts from God’s word instead of man’s insane ideas of this life. Jesus rose from the dead, which is he exact opposite of the horror that daily fills the TV and computer monitors by the alphabet news agencies of this world.

 

To think about the word you must study it for yourself. The yourself part is key. Your Pastor, Priest, Imam, or Rabbi can give you ideas on what the scriptures say, but you must absolutely read and study them for yourself to make sure the things others tell you are true or not. That is the only way you can fill your mind with the thoughts of God which will enhance society rather than tearing it to pieces. There is not a law, policy, or practice that man can make that will have the desired results.

 

2Pet 1:3,

 

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

 

It is his divine power and his alone that gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. We can realize that power only by having a knowledge of God. It sure won’t come via the TV, computer screen, or radio. Only God tells us how life should be. If you really want to do something positive to change the course of our world, study the Bible and start believing the things it says instead of believing all you hear on CBS. With a scripture centered change of mind, the quality of your individual life will take a turn for the better. The more individuals that do that, the better life becomes for society as a whole.

 

 

On 10/13/2017 at 6:35 PM, spectrum49 said:

(SNIP)......And after that, you then propose "your solution" to this problem (which I've just demonstrated is NOT a problem to me personally) saying: "To reverse this each individual must change the diet upon which their mind feeds."

And just what is it you're trying to "reverse"? In context, it can only refer to (using your own words) "a society with a low quality of life." In other words, you're implying that it's possible to change society for the better...which actually sounds like an admirable endeavor. But (alas) this hope of yours is quite futile. Let me explain why I believe this to be true:

Underlying all of this is the crazy notion that "if enough individuals would stop feeding their minds on the negative media from the world and put on the positive message from the Word of God, then society will improve."

But sadly, there just aren't enough individuals to accomplish such a thing. Even if a MAJORITY of the world's population promoted things of a positive nature, that STILL wouldn't "reverse the trend". Why?

First of all, the only ones who COULD accomplish this (if it were even possible) would be those who trust in the TRUE God. Assuming this would be "the real Christians", what does Scripture answer to that? One example is: "Many are called, but few are chosen." Assuming you understand what's behind that statement, you KNOW we'll never have a majority in that regard, so you can forget that as "a possible solution to the ills of society".

But even that's a moot point when you merely consider this one verse: 2Tim 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (And please don't forget to also consider "the overall context" of that verse!)

Spiritually speaking, this describes the very nature of they who make up the VAST MAJORITY of the people on this planet. No matter what we do, society in general IS going to become worse and worse, both in numbers and in quality. And there's NOTHING you or I can possibly do to "reverse that trend".

And if you ever get to where you suppose you're succeeding in such a "worthy endeavor", then your mind is in direct opposition to what God has already declared to be the future of society as we know it. Surely, we understand that (eventually) ALL OF THIS will be replaced with "a new heaven and earth".

Concerning the rest of your original post (Matt 4:4 and 2Pet 1:3, with explanations as to how they relate to the matter at hand) --- all of that is little more than an attempt to support your premise that individuals can (as you said near the end) "do something positive to change the course of our world".

So, can we individuals have ANY impact on society whatsoever? YES! We can share the light of the Word with people and do our best to teach them how they might "think for themselves" and enjoy their lives here upon earth until Christ returns.

BUT! Can we reverse the trend in society from just getting worse and worse to somehow becoming better and better? Or are we ever going to "change the course of our world" and negate what God prophesied concerning its eventual destruction? Sadly, no!

And truthfully, I'm not sad about that one iota. Rather (knowing I've been "saved from the wrath to come") I'm quite ELATED!

Spectrum49, I enjoyed your thoughtful post - - lot’s of good points and thanks for going back to the first post that started this thread; like Rocky I may differ on some of what you covered  – which I’ll try to articulate while I also offer my two cents on the issues rrobs addressed in his thread-starter post.  Needless to say your post got me to review rrobs’  again – and to have a different approach with what I have to offer now.

 rrobs certainly picked a hot topic, especially so soon after the Las Vegas mass shooting – and jam-packed with a cross section of complex issues. In reviewing the post – I dwelled on a number of questions: As a Christian what should be my response to the shootings? As a society what should be our response? What should be the response of our government? Does the Bible offer any practical solutions to real-world problems?

I want to apologize in advance for jumping around a bit – but attempting to answer questions many thoughts run parallel…tandem…superimposed…weaving in and out of each other…running in the background then foreground…sorry but that is just the way I think when it comes to complex problem-solving where many things may have to work in concert. It probably annoys the $hit out of most folks…anyway…

As far as what’s been said about the need for each person  to change in order to start changing the world around them – I get that ! while I do believe my Christian faith is helping me to become a better person – I do NOT believe it makes me any better than anyone else. And to be upfront with you all – it’s probably from my 12 years of experience with a hypocritical, legalistic, pompous, manipulative, deceitful, exploitive supposedly Christian organization known as The Way International that I now am a little wary of any folks who claim they are Christian and talk a good walk and tout their faith as if it were a good housekeeping seal of approval and are dead set on sticking to their dogma. I’ve been ripped off financially, socially, emotionally, business-wise, academic-wise not only by upper leadership in TWI but even by so-called professing Christians not in TWI…I feel I need to say all that so you can understand where I’m coming from with the rest of my post.

== == == ==

In the big picture I’m of the opinion that  Romans 13  

is saying in God’s sovereignty it is his prerogative to deem earthly governments as a means to manage societies. that's one interpretation of it anyway...you could argue against that viewpoint and against using that to justify any form of government and I might even back down - perhaps I'm just  a wishy-washy theologian I dunno :biglaugh:…but hey, we’re all part of a fallen race and this is all God has to work with right now...it's one of the many things we've been entrusted with - and like many things it can be used properly...or abused.

Something that intrigues me about Romans 13 is that it does not specify that the authorities in power are or should be Christian. I’m cool with that (please see my previous comments  :rolleyes: ). We do not live in a theocracy – where priests or religious leaders rule in the name of God; our society is comprised of folks of various belief systems; but I believe in order for a government to work all citizens must find some common ground.

I think a faith in God had something to do with the founding of our country – as seen in The Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foudation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

I understand the common ground stated in The Declaration of Independence as being the unalienable rights and equality. I know some folks can harp on “God” being mentioned in it until they’re bonded-leather-blue in the face but I tend to think that might take away from what’s really important in that document….hint hint…it’s the people!

As a noble experiment our government…our society…newscasters…social media - must keep the conversation going about mass shootings…9 in a church…26 in an elementary school…49 in a nightclub…58 at a country music festival…I’m just mentioning the more recent ones  – and not to mention all the lesser known crimes / murders committed with a firearm.  mass shootings in America

When it comes to the prevalence of guns in our society  – I think of two things: you can’t put the genie back in the bottle – but maybe by making smart wishes we can corral it. Call me old fashion but I think government should try to honor the wishes of the people. Part of the answer to stop the shootings – or realistically, to make them more difficult to commit is going to be through legislature / our government – and will mean taking on the gun lobbyists among other things besides citizens on both sides of gun-control hashing things out…for starters….besides all the good guys (and gals :rolleyes: )  - that's  you and me - being ever vigilant.

I own several firearms. I have friends who are big into hunting. Throughout my career as a security technician there’s been times when I’ve been licensed to carry a firearm doing double-duty as a security officer as well. I’ve been around firearms most of my adult life. It’s no big deal to me…But a detail with the Las Vegas shooter totally mystifies me – he used several bump-stocks to enable near-fully automatic firepower. The shooter obtained that accessory legally. What is so mystifying to me is that the bump-stock is legal!

bump stock - is it legal ?

My question is – unless you’re military or law enforcement – what the hell do you need something that approximates a machine gun in rapid firing capacity for?!?! How did something like that get approved by the ATF? Years ago at a gun show I saw something similar – Hellfire Trigger System – and I think they’re still around  -

Hellfire Trigger System

Obviously as a society with our government “in tow” :biglaugh:    we need to look long and hard at our existing gun laws and procedures for a citizen obtaining a firearm, ammunition, accessories, going to gun ranges, hunting, etc.…Perhaps we will need to consider a major overhaul – similar to airport security evolving since 9/11. Honestly – security and safety is inconvenient if you haven’t realized that already.

Yeah there’s passages that indicate the world continues to get worse. But when I read verses like be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10) or endure hardships as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (II Timothy 2:3) – I’m thinking now is NOT the time to roll over and give up. We need the good guys (and gals :rolleyes: ) to stay tough !

One final thing I wanted to mention was to counter the bad rap rrobs was giving the news media. The news media helps keep me connected to the world in a number of ways and helps me prepare for what’s ahead. Like the Equifax hack…pain in the a$$ to hear about that – but the smart thing is to take the necessary steps to thwart the bad guys – so I had my accounts at the credit bureaus frozen for $10 each….I hear about home invasions in the news…so I have a firearm handy when I’m at home (but still keep it inaccessible to any kids around) – when I’m out , my pistol is with me and my other firearms at home are locked up and hidden.

You can look at the crimes and dangers on the news and let fear eat at you – or you can channel that fear into doing something smart about it...making the safety and security of you and your family a priority...get involved in your community to promote awareness and address security and safety concerns...be an involved citizen, let your elected officials know what you think - stay up on the issues and vote for change, following the dictates of your conscience....Proverbs 22:3 says,  A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences…. NLT 

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formatting and needed more time
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rrobs    3
18 hours ago, Rocky said:

Really? How could that have changed the outcome for any mass shooting perpetrator?

I'd suggest that there's a lot going on in the life of such a shooter that you seem to be massively unaware of. Also, that there's a lot going on in society that doesn't seem to factor into how you assess such situations.

I can not answer your question because my only source would be from the word. From what I can ascertain I don't think that would be acceptable to you. We'll just leave it to a difference of beliefs.

Of course there is a lot going on in the mind of any mass shooter. What made you think I didn't think that? I guess I just think God is more capable than you. Doesn't make me better, smarter, more godly, or anything else. Just seems to be the case. I don't think I've attached any negativity to you because of what you believe. At least not intentionally.

 

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rrobs    3
18 hours ago, Rocky said:

In case you may have been unsure, my post you quoted was not intended to suggest you should answer it or answer to me.

I never answered because of something I perceived you suggested I do. I just answered.

Yet, it seems you felt compelled to dismiss the points I made.

You said you don't like the Bible shoved down your throat. I was just answering to that.

I simply was affirming the post Spectrum49 made and contrasting it with how you started this thread (and how you have attempted to make most of your points on GSC).

I got that.

Spectrum49 cited scripture but importantly reflected on his understanding of those passages. His argument was scripture-based but his thought process was demonstrably different than yours... at least from how you present your arguments.

Got that also.

It will not be useful for you to dismiss this comment or my previous one. You seem to convince few, if any, people here with your approach.

I somehow don't think it will be any less useful if I did address all your points. The ones I have addressed have been met with total disagreement. Would you somehow change if I addressed each and every point? Have you addressed every point I've made? Don't think so. I don't hop all over you for not addressing some. At this point, I don't think there is an approach possible that would convince anybody. I'm not sitting here thinking, "ah, now the things I am writing are going to completely turn Rocky to my side." The only reason I'm writing is because I'm not smart enough to just let it drop and never come back to GSC. But there is some insidious pull social media has on my psyche (just heard a big thing on PBS to that effect). How about you? Why do you continue on an obviously pointless endeavour?

But if you don't want or need the insight. That's okay too.

If you go back I think you will find I have in fact conceded some of your points. I think I said I will keep them in mind next time I post. I think I said thanks.

 

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spectrum49    9

I've been out of town since my post on Friday evening. Upon returning, I've seen some interesting comments in this continuing discussion. I'll try to answer as best I can, and I'll even "open up a bit"!

For one thing, I noticed T-Bone apologized for having "taken us all hither and yon". Such things do tend to happen in forums such as this. But NO PROBLEM T-Bone! We LOVE your diversions at times, and pick up some "very interesting connecting slants" during the process, which are most refreshing!

Nevertheless, T-Bone did say (basically) that my post caused him to return to rrobs' original post and reply to it from a different angle. And as a result, I believe we'll be making more progress now!

rrobs:

Upon returning though, the first thing I did was laugh to myself at some of your recent remarks to me. (We BOTH mean no harm, and I believe ALL here understand that.) Here are some of those quotes:

"Right, I did not mean to start a fire-storm." [AND] "No argument, just discussion." [AND] "Sometimes I find myself in what I consider to be a discussion with someone that they considers an argument." (And that same tone seems "somewhat integrated" within your entire reply to me.)

What made me laugh though, was that these remarks seemed to be in response to Rocky's having called my Friday post an ARGUMENT, and you were simply clarifying some things for me --- to reassure me that "all was well". (Bless your heart.)

HOWEVER! It appears to me that you never clicked on the link he included which leads to its definition --- and assumed it was akin to "quarreling". (LMAO!!!) I beg you to simply click on that link and bone-up on the definition of "argument". Perhaps you'll laugh with me!

Of a truth, I perceive that (all along) we've NOT been "bickering back and forth." Although there HAVE been "differences of opinion" among the many posts by everyone here (which are to be expected) --- all has seemed quite civil indeed!

Now robbs, let me make myself quite clear: Concerning my first reply, I admit to having approached your OP from a "purely literal standpoint", as though I thought you meant everything exactly the way you worded it. And I'll also admit to having taken excess liberty along that same line (towards the extreme) to reinforce "my supposed standpoint".

SO: Please forgive me for having been obtuse, and "picking" at the way you presented the OP. My intent by that was merely to encourage you toward considering what you're saying "just a bit finer" before posting, in light of how it MIGHT be perceived by others.

Now (after long last), let me give a more appropriate response to your OP, reading between the lines to get at "the heart" of the matter.

Yes, something SHOULD be done concerning the recent Las Vegas shootings, and the like. And yes, it sure wouldn't hurt matters to promote good will by first keeping ourselves pure (as individuals) and then "spreading the Gospel" as you propose. Everything DOES have an affect toward either good or evil.

And yes, I'll admit to you that harsh words from certain people DO tend to have "some adverse affect" upon me at times, whether I like it or not (even if only in some small way) --- because I'm human. Yet, my ability to resist that continues to strengthen with each new stride I take upon the truths I glean --- not only from the Bible, but from "everywhere". (Yes..I said EVERYWHERE!)

So I really DO see the heart behind your OP after all. (And I have from the start.) And yes, I do believe that "more individuals banding together" can have a greater effect upon society. And it's true we cannot negate what will eventually happen to this earth; but in the meantime we can all still "do our part" to improve society as best we can, despite all which happens to the contrary.

BUT! (And this may be hard to fathom.) I would have you know that "the Word alone" (that is, teaching and sharing Scripture) is not a "cure all" by itself.

Consider Waysider's remark concerning people with "chemical imbalances". Have you ever tried to have an intelligent conversation with (or even heal!) a crazy person in a mental institution? It's just not likely you'll get the results you hope for --- unless you first have "specific guidance" from God himself.

Forgive me for being sarcastic, but I suppose the TWI would suggest casting out that "chemical imbalance devil spirit"; and if it didn't work...then either "the man just wasn't believing for deliverance", or the believer "just wasn't trying hard enough himself". How silly!

We live in a real world --- with real-life physical problems. And many times the solutions are NOT merely spiritual, but physical. And "the fix" is a practical one, based upon things which are learned from science, physics and chemistry, etc --- ALL of which God had designed himself, long ago!

The Bible itself doesn't contain detailed lectures on these professions like you would find in college textbooks. But I would have you to know that God himself endorses these things and stands behind them --- because (in the wide view) what lies behind these things are SPIRITUAL LAWS that align with the physical ones...which make them work!

SO: It not only behooves us to study the Scriptures, but to also learn what we can from NATURE as well. And that includes science (etc) because those things are actually in alignment and harmony with the spiritual things which lie "behind them", from which they are derived! Here's a simple related verse:

Ro 1:20 "For the invisible things [spiritual realities] of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being UNDERSTOOD by the things that are MADE, even his eternal power and Godhead..."

You'd be surprised what you could learn about the Bible by simply "looking behind" the things God made. Time fails me to explain...but let me simply say that what the sun does in the physical sense for the earth is what Jesus does in the spiritual sense for the Church! (Please forgive my lack of documentation here, for it's quite vast. Maybe I'll start a Topic of my own on that, as an example of this wonderful reality.)

What I'm saying rrobs is that "da Woid, da Woid, and nothing but da Woid" will just not fix things by itself. You need MORE than written words to accomplish things in this world. You also need the science, etc, which lies behind it!

OK, Mel...back to reality! 

T-Bone offered PRACTICAL and VIABLE solutions to the problems of society, by doing what we can to stay informed as to what's happening around us (via the media...it's not ALL corrupt, ya know!) and addressing those issues with our Representatives and Congressmen to adapt our laws accordingly, which (in the case at hand, for example) will at least diminish the ability (to some extent, anyway) for people to have weapons "they just don't need" for hunting and personal protection.

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Bolshevik    339

I also wonder about people in solitary confinement.

They're not getting The Word.

They're not getting The Media, either.

So is Nothing better than The Media?

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rrobs    3
9 hours ago, spectrum49 said:

BUT! (And this may be hard to fathom.) I would have you know that "the Word alone" (that is, teaching and sharing Scripture) is not a "cure all" by itself.

Consider Waysider's remark concerning people with "chemical imbalances". Have you ever tried to have an intelligent conversation with (or even heal!) a crazy person in a mental institution? It's just not likely you'll get the results you hope for --- unless you first have "specific guidance" from God himself.

Forgive me for being sarcastic, but I suppose the TWI would suggest casting out that "chemical imbalance devil spirit"; and if it didn't work...then either "the man just wasn't believing for deliverance", or the believer "just wasn't trying hard enough himself". How silly!

We live in a real world --- with real-life physical problems. And many times the solutions are NOT merely spiritual, but physical. And "the fix" is a practical one, based upon things which are learned from science, physics and chemistry, etc --- ALL of which God had designed himself, long ago!

The Bible itself doesn't contain detailed lectures on these professions like you would find in college textbooks. But I would have you to know that God himself endorses these things and stands behind them --- because (in the wide view) what lies behind these things are SPIRITUAL LAWS that align with the physical ones...which make them work!

SO: It not only behooves us to study the Scriptures, but to also learn what we can from NATURE as well. And that includes science (etc) because those things are actually in alignment and harmony with the spiritual things which lie "behind them", from which they are derived! Here's a simple related verse:

Ro 1:20 "For the invisible things [spiritual realities] of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being UNDERSTOOD by the things that are MADE, even his eternal power and Godhead..."

You'd be surprised what you could learn about the Bible by simply "looking behind" the things God made. Time fails me to explain...but let me simply say that what the sun does in the physical sense for the earth is what Jesus does in the spiritual sense for the Church! (Please forgive my lack of documentation here, for it's quite vast. Maybe I'll start a Topic of my own on that, as an example of this wonderful reality.)

What I'm saying rrobs is that "da Woid, da Woid, and nothing but da Woid" will just not fix things by itself. You need MORE than written words to accomplish things in this world. You also need the science, etc, which lies behind it!

I'm only responding to part of your post because, for the most part, I totally agree with what you said. But, there are some things I'm wondering about concerning the above part which I did quote. On one hand I think you are absolutely correct. There are chemical imbalances that we can't seem to cure with the word and nothing but the word. And yes, we (excuse the "we". if it doesn't apply to you, then change it to "I") have made pretty lame excuses when we can't cast out what we think are devil spirits. But what about Jesus, Peter, or Paul? They did not seem to resort to drugs/therapy to cure someone with mental problems? Jesus said we'd do the works he did (and then some). So is science the missing ingredient to our knowledge of  "life and godliness" or is it the nemesis, man's logic/wisdom holding us back from believing the word? 2 Peter 1:3 doesn't mention science, just the scriptures. But then again, does true science align with the Bible? TWI said so, but I've not seen it for myself in the Bible. I'm open on that if anybody knows. What then is "true" science? Does not science dictates we give drugs to cure a mental imbalance? Is that what the Bible says though? Is that what Jesus thought? I tend to think not, but that is just from my life experiences and how they affect my believing the Bible. I think these are good questions. Hopefully they will start an discussion.

Take care...

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spectrum49    9

rrobs:

Let me say that I consider you as one amazing individual! Your sense of "fair play" is quite evident. You also exhibit a trait which I deem most admirable, which lies behind your obvious respect of the following: Prov 18:13 "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

Surely, we all put forth our best effort when beginning a Topic, and make our points as best we can "up front", just as though we're "totally correct". (After all, we DO need to sound convincing, don't we?) But the difference between you (I include myself as well) and "some others" is that they ABSOLUTELY refuse to budge from their positions --- no matter what!

Yet, underlying our "adamancy" is a sense of meekness toward changing our minds when a point is made which "trumps" our already fairly sound and logical mindset. And we (delightfully) concede. And in doing so, we're assured of going from good to "even better". So in the long run, we just cannot lose!

And there's no disappointment within that, because it matters NOT who actually "won the debate"; for we're quite content, being better off than before. (And if something "even finer" comes along, we'll gladly change yet again!) Such are you and I.

I'll answer your reply in two parts: (And please forgive my long-windedness, as I do admit having a "short suit" in being concise.)

(1) The Word:

You made a good point about Jesus, Peter and Paul. It does seem rather mysterious as to "their amazing percentage of success", doesn't it? And this seems especially so concerning Jesus himself who healed whole crowds at times, which seems akin to "our spiritual ability" to simply enter a hospital and (basically) "put all of the doctors completely out of business". (Personally, I would GRIEVE for "their instant inability" to continue providing for their wives and children. Ha!)

And knowing that Jesus (on occasion) even "healed people from a distance", one might wonder why ANYONE (except "infidels" of course, lol!) would be sick of anything (even of a simple cold) while he was here upon earth!

As I said before, I'm rather convinced that "specific revelation" is required to heal without resorting to secular means --- which obviously work, do they not? Even TWI used that as a justifiable means, calling it "3rd aid". (I do hope you understand what they meant by that, for even VP endorsed that concerning "why he wore glasses".)

As for Jesus' doing that "for everyone present" at times, I suspect that such things are BEYOND our present doing, except to say that (for God's purposes) he allowed that as an indicator of our AWESOME future potential, and not that we would actually "do the same" today. Remember this: What Jesus accomplished was a direct result of his "ALWAYS doing the father's will".

Could you ever THINK to approach such perfection in this life? If so, I'd consider aspiring to such a thing as most foolish --- and amounting to little more than "a silly pipe dream"! Yet, The Way (by their convoluted and ridiculous notion of "operating all 9 all the time") would have their followers suppose they could!

And yet, there remain some who actually claim to be doing such things! I speak of "faith healers", who (for the most part) I consider charlatans, which (for brevity's sake) I dare not elaborate on why I consider it so. Be that as it may.

To an extent, Paul also seemed to be on that level: Acts 19:11-12 reports, "God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out."

But later on, Paul (instead of having Timothy claim healing by faith) advised him to "drink a little wine for his frequent stomach problems" (1Tim 5:23). And later, he also wrote: "Trophimus I left sick at Miletus." (2Tim 4:20). So then, why didn’t Paul heal him if he was still doing the miraculous works of Jesus? And in his latter years (although it would have freed him for a much wider ministry) it's most curious why Paul never bothered to "claim deliverance" from prison!

We are then left only to wonder just what these "greater works than Jesus" may truly have been. Jesus continues (in Jn 14:12) stating that THE REASON for this ability of ours is simply: "because I go unto my Father".

According to Heb 8:1b, we see that Jesus is NOW at God's throne. And in Heb 8:6 we read: "But now hath he (JC) obtained a MORE EXCELLENT ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a BETTER covenant, which was established upon BETTER promises." (ie: via you and I, because of our ability to operate the manifestations of the gift of holy spirit)

Consider Peter: Through his preaching on Pentecost alone (Acts 2ff) 3,000 were born again, which is likely more than Jesus converted during his entire ministry. (And even the awesome miracle of "the new birth" in itself seems "a greater work" than Jesus ever performed, does it not?

Generalizing, our collective works these days are certainly greater in number and in geographic extent than Jesus did (during only "a year or so") in merely one small part of the world. And consider modern day "revivals": I suppose some of these alone would cause even Peter to marvel at the sheer NUMBERS of people who become "born again" during these meetings!

Well, friend: What more can I say to conclude my "endless ranting"? Despite having the "same spiritual ability" as Jesus Christ, let it suffice that (in this life) we shall NEVER even approach his "100% record" of success. (And even what little we do is through him anyway!)

However, I often wonder: "To just what extent shall we actually ACHIEVE such a level later on (at the bema and beyond) once we don THE REST of our inheritance?" (ie: the "fullness" of holy spirit, as opposed to the "mere token" we have already --- see Eph 1:14)

(2) Science:

You're obviously seeking "proof" as to how science might possibly align with Scripture. I affirm that (if one is open-minded) many "subtle hints" may be gleaned from the Word of God concerning that.

Although I would like to include that here, I just realized how far "off topic" my remarks have become during this reply. So instead, I plan to begin a New Topic along that line. I'll post it in the Doctrinal Forum and entitle it: "What does Jesus Christ have in common with the sun?"

I'm not quite sure just when I'll have that finished; but once I do, I invite you to be among the first to "join in".

(And of course, I'm looking forward to your reply concerning THIS post. Peace...)

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