I myself am agnostic, but I have a question for religious people. I am looking for responses from theists only for the sake of getting perspective, atheist’s answers are pretty simple to predict. However this is my question: when did God stop contacting humans? as in, why is it that there is all these stories of God showing himself to prophets such as Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, etc. as well as encounters with angels, miracles etc. that are so well accepted to have happened from reading the bible, quran, etc., but since then there hasn’t been any sort of encounter? there has always been war, corruption, and bad things happening in the world so i don’t believe human nature has actually changed, at at this point in time with the explosion of technology and the rapid growth of the modern world, isn’t now and recent times most deserving of some sort of real physical contact we hear of in these biblical texts? what makes the times expressed in these holy texts the only times people were explicitly exposed to these divine encounters? where are the prophets of today? If you understand what I’m getting at, please share your perspective.
I’m a christian – pretty fundamental one, actually. :)
To your question about physical contact: Are you really sure there is no physical contact? I’ve heard hundreds of stories about miracles from the latest century. There are many people who claim to have been in contact with God in modern times. You should definetly be suspicios about these people though (!!!!!!!!) Personally I’m a believer in Ellen G White (1800 and something, not really sure). I believe we live in the end-times and if you study the ancient texts, there are many prophercies concerning this specific age. And does divine contact really have to be physical?
For lack of a better word I would call myself Christian only for the fact that I see the logic in the teachings about love by Jesus and this leads me to trust his judgement on certain other matters of faith, like the Ressurection.
The way that I see things is very different to most religious people. Religious people say God is not a concept and yet they completely treat “him” as such. To think that you find God through concepts is the most ridiculous concept of all. The reason people are not in touch with God is because they have a conceptual identity, that concept is all a person is, when the real truth is that there is so much more to us than that.
Concept is a tool and it is dynamically powerful, it has an important place in our lives, but it has always been intended to be subject to us, NOT us being subject to it, but unfortunately most people do not see this distinction and so never really see God.
As I came up with that philosophy, I realized that it is taught in the Bible, but interpretations consistently miss it.
I belong to the ahmadiyya muslim community, and I think you should really see this.
We believe Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmed of Qadian to be the prophet of God, who came in India just 120years ago and He laid the foundation of this community. I can answer further questions if you’re interested.
The main principle I adhere to is that the existence, or non, of God is just a curiousity. It may be important as far as everything, but here on the ground what is important is our conduct. Consistently concepts become more important to us than logical living. We protect and liberate constructive relationships and we control to focus destructive foces toward purpose. That is extremely general and subjective but it is a spirit of deed.
What we need is impartiality of connotation. When you can identify bias in phrasing you can then use the duality system of reason to translate that phrasing to logic. Some people are capable of this, most are not, and so you need translators as mediums or moderators between communicators.
(As you see, no Christian in the world would agree with my conclusions, so it is inappropriate to call myself Christian)
@arona2662, The problem is that people interpret those ‘holy books’ in their own advantage and in their own meanings. That is why institutions like the Christian Church (and the likes in the other religions) have become malafide corrupt institutions which have been indoctrinating, manipulating and cheating us for centuries.
Unfortunately most people mix the concept religion/God with Church, which is a major flaw and bias (but very understandable though). Because most people who talk about religion/God do not know shit about what they are talking about, rather they keep on repeating what their peers are telling them, there is a big misconception of certain topics/concepts.
In essence, (almost) ALL religion say the same things like:
– Be good for others
– Live a life full of compassion
– Do not kill
– Do not steal
Once again, a LOT of texts in the ‘holy books’ are misinterpreted and therefore extremists say that they kill in name of God or Allah or whatever.
BULLFUCKINGSHIT. If I say I kill somebody in name of Barack Obama, will he be the one to blame ?? Of course not!
So why is it that when people kill in name of God or Allah, God or Allah are the ones to blame?
Neither God nor Allah nor any other Godlike ‘concept’ is some kind of ‘creature’ as we imagine it to be. We define it as it is like that, because that makes things easier for humans to understand, and we like to understand things.
God, for me, is everything, the universe, the balance, consciousness, the mind, whatever! Everything that which is interconnected with each other. Obviously this is a point to discuss about, but before discussing the things you are talking about, it is important to have a clear understanding and consensus about the meaning of the word ‘God’.
Otherwise it is pointless to talk about it, since people will talk along each other, meaning different things, talking about different things, but trying to convince each other from the same.
If I am convincing you that black is black and you are convincing me that orange is orange, who is right? Neither? Or both?
@filipek, Classic deflection of liability. It makes me laugh (in the sadest possible way) that people say God is all powerful and yet he needs some insignificant flawed human to fight his battles. Big contradiction there.
I think the point of religion is for each of us to introspect and rationalize appropriate behaviour by logic, and it is not a bad thing to offer and share any insight you have. But at what point does your aquired insight inspire wrath toward others? This is an obvious sign of ineffective introspection, hatred for non-complience. You have been granted the right to believe what you will, then decide others don’t have that right?
Even the most offensive rationalé is valid until it demands obedience and violates justified harm.
@trek79, “I think the point of religion is for each of us to introspect and rationalize appropriate behaviour by logic, and it is not a bad thing to offer and share any insight you have” I agree. It is not bad at all, on the contrary, there is nothing wrong with sharing knowledge, as long as you do it without selfish interest, but rather to enlighten and teach others about the beauty of life so to say. We are all equal, our ego’s make us think differently unfortunately.
” But at what point does your aquired insight inspire wrath toward others?”
That is for the others to decide, how they will take the information they receive. Why judging? Information is simply information, as long as one can grow with it, what is wrong with that?
“You have been granted the right to believe what you will, then decide others don’t have that right?”
Everybody has the right to believe what they want, I am not implying that it is not like that, as long as you respect others believe and others do the same, then there is no problem.
@filipek, Yes, good points. I don’t know if sharing knowledge for selfish interest is bad though, yes it is deceptive to those who do not recognize it as such, manipulates those of weak introspection, but ideals are just that and people have a right to them regardless of bias. But I do see what you mean in the sense that manipulation is a method of stealing the right of people to believe what they will.
We can learn the greatest lessons from our errors of judgement. Me, for example, I could not be so determined in my own evluations if I were not so manipulated in the past. It is an energy transfer, so to speak, perhaps a person will never realize their conditioning but those who do are unbreakable in their revelation.
@trek79, With selfish interest I meant sharing your knowledge and ‘harming’ others in some kind of way by doing so. I agree that there is nothing wrong with selfish interest, as long as you are not harming others (directly or indirectly).
You can also manipulate people with the right intentions, in help of their personal growth for example, it still remains manipulation but used in a good way though. Although I think that it may not be called manipulation anymore (?).
I agree that we can learn a lot from our errors of judgement. I too would not have the knowledge I have right now when I would not be manipulated or lied to, but I do not think that is the only way to come to the place where I am right now.
It is difficult to say though, since you cannot live two lives at the same time, and therefore you cannot compare. Anyway, I am grateful for everything that happens, no matter what, because it has some kind of meaning for me. I put a label on it whether I find it a ‘bad’ or a ‘good’ thing, but situations are just situations, there is no duality in that. It simply happens, nothing more, nothing less.
@filipek, Definitely, I could never claim my current understanding is a result of being manipulated in the past but I only mean that now that I see the manipulations of the past that I had been subject to, I could never fall for again. “Fool me once…”
“BULLFUCKINGSHIT. If I say I kill somebody in name of Barack Obama, will he be the one to blame ?? Of course not!
So why is it that when people kill in name of God or Allah, God or Allah are the ones to blame?”
Because it’s easy to blame something that doesn’t exist. Oops.
@beyond, It is not a matter of existence or not, it is a matter of belief. Do you believe in love? What if I tell you that love does not exist? As I told, is like I am discussing that black is black and you are discussing that white is white, we both are right.
Can you proof to me that love exists? Neither can I that God, but I do believe in my concept of God, and I do believe in my concept of love
@filipek, I mean that you can’t put a blame on a belief, it’s not going to take responsibility on its own, because it’s an idea, it’s easier to blame God than another human being, because God isn’t going to reply, which leaves the person at ease like he’s not the one causing the problem, but God. That’s what I mean.
“You can also manipulate people with the right intentions, in help of their personal growth for example, it still remains manipulation but used in a good way though. Although I think that it may not be called manipulation anymore”
I disagree with this, no matter what its manipulation and who are we to judge what is in the best interest of other people?
To answer the OP, I was raised in the LDS church which gets a lot of unnecessary crap from people that don’t understand it. But they are Christian and believe there is a prophet on Earth right now and that people can personally receive revelation from God.
@arona2662, Miracles do exist, I’ve seen it myself with my own bare eyes, but then they say it is not real while I experienced it myself, and those atheists tell me it is not real, while I KNOW it was really real. And I talked to people that experienced supernatural things, but the fact is now these days people don’t want to believe or they have to experience themselves before they believe, while I already believed in the supernatural before I experienced it, and that didnt influence my perception, it only opened a way to acknowledge something that is already there. It is the people that make contact to the divine, the contact is always there the other way around, but people block themselves through irrelevant worldly matters, so they can not open up to life’s miracles. I do acknowledge this world is troublesome for people, but people make life hard for themselves and each other and other people suffer from world injustice. I believe people are capable of high moral nature to act as was meant according to religion, so people can also take responsibility for their own actions, I don’t see the need for physical contact to prove my religion, if people themselves are guided or misguided. It comes from inside this feeling of believe.
I am sort of in the middle, and I don’t mean sitting on the fence. I can’t say I believe or disbelieve in God although I sense that God is somewhere around the corner. I have no desire to influence anyone.
We all need a way to explain the world. Even atheists have to explain it and that is mostly through science although science is also never-ending it seems (to me).
Usually we explain the world the way we want to see it and culture and tradition and powerful leaders help to mold our beliefs (I mean “our” in a general sense). Whether people still hear God or whether it was always a matter of just hearing voices, no one knows.
There are no more prophets. I belong to a church who believes in mimicking as closely as possible the new testament church. The bible is the only doctrine and God and Jesus are the only authority. Based on what the bible says explicitly and not what people interpret the bible to say, or what they assume the bible says because they feel that makes sense, there are no more prophets or demons. It says so in Zachariah 13:1-3. “1 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 2 “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. 3 And if anyone still prophesies, his father and mother, to whom he was born, will say to him, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the LORD’s name.’ When he prophesies, his own parents will stab him.”(NIV) Now obviously we don’t literally kill people for prophesying these days for the same reason we no longer follow most of the laws of Moses. When Jesus came to Earth he established new rules that are up to each individual to follow, and for God to enforce on the judgement day. But in case you didn’t understand the passage clearly, The fountain of David opening is Jesus’ death. Jesus was a descendant of the King David. The fountain is symbolic of Jesus’s blood. It also says in Galatians 3:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” This should help you to understand that the fountain of David is not only to save inhabitants of Israel, but any human who wants to be a child of God. God no longer contacts us in the same way as in the biblical times because we now have the bible. We are to go on faith that the words in the bible are truth and that they come from God. He Directly showed himself to old testament Jews, and through Jesus, new testament Jews and Gentiles so that they could leave a record of these events for people today. He reveals himself through the things he has already done for humanity and if we obey his commandments and read the bible, while also thinking about life and existence logically, it isn’t hard at all to feel close to God and to grasp the concept that he is in fact the creator and Father. It isn’t hard for me anyway.
-Just for knowledge sake, no I was not raised in church. Not a real one anyway. When I was a kid my parents were baptists, and baptists don’t follow the bible as a doctrine. They are told in conventions what they must teach and the founder of the religion was not God. It was a European man living in the 1600s. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I started going to a church of Christ. Not a denominational church. Just followers of Christ who study the Bible. I hope that will boost your confidence in my biblical knowledge and that the knowledge I’m sharing with you wasn’t interpreted by some denominational clergy, but Is actually quoted from the bible.
@morgancole95, “Based on what the bible says explicitly and not what people interpret the bible to say, or what they assume the bible says because they feel that makes sense…”
The Bible itself IS an interpretation. Isn’t it? Im not saying its wrong or right, Im just saying if its a 1500 year old writing collection of 40 authors, I imagine a lot of assuming and interpreting.