Zoltar

Cleveland, GA

#123 Nov 30, 2012
Normal Joe wrote:
There is no God!
Churches are nothing but glorified money scammers, they could care less about you but will forgive anything you do, if you give 10% of your income.
They prey on the poor and insecure stupid people.
There is no God? Are you holding that belief with 100% certainty?

One day, around dusk, you step outside and breathe in fesh mountain air. The Sun is setting and is casting brilliant orange over the cloud draped mountains. You can hear birds as they begin to settle in for the night. A flight of Canadian geese flys overhead on their way back to Lake Nottely, honking loudly and adding to the abiance of the moment. When all of a sudden and out of nowhere, BAM! A bolt of lightning knocks you on your a-s. Wisps of smoke spiral upward from your body now resembling an over-cooked pork chop. Would you then believe that there could be a God?

Now, I do agree with your feelings as relates to churches. To me they are seriously under-utilized assets that have become money pits. God and churches are not one in the same.
Informed Opinion

Naples, FL

#124 Nov 30, 2012
Zoltar wrote:
<quoted text>There is no God? Are you holding that belief with 100% certainty?

One day, around dusk, you step outside and breathe in fesh mountain air. The Sun is setting and is casting brilliant orange over the cloud draped mountains. You can hear birds as they begin to settle in for the night. A flight of Canadian geese flys overhead on their way back to Lake Nottely, honking loudly and adding to the abiance of the moment. When all of a sudden and out of nowhere, BAM! A bolt of lightning knocks you on your a-s. Wisps of smoke spiral upward from your body now resembling an over-cooked pork chop. Would you then believe that there could be a God?

Now, I do agree with your feelings as relates to churches. To me they are seriously under-utilized assets that have become money pits. God and churches are not one in the same.
Great post.

I have to believe God, who obviously by definition has important things with which to concern himself, would be the slightest bit interested in what name we call Him or Her, how we "worship" Him or Her, or which parts of the Bible, Koran, or whatever we take as literal or allegorical.

Hard to believe that God doesn't find such fixation on triviality amusing, or annoying.

By the way, if the Fightin Irish were to play the Dawgs, on which sideline would God sit ? So far, this year, the Catholics seem to have the one true religion, and the rest of us got some splaining to do.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#125 Nov 30, 2012
Zoltar, without God there would be no breathe of fresh air, no lake and no Zoltar.

Both Zoltar and Informed Opinion are entitled to their fleshly and flip opinions that they can put other names on the creator, God and make jokes even compare things to football.

Both of you are flip but I think it has been stated on Topix that every knee will bow. It could be in an emergency room where a family member or yourself hangs on to life. It could be that moment of impact when your transportation to the lake or a sports outing takes place as two examples. I wish you luck in your endeavors but most won't fall for it. Not everyone that believes in God goes to a church.
John

Dawsonville, GA

#126 Nov 30, 2012
Laurel Wood wrote:
John: I used the word spirituality because you had hinted of starting your own following and although probably not "new age" it is a steering away from existing churches. By the way the congregations are smaller now because there has been a huge falling away from what once existed in church life. You really are not something new; your concept of church starting has been around for eons. If you have a board of trustees or board of good ole folks you have egos and self in place. Renting a facility, building from the ground up or using your kitchen table begins the process of church starting.
Many early churches were started as you presented in your post. All started out small and some from a small group that pulled away from another for grievances or as I mentioned "self".Some get started because they want women to have their say and believe me they will and hardly stop.The mega group churches have small groups because otherwise you would never get to know anyone. It replaces Sunday School as we once knew it and also allows coffee gatherings and other social grouping.
You know church life and it does not matter about denomination preference. Your knowledge gives you just the right amount of wanting to project your views on others. That has been around for years. We are all equal in God's eyes and that is universal. There is one God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and if that is presented then the shape or size of a building or non presence of matters. You could meet on the top of Blood Mountain but what is inside and your eternal preparation makes one closer to Heaven
Let's take one thought at a time.

"I used the word spirituality because you had hinted of starting your own following and although probably not "new age" it is a steering away from existing churches." Hunnn?

I'm not trying to establish my own following. I am a Christ Follower.

I attend a church where the pastor is "ordained" by the Baptist Chruch. I didn't start it and it has been in existence for several years, now.

The congergration consist of Gracefilled Catholics, Baptist, and other "Churches." I'm not new age.

I'm not starting a "new Church". Church (ekklesia) was established over 2000 years ago. There is one-God, one-Church, and one-Gospel. What we try to do is to be the Church by being outwardly focused in the community, instead of inwardly focused.

As far as a denomination, I'm Baptist because I believe in the priesthood of the believer and I don't believe infant baptism. I fellowship with all believers and non-believers. Ekklesia is where two or more are gathered and Chist is in our mist.

The Baptist Faith and Message (XI. Evangelism and Missions)

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Source: http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#127 Nov 30, 2012
John, I don't get the "hunnn? Your congregation is great a coming together of many denominations or used to be. If all are like minded in worshipping Jesus Christ that can be good. I think most churches are outwardly focused even the independent churches. Missionary work is good but I believe in and support missions on the USA soil. We need to learn to take care of our own first then branch out. The fields are white but few workers according to the Bible. I am very familiar with the website. You are doing a good work.
John

Dawsonville, GA

#128 Nov 30, 2012
Laruel Wood, a better discription of our congergation would be A Church of Misfits

I had rather worship among athiest than being in a congregation with like minded people. To follow Jesus, you have go out into the world. It has been my experience that most churches keep running their congregation off.

The only way to follow Jesus is living in the world.

The purpose of Church is to create disciples.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#129 Dec 1, 2012
John wrote:
Laruel Wood, a better discription of our congergation would be A Church of Misfits
I had rather worship among athiest than being in a congregation with like minded people. To follow Jesus, you have go out into the world. It has been my experience that most churches keep running their congregation off.
The only way to follow Jesus is living in the world.
The purpose of Church is to create disciples.
Admirable work if you can reach the athiests which is what Jesus loves; to win souls. Are they a great many athiests in your immediate world? I believe this: you have to be in the world but not of the world (in other words we must set ourselves apart and send a message of Jesus not Satan, also the Bible states to flee from temptation or evil. I am sure secularly an athiest can perform their work, interact with immediate family, some others and perhaps do good Samaritan works. However, the inner motivation of their heart possesses evil in my opinion if they try to get others to be an athiest and the Bible says Hell will be their home. I sincerely hope that your life makes a difference in the lives that really need to know Jesus Christ. The church is God's house but within it are a few people that have bad influence and motivation. One person can start a division and one person like you can start a belief in the non-believers. I assume you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and at this time when we celebrate Jesus' birth by God, Holy Spirit,Mary and Joseph it will be easy for you to start.
John

Dawsonville, GA

#130 Dec 1, 2012
Larual Wood:

Anyone who has surfed the web, knows that there is a growing sentiment of hatred towards religion. They see religion, not the life of Christ within each of us (Church). Jesus didn't come to establish another religion.

As for your assumption the I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I'm a Christ Follower. I couldn't follow Him, if I didn't accept Him.

A follower of Christ influences the world around them. Specifically, Jesus said that we are to be salt (a preservative) and light (guidance). Those that expect Christians to bury their heads in the sand or hide their beliefs beneath the floorboards have a fundamental misunderstanding of our calling. Matthew 5:17-20
sonny

Clayton, GA

#131 Dec 1, 2012
I wrote this several years ago

Have you been there? I only discovered it several years ago, and it has been in existence since the late thirties. The park (at Lake Winfield Scott) has a large pavilion with a rock fireplace at one end and overlooks the lake. Several heavy wood picnic tables are under its roof. The roof has no ceiling, and is made out of heavy wooden beams, that are formed into crude trusses. The floor is poured concrete. It is the ideal pavilion that one would expect in a national park, and I am sure that it has hosted many family reunions and gatherings. This setting (on a mountain lake) rain or shine is surly one of Gods better creations. However, on Sunday mornings, in the summer since1938; at 10;30 AM it goes through a transformation.
The conversion is simple. The floor is swept, a two by four cross is hung above the mantel on the fireplace, two candles and a vase with flowers are placed on the mantel along with a small basket placed on a pillar for offerings. Several boxes of song books are brought each Sunday and some crude wood benches (that were made by some of the members) have to be slid into place. A small podium is set in place for our present Methodist pastor, Fred Whitley. The podium has to be placed carefully, for a family of swallows has been building their nest for several years directly above what would be the best place for the podium. This small effort changes a picnic pavilion into a Church each Sunday, that has been known for decades as “The Church Without Walls.”
Fred is the retired campus minister and religious professor for Young Harris College, and he has been giving weekly sermons here during the summer for 29 years. Although I am Baptist and was baptized at age 9, this picnic pavilion is my Church on Sundays and I feel closer to my maker than I ever have in my life.
You ask why? Maybe part of it is the swallows or butterflies that fly in and out of the building as the services are being conducted. Possibly the view and peacefulness of the setting has a lot to do with it.
The people that come here on Sundays are best described as casual, for a lot of the transient campers come here along with cabin owners in the area. Some Young Harris students make the trek across the mountain, but mostly people are drawn here from everywhere. If I had to describe them with a single word it would be “Christians.” The services are, for sure, non-denominational; for every Sunday everyone stands and tells where they are from and what denomination they are. I have heard as high as eleven different religions on one Sunday. There is no bickering about which religion is best and I think that is one of its unique features. As Reverend Whitley emphasized (one Sunday, in his sermon)“We are all one body under God.”
The only donations that we are encouraged to contribute to is for,“Crop Walk,”(A world service organization that feeds hungry people). The offering basket is not passed around and stuck under your nose; you are just told that it is placed on the pillar for you to contribute, if you want. The church is sponsored by, The United Methodist Church of Blairsville. The drive over, early in the morning, is most breath-taking and beautiful. The parking fee is waved during church hours. I challenge you to check it out, you might become an addict like my wife and I. Sonny
Bears Way

Hollywood, FL

#132 Dec 1, 2012
As a ex Catholic, I believe in God. I don't believe in the man made God and all of man's misconceptions. The bible is another fiction novel written by who knows who.

One thing that bothers me is the taxfree statis of all the churches. They should pay at least ten percent state and federal income tax. They waste money just like our government. I play golf with a local Baptist pastor , he drives a new lease Mercedes, has a open debit card directlly linked to the church, lives in a 4500 sq foot home paid for by the church. Enough said

I am a good family man, teach by example, and support all my elders who need it. When it is my turn to be helped, i hope the world is healthy financially and morally.
rachel

Jefferson, GA

#133 Dec 1, 2012
sonny wrote:
I wrote this several years ago
Have you been there? I only discovered it several years ago, and it has been in existence since the late thirties. The park (at Lake Winfield Scott) has a large pavilion with a rock fireplace at one end and overlooks the lake. Several heavy wood picnic tables are under its roof. The roof has no ceiling, and is made out of heavy wooden beams, that are formed into crude trusses. The floor is poured concrete. It is the ideal pavilion that one would expect in a national park, and I am sure that it has hosted many family reunions and gatherings. This setting (on a mountain lake) rain or shine is surly one of Gods better creations. However, on Sunday mornings, in the summer since1938; at 10;30 AM it goes through a transformation.
The conversion is simple. The floor is swept, a two by four cross is hung above the mantel on the fireplace, two candles and a vase with flowers are placed on the mantel along with a small basket placed on a pillar for offerings. Several boxes of song books are brought each Sunday and some crude wood benches (that were made by some of the members) have to be slid into place. A small podium is set in place for our present Methodist pastor, Fred Whitley. The podium has to be placed carefully, for a family of swallows has been building their nest for several years directly above what would be the best place for the podium. This small effort changes a picnic pavilion into a Church each Sunday, that has been known for decades as “The Church Without Walls.”
Fred is the retired campus minister and religious professor for Young Harris College, and he has been giving weekly sermons here during the summer for 29 years. Although I am Baptist and was baptized at age 9, this picnic pavilion is my Church on Sundays and I feel closer to my maker than I ever have in my life.
You ask why? Maybe part of it is the swallows or butterflies that fly in and out of the building as the services are being conducted. Possibly the view and peacefulness of the setting has a lot to do with it.
The people that come here on Sundays are best described as casual, for a lot of the transient campers come here along with cabin owners in the area. Some Young Harris students make the trek across the mountain, but mostly people are drawn here from everywhere. If I had to describe them with a single word it would be “Christians.” The services are, for sure, non-denominational; for every Sunday everyone stands and tells where they are from and what denomination they are. I have heard as high as eleven different religions on one Sunday. There is no bickering about which religion is best and I think that is one of its unique features. As Reverend Whitley emphasized (one Sunday, in his sermon)“We are all one body under God.”
The only donations that we are encouraged to contribute to is for,“Crop Walk,”(A world service organization that feeds hungry people). The offering basket is not passed around and stuck under your nose; you are just told that it is placed on the pillar for you to contribute, if you want. The church is sponsored by, The United Methodist Church of Blairsville. The drive over, early in the morning, is most breath-taking and beautiful. The parking fee is waved during church hours. I challenge you to check it out, you might become an addict like my wife and I. Sonny
I never knew that...how remarkable!!!I have traveled that way many times as a child, and even now, as an adult, in my late 30's...I attend (when possible) a little white church.But sometimes people annoy me...telling myself and my children that we should be more like the deacons or pastor or sunday school teacher,when they their selves have skeletons that I know of and I am quite sure many I know nothing of...or how some people think they make ALL decisions for the entire congregation.
rachel

Jefferson, GA

#134 Dec 1, 2012
Sonny:
I never knew that...that is GREAT!!!I attend a small white church where the sunday offering is lucky to hit $100..but sometimes the people within annoy me. Telling myself and my boys that we should strive to be like the deacons or sunday teachers or the pastor.When they themselves have skeletons some are known and I am sure some unknown..Or the one person makes decisions for the entire congregation...Where I am told I do not qualify to be a sunday school teacher because my husband has been married before(NOT me, but him)but I am qualified to scrub the toilets!!I have not been in several sundays(I work a couple of hours on Sunday,and take the boys along)so we usually get home around 9:30a.m., last couple of times I have gone we try to get there for the 11:00 preaching but it has been said god was working so preaching was already half way finished.

Maybe it is just me--down in a valley, trying to find a mountaintop..By the way I told my children to strive to be like no one but their selves,and they will find what they seek!
blairsville devil

Zephyrhills, FL

#135 Dec 1, 2012
I just had coversation with my cousin Leroy Jenkins.Some how he learned that I had been posting on this forum. He described north ga as hillybilly heaven.I asked him what he ment by that and his answer went something like this.It is heaven to us preachers of the fictional book ,the bible and the mythical chump jesus.He said that a fool is born every half second and that they all seem to reach the holy land of north ga,he told me that he really enjoys all the money the fools give him each Sunday to spend on his high style living ,to include all the skanky women he meets at the bars and gambling houses,such as Vegas.he says that he intends to settle down in a backwards town where most of the people were ignorant to what is happening on the remainder of this planet.He already knows that union county is loaded with sheep just waiting to be fleeced.He wants to be the head crook of the first baptist church because that is where the most dummies and gullible people are.HE made me the offer of being assistant flim flam artist if I would let him use my house there as headquarters for his operations.I will have to consider his offer and in the meantime I am studying the bible to be able to scam all the hillbillies and jills.A fool is born every second and he is soon parted with his money and the Blairsville devil intends to get my share.There is no more nice Blairsville Devil

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#136 Dec 1, 2012
John wrote:
Larual Wood:
Anyone who has surfed the web, knows that there is a growing sentiment of hatred towards religion. They see religion, not the life of Christ within each of us (Church). Jesus didn't come to establish another religion.
As for your assumption the I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, I'm a Christ Follower. I couldn't follow Him, if I didn't accept Him.
A follower of Christ influences the world around them. Specifically, Jesus said that we are to be salt (a preservative) and light (guidance). Those that expect Christians to bury their heads in the sand or hide their beliefs beneath the floorboards have a fundamental misunderstanding of our calling. Matthew 5:17-20
I read the Bible online sometimes when I am working for short periods. I am not criticising you at all. I am simply saying spread the word there are many that were not brought up to believe in God however, they do not introduce themselves as atheists. I feel when a person declares themselves an atheist they do not believe in anything but themselves and feel all depends solely on self. Yes you are right a follower of Christ does influence the world around them. All of us that read your posts are influenced in a positive way. I love the passage Matthew 5:17-20. I love the Bible as a whole and yes I do have favorite passages as well.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#137 Dec 1, 2012
Sonny, I will go there some in the spring and summer. I did not know that it had services but loved that lake and area as a young girl. I can also remember when I was a little girl the teacher would take us outside for Sunday School at my church and yes it did seem that we were just closer to the Lord out there.

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#138 Dec 1, 2012
rachel wrote:
<quoted text>I never knew that...how remarkable!!!I have traveled that way many times as a child, and even now, as an adult, in my late 30's...I attend (when possible) a little white church.But sometimes people annoy me...telling myself and my children that we should be more like the deacons or pastor or sunday school teacher,when they their selves have skeletons that I know of and I am quite sure many I know nothing of...or how some people think they make ALL decisions for the entire congregation.
No I would not want you or your children to be like me, I was a deacon's daughter. We all have skeletons and baggage, just start researching a family tree and whoola!
John

Dawsonville, GA

#139 Dec 2, 2012
blairsville devil wrote:
I just had coversation with my cousin Leroy Jenkins.Some how he learned that I had been posting on this forum. He described north ga as hillybilly heaven.I asked him what he ment by that and his answer went something like this.It is heaven to us preachers of the fictional book ,the bible and the mythical chump jesus.He said that a fool is born every half second and that they all seem to reach the holy land of north ga,he told me that he really enjoys all the money the fools give him each Sunday to spend on his high style living ,to include all the skanky women he meets at the bars and gambling houses,such as Vegas.he says that he intends to settle down in a backwards town where most of the people were ignorant to what is happening on the remainder of this planet.He already knows that union county is loaded with sheep just waiting to be fleeced.He wants to be the head crook of the first baptist church because that is where the most dummies and gullible people are.HE made me the offer of being assistant flim flam artist if I would let him use my house there as headquarters for his operations.I will have to consider his offer and in the meantime I am studying the bible to be able to scam all the hillbillies and jills.A fool is born every second and he is soon parted with his money and the Blairsville devil intends to get my share.There is no more nice Blairsville Devil
Oh, NO! The Blairsville Devil has gone to the dark side! Thanks for the warning about your cousin, Leroy. Jesus called him a wolf in sheep's clothing.
John

Dawsonville, GA

#140 Dec 2, 2012
All, thanks for the conversation. I am moved by the most recent posts, here.

LW

Athiest are many. There are Christian Athiest who say they believe in Him but do not reflect the Image of God (imago dei in Latin), and there are the athiest who think we are ignorant fools. We can't blame them really. I have dark momements when I am athiest myself. In those dark moments, I ask him to reveal Himself to me. Least someone thinks I am crazy. I don't hear audible voices. The Bible speaks to me in a small still voice: I am part of the fallen race and santified only by Him; solo Cristo (none but Christ) who God (Father-Son-Holy Ghost).

Nor am I critizing anyone, their "church", or traditonal church. We are all partners in spreading the original good news of Jesus Christ and our life in Christ. Reaching outside the walls, planting other churches (organic), can be accomplished by individuals, with or without the blessing of the local chruch in the box (the littile white building), the 1st Baptist Church, the Church at Lake Windfield Scott, or however we describe the structure. For me staying in the comfort of the Santuary, is not the only Church of Christ. We must step out among the enemy (the adversary of Satin and most of the time ,the adversary of ourselves). Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. When we seek the opportunity; God will present the opportunity to assist him in reaching a lost and dying world.

To use a well worn phrase, Organic Chruch is "THINKING outsice the TRADITIONAL CHURCH box." Sometimes to follow Jesus, we must leave the security of the boat to walk on water with Jesus. I'm talking ultimate TRUST, here. Trust in the Ultimate Fighting Jesus. The Jesus for REAL men and women.

The church that Jesus is building is not constructed with bricks and mortor; it is constructed of us. The message of Jesus Christ, is to turn to Him (repent, follow Him, etc.), and be baptised which is symbolic of his death bruial and resurrection. The God, among His other Hebrew and Greek names is EL-OLAM....Isaiah 40:28-31, meaning "The everlasting God"
John

Dawsonville, GA

#141 Dec 2, 2012
BTW, Blairsville Devil, you must be feeling better. Welcome anong the living. I enjoyed your satire about your cousin. Keep up the good work.

By your words, I still think you are a closet Christian. You say in previous post you are more Christ-like than many Chistians. Isn't that the original definition of Christianity?

The first atiest rejected the gods of the religious Roman empire. They were called athiest and they were killed because they would not deney their belief in the One-True-God. However, I must tell you Christianity is not about being a good person. It is about the goodness of Christ and our trust in Him only; not our good works. Nor is salvation justification of the sin. It is justification of the sinner. With all their stuff, saying it is Christ, the individual, and Church working on our life together.
John

Dawsonville, GA

#142 Dec 2, 2012
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0976697157/re...

This is a book I want read when I get my Kindle Fire.

Book Description

This will be the most provocative or the most liberating book about Christianity you have ever read. This book exposes all of Christianity's holy cows and asks unthinkable questions. Has the hidden influence of the human ego, and its resistance to change, caused Christianity to lose Jesus' essential message? Can Christianity survive in the modern world unless we restore Jesus as an example to follow, not an idol to worship? A comprehensive and riveting rethinking of Christianity in light of modern knowledge. The author argues convincingly that Jesus has a message for today's spiritual people and that a new Christianity can offer people relevant answers to life's questions-if Christians are willing to look for the beam in our own eyes. A unique description of the inner path to personal Christhood, hidden between the lines of Jesus' own words. A new world view, using Jesus' inner teachings and scientific knowledge to answer life's deepest questions. This book is written specifically for thinking Christians, recovering Christians, spiritual seekers and anyone concerned about Christianity's future. It is not for those who want to stay where they are comfortable and pretend nothing needs to change-as did the people who rejected Jesus.

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