Thanks Pad, you always give a thoughtful reply.<quoted text>Nevertheless,Free Mind,after centuries of existing and facing every obstacle to faith imagineable,people of faith have seen that each new generation experiences the same Lord,and Savior jesus christ,giving Him the glory due His Name.
We have a choice,and that applies to every aspect of our lives.
The Apostle Paul encouraged the people of faith to build up themselves as well as to build up the Body of Christ.When we pray for example we can either remain bound to our own prayers,or we can enter into that realm of the Spirit,which in all truth builds up our spirit.It is a choice to choose to believe,to pray,to walk in the Spirit of God.It is all choice.God does not just pop inside of us,AS the Holy Spirit is a gentleman as it were,respectful to our power of choice.But when we choose God,and allow His Holy Spirit access to us,we find that our faith can be boundless,as God is not bound by human tradition or philosophies.
Jesus challenged our spirits by telling us that His Father would not give us a rock when we ask for bread,that He would not give us a serpent if we ask for fish.We are given the choice to A S K,and He will give us more than what we ask for,because He wants to build us up in our spirit.I am not talking about human assets on this earth of materialism,but the things of the SPIRIT,which goes deep into our being and builds up our faith in the God of all creation.
God is not going to come before you and say here I AM,believe in Me.But the Word was given to us so that we could intelligently,and with respect make the choice to choose our Creator over that which is temporal in this present life we live.If we choose fine homes,material things and security in this life,in and of themselves they are not wrong,but God wants us to realize that in this transitory life we CAN choose Him and that which is life,true,sacred and full of His glory.
I am going to another funeral this week,and perhaps next week as well after Easter,because two people I know one died ,and the other is on the threshold.The first funeral is for a 40 year old man who died abruptly from a terrible infection in his pancreas,which left him with a 107 degree temp.He went into diabetic coma,and the doctors struggled to save him,but could not.This man strived for a better life here,he purchased a new home,and he and his wife like so many relied on this life to give to them their security and so on.
Not saying that he was wrong to do so,but that prematurely,what he sought in this life was taken away from him,and now his wife is grieving,and his mother a dear friend of ours is devastated.What I am trying to say Free Mind is simply,we can strive to live a better life here,but we also need to focus our eyes on that which is ..........
All religions bekon human kind to look beyond our mortal frame and the pursuit of temporal happiness,TO consider that which is beyond the grave.
There is life beyond the grave,and we all should consider what that life is,the Bible tells us that Jesus holds the KEYS of life and death!
Pad writes -- "after centuries of existing and facing every obstacle to faith imaginable... "
While you apply that to Christianity here, I believe that's true of all faiths.
Historically, the biggest, most enduring enemy of any faith -- is another faith.
I am not knocking the strength that can be found in faith. I am pointing out how it is often used to judge and condemn others.
The more fundamentalist and less questioning a faith, the more judgmental it becomes of others.
History tells us that when a group is 100% certain, it tends to stop policing itself and starts to police others. Why not? It holds the absolute truth, so it no longer requires accountability.
Are you 100% certain of every aspect of your faith? If so, are there other paths that are also true?
If not, how small and geocentric does that make God?