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Religion (Opinions welcome and appreciated)

Snow-White-Queen posted this thread...
Dec. 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I want to hear what religion you are. I also want to know why. Basically, why do you believe in it? What makes you believe in it and not a different religion? Is it truly what you believe? What's your proof, if any, and does that matter to you? Do you even have a religion? Things along those lines. Please, feel free to post. I will not be criticising anyone or expressing my own opinion.

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 26, 2012 at 3:23 am

Ahhhh, I feel bad that I haven't posted here yet. I just haven't had the time.
 
But I just wanted to let you know that my post is coming. I love to talk about my religion with others, so I don't want to miss out on this opportunity.
 
Thank you for your patience. :)

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CollinFThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm

I am a Theist because there not only seems to be a fairly convincing case for God via logic and science, but it also just makes sense. I at least partially agree with the philosopher Alvin Plantinga that because human belief in God is a part of most all human beings' belief systems because it makes life coherent (like believing other people exist), that it doesn't really need an explanation. It carries its own merit as common sense. I also feel very strongly that good and evil are very real, tangible concepts, and that life is an evident struggle between the two--an unfolding story with both heroes and villains. This can only be true under theism, and it's really the only view that makes life worth living at all.
 
I am a Christian because my mind needs something a bit more substantive than paganism, Islam is too political, legalistic, and culturally tied down to Arabs, and Judaism is too legalistic, too tied down to . . . well, J.ews, and fails to recognie the mind-blowing case for Christ as not only the Messaiah, but a divine Messaiah.
 
I am a Protestant because, while I share the traditional Catholic respect for Pagan philosophers and literature and really hate the Nazi-like, book-burning attitude of many modern Evangelicals, I think Papal infallibility is bologna, good works are meritorious but not necessary on the road to Heaven, and that scripture alone (besides our natural intuitions) should be the sole source of Christian doctrine, not Church tradition.
 
I am a Baptist because I believe Baptism is meaningless unless the person getting Baptized knows it's happening, I think Speaking in Tongues is obnoxious, and I love pot-luck dinners.
 
That's Collin in a nutshell. :)
 
How 'bout you?

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Snow-White-Queen replied...
Dec. 31, 2012 at 1:16 am

Ahh.. I know I said I wouldn't, but no one else is posting and you asked so.. I am an atheist. There's a long story behind that to save for a rainy day.

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm



Hey there,
I finally have the time to post, so here it is:

I am a Seventh-day Adventist, which is a Protestant Christian denomination.

Adventism is different than most Protestant churches, though, for quite a number of reasons.

For one, rather than keeping Sunday, we go to church on Saturday and keep the Jewish Sabbath from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset.
We do this because we believe that the Sabbath was established at the beginning of the world when God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3), and that the Ten Commandments are still valid and should be obeyed.

Adventists are also different for our views on state of the dead (we believe that people don't go to heaven right away when they die, but instead are only "sleeping" until Christ returns), the nature of Christ (we believe Jesus was capable of sinning, but never did sin), and our sanctuary doctrine (we believe that the sanctuary given the Jews was a model of a sanctuary in heaven where Christ ministers on our behalf).

The other beliefs we have are fairly similar to other Protestant denominations, such as our belief in Jesus the Messiah and that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.

If you want to know more about the Seventh-day Adventist church (an unbiased view), follow this link:
h ttp://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church


As for why I believe in Adventism? Well, I don’t want to come off as sounding arrogant and narrow-minded, but honestly, I am a Seventh-day Adventist because I believe it is God’s true church and that Adventists are God’s denominated people. Just like how Israel was God’s chosen nation, I believe that the Seventh-day Adventist church is Spiritual Israel.

That doesn’t mean I think Seventh-day Adventists are perfect, no, by no means are we better than anyone else. The Israelites themselves were idolaters who murmured against God and even crucified Christ who had come to save them.

No, we have our problems, but I still think God has given us special truths and light that he wishes us to share with the world.

Again, this doesn’t mean we’re completely right and everyone else is wrong. We are just trying to interpret and follow the Bible the best we can.


Okay, you also asked about the proof for what I believe.

I think the best proof is in the Bible.

I know that some people think the Bible is irrelevant, uninspired, and outdated, but I’ve studied it enough to know that it is beautifully designed, perfectly true, and undoubtedly inspired.

One of the pioneers, or should I say, the pioneer of the Seventh-day Adventist church, was a man named William Miller. He was a Deist and had no belief in God or the Bible. But after the death of some family members and his participation in a war, Miller began to wonder about death and the afterlife. He decided to begin studying the Bible, beginning in Genesis. He wouldn’t move on from a verse unless he felt that he understood it. In this way, he soon become a faithful Christian and started the Millerite movement from which the Seventh-day Adventist church came from.

I find the converting power of the Bible to be the greatest proof of my beliefs. Miller studied the Bible for more years than I have been alive, and he realized just how beautiful and light-filled it really is. Miller’s main focus was Bible prophecy, which consistently shows the omniscience and love of God.

One of the Millerites, named Josiah Litch, even used Bible Prophecy (in this case, Revelation 9) to predict the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which happened on the exact day he said it would.


Okay, I hope this was helpful and informative.

And I’d love to hear your story and perspective on religion. :)

God bless. <3

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Dec. 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm

 
Hey there,
I finally have the time to post, so here it is:
 
 
I am a Seventh-day Adventist, which is a Protestant Christian denomination.
 
Adventism is different than most Protestant churches, though, for quite a number of reasons.
 
For one, rather than keeping Sunday, we go to church on Saturday and keep the J.ewish Sabbath from Friday at sunset to Saturday at sunset.
We do this because we believe that the Sabbath was established at the beginning of the world when God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3), and that the Ten Commandments are still valid and should be obeyed.
 
Adventists are also different for our views on state of the dead (we believe that people don't go to heaven right away when they die, but instead are only "sleeping" until Christ returns), the nature of Christ (we believe Jesus was capable of sinning, but never did sin), and our sanctuary doctrine (we believe that the sanctuary given the J.ews was a model of a sanctuary in heaven where Christ ministers on our behalf).
 
The other beliefs we have are fairly similar to other Protestant denominations, such as our belief in Jesus the Messiah and that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
 
If you want to know more about the Seventh-day Adventist church (an unbiased view), follow this link:
h ttp://e n.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/Seventh-day_Adventist_Church
 
 
As for why I believe in Adventism? Well, I don’t want to come off as sounding arrogant and narrow-minded, but honestly, I am a Seventh-day Adventist because I believe it is God’s true church and that Adventists are God’s denominated people. Just like how Israel was God’s chosen nation, I believe that the Seventh-day Adventist church is Spiritual Israel.
 
That doesn’t mean I think Seventh-day Adventists are perfect, no, by no means are we better than anyone else. The Israelites themselves were idolaters who murmured against God and even crucified Christ who had come to save them.
 
No, we have our problems, but I still think God has given us special truths and light that he wishes us to share with the world.
 
Again, this doesn’t mean we’re completely right and everyone else is wrong. We are just trying to interpret and follow the Bible the best we can.
 
 
Okay, you also asked about the proof for what I believe.
 
I think the best proof is in the Bible.
 
I know that some people think the Bible is irrelevant, uninspired, and outdated, but I’ve studied it enough to know that it is beautifully designed, perfectly true, and undoubtedly inspired.
 
One of the pioneers, or should I say, the pioneer of the Seventh-day Adventist church, was a man named William Miller. He was a Deist and had no belief in God or the Bible. But after the death of some family members and his participation in a war, Miller began to wonder about death and the afterlife. He decided to begin studying the Bible, beginning in Genesis. He wouldn’t move on from a verse unless he felt that he understood it. In this way, he soon become a faithful Christian and started the Millerite movement from which the Seventh-day Adventist church came from.
 
I find the converting power of the Bible to be the greatest proof of my beliefs. Miller studied the Bible for more years than I have been alive, and he realized just how beautiful and light-filled it really is. Miller’s main focus was Bible prophecy, which consistently shows the omniscience and love of God.
 
One of the Millerites, named Josiah Litch, even used Bible Prophecy (in this case, Revelation 9) to predict the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which happened on the exact day he said it would.
 
 
Okay, I hope this was helpful and informative.
 
And I’d love to hear your story and perspective on religion. :)
 
God bless. <3

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Imaginedangerous replied...
Jan. 1, 2013 at 1:25 am

Well, pot-luck dinners are a terrific reason to base your choice of an eternal destiny on. :)
 
I'm a Mormon. There's one main reason for this- Mormons believe in continuing revelation and prophets, that God has not abandoned us and that He speaks to us today. Other religions have parts that make sense to me, and some even make a lot of sense, but I haven't found any others with prophets. I just don't believe that God would dump us on this planet with no instructions or direction (or direction that's a few thousand years out of date).

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RedsFan23This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:18 pm

To Halfnote as well as Imagine: I am a non-denominational Christian (born again and that line of theology). Does the average Seventh Day Adventist or Mormon (respectively) believe that I would go to heaven? What if I was a Catholic? I'm asking purely out of curiousity and am in no way trying to start an argument.

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half.noteThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:03 am

Imagine:
 
Hey, you keep forgetting:  the Seventh-day Adventist church has a modern day prophet, too!
 
Not quite like the Mormon Church, though.
We only had one (named Ellen White), and she lived in the late 1800's. And from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong), whoever is leading the Mormon Church is considered a prophet to the Church.
 
 
RedsFan:
 
I'm sure I speak for both myself as well as Imagine when I say that your question is more than welcome.
You won't meet a whole lot of argumentative people on this forum. We're more than happy just to discuss. :)
 
 
Anyways, to answer your question:
 
First of all, any Adventist would tell you that it is not man who judges the heart, but only God who can.
“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)
“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)
 
So obviously, whether or not you get to heaven is between you and God, and even if I knew you as well as I know my own mother, I still couldn’t rightly judge if you would make it or not.
 
 
But, I suppose the main question you’re asking is whether or not I think that others outside of my denomination will make it to heaven.
 
I definitely believe that not every Adventist will be in heaven, and that many people from other denominations and religions will be. It’s rather sad to think that not all the people I attend church with will make it into eternity. Yet at the same time, it’s comforting to know that there are still non-Adventists out there who will sit at the feet of Jesus.
 
As the world draws to a close, the “wheat” and the “tares” will be sorted out. We’ve been growing together for a long time now, but in the end, God will judge correctly.
 
Now, the fact that you brought up Catholics is very interesting.
I’m going to be blatantly honest with you: Adventists are rather anti-Catholic. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t hate the Catholic people, we just strongly disagree with the religion.
 
Long story…
 
Anyways, I go to a Catholic school (a rather surprising twist) so I know quite a few Catholics. Many of them are kind, loving people who sincerely want to follow God.
 
I believe it will be people like that (yes, even Catholics) who make it to heaven. People who give their hearts to God and allow him to lead them into everlasting life.
 
Of course, a mere belief in Jesus is not enough to save us. But faith will lead to good works, which eventually results in salvation.
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
“What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:14,17)
 
So if someone is daily striving to obey God and strengthen their faith in Him, God can give them the light that will guide them to salvation.
 
Whether or not we make it to heaven doesn’t depend so much on the religion as it does the individual.
 
 
Well, I hope this was helpful.
Feel free to ask questions if I was being unclear or if you would like more information. I’m happy to help.
 
God bless. <3

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RedsFan23This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

That was a very good, biblically based answer. Couldn't have said it better about what I think of your denomination, or Catholics, or any other branch. It's really up to God who is saved or not and no one can really decide other than Him.  I don't think he really cares about the small theological differences between the different denominations as long as they agree on the core truths of the Bible.

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Imaginedangerous replied...
Jan. 3, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Half.note: You're correct. We believe that a living prophet leads our church today.
 
 
RedsFan23:
 
Good question. Simply put, you have to be a Mormon to get into heaven. Obviously, this could a little bit unfair, given that not everyone in the world has accurate information (or any information at all) about the church, and there have been thousands of years when the church didn't exist at all.
Fortunately, God doesn't just care about this life. He has all of eternity to try to bring His children back to Him. At some point in this life or the next, I believe you will be taught the gospel and offered a chance to convert- if not in this life in the next.
So will you go to heaven? I don't know. It's your choice. Whether you're Protestant or Catholic or Jewish or Buddist or Wiccan or anything else doesn't matter.

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Snow-White-Queen replied...
Jan. 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm

So, given what you all have said, do you need a religion to get to heaven? Or basically, I guess, do you need to believe in heaven and/or God to get there? I do believe in some sort of eternity, maybe not heaven or hell per se, but if you believe in a different sort of heaven, will you go there instead? Sorry if this is confusing. Didn't exactly know how to word it.

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BlackNether12 replied...
Jan. 5, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I'm a Christian . . . and proud of it.
I'm an evangelist because the Bilbe tells us to spread the good news . . .
I'm slightly Theocratic because I believe that men cannot rule other men with as much power as they can, and do, have ( This has has been proven time and again ). But my theocratic views are more idealistic ( Please do not answer with ' Theocracies have never worked ' ).
    I believe in god because he has proven himself to me, spoken to me, and given me an un - matchable peace.
     God is truly what I believe in, I live my life for him ( that's practically the definition of a religion ).
    I have found Christianity to be unmatched in how well it works.
   

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Destinee replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 2:27 am

Collin: 
 
"Islam is too political, legalistic, and culturally tied down to Arabs"
 
Absolutely not true.
 
Islam starts off as a spiritual journey in terms of engendering God consciousness within a person's spirit. It is further affirmed through a person's actions, both legal and non-legal (e.g. prayer). As  a Christian, I am sure you appreicate what I am saying.
 
It becomes political only when ethics are applied to society as a whole. It is inevitable, I am sure you will agree, that a society of Christians would apply their morals to the laws. Similarly, Islam recognises that any society needs guidelines for not only amoral things like traffic laws, but for actual immoral actions like murder. Don't you argue that America was founded on Christian principles? Why does that not make Christianity "political"? In fact, it is simply foolish to think that a modern religion would not address politics. 
 
Culturally, Islam (in its current form) was spread through Arabs originally, but the real tie it has to Arabs is the language of the Qur'an, i.e. Arabic. The Bible is in Greek, but we do not say Christianity is Greek. 

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Imaginedangerous replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Islam is very politically volatile (given the clashes in the Middle East and culture wars over here). But then again (being a Mormon) I think politics is a lousy reason to choose (or not choose) a religion anyway.
 
 
Oh, Destinee- question! (Only tangentally related to religion. Sorry everyone else.) What do you think about the new constitution in Egypt and the opposition towards it? Just curious- I've been meaning to ask for a while, and as long as we're discussing Islam and politics...

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CollinFThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Hello Destinee. :) Always nice to see you. 
 
Maybe I was too concise. *Shrugs* I do that a lot (If you're willing to believe that after the debates we've had on here. Truth is though, I only drag replies out when I'm talking to someone I have a lot of respect for and think I can learn a lot from. *Bows head*)
 
Aaaaanyways. The point I was trying to make wasn't that Islam's principles are too tied in with laws. I mean I don't buy the idea that God judges humans based on their works. I may be acting a bit too Calvinist here, but I can't help but feel that humans don't deserve that system. A man found guilty of a crime is not pardoned because he's been good in other areas. He's still guilty. Still deserves to be punished.
 
America was founded primarily by Christians, yes, but the government itself isn't really Christian at all. The system should be secular: the people should be religious. :) But that's off topic. My point was that Islam seems to have been conceived with a mindset of conquest. It was not a mere coincidence that the Arab peoples expanded and invaded other lands shortly after Islam rose to prominence. The Qur'an mentions it specifically. There's a pretty good possibility I'm missing something here, but it would appear 8:15-16 of the Qur'an (Did I cite that correctly? I'm too used to Bible citations that need the book name too) says that those who flee from battle (I assume just 1 particular one) are condemned to H.ell. It's also stated that those who die in battle reach Heaven. Jesus' statement that "My Kingdom is not of this world" appears to contrast with the kingdom Islam seeks to establish, which is very much of this world. Christendom was a defect of Christianity. The Arab Empire was the intent of Islam.
 
And the Bible doesn't claim that Greek is God's chosen language, or that it is the best literary work of all time. It was written in Greek out of convenience--the practical Southern mindset. :) No matter how superior Arabic is as a language, its treatment in Islam seems a teensy bit elitist (sp?) to a guy like me who speaks English with a Southern drawl. Also, consider that Christianity began in Jerusalem. However, it's spread all over the world. The epicenter of Christianity is actually moving from North America to Asia these days, just like it moved over from Europe in the past. But Islam has always been dominant on the Arab Peninsula. Sure, it spread with Arab traders to other places, but it carries a culture with it instead of improving on already-existing ones. *Shrugs*
 
Don't get me wrong, I think Islam is a beautiful religion and hold it in a very high regard. It's easy not to catch that when I'm just fpocusing on the few things I don't like about it.

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CollinFThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Oh, and Destinee, is their any shred of evidence that the Qur'an and the Torah somehow evolved out of the same ancient manuscripts? I was under the impression the Qur'an was just written down as Muhammad orated it, but I had an English professor make this claim the other day. Figured I'd run it by you to be sure before dismissing it as another failed ultra-Liberal attempt to shock "naive" students with made-up information.

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Destinee replied...
Jan. 12, 2013 at 11:52 am

Imagine: 
 
I am sadly out of touch with the news :( Sorry. So I have no opinion. My apologies.
 
Collin: 
 
No time to reply fully right now, but I've never heard of that before. No proof as far as I know. Ask him for a reference if possible XD I'd like to know which orientalist literature he's been reading to say something so absurd...
 
BTW you might like the book The Devil's Delusion. They recommended it at an Islamic conference. I haven't read it yet, but it seems really good.

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CollinFThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jan. 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Completely understandable. Luckily I'm still in high school and have more spare time than I know what to do with. :) I'm sure you'll get around to it. Your attention span's always been linger than mine. 
 
And yeah, that's what I figured. He's really cool other than being wrong about everything political and spiritual ;), so I didn't wanna make the atmosphere awkward by challenging him. I'm pretty intellectually submissive in person. Which isn't a good trait in an evangelical. Unless somebody asks for my opinion, in which case I go to town. :)
 
And ok, I'll check it out. Title sounds catchy. :)
 
And if you haven't read Case for Christ yet, or it just didn't do it for ya, N.T. Wright's written a 6-volume series on the origins of Christianity that'll answer any questions you have, I'm sure. It's called Christian Origins and the Question of God, and the 3rd volume is about the Resurrection specifically. I wanna read em myself, but I'm a bit ADD when it comes to massively long scholarly works. Wright's the kinda guy nobody can hate and everybody loves. I think you'd enjoy it. :D

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Destinee replied...
Jan. 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Ahh okay. Yeah I'm pretty...not good at presenting my ideas in person, LOL. 
 
OMG 6 volumes? Seriously -_- I'll try but my reading list is super long...The Case for Christ. if it's not possible. Good thing about uni is, the library's are freaking massive. I can never complain about lack of material to read..
 
Also, thanks for all the compliments XD LOL

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