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Discussion in 'Introduction' started by JJ50, Apr 26, 2014.
I thought I would have a look at this forum and see how I get on.
Welcome to Talk Jesus
Enjoy the forum. It is a blessing to share in the beauty and love of Jesus our Lord and Saviour
He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst
Welcome to the forums @JJ50 Glad you're here
Thanks for the greeting although I wonder if I should have joined the forum, which I did on the spur of the moment. My take on the 'born again' doctrine might not be welcome. I will quite understand if you prefer I left.
I will tell you a bit about me and let the Admin decide.
I was brought up by parents who attended a Pentecostal (Elim) church, where the hell-fire sermons gave me horrible nightmares as a child. My sadistic 'born again' paternal grandmother appeared to get great pleasure from describing the tortures of hell to me from the age of two! My mother was unwise enough to tell me at six that if Jesus came that night I would be left behind on my own, NICE. :crazy: The pressure to get 'saved' was overwhelming and when I was eleven I gave in to the pressure and asked Jesus to 'come into my heart'. For my younger teenage years I was quite devout, but the doubts began to grow. I had a problem which worried me and one I certainly couldn't have shared with my parents. I prayed and prayed about it but never ever felt that any deity/Jesus was listening or had a sense of their presence. By the time I married at 19 and left home, I had lost my faith and it has never been rekindled, and to be honest I don't have a sense of loss. My husband, had also lost his faith too and is a convinced atheist. I term myself an agnostic, as it is just possible a deity could exist.
We brought our children up to decided for themselves about matters of faith. We feel it is a matter for the individual to decide, and should never be forced on a person as it was on us. Our three girls are Christians, the eldest an Anglican Priest, they are not fundamentalist in their approach to the faith, thank goodness. Religion is not discussed in our home, we respect the views of our children, and they respect ours.
So there you have you have it.
Welcome to Talkjesus,
I hope you enjoy your visit and the readings. Visit our Media Gallery which contains great music, movies, documentaries etc.
It is good that you are here.
I am sorry to hear that the so called 'Christian' teachings you had 'forced' upon you in childhood were so negative
The message of the gospel is not about hammering fear into a young child......but about sharing the love of our Lord
I pray that whilst you are here you will learn more and more about the beautiful and tender love of the Lord Jesus
And that He died to save you because of His great love for you.
These words may mean little to you now....but I do believe you are here for a reason
May the Lord reveal the loveliness of His truth to you and your heart be opened to His wonderful truth.
For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Thank you for your kind remarks. I will give some thought as to whether I should stay on this forum, as I have no wish to distress anyone with my take on the 'born again' doctrine, although I have no problem with mainstream Christianity, even though I don't share the faith. I am usually persona non grata when I really get going and state my views.
Welcome to the forum . We have seen this more than once that people were raised under the turn or burn doctrine . Never ever should the gospel be presented this way .salvation out of fear goes away ! But to serve because you are compelled by a love that passes all understanding should be the rule .yes hell is real and yes it's not a place you want to be .! But to look on heaven and all God offers is enough for me to want Christ in my life ...may The Lord bless you're time among us ....Rev
I hope that when I die I cease to be. Neither heaven or hell fill me with any pleasure.
First before I get to reading the rest of what you've posted.
Welcome aboard jj50!
I do peek at the profile of each I welcome to get a small idea of where they might be coming from. So besides hoping that you may find what you are looking for and that you "get on" here at TJ really well. I do have a question from your profile.
Curious on "born again, but no longer." Maybe, in an odd sort of way I'll be sounding like Nicodemus when he asked Jesus "how does one being old, enter back into our mother’s womb a second time?" (John 3:4). My question being, how does one in believing not only that a guiltless Jesus Christ died on the Cross for one who is a sinner cease to be, but also rose again on the third day, say "no longer do I believe"?
Well, I couldn't help myself and read your postings here. Though you might be over it now, allow me to shed tears for the pain and suffering you endured as a child from the cruelty not only of one who professed to be a believer, but from one’s own family. Some say that as we get older that we have a tendency to become like children, and like children we can be cruel in our treatment of others. My hope is that I will not share in this malady of the aged, since by this worlds' standard, I get nearer daily, if not already there to what is called "aged". This is said not to excuse those who have treated you so. For there is none. Just to acknowledge that man has always created pain and suffering when separated from the love of Christ Jesus, even when they don't realize that the path they are walking is not the one He would have us walk. Your story is a sad reminder of how much, or I should say how little we not only know when it comes to God's love, but the little that we do know on how to apply it in our lives so that others may see what it really means to be a Child of God.
With that being said. Please stay here at TJ. Sadly too often the message is lost due to a malfunctioning messenger/servant. What did Jesus Christ say when we should die and enter His Kingdom "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:23) Which makes it evident that there are those servants that are not so good or faithful! Much pain and suffering comes from those. Hope we can show you the love of Christ that you weren't shown as child.
Once again. Be Welcome jj50!
Thanks again for your kind remarks. However I suspect you might not feel so kindly towards me if you knew my actual thoughts on the topic. I think it only fair that I put everything on the line, and if you still want me to remain a member of the forum after that, fair enough.
I have read the Bible from cover to cover many times in my life and continue to do so. Each time I read it I am even more convinced that the documents making up the book are a totally human construction, with no input from any deity. I don't believe any of the less than credible stories to be true, and frankly the deity portrayed therein is less than pleasant, to say the least, I cannot understand how it can possibly be described as a 'God of Love'. As for Jesus he probably had a charismatic personality, hence his followers, but I believe he was just as human as the rest of us with faults and failings as we all have. When he died he stayed dead, imo. So there you have it.
Greetings again @JJ50
I am writing this kindly and hope it comes across as such.
Why then are you here?
What or who has drawn you to this site which is about the Lord Jesus who you do not believe in?
Why not stay and read a little about how Jesus is indeed alive today and how He has changed peoples lives?
Here are a few threads that you may like to read:
I have posted on many religious sites in my time, I currently post on another one which is rather fun. I came across this site on the NET and on a whim registered here. I have decided that it isn't the sort of forum on which I should be posting as I am bound to make a comment about the deity, whom I definitely don't rate, if it exists, and Jesus, which will upset the membership. I take my leave of you and wish you well.
Welcome, jj50, may you enjoy yourself here and profit from membership in TJ.
Welcome jj50 to Talk Jesus forums.
May you find peace and fulfillment
as you peruse the site.
I thought I would have another look see at this forum. I don't want to upset anyone, that isn't my aim at all. However I am trying to understand what makes those who belong to the 'born again' version of Christianity tick. It caused me such grief as a kid, it isn't surprising that I find it a difficult concept to get my head around.
I do believe it's the Biblical concepts in general that you have a problem with. You might even buy into the historical veracity of the bible, but those concepts!!!!! Now those are real show stoppers!!!! The inability of man for whatever the reason to even contemplate the probability of these concepts when historically through science the book in its' descriptions and accounts of the times and people are valid must lead one to either accept the truth of the message of what is contained therein or reject it as a lie. This has always been the case. The conditions of this are the same for everyone. Accept or reject. No one can convince another of the validity of this message that is contained within the pages of the Bible. The one thing one must come to terms with is, the reason why one accepts or rejects the message being communicated therein. What is the foundation for this belief or lack thereof? I hope you don't mind but a little story concerning a man I used to work with. Amazing, in that I was talking with his daughter-in-law just today about him. The story I'm about to recount was actually new to her. One she had been totally unaware until today..........
To start out with he, let's call him Fred considered himself an atheist. Educated and a true professional in everything he did. Military man, EMT, Correctional Captain, Master Instructor, Teacher. Men would call him "A man's man". Women would say "cuddly bear". Yet as always happens when a believer and atheist meet, the topic of Christianity popped up or should I say the belief in a God verses no god. Two opposing forces it seems! Still, us having to work together, at times, or should I say interact when the job called for it. Would eventually wind up with either one of us asking the other why do you believe what you believe. You know sharing! Except men would call it "manly sharing or male bonding" His case was he could not believe those evangelist or preachers! Cruel god, mean, god, if he's so all powerful why does he let the things that happen, happen (sound familiar?). People need a crutch etc. These talks went on for I'd say about 10 years, give or take a year. Throughout the years we'd talk, and eventually he would hear something that he didn't like and would go stomp back off to his office. I of cause would pray for him, as I pray for you as well JJ50. But like a bear that loves his honey, he had to keep coming back to get stung over and over again. Humm....sometimes I believe he would leave quite satisfied with himself, while other times I do believe he might have left with a belly ache.
It wasn't until mortality set and he was diagnosed with cancer that he started to really listen. Whether it was from me or others, and there were others from both factions in his family, I don't know. But he argued less and actually started to listen to what was being said. Seeing death closing in on you I guess makes one reflective of the past, present and if there's a future. Especially when the death is not a quick one, but one that can be prolonged. Eventually the chemo and radiation wore him down (He was 75yrs old or thereabouts at this time) and he had to get hospitalized. Yet before that, he let me know that he had started to go to a church where one of his sons went (The other couple of sons are either agnostic or atheist). Having a class, and being the educated man that he was, I'm sure he really gave that preacher hell (oops...you know what I mean).
Well, as I said he was hospitalized and received treatment which went on for awhile. One day talking with his son who also worked in our area (agnostic), the the old man's man, cuddly bear Fred was going to be released! The treatment had worked and he had a clean bill of health and was heading home (Released I believe on a Thursday). I felt something tell me (I would say Holy Spirit, but it's one of those concepts that are hard to believe in go visit him. This was Tuesday when I felt this compunction and had this pull to go. So I made up my mind to go visit him Wednesday with my old trusty bible in hand. I'm no preacher (you might think otherwise with all this typing so walking around the hospital I do believe folks seeing me with this Bible in hand the looks I received had me believing they must have thought I was some type of preacher going to visit the sick folks!
Anyway. I got to his room and he was still hooked up to an IV which of cause concerned me, but the smile on his face as he was lying there confirmed that he was just fine. So I sat down and we talked. He looked at me and started to tell me why over the years he could not believe. Remember I said in the opening that there's a foundation for why we either believe or don't believe the message? Well, he started to tell me his reason. It went back to his childhood, and his upbringing. His mom would always tell him that the bible was fake, and he should never believe those religious folks who were trying to push this at him. Imagine, a whole childhood being told that it's fake and a lie! Who won't believe "mama"? At least that is what she told him until she was herself was on her death bed! He was almost 16 - 18 yrs old when she started to die and this happened. She grabbed his arm and told him to go get a priest!!!!
Can you believe it? Well, being the young man that he was, he did what he was asked to do and made a promise to himself that he would never be the hypocrite that his mother was to say I don't believe something then change ones' mind when death was staring one in the face (man's man remember). So good young atheist that he was he went out into the world to make his mark and live his life with no God and as far as I'm concerned which I told him in years past. No hope of anything after death. End of upbringing..........welcome world......enter Fred laying in hospital bed.
He then told me that before he went into the hospital that while at class in church he had communion (bread & wine) (another concept For someone who is a believer they understand the significance of this. But still doubting his words, I had to ask. He looked at me in the eyes clear as day and said yes I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior! The rest was chit chat and I couldn't wait for him to get back to work yadda, yadda, yadda. Me wanting to sing and praise God all over the place!!! Him to rest and get his sponge bath
I go to work the next morning feeling awesome from the day before and a call comes in from the hospital. Happens sometimes where I work so no surprise. It seems, Fred the man's man, cuddly bear cancer survivor, had died from an blood clot that had reached his heart that morning and burst.
Talking with his daughter-in-law today made me realize that the reason I was pulled to go to the hospital to talk with Fred. Was not for him, but for me. So I would know that he was a believer when he died. That the questions one asks of oneself would be unnecessary. Such as. Could I have done more (we really don't do anything), did I miss something? All the nagging questions one asks when someone as a believer you know dies and you don't know if they know Christ Jesus as their Savior. God in his compassion allowed me to know the answer as it concerned Fred. Fred died believing in Jesus Christ! After all the years of talking back and forth I could be comforted in the knowledge that yes he believed! In turn with a this came this story his story and the one I share with you today.
No amount of logic, study, can all of sudden tell you that what you read in the Bible is true. Only God can do that, but one has to be willing to listen. Was the initial call to come to TJ maybe in the guise of ridiculing them Christians and their crazy faith a slight nudge from Him to you? Everyone here comes from the foundation of not believing which can be as varied as the fish in the sea. To one of belief and that also is as varied as their are people. The reason it has happened to each person here at TJ and not to you. I don't know accept to say that God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, and that everyone here believes that. The only thing that separates us at this time besides belief, is that we have taken the time at some point in our lives to really listen, and believe.
What it really means also, is the death that comes to us all, does not have the same meaning to us as it does to you. For you it's an end. Period. Then nothingness. To us who call Jesus Christ Savior. It's means a new beginning and one that has no end to it. Call the messenger a poor, misguided, lunatic, but the message has not changed for over two thousand years. Its promise remains the same and is open to all that still have breath. My hope and I'm sure others here as well (though unspoken). Pray that you JJ50, may one day also take a close accounting of the message and open yourself to not only the possibility of it being true, but the call that will touch your spirit and quicken you in anticipation for a rebirth, a new day one that will last you forever no matter what may come, into an awesome new life.
Praying for you JJ50.
May I suggest the book "God Forsaken" by Dinesh D'Souza? Mr. D'Souza is a Christian educator, but he argues from reason and science, not theology. Very interesting.
My experience of people who claim to be 'born again' is unfortunate to say the least. The pastor of the Pentecostal (Elim) church I attended as a child offered to drive me home from the mid week youth meetings I attended when I was fourteen in the 60s. He liked to stroke the upper part of my leg, telling me how beautiful my mother was! I told my 'born again' parents, my father thought it funny, my mother said I was exaggerating! One of the church deacons described to me exactly what he would like to do with my mother in his hayloft! Many of the members you wouldn't have bought a used car off if you didn't want to be cheated. My late father believed in the once 'saved' always 'saved' concept, very convenient as it meant that whatever you did after you got born again, you were still assured of a place in heaven! I still know many 'born agains' and their take on Christianity does nothing to float my boat.
I have absolutely no problem with mainstream Christians who let their deeds do the talking, but don't seek to proselytise. As I have already mentioned our eldest girl is an Anglican priest, the middle girl is training for the ministry, not Anglican, the youngest girl is also a Christian. None of them are Biblical literalists, and they respect the views of their father and I, just as we respect theirs.
I struggle with the idea that in theory someone as evil as Hitler, for instance, could make a deathbed conversion and go to heaven, whereas a thoroughly good atheist is destined for hell, there is no logic or fairness to that concept.
So that is where I am at, when I die I hope to cease to be, no heaven or no hell, for which of course there is no verifiable evidence to support the existence of an afterlife..
What you went through as a child was terrible.
And although I cannot judge, those individuals claiming to be 'born again' certainly do not sound as if they were genuine born again Christians by their behaviors.
And I can understand how that has made you feel.
Being born again and accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour is a life changing experience
Jesus and His love will shine through the lives of true believers
It is not about talking the talk as many who claim to be Christians can do very eloquently.
If you are really seeking the truth......then ask the Lord to show you His truth, to reveal Himself to you