So it's been a while since my original post about this subject. After my first spiritual experience, I went through a traveling hobo phase for 7 months, living in different states, sleeping in my car, hotels, cabins, under the stars. The shallow things that were once so important to me, now meant nothing.
I had another spiritual experience even stronger than the first. I went to sleep and though my body lost consciousness, I still felt a sense of awareness. I expected to see black and lose consciousness, but the opposite happened. I saw a blinding white light, brighter than any light in nature. I felt a sense of intense peace. Red letters formed and before I had a chance to read the words, I was woken up by a loud noise. I looked at the time and I had only been asleep for a few minutes.
This was the light that people near death see.
After this had happened, I started to lose my sense of spirituality. I rejected God and saw the bible as merely stories. I returned to atheism.
And my life deteriorated accordingly. Even at my lowest point, Jesus did not abandon me. The problem was my mind. My mind would nitpick every detail, much like a skeptic. When I turned off my mind and accepted the love of Jesus Christ, the intense calm and peace I felt when I saw the light returned.
That is when I realized that the mind cannot ever know God. The mind reduces everything to a mere mental concept. Only the heart can know God.
I have read about these things in books long before the fiction "The Da Vinci Code." came out. However, what I was not aware of until just recently was the amount of controversy that there is about the council. I’m guessing because of Dan Browns book has put the topic in the spot light. I browsed the internet and was able to get interpretations that supported just about any belief that you wanted to support. But I think that one thing I read that is consistent was that Arius and his followers, who believed that Jesus was a man and not divine, was allowed to argue his case before the council and then after they heard him the decision was made that he would be forbidden to teach this philosophy in the future. However it is also my understanding that it did not end there and that the conflict persisted for a while longer before the current interpretation finally dominated and the other interpretation died for lack of support.
But keep in mind that this interpretation of history supports a claim that Jesus’ divinity was not determined by a vote because it paints it as if the dissenting point of view was merely a pesky dissension being generated by an unpopular faction. However, I don’t think that the history of what went on was recorded well enough that such a conclusion in so much detail could be accurately determined as there would have been many people, at the time, that would have been expressing conflicting accounts, just like what happens today. I have read some sources (books) that imply that the controversy was wide spread and that it wasn’t just a minor faction. So I guess it depends on what you chose to believe. If you are a Christian and want to believe that Jesus is divine, then I would recommend that you believe the small faction interpretation as that would be more consoling to you. Personally, I don’t believe it was that simple. It never is. After all, how did it ever become an issue of such wide spread importance unless a lot of people supported the concept that Jesus was a man. This is what the M-word religion believes btw.
I have known that many manuscripts were left out of the bible as a child. My mother was well read on religious history and at the time this kind of knowledge was not considered controversial. My mother used to say because they were not important enough to be added.
One interesting article I read was about a snake worshiping cult that existed prior to when Hebrew people started to identify themselves as having the religion they have today. This cult had a legend almost identical to the Adam and Eve story. How they determined this I have no idea.
Whatever jumbled ideas about God that we create, Olee, those of us who have had an experience with God need to hold onto THAT.
God is the source, and God has touched us. We can respond with humility, or with arrogance. I choose the truth: God is much greater than i am, so humility.
Again, I'm not disputing evolution. I am disputing natural selection. You're confusing evolution with natural selection, they are two different things.
There is not enough time in the universe for your sofa to become alive.
And we are to believe that life formed from inanimate matter?
There is no reason for life to evolve from simple to complex life. And we are to believe that bacteria evolved into animals just for random fun?
Do we look like apes? Sure we do. Do we share a large amount of DNA with them? Sure we do.
Did we evolve from them? Most likely. Did it come from natural selection?
Again, natural selection takes a long time to happen. In a mere 3 million years, you are going to tell me we have modern humans from apes. Are you aware that there were a dozen intermediate species?
Only design can explain the origin of life. Only design can explain the evolution of simple to complex life forms. Only design can explain the evolution of humans.
GET IT STRAIGHT!
Evolution and natural selection are not the same...
The old school types called it unconscious.
Ah, the source. There's an inventor in Japan that goes swimming for new ideas, literally. Right at the moment he's ready to pass out, he pulls the creative force from the void.
Its very interesting stuff, BTW thats why its called the Roman Catholic Church. Christmas, the birth of Christ is conveniently placed by the winter solstice the pagan holiday, etc.
I think I read this in the Da Vinci Code.
(Please state your source link if you quote the web)
I am a born again atheist. I believe that when the mind ceases to think consciously or subconsciously that you as an entity cease to exist. I have no problem with that. In fact, because I believe this I do not fear death. When I did believe in God as a child, and was taught about the Day of Judgment, I did fear death. Not because I would no longer exist, but because I feared that my existence after death might not be to my liking. It was the fear of the unknown. Now that I accept my mortality the only fear I have is that might death may be a painful one.
Also, I find that there are too many conveniences associated with the belief of a higher entity. It seems that man, by his nature, if he is not taught about a God he will eventually make one up. It seems that many people cannot reconcile the concept of life being temporary. They need some assurances that there is something after death. However, when you think about how that existence would be, it makes no sense at all. People believe that they transcend to a dimension that is invisible to us as if there could be some place in the universe that abandons all physical laws of the universe where people live in another dimension invisible to us. Why would such a place even exist and why would there be the need to create such a place? For what purpose? Simply so that an advanced entity could assuage the fears of lesser intelligent creatures at various places in the universe, for which I’m sure there are many. It’s easier to imagine people making up such concepts than to imagine that someone would go through the trouble of actually creating such a state of existence after achieving such an advanced state of existence of their own.
I don’t even believe that the big bang was the beginning. I believe that the universe is so vast that it goes on forever and that there are trillions of trillions of big bangs that created sub-universes spread throughout the universe as a whole. And that there was never a beginning but that it has been going on forever. Many people want to imagine a beginning where a God was the point of creation but then one must ask that if one needs such of a concept of a beginning then why would they not need to believe that there was a beginning for their God, when God was created. It seems they struggle with concept that the universe had no beginning yet feel completely content that God existed forever, but when you think about it, this concept is just as mind boggling. Both concepts are hard to comprehend however because God’s existence is taught as a religion and one is told not to question it, it’s OK. But is it really OK? Are we so unimaginative that we simply listen to what we are told and stop thinking beyond that? Many are, but not all of us.
I find that the more I learn about the universe and about life in general, the less I find it possible to believe that there is a God that goes around creating intelligent beings and heavens for them to go to. I mean really, why would anyone even do that? To what end? I think that evolution seems to do that well enough on its own. If life can exist it will exist. Many times in the past all life was wiped out on the planet. Yet within 500 million years DNA based life started back up again. The fossil and geology records tell us this. So why is it so hard to imagine that we came to be because it’s a natural way of things for life to exist when the conditions for it are right?
And then you get these people who try to compress the entire timeline of earth’s existence into the timeline of the bible. That is so silly. Even the Catholic Church has conceded that the big bang was the point of creation. I don’t agree with them but at least the Catholic Church is looking at the evidence and realizing that it doesn’t fit with biblical stories and that something had to be done less they look ignorant.
Ray, even though I have a personal relationship with Jesus, I do not believe in an afterlife. If personal identity does not survive dementia/AD, then how could it survive death?
However, consciousness is not mind. Sartre figured it out when Descarte wrote, "I think therefore I am." The part of you that is aware of the thinking is not the thinker. The consciousness is pure awareness, the part of us that was made in God's image, and the part of us that will return to God.
Endless big bands or multiple universes violates Ockham's razor. The most elegant solution is God.
I believe in evolution, but not natural selection. Keep this in mind. The standard atheist line is that given enough time, life forms out of nothing. The common comparison is that if a bunch of monkeys started typing, eventually they would get a line from Shakespeare.
There was an experiment done, and after months of endless typing, the monkeys could not even get a single english word. Keep in mind the two smallest words are a and I.
The time it would take for life to form out of inanimate matter would require an eternal universe, and the universe is not eternal. What's more believable? Your table coming to life, or God?
If you take a look in evolution, there is a pattern, from simple to complex life forms. In a mere 3 million years, we get primitive ape men to modern homo sapiens. Natural selection requires a lot of time, 3 million years doesn't cut it.
Reality is not found in material things. Reality only exists in something that can be determined to be eternal. To make this short and to the point-----that little thing we call a soul is imo, eternal. And all that you perceive with human senses while you may see it change form, only dissovlves into something else. Dust to dust, ya know?