Hi to all my Forum Friends,
In the discussion titled "Irrational Religion" begun by Invictus, our Forum Friend, Jan, tells us, "All we (atheists) want is for religion to be kept out of our schools, science, politics, and laws. Go to church all you want. Pray constantly. Believe with all your heart and mind that it is all real for all I care. Just stop expecting the rest of the world to believe as you do."
And, UWSoftball, responds to her, "Interesting Jan. First, as a free thinking deist (I guess that is what I am), I also want religion out of our laws, schools and politics. I really don't trust others interpretations of what they "see" as religion in any of the above. Never forgetting, if you allow one, then you must allow ALL."
Then, UWSoftball, continues in her dialogue with Jan, "Ironic, that I relate more to the atheist here, isn't it? Yet, a believer I am. But know this, I will never, ever, ever, try to impose my belief on you."
UW, first we need to get a clear understanding of what you mean when you say, "Yet, a believer I am." In your previous comment, you identify yourself as a deist; then you follow by saying you are a believer. I guess the most obvious question to you should be: "As a 'believer' -- in what or whom do you believe?"
You declare yourself to be a deist; yet, deism denounces Christianity. Deism, at its core, can only be defined as a Pantheistic Religion, finding its god, or gods, in science and nature. This is much like the early Native American religion which believed that all things -- earth, stars, moon, sun, animals, plants, rocks, etc., all had spirits, i.e., were some form of deity.
So, by declaring yourself a deist believer; are you are saying you are not a Christian believer?
WORLD UNION OF DEISTS: God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion http://www.deism.com/deism_defined.htm
Welcome to Deism!
Deism is knowledge of God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. The designs presuppose a Designer. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a "revealed" religion. The natural religion/philosophy of Deism frees those who embrace it from the inconsistencies of superstition and the negativity of fear that are so strongly represented in all of the "revealed" religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Deism vs Revealed Religion:
Revelation, or revealed religion, is defined in Webster's New World Dictionary as: "God's disclosure to man of Himself." This should read, "God's alleged disclosure to man of himself." For unless God reveals to each of us individually that a particular religion is truly His disclosure to us of Himself, then, by believing that religion, we are not taking His word for it, but we are instead putting our belief in the person or institution telling us it is so. This is what we are doing when we believe in any revealed religion, and that's all Christianity is. It's a revealed religion like many others such as Islam and Judaism.
But, UW, let's assume that you misunderstood the meaning of being a deist -- and truly are a Christian believer. You say you will not impose YOUR beliefs, i.e., Christian beliefs, upon anyone else. But, will you share JESUS' beliefs with others?
What are JESUS' beliefs? Glad you asked. You will find them throughout the Bible. But, here are a few examples:
Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'"
In this passage, is Jesus telling us to be Couch Potato Christians? Is He suggesting that we keep all our Christian beliefs inside us -- until we begin to suffer from Spiritual Constipation? You and I both know He is telling all believers to Go, Make Disciples, Baptize Them, Teach Them. One cannot do that if he/she is a Couch Potato Christian. One cannot do that if he/she is suffering from Spiritual Constipation.
Act 1:7-8, "He said to them, 'It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.'"
What does Jesus mean when He tells us that we are to be His witnesses? Well, my personal belief is that He is telling us to share His Gospel with the world. He is telling all believers, "you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem (your family, your community, your city), and in all Judea (your state) and Samaria (your nation), and even to the remotest part of the earth (your world)."
Mark 16:15-16, "And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.'"
Once again, Jesus is telling all believers, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel . . ." What will happen if you follow His instructions? You will be instrumental in helping someone, or many, become seekers. What happens when folks become seekers? Many of them become believers.
What happens when folks become believers? They have His promise of eternal life in the presence of God (John 6:47). They have eternal life in Christ.
What happens to those to whom we will not share the Gospel and who do not become seekers or believers? ". . .but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.'"
Condemned to what? If you are a believer, as you tell us -- and I cannot say you are not -- then, you know that this person, these people, are condemning themselves to an eternity in hell -- through their disbelief.
Are you really being a loving person? Are you really being a loving Christian? Are you really being a friend to them? If you allow them, because YOU will not share with them -- to condemn themselves to an eternity in hell? I will let you answer that question in your own heart.
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,