[thechat] Mythology was comics

Tamara Abbey Abbey at abbeyink.com
Thu May 24 00:40:54 CDT 2001

At 01:58 PM 5/24/2001 +0930, you wrote:
>is your "kingdom of heaven" a material/physical place? or is it a state of

For me it is a non-specific physical place. Christianity did not invent an 
afterlife and in your studies you've probably come across that. Is it 
easier for me to think of Heaven as a nice place where I'll be reunited 
with people who have gone before as opposed to returning my physical body 
to the earth and that's that -- yes, it is, but I still believe there is 
more to life than this life.

>or do you have no idea whatsoever? ("and jesus said 'trust me, it's really

Well, I won't know for sure until I get there, but that's part of the 
mystery. Live well, and then I will go home. Illinois, USA is home for my 
physical body and some day I will leave it.

>same with hell. wtf is that? i've heard it defined as "eternity without
>god". i've had 24 years without god, and it's been a shitload of fun. hell
>sounds great.

Ahh, philosophical this evening -- hell is difficult to describe. The fun 
you've had, according to Christianity, is not true *fun* so for you, hell 
may be heaven? It's hard to describe, but it's awful and it's worse than 
anything you can imagine and it never ends. Is it a lake of fire with 
pitchforks? Maybe. With God all things are possible and our punishment, for 
that's what hell is, is based on our earthly deeds. I believe then that God 
can also choose our hell.

>i've also seen stats that suggest that a huge number of americans believe
>that hell is a physical place complete with lakes of fire and devils with
>pitchforks. that's laughably ridiculous, imho. a tool of fear.

Yes and No -- the whole fire and brimstone thing is nice at Halloween, but 
a genuine lake of fire? Again, depends on the situation perhaps? Part of my 
faith is trust and I trust that hell or heaven will be based on what I have 
earned. And, that's what I believe.

>wouldn't the beauty of the design suggest the glory of a designer which
>would in turn suggest a designer before that? you end up with an infinite
>line of creators.

What came first? The chicken or the egg? I know you're trying to 
understand, but this is a matter of faith. Whether it's zealous faith that 
brings down buildings or quiet faith that gets us through the day with the 
possibility of an eternal reward, it's still faith. Some things can not be 
defined. But, a lack of definition does not in any way reduce my faith.

>if you can see your god as just existing and not being created, why cannot
>therefore the universe have existed likewise?
>on that same line, you speak of the creation of the earth and light, etc.
>quoting the bible as truth, but do you believe it occured as spoken?

Why not? Because you find it completely implausible that the earth could be 
formed in one, 24-hour day? If you insist on a 24-hour day reality, then, 
no, it is not possible. If you believe that time as we know it did not 
exist until /we/ invented it, then perhaps in God's day, the earth was created.

>there are many people who think that god physically exists in every single
>thing. i've always wonder how that god could be so free of sin if it were
>involved in sinful activities every single second.

No, God sent his only Son for /our/ salvation and it's up to us to accept 
it or not. While God is present, he has given us the free will to make our 
own choices. God is in this world but not of it. Again, a matter of faith 
that God can co-exist with sin.

>my position: faith in a god, to me, is ludicrous. there is nothing quite so

It's been a long time since I was an active Christian and I want to thank 
you for asking me these things. To me, God is a comfort and a support. God 
is there when I'm ready to accept and trust in my own faith.

>and it enrages me to see the history of violence wrought by the religions of
>the world.

Yes, that is hopelessly sad, but humanity has never been kind to it's 
neighbors. We have been given the instruction book, that's all.

>as someone who believes so fully in a god, do you look upon the beliefs of
>scientologists (for example) as ludicrous? what about other cults? i'm
>interested in your personal opinion, not whether or not you believe they
>have the right to possess those beliefs.

Not really. Although the Jehovah's Witnesses around here can be a tad 
annoying. That's probably one of the hardest things for me to reconcile 
with my faith -- Christianity is /not/ tolerant. The New Testament is not 
as strident as the Old Testament, but we are not to sit idly by and just 
forgive our neighbors. Good Christians are also to actively work to spread 
the word and that's where some of the misunderstandings come in. Jews have 
been having problems for generations because Christians blame them for 
killing Christ. Yet, we believe in the same God. I think some behavior by 
some evangelical Christians and their whole *Save the World* campaigns are 
a bit silly, but the Bible was written by human beings attempting to grasp 
the word of God. Is it flawed? Yes, we are human and inherently flawed so 
we do our best. And if some are taking a different path, well, so be it.

> > overbearing Dad would get pissed off and raise his voice whenever anyone
> > *talked* about ideas that didn't line up with his take on scripture...and
> > man, did he have a take on scripture. We've all matured a lot since then,
> > there are scars, but its much better now...
>never really been to a church (excluding weddings and funerals - my own
>wedding was in a garden, and we were married by a civil celebrant). i think
>my parents "think" they believe in a higher power but they certainly don't
>practice in any way. australia is a far less religious country than america.
>there was never any suggestion from my parents that i should have any faith,
>which i certainly appreciate.

Faith is a comfort. God is comforting. Horrible things happen because we 
are human and not in control of our environment at all times. God will 
provide. All we can do is accept our humanity and try to do better 
tomorrow, which, BTW arrived about 30 minutes ago -- g'nite.

<tamara />

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