Religion's Place in Nursing - page 6

I often read Billy Graham's column and thought today's was particulary pertinent to our profession. I'm just curious as to your own personal thoughts and feelings on the matter. (Please, no... Read More

  1. by   psychomachia
    Quote from Jaaaman
    I. What is the most reasonable world view?
    A. Metaphysical options
    We have stated that the most basic philosophical question is not that NOTHING is here, but rather SOMETHING IS HERE, and it demands explanation.
    Yet your god does not require an explanation?


    Quote from Jaaaman
    Or is there something or someone that transcends the material universe and is responsible for bringing it into being, and us with it?
    Why should we "believe" that there is ANYTHING capable of transcending the material universe? If WE aren't capable of transcendation, why should any other being be capable? Unless perhaps there is an evolutionary, psychological based need for man to make sense of what he doesn't understand by creating mythical beings to look over him. Each time science shows a god wasn't needed for something to occur, he/she becomes responsible for smaller and smaller parts of the unexplained universe.


    Quote from Jaaaman
    1. The idea that "something came from nothing." (Most reject this view, since the very idea defies rationality).
    And once again, your god doesn't not require an explanation or "come from something"?? If he/she did "come from something" then he/she demands an explanation, otherwise there is no reason to believe he/she exists other than your statement of such, which is not evidence.


    Quote from Jaaaman
    3. The idea that Someone both transcends and did create the material universe of which we are a part (Theism). THERE ARE NO OTHER LOGICAL EXPLANATIONS. Christians of course, would embrace this third view, theism, as the most reasonable explanation for what we believe AND for what we find to be true in ourselves and in reality at large.
    IF you consider a "belief" in an unknowable being to be reasonable, fine. But many are finding that to be too simplistic and primitive, especially without any evidence that such a being exists.

    If I state that interplanetary beings came to this planet and mated with various mammals and created human beings and yet I have no evidence of this happening because you can't see / hear / know these beings unless they choose to make themselves known, and we cannot question their wisdom because we are too unworthy of such knowledge and don't eat the apple cause that's bad and watch out for the big flood unless you have a ticket on the ark and say hi to the bad guy with the pitchfork, cause he's after you to do his dirty work and you're gonnna burn baby burn forever and ever if you get sent to his neighborhood to live...

    Wouldn't you dismiss my ramblings as delusional?

    But exchange inteplanetary beings with god and whose story am I telling? The "greatest story"....Ha, the most unbelievable maybe...and you choose to use that as "logical" and "reasonable"???


    Quote from Jaaaman
    An atheist is a person who makes the bold assertion, "There is no God."
    Wrong. An atheist is one "without BELIEF in a god(s)." The word "theism" is a "belief" in a god(s). Atheism is a lack of that belief. It mentions nothing about existence since as you've stated, a god cannot be proven to exist.


    Quote from Jaaaman
    Is it possible that God could still exist outside this very limited, personal/knowledge experience of one highly intelligent human being? By faith, the atheist says, "No."
    I would say by "reason" the atheist denies god.

    Quote from Jaaaman
    Another curious thing about the atheist is that before he can identify himself as one, he must first acknowledge the very idea, or concept, or possibility of God so he can then deny His existence!
    As I stated, an atheist has no belief of a god, therefore makes no assumption of "what" a god is, because even you, as a believer, cannot define god, can you? And if you can define god, then you've placed boundaries on him/her, so your god is no longer omnipotent and is subject to rules. So who created the rules that could constrain your god?? Daddy god??

    Quote from Jaaaman
    David saw the fallacy of this long ago when he said, "Only the fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1).
    David just didn't think it through to its logical conclusion...
  2. by   manna
    Interesting conversation, and you'd think I'd have something intelligent to add since I just covered a huge section in my Philosophy course about the non-/existence of a God/gods, the problem of evil, theism.... but my brain is burned out from cramming for finals at the moment.

    I'll be keeping my eye on this one.
  3. by   Tweety
    Quote from Louisepug
    No problem Tweety
    . I may have read your post wrong. And of course not everyone is going to agree on everything, but that's what makes the world interesting!
    Take care! Louisepug

    Thanks. I'm not always the best communicator in the world. It's gotten me in trouble in real life, and definately on bulletin boards.
  4. by   donmurray
    Would any believer care to explain what caused them to reject all the myriad alternative G-ds available in order to select the one that they believe in? As an atheist it would appear that the only difference between us is that I reject one more G-d than you do.
  5. by   duckboy20
    psychomachia- Have you looked up the person I was talking about? Josh McDowell, he was an atheist just like you but while trying to prove atheism, he proved the existence of God. I would suggest you look him up. Since you are so hard core you might be interested in seeing what he has to say. Do a web search.
  6. by   Jaaaman
    Quote from psychomachia
    If I state that interplanetary beings came to this planet and mated with various mammals and created human beings and yet I have no evidence of this happening because you can't see / hear / know these beings unless they choose to make themselves known, and we cannot question their wisdom because we are too unworthy of such knowledge and don't eat the apple cause that's bad and watch out for the big flood unless you have a ticket on the ark and say hi to the bad guy with the pitchfork, cause he's after you to do his dirty work and you're gonnna burn baby burn forever and ever if you get sent to his neighborhood to live...
    A (Not So) Brief Defense of Christianity
    Jimmy Williams

    VI. The Old Testament
    For both Old and New Testaments, the crucial question is: "Not having any original copies or scraps of the Bible, can we reconstruct them well enough from the oldest manuscript evidence we DO have so they give us a true, undistorted view of actual people, places and events?"
    A. The Scribe
    The scribe was considered a professional person in antiquity. No printing presses existed, so people were trained to copy documents. The task was usually undertaken by a devout Jew. The Scribes believed they were dealing with the very Word of God and were therefore extremely careful in copying. They did not just hastily write things down. The earliest complete copy of the Hebrew Old Testament dates from ca. 900 A.D.
    B. The Masoretic Text
    During the early part of the tenth century (916 A.D.), there was a group of Jews called the Masoretes. These Jews were meticulous in their copying. The texts they had were all in capital letters, and there was no punctuation or paragraphs. The Masoretes would copy Isaiah, for example, and when they were through, they would total up the number of letters. Then they would find the middle letter of the book. If it was not the same, they made a new copy. All of the present copies of the Hebrew text which come from this period are in remarkable agreement. Comparisons of the Masoretic text with earlier Latin and Greek versions have also revealed careful copying and little deviation during the thousand years from 100 B.C. to 900 A.D. But until this century, there was scant material written in Hebrew from antiquity which could be compared to the Masoretic texts of the tenth century A.D.
    C. The Dead Sea Scrolls
    In 1947, a young Bedouin goat herdsman found some strange clay jars in caves near the valley of the Dead Sea. Inside the jars were some leather scrolls. The discovery of these "Dead Sea Scrolls" at Qumran has been hailed as the outstanding archeological discovery of the twentieth century. The scrolls have revealed that a commune of monastic farmers flourished in the valley from 150 B.C. to 70 A.D. It is believed that when they saw the Romans invade the land they put their cherished leather scrolls in the jars and hid them in the caves on the cliffs northwest of the Dead Sea.
    The Dead Sea Scrolls include a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah, a fragmented copy of Isaiah, containing much of Isaiah 38-66, and fragments of almost every book in the Old Testament. The majority of the fragments are from Isaiah and the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). The books of Samuel, in a tattered copy, were also found and also two complete chapters of the book of Habakkuk. In addition, there were a number of non-biblical scrolls related to the commune found.
    These materials are dated around 100 B.C. The significance of the find, and particularly the copy of Isaiah, was recognized by Merrill F. Unger when he said, "This complete document of Isaiah quite understandably created a sensation since it was the first major Biblical manuscript of great antiquity ever to be recovered. Interest in it was especially keen since it antedates by more than a thousand years the oldest Hebrew texts preserved in the Masoretic tradition."
    The supreme value of these Qumran documents lies in the ability of biblical scholars to compare them with the Masoretic Hebrew texts of the tenth century A.D. If, upon examination, there were little or no textual changes in those Masoretic texts where comparisons were possible, an assumption could then be made that the Masoretic Scribes had probably been just as faithful in their copying of the other biblical texts which could not be compared with the Qumran material.
    What was learned? A comparison of the Qumran manuscript of Isaiah with the Masoretic text revealed them to be extremely close in accuracy to each other: "A comparison of Isaiah 53 shows that only 17 letters differ from the Masoretic text. Ten of these are mere differences in spelling (like our "honor and the English "honour") and produce no change in the meaning at all. Four more are very minor differences, such as the presence of a conjunction (and) which are stylistic rather than substantive. The other three letters are the Hebrew word for "light". This word was added to the text by someone after "they shall see" in verse 11. Out of 166 words in this chapter, only this one word is really in question, and it does not at all change the meaning of the passage. We are told by biblical scholars that this is typical of the whole manuscript of Isaiah.
    D. The Septuagint.
    The Greek translation of the Old Testament, called the Septuagint, also confirms the accuracy of the copyists who ultimately gave us the Masoretic text. The Septuagint is often referred to as the "LXX" because it was reputedly done by seventy Jewish scholars in Alexandria around 200 B.C. The LXX appears to be a rather literal translation from the Hebrew, and the manuscripts we have are pretty good copies of the original translation.
    E. Conclusion.
    In his book, Can I Trust My Bible?, R. Laird Harris concluded, "We can now be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 B.C. . . . Indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny that we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the world of the Lord to those who had returned from the Babylonian captivity."
    http://www.northave.org/MGManual/defense2/WorldView.htm
    Last edit by Jaaaman on Apr 13, '04
  7. by   psychomachia
    Quote from duckboy20
    psychomachia- Have you looked up the person I was talking about? Josh McDowell, he was an atheist just like you but while trying to prove atheism, he proved the existence of God. I would suggest you look him up. Since you are so hard core you might be interested in seeing what he has to say. Do a web search.
    Hard core?? uhhh...right....

    And WHY would I want to read about McDowell. But if you really want me to...

    This is from http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...n/charade.html

    Josh McDowell's Charade (1982)
    Gordon Stein, Ph.D.
    [NOTE: The following article is copyright by Gordon Stein and is reproduced with his permission.]


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Josh McDowell is one of the most popular writers that fundamentalist Christianity has. He is also one of the least trustworthy. Almost nothing he says in his books (e.g., Evidence That Demands a Verdict) has been researched at more than the most superficial of levels. Perhaps it is that very sloppiness that makes his books popular with lazy students who don't want to be confused with a lot of facts. They want simple answers, even when there aren't any.

    McDowell has produced a leaflet called A Skeptic's Quest , which ought to alarm all real skeptics. In it, he tells how he became a Christian. His story may be typical of how a person becomes a fundamentalist Christian. Especially interesting is how little real scholarship or investigation is required. If his conversion is typical, then we can learn a lot from it.

    It seems that McDowell was a self-proclaimed "skeptic" during his undergraduate days. He became impressed with a small group of students whose lives seemed to have purpose. Those students were, of course, fundamentalist Christians. Obviously, what the purpose of their lives was that McDowell didn't have in his life, didn't seem to matter much to him. Any purpose seemingly would do. He interacted with the students and was given the challenge "to examine intellectually who Jesus Christ was" Of course, if he had tried honestly to do this, he would have come up dry, because outside of the New Testament itself, nothing is known of Jesus Christ.

    The way in which McDowell came up with exactly the opposite conclusion, namely that belief in Jesus was intellectually correct, is interesting. It shows how faulty reasoning can easily lead one astray. McDowell decided that to disprove the intellectual validity of Jesus be had to 1) demonstrate that the New Testament was not historically reliable, and 2) since every-thing in Christianity was based upon Jesus' resurrection, all he had to do was prove that the resurrection never took place. Of course, the fact that it is logically impossible to prove that an event never took place didn't bother McDowell. He came to the incredible conclusion (on the basis of a faulty examination of the faulty evidence) that "the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the best established events in history, according to the laws of legal evidence" The fact that none of the "evidence" could have been admitted into a current American court under any of the ordinary rules of evidence seems not to bother McDowell.

    To establish the first point above (upon which the second point depends), McDowell says he relied upon three basic tests: 1) the bibliographic test (he says this evaluates how many manuscripts you have, but this is really only one part of that test), 2) the internal evidence test, and 3) the external evidence test. Let us take each of these in turn.

    The bibliographic test for a manuscript in reality is 1) can we trace the manuscript back to the original in an unbroken chain?, 2) how many copies of the manuscript are there?, 3) how closely do the copies agree?, and 4) do we have any (or all) of the manuscript in the handwriting of the purported author? In reality, the New Testament flunks badly tests number 1) and 4). We have a 300+ year gap between the first entire Gospel manuscript and the time at which it was supposed to have been written. In addition, we have no manuscript in the handwriting of the purported author. In fact, we don't even know who the authors of the Gospels were. Remember, it's the Gospel accordng to Mark, Luke, Matthew, or John. This means that it's only an attribution, but not an established fact that anyone named that actually wrote a word of any Gospel.

    McDowell seems incapable of reasoning. He claims that there are 14,000 or 26,000 manuscripts of the New Testament. So what? What we need is not thousands of manuscripts from the Middle Ages (which is when most of these were written), but two or three from the exact time that Jesus supposedly lived and died. We have none until at least 40-60 years later (that is none was written down until then, but things remained in an oral tradition form), and we have no copies of any Gospel until the Codex Sianaticus of 350 A.D., more than 300 years later.

    Next, we must realize that because of both the unknown authors, the 40-60 year gap, and the 300 year gap to a complete Gospel text, we do not have reliable eyewitness testimony in the Gospels. Once you realize this, any attempt to document the life of Jesus or his purported resurrection (the Gospel accounts, in addition, conflict with each other), as reliable history becomes impossible. McDowell has committed an intellectual travesty by claiming the evidence is overwhelming (it is overwhelmingly negative for the resurrection of Jesus. Worse, McDowell has passed off this travesty upon unsuspecting college students, who don't know enough to see through his inadequacies as a scholar. When a group is as intellectually bankrupt as the fundamentalists seem to be (which of them has denounced McDowell for his inadequacies?), then we know that what they are pushing as their beliefs are unjustified.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Is that what you had in mind??
  8. by   angelicaparki
    Aside from my professional views, please exuse me. If you knew Jesus, you'd have the right to comment, but because you don't have a personal relationship and prayer life with Him, your opinion is invalid. Even in medical care, if a person exhibit signs of ventricular fibrillation and the telemetry strip verifies this, it is the medical professionals that are responsible for initiating measures to defibrillate, etc... Only a fool would stand back and say, "This is really annoying, I don't think it is v-fib and I don't understand how to read this tele strip, so because I disagree with these signs, I am not going to treat it per protocol." When in fact it is v-fib and the person will die without treatment. You cannot rationally judge a case until you have heard all of the facts and are qualified to pass judgement. Just a fact for thought. In old Jewish culture a temple was a holy place of prayer and "inhabited by God." It was defiling to the temple to sell or make a profit in the temple, so of course Jesus would be upset. It is unfortunate we have come so far away from the truth that we forget ourselvelves. After you have tried a relationship with Christ then you can give a valid account and opinion of Him, obviously you feel convicted around Christians or you wouldn't be annoyed by it.

    Quote from sbic56
    That's right. I do remember that story, even with my limited biblical knowledge, now that you mention it. I am sure Jesus could be a pain in the butt, too, but like steph says, most think of him hanging out with lambs and babies. So that's why some christians think it's OK tpo push this stuff, because jesus did it too. Argh. I bet Jesus would admit the error of his ways if he could see how annoying it really can be.
  9. by   TopCat1234
    Quote from psychomachia
    hard core?? uhhh...right....

    and why would i want to read about mcdowell. but if you really want me to...

    this is from http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...n/charade.html

    josh mcdowell's charade (1982)
    gordon stein, ph.d.
    [note: the following article is copyright by gordon stein and is reproduced with his permission.]


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    josh mcdowell is one of the most popular writers that fundamentalist christianity has. he is also one of the least trustworthy. almost nothing he says in his books (e.g., evidence that demands a verdict) has been researched at more than the most superficial of levels. perhaps it is that very sloppiness that makes his books popular with lazy students who don't want to be confused with a lot of facts. they want simple answers, even when there aren't any.

    mcdowell has produced a leaflet called a skeptic's quest , which ought to alarm all real skeptics. in it, he tells how he became a christian. his story may be typical of how a person becomes a fundamentalist christian. especially interesting is how little real scholarship or investigation is required. if his conversion is typical, then we can learn a lot from it.

    it seems that mcdowell was a self-proclaimed "skeptic" during his undergraduate days. he became impressed with a small group of students whose lives seemed to have purpose. those students were, of course, fundamentalist christians. obviously, what the purpose of their lives was that mcdowell didn't have in his life, didn't seem to matter much to him. any purpose seemingly would do. he interacted with the students and was given the challenge "to examine intellectually who jesus christ was" of course, if he had tried honestly to do this, he would have come up dry, because outside of the new testament itself, nothing is known of jesus christ.

    the way in which mcdowell came up with exactly the opposite conclusion, namely that belief in jesus was intellectually correct, is interesting. it shows how faulty reasoning can easily lead one astray. mcdowell decided that to disprove the intellectual validity of jesus be had to 1) demonstrate that the new testament was not historically reliable, and 2) since every-thing in christianity was based upon jesus' resurrection, all he had to do was prove that the resurrection never took place. of course, the fact that it is logically impossible to prove that an event never took place didn't bother mcdowell. he came to the incredible conclusion (on the basis of a faulty examination of the faulty evidence) that "the resurrection of jesus christ is one of the best established events in history, according to the laws of legal evidence" the fact that none of the "evidence" could have been admitted into a current american court under any of the ordinary rules of evidence seems not to bother mcdowell.

    to establish the first point above (upon which the second point depends), mcdowell says he relied upon three basic tests: 1) the bibliographic test (he says this evaluates how many manuscripts you have, but this is really only one part of that test), 2) the internal evidence test, and 3) the external evidence test. let us take each of these in turn.

    the bibliographic test for a manuscript in reality is 1) can we trace the manuscript back to the original in an unbroken chain?, 2) how many copies of the manuscript are there?, 3) how closely do the copies agree?, and 4) do we have any (or all) of the manuscript in the handwriting of the purported author? in reality, the new testament flunks badly tests number 1) and 4). we have a 300+ year gap between the first entire gospel manuscript and the time at which it was supposed to have been written. in addition, we have no manuscript in the handwriting of the purported author. in fact, we don't even know who the authors of the gospels were. remember, it's the gospel accordng to mark, luke, matthew, or john. this means that it's only an attribution, but not an established fact that anyone named that actually wrote a word of any gospel.

    mcdowell seems incapable of reasoning. he claims that there are 14,000 or 26,000 manuscripts of the new testament. so what? what we need is not thousands of manuscripts from the middle ages (which is when most of these were written), but two or three from the exact time that jesus supposedly lived and died. we have none until at least 40-60 years later (that is none was written down until then, but things remained in an oral tradition form), and we have no copies of any gospel until the codex sianaticus of 350 a.d., more than 300 years later.

    next, we must realize that because of both the unknown authors, the 40-60 year gap, and the 300 year gap to a complete gospel text, we do not have reliable eyewitness testimony in the gospels. once you realize this, any attempt to document the life of jesus or his purported resurrection (the gospel accounts, in addition, conflict with each other), as reliable history becomes impossible. mcdowell has committed an intellectual travesty by claiming the evidence is overwhelming (it is overwhelmingly negative for the resurrection of jesus. worse, mcdowell has passed off this travesty upon unsuspecting college students, who don't know enough to see through his inadequacies as a scholar. when a group is as intellectually bankrupt as the fundamentalists seem to be (which of them has denounced mcdowell for his inadequacies?), then we know that what they are pushing as their beliefs are unjustified.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    is that what you had in mind??
    the people of the world will persecute you because you belong to me, for they don't know the god who sent me. john 15:21

    topcat
  10. by   Owney
    angelicaparki,

    How dare you say that nobody should use the brain that God gave us. How dare you say that anyone who chooses not to have the same relationship with Jesus that you do has an opinion that is invalid. The Commandment that I have the most problem with is "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me." This is nothing more than an exclusivity clause, leading us to a religious monopoly. Like most major religions we are to exclude any other form of spirituality, or humanitarianism. Like most modern religeous thinkers I use the brain that God gave me to follow whatever spiritual guidance I can from anywhere.

    psychomachia/Jaaaman,

    Excellent posts. I archived both of them in a Word file.

    Jaaaman does a good job of attesting to the probable accuracy of the Old Testament. I believe psychomachia does have valid points with the likely inaccuracies in the New Testament. Some years ago, my minister pointed out the problems with the New Testament in a sermon entitled, "The Gospel Truth."

    If anyone has read this far, you may indulge me by reading the following which I posted on the Pope Decalares Feeding Tubes, ect. string several days ago.

    The Only Good Religion

    I was born into a Roman Catholic family of six children. I went to public school for kindergarten, since my local Catholic school did not have one then went to first grade in one Catholic school and second grade in another, since my family had moved. When we moved again, it was too late to enroll me in the local Catholic school for that year, so I went to public school for third grade. My mother decided to leave me in public school and let me attend Catechism, since she did not want me to have to switch to a fifth school in as many years. Going to public school for third grade was a mixed blessing for me. I learned to print in second grade, but in those days cursive handwriting was not taught until third grade in Catholic schools. So I was behind in handwriting. I was, however, way ahead of all of the other children since I had learned to read by phonics, and not by word recognition, as everyone in public schools had been. When the teacher found out how well I could read, she would frequently have me read for the class. This helped to deal with some of my diminished self-esteem at having to learn cursive handwriting. I never did get really good with cursive, so I still print much of the time to this day.

    I must say that I probably got the last of the good religious education from the Catholic Church. I felt one of the most attractive aspects of Catholicism was its immutability. "These are the rules. If you don't like them, find another church." The mass was conducted every day, and we were required to attend every Sunday. The mass was spoken or sung in Latin. Our missal was like an operatic libretto, giving us subtitles to follow this deliberately "dead" language. We were taught that there were venial sins, and mortal sins. Venial sins could be forgiven through prayer, but we could only be absolved of mortal sins by confessing them to a priest. We could not take communion with mortal sins on our souls. We were only required to take communion once a year, so the confessional line was usually quite long just before Easter Sunday. Catholic marriages were for life, there being no divorce, but separations were not forbidden. Neither party could ever re-marry. If I wanted to find out what the mass would be like, all I had to do was to look in my missal. The rules were well defined and understandable by most of us in high school.

    After I graduated from high school (and Catechism), the church adopted "Vatican II." Everything changed. The altar was turned around and the mass was performed in English, taking away the art and beauty of Latin, and leaving it subject to the ever-changing characteristics of a dynamic, living language. I was on shaky ground with the church when I came back from Viet Nam. We now had guitar masses and other silly attempts to "modernize" the mass. One mass I attended the priest said, "I am supposed to ask you to all shake hands and greet each other, but I know that in twenty minutes, you will all be trying to run each other over in the parking lot, so we will dispense with that." One of my sisters had had a Catholic wedding. After a few years of fighting they went to the priest and were granted an annulment, so she was allowed another Catholic wedding. All of the rules have changed so much that I feel that I did not leave the church, but that the church left me.
    I went to Viet Nam as an agnostic, if not an atheist. On our way to Pearl Harbor I was impressed with our navigator's ability to pinpoint the exact minute of our arrival in the middle of the largest ocean in the world. I believe it also renewed my faith in God. My faith was buttressed the night when we survived a typhoon in an area where four ships exactly like mine went down during WWII with the loss of hundreds of lives. I said a prayer, "God, get me through this night, and I will never doubt you again."

    Our ship set a record for her type in the number of miles steamed during that cruise. We did not lose a man. We survived several combat engagements where we could watch the death that we inflicted on the enemy. We watch F4 Phantoms covering hillsides with napalm, and people being dismembered an immolated on the beach by our five inch guns. God did bring us all back alive. So my belief in God had been restored, but I felt that there was no church that fulfilled my religious needs.

    I did go back to mass occasionally and still do to this day. Each mass seems sillier than the last, although I do like the greetings and blessings that we exchange. I did even take communion once, but only because I was at a wedding where there were no other Catholic friend in attendance who would know that I had not confessed mortal sins to a priest. One is not supposed to take Holy Communion with mortal sins on one's soul. I did say my confession directly to God, (like a Protestant)and said my Act of Contrition and penance. I may one day go to confession and thus reconcile myself with the church, but this would require me to abide by some rules that I cannot live with. I believe I would have no problem convincing my wife to re-marry me in a Catholic ceremony since she might agree to raise any children Catholic.

    My wife had a pan hysterectomy in her twenties so birth control and child rearing are of little consequence. My most serious issue with the church is their exclusivity clause, "I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before thee." The Catholic Church forbids believing in any other entity or force, which could influence life on earth or in the hereafter.
    For a number of years I hung out with a group of born again Christians. These folks were the finest examples of practicing what Jesus taught us--how to help each other. What troubled me was when one of them told me that regardless of how much good you do on earth, if you do not accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you will not get into Heaven. The Catholics do not say that. They say that once you have been confirmed you must follow the rules, but those that have never heard the word you could get into Heaven, if you've been good.

    Since my wife is not Catholic we have had many discussions about Purgatory. Purgatory is something that the Catholic Church has over all other Christians. I find it hard to believe that there is not some form of only paying for our sins by how bad they are. I simply cannot believe that since I have lived in sin all these years in a non-Catholic marriage, I will be burning in the eternal fires of Hell right next to Adolph Hitler. It might be nice to have conversations with Adolph, Josef Stalin, Idi Amin, Andre Chouchescu, and Sadaam Hussein, but not forever. If I died today I would proudly stand before Saint Peter -- and he might even send me to Purgatory for a few weeks to pay for my sins. He might not, because I believe he will consider the amount of "hell on earth" I have already suffered. After I have paid my dues I would be able to walk through the Pearly Gates into the Promised Land.

    I first heard of Unitarians from the folksinger Utah Phillips, who said that he had performed in their churches in Utah, a state that has very few public performance venues. In the late eighties I discovered Unitarian Universalism. A friend took us to First Friday, a monthly social event at our local U-U Church. We went to three or four of them before I discovered that Stan, another First Friday attendee, was the MINISTER. A few weeks after that I saw a letter to the editor of our local paper which said that our state governor was a member of the U-U Church, which does not require a belief in God! So we decided to check it out. At the first service a lady stood in the pulpit and said that there was no testament of faith. My wife and I signed the book that day. We could believe anything we wanted, or so we thought. After hanging around for a while we learned we could not believe anything we wanted, but that we were obligated, as thinkers, to find faith that we could believe and follow.

    Life's road has led me to be a religious eclectic. Every recent poll has shown that most modern Catholics "pick and choose" those precepts of Catholicism they choose to live by, especially in the area of birth control (thank God, he even created many of THEM with the ability to think). So I CAN be a practicing Catholic, MY way. But I can also be a Jew, Moslem, Buddhist, Shinto, Voodoo, Zoroastrian, Druid, Pagan, Nature Worshiper, Native American, First Nation Member, Ignostic, Agnostic, Humanist, Atheist, or member of any other religion or belief which has something good to offer me.
    Most of my religion today is Roman Catholic. I wear a St. Christopher medal on my dog tag chain and pray to him frequently, since he has pulled me through so many perilous journeys. I believe in St. Christopher in spite of the fact that a few years ago Vatican scholars decided that he, like St. Nicholas, might never have existed. But I also practice a lot of First Nation/Native American beliefs. Last year I did a sun dance in my back yard to fend off intermittent showers for our yard sale. It worked. I frequently pray to Earth, other planets, sun, moon and stars. Even in my Catholic prayers I remember to thank God for giving me the wisdom to think.

    I believe life's journey continues down the road of the best religion. The best religion forces me to find and follow the best of ALL religions.

    Go Now In Peace

    :kiss
  11. by   sbic56
    Quote from angelicaparki
    Aside from my professional views, please exuse me. If you knew Jesus, you'd have the right to comment, but because you don't have a personal relationship and prayer life with Him, your opinion is invalid. Even in medical care, if a person exhibit signs of ventricular fibrillation and the telemetry strip verifies this, it is the medical professionals that are responsible for initiating measures to defibrillate, etc... Only a fool would stand back and say, "This is really annoying, I don't think it is v-fib and I don't understand how to read this tele strip, so because I disagree with these signs, I am not going to treat it per protocol." When in fact it is v-fib and the person will die without treatment. You cannot rationally judge a case until you have heard all of the facts and are qualified to pass judgement. Just a fact for thought. In old Jewish culture a temple was a holy place of prayer and "inhabited by God." It was defiling to the temple to sell or make a profit in the temple, so of course Jesus would be upset. It is unfortunate we have come so far away from the truth that we forget ourselvelves. After you have tried a relationship with Christ then you can give a valid account and opinion of Him, obviously you feel convicted around Christians or you wouldn't be annoyed by it.
    Nobody's opinion is "invalid". You can disagree with mine, but you can't invalidate it. Sorry, that is just the way it is with opinions, no matter what one is talking about. I totally don't understand your religion/a-fib comparison. I don't see how you can compare facts with faith. I feel annoyed by christians only when they push their faith on me, perhaps much as you may feel right now because I do not believe as you do. I wouldn't say you feel "convicted" though. (Not sure what you meant by that comment, really.)
  12. by   duckboy20
    Nobody's opinion is "invalid". You can disagree with mine, but you can't invalidate it. Sorry, that is just the way it is with opinions, no matter what one is talking about.
    You are right, nobody's opinion is invalid. I think things are just a little tense on here sometimes
    Psychomachia-Question: Could Jesus have existed? If no, then why not. What about Pharoah? If he lived is it possible that Moses lived and the things about him could have been true? Is it possible there was ever a "great flood" on the earth and Noah had to build an ark? You even said you want a ticket on there. I know you were being sarcastic. There is evidence that water once covered almost all areas of the earth if not the whole earth, some say the earth was warmer and the glaciers melted, I say maybe the earth did warm up, the glaciers melted, and there was a great flood. Could Jesus be the man he said he is? If not tell me exactly why. I think there is a chance he was. You can very well say there is a chance he wasn't. It is all in what we choose to believe. I believe you have said in previous posts that the earth is dated far before the Bible said it could have been. The method they use to date is Carbon Dating which has been disproven as many times as it has been proven. I think your opinion is as valid as mine we choose to believe what we choose to believe.
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from angelicaparki
    If you knew Jesus, you'd have the right to comment, but because you don't have a personal relationship and prayer life with Him, your opinion is invalid.

    You cannot rationally judge a case until you have heard all of the facts and are qualified to pass judgement.

    After you have tried a relationship with Christ then you can give a valid account and opinion of Him, obviously you feel convicted around Christians or you wouldn't be annoyed by it.
    Well, since Jesus is not around, it is kind of hard to pray with him. But it hardly invalidates our opinion.

    And trust me, as a Jew that comes from a mixed heritage, I HAVE heard all the so-called facts. Heck, I get beaten to death with them (as do many nonChristians in the USA) on a regular basis. If anything, we are more qualified to speak on him as we are not "biased" by being Christian.

    And I have tried to believe in Jesus for ages, but find that it does not "make sense" to me in the way that Judaism does.

    The OP entitled the thread "Religion and Nursing" not Christianity and nursing. The OP asks us to "try Jesus" and I have (along with several others that have posted), and I find Christianity lacking. And has written so for the poster to see. That does not limit us in being able to form a valid opinion on him and the Bible.

    And for you to say that we have no right to have an opinion...well that just demeans that Christianity that you espouse.

    And when have YOU honestly tried to be a ..pick several of the following (Muslim, Hindi, Wiccan, Buddhist, Bahai'd, Rastafarian, Shintoist, Jew, Zoarastian). How can you say that THEY are WRONG if you have not tried all of them? And voice absolutely no opinion of them, whatsoever.

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