Why Christianity is the most popular religion
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14-06-2012, 01:40 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(14-06-2012 07:54 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  According to who?

Me. Grew up there.

Okay, this is interesting. You are in a good place to determine the validity of the claim that "Zim is the most Christian place on earth (loose quote)."

Were your parents Christians? Are they still? And if they are no longer living forgive me, but this has great importance concerning what children believe.

Were you taught Christian doctrine as a child?

How did that doctrine, if in fact you were taught it, compare to the actions of those around you?

This is what I feel that needs to be examined: the basis of the conclusion you now express in contrast to what you were taught in contrast with what scripture actually teaches.

Also understand that I do not take lightly your feelings in this. I will not make light of them. Such as speaking of starvation, surely, if you were a witness to this, I can only imagine the impact it would have on a person.

(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  Wasn't even aware there was an option to dodge the crazies for a long time. You want good bible thumping Christians, go to Zim.

Can you present a Zim preacher or preaching that might represent the teaching you were yourself exposed to?

It has to be kept in mind that while basic doctrines may be for the most part embraced by many individual groups, such as those within Protestant denominations, there can be a variety of doctrinal differences that set them apart and at times separate them.

(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  And after the shit hit the fan people became even more Christian.

I would be interested to hear an account through your witness. Coming from a country where events like this have not occurred in my lifetime, I can only speculate as to what people went through during times of intense tribulation.

So if you would give an account I would appreciate it.

(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  
Quote:So you feel the Lord should strike him down? Have you considered that this is allowed for the express purpose of strengthening the faith of the people of this country? Not saying this is the reason, but faith is tested in the fire, not on the lounge chair on the beach.

I am aware of this. I was drawing attention to the fact that your statement "God will end the life of a naughty believer" seems pretty bullshit, since subsequently you tell me that God will e.g. in the case of Job allow Satan to play hokey with the guy's life no problem,

I still hold to this. This does not mean it happens to all sinning believers, as some repent and correct whatever it is that is displeasing to the Lord.

Nor is Job to be held as a pattern.

From my point of view, Satan "plays hokey" with all men, believer and unbeliever alike. Why would God allow this? Sometimes, as I said, it is for purpose of instruction and growth in righteousness. Sometimes, such as in the case of Joseph, it for a purpose that we as yet do not understand.

But, one thing that also has to be considered is that God should not be held responsible for the results of men's actions. For instance, if a man gets drunk and drives and in the process kills someone, do you blame the bartender for serving him drinks? His parents for not raising him properly? His teachers?

No...you blame the man himself. You can ask, "Why did God allow this to happen," and that is a valid question if you believe God could have prevented it. But let me ask you this: how do you know that God has not prevented many, many things in your life?

Can you say you know that the bad things that have happened to you, your country, or those you know...are the only possible tragedies? Is it not possible that but for God's intervention, you and I would be in a far worse state than we are right now? I can say for myself apart from God's intervention I would probably already be dead.

Just think about that, okay?

(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  and furthermore, if God indeed does follow such interventionist policies then surely he would go after unbelievers too?

Who says He doesn't? While visiting my father-in-law I saw a program "a thousand ways to die" or something like that, and it showed two men in I believe Somalia that, when food was dropped, would go and collect the food before those it was intended for could get it. The parachute for one of those gargo shipments failed to open on a particular drop, and the crate landed on them, killing them both.

Will I say this was justice dealt out by God? Coincidence? Could be either, I don't know. What I can say is that what we know of God has been given to us in terms we understand, and is not to be confused to knowing all there is about God or presuming to understand it all.

Personally, and this is just my opinion based upon my study of God's word, but, I do think that God will step in at times, both in the lives of believers and unbelievers. But, that He might do so does not change the principle I mentioned before, which is, when it comes to chastisement, one would not expect someone to chastise someone else's children.

While we might seek judgment against other's children, that is usually a matter of a vengeful spirit, rather than in the case of our children, which is for their own good.

Here is an example, and if you thought I was a nut before...you'll love this, and be convinced, lol: God is charged with showing no mercy to those scripture tell us perished in the flood. One consideration is that because I believe man must understand in order to be held accountable by God, there was in fact mercy present in the judgment, that being that the children that died in the flood did not grow up to replicate the error of their parents.

And while perhaps a belief in the flood is not held, keep in mind this is just an example of how perspective affects the conclusions we come to.

(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  Also God testing people's faith by starving them seems ultra loving doesn't it.

Again you ascribe blame to God with no consideration of the events that led to that starvation. "They were innocent," you may say, but, I ask you, what others could be named in the events that lead to mass starvation? And be honest. As I said you are in a good place to speak your view with a certain amount of authority, seeing that you (and perhaps I may be presuming and in error) are a witness to the actual events themselves.

Can the leaders of the country, politcal turmoil, things of this nature...be included in the events?

(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  Sure I'll sign right up for worshiping a God like that.

It just doesn't work like that. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Now while you may have been exposed to God's word, as many in our times have been, this is not all that takes place. The Law, as I said before, ministered to man in tow very important ways: it showed man his sin which in turn should have resulted in man's recognition for his need of God.

Now that the New Covenant has been instituted through Christ, the promised Comforter, the Spirit of God Himself, does that work. It is not apart from the revelation of God, specifically the revelation concerning Christ, Whom God has in these last times spoken unto us through.

mnay have the understanding that if they go to "church," pay tithes, and in general act a certain way, they will be Christians. Mnay have these activities as proof of their conversion. But that is merely religious effort, whereas worship of God is truly only accomplished by the internal work of God in the hearts of men.


(14-06-2012 08:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  Of course, our primary purpose in life is not anything great, we must just be abjectly thankful to this tyrant for giving us our lives in the first place, and use them to stroke the said tyrant's own ego by praising him and recruiting others for the same purpose, even when we live in misery.


It is a matter of perspective. One man fails to appreciate that he has food on his table, while another rejoices because he has a few crumbs.

I can understand how one might become bitter toward God when they witness something they feel that, if there was a God, surely He would have intervened and kept these events from happening. However, sometimes we need to place blame on the proper party, which some fail to do.

So I ask again, when you look at the events you experienced, is there no blame issued to anyone but God, and that He did not prevent these things from occurring?

And again, I really do appreciate your responses. I can say that, if I have read your post right, that your perspective carries a certain amount of authority concerning the events you witnessed, yet I would ask you if have ever looked at these events in light of all factors, such as the role Mugabe or his predecessor may have played as a contributing factor.

I have not looked at the events, yet, but, I would think an eyewitness account may be a good thing before trying to weed through the usually unreliable reports of the media.

GTY
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14-06-2012, 01:56 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 08:59 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(14-06-2012 07:54 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  I believe God does care about every soul, but, I also believe that God will in every man and woman's life give them the opportunity for belief. If He did not, then you would be correct in your view of God as unjust.
Your "belief" that every man and women has a chance to get to know about God can easily be refuted. How do, for example, the very few native tribes in the jungles around the globe get to know about God's word when they live far away from any kind of civilization?

Good question.

And it goes back to the amount of knowledge, or, revelation that a people have concerning God.

Even in countries where there is usually ten bibles to a household, there is no preclusion or expectancy of knowledge of God.

Look at the beliefs of the Native American Indian, and we could draw parallels with the God of the Bible. We see a belief in spiritual activity, a "heaven" of sorts, a distinct sense of right and wrong.

Even so in the deepest darkest depths of Africa, that proverbial mission field, we will find, completely apart from "higher education," a belief in gods or a god. Rather than point to man's internal awareness of God, which is overlooked concerning the universal knowledge of Himself that the Lord has built into man and creation that scripture testifies of, the focus is on whether these have heard the Gospel or not, and if they have not...what happens to them?

Well, the Gospel, we are told, was preached to those in the wilderness, meaning the children of Israel. While the Gospel, in my view (which I know is not a unanimous view in Christianity), predates the arrival of the Messiah, it was taught in picture as well as direct prophecy.

God has, according to the amount of revelatory knowledge given to particular ages, judged based upon that revelation itself. In other words, before the Law, the children of Abraham were not expected to support the Levitical Priesthood. However, aspects of that economy can be seen before the Law was given, showing us that there was a knowledge of sacrifice for sin known to the peoples of the world. We can see this in the offering of Abel.

And it is, in my opinion, mind you, no different for the obscure peoples of the world that have not received the knowledge of the Risen Savior. They will be judged according to what they do with the internal witness of God in their hearts. But that is just my view. It is open to debate and is debated, and like most doctrinal issues, there is a tendency to see positions range from nominal to fanatical. And despite what we conclude in the matter, all conclusions have to be measured according to that which the word of God teaches, and for many of these matters, it is not as difficult as some would think.

Quote:Your "belief" that every man and women has a chance to get to know about God can easily be refuted.

How so?

GTY
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14-06-2012, 02:00 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
I was one of the lucky few, the privileged ones, who had plenty of other options. We were a middle class family but in Zim... the difference in scale between my Dad's income and the average man on the street was huge. *We* struggled to put food on the table. I don't wanna imagine what some of the less fortunate went through. Unfortunately I can. Happily the situation in Zim is a lot less tight now apparently, although I've not been back for a long time.

Also, Zim is not such a bad place. It's pretty nice actually. I don't know... somehow these last few posts called out some deep dark place in me... I genuinely didn't know I had such bitterness. Maybe it's that I'm far from home...

So don't feel that you have to be sensitive about it. If there are demons to be excised, that's my problem Tongue

I'll answer the rest of your post at some later point.
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14-06-2012, 02:03 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
Does anyone else other than me think that people writing posts here on average, have limited knowledge of Islam? Because refuting Islam's claims are much harder than christian's and jew's.
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14-06-2012, 02:08 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 02:00 PM)morondog Wrote:  I was one of the lucky few, the privileged ones, who had plenty of other options. We were a middle class family but in Zim... the difference in scale between my Dad's income and the average man on the street was huge. *We* struggled to put food on the table. I don't wanna imagine what some of the less fortunate went through. Unfortunately I can. Happily the situation in Zim is a lot less tight now apparently, although I've not been back for a long time.

Also, Zim is not such a bad place. It's pretty nice actually. I don't know... somehow these last few posts called out some deep dark place in me... I genuinely didn't know I had such bitterness. Maybe it's that I'm far from home...

So don't feel that you have to be sensitive about it. If there are demons to be excised, that's my problem Tongue

I'll answer the rest of your post at some later point.

Well spoken, MD.

I was not kidding, though, I would greatly love to hear of your experience. Seldom do I get the chance to talk to someone that was an eyewitness to tragedy which, really, takes place on a daily basis around the world. I think it quite possible that you may appreciate life more than the average person, and this due to a realization that there are a lot of hurting people out there. I can look at my own life thus far and see how privileged I have been. And sometimes we take for granted what we do have.

But thanks, and I look forward to your repsonse later, and will just say that I do not necessarily look at demons as the cause of all man's misery. Like I said before, we do well enough making a mess of things...without any help at all, lol.

GTY
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14-06-2012, 06:04 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 01:56 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  
(14-06-2012 08:59 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Your "belief" that every man and women has a chance to get to know about God can easily be refuted. How do, for example, the very few native tribes in the jungles around the globe get to know about God's word when they live far away from any kind of civilization?

Good question.

And it goes back to the amount of knowledge, or, revelation that a people have concerning God.

Even in countries where there is usually ten bibles to a household, there is no preclusion or expectancy of knowledge of God.

Look at the beliefs of the Native American Indian, and we could draw parallels with the God of the Bible. We see a belief in spiritual activity, a "heaven" of sorts, a distinct sense of right and wrong.

Even so in the deepest darkest depths of Africa, that proverbial mission field, we will find, completely apart from "higher education," a belief in gods or a god. Rather than point to man's internal awareness of God, which is overlooked concerning the universal knowledge of Himself that the Lord has built into man and creation that scripture testifies of, the focus is on whether these have heard the Gospel or not, and if they have not...what happens to them?

Well, the Gospel, we are told, was preached to those in the wilderness, meaning the children of Israel. While the Gospel, in my view (which I know is not a unanimous view in Christianity), predates the arrival of the Messiah, it was taught in picture as well as direct prophecy.

God has, according to the amount of revelatory knowledge given to particular ages, judged based upon that revelation itself. In other words, before the Law, the children of Abraham were not expected to support the Levitical Priesthood. However, aspects of that economy can be seen before the Law was given, showing us that there was a knowledge of sacrifice for sin known to the peoples of the world. We can see this in the offering of Abel.

And it is, in my opinion, mind you, no different for the obscure peoples of the world that have not received the knowledge of the Risen Savior. They will be judged according to what they do with the internal witness of God in their hearts. But that is just my view. It is open to debate and is debated, and like most doctrinal issues, there is a tendency to see positions range from nominal to fanatical. And despite what we conclude in the matter, all conclusions have to be measured according to that which the word of God teaches, and for many of these matters, it is not as difficult as some would think.
You have yet to answer my initial question. On what basis do you claim that the tribes in the jungles have their own Gods? We don't know anything about them other than they exist (they are untouched by any form of civilization). If they do not have any Gods, they also do not have an "internal witness" of God in their hearts which could be used to judge them.

I'll rephrase my question in a more clear way: "How do the native tribes that are living in the deepest jungles of our world get to know anything about the Christian God when they're living far away from any kind of civilization?"

Note how I'm talking about the Christian God specifically.

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14-06-2012, 07:24 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 06:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(14-06-2012 01:56 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  Good question.

And it goes back to the amount of knowledge, or, revelation that a people have concerning God.

Even in countries where there is usually ten bibles to a household, there is no preclusion or expectancy of knowledge of God.

Look at the beliefs of the Native American Indian, and we could draw parallels with the God of the Bible. We see a belief in spiritual activity, a "heaven" of sorts, a distinct sense of right and wrong.

Even so in the deepest darkest depths of Africa, that proverbial mission field, we will find, completely apart from "higher education," a belief in gods or a god. Rather than point to man's internal awareness of God, which is overlooked concerning the universal knowledge of Himself that the Lord has built into man and creation that scripture testifies of, the focus is on whether these have heard the Gospel or not, and if they have not...what happens to them?

Well, the Gospel, we are told, was preached to those in the wilderness, meaning the children of Israel. While the Gospel, in my view (which I know is not a unanimous view in Christianity), predates the arrival of the Messiah, it was taught in picture as well as direct prophecy.

God has, according to the amount of revelatory knowledge given to particular ages, judged based upon that revelation itself. In other words, before the Law, the children of Abraham were not expected to support the Levitical Priesthood. However, aspects of that economy can be seen before the Law was given, showing us that there was a knowledge of sacrifice for sin known to the peoples of the world. We can see this in the offering of Abel.

And it is, in my opinion, mind you, no different for the obscure peoples of the world that have not received the knowledge of the Risen Savior. They will be judged according to what they do with the internal witness of God in their hearts. But that is just my view. It is open to debate and is debated, and like most doctrinal issues, there is a tendency to see positions range from nominal to fanatical. And despite what we conclude in the matter, all conclusions have to be measured according to that which the word of God teaches, and for many of these matters, it is not as difficult as some would think.

You have yet to answer my initial question. On what basis do you claim that the tribes in the jungles have their own Gods?

While I can understand why you may not see it as answering the question, I will for the most part have to repeat what it is that I said before.

I would claim they have gods or a god based upon the testimony of scripture that God has revealed Himself to man in both nature as well as his heart.

As to whether there are acyually african gods and a history of them, take your pick.



(14-06-2012 06:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  We don't know anything about them other than they exist (they are untouched by any form of civilization).

You underestimate the efforts of Christianity in remote regions. And I can understand you might feel the same way about many of these efforts that I might be inclined to feel about non-Christian efforts, but, it remains that 1) Christianity, while perhaps not having gone to every people on earth yet, has been made available to most; 2) Christian efforts have helped to bring civilization to many parts of the world, though if you ask me, civilization is a matter of opinion.



(14-06-2012 06:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  If they do not have any Gods, they also do not have an "internal witness" of God in their hearts which could be used to judge them.

I would ask you to produce an uncivilized people that...do not have a god or gods.

Do that, then we can look at the reasons that the internal witness of God, both as a matter of generality as well as a matter of direct ministry of the Lord Himself, is not presented in these people.

(14-06-2012 06:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I'll rephrase my question in a more clear way: "How do the native tribes that are living in the deepest jungles of our world get to know anything about the Christian God when they're living far away from any kind of civilization?"

Missionaries. My fellowship sponsors 28 missionary projects around the world, and we are a small fellowship compared to some of the other denominations in our area. We are visited by them when they return to the States and are given updates on the work they are doing, some of which is very impressive in my estimation. Looking at the list, I will see that we do not currently have a missionary family in deepest darkest Africa, but, there are many that seek to reach people there. See here for examples. You will also find a few links in there that speak ill of missionary efforts, though I would recommend that you look at more than just the atheist site I saw. The missionary families we have sent out seek to not only evangleize the natives, but to help them. This is done by helping to feed them as well as educate them (reading and writing).


(14-06-2012 06:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  I'll rephrase my question in a more clear way: "How do the native tribes that are living in the deepest jungles of our world get to know anything about the Christian God when they're living far away from any kind of civilization?"

I will answer this twice. Sorry.

As I said, there is a difference of opinion concerning what we would call civilzed. That a poeple are primitive does not mean they are bereft of intelligence, nor that they are incapable of reasoned thought. I gave the example of the NAI in the last post, which I have a little more familiarity with than the religions of African primitives (though this also is weak).

Now in looking at the similarities of this people's beliefs, who we would think have no ties to Christianity or, for that matter, Israel as a nation, to those that were embraced by pre-Israel people, the correlations concerning spirits is clearly seen. Now why would a people so far removed from these other groups have common ground concerning something they have never discussed?

Why do we see this kind of belief in many peoples of the world?

If not for the internal witness scripture speaks of? You can speculate that it is simply the construct of the human mind in needing to either console himself or to produce answers for the things he does not understand, and that is okay. But I take the view it is just evidence of the validity of that which scripture teaches concerning man.


(14-06-2012 06:04 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Note how I'm talking about the Christian God specifically.

Yes, I realized that in the last post, it was understood. But, we can't expect to answer this without a look at direct revelation. And it is no different for those that have heard a direct message of the Gospel of Christ. While it may have been heard, except God reveal it to man, meaing, except the Spirit of God work in that individual's heart, it will likely mean as much as the sunday funnies.

I view this principle to be at work in those that have not heard the Gospel as well. The Christian God is also the God of the Jew. The God of the Jew is also the God that all man contemplate as they decide in their hearts whether they will follow the urging of their spirit, or they will rebel against that. It is similar to instinct in some ways. Left alone, man will usually follow that internal witness, and embrace God in some form or another. It is just my opinion but I believe distinctives of belief are taught. One way or another. Men are taught and teach themselves the distinctives of their belief system. For the Christian, the teaching is to have as it's source...the Bible.

If you are asking, "Will God condemn the ones that have not heard the Gospel and have turned to Christ," then, my answer would be the same as in the last post: He will hold them accountable according to the revelation they have, and the level of their belief in that revelation. In other words, if a man in deepest darkest Africa believes in His heart that there is a God, and due to this belief molds his life in a fashion that he believes is pleasing to this God, then this man will fare better than the man that rejects that which he believes in his heart, which is, that there is a God and one will be held to account before Him.

But it is like children. They must have an understanding and we "judge" them according to their knowledge. We do not punish a baby for taking medications that a parent has left out, for example. We know that it was not for the intent of altering the mind. However, if we catch a teenager taking drugs, even though they were left out by the parent, we then suspect his motives and he will be judged differently than the baby, right? He should have known better, right?

Okay, sorry, my thoughts are a little jumbled here because I am being called to dinner and trying to work on this while carrying on a conversation with my family, lol. So, I have to get going, enjoyed it.

GTY
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15-06-2012, 09:11 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2012 09:19 AM by Vosur.)
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(14-06-2012 07:24 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  I would claim they have gods or a god based upon the testimony of scripture that God has revealed Himself to man in both nature as well as his heart.

As to whether there are acyually african gods and a history of them, take your pick.
I never doubted the existence of African Gods. And telling me that there are Gods in the African culture doesn't proof that native tribes in the African jungles worship any of them. Even if they did, their Gods are still entirely different from the Christian God.

Using the Bible as evidence for a theistic argument is circular logic.

Quote:I would ask you to produce an uncivilized people that...do not have a god or gods.

Do that, then we can look at the reasons that the internal witness of God,both as a matter of generality as well as a matter of direct ministry of the Lord Himself, is not presented in these people.
How is it possible to prove that someone doesn't worship any kind of God?

Quote:Youunderestimate the efforts of Christianity in remote regions. And I can understand you might feel the same way about many of these efforts that Imight be inclined to feel about non-Christian efforts, but, it remains that 1) Christianity, while perhaps not having gone to every people on earth yet, has been made available to most; 2) Christian efforts have helped to bring civilization to many parts of the world, though if you ask me, civilization is a matter of opinion.
We're not talking about mere remote regions, we're talking about tribes living so far away from the industrialized world that no one has ever met them. Christian missionaries today don't head into random jungles, searching for a bunch of native tribes to preach them about God.

Quote:Missionaries. My fellowship sponsors 28 missionary projects around the world, and we are a small fellowship compared to some of the other denominations in our area. We are visited by them when they return to the States and are given updateson the work they are doing, some of which is very impressive in my estimation. Looking at the list, I will see that we do not currently have a missionary family in deepest darkest Africa, but, there are many that seek to reach people there. See here for examples. You will also find a few links in there that speak ill of missionary efforts, though I would recommend that you look at more than just the atheist site I saw. The missionary families we have sent out seek to not only evangleize the natives, but to help them. This is done by helping to feed them as well as educate them (reading and writing).
See above. The general African population has no connection to the unknown tribes in distant jungles.

Quote:I will answer this twice. Sorry.

As I said, there is a difference of opinion concerning what we would call civilzed. That a poeple are primitive does not mean they are bereft of intelligence, nor that they are incapable of reasoned thought. I gave the example of the NAI in the last post, which I have a little more familiarity with than the religions of African primitives (though this
also is weak).

Now in looking at the similarities of this people's beliefs, who we would think have no ties to Christianity or, for that matter, Israel as a nation, to those that were embraced by pre-Israel people, the correlations concerning spirits is clearly seen. Now why would a people so far removed from these other groups have common ground concerning something they have never discussed?

Why do we see this kind of belief in many peoples of the world?

If not for the internal witness scripture speaks of? You can speculate that it is simply the construct of the human mind in needing to either console himself or to produce answers for the things he does not understand, and that is okay. But I take the view it is just evidence of the validity of that which scripture teaches concerning man.
Nobody in this thread ever said that the tribes in African jungles lack proper intelligence or that they are incapable of making reasonable thoughts. Why are you even bringing that up? It has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

Anyway, religion is indeed a construct of the human mind. What else is it supposed to be? Divinely inspired? Given to humanity by the Christian God? With all due respect, I engaged into this discussion because I expected you to deliever rational thoughts, not religious gibberish.

Quote:Yes, I realized that in the last post, it was understood. But, we can't expect to answer this without a look at direct revelation. And it is no different for those that have heard a direct message of the Gospel of Christ. While it may have been heard, except God reveal it to man, meaing, except the Spirit of God work in that individual's heart, it
will likely mean as much as the sunday funnies.

I view this principle to be at work in those that have not heard the Gospel as well. The Christian God is also the God of the Jew. The God of the Jew is
also the God that all man contemplate as they decide in their hearts whether they will follow the urging of their spirit, or they will rebel against that. It is similar to instinct in some ways. Left alone, man will usually follow that internal witness, and embrace God in some form or another. It is just my opinion but I believe distinctives of belief are taught. One way or another. Men are taught and teach themselves the distinctives of their belief system. For the Christian, the teaching is to have as it's source...the Bible.

If you are asking, "Will God condemn the ones that have not heard the Gospel and have turned to Christ," then, my answer would be the same as in the last post: He will
hold them accountable according to the revelation they have, and the level of their belief in that revelation. In other words, if a man in deepest darkest Africa believes in His heart that there is a God, and due to this belief molds his life in a fashion that he believes is pleasing to this God, then this man will fare better than the man that rejects that which he believes in his heart, which is, that there is a God and one will be held to account before Him.

But it is like children. They must have an understanding and we "judge" them according to their knowledge. We do not punish a baby for taking medications that aparent has left out, for example. We know that it was not for the intent of altering the mind. However, if we catch a teenager taking drugs, even though they were left out by the parent, we then suspect hismotives and he will be judged differently than the baby, right? He should have known better, right?

Okay, sorry, my thoughts are a little jumbled here because I am being called to dinner and trying to work on this while carrying on a conversation with my family, lol. So, I
have to get going, enjoyed it.

GTY
See above. Telling me that "Spirit of God" works in the hearts of individuals based on what's written in the Bible is a logical fallacy (circular logic). If you want to discuss this topic seriously, you'll have to provide me with a source other than the Bible to prove your points.

You have yet to prove that the tribes in African jungles have ever heard about the Christian God other than by using the Bible as evidence.

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15-06-2012, 10:45 AM (This post was last modified: 15-06-2012 10:50 AM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(14-06-2012 07:24 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  I would claim they have gods or a god based upon the testimony of scripture that God has revealed Himself to man in both nature as well as his heart.

As to whether there are acyually african gods and a history of them, take your pick.
I never doubted the existence of African Gods. And telling me that there are Gods in the African culture doesn't proof that native tribes in the African jungles worship any of them. Even if they did, their Gods are still entirely different from the Christian God.

Using the Bible as evidence for a theistic argument is circular logic.

Is that like saying "using historical books for historical argument is circular logic?"

Of course it is, and makes about as much sense.

You asked me what I believed concerning these poeple, I told you, and I am usng circular logic?

Look again at your statement above, which was in response to this:

Quote:You have yet to answer my initial question. On what basis do you claim that the tribes in the jungles have their own Gods?

You can't just change the question every time you do not like an answer. You may or may not be satisfied with the answer, but...it was answered. Now, lets examine your statements here:

Quote:I never doubted the existence of African Gods.

No, you call into question whether specifically "the tribes in the jungles of Africa have their own gods." Right? And to that you received my answer. That you imply that there are "tribes living so far away from the industrialized world that no one has ever met them" leads me to ask one question: if no one has ever met them...what makes you think they exist?

This is no different than my belief that God exists though I have not met Him face to face yet. Would you consider this circular logic as well, or does this apply only to some?


Quote:And telling me that there are Gods in the African culture doesn't proof that native tribes in the African jungles worship any of them.

And we get back to the source of the basis of my beliefs: scripture.

What do you base this theory of unknown tribes no-one has met, yet? Would we not put this into a category of theory, or maybe...folklore or mythology, or superstition? And I am not trying to give you a hard time, here, just asking you to examine what you are saying.


Quote:Even if they did, their Gods are still entirely different from the Christian God.


Well, if it okay to get hypothetical, how can you know that the god of the unknown, unmet, undiscovered tribes...is not the God of the Christians? For that matter, what makes you think that "the God of the Christians" is even the same God? Mormons claim to be Christians, but are distinctive in believing that God was once a man. That could not possibly be the same God worshipped by most "Christian" groups."


(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
Quote:I would ask you to produce an uncivilized people that...do not have a god or gods.

Do that, then we can look at the reasons that the internal witness of God,both as a matter of generality as well as a matter of direct ministry of the Lord Himself, is not presented in these people.

How is it possible to prove that someone doesn't worship any kind of God?

It should be simple enough, if you approach through simple procedure. Do they have a concept of a Higher, Omnipotent Being? Do they have practices that involve this Being? Do have they literature concerning this Being? Do they have idols, statues, symbols, et cetera?

Now, if you can produce this tribe, I would be curious to know about them.

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
Quote:You underestimate the efforts of Christianity in remote regions. And I can understand you might feel the same way about many of these efforts that Imight be inclined to feel about non-Christian efforts, but, it remains that 1) Christianity, while perhaps not having gone to every people on earth yet, has been made available to most; 2) Christian efforts have helped to bring civilization to many parts of the world, though if you ask me, civilization is a matter of opinion.

We're not talking about mere remote regions, we're talking about tribes living so far away from the industrialized world that no one has ever met them.

Your proof? If no-one has ever met them, how can it be possible they exist? Making your argument a product of your imagination, right?

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Christian missionaries today don't head into random jungles, searching for a bunch of native tribes to preach them about God.

I would agree with this. Their is usually a destination that is known before going there, this is just simple common sense. I may look at missionary efforts though, to see if there is a precedent for wandering around until someone is found to minister the Gospel to. Knowing the oddity of humanity, I am sure there is something out there somewhere.

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
Quote:Missionaries. My fellowship sponsors 28 missionary projects around the world, and we are a small fellowship compared to some of the other denominations in our area. We are visited by them when they return to the States and are given updateson the work they are doing, some of which is very impressive in my estimation. Looking at the list, I will see that we do not currently have a missionary family in deepest darkest Africa, but, there are many that seek to reach people there. See here for examples. You will also find a few links in there that speak ill of missionary efforts, though I would recommend that you look at more than just the atheist site I saw. The missionary families we have sent out seek to not only evangleize the natives, but to help them. This is done by helping to feed them as well as educate them (reading and writing).


See above. The general African population has no connection to the unknown tribes in distant jungles.

Then why would you believe they exist?

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
Quote:I will answer this twice. Sorry.

As I said, there is a difference of opinion concerning what we would call civilzed. That a poeple are primitive does not mean they are bereft of intelligence, nor that they are incapable of reasoned thought. I gave the example of the NAI in the last post, which I have a little more familiarity with than the religions of African primitives (though this
also is weak).

Now in looking at the similarities of this people's beliefs, who we would think have no ties to Christianity or, for that matter, Israel as a nation, to those that were embraced by pre-Israel people, the correlations concerning spirits is clearly seen. Now why would a people so far removed from these other groups have common ground concerning something they have never discussed?

Why do we see this kind of belief in many peoples of the world?

If not for the internal witness scripture speaks of? You can speculate that it is simply the construct of the human mind in needing to either console himself or to produce answers for the things he does not understand, and that is okay. But I take the view it is just evidence of the validity of that which scripture teaches concerning man.


Nobody in this thread ever said that the tribes in African jungles lack proper intelligence or that they are incapable of making reasonable thoughts. Why are you even bringing that up? It has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

There was no implication in my statement, though I could mention the general atheistic attitude that one cannot be very intelligent if they believe something without proof.

The point was made clear...I may differ on a general definition of what is called civilized. While some of our larger cities are what would be deemed civilized, it is possible that in them dwell people that are far more primitive than some of the natives of "underdeveloped" countries. Heard a story about the nomadic tribes of Russia last night in which a tribal leader decreed that the person who had been stealing would receive forty lashes. The thief was eventually caught, turning out to be the leader's aged mother. Torn between his love for his mother and the necessity that the law he himself had put in place be upheld, the sentence was carried out, though, at the last minute he takes off his shirt and wraps his arms around his mother. Then orders the sentence to be carried out.

Yet in civilization, every unspeakable horror occurs on a daily basis, some reported, some not.

Do you understand the statement now?




(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Anyway, religion is indeed a construct of the human mind.

Just as the unknown tribes are?


(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  What else is it supposed to be? Divinely inspired?

Yep. That is the internal claim of scripture.


(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Given to humanity by the Christian God?

No, given to Humanity by God. God is God. We do not call Him the "Christian God" because we belong to Him, not the other way around.

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  With all due respect, I engaged into this discussion because I expected you to deliever rational thoughts, not religious gibberish.

Not sure I would call that respect, and based upon the response I really have to question the sincerity of the statement.

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
Quote:Yes, I realized that in the last post, it was understood. But, we can't expect to answer this without a look at direct revelation. And it is no different for those that have heard a direct message of the Gospel of Christ. While it may have been heard, except God reveal it to man, meaing, except the Spirit of God work in that individual's heart, it
will likely mean as much as the sunday funnies.

I view this principle to be at work in those that have not heard the Gospel as well. The Christian God is also the God of the Jew. The God of the Jew is
also the God that all man contemplate as they decide in their hearts whether they will follow the urging of their spirit, or they will rebel against that. It is similar to instinct in some ways. Left alone, man will usually follow that internal witness, and embrace God in some form or another. It is just my opinion but I believe distinctives of belief are taught. One way or another. Men are taught and teach themselves the distinctives of their belief system. For the Christian, the teaching is to have as it's source...the Bible.

If you are asking, "Will God condemn the ones that have not heard the Gospel and have turned to Christ," then, my answer would be the same as in the last post: He will
hold them accountable according to the revelation they have, and the level of their belief in that revelation. In other words, if a man in deepest darkest Africa believes in His heart that there is a God, and due to this belief molds his life in a fashion that he believes is pleasing to this God, then this man will fare better than the man that rejects that which he believes in his heart, which is, that there is a God and one will be held to account before Him.

But it is like children. They must have an understanding and we "judge" them according to their knowledge. We do not punish a baby for taking medications that aparent has left out, for example. We know that it was not for the intent of altering the mind. However, if we catch a teenager taking drugs, even though they were left out by the parent, we then suspect hismotives and he will be judged differently than the baby, right? He should have known better, right?

Okay, sorry, my thoughts are a little jumbled here because I am being called to dinner and trying to work on this while carrying on a conversation with my family, lol. So, I
have to get going, enjoyed it.

GTY
See above.

Okay.

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  Telling me that "Spirit of God" works in the hearts of individuals based on what's written in the Bible is a logical fallacy (circular logic).

Telling me that space is cold based upon facts in a science book is also circular logic?

I think it is my belief that you should probably criticize. It cannot be denied that scripture teaches this. And do not forget, I am telling you why I believe this way and why I would answer the question this way.



(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  If you want to discuss this topic seriously, you'll have to provide me with a source other than the Bible to prove your points.

You misunderstand: I am not trying to prove anything to you.

That is something that is really not in my power. While I might be able to get you to understand or agree, perhaps, with something I believe, like...space is cold, I do not think that I can convince you of spiritual things. Only God can do that. That is one of the problems with mankind: they will take for granted that what they are told is truth. Without verification.

And what you consider "serious discussion" may differ from what I consider serious discussion. If proof is so important to you and discussion is not serious apart from it, then you too, Vosur, are guilty of the condemnation you levy against me, because you will not be able to substantiate the paradoxical belief that there are unknown tribes...that are known.

(15-06-2012 09:11 AM)Vosur Wrote:  You have yet to prove that the tribes in African jungles have ever heard about the Christian God other than by using the Bible as evidence.

And this is an altogether different question.

And you have not grasped what it is that I have said, apparently.

Let me rephrase the response: man will be judged according to the revelation of God which he possesses. The unknown tribesman is no different than the Pharisees of Christ's day. While revelation spoke of messiah previously, He had not come, hence, they were not guilty of rejecting Messiah. But when He had come, and they did not receive Him, they were at that point guilty. Before He came, they were held accountable for the knowledge they did have, which was found in the Law, and they were judged by the Law itself.

Hope that helps.

GTY
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15-06-2012, 03:11 PM
RE: Why Christianity is the most popular religion
un·known

adjective
1.
not known; not within the range of one's knowledge, experience, or understanding; strange; unfamiliar.
2.
not discovered, explored, identified, or ascertained: the unknown parts of Antarctica.
3.
not widely known; not famous; obscure: an unknown writer.

We know that these tribes exist because photographs have been taken of them. However, there hasn't been any further investigation made on some of them. You may want to read this article so that you can understand what I'm talking about. Don't you notice how easily the whole basis of your argument can be refuted?

Apparently, you also do not know what circular logic is.

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This concept does not apply to scientific books, because they are based on plenty external sources and the contents can easily be checked for their validity.

Quote:You can't just change the question every time you do not like an answer.
Don't blame me for your lack of understanding. The statement "you have yet to answer my initial question" was not referring to the question followed after that, but to the one at the end of the comment. I'm talking about this one: "How do the native tribes that are living in the deepest jungles of our world get to know anything about the Christian God when they're living far away from any kind of civilization?"

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