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Started by RussCarroll, 04/17/2011 08:37AM
Posted 04/17/2011 08:37AM Opening Post
...and I don't mean that in the larger scheme of things, but here on these forums discussing spiritual things. I'm going into a 12-week cardio rehab and lifestyle change program and I really hope to use this time to re-connect with God and try and understand what activities I should be doing. This is a good time to step back and look at things like my participation here, which I enjoy for the most part.

One thing this is not is a ministry, which I had hoped it would be when I first entered this forum. I wanted to represent evangelical Christianity here in the hopes of softening some of the hard edges I saw in these forums. For the most part, I would say that I developed some hard edges along the way and didn't soften much of anything, This is no fault of my own or others, it's just human nature.

When you look at the pattern of human interactions that Jesus had with people for lessons learned, they fall into two categories: The first is responses to people that really didn't want His wisdom but asked cynical questions of Him to try and tear Him down. He ignored their actual questions and revealed deeper truths about man and God because He knew their hearts. I would have to say that most, if not all, of the debate here, at least from my perspective, fall into this category in the broadest of definition possible. When Clyde asks me questions, he is not really looking for knowledge as opposed to trying to impart knowledge. There is nothing wrong with that, but the fact is, his questions fall into this first category.

The second interaction that Jesus had with people were from people who genuinely wanted to be touched by the Master and sought Him out. Normally, this was motivated by a great need like having an incurable disease or a dying child. Jesus did not turn them away and met their immediate need; however, this was always accompanied by turning the focus back onto their greatest need, which is spiritual and specific to Jesus Himself as the Messiah. Only once in the entire time I've posted here have I sensed, again in the broadest possible definition, any real inquiry or sincere curiosity as it pertains to my own faith. I do the same thing, so I am not on my high-horse, but I would be deceiving myself if I characterized this forum differently. Interactions that matter, where true spiritual seeds can be planted, can only be arranged by God and happen without notice or coercion and can even go completely unnoticed. Helping meet another's need can be a great starting point for such an encounter.

In looking back to my pagan upbringing, one of the deepest seeds that I thing God put in my heart came from a cartoon. I remember feeling awe when I heard it and really didn't assess it at all. I am so grateful that Charles Shultz put himself out to have Linus explain the true meaning of Christmas to me as a child:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

Twenty or so years later, that seed grew to maturity and I became a Christian.

I realized the nature of this forum pretty early on but stayed anyway, in spite of leaving a few times. Why? For one thing, it's an important topic to me and I enjoy mental stimulation. I also like to understand the thinking of others on the topic. But aside from personal interest, I have and continue to get something extremely important here, and that is the training of what is and is not important in my own faith in regards to science. I have to coexist in both worlds, and my thinking has actually significantly changed here over time, not on substance but on essentials. Yo may not believe it, Clyde, but you have taught me many valuable lessons here that will be useful in God's ability to use me to advance His Kingdom if He sees fit to do so, so I thank you. I only wish it would be to your benefit.

When I was a fairly new Christian, I hired someone who was down on their luck and poured myself into him for months in the belief that he would see the light one day. I had to try and somewhat isolate him from his wife as she was an extremely immoral person and would hinder my work. After about 6 months, SHE was the one that became a Christian in spite of my best efforts to quarantine her. My best thinking still gets me into trouble.

Posted 04/17/2011 06:42PM | Edited 04/17/2011 06:45PM #1
Russ,

First off...best of luck in the program you are about to take! Hope it accomplishes all you expect and want! If they let you Internet, drop a progress line now and then smile

When Herb split the forum space, I was hoping like you that we could have both a place of counterpoint debate as well as a place where religious could inquire from each other to learn. Unfortunately, as you point out, this does not happen here and those who are not religious cannot bring themselves for there to be a space where religious can gather and discuss in safety, and of course non-religious can freely come also as long as not pushing the anti-God argument. Sad that some can't accept and allow the type of interaction in at least one space here that you mention. :-/

Why are we here? For varied reasons. Like you mention you wanted to minister. Others I think are here simply to be oppositional to religion and God and nothing more, wanting their voice loud in all sections of the forum space regardless. Some are here just because they enjoy confrontation and stirring the pot. Most, like you mention, are probably here not to learn or question, but more to voice their side to others and nothing more. Those new who do come to discuss and learn religion from other religious, as we have seen are quickly chased away by the anti-religious. Me, when I'm bored with all else online then I come to this religion forum just to see what is being said and join in if it feels like anything productive might result for someone.

I personally feel, based on what you wrote, that you are "planning" too much...or at least are letting expectation of results drive you rather than simply sowing. Realize that for all who participate here, that there may be 2x or 3x or more who never participate and just lurk and read. So for those, any ministry might have been quite beneficial. So I guess I'm saying that if you know the work you are doing is good, then don't worry about if "you" see the intended results because God will ensure that the person who needs it will be here, perhaps discussing, perhaps just lurking, and when the time is right for that person the seed that got planted will begin to move.

FWIW, many times I look at it this way, and use the father child relationship as a working analogy: so whether or not my child really knows or understands what they should be doing, there is always one thing that they can do for me which will *always* be the right thing, the perfect thing...simply being good! So they don't really need to sit around and figure out what they should be doing for me, because in the end they know that if the do good, then whatever it is will be sufficient for me to say and think that they are doing exactly as I wanted. So the same with God and you...don't fret so much over having to know if what you are doing is exactly what you should be doing for God. All you have to do is to be good in the context of what He has taught us and you will be making Him smile smile

Again, good luck on your program and hope all goes best!

-Bill
Posted 04/18/2011 07:50AM #2
Russ Carroll said:

...and I don't mean that in the larger scheme of things, but here on these forums discussing spiritual things. I'm going into a 12-week cardio rehab and lifestyle change program and I really hope to use this time to re-connect with God and try and understand what activities I should be doing. This is a good time to step back and look at things like my participation here, which I enjoy for the most part.

One thing this is not is a ministry, which I had hoped it would be when I first entered this forum. I wanted to represent evangelical Christianity here in the hopes of softening some of the hard edges I saw in these forums. For the most part, I would say that I developed some hard edges along the way and didn't soften much of anything, This is no fault of my own or others, it's just human nature.

When you look at the pattern of human interactions that Jesus had with people for lessons learned, they fall into two categories: The first is responses to people that really didn't want His wisdom but asked cynical questions of Him to try and tear Him down. He ignored their actual questions and revealed deeper truths about man and God because He knew their hearts. I would have to say that most, if not all, of the debate here, at least from my perspective, fall into this category in the broadest of definition possible. When Clyde asks me questions, he is not really looking for knowledge as opposed to trying to impart knowledge. There is nothing wrong with that, but the fact is, his questions fall into this first category.

The second interaction that Jesus had with people were from people who genuinely wanted to be touched by the Master and sought Him out. Normally, this was motivated by a great need like having an incurable disease or a dying child. Jesus did not turn them away and met their immediate need; however, this was always accompanied by turning the focus back onto their greatest need, which is spiritual and specific to Jesus Himself as the Messiah. Only once in the entire time I've posted here have I sensed, again in the broadest possible definition, any real inquiry or sincere curiosity as it pertains to my own faith. I do the same thing, so I am not on my high-horse, but I would be deceiving myself if I characterized this forum differently. Interactions that matter, where true spiritual seeds can be planted, can only be arranged by God and happen without notice or coercion and can even go completely unnoticed. Helping meet another's need can be a great starting point for such an encounter.

In looking back to my pagan upbringing, one of the deepest seeds that I thing God put in my heart came from a cartoon. I remember feeling awe when I heard it and really didn't assess it at all. I am so grateful that Charles Shultz put himself out to have Linus explain the true meaning of Christmas to me as a child:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

Twenty or so years later, that seed grew to maturity and I became a Christian.

I realized the nature of this forum pretty early on but stayed anyway, in spite of leaving a few times. Why? For one thing, it's an important topic to me and I enjoy mental stimulation. I also like to understand the thinking of others on the topic. But aside from personal interest, I have and continue to get something extremely important here, and that is the training of what is and is not important in my own faith in regards to science. I have to coexist in both worlds, and my thinking has actually significantly changed here over time, not on substance but on essentials. Yo may not believe it, Clyde, but you have taught me many valuable lessons here that will be useful in God's ability to use me to advance His Kingdom if He sees fit to do so, so I thank you. I only wish it would be to your benefit.

When I was a fairly new Christian, I hired someone who was down on their luck and poured myself into him for months in the belief that he would see the light one day. I had to try and somewhat isolate him from his wife as she was an extremely immoral person and would hinder my work. After about 6 months, SHE was the one that became a Christian in spite of my best efforts to quarantine her. My best thinking still gets me into trouble.


Russ, I hope your cardio rehab is fruitful. As to your post, I think we (regenerate believers) are responsible for loving the lost enough to take the time to plant the seeds of truth found in the scriptures. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to water those seeds and grow them, how well they do has a lot to do with the soil they fall on.

Doug Matulis
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I need something to put here, can you help? wink "
Posted 04/18/2011 08:28AM #3
Russ Carroll said:

...and I don't mean that in the larger scheme of things, but here on these forums discussing spiritual things. I'm going into a 12-week cardio rehab and lifestyle change program and I really hope to use this time to re-connect with God and try and understand what activities I should be doing. This is a good time to step back and look at things like my participation here, which I enjoy for the most part.

One thing this is not is a ministry, which I had hoped it would be when I first entered this forum. I wanted to represent evangelical Christianity here in the hopes of softening some of the hard edges I saw in these forums. For the most part, I would say that I developed some hard edges along the way and didn't soften much of anything, This is no fault of my own or others, it's just human nature.

When you look at the pattern of human interactions that Jesus had with people for lessons learned, they fall into two categories: The first is responses to people that really didn't want His wisdom but asked cynical questions of Him to try and tear Him down. He ignored their actual questions and revealed deeper truths about man and God because He knew their hearts. I would have to say that most, if not all, of the debate here, at least from my perspective, fall into this category in the broadest of definition possible. When Clyde asks me questions, he is not really looking for knowledge as opposed to trying to impart knowledge. There is nothing wrong with that, but the fact is, his questions fall into this first category.

The second interaction that Jesus had with people were from people who genuinely wanted to be touched by the Master and sought Him out. Normally, this was motivated by a great need like having an incurable disease or a dying child. Jesus did not turn them away and met their immediate need; however, this was always accompanied by turning the focus back onto their greatest need, which is spiritual and specific to Jesus Himself as the Messiah. Only once in the entire time I've posted here have I sensed, again in the broadest possible definition, any real inquiry or sincere curiosity as it pertains to my own faith. I do the same thing, so I am not on my high-horse, but I would be deceiving myself if I characterized this forum differently. Interactions that matter, where true spiritual seeds can be planted, can only be arranged by God and happen without notice or coercion and can even go completely unnoticed. Helping meet another's need can be a great starting point for such an encounter.

In looking back to my pagan upbringing, one of the deepest seeds that I thing God put in my heart came from a cartoon. I remember feeling awe when I heard it and really didn't assess it at all. I am so grateful that Charles Shultz put himself out to have Linus explain the true meaning of Christmas to me as a child:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

Twenty or so years later, that seed grew to maturity and I became a Christian.

I realized the nature of this forum pretty early on but stayed anyway, in spite of leaving a few times. Why? For one thing, it's an important topic to me and I enjoy mental stimulation. I also like to understand the thinking of others on the topic. But aside from personal interest, I have and continue to get something extremely important here, and that is the training of what is and is not important in my own faith in regards to science. I have to coexist in both worlds, and my thinking has actually significantly changed here over time, not on substance but on essentials. Yo may not believe it, Clyde, but you have taught me many valuable lessons here that will be useful in God's ability to use me to advance His Kingdom if He sees fit to do so, so I thank you. I only wish it would be to your benefit.

When I was a fairly new Christian, I hired someone who was down on their luck and poured myself into him for months in the belief that he would see the light one day. I had to try and somewhat isolate him from his wife as she was an extremely immoral person and would hinder my work. After about 6 months, SHE was the one that became a Christian in spite of my best efforts to quarantine her. My best thinking still gets me into trouble.


Good luck in the Cardio re-hab program, Russ. I'm here (in Politics, Religion, Non-Religion and NHB) because I enjoy the discussion. Often I learn things. Often the banter is fun.

Jim
Posted 04/18/2011 08:31AM #4
Russ Carroll said:

One thing this is not is a ministry, which I had hoped it would be when I first entered this forum. I wanted to represent evangelical Christianity here in the hopes of softening some of the hard edges I saw in these forums. For the most part, I would say that I developed some hard edges along the way and didn't soften much of anything, This is no fault of my own or others, it's just human nature.

I'd say that this is just the nature of an internet forum. This medium and this crowd (amateur astronomers) is not really the ideal format for a ministry.

Jim

Posted 04/18/2011 12:55PM #5
Russ Carroll said:

...and I don't mean that in the larger scheme of things, but here on these forums discussing spiritual things. I'm going into a 12-week cardio rehab and lifestyle change program and I really hope to use this time to re-connect with God and try and understand what activities I should be doing. This is a good time to step back and look at things like my participation here, which I enjoy for the most part.

One thing this is not is a ministry, which I had hoped it would be when I first entered this forum. I wanted to represent evangelical Christianity here in the hopes of softening some of the hard edges I saw in these forums. For the most part, I would say that I developed some hard edges along the way and didn't soften much of anything, This is no fault of my own or others, it's just human nature.

When you look at the pattern of human interactions that Jesus had with people for lessons learned, they fall into two categories: The first is responses to people that really didn't want His wisdom but asked cynical questions of Him to try and tear Him down. He ignored their actual questions and revealed deeper truths about man and God because He knew their hearts. I would have to say that most, if not all, of the debate here, at least from my perspective, fall into this category in the broadest of definition possible. When Clyde asks me questions, he is not really looking for knowledge as opposed to trying to impart knowledge. There is nothing wrong with that, but the fact is, his questions fall into this first category.

The second interaction that Jesus had with people were from people who genuinely wanted to be touched by the Master and sought Him out. Normally, this was motivated by a great need like having an incurable disease or a dying child. Jesus did not turn them away and met their immediate need; however, this was always accompanied by turning the focus back onto their greatest need, which is spiritual and specific to Jesus Himself as the Messiah. Only once in the entire time I've posted here have I sensed, again in the broadest possible definition, any real inquiry or sincere curiosity as it pertains to my own faith. I do the same thing, so I am not on my high-horse, but I would be deceiving myself if I characterized this forum differently. Interactions that matter, where true spiritual seeds can be planted, can only be arranged by God and happen without notice or coercion and can even go completely unnoticed. Helping meet another's need can be a great starting point for such an encounter.

In looking back to my pagan upbringing, one of the deepest seeds that I thing God put in my heart came from a cartoon. I remember feeling awe when I heard it and really didn't assess it at all. I am so grateful that Charles Shultz put himself out to have Linus explain the true meaning of Christmas to me as a child:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

Twenty or so years later, that seed grew to maturity and I became a Christian.

I realized the nature of this forum pretty early on but stayed anyway, in spite of leaving a few times. Why? For one thing, it's an important topic to me and I enjoy mental stimulation. I also like to understand the thinking of others on the topic. But aside from personal interest, I have and continue to get something extremely important here, and that is the training of what is and is not important in my own faith in regards to science. I have to coexist in both worlds, and my thinking has actually significantly changed here over time, not on substance but on essentials. Yo may not believe it, Clyde, but you have taught me many valuable lessons here that will be useful in God's ability to use me to advance His Kingdom if He sees fit to do so, so I thank you. I only wish it would be to your benefit.

When I was a fairly new Christian, I hired someone who was down on their luck and poured myself into him for months in the belief that he would see the light one day. I had to try and somewhat isolate him from his wife as she was an extremely immoral person and would hinder my work. After about 6 months, SHE was the one that became a Christian in spite of my best efforts to quarantine her. My best thinking still gets me into trouble.


Hi Russ,
My quest started in Christianity and migrated quickly away as I matured; to the point where religion had no meaning if we did not first try to understand the concept of God.

I'd say my interactions here are mostly in the first category, but I do try to draw people out. People like to argue, no doubt, and I'm no exception. However arguing over details when we already know the other party has their opinion, is pretty much pointless.

Now you're faced with a major lifestyle change, without which your risk is quite serious. I understand that seriousness, having chest pains which are still unexplained. Good heart, aorta, lungs & so on. Must have been damage to the sternum when I was a kid. Anyway that wakes you up, but... does it make the path you're on the wrong one?

Since I believe in 7 billion plus paths, my advice is stick to the one you're sure of. Even if I dissagree, it shouldn't matter to you.

But we both digress. Why are you here? Here on Earth? In life? my answer is not very profound, but it works.

We are here to experience this life. In that we are given little choice. How shall we proceed? As best we can.

Make the most of these twelve months and we'll bicker again soon!
Steve
8)