{b] Please take notice this is long … maudlin … disjointed etc* *

I thank whatever Gods may be for my unconquerable soul

I am the master of my fate I am the captain of my soul.

(From W.E. Henley INVICTUS)

Those words were penned before by birth by a writer as far removed from me by social standing and heritage, as the gulf of time and distance.

What first attracted me to the poem was the sense of utter , fierce uncompromising defiance of all powers natural and supernatural common and divine. Since that time I have grown to see the less obvious lesson of acceptance of responsibility. I certainly do not know why those words were written nor in what context. what matters to me is that they resonant of a common humanity.

That is how I feel about the Bible and other sacred text … their true power lies in what depths of hope, trust and love that has been placed in them by humanity not in the authority of their authorship or theological arguements…

In my Humble Opinion ------
I do not know God’s name or Gender I only know God is…

What if they are wrong …What if the idea that Humankind is the most favored of creation is wrong…

What if the idea of kinship to God (or if you must gods) is just mistaken arrogance about the origin and nature of sentient awarness…

What if it is all backwards that we are not descendants of exalted unique beings…

What does that say about all religions and philosophies that place Humankind in such high esteem.

What if the the idea of Salvation (Heaven / Hell) is wrong …

Does that in any way change the reality of God or the Universe?

I Think / Feel / Believe … NOT

All it changes is the motivation for accepting or rejecting self imposed artificial patterns of reasoning and justification…

Ok you say nice rant … but where is the conflict to what end does that make / or not you a hypocrite

The short version I am actively involved with a Baptist Church I am currently pursuing a don’t ask don’t tell policy … I am sincere about my commitment to serving people and God …Yes I know that eventually I will (must) curtail my involvement. However I am a useful, respected, appreciated and happy person (except for the inner turmoil) in this environment…I know what absolute honesty demands. But if there are Catholics who outwardly disagree with the Pope how far can I go?

Honesty is fine but total disclosure for no gain to any involved is questionable. I have no desire to change anything or anyone else. I guess I simply wish I could accept / believe as other profess.

My beliefs are more in line with Unitarian Universalist Societies but (no offense intended) they have only intellectual appeal to me.

um, que?

Nice opinion, Jack.

I’ve always held that faith requires utter conviction in that faith. If you’re finding yourself doubting your religion over topics of policy, then you should try to find out why that religion has that policty and why you disagree.

When I found myself doubting the religion that I was brought up in, I spent several years pushing myself to be more active in that religion. But even after all that, I eventually decided that religion isn’t for me, and I struck off on my own with my own religion (SPOOFE-ism, if anyone must know).

If there is no afterlife, then the life we have is more precious, not less.

If we thought we were a little lower than angels, only to find we’re really a little higher than slime, we can at least take pride in knowing what we are, no matter how lowly.

If there is no God, then our faith should be in ourselves; that we have glimpsed the Universe and seen the minuscule sign, “You Are Here.”

Ya know?

From a totally unexpected source my confusion has been cleared up …
From Great Debates : Why The Christian God?

All I can say is WOW … I truly apologize …You see had some misgivings about that post and I thought it was due to a concern of perhaps offending you … I am so glad that I didn’t get a chance to change it… For now I see what was really motivating me was FEAR…

FOG what amazing insight You knew intuitively that I needed some uncompromising correction… You are so right I was extremely lazy, and afraid of you doing just what you did make me take a deep look at myself… and worse I had a bad motive in my heart of course I was trying to discredit You and indirectly G -D’s words.

I had been contaminated by reading some commentaries concerning the book of Samuel. This particular liberal, humanist suggested that not only were the books of Samuel originally part of the books of Kings but the entire collection (s) were compiled (from various sources, both written and oral tradition) well after David’s reign. He even went on to suggest that this is proven by such passages as I mentioned and others for example 1-Samuel 17: 37 - 39 compared to 1-Samuel 17: 54-58. Boy was I glad to see your posting with that well thought out straight to the point analysis.

You see I spent time after writing that post in a bible study and the question of how to distinguish a true prophet of G-D was discussed … there were five (5) Characteristics given all starting with the letter S … 1 - Saved 2 - Sanctified 3 - Spirit Filled 4 - Submissive 5 - Suffering (for Christ’s Sake). I must say I was humbled when I was forced to admit that really describes you 1 & 2 are natural for any TRUE Christian but as for the others: well (three 3) there is no doubt you are filled and led … How could I have ever questioned your honesty or sincerity

And talk about submissive to G-d’s will, why you would never seek to let your ego or comfort stand in the way of wining souls for Jesus. Your obvious compassion and caring is so amply demonstrated.

Which only leads us to the icing on the cake point five … I know it such torment for you to see people like me (such foolish, lazy, ignorant, self centered worthless beings) not recognizing the marvelous truth you bring us.
I have include a few listings to my earlier postings so that perhaps I can be further enlightened if you could just glance at them but remember it was before I had you to be a mentor so excuse my childish thoughts…

THE “BIBLE” Created or Evolved - The Jackel 05-13-2000 Great Debates

Scripture verses. jenkinsfan 06-04-2000 Great Debates
** Scripture Verses. - jenkinsfan 05-25-2000 Great Debates
I just saw dogma… what do you think of… lynn’sadumbbitch 05-29-2000 Great Debates
My beef with Science -
05-26-2000 Great Debates
Am I allowed to be a freethinker? Sweet_Lotus 05-26-2000 Great Debates
The Universe is Flat: Evidence FOR the Big Bang jab1 05-09-2000 Great Debates

I would so much like to meet you in person but I know that is way too presumptuous, plus I have certain legal travel restrictions placed on me … I can leave the county and even the state but it requires approval by my PO and that I be accompanied by supervisory personal.

However you know what I have lots of friends and relatives that would love to be influenced by you and since you have such a gift with influencing followers of Islam that would be perfect you see most of my associates and friends belong to the Nation of Islam and they have been on me for some time to convert. In fact you would not believe the emotion some of them had when I showed them a sample of your Postings especially …

** FriendofGod** … Okay, Forgive Me But I’m Going to Rock The Boat

I truly believe that Christianity is the only Logical Religion. I know that flies in the face of what many people say and believe today, but it isn’t hard to prove
God is obviously both good and just … How does a sinful, IMPERFECT man get into the presence of a holy, perfect God on his own?
Now the ball is in my court. All I have to do is give up control of my life and receive His totally free gift of forgiveness. It’s pretty amazing, and totally logical.

So is the boat fully rocking yet? …
They were really in to the spirit and could see your brilliant logic
And when I showed them …
pinqy: I know this is the answer you would expect from me, but I believe answer 3 is the only one that applies all the time, with answer 1 or 2 creeping in from time to time. If you were Satan, wouldn’t you want to provide the world with plenty of good sounding alternatives to the truth?
Stop and think about this. Why would God want to keep truth hidden from you? The Bible makes it clear that you CAN FIND the truth IF you search for it with all your heart. Yeah it takes some digging on your part to find it, but it’s worth it.