a few basics
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admin./court - 21 | website
laurel - 18 | website
thom - 17 | website
rob - 19 | (no site)
thad - 20 | (no site)
dan - 16 | (no site)
jeannine - 21 | (no site)
doug - 18 | website
john - 19 | website

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topics discussed in the past include:
partial-birth abortion
the end times
free will
differing views
gender roles
pre-marital sex

dig throught the archives and see what we've had to say!

other christians in blog-land:
Well... I'll be blogged
my brain hurts
Di's dailies
Behind Closed Doors
An expected end
Manna cabana
Going Gospel

good music
Jars of Clay
Jennifer Knapp
the Supertones
Five Iron Frenzy
Audio Adrenaline
Caedmon’s Call
Burlap to Cashmere
Smalltown Poets
the W's
Phil Keaggy
Third Day
the Insyderz
DC Talk

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 Friday, August 18, 2000

Courtney Myers | 8/18/2000 03:12:39 PM | link
  You respond very quickly! :)

One of the things that jumped right out at me as I read your post was the comment "I don't need to be saved" (paraphrased). I tend to disagree. :) There is a lot of sin in the world, it's all around us... wrongs are committed daily, often we wonder if justice will ever be served to the "badness" in the world. There is Justice. There is a right and a wrong (otherwise why would we feel cheated or wronged or disappointed when bad stuff happens?).

We ourselves sin, and can't ever "save" or rescue ourselves from our sin. We can't be perfect. In the universal Justice system, we're kind of leaning towards "bad." The good things we do never quite make up for the wrongs we commit. Therefore, we need to be saved, or we'll fall short in the end.

It's not quite "no cause or effect," as you were saying; that is, you do something bad and then say you're sorry to God and get off scot-free and forgiven, thinking "oh, He'll forgive me anyway, why not just kill this guy" or whatever - it's not true Christians who are doing that. In fact, at the camp I staffed at this summer, the speaker gave us a challenge, saying that if we copped that sort of attitude, we probably weren't Christians at all. In true Christianity, one tries not to sin, and tries to follow God instead, to show our love for Him and our gratefulness to Him saving our butts from the eternal consequences of sin. Unfortunately we still mess up from time to time, for which we must ask forgiveness. It's not a "get out of jail free" sort of system, it's more of a "total grace on God's part" system, for which we are grateful, and thus follow Him.

You were saying that my defenition of Christianity was not the common defenition, and by the world's standards, that's probably true. True Christianity, meaning "follower of Christ," is dependent on the Bible alone for truth. This is exactly why there's alot of confusion with that "label" and other people calling themselves Christians, because it's hard to distinguish the real from the not sometimes.

if you read the Bible you should understand or have a grasp on God's real plan for us. I know Catholics teach that those who are not priests or other ordained members of the Catholic church can't understand the Bible correctly, but the Bible was meant as God's instruction book for us, our road map for life, not just a confusing book only certain people can understand. The Bible should be the basis for true Christian faith, and anything that calls itself "christian" but does not base its doctrine and beliefs soley on the Bible is not truly Christian. It says right in there, "adding to the contents of this book" is a big fat no-no, and unfortunately a lot of "christians" (catholics especially) have added additional requirements for salvation, such as baptism, sacraments, traditions, masses, etc.

Catholicism was perhaps the first "organized" version of a church, but it was not the first emergence of Christianity on the planet; it had been around long before Catholicism, beginning, obviously, in the times of Christ. Christianity itself is the next step of Judaism (why it's commonly called Judeo-Christianity); Jews today are still looking for the Messiah, and Christianity believes that Jesus was/is the Messiah they're searching for. (I will go into greater depth on this if you so desire.)

As far as sex, it's mainly Catholics that teach sex is "bad." Sex isn't bad at all. God made it and designed it for us, for both reproduction and pleasure; in fact, there's a whole book in the Bible devoted to sex (Song of Solomon), and a lot of the metaphors are quite graphic, actually. One of my favorite quotes is "If I'd known how much sex and violence there is in the Bible, I would have read it a long time ago!" Sex is God-given and natural, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, in the right context. All God asks is that we respect it and keep it sacred, sharing it only with the one we're meant to be with.

As far as cloning, I really don't know; I assume it's because of ethical questions like "can you clone a soul?" and other such spiritual issues. I'll ask the pastor at my church and see what he has to say.

Well I've just about written a novel here... please let me know of any more questions you have. It's been fun discussing this stuff with you, by the way! Gets the ol' brain cells working... :D

 Thursday, August 17, 2000

Courtney Myers | 8/17/2000 11:59:23 PM | link
  OK... let me just respond here, because I believe the point was missed entirely.

What I am saying is that true Christianity is not what a lot of people think it is. It's not a "religion" based on what "the church" tells you to do. It's a relationship (rather than a religion) with God, based on His plan for your life. There are very twisted views of "Christianity" out there - the label itself, "Christianity," is almost unuseable because of the preconceptions now attatched to it. You do not have to go to church to be saved. You do not have to hang out with Christians to be saved. You do not have to say certain prayers or wear certain things or talk to certain people to be saved. It's between you and God, and nobody else. It's a personal decision about very personal things in your life, not just following empty rules and saying the same prayer over and over again. This is exactly why Catholics are not the "true Christians" at all. We've discussed Catholicism here before (see the archives), and just how immensly different from true Christianity it is. Catholics don't even really depend on Christ for their salvation... it's more praying to Mary for grace, and confessing to priests, and following sacraments, and the like. That is not how you become saved. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, not of your works, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast." It's not what you do that saves you... nothing you can do could ever save you. It's saying you can't save yourself, you can't be perfect (who can?), and trusting in God ("saved throught faith") to take care of you. I could go on forever... what I could say has already been put very nicely by a few other people though, so i'll myself save the typing (unless someone wants me to put my feelings up). Some links:

What I believe and why, by Houghdy - excellent resource for the basics.
A write-up on my beliefs from Oct. '99.
Also, the archives of this blog contain a lot of interesting discussions about these types of things.

Please, if you'd like me to go into more detail about anything, or if you'd like me to answer specific questions, let me know. I don't know everything, but who does? I'll try to answer everything to the best of my ability.

Courtney Myers | 8/17/2000 02:44:39 PM | link
  I hate it when I come across things like this on websites:

"...Christianity, that religion makes me sick. I have always hated the idea of people telling you how to live your life. Plus most religions are potential fascists. They think they are so “holier than thou”. I don't believe that there is such a thing as “christian punk”. I mean, punk is about personal freedom and rejecting traditional values. Wouldn't that make religion one of those values?"

Not so much for the punk comment; but because hello people, that's not what true, real Christianity is like at all!! It in itself is about freedom. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." ... "when the Lord sets you free you shall be free indeed!" Freedom from the power of sin, from a life of death, from an eternity of death. Christianity is not about "people telling you how to live your life." It's not about people at all. It's recognizing and hearing God's infinite plan for your life. He made you; obviously, He knows just what is best for you, and the way that your life will be the most fulfilling and bring you to your potential. His plan is different for everyone, but it involves following Him and listening for what He has planned for you.

And regarding "They think they are so 'holier than thou,'" yes, there are some people out there who cop that sort of attitude, and that's unfortunate, because that's now how God wants it at all. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandments were, he replied love your neighbor as yourself, and love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, strength, and mind. Some people fail miserably in this area... but that doesn't make what God said any less true, or any less applicable. Just last week, the pastor at my church preached about how we should all love each other as much as we can, putting others above ourselves. One of the marks of a Christian should be humility and forgiveness... not "holier-than-thou."

Society has a very tarnished view of Christianity, due in part to several who call themselves "Christians" and have simply been a bad example, but I wish everyone could just see what true Christianity is like, for it is so different from what they assume. When Laurel gets back from England in three weeks, I'll have her post her testimony, because it deals with this very issue... she believed what she heard through the media without ever looking at Christianity up close for herself, but when she finally did, it changed her life.

It's definitly worth a closer look.

God bless...

 Sunday, August 13, 2000

Courtney Myers | 8/13/2000 11:43:26 AM | link
  Would you like to post to In the Light? Discuss the issues of Christianity? Talk about the hard stuff, and the good things too? Contact me and we'll talk about it! :D