Christianity about truth

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I recently read Gil Ward’s Feb. 7 letter to the editor and was a little surprised at his reasoning that Christianity is a hard sell. It may be a hard sell to some, but that takes nothing away from the truth that Jesus saves lives.

Mr. Ward said, “Christianity is not practical because it takes away our own individuality, and our ability to make our own decisions and to live our lives in freedom.”

First, Mr. Ward makes a category mistake. If Christianity takes away individuality, that has nothing to do with it being practical nor whether it is true or not. As a Christian, my individuality is still completely intact.

Second, I make my own decisions all the time. I actually have the freedom to make all kinds of decisions.

Third, God is so committed to free will that He allows every person to decide whether they want to follow Him or not. After that, it is a matter of following through with your decision.

Fourth, freedom always has a cost. As a former Marine, I know the cost of giving up years of my life so this nation can be free, and I thank the many who have sacrificed their lives so that I can be free. Jesus sacrificed His life so that I can be free from living a life that is centered on me.

Mr. Ward said, “This kind of surrender (to Jesus) goes against our own nature.” There are plenty of things that go against my nature, but I do them because it is right to do so. It is against my nature to clean up after myself; I don’t want to do it. But I do so because it is the right thing to do.

The issue is not whether something is natural or practical. The issue is: What is true? Christianity is not about salesmanship; Christianity is about truth. If there is a God, He deserves our attention.

Marvin Patrick

Evans

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InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 05:57 am
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Thank you Mr.

Thank you Mr. Patrick.....very well stated.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 07:15 am
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Excellent letter!! Wonderful

Excellent letter!! Wonderful common sense!!

"As a Christian, my individuality is still completely intact." Absolutely!! You are exactly who you are!! God doesn't toy around with FREE WILL!! He created free will and gave it to each and every one of us!! What He didn't plan was HOW people would use that Free Will!! He had nothing to do with Ted Bundy, choosing to use his free will to rape and murder women!! That's on Ted and Ted alone!!! Same goes for every single one of us!! So those who would choose to use their free will for such things, but be eliminated!!

But I personally believe some peoples confusion is directly related to the teachers of God's Word and their confusion of the truth!! The truth is that GOD is the giver of FREE WILL!! It's the most brilliant, of all His creations!! To understand the Bible and Truth, you must fully comprehend free will and the aspect of His giving it to us!! He created us in HIS IMAGE, which is physical and mental!! He has ALL the sames feelings and emotions as we do!! He also has free will and THAT is why he also gave it to us!!

Some people confuse others by saying we give up our free will when we give our lives to Christ!! But that is no more true than saying you give up your free will when you love your mother and father!! I've heard people say "For without Christ, we can do nothing." Well, of course that is true, because God created us!! If it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be here to do anything, period. On the other hand, you could also say the same about our flesh parents. They brought us into the world; does giving our allegiance to them, cause us to lose our free will? No, it doesn't and neither does giving God our allegiance!! We still have free will!! We choose with that free will, to follow and obey Him, giving our allegiance to Him. We can always change our minds, as I've seen people do so.

But it means so much more, when people CHOOSE of their own free will to love and follow Him!!

TrukinRanger
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TrukinRanger 02/17/14 - 07:36 am
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more brainwashing
Unpublished

more brainwashing

shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 02/17/14 - 08:06 am
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It is a good letter but...

Am I the only one who understood that Gil Ward was only being sarcastic in his letter?
People need to quit taking themselves so seriously.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 08:29 am
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Shrimp

I agree that he was being sarcastic in his letter. But if you didn't know him or know of his previous letters, it WOULD be hard to determine clearly that it was sarcasm. I also didn't know of his previous letters, so originally, I didn't know it was sarcasm. But it's still a good conversation to have!! We should always be willing to talk about the issue, from all sides.

karradur
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karradur 02/17/14 - 08:51 am
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...

@shrimp for breakfast

You're not the only one. Although I strongly disagreed with Mr. Ward's letter, I understood that he was using irony (and in a very subtle way) to make his point.

@myfather15

His letters get published about once every two months. It's hard to not know who he is.

kissofdeath
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kissofdeath 02/17/14 - 10:12 am
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Who Really Rules the World?

There is no need to guess at the matter, for the Bible clearly shows that an intelligent, unseen person has been controlling both men and nations. It says. " The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one." And the Bible identifies him, saying: " The one called Devil and Satan...... is misleading the entire inhabited earth. " 1 John 5: 19, Revelation 12:9. On an occasion when Jesus was " tempted by the Devil," Jesus did not question Satan's role as the ruler of this world. " The Devil took him along to an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, an he said to him: " All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me." Then Jesus said to him: " Go away, Satan" - Matthew 4: 1, 8- 10.

Jon Lester
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Jon Lester 02/17/14 - 11:06 am
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It does the job for some people.

Others have a moral core that doesn't require semiweekly reinforcement, or acceptance of irrational ideas.

Seriously, ACES, do you purposefully single out letters like this, or are they really all about about fear of God and hatred of Obama?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 11:21 am
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Mark 8:34 "And calling the

Mark 8:34 "And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me"

I believe what scripture is stating here is that if you wish to follow Christ then you must deny yourself (and your free will) and follow Him. We can not do things our way and also the way of the Father. Our human flesh is bound by the fleshly desires (or will if you want to call it that) and it is a constant struggle, but with the Holy Spirit's leading you can give up your free will and allow God's will to lead your life.

James 4:7 7 "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

If you submit yourselves to God then you are no longer abiding in your own self but you are abiding in the will of the Father (in other words not your own will). You can not serve two masters, yourself and Christ.

Nice bait myfather15......but I'll not take it, thank you.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 11:48 am
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And that he died for all,

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
2 Corinthians 5:15

So if we die to self and live for Him, then we give up our free will and follow His will. We can no longer live the way we want and also live the way He wants, that is not true Christianity.

Our natural will is bound by it’s fleshly desire for sin and therefore a man cannot choose to please God unless God first chooses the man and changes his heart, resulting in living the will of God and not our own.

GodisSoGood
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GodisSoGood 02/17/14 - 12:10 pm
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Thankful that Christ died for

Thankful that Christ died for me.

Excellent letter.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 02/17/14 - 12:10 pm
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God is omniscient, right?

God is omniscient, right? That means nothing to be curious about, no joy from learning new things, no pleasant surprises, knowing the punch line to every joke, no interesting turns of events... No wonder God can be such a jerk at times. I get cranky too when I'm bored.

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fantasies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them.”
-Hypatia of Alexandria

Obedience is Happiness...........
War is Peace............
Ignorance is Strength...........
We have always been at war with Eastasia.........

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 02/17/14 - 12:37 pm
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At least this guy believed

At least this guy believed the bible was word for word the literal word of god. He didn't cherry pick, like most of the posters on here. Teaching the bible to children is abusive and cruel. It even will get adults killed.
http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/entertainment/snake-handling-ky-pastor-dies-fro...
George Orwell was more of a prophet than any bible author living in the Bronze Age could ever hope to be.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 02/17/14 - 12:57 pm
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GAD those are false

GAD those are false arguments. How many myths have become reality Troy, mountain gorillas, etc. Further it isn't childish-some of the greatest minds in history were Christian-Newton, Maxwell, Couloumb, Marconi, Planck, Boyd, Lamarck, Linnaeus, Dobhzansky, just to name a few. I think without doubt Newton has greater intellect than you or I -(or any poster here for that matter). I don't think these great minds saw their faith as a handicap-nor reflect childish, ignorance, or a lack of intellect. If anything christianity has had a positive effect on science, art, and music-though there is violence, but no religion (even Buddhism) is without violent incidents.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 01:44 pm
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GAD

"At least this guy believed the bible was word for word the literal word of god. He didn't cherry pick, like most of the posters on here."

Actually, it wouldn't be called "cherry picking" it would be called an UNDERSTANDING!! Understanding the symbology of the Bible!! The symbology God uses to give us a PICTURE of his feelings AND to actually FEEL His feelings, towards his children and others!!

The serpent is just another name of the Devil, Satan, Lucifer, the dragon, etc; and his ways!! We ARE to take on the Serpent and his beliefs and challenge them at any time!! But I promise you one thing, that SNAKE they were handling has never read the Bible and doesn't know he isn't supposed to bite them!! He also doesn't realize his poison isn't supposed to effect them or harm them!! I actually belief they are insulting God to handle those snakes!! God created NATURE and he created some things POISONOUS, as to NOT be touched!! The Bible does NOT say to handle SNAKES!!! Ignorance is what gets people in trouble!! Especially ignorance of His Word!!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 02:00 pm
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GAD, what you posted is a

GAD, what you posted is a very tragic situation. It is no different than any other tragic death such as this except that this young man and young woman were attending a Christian school, which you seem to be making some kind of point. What I have no idea. Just because they were attending this school makes them no more Christian than a student attending a secular school makes them an atheist. Christians are not perfect and some make wrong and devastating choices in life. What's your point.

*edited to correct spelling

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 02/17/14 - 02:11 pm
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I was thinking the same

I was thinking the same thing. Obviously the snake was a non-believer.
In a police interview the snake stated "I put off biting this unwashed idiot for as long as I could, but he just wouldn't stop screwing with me. Do you guys have any mouthwash around here?"
I hope he gets off scot-free after what he went through, poor little feller.
An interesting aspect of this situation is that the passage
about handling serpents, Mark 16:18-

"18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick,
and they shall recover."

was not in the original manuscripts. It was something added
later by someone other than the original author.

If this guy would have used a NIV Bible instead of a KJV Bible
he'd be alive today.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 02:10 pm
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myfather15, you can act coy

myfather15, you can act coy if you choose. That's fine. Your holier-than-thou attitude does not go unnoticed here and as for attacking EVERY post you make.....far from it. If that was the case, I would have no time for anything else. I believe get-over yourself could be stated to you as well.

Since we just had this conversation a week ago before the storm, and since very little commenting has taken place since then, it is quit obvious your little dig about "Some people confuse others by saying we give up our free will when we give our lives to Christ!! " is almost a direct quote from one of my comments you so viciouly attacked.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 02/17/14 - 02:12 pm
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Christianity is about "hope

Christianity is about "hope and change". Hey that sounds familiar????

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 02:17 pm
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Ok, I admit I lied!

Not intentionally, but I can't help but bring attention to this!!

"God first chooses the man and changes his heart, resulting in living the will of God and not our own."

If God FIRST chooses the man, then why doesn't He choose EVERYONE and change their hearts??? Why does He choose to change my heart, but not Hitler's or Ted Bundy's? Is that fair?

Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

What good does it do to FIRST seek God, if He must choose you first?? This goes against the Bible and against the aspect of FREE WILL!! You must first choose Him, with your free will and THEN He will come into your life and help you!!

Yes, those that accept Christ and follow Him, do choose to LIVE FOR HIM. But, they still have the ability to change their minds!! I actually know people who accepted Christ as their savior who now believe in no god!! THAT, is FREE WILL!! You MUST have it your entire life, in order to be held FULLY accountable for YOUR decisions. With repentance, we are forgiven for our sins!! But you still have FREE WILL to commit more sin!!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 02:17 pm
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'My goodness!! Does

'My goodness!! Does everything have to be about YOU???
Good gosh!! Get over yourself and your "knowledge" of the Bible!!
Especially with non-sense like this:
Does anyone even know what she is saying? Only a baptist would understand this pig-latin!! '

Wow, four personal attacks in one comment, not to mention degrading Christians of the Baptist denomination. Wonder how you feel about Episcopians, Lutherans, Catholics, Methodistor Presbyterians.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 02:22 pm
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GAD

Once again, where does that Scipture say to handle SNAKES? I was born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina; around such people. Unfortunately, most of the people handling these snakes are easily fooled and led astray!!

Revelations 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old SERPENT, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and HIS ANGELS were cast out with him."

Now, who is that Serpent again? Who are we supposed to battle against? It's symology sir!! As with much of the Bible!!

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 02:24 pm
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ICL

"it is quit obvious your little dig about "Some people confuse others by saying we give up our free will when we give our lives to Christ!! " is almost a direct quote from one of my comments you so viciouly attacked."

And now, not only to you know more about the Bible than I do, but you know more about my own thoughts!! Alrighty then!!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 02:25 pm
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(myfather15) ""God first

(myfather15)

""God first chooses the man and changes his heart, resulting in living the will of God and not our own."

If God FIRST chooses the man, then why doesn't He choose EVERYONE and change their hearts??? Why does He choose to change my heart, but not Hitler's or Ted Bundy's? Is that fair? "

Myfather, Christ convicts a lot of souls to come to him but we have free will (as you love to call it) to choose to follow or not. When we accept then he changes our hearts.. I'm sure Christ convicted Hilter and Ted Bundy and I suppose they chose to ignore his calling and refused His free gift of salvation, therefore, their hearts were not changed.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 02:44 pm
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myfather15, I do believe you

myfather15, I do believe you are being dishonest. I have never said I know more about the Bible than you. I never said I know your thought. I made a judgment call by your own words and by quoting my own words.

(myfather15) "I actually know people who accepted Christ as their savior who now believe in no god!!"

Matthew 7:21 "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven...."

1 John 2:3-4 "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, "

If you know of someone who says they were saved but now does not believe in God, I'd have to question if they were truly saved at all in the first place.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 02:55 pm
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(myfather15) "Yes, those that

(myfather15) "Yes, those that accept Christ and follow Him, do choose to LIVE FOR HIM. But, they still have the ability to change their minds!! "

At the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem, Jesus was in the temple courts. The crowd was questioning Jesus if He was the real Messiah. John 10: 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[b]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Once you are a child of God, you can not become NOT a child of God, any more than once your mother births you, you no longer are her biological child. You can choose to live in a sinful world as if you are not a child of the Father, but He will tolerate it only so long. He will call you home to judgment if He feels you are doing more harm to his ministry here on earth. There are those who say they were once a Christian but no longer believe but in truth they never truly believed with their heart, only with their lips.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 02/17/14 - 03:01 pm
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Myfather15, your quote of

Myfather15, your quote of Matthew 6:33 should include the preceeding verses to better explain. Christ is speaking to believers.....not non-believers seeking His Truth, which appears that you are implying.

Matthew 6:31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Jesus is speaking to His children about not worrying about things, He will take care and provide all our needs. This scripture does not relate to what we were talking about.

Pond Life
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Pond Life 02/17/14 - 03:03 pm
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The religion of atheism seems

The religion of atheism seems to be the most intolerant and disrespectful of other's beliefs than any other religion.

myfather15
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myfather15 02/17/14 - 03:04 pm
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"Wonder how you feel about

"Wonder how you feel about Episcopians, Lutherans, Catholics, Methodistor Presbyterians."

Don't much care for them either!! I give my allegiance to NO CHURCH!! What I do give my allegiance to is GOD, and His Son Jesus Christ.

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