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March 29, 2005

While I'm doing chemotherapy, you guys keep reaching for the prize.

cookiedog.jpg

Posted by Dan at March 29, 2005 08:15 PM

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Even dog food tastes better when it sits on a Ritz.

Posted by: Kimm at March 29, 2005 09:08 PM

The new, canine version of Air Hockey!

Posted by: Gail at March 30, 2005 02:02 AM

Hope the chemo is going well. I have some theological questions and I hope you'll humor me. Why do you believe in a Jew as the son of god? Why not a China man or a Japanese or a American Indian? Why are you a pagan as you beleive in a trinity? Why do you believe in forgiveness as it only serves as an excuse the bad behavior of a life time. Are we not measured by each living hour and I don't see how we can ever be forgiven of the malice of a life time on our dying bed. As always, my thoughts and love are with you.

Posted by: Ralph at March 30, 2005 07:42 PM

If I may, Ralph, as a person who is relatively new to being a Christian I've given a lot of think time to similar questions and I'll give you my inexpert version...

Why do you believe in a Jew as the son of god? Why not a China man or a Japanese or a American Indian?
In the Bible, the Old Testament, a lot of ink is given to the Jews being God's chosen peoples, and that they had a covenant relationship with God. King David was a Jew, and I believe the Messiah (Jesus) was to come from the line of David, which he did through Mary his mother.

Why are you a pagan as you beleive in a trinity?
This one had me going 'Huh?'. Christians believe in the Holy Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I'm not sure where the Pagan trinity comes in.

Why do you believe in forgiveness as it only serves as an excuse the bad behavior of a life time. Are we not measured by each living hour and I don't see how we can ever be forgiven of the malice of a life time on our dying bed.
According to the Bible, we are born sinners, and can only be forgiven our sin by accepting the forgiveness God offers through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can be forgiven if we sincerely repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ into our heart as our lord and savior.

The cool thing about this is that God is not an idiot. If somebody on their death bed is merely doing lip service to the acceptance of Christ, they are not really accepting this gift of God and their sins are not forgiven. God can tell if you're BS-ing him, especially on this subject. Once you accept Jesus, you find your heart changing, and yourself becoming the kind of person that God wants you to be. This one I've experienced for myself and I can tell you it isn't hooey. I was the most reluctant Christian in the world, went round and round with my minister friend on the subject, and finally told him that God better put up or shut up. If God was real, he'd show me a genuine miracle within the next 24 hours. If he did, I was his. If he didn't, I never wanted to hear this 'accepting Christ horse puckey' again.
God put up. I shut up. God has been changing me and making me the person he wants me to be ever since. I am SO not perfect, I still cuss too much, I anger too quickly at times, I'm impatient and a thousand more faults, but compared to the person I was before I accepted Christ... I remember that girl, but I can't believe she was me.

Posted by: Kimm at March 30, 2005 08:35 PM

If you believe in the trinity, you believe in three gods? Am I not right. How is this not paganism? I personally think Jew gods are evil. All religion sprouted from these Jew gods are evil. Judaism, Christiniatiy and Muhamidism all are Jew god religions.

In regards to foregiveness, this is the Jew god psyche at work. Let people trample over you throughout your life and you will be rewarded. I don't subscribe to this theory. It is like the wife beating husband. We let people trample over us and no good comes of it. We are the measure of our existence. Hour by hour, day by day, we become what we are. If you choose to be an enabler, so be it. I advise against it.

Posted by: Ralph at March 30, 2005 09:30 PM

Ralph,

I am still under the influence of various poisons, so you'll forgive me if I make this short and sweet. I'm not big on the religious debating on this site anyway.

1. I believe that Jesus came when he came, as a Jew. Could've come thousands of years before as a caveman or yesterday as a Chinaman. Doesn't matter. Had to come sometime.

2. I don't believe in three gods, I believe in one God who reveals Godself in three distinct aspects. I'm sure there are those out there who believe in three separate gods. So be it.

3. I don't believe that forgiveness excuses behavior any more than I believe that salvation is a "free gift" as other Christians love to recite. Salvation requires much work and sacrifice and pain. As Paul says, we are to be "working out our salvation with fear and trembling." By the same coin, in my mind, forgiveness implies repentance. I have done things that needed forgiveness, but I haven't earned it until I really and truly take on the negative behavior in my life. To think that forgiveness means "do what you want and then let's forget about it" is outside my realm of belief.

I don't know if somebody can be forgiven on their death bed. A thief was forgiven on a cross. That sort of thing is God's realm, not mine (although fundamentalists like to sieze that sort of area from God). I do know that I can forgive someone at any time.

Did that get at the heart of what you were asking about my personal beliefs? (And remember, they are just my beliefs... your own mileage may vary)

Posted by: Dan at March 30, 2005 09:50 PM

The greater point, of course, is that I hope that dog gets that cookie!

Dunno how it turned into a religious discussion, but I'm happy to oblige.

Posted by: Dan at March 30, 2005 10:02 PM

Dan,
I'm personally looking for a higher order of theological discussion. I didn't mean to derail the dog. I have a young black lab much like it and that cookie is history. Is it possible the feats of this Jew god were greatly exagerated given the political climate? Could you specifically quote Christ in regards to foregiveness? Many bible thumpers scream about foregiveness but I'm hard pressed for direct quote from the Jew god.

Posted by: Ralph at March 30, 2005 10:14 PM

Ralph, here are a few quotes from Jesus (the human incarnation of the "Jew God", in my belief system) from the Bible on forgiveness. I only included direct quotes from Jesus in this case. The most important is the last:


Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mat 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Mat 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Mar 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Mar 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
Mar 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Mar 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
Mar 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
Mar 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

Mar 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mar 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Luk 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
Luk 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
Luk 17:4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Luk 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Luk 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


PS there are other quotes from Jesus on forgiveness, but this is a general overview. I don't thump things, especially Bibles, and I don't scream about things, especially forgiveness.

PPS as Christianity grew in a climate hostile to it, particularly in the 60s-80s AD when persecution was really starting to thrive, it is not only possible but probable that the acts of all the disciples, not just Jesus, were exhaggerated on some as a means of survival, the same way the bass uncle harry caught gets bigger at every family reunion.

Posted by: Dan at March 31, 2005 03:00 AM

I don't know about that other stuff. Just... get... me... that... COOKIE!

Posted by: Ara at March 31, 2005 07:21 AM

How anyone can be so lucid and intelligent on theology, pumped as full of chemo as you are, just boggles me, Dan! I can't even do that kind of job after 10 A.M., pumped full of Starbucks'. YOU are the miracle if anybody needs one for "proof"!!

Posted by: Gail at March 31, 2005 08:28 AM

Gail,

Thank you for your kind words. I boggled you.

Posted by: Dan at March 31, 2005 08:42 AM

Boggled me too. Well said, Dan.

I don't have the Biblical knowledge that Dan has, so I tend to discuss Christianity from my own experience. I can safely state that when I let God into my heart I began changing into a person who WANTED to forgive rather than punish. I stopped worrying about whether somebody 'gets over' on me. Instead of concentrating on the actions of other people, which I can't do anything about anyway, I concentrated on becoming a better person myself. Surprisingly, as this process continues in my life, I find other that other people treat me better and seem to genuinely like me more, a great side effect when what I really wanted was to just like myself more.

I'll add that this evolution into a better person is a constant process. Christians, like everybody else, are human and imperfect. I make mistakes and do things I'm not proud of. The difference, now that Christ is in my life, is that now I catch my mistakes and I make a real effort to apologise for them and not repeat them. Also, with God in my life, I have somebody to unburden myself to who will love me no matter what stupidity I manage to do.

To get back on topic: Yesterday at the shelter I caught a dog eating one of the cats food by sticking his tongue through the bars of the cats cage and hooking out the kibble one piece at a time. The cat looked highly offended, the dog acted like he'd found the worlds greatest taste treat.

Posted by: Kimm at March 31, 2005 09:30 AM

I've sent Dan an email apologizing. That said, I'd like to publicly apologize for my rude tone yesterday. My pesonal circumstances are currently testing my faith and I would like to thank Kimm especially for her thoughtful responses.

Posted by: Ralph at March 31, 2005 12:22 PM

Ralph,

No worries. The search takes a lot of directions, and anger and suspicion are actually healthy parts of the journey. I haven't read the mail yet since yahoo won't let me in right now, but I'll peek again after my midday nap.

Posted by: Dan at March 31, 2005 02:42 PM

When I began the process of spiritual growth that led to me becoming a Christian I know that I often drove Alan, my online pastor friend, half insane. I was mocking, rude and downright evil. Way later I tried to apologise to him for it and he laughed and said he never took it personally. Like Dan said, and Alan before him, anger and suspicion are often a large part of the spiritual growth process. When I think back of how horrid I was to Alan, who I love dearly, his forgiveness, love and acceptance of me completely blows all of my circuits. He just says that it's not him, it's God's love.

And Dan, I promise. Not one more word out of me in this thread that isn't dog and cookie related.

Posted by: Kimm at March 31, 2005 03:25 PM

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