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Vera Bradley

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  1. Vera Bradley

    Orthodox Jews, the Holocaust, and Salvation

    Deflecting to me or to Messianic Jews doesn't address the questions. Ultimately no human can read minds or know hearts, but if Jesus is the only way to be saved from hell, then did those Orthodox Jews who remained Orthodox Jews possibly miss out?
  2. Orthodox Jews by definition do not accept Jesus. Many Orthodox Jews died in the Holocaust. Being that they were Jews, and thus did not accept Jesus, did they go from the gas chambers to hell? If God foreknew that there would be a Holocaust and many Orthodox Jews would die in gas chambers and subsequently go to hell, why did he create them?
  3. Vera Bradley

    Spiritual Pride

    How do you keep from feeling better than other human beings if you say you are saved and others are not? Even if you say you are better off than them, how do you not walk in spiritual arrogance?
  4. Very timely: http://progressive.org/dispatches/speak-up-and-speak-out-rev-rob-lee-180215/
  5. Pray for governing authorities: Yes. America as the hope of the world: No. There is nothing Christian about Republican/conservative ideologies and policies. There are white supremacist groups associating themselves with the Republican party and supporting the party's approach to immigration. The approach of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deporting those illegally here has nothing to do with Christian ideals. Likewise, there is nothing biblical about liberal/progressive ideologies and goals (same-sex marriage, abortion). There has been a trend toward many Christians subscribing to Republican/conservative ideas without critically thinking about their implications, associations, or the founding fathers' call for separation of church and state. Jesus never once allowed the politics of his day to influence his agenda. The church is a apolitical no matter the nation because Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world. Here is how Greg Boyd put it in The Myth of a Christian Nation: "A significant segment of American evangelicalism is guilty of nationalistic and political idolatry… For some evangelicals, the kingdom of God is largely about, if not centered on, 'taking America back for God,' voting for the Christian candidate, outlawing abortion, outlawing gay marriage, winning the culture war, defending political freedom at home and abroad, keeping the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance, fighting for prayer in the public schools and at public events, and fighting to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings." "Fusing together the kingdom of God with…the kingdom of the world is idolatrous…This fusion is having serious consequences for Christ’s church and for the advancement of God’s kingdom."
  6. I don't know that many will understand this. Some Christians are aware, and some aren't. And yes, I'm a seeker, a former Christian. What I'm referring to is Empire Christianity, which is insular and rejects outsiders, which is not what Jesus was about. Christianity in America has developed a nationalistic edge that is in current times highly prized by descendants of colonists and other white citizens. But for Christians, Jesus is not the Lord of the USA only. It's either Jesus first or America first, but not both. There is more fear and hatred toward immigrants, both legal and illegal, and there is a greater conflation between an American religion that calls itself Christianity and white nationalism and/or white supremacy. I'm sure not all Christians are carrying their beliefs out this way, but there are those who do, and the numbers are either increasing, or those people are getting louder, or both. Does anyone not see this happening?
  7. I have a deep concern about the social, political, and religious climate in the USA. What really frightens me is how many people who call themselves Christians are also embracing white nationalistic ideology. Before anyone says I'm paranoid or that these people are just a fringe group, let me share where I'm coming from. I know that not everyone on this forum supports Trump, but there has been an underlying push or assumption that if you are on Trump's side, then you are on God's side. That is scary. Add to that the growing number of individuals in the USA who are emboldened to speak white supremacist ideas in the name of Trump while at the same time supporting much needed immigration reform. What is going on? I have a godmother who supports Trump and at the same time has told me she is afraid of groups of black men. She has said that white men are being discriminated against. She has talked of bringing the firing squad back for liberals. I have relatives who are liberals. I wouldn't tell her that. There are people who are angry that Obama was president for eight years, and do believe that non-white people have usurped the authority of white people. This sentiment is alive, and downplaying it won't make it go away. I am also tired of proving that this is a real thing. What can we do to put this hatred to an end?
  8. Vera Bradley

    Out of the darkness

    You're welcome, Annette. Since I wrote that post, I have changed my relationship to Yeshua. I'm a seeker, not a believer.
  9. Vera Bradley

    My brother has been fishing...

    I believe there is a Creator God who has always existed outside and through the universe. God established divine order everywhere. As for my fight against God, I was angry because I had so many unsettling experiences at church with fake christians in the past. It was hard for me to believe that Christianity was true if its own followers didn't take it seriously. It felt like a silly game, so I sought people who took morality seriously, and found some who happened to be nonChristians. So then I questioned everything. Then I questioned the existence of God and listened to well-known atheists like Richard Dawkins. What I realised is that they fight against God for the sake of fighting, all the while knowing that God exists.
  10. Vera Bradley

    My brother has been fishing...

    I am not sure if he ever was a Christian. When I say I "don't have a choice" I mean I am tired of working against God (fighting an uphill battle against reality). Ultimately I am choosing to end this fight against God. Sorry that did not come across clearly.
  11. Vera Bradley

    My brother has been fishing...

    missmuffet, my brother was a pastor for over 15 years and he knows the gospel through and through. He is not ready to hear me tell him about Jesus Christ. Where I stand: I don't have a choice about asking Jesus Christ to be my Savior because I am tired of fighting an uphill battle against reality.
  12. Fishing for a fellow rebel in his rebellion against God. When I talk to him on the phone, he asks me "You're an atheist, right?" I have told him that I am not an atheist. I could hear the disappointment in his voice. He wanted reassurance that he was not alone in his rebellion. It's not working. I have a blog that my brother knows about, and at first I wrote random book reviews, but now I have decided to focus on spirituality, and I don't think he will frequent my blog much longer. I say all of this to say that I see how rebellion works. It's like a child sneaking around doing something wrong, and seeking alibis.
  13. Vera Bradley

    Prayer's Effectiveness

    Thanks for your replies. I want to believe that prayer is effective. What I'm dealing with is doubt about God's existence. When I go to pray, I wonder if I am making God up in my own imagination, and if prayer is just happening in my mind. I compare it to a child writing a letter to Santa Claus. If a child writes a letter to Santa, that child more than likely truly believes that Santa exists. However, if an adult writes a letter to Santa, what is going on? I want to believe that God exists outside of my own imagination. I have difficulty getting to that point.
  14. Hi everyone. I have had a very difficult time praying. I have not prayed in years because I cannot see how prayer solves problems, especially when they are life-threatening. I can see how taking action solves problems. I think about people in situations where they are on the verge of homelessness, or having a major illness, and I think, if they pray about it, how will that change their situation? Wouldn't reaching out to housing agencies or applying certain remedies or medicine be more effective? I want to know how and why prayer is effective.
  15. Vera Bradley

    The Creator Exists

    "Theistic pagan" describes me perfectly. However, I do not believe there are gods like Zeus and Thor. My search for Jesus Christ has led me out of the religion and growing American enterprise that is more like Christianity™ than the way of Christ. There is a blog called "Jesus Without Baggage," and Tim, the author, puts into words the very things I have felt for several years.