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About daughterofGrace

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday May 9

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  • Gender
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    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Reading -- fiction (mysteries), non-fiction (theology, history, biography), poetry;
    Music -- I play the trumpet and piano;
    Baseball -- I'm a Toronto Blue Jays' fan
  1. Christian views on Trump

    I read an opinion piece by Michael Brown in the Christian Post. When asked why a Christian would vote for somebody who is rude, obnoxious, ignorant, boorish, racist, self-centered, narcissistic, impolitic, etc., etc., etc., he explained it with this story: An elderly woman ran out of food. She sat at her table by an open window, head bowed, and prayed, "Please, Lord. You know I need food. I am trusting you to provide it." An atheist going by her house heard the prayer and thought, "I'll show her!" He went out and bought bags and bags of groceries which he delivered to her house. She clapped her hands and started thanking God for bringing her food in such abundance. The atheist stared at her and said, "Wait a minute! Why are you thanking God for bringing you the food when I'm the one who went out and bought it?" She replied, "I don't care what means he used to answer my prayer, I'm just glad he did." That's the way many Christians feel about Trump. They don't necessarily like him. They just think that, as big a jerk as he is, he is more likely to do something according to the Christian agenda than Hillary Clinton would. After all, God talked through a donkey to Balaam. However, given that Trump is a liar, why would anybody believe that he would ever do anything he promised? That's what stumps me.
  2. Can't I just be broken?

    I would have a problem with a church that simply teaches "self-improvement". Being a Christian isn't about working to improve ourselves. It's about working in the power of the Holy Spirit to become more like Jesus. The process is called sanctification and it's about reading the Bible regularly and prayerfully, praying to the Lord for his wisdom and guidance, participating in Bible studies, allowing the Holy Spirit inside you to empower you to overcome the obstacles in life and live life in God's wisdom. But each of us is different. Therefore, each of our walks with the Lord will be different to some degree. Sure, there are some experiences and lessons we share with others who are on this journey with Jesus. But we are all individuals and God will work with us according to our particular needs and abilities. The idea of cookie-cutter Christians scares me, too! God is certainly not the author of your bipolar disorder. We live in a fallen world and we are all of us broken in some way. But it is God's desire to heal us of our brokenness, be it spiritual, physical, emotional, relational, mental or whatever. So do not give up hope on being healed in your particular area of brokenness. Just remember that it isn't about you on your own trying to be the best Christian you can be. It's about you having the Holy Spirit in you to empower you, guide you, strengthen you, comfort you, etc. I know there are churches that never even talk about the Holy Spirit. I grew up in one. I used to try to be a good person in my own puny human power and felt like a failure a lot of the time. But when I was filled with the Holy Spirit and handed my life to him, I began to see changes in myself, changes for the better. That is what I desire for others. For those who aren't familiar with the Holy Spirit and want him in their lives, it's easy. Just pray to the Lord and say, "I accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit." I guarantee you that God will answer yes to that prayer and your life will never be the same.
  3. Inner or outer salvation?

    The Bible describes salvation this way: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8) "If you declare with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). "Salvation is found in no one (other than Jesus), for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6). To address some of your questions: Jesus did not self-realize. He always knew who he was, whether pre-incarnate, Incarnate or post-incarnate. We do not self-realize -- unless you're talking about realizing that we are sinners and cannot earn our way into eternity with God and, therefore, need Christ our Saviour. We are tri-partite beings consisting of a body, a soul/mind and a spirit. We are born with spirits that are dead to God. When we accept Christ in faith, he brings our spirits alive in him. Hence, the phrase "born-again". Salvation is all about what Christ did and our response to it. We cannot save ourselves. Following rituals, performing rites, etc. do not save us. We are born with sin natures and we cannot change them. When we accept Christ, he gives us his righteousness since we have none of our own. It is his righteousness that gives us right-standing with God. I do agree that we are to become like Christ as we go through a life-long process of sanctification in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are indeed renewed by the transforming of our minds (Rom. 12:2). But there are no perfect Christians in the world. And there are, of course, many non-Christians. Therefore, there will always be conflicts in the world. When Christ returns and establishes his kingdom, we will finally find out how wonderful life is when everybody lives it his way. Does that help?

    That's one of the most insulting, misogynistic, and unbiblical posts I have ever read on this forum. The ideas in that wretched post are based on Aristotelian philosophy. Aristotle referred to women as "botched men". Those hateful beliefs about the superiority of men came from the Greeks, not from God. Sadly, they were incorporated into the early church and, even more sadly, some people are still spouting them today as if they're true. To categorically dismiss all women as unreasonable, simple creatures run entirely by their emotions is so wrong. And you'd better hope that women hear from God as much as men do since we make up half of the world's population and raise the world's children and function in the workplace in many capacities, often in positions of power and influence. The Bible states clearly that both men and women are made in his image. Are we different? Yes, we are, in ways that complement each other, not in ways that make one better than the other. Men are not superior in any way and they are no closer to God. There is nothing in the Bible that states that. And there's nothing hierarchical in God making Adam first. That's like saying my older sister is superior to me because she was born before I was. Posts like the one above make me angry. But they make me sad, too, because they don't just negatively affect women. They negatively affect men as well. We are all hurt by such lies. They keep us from recognizing who we all are, male and female, in Christ, and how we were meant to work together in his name. Posts like the above don't recognize the equality of the sexes and, with that unhealthy imbalance, none of us can live out fully who God wants us to be. It only puts us at odds. My thanks to chikachuks 1 for posting such an excellent and sound understanding of what those verses from the Bible say about women. We need to hear more of that and we need to have more men speak out about this -- especially to other men.
  5. Moving to a different city with fiancé

    Others have addressed the issue of morality and God's will so I won't. But let me add this: It doesn't sound like he's too concerned about what's best for you re: home, family, job, etc. I think he's asking a lot. He's expecting you to go along with what he wants. Is he paying any attention at all to your well-being in this? As for this business about not being ready to marry until all the ducks are in a row, that's just stalling as far as I'm concerned. It makes me think of survey results I read some time ago about couples who move in together. Men and women approach it differently. Women think, "Oh, good. Now he'll marry me." Men think, "Oh, good. Now I don't have to marry her." You're right. Why turn your world upside down for a man who hasn't even married you? Who says he ever will? You've been together for a couple of years. If he hasn't married you yet, what makes you think he will ever do so? I'll be honest. When a man refuses to marry a woman and offers excuses like his, he's saying that he wants to be free to walk away any time he wants without all the entanglements that marriage brings. And where does that leave you? In another town, apart from your family, without a job? And submission isn't about doing whatever your husband tells you to do. The Bible says that a man should love his wife as Christ loves the church. But since he isn't a Christian, he's not going to be putting your well-being first. Do you really want that in a man?
  6. Am I bound for hell?

    Steve wrote: There is zero evidence of any god . . . . My response: Actually, there is a great deal of evidence to support the existence of God. The many arguments include cosmological, ontological, axiological, teleological, historical and experiential, just to name a few. Peter Kreeft lists 20 of them with brief explanations of each here: http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/20_arguments-gods-existence.htm I notice that you disparage Pascal’s Wager for not proving God’s existence. Kreeft also includes it in his list. From what I have read, I don’t think Pascal ever intended his argument as “proof” of God’s existence. He only intended to use it to get people thinking about God. I think he was successful in doing that as, here we are, centuries later, and people are still talking about him and his wager and God. Have you ever read any of J. Warner Wallace’s work? He’s an interesting guy. He was an atheist and an investigative detective focusing on cold cases. He decided to apply the same methodology he used on the job to the arguments for God’s existence. He found the results too compelling to ignore. He realized God did indeed exist and it didn’t take much further investigation to realize that only Christianity had it right. All worldviews, religious or otherwise, can be assessed by several criteria including logical consistency and coherence, empirical adequacy, existential relevancy and viability. For example, Buddhism isn’t consistent in that it teaches we should not desire anything, yet its basic premise is that we desire not to desire anything. When it comes to viability, for example, we have to ask -- Does a worldview answer the big questions in life, that is, our origins (where did we come from?), ethics (how should we live?), meaning (what is the purpose of life?) and destiny (where are we headed?) I have been studying religions and worldviews for a long time and I can tell you that only Christianity passes all the tests. Some belief systems might meet one or two of the criteria, but they fail in others. You strike me as somebody who likes to think deeply. Therefore, I think you would appreciate the work of Ravi Zacharias. He has done a lot of work on comparative worldviews. His web site is here: http://rzim.org/ He has written many books, but I recommend his Jesus Among Other Gods as well as his most recent work, Jesus Among Secular Gods, to begin with. They're both excellent. And you should check out Wallace’s site as well: http://coldcasechristianity.com/ Wallace says there are three reasons why people don’t believe in God – some have rational doubts and require reasonable, valid evidence. Others have emotional reasons. They have been hurt and offended by Christians and need healing from their anger and their pain. It's their emotions that keep them from seriously considering the truth of God. Lastly, some people have volitional reasons. They hate the very idea of God and will resist any evidence, even that which is valid and persuasive. Warner says that he was the latter. I have heard a couple of atheists admit that they don't want God to be real because they love their sins too much to give them up. What they don't realize is that they're missing out on God's best -- which is way better than sin, believe me! I’m wondering if you see yourself in any of those categories, Steve. And if so, how can we help you to address them? That's all I have time for now, Hopefully, I have given you something to think about.
  7. Beautiful Bride by Paul Wilbur

    Yup! I think you've got it right, Kwik. We, the church, are the bride of Christ and he will return for his bride at some point. In the meantime, when the devil would seek to condemn me, I am reminded by this song that I have been redeemed from the night and belong to Jesus. I've never studied Hebrew. It seems like a daunting language!
  8. a lesson from church history

    Hi, JM! This is what I wrote: This is why, as Judas Machabeus rightly pointed out, the Mormons are shoveling a boatload of hooey (my words, not his!) when they say the church was totally lost. It never was. God did indeed preserve it and he did it with men and women from a variety of backgrounds in a variety of situations in a variety of different places at a variety of different times. And we should be grateful to all of them. I don't see how you thought I was saying that the Holy Spirit had abandoned the entire church when I actually said the exact opposite. And I don't see how you thought I said the church fell into total corruption when, again, I said the opposite. There has never been a time in history when there were not internal problems in the church with people getting off-track. Nor was there ever a time in history when the church was totally lost. You're putting words in my mouth, words I did not say. My post is there for you to re-read in full so that you can see what I really did say. The people who helped keep the faith in the church are many. They include people like Athanasius, the Cappodician Fathers, and Tertullian who all played a part in fighting off attacks against the Trinity (although Tertullian himself did stray when he joined the Montanists late in life). There is Theodore of Mopsuestia who faced off against those who were trying to interpret the Bible only as allegory with nothing literal in it. There was Jerome who translated the Bible into Latin and was one of Christianity's earliest apologists. And of course there's Augustine -- I surely don't have to tell you how he blessed the church. And those are only a few. There are many more, but I do not have time to list them all along with how they helped preserve the Gospel of Jesus Christ down through the centuries. Here's the thing: As a Protestant, my church history doesn't begin with Luther, Calvin and Zwingli. It begins in the New Testament and my heritage includes all the same people that the RCC include in their church history. I don't have time to go into great detail about Constantine right now. However, I repeat -- he made Christianity the imperial religion. That is a historical fact, one I learned in both my History of Theology course as well as my History of the Christian Church at Seminary. The three sources I quoted are respected scholars and their texts are widely-used. Noll was, at one point, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. I don't use bogus sources. It is possible for me to misunderstand things, but I haven't misunderstood Constantine's action re: the Christian church. I am willing to engage you further in this discussion, but if you are going to misinterpret what I say and simply deny that what I have said isn't true without providing reliable sources for your own statements, then I don't see a lot of future in continuing.
  9. Here in Canada there's a woman lobbying to have neither male nor female on her birth certificate. She wants it to read "other". And she doesn't want the pronouns "he" or "she" used. She wants "they" and "them" used when people refer to her. But, given that those words are for pluralities, that doesn't make a lot of sense. But then, sense really has nothing to do with it, does it? I consider this whole transgender business a matter of the emperor having no clothes. Everybody knows it's crazy, but people are afraid to say so. I listened to an interview with a man who always felt that he should have been a woman. So, at age 42, he left his wife and children and "became" a woman. But he found out that he wasn't any happier living as a woman than he had been living as a man. He ended up going for therapy and discovered that he had mental health issues. When he dealt with them successfully, he was happy just as he was born, that is, as a man. He said that 85 per cent of transgender people have mental health issues which, if resolved, will settle their unease with their gender as well. To me, the saddest thing is that, because society has decided to accept the way they feel as legitimate, they will never get the help they need to be the men and women God created them to be. And those of us who refuse to accept transgenderism get called hateful bigots. It all must make the devil so happy.
  10. Planet Shakers - Dance Praise His Name

    That song just makes me want to bounce all around the room in joy and celebration. Great stuff! Thanks for posting it. I had never heard it before. I will definitely be playing it again -- and again and again and again and again . . . .
  11. Beautiful Bride by Paul Wilbur

    Paul Wilbur is one of my favourite worship leaders. Beautiful Bride tells me who I am in Christ even on my worst days! There is such joy in that.
  12. Go Light Your World by Chris Rice

    If I had to choose a song as a theme for life, I would choose this one:
  13. Writing

    I used to make my living as a writer -- writing for and editing magazines, working in corporate communications, etc. I also taught writing at the college level. I stopped for health reasons. Now I do some editing and critiquing for other writers. I have written some poems and short stories as well as a couple of screenplays and stage plays just for fun. Lately, I have been working on a couple of children's novels. Unfortunately, I'm great at starting projects, but not so great at finishing them. So I have a whole bunch of works in progress.
  14. a lesson from church history

    I have some further thoughts on Constantine and the effects of making Christianity the imperial religion. Scholars debate whether Constantine really was a Christian or not. He certainly didn't behave like one when he had members of his family executed. I have read that he replaced Passover with Easter because he was anti-Jewish and that he promoted the incorporation of pagan practices in the Christian church to appease those subjects who weren't Christian. My apologies to you, Judas Machabeus, because I can't remember where I read that. I appreciate the fact that you want reliable sources. I'm that way, too. I like to assess sources because some aren't as reputable as others. So I went to a book entitled Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity by Mark Noll to see what I could find out from him about all of this. He notes that, for the first three centuries, the church was a "pilgrim community". He elaborates on this, saying that the church "was not at home anywhere in the world since the power of the state could be turned at any moment, propel them into exile, or disrupt the regular order of worship and Christian service." When Constantine made Christianity the official religion, this changed. The church now had stability and could spread far and wide promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ without fear of persecution. That was one of the blessings that came with Constantine's declaration. But there is always the bad with the good. Noll purports that we had the beginning of the intermingling of state and church here because Constantine was so involved with the church and the result was that "the sphere of worldly concerns he stood for gradually assumed greater and greater importance in the church". As that happened, the church strayed further and further away from its Biblical foundations. But that has always been true of God's followers. How many times did the Israelites stray from God in the Old Testament times? Paul's letters to the early churches involved correction because they were going astray -- and this only a matter of decades after Christ's death and resurrection. Straying seems to be part and parcel of the church in any era. But the Lord always made sure there was a remnant, that is, a group of devoted followers who kept the faith so that it was never lost no matter what happened down through the centuries. This is why, as Judas Machabeus rightly pointed out, the Mormons are shoveling a boatload of hooey (my words, not his!) when they say the church was totally lost. It never was. God did indeed preserve it and he did it with men and women from a variety of backgrounds in a variety of situations in a variety of different places at a variety of different times. And we should be grateful to all of them.
  15. a lesson from church history

    It is true that, when Constantine made Christianity the official religion, pagans joined the Christian ranks. Roger E. Olson in his The Story of Christian Theology puts it this way: "Hordes of unconverted pagans flooded into Christian churches merely to gain status in the eyes of the imperial court and the bureaucracy under Constantine" (p. 139). This meant that some Christians regarded the new imperial church as apostate. Some took to the desert to live a life of "meditation and asceticism" to use the words of Justo Gonzalez in his History of Christianity (p. 124). But others stayed to fight against anything brought into the church that didn't line up with the Bible. Gonzalez suggests that the biggest change that came in the wake of Constantine's declaration of Christianity as the official religion (apart from the end of persecution) was in the area of worship. Whereas people had met primarily in houses, now churches were being built. Incense, which was used as a sign of respect for the emperor, was now used in churches. Those in positions of ministry had always worn everyday clothes, but now they started to wear more luxurious garments. Services were now started with processionals. Choirs were formed. And, gradually, congregation members took less and less part in the services. Churches were often built at the site of a martyr's grave. If a church was built where there was no grave, they would dig up a martyr and bring his or her bones to the church to reside there. Eventually, some people saw miraculous powers in these bones and the introduction of relics began. And the churches became larger and more ornate as time went on. All of this came in the aftermath of Constantine declaring Christianity to be a state religion and these changes represented, in some respects, a copying of the way emperors did things in a grand style. Perhaps the worst thing that came of it all was this: People started to think that one only had to be a member of the church and follow its rules to be saved. It's an erroneous belief that we can find down through the centuries in a variety of churches. For example, 19th-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, attacked the Church of Denmark (Protestant) for just that reason, calling for a relationship with Jesus to be at the centre of the Christian life, not membership in a sterile institution that paid no attention to the Lord.