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About TraceMalin

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 07/05/1968

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    Pocono Mountains
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    Freediving, Cave & Wreck Diving, Surfing

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  1. This will most likely be my last post in Worthy. I want to thank everyone for their prayers, support, and for welcoming me into your community. Thanks to this community, I was able to come to terms with my "religious fatigue." What wears me out is the concept of what is a "true" Christian? That adjective really fits well into contemporary cancel-culture schools of thought. It becomes a blanket statement that cancels another believer's relationship to God. There are core beliefs shared by all Christians: that Jesus was the Son of the one and only God, crucified as a sacrificial lamb to pay a blood atonement for our sins, risen from the dead, and ascended into Heaven to be with the Father, etc. Not having a fundamental belief in Christ certainly would call one's "Christianity" into question. But, for Christians who believe in Christ, they have accepted "the truth." Pilate asked Jesus, "What is the truth?" 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. "Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." A true Christian simply is one who has heard the calling to Christ's salvation through the grace of our Creator. When I joined the forum, I said that I was just a normal Christian. I believe that any Christian who professes that Jesus is Lord and Savior is a true Christian. We may disagree about understanding, interpretation, once saved always saved, and even go so far as to question Paul or Biblical inerrancy without denying "the truth" in any way. "The truth" is Christ. We each hear His voice differently, but we know it is His voice. Judging other Christians as "true" or not, according to our own understanding, leads to division and to people leaving our communities.
  2. Dave, No. I read what I wrote in my OP and it may seem that way. It's fine to challenge one's understanding of scripture. What rubs me the wrong way is when Christians use the term "true" as an adjective as blanket cancellation of another Christian's faith due to beliefs or interpretations which are not core to salvation through Christ.
  3. I guess I'm not a true follower of Christ. Farewell Worthy.
  4. In the ancient world, they didn't have today's technology. DNA evidence, fingerprints, forensics, video surveillance, wire tapping, and a host of scientific advances such as handwriting analysis, etc., are employed as witnesses for or against someone. The more evidence, the better. When it comes to he said/she said crimes, a lawyer almost doesn't have a case without some form of eyewitness testimony or other evidence to back something up. In our modern world, we can see how the Law of Moses has inspired due process. With eyewitness testimony being the least reliable, "or three" witnesses are wise. Lawyers feel the same way today in most western courts. Scientists testify on behalf of the evidence. The evidence can be witness to a crime.
  5. The National Catholic Register explains the Catholic belief in this way: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/darmstrong/why-would-anyone-pray-to-saints-rather-than-to-god
  6. I first heard about the MRM when I watched this documentary: The Red Pill Movie
  7. The next verse in Proverbs 6 is not entirely correct. Ants are ruled by a queen. 6Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! 7 It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
  8. I had cataract surgery in my 40's and ended up with 20/10 right eye, 20/20 left eye. Had laser surgery when the epithelial cells clouded the IOL. Needed 3 treatments with laser to get a perfect result. Would this help you, JTC? http://www.visitingneighbors.org/shop---escort-services.html If not, contact the NYC Sea Gypsies dive club. The VP is a former student of mine named Adam Riback. Tell them you are an old diver who needs help. The Dive Chair is an ENT physician and good friend of mine named Michael Rothschild. http://www.seagypsies.nyc/index.php
  9. Halloween is a distinctly American holiday. Whatever its proposed origins it has become a folklore holiday. You can find as many scholarly articles claiming Halloween was entirely Christian as you can find scholarly articles claiming it has pagan roots. Now, I'm talking about legitimate scholarly articles by historians and folklorists who have Ph.D.'s in their fields and not opinion pieces by journalists and ministers. However, journalists and ministers are also in disagreement about Christian vs. pagan origins. Whatever the source, most Americans know nothing about Pope Gregory III or Samhain (pronounced sow-in). What is true is that neither God, nor the Devil, nor false idols are being worshiped on Halloween. It's a secular holiday that blended many traditions of Europe, Native Americans, and both Northern and Southern cultures. Only those participating in witchcraft or the occult are engaging in sinful activity. Satanists are the extreme and just about everything Satanists practice has been a growing offshoot of Anton Szandor LaVey's (real name Howard Stanton Levey) Church of Satan established in San Francisco in 1966. I have to laugh at the notion of an upside down cross being Satanic because church tradition has been that Peter was crucified upside down out of humility. (Source: apocryphal Acts of Peter). LaVey was a con artist, whose entire life was a lie, according to his daughter. I guess that would make him a great Satanist, since Satan is the Prince of Lies. LaVey founded his church on the Catholic feast of Walpurgisnacht, which celebrates a Catholic mother superior, Saint Walpurga, who was canonized in 870 by Pope Adrian II. LaVey declared one's birthday to be the most important day of the year in Satanism, Walpurgisnacht as the founding day of the Satanic church, and Halloween to be the three holidays Satanists would celebrate. Modern Satanism has nothing to do with any ancient rituals. It's all popular culture. American Halloween is a masquerade party carried from door to door that celebrates early American folklore. For adults, it might be a night of watching horror movies or going to a commercially operated haunted house or haunted hayride. The most popular Halloween costumes for kids based on a retail marketing survey are: 1. Princess 2. Marvel or DC superheroes 3. Spider-Man 4. Avengers superhero 5. Batman 6. Witch 7. Ghost 8. Vampire 9. Frozen princesses Anna or Elsa 10. Pirate If you want to make something evil, you can make it evil. For example, JTC has posted that he believes smoking is a sin because of the addictive properties and the health issues. If you subscribe to that school of thought, then candy is just as bad because of the sugar content and related health issues. We can take that further and claim if you are not eating in such a way that maximizes your health and prolongs the life God gave you, you are being sinful. That means we would have to watch our caloric, fat, and protein intake, maybe go vegan, never drink a Coca-Cola, a Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte, or eat a croissant. As a personal trainer, I could create an entire ministry based upon those beliefs. Colossians 2 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween Halloween may have pagan roots to some, Christian roots to others, but it is simply an American tradition far removed from ancient Celtic festivals, Catholic holidays, and anything other than some of the most fun we ever had as kids. Those who practice the occult don't just do it on Halloween. Trick or Treating isn't a sin. Trying to conjure up the dead on Ouija board certainly is.
  10. I'm thinking if we're standing in a long line we are either in hell or at the DMV. "Why is there a line?"
  11. 1. I'm Presbyterian. We never put too much emphasis or discussion on Jesus' second coming in my church, probably because no one figured it would happen in his or her lifetime, unlike the early church where they thought they'd live to see Jesus return. I think some of the signs have already happened. I honestly believe much of Revelation was directed against the Roman Empire and Nero was the number of the beast 666. https://detroitcatholic.com/news/gary-michuta/does-666-add-up-to-nero. My personal belief is that the second coming might be just as the first. The Jews were expecting a Messiah to deliver them from earthly enslavement such as the Roman occupation and not a spiritual one. Christians are expecting Jesus' return in a certain way, and I wouldn't be surprised if that return were much different than what we believe the scriptures are telling us. I'm sure that Jesus will fulfill scripture, but not in a way we Christians might think. 2. "Wars and rumors of wars." is supposed to be one of the first signs, but considering that there have always been wars and rumors of wars, that sounds like the status quo. There was the Pax Romana for 200 years, but before and after there was war. In modern times, we have wars and rumors of war daily. That ties into climate change. The climate has always been changing, but now we are looking at possible hardships predicted in our future that mankind has yet to face on a global scale. 3. IMHO, more Christians focus on judgment rather than paradise.
  12. Son of God was definitely one of the more well-made Christian movies and portrayed Jesus with more charisma and a friendlier personality than many previous films dealing with the life of Christ. I like the classical acting in Jesus of Nazareth, but I liked the portrayal of Jesus in Son of God as a warm, inviting character. If you have never seen, Jesus of Nazareth, you can view the entire 6 1/2 hour miniseries here: Jesus of Nazareth
  13. Due process of law is of paramount importance in a just and ordered society. Increasingly, young people are being taught the Machiavellian, "the ends justifies the means" attitude. This, especially from a leftist mindset. Like John Wayne, I always thought I was a liberal. He once said,"I have found a certain type calls himself a Liberal...Now I always thought I was a Liberal. I came up terribly surprised one time when I found out that I was a Right-Wing Conservative Extremist, when I listened to everybody's point of view that I ever met, and then decided how I should feel. But this so-called new Liberal group, (expletive removed), they never listen to your point of view." I thought of myself as a liberal in the sense of the Renaissance, French Revolution, American Revolution, and being open-minded to discovering truth over tradition. I'm registered as an independent voter and I've voted exactly 50% Democrat and 50% Republican in Presidential elections. Jesus, Himself, was more liberal than parochial. Today's liberals are no longer liberals. They've moved so far left that they are socialists at best, anarchists at worse. Machiavellian, "the ends justifies the means" attitude is taking over politics and the media. Leftism has become rebellion with too many causes and a poor understanding of the issues. Out of the chaos has emerged a lack of due process. Social media has given unchecked weight to voices. When what we read and what we saw once carried the weight of editorial review, now any voice in Twitter carries the weight of a Faulkner or a Hemingway. I've dated women who were victims of real rape. When I lived in Miami, I met a girl I'll call "Rebecca" scuba diving in Islamorada in the Keys. She had been a model, but had been raped when she showed up for a gig. She quit modeling and went into the H.R. field for a successful Miami restaurant. She was so traumatized, sex was out of the question. She appreciated dating me because I was willing to not have sex with her, and I saw her for the beautiful girl she was on the inside and not just a pretty face and fit body. Sometimes, we'd be kissing and then she'd just need to curl up in a ball, lie on my lap, and cry, while I stroked her hair. One of the loves of my life, Susan, was a flight attendant who died of cancer. She had been hit over the head while in college and dragged into the bushes and gang raped by three or four Spanish-speaking males. They forced her onto her face and beat her severely so she didn't remember much due to the beating and her level of intoxication walking back to her dorm from a party. The model never reported her rape because she felt like it would be too much of a burden to prove and she was afraid of losing her career at the time. Susan reported hers, but the perpetrators were never caught. While the #MeToo might have empowered Rebecca to come forward, there is also the danger of false accusations. I was accused of rape myself. I dated a girl I'll call, "Holly," who, at first, seemed perfect for me. She was a bookworm journalism major while I majored in English. At that time in my life, I was most attracted to petite blondes and she was 5'2" and 98 lbs. She was a well-bred Christian girl from old Southern money. Her grandfather had been a very famous and powerful man. They had TV evangelists over for dinner. She was crazy about me and I really loved her, but after a while, I became unsatisfied. Anyway, I decided to break it off. Weeks later, I felt bad about breaking her heart and I just wanted to let her know I still cared about her even if things weren't going to work in the long run. She responded, "I can't believe you are talking to me after what you did to me." I apologized for breaking her heart. She replied, "Not that! The fact that you raped me!" (Paraphrasing) "Raped you? We never even had sex." "Yeah. But, you wanted to. That's coercion." "What? How?" "That time you tried." "You mean the time I started kissing my way down your stomach and I asked you if you wanted me to stop and you said, 'Yes. No. I don't know ...' Then, when you said, 'Okay. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Stop. I'm not ready,' and I stopped?" "Yes! That's rape! I learned that in my gender studies class. I asked my professor about it. I made myself clear when I said, 'No.'" "'Yes. No. I don't know,' was clear?" "You should have known what I wanted." "Let me get this straight. You and I dated for two semesters. We never had a fight. We never said a hurtful thing to one another. I treated you like gold. I love you and showed you nothing, but love and tenderness. Yes. I wanted to have sex with you. I was in love with you and you're hot. That night I stopped as soon as you knew you wanted to stay a virgin. I never penetrated you or threatened you. I did nothing but go slowly and want to please you. How is that rape?" "Because ... you broke my heart!" This was 30 years ago in VA where there is no statute of limitations on sexual assault. Can we please keep due process in the age of #MeToo? Now, my grandparents who were staunch Christians would say, "See. This is what we warned you about and why you should wait to get married to have sex." Yes, they are right. But, sadly today, men are falsely accused of marital rape, and worse, molestation of their children by their ex-wives in angry divorces and custody battles. Courts are imperfect and the truth doesn't always come out, but it's so easy to make a false accusation that can ruin a life.
  14. Sin is basically selfishness and animal instinct. Righteousness is elevating above our animal nature to act in the image of God. We fall into sin because sins are our most basic desires to have abundant food, water, and shelter to the point of selfishness, frugality, and greed. We have the desire to mate and not just mate with one person. We have the desire to fight or flee when attacked. Turning the other cheek or sacrificing our lives on the battlefield for our buddies comes from love. We compete against others to attain our needs and we can exploit the unique gifts God gave humans such as speech, philosophy, and higher order intellectualism in selfish ways. If I look at my cats eating each other's food, chasing each other away from favorite perches, mating behavior even though neutered, getting into fights, and getting jealous if I praise or pet one before the other, then it's pretty easy to see ourselves as animals like cats. We have to fight strong natural urges and actions to attain the spiritual.
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