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Everything posted by ChristianMan72

  1. "Spiritual, but not religious"

    I have seen this defined two ways. One is in sort of a hippie view or a view borrowed from Eastern religions of being in tune with the universe and in being more concerned with their own ideals of peace than in accumulating 'natural' possessions. The other is perhaps how I could partially describe myself. A sincere believer, with a relationship with Christ. Not part of any church or denomination though, I have yet to find one that doesn't write off parts of the Bible they don't like or can't fully explain or control. Or that doesn't water down the Gospel so they can get more people in the door (and sadly by implication, more money). Or that doesn't add some of their own 'essential' rituals and routines to follow so that people can make worship a habit rather than a personal experience. Some would claim that not going to an official church regularly is a problem, but that's not where it's at. "Where two or three gather in my Name..." It is about getting together with other sincere believers, in Christ's Name. It would be unfair and presumptuous to deny that many churches do some good. And it isn't an excuse not to learn more about Christ in a church if that's what works for you. But many churches can also limit people, either by never telling them there is more to be had than simple repentance (and in some cases their sin-repent-sin-repent cycle) or by actually telling them not to listen to people who would teach them more. It takes a lot of faith and humility to encourage people to go further.
  2. Sibling Loyalty

    I think if you are close with a sibling, you should not let someone divide you. So if someone is playing to both of you at once, something is wrong and you should probably both walk away. If someone really close to me was simultaneously really serious about the same person as I, I would probably step back and let it play out. I'm the type to get joy from seeing a another's happiness and would not want to live with having derailed that. But that's all theoretical, so much more detail is needed to make such a decision. In general though, if there's the hint of someone playing games, I'd say avoid them.
  3. What do you think....

    I think we can do better than throwing women the occasional bone (no jokes, guys, I didn't choose the phrase!). I think there is an acute shortage of intelligent, female roles. But I think they can be in harmony with the male roles and not necessarily at their expense. And there are some films that attempt that successfully, e.g. The Blind Side (if I remember correctly), Kate And Leopold, and even something like Ever After where the female lead was very capable, but not cold or indifferent toward men, and the male character was dynamic (learned and changed along the way), but wasn't portrayed as a monkey-brained fool just to make the female characters appear smarter by contrast.
  4. What do you think....

    I've laughed at the anti-men jokes, I can see the humor in them. I think women are strong and capable and can be as heroic as they choose. But to advance women by undermining men and the male psyche is worrisome. Men still have to win a woman's heart, but they increasingly also have to also convince her that men are not all weak, lazy and evil at heart. I saw a discussion on something similar recently and ended up at the following page: The article goes back and forth and like most Wikipedia stuff, can be edited by anyone. Still thinking about it, but thought this passage was not far off: Sociologist Anthony Synnott argues that the reality of misandry is undeniable when one looks to cultural, academic, and media depictions of men. He states that "misandry is everywhere, culturally acceptable, even normative, largely invisible, taught directly and indirectly by men and women, blind to reality, very damaging and dangerous to men and women in different ways and de-humanizing."He also criticizes modern scholarship on men as "dehumanizing" and lacking in awareness of statistical reality. Also, I thought this next part interesting... and as another example, many Disney stories no longer present strong male characters, the princesses and even the witches take the hero-roles, intentionally departing from the traditional prince-as-hero tale. Feminist philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers has highlighted the misandric nature of Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues where "there are no admirable males...the play presents a rogues’ gallery of male brutes, sadists, child-molesters, genital mutilators, gang rapists and hateful little boys" which she finds out of step with the reality that "most men are not brutes. They are not oppressors".
  5. Has the church made purity an idol? (Article)

    I pretty much agree with the article when it comes to people who come to Christ out of a sexually impure lifestyle. When someone becomes a new creature, their past is washed away, they no longer have a past in Christ. The important thing is for them to find spiritual purity and all the other aspects will fall in line. Converted Christians do still have to deal with their own memories and personal consequences, but the Christians around them should not be reminding them of a forgiven past - if they've changed, that shouldn't be used to belittle or take advantage of them. They become equals before God, receiving the same reward as those who've obeyed longer/always. Could I accept someone converted like that as a spouse? It isn't my wish, but if the person was sincere and the "right one" in God's eyes, I could. I've seen enough of life and people to know how complicated and messy things can get even for those who think they are doing the right thing and how important compassion is.
  6. Another interesting article

    With these two completely contradictory sentences in the same post, you've made it clear that trying to discuss this with you is a waste of time. Your wild claims that the Bible was lost and rewritten are baseless. For the record, I never said the Bible was secondary to my relationship with Christ; the Bible is Christ. You say you love Jesus, but He said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Loving without obeying is just humanism, not Christianity, and won't get you anywhere with God. That's what I've been trying to say and I'll let that be my summation.
  7. Another interesting article

    With all due respect, Stacie, in my experience the ones who are truly interested in Christianity want to hear it pretty straight. As for shame, there are several kinds, the unhealthy kind stemming from physical or emotional challenges (e.g. having a deformity, a stammer or something like a big facial birthmark), and the kind that comes from behaving badly. The latter is a natural human emotion intended to help guide us back to the right path. I can look back to things I said or did e.g. as a child and still feel the shame and know that I should never say or do them again. Shame is not all bad. From a Christian perspective, it is not just good to wait, but it is right to wait, and it is because other posts have claimed a Christian viewpoint that I answered this thread at all. I don't shame people by sharing, in love and compassion, what the Bible teaches. People shame themselves by their own behavior. You seem to think of me as a great big meanie. I may not communicate my empathy well in the written word, but I'm one of the first to forgive. Without forgiveness, I would not be here.
  8. Another interesting article

    I respectfully disagree. You make judgments every day in everything you do, as do we all. You look at a tray of strawberries and see the mushy ones at the bottom, and you decide not to buy them, because you judged them to be a bad choice. When choosing a route for a walk, you avoid certain areas, maybe a dark alley or two or under a bridge. Because you judged them as bad or risky places. But you suggest that to protect our most precious possession, our eternal soul, we cannot judge those around us who could jeopardize that? Is there anyone you would judge as unacceptable to be your companion, to influence your decisions in life because the wrong decisions could cause you a lifetime of pain and regret? I did a search and found this essay on judging, it is a really clear explanation of those verses. For those who don't read it all, I will share one quote. I've avoided responding with scripture references up to now, but the Bible says it in a few words so much better than I do: There is a place for righteous judgment. When Christians persist in sin, they are to be judged by their fellow Christians, as Paul explained to the Corinthians: "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore 'put away from yourselves that wicked person'" (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Please don't exaggerate. There are around 100 English translations, but not 1,000. And many are from different periods of time, but most differ only in interpretation, often in slightly different phrases, words or idioms of the time of the translation. And most other languages have at least one translation, many several. There are a few modern translations and a few breakaway group translations that intentionally change interpretations to support 'modern' Christian philosophies or to support what a certain group wants their followers to believe, but these are easily avoided. The argument that the Bible is so old, or in so many different 'versions' that we can never know anything for sure is another great excuse used by Christians and non-believers alike, and it has shown up more than once on these forums. But it is also completely mistaken (and I'm not being arrogant, just brutally honest). The Bible is the most carefully, meticulously, prodigiously curated book in history, with no other document coming close. The Jewish scholars preserved the Old Testament through thousands of handwritten copies over time. I'm not an expert on this, so I'll give you a link. The New Testament reportedly has some 24,000 manuscripts! For a secular link: At first glance, one would think that means there is tremendous uncertainty in the content of the Bible. Actually, in all of these manuscripts, Old Testament or New Testament, most of the differences are things like differences in spelling, grammar or word order. None of them casts doubt on the content or accuracy of the Bible. Rather than try to explain something so carefully explained elsewhere, I suggest this short article. However, for the quick reader, I will include one paragraph from the above to explain (bold added). "In a conversation with a man at Walmart, a statement was made as well as a question asked: "The Bible was taken from hand written copies, much of which are only fragments. How can we trust that what we have is accurate?" Because there are over 14,000 manuscript copies of the New Testament we can absolutely be confident of its accuracy. With this large number of manuscripts, comparing manuscripts easily reveals any place where a scribe has made an error or where there is a variation. There are approximately 150,000 variations in the manuscripts we have today. However, these variations represent only 10,000 places in the New Testament (if the same word was misspelled in 3,000 manuscripts, that is counted as 3,000 variations.) Of these 10,000 places, all but 400 are questions of spelling in accord with accepted usage, grammatical construction, or order of words. Of the remaining variations, only 50 are of significance (such as two manuscripts leaving out Acts 2:37). But of these 50, not one alters even one article of faith which cannot be abundantly sustained by other undoubted passages." For a Christian though, all of this amazing confirmation of the Bible and its content and its meaning is actually secondary. When you read the Bible and develop a personal, spiritual relationship with Christ, you no longer need the factual proofs to believe, you develop a spiritual faith. Many Christians have had that experience at least somewhere in their lives, the hard part is keeping that relationship over time. Once married, one has to keep the love alive and fresh with a spouse and not let anyone lure you away into breaking your marriage. Similarly, we have to keep our love and relationship alive with Christ, or we may lose our spiritual union and become empty and hypocritical Christians-in-name-only. We can probably conclude this thread. If you don't want to hear or believe any of this, that is your prerogative. But consider before you post broken, misleading and indefensible philosophies as truth and fact.
  9. Are intelligent women more likely to be single?

    No, I have to agree with the other comments that this article is pretty much hogwash, especially after how she tries to define what women want in the first line. I personally, in my own opinion, for myself, but not necessarily reflecting the thoughts of any other man on the planet, find intelligent women attractive and intriguing and I certainly don't mind if they know more about some things than I do. And I would have a hard time relating to a woman who didn't have at least some experience of the challenges and suffering that comes in life. I'm sorry I can't generalize that to other men, but I wouldn't want to sound self-important. But do consider all of the many CSI-type crime procedurals on TV with intelligent female characters deciphering DNA, matching molecules and catching the crooks with their minds rather than their muscles. I would guess these characters are also pretty popular with the guys too.
  10. Another interesting article

    This is great, I'm going to borrow it one day...
  11. Another interesting article

    You are generalizing here, and twisting my words but really not addressing your apparent defense of premarital sex. As you said, love the sinner (Christian or not), and hate the sin - I agree completely and that's how I live. But the Bible teaches us not to encourage the sinner in a lifestyle outside of Christ. Because that makes us complicit in their sin. That's a bit different from just loving and supporting everyone regardless. Don't think I'm going to take the bait and bring other religions into this, then we'd have a melee.
  12. Another interesting article

    Many? I believe a man should also be required to wait to have sex until he has vowed to spend his life with said woman. But I don't see that as oppressive. It is challenging, trying, and sometimes frustrating but so are many human endeavors, like e.g. training as a professional athlete. I couldn't have put them better myself - all the knee-jerk phrases that are regularly used by Christians to excuse any kind of bad behavior. Too bad that more Christians don't read the rest of the verses and chapters that these teachings and quotes are cut out of - they mean so much more in their true context, and are not the excuses for sin that so many would like to think.
  13. Another interesting article

    I appreciate your taking a logical approach to this. The post I was replying to equated culture and religion by essentially claiming that a cultural practice of promoting premarital sex was morally right for the people living in those cultures. For something to be morally right, there has to be a set of beliefs that set up those morals, hence it has to be something sanctioned or at least not prohibited by their religion. it In the Bible and sometimes in Christianity, cultural practices are referred to as traditions. But it is always made very clear that culture/traditions should not contradict Christianity. And I don't have anything against different cultures and practices as long as they don't go counter to what we should believe and obey as Christians. There are things we can learn from other cultures, I have experience with a number of different cultures in several countries firsthand. I did read about the love huts, I know what is reported. But I don't believe that it is primarily a positive, happy system, because that is not human nature. I quote from another thread on another blog... "In principle I don’t have a problem with something like this. In practice, knowing what I know about Ratanakiri and having in-laws from there, I have a HUGE problem with it. It is common practice there to use these huts to trade sex with one’s daughter for money or other goods. The statement in the video about low rape rates is absolute BS." This is all secondhand info of course, so arguing it further is probably pointless, but assuming that it works exactly as described by NatGeo or others interested in selling this as a novel story would be naive. I brought up the Zulus and Africa, not because I confused them with Cambodia, but because their culture is an example of one where premarital sex is culturally commonplace and in some ways condoned, and because it is one that I have encountered firsthand. HIV is relevant because it is spread through these cultures, not only in Africa, but also quite badly in Cambodia as well. I'm afraid you are mistaken about the bride price or Lobola among the Zulus at least. The wife does not keep the money, nor is it saved by the father in case his daughter becomes a widow. Read the following link for more on this practice in Africa and around the world. In other, ancient cultures, the bride price was in some cases a widow-insurance-plan. I should be upset with you accusing me of just grabbing something at face value and not researching it, but I don't think you meant to insult. I have gone out of my way not to insult, nor have I "spewed off hurtful inconsiderate things". I respect that there are other people here with other beliefs and other cultures. But some things are universal, and we cannot redefine the major tenets of Christianity based on our own local culture or traditions, or even by our own experiences. I'm just trying to explain what I understand and believe from a Christian perspective. I realize that some see my boldness and confidence about what I believe as arrogant, but I'm not. I'm a fair, humble guy who will read and fairly consider what is posted, so long as it is truthful.
  14. Another interesting article

    I just wonder why I have not heard of these 'many cultures that encourage premarital sex'? But many is a strong term. I wonder what the facts really are, and why we don't hear about these people all the time if these are such exemplary cultures? And then you appear to claim that there exists more than one culture that builds not only the isolated 'love hut' but an actual home for their daughters to use strictly for sex? (Either of which smacks to me of just another ruse for multiple boys/men to get sex from a young girl/woman before she can figure out what happened.) And if you use these as examples, they must be good cultures to preserve and study, so I would have to assume that you would agree with most or perhaps all of the other cultural traditions these people have, especially with regard to men and women? As feminists, you don't think that perhaps there could be even just a little oppression of women in cultures that condone premarital sex? In Africa, many Zulus hold the tradition that a young woman needs to be proven fertile before marriage, by having one or several children, in part fueled by the cultural tradition that men 'buy' their wives from the woman's father for a fairly hefty fee. Why doesn't it surprise me that many never actually do get married. And this region/culture has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world. At least 30% and probably closer to 50% of pregnant Zulu women are HIV positive, due to their promiscuity, and many of the children contract HIV from their mother, or are left as orphans when they die, and often both. This statistic comes from the blood tests all pregnant women have when they go to a maternity clinic and is probably one of the most reliable statistics on HIV in Africa. (And though it is not directly related to this discussion, don't believe it when people tell you that it is almost impossible to contract HIV from heterosexual sex. According to the various world health sites, 80% of all HIV infections worldwide are in fact from heterosexual contact.) Finally, by claiming that the practices of religions and cultures other than your own 'right' for some people, you are essentially giving these other religions and their gods equal value to your own religion and beliefs. From a Christian perspective, you should take a deep breath before you charge ahead and make that claim, because it isn't supported by the Bible at all (quite the opposite in fact), regardless of how 'politically correct' it may sound these days. As a Christian, I believe that abstinence before marriage is always the right path. I believe that abstinence is never the wrong path, for anyone, Christian or not. Because suggesting otherwise would be denying Christ and the Bible.
  15. Prayer Request for a Tragedy

    You have my prayers!
  16. Another interesting article

    The site's author, as well as her associate Belle Femme both claim Christianity, and both have written a book about feminism and sexuality in that context. I would likely not be commenting if it wasn't something done in the name of God. They clearly think that they have greater knowledge and reasoning than the One who wrote the Book of all Books in the first place, because they have tried to add to and to change it. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. A safe place for people who are trying to do well to get better, to be right is a good idea. But a safe place where people are shielded from the truth and taught alternate realities concocted by angry feminists isn't safe at all - it will turn out people with warped ideas. The article in question states what this misguided young woman believes about abstinence and purity being unnecessary, but doesn't provide real reasons or reasoning why. What can she expect but for people to question her strange, heretical beliefs?
  17. Another interesting article

    The Bible is unambiguous on fornication (as well as sexual sin in general), and any sincere Christian with a concordance or an online Bible search tool can find that out pretty quickly. To say otherwise is to suppose that we can out-think God. While we do sincerely study the Bible, the complete reasoning behind the teachings of the Bible is larger than any human can ever comprehend all at once. So with a topic like sexual sin that is taught in hundreds of places in the Bible, a 'Christian' claiming that they've considered all the angles and decided that purity until marriage is no longer necessary because 'society is different today' is both arrogant and foolish. There is shame in fornication and sexual impurity, and no amount of research and book-writing can wipe that shame away. If individuals do not embrace what they are taught from the Bible, if they follow it out of rote for a while and eventually cast it aside because they never really believed or never made what they were taught a part of themselves, that isn't the fault of the teachings, nor does it make the teachings wrong. Maybe the people who taught these people were/are hypocrites and bad examples, or didn't really believe it themselves - there's ton's of that in this world, but that doesn't make the Bible wrong. Part of being a Christian is taking some things, including the veracity and authenticity of the Bible, on faith. And while we can strain at the gnats, analyze the tiny details of words and meanings in the hopes of understanding the Bible better, we should not meanwhile swallow a camel, i.e. turn our backs on and ignore the big things that we are clearly told to obey.
  18. I pain your feel... I can talk to just about anyone if either they or I are on the job, and there is reason to. But non-official social conversations are often a challenge unless I already know someone. It is just that way for some people. I would say, plan several topics and the sentences that you might lead with to start a conversation on them. Once the conversation is going, if they are at all interested or even just real, you will be able to keep it going. When all else fails, comment on the weather, it is always relevant to talk about!
  19. Fun Thread!

    "Three signorinas walked by and required their attention." John Grisham, Playing for Pizza Three? Italian? Oh what does it mean? I've had this paperback for years and never quite read it. I bought it so I wouldn't be the only person on my next flight without something to read. Didn't work, it is still sitting in my drawer, LOL.
  20. This came up in another thread, so I thought I'd put the thought out here for some comment. Do you feel that you fill real needs for each other, help and fulfill each other's lives (elaborate if you like)? Or do you just share your lives, so you don't really have to have your spouse around, but you like it when they are there so you are not alone? (And if you don't mind, let's leave the 'need for sex' out of the topic, that is another discussion entirely.)
  21. The WTM Podcast: Episode 1!

    More accents! More guns! More gossip! (OK, maybe not the last two items, but definitely more accents.) Maybe make your production a wee bit shorter next time... Enjoyed meeting you both, so to speak. Bravo for being willing to record this.
  22. Following on a recent post that suggested, esp. in some cases, it is better for a guy to give a girl his number than to ask for hers... is that the way most women feel? And how likely or in what circumstances are you likely to follow through and call / text / Facebook him? I like the idea that it shows a woman dignity and allows her the opportunity to think about it, especially when she's at work and can't really escape the attention, but does it work? Are there situations where you would rather a guy asked for your number instead of giving you his?
  23. The film in question is a situational comedy, so you sort of have to expect the exaggeration of his awkwardness for the comedy, but it does play to stereotypes rather badly. If you really liked / loved someone, I can't see that level of uneasiness about sex as a topic in most people, or even being uneasy with his own sexuality. Not saying he should have had sex, but that he needed to be able to address the topic. I did enjoy the family aspect of Steve Carell's Dan in Real Life somewhat... I always laugh at the "murderer of love" comments, lol. I was also disappointed by the way The Ugly Truth handled the ending. The gist of the story (spoilers) was that instead of waiting, he'd let himself go through women and been badly hurt to the point that he lost all faith in mankind as being anything more than animal instincts. He was trying to help her be flawless and perfectly behaved to be able to land some arbitrary doctor guy, but she really needed to be herself and find someone who loved her for that. Ending it without explaining that the better way for him was just to wait to meet the right person so he didn't get so torn up and discouraged along the way was a shame, along with that stupid closing sex scene. I'm not suggesting that we should just insist that we have to be loved exactly as we are right now, that we never need to change or improve. We need to be ourselves, but be the BEST version of ourselves that we can. Improve what is good about your personality and habits, and reduce or remove what is bad or weak, but still be you.
  24. tt

    TrueType... hey, does anyone remember Postscript fonts? That's what made Adobe in the first place.
  25. How likely are you to call a guy if he gives you his number...

    Hmm, what is it about girls these days and talking on the phone...