Can You Connect to God Without Religion?

Written by Karen Schenk

soulcravingsfindreligionIs there a difference between God and Religion? There is definitely a difference between God and religion.  God is someone I have a relationship with.  My view on God can be altered by many factors in my life.  It can be affected by my relationship with my own father or even by my culture and the people I spend time with.

I see religion is a set of beliefs that have guidelines for behavior associated with them.    There are many religions with many differing beliefs and rules.   I don’t  think God needs religion.  He wants to have a relationship with me.   It is so easy for me to get confused and think that my relationship with him has rules of engagement.    I love knowing that God cares about me and that my relationship with him does not need a lot of order and structure.  I want to participate in religion or church to celebrate his holiness, but it’s not a condition of knowing God.  Do you believe you can you connect to God without religion?

If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you. Use this form to  be matched with one of our mentors. Mentors are trained volunteers with real life experience.  They can answer questions, point you to other resources or just listen when you have something to say.

Your mentor will email you using our secure system, The Mentor Center (TMC).  TMC ensures your privacy by protecting your information.  If you want to keep talking, just hit reply.  The conversation is free, confidential and non-judgmental.   You can keep talking to your mentor as long as you like and there is never a fee.   If you’re curious, start a conversation.  We’re ready when you are.

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445 Responses to “Can You Connect to God Without Religion?”

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon—
    Can’t tell you how nice it is to converse with someone who is open to ideas, wants to share, and I think who is openly seeking the truth.
    Let’s keep the “numbering system” since that certainly will make things simpler. At the same time, we might find it easier to focus in on just one item at a time for clarity and completeness. Let’s start with number 1:

    Information about Hindu gods, Allah, Mormonism, and the teachings of Buddha, are typically based on the writings or teachings of only one person. In each of those cases, there is little or no corroboration for what they taught. What’s more, if you hold their teachings to the light of historical, archeological, and scientific light you find them less than accurate and downright contradictory and wrong in many ways. With the Bible, we have 66 separate books written over a 1500 year period by at least 40 different people. They corroborate each other and basically tell one seamless story from beginning to end. The known evidence for the validity of the Bible is very high. The writings of other religions have little or no proof whatsoever. Since the Bible stands the reason of authenticity tests, it makes good sense to believe it.

    Let’s talk evolution and presuppositions:
    First a definition is in order. The term “evolution” can mean slight changes over time within a specific kind of creature based on survival of the fittest and environmental changes. This is MICRO-evolution. We see this all around us. The term “evolution” can also mean larges changes over time that change one kind of creature into another kind of creature. This is MACRO-evolution—sometimes referred to as molecules-to-man evolution. Most often people are suggesting that MICRO-evolution over millions of years becomes MACRO-evolution. However, while we can scientifically observe Micro-e, we cannot observe Macro-e because it would take millions of years of observation to do so.

    An evolutionist looks at all the evidence in the universe through the presupposition that it all evolved (Macro-e) over millions/billions of years. Therefore they look to answer the origin question through an evolutionary point of view. A creationist looks at all the evidence in the universe through the presupposition that it all was created in a few days approximately 6,500 years ago. Therefore they will answer the origin question through means of Divine creation. Laying aside either of these presuppositions is not easy to do but it is possible. A better way to start is to have no presuppositions and to look at the evidence in both lights to see which scenario better fits the evidence we see. You have stated a number of “proofs” that I used to believe myself. However, on further inquiry I discovered those supposed proofs were not proofs at all. They were simply statements “learned” people had made based on rather meager information, or they were statements of theories and conjectures and not hard facts at all. They were merely attempts to come to a conclusion. For instance:

    Your example of changes of species from one island to another is an example of Micro-e and it is found everywhere in nature. However, not a single one of those species ever changed into ANOTHER “kind” of creature. Birds stayed birds, lizards stayed lizards, etc. They simply changed physical features within their own kind. Darwin himself wrote in his book that if no transitional fossils were found, his entire theory of origins based on natural selection would be disproven. Here we are 150 years later and not a single undisputed transitional fossil has ever been found even though there should be BILLIONS of them.

    Did you know that the 95% DNA likeness between chimpanzees and humans leaves out some important information? Not to go into all the details here (I can lead you to the details on the internet if you’d like, but each time I include a URL, it takes a day or two for my post to show up here), but the scientists “map” the DNA of the chimp and then compare only PORTIONS of the mapping to humans, looking for the closest matches. For example, they compare the chimp eye to the human eye, the heart to the heart, etc. It’s pretty obvious those similar things would have similar DNA. But even so, the other 5% of “un-likeness” numbers into the hundreds of millions! When the entire chimp DNA is compared to human DNA, there is actually only about a 70% similarity, which makes sense considering we are similar and from the same creator. Certain kinds of creatures would naturally only be found in certain areas of the world due to their ability to exist in particular climates. There is SO much more to say about DNA, but space on this post limits. I highly recommend Jonathan Sarfati’s book, “Evolution’s Achilles Heal” for detailed further study. You can also check the web sites for Creation Ministries International, Answers In Genesis, and Institute For Creation Research and search for specific topics. I watched some of the youtube video(s) you suggested. Unfortunately, these ARE made for school children—impressionable young people who believe what the adults are teaching, regardless of the lack of proof. They are the same type of learned adults who create college textbooks that are absolutely FILLED with errors and unscientific information which was debunked decades ago regarding evolution. Have you watched “Evolution VS God” on youtube? It’s an interview with several PhD’d professors. They’re asked to give proof of Macro-e.

    Quick replies:
    #3—Why would so many different people who knew Jesus want to falsify information about him and then go to their deaths defending the lies? What did they stand to gain? Why would Christianity have prospered so quickly when so many people who became Christians in the first century would have known much about Jesus directly and known if the statements were just lies? Many of them too went to their deaths for their belief. It doesn’t make sense.

    #4—How long do you suppose we would live today if we had perfect, un-mutated genetics, and there were no diseases or bad bacteria or cancer or whatever? Then let’s throw in a perfect environment. The immediate generation after Adam and Eve would still have had close to perfect bodies that would naturally have lived much longer than we do. Then over the generations, the life span gradually shortened to where we are now. (Side note–Each generation adds about 100 mutations to the genetic code. If we extrapolate backwards, REMOVING 100 mutations for each generation, we would arrive at a perfect human genetically about 6-10 thousand years ago–just like the Bible teaches!)
    God didn’t create a talking snake. Satan took possession of a serpent through which he could deceive Eve.
    Noah put the lions in their own pen. Even today many carnivores will eat plants when the meat isn’t available.
    The full-sized ark that Answers in Genesis is building in Kentucky will answer many of these questions. (So does their web site.) Sloped floors in the animal stalls, leading to a center trough would have made clean-up much easier on the ark.
    Only a pair of each “kind” of animal would have been needed on the ark. Only two felines would have been needed to propagate all of the feline species we have today. The average sized dinosaur was about the size of a sheep; and adolescent examples of the large dinosaurs were all that were needed to continue their kind.

    #5—Christians who believe in evolution are those who are blindly accepting the un-scientific evidence for macro-e and trying to force the findings into what the Bible teaches. They should be doing just the opposite—reconciling information for evolution with what the Bible says.

    #8—No, gravity is a scientific fact. It’s observable, replicatible, and falsifiable.

  • seon says:

    Hey Tom- thanks for the reply, I decided to quote you so we don’t get lost (except your long paragraphs at the end. I just added my thoughts).

    “I can appreciate your struggle to believe what the Bible says to be true; but remember, its contents come straight from the heart and mind of an all-knowing God. “His ways our not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts.” First Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” However, anyone can understand enough of it to respond to the light it reveals so that God will give more light to that person. At some point, a step of faith must be taken because when it comes right down to it, no one can absolutely prove God or the Bible. (And no one can absolutely prove macro-evolution.) Ultimately, it’s a matter of what the evidence reveals.”

    1. Is believing in something because it can’t be dis-proven really a good reason to believe in it? You can’t disprove Allah or Buddha or the Hindu Gods, so why not believe in them? As for not being able to prove evolution happens:
    We know for a fact evolution is true. We know from the fossil record, the fact that on one set of islands there is one type of species and another set the same species that happened to evolve to suit the islands climate (google species disruption) the fact that we share 95% of dna with apes and a large percentage of dna with monkeys. Apart from all that we have species that only exist in one climate. Take the Platypus for example. What possible reason would God have to create that? As a joke? Now I know this won’t convince you and a Christian would say “Poof, God did it” but this is for anyone on the fence who may read this discussion. Also I advise you watch “Human evolution made easy” on youtube. It is made for school children but helped improve my understanding of evolution.

    “–Jesus was not only fully God, he was fully human as well. In theological terms this is referred to as the “hypostatic union.” If he were not human, he could not have taken our place to shed his blood to pay for our sins. “

    2. But that isn’t “Just like Moses” is it?

    “–While some of the prophecies could have been “forced to fulfillment” by Jesus, many could not have. The place and circumstances of his birth, his being sold for 30 pieces of silver, his being particularly scourged and crucified, and the fact John the Baptist foretold his appearing were just some of the things outside of his “control.”

    3. Could the writers of the gospels have read those “Prophecies” and decided to attribute them to Jesus?

    “–While science today cannot prove such things as talking snakes, men living inside great fish, and Noah gathering animals (actually, scripture tells us that God brought the animals to Noah which makes a great deal of difference since he had 120 years in which to do it), science does not disprove those things either. Remember, we’re talking about the miraculous acts of an omnipotent God. If he could create the vastness and intricacies of the universe and all that is in it, he VERY easily could have made a fish (in fact Scripture says he “provided” the fish) in which a man could live for a few days. I think that would be easier than creating a brown cow eat (multiple times) green grass and produce white milk, or having a rather ugly crawling caterpillar turn into a beautiful flying butterfly!”

    4. Do you really think humans used to live to be 900? Yes sure, a powerful being who created the universe could do anything but talking snakes, really?

    Anyway, saying “God did it” seems like Biblical magic to me. Where did Noah put the Lions? How did he stop them from eating other animals? And in all seriousness who shoveled the animal poo? If every single animal that ever existed in the world was on one Arc they would poop a lot and think of what the smell would be like.

    “–Yes, I occasionally question what my preacher says. I then go directly to the Bible to see if what he said concurs with what the Bible says. Man is fallible, the God whose mind wrote the Bible is not.”

    5. Ok I’ll change it to this from someone who never questions the Bible. A Christian who accepts the evidence for evolution has looked at the evidence and questioned what they were told.

    “–Actually Darwin was not a Christian. A Christian is one who has been born again spiritually through a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit of God. Just as when you are born physically you can’t be “unborn,” once you are born again, you cannot be “unborn” spiritually. At the moment a person repents (turns from their sins) and trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the spirit within them which is dead due to sin is born again to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that then indwells them. That’s why trying to talk a true, born again Christian out of their faith is a fruitless endeavor; they have the indwelt proof of God (See 2 Corinthians noted above.) and nothing will change their mind/faith.”

    6. Well he still wanted to be called a theist. But would someone who wasn’t a Christian really want to be a clergyman?

    7. As for your parent analogy, while I know my children would disobey me I would not know exactly what they will do. God is supposed to be all knowing so he knew Adam and Eve would eat from the tree of life, he knew he would cast them out and he got mad when they did. That is different form me letting my children go out to the real world not knowing what they would get up to.
    People dying as a result of their activity does not make god a bully but if I punished my child for all eternity for not looking both ways before crossing the road that would make me a bully and a thug. He already died as a result of his actions. What justice would there be if I tortured him in some fiery pit for all eternity?
    Same with murderers, what if someone dies from a lethal injection and receives justice yet is tortured in hell for all eternity? How is that justice? Even Hitler’s soul deserves some mercy.
    And if you don’t accept Jesus you will be bullied in hell. I’m sure if I did find out hell was real I would beg God to forgive me. So it doesn’t sound like a choice. And bullying is a bigger kid torturing a weaker kid.
    And also, do you have unsaved family members? When you go to heaven will you see them burn in hell or will God hide this from you? Won’t you care if they are suffering if you can’t find them anywhere in heaven? Won’t you want to make sure they are ok?

    “–You mention “masses of evidence”; I’m assuming you mean for molecules-to-man evolution. OK, give me some of that evidence—SCIENTIFICALLY. You also say that those who wrote “thousands of years ago” knew nothing about origins. OK, so why would someone (I assume scientists) today, supposedly millions of years AFTER man’s origin, think they can definitely conclude how we got here? (Actually they can’t—that’s why they are called “theories.”) On the other hand Moses, writing by the inspiration of the God who was there and created everything, gave specific details about man’s origin. Which source do you suppose would be more accurate?”

    8. Hey isn’t gravity a theory? Don’t you think the achievements human beings have made in fields of science and medicine makes us a little but smarter than cave dwellers who made up stories to explain things? Was Moses inspired by God when he had half of the Israelites slaughtered or had the man who gathered sticks on the Sabbath killed?
    Speaking of the Sabbath how much of the Old Testament should we follow?

    I gave you evidence for evolution in point 1. You can quote me or just say point 1 and point 2 and I will go back to my notes :)

  • mikael says:

    God.
    What do you want from a God, protetion, love, affection, truths, justice.

    Then again what are this toughts, remnants of humand mind, indulgience in greed, prosperety, hatred.
    All this is atributed to god, by many ways, even wars are justifyed by God.

    The truth.
    Life, love life uncoditionaly, and without predujuse, can you do that.
    If I say God is everywhere, all the time, in a reality that is greater than our smal band of persptions of what it produces, our reality.
    You blame God for Evil, I say thats beyound the facts, God have given us this realm to grow upon, and in it everything we need to do so.
    The fact is with it came our own mind, free will, this is a dubble edged sword, it can do things that goes against the laws sett forth by our creatore, and this actions, whatever they be, slaughterings, is human doings, and have nothing to do with God.
    Why do we have wars, where both sides have God on their side, and they even blame God for their own actions, done by the greatest gift given to humanity, free will, and this gift, is what makes us imortal, thats what the teachings of yeshua was about.

    Be good, do good things, this makes riples that acumulates more good things.
    Have anyone of you tryed a technik called Love Booming, some minore church groups use it, extremly effective, and do try it.
    Prodject as mutch Love and care possible to anyone coming infront of you and see what happends, even animals, they notise this imidiatly, good practising.
    Thats how powerfull love is, but also evil prodjections can and is used in the same way.

    But dont fear a God of mercy and understanding.
    WE all sins, some minore some great, repent, reconsile and go on, and then your world will never be the same again.

    I have stopped reading “religious” books decades ago, and is instead living as good as I can, dont do thing that isnt good for you.
    And after a while, you realise, there is a greater entety somewhere, but the cretaores language is quiet and requires attention, focus and determination.
    And if I will recomend ONE book.
    The Gospel of peace, the entire collection.
    Thats all you need, that the path I go.
    You are living light, dont forgett that, light never dies, but this light can altered to slowly diminish and be gone, haterd does that.
    Love is the power that feeds this light.

    PS: do you know how cats and doggs smile at you, do you, they blink hard with their eyes, since they dont smile, even birds do this.
    Make them smile at you, and experiement with love booming, you will be supriced, and I am not in any sence taking about negative, only posetive effects.

    peace

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon—
    I can appreciate your struggle to believe what the Bible says to be true; but remember, its contents come straight from the heart and mind of an all-knowing God. “His ways our not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts.” First Corinthians 2:14 tells us, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.” However, anyone can understand enough of it to respond to the light it reveals so that God will give more light to that person. At some point, a step of faith must be taken because when it comes right down to it, no one can absolutely prove God or the Bible. (And no one can absolutely prove macro-evolution.) Ultimately, it’s a matter of what the evidence reveals.

    Let me address some of your latest comments:
    –Jesus was not only fully God, he was fully human as well. In theological terms this is referred to as the “hypostatic union.” If he were not human, he could not have taken our place to shed his blood to pay for our sins.
    –While some of the prophecies could have been “forced to fulfillment” by Jesus, many could not have. The place and circumstances of his birth, his being sold for 30 pieces of silver, his being particularly scourged and crucified, and the fact John the Baptist foretold his appearing were just some of the things outside of his “control.”
    –While science today cannot prove such things as talking snakes, men living inside great fish, and Noah gathering animals (actually, scripture tells us that God brought the animals to Noah which makes a great deal of difference since he had 120 years in which to do it), science does not disprove those things either. Remember, we’re talking about the miraculous acts of an omnipotent God. If he could create the vastness and intricacies of the universe and all that is in it, he VERY easily could have made a fish (in fact Scripture says he “provided” the fish) in which a man could live for a few days. I think that would be easier than creating a brown cow eat (multiple times) green grass and produce white milk, or having a rather ugly crawling caterpillar turn into a beautiful flying butterfly!
    –Yes, I occasionally question what my preacher says. I then go directly to the Bible to see if what he said concurs with what the Bible says. Man is fallible, the God whose mind wrote the Bible is not.
    –Actually Darwin was not a Christian. A Christian is one who has been born again spiritually through a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit of God. Just as when you are born physically you can’t be “unborn,” once you are born again, you cannot be “unborn” spiritually. At the moment a person repents (turns from their sins) and trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, the spirit within them which is dead due to sin is born again to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit that then indwells them. That’s why trying to talk a true, born again Christian out of their faith is a fruitless endeavor; they have the indwelt proof of God (See 2 Corinthians noted above.) and nothing will change their mind/faith.
    –As for why God created Adam and Eve knowing they would sin, consider this:
    You and your wife decide to have children, knowing full well that at times that child will disobey you. Once the child is old enough to crawl, you start disciplining the child. Why? For its own safety and understanding of the dangers of disobeying you. Part of that discipline is to tell the child of the consequences of disobeying you. You tell the child not to go near the hot stove top because they could be badly burned or worse. If the child disobeys you and grabs a boiling pan of water, dumping it down their front, they will be badly burned and possibly blinded. Now, who was at fault; you and your wife for boiling the pan of water or your child for disobeying your explicit instructions? Now I grant that all analogies fall short so don’t fault me if this is a poor one. What I’m trying to convey is that it wasn’t as if God hadn’t explicitly warned Adam and Eve. As part of their makeup, God gave them freedom of will to love or not to love; to obey or not to obey. Without that freedom, any love they showed God would have been forced by God. Love must be a choice for real love to exist. Once Adam and Eve sinned, their natures were tainted with that sin. Their offspring would inherit that same sin nature. In other words, you can’t unscramble eggs! And think about it—suppose the sin nature is all a hoax. Suppose you, Seon, weren’t born with the innate desire to disobey (although I’m sure you’ve notice you don’t have to “teach” a child to disobey). How many lies have you told in your life Seon? How many times have you taken something that didn’t belong to you (stealing)? How many times have you used God’s name in vain, without proper holiness and respect? How many times have you hated someone? (Jesus says hate is the same as murder in your heart.) How many times have you lusted after someone) (Jesus says lust is the same as adultery.) How many times did you disobey your own parents? God has warned in his Word that every one of these and more (the Ten Commandments) are his rules for living without sin. So, how many times have you broken his law? God has told us the penalty for sin—any sin—is physical and spiritual death. What’s the penalty if your child disobeys you and runs across the street without looking; very possibly death? So I don’t think punishment is being a bully. Bullying is forcing someone to do something. We have a choice. Punishment is the justice one receives for breaking the law. But don’t forget that even if you’ve broken God’s law ten thousand times, you can be completely forgiven by repenting and trusting Jesus Christ. That’s true mercy, grace, and divine love.
    –You mention “masses of evidence”; I’m assuming you mean for molecules-to-man evolution. OK, give me some of that evidence—SCIENTIFICALLY. You also say that those who wrote “thousands of years ago” knew nothing about origins. OK, so why would someone (I assume scientists) today, supposedly millions of years AFTER man’s origin, think they can definitely conclude how we got here? (Actually they can’t—that’s why they are called “theories.”) On the other hand Moses, writing by the inspiration of the God who was there and created everything, gave specific details about man’s origin. Which source do you suppose would be more accurate?

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom:
    Your bible is impairing your vision of the truth, Throw it away and witness what GOD has actually wrought,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mammals_displaying_homosexual_behavior

    Just type in the words “Homosexuality in mammals and birds”. Learn the truth on your own. Stop believing in a false god.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ—
    I’m not sure why you would want to ask a question of someone whom you believe has “monopolized this site” but I will answer.

    It is incorrect to speak of animals having anything like a sexual orientation. Animals rarely engage in homosexual behavior as a matter of preference, and studies show that such behavior occurs more when animals are caged or confined than in the wild. However, even in the wild or in captivity where animals have been seen to “mount” another of the same sex, actual sex does not take place. The point is that animals don’t actually have homosexual sex.

    Homosexuality in humans is a choice, not a God-given trait. It stems from the sinful desire to disobey God. In the same way, God didn’t create liars, thieves, or murderers. Those activities are a result of sinful man acting out in sinful ways. God’s plan has always been a perfect one, and it is revealed in his Holy Word, the Bible. Saying God’s plan is different from the Bible is an oxymoron.

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom

    Why did GOD create homo and bi sexuality in all mammals? GOD wanted us to be fruitful and multiply but do these diverse forms of sexuality depart from this divine plan? How does your bible depart from GOD’S actual plan?

  • seon says:

    In regards to Immanuel being a reference the prophecy would have been more impressive if the prophecy went “And he will be referred to as Immanuel”

    As to Jesus being like Moses. Well the prophecy said that the prophet would “Be like Moses” as in human. Jesus was God.

    I’m still waiting for a few prophecies to be answered, it’s all how you interpret them. It also looks to me if Jesus was real he was trying to force himself to fulfill the prophecies.

    Same with the scientific facts in the Bible. You wrote a lot and I’m sure some could be interpreted that way but the Bible also got a lot of science wrong. Snakes never talked, men can’t live inside big fish, women weren’t created from man’s ribs, how could Noah have gathered every single animal from every single part of the planet in such a short time with the limited technology? I could go on but you get the gist.

    If Jesus existed and the Bible is 100% true then he was God, of course God has the right to judge us personally. He also obviously taught a lot of other good stuff but love God and love each other seems pretty good to me.

    Scientists don’t have faith in anything. You need to research scientific fact and how scientists reach their conclusions. If you did you would realize they just rely on evidence. Don’t believe me though, do the research.
    I find what you said about how Christians who believe in evolution blindly believing in what evolutionary scientists say the most ironic thing I have heard all day. Do you ever question what your preacher says?

    Those Christians have seen the evidence and realized they can’t deny it. Accepting the masses of evidence is not blindly believing what they are told and by the way many scientists are Christian and Deists like me. Darwin was a Christian, he never set out to disprove religion.

    But if God is all knowing then he created Adam and Eve knowing they would eat that apple, why punish them for something he knew they were going to do? And why punish their children for the sins of their parents? They did nothing. This sort of injustice is found throughout the Bible and sorry but that is not justice. Punishing someone for something they never did is just the act of a bully.

    Anyway, when the masses of evidence prove something is true why should those Christians continue to make that fact fit around something someone wrote thousands of years ago who knew nothing about the origin of our species or much else wrote? Why pretend to have the answers when the evidence is right there?

    Answers in genisis supports a mentally challenged individual who believes humans and dinosaurs co existed, no thanks. It is an embarrassment to the human race.
    I hope that covers all of it.

  • Seon says:

    Hi Tom, I’ve been in Sydney for two days but will follow up on your reply soon.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ—
    I am truly very sorry if you feel my attempts to obtain some reasons for the ideas and beliefs you have shared are not palatable to you. But a blog is not only for sharing ideas, but giving reasons for what those ideas are, and using questions and answers to share why we believe what we believe. Is it not reasonable that one who makes statements of opinions and beliefs should be prepared to give the reasons for those opinions and beliefs? From the beginning, my postings have either been in response to you and others’ questions about my beliefs, or my questions to posters who have contrary beliefs, with the intent of learning why the other person holds those beliefs to be true. If one is not prepared for that type of discussion, they should probably refrain from posting to a blog in the first place.

    I plan to continue to answer questions posed while asking for clarification and reasons for the beliefs of others. May I suggest that if you are bothered by my or my colleagues’ postings, you simply don’t read them.

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom:

    Tom you may have sinned. I have not. Please address my question. If cannot than please disappear.

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom:

    You and your colleagues have monopolized this site. Many posters who do not agree with you have been driven away by the drivel you spout. Tom it is you who are completely at fault not I. Absolutely not a single one of your postings has had a thing to do with the central question that is raised by this site. If you have no answer, than simply don’t post. Stop being so bloody stubborn.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ–
    Well, thankfully I’m forgiven of my sins by Jesus Christ. How about you?

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom

    Why are you so stubborn and rude? You are not a very good representative of the Christian faith. Pride goeth before a fall.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ–
    Actually, I and others are having a cogent conversation with Seon and others who have legitimate questions for which they desire legitimate answers. Many of those questions are directed toward the Christian faith, and therefore the answers are from a biblical standpoint. As I have expressed more than once, it has not been possible to carry on a conversation with you because to my recollection you have yet to answer even one question posed to you or respond directly to any answer you have been given. It is you, my friend, who seem unable to “participate in the discussion.”

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom:
    This site is about “Can You Connect to GOD Without Religion”. Clearly you have elected not participate in this discussion. All you are doing is proselytizing your religion. Why are you compelled to constantly introduce an irrelevant matter into this discussion? Are you unable to attract more adherents outside your residence?

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon–
    Answering a couple of things you wrote to Chris:
    1. Immanuel is the Hebrew word which means “God with us.” This Isaiah passage is included in Matthew chapter 1 as the angel tells Mary of the coming Messiah. The apostles and Jesus claimed Jesus was God and he was certainly with them. The New Testament is recorded in Greek and Aramaic while the Old Testament is recorded in Hebrew and Aramaic. Therefore, while the Hebrew word “Immanuel” would not have been used in the NT, it doesn’t change the fulfillment of the prophecy.

    4. A prophet is one who speaks from God. While Jesus may not have specifically been referred to in the NT writings as a prophet, he most assuredly was one by definition.

    Sorry, I don’t understand your other points so I can’t comment.

    Seon, there are reasonable and plausible responses to every question regarding the prophecies of Jesus. Granted, some are more obvious than others, but in one way or another they are all relevant. How many of the prophecies will have to be answered for you to believe in the supernaturalness of them as a whole? Remember, the odds that even 8 of the OT prophecies being fulfilled in one person, Jesus, have been calculated to be 1 x 10 to the 57th power!

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon—I understood that part of your concern about judging was about telling someone they are wrong in their beliefs. You also were making the point that Jesus only spoke about love and forgiveness. The verses I gave you show Jesus telling those who think they are good enough to go to heaven on their own merit that they are wrong. Is that not judging? Isn’t telling someone the wrath of God is abiding on them and that they cannot go to heaven distinctly different than preaching love and forgiveness?

    Again, scientists DO live by at least a measure of faith. They have faith in the rules of logic. They have faith in their eyes see and what their ears hear and what their fingers touch is real. They have faith in gravity. They have faith in the laws of thermodynamics. And are scientists ever wrong? Sure. There have been many scientific discoveries that have changed what scientists thought was true about something.

    I also know some Christians who believe in evolution (I’m talking about the molecules-to-man kind of evolution). However there is a real danger there. The Bible clearly teaches that disease, decay, and death came into the world because of the sin of Adam. Therefore, if God used millions of years of disease, decay, and death in order for man to “evolve” into Adam, God is a liar. Also, if he used all that randomness and confusion and chaos to get to Adam and Eve, how could he have looked at all he made and called it “good”? (As he does in Genesis 1.) The Christians who believe in evolution are those who have blindly taken what evolutionary “scientists” (which is an oxymoron because evolution is NOT scientific) have professed and tried to force the Bible into those findings. Rather, they should be trying to reconcile the scientific findings with what the inerrant Word of God says. Organizations such as Creation Ministries International, Institute for Creation Research, and Answers In Genesis have stacks of information regarding the validity of taking Genesis chapters 1-11 literally, perfectly reconciling them with scientific findings.

  • seon says:

    Tom- I’ll research your links, however scientists do not have “Faith” they reach their conclusions based on evidence and if they are wrong every other scientist would see the evidence leads to a different conclusion.

    And no, I know some Christians who believe in evolution. If you don’t have a 100% literal interpretation of the Bible there is room for evolution.

  • seon says:

    Tom- Those verses have to do with repenting and being born again, nothing about judging people. As I said sure you can judge something as a sin but I would be careful, just in case…

  • seon says:

    Chris-

    1. isaiah 7.14 Jesus was never refereed to as “Immanuel”

    2. micah 5.2

    In full context:

    1Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
    They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek with a rod.

    2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    though you are small among the clansa of Judah,
    out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
    whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”
    3Therefore Israel will be abandoned
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
    and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites

    Looks like a prophecy for the messiah.

    4. deuteronomy 18…a prophet like moses

    Jesus never claimed to be a prophet, he made many references to being God or the son of god/son of man (same thing) but never a prophet.

    6. 10Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them.?

    Jesus was not on the cross for days and nights, and the Gospel of Luke informs us that God certainly heard the prayer Jesus uttered the previous night. He sent an angel to help bolster his courage. Yet this Psalm opens with a cry that is the desperation felt from having no answer for, at the very least, a whole day and night.

    Daniel has other failed prophecies.

    As for 9…Every generation since the generation of the first disciples thought Christ was going to return in their generation.

  • Sharon says:

    to Kenneth– the email saying about free will we all have free will to a point Christians has the bible the world has a book too like driving rules if someone has a free will and drives through a light and bangs into you and he says I am using my free will but yet he will get a ticket if not jail maybe I am sorry you don’t believe in God HE has been my life also we all have our own opinion and is private but if asked I will say what God did for me in my life I know you probably don’t believe in prayer but I am praying for you and others who don’t believe

  • Tom Tom says:

    Kenneth—
    Most of what you have explained about your spiritual life seems to deal with what you are doing in trying to improve and “be the best person” you can be and keeping “your soul as pure as possible.” You say you “have a standard” that you’re trying to improve upon. Those things are commendable, but how do you know your standard is good enough to please God? Do you know what God’s standard for being good enough is? Are you aware that God has given us the standard by which we will be finally judged?

  • Kenneth says:

    Hi tom

    I don’t know that our opinions contradict each other and the crazy thing is…both opinions are right.

    I have a standard that im trying to improve upon everyday (recently I have been recognizing and changing my passive aggressive behavior) and then I have unconditional standards (many right in line with Jesus’ teachings) that I can not waiver from and I feel it deep inside me.

    As for knowing if you are going to heaven. Well I can only answer for me as to how to keep your ‘soul’ as pure as possible. Remember I believe God is within us all and for me, once I found God within I always know when my intentions are not in line with Gods plan. It’s now a new constant daily journey to continue to grow and be the best person I can be and hopefully only bring out the best in others.

    Maybe your Christian belief is right for you and Hinduism might be right for someone else and God Within is right for me with the bottom line being we are all searching for God and answers to make us better people, the world a better place and maybe even deliver stronger wiser spirits to the big show.

    Religions are like blood types. Why are there so many blood types but they all serve the same purpose, life, just don’t mix certain types together :)

  • Tom Tom says:

    So Kenneth, if your opinion contradicts my opinion (or anyone else’s) can both opinions be right? If your opinion is wrong, would you want to know before it is too late?

    If you don’t have an unchanging standard or absolute of what is right and wrong, how would you know your “experience” is right or wrong? The Bible gives such an unchanging standard.

    Based on your view of people “searching” themselves and practicing the good while fighting the bad, how will that person know if they are good enough to go to heaven?

  • Kenneth says:

    No you may not ask me any questions ;)? My relationship with god is very personal and just my opinion.

    God is within all of us, what does that mean?
    I’m saying that some do not need a book to ttell them what to believe and what is right or wrong. They have done the purest soul searching with pure intent. They know and accept the good and the bad within themselves and practice nurturing the good and fighting the bad daily. Finding god without outside influence on ones own is a powerful experience.

    Regarding religions contradicting each other. I like to look at it the other way and find the similarities of love, tolerance, unselfishness, forgiveness, non judgemental etc. religion has been spread and used for power and control for long enough in my opinion

    Saying this without preaching ;) The god I know would NEVER force someone to believe through fear and would actually not force or preach or evangelize to gain a following and religious power. Things will sift themselves out through a kind of organic purification (gotta love free will). W

  • Tom Tom says:

    Kenneth—
    Thanks for your comments. May I ask you some questions about them?

    1) When you say that “God is within all of us,” what exactly do you mean?

    2) You say we should not discourage anyone’s belief system. Is that because you believe all beliefs are true? When it comes to religious beliefs, since all of them are different from the others and contradict each other, doesn’t the law of contradiction demand that they are either all wrong or that only one can be right?

    3) What do you make of Jesus’ statement that he is the ONLY way to heaven? (John 14:6)

  • Kenneth says:

    God is within all if us. People search and find god in many ways and we should not discourage or disparage anyone’s belief system. I do find it very interesting that a number of comments from different people (who have found god on their own) have a very very very similar understanding of god and how god operates. Peace and keep god within

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon–
    Yes he did teach love and forgiveness. And it shows great love to go out of your way and out of your comfort zone to tell someone they are on their way to an eternity separated from God.

    Since you read the gospels, read what Jesus said in John 3:3, John 3:36, and Luke 13:3.

    Reading is the first step. Obeying is what God expects.

    I pray you will open your heart to the love and forgiveness of Jesus, humbly turn from your sins, and trust in Christ alone. He will not only change your life, he will change your eternity.

  • seon says:

    Lol oh is that all?

    But yeah I guess sharing your faith can be taken the wrong way by someone, just remember Jesus also taught love and forgiveness (the parable of the unforgiving servant) see, I read the gospels.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon–
    You are correct about the possibility of having unconfessed sin Seon, and that’s why a Christian should take judging others very seriously and cautiously. However, when a Christian has asked the Holy Spirit to point out any sin and they confess that sin to the Lord, they are not acting hypocritically to judge another.

    More and more these days people are tagging those who preach the gospel as being intolerant. I have many times been told by a finger-pointing individual that “You have no right to judge me,” when all I’m doing is pointing out that in God’s economy they are sinners on the way to hell if they don’t repent and trust in Christ. Those things are part of the gospel message—things which Jesus did on a regular basis. What they really don’t like is the intolerance of God to not allow them to just keep on being disobedient to him. Christians just happen to be the messenger.

  • seon says:

    But that’s the thing, you might have sinned and not realized it and judged someone, only Jesus is without sin. Are you seriously comparing yourself to Jesus?

    When he allegedly Resurrected he told his followers to go out into all nations and preach the gospel. So preaching isn’t the same as judging others, plus Christians can still judge a sin just not the sinner.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon–
    Jesus made that statement to the Pharisees specifically because they were constantly playing policeman against every infraction of the law—both God’s moral law the Ten Commandments and their own more than 600 laws, while constantly ignoring their own sinful heart against God. Jesus roundly chastised them as being like “white-washed tombs,” looking good on the outside but full of decay on the inside. In other words, they were hypocrites and had no right to judge.

    Because the sin nature is not eradicated when a person is born again, all Christians will in the heat of the moment think, do, or say something sinful. However, Jesus died to pay for ALL of their sins—past, present, and future. Technically a Christian is forgiven only once, at the time of their repentance and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the Christian is expected to acknowledge (confess) any known sins on an ongoing basis so that their fellowship with the Father stays close. If the Christian has NOT confessed some known sin, they would be a hypocrite to start pointing fingers at others. Most Christians I know try to keep short accounts with the Lord by daily confessing all known sins.

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon–

    I’m assuming your statement is in a joking manner, since everyone in the world is intolerant about something. Even God is intolerant . . . of sin. Nothing wrong with certain intolerances.

    What are you intolerant of Seon?

  • seon says:

    And Tom Jesus also said let he who is without sin cast the first stone. How can you know for sure you are truly without sin? Don’t Christians still sin but are forgiven by Jesus?

  • seon says:

    Oh, so you are admitting Christians have to be intolerant now?!

  • Tom Tom says:

    Seon–
    Unfortunately, you are doing what’s called “taking a scripture out of context.” In order to understand the true meaning of scripture, you must read the entire context of what is being said.

    Let’s look at the entire section:
    Matthew 7:1-5 says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

    Jesus is speaking about the sin of judging hypocritically. He’s saying you shouldn’t judge someone else unless you are sure you, yourself, are without sin in that regard. Notice that the last sentence does, in fact, indicate that judging someone else is acceptable.

    The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” When a Christian sees another Christian sinning, they are to carefully and lovingly correct the sinning person.

    Finally, if Christians weren’t supposed to “judge” others, they would not be able to preach the gospel. It is the unbeliever who thinks they are being judged, and rightfully so. Better to be judged by a Christian now then by God later.

  • seon says:

    Plus anyone who read the Bible would know Jesus said judge not let ye be judged, let he who is without sin cast the first stone and that god will judge us as harshly as we judge each other. So genuine Christians don’t judge.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ–
    As with all of your previous posts, you do not respond to questions or comments. You simply make unqualified, unsubstantiated, personal opinion statements. As before, that precludes a conversation. Sorry, I can’t go there.

  • Canadian Jack says:

    Tom

    Tom you are a Christian. You are intolerant. GOD had nothing whatsoever
    to do with what you are now, GOD would not inspire anyone to create the sort of scripture that encourages intolerance, Those who are drawn to that type of scripture are prone to intolerance. Perhaps another negative spiritual force inspired men to create a book that teaches intolerance. Satan loves intolerant people.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ–
    So, you admit there is a difference between calling oneself a Christian and BEING a Christian?

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ–
    What do you mean by intolerant?

  • Canadian Jackj says:

    Tom

    A real Christian is intolerant.

  • Tom Tom says:

    CJ–
    No, MAN is of many minds. In God’s single mind, a Christian is a person who has been born again spiritually by the supernatural act of God. While human (note MAN) Christians may have minor differences in their interpretation of scripture causing them to form various denominations, true Christians ALWAYS have the individual trait of rebirth.

    (By the way–some of the groups you mentioned are not even considered Christian but cults because they do NOT believe in Jesus Christ as God in human form and therefore they are NOT born again.)

  • Canadian Jackj says:

    Tom

    GOD must be of many minds. GOD’s minds has motivated men to =divide Christianity into many faiths, There are the Baptists. The Evangelists, The Seventh Day adventists, The Jehovah Witnesses, The Anglicans and The Roman Catholics.

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