Kate, Little Toe, and RAF thanks for your replies. I will adress Kates remarks first.
You disagree with the fact that JW's are Christian. Fair enough, I will concede that point, as it isn't my main arguement anyway. Thousands of years have been spent in the Christian community where one denomination or sect argues with another over which one is in fact Christian. But that highlights my point on faith. Why are you right? JW's take those same scriptures, as do Catholics, Protestants, LDS, etc, they will look at the same scripture and DISAGREE! Its really amazing to see. I am nuetral as to what JW's claim to be, because they are a cult. It is an accident of history that the Catholics or Protestants today are viewed as mainstream, only because they have been around longer. The fact that you used the bible though Kate doens't answer my question as to why I should trust the bible, thus putting faith in it as the authority of truth and the nature of god.....
Little Toe, it looks like we will have a debate!
Kate: The fact is as far as authentic Christian faith, it is not about the Christian but all about Jesus.
You: Thanks for sharing this. I would respectfully disagree for this reason...
Whether you disagree or not, she's correct. That is exactly what Christian faith is about. It's not about being a member of a religion or denomination. It's simply about Christ. Any faith that doesn't have Christ completely at the heart of it is not considered by any other Christian.
Respectfully, the reason I gave (which you did not include in your reply) is that Jesus said at John 13:35 ""By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." I thought the point was self evident, but you disagree. Ok, why? As you can see above, your reason is that "Any faith that doesn't have Christ completely at the heart of it is not considered by any other Christian." That in no way answered my point or contradicted it. If it isn't about the Christian as Kate said, why did Jesus say that a disciple, i.e. a Christian, would be identified by this criteria? Jesus himself set the criteria, why do you put it upon yourself to disagree with what Jesus said at John 13:35 Little Toe? Isn't Jesus saying here that it IS about the Christian? Please answer this.... If your answer is that you have the right to your thoughts on the matter, please know that I am happy that you do. It seems to me that such a belief about what it means to be a Christian contradicts John 13:35.
Kate: Some find mystery, contradiction and a lack of science in the Bible, I don't.
You: I will let that statement alone. I would be remiss to say that in my view, that statement is wrong.
So why did you proceed to say it then? By your own standards you admit that you are best served by silence on the matter, but then forge ahead. Say what you mean and mean what you say...
No, I am happy to respond, it is just that these threads quickly change discussion if they aren't kept on subject, and my subject was on the nature of faith, not the contradictions and lack of science that appear in the bible. Thus I will say in general that there is little to no evidence of the creative days in Genesis, and the account of a world wide flood is totally without scientific merit. There are doctrinal views on scripture that many consider a mystery, such as our little example above, and contradictions in the bible??? With all respect, I will use my other thread today if you like to argue about biblical contradictions, but surely you know they exist and that much controversy and commentary has surrounded them for centuries. And at the end of the day, what must a believer do when scriptures contradict? They must have FAITH. Which is the whole point of this thread. Where answers are lacking, faith is there as the bridge. Is that good enough for some? Great! I am just asking if there is anything more to faith then that. I am getting many answers, which I appreciate.
I have met God, have faith in what I have seen [subjectively, and thus am unable to prove], and consequently enjoy a religious life through choice. I don't "believe" in religion at all. Every one of your questions is constructed the wrong way around, from a believer's perspective...
Well, there isn't a lot that we can talk about their. Why you and not most others would be my first question, but be that as it may, no one can argue with you. You said you had a discussion with someone you believe to be god. Out of necessity, that can only be good enough for you, I can't take your word for it alone. As far as how my questions are constructed, why are they wrong from a believers point of view? Is it because it demands evidence first before belief?
In fact I'd go so far as to say that if you take all of your questions and reverse them 180* you might come to understand more about believers than all of our words could supply. Life isn't about big rocks, its about every small stone. When you can drown in a couple of inches of water an ocean makes little greater difference.
Feel free to 180 my questions then, and I will be happy to answer. To quote Edie Brickell as to the dangers of water:
I'm not aware of too many things
I know what I know if you know what I mean
Do do ya
Chuck me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep
Chuck me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep
EDITED FOR RAF AND NARKISSOS
RAF, I apologize if I didn't understand your point. I do respect your right to belief, just asking for reasons for your faith, if you care to share. If not, that is fine, and I had no intent to ridicule your right to faith.
NARKISSOS, I am most defenitly not a follower of Socrates at all, I haven't read 8 paragraphs attributed to him. I think that as you put it, if I am guilty of jumping from the issue of "benefit/harm" to that of "truth/error", then it might have something to do with the fact that those ideas are related, if not the same thing.
Why may I ask, is it so wrong to ask believers for the reasons as to why they believe. Why is it bad if it is pointed out that no one has answered why I should believe or given persuasive evidence and fact?