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#775782 - 01/09/04 05:07 PM Sincere questions on God
zorro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 271
Loc: Mesa, AZ
PLEASE keep in mind that:
1) I'm (relatively) young.
2) I'm not taught religiously AT ALL. Meaning, when it comes to that matter, I AM IGNORANT.
3) I don't want to start a war.

Assuming God exists by that name,

1) Why did he let that terrible earth-quake happen on Christmas day?

2) Assuming that an honest, kind and pure person that happens to be a complete atheist dies, he/she should go to Heaven, right? Wrong. God only lets in His followers. Isn't that Degrading to Him by bringing Him down to the low level of human thinking? Being [Himself], he should not care who one believes in. Denying the right to heaven to a non-believer would be personal vengeance, the same thing we frown upon.

Zorro
_________________________
"I love Beethoven, especially the poems."
Ringo Starr

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#775783 - 01/09/04 05:22 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
To my way of thinking (there are plenty of others, and others are plenty entitled to them), religions and belief systems are created by humans for humans. They may be guided by principles that are placed in the human mind or in the world, but their working out both in systems of belief and in institutions is a human creation.

Sometimes these systems and institutions help us get closer to God, or so we would like to believe. And sometimes they don't, which is why even the most fundamentalist of belief systems is always changing. (That's simply a fact of history, not a statement of what should or should not be the case.)

The most interesting part of the phrase "believe in God" is the middle word. What does "in" mean? Do you believe "in" your big toe? "in" mathematics? "in" DNA? "in" the validity of the latest issue of TV Guide?

The earthquake? God is often said to be "Omnipotent, Omniscient, and All-caring". It it clear to me (from everything from earthquakes to the murder of innocents) that S/He can, at any one time, be only two out of three.

You can take your pick as to which. That's what theology is made on.

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#775784 - 01/09/04 05:28 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
I am young as well, and just finished up in a Catholic high school last year. (4 years with religion courses(!), although I do not confess to being anywhere near an expert on such matters, I just have a small amount of information)

Although I am still thinking heavily on this matter, my current conclusion is that there is a God, but one far, far, different than any notion that we may have of him. Right now I do not believe in much of what is in the bible.

It is kind of absurd for man to automatically think that god is "all good" and merciful. We have no evidence of this, and if one were to look at the reality of our world instead of the bible, we would see things more correctly.

Life had to start somewhere. The universe had to start somewhere. Both came from nothing, the universe or god included. Judging by how humans, through our own perspective, are advanced creatures, I have to believe that there may be some larger power to account for this, as I am not sure how the universe would come together so perfectly, but I see a chance that there is no god and everything is indeed by randomness. (Although I incline towards the former at the present.)

Having said this, I think that the human notion of god is made up by humans, and I would not be suprised if most religious are obviously wrong and only gained the influence they have because of power/political ambition in the past and not because of some outside power.

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#775785 - 01/09/04 05:35 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
1) Why did he let that terrible earth-quake happen on Christmas day?

2) Assuming that an honest, kind and pure person that happens to be a complete atheist dies, he/she should go to Heaven, right? Wrong. God only lets in His followers. Isn't that Degrading to Him by bringing Him down to the low level of human thinking? Being [Himself], he should not care who one believes in. Denying the right to heaven to a non-believer would be personal vengeance, the same thing we frown upon.[/b]
Dear Zorro,

1. God doesn't "let" anything happen here. It's our world.

2. It's not a matter of vengeance, it's a matter of character. It's a matter of who you are, not so much in relationship to "heaven" but a interrelationship to what all of creation really entails. To deny the spiritual (i.e. atheism,) is to deny who we really are. And if we can't recognize ourselves and we can't recognize God, how can we expect God to recognize us. Heaven is not a place. It is being in the presence of God.

So, there's a misconception here. Christians don't go to heaven when they die. They are in heaven as they walk this earth and they continue to be in heaven after they die. The physical state changes--the spiritual never does. That's what's meant by eternal.

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#775786 - 01/09/04 05:38 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
Tom, could you elaborate a bit on what you think our spiritualism actually is? Some invisible force that contains everything we experience?

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#775787 - 01/09/04 05:52 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Tom, could you elaborate a bit on what you think our spiritualism actually is? Some invisible force that contains everything we experience?[/b]
Dear CrashTest,

I was fudging, and you caught me at it. Spiritualism is just God and our relation to him and nothing else. If he does exist he would demand all our attention--after all he created us and all this other stuff. If he doesn't--the hell with it.

Seems to me there's no middle ground. Spiriualism is our relationship to God. No God, than all is crap.

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#775788 - 01/09/04 05:57 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
 Quote:
Originally posted by shantinik:

The most interesting part of the phrase "believe in God" is the middle word. What does "in" mean? Do you believe "in" your big toe? "in" mathematics? "in" DNA? "in" the validity of the latest issue of TV Guide? [/b]
I don't believe in my big toe but I do know God. If we would know more and believe less then this would be a much kinder, gentler world in which to live.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775789 - 01/09/04 06:07 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
If we would know more and believe less then this would be a much kinder, gentler world in which to live.
[/b]
In case anyone ever wanted to see WRONG, this is exactly, exactly, what WRONG looks like.

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#775790 - 01/09/04 06:17 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
Happy to oblige you. Whether right or wrong I don't really care. I take it you don't like Zen either.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775791 - 01/09/04 06:20 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
 Quote:
Originally posted by Renauda:
 Quote:
Originally posted by shantinik:

The most interesting part of the phrase "believe in God" is the middle word. What does "in" mean? Do you believe "in" your big toe? "in" mathematics? "in" DNA? "in" the validity of the latest issue of TV Guide? [/b]
I don't believe in my big toe but I do know God. If we would know more and believe less then this would be a much kinder, gentler world in which to live. [/b]
Not to repeat myself here, but could you elaborate on how it is you know God? One could establish a relationship with an idea of God, but that is obviously a very one-sided relationship. (I believe so anyway, and although we all would like to have a god who responds and answers prayers, I am afraid I cannot fathom how something like that can be done. I doubt anyone else in a sane state of mind can claim such intervention without going into the idea of faith, which returns the argument to the beginning again.)

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#775792 - 01/09/04 06:36 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
Tom~*K alias Elion~*K says I am WRONG so I won't write anything more on this. Sorry Crash. After all I wouldn't want to be branded a heretic. You might howvere read some good literature like Tolstoy, Dostoevskii and Hesse to point you in a direction that will help answer at least a part of your question.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775793 - 01/09/04 06:41 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
CrashTest Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 4111
 Quote:
Originally posted by Renauda:
Tom~*K alias Elion~*K says I am WRONG so I won't write anything more on this. Sorry Crash. After all I wouldn't want to be branded a heretic. You might howvere read some good literature like Tolstoy, Dostoevskii and Hesse to point you in a direction that will help answer at least a part of your question. [/b]
Thanks, I have read some Tolstoy and will take a look at the works of the other two.

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#775794 - 01/09/04 06:46 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Posted by Renauda: Tom~*K alias Elion~*K says I am WRONG so I won't write anything more on this. Sorry Crash. After all I wouldn't want to be branded a heretic. You might howvere read some good literature like Tolstoy, Dostoevskii and Hesse to point you in a direction that will help answer at least a part of your question.
[/b]
Excellent point. And the writers Renauda pointed to will point you to the place I was referring to all along: the Bible.

There is something there.

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#775795 - 01/09/04 06:56 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
Yes upon rare occasions there are brief moments of lucidity in my thinking.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775796 - 01/09/04 07:09 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
I am WRONG so I won't write anything more on this.
Wrong, because then you posted:

 Quote:
Yes upon rare occasions there are brief moments of lucidity in my thinking[/b]
:rolleyes:

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#775797 - 01/09/04 07:24 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
So I lied. After your bouquet I couldn't resist. Thank you I am now finished with this thread unless of course someone asks me to return. :p
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775798 - 01/09/04 07:28 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
So I lied. After your bouquet I couldn't resist. Thank you I am now finished with this thread unless of course someone asks me to return.[/b]
Please.

Return.

Please.

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#775799 - 01/09/04 07:32 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
johnmoonlight Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 2384
Loc: Lancaster, pa
 Quote:
Originally posted by Renauda:
So I lied. After your bouquet I couldn't resist. Thank you I am now finished with this thread unless of course someone asks me to return. :p [/b]
Renauda, I am sincerely interested in what you have said, but could you please elaborate?(on the original post, that is)
I truly believe that there are NO atheists in the foxholes; so when I come upon an atheist, I reckon' they've never been in a foxhole. (?)
_________________________
While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers
Cares not to come up any higher
But rather get you down in the hole
That he's in.

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#775800 - 01/09/04 08:02 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
zorro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 271
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I ask you to return too.
And, also I will second John m's post by asking you to say what's on you mind.(you have my attention)
_________________________
"I love Beethoven, especially the poems."
Ringo Starr

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#775801 - 01/09/04 08:31 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
Since Renauda's not here momentarily, let me postulate his presence:

"Ah yes! the greats! The Russian greats...what do they mean, what do they mean?" "Could they say more with less words or less with more words--that we shall never know!"

"What truths do they tell? "Can they speak?" Well, no they are dead, how could they speak?" "Oh, well maybe they could speak through their works." "But, what is work" "Shall we interpet it by the Soviet model or the capitalist model..." Etc.

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#775802 - 01/09/04 08:32 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
Since Renauda's not here momentarily, let me postulate his presence:

"Ah yes! the greats! The Russian greats...what do they mean, what do they mean?" "Could they say more with less words or less with more words--that we shall never know!"

"What truths do they tell? "Can they speak?" Well, no they are dead, how could they speak?" "Oh, well maybe they could speak through their works." "But, what is work" "Shall we interpet it by the Soviet model or the capitalist model..." Etc.

Double post...but it bears repeating!

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#775803 - 01/09/04 08:39 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If we would know more and believe less then this would be a much kinder, gentler world in which to live.


Renauda, I understand what you said and agree completely. (I could explain it to Tomk (and will if you don't later) but I have a date.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, ├Ľun (apple in Estonian)

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#775804 - 01/09/04 09:14 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Tom--K Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 5934
 Quote:
Posted by apple: Renauda, I understand what you said and agree completely.[/b]
He's a hose head. It's something more than understanding. Lot's of people understand economics and can't make a nickle. Lot's of people understand religion and can't say a prayer. Lot's of people understand love and walk around with huge holes in their hearts.

Understanding only gets you so far in this world. Understanding alone is the real meaning of doom.

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#775805 - 01/09/04 09:43 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
jkeene Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 701
Loc: Central Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:

Understanding only gets you so far in this world. Understanding alone is the real meaning of doom. [/b]
jkeene paraphrasing Tom-*K

Science without wisdom gives all the Frankensteins of men less significance than one of God's mosquitoes.
---
jkeene paraphrasing Tom-*K paraphrasing Renauda

Great Russians' essence is not their essence, our ignorance has not died yet.
---
jkeene not paraphrasing anyone

Knowing a three-sided coin is a belief understood.

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#775806 - 01/09/04 09:48 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
 Quote:
Originally posted by Tom-*K:
[QUOTE]He's a hose head. It's something more than understanding. [/b]
Indeed sir, the matter which was being discussed is beyond mortal comprehension. Through faith I can know (as opposed to believe) God is but I cannot comprehend God. Nothing heretical about that- in fact I seem to recall it being very much in line with Orthodox and Catholic theology.

Also there was no need to refer to me a hose head. Such epithets directed towards others not only reflect very badly on your character and outward behavior but also can be regarded as veiled prejudice. Having said that, kindly permit Apple and others here to carry on what would have been a civil discussion.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775807 - 01/09/04 11:01 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
I thought hose-head was a Canadian term of endearment. And how come kathy with a k isn't a pony?
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#775808 - 01/09/04 11:05 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
 Quote:
Originally posted by zorro:
PLEASE keep in mind that:
1) I'm (relatively) young.
2) I'm not taught religiously AT ALL. Meaning, when it comes to that matter, I AM IGNORANT.
3) I don't want to start a war.

Assuming God exists by that name,

1) Why did he let that terrible earth-quake happen on Christmas day?

2) Assuming that an honest, kind and pure person that happens to be a complete atheist dies, he/she should go to Heaven, right? Wrong. God only lets in His followers. Isn't that Degrading to Him by bringing Him down to the low level of human thinking? Being [Himself], he should not care who one believes in. Denying the right to heaven to a non-believer would be personal vengeance, the same thing we frown upon.

Zorro [/b]
Zorro, I have given your post a lot of thought before answering. I'm still not sure I'm ready. But I'm going to try. You have asked one of the most important questions you'll ever ask in your life, and it deserves an answer that has been well thought out, and with seriousness.

Everyone, me included, is going to naturally filter their response through their own religious belief system. Nothing wrong with that, except it can get a bit confusing to keep up with, and in such a setting as this it could create more confusion than answers. I want to try to answer you without seeming as though I'm "knocking" anyone else's beliefs in the process.

First of all, there most definitely *is* a God. God *does* love you, me and everyone else. God does *not* cause earthquakes, or any of the other bad things that happen in life. There is a reason God created us, regardless of the method you choose to accept that he used to do the creating. Before you can understand the complex issues you've asked about regarding whether God is reducing Himself to human's level, why He wants you to "believe" in Him only, you must understand what God's plan for mankind is.

The only way to do that is to study, and the best place to start your study is by reading the book of instructions he left us. Yes, we came with an owner's manual.... It's called the Bible.

Find a group of kids your age in your community who are studying the Bible and trying to learn God's plan for man, and how they fit into that. You will find that you are much much more than a mere human. You will find that God is much much more than some callous being up in the clouds causing earthquakes, car wrecks, or letting a little child walk out in front of a car. You will find that instead of God being unfair or cruel, He has a purpose for mankind far above the issues of mortality.

I am far from a perfect man. I don't live my life all the time according to my own beliefs. In other words, I'm a simple human. But I can tell you that I have no doubts that God is real, I have experienced His power, and as well as I am able, being the poor excuse for a Christian that I am sometimes, as humbly as I know how, I will be happy to talk with you offline any time you want, by phone, by email, whatever. I'll help you find information to answer your questions, whatever I can do.

Just keep seeking God. I'll tell you this: you can find him on your own, you don't need us. Just humbly ask Him to reveal himself to you. Talk to him, and ask him to come into your heart and reveal himself to you. If you truly seek to know God with a true and sincere desire to know him, and open your mind and heart to him, he will reveal himself. I don't mean he'll knock on the door and you'll find him standing there. But you'll know it when it happens. Just keep searching and don't give up.

Man.... I hope I did that right. I hope it all made some sense. And I hope you're able to see how very much I want to help you.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#775809 - 01/09/04 11:25 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Renauda Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/02
Posts: 5066
 Quote:
Originally posted by gryphon:
I thought hose-head was a Canadian term of endearment. And how come kathy with a k isn't a pony? [/b]
No, a hose head is an habitually drunken male with little or no education, a foul mouth, crude sense of humour and bad personal hygiene but is nevertheless employed. I think it may be the equivalent to what you might refer to as Trailer Trash.

I have no idea what the second part of your question means.
_________________________
"The older the fiddle, the sweeter the music"~ Augustus McCrae

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#775810 - 01/09/04 11:43 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
See what things you learn here? The McKenzie brothers never explained all that.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#775811 - 01/09/04 11:47 PM Re: Sincere questions on God
Mark I. Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/05/03
Posts: 14
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
Man.... I hope I did that right. I hope it all made some sense. And I hope you're able to see how very much I want to help you. [/b]
Larry, I don't think you need to have any worries on that score. Wonderful post, and I agree with you 100%.

-Mark

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