Hi Kindred,

You say, "I NEVER SAID THE WORD HATRED, so please tell me how you can pray for me for what I didn't say or do?"

A feeling or emotion does not have to be a written word to be shown. You have made your feelings about me obvious from the beginning. You say you are Christians; yet you attack me, making false accusations. Is that Christian?

Then, there is DeepFat who loves to jump into a dialogue and do his best to stir up bad feelings and emotions. This is truly the atheistic character in full bloom.

I will pray, Kindred, that your distrust, your bad feelings, whatever you want to call them, against me will change. I would like to be friends with you. Only you can allow that to happen.

Is it possible that you have allowed Deep's mistrust of anyone who defends the Christian way to affect your feelings toward other Christians. As I recall, it was Deep who started all this ballyhoo about me publishing artices in The Conservative Voice.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!
quote:
As I recall, it was Deep who started all this ballyhoo about me publishing artices in The Conservative Voice.

You give me too much credit, sir. It was not I.

It was I, however, who asked for the courtesy of having my nom de guerre spelled correctly, and it was I who reminded you that if one cites copyrighted material, one has the scholarly and courteous obligation to reference the source.

DF
Hi Joy,

If you are referring to my statement, "As I recall, it was Deep who started all this ballyhoo about me publishing articles in The Conservative Voice" -- you are correct. And, for that I do owe Deep an apology.

Deep, please consider this my apology: I admit that I falsely accused you of starting that ballyhoo. I ask your forgiveness.

Joy, Deep asked you, "OK, so Joy... Religious question. What are you getting me for Christmas?"

How about a good study Bible? Just a thought.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
OK, so Joy...

Religious question.


What are you getting me for Christmas? Big Grin

DF


Hmmm....thinking...I got it. An all expenses paid cruise to the Holy Land with Billy Graham, Josh McDowell, Dr. John Lennox, Beth Moore and Travis Cottrell and my whole family (What?! Like I'm missing out on that line-up...haha). You'll be so saved by the time we get back that all the King's horses and all the King's men can't keep DF from shoutin' praises to Him. Big Grin

That some bapticostal shoutin' ground right there...haha.
Hi Joy,

Can I get an "AMEN!" in there? You might throw Charles Stanley and Chuck Smith into that mix.

Wow! Can you imagine a Christian DeepFat? We would have a hard time holding him down.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!
Religion and Government are Intertwined: Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
Jerry Falwell cleared of charges that he broke federal election law by urging followers to vote for Bush
NC congressman proposes law making it ok to preach politics from the pulpit
Texas Governor Mobilizes Evangelicals
Family research council: Justice Sunday
Thou shalt be like Bush: What makes this recently established, right-wing Christian college unique are the increasingly close - critics say alarmingly close - links it has with the Bush administration and the Republican establishment.
Park Service Continues to Push Creationist Theory at Grand Canyon and other nat'l parks

http://www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm
quote:
Originally posted by _Joy_:
What4, I will tell you that before this judging thing, I saw you as a sincere man of God.

I still don't agree with judging others regardless of their actions.



Judging Others

Mt 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mt 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mt 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

1co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Joh 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

By some people’s interpretation of the word of God, none have a right to question or challenge someone else’s Christianity. If that were so, then we would have the ability to form an opinion, but never be able to express it, or warn others about someone’s corrupt or sinful character. Wolves in sheep’s clothing would have a field day with the weak or unsuspecting. The fruit a person bears might give them away, but what could we do? We would be forced to accept a person only by their testimony. God’s word is wrongly interpreted when that conclusion is drawn.

Much depends on the condition of their heart and their character in knowing how we might approach them.

Jude 1:22-23 And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Tit 3:10-13 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.

Ephesians 5:11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

2nd Thessalonians
3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
3:14. If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.
3:15. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.


Christianity and the church is mocked and ridiculed today, and the name of Christ is blasphemed, because the church as a whole is unwilling to do this. Today, there is an acceptance of everything under the sun in a brother or sister, and those who are unwilling to do this are criticized for not making an attempt to love and understand them. Christians continue being friends with those who claim to be Christians but are unruly and willfully disobedient to Christian doctrine and principles. Today, what should be considered totally unacceptable has become the norm. The Christian who stands up and identifies that unruly Christian to others is quickly rebuked and told not to judge. They are quickly ostracized and identified as unloving and out of character because they have done the unthinkable. They have judged their brother and sister, and only God can judge. It doesn’t matter that they never said the unruly person was unsaved or going to hell. All they had to say was that unruly brother or sister was not presenting a Christian character. How terrible!

Anyone who claims to be a Christian and who opposes the Christian message, or mocks those trying to share the gospel, is just considered a Christian who makes mistakes. It appears that many can live like the devil and call themselves Christians, without having anybody identify them otherwise. If someone is so bold as to rebuke them and mark them before others, they are quickly shot down with the words, “Hey, you are not my judge!” They then have the entire church backing them up against the judgmental Christian. I believe in some churches that Hitler could be sitting in the front row in church, and none would feel like they had the authority to rebuke him or put him out of the church. That is not what God intended. We may not know if a person is a true child of God or not, but we can know if they are demonstrating a Christian character or not. God is the final judge, but we are definitely capable of passing judgment about someone’s character, because Jesus Himself said that by their fruit we could know them.

Mat7:17. Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Mat7:18. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Mat7:19. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Mat7:20. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

All who say they are Christians are not Christians. Some only carry the name. With some a gentle loving rebuke is sufficient. With others a sharp rebuke is necessary. And with others it may come to the point that we must identify them as a danger to others, expose them to all, and separate ourselves from them.

If I say that someone is not a Christian, I’m not saying they are not saved. I’m simply saying they are not presenting the character of Christ, or that I see no light or difference in them and the world. I have not identified any brother or sister as lost, but only as not demonstrating the character of a Christian. If I’m living similarly, then I will also bring the same judgment on myself. But if the church does nothing, and allows everyone to call themselves a Christian without exercising any restraint on their lives, then the good name of Christ will be destroyed. Today the sinner in the world laughs when we tell them that Jesus asks for them to believe on Him and repent of their sins in order to be saved. They just look at the church members and say witness to them first.

So is judging other a sin? It is if it is not righteous judgment. And it is if we attempt to judge the intent of their heart, judge them to hell, or say they are not saved. It is if our purpose is wrong, or if we just want to hurt them. We should also get the beam out of our own eye first, to prevent bringing judgment on ourselves. But saying that someone is not showing a Christian character is not sin. It is however a sin to let them continue to bring dishonor to Christ without rebuking them, or without identifying them and separating from their company should they refuse to repent.
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
Hi Kindred,

You say, "I NEVER SAID THE WORD HATRED, so please tell me how you can pray for me for what I didn't say or do?"

A feeling or emotion does not have to be a written word to be shown. You have made your feelings about me obvious from the beginning. You say you are Christians; yet you attack me, making false accusations. Is that Christian?

Then, there is DeepFat who loves to jump into a dialogue and do his best to stir up bad feelings and emotions. This is truly the atheistic character in full bloom.

I will pray, Kindred, that your distrust, your bad feelings, whatever you want to call them, against me will change. I would like to be friends with you. Only you can allow that to happen.

Is it possible that you have allowed Deep's mistrust of anyone who defends the Christian way to affect your feelings toward other Christians. As I recall, it was Deep who started all this ballyhoo about me publishing artices in The Conservative Voice.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!



Bill, once again, you did NOT read what I said. You either do not want to grasp the meaning of my words, or you refuse to. I am not sure which one.

Bottom line is, you don't have to pray for my distrust for you, please just pray and find out why MANY on here distrusts you. I am not the only one. And YOU are the one who caused it, so why would you want to Pray for me being leery of what you say???

I see that you have taken off the links to your postings now. Does that mean you have stopped posting about the people on this forum, or that you just don't want us to SEE what you post there anymore???
quote:
Originally posted by what4:
Christianity and the church is mocked and ridiculed today, and the name of Christ is blasphemed, because the church as a whole is unwilling to do this.


Wrong.

The church is ridiculed and mocked because -- even now, in this modern, 21st century age -- "the church" (exemplified by you and Bill) mocks and ridicules the very science that keeps your own hearts beating and keeps plagues at bay.

People like you, Bill and (to a lesser extent, Nash) force young minds to make a choice between science and religion then you wonder why atheism in America is growing by leaps and bounds.

It is truly amazing to witness this kind of Dark Age, anti-science mentality in this 21st century!

If you truly want to know the true cause of the decline of western religion take a look in the mirror, What4.
quote:
People like you, Bill and (to a lesser extent, Nash) force young minds to make a choice between science and religion then you wonder why atheism in America is growing by leaps and bounds.


I can't speak for Bill, but you are absolutely wrong about me. I don't believe in forcing anyone to do anything, period. I have never said anything close to that. I've always said we all should be FREE to decide what we believe ON OUR OWN. I can't make that any clearer. Personally, I don't give two sihts if you believe in God or not. My goal is to defend and explain my beliefs, not convert you.

One doesn't have to choose between science and religion. I love science, studied it in college, have a bachelors of science degree. I also believe in God although I'm not a member of any church or denomination.

At one time I questioned the existence of God. I did my own thinking, studying, and came to my own conclusion. If you came to a different conclusion, good for you. But don't say I'm trying to force people to do anything, that's a lie.
GoFish, now this is probably going to shock you, but I disagree. LOL

Nobody forces anybody to do anything. This is a free country. Most people look over the information available and form a conclusion. There may be a few whack jobs (NObody here)that blindly follow other whack jobs, but they are few and far between in this country. Some will agree with you and the ones making the correct conclusion will agree with me...haha. But, no, seriously, in my opinion, one thing what impedes progress is the idea that everyone must agree on everything. If that were the case, we'd never find a cure for anything and you'd never find Jesus. See, I just know that one day you will. Smiler
quote:
Originally posted by NashBama:
One doesn't have to choose between science and religion. I love science, studied it in college, have a bachelors of science degree. I also believe in God although I'm not a member of any church or denomination.


Nash, you appear to support science right up to the point where it conflicts with your religion. Beyond that point, no amount of evidence will change your deeply held beliefs. That is not an attribute of one who "loves" science.

Someone who "loves science" must be prepared to change his entire worldview based on the evidence (or lack thereof) at hand. In fact, one who loves science just can't freaking WAIT to have his wordlview changed. That definitely describes me and I dare say I can speak the same for my friend Deep and Miami.

Example: You evidently dismiss the fact that the Big Bang happened. Great! Science thrives on free thinkers but in order to claim to be a supporter of science, you MUST come up with an alternate theory that fits the evidence. Instead, the best you can come up with is, "I just know it isn't true."

Thanks not science. That's religion.

Which gets back to my point, Nash: Unlike What4 and Bill, you don't come right out and say, "You are wrong and here is what you must believe if you want to avoid hell . . ." but your actions say, "You must choose between science what what I believe and I KNOW I am right."

Therefore, you "make" people choose between science and religion - just not quite as blatantly as What4 and Bill.
quote:
Nash, you appear to support science right up to the point where it conflicts with your religion. Beyond that point, no amount of evidence will change your deeply held beliefs. That is not an attribute of one who "loves" science.

Someone who "loves science" must be prepared to change his entire worldview based on the evidence (or lack thereof) at hand. In fact, one who loves science just can't freaking WAIT to have his wordlview changed. That definitely describes me and I dare say I can speak the same for my friend Deep and Miami.

Example: You evidently dismiss the fact that the Big Bang happened. Great! Science thrives on free thinkers but in order to claim to be a supporter of science, you MUST come up with an alternate theory that fits the evidence. Instead, the best you can come up with is, "I just know it isn't true."

Thanks not science. That's religion.

Which gets back to my point, Nash: Unlike What4 and Bill, you don't come right out and say, "You are wrong and here is what you must believe if you want to avoid hell . . ." but your actions say, "You must choose between science what what I believe and I KNOW I am right."

Therefore, you "make" people choose between science and religion - just not quite as blatantly as What4 and Bill.


The big bang is not a fact. That's why it's called a theory. I've never, not once said that I just know it's not true. I've said it is probably how God created everything, but we'll never know.

I haven't seen any evidence to change my mind. Everything I've seen suggests that there is a God. I have yet to see anything from science that suggest otherwise, it's actually the opposite. For me, the scientific wonders of this universe is proof that we're not the most intelligent beings around.

You can't say that you are more logical or rational than I am. I've presented arguments and evidence that you couldn't answer. It all comes down to your hatred of God, hatred of religion, and hatred of any type of Christian. You can say you don't, but it's quite clear you do.

I can tell you're a good guy, but you are wrapped up in quite a bit of hatred. That's why you keep trying to lump me in with the fundamentalists who want to condemn anyone with a differing opinion, even though what I say is exactly opposite. I've never told you that you are going to Hell, I've never told you to change your ways, I've never told you to go to church. I've shared my personal beliefs, if you don't agree, then you don't agree. I don't care.

I have never and will never say you or anyone else is going to hell, plain and simple. Nor am I trying to force my ideas on anyone else. I'm not making anyone choose between anything.

I'll say it once again very simply, please don't try and twist these words. It's up to each individual to make up his or her own mind. We are all free to study, learn, and decide on our own. If you believe in God or not doesn't matter to me one way or another.
quote:
Originally posted by _Joy_:
Nobody forces anybody to do anything.


Ooh. I will have to strongly disagree with you there, Joy. By definition, religion forces one way of thinking (Christianity/Islam) over another (atheism) under threat of dam.n.ation.


quote:
one thing what impedes progress is the idea that everyone must agree on everything. If that were the case, we'd never find a cure for anything and you'd never find Jesus. See, I just know that one day you will. Smiler


Joy, in this very thread, you have seen abundant evidence of blind believers who state emphatically that you must believe they way they believe or you cannot call yourself a Christian.

Again, people on the sidelines must reach the conclusion that they must choose between Bill/What4's version of reality or science. You seem to have found a happy medium. Good for you (seriously). But your beliefs are a tightrope that few can walk.
GoFish, why can't people on the sidelines find the same happy medium that I've found? How do you know they haven't done just that? I am by no means agreeing with you assessment of anyone here, btw, just making the point that people are not forced to believe anything.

You may can force someone to 'do' something (although not in this country unless you like jail time), but since you cannot see inside their mind, you cannot force someone's thoughts or beliefs to adhere to your's.

Let me put it this way. Say you lived in a country where your family would be imprisoned if you claim to be an Atheist. Now, due to fear for your family, you may be forced to say you are not an Atheist, but would you still be an Atheist? Yes, because they can't force you to think or believe what they believe.
quote:
Originally posted by NashBama:
It's up to each individual to make up his or her own mind. We are all free to study, learn, and decide on our own.


Nash, you often speak as if you are a deist in the same mold of Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin - a truly admirable position. But them, right out of the other side of your mouth, you claim to be a Christian which means you adhere to all the myriad beliefs held by Christians. If you are truly a Christian then you, by definition, judge others who do not adhere to John 3:16 and, by default, "judge" others who do not beleive.

Then, out of yet another mouth, you claim to love science yet you adhere to this illogical "god-of-the-gaps" notion where "god" is found wherever science meets its current limits.

So, Nash, I don't think even you know what you believe. Can you blame me for being a little confused?
GoFish, I understand completely what Nash believes and he does not appear confused at all to me. That is due in part to our similarities, but he has made his beliefs very clear and they make perfect sense. I think you just don't agree.
quote:
Originally posted by _Joy_:
GoFish, why can't people on the sidelines find the same happy medium that I've found?


Because you are a rare bird, Joy. I am truly happy that you can walk that tightrope. I mean that most sincerely. But I don't think most people are capable of such a feat.

I personally could never find that happy medium after decades of looking. I think Deep would say the same thing. I think most former-Christians-turned-atheists would say the same but that's just a guess.
quote:
Originally posted by GoFish:
quote:
Originally posted by what4:
Christianity and the church is mocked and ridiculed today, and the name of Christ is blasphemed, because the church as a whole is unwilling to do this.


Wrong.

The church is ridiculed and mocked because -- even now, in this modern, 21st century age -- "the church" (exemplified by you and Bill) mocks and ridicules the very science that keeps your own hearts beating and keeps plagues at bay.

People like you, Bill and (to a lesser extent, Nash) force young minds to make a choice between science and religion then you wonder why atheism in America is growing by leaps and bounds.

It is truly amazing to witness this kind of Dark Age, anti-science mentality in this 21st century!

If you truly want to know the true cause of the decline of western religion take a look in the mirror, What4.


I know whom I have believed and nothing in science can convince me otherwise. Scientists are human, and they tend to look only for the facts that support what they already believe. I'm tired of debating with you. I have presented my arguments, and if people want to go back and read them fine. I cannot stop you or others from continuing your blasphemy against God. I can’t stop you from mocking the child of God for believing that God is our creator, or believing that miracles are possible, or that the accounts of the bible are factual. Adam and Eve are all of our original parents, and we are all the result of God's handiwork. I have given my account of Genesis, and I believe that it does not conflict with the facts of science, but only conflicts with the ridiculous theories made by man regarding the improper interpretation of those facts. I could care less what you think about me. Woe unto the man whom all think well of.

I have heard how the scientists have calculated the age of the earth and the universe. Yet all of these things that have an age, must have had a beginning. How can you calculate the age of something that has always existed? When they first appeared, from where did they come from? It is amazing to me that you do not recognize that we must have a Creator, and that it would be impossible for us to have evolved from chemicals bumping into each other. Even chemicals it seems had to have a beginning. You look around and talk about how wondrously everything has evolved from nothing. You start with the existence of matter out of nowhere, and I start with an everlasting God. I look around and see the wonders of God. I see His infinite abilities, knowledge and understanding. There is something more that meets the eye if you would consider all of the facts. The facts prove that an eternal being with great intelligence and wondrous capabilities must exist. It is the only thing that can make any sense of it all. We are not the result of an accident that had its beginning from something that came from nothing, and that came into existence without reason or purpose.
WhatEver,


You say even the chemicals must have a creator. I presume you mean god.

Who made god?

If you say that god is transcendent of time and space, then I want your proof. Otherwise, we must start our discussion of nature somewhere.

I start it with the self-evident existence of the universe. If we insist on defining an Unmoved Mover, it is the universe itself. At least the universe is commonly known and tangible. God is not.

DF
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
WhatEver,


You say even the chemicals must have a creator. I presume you mean god.

Who made god?

If you say that god is transcendent of time and space, then I want your proof. Otherwise, we must start our discussion of nature somewhere.

I start it with the self-evident existence of the universe. If we insist on defining an Unmoved Mover, it is the universe itself. At least the universe is commonly known and tangible. God is not.

DF


All I'm saying is that we both start with something that can't be explained by our finite minds. You begin with chemicals of the earth. I say that the earth did not always exist, or else it would not have an age. You begin with something that has an age and you have no understanding of how it ever began its existence. I begin with God who has no age, and who tells us in that which I consider to be His word, that He has always existed. We both cannot go back in time to examine the evidence. You believe something existed from nothing. I believe God existed always. Always is difficult to fathom. Yet how can something come from nothing? If something had to exist for all other things to exist afterward, then I say it is God.

You have your belief, and I have mine. The only difference is that my God has interacted with me and proven to me that He exists. Since He exists, then I also believe His word is true. Even though I know that He exists, I still must believe His word by faith. I do not believe that He is lying. The more I have studied His word, the more I have seen that his depth of wisdom and understanding is far greater than man's. To me, it is much more logical since I know that God exists, to believe His word over the theories of man. I know that God exists because He has intervened in my life. The rest is simply faith.
quote:
Originally posted by _Joy_:
The reason I commented at all on Vick's salvation (which you, I, and what4 could not possibly know since we are not God & do not have the ability to see inside another person's soul) is because she was judged on this thread. It doesn't matter what she did beforehand. We lose anyone listening the minute we react, insult & judge rather than try to understand.


I believe that a large part of our difference is because of misunderstanding each other’s intent. Possibly a little mercy and understanding should be given by both of us here. You considered my judgment of the fruit of Vick’s Christianity as a judgment of her soul. That was not my intent. That was not my words, but only your conclusion as to what my words meant. I never judged her heart, and I never said she was lost. I only judged her overall actions as not being characteristic of a Christian. I have never judged her to hell as she has me. I don’t know her heart, or where she stands with God. All I can judge is her words, and I know that her words do not reflect the character of a Christian.

I was wrong for involving you by implying that I knew your opinion. For that I’m very sorry and I ask you to forgive me.

Once you were drawn into this, things quckly escalated. In my anger I stated that if you felt that Vick properly represented Christ, then you had no idea what Christianity was. After looking back at that statement, I realize it was very harsh and bitter and that the statement was uncalled for. I felt you had misrepresented me and had wrongly attacked my character. I considered your defense of Vick as condoning her actions as a Christian, but I now believe that I misjudged your intent. I’m not looking for you to elaborate on that either way. I’m also sorry for further drawing you into this and feeling that you needed to make a stand one way or another. Sorry again.

You say I could have shown more love and understanding to Vick. Well I’m sure I could, but it’s hard to show love to those who belittle and mock you for the fun of it. People who belittle others draw out a great anger in me. Those who use mockery against those presenting a Christian message, make it even more difficult for me to return love.

Joy, I have offered my explanation and my apologies. I hope that you will better understand me, and realize that I never intended to judge Vick’s soul or salvation. I also hope you realize that I’m sorry for getting you involved and for my hurtful remarks against you. You never asked for this, but I honestly never meant to draw you into this.

I apologize once again for what I have mentioned and for any other wrong or hurt that I am responsible for that I’m foolishly unaware of. Whether or not you forgive me or understand is up to you. I know I can’t explain away my actions for the hurt or problems that I have caused you. All I can do is defend myself and say that I have not judged Vick as lost. That is not my call to make, but only God’s.
Hi to all,

Some time back, someone chastised me for changing Deep's pseudonym from DeepFat to DeepFoot. And, Deep complained about my article in The Conservative Voice that was titled "Deep Fat and Darwin."

Yet, how many times has he, and a couple of others, but primarily Deep, misused What4's pseudonym to Whatever? And, I have not seen one person call him on it.

Don't you think it is about time for an even playing field here? Just because Deep does not believe in anything does not give him special privileges to insult others. It was my understanding that even atheists are mostly civil. If we are to be courteous -- let's make that go both ways.

Just a thought.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred, California fed, Blessed by God to be a Christian American!

THIS IS FOR YOU, MY DEAR KINDRED!

To be added to my Friends Ministry mail list please e-mail me at billdory@pacbell.net

Bill & Dory's Ministry Web Site: http://www.BillDory-Christian-Ministries.com

To read my recent articles published in The Conservative Voice, click on this URL: http://www.theconservativevoice.com/profile/2674/Bill-Gray.html
Hi Fish,

You say, "Ooh. I will have to strongly disagree with you there, Joy. By definition, religion forces one way of thinking
(Christianity/Islam) over another (atheism) under threat of dam.n.ation."

BILL'S REPLY: You speak for your religion and others; I will only speak for Christianity. If you had been lost in the wilderness for a week, and when found, were about to die from dehydration -- and I sat a glass of water on the table in front of you and told you, "You may drink the water if you want. It is free. But, you do not have to drink the water."

What would you do? Would you drink the water and live -- or would you refuse to drink the water and die from dehydration?

If you chose to not drink the water; would that be my fault -- or would it be your fault because you refused to drink the water?

That person lost in the wilderness of the world is you, Fish. That life saving water is Jesus Christ. He offers you the free gift of life, eternal life. If you refuse Him, who is at fault -- Him for offering -- or you for refusing. When you refuse, you condemn yourself.

Think about it.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!
Hi to my TimesDaily Friends,

Now might be a good time to take a moment to discuss how we respond to those who are non-believers, or those who scoff at Christianity, or those who will put us down for our belief in God and Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. Some of my Friends have politely suggested that my writings could be shortened. So, maybe we can take a moment and discuss this point.

While I am writing this to all my Friends, two sets of Friends are particularly on my mind. These are my new Friends I have met through my writings in The Conservative Voice and Friends I have met through my participation in the Forum of my home town newspaper, the TimesDaily of Florence, Alabama.

Often I get responses and comments from these good folks which mirror what we experience when we witness face to face; comments such as, "There is no God." or "The Bible is just a book of myths written over 2000 years ago." or "If God really existed, why would He send anyone to hell for eternity. I thought you said He is a God of love. Does this sound like a God of love to you?" or "Do you really believe in a virgin birth?" And, one of my favorites, "Who made God?"

The one I really smile about is, "People have to be really stupid to believe in creation, when science has already given us logical answers."

How would you answer such questions in one short paragraph or sentence? I suppose I could respond with, "Yeah, and your mother wears combat boots!" But, that would not help the people who are seeking to find God. As a matter of fact, it would most likely drive them into the camp of our atheist friends.

Believe me, I understand about reading an article or a book, which is too long. Before I was a Christian, before the Holy Spirit lit the fire of evangelism in my heart, I had a similar problem. I recall the years when I traveled on business quite a bit; living in hotels. This life often became depressing and boring. When I was single and not a Christian, I would just head for the hotel bar or night club. Once I was married, that was no longer an option. But, what to do? A number of times I would open the bedside night stand drawer, get out the Gideon Bible, and try to find comfort there. But, after two or three confusing verses -- I just tossed it back into the drawer. Then, I would either turn on the boob tube or go for a walk. In those days, I walked a lot -- in virtually every major city in America -- and a couple in England.

Why did I find the Bible so hard to understand then -- and find it so enlightening now? At that time, I was not a Christian; I did not have the Holy Spirit guiding me, teaching me (John 14:26, 15:13). Before, I was a man of the world, understanding only worldly things -- but, as a Christian, I have the Holy Spirit as a teacher, making spiritual things known to me.

In thinking about all of this; giving great thought to it -- I think I have found a solution, a way to get those who are not yet believers, or those who are new believers and still get confused in Scripture, or those with very short attention spans -- to read the Bible. We will create an abbreviated Bible. We can call it the NBGAB (New Bill Gray Abbreviated Bible). This is how the NBGAB will read, with study notes:

Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This is the foundation upon which the Bible, the Written Word of God, is built.

John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This is the foundation upon which Christianity is built, the deity of Jesus Christ.

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." This is the foundation upon which our salvation is built.

John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." This is the instructions of how we turn on our Spiritual Salvation Ignition; this is the Ignition Key.

John 3:36, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." This is how you test your Spiritual Battery; to see if it is alive or dead.

John 5:24, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." This is the Advanced Spiritual Battery test; make sure your battery passes this test -- or it will end up in the eternal battery graveyard.

Romans 1:17, 20, "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'But the righteous man shall live by faith'. . . For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." The foundation upon which our faith in God is built.

Romans 3:23, 6:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God . . . For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The reason we need salvation through Jesus Christ; the blessing of His free gift.

Revelation 3:20, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Jesus offers His free gift of salvation. You have to choose to accept it, to open the door of your heart unto eternal life -- or to reject it, closing the door of your heart unto eternal loss. Your choice! Your gain -- or your loss!

I Thessalonians 4:15-18, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." Christian believers rescued (raptured) by the Eternal Life Saver -- Jesus Christ!

Revelation 22:20, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." The promise given from Genesis through Revelation -- brought to fruition. Praise the Lord!

Test this new Abbreviated Bible on your Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors -- all your FRANs. Jesus has offered the free gift of salvation to all of us -- let's pass on the Good News.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!

To be added to my Friends Ministry mail list please e-mail me at billdory@pacbell.net

Bill & Dory's Ministry Web Site: http://www.BillDory-Christian-Ministries.com

To read my recent articles published in The Conservative Voice, click on this URL:
http://www.theconservativevoice.com/profile/2674/Bill-Gray.html
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
Hi Fish,

You say, "Ooh. I will have to strongly disagree with you there, Joy. By definition, religion forces one way of thinking
(Christianity/Islam) over another (atheism) under threat of dam.n.ation."

BILL'S REPLY: ( . . .) That person lost in the wilderness of the world is you, Fish. That life saving water is Jesus Christ. He offers you the free gift of life, eternal life. If you refuse Him, who is at fault -- Him for offering -- or you for refusing. When you refuse, you condemn yourself.


Oh please. I have never and will never condemn anyone, especially myself. That would be stupid. But what does that have to do with the fact that Christianity forces one way of thinking over another?
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
We can call it the NBGAB (New Bill Gray Abbreviated Bible). This is how the NBGAB will read, with study notes:


Other than the vanity title, I like it, Bill. It conveniently skips over the, shall we say, controversial parts of the bible such as creation, murdering your child if he misbehaves, supporting slavery, polygamy and beating your wife for being subversive. Heck, it even skips over burning in hell for eternity for using your (supposedly) god-given brain. Why, there's something in there for everyone!
What4, I wish I could give you a big fat hug. I just realized that I never told you that I accepted your previous apology. Of course I forgive you. I think your week was as bad as mine.Smiler

Sending you a PM...check your PMs in a few minutes, okay? It's 11:42 AM now.

What4, thank you for making peace with me. Your words lifted my heart. Thank you, brother!
quote:
Originally posted by GoFish:
quote:
Originally posted by _Joy_:
GoFish, why can't people on the sidelines find the same happy medium that I've found?


Because you are a rare bird, Joy. I am truly happy that you can walk that tightrope. I mean that most sincerely. But I don't think most people are capable of such a feat.

I personally could never find that happy medium after decades of looking. I think Deep would say the same thing. I think most former-Christians-turned-atheists would say the same but that's just a guess.


Cool, I want to be a phoenix. Well, that's rare! Wink

I don't consider my beliefs walking a tight rope. I consider it throwing off the chains of man-made regulations & tradition (not that all tradition is bad), humanity's additions to & subtractions from the Bible and outright false doctrine. Some things never change. This is exactly what Christ chastised the church leaders for in Bible times. I think when Jesus said he came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, he wasn't talking about criminals - although they are certainly part of the target audience.

To me it's those who practice religion (going through the motions for selfish motives) rather than relationship that walk a tight rope. If they do not personally know Christ, they have no real foundation. When they fall, nobody is there to catch them.

Although I would love the thrill of walking a tightrope, I know I am secure. God has me in the palm of His hand. So I will enjoy the thrill of what each day brings, but I have nothing to fear.

Okay, I got carried away there. That's not directed at you, GoFish. I was just explaining my answer. Big Grin
Hi Fish,

From an earlier posting: BILL'S REPLY: "That person lost in the wilderness of the world is you, Fish. That life saving water is Jesus Christ. He offers you the free gift of life, eternal life. If you refuse Him, who is at fault -- Him for offering -- or you for refusing. When you refuse, you condemn yourself."

Fish reply: "Oh please. I have never and will never condemn anyone, especially myself. That would be stupid. But what does that have to do with the fact that Christianity forces one way of thinking over another?"

BILL'S COMMENT: Mr. Fish, I see the problem. You have a spelling problem; I say CHOOSE and you spell it FORCE. I say CHOICE and you spell it FORCE.

You are like the lady who approached a well known pastor, H. A. Ironside, many years ago saying, "Pastor, how can I know if I am really saved?"

He had her read John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

The pastor asked the lady, "What does this Scripture verse tell you?"

She replied, "That God loves me and I can have eternal life."

The pastor had her read it again, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Again, she looked at the pastor with a quizzical look. The pastor smiled and told her, "I see the problem. When you were in school they taught you to read H A V E as W A N T -- so you read this as, "but WANT eternal life -- instead of His promise to HAVE eternal life."

"No, my dear," Pastor Ironside told her. "God says that WHOEVER believes in Him shall HAVE, H A V E, eternal life.

And, my dear Friend, Fish -- evidently where you went to the same school as this sweet lady -- where they were teaching CHOOSE as FORCE. So, maybe we can reeducate you and teach you that when God tells you that you have a CHOICE -- that is exactly what He means. No amount of atheistic twisting and corrupting of words can change that -- just as God cannot, because He gave you free will to CHOOSE, change your heart unless you CHOOSE for it to be changed. By the same token, God cannot change your eternal destination. But, YOU can change your eternal destination by making the right CHOICE.

Spelling 101 now complete. With all my heart, I pray that you pass THIS course.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill Gray
billdory@pacbell.net

Alabama bred,
California fed,
Blessed by God to be a Christian American!
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
So, maybe we can reeducate you and teach you that when God tells you that you have a CHOICE -


An armed robber may give me a "choice" between my money or my life.

God gives me the choice or burying my head in the sands of illogic or standing tall in eternity with a pitchfork up by butt.

That's not much of a choice, is it?
Hi everyone!! Ok, I went back on my word after saying I was gone from this discussion, but... I have been reading. There's something I want to share with you because I consider you all my friends, some more than others. Smiler
I have learned so much in reading from this discussion, without my even realizing it.
Some may call it praying, I don't, I call it talking to God but I did just that last night.
And I learned something about myself.
I woke my husband at 5 a.m. to discuss this with him because I was kind of shocked that this thought came to me. My own thought or Gods? I don't know & that's why I woke my husband.
The thought was this: "You have been so judgemental about others, but you've never judged yourself". When that thought hit me, I repeated it to myself several times. It was true!
I have judged others, very strongly, but never myself. I had all these negative thoughts about "Christian" people & the church.
I am just as bad if not worse than the very people I was judgeing.
I just wanted to share that with you all. I'm still confused as to where that thought came from. Wink
GoFish, in my talk with God last night, I asked him to watch over you. Why? Because you're my friend & I like you!
Smiler

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