Shadow Stalker's forum posts

#1 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@cable_extreme: I guess it is more of, it takes lot of time to put together fully thought out responses and I just don't have enough to address each specific question in detail. However, I will be happy to explain my position in a very simple manner. Here goes:

Love God. Love others.

That's pretty much it and the goal of my life.The corollary to this is: Introduce others to this same God so they can share in this loving relationship. All the rest can be debated ad nauseam but I have found sticking to these simple concepts works.

#2 Edited by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@cable_extreme: This is what I mean by the back and forth is pointless. To accurately describe such complex topics requires much more than a few paragraphs here and there. Whole books have been written on these topics. I'm not going to do them justice by posting a few more paragraphs. I've covered these exact same topics over one hundred pages ago in this very thread. My goal is not to win a debate, my goal is to share what God has done to, for and through me in hopes that others will also believe so He can work with them as well. I'm happy to answer any questions about what I believe but I don't find that debating on a forum such as this helps me achieve my aforementioned goals (nor does it seem to help the other party in the discussion). If you are truly interested in knowing what most Christians believe on these topics (notice I didn't say "answers" because no human is going to have them all), I can try to direct you to some books or other sources for more in depth reading.

#3 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

Ok, so this is why I don't often participate in this thread anymore. We write back and forth but it seems we get nowhere. I'm going to disagree with much of what you said (and I'm sure you will disagree with much of what I say). Thus, kind of pointless to keep going. That said, I'll try to take one more stab at giving you my opinion regarding the statements below.

@shadow_stalker:

Yeah, you can't base faith on just feelings. Many people get caught up in believing faith is just feelings. It's like when husband says, "I don't feel in love with my wife anymore" and wants a divorce. Love is so much more than just the butterfly feelings. Love compasses the entire relationship and "feelings" are just a small part. Faith is like live in that regard. It encompasses the entire relationship.

Faith is simply blind-trust, it isn't a feeling. [SS] I agree it is not a feeling but think it is more than blind-trust. However, faith can often times be brought up by a sense of euphoria as I have once felt before. [SS] This part I disagree with. I don't call the euphoria I feel when I watch Braveheart or sing a worship song in church faith. It's just a physical and emotional reaction to something I hold dear. Also, "love" is a feeling, it changes quite often, from love, to hate, to annoyance ect... [SS] I strongly disagree with this statement. I still love my wife even when we are in the midst of a fight. The loving feelings I have toward her might not be present when we are arguing but I still love her. Same with faith. I still have faith, even when not feeling the euphoria you mentioned.

Again, it is not just good things attributed to praying. Sometimes God's plans mean I DON'T get what I pray for because it puts me in a better position to share God with someone else. However, I must say that the number of "random good occurrences" seems completely not random.

That isn't the case at all, look at little kids in other parts of the country dying of aids before they even reach adulthood, how are those "unanswered" prayers putting them into a position to share God's word? How is a bunch of children dying before the age of one (from various reasons) putting them into a better position to share god's word? Death and misery do not discriminate on anyone, so why even pray for good fortunes if there is already God's plan (according to you)? [SS] Perhaps I did not state this clearly. Being in the correct position to share God's love is just one example. God sees the big picture. Maybe there are other plans. Maybe not. Maybe people are just suffering because mankind is using their freewill to either inflict harm on others or choose to not help. Again, I'm not God. I can't give you the answers. I just trust Him enough to know He knows what is best.

Also, what about the great commision where God said to go heal in his name? Go up to a cancer patient, take them out of treatment and pray for them, ask God to heal them (like commanded in the bible). Have a thousand trials doing that, and I bet not even one will live without modern day medicine/treatment, yet you still pray. Have you ever looked at the success rates of prayers? aka prayer studies?

[SS] God works through people like doctors too. Doesn't always have to be a supernatural occurrence (though I personally know people whom doctors said they would not live but they pulled through after people prayed). Praying also puts my heart and will inline with his commands. I can be a healing presence by visiting those in the hospital, taking food to those who are sick, etc.

Now you are getting into the age-old question of, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?". That question has been debated for centuries and even for many pages right here on this thread. I don't think I can solve that now (though I could write many pages on it if I had the time). That said, for your specific example, if you look at life in terms of eternity and believe that God brings anyone younger than the age of understanding into heaven with him, and He knows their future, He may be sparing them years of suffering by bringing them to Heaven early. Or, he is letting humans exercise the free will he gave us. We are to be His hands and feet and we (as the human race) can prevent much of the suffering and "bad things" that go on in the world. Again, I don't know the answer but these are some ideas that make sense to me.

So, why would God simply let us all die before we reach the age of understanding? Why would he gift some people (babies) with eternity in heaven by default, but then leave some of us on the Earth to have to find, and believe in Christianity? [SS] Again, I am not an omniscient God. I don't see all of time and a person's entire life. He does and can make the best decision. The billions of different people in Islam, and Hindu ect... Will (according to the bible) all go to hell for not believing in jesus, yet they have just as much going for them (logically) as Christianity does. [SS] I don't claim to know what people who believe other religions think. All I know is what makes sense to me. My call is to share God's love and saving grace with all and the rest is between them and God. There is no sense to be made from this, it doesn't measure up and you have to lie to yourself to continue believing, or simply say "I don't care enough for it to change my views".

It seems to go way beyond selective awareness though. And how do you know those signs aren't from God?

I've been on the other end of prayer. I was the one compelled to do something for someone else and have them say, "I had been praying for someone to come along for that specific need". In that case, God answered that persons prayer by sending me. Because I have faith in God, and God tells us we are to be his disciples and love one another, I am, in a way, the answer to a prayer because of my faith.

How do you know those signs aren't from any other thousands of God's out there? [SS] Because my experience has been that the God of the Bible is the only true God. How can I prove it? I can't. We come full circle back to faith. I just know that when I follow Jesus' example, the world is a better place.

I hope some of this helps you in your journey.

#4 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@shadow_stalker: I did have a relationship to the feeling I felt when singing or praying, but I realize it is the same feeling I get listening to my favorite music or watching Braveheart.

Yeah, you can't base faith on just feelings. Many people get caught up in believing faith is just feelings. It's like when husband says, "I don't feel in love with my wife anymore" and wants a divorce. Love is so much more than just the butterfly feelings. Love compasses the entire relationship and "feelings" are just a small part. Faith is like live in that regard. It encompasses the entire relationship.

also, how do you know that when good things do happen for you, it isn't simply a random good occurrence rather than divine intervention?

Again, it is not just good things attributed to praying. Sometimes God's plans mean I DON'T get what I pray for because it puts me in a better position to share God with someone else. However, I must say that the number of "random good occurrences" seems completely not random.

Or why let millions of kids die before the age of 1 every year, if his plan is to have them follow him and go to heaven? There are huge inconsistencies with this type of thinking.

Now you are getting into the age-old question of, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?". That question has been debated for centuries and even for many pages right here on this thread. I don't think I can solve that now (though I could write many pages on it if I had the time). That said, for your specific example, if you look at life in terms of eternity and believe that God brings anyone younger than the age of understanding into heaven with him, and He knows their future, He may be sparing them years of suffering by bringing them to Heaven early. Or, he is letting humans exercise the free will he gave us. We are to be His hands and feet and we (as the human race) can prevent much of the suffering and "bad things" that go on in the world. Again, I don't know the answer but these are some ideas that make sense to me.

And to address the subtle signs, it is simply a matter of selective awareness, for example, one of my friends swear that firetrucks follow her around, and when I am with her, she points at all of the ones we drive by, however, we are not really passing by any more firetrucks than we normally would, we simply notice them more when we are looking for them, which is the case with the subtle signs you think come from God.

It seems to go way beyond selective awareness though. And how do you know those signs aren't from God?

I've been on the other end of prayer. I was the one compelled to do something for someone else and have them say, "I had been praying for someone to come along for that specific need". In that case, God answered that persons prayer by sending me. Because I have faith in God, and God tells us we are to be his disciples and love one another, I am, in a way, the answer to a prayer because of my faith.

#5 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

@shadow_stalker: How do you feel your life is going? Do you feel you have direction? Peace?

Thank you for asking, my friend. have you ever heard the saying "ignorance is bliss"? I kinda feel that way. It was much easier just going along with the religious flow. All my friends, family are Christian. Now i'm not. Feels like i'm swimming upstream while the water is going down stream. I feel many, no most, people are ignorantly swimming in a certain direction without really questioning why they are swimming in that direction. So yes, i'm happy and at peace, but i have my moments when I wish i was swimming with everyone else.

Regarding the "which religion is correct" questions. I only know what works for me

I have a issue with the "i only know what works for me" statement. Isn't religion about what GOD wants. Not what shadowstalker or pooty wants? But i understand what you mean.

Yeah, I think you understand that I meant what works for me is NOT what can I get from God but what works for my life (which is, what can I do for God).

My experience with Jesus as a Christian has allowed me to live a fulfilling life full of peace, even in times of trouble. Every major question I have about life is answered by my relationship and understanding of who God is and what He has shown in the Bible

I'm happy to hear that. But amazingbatman would say that Allah has done the same thing for him. @willpayton would say that being an atheist has given him peace and happiness. Tom Cruise would say that Scientology has given him peace. Maybe all of you would have been happy and peaceful without ANY religion. or with a different religion. Christ has worked for you. But why not see if Allah would work better? Our ETERNAL life is at stake. I think we owe it to ourselves to explore a few different options.

To some extent, yeah, I've looked at other religions and always find something that does not seem like it answers all my questions about life and its purpose.

To reiterate my previous suggestion, if you have questions about God, ask Him! Having a two-way relationship is what He wants and what (I think) this life is all about

I did that. and this is where I'm at. Sometimes i think i had to lose faith in the wrong faith, so he could show me where I should put my faith. maybe he didn't want me blinded by old beliefs so i could finally see the correct religion. I don't want to be Christian because "Pooty wants to be Christian". I want to be wherever God wants me to be. And right now, i'm just hanging loose waiting for an answer

I bolded the important part of your last paragraph. I think that is the key! As long as you are still searching and your desire is to be wherever God wants you to be, I think you will be OK.

If there is every anything I can do to help, please feel free to PM me.

I sure will!!

#6 Edited by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@cable_extreme: I'm not sure my point was conveyed. It is not a sense of euphoria I identify as "God". I listed about 6 things that I see as responses. Does God always answer my prayers just like I want? Absolutely not. He knows what is best for me and the world better than I do. For example, say I prayed for financial security. Yet, He knows that I will rely more on Him if I am poor or be better able to relate to others suffering by being poor so he does not grant that prayer. Or maybe He does not answer my prayer for healing because He knows there is someone else in the same hospital that I am uniquely suited to sharing God's love with. I trust in God's providence. Like I stated before, prayer is more aligning my will with His and opening me up to be His hands and feet to communicate His love to others. It is NOT a cosmic wish list to give me everything I want or remove all suffering from my life.

Just curious, you said some of the preaching sounded nuts. Did you have a personal relationship with God at that time? If not, I can totally see why you might think that. On the surface, some of the supernatural and spiritual aspects of an Almighty God interacting with His creations can sound pretty far-fetched. Yet, if you really take the time to know that Creator, you learn to trust what He says, even if we cannot prove it by modern science.

#7 Edited by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@cable_extreme: Sorry, sometimes I forget that verbiage common in Christian circles may not be familiar to all. To answer your question, no, I've never heard Him talk in an audible way (though I have known some people who have). I talk (pray) to Him. I get a response in several different ways. Most often, a sense of peace about something that was worrying me or a verse from the Bible is highlighted in my mind regarding how He has already addressed my concern. Sometime it is a fellow Christian that "just happens" to talk to me about what I was praying about. Other times, the event or solution I'd been praying for comes to pass. Even a billboard or song on the radio at just the right time can be a response. Some may call these coincidences but there are just too many to count. Sometimes praying is merely choosing to align my will with His.

If I may ask, what has been your experience with a search for God?

#8 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty: Hi pooty. You are the only one that can determine if you are doing well or not. How do you feel your life is going? Do you feel you have direction? Peace?

Regarding the "which religion is correct" questions. I only know what works for me. My experience with Jesus as a Christian has allowed me to live a fulfilling life full of peace, even in times of trouble. Every major question I have about life is answered by my relationship and understanding of who God is and what He has shown in the Bible. Does that mean I have all the answers? No way. Does that mean I can explain every difficult passage in the Bible or explain the suffering that goes on in the world? Nope. Do I know that my views on God are correct and someone else's are incorrect? That is not for me to decide. I just know following Jesus and having a daily, moment by moment walk with Him is all I need (and really, all He wants from me).

To reiterate my previous suggestion, if you have questions about God, ask Him! Having a two-way relationship is what He wants and what (I think) this life is all about. My experience is, if you really want to know Him, he will reveal Himself to you. You may discover direct answers to your questions or you may not but learn to trust Him enough that you don't need the answers.

If there is every anything I can do to help, please feel free to PM me.

#9 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty: Hi pooty. Been a long time since we have chatted. Hope all is well for you.

I could refute every claim you make in your last post but historically, doing so on this thread just leads to endless debates and no real progress so I won't waste everyone's time. People are going to believe what they believe.

My only suggestion to you is to spend some time talking to God. Tell Him about your views and your doubts. Ask Him for wisdom and discernment to address these points you made. Ultimately, your relationship is between you and Him alone. He has already said that if we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us. This life is all about knowing Him and having a daily relationship with Him, just like you would would another person.

I truly hope you find whatever it is you are looking for.

#10 Posted by Shadow Stalker (262 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for posting. Always refreshing to hear of ways that one person is making this world better for the rest of us. Keep it up!