Are you more religious?

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Mister_James

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Aug 24, 2013
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You have "faith" that there is a word.
You have faith in a grand design plan,
You have faith in a good god,
You have faith in a purpose...

If it makes you a better person and you sleep well at night. We have a winner.

but let's not try to be objective about these things. Some have felt pain and decided there's no god, some decided he is not a good god, some decided he may not necessarily care. Some like the good servant Job give even more praise.

These are subjective issues.

Now let this be the final word on this thread.
 

cldlhd

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I hear what you are saying concerning one's limited mind. Mine is the posterchild of "finite-ness". :) Sometimes I'm glad I don't "understand" some things that go on in this world, though. I don't ever want to grasp and "understand" some things that some people do to other people.

Indeed, there is a massive universe out there, and as far as we can see, we appear to be the only life within it... at least, that is all we are able to see/hear/detect. If He made it all, He is indescribably majestic, for sure. If He made it all to display His glory and majesty to us, He certainly didn't pull out any stops in doing so. Who would have thought of something so vast and literally immeasurable?

On the topic of why He made us, if he could make an entire universe, and how this is supposed to be resolved with our limited mind and His immeasurable majesty... I read this in a book written by a late-theologian named Arthur W. Pink. The title of the book is "Attributes of God". This is actually quite an interesting, "deep thought" work. I find it extremely interesting. The opening chapter of the book begins:

“In the beginning God” (Gen 1:1). There was a time, if “time” it could be called, when God, in the unity of His nature
(though subsisting equally in three divine persons), dwelt all alone. “In the beginning God.” There was no heaven, where His glory is now particularly manifested. There was no earth to engage His attention. There were no angels to hymn His praises; no universe to be upheld by the word of His power. There was nothing, no one, but God; and that, not for a day, a year, or an age, but “from everlasting.” During eternity past, God was alone: self-contained, self-sufficient, self-satisfied; in need of nothing. Had a universe, had angels, had human beings been necessary to Him in any way, they also had been called into existence from all eternity. The creating of them when He did, added nothing to God essentially. He changes not (Mal 3:6), therefore His essential glory can be neither augmented nor diminished.

God was under no constraint, no obligation, no necessity to create. That He chose to do so was purely a sovereign act on His part, caused by nothing outside Himself, determined by nothing but His own mere good pleasure; for He “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph 1:11). That He did create was simply for His manifestative glory. Do some of our readers imagine that we have gone beyond what Scripture warrants? Then our appeal shall be to the Law and the Testimony: “Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be Thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise” (Neh 9:5). God is no gainer even from our worship. He was in no need of that external glory of His grace which arises from His redeemed, for He is glorious enough in Himself without that. What was it that moved Him to predestinate His elect to the praise of the glory of His grace? It was, as Ephesians 1:5 tells us, “according to the good pleasure of His will.”

---- End of excerpt

Now, I know, having read it in several places within this ongoing thread, already... what does this have to do with me having a faulty heart valve? I go back to the original question where it was asked if people find themselves "more religious" based upon your personal diagnosis. My answer would be that my heart valve situation (as well as any other health issue I have had, will have, etc.) is one part of the bigger picture of my life, my existence, my limited understanding (which I am truly trying to improve, each and every day) of "all of this". Having serious health issues being diagnosed certainly bring some things to the forefront, within our minds. We feel bullet-proof when we are young, living a sometimes reckless life, pushing life's boundaries to try to find out what is out there, wanting to not be deprived of what life has to offer. But when you come to see your doctor and they say to both you and your wife, "Let's have a seat", and they begin to unfold the TRUTH of what is going on inside of you... your temporal existence in this life becomes a front-burner topic... whether you like it or not. In the minds of a LOT of people (I would like to think that most, if not all, people), temporal life takes on a vivid presence and reality, and it stands starkly against the backdrop of what is an innate sense about ourselves... our temporal life measured against eternity, i.e. how and why does it have an end? And in our individual case, "when" will it end, and "how"?

I don't know about you, but when I was given my heart valve diagnosis, as well as my slight aneurysm at the base of my aorta, where it attaches to my heart, my mind wandered, thinking "Is this how it will end?"

We used to have a Bible study group to meet at my house on a Friday evening. There was a lady who came, who had lost her husband, unexpectedly some years prior. But to add to that, six weeks after her husband died, her teenage son was in a car accident. He and his friends all survived the accident. In fact, they were all up walking around at the scene of the accident. An EMT advised her son that he should probably lie down on the gurney, though, as he may have internal injuries and they need to take precaution. So, he did lie down. Unknown to them all, he had a broken rib. As he was lying down, his broken rib punctured his aorta, and he quietly, peacefully, unexpectedly, lay there and bled to death... at 17-years-old... 6 weeks after his father/her husband had died.

It so rocked this poor woman's world. But I will never forget what she said as she shared this story with us, sitting downstairs in my living room. She told us that she had said, "Lord, I don't know what it is that You have for me to learn or grow or understand through all of this. But, I love you, I trust you, and I will always serve you." She said that in probably the most unstable point in her life, when the entire world around her was a completely indecipherable storm of immeasurable proportion. More importantly, she really meant and truly believed what she put into words.

Over the following years she remained steadfast. She remained trusting and obedient to His word and what He has for us in this earthly life.

A short few years after telling us all that very story, she remarried, meeting and marrying a man who loved her in the way we're given instruction to love our wives. She was able to retire from her business (her business is yet another story, in and of itself, as she had been a stay-at-home Mom for a good 25 years when her husband died unexpectedly). After several years of her marriage, one night in her sleep she died unexpectedly, quietly, and peacefully, in her own bed, of a ruptured aneurysm.

Despite my heart valve, my ever-so-slight aneurysm, my other known health issues, my ever-increasing age... I have complete peace and contentment, simply knowing what is the bigger picture, and my hope and trust in what is yet to come. Surely, this wreck of a world full of broken people like me, and all of us, is not all there is to the story.
That's kind of my point in a way. That a woman can lose her husband and son in that close of a span her faith comforts her. That doesn't mean it's necessarily true though. That's like saying a drunk man is happier than a sober one, I'm paraphrasing that by the way and that's not my original sentence. Personally I would say any God who would allow or engineer that kind of emotional pain on a decent woman who worships him isn't really necessarily good. Like someone else said He can be all good or he can be all powerful but clearly not both because why would he allow things like innocent children to die? I know the answer is "he works a mysterious ways" but that always just struck me as a convenient cop out. If believing makes people happier and more comforted and a better person then that's great, unfortunately there are those who will use their belief for negative purposes. You seem like the former not the latter and it's been nice chatting about this. I don't claim to know everything
 

tom in MO

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You say "this thread is now so off topic" But it was off topic of valve replacement from the very first post. Clearly. It had nothing to do with the technical aspects of surgery, choices to be made and recovery and simply about religious feelings before and after. I haven't really seen any nastiness or arguing either so.
The original post was about a reawakening of religious inclinations as a result of waiting for or having a valve replacement surgery, thus it was valve replacement relevant.
 
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cldlhd

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The original post was about a reawakening of religious inclinations as a result of waiting for or having a valve replacement surgery, thus it was valve replacement relevant.
I guess, I think the original post was asking the question IF the situation made you more religious. So clearly people can answer that with an affirmative and explain why or a negative and explain why.
"are you more religious now? "- That was a sentence in the first paragraph. So it wasn't about a reawakening of religious inclinations it was about whether or not you are more religious after. So she was asking the question. I guess only people who answer "yes" should be able to post legitimately?
 

ddwheeler

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I live in Dallas, Georgia, in the United States. W
That's kind of my point in a way. That a woman can lose her husband and son in that close of a span her faith comforts her. That doesn't mean it's necessarily true though. That's like saying a drunk man is happier than a sober one, I'm paraphrasing that by the way and that's not my original sentence. Personally I would say any God who would allow or engineer that kind of emotional pain on a decent woman who worships him isn't really necessarily good. Like someone else said He can be all good or he can be all powerful but clearly not both because why would he allow things like innocent children to die? I know the answer is "he works a mysterious ways" but that always just struck me as a convenient cop out. If believing makes people happier and more comforted and a better person then that's great, unfortunately there are those who will use their belief for negative purposes. You seem like the former not the latter and it's been nice chatting about this. I don't claim to know everything
I don't know if I would say her faith "comforts"her, per se. She still had her world rocked. But she had her faith and trust in the lone hope we have, living in this broken world (it IS broken), and that is what is waiting after this life. Think about people like the apostles. They were either outright executed for their faith, or like the apostle John, he was banished to the Isle of Patmos for the rest of his life.

But I think I understand what you meant in what you said. In that context, yes, she received "comfort", per se, in the face of her tremendous trials because of her hope and trust. I will say that this is primarily because the understanding is that there is no full hope within this world that is broken by sin. Contentment comes through knowing the truth, and what is ultimately to come. That doesn't mean, though, that God is full-on "out of office", shall we say throughout our time on this earth. He does show His hand in many circumstances. I wouldn't say that it is His "acting in mysterious ways." I agree with you, that is just a cop out for not knowing the answer.

I wholeheartedly agree with you, in that people use what they claim to be their "faith" for negative purposes... typically self-serving purposes. I think of these TV evangelists, most who teach things like God wants you to be prosperous, and they follow that up by challenging you to send them a "seed offering"... implying that it will grow and bear financial "fruit" for you. That is a lie and it goes against what Scripture actually teaches. They will answer for their doing such things.

You may actually find a particular documentary to be VERY interesting. It is called "American Gospel: Christ Alone". If you have Netflix, it is my understanding that it is available on there. I also know that a free version... which is a much shorter, highly edited version... is free on Youtube. The full version can also be streamed by the , but for a fee. I mention this because it shows how there are those who are using "church" as basically a money-making venture, and are making a LOT of it. They are doing it by teaching false doctrine, i.e. things that the Bible does NOT teach.

Looking at it from a perspective of someone who is not a "believer" and with an objective 3rd person view of how people take and use things (anything, to be honest) and try to enrich themselves at the expense of others, while at the same time they (those who made the film) affirm what SHOULD be taught, preached, whatever, as opposed to the false teachings. It may be something for which you find genuine interest. It is strongly incriminating toward those who do exactly what you mentioned... using it for negative reasons.
 
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