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View Poll Results: Are you religious?
Religious 58 44.62%
Atheist 32 24.62%
Agnostic 40 30.77%
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      01-17-2010, 05:19 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by CIGARGUY View Post
Again, I understand this not making sense to a lot of people, but it is very real to me and has been, and continues to be life changing.
What are some things that happened in your life that made you feel God was there for you?
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      01-18-2010, 12:11 PM   #178
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What are some things that happened in your life that made you feel God was there for you?
Being miserable in my job, and when I hadn't looked for a new one, I was approached by a company in a totally different industry than I've ever been in. They offered me a position with a nice pay increase. I attribute that to God, especially in the economy where I live.

I went through a miserable divorce but met a wonderful woman, who I'm now married to, because of my faith. We never would have crossed paths if we both didn't have the same beliefs. I could go on and on.

I'm certain these examples will get me flamed, and that's ok, but you did ask for things that made me "feel" God was there.
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      01-18-2010, 03:09 PM   #179
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IMHO, only a fool can deny that there is a greater power then us out there. Science teaches that energy can not be created nor destroyed. So what do you think happens when you die?
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      01-18-2010, 03:40 PM   #180
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Originally Posted by CIGARGUY View Post
Being miserable in my job, and when I hadn't looked for a new one, I was approached by a company in a totally different industry than I've ever been in. They offered me a position with a nice pay increase. I attribute that to God, especially in the economy where I live.

I went through a miserable divorce but met a wonderful woman, who I'm now married to, because of my faith. We never would have crossed paths if we both didn't have the same beliefs. I could go on and on.

I'm certain these examples will get me flamed, and that's ok, but you did ask for things that made me "feel" God was there.
If you feel God when good things happen to you, why don't you hate God when bad things happen to you?

Why not hate God for ruining your marriage with your first marriage. Why not hate God for ruining your previous job that you were working on.

It's like me breaking your leg and giving you money to heal yourself, then you thank me for your new leg.
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      01-18-2010, 03:44 PM   #181
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IMHO, only a fool can deny that there is a greater power then us out there. Science teaches that energy can not be created nor destroyed. So what do you think happens when you die?
If energy cannot be created nor destroyed, then how is God created? Who created God?

Why would you think there's a greater power out there? I don't see any trace of God anywhere. Where would that idea come from if you were not introduced to this idea by your family, or anywhere you got the idea from?
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      01-18-2010, 04:02 PM   #182
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If you feel God when good things happen to you, why don't you hate God when bad things happen to you?

Why not hate God for ruining your marriage with your first marriage. Why not hate God for ruining your previous job that you were working on.

It's like me breaking your leg and giving you money to heal yourself, then you thank me for your new leg.
I understand your thinking, however, God gives us free will....the freedom of choice. All of our choices, good or bad, have consequences, good or bad. My failed marriage was a result of bad choices. My bad choices. I put myself in situations that I shouldn't have been in in the first place.

Unfortunantly, some people have the perception that God is this guy just waiting for us to mess up so he can zap us. Others believe that we should only get good things from God. Neither of these is true. God does want the best for all of us, but sometimes I've been too stupid to see it and messed up my life by making wrong choices. That's why I say that I try to let Him guide and lead my life. I've always been more at peace and happier relying on Him to direct me than if I make choices based on my own desires.
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      01-18-2010, 04:12 PM   #183
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If energy cannot be created nor destroyed, then how is God created? Who created God?

Why would you think there's a greater power out there? I don't see any trace of God anywhere. Where would that idea come from if you were not introduced to this idea by your family, or anywhere you got the idea from?
Fact: 80% of all scientists ever are still alive today.
Fact: We double the amount of knowledge we have every 8 years
Fact: Every minute 2k pages are added to our scientific knowledge
Fact: Roughly 50% of all medical knowledge is outdated every 10 years & with biotechnology, about every 6 months.

The more we learn, the more we realize the little we know. I'm not saying I got all the answers, some things are just more obvious to me I guess. Just as you don't see God anywhere, I see Him everywhere. You can put your faith in man, I choose Jesus Christ. In the end, it's your faith. If you want, I'll gladly PM you some stuff to think about & leave you to try to debunk through it all you want. I never push my beliefs on anyone but, I'm always willing to discuss my faith to anyone who's willing to listen.
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      01-18-2010, 04:24 PM   #184
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I never push my beliefs on anyone but, I'm always willing to discuss my faith to anyone who's willing to listen.[/quote]

Exactly the way I feel. There's a guy named Lee Strobel that used to be the legal editor for the Chicago Tribune. He was a hard-core atheist. His wife became a Christian so he set out to disprove Christianity. At the end of his 2 year investigation, he determined that it took more faith to be an athiest than to be a Christian. The stuff he uncovered was pretty amazing if you guys ever want to just check it out. He's written several books now. His most famous is called "The Case for Christ", where he basically puts the existence of Jesus Christ on trial. It's on DVD too. Interesting stuff even if you aren't a Christian.
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      01-18-2010, 06:55 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by CIGARGUY View Post
I understand your thinking, however, God gives us free will....the freedom of choice. All of our choices, good or bad, have consequences, good or bad. My failed marriage was a result of bad choices. My bad choices. I put myself in situations that I shouldn't have been in in the first place.

Unfortunantly, some people have the perception that God is this guy just waiting for us to mess up so he can zap us. Others believe that we should only get good things from God. Neither of these is true. God does want the best for all of us, but sometimes I've been too stupid to see it and messed up my life by making wrong choices. That's why I say that I try to let Him guide and lead my life. I've always been more at peace and happier relying on Him to direct me than if I make choices based on my own desires.
I don't get how free will can not contradict God's all powerful characteristic. Your future is affected by your choices as you said. Which means you have power to control your future; but on the other hand, God created your future? Assuming God wants you to be a lawyer, but you decided to be lazy in school and never gotten the degree. How does that work? Does God interfere with your choices of not slacking in school and you, for some reason feels the power of God, studies like a madman and gets your law degree? If that's the case then there's no free will.

I just don't get how when you make bad decisions, then it's your fault. And then when you make good decisions you give credit to God. I can easily argue God is the evil one who should be the cause of my bad decisions and I'm the only one responsible for my good decisions.
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      01-18-2010, 07:00 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by ChrisFastM3 View Post
Fact: 80% of all scientists ever are still alive today.
Fact: We double the amount of knowledge we have every 8 years
Fact: Every minute 2k pages are added to our scientific knowledge
Fact: Roughly 50% of all medical knowledge is outdated every 10 years & with biotechnology, about every 6 months.

The more we learn, the more we realize the little we know. I'm not saying I got all the answers, some things are just more obvious to me I guess. Just as you don't see God anywhere, I see Him everywhere. You can put your faith in man, I choose Jesus Christ. In the end, it's your faith. If you want, I'll gladly PM you some stuff to think about & leave you to try to debunk through it all you want. I never push my beliefs on anyone but, I'm always willing to discuss my faith to anyone who's willing to listen.
I do agree the more we learn, the more we realize how stupid we can be. People explained the cause of lightning bolts Zeus, and tsunamis being the punishment from Poseidon. And now I'm just wondering how God can be obvious or at least visible in any sense.

Let's say one would look at the world think it's too complicated to be created from a big bang, and that's how one thinks God existed.

I just want to know what cues did you get that gave you the idea God ever existed in this world.
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      01-19-2010, 10:14 AM   #187
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I don't get how free will can not contradict God's all powerful characteristic. Your future is affected by your choices as you said. Which means you have power to control your future; but on the other hand, God created your future? Assuming God wants you to be a lawyer, but you decided to be lazy in school and never gotten the degree. How does that work? Does God interfere with your choices of not slacking in school and you, for some reason feels the power of God, studies like a madman and gets your law degree? If that's the case then there's no free will.

I just don't get how when you make bad decisions, then it's your fault. And then when you make good decisions you give credit to God. I can easily argue God is the evil one who should be the cause of my bad decisions and I'm the only one responsible for my good decisions.

Great questions. The Bible explains that God created man to love Him. However, love cannot be demanded, just as in any relationship. We love our girlfriend/spouse/parents/whoever just because we do. Nobody can demand love from someone and get it. It just happens. It's the same way with God. He didn't create us to be robots without and mind. He made us intelligent and gave us the ability to choose....everything. We have the choice to ignore Him or believe in Him. We have the choice to love Him or hate Him. He's a gentleman in that respect.

It really comes down to grace, which is a very foreign concept since we don't practice it often in our society. We're, for the most part, only worried about ourselves. Grace is simply defined as, unwarranted merit. It's a pardon. God hates that we sin and do things that are against His desires, but will forgive us if we ask for it. People think the Bible is outdated and irrelevant, and that it's simply a book of do's and don'ts. It's really a roadmap on how to live life. The rules are in place so that we can position ourselves to receive God's best. That's what He wants for all of us. It's no different than our own laws of the land. They're there to prevent mass chaos. Many times, myself included, we think we have it all figured out and chase our own desires. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. I have found that when I consider what God wants for me, follow His plan or "roadmap" for how to live, and put that before my own desires (which many times are very different than what He wants for me), I always have far more peace and joy than if I'd done things my way. I'm not just talking about being content or happy, but joy, which fills me up beyond just a quick thing that makes me smile. I wish I could do a better job of explaining this, but I don't know how else to put it into words.
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      01-19-2010, 11:31 AM   #188
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Great questions. The Bible explains that God created man to love Him. However, love cannot be demanded, just as in any relationship. We love our girlfriend/spouse/parents/whoever just because we do. Nobody can demand love from someone and get it. It just happens. It's the same way with God. He didn't create us to be robots without and mind. He made us intelligent and gave us the ability to choose....everything. We have the choice to ignore Him or believe in Him. We have the choice to love Him or hate Him. He's a gentleman in that respect.

It really comes down to grace, which is a very foreign concept since we don't practice it often in our society. We're, for the most part, only worried about ourselves. Grace is simply defined as, unwarranted merit. It's a pardon. God hates that we sin and do things that are against His desires, but will forgive us if we ask for it. People think the Bible is outdated and irrelevant, and that it's simply a book of do's and don'ts. It's really a roadmap on how to live life. The rules are in place so that we can position ourselves to receive God's best. That's what He wants for all of us. It's no different than our own laws of the land. They're there to prevent mass chaos. Many times, myself included, we think we have it all figured out and chase our own desires. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don't. I have found that when I consider what God wants for me, follow His plan or "roadmap" for how to live, and put that before my own desires (which many times are very different than what He wants for me), I always have far more peace and joy than if I'd done things my way. I'm not just talking about being content or happy, but joy, which fills me up beyond just a quick thing that makes me smile. I wish I could do a better job of explaining this, but I don't know how else to put it into words.
Hmm...you still didn't really explain how we build our own future with our own choices, yet God has full control of it. For example, If you want your future to end up in "A route" but God wants yours in "B route", then which one does it follow?

If your future ends up in A route, it just proves God not being the all powerful one.

If your future ends up in B route, it just proves you have no free will

And as you stated above, what you want is very different than what God wants, so we can easily assume A route does not equal to B route.
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      01-19-2010, 11:43 AM   #189
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Hmm...you still didn't really explain how we build our own future with our own choices, yet God has full control of it. For example, If you want your future to end up in "A route" but God wants yours in "B route", then which one does it follow?

If your future ends up in A route, it just proves God not being the all powerful one.

If your future ends up in B route, it just proves you have no free will

And as you stated above, what you want is very different than what God wants, so we can easily assume A route does not equal to B route.
Sorry if I didn't answer your question well enough. God is all powerful, but not a tyrant. He will allow us to choose. Take a work situation, for example. We all have someone to report to. They dictate our job and what we're supposed to do. If we do it, and do it well, there's a reward, or at least job security (humor me with that part, lol). If we choose not to do it, we could still keep our job, but there may be consequences to pay. Then again, we may be out of a job. It's up to us how we choose to handle the situation. It's kind of the same with God. He lets us choose. If we follow His way, life will be better (not to be confused with easier), be He lets each of us decide how we live our lives.

As far as what I want being different from what God wants, that is the case at times. If someone loves you, they want what's best for you. If you love someone, you want to do things that make that person happy. A true mutually loving relationship consists of two people each focused on doing what makes the other happy. This is similar to a relationship with God. He loves us and wants us to be happy. We sometimes think we know what will make us happy in life only to find out that once we're there, it's not happy at all. He knows better than we do what will make us ultimately happy and tries to direct us to that. Sometimes it's not what we think it would be.
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      01-19-2010, 12:10 PM   #190
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How does one know God personally? In what ways has "this" changed your life?
One comes to know God personally by accepting His one and only son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior of thier life. It's not only a public acceptance, but an inner acceptance where you begin to read and learn from the word, which is God's own words (not inspired by, but His very words) poured into man to write, and you apply those principles and teachings to your life.

Being saved by Jesus is believing and accepting that nothing else in life could have ever saved us from eternal punishment for our sins and an eternity without being in the presence of the Holy Heavenly Father, except for Him dying for us in our place. No amount of good, no matter how good a people we think we are, could have ever been enough to save us from that. ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE!

This has changed my life in so many ways because I now know that I live to bring Him praise and worship Him for all my blessings and the grace He's given me. I know that when I sin, whether it be a lie, a lustful look, stealing (even in the smallest of things), I know that all I need to do is ask for forgiveness and He will forgive me. At the same time I now realize that everyone else needs forgiveness too, even those who hurt me. For if I don't forgive them of what they do to me, then how can the Father forgive me of what I do to Him. I also look at people differently now, because I know that everyone has been made in His image. No matter what color, race or gender, we have all come from Him.

The best part of being a Christian is knowing that God has time to hear me about anything. The word says that He knows me by my name, and has known me by that since before time. He knows every hair on my head and knows what is best for me. Can anyone who does not believe in God and His son Jesus say that about what they believe? Does what you believe in know your name?

I've read quite a few posts in this thread and to straight up with you, I don't fully understand all there is to know about God and how He opperates, but I know this, I have the faith of a child and believe that Jesus and only Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Anything else will be made clear to me when I see Him face to face.

To anyone who doesn't believe, do the most diligent thing you can do and pick up a bible and just investigate what's in it. If by the end of your investigation you find that you still do not believe, then at least you did your due diligence and investigated it for yourself instead of believing the popular belief of others. I assure the word will NOT come back void.

I'd start at the gospel of John and go from there. Jesus is my friend and I love Him, and I would for all to love Him too.
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      01-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #191
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Sorry if I didn't answer your question well enough. God is all powerful, but not a tyrant.
The best I can explain that is this, God is a gentlemen and will let you do what you want. He's there all the time, but will only let you know that He's there when you ask for Him.
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      01-19-2010, 12:22 PM   #192
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Sorry if I didn't answer your question well enough. God is all powerful, but not a tyrant. He will allow us to choose. Take a work situation, for example. We all have someone to report to. They dictate our job and what we're supposed to do. If we do it, and do it well, there's a reward, or at least job security (humor me with that part, lol). If we choose not to do it, we could still keep our job, but there may be consequences to pay. Then again, we may be out of a job. It's up to us how we choose to handle the situation. It's kind of the same with God. He lets us choose. If we follow His way, life will be better (not to be confused with easier), be He lets each of us decide how we live our lives.

As far as what I want being different from what God wants, that is the case at times. If someone loves you, they want what's best for you. If you love someone, you want to do things that make that person happy. A true mutually loving relationship consists of two people each focused on doing what makes the other happy. This is similar to a relationship with God. He loves us and wants us to be happy. We sometimes think we know what will make us happy in life only to find out that once we're there, it's not happy at all. He knows better than we do what will make us ultimately happy and tries to direct us to that. Sometimes it's not what we think it would be.
The difference between your boss at work and God is that your boss is not all powerful, but God is (or at least should be). Your boss tells you what to do, and you can choose if you do it or not. In that case your boss is not all powerful at all. On the other hand, God is claimed to be all powerful, so there can't be a choice. if the choice is different from God's intent then He's not all powerful at all. He simply wanted one thing to happen and that ...didn't happen. If your choice will always be the same as God's intent, then He can be proven to be all powerful; however, He'll be responsible for all your actions including your failures and success.

I'm trying to show you the contradiction of free will vs. omnipotence
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      01-19-2010, 02:30 PM   #193
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I understand your thinking, however, God gives us free will....the freedom of choice. All of our choices, good or bad, have consequences, good or bad. My failed marriage was a result of bad choices. My bad choices. I put myself in situations that I shouldn't have been in in the first place.
But, if we have free will, why is it you think he worked your current employer and current wife like puppets to bring them to you? In your first wedding, was there no discussion about how God had brought you two together? If you believe we have free will, does that mean you do not believe God is omnipotent, and that he does not have a "plan"?

I remember having powerful feeling like you about Santa when I was 5 years old....but at least Santa seemed to leave some kind of tangiable evidence. feelings are just feelings. I suggest you look at the series of videos by the youtube user Evid3nc3s
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      01-19-2010, 02:32 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by ChrisFastM3 View Post
Fact: 80% of all scientists ever are still alive today.
Fact: We double the amount of knowledge we have every 8 years
Fact: Every minute 2k pages are added to our scientific knowledge
Fact: Roughly 50% of all medical knowledge is outdated every 10 years & with biotechnology, about every 6 months.

The more we learn, the more we realize the little we know. I'm not saying I got all the answers, some things are just more obvious to me I guess. Just as you don't see God anywhere, I see Him everywhere. You can put your faith in man, I choose Jesus Christ. In the end, it's your faith. If you want, I'll gladly PM you some stuff to think about & leave you to try to debunk through it all you want. I never push my beliefs on anyone but, I'm always willing to discuss my faith to anyone who's willing to listen.

Argument from ignorance. "We don't know, therefore I know" You're going BACKWARDS in your explanation, to the time when we knew less- FAR less, than 6 months, or 10 years ago.
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      01-19-2010, 02:37 PM   #195
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I'm trying to show you the contradiction of free will vs. omnipotence
I guess I don't see how the two can't coexist. God is omnipotent. So why does that mean He won't allow free will? If He's omnipotent He can allow anything He chooses.
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      01-19-2010, 02:40 PM   #196
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I guess I don't see how the two can't coexist. God is omnipotent. So why does that mean He won't allow free will? If He's omnipotent He can allow anything He chooses.
Because if he already knows what you're going to do, but you wound up doing something else, then he really didn't know what you'd do and therefore isn't omnipotent. If he knows what you're going to do, and that's what you wind up doing, then it could be no other way and your free will was an illusion.
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      01-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by carve View Post
But, if we have free will, why is it you think he worked your current employer and current wife like puppets to bring them to you? In your first wedding, was there no discussion about how God had brought you two together? If you believe we have free will, does that mean you do not believe God is omnipotent, and that he does not have a "plan"?

I remember having powerful feeling like you about Santa when I was 5 years old....but at least Santa seemed to leave some kind of tangiable evidence. feelings are just feelings. I suggest you look at the series of videos by the youtube user Evid3nc3s
Nobody ever said they were "worked like puppets". I do believe God brought all of that about. Actually, there wasn't any discussion of God bringing me together with my ex. I was at a place far away from God at that point in my life. I chose my own path without consulting Him.

Again, I don't understand the logic that God can't allow free will if He's omnipotent. He can allow whatever He chooses. I believe He created all and can do as He pleases with His creation, and yes, that even means allowing His creation to choose their own paths and make their own decisions.

I'm just simply stating my beliefs. That's it. I'm not saying everyone else is wrong if they don't believe what I do. We each have to sort this out for ourselves. I've been a Christian most of my life, and even came to a point when I questioned everything I believed this past year. I came out of that with a stronger faith in God than ever before.
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      01-19-2010, 02:45 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carve View Post
Because if he already knows what you're going to do, but you wound up doing something else, then he really didn't know what you'd do and therefore isn't omnipotent. If he knows what you're going to do, and that's what you wind up doing, then it could be no other way and your free will was an illusion.
I guess this will be one where we have to agree to disagree. I don't see how the two can't coexist.
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