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Long time Christian, first time caller

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by Mercedes, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Why am I here? I was baptized into the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod when I was 5 years old and attended Calvary Lutheran School until my mother died. I was in the sixth grade at the time and had attended church, Sunday school, and Wednesday church services during school hours all my life.
    In short, I have always believed in the immortality of the soul and that there is eternal life after death. What brings me to this forum is my recent discovery of Roberta Grimes and her research.
    When my beloved dog passed away a week ago, I was cruising the internet looking for anecdotal evidence of pets in the afterlife like I have always done after losing one of my dogs. Although I already believe that all of my deceased pets are in heaven and that I will be reunited with them forever when my life on earth is done, it's comforting to be reassured of that when I'm feeling the fresh pain of the loss of one of them.
    What intrigued me about Roberta's website, which I'd never seen before, was her take on life after death and her emphasis on spiritual growth. Admittedly, I have never believed in reincarnation because the Bible teaches that it is appointed to man to die but once, and then comes judgment. I am still skeptical about reincarnation, but am willing to look at the evidence. It would certainly answer some of the nagging questions I have had throughout my life, such as:
    What about all the people who lived before the time of Christ, and never heard His message? Would God really create all those people only to condemn them to eternal death? Do all religious traditions contain some truth about the nature of existence and the immortality of the soul?
    It's hard to believe that if God is love, as He says, and if our greatest purpose on earth is to love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves, as Jesus says, that God would not want everyone and everything He created to live forever with Him in perfect peace and joy.
    That, in a nutshell, is why I am here. I am looking forward to reading the two books I ordered, The Fun of Dying and Liberating Jesus. One of them should arrive today and the other shortly after, so I will be busy exploring for a little while.
    Wishing peace and love to everyone here.
    Tim Salyer likes this.
  2. Tim Salyer

    Tim Salyer New Member

    Hello Mercedes,
    Your thoughts mimic my experience with religion and reincarnation almost exactly. I too could not understand how one religion could hold all the answers, and as Roberta points out often, Christianity is comprised of hundreds perhaps thousands of varieties. I enjoy her weekly blog and I keep my mind open to new possibilities. I also became good friends with a person of the Muslim faith and I found his belief in God was every bit as real as mine. In my heart a loving God would surely love everyone, and I am pretty sure I wouldn't believe in Christianity if I hadn't been raised as a Christian. Now I call myself spiritual and I do believe in Jesus as a messenger from and of God, but I think his crucifiction has nothing to do with his life mission. That was very healthy for me as I loved Jesus and his teachings, and Roberta has helped me immensely make sense of why that is, and how to separate Jesus from the static in the Bible. Love to you and all who may read this.
    Mercedes likes this.
  3. mac

    mac Staff Member

    welcome to ALF :) We hope you find conversations on this website that will interest and appeal to you.

    The focus here is - of course - that of the so-called afterlife but also related spiritual matters. We don't discuss religion(s) or religious issues however because of experience of their divisive nature.
  4. Thanks for the welcome, mac.
    Yes, I'm aware that discussion of religion and religious issues is prohibited here. I only mentioned my background by way of introduction, and have no intention of debating matters of faith with anyone here. I've spent the past several hours reading from all 40 pages of this forum, and have enjoyed many of the conversations.
  5. mac

    mac Staff Member

    :) thank you for your understanding
    Mercedes likes this.
  6. poeticblue

    poeticblue member

    Welcome Mercedes!!!!
    Mercedes likes this.
  7. Thanks, poeticblue...happy to be here!
  8. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Oh my dear Mercedes and Mac, our longstanding prohibition against religious discussion was meant to protect us from the proselytizers who were selling bogus Christian dogmas. I am coming to think that perhaps it might be okay to have one section now where we can discuss the Jesus of the Gospels and the genuine truth? I'm happy to moderate it, and to answer questions. I just find it difficult to see people struggling with what are serious and obvious problems with the religion, and not offer them some sort of lifeline?
    Mercedes likes this.
  9. Dear Roberta, I think that's a wonderful idea. No doubt there are many people like me, who have been taught that their particular flavor of Christianity is the correct one, who would benefit from your advice on which parts of the Bible to keep and which parts can be dispensed with, and why. We don't want to throw out the Baby with the bathwater, as you so simply put it.
  10. mac

    mac Staff Member

    I'm not sure if you were asking me, Roberta, but if you were then my response would be that I wouldn't choose to dump a policy that is working very well. But I acknowledge it's your website to do with as you choose.

    I see the 'no religion' rule as broader than just avoidance of proselytization. For me it also prevents arguments about the relative worth of one religion versus another. The 'no politics' rule works similarly well. Why change?

    As for Jesus and the Gospels, well your blog is already being used for such conversations but again ALF is your website. For me, though, those discussions range much wider than AfterLifeForums' primary focus on afterlife and spiritually-related issues.

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