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Old 02-11-2012, 07:10 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: I just got thrown off of a forum...

I know this is going to sound cliche but try not to take it personally and see it for what it is. Over 10 years ago I belonged to a political forum that was mainly debate oriented. One of the posters turned really personal on me. I remember crying reading his words. I felt silly and sincerely hurt both at the same time. Strangely, this same poster later sent me a PM obviously hitting on me which was even odder. It got to the point where I realized posting there was not something I enjoyed but I learned so much!

After that I realized that it was very inward of me. People can only affect you if you let them. I don't suggest you get a thicker skin though as I've no doubt your care and love for yourself and people in general is part of your beauty but take people's words for what they are.

In this case you're on a board where the users have strong beliefs that help guide them through life. I'd never fault or judge this. It works for them and as long as it doesn't move towards legislation or something that will be forced on me, I let it be. My reasoning is that I know we can't all agree. We can say our peace, put ourselves out there, but we have to accept that we can't control how others will view what we say.

Whenever you challenge someone's sense of self or strong held belief system you risk alienating yourself and being told you're wrong but remaining quiet when you see something wrong is equally terrible.

I have some quotes from Gandhi for you. I think he was a tremendous spirit and said some things that apply to you in this circumstance.

"A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble."
Mahatma Gandhi

"An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it."
Mahatma Gandhi

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Mahatma Gandhi
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:11 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I too tried to reconnect with Christians this week. On the sight Believerspace.com. You have to pay to be on there. They need your credit card. I don't think soooo...

Gandi- "I would have become a Christian, if it wasn't for the Christians." I truely understand.

Don't feel to bad. The religious folks threw Jesus out of their churches. Most churches reject Jesus now. They teach tradition not the truth.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Trenton said: People can only affect you if you let them. I don't suggest you get a thicker skin though as I've no doubt your care and love for yourself and people in general is part of your beauty but take people's words for what they are.
Very TRUE...that people/words can only affect us- if I allow them... couldn't agree with you more !

I want my deep sensitivity though, I prefer to 'FEEL" ....even when it hurts. I clearly know none of this is a big deal.... what I have at home is everything, I am totally accepted where I am... with family, my christian, catholic & mormon friends. This is living. I am fullfilled and very happy with who I am ......even if others may not like me .

I don't need them to agree with me, just to be "approachable" ...given they represent Christ....that would have been nice, but rules are rules! I must agree with 4sures last words !

Shy_Guy is probably right, they are likely used to outsiders coming in & ruffling their feathers -just for kicks.

I invite these things into my day too..so who is the fool? Makes things interesting anyway!

When I debate my friends & we disagree, I never get emotional , I am as clear as a bell.

Quote:

In this case you're on a board where the users have strong beliefs that help guide them through life. I'd never fault or judge this. It works for them and as long as it doesn't move towards legislation or something that will be forced on me, I let it be. My reasoning is that I know we can't all agree. We can say our peace, put ourselves out there, but we have to accept that we can't control how others will view what we say.
Yeah, I don't want THAT legislation either. I love the liberty to choose whatever beliefs I want & be treated like anyone else, not shunned...that is what makes this country beautiful. TAM is a forum of true freedom of expression.


You just gotta love Gandhi ! I never heard the 1st 2 quotes, but that last one ...we've all heard that one!!
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:22 PM   #34 (permalink)
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What's funny is I hadn't heard the last. I was looking for the first for you and came upon it! Funny how experience makes us who we are.

Can you imagine never being introduced to any religion to the point where when you eventually were it seemed like an all together ridiculous and silly thing? That's me.

I grew up to navigate right from wrong based upon reasoning and feeling. It's very, very, VERY hard for me to relate to strong religious beliefs because of this and unfathomable to take action based upon what a book of scripture would dictate me to do.

I'm not atheistic though. I'm agnostic. My stance is that I don't know what's out there when we die. To me this seems the only logical conclusion. Belief in or complete lack of belief in any God seems to be illogical to me as I'm quite certain we can't know.

The more people I meet the more intrigued I am.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:19 AM   #35 (permalink)
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I grew up to navigate right from wrong based upon reasoning and feeling. It's very, very, VERY hard for me to relate to strong religious beliefs because of this and unfathomable to take action based upon what a book of scripture would dictate me to do.
I'd say I put reasoning way above feeling, as feeling can get us into a world of trouble (I bet you've been there!?)....I find reasoning can get my feelings back in check , keeps me balanced - or so I think it does.

If you ever heard how Martin Luther (the founder of Protestantism) slammed reason, even calling it a wh***... you would be vilified, most have no idea! I've posted his words here ... (4th post towards middle -look for quotes in green >>> Parrothead, why the delete button to the "SA challenge"?

I consider myself a Deist... I bet there are plenty in the pews today who identify more with this but would never speak it out of their mouth.....it just means we believe in a Creator but we do not subscribe to any creeds.... we see God in nature, what is evident to ALL.... and wisdom can be found in many places, there is no "Us against them" mentality.... we are all God's children... and we need to strive to make the world a better place for All.

Many would not be able to tell the difference from us or Christians from our daily life, we are much more tolerant of things that aren't hurting other people, we are very responsible, we hate injustice just as much... The Golden Rule is our foundation.

In fact the Declaration of Independence was a Deistic document. Christians and Deists will argue who had more influence... the Declaration itself - has no mention of Jesus in it ...only God.

Deist Roots of America


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The more people I meet the more intrigued I am.
I feel the same !
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:46 AM   #36 (permalink)
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This thread reminds of Christopher Hitchens' often repeated argument ..to make essentially good people act immorally you need religion.

It is also worth noting that Gandhi himself doesn't hold up particularly well under closer scrutiny.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:18 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Two responses before I leave for the airport this morning ... or at least I hope I get them both.

I understand the argument about Christians not being like Christ, and even understand being upset with the way Christians act sometimes. However; I think you need a balanced view here.

I think pretty much any Christian, when asked, will freely admit that if you look at them long enough, you're going to be disappointed. This is part of what I've been talking about in this thread. They should not be dwelling on their shortcomings to the point of feeling condemned. They should be seeing their shortcomings, asking God for forgiveness, and moving on with the intent to do better. However; I'll say just as I said most Christians will: If you look at me long enough, you're going to be disappointed. If you want to find fault in me, you're going to find it. I can probably point out more than you're actually going to see.

However; I also see things such as Teen Challenge which works with teenagers who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. I personally support an orphanage in the Philipines and love how the people there want to go beyond just offering subsistence to making sure the kids there are loved, and have a healthy outlook on life, and can grow into healthy adults. I know personally a group from the church I attend: They are all medical professionals including even an optometrist who go to Vietnam each year and set up a clinic for two weeks to treat and provide care for people there that cannot afford medical care. They do this with their own money, although I try to support for things such as glasses or some medical supplies because I know how big of an expense this all is for them. They are all motivated to do what they do by their faith.

I'm sure any one of the ones involved in the ministries I'm talking about will also tell you that if you look at them long enough, you'll be disappointed. But I want to look at them on balance. SA, you look at your son in a positive light as well, and he is part of the overall picture.

If you go to youtube and look at up any Christian music, you'll find someone there in the comments who couldn't resist being rude to the poster, or attacking the poster's faith. It doesn't matter who did what first, most likely the poster didn't intend anything ill to the attacker. You would have to understand that these types of things flavor the Christian's perception of what someone intends when they show up in a forum and asks questions they thought should have been fundamental before joining. All I'm asking is to empathise before judging.

That said, I am embarassed at the way it was handled. I wish it had been done differently. But still, I see a lot of good in the hearts of people who are Christian. I would ask you to understand that rather than just dismissing all Christians as hypocrites, vile, immoral, or "making their faith look bad." We're all trying to figure it all out. Some of these questions we're trying to answer are hard questions. Christians are trying to find their answers beyond the very basic entry into the Christian faith, too.

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Old 02-12-2012, 10:14 AM   #38 (permalink)
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I know you are trying Shy Guy... but No, to be honest, didn't really answer my question..... It seems your view is.. kissing is fine... if you start fondling --it's wrong, but you didn't say it was WRONG, ...you assumed that it would lead to sex. Why do we assume this? Because we are taught this (that is my answer)... It doesn't have too .
That is how I taught it to my kids, yes. I taught that would be wrong. If we want to really get into debate of specifics, when the Bible talks about sex in specifics in the old testament law, it uses a couple of euphemisms that were probably easy to understand in the culture and language of the day, but is a little more difficult to understand today. What do you think it means to "know" your husband/wife or to "lie with" your husband/wife? I equate "Lie with" with our euphemism "sleep with." "Know" is a little harder to define. In the "Song of Songs" (AKA "Song of Solomon") the woman speaks of her husband knowing her with his hand, so it is pretty obvious to me that she is speaking of him fondling her - the Song of Songs is all about sex and it is spoken of very positively in the context of the man and wife.

So how do I take it? I defined it to include fondling when I taught it to my kids, and I also taught the larger principle of avoiding temptation, but don't take the last one too far in this context.


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Well I can tell you, and I likely sound like a freak in being honest about it but me & mine touched for 8 yrs without it leading to intercourse, my boundaries were firm , and deep down I felt good about that. . And you know what....it kept us emotionally connected, it kept us from burning with lust and we STILL had something that we considered "sacred" to give each other on our Wedding Day.
Honestly, SA, you are the only one who knows what you and your husband did, and what that meant to you guys. If you want me to condemn you for it, I'm not going to - that's not my place. I defined above what I taught to my kids and how I interpreted it. I don't think if I had engaged in fondling that I would have stopped there because I remember how my hormones were raging at the time. I think if I had, and had defined it as sin, that God is anxious to forgive me rather than being anxious to smash me - I just need to acknowledge that to Him, pick up, and do better next time.

My take on the scriptures you are referering to are that lust is a source of temptation (lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life). They are not sin in and of itself, and in fact, they are natural - but they can lead to sin when you dwell there. (That's a point I'm certain some Christians will debate with me) When Jesus was talking to the religious leaders, he was talking to married men - every one of them. When he told them about their inconsistencies and used the example of looking after a woman to lust after her, I think of this as them not just looking, but REALLY looking, following with their eyes so they can fantasize about her, lusting as in detailed, and allowing their minds to dwell on that. This even goes beyond the fantasies we talk about in the "Sex in Marriage" board. This is ONE PERSON they are fixing on and not guarding their minds. The bigger issue, though, was how they were willing to condemn someone else for that person's actions while overlooking their own shortcomings. That's where Jesus was putting it to them.

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But My lord you present that on a Christian forum , you are Lucifer in the flesh.

Those LUST scriptures will suck any pleasure out of even being ALIVE. Sure marriage is Grand... but should kids JUMP to get married just so they don't burn with LUST.

It's rediculous!
Again, I think context is important. When it says that it is better to get married than to burn with lust, what is the writer really talking about? I can guarantee that my daughter and her fiance are burning brightly for each other right now. When my daughter told me she was looking forward to her wedding night and her honeymoon, I know beyond any doubt she is lusting, and I am certain her fiance is lusting after her. Is it wrong in this context? I don't think so. I think it is part of what moves them to get married, but they also need to recognize that there is more to marriage than just sex - so don't get married just for sex as someone pointed out. I've been open about that as well.

But what happens when people decide they are going to be celibate "for God," and refuse to acknowledge the burning within themselves? I think we have examples of people in key positions within churches that answer that for us. And this is not so say that married people within churches can't become adulterers either. That happens, and is one reason why a wise leader will recognize his humanity and put safeties in place (For example: a male pastor not counseling a female in his congregation unless his wife is in the house with him and the door is open during the counseling session. Or maybe finding a capable female counselor instead of counseling her himself. Don't give it a chance.)

I think when Paul is talking about it being better to marry than to burn in lust, he is talking about what naturally happens with us. When a person is not satisfied sexually, and perhaps especially if this person is a man, sex dominates his mind to the point that it is difficult to concentrate on other things. How can a person engage in the work of God if this is his state? I think Paul is stating a practical little bit of advice that I could paraphrase and expand to be, "Wake up! That's how you are put together. You're not going to be effective if your every waking moment is consumed with sex, and you look at every female that comes within eyesight with lustful thoughts! Figure it out! It is better to be married and have a proper outlet for this so you can be effective than to pretend it isn't there and that you're honoring God by remaining in this state of mind." Of course, much more than being ineffective, a minister can do more damage than good if he does not recognize his sexual needs in a healthy way.

There is some debate about whether or not Paul was ever married, or whether his wife left him when he converted to Christianity, or maybe he was widowed at the time he wrote that. We can't know for sure, but it seems that when he wrote that he was not married. While he said that was good, he also said this in the context of stating that marriage is also good, and in fact is much preferable to the state of mind I was describing above. To put it bluntly, a sexually satisfied worker is much more effective than one who thinks his celibacy is honoring God but who is really burning in lust.

So I don't think the lust is sin in and of itself. I think it leads to sin if the person doesn't get proper satisfaction.

Did I do better that time?

And just to be sure you understand, I think there are some Christians who will agree with me, and some others who will debate with me on just about every point I put in this post.


BTW: I didn't overlook Trenton's post about being agnostic. Don't minimize where I said that I spend a good part of my mid-life re-evaluation wondering if there even was a God. I can't set the context of months and months of this consuming my mind and what went on in my mind while I was so consumed, but the subject that started me thinking again that there was a God was sex. It's not a shallow thought, and the pleasure of sex was only one aspect of what I was thinking. I did see evidence of God in nature, and it was in sex where I began to come to the conclusion that it took more faith to be an atheist than it does to believe in a creator. That was only the first step, though ... it was a very busy time for my mind, and I will admit as I have several times in this thread: I don't have it all figured out. I am trying to figure it all out just like you, and I am not perfect.

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Old 02-12-2012, 10:27 AM   #39 (permalink)
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One more thing, SA, your comment about becoming Lucifer himself: Again, let me preface this by saying that I don't think they handled it right. I absolutely don't. I hope I have handled being questioned a little more properly.

From the other side, I think when you look even at this thread, if you put yourself in the place of a Christian, you can see how it would be easy to feel you are being attacked. If you go to youtube like I suggested in an earlier post, it becomes more obvious. I have had someone tell me in a braggadocious fashion how he and his friends used to go to a certain park by the lake so they could drive by and shout obscenities at the "evangelicals" out there with their families (He told me this before he knew I was Christian, then later tried to deny he ever told me this story). If you look from the point of view of a Christian, you can probably begin to see that their expectations of people coming from the outside and questioning their beliefs, especially when they think they are in a place where everyone is in agreement on a few basics and the basics are questioned.

Again, I'm not going to say it's right, and I hope I respond differently. However; that's part of human nature, and they are humans, too. Their defenses are up the minute they feel a threat because they have seen enough attacks, and their first response is to defend themselves.

Still, I think they could have handled it better. I'm sorry you were treated that way. In your son, and hopefully in me, I hope you can see that not all Christians fit the stereotypes you see thrown out even in this thread. Actually, we're all individuals, and I hope you can see us all as individuals, and none of us have it all figured out. In your description of yourself as a deist, if we pursued that, we'd have to first define what you meant by creed, but perhaps much of what you are saying there is in definitions. Bottom line is that I don't have it all figured out, either. I am where I am on this journey.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:38 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I didn't go there to even discuss my sins, I was just curious, I have my own dilemma in raising my children.. they are youth group goers , 2 of them wearing silver purity rings and being taught how sinful any sexual anything is before marraige.

I don't want my kids to go the repressive path I did (I think my oldest already is a little)... so I was seeking some insight from them to reconcile what may be permissable (at the very most) from a Christian standpoint.
SA please forgive me if I'm out of line but why do you have your kids in a Christian youth group if you don`t want them sexually repressed?
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:07 AM   #41 (permalink)
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That said, I am embarassed at the way it was handled. I wish it had been done differently. But still, I see a lot of good in the hearts of people who are Christian. I would ask you to understand that rather than just dismissing all Christians as hypocrites, vile, immoral, or "making their faith look bad." We're all trying to figure it all out. Some of these questions we're trying to answer are hard questions. Christians are trying to find their answers beyond the very basic entry into the Christian faith, too.
Please do not think I dismiss all Christians like that, I surely do not. It is tempting to "go there" sometimes -like with this incident, but Heaven's No...its not the case at all.

My reasons for not believing as them has NOTHING to do with the hypocrites at all..... I was always treated GOOD in church ....why do you think I still go sometimes.....friends are there ! Plus many many things my Pastor teaches I heartily agree with- I am encouraged by his Positive messages... good stuff for living a responsible life...a fullfilling life even, very Pro-family church...it is when he gets into all the supernatural stuff, it falls apart for me. I even quote scriptures on this forum, probably more than anyone here! I use them in a GOOD light too! I know my Bible, I used to give them away- trying to be the merry soul winner at one time...but even then, I was not settled, questions plagued me, I was trying to win my Mormon friends-used to buy Christian books on what is wrong with Mormonism - I was likely a pain in the a** at one time, cause I believed they were "lost"- that is what I was taught ! Now we can talk into the hours of the night, no judgement on each other, we both can learn of each other , still find a TON of common ground, and it's all good. Interesting anyway.

My divide is on theology ...not the people, it doesn't matter what sect, religion, group, there is hypocrites in every segment of soceity and even in the darkest places of the world, there are "the good".

Can you understand Shy Guy, when I go to church, I get judged NOT on how I live...People Love my family, I am not trying to brag, but my Preacher praises us for our Parenting all the time, and the compliments I get on my kids. Crazy! We are known as an upright family who has never asked for help, never needed guidance in any way, we are near above reproach, kids always good (except my baby tends to swear a little)... now if they knew I was on this forum, I'd probably get called into the office , down the drain my reputation would go, the rumors fly! ha ha

But if the subject comes up & they realize I "THINK" differently than them (which I don't hide if I am talking one on one to another).... then all of a sudden, I am on the "outside" somehow, worthy of prayer, all of a sudden I am not "on their team", a part of the enemy. Why is this OK? It is a shunning, I am outcasted beause of how I "THINK".

But what am I to do... quit going, I DO see value in much of what the CHURCH does, like the programs you mention .... supporting orphanages, helping people with their medical care. I am terribly in favor of people who HAVE to give to those who DON'T HAVE. This is what ministry SHOULD be about formost in my opionion, but it seems to be Purity fest many times. ANd I agree with Jesus's parables on near everything he spoke on how to live and not judge others. ......but why Must I believe He is GOD?

If I live by his parables and treat other's as HE spoke (because I see wisdom in that)... feeding the poor, clothing the sick (you know the whole sheep & the Goats message....why am I deserving to go to Hell because I "THINK" differently?

And Yes, I KNOW their answer... I have explored that till I am blue in the face, and to be honest, it still doesn't work for me. I must be true to myself. I have more peace with that.


I'm not a bad person, I don't care what anyone believes, why can't we all give that type of grace -without judgement. Answer... because that is what they are taught. You realize only 2 religions feel they need to win the hearts & minds of the world, their duty is to Evangelize... Christianity and Islam.

I have no such desire. BUt I would like to sit, eat, drink be merry with them without having to be put on a prayer list and warned I am going to hell because I was honest enough to share my differing beliefs.

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:21 AM   #42 (permalink)
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SA, I appreciate your honesty. I am not God, but telling you what I think based on where I've been, I don't think God is afraid of you thinking, and he expects you to do it honestly.

In my journey, when my son was 5 years old, his best friend drowned. It hit me so hard! I was absolutely angry with God for some time while I tried to work through all of that. It was hard.

I came to think that God is not afraid of me. He knows who I am, and that includes what I am on the inside. That's exactly what those verses mean about God knowing my heart. It didn't do me any good to put on my happy face and just play games with God because on the inside, I was angry.

I also was reminded of some of the psalms that made me very uncomfortable when I first read them. What they started meaning to me at the time was that the psalmist also put on no pretenses before God - he told God what he really thought. I thought that dealing with God on that level was what God really wanted from me. He didn't want me to pretend. He wanted me to be real with Him - He's not afraid of me, and he certainly isn't afraid of me thinking or feeling what I really think or feel.

I don't necessarily tell everyone else what I think or feel in times like this. I don't want to give anyone else the wrong impression. But I needed to be angry with God and tell Him I was Angry with him in order for me to get past the death of my son's best friend, and the grief my son felt at that - not to mention the grief of the boy's family since they were close friends with us.

My opinion is that the first step to having a relationship with God is to be honest with Him. Think about it, could you hide anything from him anyway?

With people, it probably would have bothered me at one point in my life what they thought about me. Now, I expect they are going to disagree with me on some points at least. That's where they are on their journey ... I'm just at a different point in my journey. I ask God to not let me miss the boat, and we talk about that. I'm open to change as led, but I have to honestly believe that this is the direction God would lead me before I'm ready to change.

That's all I have on it from my viewpoint. I'm not surprised that some people want to pray the way you said, but I think you have to be honest, absolutely.

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #43 (permalink)
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SA please forgive me if I'm out of line but why do you have your kids in a Christian youth group if you don't want them sexually repressed?
Don't be silly, nothing is out of line.

I allow my kids much freedom, I have been happy with their descions thus far...... they just LOVE youth group, many friends there, they want to go!

Also it is important for me , that my children hang with kids who are not out drinking, doing drugs, having sex at 15.. I want them to have a good future, make right decisions.... I don't really want my kids having casual sex , that is not the ideal for me.

But that IS the norm in society today. I see many many pluses to the Youth Group they attend, plus I adore the Leader & his wife, but again, not the theology.... when we go to the Plays, they are all stabs of "salvation now, or you will be lost".

With what my kids are taught at home, there is definitely a "countering" if too much repressiveness is picked up in church. I don't see how they could possibly go the way I did....

I had to .... My oldest sent me a FB message just last week saying he just watched a movie and the Mom was just like ME. I had to ask what was that .... Ha ha... "Meet the Fockers"... I was Gaylords Sex therapist Mom!

How could anyone be repressed in that atmosphere, ha ha

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Old 02-12-2012, 11:53 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Default Re: I just got thrown off of a forum...

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Originally Posted by Lionelhutz View Post
This thread reminds of Christopher Hitchens' often repeated argument ..to make essentially good people act immorally you need religion.
I adored Christopher Hitchens, he is my all time favorite debater, loved watching him in action.... once he was asked if he had the power to rid all of the world of the religious....his reply.... "No, then I wouldn't have anyone to argue with!".. Loved that - I think so much like him...oh yes, loved Hitchens. (ironically his brother in England is a Born again Christian)

Sad he is gone now, he died just months ago of esophageal cancer.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:00 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Default Re: I just got thrown off of a forum...

When I was on the Catholic forum for awhile, there used to be an "unwritten" rule that you cannot come on there and "create scandal" (Scandal actually is a sin in the CAtholic Church).

For lack of a better comparison, it's basically coming in and trolling.

For instance, if I came on here and said, "I think raping your spouse should be okay. . .", you can imagine the uproar. It's a hard sin to explain, but they may have thought what you posted was "scandalous" perhaps?

(just a theory. . .it sounds like you were being reasonable)

Unfortunately, Christianity is often a "Club of Saints" rather than a "Haven For Sinners".

In that, you may have not beein the club.
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And maybe I seem a bit confused. . .but maybe, I got you pegged! Ha! Don't know what to do about those tossed salad and scrambled eggs. . .they're posting again. Scannerguard has left the building.
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