Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#61
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:...My most fervent hope is that his own search results in a more authentic experience of Christ than the one Tony had.

Or, imo, the one Chase was able to portray Tony having thus far. Maybe Chase knew he could not fully portray that authentic encounter, so we can only see the results, not the encounter. And of course, i acknowledge that most posters do not see any 'results' of Tony's redemptive experience (such as after "I get it", etc).

I know my examples of his reconciliation with Carm are not sufficient for most, because it was such a corrupt bargain they made. Yet still i see a genuine reconciliation in the midst of it, almost in spite of the pitfalls of their carnal humanity. i do see Tony as having experienced redemption. He just doesn't look like a classic example of it in the Hollywood way- just like so many of you keep referring to. What should it look like? Should he be glowing white with an aura? Some people are just inwardly calm and at peace with their inner and outer life. That's exactly how he seemed to me at Holsten's: Completely at ease (contrary to popular belief: not alarmed at Members Only Guy). Happy with his family. He was 'In the Moment' (Now, -where else can you be truly happy or at peace?). What more could anyone want in this life or the next?

Good post.

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#63
FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:Speaking only of Christian redemption, it is definitely not "earned" in the sense that most people think of that term, i.e., living a good life entitles you to redemption. Rather it is a gift granted by grace to all those who sincerely believe in Christ as their redeemer and who feel genuine sorrow for their sins. Faith and contrition are the only prerequisites.

That said, I agree with you about Tony. I certainly don't think he achieved any measure of Christian redemption, and that's the only kind that really matters or makes sense to me because of my own life experiences and beliefs.


Are you saying then that the non-Christian population of the world are damned Fly ? My late mother was a devout Roman Catholic and we used to talk about such things. As a non-practicing Catholic I asked her was I damned. She said no. Any mother would say that of course but what she was getting at was that trying to do good, trying to help others is part of it as well. "By your deeds shall you be known".

I totally respect and envy your experience Fly but I have heard people of the Muslim faith say similar things. Surely the culture we are brought up in will influence any "event" with our spiritual side ?

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#64
dsweeney wrote:Are you saying then that the non-Christian population of the world are damned Fly ? My late mother was a devout Roman Catholic and we used to talk about such things. As a non-practicing Catholic I asked her was I damned. She said no. Any mother would say that of course but what she was getting at was that trying to do good, trying to help others is part of it as well. "By your deeds shall you be known".

I totally respect and envy your experience Fly but I have heard people of the Muslim faith say similar things. Surely the culture we are brought up in will influence any "event" with our spiritual side ?


I'm not a theologian by any means, nor am I an expert on the Bible. In fact, I avoid reading it very often because much of what I come across in it is antagonistic to my faith. I do not accept, at this point, anyway, that every word in the Bible represents the authentic word of God. Based on my very limited knowledge of the history involved, what's in the Bible only made it there in the first place because some committee of people hundreds of years ago decided it should be included, even as they decided that other writings should not because those were too controversial or didn't satisfy their own fallible criteria for inclusion (there is no Gospel of Mary Magdeline because she was female, for example.) Considering some of the things done by or with the blessing of the paramount Christian "authorities" through the years (the Crusades, Inquisition, imprisonment of Galileo immediately come to mind), I am in no way willing to cede to those entities the power to determine my concept of Christianity or the authentic word of God.

Consequently my particular brand of Christianity is very individual and is formed on the basis of what instinctively seems to resonate with my experiences and with the direct words, deeds, and teachings of Christ (which is why the 4 Gospels are the books of the Bible I rate paramount.) The crux of those teachings is the Sermon on the Mount, and the accounts of it are corroborated across the gospels, making it especially immune to human fallibility in recordation or translation.

I attend no church, subscribe to no particular denominational creeds or aggregate of beliefs. I have asked the Holy Spirit to guide me each and every day of my life, and it's a prayer that I renew nightly. For that reason, I listen intently to my "inner voice", as it were, not because I think it's mine but because I do believe Christ when he said that the Holy Spirit will live within anyone who asks for it.

All of this makes me uncomfortable rendering opinions on the fate of people who do not believe in Christ. I'll leave that to those who purport to be true theologians.

I can only say that the exact nature of Christ's promise often seems overlooked to me in the talk of redemption. Christ didn't speak much of damnation, and, when he did, it seemed to refer to eternal death. Rather He spoke of offering redemption from death, of giving everlasting life to those that believe in Him.

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but by me."
"He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
"And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day."

Other passages, though not Christ quotes, say similarly:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."

So, as I see it, the direct teachings of and about Jesus speak not about damnation as Hell or any affirmatively negative experience but about a choice between eternal life and eternal death. I don't conceive of eternal death as anything bad. To me, it's the cut to black at the end of the Sopranos without the understanding that you cut to black and that you're viewing black once' it's there.:icon_biggrin: Your consciousness simply ceases to exist.

In many ways, I find this far more attractive than the idea of eternal life, and so it's not a fate I would fear on behalf of non believers in Christ. It's just that, after the experience I had, eternal death is no longer an option for me.

P.S. - When I find the time, I will be splitting this topic into others, so if anyone returns here and can't find something next week, look around and pay attention to redirects.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#65
Like I said, as a non-practicing Catholic we are almost of one mind on this Fly. I too have difficulties with the different denominations and churches. That various Gnostic scrolls were omitted from the Bible etc.

I believe we exist "outside ourselves ", for want of a better description and somehow, in some form, exist beyond bodily death. Quantam physicists sincerely now talk of parallel universes and atoms existing in two places at once. Because of this I wouldn't share your, rather bleak if you don't mind me saying that, view of eternal death. I think this physical world is only part of what we are. Unfortunately it is the bad part.

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#66
I had this discussion at work a couple of weeks ago. An american who took a job as a professor out here so he could spread the gospel in NZ belongs to quite a fundamentalist denomination, and he believes no JC, no heaven, no matter how good a life you lead. His logic was we are all sinners, and cannot live up to the expectations set out in the first testament. JC was sent to (I can't think of the word here) cleanse (best I good do) us of our sins, so if you don't believe JC was who they claim he was, you are still playing by the old testament rules on sin. Having said that, he believes there is a hierarchy in heaven for those who make it which depends on how ones life is lived. A Baptist I also work with who is much more moderate believed faith in JC was the guaranteed way in heaven, it may not be the only way, but with others you are taking a gamble.

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#67
But what about someone who's disbelief in Jesus is not out of arrogance or pride on their part but because they can't reconcile the notion of a loving, compassionate God with the untold, unimaginable suffering of people all around us ? In other words, their disbelief is coming from " a good place ", for want of a better description ?

I have this idea that we are all different and some are meant to believe and some are meant to question. "To thine own self be true". Anybody can say ok, I believe, go to mass every Sunday and obey the rules to the letter of the law etc. But believers have, throughout history committed the most heinous acts. If His words meant anything compassion for your fellow man was surely the important message.

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#68
dsweeney wrote:But what about someone who's disbelief in Jesus is not out of arrogance or pride on their part but because they can't reconcile the notion of a loving, compassionate God with the untold, unimaginable suffering of people all around us ? In other words, their disbelief is coming from " a good place ", for want of a better description ?

Well, perhaps their disbelief (even if coming from a 'good place') still results in that they can't reconcile, per above. Its in the reconciliation with God that peace is found. Sure- it doesn't make sense that God is here with us, and simultaneously there is all this $hit going on here. It's a mystery sometimes. And the lack of ability to reconcile may be more about anger with God for what seems like the fact that "He" is letting it happen- not interfering directly or more immediately to help the world or the person that is not reconciled. But the key is that the non-reconciling person is angry about it, and that is the nature of his or her relationship with God: Un-reconciled and maybe a bit pissed off. Maybe its time to bury the hatchet!

btw- Catholics have a Sacrament for this- now called "Sacrament of Reconciliation", not the old notion of "confession" per se, although confessing sins could be involved. Its an acknowledgement of all i am discussing here. An opportunity, or perhaps an offer from God?... to bury the hatchet. To change that relationship with God.

I have this idea that we are all different and some are meant to believe and some are meant to question. "To thine own self be true". Anybody can say ok, I believe, go to mass every Sunday and obey the rules to the letter of the law etc. But believers have, throughout history committed the most heinous acts. If His words meant anything compassion for your fellow man was surely the important message
.

First off, i agree with you on this- some people are given grace or some gift to just plain believe. Doesn't mean they don't also question. And not all believers that follow laws and go to Mass are the the committers of heinous acts (but you're so right- plenty of them are- just like occurs in non-religious populations). Some Mass attenders are good people, hopefully anyway.

And bottom line- you said it best:

If His words meant anything compassion for your fellow man was surely the important message.

Good Post.

Re: The movie is "in the works"(!)

#69
Great call about disbelief because of misery all around being more about anger and rage at God than anything else. I'm reminded of something I read a while back. It's from "Night " by Elie Weisel, a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. A young character in it asks an older, Rabbi-like character how God could have let this happen. The older man says the answer to this question is not important but just the very act of ASKING the question brings you closer to God. My reading of this is that railing at and responding to the horror, even by questioning His very existence, elevates you closer to Him.

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