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Found 15 results

  1. I been thinking about this and I think I want to share my views with people they are still somewhat work in progress but if you have some input then say it. So to the questioñ What is life? What is the purpose of our existence? Who are we? Why we are here? Why we are like this? What is going on here? I'll try to answer those questions from my own point of view and from what I believe through my research and thinking. Let's lay out some base points here: first. I created my belief on basis that everything that exists has to have some kind of significance. So basically if something exists it has to be true up to some extent or contain at least something that can be used or leveraged as a part of your growth. And by exists I mean everything even ideas on peoples head. Second: I think that the goal of everything is to move forward/grow/gain more information. That is the base of existence if something doesn't move forward it cannot exist at all it is not possible. Third: I think the key to growth and that way existing is work. And I don't mean like physical work I mean work in a sense that physical or spiritual energy is being used so basically everything that requires you to use up energy is work which in turn moves your forward. Fourthly: everything in my theory leverages quite heavily on christianity as that is the religion that I've had most experiences with. That in mind I still believe that every religion and non religion has some significance as they couldn't exist if that wasn't the case. So what is life? To put it simply I would say that it is our first step in a bigger staircase. I think that what we are currently experiencing is our spirit controlling the flesh that is our body. The goal of this life I think is for the spirit to become one with the flesh. To achieve that I think the key is to work focusing your flesh and spirit to one and that way moving forward. But our life is just one step in our way of growing and moving forward as an existence. That leads us to question What is the purpose of our existence? I think that after becoming one with our flesh and spirit next step is to start becoming one with everything else that exists. Basically absorbing everything into yourself so it exists within yourself but it still exists as separate entity as Well. After you've became one with everything in this plane of existence you must rid yourself from this plane of existence that you exist within and become your own plane of existence while .still being part of the original plane. Next you are able to create your own universe inside if yourself and there you will be able to create existences by shattering yourself into pieces staying still whole thus creating your own mankind. In there a single existence might have similar experience as you are having right now as I think what we are right now is actually a part of that kind of bigger existence in this infinite loop of growth and moving forward. There is still more to it but that is kinda the general point on what I believe in.
  2. I was at church yesterday, and during the sermon I thought to myself how ironic it is that I'd grown up going to this church, which teaches and preaches of things I do not agree with... *Sigh* For a long time I've been realizing the amount of attention that religion has been getting (here [on the forums] and everywhere [in real life, generally]). It's sad to see that more often than not, the people talking are, on both sides, stubborn. I know what you may have been thinking, "oh great, another rant on religion" - but I ask you to hear me out, because this isn't like the rest. --- Humans. We are all humans. So, that's the one string that should keep everything tied together to begin with. We believe what we see and hear in the ways that we want to, and develop our own opinions on things. And that's fine. Actually, that's great. This is a good thing. The bad thing is when people forget that they might not be right, and that there may be a better opinion on something. Close-mindedness creates a plethora of stubborn people who become hard-coded, stuck, unchangeable. --- We see all these threads/topics here on religion, and recently I've begun to grow stale of responding to them. Yes, I'm a Christian, so you ask, "Why? (am I growing stale of responding to religious threads)?" They aren't going anywhere, that's why. Circle after circle, they wind up ending where they began, with the same people supporting the same exact opinion they held from the beginning. *Hits the table* Seriously, what the heck is the point of discussion that is meant to enlighten others if it cannot progress? I am sick of seeing these circles. A discussion that goes nowhere is worthless and I'm not going to respond to people who aren't going to listen to me. --- if you're going to engage in discussion with others about something - about anything - don't think that what you believe, what your opinion is, is perfect. It isn't. My opinions are FAR from perfect and I know that, which is why I love to discuss things; I like learning! --- Open your ears and close your eyes. You can't see anything but what you already know. You can only see what others see by listening to them. This is why I've named the title of this blog what I did. Children are easy to teach because they are listening; they are ready to learn; they seek answers to things they don't know. Children don't know enough yet to have their minds closed; children learn because it's what they seek. When we grow up we must force ourselves to keep seeking in the same way children do. Otherwise we grow stale, close-minded, and unable to learn anything; from here, the circles begin. I'm talking to BOTH sides here; the religious and the non-religious. If you shut your ears to others you are limiting not only yourself, but you are making what others say worthless to say. --- (and now we're shifting gears, finally, into overdrive) --- "Was the Bible written by man or God" - "[insert circle talk]" / "Does God contradict Himself?" - "[insert circle talk]" / "Is the Bible infallible" ... "Does the Bible actually promote hate" ... "Does the Bible hate gays" ... "What does the Bible say about [x, y, z...]" ... AAARRGGGHHH No. I must keep it together. LISTEN. The Bible is the WORD of God... NOT GOD HIMSELF. The Bible is a TEXT that has been TRANSLATED many times. The Bible is NOT to be WORSHIPPED for ITSELF. GOD is to be WORSHIPPED if you want to be a Christian. --- Stop talking about contradictions, stop talking about "the Bible promotes [this and this]" ... Start LISTENING to Jesus Christ. If you are [a Christian]... We are followers of Jesus. We are His Children. He is our Messiah, Saviour, Teacher, Lord, and our BASIS for any creed we are going to believe in. Stop using your eyes and start using your EARS to listen to what He says. Don't read it; hear it. --- What is religion? It is a belief of a creed; a set of rules placed by a deity that we follow. What is Christiany? It is a FAITH in the Lord. A creed is placed using the Bible to record the rules God has given AND to record the history of the times it was written. The Bible is a historical text because it includes memory of things from the past! --- The Bible is split into two halves: The Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is OLD. It is Jewish Law. It is history. We as Christians must not read the Old Testament thinking that we are to follow its rules. We aren't Jewish! We're Christians! JESUS CHRIST did not exist before the New Testament. The Old Testament is the recording of rules placed for the times that were BEFORE CHRIST. Our religion is called Christianity because we are to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. The teachings of Christ are in the NEW Testament. What does Jesus say about the Old Testament??? He says that the greatest Commandments are to LOVE. To Love God; and to Love each other. Why? Why are these the greatest of commandments? Because GOD IS LOVE And he wants us to love Him and everyone and everything. --- "The Way" There is sooo much misinterpretation about what "The Way" is. There isn't just one way to the Lord! There are infinite ways to the Lord because there can be infinite people who can love. On the other hand, there's only one way to not follow the Lord. There is only one way to following the Devil. That is hate. There is only one way to Hell and that is to hate people and to hate the Lord. The Devil doesn't want you to love anything. Not even him. He wants you to hate anything and everything. God wants you to love Him and love each other and love everything. So what is "The Way" that so many Christians like to debate about? "The Way" is your path to the Lord. "The Way" is how you love the Lord and love each other. How do you love? Everyone's love can differ. So there are multiple ways to love. There are infinite ways to love. There is only one way to not love and that is to hate. And there is only one way to hate, and that is to not love. --- That is a Christian ROCK song. It is about asking for life; asking for the breath of life to be breathed into us. What is life - how do we live? You speak LOVE you speak LIFE. Love is life. How do we love? We love in our ways. --- Jesus Christ was a contemporary. And so should we all be. Be contemporary, and open your mind. Be contemporary, and open your heart. Listen to Him. The most important rules of being a Christian are to love God and to love each other. ALL The other things of the law and the prophets hang on those commandments about love. The BIBLE hangs on the LAW OF LOVE! That is the greatest Law of all! LOVE. --- So when I hear other Christians preaching to live by other rules, to believe that God wants us to do certain things and everything else... I shake my head because that doesn't matter! The Bible is only about love. The New Testament fulfills the Old, and Jesus tells us that all that matters is to LOVE. So stop pinpointing the rules of the Old Testament and saying that God is anti-this and anti-that. God isn't ANTI ANYTHING. God is LOVE. And He sees and hears the hearts, the souls, the minds of EVERYONE. The Holy Spirit of God is in us ALL and it pushes us to learn the truth about what God wants us to know. It pushes us to know that God loves us, and that we should love Him, and that we should love ourselves, and that we should love each other and everything. LOVE is not about limiting others. LOVE is not about setting rules against being who you are. LOVE is not about stopping someone from doing what isn't wrong. The Old Testament was written in a time where certain rules needed to be put in place because God was protecting His people from harm. Don't eat certain meats; men should be circumcised; do not have pre-marital sex; do not have sex with prostitutes; do not be a prostitute, etc... God doesn't hate anyone. God wanted what was best for his people at a time when there were many diseases and health issues that could be the death of His people because they didn't have the knowledge or tools or doctors able enough to cure those illnesses. TIME CHANGES. We are now in a time when we DO have all that. We have the knowledge, the tools, and the doctors... NOT ONLY to treat those illnesses, but to prevent ourselves from getting sick in the first place. We leave in a MUCH cleaner world and we DON'T need to worry about the rules of the OLD Testament because Jesus fulfilled the Old with the NEW Testament. Think about it, fellows. Does it matter that some of us might eat those certain meats; that some of us might not be circumcised; that some of us may have sex before marriage; that some of us may have a sexuality other than straight? NO! It doesn't matter! Because the NEW Testament fulfilled the old with the new. The New Testament is NOT a contradiction; Jesus did NOT contradict God's words by overruling the old law. Jesus FULFILLED the Old. Jesus knew that we would grow into a society where we HAVE the ability to prevent and cure these illnesses. Jesus knew that as time passes, things change, and that to be PROGRESSIVE and move forward WITH time, that the NEW LAW did NOT need to worry about the same stuff as the Old Law did. WE CHANGED; not God; but God WANTED this change to happen, and He knew it would; and it makes Him happy that we can move forward with time and be PROGRESSIVE. We aren't "playing God" by preventing and curing illness. We are bettering ourselves under His name. He wants us to become better and smarter! He likes it that we have been able to overcome the illnesses that humans once used to be unable to deal with. That's why Jesus was able to create His progressive stance. Jesus wanted us to move forward and be contemporary. And now, in our contemporary world, it is 2015. We have come so far! Look at the amazing things we've been blessed with! To have hospitals to bare a child in! To have doctors to help with the birth of new life! To have technology to become connected on an online web of data where we can store information and talk to each other and create new societies! To have technology to build vehicles so we can travel long distances in short periods of time! To live in a greater world... It's AWESOME! And God LOVES it. He is sooo happy that we have been able to do this! THIS... right here... this website dedicated to letting people who like a show about LOVE, a show about ponies where the leader's duty (Twilight) is to create HARMONY among the people! God Bless it! Thank you God for giving us this show and this website that allows us to be able to create such a wonderful community... Thank you for being with us when we came together here! In Jesus name, AMEN! --- Can't you understand now, that Christianity is about LOVE! Spreading His Word doesn't need to be done with the Bible, for, we spread his word every second we breathe when we are loving each other and loving Him! Love, Yours Truly, Miles
  3. A fair warning about religious debate: I don't delete comments on my blogs, but the mods might if you act like an ass. I'd like it if ye all would stay on topic. Danke. Christian-themed movies have been making a comeback recently, and I have nothing against that in concept. Many profound and groundbreaking worldviews first made their debut in the form of art. Religion, in particular, is something I feel humanity needs to have a more nuanced discussion about. Modern hugbox culture has succeeded in polarizing theists and atheists against each other, while poisoning the well to the point that argument quickly descends into a melee. The current batch of Christian movies is not helping matters. Putting aside the fact that most of them fail on purely a quality standpoint, the sad fact is that they only seem to be made to pander to people who are already devout Christians. There is little intention of explaining their side to Atheists, or Jews, or any other denomination apart from their own. But I'm not one to bitch without offering solutions. A lot of what I write below is devil's advocate, but I want to prove that it can be done. Inevitably, the first issue I can hear people screaming is that I don't really believe in God, so how could I ever make a movie that portrayed God (and Christianity) positively? God, in our world, is akin to Schrodinger's Cat: nobody knows for sure what the truth is, but everyone has an opinion. And my personal opinions on what exists in our universe do not affect what exists in the universe of the film. A good storyteller must divorce their feelings about the world they stand on from the world they write of. To put it simply: God exists within the film's context because I say so. And with this established, we must now ask what God's relation is with the planet Earth and our human characters. The Problem of Evil being what it is, obviously God doesn't hand out miracles willy-nilly. Free will and the laws of nature still very much apply, and can be responsible for incredible tragedy. A storyteller must speculate on the reasons why God did not prevent the Holocaust, or end world hunger, or stop any other of the countless tragedies which would naturally be simple for an omnipotent being. The answer to this puzzle must fit an additional condition: It must assume that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. All-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. This isn't the only possible answer to the puzzle, but the one proposed in the Futurama episode Godfellas always made the most sense to me. God knows that if he interferes in any noticeable way, things are only going to get worse. Therefore, the world must turn on its own. Bad things are going to happen, but a small miracle here or there can hopefully mitigate the damage without creating an even worse situation. And if we can look at one of these miracles, and instantly discern that it was God's doing, then he's already failed. God can not interfere significantly with our characters' lives, yet he must still be a central driving force in the plot. The way I see it, we need to look to the real world for inspiration. The best stories of faith involve God as an inspiration for mortals to achieve something great, and throughout history, this has proven true. God's role would best be served as the messenger and motivation to our human protagonist, with one free card reserved for a tiny Deus Ex Machina later on down the line. Speaking of which, what of our human protagonists? Contemporary Christian films have protagonists that range from "Devout Christian whose faith saves them from a crisis and is reaffirmed" to "Atheist who does a 180 and becomes a devout Christian." They are answering the wrong question. Before you can give a character their traits, you must first give them a motivation. The question is not "who is this character," but instead "what does this character want?" Recall what I said earlier. God, in the context of the story, must motivate our protagonist to do something incredible. But what? Could they change the world? Could they inspire the next great wave of change-makers? Or could they simply make a profound difference on one life? Films about a man and his child against a cruel world are not uncommon, but I feel that this would be the best framework for our storyline. To get a sense of what I mean, I suggest you watch the film Life is Beautiful, which is the story of a Jewish man in wartime Italy who must keep his son alive in a Nazi concentration camp. Stories like these may be familiar, but they strike universal appeal for a very good reason. Everyone has someone they care about, and we all know how horrible the world can be. The character in our film wants to save their child from one of our world's very shitty situations. This is his motivation. Now that we have this, we can expand further into asking who he is. I decided early on not to make the protagonist an atheist. The reason for this is very simple. God is going to be aiding this man, albeit in intangible ways, throughout the story. Enough so that, by the end, any man would be a believer. Character development is all well and great, but you need to think about what you are portraying as a positive or negative character trait. It would be real patronizing to have an entire character arc be all about how this "heathen atheist" turned his life around and conquered the odds all because he found Jesus. You need to have shades of grey when you talk about real world issues, and an objective examination. For similar reason, he also can't be a practicing member of a different religion, or else the film's message becomes "convert to our God because yours is shit." Arguably, that's even worse than the previous example. On the flipside, our character also can't be a devout Christian, or our problems are two-fold. Not only does this leave no room for character development, but it also makes him unrelatable to much of the audience. Denzel Washington's film The Book of Eli made this mistake. The main protagonist was an already established devout Christian on a mission from God, and this made him extremely self-righteous and preachy. This wasn't his character flaw, though. His character flaw was that he didn't stop and help every single person he came across... in a nuclear wasteland. Basically, characterization is a minefield. If you look at it only as a sliding scale between "christian" and "not christian," you're only going to be choosing between two types of patronizing. That's why I chose to look at it in another way. Our protagonist believes that God has forsaken mankind. He believes that man's actions have left us beyond salvation, and that we are being left to decadence because God no longer believes in us. Whether he is correct or not is left up to interpretation, however, it is implied that his is the good soul that may redeem our species. This approach is superior because it brings the human element to the forefront, along with asking a question that resonates with both Christians and non-Christians. Everybody walks away with a new perspective, and nobody is patronized in the process. To finish off, I'd like to talk about the film's setting, and attempt to tie this thing into a cohesive premise. I have decided against using a historical setting, against my better wisdom, and opt to set the tale close to the modern day. In an unnamed middle-eastern country, a marauding force of invaders is conquering cities one-by-one, and slaughtering all who think or look differently from them. Our hero lives in a suburb near the capital with his daughter, when the marauders begin their siege. The government declares a lockdown. Nobody gets in or out. Every able-bodied man must pick up a rifle and fight. When our hero's draft order comes, he instead waits for the cover of night, and slips out of town with his daughter. The two must head north, and cross the border into a more stable country. A wanted deserter and his five year old daughter against the perils of the desert, and all the demons of a forsaken race. Along the way, he is tested in numerous ways by powers beyond his control. However, it is not his faith which is being tested, but his virtue and resolve. And that... would be a damn good movie.
  4. I'm very well aware that there are Christian Bronies on the forums (including myself). And I've never seen anyone post this topic yet, so I've decided to give this a shot. We all know the most well known Hymns included Amazing Grace, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, etc. However, I'd like everypony to post what your personal favourite hymn is (assuming you are a Christian. If not, you're more than welcome to post on here (please be respectful as you would on other Threads)). My personal favourite is: It Is Well With My Soul Here is the best organ version of it I could find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCoauM-AEWE Truly (in my humble opinion) I've been heart-warmingly blessed by listening to it (I always also feel blessed whenever I play this).
  5. Hey guys. I'm not sure if it's okay for me to post stuff advertising people's work here, but here's hoping it is. Some people I know recently wrote a book, which I helped with a little, and one of them asked me to help get it noticed, so I'm doing just that. It's aimed at Christians who might be interested in finding new ways to pray, so, if that's something you'd be interested in checking out, then here's a link to it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Teenage-Prayer-Experiment-Notebook/dp/0281072574 Hopefully you'll like what you see if you check it out. If you aren't interested in it, all the best anyway. Thanks for reading.
  6. 'Search' seems to be down, so sorry if this has been done before. Okay, this question isn't just for any Christians or religious followers out there, it's for anypony- atheists and agnostics included. By referring to scripture (it can be any religious scripture, by the way), I don't necessarily mean that you respect or believe the whole thing (I certainly don't respect some of what the Bible teaches), but that you find something worthwhile in it that you consider helpful for you or somepony you're trying to help. In my case, though I'm an agnostic, I do find myself mentioning something from the Bible occasionally (17 years of being a Christian is hard to erase ) when I'm trying to help somepony. The part about everyone being in 'the image of God', for instance, I like a lot, even though I don't believe in God- the unity and inner sameness it seems to suggest we all have just feels comforting for some reason. How about for you ponies? Also, what do you think of the atheist versions of religion (Christian atheism, for instance)? Do you have a different opinion of them compared to what it's based on, and if so, in a good or bad way?
  7. So I've been sort of wanting to start up a Pony analysis channel on YouTube, but I've been unsure what to do. (Also, I'm in school and have a job and thus will probably never get around to it, at least not for a while.) But if I ever do such a thing, since I am a Christian, I'm thinking to try to take a look at the show from an explicitly Christian perspective; i.e., compare and contrast the ideals in the show with the ideals in the Bible. Of course, if no one actually watched, it'd be wasted effort, so my question is this: How many of you would subscribe or watch such videos, whether out of curiosity or because you're also Christians or for any other reason? Also, any thoughts on how to make such a channel work well, or what to avoid in such a channel? Edit: Just to clarify, comparing and contrasting MLP and the Bible wouldn't be the only thing I did, just the primary focus. There would also be a fair helping of good old fashioned giving-my-opinion-of-episodes and analysis of the show in and of itself.
  8. Listen to the lyrics...think about it [Twilight Sparkle] Each one of us has something special That makes us different, that makes us rare [Fluttershy] We have a light that shines within us That we were always meant to share [All] And when we come together Combine the light that shines within There is nothing we can't do There is no battle we can't win When we come together There'll be a star to guide the way It's inside us ev'ry day See it now! See it now! Let the rainbow remind you That together we will always shine Let the rainbow remind you That forever this will be our time [mandolin solo] [Twilight Sparkle] Let the rainbow remind you That together we will always shine lol
  9. I wanted to know what the Bronies thought of this new way to look at the whole Christianty vs LGBT conflict. Bronies usually get tagged on with the LGBT community, despite that most Bronies are in fact not inherently Homosexual. Are there only two ways of looking at LGBT, or is there a Third Way? Watch the video below and give me your thoughts, all I ask. on https://vimeo.com.
  10. So I recently went on to youtube, to "Its a long way to equestria" and found this: And this guy is absolutely right, I noticed that we bronies act like christians should act and I find that amazing, I really want this whole "brony" thing to go on for a long time and make a good example/role model to other people. No matter if you believe in god or not, abide by the creed! My fellow members of the herd, I hope you all will hear my word. You must not argue, fight, or hate, But always love and tolerate. Though some may seek to spread abuse, For us such insults are no use. Through all my pain, and loss, and strife, My brony friends are my friends for life
  11. Hello, my name is Jared aka Jade. I'm a Christian,Vegan,Cross-dressing, Game designer,My little pony fanatic! Whew, I know that's a lot to swallow but I've decided, I am who I am and I'm going to accept it and enjoy both my girl and man side to the fullest extent possible. I'm not going to be depressed,ashamed or guilty for who I am. Jared is a 29 year old man who loves god and his family and friends, He loves the military and to honor veterans and to serve everyone just as Jesus did! He is very strong and buff and a jack of all trades, He can do anything, 2D,3D art, professional web design and coding, mechanics,construction, computer and electronic repair, writing, music and everything else. I have been married for 13 years to the most awesome and beautiful wife I could ever ask for! She's my best friend, my love, my makeup artist and my greatest supporter! We love to spend time being girly together and just having a great time! Jade is a little girl who never had the chance to grow up her childhood, She absolutely adores ponies,My Little Pony,Drawing ponies, pony music, friendship,pets, she hates any talk of violence,war or sex. She doesn't like when people make jokes about other people or judge them. She has all the good qualities of Jared and none of the bad! My little pony has taught her that friendship is truly magic and she is looking for friends that wont judge her. That's what this post is all about and that's why I explained in detail exactly who I am, So there wont be any problems with new friends. I'm mainly looking for friends who like art,Christianity,cross-dressing,Game design,My Little Pony etc... But I humbly invite anyone who wont judge me to be my friend. I would like to talk about life issues, collaborate on projects and just be a support for people who need to talk and figure out issues. I encourage anyone else who would like to share their story and ask for friends to do so here if they like! Even if you would not like to be my friend and don't share any of these interests you are most welcome to post your own story of who you are here requesting friends. Friends are very important and we all need them, I really hope to find a LOT of pony spirit here in the forums! Thanks for reading!, I pray that you all have happiness with who you are, Pony love, Pink hearts and all the other girly things that are totally awesome, If you like that sort of thing, otherwise guns,explosives,camo gear and 4 wheelers! "I like both " i.e rambo in pink MLP pajammas hahahha, my insanity cracks me up sometimes. GOD bless! -Jared aka Jade PS. Feel free to post here in discussion about the aforementioned subjects also.
  12. The reason I ask this is because just today, I've been thinking about how it affects my status as a Christian. Straight from the episode, I quote: "...there are wonderful things in this world you just can't explain, but that doesn't necessarily make them any less true. It just means you have to choose to believe in them, and sometimes, it takes a friend to show you the way." Now I know I've written my own defense on the episode: http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/193967/my-own-defense-of-feeling-pinkie-keen So has another: http://comments.deviantart.com/4/1603670/1868779620 But now I must know: is this a good Christian message or is it an anti-Christian message? Why? Furthermore... 1. Does it contradict Matthew 19:26? Why or why not? 2. Does God really want us to be open-minded? Why or why not? 3. Should we Christians limit our views on all the wonderful things in this world by connecting them with God? Why or why not? 4. What wonderful things in this world can't even we Christians explain? 5. Contributing to question 3, suppose I was married and my wife had a baby and I was like "God has blessed us!" and yet we can't explain why women are pregnant, even if God had a reason for women to be pregnant. Also, in certain cases, we might say "God has blessed us!" but in other cases, we can't explain certain wonderful things, even if there's the possibility that God has blessed us still. Would we Christians be hypocrites in cases like these? I really need answers for all of the questions I've asked above!
  13. So this was always a topic I was going to talk about at some point, but seen as there was a topic about strong Christian parents stopping people playing games I decided I would write this post: So I will answer 2 questions: Are Video games demonic? Are videos games a waste of time? (mainly from a Christian perspective). Making stuff: So lets look at Genesis: Genesis 1&2 – The Creative God •V1 – God creates ex nihilo •V3-25 – Filling and Forming creation Ultimately, everything that God creates is said to be "Good" and we are "Very Good". This is important as the next paragraph will show. And then, God creates man ! and we are: •We are co-creators with God – Filling and forming •Eg naming the animals •Continuing the creation God started So overall, everything that humans create in essence is an imitation of what God created. I mean just look at computers! Some works of art are amazing, we also listen to and enjoy music, films, TV-shows (MLP woop woop) so why should video games be any different? Further evidence of us enjoying creation from the bible bellow. Then after this there are examples of us enjoying Gods creation: 1 Timothy 4:4-5 •Enjoying God’s good creation •Giving thanks and glorifying God in enjoying things Now then, here comes the ugly part. Christians believe that Sin entered the world through "The Fall" (link to Genesis 3: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3&version=NIV). Without recanting it, Sin enters the "good" world that God created. Practices such as magic and demons came into the world along with sin (such as death, pain, anguish, shame, greed, and all the things that comes with that). So where do video games fit in with all of this? Are they full of things making us susceptible to demons and things hurtful to God? Playing games as a Christian - Engaging with Video Games Now I'm going to come at this from a very Christian centred way, but this will explain my beliefs well and hopefully challenge Christians who think its all bad, if it has not already. Video games send out an array of mixed messages to us, just in the same way as films and books which are a mix of truth and lies, beauty of the Gospel and ugliness of sin. The two worst things that Christians can do when it comes to movies, books or video games is: 1.Ignore it and blindly take it in. Passively take in the content and not really think about what you are watching or reading. 2.Dismiss all media and culture. Brand it as a waste of time or evil. Encourage Christians to stay away from all of that. So as a Christian I tend to ask myself these 8 questions (I don't do it formally most of the time, but I still think about it and have these questions in mind as I'm playing): 1.What’s the story? 2.Where am I? (what world you are in?) 3.What is good and true and beautiful about it? 4.What’s false and ugly and perverse about it? 5.When I play this game, do I notice any change of attitude of behaviour? 6.Is this a game I could easily walk away from or is it addictive? 7.How are men and women portrayed in the game? 8.How does the Gospel apply here? Now, using these questions I can asses the game thoughtfully and expose it for what it is trying to show. Most of these questions I feel everyone should ask themselves just to game in a healthy manner. From this I look to learn from the game, games often show aspects of real life and I believe that you should be able to learn something from anything. By looking at and Identifying what is Ugly/perverse IE killing/rape/demons/magic I am not just letting myself be influenced by them. I may choose not to play a game because it changes me as a person (long stints on WoW used to make me angry with the world and I also become addicted to it, thus I ended up not playing it for a while). Other thoughts games: •Anti-Christian content •Violence •Sex & Gender issues •Immoral actions •Alternative worldviews •Are these things a corrupting influence? For a Christian, living Godly is our aim. If a game (such as wow I mentioned above) stops me from doing that because it effects me in some way, then I won't play it. I'm not saying the game is wrong for a Christian to play, but for me it is not indicative of a Godly way of life because it effects me. Non - Christians Dealing with controlling Christian Parents: Now as a non Christian, very strong Christian parents can feel very controlling with these things. My advice would be: After reading this, try and understand why they are doing it (usually, they want to protect you from what they see is harmful to you). Discuss with them the game/s in question and get them to explain to you why? Games may be seen as demonic, and talk about demonic influences. I believe demons are very real and it is important to guard yourself from them. Your parents don't want them to influence your life at all. Yes there are demonic/sinful practices in games (that should be obvious) but once again it is important to perceive this and not let it effect you (talked about more in the next paragraph). If your parents are not letting you play games, then go through the risks with them, show them that you know what the risks are and that you won't let them effect you (I know this can be really hard for a non Christian, as often Christians see things very differently). If you show understanding, and explain why in ways games are good (point out things from points 3. and maybe point 8. lots of games have redemption stories and reflect the bible in this way, or may even contain Christian themes within them such as MLP). Ultimately, (and I urge you all to follow Jesus), for a non-Christian, your aims are not to be Godly in everything you do, and I'n the end that is your choice which is a choice everyone has. I would still say to you, think about the video games you are playing and how they might be effecting you (using the criteria) and don't let them adversely effect your life (particularly with addiction, everything in moderation ). (I also talk about how video games can be great for Christians/Christianity but this doesn't fit here). If you have any questions ask me, Ill try my best! If your a non-Christian I will thank you for reading ! Your welcome to read the rest but it is basically only aimed at Christians . Extra Advice for Christian - Playing games as a Christian Part 2 – Dealing with dangers Three Important things regarding this: Apply the Gospel. Know your own limits in these things. Treasure Jesus. Gaming is also an amazing way to build relationships! 1.Gaming can be part of a community whether an online community or having your mates around to play a game together. 2.Set up a gaming society at Uni or join one? Make friends, chat about games, play games together and build relationships that are authentic. 3.Gamechurch – gaming convention – give out free beer and tracts. Could you do that at your uni? Could you do that at a UK gaming convention? 4.Set up a CU event for those who enjoy video games. Play games together. Eat food. Share your testimony? Remember as a Christians we are called to be the "salt and the light" in everything we do . A quick thought from one/the most up to data Christian literature: “It’s high time for the church as a whole to realize that this is not a passing fad, something to be ignored until it fades… The church has seen fit to engage other media (books, TV and films) and there is no reason to ignore games. God’s people build communion and community in all kinds of situations. The fantastic worlds of video games certainly have room for us.” – Of Games and God, pg169 Overall, gaming is not bad for Christians, and if you apply the above you can't really go wrong! One thing I live by is: "Doing what you love, and taking Jesus with you!" Thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions ! Ill do my best to answer!
  14. So, as promised, I said on a recent topic I made just before I went camping that I would write a short blog entry when I got back about my experiences. Firstly lets set the scene; I was camping with my Christian Union at a Christian conference camp that had roughly 1000 campers. The weather was very sunny on the first 3 days of the 5 day camping with overcast/light drizzle on the last few days. Now I just want to say, overall It was loads of fun ! As people on the forums had promised, when you are with friends you can have a great time without really having things planned! Al thought we did have most of the day filled up with football and worship/seminars, we still had a good 4-5 hours of spare time and most of this we just sat around enjoying each others company ! So here are some of the funny moments: One of my friends was trying to cook his pasta on a small single burner (the type where you pierce the gas canister) and decided to not hold the pan and look away from 10 seconds. Before we knew it his pasta was all over the floor and he had burned a massive hole in his tea towel from the flame! Luckily he had some spare pasta, but it was still really funny! One night we also had a "sing off" with the Scottish and Welsh campers to see who could sing there national anthem the loudest! It was 11pm and not everyone appreciated it to say the least, not to mention the singing was awful ><! Worst parts: Feeling dirty and smelly most of the time is not fun for me. We had 2 shower block's that where rammed unless you skipped out activities (which I ended up doing every day so I could get a shower a day). Admittedly this is really only an issue when you wake up/after playing sport. The lack of light at night can also be annoying when your playing cards by torchlight and can't read the cards ><! The amount of wasps was unreal. We ignored them the first day, but by the second we had 20 flying around us at all times while eating and something had to be done. We declared war on them making a variety of traps and using everything from water bottles to forks to kill them, casualties where taken (I got stung twice when I was just standing around not caring about them ) but eventually but the last 2 days we had thinned them out enough to eat food without being harassed to badly ! Best Bits: Being with 40 people in almost a family like atmosphere where we shared everything had had great banter. Had 4 people in my 5 man tent, and we had some great conversations and times together! We also had a real Chinese chippy just down the road, so one day I got chips which where AWESOME! Also learning loads about Christianity and God, and worshipping with 1000 other people (like a mini festival) was great! Lots of good memories where made, and bonding was done with others a barely knew before the camp ! Verdict?: I wouldn't say I enjoy the camping part of camping, but I would most likely do it again to be with friends and have a great time! If you prepare pre cooked food and make sure you have simple things to cook and are well prepared, it can make it easy and even at time enjoyable! Having a stand up tent is a must for me though, and I would look to get some odourless deodorant (both wasps stings happened just after I put it on :/) and taking the memory foam mattress was a great Idea ! Thanks for reading, I hope you found it enjoyable!