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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:10 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
I don't think 'rational' and 'spiritual' are necessarily in opposition. But I'm not looking for some sort of philosophical discussion about the meaning of words such as 'rational' and 'spiritual', I'm looking for practical guidance.

On choosing a religious or spiritual path to follow, on what basis do I choose? If religion X and religion Y and religion Z all disagree, how do I decide which one is correct, how do I decide which is the best path to follow?

I could write the name of each religion and spiritual movement on a separate piece of paper, fold each piece of paper, put them all into a box, give the box a good shake, and then pick out one at random, and decide to follow that path for the rest of my life.

Would you recommend that way of choosing a path to follow?

If not, then what way would you recommend to decide which of the very many spiritual paths to follow? How do I go about deciding which to choose?

Even if I decide, having been born into a Christian family, that I should choose Christianity, how do I decide which Christian religion or denomination to follow?

Even if I decide, having been born into a Catholic family, that I should choose Catholicism, how do I decide which type of Catholicism I should choose to follow. Even in the short time I've been on the Ave Maria forums, I've been made aware that are at least two, probably three or more, different types of Catholicism. There are 'traditional Catholics', there are 'liberal Catholics', there are 'modernists', there are Catholics who disagree with Pope Francis's version of Catholicism, and so on.

Does it even matter which branch of Christianity I choose to follow as long as I believe in Jesus and live as good a life as I can?

If I don't necessarily exclude non-Christian religions, that makes the choice even greater. There's a confusing array of religions and spiritual movements to choose from. So how to choose?


Hello. I've been where you are at, what ultimately convinced me that the Catholic faith is the only one that we should follow was history ultimately. No other church in the world can make a serious claim that they're the true church of Christ. None of them have a direct link to Christ and the apostles such as the Catholic church has. Those links are proven with scripture, historical documents, and simply because almost every protestant church borrows some Catholic doctrine and accept the trinity. Why do they need to borrow our doctrines if they're the true church? Think on that.

Ephesians verses: "4 One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling.

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism." = Catholic Faith :-)

Fear not sister in Christ, the church is Christ's greatest grace to us.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:03 am 
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Was Jesus's tomb empty on Easter morning?

If the answer is, "No," then Christianity can close up shop and go home.

If the answer is, "Yes," then the question is, "What is the best explanation?" And I am convinced that any explanation other than, "Because He rose from the dead," ultimately does not hold water.

At that point, it becomes well-nigh impossible to hold that any religion that doesn't believe He rose is correct, and it then becomes impossible to avoid asking, "So what are the consequences of the fact that He rose?" And those consequences lead directly to Christianity.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:09 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Was Jesus's tomb empty on Easter morning?

If the answer is, "No," then Christianity can close up shop and go home.

If the answer is, "Yes," then the question is, "What is the best explanation?" And I am convinced that any explanation other than, "Because He rose from the dead," ultimately does not hold water.

At that point, it becomes well-nigh impossible to hold that any religion that doesn't believe He rose is correct, and it then becomes impossible to avoid asking, "So what are the consequences of the fact that He rose?" And those consequences lead directly to Christianity.


Well put sir


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:54 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Was Jesus's tomb empty on Easter morning?

If the answer is, "No," then Christianity can close up shop and go home.

If the answer is, "Yes," then the question is, "What is the best explanation?" And I am convinced that any explanation other than, "Because He rose from the dead," ultimately does not hold water.

At that point, it becomes well-nigh impossible to hold that any religion that doesn't believe He rose is correct, and it then becomes impossible to avoid asking, "So what are the consequences of the fact that He rose?" And those consequences lead directly to Christianity.

Can I be gently skeptical just so you can respond: What gives you the confident belief that it's a fact that Jesus rose from the dead? Perhaps he didn't die when he was crucified? There have been many cases in my lifetime of people seemingly being dead, taken to the mortuary, and then it is discovered that they are not dead. Could that not have happened with Jesus?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:00 pm 
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That's a good question. I was halfway through typing my answer when I found that Catholic Answers was way ahead of me.

Can I invite you to read this PDF? https://www.catholic.com/sites/default/ ... easter.pdf

The specific question you raise is handled on page 45, in the middle of a response to other objections people raise against the empty tomb argument.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:00 pm 
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The Romans were extremely good at making people dead.

Imagine, however, that Our Lord did not die, but instead swooned, fooled the Romans whose job is was to kill him, and was placed in a tomb. After being beaten and crucified and stabbed in the heart with a lance. And then he somehow recovered, made his way out of the tomb, pushing a large rock out of the way despite his physical condition, dodged the guards, and appeared to the Apostles, who had all fled in terror, and locked themselves in the upper room. And this walking corpse then convinced them that he was the Risen Son of God, convincing them all--all, without one recantation--to accept gruesome martyrdoms as they preached his Resurrection to the world.

It just doesn't really pass the smell test.

But for clarity's sake, I'd say that Father wasn't actually arguing that Our Lord rose from the dead. In that post, he was just pointing out to you the right place to start.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:03 pm 
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:soap:

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:04 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
:soap:

:cloud9:

(Denise Dee: gherkin and I have a friendly rivalry. Don't tell him I said it was friendly.)

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
gherkin wrote:
:soap:

:cloud9:


(Denise Dee: gherkin and I have a friendly rivalry. Don't tell him I said it was friendly.)


I agree with Obi-Wan.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
That's a good question. I was halfway through typing my answer when I found that Catholic Answers was way ahead of me.

Can I invite you to read this PDF? https://www.catholic.com/sites/default/ ... easter.pdf

The specific question you raise is handled on page 45, in the middle of a response to other objections people raise against the empty tomb argument.

I will read the pdf but I can't at the moment.


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:51 pm 
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gherkin wrote:
The Romans were extremely good at making people dead.

Imagine, however, that Our Lord did not die, but instead swooned, fooled the Romans whose job is was to kill him, and was placed in a tomb. After being beaten and crucified and stabbed in the heart with a lance. And then he somehow recovered, made his way out of the tomb, pushing a large rock out of the way despite his physical condition, dodged the guards, and appeared to the Apostles, who had all fled in terror, and locked themselves in the upper room. And this walking corpse then convinced them that he was the Risen Son of God, convincing them all--all, without one recantation--to accept gruesome martyrdoms as they preached his Resurrection to the world.

It just doesn't really pass the smell test.

But for clarity's sake, I'd say that Father wasn't actually arguing that Our Lord rose from the dead. In that post, he was just pointing out to you the right place to start.



I agree that Jesus would not have deliberately conned people into believing that he rose from the dead, but did Jesus ever claim that he rose from the dead?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:26 pm 
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Is that question based on the hypothesis that He really didn't die in the first place? As gherkin and the PDF both point out, that is an untenable hypothesis. He did, BTW, prophesy His death before it happened.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:55 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
gherkin wrote:
The Romans were extremely good at making people dead.

Imagine, however, that Our Lord did not die, but instead swooned, fooled the Romans whose job is was to kill him, and was placed in a tomb. After being beaten and crucified and stabbed in the heart with a lance. And then he somehow recovered, made his way out of the tomb, pushing a large rock out of the way despite his physical condition, dodged the guards, and appeared to the Apostles, who had all fled in terror, and locked themselves in the upper room. And this walking corpse then convinced them that he was the Risen Son of God, convincing them all--all, without one recantation--to accept gruesome martyrdoms as they preached his Resurrection to the world.

It just doesn't really pass the smell test.

But for clarity's sake, I'd say that Father wasn't actually arguing that Our Lord rose from the dead. In that post, he was just pointing out to you the right place to start.


Jesus is alive...he's in heaven obviously but look at what happened to the Roman empire after his death...It became Christian ultimately.


I agree that Jesus would not have deliberately conned people into believing that he rose from the dead, but did Jesus ever claim that he rose from the dead?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Why does it matter whether Jesus rose from the dead or not? If he didn't rise from the dead, it wouldn't make him any less divine, would it? People believed in him and followed him before his crucifixion. If he was divine before he was crucified, he was divine after he was crucified whether he rose from the dead or not. So why is it so important to believe he rose from the dead?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:02 pm 
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And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have given testimony against God, that he hath raised up Christ; whom he hath not raised up, if the dead rise not again. (1 Cor 15:14-15)

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:31 pm 
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The fact that He Rose is strong evidence for His divinity. That's why I raised the point.

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 1:08 pm 
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Okay, so if I accept the resurrection as a fact based on historical scriptural evidence, how do I decide which churches or branches within Christianity are the most correct, and which are wrong? There are so many it's difficult to know which are misleading and which are true.

How is one to decide between choosing to be Catholic, Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Quaker, Church of the Latter Day Saints, or some other branch of Christianity?

And then within these churches and branches, there are conservatives, liberals, modernists, traditionalists, ultratraditionalists...

And then there's the born again nondenominational Christians who say all that matters is to accept Jesus into your heart and then live from your heart? Is that all that matters? If not, why's that not enough?

It's very confusing to someone who is open minded. How is a fair and honest open minded person to decide?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:56 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Okay, so if I accept the resurrection as a fact based on historical scriptural evidence...

"historical scriptural" is not very clear. At the level of human reasoning, the resurrection tends to be accepted as an inference to the best explanation. Additionally, and more importantly, among those with the virtue of Faith, it's accepted on the basis of Divine Revelation, but you're not there yet. That's fine--it's also the best explanation for the facts as we have them: not just scriptural but historical.

Quote:
It's very confusing to someone who is open minded. How is a fair and honest open minded person to decide?

Just as an observation: when you phrase a question this way, it can appear that you're setting yourself up as rather special--you, unlike the rest of us, are actually fair, honest and open-minded, and this leads you to these questions which of course closed-minded bigots like your interlocutors don't face. But as you see from the board title, many of us here have in fact been in your shoes and asked the same questions and found the answers. One thing many of us have found is that asking questions around here can be very helpful, but if one wants a serious and sustained set of answers, we need also to look to good books.

How far have you gotten on Mere Christianity?

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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Gherkin, you are somewhat oversensitive in regard to my description of myself as fair and honest and open minded. I can only speak for myself, I wasn't making any comment about you or others here whom I don't even know well enough to make a judgement like that. Do you think every non-Catholic who has questions about Catholicism is fair and honest and open minded? If not, then what is wrong with me pointing out that I am, or at least trying to be, fair and honest and open minded? The fact that I was initially somewhat skeptical about whether or not Jesus rose from the dead, and then after getting some answers, I accepted it, suggests that I am prepared to be fair and honest and open minded, and that's the spirit in which I wish to continue. It's not any comment about you or others here, it's a comment about me alone. Perhaps if I was a committed follower of some other religion I wouldn't be open minded and fair and honest, I don't know, but I'm not committed to any religion, and that was the only point I was making.

As for the book, you recommended, I'm not a great reader of books, I find it very difficult to get around to reading any book, I much more readily read things on the Internet, and I have read the pdf document which Obi provided a link to, which convinced me sufficiently about the resurrection.

But, though it may be clear to you, it's not apparent to me how belief in the resurrection leads to belief in one particular Christian religion and not to any of the others. From my point of view it's confusing.

It's difficult for me to know what to believe. Do you find it difficult to know what to believe?


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 Post subject: Re: Choosing the right path
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:47 pm 
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as far as i know, every splinter of Christianity believes in the resurrection... it's pretty universal and kinda the definition of being Christian

are you asking the Lord to provide you the guidance you need in making your decision in your prayer life... ask the Blessed Mother for Her help...She will ALWAYS lead you closer to Her Divine Son ... and in my case, into the Church He instituted and authorized... i'm a 20+ year Catholic now and still can't believe my good fortune in where i ended up

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