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Major Logica
Neophenx de Chrysalya
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I have not pushed my beliefs on you, expecting you to convert to them.. there is nothing to convert to.


Again, I'm stopping you short on this remark right here because you've illustrated yet again that you're adding to the black-and-white text I've written.

I did not say that you were trying to make me convert to your way of thinking, but that you are indeed pushing your belief about stating one's faith and standing up for it.

You also keep saying that I am attacking people, when I have already pointed out that I am looking for definitive information. It is your opinion that I am attacking people, when if you read my words carefully, removing from them your interpretation, your emotions and your opinions and READ the black-and-white text in front of your eyes, you will see that. Again, you are pushing on to me your opinion-based definition of "attacking people" when I've made it abundantly clear that I want solid answers. I have also made it clear that being loving to people does not mean sitting idly by while they live in lies. My heart breaks for people who live in lies. And yes, I do have a perception of truth that differs from yours, but it is because of what I believe is truth that I literally cry in sorrow for people who are lost. I repeat: How much do you have to hate somebody to know what the truth is and not share it with them?

As for your whole approach to "personal truth," I've already made my peace on the subject. If you honestly don't care about the actual definition of the word and would rather apply your own opinion of what the dictionary should say about it, I do hope that you are actually right and that I am wrong about what the word actually means. I'd also suggest actually studying the entire notion of this "new age" faith, because in reality it's not that new. You're telling me that people should just believe whatever they want, regardless of what very real and truth-based consequence it just MIGHT have on them in this life and the next. I repeat again: it is out of love for people living in what I believe are lies that I reach out to them, to ask them questions and think critically about the answers. It's not just a church that rides on this, but that person's individual identity and soul. I repeat (again because you continue thinking this is an attack): I would have to literally hate and despise someone to not share with them what I believe is the very real and powerful Christ, who alone is salvation in eternity and comfort and fulfillment in this life.

So tell me, knowing this definition of truth and love that I carry in my mind and in my heart, if you were to ask yourself how much you loved somebody, could you say you loved them enough to share what to you is a very real and fulfilling truth? Or is your life so full of either fear, hatred or anger that you do not want your truth, which you believe saves your eternal soul, to save another human being, be it a stranger on the street or your own parent, sibling or friend?

Your huge rant about "burden of proof" regarding evidence in a court of law does not change one single fundamental fact. While different witnesses may have different interpretations of what happened, there is STILL only a SINGLE factual occurrence of what did happen. Saying that everyone can have their own interpretation is, again, illogical in the light of there can still only be a single truth. Say for instance a murder goes to trial and is pardoned because of a "lack of evidence." Regardless of whether or not the evidence was substantial in the opinions of the members of the jury to convict the murderer does NOT change the fact that he or she committed the murder. You illustrate time and time again that you simply place more value on personal opinion than on solid information, in this tangent, and in ignoring a simple question of specific Biblical contradictions that led you personally away from Christianity. Dodging such questions is not at all clever, my friend, and (in my opinion) very disrespectful to the progression of conversation.

Oh, and I'll stop being an a** as soon as you stop paining me in that light. Your own interpretation of what constitutes "being an a**" apparently matches my definition of "speaking with confidence." Again, you're only illustrating that you're trying to push your definitions onto me by interpreting black-and-white text with your emotional reactions.


That's all very well and good, but it isn't WHAT you're saying. it's the WAY you're saying it.
Again: "the way you're saying it" also depends on how you read what is written. I'm done being a parrot for you.
Neophenx de Chrysalya
The question I pose is this: Just because people CAN believe it does not make it TRUE. After all, there can be only a single truth. This relitivism of "believe what you want" is foolishness, especially when you're talking about eternal life. With that in mind, out of love for people who believe Mormonism to be true, I must ask them WHY is it true, and point out the logical inconsistencies in the belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet with so many blunders under his belt. If anything, questioning the presence of actual TRUTH behind Mormon origins, if it leads people out of a system of lies and towards knowing actual truth, is more loving than letting them sit in their lies and risk eternity.


I finally found your question about Mormonism! ... and I guess it boils down to... WHY is it true?
That is a hard one. I don't think I can answer it. You make a lot of assertions that are hard to get around.

1. There can be only a single truth.
Wow. Really? What is it? All the rest can wait. What is the one single truth?
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The question I pose is this: Just because people CAN believe it does not make it TRUE. After all, there can be only a single truth. This relitivism of "believe what you want" is foolishness, especially when you're talking about eternal life. With that in mind, out of love for people who believe Mormonism to be true, I must ask them WHY is it true, and point out the logical inconsistencies in the belief in Joseph Smith as a prophet with so many blunders under his belt. If anything, questioning the presence of actual TRUTH behind Mormon origins, if it leads people out of a system of lies and towards knowing actual truth, is more loving than letting them sit in their lies and risk eternity.


I finally found your question about Mormonism! ... and I guess it boils down to... WHY is it true?
That is a hard one. I don't think I can answer it. You make a lot of assertions that are hard to get around.

1. There can be only a single truth.
Wow. Really? What is it? All the rest can wait. What is the one single truth?

The statement that "there can be only a single truth" is simply a logical conclusion based on the actual state of the world. For example, if Atheism is true, then Christianity is false, because no God created nature and everything in it that works the way it does. These two world views also hold different values for life, such that if Atheism and evolution are true, then nature is in fact governed by "survival of the fittest," meaning that all of our human efforts to preserve endangered species and provide welfare for the poor is, in essence, biologically irresponsible to our race and to the rest of nature.

I can only say what I believe to be true, that the Bible is the Word of God, complete in black-and-white text. For somebody to come to any actual conclusion would require one to put aside opinion and emotion when it comes to the matter. Actually trying it and seeing if God Himself would prove what He promised in the Bible would help, tremendously. While initially I got into the faith based on results of testing the waters and looking from a third-person-perspective on my life and the lives of those around me, I've spent much time since then studying different writers, trying to wrap my mind around WHY it must be true, and in the end I've found one quote among all of it, I believe from Clive Staples Lewis, that sums it up quite nicely. It went something like "Like the sun, I don't believe in Christianity because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else."

I become very wary around any "extra doctrine" such as what is pushed out by the LDS (Book of Mormon/Doctrine and Covenants), the Catholic church (supremacy of the Pope and traditions), Jehovah's Witnesses (Watchtower Newsletter), etc, because of plain-as-day warnings spoken and written by Jesus Himself, as well as those who followed Him: that there would be people claiming there to be some new doctrine, some new version of Jesus, or that Jesus was already present in a certain place like in the Bahai or the teachings of Sun Myung Moon (who teaches that Jesus failed in His initial mission and that Mr Moon, a Korean, is the second attempt at Christ's perfection). The Bible makes certain claims about the divinity of, and our salvation in, Jesus Christ. Many of these faiths teach that a person must live up to certain standards to be close to God, but the message I found in Christianity (at its root, not always in every living professing follower), is that all good works we perform, be it preaching, baptizing, donations, working with the poor, etc~ is that it is a RESULT of being saved, not the means to be saved.

As a final note, I do not believe in Christianity because it is easy. It is anything but. Often times, I wish it were not true. I'd love to go back to banging some chick with emotional issues, because it's easy. I'd like to take a free sandwich from work even though it's technically stealing, because it's easy. There are certain things that look like moral absolutes in the Bible that make Christianity unpopular in a post-modern society, but unpopularity doesn't automatically make something untrue. There are missionaries in China who are imprisoned for talking about Christ, but does that make their message untrue? I don't see how it would, considering that a lot of Paul's writings that eventually became a bulk of the New Testament came from being imprisoned and unable to go to where he intended to preach.

It's a subject I've grown to love, and mind you I used to hate anything having to do with any theology or history. I just didn't care about any of it. But like I quoted earlier, "by it I see everything else," I've gained a whole new perspective and appreciation for it.

P.S.: Thank you for approaching with that attitude that you did. While often times the plain, simple message is received with offense, it takes a truly honest and open heart to question one's own world view, as I have had to do on numerous occasions.
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...but I'm trying to understand more about Hindu (seeing how my boss is from India, I question him all the time about this and that).


I was just reviewing the last few pages of posts and noticed this. I know I beat out the same few names now and then, but Ravi Zacharias actually grew up in India in a Hindu family. His books and some of his videos that people have uploaded to Youtube have bits and pieces of his testimony growing up that may also provide a good research point of the Hindu/Christian transition. One book in particular I've read is called Jesus Among Other Gods, quite a nice read, and one I've quoted for a speech on "the nature of truth" that I did in college.
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The question I pose is this:.... With that in mind, out of love for people who believe Mormonism to be true, I must ask them WHY is it true...


I finally found your question about Mormonism! ... and I guess it boils down to... WHY is it true?

1. There can be only a single truth.
Wow. Really? What is it? All the rest can wait. What is the one single truth?

The statement that "there can be only a single truth" is simply a logical conclusion....
I can only say what I believe to be true, that the Bible is the Word of God,.... trying it and seeing if God Himself would prove what He promised in the Bible would help, tremendously. While initially I got into the faith based on results of testing the waters and looking from a third-person-perspective on my life and the lives of those around me, I've spent much time since then studying different writers, trying to wrap my mind around WHY it must be true, and in the end I've found one quote among all of it, I believe from Clive Staples Lewis, that sums it up quite nicely. It went something like "Like the sun, I don't believe in Christianity because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else."....

It's a subject I've grown to love, and mind you I used to hate anything having to do with any theology or history. I just didn't care about any of it. But like I quoted earlier, "by it I see everything else," I've gained a whole new perspective and appreciation for it.
.


Thank you! A heartfelt answer if I've ever heard one. I am also a huge fan of CS Lewis, a man who really thought about life and what it meant and wasn't afraid to tell the world about his views about Christianity even when they went against popular christian traditions of the day.

I'll tell you a little about Mormonism and Mormons and myself. You've obviously heard of Joseph Smith. Things all started when he was listening to christian protestant preachers preaching the bible and trying to gather people to their flocks, but not working together. They taught different interpretations of the same Bible verses and tried to get bigger congregations and so were competitive. Joseph was a young boy at the time [13ish] and his family studied the Bible. His parents let the kids make up their own minds about which congregation to join and worship with, but Joseph didn't know which one was the RIGHT one.

So according to his own story, he was reading in the Bible James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, ask God. [paraphrasing] God will give it to you freely and not find fault.
So off he goes to pray about which church to join, believing that God will tell him. And out of all the kids who pray... God and Jesus actually appear in person and talk to Joseph and tell him not to join any of them. He gets taught by angels for several years in preparation for restoring the church as it was when Jesus re established his church on the earth the way it was given to Adam and passed on to his posterity to bless all mankind.

That is the Mormon story. The Bible is believed to be the gospel of Jesus Christ as told by the prophets who are the righteous posterity of Adam [in the Old Testament] and then the righteous followers and those set apart to lead the church taught by Jesus Christ himself [in the New Testament].

Mormons in general believe that God actually did talk to Joseph Smith and the Old testament prophets and his son, Jesus Christ. They don't think there is really any new doctrine added to the Bible, just things that were lost over the years that are restored.

I didn't mean this to be this long. I am sad to say that many Mormons I have known [maybe thousands] do not truly believe the Bible [or the Book of Mormon]. It is not through the eyes of the gospel that they see everything differently, like you do.

They have been taught such and such is true and soaked it up without really testing it or thinking deeply about the consequences. Most people don't realize the things they take for granted until something shocks them out of complacency. You probably don't realize how amazingly wonderful your little toe is because it isn't broken at the moment. If it was broken, you would be thinking a LOT more about it, limping about, cussing, elevating it, wanting pain meds, wishing you had worn shoes, wondering why do we even have pinky toes, etc... such is human nature.

I was one of those people, sort of. I grew up immersed in Mormonism. Except I wanted to have visions. I wanted God to tell me what to do. If God would tell Joseph Smith... I had as much faith as he did, I was sure. I read the Bible and prayed my little heart out. I hated Isaiah saying "he who has ears to hear, let him hear" because I knew I wasn't getting the deep truths Isaiah was teaching and it drove me crazy. I studied and cross referenced everything. I read the psalms in one day once and decided David was bipolar, which was sort of a comfort because I was severely depressed at the time. I could relate to his really bummed out psalms.

I took a class in university about world religions that said there were different theories about language and religion dispersions in the world and one was that Adam was taught by God and he taught his children and they taught theirs and etc but things changed over the centuries and as people moved to inherit different areas or rebelled against their parents and so some truths were here and others were there and some people held tightly to, such as the coming of the Messiah... which story you can find in various forms in all cultures from wayyyy before Jesus' birth. That's what got me interested in "looking for truth" all over.

I think when I say "truth" I'm talking about a bit of truth. Like a sentence someone says that I know is true... not the entire worldview. I feel like I am gathering up seeds that got strewn all over.

I may be mistaken, but it seems like you feel like everything you need is right there in the Bible. Kind of a "how to live your life guidebook", sent from God. [Man I wanted God's rule book for everything when I was a teen. Seemed like the Bible didn't really say what to do when your boyfriend was mean and manipulative and... ]

I think if a person really truly believes the Bible... they won't neglect praying and they will strive to be compassionate to all. Such a person, if they died and found out there really was a God would have peace and joy, imo.
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Neophenx de Chrysalya
The question I pose is this:.... With that in mind, out of love for people who believe Mormonism to be true, I must ask them WHY is it true...


I finally found your question about Mormonism! ... and I guess it boils down to... WHY is it true?

1. There can be only a single truth.
Wow. Really? What is it? All the rest can wait. What is the one single truth?

The statement that "there can be only a single truth" is simply a logical conclusion....
I can only say what I believe to be true, that the Bible is the Word of God,.... trying it and seeing if God Himself would prove what He promised in the Bible would help, tremendously. While initially I got into the faith based on results of testing the waters and looking from a third-person-perspective on my life and the lives of those around me, I've spent much time since then studying different writers, trying to wrap my mind around WHY it must be true, and in the end I've found one quote among all of it, I believe from Clive Staples Lewis, that sums it up quite nicely. It went something like "Like the sun, I don't believe in Christianity because I can see it, but because by it I can see everything else."....

It's a subject I've grown to love, and mind you I used to hate anything having to do with any theology or history. I just didn't care about any of it. But like I quoted earlier, "by it I see everything else," I've gained a whole new perspective and appreciation for it.
.


Thank you! A heartfelt answer if I've ever heard one. I am also a huge fan of CS Lewis, a man who really thought about life and what it meant and wasn't afraid to tell the world about his views about Christianity even when they went against popular christian traditions of the day.

I'll tell you a little about Mormonism and Mormons and myself. You've obviously heard of Joseph Smith. Things all started when he was listening to christian protestant preachers preaching the bible and trying to gather people to their flocks, but not working together. They taught different interpretations of the same Bible verses and tried to get bigger congregations and so were competitive. Joseph was a young boy at the time [13ish] and his family studied the Bible. His parents let the kids make up their own minds about which congregation to join and worship with, but Joseph didn't know which one was the RIGHT one.

So according to his own story, he was reading in the Bible James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, ask God. [paraphrasing] God will give it to you freely and not find fault.
So off he goes to pray about which church to join, believing that God will tell him. And out of all the kids who pray... God and Jesus actually appear in person and talk to Joseph and tell him not to join any of them. He gets taught by angels for several years in preparation for restoring the church as it was when Jesus re established his church on the earth the way it was given to Adam and passed on to his posterity to bless all mankind.

That is the Mormon story. The Bible is believed to be the gospel of Jesus Christ as told by the prophets who are the righteous posterity of Adam [in the Old Testament] and then the righteous followers and those set apart to lead the church taught by Jesus Christ himself [in the New Testament].

Mormons in general believe that God actually did talk to Joseph Smith and the Old testament prophets and his son, Jesus Christ. They don't think there is really any new doctrine added to the Bible, just things that were lost over the years that are restored.

I didn't mean this to be this long. I am sad to say that many Mormons I have known [maybe thousands] do not truly believe the Bible [or the Book of Mormon]. It is not through the eyes of the gospel that they see everything differently, like you do.

They have been taught such and such is true and soaked it up without really testing it or thinking deeply about the consequences. Most people don't realize the things they take for granted until something shocks them out of complacency. You probably don't realize how amazingly wonderful your little toe is because it isn't broken at the moment. If it was broken, you would be thinking a LOT more about it, limping about, cussing, elevating it, wanting pain meds, wishing you had worn shoes, wondering why do we even have pinky toes, etc... such is human nature.

I was one of those people, sort of. I grew up immersed in Mormonism. Except I wanted to have visions. I wanted God to tell me what to do. If God would tell Joseph Smith... I had as much faith as he did, I was sure. I read the Bible and prayed my little heart out. I hated Isaiah saying "he who has ears to hear, let him hear" because I knew I wasn't getting the deep truths Isaiah was teaching and it drove me crazy. I studied and cross referenced everything. I read the psalms in one day once and decided David was bipolar, which was sort of a comfort because I was severely depressed at the time. I could relate to his really bummed out psalms.

I took a class in university about world religions that said there were different theories about language and religion dispersions in the world and one was that Adam was taught by God and he taught his children and they taught theirs and etc but things changed over the centuries and as people moved to inherit different areas or rebelled against their parents and so some truths were here and others were there and some people held tightly to, such as the coming of the Messiah... which story you can find in various forms in all cultures from wayyyy before Jesus' birth. That's what got me interested in "looking for truth" all over.

I think when I say "truth" I'm talking about a bit of truth. Like a sentence someone says that I know is true... not the entire worldview. I feel like I am gathering up seeds that got strewn all over.

I may be mistaken, but it seems like you feel like everything you need is right there in the Bible. Kind of a "how to live your life guidebook", sent from God. [Man I wanted God's rule book for everything when I was a teen. Seemed like the Bible didn't really say what to do when your boyfriend was mean and manipulative and... ]

I think if a person really truly believes the Bible... they won't neglect praying and they will strive to be compassionate to all. Such a person, if they died and found out there really was a God would have peace and joy, imo.


((holy fudge ripple moose tracks, I go to review my post and I may have to turn it into a post on my currently-stagnant blog because of how lengthy and ridiculous it might seem. Sorry for the wall of text, but I do hope it proves helpful to at least someone who cares to review it. Of course, if someone actually DOES find fault with my reasoning and can show my error to me using some proper context that I may have overlooked, by all means show me. If I am wrong, I would like to be corrected. However, if all an argument falls on is opinions and personal offense, don't bother.))

Now this may sound like "interpretation" or some kind of inspired take on what the Bible says, but in your specific example (what to do when a boyfriend is mean/manipulative/etc), I can think of a few very specific sayings from the Bible that I hear when my pastors are talking about relationships. For one, we have small group ministries as well as the whole congregation, because in the smaller groups you can be closer to your dear friends who are immersed in that truth just as you are, and at the same time it creates an air of accountability. If you start screwing up, others in your group can respectfully point it out to you and if you are humble enough to receive correction, change paths back to what you already knew should have been right. That's one thing, in essence of method, like how David was close to and accountable to the prophet who called him out on his adultery.

Another popular quote I've heard (exact citation escapes me, but could probably google it) is "Do not awaken love before its time." Essentially, God already has something set aside for His child, if His child would simply receive it. The timing isn't always... scratch that... almost NEVER what we would want it to be, but in all reality if there is a God who created the whole of our observable reality, I think He'd have enough power and foresight to know how to help a person's relationships.

A third point on that same exact subject is in the definition of love itself, according to the Bible. (again, google for exact citation, but even in its whole context it's rather self explanatory) Love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not quarrel, etc etc. If a person is in an abusive relationship, they must ask themselves (and as said before, this type of question cannot be answered with emotion or impulse, but instead by cold reasoning) "does this person actually love me?" A person must define what love is, and in the popular, teen-relationship-driven culture of our post-modern world that means falling in love with some cute person, ignoring the fact that relationships (be it romantic, friendship, boss/employee, family, etc) are work. Another quote that fits in here is "do not be unequally yoked," which when applied to dating would, I think, suggest that one person is not controlling the other (being yoked as in a pair of livestock tied together to haul a wagon/carriage/whatever). Looking at every example of some biblical relationship, people had to work at it. Abraham and Sarah had more than their share of troubles, largely due to their own impatience and methods, but they continued to work at their relationship day to day. Look at Jacob, who had two wives who were also sisters who were bickering constantly and almost at each other's throats in jealousy. If you think that relationship didn't take a lot of work, you just might need your head examined. Even as far back as Adam and Eve, the two people who probably had more reason to resent each other than ANY other couple ever to exist, managed to work together and fulfill their commission, to multiply and occupy the beautiful world they lived in.

Pardon the lengthy response, but I at least hope it illuminates some things. I'd like to share something that was a bit personal, but I believe it to be quite relevant to our conversation all the same. I recently (within only the past couple weeks) had a word come to me from seemingly nowhere (can't remember if it was a song lyric or a memory or literally some spirit whispering it to me, I don't rule out the latter in the least after hearing some of the testimonies I've heard). The word was "Believe like a child believes." I instantly started to question it, partially due to the skeptical nature I've developed about accepting things at first presentation, after all the New Testament repeatedly warns against accepting new flashy ideologies and becoming enthralled with worldly philosophy, so I asked the voice what exactly it meant. The answer brought me to tears when it said "When you were a child, you trusted your parents without question. You loved their words and clung to them." I was driving home at the time and as soon as I got home I did a quick internet search to find exact citations for it, and though the words themselves didn't appear, two distinct stories, just a few verses long each, appeared in Matthew, Mark and Luke, about "who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven" (told once) and about the children being brought to Jesus to be blessed (told twice). I opened this commentary written by a renown preacher and scholar from the late 1600s/early 1700s, Matthew Henry, to read what he said about each of these three occurrences, each agreeing with what I was told on that drive home. Later that week, I got together with a small leaders group and oddly enough the topic for discussion was "receiving words/revelations from God," or more specifically why we might not be hearing a new word. After getting a chance to talk about what had happened with me, I was reminded of what I was like only a year ago, so enthralled in the pursuit of God's word that people literally saw that "childlike faith" in me, yet over the past year I've become so obsessed with the logic and the "why" of everything that to some degree I'd forgotten that simple, devoted trust between a child and parent.

As for your other issue about trying so hard to get a notion of truth straight from God, I feel that the primary message from that meeting last week applies here. It's generally understood that Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, was written around 450-500 years before Christ was born. That means there's 450-500 years of missing history of Israel's prophets, kings and priests. What my small group leader had suggested is that during that time, God simply didn't have anything to say or reveal, because the people didn't apply the lesson given to them the last time (and after reading Malachi, the bulk of the prophecy seemed to be a warning of becoming the exact kind of religious leaders who tried to trap Jesus with questions and tricks in the Gospels). So for those of us who had not gotten a new word to apply to our lives, it was suggested that we instead take a step back to the last word we received (of course, I believe that the word will have some kind of precedent in scripture and not be an arbitrarily applied individual or relativistic truth that just works for the self), and if we can't remember that last revelation to simply ask to receive it one more time.

I've heard a few definitions from my pastors about the Bible and what exactly it is, as well as something that Ravi Zacharias had said about it in response to a question "Why the Bible?" From my pastors, I have heard that it is a book of the history of God's works in both creation and in society, detailing His plan and purpose. I've also heard one pastor refer to it as a personal love letter, written specifically to him, and that's how he chose to receive it. Naturally, he didn't say so with an attitude of "it's mine and nobody else can have it!" But rather that anybody could receive it as such. Then, the Ravi Zacharias response stated that it is a book on history, theology, philosophy, morality, even some science, through means of prose and poetry, and that if anything was in fact found untruthful in the book's history, theology or philosophy or science that the book itself was useless because of a proven non-truth. (of course, in light of science, it has to be proven with a real science, not a theoretical science)

Lastly, to wrap up, I'd just like to touch on your final short paragraph. I would much rather live as a Christian, with a life devoted to acts of love (in the giving sense, not the romantic sense, though I would like to be married some day) and spreading that love to everything my hands touch, trusting God's strength to fill in for my weaknesses, and die to find out there is no God and no purpose; than I would live a carnal, self-driven existence devoid of any notion of God, morality or accountability for my actions, and in the end be proven wrong through the eternal separation from that which is the source of love, joy and peace promised in the Bible. It's a risk I am simply not willing to take, and a risk that I would not wish on any other human being. (thus being why I tend be adamant and aggressive about the issues like 'nature of truth' and logical conclusions involving the subject)

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