BELIEVE Editor's Beliefs

In order to give assurance that the contents of BELIEVE's group of articles are as unbiased and useful as possible, it seems appropriate and necessary to express the personal religious thoughts of the editor. Hopefully, the effect of any personal bias has been minimized.

In general, the presentations included herein have been written by a wide assortment of authors from many sources. Many thousand articles were considered and studied for inclusion. A guiding principle was to try to identify any obvious biases For or Against the subject under consideration by its author. If that seemed the case, the article was NOT included. It was desired that all subjects be presented in as fair a manner as possible, by accurate authors, in order to be the most useful and helpful as possible for the greatest number of people.

Of course, accuracy, completeness and usefulness are also very important.

While in college, at the age of 19, I was saved as a Christian. I have felt a close personal relationship with Jesus ever since. Even during those periods of incredible adversity (which we all face at some times in our lives), I never saw cause to doubt or blame Him. Most of those difficult times have turned out to be wonderful learning experiences wherein I discovered things about myself that I would have never learned in any other way.

Most weren't so wonderful at the time, as when more than a half million dollars (which I had worked very hard for), rather suddenly left my possession. That represented nearly everything I had worked for ten years for. At the time, it was frustrating to experience several huge business thefts, business setbacks and other difficulties, and some betrayals by important friends and associates, none of which I believe I caused. For a little while, I felt anger and animosity for the thieves and others, but never toward the Lord.

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Later, I realized that I was learning things about them and about myself, and that I probably didn't need most of that stuff anyway (Maybe they did!) I certainly learned how important material things had quietly become in my life, and discovered that all the stress I had lived with in that earlier time was associated with collecting and supporting all those material 'toys.' My life has been much happier and far less stressful after those episodes when many 'things' disappeared from my life.

I believe in Christian Scriptures

Since the Bible was compiled from so many authors, and copied and translated so many times before getting to us, I am willing to accept punctuation (or spelling) errors in our currently available versions. However, since the Spirit was guiding each of these conduits of information, I am comfortable with the absolute accuracy with all of the messages contained in it. I believe that Scripture is the final authority in faith and conduct. I believe in the absolute inerrancy of the original manuscripts of the texts which are parts of the Bible.

Many interpretations are possible and many exist. This has led to a multitude of denominations of Christians. Several slightly different modern Bibles have been created based on slightly different interpretations and translations of Scripture. Ultra - strict clothing and behavior (eg. the Amish) rules have been read from Scripture. So have a multitude of other mortal sociological systems. I tend to be nearer the other end of the spectrum, but I highly respect my Amish friends, and see no reason to put them down. Scripture tells us to be tolerant. . . I always try to be. Even with regard to believers whose beliefs are foreign to me, as long as they worship God. (Sometimes I have problems with the leaders of such groups, especially if they seem to interpret the Bible in ways which happen to benefit them personally, in wealth or fame or power.)

I believe that it is crucial to closely follow the Spirit of the Law. Being picky about the letter of the Law seems inappropriate to me if it regards irrelevant details. Such tiny details ARE sometimes interesting to investigate.

I believe in the Trinity.

Father (God), Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit are one and the same. When we perceive one or another of these, we are just sensing a particular aspect of His being. At various times, we see Him in different circumstances, and perceive Him as another of the Trinity. Jesus showed us that God is loving, compassionate, understanding. He is capable of anger and retribution (as seen in the Old Testament), but only when seriously provoked. Since Jesus lived and died, we have a better understanding of His loving and gentle side.

Actually, it seems clear to me that the Spirit has caused me to create this diskette, for ultimate purposes which include the spreading of the Word.

I believe that it is extremely important to develop and maintain a personal relationship with the Lord. Other people (including ministry) are very beneficial in developing and maintaining this relationship, but it ultimately comes down to a one - on - one relationship. When judgement comes, the modern American justice pattern of blaming someone else or coming up with excuses just wouldn't cut it. Close personal bonds allow the Spirit closer to each of us, which then helps guide us on a proper path.

I deplore the infighting amongst denominations.

I believe that when we don't see eye to eye on specific religious subjects, it is often because we are not knowledgeable enough to see the compatibilities of our positions. We humans seem to focus on differences rather than similarities.

WE are Right! THEY are Wrong! Criticize, persecute and kill them!

This is all done in the name of the Lord. Wow!

(Hopefully this diskette will help in this area)

Give the Lord credit. He's mighty insightful. I can't believe that He would abandon the four billion Non - Christians presently living to damnation. Or the 4.99 billion who are not in your denomination. I choose to believe that His overall plan is more comprehensive and complex than we currently understand. It may be that He is caring about and for ALL the world's peoples. If we ever get past the religious infighting, we may someday discover this. The 'Babel' phenomena still seems to apply in religious circles. Each denomination defends its position by spreading a biased and incomplete understanding of competing beliefs and assuming all others are intrinsically wrong. This strikes me as short - sighted and not giving the Lord His due credit.

I believe that someday, He will help us understand enough to resolve all the apparent differences between denominations, and even between Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Moslems (who all worship the Same God, but viciously attack each other.) Someday, the Brotherhood of Man may grow with understanding.

This understanding of separate and independent religions which all worship God allows me as a Christian to recognize and appreciate Jews and Mohammedans and Muslims without giving up any of the strength of my conviction in Jesus. Jesus IS my Savior while Mohammed might provide guidance for others, for example. No conflict. We each believe in God and Abraham and Moses and the Ten Commandments and many other common beliefs. Our methods and rites are different, but the end is the same. Through very different paths, we each find and follow God. For Me, the Only path to salvation is through faith in Jesus, and by subsequent Grace of God. I accept that it might be possible for believers in Judaism or Islam to be saved in a different manner.

By the way, one goal of this diskette is to help initiate conversations between believers. Rather than carrying animosity and hatred from lack of knowledge, and therefore avoiding actual conversation with believers of another system, we need to carry Christian understanding, compassion and tolerance for people with (apparently) differing religious views. Who knows what might develop? ( He does!)

World peace might eventually benefit. Individual peace and understanding certainly can.

I am comfortable in believing the accuracy of my beliefs. But I also believe that this does not necessarily make Your beliefs wrong if they are not identical with mine. Since the goal for each of us is a personal relationship with the Lord, His specific relationship with you may be slightly different than that with me.

Think about those who you consider friends. Did you apply the exact same set of moral, ethical and sociological rules to each? Unlikely. You like each of your friends for unique reasons. They all didn't have to have identical behaviors and attitudes to become your friend.

I believe that our Lord, Jesus is similar. He is aware of the uniqueness and the quirks of each of us and treats us accordingly. He is willing to welcome each human on an individual basis. He is more wonderful than we realize!

This presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 1997.

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