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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.


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About Julianne

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  1. Julianne

    Soul Mates

    Interesting observation. It's true that many people look at the "meant to be" idea as the easy relationship. However a different way to look at the idea of soul mates, is the complete opposite one: That the two soul mates will be together no matter what, and return to each other regardless of how many times life or their own mistakes lead them apart. Maybe it's also about the desire to be loved the way you are, to be loved as a person who was made for you would. Overall this seems to be the issue of people romanticising the hardship of leading a succesful relationship. The only thing resembling anything near the idea of soul mates in the Bible, in my opinion, is Adam and Eve.
  2. It really depends on the school that the child attends. I'm lucky to be living around some of the best schools in the city. There's no differentiation between Christian or non-Christian schools, they all have the same curriculum across the country, as dictated by the Ministy of Education and Religion (they are one ministry). They all teach a religious class and have austere rules, heavy on anti-bullying, anti-vandalism, but less so on what schoolkids wear or the opinions they express. On the LGBT-Q matter, there hasn't been any incident that doesn't fall in the above categories. Violence is violence no matter to who it's applied. We have a lot of schoolkids (like 20% and sometimes more in certain areas) that are either atheists or of a different religion, so one of the ethical standpoints that everyone agrees on is respecting other people. The difference for non-Christian kids is that they are excempt from religious classes and school prayer. We're more cram-school oriented as a culture and homeschooling is very rarely chosen as a solution to problems, so parents tend to emphasise their childrens' religious education with Sunday school, which is very popular and organised. As a culture we're also more confrontational, and more likely to pick up the phone or show up on someone's doorstep to talk about a fight between their kids. Our real plague is cyber bullying. However schools at desolate places with very little population tend to be less efficient in teaching. In that case, yes, a lot of people choose homeschooling. But don't overall bar their children with associating with other people form the community.
  3. While dreams have been a venue for God's messages in some instances in the Bible, they tend to be very easily influenced by our personal view of the world, e.g. if you tend to personally emphasize the role of the Virgin Mary in your life, the fourth presence might have been a personal symbolism, similarly some people have an compulsion to fill-up odd numbers like turning 3 into 4. That being said, as William pointed out, this is not the first time issues of God's nature come into discussion. In fact the very representation of what exactly is each of the 3 sides of the Holy Trinity and how they interact, has been fuel for schizm and the creation of various branches of Christianity. I think that you should search internally about what it was that this vision meant for you, instead of looking for answers from other people. If it really was a meaningful vision, its message should stretch beyond the numbers of indiscernible faces, on that regard you might be overemphasising in a less important part of that vision/dream.
  4. Julianne

    Can non Christians go to heaven?

    A lot of early Christians had to avoid persecution by the Romans and other cultures before Christianity came in the open. These people would express themselves religiously only in confidence and excersised their faith in catacombs and hideouts. It's not impossible to believe or convert to Christianity and be baptised as long as no one else finds out. No one will ever know you left Islam especially if you live in the big city where people don't know each other and no one will miss you at the mosque prayer. In some modern Muslim countries, you might not find an open church in a hundred mile radius, but people gather for communion either way. There's small pockets of believers even in the strictest Middle Eastern countries, and the internet makes it easier for people to organise themselves without arising suspicion.
  5. Julianne

    Look what the pope said

    I get what you and wfredeemed009 are trying to say, but my doubt on this meaning of the Pope's words lies in that he'd have no motive to start suggesting that God isn't supernatural. It's not going to attract any more believers into Catholicism, as omitting the supernatural part would make the Catholic church look more like a philosophical current rather than a religious church. Rather if we intepret what he said in the sense that God doesn't need to go around the laws of physics, because He made them to be what He wanted from the birth of the universe, then this notion would appeal to scientists who feel estranged by the more extreme creationist views by people who completely reject any science & its applications, including modern medicine. This Pope seems to emphasise dimplomacy a lot. Otherwise I can't fathom why he'd say something like that.
  6. Julianne

    Look what the pope said

    I'm not sure that's what he meant. Or at least the way I perceived the "no magic wand" part, was that God didn't pull the world out of thin air, rather built it layer by layer and filled it until it was complete. Or alternatively that He bothered to create the world in a meticulous process, rather than creating on a mere whim. That we humans, sort of see slow and longterm processes as a mundane thing, even though they hold a certain magnificence, and we are therefore likely to take this kind of slow change for granted, because we don't live long enough to see where the path leads, or in this case where the path started. Remember, to God our sense of time is laughable.
  7. Julianne

    Look what the pope said

    I for one, thought this was an interesting statement from the Pope. Basically he's putting forth the bridge theory between complete denial of science and the complete denial of God's act of creation. Also, yes, the science pertaining the Big Bang theory might explain the events after the explosion up until today but it says nothing about what instigated it. There's only weak theories on what it was that triggered the whole thing and later theories involving hyperspace and multiverse don't really help on that aspect. They only serve to point out there's something bigger out there, more convoluted than we ever imagined. So on that regard there's certainly room for intelligent design. In my opinion this is a very important step towards battling the phobic stance that many scientists and believers have for each other...which is becoming too prominent these days. I remember I had a math professor back at school, a very serious scientist who acted as a consult to the local public education system in his spare time, he used to tell us that hard science isn't an arbitrary thing that man made; math is universal through geometry, physics, chemistry, etc, therefore the very existence of a brilliant design that can only be perceived by conscious organisms capable of abstract thinking like humans is more of a thumbprint of God upon Creation rather than evidence of His absence.
  8. Julianne

    Avoiding friends who aren't believers.

    That's quite the skill your friend has, to inspire people effortlessly. Also very rare to find in the form of a talent. There's many people who go through the process of taking courses to find out how to convert people,but it's really about being able to connect with people on an emotional level...which requires the preacher/missonary/speaker to want to understand what the listeners are going through, becoming the listener instead of the speaker when needed. Extroverted and empathetic people tend to have more of an advantage on that aspect. What's your friend like as a character, if I may ask?
  9. Eh...whether he likes it or not, keeping US military around is really a matter of keeping S.Korea's sovereignty intact. They can't do that with a triggerhappy Kim on the other side without some kind of international support. It sounds like this candidate is blowing up his promises out of proportion...maybe betting on ethnic sentiments from Korean voters to up his poll results just a little higher. But if he's being serious about meeting Kim Jong Un, this might be a little alarming. Every now and then a candidate may come up promoting unification, however S. and N. Korea relations on a tightrope right now. Unification sentiments might throw oil to the fire, because it would raise the question of "Who woud lead" and what would opening borders mean for N. Korea's austere economy.
  10. I wonder what kind of headache Kim is for them. We're sweatdropping miles away and they are right next to him. Whenever anything goes wrong in the tests, the fallout will reach their coastlines and farmlands...Must be a Tuesday. Either way last time I checked China and Russia are trying to avoid direct confrontation, but their little minion isn't making this very easy for them.
  11. My humble opinion (I'm not an expert either) is that even if N. Korea is carpet-bombed with nukes, it still might not be enough, because they might shelter themselves quickly enough to launch a counter-attack for whatever measly half lives they'll have left due to the radiation levels. The moment an aircraft or missile breaches their airspace, people will be ordered to take shelter and there will be attempts to blow the aircraft of missile in the air before it reaches too close to Pyonyang. Remember, radiation takes a while to act, and if any high ranked official survives e.g. in bunkers, they can press the button to launch their own missiles. Their weapons might not make it to the heart of the USA but they'd reach bases that are situated in nearby areas, crippling the military situated there, until they regroup (they wouldn't hesitate sending their troops in radioactive fields either, escallating the situation in a Vietnam-like stalemate).
  12. Julianne

    Polygamy should be allowed

    You make a fair point. We're way ahead of the mentality that a woman can't take care of herself, or is de facto a sinner if unmarried. Marrying widows and older girls off to already married men is almost like sending them to a convent against their will. I think a lot of us would agree that in that regard polygamy and similar practices are largely barbaric, or at least misled. If anything it implies that a woman is nothing unless she's married.
  13. Julianne

    Polygamy should be allowed

    Let's be realistic here: there's not a lot of women out there that would be ok with a polygamous house even if their church allowed it. Mormons and Muslims are a different story, because to them polygamy is culturally embedded as well, but even they will tell you that polygamy comes with its own domestic problems... 3 people is a crowd. Also, whether polygamy pertains both men and women, if we're just worrying about demographics, man-woman population ratios can change overtime. Either way the number of people who don't get married might not change at all even if polygamy is allowed, depending on a lot of factors. Overall it's not like humanity has a low birth-to-death ratio to be worrying about whether everyone gets married or not. There's plenty of people who don't want to get married at all, are loners, career people or find a calling in monastic life.
  14. Julianne

    More Dead Sea scrolls?

    Dead sea scrolls carbon dating : https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/1537/1541 Languages and content: http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/learn-about-the-scrolls/languages-and-scripts (that's an online library with photos and editorials of the scrolls)
  15. Julianne

    More Dead Sea scrolls?

    If there's so many of them in those caves, a good question would be why they were buried there in the first place. I was reading on this topic the other day. The scrolls' text is very varied as well, both in language and in content. There's a lot of apocryphal or never-before-seen verses mixed with copies of known texts that survived the ages, in Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian dialects and Greek. According to the carbon dating they even come from different time periods, some of them from 1st-2nd century AD, others from the 7th AD and so on. Question is, why would someone steal something like that and store it in the desert? It's not like it's just a handful of scrolls, they filled several different caves with them...maybe there's a persecution story behind that, hiding in the desert to practice their religion in hiding. Around the time of the latest dated scrolls (7th century) there was a lot of turmoil and religious persecution when the Persian Empire sacked Jerusalem, retaken by byzantine emperor Heraklius, and then lost again to the Rashidun Caliphate.

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