Xander Harris

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About Xander Harris

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    Otaku
  • Birthday 06/30/1985

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  • Biography
    I realized at a young age that the only way to break out of our existential quandry of loathing and self doubt was to put aside my puritanical inhibitions and waltz with goldfish
  • Occupation
    Student of history education and political science at Northewestern college
  1. I haven't been around these boards in a long time, and I think my thoughts on all of this has changed a lot since then... I've decided to fill this out mainly because I think these questions are really phrased well, and it would be interesting to try to explain my views in them and see people's reactions to them 1. What religion are you CURRENTLY following? If you don't have one, then why? I try to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who told us to love our enemies, love God and other people with our whole hearts, minds, souls and strength, and proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God in this world through his ministry, death and resurrection, and the work of those who would follow him. I believe that the world is fallen away from it's original state, and that only the grace of God can save us and our world from our sin. God wants to have a relationship with each individual, and to restore all the cosmos to perfection. I believe that the purpose of the Church is to serve the world the way Christ gave himself up for us. The Kingdom will come in full when all things are reconciled together in Christ, but in the meantime God gives the privilage of building that Kingdom to us. I believe that God is Love, and that he will never give up on us. He is the "hound of heaven" who will go to any length to secure the good of those he loves, and that this all consuming love is best found within the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth. "For God so loved the world, that he gave us his only begotten son" 2. Why do you follow that religion? Parents, personal reasons, etc? I started out as a pretty conservative evangelical in church with my parents.. in the past few years at college, I've changed a lot of my views. I still believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God, I've just come to believe in different interpretations. 3. Do you ever feel that people often critisize you because of these beliefs? Sometimes. Ironically, any criticism at this point in my life comes from other Christians, who feel that I should be just as concerned about gay marriage and abortion as they are ;-) 4. This one may spark a little bit of arguing: Do you believe that your religion is the one true religion? If so provide evidence. Well, if by this question you mean; "do you think people in other religions go to hell," I'd have to give a big no. One of the main ways my beliefs have changed over the years is that I think originally the Church held to Universalist beliefs ([url]http://www.tentmaker.org/[/url] has some good articles on this), and that everyone eventually will have a place in God's restored creation and will be included in the resurrection of the dead. There's a lot more I could say about this, but I'll wait to see what others have to say about it first. However, I do believe that the revelation I've found in Christ is 'true.' I used to give many proofs for this belief. I still think arguments like the "empty tomb" argument are actually fairly strong. However, after many many bouts of wrestling with my faith and seriously considering atheism (nothing challenges one's faith like studying philosophy and history full time) I've made a conscious decision to follow Christ. I look at all the suffering and pain and cycles of violence throughout history, and see the way of Christ as the only thing crazy, pure and unique enough to bring about ultimate peace and reconciliation. I find, deep in my heart, a real sense of the existence of God when I am still amidst the beauty of nature. When I look at all the possible belief systems in the world, Christianity is the only thing with a vision for the world at once supremely realistic and supremely idealistic. Hence, for all these reasons, I have resolved to "live as a Narnian even if there is no Narnia" to quote a book from my childhood. All that said, I certainly find truth and beauty amidst other religious traditions as well. And I think the Church has a lot to work out within itself, a lot of apologizing to do, and a lot of love issues like environmental stewardship and poverty to concern itself with at the moment. Although I love Jesus and love to talk about him, I'm really not horribly concerned if someone else doesn't share my religious views, and I certainly can see elements of beauty and truth in other religious traditions as well. So the answer is yes and no. In some ways, I do think (or at least have chosen to live as if) my religion is the 'true' religion. But I don't think I really mean that in the same sense that others here do.
  2. [QUOTE=Boba Fett][color=green] [color=green]Just curious as to why an all powerful god would, when creating a book you claim has never been altered by human hands, place within that text something he permits but does not encourage. If you're god, why settle for anything less than perfection in your laws?[/color][/QUOTE] Well, the understanding here is that if a man has sex with more than one women, he should have to take financial and social responsibility for ALL his mates... in a way, the polygamy allowance in Islam actually serves to protect women from being used for sex and then disposed of
  3. Anime

    so for curiosities sake, does anyone know how long the Naruto series is projected to take to conclude?
  4. Anime

    so, for those of you who watch the fansubs, what do you think of the incessent filler arcs? Myself, I don't really hate them as much as some people. I thought the one with the lightning dude and the cripple kid and the curry was actually a really good arc. I think the filler time gives us a chance to spend time with some characters who were started to fall to the periphery of the show, and there's lots of time for the humor that originally made the show but had been lost. On the flip side, some of the arcs suck really bad. And the forward momentum of the main story has pretty much entirely died. Character development for Naruto has come to a standstill (although some of the other characters are growing a bit). I'm all for filler episodes, but an entire seasons worth of nothing but filler arcs!?!! I have to wonder what the creators were smoking when they came up with that idea.
  5. [QUOTE=Stark] Also, people have been saying that it's the 'Final Days' since...well, for a few hundred years (I think. Again, I'm no scholar). It's probably just a cry for attention, and something that they do to make them selves feel meaningful in this life. [/QUOTE] Try the last 2,000 years. The early church was convinced that Christ's return was imminent. The Apostle Paul seemed to think that Jesus would return during his lifetime. All the stuff about revelation giving a timetable for a series of particular, disastrous events came along with John Darby in the early 19th century. Contrary to the statements of an earlier poster, much of what may seem to be clear, to the point prophetic statements in the book of revelation are actually code phrases used by the subversive Christian movement referring to the dominant political power of the day; rome. Christ could return tomorrow, or a thousand, thousand years from now. Until he does, we are supposed to live every day as if his return were imminent.
  6. Best fortune I ever got said 'maybe you live on moon in next century' One can always hope, right?
  7. evolutionary theory needs to be taught as long as our entire scheme for the classification of life revolves around it. ID should be taught when and if there is convincing evidence to support it. It would be simply irresponsible not to teach it in that case. Creationism should not be taught. Seperation of church and state and all. (and for once I find myself actually agreeing with most of Siren's points lol imagine that.) insert personal religious beliefs here: For me, evolution doesn't threaten my faith at all. It's a fantastic thing in nature (Assuming it's true). If you believe God created and sustains the universe, then learning about evolution should make you marvel at God more, not less. It really doesn't matter how things happen if you know who makes them happen. If someone throws a good pitch in a baseball game, I applaud the pitcher, not the ball and the wind. I honestly don't see why theists get so worked up over evolutionary theory. It's not nearly as threatening to faith as some people seem to think, imho.
  8. [quote name='Killer7']Now will be somebody's retort " God does not like to show himself" or something like that. Honestly most of the "miracles" Jesus preformed could of been been faked. People he brought to life, who says he didn't pay them or promise to forgive thier sins, if they pretended to be dead, back then thier was no way they could tell the difference.[/quote] Excuse me? People back then couldn't tell if someone was dead or not? Come now. Credit our ancestors with [I]some[/I] modicum of intelligence.
  9. [QUOTE=Ilium][COLOR=DarkRed] Which leads me to my second point, which is that all these supposed miracles occured during a time they could not be properly recorded. If God wanted everyone to believe all he's have to do is halt Niagra Falls or fill the Gran Canyon. [/COLOR][/QUOTE] What is your definition of 'properly recorded'?
  10. [QUOTE=Ilium][COLOR=DarkRed] No, it's hardly just as possible. Human nature is a predictable thing. When they (We) encounter somthing that they (We) do not understand (i.e Earthquakes, Volcanoes, or Ice) we make up things that give us comfort. They (We) take (took) comfort in knowing what caused the earth to split or what caused their drinking water to freeze. By inventing somthing like God or the Gods they had an explanation for it all. This is why no 'Mircals' have occured, as such, in the last few hundred years, because now we can explain everything or at least study them. The Ancient Greeks had no idea what caused Earthquakes. They were scared. Suddenly somone comes up with the idea that it's the wrath of Posideon and that by sacrificing things to him they can quell it. It's human nature to DO somthing, even if it's futile, and the Ancient Greeks couldn't do anything, so they invented somthing to give them the illusion of doing somthing. Human Nature created religion. Religion created God. Ifso Facto, God is a creation of man. [/COLOR][/QUOTE] The problem with this idea is that the kinds of things reported as miracles in the Bible are still things that would be considered miracles today. They were not natural pheonomena. People can't walk on water (unless it's frozen water lol) People can't turn water to wine. People can't be suddenly cured of years of blindness by having mud and spit put on their eyes. Pillars of fire do not come out of the sky and lead people around the desert. Seas do not instantaneously part to allow people to walk through them on dry land. People do not rise from the dead. That is why these things are called miracles. Because a miracle is a violation of the natural laws, not a supernatural explanation for a scientific fact. Unless you think any of the things above are explainable by science, then the idea that Christianity is a belief system designed to explain natural phenomena is ludicrous. The question is whether or not the miracles occured.
  11. 3. Truth exists apart from the opinion of the person examining the validity of that truth. There is a tree in my back yard. I can choose to tell people there is not a tree. I may not believe there is a tree. I may have never even looked out my window and seen the tree. The fact that I don't believe in or tell people about the tree does nothing to change the fact that there is a tree there. Likewise, the validity of religious statements must be examined apart from one's personal experiences with members of the faith. If there is a God, then there is a God, whether you choose to believe in God or not. If there is not a God, then there is no God, regardless of what someone might say otherwise. Individual Christians (or as least people calling themselves Christians) may or may not live according to the teachings of their religion. That has nothing to do with whether or not those teachings have any validity. Debate about the ideas, not the people who have said them.
  12. *de-lurks after a several month absence lol* ok A few things, since this is a Christianity thread as opposed to a general religions thread, I feel that this is an appropriate place to say them. 1. I see a lot of evolution vs. creationism debate here. Christians do not all believe the Genesis accounts are meant to be taken as literal scientific statements. They convey general truths in a poetic way... God created the world. It is good to both work and rest. Good will ultimately triumph over evil. Humanity (possibly in the historical person of Adam, possibly simply symbolised by the character Adam) sinned and fell away from God. There were consequences for this. These are the points of the first few chapters of the Bible. Christians are divided over whether or not they are meant to be taken literally beyond these simple truths. The essence of Christianity is not found in debate about the origion of the species. In many ways, it is an irrelevent topic. The question is Who/What created the world, not how it was specifically done is scientific detail. 2. The central issue of Christianity is the resurrection and divinity of Christ. If Christ was indeed raised from the dead, then his words are confirmed true. The remainder of the Christian religion builds from this. If you want to argue a case for Christianity, argue the case for Christ; the evidence for and against his divinity and resurrection. Oh, and yeah, I'm a Christian. Maybe if I'll talk more in this thread later, but for right now I just wanted to try and steer it in a more productive direction.
  13. my type is a women who doesn't turn out to really be a transvestite. Oh, and asian girls are hawt.
  14. Install flamethrowers in place of your hands. You never need feel scared at home (or anywhere) again. (unless of course you accidentally burn down the house) Seriously, though, if you think something like this might happen again, you should perhaps invest in a home security system. Or a bigger dog.
  15. [QUOTE=Lady Dust]"Retribution" people asked me if I lived in Toronto all my life or just a couple of years. So I was answering their question, that doesn't give you the right to say no one cares. Please read the previous posts before reading mine, thanks. To the rest of you I loved hearing your comments. And after viewing that site I was moved. I feel bad for those of who's ancestors were killed in Nan Jing. I apologize for my ancestor's actions. The pictures did make me turn my head away from the monitor once in a while. Then I would look back in disgust on how my ancestor's played with the Chinese that way. It simply is not right. Though I will always have pride in my land of The Rising Sun, I will always know in the back of my head what my people have done. Thank you everyone and I would love to have another debate, not as heated as this one, again sometime. Well except "Retribution" who kind of used the tsunami thing and no one care's. "Retribution" never I mean never usae the tsunami card on me again. My older sister died in Thailand that day. So don't you EVER bring up Tsunami again, until you have experienced it yourself bucko. So back off and if I ever, I mean ever, hear you talk about tsunami's you will be hearing from Natsu Hiroshima.[/QUOTE] I'm glad you understand now, and I'm also glad you still have pride in your country. Despite all my problems with it, I do still have respect and pride for my country, even though I know some of the horrible things we've done in the past. No one wants Japanese people to spend their days mourning the sin of their ancestors. But we do want people to be aware of the past, for all the reasons stated in this thread. Understanding the bad things your country did in the past doesn't mean you have to hate your country. What it does mean is that you learn the lessons of the past, and become a better person, and indeed a better nation as a result. Have a great night, Lady Dust. James Bierly EDIT: And I agree... the tsunami thing was a poor choice of words...