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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:29 pm 
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seamusz wrote:
I'm sorry I missed this... I could have thrown my own bit of green carrot jello into the issue. oh well.


It's not too late. There's always room for Jello.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:34 pm 
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But Jello doesn't usually post in R & P. He usually posts in Off Subject and Arts and Crafts.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:09 pm 
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seamusz wrote:
I'm sorry I missed this... I could have thrown my own bit of green carrot jello into the issue. oh well.
Well seamusz, it's good to see you again.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:48 am 
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Thanks!

I check out the latest on the board every once and again.

A for my two bits... I have found that it is so much more effective to explain stuff to someone one on one, so I hope that any of ya'll who seriously want to know what Mormons believe and not what false-hoods and half-truths are to be found all over the net, or even told by their spiritual leaders, will come to someone who is either currently a member or go to the source of info on the church and draw their own conclusions.

I would just say in the defense of my faith that I do not understand how anyone can decisively comment on the personal relationship another person has with their Savior. How can someone tell me that I am not Christian because they disagree on doctrinal points? To try and help me understand why their beliefs are more correct is understandable, and even admirable. But it is impossible for anyone to know what my relationship is with my Creator and Savior. The scriptures say that not all those who claim the Lord as theirs will be saved, and in the same token there were those who had never seen or heard of Jesus who knew him at once when they met.

I know that some might come back and say "but you have misconstrued the most basic truths that traditionally define the Christian God". Be that as it may, it still does not give you the knowledge or the right to comment on my personal relationship or standing as a follower of Christ.


By the way all of you marmons.... did you here that they are renaming Rexburg, Idaho? They are going to name it "Provo, Utah-Idaho" HAHAHAHA

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:59 pm 
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Thank you, Seamusz. There are a few things I would like you to consider.

First of all, I do not recall the Bible ever using the terminology, “personal relationship with Christ.” That’s basically modern evangelical language used to simplify some of their theology and practice. While the idea of relationship is not alien to the Scripture (on the contrary!), I often suspect that the term introduces a certain ambiguity about what that relationship exactly is. Here we need a little bit of theological insight and some knowledge of the Scriptures.

There are two aspects of this relationship between God and his saint. The first aspect is God’s disposition toward man. Words that describe that disposition are typically “mercy” and “grace,” that is, his good will and favor. Other words that apply include “revelation”, “command”, and “expectation.” That is to say, God reveals himself and his truth, and also reveals his will for mankind.

The other aspect is the saint’s response. And here, the primary term is “faith.” In other words, the saint, when he receives mercy, trusts in God’s goodness. When he receives revelation of truth, he believes that truth. When he receives commands, he trusts God’s will and obeys those commands.*

*Here, I am not saying that obedience places us in a right relationship, but that it is an expression of that right relationship. A saint does not seek to defy God's will, but rather to live by it, even while recognizing that they cannot perfectly do so.

So, you see, we now have a clearer understanding of what this relationship entails. Why? Because it is important for us to have a clear picture lest we presume upon a relationship which we might very well be violating.

I’ll give you an example (and bear in mind, this is only and example, and not intended to make a direct connection): I’ve heard kids today, who call themselves Christian, who think that it’s okay to have sex before marriage. But if you show them from the Scriptures that their attitude is wrong, they simply dismiss it by saying, “But I have a personal relationship with Jesus, so I don’t have to worry about it.” They end up using their “personal relationship” as an excuse to defile their bodies in open defiance against God’s will. It’s like a wife who cheats on her husband, but when asked if she thinks it’s wrong to do so, replies, “It’s okay. I’m married to him. That means I can cheat on him as much as I want.”

That’s just an example of why I think it’s vitally important that we define what we mean by “personal relationship with Christ.” It is mercy, grace, truth, and command on his part, followed up with faith and repentance on ours.

Another reason is that I think the term tends to make faith an entirely subjective experience. Pistis in the New Testament applies not only to personal faith (fides qua), that is, one’s own individual spirituality and experience, but also to the communal faith of the Church revealed by Scripture (fides quae). In fact, the Scriptures commend us that our personal faith ought always be informed by our communal faith, that is, right confession.

Biblical Christianity has always been a religion concerned with truth. That being the case, those who claim to be Christians do not have the option to simply ignore revealed truth in favor of their personal, subjective experience.

One of the points that I made in this thread is the unreliability of subjective experience apart from objective examination of facts. Several times, different people suggested that I needed to read the Book of Mormon and pray for God to reveal the truth to me directly. Well I did that. And God led me to the Nicene Creed instead. But if the same subjective process leads other people to the Book of Mormon, and others to the Watchtower, and still others to myriads of other books and beliefs, then can this method be considered reliable? I do not think so.

Another concern that I expressed in this thread is the prevailing belief that the early Church deliberately altered the Scriptures for their own purposes. Here, I relied on available biblical manuscript evidence to demonstrate that, if they were to pull it off successfully, then they would have had to do it while the Apostles were still around. The science of textual criticism, it is estimated, gives us a complete New Testament text with approximately 99.5% reliability. So much for the “The Church altered the Bible for it’s own agenda” argument.

And yes, I did issue some challenges to Mormon beliefs, at least some of those expressed in this thread. But please keep in mind, I did so at times because I felt my own beliefs being challenged. For example, my questioning of the validity of the Book of Mormon came in answer to a challenge to the reliability of the biblical texts. At the time, I felt it only fair to turn the question posed to me back to the one who asked.

In short, while it may be true that I am in no place to judge you as a person, or to judge God’s disposition toward you (which, in my own thinking, his disposition is one of mercy anyway), or even of your disposition toward God. However, in accordance with the teachings of Scripture, I have only tried to do my duty, which was to question some of the confessional teachings of your church. Questions, I might add, that were also directed toward my own orthodoxy by others. And why? Because God wants us to live in truth. And if we are going to serve truth, then we need to discuss those things we disagree upon. It doesn't mean I hate anyone, or that I'm judging anyone; only that I'm trying my best, according to what has been given me, to serve truth.

That is all I feel necessary to say, except this: the peace of Christ, which surpasses all human understanding, be with you.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:49 pm 
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Didymus, knock it off. Seriously. We know where you stand on all this already. Start a thread about your own faith if you want a soapbox.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 8:43 pm 
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All I was doing was responding to some of Seamusz' concerns.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:26 am 
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lahimatoa.... grow up... seriously.

Didymus, I agree almost completely to your post (with the obvious exceptions). I should have clarified what I meant by personal relationship. I meant that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my redeemer. I have acknowledged that I cannot save myself anymore than I can change the stars in the sky. I know that by doing that I am assured a heavenly reward for ever after. I know Christ and feel His presence in my life, in who I am, and in what I do. This is the most important realization that anyone can come to. In this belief, I do not believe that I am unique in the LDS Church.

I think that it sounds like our thoughts on faith and works are very similar, if not identical, if the nomenclature is a little different.

As far as the truthfulness of the Bible, Mormon’s can be very abrasive about the subject and not exercise much tact. This stems from a large portion of the people in the LDS church who do not have much personal experience with people of other faiths.

Issues and doubts others have about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon I can understand, and empathize with. I think all converted Mormons (born in and out of the Church) have had these feelings at one time or another. I would think that you would have some differing views than people of any other faith. Some more than others, but there would probably points you would make in a religious conversation that support the truths that you have found that may not be evident in another denomination.

Finally, thanks for you well-wishes, and I wish the same peace to you.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:18 pm 
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seamusz wrote:
I think that it sounds like our thoughts on faith and works are very similar, if not identical, if the nomenclature is a little different.

seamusz wrote:
I have acknowledged that I cannot save myself anymore than I can change the stars in the sky.

Really? Can you explain how these two statements square with your belief that humans possess moral agency from birth and are not under the effects of original sin and/or total depravity? Or do you not believe this?

I hope this rather cursory line of questioning isn't taken in a condescending or abrasive way. I had crafted a longer response to your statements, but thought better of what I was trying to say and decided to keep it brief. Like Didymus, I pray that God's grace and peace would be with you. I like what you've said about your relationship with Christ and hope for your sake that it is true. I might catch some flack for saying this, but I honestly believe there are some within Mormonism who are true Christians, just like there are some Southern Baptists, Lutherans, and Methodists who are true Christians. I further acknowledge, however, that, while I was a Latter-day Saint, I did not have a saving knowledge of Christ, and I think, given the doctrines of Mormonism, it is difficult for Latter-day Saints to become/be true Christians.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:34 pm 
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Didymus wrote:
But Jello doesn't usually post in R & P. He usually posts in Off Subject and Arts and Crafts.

I browse this forum a lot.

Heck, I've even been browsing the H*R boards lately.

WTF is up with that?

GET BACK TO WORK.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:16 pm 
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JoeyDay wrote:
seamusz wrote:
I think that it sounds like our thoughts on faith and works are very similar, if not identical, if the nomenclature is a little different.

seamusz wrote:
I have acknowledged that I cannot save myself anymore than I can change the stars in the sky.

Really? Can you explain how these two statements square with your belief that humans possess moral agency from birth and are not under the effects of original sin and/or total depravity? Or do you not believe this?


I'm not sure I completely understand the contradiction, can I get a little more detail? Either here, in a pm, or email.

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seamusz wrote:
JoeyDay wrote:
seamusz wrote:
I think that it sounds like our thoughts on faith and works are very similar, if not identical, if the nomenclature is a little different.

seamusz wrote:
I have acknowledged that I cannot save myself anymore than I can change the stars in the sky.

Really? Can you explain how these two statements square with your belief that humans possess moral agency from birth and are not under the effects of original sin and/or total depravity? Or do you not believe this?

I'm not sure I completely understand the contradiction, can I get a little more detail? Either here, in a pm, or email.

If you can do nothing to save yourself then you have no choice in the matter, and hence, no moral agency. How can you say you can do nothing to save yourself and yet believe in agency?

Many Christians use an illustration coined by Augustine called the fourfold state of human nature.

Pre-fall man: able to sin, able to not sin
Post-fall man: able to sin, unable to not sin
Reborn man: able to sin, able to not sin
Glorified man: able to not sin, unable to sin

Under this scenario, which I believe can be shown to be thoroughly biblical, man had agency in the beginning but lost it with the fall. Without agency, man can do nothing to save himself.

So, I ask again, if you claim you could do nothing to save yourself, how does that square with your belief that moral agency was retained by man after the fall?


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Quote:
Reborn man: able to sin, able to not sin

I'm going to challenge you on this one, Joey. I do not believe it is entirely possible for Christian to not sin. For one thing, in order to do so, he would have to be able to keep his mind on God at all times and in all places. The Scriptures teach that every Christian has an "old man" or "old woman" inside them that constantly strives to pull them back into the habit of sin. In Romans 7, St. Paul describes his own struggle with sin, and I ask you, if a divinely chosen Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ struggles with sin - and sometimes lost - then what does that say about the rest of us?

No, Christians are just as susceptible to sin as non-Christians, except that, with the forgiveness of Christ and the aid of the Holy Spirit, he has some means to combat it, and, much more importantly, he is justified on account of Christ. Nevertheless, Christians are still simultaneously saint and sinner.

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Didymus wrote:
Quote:
Reborn man: able to sin, able to not sin

I'm going to challenge you on this one, Joey. I do not believe it is entirely possible for Christian to not sin. For one thing, in order to do so, he would have to be able to keep his mind on God at all times and in all places. The Scriptures teach that every Christian has an "old man" or "old woman" inside them that constantly strives to pull them back into the habit of sin. In Romans 7, St. Paul describes his own struggle with sin, and I ask you, if a divinely chosen Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ struggles with sin - and sometimes lost - then what does that say about the rest of us?

No, Christians are just as susceptible to sin as non-Christians, except that, with the forgiveness of Christ and the aid of the Holy Spirit, he has some means to combat it, and, much more importantly, he is justified on account of Christ. Nevertheless, Christians are still simultaneously saint and sinner.

I think if you study traditional interpretations of Augustine's illustration, you'll see it's interpreted exactly as you've said. The "able not to sin" is synonymous with what you call "some means to combat it". It's not until we are glorified that sin is fully overcome. After being born again, as you've put it, with "the aid of the Holy Spirit", we are able not to sin, but that doesn't mean we aren't still able to sin, nor that we don't still exercise our ability to sin.

My point in this discussion, though, has less to do with our state after rebirth and more to do with our state after the fall but before rebirth.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:39 am 
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JoeyDay wrote:
If you can do nothing to save yourself then you have no choice in the matter, and hence, no moral agency. How can you say you can do nothing to save yourself and yet believe in agency?

Many Christians use an illustration coined by Augustine called the fourfold state of human nature.

Pre-fall man: able to sin, able to not sin
Post-fall man: able to sin, unable to not sin
Reborn man: able to sin, able to not sin
Glorified man: able to not sin, unable to sin

Under this scenario, which I believe can be shown to be thoroughly biblical, man had agency in the beginning but lost it with the fall. Without agency, man can do nothing to save himself.

So, I ask again, if you claim you could do nothing to save yourself, how does that square with your belief that moral agency was retained by man after the fall?


Ok, I think I understand now. I guess I didn't word my statement right. My statement was supposed to mean that in order for one to be saved, we must completely rely on the atonement of Christ, and know that nothing we do can replace that gift from Christ.

I guess that technically, choosing to put your faith in the atonement of Christ is really doing something. So I did not mean to say that you have no choice in the matter, in fact what I meant is that it is all choice.

Our agency to choose is a very important gift from God. Our will is the one thing that we can truly give Him, that is not already His.

To quickly address the Fourfold of human nature, I don't have much to say on it... I don't really agree that man ever lost his agency... I'll have to think on it.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:41 am 
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Joey Day wrote:
I think, given the doctrines of Mormonism, it is difficult for Latter-day Saints to become/be true Christians.


This may open a can of worms, but I'm curious.

What doctrines in Mormonism make it hard for Latter-day Saints to be Christian?

Though I suppose we need to define what "being Christian" means first.

Also, I think you misunderstand the concept of agency. We have full freedom to make whatever choices we want. Just because we can't do something doesn't mean we don't have agency.

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StrongRad wrote:
Choc-o-Lardiac Arrest wrote:
StrongRad wrote:
I know that our founder, JoeyDay, isn't the only Mormon, but yeah, he's one of 'em..

WHAT THE??!?! we're run by a Mormon??!?!

What's it matter?
He does a great job.


EXACTLY! It doesn't matter your religion, sex, or race. As long as your a half-decent person, your okay in my books.

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But a lot of presidents have been "Half-decent". Look at, say, Taft.

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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 11:17 pm 
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Ok, Sharpton says people that believe in God will defeat Mitt Romney. He's got problems with Mormons.

Al Sharpton says his comments were taken out of context. He doesn't accept that excuse from people he feels have wronged "his people", why should it be accepted from him?

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He's black, so he's allowed speak out against bigotry, but not a cracka like Romney. Image


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 2:00 pm 
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Time magazine's front page story is about Romney this month. Here's a link:

link

Read it!

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lahimatoa wrote:
This may open a can of worms, but I'm curious. What doctrines in Mormonism make it hard for Latter-day Saints to be Christian? Though I suppose we need to define what "being Christian" means first.

I'm sorry to have seemingly ignored your question, lahimatoa. I'm busy with work, school, and a zillion side projects and I simply lost track of this discussion. I, too, am leary to open this can of worms, but here's one simple example of what I meant.

I take my definition of "Christian" from Mt. 5:48 and Heb. 10:14. Christ commands us to "Be perfect" and the writer of Hebrews tells us there are some (the "we," in v. 10, by which he means Christians) who have fulfilled this commandment and have been "perfected for all time." By Christ's one sacrifice those who are Christians have been perfected forever, meaning that no past, present, or future sin will be counted against them. This doesn't mean they are without sin, for it says that though they are sanctified and perfected they are at the same time paradoxically "being sanctified." They're still learning how to turn from and overcome sin, but the legal aspect of things---the condemnation for sin---has been taken out of the way (cf. Col. 2:13-14). As Rom. 8:1 tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Oft quoted LDS passages such as D&C 82:7 seem to fly in the face of New Testament teaching by telling us that those who have been forgiven and whose sins have been forgotten by the Lord have only to commit a single sin and all their former sins will once again be counted against them. Belief in this Latter-day Saint doctrine necessarily limits a person's faith in the all-sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, and in my opinion this is one example of a doctrine that makes it difficult for Latter-day Saints to be Christians.


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Well, I have gone inactive in these forums. I thought this thread died long ago. Well, I guess I was wrong. Anyways, does anyone feel like browsing the past five pages and making a list of everyone here who is Mormon?

I'll give you a cookie!

Also, This Is What We Believe.

Please don't draw all this out again. If you are just viewing this forum and happpen'd to notice the huge discussion about what we believe and if it is true, that link will save you a lot of time. You won't have to wait on someone to reply to your question or anything.

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MooKoo wrote:
Anyways, does anyone feel like browsing the past five pages and making a list of everyone here who is Mormon? I'll give you a cookie!

In alphabetical order, here is a definitive list of those who have self-identified as Latter-day Saints in this thread:

* Groovy Dudette
* Kilroy
* Lahimatoa
* Merc
* MooKoo
* Parlod
* racerx_is_alive
* seamusz
* Stu
* WierdAlFan
* xJeffxNeroxHardyx

You might find more over in this thread, but I'm not about to dig through that one for you. Now, where's my cookie? :cheatgrin:


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Thanks, and here is an entire platter of Cookie Anime Faces!!

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Location: Someplace full of random people in fursuits doing the river dance >.>;
o.o;;;

umm... *raises a hand* I'm mormon as well X3;;

I'd add more input to the discussion, but right now I'm about to pass out from being so freakin' tired. -x-

All I can tell is that one person is debating AGAINST the opinions of Mormonism. But honestly. I dont really care. If said people wont accept what I and/or we think, then stop trying to force it down their throats! XD;;

I mean hey, I'm all for equality. But this religion has only been re-established for about 200 years or so. It's fairly recent and by far the most contraversial. I can see why some would start talking different than friendly about us. >x>

More post to come when I'm not near to passing out~ x.x


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JoeyDay wrote:
I take my definition of "Christian" from Mt. 5:48 and Heb. 10:14. Christ commands us to "Be perfect" and the writer of Hebrews tells us there are some (the "we," in v. 10, by which he means Christians) who have fulfilled this commandment and have been "perfected for all time." By Christ's one sacrifice those who are Christians have been perfected forever, meaning that no past, present, or future sin will be counted against them. This doesn't mean they are without sin, for it says that though they are sanctified and perfected they are at the same time paradoxically "being sanctified." They're still learning how to turn from and overcome sin, but the legal aspect of things---the condemnation for sin---has been taken out of the way (cf. Col. 2:13-14). As Rom. 8:1 tells us, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Oft quoted LDS passages such as D&C 82:7 seem to fly in the face of New Testament teaching by telling us that those who have been forgiven and whose sins have been forgotten by the Lord have only to commit a single sin and all their former sins will once again be counted against them. Belief in this Latter-day Saint doctrine necessarily limits a person's faith in the all-sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice, and in my opinion this is one example of a doctrine that makes it difficult for Latter-day Saints to be Christians.


I suppose that's the basic problem with the "Are Mormons Christian?" thing.

It seems everyone has a different definition of what a Christian really is.

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In my opinion, a Christian is some who believes in and has faith in Jesus Christ, and hopes to attain salvation through his Atonement, and by trying their hardest to live by his commandments.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 1:44 am 
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Parlod wrote:
In my opinion, a Christian is some who believes in and has faith in Jesus Christ, and hopes to attain salvation through his Atonement, and by trying their hardest to live by his commandments.


amen brother *high5*

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Oh STEVEN! I think this may finally be it you guys! After 200 hundred emails I'm finally gonna get to make out with da-da-da DEAR HOMESTAR?!


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:30 am 
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Groovy Dudette wrote:
Parlod wrote:
In my opinion, a Christian is some who believes in and has faith in Jesus Christ, and hopes to attain salvation through his Atonement, and by trying their hardest to live by his commandments.


amen brother *high5*

*Virtual High - 5 To Both of You*

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