I've been busy since I made this post so sorry for not replying to your post earlier.
You wrote of your affection for God. I have to admit I get queasy when I make public announcements of affection. Lets just say I believe in God and I follow the Christian tradition I also believe the story in the New Testament. So we have similar beliefs in thsi area I think.
Mark Staab wrote:
> I'm not particularly interested in chit-chatting with someone
> who denies Jesus, for then the only thing we have in common
> is our basest natures. I'm quite weary of mine. Some of
> these threads
Mark, I am not sure if that is a very Christain attitude. I agree that some people are repugnant to me in the way the behave and how they think. But on this forum I remain open minded enough to discuss philosophical matters with people who completely disagree with me. I will not be rude to them nor shall I allow myself to be provoked when that is obviously their desire.
> The mark of the ash signifies we are not our own. I am not
> my own -- but I am not Christ's -- I am God's.
This is a very important point in Christain morality. We are custodians of our shells of human flesh, that our human flesh is part of God and tgo be respected. Inherent in this is that he will reclaim our flesh as his own at our death when only our souls will be left us. This is a very advanced notion to hold. I believe some anti-Christians would enjoy debating this point if the messenger had idolised cats in ancient Egypt.
>All God's children are called
> to be shepherds. They are the true shepherds.
An inherent part of any Christain society is setting an example to others. We are required to behave in a manner condusive to the Christian philosophy and to treat all people as children of God and therefore our equals before God.
Discussing matters with someone who holds dissimilar beliefs than you can be entertaining, and frustrating. As long as I do not let matters of difference make me behave in a way I would chose not to.