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FOX545

Guys Forum Access (Ages 16+)
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About FOX545

  • Rank
    Experienced Fellow
  • Birthday November 9

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  • Gender
    Male

Additional Information

  • Location
    Hawaii
  • Interests
    - Robotics
    - Reading and writing, usually fiction
    - Youth group
    - Computers and programming- usually Java, but sometimes HTML and JS
  • Denomination
    Nondenominational
  • Name
    Evan

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  1. This topic probably belongs in the 16+ category. It's great that you are convicted and seeking help. The first step is actually wanting to stop. You have to make the conscious decision to say no to the pleasure and temptation. After saying no enough times you slowly loose the desire to sin. This topic, A Reason and a Way to Fight For Purity is a great resource which helped me with my struggles in the past and will probably help you. I've gradually put together this document which is a collection of resources from overcoming temptation called Victory, I'll attach it to this post. It consists of physical, social, and mental aspects of resisting sexual temptation, it also has a few links to sites and songs I've found helpful. Victory.docx
  2. Just a heads up: this post ended up being advice to @Marvin's question, mixed with a few questionable things I wanted to point out and ask @paraskeve regarding her post. Just realized how long this reply is, sorry about that, but I implore you to read through all of it, most of the stuff about approaching non-Christian friends in answer to the original question is near the bottom. I'm afraid that's not quite the Biblical solution to this situation; as Christians, we are instructed to be the light of the world, and to share the Gospel with all of creation. This is the polar opposite of not bringing it up, and trying to avoid controversy. What society defines as controversial is something which they may not agree with- we are not to conform to the ways of this world, and thus shouldn't be afraid to speak about controversial topics (especially the Gospel). If you're not sure Christians are supposed to share the Gospel check out this set of verses, as well as these verses. I have a large number of friends who are atheist, agnostic, Mormon, a handful who would call themselves LGBT, and beyond. I love having logical, theological, and Biblical conversions with them, especially the atheists, and at the end they enjoy the discussion as well, because we keep everything civil and well thought out (There's huge amounts of logical, historical, and scientific evidence out there for God and the Bible, I'd highly encourage you to look into it. A few of my favorite sites include Christananswers.net, Answers in Genesis, The Institute for Creation Research, Always Be Ready, Answers for Atheists, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, and Lee Strobel's book The Case for a Creator) Most of the time when talking to someone about God, and debate/ argument will never be necessary, in a few cases it is (even Jesus debated with the leaders of His day) It's always best to approach everyone- especially those you want to talk about Jesus with, in love. Love conquers all, and is mentioned over 230 times in the New Testament alone. When approaching someone with God's word, don't come in guns blaring, shooting holes in their beliefs and arguments, but rather approach them softly and curiously with love and compassion. I've been a missionary since I was nine years old, and that's what I've found to work the best. Your first sentence there is so true. There is no way we can win or successfully bring someone to the Lord by ourselves; that's why God gave us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will give us what we need to say and how to say it if we just listen and obey. Remember not to get caught up in identifying Christianity as just a religion: it is a relationship with God. I'm not going to get too into that because it's a huge separate topic, but you can read more about it here. Not sure where you got that Christianity is dying in the U.S. According to the Pew Research Center the percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christians has decreased from ~78% to ~70% in the past decade or so. I personally was shocked to see that so many Americans identify themselves as Christians, and even though there has been a decrease, 70% of the population is still huge. Please please please don't ignore the topic of God- it should be the most important and urgent and pressing topic to talk about with everyone you encounter. Sin is a toxin, it's a disease which everyone has yet doesn't realize. It's a terminal condition which every human is plagued and has no cure. It kills everyone at different and unexpected times. This sin sounds like a pretty darn disease to end up with, and it is; but Christians have an immunity, we have a cure. That cure is Jesus and is His Gospel. If you know the people around you are hopelessly dying, and you have the cure, why would you not share the cure (the Gospel) with them? Wouldn't that even indirectly make you a killer if you could save them from death yet don't? If you want some more motivation for sharing the Gospel (aside from the above lists of verses) you could check out this dramatic reading of A Letter From Hell made by Dare2Share; the premise is that imagine you have a friend who you could have shared Jesus with, but didn't, who then died and went to Hell and wrote you a letter from there of his thoughts. You're right: no Christian should "play" the missionary. Every Christian should be a missionary. If you share the Gospel correctly there should be almost no arguments/ bitterness raised (You'd only possibly see it when sharing with someone who is really entrenched in Satan's ways). Don't forget The Great Commission which was the last instruction Jesus gave mankind while on earth. He instructed us to share the Gospel with everyone. Do not fall into fear or apathy! Go out and share the Good News, go deliver that cure; by some you will be rejected, but don't get down from those encounters, try sharing again with those who reject later, and in the mean time go and share with someone new. I've mentioned the Gospel a lot in this post, it's good to make sure that you know what it is. This answer gives a nice overview of what the Gospel is, and Life in 6 Words, as well as Falling Plates both have videos which explain the Gospel in creative ways. Dare2Share also has great resources to help share your faith. Another great way to familiarize yourself with the Gospel is to read through the book of John, or by listening to it on something like the Streetlights Bible App. So for sharing the Gospel with friends, it's important to do it in a loving and not condescending way. Before you go in to share the Gospel with anyone it is important that you pray for them first, during prayer God can reveal ways to you of how to approach them and share the Gospel with them. It's also just good to pray that the person will be receptive to the message you bring to them. It's also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the other persons beliefs before talking to them, Dare2Share has huge amounts of resources on sharing your faith, including this page on different worldviews and how to approach them. Unfortunately I've got to get back to studying for exams tomorrow so I won't be able to get too much into Gospel sharing tactics, but thankfully much of what I have to say is already online. When sharing the Gospel with someone remember the 3 A's: Ask, Admire, Admit. Ask questions about what the other person believes, this helps you get to know them and breaks down walls- also people like talking about themselves. Admire what you can about what the person believes, this really helps build a connection and trust with the other person, as well as breaking down further walls. And finally admit the reason you're a Christian is because you're a sinner and needed Jesus to save you from your sins. You can read more about AAA here. Another thing to remember is called THE Cause circle. (THE Cause is something Dare2Share which is basically the cause of Christ and of spreading the Kingdom of God, you can read more about it here) THE Cause circle basically says that for everyone you want to share the Gospel with, first pray for with passion, then pursue them with love, and finally persuade them with truth. The full explanation with a video can be found here. Be ready to defend your faith, especially when talking with atheists, they generally like to debate the Bible. You may have people ask you hard questions which you don't know the answer to. When you don't know the answer it's important not to just make something up on the spot, you can just admit that you don't know the answer right now but will get back to them when you find out, then do one of these things: pray for an answer, ask a pastor/ youth leader, ask Google/ the internet (Here's a few really good sides for answering tough questions: Christananswers.net, Answers in Genesis, The Institute for Creation Research, Always Be Ready, Answers for Atheists, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry and Lee Strobel's book The Case for a Creator) God loves your passion for wanting to share Him with your friends, remember He gave you that desire. Don't give up on it when things get rough, remember that most people will initially be resilient to the message. Make sure to spend lots of time in prayer, check out those links and resources mentioned above. Let me know if you have any questions, I'll try to get back to them as soon as I can.
  3. Nice job starting a Bible study, it takes a lot of commitment so be ready for it. I've started/ lead a couple Bible studies/ Jesus clubs and have quite a few resources. Make sure you remain in prayer and stay in God's will, not end up going off on your own agenda- that's something I've struggled with before. As for dealing with people older than you, remain bold, confident, and genuine, it shows them you really care about what you're doing and they'll respect you for that. Don't forget that they are older than you and have more life experience, so be open to suggestions from them, and if you're ever really struggling with something don't be afraid to ask one of them. I'd recommend not getting too caught up in any book, training, or curriculum. I went to a really cool youth leadership this summer called Lead The Cause and got really into trying to take the training from there back to my friends, and after spending a fair bit of money on books I eventually learned from one of the conference speakers in a follow-up Skype that it's not about training, but just about Jesus. I'd buried my real priorities under a pile of trainings, so I'll advise you to set clear priories (hopefully based around Jesus and prayer) and keep your eyes fixed on them. Anyways, here's a list of resources I've found over time. I've found to be especially helpful: https://www.dare2share.org/ Really great Gospel centered youth leadership organization https://www.lifein6words.com/ You can get 100 free books at this one, just make sure to know how to use them before your request them https://www.gotquestions.org/ Good place to find answer to your own challenging questions, or any challenging questions you may be asked during the Bible study http://www.412teens.org/ Answers for many modern teen questions and doubts http://www.fallingplates.com Nice Gospel message with good analogies and video in many languages Haven't used these ones much before but they seem good: http://www.youthalive.ag.org/ https://www.everyschool.com/ http://youthministry360.com/ http://www.yfc.net/ http://fervr.net/ I hope these few resources help. I'll be praying that things go well. Let me know how the study goes, and if you have any questions about things.
  4. Yeah what Marley said above. It's very usual to question your beliefs, and is usually a good thing, because when you come through you're even stronger in your faith than where you started and can then help out people struggling with the same thing. Here's a couple good sites I like to reference when I have questions about Christianity: evidenceforchristianity.org and http://www.christiananswers.net Let me know if you need to talk or have specific questions, I'm no theologian but I'll do my best to help out
  5. Love this song so much. So applicable to so many Christians on so many levels
  6. Is she a Christian? In general just try to show God's love for her and how much you love her. Suicide is a dangerous and scary thing to deal with; you can find good online help in places like this one. It's also good to go to a trusted adult or pastor about such things. I have a friend who struggled for multiple years with depression, suicide, and homosexuality. She heard the Gospel and came to Christ after hitting rock bottom, and has since dropped all of that. Try to share the Good News with her, and take her to a positive youth group where people can be a good influence on her. The Gospel changes lives, please try to share it with her; and if you're not too familiar with it yourself you can see a quick overview of it in this video and this slam poetry presentation. I've also found Falling Plates to be a good video in sharing the Gospel. Dare2Share also has great Gospel sharing resources. But there's no resource as true as going back and reading the Word, maybe starting with the Gospel of John. Don't forget to pray for her. I'll be doing the same.
  7. Try being straight up with him, but don't come accross as too harsh. If you say that you would like him to lay off the texts (and explain why) gracefully, and if he respects you then he should stop, or at least slow down
  8. I just play when I don't have better things to do on my toaster PC, mostly League of Legends with occasional Starcraft 2 or an odd Steam game
  9. Nicely done, very well put
  10. The Bible does cover topics such as abortion and transgenderism, even if those words aren't explicitly used. Here's a few verses about abortion, and a few more about homosexuality- which I would consider in the same category as transgenderism. Not all those are super relevant- but there's enough good ones in the mix to prove the points. My point is that modern issues are actually covered in the Bible if you just dig a little deeper. I'm no expert in Sola Scriptura, but I'm pretty sure that it basically states that the Bible (Scripture) is the only place where you should base you faith/ beliefs, and that if you find yourself believing in something that contradicts scripture, then you're out of line. Correct me if I'm wrong on that- because like I said I don't know too much about it. And wow that's one grandiloquent quote
  11. It's possible to call yourself a Christian, a Buddhist, an Islam, an agnostic, and an atheist simultaneously, but that does not mean it is true, or that you practice any or all of what you claim to believe. Just how knowing how to fill your car's gas tank doesn't make you a mechanic, being partially in line with some religions with your beliefs doesn't mean you're a member of that religion or believe in it. For example I believe in the Trinity, as do Mormons- but that doesn't make me a Mormon. I think my point with this is that you shouldn't and can't go from religion to religion, or belief system to belief system just because some of your beliefs are similar. I would recommend to commit yourself to Christianity and not shift or pick between other beliefs depending on your mood, or if you like their belief system. The Bible tells us not to be two faced, or be like shaft in the wind, changing at any gust or whim. In John 14:15 Jesus says that "If you love me you will obey my commandments." God tells us to have no other gods before Him, He also tells us to set aside whatever in our lives which may be separating us from Him. I would definitely consider believing in another religion as something which would separate us from God- at very least by taking time away which we could be spending with Him. Also in First Corinthians 10:31 we're instructed to have all that we do be for the glory of God; I also wouldn't consider following another religion as something that brings God glory. I'd also encourage you to do your own research, because I'm pretty certain that there is more to the Protestant belief system than simply believing and loving Jesus- and I know that there's more to the Gospel than just that. If you're not sure you're familiar with the Gospel feel free to ask In your first post you mention that you have little to no doubt in your faith, so I'm curious why you are so curious and interested in believing on another religion? To me it sounds vaguely like parents who want you to be Protestant, and you wanting to be something else. Please don't take offense if I'm off- that's just a guess, you could be 30 or 40 years old and long since moved away from your parents for all I know. Don't get me wrong- we're instructed to question everything- but I still find it curious that you claim to be sturdy in faith- yet want to know so much about being on the edge with another religion. The fence is the devil's, don't get comfortable there- or even start checking it out.
  12. That's a really cool testimony. I know it can be hard to share so personal things so thanks for sharing
  13. Wow that was on point, I think a couple more active moderators could for sure improve some things. I'm not completely sure on this, but I'm pretty certain that a lot of the features CTF had were very old and had stopped being patched by their creators and as a result were security vulnerabilities. That is what happened with another internet forum I was part of, and we ended up having to completely move sites. Also internet forums are just dying out in general. They used to be way more popular than they are now, but with the growth of other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc the amount of people actively on forums is much less. Society and technology move on, and I still think that forums offer something unique and beyond what other social platforms can offer- especailly by way of group discussion, but they still continue to shrink in use.
  14. Could we me slightly less aggressive about a new personal message? I'd say the notification at the messages icon is good, that the banner is slightly excessive, and that not being able to turn off email notifications for PMs is very excessive. I like the email for a new conversation, but for every message is just too much.

    1. Nicene Nerd

      Nicene Nerd

      You can turn that off, though. Detailing notification settings for both email and website notifications can be found here with your concerns right near the top.

    2. FOX545

      FOX545

      @Nicene Nerd I see the option but I can't change it, it's grayed out and says the administrator has disabled this option from being toggled

    3. Nicene Nerd

      Nicene Nerd

      Ah, it's not that way for me, perhaps because I'm a moderator. We should tag @Cary for a fix.