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An Atheist Ad Campaign—a Holiday Tradition!

Atheist ad campaign asks does god exist

Today, Seattle Atheists launches an ad campaign on local buses.  Twelve buses will carry banner ads with photos of four people in average settings with the tag line, “1 in 4 is an Atheist.”  The campaign runs through early January.

One in four Seattle residents has no god belief—in other words, they are atheists.  Seattleites may not consider that the person who sold them their morning coffee might have been an atheist.  Or the person who drove their bus or repaired their car or did their taxes or treated their illness.  Atheists are their coworkers, their friends, their family.  Whether they realize it or not, they know plenty of atheists.

These are smart people who take pride in their work and love their families and appreciate the great things about America, just like religious people.

The Problem.  While atheists do their part within society, they don’t always get the same consideration in return.  They’re sometimes told, “This is a Christian nation and if you don’t like it, move to Europe.”  Some risk their jobs by revealing who they are, and some risk ostracism and the loss of their family or community.  Some are bullied or discriminated against within schools or by the military.  Seeing this, many atheists remain silent.  Many churchgoers are among these silent atheists.

The political season is a time when atheists are particularly reminded how out of step they are with much of America.  The U.S. House recently passed a resolution to reassure us that, yes, “In God We Trust” is still our national motto.  Governors appeal for prayer to solve problems rather than using the power of their office.  Political candidates often vie with each other to be the most Christian.  When it comes to people we wouldn’t vote for, atheists are at the bottom.

What Atheists Want (and What They Don’t Want).  Many of the fears Christians have about atheists are invented by clergy or politicians.  American already is a secular nation—the Constitution makes this clear—but that’s not a threat to Christians.  Indeed, it’s the best environment for Christians.

Christians can send their children to public school and know that they won’t hear a Bahá’í or Satanist prayer.  Christians can go to a city council meeting and not see “Allahu Akbar” in Arabic script on the wall.  Christians can go into a courtroom and not see a Shinto or Hindu god of jurisprudence glaring down at him.  But while government is constrained in its religious speech, citizens are not, and Christians can still preach or hand out flyers in the public square.  Everyone wins.

Atheists don’t want Christians denied their right to free speech.  When atheists object to preachers recommending political candidates or “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, they don’t want to limit the rights of Christians or get special privileges, they just want equality.

Next Steps.  If you’re an atheist, consider coming out.  Politely make your presence known.  The biggest factor in the American public becoming more tolerant of homosexuals was simply knowing one, and it works the same way for atheists.  But whether or not you feel comfortable making your atheism public, find local atheist or freethought groups and connect with your community.

If you’re a theist, be aware that there are atheists all around you.  These are people just like you, honest and hardworking.  Instead of praying before a meeting, evangelizing in the workplace, or putting a Jesus fish on your web site, consider if actions like these may offend others.  Encourage your friends to speak their mind and be who they are.

About Bob Seidensticker
  • Retro

    1 in 4 people in Washington state are atheists!!!

    It wouldn’t be so bad, but you guys actually seem proud of yourselves. Why can’t you atheists just stay hidden under a rock? God must be pissed! I’m sure your state will be hit by several natural disasters in the very near future.

    I’m also sure that with a 25% population of atheists that your state must be bustling with crime and violence. How many times do you get raped and mugged on an average shopping trip in town?

    If I were Sanata, I’d completely skip your entire state this year, so don’t be expecting anything for Christmas Bob!

    BTW, Merry Christmas!

  • Bob Calvan

    Jesus fish on your web site, consider if actions like these may offend others. Encourage your friends to speak their mind and be who they are.

    So we should not put a Christian fish on our website , or business van, or our car? Gee Bob I thought the constitution allows us to do that? What should be the penalty for displaying a Christian fish?

    There are only two peoples in the world those in Adam..( Atheist, Agnostics, Mormons, Jew’s, Buddhist’s, Islam, Jewish, etc.) And those in Christ. Or if you whish the regenerate or the unregenerate, or the wheat and the tares, or the sheep and the goats, or The elect and the reprobate, or the believer and the unbeliever.

    So it does not matter if one is an Atheist or a Muslim, or a Jew or a Mormon. Because all are under the wrath of God. Jesus Christ is the only way.
    Not a man made Jesus Christ , but the Eternal Son of God.

    • Retro

      “There are only two peoples in the world those in Adam..( Atheist, Agnostics, Mormons, Jew’s, Buddhist’s, Islam, Jewish, etc.) And those in Christ.”

      Doesn’t look like it’ll be too crowded in heaven. What’s your best guess Bob Calvan, maybe one millionth of one percent will make it to heaven?

      “What should be the penalty for displaying a Christian fish?”

      No one is suggesting that there should be a punishment.

      From your point of view Bob Calvan, it would seem that almost all of the people currently displaying Jesus fish are not true Christians anyway.

      Maybe you could explain to us non-believers what exactly the point of displaying a Jesus fish on a company ad, website, or van is. Does it mean you’re a Jesus approved business? If your company does a bad job does Jesus give the unhappy customer a refund?

      Bob Calvan, would you patronize a business that displayed the Flying Spaghetti Monster on their ads, vans, and website? Why or why not.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob C.:

      Gee Bob I thought the constitution allows us to do that? What should be the penalty for displaying a Christian fish?

      Is this really confusing? Let’s look at a more extreme example. May Muslims build a community center, even if it includes worship facilities, in Manhattan near Ground Zero? Yes. Ought they do so? No. While those Muslims didn’t do anything wrong, their religion was a party to an action that was wrong. It would be insensitive to the feelings of those affected.

      See the difference? You may put a Christian fish anywhere you want. Indeed, you may do all sorts of things that you probably ought not do.

      the sheep and the goats

      Yeah, let’s look at that distinction. The parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25) makes clear that good works gets you into heaven, not faith.

      Oops!

  • Bob Calvan

    ” Doesn’t look like it’ll be too crowded in heaven. What’s your best guess Bob Calvan, maybe one millionth of one percent will make it to heaven?….”

    Don’t know but I do know it will be more than anyone can number, according to the Bible.

    ” From your point of view Bob Calvan, it would seem that almost all of the people currently displaying Jesus fish are not true Christians anyway. ..”

    Don’t know that either, very possible.. In fact I know someone who is not a Christian who bought a car with a fish on it. And left the fish on it..So it seems one must know the person in the car with the fish on it to tell?

    ” Maybe you could explain to us non-believers what exactly the point of displaying a Jesus fish on a company ad, website, or van is…”

    Sure, If I needed a plumber and saw a Fish by his ad.. I would hire him for many reasons.. If he was a true believer we could have some good fellowship while he was doing the plumbing repair. If He was not a true believer I could have the opportunity to share the gospel with him. And I would rather give my money to help a Christian company than an enemy of God.

    “…. Does it mean you’re a Jesus approved business? If your company does a bad job does Jesus give the unhappy customer a refund?..”

    I would hope, and expect the company to do an excellent job. If the company did a bad job I would confront them about it.

    “…..Bob Calvan, would you patronize a business that displayed the Flying Spaghetti Monster on their ads, vans, and website? Why or why not.”

    No I would not..I do patronize lots of non-Christian business, as the majority of business are unbelievers. And I am always looking to share the gospel with all people..God has predestined all those He will save before the foundation of the world. And I do not know who these people are..And the means God uses to call His elect is by Christians sharing the Gospel. I all I do is spread the truth of God..And God gets the glory weather those I witness to believe or just brush me off. I can not save anyone..

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob C.:

      Don’t know but I do know it will be more than anyone can number, according to the Bible.

      144,000 isn’t that big a number (Rev. 7:4).

      Don’t know that either, very possible.

      I’m surprised you’re so shy to out those Christian poseurs. In the past, you seemed to be pretty vocal about the “Christians” who weren’t really Christian.

      If He was not a true believer I could have the opportunity to share the gospel with him.

      … then perhaps you should see out the businesses that have anti-Christian messages.

      the majority of business are unbelievers

      How do you figure that? Most Americans are Christian.

    • Retro

      “Don’t know but I do know it will be more than anyone can number, according to the Bible.”

      So you only quote one verse from an apocolyptic vision in the Book of Revelation?

      What do you do with Matthew chapter 7 where Jesus says that the road is narrow and few will find the gate to salvation? What do you do with Matthew 27:21-23 that says that not all Christians who drive out demons and perform miracles will be saved.

      Matthew 24:36 says that the end times will be similar to Noah’s day when only eight people were saved. Luke 17:28 says that the end times will be like the days of Lot when everyone but Lot and his two daughters were destroyed.

      All in all, it doesn’t sound like very good odds to me.

      “So it seems one must know the person in the car with the fish on it to tell?”

      So then displaying the Jesus fish is meaningless.

      Seems like businesses do it so they can get more business. Nothing like using Jesus to make a buck or two.

      “And I am always looking to share the gospel with all people…
      …And the means God uses to call His elect is by Christians sharing the Gospel.”

      So why wouldn’t you patronize a business that displays the Flying Spaghetti Monster then, you might actually save a non-believer who is going to hell.

      Maybe that’s the purpose God has for your life, to preach to the hell bound Pastafarians?

  • Bob Calvan

    To Bob and Retro

    Bob asked:

    “..Yeah, let’s look at that distinction. The parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25) makes clear that good works gets you into heaven, not faith…”

    No as we have discussed before Matt 25 is a descriptive verse ( describing that the evidence of saving faith is good works). Not a prescriptive verse. ( A prescription of what one must do to be saved) And the proof of that is what Retro quoted below..Matt 7:21-23. Here we have groups of so called believers doing good works in the name of Jesus. And Jesus cast them all into hell.

    Bob asked:

    “….144,000 isn’t that big a number (Rev. 7:4)…”

    That number is not a literal number of people in heaven. Rev. is a symbolic book drenched in OT language. Which you lack to understand.

    Bob asked

    “….How do you figure that? Most Americans are Christian…”

    As I have stated many times very few Americans ( compared to the number of Americans) percentage wise would be true believers.

    Retro asked:

    ‘..What do you do with Matthew chapter 7 where Jesus says that the road is narrow and few will find the gate to salvation? What do you do with Matthew 27:21-23 that says that not all Christians who drive out demons and perform miracles will be saved…”

    I agree with you while the elect in heaven over the history of mankind will be a number no man can count. The people in Hell over the history of mankind will definitely exceed those in heaven

    Retro asked:

    “…So then displaying the Jesus fish is meaningless…”

    Probably not I am sure there are some truly born again Christians with the Christian fish that have used the fish for a wonderful tool to evangelize.. Do I have a fish on my truck? Nope. Do I evangelize? Yup.

    Retro asked:

    “…So why wouldn’t you patronize a business that displays the Flying Spaghetti Monster then, you might actually save a non-believer who is going to hell…..”

    I have never seen a business with a Flying Spaghetti Monster. And remember you said ” I might actually save a non-believer…” I told you I can save no one, that is up to the Holy Spirit. And I do have the opportunity to speak the gospel to unbeliever’s.

    Retro asked:

    “..Maybe that’s the purpose God has for your life, to preach to the hell bound Pastafarians?”

    Well I have met plenty unbelievers, but have yet met one who holds to the religion of Pastafarianism. All though I am Italian and love Pasta! But as I told you labels are irrelevant as there are two people in the world..The Elect and the reprobate. So the Pastafarian falls into the reprobates, as you and Bob also do.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob C:

      No as we have discussed before Matt 25 is a descriptive verse ( describing that the evidence of saving faith is good works). Not a prescriptive verse. ( A prescription of what one must do to be saved)

      Any knucklehead reading Matt. 25 in context can tell that those who do good works get into heaven … because they did good works. The good works are primary to the story, not an incidental and trivial consequence of the truly important thing–faith. Indeed, faith isn’t even mentioned.

      Rev. is a symbolic book drenched in OT language. Which you lack to understand.

      Ahhh … I think I get it. You get to decide which verses are literal and which are not. But when I do it, I’m applying an agenda.

      That’s totally clear. Or not.

      As I have stated many times very few Americans ( compared to the number of Americans) percentage wise would be true believers.

      Still seems bizarre to label as “unbelievers” people who call themselves “Christians.”

      The people in Hell over the history of mankind will definitely exceed those in heaven

      Yeah, it’s weird that being omniscient doesn’t make God an especially good teacher. Ordinary mortal teachers do a decent job of making their kids understand the material. I guess God just doesn’t care much about proper pedagogy. Or about torturing his “loved ones.”

      So the Pastafarian falls into the reprobates, as you and Bob also do.

      You can’t save people, but you can tell who’s hell bound? Seems like you’re claiming heavenly knowledge.

      • Retro

        “You can’t save people, but you can tell who’s hell bound? Seems like you’re claiming heavenly knowledge.”

        It’s interesting to see what the Bible says:

        John 3:16-18 of course says that anyone who believes in Jesus will have eternal life. As well as John 3:36, John 6:40, and John 6:47

        John 6:54 says that whoever eats the flesh and drinks the blood of Jesus will have eternal life.

        Mark 16:16 says to believe AND be baptized. Acts 2:38 says to REPENT and be baptized. (In fact, I think every person saved in the book of Acts without exception was baptized.)

        Matt 7:21-23 says that not even those who have driven out demons, prophesied, and performed miracles in the name of Jesus will be saved for sure.

        James 2 says that belief alone is not enough, the demons believe and they won’t be saved, and it says faith without deeds is dead. Of course Matt 25 states that those that do not help the needy “will go away to eternal punishment.”

        So then, with all these verses I think it’s clear that no human can know for sure who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.

    • Retro

      “But as I told you labels are irrelevant as there are two people in the world..The Elect and the reprobate.”

      If labels are irrelevant, then why would you patronize a business with a Jesus fish before you would a business without one? You are not being very consistent.

      In my opinion, someone who is openly a non-believer is more honest than someone who pretends to be a true believer. No one is likely to pretend to be a Pastafarian just to get business. According to your own statements, most Americans are not true Christians, therefore any business displaying a Jesus fish would most propbably not be true Christians.

      With this in mind, I’d like to ask you once again WHY you would patronize a business using a Jesus fish before one that didn’t.

  • Bob Calvan

    Retro said:

    “……..So then, with all these verses I think it’s clear that no human can know for sure who is going to heaven and who is going to hell.”

    Sure you can. Context, context, context. Some you quoted were warning descriptive verse’s. Other’s prescriptive verses. If you wish list one at a time and we can comment on them.

    Like Bob tries to insist Matt 25 is some salvation by works passage. Which is absurd..Bob lacks biblical wisdom. And fails to see the difference ( or known’s the difference?) between Justification and Sanctification. If Bob knew that Bob would see Matt 25 does not teach works salvation. Also if Bob understood substituionary atonement Bob would see work salvation would be impossible.

    Retro asked:

    “…If labels are irrelevant, then why would you patronize a business with a Jesus fish before you would a business without one? You are not being very consistent.”

    I answered that already? I said I would have the opportunity to speak with that person ..And I said if they were true Christians we could enjoy fellowship together.. If they were not Christian I have the opportunity to share the gospel. A win, win. So that is very consistent. If I have a choice I would rather spend my money with true Christian business.. As a Christian I am responsible to be a good steward of how I spend my money..That is why I put my child in private Christian schools until she graduated High school.. And yes, still paid taxes for public school which my Child only used a few times.

    Retro asked:

    “….In my opinion, someone who is openly a non-believer is more honest than someone who pretends to be a true believer….”

    I agree. And both will answer to God.

    Retro said;

    “……….. No one is likely to pretend to be a Pastafarian just to get business. According to your own statements, most Americans are not true Christians, therefore any business displaying a Jesus fish would most probably not be true Christians.”

    That I do not know until I talk to that person. So that is a hypothetical question. And I would hope most people who display a fish, would know they are true Christians, but that is just my personal opinion..To be Honest I do not see a lot of fish displayed on cars.. See a lot of Darwin symbols. LOL

    Retro asked:

    “……With this in mind, I’d like to ask you once again WHY you would patronize a business using a Jesus fish before one that didn’t.”

    I will answer again. I would rather spend my money an keep it in the Christian worldview then the unbelieving worldview. That is not possible most of the time, so when I have the opportunity to do so I will.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      I agree. And both will answer to God.

      Or not.

    • Retro

      “And I would hope most people who display a fish, would know they are true Christians, but that is just my personal opinion.”

      I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, so I’ll simply say: From your other comments, it doesn’t seem like you believe most Christians are true Christians. Since false Christians are just as much an enemy as non-believers, it would seem that paying any heed to a Jesus fish would be a complete waste of time.

      “Sure you can. Context, context, context. Some you quoted were warning descriptive verse’s. Other’s prescriptive verses. If you wish list one at a time and we can comment on them.”

      Why should a warning description verse ever contradict a prescription verse? (It’s almost as though God didn’t know that all these separate books would be placed together into one volume.)

      Let’s look at these for now:

      James 2 says that belief alone is not enough, the demons believe but they won’t be saved. This verse is at odds with several verses in the Gospel of John.

      In the passage from Matthew 7:21-23, we not only see people who believe, but they’re also able to drive out demons, prophesy, and perform miracles, but at least some of these people will not be saved.

      Obviously people could not do any of these miraculous things unless God gave them the power. This brings up the question of why God would give people this power at all if they weren’t really saved. Maybe God can’t tell the difference between those who are true believers, and those who are not?

      Without adding an explanation that doesn’t actually occur in the text, Matt 7:21-23 is at odds with Mark 16:15-18 that says true believers will be accompanied by signs such as driving out demons and other miracles.

      These verses directly contradict each other. Any explanation you have should come straight from the Bible, and quote actual Bible verses.

  • Bob Calvan

    “…..Why should a warning description verse ever contradict a prescription verse? (It’s almost as though God didn’t know that all these separate books would be placed together into one volume.)..”

    You assume they contradict? They do not in any way contradict. They are in perfect harmony with each other.

    Yes, God not only knew theses books would be together, but designed, decreed, and predestined they would be together.

    God decree’s all things that come to pass. Even where each leaf from a tree falls. And why does God do this? For the pleasure of His own Will.

    • Retro

      “You assume they contradict? They do not in any way contradict. They are in perfect harmony with each other.”

      Just saying there’s not a contradiction is not going to cut it.

      Matthew 7:21-23 desribes people who not only believe, but they’re also able to drive out demons, prophesy, and perform other miracles. Then we are told that at least some of these people will NOT be saved.

      Mark 16:15-18 says true believers will be accompanied by signs such as driving out demons and other miracles.

      Obviously people could not do any of these miraculous things unless God gave them the power. This brings up the question of why God would give people this power at all if they weren’t really saved. Maybe God can’t tell the difference between those who are true believers, and those who are not?

      Any explanation you have should come straight from the Bible, and quote actual Bible verses.

  • Bob Calvan

    Retro says:

    ” Matthew 7:21-23 describes people who not only believe, but they’re also able to drive out demons, prophesy, and perform other miracles. Then we are told that at least some of these people will NOT be saved… ‘

    Seems you failed to read Matt 7:21 first.. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

    The Greek is a present tense active verb. The one’s doing the will of the Father. This is an ongoing action of the true believers. The true believer does the will of the Father, and is doing the will of the Father. Past, present, and, future.

    Verse’s 22 and 23 . Show us that just using the name of the Lord, without doing the will of the Lord is not enough to enter eternity..This is a warning passage of hypocritical false believers. There were and are many false Christians who use the name of the Lord for many selfish, and dishonest reasons.. But they are not truly saved and are not doing the will of the Father. As the Bible tells us “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Only those the Father gives the Son are those who are elect. And only those are doing the will of the Father. ( John 6:37-44) ( John 10)

    Jhn 10:26 “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.

    Jhn 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

    Jhn 10:28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

    Jhn 10:29 ” [fn]My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

    “……….Obviously people could not do any of these miraculous things unless God gave them the power. This brings up the question of why God would give people this power at all if they weren’t really saved. Maybe God can’t tell the difference between those who are true believers, and those who are not?..”

    Nope that is not obvious, Many unbelievers throughout the History of the Bible performed miracles through the power of Satan and Demonic activity. Think of the magicians ,imitating some of Moses miracles in Egypt. Of course this was done under the decree of God.

    • Retro

      “Nope that is not obvious, Many unbelievers throughout the History of the Bible performed miracles through the power of Satan and Demonic activity. Think of the magicians ,imitating some of Moses miracles in Egypt. Of course this was done under the decree of God.”

      So God gave the power to perform miracles to unsaved people? Mark 16:15-18 says that ability to do miracles would be a sign that accompanied those who believed. Why would God give them the power to do miracles if these people weren’t doing His will?

      • Paul

        Hi,
        Have have read with interest this blog. It seems you guys are going round in circles.
        Now, just to put one thing straight. Mark 16:9-20 are not a recognised text of the Holy Bible. But were added to God’s Word in the fith and sixth century. Even the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) says: “Its vocabulary and style differ so radically from the rest of the Gospel that it hardly seems possible Mark himself composed it.”

        Bob Calvin although claiming to be Christian has in other blogs missed quoted scripture and refered to teaching unfounded in Gods Word. So I would not put too much credibility on what he comments.

      • Paul

        So that being said Retro, No God does not empower those who do not follow him. However he does not nescessarily stop others with the power of Satan and/or Demons doing similar miracles, such as the Eyptian priests did. However if you read the account in Exodus God’s snake ate the other ones and then he did stop the priests from repeating his miracles. Of course to prove his superiority over the demons.
        This is also true of false Christians today. As Jesus said miracles alone to not prove that they are Christains, or Jesus true followers. He did say, “By this all will know that you are my desciples, if you have love among yourselves.” John 13:35
        In fact Paul indicated that this love would superceed all the gifts. 1Corithians 13:8-13.

  • Paul

    What’s with the fish anyway?
    Since when should a fish represent Christianity? 1John 5:21; Palsm 115:4-8

    Show’s you how far Bob Calvin has gone down the road of anything but Christain.

  • Bob Calvan

    To Paul

    Paul said:

    “Bob Calvin although claiming to be Christian has in other blogs missed quoted scripture and referred to teaching unfounded in Gods Word. So I would not put too much credibility on what he comments.”

    So Paul if you are accusing me of not being a Christian because I missed quoted scripture and referred to teaching unfounded in God’s word. I would ask you to please list those for us. And show us where I erred. Those are quite powerful accusations against me. So please list my errors. Thank you.

    Paul also said:

    “..What’s with the fish anyway?
    Since when should a fish represent Christianity? 1John 5:21; Palsm 115:4-8

    Show’s you how far Bob Calvin has gone down the road of anything but Christian.”

    If you read what I said I was answering the questions about true saving faith.. And I did say I do not have or use a Christian fish. As I do not hold to that theology of Soteriology. But I would expect if I saw a fish on ones car or business that they were true Christians..And that would be a good opportunity to talk to them.

    So Paul you made some serious accusations about me.. And that is fine. I just ask you back them up with showing me the scriptures I miss quoted and the teachings I gave that are not found in the Word of God.

    Thank you

    Bob Calvan

    • Paul

      Hi Bob,
      Sure, the Trinity for one, the cross for another all discussed in previous blogs. Why would the representation of the fish indicate a ‘true Christain’? It might indicate someone who worshipped a fish maybe.

  • Bob Calvan

    Paul,

    I forgot to ask you. Do you have permission from your infallible magesterium ” The Watch Tower Society” to be on Bob’s website? You should tell us that you are a Jehovah Witness. Which is a cult and not Christian.

    I am looking forward to see the error’s I made.

    Thank you

    Bob Calvan

    • Paul

      Bob you are getting nasty now not entirely Christain I would think.
      I have previously mentioned I am a Jehovah’s Witness and felt it not necessary to repeat it every blog.
      There have always been Jehovah’s witnesses, infact the nation of Israel were his witnesses, and no I don’t need permission to speak, God created men equal and gave us freedom of speech. All Jehovah’s Witnesses exercise their freedom of thought and speech, it just so happens we all speak in agreement like the early Christians did 1Cor 1:10. We are the only religion united throughout the world and preach God’s Kingdom as Jesus did and follow in his foot steps, which makes us Christain.

  • Retro

    Paul said: “Now, just to put one thing straight. Mark 16:9-20 are not a recognised text of the Holy Bible. But were added to God’s Word in the fifth and sixth century.”

    What good is the Bible then? How nonsensical is it to say that God performed a miracle to inspire the Bible, but then didn’t do anything to accurately preserve it?

    “However he does not nescessarily stop others with the power of Satan and/or Demons doing similar miracles, such as the Eyptian priests did.”

    Why did Jesus do miracles? Why did the Disciples do miracles? Miracles were to show that they were truly from God. If Satan can do miracles too, then miracles prove nothing, as they could be from either God or the Satan.

    It’ll be very interesting who wins the title of “true Christian”. We should start a betting pool. Who’s putting their money on Bob Calvan, and who’s putting their money on Paul?

    • Paul

      Hi Retro, Jesus performed miracles to establish that he was the messiah, and two to indicate what his rule would be like when he recieved the Kingdom from his father Jehovah and took over the rulership of this planet.
      No record of Satan ressurecting the dead as Jesus did!

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Miracles might have been convincing to those who saw them, but how does that make a convincing case for me? I haven’t seen them.

        Yes, we have a record of Jesus being resurrected, but why not see it as just a story? You’ve got a long way to go before it moves from story to biography.

        • Paul

          At what point do you not believe in eye witnesses? If a grou of scientists said they saw this new “God particle” you would not believe it because you weren’t there to see it! I think at some point you have to believe what others see and eye witness.
          Jesus was seen by upwards of 500 people, some of which were not his deciples. I think over 500 eye witnesses is pretty convincing to me. It would certainly hold up in a court of law.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Paul:

        At what point do you not believe in eye witnesses?

        The gospels don’t even say they were eyewitnesses. Even if they did–am I supposed to believe everything I read, especially for such an outlandish claim as this?

        If a grou of scientists said they saw this new “God particle” you would not believe it because you weren’t there to see it!

        There’s a difference here. When Science says something about reality, it tends to be a pretty good claim. We have a track record, a reason to trust Science. Consider the claim “you can communicate instantly to just about anyone around the world” stated 200 years ago. And yet we’re doing it right now. Science delivers on its claims.

        But a book? Why believe the gospel story over the story of King Arthur and Merlin the magician?

        I think at some point you have to believe what others see and eye witness.

        Only if you want to be deceived. You wouldn’t believe the other guy’s religious book; why believe the Bible?

        Jesus was seen by upwards of 500 people, some of which were not his deciples. I think over 500 eye witnesses is pretty convincing to me. It would certainly hold up in a court of law.

        Nonsense. A 2000-year-old tale? Historians universally reject miracle stories.

        Dude, it’s just a story! I realize that the story says there were 500 eyewitnesses, but why believe it? Indeed, did you ever wonder why this supposedly compelling evidence was not included in the gospels?

        • Paul

          Bob you disappoint me. Once again you say things with out checking the facts. It is mentioned in the Gospels dilly.
          At the end of the day you choose to follow science and I choose to follow the Bible. We are all free moral agents and can make decisions for ourselves. Ive made mine and you have made yours. We will find out who is right wont we.
          If I am right, your in big trouble. If your right (I am absolutely sure your not) well so be it at least I have lived a good life that I am happy with and helped a great many people to live a good life too, which I will continue to do.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Paul:

        Once again you say things with out checking the facts. It is mentioned in the Gospels dilly.

        I don’t know what this means and I don’t know what you’re referring to. If I’m missing something, please be clear about what the problem is and what you think the facts are. Thanks.

        At the end of the day you choose to follow science and I choose to follow the Bible.

        You choose to follow science! You’re using a computer and the internet right now! You might be alive because smallpox was eradicated, thanks to science. You might drive a car or get on an airplane or watch TV. Science delivers on its claims and you know it. Don’t imagine that there are two equally plausible paths.

        If your right (I am absolutely sure your not) well so be it at least I have lived a good life that I am happy with and helped a great many people to live a good life too, which I will continue to do.

        In the first place, Pascal’s Wager applies to you as much as me. It’s not Christianity vs. atheism, it’s all religions, including atheism. How do you know you were right to bet against Buddhism? I’ve been to the monasteries and seen the pictures of hell, and trust me, you do not want to go there. Or Islam or Bahá’í or Scientology?

        In the second, you act as if there are no downsides to being a Christian. No downsides to trusting in something for which there is inadequate evidence. No downsides for allowing yourself to be duped by anyone saying, “Well, if you were truly a good Christian, you would do X.” No downside for dismissing reason and evidence in favor of superstition and legend.

        It feels pretty good to go where the evidence points. Kinda makes you feel grown up rather than childish. If you’re prepared to use your intelligence to the fullest, I suggest you do the same. C’mon in, the water’s fine!

  • Bob Calvan

    Retro Paul is a Jehovah Witness. A cult from the 1800′s .

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      One man’s cult is another man’s religion. Since every sect of Christianity is of finite duration and not from the beginning of the world, I’m not sure that any one sect has that much right to brag. JWs are ~150 years old and Protestants in general are ~500 years old. Not much difference.

      • Paul

        Thanks for the defence Bob.
        Just to add clarification if I may. Christains have only been around since 36CE approx. In Antioch they were called ‘Christains’ by God. Acts 11:26. Prior to that they were known as ‘the way’. Because they lead a different ‘way’ of life from others, dedicated to preaching like that of Christ Jesus. Acts 9:2
        Out of interest to answer Bob Calvins comment about us being called a ‘sect’, the early Christains were also refered to as a sect by their enemies Acts 24:14

    • Paul

      Answered that one.
      Tell me Bob who is the faithful and discreet slave Jesus appointed to look after his interest on the earth? Matt 24:45-47

  • Bob Calvan

    Actually The messiah is prophesized in the first book of the Bible (Gen 3:15) which refers to the start of humanity. Which makes Christianity the first religion.
    Also the first human Adam sinned and the reincarnate Christ covered Adam and Eve with animal skins. The first of the shadows of the sacrificial atonement that Jesus fulfills at the incarnation and death and resurrection.
    So from the beginning of time God’s plan of salvation and forgiveness of sin, in the redemption of the creature through the blood of Christ started with the first man..So Christianity is the oldest and first religion.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Christians today might go back and imagine those things there, but the first audience for Genesis certainly did not. That might give you pause that you are imagining a message that isn’t there.

      Oldest religion? There were plenty that came before, including Hinduism, which is still practiced today.

      And back to a previous topic: I’m still confused by your presentation. Your writing is much more polished than it was a couple of months ago. Were you pretending to be someone you aren’t? I dunno–maybe catch us gullible atheists off guard by acting like a dolt?

      • Paul

        Hi Bob S, Yes you are right, there have been and still are many other religions and gods worshipped. That is why Jehovah (the true God) has always had his witnesses to reveal the truth as and when needed.
        First Abel then Enoch, Noah, Shem (his son), Abraham, the Nation of Israel then Christains. Just as through all these generations there were other ‘gods’ and ‘religions’, but Jehovah never left himself without a witness. Jesus warned that in our day there would be false Christains, and I think you are seeing a result in some of the discussions. But in the end Truth will prevail. Jesus said by their ‘fruits’ you will recognise them good or bad. Two identifying marks would be, they would be like Jesus a preacher of God’s Kingdom and that they would display love, even loving their enemies.

    • Paul

      Bob please get your facts right!!
      It is true the Messiah was fortold to come in that prophesy, but Christianity did not have it’s beginnings until after Jesus was baptised and others followed him as Christ’s followers. First named in around 36CE after the conversion of Cornelius Acts 11:26. Previous to this they were known as ‘The Way’ Acts 9:2. They were called this because of their way of life being very different from the ones around them in that they preached the Kingdom and Christ. Previous to this God used the Israelite Nation and they were refered to as Jehovah’s witnesses Isaiah 43:10; 44:8

  • Bob Calvan

    Meant to say the “PREINCARNATE” Christ.

  • Bob Calvan

    And back to a previous topic: I’m still confused by your presentation. Your writing is much more polished than it was a couple of months ago. Were you pretending to be someone you aren’t? I dunno–maybe catch us gullible atheists off guard by acting like a dolt

  • Bob Calvan

    No Bob,

    I took your advice by using word to write my comments. That way I can check spelling and context. When I first wrote on your blog there was no way to edit.? Or even scroll up to see what I wrote? I had a very difficult time just writing in the comment box. That is why I asked you about it and you suggested using word and pasting on the comment box. So that is what I have been doing. Thanks for the tip. I am the same DOLT. LOL

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      I wondered because there’s a modest amount of deception going on (see my previous post about Poe’s Law). I’m glad to hear that that worked for you.

      • Paul

        Hi Bob S,
        I would like to add a personal note Bob. I am deeply offended that Bob C would write that your friend the evolutionists who died recently, (sorry for your lose) would be burning in hell by the ‘True God’. All of my friends and the ‘True God’ Jehovah would find that terribly offensive. The Bible simply teaches that the dead go back to the ground and are truly dead, however with the hopes of a ressurection at God’s descretion in a future time under Christ’s rule. And I truly do hope that he gets a ressurection so that he sees the error of his way and yes he will need to appologise if not to God but certainly to others.
        In saying that my deepest sympathy, he was obviously a clever person.

      • Paul

        You might find interesting reading in 2 Cor 11:12-15. Sheds some light on deception.

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Paul:

        I would like to add a personal note Bob.

        I think you’re referring to Christopher Hitchens. Yes, it is a sad loss. But the guy made a big impact in society. While he checked out sooner than he (or many of the rest of us) would’ve liked, his impact on history will be greater than most. Hard to complain too much.

        Thanks for the thought about Christian extremists saying that he’s burning in hell. (I’ve seen a bumper sticker on this subject: “He’s your god; they’re you’re rules. You burn in hell.”) But, of course, more offensive than saying that Hitchens is now burning in hell is saying that I will be joining him myself. That’s pretty offensive! But I’m used to it.

        The Bible simply teaches that the dead go back to the ground and are truly dead, however with the hopes of a ressurection at God’s descretion in a future time under Christ’s rule.

        The insane unfairness of the typical Christian view of God makes your view (while still supernatural and still hard to accept) a whole lot fairer!

  • Bob Calvan

    To Retro;
    ” Paul said: “Now, just to put one thing straight. Mark 16:9-20 are not a recognized text of the Holy Bible. But were added to God’s Word in the fifth and sixth century.”

    ” What good is the Bible then? How nonsensical is it to say that God performed a miracle to inspire the Bible, but then didn’t do anything to accurately preserve it? “..

    Yes, what Paul said is true. The long ending in Mark 16. Was not in the early Greek transcripts. This is one of the longest textual variants in the Bible.along with the women caught in adultery in John. That is what makes our transcripts accurate. Because we have so many. ( over 5,000 more than any book of antiquity) As many biblical textual variant scholars put it. ” It is like have a thousand piece puzzle, but you have 1,010 piece’s..So you have the original but extra pieces too…” So we can see from this what the original is saying. And even if you leave the long ending of Mark and John ( the women caught in adultery) it has no effect on the Gospel..It does no change the theology. That is why I did not comment on the Mark 16 :20 verse.

    Retro asked:

    ” Why did Jesus do miracles? Why did the Disciples do miracles? Miracles were to show that they were truly from God. If Satan can do miracles too, then miracles prove nothing, as they could be from either God or the Satan..”

    Good point! And that is true . They can be from God or Satan.. But it does prove there is a supernatural.

    • Retro

      “Good point! And that is true . They can be from God or Satan.. But it does prove there is a supernatural.”

      Well, it proves that both sides can perform the same thing, whether it’s supernatural, natural, or plain-old trickery.

      Much has been made about the Mark passage being a later addition. This brings up the question of WHY there was a need for this addition?

      One guess is that there was competing Christian sects, and since both sects could perform similar “miracles”, an additional passage was needed as a tie-breaker. (It also ties in with the works vs. faith debate, and the gifts vs. love debate in 1 Corinthians.)

      It seems that “miracles” were so cheap and easy that “miracles” didn’t prove anything anymore. Just like today when any run-of-the-mill TV preacher can “heal” and “prophesy”. A competing faith healer can’t expose his rival as a fraud without exposing himself as a fraud too. Peter Popoff was believed to be legit until James Randi came along and showed that it was all simply trickery and deception.

      So I ask, who added this passage in Mark, and why?

      • Paul

        Gothere was an influxod question. The who seems unclear, but the why is clearer. Around this period Christianity went through a period where many attacks on true Christianity happened. It was during this period that such teachings as the Trinity, the Cross and other false teachings were adopted. Constanten in order to stabilised his realm he fused both pagan (non christiian) and Christian teachings and made it the Holy Roman Empire. Of course this currupted the Truth which was prophecied in the Bible and explained by Jesus with the illustration of the wheat and tthe weeds.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Bob C:

      That is what makes our transcripts accurate. Because we have so many. ( over 5,000 more than any book of antiquity)

      Huh?? Who cares if there are 5000 or 5 million? All that matters are our handful of earliest copies! If we found a cache of thousands of new 12th-century copies of the Bible, that would certainly be an interesting find, but would it be more sources for the best translation? Hardly.

      And that is true . They can be from God or Satan.. But it does prove there is a supernatural.

      You’ve got a long way to go before you prove that there is a God or Satan or a supernatural!

      The same explanation that you or I would use for other religions’ holy books would work just fine here, I suspect.

  • John Robinson

    Why would you ever try to debate a subject with an illogical opponent?
    Let the Xian’s waste their lives…who cares. Just live your atheist life to the fullest!

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