Little-Known Bible Verses II: Saving Ourselves

A major theme in modern evangelical Christianity is that humankind is completely depraved, that we are helpless to redeem ourselves by our own efforts and only by trusting in Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross can we be freed from sin. But, according to the Christians’ own holy text, this is not true. Scripture gives explicit instructions for how human beings can save themselves without God’s help, as we can see in the following little-known Bible verse.

Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
—Job 40:6-14

As this verse states clearly, God will admit that human beings are capable of saving themselves when we find everyone who is proud and humble them, and find everyone who is wicked and punish them. These are conceptually quite simple tasks, and there is nothing about them that is intrinsically beyond human ability. Their implementation may be difficult, but it is by no means inconceivable. (I would note parenthetically that since God himself has not done this, one could make an argument that the Bible itself shows that belief in God will not and cannot bring about human salvation.)

Something else about these verses that I find laudable is that they describe salvation as an intrinsically communal effort. Under this view, a person cannot save themself by abandoning the rest of humanity and withdrawing from the world. Rather, the only way for any of us to be saved is for all of us to cooperate and work together to establish a community of justice where the arrogant and the wicked get what they deserve. This stands in stark contrast to the selfishly individualistic view that modern evangelical Christianity takes, which not just allows but encourages people to save themselves, even if all their friends and loved ones are lost, and assures them that they will be happy in Heaven while those friends and loved ones are burning in Hell. This passage from Job contradicts that gloomy theology. It teaches, instead, that so long as one innocent person suffers, our salvation cannot be achieved; and this I find to be a far more praiseworthy view.

I am certain that most Christians would say that this passage is not a way for us to save ourselves because the tasks it describes are impossible for humans to achieve. Such thinking is characteristic of the immoral consequences of religious doctrines of total depravity. By teaching the pessimistic, cynical view that human beings are irredeemably corrupt, Christianity encourages people to think that establishing justice is impossible, and therefore encourages us not to even try. In reality, although human beings are very far indeed from moral perfection, we have nevertheless made substantial progress toward that end, including widespread recognition of the immorality of slavery, the intrinsic equality of all human groups, the need to separate church from state, and the desirability of extending compassion toward all people everywhere. Had Christianity’s gloomy view of human nature dominated those debates, we might never have made the progress we have.

Can we so far make any legitimate claim to have punished the proud and the wicked as they deserve? Not by a long shot. But unless we prejudge the question, we will never know if it is possible until we try. Our efforts so far, though sadly incomplete, suggest that we as a species can indeed go a long way toward ensuring law and order. It remains to be seen how much farther we can go, but there is no reason to think that God’s challenge to Job is unanswerable. If we have the will and the courage, humanity may indeed be able to save itself without help from mythological beings.

Other posts in this series:

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Chad

    Most Christians would be right, at least in the context of this passage; it’s not really about helping humans save themselves. This passage comes after two chapters worth of Yahweh going through a laundry list of stuff he did which humans can’t do: “lay[ing] the earth’s foundation”, “comprehend[ing] the vast expanses of the earth”, “enter[ing] the storehouses of snow”, “bringing forth the constellations”, “count[ing] the clouds”, taking care of all the animals in the world, and the like. He’s saying “You can’t do any of this stuff, I can, so I can do anything I want to you”.

    Of course, these days we either can do almost any given item on the list, or have shown that it’s insensible (storehouses of snow?), so you might convince a very liberal Christian that the meaning of the passage has changed with time, but don’t count on it.

    This view on the human condition is certainly immoral, I agree with you there, but save credit for where it’s due.

    (BTW, I’ve read your work for a long time now, and it’s all good stuff. This is the first time I’ve significantly disagreed with any of it, which is why I’m posting now. Keep it up!)

  • http://www.agnosticmom.com AgnosticMom

    I found you through the Carnival of the Godless. I’ve been really enjoying your blog. Great posts.

  • http://mondaymorningmeditations.blogspot.com Ken

    I ran across your blog when looking around the other Religion sites at BlogTopSites. Curious to see what the site contained based on your description I clicked through and after reading your latest post thought I would comment.

    I have a couple of possible observations for your consideration.

    It seems you may have fallen into the trap Christians are often accused of – that of not being able to distinguish between passages that are meant to be taken literally from those that are not. God’s challenge to Job is not necessarily meant to be literally possible and, therefore, invalidate the Book’s teaching that all men are sealed under sin and unable to free themselves. As Chad noted above, God is contrasting His abilities with man’s and is saying that when we are able to do what He does – in effect when we are God – then we are able to save ourselves. The point is, despite Chad’s offhand comment to the contrary, we could not then and cannot now do what God does and so remain shut up under sin. This passage actually affirms the Christian doctrine of salvation through Christ alone.

    If the observation above is not sufficient, possibly the following will be. Your response to the Job passage does not agree with the original passage. God’s challenge was to Job, an individual but your response is phrased in terms of the much larger and more diffuse “humanity”. While you are free to change the terms of the debate, you surely can see that such changes cannot be simply made and then conclusions drawn and then flip back to apply your conclusions to the original debate. At that point you have to maintain either: that words and terms mean little or nothing which leaves us with no moorings to have meaningful discussions on any topic, or; that if such an approach is valid for you to bring to the debate then I can just as gratuitously change your debate terms and draw my own conclusions and refute yours. Either way, little can be said to be sure if we approach the topic in that way.

    Finally, I must take issue with the following comment you make: “In reality, although human beings are very far indeed from moral perfection, we have nevertheless made substantial progress toward that end, including widespread recognition of the immorality of slavery, the intrinsic equality of all human groups, the need to separate church from state, and the desirability of extending compassion toward all people everywhere. Had Christianity’s gloomy view of human nature dominated those debates, we might never have made the progress we have.”

    It is interesting that the accomplishments you list are, generally speaking, hallmarks of Western civilization with it’s roots in Christian thought and influence. It is a historical certainty that anti-slavery, equality of every man and the need to extend compassion to all are the results of Christianity’s influence on society and not gains made in spite of Christian faith. This is not to say that all Christians do or have lived these ideals out perfectly any more than all atheists have. But it is almost universally accepted that these accomplishments and more are the result of Christianity’s impact on cultures that did not have these values. It is not that Christianity’s gloomy view did not dominate the debate and so we were able to rise above our lesser nature. It is precisely because Christianity identified the problem of man’s fallen nature and provided a solution – that of a changed nature in Christ – that men have successfully put aside their bent towards sin and achieved some semblance of righteousness. For an excellent treatise on precisely this issue, I’d refer you to “How Should We Then Live” by Francis Shaeffer. The book is over 30 years old but it takes a penetrating look at Western culture as it grew out of both the Reformation and the Renaissance.

    The challenge for you may be putting aside your a prioris for a bit to consider an alternative explanation for what you see around you. If you start with the position that there is no God then all of your positions and arguments must be forced into that mold to make sense. However, if you can step back from your convictions for a moment and consider the possiblity that God does, indeed, exist it will impact your reasoning process and conclusions. I’m not saying that I’m right and you’re wrong. I’m just saying it seems possible you are taking a book that starts with God’s existence as a given and are trying to make sense of it after discarding it’s foundation. At that point, even math wouldn’t make sense.

    One of the best things about discussions like this is that I get to hear and see things through the eyes of another who thinks differently than me. So, if you are so inclined, I’m up for hearing what your response to my thoughts are. I’m totally fine with you disagreeing with me – now and later. If God exists, you’d be taking issue with Him and not me so I have no reason to get offended. In the meantime, I’m up for learning more about what you think and why …

    Blessings,

    Ken

  • Mike K

    I tend to agree with Chad. These verses need to be taken in context as part of God’s challenge to Job.

    Will you make Me out to be evil in order for you to remain righteous? Is it not true that you have an arm just like God’s and a voice which can thunder just like His. Adorn yourself now with confidence and pride; dress yourself in glory and respect. Scatter your anger; look upon all of the wicked who are in high places and cause them to be brought low. Look upon all of the wicked who are in high places and subdue them; crush the wicked underfoot. Bury their faces in the dust, conquer them in places of burial. Then even I (God) will praise you because your right hand has brought you deliverance.

    If you want to examine Old and New Testament ideas about salvation, then perhaps Ezekiel 18:20-28 better spells out God’s original instructions for salvation, as obedience to his – Eternal Laws (Psalms 111:7-8 and Psalms 119: 152,160). Contrast this with the Christian notion of salvation only through belief in a dying godman.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Hello Ken, Chad and AgnosticMom,

    Welcome to you all! I always appreciate the chance to hear from new people. I hope you’ve liked what you’ve read so far, and that you’ll choose to stay around a while. (Incidentally, AgnosticMom, I recently came across your blog as well, and I’m waiting the next part of your deconversion story with interest.)

    Regarding some of the comments on this post so far:

    It’s true that the specific verse I cite was not written with the intent of giving human beings a way to save themselves. It was listed as a challenge that was supposed to be impossible for humans to meet, something that God could do but we could not do. However, that fact notwithstanding, God did say explicitly that we could save ourselves if we could do it. Since God never lies (Hebrews 6:18), Christians must admit that according to the Bible, it is at least theoretically possible for people to save themselves without help from God. There is nothing about humbling the proud or punishing the wicked that intrinsically requires miraculous power in the way that, say, raising the dead would require.

    Furthermore, as Chad pointed out, several of the other abilities God lists in his diatribe as examples of his matchless power are things that human beings have since gained the ability to do: “perceive the breadth of the earth” (38:18), “enter into the springs of the sea” (38:16 – think submarines), “shut up the sea with doors” (38:8 – the Dutch, for example, are quite good at this), “cause it to rain on the earth” (38:26 – cloud seeding), “know the ordinances of heaven” (38:33 – Isaac Newton figured out one of them, and we’ve since mathematically described many more), and “send lightnings” (38:35 – via high-tension power lines, perhaps). If we can do those things, why not this one?

    I have a response to one of your comments, Ken:

    It is interesting that the accomplishments you list are, generally speaking, hallmarks of Western civilization with it’s roots in Christian thought and influence. It is a historical certainty that anti-slavery, equality of every man and the need to extend compassion to all are the results of Christianity’s influence on society and not gains made in spite of Christian faith.

    I’m sorry, but are you kidding? That is a sweeping assertion that is completely unsubstantiated by the facts. While it is true that some Christians participated in social justice movements throughout history, many other Christians fought those same movements tooth and nail (and in some cases are still fighting them), and in virtually all cases based their opposition on teachings taken straight from the Bible.

    To name one example, the Bible contains countless passages in both the Old and New Testaments permitting and even encouraging slavery. Jesus never said a word against slavery, and on one occasion favorably compared God to a slaveowner who beats his slaves. (Interesting side note: The hymn “Amazing Grace” was written by a slave trader.) The many Christian advocates of slavery repeatedly cited these passages as proof that it was a just and right institution ordained by God. For an example of what I’m talking about, here is a sermon from 1861, “Mutual Relation of Masters and Slaves as Taught in the Bible“.

    Opposition to slavery did not arise from Christianity per se, but rather from individual Christians who recognized the immorality of the practice on their own and organized to resist it. However, freethinkers also played a major role in the abolitionist movement: one of the most prominent foes of slavery, the firebrand abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, was a deist who was influenced by Thomas Paine’s works to reject the authority of the Bible.

    It is not that Christianity’s gloomy view did not dominate the debate and so we were able to rise above our lesser nature. It is precisely because Christianity identified the problem of man’s fallen nature and provided a solution – that of a changed nature in Christ – that men have successfully put aside their bent towards sin and achieved some semblance of righteousness.

    If that is true, Christianity’s solution does not seem to have been a very successful one, considering that slavery persisted for hundreds of years due to the actions of faithful, believing Christians before anyone recognized the immorality of it.

    As Earl Doherty wrote in Challenging the Verdict:

    Now, I do not deny, as you have pointed out, that Christian nations in the early 19th century were largely responsible for the abolition of slavery and imposing it on others. Nor would I say that Christian people and societies have never produced any good in the world, either on the individual or collective level. But in the matter of abolishing slavery, it was hardly Jesus or the bible which set the example. The bible, in fact, has been used to justify everything from the American slave system to South African apartheid to the inequality of one half of the human race. Rather, western society two centuries ago simply reached the level of social enlightenment which made the abolition movement possible. While that movement expressed itself in Christian sentiments, it could have been done in any context. It was an idea whose time had come.

  • SpeirM

    Perhaps we need to point out that the likes of Thomas Paine were speaking out against slavery long before Clarkson and Wilberforce. But, of course, they were evil deists, so not so much attention was paid to them.

    Indeed, the way I read history, it was the Enlightenment that took some of the rough edges off of Christianity, not Christianity that sparked the Enlightenment. Even those Enlightenment figures who were Christians tended to be rather unorthodox, demonstrating that it was their reason that dictated to their faith rather than the other way around.

  • Philip Thomas

    Since God never lies (Hebrews 6:18), Christians must admit that according to the Bible, it is at least theoretically possible for people to save themselves without help from God.

    This is a circular argument: you are citing the Bible to prove the inerrancy of the Bible. If some Bible passages are in error, then they include the passages which say the Bible is never in error. Also, “God never lies” is not quite the same as “the Bible is without error”…

  • SpeirM

    Ken said:
    “The challenge for you may be putting aside your a prioris for a bit to consider an alternative explanation for what you see around you. If you start with the position that there is no God then all of your positions and arguments must be forced into that mold to make sense. However, if you can step back from your convictions for a moment and consider the possiblity that God does, indeed, exist it will impact your reasoning process and conclusions. I’m not saying that I’m right and you’re wrong. I’m just saying it seems possible you are taking a book that starts with God’s existence as a given and are trying to make sense of it after discarding it’s foundation. At that point, even math wouldn’t make sense.”

    You should bear in mind that some of us here were Christians at one time. I was “saved” at age 14 in an AG church and it wasn’t until age 48 that I finally admitted I just couldn’t buy that stuff anymore. I taught the Bible for a number of years, as a Christian.

    What I mean to say is, I, like others here, have seen things through believing eyes.

    Your problem is this: Christianity makes bold claims as to people’s eternal destinies. If you’re going to tell folks they have to change their lives, and then tell them that eternal punishment awaits if they don’t, you’re going to have to do better than “My thinking’s as good as yours.” You’re going to have to come up with compelling evidence that your thinking is inescapable, or, at least, so overwhelmingly better than contrary opinion that it justifies the hard claims and demands made by your faith.

    Speaking as one who for years tried to come up with such evidence, I wish you luck, but my own experience is that you’re doomed to failure. No matter how personally convinced you may be, no matter how real your “inner witness” is to you, until you can export that kind of certainty to those demand better evidence than “The Bible says Paul said God says,” we’re not going to buy it. Neither you nor God has any right to expect us to.

  • Void

    This is a circular argument: you are citing the Bible to prove the inerrancy of the Bible. If some Bible passages are in error, then they include the passages which say the Bible is never in error. Also, “God never lies” is not quite the same as “the Bible is without error”

    Adam did nothing of the sort, he wasn’t trying to prove that the bible is inerrant, he was trying to prove that according to the bible, we can save ourselves without divine intervention by humbling the proud and punishing the wicked.

    As this argument is coming from a christian theological perspective, certain assumptions, such as god exists, god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent and the bible is accurate are necessary to make meaningful statements about the tenents of christianity.

  • Philip Thomas

    He was quoting the bible to the effect that God never lies- the reference he has given is the Letter to the Hebrews.

    While it is generally held by Christians that god exists and is extremely powerful, knows a great deal and is very benevolent, the bible’s accuracy is another matter. Many Christians do not believe in the literal truth of the bible: some reject considerable passages from it.

  • HaleRazor

    Hello. I have been reading your site somewhat sporadically for the last few months. I find it to be educational and well written, and I enjoy it a great deal. Keep up the good work.

    I would like to offer one general comment, though. I’ve recently decided that since there have been many gods and goddesses recorded in history that using the specific name of the god or goddess, rather than the term “God”, is preferrable. My reasoning is that I would like my children to understand that Yahweh is not the only god that humans have created. I have one child in particular that is fond of saying “Oh my god”. My reply to this is, “which god?”.

    My suggestion, therefore, is to use the name of the god that you are writing about. Obviously, the name can usually be taken from the context. However, I feel that referring to the Christian god as “God” perpetuates the idea that the Christian god is the only one worth speaking about. My one exception would be when talking about a god in Deistic terms. In this sense, to my understanding, no name has been given to such a god. I am a humanist and an atheist, but I do not have substantial evidence that Deists are incorrect.

  • Philip Thomas

    Yahweh is also the name of the Jewish God, however. I guess its appropriate for the Old Testament God (after all Yahweh is one of the words used where we translate ‘God’). In the New Testament identifying which person might help: God the Father, Christ, or The Holy Spirit. I think Yahweh the Father sounds a bitt odd…maybe just ‘The Father’?

    The deity of the deists isn’t even necessarily a person, so it doesn’t need a name, just a term of reference…

  • SpeirM

    HaleRazor,

    You make some good points, but I probably won’t be playing along. In the context of our society, “God” (capitalized) refers to Yahweh. (Muslims sometimes use it, too, but I suspect that’s just for the benefit of so-called “Western” culture.) One of my numerous pet peeves is the practice of some atheists to employ “god” (small “g”) or worse (e.g. “biblegod”!) as a dig at Christians, as though their God were just one of many alleged deities, neither likelier nor less likely. (Not making any direct accusations, mind you.) Now, frankly, I don’t see God as any likelier than others suggested, either. But there’s too much intentional offense in this world already. I don’t have to add to it. It costs me nothing to capitalize the “G.”

  • plumb

    Who gets to decide who or what is prideful and who and what is wicked?

  • HaleRazor

    SpeirM,

    I have to admit that I am somewhat conflicted on the capitalization issue. As a result, I am not very consistent. Sometimes I capitalize, sometimes I do not. Either way, I do not do it as a dig at Christians. It comes back to acknowledging or not the general Christian view that theirs is the only one to consider. Regardless, I suppose it is a minor issue.

  • Chris

    Other scriptures of interest that defy conventional church theology:

    Ezekiel 14:9 God decieves his prophets (god not only lies, but he lies to his own spokesmen)

    1 Kings 22:22-23 God punishes children for other people’s sins (goes agaist the concept of individual responsibility)

    Amos 3:6 God admits he is the source of all evil (then how can he be pure love?)

    Ecclesiastes 9: 10 There is no life after this one (so where do Heaven and Hell come in?)

    I doubt that these scriptures will ever be discussed in any sermon…

  • CJ

    First of, you guys are saying that God is Lying, well how can someone lie if he “isn’t real” your just a bunch of self contridictors.

    And as for your so called religion, why not try the dictionary definiton:

    re·li·gion
    noun

    1.
    a.Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    b.A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

    You don’t have a or b.

  • http://none Joe

    I think CJ is right, why don’t you quit mocking our REAL religion.

  • Christopher

    What this post insinuates is that the authors of the bible are inconsistent with each other. Therefore, when you roll all these books together in a single anthology and claim god is the author, the inconsistencies make the god that these authors believed in look like a liar (or at least very indecisive).

    Also, having a “real” religion isn’t anything to boast about any more than having a “real” tumor. Just like tumors, it’s the real ones that will kill you…

  • 7 “Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.

    8 “Would you discredit my justice?
    Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

    9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
    and can your voice thunder like his?

    10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
    and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.

    11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
    look at every proud man and bring him low,

    12 look at every proud man and humble him,
    crush the wicked where they stand.

    13 Bury them all in the dust together;
    shroud their faces in the grave.

    14 Then I myself will admit to you
    that your own right hand can save you.

    Why don’t you put this version… It is easier to understand and may not be misinterpreted so easily.

  • Stephen

    Oh, great Biblical scholar! You and you alone have found the secret to SELF-SALVATION! You should be the next pope – NO! – the ONLY pope! You should reign SUPREME over all religions and everyone should bow before you and your great wisdom! Even though COUNTLESS prophets looked forward to a MESSIAH, and Jesus claimed HE was the ONLY means of SALVATION, and COUNTLESS teachers have taught Jesus WAS the MESSIAH, you have proved them ALL wrong with ONE little bitty Bible verse out of THOUSANDS of other meaningless verses and THOUSANDS of years of historical writings.

    Don’t you just feel special?

    Can you feel the sarcasm? Is it thick enough?

    Job 40:6-14 is God’s way of being “sarcastic” with Job in order to drive home a point. If you read chapters 1-39, I’m sure you’ll be able to understand why. Sorry if I burst that “I’m a hot-shot Bible scholar, I proved EVERYBODY WRONG!” bubble that was growing above your head, but there really is NO WAY you’re buying your own ticket to Heaven.

    Another “little known Bible verse” says that the penalty for sin is death (HELL). Jesus DIED for my sins and your sins, He conquered death and rose again, and if we believe that JESUS paid our penalty (bought our ticket), and actually ask Him for it, He’ll add our names to the entry list of Heaven. We don’t get the ticket up front, but we must trust Him that our names are on the list. Sorry, but you can’t ask on behalf of other people; Jesus wants to hear it from them.

    It sounds like you have an analytical mind and that you might know other parts of the Bible, but perhaps you’re bringing outside knowledge and/or experience to the table when the interpretation is done. I encourage you to question things, but for your own benefit, and the benefit of your readers, please, please, please leave your baggage at the door, and read the Bible objectively.

    IF, if, if God exists, He still exists if you’re an atheist.
    If, if, if sin is punishable, the sentence stands even though you disagree.
    If, if, if HELL exists, the unsaved will go there whether or not the believe it’s there.

    Do you get my drift?

    Stephen

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Judging by the above comment, this post seems to have touched a nerve. Clearly, there are some Christians who can’t accept that their prepackaged theory of salvation, crafted by selectively weaving together some verses and disregarding others, is not the only possible interpretation that can be extracted from the Bible. On the other hand, it is perhaps not surprising that an atheist, by definition not wedded to any particular interpretation of this text, would be able to perceive alternate readings more clearly than the many squabbling sects of Christians who have each been taught that their own idiosyncratic exegesis is the One True Path and the only valid way to interpret scripture.

  • Alex Weaver

    Stephen:

    I find your position laughable and your arguments in its favor galling; is it just my imagination or are you actually under the impression that you’re telling us something we’ve actually never heard before? (And does anyone else here dispute that the extraneous and infantile strawman attack on Adam’s supposed egotism is a classic case of projection?)

    I will address one portion of the lump of verbal ambergris you’ve produced in the hopes that it will at least make our position intelligible.

    IF, if, if God exists, He still exists if you’re an atheist.
    If, if, if sin is punishable, the sentence stands even though you disagree.
    If, if, if HELL exists, the unsaved will go there whether or not the believe it’s there.

    IF God exists and acts precisely the way we’d expect things to happen if he didn’t exist and religion was a classical exercise in wishful thinking and societal control (and exploitation), he has no complaints if people take this interpretation.
    IF God exists and fails to prevent evil in the world, he has a hell of a lot of explaining to do, and punishing “sin” after death would be a half-assed way of addressing evil acts of people in life even if most theists were wrong about God considering not believing in him a greater sin than genocide, rape, murder, or torture; however, as noted above, if God exists, he’s keeping pretty damn quiet about it.
    IF God exists, and has to (and is willing to) resort to threats of torture to convince people to follow him, he is clearly unworthy of being followed; however, as noted above, if God exists, he’s keeping pretty damn quiet about it.

    And this argument works against you, because IF Islam, Hinduism, or virtually any of the other religions on the planet is right and you’re wrong, you’re as screwed as we are.

  • Stephen

    Touched a nerve? No. Just being honest. It’s obvious that you can’t discern between the many writing styles of the Bible. The word “bible” from the Greek word “biblios” or “books” is simply that; a collection of books within one binding. As such, there are many authors, over many years, from many regions, speaking many languages, under the influence of many cultures, and yes, many styles of writing, to include historical, legal, religious, satirical, poetic, prophetic, personal letters, etc. As for interpretation, the ONLY way to approach something of this complexity, is with objectivity. If you bring presuppositions to the table, such as “I know God DOES NOT exist”, you are bound to interpret things in a certain way from the start seeing as how the Bible begins with, “In the beginning GOD,…”. And yes, there are many, many things that so-called “religious” or “moral” people bring to the interpretation that make even the semi-intelligent reader wonder, “Where did he come up with that?” I’m not trying to isolate you on this. The case in point, however – and I apologize if I offended you personally with the bluntness of my remarks – is your interpretation of that verse set from Job. As God unleashed a string of “If you think you’re better than me…”, I’m sure Job felt bewildered and belittled at the same time. In conversation, this is what we call an “expression”, not a truth, per se, but a method of invoking thought on a particular matter. The same thing applies to the expression “when Hell freezes over”, but since you don’t believe in Hell, how about, “over my dead body”. If someone were to use these expressions, they really don’t expect you to attempt to ice down Hell or kill them. C’mon, you’re intelligent, look at all the big words you use. I got confused reading your response. Do you really think I’d have the gall to challenge you if I didn’t know what I was talking about? I don’t belong to any sect, Pffft! I got my Bible at a bookstore and I learned how to read in gradeschool. Simple as that. Besides, in this case, it was YOU, not I, who snipped apart the scriptures and applied your own meaning.

    Alex Weaver,

    Glad to give you a good ho-ho-ho buddy! Sorry to tell those old, worn out jokes. I wasn’t attacking or projecting anything. My comments were a little rude, but it was for demonstrative purposes only; I don’t know the man’s ego, just his method. As for the intelligence factor, could you please tone down the vocabulary to words used in everyday speech. Please and thank you. Oh, by the way, I have no doubt that your argument is intelligent; I’ve wondered the exact same things myself. It’s just that I think your pondering might be over-done a little bit, simply because of all the heat I feel coming from your words. I’m telling you this openly, so if I radiate more heat than light, please inform me as well. It’s obvious that we both take the subject of God very seriously, so rather than becoming a blind, raging, idiot at the sight of our opponent, let us determine to hold rational conversation and inform each other when the terms of our case cross into breach of character. Shall we?

    Regarding “If God exists”, it was more rhetorical to say that He is there whether you believe it or not. Nothing more. It was you who added the “behavioral” traits of God, assuming He would act according to your expectations and His complaints would/would not be voiced. Do you think your expectations make a difference? You also added the criteria of religion being a “classical exercise” and a “societal control”. Wow! I don’t see how that fits here! Similar to the explanation about the “expression” above, you have to read things critically – not too critically – in order to grasp the writer’s intent. Instead of talking about God or Hell, let’s replace God with “jail” or “hospital” or anything else.

    If jail exists, and you’ve committed a punishable, jailable crime, jail still exists even if you don’t believe in jail. Understand? You will go to jail even if you don’t believe in jail. Understand? There are no additional assumptions to be made. It all comes down to “if”.

    About your other comments, do you really think that God should be responsible to prevent evil in the world? Would you like to become His little puppet, do good ALL the time, never have your own will? Everybody does evil, some more than others, but God allows it. Do you have kids? Do you know how tiring it is to police your own household to ensure the peace? Wouldn’t you rather have the kids obey you out of love and respect rather than out of fear and broken will? And when they do mess up, something gets broken, somebody gets hurt, but so what? They LEARN. If you force everything, there is no true respect, no true love, no true learning. When the kids are young – think Old Testament – you have to occupy their entire field of vision, you have to provide for them, you have to lay down the law, you have to bless them when they’re good, and you have to punish them when they’re bad. When they get older – think New Testament – hopefully they’ve learned about self provision, self control, concern for others, promises, and consequences. Sometimes, when they aren’t aware of it, you just have to hide behind the corner of the wall and watch them. If they do good, they know it and you know it. You are free to bless them as you see fit. They don’t necessarily deserve a blessing because they’re being responsible, but it is encouraging from time to time. The same goes for bad behavior. If, from a distance, you see your child sinning, and they know it’s wrong, what good does it do to punish them? Let the natural consequences ride. If one kid hits his brother, he has sinned against him. If the brother hits him back, they both have sinned, but the first kid has learned something. Since you have witnessed this fight, it is in your autority as a parent to handle it at your discretion. You could break it up immediately and prevent any learning just to maintain household peace, or you could punish either one, or you could ignore it totally. The kids have NO say. Sure they can question your fairness, and appeal to your sense of justice, but ultimately, it is YOUR decision as a parent.

    The same scenario applies to our relationship with our heavenly father. We [human race]were young at one point. We needed direct interaction with Him, we needed His wisdom and laws, and at the appropriate times, we needed encouragement and blessings, but also discouragement and punishment. We have grown up since then. We are mature enough to handle our business without His hand in everything. He wants it that way! He wants us to follow Him out of well-decided love with smiles and light hearts, not shackled minds and dim, downcast eyes.

    And finally, consider for a moment that this “life” is simply a “growing up” phase for idividuals and the human race alike. When a person “dies”, it is merely a transition. There will also come a point when the entire human race makes that transition collectively. This is referred to as the judgement. In the same analogy with your children, consider the judgment as similar to the day your children leave home. If you and your child are on good terms with each other, you will retain a mutually beneficial relationship. If the terms are bad, it is likely that the relationship will be a bitter parting. The same is true for our relationship with God. Way back in the beginning, Adam and Eve screwed things up for the human race. There really isn’t an analogous situation for this, but God set His terms with us, promising a “relief” to the demands He placed on us (death is the price for sin). In the meantime, the day-to-day business of people was governed by Him directly. When the human race was old enough to understand – albeit, we had many hints along the way – God delivered His “relief” to us in the form of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is analogous somewhat to giving your child a wonderful gift for his birthday, even though you both know he’s been a rotton brat the past few months. Essentially, Jesus was sinless, yet He willfully accepted responsibility for the sins of everyone, past, present, and future, from little white lies, to rapes, murders, and blasphemy. He hung on a wooden cross and died, with the weight of trillions and trillions of sins on His shoulders. He was buried, yet miraculously, He conquered death within three days, and rose again. This act, of utmost purity, is what satisfies the unreachable holiness of God. God’s terms from the beginning mandated that every man, woman, and child should die for their sins, yet though they die physically, they don’t have to die spiritually. The three days Jesus spent in Hell (separation from God) was enough punishment to spiritually cover for every last man, woman, and child. There is nothing required of us. There is no work to be done, no task to accomplish. The only thing we can do is accept this wonderful gift or deny it. These are God’s terms. When we “transition” into eternity, He will know where our hearts lie. If we have accepted His gift BEFOREHAND, He will know that we truly trust Him and love Him and want to be with Him. If we have denied His gift, He will know that we trust ourselves, love ourselves, and want nothing to do with Him. He will allow us to go where He is not. Hell is simply separation from God. No one can say for sure if there is any punishment in Hell, but since it will be something totally – to the core – foreign to us, it probably won’t be very nice. The reason people claim levels of punishment exist in Hell is simply to balance the claim that levels of reward exist in Heaven (God’s presence). Remember, just like the observant, yet seemingly absent parent, God knows everything His children are up to. It is promised that they will be rewarded and, assuming likewise, punished according to their deeds. God reserves the time and place for dealing blessings and punishment. Remember that.

    In closing, Alex Weaver, yes, I do realize that I am totally screwed if Jesus Christ is not the answer. Notice that I said Jesus Christ. I didn’t say Bible and I didn’t say church. The Bible does not save me. It is simply hundreds of pages of philosophy and history (belief in this as God’s Word is another matter). It does, however, point me in the direction I know in my heart to be right. Neither the church, nor any of the rituals, save me. Most of the proceedings in church are signs, “proclamations” of belief, if you will. The membership of a church is made up of real human beings, just like me, and just like you. Some are good children, some are bad children. Remember, we have NO SAY over who is good and who is bad. It is our Father in Heaven, who watches behind the scenes, and remembers our deeds. He will reward and punish accordingly. And right here – this is where we draw a line in the sand. On one side of this line, you have Christ. On the other side, you have Muhammed, Buddha, Vishnu, and every one else. Christ says, “Take this gift, your Father loves you.” Everyone else says, “Be good, Be good, Be good.” With Christ, my penalty has been paid already. If it was up to me, I would be utterly hopeless, because there is nothing I could do to even approach the holiness required for salvation. All other religions disagree. Every single one of them have rules and regulations for appeasing the gods, outbalancing the evil with good, self-improvement, you name it! Sadly, even some followers of Christ have been reduced to this rat race. When the Son of the Almighty God, says, “Relax, I got it!”, what can you do but trust Him? All we can do is accept the gift, and trust. (Please do not fall into the trap of “Jesus died for everyone, so everyone is saved”. While everyone has the potential to be saved, you really can’t possess a gift until you take it.)

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that the intelligence of the myriad of faces of this issue is of equal importance. Everyone has questions about God, and about the origins and destiny of humankind, but they all cannot be correct. That may sound harsh, but life is harsh. Instead of looking to myself for answers, I connect the dots of the Bible. It can be very difficult to find that next dot, but trust me, so far, everything has me convinced that I’m on track. And just like the logical sequence of connect-the-dots, the Bible has a logical message. Before we can actually see the picture though, we absolutely MUST start at #1 and go to #2, not #29, or #93, but #2. In due time, things will make sense. You have a Father in Heaven who will guide you, maybe not visibly, but He will guide you. Just ask.

    It’s been great to discuss this with you. I sincerely hope you take this message as credible, maybe not as truth yet, but credible. I understand your side of the argument completely, but there is something inside of me that aside from processing the information, keeps these thoughts at bay. It cannot be religious presupposition, because I had no prior training prior to the Bible; this is all I know. It makes perfect sense to me. The fact that it’s been time-tested for thousands of years and published worldwide makes no difference to me.

    I look forward to a response that is both logical and intelligent.

    Stephen

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    As such, there are many authors, over many years, from many regions, speaking many languages, under the influence of many cultures, and yes, many styles of writing, to include historical, legal, religious, satirical, poetic, prophetic, personal letters, etc.

    I agree, but this has nothing to do with the conclusions my post draws, unless you are arguing for Biblical errancy.

    As for interpretation, the ONLY way to approach something of this complexity, is with objectivity. If you bring presuppositions to the table, such as “I know God DOES NOT exist”, you are bound to interpret things in a certain way from the start seeing as how the Bible begins with, “In the beginning GOD,…”

    I have approached the Bible with objectivity. Since I was not brought up believing it, I feel I was and am in an excellent position to do this, and the conclusion I have come to is that its claims are false. Christians, on the other hand, who are almost invariably taught that the Bible is absolutely true and in most cases before they ever read it, are in a very poor position to view the text objectively (as your own comment demonstrates quite well). I have read the Bible all the way through, Stephen. Have you?

    As God unleashed a string of “If you think you’re better than me…”, I’m sure Job felt bewildered and belittled at the same time. In conversation, this is what we call an “expression”, not a truth, per se, but a method of invoking thought on a particular matter.

    So you’re saying that when God explicitly said, “You can save yourself if you do X,” he was actually lying? Don’t you believe that God always tells the truth?

    About your other comments, do you really think that God should be responsible to prevent evil in the world? Would you like to become His little puppet, do good ALL the time, never have your own will?

    There is no reason why preventing evil is incompatible with people having free will. I suggest, Stephen, that you read my essay “All Possible Worlds“, which responds to this very argument in detail. More generally, I suggest you read the essays on Ebon Musings before posting this standard Christian boilerplate here. Most of us have heard these exact same arguments many times before, and it will help you improve your case if you are familiar with the atheist rebuttals to them, so you can say something genuinely new.

    The Bible does not save me…. It does, however, point me in the direction I know in my heart to be right.

    “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

  • Stephen

    Yes, I have read the entire Bible from “In the beginning” to “The End”.

    Yes, God ALWAYS tells the truth. In simple words, I’ve already explained the importance of CONTEXT, and I will not go into it again. I believe you are trying to entrap or embarrass me. I cannot waste my breath on issues that you do not want to be resolved. I cannot even begin to explain to someone so haughty that personal opinion does not prove anything. Yes, it is important to know the logic of the “other side” yet, strangely enough, you continue to use the Bible as a weapon for your own offense AND defense! You want God imprisoned in a little box, under YOUR lock and key, but you’re always bringing Him back for show and tell! Pick ONE side; you cannot have both. Lukewarm means nothing to nobody. In the real world, it’s either HOT or COLD that matters.

    One final thing. What really ticks me off, is how you chop up my words for your own agenda. I have done no such thing to you because it is highly disrespectful. True, the Bible does not save me – it points me to Jesus, who satisfies the yearning in my heart for redemption and LIFE. I have never, ever placed trust in myself, so therefore, I am NO fool, according to your misguided application of scripture. If I am a fool for realizing in my heart the nature of my sinful being and the need for salvation, then so be it. You sir, are still a fool, and you have proven it to me in dialogue. At this point, I don’t care what additional essays you have written; the standard of Atheistic thought has been established in my mind by you, so I apologize to all the straightforward and consistent Atheists out there for the [possible] misrepresentation that has been made. As for your personal works and essays, the filters of intelligent thought and logic would probably sift them out of my mind long before the filters of godly thought and Biblical standards. Thanks for reinforcing my beliefs!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Stephen

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    In simple words, I’ve already explained the importance of CONTEXT, and I will not go into it again.

    As usual, when employed by Christian apologists the word “context” is just an all-purpose excuse to make the Bible mean something other than what it actually says.

    Yes, it is important to know the logic of the “other side” yet, strangely enough, you continue to use the Bible as a weapon for your own offense AND defense!

    Yes, that’s right. Why, does that strike you as unfair? The Bible is your weapon and an atheist isn’t supposed to be using it against you?

    You know – and I suggest you accept this advice in the friendly spirit in which it’s offered – I couldn’t help noticing that you flew off the handle in your last comment, and that that reaction was provoked by my quoting a Bible verse at you. If I were the Christian apologist and you the unbeliever, I probably would have said that response was caused by a sudden conviction of sin. Of course, since I’m an atheist I don’t believe any such thing, but it makes you think, doesn’t it?

    At this point, I don’t care what additional essays you have written; the standard of Atheistic thought has been established in my mind by you, so I apologize to all the straightforward and consistent Atheists out there for the [possible] misrepresentation that has been made. As for your personal works and essays, the filters of intelligent thought and logic would probably sift them out of my mind long before the filters of godly thought and Biblical standards. Thanks for reinforcing my beliefs!

    Your beliefs must not have been very strong to start with if they could be reinforced by your decision not to read my essays. Makes you feel good, does it, the decision to cut yourself off from other sources of information? Gives you that warm glow of self-righteousness knowing you’ll never have to see or hear anything that might throw your beliefs into question? It certainly explains a lot about the viewpoints you’ve expressed to know that you actively avoid things written by people who don’t already agree with you.

    I suggest you drop this silly pretense of intellectual superiority and try reading something that doesn’t just reinforce your prejudices. As others can tell you, the experience of actually learning something new and enlightening far surpasses the cozy feeling of remaining swaddled in ignorance.

  • Stephen

    Yes, sometimes, citing CONTEXT, many Bible readers, Christian and non-Christian alike, find an easy way out of the pursuit for truth in Biblical meaning. In this case, with Job 40:14, I sincerely believe, using as reference, the prior 39 chapters, and the prior 13 verses of chapter 40, that the “confession of self-salvation”, from the mouth of God, is totally FIGURATIVE in nature. Had the meaning been LITERAL, perhaps God would have mentioned it twice or more?

    I cannot “make” the Bible “mean” or “say” anything anymore than you can. Without our help, the Bible says what it means, and means what it says. That’s a little bit of Dr. Seuss for ya’! I don’t know if this is/isn’t the appropriate post to discuss this, but please consider some of the various cases of FIGURATIVE speech from the Bible that, when taken LITERALLY, sound ridiculus.

    The mountains will sing and trees will clap their hands. – Isaiah 55:12

    What a concert that will be, huh? Don’t buy a ticket, cause it ain’t happening. This CONTEXT is called PERSONIFICATION. It’s an application of personal traits to inanimate objects for the pupose of expressing some form of human action or feeling.

    Saul and Jonathan were swifter than eagles and stronger than lions. – II Samuel 1:23

    Didn’t you know? Back in the day, they were in the circus! Lion Wrestler! Eagle Racer! I’m kidding! This is called a HYPERBOLE, or exaggeration. When and where the usage applies is determined by the storyteller.

    Hmmm, what about God Himself… Outside of the disputed Job “case”, does He use any other figures of speech? Are there any other cases of “context” you have issues with?

    I certainly hope you would, and even encourage you to, use the Bible as an offensive weapon. On what other target would you launch an offensive? Of course, my defense! It really doesn’t make a difference to me if MY offense and defence are identical (the Bible), but I think it hurts YOUR battlefield position when you use MY offense as YOUR defense as well. How would it help me if I used Atheist doctrine to defend my position!? Specifically, I refer to your incessant use of “explicit” God “quotes” as a reliable source of information. Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you don’t believe in God’s existence, why would you believe in something He “supposedly” said? Why are we even having this discussion on “context” at all, if you can simply walk away and say, “Doesn’t matter,… cause I don’t believe in God!…”?

    As for “flying off the handle”, I thought I managed your blantant misuse of scripture quite well. Once again, getting back into “context”, the proverb you cited calls them fools who, “trust in themselves”. If I truly trust in the Lord as I said, then I cannot be trusting in myself, now can I? Therefore, according to the proverb, I am not a fool. You, on the other hand, with your ideas on “self-salvation”, tell me again, what is it that YOU trust in? From the recent dialogue, I would take a WILD GUESS, and think that you trust in yourself. Can you see how easily you have allowed me to label you a fool? If, of course, you do not trust in yourself, and I am being facetious, then I apologize. Do you understand my point?

    Finally, it wasn’t my decision to avoid your essays that reinforced my personal beliefs. (Misquoted AGAIN!) My decision to avoid your essays resulted strictly from the low quality of your work and the insincere professionalism you exude. However, as I stated – perhaps not clearly enough – I have gained reinforcement for my beliefs – a deeper sense of foundational strength – as a direct result of conversing with you. You have shown me that your beliefs are shaky at best and that you must cling to the Bible to defend them. You have shown me that it is immensely easier to prove God DOES exist, rather than the opposite.

    As far as research goes, I never said I would cut myself off from Atheist doctrine or other information. Those were your words, not mine. Maybe you don’t realize it, but Daylight Atheism isn’t the only Atheist blog online. Just because I disregard your thoughts, it doesn’t mean I won’t give audience to other Atheists. Get over yourself. Perhaps I threw YOUR beliefs into question. It’s natural for both sides to feel degraded after seeing what weaponry the other side possesses. As for the remainder of your comments, I regard quips on ignorance and prejudice to be the last line of defense; a bitter last word.

    You may have the last word; I will move on. Perhaps to another topic…, this one has been beaten to death.

    To all the other readers, I sincerely hope that I have shed more light, rather than heat, on the matter of God’s existence and the contextual nature of His Word, the Bible. Further, I apologize for any personal attacks I may have launched unawares. I have read other posts and I find it commendable that certain Atheists wish for harmony, rather than discord with Christians and believers of other religions. It is my profession to defend everyone’s right to religion, or lack thereof, and your right to express your beliefs. That way, in the appropriate setting, we can all sit down and have a meaningful talk about the most basic things in life.

    Take care of yourselves,

    Stephen

  • bassmanpete

    Stephen wrote: “You have shown me that your beliefs are shaky at best and that you must cling to the Bible to defend them.”

    Well I can’t speak for Adam, but I certainly don’t cling to the Bible to defend my beliefs. We quote the Bible in an attempt to show Christians the inconsistencies in it and hopefully bring them over from, as we see it, the Dark Side. It would be wonderful to totally ignore Christians (and Muslims, Hindus etc.) but their, to us, irrational beliefs seriously impact the way that we can all live our lives and threaten to take us back to the dark ages.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    A few more thoughts…

    Metaphors are not false statements, but use a comparison to describe an underlying truth. So saying that mountains and trees will sing and clap their hands means there will be great rejoicing. Saying that Saul and Jonathan were swifter than eagles means they must have actually been pretty fast. And saying that humans can save themselves if they do X, Y, and Z, even if the specific examples of X, Y and Z are used metaphorically, still means there must actually be some way for humans to save themselves.

    Neither of the two possibilities you brought up helps you in the slightest here. There is no personification in this passage, and calling it hyperbole would make your position even worse, because that would mean saving ourselves is actually even easier than this verse makes it out to be.

    Just because something is hyperbole does not mean it cannot also be false. For example, a few months ago Senator John McCain said that if Democrats won the midterm elections, he would kill himself. Obviously this was a hyperbolic statement. But more importantly, it was a false statement. It was not true and he did not mean it to be true. I do not think you can claim the same thing about a god that allegedly never lies.

    How would it help me if I used Atheist doctrine to defend my position!?

    It would obviously help you a great deal if, for example, you could quote an atheist who agreed with you and disagreed with me on some point you made. I still don’t see why you regard that as somehow out of bounds.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you don’t believe in God’s existence, why would you believe in something He “supposedly” said?

    First, even if I don’t believe in the message of a particular verse, that doesn’t mean I can’t use it against those who purportedly do and yet fail to abide by it. For example, when the Bible recommends that believers sell everything they own and take no thought for the morrow, I disagree with this verse; I do not think it is a good idea. But there are many Christians who claim that everything in the Bible is true, and I can expose inconsistency in their own viewpoint by asking them why, if they believe that verse is the word of God, they choose not to follow it.

    Second, just because I do not believe in God does not mean I am obligated to disagree with every single statement in the Bible. As I mentioned in my original post, I think this is a laudable sentiment – that salvation is not an intrinsically individual or supernatural effort, but something humanity can achieve for itself by coming together to establish a community of justice. I think that is a good idea and I would like to see more people feel that way. Though I do not believe in any sort of heaven, I can agree with that sentiment if “salvation” is interpreted in an earthly, non-supernatural way. That is not even a great interpretive leap, because the Old Testament in general never clearly references an afterlife and instead pictures the world to come as a transformation of this world.

    Once again, getting back into “context”, the proverb you cited calls them fools who, “trust in themselves”. If I truly trust in the Lord as I said, then I cannot be trusting in myself, now can I?

    No, actually it said that people who trust their own hearts are fools, which is the exact phrasing you used. That is why I thought it appropriate to bring up. And yes, I think you are trusting primarily in yourself, just as all religious people do. What you assume to be the promptings of God is really just the sum total of religious teaching and tradition you have absorbed, which you follow according to your own interpretation of which parts should be accepted and which should be disregarded (see my above comment about selling everything you own). Therefore, you are trusting in yourself, it’s just that you call it God. Atheists do the same thing, of course, trusting our own interpretations of the evidence we have seen. The only difference is that we don’t try to call it what it isn’t and we don’t, as many religious people do, deny that it is a good thing or that human reason can ever be trusted.

    My decision to avoid your essays resulted strictly from the low quality of your work…

    Which you, by our own admission, have not read and do not intend to read, so by what evidence are you passing judgment on its quality?

    As far as research goes, I never said I would cut myself off from Atheist doctrine or other information.

    You said “the standard of Atheistic thought has been established in my mind by you”, and you said you had convinced yourself, without having read them, that my essays were of such poor quality you would be compelled to disregard them by “the filters of intelligent thought and logic”. What is that if not a proclamation that you will henceforth consider all atheist writings to be of the same assumed low quality as mine and therefore avoid them?

  • Alex Weaver

    Good grief. Adam, if you want to get through to this guy on a level he understands, I’m afraid you’re probably going to have to resort to taking his lunch money…

  • Alexandra Barrows

    I laughed when I read your blog on how man can save himself… I don’t see how you could possibly believe that doing what the passage in Job says is possible (Oh course if you manage to humble your own pride, doing the rest will probably be relatively easy) but that is not really what interested me was your sentence “Such thinking is characteristic of the immoral consequences of religious doctrines of total depravity.” I was wondering, if you reject the Bible (as I assume you do and probably all other religious books) where are you getting your basis for morality? But as I said before… I laughed (which is probably why you think christians are so evil that they can be happy while believing that others will be burning in hell) After all “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written: He catches the wise in their own ruses, and again: “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” 1 Corinthians 3:19-20

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    I was wondering, if you reject the Bible (as I assume you do and probably all other religious books) where are you getting your basis for morality?

    I’ve written extensively on that question, and you can read my answer for yourself:

    The Ineffable Carrot and the Infinite Stick
    The Roots of Morality
    The Virtues

    Also, I find the implication that I must not have any basis for morality just because I don’t believe in your particular set of ancient folklore to be both ridiculous and offensive.

  • anti-nonsense

    a note to Alexandra – *you* do not got your morality from the Bible either. If you did you would believe that it is permissible to stone disobediant teenagers to death, and stone people to death for working on Sunday. I would hope that you do not believe that these things are morally sound priniciples.

    Morality comes from our millions of years of evolution as social animals. Social animals require a basic amount of co-operation between group members in order to survive. thus we devolped an innate ability to empathize with other people and to behave in a way that facilitates co-operation. This is the basis of morality, and many higher animals that live in groups (monkeys, apes, dolphins) share our ability to empathize and co-operate to some degree.

  • passerby

    Group synergy encourages good deeds and discourages evil deeds?

  • Bre

    This verse is not saying that we can literally save ourselves. How can one possibly abase all proud men if he himself is also proud? It would mean self-destruction. How could one possibly be humble while telling others that they are not? It doesn’t make any sense. God is telling Job that as soon as he is able to do all of these things then he will be able to save himself. These things are not feasable for one man to accomplish or for the unity of man to accomplish seeing as though everyone I have ever come in contact with is morbidly selfish, Christian or not (they are, think about it). And a society where everyone completely trusts one another and is living for the common good will not happen because of our fears of what others are doing when we’re not looking. We all have those fears and they will eventually overrun a society, no matter how perfect. Until we are able to do those things which are beyond us to do the only one that does the saving is God.

  • kat1010101

    You all are completely onesided! Neither side is right or wrong because we shouldn’t judge each other in the first place. There isn’t anyone with an objective view in the joint, not even mine. I am very happy you all have read the Bible front to back and studied it with the upmost scutiny and attention to detail. You all have very good points. However, with regards to the original post, that snapshot in Job, it was clear to me when I read it that it was out of sarcasm. God was basically saying ‘Hey, you think you can do this by yourselves? Good luck with that!’

    No one is saying you guys are right or wrong. It is up to each individual to make their own minds up. It’s called free will. I believe in God. I believe he was more than what I learned in Sunday School as a child and have since stopped attending church. I’d say that I’m not religous but a spiritual person. Jesus’ teachings were about equality and enlightenment. If there is a Heaven (please don’t misrepresent the fact that I am making an “if” statement), I like those odds of going there after I die better than just merely a 6 foot grave to look forward to.

    The Bible is a guideline, an inside perspective, a learning tool of human interaction throughout history. It is not a rulebook. We are to simply trust and believe in Him and spread the news. It is up to each individual whether or not to accept it. Yes, we aren’t supposed to trust in ourselves … ” … lean not on your own understanding” because our hearts are deceitful. We aren’t supposed to understand everything. How much fun would that be? There’d be no reason for debate!

    Yes, I believe he is the source of all evil because he created us all- Heaven and Hell and is therefore feels rightly responsible. We do have free will to choose the path we take but still we are responsible for the bad decisions we make and must accept and suffer the consequences of our actions. I’ve heard all the stories and read the history and have since formed my own opinion outside of the church. Churches are only out to get as much money as they can these days and is more of a popularity contest than a real place of worship. A lets see who is the better Christian horse race. I have only found one church that has let you wear jeans to church! ;) Anyway, that’s a different story.

  • Alex Weaver

    You’re right about churches, but wrong about the nature of reality being a matter of opinion.

  • Larry

    Hey,
    Sorry if this was already mentioned but I didn’t want to go through all of the comments. At first glance at the passage, I found it pretty obvious that God was being sarcastic. And it’s not necessary to read the whole book to discover that.

    Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

    God is questioning Job’s abilities rhetorically. Clearly, Job cannot condemn God, and he cannot “thunder”. The following lines have a similar sarcasm.

    Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

    God is naming the impossible, because He is naming off things that man cannot do. The final line is the same.

    Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

    He is merely saying, “If you can do these, then I’ll admit that you can do this as well.” In modern terms, it’s like someone saying, “If you can hold your breath underwater for an hour, then I’ll give you a million bucks.” That is not the case. The second part of an if-then statement is more often than not false.

    Thanks.

    - Larry

  • Alex Weaver

    Larry:

    I am certain that most Christians would say that this passage is not a way for us to save ourselves because the tasks it describes are impossible for humans to achieve. Such thinking is characteristic of the immoral consequences of religious doctrines of total depravity. By teaching the pessimistic, cynical view that human beings are irredeemably corrupt, Christianity encourages people to think that establishing justice is impossible, and therefore encourages us not to even try. In reality, although human beings are very far indeed from moral perfection, we have nevertheless made substantial progress toward that end, including widespread recognition of the immorality of slavery, the intrinsic equality of all human groups, the need to separate church from state, and the desirability of extending compassion toward all people everywhere. Had Christianity’s gloomy view of human nature dominated those debates, we might never have made the progress we have.

    -Original article, second to last paragraph

    It really does help if you read the article you’re replying to, since bringing up an objection that has already been pulverized by one’s opponent in a debate as if one believes it to be not only novel and powerful but so irrefutable as to make having not heard it before the only possible explanation of one’s opponent not accepting it (which is frankly a pretty arrogant perspective) tends to make one look rather foolish…

  • http://none Andrew

    Well where to start. I am a relatively new Christian. I lived in the flesh for 27 years. I think that it is fine and dandy that guys and girls can throw about bible verses and show off the knowledge, but at the end of the day it means nothing. Being a Christian is about a relationship with Christ. We need to keep it simple and childlike. Forget all the ifs, buts and etcs, we are told that we wont understand. Ultimately, whether you allow Christ to your saviour or not, you have faith in something. I am just grateful that I have faith in Christ. You can allow him to save you or alternatively, you can have faith in this website, and what do the promise you…. nothing! Its about a relationship with Christ, keep it simple, keep it God and keep looking up. Amen.

  • Polly

    keep it simple

    Don’t take this the wrong way, Andrew, I say it with compassion: “Simple” means “dumb.”
    They want you to keep it simple and childlike because their ideas won’t withstand any greater scrutiny than that.

    What does the Bible show god to be like? Would it be acceptable if we were talking about a human being, instead.

    Do traits such as:

    • wrathful
    • vindictive
    • genocidal
    • testing someone’s loyalty by wiping out their family
    • backdoor bargaining that treats people as pawns
    • threatening with torture
    • using superior power to intimidate people into submission
    • infanticidal

    describe a loving person or a brutal, megalomaniacal dictator? These are all traits that god demonstrates throughout the Bible.

    You don’t have to decide right away. I’m merely suggesting that you take an objective look at the character of the Xian god. Don’t keep it superficial.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    alternatively, you can have faith in this website, and what do the promise you…. nothing!

    On the contrary, Andrew: I promise that anyone who reads my website and does what I say will receive a million dollars tax-free, a beach home, a gorgeous and loving family, and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    What’s that you say? I should provide evidence that I have the ability to dispense any of these benefits? You first.

  • http://none Andrew

    I think you are missing the point. Every person on the face of this planet has faith, face in what, well that i sup to them. I have faith in Christ. I have faith that God sent his son Jesus to die for my sins so that I can have salvation with him….simple. Now we all die, that is no secret, and God promises me something when i die, he promises eternity with him. Now lets say God doesnt exist, then I lead a moral, loving and law abiding life and then I go to the worms. But what if he does exist, then I lead a moral, loving and law abiding life and then die and then share in Gods glory. Its a win win situation really. We cant deny that we have faith, faith i what is up to us! But what if God does exist??? Im not here to judge, God will do that. All roads lead to God, its just what road to you wanna take, Im heading for eternity baby…

  • http://none Andrew

    Hi Polly. He careful not to focus on the act. A father disciplines his children out of love and for their best interest. The act of discipline may not appear to be loving, but the intentions are. What knows us all inside and out. Sometimes we do need to be disciplined, it doesnt mean God doesnt love us. Keep it simple. If we go back to that, then we will understand. God knows best, he knows what he is preparing for us. I have learnt that it is very important that we dont try to understand the pain and suffering, but rather the God that knows we are in pain and suffering…

  • James Bradbury

    Hi Andrew,
    Please listen to Polly – he’s been there. He was a Christian for long enough to understand where you’re coming from.

    In fact, please please listen to what people are saying here and respond to it. If you just repeat what you’ve been told you’re not really engaging in a debate, just lecturing us – and no one enjoys being lectured to. I appreciate you’re new to this, but that doesn’t mean your own views are necessarily less insightful than say, a priest with 25 years experience. So say what you think about our points.

    Why would people tell you not to try to understand? Why are people asking you to switch your brain off and not ask questions? Doesn’t that make you suspicious or curious?

    When you say that we might as well believe in God, you are using Pascal’s Wager. The problem is that even if there is a god, we have no way of knowing which one is the real god. There are more than two choices. Millions of people across the world believe in hundreds of different gods. Pick the wrong one and you’ll offend the real one and suffer some imaginative and horrible fate in the afterlife.

    So how do you know that your god is the real God?

  • http://none Andrew

    Hey James, firstly, as much as Polly was a Christian and now an atheist, millions have been atheists and are now Christians, I was just that. So that carries no weight really. Now you ask what sets Christianity apart? Right, there hundreds of gods, no secrets there, but what sets Christianity apart is Jesus Christ. There is more hard evidence that Jesus Christs once walked this earth that there is that the Roman Empire existed. Many of the religions acknowledge Jesus was infact real, but only Christianity sets him apart as accepting him as the son of God. So now you have this common denominator that Jesus was in fact a real man, and then the scripture tells me that he is God, so whats not to understand. I had a hat with a lecturer of mine and he is by no ways a faithful Christian but he had an interesting view. The way the world is today (full of sin), all the wars that have been fought, the uphills presented to Christianity today, that fact that Christianity still exists can only be down to the holy spirit, so amen to that. People often point a stern finger at God, blaming him for this and that, i used to do the same, but the fact that he allows this world to exist and continue is a sign of a loving and gracious God.

    Secondly, people are not trying to tell em to understand. The Holy Spirit convicts me of my lack of knowledge referring to the scripture, I know I need to know more. My friends and fellow church goers all encourage me to learn, they encourage me to understand, but the bible also says that we will never fully understand. For me, at the end of the day it all boils down to Jesus. You can know the scriptures inside and out, but if you dont know Jesus, then you have nothing. I encourage people to let go of their lives, stop fighting for control and give it up to Jesus, free yourself from this world, it is most certainly the best thing i have ever done.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Andrew, you should be aware that uninvited preaching is not permitted here, as per this site’s comment policy. If you want to discuss the subject of this post, that’s fine. If you’re only trying to win converts, you can expect to be shown the door.

    Second:

    There is more hard evidence that Jesus Christs once walked this earth that there is that the Roman Empire existed.

    You’re not helping your case when you make ridiculous assertions like this. The evidence for Jesus’ existence, such as it is, is a handful of late, scattered document fragments, most of which contradict themselves and each other, and none of which claim to be written by eyewitnesses. (Not even the gospels make that claim.) See my essay on Ebon Musings, “Choking on the Camel“.

  • Polly

    Hello Andrew,

    A father disciplines his children out of love and for their best interest.

    If god kills a man, what benefit can that man receive?
    If god throws a man into Hell, what possible hope can he have?
    The benefits of discipline are only for those who live and have hope. But, if god takes those things away, what’s left?

    The Holy Spirit convicts me of my lack of knowledge referring to the scripture, I know I need to know more.

    May I also join my voice to those encouraging you to read the scriptures?
    Start from the beginning, Genesis, and read all the way through. Use your imagination to picture the action and don’t be afraid to ask yourself questions.

    Chocking on the Camel is a MUST-READ, especially for you. I highly encourage you to follow the Ebonmuse’s link above.

    Take care,

  • http://none Andrew

    Amen Ms Anne. Its okay if im shown the door, really, no loss to me. you see polly, as humans we are ignorant and choose not to learn from other peoples mistakes and so choose to make our own mistakes, silly dont you think, why not learn from the mistake and the examples in the bible. sometimes people die, well simply because they die (Gods will of course) and sometimes people die so that perhaps we can learn or take something away from that experienec (Gods intention). You see Polly, death is not the end of you are a Christian, it is a celebration, our DIFFICULT job of suffering, harships and struggles as God says is finally over and we now have eternity with God. Its not about us, it never has been.

    I think it is great that you want me to read Ebonmuse’s theories but I am really not interested. You see, Ebonmuse is a person and you are asking me to believe what he says against the bible, Gods inspired word. A book written over hundreds of years, in different languages by different authors and it all gels and flows and makes sense. Now you want me to consider Ebonmuse’s theories against all of that, please. One man’s theories against many authors, in different languages, in different countries ober hundreds of years, come on! God promises me eternity i heaven, an eternity i cant comprehend, what does Ebonmuse promise me….his truth supposedly?

    You guys ask me to take Polly’s words because he was once an atheist, do you see what you are saying. There have been millions of atheists who have become Christians, myself included. I am reading the scriptures, i am asking questions, i do want to tru to understand. But Gods inspired word says that I will never fully understand. I dont need to understand why my aunt died suddenly, I dont need to understand why i am suffering, i need to understand the God who knows all of this. Polly life is not meant to be easy, it is in our sufferings we discover ourselves, our faith and most importantly God… Luke 9:23 tells me to deny myself and pick up my cross and follow Christ, did he not suffer to save all of us? Amen.

    Ebonmuse I am not preaching by the by, no biblical references were provided, but somehow you want me to read your theories….where is the consistency and justice in that? Another fact, geologists have become to use the bible to locate certain sites because they find the details to be so accurate…fact! So i think in this case i will ignore Ebonmuse’s theories, call me ignorant whatever, but I have my truth.

    I find it strange that you are atheists but yet you refer to Gods acts as if you know they happened. You are so against God because he sent a man to hell, that he brought about death etc. Therefore you acknowledge that these events took place and because they took place they contradict a loving God? Again, where is the consistency in that. How can you decide that something happend acknowledging Gods existence and authority and then find something you dont agree with to try and justify your arguments. Consistency boys, consistency!

  • Mrnaglfar

    Andrew and Ms Anne,

    I don’t know how many more times I’ll have to hear pascal’s wager before people realize it’s not a good argument.

    There have been millions of atheists who have become Christians, myself included

    There’s a figure I can say will strong certainty you’re just pulling out of your ass. Not like it has any bearing on the subject if it were true anyway because people here aren’t atheists because we get to be in the atheist club and acceptance of fellow atheist. We have distinctly good reasons for not believing.

    Another fact, geologists have become to use the bible to locate certain sites because they find the details to be so accurate…fact! So i think in this case i will ignore Ebonmuse’s theories, call me ignorant whatever, but I have my truth.

    Ok, you’re ignorant. Happy? I’d like to see you back up this statement, so since geologists have become used to using the bible, as you assert, give me three (3) examples of them using the bible to confirm geology. Ones that haven’t been widely discredited are better.

    Therefore you acknowledge that these events took place and because they took place they contradict a loving God? Again, where is the consistency in that. How can you decide that something happend acknowledging Gods existence and authority and then find something you dont agree with to try and justify your arguments. Consistency boys, consistency!

    You do understand it’s possible to entertain an idea without believing it right? The whole point of using those types of argument is to just say “For a minute, even though I don’t believe in god, I’ll entertain the notion so I can show you how stupid the rest of the story is, even with the intial point granted”.

    But if you’re truly asking questions, how about:
    How can you prove your god without assuming he exists?
    Where did god come from?
    Do you really act according to your religious teachings? (have you sold everything? jesus said to do that in the bible)
    Have you or anyone you know worked on the sabbath? If yes, all should be killed (the bible makes mention of that as punishment)

    If you believe it’s your god, and your god is infalliable, you can’t throw out some of the rules just because you don’t like them.

  • Mrnaglfar

    One more thing I forgot,

    You see Polly, death is not the end of you are a Christian, it is a celebration, our DIFFICULT job of suffering, harships and struggles as God says is finally over and we now have eternity with God. Its not about us, it never has been.

    Death isn’t the end if you are a christian? It’s a celebration? Just because you hope something is true, doesn’t make it the reality. But for the sake of argument, let’s say the bible is the inspired word of god. Let’s say, if only for the next 5 minutes, you are right and I am wrong. Let’s put the bible to the test, straight from what god says he’ll do in the bible. (The following is stolen from a youtube video “prove that jesus is imaginary in less than 5 minutes”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUj8hg5CoSw

    Step 1: 1 Cor. 15: 3-8
    Jesus was buried, he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and he appeared to peter, and then to the 12. After that, he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time… then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also.
    Conclusion: It is ok for Jesus to appear to people; he did so in order to prove his ressurection. He supposedly appeared to hundreds

    Step 2: Matthew 18:19-20
    Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them
    Conclusion: Jesus is here, and god will do whatever we ask.

    Step 3: Ask Jesus to appear phyiscally to us.

    Simple enough. Give it a try with some friends, see if it works.

  • http://none Andrew

    Mrnaglfar you have missed the boat. As christian we are by no means claiming to be perfect. As christians we strive to be christlike and we know that we fail continuously. But by the grace of God and through the death of Jesus we have been saved. Matthew 17:20 says that if I have faith as small as a mustard seed I can say to the mtn move from here to there and it will move… the truth of the matter is that i simply dont have faith to move that mountain, none of us do as we are not Christ. It doesnt mean the mtn cant move through faith, our faith is just insifficient when compared to that of Christ.

    Another point you put forward is the Sabbath. As you claim to throw scripture my way, read the bible in its entirety before you sekect verses you think back your argument. The sabbath was created for the jews. If you read the bible you would have come across some writings of where Jesus rescues livestock from certain death on the sabbath. Jesus argues that the sabbath was created for man and man not created for the sabbath. So you will clearly see that Jesus ignored this so called law as he is above our earthly laws. so back to your silly argument of the laws. Should i sell everything yes, should i turn the other cheek, yes, but do I know. I am not Christ and it is by his grace I am saved from this.

    We are all called to different areas of service. I am ministering in my work place, this si where God wants me to be right now I believe so what help would it be for me to sell everything and move away. Gods work can be done anytime and anyplace. My place is here for now. So try to see everything in context and not in a light that supposed suits your argument because you are missing the mark. I know that I am not perfect, i pray that God helps me in all areas of my life, i get angry, frustrated, a lie and i go back to the cross each time and ask for forgiveness, that is the beauty of Christianity, jesus paid for my transgressions. Who in your life has paid for yours?

    Every prayer we pray is answered, it may not be to our will, but most certainly to Gods. It may not be right now or in this lifetime, but every prayer is answered. now you ask me to watch something (which I wont watch) which supposedly disproves christianity. Again, and I repeat myself. You are asking me to have faith in something which promise me nothing. Instead of having faith in Jesus Christ, the man and God who freed me from my sins and from this world, the man who promises my eternity and spleandor, you want me to have faith in someone who made a 5 min movie, a man who is no example, a man who has done nothing for me and most likely will never doanything for me. Ask yourself, what happens when you die?

  • Mrnaglfar

    Andrew,

    As christians we strive to be christlike and we know that we fail continuously

    What part of that implies you can infer christ’s will? He said to sell everything; twice. That’s part of what you need to do to get to heaven. Are you claiming you can reinterpret the words of your god?

    The sabbath was created for the jews

    That’s one the 10 commandments; Jesus says to follow the commandments. Are you saying that the commandments only apply to the Jews as well? I don’t recall Jesus saying that in the bible, so it sounds like you’re speaking contradictory to his teachings, which I believe just earned you a spot in hell with me. We’ll be having a nice eternity together I think.

    Should i sell everything yes, should i turn the other cheek, yes, but do I know. I am not Christ and it is by his grace I am saved from this.

    That’s handy; you don’t actually need to follow any other part of the religion because you believe in the guy who preached it. Sure makes this ‘being a christian’ thing easy, being able to cherry pick your holy book and quote the parts you like and ignore the others.

    So try to see everything in context and not in a light that supposed suits your argument because you are missing the mark. I know that I am not perfect

    You know you’re not perfect and go against the teachings of your god who you think is perfect? In no unclear words he said, twice, SELL EVERYTHING, and if you think Jesus is god and god is perfect, he should really know what he’s talking about more than you. How am I missing the mark on that one?

    Who in your life has paid for yours?

    No one has needed to. But if there comes a point where I trangress against my fellow man that requires I be punished, I assume I will pay for it. But hey, next time someone’s in front of a courthouse for murder, so long as they say christ forgives them I suppose we should just let them go right?

    Every prayer we pray is answered

    If I prayed for Jesus to appear to me right now, then no, it certainly wouldn’t be answered. Same goes for anything else.

    it may not be to our will, but most certainly to Gods

    Conclusion: God has planned every abortion, every murder, every rape, all cases of cancer and other illnesses, and even planned for all the unbelievers to not believe; this is turn means god has planned for everyone going to hell to go there and everyone going to heaven to go there. We have no free will in the matter and can’t be held accountable for our actions. Try and argue that point.

    now you ask me to watch something (which I wont watch) which supposedly disproves christianity. Again, and I repeat myself. You are asking me to have faith in something which promise me nothing. Instead of having faith in Jesus Christ, the man and God who freed me from my sins and from this world, the man who promises my eternity and spleandor, you want me to have faith in someone who made a 5 min movie, a man who is no example, a man who has done nothing for me and most likely will never doanything for me. Ask yourself, what happens when you die?

    Ah, I see your point. My problem is that I don’t understand wishing that something were so makes it happen! So long as I just ignore everything to the contrary of my ideas, believe really hard, and never allow anything showing me I’m wrong to slip into my life, I can have whatever I want! After all, when I die I don’t know what happens, so if I imagine something up real hard then it will come true! Quick, start telling cancer patients if they just believe they’ll be healed their cancer will disspear. It’s so simple I can’t believe I didn’t see it.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Andrew,

    One more point on that “it’s god’s will” thing. If it truly is god’s will, he’s going to do what he wants whether we pray or not. So why not just skip the praying part and go straight to “his will”

  • Judy

    From Andrew: “A book written over hundreds of years, in different languages by different authors and it all gels and flows and makes sense.”

    I can’t believe you actually think a “talking serpent” makes any kind of sense.

    I’m worried about you.

  • http://none Andrew

    Let the attacks begin. I find it strange, that to be an atheist and to supposedly believe in no god, that you strongly try to disprove christianity, there providing the possibility that it may exist. in my understanding, a true aethiest wouldnt care what is said and get involved in these discussions because they simply dont believe it, or do you???

    First to Judy…Just because we cant comprehend it with our limited minds it doesnt mean it didnt happen. Why cant noah build a boat for all the animals, why cant Jesus walk on water, why cant Moses part the sees? Just because you cant comprehend it or you cant do it, it doesnt mean it cant happen. That is the power of God sister. That is whay faith is all about. Hebrews faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. You have faith that when someone you see says trust me, it is really me, but is that really faith? Nope. A serpent, why not…I have faith and so do you, you just need to see what you have faith in.

    Now to Mrnaglfar…. Lets pretend there is no box, as there should be. You are taking things out of context…to try to fit your argument. If all christians sold everything, then how would the Christians receive funding to spread the Gospel. The world as it is is not perfect by any means, and we live accordingly.

    On your first point. Sell everything? Come on, like I said, my hands are in the air, I am not Christ and I cant be Christ but I need to try. I am working because it is where I believe I need to be at this point in my life. I minister to fellow workers, i pray for them (and for you), i tithe…. my loving God has a purpose for me being here and it would be right to sell everything now and move away from here. You would be one of those folks that would tell me to hate my parents too, also a common verse taken out of context. As a christian I seek to establish a relationship with Christ, and by being at work, earning a salary etc, I have drawn closer to Christ… so at this tage I wont sell everything, I am needed her.

    point 2. Read up on the sabbath. It was created for the jews lad. the ten commands were given as rules for us to follow. Again I remind you, jesus worked on the sabbath. I repeat, Jesus said’” the sabbath was created for man and not the man for sabbath. Go read up on this and then we can discuss further. I am not a jew!

    point 3. I see what you like to do. as you pick points from the scripture you do the same with my writings. I am not Christ, I will always fall short of the glory of God. As my relationship with Christ grows I get greater conviction of my wrong doings. Through prayer and the help of God and fellow Christians I am slowly cleaning the sin from my life. The problem is a lot of people truly dont uderstand the significance of the cross. They dont understand the grace of God. The fact that he allows this terrible world to exist shows signs of his grace. As long as I have this flesh, I will continue to have the temptations of the world. Because of what Christ did on the cross for me, I can fall short of his glory (although I try not too), confess and repent in a heartfelt and sincere manner and I am cleansed. And when it happens again, I do the same. Its not about cherry picking, its about tackling one thing at a time, drawing closer to God. I am by no means perfect.

    Point 4. Christ is perfect. he came to this world, struggled with the same things we struggle with and conquered them all. Like I said, Christ encourages me to have faith, all i need is faith as small as a mustard seed to move a mtn, but i dont. As I am not christ, that is something I am working on. Perhaps you can question my faith, perhaps I should sell everything. Just simply because I havent doesnt mean we shouldnt. Once again I say, I tackle one thing at a time. A lot of people take the bible out of contect. Some of the disciples were fishermen and tent makers, the still had jobs right, did the sell everything. What Jesus is saying is that we must be available to do his work. I dont live alavish life by any means, is it the life Christ would lead, most certainly not, but hopefully as my faith grows and my relationship with christ grows, i would be where Christ would be…. Christianity is the toughest thing I have every done (Atheism included). To let go of control of my life and trust in jesus, a God I cannot see, a perfect God, is difficult.

    Point 5. We should forgive yes, is it easy no. I pray that if anything had to happen to a loved one that I would be able to forgive. God doesnt create evil, the evil in the world is brought here by satan himself. God does it allow it to happen, why, I am not sure, but I trust in his plan and knows more than i do that is for certain. Forgiveness is not easy, but we must try… if we fail we go back to the cross and start over, cleansed.

    Point 6. Every prayer you pray is answered. If you pray to see jesus now and he didnt appear, then the answer was no. A prayer or request isnt only answered when you get what you want. Your mother would be horribly disappointed in you. Another things is pray in sincerity, for Christ, not because you want proof, we are told not to test God, be careful. If it was that easy to pray to see God, then no faith would be required, can I get an amen.

    poiint 7. Again, God does not created evil! God does want us to choosehim. he wants us to take responsibility of our faith. He created us to have a relationship with him, a two way relationship. I can gaurantee it saddens him deeply when someone denies him, but he never stops loving that person. Again, I am not Christ, I do not have all the answers (no one does), I am told by the sciptures not by preachers etc that I will not understand. I must have a child like faith (simple, clear, pure) and I will go to heaven. If you choose God now, it was your will to choose him, did he know you would, most certainly. I am not here to argue, I will discuss this and get back to you.

    Point 8. i remind you that i was an atheist, I became a christian in Dec, amen to that. I had many years of being exposed you your movies, ideas and other things trying ti disprove God, so I do have the info, lots of it…. and i choose God above all else. Its not about imagining heaven, its about faith. we all have faith, just depends in what! Perhaps you were influenced by the properity Gospel, when we pray for healing, it doesnt have to be physical, it is great to pray with a terminally ill patient for healing, a healing which will cleanse there life and establish a relationship with Christ. Never be closed to the possibility of miracles. We often see terminal patients and question God, but we forget thet many Christians are terminal too and they stand by their belief that it is Gods plan and they have faith in that. They give their lives to Christ, they are not in control. Many people view death as the end, but it would be great to die and go to heaven, now imagine being terminal with that view, the wait is finally over…

    To Ms Anne
    Keep preaching it sister and pray for me. Amen

  • Mrnaglfar

    Ms Anne,

    I don’t feel that warrants too serious of a reply, so I’ll just tell you you’re pulling it all straight out of your ass. There’s no reason any of that is true and you’re jusy lying. Atheists here are proof that all those claims are flat out wrong. That’s all I’m going to give you.

    Andrew,

    I find it strange, that to be an atheist and to supposedly believe in no god, that you strongly try to disprove christianity, there providing the possibility that it may exist. in my understanding, a true aethiest wouldnt care what is said and get involved in these discussions because they simply dont believe it, or do you???

    That’s more total bullshit and I can’t understand how you don’t get it. So because christians can’t prove anything anything regarding their faith, and we point that out, as well as the bible is flatly contradictory of itself and of our modern understanding of the world that it somehow proved a means for the bible to be true? I can’t speak for everyone else involved, but I get involved in the discussions because I feel religion is a poison on the world which is both a direct and indirect threat to me and others. So no, trying to claim “you can talk about something you must believe it” is not an argument. Same way you’re not an atheist for posting here and talking about it.

    First to Judy…Just because we cant comprehend it with our limited minds it doesnt mean it didnt happen. Why cant noah build a boat for all the animals, why cant Jesus walk on water, why cant Moses part the sees? Just because you cant comprehend it or you cant do it, it doesnt mean it cant happen. That is the power of God sister. That is whay faith is all about. Hebrews faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. You have faith that when someone you see says trust me, it is really me, but is that really faith? Nope. A serpent, why not…I have faith and so do you, you just need to see what you have faith in.

    Noah can’t build a boat because no one family could create an arc big enough to house all of the planet’s several million species for months while keeping them feed and from eatting and killing each other, then redistrubing them properly over the globe, without explaining the incest that would be have to have been rampant after the flood, making species of genetic identical twins, IN TOTAL LACK OF ANY EVIDENCE OF A GLOBAL FLOOD. Jesus can’t wait on water because of his mass. He could float in water if he was laying down I’m sure. Mose can’t part the red sea because the idea is not only outragous on it’s face as a claim, but there’s no evidence of jewish slaves in egypt or of moses outside the bible. Likewise, there’s no trace of thousands of jews wandering a desert for 40 years. You’d think they would leave behind at a least a few things, but there’s no evidence for it.
    I’ve asked this before and I’ll ask it again; why is faith a good thing? Believing in lack of or in spite of evidence is such a risky, irrational thing to do, and we seem to find when you NEED to take something on faith, there’s normally a reason for it. That reason is normally because the claims are full of shit (like tarot cards and faith healing).

    On your first point. Sell everything? Come on, like I said, my hands are in the air, I am not Christ and I cant be Christ but I need to try. I am working because it is where I believe I need to be at this point in my life. I minister to fellow workers, i pray for them (and for you), i tithe…. my loving God has a purpose for me being here and it would be right to sell everything now and move away from here. You would be one of those folks that would tell me to hate my parents too, also a common verse taken out of context. As a christian I seek to establish a relationship with Christ, and by being at work, earning a salary etc, I have drawn closer to Christ… so at this tage I wont sell everything, I am needed her.

    That’s fine, you don’t have to sell everything and I wouldn’t expect you to. However, Jesus said, TWICE, you need to do that to get into heaven, among other things (like upholding every law of the old testament). If you really believe in your faith, according to you, that will earn you a place in hell no matter how much you pray. I don’t think you ever considered that did you, that maybe you wouldn’t make it into heaven and get to spend the rest of eternity burning with us? Right now, it seems you’re on that path.

    point 2. Read up on the sabbath. It was created for the jews lad. the ten commands were given as rules for us to follow. Again I remind you, jesus worked on the sabbath. I repeat, Jesus said’” the sabbath was created for man and not the man for sabbath. Go read up on this and then we can discuss further. I am not a jew!

    One of the ten commandments is to keep the sabbath holy, and the bible says the punishment for breaking it is death. But it’s nice you can point out yet another contradiction in your bible. That’s fine though, you’re already not selling everything which will damn you to hell anyway, I don’t see why being a commandment breaker will make too much of a difference.

    The fact that he allows this terrible world to exist shows signs of his grace

    I don’t think this world is terrible, but ignoring that, prove your point. Stating that you feel that way doesn’t make it true. Where do you think your desires come from if you believe in god? Surely he must have created them as well as you, not to mention how stupid the idea is that he needs to send his son, who is also himself, down to human form to be born of a virgin, and then to be killed to forgive us for something he created us to do. Because obviously, just forgiving us would too easy right? But nevermind all that, you still HAVE NOT LISTED A SINGLE GOOD POINT, let alone any reason to believe your brand of christianity out of the thousands of branches or it, or other thousands of world religions.

    A lot of people take the bible out of contect

    Ever consider maybe you do? Maybe you just pick the parts you like and ignore the rest. What gives you the, either ignorance or arrogence, to think that the way your intrepret it is the right one? I find you can quote the bible to suit your needs at any point but whenever it’s quoted back at you it’s out of context or misread. Isn’t that just a little odd?

    god doesnt create evil, the evil in the world is brought here by satan himself.

    The bible says god created evil, or is that something I’m taking out of context again? Likewise, in the bible, god creates satan too, which also means god created evil. Care to try again?

    but I trust in his plan and knows more than i do that is for certain

    That means god plans all evil acts as well. If not directly, they must be part of his plan according to your logic. No need to get mad if you get stolen from, or a loved one gets hurt or killed. Not only will they go to hell for not selling everything (after all, jesus said it, and jesus is god, and god is perfect so he must know what he’s talking about), but it’s all part of god’s plan.

    Every prayer you pray is answered. If you pray to see jesus now and he didnt appear, then the answer was no. A prayer or request isnt only answered when you get what you want

    Jesus says god will do ANYTHING if it’s prayed for by two or more people. So either he’s lying, or full of shit when the prayer doesn’t work. It’s not taken out of context. Prayer has also been studied, and has failed. Pray doesn’t work, but I guess it does if you can managed to ignore all evidence, which you seem to manage anyway.

    Again, God does not created evil!

    I must have a child like faith (simple, clear, pure) and I will go to heaven.

    Have child like faith, and do everything else Jesus says to do in the bible, like uphold every law of the old testament. But hey, I guess I’m just taking the bible out of context again and you aren’t right?

    i remind you that i was an atheist, I became a christian in Dec, amen to that. I had many years of being exposed you your movies, ideas and other things trying ti disprove God, so I do have the info, lots of it…. and i choose God above all else.

    I’ll ask again, what drove you to accept religion and of all the possibilities, why christianity?

    now imagine being terminal with that view, the wait is finally over…

    Spending a lifetime thinking the world is terrible, fallen place and just waiting to die(as you seem to), being killed painfully by a god who will send me to hell for not following all aspectes of his faith while giving me no evidence, along with my family and friends. Yup, wonderful world view.

  • Mrnaglfar

    This didn’t post last time

    Again, God does not created evil!

    Again, stating your idea doesn’t make it true. Check out the thread here on “little known bible verses, God creates evil”.

  • http://none Andrew

    Mrnaglfar. I see you like to debate. Why is it that I provide my view it is absolutely wrong, and your view is absolutely correct. I forget that you were with the writers of the scripture. The simple fact is, we dont know, and I admit that. The fact is, you dont know either, yup, takes a big man to swallow his pride and admit that we dont know. Clearly you think you have all the answers, but you dont, that is consistent with the scriptures, you dont have all the answers. That is why faith is such a beautiful and freeing factor, we dont need to know, we just need to believe….amen to that. Ill take into consideration all your points, but I choose to focus on one.

    I see you take great pride in trying to prove me wrong… but as me mum once said, choose your words carefully. Why I chose Christianity, the answer is simple. Jesus Christ. many religions mention JC but only Christianity speaks of him as God, the one who came to this earth and saved me and you. Just because our limted minds (your too) cant comprehend something or understanding something, it doesnt make it false. Christianity is not about works, its not about laws, its not about singing in the band or wearing a WWJD bracelet, its about a relationship. That is all that is required for me and you to get into heave. A simple “true” relationship with Christ. We could sit for months and argue about the details, but then I noticed I was evening missing the point. At the end of the day I dont really worry about the details. I choose to focus on a relationship with Christ, he will do the rest.

    I apologise for being patronising and condesending in any way, I was speaking for me and truly representing Christ. I pray that if I miss represented Christ in any way, he forgives me and I start again. All the glory to God and none for myself.

    Ill keep it simple, Ill keep it God, I choose a relationship with Christ. I dont need to know all the answers, I will never know all the answers, no one will, so who are we kidding. I fear for you that you speak of hell so lightly. What if hell does exist?

    I will continue to pray for you.

    Ms Anne, you continue to preach the word, continue to seek that relationship with christ, I respect that.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Andrew,

    I love debate. Normally debates feature points on both sides, but I’m non-conventional.

    Why is it that I provide my view it is absolutely wrong, and your view is absolutely correct.

    I’m not claiming my view point is absolutely correct, I’m claiming yours is not founded in anything. Just because christianity happens to be wrong does not, by default, make my position correct. Same way even if evolution is wrong (which would take some serious evidence against) does mean creationsim is the only alternative or right either. Of course, I feel my position is well grounded because it’s based on the best available evidence I have; evidence, not faith.

    Clearly you think you have all the answers, but you dont, that is consistent with the scriptures, you dont have all the answers.

    See above. The scriptures are flat out wrong in places (like about the earth being flat and stars being little pin-pricks of light in the firmament above of the earth, which is the center of the universe, and how from 2 people you can get to millions of different people for starters). I never claimed to have all the answers, just that the answers you accept are wrong.

    That is why faith is such a beautiful and freeing factor, we dont need to know, we just need to believe

    That doesn’t work in any real life situation outside of religion it seems. Like in medicine, science, personal and economic relationships, or really anything. I don’t see believing in lack of or in spite of evidence as a good thing.

    Why I chose Christianity, the answer is simple. Jesus Christ. many religions mention JC but only Christianity speaks of him as God, the one who came to this earth and saved me and you.

    So we’ve established that you believe that based on faith, or in word others, absolutely nothing. And that’s fine and dandy, you can believe whatever you want without needing evidence, but when I have to hear about creationism wanting to be taught in school, or abstience-only education, or suicide bombings, or how isreal should be removed from the face of the earth, or muslim oppression of women, or bans on homosexuality, or how abortion is immoral, or how policians can’t get elected on atheist platform, or how I’m a bad person who needs to be saved, or how it’s ok to kill people who don’t believe, or how I’m going to hell, or how children are being taught they’re going to hell, or how a priest molests children, or how atheists have no morals, or how everyone in a religion has some sort of “truth” I don’t is where the problem comes in. Beliefs in religion that are mild and generally harmless are just paving the way for beliefs that take it just a little more seriously to do major damage. After all, it’s not moderate religion that’s speaking out against the fundamentalist religion most of the time, it’s the atheists. Religion has been used to justify all of the above, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. It’s all harmful, ignorant superstition that should be exposed for what it is. I’m not about to apologize for that sounding harsh either. I don’t need to see any more videos of crowds chanting for my death to be convinced that if they had the ability to, they would kill me without a second thought. Speaking out against that is a virtue to me.

    Ill keep it simple, Ill keep it God, I choose a relationship with Christ. I dont need to know all the answers, I will never know all the answers, no one will, so who are we kidding. I fear for you that you speak of hell so lightly. What if hell does exist?

    True, we probably will never know all the answers, and knowing one may raise ever more puzzling questions, but your religion, whether presented by you or whether presented by those who take it more seriously, is given the context of “this is the answer, even if it lacks any evidence”. I know you said you don’t know the answer, but that’s followed quickly by “but what if I’m right”? In a classic case of pascal’s wager, you pose the question what if you’re right and hell exists. I speak of hell lightly because it doesn’t exist, because it’s a fairy tale, and because I don’t believe millions upon millions of people will be condemned to suffer there forever, as the christian faith teaches.

    It’s hard to debate someone who isn’t basing ideas in logic but rather in faith, but ask yourself this question; “What would it take for me to think I’m mistaken”?
    My answer is reliable, verifiable evidence, and my views have no problem changing if such things are presented to me. What’s yours?

  • James Bradbury

    ‘scuse me barging in here, but I would like to contribute something.

    Why I chose Christianity, the answer is simple. Jesus Christ. many religions mention JC but only Christianity speaks of him as God, the one who came to this earth and saved me and you.

    You’re just repeating the Christian story. What I ask is: “Why did you think that this Christian story is true and say, Hinduism, Sikhism or Buddhism isn’t?”. How do you know you “picked” the right one? If you don’t actually compare this to other beliefs you’re not making a comparison, just restating your beliefs – and I think by now we all know pretty well what you believe.

    Perhaps a better question would be “How did you first come to believe in Christianity and what convinced you that it was true?”

    I would hazard a guess that, if you’re honest about it you first started believing in Christianity because of other people. Perhaps someone you respected or admired told you about Christianity, maybe the group was very welcoming and supportive.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    “Ms Anne”‘s comments have been removed for having no conceivable connection to the topic of this thread. Religious visitors should be aware that I mean what I say in my comment policy about preaching. If you want to start a religious revival, do it elsewhere.

  • http://none Andrew

    James first. What the assumptions my boy. Speak or your own experience and views and dont assume that of others. Thus I can conclude you have nothing of real significance to contribute as you assume already. Dismissed. As I mention, Jesus Christ sets christianity a part. It is the only religion which acknowledges Christ as God. It is a religion where works are not completely necessary, its a religion based on a relationship with christ, no church, no people etc, that will follow is that is Gods will of course. Jesus Christ makes christianity stand out.

    Ebonmuse. I dont know why you feel such a personal attack by all the nonsense in teh world. Do I disagree with homosexuality yes, abortion yes, bombings yes. Anything which God speaks against and does not bring glory to God is wrong in my view. We wont get into the whole gay debate, ut to end it off simple, we are not anatomically designed to be gay! You appear to put all religions in the same box and that is dangerous. You perhaps associate me with catholism and even priests sexually abusing children. It is wrong to place all religions in the same light. As I have mentioned, I am by no means perfect, but I do try. I get consumed with guilt if i believe I am not honouring God. Christianity is not about priests, bombings, church, starving yourselves etc, its about your own personal relationship with Christ. It would be wrong for me to deny God because the image of Christianity has been tarnished by someone else, someone who abuses his/her position, seeks personal glory, mislead people etc. I dont hate the person, it is the sin I disagree with. We are all sinners and we need to recognize that. I dont base my beliefs on church, whether a person is supportive, songs etc. For me it is about the word of God and my relationship with. As mentioned, I dont have the answers, no one does, no one has all the evidence, all the evidence in this world founded by man, there is evidence both for and against Christianity, but which one do you choose to have faith in? At the end of it all, Christianity is about your personal walk with God and the promise he has given each one of us if we choose him.

    You claim that religion is a harmful and ignorant superstition as if it is the cause of all evil in the world, that is a bold statement. If everyone had to follow the simple 10 commandments for example, would abortions be necessary, would we have murder, would we have theft etc….nope. This world would be a much better and safer place if we all abided by those laws. To in answer to your statement, your statement does appear harsh, but it wouldnt be necessary if Christ was centre for everyone. I get the feeling that you justify your views and answers by everyone elses, blaming people for certain things. I encourage to forget about that and seek your own personal relationship with God, lets not make excuses because of someone else…its up to me to seek God.

  • James Bradbury

    James first. What the assumptions my boy. Speak or your own experience and views and dont assume that of others. Thus I can conclude you have nothing of real significance to contribute as you assume already. Dismissed.

    What on earth are you talking about? You haven’t responded to my points, you’re not listening to what people are saying, you’re just repeating your Christian mantra about your relationship with Jesus (wink, wink! ;)) and you not being perfect etc etc ad nauseum. You sound like a stuck record. What you’re saying isn’t a response to the original post, just a statement of your personal beliefs.

    As I mention, Jesus Christ sets christianity a part. It is the only religion which acknowledges Christ as God.

    Yes. I know. You said. Several times. What I want to know is why does that make it true?

    Last question for you – does God allow you to think for yourself?

  • http://none Andrew

    Does God allow me to think for myself….so you want to be in control, well so you believe. I guess you are one of those persons who isnt influenced by what clotehs you wear, where you hang out, what car you drive? I have a choice and my choice is to deny myself and seek Christ, that is thinking for myself, no? You choose to deny God, believing you are thinking for yourself yet giving into the temptations of the flesh, are you truly deciding? Do you honestly know that the world is billions of years old? Do you know that moses didnt part the seas? Were you present at all these things? Nope and neither was I. I know that the world is most certainly 28 years old, I have seen it with my own eyes! So now lets not pretend that your supposed truths are conclusive because both sides come with theories, questions and uncertainties. You have faith, yes I said faith, in your beliefs and I have faith in mine. I have faith that JC is all I need. That faith makes it true, just as your faith in your thoeries supposedly makes yours true.

    And why not repeat the Christian story, its been repeated for hundreds of years. Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, nothing has changed. God himself said he does not change (Malachi 3:6). So my christian theory wont either. I focus on my own perso’nal relationship with God, I have faith that he is true, just like you have “faith” in your theories.

  • James Bradbury

    Are you hoping to convince any of us about Christ? If so, how do you think you’re doing?

    Where I come from we have a way of dealing with people like you. It is to roll our eyes and wander off in search of better company. :-)

  • Mrnaglfar

    Does God allow me to think for myself….so you want to be in control, well so you believe. I guess you are one of those persons who isnt influenced by what clotehs you wear, where you hang out, what car you drive? I have a choice and my choice is to deny myself and seek Christ, that is thinking for myself, no? You choose to deny God, believing you are thinking for yourself yet giving into the temptations of the flesh, are you truly deciding?

    That is so stupid, so incoherent, I’m through bothering with anything you present now regarding faith; I’m not going to argue that anymore, I’m just going to start denying it. I can’t beat that dead horse into a pulp anymore.

    Do you honestly know that the world is billions of years old? Do you know that moses didnt part the seas? Were you present at all these things? Nope and neither was I. I know that the world is most certainly 28 years old, I have seen it with my own eyes!

    Were you there when jesus was supposed to be around? No? Do you know he even existed? No? Were you there?! No? Did you see god inspiring people to write the bible? no? Is your point backed up by anything? no? Are you skeptical at all about bible claims? no? Do you know the world isn’t going to suddendly explode? Huh? do you? Do you know every other religion is wrong and yours is right? no?

    This is so embrassingly ignorant.

    So now lets not pretend that your supposed truths are conclusive because both sides come with theories, questions and uncertainties. You have faith, yes I said faith, in your beliefs and I have faith in mine. I have faith that JC is all I need. That faith makes it true, just as your faith in your thoeries supposedly makes yours true.

    FAITH DOES NOT MAKE SOMETHING TRUE. I can’t make myself anymore clear than that. If I hit someone in my car, but believe really hard I didn’t, that doesn’t make it true. If I get sick, but believe really hard I’ll recover immedately, that does not make it true. As for you coming in with therories, questions, and uncertainties, faith doesn’t allow those. faith is acceptance IN LACK OF THOSE. It’s also in lack of evidence, which I noticed didn’t make your list.

    And why not repeat the Christian story, its been repeated for hundreds of years. Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, nothing has changed. God himself said he does not change (Malachi 3:6). So my christian theory wont either. I focus on my own perso’nal relationship with God, I have faith that he is true, just like you have “faith” in your theories.

    Yeah science is soooo terrible; always UPDATING in light of NEW evidence. Always IMPROVING in it’s understanding and CORRECTING itself when it’s wrong. Trying to raise ALTERNATE views of things, and laughably enough, TESTING it’s ideas more than once. You know, all that silly stuff faith does. Yup, clearly we’re both blindly acecpting faith and have an equal chance of being right. Things don’t change, especially our understanding – yup, you got us there.
    What about all the other world religions, the many thousands of them, who make no mention of Jesus, and have a completely different set of guide lines? What about the ones who came before Jesus, thousands of years before? On what basis do you dismiss those. Were you there?

  • shifty

    Andrew, you are starting to sound very much like the child who puts his hands to his ears and just shouts “blah, blah, blah”
    There are plenty of theists who have made fairly compelling arguments for their faith. You’re not one of them.
    Please try to answer somebody’s questions….anybody’s….Bueller?

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    I know that the world is most certainly 28 years old, I have seen it with my own eyes!

    What? Blasphemy! The world has only been around since Queen Maeve the Housecat created it last Thursday, complete with false memories! Don’t believe me? That’s fine, you have your faith and I have mine…

    Christianity is … about a relationship.

    You know, I keep calling JC, but he never calls back. I wonder why?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blog/daylightatheism/ Ebonmuse

    Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, Follow JC, nothing has changed.

    When the Christians debating in a thread are reduced to this means of argument, that’s how you know it’s time to close comments.


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