Preview of Nightline Debate

Here’s a sneak peek at tomorrow’s debate between Christians Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron and atheists Brian/Kelly, courtesy of the Rational Response Squad. And as they say, these are the “highlights as seen through the eyes of the RRS.” So I assume less flattering parts of the debate were left out.

There’s some bad language in the video if that matters (though it’s not during the debate itself):


The written commentary is also entertaining.


[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, debate, Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, Brian Sapient, Rational Response Squad, Nightline, ABC[/tags]

  • Mike Tarsi

    Slanted…definatly…why show your ignorance with the filthy mouth dude? Why not edit out his ignorant immature foulness it would have been so much more Powerful. still wrong though :)

  • Richard Wade

    I won’t watch this preview. I’ll wait to see the whole thing on Nightline rather than risk being biased by either side’s spin.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    I thought the definition of terrorist was particularly good and very damning. I’m even more interested to watch the entire program on Nightline now.

    I would be even more interested if this debate was being done by a professional scientific panel and a professional theist panel but this debate does a good job of explaining how the average lay person approaches this issue from both sides of the coin.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    The “universe existed forever” really shut them down though. Great to see them completely shut down for a moment.

    I think the RRS should have noticed that and fabricated more challenges along those lines.

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    But it didn’t exist forever did it? What happened to the Big Bang?

  • Andy Francis

    All the matter and energy was there at the Big Bang, just in an extremely compressed and dense form.

  • miller

    I have to say, the intro kind of turned me off, and I didn’t feel like watching the rest of the video.

    In response to Helen, the Big Bang theory seems to predict a singularity at the beginning of time, but this does not take into account quantum gravity, so this prediction is in all likelihood false. The singularity is just an indication that the theory needs modification before making predictions back that far.

    I think that the idea of “creating” the universe is a little off, since I think of the universe as being the space-time structure, and “creation” implies a before and after–some sort of timeline external to the universe.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Miller:
    You are correct. Time and Space are the same thing, so therefore at the moment “before” the big band, all space and all time would have been condensed into that singularity. Time would not have the same meaning as it does to us who now observe it just as space would be much different if we could observe the universe as a singularity.

    Your statement of creation being a little off makes perfect sense. In the beginning time did not exist because space did not exist, so therefore there was no beginning – you have to have time (and space) to have a beginning. There was no time before the beginning (except maybe for the small speck that was the singularity).

    At least that’s how I understand it. Anyone here know Stephen Hawking so that he can clear this up? :)

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    Your statement of creation being a little off makes perfect sense. In the beginning time did not exist because space did not exist, so therefore there was no beginning – you have to have time (and space) to have a beginning. There was no time before the beginning (except maybe for the small speck that was the singularity).

    Which incidentally fits very well with what Christian theologians and philosophers have been saying for centuries about God being “outside” of time. If, as theists believe, God was the originator of the Big Bang, then he too exists apart from space and time.

  • Mriana

    Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron had some very weak rebuttles. Brian and Kelly had the strongest argument IMHO. At one point I swear I heard Kirk and Ray stuttering for something to say.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Mike C:
    Evening, sir!

    Then what created God? If a sort of time/space exists for God outside of our own time/space, then He would have to look around and ask “Who created Me?”

    To steal an argument from Kirk Cameron and Mr. Comfort – all design has to have a creator, so therefore the reality God lives in has to have been designed too. By whom then? God didn’t just get created from nothing, He had to have come from somewhere.

    And by that logic one would have to ask who created that designer? And the next. And the next.

    But the singularity that existed at the “beginning” of the universe had infinite time. Time moved in all directions and all speeds all at once. Yesterday was tomorrow and next week was 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years ago. Basically, there was nothing else since everything was present in that singularity. The Big Bang was then a product of infinite time but finite space and thus since the two were in total opposition, they had to produce an equilibrium and thus the big bang was a product of finding a balance.

    Possibly, if the universe keeps expanding, then the universe will have the opposite problem by having infinite space but finite time and the universe will again have to find balance.

    Of course, I’m no quantum physicist so I’m not the best person to fully grasp these concepts. I am trying, though :)

    But what you are talking about is God living outside of all that – which is pretty hard to prove, by the way. Also, if God is infinite AND the universe has the capacity for time or space infinity, then how can you have 2 infinities? That doesn’t make sense since you only need 1 infinity. There can never be 2 infinities (just like there can only be one 1 and one 5). Why bother with a second infinity since one does not need the other? Or better still, the universal infinity does not need the God infinity.

    Oh brother, my head hurts. Please, are they any physicists here? Quantum physics makes my head hurt real real bad and I’m probably butchering every thesis ever written on the subject. :)

  • Solomon

    Believe it or not, this Big Bang stuff actually has very little to do with quantum physics and everything to do with relativity (well, General Relativity). To clear up a couple of misconceptions, the expansion of the universe (which leads us to the idea of the Big Bang) is an expansion of space only, not of space and time. Space and time are not the same thing, they are just different aspects of a common structure.

    As for infinities, we physicists really tend not to like them. Most of the places they show up we tend to interpret their presence as implying that we’re missing something. The infinite density of the Big Bang is one such.

    That said, it is unequivocally true that the standard Big Bang theory requires nothing like an infinite time. The age of the universe is measured to be finite (~13.7 billion years as measured by an observer at rest with respect to the source of the cosmic microwave background).

    All this said, science is not really in a position to say much about “before the big bang” except that it is pretty much a meaningless idea. Time and space are parts of a construct internal to the universe, so one can’t talk about “before” time and space existed. It’s not really meaningful. There is speculation that there might be some larger construct “outside” the space and time we experience, but I know of no ways for such an idea to be tested.

    One other unrelated point. The first law of thermodynamics doesn’t quite work in the manner described, at least not when General Relativity becomes important. First, matter is not conserved. For example, and electron and a positron can annihilate to form light. This is a consequence, actually, of the famous E=mc^2, which we can read to mean that mass is a type of energy. The first law, in its strictest form, just says that the rate at which the energy at a point changes over time is equal to the rate at which energy enters from elsewhere minus the rate at which energy leaves. In other words, at no place can energy be created or destroyed. This is not really the same as saying that the total energy in the universe stays constant, for the reason that, in GR, energy cannot be defined globally. That is, if we try to define energy in a certain way at all points we will usually find places where this gives two different values for the energy. As long as we’re only talking about the energy at one place, this is not a problem.

  • Darryl

    if God is infinite AND the universe has the capacity for time or space infinity, then how can you have 2 infinities? That doesn’t make sense since you only need 1 infinity. There can never be 2 infinities (just like there can only be one 1 and one 5).

    Brother Dan, I’m with you: it makes my brain hurt trying to think about these things. As for infinities, it is mathematically possible to have multiple infinities that are each self-contradictory of our concept of the infinite. For example, imagine the set of all irrational numbers. How big is this set–it is infinite. Now, imagine the set of all whole numbers. How big is this set–it is also infinite. Here we have two different infinite sets (there are others), one is smaller than the other, and both are smaller than the set of all numbers (another infinity). Does this have any bearing on the universe and the place of the imaginary God? I don’t know.

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  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    science is not really in a position to say much about “before the big bang” except that it is pretty much a meaningless idea. Time and space are parts of a construct internal to the universe, so one can’t talk about “before” time and space existed. It’s not really meaningful.

    Well stated. Thank you. Really, I should never speak about physics because I really don’t know what the heck I’m talking about there. :)

    Of course Mike C was talking about God possibly existing outside the construct of our internal universe. You stated :

    There is speculation that there might be some larger construct “outside” the space and time we experience, but I know of no ways for such an idea to be tested.

    And I stated:

    But what you are talking about is God living outside of all that – which is pretty hard to prove, by the way.

    Which means that you, as a physicist and me, as a blithering blogger :) both agree that we can’t test Mike C’s idea of God being separate from or outside the limits of the universe.

    So, we’re really right back to where we started – except for the addition of both Darryl and I having headaches. :)

  • Richard Wade

    Wow, I’m sure glad you guys made all that so clear. (slapping forehead) It’s all so simple! I can’t believe I missed it all this time. Thanks!

    The only part I don’t understand, and the part I find a little disappointing is that after all that infinite density, infinite energy, infinite space and more or less 13.7 billion years (a week from next Tuesday) of expansion all we have to show for it is those two infinitely dense boneheads at the top of this page with their infinite energy to spout their infinitely vacuous arguments and the rest of us only slightly less than infinite boneheads commenting about them, God and the universe.

    Kind of anticlimactic.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Creation is evidence of God. If there’s a creation, there has to be a Creator. Simple. God exists outside of time and space. Creation has order and design..things happen after their own kind. Even the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics tells us that everything is breaking down and losing order. Evolution says things are evolving up! There is no scientific proof of evolution-no transitional fossil forms (vertical) There are other evidences of God as well: science in the Bible has always been accurate-scientists have gotten things wrong in the past. Other eyewitnesses are in the courtroom of our mind-our moral mind-our God-given conscience. The Bible says that these things we know are wrong-murder, stealing, lying, for example-are witnesses against us of a Holy God Whom we sin against. If God the Moral Creator is just, He must judge us all according to the same standard-and He says He will do that. The Bible says God is so just that all liars will have their part in the lake of fire (Hell). No man is pefectly good-but God alone. God-on His own accord-became man-100 % God still-and gave His lifeblood as atonement for sin. When you look at the cross of Christ, the Bible says it was God’s judgment on humanity-all are guilty. It was to demonstrate demonstratng His righteousness. Look at Romans 2 and 3. Look at all of John 3. Jesus said man is condemned already because man loves evil. He said out of the heart comes evil. Isn’t this true? Aren’t we the only creation that causes evil? Our hearts need cleansing. Jesus said we must be born again-born of God’s Spirit-and He will give us a new heart that hungers for righteousness, and tells us only through Him can we have this new birth. All others will perish (Read John 3 again). Over 500 people saw the risen Christ. Over 300 prophecies predicted the coming of the Messiah. The Bible is unique and stands on its own. If you want to know God-read His Word-in which He has revealed Himself to us. Oh, and Romans 1 will tell you that creation is evidence enough to condemn us to Hell because we worship the created (ourselves or false gods) instead of the One who gave us life.

  • John

    Looks interesting, can’t wait to see the whole debate. Kudos to the RSS.
    Personally, I would have edited out the immature dork swearing in the back seat at the beginning. I guess it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I don’t think it helps in creating respect for us non-believers.

  • Solomon

    I think I’ll leave most of the debunking of Betty’s post to others; but, first I think I need to address the statements about the second law of thermodynamics.

    There are two big problems here. The first is an oversimplification and the second is a misinterpretation. The second law of thermodynamics talks about entropy; and what it says is that the rate at which the entropy at some place changes is no smaller than the difference between the rate at which entropy enters from outside and the rate at which entropy leaves. This is often taken colloquially to say that entropy can be created but not destroyed. That said, however, it is still possible for entropy to decrease locally just by moving it some place else. This, in fact, happens all the time. For example, when you put water in the freezer to make ice cubes, the entropy of the water will decrease; but, you’ll end up with more entropy in the air around your refrigerator. The biological processes involved in life do a great deal of this shifting around of entropy.

    The second issue is a little hairier, since it really is a matter of what entropy means in the first place. In talking about entropy, there seems to be a tendency to refer to it as some kind of measure of disorder. This is strictly not correct. Entropy is really a measure of the number of microscopic states that look the same when measuring only macroscopic variables. So, for example, let’s say I have a room full of gas and I somehow measure the total number of gas molecules in the east half of the room and the total number of gas molecules in the west half. The entropy, then, is related to the number of ways I could move molecules around and still get the same numbers on each side. It is, hopefully, clear that there are way fewer ways of doing this if all the molecules are on one side of the room than if they are evenly distributed. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible for all the air in a room to suddenly move to one half of the room. It just means it’s extremely unlikely. And, that is what entropy tell us about – probabilities,

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    God speaks:

    Genesis: 1: “In the beginning, God created …Then God said, …

    When Moses asked God , “Who should I tell has sent me?” God said, “Tell them I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3: 14

    God spoke to many people in the Old Testament. God wrote on a wall with His finger that a king had been weighed and found wanting, for profaning what is holy. God spoke to perhaps a million Israelites in the fascinating account at Mt. Sinai, in the giving of the Law. The people were afraid they would die. God wrote the 10 Commandments-twice-with His Own finger. God spoke as Jesus Christ, and you can read His words in the New Testament.

    There are 24,000 manuscripts of the New Testament alone! More than ANY other historical book.( Homer’s Ilyad comes n a distant 2nd w/ about 600. )

    IF creation has a Creator, and IF that Creator is a Moral-Law giver, and IF He has repeatedly shown Himself to us through creation, science, prophecy, His Word,eye-witnesses and our conscience, God commends everyone everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the earth in righteousness through His Son. (Acts 17:31) There are terrifying accounts of Judgment throughout the Bible, and the last day of Judgment in Revelation. Matthew 24 and Luke 21 speak of the return of Christ and judgment. IF there is a judgment to come, … one would be a fool not to be reconciled to Him in this life. The love of God is always seen in the cross of Christ.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    15.
    The First Law of Thermodynamics established (Genesis 2:1-2). The First Law states that the total quantity of energy and matter in the universe is a constant. One form of energy or matter may be converted into another, but the total quantity always remains the same. Therefore the creation is finished, exactly as God said way back in Genesis.
    Visit:
    Modern Scientific Discoveries Verify the Scriptures (Institute For Creation Research)

    ——————————————————————————–

    16.
    The first three verses of Genesis accurately express all known aspects of the creation (Genesis 1:1-3). Science expresses the universe in terms of: time, space, matter, and energy. In Genesis chapter one we read: “In the beginning (time) God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter)…Then God said, “Let there be light (energy).” No other creation account agrees with the observable evidence.

    ——————————————————————————–
    17.
    The universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the biblical view that the universe had a beginning. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal. Science has proven them wrong, but the Bible correct.
    Visit:
    Modern Scientific Discoveries Verify the Scriptures (Institute For Creation Research)

    http://www.understandthetimes.org/101scientific.shtml

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Betty wrote:

    If there’s a creation, there has to be a Creator.

    Well by that logic, if there’s a God, there has to be a “Godder”.

    What is it?

    Answer: The Universe.

    God exists because the universe created it (using human minds to think up such a concept and name it God).

    “Before” the universe as we know it existed, there was no God.

    The Universe predates God by billions and billions of years.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    First Order Logic states: if A=B, and B=C, then A=C. This means that if the premises are true and equal, then the conclusion must be true.

    1) There is a mathematical and physical relationship between all (a) matter and (b) frequency,

    2) There is a mathematical and physical relationship between all (b) frequency and (c) sound.

    3) Therefore, there is a mathematical and physical relationship between all (a) matter and (c) sound.

    By first order logic (the premises 1 and 2 are confirmed by all physics and chemistry to be true and equal) it can be shown that
    matter not only has a mathematical relationship to sound but a physical one as well. This proves that God did speak all things
    into existence; and the body of every living creature from bacteria to human, as all perform this process millions of times per
    day through their senses, is living proof.

    Samuel says that his document is the mathematical and empirical proof that the bible can and is compatible to and verifiable by science on levels that are only just now beginning to be recognized. The proof also answers dozens of other scientific, theological, and philosophical questions. Hunt says, “I’m not here to argue for evidence of this or that. It’s important, but that’s like putting God on trial and allowing people to believe whatever they want. My document proves the Genesis record as the only infallible scientific explanation for our origins.” According to Hunt, his 84-page document holds the missing factor in the quest to find the Grand Unified Theory of Science.

    http://scienceprovescreation.com/

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Betty…

    You are not making sense.

    But you ignore peoples responses and gallop forth to other assertions so quickly that I expect you to ignore anything I write in response.

    Unless you interact, I’m forced to conclude that you are not interested in anything we have to say.

    Have fun spamming Hemant’s site.

  • Darryl

    Dear Betty,

    You’re not very happy are you? Look at what your beliefs have done to you: you’re a raging, raving, argumentative spouter of ideas that have all come from others. You are not thinking for yourself. If I were a praying man, I’d pray for you.

  • Richard Wade

    I was going to clarify for Betty that evolution does not “say things are evolving up,” that it’s just about adaptation and change, but not necessarily improvement. It’s only people’s vanity that makes them think they’re the latest in a “vertical” process. The jury’s still out on whether or not big brains is a good idea in evolutionary terms, since all that extra gray matter seems to be used mostly for screwing up the environment and threatening our own extinction.

    But then I realized that Betty isn’t actually interacting with us. She is not responding to other’s comments, she’s just spouting a disjointed mix of scripture and scientific jargon.

    My troll-o-meter just went off the scale.

    Having learned the hard way about how to handle those, I’ll say no more.

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  • miller

    Walls of text and bible-quoting are two things that turn me off, so excuse me if I ignore all that.

    Back to the big bang stuff… to play God’s advocate (and this is what Mike C was saying), you could say that God is external to time, and in this context, saying God has always existed makes sense. If this were your line of thought, though, any mention of God “creating” or “acting” or anything like that is an incorrect anthropomorphism.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Not attempting to spam, but using reason . I could only be on a little at a time.

    Siamang wrote:

    Well by that logic, if there’s a God, there has to be a “Godder”.

    What is it?

    Answer: The Universe.

    God exists because the universe created it (using human minds to think up such a concept and name it God).

    “Before” the universe as we know it existed, there was no God.

    God always has been, always will be. We will never figure that one out, but if your hope is in His Son to save you, you will abide with Him forever, He will give you eternal life. Our feeble minds only know a small percent of anything. But God has made the door of salvation very low. He has confounded the wise.

    Also stated: The Universe predates God by billions and billions of years.

    Where do you get your information?

    Where is proof of evolution? Where are the millions of transitional fossil forms? All the ape-people have been debuned, and National Geographic has had to recant. The Bible says God created things after their own kinds: trees beget trees, people beget people, who are made in God’s image.

    Where does morality come from? the moral -Giver. Yet man chooses to rebel against God .

    People say “whatever you want to believe is okay. Every path to God is okay.” The God of the Bible-the one true God (Jesus) -says the road is narrow and few will find it. Broad is the path to destruction.

    We are all on death row. 10 out of 10 die. The Bible says the wages of sin is death. All of creation groans because of it.

    Have you opened up the Word of God and read it?

  • HappyNat

    Have you opened up the Word of God and read it?

    I assume you mean the bible? I did read it, in fact that helped complete my journey to become an atheist. thanks for asking!

  • Cary

    Isn’t it hard to think that there is NOT a God? I can’t imagine being an accident.
    I might as well have my fun then. I might as well rob my neighbor (they’ll never find out) and move to another state and live in luxury for the rest of my life. Why work? Why care?

    Here for nothing? It’s obvious that we are here for a purpose. God made us with a purpose. Our job on earth is to FIND that purpose. If you want to serve God, then you will please God and enter eternity with Him. If you want to serve yourself, your sins and your god, you will enter eternity that route.

    It’s actually really simple.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Isn’t it hard to think that there is NOT a God? I can’t imagine being an accident.

    Not an accident. Just nature. I’m the result of natural processes, no magic required. Nobody formed me from dust or a rib. Just biology and mommy and daddy doing what comes naturally.

    I might as well have my fun then. I might as well rob my neighbor (they’ll never find out) and move to another state and live in luxury for the rest of my life.

    Wait, so you admit that you’d rob your neighbor if it wasn’t for threat of Almighty punishment?

    That’s not morality, it’s just fear. You sound like a sociopath.

    I don’t rob my neighbor because I CARE about my neighbor. I have sympathy and love for my neighbor. If secretly I could rob him and nobody would know, I WOULD STILL KNOW, and so I don’t. Why? Because I’m a moral person.

    Why work?

    Because I like to, and because I need money to eat.

    Why care?

    Because I’m a good person, not because someone’s going to stick me in the ForeverFurnace if I disobey.

    Here for nothing? It’s obvious that we are here for a purpose.

    Obvious to you, maybe, because you’ve wrapped your whole life around a narrow set of beliefs. What a waste.

    God made us with a purpose.

    Sez you.

    Our job on earth is to FIND that purpose.

    According to those who claim to have found that purpose, the purpose seems to be telling other people what to do and how to live.

    If you want to serve God, then you will please God and enter eternity with Him.

    Ancient bullshit made up by the rich and powerful Romans to frighten and control the masses.

    If you want to serve yourself, your sins and your god, you will enter eternity that route.

    Ooooh scary. I’m so frightened of your imaginary hell.

    It’s actually really simple.

    Bullshit usually is.

  • Brett

    Thanks Betty & Cary- I just said the sinner’s prayer, and now I’m saved. Hallelujah!

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Betty,

    You didn’t answer me.
    If everything had a creator, what made God?

  • Richard Wade

    Siamang, thanks for that response to Cary. I’m so sick of those shallow characterizations of atheism and it’s supposed implications. Your line-by-line rebuttal was the best I’ve seen yet.

    It seems that for some (not all) Christians the first pre-requisite to being a Christian is to have a really low opinion of people. They seem to base their opinions of mankind on themselves. It’s tempting to think maybe it’s a good thing they believe the Great Smiter will kick their ass if they don’t behave, but I like to think that if they didn’t have Big Daddy over their heads, most of them could grow up, get beyond their childish level of morality and instead would do the right thing for the right thing’s sake.

    Then again, maybe I’m naively basing my opinion of mankind on myself.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Personally, I believe it takes infinitely more courage to do the right thing WITHOUT the threat of a God or a spirit terrorizing a person with eternal damnation. Choosing to commit yourself to a selfless cause, doing good when NOBODY is looking and willing to put your life at risk WITHOUT the benefit of eternal salvation is much more noble and much more difficult to do without a God.

    Believers have it easy because they live in fear. Atheists have it harder because we make the conscience decision to do good without expecting something in return.

    (Yes, I know how that last paragraph sounds, and I don’t care)

    Also, why should someone have to have the threat of fear put into them to do the right thing? If God is supposed to have created us with this morality at birth, as many Christians believe, why do they need encouragement to be good?

    Besides, the very fact that there are atheists who do good every day PROVES morality from a God is a farce because how could the atheists ever have done good at all without God? Heck, the very existence of atheists pretty much proves there is no God at all.

  • Ben

    After watching the clips and without not much brain power to understand science and your big eternity comments, I like to think about what God calls himself. “Love”. If we take love out of the equation, then we can throw God out. I am talking about the Christian God by the way, no others religions God calls himself that. Love is more than an attraction, it is inexplainable. My feelings of love towards my wife go beyond sex and reproduction, in fact I often wonder why I have this love for her, she doesn’t look super pretty in the morning, annoys me… a lot. But I still love her. Maybe someone can explain to me where love comes from and why we have this… For me it is simple, God is love and we are made in his image, therefore we love, Christian or not. Science cannot prove love to me. No equations, brain power, theories can explain it. A 1 year old baby understands love, where does that come from, it is more than instinct. I love sunsets, I love the beach, I love…… Do we learn to love?
    It seems to me that this debate is not discussing Gods existence but more (not everyone though I have to admit) on the hating of a God that has been distorted by his creation (especially so called Christians), which is sad, I found God by seeking him, not my parents, not my church, they failed me, I found him by seeking him, him alone, because if God is love, then thats huge.I have looked at some of the arguments about history and even the Bible and some of the crazy things that God did in there and I have answers. Some are too long to discuss right here, some are simple, but it started, the way Kirk started, by asking God are you real and guess what he proved himself. I challenge all of you to ask God, “Are you real, prove yourself?” Some may get hit by lightning (joke!!), others God may take his time to answer that question.
    If you want to comment on my post please do, but prove to me that you are loving with your remarks….

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    God calls into being that which did not exist. Romans 4:17 Everything that exists came into being by Christ. In Him is life. This life is the light of men. He became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1.

    Q!uote: Because I’m a good person, not because someone’s going to stick me in the ForeverFurnace if I disobey.

    What qualifies someone as good? Where do you draw the line? There has to be an absolute standard of goodness. That absolute standard is God alone.

    IF you’ve broken God’s Law, you are not a good person. God, as the just judge of the universe, cannot be corrupt! He must judge us all according to the same standard. We have all broken that Moral Law. Only One has kept it: Jesus Christ-fully God, fully man. He is the only One who was perfect, and he took on the wrath of God to pay the penalty for us, to redeem us from the curse of the Law-becoming a curse for us. God displayed Christ publicly as a propitiatory sacrifice to demonstrate His righteousness, so He might be just and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    I challenge all of you to ask God, “Are you real, prove yourself?”

    I’ve asked it too many times to count. I ask it in different ways every day. I’ve done this for decades with zero answer. Is that proof God doesn’t exist? I cannot say. But if He does exist, He has a different path in mind for me than the one you’ve chosen for yourself and the one you think I should choose.

    I’m happy for you, Ben, and all the wonderful things you have and enjoy in life. I’m happy you have a spiritual feeling that connects you to life and other people.

    I also feel love, and I enjoy life passionately.

    But just because you feel love and you associate that feeling with supernatural causes does not mean that the same is true for me, or SHOULD be. I would be a fool if I were to prescribe a set of beliefs for you, and say, “you MUST believe as I do”. I would be an idiot if I “challenged” you to give up your church, give up prayer, give up believing in God for a month or so because then the Truth would reveal itself to you and you’d be an atheist.

    I think it’s a little like love. What if I told you you married the wrong woman, and really you should marry a girl named Shirley?

    Beliefs don’t work like that, and my path is not your path. I do not for one moment think that doing any prescribed set of actions in a “challenge” can change someone’s beliefs, any more than you could make someone love someone else.

    Discussing ideas can be enlightening and fun, and can promote mutual understanding. But come on “just ask God to reveal Himself”? Did you think we hadn’t thought of that?

    Just because I don’t have the same beliefs you do doesn’t mean that I didn’t try to.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Betty,

    You didn’t answer me.
    If everything had a creator, what made God?

  • Cary

    I was trying to prove a point. Not saying I want to rob my neighbor, I’m just saying why wouldn’t we do immorial things if nothing matters? I know no matter what I say here you all will just insult me. That is okay. My intentions were not to insult any one else. If you watched the debate it’s obvious that the Christians were very loving in their approach. I’m sorry we can’t discuss things without being called an idiot and other names.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Not saying I want to rob my neighbor, I’m just saying why wouldn’t we do immorial things if nothing matters?

    Nobody said “nothing matters”. It is you who are saying that to an atheist nothing should matter.

    Get this right: Atheists care passionately. We have tremendous capacity for love, compassion, sympathy, humanity and caring.

    I’m growing sick of Christians coming here to insult us and say things don’t matter to us and we should rob our neighbors, based on their own misunderstanding of our beliefs. Sorry if my tone was brusque, but the hundredth or so time that someone asks you if you have any basis for your morality, it gets tiresome.

    I know no matter what I say here you all will just insult me.

    I found your question insulting. What if I went on a Christian website and asked “Hey, if you’re forgiven for sins, why don’t you go rape a kid and ask forgiveness from Jesus”? It’s an insulting question. It begins with an assumption of the amorality of the questionee. It begins by putting the questionee lower than the questioner, and on the defensive. It’s not a question seeking an answer, it’s a question seeking to make the questioner feel superior.

    My intentions were not to insult any one else.

    I accept that you didn’t intend any insult and I apologize if I reciprocated too harshly.

    If you watched the debate it’s obvious that the Christians were very loving in their approach.

    I haven’t seen it yet, but if Cameron and Comfort approached the subject with love then it would be quite a change from their past behavior regarding atheists. They were very rude to Hemant on their show and called him names and continued to attack him after he was off the air and couldn’t defend himself.

    Hemant is the Gandhi of atheists (a comment not based on his being Brown ;-)). He is a meek and gentle soul, polite to a fault. To have them be so awful and rude to him is testament to their smug superiority and breathtaking hubris.

    I’ll be very pleased to see this new side of Comfort and Cameron. Perhaps Hemant’s gentility has rubbed off on them.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Ben:

    What is love?

    There is a species of stork (maybe it’s a crane) that lives in Asia. When the birds mate, they mate for life. Is that love?

    In Yellowstone Park when Bison are being hunted by wolves, the bison will go out of their way to protect stray members of the heard. Is that love?

    Elephants often pause at the “grave” sites of their dead herd members. Is that love?

    When you see a great ape cradling its young and protecting it from all danger, is that love?

    If love is from God, then why do we see the same behavior from animals in the wild? If God is love, then it seems he has given this capacity to all creatures even though it is professed that love is unique only to humanity. Now some animals may have less of this desire than others – spiders and alligators are not exactly loving towards anything, but whales, humans and apes care very much about each other.

    Love, basically, is an product of evolution. We humans are very social creature and that ability to be social has been one of the main reasons why we have been so successful. The more we have evolved, the more powerful this emotion is felt for us. Love for each other keeps communities together because there is strength in numbers and love is the “glue” which holds our different societies together (unless the societies have different religions, then they hate each other).

    The thing about love, though, is that it is a very powerful emotion (hate is a close second on the top ten chart) and we do not have the ability to really control love (and that’s a good thing, I believe). But since our brains are designed to be curious we have a hard time processing this emotion. Love can take a hold of a person (love at first sight – I’ve felt that) and can even change a person (like when we act silly around the girl we love).

    Because of this power love has over pretty much every aspect of our lives, we deal with it better by giving it a supernatural explanation. It’s hard for us to deal with a force/emotion that can control us, we don’t really want to accept that it’s just a product of our evolution. Since love is felt towards other humans (though one could say they love their pet) we imagine it being the product of a God or spirit in our image. In other words, love is kind of a scary thing because of how strong an effect it has on us.

    So, if love is a product of evolution, does it make it any less important and powerful? No, of course not. Even if scientists were able to pin down the love gene in our DNA, we would still be as powerless as a person in the 13th century who believed it came from God to control it. We would still have the desire to protect our young from danger, we would still stay faithful to our spouse (though that doesn’t happen much anymore, unfortunately), we would still grieve over the loss of dead relatives and we would still lay down our lives for a cause we believed in.

    Possibly, when our species evolves again (evolution doesn’t quite work so quickly, I’m over simplifying) we will be better equipped to deal with love. Maybe the next species of intelligent humans will evolve away from the humans who kill in the name of love and will be better adapted to cope with such a powerful emotion. By then, we may no longer need to invent spirits living outside our realm of reason and experience to explain the things in our lives we are unable to control.

    NOTE: I wrote this comment about an hour ago, but for some reason it got lost when I submitted it (and it was better than this comment too). If that post should ever appear from computer limbo, please forgive my writing basically the same thing twice.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Dan Harlow said,

    May 9, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Personally, I believe it takes infinitely more courage to do the right thing WITHOUT the threat of a God or a spirit terrorizing a person with eternal damnation. Choosing to commit yourself to a selfless cause, doing good when NOBODY is looking and willing to put your life at risk WITHOUT the benefit of eternal salvation is much more noble and much more difficult to do without a God.

    Believers have it easy because they live in fear. Atheists have it harder because we make the conscience decision to do good without expecting something in return.

    (Yes, I know how that last paragraph sounds, and I don’t care)

    Also, why should someone have to have the threat of fear put into them to do the right thing? If God is supposed to have created us with this morality at birth, as many Christians believe, why do they need encouragement to be good?

    Besides, the very fact that there are atheists who do good every day PROVES morality from a God is a farce because how could the atheists ever have done good at all without God? Heck, the very existence of atheists pretty much proves there is no God at all.

    ———
    Anyone can do good things if they choose. But we don’t always choose to do so. How many of us have never lied? Lusted? Stolen? Coveted? Hated? Even if we’ve done good things, we’ve also done bad things. How many times a week have you lied? Or even considered it? To the murderer, the rapist thinks he’s good. To the rapist, the liar thinks he’s good. Again, comparing ourselves to others is not is what is required of us…but comparing us to an infinitely good God shows us we are not good–we love ourselves more than others-and we do not love God with all our heart. We justify ourselves, but God knows our hearts. God’s standard of goodness is God Himself-and that is who Jesus is. Jesus never sinned, Jesus loves God above all else, and Jesus loves humanity and died to redeem us. Can you see the love of God in the cross? What other person would do this for all of humanity? Would you? Would you do it for the murderer in jail? For the man who cheats on his wife? This is the other point brought up on the debate and we hear it a lot-God just forgives. THe love and forgiveness of God are tied up in blood-the life is in the blood. Sin so grieves God’s heart lifeblood is required to atone for it. Does that sound unreasonable and uncomprehensible? So does the cross-it is a stumbling block and an offense to the sinner-because in order to come to God, one must humble their heart. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. God has given us creation, science, prophecy, His Word, and His dear Son, and eyewitnesses–all to bring us to the cross of Christ. I have to ask, have you humbled your heart before Him?

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Siamang said,

    May 9, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    Betty,

    You didn’t answer me.
    If everything had a creator, what made God?

    God is I AM. If He is creator of creation, existing outside time and space, no one had to create Him. God is not matter, He doesn’t have flesh and bones. God is Spirit. God communicated His eternal-ness by His spoken Word and by speaking creation into existence.

    “He Himself gives to all life and breath, determines their appointed times and boundaries, that they should seek Him and findHim, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist. : Acts 17:26-28

    Take a breath. Where did it come from? Who causes your heart to beat til the day you die? Who set the earth in motion? Who tells the waves to come this far-and no farther? Who not only created–but sustains–all life on this earth? Who holds the earth in orbit? Who gives it rain and seasons?

    The fool has said in his heart–there is no God. God have mercy.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Betty:

    For many years I worked in a home that cared for developmentally disabled adults. These were men who were either wheelchair bound and had seizures, severely handicapped with CP or ravaged with bi-polar disorder.

    Also, as a child, my grandmother did the same work. I grew up around disabled adults and I learned first hand how society treats these people.

    Now, when I was working in the home, one of the guys was DEEPLY religious – a baptist from Kansas. For awhile, a nice Christian couple would take him to church every Sunday and bring him home. Problem was, when this man became manic, he would literally scream and shout in the name of God to anyone he thought was a sinner. He would curse people to hell for having long hair or smoking. In short, he was difficult to take into public.

    After awhile, the church the nice Christian couple were taking my man to decided he was too much of a nuisance and asked me to please find another church for him.

    I repeat – this “Child of Christ” was too much of a nuisance for the Christian Church to deal with. Sure, they prayed for him, but guess what – since God did not heal his illnesses, they threw him to the curb.

    Real classy.

    Since I needed to find another church for my friend (and keep in mind, Betty, I’m an atheist) I put up notices at churches asking people if they would be interested in helping with a difficult situation.

    Know how many people responded?

    ZERO!!!!!!

    That’s right, ZERO Christians felt like they had enough LOVE in their heart to care for this man. ZERO Christians had the amount of love for my friend as I, AN ATHEIST had for him. In fact, I took him to church for awhile when I was able to do so (as did some of the other people who worked with him).

    Now don’t tell me about absolute good. I’ve seen the absolute good your religion claims to be the keeper of and I’m not impressed at all.

    So when you say things like :

    Can you see the love of God in the cross? What other person would do this for all of humanity? Would you? Would you do it for the murderer in jail? For the man who cheats on his wife?

    I have to laugh at that.

    Now, how can atheist have more love in his heart for someone who wants to worship God than the people who go to the church where God is worshiped?

    In closing, I’ve seen enough Christian love to last me a lifetime and if it means having to burn in hell to get away from all the do-nothing, talk big Christians in heaven, I say GOOD because if I can go all of eternity without ever having to deal with these so-called Christians, it will be too soon.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Betty:

    By the way, the majority of people I worked with when caring for the mentally disabled were not Christians. Many were spiritual and though I would not call them atheists, they also were not Christians.

    I have allot of experience in this field of work, but I’ve never been able to figure out why so few Christians are drawn to the real work of helping humanity in this capacity.

    Can you maybe answer that one for me? I so hope it’s not because the disabled are some sort of painful reminder that God is not perfect.

    ++++

    As you can see, I am VERY emotional about this topic so I should add that I mean no disrespect towards Christians in general, even though I have said some nasty things here. It’s just that I worked with living, caring, loving human beings that most of society would rather forget or lock up or worse. These people need an advocate because many of them are unable to fully care for themselves.

    If Christ is really “alive”, I demand that he put more God loving Christians on the path of helping these people.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Betty wrote

    God is I AM.

    What the heck is that supposed to mean? That’s not even a sentence. Is that some kind of magic spell you chant? “God is I AM”? Ridiculous, That IS!

    If He is creator of creation, existing outside time and space, no one had to create Him.

    Wait… how come you get to say that your God didn’t need someone to make him, but I can’t say that the Universe didn’t need something to create it?

    You’re changing the rules to allow your “first cause” but disallow mine. Isn’t that cheating?

    God communicated His eternal-ness by His spoken Word and by speaking creation into existence.

    More magic spells. Why do you hide behind this chanted gobldeygook? Speak plain english.

    Take a breath. Where did it come from?

    ummm….. air?

    Who causes your heart to beat til the day you die?

    What ARE you talking about? Nobody is making my heart beat. I don’t have someone giving me CPR.

    Who set the earth in motion?

    This question doesn’t make sense. Nobody set the earth in motion. Why would you think a person moved the earth? Aren’t we beyond gods like Atlas moving the earth?

    Who tells the waves to come this far-and no farther?

    Um…. Poseidon? Okay, really, you’ve lost me with this witch-doctor stuff. Am I supposed to conclude that there’s an invisible magical being who put up breakwaters and levys?

    Who not only created–but sustains–all life on this earth?

    Nobody! That’s kind of the current big problem with the world, life is going extinct at a phenomenal rate because NOBODY’s minding the store.

    Who holds the earth in orbit?

    Nobody. I have a telescope. I can tell you without a doubt that nobody is holding the earth.

    Who gives it rain and seasons?

    Well, the magical pixies of course.

    This whole line of questioning doesn’t seem to have come from the 21st century. Invoking God for the very rain? What about Zeus for the thunder? Here in the 21st Century we understand things like rain and the seasons. We are no longer baffled by water falling from the sky and need to invoke rain spirits to explain it.

    The fool has said in his heart–there is no God. God have mercy.

    Don’t you have a statue to pose for somewhere?

    Yeah, so full of love. Great Christian you are.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Nobody! That’s kind of the current big problem with the world, life is going extinct at a phenomenal rate because NOBODY’s minding the store.

    Excellent point, Siamang!

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Dan,

    That is a terribly sad story. I don’t have anything to offer in the way of help, but perhaps a ministry could visit your facility.

    That’s great that you do that work. My wife worked with DD clients for awhile. She’s an atheist too. She loved the work and the clients, but disliked the facility. I think she saw that undervaluing first-hand.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Siamang:

    The events I talked about happened a few years ago and the gentleman in question has since passed away.

    I too have had a similar experience as your wife concerning the organization I worked for. We once had a “consumer” (that’s the term we used to describe the people receiving services) that was very overweight and had some social issues. He was a great kid and everyone liked him. He was lucky in that he lived in his own apartment and he had a job. Our job was to help him make better decisions about his hygiene, his weight and his social skills.

    Well, we started to make real progress after about a year but the place we worked for decided to restructure and provide less services for our friend. Myself and a lady who had been with the organization for many years were told that we were no longer needed and were reassigned.

    Reassigned!

    This guy was our friend. You don’t reassign friends!

    Needless to say, we were pissed and raised such a BIG STINK that when the dust settled and we had made no progress, we quit.

    It was the last straw for me, and I’ve heard many stories like this before too.

    Too often, the developmentally disabled are treated as products and not people. It’s forgotten that they are human beings with hopes and dreams just like you and me and even Betty.

    What’s worse is “well intentioned” people think it’s enough to “pray” for the disabled. Now that really pisses me off.

    Pray? Are you serious? How insulting!

    It’s insulting because A) the act of praying for the disabled assumes there is something wrong with them that needs fixing and B) it’s an excuse to not have to leave your house to do anything to actually help the disabled with the stuff they do need help with.

    Anyway, I’m sure your wife and other people she has worked with has similar stories. They are all sad stories too, unfortunately.

    I have to admit, me quitting was a tough decision because I knew I was doing some good but on the other hand I had taken such poor care of myself that I was mentally unable to do it anymore. I still feel bad about leaving. I still think about both the people I’ve been talking about here. Sometime I think I made a mistake, but other times I remember how hard it was too.

    I guess that’s why I get so mad at Christians who do nothing but preach and talk but never get their hands dirty. Somehow they think just spreading the word of God is enough and everything else in the world will take care of itself. But these Christians have no idea what the real world is all about (and I’m not talking about all Christians, so please look past my anger). They talk about love but have never really loved. They talk about God but they really worship a comfortable and convenient idol. They say they know God while millions of people around the world don’t even know what it’s like to eat food on a regular basis, or have the use of their limbs. What good is their God doing them?

    Does the Christian God have such low self esteem that he needs everyone preaching about him at the expense of millions dying?

    If I ever were to believe in a God, it sure as heck fire would not be that God.

  • Darryl

    Talk, talk, talk. It seems a few Christians have decided to try to talk us to death. Perhaps they feel it is their mission in life. Well, excuse me if I don’t engage your witless blathering by answering at length.

    You seem to love to regurgitate slogans and specious arguments that you’ve memorized, so here are some you might like: “Talk is cheap,” “Put your money where your mouth is,” and the less decorous “Put up or shut up.” I put to you the challenge that I have put to others who are, like you, blindly arrogant: show me your power. Show me your God. Work a miracle. Heal a cripple; give sight to the blind; turn water into wine; or strike me dead with a word. Search that holy book you say you believe and show me where it explains why no miracles occur today; why we never see God’s indisputable action in the physical universe. How is it that over the centuries everything that you Christians have warned was of the Devil turned out to have a natural explanation? You denied truths based upon your Bible only ultimately to have to admit you where wrong. Have you learned nothing? One by one your mysteries are evaporating as science and inquiry advance. Soon you’ll have none left. What then?

    You can put all this debating to bed with one simple, modest little miracle; one display of your God’s omnipotence. Schedule a date and time. You should have no problem getting full media coverage of such a news-making event.

    I’m waiting.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Betty:

    15.
    The First Law of Thermodynamics established (Genesis 2:1-2). The First Law states that the total quantity of energy and matter in the universe is a constant. One form of energy or matter may be converted into another, but the total quantity always remains the same. Therefore the creation is finished, exactly as God said way back in Genesis.
    Visit:
    Modern Scientific Discoveries Verify the Scriptures (Institute For Creation Research)

    ——————————————————————————–

    16.
    The first three verses of Genesis accurately express all known aspects of the creation (Genesis 1:1-3). Science expresses the universe in terms of: time, space, matter, and energy. In Genesis chapter one we read: “In the beginning (time) God created the heavens (space) and the earth (matter)…Then God said, “Let there be light (energy).” No other creation account agrees with the observable evidence.

    ——————————————————————————–
    17.
    The universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the biblical view that the universe had a beginning. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal. Science has proven them wrong, but the Bible correct.
    Visit:
    Modern Scientific Discoveries Verify the Scriptures (Institute For Creation Research)

    http://www.understandthetimes.org/101scientific.shtml

    Are you serious? Did you actually just cut and paste this as your answer?

    Unbelievable!

    Do you even know what any of the science is actually talking about anyway?

    See, this is why atheists have such a hard time with religion – especially Christianity – because of the canned responses. I mean, you didn’t even bother to interpret what you cut and pasted, you just posted it as if it were the same “truth” you find in the bible.

    Now I’m sure you study the bible and understand it to be the word of God, but do you also believe everything at http://www.understandthetimes.org/101scientific.shtml is also from God? Do you presume to believe that anything that has a fish symbol on it to be the undisputed word of God just like the Bible?

    Next time, if you really want to reach out to people, take the time to understand the material you are talking about. If, as often happens with many people, you get in over your head, admit you are in over your head.

    I’m sure if you’ve spent anytime on atheist sites like this one, you’ve seen that the people who actually know what they are talking about are the ones who get heard and are engaged in a friendly and thoughtful manner. It’s when people just spout off tidbits of things they don’t know anything about that the trouble starts.

    Many atheists (not all, but many) have taken the time to learn and understand the facts of science and then, when they talk about what they know, they are providing their take on the information. But you, Betty, you offer nothing personal, you only hand out empty cans of nuts which you believe to be full. We can’t take you seriously because we know you are not thinking for yourself.

    Atheists pride themselves on thinking for themselves – even God (in theory) wants people to think for themselves. That’s why He supposedly gave you free will. That’s why he supposedly planted the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of eden. Your God set you on a platform of which you have free will to fall off of.

    But you turn atheists off with these canned responses because we don’t want to be a part of something that strangles our ability to think for ourselves. We see people like you doing what you are doing and we remember that encounter as “something to avoid at all costs”.

    Nobody wants to be turned into a robot. Even your God does not want you to be a robot. He wants you to have a personal stake in His existence. He wants you to bring something of yourself to the table.

    I always hear that “God is creating an Army.” Well, Betty, I was in the military and I can tell you that no commander wants robots fighting for him, he NEEDS people who are capable of thinking for themselves because all the training in the world can’t prepare a person for every scenario. He may want you to work within a set of guidelines, but He does not want a robot.

  • Samantha

    Where in the world did Kirk get those photos of two different animals put together. Evolution is the mixing of alleles on genes to eventually create new species never one single organism. Evolution takes place because the envirnoment on the Earth is forever changing so orgainsim INCLUDING Homo Sapiens much change (evolve) or die. Evolution does exist and can be seen in new plant and animal species since so called creation of the Earth. One modern day evolved deadly virus is the flu virus H5N1 that has killed over 180 people already. Another very good example of evolution that has occurred over millions of years is that of the horse. It’s evolution tree is very complete.

  • Ben

    Darryl : When I was 7 I had meningitis, I was supposed to die, my church prayed for me, the next day I was fine, the doctors had no idea how I was fine? Miracle – Yes.
    I have seen many many miracles as I have traveled with my work (I am a missionary by the way), a paralyzed lady, prayed for, she was able to jump around. Unfortunately we live in he USA where Christianity has become dead, churches care more about the size of the building than faith and sacrifice. You will not see many miracles here in the USA, go to Africa the Middle East, China and other countries, they are living like the first Christian church, with only God to rely on. You see miracles every day. The Chinese church is growing at a massive rate, millions of Christians, Muslims all over the world are giving their life to Christ, South Korea went from 0 Christians to 50% in less than 100 years, Nepal has thousands coming to know God every day. Do not look to the American church as an example of Christianity, seriously. Unfortunately man is sinful by nature, I work now in the USA and like many missionaries who have traveled the world I am concerned for the US church. God has blessed the USA, despite its history, but like the promise to Abraham, we are blessed so we can be a blessing to those in need. The USA has neglected (somewhat) that command to us. But on that note ….

    Dan:
    Sorry for your experience with churches, they were wrong, I am truly sorry.
    But do not tell me Christians do nothing to help the poor and needy, go to Africa, Afghanistan anywhere where the Tsunami hit and it is Christian organizations that are helping to rebuild. Even look at New Orleans, I have been there 3 times since Katrina and its mostly the church and Christian organizations that are rebuilding that city. Time magazine ran an article on it recently if you don’t believe me. Look back over the past 200 years of groups that have helped the needy and you will see that it is Christian organizations that have helped. Barnados, Salvation army, then the many missionary organizations that are bringing relief work all over the world. The organization I work for has been asked in Thailand, Indonesia to be the main organizers of relief and rebuilding after the Tsunami. Why us, its because they know we care and love people. I know non Christian organizations help as well, but it frustrates me when I hear people say Christians don’t care. Bono!! A self professed Christian is leading the way in kicking the wests butt into shape about Aids in Africa. My organization is doing lots of work to help with that. Also we are funding water purifiers to help Africans have clean water. Love your neighbor, many Christians are obeying this commandment!! I wish more would, especially in the blessed western rich church!
    And to everyone who has posted comments on here saying they would never follow Christianity because of the example we as the church have been , that is a horrible reason too. I am a hypocrite, I work with hypocrites, Christians are hypocrites, we all know that. Some of my best friends are hypocrites. Does that mean I refuse to work with them. No. Jesus is the only person to look to as a true example of Christianity, look to him and his teaching, not the US Church who has largely turned their back on Christs teaching of sacrifice and love.

    Also Dan:
    Love, like many other things does not evolve (thats a whole other subject, creation science vs evolution), it is more than the instinctual actions of animals, but I do confess I don’t understand why animals behave in ways that can be loving. I would die for my wife so she could live, that is true love, a selfless love that would always put her before me (well I am trying to achieve this, but thats what my heart wants). Christ died for us so we wouldn’t have to, that is true love, like I said earlier, not sex, remorse or past memories. Your view of love is distorted by this world. True love is to lay down your life for someone else, nothing is greater than that. God is not a hateful God, he wants no one to go to Hell, thats why he selflessly died so we could have life. Somebody deny that that is not the most loving thing someone could do. Not an inch of hate. God is love not hate. Because of sin we choose to reject God, so it is our decision to go to hell to reject God, even though he made a way out for us. What an amazing God that would use mans decision to kill him as the way for us to be redeemed. Thats the kind of God that I follow not this hateful, vengeful God you speak of.

  • Samantha

    Evolution does not have a direction because climate does not have a direction (up, down, left, right NO). Climates on Earth change over time so alleles and genes (genetic information within all living organisms) have to change also. This is why species 1, 5, 10 , 25, 50, 100 etc. million years ago look different than their offspring of today. Here is a personal example: I when to a traveling civil war exhibition and I myself was surprised by how much people have grown in just 150 years. To see all the little furniture and know that the people (our ancestors) that lived just 150 years ago were shorter and smaller physically than us.

  • Darryl

    Dan,

    Don’t give me that it-happens-everywhere-but-here bullshit. If you had evidence of a single confirmed miracle, you’d be world-famous overnight and your picture would be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. Wanting miracles to be true is not the same as making true miracles. Come now, you can do better than this.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Ben:

    I am, of course, only speaking in generalities. I know for certain that there are many faith based groups who help millions around the world. Mike C, who often comments here is an excellent example of that fact.

    But, what is really being said here is that a Christian good is better than a non Christian good. It trivializes the good of people who do not believe in a Christian God.

    Let’s say that a Muslim group sent aid to New Orleans? Would their good be less good than a Christian charity?

    And really, what does it matter anyway? Who cares if the hungry are fed by an atheist, a Muslim or a Christian? As long as they get fed, everything else is semantics. Their hunger will be just as satisfied no matter who’s hand it is coming from.

    Now, you may say in response, “Well Dan, if it does not matter, than join the Christian fold.”

    But I would say that if I already don’t need God to lead me down the path of morality, then why take on the extra baggage? I have no desire to act from the vantage point of a possible eternal reward. I will do good because good needs doing, everything else is secondary.

    Now, as for your comment about my view of love being distorted by this world. You’re wrong. I have known great love and nobody can tell me my love is not as good as Christian love. That sort of statement drips with the implications that the love I have known is not as good, or strong or capable of driving me to lay down my life for what I love.

    I believe fully that you, Ben, have experienced great love and joy in your life just as I have. I believe that we both have been hypocritical. I believe we are more similar than different. I just choose not to believe in any God. Aside from that difference, how much different are we really?

    Too be honest, if I were God and I saw a person who did good and loved without thinking that it could bring him eternal life, I would want to spend eternity with them. I would have my doubts about people who may have lived their lives with their eye on the thought of eternal life.

    Really, if God does exist, he should have never offered any “evidence” of His existence at all. No Bible, no Jesus, no “miracles”, no “revealings”. He should have just “created” the universe and sat back to see who lived a life of virtue because the people who did good all the while thinking there was no good reason to do so, are the sort of people who can be counted on for all eternity.

    For example, if I owned a bank, I would want to hire people who I could trust when the security cameras were not working. I would not want to hire people that encouraged me to have to also buy security equipment.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Dan,

    Don’t give me that it-happens-everywhere-but-here bullshit. If you had evidence of a single confirmed miracle, you’d be world-famous overnight and your picture would be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. Wanting miracles to be true is not the same as making true miracles. Come now, you can do better than this.

    I’m not sure I have spoken about miracles. Did you mean this comment for Ben?

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Ben:

    Unfortunately we live in he USA where Christianity has become dead, churches care more about the size of the building than faith and sacrifice.

    If that is true, then how can any American atheist ever hope to “hear the word of God”? How can I know YOU are really preaching the true word of God?

    Really, how many “One True Gods” are there? How is anyone ever to know the difference? The Christian message is so convoluted, and sends so many mixed signals, that no rational person can tell the difference. Do I have to travel to China to find the true God now?

    And Christians wonder why atheism is growing at such a rapid pace.

    To be honest, Christianity had an easier time before the reformation. Since the reformation, no rational person can make up their mind who is right so they just choose not to believe.

    Anyway, I’ve also met good, decent Christians who I am sure would very much disagree with your statements.

  • Samantha

    Thank you Siamang and Dan Harlow for your comments. For years I thought I was alone in my rational beliefs, now I know that I am not. People can be very mean and unforgiving to anyone that is different. Most if not all Christains want to change everyone thoughts into believing the way they do while forgetting that everyone has different experiences and different environments to deal with. It is interesting that the native indegious tribes were the ones that survived the Asian Tsumani. They also had very little contact with outsiders.

  • Samantha

    Darryl said You can put all this debating to bed with one simple, modest little miracle; one display of your God’s omnipotence. Schedule a date and time. You should have no problem getting full media coverage of such a news-making event. I’m waiting.

    Especially in Florida.

  • Samantha

    The bible was not printed in its entirely. Did Jesus have a family? And even if Jesus tomb is ever found who will believe that it was his. So there is really no way to disprove or prove biblical historical accounts. Science on the other hand has a clear scientific method for disproving or laying the ground work for proving hypothesises (into well known facts).

  • Ben

    Dan – well I guess I am a liar then, thanks for that vote of confidence in my miraculous story, I have no reason to lie, just search for miracles in google and you will find many reports of miracles. The thing is God is not a magician, just doing everything we want him to do, if he did then they wouldn’t be miracles, just normal everyday events.

    I never said Christians do more good than non Christians, I was just saying that it frustrates me that everyone says Christians do nothing. That is BS, I was just trying to show that Christians do do good in this world and in fact do more than any one credits them for. Stop pulling the Christians are saying we are better than everyone else line, going back to my original post. We all know how to love because we are created in Gods image, all of us, not just the Christians, I totally acknowledge non Christians help others. You have had a bad experience of Christians, you know what I have had bad experiences of atheists treating me bad, but I don’t pull the all atheists are bad people line and we should never be an atheist because they are bad people. Come on seriously that argument sucks. For the same reason I don’t say Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists are wrong because some of them are bad people. No they and you are wrong in your beliefs simply because they are not the truth. The truth is God does exist and his son Jesus died on the cross, historically Jesus did exist and non Christian Jewish historians testify to that as well. That to you may sound harsh but it is nothing to do with you being a bad/good person. Lets not use people as reasons to believe something or not it doesn’t work.
    I do not do good so I can get into heaven, your understanding of Christianity is incorrect. My getting into heaven has nothing to do with good works, nothing, even nothing to do with the bad choices either. It is simply (yes Christianity is very simple) putting our trust in Jesus that he loved us so much that he died on the cross, took all of our sins so we wouldn’t have too. Now I know you will pull the line of then Christians can go out and sin, repent and still make it to heaven. No, Christ reminds us that we should still love our neighbors, not out of reward, but because simply that is a nice thing to do so we can all live in peace. The good that I do is simply because I want to be like Jesus and be nice to others because that is a good thing to do, the world would be a better place if we all listened to that teaching. Christians and non Christians can choose to ignore that teaching. To be honest though if Christ did die for us, that does require a response, just as much as if my best friend did do something amazing for me, my natural response would be, thanks and maybe I will listen to what you have to say in the future because you obviously care a lot for me.
    This is the difference between Christianity and ever other religion in the world, it is not good works that get us into heaven, paradise or nirvana. God knows we can never be perfect. The Christian message is not convoluted, it is simple, thats why God gave us the Bible so we can see the whole story of his redemption and what HE did for us not what we can do for him.
    Samantha.
    I live in Orlando, florida, if you want to come visit me and meet a bunch of people who can testify to miracles happening I invite you. I am not understanding your comments about the Bible though, sorry. Please expand on your thoughts on that.

  • HappyNat

    . . . God knows we can never be perfect.The Christian message is not convoluted, it is simple, thats why God gave us the Bible so we can see the whole story of his redemption and what HE did for us not what we can do for him.

    It is simple. As soon as we are born we are covered in sin from Adam and Eve. We must accept Jesus or we will burn in hell because the god of love set up the rules this way. The guilt and blood sacrifice in Christianity are just too much for me to take seriously.

  • Darryl

    Dan,

    I mistakenly put your name rather than Ben’s on that last comment. My apologies.
    And by the way, Ben, I am not indirectly calling you a liar by doubting your account of miracles. There is a separate explanation for why you would, and I assume you do, believe your own words, but it has nothing to do with evidence and verification. My challenge to you and yours still stands: show me your power.
    You might make a brief and rewarding study of that holy book you cherish so by examining all the passages in the N.T. that treat the subject of “power” (see also “grace,” where it is a synonym for power). Once you see the place of “power” among the founders of your religion, perhaps you will better understand the significance of my challenge, and the implications of the weak responses that you and others give to it.

  • Steelman

    Ben said to Dan: Dan – well I guess I am a liar then, thanks for that vote of confidence in my miraculous story, I have no reason to lie, just search for miracles in google and you will find many reports of miracles.

    You can also find many reports of UFO abductions, demonic possession, and the healing power of crystals sold on the Internet. Even so, I haven’t seen sufficient evidence for me to believe the veracity of any such reports. I wouldn’t call you a liar, Ben. I think you might be mistaken, though, like those who believe in the things I listed above. There are many ways people can be fooled into concluding that a supernatural (or extraterrestrial, as the case may be) event has occurred, when there is probably a natural, scientific explanation. The skepdic.com site has a lot of interesting information on how human beings can be fooled by misperception and false expectations.

    Beyond what may be a misunderstanding of the causes of seemingly miraculous events, there’s the fact that most religions, including primitive folk religions, claim that the invisible entities that they say exist also cause miracles. To me this means that even if supernatural miracles do occur, at least some, if not all, religions are incorrect in their explanations of the origins of said miracles.

    In short, science and reason inform me (and probably many of the atheists on this site) that Christianity and miracles (whatever they may be) are probably a case of correlation without causation. In other words, it’s true that a lot of people eat vegetables within 24 hours before having a car accident, but carrots don’t cause crashes. In relation to Christianity (or Islam, for instance): the personal benefits of a religion aren’t proof that its metaphysical claims are true.

    While I don’t’ agree with your reason (created in God’s image), I appreciate the fact that you recognize that non-believers can be just as loving, and do deeds that are just as good as those done by believers. Also, I agree that folks on both sides of the faith fence can sometimes, unfortunately, paint each other with a broad brush. I’m glad you’re out there helping those in need, Ben, but I hope you can understand why I don’t accept your religion.

  • Mriana

    Wait a minute, guys! Why are you all just looking at the Christian deity? Have you forgotten there is Allah, Vishnu, Buddha, and all the other little supernatural deities of other religions supposedly running around on the earth. Not to mention the non-theistic gods that are deistic, pantheistic, and panendeistic. I’m sorry, but no one is a fool if they say there is no god anymore than another is whatever word you chose if they believe in Vishnu or what have you and not the Christian god.

    God is a human concept and theism is only one concept of a deity. Theism and god are not the same thing. So, Christology has nothing to do with the topic, except those who asked for the silly debate are Christians. The debate is also a form of control and oppression via the Christians because they are attempting to impose their human concept of god on everyone via fear tactics.

    I can no more believe in a supernatural anthropomorphic god than I can believe in Zeus or Mithra. So, in that respect, I am atheistic. The view of a deity that is currently being promoted does not exist and I can not conceive of it.

  • Mriana

    That last post from me was for those apishlly thumping their Bibles, quoting verses from it, insisting their human concept of a “Christian” is the only god and is real, evolution this and that, and alike. Not to those who aren’t imposing a view of a deity on anyone. I’m sorry, but the Christian concept of god is only a human concept that can not and should not be imposed on others.

    But if you prefer to act like Chimps and thump your Bible….

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Dan, Jesus said that there would be hypocrites within the church–tares–pretenders–alongside true believers. I am familiar w/ the disabled-my Mom was not able to walk or talk the last 8 years of her life, and dealt w/ severe, debilitating, neorupathic pain. She would have seizures and pass out from the pain. We took her to Walmart, (where she passed out once driving her scooter). It was also prophecied that in the end times, there would be a great falling away from the faith, people’s love of God growing cold-selfish, etc.

    I can assure that Ray and Kir both give generously from time and money. Kirk sponsors a camp for terminally ill children called Camp Firefly. They both give to Children’s Hunger Fund. You can find more about them from links. Ray has personally given to me as well, as I suffered panic attacks similar to what he used to have. Does becoming a Christian make one immune from the world? Of course not. Does believing in Jesus automatically heal? No, but He can heal. Should we pray for the sick? Of course. We are told to pray without ceasing. One of the signs prophecied was that Messiah would heal many. Yet even when this happened, some would not believe.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Sorry about double post there:) .

    Quote: Really, if God does exist, he should have never offered any “evidence” of His existence at all. No Bible, no Jesus, no “miracles”, no “revealings”. He should have just “created” the universe and sat back to see who lived a life of virtue because the people who did good all the while thinking there was no good reason to do so, are the sort of people who can be counted on for all eternity.

    Actually, He didn’t have to create at all. Creation just shows His work.

    There is one God-who has, in His mercy, sent His Son , who has explained Him. (John 1) . All other religions worship idols. (Romans 1:18-

    To be good is to be morally excellent. No one is, but God alone. Though we do acts of kindness, and though we can love other, we do not meet the demands of the One who IS love: God Himself.

    “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts.” -Jesus

    A missionary once went to Africa to tell them about Jesus…when he got there, they didn’t WANT to hear about Jesus-because they loved their lives the way they were. Jesus said men love evil and darkness, refusing to come into the light, lest their deeds be exposed.

    Take an honest look at youself…honest..look. You have not been good all the time. Your heart is deceitful..

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Siamang and Dan,

    Would you like to talk w/ Ray or Kirk?

    :)

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    I doubt that would be fruitful. I can write you the entire script of everything Ray would say, we’ve heard it before: Ten commandments. Creation implies a creator. There’s no such thing as an atheist. If you lied you’re a liar. If you’ve looked at another person you’re an adulterer. If I’m wrong, nothing happens, but if I’m right and you’re judged by almighty God at judgement day, by your own admission you’re a lying, thieving, blaspheming adulterer, how should you be judged….

    That’s his telemarket script. That’s his high-pressure sales tactics that cares ZERO about who he’s talking to, or where they’ve been or what they’ve learned in their own path toward enlightenment.

    The truth is, Ray never, EVER changes what he says in response to a listener. He sticks with his patented, trademarked telemarketing script, and doesn’t stray. He shows zero desire to LISTEN to someone else. He shows zero desire to meet people where they are and attempt to understand them.

    All he does is follow his script.

    It’d be like trying to have a conversation with an automated call center. “If you have ever told a lie, Press One! If you’ve ever stolen, Press TWO!”

    The man’s a salesman. He produces slick videos with his friend Kirk, and they aren’t exactly cheap. 100 bucks a pop for the “basic course” in the Way of the Master.

    Wow, imagine if Jesus charged 20 scheckles a head for the Sermon on the Mount!

    And that’s the snake oil hyucksterism of Way of the Master. Ahh… the broad outline of the “Way” is free. But to really use these debate techniques, you need the full set of DVD’s…. and THEY ain’t free!

    Ray and Kirk make a living off of $elling $alvation. They are the money changers in the temple, preying on the pray-ers. If Ray gave a flip about actually saving souls, every single one of his videos would be free for download on Youtube.

    But no, he’s interested in slick production values… and those don’t come cheap. He’s starstruck about his buddy Kirk, and he wants to be a superstar.

    These two proclaim that the “Master” in the WOTM is Jesus. As if they’re using Jesus’ techniques (And Paris Hilton probably thinks she’s Helen of Troy). Ah, yes. I remember in the Bible where Jesus wore make-up and stood under studio lighting while high-quality video cameras went out with a crew on location to some pastoral lakeside or bay, then Jesus gave out the first episode for free as an infomercial for the whole set.

    Of course Ray charges for these videos. Gotta pay your crew somehow. Gotta sell the sizzle when you ain’t got no steak.

    Of course, he could just get a camcorder and put all of his masterful tips for evangelism for free on YouTube… probably far, far more souls could be saved that way.

    But that doesn’t line the money-changer’s pockets, now does it?

  • Ben

    Mriana:
    If this Christian religion that you so obviously hate was not imposed on me I would still be an alcoholic, sleeping around, doing drugs ruining my life, living selfishly. So for me personally I am glad it was imposed on me, very glad. Glad for this life and the next. I know some of you atheists will say that your life’s are fine without God, this is just my personal testimony that I hope will speak truth to those that are in the above positions.

    Steelman
    I was just trying to prove that their are many reports of miracles, thats all. Dan told me there were no news reports, I wanted to show him he was wrong in that area. Thats all. I do not have any way to prove they are true or not, just that. But my testimonies of healing are true, the doctors did not know how I was healed, I had meningitis bad, I was told I had 24 hours to live. The supernatural healing of my body can not be proven it was a miracle, thats the point. There is a spiritual realm, there has to be and just maybe that spiritual realm can be explained by Christianity.

    Siamang:
    Rays videos are for training for Christians, not for non Christians. If Christians want to learn better how to share their faith they can purchase these videos. If any non Christians buy them, whoops, I am sure they are a little confused by them. This is their job, so why not let them make money from it. We all have to live you know. Why are you so mad at them, your post is just not relevant to this discussion, you talk about us Christians and our hate speech but in your post you speak hate. If atheists are supposed to be more loving than us Christians, prove it. Whoops now I am being hateful, sorry, just trying to make a point. But on that point….

    Answer me this atheists, if we Christians are supposed to be the hateful ones in this world, why when I look back over this blog and watch the clips from the debate last night is it the atheists who are seething and speaking hateful words. I say again, why would I choose to be an atheists if it just creates such anger and bitterness towards Christians. If there is no God why are you even on this blog, surely you should live your lives happy. I know the answer to this for many of you, you have been hurt by Christians, the church or some other religion that you have mis appropriately connected to Christianity and for those I am deeply sorry and so is God, he weeps when we misrepresent him to the likes of you. But he is a redeeming God who even redeems our Christian failures, so I hope you can take this apology I extend and know that I am truely sorry for anything that has happened from a Christian or so called Christian.
    Don’t mean to get personal but I see those over and over again as I examine atheists and how they portray themselves. This just shows me, that Christians, atheists, Buddhists and everyone has a sinful hateful nature. We need help with that, thats why we need a savior.
    Man I am tired tonight, hope the above makes sense, but I am enjoying this blog, it is challenging to me and my faith but I hope also to yours.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Ben wrote:

    Rays videos are for training for Christians, not for non Christians.

    Ray’s videos are for Christians to turn more people into Christians. They are evangelism tools. Assuming they are good evangelism tools, if Ray gave them away for free, then there’d be more people saved, but less money in Ray’s pocket.

    Jesus gave away his teachings for free. Not Ray!

    This is their job, so why not let them make money from it. We all have to live you know.

    $elling $alvation. No better con in the book, because nobody asks for their money back if they don’t get into heaven!

    Why are you so mad at them,

    Because they were rude to Hemant. They called him names and attacked him after he was nice and polite and agreed to do their show. I think they’re two very rude people.

    If there is no God why are you even on this blog, surely you should live your lives happy.

    I hate to point this out to you, but this isn’t a Christian blog. It’s an atheist blog. It’s you who came here to seek us out, not the other way around. Why are you here?

    Answer me this atheists, if we Christians are supposed to be the hateful ones in this world, why when I look back over this blog and watch the clips from the debate last night is it the atheists who are seething and speaking hateful words.

    I never said that Christians were the hateful ones in this world. In fact, many Christians who have known me on this board for over a year would chime in that that’s the direct opposite of something that I’d say.

    You ask why atheists say hateful things on the video. Well, not being the people in question, I’m not in a position to defend them. Maybe they were abused by a priest. Maybe they grew up in fear of a vengeful phantom. A friend of mine was beaten often as a child because he didn’t believe in God. Who knows why people are angry?

    I know, that’s not you, and other Christians here would also say that God weeps at such things. But you have to take the ENTIRITY of human states and conditions and experiences if you say that your God and your beliefs are a one-size-fits-all deal. If you believe the world would be a wonderful place if every single person was a cookie-cutter, samethink, lockstep, 100% fundmentalist Jesusbot, well…

    I can’t agree with you there.

    So when people like Cameron and Comfort express such an idea, that everyone in the world is a big fuck up if they aren’t a smiling Camazotz Jesusbot, and they’re on a one way trip to the big Abu Ghraib in the ground to be anally raped by demons for all eternity… well, I smile and say, “Jesus loves you too, banana-boy.”

  • El

    WHILE I RESPECT RAY COMFORT AND KIRK CAMERON VERY MUCH, I DONT THINK THEY ARE QUALIFIED FOR THIS TYPE OF DEBATE. ANYONE EVER HEARD OF RAVI ZACHARIAS? ARGUABLY THE MOST BRILLIANT CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER TODAY. HE WOULD HAVE SINGLE HANDEDLY TAKEN ON BOTH OF THESE VERY AMATURE DEBATERS. I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DOWNLOAD SOME OF HIS MATERIAL AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. http://WWW.BETHINKING.ORG

  • Darryl

    Christian Philosopher
    Is that what you call one of them there oxymorons?

  • El

    *QUICK CHANGE* THAT LAST WEBSITE I POSTED IS GREAT, BUT TO GET RAVI’S REALLY GOOD MATERIAL (WHICH HE DOES A DEVASTATING JOB ON ATHEISM BY THE WAY) GO TO http://WWW.VERITAS.ORG AND JUST TYPE IN RAVI OR RAVI ZACHARIAS AT THE SEARCH. LISTEN TO “IS ATHEISM DEAD Q&A” WHICH IS RECORDED AT SOME UNIVERSITY AND SEE HOW HE DISMANTLES EVERY QUESTION THAT STUDENTS ASK. HE HAS MANY LECTURES WORTH INCLINING YOUR EAR TOWARD. HE IS VERY LOVING AND POLITE BY THE WAY, NOT LIKE THESE TWO ABSURD AND RUDE DEBATERS THAT YOU WATCHED ON NIGHTLINE.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    So he’s more polite than the rude namecallers Cameron and Comfort? I hope so.

    Is Zacharias the best arguer for God in the world? Because in the clip you talked about, he’s committing logical fallacy after logical fallacy.

    A skilled speaker, but utterly fallacious. Another Christian making unsupported allegations laced with hidden assumptions that merely convinces people who are already Christians that he’s a fountain of intellectually sound reasons to believe.

    Is Zacharias the very very best that God has?

  • El

    Well I’m glad that you listened to what, 15 minutes of it? I just posted that site up not long ago at all and you claim that he’s already commiting logical fallacies…after logical fallicies?? lol, how many can you commit in 15 mintues and still be requested to travel across the world speaking at various universites? I think you know who the rude people were and so I don’t even need to further comment on that.

    Why don’t you actually listen to an entire lecture and then offer a rebuttal, not just 15 minutes of one. Swallow your pride.

  • Darryl

    El,

    George Bush travels the world too, and he speaks to the widest possible audience: you think that makes him the best we’ve got?

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Siamang said,

    May 10, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    I doubt that would be fruitful. I can write you the entire script of everything Ray would say, we’ve heard it before: Ten commandments. Creation implies a creator. There’s no such thing as an atheist. If you lied you’re a liar. If you’ve looked at another person you’re an adulterer. If I’m wrong, nothing happens, but if I’m right and you’re judged by almighty God at judgement day, by your own admission you’re a lying, thieving, blaspheming adulterer, how should you be judged….

    That’s his telemarket script. That’s his high-pressure sales tactics that cares ZERO about who he’s talking to, or where they’ve been or what they’ve learned in their own path toward enlightenment.

    The truth is, Ray never, EVER changes what he says in response to a listener.

    ——————-

    That’s because the message is the same for everybody. God will judge justly–everyone according to the same standard. He won’t bend or change His Law.
    ————————————————————- He sticks with his patented, trademarked telemarketing script, and doesn’t stray. He shows zero desire to LISTEN to someone else.
    ———————————————–
    I didn’t see Ray interrupting, rather the lady who was mad about cancer…When did he not listen? He answered every question .
    ————————————————————-He shows zero desire to meet people where they are and attempt to understand them.

    All he does is follow his script.

    It’d be like trying to have a conversation with an automated call center. “If you have ever told a lie, Press One! If you’ve ever stolen, Press TWO!”

    The man’s a salesman. He produces slick videos with his friend Kirk, and they aren’t exactly cheap. 100 bucks a pop for the “basic course” in the Way of the Master.
    ———————————————————–
    Publication is not free. If you want a financial accountability report, write or call them. I think you’d be suprised. I could tell you more but don’t think you would listen….
    ———————————————————

    Wow, imagine if Jesus charged 20 scheckles a head for the Sermon on the Mount!

    And that’s the snake oil hyucksterism of Way of the Master. Ahh… the broad outline of the “Way” is free. But to really use these debate techniques, you need the full set of DVD’s…. and THEY ain’t free!
    ——————————————-

    Much of what is produced is free. Check the Living Waters site, and under Free Duplications.
    ————————————————————-

    Ray and Kirk make a living off of $elling $alvation. They are the money changers in the temple, preying on the pray-ers. If Ray gave a flip about actually saving souls, every single one of his videos would be free for download on Youtube.
    ————————————————————-

    Ray shares his faith daily. 2 % of American Christians actively share their faith. As I said before, Jesus said there would be true and false converts. True believers who believe there is a Hell will share their faith daily. Wouldn’t that make sense? True believers in persecuted countries are killed daily–about 300 a day. Go to http://www.persecution.com for more information. Why do you suppose there are no church buildings in Saudi Arabia? Yet believers still meet underground, many are persecuted. The discples were martyred -but not for an imaginary Jesus–one whom they ate and lived with-and saw resurrected-including the nailprints. Would you die for a phony?
    ———————————————————–
    But no, he’s interested in slick production values… and those don’t come cheap. He’s starstruck about his buddy Kirk, and he wants to be a superstar.

    These two proclaim that the “Master” in the WOTM is Jesus. As if they’re using Jesus’ techniques (And Paris Hilton probably thinks she’s Helen of Troy). Ah, yes. I remember in the Bible where Jesus wore make-up and stood under studio lighting while high-quality video cameras went out with a crew on location to some pastoral lakeside or bay, then Jesus gave out the first episode for free as an infomercial for the whole set.
    —————————————————
    What Ray is talking about is “law to the proud, grace to the humble.” That’s what Jesus did, and Paul, and Peter….
    The Gospel went out to millions on secular TV.
    ——————————————————

    Of course Ray charges for these videos. Gotta pay your crew somehow. Gotta sell the sizzle when you ain’t got no steak.

    Of course, he could just get a camcorder and put all of his masterful tips for evangelism for free on YouTube… probably far, far more souls could be saved that way.
    ——————————————————–
    Actually, they are free on http://www.godtube.com and some on youtube and google I believe as well.
    ——————————————————–

    But that doesn’t line the money-changer’s pockets, now does it?

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Also see: http://www.worldviewweekend.com for free videos.

    As far as Jesus and history, check out all the prophecies concerning Messiah.
    There are over 300 -they ALL came true. Could you say that about yourself–someone predicting your life–100′s of years before you were born?

    Isaiah 7:14 Messiah born of a virgin . Jesus was.
    Psalms 22:1-31 Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced, He would be mocked. Also Isaiah 50:6
    Psalm 35:19: -Messiah would be hated w/out reason. Also Psalm 69:21
    Isaiah 53:9- Buried with the rich
    Jeremiah 31:15-Massacre of the infants to try to kill the King of the Jews.
    Daniel 9:24-27 Time of His birth.
    Micah 5:1-5 Born in Bethlehem
    Zechariah 11:12- Messiah would be sold for 30 pices of silver

    Malachi: 3;3–our sins purged

    Isaiah 53: It pleased God to crush Him. He is pierced for our transgressions, by His stripes we are healed.
    ——————————————————-

    As Kirk said, maybe it’s because you WON”T come to Him to have life. Jesus said the same.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Quote: Because they were rude to Hemant. They called him names and attacked him after he was nice and polite and agreed to do their show. I think they’re two very rude people.

    What names, where and when?

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Way of the Master radio show. Hemant was a guest. They waited until he was off the air and then they layed into him, calling him a fool, etc. Attacking him after he was off the air, because they couldn’t say the worst stuff about him while he could defend himself.

    Of course that’s the standard WOTM trademark. They can call people fools and then they say “I didn’t call you a fool, the Bible did….”

    Well, my invisible friend Harvey the Rabbit thinks they’re a pair of arrogant opportunistic holier-than-thou egomaniacs.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Publication is not free. If you want a financial accountability report, write or call them. I think you’d be suprised. I could tell you more but don’t think you would listen….

    Dude. Camcorder. Youtube account.

    Bingo… FREE worldwide publishing.

    They could ask for donations at the end of the video. If they’re doing God’s work, God will provide.

    Did Jesus CHARGE 100 bucks a pop for the 6 dvd set for His lessons?

    NO!

  • Ben

    Who knows why people are angry?

    Evolution definitely doesn’t give us the answer now does it.

    If you believe the world would be a wonderful place if every single person was a cookie-cutter, samethink, lockstep, 100% fundmentalist Jesusbot, well…

    As apposed to what? This beautiful society we live in now? Got to say I would much rather live in a Christian environment than one that is completely void of God any day. Have been there and didn’t like it. Personally and in this world.

    and they’re on a one way trip to the big Abu Ghraib in the ground to be anally raped by demons for all eternity

    do you really think that us Christians and God want this for you? Sorry your very wrong their. You idea of God has been misunderstood. God did not create hell for us, it was for Satan and his fallen angels. That is a long subject not for right now as I need to sleep. Thanks for keeping up the good discussion.

    I hate to point this out to you, but this isn’t a Christian blog. It’s an atheist blog. It’s you who came here to seek us out, not the other way around. Why are you here?

    Cos I enjoy debate, but find it funny that you spend all this time arguing with people when you could be enjoying your happy God free life, but some urge inside you has you want to do this. My urge is compassion for your souls, what is yours, anger or fear, or just down right loving a good fight….

    Actually the above question is not just sarcasm, what is your reason for doing this? I agree some Christians are terrible, but 95% of Christians I hang around with are loving, compassionate, giving, respectful, awesome people. Maybe you should come hang out with my Jesusbot friends, you may enjoy it.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    El wrote

    Well I’m glad that you listened to what, 15 minutes of it? …

    Why don’t you actually listen to an entire lecture and then offer a rebuttal, not just 15 minutes of one. Swallow your pride.

    I plan to. But I just listened to a half hour sermon by someone named James R. White after someone here said that HE was an amazing apologist and while Cameron and Comfort were not nearly as good, White was the real deal.

    Sadly he wasn’t.

    I plan to give Zacharias a full listen, but he’s not getting off to a good start at all. I can only listen to one be-all-and-end-all of amazing proofs of God’s existence in a day. They tend to be long, drawn-out and utterly vacuous.

  • Jon

    I just want to bring up a couple of points that I have yet to hear a solid answer on from an evolutionist. When I say “solid”, I mean, an answer that makes any sense in the realm of logic. Shooting holes in evolution is easier than shooting holes through a barn from the inside with the door closed. I have brought these up on campuses from local community colleges to major universities such as Sydney University in Sydney, AU. Apparently post modernism has taken such root on campuses that the absurdity of what’s being held up as “science” is lost on them (professors and students alike).

    1. Give just one example of a transitional fossil. Just one. Darwin said that if his theory was correct there should be millions. However Darwinian evolutionists have yet to produce one. If you are going to mention archeopteryx (sp?) then please share with us what it was in its prior incarnation and what it was trying to become (genus and species).

    2. Give just one example in all of the realm of natural history where there has been an increase of information within a closed system. The historical theory of macro-evolution absolutely requires that living things somehow gain genetic information that they do not have, mysteriously, from within. Before answering, bear in mind that genetic mutations which result in some sort of change happen because of a loss of information and therefore do not count by definition.

    3. If you are going to be an evolutionist, why not insist on some empirical evidence (not just the study of the history of an idea)? If I am to believe this theory that we’re all the descendants of monkeys via a spark in soup, produced by an explosion in a vacuum, then it’s going to take some observable evidence. Otherwise, I have to think that it takes way more faith to be an evolutionist than it does to be a creationist, because honestly, being a creationist makes a lot more sense than these fairy tales.

    For example, if I were an evolutionist, before I tucked my kids in at night I would tell them of the current theory of the evolution of dolphins. “Long ago and far, far away there was a wolf walking on a beach by the ocean. As he gazed out into the murky depths, he had a strange longing, a biological urge as it were, to get back to his evolutionary roots. He thought to himself, ‘Oh, I just want to swim with the fishes, my long lost ancestors’ and he waded out into the water and tried to swim. He got caught up in the surf and the inevitable happened.”

    “What happened daddy? Did he drown?”

    “Yes, honey. He drowned. What he did not know is that he is a wolf and not a fish and because he did not have the necessary adaptations, he drowned and died.”

    “But how did we get dolphins if he died daddy?”

    “Oh, that’s easy sweetheart. The very next day another wolf, strangely enough, had the same longings. He thought, ‘I want to get back to my biological roots from whence I came’ and waded out into the surf.”

    “Did he grow flippers and swim?”

    “Well, um, no honey. That wolf died too.”

    “Then how did we get dolphins daddy?”

    “Eventually, after enough time had passed and many dozens, if not hundreds or even thousands of wolves died, one wolf finally made it. The lucky wolf, Flipper, picked his way over the bloated bodies of his cousins and the skeletons of his ancestors and nature found a way. Genetically the wolf gained the information he needed to get flippers, his nostrils transformed into a blow hole and he swam off into the sunset, flipping his little flippers in glee as he went. And he lived happily ever after, at least until a great white shark ate him for Sunday brunch.”

    “Wow, daddy. Do you think it hurt when his nostrils moved to the top of his head and his fur fell off?”

    “Well, I don’t know honey. I guess it might have.”

    “Daddy?”

    “Yes?”

    “Do you think Santa Claus’ reindeer are trying to evolve into birds and that’s why they can fly?”

    Folks, this is the kind of absurdity that you are forced into believing if you hold to Darwinian evolution. And it’s based on nothing but theory and not a shred of it is based on empirical, observable evidence.

    Am I biased? Absolutely. But I cannot help but think that the folks foisting this baloney on us are just as biased. The existence of God suggests accountability and that is what most atheists\agnostics find to be completely untenable, because for all intents and purposes, they are gods to themselves. They are not atheists. They are self-theists. They worship at the altar of their mirror every morning because, after all, they have all knowledge and are the sum total of billions of years of evolution.

    Blessings,

    Jon

  • Steelman

    Ben said: I was just trying to prove that their are many reports of miracles, thats all. Dan told me there were no news reports, I wanted to show him he was wrong in that area. Thats all. I do not have any way to prove they are true or not, just that.

    Actually, Darryl asked for “…evidence of a single confirmed miracle…” I take it he may have meant one that has withstood the rigors of modern scientific investigation, and was determined not to be trickery of some kind.

    But my testimonies of healing are true, the doctors did not know how I was healed, I had meningitis bad, I was told I had 24 hours to live. The supernatural healing of my body can not be proven it was a miracle, thats the point.

    What you say happened to you may indeed be unexplained. However, I think jumping to the conclusion that your healing was supernatural, and the result of praying to the Christian God, is unwarranted. For one thing, it would seem that the overwhelming majority of meningitis patients prayed over do not have miraculous recoveries. This says something about a mistaken belief in the cause of medical “miracles”, or something (not so complementary) about God. Also, everything I said in my other post to you about miracles stands.

    There is a spiritual realm, there has to be and just maybe that spiritual realm can be explained by Christianity.

    I don’t know if a “spiritual realm” exists or not, but I don’t see the necessity of one, however any given person or religion may characterise such a thing, in order to explain the universe or its workings. I think the real reason there are, as you said earlier, hardly any miracles in the U.S. is because we expect a “rational explanation” for extraordinary events. Yes, there are many who will jump to their favorite supernatural conclusions, but most of us understand the value of science (while perhaps not being especially literate in that regard!). Also, we’ve seen charlatans like Peter Popoff exposed, so we’re a little leery of miraculous claims I think, despite the TV coverage of every incident of pareidolia that shows believers doing silly things like worshiping the image of the Virgin Mary in a cheese sandwich.

  • Steelman

    Jon said: I just want to bring up a couple of points that I have yet to hear a solid answer on from an evolutionist. When I say “solid”, I mean, an answer that makes any sense in the realm of logic.

    You’ve read the current scientific literature written for the layperson, or spent time on sites like The Pandas Thumb, and haven’t gotten any decent answers? I’m no expert on evolution, but here are a few answers off the top of my head.

    1. Give just one example of a transitional fossil. Just one.

    Since multiple links can delay a post, Google: talk origins transitional fossils, then follow that link to the Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ; it should explain a lot.

    2. Give just one example in all of the realm of natural history where there has been an increase of information within a closed system. [...] Before answering, bear in mind that genetic mutations which result in some sort of change happen because of a loss of information and therefore do not count by definition.

    Not at all. Google: gene duplication.
    BTW, you’re alluding, I think, to the specious thermodynamics argument about closed systems. Earth isn’t a closed system; there’s a nuclear fireball about 93 million miles out showering the planet with an incredible amount of energy. Most of it is “wasted”, but there’s more than enough hitting the Earth to sustain life and power evolution.

    3. If you are going to be an evolutionist, why not insist on some empirical evidence (not just the study of the history of an idea)? If I am to believe this theory that we’re all the descendants of monkeys via a spark in soup, produced by an explosion in a vacuum, then it’s going to take some observable evidence.

    See above. Also, you’re conflating the theory of evolution (well established through empirical evidence, and in agreement with the empirical evidence from the other branches of science) with biogenesis and cosmology. You might want to take things one at a time in order to gain a better understanding.

    Otherwise, I have to think that it takes way more faith to be an evolutionist than it does to be a creationist, because honestly, being a creationist makes a lot more sense than these fairy tales.

    I assume you’re a Christian? You might want check out two books written by scientists who are also Christians:
    Finding Darwin’s God by Kenneth Miller
    The Language of God by Francis Collins

    BTW, Francis Collins is the head of the Human Genome Research Institute and a member of the American Scientific Affiliation. That last organisation is composed of scientists who are all Christians.

    For example, if I were an evolutionist, before I tucked my kids in at night I would tell them of the current theory of the evolution of dolphins.

    Oops, I think you might want to read up on evolutionary biology; you’ve got some things turned around there…

    Folks, this is the kind of absurdity that you are forced into believing if you hold to Darwinian evolution. And it’s based on nothing but theory and not a shred of it is based on empirical, observable evidence.

    You need to look at epidemiology for information on how viruses and bacteria evolve. They have a very rapid life cycle compared to larger organisms, so their evolution can be observed in action.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Jon,

    Your complete misunderstanding of evolution just is more proof of the wrongness of your belief system and the obvious fear that people have of any scientific knowlege that they think threatens that.

    Do you really think evolution has a wolf morphing magically into a dolphin?

    Because if that’s what you think evolution proposes, that is the most phenomenally wrong misunderstanding of evolution that I’ve ever heard.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    El said,

    May 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    WHILE I RESPECT RAY COMFORT AND KIRK CAMERON VERY MUCH, I DONT THINK THEY ARE QUALIFIED FOR THIS TYPE OF DEBATE. ANYONE EVER HEARD OF RAVI ZACHARIAS? ARGUABLY THE MOST BRILLIANT CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHER TODAY. HE WOULD HAVE SINGLE HANDEDLY TAKEN ON BOTH OF THESE VERY AMATURE DEBATERS. I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DOWNLOAD SOME OF HIS MATERIAL AND SEE FOR YOURSELF. http://www.BETHINKING.ORG

    http://www.wayofthemaster.com/btc.shtml

    Ravi recommends Way of the Master as well :)

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Siamang said,

    May 10, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    Way of the Master radio show. Hemant was a guest. They waited until he was off the air and then they layed into him, calling him a fool, etc. Attacking him after he was off the air, because they couldn’t say the worst stuff about him while he could defend himself.

    Of course that’s the standard WOTM trademark. They can call people fools and then they say “I didn’t call you a fool, the Bible did….”

    Well, my invisible friend Harvey the Rabbit thinks they’re a pair of arrogant opportunistic holier-than-thou egomaniacs.

    You mean this video? http://wayofthemasterradio.com/
    Looks like Brian has an agenda to help along the murder of 4,000 babies a day in America. And who’s the angry one speaking here?? No doctor has said there is medical necessity to slaughter these innocent thousands–daily.
    ——————————-

    “Sitting through Mel Gibson’s latest film Apocalypto is not easy. It’s unrelentingly brutal. While I cannot in good conscience recommend the movie outright, Apocalypto hit me in a profoundly personal way. As I watched scene after scene of frenzied human sacrifice I had a sickening sense of deja vu. I had seen it all before. I felt as if I was staring America in the face.

    I have watched mothers and fathers and their family members and companions carry their infants to sacrifice. They carry snacks and pillows and books and pajamas. They laugh. They smoke. They eat. They sing. They sit on each others laps. They make-out.

    I have even seen young mothers dance as they waited for their name to be called. They say they feel empowered by the murder of innocents. I have also seen people from the National Organization for Women joking and playing music and gyrating as they led the pregnant women in for the slaughter of their babies. For many of the women I meet this is the second or third child they have dismembered alive. Some of the women are pregnant with twins. One mother sacrificed 19 of her sons and daughters. Quite a few of the babies survive the sacrifice, only to be drowned or suffocated or left to perish by the executioners. You see, I have been reaching out to women and men who are killing their infants by abortion in Orlando for 14 years.

    Peter Kreeft wrote a book about the murder of children by abortion in America. He writes:

    “About 500 years ago, a strikingly similar culture of death reigned in Aztec Mexico. Some historians estimate that one out of every three children . . . were ritually sacrificed to their bloodthirsty and demanding god. . . exactly the same proportion of children conceived in America who are aborted today.”

    William Tsamis observes the similarities between the culture of death that is so graphically depicted in Apocalypto:

    “Ironically, though, despite the rivers of blood that would flow from their sacrificial temples, the Aztecs regarded themselves as a gentle, environmentally conscious people, much like contemporary Western man…. we also engage in the systematic mutilation and destruction of developing human life. We develop gross, barbaric procedures such as the D & X abortion procedure (Partial-Birth Abortion) and we have no reservations regarding the wholesale slaughter of innocent human life.”

    The fact that Americans and the American church has not only tolerated the shedding of the blood of infants,
    but have grown accustomed to the barbaric and ritual slaughter of human sacrifice in the shadow of a thousand steeples should give us pause. Who is it that is the murderer from the beginning? It is an ambush.

    The poster for Apocalypto has these words:

    When the end comes, not everyone is ready to go.

    God has been patient.
    He watched our nation institute human sacrifice.
    Jesus sees over 1 million infant boys and girls murdered annually.
    On January 22, 2007 it will be 34 years of state sanctioned human sacrifice in America.
    We must look to ourselves when we view Gibson’s film.
    It is all so eerily familiar.
    The culture of death that is so graphically depicted …is Orlando.
    It is America.

    Apocalypto Now. ”

    Patte Smith
    Sanctuary Ministries
    http://www.sanctuaryministries.blogspot.com
    http://www.thegreatnewsorlando.com/

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    The ate term abortion process is where they rip the baby apart and pull her out piece by piece. The whole thing is like illegalizing beating your wife by throwing bricks at her, while keeping it legal to beat her with a baseball bat or a chair. It’s just ridiculous.

    Each baby butchered at the hands of abortionists comes out equally dead, regardless of the procedure used. That, my friends, is the problem. America needs to repent of the sin of abortion in its totality…not just the “procedure” that happens to sound the most gruesome.

    Abortion being legal does not make it right. It was legal just 3 generations ago to own black people; it was legal to lynch them. Was it right? Absolutely not. In Germany, just decades ago, it was legal to murder Jews. Was it right? Absolutely not. In both situations, it was because black and jews, respectively, were seen as sub-human that they were “allowed” the be slaughtered. Why is abortion legal? Because unborn babies are seen as less human. That’s why the government sanctions their slaughter. Is it right? Absolutely not.

    Women should not have any right to murder their children. The concept of abortion being constitutional due to right to privacy is absolutely ludicrous. The idea that it should be legal to protect women from back alley abortions is equally ludicrous. Why should murderers be safer while they murder? Maybe we should have little buildings all across town for moms to bring their 2 and 3 year olds into when they get stressed and don’t feel like they are ready to be a Mom, so they can pay someone to kill them. It’s no different. Abortion is this country’s sacred cow. People know it’s wrong; the conscience of every individual bears witness to that, until it becomes seared. And yet, because it’s not “politically correct” to speak out against, people don’t. They are cowards.

    Abortion will not end until the hearts of Americans are changed by a Holy God. The hearts of Americans will not be changed by a Holy God until the hearts of professing Christians are changed by a Holy God. As David said, “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” It is only when people who profess to know God actually KNOW Him, and live in obedience to His command to preach the gospel to EVERY creature that people will be saved. Revival has to start in the churches, just as the cleansing in Ezekiel started in the temples. Until people fear God and preach repentance in His name (as Christ commanded) to those who are perishing, the slaughter of innocent children will continue in this country.

    “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness…”


    Galatians 1:10 “…if I still pleased man, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
    http://pottersclay110.blogspot.com

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    sorry, that is supposed to say “late term” not “ate term”

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    If you really want to find out what abortion does , click here:

    http://abortionno.org/

    “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”- God

  • HappyNat

    Jesus christ when did this turn into an abortion thread?

    Jon, your understanding of evolution is an insult to the word understanding. Your questions have been answered many times, including above. If you can’t comprehend the answers it is either because you can’t or you won’t let yourself.

  • Mriana

    Mriana:
    If this Christian religion that you so obviously hate was not imposed on me I would still be an alcoholic, sleeping around, doing drugs ruining my life, living selfishly. So for me personally I am glad it was imposed on me, very glad. Glad for this life and the next. I know some of you atheists will say that your life’s are fine without God, this is just my personal testimony that I hope will speak truth to those that are in the above positions.

    Ben, I don’t hate Christianity, but it is not the answer for everyone. I also do not like lay people preaching to others in an effort to convert them.

    What I do hate, besides the preaching, is the behaviour of so many Christians, like the one being displayed here, religous dogma, and the imposing, controlling and oppressiveness of religion.

    I’m very happy for you that Christianity helped you with alcoholism and everything else, but for me it was becoming a Humanist that helped me completely recover from Anorexia. It was religion that kept me, as a child in an abusive home, until my mother woke up and got me out of the situation by divorcing the man, but it took me as a 14 y.o. to make a call for help. I spent most of my life feeling guilty because my personal religous ideas never did comform to Christian ideas, thanks to the behaviour of humans. There are more behaviours that turn me off, but it was those behaviours holding me down as a human being. It became a vicious cycle much like Luther before he started the reformation- look him up, he was very self-depreciating and self-loathing until he stood up for himself and said he was not going to take it from the Catholic church. Buddha went through similar self-whipping issues too until he dropped Hinduism and started Buddhism.

    OK so this does not say much for being an apostate to you, but I have better myself and helped others by leaving those things that were oppressing for me. For me, religion only brings misery to others and I have seen not just for/to me, but to others. Nawal El Saadawi, is another who complains of religion being oppressive and controlling. Currently the Muslim community wants her sentence to death because of her thoughts and alike. Gays are being persecuted and discriminated against by the church with the use of the Bible, much like people did years ago to keep slavery and segregation going. The Bible and Qu’ran is also used to oppress women. The list goes on and on of people oppressed and controlled by religion and they are miserable because of it.

    However, you mistake my comments for being an atheist. I’m a non-theist. I won’t go into explaining it again, but there is no supernatural anthropomorphic god holding up the earth. *rollinge eyes* That reincarnated Zeus does not exist. No, I believe in a more natural “god” that is part of everything and everyone on earth and the universe and it’s much like the wind.

    I believe it is humans who make this planet heaven or hell, beyond that, this is it and all we can know. In most cases, barring natural things like weather, it is humans, not a deity who do the cruel things here on earth and it is humans who can change it. I’ve always believed this, but for me religious dogma is not the solution because it just brings battles, hatred, control, oppression, imposing attitudes, and cruelity. Look closely and you can see some of it happening in this thread and IT’S THE HUMANS WHO ARE DOING ALL OF THIS, based on their ideology. Not a deity.

    I do not see anything truly rational about any of this. However, I may not love the Bible like Spong and Price, but I do see some things useful, like that Good Samaritian story. Like Karen Armstrong, if there is something I can appreciate about religious texts, I keep it, but this is not in keeping with what is useful in religion. I do not point out these things in expectation of self-gratitude, not for fear of punishment or reward, but rather to help people see what they are doing to others. The God Samaritian did what he did from the heart too, without thinking about the consequences and so far that consequences I am receiving is hatred for pointing these things out to people because they don’t want to hear it. It seems people take pleasure in harming others.

    What is happening here is the imposing of ideology on others. It is being forced on others in a effort to control others, not to help others. People are being hit over the head with ideology in an effort to say, “Christianity is the only right religion and you’d better believe it or else.” The “or else” is not wrath of a deity, but of humans. The attempt for control and oppression is not coming from any deity, but from humans. I’m sorry, but the Bible was not written by a god, but by humans, just as the Qu’ran and other holy texts were written by humans, not some supernatural being. If the dr who took care of my younger son and me believed some of this stuff about an unborn child, one or both of us might not be here right now. Luckily, we are both here and can celebrate life, but if things had turned for the VERY worst, one of us would not be here right now.

    I’m glad that religion has helped you, but it does not help everyone and should not be imposed on anyone, just because it was imposed on you. IMHO, it is not right to do what has been done to you to others, because it is not always appreciated or helpful for various reasons, not necessarily hatred and I am truly sorry you have misinterpreted my actions as hatred. Sometimes, religion, esp religious dogma, does more harm than good.

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Jesus christ when did this turn into an abortion thread?

    They all do eventually. Either an abortion thread, an evolution thread or a Nazi thread.

    Ben wrote:

    Cos I enjoy debate, but find it funny that you spend all this time arguing with people when you could be enjoying your happy God free life, but some urge inside you has you want to do this. My urge is compassion for your souls, what is yours, anger or fear, or just down right loving a good fight….

    Actually the above question is not just sarcasm, what is your reason for doing this?

    If you visit the website linked to my name, you can find my whole story, including my reason for doing this.

    I’m not here to argue. I’m here to better my opinion of Christians.

    My mother and stepfather have just moved local to me after a long absense. During that time they have gotten a lot more religious. They are now going to be a big part of my life and my daughter’s life.

    In the same time, I’ve gone from being a religious person to being an atheist. The only post-atheism interactions with Christians I have had were overwhelmingly negative. And to be honest, my mother and stepfather, as wonderful and loving people as they are, are bull-headed and do not discuss things dispassionately very well.

    So I’m at off-the-map.org to learn how to talk to Christians without the discussion devolving into… well, a screaming match where one side calls the others babykillers and the other calls the one names like Jesusbots.

    And you can see I’ve actually done that to you. And I apologize for that. I can see that discussions here have taken a sharp turn for the worse since Hemant started running articles about Comfort and Cameron, and their fanbase has arrived.

    On Off-the-Map, I found a community of Christians I am very proud to know. They are kind, loving, very thoughtful and very articulate people with a great deal of charity in their hearts. They speak with love, not with anger. They come to lift up other people, not condemn them. I’m sure some, if not all of them would be happy if I said tomorrow that I was becoming a Christian, and to tell the honest truth, these folks have come much closer to making me want to be a Christian than any of the rancorous, namecalling, $alvation $ellers like Comfort ever did.

    These people have taught me that Christians can follow Christ and, well, basically not be assholes about it. And I can talk to them and not be an asshole as well.

    Sadly, interactions here of late have put me in the company of the very type of argumentitive badgering “I’m right and everyone who disagrees with me can burn in Hell” type of conversation I was trying to get away from.

    So I’m bowing out of these conversations for now.

    Anyway, thank you for asking the question and reminding me why I’m here. This conversation had gotten away from me. I have no illusions about you, you’d probably sneer at the type of Christians that are my friends… probably too liberal for you.

    But I’ve learned and I’ve grown as a person by my interaction with them. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to have a civil, decent conversation with my parents about having different beliefs from them.

    I know you think I’m going to hell. I want you to know that while I consider that a hateful thought you hold in your mind, I don’t blame you for it. I forgive you.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    I brought up abortion because Brian himself brought it up in the video on http://www.wayofthemasterradio.com

    Mriana said,

    May 11, 2007 at 10:37 am
    . Nawal El Saadawi, is another who complains of religion being oppressive and controlling. Currently the Muslim community wants her sentence to death because of her thoughts and alike.

    She is not the only one under Sharia. Women are considered less intelligent in Islam, and considered property. They can be beaten according to Islam. Islam says it will rule either by submission or violence. It is idolatry. THere is one God. Allah teaches a false Jesus.

    Gays are being persecuted and discriminated against by the church with the use of the Bible, much like people did years ago to keep slavery and segregation going.
    —————————————————————-
    People have done all kinds of evil in the name of religion. The God of the Bible says from one man God made all mankind, and they are all made in His image. They are all born with a conscience. The God of Heaven is keeping watch on the evil and the good. He will render to all according to their deeds. No ne will get away with anything-everything will be laid bare before His eyes. Because He is good-He will judge everone according to the same standard-His. His Standard says if you even look with lust, you’ve already committed adultery in your heart. If you hate your brother, you’ve committed murder. Sins of the body-lust, homosexuality, fornication-are against His Law. But so is lying, coveting, idolatry. The soul that sins it shall die. God says those things are wrong, not man. God is the moral-giver. He would be a corrupt God if He did not uphold what He has declared. Out of the heart comes evil-Mark 7:21

    If I were to ask you what is right and wrong, you would give me an answer different than what the God of the Bible gives–because man wants to justify himself. But God knows the heart, and He’s given you a conscience as a warning sign, and His Word to clarify the truth to you.
    ———————————————–
    The Bible and Qu’ran is also used to oppress women. The list goes on and on of people oppressed and controlled by religion and they are miserable because of it.

    However, you mistake my comments for being an atheist. I’m a non-theist. I won’t go into explaining it again, but there is no supernatural anthropomorphic god holding up the earth. *rollinge eyes* That reincarnated Zeus does not exist. No, I believe in a more natural “god” that is part of everything and everyone on earth and the universe and it’s much like the wind.

    ——————-
    Where do you get your information? Again, there are thousands more manuscript of the Bible than any other book ever written. Creation is evidence of God. So is your conscience. So is His Word.
    ___________________________________

    I do not see anything truly rational about any of this. However, I may not love the Bible like Spong and Price, but I do see some things useful, like that Good Samaritian story.

    What is the greatest commandment? Jesus was asked, He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The man asking a question before this story thought he was self-righteous– a good person. In the story, Jesus revealed he was not. To love your neighbor as yourself is not to hate your enemies, but to love all.(the Samaritans were “half-breeds” and the Jews avoided them) He also revealed the Pharisee and the priest as a hypocrite in the story, (who went on the other side of the road) Thus, he was showing the man asking the question that he indeed had not kept the royal law: love your neighbor as yourself. And on that point, if we love our neighbor as ourselves, we not only are kind to them, but we share the truth with them. Jesus said we would be persecuted for righteousness sake. What is righeousness? Being made right w/ God-through His Son. The Bible says men hate God without a cause. THe Cross is a stumbling block because man must humble himself and admit he is in need of a Savior. All of us.
    —————————————————–

    Like Karen Armstrong, if there is something I can appreciate about religious texts, I keep it, but this is not in keeping with what is useful in religion. I do not point out these things in expectation of self-gratitude, not for fear of punishment or reward, but rather to help people see what they are doing to others. The God Samaritian did what he did from the heart too, without thinking about the consequences and so far that consequences I am receiving is hatred for pointing these things out to people because they don’t want to hear it. It seems people take pleasure in harming others.

    What is happening here is the imposing of ideology on others. It is being forced on others in a effort to control others, not to help others. People are being hit over the head with ideology in an effort to say, “Christianity is the only right religion and you’d better believe it or else.”

    ——————————–

    Jesus made the claim Himself that He is the only way to the Father. They loved Him for it. (I’m being sarcastic). Again, the religious leaders of the day sought to put Him to death over His claims and for His authority. THey (like men of today in religion) try to make up their own path or standard to God. They bent the Law of God-Jesus straightened it, and filled up the Law. Therefore He was able to meet the demands of the Law and in His mercy, became a sustitutionary atonement for our sins. Oh how I pray you understand that! The love of God is always seen in the cross.

    ———————————————
    The “or else” is not wrath of a deity, but of humans. The attempt for control and oppression is not coming from any deity, but from humans. I’m sorry, but the Bible was not written by a god, but by humans, just as the Qu’ran and other holy texts were written by humans, not some supernatural being.
    ——————————————————

    God wrote it by the Spirit. Men were his instruments. The pen.

    If the dr who took care of my younger son and me believed some of this stuff about an unborn child, one or both of us might not be here right now. Luckily, we are both here and can celebrate life, but if things had turned for the VERY worst, one of us would not be here right now.

    I’m glad that religion has helped you, but it does not help everyone and should not be imposed on anyone,

    ————————————–

    God does not impose Himself on you. You must humble your heart to receive His grace. God resists the proud.
    ———————————————————-

  • Logos

    WOO, people have gotten hot around the collar here lately!!!

  • Mriana

    If I were to ask you what is right and wrong, you would give me an answer different than what the God of the Bible gives–because man wants to justify himself. But God knows the heart, and He’s given you a conscience as a warning sign, and His Word to clarify the truth to you.

    Betty, there is no devine intervention happening here. It is humans v. humans. You seem to forget, and very conviently because the church leaders tell you differently, that the Bible is written by humans, not a divine being. Christianity doesn’t have a corner on anything.

    What you quote about “love thy neighbour” being a commandment is the Golden Rule found in many holy texts, not just Christianity. The Lord is a jealous god and doesn’t want any other gods before him, so obviously there must be more than one. Personally, I don’t want to serve a jealous god that oppresses the people He supposedly created- like gays for example. BTW, I get my info on slavery from the Bible and History books. The Bible was used for that purpose.

    The love of God is always seen in the cross.

    How barbaric. I would hope humans would grow beyond such evolved Mithra myths (from Rome before it became all powerful and converted to Christianity). In the words of Bishop John Shelby Spong, “Jesus did not die for my sins.” I would not want anyone to suffer such a horrible barbaric death, personally, but I guess you enjoy that. You may THINK Jesus is God, due to the trinity, but I do not see Jesus as God and I do not view god as an anthropomorphic reincarnated Zeus. That god, as a good Church of Christ friend of mine said, does not exist.

    Do you realize that Christianity not only came from Judaism, but eventually Paganism was incorporated. Christmas was originally a Pagan holiday. Rome, Constantine actually, wanted to keep it after converting, so he took Yule AKA the winter soltice and decided to make it Christ Mass- Christmas. The Christmas tree is pagan too. Easter is also loaded with Paganism too. The cross and the cruxifiction itself is from Paganism. Do some REAL, intellectual research on this instead of fake anti-intellectual because my minister and the Bible told me so crap.

    BTW, Paul wrote first, never met Jesus, he even said so, then Mark wrote next- all 50 to 120 years AFTER JC’s death, Acts being the last. The Gospels were written according to the Hebrew litergical calendar, among other things such as rewritten myth. IF there ever was a historical Jesus, he is well buried in myth and we will never find him. 80% of what is attributed to JC saying, he never really said. More than one person also wrote the Gospels as evidence of the contradictions in individual books. The list of issues with the story of JC goes on and on. Ask a REAL theologian- like at a university- and they will tell you, unless you are afraid to have your myth belief shattered.

    Don’t pray for me. Pray for yourself so that you may have freedom from oppression and control by other humans who created religion and god(s). As FFRF says, “Nothing fails like prayer.”

    No, the god that I know does not impose itself on anyone. It is a part of us, part of animals, part of nature, the earth and the universe. It is far kinder than the one humans wrote about in the holy texts. It is not anthropomorphic either, but like the wind as I said before. It has no shape, form, or gender. It just is and is seen as well as felt through other people, animals, and the universe, just as the wind is seen by the movements of the trees and felt on our bodies. (See deism, pantheism, and panendeism, as well as Tillich and Hegel) I certainly don’t need a holy text to follow this god, except love it by loving the gift of life, stive to better humanity, and taking care of this planet and the life on it. Although I do study holy texts and I do know what is in them.

  • Mriana

    BTW, IF you want resources try The Jesus Project, The Jesus Seminar, Robert Price, Bishop John Shelby Spong (both Episcopalians and Price works on the Jesus Project and Jesus Seminar for CFI/CSER). For the myth deal, try the two men and Acharya S. For varification on the abuse that I’ve always seen and known about in Evangelical Fundamentalist churches as well as other churches, read Dr. Valerie Tarico’s book “The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth”. She has a doctrit in Psychology which is a lot more than my bachelors in Psychology- both of us understand and know neuro-psychology too. I do hope those sources are not too intellectual for you. Another good source I recommend is Karen Armstrong’s books- esp “The History of God”.

  • Mriana

    Isaiah 7:14 Messiah born of a virgin . Jesus was.

    One last thing as a scroll this by way of education, Betty. The Hebrew word that was used in this verse was almah meaning young woman [of marrying age]. It was mistranslated into Greek using the Greek word for virgin. It was never a virgin originally in this verse in which the discription of Mother Mary was borrowed from at the time the authors of the Bible wrote and they were not the ones we attribute them to currently. So in reality Mother Mary wasn’t a virgin if you take the Hebrew translation of almah. She was a young woman and Jesus was never born of a virgin. Please do your Bible study more carefully before you preach and/or tell others to read their Bible. If you want a resource on that, seek out a Bible Scholar or a Jew who knows their Hebrew.

    I may not agree with your worldview, but I do know my Bible very well and the history behind it. So, it is very hard to use such verses on me when I have done a fairly thorough study and research on this with guide of scholars from various backgrounds that I respect highly.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Dan Harlow said,

    May 10, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Ben:

    Unfortunately we live in he USA where Christianity has become dead, churches care more about the size of the building than faith and sacrifice.

    If that is true, then how can any American atheist ever hope to “hear the word of God”? How can I know YOU are really preaching the true word of God?

    ————–
    Read the Bible for yourself. If you truly are born again, you will not be able to not witness to others. You will be persecuted-jus as the prophets were, and John lost his head–because people love the darkness and hate the Light and refuse to come into it, lest their deeds be exposed. It is true that there are true and false converts–in the church. It is true that there are false Christs and false prophets–Jesus said there would be and warned of them, and more so in the last days. There are also cults which change the word of God-like the devil wanted to do. They make Jesus into “a god” or “a prophet” or “a good man”. But Jesus claimed He was God. Matthew 24 talks about the last days in which many will fall away, be deceived, their love for God will grow cold. That is why a true Believer will be grounded in the Word, and the Spirit will teach him all things. That is why the unregenerate cannot understand the parables -because they will not humble themselves and let God teach them. They are not born again. They do not hunger and thirst for righteousness.

  • Julie Marie

    I never said that Christians were the hateful ones in this world. In fact, many Christians who have known me on this board for over a year would chime in that that’s the direct opposite of something that I’d say

    Absolutely. Siamang does not speak in negative generalities…and if ever a fondness for global statements could be exposed, it would be on these blogs. I can’t think of one hot button topic those of us participating in this conversation have sidestepped over the past year. And we have managed to do it without becoming hateful towards each other.

    You ask why atheists say hateful things on the video… Who knows why people are angry?

    Not listening is a surefire way to get people fired up. Telling someone what they are feeling, and why, is another good way to provoke anger. Twisting peoples words and misrepresenting their position can leave a wake of sputtering frustration. Standard techniques used, and taught, by WOTM.

    I didn’t watch the debate. C&C lost their credibilty with me when I listened to their interviews with Hemant and also with Dan Barker. When those interviews aired, about a year ago, I was a very conservative christian and I was deeply offended by C&Cs abusive, hamfisted tactics. I was appalled and ashamed by how they treated people – in the name of God, no less! It got me to thinking about the phrase “by their fruits you shall know them….”

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    May 11, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Isaiah 7:14 Messiah born of a virgin . Jesus was.

    One last thing as a scroll this by way of education, Betty. The Hebrew word that was used in this verse was almah meaning young woman [of marrying age]. It was mistranslated into Greek using the Greek word for virgin. It was never a virgin originally in this verse in which the discription of Mother Mary was borrowed from at the time the authors of the Bible wrote and they were not the ones we attribute them to currently. So in reality Mother Mary wasn’t a virgin if you take the Hebrew translation of almah. She was a young woman and Jesus was never born of a virgin. Please do your Bible study more carefully before you preach and/or tell others to read their Bible. If you want a resource on that, seek out a Bible Scholar or a Jew who knows their Hebrew.

    Mary was espoused to Joseph, and Joseph considered , and could have had her stoned , because they had not yet come together. There are prophecies that Messiah would be born of a virgin. No one else fits the prophecy. You refuse to come to Him to have life.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    May 11, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Betty, there is no devine intervention happening here. It is humans v. humans. You seem to forget, and very conviently because the church leaders tell you differently, that the Bible is written by humans, not a divine being. Christianity doesn’t have a corner on anything.

    ———————————-
    Every time you see “thus sayeth the Lord” , it is God Himself speaking. The men wrote inspired by the Spirit. The men are the pens of God.
    ——————————————————–

    What you quote about “love thy neighbour” being a commandment is the Golden Rule found in many holy texts, not just Christianity. The Lord is a jealous god and doesn’t want any other gods before him, so obviously there must be more than one.
    —————————————————-
    No, that is clarified in the 2nd commandment. If one makes up a god in his mind or w/ his hands, it is not a god at all. Isaiah is specific that there is One God. So is Jesus. So is Paul.
    ————————————————————–
    Personally, I don’t want to serve a jealous god that oppresses the people He supposedly created- like gays for example.

    If you wrestle with God, you’ll get burned. Yeah, I just made it up, but it means that if you do not acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior, you stand condemned. God says its wrong. Repentance is agreeing w/ God that it’s wrong and turning from it. .
    ————————————————————BTW, I get my info on slavery from the Bible and History books. The Bible was used for that purpose.
    ——————————————————-
    Coming to Christ brings freedom from sin-sin is slavery.
    ——————————————————–
    The love of God is always seen in the cross.

    How barbaric.

    ———-
    Yes it is isn’t it? Cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree. Jesus became a curse for us, that we may be made right w/ God.
    —————————————————————I would hope humans would grow beyond such evolved Mithra myths (from Rome before it became all powerful and converted to Christianity). In the words of Bishop John Shelby Spong, “Jesus did not die for my sins.” I would not want anyone to suffer such a horrible barbaric death, personally, but I guess you enjoy that.
    ————————————————————-
    God doesn’t want you to suffer even worse-eternity in the lake of fire.
    ———————————————————

    You may THINK Jesus is God, due to the trinity, but I do not see Jesus as God and I do not view god as an anthropomorphic reincarnated Zeus. That god, as a good Church of Christ friend of mine said, does not exist.

    ————————————————————-

    BTW, Paul wrote first, never met Jesus, he even said so,
    ——————————————————-
    Wrong. He met him on the way to persecute Christians. In a BIG way.
    ———————————————————– then Mark wrote next- all 50 to 120 years AFTER JC’s death,
    ____________________________________________________________
    They were EYEWITNESSES!!!
    _____________________________________________________________
    Acts being the last. The Gospels were written according to the Hebrew litergical calendar, among other things such as rewritten myth. IF there ever was a historical Jesus, he is well buried in myth and we will never find him. 80% of what is attributed to JC saying, he never really said.
    ————————————————————
    What if you are wrong?
    ————————————————————More than one person also wrote the Gospels as evidence of the contradictions in individual books.
    ————————————————————-
    Again, individual, eyewitness accounts. Because one may have seen only one character and the other two, doens’t make them wrong. They are both right-from what they saw.
    ___________________________________________________________________
    ————————————————————The list of issues with the story of JC goes on and on. Ask a REAL theologian- like at a university- and they will tell you, unless you are afraid to have your myth belief shattered.

    Now THAT would be dangerous! Go to the source–the Bible!
    ———————————————————

    No, the god that I know does not impose itself on anyone. It is a part of us, part of animals, part of nature, the earth and the universe. It is far kinder than the one humans wrote about in the holy texts. It is not anthropomorphic either, but like the wind as I said before. It has no shape, form, or gender. It just is and is seen as well as felt through other people, animals, and the universe, just as the wind is seen by the movements of the trees and felt on our bodies. (See deism, pantheism, and panendeism, as well as Tillich and Hegel) I certainly don’t need a holy text to follow this god, except love it by loving the gift of life, stive to better humanity, and taking care of this planet and the life on it. ————————————-

    yeah–because that god doesn’t exist.

    :)
    “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. ” -Jesus the Christ

  • Jon

    Siamang,

    I couldn’t make that up if I tried. I’m not that creative. I saw a National Geographic special a few years back where the “scientists” said exactly that, complete with morphing graphics and the works. If they claim that dolphins came from wolves (they do, mainly because the flippers have similarities to bone structure in the legs of wolves and they are mammals who swim with the fishes), then how else could it have happened? You only need enough time, enough failures, and somehow the wolf (a better example of a closed system you will not find) will magically gain information because of the failures of the previous generations. Apply it to almost any stage of theoretical biological evolution and that is exactly what you are forced into, like it or don’t.

    BTW, your response is typical of those I get on college campuses when I point this stuff out. Disbelief. Go to a marine biologist and ask them where dolphins came from. Don’t take my word for it. They’ll encourage you, don’t worry. “Have faith brother (or sister). If you don’t understand it, remember, that’s what I am here for.” Trust the guy with alphabet soup behind his or her name if you want to, but I wouldn’t want to stand before God in judgment saying, “Yeah, I know I ignored my conscience and the evidence of design in creation, spit on the sacrifice of Your Son, but that’s what my professor told me and who am I to argue with him?”

    Steelman,

    Weak, very, very weak. “Google it.” If I wanted to Google “flat earth” I could get tons of opinion on why we’re spinning on a pancake. Part of the problem with message boards is that people debate stuff using Google as their epistemology. That’s the neat thing about Google; when you type in a phrase, that’s exactly what you’ll find. Isn’t it amazing that you don’t find conflicting views when you Google something?

    If you want, you Google it and then process the information and then come back with an answer, but I’m not going to do the thinking for you.

    Back to my original challenge which you can’t answer without Googling it. Name one transitional form and for the sake of clarity (since we are talking about biological evolution for the time being) one example of gained information within a closed system such as an animal (like the dolphin, for example). You cannot do it, and I can tell you for a fact that guys with alphabet soup can’t either, guys who have a lot more credentials than everyone on this board put together.

    Oh and the bacteria and virus scenario? What are they when their “evolution” is observed? And what do they turn into? They are what they were, bacteria and virus, with some changes. But micro evolution and loss of information is not macro evolution. That’s a far stretch from the rock to the goo to you by way of the zoo baloney that evolution teaches. You snicker in your sleeves and say, “The poor fool, he just doesn’t know evolution.” Nice tactic, but I’m calling you on it. I don’t believe you all know it any better or else you’d prove it and answer the questions instead of side stepping them. But there is the rub. You can’t, just like I cannot prove theistic creation empirically. It’s a matter of how we interpret the evidence.

    And, I say again, sin is a lot more fun than being accountable to a holy God. Turn from your self-worship and turn to the One who made you and has done everything to save you. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Listen to the voice of your conscience.

    Jon

  • http://off-the-map.org/atheist/ Siamang

    Jon.

    I’m going to respond because it’s the polite thing to do when you’ve written to me directly.

    I’ve decided to no longer take part in the current discussions spawned from the Cameron/Comfort stories. They have become too rancorous and they’re completely opposite of what the Friendly Atheist culture is about. This is exactly the kind of discussion I’ve come here to get away from. There are a million and one places on the internet where atheists and Christians can argue about evolution, each with smug, self-gratified tones. This place usually is different.

    I do hope you stick around if you are interested in dialogues where listening is more important than proving something. We used to have a lot more of that before the current influx of posters that the Nightline story attracted.

    Hopefully that positive tone will return soon. Hopefully you will decide to stick around for it, and you’ll be a positive contributor to it.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    May 11, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Isaiah 7:14 Messiah born of a virgin . Jesus was.

    One last thing as a scroll this by way of education, Betty. The Hebrew word that was used in this verse was almah meaning young woman [of marrying age]. It was mistranslated into Greek using the Greek word for virgin
    ———————————————————

    The New Testament was written in Aramaic and Greek! The Gospels tell us plainly that Jesus was born of a virgin. There are 24,000 ancient manuscripts of the New Testament-more –far more–than any other historical book. Are you going to argue w/ the original author?

    There is more evidence for Christ than any other historical person.

    Listen to your conscience . Repent and trust the Savior.

  • Mriana

    Mary was espoused to Joseph, and Joseph considered , and could have had her stoned , because they had not yet come together. There are prophecies that Messiah would be born of a virgin. No one else fits the prophecy. You refuse to come to Him to have life.

    Do you not realize that Matthew, who was the second gospel writer, may not have understood the illegitamcy of JC? If you read Isaiah 7 and 8 carefully, Isaiah is not talking about Jesus. He speaks of elohiem or Immanual, which means “God with us”. He’s talking about his own son. There was no prediction of a virgin birth.

    Matthew may have also used the Dotrine from Opportune Myth to establish his story too, but whatever the case, there was no prediction of a virgin birth AND I could take this a step further- all virgin birth stories by their very nature mythological. Babies in the womb don’t know a thing about other babies in someone else womb, but I could continue tearing up Matthew and Luke, then putting them back together again, but I won’t.

    Back to the mythical virgin birth found in so many other myical stories…. Mark, the first gospel writer (placed out of order in the Bible) had no clue about a virgin birth. He starts out with a fully human JC. The baptism by John was when JC received the H.S. and God is then in him. The gospel writer John, the last gospel writer, seems to deny Matthew and Luke’s accounts of a virgin birth AND on two different occassions he refers to JC as “the son of Joseph”. Apparently he knew his Hebrew.

    This miricle birth enter into Christianity via Matthew in the middle years of the 9th decade (sixty years after JC was said to be crucified). Matthew used the mistranslated Greek version of Isaiah to write his story of JC. He could not have Mary stoned to death, because then there would be no story to write. It would be the end of the story. If Matt had read the Hebrew version of Isaiah, he would have found there was NO virgin birth. The Hebrew says, “Behold a woman is with child”. Isaiah was talking about his dearly beloved wife, not something in the future.

    I could continue shredding the virgin birth myth if you like, but I really don’t want to pull the rug out from under you, because you can’t handle the whole truth- not all at once at least.

  • Mriana

    The New Testament was written in Aramaic and Greek! The Gospels tell us plainly that Jesus was born of a virgin. There are 24,000 ancient manuscripts of the New Testament-more –far more–than any other historical book. Are you going to argue w/ the original author?

    The OT was written in Hebrew, then translated into Greek. Who was the original author? He was human that is for sure. None of the writters attributed to the Gospels were eyewitness accounts. They were stories written from what Paul said. I told you what Matthew did after Mark wrote his account.

    There is more evidence for Christ than any other historical person.

    JC is buried under so much myth that if there ever was a Historical JC we would never find him. He is not recorded anywhere else. Ceaser Augustus was recorded else where and is not yet buried in myth, but not JC.

    Listen to your conscience . Repent and trust the Savior.

    Ah, quit with the scare tactics. It never did anything when we occassionally attended my great uncle’s FM church, which he was minister of. It was humans trying to scare people then and I knew that knee high to a grasshopper, not some supernatural being- I never was a dummy even at 4 y.o.. He and his congregation scared me so badly with that emotional abuse that by the time I was a teen, I refused to visit my FM minister uncle. Again, it was the humans who were doing the scare tactics. There is nothing to repent for when the deity you describe does not exist. I’ve studied the text fairly well and if I don’t know something, I know where to get a REAL answer, not some emotionally abusive scare tactic balony. (Read “The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth” By Dr. Valerie Tarico)

    So save your breath and throat, as well as the abuse. Learn how to live life, and next time God smites you with emerods, use Preperation H.

  • Mriana

    Don’t jump to conclusions by what I said above, I attended a liberal Episcopal Church for over 20 years as an adult. Bishop John Shelby Spong was and is a great influence on me and I learned a lot from him. Robert Price, also attends the Episcopal church, is person I appreciate greatly too. Give them a look see and you could learn the REAL story behind the Bible.

  • Jon

    Siamang,

    So it’s cool to challenge a Christian when he brings up facts about the gaping holes in logic regarding evolution just so long as he doesn’t defend himself? And then back out of it by taking the “holier than thou” approach when he does?

    If that is what the “community” is about, then I don’t think I’ll be sticking around. The irenic atmosphere that you think you have is a facade because it is only irenic just so long as everyone smiles and nods and no one makes any claim to know anything. Post modernism at its best. Welcome to the brave new world.

    Jon

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana wrote:

    If you read Isaiah 7 and 8 carefully, Isaiah is not talking about Jesus. He speaks of elohiem or Immanual, which means “God with us”. He’s talking about his own son. There was no prediction of a virgin birth.

    ———————————————————–

    Read the Bible yourself, don’t let others interpret it for you. Many are misled by church leaders who don’t let their people think for themselves. Examine the Scriptures-all of them-yourself.

    Mark 2 tells us that Jesus forgave sin, and this angered the scribes because Jesus was , by doing this, claiming to be God-who alone can forgive sins. In this instance, Jesus did both: forgave his sins, and healed the man (miracles were a sign He was Messiah-yet many refused to believe, and were even angered-as seen here). Here is what Isaiah said about Jesus:

    Isaiah 9:6-7 A child will be born to us. The government will be upon His shoulders, with no end of the increase thereof (King of Kings). He will do this by justice and righteousness. His NAME will be called: wonderful counselor, MIGHTY GOD, eternal Father (I AM God), Prince of peace.

    This child is also:

    Alpha and Omega: Isaiah 41:4 ,Isaiah 48:12 ,Revelation 1:8 ,Revelation 1:17,18,Revelation 2:8 ,Revelation 22:12–16

    Lord: Isaiah 45:23

    Savior: Isaiah 43:3 ,Isaiah 43:11, Isaiah 49:26, Isaiah 63:8,Hebrews 5:9

    Our righteousness: Isaiah 45:24

    Creator: Isaiah 40:28,Isaiah 43:1,Hebrews 1:1–3,10

    Eternal: Isaiah 9:6, Hebrews 7: 24, 25,26

    Hebrews states the Jesus is the high priest who is “able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since HE ALWAYS LIVES TO MAKE INTERCESSION FOR THEM. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, HOLY, INNOCENT, UNDEFILED, SEPARATED FROM SINNERS AND EXALTED ABOVE THE HEAVENS.”

    Isaiah also tells us that Jehovah God (Who is Christ Jesus) is the only God and all other gods are idols. INCLUDING THE ONE MADE UP IN THE MIND TO SUIT YOURSELF.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    No, the god that I know does not impose itself on anyone. It is a part of us, part of animals, part of nature, the earth and the universe. It is far kinder than the one humans wrote about in the holy texts.

    ————————————————————–

    So the god you believe in is corrupt. The God of the Bible is fair and just, and will judge all according to the same Standard. Your god doeosn’t exist.
    You deceive yourself and love the lie.

    —————————————————————

  • Mriana

    Read the Bible yourself, don’t let others interpret it for you. Many are misled by church leaders who don’t let their people think for themselves. Examine the Scriptures-all of them-yourself.

    My you are a glutton for punishment! But I figured you were. I have examined the Bible myself. I don’t let others interpret it or think for me nor am I letting you tell me what to think either just because what I say contradicts what you have always believed. However, I do study with the most educated theologians that I respect and ask them questions when I have them. IMHO, you are a lay person who has not studied the Bible very well herself. There are no messionic prophecies in the O.T. Isaish IS talking about his unborn son, not some future messiah. He predicted nothing.

    So the god you believe in is corrupt. The God of the Bible is fair and just, and will judge all according to the same Standard. Your god doeosn’t exist.
    You deceive yourself and love the lie.

    You say it is corrupt. Honestly with all the psychological verbal abuse you try to dish out, I think you are the one judging, attempting to impose your god on us.

    The one I believe in does not enjoy babies being thrown against walls (OT story), nor does it send bears out to kill little children who laugh at prophets (another OT story). Oh here’s a good one from the NT, Jesus disrespecting his mother at the wedding reception given at his home (John 2:4). Now, given the wedding is at his home, this says his parents had money and as a rule, under Jewish tradition, it is the son’s wedding being celebrated, which says that part was editted for some reason. I won’t go into that one, but it is cause to wonder.

    Now have you read Jesus’s geneology at the beginning of Matthew? This is good: there are 4 women of ill-repute in his geneology (Matthew 1:1-17)- Tamar (who was impregnanted by her father-in-law, which is incest under Judaic law and her story is in Genesis 38). Rahab the Harlot is there and her story is in Joshua 2:1-21 and 6:22-25). Ruth, yes Ruth the Moabite, who seduced Boaz: Ruth 2-4. Lastly, is the wife of Uriah the Hittite, known as Bathsheba. She had her husband Uriah killed after having an affair with King David and then she marries King David- II Samuel 11-12. OK so Jesus has adultresses, murders, incest, and prostitutes in his family line. Thus why the Jews did not accept him as the Messiah. It’s scandalous and the Jews yelled, “We were not born under fornication.” and “Nothing good can come out of Nazareth”. So, the writer of Matthew had to come up with something to cover up the rumours of Jesus’s illegitimacy… unless of course the writer of Luke is correct when he called Joseph JC’s father twice. Take a look at it and you will see JC’s corrupt geneology, which the Jews at the time were upset about because it is tainted and impure. BOY, IS THE OLD TESTMENT FULL OF SMUT! WHo needs Jackie Collins after all of THAT? lol

    My god is about love, compassion, and reason. I have a feeling you see what I am saying, it troubles you, thus you feel threatened, and you don’t like it, because it contradicts what you have been told all your life. So, you, as a human, fight back with by trying to inflict guilt on others because they have different POVs and have more knowledge and understanding of the Bible than you do. It’s sad when people feel so insecure in their beliefs and are easily threatened by others who show them things in the Bible they may not have realized or do not want to realize.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    May 13, 2007 at 11:48 am

    There are no messionic prophecies in the O.T. Isaish IS talking about his unborn son, not some future messiah. He predicted nothing.

    http://evidencebible.com/witnessingtool/deityofJesus.shtml

    So the god you believe in is corrupt. The God of the Bible is fair and just, and will judge all according to the same Standard. Your god doeosn’t exist.
    You deceive yourself and love the lie.
    __________________________________________________________________
    The one I believe in does not enjoy babies being thrown against walls (OT story), nor does it send bears out to kill little children who laugh at prophets (another OT story).

    Please give references when you post
    _______________________________________________________________________
    Oh here’s a good one from the NT, Jesus disrespecting his mother at the wedding reception given at his home (John 2:4). Now, given the wedding is at his home,

    —————————
    It doesn’t say its at his home, he was invited to the wedding.
    __________________________________________________________________________this says his parents had money and as a rule, under Jewish tradition, it is the son’s wedding being celebrated, which says that part was editted for some reason. I won’t go into that one, but it is cause to wonder.
    The Hebrew idion is “What to Me and to you” which shows no disrespect. What are you getting at?? Why do you suppose she came and told Jesus they were out of wine? Jesus clearly loved His mother. While being tortured on a cross, bleeding to death, gasping for air, He said to His Mother, “Woman, behold your son! Then to the disciple, “Behold your mother” John 19:26,27 -being sure she was cared for upon His death and departure. The 5th commandment, which God (Christ) commanded: Honor your father and your mother. Have you?
    _______________________________________________________________________
    _____________________________________________________________
    Now have you read Jesus’s geneology at the beginning of Matthew? This is good: there are 4 women of ill-repute in his geneology (Matthew 1:1-17)- Tamar (who was impregnanted by her father-in-law, which is incest under Judaic law and her story is in Genesis 38). Rahab the Harlot is there and her story is in Joshua 2:1-21 and 6:22-25). Ruth, yes Ruth the Moabite, who seduced Boaz: Ruth 2-4. Lastly, is the wife of Uriah the Hittite, known as Bathsheba. She had her husband Uriah killed
    ____________________________________________________________________
    No-David did. He repented later. Read Psalm 51.
    ________________________________________________________________
    after having an affair with King David and then she marries King David- II Samuel 11-12. OK so Jesus has adultresses, murders, incest, and prostitutes in his family line.
    ______________________________________________________________________
    Yes, everyone in the family line was a sinner until Christ, Messiah. Isn’t it cool that the Jews kept such good records!! But I thought you didn’t believe Matthew??? This is showing also the grafting in of the Gentiles into faith in Messiah.

    So glad you brought this up! “By faith, Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient.” Hebrews 11:31 Rahab believed God.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Thus why the Jews did not accept him as the Messiah.

    _______________________________________________________________
    They did not accept Him because He claimed to be God. Read your Bible for yourself.

    ______________________________________________________________________ It’s scandalous and the Jews yelled, “We were not born under fornication.”
    They were self-righteous hypocrites.
    _________________________________________________________________________and “Nothing good can come out of Nazareth”. So, the writer of Matthew had to come up with something to cover up the rumours of Jesus’s illegitimacy… unless of course the writer of Luke is correct when he called Joseph JC’s father twice.

    “Being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…” Lk 3:23
    ______________________________________________________________
    Take a look at it and you will see JC’s corrupt geneology, which the Jews at the time were upset about because it is tainted and impure.
    This geneology shows that man is sinful, in need of a Savior, that the Messiah would come from David, and is a record to show that Messiah is from the Jews, and puts it in the timeline of history that Messiah HAS come!!
    ________________________________________________________________________
    _________________________________________________________________________BOY, IS THE OLD TESTMENT FULL OF SMUT! You’re right!! It is full of eyewitness accounts of man in need of a Savior!!
    __________________________________________________________________________
    My god is about love, compassion, and reason.

    Your God doesn’t exist.
    _______________________________________________________________________ I have a feeling you see what I am saying, it troubles you, thus you feel threatened, and you don’t like it, because it contradicts what you have been told all your life. So, you, as a human, fight back with by trying to inflict guilt on others because they have different POVs and have more knowledge and understanding of the Bible than you do.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    Read it–everyone on this blog, for yourself. Take notes, ask questions, but the Bible is the most reliable, accurate, most widely read book in the world.
    Written by over 40 authors, 3 different continents, 3 different languages, over 1500 years—and the theme of the Bible stays the same: One God, man turns to idolatry and self-worship, creating gods that are really no gods at all-and God in His love and mercy has given us His Son to those who repent and trust Him–and everylasting life.
    _______________________________________________________________________

  • Mriana

    That is a website by the Religious Reich, not a scholarly journal. Bible Scholars are a far better resource IMHO. When you find a real Bible scholar of the calibar of Spong, Price, Karen Armstrong, Dennis McKinsey, Tom Flynn, Robert Funk, Joseph Hoffman, or even Borg, we’ll talk.

    Obviously you don’t study your Bible well or you’d know what I was referring to about bears and babies, but since you want me to state my sources…

    Babies:
    O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” (Psalm 137:8-9)

    Elisha and the Bears story:

    “And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” (II Kings 2:23-24)

    Here’s another for you. Jephthaha had to burn his daughter and unlike Isaiah, he was not given any alternative, so he burned his daughter to death.

    And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. . . . And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; . . . And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed.” (Judges 11:30-39)

    The devil me do it story. The devil dared God to traumatize Job:

    “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” (Job 2:3)

    Two more from Jesus himself. Hate your family and follow me:

    “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

    Great family values.

    “Being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli…” Lk 3:23

    The author of John says it twice that Jesus is Joe’s son and he has no virgin birth story, but why bother writing it. It’s been done. Either that or he knows it’s rewritten myth. John 7:42 There’s another verse too, but I don’t have time to go look it up, so I’ll let you do research on you’re own. It would do you good.

    I thought you didn’t believe Matthew???

    *rolling eyes* Even The Jesus Project (CSER, which is a division of CFI) studies these books. Doesn’t mean they take them as Gospel. I guess you missed where I said it was great smut. It’s right up there with Jackie Collins. Obviously I think it nothing more than stories. That Rahab, she was a cool woman. Lived a wild life even helped to fight a battle at Jericho with Joshua. Humm… Sex, violence, murder, rape, adultry, incest… Yup! Right up there with Jackie Collins.

    My god is about love, compassion, and reason.

    Your God doesn’t exist.

    Well, can’t say that yours does either. “God is a human concept. Theism and God are not the same. Theism is but one definition of God” ~ Bishop John Shelby Spong from Why Christianity Must Change or Die, p. 24. In otherwords, everyone has a concept of God and they are not always the same. You have a theist view and I have a non-theistic view. Such is life.

    Read it–everyone on this blog, for yourself. Take notes, ask questions, but the Bible is the most reliable, accurate, most widely read book in the world.

    *rolling eyes* She obviously is insecure with her beliefs and feels threaten by me. I have similare debates with others on other boards and she has held up similarly.

    This has become a circular debate and neither of us is going to change the other one’s mind, so why don’t we give it a rest and let the people decide for themselves who had the better knowledge of what they were talking about.

    I leave you with this last thought from C. S. Lewis’s book “Surprised by Joy”:

    “You can have enlightenment for nine pence, but you prefer ignorance.” ~ Old Knock AKA W.T. Kirkpatrick- a Secular Humanist

  • Mriana

    Oh BTW, I don’t just know Spong and Price via books, I’ve had personal contact with them, which is far better than any book, but not as easy to show what they said of course concerning such subjects. Best to read their books.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    I don’t believe Spong and Price. There is no evidence that they exist.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    Babies:
    O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” (Psalm 137:8-9)
    —————————————————————The Babylonians besieged the Jews (AS PROPHECIED). and did this, the poem is a lament against captivity. Put it in context. Exegesis and hermeneutics always.
    False prophets were to be stoned to death if their prophecies were not from the Lord. This is how they were to tell if God were speaking through them. All the prophecies about Jesus’ life, birth, and death came to pass-100%. Except, of course, those concerning the end times and the return. Every eye will see Him, every knee will bown. He is coming to judge the earth. Are you ready?
    _______________________________________________________________________

  • Mriana

    I don’t believe Spong and Price. There is no evidence that they exist.

    Oh brother. *rolling eyes* That is the worst use of illogic that I have ever heard.

    I see god every day in people, by their actions. It is in their love and compassion for others. So, if I may sound like a Gnostic for a moment, god is already here, you just have not see it. Seems to me god has knocked and you turned it away because you did not know it.

    But like I said, we can not convience each other differntly. So, we might as well let people think and decide for themselves.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    IF there ever was a historical Spong and Price, they are buried in myth and we will never find him. 80% of what is attributed to them saying was never really said.

    Mriana posted:

    Elisha and the Bears story:

    “And he [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” (II Kings 2:23-24)

    ———————————————————
    ————————————————————-

    Again, you do not put things in context nor use exegesis or hermeneutics.

    God had taken a people and made them His people. Why? For His Namesake!! He was teaching them about His holiness and His judgment. Deut. 4:33-40 The Israelites, when led out of captivity in Egypt, heard God’s voice on Mt. Sinai, they heard it as thunder. (Exodus 19,20, Deut. 4;20, 23-29There was fire and smoke (sign of judgment), and the FEARED GOD. They asked Moses to speak instead so they WOULDN”T DIE. God gave the Law as a Testimony against them. They carried the Law wherever they went. If anyone touched the ark, where it was held , they would die. (One did). When the ark was captured, the glory of the Lord depared from them (Ichabod). All through the Bible it speaks of God’s judgment. With His people, the Israelites, they had the Law-and warnings from God about worshipping idols (1st and 2nd commandments). They also had been told not to marry women in the land they were going, so they wouldn’t be tempted to follow idols. They did this anyway.

    In the bear story, you need to know the background. Bethel had prophets living in it as well-2 Kings 2:3 The LORD was dealing with Israel over idolatry, and there were severe consequences. (see 1:16) The Israelites were commanded not to blaspheme God or curse the ruler of the people. (Exodus 22:28) The youth were mocking God, in effect. This account shows how God brings about judgment on rebellious people who blaspheme His name and disrespect their parents as well. Do you know how many children were stoned to death for disobeying parents? One. (That is the 5th commandment: honor your father and mother).

    2 Chron. 36: 14-16 “All the (unfaithful), following all the abominations of the nations, defiled the house of the Lord..and the Lord sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because HE HAD COMPASSION on His people and on HIs dwelling place; but they CONTINUALLY MOCKED the messengers of God, despised His words and SCOFFED AT HIS PROPHETS, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy. ”

    ON that note–there is a truth in here for us as well: God sends judgments in increments, sometimes (such as the flood where the people heard the Word of God for 150 years, but they would not listen or turn from rebellion-there was no smiley face outside the ark saying “God loves you.” They hardened their hearts. So history continues, people harden their hearts, they have warnings and signs, but they will not listen. Jesus said people look for a sign, but no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah, going on their merry ways, till the flood comes, and as a thief in the night, Jesus will come, and not only as a Savior to those who have faith in Him, but as the just judge of the universe. God has given creation as evidence-men are w/out excuse. The just punishment is death, and the place is eternal fire. God has also given you a conscience, and you choose to not listen to it. God is just, God is fair, and God is love. How many times does He give you to come to Him, Mrianda? One day will be the last beat of your heart. “It is appointed to man once to die, then the judgment.” Everything will be laid bare. God’s NAME will be exalted, and every knee WILL BOW to Jesus, because He has been exalted as high King of Heavena and King of Kings!!!! Praise God!!!

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana wrote:

    Two more from Jesus himself. Hate your family and follow me:

    “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

    ——————————————————–

    This is hyperbole. Jesus is saying that our love for Him should far exceed our love for anything else. He also says that He will cause division if we truly live for Him, (seen any of that around here?? :) ) because He is our rightousness, men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil, and they won’t come into the light.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said: I see god every day in people, by their actions. It is in their love and compassion for others.
    —————————
    So which god is it that people worship when they do evil? Mark 7:21 Out of men’s hearts. Our hearts are wicked and deceitful. You have not always chosen to do good. The murderer is still a murderer even if he has been kind to everyone else.
    —————————————————

  • Mriana

    So which god is it that people worship when they do evil?

    You know with all the Evangelical ministers like Hager with male prostitiutes and drugs, Billy Graham and a prostitute, Bakker and money scandels, Catholic priests molesting young boys and girls, the list goes on and on, you tell me. The majority of people in prisons are said to be Christians. Less than 1% are atheists. I have yet to see a Humanist be sentence to prison. The worst Madeline O’Hara did was hire ex-cons for her company and they killed her. The Crusades were done by Christains, killing hundreds of people, Witch Hunts were done by Christians, charges of heresy and subsequent murder of said heretics were done by Christians. The 100 year war was a Christians deal too. Slavery was condon by Christians, as well as segregation, and currently the Bible is being used to deny human dignity to homosexuals. The Qu’ran is used to oppress woman and in some case the Bible too, esp in matters of women’s reproductive health. The Jesus Camp emotionally abuses children. Religious Islamic extremists are accused of doing the Twin Towers thing, but I’d say the Christians have the evil thing wrapped up if you believe in evil, instead of good and bad, moral and immorality. Regardless, I call that all immoral. Yet it is the humans who are doing it all, not some supernatural being.

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    I dropped out of this thread because things really started to get out of hand, but I really need to bring something up.

    First, a question:
    What is a true Christian and is it possible for anyone to be a true Christian?

    Now, here’s my problem. You see, if any believer was ever going to get me to ever go to church and become a Christian, it would have to be like this:

    A- Every Sunday I would arrive at my hypothetical church.
    B- When I arrived, there would be no building or altar or band. All that would be awaiting me is a fleet of buses.
    C- Standing in the middle of the parking lot would be the pastor holding a hat or large bowl that I would drop my name into.
    D- When all names have been collected, the pastor would draw a name from the bowl and assign each person to a bus.
    E- The destination of each bus would be somewhere like an inner city where each person would teach kids how to read, or maybe a senior center to assist with the elderly or the side of a highway to clean up the trash or to the home of someone who needs home repair.
    F- For the entire day (not just an hour or two, but the entire day) each person would be responsible for taking part in this charity work.
    G- At the end of the day the buses would take us back to the parking lot and everyone would go home.
    H- The next week would be the same except that to be allowed on the bus you would have to prove to the pastor holding the hat that you did 10 charitable deeds during the week and not one of them would consist of giving money or preaching the word of God.
    J- If you can then prove you have been useful during the week, you get to also be useful on Sunday.

    That is what religion should be doing. Any money raised by the church would go only to pay for the buses, not the pastor. In fact, the pastor would be working right along side everyone else. The only difference is that the pastor and his volunteer staff would spend their week organizing next Sundays activities.

    If my idea caught on, imagine what sort of world we would be living in where every day tens of millions of people were helping each other out.

    Now, as you can see, I’ve not mentioned God, but I have talked about doing “Gods” work. My idea puts the responsibility of loving my neighbor squarely in my lap.

    Unfortunately, my idea will NEVER happen. Why? Well, it’s naive, that’s why. It’s naive because what I’m talking about is HARD TO DO. It’s much easier to talk about God and quote scripture. It’s also easier to worship and praise God then actually do real work. It’s fun to stand around and sing songs, it’s easy to speak in tongues, it’s not hard at all to write a check to the church. But it’s hard to teach someone how to read. It’s not fun to change an adult diaper. It’s back breaking work to fix someones home.

    In other words, Jesus (supposedly) set the bar pretty damn high yet all anyone really wants to do is talk about how great Jesus is. Now, I may be an atheist, but I’m 100% certain that Jesus was more interested in people helping each other out than he ever was in people just standing around talking about him.

    Now, I ask all the Christians in this thread, is going to church and quoting endless lines of scripture more Godly than helping your fellow man?

    Why is it that when people say “Go follow Jesus”, they really only follow each other to church? Didn’t Jesus give up everything and ask his followers to do the same? Wasn’t that the entire point?

    Now I understand religion has done plenty of charity work because churches have the $$$ and social manpower to do so, but can anyone honestly tell me that praising God by singing a song and quoting the bible is better than praising God by doing something that helps someone?

    So, until I start seeing churches pop up that fit my model, I’m not having anything to do with religion or God because when I see all these people who “say” they believe in God, I think they are just in it for themselves because church is easy and it feels good every Sunday.

    But, if I stated to see a mass shift in the attitudes of millions and millions of people, if I stated to see millions give up their comfort zone to do good every day, then I would call that a miracle and I might actually believe there is a God.

    Of course, I’m sure some of you will say the Devil is the reason why I’ll never see my idea happen, but I say to you – if you are so weak and so totally brainwashed to have to call your own laziness “The Devil”, then I want no part of your faith, because it’s selfish, self serving and proves there is not only no Devil but also no God – it only proves there are people who talk a good game but are unwilling to back it up.

    If some of you truly walk in the shadow of the Lord, then prove it with actions. Quit waiting for God to make a miracle, and make your own because then you might actually start to see people come back to the church and back to faith.

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    That’s a great challenge Dan, and one more Christians need to hear. Would you mind if I reposted it at my blog?

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Mike C.

    No problem, in fact we’ll post it on both of our blogs – sans the spelling errors :)

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    Great, if you post it at yours then I’ll just quote the first few paragraphs and then link to you, that way you’ll get the blog traffic. :)

  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    Mike C:

    Thank you. That will also allow me to edit a few spelling errors :)

  • Mriana

    What is a true Christian and is it possible for anyone to be a true Christian?

    You know, Dan, I don’t know anymore. I have a friend, who knows I’m a Humanist, who believes in my heart I am a Christian. While I can very much agree with various theologians, like those I’ve mentioned before, I don’t love the Bible like they do, but their humanistic values I can totally agree with. I won’t say I don’t view god as they do, for I don’t know, except Spong’s view, how they truly view it.

    I don’t think it is possible to say what a true Christian is nor will I sit here and judge Betty by my ideas of what I think a Christian should be. It is possible she has missed the love and compassion that those like Schori, Spong, and my Church of Christ friend have experienced. I would not know and I will not judge her by an concepts I have.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    May 14, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    So which god is it that people worship when they do evil?

    You know with all the Evangelical ministers like Hager with male prostitiutes and drugs, Billy Graham and a prostitute, Bakker and money scandels, Catholic priests molesting young boys and girls, the list goes on and on, you tell me. The majority of people in prisons are said to be Christians.

    Where do you get your information (people in prison)?

    Less than 1% are atheists. I have yet to see a Humanist be sentence to prison.

    Where do you get your information?

    The worst Madeline O’Hara did was hire ex-cons for her company and they killed her. The Crusades were done by Christains, killing hundreds of people, Witch Hunts were done by Christians, charges of heresy and subsequent murder of said heretics were done by Christians. The 100 year war was a Christians deal too. Slavery was condon by Christians, as well as segregation, and currently the Bible is being used to deny human dignity to homosexuals. The Qu’ran is used to oppress woman and in some case the Bible too, esp in matters of women’s reproductive health.

    You’re talking about abortion? Go to http://www.abortionno.com and let me know what you think of all the nice pictures of babies cut apart in the name of “women’s rights”. Planned Parenthood is literally “making a killing”.
    _________________________________________________________________________The Jesus Camp emotionally abuses children. Religious Islamic extremists are accused of doing the Twin Towers thing, but I’d say the Christians have the evil thing wrapped up if you believe in evil, instead of good and bad, moral and immorality. Regardless, I call that all immoral. Yet it is the humans who are doing it all, not some supernatural being.

    You got the last right-it is the humans doing it all, and it all comes from the heart. No one is righteous. No one is morally perfect, but God alone.

    Those who call themselves Christians and have behaved immorally could be false converts. Jesus said many will say to Him, “Lord, Lord”…and He will say, “Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.” The door is narrow, and few enter it. THe Door is Christ. Jesus warned us that many in the last days will grow cold in their love for Him, betray Him. Those who persevere in Christ and His teaching-true followers-will be saved. And persecuted.

    Many have also been taught a false gospel, which Jesus warned us about. They have been told to come to Jesus for peace and happiness, that their lives will go much better, that they will even be rich!! I agree that many of the televangelists (some with MEGA-churches!!) are preaching a false Gospel. This also was prophecied-that many in the last days will flock to preachers, having itching ears, to hear what they WANT to hear. Jesus said blessed are you if you are persecuted for RIGHTEOUSNESS sake. If you take a stand in His Name, and are persecuted, rejoice and be glad, for of such were the prophets persecuted as well. Great is your reward in Heaven.

  • Mriana

    You know, I feel sorry for you, Betty. Somehow I get the feeling you have never experienced true love and compassion. I truly feel what you need is more love, esp as I look over my communications to Bishop Jack (Bishop Spong’s nick) concerning my complaints about such behaviours. I think he is very right, that in such cases, that people need more love and compassion when they act in such ways.

    As a Humanist, I am open-minded enough to get my information from various sources and make my own mind up about things. I get the scientific information on a variety of things too.

    IN closing, I’ll leave you with another thought that a my dear friend Bishop Jack Spong, who is very much the Christian Humanist (Religious Humanist), sent me long ago and I kept the letter too to share with others:

    “Humanism is not anti-Christian or anti-God. It is through the human that we experience the Holy, the Other. The Divine is the Ultimate depth of the human.” ~ Jack Spong.

    Something to think about before you judge others without any love and compassion. I try not to judge others as I said before, not even by what my concept is of what one should be. Jack and I may not always agree on somethings, but I can completely agree with him on that statement and I am so sorry you have yet to experience it.

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Mriana said,

    May 14, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    You know, I feel sorry for you, Betty. Somehow I get the feeling you have never experienced true love and compassion.
    ————————————————————-

    “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ lay down His life for us.”
    Oh, Mriana, I have experienced the most compassioon and love I will ever be able to experience. I pray that you may also come to know how high and wide and deep His love is for you.

    ————————————————————-
    Dan Harlow said,

    May 14, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    I dropped out of this thread because things really started to get out of hand, but I really need to bring something up.

    First, a question:
    What is a true Christian and is it possible for anyone to be a true Christian?
    ——————————————————
    “this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent.” John 17:3

    “THe Father loves the son, and has given all things into His hand. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ” John 3:3

    “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing, the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63

    “I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins, for unless you believe that I Am, you shall die in your sins. ” John 8:24

    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. ” John 5:24

    “For if we have become partakers of Christ, if we HOLD FAST the beginning of our assurance firm until the end.” Hebrews 3:14

    “IF you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

    “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. All these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. ” John 15:21

    “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He shall glorify Me. ” John 16:13,14

    “He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemny to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in H im receives forgiveness of sins. ” Acts 10:42

    “God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. ” Acts 17:32

    TEST YOURSELF TO SEE IF YOU ARE IN THE FAITH;

    A true Christian is born again of God’s Spirit, hungers and thirsts for righteousness, for God’s Word. A true Christian puts his full trust in the cross alone for salvation, not self-righteousness or good works. A true Christian will die to self and live for God, will be humble in heart, will love the brethren, and will abide in Christ. A true Christian grieves when he sins against God, and repents. Jesus is precious to him. A true Christian now loves the things God loves, and hates the things God hates. His belief will be evident by his actions, he will be growing in holiness, be obedient to the Gospel of Christ. A true Christian will not hide the truth, but hold forth the Word of Life to those who are condemned, so they might look to the Son to have Life. Read 1 John

    ———————————————————–

    ————————————
    Dan Harlow said:
    So, until I start seeing churches pop up that fit my model, I’m not having anything to do with religion or God because when I see all these people who “say” they believe in God, I think they are just in it for themselves because church is easy and it feels good every Sunday.

    But, if I stated to see a mass shift in the attitudes of millions and millions of people, if I stated to see millions give up their comfort zone to do good every day, then I would call that a miracle and I might actually believe there is a God.

    ———————————————————
    Dan, you have a point. But if you cannot see Christians ministering to others in your area, I can point you to some who do. As I said earlier, Kirk Cameron holds a camp for terminally ill children. Perhaps you could contact him if you would like to know more about it. Ray and Kirk both sponsor Feed the Children. God’s the One who knows the heart of true and false converts. I can send you to some Christian sites who do wonderful work. Jesus said not to do your deeds in front of people, for your own glory. But I can give you more information if you would like. But very importantly–good works cannot save you. True Christians do these things because they love the Lord and do it in His Name. Can an un-saved person do good things for people? Of course! But they can also do bad things, the Bible says no one meets God’s standard of goodness. No one, but Christ alone, who stood in our place for us to redeem us.
    ————————————————————–

    Of course, I’m sure some of you will say the Devil is the reason why I’ll never see my idea happen, but I say to you – if you are so weak and so totally brainwashed to have to call your own laziness “The Devil”, then I want no part of your faith, because it’s selfish, self serving and proves there is not only no Devil but also no God – it only proves there are people who talk a good game but are unwilling to back it up.

    If some of you truly walk in the shadow of the Lord, then prove it with actions. Quit waiting for God to make a miracle, and make your own because then you might actually start to see people come back to the church and back to faith.
    —————————————————-
    And that is a good admonishment! :)

  • http://www.jesuschrist.mypodcast.com Betty

    Please watch:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=3GLtIYSPFLg

    Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man profit if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man IS GOING TO COME in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. Matthew 16:25-27

  • Mriana

    Oh, Mriana, I have experienced the most compassioon and love I will ever be able to experience. I pray that you may also come to know how high and wide and deep His love is for you.

    If you have, then why do you act as you do? It’s a big turn off to Christianity and I’ve met far better behaved Christians, who are not rude or pushy about their faith. They show far more love and compassion than I’ve seen from you. I have felt it too. There is a big difference. All I feel from you is hatred, which is not a good thing or very pretty either. Thus why so many people have this left this thread.

    “O Lord!
    If I worship You from fear of Hell,
    cast me into Hell
    If I worship You from desire for Paradise,
    deny me Paradise
    but if I worship you for Your own sake then withhold not from me Your Eternal beauty ” ~ Rabi’a al-Adawiyya (She is regarded as a saint of the 8th century that influenced both Muslims and Sufis)

    Now this is true belief and faith in something from the heart without expectation of reward or punishment. There is no expection of self-gratification. Pity that it appears you have not found that. I don’t care what one believes. If it is truly from their heart without any expectation of anything then it is truly their belief.

    It’s when one is insecure about their beliefs, they feel threaten by others who do not agree with them and start acting hatefully. They impose their beliefs on others in dispiteful ways too. Thus why I feel sorry for you. Insecurity is a sign that one has not experienced love and compassion nor are they secure in what they believe, even if they profess differently. Their actions speak louder than words.

    I know love and compassion. “It” is very numinous and comes from the hearts of other people. This woman obviously had that numinous understanding and shared it with others in a way that showed love and compassion. True enlightenment comes when one is able to show that love and compassion to others in the things they do. I truly believe, Islamic or not, this woman was good company, who exude true love and compassion, without being hateful to others who disagreed with her.

    With such comprehension and understanding, regardless of one’s beliefs, they find true peace in their hearts. Thus why I don’t feel threatened by you, but rather pity you. Maybe one day, you will overcome the harm that was done to you, in which you feel you have to pass such cruelity onto others. Only then will you truly know love and compassion.

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  • http://danharlow.com Dan Harlow

    “O Lord!
    If I worship You from fear of Hell,
    cast me into Hell
    If I worship You from desire for Paradise,
    deny me Paradise
    but if I worship you for Your own sake then withhold not from me Your Eternal beauty ” ~ Rabi’a al-Adawiyya (She is regarded as a saint of the 8th century that influenced both Muslims and Sufis)

    Well said. Funny how that is from Islam and not Christianity.
    To bad more people do not approach their beliefs from this point of view because then there might be a lot less hatred and intolerance in the world.

  • Mriana

    Hament, not that I disagree about one possible way to convert people, but how would one deal with the heaven thing if they believe this is it and that we make earth heaven and/or hell? I just can’t find a way to reconcile that one, except Spong might have that answer. Doesn’t mean I’d agree with him though given he still loves the Bible even though he says it’s myth too. I’m not so fond of it and because I see it as myth, I question how that would work very well.

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