Pastor Gets Caught Lying for Jesus

Ceiling cat is watching you likeThe other day this comment was posted by an atheist:

What’s wrong with killing babies? I see no problem with it. I have enough mouths to feed. I don’t get the argument and I am an atheist. Since I don’t believe in God, I don’t believe in anything characterized as good, bad / right, wrong. So, what’s the big deal?

At first I was shocked that anyone could say that. Then I realized that it must be a fundie in disguise, a sheep in wolves clothing. I wasn’t the only one — wintermute and Ty immediately called him out for “lying for Jesus.” They have good bullshit detectors.

So I did some digging, and I realized this deceiver was using a variety of names. At first he went under names like “grass,” “aatheist,” “apl,” and others. Here is an example of his initial comments:

It’s a rough world out there if you are not in fellowship with authentic Christians. It’s a very sweet fellowship where I am. Come join us!

Sorry for your past dealings with false believers and teachings….

Great thinkers and intellectuals have come to trust in Jesus and the Bible. I am trying to weigh everything to make a wise decision regarding Christianity. I hope others will join me….

The problem was, he wasn’t getting anywhere. Nobody was being convinced or converted. So he tried another tactic — impersonating atheists under different names to show how immoral and stupid they supposedly were. His first try was under “makeup”:

If a man wants to make a women his b****, so be it? So what if you don’t like it, what if I do?

If I want to do something, and my conscience is cool with it, then I can do it. If it’s feed a homeless person, so be it. If it’s kill my neighbor, so be it. I am not bound to any morals.

In a few hours, he went from apologizing for our past dealings with slimy lying Christians, to suggesting it’s okay to abuse women, kill neighbors, and slaughter children under the guise of atheism.

So I banned him. I found what he did to be disgusting. It would be like me pretending to me multiple Christians on a Christian blog, asserting there’s nothing wrong with raping women and killing children because God commands it in the Bible.

Who would do such a stupid thing?

It turns out, a pastor would. After some more digging, I was able to figure out the commenter’s identity: Pastor Chris Fox of Kendalls Baptist Church in New London, NC.

Way to lie for Jesus, pastor! I’m sure you make your congregation proud.

I confronted him about his deceitfulness. He apologized “for upsetting me,” but doesn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing. He said:

There were others who wanted to make comments and had ideas, and they simply wanted to share those in the forum; so for those remarks, my sincere apology.  I would also suggest attention given to the name-calling and other profanities used in various posts.

I was trying to make a point from a different perspective, of which I hear quite often, regarding morality and where it is derived.  There was a debate recently where some of the same questions were asked and were actually given an honest look and answer….

I am in no way a fundie or extremist.  Like you I believe in thinking, searching, asking questions, and hearing others from outside my box.  I thank you for your allowing various opinions and sides to share.

Isn’t it interesting that a pastor comes here to preach morality and salvation to us sinful atheists, but then lies about his identity numerous times in order to slander atheism — and even when caught, refuses to acknowledge he did anything wrong. He thinks the issue is censorship of ideas, when it it’s really disgust at his actions.

This site is open to people of all beliefs. John C can testify to that. But don’t lie and deceive to try and gain credibility for your ideas. It will backfire.

* * *

Update (4pm): Pastor Chris has sent me an email apologizing and said this has been a “lesson learned.” I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and have removed my ban. He is welcome to comment under his own identity.

Update (3/21): Chris is now commenting here under the nickname “CSF.” He has posted a formal apology:

I want to express to you how deeply sorry I am for coming on this site and making the remarks I did and violating my own faith. It was out of bounds. I allowed the “debater” part of me go too far. I messed up and I have come to ask for your forgiveness. Thank you for allowing me back on.

Chris, thank you for apologizing and admitting you were wrong. I really appreciate that. You took this the best way possible, and I admire that.

We all do stupid things. What’s important is we admit it and move on, like you have done. I hope you’ll stick around!

  • Sock

    Don’t you love hypocrisy in action? I sure do!

    • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

      @Janet

      It would be nice to think that John C could process what you’ve said impartially. Unfortunately he seems to belong to that “school of self” which is convinced that his interpretations and understanding is only true reality. He is stuck in a circularity that continually affirms itself from within itself and protects itself from all outside influence.

      Talking to John C is like talking to a virtual intelligence that cannot respond outside its programming. If you type in something it has not been programmed to deal with it ignores it, redirects it or tells you that is doesn’t understand the question.

      It is also like talking to a politician with an agenda. Politicians never tell you that they don’t understand; they avoid the question.

      And its like talking to a shock jock. They don’t tell you that they don’t understand; they tell you that you don’t understand.

      So I conclude that John C is really a virtual shock jock politician with a religious agenda. Misquoting the Borg: Persistence is useless; you will not be assimilated.

    • John C

      @Rosemary…

      Somehow that last post you supposedy wrote to Janet I think was actually intended for me?? Ha. No dear my only malady, the only affliction from which I suffer is one of mad love and great joy having found the treasure in the field, I have promptly and fully “sold out” and entered into total bliss with my Lord.

      The soul must be wholly wed and subject to His spirit within, this is the life of the ages, how it was in the book of beginnings. Faith, hope & love.

      Life of the ages….

    • Janet Greene

      @Rosemary – thank for this response about the robotic responses from John C. I find it personally frustrating to talk to a brick wall (no offence John, I find pretty much all christians to be like that, including my evangelical parents). The extent of the denial of reality and the brainwashing is incredible. I guess i have to think of it in terms of speaking with a partially-functioning robot or I’ll drive myself crazy. Thank “god” for an atheist online community like this one, with intelligent, ethical, and passionate atheists.

    • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

      ” He can not be defined, can not be labeled, ”

      mark: If that is then how come you are always making statements such as god is love?

      Also if your statement is true then how come you keep saying that good is good. Mark.

    • Gods Only Comic

      There can be no separation of the the religious and the spiritual. Your cognitive dissonance as to the origins of your belief and the reality of life is astounding. Please read something other than novellas derived from “The Goat Herders Guide to the Universe”. Also, stop with the psilocybin mushrooms. Together these might help to regain a sense of reality and help with living for today instead of worrying about what tortures the sky daddy has in store for you.

  • Mogg

    Wow. What a pity he felt the need to stoop to this kind of behaviour. Surely just asking questions about why atheists feel the need for a moral code would have got him further than trying to be provocative? And why can’t the mysterious other people who wanted to make comments just do so for themselves? At the very least, it would have been easy for him to make a point on behalf of another person, if they couldn’t for themselves, by saying that was exactly what he was doing. No need for a masquerade.

  • http:/ungodlycynic.blogspot.com Larro

    Nice detective work.

  • Flea

    Not a surprise. When freethinkers are allowed to join the market of ideas without fear of reprisal the only resource of the believer is to hide in shame, shout loudly or… lie for Jesus.

  • Lisa S

    Wow. It seems to me with Christians I’ve known (and have been) the biggest issue of atheism is the lack of a moral ground. And yet here is an example of a lack of a moral ground, from a Christian. Most atheists I’ve met are better christians than the Christians I’ve met. (I know that sounds weird…)

    There are so many people that have real questions about what they believe in. What kind of point did he possibly think he could make by lying? To whom was he making this point, to the atheist or to the person questioning their beliefs?

    I can only shake my head. I have to say I remember a pastor saying that we have to do whatever it takes to ‘save’ someone. And here’s a perfect example. Go against what the bible teaches in order to get someone to believe in it.

    Note to future Christians: Stop trying to save us and start trying to just talk to us. We’re people. Just like you.

    Really nice detective work, btw.

    • sk1951

      Not believing in God has nothing to do with morality. And I am a born again.

      • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

        Enlightened Self-Interest

        See my blog at http://slrman.wordpress.com/

        A popular theist argument for religion is “Without religion (god) we would have no morality or ethics.” So without religion can there be morality? Morality based upon fear of punishment or seeking rewards isn’t really morality at all. Perhaps what they are saying is that they would be evil without fear of hell. Then they project that lack of moral courage upon everyone else. I say to them, “Don’t judge others by yourself. Your lack of ethical backbone is not universal.” 

        True moral behavior is based upon simple self-interest.  The guiding ethic is to truly act in your own best interest.  That would mean treating all people fairly, honestly and, as it says in the Hippocratic Oath, “Cause no harm.”  Religions invent all other “sins” to increase their control over people.

        People can practice what I term enlightened self-interest.  An individual’s self-interest is best served by doing no harm to others except in defense of themselves or those in their care.  This thinking does not need threats of eternal punishment to follow, It only requires thinking about what will ultimately yield the best results for yourself.  Treating others fairly and generously is always better for yourself, personally, financially, and socially.   Those that co-operate and adapt have always been more successful.  

        For example, robbing a bank may yield temporary wealth, but at the expense of either a prison term or a life of fear, running from the law. Similarly, cheating others in business dealings may increase profits for a time. Eventually, your reputation will be so poor that your business may fail. This is a simple principle that, “It’s always cheaper to make a customer happy than it is to make him angry.” This same idea can pay dividends in ordinary human relations. For reasons I don’t understand, few businesses or people appreciate this idea. Maybe it’s because they operate on deist principles? Everything is forgiven if you repent before you die. Although that wouldn’t seem to help those you cheated, treated badly, or even murdered.

        So should nothing be discouraged? Should everything be permitted? Capable, informed individuals could engage in any activity that interests them even if it puts them personally at risk.

        An example would be an automobile race. It is certainly dangerous to drive at racing speeds and it is equally dangerous to stand near the race course to observe or record this event. Two people may choose to do these things if they understand and accept the risks involved.

        One question that arises from this would be, what if one or both of these people have a spouse and children that depend upon them for financial and emotional support? Should they still do this knowing that if they are injured or killed it will cause some degree of harm to these dependents? If they choose to do so, does anyone else have the right to prevent them?

        Those are ethical questions that can and should be debated, but each person must be free to choose his own answer. No other person, religion, or government should have the right to make these choices for us. If you are keeping in mind that humans are often in error and thus prepared for all possible consequences, no matter how remote the possibility, you can do what you think best.

  • Somegreencat

    I wonder what the christians that read this website think of a pastor doing this? I figure he felt he was justified in his scam, since he would probably see it as trying to save souls. I wonder if he ever used the comments he made as examples of how evil atheist are in his sermons.

    • Engelina Koberna

      Some Christians have given christians a bad name, new evangelicals will in the future prefer to be called Jesus followers. All Jesus followers “do” remember that they were once non-believers at one point as well. The pastors lie does not shock at all. We all sin alike; believer or non-believer it’s all in the wanting to change our sinful ways– love and peace from the other camp.

      • Anotheritguy

        How is deliberately lying to paint the other side of a debate badly considered wanting to change your sinful ways? He di what too many theists do when faced with losing an argument they resort to outright lying. It quite common with religious people to lie for their faith. Dont try to lump us in with liars like him, I have no issue with someone believing in what I personally consider to be a fairytale but I do take issue with someone who’s argument is so weak they need to try and stack the deck. If their faith was so strong and their “evidence” irrefutable why the need to lie?

    • alora13

      I think what the pastor did was pretty dumb. I am a Christian and believe wholeheartedly in God and the Bible. I don’t know how he thought lying about who he was and saying all that stuff would help anybody but I think that he just ended up looking really stupid. :(

      • Custador

        Alora13, welcome to UF. He’s hardly the first Christian to come here and lie at us, and he certainly isn’t the last – Have a read through some old threads and see how some of your brothers in Christ like to behave.

        • alora13

          I believe he isn’t the first and I know he won’t be the last. People are dumb and make stupid decisions and say stupid things. It’s a bummer but all people are flawed.

          • Custador

            I’m not. I’m filled with THE AWES0ME!!!11!!!!111!!!!!!!

            ;-)

            • Jakob Aggernaes

              Hmm. When you manage to convince yourself that you are 100% A-OK and perfect, isnt that when people REALLY go off the rails dear Custador ?

            • Sunny Day

              You spelled, TEH wrong.

  • http://www.zeekeekee.wordpress.com isnessie

    Wow… Just… wow.

  • Pingback: Pastor gets caught blog-trolling for Jesus… « Hello Universe, This Is Nessie

  • Proto

    Shame on Mr. Fox, but what tasty irony! Perhaps we take him at his word and consider him to be an “authentic” Christian?

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Wow, when I thought it was a teenager who’d never put any thought into morality, it was kind of a dick thing to do.

    Now that he’s a preacher, that kind of makes him a dick squared. I’m tempted to email him and explain that atheists are just as moral as Christians, but what’s the point?

    • Michael R

      In my experience, Atheists are MORE moral than Christians. It’s hard to be moral when you base that morality on an incoherent, morally ambiguous piece of literature.

    • mornincuppajava

      My observation is that choosing right merely because it is right and not because you are escaping the wrath of God or seeking eternal reward is a more mature form of morality. Those who refuse to get there are rather stuck in an immature state of mind and are the very ones who will try to level that irrational argument against people.

  • http://nhbaritone.multiply.com NH Baritone

    Thanks for the post. The guy is clearly an unprincipled phony (a.k.a., “pastor”).

    Even as a former seminarian and the son of a minister, I’ve reached the (admittedly uncomfortable) conclusion that intellectual integrity and inhabiting a pulpit are mostly incompatible.

    Clergy members must (A) cling so strongly to their faith that they squeeze out doubts that would challenge it, or (B) dilute Christianity so much that their own congregations wouldn’t recognize it. (I know large numbers of pastors who wouldn’t dare share their personal theologies with their congregants out of fear of facing rebellion.) I suspect that most pastors engage in some elements of both strategies.

    The Tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes comes to mind, but it’s hard to distinguish whether a pastor is the naked Emperor or the charlatan tailors who walked off with his money.

  • vorjack

    There’s an article about Glen Jenvey over at Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion. He’s a brit who’s accused of posting messages on an Islamic webforum under a Muslim sounding pseudonym. The posts advocated targeting British Jews for attacks.

    Jenvey then pointed to those posts and claimed to have uncovered an Islamic plot against British Jews. Those posts were then used in a front page Sun article, “”Islamic Terrorists Target UK Jews”. So it looks like Jenvey was planting evidence.

    So, yeah, I wonder @Somegreencat is right, if Mr. Fox was planning to write a few sermons about those “amoral atheists” and use his own handiwork as evidence.

    “wintermute and Ty immediately called him out for “lying for Jesus.”

    @wintermute & @Ty: if we ever do get that UF get-together, your first round is on me.

  • latsot

    “I was trying to make a point from a different perspective”

    And he couldn’t have done this by – without posing as anyone – saying “Well, I’ve heard some people say…….”?

    Talk about disingenuous.

    “of which I hear quite often, regarding morality and where it is derived.”

    The only place he’d have heard that is from another nutjob claiming it’s a common atheist view.

  • ddr

    “There were others who wanted to make comments and had ideas, and they simply wanted to share those in the forum…”

    I think he is talking about the voices he hears in his head.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Hey, here’s a question: If morality is only derived from the Bible, and atheists are immoral psychopaths because they’re not concerned about going to Hell, then why do Christians obey all those laws (at least as much as anyone else does) that don’t appear in the Bible? Why should any Christian consent to be told he has to be sober when he drives, or can’t practice law without a license? If God won’t punish them for these things, what right does Man have?

    Why don’t we see Christians protesting all the laws that God doesn’t mention? I mean, obviously protesting the existence of cotton/poly blends and Red Lobster takes up a lot of their time, but still. You’d think their superior morals should be reflected in the law for everyone else, right?

  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    I just submitted this post to StumbleUpon. This douchebag deserves to be exposed. I’ll likely do a post linking to this one too. All atheist bloggers need to be aware of stunts like this.

  • http://newref.blogspot.com James

    Nice usage of ceiling cat, Daniel. Personally I would have gone with the “This is why we can’t have nice things” cat.

    Now you can has own ceiling cat: http://www.doobybrain.com/2008/03/20/ceiling-cat-papercraft/

  • http://www.houseofzot.com Zotmaster

    What a fail!

    From your perspective, Daniel, you should kind of consider the trolling a compliment: it means they’re afraid of you, which means they’re paying attention.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    A reverse Poe…. It’s not every day you see something new. Scum-sucking, but new.

  • http://joniruhs.wordpress.com Joni

    “…And as this gets more and more well known, people are going to use it, and some of them (hopefully a minority) are going to confirm his opinion of atheists.”

    And that’s how followers of Jesus (the free ones) feel about stunts like this pastor pulled. It only confirms others’ opinions about Christians. And that sucks.

  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    WTF?

    If atheists were as evil and immoral as Pastor Chris Fox likes to believe, he wouldn’t need to impersonate one in an attempt to make atheists look bad.

    Score another hypocrite point for Jesus.

  • reckoner71

    “In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” – Mark Twain

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Nothing new or surprising. Having tracked the Creationism issue for a few years, I am thoroughly familiar with the dishonesty used combat the alleged moral decay of evolution. There is one reviewer on Amazon who consistently downrates pro-evolution books, and displays his lack of scientific knowledge in the process. His handle is “The Professor.” The irony is strong with this crowd.

  • miller

    yeah, like it’s new pastors lie. back in the day, the pastor of my church and bible college was having an affair with his secretary (who was a prof’s wife). they all lie to make whatever they want to work for them.

  • Pip

    Have you considered sending press releases to the news outlets closest to where this guy’s church is? His parishioners might be interested to learn what he is doing.

  • http://www.ragingrev.com Matt Oxley

    email sent to his personal address…

    wonder if he will reply?

  • Ani

    It seems to me, that it is not atheists who have moral issues. Clearly it’s Christians. Their actions in your comments convince me everyday that Christianity is ****NOT**** where I’d like to be.

  • RobotzAreAwesome

    Oh man, best post ever! I hope this gets picked up by other sites.

  • Rynoos

    I am a troller, christian, and a pastor. I have only commented a couple of times here, but I felt like i needed to comment on this post.

    I appreciate Daniel, calling a spade a spade. Accountability is the key to to honest discussion and there is no way to justify lying about who you are.

    I have been a pastor for 12 years now. I am just as much imperfect as I was 13 years ago. Hopefully, I am a little wiser, a little less dogmatic, and a little less irrational, though I do have my moments. The truth of the matter is that if you are searching for all the imperfect examples of christians, then there is a long, long list (that is figurative and not an actual list) of people that I could point you to who a lot have been pastors themselves.

    I think Daniel has every right to make a post like this one and should when someone is an idiot like that, but what I most appreciate about this blog is when you guys really tackle the hard issues of life and discuss openly. It really is challenging and thought provoking and it has changed my perspective on atheists.

    Anyways, from a christian perspective, the pastor was wrong and stupid, no excuses. I hope he learns from his mistakes as I hope we all do.

    • Jennifer

      This is what i don’t get about xians and their “hey, I’m only human” line: Xians have the literal spirit of god living in them, right? They are renewed creatures. They are dead to sin and alive to christ, right? They read the bible and the word of god “convicts” them to do what god wants them to do, right? Yet in reality they remain the same shmucks they were before. I have known many men and women who have “given their hearts to Jesus” over the years and in ZERO instances have I seen any positive transformations. The men who liked their porn still like it, they just join a church “accountability group” where they can talk about how much they like porn. The gluttons remain gluttons. The smug remain smug. The haters remain haters. Xians have a higher divorce rate than nonbelievers as well.

      And it always ends with, “well if you had a bad experience with a xian, then that person wasn’t really a xian.” Mormons and Muslims say the same thing and it’s bullshit.

      • mornincuppajava

        That reminds me of a comment I read from Gandhi this past week, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi

        Excuses will always be made. Denials will always exist. Fox News will always brainwash. At the end of the day, there is a man who many claim to follow, yet none live like him at all. They just use their title to feel superior to others.

  • http://blog.elliottcallahan.com Elliott

    Luke 6:44

    For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

  • trj

    What is required to become a pastor in the US? Can anyone call themselves a pastor, or is some form of education required?

    Certainly the finer aspects of theology and philosophy seem to have passed mr Fox by. I wasn’t terribly impressed with his posts under various pseudonyms, either. It’s a bit depressing that a guy like that is a moral and spiritual example to others.

  • Roger

    Wow. That’s some excellent detective work, Daniel. Of course did Pastor Lyin’ for Jesus not think that his nonsense would be found out? From his bio:

    “Pastor Chris enjoys sports, outdoors, reading, and eating (don’t all Baptist preachers?). His passions are his relationship with Jesus Christ, his family, and equipping the church to be disciples and do “disciple things.”

    They forgot to add, “…trolling the Internet posing as an atheist as a tool of evangelism.”

    Actually, he gives new meaning to the term “tool of evangelism.”

    • T

      “They forgot to add, ‘…trolling the Internet posing as an atheist as a tool of evangelism.’”
      That was covered under the umbrella of “do ‘disciple things’”.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    He thinks the issue is censorship of ideas

    Even if the issue was one of censorship, so what?

    This is a private forum owned by a private individual. If Daniel wishes to censor all opinions which differ from his own, then he has that right. The right to free speech is not a right to a free audience.

    I’ve posted a few times on YEC’ers blogs, only to have my comments disappear for the sin of containing actual evidence that they can’t answer, for example. It’s intellectually dishonest, especially if they’re claiming that there is no such evidence. But I certainly don’t think I have a right to be heard on their blog. Which is why I don’t tend to spend much time in such places these days, as pro-evolution / pro-atheism sites are far less likely to censor opposing viewpoints, so you get actual discussion.

    But, really. Would Pastor Chris Fox allow someone to get behind his pulpit and speak to his church about how great atheism is, and how Christians can’t possibly be moral? No? Then he’s surely got no right to complain about other people doing exactly the same thing, has he?

    That being said, I’d like to think Daniel for his forbearance and openness in dealing with religious posters. This place would be a lot less fun without the several intelligent, polite Christians who are capable of understanding that atheists are people too.

    And, yes. It would be less fun without John C, too. He’s not intelligent or polite, but he is funny. Like if you put clown makeup on a retarded baby.

  • Jeff

    Hope someone doesn’t print out this page and mail it to his congregation.

  • http://lilaschow.livejournal.com/ lilasays

    “I was trying to make a point from a different perspective, of which I hear quite often, regarding morality and where it is derived.”

    Riiight. I’m sure this topic comes up a lot as he sits on the front porch, sipping tea with all his baby-killing atheist friends.

    And when you call him out on lying, he’s quick to point out that others were swearing (omgwtfbbq).

    If I were religious, I don’t know that I would feel very comfortable telling my sins to a guy who’s going to use them to throw me under the bus the second he gets in the hotseat.

  • claidheamh mor

    Scumbags and assholes are bad enough.

    But I’m getting a gag reflex at seeing a scumbag asshole smiling and posing with his spawn and offspring, next to all those other people putting on their holy smiles.

    On a website for a church.

    Setting an example for Jesus!

    He is winning souls for Christ. I feel the pull to turn to Christ… what a shining beacon this pastor must be, exemplifying the Lord Jesus Christ’s lying, mendacious, deceitful, hypocritical, fraudulent, crooked, shifty, underhanded, two-faced nature.

    I think I’m turning Christian… baby, I’m right there!

  • http://www.markdeyoung.com Mark D

    “Doctor” Cyrus I. Schofield of the “Schofield Reference Bible” never attended college. He lied on his resume and put in the front of his bible. He also co-founded Dallas Theological Seminary. Christian leaders of the time knew he was a fraud and did not seem to care. His bible is still the bible of note for many fundies. It is because to religious people, faith is more important then facts.
    As a child I was lied to, I was told if I did not drink alcohol, do drugs or have premarital sex and would have a long and happy life. They would often quote Joshua 1:8.
    I followed this advice. Instead I have had health problems most of my life. When I talk to my parents or other adults from my Christian past, they told me they never made those promises.

  • http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/ Jim

    I’m gonna post this as a “Me too” on my site. This is too amusing and telling not to.

    I wonder, though, if atheists ever pose as Christians on Christian sites and offer an extreme version of their beliefs? I hope not.

    • Palema

      Well at least the atheists aren’t claiming to have superior morals, just average morals like most of us

  • http://www.jphamilton.net J.P. Hamilton

    Unfortunately, people like this have highly compartmentalized minds. It prevents them from ever being able to see the hypocrisy in what they say, do, believe, etc. Trying to communicate this to the person is essentially like trying to explain linear algebra to parrot; a pointless exercise.

  • Arena

    Gee, if only our atheist scriptures didn’t contain lines that promoted such activities…oh wait, there are no scriptures. Also, it made me wonder….i’ve seen some fairly interesting things when it comes to religion.

    Leviticus 25:44-46: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

    There was also a verse on deporting a man who slept with a woman while she had her period, but i couldn’t find which text it came from. Point is…nobody can call an atheist immortal when you base your life out of a book that contains things like this. (and yes, i know not all religions go off the bible)

    • Palema

      Why is it, I wonder, that the most aggressive ‘Christians’ rely so heavily on the regressive, repressive old testament morality?

  • Linus bern

    Perhaps he assumes all atheists really want to talk about how they love baby killing, but they are too embarrassed by their belief, and just needed someone get the ball rolling so they can all jump in. Kind of like how racists will pretend they are okay with blacks until someone says something racist and they all relax and get in on it.

    The problem is that his portrayal of atheists is such an absurd caricature that half-way through the second line it was perfectly obvious that this was a troll.

    These theists have got to be much trickier if they are going to fool us into revealing our secret love of baby killing.

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  • Aaron Baker

    I agree that this is utterly disgusting. Thanks for calling Fox on this piece of sliminess.

  • Bob L

    Pastor Fox @ “Like you I believe in thinking, searching, asking questions, and hearing others from outside my box.”

    If you really were thinking outside your little box Fox then your little parody wouldn’t be such transparent fraud, only ridiculous for how badly you misunderstand your’ target.

  • http://www.encounteraday.com Asmor

    Rather than censor him, you should have found some way of identifying his comments (there’s got to be a wordpress plugin for identifying and singling out comments by IP or some other criteria…).

    That way he can still post whatever he likes, but there’s a helpful note right next to it that says “This comment written by a Christian pastor”

  • shamelesslyatheist

    Ooooh! You’ve been Pharyngulated! Now it’s gonna hit the fan for the ‘good pastor’. I’ve already sent my email displaying my disgust.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    Wow. That was fast. I think there is a cut-and-paste response for all the emails he’s getting. Here is the reply to the email I sent seconds ago….

    Let me share that when I recently came across the UF website, I browsed through the posts and wanted to share ideas and give opinions. I am in no way a fundie or anti-atheist/non-believing. But, I got wrapped up in some of the topics and posts and wanted to share, and I allowed it to step over the line. I did not opine to antagonize or “win souls” – in fact, I am quite moderate in my beliefs. I didn’t personally attack anyone. I don’t characterize all atheists as immoral or amoral. In fact, there are believers who do immoral things. I was indeed hypocritical. My intentions were not to be deceiving. I wanted to ask questions that would allow others to think and bring out their thoughts. I am deeply sorry for my actions. As I have pondered and prayed over the past few days, it was not the right way. It may be my naivete, but I wanted to speak from my experience with people of all walks of life and actual thoughts and conversations I have had. I never intended the thoughts to characterize all atheists/non-believers. In conversations with my atheist/non-believing friends, we share openly and candidly and give permission to speak bluntly about things, often using hypotheticals and hyberbole. I see that some of the posts have characterized me as a fundie and extreme, an idiot, and worse, but I am anything but. I don’t know what your beliefs are, but please don’t let this alone form an opinion about my character or heart. I am truly sorry and am learning from this.

    Kindest regards,

    Chris

    Read from it what you will. But the behavior is reprehensible since he misrepresented himself.

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  • DuckPhup

    At his web site, on the home page, Pastor Chris says…

    “Our society today has seen the inauthentic side to Christianity. The problem the world has with Christians is not that we don’t have it all together. It’s that we pretend like we do. Living the authentic life is simply being genuine and real, seeking to be like Jesus, who was authentic in His love, compassion, and service. Let’s discover how to be authentic and show our community and world we are who we are because of who He is and what He has done!”

    Kind of ironic, eh?

  • anti-supernaturalist

    . . . So – - great job on outing the lying xian con.

    ** Take this, and eat . . .

    Of course xian communion (aka mass) is nothing but a dim memory of killing and eating god in the raw, tearing apart a living animal or a human, including kings — portrayed in its disgusting horror by Euripides in his play, The Bacchae. (400 years BCE)

    Killing and eating children was a charge that pagans used against xians — just what were those secretive Jesus worshipers during their “love feasts.” (Why . . . indiscriminate sex, semen eating, and cannibalism.)

    When xians decided that a Jewish monopoly on reading/writing/lawyering & money lending just had to end — strange to tell Jews got charged with killing xian babies and eating them.

    Typical lying xian leader, this not so sly Fox demonstrates a total lack of creativity. Slobs like this guy really do feed on others by taking their money fraudulently and spewing out vile beliefs into a world which has deserved far better for over 2,000 years.

    Crush the infamy!

  • Slaughter

    “If a man wants to make a women his b****, so be it? So what if you don’t like it, what if I do?”

    What’s wrong with calling a woman a bride?

  • http://sunnyskeptic.wordpress.com sunnyskeptic

    I emailed him, his church, and the editors of two of his local newspapers to tell him how disappointed I was in him…

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  • Janet Greene

    As a former evang xtian, I think I might know the thinking that led to this. Xtians think that everyone but them are bound for HELL. That’s eternal damnation, knashing of teeth, real uncool stuff. So by their logic, any means is acceptable to bring people to the lord. They would equate it to tackling someone about to cross the street when there is a mac truck coming. This is one of the fundamental (no pun intended) problems with xtianity. It is about the result, not the journey. In reality, all we have is the journey – none of us really know “truth”. It’s only the religeos that claim to know. My parents are evang xtians – and I still can’t get an answer from them as to WHY they believe the bible. It’s hard for me to grasp why anyone would belief this tripe (now that I’m a safe distance away!) but I do understand, from that perspective, why this guy did what he did. Remember, christians have “fought” for jay-sus for years. They even tortured and burned thousands of women for the lord (aka witch burnings). Why is everyone so surprised that a christian would do this? I am impressed with your ability to expose him though!!!! Kudos.

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  • http://None Clyde

    Fox’s apology smacks of insincerity. I see no remorse there, only fear that his congregation might get wind of his dishonesty.

  • Alexis

    Until an official UF meet up gets underway, I would suggest http://www.drinkingskeptically.org/ and if there isn’t one in your area yet…plan one and get it registered! I’ve met a lot of nice skeptics through the Pittsburgh group.

  • http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/ Jim

    Pastor Fox made it onto Pharyngula! Looks like he’s becoming his own sensation. LOL

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  • Alexis

    I have heard the same quote attributed to Martin Luther and to Mohamed: A lie in the service of god/allah is no lie.

  • Janet Greene

    I just attempted to email this pastor the following – it bounced back. He must have changed his email address. In case he’s looking on this site, here’s my mesage to you:

    I am the daughter of an evangelical pastor and former christian. I became an atheist around age 40. It was a long journey of seeking truth (with an open mind) and now I finally realize the harm of religion; the absurdity and atrocities in the bible. I have far more love to give now that I am not distracted by prayer meetings, church, or guilt. I use that time and energy to help others and enjoy life. I associate with other atheists who live a similarly moral, ethical life.

    I am horrified and offended by what you did on the “unreasonable faith” site. You posed as atheists and tried to make it appear as though atheists were cruel and immoral. You lied; you attempted to deceive us – deliberately. This is unethical by anyone’s standards. It does not surprise me, however. I have, unforturnately, often found that christians have lower morals than atheists. Did you know that there are few atheists in prison? and that most people in the prison system believe in christianity? Did you know that “red” states have more crime than “blue” states? Did you know that almost ALL serial killers come from christian homes? Did you know that secular societies such as Sweden have more equality, better quality of life, less crime, etc?

    I guess it’s true that you shall know a tree by its fruit.

  • Janet Greene

    Sorry, my booboo. I had sent the “pastor’s email” to the wrong address – don’t know if this one will bounce.

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Allow me to be a voice of moderation here. Before we ruin this guys life by making him some kind of national poster boy for dishonesty, let’s take a breath.

    What he did was wrong, and Daniel was absolutely right to call him on it here, but do we really need to bombard his email and tell his congregation about it? Do we really need to write to local newpapers about it? Should the guy’s reputation take a big beating over some on line sleight of hand?

    Besides, I’m kind of encouraged by the tone of the email some people got in response. Seems like he might have realized the error of his ways.

    Personally I wouldn’t mind it if people could look at the UF community and say we were able to forgive and forget.

  • Bystander, non-believer.

    The thing that makes me wonder and think; It’s really hard for me imagine someone, let’s take the wifebeater example, to visit these kinda sites. The conversations here usually are quite intellectual and usually deep puzzlings of a belief system and the needing of it or not. So, for a person to first think “Gee whiz, I think I’ll beat my wife at this minute” and the next thought would be “And go explain it to a net blog about these things that it’s alright to do it since I have no moral!” – do christians really believe that we are kinda persons? Why? Have they proof? Other than “Well umm it’s _of course_ common sense that if they don’t believe in Jesus and do the things that the bible says, that they’ll beat up wives and rape children and what-nots”. Where in the world does this idealistic imagination come from?? Do they do like charts and go ask every wifebeater that comes into universal knowledge “Are you christian?” ( and does the second question go “No, but are you a true christian?”) ?
    Just wondering….

  • http://www.TheMasterPlanFilm.com Aron Campisano

    Ceiling Cat knowz all! B-wear!!!

  • 7

    Here is the crazy thing about this whole “atheists have no morals” argument. From what I gather, their point is if one does not believe in a god or a heaven and hell, then one is free to do all sorts of horrible things because they will never be punished. Yet they never seem to realize what such a theory says about them, mainly the only reason they don’t do horrible things is because they are afraid of being punished. They don’t realize, as I and I imagine everyone else here does, say to themselves, “I wont do (enter bad thing here) because it may hurt someone, or its not the way I would want to be treated, etc.” In essence, these are the people that have no morals as the only way they will behave is because they are afraid of getting caught and being punished. To me that’s far worse. If you need a carrot on a stick to be a decent person, then you are most certainly, in your core, NOT a decent person.

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  • KM

    “Like you I believe in thinking, searching, asking questions, and hearing others from outside my box.”

    Liar.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Pastor Chris sent me a followup email apologizing and has said this has been a “lesson learned.” I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and have removed my ban. He is welcome to comment under his own identity.

  • http://www.worldwidecatholic.org RtRevRobertHall

    Regarding the lying “pastor”: I’m embarrassed for him to to call myself Christian. Thanks for tossing him. What a shame. Keep up the good work! Rob

  • http://www.worldwidecatholic.org RtRevRobertHall

    Daniel. I have to say, the strange thing is (and please take this in the way it is intended)… you are more “Christian” in your actions than most of the “Christians” that I know. As a termed “liberal” Anglo-Catholic priest, I’ve seen many. :) I suppose what I mean to say is by holding him accountable, and giving him the benefit of the doubt to return, you have proven moral and ethical in my humble opinion. :) Keep up the good work!
    Thanks again. Rt Rev. Robert D. Hall, Texas

  • DarkMatter

    I hope he won’t take it on his wife and children in the aftermath. I hope he will be ok.

  • misanthropope

    you can hardly fault a priest for lying. as bertrand russell demonstrated so elegantly (“…therefore i am the pope”), once you prove one false thing true, you can justify any statement.

    the flaming shrubbery speaks to me, therefore war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength.

  • Janet Greene

    Thanks for the update, Daniel – about the apology. Maybe I’m not as moral as you, but I can’t help thinking that he may have apologized just to avoid publicity about his actions. Someone that duplicitous cannot be trusted.

  • Mojo

    It’s fascinating that this guy would pose as an atheist. Matthew 10:33 says, “But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” If his purporting to be an atheist wasn’t an act of denying god before men, I don’t know what it was.

    He was also bearing false witness, it would seem to me, though perhaps he doesn’t consider atheists his neighbors, so he he could probably rationalize that he wasn’t bearing false witness against a neighbor.

  • Ru

    Organized religion has an agenda,always has and always will so this is really not that much of surprise when you think about it. The unfortunate fact is that this is not an isolated incident,I have come across this sort of fundamentalism before many times but in retrospect this is minor in comparison.
    Christianity 101,”love thy neighbor”,seems to be a case of love thy neighbor unless ones neighbor thinks differently than you, then all bets are off.It would be a terrible generalization to say all Christians think this way because that is simply not true,I still believe in ones individualism and ability to think for ones self,but it’s this kind of religious intolerance that keeps the human race divided.Love thy neighbor because its the right thing to do.

  • Janelle

    I’d like to comment on part of the pastor’s reply, “I was trying to make a point from a different perspective, of which I hear quite often, regarding morality and where it is derived.”

    The pastor’s atheist impersonations were meant to suggest that if you don’t believe in God then you have no reasons to behave morally, i.e. morality comes from religious belief.

    We all clearly reject this thinking, but I’d like to suggest a better answer.

    Morality is an evolved trait. Humans are social creatures, as we are physically weak but highly intelligent. As such, a tribe of humans can band together for strength in numbers, but humans who wander off by themselves get quickly picked off by predators.

    Because of this, we have evolved to interact well with others. We crave social contact, we thrive when included in social groups and we deteriorate when isolated. Those who showed anti-social behaviors found themselves banished from the tribe and thus isolated, and they did not survive. Those who showed characteristics that were advantageous to living in close proximity to others, would survive and thrive in a tribe, and thus got to pass on their genes to future generations.

    Traits like empathy, concern for the well-being of others, etc, were essential for living in social groups. An every-man-for-himself approach quickly makes everyone dead, or at least as far away from each other as possible, and thus dead soon enough.

    So, morality is an evolved characteristic enabling humans to band together in social groups and thus survive. Since atheists evolved in the exact same way that christians did, our moral instincts and benevolent traits are every bit as strong as any christian’s.

  • http://www.rickywood.net bchboy1

    I really enjoy reading this blog (putting it on my blogroll)..by the way Pastor Fox I not so sure you are sorry…
    maybe just caught!

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com/ blueollie

    I admit that I write on poe blogs; the difference is that the owners of the blogs know that I am “in on the joke”; in fact one has made me a contributor.

    But some of those who surf in often think that I am serious.

    Hmmm…this is making me think about my actions.

  • cousinavi

    For clarity’s sake, I’m about as intolerant and loud vis theists as anyone, up to and including Hitchens (who, being a limp noodle, would stop short of giving Dinesh D’Souza a good smack in the skull)…
    Nevertheless, while I can’t say that secular humanists have never impersonated believers on any X-tian blog in order to blather some sarcasm (I spend no time on X-tian blogs), I CAN say this:
    There have been more than plenty examples of tongue-in-cheek posts, oozing satire and dripping vicious sarcasm, spent in the guise of Great and Eternal Jebus.

    Not that I don’t see the one as simply more foolishness and the other as well-aimed riposte…just sayin’…if you turn the tables, what this guy did under twisted sock puppetry is not without counterweight – yin and yang, n’est pas? (Debates of style and quality…or, you know, Truth Value…notwithstanding).

  • Flea

    He is not the only one. Lovely religion of peace joins the party:

    Hilali kicks door, blames vandals:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25208451-5013404,00.html

  • http://www.girlchild.wordpress.com mrsmarshall

    aren’t IP addresses fun?? :)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJYS2GWzsJk BILLY

    Oh aren’t all you holier-than-thou atheists shocked and outraged?!

    If you were all so outraged, why didn’t you turn on the guy when he wrote what he wrote?

    Why didn’t atheists write in with “Listen pal I’m also an atheist and I think you’re insane” … NOPE!

    That didn’t happen and it doesn’t ever happen.

    The atheists are SOOOO-non-judgemental of FELLOW ATHEISTS ONLY.

    Oh the hilarity of you nutty godless retards.

  • http://xymarmadukeexplained.blogspot.com/ xy

    As one of the so-called “nutty godless retards” I find it hilarious that a Pastor would find it necessary to go on an atheist blog and pretend to be an atheist in order to convert atheists.

    Couldn’t he have been out helping the poor or doing something better with his time than making an idiot out of himself trying to change minds in the dumbest way possible?

    Also, I totally might eat some babies tonight. Or help at the soup kitchen. It’s hard to tell since I have no morals.

  • CSF

    Daniel, and Fellow Commenters,

    I want to express to you how deeply sorry I am for coming on this site and making the remarks I did and violating my own faith. It was out of bounds. I allowed the “debater” part of me go too far. I messed up and I have come to ask for your forgiveness. Thank you for allowing me back on.

    I know some of you think that I am this horrible, two-faced, hypocrite and hates atheists and others not like myself. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. I genuinely love people. Those who know me best know that I do not slander or hate anyone, but am open-minded and compassionate. I am human and make mistakes. I saw I what I thought was mischaracterization of Christians and I allowed myself to get sucked in, to my own demise. I acted a fool.

    I received some pretty nasty emails – I deserved them. I also received some sympathetic emails from non-theists and others. Thank you.

    I am talking openly to some of you via email and invite and welcome that to anyone. I do believe strongly and passionately in my faith (and am gentle and respectful) and do my best to set the example and model for my family, friends, and congregation. This was not the good example.

    I hope I can restore my example and witness. I am open to sharing why I said on some of the posts. I am not excusing my behavior, but willing to dialogue further.

    Sincerely,

    Chris

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  • http://xymarmadukeexplained.blogspot.com/ xy

    okay. i have no problem accepting your apology.

    i do have a question:
    Why do you think that atheists have no morals simply because they don’t have a belief in a god? we still have to conform to the rules of society. it’s not like we can murder and then show up in court and just say “Well, I don’t believe that I’ll be punished for eternity by a god that says murder is bad.” It doesn’t matter if you believe in god, they will still put your ass in jail.

  • Atheist

    Let’s all go run around and eat babies while burning cats with a flamethrower because we don’t believe in God.

  • CSF

    xy:

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond. I totally agree that if you do the crime, you do the time. My intention in the post (and it was extreme I know) was to say that if someone (not necessarily an atheist) were to say, “Hey I have no problem with murder or stealing, etc,” how would you respond? In other words, “morally I am nuetral, I don’t believe in it, but if someone else does, so what?” Where, other than that society’s laws, would the moral come from and it be absolutely true for all of us? Would there ever be a time when stealing (I’ll use the lesser of the evils) would be moral? Why/Why not? You and I know that it is wrong. You have based your morals on something(s) and so have I? That’s where was coming from. I know that my faith has some extremism and my goal is to best reflect Christ. I goofed on here. I hope to shed better light. Email me for more dialogue. Thanks.

  • CSF

    I actually did set a cat on fire when I was younger (as a child). Thankfully there was a creek nearby – first and only time I have seen a cat hit the water. : )

    • Darby

      I actually did set a cat on fire when I was younger (as a child).

      You do know that that is a common trait among sociopaths and serial killers right? In fact, childhood acts of amoral cruelty to animals is about the only common thread between all of them. This isn’t surprising coming from a person such as you have proven yourself to be.
      You are deeply disgusting and utterly lacking in basic human decency or morality.

      If you were a healthy human being, the question of where morality comes from wouldn’t even need to arise, you would have a clear and instinctive understanding of it. That’s part and parcel of being a normal healthy human being. The fact that morals are a completely foreign concept to you as you have proven, is a clear and obvious sign that you are a deeply disturbed individual who most likely poses a grave threat to anybody around you.

      . I allowed the “debater” part of me go too far

      And here is how we know for a fact that your apology is nothing but yet another calmly calculated act of dishonesty on your part.

      Nothing in what you did had anything to do with debate. The fact that you are trying to sell such an obvious lie, is again, quite telling about your character, or complete lack thereof.
      All you were doing was projecting your own complete lack of understanding of ethics, morality, and basic human decency.

      Seriously, you have a lot of growing up to even reach the point where you wouldn’t be an embarrassment if you were a very small child. The fact that you’ve reached this age without developing even the rudiments of a moral compass is a very strong sign that you are not capable of ever understanding how moral, ethical, healthy brains work.

      I pity you, but far more so I pity any poor victim under your power, and I pity anybody stupid enough to not realize what a monster you are.

  • CSF

    When I say “my faith” I am referring to Christianity and to the extreme things that some do that border hate. I am not in that category and want to better reflect the true teachings of Christ.

  • John C

    @ Pastor Fox:

    Remember this…All things work for the good to them that love God…even this if you allow it to! Romans 8:28 is more than a cliche. And Genesis 50:20…what they meant for bad, God meant for good. We need 50/20 vision here my imperfect friend!! Cuz I am imperfect too and always in need of great measures of grace which Pappa is so fond of dispensing toward those of us who believe. Go forward, move on past this my friend cuz Love wins.

    JC

  • CSF

    xy:

    Let me also respond to the first part of your question. I truly do not believe that all atheists do not have morals. I believe that almost everybody does. My intention was to gather from whence they come and who determines them? Yes, the laws of this country are great and I am thankful to be living here than in countires where I could be imprisoned for even speaking my mind. Thanks.

    • nazani14

      From whence come morals? You have some reading in sociobiology ahead of you. Here’s one introduction to this field: http://hs.riverdale.k12.or.us/~dthompso/exhib_03/joshw/int.html
      ” Evolutionary ethics is an attempt to bridge the gap between philosophy and science in a form that explains the biological origin of morality.”

      For another excellent summary of research on the interplay of genetics and altruistic behaviors in humans and many other animals, try: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature, by Matt Ridley.

  • gina94984

    i am amazed that there are grown-up adults in this world that think that the only people with consciences are those with a religious affiliation. i’m even more amazed that so-called christians actually say and teach that idea to their most impressionable members. i knew the difference between right and wrong long before i ever got to catechism at age six. people who say they don’t are making excuses for doing what they feel like and not what they already know is wrong, but tempting (for whatever reason it may be). a smack upside the head to pastor jim!

  • gina94984

    and to people who don’t use their best judgement in their lives.

  • CSF

    Bill,

    Thank you for your acceptance. What I meant by that was that I know many many Christians who exemplify love (not perfection) and grace, and give so much of their time, money, and talents to the church. They are genuine. They do make mistakes. True Christians will be hypocritical at times, but are not “hypocrites.” What I mean by that is to be a hypocrite means you are habitually “playing face” and wearing the mask and play-acting. Jesus called these out and basically said they were not true believers. I am hypocritical at times, but Itry to serve my God the best I can.

    There were comments on various posts just putting Christians down and calling us names and using all kinds of names. This is my first time commenting on a blog. I was saying to myself: “I know there are some bad apples out there, but i know too many who shine with love and grace.” Irony of ironies, I suck myself in.

    “Christian” is a funny word. I live in a county where 95 % of the people are *cough* “Christian.” And by that I mean that if you were brought up in a church, or your parents were Christian, that makes you a Christian. But that’s far from it. So, many people (especially atheists and other religious faiths) see the hypocricy of many so-called Christians (who really are not) and that fortifies in their mind – “Oh this is what a Christian is about.” There really are masses of Christians and great churches where people are accepted for who they are, no matter what background, clothing they wear, or anything. I believe that.

    So, that sums up my thoughts. Thanks!

  • LRA

    To CSF-

    What is the precise definition of a True Believer (TM)?

    Who in the in-group and who is out? When, how, and by whom was this determined?

  • Sock

    @CSF

    Like others have said. Don’t get sucked in and give into frustration, that almost always ends badly. Like me, I gave into frustration and ran into a pair of Philosophy majors here. I assumed they were Godbotting, and I was quickly in over my head. :P

    At the worst, you can end up banned (like you were), and at the best, you can end up embarrassed (like I was).

    In the end, I hope you do stick around. One of the greatest things I like about this blog is the Christian element. Though, admittedly, most of that element is coming from ex-Christians, but I still like to see well thought out comments from those who still believe.

    Sadly, I think one of the only believers who comments regularly is JC. And man, I just… I can’t read that anymore. I always gloss over his comments. :P

  • http://alverant.livejournal.com/ Alverant

    I’m not surprised something like this has happened. It seems that many christians have the attitude, “it’s OK to break the last 7 commandments if it means enforcing the first 3″.

    I’ve read the pastor’s apology. I think it would have more meaning if he confessed to the people in his church and be honest about what he has learned. He perpetuated the negative and undeserved stereotype of Atheists. If he were really sorry, he would try to undo the damage and try to spread a more accurate picture of what we are.

    As for the origins of morality, morality appears in nature. Even monkeys know when something is not fair. Morality is a society’s way of getting along for mutual benefit. It’s not handed down from a deity who’s allowed to ignore it at will. Morality comes out of the necessity of being in a group.

  • elflocko

    PWND…

  • Kip

    It’s called satire, I use it all the time. I habitually argue through the ridiculousness of the other person’s belief. Of course, it’s a thin line between satire and strawmen, and this guy definitely crossed it. Not on purpose, he just has a typical misunderstanding that yes, it is possible to have “ethics” without getting them from a book.

  • http://www.vidlord.com VidLord

    Daniel – thanks for exposing this impostor for what he is and thanks for taking the time to put up this website. What you are doing is bigger than you think “you are a soldier in a war that never ends…” I commend you and expect you will see a large following as time goes on.

  • Medium Lebowsky

    Hey, google “Pastor Chris Fox.”

    [borta]Verrrry niccce![/borat]

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  • http://moehead.wordpress.com gettheconcept

    In the world of Quantum Physics, the mere fact of observation changes the outcome. Regardless of your personal theology or science your readers are recognizing that you have done well to fight a person’s darkness.

    Because no person, (even Pastors) have a corner on the market of sin, I think sometimes in this whacked out world, forgiveness seems even more complicated than sin is. Therein likes somewhat of the miracle.

    As youth, many of us pointed and laughed.

    Perhaps it is a higher challenge to not point, and love.

    What then is the lesser of these: being the pointee or the pointer?

    Like it or not, you are following the Light.

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  • troubador

    I am certainly not a fan of deceit in any form, and believe it to be a shame that a pastor would conduct himself in such a fashion, unfortunately it seems to be a path Christians take more often than not.

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
    –Mohandas Gandhi

  • davidstamaria

    disturbing. and yeah, nice detective work.

  • boywidacoin

    It’s a shame when a Christian does that. We oughta be careful in our conversations and testimonies but it doesn’t justify anything about atheism. You’re still gonna get it someday and I promise you, your mouths will be stopped.

  • FSMdude

    Hey guys, I’ve sent an e-mail to this guy and here’s his repsonse:

    Mr. Renard,

    Thank you for your honesty. I am deeply sorry for my actions. The post below was intended not characterize all atheists or non-believing, but was related to the question or morals and if not having morals was okay. Looking back at it, it did not come across the way I intended to. I do not have any ill-will towards atheists.

    I have sent a statement that expresses my apology:

    Let me share that when I recently came across the UF website, I browsed through the posts and wanted to share ideas and give opinions. I am in no way a fundamentalist or anti-atheist/non-believing. But, I got wrapped up in some of the topics and posts and wanted to share, and I allowed it to step over the line. I did not opine to antagonize or “win souls” – in fact, I am quite moderate in my beliefs. I didn’t personally attack anyone. I don’t characterize all atheists as immoral or amoral. In fact, there are believers who do immoral things. I was indeed hypocritical. My intentions were not to be deceiving. I wanted to ask questions that would allow others to think and bring out their thoughts. I am deeply sorry for my actions. As I have pondered and prayed over the past few days, it was not the right way. It may be my naivete, but I wanted to speak from my experience with people of all walks of life and actual thoughts and conversations I have had. I never intended the thoughts to characterize all atheists/non-believers. In conversations with my atheist/non-believing friends, we share openly and candidly and give permission to speak bluntly about things, often using hypotheticals and hyberbole. I see that some of the posts have characterized me as a fundie and extreme, an idiot, and worse, but I am anything but. I don’t know what your beliefs are, but please don’t let this alone form an opinion about my character or heart. I am truly sorry.

    Kindest regards,

    Chris

  • Sock

    Starting a new thread for this, still.

    @JC

    I will ignore the first point of your last post, since God’s demeanor clearly changes from OT -> NT, and thus your statement that he is “changeless” is ignorant at best.

    So, are you saying that the OT is symbolic, and that you aren’t supposed to take (as much of) it to heart? At least in the written word? That the NT is where you’re -really- supposed to get God’s message?

    If so, then why did God write the OT how many thousands of years BEFORE the NT? Did he just not care for all those hundreds of generations that came before Christ? Not that I think you’d ever say “we can’t know God’s will”, cause you sure seem to say quite the opposite a lot, BUT! I -am- asking why -you- think there was this separation, and why he doomed so many people before the NT to toil and sorrow.

    Also, what verses point at Christ, and why have the greatest Jewish Rabbi’s completely missed that in their devoted studies OF Yahweh’s words, but you’ve managed to find them?

  • http://welcome2theplanet.blogspot.com Julia Cheam

    Humans are all the same, none perfect. Depends on how much conscience one have.

    Try being an atheist for real, then try being christian for real. Get involved. Then come out and argue.

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  • Pi

    Meh… fanatical followers of a dying cult do stupid stuff.

    Same-old… same-old…

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    Daniel, isn’t it a bit old school for you to point out hypocrisy in the church? We all know it exists, it exists because you are dealing with… people… flawed individuals

    this is the reason my son left the church in the first place so I don’t discount its power to persuade, but come on, it has been in the church body forever, look at Judas.

    What people that do things like this do, is put a blanket over all Christians (or Atheists) saying that’s who we are. I would say he doesn’t speak for you or your beliefs any more than he speaks for me and mine.

    I saw this terrible video of this pastor last week railing against this church in SC. I had just come from a leadership conference at this church in SC where I know several of the pastors, and this moron our in AZ just bashes this church from the pulpit. I would like to rip this guys tongue out… he doesn’t speak for me, my religion, or my faith, and he certainly doesn’t follow the scriptures that speak about not creating division within the church… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S99oKuZrxcI

    This guy doesn’t speak for me any more than Pastor Chris Fox does (by the way, enjoy the video, that’s a bonus for you, haha).

    It does look as if Chris Fox now has some regret for doing this in this way, so I am guessing next time he won’t handle this in the same manner, but he does not speak for me. Good piece Daniel.

  • Not nice to you

    Mr. Fox,
    I am just wondering after all your experience in dealing with sinners and working with the church and everything it has to offer if you think of your new found world-wide fame as the speaker who shamed the entire world Christian community by spreading disgusting lies for jesus in a deceitful and disgusting smear campaign against all people, all human beings of every nation in the world who according to God are all his children, if after all of this you do not feel like your mind is fit for anything other than assisting you in the service of cleaning the toilets of atheists.

    You obviously DO need a code-book to keep your moral compass pointing away from your own dirtbag intentions but you clearly need a more concise and clearly written book than the bible!! Your own personal weakness does not represent the fabric of humanity, this is the error in your personal philosophy. Here is some info for ya , human beings while very plastic in nature and easily manipulated generally have a very well developed sense of what is right and what is wrong without needing a code book. This is why good will always triumph over evil ( evil is like ..well.. you ). While the written history of the world ( much like CNN ) is full of horror stories involving the awful immorality and cruelty of humans acting violently and oppressively against other human beings ( most of which is perpetrated by men like you who used religion as their moral compass ) , what written history is NOT FULL OF ( Much like CNN ) is the very real and common peaceful and moral activities of billions upon uncountable billions who raised their family, worked everyday, lived productive quiet lives and did so without you and your god-damned hypocritical stained book.

    You are the reason the church is failing, you and others like you . Goodbye dirtbag.

  • http://taramokhtari.tripod.com taramokhtari

    Good story.

    As a believer in poetry (as opposed to religion) I find the whole thing a little validating and all together unsurprising, sadly.

    I’m sure there’s a lot of this that goes around. It’s one of the many quirks of new technology.

    Seems this pastor has only succeeded in negatively impacting perceptions of his religion. Then again, I don’t assume to have moral high-ground over anybody else.

    ;o)

  • Kim

    I think it’s unfair that some Christians’ wrong moves and approach towards certain issues have caused a whole lot of hatred and disgust towards all other Christians.

    I’m a Christian myself, but I’ve never once thought of atheists, or anyone from other religions, as being any less moral than some Christians are themselves. I have many friends from different religions and truth be told, I have no issues with them and neither them with me. Christians are encouraged to evangelise and spread the Word of God, and honestly, I myself have done some evangelism when I was in tertiary school. But no, I did not cram the Bible into ppl’s throats, neither did I start a heated debate with them. All I did was get into a conversation with them and we just shared our beliefs. That was all I did and many times both parties end up learning more about the other’s religion. And you know what’s the beauty of it all? The ppl I’ve evangelised to have become good friends of mine, and some even went on to learn more about Christianity on their own. To those who remained faithful to their religions, I don’t mind that one bit, and don’t strike their names off my friends’ list.

    I think that’s what all Christians should really do before going all out on evangelising; just get to know the ppl, and respect their views instead of just putting up a defensive wall everytime the other person refuses to believe in Jesus. They have their reasons to believe in their respective religions, just like we do. So just hear them out. Besides, the main point of evangelising is not to “save” the person, it’s just to plant that little seed in that person, and leave the rest to God. The main vision of evangelising is so that everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus, simple as that. Whether they believe in Him or not, we have to let them decide that for themselves. That’s why I think sometimes doing the simplest things bring out more meaning.

    One last thing..to the hardcore Christians, pls remember that Jesus is the holy one, not us. We don’t have to act all high and mighty just coz we’re Christians..it doesn’t make us bionic or something. We’re still humans like everyone else. Be humble, and God bless.

    Have a great Sunday y’all!

  • DarkMatter

    “It does look as if Chris Fox now has some regret for doing this in this way, so I am guessing next time he won’t handle this in the same manner, but he does not speak for me.”
    -even after his confession and apologies, he is not considered a christian? Wow.

    3Jo 1:10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

    If there are more like you trying to be like apostle John and remembering like him instead of sweep their deeds under the carpet, maybe the church will be viewed in a different light, but until such time.

  • http://FrenchCarcan.com La French Connexion
  • http://godkillzyou.wordpress.com GodKillzYou

    Anything goes when you’re “winning souls for sweet Jesus.” Lying is just part of doing business.

  • kyokidayo

    wow………so sad…

  • http://www.music-transcription.com minstrelite

    Those comments are the kind of thing that, had he not been incognito, and had we known he was a pastor to begin with, we’d have been able to detect that he was using a kind of “role-playing with sarcasm” to make his points. But since, here on the Internet, there weren’t sufficient cues to reveal exactly where the poster was coming from, it really was a bad call on the part of the poster; that is to say, the pastor. I’m glad he apologized, and I’m also glad you accepted him back to post under his true identity. Discussions around that identity might be a tad livelier from here on in.

  • http://wizzyswandrings.wordpress.com Karen Rice

    While I applaud the pastor for owning up, I suspect he only owned up because he was caught.

    Things like this make me ashamed to call myself a Christian – though I am not ashamed of Jesus, I am ashamed of a lot of his followers.

    I found this picture online a long time ago and at first laughed – then felt sick over how true it is.

    http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/EPH/8310.jpg

  • Clint Mahoney

    >This site is open to people of all beliefs. John C can testify to >that. But don’t lie and deceive to try and gain credibility for >your ideas. It will backfire.

    It’s very telling that your blog was put on the main page of WordPress.com.

    This pastor was very foolish and wrong for what he did but he wasn’t entirely false in what he said.

    My wife and I have often been called liars when we tell the truth. We both do counseling at our local Planned Parenthood. We tell the honest story of our own abortion and help people to hear the side of abortion that most people who claim to be about “choice” and “free” speech are very very quick to censor.

    We speak to people at Indiana University and at Planned Parenthood and atheists (if they will even talk at all) will often say that right and wrong mean nothing to them. They couch it less directly than that mostly but do say it.

    Then you get Randian Objectivists who have spent too much time reading Atlas Shrugged thinking it’s a sort of bible, those people call themselves rationalists etc. However, it’s funny when you talk to an atheist, it’s surprising how often they know virtually nothing about science or evolution.

    Basicially, I’m an uber-conservative Christain and there is lying on both sides, no question – the question is which side has more people pursuing the truth honestly and not hiding behind banning posts on their blogs etc. You can search a few blogs – especially the one that I found by accident “abortion the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth” – I was called a liar for just saying that we killed our child – I don’t know if they called me a liar because abortion doesn’t kill a child or what they were saying but they deleted all my posts – they were not angry or rude – but you’d better believe those women suffering from abortion flipped their lids showing who’s suffering, those who address what abortion did to them or those who pretend it hand no effect.

    All of us make mistakes, some can admit it some can’t. It’s a human problem – one that affects all of us. The difference is that Christians have put themselves against a standard that can be used to judge us – atheists do not so we’re easy targets.

  • Clint Mahoney

    >This site is open to people of all beliefs. John C can testify to >that. But don’t lie and deceive to try and gain credibility for >your ideas. It will backfire.

    It’s very telling that your blog was put on the main page of WordPress.com.

    This pastor was very foolish and wrong for what he did but he wasn’t entirely false in what he said.

    My wife and I have often been called liars when we tell the truth. We both do counseling at our local Planned Parenthood. We tell the honest story of our own abortion and help people to hear the side of abortion that most people who claim to be about “choice” and “free” speech are very very quick to censor.

    We speak to people at Indiana University and at Planned Parenthood and atheists (if they will even talk at all) will often say that right and wrong mean nothing to them. They couch it less directly than that mostly but do say it.

    Then you get Randian Objectivists who have spent too much time reading Atlas Shrugged thinking it’s a sort of bible, those people call themselves rationalists etc. However, it’s funny when you talk to an atheist, it’s surprising how often they know virtually nothing about science or evolution.

    Basicially, I’m an uber-conservative Christain and there is lying on both sides, no question – the question is which side has more people pursuing the truth honestly and not hiding behind banning posts on their blogs etc. You can search a few blogs – especially the one that I found by accident “abortion the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth” – I was called a liar for just saying that we killed our child – I don’t know if they called me a liar because abortion doesn’t kill a child or what they were saying but they deleted all my posts – they were not angry or rude – but you’d better believe those women suffering from abortion flipped their lids showing who’s suffering, those who address what abortion did to them or those who pretend it han no effect.

    All of us make mistakes, some can admit it some can’t. It’s a human problem – one that affects all of us. The difference is that Christians have put themselves against a standard that can be used to judge us – atheists do not so we’re easy targets.

  • reckoner71

    Welcome back, Pastor Chris.

  • dgoffeney

    Thanks for posting this. I love engaging the real thoughts of both-extreme sides. I’m interested in reading more from an ‘ex-Christian’. I’m new to blogging myself, and trying to hone my skills, even while chasing around my 1 year old triplets. I posted about an intense conversation I had with a guy on a plane and most of my responses have come in support, from my Christian friends. I’d love to hear some other thoughts, so please feel free to visit my page: dgoffeney.wordpress.com

  • http://madmonq.wordpress.com madmonq

    I’ve been given yet another reason never to return to church or any religion again.

    I hope you realize, Pastor, your babyshit has guaranteed that I’m still going to go to hell.

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  • loswl

    I am a Christian but, I do not support such deception. The bible (God’s Word) tells us to be an example to unbelievers In all our ways. If that story is true, that man should no longer be a pastor, why? He has shown his true light – he is a false prophet. There will be a greater condemnation for him at judgement day and maybe, just maybe, an atheist will be his judge :)

    With all that said here are two verses to contemplate from God’s Word:

    James 3:1-3 (New King James Version)

    The Untamable Tongue

    1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed,[a] we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.

    James 3:2-3 (New International Version)

    2We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

    3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.

    We all mess up at times but, writing on a blog in a deceptive manner is not a mistake, it’s intentional and the bible warns about that too. If we know something is wrong and we do it knowingly, we are under a greater condemnation than someone who did the same thing but did not know it was a sin. Come on, why do we read and teach from the Word to the World and don’t practice what we preach?

    I do encourage atheist to study the Bible and be reconciled to God through his son Jesus Christ, even with such bad examples out there because, even though there are bad example, there are also numerous good example of Christians, not perfect but, good examples, because we have not yet been perfected. You also will not be excused at the judgement time of God your creator. Two sides to the coin.

  • enki

    I found the story most interesting because, coincidentally, I’m currently dealing with a Jehovah’s Witness who’s been misrepresenting atheism/atheists and has been making (rather absurd) accusations and allegations in a discussion forum. Be that as it may, I don’t believe the majority of Christians are into this kind of outright deception, lying, misrepresentation. On the contrary.

    I think taking advantage of anonymity on the web reflects how ethical people really are. I liken it to the kind of student who doesn’t cheat when the teacher’s around but who would when there’s very little chance of getting caught. The thing is, we all instinctively want our children to do the right thing whether we’re around or not, whether reward/punishment awaits them or not. We want them to develop integrity.

    I was just wondering whether Pastor Chris Fox would’ve apologized had Daniel not found out and revealed his true identity. I’m also wondering whether the JW who’s spouting off lies would stop doing so and make amends if his true identity were suddenly revealed.

  • http://freestyletheology.blogspot.com freestyle

    I guess before we post anything we must confess our association, at least that seems like the unsaid rule. Therefore, I am a Christian and a young pastor. Not sure if I have that much to add to the conversation, but I will attempt to.
    I slowly read down each and every comment this morning. My tone continued to change throughout the entire (long reading) of the comments. I was mad at the Pastor for “representing” Christians so poorly, I was embarrassed at the responses of many Christians who posted wanting to make excuses for Pastor Fox, I was amazed at some of the forgiveness and understanding that was being expressed by some here. However, I was also confused because many Christians sounded like functional atheists and many atheists sounded like functional fundamentalists. To me, that ultimately affirms our common humanity in all its beauty as well as its uglier sides. I think that clearly a challenge for everyone moving forward is for us to be affirming one another’s human dignity, being authentic (losing the christianese mumbo jumbo) being transparent and honest with one another, and I would assume that we all want to move towards creating a more pleasant and understanding atmosphere where true dialogue and mutual exchange can take place (which there has been some of, I am just advocating for more of it).
    Just reading everyone’s posts has been challenging/thought provoking for me personally. Ultimately I am glad the pastor apologized, however there are always consequences for our actions, and so I do not agree with covering this up. However, someone did talk earlier about Darfur, and other atrocities globally as well as at home. I hope that we can find ways to partner at areas of agreement on such challenges that lay ahead, not allowing our different ideology continue to shackle us in the future.

  • http://www.myspace.com/jackielikesrock jackiesampieri

    sad really, that a “pastor” would say this. Makes the real christian pay for those comments. Don’t be deceived, there are some people who are truly “Christ like”. Just like there a few good men out there, this is also true for few good women, and few good christians. How you find them? You might never know.

  • DarkMatter

    He can fool ignorant christians, but he can’t fool all. His nature is who he is.

  • DarkMatter

    He can fool ignorant christians, but he can’t fool all humanity. His nature is who he is.

  • armandareza

    Allah is your God…

  • DarkMatter

    Are you sure? Maybe it is not directed at me.

  • ohthesweetpromise

    This Pastor needs to do some serious soul searching.

  • draconianmeasures

    Lying for Jesus, hey? Is that what he was doing? Or was he illustrating, in harsh terms, the perspective of other consituencies in order to demonstrate their flaws or where logic necessarily leads their arguments? Socrates did it. Then Plato…why not others?

    Nice try.

  • deldobuss

    That was a sad thing that he did, but I am glad he apologized. It is important to admit when we go wrong.

    Thanks for posting this, it was really interesting.

    -Aadel in KS

  • xybatt

    You are right! He lied. As a Christian, I agree that the fundamentals of faith include truthfulness. Now that he is caught redhanded, let him off the hook (forgiveness). Maybe all can grow in this.

  • http://www.boilthefrogs.com Abe Frogman

    Are you a eugenicist?

    The best argument against abortion is this:

    If you truly believe that the world is overpopulated, then why don’t you do the world a favor and kill yourself? What makes you think that your life is more valuable than anyone else’s? Is it the evil that exists in you?

  • http://cantseetheforest.info Curtis

    Hilarious. Great detective work, and while I knew of some atheists who like to pose as fundies to be provocative, I’ve never heard of the reverse.

  • http://stinkyluvin.blogspot.com/ KEvron

    “Since I don’t believe in God…”

    simon peter called; he wants his shitck back.

    KEvron

  • jasonmackenzie

    Man. Jesus is still real and he still loves you, whether you believe or not. I pray that you would come back to God’s love and his purpose for your life.

    • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

      Jesus is real? No he is not. I can prove it and so can you. Look up Horus, Mithra, and Attis on Google. You’ll see how christianity was founded upon a lie and has been lying ever since.

      Do you know there is not one contemporary account of any jesus? The first mention is in the gospel of mark, written from 40 to 110 years after the “fact”.

      Isn’t it odd that the Romans, who kept excellent records of everything else, made no mention of someone that was supposed to create such civil and political unrest as well as performing miracles and being publicly executed.

      That’s as if there were no records of George Washington until the late 1800s. People would think he was a myth.

  • loswl

    Question-I-Thority , you asked for life changing miracles you have personally witnessed from revival09 and I persoally think he shut you down – was not necessary, if he mentioned it, he should have been able to back it up in a non-combative way.

    Let me give you two of my own, I will leave out personal details but, you will get the whole idea and truth.

    1. I became a christian when I was 16 and never looked back, even through adolescence – that was a miracle cause I was a sinner heading to hell, breaking God’s laws without intentions of stopping or considering the consequences. So now, I am a sinner saved by God’s grace. Basic deliverance story.

    2. This is the one I intend to tell but, the first is the back story:
    In 2000 I got layed off from work, I had a huge car payment, rent, utility bills, the works and not much savings to rely on. I filed for unemployment and started getting the checks while I looked for work. My bills were still not being taken care of and the upcoming month was gonna be do or die.

    I visited by bro who is also a christian and explained to him my situation and how I had to find a job which could stabilize my situation. My bro said, “do not worry about it, God has a job for you already.” I was not surprised at his answer, it only reaffirmed my faith in Christ because, the bible teaches us not to worry about stuff like that, because if He takes care of the birds and flowers, he will do more for us who are made in His image (paraphrase).

    I went home that night feeling somewhat ok and ready to go job hunting again. That night or a night later, I had a dream of somewhere I had been before to print a job that I had done for my church (I am a graphic designer). Back story: It was about 10 years since I had been to that location and when they saw the work I did, we discussed employment, they were the interested party, but when I told them the salary I would require of them, it became clear that they would not employ me, so I stayed emplyed at the job I had. Now in the dream, I went there to look for the manager and I was directed upstairs to his office, when I went in, his desk was a mess with work and he was on the phone speaking to someone and he could not speak to me. I waited around in the office and as I looked to the north of his office I saw that the walls were knocked down so I looked over and saw men bringing parts in, as if they were doing a remodeling and expansion of his building. I stayed for a while and observed, but the manager was still on the phone and it seem evident to me that I had to return – that was not the end of the dream but it ended shortly after that. The dream was very real and when I woke up, the first thing that came to my thought was that it was from God. My bro usually tell me of these message from God and how they come true but this was my first.

    I thought of calling the job location but, I said to myself, even if they hired me it would be below my pay level and it would not help. I went back to my old job to clear out some office stuff, while there I got a call from the manager I had the dream about and I was surprised, he knew I was working there because I was working with one of his competitors. I jumped on the opportunity to tell him I was laid off and that I was job hunting. He then ask me if I was joking, I said no. He then went on to tell me that he have been looking for me for the past couple weeks and hat I must be joking or lying because he gave a church brother a message to give me. I asked, what message? He went on to tell me that he needed a graphic designer and I was the only person he could think of to fill the position. I thought this is crazy. I arranged to meet with him the next day. I did not have a portfolio put together with my current work so I spent most of the night preparing it. I went in next day and brought my “proud, beautiful portfolio” :) When I stepped in he greeted me like a brother and told me the office manager will see me in a few to talk about salary. No interview yet, so I said would you like to see my portfolio – he replied, no, I already know the type of work you are capable of. He also went on to ask me about the message he sent with my church brother and we discussed for a while and I explained that I have not seen him and that if we did meet up he would have told me about this quest he was on to find me. Long story short, I got the job and a worth salary. After employment was confirmed, I went and spoke to the manager immediately because I and to tell him about this crazy vision from God. I explained to him that I think his business would be expanding and he immediately said he had plans to do so, but someone else was in the section of the building that he wanted to acquire.

    Two years into the job, the person in the next part of the building just got up and left, no explanation, leaving his employees in his mess. The business closed. Before this, my manager was looking for another building to purchase and we even found one, but someone got the deal before us. AAAHrG, nice building, but was not ment to be. My manager jump on the availability of the part of the building which was now vacant and acquired it with no problems. However he only used it for storage. I knew something was down the pike but I didn’t want to say anything else about my dream, I wanted to see how God was going to work it out, as far as the expansion was concerned. The third year, plans were made to start creating a new office in the newly acquired space and within approx. 7 months it was completed. My new office was now in that section and the front office was also. Now remember, in the dream I went upstairs to see the manager, that was my old office, exact location as in the dream. Now I moved downstairs and my manager moved upstairs in the same office I dreamt him in, my old office, that’s were all the confusing office mess is kept today, away from the clients. Just like I saw in the dream. There are more details but I’ll stop there. I reminded my manager about the dream I told him a little before the project was ended and he told me no, he does not remember, but after I explained he aid yes, I do remember now.

    Those are two of my personal miracles. I think it happened to me in order to strengthen my belief but, I told you because you enquired and that it may make you believe. Can miracles occur to the unbeliever, Yes, in order for them to believe. When Jesus fed the multitude with a boys lunch, there were unbelievers in the audience but everyone ate of the lunch of fish and bread, that miraculously fed 5,000 women +men and children. However, there is also another side, sometimes it does not matter how many miracles we see or experience, it’s not enough. If you read the new testament in the Holy bible you’ll see what I mean – it’s just not enough to believe in God, even he devil believes in Him and tremble. However I implore you to check out the death, burial and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ, because if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and repent you will be free from what the bible calls the bondage of sin. That goes for me and you. I am not better that you, I am just saved from the same faith, due to sin. Death. (complete spiritual separation from God)

    Thanks for your patience
    God Bless You

    • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

      You think those were “miracles”? You have a very loose idea of miracles. But theists have to have that idea to make ordinary chance appear to be amazing.

      But the most powerful force in the universe is that of human self-deception. People will give up their property, family and even their lives before their delusions.

  • http://launchnow.ca iamzelda

    I’ve read a good majority of the replies to this blog and am saddened to see that most you just don’t ‘get it’. I’m not talking about the wrongs that were done through slandering and impersonating; I agree that they were wrong. But they were also confessed and apologized for. As a society, people have been a lot less condemned for more serious crimes (if you can even call this a “crime”).

    No. What saddens me is the slam on “religion” and the insinuations that this is what Christianity is all about, because of the actions of 1 man. The Bible is not about religion (that was man’s interpretation – just like the many Christian faiths out there – each with their own docterines). The Holy Bible I read is about God’s love, forgiveness, His Grace, and His ultimate sacrifice of His son, Jesus, who died on the cross to bear our sins..and no, not just the sins of Christians. Jesus came to save all mankind because He loves us THAT MUCH. For those who choose to accept that ultimate gift of God’s love and try to follow the ways of the Bible, we are called “Christians” but we are still human, still subject to sin, we still make mistakes. The difference is the accepting of God’s sacrifice and the using of God’s word to guide us through our mistakes, strengthen us when we fall, and raise us up to be the children of the King we are ALL meant to be. One only need look at some of the greatest people in the world to see that…Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, even Anthony (Tony) Robbins, all God-fearing, Jesus loving people! God Bless them for the goodness they brought/bring into the lives of millions upon millions of people.

    All I’d like to say is, please don’t lose sight of the message because of the messenger, or use the mistake of one man to persecute others. To the messanger, I for one, forgive you. And for those of you who have heard stuff or think you know about what it’s all about, I challenge you to read God’s word and ponder it for yourself before you draw your own conclusions.

    ~Shalom (peace :)

    Zelda

    • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

      Zelda, you must be reading a different bible. The one I have read so many times is about a god that is hateful angry and has murdered or ordered to be murdered millions of people, animals, and the destruction of entire populations including trees and buildings.

      That same bible is full of contradictions and obvious lies. But theists always have to only see what they wish to believe. Truth and reality have no place in the delusional world of any religion. It is not “god’s word” There is no god and not one bit of evidence there has ever been any god of any kind.

      Do you believe in Zeus, Aphrodite, or any other god? No? Prove they do not exist. Then apply that same reasoning to your own mythical god.

      I HAVE read the bible and probably more than you. Unlike you, I read all of it with an open mind and do not cherry-pick only the parts that I can pretend mean what I choose to believe.

      Also, please do not “pray for me”. That is insulting to me. It says that you are so full of arrogance that you think it will have an effect. That you are smarter than me and you can influence anything with the most useless of human activities. You cannot show even a single instance where prayer has done anything other than give someone the self-satisfaction of “helping” without actually doing anything useful or putting themselves at any risk, financially, or personally.

      • Peter

        Christianity is flawed logically from the ground up. There was no sacrifice because he was raised from the dead. If he was sacrificed for your sins he should be dead. Never mind all the other things wrong with it. But you really don’t need to go any further.

  • dahljode

    All those of you who still believe that faith and believing in a supernatural spirit are prerequisites for moral and ethics should check out Phil Zuckerman on YouTube. (interview by Danish TV). Life is so much nicer and honest without the Book and the dogmas, especially for women. You can be sure, there is no heaven or hell.

  • DarkMatter

    “I’ve read a good majority of the replies to this blog and am saddened to see that most you just don’t ‘get it’. I’m not talking about the wrongs that were done through slandering and impersonating; I agree that they were wrong.”

    What is his wrong that you think “you” don’t get it?

  • lostinjersey

    How Would Jesus Lie?

  • raybann

    Hey all!
    This person has succumbed to the use of “Rovian’ tactics in his perception of his own weak position.
    I remember Rove once placed ‘bugs’ in an office of his own candidate and then had them ‘discovered’.
    Not exactly analogous but it is exactly this kind of machination that are precisely antithetical to the teaching of my Christ.
    Pastors? We don’t need no stinkin’ pastors!
    Christ is self evident within. To me. And it is only to me, as I learn to live reflectively rather than reflexively.
    If this fellow has kids I would love to hear his explanation of this to them.
    The use of dirty tricks in any group often seems to come from those who can categorize the ‘other’ as the ‘enemy’.
    At age 53 I have yet to categorize anyone as my enemy. Even if the feeling might have been different from a few I have met regarding myself.
    Shine on fellow travelers.

    raybann
    CosmosLaundry Journal

  • Hanna

    I love how so many argue that all human morality is derived from the bible, even though law systems such as the Hammurabi Code existed before any monotheistic religion.

    There is something within the human psyche that tells us what is right from wrong, whether it is leanred from experience or whether we are born with it. But to suggest that it was given to us by a higher power is an insult to the collective human consciousness.

    If you need a book (created by MAN, by the way, not your God) to tell you what’s right from wrong, then by all means use it. But don’t you dare use morality as a way of trying to find common ground between us. Atheists have a moral code that stems from a sense of honor and self-identity, not fear and worship.

  • http://robinjester.wordpress.com robinjester

    as someone who has been in ministry positions, i’d like to know what the hell kind of church he’s pastor of that he has so much time to hang out on msg boards?? i wanna job there.

    kitty <3 innernets c’spiracies

  • Jon Heffley

    I’m impressed by your actions of forgiveness!

  • http://airtonbolquett.wordpress.com/ Airton Bolquett

    Hi.
    I’m brazilian, I do not understand English very well, and would be great if you could set a translation tool in this blog.
    Anyway, this theme is beaultiful and this post is nice (I’m talking about what I could understand).

  • http://www.myspace.com/zulema2 zulema2

    Whao i am very saddened by these comments. I am a Christian a Seventh day Adventist. And even if i agree or disagree with other peoples Faith or lack their of. It is not my placer to judge others. But what this “Pastor” commented was wrong and not very Christian at all, i will be praying for him.

    http://www.zulema2.wordpress.com

  • http://godhatesprotesters.wordpress.com godhatesprotesters

    He’s not sorry for lying. He’s sorry for getting caught.

  • julierocks88

    I was so glad to reach the end of your post and read his apology. Though his lying was certainly a discredit to many people’s perception of Christianity, his apology speaks volumes.

  • mms20

    Ok, perhaps I’m just not reading this correctly, but I really don’t see how this was SUCH a huge deal…he did lie in a way, but it was to prove a point. I completely understand where’s he’s coming from and I just don’t see how what he did was so wrong. Sure, maybe not a good way to prove a point, but he got your attention, now didn’t he?

    • Darby

      Ok, perhaps I’m just not reading this correctly, but I really don’t see how this was SUCH a huge deal…he did lie in a way, but it was to prove a point.

      I’m really amazed how it’s possible to fail to understand something so simple, but let me attempt to explain it in a way you might be capable of understanding.

      He lied flat out, “not in a way”. That’s one very important point.
      Further, he did not lie in order to “make a point”. The “point” was his lie. He didn’t make a point he told a lie, and tried to pawn it off on millions of decent people all over the world.

      I wish I could say that I was surprised to see so many Christians like you and he who have no understanding of morality or ethics or even basic human decency, and think it’s ok to lie through your teeth provided it’s intended to hurt decent people just because they are thinkers rather than believers.

      If you were incapable of understanding that on your own, then it’s an indication that your reasoning skills are very poor, and that your morals are crap.

  • Candid Paine

    How funny. How very funny.

    This is one of the reason why people think Christianity is just another religion that has absolutely no consequence.

    Most Christians (me included, unfortunately) tend to lead more people away from Jesus than to him. It’s hard being a Christian, every second you’re just waiting to be devoured by a pack of wolves.

    If people don’t listen to you…well, that’s their problem. They’re the ones who’ll suffer. Just do the best you can…but not as far as lying.

    lol.

    That’s sending the wrong messsage. duh.

  • 23eastblue

    I find it very interesting that Christians such as this Pastor apparently find athiests and agnostics immoral. I feel that I embrace the highest form of ethical and moral behavior in my daily life. My actions are based on empathy for the human condition and the desire to treat others as I would like to be treated. There is nothing religious about that concept, no hope for a reward in heaven that I long for, no belief that God is either pleased or displeased with my actions. I would find it presumptuous and arrogant to say that I understand the nature of God – selfish to behave rightously toward my fellowman in expectation of reward.

    I love Thomas Jefferson’s statement: “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

    I like to call myself an apathetic. I don’t care to explore the existence of God; I have no time for it. I have no time to waste listening to a priest or minister or to spend singing in a choir. What I know is what I see before me: I see people in need, I see injustice, I see monumental tasks to be done for the benefit of mankind and the preservation of this planet. If there were a God, I would think that the mandate would be to spend less time exploring His or Her existence, less time trying to praise a being who obviously would be above that superficial need, and more time engaged in preserving the wondrous creations we see surrounding us and on becoming a more enlightened, less selfish, more empathic human being who bases his or her beliefs, not on the messages learned as a child, but on the reasoning of an courageous adult.

  • http://allaboutmormons.net Justin

    I am embarrassed, but I have done stupid things too.

  • angelpurplewings

    sorry that happened. that is very odd behavior for a christian to do that….usually we just say we are christians, and get it over with…..

  • Jesse

    Why is the preacher apologizing? What he did may have been deceitful; but that is for him/her alone to judge. In either case, he apologized, and persisting to embarrass him is only a credit to a hyper-judgmental band of blog apes.

    How does one apologize for being deceitful to that which is itself deceitful? What’s deceitful is Atheism’s claim to some philosophical high ground that is nothing more than a pile of sand. In my own experience, the volume of Atheists who are willing to misrepresent their credentials is completely unrestrained by any measure of credibility. Having read Dawkins or Hitchens or the other guys is no purchase of authority; not in public, and ESPECIALLY not in any formal philosophical context. They have none of them taken formal coursework in philosophy of religion; if they had, they would not be running an Atheist blog.

    Can you hear me Padre? You have nothing to apologize for to these internet clowns. This is outrageous. You guys are your own punchline.

  • http://37stories.wordpress.com Archie

    WOW! This has created quite a stir! It might have been easier to stand on a ledge and threaten to jump or possibly just have a good old fashion hanging. Lots of people always showed up for a hanging or tar and feathering.

    But certainly is a lesson learned for the pastor. Glad our God is a God of grace.

  • nathantyree

    The preacher’s behavior fails to be shocking. Rather, I expect this sort of thing from fundamentalists.

  • http://www.anisblog.com Ani Demirjian

    Hmm… very interesting post. Thanks for sharing this.
    As a Christian myself, I totally understand the temptation to try and play the “devil’s advocate” but realize the damage and it can do. Sometimes, we want to share our own opinion so much (regardless of what we believe), we don’t realize how much we degrade and devalue the ones we are lying to. Thanks for showing the other side. Appreciate it :)

  • Ihavefeet

    Wow, getting to this point I wish I had time to read all the comments made here, but i simply don’t have time. But I think I have the General gist of it.
    I find this pastor’s comments to be an interesting point in case, because although the lie was not justified he clearly wasn’t being malevolent or trying to hurt anyone. I think the term most appropriate here would be that he was ‘over zealous’, a state which I’m sure we have all found ourselves in.
    Mr. Fox’s comments which he made under his pseudenyms were, as far as i can see, the frustrated attempts of a man convinced in his faith to save people from a woefully inaccurate stereotype. It’s surprising to see how few people there are in this world who actually mean to do harm, who do evil deeds to hinder progress, instead of claiming to be fighting for the needs of others or some greater purpose, how ever deluded and ill-conceived this purpose is. Considering has apology, Mr. Fox is clearly not one of these people, he is in fact a man trying to save the souls of others. I’m not defending the lies he told or the largely false accusations he made about a perfectly ordinary group of people, I’m just saying that his motives were clearly pure.
    The same can be said about almost all Christian people. I was approached just before christmas last year by a pair of youths who wanted to invite me to the miracle of jesus christ through the church and the bible. Whatever you may think about people who stand on the street peddling their religion to the masses, almost all of whom have their irremovable concepts about religeon already in place, I chose to see two young men who approached a complete stranger in an attempt to save his soul from falling into damnation and thereby being allowed into eternal paradise.
    I make no secret about my feelings for the church and the bible; to me they are wonderfull buildings and rather, shall we say, ‘Revealing’ literature which are pure and well meaning as a concept but in their physical being have been used as propaganda and justification for moral injustices by certain individuals throughout history since before even the Romans got the idea. Weather The Bible was written by those men in the words directly handed down from god is now irrelevant, it is certainly a very human book in this day and age.
    But that’s not the point here. I’ve wandered a little off the topic I suppose, but my point still stands. The gentlemen who wanted to convert me to their faith were ready to believe in the good in a human being they had never met (for those of you who would call me naive by the way, I expect nothing less. I am the sort of person who gives others the benefit of the doubt) and yes this was based on the words in the bible, but still they were doing what they thought was right.

    So drawing to a close, Pastor Chris Fox is not, as far as I am concerned, a bad person. He’s just a good person who in the line of doing something which he thought was right, ended up doing something which he himself knew to be wrong. Life tends to just throw this kind of paradox at you and you have to deal with that. I’m sure everyone who has posted on this Blog will know what i mean.

  • gina94984

    peeingupwind is an idiot. offensive and stupid and the sort of fool who gives fundies their daily dose of horror and righteous indignation at the state of the non-christian world. you got it all over yourself with your abominable post.

  • Grigori

    I don’t get all the fuss about this either. I pretty much expect Christians to act hypocritically and amorally. They can ask forgiveness later. (The US has the highest prison population in the world, both per capita and sheer numbers. How’s that for the most religious industrialized nation on earth?)

    Us atheists have to live with our mistakes and thus are held to a higher moral standard.

  • S.o.G

    You bore false witness.

    This is against one of the ten commandments.

    It is the same in god’s eyes as murdering someone or stealing or adultery.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ Peter B.

    Non-believers stand up for yourselves with dignity!

    IMPORTANT – Do this WITHOUT insult or abuse, as it will make you as bad as the perpetrator and vindicate his actions.

    To everyone who is offended as I am about this matter, and regardless of your beliefs, I urge you to write personally to Pastor Chris Fox expressing your concern at his actions and requesting a public apology.

    Here is the email I have just sent to the Pastor if you want some ideas…

    Dear Pastor Chris Fox,

    Your actions in impersonating an atheist for the sole purpose of spreading hatred based on your own wrong stereotypes, are deeply offensive.

    In doing this you have disgraced not only yourself, but the values of the church you represent. Apart from denying your own God, your willingness to repeatedly bear false witness against those who have done you no harm has hurt and insulted very many people, religious and non-religious alike.

    Nothing but a full, unqualified and sincere PUBLIC apology to ALL atheists will come close to redeeming your utterly abhorrent behaviour.

    Yours sincerely,
    Peter B.
    (Full name given)

    ————-
    Please also consider joining the Brights and supporting the Out campaign.

  • emptymindedgirl

    Simply disgusting.

  • http://tabulacrypticum.wordpress.com Randall Arnold

    I get a kick out of how he made the common mistake of assuming that being an atheist automatically means having no morals. That logical fallacy has been trashed time and time again but some people keep trotting it out. Amazing. Anyway, that fact made me suspicious right off the bat.

  • P

    Please. I saw this blog pop up on the word press site, it’s insane that people are caring enough to comment. BUT, if the point of the title is to create some kind of shock value ” caught lying for Jesus” — I maybe it should read ” Atheist wastes people’s time bashing Christians”
    Get over your bitterness and self titled ” former Christian ” -
    you never were a Christian if you aren’t now, so be proud of your Atheism, and stop seeking approval from Christians and trying to exact punishment on them for your wounds. Live YOUR life and give up trying get back at a religion you now reject. You’re keeping this relationship with Christianity going by constantly verbalizing your distain. If you truly “quit ” the Christian religion then find something else to talk about. You dont need this conflict and friction to validate your view, and by rousing Christian angst, you don’t gain anything, if you are right,and convinced of it, then why seek out blogging against something that should be a mute point to you. Don’t define your self by what you ARN’T or don’t like. But by who you ARE now. Be your self and stop worrying about punishing others who aren’t like you . [ isn't that why you rejected Christianity in the first place , because you were treated that way?] give it up. [ this blog comes across as "bitter Atheist bashing Christians blog] YAY what fun. [?]

  • jessica

    It’s unreasonable how he stereotyped all atheists; who’s to say every atheist believes in raping and killing children? The bible believes to spread the word of God not go against him to upset people of his religion and people otherwise. I’m an atheist however I have morals and I respect everyone’s views as long as they are not criticising others or upsetting them, is that so hard to do?

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    There’s too many comments here to analyze, but there was one that stood out. “God’s Only Comic” made an especially rancid and arrogant slur on the character of a man that did nothing to deserve it… and, how is it that a professed atheist can get away with saying something so idiotic, and not suffer retribution for it… because it’s an atheist blog?

    “The problem is that Jesus is the same vengeful, vindictive, infanticidal nut job described in the Old testament.”

    The only thing he got right was the identity of the second member of the Godhead in the Old Testament… which tells me this could be a disgruntled former Christian, because most do not associate Christ with the God of the Old Testament, and only they have the vitriol to talk like that. The rest was unsubstantiated bullshit… the ravings of a lunatic!

    I see that a lot… Christians have to tip-toe around the sensibilities of Godless folk, and the latter can slander and swear against God and Christ all they want. Theirs is considered free and open thought, whilst the Christian is considered narrow and vindictive!

    Well, Comic, (a good handle for you, because you’re a laugh of a man, buddy!) this Christian makes NO apologies to ANYONE, and banishment isn’t anything new to me, nor is it feared. I grew up without religion, and since I’ve found the truth after having to sort through the myriad of lies by atheists intent upon burying the truth, I’ve been far better off for it. And, I won’t be coddling you or any other of your ilk, compadre, so get that straight, right now, moron!

    I’m the sword that Gideon wielded, because there is a need for people like me… to laugh in the face of arrogant infidels, who deride and insult God and His people every day. There is nothing that says that any follower of Christ has to take the crap that self-important cretins feel it’s their duty to dish out upon others that don’t think like them. I don’t give a rat’s ass what that preacher said or did, because David was a liar and a murderer… pretty much every follower of Christ had a dark side. That was the point… to equalize all in the need for salvation, and God doesn’t play favorites! Far more infidels commit crimes and atrocities than Christians, but, that fact is strangely omitted in the rhetoric of atheists.

    I always hear the same tired old crap that God murdered women and babies in the OT… and just what do you think those heathen fools were doing to THEIR neighbors… engaging them in knitting contests? Wake the f*** up, why don’tcha? The Assyrians skinned people alive, one strip at a time, over DAYS!!! They cut off fingers, one at a time, cauterized the wound, then worked on up the arm, one joint at a time, cutting, cauterizing, then started on the toes! What was left was a trunk writhing in agony on the ground! The Philistines BURNED their infants in the ‘arms’ of a pagan god as sacrifices… and THAT’S okay with you, eh, Comic? Nothing in your smart mouth about what THEY did, huh? Not surprised! Atheists are the most ‘selective’ debaters there are!

    You talk about science being your salvation… a science that has been warped and misrepresented by infidels bent upon erasing the Creator’s visage from nature. You have a false and vain hope, there! But, you know, the Christian has time on his/her side. Infidels don’t. Now, I know that my words will be misconstrued as those of a crank, and I really don’t care! I care when honest folk ask honest questions, and I’m getting low on patience for infidels that only seek to work Christians over. You want to take me on? Come onto my turf, anyone, here! Preach to me your rhetoric that I’ve heard AD NAUSEUM for decades, the same tired old excuses for not believing in the Bible, and God’s sovereignty. I’ll show you a head-wagging infidel behind the errant actions of any Christian, who influenced them to do what they did.

    Now, ban away, Mr. Administrator, or moderate me into oblivion, because that’s how infidels that I deal with handle opposite thinking. I care not.

    No apologies… ever!

    • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

      Answer one question if you dare. Exactly what evidence do you have that even one word of your babble is true? Exactly what evidence can you present that you are not an arrogant, vindictive, violent jerk? But we should expect no less because, according to your own book of lies, your god is violent, vindictive, and arrogant.

      You are obviously an intellectual and moral coward. Then again, that also describes your god and most christians, too.

  • thesouldoctor

    It is madness, total madness.

  • Clint Mahoney

    LRA,

    You have no idea what we tell these women. Did you hear what I said, my wife and I have had an abortion, I know how they feel. They feel trapped, cheated, angry, scared – and often they’re in a thick fog.

    We tell them that we’re not here to judge them to but help them. But if you’ve stereotyped us then you’re not going to listen to anything I’ve said.

    To be sure, there are tons of Christian hypocrites, there are tons of non-Christian hypocrites, actually hypocrisy is pretty much the nature of man. But there are Christians who don’t make it a practice of going around hating people, but you see your definition of love is not going to be the same as ours.

    I have talked to hundreds of women about to have an abortion (and the the fathers) and have never called the a sinner or said they were going to hell.

    So get your facts straight about what we do, some people do what you say but Paul Hill is not a role model for anyone I know.

    Atheism is a religion and it has its hypocrites too. Anything that’s got human beings in it is going to have that.

    I’m sorry that people have been hurt by Christians that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. People have been hurt by atheists too, does that mean that it’s proof that God does exist?

    As far as the keep your laws off my body routine – if you had a Siamese twin who was using your kidney and heart but you were tired of them cramping your style at parties, would you be allowed to kill them? People who are on life support, like victims of polio aren’t alive because they can’t breath for themselves – can’t live on their own?

    “I regret my abortion” (in quotes – exact phrase) produces 5,080 hits on Google, not a single hit for “I liked my abortion”, “I like my abortion”, “I’m happy about my abortion”.

    Oh, there was one hit for “I love my abortion.

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    “I think one of us needs a little nap.”

    Good idea… and, when you wake up, tell me the fairy-story of Evolution, so I can have a good nap, too… or a good laugh!

  • celebritysecret2discover

    Seems like we all have our personal dictionaries and college degrees open to be able to keep up with the intellectual arguments that are present here. Pastor Chris Fox (a lower level servant) has surely gotten the results that he was seeking from his actions.

    The flesh apologized, but the evil spirit is laughing!

    Now that we Christians, Atheists. and all other religious and non-religious individuals have allowed Pastor Chris Fox to unmasked our true and well guarded nature, by opening the egotistical door of dominance, confusion, shame, apology, guilt, insecurity, defensiveness and hatred.

    Will the philosopher whom has journeyed through the door of the heart, using the eyes of the heart to see and grasp the wisdom of God, step forward and share his/her experiences of what and where our level of belief in God, Jesus, Divine Intervention, science, dark matters or evil should be?

    We do appreciate your personal experience!

  • http://switchfxviews.wordpress.com Alex

    I don’t really see him as a hypocrite. I see him a bit intelligent where he’s questioning the validity of his own faith.

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    doesntworkthatway…

    I get the one-sided accusation all the time… the BIG BAD ISRAELITES MURDERING ALL THOSE INNOCENT CHILLUNS! Give me a break! You obviously don’t hang in places that I do, okay? Don’t tell me what I’ve experienced, you don’t know, and you don’t know me, either. My idea of “love” has just as much merit or virtue as anything you could come up with.

    The science that atheists venerate is always touting inherited behavior, through genetic means. Your arrogant statement that no form of infanticide is acceptable might be true from your limited viewpoint… however… when did you ascend above the mind of the Almighty? Did you ever suppose, for even a second, that maybe God understands/understood more about the human mind and behavior than even your eminence? Did you ever consider that those kids, so cute and cuddly, witnessed barbaric acts perpetrated by their elders against other people, so much that it may have made an indelible impression upon their characters so that they might, as is often touted by scientists and doctors of today, be inclined toward the same behavior? You ever hear of the abused child becoming an abuser?

    These were horrendously primitive times and peoples, and the situation obviously called for measures maybe not acceptable, today. And, who are you or I to question infinite wisdom? If your child assumed your stance, and called your decisions foolish and uncalled for – what comparison would that have with the gulf that lies between your mind and that of deity? You weren’t there… you don’t have any authority to offer any kind of counsel, nor critique God.

    They were all given numerous opportunities to allow the Hebrews passage, unmolested. Those that complied, saw no retribution. The same couldn’t be said for the godless tyrants who slaughtered out of pure enjoyment.

    Let’s try and keep that perspective, okay?

    • Darby

      Don’t tell me what I’ve experienced, you don’t know, and you don’t know me, either.

      It’s obvious that you are a fool, a liar, and an extremely angry person, most likely due to those two other primary of your personality which I pointed out.

      Your arrogant statement that no form of infanticide is acceptable might be true from your limited viewpoint…

      That’s not arrogant, it’s called having a grasp of morals and ethics. Your lack of them is a big part of your desperate desire for a magical invisible friend to tell you that you’re ok.

      however… when did you ascend above the mind of the Almighty? Did you ever suppose, for even a second, that maybe God understands/understood more about the human mind and behavior than even your eminence?

      Obviously not, because I’m not an idiot who believes in magical invisible fairies. Imaginary friends are for children. It’s time to grow up.

      And, who are you or I to question infinite wisdom

      The fact that so many of your imaginary friend’s alleged actions are so far beneath the contempt of decent people whose morals are far superior is what calls any idiotic idea that your imaginary friend is anything but a delusion.

      You weren’t there… you don’t have any authority to offer any kind of counsel, nor critique God.

      It’s *easy* to critique your god. Assuming he was real, he made so many stupid decisions which anybody with a scrap of sense could easily improve on.

      That’s because your god is nothing but a tool of ignorant savages to help justify genocide, theft, and a whole host of other disgusting behavior.

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    “Once upon a time, the big bang theory was the best explanation we have to date for the formation of the universe. The End.”

    LOL! And, they say Christians are arrogant!

    Like I said… the same, tired old rhetoric.

  • Primitive

    you know smtn’? he is just playing…leave him alone!

    there is nothing wrong with fooling around (like i am doing right now) in the internet. If i was him, i would probably sue you for spying on me!!! it’s privacy dammit! you aren’t supposed to stick your nose in other’s private affairs! and in no way i see the pastor being at fault!

    the pastor thought (probably) that no-body would know his identity and that made him do whatever he wanted (let it be “writing junk” or “acting stupid” or “faking to be a non-believer”). You are the one who HAD TO GO SPY ON PEOPLE!

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    “he he he he he he!!!!”

    I believe, Doofus, that’s heh-heh-heh-heh-heh-heh!!!

    What, you can’t even text laughter, boy?

    Atheists… always carrying them in some way or another!

    :lol:

    • Janelle

      Oh wow. Nice job digging that one up.

  • gina94984

    it would seem that pastor chris has gotten his wish and opened a huge debate. too bad he had to be a stereotype to accomplish his goal. there’s so much room for so many opinions in this world. the crying shame is the lack of accurate information on so many issues that are hot button topics to religious folk, particularly fundamentalists. i know whereof i speak as i know a wide variety of people of different orientations and beliefs and was myself raised as a catholic. i can’t believe the complete tripe that is being spouted in some of the posts here and frankly would not want some of these so-called christians for a next door neighbour.

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    Okay, then, John… brother… tell me why Christ PHYSICALLY drove the ASSHOLE money-changers from His Father’s temple? Do you think asking them nice-like would have impressed them?

    Also, tell that self-righteous twit doesntworkthatway that using the tired old “you’re just so sick” accusation is pretty passe, by now, and that only those with limited intelligence and imagination, so that they deliberately misconstrue everything that I say, (English even the lowest moron could understand) doesn’t count for intelligent debate, okay?

    You being so much more Christ-like than me, and all that.

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    I knew the moderation thingie was coming… same as all the rest, and the real provocateurs get off scot-free… again, as always.

    Thanx for the workout, anyways, Mr. Moderator.

    Have a nice life in your new calling.

  • http://21stcenturyhighwayman.wordpress.com The Highwayman

    Reckoner, your hypocrisy is monumental… and you’re an idiot, as well.

    Final word.

    Bye-bye!

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    This story has been blogged about here:

    Another sinning pastor.

    http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/another-sinning-pastor

  • iamtheenemy

    LRA,

    Abstinence doesn’t work?

    Prison doesn’t stop murder, but we don’t legalize it.

    I didn’t have an abortion but my child was killed as well. But I had a four feminists in training at Planned Parenthood this week tell me that since I’m a man I can’t have any understanding. I said, “I understand because my wife told me and I listened.”

    Then I said, “I have testicles so I am a complete moron and can understand nothing – you have ovaries so you understand the entire universe perfectly – do you realize how sexist that is?”

    They got sorta quiet then. But what really got them quiet was after asking if they’d had abortions (since I’d never had a pro-abortion person admit their abortion) – they said that abortion was fantasmigorical and then when I asked if they’d seen an abortion performed on youtube or this movie Lake of Fire, they got very quiet and looked very ashamed and uncomfortable.

    There’s a lot about abortion that no one is saying – and they hide behind this “It’s a woman’s choice”

    Since when do we allow any choice to be allowed simply by virtue that “it’s a choice” – “choice” has become a symbol in our culture, a word that has no real meaning because it’s overloaded and therefor made completely abstract and something that cannot be argued against.

    My wife will happily get on here and tell you the same thing, but you wouldn’t listen. She has ovaries last time I checked.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Wow, I think this thread may have broken a record for hit-and-run comments. At least it’s not as bad as the Kurt Warner threads when people thought that this was a Sports site. :P

  • iamtheenemy

    > The real hypocrites are the ones who criticize the non-religious for not being open-minded or civil enough, and then leave as soon as their points are refuted, and then are stubbornly determined to have the last word, too.

    Wow, so do we leave or do we stick around and have the last word? You’re not making any sense.

    Unlike a lot of you, I have children. Also, church tomorrow, can’t spend all night on a runaway blog.

  • court

    I’m speechless

  • http://christinekirchoff.wordpress.com/ christinekirchoff

    …and you wonder the percentage of people who don’t believe in pastors, priests or god has increased.

  • iamtheenemy

    Well, LRA, you really got me there I think I’ll turn atheist now.

    I was a pre-med student at Vanderbilt University majoring in Molecular biology at the time of my abortion. I probably know more about evolution than you do and I am unconvinced. My wife was already accepted to med school at Vandy at the time of our abortion, back when Vandy was still 17th in the nation. She could have gone to Harvard if she wanted but went to Vandy because it was an hour from home.

    Funny, you can find stories about people who liked their abortion but the fact remains, you can easily find tons and tons more people who regret it.

    Google doesn’t lie.

  • nonlukewarm

    The sad thing is today you sometimes can’t tell a true Christian (Believer) from a Non Christian (Non Believer). In a lot of cases both curse, drink, go to clubs, talk walk and live in the flesh instead of the spirit. Especially, leaders of the churches. Most of them teach wrong doctrine so it’s no wonder the sheep don’t get fed. It should never be about Religion because that is man made and man’s traditions not Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour’s. Most of the church leaders are all about prosperity and not about salvation and truth. You don’t get saved by being a good person as so many people think. You get saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour period. It is a free gift from God and not of works that we do. It’s is purely by God’s mercy and grace we are saved but our choice to accept His gift. He gave us Free Will as Karen stated and that is TRUTH! Everyone can make light of the truth if they want to, just remember God is not mocked. There are only two kinds of people in the world and they are Believers and Non Believers. It’s your choice and if you take this lightly you will be Satan’s company in the Lake of Fire. My Blog is http://NonLukewarm.wordpress.com and I’d love to get some feedback because we need to get God’s truths out and help people draw nearer to God and away from Satan the ruler of this world. God Bless You all.

  • prilea

    Takes a big man to admit when he is wrong. I think pastor Chris and Daniel show what can be accomplished when two people reasonably talk things through. Kudos to you both for acting human in this medium that often insulates us from being human or even accountable.

    Sindee R.

  • http://bitscomic.wordpress.com neurotype

    Huh, I hope he’s being honest about that apology…and also that he makes an effort to better understand atheists and other pro-choice supporters in the future.

  • reckoner71

    Any bets on the keynote of this Sunday’s sermon at the Kendalls Baptist Church?

  • jpeaslee

    That is very sad. While I’m sure he had the best of intentions, there’s no doubt his actions were wrong.

    I think it’s good that you called him out on it.

  • elanz

    Well, I’ll provide my own perspective as an aethist, in response to the pastor’s question (no, agnostic really). Religion revolves around Moral teachings but Ethics/ Morals is not a subset of Religion. Ethics and Morals exist independently or religion.

    One can be irreligious and still abide by the most conventional social norms/ morals/ ethical standards. In contrast, one can be deeply religious but chooses to trust his own faith/ instinct as opposed to adhering to acceptable social standards.

    Pastor, you’re an example of the latter.

    So please do not claim that anti-abortion is a special perogative of Christians, or that immorality is a quality unqiue to non-Christians.

    Christianity provides an additional pro-life argument, from a religious perspective. Don’t tote your Moral high ground before getting your arguments ironed out, ’cause you’ll fall.

  • andydbrown

    Interesting how people love to look for the “unfaithful or hypocritical Christians” but almost never look for unfaithful and hypocritical atheists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus….It’s like they almost expect Christians to be perfect.

    Don’t focus on the followers of a faith, look to the one they follow. Christ!

    So what if some guy (even a pastor) lied?! Does that discredit the claims of Christ?! Certainly not!

  • Pingback: Here’s an example. « Dave’s screen and sound playground!

  • andydbrown

    There is no such thing as a non-hypocritical or faithful ANYONE, actually. Whose standard are you talking about there, “teleprompter”?! Yours? Majority rules?
    The Word of God says that “all have fallen short of the glory of God”. ALL!
    Again, the focus should not be on sinful men trying to reach up and show themselves approved to God=religion.
    The focus should be on God (revealed in Christ) reaching down to us sinful humans and providing us with HIS righteousness=the true and only faith.

    So, YES, Christianity is really able to explain this! (And your denying or arguing it does not make it any less true.)

  • lilnono

    I’m curious about how you were able to find out who he was.

  • http://clanravencub.wordpress.com clanravencub

    No words need to be said about the article, I think it speaks enough for itself. Just as I think the failings of the individual show that any belief system can produce faulty morals or allow for individual to act in such a way. I am neither aethiest or Christiain but pagan and the same holds true for us.

    But I must say I was really impressed in the way in which you forgave his transgression and moved on. Personally I believe a person should act the way you did, strong and upright in the face of attack and yet compassionate in the face of apology!

  • http://jameshknight.wordpress.com jameshknight

    I am a Christian, and I do believe that lying is sin. Preacher or not. But I also believe in forgiving, and he has apologized and I would never hold against him what he has done. Hang in there preacher. We all fail at some time or other, at some thing or other. I am still human and still just a sinner saved by Grace. I would hope that when I show myself weak, ignorant, or foolish, (which is more often than I would like), that I could count on the forgiveness of those about me, Christian and non-Christian. Still like the site, and still praying for some of you.

    Pastor Knight

    • squirrel

      hell yea thats the way to think. morality can exist without religion. god killed more people in the bible than satan did anyways

  • http://www.gerberink.com Gerber Ink

    Kudos for the pastor for coming clean. While I don’t condone what he did, I can understand why he was driven to do it.

  • Steverazor

    For those of you who haven’t noticed, Xians (especially fundies) do not fight fair. With apologies to brilliant bloggers like The Friendly Atheist, we should never worry about hurting feelings or offending religous idiots. Radical, confrontational atheism is the only way to battle against an unreasonable and hateful (ironic I know) foe. Oh, and Gerber Inkl, the pastor did not come clean, he was busted and never admitted guilt. That is not the definition of coming clean.

  • Scott Cheatham

    The atheist religion is puzzling to me. In claiming the supposed intellectual higher ground, you resort to writing an entire post on one man’s lying? This happens everyday and under many false pretenses. I don’t care that this man was a minister. I am too but I would not have made the big show of this one man’s situation into a “prove your point” type of event.

    I’ve had agnostics, homosexuals, and atheists comment on my blog (as well as many from other faiths) and I’ve privately discussed with each one the choices of words they may have made. In most instances, my readers don’t even know it’s happened because I limit those comments on my site because of the very firestorm it causes. I don’t need pages and pages of finger pointing, name calling, and potential vulgarity.

    When a true sense of idea exchange occurs, there’s no need to promote it like a “gotcha” show. It happens all by itself.

  • http://sospokesaroj.wordpress.com sospokesaroj

    Wow…go figure. That is pretty sneaky of him, it doesn’t really help his cause very much, especially with the whole “Thou shalt not lie” thing being soundly beaten in the process.

  • http://kumokowt.wordpress.com Lee-yo

    you want to meet a real christian? visit this site:

    http://esoriano.wordpress.com

    then, it’s up to you…

  • Alex

    As an atheist I’m offended by the Pastor’s remarks. Just because I don’t believe in God doesn’t mean I don’t have morals. I’m sorry, but don’t go around parading under the banner of Jesus and the golden rule of “love your neighbor as you would love yourself.” That’s just wrong, stop attacking atheists for choosing not to follow religion; we don’t hate you as people, we just question your beliefs.

  • Glenn

    I left a comment a day ago but it only got one reply. I think I presented an interesting question and hope to get some additional feedback. So I am reposting the comment, with some additional thoughts.

    It seems to me that the deeper issue here is why people lie. Lying is a very complex matter that comes in many forms. So here’s some food for thought.

    David Livingstone Smith, an author and professor at the University of New England, believes that people lie, in part, because humans evolved that way. For Smith, to lie is an unavoidable, natural act that helps society as a whole function. It brings many benefits to those who lie.

    He said in a major Brazilian news magazine the following (my translation from Portuguese): “The lie is the pillar of social relations. To tell lies is a tendency as internalized in the human being as the ability to talk and walk. We don’t have a choice not to lie.” (Veja, October 18, 2006, p. 11-15)

    You might be interested in reading his book, Why We Lie:The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind (St. Martins Press 2004). He also has other books on this subject.

    For the purpose of discussion, let’s just stay within the evolutionary framework. If what Smith says in his books is true, all people are “wired” to lie and it can’t be avoided. Additionally, evolution made us this way because it brings benefits to the liar. This is consistent with the prime mover of evolution, which is the survival of the fittest. Lying is actually good.

    So my question is this: If a person operates within the evolutionary framework and accepts Smith’s scientific affirmations, is there a basis to criticize or reprimand the pastor? It seems to me that he was just following his natural wiring, and that in someway it benefitted the natural order.

    Any thoughts?

  • http://bradriane.wordpress.com/ bradriane

    Has anyone ever read the book, “The Prodigal God”? by Tim Keller? It is interesting as it points out two truths that speak to this conversation. The first is that when studying the life of Jesus, those who were known for their religious morals where constantly set in opposition to the message that Jesus lived and taught. The other thing that was refreshing to see, was that in the story of the “prodigal son”, the elder brother was equally lost as the younger who went and squandered his inheritance away. The elder brother was the “righteous, moral one” and he was also the one at the end of the story who remained outsiide of the feast at the father’s house. (Luke 15)

    Two groups were present to hear this teaching. The tax collectors and sinners, who did not follow the moral code of the Jewish faith and community expectations, yet they were constantly being drawn to be around Jesus. This first group represented the younger brother, the prodigal son. The other group were the scribes and Pharisees. They were famous for holding to religious moralism and judging others on how they kept the code. They represented the elder brother.

    This story is radical for anyone considering atheism. Especially for those who do so because they have been judged and rejected and see the emptiness of religion. Remember that Jesus saw this too, and confronted it on a regular basis. Did you know that first century followers of Jesus were considered atheist, because followers of The Way, did not meet up to all the religious standards.

    Let me finish by saying that I grew up in a “fundie church” and was a religious snot. I judged others by how the lived up to “the standard”, while secretly struggling with lust and addiction. I was powerless to break these vices in my life, even though I loved Jesus. My “righteousness” was of my own strength and worthless.

    My journey away from “the fundies” and organized religion has led me to a different place than some of the others who have commented on this page. In the midst of my flight from church, I realized that Jesus identified with people like me.

    I now am a part of a faith community that is full of recovering elder brothers, and returning younger brothers. We are not perfect, but we try hard to make the gospel about the life and power of Jesus and not our ability to be moral. I still have strong convictions on certain things, (abortion being one of them) but our perspective is way different than what I grew up with. We are not in a argument or fight to try to convince others that our position is right. Rather, we are learning how to really humble ourselves and pray, and ask God to reveal to all how precious every life is.

    I hope this comment comes across as more than semantics. I am glad to have stumbled across this sight, where real people can share their views and stories as they journey.

  • DarkMatter

    I find it easier to converse with “out of church christians”.

  • victorianaleague

    Pastor in church is just a human,he can commit a sin too. I am not surprised with it. I will just pray for him that he will realized the mistake he made. Hope he is ready to face the consequences.

  • http://thenonconformer.multiply.com/ thenonconformer

    It wasa shock to me the first time I had encountered an Baptist pastor lying to me, it was a continual shock the next 25 years as well.. it was also a shock how many persons will next back up, still support an immoral pastor.. In fact last week a pastor wrote back to me and he has been abusing me ten times next in one week.. the ends do not juistify the means. Pastors have to live the life as well as to preach it. So does the professing Canadian Christian Prime Minister Stephen Harper..

    (1 Tim 5:20 KJV) Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

    (1 Tim 5:21 KJV) I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

    (Mat 18:14 KJV) Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

    (Mat 18:15 KJV) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    (Mat 18:16 KJV) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    (Mat 18:17 KJV) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:

    (1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    (1 John 1:10 KJV) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/stephen-harper-conservative-liars/

    • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

      It also means that God doesn’t understand that we have a different definition of death than he does, or he’s being deliberately deceptive by using a word he knows we’ll misunderstand.

  • Nargh

    I can’t even begin to get involved in this because Christianity and all other religions have so many holes in them that I could use them all as cheese grinders, but I think it’s pretty ridiculous to follow your zombie prophet who is his own pop. I also think it’s ridiculous to think that once upon a time, some big dude with a white beard made a magical garden and had a bunch of people there and then a snake gave them a fruit and it all went to hell. The fruit, itt, is the Fruit of Knowledge, which says something about the religion as a whole. It’s the same story with most other monotheistic religions. It’s pretty damn crazy if you ask me

    • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

      What does perfection mean anyway? I have no idea what it means to be a perfect person.

  • Kelly

    how could some1 say that it’s perfectly fine to kill babies?? if u ask mi, that guy is psyco if he thinks that is alright.

    yes, i respect athiests, but i think its craaazy how they think they can do ANYTHING and it is okay?? laws go by the same rules as God’s law (most of the time) so they should kinda see the picture that it’s wrong.

    if God wasn’t real, there would be more chaos than u could imagine on earth.

    i rest my case.

    • Darby

      yes, i respect athiests, but i think its craaazy how they think they can do ANYTHING and it is okay??

      I think it’s really odd that you would drop in and post an extremely stupid lie like you just did.

      What would cause a person like yourself to do something like that? It’s obvious that it’s not true, yet you feel justified lying about millions of people you’ve never met Just because they’re not stupid enough to still have imaginary friends .

      Now, Kelly, you should go have a long hard think ( think now, don’t believe…idiotic beliefs are what made you a liar) about why it is that you have such complete contempt for yourself that you would prove yourself to be a contemptible liar in front of everybody like this. You are doing *exactly* what the scumbag in the article is being rousted for. Now why would you be so stupid as to do that?

      Please try thinking a little bit

  • http://lucywatchthesky.com Lucy

    Wow… “a different perspective.”

    A MADE-UP perspective, as the perspective from which he was writing was what he IMAGINES atheists must be thinking.

    Let’s also imagine for a minute that you had not been writing about atheism, that you had been writing about another faith that was not Christianity, and after trying unsuccessfully to proselytize you, this pastor started writing in the same way as someone who practiced your faith. You know, just making stuff up to explore “a different perspective.” “Well, my religion allows for killing babies. My religion sees no problem with murdering women for no reason.”

    What he did was disrespectful and ignorant, and bordering on discriminatory and hateful. You can’t have any “perspective” if you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about where another faith or school of thought is concerned.

    I really hope that beyond just issuing you several apologies, the pastor also went out of his way to read some Bertrand Russell or something and learn something about atheism beyond his prejudices. If your faith is really that strong, knowledge isn’t going to shatter it. Just- God forbid- expand your perspective.

  • http://rjjrdq.wordpress.com rjjrdq

    Political groupies use the same tactic. They pretend they’re what they oppose and go way over the top.

  • Pingback: Sunday Religion Roundup - Canada, Israel, and of course the U.S. « Vancouver Moose

  • Pingback: Pastor pretends to be an atheist « Chris Kidd - applied youth ministry

  • AbbyNormal

    This pastor’s comments reveal that he doesn’t really understand people who believe differently from him.

    1. No pro-choice person I have ever known would ever say, “What’s wrong with killing babies?” Ever.

    2. The atheists I know are highly moral, ethical, and compassionate. I once told an atheist friend whose house was slowly sliding down a hill that I would pray for him. His response: “I’d rather you direct your God’s attention to the children being slaughtered in Africa. I’m sure mothers over there are praying, too, for all the good it’s doing them.” Said friend donates tons of money to charity—compare this to the statistic that 20% of the congregation donates 80% of the support of the church, which presumably, hopefully, does community outreach.
    (There’s a blog post on this here: http://www.thinkchristian.net/index.php/2008/12/12/escaping-the-2080-rule-of-church-life/)

    So here’s this community of “believers” who don’t support with money what they believe in, which leads one to wonder if they help others in need at all. What is it exactly that they believe in?

    Instead of targeting groups of people (prochoicers, atheists, homosexuals) with heaps of judgment, why not get to know one person from each group and find out why s/he believes differently from you?

  • AbbyNormal

    I should clarify that his house was sliding at a rate of about an inch a year, and his walls were starting to crack, etc. It wasn’t sliding like a mudslide or anything. lol

    • Viridid

      I largely agree with you, but I think the line between satire and strawman is pretty obvious. If someone can cross it without realising, then that person probably shouldn’t be attempting satire, since they clearly don’t have a good enough understanding of the subject under scrutiny.

      In order to satirise something, you have to be familiar with it, and you have to express it in a way that is humourous. If what you’re saying isn’t funny in any way, then you aren’t doing satire, you’re just taking the piss. Nothing particularly wrong with that, but it’s not satire.

  • http://www.boilthefrogs.com Abe Frogman

    Um, I actually do clearly know what eugenics is. I have a feeling you have never heard of it before I mentioned it and then you Googled it. And you call me ignorant. Abortion is one of many tools that the globalists use for genetic population control — it’s in numerous official U.N. publications, as well as many other pro-globalist publications. They have brainwashed dull people like yourself over the years into accepting the notion that it is a “right” or a “choice” to take the life of other people, or to put it better, that there is any justification whatsoever to place a higher value on one’s life over another. I, on the other hand, have studied eugenics for years. You just learned what it means via Google…as pathetic as that is…

    Eugenics is more than simple genetic engineering. It involves systematic population control to control genetics, and is a part of the globalism that is unfolding right before your blind-eyes-wide-shut.

    Throwing all religion and politics aside, abortion is clearly a moral issue which places the value of one life over another. There isn’t really a need to add the occultist history behind it, although perhaps you may want to do your homework eventually. It might make for a more thoughtful argument, rather than just repeating the same old line, time after time…

    As for whether or not life begins at conception, do the egg and sperm cells that are alive before conception, die after conception all the way until the baby is born –do they become alive again right before the baby is separated from the womb? It does not take a scientist nor the Pope to answer that simple question, only a sensible mind.

    You people act as if a baby is just a parasite in the womb. You refer to it as cells.

    Have you ever heard anyone ask a pregnant mother-to-be about her cells, or her fetus? It’s a baby!

    Read my other comments. I said that a nine year old girl should not get an abortion, and I gave the reasons as to why — it is a matter of innocence vs. choice. A molested little girl did not choose to have sex, and giving birth will literally tear her insides apart. However, again, we are only talking about less than one percent of all abortions in that argument. I would call that a special exception.

    I never even meant to place religion into the argument, except in response to what someone else already said. I believe that five nested replies are the limit on this website, so I have to start a newer thread for you to post your raging and hateful filth in order to bash me with…

    Also, I never said that the mother is the evil person in this. It is the person performing the abortion that is truly evil. Do you have any idea how this procedure is done? There is nothing more medically insane or disgusting morally.

    I just love how pro-abortion people get all crazy when someone actually has a thoughtful argument against it.

  • Pingback: But Did He Do Anything Wrong? « Josiah Concept Ministries

  • http://deleted Janet Greene

    I agree the atheists’ fascination with christians is WHY they believe – in the face of overwhelming evidence/common sense against it, the many evil things attributed to god in the bible..(I could quote HUNDREDS of them) and yet you believe that christianity is a force for good. I was a former christian, but now that I’ve been out of it so long it’s hard for me to remember why I believed it, other than I always assumed what I had been taught was true. Once i started looking for myself, I realized more and more over time how absurd it was. But I feel the goodwill and sincerity from christians on this site. I know you really believe what you say. The question remains – why?

  • Pingback: Blogger Outs Pastor for “Lying for Jesus” « Xenophilia (True Strange Stuff)

  • rainethecomposer

    It is sad that someone an entire community of people look up to as a guide, would be so poorly grounded in his own morals and beliefs.

    I do realize that pastors, like everyone else, are only human, but it is part of their chosen (or “called” as most say) profession to be extra careful in all they say, do, and, yes, even type.

    It was good of you to call him on it, and even better for him to man-up and admit the mistakes.

    With people like him out there giving religion a bad name it is hard for anyone to keep their faith in anything these days.

  • http://rationalpsychic.wordpress.com rationalpsychic

    I think the pastor’s actions show more than just his own hypocrisy, that of Christians, etc. I think that this year we are just beginning to confront the damage that short-term thinking causes.

    Every time I see a blog response–anywhere–where the person doesn’t have a clickable ID allowing me to see their own blog or an e-mail address to respond them directly, I KNOW there’s a high likelihood that this is a poster who doesn’t want me to take their words seriously and may just be “stuffing the ballot box” with a lot of name-calling and zero content to their argument.

    Just last week, Jon Stewart gave us that nasty peek inside the mind of a hedge-fund manager (Jim Cramer) who believed it was alright to lower the market through selling and rumor-mongering in order to profit on short-selling. My 10th grade History teacher taught us about the evils of short selling and buying and selling a stock without ever truly owning a share. It was a major factor in the Depression of the ’30′s.

    Yet, day traders of today will label themselves as necessary to the market.

    In 12-step groups one of the messages is “principles over personalities.” When will our civil society realize that business has to follow the basic principle that short-term gains made using poor principles (or ignoring the good ones) are not gains worth having? We are going to be remembered as one of the nations that put off trying to stop global warming when we refused to sign an imperfect Kyoto Treaty. If business was going to be harmed by trying to solve our problems, will we value that business as highly as a Midwestern desert and an inundated Manhattan?

  • http://thenonconformer.multiply.com/ thenonconformer

    I TOO PREFER TO DISCUSS THE CROOKED CANADIAN EVANGELICALS AND THE BAD POLITICAL CONSERVATIVES FIRST, THE INITIAL TOPIC I HAD ADDRESSED, FOR JUDGMENT BEGINS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD FIRST. CONSERVATIVES NEED TO REMOVE THE BEAM OUT OF THEIR OWN EYES BEFORE THEY TRY TO HELP OTHERS STILL TOO. THEY NEED TO BE FREED FROM THE BONDAGE OF CRITICAL SPIRIT, HATRED AND ABUSIVE NAME-CALLING. THE TRUTH IS THE CONSERVATIVES DO HAVE AN AGENDA, TO HIDE THE TRUTH AS TO WHO THEY REALLY ARE BY DIVERTING IT TO AN ATTACK ON OTHERS AND THEY NEXT DO TRY FORCE THEIR UNSOLICITED MUSINGS AND OPINIONATED RUBBISH ON OTHER PEOPLE -THEY DO HAVE HAVE TO STOP THEIR ABUSIVE HARASSMENT BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE JUST FED UP OF IT.

    THE CONSERVATIVES’ MAIN STRATEGY THESE DAYS STILL WRONGFULLY TOO SEEMS TO BE A PERSONAL ATTACK ON OTHERS, BULLYING, BASHING AND TRYING REAL HARD TO FIND SOME, ANY DIRT UPON OTHERS. THEY CLEARLY TEND TO HAVE AN ATTACK APPROACH, AN OFFENSE IS A SUPPOSEDLY best defense for them, BUT STILL it is offensive approach, for you know how they do threat others is next how they will also treat you,. They CONSERVATIVES ARE Getting real desperate still and have again sunk to a new low

    >THE RECORD DOES NOT LIE … OFTEN IT MERELY TWISTS THE TRUTH, DISTORTS IT ..
    > I AM UN-MASKING YOU AND REBUKING YOU …. AWAY WITH YOUR SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
    >KEEP YOU conservative self-righteousness on your own blog…

    YES THAT WAS AN INSULT, LIE TOO, ME BEING CALLED A CONSERVATIVE EVEN by him.. EVEN YOU ALL DO KNOW I AM NOT A CONSERVATIVE. that would Be a BIG insult to me.

    IT IS JUST AS INSULTING AS CALLING CANADA’S PRIME MINISTER STEPHEN HARPER A CHRISTIAN, WHO UNDENIABLY IS a wolf in sheep clothing, an liar, an abuser, an ungodly person, and GOING TO HELL, HE TOO NEEDS TO GROW UP… Now do all deal with it appropriately cause he and not me is bringing shame to the CONSERVATIVE name and even the the body of Christ.. he Harper clearly lies when he says he advocates peace, he himself promotes hate instead.. he LIKE MANY OTHER CONSERVATIVES needs to first take the beam out of his own eye before he can humbly help others.

    Many people have it wrong for they do think they have a right to abuse others with their free speech even on the net now too.. when someone aggressively now wants his right to be heard but he also starts to fight with me.. in a clearly unloving manner I do rightfully too merely delete his post too.. if he persist I do often bring the matters often to others for their attention and action now too..

    Like I have rightfully often said to you the political Conservatives these days are great examples of what the typical phony, no good, lying, abusive, professing Conservative Christians now really are like. Yes often all I get now is continual condemnations, slanders, insults, bad words, and no real love from the conservatives THESE DAYS .. they need to now grow up and act like real Christians.. examine themselves firstly if the fruits of the holy sprit are there.. cause clearly they are not. What they often do accuse me off very likely they are conscious cause these are their own realties.. sad too..

    If I was them I would be rightfully ashamed to pretend to be a Christian to others. Now they need to repent and Get a real life in Jesus still.
    I do not have to accept any abuses of any kind.. from anyone now too.. anyone. NOT ESPECIALLY FROM PASTORS.

    (Mat 18:14 KJV) Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

    (Mat 18:15 KJV) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

    (Mat 18:16 KJV) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

    (Mat 18:17 KJV) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:

    http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/conservatives-in-canada-are-known-for-their-lies-and-hypocrisy/

  • reckoner71

    BTW, we cleared the 1,000 comment mark on this post.

    I’m not sure if we should celebrate or cry…

  • gina94984

    does anyone else have doubts as to whether or not abe frogman is a real person or another cut-out like pastor chris pulled off?

  • raiukyuu

    What, no cartwheels for Jesus?

  • http://www.boilthefrogs.com Abe Frogman

    It’s like talking to a brick wall… The New World Order is not a Christian fundamentalist conspiracy theory. It involves all people. You have proven to me that you are totally brainwashed. It actually has nothing to do with the Bible in my view, and I am not a fundamentalist Christian, whatever that even means.

    I suppose that the link I left to Google News with hundreds of mainstream articles about the announcement of the New World Order isn’t enough for you to wake up. Many of the articles suggest that the NWO will be wonderful and save us all from chaos.

    It is openly being announced in mainstream publications such as Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, by Gordon Brown, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, both Bush’s, Henry Kissinger, Lou Dobbs — ALL CONSPIRACY THEORISTS RIGHT?

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1877388,00.html

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123084068194547123.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bKwH3kJew4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc7i0wCFf8g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1etgsNU46s4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8l6Af74rCY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVcBMe5qaus

    There are just a few links to get you started. There are hundreds more, and if you actually take the time to accept the truth, rather than make fun of me for actually telling it, you will find so much more of it.

    If that doesn’t convince you, then I do not know what I can do to help you. By the way, there is no such thing as “liberal media”. There is also no such thing as a left vs. right paradigm. That is only a myth for people to be distracted about the truth. NYT, WJS, LAT, Fox, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, and so forth have very little difference, and they are all controlled corporate media, in other words, the news you get from them is the news that they want you to see, and only the news that they WANT you to see.

    The NWO is not a conspiracy theory, only a conspiracy. It has nothing to do with Christianity. But I love how you tried to categorize me with “those people.”

    Yes, I happen to be a Christian, as are most Americans, but that has very little to do with anything I’ve talked about here. And I never once called myself a “conservative.” I do not subscribe to linear politics. And I realize that there is very little difference between Democrats and Republicans, especially since Obama is continuing most of the Bush policy, and almost every Republican and Democrat voted for the Patriot Act and the unnecessary war in Iraq that has killed over a million Iraqis — a war that did not end on Inauguration Day, despite campaign promises.

    No, I am not a pastor. I can appreciate that humor of the sarcasm and the cynicism, but when it comes to the NWO, that is truly no laughable matter.

    By the way, how did we get so far off topic? Oh yeah, you were trying to smear my character.

  • herald7

    Well, I definitely don’t believe in deception to prove a point.

    However, that statement was not too far removed from reality. Most abortions happen because of poverty and too many mouths to feed. Plus, if there is no right and wrong, abortion would be fine. Furthermore, murder, slavery and theft would be fine too. Choice is not enough. There has to be compassion in the choice, for all parties (woman and baby).

  • illgobby

    What that guy did wasn’t cool. But be careful not to characterize All christians as liars. Just as with any other group of people, there’s going to be someone who does wrong things. I’m a born again believer and I try to do the right thing, not all of us are bad.

  • http://thenonconformer.multiply.com/ thenonconformer

    A generous comment to the many Conservative bashers, bullies, that would be even more politically correct in troublesome times is that they now are getting what they had sowed starting in the once Bible belt of Alberta.. but not limited to there now too..

    It was in Alberta where I had encountered, experienced now the most crooked pastors too.. and I next rightfully also did not let them get away with it. Or anywhere else for that matter..

    This site http://postedat.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/conservatives-in-canada/ is specially made to post my valid, detailed complaints against the so called Christian or Christian Conservatives who do like to bully, bash others but hate to look into the mirror daily.

    I HAVE OFTEN FELT THAT CONSERVATIVES IS DEFINED AS CON servants.. cause they are often mostly trying to con others as to how good they are and how bad others are too..

  • Pingback: Jebbus, you lie like a rug. « KarmicCycle

  • thejesusninja

    Your right…I wish people would stop calling themselves Christians when they merely want to follow the sound of their own voice. I am glad you found him!!

  • http://playazn.wordpress.com Play Azn

    Way to keep up the image of faith pastor! *thumbs down*

  • herald7

    “genocide, murders, rapes, and baby-killing of the psychopathic god of the bible.”

    Janet, Jesus did not do any of these things. He stood against them. PEOPLE did these things. Faith isn’t the problem, human beings are.

  • herald7

    Plus Janet, the God of the Old Testament may have done things that we consider objectionable now. But at the time, people saw that as a God being just and fair to his people. As opposed to the previous gods who only cared about making people wimper with fear.

    We can’t just read the Bible, it needs to be probably understood and analyzed.

    • Peter

      Wrong again: “the fear of god is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 1:7″

  • http://freestyletheology.blogspot.com freestyle

    Agreed Christiandom has produced completely despicable and ugly things (slavery, genocide, etc.). However reason has produced many terrible things as well (nuclear bombs, Hitler/Nazis, etc).
    I must also note that in the black community, Christianity has produced some of the greatest american humanitarians. (Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. Dubois, Rev C.T. Vivian, Dr. Martin Luther King, Rev. Robert Graetz, James Cone, Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson, etc.)
    the bible talks about following the “spirit of the law” rather than just the “letter of the law” and ultimately I think this is what accounts for such drastic differences in interpretation. 2 Corinthians chp 3 talks about how the letter of the law (fundamentalist literalism) kills and brings death.
    I think it is hard to argue that people who have shaped their life after Christ rather than merely following a bunch of ancient rules are less intellectual, less compassionate, or less humanitarian than the rest of the society. I think that history will suggest the opposite.
    Surely, this will not convince anyone to suddenly follow Jesus, but rather hopefully it can at least build bridges between those who care about the mutual benefits of serving all humanity and creating a better society now and for the future.
    The conservative moment does not reflect the life of Jesus at all, rather if anything it mirrors the lives of the Pharisees, Jesus’ constant opponents.

  • http://juxtafem.wordpress.com/ juxtafem

    Typical. This is the evil of Christianity—it’s okay to do anything, all you have to do is say sorry. No accountability, no responsibility, and if it causes human suffering here on earth, why that’s okay too. Because it doesn’t matter if you suffer here, your rewards are in heaven. What a load of bs. He only apologized because he got caught. Truth is the bible thumpers can’t tell if something is right or wrong unless they are specifically told.

  • http://juxtafem.wordpress.com/ juxtafem

    Oh, and Daniel, welcome to sanity!

  • herald7

    “OK Herald – let me clarify. You are saying that it used to be ok for God to command horrible acts because it was culrural. You are saying that God’s morality is not timeless”

    I am saying people’s interpretation of God is not timeless. Catholicism teaches that our interpretation of God changes and expands as we grow as a people and as a culture. Again, neither believers nor athiests should take the Bible as the main world on faith. :)

  • herald7

    “OK Herald – let me clarify. You are saying that it used to be ok for God to command horrible acts because it was culrural. You are saying that God’s morality is not timeless”

    I am saying people’s interpretation of God is not timeless. Catholicism teaches that our interpretation of God changes and expands as we grow as a people and as a culture. Again, neither believers nor athiests should take the Bible as the main word on faith. :)

    • doesntworkthatway

      “Righteous indignation is a mean between envy and spite, and these states are concerned with the pain and pleasure that are felt at the fortunes of our neighbours; the man who is characterized by righteous indignation is pained at undeserved good fortune, the envious man, going beyond him, is pained at all good fortune, and the spiteful man falls so far short of being pained that he even rejoices.” — Aristotle

      “Anger is a gift.” — Zach de la Rocha

    • LRA

      Exactly! My anger is moral in its basis. It indicates my judgment of wrong doing by people who supposedly espouse truth seeking and moral integrity.

  • http://freestyletheology.blogspot.com freestyle

    Hitler’s assumptions were also based on what was believed to be scientific evidence proving superiority of some and inferiority of others. But that misses the point all together, unless you claim that no atrocities are by-products of enlightenment or rationalistic thinking???

    My point is.. people are people and do wrong to one another out of selfishness, for personal gain, etc. It is not just religious people that do wrong to one another. however, People historically who shape their life after Christ practically and relevantly in the 21st century have a much different story than the literalistic fundamentalist religion posing as Christianity.

  • herald7

    “@Herald7 – ok – so you do not believe that the bible is God-inspired or god-written? Obviously you don’t. Do you consider yourself a christian? On what basis? (I’m not trying to be a smartass here – I really don’t know – every christian I know believes that the bible is the inspired and holy word of god so I don’t know where you’re coming from). There is no point in arguing the veracity of the bible if you don’t believe it either. Then you and I are on the same page.”

    It’s OK, I don’t you’re not being a smartass, hehe. It’s just that some denominations of Christianity take the Bible more literally than others. Catholics believe the Bible was God-inspired, but we also know that the humans who wrote it were occasionally wrong. Like my religion textbook as a kid said people in the bible who were said to be possessed by demons were probably just mentally ill.

    Catholics take the Bible very seriously but they also take other things into account to that have been accumulated over the centuries. This concept is called “Tradition.” Like the Bible says all unbelievers are doomed. Just the other my priest was saying that doesn’t mean non-Christians are all going to Hell. It is recongized that good works are more important than your particular religion.

    Now human beings aren’t perfect and obviously these rules haven’t always been followed through history. But the same can be said of all religious and all athiests. We all fail sometimes. Don’t judge others based on the actions of a few. ;)

  • herald7

    *Correction: I meant to say “I don’t think you’re being a smartass, hehe.”

  • http://freestyletheology.blogspot.com freestyle

    I agree, it was pseudo-science that Hitler had. And by the way that’s a great show and a great quote, however the problem is none of us can approach science without bias. We are all bringing something to the table when we “interpret” the evidence. The mere hypothesis we choose will always be directing our thinking, along with our own baggage, presuppositions, context, and community we were raised in. Neither Faith nor Science have the ability to be fully objective, science will always remain a subjective field, which is why our understanding of facts is constantly changing in the field of science.

  • herald7

    I don’t mind people discussing Hitler and all but my personal opinion is that Hitler was insane and not a good example of either science or faith. ;)

  • http://freestyletheology.blogspot.com freestyle

    No need to get aggravated… just trying to dialogue, if you have some insights I am more than open to hearing you. And you are right, I am not in the field of science, however as I understand it, interpretation is apart of the human experience. I do not carry the belief that individuals have the capacity to hold completely objective views. So even when the facts are the same, people can conclude drastically different things. Potentially if we ever had all the pieces to the puzzle (the data) then we could potentially put it all together in a way that was ultimately conclusive. Yet if I understood you right, you admit that we do not have access to all the data, because we continue to find more and more, which changes our interpretation and conclusion.
    I guess I just am not modernist enough to go with the science reveals all stuff. Science is helpful, it has given us lots of break-throughs, but it is still a limited field because it always will involve limited people.

  • http://launchnow.ca iamzelda

    I am amazed at the misquotes of the Bible that are stated in this blog. God is a just God. He created mankind and does not have to justify His actions to anyone. Period. He created life and He created laws, which time and time again have been abused by man. He attempted many times (in the old testament) to appeal to the hearts of man, He warned them to turn back to Him, many times to no avail. His wrath came after warning – man had his chance. Life is like that. No one – Christian or not, can deny that consequences, both good and bad, are a result of our actions. No one can argue that. It is fact. Some in society today want to do what they please with no consequence but that doesn’t mean they will get away with things simply because it just doesn’t work that way. Take for example the law of gravity. It is a law that is there and we are to obey it, work in harmony with it. Let’s say a sign on top of a building tells us not to go too close to the edge. If we do, we fall off because of gravity. Have we broken the law of gravity by denying it? No – the law of gravity has actually broken us because it is and always will be… much like the living God. God is and always will be.

    The mention of slavery is also taken out context. The Bible was not pro-slavery – especially in the sense that our society uses the word or views slavery. Jesus himself, God in the flesh, washed the feet of his disciples. His teaching was that a master is not greater than his slave and that the meek shall inherit the earth. Jesus came to redeem us because man is incapable of being sinless. Even Peter, one of His most beloved disciples, denied knowing the Lord when faced with consequences of admitting to being His follower. But God forgave Peter and God will forgive anyone who comes to Him with a repentant heart and asks for forgiveness.

    There is no other God or belief in this world that offers that kind of unconditional love and forgiveness. Only Christ alone offers and can provide that. He is awesome!

    So whether you choose to believe it or not, or follow it or not, just like the example of gravity, choosing not to believe in something does not make it untrue. It just means that you will suffer the consequences that comes from not complying, and not reap the benefits (blessings & favour) of working in harmony with it.

    Shalom (Peace)

  • http://freestyletheology.blogspot.com freestyle

    @Janet Greene
    Agreed, there is definitely a difference with trying to be objective or not. And for that I can not go into a lab to reproduce any results, that would by nature be the opposite of faith. My “attempt” at objectivity with my faith comes through personal experience. It is my experience of living a life in pursuit of Christ that has satisfied my unsatisfied and longing soul, and therefore a trust in a higher being. It is my experience of looking out into the universe that leads me to feel like their is a Creator of all things. And it is in moments of true pain and suffering that I have felt the comfort of God. Those things can not be duplicated nor measured. You can’t pick it up and weigh it, and they clearly can be debated and believed or not believed. But given my personal experiences it seems foolish for me to not believe in God. I can understand why others might not… I have a question everything approach, and I personally questioned many things myself, and why I believe. i surely have not “tried out every religion and spiritual path” and I am sure you have not either, right? But it is my experiences that bear witness to God and my faith that has confirmed those things to me. And so I trust, hope, and have faith in something greater than what I can touch, in a God that I believe does exist. Does that at least make sense, whether not you believe it or not? I just want to help you understand where I am coming from.

  • herald7

    “Is the author lying, or is Leviticus 25 the direct word of God?”

    Again, not all Christians take all of the Bible literally. They some of it symbolically and keep in mind its historical context.

  • herald7

    “The problem is that Christians cannot agree on which parts are symbolic and which are not. What is symbolic to one set of Christians is considered to non-symbolic by others, and vive versa.

    As I said before, you have to posses the rare gift of infallibility to be sure you have it right.”

    You’re right, it’s a complicated thing. But just because we don’t have infallibility right now doesn’t mean it’s all nonesense. Life isn’t about always being sure you are right. Too much evil has persisted in the world from people (believers and nonbelievers) who were SURE they were right.

    The minute you are absolutely sure you are right is the day you stopped thinking. That goes for believers and athiests.

  • iamtheenemy

    LRA,

    I’m sure the Jews wished that people made it their business.

    Calling a baby your body doesn’t make the baby not a baby.

    It sounds like you made the choice that we made. I decided I had to be a doctor, that there was nothing more important so I killed my child over it, my wife doing the same thing. However, like most people who talk about their abortions openly, after the abortion, nothing mattered anymore.

    LRA, have you see the movie Lake of Fire – or seen abortions performed? It’s very hard to argue it isn’t a child when you’ve seen it. Are you hiding from that, or have you just hardened yourself to the reality.

    I don’t know how old you are now, but it took 14 years before we could finally face our aboritions. We told ourselves since we were 19 and 20 that there was no way for us to do anything else. And I’ll bet our families were poorer than yours, I didn’t think people existed in the US who were as poor as my wife’s family. We got pregnant with our daughter less than a year later and we knew that all we told ourselves about needing to get that PhD etc. was a lie we’d told ourselves. You’re now vested in your decision, you did have a choice and you made the wrong one but I’m not talking like someone who doesn’t understand – my wife’s putting the kids to bed right now, she’d happily tell you the same thing but you wouldn’t listen from her or anyone – even though she’s been pregnant and had an abortion. Have you had children? have you looked into their eyes knowing what it really means to have killed one just like them – their siblings? Be honest with yourself, the university will just convince you that you are wise in your own eyes, where does the relativism stop – at one point do we stop saying that murder is an individual decision that no one can ever question? It’s a bunch of bunk and we all know it but we don’t want to face being non-PC or giving up our dreams which turn to nightmares under the abortionist’s knife.

    I hope some day can face what you’ve done and truly help people someday by helping them give up their child for adoption.

    By the way we’ve been foster parents to three children for 18 months and we are seeking to adopt special needs children. So we do quite a bit for the other side of this.

    Anyway, I’m signing off now, because I’m pretty short on time – I don’t know if the comments about drive-by comments are about me, but I don’t know many people who have five kids and who are foster parents and who do counseling of pre and post-abortion women (as well as other sorts of volunteering) and work full-time (and homeschool) who can sit all day on a blog like this. Besides, who really has time to blog anyway, especially if no one’s going to hear.

    I encourage all of you to stop reciting to yourself these canned lines you’ve been taught all your lives and honestly investigate this issue.

  • herald7

    *Correction: “I will explain, but please do not accuse me of things, otherwise I will not debate at all.”

    Man, it’s too late at night to be debating, lol.

  • herald7

    Btw, a thought to both believers and nonbelievers: a little tolerance of different opinions goes a long way. ;)

  • herald7

    “The point about the guilt is that the Christians are CREATING it– just as “Iamtheenemy” tried to do to me just now. It is very wrong! I have NO shame over what I did. It was the RIGHT CHOICE for me. I am not pro-abortion, I am pro-CHOICE.”

    There are plenty of women who regret abortions who are not Christian. Many pro-choice people acknowledge that abortion is a very sad decision to have to make. Is it so odd and strange then to feel badly afterward? Whether you think a fetus is a person or not, it is a life. Why is compassion for a life suddenly an unnatural thing?

    It’s one thing to say abortion is a choice some women feel they have to make. It’s another to say there’s nothing to feel badly about.

    I don’t agree with your decision at all, but I still respect you as a human being and will treat you as such. :)

  • herald7

    “If this event is in doubt, then the entire Bible is in doubt. If Leviticus 25 cannot be trusted to accurately relay the word of God, then the Ten Commandments cannot be trusted to accurately relay the word of God.”

    I understand what you’re saying. Thing is, that’s a very “all or nothing” attitude and life just isn’t like that. Many Christians believe that some of the Bible are stories based around real events, with very important meanings. These were early peoples trying to understand the world and their main way of communicating was through stories. These stories were often fantastic and exaggerrated because they were attempting to deliver an important message. That is how people communicated, through oral tradition.

    As for the slavery thing again, in Christianity it is called The Old Testament because Jesus refutted certain parts of it. Christians respect the Old Testament but feel Jesus corrected some things about it in The New Testament.

    • claidheamh mor

      I love all people. : )

      Seriously, your past verbal attacks invalidate that.

      Unbanned =/= didn’t happen.

  • herald7

    Again, I say to people of ALL points of view on this board (including myself), a little tolerance and understanding of different opinions goes a long way. And we shouldn’t stereotype groups just because we disagree with them. ;)

  • herald7

    “That is Crap, if people practiced responsible sexual behavior all of the time, the situation with aids would not be as bad as it is in Africa at this time.”

    Um yes, I said that in the same post you just quoted.

  • herald7

    I’m going to take a break from this Blog for awhile. The Blog itself always has very interesting ideas. But the amount of utter hate and lack of understanding from people of all points of view in the comments section is staggering.

    Of course that does not speak for everyone here. I have enjoyed debating with many people here and still respect everyone’s opinions. :)

  • Eat The Rich

    Christianity is a virus of the mind. It slowly takes over the host and attempts to multiply by infecting other hosts. All christians should be shot to protect the rest of us normal, healthy people.

  • gina94984

    to LRA-

    i appreciate your post on the status of the number of souls attributable to a hermaphrodite, chimera or “merged twin” (people born with multiple body parts but only one head).

    this brings to mind the question of what happens to the souls of miscarried and stillborn conceptions, since according to catholic doctrine, baptism must be performed for entry into heaven. purgatory?

  • Pingback: I will show you bitter, bleak, ironic comedy « Brad’s Oneiric Rantatorium

  • Sock

    @LRA and Enemy

    I’ve read your comments to each other, and I’ve been thinking about both your stances for a couple days now. I’ve made a few comments, but I want to take this moment to make a real comment of my own.

    First, I am pro-choice. So, I will start with this.

    @Enemy. Your wife had an abortion, and you both feel regret over that decision. You said that neither of you were able to provide the right life for the child that you aborted, and further it would’ve been a real problem for both of you and the path you were currently on. She was in school, and you were working on your PhD. You now counsel others. What is the purpose of this counseling? To comfort afterwards, or convince them not to have an abortion at all?

    Regardless. You said that your family serves as a foster family for orphaned children, and that’s admirable. It really is! But I also feel that I need to point this out.

    If not for the abortion, the chances of you having the lifestyle that you have now are slim. You and your wife would’ve had to adjust your goals and lives, and it’s possible that you’d have run into problems with schooling, and how would you be able to do what you’re doing now without enough money as a result of your schooling?

    Since your wife had a poor background, supporting the child monetarily would’ve been very hard. It’s possible that you would’ve had to give up on your PhD in order to bring in money to properly care for that child. So, as a result of that abortion, you’ve been able to provide a MUCH HIGHER quality of life for not just your own children afterward, but the orphans that you also foster. So, in my eyes, while the abortion is regrettable, it was also the lesser evil. It was the best decision you could’ve made at that point. The only better decision would’ve been to have practiced safe sex, but that’s another point entirely.

    Yes, no one -wants- to have an abortion. But in some situations, like yours, it’s a true blessing to have it available.

    Now, it’s true that you could’ve put that child up for adoption. However, that’s an even harder thing to do than have an abortion, far harder, and there’s no promise that adoption will end up providing a better life than non-existence. Orphanages (even though they’re not called that anymore) aren’t always great places for children to grow up. There are also a lot of terrible foster homes for children to be sent to. While I’ll agree that a majority of children who’re given up for adoption do end up in healthy homes… there are more children who need to be adopted than there are people willing to adopt them. Until the supply and demand changes, abortion is a better option.

    Further, you really don’t have any right telling people how they should feel about anything. If you’re trying to project and force your feelings on other, then you’re guilty of emotional rape. No matter how hard you try, you cannot make people feel the way that you want them to feel.

    Also, LRA is pro-choice. Not pro-abortion. There’s a strong difference there. Pro-Choice means that people have abortion as an option if they’re ever in that situation that you were in with your wife.

    @LRA. I’ve made previous comments about how I would feel if my wife/girlfriend got pregnant, and we were considering an abortion, and I would like to rephrase that.

    If my wife/girlfriend was pregnant, then I feel that I would be entirely within my rights to tell her how I feel about abortion or keeping the child. Suppose that I wanted her to keep it. I would argue for that, and let her know how I feel.

    She, however, would be the ONLY one who gets to make the decision in the end. If she decided to abort the child anyways, even if I wanted to keep it, that would be fine. I’d be sad, but that would be her decision, not mine.

    And in reverse, if I wanted an abortion, and she wanted to keep it… then I feel that the right thing to do is to support the child, regardless of how I felt on the abortion issue. That’s where I stand. In no way does the man have equal say in it, but how he feels should be taken into consideration when the decision is made.

  • herald7

    I agree Sock, people talk about adoption all the time but it’s really a very difficult decision, even more difficult than abortion I imagine. But that’s why it’s so amazing and wonderful when people do it. ;)

    I do not agree with abortion and don’t see it as a lesser of two evils. It is the symptom of a much larger problem. Most abortions happen in poverty striken areas. If more people got support and means of escape, they wouldn’t have that awful decision to make.

    That’s why I don’t vote Republican, because even when they claim to be pro-life, they are doing nothing about the problem.

    I don’t vote Democrat either for the record, I’m purely independent. ;)

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  • http://www.360.yahoo.com/jshuey44 John Shuey

    I like to call’em the PFCs of God’s Army…

    Prevaricators for Christ.

  • herald7

    Ok I gave it a second chance, but I really am done with this board forever.

    You say you want to convert people? You will not do so by calling people liars, laughing and scoffing at them and accusing them of horrible things just because you don’t understand. I realize not everyone has done this. But it’s clearly the general feeling of this board.

    In many ways I admire the athiest way of thinking. But healthy debate is not about being so cruel to people. You have now failed to convert a believer, even one who agreed with you in many ways….

  • Somegreencat

    I have to say I have read most of the comments on this post and saw nothing I would call serious personnel attacks by anyone. Yeah there might have been some since I deleted a few hundred comments from my email. I just get the feeling that herald7 usually goes to sites which are probably one sided and they are usually on the side she is on. She isn’t used to having her statements questioned as she got here. I have to agree with all those that asked if slavery isn’t what god meant then how can you know anything else in the bible is what he meant.

  • ficklepeach

    I have a really odd question that probably will take a Christian two seconds to answer (if people will still take the time to read this). I’m completely confused by your concept of hell and who exactly is controlling things (down) there… Is Satan’s eternal punishment to rule over and torture the damned? Is it something he wanted to do? This seems so odd when it is supposed to be Satan’s fault that someone is down there… Someone doesn’t believe in God? Well hey! That’s exactly what Satan wanted to happen. So why would he punish the people who are on his side? What kind of joy would he get out of torturing people who have the same views as he/she does? Just reading this, I feel stupid, but that’s not going to stop me from asking, I guess.
    -Confused but still hopeful

  • Ty

    I notice that when people began posting very good explanations of where morality comes from without requiring a god, all the pastor types seem to have disappeared.

    Typical. When the cheap shots and one liners fail, they have nothing left in the bag of tricks.

  • Janet Greene

    @John – I spent years trying to “love God/Jesus”. It simply was not possible. I cannot love on command; and I cannot love a being that I have never seen, felt, heard, touched, anything. I prayed earnestly that I would have faith; waited for something to happen. Personally, I believe that this love from “God” that you feel is something natural within humans. We attribute things to God that are really “us”. I found this out when I rejected god/christianity – I had the same feelings as before. Overall, I have a better general sense of “well-being”, but I love people who actually exist and whom I have relationships with. And I know what you will say – that you have a “relationship” with god. And I believe you. In the same way that a child has a relationship with an invisible friend. They really, really believe that friend is there. They talk to them, laugh with them, play with them. It’s amazing -t the power of the mind and what we can convince ourselves of. The truth is, none of us have a relationship with “god”. You can talk all you want but there is no answer “up there”. I do believe that there is “something”, but none of us knows what it is. But a conscious God, who can read our thoughts and make magic happen, no. If that kind of God existed, there would be no debate. We would all know about it. Any god who makes it so debatable, and the evidence so against his existence, clearly does not want humankind to know about it. Bottom line – I’m so much happier since I gave up all that hookey! :)

  • http://prayeramedic.com Dan

    I’d expect that from a high school youth. Not from a pastor. Geesh…

  • The Medium Lebowsky
  • DarkMatter

    The church probably shut down the site.

    If it is not a strategy, I hope the church will deal kindly to her own kind for the sake of his wife and children.

  • Janet Greene

    @Mike – I should clarify – at the time, I was a “backslidden” christian. I believed that christianity was absolutely true, but as a young adult I wanted to have fun first. I just assumed I would have to straighten out my act so I wouldn’t burn in hell or be left behind in teh rapture! So I wasn’t actively christian at the time I became a coke addict.

    I agree that many christians are addictive (usually secretly). I have found out why. The tenets of christianity tend to diminish normal brain functioning. I’m not kidding. When normal human reasoning, emotions, and sexuality are squashed, and we are forced to believe things that could not be logically true (ie God loves you unconditionally, God kills without reason, God will send you to hell if you don’t take certain steps, but don’t forget how much god loves you) the hormones in our brain get out of balance. Christianity talks a lot about joy, mercy and love, but ultimately it is about guilt and fear. Guilt – that we are sinful and need forgiveness – and fear – if we don’t get salvation we will burn forever. These are not healthy foundations for living. If you want a much better description that this about how christianity screws up our brains so that we become addicted (in an attempt to self-medicate), see Celia Murray Dunn “Religion that Harms, Religion that Heals”.

    Since I rejected christianity (it was a slow process – took years of reading and searching for truth), I no longer struggle with drug addiction. The guilt and fear of my upbringing is slowly leaving me. I can celebrate life without the paranoia that some god is reading my thoughts! They are my private thoughts now, and it’s wonderful. I am no longer on anti-depressants either. I’m not suppressing myself anymore, so I’m able to fill that spiritual void now.

  • Ken

    I give kudos for the Pastor’s final response and willingness to acknowledge he messed up. To me that says a lot about his character, a lot of folks would just dig in. What he did was wrong and was a cheap shot for certain, and it took a lot of pressure to get him to fess up. Not sure if he finally did because of fear for fallout at his church or a genuine sense of remorse, but at least he publicly admitted his wrong doing. I agree he should be given a 2nd chance!

  • http://deleted Janet Greene

    Jimmy Gold – another interesting article on the topic of the increasing number of atheists in America by Huffpost – check out this article called “the silent minority”…

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/the-silent-minority_b_173354.html

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  • http://unreasonablefaith.com/2009/03/20/pastor-gets-caught-lying-for-jesus/ smb12321

    The best response to the religion – morality question was from Lyndon Lamborn, a Mormon excommunicated when he accidentally discovered the “real” Joseph Smith and refused to keep quiet. He said, “I am a better Christian as an atheist that I ever was as a Mormon.”

    That captures the essence of the “debate” over the origin of morals. The biggest problem is the ignorance (I say this nicely) of those who think history corresponds with the Biblical tale: God created Adam about 6,000 years old and while he was at it, gave us our morals. I am still surprised when I hear this and always ask, “Have you ever heard of fossils?” LOL

  • Passerby

    Just stumbled this blog and found a very interesting discussion, hi all.

    Just wanted to say, I am an athiest/agnostic but I am a pretty strict moralist; there is a basic code of human behaviour which is completely independent of religion.

    Broadly speaking all religions share one over-riding philosophy – ‘the Golden Rule’ – basically summed up as ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.

    It applies to no less than 21 world religions

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc.htm

    Christianity is not unique and can’t really be held up as superior or even particularly unusual. Most would agree the ten commandments are at its core. Funnily enough they vary among Judeo Christian religions as you can see from the table halfway down this wikipedia page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

    1. You shall have no other god/ make no idols (much the same)
    2, Not take gods name in vain
    3. Remember the sabbath
    4. Honour your father and mother
    5. Dont kill
    6. Dont commit adultery
    7. Don’t steal
    8. Dont bear false witness
    9. Dont covet your neighbours wife/ house

    (1 and 10 are sometimes divided in 2, depending on the religion)

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are all facets of the Golden Rule. Hence they are either specifically shared or at least unlikely to be disputed by any of the world’s religions as rules of behaviour. They are all quite simple rules for harmonious social interaction. I don’t think its a coincidence that they emerged as laws alongside the spread of urban living following the agricultural revolution and the end of hunter gathering as a way of life.

    1, 2 and 3 are different, they provide rules with the purpose of serving the religion itself. 1 is a declaration of monotheism and both 2 and 3 are designed to encourage respect for the monotheistic deity in question. So they’re only moral commands within the context of the religion.

    It’s been shown that music is innate, the pentatonic scale for instance is universal, I couldn’t say ‘the golden rule’ is conclusively universal but it does seem to be fairly ubiquitous and evolved independently in several places. Does anyone really think that when Moses proclaimed the ten commandments (if, of course, he did) the people said “oh yeah – we never thought of that – let’s not kill, steal or lie ever again!” For me the most likely scenario is that these rules already existed as ‘common sense’ or as part of earlier common law, then were co-opted by the emergent religion to eventually become inseparable.

    All human societies have rules of behaviour. It’s seemingly instinctive for people to anthropomorphise these concepts into deities, and to invent all sorts of myths which surround them. It is perhaps useful to invent an omnipotent policeman god to help enforce the rules and wield both a carrot (heaven) and stick (hell). The deities and stories change, but the broad thrust of what is moral and what is immoral does not.

    For me, religion itself is immoral (this is a bold statement it would take an even bigger post to justify so I won’t try just now). I want my kids to develop empathy – they should refrain from lying, stealing, killing etc because they don’t want to cause harm, not because they think some big frightening God will burn them up.

  • The Medium Lebowski

    Looks like he’s still the pastor of his flock of sheeple.

  • Gary L Varnam

    I believe that there is this thing call The Force. It isn’t God nor an old man in the sky. The Force binds the galexies togather. It produces life. You can’t find it in the bible. Yes it was featured on Star Wars. However I think that George Lucas learned the truth and used Star Wars as a front to tell this truth. I also believe in reincarnation and an after life on the astral plane. Other then than that the scientist has got everything right. Also the Athiests are mostly on everyrthing else. There are a lot of bullshitters out there who thinks they know it all! As for lieing pastor’s, Christainity is a complete fabercation built on lies!

    • Gary L Varnam

      it slould be; the Athiest are mostly correct about everything else.

  • Bleepka

    XD he pretty much called all of us Atheists sociopaths.

  • http://upperandlowercase.com/musicvariant2 William

    Bad Friday, being stapled into favorite hobby; Good Sunday, something about controlling death. Bunnies try controlling death Sunday too (bunny fertility).

    http://upperandlowercase.com/musicvariant1

  • Michael

    While this is pretty bad, people here do need to acknowledge the apology and that this pastor isn’t a bad person. If you read any of his other posts here or elsewhere you will see that he just got annoyed and posted stupid “anonymous” comments that he took back. People here are acting like he actually did kill babies instead of just posting about it.

  • http://www.landoverbaptist.org Country Crock

    He states on his web site bio “His passions are his relationship with Jesus Christ, his family, and equipping the church to be disciples and do “disciple things.”

    I suppose doing “disciple things” includes trolling forums, spewing vulgarities and lying in the name of Jesus. He is just another example of why i say non-believers are more believable, more honest, more trustworthy, etc. This pastor is a joke!

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  • http://www.machete.ca Allain Lalonde

    Props to the pastor for being humble enough to apologize. I’m pretty sure most of us would have just cut our losses and ran.

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    I’m just shaking my head here. I really shouldn’t be surprised any more by the abominable behavior of religious people but….

  • http://brazilbrat.blogspot.com/ James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil

    How can atheism be a religion? It does NOT require any faith. Instead it is based upon reality and observable facts that can be seen and duplicated by anyone.

    Furthermore, it does not involve lying, distorting facts, or cherry-picking passages out of a book full of contradictions and myths.

    As far as morality is concerned, what does religion have to do with that? Unless human sacrifice, intolerance, and genocide are considered to be moral.

    Then treating minorities and women as less than equal or even slaves, is that moral?

    Most of the problems of the world are, and always have been, caused by religion. Mankind will never truly be free until the black yoke of religion is lifted by the clear light of truth and reason.

  • The Medium Lebowsky

    Chris still has his job.

    • Sunny Day

      Child molesting priests still have their jobs too. Why should Pastor Chris be any different. It’s just business as usual for the church.

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  • http://www.commonsensetheism.com Dino Flintstone

    “I wonder what the christians that read this website think of a pastor doing this?”

    The pastor was wrong, but he’s human. I have been to a few prominent atheist sites (one in particular) where the author routinely posts comments to his articles under different pseudonyms–he even argues with himself and plays good cop/bad cop to stimulate the comment thread. In response I posted under different pseudonyms (all bearing the same trademark hyperbolic British arrogance) and in retuirn he posted my IP # and declared me dishonest. LOL. I didn’t think I was being dishonest, I only thought I was giving him a taste of his own medicine. After all, I knew he could see my IP # on all of my posts. I then challenged him to display the IP #’s for all comments on his blog for a few minutes to prove their authenticity but he would not.

    Honestly, I don’t really care if he’s posting with false nyms. It’s his blog and he can do what he wants with it. I can see why he is commenting as others. It’s not that he wants to deceive people, he just wants to make his blog look popular. It’s no different than movie labels posting false reviews of their movies, and so forth. At worst it’s a greasy marketing tactic, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it unethical.

    Personally, had I been the blog author here and I grew suspicious of the commenter, I would not have researched him and outed him. I would have privately warned him, then banned him if he kept it up. I do not see the point in publicly humiliating him for getting overzealous about proving his point. That’s a level of mudslinging I am not interested in.

    • Sunny Day

      “Honestly, I don’t really care if he’s posting with false nyms.” – Your previous statement, “I only thought I was giving him a taste of his own medicine.” shows you to be a Liar.

      “It’s no different than movie labels posting false reviews of their movies,” – Perhaps you should re-read the article again. “In a few hours, he went from apologizing for our past dealings with slimy lying Christians, to suggesting it’s okay to abuse women, kill neighbors, and slaughter children under the guise of atheism.”

      “At worst it’s a greasy marketing tactic,” – Thanks for illustrating religion is something to be sold, just like a used car.

      “but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it unethical.” – Apparently you and the pastor are equally immoral. Funny for someone who believes that morals are handed down by a higher power you can’t aspire to it.

      “I would not have researched him and outed him. I would have privately warned him, then banned him if he kept it up.” – Because its better to cover up wrongdoing and give a dishonest individual a free pass instead of expecting them to live up to the words they preach?

      “getting overzealous about proving his point.” – If you have to Lie to “prove your point” then you really don’t have ANY point.

      Mudslinging? How stupid are you?

  • http://spiritnewsdaily.com donovan

    Like the wise man said, Don’t blame Jesus for Christianity.

    peace out,

    donovan
    editor
    spiritnewsdaily.com

  • Ryedo

    Why Christians can’t be moral:

    1) They have no problem with the innocent [namely Jesus] paying for their wrong doings – This is akin to robbing a bank and allowing an innocent bystander to take the blame. Hardly moral.

    2) They continue to give birth – whilst believing in eternal torture/punishment for finite “crimes”. A moral person – knowing people are prone to error – wouldn’t dream of putting a new life in this predicament – so would refrain from giving birth.

    3) Churches – like prisons – are full of “sinners”. A moral person would think it best to stay away from both.

    Grins…

    • DarkMatter

      “Churches – like prisons – are full of “sinners”. A moral person would think it best to stay away from both.”

      So true, a moral person should avoid anything that will lead him to Church or Prison.

  • Scott

    Coming in a little late to the party but, this really is a fantastic example of ethics with out a god. Daniel displayed rational judgment and a forgiving nature when dealing with the pastor. What an admirable approach.

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  • brandoncotten

    my new internet homepage…. ty to the people that stop by.

  • ming

    it is indeed embarrassing the things christians, devout ones at that, would do.
    but may i pose this to you.

    at the end of the day, we all need to choose a stand on morality. yes moral law exists or no there is no moral law.

    if we say no to the existance of a moral law, then we need to consider how then did conscience/ sense of morality arise? sociological phenomenon? psychological phenomenon? biological phenomenon?

    however, if you say that there is the existence of a pre-determined moral law. you’re saying that there is a thing called evil. when there is evil, there must be good. where then did this arise?

    in my opinion, the christian view is able to answer this.

    God is good hence anything that is contrary to God is evil.
    since man is created in the image of God, we have a sense of good in us, ie. morality/conscience.

    in finding the truth of this universe, be it in atheism or religion or in science, i urge all to be more objective in looking at the christian view.

    in allowing yourselves to be skewed in perspectives by people who practice christianity poorly, you may be unable to fairly judge what is true. i encourage all to look at Jesus and what he taught instead of looking to the church and its messy history. because God is pure holy and perfect. the church, comprises of imperfect people, who will do pretty stupid things. look to the message of God in its purest form, not through the filter of the church.

    may we all find the truth that we need to find to give meaning to this otherwise meaningless life on earth.

    • Jabster

      “in my opinion, the christian view is able to answer this.”

      As can pretty much any other religion, so what makes yours so special?

      “because God is pure holy and perfect. the church, comprises of imperfect people, who will do pretty stupid things.”

      Yes, I think you’ve made that very clear.

      “may we all find the truth that we need to find to give meaning to this otherwise meaningless life on earth.”

      I love a bit of Christian arrogance in the morning. If you don’t believe in my god then life is meaningless.

    • Custador

      Ming, you very much fail to grasp the difference between “good and evil” and “moral and immoral”. What we regard as “moral” is evolved into us, however there are circumstances in which a lot of what we regard as normally immoral can be justified as being perfectly moral. This as much as anything else should tell you that there is no mystic absolute force of “good” and “evil”.

  • Rachel

    Yeah, sucks getting caught.

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  • Anonymous

    You are a spineless moron for banning him, no matter how wrong he was. Way to practice free speech, retard. And that’s coming from a person that hates christianity.

  • john

    Being deceitful in an attempt to make atheists look bad is wrong. There is no way to justify the lie. Saying he was overzealous doesn’t clear him of the fact he lied to make others look bad. The term “false witness” comes to mind here. If you can’t see that, you are no more moral than the catholic church turning a blind eye to pedophilia.

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  • Kaylee

    I have to admit I do lie sometimes. The rest of you don’t I guess. Why the big deal of this guy lying as a hypocrite when I think we all do it also. Why hold him to some authority that we know does not exist? Why should it bother us when we are free?

    • Morpheus91

      Your logic is a bit off… we aren’t holding him to an authority we know doesn’t exist, we’re holding him to his own standards. No one here is saying “God doesn’t like lying” but rather “You claim god doesn’t like lying, and then you lie to promote god.”

  • Kaylee

    Why are we bothered about lying? I know I lie sometimes. You don’t?. Why are we holding him to something we are free from? Do not get it. Who cares..

    • Morpheus91

      Maybe because he’s being a hypocrite? The issue isn’t that he lied, it’s that he lied while touting an ideology that supposedly encourages truth, honesty, and love. We’ve all lied, but I hardly think we’ve all pushed an agenda by blatantly disregarding the tenets of that agenda and horrendously misrepresenting the opposition.

    • Yoav

      It’s like the difference between someone who cheat on his wife and Newt Gingrich whining on every available TV screen about the horrible, immoral Bill Clinton, while cheating on his wife.

      • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

        Lying as yourself is a different proposition from lying as someone else.

  • marty white

    “[The argument that a fetus is not alive] is a resort to a convenient fiction that turns an evidently living being into one that legally is not alive. Instead of accepting such fictions, we should recognise that the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being’s life.”
    Peter Singer
    Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.
    Atheist.
    “Singer believes that although sex between species is not normal or natural,[32] it does not constitute a transgression of our status as human beings, because human beings are animals or, more specifically, “we are great apes”.”
    from wikipedia.

    • Sunny Day

      Which is why I use the argument that a Fetus is not a Person.
      Personhood is a little less nebulous than a Being.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I wonder if he ever used the comments he made as examples of how evil atheist are in his sermons.

    Didn’t think of that angle — interesting!

  • trj

    I figure he felt he was justified in his scam, since he would probably see it as trying to save souls.

    Possibly. But more than likely he simply figured he wouldn’t get caught.

  • Brent

    I’m a Christian, and I’m ashamed and disgusted by what this guy has done. It is hypocritical and deceitful, and does not represent what we teach and aspire to.

    Daniel, I’m glad you exposed this. I intend to share this with my Christian friends to remind that that atheists are real people who should be treated with respect.

  • teddybouch

    I can’t say that I regularly read this website – I just happened to stumble on it today – but I am a Christian. There are a lot of people out there who do really stupid and awful things and carry the banner of Christian. Heck, we’re all human, and I would argue that we all do stupid things, intentionally or not, with good intentions or poor. Christians aren’t any more or less “moral” than anyone else – we’re all screwed up. We just believe that we need a Savior for it and that He came in the person of Jesus.

    Things like this are a reason that I’ve become a fan of the whole “Apologize for Jesus” thing. For decades Christians have been using and abusing the name Christian and Jesus like it gives them some higher moral or spiritual authority from which to heave judgment at everyone else. People have used it to justify all sorts of cruelty and vicious behavior. So, if you are reading this and no one’s gotten to you yet, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that people called themselves Christian and told you that you were anything but loved. I’m sorry for the people who have deceived you, hurt you, lied to you, or cheated you with some sort of “Christian” agenda. That’s not the Jesus I know, and I’m sorry it’s the one you’ve been introduced to. If you ever want to know the Jesus I do, feel free to contact me. If not, I’m not going to try to cram Him down your throat. We’re just people, too, and anyone who tries to tell you any different is fooling himself.

  • pastorkim

    As a Christian believer and as a Pastor I am appalled that this man did this. One doesn’t need to lie about one’s self in order to make a point – in fact doing so reveals the true hypocrisy of believing one thing and doing another. That I think is the issue with most western Christian thinking – we believe one thing, yet do another. Often times unintentionally (although this one certainly appears to be intentional) simply due to our own human and sinful nature.

    So as a Christian believer and Pastor I apologize for the actions of this one. May we all be open to hearing each other’s thoughts and ideas, respecting each other’s lives and positions, and come together in community where each person has the same space because they are a person. Love and community are central to the gospel that I have dedicated my life and that was lost here.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    We really should do a UF conference someday. That would be a lot of fun!

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    @wintermute & @Ty: if we ever do get that UF get-together, your first round is on me.

    Heh. It really wasn’t that difficult. I’m pretty sure we get the credit just because we were the first to comment.

    But thanks.

    And, while we’re on the subject, I’d like to go to TAM one of these years. Maybe a UF meetup there would be appropriate?

  • GBM

    I wonder if he really believed that we were all a bunch of moral nihilists just waiting for some judicious prodding to descend into utter baby-eating, cat incinerating anarchy. I mean hasn’t this guy ever heard of moral naturalism?
    Anyway nice work, Florien. I must admit that I’m a bit curious to see how he’d react to the euthyphro dilemma/other critiques of divine command ethics.

  • GBM

    oops, I definitely didn’t mean to make that a reply, sorry.

  • latsot

    He’d cry persecution for sure.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Yeah, had he just asked “how do atheists account for morals” instead of being a slimy, lying douchebag with the moral awareness of a tapeworm, we’d have politely regurgitated the same explanation we’ve given a dozen times. And he’d have ignored the answers, like everyone else does…

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I have a feeling he’s lying about that, just like everything else.

    But if it is true, I can picture the pastor and some staff members around a computer: “Oh, Oh, I have it! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes, Jesus, yes!”

    “Shirley, stop babbling and tell me your idea.”

    “Sorry Pastor. Say it’s okay to KILL BABIES. Yeah, that would be hilarious! I bet they all think that. Slimy sinful stupid atheists. They love abortion, so they’re all baby killers.”

    “Ha! That’s a great idea, Shirley! Oh and they probably kill their neighbors, too. And beat their wives. I’m going to say it’s okay to beat wives. That’s so funny! I can’t wait to use this in my sermon next week!”

    “You’re so funny, Pastor. Thank Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth we’re not like those disgusting sinners! Oh, did you hear how much we got in the offering last week?”

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Thanks vjack! I agree. This pastor is in a leadership position telling people how to live their lives, and when they are hypocrites like this, it should be called out.

    If he would have responded with humility and I felt like he was really sorry and had learned his lesson, I wouldn’t have posted this. We all do stupid things. But he didn’t acknowledge any wrong-doing and tried to shift the blame. So I made it public.

  • John C

    VJack…love your avatar man, your right, no religion (oppressive, external rule keeping dogma), that would be an awesome day in the world!

  • Ty

    Ooooh.

    Praise from Caesar.

    You the man, Daniel.

  • John C

    You do realize this makes you one of the most “religious” people here right? The paradox is that we end up becoming like what we hate…as long as we…hate.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Yeah, I agree entirely. My only misgiving is that the page you link to has his email address on it. And as this gets more and more well known, people are going to use it, and some of them (hopefully a minority) are going to confirm his opinion of atheists.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    HA! That was awesome.

    You seem thoroughly annoyed by this guy (and pastors in general?).

    I like it.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Hopefully nobody will be stupid. But you are right, as this gets linked to, the chances of stupidness increase.

  • VorJack

    Well, it looks like a work email, so hopefully if it gets flooded it won’t cause him to many problems. He can just cancel it and start using the general church e-mail.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    By moronic, lying scumbags in general, I think.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Well look who turned up! I miss you man, you need to make more time for UF in your heart! ;)

    I am annoyed by this pastor because of his deception and attempt to make atheists look bad by impersonating them. But I have many friends who are pastors and while I find some of their crazy beliefs annoying, I think they’re great people.

  • cello

    Well they have this one covered because the NT says to submit to governing authorities, so this is the verse they use to advocate following non-Biblical laws. Of course, most Christians speed like everyone else so they don’t always do this either.

  • NonyNony

    There’s an easy answer to this one – the Bible tells them to:

    “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.” – 1 Peter 2:13-14

    Which suggests to me that among the early Christians there was probably a “heresy” at some point where people felt they no longer needed to obey “Man’s Laws” and could flaunt them instead of follow them. Someone decided that was a bad idea (probably for obvious reasons) and wrote up a letter to the church’s involved to cut it out.

  • Barry

    Yeah I’d like that too, just make sure John C and Roger sit together!

  • John C

    I would be honored to meet you and your awesome forum folks some day, that would be really cool. I would be easy to spot, I”ll be the one in the long white robe and sandals, ha. Toga party? lol

    All the best to my ‘A’ list friends!

  • Ty

    I’d go. People who look like long haired biker thugs are allowed, right?

    Heck, I’d even wear my *nice* leather jacket.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Count me in, lol!

  • cello

    LOL.

  • Roger

    There is more! There is a life! Blah, blah, blah woocakes.

    I say, if he called me “Rog” to my face, there might be bloodshed.

  • John C

    Thx Barry…I caught that one. I wouldnt mind at all sitting by Rog…not so sure he would feel the same, lol.

    All the best.

  • http://whyareyousofat.wordpress.com McBloggenstein

    I know, I miss participating… just so busy lately. I’m definitely still lurking, I just know if I comment, I’ll not be able to stop from coming back incessantly to keep up with the discussion. Must – fight – urge.

    As for being annoyed by pastors in general, I got that vibe mostly from your last sentence about the offering.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    You’re not a troll, sir. You’re a respected and appreciated member of this community.

  • cello

    Yeah, I agree with wintermute, I’m not sure why you called yourself a troll.

    It would have been one thing if this guy lied about himself for his own personal ends. The kicker here is that he was lying with the intent of making a group of people look bad. That’s like number nine on the Bible God’s top ten list of things not to do. So it’s rather noteworthy that a pastor would so casually do it without remorse.

  • claidheamh mor

    I do disagree with your saying, “I hope he learns from his mistakes”.

    A mistake is when you try to accomplish something (you know, sheet metal, chemistry synthesis, skiing, carry a fragile load without breaking it, clearing the bar on a high jump, giving a speech, etc.), and don’t accomplish the desired outcome and desired result with the desired proficiency.

    This was not a “mistake”.

    This was a deliberate, premeditated, planned, fully intended lie, deceit, hostility, and verbal attack.

  • DarkMatter

    I hope he won’t try to burn down the server of this website. He will end up in jail.

    Pastor “Rynoos”,
    I agree with what you say, but, on the other hand these so-called imperfect pastors and leaders can do alot of damage in humanity whether you find them excusable or not and christianity doesn’t really have control over faiths of her kind.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Thanks Rynoos! I agree with wintermute — you’re not a troll! As I said, people of all beliefs/non-beliefs are welcome here. I just ask for civility and open-mindedness.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    And he denied the existence of God. That’s like numbers 1 through 3 on the Big Ten, isn’t it?

  • Ooleepeeka

    Forgive me, I have sinned (j/k). No really, I’m new. What’s a troll?

  • Roger

    Welllll…the mainline denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian, etc) have VERY formal processes by which someone is ordained as a pastor. However, Baptist churches tend to vary in how someone comes to be a pastor. Usually, someone announces that they’ve received a “divine call” to preach and they give a test sermon whereby the congregation can judge whether or not this person has indeed a calling to preach. Formal education is usually not required. And nondenominational churches vary even more widely, so that usually anyone can say they’ve got the “call.”

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    “What is required to become a pastor in the US? Can anyone call themselves a pastor, or is some form of education required? ”

    mark: Another reason why I reject religion. The qualifications for becoming a preacher/pastor/reverend is so subjective.

    For instance how do you measure someone who actually think they are called vs someone who dosent want to get a job and is using religion to finance there lifestyle.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Note to John C: I’m not actually calling you a retarded baby. To be honest, that was probably uncalled for, and I apologise.

  • LRA

    “I’ve posted a few times on YEC’ers blogs, only to have my comments disappear for the sin of containing actual evidence that they can’t answer, for example”

    Yeah, that happened to me on the “Creation Letter Project”.

  • John C

    Calling me not intelligent doesnt bother me, but not polite? I have always tried to be very polite in light of all the hostility and name-calling I receive. But if I have ever not been polite, please accept my sincere apologies, I mean that from the middle of the middle of me to the middle of the middle of you.

    I really, really do.

  • claidheamh mor

    Call him “Dishonest John”. (john-john)

    When I challenged him to read CS Lewis, he said, “I am familiar with Lewis”.

    Yah, so????

    I’m familiar with War and Peace, but I haven’t read it.

    Seems like John C lies, but it’s easy to see through.

  • Rynoos

    I agree this was deliberate and not an accidental happening of key punching (which has a great ID vs. evolution undertone…lol), but I disagree with the idea that even something deliberate can’t be a mistake. Deliberate doesn’t excuse the crime, but surely we can admit any crime can be a mistake. If we didn’t believe that then we shouldn’t have jails and just kill em all. Which I do not condone. Mistakes happen in all forms.

  • http://barabie.wordpress.com barabie

    “This was not a “mistake””

    What if the “mistake” was in him getting caught and not related to the intent of such an “attack”?

    As you say, it “was a deliberate premeditated, planned, fully intended lie….” but he was caught, so maybe the “mistake” was him being outed?

  • LRA

    Then why don’t American Christians follow the law of our land (the Constitution) and quit trying to introduce “intelligent” design into science classrooms, which is a clear violation of the 2nd amendment (congress shall make no law respecting religion)?

    lemme guess… because they’re hypocrites?

  • LRA

    I knew a guy who graduated from Dallas TS. He was an assistant pastor at one of the big Baptidomes in Dallas. He was married to a good friend of mine. She divorced him when she found out that he had a “porn” problem and was picking up hookers in his spare time.

    True story. And no need to to pose as someone else to tell it.

  • Rynoos

    I agree 100% with a loud AMEN! That is why they need to be held accountable. I don’t know how this will be taken, but “pastors” are just men. That is not an excuse…by choosing that profession they do put themselves under higher scrutiny and should remain humble…but, wherever there is any type of power or influence there is a great chance to become arrogant and lose direction. There are idiots in every profession, culture, country, state,etc. and we shouldn’t allow the idiots to drive our conversations of difference. If we are looking for idiots we are always going to find them on both sides, so let’s admit it and continue talking about the good stuff.

    By the way, there are some very direct passages of scripture towards teachers or pastors about their conduct and the standards they are held to by God. Pastor Fox will have to figure that out for himself. I don’t know how much you are familiar with the Bible, so I am not trying to belittle you at all, I just wanted to point out that hopefully Pastor Fox can see the arrogance in his actions and realize he has standards he is called to live to.

  • claidheamh mor

    Speaking of hypocrisy —–

    I am waiting for drive-by, hit-and-run, I-post-comments-I-expect-others-to-read-but-I-refuse-to-read-others’-comments, passive-aggressive-calling-others-”cute”, I-expect-you-to-reply-by-you-emailing-me-but-I-reply-to-my-emails-in-this-blog, I-complain-I-don’t-get-answers-but-I-refuse-to-read-the-answers-I-get, Stephen Webb to come along and do another of his drive-by shooting postings.

  • Clortho

    “I was trying to make a point from a different perspective”

    A different perspective? Mr Fox has a different perspective, an ignorant perspective. Have you spent time with an atheist Mr Fox? Do you even know any Atheists Mr Fox? Clearly you do not. I am an Atheist and I grew up in a religious home. I went to church, to youth groups, to various church functions… Because my family is wonderful and open-minded I was able to come to my own conclusions based on my time spent in the church. I don’t need to follow the moral code of an ancient text to understand right and wrong. I’m much smarter than that.
    I don’t begrudge a whole group of people for their religious beliefs. Life is too short. Try a little understanding, not everyone likes or wants to think the same way you do.

  • revival09

    Hi, it should not be a great shock or revelation that a single church leader would be a hypocrite. As a matter of fact Jesus reserved his harshest words for the “church leaders”. He called them hypocrites, white-washed sepulcures, vipers.

    But that could if you searched apply to anyman regardless of his profession. The problem would be if you could describe Jesus as a hypocrite.

    You see He never said “Follow them”, He said “Follow Me”. In fact He said do as they say, not as they do.

    Even Islamists do not have a bad word to say about Jesus. I am aware that Athiests tend to be intelligent, logical etc (not being patronising, this has been my experience) so rather than get involved in time wasting debates, to those of you who beieve its impossible that there could be an omniscent God, I’d just like to say, is it not possible that God could exist beyond the limits of your knowlege?

    I am certainly not a theologian or schollar or anything like but I do have one advantage. I have personally witnessed numerous life changing miracles, healings, signs and wonders by Jesus. No I’m not OTT or speaking symbolically or metaphorically etc. And this is the main difference in all religions and Christianity. The tombs of the founders of all religions are occupied. Jesus is alive.

    Now thats not a cliche. I mean that but I dont spend my life trying to impose my beliefs on others. The invitation is there to come to a meeting and people choose for themselves. If they seek they will find.

    Personally, I dont think I’m bothered if some people go to Hell all on their own but I know Jesus is. Jesus Loves you, despite the state you’re in. And if He wants to save you who am I to argue. So I will always extend a hand to help anyone.

    Didn’t mean this to be so long, just replying to that story and you know not every pedophile priest nor money-motivate telly evangelist represents God, for even Jesus said “Not everyone who cries Lord Lord, do I know.

    In ending though, whether the pastor did or didn’t do something wrong, apart from the fact that one can tar everyone with the same brush, Jesus also said, Let him who is without sin throw the first stone.

    (By the way, another athiest friend of mine said to me once, “Harry, I’m glad I dont have the same hang-ups you do. I’m an athiest, thank God” :)

    God Bless,
    Harry

  • alynne4307

    Hmm,

    See, the interesting thing here is that you’ve about made the “martyr” out of this man. The reason being that Christians are not immune to sin. Lots of folks (atheists and even Christians themselves) forget that. The idea is that Christians should strive to remove sin from their lives in an effort to learn and be closer to the Living God.

    That’s another thing that I’ve yet to understand about this blog. I can gather that faith changes often. In fact, I went from being an atheist to a Christian myself, and I still have my own bouts with disbelief or having trouble with certain aspects of the bible. But as “unreasonable” as it may seem, I’m alright with it being called that. Because that is the point of faith, no? Faith is placed in something that defies logic or physical proof, and relies on a sense that goes beyond normal understanding. This is true of all the faiths, even that of atheists. And I struggle with it, as any Christian does. But it is because I have seen a Living God work in peoples’ lives, including my own.

    Now, I am not going to try to save you. I’m not going to throw you to the wolves either. As a previous atheist myself, I know full well that someone trying to “put” you into something else doesn’t work. That’s why argument will just continue across this blog. All sides tend to have their heads so far up their you-know-whats sometimes to see out of them. I believe the best way for anyone to minister any faith is to live and act in it, and lead by example. As for now, I’ll trust in God’s time that if he wants to reach you, he will do that.

    As for the author of this blog, I don’t know his whole story, but from the “about” section, it seems as though maybe he entered the Christian faith initially for the wrong reasons. So I am not surprised that he finds himself questioning it now. I don’t know that I believe anyone should follow any particular faith or religion without exploring options- because the only way to really have faith in it sometimes is to determine that nothing else works for you. What this blog is trying to prove is an entirely different thing… but then social media is an interesting thing.

    Hypocrisy is everywhere and in everyone. So what is the point to making victims of it in Christians (or anyone for that matter)? Why are so many readers of this blog so hellbent on this one religion and making examples of it? I sure hope the answer isn’t “because it was done to me”. That would be… what’s the word…. hypocritical? :)

    - April

  • spence-bob

    What makes you think it would bother them in the slightest?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I had a mental image of someone standing in front of the church handing out this post to members as they entered the church. :)

  • LRA

    BTW when my friend first found out about the hookers, he told her he was trying to be like Jesus and reach out to preach to them.

    yeah, he was reaching out alright…

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ daniel

    Great post daniel. Great way to pull a cyberspace sherlock homes on that out of line holy roller.

    Out of curiosity how did you find out it was the same person behind multiple post ?

    did you track the IP address?
    How did you find out the idiot was a Pastor?

    Also have you ever wondered why, if theist/holy rollers/christians have god on thier side thier arguments are so weak and predictable.

    I have asked john c before how come his all poweful and wise god dosent inspire him to learn and study in order to come up with a stronger argument for the existence of his god.

    How could god let John C make such silly comments in his name and on his behalf as a means to make us (non believers) see the light.

    If the christian god wants me to believe he exist then he has to provide more evidence than john c provides in his statements and he has to provide more evidence than has been currently claimed by the christians.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    IP address helped me track down the comments, then name on an email helped, then some various Googling methods connected the dots.

  • claidheamh mor

    Something deliberate can probably be a mistake. It does make it sound like more of an “oops, I did it again!”, though, and minimizes the very deliberate choice – the choosing to act, and doing the action.

    We all regret things we chose to do (though some deny that it was their responsibility and choice). But I think they aren’t usually of this nature.

    But again, that minimizes the deep hostility and hate – don’t deny it – to do these actions repeatedly. That would be true on anyone’s part, without the extra thick mixture of hypocrisy. But that hypocrisy just really does it.

  • Tom

    And, there is nothing to stop anyone from starting their own church and calling themselves the ‘pastor’, or other title they want.

    On this topic, many years ago when I was just starting out as a young attorney in New England, there was a local character who went around in a clerical collar calling himself the “Right Reverend So and So” (I don’t recall his actual name). It turned out he was simply a scam artist who went around bilking people (usually buisnesses) by playing on his alleged position as a clergyman. My firm ended up suing him on behalf of a client for something or other. Man, was this guy entertaining at the trial! He called down the Wrath of God on the lawyers, the judge, the jury, and claimed that only God had jursidiction over him. It was great! I think he had slipped over from fraud to delusion and into actual insanity.

  • Elemenope

    Obsessed much?

  • vorjack

    Via Wikipedia:

    “An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.”

  • Elemenope

    There are several types of trolls, but they generally all involve posting on a forum in bad faith; e.g. portraying yourself as something you are not in order to cast aspersions on a group or an individual, deliberately provoking outrage by violating social norms esp. when the provocation doesn’t have a point, pretending to be another regular poster on the forum, and so forth.

  • claidheamh mor

    I am astounded that he didn’t even think he was doing anything wrong. The rationalization, the excusing of himself, the continued thinking of himself as righteous, his condemnation of OTHERS expressing opinions – in a far more civil, rational, and literate way than his idiot maunderings – its… it’s…

    it’s a whole new example of the recent spate of examples of Christians who have no conscience, no internal moral compass, no empathy, no compunctions about doing really nasty things – things which many atheists posted that they could not and would not do – with only the external god-punishment fear keeping their amoral, unprincipled, devoid-of-conscience, remorseless asses in line.

  • Question-I-thority

    Unfortunately, people like this have highly compartmentalized minds.

    This is the great tragedy/evil of fundamentalistic belief. The system is so out of touch with reality that the Lying for Jesus to Self is necessary. Hypocrisy is the symptom. It’s the oozing pus of compartmentalization.

  • LRA

    Interesting word “compartmentalization”… they usually use it to describe people with dissociative identity disorder (DID- formerly known as split personality)…

  • John C

    I like it Reck…here’s another one for ya that you may have seen me use the other day…”all new truths start out as blasphemy’s”…GBS.

    The Truth is better than we could ever imagine…so we dont.

    All the best.

  • John C

    Am I “troll” Winter?? lol

    I think I know the answer! Go easy would ya? ha

  • RobotzAreAwesome

    Much appreciated Rynoos =)

  • vorjack

    “Perhaps he assumes all atheists really want to talk about how they love baby killing, but they are too embarrassed by their belief, and just needed someone get the ball rolling so they can all jump in.”

    No, we’ve got Friendly Atheist for that.

  • John C

    Excellent, now consider that reference in light of the original, paradaisical story…there were two trees in the garden (we are the garden, our inner man, spirit sanctuary) and we choose which tree, either the tree of the knowledge of good & evil being the tree of Self, independence or the tree of Life, Christ within we are going to eat (live) from.

    I find it interesting that we hear of this “tree of life” in the book of beginnings (Genesis) and then again at the end of the book (Revelations). Maybe this whole thing culminates in a beautiful fairy tale like ending?

    Just wondering…all the best Elliott.

  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    Thanks. Funny thing is, I’ve been thinking about changing it soon. You see, I recently left some posts on a Christian blog – kind, polite posts actually – and forgot all about the avatar. My guess is that they’ll take one look at it and refuse to interact with me. So now I’m a bit conflicted.

  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    I agree with Zotmaster. One has to view Christian trolls as a mark of success. You are striking a nerve or they wouldn’t bother commenting at all.

  • DarkMatter

    The notion of proving the non-existence of God by looking for idiots is unreasonable at least, so admittance is unneccessary since it is not the case.

    Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (1Ti 5:19-20)

    Calling him an idiot doesn’t seems to be the counsel of the bible, but that he be rebuke before the churches for he sinned against his God (2Ti 2:25) and brings shame to the churches.

    In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (2Ti 2:25) – I pick this easier verse.

  • Elemenope

    This is what happens when I don’t hit reload for a while and find out that someone has already answered the question, and better. :)

  • Ooleepeeka

    Ditto. I REALLY hope not. This “posing as a atheist/theist” problem would just continue around and around in circles. We would constantly be quoting each others masquerades and use them as “proof” against the other side.

    Know what I mean?

  • spence-bob

    Yeah, that’s not a constructive method of engagement. Not that there necessarily *is* one with most Christian sites, but assuming false identities will almost always do more harm than good.

  • Felix

    One guy (Rex) did this a while ago at Ray Comfort’s blog. He pretended to have had a conversion experience and from there on posted the most rabid, judgmental, condemning and condescending stuff. Not a peep from the real Christians, except for agreement and congratulations.
    After a few weeks, he couldn’t take faking it anymore and came out as a Poe. They had never suspected him, but all of the ‘resident’ atheists except for one or two had been very skeptical all along, including me.
    He had neatly proved Poe’s Law, and exposed the fundies as the living and unthinking self-parodies they are.

  • claidheamh mor

    Yes, but more like a non-hostile, unlettered village-idiot, standing on the street in front of the general store, accosting everyone who walks by, whether they want to hear you or not, saying the same thing over and over again, without supporting it, or answering any questions directly; just kind of a looping audio tape on infini-repeat.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    I don’t think you’re a troll, *yet*. But given this crowd, I’m sure they’d let you know if the time came.

  • Ooleepeeka

    Maybe FA is over-run with theists masquerading as atheists?

  • spence-bob

    I think some might interpret the smug, patronizing tone that can sometimes be found in your comments as being at least somewhat impolite.

    To be fair, that’s not how *all* of your comments read, but I see it on a pretty regular basis. You might want to try a little harder to get that under control if you are concerned about people thinking your manners are faulty.

  • Ty

    I think you are unfailingly polite, John.

    Unfortunately, I think you are also very dishonest. Which makes me suspect that your politeness is a tactic, not a trait.

    For instance, you tried to tell someone what the definition of Heaven in the NT was. I pointed out what the Greek words actually mean. You vanish.

    That seems very dishonest to me, in multiple ways. So while you are polite, what you’re actually doing here isn’t that far off from what the knucklehead this post is aimed at did.

    In my not so humble opinion.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    I’ll agree that you’re polite, though your politeness often seems to be a cheap mask covering insult and rudeness.

    You may not intend it that way, but that’s how you can come across, sometimes.

  • reckoner71

    “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” – GBS

    I like this one. It reminds me that most Christians and Hindus and Muslims are just that by chance, and that their whole belief structure would have been vastly different for a small change in latitude and longitude.

  • John C

    That would be true, unless of course your “difference” was an internal change of nature (His) as opposed to an external, rule keeping sort of “belief” system tied to cultural norms, etc.

  • Jabster

    “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.” – GBS

    Patriotism is not the same as nationalism. Patriotism can be used a force for ‘good’ as at its core is the want to be proud of your country’s achievements. Nationalism on the other hand says that your country is superior regardless.

  • vorjack

    “Ooooh! You’ve been Pharyngulated!”

    oh hell …

    I almost feel sorry for the Pastor now.

  • John C

    Village Idiot Claid? lol, whatever happened to Daniel’s label of “court jester”? I like that one better…ha, take care.

  • John C

    Thx for the feedback Spence…any such tone is purely subjective, not my intention or heart, but I appreciate and value the feedback, sincerely.

  • cello

    LOL. Yeah that thought crossed my mind too. Our collective reaction could be worse than the original crime.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    He doesn’t deserve that. No one deserves that…well, maybe Ray Comfort.

    But no one else.

  • abb3w

    Well, that would seem to resolve my curiosity of how certain the identification is. However, I’d still be interested to know what turned up in the “digging” that ID’d him.

  • spence-bob

    That’s the exact reply I got.

  • StewMeat

    I got the same canned response, and howdy all! This is my first post.

  • Ty

    Ha!

    Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

  • http://blog.elliottcallahan.com Elliott

    Man, Daniel, t’es devenu très connu chez les francophones!

  • LRA

    Ouias! And the writer called the pastor a “zozo”. I’d love to know what that means!

  • claidheamh mor

    Yeah, April 15 is coming… time to render unto Caesar.

  • Rynoos

    I appreciate the verses. It proves the use the of name calling just always comes back to show your immaturity. When i say “your”, I mean, mine. I think there are many other scriptures that should be used in this instance, but I think that is between the Pastor Fox and his congregation.

    @darkmatter can you explain what you were trying to say a little further when you said “christianity doesn’t really have control over faiths of her kind,” ?

  • claidheamh mor

    DarkMatter

    The notion of proving the non-existence of God by looking for idiots is unreasonable at least,

    I call bullshit on that one.

    No one needed to look for idiots; the idiot/scumbag/hypocrite/liar/verbal attack rambler came to this site.

    The rest of your post is nonsense:
    The unlooked-for idiot/etc. and the non-existence of god are unrelated. Non sequitur. (Since it is a non sequitur, your obligation to take the burden of proof ,and verify that anything you believe is fact, is a separate issue.)

    The rest of your nonsense is admonishing by bible-quoting to atheists.

  • John C

    Your last scripture reference is a good one…notice who it is that supplies this “gift” of repentence, metanoi??

    Yep…the Lover, faith is a gift He provides.

  • DarkMatter

    Replying to Rynoos below:

    “but I think that is between the Pastor Fox and his congregation. ”

    You have replied your question.

    claidheamh mor,
    I don’t know if Rynoos ia an atheist.

  • Question-I-thority

    Calling him an idiot doesn’t seems to be the counsel of the bible….

    If we believe these were his actual words, Jesus was quite specific in the Sermon on the Mount:

    “Call no man a fool”.

  • μ

    You have to remind them of “us” being “real people”?
    How nice of you!

  • DarkMatter

    Thank you Brent, but can you also includes non-believers and agnostics? They are also real humans.

    Thanks again.

  • ssjessiechan

    Thank you, Brent, that’s a very kind thing to do. It’s not always easy to defend those you don’t understand or agree with. We would all do well to remember that the trolls who pop into boards and lie and paste banana-man’s arguments aren’t the only kind of Christian, either.

    Seriously, though, it does definitely weaken the argument that God somehow makes you moral. Could it be, somehow, that all of us follow the moral codes that make sense to us, and break them where it seems right to us to do so? Many have lied and killed in the name of their God. Atheists just don’t blame it on beings we can’t see when we screw up. Unless they’re wearing tinfoil hats…

  • Daxx Green

    Thanks friend. We’re not the enemies many xians paint us to be. Truly.

  • DarkMatter

    I will believe him if he post his reply on his church website, I will forgive him.

  • http://blog.elliottcallahan.com Elliott

    Best I can tell, it means something between close to idiot, naïf, or simpleton.

  • http://blog.elliottcallahan.com Elliott

    Too many prepositions, whoops.

  • claidheamh mor

    LOL

    Reaching Out – it’s the New Hooking Up!

  • LRA

    Yeah- At my old church, they discouraged “Mercy dating”… dating someone in order to convert them. Ha! Talk about “reaching out”!!!

  • http://www.nullifidian.net/ nullifidian

    Wouldn’t that be the 1st amendment?

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Second amendment is “right to bear arms.”

  • Question-I-thority

    I’ve reached the (admittedly uncomfortable) conclusion that intellectual integrity and inhabiting a pulpit are mostly incompatible.

    To borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, I was “surprised by joy” upon leaving the ministry and evangelicism. I wouldn’t go back to that unhealthy lifestyle for anything.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    Exactly what I just blogged. His parishioners have a right to know what he’s been up to.

  • John C

    I am not dishonest Ty, I honestly believe and hold to everything I have shared, scary huh? lol

  • LRA

    Might be– I get numbers mixed up! (I’m dyslexic)

  • LRA

    It ruined my plans to become a theoretical physicist.

    ;)

    I *settled* for molecular biology instead! (And thank whomever we have computers to check my calculations!)

  • Devysciple

    Out of curiosity (and because I love being a smartass): Didn’t you mean dyscalculia? ;-)

  • LRA

    Yes- it is dyscalculia, but when I say that no one generally knows what that is. So I just say dyslexia. Everyone knows what that is.

  • LRA

    And just to be clear, my dyscalculia is mild and happens only in calculations (arithmetic). I understand mathematical concepts very well. (In fact, I rather enjoyed learning calculus.) So I don’t want some creationist coming along and pointing fingers at me.

  • Ty

    You either lied about what “Ouranos” meant, or you just made it up and acted as if you knew what you were talking about.

    That isn’t dishonesty in your book?

  • claidheamh mor

    When I challenged you on reading Lewis, you said “I am familiar with Lewis”. Were you (dishonestly) trying to fool anyone that you had read him?

  • John C

    Ty…as I said…I am familiar with Lewis’ writings, and more importantly his particular persuasion. If you remember the original conversation I said at that time that I preferred his self admitted “master” George MacDonald the 19th century Scottish writer, preacher, teacher, etc.

    The “heavenly’s” is a spiritual realm just like I shared with you.

  • Ty

    John, first of all I never talked to you about C.S. Lewis, that was someone else.

    Secondly, stop dodging. You claimed that the original word used in the NT that was translated in modern bibles as ‘Heaven’ had other meanings in the original Greek. You listed out a long list of those meanings.

    I showed that the Greek word translated as ‘Heaven’ actually literally means ‘Sky.’

    You either lied about knowing what the Greek word actually meant, or you lied when you listed out the things you said it meant. There is no third option.

    You, sir, lie when you claim to know things. It is a repeated pattern of behavior, and is the reason I feel the way I do about your posts. You can be polite all you like, but I can’t help but see that politeness as nothing but a tactic in your bag of falsehood spreading tricks.

    You can say, “There is more!” all you like. I don’t care about that. But you don’t just do that. You also claim to have information other people do not have. You claim to have insight that they don’t have. And in every single case, when your claims are examined, they are a load of crap.

    The fact that you play the picked on victim every time someone points out your constant mendacity is just annoying and pathetic.

    Say something meaningful, say something that does not contain lies, and your posts will be addressed with respect. Until then, yeah, you’re the site’s jester.

    Unfortunately, I do not find pathos funny.

  • claidheamh mor

    “Dishonest John”, Ty didn’t challenge you on reading Lewis; I did. Several times. You have dodged every time.

    My point still stands until you quit dodging.

    And I agree with Ty. Even though I have different examples of you being dishonest.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    lol! Nice one.

  • Roger

    No, no…it’s “You be da man, Daniel.” Consult congresswoman Michelle Bachmann or RNC chairman Michael Steele for the proper use of slang. j/k

  • Roger

    Dude, seriously. It’s “RogER.” You can type that, right? E and R. Right after the “g.” You can do it…or, if not, pray to your Invisible Sky Friend to give you the wisdom to type properly.

  • John C

    rogER…over and out.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    Yet I’m sure Fox was extremely surprised at the response he got.

  • Janet Greene

    I like that one. I go sleeveless all summer.

  • http://www.nullifidian.net/ nullifidian

    Those poor bears! ;-)

  • LRA

    Bravo Janet!

  • 2-D Man

    I have to call you out on this one, Janet:

    Did you know that there are few atheists in prison? [A]nd that most people in the prison system believe in [C]hristianity?

    I don’t actually think that there is any good way to tell that most of the people in prison are Christians. The fact of the matter is that in the United States, most of the members of any given parole board, or prison, will be Christian, by nature of the general population. Prisoners, as a result, have a good reason to lie to any survey that asks such a question.
    That doesn’t mean that the supporting figures are wrong, it just means that there’s no good way to tell if they’re right.

  • Janet Greene

    Bill, you make a good point. But don’t you think we have an obligation to expose his character to his congregation?

  • anti-supernaturalist

    ** Just doin’ the Lord’s work

    Mr. Fox won’t be damaged by any revelation made by a bunch of god-hating atheists. His little ark in New London, NC — will not be capsized. (We’re talkin’ the Bible Belt here — Fox sees himself as “liberal.” I believe him.) Support for him will roll forth in a mighty rush of godliness.

    Sure it’s small beer. But it’s deliciously ironic. “Baptist minister blogs as atheist” for a headline. “Using multiple aliases, Pastor Chris Fox, pretended to be multiple outspoken atheists. . .” in first para.

    When you contrast his claim that he acted without thinking to the fact that he used multiple aliases, Mr. Fox knew what he was doing and why.

    I’m hoping that national media will pick up this little story — Worsts on Olbermann — Huffington Post — Daily Show.

    Chris Fox and his band of fundies would rejoice in being blessed by electronic martyrdom. And, they would cheerfully see me burning in Hell (as one of the dear Church “Fathers” promised centuries ago).

  • John C

    Amen Bill…see my above post.

  • John C

    Too late, some of the “religious” here have already made sure retribution was served and UF vindicated. I do not condone his deceptive actions, but this whole thing is very sad and unnecessary.

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Nah – not really – if they are deluded enough to be sitting in church, I doubt having a pastor that misrepresents himself as an atheist on-line is that big of a problem for them.

    I just don’t like the idea of really hurting someone’s reputation over what in the larger scope of things isn’t that big a deal.

  • http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/ Jim

    I am glad Bill brought this up. I, too, thought about whether we want to ruin this guy’s reputation. But then I realized that this Pastor did not think for a second about whether or not he should ruin the reputation of atheists by lying. He should have thought about it.

    I doubt that mere blogs will actually harm the man in any way. Letters to the media might, however. Maybe we should ask him again to apologize, and if he does, we can exhibit good old fashioned human virtue by not turning him over to the wolves.

    Just a thought.

  • Ty

    Enthusiasm becomes fervor so easily…

    I myself prefer to avoid witch hunts when possible.

  • Janet Greene

    I guess if he is truly a christian he will confess his own sins to his congregation. I will let it go now.

  • claidheamh mor

    It IS “mighty humanist” of you.

    My objection and resistance to letting it go is that religion – and its attendant hypocrisy – has done so much harm. I like some exposure, embarrassment, and bringing hypocrisy out into the light.

    “Let’s haul it out in the middle of the floor and let the cat sniff it.”
    -Robert Heinlein

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Yeah I like it, but it’s a bit confrontational!

  • LRA

    Your new pic is the twin towers? Any reason?

    I lived in NYC on 9/11/2001. At 55th and Broadway. It still makes me sad to see them.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Any publicity is good publicity, right?

  • Roger

    Well, wasn’t it Andy Warhol who said everyone would eventually experience 15 minutes of fame? Maybe he can parlay this into a reality show.

  • shamelesslyatheist

    You’ll likely get the same cut-and-paste unconvincingly-apologetic form letter the rest of us did.

  • Ty

    Based on the tidbits you’ve dropped about your past, I think your enthusiasm is entirely understandable, Janet. I hope you didn’t think my comment was aimed at you. It wasn’t.

  • Ty

    People swear here?

    Damn.

  • Ty

    I always suspected the number 7 of knowing more than it lets on.

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Shit!

  • claidheamh mor

    Godfuckingdamnit!

  • 7

    It’s part of my charm ;-)

  • Ty

    That’s very Christian of you. :)

    I admit that I’m glad this didn’t keep escalating.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    Id love to know why, if what the Pastor says about god is true.

    Id love for the Pastor to answer why his all power/knowing/wise and loving god dosent just give him more evidence to prove his point.

    If god is real and really does exist and wants all humans to follow his word. Then how come he dosent inspire christians with stronger evidence.

    Why is thier god that loves them, hiding from them instead of revealing himself.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Me too.

    Though I prefer to think it is very humanist of me. :)

  • John C

    But of course…two wrongs dont make a right.

    Forgiveness, mercy…powerful forces indeed.

    Dont go fishing in the sea of forgetfulness.

  • John C

    Dang

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ revRoberHall

    If a lying pastor bothers you then how come gods acts of deception dont bother you. Im talking about acts such as.

    1 Kings 22:23 Yahweh has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these your prophets.
    Ezekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
    2 Thess. 2:11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…

    Whats up with your god doing these things. Maybe these verses are what the Pastor had in mind when he was posting under different identities.

  • LRA

    Perhaps the biblegod should join this League:

    http://www.evilleagueofevil.com/apply

  • John C

    I love that screen name…that word “misanthropope” but I seriously doubt many here understand it. Not because they are not intelligent, they certainly are but because its such a rarely used and ancient word.

    How fitting in this forum and context.

  • John C

    That’s called…retribution. Closely tied to religion (external rule keeping, knowing right from wrong, eating of our own tree of the knowledge of good & evil within us) and the cause of so many of the world’s problems.

    Accountability? Sure…but “outing” him after his “confession” and apparently sincere, written apology and subsequent reinstatement seems unduly harsh and unnecessary.

    We receive mercy in proportion to the mercy we demonstrate to others.

    Mercy me.

  • Matt

    Nice…excellent idea.

  • Janet Greene

    Thanks for the clarification Ty. I’ll admit that it’s difficult for me to keep emotion out of this issue!

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    “Enthusiasm becomes fervor so easily…

    This is a great line. Mind if I use it?

  • Ty

    I’d be flattered, Bill.

  • http://alphonsuspeck.wordpress.com/ alphonsuspeck

    I’m afraid that the publicity about his actions is unavoidable at this point. It seems that the story of his little charade has taken on a life of its own. I suspect that the gentleman got enough e-mails from people he respects (i.e. non-atheists) calling him out that it made him rethink his actions. Just because Christians can be classified as self-delusional does not mean that they will tolerate deliberate deliberate lies from a pastor.

    So, I’m a bit less skeptical and willing to classify his apology as sincere, unless proven otherwise.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Usually making things public makes people truly apologetic and regret their actions. For instance, would Ted Haggard of been so apologetic of his actions before his scandal broke publicly? I doubt it.

  • Janet Greene

    alphonsuspeck – on your avatar based, put this pastor down some more I won’t. Give him the benefit of the doubt I will. Oh wise one :)

  • Ty

    I must be the only sci fi fan in the world who can’t stand Yoda.

  • Janet Greene

    Ty – I grew up evangelical – had to get my words of wisdom from somewhere!!!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    gods acts of deception

    Don’t forget Genesis 2:16-17

    [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

  • locky

    True, but it fails to Poe as it was immediately identifiable as one.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I agree, which is why I removed the ban.

  • http://alphonsuspeck.wordpress.com/ alphonsuspeck

    Forgiven for this you are. Ignorance I tolerate. Always apparent to everyone my awesomeness is not. ;)

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    Yoda is god. Yoda =love.

    Love = Yoda.

  • Roger

    Yoda awaits you with open, green arms. There is more. There is Jedi.

  • Janet Greene

    EXCELLENT post.

  • John C

    Morality is a fallacy. Its a product of the fall of man, the striation, a tearing away from the whole, the One Mind of and in Him. To “know good & evil for ourselves” eating (living from) the fruit of the tree of Self,the knowledge of good & evil within as opposed to eating (living from) the tree of Life (Christ) within.

    We are left with the scattered pieces of dualistic values, assorted “morality” of man who see’s darkly, not clearly so the consequence is…religion. Religion is an external value system that judges by the realm of appearances…so we have numerous distinctions from person to person, from one society to another resulting in endless conflict and even wars in the name of “God”.

    The remedy for this external “white-washing” is an internal change of nature, His within. This is the restoration to the original, undisturbed, paradaisical condition. Wholeness, healing and a renewed mind. This obviates the need for external rule-keeping dogma (religion) with all its negative and divisional consequences.

    Morality is fragmented system of external religious beliefs, and therefore a weakened human attempt at self-righteousness in the true sense of the word, not the culturally understood meaning. This finds its roots in the man of pride, whose father is adam who was nailed to the cross in Christ. The second man (Christ) is the only type (character/nature/expression) of man Father ever made since He alone is the express image of the Father. We were intended to reflect glory, reflect Him being fashioned in His very image and likeness.

    There is more to this “Christ” than you think, more to the story than mere “religion”.

  • http://www.cvaas.org Calladus

    The best ethical decisions are based upon empathy and sympathy for others.

    When an ethical decision is based upon black & white, unchanging moral codes, it too often leads to atrocity.

  • http://alphonsuspeck.wordpress.com/ alphonsuspeck

    I would venture to say that an atheists morals are demonstratively stronger. If one believes in an omnipotent, jealous god, then the commands of this “god” can override our natural instincts. Killing babies is morally repugnant. But if God says to do it, then, since He defines morality, then it must be alright to do so.

    And since many people seem to believe the word of their local religious leader is the word of God as well, if a religious leader says that God wants us to kill babies, then again, our genetic morality is overruled, and we kill because God says it’s okay.

    When we hand our morality over to a book or to another human being, our moral encoding goes out the window, and anything is possible.

    I surly do not need to bring up examples of this throughout history.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    That’s called a “culture of silence.” And it contributes to continued wrong-doing because people are unwilling to blow the whistle. Shame works, and in this case it is well-deserved.

  • Name

    Okay hold on a sec. Let me wipe away the laughter tears and get seated again. “better Christians than the Christians I’ve met.” OMG, nope on the floor again. Wait….
    Seated again. Oh, how I love the comedy of the atheist.
    O man are my sides gonna hurt later.

  • John C

    So along that same line of thinking we should start mandating scarlett letters be worn on those guilty of fornication, adultery, infidelity, prostitution? Perhaps they can wear a sandwich board in the town square depicting their particular offense?

    Religion & retribution…that’s all it is my friend. Not what Christ offers.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ teddybouch

    ” So, if you are reading this and no one’s gotten to you yet, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that people called themselves Christian and told you that you were anything but loved”

    mark: If this statement is true, how come god loves grown adults in 2009, but didnt love those babies he drowned during the flood of Noah.

    Exactly what bases do you claim that were are loved on.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    teddybouch,

    Thanks for admitting all that. I know it takes a really strong person to do it. I wish more people could admit their mistakes and vulnerabilities. Even though we disagree on theology, I think you are a wise person.

    I like your approach.

  • Rebelest

    teddybouch,

    Considering that you’re an admitted Christian, I’m not at all surprised that you think that you could apologize for other people’s behavior but you can’t.

    You should take your message to the people who perpetrate and perpetuate the crimes.

  • Gods Only Comic

    The problem is that Jesus is the same vengeful, vindictive, infanticidal nut job described in the Old testament. The cognitive dissonance involved in believing in the “holy trinity” and biblical reality is breath taking. Believing in a fairy tail written down in the “Goat Herders Guide to the Universe” (bible) just seals the deal in confirming a total lack of curiosity and intellectual integrity. Proof and evidence are the basis of modern science and thought and you have divorced yourself from integrity and reality.

  • alynne4307

    Teddybouch is someone I agree with. And yet some of the very folks that get upset if someone calls them “sinful” or “without morals” (or whatever other judging insult intended to question them) respond to him to question his faith? I don’t get that approach at all. Maybe his apology isn’t intended to make up for others as much as it his genuine sense of sorrow for such a poor representation of the truth he is familiar with. You aren’t required to accept it, but responding in such an antagonistic manner certainly doesn’t represent atheists any better than Christians lying does for us. It leads me to believe that your purpose for being here is more so to “debunk” Christianity more than it is to support your spiritual choices and carry on a healthy discussion. And trying to prove Christianity wrong is just about as effective as trying to prove that Atheism is. It’s a very moot point.

  • Janet Greene

    I agree that we can aspire toward wholeness. That makes sense. What does NOT make sense is the Pauline concept of “perfection”. We were not made perfect – we were not “meant to be” perfect – we will NEVER be perfect. Just human. That whole perfection business (to get into heaven) has cost waaaaay too much already.

    I see christianity very much like Hollywood. Both are obsessed with perfection; both sell “perfection” at the expense of health (mental, physical, “spiritual”). Until we lose this wrong-headed view, we will achieve very little. We do not expect animals to be perfect; we are human animals (only difference – higher intelligence / consciousness etc.) Wouldn’t it be silly if I said that my cat must achieve perfection or it can’t enter heaven. I would have to tell my cat about his sinful, selfish nature and how he needs to REPENT and get salvation – then he will be perfect and enter heaven. Fortunately for felines, they would probably call this bullsh*t the minute they heard it and would laugh hysterically. Too bad so many humans are far more gullible.

  • Ben

    This is my big beef with religious types. They make one statement after another that is completely unsupportable in any regard and try to label it as some kind of “universal truth” when, in reality, it’s little more than imaginative speculation.

    “Morality is a fallacy. Its a product of the fall of man, the striation, a tearing away from the whole, the One Mind of and in Him.”

    Cute. And it all sounds very impressive too, if you don’t spend any time thinking about it. Objective evidence for any part of this claim? Aside from Bible quotations, I’m sure you haven’t a shred of support for this assertion.

    “Wholeness, healing and a renewed mind. This obviates the need for external rule-keeping dogma (religion) with all its negative and divisional consequences.”

    Wholeness? Meaning what? If I’m a paraplegic I’m doomed? Healing? Healing what, our bodies, our souls, our psyches? And what the hell is a “renewed mind.” All very flowery prose, and all entirely nonsense.

    Frankly, I’ll tell you what will “obviate” the need for religion – when we all finally begin to accept responsibility for the destiny of our own species (and ultimately, our planet) instead of leaving it up to the whimsical musings of a long-dead tribal community.

  • Roger

    I love your avatar. (big DC/Superman geek here)

  • Roger

    Your cat can haz salvation?

  • Question-I-thority

    Perfection is completely, utterly out of step with evolution.

  • John C

    This is just shame and retribution, and is a good (bad) example of what “religion” inflicts on a society.

    Not that I condone his actions, they were deceptive and regrettable.

    But honestly, no one here was hurt in any way by them, confused yes, harmed no.

    Mercy me.

  • John C

    So get your sewing kit out…you’ll have plenty of scarlett letters to be mending on sweaters everywhere…adulterers, pornogrophers, prostitutes…its all EXTERNAL and religious in nature.

    These are the very things I’ve been sharing with you all along. Ironically we always become like that which we hate…as long as we…hate.

    The remedy is an internal change of nature, His within. Spirituality, not religion.

  • Lanii

    That’s an interesting statement.
    I don’t mean to pry – Christian, that I am – but I have to say: I’m not hiding. I’m not ashamed. I’m not shouting. And I’m not lying.

    There were plenty of freethinkers in Paul’s day (of the Bible) and he went to jail for his beliefs. That’s just one example of a believer not hiding, shouting or lying. So you may want to be a little more tempered, like most of your friends here who’ve I’ve been surprised to find are treating this issue fairly reasonably, and rethink your use of the word ‘only’.

    And, I might add, sometimes the din of excuses, unbelief, disregard, denial and ignorance-fueled hatred must be shouted over in order for truth to be heard.

  • John C

    Good point Calladus…thx for the level headed intervention of mercy, kindness and compassion.

  • LRA

    John-

    It’s not true that people’s prejudices (in this case against atheists) aren’t harmful. How many atheists have you seen in pubic office? People have to “affiliate” with a church if they want to get elected. That’s pretty ridiculous in a country where freedom of religion (or freedom from it) are guaranteed rights!

  • John C

    If one demands justice, be assured he will get it. God says that in His economy…mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13.

    In the same way we measure it out to others we will also receive it in return. So how much mercy do you want? Show that by how much you…give.

    To borrow a “non-christian” line (which I’m sure you will all appreciate coming from me)…be the change you wish to see in the world. Ghandi

    Mercy, mercy.

  • LRA

    Yes, but there is a difference between mercy and standing up for oneself. If women in the early 20th century had been merciful (turned the other cheek, or followed the bible’s commandment to obey your government) or whatever, I would not have the right to vote today. This pastor deliberately tried to make atheists look like awful, immoral people. That it prejudice! It should be fought against! And after the pastor issued an apology to Daniel (as well he should have), Daniel forgave him and allowed him to post here again.

  • John C

    Reginald…do you understand that? God has a different definition of “death” than we do. Itsimply means anything outside of Him, His (uncreated, unending, not subject to death & decay kind of life).

    We surely died…away from Him, found ourselves outside the life of God, a stranger to paternity.

    Thankfully Christ restores all of what was lost by eating (living from) the tree of independence, Self whose fruit was…death, separation.

    There is more…

  • Ty

    “some of the “religious” here”

    I love how you live in a world where you get to define what words mean. Now religious means something completely different just because you defined it that way. You’re like Humpty Dumpty.

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

  • http://www.girlchild.wordpress.com mrsmarshall

    I love this perspective Clortho! I raised my teenage daughters in church, but when they stopped wanting to go I let them stop. One has since returned to a youth group at a really fundie church, and we have great talks about what I think, what they were raised with and what this church preaches. The other reads books about witchcraft but also prays and believes there is power in the unity of the universe without it having to be “God”. I’m pleased to know other families have had this attitude, and that it works.

  • http://www.karenscatholicjournal.wordpress.com Karen

    I stumbled upon this blog because it was on the homepage and I was curious to hear about this pastor. And it’s definitely interesting what he was doing. I’m not going to pass judgment on the guy though. Just because this guy, and some other “guys” are hypocritical, doesn’t mean that we abandon our beliefs either. It is not Jesus who is being hypocritical, it is the human being that is. I think we often confuse pastors, and those in that kind of position of power, with Jesus himself. Jesus is within us, yes. But God created us with free will. He wants us to want Him. He put us on Earth so we could show our love for Him too! It’s not God who creates evil. It’s Satan! And it’s our free will that allows us to follow that evil, or fight it hard and go with the Lord who died for us and our salvation.

    And Clortho, I hope I don’t offend here, but you said, “I’m much smarter than that.” Much smarter than what? I often wonder where people think we get our rules from. Did we make them up? Did our human minds and being make up those rules all by ourselves? I mean, who said it was wrong to kill? Who said it was wrong to be adulterous? God did. God told us these things and human beings compiled all of these “rules” into many different books called the Bible. Whether we like it or not, we are following His rules when we choose to lead a life using our conscience. Where does that conscience come from?

    Please understand that I’m trying to understand you and your thinking. For me, it’s very clear. God gave me everything that I have today. God gave me the free will to deny Him, to ignore Him and live my life MY way. But then He helped me open my heart to Him and finally begin to lead a life more like what He had in mind for me. So it’s very clear to me whom I have to thank for the many blessings in my life. So I guess I’m asking you where your life comes from? Do you create your own life? And how did that begin? Do you owe nothing to God and all of it to yourself?

  • http://freewebs.com/califsoul 2preacher

    Dear Clortho;

    The only part of what you have said that I like, is you know, what’s right from what’s wrong; but the Bible did play apart in your developing understanding concerning these realities! So you may think that being an atheist works for you, but, if you do what you know is wrong, then based upon the Biblicac text, you will still die and go to hell, and become a believer anyway! So to be an atheist, isn’t a realistic comfort zone; the Bible condemns most Bible Teachers and their doctrines; when you accept Matt:5:17-19, 27-30, 48; and John:8:31-36, 51! So please don’t be fooled into believing, or accept the belief that we are just hee as a freak accident; because there is too much in the Bible with world history as a witness, and you know that the Bible is the best moral teacher, even if you think you want to rebel against some of the Teachings that it provides!

    May Eloheem Bless you to receive this for what it’s worth!

    The Preacher

  • John C

    Religion is external and always demands its own justice, sets its own standards. This is why this world is so very…divided and not whole or one.

    This is no different from what I have been sharing with you guys for months now, only this time its on the other foot…the atheists foot. Or did you not know the condition (religiosity) runs rampant through all of mankind?

    Its a consequence of the fall, the curse of man. Only an internal change of nature can remedy this edemic malady…anyone come to mind?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Ahemm…

    So are you suggesting that disbelief in religious claims automatically implies “denial” and “ignorance-fueled hatred”?

    Wow, the projection really is too much to bear.

  • OctoberMermaid

    “And, I might add, sometimes the din of excuses, unbelief, disregard, denial and ignorance-fueled hatred must be shouted over in order for truth to be heard.”

    Excuses, maybe, but as to the rest of those (unbelief in particular), the best way to get results is to offer facts and evidence to support your point. Shouting isn’t going to suddenly make someone believe something, especially if what you’re wanting them to believe in is ludicrous. Times like those are when you definitely need solid evidence. Extraordinary claims and all that.

    As for ignorance fueled hatred, again, shouting probably wouldn’t help, either. It would probably only make things worse. If that hatred truly is fueled by ignorance then, again, facts would enlighten them.

  • Ty

    “sometimes the din of excuses, unbelief, disregard, denial and ignorance-fueled hatred must be shouted over in order for truth to be heard.”

    I agree.

    But you Christians seem not to listen even then.

  • Flea

    Of course your not hiding, shouting or lying; that’s why you have no chance to win an argument.

  • Ty

    Thanks for the nonsensical rant.

    So now religion is any social system that includes law? Because that’s pretty much what your definition amounts to.

    BTW, ever going to respond to my posts about your pretending to know Greek?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Is it just me, or do I see a non sequitor?

    How is Roger being religious?

  • John C

    Not Roger…I was referencing VJack…religion always demands justice. In Gods economy mercy always triumphs over judgment (justice).

    The reply threads get kinda messy sometimes, confusing, sorry.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Damn censorship!

  • Ty

    More lying for Jesus.

    Or was that *your* attempt at comedy?

  • http://alverant.livejournal.com/ Alverant

    As an Atheist, I’ve been told the same thing; that I was more Christian than some of the other Christians on a message board. The context was a news story about a gangbanger was killed and the mother of one of the gangbanger’s victims was happy. The Christians on the board were cheering. I was more, “the world’s a better place without him, but we shouldn’t be rejoicing, every violent death is tragic”. Now tell me, which attitude is more Christian?

  • LRA

    I totally agree!!!

  • Lanii

    Agreed. Some of us don’t.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Lol, the scarlet letter analogy makes me laugh.

    John C, do you know about the symbolism in that?

    You’re the one who’s always asking me about symbolism, lol.

  • Ty

    I would go further, and say perfection is a meaningless term without a ton of context.

  • http://deleted Janet Greene

    And perfection remains the foundation of christianity. The reason for everything; the bible, salvation, all of it – is the assumption that we are supposed to be perfect. This is a child-like fantasy (if only I had perfect parents, the perfect body, the perfect husband, etc) that we grow out of as we mature. Christianity keeps people mired in childish thought processes. There is nothing perfect. There never was, and never will be. This whole need for salvation (that’s the only way we can be perfect and go to heaven) is a terribly destructive myth. What amazes me is how people just accept it in spite of the obvious problems.

  • John C

    God is not moral Alphons…this is a common misconception. There is no morality with God. Morality is a product of the fall, an assortment of left over fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, that internal tree of Self, of independence whose fruit was death (separation from God).

  • John C

    “church” and institutionalized religion is all external and mostly agenda oriented, ie rule-keeping dogma, etc and so not what Christ came to offer which is tied to an internal change of nature, His within.

    Religion is always external, spirituality (Christ’s true offer and message) is an internal matter.

    No wonder they dont want to “go to church”. “Church” is meant to occur on the inside of us, fellowship within.

  • John C

    Tele…the idea that pastor Fox “owes” anybody anything is…self righteousness.

    Its all external/behavior modification techniques (white-washing) and demands for change which can never remedy the real (internal) problem tied to the need for an entirely new nature.

    We “label” things in society…but they are incapable of changing regardless how much one shines up the exterior.

  • OctoberMermaid

    “Why didn’t atheists write in with “Listen pal I’m also an atheist and I think you’re insane” … NOPE!

    That didn’t happen and it doesn’t ever happen. ”

    Um.. that’s what’s happening now. In the thread you are commenting in.

    I guess you could be trolling, but even if you were, you could put a bit more effort into it. It’s a stupid waste of time, whether you’re serious or not. Try harder, be it at trolling or thinking. Until then, you should probably think twice before posting. I’m not sure you’re worth the mild annoyance that accompanies you.

  • LRA

    Did you even READ the article? TWO people immediately called the guy out!!!

    And calling atheists “nutty godless retards” shows us exactly what kind of person you are.

  • John C

    “Godless retards”?? How does that glorify God?

  • Ty

    You called someone other than yourself a retard? Really?

    Because, man, your post is an epic fail.

    “Oh aren’t all you holier-than-thou atheists shocked and outraged?! ”

    Not shocked at all. People ‘lie for Jesus’ all the time. We *expect* this kind of crappy behavior from theist apologists. And most of us are well past being outraged.

    “If you were all so outraged, why didn’t you turn on the guy when he wrote what he wrote?

    Why didn’t atheists write in with “Listen pal I’m also an atheist and I think you’re insane” … NOPE!

    That didn’t happen and it doesn’t ever happen. ”

    It did happen, within seconds of the initial post. I and another poster immediately pointed out that he was lying, and presenting an argument that no atheist would actually make. Do you know how to read? Or did you get your mommy to type this tantrum up for you?

    “The atheists are SOOOO-non-judgemental of FELLOW ATHEISTS ONLY.”

    Since we knew he wasn’t making any sort of honest point, how does this statement make any sense at all?

    “Oh the hilarity of you nutty godless retards.”

    This is the best you can do? I assume you are using ‘nutty’ as a slang term for some form of insanity, but it’s fairly limp. ‘Godless’ is a compliment around these parts, so you failed there. And ‘retards’? After that poorly worded and nonsensical rant you just went on that demonstrated that you have no reading comprehension or rational thinking skills whatsoever, you are calling someone else a retard?

    Now get back in your box until the next time we need to laugh at someone.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” The atheists are SOOOO-non-judgemental of FELLOW ATHEISTS ONLY.

    Oh the hilarity of you nutty godless retards. ”

    mark: Billy our arguments aren’t about us being perfect or even more moral than Christian’s? We never try to prove that all atheist are more moral than believers. Of any kind.

    Please don’t forget that as imperfect humans we judge things and people all of the time.

    I have a question for you my friend. If your sky daddy god really does exist.

    Then exactly why do you believers, who have the almighty on your side always run from debate or discussion?

    How is it that Christian’s can have the all wise, all powerful all everything god 100% on thier side yet always run from a bunch of godless atheist.

    What exactly is your reason for calling us retards. Is it because we easily discredit your argument.

    Lets talk about exactly why you think we (athiest) are slow. Id bet you wed win that argument as well.

  • http://www.cvaas.org Calladus

    Charming Billy,

    Atheists tell other atheists when they are being a bit off. Case in point:

    http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2008/07/patrick-greene-checks-in.html

    But you know, it’s easier to paint us all with that wide brush than it is to do a one-minute Google search.

    Oh the hilarity!

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    BILLY, I don’t know what dope you’re on.

    But wintermute and Ty *DID* observe the insanity of his comments, and criticized him as soon as he posted them.

    Distorting the truth is all convienent, isn’t it?

    Facts are stubborn things.

  • boomSLANG

    Resident Christian, John C., brays……”Religion & retribution…that’s all it is my friend. Not what Christ offers.”

    ::yawn::

    So then, evidentally, all of the text found in the “Holy Bible”, aka, “God’s Word”, is not what its protagonist, “God”(or its “Son”) “offers”. Correct?

    Assuming this is a fair assessment—then it is perfectly reasonable for us to conclude that the text which constitutes “the offer”, and the text which is ultimately irrelevent to “the offer”, is totally, 100%, reliant upon the reader of the text to discern which is the legit’ “offer”, and which is the ramblings of ancient, uneducated man, in their attempt to control man(or whatever other agendas they may have had then). Agreed?

    Again, assuming there is agreement, then you, “John C.”, in order to not be seen as the obnoxious, disingenuous, self-righteous fanatic, that I, and apparently others think you are, need to either provide some sort of objective evidence that illustrates to us that you are incapable of human error, in that, you *know* for certain which text is legit’, and which text is not….. or, you should really refrain from coming here and asserting that which you are not qualified to assert.

    __________________________________

    Let’s see, everybody………

    Will John C. rise to the occasion, and for once, get honest here? Or will he persist in his disingenuous, thoroughly *unconvincing* ministering techniques?

    Hmmm….I wonder.[/sarcasm]

  • Ty

    It’s a combination of misanthropy and pope. It’s a funny screen name.

    What does that word mean in your world, John? Is it a real word there?

  • Ty

    First, good on you. I give some posters here a lot of shit for cowardly dodging of the point, which I find very dishonest. Facing the music is muy macho. Bueno.

    Second, I assume it was frustration that pushed you over the bend the first time, and I can only say that the frustration level will NOT go down.

    The base membership of this site is former evangelicals (and other Christian sects) who left their religion due to an honest analysis of the evidence for it. We are comprised of people who’ve read the bible cover to cover, multiple times. We’ve read Aquinas and Lewis and all the apologists. Some of us read Greek and Hebrew. Some of us are trained pastors with divinity degrees. ALL of us love to argue.

    If you want to pick the toughest possible crowd to ‘witness’ to, you’ve found it. We will be quick to point out your logical fallacies. We will have three bible quotes to rebut every quote you use. We’ll demand evidence that you, frankly, just won’t be able to produce.

    And no one (that I know of) here is a seeker, just waiting for the right expression of god’s love to win our hearts. We’ve done that dance, and now we are more likely to point and laugh then to fall on our knees and pray.

    If you still want to hang around here, welcome.

    As the second person to point out the lie that caught you, let me also be one of the first to say, “No hard feelings.”

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Apology accepted as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for coming back to offer it. It takes courage to admit mistakes.

    Please keep in mind what TY eloquently said. If you are going to argue with us (and we will argue), you’ve picked a tough crowd. If you are still interested we will gladly debate, but don’t expect you are going to win us over.

    I’m interested by something you said. What did you mean by this?

    “I saw I what I thought was mischaracterization of Christians …”

  • Question-I-thority

    Thank you and echoing Ty, welcome to a tough challenge.

  • Jabster

    Firstly congratulations for apologising as I’m sure that admitting your mistake in such a public way was not an easy thing to do. Secondly I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion — when I see some of the descriptions of your actions I can’t help feeling that a lot is been made out of nothing. What’s happening in Sudan, the inequality in many Western Nations, people being screwed over by banks and losing their houses this is what I find wrong … you acting a bit daft, no sorry I really don’t see what all the fuss is about. We all do things from time to time and think bugger did I do that? That’s the way life is.

    Oh and a hint — if you go trolling again try to make the troll posts a little more convincing. A better line to take would have been dropping the whole atheist thing (far to obvious to mention) and pushing for I don’t see anything morally wrong with being sexual promiscuous but in a slight more subtle way … :-)

  • ade33sh

    CSF,

    Glad you faced the music.

    Although most of us, Including myself, will probably not agree with your views, I know your opinions will be appreciated.

    Adeesh

  • http://bluelyon.wordpress.com bluelyon

    Aside from apologizing here…have you told your congregation of your deception? Don’t they have the right to know how you represented “the faith” in a public forum?

  • John C

    It doesnt mean anything to you because you do not possess a sense of what has been lost, the true breadth of our intended identities. We are a bit like the proverbial frog in the boiling pot of water, we have acclimated to this lowered, fleshly condition when we once shared in such beauty, such glory.

    Think…Jonathan Livingston Seagull. We settle for less than the best, and so that’s what we end up with. When the truth of Christ’s offer & message is comprehended we see more of what was, what is available for us in Him.

    Its nothing like the traditional religious message we are all so weary of.

  • Ty

    Ok.

  • trj

    Perfect gravatar for an evil, murdering atheist – well, almost perfect.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Are you some kind of Poe?

    Pathetic.

  • Ty

    The simple answer is that everyone, you included, is a moral relativist when it comes right down to it. Your moral views are based on the society you grew up in, and the standards by which that society functions. There is no objective morality. Just look at how different our moral system is from the morality of the bible. We think owning slaves is evil, whether you beat them or not, just as an example.

    In many older warrior based societies, it was entirely moral and legal to stab a man to death as long as you warned him ahead of time and he was armed too.

    Not much more than a century ago, shooting a man dead in the streets of frontier America would have also been legal, as long as it was a ‘fair fight’.

    The native American populations had many rights of passage that we would call ‘stealing’. To them, they were bravery tests and a way to collect trophies.

    There have been any number of cultures that practiced ritual cannibalism.

    Prior to the 1970′s, it was not possible for a man to be legally accused of raping a woman he was married to.

    Morality changes all the time. The fact that you and I grew up in the same part of the world at the same general point in time and thus share many of the same social taboos is NOT an argument in favor of objective morality.

    So the entire foundation of your argument is fallacious.

  • Question-I-thority

    Email me for more dialogue. Thanks.

    Most of us here don’t encourage private email dialogue as it cuts everyone else out. Open discussion benefits everyone (at least potentially).

  • Sock

    As Ty and others above have said about morality… it’s a social mechanism. Without it, we wouldn’t have reached the point we are now, we’re still be very primitive and living in tribes and packs.

    For me, my morality comes from a strong need to be accepted, to fit in. We all have this, to some degree. Don’t look at this as the insecure kid hanging out with the bad kids, but instead think of it as fitting in with your family and friends, or at work. It’s the social setting that sets the base for morality.

    A couple broad generalizations:
    That’s why gang members can kill without it bothering them, because they wont be cast out of their social setting. That’s why drug users can steal, for the same reason.

    That’s why I don’t lie (at least, I try my hardest not to, I prefer hard truths and soft lies), because to be caught in a lie would be a betrayal to everyone I know. They know me as an honest, good, helpful guy. If I were to be caught in a horrible lie, then that identity would be taken from me.

    We are all subject to live how we have been identified. Sometimes this changes. In the example above, the drug user wasn’t a born drug user, he became one over time. As someone who has had lots of experience with people who use drugs, I have seen how they change bit by bit. They start doing things that they never would have beforehand, until eventually you can’t even recognize them anymore.

    This happens all the time. The social setting changes, and the morality changes too.

    Now, is Christianity a GOOD moral system for all to aspire to?

    In my opinion, no. But it does have some parts of it that -are- worth keeping and doing. It’s the “why” that Christianity has wrong, in my opinion. Heaven as a reward for doing the hard walk by being a morally upright person, and doing well for your fellow man. That is not what we need anymore. Maybe a few thousand years ago, we did need that carrot to become good, but in this day and age…

    It should be enough to just be good for goodness sake.

  • Ty

    “My intention was to gather from whence they come and who determines them?”

    They come from social structures largely dictated by physiology, to be overly simplistic.

    Humans are physical creatures, with various needs to maintain their life. The reproduce and raise their young in ways that can be more or less optimal. They are also, by instinct, herd creatures or pack animals.

    Moral systems evolve to allow the greatest number of our pack to survive and thrive, depending on how you define your pack. And as that definition changes, so do our morals.

    A while back, black people from Africa were not part of the white American’s pack. Therefore, using Africans to do work that white people would otherwise have had to do was a great way to get their pack to thrive. Once they decided that, in fact, black people WERE part of the pack, then that social system adapted to accommodate the new pack definition.

    Just as we evolve physically, so too do our social systems evolve in an attempt to increase pack ‘fitness’.

    The answer to ‘who determines them’ is: we do. All of us. By surviving or not surviving. By thriving or withering. By passing our ideals on to the next generation, or by being supplanted by new and better ideas.

    Crocodiles, one of the most lethal animals on the planet, almost never fight to the death. They have elaborate dominance displays instead. Who taught them that not killing each other is the best way to solve disputes? Is that a ‘moral’ choice they make?

  • Ty

    You’re talking to people who were Christian for many years.

    I don’t think this is a valid criticism. Do you have the idea that to be atheist you have to have never even met a Christian?

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    “What I meant by that was that I know many many Christians who exemplify love (not perfection) and grace, and give so much of their time, money, and talents to the church.”

    If I understand correctly, you are saying that characterizations of christians here didn’t match up with your experience. Fair enough, like you I know plenty of really good people who are christian.

    Problem is christians, by the nature of being christians, hold themselves out as having answers to life’s secrets. They often (very often) represent to the rest of the world that those answers create “blessing” and “hapiness” and “perfect love.” Observation of these people often (very often) shows no such result. We point that out.

    Moreover, the “not a true christian” argument is really growing tiresome. It seems like every christian I run in to tells me that I should ignore the hypocrisy and meanness of anyone who calls themselves christian because they aren’t “true christians.” Seriously are there ANY true christians? How the hell am I suppose to sort out the true ones from the false ones.

    Besides, why would an all knowing and loving god allow all these false christians to run around ruining his good name anyway?

  • Marley

    I see what you did there.

  • Sock

    That’s awful. I’m sorry for you.

    About my worst story was that when I was a kid, I killed a bird with a stick. I full well expected it to fly away and I was going to miss, but nope.

    It was a disquieting moment for me. It’s the first time, and only time, I’d ever killed a creature like that (I’ve killed bugs, who hasn’t, but never anything that bleeds).

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    Truthfully, theirs probably is.

    The god of the bible is a pretty vengeful character who rejoiced in violent death.

  • Sock

    Agreed!

    I have always enjoyed the public forum for debates and arguments. It’s entertaining at the least, and informative at the best.

  • CSF

    I agree speaking for others to hear, but I was referring to the “several” emails I received asking a plethora of questions. But, yes, open forum is good for everyone.

  • John C

    Gee Sock thx, love you too man….haha.

  • Sock

    Sorry mate. :P I hear what you say, but like I said before, it’s just the same things over and over again. I get it, but I don’t buy it.

  • John C

    Its ok I understand. I am convinced that one of the biggest obstacles to living this new life that we are offered is the fact that its literally just too good to believe, we cant get our hearts and minds around it. It goes against the grain of our life experiences and so we view believing in it as such high and foolish risk.

    Have you ever gone into a bookstore and headed directly for the childrens section? Why is it that children can hear those fairy tales and us grown ups cant?

    There is more to all this than meets they eye, of this I am certain.

    All the best.

  • Sock

    I’ve never replied to that argument before, but I will now.

    The reason why I don’t go to the children’s section is because I am not a child. Those stories are written to appeal to and entertain children. They are not meant to be literal stories for the children to believe, they are meant to be examples that teach a moral lesson. And you know, if I were to pick up a children’s book now and read it, then I am confident that I would be able to see through the poetry and read the moral message.

    Let us not also forget that the child couldread the story, and just be entertained by the fantasy and the pictures, but miss the moral lesson altogether.

  • John C

    I guess this George MacDonald quote is really where I was headed with that last post Sock…

    “THERE IS A CHILDHOOD into which we have to grow, just as there is a childhood which we must leave behind. One is a childishness from which but few of those who are counted wisest among men have freed themselves. The other is a child-likeness, which is the highest gain of humanity”. GM

    It is this very condition which makes ready for the entrance into this kingdom here and now as Christ taught. We need freedom from the fangs of religion and a re-kindling of the innocence of which we departed.

  • http://alphonsuspeck.wordpress.com Alphonsus

    More than a common misconception, John. I would say virtually a universal misconception. So, if we don’t find morality from God, then what of the Biblical laws? If not based on morality, what were they based on? What were the 10 commandments?

    More specifically, and the question I want to know the answer too, is where do you get these answers? Your church? Your deductive reasoning? Simple faith?

  • John C

    Thx Alphons…Morality is defined as a “doctrine or system of moral conduct”. This is tied to principle. We were never intended to live by principle but rather by the spirit of wisdom.

    God is a spirit (John 4:4) In the spirit there is no duality, no potential for both good & evil, only good. God is One, not a plurality in nature, no “shadow of turning”, only Light.

    Hence, He does not function from a “system” of right & wrong as we do if we are not also “walking in the spirit”. Morality assumes a “choice” between one decision or another, a right and a wrong. God is not limited in this manner.

    This is the innocence Christ restores to us, this was also our original condition in the Edenic, paradaisical state or “garden”. This is why I so often speak of the foolish necessity of childlikeness, trust as the gateway into the realm of this kingdom of God in the here and now.

    You asked, where do I get this stuff from? Please consider the following words tied to your question: “We speak the hidden, mystical wisdom of God, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Cor 2:7) and…”it is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings (us) to search it out” Proverbs 25:2.

    These truths are from the spirit of God. And He lives within. For “Christ IN you is the mystery of the ages”. Col 1:27.

    All the best…

  • http://alphonsuspeck.wordpress.com/ alphonsuspeck

    I will acknowledge that by logical assumption that God would not be bound by a choice of right and wrong.

    What you speak of reminds me of poor understanding of Buddhist teaching…the elimination of self and of thought and allowing flowing with the current, so to speak. The current, in your thinking, is the innocence of Christ. In secular thought, it might be considered simply the release of our misconceptions and allowing the pure, evolutionary moralities ingrained in us to rule.

    Ideally, in the secular view, the conscious mind would take over enough to overrule the obvious problems with evolutionary programming…the greater realization that our local “tribe” is tied into a greater worldwide system.

    Whether these results come from secular reasoning or from childlike faith in Christ is immaterial…the final result should be largely the same.

    The danger, of course, lies in the flawed nature of humanity. Trusting our inner instincts (in the secular sense) is dangerous if our brains are “distorted” because of mental illness or brain damage. Similarly, trusting the innocence of Christ is dangerous for the same reasons. A friend of mine was in a mental hospital where she was in a bed next to a person who believed she had an invisible pet ferret. The ferret told her to jump off a bridge. She survived.

    Distinguishing between the words of a “true” Christ in our souls and an “imaginary” Christ that arise from dementia would be very difficult, as the mental distortions that give rise to the imaginary would be hidden to us.

    Not sure what my point is. Merely raising points for discussion.

  • http://deleted Janet Greene

    Personally, I think my cat is perfect. But even if he wasn’t, I wouldn’t send him to hell for not calling me “master” (cat’s aren’t big on groveling, and neither should we be). Guess I’m a wee bit more merciful than god.

  • Marley

    Nice try. What everyone here has been saying is that the morals of our society arose as a natural outgrowth of the progression of human knowledge. Rather than coming from the sky god on high, our morals have advanced and changed over time. If there was a “light,” that gave us our morals, then our morals would be unchanged from the dawn of civilization. Thankfully, that’s not the case, because I was a pretty rebellious kid, and I’m not sure my parents would’ve been able to resist stoning me if it was socially acceptable.

  • trj

    Please, don’t drag quantum physics into theological concepts like sin and forgiveness. That’s just daft. And don’t capitalize the Q and the P – it makes it even more obvious you’ve no idea what quantum physics is and that you’re simply using it for cheap woo points.

  • Roger

    “Like it or not, you are following the Light.”

    What the frak does that mean?

  • Sock

    You’re right. It doesn’t justify anything about atheism.

    But then, that’s not what this is about. This is about pointing out that you godly folk are far from what you want to be.

  • Marley

    How loving of you. Obviously, our fear of eternal damnation from your sky god will soften our hardened hearts and we’ll all see the error of our ways. Why don’t you go scare some sunday school kids with that load of bull? A lot of the atheists here came out of that crap, and we know all your moves. Take it elsewhere.

  • John C

    Those kind of ugly comments do nothing for God or humanity.

  • John C

    Marley…

    Christ didnt teach a “sky-God” concept, actually quite the opposite.

    The question is, where can you find Him?

    Christ IN you is the mystery of the ages. Col 1:27

  • Sock

    ALSO. From the atheist point of view?

    You’re already “getting it”. Sorry dude, but we’re not gonna burn in hell cause there is no hell! You, however, cling to your baseless beliefs (yes, they are baseless, because they are based on a book that has no base, and all your base are belong to god) inspite of everything that we observe every single day that disputes a vast majority of what is said IN that book.

    How much of the Bible has to be disproven before you come to realization that everything in it was just MADE UP?

  • Sock

    Yes he did. As has been mentioned many times with the bible.

    Unless you take all the mentions of “sky” and “up” mentioned in scripture in a completely different and far more irrational way.

    Someone, I forget who exactly, pointed out the multitude of verses that Jesus himself was supposed to have mentioned, or that described Jesus as, indicating the sky. Compared to your relatively few that point to Jesus being an internal magical whatever.

    In which case, you’re going even farther than the usual Christians in your inane beliefs that are based on a bronze age book of mythology.

  • Marley

    Well, I think boywidacoin’s mindless rhetoric is equally unsupported by the words of Jesus. Christ’s teachings aside, the existence of a sky god is as well-supported as any other god.

  • Sock

    Except for illuminate just how horrible a lot of the people who believe in God really are.

  • John C

    No…that is a very common misunderstanding…here is my response:

    John 14:17…That Spirit the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him. You know Him, because He remains by your side and is IN you.

    John 14:20 states (Jesus speaking of after His crucifixion)…At that time you will know that I am in my Father, and that you are IN me, and that I am IN you.

    Vs 23…(jesus speaking) If any one loves me,” replied Jesus, “he will obey my teaching; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home IN him.

    John 15:4…(Jesus speaking) Continue IN me, and let me continue IN you.

    John 17:21…(Jesus speaking) even as Thou art IN me, O Father, and I am IN Thee; that they also may be IN us…

    John 17:23…(Jesus speaking) I IN them and Thou IN me; that they may stand perfected IN One.

    John 17:26…(Jesus speaking) and that I may be IN them.”

    Ephesians 1:3…who has crowned us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms IN Christ.

    Colossians 1:27…Christ IN you is the mystery of the ages.

    Notice the Ephesians reference about “heavenly realms IN Christ”. To answer your question, yes while there is another (unseen) dimension or realm, the “heavenly realms”. There is a natural, seen realm and a heavenly or spiritual realm.

    The irony is, until He opens our (spiritual) eyes we cling to the temporal, seen realm over the unseen spiritual realm of eternal substance and truth. So Paul says…we “look not” at that which is seen for that which is seen is temporal (fading away, subject to death & decay) but we look (anchor our lives in) that which is unseen for it is eternal, everlasting. 2 Cor 4:18. Also, that we walk (live) by faith and not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7.

    The physical realm illustrates the spiritual realm. So, as the “sky” is above the earth so is the unseen spiritual realm above the natural, seen realm. The spirit within allows us to penetrate and operate in the unseen when we learn to TRUST the Father. This is why I drive everyone bonkers by often ending my posts with the annoying (but true) saying…there is more. I say this because I have personally experienced it, not because I’m so special but because I have simply believed and trusted.

  • Sock

    That’s all well and good, BUT!

    What about all the verses that are tied to him that mention “up” and “sky”? Was that just a metaphor?

    And if so, then why isn’t YOUR version the metaphor? What brings you to the conclusion that you, out of the vast majority, have the right interpretation?

    Further, if anyone else shares in your interpretation? Sorry mate, but that’s religion, which is something you’re against. Maybe not fully organized and in (many) churches, it’s still a religion.

  • John C

    Because I know Him. This is eternal life…that you KNOW the Father and the Son….John 17:3. The word “know” is translated in an intimate, even sexual, inter-twined kind of way. Like this…Adam KNEW his wife and the result was a Son. I’d say he KNEW her pretty well huh? You get the point. Now consider Col 1:27 saying Christ IN you…

    Knowing Him is intimate like this, that’s why Paul uses the illustration of a man & wife sexually to express this union life, this oneness. Its internal, not external beliefs, etc. Most “christians” still exist in the religious belief world. Its a process, a journey.

    A “sky-God” is anything but an accurate discription of the real offer and message of Christ.

  • Sock

    Okay. You explained your view of it, but you still didn’t deal with the multitude of verses that explicitly say “up” and “sky”.

    Is it possible that you, personally, discard the common Biblical idea of God (which IS a Sky-God) because science has disproven a Sky-God, but you still cling to the idea of a personal God, and thus warp the scripture in such a way as to fit the interpretation that you WANT it to fit?

    Of course, the problem with doing that is dealing with the parts of it that you CANNOT warp.

    And so, I ask again. What about the verses that EXPLICITLY state “sky” and “up” when referring to God and Heaven?

  • John C

    You must not have read the last paragraph in that post…

    The physical realm illustrates the spiritual realm. So, as the “sky” is above the earth so is the unseen spiritual realm above, superior to the natural, seen realm.

    These are contrasting states/planes of existence…the “sky” is the heavenly/spiritual/unseen realm and the “earth” is the physical/natural/seen realm.

    This is the meaning in the Lords prayer…thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. So He says let things be in the natural (earth) as they are in the spiritual (heaven).

  • Sock

    So, in other words…

    You take the irrational approach that when these primitive people mention “sky” and “up” in their writings, they don’t actually MEAN “sky” or “up”. You decide to approach those verses in a way that supports your own stance, as opposed to the way that they were (probably) meant in the context and understanding of the time.

  • John C

    Scripture was not written by “primitive people” but God-breathed, the greek word pnuema, to inspire. But it is in the ancient heavenly language, the language of the spirit realm.

    Sometimes they do mean sky and up literally. You have to know the Author Himself to understand the language He speaks. If you got a letter from someone, you could know some things about them. That is a good description of religion. But if you knew them personally you would know their voice, character, etc. That is relationship, you know them.

    The whole point of my sharing these things Sock is this, what the world see’s with “religion” they unfortunately attribute to Christ. There is more to Christ than this dead (external) thing we call religion that none of us can stand. Christ is an internal remedy, His nature and life within.

    The result is a restoration to the original mold and love, fellowship, wholeness, peace, wisdom, joy. I recommend that a person sit and consider the NT apart from all the religious filters. “Hear” the words of Christ for yourself…then you can make an informed decision about this Christ and His offer apart from the negative influences and connotations of the religious rule-keepers who have missed the proverbial forest for the tree’s.

    The tree of life, Christ…within.

  • Sock

    Are you then saying that Christ, the NT, is a completely new God than Yahweh and the Old Testament?

  • John C

    No, not at all. He does not change, is the changeless One.

    Much of the OT is rich symbolism. Also, instead of a record of mere historical events, I believe the OT story’s are actually descriptions of eternal processes that take place within the constitution of man himself…they are a sort of internal map of this spiritual journey.

    We can “see” Christ woven in threads throughout the OT.

  • Jabster

    “Something deliberate can probably be a mistake. It does make it sound like more of an “oops, I did it again!”, though, and minimizes the very deliberate choice – the choosing to act, and doing the action.”

    Can’t say I agree — whether something is deliberate or not it’s still a mistake and the use of ‘mistake’ is very important as it clearly defines that the action was acknowledged as wrong.

  • Jabster

    Nah go to his You Tube video ‘proving’ creation for that. It’s just the same old tripe served up in a different order. Starts of with why won’t evolutionists answer these questions — because they’re bored of answering the same questions over and over again only for the replies to be ignored, maybe?

  • John C

    You and AOR switched at birth?? Cuz you two sound an awful lot alike to me.

  • Sock

    Also, if the NT is where you’re really supposed to get God’s message, then why all the doom and gloom in the OT? Why even bother with the OT -first-, and start off with the NT? I am far from infallible, but I can think of a far better way to write the Bible to demonstrate that I am a kind and benevolent dude worthy of worship.

  • Pi

    More importantly, doesn’t that mean that there’s nothing wrong with being gay? I mean, all that stuff about ‘abominations’ comes from the OT.

    Hey, I’m all for it. If the new-look christians abandoned the OT, and just followed ‘the word of jesus’ the world would be a much better place. Time to turf the Ten Commandments though… so I’m a bit worried about the world pandemonium when we lose our ‘morals’.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    There is indeed a subtle distinction between the two. Trust me, I’ve read enough of their posts to know the difference. :P

  • Ty

    Until you learn to stop lying, I have no interest in your opinion on anything.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Many of us have done this. It’s rude to make assumptions which you can’t support and therefore may be highly inaccurate, as I believe the case is here.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Does this mean we’re all not TrueAtheists™? Or TrueChristians™? What insight you must have to know this!

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Thanks!

  • CSF

    —-You’re talking to people who were Christian for many years.

    I don’t think this is a valid criticism. Do you have the idea that to be atheist you have to have never even met a Christian?—-

    Ty, to answer your question, no.

    Let me say that Christians are 1) Not perfect people. 2) Follow (imperfectly as that may be) the teachings of Jesus. Those who make mistakes and sin see that and repent. It’s a life long journey. 3) Should not force religion down people’s throats (this happens and for those who do this consistently and make this their way, I question if they are really following the teachings). The main tenet of Christianity is that we are all sinners (same boat) and can’t fix ourselves.

    My point is: anybody can say they are a Christian, but what makes that valid is if they are holding to his teaching (John 8:31). John 15 also talks about a followers relationship with Christ. Christian means “little Christ” – to called that should be humbling – it is for me : ) Thanks

  • DarkMatter

    “It does look as if Chris Fox now has some regret for doing this in this way, so I am guessing next time he won’t handle this in the same manner, but he does not speak for me. Good piece Daniel.”

    Why does Scott Fillmer see differently? You really have repented of your misdeeds right? Maybe he sees something in the “so-called SPIRIT” you have not repented or you have not done enough.

  • Question-I-Thority

    I’m very interested in the life changing miracles you have personally witnessed. Could you share some of those experiences here?

    Personally, I dont think I’m bothered if some people go to Hell all on their own but I know Jesus is….

    Why are you not bothered by eternal suffering?

    And if Jesus is all that concerned why did he supposedly set up a rigged system? How can one have all power and foreknowledge and not be responsible for what one does with those attributes?

  • Question-I-Thority

    There is definitely some kind of compartmentalization going on. For instance, believers are often told to ‘doubt your doubts and believe the Word of God’. This leads to ignoring certain lines of thought over and over. Also, externalizing personality traits (like homosexuality) through demonization and spiritual warfare do the same. As does living in a closed community (more or less) that doesn’t jibe very well with reality.

    Actions that lead to hypocrisy labels are usually, I think, the bubbling up of suppressed, resisted and wall-off human traits.

  • CSF

    Good honest post. But, let me say that Xianity is not just about do’s and don’ts – I grew hearing that and was turned off to that and other “traditions” related to Xianity. It is not about how good you are because the bible says that none of us are by nature “good.” We may do some good deeds or act good most of the time. But good is not something we always think or act. So, Christians are not “rewarded” heaven for being good. Salvation comes from recognizing we are not good (perfectly) and seeing Jesus as the atonement for our sin. We live in a society where crimes are met with punishment.

    If you think about it, the crux of Xianity is not so much a good moral system. It’s walking the footsteps (ways, life) of Jesus. Even Ghandi recognized the richness and power of the Bible and Christianity. The problem I see (and he saw) is that too many (and 1 is too many) Christians veer from that. But, it’s kind of a “danged if we-danged if we don’t” mentality. If we do make mistakes or stumble, then the first word from others is Xianity is a fraud, hoax and that we are hypocrites. We all (theists and non-theists) act hypocritical sometimes. Making the adjustment and fogiving is key.

  • DarkMatter

    CSF,
    The bible says (do) walk according to the spirit of life and don’t walk according to the flesh and many examples in the NT.

    Jesus said “I have to come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance”. Salvation of Jesus is about repentance, not as you have described for He said “if you see, then your sins remain.”

    Could it be that your misstep here is because of your ignorance of you own faith in knowledge, wisdom and understanding? If you can’t see the crux of your misstep, you probably won’t know you have defiled your faith.

    Do you hate atheists? Do you think judgments on atheists by people like Ray Comfort is righteous. But what does you bible say?

  • CSF

    You are right about repentance. I was wriitng in short. I fully understand that in seeing that we are not inherently good, we do need to repent.

    I love everybody – you included. I am a very loving person. I love to give hugs and am a people-person. I do not hate anyone. As far as Ray Comfort, I do not know him.

  • revival09

    You’re interested in knowing more about miracles? Of course you are. Why wouldn’t you be. Are you ill? Have you financial problems? Relationship problems? Is your life empty? What are you looking for from the person that you reject?

    I agree that it is sad that the majority of alleged Christians are unlike the Christ but you are fortunate that Jesus is not like me. Its not that I don’t care about eternal torment its just that I don’t care if you suffer it –lets be honest, I don’t know you. (I don’t particularly WANT you to go to Hell but its your choice, not mine).

    I personally believe we are in a time when Jesus will put up no longer with those who are only after His Hand but not His Heart (includes Christians as well as non-Christians).

    I’m not going to try and Sell my Jesus to you. You need Him not the other way around. (Actually He doesn’t even need Christians to worship Him, he’s got Angels to do the job properly).

    But if you think that the creator of the heavens and the earth (and more the creator of creation); the creator of every man, woman and child who ever lived, is living now or will ever live, the one whom you cannot take your next breath without His permission is going to explain himself to you, sorry your barking up the wrong tree.

    I wont debate with you or run after you. If you genuinely have doubts and are seeking God, He will lead you to one of our meetings (or maybe someone elses) either today or tomorrow (assuming He lets you wake up tomorrow).

    Incidentally the team that I am a member of neither seek nor accept donations or ask for any money or anything else from you at our meetings – except that you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour. Nothing else but I wont tickle your ears with platitudes.
    God IS just even if you don’t understand (or at the moment) know him. And He would be just to let you go to Hell, why wouldn’t He when He gave His only Son that you would have the chance that you throw away.

    You have a choice. Do throw it back in His face if you want. He’s no wimp. He wont be best pleased to put it mildly.

    If you must see evidence have a look at our website: http://www.fivefoldministryireland.com Believe or don’t believe, its up to you!

    I wont be spending any more time on this, sorry but there are hurting, genuine people who need a little help so I cant allocate any more time to you.

    Hope things work out for you anyway, you dont deserve His forgiveness but neither do I.

  • http://freewebs.com/califsoul 2preacher

    Dear Question-I-Thority;

    We we created to develop and understanding between accepting good or evil; chosing to do what we know is right, or what we know is wrong! And the people who overcom evil within their own mind, will become the sons and daughters of Eloheem (Hebrew for God)! Since you know, that you don’t have to do what you do that is wrong; you cannot hope to put the blame on Yehoshua (Hebrew for Jesus), because you allow your imagination to be played with by demons or devils, or so-called family and friends and strangers; who you seem to value more than you value doing what you know is right! And the fac that you can do something that you know is wrong, to someone for anyreason, knowing that you wouldn’t want this done unto you! Says your just playing a mind game with reality!!!

    Think about this, you don’t want to die and go to hell; be become a believer that Matt:5:17-19, 27-30, 48; are True! It’s the theme of the whole Bible!

    The Preacher

  • http://morethanmebook.wordpress.com Glenn

    Daniel, Thanks for your interesting posts. I appreciate the fact that you accepted the pastor’s apology and are open to differing opinions.

    It seems to me that the deeper issue here is why people lie. Lying is a very complex matter that comes in many forms. So here’s some food for thought.

    David Livingstone Smith, an author and professor at the University of New England, believes that people lie, in part, because humans evolved that way. For Smith, to lie is an unavoidable, natural act that helps society as a whole function. It brings many benefits to those who lie.

    He said in a major Brazilian news magazine the following (my translation from Portuguese): The lie is the pillar of social relations.” To tell lies is a tendency as internalized in the human being as the ability to talk and walk. We don’t have a choice not to lie.” (Veja, October 18, 2006, p. 11-15)

    You might be interested in reading his book, “Why We Lie:The Evolutionary Roots of Deception and the Unconscious Mind (St. Martins Press 2004).”

    If what he says is true, that we evolved to lie and don’t have a choice not to lie, is there a basis for anyone, Christian or atheist, to condemn the pastor or anyone else who lies?

  • DarkMatter

    I seriously love it when christains say they don’t care and they are not like Jesus. What a truthful testimony! The world will be a better place.

    Thank you so much.

  • CSF

    Karen,

    I hope that you will not be ashamed of me. I too am ashamed of others who live their lives un-Christlike ways. I allowed my “debater” part of me and my own desire to show others that Christianity is about love, grace, forgiveness. I crossed the line and want to rectify it. I have had some great emails from athiests and Christians alike who are sympathetic and have been encouraging. Plenty of negative email, I have had some people of faith to be negative too. I deserved the chastisment, but hope people will also be fogiving. I am available for any further questions or comments. Thanks!

  • LRA

    Wow. Clint the uber-conservative…

    How is it ANY of YOUR business what we women do with OUR bodies? I’m sorry you regret your actions, but there are plenty of women who don’t. There are plenty of people who aren’t ready to be parents and that should be respected. Additionally, abortion is never a pleasant choice for anyone, but it is YOU Christians who ADD the shame element, kicking these women while they are down so that you can turn around and offer them your Jesus. Your “counseling” as you call it is nothing but religious manipulation. These women have nothing to be ashamed of. You on the other hand should be ashamed of telling women what sinners they are and of telling them that abortion is murder. It isn’t. That is your MANIPULATIVE take on it!

    Let me ask you a question… why don’t you spend your time counseling people about the PREVENTION of pregnancy in the first place? Hmmmm? If you think that abstinence only sex ed programs work, then you (and Sarah Palin with her knocked up teenager) are WRONG!

    Further, why don’t you spend your time helping the children that are ALREADY HERE? Hmmmm? Lots of children are starving to death all over the world, but you choose to spend your time and your resources on bringing MORE children into this world??? Really???

    It is beyond logic… it’s UNREASONBLE faith!!!!

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Clint Mahoney,

    Sure, a few atheists aren’t knowledgable about our world. However, I’m sure that there are a few people like this in every group which exists today.

    For you to come here and say, well, it’s only a few Christians that are bad apples – the rest of us are okay; and then imply that, well, a few atheists are ignorant, so most atheists must also be ignorant, is clearly disingenuous.

    You have a double standard.

    We both agree that it is wrong to judge an entire group by a small sample of people. Why do you give Christians the leeway that you refuse to give to non-believers?

  • LRA

    “The difference is that Christians have put themselves against a standard that can be used to judge us – atheists do not so we’re easy targets.”

    Oh, yeah. Play the persecution card.

    Sorry, but I don’t get a “get out of jail free card” every time I “sin”. I can’t pray away my guilt when I have wronged someone. No, I have to be actually RESPONSIBLE and go to that person and make it right. I have to actually be an ADULT and suffer the real consequences of the things I do rather than hide behind Jesus’ white skirt. What greater standard it there than that?

  • DarkMatter

    You mean revival09 has sinned or you mean CSF from your reasoning?

  • DarkMatter

    LRA,
    I agree with you.

  • Lanii

    LRA…I’ve been reading your comments and frankly, and I say this in the nicest way possible, you don’t appear to actually know anything about Christianity. What you appear to understand could have easily been gleaned just off of this website alone. And for someone who has the concepts so off base, I find it somewhat astonishing that you’re so irate about it all.

    Christians don’t get a ‘get out of jail free card’ through prayer! Where did you get that idea?

    First of all, EVERYONE’S sins were forgiven when Christ died on the cross. Including yours, like it or not, believe it or not. All one has to do is accept and believe it. So when we pray for forgiveness it is out of respect to God – acknowledging that we’ve done wrong and that He’s the only one who can make it right.

    Secondly, what you describe as being responsible and an ‘adult’ is quite literally outlined in the Bible as our protocol for when there are problems between us. Matthew 5 says you have to go make it right with that person before you can give your offering to God. Matthew 18 lays out that you should first try to straighten it out between the two of you before you bring other people into it.

    I don’t really need to go on, do I?

    If you know of some version of Christianity in which one can just go around offending people and hurting people’s feelings and then say a prayer and everything magically disappears and one doesn’t have to suffer any consequences – let ME know! Because the Christianity I believe in exists in the real world.

  • doesntworkthatway

    LRA,

    You have every right to your feelings.

    Over and over again in these kinds of conversations, Christians insist essentially that “you do not have the right to be angry at Christianity for what was done to you.” Even if it was Christian doctrine that was responsible, even if without Proverbs 13:24 your father might not have felt justified in abusing you, even if this notion that God’s forgiveness is all we need to go to heaven leads to people hurting people, they say you still do not have the right to be angry with Christianity.

    Or in other words, “Christianity cannot fail, it can only be failed.”

    And they will tell you that whatever happened to you, you have to put away your anger. They usually do not understand how insulting and dismissive they are being. I don’t suggest that this obliviousness necessarily should lead to their forgiveness. It’s an awful thing to be so casually dismissive of other people’s hurts.

    I only wish to say, do not be guilted into surrendering your feelings. You have a right to them.

  • CSF

    Thank you, sir.

  • LRA

    Christianity… it’s the disintegration of the self!

    (so mentally healthy, ya know???)

  • DarkMatter

    HIs latest reply here shows he is still doing it, he doesn’t seems to know what his problem is, sadly.

  • LRA

    There are NO people that are “Christ-like.”

    “Christ-like” is an IMPOSSIBLE ideal. It is a struggle to live up to standards of perfection (standards set by MEN in a TRIBAL and, later, an IMPERIAL society). What exactly are those standards anyway? The Bible is contradictory on the matter.

    Also, what is the precise definition of a “real christian”? Who decided that? When, where and how what this decided? (Council of Nicea, perhaps?) Who is “in” and who is “out”?

    It is a fallacy to claim that there are true Christians, just as it is a fallacy to claim anyone is “Christ-like”.

  • Jabster

    Why do you write “pastor” — are you trying to claim that he isn’t somehow a real pastor?

  • Lanii

    Yes, you’re absolutely right, LRA. It’s an impossible ideal. Just like peace, a world without racism or prejudice and having a perfect government full of selfless people, for example. But that doesn’t mean we don’t strive towards perfection, all of us. Most human beings, I hope, try to be ‘good’ people but that’s also impossible because we all lie, cheat, think negative thoughts, say rude things or what have you at some point in our lives.

    The key words are ‘like’ and ‘ideal’. Christians know that they won’t achieve perfection in this lifetime and that no one can be exactly like Christ. But it is the striving towards it that counts, that helps you do your best. When the “Like Mike” campaign was out no one was tyring to BE Michael Jordan. They were trying to be LIKE him. To use a random example. And no one IS like Mike to this day but that doesn’t mean we should dismantle the entire sport of professional basketball. That is has no merit whatsoever. Although it has been sucky for the past few years.

    What ideals do you try to live up to? If you don’t set the bar high then what’s the point? And do you ever fail? And when you do, do you think you should abandon those ideals? I shouldn’t think so. You likely pick yourself up and try again. See my point?

  • LRA

    Ummmm. No. No god that hates women that much is my god. Sorry.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Allah is no one’s god…not even yours.

    Demonstrate some evidence that shows he exists, and I’ll consider it.

    In the mean time, why should I believe in Allah and not Vishnu or Yahweh?

  • LRA

    I live up to the standards set by my Western (and specifically American and even more specifically Texan) ideals as developed since about 1978 (when I have my first memories).

    In other words, I don’t condone slavery (but the bible does– in the OT.) Also, I don’t condone selling daughters in to slavery that may or may not result in marriage, nor in committing genocide.

    I also don’t condone always doing what my government tells me to do (but the bible does in the NT). I believe cases like Roe v. Wade are important instances of revising our government. Additionally I don’t believe in stoning people, as found in the NT.

    In other words, my “ideals” (which are culturally constructed and appropriate for the time I live in) are superior (in my opinion) to the ideals of people living 2000 years ago. See, I have history from which to learn– they didn’t have that benefit. So while I am not judging their actions in their culture and their time, I am saying those behaviors are INAPPROPRIATE for my culture and my time.

  • boomSLANG

    Lanii: “*sigh* Unfortunately there have been a lot of people, Christians included, who don’t understand the Bible or what they believe. It’s very sad. So let me straighten you and any other wrong-thinking Christian or non-Christian reading this.”

    Good grief!……”sigh”, indeed. Can you please demonstrate, using some sort of objective reasoning, if not evidence, that you possess the special powers that evidentally make you exempt from human error, thus, making *your* intepretation of the Bible the One True Interpretation, while all those “wrong-thinking” Christians evidentally have a strange proclivity to error, making their interpretations “wrong”? To be clear, I don’t mean simply asserting that you are “right”.

    Also, one can “strive” to live a compassion-filled life, as well as strive to behave ethically, and despite that all human beings ocassionally fall short of this, a belief in Divine, invisible beings is not necessary.

  • LRA

    ps. I don’t need the constant threat of hell (or Sheol or Gahenna or whatever you want to call it) hanging over me to want to strive to do my best.

    What I do need is inspiration from PEOPLE I admire who are a part of my culture and my time… like MLK, Judith Butler, Jorge Luis Borges, Dorothy Parker, David Chalmers, Eric Kandel, Ann Sexton, etc, etc, etc…

  • DarkMatter

    I am setting the straw man on fire.

  • Lanii

    Ok – great. So you have general standards. But what about personal, every day ones? You’re not going to come up against the choice of taking in a slave or not while ordering at Starbucks. I’m really asking a rhetorical question – you don’t have to answer if you don’t like.

    But everything you just said was much more sensible than anything else I’ve read you saying. It sounds like you know quite a lot about what you believe and why – which is admirable.
    You do understand, however, that Christians since Biblical times have continued under those standards because they believe them to be universal and, well, standards. Foundational – so that while the application and interpretation of them may change a bit according to the culture of the day (obviously stoning isn’t de rigeur anymore so we don’t follow those instructions literally but in the spirit of them, the point of them. Same for the fishing and farming analogies, etc) the core principles remain the same. That is why the Ten Commandments stand all over D.C. – because as a governing document they are foundational and do not need cultural updating. We will always believe that lying, murder, adultery are wrong and punishable. For example.

    *sigh* Unfortunately there have been a lot of people, Christians included, who don’t understand the Bible or what they believe. It’s very sad. So let me straighten you and any other wrong-thinking Christian or non-Christian reading this.

    Christians don’t/shouldn’t do anything because of the ‘threat of hell’. We don’t have the threat of hell hanging over us because we chose to believe that Jesus died to stop us from ever having to go there. And that God holds us in the palm of His hand (whether you like to think of that literally or metaphorically is up to you). When we sin, when we mess up, we’re not suddenly non-Christians who could go to hell if we die before we ask for forgiveness. What would be the point in that? It’s not like if you tell a lie your salvation expires until you renew your subscription with a prayer. If that were the case, NO one would be safe.
    Besides that – thinking that prayer keeps your salvation in tact means that your salvation is in YOUR hands, not God’s. But it’s not. Jesus is the Savior – not you. It’s nothing you can do, that’s why it’s called the ‘gift of salvation’. You didn’t do anything to earn it; you can’t do anything to keep it once you’ve got it. It simply is.
    The maintenance aspect of daily prayer, Bible reading and ‘doing good’ is like the maintenance of a relationship or like working out. You’re doing it for your benefit – to refine yourself, to enlighten yourself – and for God’s pleasure. You’re doing it so you can make comments like the one I’m making right now. You’re doing it so you can share your faith with someone, so you have something to give to the world. And on and on.

    So, speaking personally, when I am doing my best to follow Jesus’ example (which isn’t always easy and sometimes it doesn’t seem as clear as I might like in certain situations) I’m doing it because I believe it is the right thing to do. Because I love God and I want to please Him. Because I believe He is all-knowing and inherently good and therefor wants the best for me and the best thing I can do in any given situation is what He would have me do. Even if you disagree, I hope you can see the logic there.

    And perhaps you shouldn’t start your list of inspiring people off with MLK. He was a pastor, a man driven by faith and his desire to please God. Everything he did came out of his Biblical-world view and he thoroughly believed that in order to achieve a prejudice-free world we need FAITH. To try and uphold or utilize his ideals and dreams without faith and/or to do so and in the next breath curse the God he believed in, is not only impossible but insulting to his legacy. Read ALL of his “I Have a Dream Speech” and you’ll see what I mean if you didn’t already know.

  • LRA

    “while the application and interpretation of them may change a bit according to the culture of the day

    So in other words they are NOT universal…

    “That is why the Ten Commandments stand all over D.C. ”

    Yet people don’t follow those, really…

    “because as a governing document they are foundational and do not need cultural updating”

    Do not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Ummm, what laws do we have against adultery? I live in Texas, which is a no- fault divorce state. This means that adultery is perfectly legal here. I’d say our laws reflect an updated version of that commandment.

    “wrong-thinking”

    Wrong thinking according to YOU.

    Also, I admire MLK because of his stance on civil rights. You know the stance that goes AGAINST the message in the NT that says to do what your government tells you to.

    Look, if your faith helps you to be a good person, then great! Glad to hear it!

    It doesn’t work for me. Too many inconsistencies. Too many chances to “misinterpret” and to do hurtful things in the name of god. I’ll take my chances with REASON.

  • Sock

    “Look, if your faith helps you to be a good person, then great! Glad to hear it!”

    Heh, I think it’s more in that she’s a good person period, due to the way that she lives her life, which she’s been told is due to the Bible, but in actuality has to do with her religion (not faith, but religion). This religion claims to be based on the Bible, but it is only based on certain sections of the Bible, the parts that fit into the cultural context and can be gotten away with.

    She is falsely crediting the Bible with why she’s a good person, in short, since the modern day good person has very little in common with the Biblical good person.

  • LRA

    Thanks Sock-

    Your point is well made and I agree 100%.

    I was trying to be at least a little nice to her, even if we vehemently disagree…

    :)

  • LRA

    Excuse me?

    I was raised in the church (nondemominational). In addition I attended church as an adult (Baptist).

    I know A LOT about the church, including its dirty little secrets.

    It took me a LONG time to get out of that mind numbing crap.

    With all due respect, I suggest it is YOU who knows little about the church.

  • LRA

    Also…

    My comment stems from the fact that I am the child of a deacon of a fairly large church in Dallas. He was abusive to me, and when I took it to his pastor (later as an adult), I was dismissed and told, even if he did this (and they wouldn’t admit that he did) that god had long since forgiven him. My dad still won’t make it right with me.

    This is not the only time the church has swept the abuse of children under the rug. Catholic church has some very dirty secrets (well not so much secret any more) concerning its pediaphile priests, doesn’t it?

    Wow. Your “church” looks better and better all the time doesn’t it.

  • DarkMatter

    “Secondly, what you describe as being responsible and an ‘adult’ is quite literally outlined in the Bible as our protocol for when there are problems between us. Matthew 5 says you have to go make it right with that person before you can give your offering to God. Matthew 18 lays out that you should first try to straighten it out between the two of you before you bring other people into it.

    I don’t really need to go on, do I? ”

    There is no denying that christianity is one of the major religion in this world, but,

    Is there some sparks going on?

  • LRA

    ” Matthew 5 says you have to go make it right with that person before you can give your offering to God. Matthew 18 lays out that you should first try to straighten it out between the two of you before you bring other people into it.”

    The problem is that people disagree with what is good and what is not. My dad saw NO problem with what he did to me (you know spare the rod and all). But study after study (and my own personal experience) shows that abusing kids leads to all kinds of problems. For me it was depression.

    The bible takes people’s power of reason away. The bible condones hurting kids. The bible LITERALLY has more to say about MONEY then about how to raise healthy and happy kids. I reject it for this reason.

  • Lanii

    So is your point is that, no matter how you slice it, Christians have no chance at ‘winning’ their ‘argument’?

    If so, then I guess that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. However, I would guess that there are a lot of pastors and missionaries out there who would disagree.

  • Lanii

    (sorry for posting that last thing twice in two different places – Internet problems)

    LRA – I’m very sorry for what your father did to you. I didn’t have a great father figure for many years myself. And while I do not think a comment wall is an appropriate forum for this, it’s my only avenue so…

    Your father is not God. He’s not the church. He’s not even a good representative of the church or God. You know that, obviously. But there are many, many wonderful pastors and wonderful churches in the world. So what is Christianity all about? The people who worship a God or the God Himself? Well, it’s both but the crux is the God Himself. And He’ll be known by his fruits just like man will. The Bible says it as well but it’s a universal law: a good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad. But does that mean we should never let any trees grow because some of them may bear bad fruit? Of course not. The bad ones are a tragedy but they’re not an example of what a tree should be. Try judging Christianity and God off of a solid, respectable Christian pastor and see what you’re conclusion is.

    You quote the Matthew scriptures I presented and then say that we can’t decided on what’s right and what’s wrong. Not only do those two things not go together but that’s simply not true. The Bible is abundantly clear on what’s right or wrong, starting with the 10 Commandments. And those scriptures I referenced aren’t about right and wrong – they’re about dealing with personal relationship problems which was directly addressing your accusation that Christians don’t have to deal with problems but, rather, just pray and they’re fine. Why is it so hard for atheists to admit when they’re wrong? It’s mind-boggling. I rarely encounter an atheist that has the humility and wherewithal to admit he/she has got it wrong on one point or another. They always ignore it and try to bring up something else altogether unrelated.

    Every one and every institution in this fallen world has ‘dirty little secrets’. But that doesn’t mean we should throw them out. People take advantage of welfare but that doesn’t make the idea inherently wrong or mean that it can’t be a positive system. Some people use politics for a personal platform and others use it to help people who need it – that doesn’t make politics inherently bad. The same applies to Christianity.

    LRA – I understand where you’re coming from and why you feel that way. But if there is even the slightest part of you that thinks maybe this whole God thing could be true I would suggest to you that you stop looking at bad examples, stop looking at your past pain, stop looking at the passages that confuse or upset you (and they do so because you, no offense, lack the revelation understanding – not just in a Christianese way but literally in the dictionary definition, which is the same) and look to God and what He says about Himself and you. That you are created for a destiny that is more amazing than you can even imagine and that He loves you, even when you don’t love Him.
    What your Father did was wrong – we can agree on that. And you can be sure that God will deal with Him. I’m very sorry that that happened to you and I hope that one day you can reconcile to him and to God.

    Finally – yes, my church does look good. Just like my America looks good even though we’re going through tough times and have and have had leaders who’ve made bad decisions.
    It’s got its problems and I contribute to those at times. But it’s got great people in it as well. We’re a family and hopefully, through love, we can work out our differences, our failings and work together towards our common goal.

    Goodnight, LRA. May you find peace.

  • LRA

    Llani-

    Again- you yourself have demonstrated the problem with christianity. I’m not being stubborn here. I just don’t think you are right.

    First you said that I must not have any experience with the church. You said that I must have gleaned it off of this blog.

    I provided you evidence of my experience with the church and explained to you why my EXPERIENCE allowed me to REASON that churches are full of hypocrites (not saying that they aren’t full of nice people, but if these people rarely live what the bible actually tells them to do!)

    Churches are full of people who live by situational ethics– as I do. Yet they claim to be universalists. That is hypocritical. (It doesn’t mean they aren’t nice people).

    Next, you tell me that I just haven’t been to the right church. Well, I tried about a dozen churches or so and kept coming up with the SAME conclusion. How many more churches do you want me to try? Which denomination, pray tell, is the correct one? Please inform us.

    You see, we have denominations BECAUSE people CAN’T agree on what is the RIGHT interpretation of the bible. Do YOU have it? Do you know with any certainty that YOUR interpretation of how the bible tells us to live our lives is the CORRECT one? If so then HOW do you know?

    You see my point?

    This question doesn’t just apply to Christianity and all its myriad of permutations… it is a question for religion in general. How do you know that you picked the right one? Further, how do you know this with any semblance of certainty?

    Until you can answer those questions, I’m sorry, but you will continue to lose arguments, not only with me, but with other former believers on this site (and there are plenty).

    Now, just to clarify… I have decided the best thing to do is to educate myself so that I may make informed and reasonable choices about my life. Coming to the conclusion to quit religion all together took years for me to decide. You see, I LEARNED from my experiences. I don’t stick with tired old arguments that have not been properly evaluated. And had the CHURCH actually been what it claimed to be, none of that would have been necessary. I would have found my answer there, and Jesus would have been it.

    Instead all I found was more questions– hard questions that people couldn’t answer. Questions that had NO satisfactory answers in the bible.

    No wonder church numbers dwindle over the years (with the occasional spike in desperate times).

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Lanii,

    I can’t speak for LRA, but I do know quite a bit about Christianity, and so do many atheists (even many of those who were never Christians).

    One of the problems with “Christian morality” is that it doesn’t explain why Buddhists or Hindus or Confucians or Sikhs or agnostics are decent and moral people.

    How does Christianity account for this discrepancy?

  • Lanii

    LRA

    What you gained in ‘experience’ in church you did not gain in knowledge. You don’t understand the scriptures and what they mean, naturally or supernaturally. As I have pointed out in several instances already.

    To use an analogy, it would be like a sculpting major taking an advanced physics class and calling it confusing and frustrating and saying that all its students are uppity know-it-alls. Is it really that way or is that the opinion of someone who doesn’t understand the material in the first place? It’s not an issue of being smart – don’t get me wrong. I don’t say any of this is as an insult but simply as the truth – if you believe in that sort of thing.

    I, too, have gone on a spiritual quest. I was disheartened by what I saw as hypocrisy in a church I attended (and yes, some denominations have a better grasp than others but I would say it’s less about denominations and more about specific churches and their pastors). I was in high school and there were some pastor’s kids who I knew were having sex and drinking and doing drugs outside of church but who were still getting to lead songs and speak to the youth. Obviously, that pissed me off. Whether or not their parents or church leaders knew about their behavior, I don’t know. I guess I assumed that God should have taken care of it and He wasn’t. So I stopped going to church.

    I had quite a few, and still do if you can believe it, friends at different stages of belief and non-belief: Muslim, Agnostic, American Indian, Jehovah’s Witness. And after many conversations I decided that they all sounded too weird (ha! I know, Christianity has its own weird parts) and contrived. I felt like most of them were trying to make excuses for their differences from Christianity (among other issues I had with them).

    It was at this point in my life that I think, and I’m just kind of thinking through this right now, that I could really call Christianity my own. I realized that it wasn’t just a building and just a bunch of messed up people trying to get right but that it was, like most things in life, what I made of it. I could call myself a Christian, like those other kids did, and live a life contrary to that, hoping I get a chance to say “Forgive me” in my dying breath. I could call myself a Christian and ‘be a good person’ but never open my Bible or pray. Or I could be the real deal, with God’s strength. And I could set myself on a path to find what Christianity is really meant to be because I knew that it wasn’t that fakery, hypocrisy. I knew that couldn’t be it.

    So I went back to church. And I sat by myself for a while. And I tried to focus on GOD and not what who was wearing or who was with who or what so and so did last night. And, like I said, it changed my life and it changed the way I viewed and understood God. And, in a way, I have kind of been on a mission since – in a casual, take-it-as-it-comes way – to help people get their focus off of other people’s problems and get their focus on God.
    To me, it’s much more reasonable to ask “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” than it is to ask “Why did this Christian hurt me?” Well, they hurt you because they’re messed up. I don’t know how else to say it. But never again will I allow another human being to separate me from God.

    Like Paul said, “not that I have already attained all this.” I have certainly gone off the rails at several points and became the very thing I hated – like those kids. And I would hate for someone to have taken a snapshot of that hypocritical time in my life and posted it, say, in Wikipedia in the entry on Christianity. But you know what it means to be saved? It means reconciliation between man and God – it means not that you won’t fall down but that you’ll get up and keep running, keep fighting, keep flying.

    A better picture of Christianity isn’t some smiley, “Look at how perfect I am” preacher. It’s a drug addict, still coming off a high, on his knees, asking God for forgiveness and strength to stay clean. It’s a woman about to commit adultery who stops outside the door to the motel room, says, “No”and leaves.

    And if you and other atheists continue to leave no room for Christians to fail, holding every sin against them and holding each accountable for the sins of all Christendom, then not only are all your arguments in vain but you will never truly comprehend what it means to be a follower of Christ.

    Let me leave it at this and I know you and others will say it’s a cop out but oh, well:

    Some things can’t be argued out. Getting into debates about religion can be very interesting and fruitful but in the end it’s between you and God and your heart and your decision. I can explain to you why I love my husband but that’s not going to make you fall in love with him. Falling in love is beyond logic and quantifiable data. Just like God is.

    I hope that little bit about me helps you to understand where I’m coming from better. I appreciate you sharing what you did because it helped me understand you. Part of being human and especially Christian is having relationships with people and being willing to work through the kinks, build trust and understanding. Can one do that through a comment board, I don’t know?

  • Lanii

    LRA – I’m not dismissing it. That’s my point. Have I said you shouldn’t feel the way you do? No. But I have said you shouldn’t keep feeling that way.

    Since when is that not good advice, regardless of religion?

  • LRA

    “perspective of other consituencies”

    What constituencies are you talking about? Athiest don’t think that killing babies or setting animals on fire is appropriate. They follow social norms, which include NOT doing these things.

  • Jabster

    “in order to demonstrate their flaws or where logic necessarily leads their arguments?”

    You’re absolutely right one only has to look at the over representation of a atheists in gaol to see how immoral they are compared to Christians.

  • Jabster

    “in order to demonstrate their flaws or where logic necessarily leads their arguments?”

    You’re absolutely right one only has to look at the over representation of atheists in gaol to see how immoral they are compared to Christians.

  • peeingupwind

    Killing yourself would be a sin and I firmly believe to sin is to die and burn in hell.

    It’s human nature to want to live. Although abortion is really killing a bunch of unwanted cells. Radiation therapy does the same. Do you object to that? Look the world is a cruel place. That kid who wasn’t aborted will grow up unwanted and more than likely a social misfit. Abortion is nothing more than the lesser of 2 evils. Besides the fetus is recycled and used for stem cell research.

  • boomSLANG

    Test.

  • Roger

    Prove everything you wrote. Without Bible quoting left, right and center.

  • LRA

    Ha! HWJL

    ;)

  • LRA

    “use the mistake of one man to persecute others”

    That’s two for the persecution card!

    Never mind that this pastor was deliberately trying to set up wrong stereotypes of atheists… why? Hmmmm….

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    iamzelda,

    Yes, one Christian who does wrong is unfortunate, but not indicative of any larger trends.

    No, what causes many of us to disbelieve in religious claims, especially that of Christianity, is that all humans act about the same, morally.

    If Christianity is supposed to be the source of morality, why are most Buddhists and Hindus moral people?

    How do you explain that?

    P.S. — Mother Theresa doubted the existence of her god many times. Lincoln was hardly “God-fearing”.

    Your examples are not very good.

    But still, your point is that “hey, some people who were Christian were good people”.

    Well, some people who were not Christian were also good people.

    Pat Tillman who left the NFL to fight for his country was non-religious. Two of the most generous philanthropists in the world, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, are non-religious.

    It seems that almost all humans act about the same, doesn’t it?

  • LRA

    Story #1: No miracle there…

    Story #2: some pretty normal stuff, some lucky coincidence, but still no miracle…

    It DIDN’T happen to you IN ORDER to strengthen your belief. It just happened. You chose to interpret as happening for you that way.

    Can you please explain to me why an all loving god chose to put you in America in this century where you have one of the highest standards of living in the world as opposed to being born female in Darfur where you’d be turned into a sex slave?

    I mean, really…. your job problems are problems. I don’t want to undermine that, but when you take the lens of compassion off of YOURSELF and look at the world around you, you begin to realize that many Americans have piddly problems compared to the rest of the world.

    As I said, NO miracle there.

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    This may be the single biggest load of crap ever.

    If a few coincidences are really enough to make you believe in imaginary friends, we really should talk about few investments I’d like you to make with me.

  • Question-I-thority

    Thank you for the response. It’s kinda funny that it comes maybe 700 or so posts later! Also, I wouldn’t have seen it at all except I have some free time this Sunday afternoon.

    I don’t see any reason to apply the term miracle to your first example. It is more easily and simply explained through comparative religion and psychology. If I understand correctly, the core of your statement is that because you experienced major life changes, it is evidence of a miracle. If so, how do you explain the same changes that take place for people moving into non-christian systems like Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, etc?

    Your second example is more interesting. Do you believe that only Christians experience complex, predictive dreams?

  • Lanii

    Not automatically but sometimes it is. That’s why I listed other causes for shouting.

    Just because something is negative or makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t make it untrue. I’m sure you’d say the same applies to me, right?

  • Lanii

    So you’re point is that, no matter how you slice it, Christians have no chance at ‘winning’ their ‘argument’?

    Ok. If that’s the way you feel about it.

  • tammyj1

    “CSF, CFS,”
    “I hardly know where to begin with you, almost speechless as to what to say, “awe”……..

    Just the thought of your comment is amazing, but in a very disturbing way,
    I am not here to judge you, but something in me of course has me wondering, why???
    But only God knows,
    I am a witness that we all do some crazy things spiritual and all, as a matter fact just the other day I did something, rather said something, that I felt very strongly I should not have said, but I promised to keep that between me and the Lord!!! But what you did say, no one can forgive and bless you, like God, so your apologies must be sincere, and of course to Him…..
    “Yes I’m sure you feel anger and furious about atheists, but God has a way and time with dealing with the hearts of all men, so as much as we find it disgusting (their behavior and thoughts/beliefs) we always got to remember we cannot judge, lest we be judged, and I don’t know anyone born into the world who is without sin, (only Jesus) and He walks physically among us no more, but in spirit and in truth…….
    We have got to believe and live by every word in the bible, does it not say God rains on the just as well the unjust?
    He will measure and grant every man his portion (blessings and punishment)……

    “I don’t understand atheists either, how do they think they wake up each morning, and be able to feed their families and clothes on their backs, etc?

    Holy Bible King James; 2 kings 17: 13-15 reads…….
    Still, the Lord warned Israel and Judah through every prophet and every seer, saying, turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and statutes according to all the law I commanded your ancestors and sent to you through My servants the prophets”.
    But they would not listen. Instead, they became obstinate like their ancestors who did not believe thr Lord their God. They rejected His statutes and His covenant He had made with their ancestors and the warnings He had given them. They pursued worthless idols and became worthless themselves, following the surrounding nations of the Lord had commanded them not to imitate.

    So ya see God Himself, has a way of dealing with the hardhearted and nonbelievers, but I say unto you, do not get so bothered and irritated by the wrongful thoughts and acts of others, and cause your own salvation to be stripped from you even…….
    Blessed be the servants who keeps his master’s commands.

    “There are many many more incedents in the bible, that proves the Lord almighty God, to be true, and I am definately a believer, so I share with you my testimony, and it is just that (no fairytales, no fame seeking, etc),
    but I attended church services, ministered by Pastor Mason Betha (and for those of you who proclaim him to be unreal, believe what you want, but your salvation relies on your works and belief only, so even if another man imitates, fakes, acts, etc. its your own truth than can save you), anyway, service was nice, I had a blast, because the prophetic power had moved me so, anyway at the altar call, which I immediately answered, and after that, I requested prayer, for this illness I was battling (demons) (bipolar) and minister’s assistant, and other spiritual leaders (Pastor, etc) they began praying over me, and rebuking spirits, and I’m telling you the experience was nothing more than amazing, I felt the spirits fighting back, trying to remain in my body and soul, but I even know, that at the command of Jesus, and the compelling thereof, even the demons has to obey, they quiver, and flee, so I am pleased to announce, that I am free, demonic spirit free, and I know thats real, and the truth, and no man can convince that it isn’t…….

    “Blessed be the name of the Lord………

    TammyJ

  • Grub Brother

    Anyway and despite of the apologize which could have been a wise move in order to settle things down, the damage is done and the reputation impaired. What stays is this certain feeling of approven clichés.

  • http://ppruel.multiply.com pruelpo

    I salute Pastor Chris Fox, he is a pastor of many talents though next time he should use one ID only.

  • jesus4jberg

    Like you I responded because it was “up front” and “in your face” kind of thing…and I too was curious. It’s sad that people will assume that “church” is a bunch of rules to be followed by hypocrites. As you pointed out, this country has rules too. The funny thing is not to many people with common sense will argue that they are there for our good. Even still, some of these same folks will not obey all the laws of the land. Again hypocrites…oh and they are not “Church goers” and not all of them are “Christians”. But “Christians” have been picked on and persecuted a long time now. The truth will come out in the end. And those who are anything but Christian will truely be sorry for misjudging the “Christians” that are in this world.

  • Blue

    Prove what point? That he can make up and say whatever he wants to so as to represent an opposing viewpoint? That’s inane, it would be like me (agnostic atheist) going on to a Christian forum claiming to be a Christian and saying Christians are all about enslaving women, cannibalizing their God, and ruthlessly enforcing their views despite laws or even polite conversation.

  • claidheamh mor

    @Mahoney: The difference is that Christians have put themselves against a standard that can be used to judge us – atheists do not so we’re easy targets.

    Bullshit.

    There’s the same insulting ASSumption about amoral, immoral atheists that Fox (“lying bastard impersonating an atheist) was making. So now I class you with him. You are like him, making the same – extremely wrong – ASSumption and insult.

    A better way of putting the “difference” is that Christians wear theirs on their sleeve, and it’s often externally enforced rather than having any internal moral compass. (Earlier blogs here are about that very subject.)

    I see a lot more pretense and phoniness on the Christian side. And more irrational, incoherent, hateful, unreasoning, illiterate rants.

    Aside from ASSuming atheists don’t hold themselves to high standards just because they’re less phony about it.

  • LRA

    That’s three for the persecution card!

  • LRA

    “every second you’re just waiting to be devoured by a pack of wolves.”

    That’s four for the persecution card!

  • CSF

    Tammy, let me say for the record that I am not angry or furious about atheists (or any faith). I love all people. : )

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    tammyj1,

    Do you think infinite punishment for finite offenses is just?

    Do you really think eternal suffering is something that would inflicted by a loving god?

    Look all around you. There are many, many people who are not Christian, and yet most of them are still moral people. Are these people supposed to go to hell – to receive eternal punishment?

    Jesus said that the faith of children is the only way to receive his teachings.

    Yet we all know that children will believe anything — they’ll believe practically any claim they hear.

    But if you don’t believe the right claim, you’ll go to hell — if you thought Islam was right, or Hinduism was right, or Buddhism was right, you’re doomed to eternal torture.

    Jesus said that those who believe like children (those who will believe anything) are the only ones who can be saved, yet the standard for eternal punishment expressed by many Christians is that one must believe in the truth of the right religion to be saved?

    Does that make any sense to you?

  • loswl

    I guess you don’t consider a goat turning into a sheep a miracle :) However I was not trying to convince you of a miracles I was speakin’ to Question-I-Thority and I’m not here to argue so don’t even go there. Realize this as I said, miracles do happen – but they are not the only convincing factor, if it was so, Jesus would not be crucified. How do you know the measure of my faith or trust?

    Yea, you’re right:
    Miracle 1: No miracle, a goats can’t become a sheep :)
    Miracle 2: ahhh, no miracle either, maybe psychic :)

    However there are scientist who have made a cat that glows in the dark ( http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/12/13/514602.aspx ) and a rat that grows a human ear on it’s back. That’s man. So what do you think an all powerful God can do? I guess nothing, just ordinary everyday things.

    Do you think I would have dropped my belief in Christ if I did not get a job with the proper pay. Answer: no. Everything we have here is temporal and worth nothing, it’s all like chasing after the wind. When a rich man dies he leaves his belonging to someone who didn’t work for it. So it’s all like chasing after the wind. The bible compares even our righteousness, the righteousness of man to dung (feaces).

    So, yeah, i’ll join you in saying maybe, just maybe you are right, but are you absolutely sure?

    I’m convince that I am right but, I’m not gonna try to convince you of that because it would be like chasing after the wind. However, I will say that M1 is a miracle because I could not have been saved without the grace of God and M2 is a miracle because, simply God provided in my moment of need and he showed me how he was going to provide for me and my earthly provider. BTW I’m still working for that company and they are now speaking to me about becoming a partner. I will leave everything here when I die so, it’s not a big deal just ordinary old everyday life. Chasing after the wind. Let’s start chasing after God and ask Him to open our eyes… ask and it shall be given, knock and the door will open. Even your neighbor when he goes to bed will open the door to give you a cup of sugar because you knock and knock and knocked. What more do you think God will do. He’s ready and waiting.

  • http://Designingchange.co.uk Ian B

    As God created everything then he also created evil. Just think about what you are saying in context of the Bible.

    I must say having stumbled upon this site I love the dynamics of the debate.

  • Mogg

    Hi Karen,

    if you have a look at some of the other discussions on the site, you will see that there are many people who do not think that the rules came from God. The general moral “rules” which are common across all of humanity, and even in some animals to some extent, are in our brains because they gave our ancestors a survival advantage, which allowed them to pass those characteristics on to more children than those who didn’t have them. To use your example, adultery is generally seen as wrong because it’s a form of cheating – an individual getting more than his or her fair share – and we humans, and even some apes and monkeys, have a very strong drive for enforcing fairness within the group in which we live. So we exclude a cheater until he or she makes things up, in exactly the way Pastor Chris has been treated here. All humans (excluding rarities like sociopaths) behave the same way in regards to cheating, whether or not their culture has ever been touched by Christianity, not because there is a set of rules written down by God but because we are group group creatures and it makes group living easier. Our different cultures develop different definitions of what cheating is, but there are broad similarities across several specific behaviours, including cheating, care of children and family and the like. Several primate species show similar behaviour, so it’s not even something specifically human.

    This makes a lot more sense than following a bunch of rules which often contradict themselves or are even disgusting according to today’s ethics, given by a God who doesn’t consistently follow them himself, and promoted by people who are not discernibly better in behaviour than anyone else. If I could see a difference or a change over time in the behaviour of Christians, it might be different, but if anything I find that Christians sometimes can’t interact in society normally, and in the worst cases I’ve seen Christians deliberately destroy people’s personalities, relationships and abilities because they don’t conform to a certain cultural style.

    As for the blessings in life, I found that they didn’t happen until I stopped waiting for God, or my parents, or the church leaders, to tell me what I was supposed to be doing and took responsibility for myself, even in the face of opposition. My life came from and was shaped in its early years by my parents, but what I do or don’t do with it is only up to me, now that I am an adult. To that extent, yes I create my own life, and the good things in it which are distinguishable from anyone else’s situation are, yes, mostly due to myself. Any owing to anyone else is due my family and friends, not to God.

  • Mogg

    Darn, didn’t proof read that very well!

  • http://tfgray.wordpress.com tfgray

    Karen, if you research world religions, you will find that that all of them subscribe to the following core principles: Honor divinity, don’t kill, steal, or lie, respect your elders, and treat those weaker than you with kindness. I’ve noticed that there are Christians who believe that all morality is derived from the Judeo-Christian bible and that anyone who does not subscribe to that particular belief system has no moral or ethical compass at all. This belief is untrue, and a symptom of ignorance. It is perfectly possible to be not only an atheist, but also a completely decent human being by adhering to the last five principles. In other words, by doing the decent thing because it’s the decent thing to do, not out of fear of offending some deity…
    You know, just like some people drive safely for reasons other than fear of arrest.

  • Mitchell

    “I mean, who said it was wrong to kill? Who said it was wrong to be adulterous? God did. God told us these things and human beings compiled all of these “rules” into many different books called the Bible.”

    Wrong, and wrong. I’m sorry, but no matter how much you believe that “God” first made up all these rules to not kill, steal, etc., you are wrong. You conveniently forget that there were people around before God and Jesus showed up, that worshipped different gods, i.e. the ancient Greeks before the Romans showed up with Christianity, and they were democratic and had their own laws, without your God. Sure, they had their own gods, but they didn’t have your handy-dandy Bible, now did they? Also, the second wrong, is mere opinion that since I think God doesn’t exist he couldn’t have told anyone anything. Humans beings are self-preserving creatures, like most every other living creature. Humans are also quite social animals, they often group together (or else why would we have cities or towns?). Therefore, people who grouped together would learn that killing each other and stealing wouldn’t benefit each other very well at all. Just because someone put in a book and stamped God’s name all over doesn’t mean it happened that way. You don’t believe everything you see on t.v., do you? So why do you believe something so ridiculous in a book written by ancient superstitious folk?

  • loswl

    Why are you here wasting time, you cold be helping someone come on. Don’t be hypocritical.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I was tempted to delete your comment for your baseless accusations, but it’s so stupid that I think I’ll leave it up.

    I guess you think Bertrand Russell never understood philosophy because he was an atheist, huh?

    If you could only get people to take a course in philosophy, then there wouldn’t be any atheists around! It’s so easy!

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I’m putting all of Jesse’s comments automatically in moderation. If he can speak civilly, then I’ll approve his comments. If not, they go into the internet ether.

    Just to be clear, I’m not doing this because I disagree with him. I’m doing it because he’s a jerk.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    May have been deceitful?

    He said that he was an atheist in order to slander non-religious people.

    That is deceitful, and it doesn’t take a philosophy degree to arrive at that conclusion, Jesse.

    By the way, judging atheism by Dawkins and Hitchens is a huge straw man, and you know it.

    You’re the punchline, Jesse. You keep being refuted, and you never really acknowledge it, do you?

    You are more full of crap than almost anyone I have ever interacted with on UF, and that is really saying something.

    I mean, you make Alex Guggenheim look like a decent fellow.

  • http://meatofthematter.wordpress.com/ Jim

    Hey Jesse, the inquisition called and they want their argument back.

  • http://barabie.wordpress.com barabie

    “use of ‘mistake’ is very important as it clearly defines that the action was acknowledged as wrong.”

    Not necessarily, as an example:

    One is walking down to the pub and mistakenly takes a left turn instead of a right turn, whereby he/she finds a winning lotto ticket or runs into an old friend who offers them a multi billion dollar contract or or or ( you get my point).

    Would you call that a mistake “wrong”? :)

  • LRA

    Right on Daniel!

    Jesse, I have a DEGREE in philosophy and I don’t agree with what you’re saying.

    The fact is that you call atheist beliefs a pile of sand– well point that finger at yourself, bub.

    You should know, all mighty philosopher that you are, that there are better and worse arguments for what people believe. I find that arguments for the supernatural/universal are notoriously lacking. Whereas arguments from consensus and from evidence at least have the appeal that we can verify them on some level.

    Please verify/provide evidence (or at least a coherent argument) for your beliefs. That is the challenge that people on this forum put to you.

  • Jesse

    Ah the Rational Egoist In-Chief steps up for another crack. Baseless? Like, a few weeks back, when you and your cronies all but admitted to having no formal experience with philosophy, no coursework in logic, and a certain individual who takes exception from having his own views criticized and puts down philosophy students, hmmm, let’s see here:

    “Now I remember why I stopped hanging around self-righteous philosophy majors during college.”

    Oops. This blog oozes with group-thinking hypocrisy. The man apologized. The fact that you continue to run an overtly anti-religious blog is an admissible argument of the fact that your blog is itself an ad hominem. Live and let live, man. For the sake of high blood pressure.

  • loswl

    @ Jesse, that’s relativism. It does not match up with the Word of God. God is the judge and he says to avoid the very presence of evil. His laws are not relative, it’s absolute, so you know when you are doing it, you are absolutely wrong. Straight up.

    1 Thessalonians 5:22
    Avoid every kind of evil.

    This is the reason why the english language has what is called hypothetical arguments – he should have made it clear that he was going to present an hypothetical situation of what he thinks an atheist would say instead of disguising himself as an unknown entity/s and commenting away. I am sure no one would do research on him if they did not feel they were being deceived – the Bible also says anything which is done in the dark will be brought to light. Come on!. Shine your light before men so that they may see your good work (not deceptive work) and glorify the father which is in heaven.

  • doesntworkthatway

    I’m glad you kept it up, Daniel.

    I’ve heard about Christians who believe that it’s not wrong to hurt or deceive non-Christians, and this is a great example.

    Scary, though.

  • Jesse

    Sincerely, I don’t believe you. You dismissed philosophy as “a bunch of SPECULATION” (your own emphasis). Philosophy permeates every trade and discipline; by your own statements, you’ve taken a philosophical stance against philosophy, which is contradictory. Dead giveaway of a person who doesn’t really have any experience in philosophy.

  • reckoner71

    @LRA

    Sigh… Certainty has to be the most misused weapon hurled at atheists. Believers love it because it helps their “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist” argument. They just don’t seem willing to recognize the malleability of our position.

    When there was hard evidence the world wasn’t flat, scientists and scholars that held that position stopped arguing it. When the speed of light was calculated and shown to be accurate, we ceased to debate it. We just take the new knowledge and apply it to discover the answers to other problems.

    If someone – even God herself – could show any kind of evidence for her existence, I’d be the first one with a Buddy Christ on my lawn.

  • LRA

    I really don’t care if you believe me or not! I have the degree to prove it (From University of Texas- an excellent department).

    Philosophy IS a bunch of speculation! It is argument A pitted against argument B.

    That’s speculation. Here is its definition from the Oxford English Dictionary:

    “An act of speculating, or the result of this; a conclusion, opinion, view, or series of these, reached by abstract or hypothetical reasoning.”

    Duh.

    Now, as I have asked you and a hundred other barking “Christians”– please provide some EVIDENCE for your claims.

  • LRA

    BTW I never claimed ANY certainty for my views! I think certainty can’t be had by humans. That’s why I take and EMPIRICAL approach that can be amended as better EVIDENCE comes forward. I won’t amend my approach toward your point of view until you provide me with some better EVIDENCE.

    I am not in danger of being inconsistent. You are, universalist that you are…

  • LRA

    FYI Jesse…

    “In the Laws, Plato’s last work, the philosopher returns once again to the question of how a society ought best to be organized. Unlike his earlier treatment in the Republic, however, the Laws appears to concern itself less with what a best possible state might be like, and much more squarely with the project of designing a genuinely practicable, if admittedly not ideal, form of government. The founders of the community sketched in the Laws concern themselves with the empirical details of statecraft, fashioning rules to meet the multitude of contingencies that are apt to arise in the “real world” of human affairs.”

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/plato.htm#SH7f

  • Sock

    I don’t like you either. But mostly because you’ve got that “self righteous” trait down pact.

    Can’t you just… go away?

    OH, and incase that question wasn’t deep or philosophical enough for you, that’s because it wasn’t a philosophical question. If you can’t understand basic English, just grab a dictionary and look up the words “go” and “away”. Try not to get lost in the possible philosophical meanings in the definitions themselves.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    You are right — he apologized, and he is now unbanned and everything is back to normal. Move on. I have.

    And yes, like I said, I stopped hanging around self-righteous philosophy majors (though I still hung around the more humble ones). But I also was a philosophy major. And so were many others here. And others who have not had formal training who have shown themselves to be far smarter and less of an asshole than you.

    I’m with Sock. You’re really not wanted here unless you have a big change in attitude. So unless you have something civil and interesting to say, why not leave? You outwore your welcome last time, and you haven’t changed.

    Obviously you are Far Above Us. Out of the league of our puny brains. So why not go somewhere else with other like-minded jerks — like somewhere not here.

    Are you getting the hints here, or do I need to package it in a logical syllogism with big words for you to understand?

  • John C

    Jesse…

    I’m confused…are you claiming to be a believer? A Christian? Or some kind of religious philosopher? Cuz they are not the same and your words are anything but Christlike. No kindness, no mercy, only harsh verbal jabs and name-calling…what gives?

    Please, show a little respect, a little civility…even dare I say…humility.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Jesse,

    You said that LRA’s position toward philosophy is contradictory.

    Then she PWND you with the correct definition of philosophy, and showed your argument to be full of crap, as usual.

    Yet you refuse to acknowledge this and just keep building up and tearing down your crap-filled straw men without acknowledging the real, pertinent issues for the discussion.

    Are the religious within their epistemic rights to their beliefs? If not, why isn’t atheism a viable option as a default position?

    Answer the serious questions if you’re going to pretend to be serious about this, Jesse.

  • Janet Greene

    @Jesse – because we arrived at the conclusion that there is no God, specifically the christian/biblical god, through years of reading, research, thoughtful discussion…and that we see the dangers of organization religion (or any belief system based on faith) – we automatically use ad hominen arguments? Sorry – I don’t follow your reasoning. I find most of the atheists on this site to be thoughtful, intelligent and moral people (based on their comments). Some may attack you because they consider your arguments to be dangerous (I am in this group) and it becomes very, very emotional. That does not diminish the veracity of their arguments.

  • doesntworkthatway

    pastorkim,

    I’ll just repeat what Rebelest said above: “Considering that you’re an admitted Christian, I’m not at all surprised that you think that you could apologize for other people’s behavior but you can’t.”

    What you’re doing is trying to provide cover for further evangelism. You’re trying to heal wounds quickly so that fewer people are turned away in disgust from Christianity. But you cannot take responsibility for what other Christians have done. It doesn’t matter how badly you want to; you can’t. It’s just not possible.

    You can express your own disappointment, and you can ask other Christians to behave better in the future, but you cannot make amends for them. To say that’s what you’re doing is to imply that the people you’re apologizing to are too dumb to understand what they want: apology or restitution from the actual person who has wronged them.

  • LRA

    ooh! I have a suggestion!

    http://www.evilleagueofevil.com/apply

    ;)

    He and biblegod can hang out there together!

    Mwaaahaahaaaahaaaaa!

  • LRA

    Thanks! I appreciate your support! :)

  • Lanii

    Well – not to be rude but lollipops and rainbows to you, too, sunshine.

    Would you also advise LRA to wallow in hurt for the rest of her life? To keep her anger out on parade? People develop cancer that way.

    There are therapists for a reason, regardless of religious affiliation. It’s not good to hold grudges, to let the actions of other people – which you can’t control – dictate your life, who you are and how you interact with the world. It’s not positive. It’s not healthy. Anyone would tell you that.

    Of course she has a right to her feelings (although I don’t know where that was ever writ down). We ALL do. Christians included. And I’m not trying to guilt her into surrendering them.

    LRA, you need to surrender your hurt and pain for YOU. I’m not going to personally benefit from it. I don’t know you. But I know you used to be my sister in Christ. And that gives me the right to tell it to you like it is. Not only my right but it is my duty.

    Doesntwork – no one has the right to be angry at Christianity the religion or the people who make it up simply because they believe in Jesus. Get angry at God all you want. But a religion didn’t hurt you. A person hurt you. And it is very likely that that person would have hurt you had they believed in gnomes who live in our shoes. It’s like blaming your problems on “the Man”. C’mon.

    Sorry – but this issue really burns me up. I’m calm now.

  • LRA

    Lanni-

    Keep your personal opinion about me to yourself.

    Sorry it burns you up, but I have every right to feel the way I do. You have no right to dismiss it.

  • doesntworkthatway

    “And it is very likely that that person would have hurt you had they believed in gnomes who live in our shoes.”

    In your zeal to defend your identity group, Lanii, you probably didn’t realize what you did there. You just said that beliefs do not influence actions.

    If beliefs cannot make a person more violent, then beliefs cannot make a person more peaceful.

    By this, your own logic, Christianity cannot improve people.

    Congratulations, you just tripped over your own robes and knocked yourself out.

    *raises LRA’s gloved fist into the air* “The winner, at the beginning of the first round!”

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ Karen and CSF If Yahweh of the bible deceives for greater purposes, could it not be argued by fervent Christians that deceiving in order to bring about a greater good such as converting souls to Christ is acceptable.

    Otherwise why put passages like that in the bible. Don’t you clearly think that these passages could be misused by dictators, despots and super radical politicians and church officials to willfully mislead people in the wrong direction.

    Or to deceive and control for personal gain.

    If a christian says that we should strive to be god like. Why cant that mean striving to be like the god in these verses -

    -1 Kings 22:23 Yahweh has put a lying spirit into the mouth of all these your prophets.
    Ezekiel 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

    2 Thess. 2:11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie… -

    Whats up with your god doing these things. Also maybe these verses justify what the Pastor did.

    Out of curiosity if Yahweh is so great, wise and powerful how come Christians would have to GO THERE to prove their case.

    How come Yahweh dosent help Christians with thier debate skills, you guys are taking a beating on the merits of whole argument.

  • LRA

    Yeah- I know about genetic manipulation (glowing bunnies)– I did that kind of work for my master’s thesis.

    Now, I don’t want to argue with you about why you have no evidence for your claims that godidit, but I will say this…

    CONGRATS! It sounds like you are a hard worker and it is really paying off! I’m so glad your company has come to value the work YOU have done for them! I know in these hard economic times, many people are worried about their jobs, but sounds like you are doing well for yourself. I’m sure you deserve the success YOU have created for yourself.

  • alynne4307

    Hi there,

    My comment was in response to the original blog post and much of the sentiment of this blog. The pastor in the blog post is being made an example of because he had lied (sinned), but no Christian claims to be without sin completely. And if they do, well, they missed a major point of Christianity. My point was that for some reason many people equate Christians with sinless-ness, and then try to use that as an argument against our spirituality when we mess up. We’re not without sin, we just practice bringing that sin to God.

  • reckoner71

    I think one of us needs a little nap.

  • doesntworkthatway

    I’ve never heard of atheists denying that other people, besides the Israelites, were committing atrocities in ancient times. If we don’t focus on this it’s because there aren’t any people today who claim to have inherited their religious or moral traditions from the ancient Assyrian pagans.

    Just because other people were doing it, doesn’t make it okay.

    There’s no excuse for murdering toddlers. “But they get to murder toddlers!” is not an excuse.

    It’s pretty amazing that you’re actually trying to make excuses for this. I wish that your idea of Christian love were an aberration.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    2preacher,

    Didn’t Jesus say, that you would know them by their fruits?

    I think you can judge organized religion based on the actions of its followers.

    Do Christians act better than Hindus? better than Buddhists? better than Sikhs? better than the Jain? better than agnostics?

    If Christianity is supposed to be the source of morality, why aren’t Christians overall just a slight bit more moral than other people?

    Yes, it is true that Christians are just like othere people…but Christians are supposed to be guided in their by their holy text and their great spirit!

    They should act better than other people overall, but I’m not sure that they do.

    It bothers me that these things just tend to dissolve into a “No True Scotsman” argument, and anyone who makes a mistake isn’t a “true Christian”.

    It bothers me that people have the audacity to say that Christianity is the ultimate source of morality when other religious people of other faiths or no faith at all are just as moral or even more moral.

    Doesn’t that mean that you’re wrong?

  • alynne4307

    I believe that the fellow responsible did apologize. No? Again, you are not required to accept it, but I’ve certainly suffered equally-bad (if not worse) generalizations of my spirituality and haven’t chose to hold that against you. I think that is the point that some are trying to make here- that holding something against Christians in general because of the actions of one man isn’t a responsible allocation of anger.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    alynne4307,

    I’m not suggesting that Christians should be sinless.

    The real problem for Christianity isn’t the negative behaviors of Christians – it’s the positive behaviors of Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist, the Sikh, the Jain, agnostics, and atheists.

    If Christianity is the source of morality, what explains or accounts for the morality of all these other groups of people?

    Of course Christians are just like everyone else. And that’s why I don’t take your claims about your religion seriously.

    Morality is external to the Bible and to the Christian belief system, as is evident by the actions of people who are outside of it but are still generally moral people.

    Didn’t Jesus say, you shall know them by their fruit?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    No, actually I would not say that.

    I agree with you that just because something is negative, that doesn’t make it untrue.

    Your problem is that you made a very broad assumption about a topic which you had very little information or knowledge.

    If you knew what you were talking about, it wouldn’t be wrong to make a conclusion that discomforted people or sounded negative. You would be justified to make such a claim if you had enough knowledge.

    But did you have enough knowledge to make such a claim? No, I don’t believe that you did.

    Most of my friends and family are Christians. Most of them are decent, loving people.

    I would never say that express “hatred”, because I know that it’s not true.

    This is why atheists and agnostics want to put ourselves out in front of the public — we want people to know that most of us are decent and loving people.

    If everyone know one or two people who are non-religious, I think most of the myths and stereotypes would erode or disappear altogether.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Christians can win this argument if they present some evidence.

    Do you have any evidence that Christianity is more true than Judaism, Buddhism or Islam?

    What is your evidence?

    Give me something to think about and then we can discuss whether Christianity is a valid belief system.

    (By the way, any of you are welcome to post on my blog if there is not enough room in the comments. Sorry to be kind of a blogwhore here.)

  • Flea

    Feelings have nothing to do about it. Sorry. I know this is something weird for a believer, but here only facts, evidence, matter. Bronze age fables are not relevant.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    alynne4307,

    We do have healthy discussions about religion here at UF.

    Many times we have asked Christians and other theists to present evidence for their beliefs. They have failed to do so.

    Well, actually, you can judge for yourself how successful you think they’ve been.

    Also, it should be easier to demonstrate that Christianity is invalid than that atheism is invalid.

    All you have to do to show that Christianity is invalid is to show that its claims are unreasonable and contradictory and of human origin.

    If you want to prove atheism invalid, find objective evidence of a god. I’m sure that there will be quite a bit of fame and forture for you if you do find this, so that should help as a motivator.

  • LRA

    Duh. I said NO one likes to be put in the position to have an abortion.

    And you will keep your OPINION (as LAW says other wise) off of MY body. Your arguments are apples to oranges- conjoined twins are born at the same time. People on life support aren’t living off of someone else’s body. If a perfect stranger came up to you and demanded to live off of your body, would you allow it?

    BTW Your WIFE had the abortion, not YOU.

    Now let’s get to the pertinent matters here… do you or have you advocated for PROPER sex education in schools or elsewhere? (as we know that abstinence only programs DON’T WORK)?

    And what about the children born to parents who are unable to take care of them (as is the case in pretty much ALL of the extreme poverty situations all over the world)? What have you done for these children that are ALREADY here?

  • doesntworkthatway

    “You have no idea what we tell these women. Did you hear what I said, my wife and I have had an abortion, I know how they feel. They feel trapped, cheated, angry, scared – and often they’re in a thick fog.”

    Some do. Some are quite certain they’re doing the right thing, before and after the fact. Some feel trapped, angry, scared, and are still certain that abortion is the best option available to them. Can you admit that?

    Here’s a woman for whom her abortion was no big deal: http://www.nerve.com/PersonalEssays/Bans/Roe-VS-Wade-VS-My-Boyfriend-My-Abortion-Was-No-Big-Deal-Except-To-The-Men-In-My-Life/

  • doesntworkthatway

    Here’s a woman who is in her own words “very happy” about her abortion: http://foreverinhell.blogspot.com/2009/02/im-so-glad-i-had-my-abortion.html#c1173098834584121353

    Here’s a woman who is sure she made the right choice and glad it was available: http://myabortion.tumblr.com/

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Yes, he did apologize.

    Some of us have accepted his apology, and some of us have not.

    I think we both agree that it is wrong to make hasty generalizations about groups of people based on the actions of a few.

    Instead, let’s examine the overall picture.

    Are other people generally less moral than Christians?

    No.

    So why should we believe that Christianity is the source of morality?

  • doesntworkthatway

    alynne4307,

    He did apologize. My point was only that pastorkim can’t apologize for him.

  • pastorkim

    Thanks for the commentary – I wasn’t taking responsibility for the comments. That is solely on the person. What I was apologizing for was/is the continuing hurt that folks in the Christian traditions are causing others all in the name of evangelism. It is about accountability, but as one who claims the alignment/life of a Christian, I also wan tot be sure that folks who are being wronged and hurt know that not all Christians are in the same camp. Some of us are about love, care and respect for all people. So, no apology for the person, but for the pain that people in our tradition continue to cause in the name of Christ. Take it or leave it, but I am called as a disciple to love all.

  • reckoner71

    Once upon a time, the big bang theory was the best explanation we have to date for the formation of the universe. The End.

    The role of Certainty will be played by creationists.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Intelligent Design is just as valid an explanation as Intelligent Falling.

    Common descent is a fact…just like gravity.

    If you reproduce, and there is sexual variation, evolution will occur.

    The simplest definition of evolution is “change over time”.

    Do you think things change over time?

    You don’t have a problem with evolution, do you?

    Could it be that the real problem is that the science conflicts with your beliefs?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    That’s an interesting idea, Glenn.

    If we don’t have a choice or not to lie, why is lying something that could get one condemned in the Christian religion?

    As a naturalist, I would say that honesty is an important value in society because it fulfills the most desires.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Scott Fillmer,

    The problem for Christian morality isn’t so much Christian immorality (though Jesus did say, judge them by their fruits), but it’s the morality of people who aren’t Christian.

    If Christianity or its god is the source of morality, why are most Buddhists or Hindus or agnostics and atheists decent and generally moral people?

  • reckoner71

    (crickets)

  • boywidacoin

    “Why are most Buddhists or Hindus or agnostics and atheists decent and generally moral people?”

    You hit the mark. Welcome to Laodicea.

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    I am going to go out on a limb here (sort of) and say that morality has little to do with the meaning of being a Christian, which you pointed out very well.

    Yes, all of the secs you mentioned above are generally moral people, true, but it is what makes Christianity different from those you mentioned, not what they have in common. All those groups can live moral or immoral lives, true, and some in fact (the atheist not withstanding) like Islam and others will pull their moral fabric from some of the Cannon or the Torah (the Law) of the Bible.

    Many of the world’s religions do share some moral definitives like not to murder someone, steal, or lie, the difference of course is the belief in Jesus as the risen Messiah.

    You can be a very immoral person and be a Christian. Being a moral or immoral person doesn’t make you a Christian or not of course.

    That is not to say if you do claim Jesus as your savior, and you are living an immoral life, that you aren’t living outside what Jesus teaches as the ideal life, but taken to its extreme, it doesn’t have anything to do with your salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith… (9) not by works, so that no one can boast.)

    Great points to bring up, really made me think about exactly what I was referring to in the first place… thx

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Kim,

    The actions of this Pastor and of other Christians, for me personally, have not caused “hatred and disgust”. But they have reinforced my beliefs that Christians are not more moral than other groups of people.

    I’m glad that you have realized that other groups of people are not less moral than those who believe what you believe.

    I appreciate that you are generally open-minded and not defensive about your beliefs. I have known both many, many open-minded Christians, and I have also known many, many Christians are other theists who become extremely defensive about their beliefs when questioned.

    By the way, at the end of your post, you said that Christians don’t have to act more moral than other people. But if Christianity or its god is the source of morality, wouldn’t you expect Christians overall to behave just a little bit better than other people?

  • http://taramokhtari.tripod.com taramokhtari

    Hi Kim, Just to clarify, I don’t have any hatred or disgust for anyone on the basis of their faith, nor of any faith itself.

    Two points come to mind here.

    First is that a pastor, or any religious authority, is in a position of responsibility to uphold the values of their faith. In failing to do so, without the church taking some kind of steps to correct him/her, it basically gives the message that “lying and slandering is an acceptable way of interacting according to our religion”.

    Second is that Christians are (at least in the present day, in the West) the least subjugated religion based on the bad behavior of their minority… All in all, most people still associate the word Christian with kindness and generosity – even though those aren’t always upheld characteristics. This is fine, except that Christianity as an institution influences our politics and our society, and with that kind of power, it’s actually really important that the motives and messages promoted by the religion and the religious authorities are regularly questioned and put in check.

    Cheers.

  • boywidacoin

    Just because you don’t believe in hell doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Well, dude, that book told me that there would be people denying God.

    “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

    This post is also still about atheism. I know, there are many professing Christians or even carnal Christians who really love God yet failed many times when it comes to their testimonies (myself included) and they needed to be corrected. That’s one purpose of the Bible. 1 Corinthians is full of fellas doing unimaginable things, yet, they were Christians at that time. Contrary to popular belief we really are normal people.

    For one, Voltaire did try to disprove the Bible. Even tried to wipe it out of the map. Yes, for a time he was on the flow but eventually he died, like all men do (just like the Bible said). Eventually his printing press was even used to publish the book he tried to erase. Ironic isn’t it.

    It is not my job to condemn, that’s God’s job. It’s not even my job to save people. That is also God’s job. My responsibility (also a Christian’s) is to warn people.

    When will you then realize that you yourself denying God is the greatest proof that He exists?

  • LRA

    he he he he he he!!!!

    Once upon a time, there was tons and tons of evidence for a theory that underpinned all of the biological sciences. It was named Evolution. And then there was a puny story about a mythical man, woman, talking snake, and apple (or fig). It was named Creationism. One day Evolution asked Creationsim,

    “Hey? How it it that the snake talked without vocal chords or a proper tongue?”

    Creationism said,

    “Well, godidit.”

    Fin.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    dgoffeney,

    I am an ex-Christian and so are many others here at Unreasonable Faith. If you’d like to discuss religion, I think this is a great place to do so.

    As in, I think you should participate here first before you encourage people to go to your blog. ;)

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    loswl,

    Many of us *have* studied the Bible. Many of us are ex-Christians.

    Many of us who are not ex-Christians have been studying Christianity along with other religions a great deal for many years.

    I am an ex-Christian. I have studied the Bible.

    Given the contradictions and absurdities that are in the Bible, do you think it makes more sense as something of human origin, or as a divinely inspired text?

  • reckoner71

    @boywidacoin

    I’d say that writing in a book that says there will be people that don’t believe what’s in the book, stamping “prophecy” on it, and then relying on people to refer to it as fulfillment of said prophecy is the best way I can imagine for covering up a lie.

    Don’t be that guy who uses the Bible to claim its own validity. Go and YouTube “How not to debate with atheists”.

    We’ll wait here.

  • boywidacoin

    @reckoner71

    You can imagine all you want but it’s still written and it’s just your own imagination. Why would I even try to debate with you atheists when you yourself can’t see I’m not. As what I’ve said, I came here to warn. If you’re not even as keen as reading my post I do not know how you do yourself in debates. Anyway, this topic is not just some debate that you could just forget and walk away. This is just simply more than that and people are willingly ignorant.

    I’ll wait on the white throne judgment.

  • Sock

    I thought that God was the only person who was supposed to pass judgement…

    But what do I know! I’m a heathen.

  • reckoner71

    We’re in violent agreement on the “willingly ignorant” statement.

    I’m quite confident I know what you believe; I’m hoping you’ll share why you believe it.

    Why Christianity? Why not Hinduism? Why did you discard believing in Santa Claus?

    (I know the Santa analogy mocks, but it is a very good parallel to belief in gods.)

  • Sock

    “Well, dude, that book told me that there would be people denying God. ”

    Of course it did. The bronze age fellow who was writing it realized what a load of bull it was, and decided to try to cover his own ass.

    I wont deny that the man who wrote this book was brilliant, and had an amazing understanding of the human mind. However, he still wrote a book of myths and legends that were borrowed and stolen from previous religions and cults around at his time. The same was done a few thousand years later when someone else wrote the New Testament, and then they just ended up with far less material and told the same story several different times from different perspectives.

    It’s a load of hogwash.

    And finally, your statement that my denial of God is the proof that he exists…? Wtf. That really makes no sense whatsoever. Do me a favor, and go look up with “proof” means, and you’ll realize where you goofed.

    It’s okay, I wont hold it against you.

  • boywidacoin

    “Willingly Ignorant” is a direct quotation in 2 Pet. 3:5. My apologies for not making it clear. I did say “people” and I’m not pointing to any individuals in here for my purpose here is to warn but nonetheless, it is also true that people will be “willingly ignorant” in the last days, just like the days of Noah. History repeats itself.

    I can’t possibly explain “why Christianity” in here but here it is in a nutshell. I believe in the Bible (King James Bible, for there are other versions which makes it more confusing and they are all saying different stuff). 66 books different authors and I can’t seem to find any blemish on it. There are “apparent” mistakes and contradictions but these will be resolved through further study.

    Israel. One proof of why I believe the Bible is because of this nation. Their stubbornness, their unbelief, their rejection of Jesus Christ up until today. I firmly believe no matter how many countries will rise up against Israel, their efforts will be in vain and I believe we’ve seen some of that lately.

    History. The course of history is chartered in the Bible. The setting up of the one-world system is underway. The one-world monetary system is heading in that direction.

    Nature. Earthquakes

    Wars, rumors of wars.

    And, myself. Sinner to the core, helpless and in need of salvation. That’s why I trust Christ. Even though perfect in standing my state is still unstable while in this wretched, cursed flesh. That’s why I said in my previous post this pastor needs to be corrected for Christians can, still and will make mistakes. There are even professing Christians that are even worse than atheists or Buddhists, etc. 1 Corinthians is a very corrective book for Christians in Corinth. Thus, the Bible is clear on taking care of a Christian’s testimony. The Bible also said that there will be Christians in this age are and will be “willingly ignorant”, selfish, rights-oriented. Welcome to Laodicea. God forbid I would become such one.

    Gentlemen, my task here is done. My apologies for the misunderstanding for I am in no position to judge. Take heed of my warning or forget it. If you’re an honest person and searching for truth maybe I can help.

    boywidacoin@yahoo.com

  • reckoner71

    @boywidacoin

    Ah, the King James Bible. Well, at least you’re reading from a version that hasn’t been edited at all over a period of fifteen centuries.

    /headdesk

    I was really hoping for the Santa Claus rebuttal.

  • Viridid

    The whole “denial of God’s existence proves God’s existence” thing reminds me terribly of the Hitchhikers quote about the Babelfish proving God’s non-existence:

    “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

    “But,” says Man, “The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”

    “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

    “Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

    Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo’s kidneys, but that didn’t stop Oolon Colluphid making a small fortune when he used it as the central theme of his best-selling book, “Well That about Wraps It Up for God.”

    Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.

    Sorry for dropping a whacking great quote post in, but it was I couldn’t help myself, it just seemed so appropriate.

  • boywidacoin

    “Equally unsupported by the words of Jesus”

    You sound a like a Christian but then again you’re not. Why would I even begin to trust you saying “equally unsupported by the word of Jesus” when you yourself both deny God and Christ?

    My mindless rhetoric by the way is all recorded in the book Revelation and those are the words of Jesus written by John.

    And God is not in the “sky”. It is called Heaven. It’s further beyond the skies. Further beyond deep space and science haven’t reached there yet.

    Romans 1

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Hmmm…so you believe that the things in the Bible are true because they’re in the Bible?

    Wow, a perfect circle of logic! How impressive.

  • boywidacoin

    @Teleprompter

    Some years ago people thought that the earth was flat. They never read the Bible they just go on their ways through expeditions and whatnot. Well what do you know the earth is not truly flat at all. If they just read their Bibles they would’ve gotten it the first place.

    Let me give you some:

    No actual “moon light”
    Light Travels
    Running water more sanitary
    Circumcision on the 8th day
    Earth Suspended in space

    So yeah, I believe that the things in the Bible are true because they’re in the Bible and I’m not trying to impress anyone.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    boywidacoin,

    I seriously doubt that the Bible actually predicted those things. Verses, please?

  • LRA

    Actually the one about no actual moon light is wrong. You can read Genesis chapter one which clearly calls the moon one of the lights in the sky (the other being the sun).

  • reckoner71

    And which verses in which version of the Bible?

    Let’s be sure we’re not referring to some early 17th-century KJV that may have surreptitiously plugged in some scientific discoveries to pass off as Biblical prophecy.

    Just so we’re all singing from the same song sheet, as it were. :)

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Some years ago people thought that the earth was flat. They never read the Bible they just go on their ways through expeditions and whatnot. Well what do you know the earth is not truly flat at all. If they just read their Bibles they would’ve gotten it the first place.

    The Bible uses the word “duwr” to describe the Earth; this means a flat circle, like a dinner-plate. Had it meant “spherical”, it would have used the word “chuwg”. It doesn’t take much research to learn that the Bible teaches that the world is flat.

    On the other hand, by 500BC the Greeks not only knew that the world was a sphere, but they had a measurement of its diameter that was within 3% of the modern figure. I guess that means that the Greek gods are better that Jehovah…

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    freestyle,

    Actually, you don’t have to confess your association at all before you post.

    Most Christians do it because they feel like their Christianity gives them a right to have an opinion on the issue, or they do it because they want to convey that the Pastor is not representative of good Christian people.

    Most atheists and agnostics self-identify when the non-religious say that they are immoral or not decent people.

    However, Elemenope is a religious skeptic who asked very difficult questions of the atheists and agnostics here for a few weeks, and people were definitely thrown off by his investigations…even though he is non-religious, he still gave us valuable questions to ask ourselves about why we don’t believe religious claims…or why we think we have a right to not believe in any gods.

    I am glad that you are open-minded, and I think we do have more in common than we don’t have in common.

    Most of us at UF have a goal for Christians and other theists to realize that most atheists and agnostics are decent and moral people, too.

    I hope that theists and non-theists can work together for a better world.

    Also, as a side note, many of the atheists at UF appear to be “fundamentalist” only in vigor and in the passion of their opinions, and I assure you that if you get to know them, you’ll see that fundamentalist is a very poor word to describe them.

    Most of the non-religious people here are open-minded and are willing to give religion some consideration if people are willing to present their evidence.

    However, most observers would say that the evidence has been shortcoming.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    xybatt,

    Daniel did forgive the Pastor, and actually unbanned him from this website, and has allowed him to comment further on this at least several times since the incident.

    I think we have forgiven CSF.

  • LRA

    Yes Reckoner…

    I figure if empiricism is good enough for the Philosopher King of the Republic of Eidos, then it it good enough for me!

    ;)

  • doesntworkthatway

    “Your arrogant statement that no form of infanticide is acceptable might be true from your limited viewpoint… however… when did you ascend above the mind of the Almighty?”

    According to you, then, might makes right.

    “Did you ever consider that those kids, so cute and cuddly, witnessed barbaric acts perpetrated by their elders against other people, so much that it may have made an indelible impression upon their characters so that they might, as is often touted by scientists and doctors of today, be inclined toward the same behavior?”

    Wow! Children should be murdered if they might grow up to have issues? You are a very sick person!

    Anyway, 1 Samuel 15:3 commands the murder of infants who are too young to remember anything. So you’re wrong. There is no excuse.

    “If your child assumed your stance, and called your decisions foolish and uncalled for – what comparison would that have with the gulf that lies between your mind and that of deity?”

    Wow, now are you saying I should be allowed to kill my children if they question my judgment?

    You are very, very sick.

  • boomSLANG

    HM”…..when did you ascend above the mind of the Almighty?”

    When? Well, for me, personally, it happened the day I realized that the “Almighty” evidentally isn’t mighty enough to make its existence known to me, as in, giving me what it should know, per its “unlimited mightiness”, that I would require for conversion to Theism. It (and its followers) should also know that “free will” is not an issue, as I still retain the freedom to reject this “Almighty” invisible guy, should it get cRaZy and choose to become visible.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    I think our forgiveness of him also speaks volumes, too, julierocks98.

  • John C

    Highwayman…

    Put your sword down friend, you are operating in the flesh, not the spirit…relax…please.

    Passion is good, but Christlikeness even better.

    Peace…please.

  • LRA

    Highway man. I’m not a boy. I’m a girl.

    Secondly, you realize that you are calling science rhetoric? You do realize the mistake you’re making here, don’t you? I mean, really?

  • trj

    First time I’ve seen anyone use that argument.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Yeah, don’t be hypocritical like loswl who spends time on this Forum while he believes that you shouldn’t be!

  • doesntworkthatway

    “You are the one who HAD TO GO SPY ON PEOPLE!”

    No one spied on anyone. You need to learn how the internet works. Start by studying IP addresses.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I’m spying on you too, Primitive.

    For instance, I see there are some pretty embarrassing in your browser’s cache file. Oh, and the email you sent yesterday wasn’t very nice.

    You should really clean your room, too.

  • trj

    Daniel sees you. He knows if you’ve been naughty, he knows if you’ve been nice. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good, for goodness’ sake.

  • reckoner71

    Dawkins said it all with, “We’re all atheists to some degree. Some of us just go one god further.”

    2+2=4 whether you’re in Tucson or Tuscany, and gravity works in Montréal exactly the same way as in Morocco.

    So how did we get the unequivocal truth of Vishnu Thor God so mixed up?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Archie,

    If you had actually read all of these comments, you would have discovered that we did forgive the Pastor after he apologized.

    Daniel unbanned him and let CSF comment several times since.

    We have moved you. What about you?

  • John C

    Hey there science girl! :) lol, hope you are doing well…take care and all the best !

  • Jabster

    No I don’t think he does … this seems a fairly common tactic among godbots i.e. trying to justify their faith with science is just a world view as is religion and it’s only the interpretation of the evidence that differs. Which when your world view is if it contradicts the Bible it most be wrong does create some serious problems.

  • reckoner71

    I played in a Christian hockey league for many years. The only time those guys were Christ-like was on Sunday mornings, when their behaviour was on display in church.

  • LRA

    JC-

    Just havin’ myself a little fun! :) Hope you are well too.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    P,

    “You were never a Christian and you aren’t now”

    It’s so nice of you and non-hypocritical, too, to criticize the non-religious for Christian-bashing and then to bash the non-religious immediately afterwards…NOT.

    Would Jesus approve of that tactic?

    It doesn’t take a miracle to see why we think Christians are no more moral than any other group of people living in this world.

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    “…it’s insane that people are caring enough to comment…”

    I LOVE the fact that this comment was made in the same thread he/she said it was “insane” to comment in.

    Translation: “I am insane.”

  • Frank

    Daniel, You were never a true Christian, NOR were you ever a true Scotsman.

    Anybody who didn’t get that, Google “no true Scotman” and read the wikipedia entry.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    You got auto-moderated for the vulgarity. Keep your comments civil, and you won’t have to worry about moderation.

  • reckoner71

    OK, wow. Now he’s picking on John “I’d step in front of a bus for any atheist on this site” C?

    I take back my comment about the nap; anyone have any meds?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    The Highwayman,

    We don’t have to misconstrue anything you’ve said.

    Your thoughts are already misconstrued enough on their own.

  • John C

    Somehow in that short little post you managed to hurl four more edifying terms our way…ASSHOLE, TWIT, LIMITED INTELLIGENCE and MORON. Is this how you see Christ? Do you think this is spirit-led?

    Until Christ be formed in you…Gal 4:19

    Peace…

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Wow, I really don’t know what points you’re trying to make here.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    “tired old rhetoric”

    Yeah, same old, tired Earth revolving around the Sun!

    Why does science have to undermine religious beliefs?

    Facts are stubborn things.

  • Jabster

    If you disagree why don’t you post your evidence for the views you have put forward and no trying to “dis-prove” accepted theories doesn’t imply your idea is true I mean actually posting credible evidence for why your idea is true.

  • LRA

    I think Highwayman’s in the LORD’S ARMY!!!!!!

    BEEFFFFCAAAAKKKKEEEEE!!!!!

    HE’LL TAKE ON STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN ANYTIME!!!! JUST BECAUSE HE’S A HEATHEN!!!!!

    ;)

  • LRA

    Nope. You’re an ignoramus.

    And that’s the final word.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Projection, yes or no?

    The real hypocrites are the ones who criticize the non-religious for not being open-minded or civil enough, and then leave as soon as their points are refuted, and then are stubbornly determined to have the last word, too.

  • reckoner71

    Now, had you said my arrogance was monumental… there might be repeatable, demonstrable evidence for that.

    What can I say? God did it.

  • boomSLANG

    Lanii: “…. the Ten Commandments stand all over D.C. – because as a governing document they are foundational and do not need cultural updating. We will always believe that lying, murder, adultery are wrong and punishable. For example.”

    To my recollection, there is no “Commandment” that states “Thou shalt not murder”. The word “murder”, more often than not, implies maliciously intentful, unnecessary killing.

    Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable/”moral” to kill another human being. Say, in self-defense, for a quick example. In other words, “Thou shalt not kill” is not absolute; it is up to human beings to intepret the circumstances, and act accordingly. The same goes for being deliberately deceptive…i.e..lying. There are times when being deliberately deceptive is the “moral” thing to do. If you need examples, let me know.

  • reckoner71

    No one ever asks at the end of church, “are there any questions?”

    They aren’t used to back and forth; they’re used to following orders.

  • Kim

    Hi Teleprompter,

    I didn’t mean it as Christians do not have to act more moral than other ppl. Of course, we have to carry ourselves well at all times so it doesn’t reflect badly on the Word of God.
    My exact words were “We don’t have to act all high and mighty just coz we’re Christians”. I meant high and mighty here as one who thinks he/she has never done anything wrong, and been living a blameless life. I have come across Christians like that, who think they are without faults at all, but they do not realise that we are all humans and we make mistakes. Having Jesus in our lives doesn’t mean we suddenly become free of faults and then start judging others for theirs. That’s why I said to be humble. Sorry for not making that clear enough in my previous comment.

  • LRA

    No. Telling teenagers that abstinence is the ONLY choice DOESN’T work!

    EVIDENCE:

    http://www.tfn.org/site/PageServer?pagename=JustSayDontKnow

    I had an abortion at the age of 26. No, I am absolutely not proud of what I did. BUT I was not ready to be a parent and I do NOT regret doing it.

    And I’m here to tell you that you do NOT know what I went through. You couldn’t possibly. It didn’t happen to you. PERIOD.

  • doesntworkthatway

    I’m a man. I’ll tell you the same thing.

    You can’t understand what it’s like to be pregnant.

    Neither can a woman who hasn’t yet been pregnant, for that matter.

    It has nothing to do with being smart or being “a complete moron.” It’s a matter of experience, and in this case it’s an experience you’ll never have.

    But I’m amused at how quickly you accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being sexist.

  • http://taramokhtari.tripod.com taramokhtari

    Good on for you speaking your mind and standing up for yourself, mate.

    It can be difficult not to develop unfair biases based on a bad personal experience, though.

    Speaking from personal experience, and many in depth conversations with friends who have had abortions, as well as having pretty close knowledge of the feminist standpoint (some of which I agree with, some which I don’t like)… I’d say “choice” is not a word to be underrated.

    In the spirit of not judging each other, without choice we’re saying there’s only one right way – and that removes the complexity and poignancy from our individual paths.

  • LRA

    AND you still haven’t answered my original two questions:

    Why don’t you spend your time counseling people about the PREVENTION of pregnancy in the first place? Hmmmm? If you think that abstinence only sex ed programs work, then you (and Sarah Palin with her knocked up teenager) are WRONG!

    Further, why don’t you spend your time helping the children that are ALREADY HERE? Hmmmm? Lots of children are starving to death all over the world, but you choose to spend your time and your resources on bringing MORE children into this world??? Really???

  • Jabster

    Abstinence doesn’t work?

    Prison doesn’t stop murder, but we don’t legalize it.

    You seem to be missing the point — the reason prison is used is because it seems the best method we have for dealing with a variety of crimes. Teaching abstinence is not considered the best method we have to acheive the required aims.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Kim,

    Thanks for clarifying that.

  • reckoner71

    @Kim

    I’m not sure you’ve answered Teleprompter’s question, however.

    If I may pin my own curiosity to his query, I think we’re wondering if a Christian’s morality comes from God, why do many Hindus and Muslims and atheists lead moral lives with no regard for Christian theology?

    (did I get that right?)

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    That was pretty sad…

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    iamtheenemy,

    I wasn’t referring to you.

    I was referring to The Highwayman.

    You shouldn’t have made that assumption. It offends me that you are trying to make me look hypocritical in this instance.

    I give religious people the benefit of the doubt.

    I have had entirely civil discussions with many Christians (including those who have families). Ask John C, for instance. He’ll back that up.

    What I was referring to was The Highwayman saying that he was leaving and that he wanted the final word.

    Nothing I said about him applied to any other Christian. Please don’t take my words out of context.

  • doesntworkthatway

    “Unlike a lot of you, I have children.”

    Unlike a lot of us, you’re a presumptuous jerk.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    Some of us have children and live in areas of the globe where the day, or the night, is still young.

  • John C

    Maybe not a city bus…but perhaps a minivan?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    reckoner71,

    You’re right; Kim really didn’t answer my question.

    You’re 100% right as far as what I wanted to know.

  • Kim

    Hi again,

    So I didn’t answer Teleprompter’s question? Haha, I thought he misunderstood what I said in the last paragraph so I just clarified that. Sorry Teleprompter!

    Okay, anyway..I’ve never thought that non-Christians do not lead moral lives themselves. Personally, I believe that every individual, regardless of religion, is morally suited. This arises from having conscience or the sense of right and wrong. We are all created with a conscience, that’s why even God-less ppl can lead moral lives. To me, and I speak only for myself here, Christianity helps in the struggles faced in this ever changing world. There’s reassurance and the Word of God for me to always fall back on and get in the right direction every single time my moral qualities are put to the test.

    I do not understand where this issue of correlating morals and religion came about, but there is more to religion than just leading a moral life, in my honest opinion.

    I hope I answered your query, I really tried making it as clear as possible this time. It’s difficult to phrase everything right when my mind is filled with chromatography and ions and molecular weights right now..yeah, I’m doing assignments. Haha..

    Good day y’all!

  • reckoner71

    @Kim

    You said it: reassurance. It sounds like you’re not looking to the Bible or God for moral guidance; you’re getting it right on your own, and just checking the answers at the back of the book, so to speak, for confirmation.

    I hope I’m not hawking on your wording, but that is exactly Teleprompter’s point: people make moral decisions all the time without a specific (or any) religious direction or belief in gods.

    Returning a lost wallet or helping a blind person feels good because it’s the right thing to do, not because someone is watching.

    Good luck on the assignments…

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    reckoner71,

    Yes, you have articulated very well some of what I was trying to say.

    And yes Kim, I wish you the best on your projects.

  • reckoner71

    I don’t have LRA’s impressive formal education (read: Seriously. Wow.) or a storied theological past, but I can cut to the crux with the best of them.

  • LRA

    Thanks Reck! You are super smart. No education needed (I, on the other hand, probably needed it!)

  • Kim

    reckoner71,

    You’re right, in a way. As an example, if I need to make a morally right decision on a simple issue, I can do that on the spot without needing a religious direction. In contrast, if I was at a T-junction in making a decision and am not sure which would be the best one, I would seek God and His Word.

    My sentence before the word ‘reassurance’ was,

    “Christianity helps in the struggles faced in this ever changing world.”

    So when I mentioned reassurance, I meant that in these times, some ppl are getting easily swayed by this and that till they are blinded from even knowing what’s right and wrong. So I go to the Bible for reassurance that God will help me to always be discerning and not get swayed easily as well, and help me remain strong in my faith and in His promises.

    Gah, sorry for always not explaining fully.

    And thanks a lot for the kind wishes! :) One down, one more to go!

  • doesntworkthatway

    Watch out, John C, if you convince Highwayman that Christianity isn’t a reason to feel superior to other people, he just might lose hope and leave the fold. ;)

  • reckoner71

    Even I was ready to quote Christ back to that guy… :P

  • LRA

    And Just in case you can’t follow the link to the actual report, here it is:

    http://www.tfn.org/site/DocServer/ExecSum-SexReport09.pdf?docID=982

    “I am the enemy”– Persecution card number 5 today folks!!!

  • John C

    I’m an equal opportunity post’er, I don’t discriminate…lol

  • LRA
  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    I love your new avatar — that is perfect!

  • John C

    Wanna know what He really looks like Reck? Receive His spirit within and then go look in the mirror.

    There are two birth’s a man may experience. One is the natural, physical birth and the other a spiritual rebirth in the unseen realm. The latter is of an eternal quality, not subject to death and decay.

    Christ in you…

  • Sock

    Are you trying to tell me that atheists aren’t having abortions everytime they get pregnant because it’s fun!? That some of them actually have children!?!!

    What the hell. I think I’ve been on the wrong blog my entire life! I need to find a place that really is pro-abortion, not pro-choice! Children are horrible, and should be stopped as soon as possible!

    /sarcasm

  • LRA

    Yes, and atheists should torture kittens! It’s fun!

  • John C

    Hey Sock…sorry I bailed out on you last night, but it was 4am my time and I was exhausted…we can pick it back up again another time if you want to…take care.

  • reckoner71

    I was actually in tears laughing when they unveiled him.

  • Sock

    No problem mate. I ended up going to sleep not long after myself.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Laodicea?

    Since I didn’t understand the allusion, I had to Google it.

    It seems that you are implying that lukewarm believers are the problem for Christians.

    You haven’t answered my question.

    I didn’t ask you why Christians aren’t moral. I asked why *non-Christians* are moral.

  • reckoner71

    You are a man made of Kool-Aid, John C, and I dig that about you.

  • John C

    Yea…that Kool-Aid is blood red too Reck.

    Until the child (within) ascends the high tower of reason and slays the Goliath that keeps you bound…

    mwaaahhhaaaawww

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    And for the record, most of the Christians I know are decent and moral people.

    That’s not the problem for me.

    If Christianity or its god is the source of morality, why are other religious people or why are non-religious people moral?

    Christianity *doesn’t* explain this.

  • John C

    Cuz “morality” doesnt come from God. Morality implies an either/or choice, a right or wrong. God is not a plurality in nature, He is One, and therefore not divided. What we call morality is essentially the left over fragments from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, man’s desparate attempts to “be like God” knowing right from wrong instead of abiding in innocence, purity as was our original paradiasical condition.

    There is no duality in the spirit, no potential for both right & wrong, good & evil…only for good. So we are encouraged to walk in the spirit and then we wont live from a divided Self, wont fulfill the lusts of the lower, fleshly nature.

  • LRA

    Excuse me? You know more about evolution than I do? I have a master’s degree in molecular biology and neuroscience from Columbia University (which is in the TOP TEN in the nation). And what does evolution have to do with abortion?

    And I NEVER said I LIKED, I said it was the RIGHT CHOICE for me.

    Damn, you are a presumptuous S.O.B. aren’t you?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    iamtheenemy,

    Of what are you unconvinced concerning evolution?

    Please explain — I would like to know.

  • doesntworkthatway

    “I was a pre-med student at Vanderbilt University majoring in Molecular biology at the time of my abortion.”

    Holy crap. I’ve heard of late term abortions, but never after the 900th week!

    Oh wait, you meant your wife’s abortion. Not your abortion. You’ve never had an abortion.

    “I probably know more about evolution than you do and I am unconvinced.”

    This should be rich. Come on, tell us, why couldn’t evolution happen?

    “Funny, you can find stories about people who liked their abortion but the fact remains, you can easily find tons and tons more people who regret it.”

    Possibly because unlike the catchphrase “I regret my abortion,” the pro-choice movement has not had a well-funded sloganeering campaign around the phrase “I wish I hadn’t gotten pregnant in the first place, but I’m thankful that at least I had the option of a legal and safe surgery.” I suppose that’s not very catchy, anyway.

    http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/227769643.html

    http://www.priestsforlife.org/pressreleases/08-01-17snm.htm

    Yay, astroturf.

    I know a guy who very much regrets needing heart surgery. Therefore we should make heart surgery illegal!

  • Sock

    Wow, LRA. As if your blog posts weren’t illuminating enough, now I find out that you’re extremely well educated, too. Huzzah.

  • LRA

    AND I would like to add that if people *regret* it then A) it doesn’t mean it was the WRONG choice for them, it just means they weren’t happy about it and B) it is exactly fundies like you that SHAME women about this and then offer up your JESUS-PILL as the drug to cure it.

    Ridiculous!

  • LRA

    Thanks!

    Yeah I’m still working!!! That PhD is just outta… if I stretch a bit further… I can almost get it….

  • LRA

    Oh, and “Iamtheenemy” (sooo persecuted)

    Quit referring to it as *my abortion*. You didn’t have one , seeing as how you are MALE.

  • reckoner71

    In my humble, uneducated man-opinion: there is no bad reason or time for an abortion.

    Bringing an unexpected, unplanned for, and perhaps unwanted, child into a situation where there are not financially and mentally prepared, committed, loving willing parents is a recipe for resentment and regret.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    LRA,

    In all fairness, I think it was his wife who had the abortion, and it seems that it would give him a personal stake in the matter, for whatever that’s worth.

    Of course, it doesn’t mean that he’s right, or even that his opinion is valid.

    Just a nit-picky note, there.

  • LRA

    I hear you Tele- but he’s using it as an argument from authority (I know what it’s like, so I can now counsel women on this matter). He said it just a few posts up. AND I don’t buy it. That’s my beef with it.

  • Sock

    Personally speaking, as someone with testicles…

    If I got someone pregnant, and she had an abortion, I’d like to be a part of that in as much as I could be.

    While maybe I didn’t have the procedure done to me, it was done to someone I care for very deeply, and I could feel as awful as I possibly could on her behalf. Empathy is a powerful thing.

    Yes, I can never, personally, have an abortion. But that doesn’t mean that how I felt about everything around that situation is trivial.

  • LRA

    Yes, I just addressed this with Reck just below here.

  • Frank

    @LRA – Yeah, I am kinda with Reck, Sock, and Tele here. As a sensitive, empathetic (kinda wussy, actually) man, I would hope to claim a shared stake (though not nearly an equal one) in the mental and emotional anguish that goes with the abortion of my potential son/daughter, while fully acknowledging complete ignorance of the accompanying physical trauma.

    I know you’ve addressed this already, just feel I gotta represent us sensitive menfolk out there.

    Also, isn’t it weird how this comment thread has been, like, LRA’s biography? It’s been more about LRA than Lyin’ Pastor Chris!

    (P.S. I just read some more of the below comments and realize just how well-trod this ground is. Consider mine just one more voice in the chorus)

  • LRA

    Frank- I’m sorry. I clearly didn’t express enough how IMPORTANT the man is in these times. For that I am sorry– please understand that I just assumed it (and yes I know that makes an ass out of me). The point is this: you have EVERY right to have involvement/say so in your relationships… and I respect that to no end! But I don’t want strangers telling me what to do with my body! Only the men involved (whose opinions are EXTREMELY important!) can say what we should do… together.

  • LRA

    “Also, isn’t it weird how this comment thread has been, like, LRA’s biography? It’s been more about LRA than Lyin’ Pastor Chris!”

    Not sure what to make of this comment… are you criticizing me? If so, then why?

  • Kim

    Hi there!

    Oh don’t worry about it, I mentioned the hatred and disgust part due to some comments earlier which I thought was rather generalizing. I’m cool about it, though.. :) And I fully understand where you’re coming from.

    Thanks much!

  • LRA

    Thanks. And it’s not that men can’t have opinions about this. They just can’t have opinions about MY body unless they are directly involved. (And Iamsopersecuted is not… he pokes his nose into OTHER people’s business).

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    LRA,

    As Sock pointed out above, I think the man *would be* involved in such a situation (getting someone pregant).

    You said that you addressed his comment with your reply to Reck, but I’m not sure how that helps.

    I’m not trying to be a prick here, I just think you don’t give men or their empathy enough credit here (though I do agree with you that that other guy was overplaying the argument from experience).

  • LRA

    Just to be totally clear… whatever this guy and his wife went though is their business. I’m sure it was difficult (it was difficult for me). However, that does not give them the right to go around poking their noses into other people’s business (in the form of “counseling”– does he even have a license to counsel people?)

    I’m sure that if this situation arose for any of the men on this post, they would want to be a part of it (as well they should).

    I would also like to add:

    This guy still hasn’t answered the related questions to this issue-

    -Why does he not spend time and other resources on pregnancy prevention (like good sex ed programs– seeing as how abstinence only programs don’t work)

    -Why does he not spend time and other resources on helping children that are already here, but born into awful circumstances?

  • Sock

    I’m just going to take a stab in the dark at the answers, LRA, and he can refute them if I’m totally off, but…

    Why doesn’t he advocate proper sex ed as opposed to abstinence? Willful ignorance of the facts, because it’s not the current widely held stance of most popular religion and churches to support condoms and birth control. If it was, his opinion would change.

    Why doesn’t he do anything to help the children already in this world who’re living in deplorable conditions?

    That’s easy. Doing that requires too much sacrifice. Money, effort, work. In the end, he doesn’t WANT to be in Africa, working his ass off to make their life better, doing everything that he can, even if it’s not very much, because that’s all he can do. He lives a much better life here, where he doesn’t have to give up hardly anything to be a pompous ass who gets to tell others what to do and how to feel.

  • LRA

    Thanks Sock! And if I offended you with my zealous but somewhat insensitive smackdown of Iamsopersecuted’s argument from authority, then I do sincerely apologize– and that goes to Tele as well!!!

  • Sock

    Not at all! I’m pretty hard to offend. I fully respect your stance, I just wanted to clarify your point. While I understand that you were speaking directly about the Christian, that in situations where a man and a woman are in a relationship, and the woman has an abortion, then the man’s opinion DOES matter then.

    You’re right, however, that no one outside of the relationship (with an exception of close friends and family, but even their opinion is limited) has any right to put in their two cents whatsoever.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    LRA,

    Hey, don’t worry about it. I’m not offended either; it is pretty difficult to offend me.

    However, I do try to point out where I disagree with people when I have disagreements.

    I think discussions go better overall if people agree not to become offended.

  • LRA

    Absolutely! I certainly agree with you 100%!

  • LRA

    “Absolutely…” That was directed at Sock.

    To Tele, I say. Good man. I try very hard not to get offended, but it is sometimes difficult when people go around presuming stuff about you (over and over and over…)

    ;)

  • loswl

    I believed in my imaginary friend long before my coincidences. :)

  • loswl

    Read, he’s the one that says, it’s a waste of time. :) I just stated the obvious.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    nonlukewarm,

    So according to you, Jesus said that one must have child-like faith to be saved?

    One must accept his message with a child-like faith to be saved, correct (according to your beliefs)?

    However, we both know that children will believe almost anything they’re told.

    So Jesus (according to your beliefs) is advocating an attitude which may lead people to believe in the wrong religion!

    If people have a child-like attitude towards Islam, they will become devout Muslims, and miss the salvation of Jesus, according to your beliefs.

    So to summarize, you should have a child-like faith, but only belief in the right claim you get you saved.

    Does this bother you, this inconsistency?

  • reckoner71

    Can you tell us why you believe all that?

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    @nonlukewarm wrote:

    >You don’t get saved by being a good person as so many >people think. You get saved by accepting Jesus Christ as >your Lord and Saviour period.

    and also:

    >The sad thing is today you sometimes can’t tell a true >Christian (Believer) from a Non Christian (Non Believer). In >a lot of cases both curse, drink, go to clubs, talk walk and >live in the flesh instead of the spirit.

    The first quote explains the second quote. If you believe you are saved by faith and not good works then there is no reason to behave well, is there? If behaving well is simply the result of being filled with the spirit after being saved by faith then the spirit, if there is one, is lacking quite a few characteristics normally considered by the faithful to be god-like. It appears to be lazy, distracted, incompetent, insincere, unconcerned, weak, powerless, stupid or just plain uninterested in those it is filling.

    Other possibilities are the writers of the New Testament were wrong about the gifts of the spirit and who and how one is filled by it. Perhaps the spirits which filled them were passing along false information or falling down on their job of divine influence at the time. Is sleeping on the job a divine sin?

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    nonlukewarm, you said:

    “You get saved by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour period. It is a free gift from God and not of works that we do.”

    But … isn’t “accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour” something that we “must do” in order to “get saved”?

    In other words … if salvation is a “free gift,” why then are there strings attached … i.e., having to “accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour”? If we cannot “do” anything to earn salvation, why then must we “do” that?

    Just wondering how “free” a gift with strings attached, can be … ?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    I don’t doubt that.

  • loswl

    Cool stuff LRA.

    I will leave all of it behind, hopefully for another person that is hardworking & believes in my imaginary friend or not, it will not matter.

  • reckoner71

    Amen.

  • loswl

    I see you didn’t read my comment, wow, now you’re wasting time. I said I became a Christian when I was 16 years of age. This “coincidence” thing did not happen until I was in my 30′s. Reading good.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    loswl,

    I did read your comment. That’s why I didn’t doubt it.

    The assumption of sarcasm or snark was not merited. Especially since I was being entirely honest and straight-forward.

    Come on, it’s called the benefit of the doubt. ;)

  • loswl

    My apologies :) and I respect your honesty. I thought your comment was “I doubt that”. My eyes are going over to the darkside. Luke help me! :)

  • John C

    Tele…

    Pardon the interruption…just thought this old quote on the topic may be insightful to you or your audience. Respectfully, I dont think you are interpreting the “Child-likeness” issue correctly, hope this is helpful…

    “THERE IS A CHILDHOOD into which we have to grow, just as there is a childhood which we must leave behind. One is a childishness from which but few of those who are counted wisest among men have freed themselves. The other is a child-likeness, which is the highest gain of humanity”. GM

  • amae02

    “I’ve noticed that there are Christians who believe that all morality is derived from the Judeo-Christian bible and that anyone who does not subscribe to that particular belief system has no moral or ethical compass at all. This belief is untrue, and a symptom of ignorance.”

    I think most people would agree that no person is without any kind of moral or ethical compass. I’m not sure which Christians made you think that Christians in general believe anyone who doesnt follow Christ does not have a sense of morality within their being.
    I would be offended by a person claiming this and claiming they are a follower of Christ at the same time. The reason being: one who follows Jesus believes that God the father not only exists and is eternal and perfect, but he is the creator of the universe and all within it… meaning all of humanity…
    …meaning he instilled a conscience, or a “moral compass”, if you will, within each one of us– without excluding those who choose to ignore his love and grace.

    there are many “good people” out there, who are not christians, who do all kinds of great things because, i personally believe, there is goodness in everyone. The Bible tells the story in Genisis of Adam and Eve. They were created to be glorious beings, friends of God. They messed this up and bam–the world knew sin. Yet the plan for perfect goodness was still known by Adam and Eve. Now they just needed someone to save them because they chose (with their free will given to them by God–he’s not forcing anyone to choose him..) to know sin. That doesn’t mean they only did sinful things…they did good things. They lived off the land, they had children…etc.

    It’s the same story with you and I.
    We have this conscience within us, and we want to do good. But we also live in a world full of bad, obviously. Why? Our free will.

    Oh I could go on forever on tangents.
    I won’t.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    John C,

    I think our area of confusion (at least one of them, lol) is which part of child-likeness is to be emulated?

    Which qualities (according to your beliefs) are desirable, that are child-like?

  • reckoner71

    But you cannot sell belief in Santa Claus to adults; the leaps that need to be made are too fantastic. The only ones the Santa story will work with is children. And the only people buying supernatural mythology are those with child-like minds.

    I don’t mean stupid; I mean naïve. Not unintelligent; unwise. You have to be willing (wilfully ignorant) to take this stuff on faith; to believe without evidence.

  • loswl

    I’m not here to argue religions or drag anyone into my world, if so I would have left a link to my blog :) There’s nothing wrong with searching out the truth as long as we know that the real truth will always set you free. Good hunting.

  • Sock

    Which, I think, has been the experience that most of the regulars to this blog have had first hand.

    In leaving their religious past behind them, they have found that the truth (in their case, atheism) has set them free.

    They’ve found spiritual fulfillment in the accepted absence of the spirit. Far more freedom than they found in the denial of the absence of the spirit.

  • Sock

    Well said.

  • LRA

    I’d like to get “Iamtheenemy”‘s take on this:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/07/vatican-defends-excommuni_n_172810.html

    Vatican defends excommunication of raped 9 year old’s abortion.

  • reckoner71

    It gets better…

    The incestuous pedophile is not excommunicated. He’s welcome back in the church, as his crime is “not as bad as taking a life having/performing/approving an abortion.”

    despicable |diˈspikəbəl|
    adjective
    deserving hatred and contempt : The Vatican is a despicable organization.

  • Jabster

    IIRC I think that even the Catholic Church realised that this was a bit of of publicity lemon and have changed their minds on this one. Not sure if I can find a link though.

  • Mogg

    Actually, I know a pastor who quite regularly calls for questions at the end of a sermon.

  • reckoner71

    He abandoned our email debate eight days ago after I asked him why he employed logic and reason to govern all other decisions in his life save for the most important one a Christian could make.

    I hope he’s not sitting in a cave somewhere questioning his faith. I would feel terrible.

    Caves are so dark and damp.

  • reckoner71

    Now THAT is awesome.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    andydbrown,

    Okay, what explains the non-hypocritical and faithful Jews, Hindus, Muslims, if Christianity or its god is the basis for morality?

    Christianity isn’t really able to explain this, is it?

  • http://animepress.wordpress.com/ editor

    Maybe because Christianity, above all other religions like to evangelize and demonize other religions? The one religion that preaches its God as the One and Only, denouncing all other religions as heathenism? Maybe if you remember the things you preach, you’ll not be too surprised at why people love to look for hypocritical or un-christian Christians but couldn’t care less to apply the Christian standard to other religions or secular people for that matter.

  • Question-I-thority

    Interesting how people love to look for the “unfaithful or hypocritical Christians” but almost never look for unfaithful and hypocritical atheists….

    Exactly how can atheists be the unfaithful unfaithful?

  • Jabster

    Oh please what he did wasn’t that bad … “are deeply offensive.”; “you have disgraced not only yourself, but the values of the church you represent.”; “the sole purpose of spreading hatred”; “has hurt and insulted very many people”; “your utterly abhorrent behaviour.”

    Sorry I can’t say I agree with any of this. He did something a bit daft and has apologised publicly on the blog i.e. the blog where he made the original posts — why should he have to apologise to all atheists?

  • Jabster

    I always (well almost) go for giving people the benefit of the doubt and letting them prove that my trust was mis-placed. I had a friend who would never give anyone the benefit of the doubt and in fact always presumed that people where ‘up to something’ — can’t say it set her in good stead.

  • Mogg

    What, only some? :-)

  • Matt

    Once again I don’t understand why people have to announce that they are praying for you. Does it make the prayer more effective? Because obviously those of us you are referring to DON’T believe in prayer. So why tell us you are doing it? Just to rub it in as some kind of jab (which obviously means nothing to us)?

  • DarkMatter

    He never says he is a liar or lying. He apologize for allowing his debating to go out of hand and unchristian-like.

    Are you saying his apology is a lie and you forgive him even though his apology is a lie though he never say so?

    It is better that you pray for him if you like praying so much.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Just curious — if your pastor committed a homosexual act and was caught and apologized, would you forgive him and still have him be your pastor? You wouldn’t want to hold that against him since he repented, right?

  • boomSLANG

    jameshknight: “I am a Christian, and I do believe that lying is sin. Preacher or not.”

    Being deliberately deceptive, aka, “lying”, is not an absolute. Thus, even if we grant that “lying” is a “sin”, in the end, this supposed “sin” is not absolute. In fact, it is we human beings who evaluate a given circumstance and decide what the “right” choice is. Clearly, sometimes the right choice is to be deliberately deceptive. If you need examples, I’ll provide a few.

    “But I also believe in forgiving, and he has apologized and I would never hold against him what he has done.”

    ‘Very admirable of you. But I find it odd that no amount of apologizing is good enough for the “God” you claim to worship; only “belief” pardons you. Yes, it is only when you believe in (and worship) biblegod that he stops holding your flaws “against” you.

    “Hang in there preacher.”

    Yes, commence to spreading unconfirmed, religiously revealed dogma as Universal Truth, while striving to live up to this supposed “Divine” Universal standard that you are told you cannot live up to in the first place.

    “We all fail at some time or other, at some thing or other.”

    Yes, it’s true. However, this is not evidence for the existence of invisible, conscious beings, nor any of its superstition-based byproducts..i.e..”sin”, “devils”, etc.

    “I am still human and still just a sinner saved by Grace.”

    We have plenty of credible evidence that you, and the rest of us, are “still human”. But what is this bit about “saved by Grace”? By the statement, “saved by Grace”, I’ll take it that you mean that your innate unworthiness/untrustworthiness in the eyes of your creator-god is simply overlooked, because you give this “God” what it ultimately wants..i.e..unquestioning/unwavering worship. Notice, this doesn’t rid you of your “sinful” nature. In the end, there could very well be just as many murderers, liars, adulterers in “Heaven”, as “Hell”, according to the Christian philosophy. I call that a severely screwed up system.

    “Still like the site, and still praying for some of you.”

    ‘Still dislike superstition dressed up in religion, and still hoping reason will find you.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    @jameshknight
    Has it occurred to you that Jesus never admitted to praying for anyone? The model prayer he is supposed to have taught his disciples did not include prayer for others.

    Nor did Jesus pray in public. None of his sermons to the public included leading them in prayer.

    Jesus went away by himself to pray. In fact, he expressly told his disciples not to pray in public.

    Why don’t you follow his example? Aren’t you and other Christians supposed to be filled with the same spirit of god that Jesus had within him?

    And while we are on the topic of the divine spirit, please note that Jesus was apparently filled with this at his baptism under John the Baptist but he failed to speak in tongues. Does that mean that he was filled with a false spirit?

  • Roger

    Here’s to hoping you’re not wasting your “prayers” on me!

  • plutonearth93

    Evil is the absence of goodness, just as darkness is the absence of light.

  • LRA

    Good cannot exist without “evil”/bad. Just as north cannot exist without south.

  • DarkMatter

    “It’s not God who creates evil. It’s Satan!”

    yehôvâh also said:
    I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.(Isa 45:7 )

    At least the so-called God admit it.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    It’s pretty hard to tell if your site is real or satire.

    The audacity to think you are a “real” Christian compared to the other thousands we know is astounding, but you might actually be that arrogant.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Perhaps the “atheist religion” puzzles you because you’re thinking of it as a religion, when really it’s just a negative position on the existence of God.

  • reckoner71

    …I limit those comments on my site because of the very firestorm it causes.

    What a way to promote a true sense of idea exchange.

    UF allows everyone to come and exchange ideas, both barrels loaded, as long as we are who we say we are. I’d rather fight a mongoose than a snake.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Like I said in my post, we all make mistakes. But when you’re leading people and telling them how to live their life and that God demands them live a certain way, it’s a bigger deal when someone acts hypocritical.

    For instance, if some guy has gay sex, then who cares, right? But if your pastor does it and he condemns homosexuality from the pulpit every week, then it becomes a big deal, because he’s a deceitful hypocrite.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    andydbrown,

    Empathy and the golden rule: that’s my standard.

    By that standard, are most people decent or moral?

    Yes, I think they are. Does Christianity explain that? What do you think?

    And sure, you can defend the Bible all you want by saying that the Bible is true because it says so in the Bible, but a circular argument really isn’t enough for me to believe what you’re saying.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com Mark bey

    Daniel have you ever wondered why the holy rollers refuse to debate. Why they pull hit and runs. Why they refuse to answer direct questions such as LRAs question of whether or not abstinence only programs work.

    Wouldn’t you figure if they have the baddest dude of all time backing them (Yahweh) they would stay and defend the positions they take. The arguments they claim were true would be vigorously defended.

    I have a theory. Most holy rollers wont stay and debate because deep down inside (or maybe not so deep) they know they cant defend what they claim is true.

    Simply stated they know how dumb they appear especially after 3 or for comments.

  • Scott Cheatham

    Daniel, (and Mark)

    It IS a religion. Religion uses a faith base to establish beliefs…beliefs that science cannot prove using the proven scientific method. We take things on faith.

    An atheist has to have faith in their belief that there is NO God even though science cannot prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. A negative position as you assert would be more agnostic (no knowledge) leaning due to a lack of facts. An atheist, on the other hand, has facts but has formed a belief (i.e. faith) based on their subjective, yet reasoned thought, on the evidence at hand.

    So it IS a religion. You have to have faith in your belief that there is NO deity.

    Mark, I don’t care if you refer to me as a Holy Roller but please keep your comments in context. I did not criticize here but merely posted my thoughts. I may not be able to engage in a long debate simply because I have a job, I pastor a church, and am the father of three children who need help with homework each night. My time on the ‘net is limited to productive work and very little “surfing” to practice my apologetic. I take umbrage with your broad based comment about how “dumb” we appear. Perhaps some here have made silly comments and do not have much intellectual property to defend them but they do not speak for all of Christianity.

    What I find dumb is a belief system that bases itself on random chance being the reason all of this that we experience is here. That no intelligent hand designed anything but we all just morphed into being over millions of years. What I find dumb is how these same people will point to science and yet the scientific record cannot validate their faith. Carbon dating is flawed and we still have many missing links in the Darwin chain that cannot be explained. I do not point and laugh as I’ve seen done here but I sincerely look for educated answers from this group and rarely receive them. What I usually get back is some slanderous remark about how dumb my belief system is and how smart theirs is. That’s not an idea exchange…That’s elementary trash talking.

  • reckoner71

    @Mark bey

    In all fairness to believers, if you asked me to prove, or show with demonstrable, repeatable evidence that I was in love, I couldn’t do it.

    I know what happens inside me when I see her, or how comforted I am when I hear her voice (on the phone – not in my head). I know how I feel.

    So your hit-and-run theory is probably right: While I cannot prove the feeling of love, I’m also not claiming it created a physical universe millions of light years across.

  • DarkMatter

    For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1Co 1:22-25)

    They justify themselves with the above verses, so they actually think we are fools with God. In their worldview, they don’t think they are foolish, but faithful to their God.

  • Jabster

    “So my question is this: If a person operates within the evolutionary framework and accepts Smith’s scientific affirmations, is there a basis to criticize or reprimand the pastor? It seems to me that he was just following his natural wiring, and that in someway it benefitted the natural order.”

    Very simply put yes of course as he follows a framework that says that lying is a sin and therefore as a figurehead of this framework then he can be criticised. Practice what you preach is a very simple message.

  • trj

    Sorry, but I don’t buy that premise. The way you (or David Livingstone Smith) refer to lying is as some kind of instinctual behavior. In my experience, lying is always a deliberate conscious choice (at least after you achieve a certain age beyond early childhood).

    So, yes, I see a basis for criticizing the pastor. Although poorly thought through, he knew that he was lying when he did it. Even if we accept that some lies are not the product of conscious planning, most lies clearly are. I simply don’t see this hypothesis holding up. Evolution explains a lot of things, but it’s not the end answer to everything we do or think. In this case I think it’s been bent beyond breaking point.

    Also, a person creating benefits for himself doesn’t necessarily benefit “the natural order” (I suppose you refer to the human species?). Game theory will tell you this. Or you can simply open a newspaper and look at how people behave and the problems this creates for the human race.

  • doesntworkthatway

    You can’t take moral insight from evolution. That would be the naturalistic fallacy.

    Actions aren’t right or wrong because we evolved to be capable of them.

    Actions are right or wrong because of the effects they have.

    This is so obvious I’m amazed I have to spell it out.

  • http://www.boilthefrogs.com Abe Frogman

    So you believe in an afterlife? Then perhaps you also believe in God’s plan?

    A better argument than even the one I made above is, if you do believe in God and Heaven and Hell, as you appear to claim, then who are you to defy God’s plan? Do you assume that, because of an inconvenience, it is justifiable to defy God’s plan? Do you think that He would approve of that?

    There is no such thing as degrees of evil. Either something is evil or it is not. If you believe in the Hell of the Bible, which by your comment, it sounds as you do, then you might also believe in what Christ taught. He said that to commit adultery is to commit murder. In other words, to commit any sin is like committing all sins.

    You yourself are a bunch of cells, technically. You’re using the argument that abortion is just killing a bunch of cells. Well, that is exactly what you are. So killing yourself would be no different, except you are taking responsibility yourself, rather than willing that responsibility to someone else as you see fit. If you actually think that the world is overpopulated, then start fixing the problem with the man in the mirror. Don’t simply try to justify evil with rationality. It truly is thoughtless, selfish and perverted to think that your life is more valuable than any other present or future life on earth.

    Furthermore, it is a myth that unwanted babies grow up as social misfits. There are waiting lists for adoptive parents, so much that they adopt foreign children even just because they desire to have children so much. I happen to know plenty of adopted children who have wonderful lives.

    There is nothing on this earth more evil and more selfish than abortion. It is literally a sacrifice to Satan himself. It says that your life is more important than someone else’s. It is also saying that your plan is more perfect than that of your Creator.

    Now I realize that many of you are athiests here, and would say that God doesn’t exist. Well, I say truth has never been reliant upon the number of people who believe it. Truth just is…

  • John C

    Reck…you said these insightful words “I know what happens inside me when I see her, or how comforted I am when I hear her voice”. Anyone who has ever really been “in love” can relate to your words.

    But what is the source, where do these “feelings” truly originate? Is there more to man than meets the eye? One of the first revelations we experience is that…my body is not me. The real you is unseen. The “inside” you referenced is the realm of spirit where the deep mind, the deep heart resides. The soul houses the spirit wherein Christ would dwell.

    So if you multiply your “feelings” by say a G’zillion times or so, you start to have some appreciation for the regeneration process, man being “in-filled” with the Holy Spirit of Love…Himself. The ancient restoration of the climate of love we were originally made to live and love in.

    Most “God’s” want to be feared, bowed down to, obeyed, etc…but this is the God who longs to love and be loved. When we feel love, we get some sense of what He is all about for…”God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” 1 Jn 4:16. Whenever we experience, feel or express love we are really experiencing…God, that’s why it “feels” so good, so right cuz its the purpose for which we were created.

    Love is what knowing Him is all about.

  • reckoner71

    @John C

    Um. No.

    If I multiplied my feeling of love by a G’zillion, I’d have a really, really big feeling of love.

    And while I’ve prayed many, many times to my really, really big feeling of love, I still cannot get it to create a solar system.

    Not even a small moon. Like Endor.

  • boomSLANG

    “While I cannot prove the feeling of love…”

    True, but still, you can present credible evidence for the object of your affection, despite your inability to “prove” to anyone, absolutely, that you “love” this person.

  • reckoner71

    @boomSLANG

    A point purposely omitted because of its straw man nature.

    Believers are often eager to show that physical evidence for God is as intangible as the feeling of love, and when they get an atheist to admit being in love, they throw their arms up in jubilation, and claim victory.

    Unfortunately for them, drawing this loose parallel doesn’t explain their feeling creating trillions and trillions of complex, physical objects.

    And then everything gets awkward and quiet.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    You may not be able to prove love in a scientific context, but you can hypothesise and observe, allowing you to produce evidence that supports the theory that Person A “loves” Person B.

    How does Person A act around Person B? What are their stated feelings? Do they consider Person B’s happiness in their decision-making process? What happens to their pulse rate, voice stress patterns or pupil dilations in Person B’s presence?

    True, all this evidence could also be compatible with the theory that Person A is a very good actor with an ulterior motive for pretending to love Person B, so it’s not proof. But it’s not as evidence-free as some people like to pretend it it.

    I don’t just believe that my wife loves me; I know, based on obvious and compelling physical evidence.

  • John C

    Hmm…sounds a lot like John Chap’s 14 & John 17 to me…this intimate “knowing” you describe?

    Love is internal, intimate, inside…need I say more?

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    John:

    Yeah, the difference is that the actions that Jesus preforms on my behalf are more consistent with the hypothesis that he doesn’t exist than with the hypothesis that he loves me. he’s never bought me a present, or spoken to me, never asked how I feel…

    I know you’re going to suggest that he has done these things, and I’ve just not noticed, but isn’t that the point? I really can’t not notice that my wife cares for me.

  • John C

    Winter…I see what your saying, understand that “reality”. Consider this, if God IS love and anyone who loves abides in Him (1 Jn 4:16) then perhaps the love you “received” from your wife has another, higher origin? Not to imply she wasnt loving as well. Remember, Christ came…in the flesh and they didnt recognize Him? See that? I know it sounds crazy to you, just offering another viewpoint.

    Speaking of acts of love, Jesus told His disciples….”when you’ve done these things to others you’ve done them unto…Me”. See that? Then connect the dots and it takes you to a wonderful truth.

    Food for thought…all the best

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    John:

    OK…. So how can we test the hypothesis that Jesus exists and loves us? What evidence can we find that will help us distinguish between the two worldviews?

    Feel free to answer.

  • John C

    Love Him back, and see what happens. Then you will…really “know”.

    Love the Lord you God with ALL your heart, mind & strength.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    How can I love someone I don’t know exists? You’re putting the cart before the horse again, John.

  • DarkMatter

    Truth just is … 3 +………… 12, I presume.

  • reckoner71

    Just so I’m clear…

    You’re saying that the mother who approved, and the doctors who performed, and the 9-year-old who had the abortion are more evil than the incestuous pedophile rapist whose actions preceded and prompted it?

    I’m asking because I like to know what kind of upstanding, moral Christians I’m talking to.

  • Glenn

    Within the PASTOR’S framework (the Christian faith) there is certainly a basis to condemn lying. He did not live according to his faith, as he admitted.

    But that’s not my question. My question is: Within the typical evolutionary framework described by Professor Smith in his books, which have scientific backing, does a person have a philosophical basis to condemn lying?

  • DarkMatter

    For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1Co 1:22-25)

    They justify themselves with the above verses, so they actually think we are fools without God. In their worldview, they don’t think they are foolish, but faithful to their God.

  • DarkMatter

    No, unless he is a human, he can condemn little elohims.

  • Jabster

    “For the purpose of discussion, let’s just stay within the evolutionary framework.”

    … and what discussion is this — the lying for Jesus discussion or another one. Is the pastor the only one who is lying here?

  • Mogg

    Glenn: “So my question is this: If a person operates within the evolutionary framework and accepts Smith’s scientific affirmations, is there a basis to criticize or reprimand the pastor? It seems to me that he was just following his natural wiring, and that in someway it benefitted the natural order.”

    It is also in the evolutionary framework, as you put it, to call out cheaters because they are threaten the cohesion of the society – in this case, by misrepresenting an opinion he disagreed with and by lying to take more than his fair share of the discussion. We have a very strong drive towards “fairness”, and he wasn’t playing fair. Small cheating is generally tolerated because it oils the wheels of society (“Why, Mrs. Smith, you look ravishing today!”), but big cheating, or someone who is a habitual cheater, is almost always disapproved, and we love to see them get their comeuppance (see the banking and insurance sectors, or think of a serial philanderer).

    So yes, there is a basis within an evolutionary framework to criticise him, at least until he apologised and promised to play nicely with us other kids. At that point, it is part of the evolutionary framework to let him join in again, maybe with an eye on him for a while, just in case he turns out to be a habitual cheater. I hope that he can add something to the discussion in future – it’d be good to have more than one regular Christian poster, especially as John C’s Christianity is not exactly orthodox.

  • Question-I-thority

    Simply because certain traits may be valuable for the overall transmission of genetic material into the next generation does not infer that individuals must adhere to said traits. So if lying has somehow been selected for in the human species, each individual still has the opportunity to lie or not lie. Moral codes arise out of the evolutionary process and the resultant cultural systems .

  • Josh Hansen

    well said, well said.

    But actually i wanted to reply to plutonearth93, but could find no button for it….so i went to the nearest one.

    To plutonearth93, if you ever see this – your comparison is flawed. How can you define “evil?”

    It isn’t “the absence of goodness” like dark is the absence of light. Evil is defined by our personal morals. There is no such thing as cold, as a matter of fact. Cold is just a word WE make up to describe how a lack of comfortable heat makes us feel.

    Heat is a measurable energy. Cold is not an energy, it is just a descriptive word to roughly convey a comfort preference.

  • DarkMatter

    “Evil is the absence of goodness, just as darkness is the absence of light.”

    God created darkness by creating space and time, He is also the creator of darkness, therefore evil.

  • http://www.karenscatholicjournal.wordpress.com Karen

    Thanks for responding Mogg, but I do have to respectfully disagree. You use the example of cheating when it comes to rules and who makes them. The rule on cheating came from the Bible initially though, thousands of years ago and has continued to be “wrong” in our culture, or in most of us anyway. The Golden Rule is another example. This is hung up in a public school I was just in, and where did that come from? The Bible! The Bible tells us what is appropriate and what it not.

    As far as Christians go, I have to agree with you for sure. But understand that just because we are religious or just because someone considers themselves a Christian, does not mean we are perfect and don’t make mistakes. I have seen many Christians take the Bible and interpret it in a way that fits their lifestyle. Be it right or wrong, that’s what happens. So those Christians who proclaim to be so, may go out there and make mistakes, or maybe they hurt others on purpose, and that confuses us. But God loves them just as much as He loves me as I try very, very hard to follow Him and the plan He has for me.

    And I’m glad to hear that your friends and family play such an important role in your life. But I do have to point out, even if you don’t want to hear it :), that God uses us to teach us. God uses me and He uses everyone around me to shape my life. If I’m open to hearing Him, then I can take advantage of the graces He puts in front of me. It sounds like you’re open to them, but you don’t realize that He has given them to you. I know, I know, you don’t believe He exists, but I do. And I believe that the goodness that comes from the relationship with your friends and family is His work. It’s not yours and yours alone. He gives us the power and the free will to do as we wish, but it all comes down to the bottom line: If it wasn’t for God, we would not be here and we would not have all that we have.

    Thank you again for the respectful, intellectual discussion here!!

  • reckoner71

    @Karen

    But could you share with us why you believe all that?

    I’m not asking for you to prove God or show evidence for existence; a simple explanation to other humans in earthly terms the reason(s) why you believe what you believe.

    This is the crux of the atheist’s fascination with believers.

  • Mogg

    Hi Karen,

    The Golden Rule was not a Jesus original. There’s evidence that the Egyptians had heard of it 4000 years ago (2000 years before Jesus and several hundred years before Moses, in other words), and there’s a good chance that earlier societies had it as well, because it turns up in just about every society, regardless of whether they were ever exposed to Christianity. Confucius expressed it around 500 years before Jesus’ day, without any influence from Judaism or the other origins of our own modern society. The Greeks decided that it was the most basic moral code 400 years before Jesus, and the Hindus had also included it in their texts well before Jesus’ time.

    You might wish to interpret that as something put into humanity by God at the beginning, however you think the beginning of humanity came about. I think that the way that it shows up in other primates, all the more sophisticated the more complex the brain and social behaviour, indicates evolutionary adaption. It doesn’t need a god to explain it. I guess we’re just going to disagree on that one, though.

    By all means, I try to be open to learning from everyone that I meet and have some relationship with. Sometimes that includes learning what not to do. For me, trusting in a God that doesn’t actually do what the book he supposedly inspired says he does, falls into that category.

  • Jabster

    I posted earlier that I give the benefit of the doubt by default generally but for Glenn’s post I smell a rat that is flicking at my godbot radar — maybe I’m wrong but we shall see.

  • Glenn

    Thanks, TRJ, for a good reply. I am sincerely interested in what people think. Lying is a complicated issue. Smith’s work is interesting. There are many evolutionary thinkers who would disagree with you and believe that all human behavior is a product of chemical and neurological functions. If I’m not mistaken, that was the position of Francis Crick, for example. Personally, I agree more with your position, which is that nature plays a role in human behavior, but we are not completely predetermined. But Smith’s book takes a different stance.

  • John C

    Boomslang…

    We have had many discussions but it appears you have not made much progress in your understanding my unbelieving friend.

    Your comments here…”But I find it odd that no amount of apologizing is good enough for the “God” you claim to worship; only “belief” pardons you. Yes, it is only when you believe in (and worship) biblegod that he stops holding your flaws “against” you”.

    Congratulations, you just described “religion” to a tee. The idea that we appease an angry God by some act (of our own) to earn His approval, forgiveness, etc is not “bibleGod” as you call Him, that’s your unfounded assumption.

    Furthermore, you continue in error and make this doozy statement…”Notice, this doesn’t rid you of your “sinful” nature”.

    Uhh…wrong. You have NO UNDERSTANDING of what you call “theology”, what was transacted in the crucifixion & resurrection. I realize you dont believe, but if you are going to speak as one who knows then maybe you should really…know? Just a thought.

    You are one of the more angst-ridden and antagonistic responders and always oppositional in your tone. Since you insist on this approach, I suppose some accountability is warranted and fair at this juncture. So please, get it right, do some homework, learn the truth or…heaven forbid…listen to what John C is telling you about the true nature and character of God! I’ve only spent the last quarter century passionately pursuing Him, maybe I actually have some minor insight??

    I have told you that “religion” as you described above is not what Christ came to bring, not the true message & offer but you continue to claim otherwise despite your “unbelief”. What gives?

    C’mon Boomslang…

  • Glenn

    It’s the discussion that Daniel started with his post about the lying pastor. The question I’m raising, however, is broader. It’s about the nature of lying. That’s what Professor Smith writes about.

    Again, if Smith is correct about the evolutionary basis for lying, and if a person accepts the evolutionary framework as his or her philosophical reference, is there a basis to criticize lying?

    That seems like a simple question. It has nothing to do with whether or not the Christian faith is true or false. It has nothing to do with “little elohims”. And we’ve already established that the pastor was hypocritical and did something that inconsistent with his own framework. He readily admitted that.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Glenn,

    As I stated in my original response to you, yes, there is a basis to criticize lying.

    Honesty is intrinsically better than lying because it fulfills the most desires.

  • thesouldoctor

    I think that the “hanging out” on message boards thing is just all the exponential use of technology and communication. I mean some people I cannot even call on the phone anymore-I have to email them and text them. That is crazy!-Rev. Steve

  • thesouldoctor

    Dan:
    Congrats on your blog. We do not agree of course. But you obviously have a talent for reaching the heart of an issue.

  • reckoner71

    @John C

    You wouldn’t know Christ if not for religion. Religion has been tethered to belief in gods since day one, so no believer in any god would know that god without the dogma and tenets and practise of religion.

    I have significant disdain for the stealthy yet transparent way believers are trying to separate the two, now that religion is starting to fall out of favour.

    Sorry, John C, but believers and those controlling them did their jobs well, and you’re stuck with the 5,000 year-old marriage of religion and belief in gods.

  • boomSLANG

    Resident, proselytizing Christian, John C., brays….

    “Congratulations, you just described ‘religion’ to a tee. The idea that we appease an angry God by some act (of our own) to earn His approval, forgiveness, etc is not ‘bibleGod’ as you call Him, that’s your unfounded assumption.”

    Firstly, I didn’t say “bibleGod”. The word I used, and always use, was/is “biblegod”(lower case “g”) So, you disingenuously misrepresent me. But anyway, such tactics are expected at this point, so…….

    On the contrary—it is *you* who fails to make “progress”, in that, you cannot(will not) see anything outside your subjective “Christian” microcosm of metaphyscial mish-mash. As I described clearly in a resent post(that you ignored), you are extracting and extolling text from the exact same source that those “religious”, “wrong-minded” Christians do. Repeat: The. exact. same. source.

    Let’s review: The text found therein, is 100% DEPENDENT on the reader’s interpretation. There’s a mutiltude of passages to choose from that “support” practically ANY position one can dream up. It always boils down to what one’s personal views are. In any event, I’ve/we’ve asked you multiple times to provide some sort of *objective verification* that you are incapable of human error, specifically, incapable of misintepreting the supposed “Word of God”, while you claim over and over and over and over and over, ad nauseam, that any self-professed Christian whose views oppose your own subjective conclusions, are “wrong”, and labeled “religious”, by you, you insipid, self-righteous zealot.

    The rest of your post is not worthy of rebutal.

  • Glenn

    Well, if it matters, I will tell you that I am a Christian. I also accept evolutionary processes as playing a role nature (along with Francis Collins and many others). I’m not sure why asking a legitimate question, and suggesting that people read Smith, makes me a “rat.” I think that the question is legitimate regardless of whether or not I’m a Christian. It’s a question that’s being asked in the general scientific community, by Smith and many others.

  • John C

    You’re living by the realm of appearances Reck…by the external so its natural that you “see” things in that limited light.

    If church buildings, priests, bibles, all the externals went away, He would still reside within, that will never change, this is the true “christian” experience, the true life which you can never alter, thank God.

  • reckoner71

    He, is two thousand years old. If church buildings, priests, bibles, all the externals went away, you, two thousand years later, would have no idea who he is.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    @Glenn,

    As a neuro-psychologist I accept that not all lying is sinful. Sometimes is it the most moral thing that can be done in the circumstances.

    The so-called social lie benefits others when the bald truth merely causes pain and harm. Lying to prevent unwarranted or greater harm happening to others is ethical. “Sinning” to prevent evil is not a “sin”.

    The classic case is the scenario where a person sees a terrified man running down the street, followed shortly thereafter by a mean looking thug with a gun. The fleeing person can no longer be seen and there are several cross streets that he could have taken. The persuer asks you if you have seen a running man and, if so, in which direction he went. To someone who has a fundamentalist biblical view of lying as a sin in every instance the only possible moral response is to tell the truth. To someone who has outgrown this black and white thinking, the moral response is to lie.

    Now the Pastor, or you, could conceivably twist this view of ethics to claim that his lying was ethical and righteous because his motive was to save the immoral atheist from a fate worse than death. This will not wash because the Pastor used his deception to push his own false beliefs about what atheism is, how atheists behave and why convinced atheists (as opposed to default atheists who have not thought things through) get to be atheists. There is nothing ethical about this. It is merely devious stupidity.

  • LRA

    Glenn,

    I think you raise an important question here.

    This is my (only somewhat informed) opinion on the matter…

    Humans have evolved (in general with a few outliers) to be social creatures. If lying helps an individual to coexist with his/her group, then it is advantageous. Think about white lies. Are you really going to tell your wife that her butt looks big in those white pants? I don’t think so.

    I read a study about how people lie about themselves when they first meet people. They do this to exaggerate their good qualities and to downplay their bad qualities. We all know this as the phenomenon of putting ones best foot forward or perhaps as the honeymoon phase. It helps people to bond to each other.

    Now, every behavior may be classified on a scale of normalcy. It is normal, for example, to experience separation anxiety at a certain age (around 2-ish?) but at 20, we would consider separation anxiety abnormal.

    This gets at your question of pre-determinism and genetic influence on behavior. Most scientists would agree that genes influence behavior and that behavior is rewarded/punished based on environment. In this way, cultures spring up with varying stances on how people behave. Some cultures reward certain behaviors that other cultures punish. And, in short, nature is not separable from nurture.

    To tie this all up, the lying done by the pastor (who is forgiven and I’m not trying to bash at all) was outrageous because it wasn’t meant to unite the group, it was mean to divide. Further, it is usually not acceptable in our society (christian or otherwise) to stereotype people (ie all atheists are immoral), hence the moral outrage from people on this forum.

    So to answer your quesion: some lies are acceptable and some lies are not. It depends on degree, intention, and cultural norms.

    :)

  • trj

    Like you, I find predeterminism to be unlikely. Fortunately, most of society agrees with us; otherwise nobody could ever be made responsible for their actions, which is a rather ridiculous thought to me.

    For the same reason, I don’t think we are merely slaves of our evolutionary past, as Smith seems to think (?). No doubt a large part of our common moral foundation can be attributed to evolution, seeing as it generally benefits us to have some rules for social interaction, but I think intellect and conscious choice still play a large part in our actions and general behaviour.

    Although evolution has shaped it, our intellect is partially acquired through our life-long experience, and as such we are more than just beasts with large brains, controlled by our hard-wiring.

  • Jabster

    “I think that the question is legitimate regardless of whether or not I’m a Christian.”

    I’m not doubting that it’s a legitimate question just your motive for asking it especially as you ignored Teleprompter’s reply to your original post. Why did you not repsond to that — was it not the answer you desired?

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    @Bradianne

    I can identify with your position. I went through this stage on my way to finally letting go of it all. You may not go the full journey but you have come a long way. I admire you for that.

  • John C

    Amen…its called grace, love. And love is a much better motivator than fear could ever be.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    I see you prefer the ancient and poorly translated but beautifully poetic King James translation of the Bible.

    It strikes me as funny (in both senses) that fundamentalist Christians prefer to use a version which eshews the vernacular for a dialect which is spoken by no-one these days. The odd Olde English language assists in obscuring the meaning and impairing the average person’s ability to read it easily and at length.

    That is what the Latin Vulgate did for Catholicism. It was also full of translation errors, but at least these got re-translated into readable vernacular eventually.

    The KJV is the Fundi Vulgate.

  • http://www.karenscatholicjournal.wordpress.com Karen

    I don’t understand why you have to be so disrespectful here Mitchell. I don’t think I came on here and disrespected you at all, just trying to understand others and their points of view is all. I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind that doesn’t believe in God. I would just appreciate the same respect back that I dish out. Thanks!

    But once again, I know that we humans have all of these innate characteristics to group together and find it compelling to make sure we don’t cheat on each other to keep most of us happy. But I have to ask you again. Where does that conscience come from? Does it come from you and me? Does it come from the foods we eat? Where does that conscience come from? I believe it came from God. I believe that God gave me a device, a “moral compass” as someone else here pointed out, to help me to be a good person. And it doesn’t matter whether you believe in Him or not, you still have it. And please don’t misconstrue this to mean that I think you’re a bad person if you don’t believe in God. I am perfectly aware that good people exist who do not go to Church, or believe in God. But I also believe that God gave them that goodness and He doesn’t give up on showing them His presence.

  • LRA

    Karen-

    I’d say the need to participate in a group (which gives rise to moral behavior) is an instinct. Just like suckling is. No one teaches a baby how to suckle, the wiring develops during gestation (as this instinct exists in all mammals born normal, not just human babies). This resulted after many many years of evolution. Perhaps ULTIMATELY that comes from God, but there is no evidence for that, only philosophizing.

    Interesting question for you– chimps and apes (and lots of other kinds of animals) live in groups in which there are certainly rules that they live by (such as dominance heirarchies). Would you say that this constitutes chimp morality?

  • Glenn

    Thanks, Rosemary, for the insightful thoughts. I agree with you on all counts, including about the nature of the pastor’s lie.

  • DarkMatter

    I somehow appalled that Fox’s life is threaten by a thug with a gun so as to speak, if that is what he sees, justifying his doing.

    He never says he lies though his confession may be interpreted as devious stupidity by some.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com Mark bey

    ” Now the Pastor, or you, could conceivably twist this view of ethics to claim that his lying was ethical and righteous because his motive was to save the immoral atheist from a fate worse than death ”

    mark: Also Yahweh used his magic sky god powers to force people to lie and deceive at different times in the perfect holy book of the Christians. Of course this was done to further gods will.

    Which leads me to the question of , if Yahweh is constantly interfering in the our affairs then on what basis do Christians say god gave us free will.

  • Glenn

    LRA, I also appreciate this response, which is well-thought out and reasonable. Again, I agree with everything you said. I don’t agree with everything that Smith wrote, and I realize that many of you haven’t read his book, but if I understand him correctly he takes a stance that’s much more deterministic. So it’s an interesting debate. I think that lying is such a complex part of human nature that we need to think together about the broader issues rather than just focus on one pastor’s lies. I certainly don’t have all the answers. So thanks for your thoughts.

  • LRA

    Glenn-

    I think one of the reasons Daniel outed this particular guy’s behavior (besides it being offensive to him) was that is provides a counter-example against an external, ultimate/universal morality.

    Christians claim that morality is universal and that it comes from God (an external source). Non-christians regularly try to explain that morality is culturally constructed (which for Christians means relative to a point of utter chaos), and that it starts out as external (ie our parents/ society at large enforce it) but that it becomes internalized over time.

    In this way, atheists may claim (I’m not saying rightly) that they actually have a morally superior stance to Christians because the morals they are living up to are realistic and though out (rather than black and white) and because they have a chance to develop their own moral code based on inquiry rather than being told, “because God said so”.

    I think Daniel wanted to show how it is very difficult for Christians to live by their own code. Whether he was successful in this or not, I leave for other’s to decide.

    My opinion on the matter is that the pastor perpetrated an act of prejudice, and I disagree with that (again, he is forgiven and I’m not bashing). To me the lie was the lesser crime.

  • reckoner71

    “Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” – Voltaire

  • LRA

    rAmen, Reck!!!

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Kelly,

    The man who said that was not an atheist but actually a Christian posing as an atheist to make atheists look immoral.

    I rest my case, lol.

    Reading helps.

  • doesntworkthatway

    “if God wasn’t real, there would be more chaos than u could imagine on earth.

    i rest my case.”

    In the future, you should know that you have to actually support your case before you can rest it. All you’ve done here is made bald assertions.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Thanks for exploring this. I wish more people could have discussions like this without obfuscating and arrogance, and instead use patience and dialogue.

  • LRA

    Ok- I’m asking this honestly and not being snarky… I honestly would like to have your opinion on this!

    So you’re saying that what sets Christians apart is a belief in the savior Jesus Christ.

    This belief results in going to heaven after we die, right? (the Bible says that on judgment day the wheat will be separated from the chaff and the goats from the sheep, right?)

    So morality has nothing to do with salvation? Right? All are immoral and have fallen short of God, right?

    But then, how is God just?

    If I live a good life and benefit those around me but profess no belief in Jesus as savior (due to lack of evidence using the rationality that (maybe) God gave me), then why do I deserve eternal suffering?

    And likewise, why does some wretched s.o.b. who raped and killed and converted in prison deserve eternal reward?

    That makes no sense to me. I don’t see how Justice and Mercy/Grace can coexist. Why not have a God that is Merciful to ALL people? Why can’t God allow that living is hell enough and let us come home to peace after we all die?

    I’m just saying, I’d rather let Hitler in heaven than see one good person who is a non-believer go to hell…

    What do you think?

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    sorry, didn’t see your second part before I wrote the first…

    I would also say that, from my study… the Bible is not a “what not to do” set of books but a “what to do” set of books.

    That is sort of indirect to your point, but a lot of people want, expect, or demand, that the Bible be the end all answer all, be all to everything in Christianity, but we know it doesn’t touch on every single possible topic and subject in all of the world (sort of like our US Constitution, but that is just a vague analogy).

    The Bible doesn’t talk about gambling, saying do not do this, but it talks about the love of money in a negative way (heart issues).

    To answer your question directly… I think all morality does come from God, and all people are given that in their heart from the moment they come into being. Someone can still choose to follow another religion other than Christianity and still posses the morals God has given them.

    That is my personal opinion of course, but I can look at Satan as an example. He knows right and wrong and is not a “Christian”, and that sense of right and wrong was given to him by God before his fall from grace (that is a paraphrase of course, haha).

  • DarkMatter

    Even Pastor Billy Graham is very careful with his reply about the absolute of hell without Jesus Christ.

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    @LRA you asked a very good question, and you really spelled it out better than most Christians I know. It is really a complex set of issues and you hit the nail on the head.

    Yes, on the surface it would seem that what you and I consider here in our reality to be a “good” person or a “bad” person, is not a qualifier for salvation for eternity, correct.

    Your comment itself shows that you do have a moral standard (as mentioned above, I would agree, we all do in some form or another) that you are weighing your being “good” against a not being good, i.e. you are not a rapist or murderer.

    The problem with the I am “good” he is “not as good” is, what do we use to qualify ourselves as “good enough”? What are you using as your moral standard, where does that come from, and is it the same as someone in another part of the world?

    In the Old Testament the law the Jews used was a certain amount of sacrifices that would resolve our not being quite “good enough”, until the ultimate human sacrifice of Jesus came since none of us can ever be “good enough” (or perfect).

    I would guess we all have different standards for what is “good” or “bad”, so if you decide our salvation is on who is good, then who is good enough? Who’s standard of being good enough do we use?

    In that respect, yes, the Christian faith would say that being a good or bad person ultimately has nothing to do with salvation, you are correct.

    Some Christians will use this an excuse to “be able” to do all kinds of immoral or un-Christ like things throughout their life (call it sin), but that doesn’t make it right.

    With that said, I love the old saying, you may not get into Heaven through your good works, but I would hate to be in line behind Billy Graham or Saint Francis of Assisi :)

    Not sure if that helps or not, but that is what came to mind… really a great question. Scott

  • DarkMatter

    It’s like drawing line in the sand.

  • LRA

    Scott-

    I think that by virtue of being god’s children we should all go to heaven (if there is one). To me, just being his created child is good enough. No need for a standard of “good enough” if that is the case. Certainly no need for a perfect standard, seeing as how God didn’t even give Adam and Eve perfect knowledge in order to maintain that perfect standard (in other words he made them to fail- that’s what innocence is… not having wisdom/knowledge).

    But you might ask then, why be good if all people are going to heaven?

    I make the argument from sentience:

    I have tripped and fallen down before and I know it hurts. I can see from other people falling down, that their behavior afterward indicates that it hurts.. ow! So I can sympathize with them and not want to hurt them based on my own experiences. To me, the argument from sentience is actually the basis for the golden and silver rules (do unto/ do not do unto). But, alas, we live in complicated times, so what I would want/ not want done to me differs from what other people want/ don’t want based on what we have been rewarded or punished for as we grow up in our respective cultures. Nevertheless, these mores eventually get formalized into laws, and these laws have consequences. So is there a reason to be moral in my every day life? You bet. I know what hurting feels like and I don’t want to do it to other people nor stand by and watch as someone hurts someone else. Furthermore, if I do hurt someone, there are consequences here and now. Is it a perfect system of absolutes? No but it’s very practical and has the added bonus of evolving as humanity becomes more sophisticated.

    The downside: Morality and ethics are enormously complicated!

    For example, it is ok to go in and bring “progress” to indigenous tribes living in the Amazon if it means destroying their unique culture?

    What is the role of first world countries in helping third world countries to industrialize/stabilize following post-colonialism? (If any?)

    What about the world’s overpopulation? How many people can the earth sustain and who decides this? At what cost to the environment? Do we just let people starve to death, or do we teach them about birth control? Do we let AIDS ravage Africa as a means of population control? Or do we save as many people as we can? Do we continue to spend a huge amount of money on drugs that benefit old people in the west, or allocate resources for young people in Africa?

    Ok, moving on… For me then, justice is not needed after this life time. I live with it now. And not every bad deed that has been done to me has been punished, and yes that sucks big time from a selfish perspective, but we have a system (however imperfect) that does its best to keep up. I have accepted that life is unfair, because good things have happened to me too.

    I’m glad I live in a country where, as a woman, I am free to ponder these questions and make choices about what I think is the ethical thing to do. I’m glad I don’t live in a theocracy (like in Iran) because they would enslave me to household work and child rearing that is not meaningful for me the way going to school is. (This is why I find fundamentalism of any kind- such as christian fundamentalism- threatening).

    Ok… so in asking the complicated questions that I have above, do you think the bible has objective answers to these situations? I’m not sure it does, but I welcome your opinion.

  • LRA

    The difference between Satan and me is that Satan (if he exists) has been given evidence of God’s existence (he has been in God’s presence), but chooses to willfully disobey.

    I have been given NO evidence other than hearsay. I would like to have the same evidence that Satan has been given. How is it fair for me to be sent to hell without evidence that Satan himself got?

    (Again not being snarky- asking genuine questions)!

  • reckoner71

    @LRA

    Don’t fall too far down the rabbit hole. It’s all a story of magical characters with magical properties, and magical explanations for everything inconsistent with our understanding of the real world.

    It’s never going to make sense; you have to let go of your senses to accept it. That’s why I have stopped asking believers to help me make sense of what they believe. I’m now only interested in the why. The whygoes to their state of mind, and that helps me to gauge how to interact with them.

    “Why” is the only real source of power (to quote the Merovingian). And honestly, if the only answer I get is, “I like the story about the Ark,” I’m okay with that. Because at least that would make sense.

  • LRA

    Wink and thumb up, Reck! Gotcha.

  • John C

    Here’s the secret…its not so much about the external print (bible) but rather the internal blue…print, a new nature (His) within. Until Christ be formed IN you. Gal 4:19. The bible is not intended to be our (only) guide, it serves as a sort of external map until His nature is (fully) formed within us.

    At some point in our lives, and by His grace we rid ourselves of all the externals and find that…Christ in you is the mystery of the ages, Col 1:27.

    But it please the Father to reveal His Son IN me. Gal 1:16

    We get so distracted by various behavior modification efforts (external religion) that we forget it takes Christ in us to live the Christian life, its His life anyway. We died on the cross, our old man is dead and now He IS our life. Its not about trying to live up to some high and holy standard, its about reckoning our (old, former, faulty, inherited adamic) selves dead, buried, six feet under so that our real life (Christ) may be resurrected in us and as us. Union life, oneness, this is what its all about.

  • reckoner71

    @LRA

    Unfortunately, getting an answer to the why is as challenging as understanding the what.

  • reckoner71

    I rest my case.

  • John C

    Morality doesnt come from God Scott, I know that’s a shocker, but its true. Morality implies a choice, an either/or which stems from a divided mind and the Lord is One, not a plurality in nature, no division in Him , no “shadow of turning”.

    What we call morality today is the leftover fragments of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil. Man’s desparate attempt to “be like God” knowing right from wrong instead of abiding in pure innocence having never known anything but Him. This tree of Self brought upon us the plague of death on all mankind, thus Christ had to “taste death for every man” so that He might eat once again from the tree of life (Christ) within.

    There were two tree’s….

  • John C

    Reck…I appreciate your comments, but you can never know the “why” unless you know the “who”. This doesnt work like a lab experiment, the faculty of reason is not the main utility we employ in the realm of the unseen, the realm of faith.

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    @reck I would hope most would have a better answer for why they believe something other than “I like the ark story”, but that’s probably true.

    I would hope Believers would search out the what and the why if that is what they choose to believe, good point though.

    @LRA some people describe “faith” as believing in what I can’t see and knowing what I can’t touch.

    Websters Dictionary puts it as “complete trust or confidence in something based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof”.

    You gave the example of Satan… how about the disciples or the people alive during the time Jesus walked on the earth. Scripture says many times that there were people that witnessed the miracles that Jesus performed and still didn’t believe, so why would we believe more given the circumstances they were given.

    The truth is we probably wouldn’t.

    @john c …. true, I was really trying to simply… these are really pretty complex issues, each one could be studied for a lifetime :)

  • reckoner71

    @ Scott Fillmer

    I promise you: in this day and age, with what we know, if someone claiming to be the Messiah showed up and walked on water, and hundreds of independent, unbiased, critical-thinking scientists did test after test and stood up and publicly stated they were dumbfounded, atheists would be open-minded to the possibilities. I would.

    @John C

    I’m talking to you as a human, and asking you in earthly terms, that we both understand, using language, why you believe.

    I’m not asking for reason; I’m asking why you believe. It is a much easier question than you think. Don’t complicate it.

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    @reck I guess that is the bridge between “faith” and scientific proof. Of course we have had a few people come and claim to be the Messiah but the FBI burned them to the ground before we could scientifically prove it. :)

    I think we would like to think we would respond or react differently with physical or hard line definitive proof but historically (at least according to scripture accounts) it doesn’t show to be the case… for everyone…

    now, some did only after they saw the miracles, so I would have to say, you are correct in that some probably would, some probably wouldn’t.

    The story of Thomas is revealing in that he believed that is was Christ in his presence only after he saw and felt his hands, and Jesus responded with how much better will it be for those who did not see and still believed (I’m paraphrasing a bit).

    Good points, thx for the discussion….

  • reckoner71

    I would expect, after two thousand years of humanity screwing up the message in every possible way, that Christ 2009: the Sequel wouldn’t hole up in Waco, TX.

    He’d walk onto the set of Good Morning America and ask, “It’s been a while, but who wants to see a miracle? Yes? Everyone out to the East River. Don’t be shy.”

    Two thousand year-old heresay loses its mettle after two thousand years of scientific discovery.

  • reckoner71

    Corrections:

    1. Christ 2009 should be 1993
    2. hearsay

  • DarkMatter

    And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mar 16:17-18)

    Even after doubting Thomas, Jesus said the above.

  • reckoner71

    @DarkMatter

    Appearing on Letterman or Leno would still help his numbers. And he could help with shutting down that kooky Vatican cult.

  • LRA

    “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mar 16:17-18)”

    As darkmatter pointed out, Scott- I’ve never seen any of these things. I’d love to see them (and have them verified). I’d sure revise my thinking!

  • doesntworkthatway

    Yes, it’s a jab. It’s a way of saying “look at me, I’m better than you, because I’m doing this thing for you that you would never do for me.”

    Of course, praying is not exactly a difficult activity, so it’s not as though they’ve really made any significant effort. But it sounds pretty.

    It amounts to a superiority of feelings. “(I have convinced myself that) I love you and in return I’m sure (without any evidence) that you hate me, because I’m a persecuted Christian. So I’m better than you because I love and you hate.”

    Sometimes this is not the case, if you know the person intimately; then it means “I’m trying to guilt you into becoming Christian and going to my church. Here, I’m doing this nice thing for you, do something for me in return.”

  • reckoner71

    Agreed. It’s their symbolic embodiment of the “turn the other cheek” teachings of Christ.

    While I do surmise that they actually do go away and pray for me, they should realize that saying it to an atheist comes off as condescending every time, and avoid it if they are trying to argue in the same breath against having an air of superiority.

  • reckoner71

    Pastor Stephen Webb argued the decision to enforce seat belt laws was a moral judgement.

    Never underestimate which two pieces of fabric believers are capable of sewing together…

  • http://www.scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

    and I find it easier sometimes to converse with non-Believers.

    perhaps it is not “out of church” Christians but non-institutionalized Christians :)

    I spent a good bit of time in and out of the church (the building) but usually find myself more at odds with those in the church than those outside. Sometimes the church just can’t or doesn’t know how to handle change, ideas, suggestions etc, but I have yet to find a perfect church (other than this one in Atlanta… http://twitpic.com/1d1rb …LOL)

  • doesntworkthatway

    I always manage to be surprised though.

    I honestly think religion is the only reason people can’t understand consequentialism. It is easily understood by children, but once a person’s mind is filled with ideas like duty to ghosts, victimless sins, and divine command theory, they start to have trouble remembering that actions have consequences that affect others.

  • DarkMatter

    Smile.

  • reckoner71

    It would explain why denying civil rights to same-sex couples in this life is acceptable; appeasing the gods who promise an eternal afterlife trumps all.

  • LRA

    I do want to say that I said that humans evolved to be social creatures. I don’t that that disagrees with what you said about the naturalistic fallacy, but if it does, then I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on that. :)

  • LRA

    (to doesn’t work that way) :)

  • doesntworkthatway

    Yes, some of our eusociality is genetic. This we have in common with other great apes, and accounts for eusociality among groups similar in size to those other ape groups: up to perhaps 200 individuals. Culture must account for the rest.

    But this is just a history of how we got here. It can’t tell us whether sociality is morally right or wrong.

    How about when our sociality drives us to feed our families?
    When it drives us to horde for our families at the expense of other humans who are starving?

    When it encourages us to build communities for mutual benefit?
    When we conceptualize those communities as tribes or nations and wage genocidal war upon neighboring communities?

    And so on. All these behaviors are social. In small groups they may even be genetically driven.

    A simple guide of “it’s social so it’s good” can easily lead to tribalism, nationalism and fascism. The idea of a world peace where everyone is in the in-group is new to the last two or three hundred years, and this new idea is entirely a social construct, not at all genetically evolved.

  • LRA

    Oh ok. I get what you are saying! Makes sense to me.

  • doesntworkthatway

    LRA, I think someone else in this thread mentioned you have a blog? I’d be interested if you would you point me to it. :)

  • LRA

    Oh, wow, thanks! No blog! I have too much fun on this one!

    :)

  • doesntworkthatway

    Ah, I misinterpreted Sock’s comment at 12:17 am then. Well I’ve got to go but I plan to come back; there are several insightful regulars here. See you later!

  • LRA

    I think he meant that it was my posts to this blog… but anyway, have fun! See you later!

  • John C

    Orthodox, mainstream “Christianity” is mainly “religious”, ie external rule-keeping dogma and consequently…dead.

    One has to ask why is it that Christ was always at odds with the “religious leaders” of the day. The truth is they are still at odds. One is an external, behavior modification technique that can never “live up” resulting in endless shame, guilt and condemnation while the other is an internal transformation, an entirely new nature, His within. The latter is the life of the ages.

  • Mogg

    I mean orthodox in the sense of usual. You are entitled to your particular view (although I find it has nothing to say that was not said to me in a controlling and damaging environment, and therefore doesn’t do anything for me), but it is not the standard Christian view. It’d be quite good to have a more standard Christian view here occasionally.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com Mark bey

    ” t strikes me as funny (in both senses) that fundamentalist Christians prefer to use a version which eshews the vernacular for a dialect which is spoken by no-one these days ”

    mark: I once heard that the KJV was translated the way it was to make it seem more mysterious. I heard that they didn’t even speak that type of English when the bible was translated.

    Whats so annoying to me is when I hear ignorant christian preachers, who cant even speak decent modern English, pontificating on the meaning of this verse or that verse in the bible using thous and thees. Like the NO Mo bacon folks. Makes me wanna holler throw up both my hands.

    I cant help but think if the bible where translated in today’s English. If church and bible study were conducted using today’s English Christianity would loose some of its power and romance.

  • boomSLANG

    “Scripture says many times that there were people that witnessed the miracles that Jesus performed and still didn’t believe, so why would we believe more given the circumstances they were given.”

    That can work a couple of different ways. If this biblical, miracle-working character, “Jesus”, actually appeared and did some of the things it proportedly did just a few thousand years ago, I would wager that most believers would be skeptical, simply because of the untouchable “Majesty” that they connect with their personal idea of who/what “God” is, coupled with the fact that, in this day and age, all sorts of trickery and illusions are possible with modern technology. In other words, if a man in a tattered bathrobe and flip-flops who called himself “Jesus” went strolling into a church and restored the eyesight of a blind man by smearing bird’s blood on the person, I highly doubt that the “Christians” present at the time would fall on their knees without skeptical inquiry.

    Bottom line, however—if this being is “omniscient”, as most of the bible-believing christians I’ve encountered believe it is, then it knows the mind of *each* individual, thus, it knows fully well what each individual would require/accept as convincing evidence—convincing enough for them to adopt a belief in said being. But then again, even if we become convinced that said being exists, that by no means necessitates that we *must* fall on our knees and worship this being. “God”, appearing, just as it supposedly did in the bible, didn’t tamper with anyone’s “free will”.

  • Lanii

    Excellent point. Now, if only we could follow this idea of ‘not judging an entire group by a small sample’ we wouldn’t have to have blogs like this one.

  • Lanii

    To reply to your other question, Teleprompter I have to make a clarification. Well, two.

    First – I’m not on here to rant and rave and be angry. I’m not angry. In fact, I feel somewhat neutral. Part of me feels sympathy and sadness at the loss of my brothers and sisters who have turned their backs on God, like Daniel and many on here, including LRA. Yet another part of me wants to leave them to their own devises. They claim to know what it’s all about and if that’s true then they know that they are traitors and betrayers. It’s like your own sister becoming your mortal enemy. It’s a very spiritually dark feeling that I don’t like.
    Feeling that conflicted has left me feeling neutral and all I’m honestly trying to do is point out where one CAN’T argue against Christianity and/or where the ideas about Christianity have gone off the rails by people who are purposefully trying to tear it down or who can’t see the truth through their bitterness and hurt.
    LRA is one of these who claim all this knowledge of the church but I guarantee that anyone I’ve ever known (and I’ve gone to many different churches) would agree that she didn’t learn quite as much as she thinks she did and some of what she did learn she’s now got backwards and upside down.
    (That was kind of for everyone and not just you, TP)

    Secondly, there is a sort of problem with your question – and I’ve heard it many times. Maybe it’s just slight semantics but I think it’s an important distinction.

    “Christian morality” – what is that? And when did anyone ever say that non-Christians can’t be ‘good people’? Anyone in the Bible, that is. Random people say it all the time, I know. But do you mean the Ten Commandments? That is what I would mean by the phrase.

    Of course a non-Christian can be a ‘good’ person – depending on your definition of good. And this is the crux of the issue at hand is: what is good and how do we know that it is good?

    What a Christian really means when he/she says that non-believers can’t be good people is that Jehovah is the one who determined what is good and, if you believe in Him, then only following Him equals being good or living a good life.

    So for example, the guy who won the Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire’s song Jai Ho said (and I paraphrase) “All my life I have had the choice of doing good or bad and I have always chosen to do good.”
    So – in your opinion you would say that he is a good person. And that’s great except that if he is a Hindu and he prays to the Hindu gods then he is not totally ‘good’ because he is worshiping, according to Jehovah, false idols.

    Only if you believe that ‘good’ and ‘truth’ are relative, can you believe that anyone at any time can be a good person. If you believe that there is a fundamental standard of truth and good, that doesn’t change, then only those who follow THAT are good.

    One may think that lying when I ask if I look good in a certain dress when I don’t is being a ‘good friend’. Whereas I would say that a good friend would tell me I looked ridiculous. So who’s right? Who’s going to be the impartial third party?

    Many horrible people have done ‘good’ things but we would probably agree that that doesn’t make them good. But how do we come to that agreement? Who set this standard? And that’s the point. Christianity says : Here is our standard in black and white. It never changes. God is love. Love Him and love others and everything else falls into place. And when we mess up, you may judge us by this standard.
    If we didn’t say that, this blog wouldn’t exist.

    I hope that, even if you don’t agree, that the logic makes sense to you. This could turn into a very long post so I’ll just give you the benefit of the doubt.

    I truly think atheists wouldn’t get so bent out of shape all of the time if they would be willing to admit to the logic of some things even if they don’t agree. We all make our own choices. I’m not really trying to change anyone’s mind, as I said, just to shed some light on the confusion so that you can rest assured you’ve made your decision based on what Christianity is actually about.

  • http://www.boilthefrogs.com Abe Frogman

    Sorry, I didn’t realize we were speaking of the less than 1% of all abortions. The nine year old girl who was molested is excused, and is also a victim and completely innocent. The nine year old girl may very well die from giving birth, and if she does not, she most likely will not ever give birth again. That is not a choice. She did not choose to have sex.

    We are talking about the vast majority of women who would rather just kill their baby out of convenience and selfishness, than simply wait until finding a good and worthwhile man and getting married to have sex. That is a choice. She chose to have sex, and she chose to not take responsibility for her behavior.

    Sorry, but every attempt to justify the murder of the innocent on your part, only digs you into a deeper hole of hate and perversion.

    Your response is the same mindless response from pro abortion eugenicists. But the nine year old… The fact is that this accounts for less than 1% of all abortions.

    Again, just do the obviously overpopulated world a favor and abort yourself. Lead by example! How dare you suggest that your life is more valuable than anyone else’s!

    As for the nine year old girl, she didn’t have a choice. Do you get it yet? I seriously doubt it, eugenicist. You are simply trying to justify the evil of population control. Or you are just not very thoughtful; you just repeat what other eugenicists say because you look up to them for some stupid reason, even though they hate your guts too.

  • LRA

    Wow.

    First of all, it is the christians who argue that life begins at conception. For this reason, all life (regardless of how it came about) is life. The child of rape is just as innocent as any child conceived any other way. So by admitting that you think it’s ok to abort the fetus of the nine year old, you’ve already shot yourself in the foot there, guy.

    Secondly, your old fashioned sexual values combined with your attitude toward women aborting themselves (as you called it) shows what kind of a misogynist you are. So you’re telling me that the knocked up 14 year old in Texas (where I live) who can get abstinence-only sex *education* should off herself. Now you’ve shot yourself in your other foot.

    Black and white thinking doesn’t do well in this forum. I’m just warning you.

  • reckoner71

    Um… what in the world are you talking about?

    You said,

    There is nothing on this earth more evil and more selfish than abortion.

    I would argue that raping your nine-year-old daughter is more evil than any woman/girl having an abortion.

    And while I haven’t had one, I’m also pretty sure most woman go through a considerable amount of mental trauma before deciding to go through with it. So to suggest the vast majority of woman use it as their de facto method of birth control with such indifference is… (LRA, what’s the word I’m groping for here?)

    My compliments on learning a new word, though. Can you say “eugenicist” three times fast?

  • LRA

    Secondly, you clearly don’t understand what eugenics actually are:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/dh23eu.html

    Do yourself a favor and actually read it.

  • LRA

    ignorant?

    ;)

    (Sorry Daniel!)

  • p

    who said I was a Christian?!

  • p

    ahhaah -
    It IS Insane to be commenting here. I admit it, this is a waste of my time, and therefore, an insane thing to do, but here i am wasting my time in this ridiculous little battle that is going on here. I guess I just am amazed at how serious the tone is here, and people are quipping back and forth little digg’s and jab’s and ” oh no you did not just say that! *SNAP! ” – that’s the funny part
    So who ever said I was ridding in here on a high horse? Who ever said i was putting my self up there as an authority? I am bashing, and I am hypocritical. Who ever said I wasn’t ?and since when is that a bad thing? I’m not religious, and I don’t follow anyone’s “moral” code. No high horse here, just laughing at the ridiculous and saying what I feel like. It’s not a competition. It’s just being real baby.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    I solved the apparently insoluble nature/nurture or determinism/free will debate in my own mind by positing the idea that people have the freedom to choose from a range of possibilities within a determined matrix of choices. How wide that matrix is depends on the circumstances, including the person’s genetics, physical and emotional state at the time, childhood parenting experience, education, intelligence, maturity and the presence or absence of Darren Brown. :-)

    There is yawning chasm between the aims of the penal system and the helping professions in terms of how human errors are dealt with.

    The penal system generally aims to brand the person as a criminal for life with relatively little hope that they can ever put the error behind them and continue improving their life. It seeks to meter out retribution. The underlying values of Abrahamic religions are similar although socialized adherents try to deny or ignore this.

    On the other hand, the helping professions view error as a necessary and essential part of the learning process. The aim of therapy is to help the person move beyond their past errors towards better things as well as to live with the fact that all future learning will require them to make mistakes. The number and severity of those mistakes can be reduced by education and the provision of a person’s basic and social needs. This is a much more positive view that the view that people deserve to be punished for life or eternity for sins, mistakes and errors which they can only avoid by not learning or not living.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    You may call it grace and love, John, but those words do not make sense to me in this context.

    I have no problem with your second sentence.

    Cheers.

  • LRA

    Hahaaaahaaahahaaahaa!!!!!!

    Reck, YOU ROCK!

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    Teleprompter, I love you :-) Would you marry me?

    (Oh, what’s that, dear? I have to divorce you first because we aren’t Mormoms? Dear me, is this what atheist morals are?)

    Due to some domestic disagreement with a rather delightful husband of mine I have reluctantly been persuaded to scratch the question. I guess I just can’t have everything. (sigh)

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com Mark bey

    @ Lanii

    ” Yet another part of me wants to leave them to their own devises. ”

    mark: What exactly do you mean by this statement, is it our fault that Yahweh has not provided enough evidence for us to believe in him.

    Are you implying that Atheist are more immoral than Christians. Are you implying that non christian believers are more immoral than Christians.

    If you are what exactly do you base this statement on.

    If Yahweh is as extraordinary as you believe him to be then how come he refuses to provided stronger evidence for his existence.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com Mark bey

    ” Christianity says : Here is our standard in black and white. It never changes. God is love. Love Him and love others and everything else falls into place. And when we mess up, you may judge us by this standard.
    If we didn’t say that, this blog wouldn’t exist. ”

    mark: Are you saying that god didn’t change from the old testament to the New testament.

    If Yahweh is love then how come he allowed his most vile of creations (Satan) to have access to an extremely naive eve.

    If Yahweh is love then how come he he didn’t tell eve directly not to eat the forbidden fruit.

    If Yahweh is love then how come he drowned all of those babies during the flood of Noah.

    If Yahweh is love then why is he sending to hell billions of people who have lived but have never even heard of Jesus Christ.

    If Yahweh and christian standards never change how do you explain the civil war and abolition of slaves in the CHRISTIAN south of the United States of America.

    How do you explain the fact that most Christians in the south now accept the fact that slavery was and is wrong even though that wasn’t the case in 1861.

    How do you explain the fact that even though the bible never say slavery is wrong the majority of christians believe slavery is wrong and evil.

  • LRA

    Ok- Lanii,

    Please tell me what church I should go to to learn about true christianity. If it is within my means, I’ll try to go– just to be fair (since you seem to think I’m not being fair).

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Lanii,

    First of all, I am sure that this is painful for you. I appreciate that you are here talking to us and listening and having this conversation…please do not think of me as an angry or impatient person. I am trying to do my best here, though sometimes my desire to be right eclipses my desire to be respectful. I hope you understand where I’m coming from.

    I appreciate that I know much less about Christianity than other people do. Personal experience is something that all of us share — I by no means have a monopoly on it.

    Also, my experience with Christianity was actually *very positive*.

    LRA gave elaboration on her negative experiences, and then I admitted that I am an ex-Christian after that, but I never said that I had negative experiences with religion.

    I liked Christianity; I enjoyed the people I met and the experiences I had. If I had to do it again, I would not change what I had done (except this time I wouldn’t have tried to proselytize, lol).

    For me, it was more of an intellectual than an emotional process of deconversion (though there were definitely some emotional aspects — especially at the beginning and right after I came to the conclusion that I no longer had faith in Christian teachings).

    I understand why people would leave or join a faith for emotional reasons. I know what it means to be human — I know that vulnerability and that fragility, that there may be something out there or that I may be alone, and that there really isn’t a good way for me to understand most of things that are larger than myself.

    Your question, “what is Christian morality?”, is an excellent question.

    I don’t even know what that means, honestly.

    I just keep hearing Christians saying that they are more moral than non-believers or other religious people, and it grates on me. I hope you can see why this would annoy me. It’s not pleasant to hear people say that you are immoral all the time.

    In the Bible, it declares that all people are inherently bad, does it not? Does it not keep proclaiming that “no one is worthy, not one”?

    I have to admit, there are a lot of people who know the Bible better than I do. However, I have studied it, and I have made attempts to understand it, however faulty those attempts may be.

    If we are all born as “sinners” — what is the impact of that idea?

    You asked, “what is good and how do we know that it is good”?

    Your answer to that question is, “Jehovah is the one who determined what is good and, if you believe in Him, then only following Him equals being good or living a good life.”

    So my question to you is, why is Jehovah equivocated with what is good?

    What does good have to do with Jehovah and how we do know that Jehovah is good, or that good is Jehovah?

    (This is the same structure as the question which you asked of me).

    There’s a classic dilemma from Greek philosophy which asks:

    Does a divine being command good because it is inherently good, or is something inherently good because it is commanded by a divine being?

    If a divine being commands something because it is good, then there is a good that is higher than the divine being. If something is inherently good because it is commanded by a divine being, then doesn’t said being just have carte blanche to do anything it desires?

    Most Christians (I don’t know how you would answer) would probably answer this by saying that good is the inherent nature of their god, and that good and their god are one and the same.

    Well, this is a nice answer the problem I stated, but it brings up yet another problem in its place.

    What about the things in the Old Testament? Were they good because Jehovah is said to have commanded them?

    Hundreds of thousands murdered. Good or bad?

    Since the OT says that Jehovah commanded, then according to your worldview, this must be a good thing. Yet if that happened today, the nations of the world would declare it a cultural genocide and the leader of the movement would be hunted down and brought in as a war criminal.

    So who’s morality is really relativistic? Everyone’s.

    Even if the Bible is the basic for all of your morality, your beliefs are still subjective, because then you must decide which portions of the Bible are good for moral teachings. Christians cherry-pick their morality using a different standard than the Bible itself, a higher standard of right and wrong.

    Lanii, you said:

    “And that’s the point. Christianity says : Here is our standard in black and white. It never changes. God is love. Love Him and love others and everything else falls into place. And when we mess up, you may judge us by this standard.”

    If your standard is black and white, and it never changes, please explain to me why the killings of hundreds of thousands of people by the Hebrews of the OT are moral.

    What is love? I’m not sure that you know what love is. Jesus said “love your neighbor”. Jehovah in the OT commanded his followers to slay their neighbors indiscriminately.

    Is that black and white? Is that entirely unchanged?

    There is no standard, as far as I can tell, from Christianity that is uniform and universal, which applies to all Christian teachings, and tells us clearly how to live our lives.

    I wish it were even as simple as “do whatever God says”.

    Is God a Methodist or a Lutheran or a Presbyterian or a Catholic? Is God an Anglican or a Baptist or an Eastern Orthodox or a Jew? Is God a Mormon or a Greek Orthodox or a Jehovah’s Witness? Is God a Hindu or a Sikh or a Jain?

    What is God? The concept is so muddied up as to appear indistinguishable.

    And can you tell me what love is? You’ve stated that God is Love, and so now I want to know why God is Love. Are the actions credited to your god loving? Do you think the actions charged to the god of the Bible are loving?

    What is love? The concept is so muddied up as to appear indistinguishable.

    The statement “God is Love”, has no intelligent meaning to me as long as you cannot define God or Love clearly.

    You said, “I truly think atheists wouldn’t get so bent out of shape all of the time if they would be willing to admit to the logic of some things even if they don’t agree.”

    Well, I’m not willing to admit that this is logical, because it’s clearly not.

    Sure, I don’t agree, because to me, it just doesn’t make any sense.

    “God Is Love”? “black and white”?

    Really?

    Lanii, we don’t live in a world where “slay your neighbors and keep those girls who have not slept with a man for yourselves” and “love your neighbor” are equal.

    Do you see why people question these things now?

  • claidheamh mor

    @Lanii
    First – I’m not on here to rant and rave and be angry. I’m not angry.

    You are here to be rude.

    @Lanii
    Well – not to be rude but lollipops and rainbows to you, too, sunshine.

    Contradiction. You ARE rude.

    An exemplary shining beacon of the lord Jesus Christ’s passive-aggressive, snarky, pretentious rudeness.

  • Janet Greene

    @Lanii – “First you must believe”? If a scientist made a claim before proof, and then twisted all the evidence to their pre-made “conclusion”, they would be laughed at. There is absolutely ZERO credibility to any argument that starts with “first you must believe”. This is patentlly FALSE. First you must prove, or at least demonstrate. If you believe before you have evidence, you are a fool. (Not just you – anyone).

    I could tell you – I just KNOW that an invisible pink elephant looks after me, reads my thoughts, and “talks” to me. This elephant inspired a BOOK written thousands of years ago and I base my entire life on this book. If you find this unlikely, you are wrong. First you must BELIEVE. Then look for evidence (and it’s ok if you never find it). Do you see how ridiculous that is? It’s the same argument as the one you are making!!!! A claim with no evidence – highly absurd when you think about it.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    What? Atheists have families and loving relatives, too, to boot?!?

    /sarcasm

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Lanii,

    I don’t think that’s an entirely fair point.

    Did you catch the name of this blog? It’s called “Unreasonable Faith” for a reason — it seems to me that the basic mindset behind this blog is just the simple suggestion that belief without evidence may cause people to do crazy things occasionally.

    Of course, I could write a blog called “Unreasonable Skepticism”, and do the same thing, but where would that get us?

    I am not trying to judge Christians. I am looking at the belief system, and saying, is that a reasonable belief system?

    It’s not a personal judgment. Sure, this blog does have its share of “look at that religious person and how ridiculous they look”.

    Look, you may have a fair point.

    As far as I am concerned, there is a lot of tomfoolery which is done in the name of religion. A lot of us feel that there is something about religion which may enable these types of things.

    The main point I want to make here is the distinction between the criticisms of a belief system and criticisms of individuals. I am not trying to criticize anyone personally — however, there are some beliefs which I think are dubious at best.

    People deserve respect — I agree. Do ideas and beliefs deserve respect? No, not necessarily.

    One of the reasons which I like having conversation about religion is because I believe that the free market of ideas is what can separate good ideas from bad ideas over time.

    This is the place for religion to earn my respect, though I do admit that this can be a pretty hostile environment for religion. However, most of us are generally open-minded and willing to evaluate evidence for religion, once it is presented.

    I think this blog does judge an entire belief system. Are the criticisms unfair? I don’t think they are.

    Are there personal attacks? Maybe. But largely I hope the conversation would not descend to that.

    This whole discussion is not about groups — it’s about belief and beliefs. There is a strong difference.

    I do admit, all kinds of people fail to appreciate this, including many atheists, but I hold to this standard and I hope that other people would, too.

  • reckoner71

    I just downloaded We Are the World, and I’m going to play it and read that again. :)

  • Lanii

    I think what you’re saying is very fair. I’m sorry if my comment came off harsh.

    Yes, there is certainly something about religion that causes people to do crazy things. I shake my head all the time. There was that guy who faked an illness and wrote a big hit song around it – it has something to do with Hillsong from Australia. Anyway, I was just sick about it. He used my God to turn a profit and puff up his ego.

    These discussions CAN be good. And with fair-minded people around like you there is a chance that good can come from them.

    I liken the whole thing to the US Government. Many people were, by the end of it, angry and fed up with Bush. But they didn’t leave America. They just said, “Next chance I get, I’m voting for someone totally different.” And for better or for worse, that’s America. I guess some could argue about the details but that’s not my point.

    My point is don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Democracy isn’t bad just because The USA has gone into the Middle East trying to peddle it to people who don’t want it and don’t understand it. Democracy isn’t bad because there are Blue states and Red states and we can’t agree on some things.
    Democracy is good because democracy is a system that works(for many reasons not pertinent right now). Plain and simple. That’s why people risk their lives crossing our borders illegally and floating in rafts to get here. It stands up against the test of President’s morality or decision-making skills or ability to speak in public without making jackasses out of themselves. America stands up against wavering world popularity polls, bad fashions, and strife on social issues. And we don’t have the best history in the world – slavery, the Trail of Tears and on and on.

    I believe Christianity is similar. People do things in its name and God’s name but God doesn’t consider those his representatives, at least not when they’re acting up. And neither should we. Some idiot or a whole church full of idiots shouldn’t be reason to throw Christianity out the window.

    Jesus hated ‘religion’ for ‘religion’s sake. He condemned people who would brag about their offerings to the poor or, those who, when they were fasting, tear their clothes and wail about in the streets to show it off. He healed on the Sabbath when ‘religion’ said not to because healing was the right thing to do, regardless of the day of the week. And he was called a friend of sinners and a wine imbiber (these were nasty names back then) because he hung out with the wrong people. I could go on. The point is, religion for its own sake IS BAD and it causes people to do BAD THINGS.

    I can 100% agree on that. And I’m not going to give you that “it’s not religion – it’s relationship” party line. Although, to quote (oddly) Tropic Thunder “Just ’cause it’s a theme song don’t mean it ain’t true”.

  • LRA

    And just to show you I’m sincere, I’ll share with you this:

    My own family has been pestering me to go to church. Now I can kill two birds with one stone.

    So just share with me which one to go to…

  • Lanii

    Where do you live approximately? If it’s in the US or Canada I will do my best to find a recommendation for a church in your area that will demonstrate Christ’s intention to you.

  • LRA

    Austin, Tx

  • reckoner71

    @LRA

    Austin, TX! You must hunt down Matt Dillahunty and hug him for me.

  • Lanii

    Ok. I’ll get back to you!

  • John C

    LRA…

    You could try the Austin Vineyard…sweet fellowship, authentic people, no pretense and no “sales”, just real.

    http://www.austinvineyard.org

  • Lanii

    LRA – I have a few recommendations coming. Austin is a tough area to find, what I believe to be a good church. ( I do have criteria for that but that’s another convo)

    If you’re still interested, message me on MySpace. It’s the only semi-private way I could think of giving you my contact information on here.

    myspace.com/rozeeay

    Hope to hear from you,

    Lanii

  • reckoner71

    @Lanii

    Hello, fellow Canadian resident.

  • LRA

    I would like to point out that it is a month later now and Lanni has no recommendations for a church for me.

  • http://www.atheistnexus.org/profile/RosemaryLYNDALLWEMM49 Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM

    As you may already know (/sarcasm), they have morals AND loving families AND good friends. According to the latest valid statistics, we even have significantly lower crime rates, divorce rates and abortion rates than those with religious beliefs, especially those with a Baptist worldview.

    Yes, not only moral but happy!

    Do you think this kind of bragging qualifies as the elusive “atheist arrogance” we keep hearing about?

  • LRA

    :) Nice!

  • http://freewebs.com/califsoul 2preacher

    Dear Teleprompter;

    You are right! Everybody has the right to judge Christians, based upon Yehoshua’s (or, Jesus) Words; “You will know a tree by the fruit that it bears, whether or not it is a good tree, or a bad tree;” whether or not the fruit (or, behavior) is good or bad!

    But, the false Catholic doctrine which most follows teaches “We are sinners, but we’ve got Christ!” So, John:8:31-36, 51;

    John:8:31-36;

    John:8:31; Then said Yehoshua to those Jews who believed in Him, If you will continue according unto My Words, then you are My Disciples, it’s a fact;

    John:8:32; And then you will know the Truth, and the “Truth will set you free!”

    John:8:33; They answered him, We are Avraham’s seed (or, children), and were never in bondage to any man: Why do you say, “You will be set free?

    John:8:34; Yehoshua answered them, as a fact, this ia a fact, that I will say unto you, Who ever commits sin, is the servant (or, in bondage)to sin.

    John:8:35; And the servant (or, the person in bondage)will not abide in the House Forever: But the Son will abide Forever!

    John:8:36; Because of this, if the Son desires to set you free, you will definitly be set free!

    John:8:51; Indeed, indeed, I will say unto you, If a man will keep (or, obey) My Words, he will never see death.

    John:8:31,32; explains how we will become setfree from sin; when you accept John:1:1-14; Matt:4:4; 5:17-19, 27-30, 48. They teach that He is Eloheem (or, God robed with the flesh), but they disobey Him to follow the Catholic church’s chruch fathers anti-doctrines against the Truth that He spoke!

    Which says, “He knows that we can’t keep the Law, so He sent His Son to suffer and die, to redeem us back unto Himself! Which Contradicting 1Corin:10:13! The True Christians, Jews and Muslims believe and live sinfree; with Luke:1:5, 6; as an example; a man and his wife, who is a member of the weaker sex; but lives as Faithful as her husband did! And they lived as Faithful as Job did Job:1:1-8; 23:10-12; who was as Faithful as the children of Israel in Numb:23:19-21; with duet:4:1-4; tesifying concerning their Faithfulness, and the unfaithfulness od the Jews who died in Numb:25:-; with the Apostle Paul saying what he said in Roms:2:12, 13, 16, 25-27; 6:-; 8:1, 2, 4!

    I hope that this encourages you, or helps in some way!

    The Preacher

    Please Note: This website uses Hebrew names for God/Eloheem (Godhead);

    become powerless; because they say, Yehoshua said that, but He knows better, He knows that we cannot become perfect! Which makes them no better than the Jews who use what they call the oral law and the Tamud; which are anti-thesis to the first five books of the Bible!

    Which makes them no worse then their so-called Christian counterparts!

    They have a Bible, and they disobey it to please their leaders, family members, friends etc; so just-like the Jews and the Muslims they don’t have any excuse, for breaking Eloheems Law!

  • reckoner71

    @Teleprompter

    You’re never going to understand the answers you get; they come from a different place (with all due respect, Lanii).

    Atheists have to let go of their rational senses and critical thinking in order to “get it.” Believers will try to substantiate a faith-based position because it’s the only way to get it across to atheists, who then point out all the inconsistencies. And around we go.

    A better question is: Lanii, why do you believe in God and Christianity?

    If you get an answer to that, I promise you it will be much more useful than comprehending any of the what or how.

  • Lanii

    OH man, I totally understand! I don’t always say the right thing in the right tone. There are some former Christians who do hurt me. As I’ve said, it’s like losing a family member to me. I have a sister-in-law who won’t speak to me or my husband and at family gatherings it’s very difficult. She’s married a Muslim from Pakistan and, as you can guess, things are very tense. He’s very devout as are we and, as history has shown, there’s not much chance for reconciliation there unless someone converts! So we do what we can to keep the peace but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.

    This is a long one and I don’t usually try to answer point by point because I don’t really think this can be like some debate team challenge. So I’ll try to sum up and do my best. :)

    I understand being offended at the idea that non-believers are more immoral than believers. That is not true. As you rightly quoted and I will further “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

    And I do understand why people question many things Christians believe. Part of the reason is that they don’t understand the whole context. I’m going to try to illuminate that now, in summary, if I can.

    There are several key points that intersect: OT Killings, God’s Inherent Goodness and NT Grace.

    OT Killings
    Most of it has to do with the fact that the people God told certain rulers to kill were evil people. I know we don’t like to think of things that way today but trust me, there