Fake News Isn’t The Problem: The Problem Is So Many People Believe It.

Fake News Isn’t The Problem: The Problem Is So Many People Believe It. December 1, 2016

top news on a newspaper page The issue of “fake news” is one that’s currently being discussed around the internet, and it’s being framed as a big problem in the digital age.

Some have suggested that fake news is an ugly target that needs to be eradicated and blocked from the internet. Both Google and Facebook have taken steps to make fake news less prevalent, and a host of major news outlets from NPR to CNN and Forbes are all discussing this “problem.”

In many ways, it is a problem. For example, the owner of a pizza joint in Washington D.C received death threats and negative online reviews after a fake news story reported that Hillary Clinton was running a satanic child-sex-trafficking ring out of the back of the restaurant.  In other ways, fake news can be highly entertaining– satire often is. It has a way of exposing our fears, our assumptions, and bringing a degree of humor into what can often be a depressing news cycle.

But honestly, in a culture that places such high value on the freedom of speech, I’m surprised at the way the entire discussion is being framed. I’m surprised that so many seem to think that the fake news itself is the problem that needs to be addressed.

It’s not.

You see, the problem isn’t fake news at all– the problem is a lack of critical thinking on the part of so many Americans.

The problem isn’t that people write things that are untrue, but that so many people are quick to believe things that are untrue.

We’ve probably all seen it from time to time– that relative or friend from high school who shares an article or video that’s so ridiculously and obviously untrue, but insists it is gospel to the point of outright dismissing even the most concrete evidence to the contrary.

Trying to dialogue and reason with these people is often one of the most frustrating experiences in life.

Snopes is just a liberal propoganda site.

Do you really believe the lamestream media? Gosh, you’re such a sheeple.

But these interactions demonstrate that stories of Obama being a Muslim, 9-11 being an inside job, and Hillary Clinton running a satanic child trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor, are not the core problem we’re dealing with. The real problem we’re dealing with is something called confirmation bias.

I believe that confirmation bias is one of those things that can rapidly and permanently stunt our intellect and the way we see the world around us. It’s something that both liberals and conservatives are prone to, something that impacts our political views, our religious views, and everything else.

Essentially, the problem of confirmation bias is this: the easiest way to travel through life is to keep believing what we already believe deep down in our hearts. Thus, our natural inclination is to dismiss any information that conflicts with those inner beliefs– it’s a natural reaction, as having core beliefs challenged can be down right frightening.

This is precisely why people are so quick to believe fake news (or dismiss real news): the fake claims are confirming what they already believed, and having that inner belief challenged with the truth is too risky– so all information other than that which confirms our previously held belief, is quickly dismissed.

In science they say that the direction water travels in is always the “path of least resistance” and this concept is also true in the way we hold our beliefs. The path of least resistance is to simply keep believing what we already believed was true, and to only accept information that confirms those beliefs.

 While this may be the easiest way to travel through life, and while it may be the path of least resistance, it is not the most enlightening way to live. A far more rewarding journey is that which invites us to step into fear, to step into tension, and to allow those cherished beliefs to be challenged and shaped by new and differing information.

The reality is however, not everyone chooses that kind of journey. For these people, fake news websites are a treasured gift because they enable one to dismiss reality and continue confirming those beliefs that, for one reason or another, feel safe.

So is fake news a problem?

No, not at all.

The real problem is that so many people are quick to believe it.

But this reality also invites us to search ourselves: are we only willing to believe information that confirms what we already believe?

Or, are we willing to walk on a more enlightening journey?

I know which one I’m choosing, and I hope you’ll join me.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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  • Herm

    amen

    The path of least resistance is to simply keep believing what we already believed was true, and to only accept information that confirms those beliefs.

    The problem really lies in our community of birth where we depend on their input to guide our growing judgment to discern truth from fiction. Most communities don’t teach beyond what they determine they and their own can survive by. Too many send their 18 to 30 year old’s to war gambling that their sacrifice will save their community.

    so all information other than that which confirms our previously held belief, is quickly dismissed.

    How many communities understand this as good news (gospel)?

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’

    “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

    “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

    Luke 14:25-35

  • Al Cruise

    “but that so many people are quick to believe things that are untrue.” So true, and it’s their political and religious leaders, who these people look to for guidance, who are the creators and advocates of this stuff. Much of it is done with the intent of producing their desired result. And it works.

  • I’m going to do a study and use the search engine ‘bearing false witness’. I’m asking:
    ✔What are the consequences of bearing false witness?
    ✔What what do people lie about?
    ✔why do people lie?
    It seems to me lying has a lot to do with gaining an advantage and Power. It seems to me that when manipulation and gaslighting tears the fabric of reality paranoia & anxiety may enter and influence people and even whole societies.
    In my humble opinion One must resist the temptation to lie or believe lies with the discerning power of the Holy Spirit or else find a scapegoat.
    ✔Are liars personalities Changed by their lies so they cannot empathize with other people anymore?
    One cannot trust a liar.
    ✔In what ways are Liars are predators?
    ✔What are the consequences of creating lies that people believe and act upon?
    I’m assuming Justice, love and truth are the only real things that last and have any permanent traction in the world. Reality can be distorted for a while but only love, truth and Justice remains. ✔will love, truth, justice work to restore peace and Order?
    ✔what does the information One Believes have to do to do with one’s core identity?
    I think people fight literally to the death when they are challenged with information that conflicts with who and what they identify with and what their identities are based upon Especially if it impacts their ability to earn a living.

  • daroncrass

    Confirmation bias can stop us from researching evidence also. We can assume what we see on TV news must be correct so we are not willing to take the effort to look at any evidence that it may be false.

  • AKFletch

    The demographic that believes fake news has never engaged in critical thinking and never will. Under the Fairness Doctrine it was more difficult to dupe them all, though.

  • otrotierra

    Jesus taught his followers to “Seek..” yet Trump and his White Evangelical followers (81%) practice the polar opposite. White Privilege is fighting to exonerate itself by any means necessary, which partially accounts for the rise of frothing hysteria and compulsive deception after the election.

  • James53

    I agree with everything you stated in your article, Mr. Corey. Critical thinking is becoming a lost art in today’s America. I believe this is by design. For more on this, I would recommend reading “An Underground History of American Education ” by John Taylor Gatto, who was once voted Teacher of the Year in NY. It’s free online book, you can Google it.

    But here is what frightens me most about this “fake news” controversy, and it chills me to the bone:

    1) The Washington Post and other members promoting this “fake news” theory themselves have a long history of promoting “fake news” (WMD in Iraq, Assad made a chemical weapons attack, Iran was trying to build nukes, Putin invaded Ukraine, Putin shot down MH 17, Gulf of Tonkin etc.

    2) Lumped in with sites that actually purvey fake news are many legitimate sites who all seem to have one thing in common: they are antiwar and anti-neoliberal websites who I rely on for truthful reporting. I’m talking about Counterpunch, Oped News, Antiwar.com, Zerohedge, Washington ‘s blog, to name a few. I can’t tell you how valuable there sites have been to me in debunking the fake news of the MSM. It is because of these sites that I knew Bush was lying about WMD, and I can’t tell you how many times I uncovered truths in these sites which the msm was eventually forced to admit.

    3) Propornot.com is a shadowy anonymous and thus suspecy entity. The author of the “fake news” article in WaPo refused to release the most basic details on who is behind this group or what criteria they used to make the list of alleged “fake news” websites.

    4) The very idea of a list reeks of censorship and authoritarianism.

    My fear is that the powers that be are realizing that their propaganda is no longer working and that this is a first step toward massive gutting of the First Amendment.

  • James53

    I also meant to say that I try to avoid confirmation bias by reading as many varied points of view as possible. There are a lot of commentators I read who I agree with on some issues and disagree with on. But some things are undeniable facts. And facts are routinely omitted or distorted in the MSM as well as on weird conspiratorial websites.

  • James53

    These are great questions to ask, and I would suspect that the answers you’ll find are: powerful people/organizations seeking to gain/preserve power.

  • James53

    Your comment reminds me of how eager people were to believe, after Hurricane Katrina, that black people were shooting at helicopters, raping babies, looting for reasons other than survival, roaming around in gangs murdering whites (it was actually the other way around ), etc. That, and some of the horrible self-righteous e-mails I was getting from right-wing friends, like “we had a snowstorm in our community and we acted responsibly, didn’t expect the government to help us”) as if a three day snowstorm is in any way comparable to a flash flood. That was the first thing that made me realize we had a serious problem with overt racism in our country. (The second was the Tray von Martin case. The unconcealed glee (yes, glee!) of many white people each time they uncovered a new thing with which to smear that poor dead boy’s character. Grrr! I still get angry when I think about it!

  • James53

    The MSM later corrected that fake news but too late, the damage was done and most white people still believe those lies about the Katrina victims. As well as the lie that welfare played any role, thanks Jessie Lee Peterson for slandering fellow black people to make a buck.

  • James53

    Thanks, Herm. I never cease to admire the obvious love in your heart and your impressive ability to apply scripture in a thoughtful and compassionate manner.

  • Al Cruise

    Google “Alex Jones ” Trump follows him.

  • Herm

    Really, truly, in all humility I am only a little child learning at the feet of the most divine Master how to love with empathy and compassion. Thank you for making me feel like I am growing!

    I sense that you are, also!

  • James53

    Alex Jones is definitely a purveyor of questionable material at times. Trump follows him. I’m not sure what point you were trying to make.

  • Yes I think it’s in its death throes: old, dying, useless! S’why it is so hideously aggressive. Its days are numbered.
    `€=-)

  • I love you!
    `€=-)

  • James53

    Thanks, Herm. I am certainly trying!

  • amylynn1022

    I am definitely struggling with the issue of responsible media consumption now. One of the things that I see driving fake news (other than self-delusion and outright lying) is the crazy instant-news cycle. If you are under pressure to report instantly you are going to make mistakes and not check facts adequately. While I am not interested in anyone’s bloviating I think we need to do more to support thorough, thoughtful journalism –including analysis– and try to discourage what too often is little more than rumor-mongering.

    On a related note, I am also concerned about confirmation bias and would like to know where you can find thoughtful conservative news and analysis. I am not a conservative I think both sides are healthier when they are engaged in dialectic rather than talking past each other.

  • Bones

    Speak of the devil…..

    Fake news: CNN anchor dumbstruck by Donald Trump voters convinced of mass voter fraud

    CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota sat down with a group of Donald Trump backers on Thursday morning to talk about the 2016 election and the false allegations – made by the President-elect – that “millions” of undocumented immigrants had voted illegally on November 8.

    What’s depressing for me in all of this is that Paula is being actively and purposely manipulated by people with less than altruistic aims through the power of the internet. To that end, the most important line in that entire clip is when the woman sitting in the back row urges Camerota to “Google it” and then says she saw it on Facebook.

    Here’s the thing: Facebook is using an algorithm to provide you “news” that it thinks you want to see. So, if Facebook has identified you as someone who supports Trump, it will pump in things like this deceptively-edited clip that you will, almost certainly, take as gospel truth. You likely won’t dig deeper into the story to make sure that the clip is legit; it affirms your view that Obama and Democrats are bad and are encouraging illegal behaviour and, therefore, requires no checking. It’s literally too good to check.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/fake-news-cnn-reporter-dumbstruck-by-donald-trump-voters-convinced-of-mass-voter-fraud-20161201-gt29ry.html

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much. Well done.

  • Matthew Funke

    I have no doubt about that Facebook algorithm thing. Ever since I started replying to counter fake information spouted by Trump more frequently, I’ve been seeing a lot more fake information spouted by Trump in my feed.

  • Matthew Funke

    It’s hideously aggressive because the stakes are higher for people who have bolted their sense of identity to it.

  • richard

    question everything

    the matrix is real

    or is it?

  • Pofarmer

    I took issue with someone posting a fake news article on Facebook and got the reply that they “Knew it was fake but it was reasonable.” It’s not that people don’t know things aren’t fake. Sometimes false information serves their purposes and they don’t care.

  • Pofarmer

    Honestly? I think the Gaurdian provides better coverage and analysis than any U.S. Outlet. There isn’t a conservative outlet in the U.S. I currently trust, and this comes from someone who is more fiscally conservative bit trending more socially liberal. I probably trust Forbes and Bloomberg more.

  • Realist1234

    Why would anyone use Facebook for their news? Silly people.

  • adam

    I have gained a new respect for Bloomberg.

  • Trilemma

    I have no use for fake news. That’s why I get all my news from The Onion.

  • Herm

    everything

  • Ger

    In other words, it takes a lot of fake news to run an empire. All over the so called “democracies” a plan is under way to cut out the competition for propaganda. Are the black suits in black SUVs coming for those that disagree?

  • Ron McPherson

    If everyone forgot everything they’ve ever been taught from the Bible and instead just started from scratch reading and processing as a priority the NT on their own (and specifically words of Jesus), depending solely on the Spirit for truth, I wonder how differently the Americanized version of Christianity would look. Biblical confirmation bias seems to me to be one of the biggest threats to authentic Christianity. Believe a certain harmful way because I’ve been taught it my whole life, then go find something in the Bible to seemingly confirm it.

  • Al Cruise

    I have found that many people will approve/support fake news if it supports their already existing biases. Internally they know it’s fake, but repeating it with like minded friends in a Sunday School Class produces a powerful emotional effect for them personally.

  • Al Cruise

    The tabloids at the check out in the groccery store are also pretty good.

  • Pofarmer

    What sort of amazed me was that people get really pissed when you point out that something is obviously fake. But, I guess that’s because I actually care about what is true.

  • otrotierra

    Jesus taught his followers to “Seek..” yet so many U.S. Evangelicals lust after the polar opposite. Pursuit of truth has been exchanged for frothing hysteria, lies, and deception. Their lies and deception seem to have significantly increased on social media since Trump’s election. Their digital footprint of denying Jesus is very telling.

  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    “Fake News” is a modern term for Propaganda. The most effective user of Fake news was a German named Goebbels. Reading Fake News brought a country into both war and eventual destruction.
    Fools gain that which they deserve.

  • Herm

    …nearly always with lots of collateral damage.

  • gimpi1

    I wish fact-checking was taught in public schools, so people would at least know how to vet a source, look for confirmation and understand what how dangerous it is to believe nonsense.

    That wouldn’t affect confirmation bias, unfortunately. Now a scientist and (to a lesser degree) a good reporter understands that the more you would like to believe something, the harder you should work to disprove it. You assume something you naturally accept is suspect, and research it carefully. You also understand that “research’ isn’t googling stuff that reflects your biases. You know what makes a source reliable, and you don’t waste your time on unreliable information sources. That’s where fact-checking comes in.

    To those that scorn mainstream media and embrace “alternative” media, consider this; The mainstream media does fact-checking. If someone reports false facts, if they plagiarize, they get fired. If the mainstream media reports false facts, they issue a retraction and apologize. They behave responsibly.

    When did any of the alternative media do this?

    If you’re listening to a source that doesn’t fact-check, doesn’t fire reporters who violate their standards, doesn’t retract or apologize for mistakes, you’re being sold a bill of goods. No matter how much you like them, they’re deceiving you. Don’t be deceived.

  • gimpi1

    Alex Jones is much more than a purveyor of questionable material at times. He’s a constant liar. If the facts cross his lips or keyboard, it’s an accident. I think Al’s comment was intended to raise a red flag about the sources of information that our next president prefers; fact-free, reflecting his personal biases, conspiracy laden, and entertaining. I think he regards that as a matter for concern. In that, I agree.

    If our incoming president can’t tell a fact from an entertaining conspiracy theory – or simply doesn’t care – that does not bode well for his administration. It scares me.

  • gimpi1

    Sadly, you’re right. President Regan’s decision to end the Fairness Doctrine may well kill our democracy. Democracies are fragile, and a population that can’t tell the difference between facts and self-reinforcing entertaining nonsense is a weakness no democracy can survive.

  • gimpi1

    I would point out that the Post, when reporting on WMD, etc,, was deceived by the Bush administration. When they discovered the truth, they reported that, too. To my knowledge, Fox did not. Now, I wish they’d done better due diligence, too. However, there’s a difference between believing a presidential administration when it lies and deliberately making up your own lies specifically designed to savage someone’s reputation.

    There’s a difference between censorship and not making up outright lies. The Clinton – Pizza Restaurant – child abuse story Dr. Corey cited is simply made up. Making up vicious lies should be censored. If the First Amendment has become a license to lie about your political opponents, we have bigger problems than I thought….

  • gimpi1

    The Guardian is pretty good. One thing I suggest is trying to avoid any “commentary” or opinion. Contrary to what far too many people think, facts are neither progressive or conservative. What we choose to do about the situation those facts describe can have a political leaning, but the facts themselves are neutral.

    Not understanding this is why I feel many conservative people refuse to look honestly at the science behind climate change. They distrust the proposed solutions as intrusive government or hurtful to business profits, so they refuse to look at the facts surrounding the problem. This is so severe that the Republican congress proposed a rule that forbids the military from studying the problems climate change may create for their bases, mission and infrastructure, something they desperately need to do. See the link below:

    http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2016/06/republicans-trying-to-stop-pentagon-climate-plan-000149

    That’s a bad idea. A much better one would be to try to come up with a solution that you feel is better. Find a low governmental intervention, market driven solution. If there isn’t one, perhaps you need to compromise on your politics. Just because the proposed solutions to climate change are mostly progressive, that doesn’t mean that the world’s ice isn’t melting, that coastlines aren’t suffering increasing flooding. and that storms aren’t becoming more severe and erratic.

    Facts are those things that don’t change if you don’t believe in them.

  • gimpi1

    Oh, that’s awful. Personally, I would never speak to someone who did that. It’s worse than simple lying, it’s deliberately choosing to lie to further an agenda.

    Makes me glad that I hate Facebook and have never been on it.

  • Bones

    That would be most people.

  • amylynn1022

    Thanks, Pofarmer and gimpi1. I have read the Guardian occasionally. I am also thinking that an non-US POV would also be helpful.

    I understand the concern about “commentary” but unless I already have some knowledge of the issues I need something to provide context. And unfortunately as things stand now an outlet’s political bias dictates what is considered news. At one point the so-called “mainstream media” could be relied on to provide middle-of-the-road general-interest news; that no longer seems to be the case (or maybe it never was).

    An anecdote: on 911 I was stuck in my office with no TV but I did have internet access. I first went to CNN – it took me two hours just to get to their overflow site, basically a single page. I then tried MSNBC – it took me about two hours to get to their regular site. In desperation I then went to Fox — I got into their site almost immediately and for several hours their home page had a banner advertising the expose they thought they were going to do on Gary Condit that evening! Fifteen years now, CNN is a shadow of itself and I don’t know that they is any “mainstream” news source I would trust. My news sources now are unapologetically liberal to progressive. I trust them but I am not naive about their limits.

  • James53

    Where were the mass firings of all the MSM staff when they pushed the lie of WMD in Iraq? Or that the president of Iran said he would “wipe Israel off the map?” OR those who used false evidence to “prove” that Russia shot down Flight MH17, thoroughly debunked by award-winning journalist Robert Parry, who runs Consortium News, one of the alleged “fake news” sites?

    Six corporations control 95% of the mainstream news. The bias in favor of the 1%, the uncritical regurgitation of government and corporate propaganda are evident to anyone who does their own fact-checking.

    Your argument is not substantiated by events in the real world.

  • James53

    Fake news led to the McCarthy ism of the fifties, the Vietnam War, unquestioning support of ethnic cleansing in Israel, demonization of black people as welfare parasites, silence about corporate welfare, and the wars in Iraq and Libya.

    How will shutting down websites that expose the lies promoted by the most powerful and influential disseminators of fake news (the aforementioned six corporations) address this problem?

    Orwell is rolling over in his grave.

  • James53

    The best way to avoid confirmation bias is to expose oneself to as many different points of view as possible, check the facts asserted using the most objective sources available, before forming an opinion on a particular subject.

    Unfortunately, judging from many of the sources on the neo-McCarthyists’ new blacklist, the hysteria about “fake news” is designed to limit access to valid sources that disagree with the views of the 1% about anything.

  • James53

    In fact, why hasn’t the Washington Post fired Craig Timbers for his lazy, defamatory and dangerous article? His fact-checking is pretty shoddy if he uncritically reports that Counterpunch, Op-ed News, Antiwar.com, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, Truth out are “Russian propaganda” sites.

  • James53

    There are a lot of falsehoods that the MSM still reports to this day and to my knowledge has never renounced. For example: Iran was trying to build nukes after 2003, Iran’s former president said he would “wipe Israel off the map?”

    Do you honestly believe that the non-Fox MSM was fooled by Bush’s lies? Scores of disgruntled intelligence and military people, Scott Ritter for example, we’re shouting from the rooftops that the WMD intelligence was a hoax, yet the media at the time marginalized them and gave them little credence. Except for many of the websites now accused of disseminating “Russian propaganda. ” The bipartisan elites who own the media wanted their war, and they got their war. You actually believe that half the country could see through Bush’s lies but seasoned reporters were fooled?

  • James53

    If the pizza story was fake, there is a remedy: It’s called a libel suit.

  • Rt1583

    “but that so many people are quick to believe things that are untrue.”

    How many of these same people are taught from a young age to believe in things that are untrue? Imagine if critical thinking was applied to the bible. How long would it stand against the test of critical thinking and logic?

  • Rt1583

    You keep talking about the six corporations.
    What about the worlds largest propagator of that which is untrue? What about religion? Why is it never forced to retract or apologize for the lies it tells?
    Religion grooms its members from childhood to believe that which is untrue. Why is this acceptable?

  • One very uncomfortable thought. Most religions strongly encourage faith, provided that faith is in the doctrines of their own religion, in the absence of evidence or even in the face of massive counter evidence; “Yea, though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”

    And then we urge people to reject confirmation bias!

  • Herm

    I truly wish both critical thinking tempered with a very critical heart was applied to the Bible by all children. The Bible has stood for this many years not because of the specifics of historical fact, or even the not so perfectly remember quotes of Jesus, but purely because of the Spirit it uncovers separate from the id, super-ego and ego of Man. It factually and practically fails every time it is applied as the Constitution and the definitive Instruction Book of God.

    The Bible is not a great book of instruction unfolding its truths forever for every need. The Bible works well to point outside its covers to the truth of the spiritual because it, when read critically, makes the student uncomfortable with both physical and spiritual. The student and/or authority who remains within the Bible as the inerrant, eternal sacred way to the Lord God never finds the peace and joy of God found in and with them. This has been the only testament of the Bible: God is real, God is here and God is not inside any book.

    We can only imagine that the nation of the United States of America would be so much stronger and a shining example to the world if all of us truly believed and lived that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all of Man are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    We can only imagine that Christianity would be so much stronger and a shining example to the world if all truly believed and lived in everything do to all others as we would have all others do to us.

    If we all, no matter how short each of our differing carnal lifetimes are, of mankind truly believed physical and spiritual application of law summed up in both these statements mankind as a propagating species would not die but prosper forever. That would mean mankind would have to move out of this dying planet. For individuals of mankind believing in the hope proposed in the Bible for eternal life that would mean they have to move out of the disintegrating physical pages of the Bible to find relationship with the God told of within. Critical thinking tempered with a very critical heart will find that the Bible clearly tells them so.

    No book written by the hand of Man stands in the place of God.

    God is spirit. God can only be fully worshiped in spirit. God can only be fully related with in the Spirit. The Bible tells me so.

    Too many of Man sense their spirituality in the image of God while trying to shoehorn the eternal, infinite, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscience to be fully contained within their carnal id, super-ego and ego. They write books, grow physical church plants, erect crosses, steeples, alters, pulpits and pews and call it all holy, divine and sacred because they try to contain God within their authority.

    Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:

    “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

    “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

    Matthew 23:1-12

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24

    There was no Old or New Testament when Jesus, independently of the Torah, Pentateuch, and Talmud, testified these things according to the above chronicled scripture. No church building, no church fixtures and no book; just the Spirit.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31

    No church building, no church fixtures and no book; just the Spirit.

    The Bible isn’t the truth, nor fact, it is a physical mechanism pointing to where you can critically find the Truth, and fact, in the Spirit that none of Man can fake.

  • Herm

    “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

    “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

    Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

    “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

    “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

    “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

    Matthew 10:26-42

  • Bones

    Dude MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian rebels….

    The investigators, who include representatives from Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine, and Belgium, said their conclusions were based on a wealth of supporting evidence, including forensic examinations, witness statements, satellite images, radar data and intercepted telephone calls.

    The investigation found:

    The missile was fired from an arable field 6km south of the town of Snizhne, an area was under the control of pro-Russia fighters.
    The Buk came from Russian territory into eastern Ukraine and was later transported on a white Volvo truck. Witnesses, photographs and video show it escorted by several other vehicles and by “armed men in uniform”.
    Around 100 people have been identified who can be linked to the downing of MH17 or the transport of the Buk.
    Witnesses at the launch site near the village of Pervomaiskyi reported hearing “a very loud noise” and “a high whistling sound”. They also saw a plume of smoke.
    Investigators are now examining who gave the order to smuggle the Buk system into Ukraine, and who gave the order to shoot down MH17.

    Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the Dutch national detective force, told the press conference: “MH17 was shot down by a 9M38 series missile, launched from a Buk-Telar. This Buk-Telar was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation, and after launch was subsequently returned to Russian Federation territory.”

    Satellite data from the US and the European Space Agency identified the launch site, along with testimony from numerous witnesses, he said.

    Paulissen said the JIT had examined and ultimately rejected other scenarios. They included the possibility that there was a terrorist attack on board the flight, or that it was shot down by a military aircraft. Radar data from Russia and Ukraine proved there were no other planes in the vicinity.

    The evidence includes damning intercepted telephone calls between rebel leaders. There are also photos, analysed and authenticated, plus a previously unknown video obtained from a witness. Several anonymous witnesses had come forward following an appeal for information on the JIT’s website, Paulissen said.

    A video reconstruction shown at the press conference revealed the Buk’s journey. It was seen leaving rebel-held Donetsk on a low-loader, heading east. After arriving in Snizhne on the afternoon of 17 July, the Buk was offloaded and drove to a field south of town. Early the next day it was taken back across the Russian border via the rebel-held city of Luhansk.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/28/flight-mh17-shot-down-by-missile-brought-in-from-russia-ukraine-malaysia-airlines

  • amylynn1022

    Agreed, but I would like to have some guidance, if only because my time is limited, as is my sanity. Even when I agree with the political slant I am finding I am less and less tolerant of mere insults and emotional manipulation.

  • Satire can be used to show the group you belong to where its prejudices lie. However, writing satires ensures that you won’t be making many friends.

  • Herm
  • Herm

    Only the discerning, eager to be challenged, will you make friends.

  • Guthrum

    “CNN – discussing this problem”. Yet CNN is one of the biggest purveyors of fake, hyped, sensationalized “news”.
    “Breaking news”: it isn’t breaking, and it isn’t news.

  • Guthrum

    There was a time when print and broadcast news was trusted and the reporters respected. That time is long gone. It may have started when some of the news people became glamorized and more celebrity than journalist.

  • Guthrum

    The coverage, histrionics, and the statements of most news media on election night was shameless. They simply could not control themselves.

  • Guthrum

    That is what I have noticed and told people about. The news media, if you can call it that now, is trying to shape and slant the news to influence peoples’ opinions and thinking.

  • Guthrum

    Yet Jesus quoted the Old Testament quote often. I read Psalms and books of the prophets as much as the New Testament.

  • Guthrum

    That was the big problem with Katrina coverage. Most of it moved from the hurricane damage coverage to the reports of
    crime and violent events. Most of which were never verified or followed up. That General Honore later said that things were a lot more peaceful than most people were being led to believe.

  • Guthrum

    Look at the problems with news anchors today who embellish and create news stories to build up their own image. Conkrite, Reasoner, Murrow, Thomas, and Brinkley would never have done that.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m not discounting OT. I just think we often fail to put a premium on the words of Jesus. I continue to receive great comfort from much of the Psalms as well

  • Bones

    From the guardian today

    Gunman detained at Comet Pizza restaurant was ‘self-investigating’ fake news reports
    Washington restaurant was target of fake news reports it was operating a child abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton and an aide

  • Herm

    Guthrum, I am interested in what you might believe is of importance to God in relationship with you that is found in the Old Testament that Jesus did not say in the New Testament.

  • Bones

    Mike Moore got it correct.

  • I can remember two ‘fake news’ stories in particular that I though highly amusing.

    The first was the Internet-wide hype surrounding the humorous site ‘bonsai kittens’, where they purportedly grew really small kittens by letting then grow up in glass jam jars. Clearly a spoof, because it doesn’t work like that (and no I haven’t tried it!) but loads of animal-rights people were up in arms about it and claiming it was cruel. And it wasn’t happening. Some people have no sense of humour, usually those who say, ‘We don’t think it’s funny…’

    The second was when The Onion put up a fake news article saying that some schoolchildren in America were being given classes on how to cast the Avada Kedavra death spell as used by Voldemort and his followers in the Harry Potter books. Once again, the religious types were going totally apesh1t about it, with the classic lack of humour, even (and especially) once it was explained to them. ‘Well we don’t think it’s funny’ was once again the refrain.

    There’s so much fun to be had out there, without even having to resort to baiting these people. But they do ask for it….

  • “No book written by the hand of Man stands in the place of God.”

    Unfortunately, this is exactly what many people try to make happen. Not that it works, of course….

    How ya doin’, Herm, my brother?

  • Herm

    Tony my brother it is great to hear from you. I am doing well, thank you. I’ve been keeping busy doing a bit of emergency and event amateur ham work here in the North West USA. I got over the hill to visit my five grand kids and families over our Thanksgiving holiday. I have needed to be deeply in the Spirit lately to pull me out of my election woes and as always have been lifted up.

    I haven’t been out on your web for a long time but have noticed some of your input here. How are you doing? Are you writing?

  • sg

    “I truly wish both critical thinking tempered with a very critical heart was applied to the Bible by all children.”

    Children are not critical thinkers. That is a later stage of development called formal operational.

    http://www.webmd.com/children/piaget-stages-of-development#1

    “The Bible is not a great book of instruction unfolding its truths forever for every need.”

    This is true. The commandments are guides, but really they show us how we fail. The Bible is a story about God’s actions, not human actions.

  • sg

    Please cite for us the thriving historically non religious society.

  • sg

    None seek God. That is the point.

    Romans 3:10-19English Standard Version (ESV)
    10 as it is written:“None is righteous, no, not one;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”

  • gimpi1

    The BBC is pretty much the gold standard for information around the world, precisely because they’re publicly funded and don’t have to worry about ratings.

    In the U.S., because our media is totally profit-driven, we simply don’t get that sort of service. Media companies are, indeed, a shadow of their former selves, because of what we’re doing right here. It’s like music publishing – once it became able to get it free, no one would pay for it and we don’t care enough about getting accurate information to pony up.

    n order to function in the internet age, media has to give away its product – information – while paying someone to research, verify and edit it. Obviously, this won’t work long term. In addition, ad revenues are low, because people frankly prefer the fake stuff, just like they generally prefer ice cream to broccoli. They know ice cream is bad for them, they know they should eat more vegetable, and yet, you don’t see iced broccoli and carrot trucks running around the neighborhood. We will pay for what we like, not what we should have.

    Fake news sells because it’s tailored to be appealing to a specific audience – it’s capitalism at its finest. It may well also destroy our democracy.

    I don’t have an answer for this. We’ve become so mistrustful of the government that we won’t invest in a BBC type of information network. We like having our biases confirmed, so we’ll choose media that does that. That media, therefore, will have high hit-rates and high ad revenues. Real news will continue to wither away, and we’ll increasingly make decisions with false, deceptive and bad information. This last election is a symptom of this. I wish I saw a way out of this, but I don’t.

  • otrotierra

    And yet Jesus never taught his followers to quote Romans 3:10 as a loophole for not following him.

  • Herm

    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become ?children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:9-13

    Adolescents who reach this fourth stage of intellectual development — usually at age 11-plus — are able to logically use symbols related to abstract concepts, such as algebra and science. They can think about multiple variables in systematic ways, formulate hypotheses, and consider possibilities. They also can ponder abstract relationships and concepts such as justice.

    <… from Piaget Stages of Development

    In carnal terms adolescents are children, also. In spiritual terms of development relative to God none of us of Man today are greater than children.

    There is only one Guide available today for children to learn the truth and that is the Word of God. There is only one Advocate for all children of God today, including the Son of God, who is the Holy Spirit, not the pieces of paper pointing to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    For the children you speak of what good book did their parents direct them to so that they could see how they failed?

    You are not reading your Bible very critically with either your spiritual mind or your spiritual heart; both in the image of God that separates us all after 11 carnal years of age from all other species of animals on earth. Species we are failing in our God given stewardship.

    sg, my carnally adult son and daughters, and their spouses, are my children, also. Their successes I share with joy and their failures I share in pain. I cannot separate myself from those I spawned and neither can God. Our successes are Gods, also. Our failures are God’s, also.

    How do you think our heavenly Father felt when those authorities of God, who He spawned, knew Him so little as to crucify His Son in His name? That is a feeling I cannot fathom but I would feel a failure if one of my spawn crucified my daughter and/or son in the authority of my name.

    Children, all children, fail and it is only through the example and nurture of their adult community and peers that they learn to succeed. That is why first and foremost all who know are quick to forgive those who know not what they do. That is divine compassionate and empathetic love I learned from God.

    The Bible is the very short expose of Man’s relationship with God, down and dirty. God didn’t one day command that we exercise justice, as an 11 year old is ready to learn, and then turn around just before His Son is to be crucified to command that He didn’t really mean an eye for an eye after all. He really meant to say you need to pick up your cross instead to find justice in God.

    Your Bible is my Bible. Your word of God is not my
    Word of God.

    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    John 1:14

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15

    Please sg, be as critical of the Bible as you are of what God inspires to breathe through me, Dr. Benjamin L. Corey and many more here. Be as critical of yourself to compare what the Bible says of our living God and Their Spirit to critique as to what you write comes from the authority of the Spirit (of truth) or from the authoritarian logic of Man (theology). One knows God as real and the many differing others know God only as an interpretive study, as did the Pharisees. That is the difference between Paul and Saul.

    I can honestly testify that I do know God as real and, yes, I fail for I am only a very little child in, with and of God. When I fail so does my divine Family whom I failed in Their name. The pain of destruction is even greater for my Brother and heavenly Father who knows the ramifications of childish actions that I have yet to learn.

  • Herm

    sg, you have not read those Romans 3 quotes critically by going back to their sources.

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:7-12

    Was Jesus just “frothing” at the mouth divinely in the knowledge that in reality “none seek God”?

  • “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to
    the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your
    head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many
    sparrows.”

    I’m puzzled (thinks; handy example, civilians in Aleppo). Do you think that this corresponds to reality? Are you illustrating my point, or challenging it?

  • Herm

    I am challenging your perspective. You appear to be saying that religious encouragement is the source of truth so therefore it is uncomfortable for you to dismiss their authority.

    I have taken your concept of parental/religious authority not to be challenged to the point of hate to find myself in relationship as a child of God. The faith that I attempt to point out to my children is not in my word but in the Word, not to be confused with the Bible.

    If my children love me or their religion of choice more than God; the living Father, Son and Holy Spirit then they did not grow beyond my authority and/or the authority of their peers to confirm their relationship in, with and of God. They are biased toward me and/or their peers.

    When in my children’s infancy they were absolutely dependent upon my wife’s and my capability of authority that they might survive on this earth. When they were old enough to begin to comprehend that I was not perfect and had an infinite amount more to learn before I could be faithfully omnipotent in their lives the transition from carnal to spiritual authority begins for children of Man. Then, also, begins the transition of bias as to who most to trust for their protection, teaching, providing and nurture.

    Unfortunately, most children simply want to grow up to emulate the adult authoritarians from their childhood. This is what creates Pharisaical religious authority based on Man’s maturity into authority and not ever seeking God’s more capable omnipotence.

    We have to choose as to in which direction we look for guidance as we are not omnipresent; religions of Man or relationship directly in God. We have to be biased as religion based on theology is only a finite study under the direction of Man while being a disciple (student) of Jesus is a study directly under the guidance of the Teacher for eternity.

    Paul, I could take this far more in depth and will if you wish to pursue this. For this moment I will offer three scripture readings that illustrate most the relationship I have and wish everyone would be biased toward with each of us remaining unique as children to, in, with and of God. I am not uncomfortable in this relationship. I had to fully reject the confirmation bias of my youth at age 50 in hate before I was accepted as a very little sibling student of Jesus. There is no room in each of our spiritual hearts and minds left for any other bias when the Spirit of truth fully immerses (baptizes) us.

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15

  • SamHamilton

    I agree with Mr. Corey here. Fake news isn’t the problem. There’s always been fake news. And there’s always been people who get sucked in. The big difference is the speed at which fake news can be propagated. Our technology enhances the effects of a fake news story.

    But I also think the “problem” of fake news, or even the number of people willing to believe it, isn’t a real problem. Obviously, the fact that the guy shot up the pizza place is a problem for the people effected. But in general, it’s not a problem. Most people aren’t getting sucked in by outright false news reports. I’m more disturbed by overreactions to this “problem” like our Internet content creators wanting to try to block things they’ve decided are fake.

  • SamHamilton

    This guy has a good rundown of all the fake news stories from just one news outlet running up to the election:

    freebeacon.com/culture/news-thats-fit-fake/

  • SamHamilton

    It reminds me of the scene from Men in Black where Tommy Lee Jones grabs all the tabloids to truly find out about alien activity on earth.

  • SamHamilton

    I agree with your point about the 24-hour news cycle. Well said.

    As for a place for conservative perspectives, I hesitate to commend entire sites because there’s always stuff on every site that I don’t think is particularly thoughtful, but there are particular conservative writers who I think are worth reading. I’d pay attention to Kevin Williamson and Yuval Levin at National Review online, Rod Dreher at the American Conservative, Jake Meador, who writes at a website called Mere Orthodoxy, and the more well-known Peggy Noonan, who opines at the Wall Street Journal. I’d also recommend a website called The Federalist (not everyone who writes there is worth paying attention to, but there are some good writers there as well).

    But as others have said, definitely try to get a diverse range of views. If you subsist entirely on the New York Times, you’ll be in a bubble, just like if all you take in is talk radio.

    Edit: I’d also include David French in my list of people at National Review who is worth reading for conservative thought.

  • Didn’t know you’re a ham; I am too. Had my licence since 1985….

    I am still writing, yes, but with a fair bit of sad news on my blog lately, and musings on the profound things I have learned about life and death recently. I’ll let you take a look:
    http://tinyurl.com/hh6xggj

  • Yeah, I’ve gotten similar. And I think just as bad is when they respond with something like “well, this one might be false, but everyone knows that stuff like this happens!”

    “Everyone” only “knows” that because it’s a common thread in fake stories.

  • Herm

    My international company had an ethics crisis with the US government about 40 years ago. We all had to watch a video led by our CEO who illustrated quite clearly that if your supervisor puts his/her arm around your shoulder and says “trust me” … don’t.

  • Herm

    … at least most of the electoral college.

  • Dr. Whom

    Trump’s henchmen love the fake news! It goes over well with the poorly educated! One of their minions just opened fire in DC, but the trump camp doesnt’ care. Hebelieves he could commit murder in Times Square and suffer no consequences- and now that ‘s his going to be president it is true. The power of belief!

  • Rt1583

    How about all of humanity that has never taken part in any organized religion or those that have left organized religion and continued to thrive?
    Not sure what you’re attempting to prove with your statement but it can only come from a position of arrogance to believe that society has to have religion in order to be successful.

  • Bones

    Breitbart is now the US spokesmen…get ready for all sorts of unbelievable shit to come out the White House.

  • To avoid further misunderstanding, I will say this, and then leave the field to others. I regard the promises of religion as a form of fake news, the acceptance on faith of these promises as an acquiescence in fake news, and the treatment of faith as a virtue as undermining our ability to detect and reject fake news. I know that many here including Dr Corey will not agree, and hope to learn from their responses to this challenge

  • Ron McPherson

    Good point. Jesus pretty much summed it all up in Matt 22:36-40. We get that one down and that pretty well gets it all

  • cvryder2000

    Try Fox. There’s a REASON it’s called “Faux Noise” by the discerning.

  • Herm

    Excellent Ron. I realized fairly early in this life that as much as I had been graced, much more than most in the world, I was never going to be able to do all that I was interested in.

    I am reassured from Luke 10:25-37 that as long as I am not a bad seed I will have plenty of time to do all that I am interested in. It is the same as Matthew 22:36-40.

    Not to forget the one law that simply sums it up for all, whether seeking eternal life or not, found in Matthew 7:12.

    Love you neighbor no less than I do myself.

  • Ron McPherson

    Love you brother!

  • Pennybird

    It’s not helpful when leaders jump on the fake news bandwagon, as Pence did when he shrugged off Trump’s lie about voter fraud. As a governor now, and vice president later, he is held to a higher standard of veracity than your average web surfer, yet he is actively choosing to act disgracefully instead.

  • Pennybird

    I’ve seen a lot of crap on facebook shared by people who, in my estimation, should know better. If they hear what they want to hear, it must be true. They’re too lazy to research something that sounds ridiculous before clicking share. “KKKer endorses Clinton? Whew! Takes the pressure off me to justify my support for Trump who also gets KKK support.”

  • Pennybird

    School librarians teach media literacy, and of course, their jobs are among the first to be cut when our politicians are striving to drown government in the bathtub.

  • Pennybird

    My favorite one appeared on the newsstands about this time in 1999. “The End of the World January 1st: Special Collector’s Edition”

  • Herm

    Thank you, Paul, for your critical thinking and your sharing in love and respect. To your points above I believe we are more in agreement than not. Again, depending on perspective when no perspective is identical to another of Man.

    To be clear, I climbed most of the steps as led by religious authority only to have a ten year fall to have relatively nothing in my name; job, family and church. That was when, having nothing to lose, I realized that if God (by any name and any number) was actually real, loving, nurturing, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, having no beginning and having no end then I could appeal to trust in Their protection, providing, and Their leading in authority.

    Man chases what Man senses is to their well being. Mankind has an innate ability seemingly different than any other species of animal on earth. Mankind realizes to define finite from beginning to end while simultaneously certain that we are incapable of defining the beginning and end of what might just be infinite. Man chases, in their spare time, a reason why they survive when they know survival is well beyond their authority.

    Mankind begins as infants 100% dependent upon the carnal instincts to nurture of their parents in order to survive their helplessness. When healthy they grow to trust and love those who gave them life and supported them by grace and love. By extension children of Man who transition to adults of Man seek comfort from their insecure awareness that they are in actuality helpless and still in need of some other authority of oversight to survive what they realize is infinitely beyond their scope. Our cosmos is daunting and quarks are mysteriously assumed but greater than that none of us knows to react exactly right to any given physical, mental, social or spiritual stimulus that was beyond our limitations in expectation. When left only to our own we are uncomfortable and seek well being.

    God is real, live and available. The only way anyone can know this to be true is to challenge God one on One. The promises of God seek to be accepted because of Their divine instinct to nurture out of love. Even the best and most constructive promises of religion are constantly under revisement because they are subject to the interpretive study of God (theology) by Man from their limited perspective. If one of Man chooses to hate the clear inadequacy of these traditional changes in their spiritual foundation they then are not left without a greater authority to lead him/her. In the attitude of what do I have to lose, I hate all the fake news of religion and blind allegiance to family (that my family of birth might survive above all else), I can go as a little helpless infant to God to love all and be loved by all God. Well, that is said in the Bible so I gave it my all and took the plunge. I know today that God is real, live and available. I don’t know whether growing studiously in religious relationship was necessary in my journey to this point but I do know my studies under my Lord only are far more productive and constructive to all I influence around me.

    I only use the Bible to point out to the critical christian seeker that there is a way past the fake news that is really the good news that can be tested to their satisfaction. You are a seeker but not a christian seeker so the Bible is probably not the pointer you are looking for. You are challenging us here so you have some interest in expanding your awareness of spiritual beyond your knowledge of the carnal. We care for both interests here, spiritual and carnal, with people of all interests staying or visiting. You are welcome to challenge or set yourself up to be challenged here.

    Love you!

    P.S.: A challenging zinger that I just realized I need to share here that I did not know from my relations in religion. I know, now, from the inside that God is of one perspective only because of He who is known as the Spirit filling each and every heart and mind of all in God. When one is aware all are aware to the limit of their maturity.

    I do hope others are up to the challenge you offer, thank you! If not, continue to challenge and there will be takers I am certain.

  • Pennybird

    I’ve gone back to network news in the evening. It’s not great – it’s thin and there are advertisers to appease, but I feel I get a better overview than on any of the cable news, which is all political slant, with the occasional disaster thrown in out of necessity.

  • Pennybird

    I get your point, and agree with you about the fragility of democracy – at minimum you need an educated populace to carry it through properly. But the Fairness Doctrine applied only to broadcast licensing. Cable is now doing what broadcast used to do, but I don’t know if it uses the same license. Hearing profanity and seeing ads for hard liquor make me think not, but I’m not positive. Fake websites would be immune, too, if we still had the FD.

  • Guthrum

    I tried Fox and all the rest..

  • James53

    It started about the time that the CIA launched Operation Mockingbird.

  • James53

    Herm, outside of work I only have Internet on my phone, and I don’t know how to cut and paste and run it through a translator. When I am around work I’m usually too busy for anything but work, but I will try to do this when I have a little free time, as I’m sure you are trying to teach me something important.

  • James53

    I have read the report and looked at their alleged “photographic evidence”. And I’ve looked at Robert Parry’s laborious and thorough debunking of this “evidence.” The background in the photos doesn’t match up to the site where they claim the BUK launcher was. Different trees, telephone poles, etc. The US Empire wants regime change in Russia at all costs, and will do anything, even risk nuclear war to get it. Not because Putin is an authoritarian, since we prop up regimes far worse than that, but because the US Empire is insane and will tolerate nothing that stands in the way of its total global hegemony. I invite you to look at Mr. Parry’s many articles on this subject over at Consortium News and tell me if you come to the same conclusions. I say this in all humility, and if I’m missing something I will change my view accordingly. Btw, I like most of your comments, Mr. Bones, but based on what I’ve read so far, I can’t agree with you on this one. Wishing you the best. :).

  • Herm

    Thank you.

  • James53

    Talking about “religion” as if it is some monolithic entity causes me not to take you seriously. There are many religions and sects thereof. As a perennialist I believe that all major world religions are based on profound truths, but the religions themselves are perverted in many cases by governments and other persons and entities for their own nefarious ends.

  • James53

    I don’t think that is what sg is saying but it is true that all great civilizations were built on the teachings of a great religious founder whose teachings are based on universal truths.

  • James53

    As far as “conservative” sites (not sure if that term, as well as “liberal” means anything anymore as these terms in today’s parlance usually refer to neoconservativism and neoliberalism, which have strayed so far from the original meaning of “conservatism” and “liberalism” so as to be their polar opposites, I would recommend “The American Conservative” as the least awful. I often disagree with their articles but at least they are generally honest. I would also recommend two libertarian sites, Antiwar.com and Lew Rockwell, with the same caveat. But personally for me, my most trusted sites are Counterpunch and Op Ed News, Truthdig and Who What Why.

    I would definitely not trust WSJ, which imho is nothing but neoliberal /neoconservative propaganda. Except for articles whose intended audience are CEO and oligarchs. Then they tend to be more truthful.

  • James53

    Exactly! But I wouldn’t expect the black SUVs yet, that is too costly and obvious fascism. So I think they will try subtler means first (they already have passed a bill in the House, in one week (!) on this subject, with little reporting from our supposed guardians of the bastions of journalistic integrity.

  • James53

    Yes, I think Alex Jones is full of untruth and sensationalism, but there are truthful articles on there as well. If Trump does follow him uncritically that is a huge problem. Kind of like how Ronald Reagan formed a lot of his beliefs by talking to rich white men at cocktail parties.

  • SaInRu

    alex jones and infowars will give trump his daily briefing of important issues.

  • Rt1583

    I talk about religion as a monolithic entity in a way you don’t like so you don’t take me seriously yet you talk about religion as a monolithic entity in a way you like so you expect to be taken seriously.

    Got it.

    I can only assume you apply the same to your “six corporations” so should I take you seriously in your comments on that?

  • Rt1583

    You’ve actually got proof for this?

  • Bones

    So your issue is with the investigation not the media which just reported on its findings.

    What’s with the Putin love.

    The guys a fascist worse than trump.

  • Bones

    Also the idea that an international investigative task force is part of some US empirical agenda is absurd.

    To think Russia doesn’t have empirical designs is crazy.

  • Sarah

    I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so forgive me if I am repeating something that has already been added to the discussion. You’re right- the problem isn’t the fake news. The root is that we are not taught critical thinking skills, and this enables ignorance. I wasn’t taught critical thinking until I attended an elite university (after having attended several other institutions of higher education- some more prestigious than others). If this were a requirement in grade school, fake news wouldn’t be such an issue.

    Stepping into fear and tension is not something people are willing to do. It’s such a shame, because that’s where all the fun is! That’s where the magic and wonder are, and what allows our brains and consciousness to grow.

    One of the most interesting things I have realized along the way is how being faced with information that clashes with one’s beliefs and world view will cause people’s brains to short-circuit. People can’t handle the truth, as Jack Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men” famously said. The biggest challenges tend to be political and religious. Those domains are where the most short-circuiting happens. “You mean my teacher/pastor/whatever lied to me?” It’s like someone had taken the rug out from under your feet. It can be very unsettling, and you want to cling to The Way Things Were before you were faced with challenging information.

    Having studied development and international relations, and traveling extensively, this has happened to me on numerous occasions- to the point that I must challenge everything I see being touted as “news”. And believe me, it gets terribly tiring. I long for the days when I was ignorant- life was much simpler. It’s easy to see why “knowing” is less appealing than “appearing to know”. People are naturally parrots, because having an original thought takes work and time.

    Which brings me to my final point: who has the time??? Who has the time to be well informed? Once you begin to learn stuff you realize how little you know. Learning a subject in-depth takes time, and nobody has that. Easier to align oneself with a talking head and just repeat everything they say. Then when that talking head is proven wrong, the believers actually defend the talking head. Very bizarre.

  • sg

    Those individuals benefit from the greater society which is organized around religion. I am just asking for an example of a thriving society founded on atheism.

  • sg

    You are the arrogant one making bald unsupported statements and expecting people to just accept them. You didn’t support your statement with even one example.

    People need something in common to bring them together. I didn’t say it is impossible for atheists to found a just or good society. I just don’t know of any examples. You seem to be interested in such things, so why don’t you give us the example.

    Atheists that are living in some society that is religious are anomalous. They do not constitute a separate society. But you know that.

  • sg

    That is the Law. He even says so directly in the passage.

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

    The Law shows us how we fail.

    We do not seek.

    We do not do to others as we would have them treat us.

    We fail

    Only Jesus fulfilled the Law.

    That is why we need the Gospel of forgiveness.

  • sg

    “Please sg, be as critical of the Bible as you are of what God inspires to breathe through me,”

    I am limited by my own human reason, as are you.

    God is not limited.

    “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens,
    and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps
    it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian
    Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.” — Martin Luther

    “That is divine compassionate and empathetic love I learned from God.”

    To the extent that you do anything good whatever, it is the work of God the Holy Spirit through you and not any credit to you. You are still accountable for all your failings and sins. Jesus has taken the punishment for your sins. You are forgiven.

    “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Eph. 2:8-9

  • Bones

    Only near the dawn of the 21st century did Planet Earth see a few societies of “organic” (unforced) atheism emerge: most notably, Denmark and Sweden.2 So, now that we finally have a natural experiment on the issue, does the data confirm or deny the claim that religion is necessary to maintain a healthy, happy and moral society?

    society_without_god

    Society without God (2008) is sociologist Phil Zuckerman‘s analysis of the societal and moral health of these two atheistic societies.

    So, what do the data show about the health, happiness and morality of these non-religious societies?

    The data could hardly be clearer. Denmark and Sweden rank among the most well-developed, wealthiest, most democratic, most free, most entrepreneurial, least corrupt, least violent, most peaceful, healthiest, happiest, most egalitarian, best educated, most charitable, and most environmentally compassionate societies in the entire world.

    http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=3189

  • Bones

    “What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? Since they live among us, we dare not tolerate their conduct, now that we are aware of their lying and reviling and blaspheming. If we do, we become sharers in their lies, cursing and blasphemy. Thus we cannot extinguish the unquenchable fire of divine wrath, of which the prophets speak, nor can we convert the Jews. With prayer and the fear of God we must practice a sharp mercy to see whether we might save at least a few from the glowing flames. We dare not avenge ourselves. Vengeance a thousand times worse than we could wish them already has them by the throat. I shall give you my sincere advice:

    First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly ­ and I myself was unaware of it ­ will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.

    Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. For they pursue in them the same aims as in their synagogues. Instead they might be lodged under a roof or in a barn, like the gypsies. This will bring home to them that they are not masters in our country, as they boast, but that they are living in exile and in captivity, as they incessantly wail and lament about us before God.

    Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. (remainder omitted)

    Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. ” – Martin Luther

  • Matthew

    I used to think that where information flows freely people would by and large make better decisions, but that doesn´t seem to be the case anymore (and maybe it has never been the case).

    That said, I personally find that these days there is simply so much information to sift through, and some of it being so contradictory, that it makes responsible decision making very difficult.

    We have a friend from Iran who is now living in our city. When we first ate with him, he told us we should never eat fruits directly after eating the main meal. I wasn´t certain if he was correct, so I did some research. What I found (and maybe someone else has better, more reliable information than I do about this) is that there are arguments both pro and con re: after meal fruit eating.

    Sigh …….

  • sg

    Those who follow Jesus are called by the Holy Spirit. It is not their own work. They are called by the Holy Spirit. They did not seek Him and cannot seek Him but that they are called by the Gospel.

  • sg

    Do you have a point?

    Luther was only a man. He would tell you himself that he is a poor miserable sinner like the rest of us.

    I cited him because he did a better job of saying somethng I also think.

    David Hume states the is-ought problem better than I, so I cite him, too.

    You however, come off as a troll by trotting out this long and irrelevant quote.

    Luther, like you, and I and Hume and everyone else was a flawed human being.

    Does that mean we shouldn’t attribute statements?

  • sg

    Denmark and Sweden are going down. They have let in immigrants that are wrecking the quality of life there. Sad. Violence there is way up and all of the increase is from the hostile violent folks among the immigrants. So sad.

  • Herm

    All of us are seeking something or we are dead. What matters to God is not that we are seeking but what we are seeking.

    Come on sg, you are stretching to find truth when truth is so much more simple when you don’t abide in the law but in love for self, neighbor, enemy and God.

    Love is a bond, when reciprocally applied, of mutual empathy, compassion and forgiveness of self, neighbor, enemy and God. When unilaterally applied, as Jesus did on the cross, it is an example of just how much we can love those who know not what they do destructively to us to ask our heavenly Father to forgive them.

    Those who crucified Jesus in the name of the creator God knew the law. Those who crucified Jesus did not know that He was with, in and of God. They were authorities of the law who did not know God. Would you know who in your presence today is with, in and of God to keep from crucifying them in the spirit of the God’s law?

    God and I do not spend our day determining if this or that is within the law or not. We spend the day, every moment of everyday, relating to each other to be more productive and constructive for each other and all who we love.

    Negative results as natural consequences, God’s presence or not, shows us all that we failed to get what we wanted from what we did by our last way. God’s grace to protect, provide and nurture us, as does the grace of all good parents, and others from our destructive way is where we find additional time to correct our way to be more positive. Forgiveness is only one of the ways from the grace of God that we can relieve another and/or our self from the unnecessary distraction felt by the mounting weight of guilt or vengeance.

    The greatest commandment is not a law of doing but a law of attitude toward what we seek to do. The way to get constructive results, if our attitude is founded in love, is to do for all others as we would have all others do for us, including we in Jesus’ example picking up our cross that our ignorant enemy might live. The way to destructive results, from the perspective of our Lord who loves for the good of all, is from the heart and mind a self centered attitude of me and mine before all others.

    We are never going to be perfect as we grow toward perfection just after the end of eternity. We are learning from our errors not learning to never to err. We don’t fail because we’re inadequate to live up to our heavenly Father’s will. We finally fail in eternal death when we cannot love self, neighbor and God. Today we are all very little children incapable of our heavenly Father’s and our heavenly Brother’s degree of omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence and perfection.

    Give us a break, please … and They do in forgiveness for what we know not what we do. If we do know what we do, and the results of our intentional ways are destructive to God and Their beloved spawn, there is only death due to a divine eternal love for those who live in love.

    The Good News (Gospel) is not the forgiveness of God but the fact that God loves us enough to die for us that we may learn to pick up our cross for others. … as we would have others do for us that we might live in, with and of God. … as Their little imperfect ignorant but forever learning children saved by God’s and our love.

    Ask yourself sg, just what do you expect to be doing for an eternity with, in and of God?

  • sg

    Sweden and Denmark have their founding history of paganism and later conversion to Christianity. Any atheism is a result not a cause. The people in those very tiny countries are pretty much all related to one another like a family. They were not at all diverse until very recently. Diversity is not working out too well either. It is destroying societies the Danes and Swedes have built. Also, back when they were pagan, they were raiders. Just sayin.

  • sg

    The Bible is the only source for our knowledge of God.

  • sg

    Love is great. Love is also Law. It is something we do or fail to do.

    Love comes from God through us to others to the extent it comes at all. I am just making the the point that it is of God not man.

  • SamHamilton

    Yes, confirmation bias certainly plays a part.

  • Herm

    We are only limited by time to experience, test, realize and learn to go on to experience, test, realize and learn. This is the only reason to desire eternal life. If we expect the instant gratification of realizing perfection upon entering into heaven we will be very, very disappointed.

    To the extent that I do anything good (constructive and productive) for all of Man and God is solely due to the fact I want to do something good and learned to do so.

    sg, you have the wrong idea as to how the Spirit of truth works as an advocate for God, really.

    To God you aren’t just an empty computerized vessel to be manipulated by God’s programming. You are you and will always be uniquely you.

    Jesus was baptized (filled) with the Holy Spirit before God recognized Him before all as His Son. Our heavenly Father is spirit. Our heavenly Father has heart, soul, strength and mind that He loves us all with first. Our Lord God has heart, soul, strength and mind that He loves us all with first. The image of God we have as mankind is spirit and each of Man has heart, soul, strength and mind that we are each responsible for and to.

    Clearly on this earth each of our hearts, souls, strengths and minds is fragmented from each other that makes Man divided. In heaven and on earth God is united only because of the indwelling, the filling, of the Holy Spirit residing in the hearts and minds of the Father, His only begotten Son, and all the little children of God.

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31

    There was no boast, and no Bible, only the word of God spoken boldly.

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15

  • SamHamilton

    Great point about wanting things to be simpler. I often hear people talk about how things used to be when there was just a couple nightly news programs where everyone got their news from and you felt like you could trust people like Walter Cronkite to give it to you straight. At least everyone had their own starting point. But were we really better off?

  • Bones

    “The BBC is pretty much the gold standard for information around the world, precisely because they’re publicly funded and don’t have to worry about ratings.”

    We have that in Australia as well with the ABC and SBS.

  • Bones

    That’s pretty dumb. Especially the viking and incest nonsense.

    Sweden and Denmark have the lowest rates for believers in the world.

    You just proved you have no idea.

  • Bones

    Wtf…..

    These immigrants would be believers in god would they not?

    So sad.

  • sg

    “To God you aren’t just an empty computerized vessel to be
    manipulated by God’s programming. You are you and will always be
    uniquely you.”

    Yeah, I will be uniquely sinful.
    The will is the object of conversion. It is the will that is converted. My human will is sinful and seeks to continue to be so. Hence the need for conversion and repentance.

    Jesus is coeternal with God the father and Holy Spirit. “He was conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit and made man.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed

    cue the trolls to dig up some long and crappy quote from someone who attended the council of Nicea.

  • Bones

    He was a raving anti-semite whose opinion means shit.

  • Bones

    Like Martin Luther?

  • Bones

    You mean people’s opinions of god….

  • Herm

    Love simply is an attitude. We recognize and get to choose to love or not because we are in the image of God. We are of God in God’s image as Man. We are free to do as we will and what we seek. As a child of God I am still free to do as I will and what I seek. The prerequisite for becoming sibling student of the Messiah was hating all the divisive patriotic family traditions that fragment Man and picking up my cross for the love of Man that all of God is united in through the Holy Spirit.

    I can love someone hurt because I failed them out of ignorance and inability. I don’t love because God fills me with love. I had to love before God would fill me with Their Spirit.

    It is beside the point that all things we know are of God because love is an attitude that we are individually free to direct and accept in the image of God.

  • sg

    “If this were a requirement in grade school, fake news wouldn’t be such an issue.”

    Actually when you try to teach kids skills that are not compatible with their level of cognitive development, they just learn that they can’t do it. Then when it is time to do some critical thinking they appeal to authority. They go look up someone who has done a good or not so good critical thinking and they parrot it because they don’t actually have the skills to do it themselves. This becomes a habit that ossifies such that many don’t break free. See also David Hume on the is-ought problem because we read into things due to our values rather than objectivity. http://www.philosophy-index.com/hume/guillotine/

  • Bones

    Rubbish!

    The whole biblical account is about seeking God.

  • sg

    Council of Nicea 325

    Second Council of Nicea 381

    Martin Luther 1483 – 1546

    so, no, not Luther, but thanks for playing, troll.

  • Bones

    The Law was immoral and contradicted by Christ.

  • gimpi1

    Yes. it’s common all around the western world, except in the U.S. We used to require broadcasters to provide objective news as a condition of their broadcast license, but with the onset of cable TV, the internet and a whole range of ‘information’ sources that are frankly entertainment, that broke down. Also, The Regan administration’s repeal of the Fairness Doctrine that required broadcasters to offer all sides of an argument made narrow-casting to a specific market both legal and profitable.

    I don’t have an answer here. The U.S. is so wedded to private-enterprise solutions that we won’t ever fund a decent public broadcasting system. Many – perhaps most – people prefer propaganda that reflects their biases to factual information. There’s good money to be made appealing to people’s biases, and for some reason I don’t grasp, that sort of thing seems to sell better to conservative people. Perhaps it’s because people who tend to be authoritarian want to belong to a group and reflect that group’s ideas whereas non-authoritarian people are happy and comfortable standing out from the crowd.

    We need to figure this out, however. You can’t have a functional democracy with a population that believes nonsense. We’re cutting our own throats every time we pass along a fake-news story. We’re killing our country every time we fall for one.

  • Bones

    The gospel being not your individualistic puritanistic Calvinistic mumbo jumbo….

    Mark’s Gospel states it is ‘the beginning of the gospel’ ie the establishment of the kingdom of god on Earth. – a kingdom which encompasses ALL people and doesn’t exclude others.

    Luke states something further…

    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
    He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set free those who are oppressed,
    To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

    I’m interested to know how YOUR gospel helps the poor seeing it’s quite meaningless and about being part of some elite club.

  • sg

    Can you not read?

    I said that it was my idea, but stated better by another. Therefore I gave attribution for the actual phrasing.

    If you ask a man the time and he tells you five o’clock, is it not really five o’clock just because he is an anti semite?

    You apparently are eat up with something and are employing the ad hominem fallacy.

    I did not quote him to imply he is an authority and therefore his words are correct. He is not an authority. He just stated one idea very well.

    Try some critical thinking.

  • Bones

    But someone like Luther?

  • sg

    “Sweden and Denmark have the lowest rates for believers in the world.”

    It is an effect not a cause.

    Again, try some critical thinking.

  • sg

    No. They are pagans who follow false religion.

  • sg

    Regardless, the Bible is still the only source of knowledge of God.

  • sg

    No. the whole Biblical account is about God seeking to redeem people. Generally people run away as is seen in the Bible. Not always. Nineveh repented.

  • Herm

    sg, creeds are not of God but of religions dependent on the study of God because they do not know God. Jesus speaks out against all things rote.

    Sin is only separating yourself from the love of another.

    All children of God today are co-eternal with Jesus and our heavenly Father. The Holy Spirit unites us as one in heart and mind.

    This is repentance:

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27

    This is the result:

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21

    We have to love, an overwhelming desire to unite constructively and productively for another, first before we will receive the Advocate.

    All you are sharing is from theology (the study of God) and none is from a relationship with God. I truly hope for your good that you can come to realize there is a difference. The most respected authorities who studied God of God’s chosen people crucified the only begotten Son of God in God’s name because they did not know Him.

  • Bones

    I am applying critical thinking to your nonsense….

    Actually you’re the one who employed a source of someone who is utterly unbelievable….why should we believe what he says about Christianity when he doesn’t even get the fricking basics about murdering others.

    Now if Martin Luther was a raving homosexual you would disown him like you disown gay Christians today.

    None of that saint and sinner bullshit there with gay people is there???

    Nah…

    But he’s only a raving antisemite who set in motions the Holocaust…meh…who wasn’t….saint and sinner….hey

    You people are ridiculous and massively hypocritical when it comes to your gurus.

  • sg

    No. It was fulfilled by Christ.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17New King James Version (NKJV)

    16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

  • Bones

    If you say so….

    My encounters with god are more believable than Moses’s .

    But do go on….

  • Herm

    Luther was introduced a few hours earlier.

  • Bones

    Augustine was one of the worst things that happened to Christianity.

  • Bones

    No….they are believers in god…you just don’t like their god.

  • sg

    Free will to choose good is false teaching. We can only choose evil, not good. Good comes from God.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Bondage_of_the_Will

    Written by Martin Luther (to save John Calvin the trouble :)

  • Bones

    Lol….I did…hence why I called your rubbish out about vikings and incest.

    Hey, tells us how well christianity did among the natives in Latin America, North America, Australia, Africa….

    That body count beat the Muslims easy…

  • gimpi1

    One thing that can help is learning how to vet sources. When a journalist researches a story, the credibility of the source is an important factor. On your “fruit after the meal” question, what sources said it might be a problem? Did they have other health-related information on the site? Was that information accurate? Did those sites sources? Were they reliable, i.e. AMA or other reputable medical groups? Did they cite actual studies?

    I know looking at this stuff sounds like a lot of work. It’s not as bad as it sounds. A quick scan of the sites contents can give you an overview. If you see anti-vaccination or other marginal stuff, you have a good idea of the site’s direction. Check the “about us” page. Sites that have credential always list them, if they aren’t listed on the “about us” page, they don’t have any. Randomly scan a couple of articles. Again, if these articles are linked to peer-reviewed studies, they’ll link to them. If there aren’t links, the article isn’t based on any reputable studies.

    To go deeper, check a few randomly selected facts. Some are easy. If names, places or locations are mentioned, see if they really exist. In a recent example, a fake-news click-bait story was created regarding a “murder-suicide” of a supposed FBI agent in Colorado who was supposedly investigating Ms. Clinton. A quick check revealed that the “newspaper” that supposedly wrote the story didn’t exist, that the hotel the incident supposedly took place in didn’t exist, and the local police department had never answered a call regarding any sort of murder-suicide on the date in question. Now, a true conspiracy-nut can rationalize much of this, but making an entire hotel vanish?

    There’s no excuse for falling for any of this, yet far too many people do. My belief is that this is on us. We all need to fact check stuff we’re sent, and let the sender know if we disprove it. Send them the entire rabbit-trail, and let them know how we disproved their nonsense. Don’t be rude, but suggest they be more careful in what they fall for. If possible, teach them how to really do research. We all need to get over the idea that 10 minutes of google-searches reflecting our own biases is actual research.

  • Bones

    No..it is people seeking god.

    Hence why there are contradictions about god.

  • Bones

    No…it was contradicted by Christ….see Mark 10 where Jesus disses the Law which allows married men to screw single women and disallows women to divorce at all..

    Your circular reasoning won’t help you here.

  • Herm

    There is only one Teacher for disciples of Jesus Christ and Martin Luther is certainly not that Teacher.

  • Bones

    Once again….like anyone would believe him….

    What a hideous view of humanity….

    Thankfully secularism (the good) is driving such nonsense away ( evil).

  • Bones

    Hard to believe people still look to Luther and Calvin…..

  • sg

    “a kingdom which encompasses ALL people and doesn’t exclude others.”

    The Gospel is the forgiveness of sins for all people. When the pastor gives the bread and wine, he says, “The body of Christ, broken for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you.” It is for everyone.

    I am not a Calvinist, by the way.

    I am not sure why you are ranting.

    Try some critical thinking.

  • Bones

    The one ranting here is you.

    So your gospel isn’t the one of Luke or Mark….it’s some human sacrifice God made to appease himself.

    which is hardly good news to anyone…including the poor.

  • Bones

    Some people need to get out more and read apart from Reformed nonsense.

    And apply some critical thinking to their own beliefs.

  • gimpi1

    At least network news is vetted. If someone reports a falsehood or fails to do due diligence, they will most likely be fired. CNN practices this, too. Other cable networks, not so much. It’s likely no surprise that FOX is the worst here.

    Actual news sites are pretty good. Again, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, these guys do fact-checking, and fire people caught in falsehoods. However, any site with a stated agenda that isn’t reporting facts simply can’t be trusted. This last election has, sadly, taught everyone that, contrary to the old saw, liars do prosper. In fact, if you lie confidently in entertaining ways, double-down, never admit error or apologize, people will not only believe you, they’ll reward you. I find it hard to imagine a more dangerous lesson.

  • sg

    I said,

    “Those who follow Jesus are called by the Holy Spirit. It is not their own work. They are called by the Holy Spirit. They did not seek Him and cannot seek Him but that they are called by the Gospel.”

    You replied:

    “Luke states something further…“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
    Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.”

    I don’t see how you figure that is a refutation of what I said. Saint Luke pretty much says the same thing I did. He says his was called by the Sprit to preach the gospel. He doesn’t say he earned it by good works. He says He was chosen. Now he has to go do it. It wasn’t his idea.

    Also, how can you be sure that this section of the Bible is true since you claim that the Bible is just some men’s opinions?

    Try some critical thinking.

  • sg

    I am pretty sure this isn’t Reformed nonsense, unless you think the Council of Trent or Vatican II is Reformed.

    http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/GODA42A.HTM

  • That’s not what the Bible says. In the book of Romans it says that the knowledge of God that comes from creation is so overwhelming that we are “without excuse”. So, to say that the Bible is the only source of knowledge of God actually stands in opposition to what the Bible itself claims.

  • sg

    Of course it is good news. It is the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection to new life.

    Mine is surely the Gospel of Luke and Mark.

    But how can you be sure of such opinions of men as you call them?

  • sg

    Imagination and critical thinking are not the same thing. Imagination can be wonderful and good. But imagination is not critical thinking.

  • sg

    Like Stalin and Pol Pot. I guess all the people they killed were evil. (sarcasm)

  • sg

    So what are you?

    Are you not a teacher?

    What about every pastor in every church? Are they not called to preach and teach in the public ministry? Should no one discuss theology? Shall we only recite Bible passages without comment? Shall we restrict ourselves to only reading or repeating Jesus’s words found in red letters in some versions of the Bible?

    I have already said that Martin Luther is not an authority. You aren’t either, nor I. But that doesn’t mean we can’t confess our faith. Rather we are required to confess our faith.

  • sg

    Shall we look to you instead? What great exposition have you to offer. The notion that everyone and everything in the past is wrong is a fallacy. Hard to believe people still look to Einstein and Newton…

    What besides the anti semitic rant have you read from Luther? or Calvin for that matter? It is kind of hard to apply critical thinking to things you have not even read. Perhaps your opinions come from your imagination rather than from objectivity, reason or critical thinking.

  • sg

    Your are the one going in circles. First you say the Bible is mere opinions of men, then you quote it as authoritative.

    Well, which is it?

  • sg

    Nineveh didn’t seek God. Not even the prophet wanted to go. He was forced. He even tried to kill himself rather than obey God. He didn’t want to fulfill God’s will. He openly opposed God. The story shows that God can even use the unwilling even the really really super unwilling. Yet Nineveh, which did not seek was found and repented. It is not a story about people seeking God. Even if you don’t believe the Bible is true, just ordinary literary criticism will reveal that it is not about people seeking God.

  • Matthew

    Thanks gimpi1 :-).

  • sg

    Their god is false.

  • sg

    The most common religion among Native Americans is Protestant, just like the rest of the USA.

    I have yet to see any critical thinking from you. You mostly get off on tangents.

  • sg

    It is not incest, just a really large tribe. Genetic analysis shows they are all related to common ancestors. In fact in Iceland there is an app you can get for your phone so that when you meet someone you can find out how closely related you are because they want to avoid incest. This app was inspired by the fact that is is well known that all Icelanders are related.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/04/23/iceland-s-incest-prevention-app-gets-people-to-bump-their-phones-before-bumping-in-bed.html

    Also, there are maps of haplogroups and where they are concentrated. Members of the same groups live together and intermarry and have common ancestors as demonstrated by the fact that they share the same rare mutation. This is all well known. All humans are related anyway. I don’t know why you are freaking out about it.
    http://www.worldfamilies.net/mtdnamap

  • sg

    Why would I disown someone for being a raving homosexual if he was right about what he was saying?

    You make no sense.

    I attribute David Hume who was an atheist, but I am not. He still had interesting insights. He was a great thinker.

    I think you are the one who disowns a person because he is wrong on one thing.

    It is the ad hominem fallacy. You can read about it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem
    I

  • sg

    Yes, so does the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I did not mean to imply that I don’t agree with that point. I think that is general revelation rather than the direct revelation in the Bible. But it is a fair point nonetheless. But if someone is citing their own imagination, I can’t accept that as authoritative over and above the revealed Word of God.

    Anyway, thank you for making the point.

  • sg

    Would these be secular encounters?

    for myself, as I said, I cannot by my own reason or strength believe. It is a gift. I would say my greatest temptation is toward atheism which is probably why I ignore people who say God is talking to them. I think they are liars. Take for instance this one who is the top selling Christian devotional author on Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Calling-Enjoying-Peace-Presence/dp/1591451884

    She says Jesus is talking to her. I think she is a liar.

  • sg

    Why?

  • sg

    creeds are confessions

    So, for simplicity, people use the creed to state what they believe.

    As for respected authorities, I can agree with
    “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.” Ps. 146:3

    I am not really into the relationship with God thing. I don’t get it. No offense to anyone else who thinks that way. I would call myself religious but not spiritual. I don’t get into stuff like feeling the presence of God. It is kind of weird to me when people talk like that. I tend to kind of want to get away because it makes me uncomfortable. They might be really sweet, but I am just not into that.

  • Herm

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

    Acts 4:31-35

    I do not speak the word of God boldly by the authority of a bible, church, theology, pastor, or especially the red letters but only by the Spirit of truth with one heart and mind in God with me.

    I am, as is Bones and others here are, trying to show you through the Bible with the red letters who Jesus pointed to for His students (disciples) to learn from. His disciples are His siblings in God. I am not qualified to teach in Jesus’ place of authority but because I am in Him and He in me I can point directly to He who can teach you as you are willing.

    Did Jesus confess His faith or did He instead speak directly about His and our relationship with the heavenly Father? I have ALL faith in love that I am within the divine care of God because, as a contrast, when outside of God, not as Their child, I grew to hate the results and consequences traced to the foundation traditions, rituals, allegiances and diverse teachings of Man. I do not have a faith that God exists for I know God much more intimately and personally from within than I know you, and yet we converse. Do you think conversing with God is sufficient when you have to go to Man to support your faith?

    I cannot teach you how you can live eternal and love it all the way to the end. I can only testify that in my heart and mind this is true and so such can be for you.

  • Lynn

    When talking to young children and I mean the younger the better they can spot what is not true a lot faster than adults. When a child says something is not right about that I look into it a lot faster because I know my own experiences and learning get in the way.

  • Lynn

    Al Jazeera America had real reporting where the reporter asked questions of real people and the questions addressed more than one side of an issue instead of the reporter giving their own opinion they reported the opinion of the people and the situation they were reporting on. I had forgotten how well that worked. Al Jazeera is gone now and we are back to shallow opinion non-news reporting.

  • sg

    “…like anyone would believe him….”

    To have an opinion, one would have to actually read the thing.

  • sg

    Show them pictures of aborted babies and ask them what they think. You will get the truth.

  • Herm

    Now, finally now, the confession you needed to share. You are not alone in your discomfort, all of us here were there though many of us here have since found the true comfort of being a little child nurtured divinely in truth. We feel all that you feel, maybe even stronger, but we know that we learn from all our deepest anguish and our highest joy. When we are uncomfortable we know it is time to move and seek comfort for us all. We don’t need to be protectionist except not to speak what we don’t sense you are yet ready to hear.

    You are ready to hear that God is real and that God is spirit who mankind’s spirit is in the image of. You as an ignorant little child of Man, as we all are comparatively so, are allowed by God to wrestle with God directly. I hit the proverbial bottom, lost all by the age of 50, before I realized God was much more than a study or someone divine to have conversations with (which I had had thousands with before). The good news is summed up in the Bible for me right here:

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13

    You might not be “into that” but giving your heart and mind to be whelmed fully (immersed, baptized) by the Holy Spirit, with never another break from that relationship in full, you can be in God and not simply debate God.

    You have heard me repeat and repeat that God is not found in the study (theology) but only in the relationship.

    Put not your trust in me, Bones or any other who testifies the same but in complete and utter helpless humility dare God to show you the way directly in your spiritual heart and mind to be enveloped completely comfortable in Their care. You will always feel uncomfortable if relationship with and in God remains an intellectual debate for you.

    You are seeking and that is good. You are seeking for answers trapped in your pseudo comfort from mankind’s confirmation of your honed debate skills. If God cannot be related to even greater than your carnal parents, who had no direct access to your heart and mind as does God, then God is not worth spending an eternity with beginning now.

    Thank you so very much for feeling secure enough with us of relationship with God to share your discomfort. I know that I am ignorant of most there is to know but I have no discomfort at all now that I know the continual protection, providing, nurture and guidance of our most loving God (by any name the Spirit is the same). If I could relieve you of your religiosity and replace it with the relationship I know in God I would but that is purely between you and God.

    You don’t have to hit bottom, as I did physically prostrate, to finally spiritually pray like:

    “Dear Father in heaven, I know now I need your graced love and your protection from evil. I am ready to give up my entire life to you. I can no longer trust myself to even recognize evil much less protect myself and mine from evil. Take me as you will, use me as you will, as I know you can for the good of all. I have no longer any faith in mankind to lead me in truth. I now invite the Holy Spirit to be with and in me without stop or pause. In Jesus name, amen”

    I am wondering, if only carnal relationship is real to you why do you seek spiritual debate here?

    Love you!!!

  • Herm

    oh shoot, we no longer get to hear the truth from outsiders looking in interviewing insiders looking out that we don’t want to hear, bummer!?!?

  • Herm

    Tony, I took a bit of time to mourn and celebrate Fiona. Thank you so very much my brother in the Spirit for sharing her with me and those of us here. Digitally your relationship together is now saved (as your memorial in words and video, thanks, also, to your wonderful daughter) for my uplifting to know how great life is and how important it is that we treasure and savor every moment together we can while we have it for such a short time on this earth together. The most profound grief is a gift shared with God that values an intimacy of life that we have shared reciprocally in love with one another. Your grief is harsh but valuable to all those who you will continue to share forward the spirit Fiona shared in your heart and mind together.

    It is all too easy to wax poetic in a time of heightened emotion but oh so difficult to find the most needed words of real comfort. The stereotypical stages of grief are real and God’s way of protecting us through helpless loss to the reality of valuing what we have gained to be able to share with others constructively and productively. Fiona clearly gave you and yours an awesome gift in a far too short period of opportunity. Savor her beautiful memory to carry Fiona forward in all you do, all you are and all you share with others still together in spirit. You are right to do all the things you enjoyed doing with her for all our good. The pain will have very deep moments but trust that the joy will surface to even greater heights as you realize in doing, “I gained that from Fiona”. Love you both!!

    My call is KG7WMZ and my grid is CN88gc. My hearing is no longer trustworthy so I work most of the time on HF digitally. I only work up to 100 watts at home but find my most fun in QRP portable. With ARES I am working mostly on VHF, especially WinLink, and some on UHF. I got my technical/general ticket just over a year ago, at age 71, but have been technical for over 55 years, especially in computers, so I had a flying start most newbies don’t have. I am active as an officer in both the local club and in ARES (certificated under the authority of FEMA and the local sheriff). I am pretty active; more so than my age should allow.

    I don’t know if you work HF to DX but if you do maybe we can make an effort to make contact. If you are into VHF possibly we can hit an amateur satellite (haven’t tried it yet but would like to) if its shadow hits us both. Oh, so many ways to use this licence that I just won’t have the time to try it all.

    I think I told you that I no longer am a pilot because I found more freedom as a sailor. Well, I sold the boat to buy the initial ham equipment I needed to get started. I guess I got to old for all that outside freedom from solo sailing anyway.

    Tony, thank you for being such a good friend and brother in the Spirit. Love you!!!

  • sg

    “You as an ignorant little child of Man, as we all are comparatively so, are allowed by God to wrestle with God directly.”

    I don’t believe there is any direct immediate experience of the divine. No offense to others.

    “You will always feel uncomfortable if relationship with and in God remains an intellectual debate for you.”

    It is not really an intellectual debate. That would lead to atheism. Rather it is just faith. I believe. Not by reason or strength. It is a gift.

  • Herm

    sg, there just simply cannot be faith without relationship. God really is not a hollow childish belief like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. God is real. God is accessible. God loves without merit. God reaches to lift us up not demands we pull ourselves up to God. If you do not experience the divine you only can worship a fantasy based on human conjecture. All who serve religion, as did the Pharisees (the most studious authorities of God responsible for the murders of Christians and Christ in God’s name), do not relate with the God who told us this in the bible they study:

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15

    To put it simply by your own confession you do not have the Spirit of truth to guide you into all truth. This according to the source you revere as the inspired inerrant word breathed by God.

    Heart is feeling, soul is your encompassing spirit, strength is endurance, and mind is your logic. According to Luke 10:25-37 you cannot inherit eternal life in God without a relationship with God. That is okay if you choose but it then makes no logical sense why you would think you have a faith in what you do not have any relationship with and, yet, spend so much short and valuable time defending that which you confess that you cannot possibly associate yourself with. All you offer us here is a deeper understanding of the value of our relationship with, in and of God by your insistence to debate our relationship from your baseless faith in what you do not know.

  • Herm

    Show them the immediate results of a battlefield and ask them what they think. Show them during Shock and Awe from the ground and ask them what they think. Train them up to go to war and ask them what they think, if you can.

  • Bones

    Jonah didn’t happen. ….

    It’s a story.

    About how jonah got god wrong.

    It’s still happening.

  • Bones

    I don’t care what you call it.

    But God hasn’t told me to kill people like in the bible.

    Because apparently that’s real.

  • Bones

    I don’t freaking know what this has to with Sweden and Denmark being secular countries with the lowest rates of believers in the world.

  • Bones

    To have an opinion, one would need to know about the man.

  • Bones

    Did David Hume call for a holocaust while being proclaimed a great theologian?

  • sg

    Your line of reasoning is stupid. Sorry to be so blunt. Seriously. Hitler was a vegetarian, therefore… That is just stupid.

  • sg

    Actually you don’t. Here is that link again so you can read up on the ad hominem fallacy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

    Ideas stand alone independent of those who hold them.

    So even though Newton was a Christian who wrote a lot of strange theological ideas and had a mental breakdown, his ideas on math, physics and optics stand on their own independent of what he thought of religion, etc.

  • sg

    You said that it was incest that they were all related.
    I am just correcting you.

    They are secular countries as a result, not as a cause. Secularism didn’t cause their society to be high functioning.

  • sg

    There is no end to the logical fallacies. My mother didn’t tell you to eat your vegetables. Is that supposed to prove that she didn’t tell me to eat my vegetables?

  • sg

    It doesn’t matter if it happened.

    You said the Bible is story about people seeking God.

    But it isn’t.

    Pick your story from the Bible.

    Moses didn’t seek God. Moses ended up a member of the royal household. Then ended up in the desert and God called him. He said, no. But God made him go anyway. Even if you don’t believe the story is historical fact, it is still a story about God making things happen, not about people seeking God.

    God chose David who was just a lowly much younger brother out being a shepherd. David wasn’t seeking God. It is not a story about a boy seeking God. It is about God choosing him. The character with agency is God.

  • sg

    “God is real. God is accessible. God loves without merit. God reaches to lift us up not demands we pull ourselves up to God.”

    I believe that. I believe God hears prayer. My only experience, however, is listening to preaching or reading the Bible and believing, baptism, confession, communion. I don’t have any feeling of the presence of God. Nor any notion that He is speaking to me directly. I believe I am forgiven because the Bible states that Christ forgives me.

    “To put it simply by your own confession you do not have the Spirit of truth to guide you into all truth. This according to the source you revere as the inspired inerrant word breathed by God.”

    I am not sure what you mean. I believe the Bible. It says I have the Spirit because I am baptised. I will say I have done kind things for people that I would not have done of my own free will and I attribute that to the Holy Spirit, but. that is pretty vague. I am pretty confident in saying I wouldn’t do anything nice for anyone ever but that it be the Spirit moving me.

  • SamHamilton

    Sounds like a good way of doing it!

  • Herm

    John 16:12-15 quoted above is said directly out of the Bible you believe. There is baptism by churches by physically sprinkling and/or immersion. That is not baptism by the Holy Spirit. Baptism means immersion/filling/whelming and only the heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus can send the Spirit of truth. Our heavenly Father sent the Dove (the Holy Spirit) to baptize Jesus in the Spirit after His physical baptism administered by John. You have more available to you as a right for receiving Him today. Your Bible says so.

    The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:9-13

    Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:49-50

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

    Luke 14:25-27

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 14:15-21

    If you trust your Bible trust that you to can be in Christ, in the Father, the Father in you, and Christ in you. We have not been left orphans subject to the will of fickle religion as are you today. We can receive Him and have the right to be children of God today.

    You are brave to speak for God only knowing of Them from the Bible. I am not so brave as I know only what to say because the Spirit of truth leads me in what to say when I am challenged. I am no smarter or more capable than you.

    I do nice things expecting no reward because it is right for all as I have been taught for certain by Jesus. Jesus did not pick up His cross because the Spirit moved Him. Jesus picked up His cross because it was the will of His Father. I picked up my cross because I know in my heart and mind it is the will of My Lord and Brother Jesus as well as our heavenly Father to do so, not because the Spirit moved me. The Spirit guides me but I move by my authority over my own heart, soul, strength and mind. You move because you care to move not because the Spirit of God drives you to move.

    Do not forego the Bible until you know the Word personally. The Bible if read in counsel with the Holy Spirit only, not interpreted by any of Man, can serve to point to the Way and the Truth. The Bible is not the Way and the Truth.

    I have shared passages in the Bible with you that I understand perfectly because I live them. You are resisting and seem not to read any of these as though they are not as true as the Bible telling you that you are forgiven.

    Get off by yourself and plead with God to show you what to do to receive Him today, please.

    Thank you for sharing with me!!!

  • sg

    You seem like a really nice person. I guess I am just not into mysticism. Probably just a different personality. However, even by your description I would have the Spirit because I believe. I do think that people of even very limited intellect like the mentally handicapped can be saved/have the Spirit and have faith as can children even infants. i don’t think that one has to be smart or special because Christ’s forgiveness is for all not just smart or sensitive people.

    Thanks for talking with me.

  • Ponder this again

    I could only wish that your statement were true you said ..”Most people aren’t getting sucked in by outright false news reports.”
    .. It appears to be far more than you estimated. So while it would be true that due to fake news only 29% of Americans. were lead to believe that Obama is a Muslim… That figure rises to a lager percentage if you only polled Republicans… So ( depending on which poll and how party loyal the Republican group surveyed was the percentage that believed it rises to between 43 to 52% .. That is a lot of people believing and acting on a falsehood.
    >> And if you have encountered one of the (not so) minority that do believe this falsehood they are vicious in this belief.
    >> And of course one must take into consideration just how much political power any ONE of these “conspiracy theorist” has . So when General Michael Flynn Senor ( TRUMP’S security adviser) and his son Mike Flynn Jr. Both have security clearance and White house e- mails, and the President Elect’s ear…AND THEN STILL SAY ( even after this shooting)…. That PIZZA GATE IS REAL… THEN sorry yes we do have a problem with Fake news.

  • Ponder this again

    You are confusing satire with Fake news. When over 3/4 of a million people share and Believe a story that Clinton had an FBI agent ( purportedly associated with WiKi leaks) Killed in an apparent murder suicide–THERE IS nothing funny about that
    .. And be it known that according to the publisher of the story who hired ( by an anonymous name only) , the writer who made up the story and first published it in the totally fake news “Denver Guardian ” .. NOT A SINGLE THING IN THE STORY, the town,the names of the Sheriff’s, the name of the FBI agent — ALL totally made up… and a half million people never checked?? Then these people go to vote having “decided” that Clinton was a murderess just before the election?
    >> Not funny at all.

  • Ponder this again

    Yes we all know the story. Add to that by the way that 4 other business in that area have also been the target of death threats associated with the Fake news story. Yes there is a Big Problem with Fake news.
    >> And when I poked my nose into one of those fake news sites today — guess what new fake news to counter the fake news .: “Shocking new proof that the Pizza gate shooter was a paid actor”, the intent purportedly to make Fake NEWS “look bad”…. so the Truth of the original fake news will not be looked into any more???

    > oh the spins and twists they do truly bend the brain
    .

  • Ponder this again

    Do not confuse Satire with the vindictive and hateful fake news stories that are published by the dozens daily.

  • Ponder this again

    Gee Do you consider the following site ” amusing”??? Do not Confuse Satire with FAKE Vicious NEWS.. Do NOT confuse the Onion with a rag such as this.. And trust me they get worse than this.
    NOT FUNNY stuff:
    http://www.wuc-news.com/2016/12/dc-pizza-place-shooter-former-cfcc.html

  • SamHamilton

    I said “most” people aren’t getting sucked into outright false news reports. You quoted me a statistic that says 29% of American believe President Obama is a Muslim in an attempt to disprove my statement. That would mean that over 70% of Americans don’t believe that our President is secretly a Muslim, which is not just “most” but a significant majority.

  • Bones

    The fact that the story isn’t real is important.

    Once again these are so called wisdom stories.

    The whole Bible is about people seeking god.

    Mainly seeking a god in their own image.

    You don’t get it.

    Of course people also sought Jesus eg the woman with bleeding, Jairus…

    But not according to you.

  • Bones

    Ummm in the Bible god commands genocide….

    But do go on about your mother eating veggies. …

    Atheists have a better understanding of God than you.

  • Bones

    Actually I do.

    We are talking about Christianity here and not philosophy.

  • Bones

    Yes let’s ask Hitler for his theological reflection on the church.

    Derp a derp.

  • …err, chill? I was trying to inject a little humour into the discussion. It’s the way I do things ;)

  • Do you mean that He doesn’t speak to you, sg, personally? Do you, sg, not get knowledge of Him by spending time with Him? If not, you are missing out on the whole point. This is eternal life: that they may know the Father and the Son Whom He sent. The Bible leads us to Jesus; from that point onwards He is prime. Surely you know that?

  • Aye. Talk isn’t much good without some sort of action, is it?

  • Matthew

    I used to be a huge Luther fan. Then I learned about some of the crazy things he said … particularly about the Jews.

    That said, I do think some of his theological musings are worth something. He did lead a much needed correction of the RCC. As an ex-Roman Catholic, for that I am greatly thankful.

    I live in Germany and am looking forward to the 500th anniversary celebration of the Reformation here, although I do understand that even the reformers made mistakes … big ones.

    I´m not one for throwing out the baby with the bath water generally. Hope you are doing well Bones.

  • Herm, thank you for honouring us with that. You have moved me to tears once more :) I have learned so much over these past six weeks about death, Heaven, coping with grief and much more, but, most of all, the Love of God. Psalm 34:18 is completely real in my personal experience :) It’s been painful but pretty deep and edifying too. I have always had a solid faith, even through my wilderness years, but now it’s indescribable. Literally that; I can’t put words to it. It puts the debates on here into a proper context!

    I’d have loved to schedule a radio contact with you but my equipment is all packed away. I haven’t been on the air on amateur HF/VHF for about 25 years now….quite the opposite to your current activity! I was active on 2m and 20m; I ran a simple Yaesu FT-290R 144Mhz trasceiver through a homebrew (kit) 2m/20m transverter and made contact with people all over Europe on 20m from here in the UK. I had only 20W at my final PA stage, you see, and a simple long wire antenna across my garden through an ATU. So although I have heard Australia, I wouldn’t have had a chance of getting back to them because all the big boys were belting out their 400W through big triband beam antennas…. That’s fine but then once they’ve achieved that, what to do tomorrow? ;) QRP is indeed fun; I used to use the FT-290 at 2.5W through an HB9CV antenna on a portable mast tied to my car. Static location, of course, usually on the top of a hill somewhere.

    Right, gotta go. Guests coming soon…hey any time you want to contact me off here, just grab me through my blog contact link. See ya later bro

  • sg

    No offense. I just do not know what you mean.

  • sg

    “people also sought Jesus eg the woman with bleeding, Jairus…”

    Jesus went to them.

  • Bones

    Wrong….

    Why must you twist the text to fit in with your ideology?

  • Bones

    The Reformation didn’t go far enought.

    It was, in essence, Catholicism Lite.

    And no, Luther’s theological musings mean nothing to me.

    They were all barking up the wrong tree.

  • Guthrum

    Most of the news media is controlled. It is geared to put out slanted propaganda, not report real news. There are alternatives to the main stream news networks.

  • sg

    Okay, Mr. Irrational. You can’t seem to follow anything logically or stay with a topic or even tell the difference between ideas and people, so, I can’t really keep going with this conversation.

    Best to you, have a nice day.

  • None taken, and I hope I wasn’t being offensive in return. Certainly that would not be my intention; I am usually very gentle on these forums! The reason I used your forum name was to differentiate between asking you, yourself, rather than ‘you’ meaning ‘people’. So, ‘Do you not get knowledge of Him by spending time with Him?’, meaning you yourself rather than people in general. It’s the weakness of that particular word. I’m truly sorry if I came across as harsh in any way.

    What I meant was that I think there’s more than just the Bible available for increasing our knowledge of God. Sure, there’s nature itself, a glorious sunset, a magnificent starscape, huge mountains. These teach of God. But there’s also books written by other believers – whoever: Billy Graham, Bill Johnson, Derek Prince, Rick Warren, Charles Spurgeon…all of which can impart to us some little more knowledge of God. And, the most important source of all, of knowledge of God, for me, is spending time with Him. That was why I quoted to you John 17:3 – ‘This is eternal life…’ because the prime source of knowledge of God is directly from God himself. The Bible is great but it merely leads us to God and, yes, teaches us knowledge about Him; but it can never substitute for Him in our lives.

  • :) Thanks Eva

  • gimpi1

    That’s a problem, for sure. There would be ways to enforce a fairness doctrine on cable, but it would be much more complicated. However, it’s a moot point, since President Regan ended it over 30 years ago, and right now, the Republican congress is passionately opposed to even considering it.

  • gimpi1

    And his wife’s astrologer.

    I’m not as willing as you to give Mr. Jones the benefit of the doubt. He pushes so much downright crap, that if a fact ever darkens his site, I’m pretty sure it’s like a broken clock being right twice a day – it’s purely by accident.

  • gimpi1

    It’s not a question of whether or not they were fooled. It’s a question of how you report. If you don’t have evidence that something coming from, for example, the White House, is false, you simply report on what was said. You can do research, and try to see if there are holes in the story, but that takes time and money. Saying that you think the White House, Congress or whoever is lying is not only opinion, it’s unsubstantiated opinion, and no reputable news organization should engage in it. Not that they occasionally don’t, but when they do, they generally get held to account.

    That’s part of the problem with Mr. Trump. It’s taken the media time to adapt to his “lie all the time, just repeat your lies and barge ahead” style. They are required to report on what public figures say, and only address it as false when they can prove it’s false. Mr. Trump really has to be fact-checked as he speaks. It’s a whole new world, with him.

    There’s a difference between thinking that the Bush Whitehouse was lying about WMD and being able to prove it, and finding that proof took time. When that proof was found, it was reported on. Does that make sense?

  • gimpi1

    Yes. However, somebody may be attacked before a suit can be settled. The ease with which the internet promulgates dangerous lies and the willingness of people to believe them has led to deaths.

    Also, assume a libel suit is filed and won by the restaurant. Do you really believe that the people who have chosen to believe this nonsense will be swayed by that. They’ll just decide that the judge and/or jury were either taken in or are part of the conspiracy. Really, that settles nothing when people want to believe something.

    Really, this is how witch-hunts start. People die over malicious gossip. It’s freaking dangerous.

    Are you really saying that it’s OK to make up horrible lies accusing totally innocent people of sex-crimes against children, and that the only remedy for that is to take the “accuser” to court, if you have the money? I refuse to believe that the first amendment was created to protect that sort of abuse.

  • gimpi1

    You’re more than welcome. I’m on a mission right now, to get people to fact-check this stuff. If enough of us do it, it might become a fashion-trend, and that could stop the fake news menace in its tracks.

  • gimpi1

    Is David French still around? I used to follow him years ago, but I thought he was long retired… I’l check him out.

  • gimpi1

    How can something be fake and reasonable? A lie is a lie, isn’t it? Would the person in question believe in “situational ethics?”

  • Pennybird

    The Republican congress is bowing at the altar of fake news since it got them the trifecta in their “post fact” world.

  • Bones

    In other words, you lost.

    I’m referring to your nonsense that God seeks lucky people.

    It’s clear that people sought jesus.

    The irrational one is the one who thinks the bible is based on historical fact.

  • Bones

    Which means we shouldn’t teach children bible stories or nonsense about going to hell.

  • Bones

    Creeds exist to separate people from others.

  • Bones

    I prefer Spong, Tutu, myers, Bonhoeffer myself.

    I tend to learn about a different god.

  • apoxbeonyou

    As if all progressives are the same entity; like a collective hive mind. Not EVERY progressive does and not EVERY progressive doesn’t. Geez.

  • Bones

    Nah.

    Progressives eat babies.

  • gimpi1

    Sadly, you may be right. And that tells me everything I need to know about them….

  • Bones

    No probs..

    Bye now.

  • Bones

    Darn I wish I hadn’t have read that before I started work today.

    My soul is heavy with the loss of your mate, my gentle friend.

    That is truly the only thing I fear.

  • Bones

    As I said….you don’t like their god….

    The same was said about the Catholics….

  • Bones

    And the most common religion in Latin America is Catholicism even after the destruction and genocides it caused.

    You seem to be an apologist for your religion’s rape and murder of indigenous cultures.

    Now back to the thread….Sweden and Denmark are clear evidence of thriving atheistic societies.

  • Herm

    I don’t eat veal and caviar, does that count towards becoming closer to common man conservative than opulent progressive? I eat far less babies than I ever have, really. Figure me in the fight to return to the glory days in the USA just like the 1930’s … can’t fight ’em sink with ’em.

  • Matthew

    Evangelicalism is also on the rise in Latin America:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/03/201232593459332334.html

    (I am aware the article is from 2012)

  • Ponder this again

    If you bothered reading the FULL comment I also said that about HALF of all Republicans Actually believe something this preposterous..

  • adam

    “.AND THEN STILL SAY ( even after this shooting)…. That PIZZA GATE IS REAL… THEN sorry yes we do have a problem with Fake news.”

    What son Mike Flynn Jr posted was the ‘faith’ response from those who have hope that what they wish for is true:

    Michael G Flynn

  • Herm
  • Bones

    Yes….prosperity gospel is popular among poor people.

  • Bones

    I’m dieting at the moment, herm.

    Well, starting soon.

  • Herm

    I’m starting my frugal diet on one of these new years, just can’t pin down which one. Until then I’ll stay on my more liberal diet. See you there!

  • SamHamilton

    I read your entire comment the first time. My comment was not confined to Republicans, but all Americans. You’re not refuting anything I said by only sampling Republicans. It’d be like if you said “most people prefer chocolate to vanilla ice cream” and I said “yeah, but 43% of people with blonde hair prefer vanilla, so it’s actually a lot of people who prefer vanilla.” The logic just doesn’t make sense.

  • SamHamilton

    Yes, he’s still writing and commenting on things.

  • Rt1583

    Christianity has tens of thousands of differing belief systems under its umbrella. You consider that to be a thriving society when they can’t even agree on a common belief?

    “People need something in common to bring them together.”
    So the red scare of the 50’s and 60’s was religion? The fear of the black man was a religion? The fear of the red savages was a religion?
    All of these things was a common point of fear to bring the people together.
    To take your statement a step further, religion being only a common point to unite people offers no truth other than this. All through time there has been religion and the societies behind them have fallen. Seems to me that if there were some universal truth behind them that the religions and the societies that invented them would still be around. What causes society to fall is that the people no longer hold that common ground. They no longer believe that central point to be worthy. Christianity, with its thousands of belief systems, is a perfect example of this. They are tearing their own society apart of their own accord.

  • Thank bud, I appreciate your empathy :) Sorry it burdened you, but please be assured I am fine, really I am. Honestly! As for the fear, I had just over 2 1/2 years to come to terms with it (the terminal diagnosis) and God shored me up in that time, and continues to do so. He equips His kids for the things they have to face :)

  • Bones

    I wish I could have your strength and courage.

  • Ron McPherson

    So sorry brother. I know you will be reunited one day so all will be well. Praying God’s peace and strength. His grace will sustain.

  • G. David Daley

    Dear Benjamin L. Corey:

    Sometimes, ‘fake news’ is a calculated political attacks designed to confuse, disorient and misdirect an exhausted working class. Consider the ‘Russian interference’ line in last month’s US election.

    SUPPOSEDLY, Putin exposed secrets the Democratic National Committee wanted to keep from its own voters — i.e., its duplicitous sabotage of Sen. Sanders’ campaign to guarantee HRC’s nomination. And Moscow is accused of hacking her campaign manager’s emails to make public Clinton’s oath of fealty to Wall Street and other acts of corruption. Russia’s ‘crime’ is to reveal inconvenient political truths that Obama, Clinton and the Democrats meant to keep from Americans.

    Among his final acts, President Obama now orders the US intelligence community to conduct a ‘full review’ of Russia’s SUPPOSED efforts at election interference. Obama’s press secretary called this a ‘huge priority’ and ‘new threshold.’

    If evidence of this alleged interference was published, I’ve not seen it. Anonymous ‘expert’ statements, yes; but no hard evidence. And even if it WAS true, has the CIA not intervened countless times since WW II to rig elections or overthrow elected officials insufficiently committed to US imperial interests? The CIA’s public arm, the National Endowment for Democracy, ran such operations in Georgia and Ukraine, Venezuela, Honduras and Haiti.

    Why is real news NOT reported? What outlet is focusing on the transformation of the President’s Cabinet into a junta of generals? As top Democrats and Republicans alike put official structure in place structure to evaluate as yet unproven Russian actions, WHAT MEDIA OUTLETS are asking, ‘WHY?’

    Obama’s probe intends as much as possible to poison Washington/Moscow relations until inauguration day, to ensure that Trump continues US preparations for war with Russia, which is seen as the principal objective to achieve US hegemony over Eurasia.

    Fake news conceals that we are on the road to war and revolution. That is why those political attacks occur.

  • Well it’s strange but I never knew it was there until it was needed. And when you said that this is ‘…truly the only thing I fear’, I used to think that too. But now that the very worst thing has happened (like Job 3:25!), life can’t really throw much worse at me, and I am weathering this, so it kinda brings an entirely new freedom. Most interesting.

  • Thanks Ron. And that latter goes on being true in my current experience.

  • Ponder this again

    In this case the issue is not about the numbers or percentages. Yes I can crunch numbers but you miss the BIGGER issue. In the case of Fake news “logic” is not a factor.
    >> Consider this —IF ONLY TWO people believed in Pizza Gate and One is TRUMP”S Security Advisory, and the other his Son, and Both continue to spread, and insist on the validity of this crazy the fake news theory to THE PRESIDENT ELECT ( as well as other people in similar positions of power)… Then the Damage done BY JUST TWO people is sufficiently harmful..
    GET IT YET??
    I won’t bother with Silly analogies as the real situation is sufficient to show the dangers.

  • Ponder this again

    Well read the Link I sent you and then SEE how “Amused”you still feel about Fake news.. And as you read try to keep in mind that there are the people who actually read these sorts of site on a regular basis.
    >> Perhaps you have never encounter a real FAKE NEWS propaganda site,, ( NOT A SATIRE SITE)… you know the ones who insist that 911 was faked as was The Sandy Hook shooting ( all actors they say), The ones who insist there was never a single Jew killed in the Nazi Holocaust.
    >> Ah yes sooo amusing???

  • Ponder this again

    Like What Alex Jones??? The slight Bias in mainstream news ( a;ways know your sources).. Yes NY times leans slightly left, Wall street journal slightly right..
    BUT once you go beyond ” mainstream”, that is where the WACKO sites love to prey on those already a bit suspicious of ” mainstream news.
    The ALTERNATIVE sites are a dangerous place for those who do not posses critical thinking skills. and since Trump is president elect– It appears that at least one half of the country falls into category.

  • Ponder this again

    Actually Disproving some of it is relative easy. The kids are not kept looked up in the Basement of comet ping pong (as the rumors have insisted) as THEY HAVE no basement. Nor did the Shooter ( or any one else) find secrete passageways as rumored.
    >>> Will these tiny bits of obvious truth do away with the foolish rumors??? Maybe not but they do secede in making some of the rumor as foolish as it is.

  • Ponder this again

    If any one was actually paying attention to the polls, There was ( especially towards the end ) a very very narrow lead by Hillary– WHO DID WIN by the way.. At least the Popular vote.

  • Guthrum

    I look at CNBC, PBS, Channel 1, Newsela, Newsweek, Popular Science, Bloomberg, and Forbes.

  • Oh, God, Bonsai Kittens. I am ashamed to say that I was briefly sucked into outrage when I saw that site 15-16 years ago – I was NEW to the Internet, like…REALLY new, and a teenager who didn’t understand yet that not everything online was real and/or for sale and there was something about the way the site was written up that just skirted the edges of believeability (I remember some kind of detailed instructions as to how to create a surgical valve for the animal’s waste that seemed real – to a non-medical/non-veteranarian idiot teenager). Maybe I’d found it on an animal-rights link, too, lending it a bit of credibility it never should have had. Then I saw someone making fun of it and was all “Pish!” and was then angry that this site was trying to deceive and outrage people into thinking they were abusing animals.

    To my credit, at the time, there were also some legitimate fear-sites going around about Pokemon, which was a thing that I was a fan of and, as a Pokemon-fan, I knew that everything they said about secret demonic messages were WRONG. I remember one “against everything that’s imaginative and fun” site that I was following for sarcasm / what the hell are they going to say next / MSTK3 reasons once lifted an article from the Onion (about Harry Potter) and posted it as truth, only to retract it a couple of days later and apologize to their readers for thinking it was real. Just the viral way this garbage spreads.

  • *Exasperated sigh* We can’t eat babies now? Gah! But… babies are so delicious!

  • I think what Bones is trying to say is that, even in a world where “a broken clock is right twice a day” he doesn’t trust a “moral / spiritual teacher” who was so massively wrong about morality. It is a different thing than, say, when you have a scientist with kooky ideas who makes a discovery about a morally-neutral, physical phenomenon. Gravity still works even though its theorist believed that alchemy was a thing. This is categorically different when looking for ethics or morality.

  • I wish The Weekly World News was still in business. I miss Bat Boy.

  • Bones

    What does being a vegetarian have to do with anti-semitism?

    Heck why not quote Hitler on the Church…he’s no different.

    “We are a people of different religions, but we are one. Which faith conquers the other is not the question; rather, the question is whether Christianity stands or falls… We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity … in fact our movement is Christian. We are filled with a desire for Catholics and Protestants to discover one another in the deep distress of our own people.

    Speech in Passau 27 October 1928 Bundesarchiv Berlin-Zehlendorf; from Richard Steigmann-Gall (2003). Holy Reich: Nazi conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 60-61”

    Heck, don’t get me started on John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas, great theologians who thought burning people at the stake was a good thing to do.

    Tells me straight away that their theology is pretty shithouse.

  • Bones

    “That is divine compassionate and empathetic love I learned from God.”

    To call for a holocaust on the Jews…..

    No wonder I haven’t experienced such ‘love’..

  • Snooterpoot

    … most white people still believe those lies about the Katrina victims…

    I don’t think that is a logically supportable statement, James. Maybe most of the white people whom you know still believe that, but I don’t know a single white person who does.

  • Well first up, you need to chill a little. You write as if you are in danger of a terminal thrombosis. I have only spoken gently and light-heartedly to you, and you have hit me with sarcasm and ire. There’s no need for that, really.

    Secondly, and this without reading your link again (I did read it the first time) I have now come into understanding on the Fake News thing. You see, I live in the UK, and this idea of fake news is not actually being covered by our news media. And so, I misunderstood. What is a big thing for you is a nonentity for us, at least in news terms if not in reality. I’m sure fake news is a problem over here, but our news media haven’t been covering it like they have over there. If indeed they have; I wouldn’t know. Even so, I apologise for my misunderstanding.

    But still, I have every right to take a light-hearted approach to life, and no amount of blasting from people behaving like you have done is going to change me. You have no idea of my personality, my conscience, or my background. Each to their own, and we all deal with things in different ways. Mine is the flippant approach; yours isn’t. I prefer my approach, and I’m still smiling :)

  • Great post, made me chuckle! Thank you. And kudos to MST3KR for retracting that article too – which is also a case in point I guess.

  • What about ‘those who seek, find’, ‘I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me’, and ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’? I personally think that most people actually do love God; what they are running away from is the ‘Angry god’ portrayed by so many of his supposed followers. Indeed, they have created a ‘graven image’ which is repulsive in its judgemental countenance.

    Oh, one other thing: you said above that ‘They are called by the Holy Spirit’; you then immediately contradict that by saying that they ‘…cannot seek Him but that they are called by the Gospel’.

    So are they called by the Gospel, or by the Spirit? The phrase ‘but that’ essentially means *only*. Maybe that’s semantics, in which case fair enough, but I know you guys like to be ultra-precise about exactly what you believe.

    Sorry, I know that’s too manny questions….

  • Bones

    I’m so glad we have the BBC over there and the ABC and SBS in Oz.

    Public owned media.

  • SamHamilton

    In the situation you describe, the problem isn’t “fake news,” the problem is these two people in positions of power. All you’re proving is that these two people have bad judgement.

  • sg

    Actually it doesn’t matter.
    An idea exists independently from its originator.
    If you read my comment, you would see that I made the point that it was my idea, but the phrasing was not mine.

  • sg

    I didn’t say people need to have everything in common.

    I said they need to have something in common. So, something like the US Constitution could possibly be enough in theory. People need to have some kind of broad agreement on how things should go.

    Obviously a religion can’t be that something if it is too fractious.

  • sg

    Sweden and Denmark aren’t entirely atheist. And they have only become less religious in the last half century. They are not even remotely founded on atheism nor held together by it. They are held together by an extremely tight ethnicity. As foreigners come in, the thriving high functioning societies are breaking down rapidly. Thousands of years of paganism and raiding, then a thousand years of Christianity and prosperity, and now 50 years of diminished religiosity and immigration and social breakdown. Sorry, no kudos to atheism there.

  • sg

    By whom, the muslims? Protestants rejected the papacy, not Christ.

  • sg

    Absurd. Creed just means belief. It is a brief statement of what one believes. Everyone believes something even if it is a simple as not believing in the supernatural.

  • sg

    Actually, this is a free country, so religionists can teach their own children whatever they want.

    I am pretty sure public schools aren’t teaching kids bible stories or about hell.

    Also, see David Hume on the difference between should and is. Should does not follow logically from is. You might like him as he was an atheist before it was cool. Of course he is pretty logical, so then again, you might not.

  • sg

    Called by the Spirit through the Gospel.

    “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
    Romans 10:17

  • sg

    I agree that those who seek will find. The point, however is that no one actually seeks. It is kind of like keeping the commandments. No one actually does it. So, yes, it is commanded. It just isn’t possible to do it. That is the point. The law reveals sin. The law shows us how we fail.

  • I do understand what you are saying. For instance “All men are created equal” is a fine idea even though it was put into writ by a slaveholder (*cough*hypocrite*cough*) – but it is wise to consider sources and to think critically about the lives of the “great men of history” in that regard.

  • Bones

    Critical thinking is the biblical literalists greatest enemy.

    Interesting that you support brainwashing because that’s the logic of what you post.

  • Bones

    Lol the creeds came about because of heresies….

    It’s to show what REAL Christians believe, derp.

  • Bones

    By people like yourself…sectarian nutters….

  • Bones

    Are you still derping on about Sweden and Denmark.

    Fact is your nonsense has been refuted…..

    So yeah they are examples of thriving atheist societies…

    Just like ….shock, horror…..many atheists are better humans than Christians are.

    “One poll found that only 15% of Church of Sweden members actually believe in Jesus.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_Sweden

    Yeah, it’s the immigrants fault….

  • Ponder this again

    Yes, It is TRUE these two people ( THREE if you also count Trump) have bad judgement…and YES, it is absolutely frightening that these plus a few more of the incoming cabinet are so naive and gullible , and frankly There is no kinder way to put it –PLAIN STUPID.

    So YES, it is frightening that FAKE news is either believed by or generated by these Idiots (and there is no kinder way to say it).
    >> I do not aim to prove a dang thing.. I only wish they were not already proving my point!
    I cry daily over them.

  • Ponder this again

    Sam, you do realize this “situation” is a real life thing right? Or have you not been keeping up on real news? It should scare the hell out of you.

  • Ponder this again

    Add BBC and NHK newlsine to that list, as well as The Atlantic if you don’t mind a long read.
    (Newsweek too simplified) . Popular Science cool I’ve been a subscriber for years ( but World events not their strong point)> a strong second vote to PBS .

    Bloomberg, not bad But keep in mind their rather right leaning slant, That also holds true of Forbes but their writers are better. ( they tend to be a good source if you are already in the top one percent or earners).. Both sites are woefully out of touch with the concerns of the more common person. ….( as To “Controlled” that issue applies to both of these last journals by the way).

    >> But see you do not know the dark underbelly of the internet/ Radio that so many others do read or hear. THIS is where the Fake News is generated much more than you would like to believe.

    >>> If a person tended to choose to read or listen to on Say, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, THE BLAZE, Breitbart news, OR THE NATIONAL REVIEW. .. or even the much lessor known but well subscribed Wacko bird sites.. JUST see how warped there view of Reality would be.

    >> For kicks and Jollies it is good to peek in there once in awhile to see JUST WHAT THE HECK , many people are reading in the Daily (Fake) news
    .. TRY it a bit —-it is eye opening. Just do not linger there or you might loose your soul.

  • Rt1583

    First you say religion is the bedrock foundation, the only thing, society can be built on. Now you’re backpedaling with “I didn’t say people need to have everything in common. I said they need to have something in common.”.
    Which is it? If you’re going to stand for and defend your religion at least do it well. Don’t simply rely on and make the simple arguments in the hope that the person you are interacting with can’t or won’t tear your arguments down.

  • That’s fair enough. Thanks :)

  • Thanks for that. I’d disagree that nobody seeks, though; I know a bloke who is seeking, but the thing is he doesn’t realise it. I wonder how that would fit in to your framework; that’s quite an interesting one.

    Sure the Law reveals sin and yes it’s the point that it isn’t possible to do it. But I don’t quite see the connection in that you have used it as an analogy, but the analogy doesn’t fit. You appear to be saying that seeking is commanded – I’m not sure it is – but that it isn’t possible to seek, in the same way that it isn’t possible to keep the Law. However the inability to keep the Law is not connected to the ability to seek *unless* seeking is commanded, and we can’t do it because ‘to seek’ is part of the Law. Which it isn’t. But let’s say for the purposes of discussion that it is part of the Law.

    Now, sure, the problem with the Law is that we can’t keep it – that’s fine – but also that we can’t keep *all of it* *all the time*, and of course falling down on one point of the Law means we fail the whole lot, in terms of righteousness. But we do waver. Sometimes we keep the Law; sometimes we don’t, it’s not a black-and-white thing. We will keep some parts of the Law, just not all of it, and not all the time. So it is possible to be seeking earnestly (thus keeping that part of the Law, if we agree for the discussion that it is a Law) and yet to be, I don’t know, coveting our neghbour’s ass or something. So in the sense that a person could be following the (hypothetical) Seeking part of the Law, it’s perfectly possible that they could be doing that.

    But that’s all theory. Surely you must know of people in RL to whom you talk, and those people are seeking God? People who ask you questions about what you believe, not out of just the desire to make conversation, but because they really want to know?

  • Bones

    Which parts of the Law are you breaking TC?

  • Ron McPherson

    Love your blog. Great stuff there!!

  • Thanks Ron :)

  • Now that would be telling ;)

  • SamHamilton

    Your attitude is one of reasons our country is so divided politically. In multiple comments to me you’ve assumed, that because I’ve come to a different conclusion than you have about the severity of the problem of “fake news” that I’m uninformed or haven’t bothered to read or whatever. Your condescension is neither endearing nor winsome. I’m no longer interested in discussing this with you. Good day.

  • Bones

    I hear Christians say that and when I examine the Law which was only given to Ancient Israel, there’s not much of it that is even remotely moral….It’s really more of Paul’s hangups and Pharisaic influence.

  • Plus I think a lot of it is almost commonsense stuff, like how to recognise certain skin diseases and stuff. And the Pharisaical influence too, like not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk.

    But just to go back to your original question, I honestly couldn’t tell you which parts of the Law I’m breaking (which makes me Pharisee bait for sure!); although I have read the whole Bible – including of course the Law
    parts – I do not read the Law with a view to applying it; it’s more
    something to make me thankful for what I have been saved from! To tell you the truth I don’t even think about it.

    And for those reading this, this is part of the ‘glorious freedom of the Children of God’ – the freedom to not have to be constantly looking over my shoulder to see if I’m committing this sin or that. Being free of the ‘sin that so easily entangles’ means, for me, that I no longer have to concern myself with sin – ‘It is finished’ means just that, and I am free to walk in the Spirit without the ballache of ‘potential sin’ entangling me with worrying about whether I’m sinning or not. Now that’s freedom!

  • Herm

    I have once, twice or maybe more boldly spoken the word of my carnal family as I understood it alone before my little playmates and actually sinned offensively against them. How many here have boldly spoken the word of God as they learned it from their church study as they understood it before others not of their faith and actually sinned offensively against others in the judgment of God?

    Does not it reflect negatively on my understanding and relationship as a student of Jesus the Messiah when in everything I do not do to others as I would have them do to me?

    Children err alone practicing together out of ignorance so as to learn how not to when armed with empathy, compassion and forgiveness for all others. Without loving others as we love ourselves we don’t learn, we preach.

    I love you as my kindred brother in Christ and Christ in us. We can err together, grow together, and learn together in the Spirit eternally bound in divine familial love.

  • Plus it’s good when you, me and Bones do our ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine. I won’t identify which of us is which…. ;)

  • I don’t get that. Of course we can be free to choose good over evil. For example, I can decide to be polite and gentle with you, which is good because it leaves you feeling affirmed as a human being and as a person. Or I could choose to be evil and call you names or just generally diss you, which would be dishonouring to you as a person. This is a prime example of choosing good over evil, and I have so chosen. This is evidence in itself, surely? Life is all about choosing good over evil every time. If you want to quote ‘great writers’ like Calvin and Luther, I could quote CS Lewis who said that it is every tiny decision that this time I will choose right over wrong [or, for our discussion, good over evil] that slowly transforms us into the people God wants us to be. Every modern thinking Christian recognises that Lewis was as important a thinker in his own way, whether you believe in his thinking or not, as were people like Luther, Calvin, Bunyan, and any number of other men of God (of their time) who plumbed the depths of the thinking man’s theology. And the Bible is full of ordinary people who chose good over evil – and some who did not. We are judged on the responses we make to the choices we are given. If we do not have the freedom to choose, then such a judgement would be meaningless as we would by definition have no choice. The Bible is also full of admonitions to choose good over evil. What is the point of all Paul’s writings if not to encourage his readers to make the right choices? ‘Follow the way of love…’ only has meaning if there is a choice to be made. ‘Do not get drunk on wine…instead be filled with the Spirit’ is another one, this time describing a lifestyle choice. ‘Inasmuch as you did it not for the least of these, you did it not for Me’ reflects the judgement on a poor choice of action. Choice, choice, it’s all about choice. One action over another, this way or that way, right and wrong, good and evil, eat the fruit/don’t eat the fruit. How much clearer can it be?

  • Snooterpoot

    As you’ve done so often, Tony, you have inspired me. Love you, brother.

  • Aww thanks Snooterpoot :)

  • Ron “RV”

    For many people, there are many things to know that they accept they are incapable to know. But hence they are affected by the news directly, or indirectly, they are forced to give their voice out of concern and fear. It is unfortunate that the big media companies also indulged in blatant fake news, the prevailing feelings of people is not to trust anyone but perhaps, their instincts. Unfortunately, see how Patheos itself entertain fake commercials…..

  • sg

    We can choose evil, but good comes from God. Good may come through a specific person, but it originates with God. Good does not come from the human will. So, no merit of our own can we claim.

  • sg

    It is not my framework. I would think that people could choose good or evil, but my thinking is limited by my meager reasoning. I am just quoting that verse that states none seeks after good.

  • sg

    Well if you read what I said, it doesn’t preclude something else, rather merely states that historically religion has functioned to hold groups together. Other things like ethnicity, etc., can also hold them together. But there has to be something as opposed to nothing. When people disagree on everything then there will be strife.

  • sg

    That is what I said, derp.

  • Bones

    Obviously your reasoning must be meager.

    Most people seek after good despite Paul’s Greek Philosophical ramblings.

  • Bones

    No it isn’t derp…..

    The Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Westminster Confession all existed to separate Christians from supposed FALSE believers….

  • Rt1583

    “Well if you read what I said, it doesn’t preclude something else”

    You don’t really understand how conversation and/or debate works do you? It is not my responsibility to try to figure out what you are implying based upon what you’ve said. It is your responsibility to state your position clearly.

    All I’ve seen you do is to start with a very restrictive idea “thriving historically non religious society.” only to widen the scope of what you are attempting to say.

  • Thanks sg, that’s a nice, clear and simple answer (and a lot shorter than my essay! ;) ). I’m sorry, I don’t agree with your conclusion, but I do understand what you mean in the context of our discussion. Cheers bro :)

  • That’s fair enough, sg. I think in Romans 3:10ff, that you quote, though, Paul is simply offering up a ‘catalogue of hopelessness’ from various mixed Scriptures (OT Scriptures, of course!) in order to set us up to receive the Good News of the ‘new righteousness’ that has been revealed apart from Law/ Wow, that’s simply brilliant stuff; don’t you feel your heart swell iwth that good news? But I digress. Remember that Paul was a trained Hebraic thinker and he’d have been familiar with the ideas of exaggeration and parallelism, both of which you can see in that passage. Also remember that the Psalm Paul quotes from (Ps 14) (oh and possibly Eccl. 7:20) – don’t forget that the Psalm is a lament by someone who looks upon the wickedness of evildoers. He’s talking about actual evildoers, and the ‘not even one’ could easily be exaggeration in its context, because that’s what people did in those days. The Psalms are so gorgeous partly because they contain the whole gamut of human emotion and experience; in this case, the hopelessness – which is what Paul was tapping in to, given the other Scriptures he quotes in Rom 3. It may well be the case that no-one seeks God, or that nobody does good. But I’m not sure that’s what the original Scripture meant. This of couse deserves futher study, something I will look at shortly. Thanks for the idea :)

  • sg

    And how do the creeds separate Christians from those who don’t agree? By stating what Christian belief is and asserting one’s own belief of it.

  • sg

    No one seeks after God. All are fallen and come short. So, no, Christians do not think most people seek after good. They think no one does.

  • Bones

    Then you are wrong.

    What a depraved view of humanity.

  • Sarah

    Critical thinking is a skill that can be encouraged at any age, but the faculty is more easily developed from adolescence on (i.e., high school). But for young children (K-6), there are many different ways to incorporate critical thinking into daily conversations. http://www.criticalthinking.org/TGS_files/SAM-childrensguide2005.pdf

  • To quote Robot Chicken, “Who’s ‘they’? ” For sure, I am a Christian and I don’t think that no-one seeks after God. To be honest, I think that actually many people do, some without even realising it. Such is the call of the Spirit, for some.

  • sg

    Humanity is depraved.

  • Bones

    Nope.

  • freethinker666

    My cousin, hates Hillary because, are you ready for this he says she is a lesbian. I have no idea where he came up with that, but he believes it with all his heart and soul.