How Ken Ham’s Religion Pushes Our Children Towards Atheism

How Ken Ham’s Religion Pushes Our Children Towards Atheism November 13, 2017

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Ken Ham and his followers may think they’re defending Christianity and ensuring that our faith will be passed along to future generations, but the reality is they’re putting our children and grandchildren at risk of rejecting the faith entirely.

I think what’s particularly tragic is that it doesn’t have to be this way; what Ken and those in the Young Earth Creationist movement have done is created a flimsy faith built on a house of cards. They have literally invested themselves into turning a faith that was built to weather the fiercest storms, into a faith that can collapse from the smallest breeze.

As a result, Ken Ham’s version of Christianity is setting our children up to reject the faith entirely. Here’s why.

First, the religion of Ken Ham is built upon the wrong foundation. As he articulated yesterday on Twitter, his religion is founded upon not just the book of Genesis, but a very specific (modern, not ancient) interpretation of Genesis:

 

What is tragic about insisting that a particular interpretive approach to Genesis is the foundation of Christian faith and worldview, is the fact that it is ironically unbiblical.

Regardless of how Genesis may or may not be best interpreted, Jesus actually claimed that he is the foundation we must build our faith on (Matthew 7:24). In addition, Jesus rebuked religious leaders who built the foundation of their faith on the Hebrew Scriptures, and articulated that refusing to put him (Jesus) first, resulted in completely misunderstanding the point of those Scriptures (John 5:39).

Thus, even if Ken were right about a Young Earth and his hermeneutical approach to Genesis, he’s still wrong. The Christian faith and worldview is founded upon Jesus Christ– anything else is idolatry, even if it’s idolatry wrapped in a Bible case.

Secondly (and here’s where Ken’s faith structure sets our kids up to reject the faith entirely), instead of saying, “Here’s how we think Genesis should best be interpreted, but we could be wrong– so let’s keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”, the religion of Ken Ham tells kids, “Here is the only way to understand Genesis– and if we’re wrong, nothing else in the Bible can be trusted.”

How they fail to see the unnecessarily precarious position they box themselves into is beyond me. It’s one thing to get the foundation wrong, but it’s another to step that up a notch and say, “If we turn out to be wrong, the Bible cannot be trusted.”

In this way, as a Christian and minister who disagrees with Young Earth Creationism, my most pressing concern isn’t that kids believe the earth is only 6,000 years old.

My most pressing concern is that kids might believe the entirety of our faith is untrustworthy if Genesis is understood in any other way.

For these children who grow up and begin to find modern science compelling and at odds with the Young-Earth worldview, they become high risk for abandoning the faith because they have been preprogrammed and convinced that without Young Earth Creationism, the entire Christian faith is now called into question.

Sadly, our faith doesn’t have to be this way– a faith rooted in Jesus is strong and secure.

A faith rooted in a specific hermeneutical approach to one section of Scripture? Well, not so much– and they know it.

Ken Ham has built a house of cards where there wasn’t one to begin with.

Our faith is not fickle. Our faith is not fragile. Our faith does not depend on a specific hermeneutical approach to Genesis.

And to teach children that it actually is, is far more dangerous than teaching them the earth is only 6,000 years old.

 


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. 

Be sure to check out his new blog, right here, and follow on Facebook:


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  • Steve Bailey

    Ken Ham is a glaring example of the wrong headedness of American fundamentalism as an abberation of historic Christianity. He, and those like him pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ by deliberately promoting an ignorant view of the Scriptures and their status as the Word of God. His manifestation of American Christianity does great disservice to promoting the mission of God among us. Young earth creationism is nonsense, as we know. Think of all the time, energy and money wasted that could have been used to bring people to an awareness of the beauty and power of the Gospel to transform lives and build God’s presence in a suffering world.

  • richard

    well put, benjamin. and if i may suggest, to check out biologos, an organization that believes you don’t have to check your brain at the door to have faith in Jesus or His word. There is also “answers to answers in genesis”, which has many scientific commenters who refute ken ham on an almost daily basis.
    As far as Mr. Ham, it is also very scary as to the inroads he has made in putting forth his ridiculous agenda into christian schools and also the homeschool movement.
    A charlantan, whether he knows it or not.

  • Pitch Pitcherized

    Hi Richard. Could you link to the “answers to answers in genesis” site you referred to? I couldn’t find anything under that name. Thanks!

  • richard
  • WayneMan

    Yes Ken Ham, in spite of his pseudoscience claims being constantly rebuked, wants people to think that the Flintstones Cartoon was a documentary. He probably thinks that will sell more tickets to his failing theme park fiasco. And all the while removing any doubt with the young and confused that what he claims is nothing short of wacko.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fc9f039c60ba0fa24d2b57cb9b9ad23dd51078766dbdaa957f8775ec87306b28.jpg

  • Matthew

    Thanks for this. It´s the gospel of Jesus Christ, not the gospel of a literal Genesis interpretation that´s most important.

  • Excellent piece, Ben. I too detest pseudoscience, and this quackery
    is not a new problem. Indeed, even the renowned St. Augustine noted
    in 400CE that there were people bringing the faith into disrepute by
    doing exactly the things these pseudoscientists are doing. To quote him,

    “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the
    heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and
    orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the
    predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and
    the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth,
    and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and
    experience.

    “Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a
    Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking
    nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such
    an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a
    Christian and laugh it to scorn.

    “The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but
    that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers
    held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation
    we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as
    unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field in which
    they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions
    about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters
    concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and
    the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of
    falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience
    and the light of reason?

    “Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold
    trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one
    of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who
    are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend
    their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to
    call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many
    passages which they think support their position, although “they
    understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make
    assertion.”

    [Latter quotation from 1Tim1:7]

    I think that’s an absolutely amazing quotation. It tells us that even
    over 1,600 yeas ago, there were ignorant people (in its literal meaning
    that they are without knowing) who were discrediting the Christian
    faith by making unfounded assertions about certain things, purporting to
    ‘know’ stuff, and supporting it from Scripture – and that in the face
    of the experts of the day who really did know what they are talking about. Sounds familiar?

  • paganheart

    Ham isn’t even American, he’s from Australia, but apparently his particular brand of Biblical literalism didn’t go over well Down Under, so he brought it here, where he’s found a much more receptive audience (unfortunately).

  • Matthew

    I´m wondering …

    Would anyone who frequents this forum and blog also be interested
    in being part of a more virtual theological discussion experience?

    My idea is, briefly, to gather progressive Christians into a virtual room with a
    live moderator where we can more fully drill down on some of the
    great topics and discussions we unpack here on this forum.

    It´s been nearly impossible to find people in my city who are tracking with
    the journey I´m on. I´m thinking this might be the next best way to increase
    fellowship while continuing to go deeper.

    Dr. Corey and moderators: I´m not at all trying to cherry pick regular readers.
    I´m merely suggesting something in addition to this already very helpful blog.

    P.S. I have no idea how to technologically administer such an idea though
    I know such technology is available. I´ve always been more of an idea person
    myself :-)

    Pax,

    Matthew

  • Realist1234

    Interestingly when Ive had numerous discussions with atheists on the subject, whilst they inevitably mock the idea of Genesis being literally true, a number of them also mock Christians who accept evolutionary theory as the best explanation for the development of life on earth – my view, well Im 90% there. They argue you cannot reconcile an all-powerful, loving God with the ‘method’ of evolution which involves the survival of the fittest and the continual death of species.

    Comments?

  • Matthew

    Hello Realist1234. Have you checked out BioLogos? Maybe they have more information about this topic.
    You do bring up a good point though.

  • Tommy G

    I agree and not just our children but also when we share our faith with others. For example, I’ve heard it is very difficult to share Jesus in Japan because they think Christians dogmatically think of the young earth creation which they totally reject. Ham seems to reject his own question he used to always ask: “Were you there?” No, I wasn’t and none of us were. I do see scientists who are Christian on both sides of the issue but I am not aware of any scientists who are not Christians on the young earth side.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for this, Dr. Corey. Ken Ham is perhaps the best spokesperson for Anton LaVey, in that Ken Ham is an advocate of self-serving self-worship.

  • Realist1234

    I have looked at their site before but I dont think they address this particular question. Although I am in favour of evolution as the main explanation for life on earth, I cannot help but view it as ‘directed’ by God, and tbh I still have some doubts about it. How does evolution explain this?!:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpdlQae5wP8

  • Matthew

    You bring up something I hadn’t considered as I also consider theistic evolution. I look forward to other responses that might possibly help to clear this up.

  • Realist1234

    I got goosebumps when I first saw it on TV!

  • Matthew

    Cool! But what does the video teach us about the possibility of theistic evolution?

  • Realist1234

    Perhaps that they were ‘designed’ to behave this way?

    My point is does evolution really explain such phenomena?

  • Jennny

    Haven’t all religious groups imposed rules on their adherents that they claim are necessary for salvation? Islam and Christianity – and probably other religions – have always split because some want to impose new rules. Examples are many, you must be creationist, you must be pro-Israel, you must vote in a certain way. etc etc. Another blog today mentions Frank Schaeffer, heck, in the 1970s, his mother’s book was almost canonical in my circle – true christians baked their own bread and grew their own veg. I may not be a believer now, but the pastor who said ‘The gospel is Jesus’ seems to have understood the essence of his faith much more than the likes of Ken Ham.

  • Matthew

    Maybe with God as the evolutionary driver, yes. Without God as the driver maybe, no.

    Also … having to move and work as a fish 24 hours a day seems like something that has more to do with a fallen creation rather than intelligent design.

    Edited

  • Realist1234

    My feeling exactly.

  • Realist1234

    Though to be fair, home grown veg and baked bread are very nice! lol

  • Brad Chance

    “If Genesis is not 100% factually accurate, there is no God.” With this statement both advocates of YEC and New Atheism are in 100% agreement.

  • mchasewalker

    While you have reasonably identified a flawed interpretation of Ken Ham’s Young Earth creationism, you fall back to the very same critical flaw in the primacy of your faith in Jesus as the essence and entirety of Christianity. If Ken Ham’s fundamentalist hermeneutics undermines the veracity of the OT Bible, the same can be said about the central figure of Jesus himself. As more information pours in and evidence mounts against the actual existence and historicity of Jesus, then if shown to be conclusive the validity of Christianity itself can be called into question as well.

    As Thomas Varenna writes in his critique of Bart Ehrman’s book Did Jesus Exist?

    “While Ehrman spends a great deal of time analyzing the evidence, he does so in ways which ignore the more recent critical scholarship which undercuts his entire position. In other words,the case for a historical Jesus is far weaker than Ehrman lets on.” See: Thomas Varenna https://www.academia.edu/…/Did_Jesus_Exist_The_Trouble…

    Robert Funk, the founder and co-chair of the Jesus Seminar writes:

    “As an historian, I do not know for certain that Jesus really existed, that he is anything more than the figment of some overactive imaginations. . . In my view, there is nothing about Jesus of Nazareth that we can know beyond any possible doubt. In the mortal life we have there are only probabilities. And the Jesus that scholars have isolated in the ancient gospels, gospels that are bloated with the will to believe, may turn out to be
    only another image that merely reflects our deepest longings.”

    Or as Francis Beare writes in his excellent tome, The Earliest Records of Jesus:

    “Everything that has been recorded of the Jesus of history was recorded for us by men to whom he was Christ the Lord; and we cannot expunge their faith from the records without making the records themselves virtually worthless. There is no Jesus known to history except him who is depicted by his followers as the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour to the World.: (1962, p. 19)

    Bart Ehrman, a Jesus historist writes: ” [ the Gospels]… were not written by eyewitnesses or by people who knew eyewitnesses” and that “in the entire first Christian century, Jesus is not mentioned by a single Greek or Roman historian, religion scholar, politician, philosopher or poet.”

    As Robert Price write in Jesus: Fact or Fiction:

    ‘Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one any more. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern remythologizings of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction.’

  • Rudy Schellekens

    Interesting approach. The Jesus Seminar, a group of people who decided to set ALL scholarship aside, and decide the content of the Gospel by majority vote. Now THERE’S something to hang your hat on!

    There is no reason to doubt the historicity of Jesus’ existence. You may want to argue the claims as laid down in the Gospels, but there is enough material to support that Jesus actually existed.

    The biggest problem people have with the identity of Jesus as laid out in the Gospels? The repercussions of such acceptance. Pascal’s wager, i guess…

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I really don’t understand how Jesus mythicism is compatible with common sense. A figure like, say, Heracles, emerges from multiple re-told legends over centuries and one cannot point to any concrete legacy or result of his existence to back up the stories.
    The problem with Jesus mythicism, in the other hand, is that it leaves unexplained the (indisputable) coming into existence of a group of people claiming themselves as followers of a named person identified as having lived in a specific time and place a few decades previously and from whom directly their teachings had been transmitted. You can assert that everything they believed about their founder may have been wrong, but their movement requires there to have been a founder to explain its existence at all.

  • mchasewalker

    1.) Your critique of The Jesus Seminar is basically an Argumentum ad hominem and certainly a hasty generalization. I suggest you review a list of the 200 fellows who have participated in the Seminar since 1985. It is simply false and irresponsible to suggest ALL set scholarship aside. In fact, their stated Mission is to find the truth about Jesus: “Critical scholars make empirical, factual evidence—evidence open to confirmation by independent, neutral observers—the controlling factor in historical judgments, rather than putting dogmatic considerations first and insisting that the factual evidence confirm theological premises.”

    (See: https://www.westarinstitute.org/membership/westar-fellows/fellows-directory/

    2.) “There is no reason to doubt the historicity of Jesus’ existence.” Obviously there is, and there is a major debate going on in scholarly circles whether he did or not exist — with a growing consensus concurring that much of what was formerly claimed to be irrefutable “evidence” and historical record is now regarded as interpolation, forgery, confirmation bias and illocutionary apologetics.

    3.”There is enough material to support that Jesus actually existed.” That’s changing rapidly and being vigorously argued by many modern scholars. See: Raphael Latester, John Loftus, Mathew McCormack, Robert Price, Dr. Richard Carrier, Bart Ehrman, Earl Dougherty, John Dominick Crossan, Mark Palkovich, Dr. Hector Avalos, and others.

    SEE A Growing Number of Scholars Are Questioning the Historical Existence of Jesus http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/a-growing-number-of-scholars-are-questioning-the-existence-of-jesus

    4.) Pascal’s Wager? Seriously? Michael Shermer has more that adequately refuted this logical fallacy in his excellent book How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science

  • Kate Johnson

    I’m deeply troubled by Hamm’s assertion that Genesis is the foundation of our faith, which is utter and complete heresy. There is only one foundation for our faith, Jesus Christ. Hamm is heretical also, because he dares to add his “interpretation of Genesis” as essential doctrine, which it most assuredly is NOT.

  • Realist1234

    I replied to your post before you edited it. What do you mean by your last comment re fish? I dont understand…

  • mchasewalker

    Fair enough, but your premise is false. We’d first have to parse and agree on a definition of what common sense is. The assertion that Jesus did not exist may not be ‘sensibly common’ to various Christian groups who practice Identity Protective Reasoning (Sherman and Cohen) just as evolution may not be a common belief to Christian fundamentalists. It can be empirically factual to a group of anthropologists, neuroscientists and mythologists, but an enigma to those who subscribe to a specific religious doctrine.

    As for the myth of Hercules it is the same process as Jesus, Zeus, Isis. Horus, Moses and many other gods and goddesses and religious heroes from antiquity. Spengler called it Pseudo historic metamorphosis. (See Oswald Spengler The Magian Mind For it to make sense you would have to first investigate the nature of the human brain, it’s psychological evolution, and how misbeliefs, superstitions, and various daemonic realities stem from by-products of primitive cognitive mechanisms adapted for other purposes. ( See The Evolution of Misbelief by Dennett and McKay.)

    While you’re at it you should look into these great books on the subject:

    Dr. Anderson Thomson “We are getting tantalizingly close to a comprehensive cognitive neuroscience of religious belief. Robust Theories. Empirical evidence.” Dr. Anderson Thomson Psychiatrist Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith Pitchstone Publishing (June 1, 2011)

    Biases and Heuristics in Religious Thinking Dr. Matt McCormick – Biases and Heuristics in Religious Thinking @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxMcIx4bZXE&feature=share&list=PLUJ-vlKYyqzAaiZJLOZyyXuHTfi1SS_6y&index=14

    “The Lineaments of a New Science” Joseph Campbell The Masks of God Series Vol 1 Primitive Mythology Viking Penguin 1991″The Lineaments of a New Science” Joseph Campbell The Masks of God Series Vol 1 Primitive Mythology Viking Penguin 1991

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You appear to be substituting regurgitating stuff you have read for actual thought. Perhaps you could explain how one single word of anything in that vast scree of verbiage in any way relates to the rather basic point that in general organisations or movements have somebody that starts them?

  • mchasewalker

    Basically, what you are saying is You don’t know what you don’t know. (See Dunning-Kruger Effect.) I’ve given you a few clues to find out on your own. The fact that you haven’t a clue as to what I’m talking about is not my fault. Your very question assumes that the answer can be provided in a simple thread. I urge you to actually investigate on your own. I don’t have the time or the inclination to spell it out for you. I’ll just say you’ve got bigger problems than my writing style and your inability to understand it.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, the greatest threat to Ken Ham’s false gospel is Jesus.

  • John T

    Excellent article. Thank you.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    So your inability to follow an argument or string one together yourself is because you are too clever. Wow.

  • betsybrandt

    AMEN to your post: Now that we know our observable universe is comprised of 2 trillion galaxies–that is 10 TIMES more than it was 2 years ago– and we can only see 4%… the remaining 96% is pure mystery… I think its safe to affirm that The Trinity loves mystery! Ought we not also love and embrace mystery?

    At least scientists admit that we don’t understand what that 96% mystery is, can’t Christians also be humble and admit that we do not play God (and pretend to understand everything), instead we submit to glorious mystery and pray for even more revelations. “The bible is a book of redemption–not a book of science” and this is a quote straight from Billy Graham himself!

  • TS (unami)

    Mating ritual?

  • Morpheus

    The same science you use to question the historicity of Genesis, particularly 1- 11, is the same science that will tell you that virgins don’t get pregnant and dead people don’t come out of the grave. The entirety of scripture is either true or it’s not. If it is, then anything other than a simple reading of the text creates an intellectual conflict. If it’s not true, then eat, drink, be merry, for tomorrow we die.

  • Kitchensink

    ibid, your honor

  • WayneMan

    If evolution is guided by God, then God must really hate land and sea creatures, since over 90% of them must kill and eat some other poor creature for their very survival. Quite a blood and guts environment he created for them, wouldn’t you say.

  • wolfeevolution

    If you don’t find the answer to your particular question on BioLogos’s site (despite their upgraded search feature), you should ping the Forum at BioLogos (under the Resources tab). There’s a good community of regulars there (not folks with BioLogos, but evolutionary creationists for the most part) that will engage with your question.

  • wolfeevolution

    Could it be possible that we can legitimately take it as a sign of the waning influence of the YEC movement that no YEC trolls have graced this blog post with 500+ anti-liberal comments? Dare we hope?

  • Herm

    So the entirety of your, Morpheus, script is as binary one or the other? Upon what fullness of truth do you judge?

  • Herm

    I know, in the same place as Morpheus!

  • My thoughts exactly :)

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Excellent post and excellent critique of the fearful faithlessness of this particular culturally constrained over-interpretation of scripture (YEC); your dismantling of this hermeneutically shortsighted commitment to a few texts which simultaneously sidelines the ONE who the rest of the texts say is everything is right on target.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    It seems to me that YEC / Ken Hamism is essentially parasitic on Christianity, and like most parasites it, as you say, can end up damaging or killing the host.
    Again as you say, the Christian faith is grounded on a trust in Jesus himself which brings us to an ever closer relationship and love for God.
    What Ken Hamism does is take people who have or are building that faith and convince them that their faith is invalidated if they don’t also subscribe to his YEC schtick. The all-or-nothing approach isn’t incidental to Ken Hamism, it is essential: his followers believe his nonsense because they know their faith in God isn’t nonsense, and he has convinced them if they doubt his nonsense, then they must be doubting God himself (which they don’t). The pseudo-science justifications for YEC only have to be sufficiently superficially plausible to as far as possible keep believers on board, not convince anyone else.
    The damage done by this Ken Hamism parasite I would say is threefold.
    Firstly, as you say, it destroys the faith of those he convinces it’s YEC or no God as soon as it becomes apparent to them YEC is full of holes.
    Secondly, it also drives away people who might otherwise have come to God because it convinces outsiders that you have to be an ignorant idiot to be Christian.
    Thirdly, and most insidiously, I think that because it takes such a great effort to continue to believe YEC in the face of overwhelming evidence, forcing oneself to believe YEC and defending it is likely to push aside any other aspect of one’s faith. You no longer focus on reaching God in prayer, loving your neighbour, following Jesus etc etc but all is about arguing over Noah’s flood. The trust and love of God that brought you into faith dies, and all is left is the same sort of conspiracy-theory monomania that drives moon landing hoax people and believers in alien abductions.

  • Bryony Gilbert

    Moving away from detailed theological arguments, I’ve had personal experience of this. As part of the school curriculum here in the UK my 7 year old son studied ‘famous Victorians’ (i.e. people living in the reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901), including Charles Darwin. He decided that he could no longer come to church because ‘the church disagreed with Darwin, and Darwin was right’. Fortunately my son chose to come back to the church some years later, as a young adult, when he had a more mature understanding of the bible, and had experienced the love of Jesus. All the same, I do wonder how many youngsters are deterred from a church with insists on such ‘certainties’ in a world which is infinitely complex.

  • Matthew

    Well … I think the narrator said that this particular species of fish works and moves 24 hours a day non-stop.
    Maybe the fish doesn´t mind, but maybe it´s a real struggle for him/her. If so, I then wonder if the fish was
    created to live this way by intelligent design, or if the fish is suffering due to the nature of a fallen creation.

  • Realist1234

    Well yes it seems that is what it is, the male creates this amazing design to attract a female.

    My question is, is evolution a sufficient explanation for this, or is there an element of design?

  • Realist1234

    Oh dear, I didnt realise I was annoying people.

    ‘Evolution does not attempt to ‘explain’ everything for you’.

    – it doesnt for me, but it does for atheists.

    My point is, in mocking so-called young earth creationists (and I dont agree with them btw), there seems to be an assumption that evolutionary theory explains everything about the development of life on earth (though not the beginning of life), but I am not convinced it does.

  • Realist1234

    Ok thanks.

  • Realist1234

    Ah ok. I would doubt the fish is suffering, it has simply been designed/developed that way. I doubt the Fall affected the natural world in such a way. Whales were eating plankton, shrimp etc before and after it. I doubt the behaviour of this fish has changed.

  • Realist1234

    I assume you’re a vegetarian then if you think meat-eating is ‘immoral’.

  • Realist1234

    Its a shame your kid was led to believe that. Christians had different opinions on evolution. See link:

    http://biologos.org/common-questions/christianity-and-science/christian-response-to-darwin

  • Realist1234

    But, like others, you are assuming Genesis MUST be read and understood literalistically. But that is simply not the case. Going as far back as Augustine, if not before, Christians have not necessarily understood it as such.

    The question of evolution vs special creation is how did it happen – though note that evolutionary theory itself does not explain how life started, rather how it developed. Christians do not doubt that God COULD have created everything in 6 literal days – He could have created the Universe in 6 milliseconds – but rather ask how he did it. What does the evidence suggest.

    As for the resurrection and the virgin birth, again Christians do not doubt that God could have done that, but what does the evidence say. For me, the resurrection of Jesus, for example, best explains historical reality. It is only those who reject the miraculous who insist it did not happen and have to come up with some other explanation.

  • Realist1234

    ‘As more information pours in and evidence mounts against the actual existence and historicity of Jesus, then if shown to be conclusive the validity of Christianity itself can be called into question as well.’

    – sorry but that’s absolute nonsense. If you are interested in a balanced view from an atheist’s pov, I suggest you read this:

    https://historyforatheists.com/tag/mythicism/

    As for the Jesus Seminar (which included such ‘scholars’ as Paul Verhoeven lol) I would suggest you read this:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/series/unmasking-the-jesus-seminar/

  • Matthew

    Maybe you are right … but do you think animals were killing one another and eating one another prior to the fall? The idea of predator/prey relationships creates obstacles to believing in a loving God for some people I think.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Darwin was buried in a prominent place in nave of Westminster Abbey (near to Isaac Newton) at the request of William Spottiswoode, the president of the Royal Society, Britain’s academy of science. The suggestion appears to have been warmly welcomed. Harvey Goodwin, the bishop of Carlisle, who on the Sunday following Darwin’s funeral in a sermon preached in the abbey, said:
    “It would have been unfortunate if anything had occurred to give weight and currency to the foolish notion which some have diligently propagated, but for which Mr Darwin was not responsible, that there is a necessary conflict between a knowledge of Nature and a belief in God….”
    http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/people/charles-darwin

  • Matthew

    Scripture is inspired by God. It is an extremely useful book. What it does inerrantly, perfectly, and truthfully is lead us to Jesus Christ. Saying anything more than that
    is turning the Bible into an idol and giving it more credit than it rightfully deserves.

    John 5:39

  • Morpheus

    Without a literal understanding of Genesis, particularly creation, who is the one man that Paul speaks of in Romans 5:12? If you argue theistic evolution, then how can you justify death before the fall? I am not saying that Genesis is a science textbook. I do however believe that if my understanding, regardless of the number of peer reviews, disagrees with God’s word then I need to change. God’s word does not change.

  • Morpheus

    Read and reread John 1:1. God’s word is living. It is by this Word that we try to understand who God is. The mere fact that you and I can civilly debate the English text speaks to the importance of the Bible. Men and women have died brutal deaths for this Bible. If anything, it deserves more credit, not less.

  • TS (unami)

    No one can fully know, at least not in this life…
    Whether God used evolution to allow the fish to develop this trait or not, I think it’s wonderful! :-)

  • Morpheus

    I did not judge, nor would I attempt to. I merely stated what the Bible already claims. If any part is untrue then the whole thing unravels.

  • Matthew

    For what it`s worth, it greatly saddens me to think about those who have died as a result of what they believed about the Bible. The church, historically, is not without blame.

    That said, I still stand behind my initial post.

  • Les Mayer

    I used to, and sometimes wish I still could, live in the world of “the entirety of scripture is either true or it’s not”, it would make bible study so much less complicated. The problem is, I run up against things like Proverbs 26:4-5 and it’s instantly obvious that scripture just isn’t open to that simplistic a view. (Which is true, verse 4 or verse 5? Can they both be true? Do we answer or don’t we? And that’s just one example out of many) It’s been my experience that biblical truths often tend to manifest themselves on several different levels. I think God enjoys it when we engage our minds and dive deep into what he’s laid before us, he’s not threatened in the least by our questions or doubts as long as we’re working through them faithfully. After all, a simple reading of the text gave us geocentric theory until Copernicus came along and we all know how that ended up.
    “…since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation, only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it, if it be proved with certainty to be false; lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.” -Thomas Aquinas ~Summa Theologica (1273)

  • WayneMan

    Not sure if you are being serious or cynical. No I don’t see eating meat immoral at all. It is what it is. I did not claim to “design” this place. My point is, if this world was “designed” by some omnipotent God with infinite “design” options , they must love blood and guts. Only a sadistic evil entity would come up with such sinister a “design”.

  • Or, one realizes the ultimate simplicity of There-is-only-God, and is inspired to seek out the intimacy of that seamless connection.

    What else qualifies as Love?

  • Les Mayer

    In John 1:1 the Word is Jesus, not the bible. (And I completely concur that “It is by this Word that we try to understand who God is.”)

  • Morpheus

    I appreciate your response. However, I disagree when you say it’s not open to such a simplistic view. If you read the book of Proverbs as the wisdom that it is and not the promises that are erroneously taught by some, then 26:4 is one way to deal with the fool and 26:5 is another option.

  • Les Mayer

    With a simple, straight-forward reading of the text we can’t arrive at your conclusion though, it requires engagement of the bible in a thoughtful, investigative manner. (Which is what you’ve done here) That was my primary point. Interpretations based on a simple, straight-forward, literal reading of the text have taken us down some pretty horrific roads throughout the course of history. Peace to you and yours my friend, thanks for the time and consideration!

  • “Obviously there is, and there is a major debate going on in scholarly circles whether he did or not exist “

    There is no “major debate” going on at all. This is the equivalent to Young Earth Creationists trying to claim there is some kind of “debate” going on about evolution because their tiny handful of contrarians disagree with the overwhelming majority of scholars in all relevant fields. Likewise, the vast majority of scholars – Christian, atheist, agnostic and Jewish – fully accept that a historical Jesus most likely existed and there is a microscopic number of fringe nobodies who claim otherwise

    “with a growing consensus concurring that much of what was formerly claimed to be irrefutable “evidence” and historical record is now regarded as interpolation, forgery, confirmation bias and illocutionary apologetics.”

    There is no such “growing consensus”.

    “That’s changing rapidly and being vigorously argued by many modern scholars.”

    See above – this is fantasy. Let’s look at your roll call of “modern scholars”:

    “Raphael Latester”

    His name is actually Lataster. When he wrote on the historicity of Jesus he was a PhD student at the University of Sydney and so barely a “scholar” at all. He graduated with a doctorate in Religious Studies last month and so is the very lowest level “scholar” there is.

    “John Loftus”

    Loftus is a former fundamentalist preacher turned atheist popular author and so is not a “scholar”. He also accepts that a historical Jesus most likely existed.

    “Mathew McCormack”

    MCCormack is a professor of philosophy who has written a popular book on why the resurrection and miracles of Jesus can’t be accepted. This is not the same thing as arguing no historical Jesus existed at all.

    “Robert Price”

    Robert Price is the only person on this list who can be regarded as a New Testament scholar, though he is also regarded as a fringe figure who has not published in any peer reviewed journal in decades.

    Dr. Richard Carrier”

    Carrier has a PhD in ancient history but has never held a single teaching or research position in his life. He is failed academic and unemployed blogger who seems to live on charity while couch surfing around the US preaching against Christianity.

    “Bart Ehrman”

    Ehrman is one of the most esteemed and leading scholars in the field. He also fully accepts that a historical Jesus most likely existed and has only entered any kind of “debate” with Mythicists because he regards their fringe position so stupid.

    “Earl Dougherty”

    His name is actually Doherty. He is a popular writer and failed science fiction author who claims to have an MA but has never substantiated that claim with any details. He is a self-published amateur.

    “John Dominick Crossan”

    Crossan’s middle name is actually Dominic. He too is a leading scholar and he too fully accepts that a historical Jesus existed. To my knowledge he has never bothered to dispute any of the claims of the Mythicist fringe.

    “Mark Palkovich

    I have no idea who “Mark Palkovich” is. You seem to be referring to Michael Paulkovich who is an aerospace engineer who decided to write a Mythicst book as a hobby.

    ” Dr. Hector Avalos”

    Avalos is a professor of religious studies who has declared his is, at most, “agnostic” about the existence of a historical Jesus.

    ” … and others”

    Such as who?

    If we go over your list, you’ve padded it out with four people who don’t actually dispute the existence of a historical Jesus (Loftus, Ehrman, Crossan, McCormack) and one (Avalos) who is merely agnostic on the issue and has never written anything scholarly on the subject. Then we get a couple of total amateurs who are not scholars at all (Doherty, Paulkovich ). And finally fringe nobodies like Carrier and Lataster. Which leaves precisely ONE person on your list who is in any way a “scholar” in a relevant field – Price – and he long since abandoned the field of New Testament studies to write Mythicist books for an atheist press. So where is this “major debate going on in scholarly circles”? It doesn’t exist. There is this tiny gaggle of fringe contrarians, amateur hobbyists and nobodies making a noise on the internet and the only scholar who has bothered to pay them much attention is Ehrman, because he is a good public educator as well as a major scholar in the field. There is no “major debate” – you’re kidding yourself.

  • Realist1234

    In a word, yes. I dont see how one can argue animals, or indeed mammals or insects eating other animals, mammals or insects for food is ‘immoral’. It is neither good nor bad, it just ‘is’. It seems to me death occurred in nature prior to the fall.

  • Realist1234

    Calling the universe and this earth ‘sinister’ is a new one on me. Most people, Christians and atheists alike, typically view the creation as beautiful and awe-inspiring. But each to their own I suppose.

    As for my comment, as you were making a moral judgement about animals, mammals etc eating other animals, mammals etc for food (‘God must really ‘hate’ land and sea creatures…’) then I assumed you had an issue with eating meat, that is, animals. Particularly, as an atheist you presumably believe humans are just another animal and nothing else. I find your argument strange – you judge God for making life as such, yet you yourself are content for animals to be killed and eaten for your food, despite the fact that you could easily be a vegetarian if you wanted. Logically any judgement you make against God can be put back on you.

  • Matthew

    Won’t the lion eventually lie down with the lamb?

  • Realist1234

    ‘I do however believe that if my understanding, regardless of the number of peer reviews, disagrees with God’s word then I need to change. ‘

    – and there lies the problem. In reality you should have written ‘disagrees with my understanding of God’s word then I need to change’. You seem to be assuming that your insistence that Genesis must be understood literalistically is the only way to understand it, despite millennia of differing views on it.

    A while ago I responded to an atheist as to why I tend not to understand Genesis as literal –

    ‘-it appears to be more a polemic against existing creation stories, primarily Mesopotamian but also possibly Egyptian (particularly in connection with the sun, moon and stars, man in relation to God, ‘sea monsters’ etc);
    – there is evidence of poetic prose such as parallelism;
    – the use of chiastic, palistrophic and concentric patterns in the text;
    – the repeated use of the number 7 and its multiples;
    – Eden shares common symbolism with the later tabernacle, even the entrance being facing the east;
    – perfectly illustrates, for example, the nature of mankind in relation to sin – when man’s sinful behaviour was challenged by God, his response was to blame others and even God: ‘It was the woman you gave to me who gave me of the tree and I ate’.
    That final point indicates to me that ‘Adam’ was more representative of mankind, and shows we are supposed to learn something about ourselves. Some of the comments on this blog show how man has not changed…
    In another post, you mentioned the ‘days’ in Genesis and why I think they are not literal 24-hour days. In summary, because:
    – the Hebrew ‘yom’ translated ‘day’ can refer to 12-hour days (ie 12 hours of daylight), 24-hour days, indefinite periods of time etc. For example, reference to the ‘Day of the Lord’ elsewhere in the OT hardly refers to a single 24-hour day. Even in common English usage, we do not always mean a literal 24-hour day, eg ‘In my day, things were better’ typically refers to our youth etc, not a single day.
    – if you insist on understanding Genesis 1 literalistically, then you must define a 24-hour day as the approximate time it takes the earth to complete one full revolution on its axis in the light of the sun. But the sun wasnt created until the 4th ‘day’. So how could the first 3 ‘days’ be literal 24-hour days without sunlight on the earth?
    – it should be noted that the view that the Genesis ‘days’ should not necessarily be understood to be literal days is not a recent viewpoint, as if it is only modern science that has made believers rethink it. At least as far back as 1700 years ago, long before theories of evolution or of the Big Bang, church fathers such as Augustine were saying the same thing.’

  • WayneMan

    No, you are totally missing the point, or purposely misrepresenting what I said. First I did not say the world is sinister at all. I think the world and the cosmos is extremely amazing and interesting. What I said was if an omnipotent entity created a world, that requires blood and guts for land and sea creatures, not to forget constant random indiscriminate suffering from earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes, lightning strikes, and diseases, then that entity is sinister. Not sure why that is so hard to understand. An omnipotent God could have make all creatures get their energy from photosynthesis or some other non-brutal alternative. I love my steak and lobster, but if I was “designed” with photosynthesis, I would never even consider eating some creature. The world just is what it is because it was not planned or designed by any intelligence. It is called evolution. Secondly, I don’t judge your God at all, because I do not believe any Gods exist. I am simply pointing out one issue with believing in a God, that this God could only be evil to create the reality we see. The beautiful parts of it does not simply excuse the horrors.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b928fdcbe8b30e99b1aec435993796552a4d2c98168e7432379ba0e1bae32759.jpg

  • Realist1234

    Perhaps, or it may be more symbolic for ‘peace’.

  • Arrendis

    Taking Genesis literally as the inerrant factual account of how things happened means believing Genesis is lying to you.

    Genesis 1:11-13 establishes God creates plants on the Third Day, the Sun, Moon, and Stars on the Fourth, fish and other sea life on the Fifth Day, and all the animals and Man on the Sixth Day. Specifically: “11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.”

    Genesis 2:5-9 says that “no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up” when “the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”, and that after making Man, “The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.”

    So, we can see that in Genesis 1, fully half of Creation earlier than Man exists, the plants are bearing seeds and the trees are bearing fruit with seed in it (1:12). But in Genesis 2, though God ‘had planted a garden in the East’ (2:8), ‘no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up’ (2:5). These two stories directly contradict one another. They cannot both be literal truth.

    Thus, if all of Genesis must be read as literal truth, Genesis says Genesis is lying. If, on the other hand, Genesis is read as allegorical myth, the way the early Church did (and, shockingly enough, all of the various branches of Judaism seem to agree that that’s how their creation myths are meant to be read), then you’re fine, and Genesis is free to contain often-conflicting stories that serve to highlight and explain different things.

  • gimpi1

    I totally agree with this. One thing that has kept me at arm’s length from religion in general is the attempts by some religious spokespeople to insist on treating obvious myths, allegory and poetry as scientific fact. It’s not. The earth is 4.5 billion years old (and change). Biological life evolved. All life shares common ancestors. These are not in debate, except when people don’t debate honestly.

    Now, here’s the thing; Mr. Ham’s approach is sort of a “reefer madness” argument. When you lie about something – either to exaggerate its harmfulness or claim its fact when its not – and people find out about the lie, they will stop believing anything you have to say. I admit to having spent some time in that position as regards religion in general and Christianity in particular. It has been quite a relief to discover that the fundamentalist approach to belief is not only not the only one, but that there are many, many people who can embrace the spirit of a faith without demanding mindless acceptance of its ancient myths as fact.

    So, good on this site and blog; I find it helpful and hopeful. Thanks.

  • gimpi1

    Flat earthers? Really? Wow, people really fall into that… we can see the earth from space. Heck, Google-Earth only works with a globe that satellites orbit… how do people fall into believing something that an i-phone can disprove?

  • gimpi1

    I LOVE BioLogos. I think you’re the one who recommended it to me, and I was both impressed and grateful. It’s a wonderful site,and thanks so much for the recommendation.

  • Herm

    You are doing a sum zero summation beginning and ending with zero.

    I merely stated what the Bible already claims. If any part is untrue then the whole thing unravels.

    The Bible is a chronicle of relationship derived from many different sources, who all cared enough to write down their concept, throughout a mere 4,000 years of developing realization for mankind. The Bible claims nothing except observation and commitment of its authors, editors, compilers, publishers and supporters. By your math, if just one of our blog wrote within this cyber chronicle (indelibly printed in the cloud) that all the many feelings and thoughts found here are the truth then any untruth found here has unraveled the whole of this blog as having nothing to offer. Why are you so inspired to pen your thoughts and feelings within the covers of this book of many thoughts and feelings that may be disagreeable to you? Are all to be discarded because none have matured to the perfection of awareness and influence that this cosmos demands that we strive toward and yet might take an eternity to achieve?

    No other species on this earth cares to chronicle its thoughts and feelings beyond their carnal survival. The image of God that we may have is not God. The Bible, any book, is not God. 5,000 years after the fact, the dramatic metamorphosis of mankind from hunter/gatherer to farmer/rancher that occurred in the Fertile Crescent, was chronicled as best the awareness of the time allowed in the book of Genesis. It was not physical anthropological fact that had been handed down to finally be written but relational fact as best could be tested. Mankind testified to a relationship beyond what their physical relationships could define. Mankind became aware, and cared enough to write about it; that they were fragile and finite while another separate awareness of greater influence than Man’s was present who was of no beginning and no end.

    The Bible is a wonder filled source to share with our maturing species relationship in spirit through, at most, a 1,400 year span, beginning at Moses’ birth and ending at the last writing of the New Testament. We, mankind, have lived to learn over 1,900 years since the last book in the Bible was written.

    I cannot find anywhere within the Bible where an author ever gave credence to their writing as inerrant, the apostle Paul certainly did not. That does not say that the author was lying. Psalm 119:159-160 gives all truth to God’s words, not the author’s words. Acts 4:31 is pretty clear, without any need to interpret, that God’s words do not require reference material to be active then or today.

    So, you do judge founded upon your imperfect consideration that anything penned by Man, regarding their relationship with God, is inerrant or unraveled.

    The Bible is nothing, has no value, if those who read it do not come to their own personal relationship with the God spoken of within. For those who do their heart, soul, strength, mind of responsibility, spoken of within relative to relationship, are no longer considered as finite physical attributes but are understood in spirit. The Bible, as do many other conceptual philosophic and spiritual writings of Man, contains pointers to potential relationships for the interested reader but was never meant to be considered the final and perfect owner’s manual dictated by the maker.

    The more I share in the reality of my relationship with “God” (by any name) the more I realize that all little children attempt to judge the whole of life, physical and spirit, only in accordance with their limited and immature perspective. We all try first to judge all life by our life. Every author in the Bible was inspired by their personal life in relationship with God. You are inspired to write by your relationship with God. We have more, not less, evidence of the depth of God’s relationship with us as our science unravels sincere myth.

    Let me give an example of the growth shown in the Bible. The Old Testament tells of God demanding to be served and sacrificed to by Man. The New Testament tells of God willing to serve and sacrifice for Man. Which, from your perspective, has the most to offer the other in service and sacrifice? How many children believe that the truths imposed on them by their parents is a demand for them to serve and sacrifice for their parents? How many children realize that they have nothing to give their parents that their parents had not first given them? God, as portrayed in the Bible, does not demand perfection to survive because we cannot achieve perfection as children. In reality, after the last 2,000 years I believe we are coming to the real possibility that God, themselves, will spend the entire remaining portion of eternity before They achieve perfection in relationship. I, as a very sincere, responsible and comparatively mature parent never attained perfection even though I was held most responsible to the survival of my children, that they could not achieve without knowledgeable intervention. How much does my imperfection unravel the productive, constructive and supportive influence that my children have imperfectly learned to apply today to their children better than I did in my service and sacrifice for them?

    In regards to the subject of Dr. Corey’s article, anyone who interprets their relationship with “God” from others as more perfect and true than the relationships they know personally with God is unraveling the whole point of children encouraged to share among themselves to better understand their guardians.

    Please, glean as much truth from whatever imperfect source of inspiration you are led to for your growth in relationship with Man and/or God. Do not throw out all that someone says, or writes, simply because they are clearly not perfectly representing the truth. The Bible really does contain some testable truth in relationship with God and Man that we won’t find elsewhere. The ultimate truth is that the only relationship that matters is not found in the Bible but is in the dynamic relationship of shared support of every heart, soul, strength, mind of Man and God today, this moment, whether we can define it or not.

  • Matthew

    Maybe I heard him incorrectly. Thanks Eva.

  • Matthew

    No problem. I need to find more time to spend on the website.

  • Matthew

    I didn’t think evangelicals were into symbolic interpretations :-):-):-).

  • Nimblewill

    When people tell me that every Christian doctrine comes from Genesis, I ask them about the doctrine of hell.

  • Nimblewill

    The fact that Darwin is the father of modern racism is always ignored. The full title of Darwin’s work “On the origin of species” is: “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.

  • Nimblewill

    Couldn’t the earth be 4.5 billion years old and 6 thousand years old at the same time. There are many Christians who believe in a pre-Adamic race and a new creation that begins with the biblical narrative.

  • Michelle L

    Human beings were created mortal, not immortal. Death was always a part of God’s plan for creation as part of the natural order. Nowhere does the text state that humans were intended to be immortal in the original Hebrew language. What is stated is that humans were created to work/steward the land. What was not a part of creation was separation from God.

  • Dean

    This idea that either the Bible is 100% factually correct or it’s garbage is a very odd concept. I would really like to ask some bible literalists here where they got that idea. The reason that the Bible has authority and is relevant to people of faith today has nothing to do with it’s scientific or technical precision. That’s something that you guys impose on the text. The reason the Bible is relevant today is because the texts have inspired countless people for thousands of years and have given them a glimpse of a loving, personal God and a spiritual world beyond the physical one. That’s pretty much it guys. All the doctrine and theology that we’ve grafted on to this collection of texts is just how some of us try to make sense of it, there’s nothing inherently “divine” about any of it, and honestly, some of it seems downright evil. So can we just be honest that all of us, believers and non-believers alike, are looking for something beyond ourselves, something beyond this physical life, something that tells us that entropy is not the end of the road for us, that we have meaning and purpose, that the universe is ultimately benevolent, that the arc of history does bend toward justice, and that in anything we do, we should always strive to hold out just a bit longer because there is always hope. That is really all you can say about the Bible without sounding like a raving lunatic. Because otherwise it’s just an argument that goes something like, I’m right, you’re wrong, and if off chance you happen to be right, we should throw the whole book in the trash. That’s just not how rational people think about anything of value in this world.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    No. I think I will forget flat earthers. They really are too profoundly silly to bother with.
    I am a little worried you are over-obsessing about them.
    https://xkcd.com/386/

  • WayneMan

    “The fact that Darwin is the father of modern racism is always ignored.”

    Seriously? Darwin died in 1882. You think no one enslaved other races before Darwin wrote his book. Seriously? Darwin did not invent natural selection or racism. He simply named it. At the time, natural selection and indeed evolution, was an unrealized and unnamed natural process. He and Alfred Wallace simply figured it out and named it.

  • Morpheus

    For the wages of sin is death. There was death prior to the fall of man. If there was, then that means there was sin. If there was sin then Adam was a scapegoat and we were lied to. Adam and we’re created in the garden and could eat from the tree of eternal life. Thus, immortality.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Darwin in “On the Origin of Species” deliberately gave no account whatsoever of human evolution. The “races” referred to refers entirely to animal “races” and is synonymous with “species”.
    It is perfectly true that Darwin was racist by modern standards, accepting largely uncritically the assumption of the times that, in general, white people were in general superior to others and he does, in the Descent of Man, speculate that the “uncivilised” races might eventually be out-competed and supplanted by the “civilised” ones through the methods of natural selection he observed in other living things.
    He undoubtedly wasn’t the “father of modern racism” however, or any more, indeed was somewhat less, racist than a lot of his contemporaries, who believed, for example, unlike Darwin, that other non-white races didn’t even have a common ancestor and were not even completely the same species. Darwin in the Descent of Man firmly rejects the idea that the various human races are distinct species, or even that they can be clearly and consistently distinguished.
    He is also on record as, unlike a lot of his contemporaries, being disgusted by and firmly opposed to slavery.

  • Les Mayer

    Excellent!!

  • Iain Lovejoy

    People are gonna be stupid. Of all the stupid things stupid people are going to believe to make themselves feel special and clever, flat earthism has got to be the most harmless. Sure it’s frustratingly incomprehensible that these idiots can believe something so idiotic in the face of pretty much every aspect of reality and still somehow manage to walk upright, but you can’t help everyone.

  • Matthew

    So happy to read that you’re leaping over some of the intellectual hurdles. Journey on!

  • Matthew

    Wow!!

  • gimpi1

    Thanks! It’s a fascinating trip.

  • gimpi1

    That’s stunning. I can’t imagine what attracts people to this dreck. I agree, it’s dangerous.

  • Dean

    Reefer madness, I love that! Haha.

  • mchasewalker

    Who is kidding who? ” There is no “major debate”

    No, not if your head is in the sand, or somewhere else? Of course, you love Ehrman, but, he too is an atheist, and his arguments for the existence of Jesus are. at best, deeply flawed, and more than sufficiently, and scholarly, challenged.

    For sure, the consensus of Western scholars between 1900 and the 1970’s was almost unanimously in favor of Jesus historicity, but with the influx of new information pouring in, and the uncovering of flawed data that consensus is rapidly dwindling.

    ( See Did the historical Jesus exist? A growing number of scholars don’t think so

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/did-historical-jesus-exist-growing-number-of-scholars-dont-think-so/#.VSGJx7_0uCk.twitter

    I was writing from the top of my head, nevertheless I’m glad you are proficient enough in Wikipedia h to correct my errors. Thank you, but that does not make your argument any stronger.

    Unfortunately, if you are inclined to believe that the Supreme G-d of the Universe, arguably the greatest physicist to ever exist, came up with a scheme to travel 13.7 billion years across lethal radiation to give birth to himself, and then subject himself to a primitive blood ritual in order to relieve his own own creation from His own 6,000 year-old curse, well, you’re capable of any and all sort of nonsense.

    Obviously, you know zero about the way the human brain is programmed to identify patterns, and, in turn, invent stories about those patterns. If you did you would also know that the Judeo Christian myth of “Iseous” is little more than what Spengler accurately described as a process of Pseudo historic metamorphosis:

    “The Magian Man is part of a pneumatic “we” which descending from above, is the one and the same in all members. As body and soul he belongs to himself alone, but something else, something alien
    and higher dwells in him making him with all his glimpses and convictions just a member of consensus, which, as the emanation of god, exclude error, but excludes all possibility of thE SELF-ASSERTING EGO.

    Truth is for him something others that for us ( i.e. for us of specifically European mentality). All our epistemological methods, resting upon the individual judgment are for him madness and infatuation and its scientific results are the work of the Evil One, who has confused and deceived the spirit as to its true dispositions and purposes. Herein lies the ultimate for us the unapproachable secret of Magian thought in its cavern-world, the impossibility of a thinking believing, and knowing Ego is the presupposition in all the fundamentals of all these religions.”

    Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West (New York: Random House-The Modern Library, 1962), 218.

    With all of your pneumatic bloviation, your argument, as feeble as it is, holds no more weight than did the old Christian Heliocentrists while they were putting Geocentrists to the torch.

  • Oh dear …

    “Who is kidding who? ” There is no “major debate” No, not if your head is in the sand, or somewhere else?”

    My head is firmly in the knowledge of this field, given that I’ve been studying it for over 30 years. And I’m more than familiar with the handful of fringe nobodies who make up the so-called “Mythicists” as well. There is no scholarly debate on this subject. If there was then we would find a substantial number of esteemed, highly ranked, professional scholars on both sides of this supposed “debate”. We’d see many peer reviewed papers from both perspectives being published in the top journals. And we’d see academic symposia and panels at the leading academic conferences in relevant fields, with the issues being hotly debated by the leading scholarly figures. That is what an actual scholarly debate looks like. A pathetic handful of fringe nobodies, amateur hobbyists and general crackpots yapping on the internet while the actual scholars generally ignore them is not a “scholarly debate”.

    “Of course, you love Ehrman, but, he too is an atheist, and his arguments for the existence of Jesus are. at best, deeply flawed, and more than sufficiently, and scholarly, challenged.”

    Utter garbage. “His” arguments are those of the consensus of the actual critical scholars in the field and they are “challenged” by absolutely nobody except the gaggle of hacks and online amateurs mentioned above. And those “challenges” are hopelessly incompetent. You don’t seem to have any idea what you’re talking about.

    “For sure, the consensus of Western scholars between 1900 and the 1970’s was almost unanimously in favor of Jesus historicity”

    It still is. Nothing has changed.

    “but with the influx of new information pouring in, and the uncovering of flawed data that consensus is rapidly dwindling.”

    This is delusional nonsense. There is no “new information pouring in” – the fringe contrarians are just recycling the same old crappy early twentieth century arguments scholars rejected a century ago. And the consensus is not “rapidly dwindling” at all. There’s always been a crackpot fringe of Mythicists and it remains as tiny and insignificant as it has ever been.

    “See Did the historical Jesus exist? A growing number of scholars don’t think so

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/…”

    Oh, this is getting hilarious. Sorry, but that crappy click-bait article just blurts the same nonsense about some “growing number of scholars” who challenge the consensus and then back this with … the same tiny handful of losers you mentioned. So we get Price, the unemployed blogger Carrier and Carrier’s little friend, the amateur non-scholar Fitzgerald. And this garbage is meant to back up your “growing number of scholars” claim? Are you drunk?

    “I was writing from the top of my head, nevertheless I’m glad you are proficient enough in Wikipedia h to correct my errors.”

    I didn’t need Wiki – I’m more than familiar with the cranks and amateurs you mentioned – which is probably why, unlike you, I knew how to spell all their names correctly. I’ve debated Carrier, Doherty, Lataster and Fitzgerald online several times over the years and know the flawed arguments of all the others. And this sad collection of losers is your great paradigm-changing phalanx of “scholars”?! Seriously? That’s just hilarious.

    “Unfortunately, if you are inclined to believe that the Supreme G-d of the Universe …”

    I’m an atheist. Your move genius. Speaking of which …

    “With all of your pneumatic bloviation, your argument, as feeble as it is, holds no more weight than did the old Christian Heliocentrists while they were putting Geocentrists to the torch.”

    Firstly, it was the Christians (and the ancient Greeks and Romans) who were the geocentrists, so you got that one totally backwards. Secondly, no-one was ever “put to the torch” for believing in heliocentrism. So, is there anything else you want to get totally wrong or are we done for now?

  • Matthew

    Are you there Dean?

  • Rudy Schellekens

    I have actually been an observer to the Jesus Seminar. And, as far as the 200 fo, it became quickly a one-man show – Crossan’s. He monetized it to his own profit. And when decisions were made, it was a coin toss. “I think that Jesus did not say… or do…” is not much of a scholarly way to make decisions.
    But even then: They did not deny the actual existence of Jesus.

    What is an interesting tid-bit to me, by the way, is how the terms B.C. and A.D. were tossed out for the more politically correct B. C.E. and C.E. How they chose the exact same “breaker” as the B.C. and A.D. Seems a bit strange to base your time keeping on a non-existing event. But I digress.

    There is nothing logically wrong with Pascal’s wager. So to call it a “fallacy” seems a bit odd. His wager is based on the possible existence of a being called God. That being has set out punishment and promises. It does not matter whether or not the being exists or not – the form of his argument/outcomes will work.

  • Nimblewill

    Its simply not true that the races he referred to were entirely animal races. Have you read the book? What I meant by Darwin being the Father of Modern Racism is that he made it scientific. Of course he didn’t invent racism. That’s just silly.

  • Nimblewill

    See my comment above. He gave people a legitimate excuse to be racist. It sucks for your hero to be such a punk.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    No, I’ve not read the book, I rely on summaries of its content. You apparently haven’t read it either, or are muddling it with Descent of Man, his later book which does deal with human origins.
    Darwin deliberately left out any mention of human evolution from Origin of Species. Please see summary of content in Wikipedia article below.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Origin_of_Species
    What do you mean by making racism “scientific’, and in what way do you say Darwin did so?

  • Herm

    Nimblewill, why does it matter? What does specifics beyond our comprehension have to do with Man’s relationship with God today? We’re talking our God of grace who is older than our physical heavens which we calculate to be approximately 13.7 billion years old, relative to a full revolution of our earth around our puny sun. We’re talking our God who we sense to know only because Their image of spirit fits within all of Man. When you were three seconds old how many specifics did you care to calculate about those who chose to share their physical image with you? Looking back on less than 80 years what mattered most to you when first born?

  • Herm

    Thank you Dean! A most powerful and testable truth shared succinctly with care. You have a most divine Teacher.

  • Herm

    Christian doctrine (a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Christian church) is of value only to those who do not know the Teacher.

    The Pharisees had doctrine. The Sadducee had doctrine. Neither of those differing Jewish doctrines matched that of Jesus’ (a Jew by birth) simple commands and truth taught.

    When the quest is limited to conjuring up a certain set of do’s and don’ts, this not that, to avoid eternal torture we miss the joy of simply being a child of God today; an, otherwise, spiritually and cosmically helpless child trusting in Their wisdom and care to provide for us, protect us, nurture us and take us out to the beautiful lake today to play with Them and They with us. Many, sorry not all, of us carry a small memory image of what God’s divine familial relationship is like developed when we were helpless little children of our carnal parents.

    Truth is not a doctrine. A doctrine is only a guess. When we know all the truth we can bear, which scripture clearly says we each can today, doctrine is superfluous.

  • Herm

    So many issues with what you say here. One is a small but most significant error. In the Garden of Eden there were two trees that the rules of the house said we were not to partake of. We chose, first, to childishly and daringly (as all healthy, inquisitive and adorable children do when left freely to their own devices) test the possible consequences from ingesting the fruit of knowledge to learn what is supportive (good) and what is destructive (evil) to all life. We were then isolated from experimenting with the fruit of life without end.

    We, mankind, biblically never had immortality until a certain few of us proved they would not be a clear and present danger to all other immortals throughout all time. Until their judgment employing their awareness and influence is sufficiently sound, all children, inspired by empathetic, compassionate, tolerant and forgiving adult guardians, are isolated from what they are not prepared to survive and/or not prepared to support the survival of others; by in everything doing to others as they would have others do to them (the sum of divine law). Sin is just an abused word for transgressing divine law.

    The law of gravity has evil consequences when transgressed. Loving and responsible parents allow their children to fall short distances while isolating them from testing 100 foot cliffs (that as adults they may later climb knowing the risks they do not as a child). Healthy children never fall from the grace of their of their loving and responsible parents, even when their parents feel every pain from their child’s survived falls. Our immortal Makers suffer fully the grief of our losses, all our losses, especially when and if we must suffer the eternal isolation of knowing nothing, influencing nothing and being forgotten by others.

  • WayneMan

    Nope, people were racist centuries before Darwin’s time. I am not vouching for Darwin’s character at all. I didn’t know the man, but his character in no way invalidates his work. The statement that he was the father of racism is absolutely false, and yes silly. He simply discovered and published the reality that all species are related and came from the same initial single celled life, and guided by natural selection. It says nothing about one species or race being superior to another. People that were or are already disposed to racism could certainly bastardize his findings to try to justify their racism. That is no different than the KKK using Biblical quotes to justify racism. Using your logic, the Bible would be the real father of racism. Nice try, but simply a desperate fabricated attempt to discredit evolution and natural selection.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d3997a55e9b9da1dff10b6c9d824cb738fcd8a65d87c0a894e051e7148dbfc4.jpg

  • YEC’s all about the pseudoscience too. Most of his claims can be distilled down to “Science drew an incorrect conclusion, therefore we win.” Have a look at the “101 evidences for a young age of the Earth and the universe” and notice how many of them actually, if true, disprove the claim put forth by the argument. Straight up “science says this is [random number] 4000000 years old, but it’s actually 50000 years old, therefore it’s actually 6000 years!”

  • This just reminds me of the Onion article, “Sumerians look on in confusion as God creates world.” https://www.theonion.com/sumerians-look-on-in-confusion-as-god-creates-world-1819571221

  • Nimblewill

    Scientific racism is what I meant by modern racism, which if you had read what I posted you would see that I didn’t say the father of racism.

    You are right though, It was the Descent of Man. I read them both 25 years ago. My bad.

    But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. ‘Anthropological Review,’ April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

  • WayneMan

    Well OK, I guess. So you have suddenly switched topics from an attempt to smear Darwin (as if that negates evolution and natural selection), to the sociology of man. Not real sure what your point is now. I wouldn’t dispute that man is and will be responsible for some species extinctions. That is a sad and tragic reality, due to plain ignorance or narcissistic thinking. But don’t forget that 99% of the tens of millions of species that ever lived are extinct, which means that the vast majority of that happened as a result of natural selection or disasters, even before modern man was here. And of course our egos drive us to think we are superior to other species, and even other races or yes women within our species. That is from ignorance and a major lack of empathy, not Darwin’s fault at all. Our egos are also much more likely to extinct ourselves with atomic weapons in a pissing contest, than due to a total destruction of our ecosystem necessary for survival. Although either is very possible.

  • Nimblewill

    I feel like we are speaking two different languages. Obviously you are much more schooled in this topic than I am. I apologize for wasting your time. My point was that Darwin is pointing out that the black race is closer to the gorilla than the white race. It won’t be the first time I have completely misunderstood something. My sincere apologies. Thanks for making me think deeper about this subject.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The Darwin quote is pretty racist, sure, but not something that hadn’t been the universal attitude of Europeans for centuries. Darwin isn’t , by the way, saying that “primitive” (or whatever pejorative description got used) peoples were closer to gorillas etc than they were to white people, but rather saying that you could see in “primitive” people resemblances and similarities to gorillas etc (with whom all human beings share a common ancestor) that you purportedly did not see to such an extent in “civilised” white people.
    This is an important distinction because the “scientific” backing for racism in Darwin’s time was polygenism, the widespread idea that the different races did not have common ancestors at all, but were the subject of an entirely separate creation (for example Voltaire considered black people a kind of animal and not human at all) which in Descent of Man Darwin argued against, and which evolutionary theory undermines.

  • The Christian faith and worldview is founded upon Jesus Christ– anything else is idolatry, even if it’s idolatry wrapped in a Bible case.

    You may be right that Ham’s “foundation” for faith is rickety and defective, but I think you’re gonna be disappointed if you think that kids-in-danger-of-becoming-atheists parsing the sentence above critically would lead to anything except the exact same thing. As soon as you have to start splitting theological hairs to justify a seeming contradiction–in what way is worshiping a deity in the form of an historical man, and images thereof, not idolatry?–you’re gonna lose a whole lot of your audience.

  • Herm

    Perhaps, 3lemenope, you inserted what you think you saw in the sentence you highlighted but it wasn’t there. Where is the word “worshiping“?

  • Are you now claiming that Christians do not worship Jesus as part of the Godhead?

    Maybe you in your highly idiosyncratic practice do not, but you hardly speak for the rest.

  • Herm

    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 (NIV2011)

    “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 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    “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 (NIV2011)

    3lemenope, perhaps my practice of relating directly in and with Christ as my, and I believe Dr. Corey’s, one instructor (disciple means “pupil”) in the Spirit, brother, Lord with all authority in heaven and on earth, and eternal companion on the journey through all time today is not peculiar to God. Many are invited but few are chosen because they don’t choose to be Christ like, including carrying their own cross in love for their enemy. This article speaks to those who accept Pharisaical doctrine, who do not see to accept God in their midst, over relationship with and in God as the Messiah instructs His students today.

    I speak to this article and the Spirit behind it. Your slipping in the word worship, as you did, speaks more to the Old Testament where mankind saw God as an all powerful, threatening ogre to be served and sacrificed to in order to earn favor. That is not what Christ teaches nor do Christians (the few who are Christlike) do for they, on this earth, recognize that they are little children only capable of being served, sacrificed for, taught, provided for, nurtured and loved if they are to mature into and throughout eternity.

    Yes, I know that many differing sects, calling themselves Christians (Christlike children of God), today do claim to worship He who they do not know intrinsically in all their heart, soul, strength, mind (their spirit being first in the image of God). Ken Ham and his disciples, as only one example of those who usurp the authority of Christ (who they do not know) to instruct “by faith” in His name, all “worship” with the aid of physical accouterments that they alone deem as sacred to God, including the Bible, steeples, crosses, alters and sacraments.

    For the moment, I most dispute your insertion of the word “worshiping” when Dr. Corey intentionally did not abuse it.

  • Any attempt to separate yourself from the 99% or so of Christians who worship Christ–using scripture or not–in order to claim that they have it wrong and you have it right comes off as quite absurd.

    Hey, maybe you do have it right and all Christians everywhere are just terrible at their religion. Who knows. What I do know is if it requires what you just did to explain away the idea that making Jesus Christ the “cornerstone of your faith” (if the “worship” word offends you so) is somehow not idolatry, you’ve already lost.

  • WayneMan

    Not a waste of time at all. I have enjoyed the discussion. Just keep in mind that Darwin’s family was well know for their disgust for slavery, starting back with his grandfather. His work predicting that all humans including slaves, came from a common ape ancestor species, smacked the face of common misinformation at the time. Yes, he did make personal notes that the African native’s evolution did seem to retain more visual features from our ancestor than whites. But that in no way was meant to mean superiority. However, it was used to discredit or spin his work because it was a slave trade profit threat, or a religious leader threat because it discredits the Genesis creation story. As an X-Christian, I am well aware of how religion (people like Ken Ham) will use any thread or spin possible to sell their version of reality.

    Best wishes.

  • Herm

    Relationship in awe of your parents is not the idol worship in service and sacrifice that you insert. The majority of God’s chosen people followed the worship practices of the Pharisees, Sadducee and scribes when only a few followed Jesus, the Christ. I don’t have a faith, as did the vast majority of Jews in Jesus’ time on earth, in a God I do not know, as Their child. The greatest among us is our servant. I am in awe of my Father in heaven who is among us, His children.

    This isn’t a competition between philosophical perspectives. This is real, as real as any most divine familial relationship can be. What have I got to lose beyond what I lose when my carnal body surely passes back to the earth?

    Jesus Christ is not the “cornerstone of my faith“. Jesus Christ is in me and I am in Him, right this moment. That is not the blind faith you speak to but direct and certain relationship. I do have faith, by proven evidence, that Jesus will never leave me orphaned.

    This is real, He came and stayed in the Spirit of truth:

    “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 (NIV2011)

  • Summers-lad

    Not so. Two reasons:

    1. Genesis 2:17 says “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” But they didn’t. Eve lived long enough to have several children, and Adam, according to Gen 5:5, lived 930 years. So if you take it literally, Gen 2:17 is wrong. I take it from this (although other interpretations are possible) that the death referred to in 2:17 is not physical but spiritual death, or a death in their communion with God. The verse therefore says nothing about physical death, one way or the other, which is certainly preferable to it being false.
    2. As Herm has pointed out below, Adam and Eve had not eaten from the tree of life, and God said in 3:22 that they must not be allowed to do so. Clearly, therefore, they were not immortal, or at least Genesis gives no reason to believe that they were.

  • Summers-lad

    I agree 100% with your quoted reply to an atheist. But I think that Morpheus’s statement which you are responding to is better than your rewrite of it. Your version, in effect, says, “if my understanding of something else is at odds with my understanding of God’s word, then my understanding of that other thing has to change”. This means, by implication, that “my understanding of God’s word is more reliable than my understanding of anything else”, which is a dubious statement to make, and means that our general experience of life can never inform our understanding of God’s word.

    What Morpheus wrote was “if my understanding … disagrees with God’s word then I need to change”. I agree with this, insofar as there may be explicit disagreement. And as you have shown, God’s word does not support young-earth creationism. Therefore he has to change.

  • cipher

    Our immortal Makers suffer fully the grief of our losses, all our losses, especially when and if we must suffer the eternal isolation of knowing nothing, influencing nothing and being forgotten by others.

    Herm, I rarely come here, and I comment even more rarely; however, I couldn’t simply pass this one by.

    There are many people who are outside of the framework of faith-based belief systems, who are perfectly content with the idea of oblivion. Some of us within the world of secular humanism might prefer eternal life if they could accept it as a possibility, but many of us would not want it. *I* wouldn’t want it.

    If you want to exist forever, and you get to, I’m happy for you. I would just as soon not. It has been my experience that people of faith in general are unable to conceptualize this. I think that at best, many of you see us as not truly understanding what it is we’re rejecting. Of course, at worst, we get the “You just don’t want to be held accountable!” response (which says far more about those who hurl the accusation than those of us against whom it is hurled), or we’re viewed as just plain evil. (Not that I expect either of the latter responses from you.)

    Moreover, if there is a personal, benevolent, involved creator, and eternal existence for each of us is part of his/her plan, it appears to be awfully easy to thwart it. Free will has always been a feeble rationalization, difficult to argue in favor of, and neuroscience is beginning to show us that we aren’t really free, or not as free as we think we are, and that the Buddhists may be closer to understanding the nature of self and personhood than the Western religions are.

    But let’s say I’m wrong, that we do have free will and that the Christian worldview reflects reality. In that case, we’re probably the last beings in the world who should have been entrusted with it. Giving us free will could be seen as an irresponsible act (I would certainly see it that way). The God of the Western traditions is like a parent who gives a child dynamite to play with, waits until he blows himself up, then says, “It wasn’t my fault! I didn’t light the match!”

  • John

    I disagree with Ham’s literalist interpretation of the creation story, but your position about it pushing children out of the faith is simply false. The fact is that mainline, more liberal, churches are the ones losing people and growing churches are almost exclusively more conservative. Here’s article about it: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/04/liberal-churches-are-dying-but-conservative-churches-are-thriving/?utm_term=.453ec855f4f4

  • Herm

    cipher, I don’t know what you expect for a response. I ask no one to understand relationship in spirit. I happen to be more than satisfied with oblivion following my physical awareness and influence, and thankful for the opportunities I have been graced. I used to be faith based but found faith based on a superior awareness and influence to mine, who really cared for my well being, that could not lower themselves to share with me, on my level, not possible. If my knowledge and capacity to share is greater than any of my species then it is my responsibility to come to their level, and not expect them to come up to mine. It is my responsibility to serve them, if I empathetically care, and not expect them to serve me when less capable. I never expected my relatively helpless children to serve me, for since I gave them all they had to give back, the only thing they had to offer me, that I did not have before them, was their love. I challenged “God” to put up or be ignored as not having anything that could truly support me any better than the nature of earth and those of my species who could empathize, have compassion, be tolerant, and be forgiving of me as I am of them.

    The truth is there is no more plan God has for us than any parent of mankind has for their children. The truth is carnal will all pass away. The truth is the image of God graced Man is spirit. There is no reason spirit awareness and influence must have a beginning and must have an end, as there is for physical awareness and influence that is dependent upon the elements of the resident planet to even communicate. The truth is that when reasoned from a carnal perspective infinity and eternal awareness with influence is impossible to define, even when sensed.

    Is any child allowed to exercise their perceived choices without imposed boundaries put in place and maintained by mature guardians, of any species?

    If we blow our carnal selves and our supporting playground to smithereens what impression did that make on the cosmos we know or the infinite and eternal spirit we don’t? It was not, metaphorically speaking to picture a spirit we have not all matured to comprehend, women and men who were each given the image of God, mankind as one species was given the image of God. We seem to individually keep going back to the womb when we were each alone and everything else revolved around us. Mature adults of mankind know that we are dependent upon our entire species for the empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness that no other species can do for us, as we cannot do for them, even when we domesticate them.

    The God of the Western traditions” …

    “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 (NIV2011)

    Can you understand that Christ is quoted to have condemned all traditions of Man from any tribe?

    I am sorry for the lack of space and time in my pitiful attempt to organize this response to you any more concisely, with less shotgunning and more fully portrayed.

    To make one point as the most important to me, different from my faith based relationship with God (by any name), it is because of the love for all that oblivion is the only alternative to eternal life. Those who would otherwise eternally light the match blowing up himself and those around him will finally know nothing, influence nothing and be forgotten. Those, of any tribe and religious persuasion of mankind, who would eternally, in everything, do to all others as they would have all others do to them will inherit a growing life (awareness and influence) as first a little helpless child of God in the Spirit of truth.

    I am not telling you that you must accept anything I share here or else the wrath of God will fall all over you, in any way that you might imagine. I am telling you that oblivion is an alternative based not on what you do, but the attitude with which you do it. As I said before, I, too, do not fear oblivion. I fear being a destructive seed eternally for any other and would choose oblivion, judged by a competent authority who loves me and who I have all faith in, to keep that from happening.

    cipher, I do hope you glean at least some of what I am sharing. For me and mine I ask from you no less than I ask of myself that in everything you do to others as you would have others do to you. This summation of the law has been spoken before Christ, by mankind, and will be spoken long after each of us is gone from this earth.

    Thank you for your “rare” sharing with us here!

  • Yastreb

    On behalf of the Australian people, I apologise for Ken Ham’s being inflicted on America.
    Just in case he didn’t seem to be deluded enough… his logic, as revealed in “Evolution: The Lie”, is that we can’t know what happened unless there are eyewitnesses. He simply does not accept any other evidence.
    Crime scene investigators would be redundant in his universe.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Based on the example questions, the article’s definition of “liberal” and “conservative” seems pretty off-centre: I would consider myself a (fairly) liberal Christian but would still agree that Jesus rose literally from the dead and that God can (at least sometimes) answer prayers with miracles. It’s YECers that Ben is concerned about. Another factor is that I have seen statistics that most of the growth of expanding churches comes from people switching churches, rather than new Christians. Bear in mind that if fundamentalism is going to put people off church, it’s not going to be primarily the fundamentalists it puts off.
    The church has lost it’s way I think, and worryingly so, but I don’t think YEC fundamentalism is the answer (indeed it’s part of the problem); then again extreme liberal theology largely abandoning any spiritual aspect of the faith for God and Jesus being merely placeholders for being nice to people probably isn’t the solution either.
    I suspect what is needed is spiritual renewal: the Church needs to become a place where one can truly encounter God. Fundamentalism substitutes rule-making and doctrine, liberalism warm feelings and wishful thinking: neither will apparently do. As to how this could be done? Any answers welcome!

  • Chuck Johnson

    Christianity in the USA is evaporating at both ends.
    Ken Ham’s malarkey is pushing the faithful towards atheism.
    Increasingly liberal Christianity leads people in the direction of “spiritual but not religious”.

    I am an atheist.
    I see the fact that Christianity is declining in the USA, and I see good reasons why it should be declining.
    In other parts of the world, this decline has progressed much further.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5fINBoxons

  • Dorfl

    My point is does evolution really explain such phenomena?

    Well, yes. Animal behaviour can also be explained by evolutionary processes.

  • Realist1234

    What evolutionary processes explain how this mating ritual came to be?

  • Arrendis

    Strictly, sin is disobedience to God. It is possible only through knowing God’s rules and bans, and choosing to do otherwise. Animals are not, as a matter of theology, held to have free will (nor are plants). Thus, they cannot sin. So before man sinned… who, exactly, would’ve been doing it?

    Can’t be the angelic host, Azazel’s rebellion doesn’t happen until after Man exists, as grigori choose to take wives from among the daughters of Eve (as laid out in Enoch, and of course, Genesis refers back to the nephilim with ‘and there were giants in those days’).

  • Realist1234

    But in this case, he is arguing that the Bible clearly states, scientifically and historically, that the Universe and the earth were created in 6 literal 24-hour days, which I and many others do not agree with. So it is his own understanding of God’s word that is at issue, NOT God’s word itself. That is my point.

  • Realist1234

    lol. Like Ben I think you confuse ‘fundamentalists’ with ‘evangelicals’. This is one such difference. I am very open to symbolism where that understanding is justified. The book of Revelation is a good example. In the end, I dont think anyone has a full understanding of that book, symbolic or not. But perhaps that is part of the mystery… We need Scooby-Doo!

  • Realist1234

    ‘Are you drunk?’ That made me laugh, thanks.

  • Summers-lad

    And I’m totally with you on that. I disagree with Morpheus’s position. My point is that his statement (not its context, but only the statement itself) which you picked up on can and should be reflected back to him.
    I didn’t comment on “…regardless of the number of peer reviews…”. This of course puts his understanding (whether of God’s word or anything else) above anyone and everyone else’s.

  • MattZN

    I think if one were pressed to name the single greatest issue riling up scientists and educators today, it would be the Young Earth Creationist movement(s). Mr Ham is basically the personification of it. It’s a teaching that essentially removes the objective reality from science and replaces it with nonsense. We’re not just talking biology and archaeology here. But nearly all scientific disciplines have to be thrown away. Chemistry, Physics, Biology (including all of modern medicine), Archaeology, Paleontology, etc, plus all of their sub-disciplines. And in so doing either destroys the career paths those children who grow up with this nonsense can take, or puts them years, even a decade behind the curve for the lucky few that are able to eventually dig themselves out of the indoctrination.

    Putting religion in direct conflict with science, particularly in areas where insurmountable evidence exists (as it does in biology, for example), is quite possibly the single worst mistake that a faith-based movement can make. It only ever ends in tears. And for people like me, for scientists and educators, the it creates an anger that is so great we start not to care where our metaphysical bullets begin to fall. Because of that, it *IS* a danger to organized religion well outside of YEC bounds.

    But in another sense, this might be exactly what Ken wants. I don’t think Mr Ham is stupid, and I don’t think most of the people running AIG are stupid. For them its a money making enterprise. And for Mr Ham I am uncertain, but my feeling is that he believes that he can retain adherents only if they remain less educated and ignorant of the reality of the world. I’m positively sure that he knows that his movement is a pile of nonsense. He may be doing it because he wants to martyr himself to the cause and not because he thinks he can win.

    -Matt

  • FrankScotsman .

    I completely agree with the premise of this article. I’ve always seen Ken Ham as a snake-oil salesman, preaching a fad religion that, while purporting to be Christian based, is directly opposed to major tenets of Christianity. It’s just one more splinter group springing from the Religious Right in America (yes I know Ham is not native American) which only seeks exclusivity and wants to label everyone as ‘in’ or ‘out’ of ‘my’ group. He has brilliantly tapped into the xenophobia of the American Right and used it to line his pockets.

  • Matthew

    Thanks. How would you describe the main differences between fundamentalists and evangelicals in general, Realist1234?

  • Dan Edelen

    Seems to me that sowing discord (like this overblown and, frankly, hysterical article does) is more of the problem.

    Why not strive for unity and just say that while I’m not a young earth creationist, I can still break bread with people who believe that? Why not say that while I don’t think YEC holds up, I can see why some people think it does. Why attack? Why make a hyperbolic statement? Dying for readership?

    Seems to me that what turns kids away is not good discussion of pros and cons but crass and unrestrained finger-pointing. If there’s a problem with Ham, I would offer that the greater problem is with divisive, inflammatory, and ill-conceived articles such as this one. Do a more informed piece that doesn’t sink to namecalling and hysteria. Such can build up rather than tear down.

    If you’re that zealous for the Christian faith, seek unity and do it through wise and rational appeal to the Scriptures, not through picking an ideology within Christianity you disagree with and beating it to death in an unproductive, divisive rant.

  • Realist1234

    indeed lol

  • LUX

    I wish Mr. Ham would read an article like this one.

    God Did Not Write the Bible…
    https://www.redletterchristians.org/god-did-not-write-the-bible/

  • apoxbeonyou

    Maybe to angry people, it reads as divisive, but not to me. I would wager Dr. Corey encourages critical thought and inclusiveness instead of discord. But then, I’m not reading it angry.

  • ” the single greatest issue riling up scientists and educators today…Young Earth Creationist movement(s)”?

    Uh, no, Matt. Ken Ham might be an issue for people in the Head-of-a-Pin biz. (Meself, I find the author’s “there’s only one way, Jesus” notion a ridiculous bit of extreme particularism.)

    Scientists and educators simply aren’t interested in this stuff at all. It’s not on serious people’s agenda.

    I’m only here out of curiosity: a lot of you people seem decent. But very odd.

    Cheers,
    -dlj.

  • John,

    Not quite. Your “more conservative” “churches” convert vast numbers of people. If any serious percentage really stayed, the world would consist completely of Seventh Day Adventists, every one of ’em an ex-Mormon.

    What we’re looking at is a whole lot of thrashing around. The number of Adventists, like the number of white American Mormons, is pretty much flat. They have a fair number of new adherents every year, and roughly equal numbers slough away. Those two particularly energetic sales operations are growing in the Third World, but it’s basically rice-Christianity, people going to the most available church because it’s part of joining the modern world.

    Net net, the decline of American churches covers all the brand-names. You’ll notice, however, that there is no large band of “The Episcopals lied to me” or “The Romans are cheats and liars” schools of thought. People leaving the mainstream churches continue to regard them fondly and to value their teaching and moral values.

    Disenchanted “conservatives,” your term, are by contrast common, loud, angry, and influential.

    -dlj.

  • Mikkal VanPelt

    Have you read the book? The content of your comments suggests otherwise.

  • Herm,

    You’ve repeated your original poke at greater length, even though 3lem’s question has destroyed it. — but didn’t answer 3lem’s post.

  • Herm

    David, do you believe a student of Christ, as portrayed in the Bible, would show reverence and adoration for Jesus by honoring him with religious rites? Did any in the Bible? My Father is Jesus’ Father since being born of the Spirit, the one appearing as a dove.

    Disciples of Christ are sisters and brothers of Jesus, the Messiah, today. We children of God are all with and in each other as is our Father with and in us in the Spirit of truth.

    This is what Jesus makes very clear: “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.

    Are children of God, disciples of Christ as our only instructor, Christians? If we are considered Christians, as we were for hundreds of years after His ascension, then no, we do not worship Jesus as part of the “Godhead” (not a term He teaches us).

    Of course, I do not speak for the many who do not know the Teacher with and in them, and neither did the article offered by Dr. Corey that these comments are made in regards to. I repeat, “Many are invited but few are chosen because they don’t choose to be Christ like, including carrying their own cross in love for their enemy. This article speaks to those who accept Pharisaical doctrine, who do not see to accept God in their midst, over relationship with and in God as the Messiah instructs His students today.

    Can you see that anything carnal that is anointed by mankind as sacred to God and used in symbolic religious rites is not a relationship honoring in awe of our Father and our divine family in spirit, but is idolatry (John 4:23-24)? The Bible was not written by God and to worship it as any more than a school book of relational history is idolatry. It is not by way of the business of Christianity that Jesus teaches us to make students (disciples) of all nations, whelmed, filled, baptized by the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit, the one Teacher instructed by our Brother and our Father, who instructs us to boldly speak the word of God (Acts 4:31).

    Oh, David, I could just tell you what I know and you would brush it off as just another crackpot, as Jesus was brushed off as just another crackpot. It was written as witnessed testimony in the Bibles they worship and yet people don’t read what they don’t wish to see because it contradicts their familial and tribal traditions.

    Until you and 3lemenope are able to realize that there was nothing in the article above referring to worship, a considered very holy word reserved for God in all churches organized and administrated by Man, not God, you will not understand the answer I am offering. If the Bible and the church plants do not bring people of all nations into a direct relationship with God, whose image they all share, then God wants them to lose a whole lot of their audience, in fact, all their audience. Luke 14:26 is talking about those families and the Bible who distract potential audiences from becoming students (disciples) of Christ. Many here have come out of those environments because we hated the fragmentation that comes from interpretive studies of God (theology) when we realized we were welcomed to unite in the Spirit as one with and in God as little children.

    So, I did not poke at 3lemenope’s post or question. Right now, neither of you can accept the answer, because you neither see him nor know him. I certainly am not the answer that you or the audiences of today’s carnal churches are seeking. Just like the Bible testimony of witness from those 1,900 years ago I can point you to him today. He is just as real and available today as he was when our Father gave him to us then.

    If I am a Christian (a little Christ like child of God) because everything I am learning is founded on Jesus Christ then anything else is idolatry and usurps the authority of my living Messiah, my Rabbi, my Brother, as it is written.

  • Herm

    3lemenope, it has been said by one of your disciples that I did not answer your question. Please, read the witness testimony below and then answer, for your self, my questions that follow:

    While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

    But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

    “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” they answered.

    “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

    They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

    When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

    All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

    Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

    Matthew 27:19-26 (NIV2011)

    Which of those in this presentation was highly idiosyncratic?

    Who did the jury worship, God or tradition?

    Would you recognize God’s child in your midst?

    Who did Jesus speak for?

    Does Jesus speak for His favored study of God (theology) or His knowing relationship with and in God offered to all who were graced the image of God?

    Why must we hate all persuasive traditions of mankind and carry our own cross before we can be accepted as disciples (students) of Christ?

    How many, today, speak for their God/Allah/Deity who would crucify a child of God in the name of God?

    Does it matter to God whether a person is an atheist or a persuaded believer of God when neither is filled to know God enough to boldly speak the word of God in contradiction to all “sacred” books written and anointed by Man?

    There is an answer right before you but you do not see him to accept him.

    I know you are sincere, but so was Caiaphas. I do empathize with you and so wish that I could just zap you with the truth that you speak around but not to. Is a Christlike little child of God (the origin of the word Christian) no less a Christian because they are highly judged an individual (idiosyncratic) from the many calling themselves Christian?

    Does Jesus, a traditional Jew by heritage, speak for the Jews or to the Jews? Am I speaking for the Christians, or to the Christians, when I speak the word of God?

    Who are you speaking for and speaking to?

  • Herm

    Dan, are we speaking about emulating the same Instructor who was witnessed to be teaching this?

    “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

    “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    Matthew 12:30-37 (NIV2011)

    How should we seek unity with broods of vipers? … did Jesus?

    Don’t get me wrong, we do love those who are against us, for we do empathize with all of Man, as we can no other species on this earth, even though it is because of them that we must each carry our own cross, while boldly speaking the word of God, as students of the words and examples of our Brother Jesus, the Messiah.

  • Steve

    Brilliantly stated. Amen, amen, and amen!

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The problem identified by Ben in this article is less YEC in itself, but the fact that YECers insist that if their reading if the Bible isn’t true, and Genesis isn’t “literal” in the way they say it is, the Bible is completely false and worthless and Christianity isn’t true.
    I should also point out that it is generally YECers and fundamentalists who insist that Christians who don’t believe their particular shtick aren’t “real true” Christians at all, not the other way around.

  • Wendy FC

    Personally, I’d rather not blame YECs for youngsters leaving the church. If the evolutionary theory is true then they are just following the natural logic. If we evolved gradually, then death was in the world for eons before ‘adam’. So death did not come in with Adam, there was no Fall (the world is exactly as God ‘made’ it) and therefore the Cross is foolishness: without a fall, there’s nothing to overcome or restore. That’s the simple logic. And what the heck is “sin” and “salvation” about? The God of the Bible speaks things into being, hates death, and sacrificed himself to overcome it. Evolution sits directly opposite. So if evolution is true……

  • Les Mayer

    I think we have to recognize the need to differentiate between physical and spiritual death in this instance. Everyone I’ve read that leans toward an evolutionary creation view (and I would put myself in that camp as well) most definitely affirms the fall, and sin, being the cause of spiritual death, the curse entering creation, and our separation from God, hence, our need for a savior. There’s really no conflict between evolution as a means of creation, if that’s how God chose to create, and the aforementioned. You’d also be hard pressed to find scriptural proof that there was no physical death before the fall, or creation in general, at best the bible is ambiguous about it. For just one example, Genesis 3:22-24 seems to mitigate against the idea of Adam and Eve being created immortal, why have a tree of life in the garden in the first place if they were immortal from the point of creation? I mention none of this to start a debate, there are way too many facets to this subject to even begin to do it justice in a comment section, I would just submit that the logic isn’t nearly as simple as you make it out to be. If you spend some time reading N.T. Wright, John Walton, Tremper Longman, or Scot McKnight, among many others, you’ll see that a lot of scripturally faithful thought has gone into these things. At the end of the day, even if you don’t agree with the viewpoints, you’ll at least hopefully come away with an appreciation for how they’ve arrived at them.

  • Wendy FC

    Les, I appreciate that many mature adults have a nuanced notion of spiritual death vs physical death to allow for some sort of ‘fallen world’ and the need for a saviour. But that opens a new can of worms (was God in perfect communion with the Earth for the billions of years before the fall?) In any case, the article is arguing as to why our children will leave the faith – and as you know children are not going to be reading NT Wright etc to try to accommodate a theistic evolutionary viewpoint. They will follow the logic I set out. Just ask a bunch of school students or university students why they left the church and stopped believing in God if you really want an answer. I think you’ll find its because they believe evolution is true not because of some guy called Ken Ham.

  • Les Mayer

    I agree that the average kid won’t be reading Wright, et al., but there are a lot of good educational resources from Biologos, etc., that are designed for kids to be able to understand pretty easily. I think Ben’s primary point in the article is that Ken Ham, and other die-hard YEC adherents don’t leave any interpretational options open other than the literal-fundamentalist approach, which in turn leaves young people feeling like they have to walk away from the faith if they don’t see it Ham’s way. Ken makes it very clear that in his opinion scriptural authority, truthfulness, and the gospel itself falls apart if you don’t understand Genesis 1-3 the way he does. They actually can believe evolution is true and not walk away from the faith, Ken just doesn’t leave them that option. We may disagree on these things at the end of the day Wendy, but I appreciate you humoring yourself with me for a bit, I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving!

    Obviously, you can’t do a subject like evolutionary creation complete justice in 12 minutes, but for those interested I think this video by Leonard Vander Zee is a great place to start… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqgnJ1GR8ms

  • Herm

    What “fall“?

  • Herm

    I love the video for it entices people to feel and think out of the box of religious tradition, but Reverend Zee made several serious theological assumptions, as though they were accepted divine truth, that are not in the Bible, as best as we can know as it was originally written. Where is the “fall” spoken of in the beginning? Where is it written that God is only three persons and/or the trinity? Is not, from our scripture studies here, it written that the Holy Spirit is fully with and in all who accept him? Is the Holy Spirit a member of a three person godhead when he is with and in me?

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You forgot to mention that all the heliocentrists were Christians as well, since pretty much everyone was.

  • People like the (now vanished) guy above tend to think they were only Christians out of fear or coercion or were even crypto-atheists.

  • Les Mayer

    Right you are my friend, I love the way it shows people in an engaging way that there are other ways to think about these things [while still being faithful, biblically], but like you, there are places I would take issue with it. For example, I’m sure Leonard and I could have a great conversation about whether God is “outside time” or not. I always tell my kids, when it comes to things theological, don’t believe something just because I do, your mom does, or anyone does for that matter. We should always hear the reasons behind someone’s sincere beliefs with an open mind, but at the end of the day if we walk away having learned everything, nothing, or something in between, it’s far more important to be faithful to God with our reason and intellect than it is to worry about the opinion or judgment of any man.

  • Sadly he’s not the only one. Tuning an Evangelical radio station I’ve found biblical literalism, creationism (the Flood being the result of Pangea breaking apart, two floods and not just one, negating evolution…) nonsense, “Christianism is not a religion, nor the Bible a religious book”, persecution complex, conspiracy theories, and gems such as that women cannot rule due to Jezebel’s history on the Bible -with the Whore of Babylon mixed in as well as Jack Chick BS- or that Hell is a physical place deep within Earth, giving as proof the Well to Hell hoax.

    I often wonder how those people can be taken seriously.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Yes, his logic seems almost like a joke.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LW06dav7KA

  • Chuck Johnson

    Lack of understanding and respect for science.
    Plenty of imagination, but not enough empiricism and insight.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I don’t know of any atheist who asserts that there is no God.

    Besides even if Genesis were not accurate, there are still plenty of other holy books and gods to doubt.

    They again, I don’t know if you mean generic god or the Jewish God, or the Christian God? Could you please define God?

  • Mr. James Parson

    Maybe there is evidence that the Gospel makes things worse and increases suffering. Would you think then?

  • Mr. James Parson

    I am going to to way OT for a second. Please indulge me if you will.

    Isn’t Mormonism by far more dangerous? The God, Jesus, and Prophets of Mormonism is very very different from other versions of Christianity. And they are very large group. Why aren’t they categorically disowned?

  • Mr. James Parson

    If I were a Christian, could I pick and chose what I want to take literally and what I think is metaphorical?

  • Mr. James Parson

    There are a lot of them and they vote. That is why they need to be taken seriously.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Could is too broad of concept. Just about everything could (sic) fit into that. Bring some evidence, then we could have meaningful conversation.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Would atheists be allowed?

  • Mr. James Parson

    I might be able to help you out with evolution being true.

    Scientific theories describe the information at had. They are true only in as much as they describe the information at hand. When more information comes, it will provide more examples of the truthfulness of the the theory OR it will suggest that there is a previous factor that is not being accounted for. Either way, theories always have a certain level of tentativeness to it. Some Christians over emphasize the amount of tentativeness that there is. With evolution, the amount of tentativeness is vanishingly small.

    As for the rest of your comment, I agree completely. The only thing that I would add is that religion appears to be a product of human culture. Go to a different culture, you get a different religion.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I try to be mature, but I don’t know what spiritual even is.

  • Mr. James Parson

    “it’s far more important to be faithful to God with our reason and intellect”

    I have no idea what that means. What are your reasons for that sincere belief?

    After I hear your reasons and if I don’t accept your reasons, then what?

  • Mr. James Parson

    I know this one…

    It came from Dante’s Inferno.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Evolution doesn’t explain everything for me. I am not even particularly interested in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, or any of the other dozen fields that are related to it.

  • Mr. James Parson

    You have to go to porn sites to see that.

  • Mr. James Parson

    IMHO, Ken Ham is small potatoes in the trend towards atheism. I can’t even find a single article (besides this one) on progressive Christian blogs about him. Evangelicals are similarly quiet.

    If I wanted to talk about what getting people out of religion, I might bring up the current political situation.

  • Matthew

    I think so, but I think it might depend on the topic. The bigger problem right now, though, is that there is very little interest in this idea so it seems :-(. Thanks so much for the interest and the question jamesparson.

  • Realist1234

    No, but people will have different opinions. It very much depends on the genre of the writing. It seems clear to me, and most people, that the Bible is a collection of different genres. Most would agree, for example, that the Gospels are written as basically a historical narrative, albeit from each writers’ pov and emphasis. It is also helpful if you have some knowledge of the original languages, as Ive sometimes found the standard English translations dont always bring out the full meaning of the text. Nevertheless, the basic message of Christianity is clear.

  • Worst of all is that this is a Catholic country where the Church accepts evolution and stuff as the Flood as allegorical. When they had meetings with names as “2017 Invasion”, you cannot expect anything good.

  • Worst of all is that this is a Catholic country where the Church accepts evolution, the Big Bang, etc. and sees stuff as the Flood as allegorical. When they organize meetings with names as “2017 Invasion” you cannot expect anything good.

  • Brad Denham

    What pure baloney. With your view you can make the bible say whatever you want it to say.
    It’s not “I’m right, your wrong…” it’s God’s right and your wrong!
    And if a rational person cannot accept a simple literal understanding of Genesis, then a rational person is free to not accept a simple literal resurrection either.
    No literal resurrection = no Christianity.
    So called science that is used as an interpretive grid to undermine creation (6 days) would also throw out the resurrection and all spiritual matters.
    You cannot have it both ways. It’s all allegory or it’s all true.

  • Brad Denham

    The concept is very simple folks. Allegorical (or subjective spiritual) interpretations of Genesis 1-11 only results in the rest of scripture becoming allegory. Now you make it say what you want. Case closed. No rational objective facts/truths left to be simply believed (including resurrection).

    Adapt your intellect to God’s propositional truth and do not adapt God’s revelation to your fallen intellect.
    Kid’s walk away from the faith because they recognize the inconsistency.
    Ken Ham is bang on (excuse the pun).

  • Herm

    jamesparson, before you have written, “I try to be mature, but I don’t know what spiritual even is. Here you write, “I have no idea what that means.

    It is written, and often ignored by competitive organized religions who tout the source as inerrant:

    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.

    John 14:16-17 (NIV2011)

    To answer your questions fully you must be aware of life in two forms; temporal physical and eternal spiritual. Life, as you are an example here, is and is realized by awareness and influence. Each individual living body of spirit is wholly made up of heart, soul, strength, mind. Each individual life has the choice of exercising love (eg: empathy, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, …) to bond with others in supportive common cause of ours together (good) or to fragment destructively into the circle-the-wagons-tribalism / self-centered-individualism mentality of me and mine (evil).

    A couple millennia ago a solution to human fragmentation was presented by others, with, in comparison, infinitely (by carnal standards) more awareness and influence than all the species of mankind as one body of awareness and influence put together, that each individual member of mankind could actually be so empathetic, compassionate, tolerant and forgiving of their enemy that they would choose to sacrifice their temporal carnal (physical) body so that their eternal body (in the image of “God” by any human reference) might be aware and influential with and in the whole body of God as one forever more bound in all love.

    This is a continuance of the testament referenced above:

    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.

    John 14:19-20 (NIV2011)

    There are some of us who do see to know and accept spirit without beginning and without end. Our belief is founded upon truth derived from relationship in, with and for those others who cared enough to choose first to sacrifice that we might live beyond our temporal world. The reasons for our belief in spirit relationship is not based on theory, conjecture or surmise any more than our carnal childhood familial relationships were based on theory, conjecture and/or surmise. We have the faith, even though we are too immature to picture what our Fathers office (where He does His business to provide for us) must look like, that He will continue to serve to support coordinate and direct us each, as we each can bear, in carnal and spiritual growth of our awareness and influence founded on truth and all love for us all, including our enemies.

    The truth is that God did not make up divine law, applicable to all life of choice, anymore than human kind made up the law of gravity. Both God and Man have the able responsibility of considered consequence to acknowledge the law of gravity and divine law (summed up in everything do to others as you would have others do to you) to work in our favor for good or in our destruction for evil.

    jamesparson, these are the elementary rudiments of my reasons for that sincere faith. If you don’t ever accept them, in the abiding faith of a child seeking to survive by acknowledging dependence upon her/his adult guardians, then, through the love of our God/Allah/Deity (those eternal others outside and inside Man) for all in their image, you will not miss anything you do not already know. You will very simply never know to be aware and influential in spirit, especially and finally true, after you have lost any ability to share your awareness and influence, even with yourself, through your present physical body when its elements return to their source.

    To sum up, maturing influence in spirit is not predicated upon what you know, but is in humbly accepting what you know you don’t know to have faith in others you know who do know more than you. This is especially true of those you know who know more than you and you have the faith that they love you with all empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness possible. This dependence is true of all infant children living in carnal no less than all infant children living in spirit.

  • Herm

    Brad, when did my intellect fall, and from what?

  • Mr. James Parson

    Thank you for your response

  • Mr. James Parson

    Thank you for your response.

  • otrotierra

    Perhaps this is a sign of progress. Yet the comment sections over at Sojourners and RedLetterChristians are still regularly filled with Evangelical trolls and their frothing-at-the-mouth discipleship.

    I assume they feel empowered since Trump occupied the White House, thus accounting for their well-documented expressions of rage, hatred, fear-mongering, lies, xenophobia, and support for White male sexual predators.

  • Brad Denham

    You were born in the likeness of Adam who “fell” from a sinless environment.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Ken Ham and his creations are a major embarrassment.
    Thus the silence.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The concept is very simple folks. Allegorical (or subjective spiritual)
    interpretations of Genesis 1-11 only results in the rest of scripture
    becoming allegory.-Brad

    That’s one of the beauties of Genesis.
    It helps to disabuse people of the outlandish magical notions in the Bible.
    Science is better.

  • Chuck Johnson

    It ain’t no mystery, if it’s politics or history.
    The thing you’ve got to know is, everything is showbiz!

  • Chuck Johnson

    The tentativeness of evolution is discovering the various ways that life on Earth fits into evolutionary theory.
    That’s an ongoing journey of discovery.
    But evolutionary theory is well established as the correct explanation for the diversity of life that we see on earth.
    It is also well established as the proper explanation for the fossil record going back billions of years and for the genetic information that we see contained within living things.

    Religionists will sometimes try to turn the “journey of discovery” into “unproven science”.
    By the magic of dishonesty and ignorance.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The words spiritual, metaphysical, metaphorical, supernatural, etc. were invented as excuses for the poor quality of evidence for gods, goddesses and other magical beings.

    They are asserted to exist in a “very special way”.
    So ordinary evidence and investigation don’t apply.
    It’s a scam.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Generally, they mean eating the apple in the Garden of Eden.
    So we deserve bad stuff until (Deus Ex Machina) Jesus is sent to us.
    It’s a very sentimental tale.

  • Brad Denham

    Further to my reply above…I just read some of your other entries and see you don’t believe in the fall. It appears to me you have strayed into some vague spiritual mysticism which is exactly what happens when one does not take Genesis literally.
    Historical orthodoxy is missing from most of this conversation, which again leads to all kinds of abberant beliefs that sound (half) christian but are not Christian at all. That leads people astray.
    This whole blog only proves Ken Ham is right. You have athiests on your side!
    Disclaimer – I do believe one can be saved through faith in Christ and believe evolution. But they are on shakey ground.
    Thx for letting me vent a little.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Seems to me that sowing discord (like this overblown and, frankly, hysterical article does) is more of the problem.-Dan

    It may not have occurred to you that Ken Ham is sowing discord with his fraudulent and arrogant stories and outlandish exhibit.

  • Brad Denham

    True science I believe. It is observable. Were you there at the beginning? Who was? Hint, the one who created it. Why don’t you believe Him? This is not anti-science but pro Word of God which you don’t believe anyways. So your faith rests in fallible scientists.
    Good luck with that!

  • Chuck Johnson

    Religions are based upon preposterous stories.
    Over the ages, they have grown to accommodate each other’s differences for mutual survival.
    Pointing out the preposterous foundation of a competing religion would begin a free-for-all destructive to religions in general.
    This destruction happened in ancient times, but less so now.

  • Chuck Johnson

    So your faith rests in fallible scientists.
    Good luck with that!-Brad

    No.
    I have trust and admiration for fallible scientists.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltjI3BXKBgY

  • Chuck Johnson

    Were you there at the beginning?-Brad

    Scientists follow the clues that modern science has discovered.
    Religious fanatics follow ancient clues that ancient, ignorant and superstitious people imagined.

    The rocks and living things of billions of years ago were there at the beginning. The Earth is an open book. It contains much more valid information about the beginning than the ancient tales that people have told.

    The Bible is a book which is valid for examining the ways and thoughts of ancient people.

    The Earth is a book which is valid for examining the beginning of life on Earth, including human life.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Were you there at the beginning? -Brad

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LW06dav7KA

  • Chuck Johnson

    Why don’t you believe Him?
    -Brad

    Believing Him would be believing you.
    God is a ventriliquist’s dummy.

  • Brad Denham

    Depends on your presuppositions. Does God exist and has he reveled himself in the bible? If so, take the data that science figures out (not the theories) and plug them in. I too respect and admire scientists.
    But, if no God exists, then take the data and the theories and speculate all you want. To me, that is faith in things unseen i.e evolution.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Depends on your presuppositions. Does God exist and has he reveled himself in the bible?-Brad

    Yes, he exists.
    He has revealed himself in the Bible.
    But his existence is as a fictional character, an idea, a human invention.

    God has the ability to do things, but only through the agency of humans who know of him. – – – He is just an idea.

  • Chuck Johnson

    To me, that is faith in things unseen i.e evolution.-Brad

    You have never seen anything in your life.
    You have only seen the photons which represent those things.
    My major at PSU was biophysics.

    All information and knowledge comes to us through clues which are able to represent the truth. The ancient information and clues which have informed you are very inferior to the modern information which science has discovered.

    The word “faith” is used in Christianity to deceive people.
    It is used to promote belief based upon poor quality evidence.
    All too often faith is synonymous with gullibility.

  • Brad Denham

    At least you agree that things exist and so does my perception of them. That means I exist as a thinking rational person.
    Where then did thinking come from? Where does love then come into the picture? Where does a sense of beauty come from?
    These concepts transcend photons and eye receptors. Are they only illusions? If so, i am only a blob of chemicals, complex but only chemicals. Sucks the meaning and purpose out of “life”. Makes life strictly biological. No soul. Death means non -existence.
    I cannot buy that.
    The answers found in the bible provide answers chemicals cannot that rationaly explain my existence as a peron with a soul/mind that is different from my body/brain.
    Your system can only explain/guess about the brain which is valid. My system explains both brain and mind and personhood and gives meaning to life (at least to me). Yes, my subjective experience has only validated the truth of the bible beyond ways i could explain to you.
    I feel sorry for you. You are only dust in the wind (but your not).

  • Herm

    When I was ten, my mother was very angry with me because I ate a cookie that I had been clearly prohibited from even going near. I was punished. I never fell from the grace of my parents. … even when I did far worse in respecting my parents’ will for me.

    Children, of truly caring adult guardians who fully accept the responsibility to provide, protect and nurture them, never fall from grace during their struggle to overcome the ignorance of good and evil; that they were born with by no choice of their own. God has never left us orphaned, no matter how little respect we have shown, or how much we have ignored Their counsel.

  • Herm

    So, Brad, where is this written?

  • Herm

    Brad, when you reply to yourself it is very rare that the person you were seeking to share with will reply back. There is no email notification, so too often your reply doesn’t show up as the same thread.

    You are always welcome to vent as sincerely and peaceably as you have.

    I know, beyond your surmise (belief), that salvation from Pharisaical misrepresentations of God only comes from being filled – immersed -whelmed – baptized by the Spirit of truth without pause and without end.

    John 4:23, 14:15-21, 15:26, 16:12-15 and Acts 4:31.

    The Sadducee, the Pharisees, the scribes, as well as the high priest Caiaphas, and his council, all had a belief in God. None of those, each well studied intellectual authorities of scripture, recognized the God who they truly believed that they faithfully served when in their midst. They were all most responsible for crucifying the only begotten Son of God in God’s name.

    The sacrifice my Father and Brother made for me is the evidence that mankind has never fallen from Their grace. Children, who do not know good and evil, do not lose the grace of their family as they err, as all children do. Grace means the free and unmerited favor gifted from those who love certain others enough to serve and die for them. God serves us (Matthew 23:11) as They are the greatest among us. What could we possibly give God that God did not already give us first, including love (empathy, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, …)?

    My faith is not that my Brother and Father with and in me, and I in Them, exist for I know them. My faith is that They will never leave me orphaned. They would die first.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify a little. You are loved.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The logic of the Bible is different.
    Until Jesus came along, people were not forgiven.
    Also, if you choose the wrong religion, you are not forgiven.

    This is widely taught in Christianity and it is widely believed.
    These are policies to control people.

    These are ancient Christian policies, and they reflect ancient ignorant beliefs.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Where then did thinking come from? Where does love then come into the picture? Where does a sense of beauty come from?-Brad

    Thinking, love and a sense of beauty all are survival adaptations.

    Apparently, when thinking, love and a sense of beauty increase in humans, our ability to survive and our ability to evolve is enhanced. Our nonhuman ancestors possessed these assets to a lesser degree, but we humans increasingly learn better ways to think, love, and appreciate the world around us.

    You will not live forever, you have been deceived.
    Such religious deceits pass down from one generation to another.

    Our lives leave marks in the ongoing evolution of the human race, and that is what lives on after we die.

    Making your own life better, as well as the lives of your fellow humans, is your duty. When you do this, the benefits of your life are available to the people who live after you.

  • Yeah, the only thing that matter are the monies. Everything else is just an excuse to get them.

  • Herm

    All policies enforced are to control people, religion is not alone. All policies of governed mankind can be of support to all of mankind as one or enforced to favor only the few most powerful. The game of thrones has always taken advantage of the sensed unknown to rule by fear.

    The ancient Christian policies, the first as practiced, reflected leadership where the greatest served, even to the death, the whole. The only law recognized was in everything do to others, all others, friend or foe, as we would have others do to us. Christians by the tens of thousands died on their own crosses each in love for their enemy, and all love for the Lord God they knew with and in them, by the example of their divine Brother.

    Before Christians, only 1,984 years ago, the religious still sacrificed their own in service of their God, who they could not see but knew was greater than them and who was to be feared, even the God of Abraham. You lump the politics of Man (before, then and now) into the premise of the Bible and you are wrong. The Bible only points to where you can know the living word of God and is not, in any way, the sacred word of God as a human few have projected to control by fear of a god only they knew, or touted to know.

    No where is it found in the Bible where the words of the Messiah said that if you screw up, in your ignorance, and choose the wrong religion you will not be forgiven. In fact, the Lamb of sacrifice to Man requested forgiveness for those who knew not what they were doing. It clearly says that you, now, have a choice of who your master is, the fragmenting fears of Man or the uniting love of God as exampled by Jesus. The master is the relationship we choose to support, of this little isolated temporal world or within the eternal Spirit of truth.

    Religion is a political lever, no matter what the name, founded on the study of deity to control the ignorant masses. Those who are not ignorant of God, but are one with and in God, are controlled only by their will to empathize with, be compassionate for, to be tolerant of and to forgive all others in the image of God as they would have all others do so for them. Carnal Man knows so very little in what there is to know and has no control of their destiny founded upon their childish nature, in comparison to a God who knows no beginning and will know no end. Without the physics of our body we cannot communicate. By the gifted image of God, that we find no other species on earth displaying or caring, we can communicate with and in spirit, existing before the big bang and beyond the big collapse.

    Chuck, you speak with certainty, no less than Caiaphas, about your beliefs as though only you know the truth. You reject what you cannot control. When you accept that you know nothing, and can control nothing, relative to the truth of infinity and eternity then you, in all humility, will reach out to They who are offering the Spirit of truth to you, today, as you can bear.

  • Glandu

    Why should I have any presupposition?

    I don’t believe anything. I do measure things. I do not believe in quantum mechanics. I just notice noone has ever done any measures that contradict it. And thousands of scientists are trying : doing so would offer them a very well paid travel to Stockholm.

    I do not believe in Big Bang either. I just notice the measures of energy in deep space are coherent with it. The very structure of the universe as we measure it is coherent with it. Therefore, I do use the big bang as a strong base for understanding the world. Even if, as an allegory, it’s probaby perfectible. It’s a damn good an useful allegory already. But I do not presupposition it’s true.

    I do not believe in evolution. I do, however, check that it’s a strong framework of thought that helps us understanding life as it is, and it is a powerful tool for building modern medicine. Be it true or wrong is not my problem. It’s very useful and predictive. That’s what is important to me.

  • Glandu

    How they fail to see the unnecessarily precarious position they box themselves into is beyond me

    Well, my opinon(just an opinion, not the word of God, of course) is that it makes them feel powerful. Doubt is a useful tool, but does not give you the same feeling than certainty. They feel powerful. They feel being the only ones being right against the world being wrong. That’s enough for their taste.

  • Weemaryanne

    There’s also the fact that this is how Ham et al earn their living. It’s difficult, some smart person observed, to make a man understand a thing when his livelihood depends on his not understanding it.

  • Brad Denham

    Thanks for your kind reply and sorry I replied myself. I am glad you responded because I cold not even find the blog for some reason.

    Anyways, I agree with your latest comments except this one:
    “The sacrifice my Father and Brother made for me is the evidence that mankind has never fallen from Their grace.”

    I would suggest grace is not required if mankind has never fallen. Who needs a sacrifice to atone for my sin if I have none (sin)?
    The “Fall” by the way as per your other reply is in Genesis 3 as i think you already know. Adam indeed was in a state of not needing a sacrifice for he was sinless – until he sinned. Now he needed grace in the form of “our Brother” Jesus Christ atoning for that sin to be reconciled to our Father. And Adams sinful likeness was then passed down to Seth (Gen. 5:1-2) and beyond to each succeeding generation right up to our own.

    Grace is indeed unmerited favor, but in my view, not because we love others but because we are unworthy of God’s love while in a state of separation from a Holy God due to our inherited sinful condition.

    What say you?

  • Brad Denham

    I agree that science, (not evolution) is a powerful tool for medicine etc.. There is a distinction in my mind between science and evolution. And i think that science is coherent with the bible also, albeit cannot explain God. (I can hear the howls of protest). You can plug the findings of science into a biblical framework which makes more sense than evolution to me. Does not work perfectly i admit.

    I don’t mean any disrespect Glandu, but to say you don’t believe in anything is a contradiction. You are believing you don’t believe, which is absurd.
    I think the themes within postmodernism compel some to believe nothing because there is no ultimate truth (so they say).

  • Herm

    Brad, where, beyond theological conjecture, does Genesis three even imply a fall? If my children in their early years, now responsible adults, took responsibility beyond my advice I, as their responsible adult guardian, had to admonish and then rein in their alternatives of choice that they were not ready to bear the consequences of. I could have kept my children from a knowledge of good and evil by keeping them isolated in a rubber room while providing them with food and shelter for the rest of their lives. So could God have kept the two trees inaccessible to those in Their image. Does that sound like a “Garden of Eden” you would want for your children? Who is legally to blame if an adult parent leaves their loaded AR15 accessible to their immature child?

    The fact is, by all reliable anthropological studies, the Garden of Eden that we left, as the earth-bound species mankind in the image of God, was our dependence upon God’s providing for us as hunter gatherers worldwide which occurred only 9,000 years ago. That was when the Fertile Crescent region, which included all rivers spoken of in Genesis (the Pishon, the Giho, the Tigris and the Euphrates) became the first permanent settlements on earth for farming (Cain) and ranching (Able) necessary to build and feed cities. This became the first-time accepted hording from the poor to raise profits for the wealthy (greed) was recorded.

    I am a little child of God, fully with and in the Holy Spirit today. I am imperfect in every way except in my love for God whom I am in and They are in me. All immature children err irresponsibly because they know no better. All mature, knowing, responsible and loving adults provide, protect and nurture their children because they empathize with, are compassionate for, are tolerant of, and are forgiving to those they love in their image. My Father, my Brother, and all of God united in the Spirit of truth do not see me, or any of mankind before me, as fallen; only little children with too many lost in carnal traditions. I am divinely loved, provided for, protected, nurtured and taught as I can bear in all my needs to grow forever. This is true regardless of my abilities that are truly inadequate to do any more for God than to love Them with all my heart, soul, strength, mind as fully as I am able.

    Apparently, you did not read to comprehend the scripture I shared with you. If you are able, please, go back and review what I shared, inviting the Advocate to guide you into all truth. There is more that speaks to God as my Father and my Brother today, for we are all with and fully in (whelmed) the Spirit of truth, the one who appeared as a dove to remain with and in Christ.

    “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 (NIV2011)

    I am truly not “in a state of separation from a Holy God” as were the Pharisees, the Sadducee, the scribes and the high priest Caiaphas. “That day” came for me 23 years ago when I came out of religion based on the study of God, into God as my only Teacher, Father and Instructor.

    On that day was when I fully realized the word of God filling me and understood that I had met the prerequisites to be a student of the Messiah instructing the Teacher, the Counselor, the Holy Spirit.

    “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 (NIV2011)

    The cross I carry is not for God but is for those who would crucify me in the name of God, who they do not know, as they did my Brother who now has all authority in heaven and on earth. This is tailored expressly for you to be able to understand if only you can realize to hate how you’ve been misled by familial traditions as were all disciples of the Pharisees, Sadducee, teachers of the law, and the high priest who voted to crucify the “King of the Jews” in the name of God.

    You are being invited out of carnal churches into the church administered by the only high priest in full authority today, Jesus the Christ. All worship is only in the Spirit. Sincerely knock, seek, and ask directly on the door to God’s house, which is spirit, and it will be opened to you as it was for me.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “Carnal Man knows so very little in what there is to know and has no control of their destiny . . . ”

    Yes, we know little.
    You, Herm know even less.
    Superstitious beliefs are a poor substitute for true knowledge and understanding.
    Your superstitions interfere with your ability to learn.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The ancient Christian policies, the first as practiced, reflected leadership where the greatest served, even to the death, the whole. The only law recognized was in everything do to others, all others, friend or foe, as we would have others do to us.-Herm

    You are lying in order to make Christianity look better than it actually is.The perfection that you would have us believe in is found nowhere in human cultures or in human religions.

    Lying in order to promote religious belief is commonplace in Christianity, and even more so in Islam.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Those who are not ignorant of God, but are one with and in God, are controlled only by their will to empathize with, be compassionate for, to be tolerant of and to forgive all others in the image of God as they would have all others do so for them.-Herm

    For centuries, Christianity has promoted wars, genocide, murder, mass murder, torture slavery and other ignorant and dysfunctional practices.

    Christianity has taken its time in learning better politics than these.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “Chuck, you speak with certainty, no less than Caiaphas . . . ”

    Lies and insults are a part of your personal version of Christianity.
    This does not increase you credibility.

  • Chuck Johnson

    When you accept that you know nothing,. . . -Herm

    This is a scam that religionists will often try to perpetrate.
    Pretending that since we can’t know everything, we therefore can’t know anything.

    Herm, you are both gullible and dishonest.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Also, Christians have a tradition of congratulating themselves for being bold, fearless, innovative, iconoclastic, etc.
    This may be an insightful way to describe the early Christians of ancient Rome, but things have changed in 2000 years.

    Christian fundamentalism in the 21st century is something of a fish out of water.
    It is traditionalist, closed-minded, stodgy, self-aggrandizing, blind, dishonest, arrogant, etc.
    The situation has been reversed in 2000 years.
    The fundamentalists are too blind to see this.

  • Herm

    If you knew anything about the history of Christians you would know I spoke of the “ancient Christians” before 325. You would even be able to see the difference before Constantine replaced the cross disciples of Christ carry with crosses.

  • Herm

    Do you even know who Caiaphas was?

  • Herm

    Chuck, you carnal beast you! lol

    I have no superstitious beliefs, as I once had when relating only as far as theology would take me to God. I, today, have a relationship more deeply trusted than I had with my wonderfully loving and sincere parents who gave me physical awareness and influence. Just because you do not know my brothers, sisters and Father does in no way make them not real or can pass them off as superstition.

    If I know what you know in our physical world, and I most likely know at least that, and I know the truth of life in spirit as reality, in addition, which you claim not to, then on what do you found my knowing less than “we know?

  • Herm

    I speak from documented history. I speak from relationship with and in God no less a “religious belief” than you hopefully had with your parents. What do you base calling what I share with you as lie … your ignorance of spirit?

  • Herm

    Chuck, I wrote, “When you accept that you know nothing, and can control nothing, relative to the truth of infinity and eternity then you, in all humility, will reach out to They who are offering the Spirit of truth to you, today, as you can bear.

    When anyone takes another out of context to prove their misconceived conjecture they are either expecting the other to be “gullible” to win a debate, or they are not being honest with themselves. This isn’t a debate where points are tallied to determine a winner. All players can win here when they live within the reality of truth, as much as they can bear. If you know a billionth of one percent of infinity and eternity then you truly do know more than I. What have you won?

  • Herm

    … fortunately for you Chuck, this is the moderated home of an understanding “formerly” fundamentalist. Most settled here are Christian in the likes of those before the influence of Rome, up to 290 years following the ascension of Christ. The earliest Christians began in Israel, not Rome. We are not too blind to see traditional, closed-minded, stodgy, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, etc. atheists who cannot see God (by any name) in their midst.

  • Glandu

    There is an ultimate truth. It’s called the real world. OTOH, our minds, as powerful as they are, are not efficient enough to fully grasp it.

    Which means we see the world with layers of abstraction. It’s not the truth, we are seeing, it’s a very simplified version. Quantum mechanics, evolutions, are just theories. Just theories, because the real world, at its deepest level, is impossible to access to us. Yet, they are vastly efficient.

    Said otherwise, truth is wrong. Or, at least, misleading. It’s always an abstraction, that bypasses countless informations.

  • Chuck Johnson

    … fortunately for you Chuck, this is the moderated home of an understanding “formerly” fundamentalist.-Herm

    Thanks for reminding us that making threats is a time-honored tradition in Christianity.
    It is used to make your arguments seem more “persuasive”.
    The influence of the Vatican is manifest in your words.

  • Chuck Johnson

    We are not too blind to see traditional, closed-minded, stodgy, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, etc. atheists who cannot see God (by any name) in their midst.-Herm

    I see God in many places as a fictional character, and as a human invention.
    We all believe in God.
    The God that we believe in (by many names) is a multitude of ideas, and a variety of characters.

    Not everybody believes that God is actually a magical being.
    To me, scientific thinking is the best way to understand God.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Once again, you are being ignorant and dishonest.
    Your lies will play well with some people who are obsessed with Christianity. – – – Do not expect me to be so gullible.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “If you know a billionth of one percent of infinity and eternity then you truly do know more than I. What have you won?”

    Your understanding of math is incorrect.
    Never use infinity as if it actually is a number.

    The paradoxical result is that one billionth of one percent of infinity turns out to be infinity.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “I speak from documented history.”

    It ain’t no mystery
    If it’s politics or history,
    The thing you’ve got to know is
    Everything is showbiz!

    “Documented history” can also prove that you should give up Christianity and become a Muslim.
    You are a slave to confirmation bias.

  • Chuck Johnson

    What do you base calling what I share with you as lie … your ignorance of spirit?-Herm

    I understand “spirit” far better than you do.
    Spirit, faith, metaphorical, supernatural, metaphysical, and others are typical words used by people who try to cover up the incorrect magical notions of religions.

    As the centuries go by, the magical part of religions becomes less credible. For many people, even God becomes just a metaphor.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Your understanding of what spirit consists of is incorrect.
    You have been deceived.

  • Chuck Johnson

    A quick check on the internet provides the information that I need about Caiaphas.
    The new electronic communications technologies are a part of the downfall of ancient superstitions and ignorance.

  • Chuck Johnson

    The innovative ideas of early Christianity were not sufficient to prevail. – – – Christianity then evolved into imperialism.

    That failure of early Christianity is probably something that you will ascribe to some doctrinal reason or other.

    I ascribe that failure of early Christianity to its reliance upon superstition.

    Christianity is superstitious and thus, it has a foundation of sand.
    Science is empirical and thus, it has a foundation of rock.

  • Herm

    Chuck you wrote to me,

    Yes, we know little.
    You, Herm know even less.
    Superstitious beliefs are a poor substitute for true knowledge and understanding.
    Your superstitions interfere with your ability to learn.

    … then you write here,

    I see God in many places as a fictional character, and as a human invention.
    We all believe in God.
    The God that we believe in (by many names) is a multitude of ideas, and a variety of characters.

    Not everybody believes that God is actually a magical being.
    To me, scientific thinking is the best way to understand God.

    You are confused with all that I have tried to share with you. There is one united plurality of God bound together in heart, mind, strength, mind (each member in spirit) with and in the Holy Spirit, Spirit of truth, Advocate, Councilor, Teacher, the one appearing as a dove, the one with and in Christ and our Father who speaks as They speak to him.

    You confuse the true and honest relationship of children of God born of, immersed in and whelmed by (baptized) the Spirit to be one in the family of God, sisters and brothers of the one Instructor, the Messiah. The mechanics of this relationship has been testified to in the witnessed words quoted as directly from the Messiah;

    “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 (NIV2011)

    The reality of that described relationship, with and in you personally, is the only way for you to understand this better than as is written above, as is with and in me, and many here. The Vatican and all organized Christian churches today do not teach this as even possible. This is the relationship all Christians had before the Christian Bible was written, compiled, edited and published:

    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 (NIV2011)

    You confuse many religious sects of faith, all without direct relationship with and in God, to be lumped together as Christian and/or “The God that we believe in (by many names) is a multitude of ideas, and a variety of characters.“. Who is the “we” you seem to find comfort in, including the “We all …“?

    If you do not see him to accept him to live with and in you without pause or end, then you are blind to what many of us here know, and wish only to share with you.

    I don’t have a clue, nor need one, as to whose teaching of philosophy or theology that you affiliate yourself with but after all you’ve judgmentally and arrogantly spouted you are at most an agnostic. You have not accepted a relationship as a little child of God to know that you are provided for, protected, nurtured, and taught directly from the united heart, soul, strength, mind of God as more than woeful superstition. God is not a magical being to any with and in God as Their little child today, anymore than the guardians of your youth were magical beings.

    What is your relationship with scientifically confirmed quarks? Are they as real to you as your birth mother and father? My Father, my Brother Jesus, and our unity in the Spirit are more real to me today than my parents were, and they were awesome when I was their little child.

    To make this more apropos to your condition I will make this statement in addition to the one you find offensive:

    We are not too blind to see (your words) “traditional, closed-minded, stodgy, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, etc.” agnostics who cannot see God (by any name) in their midst. I would not have chosen the word stodgy to fit your presentation but now I see that you are far less inspiring than was Caiaphas, and far less dangerous to any but yourself. We still love you.

  • Herm

    That was not the Pharisaical threat that you blindly perceive in defense of your judgments. You are fortunate this is the case for otherwise your criticisms of fundamentalists would have been stricken from the record. You are welcome to get this off your chest, even more so if you would listen with some humility to what is actually in reply.

  • Herm

    You make my point, thank you. Infinity, macro and and micro, is the true boundaries of awareness and influence in spirit, the image of God. How much do you consider you know for absolutely certain relative to infinity, without beginning and without end?

    What is paradoxical within the limitations of physical sciences is not absurd within the boundaries of spiritual sciences.

    Absolutely every word and sentence I say is a lie can be considered paradoxical for both of us. To believe you know enough to quantify infinity and eternity is paradoxical. To believe all the heavens revolve around this earth was once not considered paradoxical by science.

  • Herm

    Tell me Chuck, please, what does spirit consist of.

  • Herm

    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 (NIV2011)

    That “spirit” you do not understand which is far more real and substantial than the “spirit” you assign to “magical notions of religions“.

  • Herm

    I am a slave to the unity of my relationship as a little child with, in and of God. You cannot speak to that for you deny that such a relationship can exist founded only on what you think you know as a study of God. Were your parents no more than a hypothetical study? … neither is my Father.

  • Brad Denham

    Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
    Yes, we cannot grasp it fully for the finite cannot comprehend the infinite.
    Yet we can grasp what the infinite God of the real world has revealed in His Word.(and that is really the basis of this debate)

  • Herm

    There is nothing dishonest in what I have shared with you. I could give a damn about Christianity for that is a designation of a certain but arbitrary carnal relationships in faith on earth with the Christ. As a living brother with and in the Christ (also, by any name He remains the same in spirit) there is no designation that stands for eternity except simply a child of God born of the Spirit.

    I do not expect you to be so gullible so as to leap right out of your ignorance of God and into relationship in God. Your arguments only serve to tell me that you do not know God personally, as do, sadly, only a few of those who have been invited. You are obsessed with telling others, who you do not know, that they couldn’t possibly have a certain relationship in God, who you, also, do not know.

    From your perspective, if God were real, and cared enough to interface with mankind for mankind’s benefit, would not they be able to share with you if you asked, today? Is that too much to ask of those who were before the big bang? It is not and They will answer, even if you refuse to listen, as you are doing here.

  • Herm

    You obviously do not understand the analogy between your ignorant influence of authority and Caiaphas’. He didn’t see the reality of God in his midst either.

  • Herm

    Thanks for the credentials. Could you be more explicit, like is that Portland or Penn?

    You would have been more prepared to judge “faith as synonymous with gullibility” if you studied anthropology. You have no clue what ancient information is, much less what could be gleaned from it. On a planet that is 4.5 billion years old, within a cosmos 13.8 billion years old, the credentials of mankind, only 2.8 million years old, are not sufficient to judge beyond faith, even, or especially, when considering “the modern information which science has discovered“.

    Don’t you consider it nearly impossible that mankind has survived this long without “the modern information which science has discovered“? I find it amazing that it has only been in the last couple millennia that any of Man has had the humility to considered that maybe, just maybe, God sacrifices to serve us lesser experienced beings rather than demands our sacrifice and service to Them, as though we had anything to offer not already given us.

    Now, what is the quality of your evidence if not poor compared to God?

  • Glandu

    Well, when you say “Jesus is the way”, can you measure accurately how it works? What is the effect?

    In a concrete way, what is the impact upon your life? Besides your own behaviour, of course, we all have our sources of influence. What does Jesus do for you? Can you measure how quick he’s healing you when you’re ill, and compare it to a non-believer? Can you makes statistics about the pertinence of the “guidance” of Jesus-based choices?

    I mean, you can repeat that Jesus is life one thousand times, it does not make it something close to reality. Or even meaningful. I have no clue what you mean by “Jesus is life”, in fact. “Jesus is the way”, if I understand clearly, simply means you are followind his word(or at least what you understand of his word). “Jesus is the truth” is deceiptful, because it lets you think you hold the truth. You can’t. Neither do I, by the way.

  • Brad Denham

    I have no problem admitting that scientific measurements, statistics and analysis shed no light on the spiritual realm. But I can give my personal testimony how faith in Christ has made life so much better for me. But that is only my subjective experience. It does prove to me though, beyond doubt, of the veracity of eternal life found in Christ.

    The truth of who God is and what he has done is not subject to empirical analysis. If it was, God would not be very “big” would he?
    If we could put God in a test tube then he would not be God.

    I don’t expect you to grasp what eternal life is but I experience it and can only testify it is true.
    If you think that what you see, touch smell etc, and measure by scientific methods (which is good and fine) is all there is then fine. I happen to believe there is more.
    Faith based truth has to be believed before “the lights come on” so to speak.

    Those who refuse to believe will not have this knowledge, but a child can understand and believe if they wanted to. It’s not how smart or educated one is that leads to one understanding what Jesus means by calling himself the way, truth and life, it’s simply humbly confessing one does not know and looking to him to reveal it.
    But if someone thinks they have it all together, they will see no need. And they usually will then classify those who believe as weak and foolish etc. (like some on this blog).

  • Glandu

    The very reason why experiences are not considered as a scientific proof is the existence of illusion, and hallucination.

    An illusion is something you percieve, but misinterpret. Like you hear the wind, and your brain interprets it like someone crying. An Hallucination is when your brain believes it perceived something, but there was not even a stimuli. Like there is no noise, and you still heard somone crying.

    Everyone is victim of both, at least on an irregular basis. I know I myself had a “spiritual experience”, once. I even felt the presence of God. Yet, it didn’t change anything in my life. 15 years later, I did read the medical description of sleep apnea. Bingo. It’s exactly waht I experienced 15 years ago. An illusion(because, in this case, there actually was a stimulus). The pressure on my chest, that I had interpreted as the godly presence, was just my lungs trying desperately do compensate the lack of oxygen, and being blocked by my bones.

    There might be other things running in our heads. Maybe even some surnatural things. But illusion and/or hallucination are too frequent to be dismissed at once. And that’s my problem with believers : they can’t imagine their experience was an illusion. My own illusion seemed very real to me. Yet it was an illusion.

    There is another detail that makes me unease today with believers. Their speech is often based upon “I want to believe”. Yes, myself, I would like quite a few things to be proven true, as the survival of the soul at the death of the body(pro-tip : as the soul is not detectable, we can at best make uninformed hypothesis). I want to believe I am useful on earth(but who cares about a tiny software tester?). I want to believe my children will have children and so on forever, but the health of the planet is so bad that it’s not even likely I’ll have grandgrandchildren. I want to believe my beloved Grandfather just took his fascinating memories to a better world, but, once again, it’s either hypothesis or illusion.

    What I want has no value, and can’t influence reality. What you want has no value either. We are just what we are, dust in a huge universe, trying to make sense of something bigger than our brain capacity. “I want to believe” is not a proper way to assess the real world as it is. “I experienced it in my mind” might very well just be an illusion, or an hallucination. It happens to everyone.

    Think about it, next time you’ll have a spiritual experience. Took me 15 years to notice my own mistake.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “Don’t you consider it nearly impossible that mankind has survived this long without “the modern information which science has discovered”?”

    Not at all.
    For billions of years, life on Earth has survived just fine without a need for any gods. Genetic adaptive evolution facilitates survival.

    Then, about one hundred thousand years ago or so, humans began to invent modern abstract languages.
    That’s when genetic adaptive evolution was joined with a new and more powerful kind of cultural adaptive evolution. Cultural adaptive evolution is an extremely powerful force for the continued survival of life on earth, especially human life.
    Modern information which science has discovered facilitates human survival.

    Before modern science, there were all sorts of cultural inventions. Religions and gods were cultural inventions which helped humans to survive. Belief in the supernatural is an invention whose usefulness is limited. That’s because it is a false belief. Scientific understandings are now replacing the traditional superstitions. That’s a step forward in the understanding of our universe.

  • Chuck Johnson

    I find it amazing that it has only been in the last couple millennia that any of Man has had the humility to considered that maybe, just maybe, God sacrifices to serve us lesser experienced beings rather than demands our sacrifice and service to Them, as though we had anything to offer not already given us.-Herm

    The sacrifice of God (Jesus) for the benefit of humanity is a very clever teaching tool. By the example of such a sacrifice, humans can imagine that we should be concerned for our fellow human beings, and be dedicated to serving each other’s needs.

    That is an important contribution that the story of Christianity has made to human cultures.

    The magical part of the God stories and the Jesus stories is false information. That is why, in the industrialized world, religions are declining.

    The mundane story that people are very important is what is left behind when the magical part of the story is no longer believed.

    Stories don’t have to be completely true to be partly true.
    Some people call this effect “metaphorical”.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “Thanks for the credentials. Could you be more explicit, like is that Portland or Penn?”

    Pennsylvania State University.
    Berks Campus (Reading) for two years.
    Main Campus (State College) two years.
    Graduation in June 1973 BS in Science.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “You are obsessed with telling others, who you do not know, that they
    couldn’t possibly have a certain relationship in God, who you, also, do
    not know.”

    Your relationship with God is best understood through psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, etc.

    The fact that you feel a particular thing does not make that thing true. People have had relationships with gods, goddesses, demons,
    and other magical creatures for thousands of years.
    That doesn’t make the magical beliefs true.

    If you had been born in India, you might have a crazy menagerie of gods and you would believe in them. This is commonplace in human cultures.

  • Chuck Johnson

    From your perspective, if God were real, and cared enough to interface with mankind for mankind’s benefit, would not they be able to share with you if you asked, today?-Herm

    The religionists come back from their conversations with God spouting banalities. This is traditionalism at work.

    Scientists come back from their examination of our universe with wonderful ideas and innovations. Our lives, health and safety depend on these innovations.

    The wonderful revelations from God are just ancient stories.
    Ideas actually come from human individuals and from the cooperative effort of human cultures.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “You cannot speak to that for you deny that such a relationship can
    exist founded only on what you think you know as a study of God.”

    Not being allowed to speak and not being allowed to think is a longstanding tradition in religions.
    Religions aim to kidnap your mind in the service of the Pyramid of Authority. – – – This has been successful in your case.

    I don’t deny that you have a relationship with God.
    It is a psychological relationship.
    God is a fictional character.

  • Chuck Johnson

    They have fun.
    They enjoy the publicity.
    They enjoy having “special knowledge”.
    But they are dishonest.

    https://tinyurl.com/ycbcf7ug

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Herm,

    I decided against writing a longer response. I don’t think we will ever see eye to eye. Let’s face it, your’re a liberal christian and I am conservative.
    Sin not even implied in Genesis? Don’t mess with common sense. Getting booted out of the garden after you were told if you partake of the tree you will die – and you say no implied fall? You deny sin/fall, separation from God and the need for forgiveness. There is no need for redemption in your theology.
    You may as well delete verses like 1 John 1:8-9 from your bible.

    Do you have any concept of the Holiness of God? The soul that sins shall die. Only repentance from the sin that separates us from a Holy God, based on the sacrifice of Christ will suffice to restore us to a loving heavenly Father.

    Yes I believe the Pharisees messed up.
    And yes many churches are going astray.
    And yes I believe we need to be filled with the Spirit. But the Holy Spirit only fills those who repent and are cleansed from their sin through faith in Christ.
    But I suspect all those words have different meanings to you.

    So, in your case Ken Ham proves to be right. You impose the knowledge of man over and above the scriptures in Genesis and end up with a different Jesus.
    Jesus, the foundation is found to be a fraud. And kids see this and bail.
    Jesus himself spoke of creation and Noah and Jonah and Abraham, but you spin all those stories to suit your liberal theology and then tell kids to listen to Jesus and sooner or later they put 2 and 2 together and realize Jesus really did not know what he was talking about. Was Jesus ignorant?
    The kids think so and then bail because the Jesus that is left over is no longer a firm foundation.
    Kids see the inconsistency and so do the atheists.

    The real Jesus is the firm foundation.
    Presenting a “different gospel” is and will lead many astray.
    Scary stuff.

  • Herm

    Brad, you apparently don’t define sin as transgressing against divine law which Christ teaches the sum of is as He was quoted in Matthew 7:12. There was no divine sin in the Garden of Eden according to Jesus’ teaching. Also, without partaking of the fruit from the tree of life mankind was always mortal. Do you consider yourself

    Humor me, please, and give me your take on the following:

    “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 (NIV2011)

    “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 (NIV2011)

    “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.

    John 15:26 (NIV2011)

    “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 (NIV2011)

    “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 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

    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 (NIV2011)

  • Brad Denham

    I like your answers. Makes me think hard about my experience in life.
    I would agree we can all have illusions. As far as I know I have not had hallucinations.
    How about this more personal answer.
    Before I became a Christian I suffered with anxiety to the point of clinical depression.
    Long story short: in reordering my thinking around the truth of scripture,(no easy task) I began to understand my anxiety/depression was due to my thoughts not being centered on what I call the truth of the word of God. This resulted in a radical change of perspective, a new worldview, and guess what? Total healing from anxiety and clinical depression. I am not talking miracle here but what could be described as a new life set free from anxiety and fear etc.
    And this process of transition, from an anxiety ridden, unfulfilled depressed person, to one who is full of hope never ceases but only gets better.
    Yes I still have ups and downs, but find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in life as God reveals more and more truth daily.
    The Christian life cannot be one long illusion or delusion or hallucination. (although many think that’s all it is). Psychology cannot explain it either.

  • Herm

    Chuck, you do not read to comprehend. What relationship do you have with anyone, with one exception of the propagation of our animal species, if not psychological, my major. If psychological relationships are imaginary what is empathy, compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness?

    It is really funny that you would bring up “the Pyramid of Authority”, relative to religions, when Christ turned that Pharisaical concept of hierarchy on its head, relative to relationship in God.

    “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 23:8-12 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    So, Chuck, what did precede the big bang and what does follow the certain big collapse?

    How many differing cultural inventions can you come up with today in the world that are not religion? I can come up with many just within the responsibility of “modern science”. … and your relationship with quarks is what and, on that subject, what makes up a quark?

  • Herm

    Modern information which science has discovered facilitates human survival.

    Science discovers nothing for what is just beginning to be understood was there all along. Life is awareness and influence, no more and no less. Physical life is mortal and each cell will cease to be aware and influential within each physical species as well, eventually, will each entire species. With luck, the awareness and influence of mankind will be programmed into a database stored to be exercised within the registers of a central processing unit before the environment of earth is no longer habitable by biological cells dependent certain elements no longer available.

    Your faith in “modern science” to guarantee the continuance of of physical awareness and influence is truly a “false belief”. If mankind survives another hundred thousand years, without self destructing, then your “modern science” would at best be considered in its infancy, knowing relatively nothing. Think and project, as you have the ability that no other member with awareness and influence of any other species on earth displays, and you will surely begin to understand the flaws in your reasoning. There was no beginning and there is no end to spiritual awareness and influence, but there surely is to physical awareness and influence, individually and collectively.

  • Herm

    As in the book of Genesis.

  • Brad Denham

    Quick answers,

    The law not to eat of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil was divine law. No summary statements by Jesus eclipse that. They disobeyed divine law and only then were forbidden access to the tree of life so as not to perpetuate life while in a state of separation from God due to transgressing the one command they had. They did become mortal as per God’s warning – “in the day you eat of it you will surely die”.

    Luke 14:26 -27.
    Christ is not calling us to hate but only to let nothing get in the way of becoming His disciples. If it costs us our most cherished possessions/relationships, then so be it.
    In fact, it does cost us our life. We die to self and are raised up in Christ by his life. We put off the old self (take up our cross) and put on the new self. Eph. 4:26??

    John 14:15-21
    Christ will accomplish his earthly task of reconciling those who believe to Christ and then some time later ascend to the Fathers right hand. Those who place their faith in Christ (repentance, dying to self and subsequent cleansing/forgiveness based on the cross) will be born of the Spirit (Eph. 1:13) and placed in the body of Christ. They will now desire by nature to love him and keep his commandments (not works but obedience out of love for him).

    John 15:26
    The indwelling Holy Spirit will make known to true saved believers the Word’s of Jesus including the written Word the bible. Without the Spirits illumination we will not understand scripture correctly.

    John 16:12-15
    Holy Spirit illumination of Jesus’ words will be implanted securely in the minds of the apostles, some of whom will write the new Testament to guide the church.

    Mathew 23:8-12
    Our ultimate authority, guide and teacher, to know and understand truth, is God who uses his word alone as the only inspired inerrant authority. Don’t need popes and magisterium etc.
    Does not mean we do not come under those who are put in authority over us in our local churches provided they are appointed by God and teach truth.

    John 4:23-24
    Worship of God will no longer be some kind of external temple worship but a personal worship of God the Father/Son and Spirit from the heart

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I’d seen that story before. The chap mentioned seems perfectly genuine to me, if, of course, entirely insane. If you are suggesting he was never intending to do it, I think you’re wrong: it’s not in this article, but according to the article which I read, he’s already nearly killed himself testing an earlier version.

  • Herm

    Brad, you did not humor me but you did sadden me. I am a seminarian, I have been an elder, I have taught prophesy, I have done prison ministries, I have laid on hands, I have performed every sacrament, and, oh, so much more as a Christian authority. You only reminded me of when I was much more highly trained than you. Then I would have given you a very high mark for your devotion to church theology, dogma and ritual. Today you have made it clear that Christ Jesus is not actually in you and you are not in Him. You are not with and in the Spirit of truth without pause and without ever end.

    You do not understand that our (all children of God today including Jesus) Father serves us selflessly. You do not understand that divine law is law that all life in spirit is subject to, including our Father and our Brother Jesus. You do not understand that the Holy Spirit was in the Holy of Holies, available to counsel with only the presiding high priest, until the curtain was torn top to bottom at Jesus’ last carnal breath. Our Father and Brother proved once and for all that mankind’s (the animal species gifted the image of God, spirit awareness and influence) sustainer God, with no beginning and no end, demands no sacrifice that They will not do first.

    The bible is only testimony from mankind relative to their relationship with God, beginning in the Fertile Crescent 9,000 years ago and ending about 1,917 years ago. The only word of God is what children of God speak ever since the veil was rent as they were, are and will be filled, whelmed, immersed, and baptized (all the synonymous) with and in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. Jesus was not recognized as our Father’s Son, nor in the Father and the Father in Him, until He was baptized by he who was witness as like a dove who remained with and in Jesus. Each child of God is not recognized by our Father as a sister or brother of Jesus until they too are with and in the Holy Spirit.

    We’ll keep this short. Every form of carnal worship on this earth is not of Jesus’ church. Jesus lives since rising with all authority in heaven and on earth. God is spirit. Children of God are spirit, even when still aware and influential in carnal form. We worship in adoration our Father and all of God only in the Spirit. There is no authority on this earth as was given mankind, before the curtain was torn top to bottom, to those who sat in Moses’ seat. Jesus is our benevolent Lord who serves us, as does our Father, as the greatest among us today. Those in Christ and Christ in them, living as children of God, need no local church or administrating authority because He is eternally sufficient.

    The word and its meaning in Luke 14:26 is actually hate. Carnal familial allegiance necessary to propagate the species and tribes of Man prohibits carrying a cross in love for your, and yours, enemy. Today, it is expected by tribal and familial tradition to carry a sword to foreign lands to kill your enemy. There is no way to serve both masters in love of each.

    How do I know this? If I am not delusional how can I make such heretical statements against your traditions of religion? 23 years ago, when I was 50, I lost everything that I thought I had earned. My family, my engineering career, my church and my home. I lay prostrate on my bedroom floor thanking God for the depth of grief I was able to feel (valuing all lost) that I could not have handled when I was a child. I thanked God for a full life and told Them I was ready to just walked out over the horizon into the sun. I asked that the Holy Spirit be with me from now on without any pauses, as I had previously shut him out when I thought that I was sinning, only to ask forgiveness later. This time and on I wanted to work through all with full time guidance with no breaks in relationship. That was when I was born in the Spirit as a very little child of God.

    Have you ever asked yourself just what you might be doing throughout eternal life, like after you get tired of sitting on a cloud playing a harp, or kneeling singing praises to almighty God? You would know today, for certain, if you accepted the Spirit of truth to be with and in you, without pause, without end, forever more.

    God is not a hypothetical study who just might return to save us all someday if we just appease him with our sacrifice in worship. There is no creed, or public prayer, or dogma allegiance, or ritual, or anything organized carnal Christian churches profess that will bring God back one day. God is here, right in your midst, and because They live you can live too, if only you accept to be in Them and They in you. Do not believe me. If God is so almighty you should know They can commune with you on your level, They can serve you in all when only what you have to give back is your love, all your love.

    Do only this today and forever more and you will inherit, as a bona fide child of God, eternal life with no end:

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind (with all your spirit self in the image of God) and like that empathize with, be compassionate for, be tolerant of, and be forgiving of your good neighbor (of any nationality, religion, gender, sexual preference or level of maturity) as you do yourself, and would have them do with, of and for you.

    No church or religious affiliation necessary. No perfection necessary except as our Father is perfect in love for His enemies who are, also, in the image of God but are separate from the Spirit of God.

    Brad, I truly hope that you are sincerely looking to be with and in God as Their child, learning only under our one Teacher’s mastery as God’s student (disciple). If you are you will dare to petition Them to tell you for certain what I have shared here is true or false. I can only make you a disciple of God if you are willing to go to Them to accept the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They will answer!

    I love you and am able to empathize with you, from what you have shared, more than you know because you don’t know for sure that I have been where you are at in relationship with God. I could debate then with the best of theologians, those who study God because they don’t know God. I no longer debate, I share what I can bear to know as taught by the Spirit of truth. I can bear to know that Jesus and my Father, though spirit and not carnal, are with me and in me always. I hope for the same for you.

  • Glandu

    It’s always a pleasure to speak with intellelligent people. Even if they don’t think like me.

    Especially if they don’t think like me.

    You are pointing out a complex part of the human being. When you have certainties, you are psychologically stronger. Even of your certainty is wrong(I don’t say it’s your case, I have no clue). The fact of being certain of your life gives you a great strength, and often a great convincing power.

    You guessed it, I’m very bad at convincing people(unless I’m wrong, usually, which is not that common – it happens from time to time, of course). I’m not often wrong, because I’m always eager to correct myself if I’ve got the slightest doubt upon my knowledge. But each quality has its drawbacks. My personality is not that stable, I’m prone to anger management problems, and I’ve got influence over absolutely noone, neither my wife, nor my daughter.

    Said otherwise, I went the path of knowledge, you went the path of truth. Knowledge is never true, it can always be improved. Truth is not a knowledge, it can’t change. And you can far easier use it for building your personality, your identity, your relations, than knowledge.

    Both have their uses, but you can’t have both.

  • John

    You’re simply incorrect. The conservative churches are growing in the US, not some far-off third world nation, though it’s growing there as well.

  • Brad Denham

    Glandu,

    Now we have come full circle (at least within this discussion). What I mean is this…
    You said in a previous email you have no clue what I meant by claiming Jesus is the the way and the truth and the life.
    Quote:
    I mean, you can repeat that Jesus is life one thousand times, it does not make it something close to reality. Or even meaningful. I have no clue what you mean by “Jesus is life”, in fact. “Jesus is the way”, if I understand clearly, simply means you are following his word(or at least what you understand of his word). “Jesus is the truth” is deceiptful, because it lets you think you hold the truth. You can’t. Neither do I, by the way.

    Now I understand more clearly why you would claim that it is deceitful to think we can “hold the truth”, because you think truth does not change (and I agree) while knowledge does so they cannot be the same or lead to the same place.
    It think this is a false dichotomy, at least ultimately.
    Yes I lack knowledge and will always be striving for increased knowledge. The dynamic of gaining knowledge is only found by going the path of true (static) truth.
    That is why Jesus is the way, because he alone has perfect knowledge that corresponds perfectly with truth. What He knows (and is) is truth.
    I believe (and know) He is the truth and as I “grow in the grace and knowledge of Him” (as scripture calls me to do) the two paths of knowledge and truth coalesce.
    I am not there yet and will not be this side of death (which leads to God’s presence where I will then “see” and more fully know the truth rather than live by faith).

    And that leads to eternal life which again completes the circle that ties Jesus being the way and the truth and the life together.
    That makes perfect sense to me objectively and has been my subjective experience.

    I cannot know God exhaustively. He is God and I am his creation. But I can know, even in this life what He has revealed in his Word the bible. Jesus is the way for He is what we call the living Word. In fact, the bible being the word is only a reflection of the Living Word, Jesus Himself.

    Just quickly, the word “Word” in the Greek is the word “Logos” which in the Christian sense means something along the lines of “Divine reason and created order”.
    Jesus himself is the Divine reason for the created order. He sustains it right now. He will return and end it as we know it when God chooses to do so.

  • Nimblewill

    Isn’t that in 2nd Opinions 43:77

  • Chuck Johnson

    Deceivers can be clever.
    It’s entirely possible that if his launch and flight would be successful, he would next announce that he had gained additional evidence that the Earth is flat.

    A society of deceitful and gullible people can accomplish miracles.

  • Chuck Johnson

    So, Chuck, what did precede the big bang and what does follow the certain big collapse?-Herm

    The Big Bang was the sudden extreme expansion of an enormous amount of compact mass. What preceded this was the assembly or accumulation of the compact mass. That’s only logical.

    “. . . and what does follow the certain big collapse?”

    The big collapse is not certain.
    You should not pretend that you know things you really don’t know.

    The expansion of matter and energy that we observe might continue forever without ever coalescing again.

  • Chuck Johnson

    If psychological relationships are imaginary what is empathy, compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness?-Herm

    Empathy, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness are both psychological and social constructs.

    Human minds do not exist just as isolated brains.
    The collective brainpower of human societies functions is if is a brain, too.
    When humans communicate with each other, collective brainpower is increased.

    The Google search engine and the internet also have some characteristics of brains. They act in the service of human brains.

  • Chuck Johnson

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NIV2011) Is an example of how the Pyramid of Authority works within the belief systems of Christianity.

  • Herm

    What preceded the assembly or accumulation of the compact mass? What is its origin?

    The big collapse is certain.

    ASS out of U and ME doesn’t play here! Remember I’m the one, between us two, who claims at least a relationship you do not have today. Physical is only a tool, much like the womb to mature the spirit. There is a beginning and an end for physical, there is none for spirit.

  • Herm

    Now, that is bullshit!

  • Herm

    In the pyramid of authority in JROTC, from the top to the bottom of the pyramid is a chain of command. The number of immediate subordinates one commander or leader can effectively control, supervise, or direct. Name the three levels of authority in the pyramid of authority.
    https://quizlet.com/20242863/jrotc-test-1-flash-cards/

    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 23:11-12 (NIV2011)

    If the Pyramid of Authority was reflected in Matthew 23:11-12 then the pyramid is teetering on its point for the chain of command is led from the bottom.

    Those of God who have more share with those who have less. Those who know serve those who don’t. Pharisaical authority is not the example of Christ’s authority. Not a belief for me any more than my relationship with my parents was a belief, who served me and chose for me before I was capable, including that I was born to be aware and influential.

    Do yourself a favor and realize how little you know of what there is to know. Exalting your brilliance only shines a light on how truly dull you are. Bye!

  • Realist1234

    Except the text itself cannot be understood in a literalistic way.

    Example – the sun was not created until the 4th day, yet there were 3 days before that. The normal, literal understanding of a day is, by definition, the period of time it takes for the earth to fully rotate on its axis, in the light of the sun. If the sun did not exist in the first 3 days, how can you understand them to mean 3 literal days?

    Most literalists end up trying to get out of that one by arguing the sun wasnt ‘created’ on the 4th day but rather started to provide its function then or some other similar argument. But that doesnt make sense either. What was it doing the previous 3 ‘days’? A new one I read was that it was only on the 4th day that the clouds parted to reveal the sun. Except of course the text doesnt actually say that, so they’re guilty of adding words to Scripture to ensure a coherent literal understanding.

    We should be mindful that as far back as Augustine (if not earlier), Christians did not insist Genesis should be understood in this way.

  • Brad Denham

    When the text is silent we look to other places (in the bible and science) to find the answer. I agree with you that some of the explanations given (like the clouds parting) is actually quite stupid. That idea is contradictory and self-defeating (you argue it was created on the fourth day and then say revealed on the fourth day).

    If we look to science, then your question “If the sun did not exist in the first 3 days, how can you understand them to mean 3 literal days?” is valid and should be asked.
    I have no problem with science. But science cannot explain the supernatural. So, I as a believer in the supernatural then look like I said above (still considering science) to the bible for possible answers. There are other examples of supernatural light like the Shekinah glory in Exodus. So I conclude, that some other source illuminated the creation for 3 literal days although I do not know for sure what it was.

    Creation is a supernatural event to the literalist. Creation (ex nihilo) is something from nothing. Science cannot explain that. Faith that God exists who created science can.
    Admittedly, I cannot prove that. I can only point to evidence.

    Your comment about Augustine I find interesting. Will need to research that.
    I would simply say in response that the article these comments are based on has been highjacked by the evolution/creation debate. Although I can see how it is a side issue, the debate really should be centered around whether or not Ken Hams tweet replaces the foundation of Jesus Christ being the cornerstone of the Christian faith with Genesis doctrine and hence a different foundation.
    I would argue it does not (and that was not his intent). Ken Hams concern is that if you interpret the record of creation in Genesis as allegory you are then undermining Jesus Christ as the true foundation because He himself spoke of creation, Abel, Noah and Jonah etc. as if they literally occurred. Jesus ought to know.
    And if I take the next logical step, (assuming allegory) the whole basis of the faith is undermined for I must then conclude all of scripture could be allegory including the resurrection.
    And, like Paul says, no resurrection = pie in the sky christianity and I would be forced to agree with our atheist friends.

  • Herm

    Thank you Brad for staying with me. Sorry that you pulled the reply that this is in reference to. You’ll know what I am speaking to.

    Caiaphas would not have and would be seeking my death as the heretic you are wondering if I am. I am not.

    There is no where, in the Bible or by the word of God today, that states emphatically that the Christian Bible is inerrant. If God wanted it to be They would have written it themselves, as was the Decalogue written in stone.

    If all of scripture is without error then explain the contradictions found in the New “Testament” as relative to the Old “Testament”.

    This was witnessed as said by the Messiah and written as gospel in your Bible:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

    Matthew 5:38-42 (NIV2011)

    …here is where it was said and written:

    But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

    Exodus 21:23-25 (NIV2011)

    …and here:

    “ ‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’ ”

    Leviticus 24:17-22 (NIV2011)

    …and here:

    The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

    Deuteronomy 19:20-21 (NIV2011)

    Do you accept what the Pharisees, Sadducee, the teachers of the law (scribes), the high priest, and the council of the high priest (who all saw Jesus not as the Christ, but as a heretic) or Jesus? Scripture is fallible or speaks with forked tongue (there is room for a little childish comedy relief here without my Father striking me down dead).

    Which modern day Pharisee, Sadducee, teachers of the law, high priest, or mortal teaching, of the hundreds of all differing teachings of Christ, do you accept as inerrant? You just spouted dogma and theology that I was trained in and taught to others when I did not know the Teacher in me and I in Him. I knew the Holy Spirit from the outside when invited Him but never as one with me, without pause or end. Nearly all that you spouted, as though any book could replace the actual living and growing word of God, are from carnal church doctrine, no less decrees of authoritative interpretation that justified the crucifixion of Christ.

    We, mankind in the image of God, were not saved once and for all from Jesus’ cross. Every child of God today carries their own cross by the will of our Father in love for our enemy.

    Wow, you certainly took the following out of context when you concluded with “We are to be sanctified in the truth – “thy Word is truth” Jesus said – every little bit including Genesis.“:

    “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

    John 17:13-19 (NIV2011)

    sanctify – verb – past tense: sanctified; past participle: sanctified
    * set apart as or declare holy; consecrate. – synonyms: consecrate, bless, make holy, hallow, make sacred, dedicate to God
    * make legitimate or binding by religious sanction. – synonyms: approve, sanction, condone, vindicate, endorse, support, back, permit, allow, authorize, legitimize
    * free from sin; purify.

    What is so difficult to believe that this is real and true today?

    “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 (NIV2011)

    You must know there was no New Testament Bible when this was witnessed:

    Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

    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 4:29-31 (NIV2011)

    Jesus did not reneg!!!

    You would think that, if the New Testament was inerrant as the word of God, the Holy Spirit would have been more precise in dictating the following testimony of the identical and most sacred occurrence, since He was there:

    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

    Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV2011)

    Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Mark 1:10-11 (NIV2011)

    When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Luke 3:21-22 (NIV2011)

    Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

    John 1:32-34 (NIV2011)

    Brad, this is only a taste of the incongruities you that just wrongly proffered as the word of God. I honestly, now that I look back on my 50 years of the blind teaching the blind about a God not in them, nor they in God, cannot understand why with the clear Bible pointers any sincere Christian does not go directly to God for the truth. I am guessing, for I wasn’t there, that the same was true for Caiaphas, who had direct access with God in the Holy of Holies but didn’t council with the Holy Spirit to ask whether Jesus was the Christ or just one more subversive heretic.

    God knew when the Bible was written that all the heavens did not revolve around earth, that heaven was spiritual and not in the center of the earth, that the earth was 4.5 billion years old, and that the earth was not flat. Jesus didn’t mention any of that.

    It has been longer since the ascension of Jesus than it was from the birth of Moses to Jesus’ ascension. Nothing has changed in that time so that the Christian Bible, first compiled into one in the year 325, is more than enough word of God to sustain mankind, especially now that we have a printing press and an Internet???

    Are you afraid to trust in God’s answer to you if you were to, in all humility and sincerity as would a little child coming to Jesus, ask Them for all the truth you can bear right now?

    I do have a question, not in any way meant to be a trick question, what do you plan on doing with eternal life? I mean, why do you seek it? Is it possible that your quest is simply confused with your animal instinct to survive and propagate your species?

  • Dean

    The problem Brad is that you do pick and choose what you want to believe in the Bible and you make it say what you want to say just as well as the next the person, I’m just willing to admit it. Do you think homosexuals should be executed? Do you believe disobedient children should be stoned? Do you wear mixed fibers? Probably not I guess. The argument you’re now going to give me for why you don’t believe these things is going to be theological one, not one from the text. The reason I know that is because there ARE Christians who believes these things. So who’s right? Christian Reconstructionism is real thing, and they probably think you don’t take the Bible seriously. The danger with your paradigm is there is never a shortage of folk who can read the Bible more “literally” than you and I think we can all attest that the further down that spectrum you go, the higher the craziness level gets. You just don’t see that going the other direction I’m afraid. Does that resonate at all with you or do you not have any interest in whether theological pluralism has a place in Christianity?

  • Brad Denham

    I did not pull my reply. Not sure where it is/went.
    Will respond later – off too work.
    Thx

  • Realist1234

    Thanks for your response Brad. I often dont agree with Ben but on this one I think he’s right. On re-reading Ham’s tweet, it does seem to me he is putting far to much weight on the literalistic understanding of the first few chapters of Genesis. I actually find it rather shocking that he would call it ‘the foundation’ upon which everything else is built. That is patently false. I view those early chapters more theological than historical. Indeed, I dont think its a coincidence that both the first and last words of Scripture are full of symbolism and truth (Genesis and Revelation). I dont think we are to understand Revelation literalistically, nor do I think we are to understand the first chapters of Genesis in the same way. In other words, I view the meaning of Genesis as more important than it being a literal scientific or historical record of the creation of the universe and this earth. If you are interested in that, Id recommend Melvin Tinker’s ‘Reclaiming Genesis’. JI Packer wrote the Foreward!

    I think there are good reasons for believing the Genesis story of creation to be primarily a written polemic against existing Near Eastern creation stories. There are similarities between these stories, but Genesis has significant differences. For example, typically Mesopotamian creation stories had the sun and moon and other celestial bodies being ‘gods’, with mankind worshipping them. But Genesis says ‘no’, they are simply objects that God created for particular functions. Nothing else. I could give other examples, but no doubt you have heard them before.

    Regarding the sun and ‘day’, I dont find your view persuasive. The fact remains that to view all of the ‘days’ in the Genesis account as literal 24-hour days as we understand them, requires light from the sun and the rotation of the earth, not light from the Lord Himself, which logically would only shine for a specific length of time. Is it really acceptable to pick out one or two other examples of ‘light’ from Scripture and make it fit into Genesis? I think not. As I said, if Ham etc are to insist that Genesis is a literal scientific/historical account of the beginnings of the universe and cannot be understood in any other way, then I must insist you really do have to understand every part of it in the same way, and define the terms such as ‘day’ appropriately.

    ‘Creation is a supernatural event to the literalist. Creation (ex nihilo) is something from nothing. Science cannot explain that. Faith that God exists who created science can.
    Admittedly, I cannot prove that. I can only point to evidence.’

    – in some ways I agree with at least the spirit of your words. I agree that the initial creation was supernatural, in the sense it was ‘started’ by God. But I am not sure if science will never be able to explain it. Perhaps one day it will, and if science eventually was able to explain creation ex nihilo would that do away with God? I dont see why. Simply arguing, as some do today, that we do not ‘require’ God does not mean He does not exist.

    Regarding Jesus, simply because He used the Genesis story to illustrate a truth (eg marriage) does not mean He believed in a literal Adam and Eve in the same way Ham does. Using that argument you would have to reject all of His parables which are full of truth, and yet are not based on actual real individuals. Not to mention His often repeated use of hyperbole, to ensure His hearers remembered His words – eg walking around with a plank in your eye, ‘hating’ your family (I assume you dont). There is a difference between learning the truth Jesus is explaining, and insisting in every case He was referring to real, historical people for that truth to be valid. Truth is truth regardless of how it is illustrated. Notice that He, unlike Ham, never once insists to His hearers that they must believe the people He refers to were all real, historical individuals, otherwise the truth of what He was teaching would fall apart. Why does Ham then make such an insistence? He has not learnt from the Master. As for Noah, for example, I tend to think he was a real individual but I think the flood may have been a local phenomenon, which the original Hebrew text actually indicates. I think many of our English translations are based on presumptions of meaning rather than the actual meaning (understood from a Hebrew/Jewish world-view).

    It’s a shame that you think the next ‘logical’ step is to conclude the whole of Scripture is allegorical if one believes not all of the Old Testament is to be understood literally. That is the basic problem with yours and Ham’s position – its black or white and nothing else. I dont find that a logical step at all. Its ignoring the basic fact that Scripture is full of different genres of writing, written by different people at different times and for different purposes. That is also a fact that many atheists seem to miss (perhaps on purpose). I believe God is behind all of it, but I also believe He expects us to use our God-given brains. Scientific or historical truth is as valid as theological truth. It is all about reality. That is why you cannot conclude that the resurrection accounts of Jesus’ could be understood as non-literal. The Gospels are not that type of genre. So although I view the Genesis account of creation as non-literal, I view the physical resurrection of Jesus as very much historical because that is how it is presented by all 4 writers. It is as much a fact of historical reality to them as His crucifixion. He is raised!

    Peter

    (apologies if I have gone on a bit!)

  • Chuck Johnson

    Your dishonesty and boasting are tiresome.

  • Chuck Johnson

    You say that you don’t know science when it suits your politics.
    You say you do know science when it suits your politics.
    Your style of Christianity is to babble and to tell lies.

  • Herm

    Chuck, I am an educated, certificated, experienced, and retired technician, engineer, psychologist, and seminarian with combat experience.

    You act as a child who thinks he knows when it is clear you do not. Biophysics is basically a study of how physical organisms eat, communicate, sense their environment, and propagate. Please, excuse the humor but biophysics has always drawn a mental picture of an enema. Congratulations on at least defining a study for yourself beyond simply surviving day to day.

    I have never said I don’t know science. You must have me mixed up with someone else. I am sure that the earth is somewhere around 4.5 billion years old, give or take 50 million years. I am comfortable with the universe being at least 13.82 billion years old. I am even more comfortable knowing that awareness and influence is infinite in dimension and eternal, with no beginning and no end.

    What exactly are my politics that you seem to think I suit?

    I am not a boxed in Christian though I do know the Christ in me and I in Him as a child of the united and benevolent eternal awareness and influence Christians call God. If you are ignorant of that reality, based on the extremely limited depth of your studies and experience why do you call that as a lie? Why does it matter to you if in everything I do to you as I would have you do to me?

    All studies beyond direct relationship, including the study of God (theology) and how organisms relate and survive, are subject to hypothesis, conjecture, surmise and what if’s. Children are encouraged to study what they do not know. They survive their lab exercises because the experienced adults limit them to what their maturity of judgment and coordination can bear before they self destruct. I am comfortable with my relationship as a little child subject to the teaching and nurture of, with and in God, who you do not know.

  • Herm

    Chuck, I am not the one who injected “the Pyramid of Authority” into this discussion. I didn’t, but now have, flaunt my credentials first as did you in boast. They have nothing to do with what is truth and what is not.

    By your resume’ it would seem you are around 66 years old, acting like a child who bases all on exactly what you “believe” you know. If you have no actual evidence to the contrary you call the one you disagree with as boasting and dishonest. There is, comparatively, infinitely more you do not know than what you do.

    You do as much damage insisting in your ignorance that there is no possible way that any of the species mankind can relate directly with God as those who ignorantly portray God as as a wrathful, vengeful dictator demanding to be appeased, served and sacrificed to by lesser beings. Neither of you get that loving, caring, empathetic, compassionate, tolerant and forgiving guardians of ignorant lesser beings, that they can find affinity with, do not lord over those who know not what they do, they forgive them from their cross that they bear for those who know not what they do. You don’t know what you do!

  • Chuck Johnson

    Your comments sound like they were pulled from a filing cabinet, or a Chick Tract.
    You keep on embarrassing yourself.

  • Chuck Johnson

    “I have never said I don’t know science. You must have me mixed up with someone else.”

    Could be.
    I am also reading messages from Don Camp.
    http://biblicalmusing.blogspot.com/

    He makes up his science as he goes along.

  • Herm

    Chuck, share something you might know from short evangelical gospel tracts, other than direct quotes from the mouth of Christ, that sound like my comments, please!

  • Chuck Johnson

    The incoherent pious babbling is recognizable in your messages.
    It’s similar to some of Don Camp’s rambling piety.
    It’s a religious style.

  • Herm

    Random thoughts on the current ideas and events that impinge on a biblical worldview

    I guess you don’t notice that it is you who is random in your thoughts very much in a combative shotgun style. I have reviewed most of our discussion, enough to see that I have been consistent, as much as always learning and growing will allow a child. I wonder why you would be intentionally reading a biblical musing blog?!?!

  • Realist1234

    Hi Brad, I saw your response to mine below in my notification email but for some reason I cant see it or respond to it on this blog. Maybe the Lord wants me to stop arguing with you lol.

    Peace in Him.

    Peter

  • Brad Denham

    Yes,, something happened and they are not makiing it through.
    If this does i will try and send it again.
    Peace to you as well Peter,
    Brad

  • Brad Denham

    Hi Dean,
    I agree there is a certain degree of reading my own views into the text, eisegeses. I strive for exegesis.
    Theology properly understood is arguing from the text as objectively as we can. There are indeed Christians who believe certain texts differently and that is ok. But some doctrines (I know it’s frowned upon also) are so far out there they render the person who holds them non-christian. So who’s right? I cannot always be the judge of that but do believe some basic Christian essential doctrines are very clear and deviation from them warrants the dreaded term heretic.
    Reconstructionism is flat out wrong and they should be called out.
    Yes there are some who read the bible “more literally” if and when they do not understand the context etc.. Something that was literal in the context of the nation Israel during the Exodus and following where Moses Law was mandated and read as if it applies today simply have not understood things have changed since Christ fulfilled the law. And I agree, that can end up in some pretty crazy places that makes all Christians look bad.
    But going to far in the other direction also ends up in error, that being anti-nomianism where anything goes and God is reduced to a benevolent vending machine in the sky who loves eveyone and everything.
    Your comments resonate with me and I will examine myself as best I can and receive admonishment from others where applicable.

    Don’t think I like the idea of thelogical pluralsim. Sounds like it negates the the logic of antithesis.
    In essentials agreement, in non-essentials grace and in all things charity.
    My guess is that pluralism would not be able to define and agree on what the essentials are and what is not.
    Always had that problem I guess but not near to the extent we see today.
    Thanks for your views Dean,
    Brad

  • Brad Denham

    I tend to agree,
    That being said, can you explain briefly where you stand and why?
    Is Ken Ham a heretic as some claim?

  • Brad Denham

    Please explain.
    How does one know Christ personally?

  • Brad Denham

    If you read some of my other comments you will at least get a flavor of what I believe.
    Most would call me religious but I do not like the term as defined by most (do good deeds to gain salvation).
    Salvation is a gift from God for those who simply recognize their sinful condition and place their faith in Jesus Christ whose sacrifice of himself atoned for their sin.
    I also don’t like saying I am a Christian (although I am) because the word now means too many things to too many people.
    If you define Christian as one who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as revealed in the Word taught by the Holy Spirit, then yes, I am Christian.

  • Brad Denham

    Not enough time to watch video now but will later.
    Suffice it to say in regards to your comments, I agree. That is why He is both Savior and Lord. 1 John 2:4.

  • Brad Denham

    Real quickly,
    Why do you believe Ken Ham does not know Christ personally?
    I believe he is a agreement with us.

  • Brad Denham

    I researched the source of your video (Relentlessheart) and Michael Chriswell. I liked what I saw.
    I also looked on Ken Hams AIG site and liked what I saw.
    The only difference I can detect from your statements is there may be a slight difference in the “Once saved always saved” debate.
    My understanding is that they may have different ways of phrasing it but both believe without fruit, one is not saved, fruit being the necessary evidence of true salvation.

  • Bones

    Lol….does that go for your condemnation of people on this site as antichrists?

    Your opinion is noted…and irrelevant.

    Maybe one day you’ll find the truth instead of dogma.

  • Bones

    Ken Ham is a complete charlatan as indeed are AiG. They don’t do any science. They take real scientists work and twist it to fit their ideology.

    Not only are they liars but they bear false witness.

  • Bones

    Well Ken Ham had to go the US to find people who would listen to his crap. That’s where most of the nutters are. He sure as hell wasn’t getting anyone listening to him in Australia.

  • Bones

    Der, every ancient tribe had its creation story.

    Ken Ham is wrong and is a charlatan.

    That you’ve exchanged facts for lies says more about you.

    Grow up a bit.

  • Bones

    Except there was no Adam…..

    Do you actually believe God cursed women with the pain of childbirth?

  • Bones

    Btw women must be happy that the pain of childbirth is a result of God’s curse on them.

    I thought it might have had more to do with an object with a 35cm circumference pushing through a hole with a circumference of 8cm.

    But then what would scientists and doctors know.

    It does show that God to be a bit of an arsehole.

  • Bones

    Check this site out….

    “Creationism is not the alternative to Evolution, ignorance is”

    https://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/

  • Bones

    Dur…the theories are based on data and evidence.

    You are another one who abuses science for your own ends.

    Sadly for you the genomes have been mapped and yes it shows common ancestry. It’s weird how genetic studies confirm Darwin and not Genesis.

  • So take 2000 years of Church witness, its wars, violence, abuse, strife, discord, animosity, hatred, bigotry, inequality, injustice, and depravity, take all of that evil fruit and compare it to the exceptionally fine fruit produced by these:

    “They refuse any form of violence and without rebelling put up with the many trials inflicted on them because of their beliefs . . . How different the world would be if we all woke up one morning firmly decided not to take up arms again, whatever the cost or the reason, just like Jehovah’s Witnesses!” – “Andare Alle Genti”

    “[Jehovah’s Witnesses are] well known as very nice, kind, and meek people who are very easy to deal with, never put any pressure on other people and always seek peace in their relationship with others . . . There are no bribe-takers, drunkards or drug addicts among them, and the reason is very simple: They just try to be guided by their Bible-based convictions in everything they do or say. If all the people in the world at least tried to live according to the Bible the way Jehovah’s Witnesses do, our cruel world would be absolutely different.” – The Moscow Times

    “I am not a Witness. But I am a witness to the fact that the Witnesses witness to efficiency and proper behaviour. . . . If they were the only people in the world, we would not at night have to bolt our doors shut and put on the burglar alarm.” – Journal de Montréal in Canada

    “If all the religious denominations were like Jehovah’s witnesses, we would have no murders, burglaries, delinquencies, prisoners and atomic bombs. Doors would not be locked day in and day out.” – Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Former Governor-General of Nigeria

    “I have come to the conclusion that if Jehovah’s Witnesses were the only ones living on the earth, wars would cease to exist, and the only duties of the policemen would be to control traffic and to issue passports.” – “Gyűrű”

    “Suffice it to say that if all the world lived by the creed of the Jehovah Witnesses there would be an end of bloodshed and hatred, and love would reign as king!”- “The Sacramento Union”

    “The work of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the revival and re-establishment of the primitive Christianity practised by Jesus and his disciples . . . All are brothers.” – “The Encyclopedia Canadiana”

  • Bones

    Yeah that actually sounds a lot like you……impersonating God, deceiving others by elevating themselves as superior, thinking they know it all, massive hypocrite and spreading confusion, leading them in your own way of ignorance.

    You don’t know God personally at all. You believe in a caricature which you’ve created and which you judge others by.

    And because of that you think you’re better than everyone else who doesn’t swallow your bs.

    You need to change your moniker.

    There’s nothing Truthful nor even remotely Good News about you.

  • Bones

    Yeah, the Jehovahs Witnesses have had their problems with bullying abuse survivors.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses’ handling of child sex abuse

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses%27_handling_of_child_sex_abuse

    That’s how cults operate….

    And yes, my aunt is a long time JW who refuses to have anything to do with her non-JW children. She only came around to see my mother, her sister, to try and convert her and us.

    Even refused to attend her mothers funeral because it was in a church.

  • Bones

    What’s so hard about not being an arsehole which is what it boils down to.

    It’s a shame that people like yourself have reduced Jesus to doctrines by which they judge others.

    No wonder Jesus didn’t come to start a religion.

  • Brad Denham

    I will try and extract an apology from God if you can get one from Mr. or Mrs. Evolution.

  • Bones

    The only conclusion I have left, after dropping all the anthropomorphic qualities foisted on to God by humans and considering scientific evidence, is that God is energy…..living in and sustaining its creation.

  • Bones

    Interesting…do you feel sorry for the trillions and trillions of other creatures who are just ‘dust in the wind’?? No of course you aren’t.

    And everyone has meaning in their lives….religion is just ONE form of finding it (and that goes for ANY religion or spirituality btw) eg get married and have kids and you’ll find meaning in your life or else go out and help your fellow human beings.

    I think it’s exciting that I was once part of a star and will probably be again.

  • Bones

    Yes…..an interesting question for creationists….when the facts change, I change my mind, What do you sir?

    Answer: Change the facts to suit.

  • Brad Denham

    He did come to bring a sword. Check it out (if you have a bible).

  • Bones

    Ken Ham does ‘science’

    From AiG- U.S. WEEKLY NEWS May 25, 2001 Answers in Genesis Ministries International

    Q: Why are kangaroos found only in Australia?

    A: This may surprise lots of people, but that’s not the case.

    It’s interesting: at our Answers in Genesis seminars, we ask our audience:

    How many of you believe kangaroos once lived in the Middle East? No one puts up their hands. Then we ask: How many believe that Noah’s Flood was a real event? All hands go up.

    How many believe that Noah’s Ark was a real boat? Yes, they agree to that, too. How many believe that two of every kind of land animal, including kangaroos, went on the Ark? Yes, they accept that.

    Then we ask: How many people believe that the Ark landed in the Middle East? Up go the hands. How many people now believe that kangaroos came off the Ark after the Flood? They start to chuckle as they put their hands up.

    Then we say, how many believe kangaroos once lived in the Middle East? All the hands now go up.

    You see, when we think from a Biblical perspective, we know that all land animals must’ve once lived in the Middle East.

  • Bones

    Lol…..Evolution is just describing the process. It doesn’t ’cause’ anything.

    Your ideology says God caused women to have pain in childbirth because of some ancient myth. That god is an arsehole.

  • Bones

    Lol…I have degrees in OId and New testament.

    How about you actually understand what Matthew was writing about instead of dishonestly using verses you know nothing about.

    Start by learning some context.

    But seeing you’re here Matthew 10:38 is the key to understanding what Jesus/Matthew was on about.

    “38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

  • Bones

    For once Ken Ham is right.

    Answers in Genesis is the Foundation of a house…..

    A foundation built on sand…..

    We know what happens to that, right?

  • Bones

    lol

  • Bones
  • Bones

    The Fall never happened…..

    Have you actually thought about what you believe?

    God created human beings and the tree knowing they would ‘fall’. ANd God then curses them for doing what he knew they would do.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGASvVqzOa0

  • Brad Denham

    My God carried out his judgment on Eve because He is a just God. Eve knowingly violated his one command.
    He is also merciful for the woman’s offspring will one day provide her with a way of reversing the judgment.
    That God is no @#$%.

  • Bones

    Biologos knows that Adam and Eve aren’t historical persons yet STILL tries to foist its Evangelical ideology onto the text.

    “He died because of you…….”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxo81Ok9Urk

  • Bones

    What? for disagreeing with you.

    Hopefully those you’ve called antichrists will forgive you….though I won’t lose sleep about it if they don’t.

  • Brad Denham

    Back it up to verse 32.
    And, why do you quote Jesus if you don’t believe he existed?
    Your liberal brainwashing makes your degrees akin to the Pharisees who thought they knew the scriptures which spoke of Him. You know another jesus.

  • Bones

    I see through you. You’re no different from any other religious fundamentalist who hates those who disagree with his ideology. You people are a dime a dozen. Its quite funny that you come on here to condemn others and are exposed for being the massive hypocrite that you are. But then you’re too blind to your own dogma to see that.

    Jesus talked about people like you – blind guides who claim that they can see….and their sin remains.

  • Bones

    Actually the whole of Matthew 10 is about persecution. Read the whole chapter for once.

    Who says I don’t believe Jesus existed?

    Sadly for you the Pharisees were fundamentalists….like you…and you would kill him again for violating your doctrines,. Just like they did.

  • Bones

    Lol….your God cursed every woman with pain in childbirth and the complications that arose out of it.

    Your God is an arsehole….which reflects the thinking of the one who believes it. That god’s not even worth bothering about.

    I’m interested as to when this reversal of pain in childbirth is going to come about.

  • Brad Denham

    I simply ask you sir to cease your correspondence with me.
    You have made your point.
    Your language, tone and theology suggest to me we are on completely different paths and will not agree on anything.
    I wish you the best.

  • Bones

    Lol….Oh the irony of someone talking about logic while claiming God cursed women with pain in childbirth……

  • Bones

    No……..Are the pre-adamic race black people like the Australian Aborigines????

  • Bones

    Why?

    You’re on a public forum dude.

    If you can’t have your opinions questioned (like you do to others) then go somewhere else.

    Don’t be so precious.

  • Bones

    From the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)

    “In opening submissions by senior counsel assisting the commission, Jehovah’s Witnesses was described as a tightly controlled, rule-bound organization that seeks to keep its members in relative isolation from the rest of society. The group was said to be “preoccupied with sin and sinning” and that it operated a judicial system in which a group of men “stand in judgement over their fellow men, women and children on every aspect of their lives”.”

  • Sedulous Christians loyally support God and his righteous laws. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-7; Hebrews 6:10) Occasionally, though, a person deviates from the path of truth. Willful, unrepentant sinners are to be removed from the Christian congregation –

    “Remove the wicked [man] from among yourselves.” – 1 Corinthians 5:13

    The first century Christians were certainly organized and kept track of it’s members – not just those who attended. For instance, Hymenaeus and Alexander were members who had to be disfellowshipped – or dismembered from the body of Christ – because they became apostates thus becoming Antichrists – Titus 3:10, 11; 1 Timothy 1:19, 20; 1 John 2:18, 19.

    1 Corinthians 5 also details how a member of the congregation in Corinth was likewise disfellowshipped for his crass immorality.

    At the same time, given that practicing homosexuals simply cannot form part of the Christians congregation, the actual occurrence of these kinds of regrettable instances is extremely tiny. ~

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About

    “Users should be aware that not all articles are of encyclopedic quality from the start: they may contain false or debatable information.”

    Try again.

  • Bones

    So, in other words, a cult…..

    Ex-Jehovah’s witness reveals secrets of religious group
    The treatment of women, child abuse and how to prevent being visited by followers of the religion are among topics confronted by ex-member

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/jehovahs-witnesses-religion-christianity-religious-group-what-is-it-like-a7214966.html

    I have experience of your group…..

    And this has nothing to do with homosexuality….

  • Bones

    From the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (Australia)

    The Royal Commission found that the Watch Tower Society legal department routinely provided incorrect information to elders based on an incorrect understanding about what constitutes a legal obligation to report crimes in Australia

    In its report, the Australian royal commission concluded, “We do not consider the Jehovah’s Witness organisation to be an organisation which responds adequately to child sexual abuse.” It added that, “the organisation’s retention and continued application of policies such as the two witness rule in cases of child sexual abuse shows a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse.”

    There is no evidence before the Royal Commission of any scriptural requirement, policy or procedure requiring Jehovah’s Witness elders to report child sexual abuse to the authorities when not otherwise required to do so by mandatory reporting laws.
    Mr Spinks told the Royal Commission that it is not the practice of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation to report child sexual abuse to the authorities,144 and the organisation has never claimed ‘to have instructed the elders to go to the authorities’.145

  • Bones

    Jehovah’s Witnesses claim they were told not to report child sex abuse, as organisation is accused of sheltering abusers

    “There’s teaching which is that you shouldn’t take another Jehovah’s Witness to court. There’s also a teaching to avoid interaction with secular authorities. So you’re breaking two rules [in reporting abuse].

    “Those two things could lead to you being disfellowshipped, which means that you’re shunned.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/20/jehovahs-witnesses-claim-told-not-report-child-sex-abuse-organisation/

  • As prevailing statistics and facts continue revealing, a great number of Homosexuals get pleasure from having sexual relations with kids, so it has everything to do with the sexual and mental abuse of young children.

  • “Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.” – Job 15:6

    How very intriguing it is to observe just how identical you are to your predecessors. The Antichristian leaders of the 1st century likewise maintained of the early Christians: “truly as regards this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere.” (Acts 28:22) Paul together with Silas were charged of having “overturned the inhabited earth,” operating “in opposition to the decrees of Caesar.” (Acts 17:6, 7)

    These kinds of mendacious charges completely failed to stop the ancient Christians from accomplishing their commission to preach the good news of the Kingdom. In 60-61 C.E., Paul spoke about the “good news” which had been “bearing fruit and increasing in all the world” and ended up being “preached in all creation under heaven.” (Col. 1:5, 6, 23)

    Today, we as Jehovah’s Witnesses are falsely accused, even as the first-century Christians were. Yet, the work of preaching the Kingdom message prospers and brings to those who share in it much happiness.

    But Jehovah God absolutely hates all of those who, just like you’ve done, condemn the righteous. (Proverbs 17:15)

    Repent from your disgraceful sin and then turn to Jehovah for “you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed .” (Romans 2:5)

  • Bones

    Lol…your organisation has aided and enabled abuse of the most vulnerable and you bleat about being falsely accused.

    This has nothing to do with persecution in the first century.

  • Bones

    Does your organisation teach that homosexuals are paedophiles?

    It’s funny watching you squirm.

  • Bones

    Do Jehovah’s Witnesses break up families?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1isMKYBy-z8

    Yep, seen this in my aunt’s family. It’s a prick of a religion.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses Disrupt Families, Survey Finds

    The survey asked how doctrinal policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses affected families of former members. Sixty-five percent answered that the policy destroyed or seriously disrupted their family relationships. Fifty-three percent stated that their family wanted “no contact at all”. Also, seventeen percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses actively shunning a relative only get in touch when they “need something”, says the survey conducted by JWAlumni.org, a Jehovah’s Witnesses News website. The Watchtower Society, the corporation overseeing Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, promotes the policy of shunning in their literature and has labeled critical ex-members “mentally diseased”.

    Shunning is an extreme form of ex-communication (“disfellowshipping”) whereby a person who committed a sin according to the Watchtower Society’s standards or who has chosen to revoke their membership in the organization is then socially isolated by Jehovah’s Witnesses – the ‘silent treatment’ on a larger scale.

    Fifty-nine percent of the victims’ families admitted the reason they were shunning a relative was the hope they would return to the organization. “All in the congregation can show principled love by avoiding contact and conversation with the disfellowshipped person,” explained a recent Watchtower magazine published by JW.org. “Family members can show love for the congregation and the erring one by respecting the disfellowshipping decision.”

    This is what the High School student, whose YouTube video exposing Jehovah’s Witnesses went viral recently, experienced. The mother told JWAlumni.org what a Jehovah’s Witness relative said to her daughter: “My love is not conditional but my association is.” Emotional blackmail through social isolation is an integral element of the shunning policy of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Misha Anouk, founding editor of JWAlumni.org, describes the tragic bottom line of Jehovah’s Witness policy: “Our families and former friends would rather spend eternity without us than spend the rest of their lives with us, thereby risking their hope of everlasting life.” In his german-language bestseller Goodbye, Jehova!, Anouk describes childhood and youth in the organization and relates how his decision to leave Jehovah’s Witnesses ultimately led to his family shunning him. His is not an isolated incident. At a recent convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the audience applauded a mother who told her children: “I love you, I would die for you, but if you ever leave Jehovah, I won’t be there for you.”

    The findings of the survey conducted among 1,055 adults in the US, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany are best summarized by the young High School Student mentioned above: “If what you’re looking for in your life is love, this organization is not where you’re going to find it.”

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jehovahs-witnesses-disrupt-families-survey-finds-300101146.html

  • No one is ever prohibited from reporting criminal activities, ever.

  • Congregation elders have never been law enforcement officials. Criminal matters are the concern of criminal government authorities.

  • Jesus warned, “Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword. For I came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Indeed, a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.

    Whoever has greater affection for father or mother than for me is not worthy of me; and whoever has greater affection for son or daughter than for me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his soul* will lose it, and whoever loses his soul* for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)

  • When were you disfellowshipped?

  • “In the gay world, some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men, they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys.” – Milo Yiannopoulos

    There’s also all of the glaring media attention Hollywood and Washington homosexual predators have been getting these last few months.

    Forgive me for asking but, have you been living under a rock?

  • I see what you’re saying given that practicing homosexuals are allowed to become members of the Christian congregation . . . oh . . . wait . . .

  • Bones

    We’re also talking about young girls……Its weird that a JW would be quote mining Milo.

  • Bones

    Gay people are not the same as paedophiles….

    It’s astounding you can’t see the difference.

    But we are seeing why your organisation is despicable.

  • Bones

    Thankfully never was one.

    Saw what it did to my aunt’s family though.

    What a hideous organisation.

  • Bones

    Wow, you actually condone breaking up families…..that is not what Jesus was on about.

    This isn’t going the way you planned is it

  • Bones

    Congregational elders have refused to work with secular authorities and have placed themselves above the law.

  • Bones

    Rubbish.

    The JW organisation places itself above the law.

    But the Royal Commission highlighted a number of areas that are flawed within the religion, particularly around the handling of child abuse victims. These include:

    *The two-witness rule. A rule within the religion that states officials cannot accept an accusation of child abuse unless there was a second person who also witnessed the abuse – something that rarely happens.
    *Women’s role (or lack of) in the congregation and judicial committee process. As a patriarchal religion, women are to view men as their head. They cannot be part of a judicial committee. In practise this means a young female victim must go into graphic details of her abuse alone in front of three older men.
    *The expectation that the victim confront the perpetrator as part of the process.
    *Not making it mandatory for elders to report accusation of abuse. While not being obliged to report accusations may be legally acceptable in some states, the Royal Commission identified that the judicial committee process meant that often elders would uncover actual proof of a crime, even a confession, but still not report it. At this stage, where it had moved from an allegation to proof of a crime, there was a legal obligation to report.
    *Not reporting allegations to the police. This practise was to protect Jehovah’s name, and was due to a general mistrust of people in “the world”. According to Watchtower: “While some contact with worldly people is unavoidable – at work, at school, and otherwise – we must be vigilant so as to keep from being sucked back into the death-dealing atmosphere of this world.”
    *Fear of psychologists, based on the belief that they may give advice that is not in line with Watchtower principles.
    *The Royal Commission also highlighted that because of Jehovah Witnesses’ insistence on separation from “worldly” society, they were unwilling to join other organisations in any sort of redress scheme for victims.

    Evidence given at the commission also contradicted the claim from those within the religion that child sex abuse was “very rare”. The commission heard there were almost 300 cases in the last 10 years, and Toole testified that for the past two years he had received three or four calls a month about new cases. For such a relatively small organisation, that’s a huge problem. What’s more, this only includes reported cases, and not the many people that no doubt remain silent.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-10/grundy-flaws-in-jehovahs-witness/6680286

  • I’ll be more explicit, then.

    Sexually immoral individuals are not permitted to form part of the Christian congregation.

    Any Christian who practices sexual immorality is removed from the congregation.

  • A minority of pedophiles are heterosexual but the overwhelming number of them are homosexual, like it or not.

  • You’re engaging in equivocation, a deceitful rhetorical tactic.

    Christ’s warning was descriptive, not prescriptive.

    Try again.

  • Prove it.

  • Les Mayer

    Biologos, as an organization, doesn’t affirm whether Adam and Eve were historical or not, their statement of beliefs says nothing about it. I do know there are a diversity of views held by people in, or affiliated with, Biologos, on the historicity subject. I’m sure there are differing atonement views as well. There are people like Vander Zee, Wright, McKnight, and Walton, all the way to Pete Enns, a pretty eclectic set of beliefs all gathered in peaceful, respectful conversation, that was my main point in posting the video. There are ways of thinking, and talking about this subject without having to be dogmatic about one particular view as opposed to all others, by basically dismissing all other interpretations as somehow sub-biblical or even heretical. There are people in the Biologos conversation that I have some major disagreements with theologically, but at least the spirit of the conversation there is charitable. Peace my friend!

  • Bones

    Yes they are.

  • Bones

    I’m not equivocating anything. I’m claiming your organisation’s teaching enables abuse and destroys victims. You also break up families.

    Nothing deceitful about it as we all know about it.

    Christ warned about sheep in wolves clothing seeking to devour the innocent.

    People like your cultic organisation.

  • Bones

    Lol….you just linked to this thread.

  • Bones

    I already have……

  • Bones

    Paedophilia is not the same as homosexuality….it’s unbeleivebale you can’t even see that.

    But hey it’s your organisation which protects them and enables them to abuse little kids.

    All because you think you are some god ordained organisation which is more concerned about its image.

    Keep going.

    I know what your organisation has done to kids.

    Let’s let everyone here know.

  • Bones

    Rubbish. Satan rules your organisation with fear of being ostracised for telling the Truth.

    And apparently I’m the evil one…..Shows how disgusting your organisation is.

    BCG
    BCG was raised in a strict Jehovah’s Witness family. When she was a child she was sexually abused by her father, who was at the time a ministerial servant. BCG reported her abuse to the elders in her congregation. She was then required to make her allegation in the presence of the elders and her father as part of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s internal disciplinary process. At the time of her complaint, the elders were already investigating BCG’s father over his extramarital relationship
    with a woman in the congregation. The elders investigated BCG’s complaint concurrently with the extramarital matter.
    Although BCG’s sisters had also alleged abuse by their father, the elders concluded that there was not enough evidence to establish the truth of BCG’s allegation. The elders decided to disfellowship (or expel from the congregation) BCG’s father for his extramarital conduct. BCG’s father appealed that decision. During his appeal committee hearing, he confessed to sexually abusing BCG. He was subsequently disfellowshipped on grounds relating to his abuse of BCG and his extramarital conduct.
    About three years later, BCG’s father was reinstated (or permitted to return) to the congregation as a member of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation.
    Some 10 years later, BCG decided to leave the Jehovah’s Witness organisation. After leaving, she reported her abuse to the police. After three trials, BCG’s father was found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment. The Royal Commission heard that BCG had previously found it difficult to take her complaint to the police for fear of being disfellowshipped. BCG told the Royal Commission that when she decided to leave the organisation she was shunned and ostracised by her congregation for doing so.

    BCB
    BCB was sexually abused as a child by a man who was an elder in her congregation and the father of a close Jehovah’s Witness friend. BCB first disclosed her abuse as an adult while she was still a Jehovah’s Witness. The investigating elders required her to make her allegation in the presence of the two elders and her abuser. As there was no second witness to her abuse and her abuser did not confess, the elders concluded that there was not enough evidence to establish the truth of BCB’s allegation. Following the elders’ investigation, BCB’s abuser stepped down from his position as an elder in the congregation.

    Reporting to authorities
    There was no evidence before the Royal Commission of the Jehovah’s Witness organisation having reported either BCG’s or BCB’s complaint to police or any other secular authority

    What’s it like to be part of an organisation that protects child abusers?

    How Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders hide child abuse secrets at all costs

    The leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has boldly defied court orders to turn over the names and whereabouts of alleged child sexual abusers across the United States.

    Since 2014, courts have slapped the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ parent corporation – the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York – with multimillion-dollar judgments and sanctions for violating orders to hand over secret documents.

    The documents could serve as a road map to what are likely thousands of alleged child abusers living freely in communities across the country, who still could be abusing kids. The files include the names of known and suspected perpetrators, the locations of their congregations and descriptions of their alleged crimes.

    “I’ve been practicing law for 37 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said attorney Irwin Zalkin, who represents victims of sexual abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses. “They do everything to protect the reputation of the organization over the safety of children.”

    Zalkin said he believes that state and federal law enforcement agencies have a moral obligation to investigate the Watchtower’s child abuse policies and seize its files.

    “It’s a public safety issue,” he said. “At this point, this needs to be investigated.”

    Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting made repeated attempts to interview officials from law enforcement agencies who could potentially obtain search warrants for the documents – the New York and California attorneys general and U.S. Department of Justice. None of the agencies agreed to talk.

    For more than 25 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses officials have instructed local leaders – known as elders – in all of the religion’s 14,000 U.S. congregations to hide sexual abuse from law enforcement. Instead, abusers were to be handled internally.

    That secrecy is a tenet of the religion. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught to avoid the outside world. They don’t vote or serve in the military and usually don’t go to college.

    Predators purposefully exploit that isolation, said Kathleen Hallisey, a London attorney spearheading similar civil lawsuits in England.

    “I think they choose those types of environments very carefully, where they know they can operate with impunity, and unfortunately, the policies of the Watchtower allow them to continue to do that again and again and again,” Hallisey said.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses leaders have refused to discuss the cases. Last year, they issued a statement saying they abhor child abuse and comply with all child abuse reporting laws.

    The Watchtower appealed the $13.5 million ruling in the Lopez case. The appeals court ruled earlier this year that the judge should not have thrown the Watchtower out of court before trying less extreme measures, such as daily fines until it produces the documents.

    But the court also upheld the order for the Watchtower to hand over all its child abuse files, unredacted except for the names of the victims. The case is back in the lower court.

    Meanwhile, Zalkin currently has 18 lawsuits pending against the Watchtower.

    He also has four years of redacted documents locked in a filing cabinet in his office. The judge’s protective order prevents him from saying how many documents he received or describing what they reveal about child abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations.

    “It’s very frustrating to have seen what I’ve seen and to know what is going on in this institution and this organization,” he said. “It’s very frustrating when I’ve got a gag in my mouth. It’s pretty hard. We’re trying our best to expose this truth, and they’re doing everything they can to interfere with that effort, to block that effort.”

    https://www.revealnews.org/article/how-jehovahs-witnesses-leaders-hide-child-abuse-secrets-at-all-costs/

  • Bones

    Btw that’s a government commissioned report presided over by federal judges with evidence taken under oath.

  • Bones

    Jesus had nothing to do with the Watchtower

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pU5pRwKH-kk

  • Chuck Johnson

    “The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views…which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” Uttered by the Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, in the episode “The Face of Evil.”

  • Chuck Johnson

    God is doing a disappearing act.
    I think of him as a Cheshire cat.
    All that’s left of him is his smile.

  • kenofken

    “Our faith is not fickle. Our faith is not fragile. Our faith does not depend on a specific hermeneutical approach to Genesis.”

    True. What it depends on is multi-generational fear conditioning among a population of people who are culturally, geographically, economically and intellectually isolated, ignorant and unable or disinclined to exercise critical thinking skills.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘wasting YOUR time/
    Spinning YOUR own wheels’, STS:
    Question?
    Who is responsible for a person/unbeliever going to Hell,

  • Erwin
  • Brad Denham

    Yey!

  • Brad Denham

    How then do you explain people coming to faith without being conditioned by the previous generation?
    And, last time I checked I was part of the culture, exist here geographically (unless you consider Canada isolated) and earn money and pay taxes.
    The above statement alone suggests I have critical thinking skills.
    So who is inclined to ignore the facts or are you unable?

    If you are so inclined to use the word “ignorant” in a pejorative way (like I have seen from many already) about my supposed ignorance of science then I could understand your argument though respectfully disagree.

    As an addendum, this portion is directed at Mr. Bones.
    As per Proverbs 23:9 – Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
    And Proverbs 26:12 – Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
    You’re crass comments make you a candidate for the person descibed in these verses.
    That is why I do not respond to your invective and have blocked your comments.
    I can handle vehement disagreement with my opinions and will even adjust them if so inclined.
    Having said that, not with you sir.
    You epitomise bigotry and intolerance and I thought that was the domain of us Christians (falsely accused).
    You are a prime example of the supposed tolerant being the most intolerant. And you call us hypocrites?
    You are like a child that has to get the last word in on every comment.
    Not playing that game.

  • Bones

    Lol….get back on the meds dude.

  • Bones

    There are plenty of articles there about Original Sin even though they recognise that Adam and Eve didn’t exist. Evangelicals need it.

  • Bones

    Amazing, isn’t it.

  • Les Mayer

    I’ve never perused that particular aspect of their site. When it comes to “things evangelicals need” you and I probably have much the same list of items nailed down. Keeping this short as I can see you’ve got your hands full already on this comment section lol…have fun with that!

  • D.M.S.

    They’re the same thing. Mental illness.

  • Bones

    No they’really not.

    Fundamentalism is a mental illness.

  • Bones

    Yeah, you just didn’t get it.

    There’s no surprise.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t know what that is.
    Christ Jesus is my Lord, Savior and Master.
    I serve Jesus.the Christ.

  • xstaticprocess

    @disqus_iz5fcdqSyS:disqus, Kudos to you for arguing with religious fundamentalists. It’s quite hysterical to read their bullshit, arguing with them is the equivalent of bashing one’s head into a wall, so mad props :)

  • Bones

    No, you’re as deranged as your JW mate.

  • Bones

    Lol…..it’s funny watching them run around in circles.

  • Bones
  • Chuck Johnson

    Emma Peel, too !

  • Erwin

    Re Genesis1:
    3,6,9,11,14,20,26,29
    …”and God said

  • D.M.S.

    NO, JW here…

  • Brad Denham

    I agree Erwin,

    Problem is (and it took me some time to figure this out) that you are dealing with “Progressive Christians” for the most part.
    Straight forward commonsense applied to the text is lost on them. If it does not fit their suppositions they make it allegory.
    They do not see the danger of making God in their own image. A belief in the Holiness of God has been expunged from their theology. No wrath, no judgment. No hell.
    (This soon becomes “God hates children and woman and homosexuals etc., in their eyes so we “fundamentalist” do also). All Love and no Holiness.
    Like Marcion they deny the Trinity. Jesus is just an all loving example we are to emulate. The God of the Old Testament is a tyrant.
    Creates the confusion that we see on this site. Supposed “christians” in denial of the whole council of God from beginning to end. Wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    They will throw much scripture at you that aligns with their heresy and claim that we who take the bible literally are like the pharisees who read the scriptures but could not appreciate Jesus for who he really was.
    Our adversary is alive and well here.

    The atheist loves it. Quite frankly, the atheist sometimes makes more sense that the so called christians for they, having lost their way, do indeed spout ‘incoherent babble” as one described it. The atheist at least has a foundation for his thoughts – evolution and argue from that perspective. These progressives have no foundation. The Jesus they claim as their foundation is another Jesus. Confusion reigns and it makes all Christians look silly. Did not the bible warn us of this?

    Then you be attacked and maligned. There is no end to their insults. Some are more polite to be sure but the standard epithets will be forthcoming.
    Hypocrite, no critical thinking skills, anti-intellectual, homophobic woman haters, gullible etc..
    Any orthodoxy, theology, doctrine etc. is seen only as tradition full if lies and errors that was o.k.back then for the ignorant and superstitious but obviously sheer stupidity to the postmodern man. They fail to see they are starting their own denomination after they malign every other denomination as mindless idiots. Don’t you know every denomination is full of errors? (Some, even many, actually are)
    And then there is “bones”. He will attack. I guess he is the progressives bulldog. I have blocked his messages. Possibly demonic. He will lol.

    Be prepared to contend for the faith as Jude calls us to do.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘Fear

  • Brad Denham

    Right on.
    Scrpiture speaks for itself.
    The wisdom of man is deception.

  • Erwin

    Again,

  • Bones

    Lol…Calvinism….what bullshit.

  • Bones

    You’re no different.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘Calvinism/Lutheranism/
    Reformation Theology’:
    ref

  • D.M.S.

    Christ Jesus is my Lord and Savior.

  • Bones

    No..He isn’t.

  • Bones

    Then stop deceiving people.

    Scripture doesn’t speak to anyone.

    It’s what you read into it.

  • Bones

    “:i.e.,
    including Genesis”

    Yeah, nah. The pharisees thought the same…

    Can you do anything other than dishonestly take verses out of context.

  • Bones

    Calvinism = Bullshit….

    As is Reformed Theology…

    It’s all just Medieval Catholicism Lite.

  • Tim

    Yes, it is setting itself up for a fall. Any theory can be utterly destroyed by one fact that disproves it.

    The fact is, they have even found trees that are older than 6,000 years.

    What Ken Ham’s version of Christianity amounts to is superstition (belief in things that have been proven incorrect.)

  • Lark62

    This makes me sad.

  • Lark62

    So if you violate just one of God’s commands, it would be just to inflict pain on your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren.

    You and your deity have a sick and demented definition of “just.”

  • Lark62

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are exceedingly cruel – separating families by shunning when a person rejects any part of their nonsense.

    JWs refuse to accept modern medical treatments based on one random verse. They celebrate when a child dies after refusing a blood transfusion, because “faithfulness” is more important than the life of a child.

    It’s best not to believe the lies people tell about themselves.

  • Lark62

    Sexual assault of children is epidemic in JWs. But since they reject any accusation without two witnesses, poof, no credible accusations of sexual assault.

  • Lark62

    Do not bear false witness.

  • Brad Denham

    I do not make God in my image. I only state what he says about himself.
    Do you also have a problem with his being Holy?

  • Lark62

    You did not answer my question.

    Is it just to punish people, including people not yet born, for the actions of another?

    The possible answers are yes or no.

    The correct answer is “no”. There is nothing just about punishing one person for something a different person did.

    The fictional character Voldemort as described in the Harry Potter books is evil. The fictional characters Saruman and Sauron as described in Lord of the Rings are evil. The fictional character Yahweh as described in the bible is evil.

  • Brad Denham

    With a comment like that, I would guess you are hoping Satan is fictional also.

  • “In the gay world, some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men, they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys.” – Milo Yiannopoulos

    There’s also all of the glaring media attention Hollywood and Washington homosexual predators have been getting these last few months.

  • Prove it.

  • Since when is infecting someone with TRALI, HIV, Human T-lymphotropic virus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chagas, West Nile virus or causing them to die from Sepsis, Acute Kidney failure, Intravascular Coagulation or a Hemolytic reaction ethical and logical?

    Bloodless medical science is the gold standard of medical care the world over.

  • Prove it.

  • Lark62

    Don’t bear false witness. JWs don’t let children die for lack of blood transfusions because of any of those irrational fears. They let children die – and celebrate when they do – because of one verse in an ancient mythological text.

  • Lark62

    The predators who are getting attention are primarily heterosexual.

    Random quotes from one disgusting individual have no bearing on the behavior of anyone else. I can find many quotes by white males advocating marriage of young girls to old men. But trying to condemn all straight men based on those quotes would obviously be ludicrously unfair, as are your condemnations of an entite demographic based on the words of one rather disgusting person.

  • Lark62

    Still dodging my question.

  • Lark62

    No. Darwin was not an advocate of racism. The term “races” as used by Darwin does not have the same meaning as we use today.

    And even if he were, that would have zero bearing on the accuracy of the Theory of Evolution based on Darwin’s work and the emsuing 150+ years of scientific advancement.

    I take it you have never read either The Origin of the Species nor any modern book addressing the Theory of Evolution.

  • Prove it’s mythology.

  • Prove “we celebrate” when our children die.

  • Bones

    Yet funny how Martin Luther’s antisemitism is ignored…….

    Charles Darwin was neither a racist nor the demon that Christians have made him out ot be.

    In fact he donated thousands of pounds to missions in South America.

  • Bones

    Well I already have.

  • Bones

    Why are you quoting Milo, the paedophile apologist?

  • When people reveal who they really are, believe them. There’s certainly no good reason to assume that what Milo exposed is not representative of the gay world considering there was zero condemnation of his assertion from the gay world. Every one of them kept silent simply because he was telling the truth.

    As such, never be angry at homosexuals for being who they really are. Be upset with yourself for not coming to terms with it sooner.

  • Where?

  • When were you disfellowshipped?

  • Bones

    On this thread.

  • Bones

    YOu’ve already asked me this.

    I was never a JW but have family members who were.

  • Bones

    I know paedophiles and they were married to women…….

    Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation

    Members of disliked minority groups are often stereotyped as representing a danger to the majority’s most vulnerable members. For example, Jews in the Middle Ages were accused of murdering Christian babies in ritual sacrifices. Black men in the United States were often lynched after being falsely accused of raping White women.
    In a similar fashion, gay people have often been portrayed as a threat to children. Back in 1977, when Anita Bryant campaigned successfully to repeal a Dade County (FL) ordinance prohibiting anti-gay discrimination, she named her organization “Save Our Children,” and warned that “a particularly deviant-minded [gay] teacher could sexually molest children” (Bryant, 1977, p. 114). [Bibliographic references are on a different web page]

    In recent years, antigay activists have routinely asserted that gay people are child molesters. This argument was often made in debates about the Boy Scouts of America’s policy to exclude gay scouts and scoutmasters. More recently, in the wake of Rep. Mark Foley’s resignation from the US House of Representatives in 2006, antigay activists and their supporters seized on the scandal to revive this canard.

    It has also been raised in connection with scandals about the Catholic church’s attempts to cover up the abuse of young males by priests. Indeed, the Vatican’s early response to the 2002 revelations of widespread Church cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests was to declare that gay men should not be ordained.

    Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males…” (p.180).

    Other researchers have taken different approaches, but have similarly failed to find a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children’s hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% of cases in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994).
    In yet another approach to studying adult sexual attraction to children, some Canadian researchers observed how homosexual and heterosexual adult men responded to slides of males and females of various ages (child, pubescent, and mature adult). All of the research subjects were first screened to ensure that they preferred physically mature sexual partners. In some of the slides shown to subjects, the model was clothed; in others, he or she was nude. The slides were accompanied by audio recordings. The recordings paired with the nude models described an imaginary sexual interaction between the model and the subject. The recordings paired with the pictures of clothed models described the model engaging in neutral activities (e.g., swimming). To measure sexual arousal, changes in the subjects’ penis volume were monitored while they watched the slides and listened to the audiotapes. The researchers found that homosexual males responded no more to male children than heterosexual males responded to female children (Freund et al., 1989).

    In summary, each of these studies failed to support the hypothesis that homosexual males are more likely than heterosexual men to molest children or to be sexually attracted to children or adolescents.

    Reflecting the results of these and other studies, as well as clinical experience, the mainstream view among researchers and professionals who work in the area of child sexual abuse is that homosexual and bisexual men do not pose any special threat to children. For example, in one review of the scientific literature, noted authority Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote:
    Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).
    In a later literature review, Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) similarly cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women” (p. 259).

    This well known lack of a linkage between homosexuality and child molestation accounts for why relatively little research has directly addressed the issue. For example, a 1998 comprehensive review of published empirical research on the sexual abuse of boys reported only one study (the 1994 study by Jenny and colleagues, cited above) that included data about the self-reported sexual orientation of perpetrators (Holmes & Slap, 1998).

    Proving something that is already widely known simply isn’t a priority for scientists. Indeed, a commentary that accompanied publication of the study by Jenny et al. in Pediatrics noted that debates about gay people as molesters “have little to do with everyday child abuse” and lamented that they distract lawmakers and the public from dealing with the real problem of children’s sexual mistreatment (Krugman, 1994).

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

  • Bones

    Unbelievable that people use the right wing troll, Milo, for justifying their ignorance….

    The facts tell us otherwise….

    Gays are no more likely to be child molestors than you are. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if there is a relationship between conservatives and paedophilia.

    Using the fixated-regressed distinction, Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47%) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40%) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13%) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males…” (p.180).

    Other researchers have taken different approaches, but have similarly failed to find a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children’s hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% of cases in which an adult molester could be identified – only 2 of the 269 cases (Jenny et al., 1994).
    In yet another approach to studying adult sexual attraction to children, some Canadian researchers observed how homosexual and heterosexual adult men responded to slides of males and females of various ages (child, pubescent, and mature adult). All of the research subjects were first screened to ensure that they preferred physically mature sexual partners. In some of the slides shown to subjects, the model was clothed; in others, he or she was nude. The slides were accompanied by audio recordings. The recordings paired with the nude models described an imaginary sexual interaction between the model and the subject. The recordings paired with the pictures of clothed models described the model engaging in neutral activities (e.g., swimming). To measure sexual arousal, changes in the subjects’ penis volume were monitored while they watched the slides and listened to the audiotapes. The researchers found that homosexual males responded no more to male children than heterosexual males responded to female children (Freund et al., 1989).

    http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

  • Bones
  • Bones

    Science education the Ken Ham way…….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=AZt9qe6AIbk

  • Lark62
  • Lark62

    Given my conclusions on the reality of Voldemort, Saruman, Sauron and Yahweh, let’s see if you can guess whether I’m worried about Satan.

    To help you out, I will add that I think Oden, Osiris, Poseidon, Brer Rabbit, Darth Vader and Zeus are also make believe.

  • Brad Denham

    You also dodged mine.
    Jesus, (Yahweh) dodged many questions for he knew the motive of the ones asking him were insincere.
    I will indulge you but I suspect a nonsensical response that will be intended to demean.

    People will be held responsible for their own sin and that is just.
    Eve was deceived and Adam knowingly disobeyed. They are held responsible. Their previous sinless nature is now sinful and that nature is passed on to progeny.
    No one is born without a sinful nature. Pelagianism is heresy. Thus, all sin because all are born with a sinful nature, and are held responsible for their own inevitable sin.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    The reason you do not believe this is because you refuse to acknowledge you are a sinner who also will be held accountable by a just and Holy God – Yahweh.
    Satan has a a way of mingling truth with error and you are seeing things his way and buying his lies.

  • Brad Denham

    Rev. 6:15-17
    Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

    It is not Satan you need to worry about.

  • Lark62

    Why do you quote the bible to influence a person who has concluded the bible is myth?

    That would be like a person trying to make a point with you by quoting the koran when they know full well you do not consider the koran meaningful or useful.

    Serious question. Why do you think random, out of context soundbites from a 2000 to 3000 year old mythology will influence my opinion of anything?

  • When were you disfellowshipped?

  • You make a distinction without a difference.

    Men who love penis still love penis.

  • Homosexuality is much more than a threat to children, they’re a threat to all of humanity:

    “Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the US population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV and are the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily since the early 1990s. In 2006, MSM accounted for more than half (53%) of all new HIV infections in the United States, and MSM with a history of injection drug use (MSM-IDU) accounted for an additional 4% of new infections. At the end of 2006, more than half (53%) of all people living with HIV in the United States were MSM or MSM-IDU. Since the beginning of the US epidemic,MSM have consistently represented the largest percentage of persons diagnosed with AIDS and persons with an AIDS diagnosis who have died.” (Center for Disease Control, http://1.usa.gov/1pO6flp)

    “CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 people are newly infected with HIV each year in the United States. In 2009 (the most recent year that data are available), there were an estimated 48,100 new HIV infections.1 Most (61%) of these new infections occurred in gay and bisexual men.” (Center for Disease Control, http://1.usa.gov/1rf1mmA)

    “MSM are the only risk group in the U.S. in which new HIV infections are increasing. While new infections have declined among both heterosexuals and injection drug users, the annual number of new HIV infections among MSM has been steadily increasing since the early 1990s.” (http://bit.ly/WMHC0q)

    “The fragility of the anus and rectum, along with the immunosuppressive effect of ejaculate, make anal-genital intercourse a most efficient manner of transmitting HIV and other infections. The list of diseases found with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners as a result of anal intercourse is alarming:

    Anal Cancer
    Chlamydia trachomatis
    Cryptosporidium
    Giardia lamblia
    Herpes simplex virus
    Human immunodeficiency virus
    Human papilloma virus
    Isospora belli
    Microsporidia
    Gonorrhea
    Viral hepatitis types B & C
    Syphilis[7]

    Sexual transmission of some of these diseases is so rare in the exclusively heterosexual population as to be virtually unknown. Others, while found among heterosexual and homosexual practitioners, are clearly predominated by those involved in homosexual activity. Syphilis, for example is found among heterosexual and homosexual practitioners. But in 1999, King County, Washington (Seattle), reported that 85 percent of syphilis cases were among self-identified homosexual practitioners.[8] And as noted above, syphilis among homosexual men is now at epidemic levels in San Francisco.[9]”

    [7] Anne Rompalo, “Sexually Transmitted Causes of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Homosexual Men,” Medical Clinics of North America, 74(6): 1633-1645 (November 1990); “Anal Health for Men and Women,” LGBTHealthChannel, http://lgbthealth.healthcommunities.com/analhealth/index.shtml (accessed 3/18/10); “Safer Sex (MSM) for Men who Have Sex with Men,” LGBTHealthChannel, http://www.gayhealthchannel.com/stdmsm/ (accessed 3/18/10).

    [8] “Resurgent Bacterial Sexually Transmitted Disease Among Men Who Have Sex With Men — King County, Washington, 1997-1999,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC, 48(35): 773-777 (September 10, 1999). [26] Heredia, “Big spike in cases of syphilis in S.F.: Gay, bisexual men affected most.”

    [9] Heredia, “Big spike in cases of syphilis in S.F.: Gay, bisexual men affected most.”

    Read “What Nature Intended: (Six Factors Demonstrating Homosexuality to be a Dysfunction)” by Puig, L. T.

    Homosexuality is, hence, a life and death public health issue just like Typhoid Mary and the spread of Typhoid Fever was in the early 20th century.

  • Brad Denham

    I have been responding to your questions with the only answers that I think can penetrate the vale of darkness that blinds you to truth. (Not meant to insult)
    Answers from myself based on my own wisdom, or lack thereof, would only lead to a debate, with large doses of wit and never ending sarcasm.
    I have no other source of spiritual wisdom/knowledge than what I believe is God’s revelation. Other sources of knowledge (like science) I acknowledge but they all come under the authority of scripture.
    So, if you ask another question (as respectfully as you can please), I will do my best to answer but be assured, my basis for understanding reality is the bible.

    May I ask you something: Why are you asking me questions?
    Are you trying to save me from the lies I purport to believe?
    Am I a blight on society, and hence you feel the need to convert me to humanism for the betterment of society, or eradicate my faith?
    In all honesty, is this just a hobby you do for fun to pass the day? What is the motivation?
    I ask the above questions in all sincerity. Not trying to push your buttons.

  • Where?

  • Lark62

    These claims are curricular.

    Eve sinned, so all women will have pain in childbirth, but it’s because each person is a sinner because Eve sinned.

    Everyone is born with a sinful nature but it’s their own fault.

    It makes no sense. Seriously. It’s like squeezing jello. First its because of Adam and Eve. When challenged with the injustice of that, then everyone is a sinner. But everyone is born with a sinful nature, which takes us back to punishing people for being born.

    Sin is a make believe condition, “an offense against god.” The bible condemns murder and theft (if the victim is part of your group), tattoos, shrimp cocktail, bacon cheeseburgers, and gathering firewood on the wrong day. Those are sins.

    The bible never condemns torture, marrying 12 year old girls, owning slaves, raping your wife, or killing every man, woman, and child in a neighboring village as long as those people don’t share your religion. Those are not sins.

    Let me assure you I do not care what your book of myths considers to be an offense against your invisible deity.

    Edited

  • Brad Denham

    Circular reasoning does not prove it is untrue.
    If that’s all the info. God gave, then I accept it. (God does give more in other places)
    The lie that Eve bought – that she (we) can be like God, knowing good and evil, (instead of trusting and obeying God) is the same lie you have bought.
    It only proves the concept. You also are drawing many foolish and false conclusions which also only proves the point.
    Your version of “christianity” is a straw man. Many so-called Christians have abused religion and power/politics and authority for their own selfish gains. They also will be held accountable.

  • Bones

    Dude….read the thread.

    Your cult really has blinded you hasn’t it.

  • Bones

    So having had your dishonest position smashed you just go to straight out bigotry.

    Btw lesbians are safer than heterosexuals….

    Thanks for pointing out how disgusting your religion is.

    Its actually people like JWs who cause harm to gay people and those around them.

  • Bones

    I just smashed your gays are paedophiles lies.

    And now you just show yourself for the gay hating troll you are.

    We’ve come a long way from the propaganda you first posted about how wonderful JWs were.

    The truth has exposed our organisation for the hating cultic mob they are.

  • Bones

    Circular reasoning is a fallacy.

    i’m perfect because I say I am.

    Especially when the quran makes claims about itself.

    you’really quick to deny that aren’t you?

    The thing is your lies aren’t any different.

    A being who curses women with pain and death isn’t worth being followed any more than Quetzalcoatl.

    and don’t give that shit about judging god because you judge gods all the time.

  • Bones

    In what way are women accountable for eve”s actions?

    That’s like me punishing all my kids for what one of them did.

    It’s f***ed.

  • When were you disfellowshipped?

  • Bones

    Do I need to answer this three times?

  • Shane Thee

    Can you give a reference for where Peter or Paul wrote that?

  • Shane Thee

    There is no other requirement to be saved. Romans 10:9 “9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

    Nothing you do will save you. Ephesians 2:8-9

    “8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

  • Shane Thee

    So what all do believe is required for salvation?

  • Bones

    Lol……unlike the Bible commissioned by a paedophile.

    Speaking of context John was written by a sectarian group of messianic JEws who had been kicked out of their syanagogue.

  • Bones

    Yeah that’s pretty dumb like your tests are the same as say someone raped by a priest……and it’s interesting that its you condemning people to hell.

  • Bones

    Yeah…nah…the kingdom of God isn’t heaven.

  • John,
    Evidence?

  • John

    Look at the comment chain. My first post had evidence.

  • It doesn’t appear here, John, but i recall it as being just the same empty claim.

    You give no refutation of my claim — that your “conservative,” i.e. reactionary and ignorant, churches have huge but very fast throughput.

  • Bones

    Ham went to the US because he knows there are more nutters there.

    No way would he get the attention and money he wants here.

  • MikeinSonoma

    I think acting like a mafia boss and treating a God as your enforcer doesn’t do your case well. It pretty much demonstrates the case against religious extremists.
    Now I’m an atheist, I’m sure you’re not interested at all in what I have to say, but I come to, and support this site because I believe good people, whether their faithful or not, need to cone together to fight back against the extremist. If the extremist wins we all lose.
    My mother was a good person and lived her life using Christ scripture as her guide, never did I hear her suggest she knew who would need mercy… I think she would find it presumptuous.

  • MikeinSonoma

    Can you see how that doctrine could be used by any extremist to cause friction in families and break them up for political and religious reasons? We see it happening in Islamic nations with Islamic involvement in government. Honor killings can find its base in that philosophy that you just quoted.

  • Christ was Muslim?

  • disqus_7wWyVBLcfS

    That was an interesting analysis with good points. It seems to me that when we simplify Scripture and the interpretation of Scripture, as young folks mature and learns the processes of critical analysis, it is likely they will reject the simplified views and ideas people have tried to foist off on them.I subscribe to Marcus Borg’s idea of pre-critical and post critical faith: in my post critical faith I do not have to insist that every detail be factually, materially true true. Like the native tribal historian she quotes, “I don’t know if it happened exactly this way, but I know it’s true.” “What, I say, “snakes and donkeys don’t talk? That’s okay with me, no big deal.”

  • disqus_7wWyVBLcfS

    “Scripture speaks for itself.” By the Holy Spirit guides each of us to understandings of Scripture which we can best understand and subscribe to at any point during their lives, is what I think. There are several ways to read Scripture, literally is just one, metaphorically, morally and as analogy are other ways to read Scripture