Reflections on My Growing and Sustained Religious Doubt

Reflections on My Growing and Sustained Religious Doubt November 17, 2014

Editor’s Note: A recently retired Episcopal priest explores her early and growing doubts about her faith and how those doubts diminished instead of strengthened her faith. 

==========================

small_14890444486By Caroline Fairless

My confirmation in the Episcopal Church as a 7th Grader coincided with my first communion and my last day of voluntary Sunday attendance – a hiatus which would last for twenty-five years. I would like to attribute that to an extended period of what was often referred to as “the doubting faithful,” but it wasn’t. On my confirmation day, two things happened.

The man tan lotion I had lathered onto my very fair skin, in order to be as tan as my friends returning from exotic ski vacations, had turned me pumpkin orange. Worse, I had forgotten to wash it off my hands, so my hands looked a little like stale Halloween candy corn, tri-colored in wide and irregular swatches. I decided to wear a pair of white gloves.

The second thing: the bishop who was doing the confirming came to our house for breakfast, perhaps because he’d heard that the infamous chipped beef on toast – my mother’s piece de resistance – was laced with sherry. He arrived in a cassock, looking very impressive. He went upstairs to wash his hands. Those of us waiting at the dining room table heard a series of angry squawks mixed with the cries of a human in terror. Down the front stairs, cassock flying behind him, came our bishop, with Burt the rescued turkey chasing him out the door , stopping only when the bishop’s driver gunned the engine of the Crown Vic and peeled out of the driveway.

It was not a particularly auspicious entrance rite, and when I finally came to the communion rail, white gloves on my hands, the bishop – perhaps in retribution – made me remove my gloves before I could receive the body and blood of Christ. My mother snickered. My shame was complete. My exit from the church, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with doubt. I am not sure it’s possible to doubt an unexamined faith.

Twenty-five years later – I think the Trickster had a hand in this – I found myself in a group of four first-year seminarians, arrogant as only seminarians can be, who had decided to form our own small community. We called it preach and pray, and we met on Tuesdays after lunch. On one of those Tuesdays, Ernesto shocked the rest of us by announcing that he’d been invited to preach at a real church, on a real Sunday. Not just any Sunday, but Trinity Sunday, and he asked just one question, “Is the Trinity real?”

The other two members of our group seemed to take his question as a matter of faith. I, who didn’t know enough to doubt anything, took it as a betrayal. What kind of a question was that? What did he mean by real? To ask the question was to raise the specter of a God who didn’t even exist. It was outrageous!

I hadn’t yet learned that doubt was practically a theological requirement. In the words of the popular pastor and prolific author Tim Keller:

“A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic. A person’s faith can collapse almost overnight if she has failed over the years to listen patiently to her own doubts, which should only be discarded after long reflection.”

Here’s the problem: Keller assumes that the doubter will return to the fold , having relinquished doubts which should “only be discarded after long reflection.” He assumes that all doubt will in fact be discarded. His presumption is that the doubter will not only return, but do so in a new relationship with God and the Church, in a more thoughtful, more substantial and more committed way.

My compassion lies with those of us who don’t return. I sometimes wonder if I am an anomaly in this conversation, but I still yearn for a place in it. I hold this creation with sacred wonder, curiosity, mindfulness, gratitude, an understanding of its systemic nature and a willingness to serve all of it. I do that without ascribing divine agency. I don’t need divine agency (God) to know this world as holy ground. That makes me neither a believer nor an atheist, nor an agnostic. Nor am I pagan, in that I am not a creation worshiper. Perhaps animist comes closest. But why name me at all? What is that about?

Where do we go – the nameless? I wonder.

Just as bio-diversity is essential, life-giving, and healing among the earth community (which, as we ought to understand by now, includes humans) is it not possible that our spiritual diversity might be not only essential but urgent in these times of fear, cynicism and often despair? How might we – the ones who refuse the religious labeling – make our voice and agency count in the direction of the healing of our planet.

==================================

caroline-resized2-300x200Bio:  Caroline Fairless was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1989, and served in several congregations during her career.  She also founded and served as co-director of The Center for Children at Worship, a non-profit organization that provides strategies for multigenerational worship.  She is the author of several books, including The Space between Church and Not-Church: A Sacramental Vision for the Healing of our Planet and Confessions of a Fake Priest.   She blogs at www.restoringthewaters.com.

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  • Kent Truesdale

    You are still obviously a profoundly wise and generous priest, Caroline — thank your for gracing this often ‘rough and tumble’ blog with your healing wisdom.

    Also, I’m wondering what was the thesis of your book “Confessions of a Fake Priest”? What did you discover about your vocation? And does it still hold up today?

  • mason

    Caroline, thanks for the very well written and heartfelt article. You’ve certainly effectively shared a lot of yourself in this piece Many of us don’t really care for labels, but we think with words and they are important.

    Your defining of self sounds like animist could be a good fit. Animist and Pantheist are very similar but Pantheist implies no supernatural power, no power or anything that’s not in the natural world. Maybe an Animist & Pantheist hybrid? 🙂

    I’m curious if you’ve done a juxtaposition with the two? I’ve shared this Pantheism site on TCP http://www.pantheism.net/ and several members posted, things like, “wow, I’m a Pantheist.” I kinda like the mystic element in Animist, but I’m so scientifically oriented that I really can say I think or believe in any form of supernatural; there’s just more than enough in the natural for me, and we are just beginning to learn.

    Label wise, I’m an Atheist or Pantheist (both) as with Pantheism the Universe/nature is “God”, and no deity.

    Will your book be available on Kindle? Great article Catherine!

  • Annerdr

    Thank you for this lovely article. I grew up Episcopalian, which I think made it somewhat easier to make the switch to atheist. I never experienced the abuse from my church or my family that so many have had to deal with here. I still haven’t come out to my mother, but she’s 80 and post-stroke and I wouldn’t want to cause her pain, so we just don’t discuss it. I do know she would still love and accept me, but it would hurt her. There seems no need for that.
    I went a good many years not defining myself beyond “we don’t go to church” to the inevitable question (I live in the South and asking is de riguer). I was comfortable with being “nothing” until my son announced he was atheist. The more I read, the more I became comfortable with that definition. The more I read about humanism, the more that appeals as well.
    I suspect that this sort of slow change is normal for quite a few people. It seems more abnormal to stay with the same church, same beliefs that you grew up with.
    Good luck to you on your journey.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Islam demands from its followers to believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, but it does not advise them to base such a belief on the statement of any religious book or any authoritative words, not even the word of the Holy Qur’an or of the holy Prophet.

    Our belief in a holy book, such as the Qur’an, or in a holy prophet, such as Mohammad, must be preceded by our belief in God. A religious book is holy because it is introduced by a man whom we consider a prophet. Prophethood is conceivable only if there is God, because a prophet is a messenger of God. Our belief in God, therefore, must come before our belief in a religious book or a prophet, not vice versa.

    No religious book is believed by all people, and no prophet is universally recognized. Therefore, it would be futile to rely on an authoritative statement of a prophet or a holy book when dealing with an atheist who disclaims all heavenly revelations and denies the whole concept of God.

    http://www.najaf.org/english/book/9/5.html

    How could some of the scientists permit themselves to make a claim that would necessitate knowledge as extensive as the scheme of the universe, when their knowledge of the total scheme of being is close to zero, when confronted with a whole mass of unknowns concerning this very earth and tangible, lifeless matter, let alone the whole universe?

    Do scientific discoveries and knowledge cause such a scientist to conclude that matter, unknowing and unperceiving, is his creator and that of all beings?

    Some people regard matter as independent and imagine that it has itself gained this freedom and elaborated the laws that rule over it. But how can they believe that hydrogen and oxygen, electrons and protons, should first produce themselves, then be the source for all other beings, and finally decree the laws that regulate themselves and the rest of the material world?

    What is called science by the science-worshippers of the present age and regarded by them as equivalent to the sum total of reality, is simply a collection of laws applicable to a single dimension of the world. The result of all human effort and experimentation is a body of knowledge concerning a minute bright dot comparable to the dim light of a candle-surrounded by a dark night enveloping a huge desert of indefinite extent.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-3-god-and-empirical-logic

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    There is something which we all know, and it was born after the existence of the earth, namely: life. Our scientists state that earth was too hot (and some of them say it was too cold) for any kind of life to exist on it. It took the earth millions of years to become a suitable place for life. Life, therefore, is, undoubtedly, a newborn.

    Science, however, tells us that life does not originate from non-living being. Pasteur’s experiment, which took place in the 19th century, is still standing. Through his sterilized soup, he proved beyond any doubt that life does not originate from inanimate material. The scientists of today are still unable to disprove his conclusion.

    The earth, along with its atmosphere, at the time of its formation was sterile and unproductive. Transforming the inanimate materials, such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and iron into a living being could not, therefore, be done through a natural process. It must have been done miraculously.

    This means that the existence of life on this planet is a shining evidence on the existence of an Intelligent, Supernatural Designer.

    http://www.najaf.org/english/book/9/5.html

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Without doubt, one of the factors in the emergence of anti-religious ideas and a phalanx of deniers of God, has been the false teachings, the inadequacies and the intellectual perversions of the followers of some religions. The peculiarities and separate characteristics of each religion must, therefore, be individually examined when studying the reasons that have led men to adhere to that religion.

    http://www.momin.com/Books/God+And+His+Attributes-68/The+Development+Of+Beliefs+Through+The+Ages-6758.html

  • Linda_LaScola

    Welcome to the Rational Doubt blog. I notice that you posted this same quote recently on the Friendly Atheist blog http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/11/17/sen-chuck-grassley-spreads-george-washington-quotation-about-god-and-the-bible-even-though-he-never-said-it/ and in both cases it, like your other comments here, is unrelated to the topic of the blog.

    We like to have a dialogue here, so my question to you is what do you have to say about the topic at hand?

  • Annerdr

    Hasnain, I appreciate your comment, but I’m unsure of the purpose. I just mentioned that I’m atheist, so stating that Islam is predicated on a belief in God first doesn’t apply to me. I don’t believe in any gods, including yours.

  • Annerdr

    You are right in that scientists cannot prove how life started. They do have some really interesting ideas about it, though. These ideas do not require an intelligent, supernatural creator god. There has been considerable progress since Pasteur’s time in this area and it’s fascinating to see where future scientific discoveries will go with this.

  • Caroline Fairless

    Kent, hi. I still have it in mind to respond to your request about liturgies for young people. I have a a a couple ways to do that, and one of a them may turn into a post. But the other I can do as a replay to your comment? Problem is, I am on the road with a very ill family member and won’t be home for a week. You will hear frommm me, I promise!

    “Confessions” is still one of my favorite books, a memoir about entering the priesthood (where I had no business being) for all the wrong reasons a, and understandinga fair the first time, the meaning of the phrase “imposter syndrome.”

    The memoir ends with the notion that I do have a “priesthood” unorthodox as it may be. At that time, the word “God” was still in my vocabulary.

    Today I still understand that I exercise a priesthood, but the word God isn’t needed in my understanding. In fact, the word God is antithetical to the ways I I which I understand my priesthood.

    The unpacking of that last statement is the starting point for the book I am struggling with now.

    More when I get home Next week!

    Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments

  • Caroline Fairless

    Hi Mason,

    Thanks for responding. I love your combinations of things. As I first began my odyssey from the church, I tried calling myself an episco-pagan (lol)

    I am a member of the FB world pantheist org but it’s actually the “theist” part that is the stumbling part. I’m working on that one!

    I don’t much care for historical theism, and the struggle I have with many atheists is the tendency to define themselves against the backdrop of theism. Even when I was still a fairly unexamined “Minister of God” I was never what the academics (of which I am decidedly not one) a Theist. That, of course, is a long conversation.

    From time to time someone will drop into my consciousness a word or phrase for which I have been searching. One example of such a gift is a way in which I am able to talk about sacred without presuming God. “The Interbreath of all Life”. That was a great gift to me, and I have been working with that in my new book.

    At the moment I am on the road and can’t always stay on the computer as along as I want, so I will stop here. I will be home next week. In the meantime, thank you again for your thoughtfulness.

  • Caroline Fairless

    Thank you for this response, much better worded than I might have.

  • Annerdr

    I’ve had lots and lots of practice. Sadly.

  • binkyspop2

    I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with an “intelligent, supernatural creator god”. But this god Yahweh revealed in the OT seems to be an extremely incompetent god, seemingly blowing it numerous times. Most notably he was absent while his guileless, innocent creations Adam and Eve were left to the machinations of Satan, who had been cast down to earth by him. Good grief…would it be asking too much for a different world for either the first couple or Lucifer? I mean you just created a whole universe of them. And then we get the blame and the misery ever since.

  • MNb

    “That makes me neither a believer nor an atheist, nor an agnostic.”
    You might like this guy.

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

    Perhaps this one too:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_M._Kuitert

  • Cake

    Do you understand what you are saying or did someone else write all that for you?

  • “Brian”

    You seem to have things figured out, Hasnain, so please tell us: What is the proper fate of apostates?

  • “Brian”

    Hi, Caroline! Sorry to hear about the illness in your family. I’m sure your being there is a comfort to all. Safe travels next week. You did a great job of identifying the little trick in Tim Keller’s “embrace” of doubt as a necessary ingredient of faith. Like so much else in modern theology, it is lip-service that trivializes and patronizes the serious and legitimate concerns of thoughtful people. Being patted on the head by such as him would be comical were it not so dreadfully consequential for so many sincere people, young and old, who struggle to reconcile two great loves: Knowledge and Belonging. Keller’s view reminds me of the popular meme, “Sorry, not sorry,” reconstituted for comparison as something like, “doubt, but not really (or not deeply).” Thanks for writing. I look forward to your next offering. I’ll have the image of the turkey chasing the flying cassock down the stairs with me for quite a while.

  • mason

    Hasnain, your post sounds to me like you are a Muslim/Depak Chopra Hybrid? Are you both a student, adherent of Depak and Islam?

  • mason

    Refreshing to read your post. I know several Episco/Pagans. 🙂 It’s interesting how we seek to find words that express what we really think and believe.

    I’m comfortable with the theist in Pantheist because the God in Pantheism is the material Universe, hence God/Universe are identical. Our buddy Einstein didn’t believe in a personal God and considered the idea “childish” and wrote he believed in the God of Spinoza, nature. http://www.waterwind.com/spinoza.html

    I love being a hybrid Atheist/Pantheist all depending on the context. If someone asks me if I believe in God I say yes I’m a Pantheist. They always ask what is that, and I explain; it always leads into a pleasant conversation and avoid the knee jerk reaction typical if I’d say I don’t believe in God. So what I make clear is I’m not a Theist I’m a Pantheist.

    I find that many people are Pantheists and have never discovered the word for what they are. 🙂 This has happened on TCP, some are do delighted at the perfect fit.

    Hope you have an enjoyable journey, not in snow storm area, can post some more.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Islam demands from its followers to believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, but it does not advise them to base such a belief on the statement of any religious book or any authoritative words, not even the word of the Holy Qur’an or of the holy Prophet.

    Our belief in a holy book, such as the Qur’an, or in a holy prophet, such as Mohammad, must be preceded by our belief in God. A religious book is holy because it is introduced by a man whom we consider a prophet. Prophethood is conceivable only if there is God, because a prophet is a messenger of God. Our belief in God, therefore, must come before our belief in a religious book or a prophet, not vice versa.

    No religious book is believed by all people, and no prophet is universally recognized. Therefore, it would be futile to rely on an authoritative statement of a prophet or a holy book when dealing with an atheist who disclaims all heavenly revelations and denies the whole concept of God.

    http://www.najaf.org/english/book/9/5.html

    How could some of the scientists permit themselves to make a claim that would necessitate knowledge as extensive as the scheme of the universe, when their knowledge of the total scheme of being is close to zero, when confronted with a whole mass of unknowns concerning this very earth and tangible, lifeless matter, let alone the whole universe?

    Do scientific discoveries and knowledge cause such a scientist to conclude that matter, unknowing and unperceiving, is his creator and that of all beings?

    Some people regard matter as independent and imagine that it has itself gained this freedom and elaborated the laws that rule over it. But how can they believe that hydrogen and oxygen, electrons and protons, should first produce themselves, then be the source for all other beings, and finally decree the laws that regulate themselves and the rest of the material world?

    What is called science by the science-worshippers of the present age and regarded by them as equivalent to the sum total of reality, is simply a collection of laws applicable to a single dimension of the world. The result of all human effort and experimentation is a body of knowledge concerning a minute bright dot comparable to the dim light of a candle-surrounded by a dark night enveloping a huge desert of indefinite extent.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-3-god-and-empirical-logic

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Sermon 38: Doubt is called doubt because …

    About naming of doubt as such and disparagement of those in doubt

    ومن خطبة له (عليه السلام)

    وفيها علة تسمية الشبهة شبهة، ثم بيان حال الناس فيها

    Doubt is named doubt (al-shubhah) because it resembles truth. As for lovers of Allah, their conviction serves them as light and the direction of the right path (itself) serves as their guide; while the enemies of Allah, in time of doubt call to misguidance in the darkness of doubt and their guide is blindness (of intelligence). One who fears death cannot escape it nor can one who loves eternal life secure it.

    http://www.al-islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-1-sermons/sermon-38-doubt-called-doubt-because

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Is your denial of God, then is, because, you have not felt Him with the senses given to us for knowing objects?

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Absurdity of Atheism

    If abiogenesis (spontaneous creation without specific design) can be admitted under such conditions of regularity, then purposeful generation and definitely balanced creation can be the result of error ad perplexity, since these two are opposed to abiogenesis.

    Such a statement is highly absurd that order and rectitude should come about without a Creator, and disorder and impropriety of design and fate should suppose a Creator. He is an ignoramus who says this, because anything produced without design will never be exact and proportioned, while disorder and contrariness cannot co-exist with orderly design. Allah (swt) is far above what the heretics say.

    http://www.al-shia.org/html/eng/page.php?id=1640&page=6

    The waverers failed to grasp the mysteries and causes underlying the genesis of the creatures, and their intellects remain unaware of the faultless ingenuity subsisting underneath the creation of the varied species of the sea and the land, the level and the rough.

    They became disbelievers, and because of a deficiency of their knowledge and puerility of intellect, began quibbling inimically with Truth, so much so that they denied creativeness and claimed that all this universe was meaningless and vain, without any ingenious design on the part of a Designer or Creator – a purposeless non-entity without balance or poise.

    Allah (swt) is far above what they attribute to Him. May they perish! flow misguided they are! In their misguided blindness and bewilderment they are like the blind people groping right and left in a well-furnished, well-built house with fine carpets, luscious articles of food and drink, various kinds of clothing and other necessities of essential use, all adequately supplied in proper quantity and placed with perfect decorum and ingenious design. In their blindness they fail to see the building and its furnishing. They move about from one room to ,another, advancing and retreating. If by chance, any one of them finds anything in its place to supply a need, and not knowing the purpose for which it is set there and unaware of the underlying ingenuity, he might begin to reprimand the architect of the building in his offensive rage, whereas, as a matter of fact, the fault lies with his own inability to see.

    This analogy holds good in the case of the sect who deny the creative factor and the argument in favour of Divine Design. Failing to appreciate the merit of their provision, the perfection of creation and the beauty of design, they start wandering in the wide world, bewildered by their inability to grasp with their brains the underlying causes and principles.

    It so happens sometimes that someone among them is aware of a thing but in his ignorance of its reality, purpose and need, begins at once to find fault with it saying, “it is untenably wrong.”

    http://www.al-shia.org/html/eng/page.php?id=1640&page=4

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    We can raise precisely the same objection against the materialists and ask them, “If we follow the chain of causality back, we will ultimately reach the primary cause. Let us say that cause is not God, but matter. Tell us who created primary matter. You who believe in the law of causality, answer us Ws: if matter is the ultimate cause of all things, what is the cause of matter? You say that the source of all phenomena is matter-energy; what is the cause and origin of matter-energy?”

    Since the chain of causality cannot recede into infinity, they can answer only that matter is an eternal and timeless entity for which no beginning can be posited: matter is non-created, has no beginning or end, and its being arises from within its own nature.

    This means that the materialists accept the principle of eternity and non-origination; they believe that all things arose out of eternal matter and that being arises from within the very nature of matter, without any need for a creator.

    Russell openly states this belief in the lecture quoted above. He says: “There is no proof that the world ever had a beginning. The idea that things must once have had a beginning results from the poverty of our imagination.”4

    In just the same way that Russell regards matter as eternal, believers in God attribute eternity to God. Belief in an eternal being is then common to materialist and religious philosophers: both groups agree that there is a primary cause, but believers in God regard the primary cause as wise, all-knowing, and possessing the power of decision and will, whereas in the view of the materialists, the primary cause has neither consciousness, intelligence, perception, nor the power of decision. Thus, the removal of God in no way solves the problem posed by eternal being.

    Moreover, matter is the locus for motion and change, and its motion is dynamic and situated within its own essence. Now, essential motion is incompatible with eternity, and matter and essential stability are two mutually exclusive categories that cannot be fused in a single locus. Whatever is stable and immutable in its essence cannot accept movement and change within that essence.

    How do Marxists, who believe that matter is accompanied by its antithesis, justify the eternity of matter?

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-6-need-world-one-without-need

  • Cake

    A simple yes would have sufficed.

  • “Brian”

    Yeah, that didn’t address my question at all. If all you want to do here is mischaracterized the scientific perspective in order to tear it down you are wasting your time and probably your life.

  • “Brian”

    You see enemies everywhere, don’t you?

  • Annerdr

    I deny god like I deny genies and leprechauns. There is no reason to believe.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    However far this infinite chain is prolonged, it will still have the attributes of neediness, dependency, and origination in time. A chain from the very nature of which autonomy and freedom from need do not arise can never put on the garment of being until it connects with one who is in his essence absolutely free of need— with a being who possesses the attributes of divinity and who is only a cause and not an effect.

    Without the existence of such an unconditional being, the source of all causes and the foundation of all existence, the order of creation cannot be explained.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-7-finiteness-chain-causality

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Is it not true that all the things we accept and believe to exist have an existence belonging to the same category as our own or as things that are visible to us?

    Can we see or feel everything in this material world?

    Is it only God we cannot see with our senses?

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Now let me know whether the nature which functions in such a well-planned and well-ordered fashion possesses knowledge and power or is it devoid of also of intelligence and reason, without power and without knowledge?

    If you admit that it possesses knowledge and power, then what obstructs you from a belief in the Creator?

    What we say ‘s that all things are created by One Who is Master of Knowledge and Power.

    You say that there is no Creator and yet admit that nature had done this with ingenuity and plan. As such nature is the cause of their creation, while you deny the Creator.

    If you say that nature produces such things without knowledge and power – not knowing what it is doing nor the power to do it – in connection with the type and having design and ingenuity that subsists in all phenomena, it is inconceivable that something may be performed without the corresponding power to do it and without a knowledge thereof.

    As such it is obvious that the action emanates from an Omniscient Creator, Who has laid down as only a method among His creation through his Omniscience, which you people call nature.

    In other words, Almighty God has ordained a method to produce everything according to its definite cause and principle.

    http://www.al-islam.org/tradition-of-mufaddal-pearls-of-wisdom-from-imam-jafar-as-sadiq

  • “Brian”

    This isn’t a conversation. Your posts don’t even pass the Turing test. We’re all laughing at you and it’s not because we don’t comprehend the depth of your insight. Buzz off.

  • Cake

    Thankyou for confirming that you haven’t the slightest idea of what you are talking about. The Koran is only food for pigs.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    The waverers failed to grasp the mysteries and causes underlying the genesis of the creatures, and their intellects remain unaware of the faultless ingenuity subsisting underneath the creation of the varied species of the sea and the land, the level and the rough.

    They became disbelievers, and because of a deficiency of their knowledge and puerility of intellect, began quibbling inimically with Truth, so much so that they denied creativeness and claimed that all this universe was meaningless and vain, without any ingenious design on the part of a Designer or Creator – a purposeless non-entity without balance or poise.

    Allah (swt) is far above what they attribute to Him. May they perish! flow misguided they are! In their misguided blindness and bewilderment they are like the blind people groping right and left in a well-furnished, well-built house with fine carpets, luscious articles of food and drink, various kinds of clothing and other necessities of essential use, all adequately supplied in proper quantity and placed with perfect decorum and ingenious design. In their blindness they fail to see the building and its furnishing. They move about from one room to ,another, advancing and retreating. If by chance, any one of them finds anything in its place to supply a need, and not knowing the purpose for which it is set there and unaware of the underlying ingenuity, he might begin to reprimand the architect of the building in his offensive rage, whereas, as a matter of fact, the fault lies with his own inability to see.

    This analogy holds good in the case of the sect who deny the creative factor and the argument in favour of Divine Design. Failing to appreciate the merit of their provision, the perfection of creation and the beauty of design, they start wandering in the wide world, bewildered by their inability to grasp with their brains the underlying causes and principles.

    It so happens sometimes that someone among them is aware of a thing but in his ignorance of its reality, purpose and need, begins at once to find fault with it saying, “it is untenably wrong.”

    http://www.al-shia.org/html/eng/page.php?id=1640&page=4

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Your very existence is a great evidence on the existence of Adam and Eve, or let us say the first two human beings. You did not see Adam and Eve, but you believe that they existed.

    To make it more clear: You came through your parents. Your parents came through their parents, and your grandparents came through their parents, and so on. You may continue going back until you reach Adam and Eve. If you deny the existence of the first two human beings, you would be eliminating the first generation of their children. By eliminating the first generation, you eliminate the second and what is beyond it. Finally, you have to eliminate your own parents. Then you have to eliminate yourself. But you say to yourself: I cannot do that because I am here. Then you have to say: Adam and Eve were there.

    http://www.najaf.org/english/book/9/5.html

    Still don’t get it? I will make it childish for you to grasp! Now you may say ” But evolution says there was no Adam and Eve etc…”

    Granted for the sake of an argument!

    Even then if you deny the existence of YOUR first “evolution” beings, you would be eliminating the whole evolution!

    To make it more clear to you AGAIN!

    You may bring YOUR darwinian monkey tricks of evolution and say: But there was no Adam and Eve, we come from ….blah blah blah!

    Granted!

    Even then if you deny the existence of the first evolution beings, you would be eliminating the whole evolution!

    Simple common sense!

  • Cake

    Your word salad has gone all mushy.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    There is something which we all know, and it was born after the existence of the earth, namely: life. Our scientists state that earth was too hot (and some of them say it was too cold) for any kind of life to exist on it. It took the earth millions of years to become a suitable place for life. Life, therefore, is, undoubtedly, a newborn.

    Science, however, tells us that life does not originate from non-living being. Pasteur’s experiment, which took place in the 19th century, is still standing. Through his sterilized soup, he proved beyond any doubt that life does not originate from inanimate material. The scientists of today are still unable to disprove his conclusion.

    The earth, along with its atmosphere, at the time of its formation was sterile and unproductive. Transforming the inanimate materials, such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and iron into a living being could not, therefore, be done through a natural process. It must have been done miraculously.

    This means that the existence of life on this planet is a shining evidence on the existence of an Intelligent, Supernatural Designer.

    http://www.najaf.org/english/book/9/5.html

  • Cake

    It is a period of civil war.
    Rebel spaceships, striking
    from a hidden base, have won
    their first victory against
    the evil Galactic Empire.

    During the battle, Rebel
    spies managed to steal secret
    plans to the Empire’s
    ultimate weapon, the DEATH
    STAR, an armored space
    station with enough power
    to destroy an entire planet.

    Pursued by the Empire’s
    sinister agents, Princess
    Leia races home aboard her
    starship, custodian of the
    stolen plans that can save her
    people and restore
    freedom to the galaxy….

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Free will. The question of man’s religious accountability, the sending of the Prophets, the proclamation of divine messages, and the principle of resurrection and judgment—all these rest on man’s free will and choice in the acts he performs.

    It would be completely meaningless were God, on the one hand, to compel men to do certain things and, on the other, to reward or punish them.

    It would surely be unjust were the Creator of the world to set us on whatever path He chose, by means of His power and His will, and then to punish us for actions we have committed without any choice on our part.

    If the deeds of men are, in reality, the acts of God, all corruption, evil and cruelty must be regarded as His work, whereas His most sacred being is utterly pure of all such corruption and injustice.

    If there were no free choice for man, the whole concept of man’s religious accountability would be unjust. The oppressive tyrant would deserve no blame and the just would merit no praise, because responsibility has meaning only within the sphere of what is possible and attainable for man.

    Man deserves blame or merits praise only when he is able to decide and to act freely; otherwise, there can be no question of blame or of praise.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-19-free-will

  • Cake

    The film drew inspiration from a number of sources. This was conscious and has been acknowledged by George Lucas in interviews. It is characteristic of much myth-building.

    Lucas has stated that Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film The Hidden Fortress (USA release 1962) was a strong influence. The resemblance between the two buffoon farmers in The Hidden Fortress and the two talkative droids in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is apparent. Indeed, when the droids find themselves alone on Tatooine, even the music and the style of “wipe” cuts are a clear homage to Hidden Fortress. When Motti is criticizing Darth Vader, he is about to mention the Rebels’ “hidden fortress” before Vader cuts him off in the middle of the last word

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Now let me know whether the nature which functions in such a well-planned and well-ordered fashion possesses knowledge and power or is it devoid of also of intelligence and reason, without power and without knowledge?

    If you admit that it possesses knowledge and power, then what obstructs you from a belief in the Creator?

    What we say ‘s that all things are created by One Who is Master of Knowledge and Power.

    You say that there is no Creator and yet admit that nature had done this with ingenuity and plan. As such nature is the cause of their creation, while you deny the Creator.

    If you say that nature produces such things without knowledge and power – not knowing what it is doing nor the power to do it – in connection with the type and having design and ingenuity that subsists in all phenomena, it is inconceivable that something may be performed without the corresponding power to do it and without a knowledge thereof.

    As such it is obvious that the action emanates from an Omniscient Creator, Who has laid down as only a method among His creation through his Omniscience, which you people call nature.

    In other words, Almighty God has ordained a method to produce everything according to its definite cause and principle.

    http://www.al-islam.org/tradition-of-mufaddal-pearls-of-wisdom-from-imam-jafar-as-sadiq

  • Cake

    Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens is the upcoming seventh live-action theatrical Star Wars film and the first film of the sequel trilogy. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams, written by Abrams, Michael Arndt, and Lawrence Kasdan, and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Bad Robot Productions. The film, which is currently in production, will be released on December 18, 2015. (December 17, in Mexico and the rest of Latin America)

    Despite initially claiming that the Star Wars story ended in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and spending years refuting speculation that there would be another film, George Lucas began work on the story of Episode VII in 2011 in order to increase the value of Lucasfilm Ltd. before he sold it to The Walt Disney Company. The acquisition was finalized on October 30, 2012, and Disney and Lucasfilm officially announced Episode VII the same day.

    The story of Episode VII is not yet known, but it will not be based on Star Wars Legends, formerly known as the Expanded Universe. Rather, it will be an original story set after Return of the Jedi. The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker reprising their original roles. The original actors are joined by a host of new actors including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver, amongst many others.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Islam demands from its followers to believe in God, the Creator of the Universe, but it does not advise them to base such a belief on the statement of any religious book or any authoritative words, not even the word of the Holy Qur’an or of the holy Prophet.

    Our belief in a holy book, such as the Qur’an, or in a holy prophet, such as Mohammad, must be preceded by our belief in God. A religious book is holy because it is introduced by a man whom we consider a prophet. Prophethood is conceivable only if there is God, because a prophet is a messenger of God. Our belief in God, therefore, must come before our belief in a religious book or a prophet, not vice versa.

    No religious book is believed by all people, and no prophet is universally recognized. Therefore, it would be futile to rely on an authoritative statement of a prophet or a holy book when dealing with an atheist who disclaims all heavenly revelations and denies the whole concept of God.

    http://www.najaf.org/english/book/9/5.html

    How could some of the scientists permit themselves to make a claim that would necessitate knowledge as extensive as the scheme of the universe, when their knowledge of the total scheme of being is close to zero, when confronted with a whole mass of unknowns concerning this very earth and tangible, lifeless matter, let alone the whole universe?

    Do scientific discoveries and knowledge cause such a scientist to conclude that matter, unknowing and unperceiving, is his creator and that of all beings?

    Some people regard matter as independent and imagine that it has itself gained this freedom and elaborated the laws that rule over it. But how can they believe that hydrogen and oxygen, electrons and protons, should first produce themselves, then be the source for all other beings, and finally decree the laws that regulate themselves and the rest of the material world?

    What is called science by the science-worshippers of the present age and regarded by them as equivalent to the sum total of reality, is simply a collection of laws applicable to a single dimension of the world. The result of all human effort and experimentation is a body of knowledge concerning a minute bright dot comparable to the dim light of a candle-surrounded by a dark night enveloping a huge desert of indefinite extent.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-3-god-and-empirical-logic

    Existence of God

    Above all them, are the atheists to be pitied, who demand to see with their physical eyes One Who is inscrutable even to the intellect. This being impossible, they took to flat denial of His Existence. They demanded, why He cannot be encompassed within the intellect? He transcends intellect just as things beyond the visual field cannot be perceived by the eyes.

    As an example, if you see a piece of stone flying up in the air, the logical conclusion you draw is that someone has hurled it above. The eye may not have seen it and yet the intellect realises it because of its discerning capacity, in that the piece of stone cannot go up by itself. You see that the eye stopped at a point and could not advance further. Similarly the intellect stops short at its prescribed limit in the matter of the Divine Immanence. It cannot advance further.

    We say, however, that the intellect which perceives that man possesses mind and soul, notwithstanding the fact that no one has seen the mind with the physical sense, the same intellect should be able to realise and admit the Existence of the Creator, without being able to perceive His Essence.

    http://www.al-shia.org/html/eng/page.php?id=1640&page=60

  • Cake

    Spambot confirmed, flagging for abuse.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Hiding your ignorance and arrogance behind your stupid pretext of “.Spambot confirmed, flagging for abuse.”!

    Without doubt, one of the factors in the emergence of anti-religious ideas and a phalanx of deniers of God, has been the false teachings, the inadequacies and the intellectual perversions of the followers of some religions. The peculiarities and separate characteristics of each religion must, therefore, be individually examined when studying the reasons that have led men to adhere to that religion.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-1-development-beliefs-through-ages

  • Cake

    The constant stream of cut and paste posting shows Hasnain Mohammed is just a spambot. there’s nobody there.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    When the experimental sciences demonstrate that the elements and natural factors cannot exert any independent influence and do not possess any creativity; when all of our experiences, our sensory feelings, and our rational deductions point to the conclusion that nothing occurs in nature without a reason and cause and that all phenomena are based on an established system and specific laws, when all of this is the case, it is surprising that some people turn their backs on scientific principles, primary deductions and propositions based on reflection, and deny the existence of the Creator.

    Now, too, in the age of science and technology, when man has found his way into space, a considerable number of scientists have a religious outlook as part of the intellectual system; they have come to believe in the existence of a creator, a source for all beings, not only by means of the heart and the conscience, but also through deduction and logic.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-8-pseudo-scientific-demagoguery

  • Cake

    The spam bot seems to be fixated on me.
    Islam is the religion of pigs.
    I’ll just let it have the last reply and it aught to stop.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    We can raise precisely the same objection against the materialists and ask them, “If we follow the chain of causality back, we will ultimately reach the primary cause. Let us say that cause is not God, but matter. Tell us who created primary matter. You who believe in the law of causality, answer us Ws: if matter is the ultimate cause of all things, what is the cause of matter? You say that the source of all phenomena is matter-energy; what is the cause and origin of matter-energy?”

    Since the chain of causality cannot recede into infinity, they can answer only that matter is an eternal and timeless entity for which no beginning can be posited: matter is non-created, has no beginning or end, and its being arises from within its own nature.

    This means that the materialists accept the principle of eternity and non-origination; they believe that all things arose out of eternal matter and that being arises from within the very nature of matter, without any need for a creator.

    Russell openly states this belief in the lecture quoted above. He says: “There is no proof that the world ever had a beginning. The idea that things must once have had a beginning results from the poverty of our imagination.”4

    In just the same way that Russell regards matter as eternal, believers in God attribute eternity to God. Belief in an eternal being is then common to materialist and religious philosophers: both groups agree that there is a primary cause, but believers in God regard the primary cause as wise, all-knowing, and possessing the power of decision and will, whereas in the view of the materialists, the primary cause has neither consciousness, intelligence, perception, nor the power of decision. Thus, the removal of God in no way solves the problem posed by eternal being.

    Moreover, matter is the locus for motion and change, and its motion is dynamic and situated within its own essence. Now, essential motion is incompatible with eternity, and matter and essential stability are two mutually exclusive categories that cannot be fused in a single locus. Whatever is stable and immutable in its essence cannot accept movement and change within that essence.

    How do Marxists, who believe that matter is accompanied by its antithesis, justify the eternity of matter?

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-6-need-world-one-without-need

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    After years of careful planning and exhausting labor, biochemists have succeeded in discovering certain experimental organisms on a very simple and primitive level from which all trace of life is absent. This scientific triumph was regarded as very valuable and received with great enthusiasm in scientific circles, and nobody claimed that this highly deficient and primitive laboratory creation had come into being as the result of chance, without direction, planning and precision.

    This being the case, those who ascribe all the beings in the vast system of the universe, together with their complex and mysterious properties to the blind and unconscious forces of matter, are, in reality, doing violence and injustice to logic and human intelligence and waging open war on the truth.

    http://www.al-islam.org/god-and-his-attributes-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/lesson-5-manifestations-god-nature

  • Erwin

    Re ‘the creation’:

    “In the beginning (Time) God (the Force) created (the Action)
    the heaven (Space) and the earth (Matter).”
    Genesis 1:1.

    ref Colossians 1:13-23;
    John 1:1-14; Genesis 1:26;

    Colossians 2:9; 1:19; Genesis 22:8;
    Isaiah 53:1-12; John 1:29; 3:13-17;

    Hebrews 1:1-14, “…but in these last days He ( God ) has spoken to us by
    His Son ( Jesus Christ ) …

    through Whom also He made the universe.” verse 2;
    ref John 1:17; 14:6.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Scholars are agreed that religious beliefs have always been intertwined with human life. However, their opinions differ concerning the fundamental roots of religion and the factors that have played a primary role in its establishment and development. Their judgments, in this respect, are generally based on studies of superstitious religions and primitive beliefs, with the result that their conclusions are, in the final analysis, defective and illogical.

    It is true that certain religions, lacking a connection with the principles of revelation, have been influenced in their appearance and growth by the social environment and similar factors. However, it is illogical to ascribe the foundation of all faiths and religious tendencies to material or economic circumstances and demands, to fear of the terrifying forces of nature, to ignorance or to considerations rejected by science.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘religious beliefs’:
    ref Galatians 1:1-24,

    “…But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel

    other than the one (ref verses 3-5) we preached to you,

    let them be under God’s curse…”
    verses 8-9.

    “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
    John 1:17.

    ref John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-10.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Illogical beliefs do not pertain only to religious questions. Before they were properly refined, many of the sciences were commingled with superstitions. Men found their way from incantation and magic to true and beneficial medicine and from unrealistic alchemy to realistic chemistry. No one can claim that if man once committed an error in searching for something, he is bound always to remain in error and will never find a way of reaching the truth. Those who believe in scientific philosophy and the primacy of the experimental method, accept that their experiments may yield erroneous results although they invariably give them the status of truth.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘truth, what it is and how to find it’:
    ref John 17:17; 15:5; 14:6; 8:31-32; 1:1,14,17.
    Ephesians 1:13-14; James 1:18.

    Re ‘science’:
    ref 1Timothy 6:20.
    🙂

  • Erwin

    Re ‘the existence of a Creator and Who He is’:
    ref Romans 1:18-32, 16-17;
    Colossians 1:13-23; Colossians 2:8-15; John 14:8-11.

  • Erwin

    A lesson from the Book of Job and Job himself re ‘adversity and faith’:

    ref Job1:20-22; 19:25-27:
    cross ref 1John 3:2; 1Cor 12:12; Romans 8:14-25, 29-30.

  • Erwin

    ‘I am’ therefore ‘I came about by random chance operating for

    longggggg periods of time, through the trial and error of natural selection’.
    Not!
    ref
    Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1,14;
    Colossians 1:13-23; Colossians 2:8-15
    for how life really began.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Those who deny God insist on the conclusion that God is the product of human thought. For example, the English philosopher,

    Bertrand Russell, regards the fear of natural forces to have been the origin of religion. “In my opinion, religion is above all founded on fear: fear of the unknown, fear of death, fear of defeat, fear of the mysterious and the hidden. In addition, as already remarked, a sentiment comes into being enabling everyone to imagine that he has a supporter in all his problems and struggles.'[l] This is merely a claim, unsupported by any evidence.

    Samuel King says, “The source of religion is shrouded in mystery. Among the countless theories of scholars on the subject, some appear to be more logical than others, but even the best of them is open to objection from the point of view of scientific proof. They cannot transcend the sphere of logical speculation. There is, therefore, intense disagreement among sociologists concerning the origins of religion.

    Nonetheless, we can respond that even if we accept the original and fundamental motive for man’s belief in a creator to have been fear, this in no way proves that the existence of God is a mere fancy without reality.

    If fear motivated man to seek a refuge and if in the course of that search he discovered a certain reality (God), is there any objection to be made? If fear is the cause for the discovery of a certain thing, can we say that that thing is imaginary and unreal because it was fear that prompted man to seek it out?

    It would surely be illogical to maintain, for example, that the science of medicine has no reality because man has sought and discovered it out of fear, fear of disease and death? The truth of the matter is that the science of medicine is a reality, irrespective of whether the original motive of man in discovering it was fear of disease and death or some other factor.

    In all the affairs and occurrences of life, belief in a wise and powerful Lord is a real refuge and strong support. This is quite a different matter from whether or not men’s motive in searching it out was fear of vicissitudes and the search for a refuge or not. The two matters are quite separate and must be studied separately.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘fear and religion’:
    “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

    and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
    Proverbs 9:10;
    ref Psalm 111:10; Job 1:20-22.

    Job 19:25-27, “I know that my redeemer lives…”

    ref 1John 3:2, “…we shall be like Him ( Jesus Christ ) for we shall see Him as He is ( when He appears ).

    1Cor 13:12-13, “…then we shall see face to face…”
    ref Revelation 21:1-8.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘reasons to believe ‘:
    ref Acts 26:15-21.

  • Well, seriously, I’ve heard from plenty of Christian theologians in their work that doubt is something that will never leave you much as, say, having hunger sometimes will never leave you, having sickness sometimes will never leave you, etc. It’s a matter of being human. Being human and not having doubt is rather artificial like, say, being human and not ever having to sleep.

  • Annerdr

    Erwin, do you have something non-biblical to help? I don’t believe without evidence and an evidence-free book of stories isn’t persuasive.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘evidence’:
    ref James 1:22-27; Hebrews 4:12:
    The double-edged sword ( the Word of God, the Holy Spirit’s sword: ref Ephesians 6:17 )

    is the Law ( the imperatives in Scripture ) and the Gospel ( the indicatives in Scripture ).

  • Annerdr

    So, then, no. You have nothing other than the Bible, a series of stories written by men and evidentially weak (at best).

  • Erwin

    Re ‘The Bible’:

    Compare,
    Genesis 1:1’s , Time (Beginning ) Force ( God ) Action ( Created ) Space (Heaven ) and Matter ( Earth),

    with Herbert Spencer’s Time, Force, Motion, Space and Matter,

    and judge for yourself.

    Coincidence? Not!
    And that’s just the first verse!

    Next,
    compare Job 18:25-27 ( Job, the oldest book of the Bible )

    with 1John 3:2 & 1Corinthians 13:12; 15:51-57.

    Again,
    coincidence? Not!

    ref John 1:1,14, “…( Jesus Christ )
    the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…”

    ref Genesis 1:26, “And God said, ‘ Let US make man in OUR image..,”

  • Annerdr

    Spencer? Who died in 1903? There have been some pretty dramatic changes in the world of science in the last 112 years. You have some catch-up reading to do.

  • Erwin

    Ref Luke 16:27-31; Matt 12:39-41

    re evidence-for-believing ‘catch-up reading’.

  • Annerdr

    Thanks, Erwin. You’ve answered my question about evidence adequately.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘the last 112 years’: ref

    Daniel 12:4,
    “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of times;

    many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.”

    2Timothy 3:7,
    “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the Truth.”( ie, the Gospel of Jesus Christ ).

    1Timothy 6:20-21,
    “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you ( ie, the Gospel )

    avoiding worldly and emplty chatter and opposing arguments

    of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’ ( science, falsely so called ).

    Which some have professed and
    thus gone astray from the faith…”

    [ ref Romans 1:16-17,
    …’The righteous

    ( ie, the just-tified by grace through faith in, by and from
    Christ: Eph 2:8-10;Romans 5:1-2)

    will live by faith.’: Habbakuk 2:4; Hebrews 11:6 ]

    Romans 1:28-31,21-22:
    “Futhermore, just as they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God ( ie, the Gospel )

    so God gave them over to a depraved mind… they have no understanding…”
    ( ie, of the Gospel;
    ref 1Cor 1:17; 2Cor 4:3 )

    …but their thinking became futile
    and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    Although they claim to be wise
    (ie, in their own eyes, ref Isaiah 5:20-21; Proverbs 3:7 )

    they became fools…”
    ( ie, instead).”

    For,
    “The fool has said in his heart ( ie, his mind )

    ‘there is no God’.”
    Psalm 14:1; 53:1.

  • Annerdr

    Just asking questions? Lovely. That ALWAYS works and is never, ever irritating.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘Asking questions’:

    Ask

  • Annerdr

    And yet, when I was a Christian, I asked and received nothing, I sought and found nothing. Consequently, I finally figured out that was because there is no god to answer. So…. I guess I found wisdom.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘asking correctly’:

    “…;yet , not my will but yours (God’s ) be done.”
    Luke 22:42; ref Job 1:20-22.

    also ref: James 4:3; 1John 2:19;
    John 6:44;10:29;

    Matt 24:13,9-14,
    “…but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

    “…Apart from Me ( Jesus Christ )
    you can do nothing.”

    ( worthy of or warranting your Salvation : ref Matt 19:25-26 )
    John 15:5.

    Philippians 4:13,
    “I can do all things ( according to God’s will ) through Christ Who strengthens me.”
    ref 1Cor 10:31; 2Peter 3:9;

    John 3:16-17,
    “…For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world,

    but to save the world through Him.” ref Romans 5:8,6-11.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    In many historical events, religion can be seen to have dominated all relationships. If religion were not a primary phenomenon it would have to be enclosed within the four walls of material motives. However, what factor could have given religious personalities such firmness and steadfastness for the sake of their religious goals? Was it the expectation of material benefits and personal gains that made the bitter hardships of misfortune and difficulty sweet-tasting to their souls? On the contrary, we see that they sacrificed all their material resources prosperity and personal desires, to their religious sentiments and ideals, going so far as lovingly to sacrifice their souls.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    All deluded atheists are aware that many of the things known to us consist of matters and realities that we cannot sense and with which we are not customarily familiar. There are many invisible beings in the universe. The progress of science and knowledge in the present age have uncovered numerous truths of this kind, and one of the richest chapters in scientific research is the transformation of matter into energy.

    When the beings and bodies that are visible in this world wish to produce energy, they are compelled to change their original aspect and transform it into energy.

    Now is this energy—the axis on which turn many of the motions and changes of the universe— visible or tangible?

  • Erwin

    Yes,
    but ‘which God/gods is/are the primary cause?’:

    The answer:
    ref Acts 17:16-32; 6:8-13; 7:1-59;
    Colossians 1:12-23;

    Colossians 2:8-15; Hebrews 1:2; John 1:1,14; Genesis 1:26;

    John 8:58,
    “Jesus said to them,’Truly, truly, I say to you,

    Before Abraham was, I Am.'”

    Revelation 22:13, 12-21,
    “…I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…”

    ie,
    The Primary Cause: God incarnate in human flesh:
    Jesus Christ.

    ref John 1:1,14; Genesis 1:26;
    Luke 9:35; Mark 9:7;

    Hebrews 1:1-14; Colossians 2:16-19; Galatians 1:6-24.

  • Annerdr

    You are not visible. You probably don’t exist.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘sacrifice’:

    1Corinthians 13:3,1,
    “…and though I give my body to be burned and have not Love

    (‘Whoever does not love does not know God for God is Love’ 1John 4:8; ref 1Corinthians 13:4-13 )

    I gain nothing.” …and become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” vs.1

    ( ie, only drawing attention to and glorifying myself and not God).

    Mark 8:36-37,
    “For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

    Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

    ref John 10:10; Matthew 4:8-11;
    James 4:7-10.

    Proverbs 14:12; 16:25,
    “There is a way that seems right to a man ( ie, or to a religion )

    but its end is the way of death.”

    John 10:10,
    “The thief ( Satan/ the Devil through false religions)

    comes only to STEAL
    ( the Truth of God’s word/seed sown in ones heart )
    to KILL
    ( ones physical body to stop the hearing/preaching of the Gospel)

    and to DESTROY
    ( ones eternal soul in Hell, ‘prepared for Satan and his angels’ and now unsaved men, also.)

    I ( Jesus Christ ) Am come that they might HAVE LIFE and have it to the FULL.”

  • Annerdr

    PRO 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    ECC 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

    1CO 1:19: “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”

    PSA 92:12: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.”

    ISA 57:1: “The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart.”

    MAT 27:46,50: “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?” that is to say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” …Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”

    LUK 23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, “Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:” and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”

    PRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

    PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

    JOH 19:30: “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished:” and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

    So, really, your “Word of God” says pretty much anything you want it to say. Consequently, I don’t believe any of it.

  • Erwin

    “And now these three remain; faith, hope and love.
    But the greatest of these is love.”
    1Cor 13:13;

    “..For God is Love.” 1John 4:8.

    Romans 5:5-11,
    “And hope makes not ashamed;
    because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.

    For when we were yet without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.

    For scarcely for a righteous man would one die:
    yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

    But God commended His love towards us,
    in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…”

    ref John 3:16-17;
    1Peter 3:18; Galatians 4:6.

  • Annerdr

    The fruit of God’s spirit is love and gentleness Gal 5:22
    The fruit of God’s spirit is vengeance and fury Judg 15:14/ 1 Sam 18:10,11

    God is to be found by those who seek him Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
    God is not to be found by those who seek him Prov 1:28

  • Erwin

    But cannot then God make it say what He wants it to say too?

    ref Matthew 7:21;
    Revelation 3:19-22.

  • Annerdr

    It’s impossible to understand in any real sense because it is too contradictory. That seems rather foolish of God. If he wanted folks to people in him, shouldn’t he have been more clear?

  • Erwin

    The question is, which are you?

    The lost or the found? The blind or the seeing?
    The deaf or the hearing?

    “Whoever has ears
    (ie, understanding )
    let him hear ( ie, understand )
    what the Spirit says to the churches…
    so be earnest and repent…”
    Revelation 3:22,19.

  • Erwin

    It is God Who gives ‘spiritual sight/life to the spiritually blind/dead’,
    not visa versa.

    ref John 9:24-41; John 3:1-8;
    11:43; Ephesians 2:8-10;
    Romans 8:29-30.

    Matt 19:25-26,
    “…With man ( ie, alone )
    this is impossible (to be saved )
    but with God all things are possible.”
    ( ie, regarding ones seeing,hearing,Salvation),

  • Annerdr

    I am lost and found. I am blind and seeing. I am deaf and hearing. I am Biblical!

  • Erwin

    You’re almost there!

    Re ‘the spiritual dicotomy of man’:
    ref Romans 7:14-25; Eph 5:29-32;

    Eph 4:29-32,
    “…And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
    with Whom you WERE sealed for the day of redemption.” verse 30.

  • Annerdr

    It is impossible to fall from grace John 10:28/ Rom 8:38,39
    It is possible to fall from grace Ezek 18:24/ Heb 6:4-6, 2 Pet 2:20,21

  • Erwin

    You are ‘the reason to believe!’:

    “For God so loved the world
    ( ie, you )
    that He gave His one and only Son,

    that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish
    but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
    ref Revelation 21:3-7;

  • Annerdr

    Oh, Erwin. There is no particular reason to believe in everlasting life. There is only proof of this particular life. Consequently, I’ll live it to my fullest.

  • Erwin

    True,
    but grace is not works:
    ref Eph 2:8-10;

    we’re saved ‘unto/to do good works’ wrought by Christ through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us

    who ‘believe by God’s grace-given gift of faith’,
    not by the act of doing them/good works.

    Good works
    ( ie, even our faith to believe )
    is a fruit/result of our salvation, not the root/cause of it.

    “By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works ( ie, of even ‘believing’)

    lest anyone should boast ( in themselves and their faith, and not in God and His grace-given gift of faith ).

    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR good works… “(ie, not BY good works )
    Eph 2:8-10.
    ref 1John 2:19; Matt 7:21.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘full life’
    ref John 10:10; 14:6;

    John 11:23-27,
    “… and whoever lives ( ie, now ) by believing in Me
    will never die (ie, spiritually )
    Do you believe this?…”

    Do you?
    ref Revelation 3:20-22;
    Philippians 4:13.

  • Erwin

    Hebrews 12:5-13,
    “…because the Lord disciplines the one He loves,
    and He chastens everyone He accepts as His Son.” verse 6.

    “…;but God discilpines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness.” verse 10.
    ref Job 2:10.

    2Chronicles 32:31,
    “…God left him ( King Hezekiah ) to test him ( King H.)

    that he ( King H.) might know all that was in his ( King H.’s) heart.”

    God already knew what was in the king’s heart,

    but the king, like us, had yet to see
    what was in his own heart,

    as we have yet to see what is in ours.

    Luke 22:31-32,
    “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat…

    and WHEN ( ie, not IF ) you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” ref Eph 2:10.

  • Annerdr

    Erwin. Please. Imagine that you were talking to someone who believed the Bible was a book of fictional stories written by man, like Harry Potter, for instance. How would quoting from Harry Potter be in any way persuasive as an argument?

  • Erwin

    You seem to ‘know/see’
    Scripture,
    but ‘understanding/hearing’ Scripture
    is another story.

    ref Matt 13:13; Jude 1:10; Hebrews 4:12;

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-15,
    “To everything there is a season,
    and a time to every purpose under heaven…”

    Isaiah 55:11,
    “So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth, it shall not return to Me void,

    but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

    ref Matt 11:28-30,
    “…and I will give you rest…” vs 28.

  • Erwin

    God can speak to us in many ways and by many means

    but none more so and more powerful than His Living Word, the Bible.
    ref Hebrews 4:12; 1:1-3;
    Romans 10:8-21.

    ‘Jesus Christ is ‘the Word made flesh.’ John1:14,
    which ‘was in the beginning with God and was ( and still is ) God.’
    John 1:1.

    For God doesnt ( and hasnt)
    change(d).
    Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8.

    John 14:1,
    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God;
    believe also in Me ( Jesus Christ)”
    ref John 14:27.

  • Annerdr

    Ah, but see I don’t believe it is a Living Word (TM). To me, it looks like a collection of myths and fables from many regions, such as the Sumerian creation myth and the common story line of the hero who descends to hell and yet lives. Nothing about the Bible looks or feels any different from the myths of the Romans and Greeks, the myths of the Norse, or the myths of the American Indians.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘worship’;

    John 4:19-26,
    “…You Samaritans worship what you do not know;
    we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews…

    I ( Jesus Christ ) the one speaking to you Am He.” verse 26.

    ( the Messiah of the Jews and Saviour/Light of the world and Lamb/Lamp of God ).”

    ref Genesis 22:8; John 1:29; 8:12;
    Revelation 22:12-21;
    Galatians 1:6-9.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘other beliefs/stories’:
    ref Romans 1:18-23,28-32.

    Reread Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8;
    Again, God doesnt and hasnt changed:

    of course there are similarities; just embelishments of the Truth

    passed down through cultures since the creation of mankind.
    ref Hebrews 1:1-3;
    Revelation 22:16-21.

  • Annerdr

    Funny, that doesn’t address other beliefs and stories at all. It addresses those who know God exists but deny it anyway. I don’t know God exists.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘knowing God’;
    “…No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, Who is

    Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father,
    has made Him known.”
    John 1:17-18; ref John 14:8-11.

  • Annerdr

    To believe in your god, as opposed to all the other gods out there, I’d need to have some proof beyond a book who says that your god is the real one. After all, other religions have their books as well, which state that their god is the one real god.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘proof’:

    “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”
    Romans 8:16;

    ref 1John 5:13;
    John 8:31-32.

  • Annerdr

    The Spirit, whoever that might be, skipped me. And my spirit. Whatever that might be.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘skipped’:

    “Seth also had a son and he named him Enosh.
    At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.”

    Acts 13:46-48,
    “…When the Gentiles heard this ,they were glad and honored the word of the Lord;

    and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.”
    ref Romans 8:29-39;

    1Cor 2:9-16,
    “…The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God

    but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit ”
    ref 1Cor 12:3.

  • Annerdr

    Well, there you go then. Confirmed in your book. I am the “person without spirit”.

  • Erwin

    Perhaps for now anyway?
    ref 2Chronicles 32:31 again.

    Romans 8:24,
    “…But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
    Who hopes for what they already have?”
    ref 1John 3:1-3; Job 19:25-27.

  • Annerdr

    What I already have is happiness in my life. I therefore do not hope for any of your holy spirit. It seems to bring a certain level of misery to most folks.

  • Erwin

    Purification not misery;

    1John 3:3,
    “All who have this hope in them purify themselves, just as He is pure.”

    Philippians 4:8,
    “…whatsoever things are pure…think on these things.”

    ref Psalm 18:30-31; 95:1.
    Ephesians 2:13-22.

  • Annerdr

    Yeah, not big on purity either. I don’t see the point to it. What exactly do you mean by purity anyway? Pure food? I find a blend of flavors is more delicious. Pure mind? What in the world would that entail? Not thinking?

  • Erwin

    Purity,
    ie, void of sin and its consequences:

    ref 2Cor 5:17; Revelation 21:1-5.

  • Annerdr

    Hmm, not much help as I don’t know what you mean by sin.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘sin’:
    ref Romans 1:18-32; James 4:17.
    Matt 25:40-46, 5:20.

    2Cor 5:21,
    “God made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us,

    so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God ( ie, by grace-given faith ).”

    ref Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6.

  • Annerdr

    No, what do YOU mean by sin. How would you personally define the word?

  • Erwin

    ‘Sin’ is not relative, but decisive:

    Let’s start with
    Commandment #10,
    Do Not covet! ( ie, lust after ) what is not yours,

    which may then lead to #9,#8,#7, and #6:( ie, Loving your neighbor as yourself):

    #9, Lying to get what you covet,
    (Do Not Lie! )

    #8 Stealing things, to get what you covet ( Do Not Steal!))

    #7 Taking anothers spouse ( or desiring to do so – lusting after),
    ( Do No Commit Adultery)

    #6 Taking anothers life ( or desiring to do so via hate) : Do Not Kill!

    likewise:

    Commandment #5,
    Honoring your parents ( and the Truth of Scripture they taught us from childhood)

    which may then lead to #4,#3,#2, and #1: ( ie, Loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind):

    #4 Honoring the Sabbath
    ( ie, Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross which Christians rest in: our Sabbath Rest )

    #3 Not using God’s name (teaching/authority ) in vain via false teaching and doctrine.

    #2 Not worshipping anything (that becomes an idol, including ideas and self ) other than God

    #1 Worshipping only the one and only True God as revealed in Holy Scripture, the Bible, and not any other god/gods.

    ref 2Timothy 2:15.

  • Annerdr

    Why these commandments? The only ten that are called “The Ten Commandments” in the Bible are these ten: Exodus 34:12-26

  • Erwin

    Ref Deuteronomy 5:4-22,

    but read then from #10-#1,
    the least to the greatest.

    #10-#6 concerning love for our neighbor,
    #5-#1 concerning love for our God.

    You cant hate/kill (#6) without coveting first(#10);
    and
    You cant love/know God (#1) without being taught of Him first (#5)
    [ ie, by parents or other teachers/authorities].

  • Annerdr

    And cooking baby goats?

  • Erwin

    The Law:
    The Ten Commandments:
    The Sum of the Law:
    Love God/Love Neighbor)

    Romans 1:26,
    “…They neither glorified Him as God
    ( by keeping Commandments #5-#1)

    nor gave thanks to Him
    ( by keeping Commandments #10-#6)

    but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

    “…And such were some of you…”
    1Corinthians 6:9-11

    The Gospel:
    “For God so loved the world th He GAVE His only begotten Son

    that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

    “.,.But God, Who is rich in mercy,
    for His great love wherewith He loved us,

    even when we were dead in sins
    has made us alive together with Christ, ( by grace you are saved;)

    and has raised us up together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus:…

    For by grace are you saved through faith;
    and that not of yourselves
    ( ie, by your own works):

    it is the gift of God. Not of works ((ie, of your own,
    but instead the work of Jesus Christ on your behalf ),

    lest any man should boast .
    ( ie, in themselves and not in God)

    For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works
    ( ie, the fruit not root of our salvation)

    which God has beforeordained that we should walk in them.”
    Ephesians 2:4-10.

    2Peter 3:11,
    “…what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness?”

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    In the story concerning the Pharaoh and his sorcerers, we read that he summoned all his magicians in order to defeat Moses, the one addressed by God (peace be upon our Prophet and him), hoping that with their ingenuity and magical powers, they might compel him to submit. But thanks to the miraculous power vested in Moses, they were overpowered and they turned to the true belief. The furious Pharaoh, whose arrogance had been broken, began to slander and threaten them, saying he would punish them with the worst of tortures: the severance of their limbs. But a profound revolution had taken place in the souls of the sorcerers; they remained firm and steadfast in the face of the threats and capling of the Pharaoh and his painful tortures. They replied, with remark- able fortitude, “..give orders for us to be tortured; your writ runs only in this narrow world.” (20:72).

    This was a clear display of the strength of the innate desire for truth and reality in man when confronted with suppression, coercion and brute force. Men who had lived at the very heart of the Pharaoh’s apparatus and had benefited from it, raised up their heads in rebellion and were ready to renounce their own lives.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    Belief in the Reality of the Unseen Involves More than God

    Modern physics tells us that the things of which we have sense perception are firm, solid and stable, and there is no visible energy in their motions. But despite outward appearances, what we, in fact, see and perceive is a mass of atoms that are neither firm nor solid nor stable; all things are nothing other than transformation, change and motion.

    What our sense organs imagine to be stable and motionless lack all stability and permanence and immobility; motion, change and development embrace them all, without this being perceptible to us by way of direct sensory observation.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    The specific inclination of man to religious concerns cannot, therefore, be explained in terms of materialist interpretations; on the contrary, incidents such as that of the sorcerers demonstrate the primacy of the religious sense in man.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    No doubt, in the primitive stages of his life, man was, indeed, prey to humiliating and painful terror when faced with awesome natural occurrences such as storms, earthquakes and diseases. A nightmare of fear cast its inauspicious shadow on all aspects of his life and his thoughts, and in the unceasing struggle he waged against impotence and fear, he sought a support where he might take refuge from his terrifying environment and find inner peace. Finally, through unrelenting effort, he conquered the nightmare of abjection and fear and attained a remarkable triumph.

  • Erwin

    Oh Really?

    John 1:1,14,
    “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word WAS God.”

    “And the Word was made flesh
    (ie, Jesus Christ )
    and dwelt among us

    (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)

    full of grace and truth.”
    ref John 14:6.

    Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35,
    “…’This is My beloved Son : hear Him!”

  • Erwin

    ref Genesis 3:15; 22:8
    and then Isaiah 53:1-12
    for its meaning.

    Mark 15:24,
    “And they crucified Him ( Jesus Christ )…”

    Mark 15:37-39,
    “… Truly, this man was the Son of God.” verse 39.

  • Erwin

    Reminiscent of Revelation 3:14-22.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘scientific conjecture not method’ re Creation;
    ref 1Timothy 6:20;
    this we do agree on;

    ref Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22;
    Galatians 1:6-9; Hebrews 1:1-3;
    John 1:9-14; 8:12,
    for what we don’t.

    ref 1John 5:13.

  • MNb

    Irrelevant as always.
    What again does the Bible say about bores like you?

  • MNb

    The only lesson that can be learned here is that you’re irrelevant and boring.
    What again does the Bible say about bores like you?

  • Erwin

    Ref Revelation 12:10-12.

  • Erwin

    Ref Matt 26:41; Zechariah 4:6;
    John 15:15; Philippians 4:13.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    The study of the different stages in the life of primitive man, and the discovery of evidence that fear prevailed in his thoughts, do not prove that fear and ignorance were the sole fundamental factor in man’s inclination to religion. Such an assertion would be the result of seeing only one dimension of the matter. General conclusions can be drawn from historical research and studies only when the entirety of history, with all the different periods in the life of man, is investigated and researched, not one corner of his vast and variegated history.

  • Erwin

    Ref Romans 1:18-32; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 12:37-50,
    to get to the point!

    Hebrews 13:8,
    “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

    Malachi 3:8,
    “I Am the Lord, and I change not;…”

    John 8:58,
    “Jesus said to them,’ Truly,truly, I say to you;
    before Abraham was , I Am .”

    Revelation 22:12-21,
    “…I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End…”

    “…Yes,I Am coming soon!” vs20

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    The domination of human affairs by fear and abjection in specific and limited periods must not be made the basis for a general judgment conceming all eras. Would it not be a hasty judgment to say that all the religious ideas and sentiments of men, the inclination to the worship of God in all periods down to and including the present, have been caused simply by terror, by fear of the wrath of nature, of war and disease?

  • Erwin

    Ref 2Timothy 4:3;

    1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:4-10,
    “… And such WERE some of you”,
    “…But God, Who is rich in mercy…”

  • MNb

    I can’t find the word “bore” in this quote. So I repeat:
    what again does the Bible say about bores like you?

  • Erwin

    MNb: Me Notlike bible;
    obviously!

    ref John 8:31-32; 1Cor6:9-11;
    Eph 2:4-10, while there’s still time;
    ref Luke 13:1-5; Rev 22:12.

  • MNb

    I can’t find the word “bore” in these quotes. So I repeat: what again does the Bible say about bores like you?

    “MNb: Me Notlike bible;obviously!”

    Wrong as always.
    MeNotLikeCommentsOfErwinCuzErwinBiggestBoreOnPatheos.

    I like parts of the Bible very much. Revelations never fails to give me a good laugh with its absurdist humor – proto Monty Python so to say.

    ref Rev 17:3-7 BWAHAHAHAHA!

  • Erwin

    Re ‘women in the Bible’:

    ref Revelation 12:1-17,
    “…She gave birth to a Son, a male child,
    Who ‘will rule all nations with an iron scepter.’ ( ref Isaiah 9:6-7)

    And her child was snatched up to God and to His throne.” vs 5.

    “…Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring-

    those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”
    vs.17.

    ref Ephesians 6:12; Rev 12:11.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘doubt’:
    ref James 1:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-24;

    Hebrews 11:6,
    “And without faith it’s impossible to please God,
    because anyone who comes to God must believe that He is,

    and that He rewards those who earnestly ( diligently ) seek Him.”

    ref Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6;
    Romans 4:3; James 2:23.

    Re ‘faith’:
    ref Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1;
    Ephesians 2:8-10; 4:1-8; 1Cor13:13.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘bore, as in, bearing/to bear’:
    ref Isaiah 53:4;

    1Peter 2:24,
    “‘He Himself bore our sins’ in His body on the cross, so that we might

    die to sins and live for righteousness;
    by His wounds you
    were healed.'” ref Isaiah 53:5,12.

    Matt 11:28-30,
    “Come to Me ( Jesus Christ)…
    And I’ll give you rest…”

    ref John 14:1,27;
    Titus 3:4,6,
    “God our Saviour…
    Jesus Christ our Saviour …”

  • MNb

    I’m not asking about what the Bible says about women, but about boring guys like you.

  • Erwin

    Ref Matt 26:63-66; Isaiah 53:7;

    Acts 8:30-39,
    “…’Do you understand what you are reading?’, Philip asked.

    ‘How can I’, he ( the Ethiopian ) said,
    ‘unless someone explains it to me?’…” verses 30-31.

    ref Isaiah 53:1, 2-12;
    Genesis 3:15;

    John 19:30,
    “…It is finished!
    And He bowed His head and gave up His Spirit.”
    ref John 10:17-21.

  • wakeupkeo

    Oh you’re a jerk here too, eh? iphone excuse again?

  • MNb

    I didn’t ask what the Bible says about understanding, reading and sin. I asked what the Bible says about boring guys like you. It seems that you need to reflect Acts 8:30-39, not me, because you clearly lack reading comprehensive skills.
    But arrogant as you are – and arrogance is a mortal sin – you won’t even realize, let alone admit it.

  • Hasnain Mohammed

    In actual fact, the most firmly convinced among men are by no means the weakest. Those who, in the course of time, have raised high the banner of religion have been the strongest and most steadfast of men. A person’s faith is never increased in proportion to his weakness, and the leader of a people in matters of religious belief is not the foremost among them in weakness, abjectness and impotence.

    Is the belief in religion of thousands of scholars and thinkers the product of fear on their part of storms, earthquakes and disease? Can their inclination to religion, the result of scholarly studies, of logic and rational proof, be attributed to their ignorance and lack of awareness of the natural causes of phenomena? What would be the answer of an intelligent person?

    Moreover, it is not in order to attain some kind of peace that man tums to religion. Rather, it is after attaining belief and conviction that he begins to enjoy the fruits of religion—peace and tranquility.

    In the opinion of divinely guided scholars, the world is a compendium of finely calculated causes and reasons, the precise system of the cosmos bearing witness to the existence of a source characterized by knowledge and power. The confused and incomprehensible brush strokes of a painting cannot be taken as the indication of a skilled artist, but precise strokes and designs with meaningful content are indeed evidence for the existence of a talented painter.

  • wakeupkeo

    Regarding rude: my edited comment was not about your name and you know this.

  • Erwin

    Merry Christmas everyone!