10/04/2002                                                                                       View Comments

Becoming an Ex-Christian

Are you caught up in an unhealthy, compulsive and destructive Christian lifestyle?

Do you feel that your Jesus fetish is screwing up your brain and isolating you from the rest of modern society?

Do crucifixes, Bibles and songs like "Onward Christian Soldiers" turn you on?

The truth is, you don't have to be a Christian. You can recover. There is hope. Many men and woman have reclaimed their brains and walked away from the Christian lifestyle. It's not about hate, it's about hope.

The TRUTH about Christianity:
The truth is, Christianity is a fusion of an ancient Jewish set of legends and myths, such as all ancient societies had, mixed up with a bizarre little personality cult that emerged in the first century. It has no relevance to modern society, and time and time again the progress of reason and science has shown it to be inaccurate.

Symptoms of Christianity:
1)Jesus fetish. Those afflicted with Christianity develop an obsessive fixation on a man known as Jesus Christ, an ancient cult leader who they say 'loves' them and whose corpse, after he was executed, they believe climbed out of his tomb and ate some food and then went on a space trip into heaven. This man apparently 'saved' them from their 'sins' when he came back from the dead.

2)Intellectual suicide. Sufferers completely close down their brain and ignore science, logic and reason. Christians, having abandoned their brains, rely on a book, the "Bible", for answers to everything - including how to handle their sex lives.

3)Anti-social behavior. Christians often retreat from, or condemn the rest of society which they believe is full of "sinners".

4)Paranoia and psychotic delusions. Christians believe that a fearsome monster, which they call 'Satan', is at large in the world 'tempting' them and trying to drag people off and burn them in his den, know as 'hell'. This monster, 'Satan', is alleged to be red with horns and often carries a pitch fork.

5)Anti-family attitudes. Christianity is very anti-family. Anyone who believes in family values should be appalled at this cult. For instance, the mythical leader of Christianity, Jesus Christ, says the following in the Bible: "If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and his mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 14:26 "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." - Matthew 10:35-6 It is clear that the radical Christian agenda is to destroy the sacred institution of the family and therefore it must not be tolerated.

6)Violence. Christians have been responsible for some of the most horrific acts of violence, murders and genocide in history. The Crusades, where thousands of Muslims were slaughtered, the genocide of South Americans conducted by the Spanish Conquistadors, the murder of MILLIONS of men and women accused of being 'heretics' and 'witches' in the 16th and 17th century are only a few examples of countless acts of cold blooded sadism conducted in the name of this cult. While the Christians have cut back on their murders in recent years, they still very successfully drive countless numbers of gay youth to suicide.

7)Sexual hang-ups. Christians often suffer from very severe sexual hang-ups, where perfectly natural and enjoyable human feelings are interpreted as 'evil' and therefore dangerously repressed. This can lead to very unhealthy inner turmoil and psychological trauma.

8)Hatred and bigotry. Although not surfacing in all cases, symptoms of pathological hatred and bigotry often surface in Christians. It is no coincidence that hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan are fanatical Christians. Although not all Christians are like this, the point is that many are, so therefore the potential for such dangerous and insidious mentalities is inherent in the cult. It is interesting to note that a religion such as Buddhism, which for it's widespread influence is the Eastern equivalent of Christianity, although being extremely widespread and diversified has never harbored any hate groups.

Walk out of the Christian lifestyle today! Remember, no one has to be a Christian. You were not 'born that way'. There is hope. You can leave your destructive lifestyle. "

198 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have as much fun as you can now, webmaster and your ilk. Eternity may not be so great for you.

.:webmaster:. said...

Ah yes, the threats of those who claim to have the unconditional love of god flowing through their lives.

Threats...

Dave8 said...

Have as much fun as you can now, anonymous and your ilk. Eternity doesn't exist.

BressonF8 said...

Sweet mother of Jebus!

God bless you...

I will say a prayer to Fetus Jesus for your soul.

Alan

You may get a kick out of my friends website www.skewyou.com


A-

apinon@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

How about becoming non-committing about anyrthing related to Christian faith?
How about staying clear re anything they might say?
Remember: you are you, they are them, and most important of all YOU ARE OUT while they still ARE IN.

Awakener said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Awakener said...

Flaw 1) Not a corpse, a resurrection body. Paul used the analogy of a seed - the seed is different from the plant that grows from it, though the two are related.
Flaw 2) Um, I'd like to point out the many Christian scientists, not only now, but all through history. You are referring to fundamentalists, and judging the many by the few.
Flaw 3) Um, sure. We don't have people like mother Teresa who spend their whole lives looking after others. Also, Christianity teaches that everyone sins - even Christians. If they didn't, they wouldn't need Jesus to die on the cross for them.
Flaw 4) Some believe in Satan, some do not. Some feel that it is a metaphor for temptation. Few believe that it has red horns and a pitchfork - it would have little power to tempt people if it were like this. The theory goes it was once an angel, so it is likely that if it exists as a sentient being, it would be beautiful.
Flaw 5) The first quote means that believers must be devoted to Christ above all else. The second warns that by following Christ, Christians may be rejected by their families. And by the way, Luke 10:35-6 is actually part of the story of the Good Samaritan. You meant Matthew.
Flaw 6) Yes, Christians have done some horrible things - when they ignored the Commandment: to love your neighbour as yourself. But then, people generally have done some awful things. Let's look at 2 recent examples of unpleasant people:

Hitler - Atheist, tried to destroy the Catholic Church, and replace it with a Reich church devoted to him. Him regime killed the occasional million people or 6.

Stalin - Atheist. Killed a *cough*few*cough* people in the purges.

There was war before Christianity. There was rape and murder and slavery and thievery. And some of it was committed by atheists - should you all be blamed?
I know several bisexual and gay Christians, all of whom are made most welcome in churches. Christians are told to love everyone; even those they feel are sinning. Hate the sin, but love the sinner. So even those who do feel homosexuality is a sin are sinning if they are rude or in any way unpleasant towards gay people. I point this out to mean Christian people. Incidentally, the only abuse received by the gay people above was from rude, arrogant teenagers who are - you guessed it - Atheist!
Flaw 7) I know a 17 year old Christian who has a young son and is yet to marry his girlfriend. Christians may try not the think about having sex with random girls they see, but this is about respect - it is polite not to think of girls purely for the purposes of sex.
Flaw 8) The Nazis weren't a Christian hate group. Hate groups will appear wherever one group believes it is superior to another. 'Christians' who are members of hate groups are ignoring their God, who taught them to love and that all people are equal before him. But I agree, Buddhists are nice :)

And finally, to disprove the intro. Science has proven nothing other than that a literal, fundamentalist interpretation is silly. Science can show how most things happen. But it has no clue why things happen; it can only use the idea of cause and effect. The big bang is argued to be the cause of the universe, but it does not create anything - it states that everything already existed, in an infinitely compressed form. Science says how, religion says why. This is why, for many people, there need be no competition between science and religion.

Finally, finally. You speak in a rude and disrespectful manner, which is quite unnecessary. You will only generate hatred. For my part, I apologise for the rudeness shown towards you by other speakers.

guerillabob said...

very immature site. its like a i hate my ex-girlfriend site. but to each his own. waste of energy.

boomSLANG said...

Excuse me Mr.Bob...but why is this website "immature"?


....::hmmm, what would make him say that?...?...?::....


Ooo! Ooo! I got it!...could it be because you're a Christian? LMAO!!!

NaLalina said...

Awakener, Hitler was not an atheist. He denounced atheism and claimed to be a Christian. Christians like to say that he was not a "true" Christian. But a person's identification with Christianity cannot be negated by other people's judgments.

NaLalina said...

Awakener,
The defintion of science is not "how" and the defintion of religion is not "why." Science is the empirical method of understanding things. Religion is the use of intuition and reliance on authority to make claims about things related to worship of deity/deities. The two are in competition only when religionists claim that scientific findings are wrong because the findings contradict their religious claims.

"Atheism is nothing more than a commitment to the most basic standard of intellectual honesty: One's convictions should be propotional to one's evidence....--pretending to be certain about propositions for which no evidence is even conceivable--is both an intellectual and a moral failing."
--Sam Harris, "An Atheist Manifesto" http://www.truthdig.com/dig/page4/200512_an_atheist_manifesto/

Anonymous said...

I am an atheist but this is a bit angsty and silly. The best way to convert people is definitely not to insult them or their beliefs.

Anonymous said...

this website blows harder than your mom and athena combined. i am a sttrong believer in the greek mythological faith. i will pray to zeus to give u good rain and a plentiful harvest. don't be hatin' hephaestus. emo out!!!

Elizabeth said...

Good grief, you must hate Christians...lol...say do you have any ex-Muslim sites as well???

Dano said...

Elizabeth wrote:
"Good grief, you must hate Christians...lol...say do you have any ex-Muslim sites as well???"

To Elizabeth from Dan,
A very excellent ex-Muslim site that does a fantastic job of shining light upon the nonsense of the Muslim religion is:

http://www.news.faithfreedom.org/

Dan (An equal opportunity religion exposer)

.:webmaster:. said...

Don't forget Secularism.org and ApostatesofIslam.com.

Anonymous said...

What was before the bing bang dear people,
what about the myth of abiogenesis (spontanious creation of life as evolutionists claim life to have started)

people what do you believe? do you believe anything or dont you care for what might be real?

i believe in a god it takes the same or probably less strength then to believe in the assumption of abiogenesis...

Shannon said...

"i believe in a god it takes the same or probably less strength then to believe in the assumption of abiogenesis..."

Silly people quit asking all though dumb questions. The answer is very easy: Ta da! God did it! What's really great about this is that there is no thinking required. And you can use it for every answer for every test question. Ta da! God did it! Another A+ for me. Sweet.

Burgerking said...

What if the non-believer does not want to believe... I think this site is fantastic. Christianity is rubbish...

Also, posting a whole slab of crap is probably not a good idea... it's a good way to irritate people, however... I don't need to know the extended history of the bible, i know enough of religion to not want any part in it.

Anonymous said...

this site its so stupid, i will pray for your soul, cause there is no salvation for people like you, i know that jesus took your life in some occasion and beacuase he didnt give u the things you want, like money , girls o sex you decide to say that thats not real, but remeber he meade it to keep you and to teachyou grat things ,

im sorry

remeber taht Gsus luv u,

The_Informer said...

I am ill. A hazard to the world around me. My disease is this: I have an immortal soul. In this condition I have commited crimes not against the state, but against the statement, including the ultimate sin: betrayal of my human nature. By trusting in a God you rejected, I have gained full control of my libido and aggression, and in the process became something more than your Darwinist views could ever explain. So I must be cured so that "normal" people cal still sleep at night. So you shove your cure, your bitter defeatest worldview down my throat every day. But the more bitter the pill, the sweeter the disease. My soul is a terminal, untreatable case. So you options. A, you let me slip, I go on spreading the "disease",I win. Or B, you euthanize me, I go to Christ, I still win. I cannot lose, and my cause gets stronger by the hour. And that leaves you terrified. So cure me with your words and your pills. Hell, cure me with a .22 rifle for all I care. You flayed my savior alive and crucified him, and I expect and accept no less from you. I am a Christian and this is my manifesto.

Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

i have been dead three times.
anyone whom thinks eternity is
empty is very pathetic. i feel
so sorry for you. your life is so
dead. how can I help you past
secular stupidity? the beyond
is greater than most can realize!
the TRINITY is all. i worry for
your soul.

Shannon said...

Anon 8/06/2006 1:20 AM

Sorry to tell you this but there does seem to be a physiological explanation for near death experience. Your brain is generally the last part of you that dies. As you cease to breath and your heart ceases to pump, oxygen does not get to your brain. Oxygen depravation causes you to experience hallucinations or pushes you into a dreamlike state. Many people who have had centrifuge training have had the same hallucination/dreamlike experiences as people who have had NDEs.

Anonymous said...

Shannon, you have no clue about NDE's. Please explain why, then, are out-of-body experiences so many times verifiable? Please explain how people can witness actual events while 'dead' and then are able to report them and have them verified to be accurate?? You need to do much research, oh grasshopper.

http://www.near-death.com/experiences/evidence02.html

boomSLANG said...

Anon,

Since "internet authority" holds so much weight, please post another link---but this time, post a link where the individual has been taken to the morgue; has had their chest cavity cracked open; has had their organs removed, weighed, and stuffed back in; has had their cranium sawed off; has had their brain removed, weighed, disected and discarded...in other words, someone who is REALLY f%cking dead. Yes, if you can find just ONE case, and post the link where a person who's been through ALL of the above processes, and who then LEAPS OFF the gurney and starts "reporting world events" that have taken place while being dead? THEN we'll talk.

Shannon said...

Verifiable? Quoi? Did you take your video camera with you? Can I have a copy of the video – time coded, please?

Sure, NDEs are 'real' but in what context are they 'real'? Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Testimonials are not proof. “While I was dead: you were there, and you were there, and you were there.” Seems to me that NDEs experiences are life content related….if grandma knits you see grandma knitting. You don’t see her secret life where she f**ks the mailman while grandpa is off play golf.

Some people have claimed to be kidnapped by space aliens. These people share an incredible similar experience. Does it make it true? The kidnapping, that is. What they experienced could have been very real. But what was the real experience? Was it really space aliens or was it night terrors? During medieval times people experience night terrors but instead of the space aliens it was the devil that did naughty things to them.

For what evidence that we have, I find that NDEs are hallucinations or a dreamlike state brought on by oxygen depravation.

Anonymous said...

"Verifiable? Quoi? Did you take your video camera with you? Can I have a copy of the video – time coded, please?"

No, I don't have a video. Why would you ask? Yeah, sure makes you look intelligent asking for something like that, doesn't it? A video. You've got to be (in your immature words) f**ing kidding. Shannon, don't be stupid here, OK? It doesn't help your credibility here.

"Sure, NDEs are 'real' but in what context are they 'real'? Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. Testimonials are not proof.

You're absolutely right. But hey - I'm not one of the doctors who can verify these events, now am I? I've never witnessed these events first hand, like so many in the medical profession have, am I?? But then, YOU make insane claims about your religion, don't you? Jesus the Son of God, miracles, prophesies - all that crap in a book written by men that you are so willing to devout your life to. So what's the difference, then, Shannon? What makes NDE's less credible than, say, the tennents of your Christianity?? You have a whole religious construct built on extraordinary claims; and an entire holy book full of extraordinary claims made by people!! Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, Shannon - Testimonials are not proof.

"“While I was dead: you were there, and you were there, and you were there.” Seems to me that NDEs experiences are life content related….if grandma knits you see grandma knitting. You don’t see her secret life where she f**ks the mailman while grandpa is off play golf."

Stop generalizing and read the ENTIRE website. Shannon, how old are you? By the way you post all smart-alecky like, you must be about thirteen. I know now with certainty you have never read all that is written on that page I posted. F**king the mailman. Gee. Best you've got? You can't even prove your point in a mature fashion, so why should I even give you the time of day? Perhaps I should stoop to your intellectual level here for a moment: Shannon, f**k off, OK? :-)

"Some people have claimed to be kidnapped by space aliens. These people share an incredible similar experience. Does it make it true? The kidnapping, that is. What they experienced could have been very real. But what was the real experience? Was it really space aliens or was it night terrors? During medieval times people experience night terrors but instead of the space aliens it was the devil that did naughty things to them.

For what evidence that we have, I find that NDEs are hallucinations or a dreamlike state brought on by oxygen depravation.

Good for you. And I find that Christianity is brought on by intellectual deprivation. And I have just as much evidence to support that claim. Shannon, do yourself a favour and just go away. go to a Christian forum. We don't want you here, and we don't give a rat's ass about your crazy beliefs. Go away. -Wes.

Shannon said...

Wes dear heart, I am not a Christian. Never really been one. Twenty-some years ago, I mildly assumed that there was a god in the Christian/Judea/Islamic sense but that’s the closest that I got to believing in a ‘God’. As a teenage/young adult, I dabbled in the occult. Got myself a book on witchcraft, tarot cards and burned all sorts of candles. Nothing happened. Ever.

The more I’ve studied the more that I side with Richard Dawkins: “The universe observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

What happens after our death is unknowable. As boomSLANG said (paraphrasing): “No one has died, been through a full autopsy, came back to life and had a story to tell.”

While I find what happens after death to be unknowable, I also believe our consciousness is not separate from our body. Our consciousness is a product of our physiology. When we died, we cease to exist completely. So, while I take the stance that what happens after death is unknowable, I, IMO, do claim that nothing happens because in death we simply cease to exist.

If our consciousness is product of our physiology then NDEs are too. As I said, NDEs may be real but in what context are they real.

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with you people?! this is brilliant, and so true, every word in there is the truth.

J. C. Samuelson said...

To The Informer,

First off, thanks for choosing a name other than "Anonymous." As for the rest of your post, well let's just say that although you're certainly capable of slinging metaphors, your wisdom leaves something to be desired.

"I am ill. A hazard to the world around me."

The first step to recovery...

"I have gained full control of my libido and aggression..."

...and have become delusional instead.

"My soul is a terminal, untreatable case."

Not really. It's nothing that a psychotherapist and closely monitored meds can't cure.

"I cannot lose, and my cause gets stronger by the hour."

Actually, Christianity is growing at a snail's pace compared to other religions/ideologies. According to the 2001 American Religious Identification Study, from 1990 to 2000, the proportion of the population that self-identify as Christian dropped nearly 10% from 86.2% to 76.5% (roughly .9% per year).

Tables extracted from the study and located here shows some growth in sheer numbers due to population increase (+5%). However, ten other religious groups (including non-religious/secular) outpace this growth by at least 20 times that of Christianity. There has even been speculation that Wicca will be the 3rd largest faith in the U.S. by 2012, though I don't have the citation handy.

Your 'cause' is dying an agonizingly slow death, but it is dying.

"And that leaves you terrified."

Hmm...I thought it was gas, but if you say so...

"You flayed my savior alive and crucified him..."

Assuming your Jesus actually lived, his death would've occurred roughly 1,939 years before I was conceived, so unless you believe in immortality...oh, nevermind.

Anonymous said...

Whoever that anon guy at the top was. FUCKING GROW UP, ISNT IT ABOUT TIME YOU STOPPED BELIVEING IN FAIRY STORYS.

In fact i hope the shit u speak is true. Cause your lives suck so much now. You deserve some good stuff.

99% of you guys will never have sex. And the 1% that do is when theyre 9 with a preist.

Anonymous said...

who cares anyway lets get pissed

Anonymous said...

Whoever that anon guy at the top was. FUCKING GROW UP, ISNT IT ABOUT TIME YOU STOPPED BELIVEING IN FAIRY STORYS.

In fact i hope the shit u speak is true. Cause your lives suck so much now. You deserve some good stuff.

99% of you guys will never have sex. And the 1% that do is when theyre 9 with a preist.

posted: 8/
Hi I am new to this site as i am questioning my beliefs but i saw this post above and the last line was rather upsetting as a relative of a child who was abused by a priest i think it was in bad taste..otherwise i feel that the website challenges your beliefs and makes you see things in a new light UK girl

Anonymous said...

This is Jesus, ha ha, I had a good laugh at some of these posts. I exist, right now I'm in the pool sipping on a tall glass of beer. It's beautiful up here in heaven with all the angels. Some of them are wearing bikini's, yes I invented women as well as men. Made a better job of it the second time, ha ha
You see I just wanted people to love each other, but the religious people did me in. You know the type, at least you can hate them I have to love them, think how I feel. Well I have to go now, I hope this clears things up. I know you can't see me but I'm raising my glass for a little toast to the good people. Oh, and Mary says hi, she looks gorgeous. Your heavenly dude buddy, Jesus

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I find most comments here to be very entertaining. Christian, Muslim, Buddhists, Atheists.... When will we learn? It is only when we are accepting of all that we have any merit to criticize. But in our acceptance we no longer have a reason to criticize. However it is amusing to watch all of these fools hurl insults back and forth:)

boomSLANG said...

So then, are you NOT "accepting of all"...?...?...or are you a "fool" too?

Anonymous said...

not that long ago a woman died screaming her brothers name (a known christian that had passed on before her)saying please pull my feet out of the flames. if there is no hell or heaven where did she go when life left her.

.:webmaster:. said...

I whit ya, anony. I ain't got no learning about 'postrophes or captials neither, but I'sa goin' to heben!

Heathens! Gargoyes!

Jim Arvo said...

Wow, good question, Anonymous.

Here's another one. Where do you suppose all those words and icons on my computer screen go when I turn off my computer? Do you think there's a big pile of them somewhere? I mean, they must go SOMEWHERE when they're not on my screen, right?

Anonymous said...

Icons are not souls,you just have one soul. Where will yours be when you die?

boomSLANG said...

Anony-fundy said: "Icons are not souls,you just have one soul. Where will yours be when you die?"

Please tell us----in what part of the human body does this thing called a "soul" exist? In which body part, or parts, does it reside? Please think this through before you answer(if you answer), and consider that it surely CANNOT exist in the human "heart", as people receive transplants all the time, and they are not "different" people when they awake. If you answer "brain", then several questions immediately arise: In which segment/lobe of the brain does the "soul" exist?.. as there are many, each having a specific function. Be specific in your answer, giving scientific evidence. Also, if a child is born retarded and spends it's adult life retarded, does it spend eternity "retarded" when the body dies? Or how about this---if a healthy 5 yr child gets hit by a car and dies, does it spend an eternity with the mentality of a 5 yr old? If not, what "age" of mentality is the child "granted" at death? Does the "soul" float around with a pre-schooler IQ? How 'bout a teenaged IQ?...or is it a middle-aged IQ?...a senior citizen IQ? Which? Lastly(for now)...if the "soul" resides in the brain, then what?...medicine can "alter" one's "soul"????

Please---make it make logical sense for us. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

First off, I want to fix your retarded post so others can understand it better:

--
Not that long ago, a woman died screaming her brother's name (a known Christian that had passed on before her) saying, "Please pull my feet out of the flames." If there is no hell or heaven, where did she go when life left her?
--

There. That's better.

Now for my question to you. Who was this person, and how can I verify this story as fact? Whom can I contact to validate this experience for this audience? Can you send me a phone number? I want to contact whomever was in the room when she died. I want to speak with them directly and get the facts from them, OK? Waiting... You can post this information here, OK? Thanks. -Wes.

Anonymous said...

>>
Wow, good question, Anonymous.
Here's another one. Where do you suppose all those words and icons on my computer screen go when I turn off my computer? Do you think there's a big pile of them somewhere? I mean, they must go SOMEWHERE when they're not on my screen, right?
>>

Haha - that's funny, only 'cause I told my sister the other day to stop refreshing websites when she gets frustrated with her slow internet connection! I told her that all the stuff that WAS on the screen has to go back to the website owner to get sorted out and recycled! Ha! :-) -Wes.

Anonymous said...

>>
Icons are not souls,you just have one soul. Where will yours be when you die
>>

I suppose YOU KNOW? Oh, boy - can't wait. Please tell us, and then afterwards perhaps you can share with us the story about how you became aware of such wonderful knowledge? Woo-hoo!! -Wes.

Anonymous said...

I believe in Jebuddhammedeus Allayahwemosechrist. There. I ain't goin' to no one's hell!! -Wes.

Anonymous said...

The spirit in man that is believed to be separate from the body and is the source of a person's emotional,spiritual, and moral nature. If there is no soul wy do people die, Im asking you because you seem to know it all. Give me facts that there is no God. I know very little, you may even say Im a
Reatard. where will you be when life is gone. If you believe in science thats fine you may be a monkey. Im not,and i dont think you are either. There's a Devil after you will he get you. If i am wrong no big deal, but if you are wrong you will burn for eternity thinking about what we are talking about right now. You will not make fun of "God" and go unpunished. You my friend may even meet him tomarrow. What you do now will echo for eternity. Fact is you will die.

.:webmaster:. said...

I'm sorry Anony, this has either got to be a joke, or else you're only 12 or 13 years old.

Do your parents know you are on this site?

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "Icons are not souls,you just have one soul. Where will yours be when you die?"

You didn't answer my question. Where are all those icons when my computer is off? I don't mean the *bits* encoding the icons, which still reside on the disk; I mean the glowing pattern of pixels that I perceive when I look at my screen. Where does that go?

If you actually try to answer my silly question, it may give you some insight into yours. You see, your question is every bit as silly as mine. Where does my soul go? The same place unicorns go when they die. It's right next to Peter Pan's hideout, which is just around the corner from Zeus's abode. Are you catching on?

If I interpret your question as the more rational "What happens to a person when they die," I can tell you what has been observed: one's body ceases to function, including their brain. They no longer process thoughts, feel pain, or exhibit volition. Eventually they decay. Now, if you're positing something else--something akin to flying off with Peter Pan--then please tell me what evidence you have for this.

Jim Arvo said...

Reading the latest post from "Anonymous", I'd have to agree with the Webmaster's assessment; 12 or 13 sounds about right, 15 at the outside. Are we close Anonymous? I won't hold it against you if you're a juvenile, it would just be useful to know, as it may temper some of the replies that you'll be getting.

south2003 said...

Annoying,

You're not sure of a damn thing are you? The only time you used your brain in your post it was to say:

"Fact is you will die."

Well, add this to your brain as well:

When you die, you will be worm food and so will your god(s)!!!

Jim Arvo said...

Wes said "...I told her that all the stuff that WAS on the screen has to go back to the website owner to get sorted out and recycled!"

Now hold on a minute. You mean to tell me that it doesn't work that way? Sheesh, these darn computers are too complex for me. :-)

Believer said...

While many have been injured by 'false christianity', many, many more have been greatly helped by the power of Jesus's name. Lives have been radically changed as people have been set free of drug addictions, uncontrollable anger, harmful sexual addictions and family relationships are restored. Christianity is responsible for building hospitals, orphanges, schools, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and many more worthwhile organizations all over the world.

It is amazing how much of history has been distorted in order to make christianity look bad.The radical Islamists were force converting by the sword from the time of Mohammed in the 7th to the 12th century, even as many of them are doing today. The crusades were a defensive war in order to defend their christian brothers and sisters and to take back land the Moslems had stolen.

As far as having to leave one's brains in order to believe in Christ, science consistently confirms it. When an elite at Harvard law school undertook to examine the ressurrection of Jesus Christ, it was found that the ressurrection is the most single provable event in all of history using the most rigorous standards.

Some people believe that at one time something the size of the period at the end of this sentence exploded (big bang)and 'created' everything in our universe even this planet earth which has everything 'just right' in order for life to exist. Talk about leaving one's brains at the door!

Science also supports creationism, such as the law of biogenesis(life always comes from life), the cambrian explosion (sudden appearance of all types of life in the first layer of earth), the irreducible complexity of even the simplest life forms.

I cannot explain where the soul exists and there are many things about God I do not understand, but science upholds it. I decided to believe it and it was the best decision I ever made. God, by the power of Jesus's name gave me victories over a destructive lifestyle, overcame drug use and addictions, healed my marriage and has given me a meaningful and joyous life that is worth living. Hope everyone who reads this will accept Jesus too.

Astreja said...

Believer: "When an elite at Harvard law school undertook to examine the ressurrection of Jesus Christ..."

Law school??? "Examine the resurrection"? Examine what? There is no physical evidence. There is no first-hand testimony contemporary with the supposed events. There is no documentation of the various weirdnesses that supposedly accompanied the CruciFiction -- No solar eclipse darkening the land. No rabbinical accounts of the veil of the temple being shredded. No visitors to Jerusalem writing of earthquakes and dead rising from their graves. Nada. Not a sausage.

The various stories related to the alleged life and death of Jesus are hearsay taken from the various gospels (written several decades after the supposed events, and unlikely to have been written by eyewitnesses).

Hearsay is not acceptable evidence in a court of law, and any real lawyer would know that. I call bullshit on your story.

.:webmaster:. said...

The Crusades were a defensive war?

History is always an interesting study, and historians filter the information through their own minds.

Regardless of whether centuries of church-sanctioned atrocities can be accurately described as "defensive" or not, it certainly can't be argued that that behavior was Christ-like. I'm sorry, I just can't envision Jesus in a suit of armor, slashing and cutting his way through a crowd of scimitar swinging Muslims. I can envision a hoard of ancient Hebrews following a blood-thirsty Jehovah killing, raping and stealing. But maybe we're just not talking about the same deity.

...planet earth which has everything 'just right' in order for life to exist. Talk about leaving one's brains at the door!

Yes, everything is "just right." Tsunamis are "just right." Skin cancer from the Sun's radiation is "just right." Hurricanes, earth quakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, famine, fire, innumerable diseases... Yup, everything is "just right."

All life has been nearly wiped off of this planet several times in mass extinctions. I guess that was "just right" too.

As far as using the Cambrian Explosion as evidence that Jesus is the son of god, well, that seems a bit a stretch to me. Besides, all the data on the Cambrian Explosion, as it is called, isn't in yet. LINK It would be jumping the gun a bit to make life-changing religious conclusions based on the limited information we have about a time in our world history that took place many, many millions of years ago. Especially when the religion one is promoting says the universe is only 6,000 years old.

You mentioned Biogenesis, but failed to mention Abiogenesis. Also, Read this: Irreducible complexity.

You need to understand both sides of an argument before flexing your apologetic biceps. Knowing both sides of the discussion makes for a much better debate.

Really all you are doing here is copying the rhetoric of pop Christianity in it's search for a "God-of-the-gaps." Of course there are gaps in our knowledge and understanding of events that took place hundreds of millions or even billions of years ago. Duh, talk about leaving one's brains at the door! Having a gap in our knowledge is certainly a poor excuse for evidence, don't you think. I mean, if you had some real solid evidence of your god, I don't think you'd have to work so hard to find gaps in science for him to be found.

That god of yours is shrinking as the gaps are filled. First he was the God who sat upon the circle of the earth, looking down at the flat coin-shaped disk under his throne. Now God resides somewhere else. The greatest fear of Christianity is that people will unravel the present mysteries of life and their god will be squeezed further out of reasonable minds.

Jim Arvo said...

Believer wrote "While many have been injured by 'false christianity', many, many more have been greatly helped by the power of Jesus's name."

Interesting assertion. On what do you base that?

Believer: "Christianity is responsible for building hospitals, orphanges, schools, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and many more worthwhile organizations all over the world."

But if you stop there, then you are guilty of special pleading--i.e. only considering the evidence that supports your contention. You must also consider...

1) The atrocities committed under the banner of Christianity, which are responsible for untold millions of deaths, and

2) The good that has been done by secular organizations and philanthropists.

If you have some objective measure by which to compare these, then please do enlighten us.

Believer: "It is amazing how much of history has been distorted in order to make christianity look bad."

Most of that needs no distortion whatsoever to make Christianity look bad. Is there a way you can spin the inquisition and the crusades to make them look good?

Believer: "...The crusades were a defensive war in order to defend their christian brothers and sisters and to take back land the Moslems had stolen..."

Evidence please. I suppose you're going to tell me that Pope Innocent III's edict, during the Albigensian Crusade, was also purely a defensive measure. You know, "Kill them all. God will know his own."

Believer: "As far as having to leave one's brains in order to believe in Christ, science consistently confirms it."

You know what's funny about statement's like that? They always fall apart when examined. Please cite some sources. I can virtually guarantee that they are not backed by ANY scientific evidence. The vast majority of such rhetoric is nothing more than the uninformed rantings of fundamentalists, which is then ignorantly propagated by uncritical believers. I can cite hundreds of cases of this, and have found nary an exception.

Believer: "When an elite at Harvard law school undertook to examine the ressurrection of Jesus Christ, it was found that the ressurrection is the most single provable event in all of history using the most rigorous standards."

Case in point. You are no doubt referring to Simon Geenleaf, one of the founders of the Harvard Law School, and an eminent legal scholar. From you comment I shall presume that you never read the book you are referring to, and probably don't even know it's title: FYI it is "The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice...", published in 1874. He in no way proved nor claimed to prove the outrageous assertion that "the resurrection is the most single provable event in all of history...". That is another layer of embellishment that you are now echoing. In a nutshell, Greenleaf's thesis was that, according to accepted legal standards, the testimony of the Gospel writers is compelling evidence for the divinity of Jesus. In short, this thesis is a tapestry of outlandish assertions, presuppositions, and (dare I say it) abysmal legal thinking. I've written about this at length elsewhere, so I'm not going to launch into again here. If you want to discuss Greenleaf's thesis, I suggest you first read the book.

Believer: "Some people believe that at one time something the size of the period at the end of this sentence exploded (big bang)and 'created' everything in our universe even this planet earth which has everything 'just right' in order for life to exist. Talk about leaving one's brains at the door!"

Yes, once again, that's an excellent example of failing to use any critical thinking at all--on your part. Who are these "people" who continue to use that silly cliché about the "period at the end of this sentence"? You clearly have no idea what you are talking about, and are again simply echoing something you're heard. Do some legitimate research first. Then, if you want to discuss it, come on back.

Believer: "Science also supports creationism, such as the law of biogenesis(life always comes from life), the cambrian explosion (sudden appearance of all types of life in the first layer of earth), the irreducible complexity of even the simplest life forms."

More creationists "talking points" consisting little sound bites (with no context) or implying widespread support for a few crackpot ideas, such as "irreducible complexity". (Obviously, you've never read Behe's book, right? And clearly you have never been exposed to any scientific rebuttals of his ideas, right?)

Believer: "I cannot explain where the soul exists..."

You skipped right over WHETHER the soul exists. Can you offer anything to support that? Can you even define it?

Believer: "...but science upholds it."

That's complete rubbish. More vacuous creationist "talking points". Point to the supposed "scientific evidence", please.

Believer: "...God, by the power of Jesus's name gave me victories over a destructive lifestyle, overcame drug use and addictions, healed my marriage and has given me a meaningful and joyous life that is worth living."

If you managed to do all those things, then I commend you. But I think it is infinitely more plausible that you accomplished them through your own determination, and with the help of those around you, than through the agency of some invisible conscious being who pulls strings for you. I say that because I have seen the first scenario countless times, yet not a single shred of credible evidence for the latter.

Believer: "Hope everyone who reads this will accept Jesus too."

That's extremely naive. On what basis do you have that "hope"? You've obviously not done your homework on ANY of the points you've raised, and you (apparently) completely dismiss the fact that WE HAVE done that homework.

Jim Arvo said...

Silly me, I just realized something. Believer said "As far as having to leave one's brains in order to believe in Christ, science consistently confirms it." On reading that again, I'd have to fully agree. Science DOES consistently confirm that one must leave one's brains at the door in order to believe Christianity! Sorry, I must have misread it the first time. :-)

freeman said...

Believer: "Christianity is responsible for building hospitals, orphanges, schools, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and many more worthwhile organizations all over the world."

It was ex-tians who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, two of the most powerful documents in the history of mankind! Did you ever stop to think about that?

Anonymous said...

"As far as having to leave one's brains in order to believe in Christ, science consistently confirms it."

God dang, I love that!! Hee hee! -Wes.

boomSLANG said...

Some people believe that at one time something the size of the period at the end of this sentence exploded (big bang)and 'created' everything in our universe...

Some people believe that at one time---a male, perpetually existing, all knowing, shape-shifting man/ghost(see diagram "A") zapped('created') 125 billion gallaxies into existance using magic.

Diagram A:













...even this planet earth which has everything 'just right' in order for life to exist. Talk about leaving one's brains at the door!

I don't know about you guys, but this is one of the more assinine assertions I hear from the Christian apologetic community. Um, "Believer"... the earth is 2-frickin'-3rds water(and the sea level's rising annually). So why don't we have webbed feet, scales, and gills? Holy mackeral!(pun intended)

Believer said...

I'm glad you got a good laugh over my miswriting. I can laugh over it too.
First I want to thank the webmaster for the opportunity to engage in rationally debating ideas. This is what America is all about. Freedom of speech and freedom of ideas. What is it the Declaration of Independence states? "All men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The capital is marked with scriptures by those who believed liberty came from the hand of the Creator (founders of America) such as on the liberty bell where it states "Proclaim liberty throughout the land" taken from an Old Testament Bible verse.

I will do my best to be perfectly honest and admit, that I have not necessarily read the books written by people I mentioned. Yes, Simon Greenleaf is the professor I am speaking of. What I have read about him is that he is known as one of the greatest legal minds of our country. After doing a thourough investigation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to the laws of legal evidence used in the courts of law, he found that there is more evidence for this event than most of what we all believe about history. The eyewitnesses who wrote about it were willing to go to their death proclaiming what they knew to be true. No one would die for what they know is a lie.

More recently Lee Strobel,a former atheist and also an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, set out to disprove the resurrection of Christ. In his own words, he found it harder to disbelieve the resurrection than to believe it. He has now written several books, one "The Case for Easter" which examines the evidence. Josh McDowall also a former atheist who was much like yourselves and took delight in destroying the faith of christians, set out to disprove christianity and is now one of it's strongest proponents wrote, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict".

Yes, there have been atrocities committed in the name of Christianity and also in the name of every belief system the world has ever known. Just because someone says they are a Christian doesn't mean that they are one. A Christian is someone who lives the teachings of Christ. But I challenge any one of you to check out your local area for the homeless shelters, prison ministries, crises pregnancy care centers. Who runs them? I can tell you that in my home town, it is the christians who started them and are running them.

I ask you Mr. webmaster, can you picture a grandmother blowing the head off of another individual? I can!I forgive people and always try my best to show kindness and love to everyone I meet, but I tell you, if I saw someone doing something to harm my 8 year old grandaughter and I had access to a gun, that's just what I would do. My husband is a peaceloving gentle man, but if he saw someone attacking or hurting one of his loved ones, then they better look out. You can't picture Jesus slashing a sword? I can. He is being long suffering at this time, but there will come a time when those who have hurt his children will have some answering to do. God is a God of love, and because of that, he is also a God of justice. And yes, I will gladly share the site for you who asked for the evidence of the crusades being a defensive war in my next submission. Again thankyou for this opportunity, and those of you who challenge my statements, it's great!!

Oh yes, I wanted to also answer about conditions on earth being just right for life to exist. What I am referring to was information I had read in a secular book written by secular scientists. Their mission is to discover if life exists anywhere else in the universe. They highly doubt it because they have a hard time believing that all of the conditions you find on earth that support life, would reoccur. Conditions such as the earth's speed of rotation, the distance from the sun, the tilt of the earth, the earth's atmosphere, even where other planets are positioned. There are thousands of conditions necessary for life to exist.
As far as the tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes. I concede, I don't understand why a loving God allows these things. My only rationale concerning this is that He sees things from an eternal perspective. Sometimes a parent will allow their child to go through a short-term horrible medical procedure in order for the greater good and the long term effect. Thankyou.

.:webmaster:. said...

I ask you Mr. webmaster, can you picture a grandmother blowing the head off of another individual? I can!I forgive people and always try my best to show kindness and love to everyone I meet, but I tell you, if I saw someone doing something to harm my 8 year old grandaughter and I had access to a gun, that's just what I would do.

I agree with you entirely. I would do likewise. It is a normal human response. However, as you said, "A Christian is someone who lives the teachings of Christ." So what Christians are required to do is make a supernatural response to violence. Jesus supposedly said to not resist evil and to turn the other cheek. He not only said it, that's exactly what he did. Later, after he was dead, his followers got tired of dying and added the book of Revelation that puts a sword in Jesus' hands. So, which is it? It can't be both.

And, though I would also firmly resist violence against my family, I would still not consider appropriate justice to horrifically torture a criminal forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever....

My understanding is that I will go to hell forever for the sin of unbelief. Of course the little lies I've told on occasion, the lustful thoughts, masturbating, that donut I took that wasn't mine... all these crimes will add to my sentence, no doubt. Seriously, it just seems a bit over the top to condemn people to everlasting pain and agony just for failing to believe the right version of the correct religion.

Oh, I've read Lee Strobel. I've also read a few things refuting Strobel. Have you read anything to refute him? Or do you confine yourself to materials that support your position? Since you say you like to be challenged, I challenge you to do some research. I'll help: Click Here.

Now, I'd love to read this so-called secular book by secular scientists. Do you have title, author, and/or publisher?

Thanks.

Jim Arvo said...

Believer said "What I have read about him [Simon Greenleaf] is that he is known as one of the greatest legal minds of our country. After doing a thourough investigation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, according to the laws of legal evidence used in the courts of law, he found that there is more evidence for this event than most of what we all believe about history..."

Where did you read this? Did you make any attempt to corroborate it, or to examine this claim critically before passing it on? (I strongly suspect that you did not, since you have shown zero inclination to do so in either of your posts thus far.) Do you realize that Greenleaf started his investigation with the *presupposition* that the Bible is the inerrant word of the Christian god? He states this quite plainly in the first few pages of his book. Do you realize that he ignored one of the most fundamental legal principles in his "analysis" of the Bible; to wit, an ancient document only has prima facie evidentiary value if its provenance shows no indication of tampering at any time. Yet the Bible is brimming with interpolations and forgeries (many of which are admitted by the Catholic Encyclopedia, for example), not to mention anonymous authors. So, as respected as Greenleaf was, his argument concerning the value of the gospel "testimonies" is little more than a farce.

Believer: "...The eyewitnesses who wrote about it were willing to go to their death proclaiming what they knew to be true. No one would die for what they know is a lie."

Let's apply your reasoning to the 9/11 hijackers. Surely they would not have died for what they knew to be a lie, therefore, at this very moment they are enjoying the services of 72 virgins. Do you agree? Can you shoot down that line of reasoning without shooting yourself in the foot? And, by the way, can you please refresh my memory as to who all those "eyewitnesses" to the resurrection were? Please tell me who they were, what they saw, and how you know that your information is reliable.

Believer: "More recently Lee Strobel... set out to disprove the resurrection of Christ..."

Once again, you have simply swallowed a tall tale. If you have read any of Strobel's books, you would realize that he presents ONLY the arguments of believers, not a single skeptic is consulted. Is this the way one attempts to "disprove" an idea? No. It's what one does in order to reach a preordained conclusion. Had Strobel bothered to give equal time (or even one-tenth time) to scholars who disagree with his premise, nearly every argument in his books would have been easily dismantled. In fact, the vast majority of his arguments are howling fallacies and distortions of fact (which is in line with most Christian apologetics, IMHO).

Believer: "...I challenge any one of you to check out your local area for the homeless shelters, prison ministries, crises pregnancy care centers. Who runs them?"

Prison ministries? Surely you're joking about that one. Crisis pregnancy centers? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, but if it has anything to do with medicine, I'd say the chances are high that they are purely secular. Around here, homeless shelters and soup kitchens are supported by the city, and are staffed by a significant number of non-religious volunteers. As to what fraction they constitute, I cannot hazard a guess.

Finally, your comments about conditions on Earth being "just right" for life are a non sequitur. The evidence clearly shows it is *life* that is "just right" for the conditions on this planet. Nobody knows whether there are radically different life forms elsewhere in the universe. We currently have a sample size of exactly one, which means that statistical inferences amount to little more than blind speculation. If you ask whether carbon-based life-forms AS THEY EXIST HERE might *also* exist elsewhere, then it becomes meaningful to ask how many planets are "similar" to ours. But, again, the available evidence is so scant that it is difficult to say anything a all without a huge degree of conjecture. It is only within the past decade that we have begun to detect planets outside our own solar system. Very little is known about them at this point. As for me, I prefer not to jump to unwarranted conclusions.

Believer said...

I am very grateful for the challenges you fellas offer me. I decided a long time ago that I wouldn't believe something just because it was what I was raised to believe or because it brought me comfort to believe it. I regularly check out and gladly will read anything that refutes my beliefs. After all, a belief is only good if it is true.

So, dear Jim Arvo, I checked out any information I could find on our Royal Professor of Law, Simon Greenleaf. Everything I found was that he was a bitter opponent of Christianity and believed that the resurrection of Christ was the greatest hoax of history. Challenged by some of his christian students, he embarked to disprove the 'myth' and ended up becoming a believer. So, I challenge you to check out the truth of what you believe too.

"Yet the Bible is brimming with interpolations and forgeries (many of which are admitted by the Catholic Encyclopedia, for example)"

Actually, the Dead Sea Scrolls refute your statement here.They prove that the Old Testament scriptures were not changed throughout the centuries. It is unlikely that New Testament scriptures could have been tampered with as there are still so many ancient copies of them available.

Do you deny that christians have started many worthy organizations and charities? Salvation Army, Red Cross, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, YMCA(young men's christian association), AA, just to name a few. Chuck Colson's prison (christian)ministry is one of the most successful at lowering the reincarceration rate. The pregnancy care centers throughout the nation have been started by Christians in order to help women who find themselves pregnant and in need of help. They give them free clothing, counseling and support. In my area, the only homeless shelter was started and is run by christians. Churches in our area have pooled resources together and offer emergency help to those in need. The Lutheran church offers free counseling to those who cannot afford it.
After Hurricane Katrina hit, I read in the paper how it was the churches who were being the most help to the homeless and devastated. Government programs told the victims what they needed, but the churches came and asked the people what they needed and volunteered hundreds of hours of cleanup, services,and gave out free clothing and other supplies. Why will you not give credit where credit is due?

And finally Jim, you could have a point about life being right for the conditions. What I wrote about was what I read about. It was some years ago that I read the book I mentioned and I cannot remember the title, but I will check my library and see if I can find it for Mr. Webmaster.

Be sure to check out this site for info about the truth of the purpose of the crusades.
http://www.crisismagazine.com/april2002/cover.htm

Now, Mr. Webmaster: Are you sure Jesus was agin violence? Didn't he make a whip and drive out the 'robbers' from the court of the temple? He could have done it supernaturally, but he didn't. Also, remember, the reason Jesus did not resist the Jews and submitted to death on a cross was because it was the purpose for which he came to earth, was to be a sacrifice. Check out John 18:36 where Jesus stated that "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews."
However, there are those who are pacifists.
Like the Amish, whose little girls were ruthlessly murdered. What a testimony these people were as they invited the widow of their child's murderer to the funeral and generously shared the funds they recieved to help her and her children! Talk about loving one's enemies.

Now here's something I agree with you on and it is the doctrine of eternal hell. If something were to turn me off from christianity, it is this.
I would like to believe it is not true, but if Jesus did rise from the dead, then he is who he said he was and he taught about hell and warned us about it. So, if something is true, it doesn't become untrue just cause I don't like it.
I bet there are things you don't like about what you believe too. Like when someone you love very much has died and you will never see them again and for all you know, they are committed to oblivion. You know as well as I that just because you believe something don't make it true.
And I will admit, it is even more painful to think of someone I loved who never accepted Christ for all I know, and is suffering in hell. I hope with all my heart that at some point they did accept Christ and are in paradise and in communion with God. The Bible does tell us that God is not willing that any should perish and so I cling to that hope.

Thankyou for giving me the site for rebuttal against Strobel, I will check it out.

But, I have a question for you Webmaster. Were you a christian once upon a time? If so,what was it that caused you to turn from it, and secondly, why do you actively promote anti-christianity? There are many who benefit greatly from the teachings of Christ, so why try to turn people against it?

.:webmaster:. said...

Believer,

Please take a moment to look around a little bit. My testimony is linked to every single page on this site.

Since you say are so open to both sides of these issues, I suggest you read this classic piece of literature LINKED HERE.

Your apparent opinion of the vastly superior humanitarian efforts promoted by 2000 years of Christianity is rife the error of modern day Christian propaganda. Christianity has not made the world better.

I realize you are sincerely disingenuous. You make a show of politeness, but you are not really here to learn anything. You do not believe there is anything to learn. You have discovered all the answers to life. You have the keys to the kingdom. You are a leader of men, an eternal citizen of heavenly realms, a friend of God. You are not here listen to other viewpoints. You are not here to understand the perspective of an ex-Christian. You are not here to expand your own knowledge. You are here to preach, to teach, to evangelize, to spread the meme of your cult.

Still, I will try to help you. Consider this: Christianity does not teach believers to think, to explore, to challenge the status-quo, to question anything... Christianity teaches people to submit, to believe, to turn from doubt, to accept the teachings of the group, and to bring other minds into the captivity of Christ. Christianity is a prison for the mind and when in control of history, causes the death of human advancement. Christianity destroys curiosity, confines condemns scientific inquiry, and is the functional enemy to freedom.

Believer, your mind and imagination have been imprisoned by a false and powerful religion. You have the illusion that you are free, but you have been boxed in on every side. Your freedom has been replaced with the slavery's chains.

But you can be free. Allow yourself an education that includes more than just the Christian viewpoint. To be blunt, using a Catholic apologetic page to justify the atrocities of the Crusades, is repulsively sickening. Have you attended even one university level history class on this time period? Have you read even one respected history book on this topic?

Please, please, study to shew thyself approved: CLICK HERE.

Your ignorance of anything other than Christian rhetoric is obvious to everyone here, except perhaps to you.

Alan said...

Believer wrote:

Do you deny that Christians have started many worthy organizations and charities?

Christians have indeed founded many worthy charities, and there are also many worthy charities that have not been founded by Christians. Christians do not own a monopoly on charity. In fact I would argue that if the US really was a Christian nation there wouldn't be a need for homeless shelters in the first place, as the poor and needy would already be well taken care of. FEMA actually was a functioning and useful government agency before the "faith-based" administration came into power, and gov't programs such as food stamps and Medicaid help huge numbers of people, no religion required. Whether our "faith-based" administration manages to gut those programs as well remains to be seen.

There are many who benefit greatly from the teachings of Christ, so why try to turn people against it

But you don't need to follow any religion to get the benefits, many of the teachings in the Bible are good things to live by (such as not killing, not stealing, etc,) but you don't have to believe in a supreme being in order to follow them.

Believer said...

Suppose, I decided to start a website to encourage ex-atheists. If I followed your example Webmaster, this would be the route:
Find every nasty thing I can about atheists (even if the person is not a true atheist), ignore anything good that atheists might have done. In essence misrepresent the whole balanced truth. Now, I happen to have an atheist friend. He is polite, he is involved in organizations that he believes will make the world a better place. I would be wrong to group all atheists as rude and terrible people.

The reason I am commenting on your website is because you are not presenting all truth. In order to encourage your fellow ex-christians, you are presenting only half truths.
You say the crusades were not a defensive war. Even the site you gave me at Wikpedia states that the Muslim armies were conquering vast areas of land. And in my World Book encyclopedia it states that it was Byzantine Emperor Alexiius Comnenus who asked the pope for assitance in fighting the Turks. Furthermore, according to World Book, not all who joined in the crusades did so for religious reasons. Many joined for the purpose of expanding their own riches and land.

You give a site by an atheist who follows suit and claims that christians cannot be scientific or make any technological progress. Does Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Johann Kepler or Gregor Mendel ring any bells? They were all creationist christians who believed science was a system of discovery of how an intelligent designer put things together and who had set up laws which when learned could be used to improve the lot of mankind. In fact it was Francis Bacon, christian creationist, who came up with the scientific method which is used in all scientific inquiries. Have you heard of Francis Collin who became convinced of the truth of christianity from the evidence? He is now head of the genome project.

I think all I am asking of you is to present the whole truth. Acknowledge that Christians have and are doing many good and worthy activities in the name of Jesus Christ.

Also, it seems that your website is primarily focused on discrediting christians. I have a suggestion, how about devoting your website to teaching people how to live a life of good works.Instead of negatively focusing on what's wrong with Christianity, you could be helping them to focus on loving their neighbors as themselves (like what christians learn about). At least teach them to be polite!!

Jim Arvo said...

Believer: "Everything I found [about Simon Greenleaf] was that he was a bitter opponent of Christianity and believed that the resurrection of Christ was the greatest hoax of history."

If I do a Google search on Simon Greenleaf, I too can find quite a few similar statements. Is this the information you speak of? I asked you where you found the information, and you have yet to answer. Please tell me what evidence supports your assertion, since the websites all seem to offer this as a "just so" story. As far as I can tell, it's nothing more than a legend propagated by credulous believers, on a par with Darwin's supposed deathbed renunciation of this theory. As I asked before, have you made any attempt to corroborate it, or to examine this claim critically before passing it on? You have not yet given an answer.

I also asked "Do you realize that Greenleaf started his investigation [meaning his book] with the *presupposition* that the Bible is the inerrant word of the Christian god?" This I can support with evidence. In the fourth paragraph of Testimony of the Evangelists, which I encourage you to read for yourself, Greenleaf states...

"The proof that God has revealed himself to man by special and express communications, and that Christianity constitutes that revelation, is no part of these inquiries. This has already been shown, in the most satisfactory manner by others, who have written expressly upon this subject. Referring therefore to their writings for the arguments and proofs, the fact will here be assumed as true." (emphasis added)

Thus, Greenleaf asserts that nothing in his inquiry is directed toward supporting the assertion that the Bible is the revealed word of the Christian god, and by extension, that such a god exists; rather, he assumes at the outset that this is so. This reveals several things. First, Greenleaf is supposing something that is far more spectacular than what he purports to show, for if it is the case that an almighty god vouchsafed the gospels, is it not an infinitesimal step from there to the conclusion that Jesus rose from the dead? (By the way, this explains why Greenleaf continually assumes that events unfolded precisely as described in the Bible, which undermines his entire argument.) Secondly, this admission does not square at all with the ubiquitous claims that Greenleaf's investigation was responsible for his conversion to Christianity. For if that had been the case--if his investigation was itself such compelling evidence for the existence of the Christian god that it converted him--then not only would his failure to state this fact be quite odd, but relegating it to an a priori assumption would be completely inexplicable.

Now, if you have some concrete evidence to the contrary, I invite you to share it. And, by the way, sentences that begin with "I read somewhere that..." will count for very little (if anything).

For a very interesting analysis of similar judicial apologetics, see the article by Richard Packham. As with many essays by non-believers, Packham provides links to rebuttals to his essay. (In my experience, this is a rarity among Christian writers, even when politely asked to reciprocate the favor.)

Lest they get forgotten, for your convenience I'll list a few other questions that you have not yet responded to, plus a several more for good measure:

1) I said "Surely they [the 9/11 hijackers] would not have died for what they knew to be a lie, therefore, at this very moment they are enjoying the services of 72 virgins. Do you agree?" If not, why not?

2) Who were the "eyewitnesses" to the resurrection? What did they see? How you know that your information is reliable?

3) Please list for me the titles of a few books you've read that are critical of Christianity.

4) Please list for me the names of a few scholars (historians, theologians, philosophers, etc.) who have published books that refute claims of Christianity.

5) If you have not availed yourself of any of the hundreds of books that critically examine Christianity, please explain in what way you have actually challenged ANY of your thinking about religion, and more importantly, why anyone at this site should feel obliged to serve as your personal tutor if you put no effort into learning on your own?


You asked if I agree that many good things have been accomplished by Christians? That's a fair question, and I'll be happy to answer it as soon as you answer mine. Let me be more clear about my previous points. Do you agree that many good things have been done by non-believers and adherents of other faiths? Do you agree that self-proclaimed Christians have also perpetrated many despicable things?

You said "...the Dead Sea Scrolls refute your statement here [i.e. that the Bible is brimming with interpolations and forgeries]. They prove that the Old Testament scriptures were not changed throughout the centuries."

Believers often tout the Dead Sea Scrolls as confirming evidence for the Bible. This is a colossal stretch. What it confirms is that many (not all) of the stories from the Old Testament changed very little in the intervening centuries. It does not imply that they were true at the time they were written, nor that they agree with the originals, as in most cases there is little known about when they were written or by whom. Here are some links for you to consider that make similar points, some with further references that you can investigate:

Forgery in Christianity, by Joseph Wheless

Critical examination of the Bible

The Trinity Forgery

Translation Errors and Forgeries in the Bible

Errors and Forgeries in the Bible

You went on to say "...It is unlikely that New Testament scriptures could have been tampered with as there are still so many ancient copies of them available." That's a fine hypothesis, but it's not an argument unless you support it with something. Having "ancient" copies does not rule out interpolations and forgeries for two reasons. First, the "ancient" copies that are available are not themselves originals, but many copies removed. Second, many of the epistles are admitted to be inauthentic by the church. (Joseph Wheless documents dozens of these.) Third, "ancient" copies do not all agree, hence there was already divergence (or incomplete convergence) by the 2nd century. Here are a few more links, specifically concerning the historicity of Jesus and the resurrection story, that may help you get started researching this for yourself. In my opinion, after reading volumes of material from both sides of the argument, is that there is scant evidence that Jesus ever existed, and even some positive evidence that he did not. I sincerely doubt that we will ever know with certainty one way or the other. As for the resurrection, the evidence is absolutely abysmal, unless you first grant yourself a fantastic premise to argue from, such as "The Bible is the word of god."

Historicity of Jesus

Why I don't buy the resurrection story, by Richard Carrier

By the way, I must correct something I said earlier. I said that Greenleaf "ignored" one of the fundamental legal principles governing the use of ancient documents in a court of law. That was not quite right. He clearly identifies the principle and claims that the Bible meets this level of credibility. So, what I should have said is that he ignored the evidence of interpolation and forgery in the Bible, much of which was already available at the time of his writing. (Much more is known today, of course, as critical analysis of the Bible was scant before the 20'th century.)

Since you've been polite in your posts, I'm going to try to phrase this a politely as I can. I strongly encourage you to do some critical inquiries of your own before propagating something as a fact. Just because something confirms what you already believe, it does not make it true. This is the trap that most religionists fall into, in my opinion. They exhibit very strong selective blindness, seeing only that which confirms their beliefs. While this is a universal human tendency, it seems to be taken to an extreme by religionists, and Christians in particular. Just consider for a moment what a sermon consists of. It is a one-way communication that is meant to instill belief; it has none of the earmarks of a process designed to discern what is true. It does not encourage questioning. It has little room for doubt. It generally ignores or grossly misrepresents opposing views. It fosters social pressures that maintain belief. All of these things are directly antithetical to honest and open investigation.

At one point your post you said " So, I challenge you to check out the truth of what you believe too." Can you please point to a single thing I've said that would indicate that I do not do this? I have read (studied!) the books you've been touting, and I'm very familiar with the arguments on both sides. I take them seriously, and weight them against competing arguments. That does not seem to be the approach that you have taken. Am I wrong about that? Have you truly "challenged" your beliefs by studying what critics of Christianity have to say? I think not. At least you have given no indication of it thus far.

If you wish to continue discussing Christianity here, I politely ask you to first read some of the information that is posted here, and more generally, seek out, read, and understand arguments that are contrary to your own. Waiting for the information to come to you (via those of us here who are willing to help you, for example), is not challenging yourself, in my opinion. It is not exercising critical thinking, which is the responsibility of every able-minded adult. I find absolutely no honor in credulity.

.:webmaster:. said...

Believer,

First off, Issac Newton was a heretic: Click here. It's exasperating when Christians claim some famous person to their ranks when that same person wouldn't be welcome in a single True Christian™ church.

This is eXchristian.net, Believer. That means the majority of those on this site were once Christians whose minds have been permeated with Christian propaganda and the Christian world view -- for years. I was a Christian for nearly three decades.In that time I devoured a mountain of apologetics, studied a variety of systematic theologies, and spent a considerable sum of money accumulating Christian books and encyclopedias, and attending classes.

In case you ask, I of course studied the Bible intensely. I studied that for at least an hour every single day. I also prayed for at least an hour a day. I'd get up at 4:00 a.m. and be done at 6:00 a.m. I memorized much of the Bible. I was all about it, and some Christian friends of mine are still scratching their heads about my de-conversion.

The point is, you aren't telling anyone here anything they haven't heard or read many times before. What many of us realize, now, is that just because you've been told something a thousand times, it doesn't mean you've been told the truth. For instance, there are thousands and thousands of Christian websites on the net. I don't recall seeing a single one of those Christian sites presenting the information available here. I wonder why that is? Aren't those Christian webmasters interested in giving the whole truth to their readership?

And, you're not the first Christian to freely post his viewpoints here while at the same time accusing me of running a one-sided site. Ironic.

Believe it or not, believer, I empathize with your irritation at reading some of the things posted here. It was difficult for me to realize that the whole truth had been purposely hidden from me while I was a Christian. Once I began openly examining the history and development and influence of Christianity for the past 2,000 years, the veil slowly lifted and a different picture gradually materialized before my eyes. The experience was upsetting to me, so I appreciate what you might be feeling.

Peace.

Risley said...

Believer: "Does Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Johann Kepler or Gregor Mendel ring any bells?"

Yep...

Believer: "They were all creationist christians who believed science was a system of discovery of how an intelligent designer put things together and who had set up laws which when learned could be used to improve the lot of mankind."

Just covering a patch of misinformation, just couldn't let go.

To begin, understand that many Christians/denominations do not believe Catholicism to be reflective of christianity - hence the Protest from the Catholic religion, in "Protest"antism/"Protestant" Chtistianity. Albeit, the Roman Catholic church is the father to most all christian religions/offshoots known today.

***********************************

Louis Pasteur - Roman Catholic.

"The greatest degrangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so - Louis Pasteur"

Wonder if he found an invisible god hanging out anywhere? If not, and Louis fervently believed in an invisible god, then, he did so, because he wished it that way. If he were a naturalist, and believed he found gods' fingerprints in Nature, then its because he "wished" to make that association.

***********************************

Johann "Gregor" Mendel - Catholic Monk, Priest.

Source: Psychological, historical, and ethical reflections on the Mendelian paradox. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 37: 182-196 (1994). Copyright: 1994 by the University of Chicago.

"Evidence that Mendel's reported data are too good to be true: By 1911, R. A. Fisher sensed some statistical irregularities [1] in Mendel's classical paper [2]. Twenty five years later, Fisher published an analysis of Mendel's experiments, concluding that "the data of most, if not all, of the experiments have been falsified so as to agree closely with Mendel's expectations." [3, p.164] In private, Fisher referred to his discovery that Mendel data had been "faked" as "abominable" and a "shocking experience" [4, pp. 296-7]. Fisher's dispassionate analysis created a storm [1] which, fifty-seven years after the event, shows no signs of subsiding. Fisher's indictment has received the closest possible attention from a great number of scholars, second only, perhaps, in the genetics literature, to Mendel's own paper. Despite this considerable attention, the subject remains every bit as controversial today as it had been in 1936."
http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/PAGEPUB/Mendel.htm

Research Citations follow the online article in volume.

"Historians of the ideas and the period have made persuasive arguments that many of the features which inspired and remained at the cores of these disparate views are owed to their authors' attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs about matters strictly outside of science - about life, the universe and everything..."
http://instruct.uwo.ca/zoology/441a/hist2.html#Note%201.

Bottom line... Mendel's inspiration for study, was second to his desire to support his religiously founded assumptions. To this day, controversy surrounds his research... Science was his method for supporting his religious belief.

***********************************

Are Catholics considered "Christian"? Not by many Christians. Therefore, Mendel and Pasteur would not be considered creationist "Christians", by a large majority of protestants today.

***********************************

Johann Kepler - "His father earned a precarious living as a mercenary, and he left the family when Johannes was five years old. He was believed to have died in the war in the Netherlands. His mother, an inn-keeper's daughter, was a healer and herbalist who was later tried for witchcraft."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Kepler

Talk about fundie irony. Wonder what Johann would say today about fundamentalism after his mother was murdered. Hmmmm...

***********************************

Isaac Newton - Newton is generally thought to have been unitarian and Arian, not holding to Trinitarianism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton%27s_religious_views

"Historic Unitarianism believed in the oneness of God and not the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in one God) proclaimed at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Historic Unitarians believed in the moral authority, but not the deity, of Jesus."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitarianism

Uh, decidedly "not" Christian, Isaac didn't buy into Divine Jesus.

***********************************

Believer: "In fact it was Francis Bacon, christian creationist, who came up with the scientific method which is used in all scientific inquiries."

"Bacon distinctly separated religion and philosophy, though the two can coexist. Where philosophy is based on reason, faith is based on revelation, and therefore irrational — in De augmentis he writes that "[t]he more discordant, therefore, and incredible, the divine mystery is, the more honour is shown to God in believing it, and the nobler is the victory of faith." And yet he writes in "The Essays: Of Atheism" that "a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion", suggesting he continued to employ inductive reasoning in all areas of his life, including his own spiritual beliefs."

Bottom line, he believed the belief in god was supported through chaos and discord... not much of a strong argument for those who believe in a rational universe. He also believed that those who studied philosophy aredently would come to a point, where nothing is certain, and therefore, religion becomes an acceptable option for the non-believer.

However, there have been many mysteries solved since his time, and thus, the less mysterious and necessary a god has become.

"Bacon, not having come from a rich family, and always pressed for money: accepted, and this is one of the great surprises of history, a litigant's bribe. This was in 1621; so, just four months after he was raised to the peerage, Bacon was evicted from office. ("I do plainly and ingenuously confess that I am guilty of corruption, and do renounce all defense.")
http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/Bacon.htm

Well, there doesn't seem to be a mystery in the ethics displayed early in his life, thus, religion or belief in the mystery of life, doesn't seem to have given him the edge above the philosophical atheist.

***********************************

Believer: "Have you heard of Francis Collin who became convinced of the truth of christianity from the evidence? He is now head of the genome project."

Yeah... unfortunately, I have heard of Francis.

"After finding himself powerless to detect any errors in the philosophizing of C.S. Lewis (a truly ominous sign), Collins describes the moment that he, as a scientist, finally became convinced of the divinity of Jesus Christ:

On a beautiful fall day, as I was hiking in the Cascade Mountains … the majesty and beauty of God’s creation overwhelmed my resistance. As I rounded a corner and saw a beautiful and unexpected frozen waterfall, hundreds of feet high, I knew the search was over. The next morning, I knelt in the dewy grass as the sun rose and surrendered to Jesus Christ.

If this account of field research seems a little thin, don’t worry—a recent profile of Collins in Time magazine offers supplementary data. Here, we learn that the waterfall was frozen in three streams, which put the good doctor in mind of the Trinity…"

The fact that he has been able to escape in the field of science with the obvious shortcomings of intellectual acuity, seems alarming, to say the least. And, I think it ironic that Francis seems to have something in common with Joseph Smith...

"1843 account in non-Mormon newspaper - The New York Spectator - September 23.
[According to the editor of the Pittsburg Gazette, Joseph Smith said]:
The Lord does reveal himself to me. I know it. He revealed himself first to me when I was about fourteen years old, a mere boy. I will tell you about it. There was a reformation among the different religious denominations in the neighborhood where I lived, and I became serious, and was desirous to know what Church to join.

While thinking of this matter, I opened the Testament prom- iscuously on these words, in James, Ask of the Lord who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not. I just determined I'd ask him. I immediately went out into the woods where my father had a clearing, and went to the stump where I had stuck my axe when I had quit work, and I kneeled down, and prayed, saying, O Lord, what Church shall I join? Directly I saw a light, and then a glorious personage in the light, and then another personage, and the first personage said to the second, Behold my beloved Son, hear him.--I then addressed this second person, saying, O Lord, what Church shall I join? He replied, "don't join any of them, they are all corrupt." The vision then vanished, and when I came to myself, I was sprawling on my back and it was sometime before my strength returned.

When I went home and told the people that I had a revelation, and that all the churches were corrupt, they persecuted me, and they have persecuted me ever since."

Of course, almost every religion I have come accross in my life, states they are under some great persecution... As well, it seems that when many religious leaders walk off into the woods/mountains they seem to come back with some "vision" of a deity... I find that remarkable.

***********************************
Believer: "I think all I am asking of you is to present the whole truth."

Uh, that's ironic coming from someone who has just engaged in a disinformation campaign, either ignorantly or deliberately.

Believer: "Acknowledge that Christians have and are doing many good and worthy activities in the name of Jesus Christ."

If Jesus Christ is the "only" reason they are doing something for humanity, they seem pretty shallow. We all receive some effect/benefit for the actions we take, but christians seem to want to believe they receive greater glory for their efforts, i.e., freedom from eternal hell, etc.

Risley said...

Johann Kepler...

***********************************
1615, late, kepler's mother accused of witchcraft

1616, kepler against council of trent

1618, 1620, 1621, publ epitome

1619, publ the world harmony

1619, spring, kepler hears of the condemnation of copernicus

1619, aug 04, kepler hears one of his books has been banned in italy

1620, aug 07, kepler's mother imprisoned

1621, june 30, 2nd edn of the harbinger

1621, oct, kepler's mother released

1622, mother died

http://www.ralph-abraham.org/ficino/chronos/kepler.txt
***********************************

Johann Kepler was able to politically protect his mother from the fundies for five years.

His mother was finally imprisoned, and died/succumbed within a year of release. So, she was deprived of her life, a slow death over time - not a fast kill. So, not a direct "murder" like burning to the stake, but... the fundies got the job done. If Johann were alive today, I'm not sure he would be supporting the fundies in any form.

Believer said...

Jim Arvo,
I give you credit that from all appearances you have studied extensively and are obviously an intelligent person and from your writings,I grant much more intelligent than I. I appreciate your challenges and as follows will answer your numbered questions.


Jim Arvo asks:"1) I said "Surely they [the 9/11 hijackers] would not have died for what they knew to be a lie, therefore, at this very moment they are enjoying the services of 72 virgins. Do you agree?" If not, why not?"

The 9/ll hijackers did not know that they died for a lie. They believed the '72 virgins' to be the truth. Jesus's disciples would have known if they had actually seen, spoken and touched Jesus. They would have to have literally lied about it if it wasn't true. History tells us that all but John went to their deaths proclaiming the resurrection of Christ.


Jim Arvo:"2) Who were the "eyewitnesses" to the resurrection? What did they see? How do you know that your information is reliable?"

Let me ask you Jim, how do you know anything about history is true? What is the criteria that determines if writings are true? I remember reading from Lee Strobel's book that the criteria to determine the truthfulness and accuracy of historical writings include: Is it true to the culture and time period, does it include weaknesses of those that are writing, does it contain elements that would normally not be used as it would devalue the writings, how soon after the event was it recorded and was it recorded by eyewitnesses and or contemporaries, is it confirmed by other historical writings. I may not be expressing these correctly as I do not have the criteria listed in front of me, but hopefully you get the idea.
Why you ask me who were the eyewitnesses are a puzzle to me. If you are an ex-christian and are well read, you know who I would list.

Jim Arvo:"3) Please list for me the titles of a few books you've read that are critical of Christianity."

You caught me here Jim. I have not read books that are critical of christianity. Thankyou for listing some for me, I accept your advice and as a Proverb states in essence, every testimony seems right until you hear the other side. I will give audience to the other side.

Jim Arvo:"4) Please list for me the names of a few scholars (historians, theologians, philosophers, etc.) who have published books that refute claims of Christianity."

I guess I answered this question in the last, I do not know of any.

Jim Arvo:"5) If you have not availed yourself of any of the hundreds of books that critically examine Christianity, please explain in what way you have actually challenged ANY of your thinking about religion, and more importantly, why anyone at this site should feel obliged to serve as your personal tutor if you put no effort into learning on your own?"

I agree Jim, I need to do more studying of what 'your' side has to say and I shouldn't waste yours or anyone else's valuable time until I have done a more thorough investigation.
However, I have been reading the information on this site. I am seeking to learn why people become ex-christians. The problem I'm having is that as I perceive it, this site totally denies that christians have ever brought anything good into the world, that christians are closeminded, that christians are dysfunctional etc, etc, etc. I have known many christians throughout my lifetime and have been touched by the kindness and goodness of christians, that my own experience overall concerning christians is in opposition to this site's claims. My own experience living as a christian has been overall positive and I have seen many victories over destructive lifestyles in my life and the lives of others who proclaim Christ and credit is given to becoming a 'born-again' believer.

Jim Arvo:"You asked if I agree that many good things have been accomplished by Christians? That's a fair question, and I'll be happy to answer it as soon as you answer mine. Let me be more clear about my previous points. Do you agree that many good things have been done by non-believers and adherents of other faiths? Do you agree that self-proclaimed Christians have also perpetrated many despicable things?"

Of course Jim, I agree that good things have been done by non-believers and those of other faiths. Yes, yes, I agree that as you carefully stated, 'self-proclaimed christians' have committed horrible atrocities. So what's your point and what is the answer to my question?



To Webmaster:
A comment on christians' using the
Bible to guide their sex lives. We have a wood burner and it confines naturally, beautiful, warming fire within. Yes, sex can be wonderful, beautiful and natural. However, out of control it can be extremely destructive, psychologically, emotionally, socially and physiologically. Since the sexual revolution of the 1960's when Americans threw off the 'christian restraints' of sexuality, our nation has experienced a sharp rise in number of children being raised by single parents, babies being murdered in the womb, and sexual diseases. I hear of an epidemic of teen girls cutting themselves with the explanation that it takes away the pain they are experiencing emotionally. From my own experience as a promiscous teen, I can say that much of my own emotional pain was from uncommitted, illegitimate sexual relationships. Sex is not always beautiful and wonderful.

Webmaster says:
"And, you're not the first Christian to freely post his viewpoints here while at the same time accusing me of running a one-sided site. Ironic."

Would you say I have been one-sided?

One thing we may both be guilty of, It seems that when 'self-proclaimed' christians commit atrocities, then according to you, yes they are indeed christians and did it in christ's name, but when they have made scientific discovery or some good work, then they are not really christian or are really just doing it for themselves and eternal benefit.

Webmaster, what do I need to be set free from? I believe that because Jesus Christ enables me to live by christian principles, I enjoy a healthy lifestyle, I have a kind and loving husband (since he became a christian), 5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles) What am I missing?

freeman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
freeman said...

believer,

"5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles)"

Are you implying that my two daughters will not be well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens because i refuse to train them up in christian ideals and principles?

Alan said...

Believer wrote:

"Does Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Johann Kepler or Gregor Mendel ring any bells? They were all creationist christians who believed science was a system of discovery of how an intelligent designer put things together
..."

Apart from the poor little Discovery Institute modern scientists don't assume there is an intelligent designer because there is no evidence for one.

"Have you heard of Francis Collin who became convinced of the truth of christianity from the evidence? "

That is incorrect, Collins says he had a "vision" while hiking in the Cascade Mountains, he has not uncovered any scientific evidence for intelligent design.

"It seems that when 'self-proclaimed' christians commit atrocities, then according to you, yes they are indeed christians..."

Can you tell us how to tell the real Christians from the fake ones?

Jim Arvo said...

I asked Believer if she felt that the 9/11 hijackers could have dies for what they knew to be a lie, and whether this implied that they were now in heaven enjoying their 72 virgins. Believer replied "The 9/ll hijackers did not know that they died for a lie. They believed the '72 virgins' to be the truth."

Exactly so. We are in agreement so far.

Believer went on to say "Jesus's disciples would have known if they had actually seen, spoken and touched Jesus..."

Here you are correctly attempting to distance the disciples of Jesus from the 9/11 hijackers. So, we agree upon several things. First, people are known to have gone to their deaths for *beliefs* that are incorrect. Therefore, martyrdom does not in itself speak to the truth of the belief, only to the sincerity of the belief. Agreed? Second, in order for the (supposed) martyrdom of the disciples to count as evidence for what they believed, it is necessary to somehow show that their "belief" was actually "knowledge"; that is, that their belief was the result of legitimate observations and/or reasoning, not misperceptions, faulty reasoning, peer pressure, etc. You attempted to do this by saying that they "spoken [to] and touched Jesus." There are many problems with this. As with nearly all dialog concerning religious doctrine, it's difficult to find any firm ground to stand on. Here is what I mean. First, none of the synoptic gospel writers claim to have seen or spoken to Jesus; all of their information is second-hand at best. Second, we do not know who those writers were, nor how many revisions their stories underwent, nor by whom, before reaching the form of the earliest manuscripts available today. Third, even if the disciples were martyred for their beliefs, we do not know exactly which beliefs they upheld. For example, nowhere is it claimed that they specifically asserted that Jesus had been resurrected; that is an inference made by religionists (i.e. they MUST have maintained something akin to the Nicene Creed).

Believer: "History tells us that all but John went to their deaths proclaiming the resurrection of Christ."

No, "history" does not tell us that. The Bible asserts that they were martyred, but with no corroboration from other sources, and no specifics about their beliefs other than accepting Jesus as their Lord. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)

I also asked "Who were the 'eyewitnesses' to the resurrection? What did they see? How do you know that your information is reliable?" Believer replied "Let me ask you Jim, how do you know anything about history is true?"

That's a diversion from my question, but I'll answer nonetheless. How do we "know" that anything in history is "true". Simple. We cannot. Not ever. All we can ask for is credible evidence to support any given historical claim. Some historical events have a great deal of evidence that all corroborates a given "fact", such as Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon. While it's still within the realm of possibility that all the evidence was either forged or misinterpreted, that possibility is vanishingly small. Other events that are claimed to be historical have extremely weak supporting evidence, such as the resurrection of Jesus. As the historian Richard Currier explains in detail, it would be difficult to find another purported event with *worse* supporting evidence. In effect, all we have is hearsay, some unspecified number of times removed, by anonymous authors who are very clearly engaging is midrash (a common rhetorical device of the time) to instill belief in the divinity of Jesus. There are no contemporaneous writings, there are no authenticated eyewitness accounts, there are no physical artifacts, there is no mention of the event by prominent historians of the time, there are no corroborating accounts of earthquakes or eclipses, etc.

Believer: "Why you ask me who were the eyewitnesses are a puzzle to me. If you are an ex-christian and are well read, you know who I would list."

I know the list that most believers will provide, yes. But most believers typically adopt that list from other believers, who got it from others, etc., none of whom attempted to verify the list. For example, most Christians assert that the synoptic gospel writers were eyewitnesses. But even those (unknown) writers do not claim to be such in their accounts. Believers often claim Paul to be an eyewitness; but his account is of a "vision"--he never claimed to have seen Jesus in the flesh. Believers often cite the "500 brethren" that Paul speaks of in his letter to the Corinthians, but we know absolutely nothing of those people; not who they were, or what they saw, or how Paul knows of them. Do you see why I asked now? I want to know who YOU think was an eyewitness, and why.

I also asked my standard question about listing books that are critical of Christianity. Believer replied "You caught me here Jim. I have not read books that are critical of christianity. Thankyou for listing some for me, I accept your advice and as a Proverb states in essence, every testimony seems right until you hear the other side. I will give audience to the other side."

I applaud you!!! That is the most honest answer I have ever received to that question, and I've asked many many Christian visitors that very same question (as the regulars here will attest). It seems that nobody else has been willing to simply admit that they had read none. Good for you.

Believer: "I am seeking to learn why people become ex-christians."

Perhaps you can help me here, and I'm not being sarcastic. I honestly don't understand why so many Christian visitors have a hard time discerning the answer to that. A good many posts here reiterate time and again that the claims of Christianity are simply not tenable. When one reads the history of Christianity, and takes a good hard critical look at the fantastic claims, several points emerge that very clearly (in our opinion) undermine Christianity. Hence, we dismiss it. In a nutshell:

1) The historical evidence supporting the claims of Christianity is extremely weak. (Believers will tell you just the opposite.)

2) The Bible is filled with absurdities, contradictions, and abysmal cruelty.

3) Nearly all of the hallmarks of Christianity (virgin birth, god-man savior, resurrection, slaughter of innocents, etc.) are common motifs of more ancient religions, such as those centered on Mithra, Osiris, Isis, Attis, etc.

4) Textual analysis of the Bible clearly shows the progression of a myth through midrash and other embellishments. (Christians to this day exhibit a propensity for unbridled embellishment, and I see no evidence that the 1st century was any different.)

5) Christianity (and essentially all religions) have protected themselves from close examination; while Christianity purports to be a "historical" religion whose evidence is on display, nothing could be further from the truth. Evidence that is exempt from critical examination is little more than mythology, and I cannot think of an institution that is more averse to dissenting opinions or critical analysis than Christianity.

I could list more, but that should suffice. Notice that I did not list the atrocious behavior of some Christians, nor the desire to be "free" of god's rules, nor a reluctance to grant credit to a deity. Those things (at least for some of us) do not even enter into the picture.

Believer added "The problem I'm having is that as I perceive it, this site totally denies that christians have ever brought anything good into the world, that christians are closeminded, that christians are dysfunctional etc, etc, etc."

You are partly right, but you somewhat over-state your position. At this site you will see many a story about Christians committing criminal acts or behaving in some unseemly way. You will NOT see stories posted about Christian charitable organizations, for example. If one were trying to make a self-contained and accurate assessment about the overall behavior of Christians, one would need the latter as much as the former. But the relevance of Christians behaving badly is that it is a counterargument to the assertion that Christians are somehow more in control of their lives, or adhere to a higher morality, due to the "indwelling" of the Holy Spirit. As far as I can see, Christians exhibit the same diversity of behaviors as anybody else, but you never hear about the bad things at Christian web sites (which should come as no surprise). Now, I say that you over-state your position because there are a good many posts here by regulars who assert that they know wonderful and loving Christians. I have made that point myself on many occasions.

Of the Christians who visit this site, however, I will state quite firmly that the majority of them behave rather poorly; making unfounded accusations, painting with a very broad brush, and often exhibiting a frightful level of bigotry.

Believer: "Of course Jim, I agree that good things have been done by non-believers and those of other faiths. Yes, yes, I agree that as you carefully stated, 'self-proclaimed christians' have committed horrible atrocities. So what's your point and what is the answer to my question?"

My point is (presumably) the same as yours. There are good and bad people on both sides. I know many wonderful Christians (my family consists of ardent believers) and I know many wonderful atheists (the vast majority of my colleagues are atheists, any one of which I would trust with my life). I also know of narrow-minded and bigoted people on both sides. In short, I have *no* reason to believe that one's religious affiliation has much to do with one's actual behavior or treatment of others. Decent people are decent whether or not they think god is watching them, and not-so-decent folks will behave badly whether they are religious or not.

I will add, however, that among the posters on this site, I have seen a far greater propensity to think critically among the non-Christians than among the Christians (this is not a dig at you--just a general observation). Christianity rests far too heavily on unsubstantiated hearsay, and I mean to include both today's society and the ancient world in that criticism. If one simply believes what one is told and passes it on uncritically, then in my opinion one is actively participating in mythmaking.

Believer asked this of the webmaster: "what do I need to be set free from? I believe that because Jesus Christ enables me to live by christian principles, I enjoy a healthy lifestyle, I have a kind and loving husband (since he became a christian), 5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles) What am I missing?"

First, you have every right to believe precisely what you want, and for any reason you wish. You have every right to raise your children as you see fit (within reason, of course). Moreover, if you're happy with your life, you may not be "missing" anything personally. Since it would be pure speculation on my part to assert anything about how your life would change if you were to abandon Christianity, I will give an answer from my own perspective. To me the most important principles to live by are kindness and honesty (and as a parent myself, those are the two pillars upon which everything else rests). In my opinion, honesty entails far more than simply telling no lies. It entails actively avoiding fallacious thinking, and facing the known facts, as disturbing or uncomfortable as they may be. Kindness entails more than merely being polite or helping a neighbor in need. To me it also means contributing to a better and more just society, which will benefit everybody in the long run. Some will argue that their religion serves those ends magnificently, but I disagree. I believe that most religions (and Christianity in particular) are antithetical to honesty in the broadest sense, as its primary objective seems to be preservation of dogma, not an unrelenting search for what is actually true. I find that it is also antithetical to kindness (in the broad societal sense), as its doctrines tend to thwart true understanding of human nature (note all the vitriol directed toward the theory of evolution), and therefore are unlikely vehicles for creating stable and just societies in the long run. (I've yet to see a viable theocracy.)

So, what are you missing? Maybe you are missing an opportunity to help your fellow humans by seeking to understand reality rather than propagating a myth. At a personal level, you may also be missing out on the fantastic stores of knowledge that are often ignored or outright disparaged by some religious sects. Of course, you will disagree.

.:webmaster:. said...

using the Bible to guide their sex lives.

So the Bible is to be our guide for sexual issues? So homosexuals should be stoned? So adulterers are to be put to death? So menstruating women are to be considered unclean?

You can’t have it both ways, believer, either the Bible is the enlightened last word on these matters, or it’s not. The things I just mentioned grew out of barbaric tribal thinking. If any one part of the Bible has become irrelevant, then why is the rest of it to be considered the authority?


Do you think I have been one-sided?


The point I was attempting to make is that a forum that allows the free expression of opposing viewpoints cannot very well be considered one-sided. You are posting whatever you want to post, as often as you like, and yet you accuse me of running a one-sided website. That’s what I’m calling ironic.

One thing we may both be guilty of, It seems that when 'self-proclaimed' Christians…

This, my dear Watson, is the crux of the matter. What seems to elude your comprehension is that all Christians are self-proclaimed Christians. All. There is no magical holy ghost and no mystical transformation. There is nothing remotely supernatural about becoming a Christian. Any otherworldly experiences reside solely in the imagination of the “true believer™” Therefore, a percentage of Christians, just like a percentage of the general population, perform heinous deeds. Christians are no different than anyone else – thus, the many articles illustrating that reality. You can say all day that they weren’t true Christains™, because true Christians™ wouldn’t do heinous things, but the Bible is chocked full of the people of god doing terrible things. True Christians™ do indeed do horrible things.

And, I do think that Christianity is an entirely selfish religion. Christians believe they are going to heaven to play patty cake with Jesus, and they rejoice in that thought. No matter how many millions or billions of their fellow human beings will be relegated to everlasting horrific conscious torture in the infernal bowels of your god’s cartoonish version of justice, Christians weep, and cry, and blubber at the thought of their god’s the tender mercies – toward them.

Webmaster, what do I need to be set free from? I believe that because Jesus Christ enables me to live by christian principles, I enjoy a healthy lifestyle, I have a kind and loving husband (since he became a christian), 5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles) What am I missing?
Congratulations on having a happy healthy family! I celebrate with everyone in that position. I too have happy healthy and successful children. They’re all atheists too!

I lived in Japan for three years. I met many happy healthy families while there. Some were Christians, but the vast majority I met didn’t subscribe to a belief in Christ.

Let me ask you something. If you were to abandon your religion today, do you think you’d become some sort of monster tomorrow? Having a happy family is not so difficult, you just have to have a reasonably pleasant personality. That’s about all it takes. Are you such an asshole that your family would fall apart without the restraints placed on you by your faith?

Think about it.

Believer said...

Dear Freeman, You very well could raise your daughters as responsible, honest and well adjusted people. What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?



Webmaster asks:
"So the Bible is to be our guide for sexual issues? So homosexuals should be stoned? So adulterers are to be put to death? So menstruating women are to be considered unclean?"

I like these questions. According to God's law, yes. However, because of God's provision, there is grace. If we were to stone all adulterers and homosexuals, the human race would literally be wiped out since as Jesus said, 'If a man looks at a woman with lust, he has already commmitted adultery with her in his heart." As the pharisees brought the adulterous woman to Jesus to see what should be done, he allowed, 'He that is without sin cast the first stone'. They all disapppeared. Jesus said to the woman, 'Neither do I condemn you.' He could say this as he would take her place.

As far as menstruating women being unclean, I am not entirely sure of the meaning of unclean, but I think in one sense as God was prescribing to his people a healthful way to live, that it had more to do with infectious situations. But regardless, according to the gospels, Jesus death on the cross took care of that too.

I'm sure that you would agree that adulterous behavior has often caused a great deal of emotional pain for many people and has been the cause of broken families. Many people now believe that homo-sexuality is something people are born with. I believe there is evidence to the contrary and that this evidence confirms God's Word and that is that homo-sexuality is not normal or good behavior.

Webmaster says: "What seems to elude your comprehension is that all Christians are self-proclaimed Christians."

I wonder webmaster if anyone ever uses the term 'self-proclaimed atheists'. I've never heard of it and my theory is, is that there is no benefit to proclaiming oneself to being an atheist. The reason many call themselves 'christian' is that it gives them a measure of respect and trust by others. Most people know that 'christian' infers a follower of Christ who taught us to love others and to be honest people. Many use christianity to manipulate others to their will and/or for a position of power.

An atheist on the other hand has no prescribed code of ethics. An atheist lives by what seems right to him, which may be good or bad, but no one would know. So for you to say that all christians are self-proclaimed christians, is true, but it is not true that all self-proclaimed christians are christians.
And Alan asks, "Can you tell us how to tell the real Christians from the fake ones?" Jesus said, 'By their fruits you would know them'.

My point about having a happy successful family, was not to say that I was better than others, but rather to dispute your claim that the teachings of christianity cause people to be dysfunctional. And it seems from your last letter, that you agree.
As far as non-christians also living fulfilling successful lives, I remember something my father told me. That God has set in place certain laws, such as 'you will reap what you sow'. So that even if a non-believer practices christian principles, he/she will reap the benefits of what they have sown. It does not mean however that they have eternal life unfortunately. And of course there are christians that are hearers only of the word of God, but not doers, and they therefore are also reaping what they sow.

Webmaster states: "And, I do think that Christianity is an entirely selfish religion."

I'm sure that you are aware Mr. Webmaster that Christians spend millions supporting various ministries throughout the world to show others the way of salvation. I know of a family, with the help of fellow christians who has fed millions of starving in Africa and shares the gospel of Christ. Also, a ministry to Spain that helps drug addicts overcome their addictions. There are missionaries who risk their lives in countries that are hostile to christians in order to share God's love. There are pastors who are serving time in prison today because of their preaching the gospel in anti-christian countries. How can you accuse christians of being selfish. This is an example of what I am talking about when you make accusations of christians that are untrue. And what I should have said is that, it is not your one-sidedness that disturbs me, it is your false accusations that you make in order to encourage your fellow ex-christians.

Am I such an asshole...??? What I do know is what I was like before coming to Christ, and what kinds of thoughts I sometimes have that are not very christian. If I ever did give up my christian faith, most likely I would continue to practice the christian principles that I know to produce a better life. Thanks for giving me something to think about. I am.

Risley said...

Believer: "...You very well could raise your daughters as responsible, honest and well adjusted people. What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?"

You forgot a few other ideals, that christians must hold onto, in order to make their case for christianity. Among which, humanity is born naturally defective, and dysfunctional. Thus, they require a heavenly agent to rescue them from their obvious shortcomings.

Now, can you explain what makes humanity "naturally defective", from your "naturally defective" point of view. Also, if everyone is naturally defective, how do you know what a real "sin" is, as opposed to a "sin" that someone else promotes. For instance, some religions believe drinking caffeine, tea, alcohol, is sinful, do you? What makes your ideal more or less true? What standard are you measuring your "truth" from?

The very first step in the christian faith, is to accept oneself as dysfunctional. That requires them to seek Jesus/God/some external heavenly agent to absolve them for their defective natures. Because christians believe, this, they "have" to accept everyone as being the same... dysfunctional.

So, there is the crux of the matter. I don't believe myself to be dysfunctional, and... you do.

I find it ironic how different people can read a passage in the bible and get entirely different meanings, but such is the art of rhetoric.

You proposed that Jesus protected the woman from being stoned, by asking those who had not committed such acts of sin, to cast the first stone. How do you understand that passage, from a dysfunctional point of view?

To me, I see no "measure" or "standard" or "ideal" of what is right or wrong presented by Jesus... only the suggestion that we hold others accountable according to our own inherent human understanding. In short, Jesus didn't provide a standard, he asked a bunch of "dysfunctional" humans, to make a decision based on their experience(s)... So, either Jesus believed in their capacity to "know" right from wrong, and thus, didn't obviously believe in the stigma of original sin, and biological dysfunction... or... he rolled the dice with the womans' life, not knowing what a bunch of biologically defective people would do - irresponsible.

Jesus, in that story, "bet" on the humanity and the capacity for humanity to make good decisions. He neither gave them a standard, nor did he give them a direction... just merely a choice. Thus, the woman was spared, because humanity was shown to have the capacity to; reason, show compassion, and be just. This is "antithetical" to modern day christian preaching/teaching/oral tradition.

So, I turn again to you... what Ideal do you propose, that Jesus obviously didn't feel like imposing himself? Who gave you that authority? How do you overcome the contradiction that you accept yourself as "sinful" and biologically dysfunctional, but at the same time, accept yourself qualified to provide spiritual guidance to others. How do you overcome the contradiction, that your dysfunctional, trying to teach dysfunctinoal people.

You must believe in the capacity of yourself and others, to know the truth of your words, but... you deny humanity the opportunity by first telling them they are not capable of escaping their own dysfunction.

I challenge you to ask your preacher, pastor, etc., how they can preach the word (in the proper context), while at the same time accepting themselves as "fallen", and naturally defective/imperfect. If the word is perfect, and they aren't, then the word is useless, as they are incapable of providing the word as it should be presented - perfectly.

When you present "ideal(s)", you are speaking from a personal perspective, just as every other person on this planet... with no more authority than any other person. The difference? You believe you were born into "sin", and need to make yourself better, and "more" than you currently "are"... and then, there are those of us, who are more able to accept you for who you are - than you. who is the more compassionate?

.:webmaster:. said...

What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?"

You can dare to say that, but you'd be incorrect. First of all, from your perspective, these ideals do not come from Christianity, they supposedly came from Moses. Further, the code of Hammurabi predates Mosaic Law. And, many of the laws in the first five books of the Bible, Christians have abandoned as irrelevant. Even in the 10 Commandments, almost no one thinks it important to keep the Sabbath Day holy. Drive by any restaurant after church on Sunday and you'll see church goers guiltlessly dining, as the employees break the Sabbath by serving them.

The point? Human understanding of morality is constantly evolving, just like every other part of our society. All societies have laws and moral codes: some better and some worse than the ones invented by the ancient Hebrews. Christians do not hold the key to morality.

freeman said...

Believer said...

Dear Freeman, You very well could raise your daughters as responsible, honest and well adjusted people. What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?

Dare I say that you believe that people in major part of the world, who are not christians, cannot raise their children "correctly"? I do not think that in Japan, where honor (esp. for elders) is extremely important, parents stop and say, "What would a christian parent do?". You god is not the god of all people therefor not the true god, if any exist at all!

.:webmaster:. said...

An atheist lives by what seems right to him, which may be good or bad, but no one would know.

Yes, that is true. In fact, all humans live by what seems right to them. That's why you live as a Christian. You think that's the right thing to do. And to live together in peace, all these humans have to agree on certain ethical standards. And that's where laws come from.

I like these questions. According to God's law, yes. However,

There's always a however. The Ten Commandments say to keep the Sabbath Day holy... however... If God never changes, if He's the same yesterday, today and forever, all the sticking dispensational changes — the howevers — certainly create question marks.

I am not entirely sure of the meaning of unclean, but I think ... that it had more to do with infectious situations.

Please tell me what infections come from having sex with a menstruating woman. Besides, it was a moral issue, not a health issue.

Leviticus 20:18:"If a man lies with a woman during her monthly period ... Both of them must be cut off from their people.

Ezekiel 18:6: "... He does not ... lie with a woman during her period."

Ezekiel 22:10: "Men ... have intercourse with women who are menstruating."

There's many more, but that's enough. Having bloody sex might be messy, or even yucky, but a sin? Come on! That's arcane.

I'm sure that you would agree that adulterous behavior has often caused a great deal of emotional pain for many people and has been the cause of broken families.

I agree. I've been faithfully married to the same woman for 21 years. For me, that's the way to go. I find it a satisfying and healthy lifestyle. However, I don't set myself up as the standard for all other people. That would be a bit arrogant. However, being trapped in the wrong relationship is just as destructive to a person, and Christianity clearly makes divorce a sin. When Christianity ruled western civilization, divorce was not an option, and emotional pain and heartbreak was rife.

I wonder webmaster if anyone ever uses the term 'self-proclaimed atheists'.

I've never heard anyone use the term self-proclaimed non-believer in Allah either. Still, I don't believe in Allah. However, if it makes you happy, I'm a self-proclaimed atheist. What's the point?

The reason many call themselves 'christian' is that it gives them a measure of respect and trust by others.

Yes, yes, the "True Christian™" fallacy. Naturally, you consider yourself a True Christian™, as opposed to all those other fake Christians. Perhaps those who don't adhere as closely to Jesus' teachings as you do aren't very good Christians, but that would hardly be for you to determine, wouldn't you agree?

Every family that lives a zealous Christian life is dysfunctional. Then again, every family is dysfunctional. Or, I should say that every family has it's problems which some people might call dysfunctional. I dare say, that if you're honest, you too have your family problems. Christianity is NOT the cure-all.

It is not mean that they have eternal life.

It isn't mean to torture someone mercilessly forever? Really? You don't think torture is mean? You don't think that people placed in horrific agony for all time, without the option to even die, isn't just a bit mean?

What exactly would you consider to be mean?

Christianity has had 2,000 years to make a difference in the world. When Christian was ascendant and had the most opportunity to make the world a better place, it chose instead to cast the world into a thousand years of darkness. Science, medicine, progress of any kind was stifled, stunted, and spat upon. Only when Christianity lost it's tight grip on human minds did humans once again begin to progress.

I stand by my assessment that Christianity is a selfish religion. People are only Christians because they are looking for that heavenly crown. Without the threat of hell and the promise of pearly gates, there would be no Christians. People do not love God because He is God, they don't want to die and go to hell. People who become Christians want to live forever in the nice place. And no matter how many of their fellow humans are tortured, they want heaven for themselves. I Cor15:19: "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men."

Christianity is not about helping people here. This life is considered meaningless, worthless, a den of iniquity, ruled by Satan, a veil of tears. Christianity is about getting people to heaven, and most Christian humanitarian efforts are the bait to the hook. It's not about feeding the world, it's about saving souls.

Thanks for giving me something to think about.

You're welcome.

Jim Arvo said...

Believer,

I can't help but notice how prominent you make the proselytizing aspects of the Christian benefactors you list. If you want to emphasize the good that Christians are doing, I'd suggest focusing on feeding and clothing the poor, building schools and hospitals, sheltering the homeless, etc. Yes, there are Christian organizations doing precisely those things, with varying degrees of success and efficiency. However, I choose to contribute time and money to organizations that do not also have a religious agenda, as I do not wish to have any of my resources squandered on furthering a religious ideology.

I have seen numerous Christian organizations boasting of the wonderful work they've done by building *churches* and distributing *bibles* in the most impoverished countries in Africa. Frankly, I am appalled by that. Building a church with an alter in lieu of a hospital with an ICU, or a school, or a home is recklessly irresponsible. Distributing Bibles in lieu of additional antibiotics, food, and clothing is to me reprehensible. Investing significant resources in translating the Bible into local dialects in lieu of books on history, science, medicine, and agriculture is completely asinine. That proselytizing is seen as so very important by Christians greatly undermines their effectiveness as benefactors. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's downright unethical to attempt to indoctrinate people who are beholden to the missionaries; not only is that exploitation, but it often has the effect of wiping out the indigenous culture, and frequently their language along with it.

So, is that selfish behavior on the part of Christians? Yes, I think that would be an appropriate criticism, but there is a more apt word: it's ethno-centricism, which is a species of narrow-mindedness. It is the self-centered belief that your particular culture/religion trumps all others. The Christian missionaries, by and large, see one of their primary objectives to be indoctrination of those in need into THEIR particular belief system, which I find offensive.

So, do Christians do a lot of good? Yes, of course. But it is all too frequently accompanied by self-righteous indoctrination. If you want to convince me that a Christian organization is truly committed to helping people, show me that nearly 100% of their resources are put toward actually HELPING people, not convincing them to join a particular religious movement. Show me that they are respectful of other cultures, and wish to help them preserve their languages and their religions. Show me that they will refrain from using their position of influence as a tool of persuasion. Show me that their first priority is to send qualified people to perform various services, regardless of their religious affiliation. If you can show me a religious organization with these characteristics, I will applaud them and even gladly contribute to their cause. But, of course, you will ask how such an organization would differ from a purely secular one, such as the UN, or FEMA (back when it was functional), or the Peace Corps. The answer is that *functionally* they would not differ at all. So, you might say that I have nothing at all against Christian organization, aside from the Christianity.

Jim Arvo said...

Believer: "What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them [your children]. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?"

Yes, those are indeed "Christian ideals". They are also the ideals of many other cultures and religions, some much more ancient than Christianity. Both Buddha and Confucius had similar edicts long before the advent of Christianity. To suggest that they somehow arose from Christianity, or that Christians have some prior claim to them is absurd.

Believer: "I wonder webmaster if anyone ever uses the term 'self-proclaimed atheists'. I've never heard of it and my theory is, is that there is no benefit to proclaiming oneself to being an atheist."

I am a self-proclaimed atheist! I do not proclaim it to derive any benefit (at least not for myself), I proclaim it because it happens to be the truth. And, by the way, I use the word "proclaim" in the sense of assert, not in the sense of announce, as I find the latter brash and unnecessary in most social contexts. But when the issue is raised, or I am asked directly, I make my stance very plain. It often leads to interesting discussions.

You say that you've never come across the phrase "self-proclaimed atheist"? I'm a bit surprised by that. Almost without fail when an atheist is quoted in a newspaper they are said to be "self-proclaimed", yet I have never seen a Christian referred to in a like manner (except when mentioning Fred Phelps, perhaps). The disparity is so blatant I have on occasion written letters of complaint, pointing out that it is a subtle form of bigotry. It's a way of distancing the writer from the atheist by asserting that the label is of the person's own choosing. Since the same writer usually sees no need for the same rhetorical device when referring to Christians, it betrays a not-so-flattering stereotype (soft bigotry).

Finally, I will point out that there *are* benefits to "proclaiming" to be an atheist. One benefit is to other atheists, who are often treated poorly and/or marginalized by believers. By "coming out" as an atheist, they feel less isolated. I also happen to believe that it can benefit Christians in several ways: 1) it sometimes (albeit rarely) gets them to think about things a little differently than they are used to, and 2) it's a small step toward enforcing the separation of church and state, which, if allowed to crumble, would be to everyone's detriment, even Christians (IMHO).

south2003 said...

Believer: The 9/ll hijackers did not know that they died for a lie. They believed the '72 virgins' to be the truth. Jesus's disciples would have known if they had actually seen, spoken and touched Jesus. They would have to have literally lied about it if it wasn't true. History tells us that all but John went to their deaths proclaiming the resurrection of Christ.

How extensive is your knowledge of the Muslim religion? Just as you believe that a spook impregnated a virgin and a dead man rose from the dead, it is not plausible that the Muslims do get the reward of 72 virgins? It’s amazing to me that Christians are in awe of how preposterous another’s beliefs is but fail to see it in theirs’.

Believer: My own experience living as a christian has been overall positive and I have seen many victories over destructive lifestyles in my life and the lives of others who proclaim Christ and credit is given to becoming a 'born-again' believer.

Any religion can make claims to your “experiences”. Some find solace in being a Muslim, practicing yoga, meditation or darn, even walking a mile a day. So your point is….what again? Still, we are left with your “experiences” which are subjective /biased. Your “experiences” have to work objectively without bias for us to put any credence to it.

Believer: Of course Jim, I agree that good things have been done by non-believers and those of other faiths. Yes, yes, I agree that as you carefully stated, 'self-proclaimed christians' have committed horrible atrocities. So what's your point and what is the answer to my question?

What you have failed to even comprehend is that the act of kindness is not monopolized by Christianity or any religion for that matter. It is common for humans to show compassion towards others and morals and ethics are not based on one set of ideology. If it takes a religion such as yours to do well, then by all means, keep it. AA does that quiet well for sobriety. I for one do not need a system to cram down my throat on how not to cause harm to my fellow man.
-------------------------------------------------

Believer: To Webmaster:
A comment on christians' using the
Bible to guide their sex lives. We have a wood burner and it confines naturally, beautiful, warming fire within. Yes, sex can be wonderful, beautiful and natural. However, out of control it can be extremely destructive, psychologically, emotionally, socially and physiologically.

What cause more destruction (than the pure act of a natural thing call SEX) are those pedophiliac clergy men of the cloth. If you think that pedophiles are just restraint to one denomination such as the Catholics, guess again. There are more psychological, emotional, and social damages when such a natural act as SEX is looked on as filthy (by the religious of course) plus when it’s carried out without ones consent, especially with the innocent. There is not one case where the victim is not destroyed after the fact.

However, did you know your bible gives instructions on rape and killing babies? It shows what to do with rape victims, virgin and in one story because Yahweh was pissed off when his “chosen” got their asses kicked all over town, they (with their enemies babies) – smashed their heads against rocks and celebrated. How about the flood story? How many babies died in their mother’s womb or on their way out of the womb? How many took their first and last breath that horrible day. Of course I know it’s a myth, but the idea that Christians find it so horrible when “LEGAL” abortions are performed and acts is beyond me. Look at your glass house and stop throwing stones.

Another thing, why in a country that claims to be a “Christian Nation” have so much going on? I guess America is not a Christian nation after all. No, wait, I guess Christianity is not too keen on setting good moral principles…they don’t practice what they preach.

Believer: Since the sexual revolution of the 1960's when Americans threw off the 'christian restraints' of sexuality, our nation has experienced a sharp rise in number of children being raised by single parents, babies being murdered in the womb, and sexual diseases..

The “Christian restraints” were thrown off… maybe because we no longer live in the Dark Ages? Hummmmm. Praise the Gods! News Flash: Folks were having sex before I was thought of.

Believer: I hear of an epidemic of teen girls cutting themselves with the explanation that it takes away the pain they are experiencing emotionally.

It’s not unlikely for teens to go through stages of “finding themselves.” This epidemic of teen girls cutting themselves needs to be backed up. Site your sources along with reasons why they are cutting themselves.

Believer: From my own experience as a promiscous teen, I can say that much of my own emotional pain was from uncommitted, illegitimate sexual relationships. Sex is not always beautiful and wonderful

Once again, “your experiences” is not the way to go for everyone else. You define your own happiness. You define your own morals/ethics. Good for you, but so what. Want a cookie? I do agree that sex is wonderful, but regardless if I’m married or not…….and if I chose to have multiple partners……..then It’s my choice and it will be wonderful. I define my own morals. (I bet you are turning up your nose and that little heart of yours is fuming), but hey, there are those alive who still practices cannibalism and they also think it’s wonderful.
Believer: Webmaster, what do I need to be set free from? I believe that because Jesus Christ enables me to live by christian principles, I enjoy a healthy lifestyle, I have a kind and loving husband (since he became a christian), 5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles) What am I missing?

Superiority Complex Alert! Once again, Zeus beliefs or the lack thereof does not have a monopoly on well adjusted social behaviors. If it took a god belief to straighten out your hubby, raise your children with principles, I say well done. Your “circumstances” and “lifestyle” is not unattainable to others. You, along with the rest of society can attain happy lifestyles regardless of a god belief. Ok then, if your “moral principles” derived from your bible, when one of your 5 children disobeys you, you must stone them to death. No ifs ands or buts about.

I have two beautiful teen boys and a great man in my life. It works for me and I’m an Atheist.

Believer said...

Webmaster asks: "Please tell me what infections come from having sex with a menstruating woman. Besides, it was a moral issue, not a health issue. .... Having bloody sex might be messy..."

Synonym for unclean - messy.
I found this info which may corroborate what I stated,
"Critics of Profet, of which there are many, argue to the contrary that menstrual blood acts as the perfect nesting ground for a host of sexually transmitted microorganisms, and moreover, a woman is more susceptible to a wide variety of vaginal infections during menstruation than at any other time in her cycle."

Also webmaster, you say it was a moral issue, not a health issue. I think many health issues can be moral issues also. If you do something knowingly that hurts yourself or others, like smoking in the presence of others, then I think it can be a moral issue if you are damaging your own and/or another's health by your actions.

When you quote Old Testament laws in order to justify your claims, I am wondering if you ever understood the true gospel message. Jesus said he did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it. Paul clearly lays out in Romans that all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory, therefore we are all in need of salvation. The law was given to point out our weaknesses and the seriousness with which God regards sin. He never changed. It is still wrong to break His laws, but Abraham was counted as righteous before the law was given because of his faith in God. We are not saved by following the law but by trusting in His provision for us through Jesus His Son.

"For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works lest any man should boast."Ephesians 2:8,9

Webmaster states: " However, I don't set myself up as the standard for all other people."

How do you determine what is a correct standard? Should there be a standard for others? If a person commits adultery and causes emotional pain to their spouse, to their lover's spouse, to the children of the families involved, then you won't say that that is wrong?

I have a question. Do you feel it is necessary to present christianity and christians as being vile and evil in order to confirm what you now have chosen to believe or should I say dis-believe?
You say that christianity is anti-family. I can walk into any christian book store and find any number of books to promote strong families but none on 'how to hate your family memebers'.
You say that christianity inhibits science, although you seem to discredit any of the scientists I mentioned, but even Isaac Newton believed in the God of the Bible. George Washington Carver,who literally saved the impoverished soil of the south, when asked where he got his ideas for the scientific advances he made, he quoted a scripture from Genesis 1:29 "Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it." People of the time considered the peanut to be a essentially useless crop.

When our founding fathers were in gridlock on how to write our constitution, it was Benjamin Franklin (also a great scientist)who suggested that they open each session with prayer and quoted scripture.
"And if a sparrow can not fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred Writings, that 'Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.' I firmly believe this..."
The U.S. of America is testament of his words. The founding fathers went on to write a constitution of the greatest country to ever exist in the history of mankind Most of our ancestors came here to enjoy the blessings that America has to offer.

You continue to ascertain that christians are basically selfish people. I encourage any one of you to read "The Hiding Place" written by Corrie Ten Boom. Her christian family hid Jews and suffered greatly from their sacrifice to help their fellow mankind.

As far as changing some indigenous tribal people's customs. Check out the movie or book, 'The End of the Spear'a true story. These people were glad to end their tribal customs of killing each other nearly to extinction when they learned of the love of God who gave his Son for them. Five missionaries were murdered by this Amazon tribe, but the wives came back to the tribe and won them to Christ.
Here is something written by Einstein for you to think about.

Einstein and God
By Thomas Torrance
"Here is a paragraph from a letter Einstein once sent to an American Episcopal Bishop about the behaviour of the Church during the holocaust.

'Being a lover of freedom...I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom, but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing the truth. I never had any special interest in the church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.'"

Dave8 said...

Einstein, may well have written the letter thanking a specific denomination for assisting in the effort to denounce depravity. However, that doesn't remove the fact that "religion" was itself the instrument of destruction used by Hitler to begin with.

The appreciation, was more towards the people, not the religion or the religious doctrine. Many people are willing to accept blindly, because they believe "blind" faith is a virtue. As long as religion, breeds blind "faith", as a virtue, there will always continue to be the possibility that one charismatic leader can call them to do vile things - without thinking once/twice.

A fanatic, who takes pride in being led by invisible forces, and charismatic leaders, are nothing short of loaded weapons laying around waiting to be used. Sure... some are led to engage in actions that benefit society, but usually to its own benefit, yet, many are led to engage in negative actions contrary to a civil society.

A mindless fanatic, is a mindless fanatic, no matter what their actions are. A mindless fanatic telling another mindless fanatic they are living the "wrong" fanatical lifestyle, or that they are not a "true" fanatic, is simply amazing. It says much about religious doctrine, and the person making the statement.

By the way, Hitler praised Christianity during his reign, does his comment have more/less weight in credibility than Albert? Why?

Believer said...

Dave8, You present an intriguing discussion. You're absolutely right about many things you wrote. There are and have been many who lead the gullible by claiming to have "heard from God" and/or by quoting scripture. As I stated in an earlier letter, in many situations, for the unscrupulous, it is a benefit to be a 'christian'.

Hitler lived in a primarily 'christian' country of his time. In his public speaking he sometimes made reference to God. However, in his private conversations he denegraded christianity as being one of the two great scourges on earth, the other being the pox. You can read them at this site: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_hitler.html


As I read those, wow, it sounds something like the things that are said on this website!!

Jesus warned his disciples about false teachers. Only a fool would blindly follow a teacher who claimed to have special revelations from God. Unfortunately there are quite a few out there and this is most likely the reason many of you are disullusioned with christianity.

So, to answer your question about Einstein vs Hitler

dave8 asks "By the way, Hitler praised Christianity during his reign, does his comment have more/less weight in credibility than Albert? Why?"

Hitler's public comments carried no weight, but his private conversations are insightful. I believe Einstein was basically an honest man and one could trust that what he said was what he thought whether in public or in private.

Anonymous said...

With God, all things are possible!!! Except for saving souls, that chore was turned over to a demi-god!!

.:webmaster:. said...

I appreciate that Christians want to distance themselves from Hitler, the Crusades, and Ted Haggard, but Hitler most assuredly considered himself a Christian.

Hitler's Table Talk as discussed at NoBeliefs.Com

Believer said...

Now tell me webmaster, what teachings of Christ was Hitler following when he aggressively invaded other countries and mass murdered his fellow humanity?

All that balogna about how Hitler being a christian is a bunch of double talk. Hitler talks about loving his fellow mankind but ruled his country by fear, he murdered and tortured innocent people.

Where does Christ teach us that it's our responsibility to 'create' a superior race? As a devout Christian, how is it that Hitler missed scriptures that tell us to love even our enemies?

A christian is one who seeks to follow the teachings of Christ. As far as Ted Haggard goes, I really don't know very much about him. But if it is true from what I heard, that he is not justifying his behavior but rather confessing it, then true christians will not distance themselves from him but rather embrace him and help him to find healing.

.:webmaster:. said...

A christian is one who seeks to follow the teachings of Christ.

Ted Haggard initially denied his homosexual tryst and drug abuse. He only partially confessed when it became obvious he couldn't lie his way out of it. He'd been screwing around with a gay lover and getting high for at least three years, although it could be longer for all we know.

If you really want some information on Hitler's faith, read this article: click here.

So, if I'm reading you correctly, Ted Haggard was a True Christian™ regardless of his longterm deception and "sinful" lifestyle. Hitler wasn't a True Christian™ for much the same reasons.

Got it.

Dave8 said...

Believer: "Dave8, You present an intriguing discussion. You're absolutely right about many things you wrote. There are and have been many who lead the gullible by claiming to have "heard from God" and/or by quoting scripture."

But, how can you tell the difference between those who are gullible and those who aren't?

Believer: "As I stated in an earlier letter, in many situations, for the unscrupulous, it is a benefit to be a 'christian'."

In what manner is it "not" beneficial to be a christian?

Believer: "Hitler lived in a primarily 'christian' country of his time. In his public speaking he sometimes made reference to God. However, in his private conversations he denegraded christianity as being one of the two great scourges on earth, the other being the pox. You can read them at this site: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_hitler.html"

So, would it be fair to say, that Hitler charismatically persuaded the more gullible? Again, how does one tell a gullible christian from a non-gullible christian?

Believer: "As I read those, wow, it sounds something like the things that are said on this website!!"

I suspect that at the core of this site, there is the "demand" for critical thought, no matter who throws something out on the web page. Sure, a lot gets thrown out on the pages, but many times, they are challenged to support the claim or statement.

The reason Hitler was successful in a majority Christian nation, was perhaps because not-enough people challenged him, with critical thought. Critical thought, and an understanding in their values would have driven them to challenge his authority. Still... he reigned without challenge, with the rare exceptions noted through history.

Believer: "Jesus warned his disciples about false teachers."

The Jews, which pre-date the disciples in upwards of a thousand years, made the same warning...

Deut. 13:1: "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,"

That would be Jesus, who would cause people to "wonder" about their "faith" in the Jewish god "El". This being Paul's &/or the synoptic gospel author(s), e.g., Matthew, for the most part.

Deut. 13:2: "And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;"

Paul spoke strongly to the Jews, telling them to "go after Jesus", a "god" for which no Jew knew, or had ever known. Paul asked the Jews to "serve" Jesus Christ by following a different set of laws, and to abide only by the New Testament teachings.

Deut. 13:3: "Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

The Jews, believed their would be prophets, messiahs, and other religious leaders who would come forth, but... there was only "one" true Jewish "messiah" per the Old Testament, and that "messiah", was to bring about a new kingdom. A new kingdom that "only" the Jews would host, there would be no other religion, church, country, etc., only a single Jewish Nation, God, Belief, etc.

The Jews per the Old Testament were mandated by their "Holy" book, to not follow anyone who did not fit their "messianic" description. Jesus, surely did not "fit", the Jewish Messiah description - per the Messianic prophesies. Thus, Jesus was a test of "faith", as the Jews and the Jewish religious leaders interpreted their bible.

Deut. 13:4: "13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Hold tight, to the "true" word of "god", in the Old Testament, and do not "go astray", this was the Jewish test of "faith".

13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee."

Jesus, per the Jewish Old Testament prophesies, "was" put to death, as predicted by Jewish scripture, which supported the notion that Jesus came as a false prophet, a "dreamer of dreams", as Paul described him.

And, so it came to pass, that many Jews were murdered for not accepting Jesus as their symbollic messiah, per Paul, or the Roman Empire's Emperor Constantine I, who made the Roman State religion "Christianity".

Believer: "Jesus warned his disciples about false teachers."

What makes you believe, that the "Jews" were misguided/gullible? Their religion, "did" come first, right?

Believer: "Only a fool would blindly follow a teacher who claimed to have special revelations from God."

Ah, and that is exactly what the Jews thought, as they were being murdered by the Roman Empire, who pushed Jesus and christianity. Thus, was the reason that many religious sects at that time, fought against those who attempted to force "christianity" upon them, by proselytization, etc.

Believer: "Only a fool would blindly follow a teacher who claimed to have special revelations from God."

And, I agree. So, lets make a small list of religious teachers, who state/have stated they have/had some special revelation from God.

1--Modern Day Prophets, Joseph Smith (Mormon).
2--Ancient Prophets:
A. Mohammed (Muslim).
B. Paul/Saul of Tarsus (christianity).
C. Disciples of the New Testament (christianity).
3--Dictators:
A. Hitler

Are "all" of the people, who "follow" these teachers... fools? Why/why not?

Believer: "Unfortunately there are quite a few out there and this is most likely the reason many of you are disullusioned with christianity."

Paul/Saul of Tarsus, was obviously "disillusioned" with Judaism...

You levy an argument stating that many people are disillusioned with christianity/religion... yet, disillusionment was the progenitor of christianity through Paul.

Has not "good" (christianity) come from Paul's "disillusionment"?

Perhaps, further well-founded disillusionment, will create even better prospects, for all of humanity.

Believer: "So, to answer your question about Einstein vs Hitler"

Okay.

Dave8: "By the way, Hitler praised Christianity during his reign, does his comment have more/less weight in credibility than Albert? Why?"

Believer: "Hitler's public comments carried no weight,"

Actually, he moved an entire nation with his charisma to kill millions in the attempt to take over the world, it's a shame that there were not enough "disillusioned" German citizens to fight against his atrocities.

Believer: "...but his private conversations are insightful."

If you know of these private conversations... then, they are no longer private, right? If you are suggesting his private memoirs, letters, journal, etc., were insightful, in the notion that they portray his true beliefs, then... okay.

Are you suggesting that Hitler wasn't a "good" christian, because his private beliefs did not match up to the "words" he used to incite violence, and atrocity, in the name of "god"?

So, you measure "honesty" and "truth" based on consistency of information/belief?

I don't have the time to delve into the history of christianity at the moment, but... I will if you want. Bottom line... the "original" panel of clergy, at the First Council of Nicaea, ~325CE, that voted on the divinity of Jesus, were "inconsistent". The vote was not unanimous, and there were people who rejected the vote and started their own religions - pentacostalism for one.

Can you make a case that "Paul" wasn't as "inconsistent", in his beliefs as Hitler? Paul, was a Jew, well maybe, he declares himself a Roman at other times, he then preaches honesty, yet he teaches against the Jewish belief, using their own Tanakh/Old Testament.

In order for you to declare that being "inconsistent" is congruent with dishonesty, you really need to find a standard by which to measure from. Ah... that would require you to find someone who really... never changes their mind - is that possible? If one changes their mind, and they act upon those changes, then they could easily be considered "inconsistent". Its possible, that everyone changes throughout their life, one person could see that as a natural progression while others consider it a gross misrepresentation of what it means to be a "truly" honest person. In short, perhaps some people just naturally accept change and acknowledge its benefits in a changing society, while others consider it a dysfunction of humanity.

Believer: "I believe Einstein was basically an honest man and one could trust that what he said was what he thought whether in public or in private."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13804030/

MSNBC News Services
Updated: 8:10 p.m. ET July 10, 2006


JERUSALEM - Albert Einstein had half a dozen girlfriends and told his wife they showered him with "unwanted" affection, according to letters released on Monday that shed light on his extramarital affairs.

The wild-haired Jewish-German scientist, renowned for his theory of relativity, spent little time at home. He lectured in Europe and in the United States, where he died in 1955 at age 76. But Einstein wrote hundreds of letters to his family.

Previously released letters suggested his marriage in 1903 to his first wife Mileva Maric, mother of his two sons, was miserable. They divorced in 1919, and he soon married his cousin, Elsa. He cheated on her with his secretary, Betty Neumann."

Is infidelity, considered consistent and honest? Perhaps, his "private" life, caught up to him.

Do you consider yourself a good judge of "character"? If you change your mind about the consistent honesty you believe Albert portrayed, does that make you "inconsistent" yourself?

If you are "inconsistent", what makes you different than "Hitler's" obvious inconsistency? Is it based on the "intentions" of the person? One person has good intentions and another has bad intentions, and therefore we can tell "good/right" from "evil/wrong"?

If a person actually "believes", they are doing the right thing, yet, they kill millions of others to achieve their goals, does their good "intentions" somehow make them more righteous?

Does it require deep thought and logic to hold "faith"?

If a person lives on "faith", then it could be postulated the same person can't have "good" or "bad" intentions, right. It takes a thoughtful process to "intentionally" act.

Therefore, the more "faithful", the less personally "responsible" for their actions, right?

Can you understand, that many people may be "disillusioned" with those who suggest all they need is "faith", because they can't be reasoned with, as that takes a thoughtful discussion?

Those same people, who suggest all one needs is "faith", are the same ones who would be easily led by "anyone", as they have no "thought" process that would alert them to some dishonest deed.

"Faith"... is the cornerstone of religion and those who follow religiously. Pardon, if I am disillusioned with those who find mindless following or blind "faith" a "virtue".

Believer said...

Mr. Webmaster, there's a world of difference between Ted Haggard and Hitler. Hitler used christianity to promote his atrocities. He didn't try to hide it, but rather recruited others. As far as is known, he never said that what he did was wrong.

Ted Haggard admitted to wrong-doing. If he didn't think it was wrong, he could have forsaken christianity long ago and pursued that lifestyle or he could be like many ministers are today who say homo-sexuality is just another lifestyle. There are even churches who ordain homo-sexual ministers.

To claim Hitler was a christian has to be a master act of self-deception. According to your information, Hitler used the incident where Jesus drove out the sellers in the temple because of their dishonest practices. Any reasonable person, whether a believer or not, should be able to recognize that Hitler twisted Jesus's actions to justify the murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children.

You don't need to attach christians to Hitler in order to be an ex-christian, do you? Are you having doubts about your unbelief that you have to make christianity out to be the cause of the vilest acts on earth in order to confirm your faith? I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just wondering.

As far as Einstein being credible, I concede that if what Dave8 states about Einstein's extra-marital affairs, that he was indeed a dishonest person, at least in that regard. But I ask, what reason would Einstein have to lie about the universities and newspapers being silenced, but yet the church being the only force to stand against Hitler's campaign?

Dave8 asks,"So, lets make a small list of religious teachers, who state/have stated they have/had some special revelation from God.

1--Modern Day Prophets, Joseph Smith (Mormon).
2--Ancient Prophets:
A. Mohammed (Muslim).
B. Paul/Saul of Tarsus (christianity).
C. Disciples of the New Testament (christianity).
3--Dictators:
A. Hitler

Are "all" of the people, who "follow" these teachers... fools? Why/why not?"

I was very fortunate to grow up in a church where we were regularly taught to not just believe everything a minister told us. We were to read the scripture for ourselves, compare it to other scriptures, and to always read a scripture in it's context when making a point. We were not taught that blind faith is a virtue.

Mormonism, for instance, teaches that a husband and wife will be reunited as a married couple in eternity. Jesus plainly explained in Luke 20:35 "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage."

Mohammed was the only one who had the visions that is now the foundation of Islam. There is no other scriptures to back up the things that he taught. In comparison, the Bible was written by many authors who corroborate each other. Jesus regularly referred to Old Testament scriptures to back up what he taught.

As far as the religious Jewish leaders rejecting Jesus because of Old Testament scriptures, the Bible plainly tells us that Jesus was exposing them for what they were. He warned his disciples about them , Luke 20:46 "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues...Which devour widows' houses... the same shall receive greater damnation". Of course they hated Jesus and wanted to get rid of him.

Not all of them of course. There was Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night and stated, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him."

Paul was not disillusioned. People do change their minds based on new information. Paul received a revelation from Jesus and changed his mind about who Jesus was, but not about Judaism. He did come to a new understanding of the law. But, he admitted that he was not following the law and recognized his need for a savior.

Paul explaines in Galatians 3:24 "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." Paul goes on to tell us that God made a covenant with Abraham 400 years before he gave the law to Moses. It states that Abraham believed God and God credited it unto him for righteousness. The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11,where you can find the list of the "Hall of Faith" Old Testament characters, that salvation was always by faith and not by following the laws of the Old Testament.

Paul never taught people to have blind faith; he would prove to them from the Old Testament scripture prophecies that Jesus was the Messiah. Also, by the way Paul was a Jew and a Roman citizen.

God has never called us to blind faith, but He has given us a great deal of evidence that our faith might have a foundation.

.:webmaster:. said...

Believer,

I'm guessing you didn't bother to read the article. That's OK. I didn't expect you to.

Regardless, you do realize that Hitler's hate of the Jews, and the German population going along with it, is in part because of the antisemitism of Martin Luther, the great reformer who started the Lutheran Church, in Germany.

You knew that right?

In case you didn't know about that, here's a nice "Christian" link that you might feel is safe enough to read: An Apology

Ted Haggard admitted he was wrong after his lover told on him. Had no one told, he'd still be preaching. And now it appears there is some question as to homosexuality running rampant in the church's staff.

Haggard was/is a deceptive liar. Millions were decieved by convincing portrayal of Christian love. He condemned homosexuality from the pulpit with a vengeance while he slipped off to do whatever men do with gay male prostitutes.

Paul could never have fooled anyone like that. He could never have written one thing that was untrue. That wouldn't be even be possible, would it?

Dave8 said...

Believer: "...There's a world of difference between Ted Haggard and Hitler. Hitler used christianity to promote his atrocities. He didn't try to hide it, but rather recruited others. As far as is known, he never said that what he did was wrong."

Ted Haggard used christianity to hold his office/position, and then further influenced others for self-gratifying acts, and who knows what else. His position, of trust, and honesty affected a myriad of citizens, yet... he posed as an honest Christian, and attmepted to deny his wrong-doing for as long as he could, until he forced his lover/male prostitute to come forth and tell the truth.

Ironic, you suggest that Hitler was a little more non-christian because he put up a front, to deceive others... seems like Ted Haggard used the same tactic. Perhaps, you suggest that neither Hitler was worse, because his deception created more atrocity than Ted Haggard?

What if its just wrong to be deceptive, if even to just "one" person? If a christian lies, just once, does that make them less of a christian? Why? What makes Hitler's lying, worse than lets say... Ted Haggard lying about his homosexual affairs?

Believer: "Ted Haggard admitted to wrong-doing."

Again, he didn't come forth. He was dragged into admitting the truth by his lover in the media. He had no choice, but to quit lying.

Believer: "If he didn't think it was wrong, he could have forsaken christianity long ago and pursued that lifestyle or he could be like many ministers are today who say homo-sexuality is just another lifestyle. There are even churches who ordain homo-sexual ministers."

No politician renounces religion, its not profitable in a country of religious voters... Believer, do you know how many presidents of the U.S. have declared a religion?

Presidential Religious Affiliation:

Episcopalian 11
Presbyterian 10
Methodist 5
Baptist 4
Unitarian 4
Disciples of Christ 3
Dutch Reformed 2
Quaker 2
Congregationalist 2
Catholic 1
Jehovah's Witness 1
TOTAL 42

http://www.adherents.com/adh_presidents.html

Believer, how many presidents have there been? The answer is "42"... obviously there is more than a "trend" here, right? People voted for the religious person they felt they could trust, and there are "many" divergent religious affiliations noted. Obviously, it's not the specific religious affiliation that is pronounced, as much as the fact that "religion", is used by politicians, like the Ted Haggards in office, to exploit their position.

If Ted Haggard really believed what he was doing was wrong, he would have renounced his religion, and continued his homosexual affairs. He didn't. He didn't appologize for his behavior, he appologized for getting caught and embarassing those that voted for him. His religion, didn't make him any more, or less, than he is... yep, he's just human, religion doesn't change that, no matter what religion.

Believer: "To claim Hitler was a christian has to be a master act of self-deception."

If everyone is only "human", and prone to sin/evil, etc., then what makes the "christian" different?

I suppose what I am asking... is... what makes a christian different than a non-christian, if everyone is prone to human error?

Believer: "According to your information, Hitler used the incident where Jesus drove out the sellers in the temple because of their dishonest practices. Any reasonable person, whether a believer or not, should be able to recognize that Hitler twisted Jesus's actions to justify the murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children."

You have "failed" to explain why millions of people were allowed to be deceived, and they by the way were predominately "christian".

If appears all of those german citizens, were just "gullible"? So, you believe you are "smarter" than all of those german christians? What makes you "smarter", or more able to spot a liar? What makes you "less" gullible than all of those german christian citizens?

Believer: "You don't need to attach christians to Hitler in order to be an ex-christian, do you?"

It was Hitler who attached the christian name to himself, what we are asking you, is how do you know he wasn't a "true christian" in his heart/mind?

Believer: "Are you having doubts about your unbelief that you have to make christianity out to be the cause of the vilest acts on earth in order to confirm your faith? I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just wondering."

If christianity can't be validated using some "measure", then it could be that everyone is in unbelief and just throwing out religious titles... where no title is any better than any other.

Believer: "As far as Einstein being credible, I concede that if what Dave8 states about Einstein's extra-marital affairs, that he was indeed a dishonest person, at least in that regard."

So, is it the christian tradition, to compartmentalize moral standards? I mean, it's okay to lie in ones' social life, but that doesn't remove their truth in their political speeches?

For me, I consider Albert human just like everyone else in life. I thought it was the christian creed to expect human failure. The difference, is that if everyone is a failure, then... who can you Believe there Believer? What makes you believe one eperson more than another?

Believer: "But I ask, what reason would Einstein have to lie about the universities and newspapers being silenced, but yet the church being the only force to stand against Hitler's campaign?"

Do you consider the religiously affiliated U.S. which was predominately christian, at fault for "not" standing up, as a whole? Until after Pearl Harbor? Was it religion, that Albert noticed, or the "people", that made a difference?

Believer, why don't you expound upon what makes one "religion" more credible than another...

Dave8: "So, lets make a small list of religious teachers, who state/have stated they have/had some special revelation from God.

1--Modern Day Prophets, Joseph Smith (Mormon).
2--Ancient Prophets:
A. Mohammed (Muslim).
B. Paul/Saul of Tarsus (christianity).
C. Disciples of the New Testament (christianity).
3--Dictators:
A. Hitler"

"Are "all" of the people, who "follow" these teachers... fools? Why/why not?"

Believer: "I was very fortunate to grow up in a church where we were regularly taught to not just believe everything a minister told us. We were to read the scripture for ourselves, compare it to other scriptures, and to always read a scripture in it's context when making a point. We were not taught that blind faith is a virtue."

Then, after reading your bible, you must concede that Jesus, being considered a "god", was blasphemy to the Jews, and Jesus fulfilled the prophesy of false prophets. If you don't agree, you aren't reading your bible, in "context". The Old Testament, comes before the "New Testament", unless you are going to say otherwise.

Believer: "Mormonism, for instance, teaches that a husband and wife will be reunited as a married couple in eternity. Jesus plainly explained in Luke 20:35 "But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage."

The fact that Joseph Smith, had a divine vision in the woods, makes him equal to "Paul". Are you suggesting that "Paul" is more true, because his vision was somehow better? Paul, never met Jesus... ever. He had a vision, and wrote a few letters/epistles, just like Joseph Smith. Paul wrote epistles, I may add, that contradicted the Old Testament that he himself "preached" from, and "out of context", as he "lied" to the Jews while he attempted to deconvert them, and move them away from their belief system.

Believer: "Mohammed was the only one who had the visions that is now the foundation of Islam. There is no other scriptures to back up the things that he taught."

Again, all Paul had was a vision, on the road to Damascus, and Paul was the foundation of christianity. How do you not understand your own religion? Paul, had not other scripture either, he "took" the Jewish Tanakh, which was later named as the "Old Testament" by christianity. Today the Jews keep their Tanakh, and it is written just like the Christian Old Testament, bar the format of some books.

Believer: "In comparison, the Bible was written by many authors who corroborate each other. Jesus regularly referred to Old Testament scriptures to back up what he taught."

The Old Testament was written by authors who corroborated each other, and that made Jesus a false prophet. That means the New Testament is false. As well, the authors of the New Testament don't "corroborate" each other. Many books of the bible are anonymous. The books of the New Testament were written well after a time when a Jesus would have lived.

The New Testament books were selected by the Roman Church, A.k.a. Roman Catholic Church, and placed in a canon, based on "vote". The only reason they almost "appear" to corroborate, is because the clergy selected "only" the books that supported their "vote" when they were deciding on the divinity of Jesus, three hundred years after his theoretical existence.

"The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicea in Bithynia (in present-day Turkey), convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first ecumenical[1] conference of bishops of the Christian Church, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

Here is what they discussed there Believer:

"The agenda of the synod were:
--The Arian question;
--The celebration of Passover;
--The Meletian schism;
--The Father and Son one in
purpose or in person;
--The baptism of heretics;
--The status of the lapsed in the persecution under Licinius.

The Arian question: "Arius taught that God the Father and the Son were not co-eternal, seeing the pre-incarnate Jesus as a divine being but nonetheless created by (and consequently inferior to) the Father at some point, before which the Son did not exist."

Do you believe at some point, that Jesus never existed? Arius, didn't and his "writings" didn't make it into the bible! Why wasn't "his" writings placed there? Because the Roman Church, commanded by Constantine I, demanded they create a canon of writings to support their votes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism

I could pick up a whole list of authors from Border's Book Store, that support each other, and call it truth... that doesn't make it so. Basically, that would be me deceptively stacking a bunch of books together to support what "I" wanted to support, not necessarily the truth.

There were many books out at the time the New Testament was being canonized, and "many" of those books didn't find Jesus to be "divine", yet, the Roman Clergy only selected the books that supported their "vote". Why would they have chosen to place "other" books in the New Testament that contradicted their "non-unanimous" vote on the divinity of Jesus? You are "not" reading the book in historical context, have you read anything about the construction of the bible?

"The New Testament, sometimes called the Greek Testament or Greek Scriptures, and sometimes also New Covenant which is the literal translation of the Greek, is the name given to the final portion of the Christian Bible. It was written by various authors after c. 45 AD and before c. 140 AD. Its books were gradually collected into a single volume over a period of several centuries.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_testament

There were many "other" books written before the "vote", as well:

"The Secret Book of John (Apocryphon of John) is a 2nd century Sethian gnostic text of secret teachings, which are given a Christian context. It describes Jesus reappearing and giving private information to the apostle John after having ascended to heaven."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocryphon_of_John

----------------------------------------------------------------------

"The Gospel of Thomas, one of the Gnostic texts found preserved in the Nag Hammadi Library, gives these words of the living Jesus:

Jesus said, `I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling stream which I have measured out.... 12

He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.' 13

He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: What a remarkably heretical image! The Gospel of Thomas in its entirety is an extraordinary scripture. Professor Helmut Koester of Harvard University notes that though ultimately this Gospel was condemned and destroyed by the evolving orthodox church, it may be as old or older than the four canonical gospels preserved, and even have served as a source document to them.14
http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhlintro.html

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Ebionites:

"The Ebionites (from Hebrew; ???????, Ebyonim, "the poor ones") were an early sect of mostly Jewish followers of Jesus, which flourished in the early centuries of the Common Era, one of several ancient "Jewish Christian" groups that existed during the Roman and Byzantine periods in the Levant. They denied the pre-existence and divinity of Jesus, believing that he was a mortal man, who was adopted as a son of God by virtue of his perfect observation of Jewish Law, and so was chosen to be the last and greatest of the prophets."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Believer, if you need me to produce more documentation on the non-exclusive "bible" from which you speak, let me know. Bottom line, is that there were "many" people, perhaps, in the millions initially who did "not" believe in a "divine" Jesus. The "Roman Emperor Constantine I" and his directly "hired" clergy, voted on what they believed, and went around collecting writings that supported their vote. There were "many" other writings out there, the Ebionites aligned with the Gnostics, because they denied Jesus as having "Pre-Existence". Most modern day christians, believe that Jesus existed somewhere in a heaven, waiting to come to earth.

Why do you believe all of these "christians" to be "gullible"? They existed prior to Roman Ruled Christianity...

As far as corroborating internally "within" the books of the bible, let me pull a few of over a thousand contradictions to let you see the "internal" conflict, and "non-corroboration"...

How many "gods" does the bible suggest "exist"?

Deuteronomy 4:35: "Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him."

No, wait...

Genesis 1:26: "And God said, let us make man in our image."

"us", means more than "one". Well, perhaps, its just a typo...

Deuteronomy 4:39: "The LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else."

Okay, maybe there is only "one" god...

Genesis 3:22: "And the Lord God said, Behold, then man is become as one of us, to know good and evil."

Alright, I need some better "corroboration", seems there are now multiple gods...

Deuteronomy 6:4: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord."

Darn, nope, there must be only "one" lord, or "god", the bible says so...

Genesis 11:7: "Let us go down, and there confound their language."

Obviously, believer... "corroboration" is "not" a strong suit for the christian bible. If you want more contradiction might, I suggest the following to review for homework...

Multiple gods:
Exodus 12:12
Exodus 15:11
Exodus 18:11
Exodus 20:3, 5
Exodus 22:20
Exodus 22:28
Exodus 23:13
Exodus 23:24
Exodus 23:32
Exodus 34:14
Deuteronomy 6:14-15
Deuteronomy 10:17
Numbers 33:4
Joshua 24:14
Judges 11:24
1 Samuel 6:5
1 Samuel 28:13
1 Chronicles 16:25
Psalm 82:1
Psalm 82:6
Psalm 86:8
Psalm 96:4
Psalm 97:7
Psalm 136:2
Jeremiah 1:16
Jeremiah 10:11
Jeremiah 25:6
Zephaniah 2:11
John 10:33-34
1 John 5:7

One "God" only:
Deuteronomy 32:39
Isaiah 43:10
Isaiah 44:8
Isaiah 45:5-6
Isaiah 46:9
Mark 12:29
Mark 12:32
John 17:3
1 Corinthians 8:6

Believer: "As far as the religious Jewish leaders rejecting Jesus because of Old Testament scriptures, the Bible plainly tells us that Jesus was exposing them for what they were."

Obviously, you don't seem to understand that the "Jews" came "first", they prophesied "first", they predicted a false "prophet" like "Jesus", would come to them...

The Jews prophesied, also, the coming of their messiah, and the Roman Clergy, suggest that they were prophesying Jesus' coming. How can the Jews be "right" about the coming of the christian messiah, but be wrong about "false prophets"?

Believer: "He warned his disciples about them , Luke 20:46 "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues...Which devour widows' houses... the same shall receive greater damnation". Of course they hated Jesus and wanted to get rid of him."

Again, how can christianity claim Jesus to be the correct messiah, but then call them "wrong" in their prophesy of Jesus being a false prophet?

Believer: "Not all of them of course. There was Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night and stated, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that you do, except God be with him."

Believer's Bible: "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises and gives you a sign or wonder [miracle], and the sign or wonder comes true, saying, 'le us go after other gods whom you have not known and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your G-d is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall follow the Lord your G-d and fear Him; and listen to His voice, and serve Him, and cling to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death because he has counseled rebellion against the Lord your G-d." (Deuteronomy 13:1-6)"

And, lets not forget the "non-corroboration" of the bible... you state that Jesus may have performed miracles, which makes him a "false prophet" per Jewish prophesy... But, your bible is conflicted...

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Jesus Performed No Miracles:

Matthew 12:39, 16:4
An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.

Mark 8:12
And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.

Luke 11:29
This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

Jesus Performed Miracles:

Mark 16:20
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.

John 3:2
The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

John 20:30
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

Acts 2:22
Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Believer: "Paul was not disillusioned. People do change their minds based on new information. Paul received a revelation from Jesus and changed his mind about who Jesus was, but not about Judaism. He did come to a new understanding of the law."

So, Paul along with his visionary Jesus, that he never met, fulfilled the Jewish prophesy of "false prophet"? Okay.

Believer: "But, he admitted that he was not following the law and recognized his need for a savior."

So, Paul was a false prophet as well. He was "disillusioned" with Judaic law...

Disillusion: "n : freeing from false belief or illusions..."
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disillusion

Paul, wanted a "savior", in order to "free himself" from what he believed was "false belief". Paul was "in fact", disillusioned.

Believer: "Paul explaines in Galatians 3:24 "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

Justified by "faith"? Lets see what your bible says about being "justified" by "faith" alone...

Salvation is "not" by Faith alone...

Psalm 62:12
Proverbs 10:16
Jeremiah 17:10
Ezekiel 18:27
Matthew 5:20
Matthew 12:37
Matthew 16:27
Matthew 19:17
Matthew 25:41-46
Luke 10:26-28
John 5:29
Romans 2:6, 13
2 Corinthians 5:10
2 Corinthians 11:15
Philippians 2:12
James 2:14
James 2:17
James 2:21-25
1 Peter 1:17
Revelation 2:23
Revelation 20:12-13
Revelation 22:14

Believer: "Paul goes on to tell us that God made a covenant with Abraham 400 years before he gave the law to Moses. It states that Abraham believed God and God credited it unto him for righteousness."

So, again Paul was having "visions"... got it. And, of course, this is Paul speaking, with no one to witness... unless they were "400" years old, right?

Believer: "The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11,where you can find the list of the "Hall of Faith" Old Testament characters, that salvation was always by faith and not by following the laws of the Old Testament."

See, the obvious "non-corroboration" cited in the previous paragraph.

And, lets see what acts these "heroes" had to perform to make them "god" chosen and admired, shall we.

Gideon:
Tortured prisoners of war and civilians with thorns and briers. Judges 8:7, 16-17

Ordered his young son to kill prisoners of war, and then did it himself when his son refused. Judges 8:20-22

Jephthah:
Sacrificed his daughter to God as a burnt offering. Judges 11:30-39

Samson:

Killed things whenever "the Spirit of the Lord" came upon him. Judges 14:5-6, 19, 15:14-15
Caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together, and set them on fire. Judges 15:4-5

Saw a harlot and "went in unto her." Judges 16:1

Collapsed a building and killed 3000 people. Judges 16:27-30

David:

Bought his first wife with 200 Philistine foreskins. 1 Samuel 18:25-27

Killed all Amalekite men and women. 1 Samuel 27:8-11

Commanded his young men to kill Saul's sons, cut off their hands and feet, and hang their bodies up over a pool in Hebron. 2 Samuel 4:6-12

Danced naked, or nearly naked, in front of God and everyone. 2 Samuel 6:14, 20-23

Committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed in battle. (To punish David for this, God killed the Bathsheba's baby boy.) 2 Samuel 11:2-27, 12:13-18

Tortured the Ammonites with fire, saws, and axes. 2 Samuel 12:31, 1 Chronicles 20:3

Samuel:

Told Saul that God commanded him to kill all of the Amalekites: men, women, infants, sucklings, ox, sheep, camels, and asses. 1 Samuel 15:2-3

Told Saul that he was rejected by God as King of Israel for failing to commit genocide. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

To please God, Samuel hacks Agag in pieces "before the Lord." 1 Samuel 15:32-33

Believer, are these the "heroes" you want to become? If not, you are not "corroborating" their acts, if you are... whatever you call your religion, its inhumane.

Believer: "Paul never taught people to have blind faith; he would prove to them from the Old Testament scripture prophecies that Jesus was the Messiah. Also, by the way Paul was a Jew and a Roman citizen."

Interesting, so... care to show me where in the Tanakh, where Jesus was prophesied?

Believer: "God has never called us to blind faith, but He has given us a great deal of evidence that our faith might have a foundation."

Does "God" talk to you often? Are you a visionary like Paul, there really wouldn't be much of a difference, all Paul did was take someone elses' religion, and holy scripture, and twist it to his belief. How do "you", know what a "god" wants? If you "know", that makes you kinda' like "god", I mean, you would have to be "godly" in order to understand a "god", right?

By the way, Paul, and his citizenship...

"Paul is described in the New Testament as a Hellenized Jew and Roman citizen from Tarsus in present-day Turkey."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_of_Tarsus

Being a Jew and Citizen of Rome is contradictory, Paul/Saul persecuted christians as a Jews... and then, pandered to the Roman Empire, wanting them to support him and his teachings...

"Acts 28:30-31 concludes with Paul under house arrest in Rome, where for two whole years he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and the "Lord Jesus Christ"

I don't know about you, but... a dude who changes his name, is imprisoned continuously, and who is basically disloyal to his Jewish roots, and finds himself under "house arrest", is probably "not" the one I would seek out for advice.

You speak of inconsistency, and how that is not "christian"... Paul, is the epitome of being "inconsistent"... but then again, so is most of the bible. It's why you have to have "faith", Believer... there exists "nothing" else by which you can support your belief. Your preacher is right... if you study the bible, with an open mind, then you will find that all you have to support your belief is "faith", and not the words in that book.

Faith doesn't require logic, support, evidence, or anything else. Faith, is nothing but an "ideal", that you "want" to bring into existence.

Your "faith" and "ideal" is not necessarily the same as those you go to church with... and... most likely "not" the "ideals" you may find in the bible.

For instance, what is your "ideal" for treating strangers/people you don't know?

Deuteronomy 7:2: "And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them."

Believer, if that is an "ideal" you aspire to uphold, I am also disillusioned with your "ideal" as well. However, I would still never treat you like that, no matter how many words tell me to, in "any" book - call it a holy book, it still wouldn't matter.

Believer said...

Webmaster said "Regardless, you do realize that Hitler's hate of the Jews, and the German population going along with it, is in part because of the antisemitism of Martin Luther, the great reformer who started the Lutheran Church, in Germany."

Webmaster, if Hitler's hate of Jews was because of Martin Luther's anti-semitic teachings, which were contrary to what Christ taught, then that would make him a 'Lutheran' and not necessarily a Christian. I'm not saying that Lutherans are not christians as the Lutheran church was founded on Martin Luther's teachings that were based on the Bible. And I understand that the Lutheran church has condemned Luther's anti-semitic remarks.

Luther was beneficial to christianity and society as a whole as he exposed the corruption of the Catholic church. Because of the illiteracy of the common folks, they were kept under the supposed infallible leadership of the pope.

The great thing that early Americans did when they began the first schools was for the purpose that people should be able to read the Bible for themselves, because of that 'Old Deluder Satan'. If people can read the Bible for themselves then they will be less vulnerable to being controlled by power-hungry deviants.

I have read the comments of christians who were asked if the fall of Ted Haggard damaged their faith. Over and over it was stated that they followed Christ and no man.

Paul certainly could have lied, but his words confirm the things that Christ taught. Jesus showed us that we all fall short when he said things like 'Love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself' and if a person even thinks evil of another, it is the sin of murder. None of us loves our neighbor perfectly, and as Paul stated, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." We all are in need of a Savior.

Dave8, you present a well arranged, documented argument against christianity. I really admire your diligence and in some ways, I can understand where you are coming from.

You ask if I have ever studied the construction of the Bible and the answer would be 'very little'. However, just from my own reading of it I see a pattern occuring throughout the Bible, from the OT throughout the NT.

Here is a couple of examples of what I believe corroborate the wholeness of the Bible.
When God cast Adam and Eve out of the garden, with the curses that were the consequence of their sin he promised that the 'seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent'. Jesus, born of a virgin, by his death on the cross, crushed the head of Satan. People that accept Christ's death, are no longer subject to the curse.

When Cain and Abel offered their 'sacrifices' to God, it was the blood sacrifice that was accepted, not the fruit of the ground. We are saved by faith in Christ's sacrifice not by works.

Joseph was a type of Christ, betrayed by his brothers. He became their deliverer and the savior of the world that was in famine.

Just as Christ was rejected by his 'brethren'. Yet he is their king and is their deliverer and even the Savior of the whole world.

This is just a few of the many examples throughout the Bible that show us the way of salvation throughout the Old Testament Bible stories.

As far as the 'atrocities' committed by the Bible 'heroes', I think sometimes because we as Americans have had things so good in a country where people live together in peace, we have a hard time understanding those who live where their neighbors are out to get them.

Israelites were often attacked by their neighbors who wanted to subject them to slavery and relieve them of their 'goods'.

England was seeking to 'Lord' it over America, however because of the bravery of our founding fathers, they fought back and I am sure it wasn't all pretty. Sometimes when people are put in a position of defense, they do some ugly things to protect themselves.

Some of the cities that God commanded his people to destroy had become so degenerated that they were sacrificing their children to their gods.

I will agree with you that there are some really ugly things that are reported in the Bible and I really don't know what to make of it all. If the leadership of the church had the opportunity to vote on what would be in the Bible, you would think that they would only present things that would make them look good.

One of the reasons I believe the Bible is true is because, I know I have sinned, I know I need help and if I were to be judged for the wrongs I have done, I would be guilty. The Bible tells us how we can be saved.

I found it interesting that the first verse you listed about salvation being by works, was Psalm 62:12 "For unto you Lord, belongs mercy; for you render unto every man according to his work." To me that says that if God did render to us according to our work, I'd be doomed. However, God shows mercy. I am saved not because of my works but because of His mercy and His provision through His Son.

.:webmaster:. said...

"To me that says that if God did render to us according to our work, I'd be doomed."

Believer, could you please tell me what sins you've committed that you think a proper rendering of them would me everlasting torture in horrific agony without possibility of parole, escape, or even death?

I mean, what temporal offenses have you done in your short life that would deserve everlasting vengeance and punishment?

Think before you answer, because I'm seriously asking the question. Explain how eternal life in hell is merciful.

Believer said...

Webmaster, I have thought seriously and my answer is this. Love for my fellow mankind has fallen short. Many are suffering throughout the world, and I know I could do more to help. I think having an abortion and depriving another of life on earth for my own convenience is totally depraved. There are other sins, but these should suffice.

Now, are these worthy of eternal hell? The only one who can be a perfect judge is the one who created me, who knows my heart and my motives. He would be even more just than I myself could possibly be. You may not think that these things are worthy of eternal hell, but how do you know that you, with the very limited knowledge you possess, are right? Also, where do you get your sense of what is justice?

However, my human nature and my sense of reason tells me also that eternal hell is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. I already stated that it is something I struggle with.

If you are an atheist as you say and I would suppose that evolution is your belief, then it would actually fall to reason that evolution will make progress when we allow nature to take its course and that we shouldn't interfere with 'survival of the fittest'. In other words, there would be nothing wrong with abortion or just letting the underpriviledged to fend for themselves but would in fact be desirable.

While I agree with you on some issues concerning christianity, I find it a better explanation for origin of life and our behavior than any other. I find that it 'fits' the empirical evidence better.

For instance, the two methods by which evolution is supposed to have occured are natural selection and mutations. What I understand about mutations is that they are mistakes which only occur once in about 10 million times. When they do occur, they are nearly always harmful, fatal or they make no difference. Then natural selection, the other mechanism to bring about evolution, will actually weed out mutations. Another point is that mutations never bring new information to an organism, like changing a scale of a reptile to a feather. This doesn't prove creationism, but it sure does damage to the evolution theory.

I delight in many of the teachings of christianity which I believe when followed, promote a higher quality, happier lifestyle and contribute to a better world for everyone. And I'm not talking about Hitler's version of christianity which tends more toward evolution in his ideal of creating a super race.

.:webmaster:. said...

"Now, are these worthy of eternal hell? The only one who can be a perfect judge is the one who created me, who knows my heart and my motives. He would be even more just than I myself could possibly be."

The sins you listed are certainly horrible. In fact, they are so disgustingly depraved, that you should be thrown in prison and tortured without mercy, but not allowed to die.

Your sentence should be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years of mind bending torture. After that amount of time has passed, nothing will have changed. Your torture will simply continue forever.

That is divine justice.

However, if you worship a dead itinerant peasant (Jesus) then all those threats of righteous justice will be washed away.

Believer, torture is barbaric, and punishing someone forever for the failings in this short life is depraved. Your god is depraved.

"survival of the fittest"

The phrase is a metaphor, not a scientific description; and it is not generally used by biologists, who almost exclusively prefer to use the phrase "natural selection".

In other words, whatever is fit to survive, will survive. Cockroaches are quite fit for survival. They can eat anything, live anywhere, and reproduce like mad. What you are a victim of here is the teaching of religious apologists who have created a naturalistic fallacy of trying to combine morality with nature. Is it immoral when a bear attacks campers in the woods? Morality is strictly a human construct and has nothing to do with nature, natural selection, or evolution.

Another thing of which you are misinformed, is that evolution is not about survival of the individual. Christianity is about survival of the individual. Evolution is about survival of the species. Therefore, to survive as a species, we band together as families, tribes, nations, etc., for the common protection of all of us. From that comes the need for laws to govern society so we can get along as much as possible and help the species thrive and survive.

Religion, on the other hand, sees survival of the species as completely irrelevant. The end of the world is at hand, this life is meaningless, all unbelievers are destined for everlasting punishment, and all that really matters is whether or not a person has believed the correct version of the "right" religion.

Religion is not something that will help human beings survive. History teaches this fact clearly, and current events are bringing the fallacy of religion belief home to us every single day. Islamics believe the same thing Christians believe. This life is nothing. All that matters is going to heaven to be with God.

I am now focused on life. When I was a Christian, I thought I was focused on life, but I was really focused on death.

Believer said...

Yes Webmaster, and my depraved God teaches us to 'not kill innocent people, not to steal from each other, to honor our parents, to forgive each other liberally, to return good for evil, to be thankful, husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, wives to love and respect their husbands, children to obey their parents, to obey the magistrates, etc, etc etc'. Now if that isn't a recipe for the destruction of society!!!

Everyone's morality comes from what is in their heart and what it is that they really want to do. Some will twist the teachings of Christ to condone atrocities, and some will have a different point of view concerning the evolution theory than you do. I mean, if there's nothing immoral or wrong with a bear attacking a group of campers, then what's wrong with one people group attacking another group of people to supply their own needs. Especially if there happens to be lack in the area? Those who are strongest and produce the most offspring will pass on their superior traits to the species. And I'm wondering what kind of meaning to life can there be for a cockroach and if humans are nothing more than an eating and reproducing machine, than what kind of meaning does life hold?

It is not any belief system that causes men or women to do horrible things, it is the corruption that is in their own hearts that they choose to do those things. One can claim to be a Christian and commit abominable acts and another a Muslim and be kind and loving.

Webmaster states: "I am now focused on life. When I was a Christian, I thought I was focused on life, but I was really focused on death."

Now, you really have my curiousity up. Tell me about this change, your focus on life. What does that mean? I've been trying to think about how as you say, that I am focused on death. I tried to think how my life would change if I was not a christian.

.:webmaster:. said...

My depraved God teaches us to 'not kill innocent people, not to steal from each other, to honor our parents, to forgive each other liberally, to return good for evil, to be thankful, husbands to love their wives ..., wives to love and respect their husbands, children to obey their parents, to obey the magistrates, etc, etc etc'. Now if that isn't a recipe for the destruction of society!!!

Religions and societies pre-dating Judaism and Christianity adopted those same basic tenets. Christianity has no ownership over these concepts. How long do you think any society would survive in lawless chaos? A stable, peaceful society is the one most likely to survive.

It is not any belief system that causes men or women to do horrible things

Really? You mean the Muslims that flew the planes into the Twin Towers didn't do it as an expression of their belief system? I'm afraid you're entirely incorrect here, Believer. People most assuredly do act out their beliefs. Ideas have consequences.

Now, you really have my curiousity [sic] up. Tell me about this change, your focus on life. What does that mean?

Briefly, I meant to convey that I no longer obsess about life after death, or about heaven, hell, etc. Now I'm focused on life here and now, instead of some future fantasy pie-in-the-sky or torture-in-hell.

Believer said...

Webmaster: on 11/22"Religion is not something that will help human beings survive. History teaches this fact clearly, and current events are bringing the fallacy of religion belief home to us every single day."

Believer: on 11/25 "God teaches us to 'not kill innocent people, not to steal from each other, to honor our parents, to forgive each other liberally, ... etc, etc etc'.

And then Webmaster states on 11/26 "How long do you think any society would survive in lawless chaos? A stable, peaceful society is the one most likely to survive."

So Webmaster, you agree! Christianity does teach principles that promote a civilized society.

And I agree with you that it is ideas that result in consequences. But it is not Christian ideas that have caused the horrors that you accuse Christians of. It is people's own twisted ideas and not the teachings of Christ and the Bible.

My concern is that the ideas that you are presenting could cause persecution of Christians based on false accusations. The Christians I know are loving and kind people.

I do focus on life and on death and I am very glad I did. Daily I read the Bible to my children and talked with them about their life now and about eternity. Our oldest daughter, Heather, accepted Christ as a young child but in teen years went astray and became involed in destructive activities. At age of 18, she was invited by a friend to attend a church youth group who lovingly reached out to her and her life got turned around. She became interested in helping others and life became meaningful for her.

On December 20th '93, Heather shared with me how she was 'filled with the joy of the Lord!' and her face literally shone. On Dec 21st, she had written Bible verses on index cards which she intended to put around her room to help her learn and remember them. She showed them to me and explained what they meant to her. On the morning of December 22, as she left for an appointment, we said goodbye. Fifteen minutes later she was in eternity, involved in a head-on collision.

If you're right and I'm wrong, no problem. Heather's last days on earth were happy and meaningful because of Christianity. If I'm right and you're wrong, what a tragedy for you and your family. I'm glad I focused on life and on death. My daily prayer is that you come back Webmaster. I see your picture on this website and I see a fellow human being who God still loves.

.:webmaster:. said...

Believer, in regards to your daughter, I would like to say I feel your pain, but I've never had to go through something that tragic, and can only imagine how difficult it must be. I have friends who have had to endure the loss of a child, and I know from watching them that the pain is overwhelming. If your faith helps you, then by all means hold on to your faith.

Please try not to misinterpret the tone of my writing. I don't hate and would never advocate the persecution of Christians, or anyone else who holds views different from mine. I no longer believe in Christianity, and when I de-converted I wondered if there were others coming to similar conclusions. That's what prompted the birth of this site. Now, since leaving the faith, I've come to realize the danger in the Christian teaching that there are two separate class of people, namely, Christians, and everyone else. Christians are blessed and everyone else is damned to hell. That single idea encouraged the persecution of all non-Christians throughout Europe for many centuries. Islam now uses a similar tactic against non-Islamics.

Believer: So Webmaster, you agree! Christianity does teach principles that promote a civilized society.

In so far as the prohibitions against killing, stealing, etc., yes, of course, I agree. I don't know how keeping the Sabbath day holy fits in with that, but I suppose that's irrelevant.What I was taking issue with in my comment is the idea that without Christianity, the world would be a moral and societal chaos. Christianity is only following the crowd of humanity by supporting some obvious values that were first instituted by others. And those values didn't stop developing when Christians adopted them, those values continue to develop as humanity progresses. For instance, slavery is now considered criminal. Yet, even in the New Testament, slaves were encouraged to obey their masters. Slavery is not preached against in any New Testament writing. It is apparent that morals and societal norms are constantly evolving.

boomSLANG said...

A question was recently asked of some of us(non-christians) by another theist guest: "Why do atheists care how theists distract themselves in this life if we are all bound for oblivion?"[paraphrased]

If I'm right and you're wrong, what a tragedy for you and your family.

Speaking for myself---this is one of the reasons I care. I'm concerned, and feel I have every right to be, because some theists are "commissioned", per their "holy books", to to "spread" their respective messages; to be "soul" winners for their respective deities.

In Christian theology, Jesus' "message" is supposedly one "love" and "compassion". Christians are quick to point this out. But let's be honest here---the above quoted is nothing more than a sugar-coated, thinly veiled, condescending "threat".

I would no more want to be seated next to someone in the public arena who would delight in blowing up "my family" for not conforming to their particular theology, than I would want to be seated next to someone who 'thinks' me and "my family" should be tortured for eternity in hellfire(repeatedly blown up). That said, I have come to these questions:

1) Believer, if God commanded you to kill an Atheist and "his family", would you do it? A simple "yes", or "no".

(*please don't say your God would not command you to kill, as the holy book you subscribe to is replete with commands by your God to "kill")

and....

2) Do you concur(agree) with your biblegod's divine policy that incinerating non-Christians in eternal hellfire is "justice"? Again, "yes", or "no".

(*Notice, I'm not asking you what your biblegod "thinks", or "says"---I'm asking YOU---do you agree that "so-n-so" and his family should be eternally incinerated for being skeptical of Jesus' existance?)

Thanks.

Bentley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jim Arvo said...

I'm afraid I must agree with JCS on that, Bentley. Arguing over theology vanishes into insignificance when compared to the trauma of losing a child. I say that as a protective father who has, fortunately, never had to endure that pain. I can, however, begin to imagine it. Just let it go Bentley. There are more important battles to wage.

To Believer: I'd be foolish to think there was anything I could say that would make any difference, but I am genuinely sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you have found a way to cope.

.:webmaster:. said...

I'm sorry Bentley, but regardless of the heated disagreements that are allowed to transpire on this site, there is such a thing as going too far.

JCS, your post was removed by accident -- my apologies.

Bentley said...

Ok then, maybe we should all(or atleast me)step back and consider whenever any of us(or me)post a negitive comment towards a pastor that has been caught or christian, that perhaps they have lost a child and this would allow them to continue to proslytize to us and tell us how to live, since it within their point of grievement to tell us what to believe and whom we should worship according to their experience of their emotional past.

If we make exclusions for some and not for all, how do we know what traumatic event they may have just gone through? Maybe we should all try Jesus or Allah again.

I think believer's comments should have been deleted also, unless of course you find there was some sort of unfounded wisdom in what he wrote. In which I doubt, I think Believer went too far.

Unfortunately it takes cold bruntness to awake someone from their religious brainwashing, if we do not want to hurt anyone's feelings then, we should never say anything against anyone's beliefs or their personal charactor.

It is for this very reason that religions are allowed to strive in this country, we are afraid to stand up and hurt other people's feelings regardless of their silly beliefs.

Maybe it's, what if we are wrong?

We are even afraid we will send the wrong person to the electric chair, yet it is perfectly legal and honorable to send a young person to war and get their heads blown off.

Often I think we forget that we live in a country that silly beliefs rein supreme.

Can anyone imagine what it would be like to visit a distant planet in another galaxy and all the people on it believed that their Sun was purple, although it would be plain to you and your fellow travelers that it is yellow, but yet everyone was afraid to believe it was anything but purple, because they were told it was purple and to believe otherwise they would be sent to hell.

This is what we have here on planet earth.

Jim Arvo said...

Bentley, I think you are overreacting a bit. What Dave, JCS, and I are all saying is that there are some cases in which theological disputes take a back seat to emotional needs. Now, where to draw the line will not always be an easy call. But let's agree that there is a line. For instance, if a person lay bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound and called out "Got help me!", it would probably not be the best time to debate the existence of god with him. Agreed? I happen to feel that losing a child is in a category of its own. It's the worst trauma a person can endure, and many people simply never recover from it. I'm willing to give anyone in that position a great deal of slack. That's not to say that I will therefore tolerate endless proselytizing either. It's a judgment call--that's the best we can do.

J. C. Samuelson said...

No need to apologize, Dave. There are plenty of my own posts I would delete if it were worth the time to do so. The point was made, so I'm content with that.

.:webmaster:. said...

There are plenty of my own posts I would delete if it were worth the time to do so.

In that case, I'm extremely grateful that your time is limited.

Sincerely.

Bentley said...

In all due respect,
Well I'm sorry but I took Believers comments as the typical fundy ploy, first he was talking about how the WM was wrong in his nonbeliefs, then he introduced a tragic event that happened, if you will notice he said Dec. 21 well that was either last year or 20 years ago or however many, he never asked us if we had suffered a tragic event.

I had a cousin 21 yrs old painting his church for Jesus in which his father was the pastor, and he was on an aluminum ladder and it touched a high voltage wire and killed him instantly, well they never skipped a beat, Jesus needed him, so he took him away, his father is still pastor of the same church and no one questioned why God would allow this thing to happen, it was just god's will.

That particular tragic event lead me away from christianty and a belief in a god.

Now Believers comments were just like all other fundies, they introduce a tragic event to try to reel people in. Why do you think preachers proslytize so heavy over a person's corpse? hmmm? the hook, next the alter call!

I think you guys got taken!!

Believer said...

I apologize and did not mean to use my daughter's death as unfair leverage to convince you of christianity. Webmaster had said that Christians focus on death and my point was that, yes, we do focus on death, because death happens. And it can happen at any time and at any age. It's a good idea to be prepared for it. But because of that, Christians can also focus on living life to the fullest.

Bentley, you shared how a pastor's son was killed and that drove you away from christianity. I never questioned God's wisdom in taking my daughter at a young age. He could see the future. If one is going to live forever, what difference does it make if you live a short time or a long time on earth? It's all relatively short.

We all miss my daughter very much but nothing I can do will bring her back. So I have a choice, I can be bitter about it and poison my life and everyone's around me, or I can trust that God knows what He's doing and that in 10,000 years from now, it won't matter.

But, I live life to the fullest now. My daily goal is to be an instrument of love to everyone around me, whether to my family members, co-workers, or just anyone who crosses my path and you too Bentley. If you doubt my motives, I'm sorry, I do care about you. So far in my life, God has given me an answer to every problem I have faced. Why wouldn't I want that for you? I'm not just trying to get brownie points with God. He already accepts me right where I'm at, I don't need to do anything else.

Webmaster: "Please try not to misinterpret the tone of my writing. I don't hate and would never advocate the persecution of Christians, or anyone else who holds views different from mine."

It's hard not to misinterpret the tone of your writing when you lump all christians into one group with people like Hitler and Ku Klux Klan. Or when you state that Christianity is against family values and unscientific. Even if you would never advocate persecution of anyone else, your words could certainly promote it.

Now, if your site focused on eternal hell and some of the unseemly things written in the Bible, then I might be able to take you seriously. But, you have to realize that those who promote hate are not following the teachings of Christ.

Boomslang:"1) Believer, if God commanded you to kill an Atheist and "his family", would you do it? A simple "yes", or "no".

Very good question Boomslang. My simple answer is No, I would not kill an atheist and his family for being an atheist.

You're right about God commanding his people to kill but I don't think He commanded them to kill just because they were non-believers. God told Abraham that he would not destroy Sodom and Gommorah if there were one righteous person there. And if God considered Lot a righteous person, it makes you wonder how horrific the people had become for God to destroy them.

What do you do with a society that has degenerated so low, like the Aztecs when they were offering up hundreds of thousands of human sacrifices in the most gruesome manner? Or what about another people group I heard about where a girl will not reach adolescence without being molested? There are no laws in that society to protect them.

Boomslang: "2) Do you concur(agree) with your biblegod's divine policy that incinerating non-Christians in eternal hellfire is "justice"? Again, "yes", or "no"."

I think I answered this already, that is the one thing I don't agree with. So my simple answer is no. Of course, there is no need for anyone to go there. God has provided a way out.

So, now you may ask me how I can continue to believe in Christianity. The reason is, it is the most convincing explanation that I have come across yet. I could never believe in evolution, real science doesn't support it.

I have found the teachings of christianity to be beautiful and when practiced, they work. Through Christianity, people can experience forgiveness and give forgiveness, they can overcome addictions, love their enemies and have strong families.

Say, you all might want to check out a new book, "Who Really Cares" written by a Professor Brooks. It turns out that religious people are much more likely than non-religious to give to charities(even non-religious charities) volunteer time, donate blood. A religous person is 57% more likely to help a homeless person than a non-religious person. How about that!

epicskeptic said...

Believer,
from reading all of your posts, you're fighting the urge to question your faith by making rationalities, you are definetly on the road to non-belief. That is exactly how I deconverted a year ago. Just let it go and read more atheist websites, specifically "Jovialatheist" and "god is imaginary" websites. Read it all, it will be the best thing you've ever done. And this is coming from a devout Born again christian. I am so happy I am free from religious dogma, I can't explain how it feels but it's so much better than I felt when I accepted christ into my life, everything is just so clear now.

Believer said...

Epicskeptic, I appreciate your way of expressing yourself. I appreciate the sites you gave me. I have looked them up and I am reading them. They are both interesting and rational discussions. I am curious as to why you feel better now and more clear headed. I don't think I would be if I gave up my faith.

You say I'm making rationalities, but I don't think I'm being irrational. I have experienced many good things in my Christian walk by learning and practicing christian principles. I have seen changes in people's lives for the good, like my husband who was alcoholic and neglectful of our children and I. When he gave his life to God, he was set free of his alcoholism and is now an awesome husband and father. Some might say it's coincidence, but there are many factors that make me believe differently. This is just one example of many things that I have experienced and if one looks at it in a scientific manner, a correlating factor has been a relationship with Jesus and practicing Bible principles.

However, as you say, perhaps I am fighting an urge to doubt, especially when my friends'premature baby endured a long struggle for life and died in spite of prayer. How my loving God allowed that or any other of the horrible things that happen every day does not have a good answer.

So, I'm in a dilemma, I see and have experienced many good things in Christianity but, then as all of you have, I have seen and experienced some things that just don't have a good answer and don't add up to a loving God.

I was reading the Jovialatheist. He said the true definition of an atheist is someone who is a clear-thinker. I can't agree with him on that. I have met atheists who are just as dogmatic in their belief as religious people. Like this gentlemen I was recently in a discussion with. He showed me his article in Time magazine with the newest 'evidence' for evolution. I asked him, how does evolution occur? He said, 'What do you mean, it just happens!!' I explained to him the mechanism of change through mutations and how that that was in impossibility. It didn't matter, he still believes it. It's science you know, and scientists(humans)would never be biased or have an agenda! A clear thinker would say, "I'm going to check into that." and not just accept the word of the priesthood of science.

Anonymous said...

i love GOD. you people are competely wrong

Warnepiece said...

Well, that settles that!

Anonymous loves god so that proves we’re completely wrong!

Non-sequiturs are so much fun.

Anonymous said...

christianity somehow does make sense.just that we don't know it doesn't mean that you can deny it.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. Sexual hang-ups. I have to admit I was bombarded with thoughts of sex all the time. It seemed the more I got into the bible the more I thought of sex. And when I was a fairly new Christian at 20 years old I had my first sexual encounter which left me filled with great fear of going to hell afterwards.
Now things are under control and in fact sex doesn't dominate my life. If I want sex, I have sex. It's not something that is nasty, shameful and dirty. It's just a great feeling and enjoyable activity.

Anonymous said...

You guys can have all of your fun and arguments, but I tell you, there is no such thing as an exChristian.

There are many things done in the name of Christianity, but mostly by people who call themselves Christians.

Calling yourself a Christian and being one is two different things.

It's true that 80% of the population consider themselves Christian, but the truth is that only 10% or less are actual Christians.

Anonymous said...

Hey,

Did you know that your bible verses in Symptom #5 are wrong?

Let us take a look...

1) "If any man come unto me, and hate not his father, and his mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." - Luke 12:51-2
WRONG

Correct verse can be found here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%2012:51-52;&version=31;

Choose any version you want, the original is still wrong.

2) "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." - Luke 10:35-6
WRONG

Correct verse can be found here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%2010:%2035-36;&version=31;

I checked my own personal bible but just in case you still don't believe me, I will put additional links to other sites below.

1)http://nasb.scripturetext.com/luke/12.htm

2)http://nasb.scripturetext.com/luke/10.htm

I am a Christian but even if I wasn't, do you really think I'd be stupid enough not to verify these verses. And yet Christians are branded on this site to do anything to make people believe in their faith. Christianity promotes the idea of "others"...i.e. not just thinking about yourselves, which most of the people who wrote testemonies talk about. Yes, many Christians have done horrible things for their beliefs but it's not like non believers haven't either. Instead of promoting "hope" why don't you promote love?

.:webmaster:. said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for pointing out that typo. The Bible verses are correctly written, the references were wrong. Now both are correct.

Again, thanks!

boomSLANG said...

Anony-non stated: Christianity promotes the idea of "others"...i.e. not just thinking about yourselves, which most of the people who wrote testemonies talk about.

Yes, Christianity promotes the idea of "others". ALL "others" must believe in MY "God"; ALL "others" must conform to MY Holy book, and if not?... ALL "others" will be incinerated. I MUST minister to ALL "others" to inform them of this.

So yes, Christianity is not only about securing a place in everlasting bliss, but it's also about "others".

Anony continues: Yes, many Christians have done horrible things for their beliefs but it's not like non believers haven't either.

Yeah? Yes????...and what does THAT tell you? If you're a reasonable adult, it should tell you that no one is being rightiously guided by some unseen all-benevolent "Holy" spook; no one has a deity "living in their heart".

Now, if Theists want to waste their lives believing these things are true, while the evidence points to the contrary? Fine, but please don't promote your one-size-fits-all bullshit fantasy---keep it to yourself. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Christian's you seem to be forgetting
that what is written in the 'bible' is the
only 'truth' in the world. That means
there were no dinosaurs, because the
first animals were pigs, chickens, etc.
Either that or mammals and life as we
know it today came before dinosaurs.
It cannot be changed, it cannot be
obfuscated with psuedoscience. What is
written their is written their. If it
is the book of truth there are no
other meanings and there is only one
interpretation of it. Yes, there may
be a god or gods but not in the matter
we know it. I tend to be on the side
of deism. Science does not have all the
answers but a few hundred years ago
the things we know today would have been
uncompresible to scientists then. There
is many other things as well, if your
religion is one of love then why is
it that there is so much murder in
the Old Testament? In the bible, if you
twits actually read it that it is said
that King David kidnapped a women for
his wife, impregnated her, killed her
husband and then his punishment was the death of an innocent child. In genesis 19:30 it reads that a man(Lot) was drunken by his daughters and over a period of two nights impregnated them. Moses told men to kill all male children, all women who had laid with men before and then keep the female children alive for themselves. A man was also struck down for not impregnating his wife in the bible. In these days of sin why do God not reveal himself. I'd love to believe in God, I prayed to him to reveal himself to me, I said if he did so I'd give my life to christianity and I meant it. But he did not. There are also proofs of reincarnation as well as NDE so thus what do you believe? Proof of ghosts too? See it's all stupid, there is no true proof! Also everybody agrees on what heaven is but not hell? Look at this way, after your already recieving the worse imaginable punishment you have nothing else to lose, that means in theory, your invincible. After a 1000 years you should get into the groove of it eh? It would make no difference to you after so long, you'd have nothing worse that could happen to you. I happen to know that depression is far worse then hell, living all your mistakes in life would be the worse hell. The bible also goes against intellectual pursuits, no eating from the tree of knowledge, lucifer who questioned things was condemned and deamed evil? Plus demons are far more evil then mortals, so shouldn't hell punish them too? Shouldn't the devil be punished instead of having to punish others. What does he care anyway? Shouldn't he let us run wild in hell? I mean it would be a place of utter archary(pardon my spelling). Also if scientific truths(an atom is an atom whether your in iraq or canada) are universal shouldn't religion be too? That means there should be one religion. Why doesn't god reveal himself to save the heathens, I mean hell he could save the world that way. Judgement day is not near, all throughout history people have said times of demise, 2000 came and went. We'll destroy ourselfs. No science doesn't have all the answers, but nether those God. After all, could god make a rock so heavy he could not lift it? If god is all forgiving why does he stop in the afterlife, it would be better to work towards heaven after death instead of condeming you to fire. Why does god permit evil, or why is there evil? Why did he make us imperfect? Why did he give us a curious nature, so we'd get kicked out of eden. There are many more questions to ask, unanswered ones. Don't try to convert me, I'd rather burn in your hell and paradise is living life to the fulliest.

PS: Hitler was a satantist, he was also into the occult, look into it ;).

visit http://www.textfiles.com/occult/ATHEISM for alot of documents on atheism.

I have an interesting article on my site here: http://www.jonathantoddskinner.com/bible.pdf

Best regards,
JTS

Anonymous said...

Also, if adam, eve, cain and abel were the first people on earth how did we repopulate? Incest anyone? Incest is as common in the bible as murder. Stone to death anyone of any other religion, kill 'witches'. By witches that means people who practise wicca today, if you look into it, that it would really mean kill pagans. That is why demons have horns, because of the god Pan. What for another hundred years, science will have answers for NDEs, OBEs, ghosts, gods, big bangs, etc. Hell, give it another ten years. Why is it that god as human qualities? It is written in the bible it does so do not say god could just be a glowing orb. In addition to this most religion dates back to pagan beliefs, egpytian belief, summerian belief or something to boost moral of people. We have the advantage of god for example while they have no god so we will win. In the bible it says if one comes face to face with god he will die but moses faces him and lives. If you eat forbidden fruit you die it says but later it says that adam and eve were expelled from eden. If your religion is one of love why are homosexuals codemned, why are those who practise sex not for making babies codemned? Sexual repression ends up in tragdety, like priests molesting children. We are sexual beings accept it, no matter what you cannot fully supress sexuality. Humans are not perfect thus no human shall make it to heaven, belief or not.

Anonymous said...

In my experience many religious groups are destructive and controlling. I have little doubt of the authenticity of the biblical documents or that Jesus existed and was God. However in order to be involved with the church today I think webmaster is quite correct - one is usually encouraged to commit intellectual and social suicide. I have many years experiences of different churches and am not someone keen on division or arguement for it's own sake but I have seen too many lives literally devastated by the power games, cruelty, deception, control and other aspects of Christian church.

boomSLANG said...

Anony': .....in order to be involved with the church today I think [ ] is quite correct - one is usually encouraged to commit intellectual and social suicide.

Anony', I'm not quite sure of the figurative intent behind the term "social suicide", unless you mean that religion divides society, this "killing" it. As for "intellectual suicide" part, that comes from accepting the belief, itself; it comes from trying to ignore one's innate sensibilities, and the cognitive dissonance that the Christian belief creates.

Anonymous said...

additional info for all of you:http://spiritlessons.com/

stronger now said...

HAAAA! check out he sight that scares christians into being christians. "My prayer life went from bless me here bless me there to souls, souls, souls, for the lord." BAAHHAAHAAA!!! It was supposed to show how an "unsaved" man spends time in hell and returns to life and "gets saved". Well if he was sure he wasn't saved before why did he pray at all? What a load of horseshit!

boomSLANG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
boomSLANG said...

Here ya go, Anonymous...here's some accompanying spiritual background music to go with your "spiritual" website:

Click here !

Laughing Buddha said...

I know this next line was in a comment all the way at the beginning of the discussion, but I just had to weight in:

"I have gained full control of my libido and aggression..."

All because of your powerful
Jay-zus? Try giving Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker some of that ol' Jay-zus power for their libidos... you asshole. For every one of you super-human Xtian pricks, there are untold times more hurt and damaged people who have gotten fucked both literally and figuratively by your hate-mongering, sexually-repressed mini-popes. Fuck them and their hypocritical shit.

Oh, and BTW, don't bother coming back with the BS about how "those guys don't represent ALL (or 'REAL') Xtians. That's a crock of shit, because someone thought they did, enough to put them on TV and in mansions. Fucking dirtbags.

Anonymous said...

I really dont understand why we, the human race, must focus so intently on using religion as a reson to hate one another. The past is the past and know matter how hard we would like to change all the horrible things that have occurred concerning christian and non... we can't change it. If we could spend just a fraction of the time we spend hating or trying to change ones' beliefs, on just trying to get along and see something good in our neighbors, i think the world would be so much better off. i think John Lennon hit the target in his song called Imagine. How much better could we be if we saw each other as a person with a heart and feeling instead of a religion..a color...a sexuality...or a belief? And it is everybodys fault! Non-christians lashing out at christians and vice versa. Preaching your beliefs in anger and hate...it is utterly useless and will never make any positive changes. Only when we take that final breath and pass outof this world will we truely know what lies on the other side and who is right or wrong. Until then why not try and focus on something that might be a little more helpful to mankind. please try and have a great day! thanks.

stronger now said...

Anony,

I see your point but It's not me posting the judgmental rhetoric on a site set up for people of a different set of values than mine.

Perhaps some who post here do but this is a site for ex-christians and if a fundie gets on here and starts spouting crap then they deserve to be challenged at least.

Some Exhristians have been subjected to horrible torment brought on by their former faith and it is insulting for a christian to belittle our trials with sanctimonious claptrap.

Try posting the same message on a christian site and see what happens.

.:webmaster:. said...

Anonymous,

It appears to me that you are criticizing those on this site who may be expressing criticism against Christianity.

Ironic.

Lite 4 Christ said...

I read that you say that being a christian means that you must commit intellectual and social suicide. Yet, I would like to point out that many churches provide a great place of fellowship, encouragement and love. I agree that many have been hurt and abused by others in churches, where some come for other reasons than love of Christ.
But, my own experience is that I have found many of my best friends in church and much love and acceptance unlike what I find in the secular world. The church I attend at this time is one where people hang around after the service and have a good time. Many meet during the week for further Bible study and fellowship. There are many opportunities in the church for social interaction.

As far as intellectual suicide, I happened to notice at my daughter's baccalaureate last spring, that most of the students that attended it were also part of the top 10 of their graduating class. Somehow their religious training did not interfere with their ability to learn and understand, but in fact seemed to enhance it. Are non-christians really much more social and intellectual than christians? I don't believe it. At my church we are taught to love each other, forgive one another, to be faithful and honest. How can that be bad? Do non-christians have anywhere where they learn or are reminded of these things?

Anonymous said...

The original post was intended for humor purposes only. You should have been able to tell just by reading it.

First off, I suggest you read the personal testimonies here on this site so that you might gain a better understanding of the reasons why most of us have left the 'faith'. After doing that, you might then be able to judge our character a little more appropriately. Honestly, I really doubt the majority of us here would be quick to accuse *all* christians of being exactly like the article describes..

"At my church we are taught to love each other, forgive one another, to be faithful and honest. How can that be bad?"

It's not a bad thing, but these things are not exclusive or unique to the christian church.

"Do non-christians have anywhere where they learn or are reminded of these things?"

Yes, non-christians do indeed have places where such ideals are conveyed. Did you think otherwise? Christianity has neither authored, nor has it ever held a monopoly on codes of moral conduct, etc. -Wes.

Lite 4 Christ said...

I agree that Christianity does not have a monopoly on morals and ethics. But, I'd like to ask you, where do non-christians receive regular teaching on values outside of the home? I'm asking this question seriously. People I know from my work who are not christian have their own set of values, but I hear them rip their family members up and they don't see anything wrong with a little lying or stealing. If I turn on the television, the only stations I can get any moral teaching is from the christian stations. Most of the rest seem to promote violence, drugs, fowl language, adultery and fornication amongst other things and our children of America are getting a steady diet of that. So do tell me, where do you and your children get regular teaching on what is right and wrong?

stronger now said...

Lite 4 Christ:"I agree that Christianity does not have a monopoly on morals and ethics."

Good!

"But, I'd like to ask you, where do non-christians receive regular teaching on values outside of the home?"

I can't speak for everyone here. In fact I can only speak for myself. With that being said, I must say your line of questioning leads one to think that moral guidelines are something that need to be reinforced because they cannot become habitual. In that I disagree.

"People I know from my work who are not christian have their own set of values, but I hear them rip their family members up and they don't see anything wrong with a little lying or stealing."

They don't sound like the values that I agree with either. But, lets not confuse the issue of where non-christians get values from, with why some people, non-christian(those people from your work) and christian(the Phelps) alike, don't seem to have much if any.

"If I turn on the television, the only stations I can get any moral teaching is from the christian stations."

Most of the cartoons that I let my children watch are, basically, morality plays that teach a secular humanist type of morality. As do a great amount of programs and movies have done for years. You might not recognize it as such, but that may be because of a widely held erronoeous view that religion is the sole provider of morality and moral teaching.

"Most of the rest seem to promote violence, drugs, fowl language, adultery and fornication amongst other things and our children of America are getting a steady diet of that."

What a very christian thing to say. I do not let my children watch such programs that are too mature for them to understand in a healthy context. "Fowl"(bird?)or rather "foul" language is subjective and determined by the observer. My kids are too young to understand appropriate usage of such and I worry that they may hear some from a "christian" child, and use it without knowing that it has been deemed obscene by either the christian majority, or, more importantly, me.

"So do tell me, where do you and your children get regular teaching on what is right and wrong?"

I know my morality is habitual and is constantly tested and refined in accordance with the variables of any given situation. I try and do as little harm to everyone involed in any given situation. I need no longer to seek moral instruction, as I feel that there is little chance of finding someone who can understand a situation I find myself in better than myself. In other words, I'm all grown up now, thanks.

I may seek advice and weigh it with my own judgement if I think I may not understand a situation as completely as I should, but that advice will usually be weighed with others, and is only a means of gaining perspective. Advice is not instruction.

I have heard that there may be humanist gatherings that teach humanist ethics, but I have never been to any. I suppose if one felt the need, it would serve the purpose.

My children learn morality from me and my wife, lest they be tainted by dogmatic religious "values" that undermine the dignity of humanity.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting, and ironic, to observe individuals express so much hatred for the very thing they claim not to believe in.

.:webmaster:. said...

Yeah, kind of like Christians decrying Islam, Mormonism, and atheism.

Ironic.

boomSLANG said...

Fundonymous...It is interesting, and ironic, to observe individuals express so much hatred for the very thing they claim not to believe in.

Oh, heavens-to-betsy.... I think it's much more ironic that Theists caused Atheism. lol

Filip said...

Wow. I just read through quite a lot of these comments.

Honestly, I don't see how Christian apologists have the energy and stamina to keep trying to come up with reasons to explain Christianity.

Likewise, I don't see how atheists have the stamina to keep arguing with them. Celsus tried, Thomas Paine tried, Dawkins and Dennet try ... but Christians still exist.

.:webmaster:. said...

People believe all sorts of idiotic things. Should we abandon all hope because people are superstitious and stubborn?

People have believed in magic for thousands of years. Change comes slowly.

Samael said...

Man, you Christians really are funny. Whew!

Haven't ya'll got anything better to do that regurgitate the same old repent-or-burn shite? Get a life.

Bradley said...

Hey all. Former Christian here. I don't know why you need to be an atheist just because you are not religious. I mean, I tend to believe that I am an eternal being.. and that there is such a thing as a human spirit.. and that not all things can be explained, (such as near death experiences) I don't claim to know what God is or what "It" is, and I know the history of the actual origins of the bible, so it does not weigh in highly to explain it either.. I just know, that beyond faith, I think that there is more out there.. and I do believe in the supernatural.

I am pretty much done with religion or all kinds but I am still seeking and am still open to spiritual things... although I remain logical.

Um, so, is there a site for people like me? lol.

.:webmaster:. said...

Bradley,

Not all ex-Christians are atheists. You are welcome here, and I'd suggest you check out the forum section of the site for more interactivity with non-atheist ex-Christians.

Tim said...

hey love the topic material...i'm an ex Christian too. I actually was an anglican seminary grad/ pentecostal pastor. Hey I've got some material on my site too theuniverseaccording totim.blogspot.com . Everyone is welcome I"m looking to network with other sites, and other individuals

peace out
timmy!

webmdave said...

Reading through this whole community, the threads, the comments, the rebuttals...I'm suddenly struck by something. Ex-Christians made thorough, logical, fact based intelligent arguments. Things that have turned my whole world on it's head and made me stop and think. I've yet to find a Christian try and offer a rebuttal that wasn't out of the Bible. And I'm realizing that the bible contradicts itself, and is an insult to the intelligence of the human being. This morning I woke up a Christian (admittedly, my faith was rather shaky) but tonight I'll lay awake all night knowing I'm having what the Christians would call a "crisis of faith". The only thing that keeps me from calling all this horse pucky and throwing in the towel on Christianity is this god awful, gut wrenching mind consuming fear of hell. My doctor had to put me on Xanax a few months ago because thinking about religion is putting me into panic attacks and insomnia. Anyone else feel this way? Anyone have words of wisdom for me?

webmdave said...

Your abuse of the English language is making it very difficult for me to understand your point. But then again, you probably didn't make one in the first place.

webmdave said...

Sam,

Try re-reading the list of the "fruits" of the holey spook: forgiveness is NOT listed as being among them.

Galatians 5:22 -
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

You will also notice that they come as a package, the fruit, not fruits.

If you insist upon crossing swords with ex-xians on this site, I heartily recommend you do a little research and get it right, rather than preach from ignorance.

Peace,

David

webmdave said...

Hi Crisis!

It is something we all go through.

Take a look at this, and other articles here:

http://new.exchristian.net/2010/05/weight-of-eternity-has-been-lifted.html

Once you realize that god's promises are a complete crock of shit and a bag of lies, the understanding that his threats are equally without power or meaning soon follows.

This is the truth about a loving god, who loves you with all of his being, that he would allow you to lie awake all night, relying on prescription drugs, worrying about something he could fix immediately with a distinctive, unequivocal voice in your ear.

He won't do that (it requires being both loving AND existent), even though it would save you both your current angst AND eternity in his roasting pit.

You will get past this sticking point. Remember:

If he cannot keep his promises, his threats are meaningless!

As many here often delight in reminding us:

The invisible and the non-existent have an awful lot in common.

Haste ye back,

David

webmdave said...

Sam,

1. Without reference to the bile, provide evidence that we are wrong.

2. Without reference to the bile, provide evidence that your christ ever existed.

3. Without reference to the bile, provide evidence that there is a god and that he possesses a heart which is capable of being for or against anything other than the pumping of a life-giving fluid.

Thank you,

David

webmdave said...

Yes, I had to walk get through the "fear of Hell." It was so strange. I really am an intelligent human being who had already decided that hell isn't even in the Bible. And there I was having nightmares and cold sweats and warding off panic attacks. I still think the Xtianity is literally a cult like the Hare Krishnas and implants fear into your brain. They have had 2000 years to perfect this brainwashing and many of them are quite skilled at it. Some know they are brainwashing but most are sincere but still brainwashing. Now, a couple of years later, I am ready to speak up when I see others going through the same difficult journey. I didn't turn to Xanax but I probably should have. Seriuosly, de-conversion is extremely stressful for many people. You are not alone and I am glad you spoke up.

webmdave said...

Samuel - What they said. Plus I notice that you haven't grown much in the last 10 months since you said about the same sort of statements with about as much love and charity as before. Were you homeschooled? There is a libray in every town, even my rinky-dink town. Go, read, learn.

webmdave said...

Samuel is a bile-believing, born-again xian.

You have no right to expect either love or charity.

He is better than us and is here to gloat.

webmdave said...

Isn't sad that so many Xtians have limited love, charity or clarity? I wouldn't be very proud of who I am as Samuel. He is not kind nor is he well-read nor is he well spoken. But he does believe. Still, with so much room for improvement, I think there is hope for him.

webmdave said...

(sighs heavily and reaches for Her Clue-by-Four™)

*BONK*

Samuel, I see that your punctuation still stinks. In My capacity as the Goddess of Punctuation, I hereby sentence you to read The Elements of Style by Strunk & White, cover-to-cover, five times.

Now run along and do your homework, little one. I'm sure if your imaginary friends actually *want* to talk to us they'll just knock us off a horse or manifest themselves as chatty glow-in-the-dark shrubbery.

webmdave said...

Take a fucking English Class! You really lose credibility with any argument when your communication skills are so weak! You appear to be a moron!

Ex-Pastor Dan

webmdave said...

honestly, i too still go through that 'fear of Hell', or 'what if i am wrong' scenario.

But it lessen somewhat over time. Healing takes longer time that's all esp when one was brainwashed so early one.

cheers.

webmdave said...

Samuel, why would My family and I want the 'sympathies' of an illiterate little know-it-all punk like you?

I reiterate what I said to you ten months ago: "I find it quite pathetic that you attribute love, joy and forgiveness to an imaginary being rather than to the people who actually experience and strive towards these things."

I strongly advise you to go away and never come back, Samuel, or I shall cheerfully and repeatedly show you how rude I *can* be.

webmdave said...

Sambo,

Will you listen to reason if we are nice to you?

Are you interested in De-Converting from Christianity?

If so, ask all the questions you want. If you are here to preach Christianity (which we all know more about than you; hence the name, EX-Christian.Net) then I will politely ask you to leave and not come back.

Thank you,

Ex-Pastor Dan

webmdave said...

The Romans designed their form of Christianity well. Pity they didn't stick to science, medicine and road building.

Inventing the punishment and reward system and then enforcing it on all and sundry for the next 1500 years, with torture and death the result for non-believers or dissenters set the pattern of fear for billions of people.

A disaster for humanity.

webmdave said...

Hi Crisis of Faith,

The idea of hell was what ultimately made me turn from christianity, but it was the FEAR of hell that posponed it for so long....

When I first deconverted, I used to worry about it a little, but it passes with time, especially if you educate yourself as much as you can..

Now 3 years on, I can honestly say I have NO FEAR of hell whatsover, in fact now when I think about christianity, it seems so obviously untrue to me now..

It does take time, but just read as much as you can, especially on this website!

Cheers!

webmdave said...

We have evidence on our side:

http://www.godisimaginary.com

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com

http://www.evilbible.com

webmdave said...

Words of wisdom from the self-righteous troll 'samuelwelsh':

"you are all completly wrong you base your hurt and nasty attatude against christ."

"please grow up you are all using your bitter experences of authority."

"listen this is your war not mine argue with yourself."

It's your war now, Samuel, and it is a war that you can not and shall not win. You came here of your own accord ten months ago and started preaching your mythological nonsense at us. You started the bullying by coming to our site, disregarding its purpose and insulting us because we don't kiss the butt of your imaginary friend.

You, Samuel, are a hypocrite. May reality come crashing down upon you, and completely and permanently demolish your faith.

webmdave said...

Well, this is the first time I have been to this site, and it'll be the last. All I'm seeing here is lies lies lies. What I've read is laughable and horribly uneducated. I certainly wouldn't want to be the one responsible for leading so many astray.

webmdave said...

...this is the first time I have been to this site, and it'll be the last.

I'll wager that, at a minimum, you'll be back to this site to see what responses your dime-a-dozen proselytizing garnered. If I'm right, that would make you a "sinner".

All I'm seeing here is lies lies lies.

You'd have to be more specific, specfic, specific. If the implication is that former believers are lying when they tell you that they don't see credible evidence for the existence of the invisible biblegod you (pretend to) worship, then you'd have to be able to know the thoughts and experiences of other human beings. IOW(in other words), you'd have to be omniscient. Surely you wouldn't be so moronic as to make such a claim, would you? Well, then again, you're a Christian, so

What I've read is laughable and horribly uneducated.

If you'd care to back up that respective opinion/assertion with something of substance, feel free. In the meantime, what's "laughable" to me is when people who believe in talking snakes, walking cadavers, and virgins births, point their fingers at skeptics and laugh.

I certainly wouldn't want to be the one responsible for leading so many astray.

Yes, yes, of course---no Christian guest's post would be complete without the threat of bodily harm, as if a god who resorts to physical violence is worthy of my belief; as if being scared not to believe something is a good reason to believe it. Yeah, sure pal.

webmdave said...

Hey Proud, Isn't pride a sin? Please explain what the lies are. If our comments are uneducated, please enlighten us. What is your education level (now, be honest, remember all liars will find their place in the Lake of Fire)

Ex Pastor Dan

webmdave said...

Well, this is the first time I have been to this site, and it'll be the last.

Promises. Promises.

But you couldn't resist posting, could you. ROTFLMAO.

webmdave said...

Isn't pride one of the Seven Deadly Sins?

webmdave said...

Ah, son of Yahweh, a goat herder, skilled in burnt sacrifices and lighting altar fires. Daddy must be well pleased with you. Go and stone to death some more adulterers or people who gather firewood on the Sabbath, just like Daddy wanted you to.

webmdave said...

I'm really happy that after reading all these things, my faith in Jesus was not shaken at all. Actually, it became stronger. Thank you for that.

By the way, please read the Bible in context. Do not just use random verses. Do you also read books that way? If yes and now I know why you can never fully understand things.

I know that you must have gone through a lot of things in your life that made you decide to walk away from God. Regardless, he's just waiting for you. I will pray for you every night until this website banishes and you've decided to renew your faith. It may take my whole life but I don't mind. Your life is important to Him.

webmdave said...

My favorite part of every church service is when the preacher expands on one sentence of the Bible and turns it into an entirely meaningful experience for twenty minutes. But let people who have actually read the Bible [I have many plus Bible concordances plus Bible dictionaries] say one thing about the Bible and they are taking there verses out of context. No, most of us understand the Bible quit well and we are not taking these verses or ideas out of context.

webmdave said...

Understand? Oh yes, we do understand the bible. That's the primary reason most of us are now EX-christians.

Speaking of understanding, do you or do you not understand the meaning of EX? Did you or did you not read the disclaimer? Can you or can you not understand and respect us and our website? Do you or do you not realize that you have posted nothing more than the typical robotic script posted here by previous christian guests? We've heard it all before. We understand.

But thanks for visiting and reminding us -- as all of you intruding religious addicts do -- of how glad we are to have escaped the mind raping cult of christianity.

webmdave said...

Dear Passionate,

Very, very good advice, to read the Bible in Context. I always pushed that point during my decades in ministry. It is also what eventually lead me to TRUTH and out of the delusion of christianity!

I wouldn't hold my breath about this site going away. If you'll notice, the thread that you are commenting on is 8 years old! Many christians have been praying for this site to shut down, yet it continues to grow and flourish! he, he, he, he, he.....guess your god really doesn't care.....or maybe he isn't really there!

I also know that your faith has been shaken; shaken to the core would be my best guess. Go ahead, stick around and read some more.....I can tell you are curious, else you wouldn't be here reading an 8 year old post and trying to convince yourself that we are wrong, but down deep you know we are right.

You will most likely join with us soon! Welcome, we are not mean and nasty, we've just been born again.....Again!

Welcome to Reality, welcome to Truth PassionateNONbeliever,

XPD (Ex Pastor Dan)

webmdave said...

Passionatebeliever: "By the way, please read the Bible in context."

Translation: "Please read the Bible in whatever way that causes you to believe the same nonsense that I believe."

"I will pray for you every night until this website banishes..."

Even if this website were to vanish one day, it would not necessarily cause any of us to start believing in your invisible friend. Don't waste your prayers, PB: If your god actually existed and wanted our attention, I'm sure it could do a better job of it than the likes of you.

"Your life is important to Him..."

...Please stay on the line; your call is important to Us...

...Já, riiight.

*klik* *dial tone*

webmdave said...

Johann Kepler...

***********************************
1615, late, kepler's mother accused of witchcraft

1616, kepler against council of trent

1618, 1620, 1621, publ epitome

1619, publ the world harmony

1619, spring, kepler hears of the condemnation of copernicus

1619, aug 04, kepler hears one of his books has been banned in italy

1620, aug 07, kepler's mother imprisoned

1621, june 30, 2nd edn of the harbinger

1621, oct, kepler's mother released

1622, mother died

http://www.ralph-abraham.org/ficino/chronos/kepler.txt
***********************************

Johann Kepler was able to politically protect his mother from the fundies for five years.

His mother was finally imprisoned, and died/succumbed within a year of release. So, she was deprived of her life, a slow death over time - not a fast kill. So, not a direct "murder" like burning to the stake, but... the fundies got the job done. If Johann were alive today, I'm not sure he would be supporting the fundies in any form.

webmdave said...

believer,

"5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles)"

Are you implying that my two daughters will not be well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens because i refuse to train them up in christian ideals and principles?

webmdave said...

Believer wrote:

"Does Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Johann Kepler or Gregor Mendel ring any bells? They were all creationist christians who believed science was a system of discovery of how an intelligent designer put things together
..."

Apart from the poor little Discovery Institute modern scientists don't assume there is an intelligent designer because there is no evidence for one.

"Have you heard of Francis Collin who became convinced of the truth of christianity from the evidence? "

That is incorrect, Collins says he had a "vision" while hiking in the Cascade Mountains, he has not uncovered any scientific evidence for intelligent design.

"It seems that when 'self-proclaimed' christians commit atrocities, then according to you, yes they are indeed christians..."

Can you tell us how to tell the real Christians from the fake ones?

webmdave said...

using the Bible to guide their sex lives.

So the Bible is to be our guide for sexual issues? So homosexuals should be stoned? So adulterers are to be put to death? So menstruating women are to be considered unclean?

You can’t have it both ways, believer, either the Bible is the enlightened last word on these matters, or it’s not. The things I just mentioned grew out of barbaric tribal thinking. If any one part of the Bible has become irrelevant, then why is the rest of it to be considered the authority?


Do you think I have been one-sided?


The point I was attempting to make is that a forum that allows the free expression of opposing viewpoints cannot very well be considered one-sided. You are posting whatever you want to post, as often as you like, and yet you accuse me of running a one-sided website. That’s what I’m calling ironic.

One thing we may both be guilty of, It seems that when 'self-proclaimed' Christians…

This, my dear Watson, is the crux of the matter. What seems to elude your comprehension is that all Christians are self-proclaimed Christians. All. There is no magical holy ghost and no mystical transformation. There is nothing remotely supernatural about becoming a Christian. Any otherworldly experiences reside solely in the imagination of the “true believer™” Therefore, a percentage of Christians, just like a percentage of the general population, perform heinous deeds. Christians are no different than anyone else – thus, the many articles illustrating that reality. You can say all day that they weren’t true Christains™, because true Christians™ wouldn’t do heinous things, but the Bible is chocked full of the people of god doing terrible things. True Christians™ do indeed do horrible things.

And, I do think that Christianity is an entirely selfish religion. Christians believe they are going to heaven to play patty cake with Jesus, and they rejoice in that thought. No matter how many millions or billions of their fellow human beings will be relegated to everlasting horrific conscious torture in the infernal bowels of your god’s cartoonish version of justice, Christians weep, and cry, and blubber at the thought of their god’s the tender mercies – toward them.

Webmaster, what do I need to be set free from? I believe that because Jesus Christ enables me to live by christian principles, I enjoy a healthy lifestyle, I have a kind and loving husband (since he became a christian), 5 beautiful and well-adjusted children who are law abiding, responsible and socially contributing citizens.(I trained them up in christian ideals and principles) What am I missing?
Congratulations on having a happy healthy family! I celebrate with everyone in that position. I too have happy healthy and successful children. They’re all atheists too!

I lived in Japan for three years. I met many happy healthy families while there. Some were Christians, but the vast majority I met didn’t subscribe to a belief in Christ.

Let me ask you something. If you were to abandon your religion today, do you think you’d become some sort of monster tomorrow? Having a happy family is not so difficult, you just have to have a reasonably pleasant personality. That’s about all it takes. Are you such an asshole that your family would fall apart without the restraints placed on you by your faith?

Think about it.

webmdave said...

What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?"

You can dare to say that, but you'd be incorrect. First of all, from your perspective, these ideals do not come from Christianity, they supposedly came from Moses. Further, the code of Hammurabi predates Mosaic Law. And, many of the laws in the first five books of the Bible, Christians have abandoned as irrelevant. Even in the 10 Commandments, almost no one thinks it important to keep the Sabbath Day holy. Drive by any restaurant after church on Sunday and you'll see church goers guiltlessly dining, as the employees break the Sabbath by serving them.

The point? Human understanding of morality is constantly evolving, just like every other part of our society. All societies have laws and moral codes: some better and some worse than the ones invented by the ancient Hebrews. Christians do not hold the key to morality.

webmdave said...

Believer said...

Dear Freeman, You very well could raise your daughters as responsible, honest and well adjusted people. What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?

Dare I say that you believe that people in major part of the world, who are not christians, cannot raise their children "correctly"? I do not think that in Japan, where honor (esp. for elders) is extremely important, parents stop and say, "What would a christian parent do?". You god is not the god of all people therefor not the true god, if any exist at all!

webmdave said...

Believer,

I can't help but notice how prominent you make the proselytizing aspects of the Christian benefactors you list. If you want to emphasize the good that Christians are doing, I'd suggest focusing on feeding and clothing the poor, building schools and hospitals, sheltering the homeless, etc. Yes, there are Christian organizations doing precisely those things, with varying degrees of success and efficiency. However, I choose to contribute time and money to organizations that do not also have a religious agenda, as I do not wish to have any of my resources squandered on furthering a religious ideology.

I have seen numerous Christian organizations boasting of the wonderful work they've done by building *churches* and distributing *bibles* in the most impoverished countries in Africa. Frankly, I am appalled by that. Building a church with an alter in lieu of a hospital with an ICU, or a school, or a home is recklessly irresponsible. Distributing Bibles in lieu of additional antibiotics, food, and clothing is to me reprehensible. Investing significant resources in translating the Bible into local dialects in lieu of books on history, science, medicine, and agriculture is completely asinine. That proselytizing is seen as so very important by Christians greatly undermines their effectiveness as benefactors. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's downright unethical to attempt to indoctrinate people who are beholden to the missionaries; not only is that exploitation, but it often has the effect of wiping out the indigenous culture, and frequently their language along with it.

So, is that selfish behavior on the part of Christians? Yes, I think that would be an appropriate criticism, but there is a more apt word: it's ethno-centricism, which is a species of narrow-mindedness. It is the self-centered belief that your particular culture/religion trumps all others. The Christian missionaries, by and large, see one of their primary objectives to be indoctrination of those in need into THEIR particular belief system, which I find offensive.

So, do Christians do a lot of good? Yes, of course. But it is all too frequently accompanied by self-righteous indoctrination. If you want to convince me that a Christian organization is truly committed to helping people, show me that nearly 100% of their resources are put toward actually HELPING people, not convincing them to join a particular religious movement. Show me that they are respectful of other cultures, and wish to help them preserve their languages and their religions. Show me that they will refrain from using their position of influence as a tool of persuasion. Show me that their first priority is to send qualified people to perform various services, regardless of their religious affiliation. If you can show me a religious organization with these characteristics, I will applaud them and even gladly contribute to their cause. But, of course, you will ask how such an organization would differ from a purely secular one, such as the UN, or FEMA (back when it was functional), or the Peace Corps. The answer is that *functionally* they would not differ at all. So, you might say that I have nothing at all against Christian organization, aside from the Christianity.

webmdave said...

Believer: "What, I ask you, is your standards by which you will raise them [your children]. Will they be things like 'love your neighbor as yourself', 'be honest', 'honor your parents'? Dare I say that these are all Christian ideals?"

Yes, those are indeed "Christian ideals". They are also the ideals of many other cultures and religions, some much more ancient than Christianity. Both Buddha and Confucius had similar edicts long before the advent of Christianity. To suggest that they somehow arose from Christianity, or that Christians have some prior claim to them is absurd.

Believer: "I wonder webmaster if anyone ever uses the term 'self-proclaimed atheists'. I've never heard of it and my theory is, is that there is no benefit to proclaiming oneself to being an atheist."

I am a self-proclaimed atheist! I do not proclaim it to derive any benefit (at least not for myself), I proclaim it because it happens to be the truth. And, by the way, I use the word "proclaim" in the sense of assert, not in the sense of announce, as I find the latter brash and unnecessary in most social contexts. But when the issue is raised, or I am asked directly, I make my stance very plain. It often leads to interesting discussions.

You say that you've never come across the phrase "self-proclaimed atheist"? I'm a bit surprised by that. Almost without fail when an atheist is quoted in a newspaper they are said to be "self-proclaimed", yet I have never seen a Christian referred to in a like manner (except when mentioning Fred Phelps, perhaps). The disparity is so blatant I have on occasion written letters of complaint, pointing out that it is a subtle form of bigotry. It's a way of distancing the writer from the atheist by asserting that the label is of the person's own choosing. Since the same writer usually sees no need for the same rhetorical device when referring to Christians, it betrays a not-so-flattering stereotype (soft bigotry).

Finally, I will point out that there *are* benefits to "proclaiming" to be an atheist. One benefit is to other atheists, who are often treated poorly and/or marginalized by believers. By "coming out" as an atheist, they feel less isolated. I also happen to believe that it can benefit Christians in several ways: 1) it sometimes (albeit rarely) gets them to think about things a little differently than they are used to, and 2) it's a small step toward enforcing the separation of church and state, which, if allowed to crumble, would be to everyone's detriment, even Christians (IMHO).

webmdave said...

Einstein, may well have written the letter thanking a specific denomination for assisting in the effort to denounce depravity. However, that doesn't remove the fact that "religion" was itself the instrument of destruction used by Hitler to begin with.

The appreciation, was more towards the people, not the religion or the religious doctrine. Many people are willing to accept blindly, because they believe "blind" faith is a virtue. As long as religion, breeds blind "faith", as a virtue, there will always continue to be the possibility that one charismatic leader can call them to do vile things - without thinking once/twice.

A fanatic, who takes pride in being led by invisible forces, and charismatic leaders, are nothing short of loaded weapons laying around waiting to be used. Sure... some are led to engage in actions that benefit society, but usually to its own benefit, yet, many are led to engage in negative actions contrary to a civil society.

A mindless fanatic, is a mindless fanatic, no matter what their actions are. A mindless fanatic telling another mindless fanatic they are living the "wrong" fanatical lifestyle, or that they are not a "true" fanatic, is simply amazing. It says much about religious doctrine, and the person making the statement.

By the way, Hitler praised Christianity during his reign, does his comment have more/less weight in credibility than Albert? Why?

webmdave said...

Dave8, You present an intriguing discussion. You're absolutely right about many things you wrote. There are and have been many who lead the gullible by claiming to have "heard from God" and/or by quoting scripture. As I stated in an earlier letter, in many situations, for the unscrupulous, it is a benefit to be a 'christian'.

Hitler lived in a primarily 'christian' country of his time. In his public speaking he sometimes made reference to God. However, in his private conversations he denegraded christianity as being one of the two great scourges on earth, the other being the pox. You can read them at this site: http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/mischedj/ca_hitler.html


As I read those, wow, it sounds something like the things that are said on this website!!

Jesus warned his disciples about false teachers. Only a fool would blindly follow a teacher who claimed to have special revelations from God. Unfortunately there are quite a few out there and this is most likely the reason many of you are disullusioned with christianity.

So, to answer your question about Einstein vs Hitler

dave8 asks "By the way, Hitler praised Christianity during his reign, does his comment have more/less weight in credibility than Albert? Why?"

Hitler's public comments carried no weight, but his private conversations are insightful. I believe Einstein was basically an honest man and one could trust that what he said was what he thought whether in public or in private.

webmdave said...

With God, all things are possible!!! Except for saving souls, that chore was turned over to a demi-god!!

webmdave said...

I appreciate that Christians want to distance themselves from Hitler, the Crusades, and Ted Haggard, but Hitler most assuredly considered himself a Christian.

Hitler's Table Talk as discussed at NoBeliefs.Com

webmdave said...

Now tell me webmaster, what teachings of Christ was Hitler following when he aggressively invaded other countries and mass murdered his fellow humanity?

All that balogna about how Hitler being a christian is a bunch of double talk. Hitler talks about loving his fellow mankind but ruled his country by fear, he murdered and tortured innocent people.

Where does Christ teach us that it's our responsibility to 'create' a superior race? As a devout Christian, how is it that Hitler missed scriptures that tell us to love even our enemies?

A christian is one who seeks to follow the teachings of Christ. As far as Ted Haggard goes, I really don't know very much about him. But if it is true from what I heard, that he is not justifying his behavior but rather confessing it, then true christians will not distance themselves from him but rather embrace him and help him to find healing.

webmdave said...

A christian is one who seeks to follow the teachings of Christ.

Ted Haggard initially denied his homosexual tryst and drug abuse. He only partially confessed when it became obvious he couldn't lie his way out of it. He'd been screwing around with a gay lover and getting high for at least three years, although it could be longer for all we know.

If you really want some information on Hitler's faith, read this article: click here.

So, if I'm reading you correctly, Ted Haggard was a True Christian™ regardless of his longterm deception and "sinful" lifestyle. Hitler wasn't a True Christian™ for much the same reasons.

Got it.

webmdave said...

Believer,

I'm guessing you didn't bother to read the article. That's OK. I didn't expect you to.

Regardless, you do realize that Hitler's hate of the Jews, and the German population going along with it, is in part because of the antisemitism of Martin Luther, the great reformer who started the Lutheran Church, in Germany.

You knew that right?

In case you didn't know about that, here's a nice "Christian" link that you might feel is safe enough to read: An Apology

Ted Haggard admitted he was wrong after his lover told on him. Had no one told, he'd still be preaching. And now it appears there is some question as to homosexuality running rampant in the church's staff.

Haggard was/is a deceptive liar. Millions were decieved by convincing portrayal of Christian love. He condemned homosexuality from the pulpit with a vengeance while he slipped off to do whatever men do with gay male prostitutes.

Paul could never have fooled anyone like that. He could never have written one thing that was untrue. That wouldn't be even be possible, would it?

webmdave said...

"To me that says that if God did render to us according to our work, I'd be doomed."

Believer, could you please tell me what sins you've committed that you think a proper rendering of them would me everlasting torture in horrific agony without possibility of parole, escape, or even death?

I mean, what temporal offenses have you done in your short life that would deserve everlasting vengeance and punishment?

Think before you answer, because I'm seriously asking the question. Explain how eternal life in hell is merciful.

webmdave said...

Webmaster, I have thought seriously and my answer is this. Love for my fellow mankind has fallen short. Many are suffering throughout the world, and I know I could do more to help. I think having an abortion and depriving another of life on earth for my own convenience is totally depraved. There are other sins, but these should suffice.

Now, are these worthy of eternal hell? The only one who can be a perfect judge is the one who created me, who knows my heart and my motives. He would be even more just than I myself could possibly be. You may not think that these things are worthy of eternal hell, but how do you know that you, with the very limited knowledge you possess, are right? Also, where do you get your sense of what is justice?

However, my human nature and my sense of reason tells me also that eternal hell is something I would not wish on my worst enemy. I already stated that it is something I struggle with.

If you are an atheist as you say and I would suppose that evolution is your belief, then it would actually fall to reason that evolution will make progress when we allow nature to take its course and that we shouldn't interfere with 'survival of the fittest'. In other words, there would be nothing wrong with abortion or just letting the underpriviledged to fend for themselves but would in fact be desirable.

While I agree with you on some issues concerning christianity, I find it a better explanation for origin of life and our behavior than any other. I find that it 'fits' the empirical evidence better.

For instance, the two methods by which evolution is supposed to have occured are natural selection and mutations. What I understand about mutations is that they are mistakes which only occur once in about 10 million times. When they do occur, they are nearly always harmful, fatal or they make no difference. Then natural selection, the other mechanism to bring about evolution, will actually weed out mutations. Another point is that mutations never bring new information to an organism, like changing a scale of a reptile to a feather. This doesn't prove creationism, but it sure does damage to the evolution theory.

I delight in many of the teachings of christianity which I believe when followed, promote a higher quality, happier lifestyle and contribute to a better world for everyone. And I'm not talking about Hitler's version of christianity which tends more toward evolution in his ideal of creating a super race.

webmdave said...

"Now, are these worthy of eternal hell? The only one who can be a perfect judge is the one who created me, who knows my heart and my motives. He would be even more just than I myself could possibly be."

The sins you listed are certainly horrible. In fact, they are so disgustingly depraved, that you should be thrown in prison and tortured without mercy, but not allowed to die.

Your sentence should be 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years of mind bending torture. After that amount of time has passed, nothing will have changed. Your torture will simply continue forever.

That is divine justice.

However, if you worship a dead itinerant peasant (Jesus) then all those threats of righteous justice will be washed away.

Believer, torture is barbaric, and punishing someone forever for the failings in this short life is depraved. Your god is depraved.

"survival of the fittest"

The phrase is a metaphor, not a scientific description; and it is not generally used by biologists, who almost exclusively prefer to use the phrase "natural selection".

In other words, whatever is fit to survive, will survive. Cockroaches are quite fit for survival. They can eat anything, live anywhere, and reproduce like mad. What you are a victim of here is the teaching of religious apologists who have created a naturalistic fallacy of trying to combine morality with nature. Is it immoral when a bear attacks campers in the woods? Morality is strictly a human construct and has nothing to do with nature, natural selection, or evolution.

Another thing of which you are misinformed, is that evolution is not about survival of the individual. Christianity is about survival of the individual. Evolution is about survival of the species. Therefore, to survive as a species, we band together as families, tribes, nations, etc., for the common protection of all of us. From that comes the need for laws to govern society so we can get along as much as possible and help the species thrive and survive.

Religion, on the other hand, sees survival of the species as completely irrelevant. The end of the world is at hand, this life is meaningless, all unbelievers are destined for everlasting punishment, and all that really matters is whether or not a person has believed the correct version of the "right" religion.

Religion is not something that will help human beings survive. History teaches this fact clearly, and current events are bringing the fallacy of religion belief home to us every single day. Islamics believe the same thing Christians believe. This life is nothing. All that matters is going to heaven to be with God.

I am now focused on life. When I was a Christian, I thought I was focused on life, but I was really focused on death.

webmdave said...

Yes Webmaster, and my depraved God teaches us to 'not kill innocent people, not to steal from each other, to honor our parents, to forgive each other liberally, to return good for evil, to be thankful, husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, wives to love and respect their husbands, children to obey their parents, to obey the magistrates, etc, etc etc'. Now if that isn't a recipe for the destruction of society!!!

Everyone's morality comes from what is in their heart and what it is that they really want to do. Some will twist the teachings of Christ to condone atrocities, and some will have a different point of view concerning the evolution theory than you do. I mean, if there's nothing immoral or wrong with a bear attacking a group of campers, then what's wrong with one people group attacking another group of people to supply their own needs. Especially if there happens to be lack in the area? Those who are strongest and produce the most offspring will pass on their superior traits to the species. And I'm wondering what kind of meaning to life can there be for a cockroach and if humans are nothing more than an eating and reproducing machine, than what kind of meaning does life hold?

It is not any belief system that causes men or women to do horrible things, it is the corruption that is in their own hearts that they choose to do those things. One can claim to be a Christian and commit abominable acts and another a Muslim and be kind and loving.

Webmaster states: "I am now focused on life. When I was a Christian, I thought I was focused on life, but I was really focused on death."

Now, you really have my curiousity up. Tell me about this change, your focus on life. What does that mean? I've been trying to think about how as you say, that I am focused on death. I tried to think how my life would change if I was not a christian.

webmdave said...

My depraved God teaches us to 'not kill innocent people, not to steal from each other, to honor our parents, to forgive each other liberally, to return good for evil, to be thankful, husbands to love their wives ..., wives to love and respect their husbands, children to obey their parents, to obey the magistrates, etc, etc etc'. Now if that isn't a recipe for the destruction of society!!!

Religions and societies pre-dating Judaism and Christianity adopted those same basic tenets. Christianity has no ownership over these concepts. How long do you think any society would survive in lawless chaos? A stable, peaceful society is the one most likely to survive.

It is not any belief system that causes men or women to do horrible things

Really? You mean the Muslims that flew the planes into the Twin Towers didn't do it as an expression of their belief system? I'm afraid you're entirely incorrect here, Believer. People most assuredly do act out their beliefs. Ideas have consequences.

Now, you really have my curiousity [sic] up. Tell me about this change, your focus on life. What does that mean?

Briefly, I meant to convey that I no longer obsess about life after death, or about heaven, hell, etc. Now I'm focused on life here and now, instead of some future fantasy pie-in-the-sky or torture-in-hell.

webmdave said...

Webmaster: on 11/22"Religion is not something that will help human beings survive. History teaches this fact clearly, and current events are bringing the fallacy of religion belief home to us every single day."

Believer: on 11/25 "God teaches us to 'not kill innocent people, not to steal from each other, to honor our parents, to forgive each other liberally, ... etc, etc etc'.

And then Webmaster states on 11/26 "How long do you think any society would survive in lawless chaos? A stable, peaceful society is the one most likely to survive."

So Webmaster, you agree! Christianity does teach principles that promote a civilized society.

And I agree with you that it is ideas that result in consequences. But it is not Christian ideas that have caused the horrors that you accuse Christians of. It is people's own twisted ideas and not the teachings of Christ and the Bible.

My concern is that the ideas that you are presenting could cause persecution of Christians based on false accusations. The Christians I know are loving and kind people.

I do focus on life and on death and I am very glad I did. Daily I read the Bible to my children and talked with them about their life now and about eternity. Our oldest daughter, Heather, accepted Christ as a young child but in teen years went astray and became involed in destructive activities. At age of 18, she was invited by a friend to attend a church youth group who lovingly reached out to her and her life got turned around. She became interested in helping others and life became meaningful for her.

On December 20th '93, Heather shared with me how she was 'filled with the joy of the Lord!' and her face literally shone. On Dec 21st, she had written Bible verses on index cards which she intended to put around her room to help her learn and remember them. She showed them to me and explained what they meant to her. On the morning of December 22, as she left for an appointment, we said goodbye. Fifteen minutes later she was in eternity, involved in a head-on collision.

If you're right and I'm wrong, no problem. Heather's last days on earth were happy and meaningful because of Christianity. If I'm right and you're wrong, what a tragedy for you and your family. I'm glad I focused on life and on death. My daily prayer is that you come back Webmaster. I see your picture on this website and I see a fellow human being who God still loves.