seek and ye shall find…. but what?

September 26, 2009 at 7:58 pm 444 comments

I’ve been reading the comments here lately and I have noticed that a lot of Christian readers say the same things over and over again: “If you REALLY had been a Christian you would have never de-converted.”

Now the details of the statements differ from reader to reader, some saying “if you’d really had faith,” others saying “if you’d really known the love of God,” or “if you’d really read the Bible with an open heart,” “if you really prayed honestly,” or even “if you were a true seeker you would have found the Lord.”

I’ve been struck by another thing recently as well: noticing that many de-converts were formerly in the ministry.

These two things made me think that maybe it’s being TOO dedicated, too devoted, too much a seeker that is the danger.

Here’s what I mean: Maybe we de-converts were more real in our Christianity than the people who can’t believe we eventually rejected “the truth.” We weren’t content with going to church on Sunday and Wednesday, or with going to confession once a week, or with saying our daily prayers and reading the Bible in a year every year — whatever the flavor of true devotion was in our particular version of Christianity.

We wanted more. I know that is true for myself. I wanted to see the power of God, the way it was described in the Bible. I wanted to experience what the apostles experienced on the day of Pentecost. I was hungry for more of God and I read the Bible every day, over and over again in several translations. I worshipped Jesus with all of my heart.

I know whatever I say here won’t convince anyone that I was a “real” Christian, because they can’t fathom that. But I bet that many of you who have also walked away can recognize my sentiment.

I became a worship leader because I wanted to help other people feel the presence of God in their lives and have the experiences of ecstasy that I’d experienced in worship services. I wanted to be a fisher of men. I wanted to fulfill God’s plan for my life. The more I “grew” in my faith, the more I was promoted in the ministry, the more I prayed and read the Bible and worshipped and witnessed, the less real it became to me. The more I obeyed God’s word and followed God’s will for my life, the less rewarding my Christian life was.

I was a true seeker but what I discovered was… nothing.

Watch out seekers. You may not like what you find.

- writerdd

Entry filed under: writerdd. Tags: , , .

The Funk of it All Common Sense vs. Christian Perspectives #1

444 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ubi Dubium  |  September 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Your story reminds me of Bart Ehrman’s story. (I just read “Misquoting Jesus”.) He was so passionate about the Bible that he went to college and then grad school to devote his life to studying it. He discovered that his “perfect book” was a confusing jumble, with no original manuscripts, only numerous later copies which all disagreed with each other, and no real consensus on what the original text actually was for any of the books. God apparently was not able to work the miracle of making sure we got one definitive copy of his book. Ehrman’s an agnostic now.

  • 2. stamati  |  September 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I suspect what you are saying is correct. I used to look around at my friends and wonder why they didn’t seem as concerned about faith as I was. I will probably never say this to them, but I put more effort into my faith than they did- of that I am confident. I really couldn’t bear to see less of God than what He promised. I think other people are perfectly fine with believing that “God is not a genie.” I’ve had that sentiment directed at me twice during my deconversion. What these people don’t realize are the sweat and tears that people like us shed in our search for God. I know we never looked for a genie, but we did look for something very real.

  • 3. Roy  |  September 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I would consider most deconverts here to be more mature spiritually than most nominal Christians in the pews these days. All I can say is, “Don’t stop seeking now”. I deconverted years ago, became an atheist, but maintained an open mind. I never looked back but I never stopped seeking either. I have since converted to something that is really special to me and I’m happy to share it with anyone who is interested, but it is uniquely personal as it should be.

  • 4. Roy  |  September 26, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    You say that you worshipped Jesus with all your heart. I have no doubt that this is true and I commend you for it.

    Here is a shocker:

    He never asked us to worship him. He asked us to FOLLOW him.

    Be who he was. Do what he did. Did he run around doing magic tricks. No. But he certainly had a way with people.

    Have you ever considered BECOMING Jesus?

    Here’s a experiment anyone can try. In any relationship you are a part of, be Jesus to the other person, whatever that means to you. Love everybody, treat everybody as if you worship them. Listen with your heart. Have empathy.

    Ego is a huge hurdle to overcome, but practice makes perfect.

    Ego IS the problem.

  • 5. Roy  |  September 26, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Correction:

    …an experiment….

    EGO :)

  • 6. writerdd  |  September 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Roy, LOL, I knew someone was going to say I did the wrong thing. But it doesn’t matter what I said I did with all my heart, some Christian commenter here would know why it was the wrong thing. If only I’d done this OTHER thing with all my heart, I would have found the Lord. Geez.

  • 7. GeorgeZ  |  September 26, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Okay, I do not believe you can walk away from real saving faith. No matter what your emotions tell you.

    Most of you speak to your feelings. You felt this, wanted to help people. As you have found out, you can do this as an atheist.

    Wether you buy it or not, you are still operating in the Love of God.

    The knowledge of good and evil is evident in all of us.

    Feeling saved is not the issue. The word says do not get weary in well doing, many do, but do not leave the faith.

    I am no better than any in this post, no better than any contributors to this post.

    No one in this room has explained why Christianity made it past the first week after the cross. Do you realize history proves that Jesus was killed. Josephus records the events, there are more evidences found every year authenticating the people in power, Jews and Romans. Caiphus, found his plot, signet ring, ect.

    Not even Orthodox Jews argue that Jesus was not crucified.
    Why do so many of you?
    know whatever I say here won’t convince anyone that I was a “real” Christian, because they can’t fathom that. But I bet that many of you who have also walked away can recognize my sentiment.

    Number one, “Real Christians” do not walk away from their faith.
    You will never get that point, because you were self-deceived.

    Say whatever you wish.

    Do you really believe all your objections, all the reasons you walk away from your faith, as you knew it, have not been faced by millions of Christians of the centuries? Now, in this generation, the advent of micro biology, evolution being taught as fact in every public school in America. DNA being assigned to monkeys as near human

    Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell will give you enough to go on.

    It is sad that you do not give credence to Israel, and to the reality of this nation in Bible prophecy. Israel will send this world to the brink of world war, the Bible states the antichrist steps in, brings a peace treaty, the third temple is built on temple mount as a key part of this seven year peace plan.

    You are going to see these events. Why? Because the Bible states it. States it as fact.

    Some of you will come back to faith in Jesus Christ, the events are going to force you to reconsider your current choices.

    This is not just about ego, not mine, maybe yours. You are the people who go it alone.

  • 8. Richard Prins  |  September 26, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Three words: “Real Scotsman Fallacy”. There are some good YT videos for those not familiar with it.

  • 9. Roy  |  September 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Roy, LOL, I knew someone was going to say I did the wrong thing. But it doesn’t matter what I said I did with all my heart, some Christian commenter here would know why it was the wrong thing. If only I’d done this OTHER thing with all my heart, I would have found the Lord. Geez.

    Writerdd, I never said nor intended to imply that I think you did anything wrong. I tried to say that I think you and all the deconverts here are doing things right, but apparently I didn’t do a very good job.

    Worshipping Jesus is a great thing to do if that’s where one is, but obviously it’s not where you are now.

    As for becoming Jesus, I was telling you what has worked for me. Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion. There is no doctrinal line to toe, nor list of rules to follow. Jesus did it, told us how to do it, and said we could do it, perhaps even better than he did. He was fully human and fully divine. Most do not give him enough credit for his humanity. We are fully human and fully divine. Most do not give themselves and others enough credit for our divinity. As far as I know you are already doing it better than me. Everybody can do it whether they believe it or not. Believing it is the first step toward doing it. Ultimately everybody WILL do it. The kingdom is truly within you, and me, and everybody. The sooner we all realize it, the better off the world will be, but we all must come to terms with it individually.

    It’s about Christ-consciousness and for any nay-sayers out there, no this is not bullshit. We individually have to transcend our stinking egos. It’s not easy, but the God-essence within us (Holy Spirit if you will) will help if we allow it. It’s always a choice.

    Nobody is getting punished forever. This is all TRULY good news! What do you think?

  • 10. Roy  |  September 26, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    George, I know you are a Christian, but you are trying to convert these people to a flavor of Christianity that they left for a reason. Listen to them. Try to put yourself into their shoes. That’s what empathy is. Love them. Do not condemn them. Do as your Lord and Savior would do. Please.

  • 11. HeIsSailing  |  September 26, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    writterdd says:

    These two things made me think that maybe it’s being TOO dedicated, too devoted, too much a seeker that is the danger.

    I suspect you may be correct about this in many questions. I became more fervent in my Christian walk after I got married. I wanted to be the best husband I could be, and I was taught that the path for spiritual maturity and morality was through my relationship with Jesus.

    I soon found that honesty trumped dogma, and to be the best husband I could possibly be meant that I had to leave my Christian beliefs behind. I was a fervent Christian, and I left Christianity because I took my religious Faith very very seriously.

  • 12. HeIsSailing  |  September 26, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    GeorgeZ, I believed all the apocalyptic scenarios and Biblical proof from prophecy that you do. I believed everything that you apparantly learned from John Hagee and Chuck Missler cassettes, the same way I did.

    I left Christianity, and you claim I was self-decieved and never a Christian. Well, I was a Christian, but I grant you this – I was definitely decieved. If we believed the same things, how do you know you are not just as decieved as I was?

  • 13. Roy  |  September 27, 2009 at 12:43 am

    No one in this room has explained why Christianity made it past the first week after the cross. Do you realize history proves that Jesus was killed. Josephus records the events, there are more evidences found every year authenticating the people in power, Jews and Romans. Caiphus, found his plot, signet ring, ect.

    Ok, I’ll take a stab at it.

    First of all, Christianity did not exist the first week after the execution of the man you speak of, one Yeshua Ben Yosef. There is no doubt in my mind, George, that he was indeed executed. Why do we know about it? Because he was an extraordinary man who lived an extraordinary life.

    Do you really believe all your objections, all the reasons you walk away from your faith, as you knew it, have not been faced by millions of Christians of the centuries?

    George, I walked away from the faith of my youth for a reason. It was a childish faith. If I had not walked away from it, I wouldn’t have walked into the one I have now. I’m sure many more Christians than you suggest over the centuries have done the exact same thing. It’s called spiritual maturity.

    It is sad that you do not give credence to Israel, and to the reality of this nation in Bible prophecy. Israel will send this world to the brink of world war, the Bible states the antichrist steps in, brings a peace treaty, the third temple is built on temple mount as a key part of this seven year peace plan.

    It’s sad to me that you are so obsessed with your interpretation of Biblical prophecy being the correct one. There are many ways to interpret apocalyptic Biblical prophecy. Yours is no better than mine. They may both be wrong.

    Some of you will come back to faith in Jesus Christ, the events are going to force you to reconsider your current choices.

    I hope that some will MOVE FORWARD into a REAL faith in Jesus Christ and more importantly themselves. There are no external events that will force them to reconsider. They will do it when they are ready to. My advice should they ask it would be that they NOT come back to the faith you are offering them, namely yours.

    This is not just about ego, not mine, maybe yours. You are the people who go it alone.

    It is about ego, George. EVERYBODY’S including yours. They most certainly are not going it alone. Here we all are, reasoning it out together.

  • 14. Roi des Foux  |  September 27, 2009 at 12:55 am

    This matches with my own de-conversion. I believed that god wanted me to do good, but I was concerned by the existence of people who believed (because they were Christians) that homosexuality was the worst sin possible, and women should have a subservient role, and anyone who didn’t follow Jesus was going to Hell for all eternity. I sat down and started reading the Bible, and I prayed daily for guidance, and what I discovered was that their idea of Christianity was supported by the Bible much better than mine was. If I hadn’t felt that need to reaffirm my beliefs, I wouldn’t have left Christianity for some time.

  • 15. jonfeatherstone  |  September 27, 2009 at 1:03 am

    My observation is that almost all deconverts, including myself, have seriously wrestled, over the course of many years, with all their being to “experience the depths” of Christianity, in some cases almost to the point of obsession.
    Having finally stripped back all the layers of church superficiality, Christian culture, and Pseudo-scholasticism, we discovered the claims and promises to be hollow and untrue.
    To the Christian posters who visit here, I ask you this. Is there anything you could say that you don’t think we have not already only heard, but already deeply studied and considered? The fact is that most deconverts know far more about Christianity than most Christians, and show much more integrity about earnestly discovering truth than most church-goers.
    Please …. if nothing else … give us some credit before regurgitaing your textbook answers from Josh McDowell (or Ray Comfort!) We really have heard it all before, and found it to be desperately wanting.

  • 16. efrique  |  September 27, 2009 at 2:10 am

    I see this particular fallacy a *lot*.

    It’s a version of the “no true scotsman” fallacy. (Logical fallacies abound among the overly-zealous apologists)

    It’s a way of dismissing you, so they don’t have to pay attention to the content of anything you say.

    You see, a true believer who says “the emperor has no clothes” is a danger to belief. But if they can claim you didn’t really believe, then they can ignore you.

    I am continually being told by people of faith (many in spite of never having met me or even knowing the first thing about me but my lack of belief) that they know exactly what is in my mind or in my heart. I think it’s a most offensive form of arrogance.

    It’s interesting how weak their faith is, that they have to make up lies about others in order to feel secure…

  • 17. webmdave  |  September 27, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Maybe it’s being TOO dedicated, too devoted, too much a seeker that is the danger.

    I think you’re spot on! If I’d been less curious and less interested and less determined to become all that “god” wanted me to be, I’d probably still believe in all that nonsense.

  • 18. mikespeir  |  September 27, 2009 at 8:00 am

    In the end nobody can give a good reason for thinking we didn’t really believe. Their reason, ultimately, is something like this: “I KNOW it’s all true. If you’d been sincere (or didn’t have too big an ego, or had the experiences I’ve had–didn’t hold your tongue right), you’d know it, too. So it simply must be that you didn’t really believe.” And that’s it. It might be dressed up or dragged out, but that’s the whole substance of the argument. They can’t imagine how a real believer could ever then not believe, so it doesn’t happen.

  • 19. GeorgeZ  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:30 am

    left Christianity, and you claim I was self-decieved and never a Christian. Well, I was a Christian, but I grant you this – I was definitely decieved. If we believed the same things, how do you know you are not just as decieved as I was?

    It’s a way of dismissing you, so they don’t have to pay attention to the content of anything you say.

    They can’t imagine how a real believer could ever then not believe, so it doesn’t happen.

    JUST A FEW of the comments, I believe were in response.

    ROY, you are very special, will get with you in a moment.

    Since you do not accept the Bible as inspired, it is circular reasoning for me to believe that I can re-convert the de converted.

    I cannot, never thought I could. But, what I can do is feel your pain. I do mean that.

    Narrow is the gate, not wide. The wide road, which you have chosen to travel is not just for atheists and agnostics.
    It includes Mormons, who equaite Jesus as being created by sex between a god and mother god. That Satan and Jesus are brothers.

    It includes all Asian religions, Hindu’s, Jews, the list is long.

    The wide road does, and will lead to destruction.

    The view I just stated is no suprise to anyone who has been in Christian fundemental churches, or studies.

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation.”

    Some of you know that verse, could quote it, but now do not believe it.

    You think you were saved? No, you do not, because the entire faith is false. Therefore, you were only a Christian in your mind. Remember, it is all a fabrication of man. If there is a god, your god, he would not resemble the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He would not be the God of Israel.

    He surely would never become a man, born of a virgin, come to earth, die a death claiming it is covering the sin of the world.

    A God of eternity, outside space and time, stating time will be no more. Placing a timeclock on how long man will occupy this planet.

    I am telling you, even if you are not listening, you were never Christians. Here is my point, some of you made it for me.

    You were in a club. You quit the club, maybe because the club no longer fit, you outgrew it. Did not care for the other people in the sand box. They did not, as one person refered to, agree with homosexuality. I do not also.

    I say you were never Christians in God’s kingdom, not in God’s mind, or book, if you will. God knew you would walk, just as the parable of the seed and the sower. That is you.

    Will you be the ones the Bible states, “But, we did many works in your name. And I will say to them, Depart from me, you that worked iniquity, I NEVER KNEW YOU.”

    Some of you, maybe all will make that plea.

    You cannot not wish God away, your grave is not your end.

    because it is the only way to God. It is the only provision God offers man.

    If there is another way, Jesus Christ died in vain. The entire Bible is the address of one man, from start to finish.

    One way, and it is narrow.

  • 20. GeorgeZ  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Roy,

    Got to jump on a plane in an hour, going to the Raider vrs Denver game in Oakland? Are you jealous? No? Didnt think so.

  • 21. GeorgeZ  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:34 am

    correction

    Jesus Christ is the only provision for all mankind. Gen. 3:15

  • 22. mikespeir  |  September 27, 2009 at 11:33 am

    You cannot not wish God away

    And you, GeorgeZ, can’t wish him into existence.

    As to the other things your wrote, I like all former Christian believers, have heard the preaching and even did some of it myself. I’m familiar with what Christians and the Bible say. I’m not buying it. Your preaching won’t get me to buy it. Now, if you want to come up with some actual evidence and argue from that evidence….

    On the other hand, if all you’re here for is to quote the Bible and issue dire pronouncements as to our eternal destinies, you’ve done your job.

  • 23. Joshua  |  September 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Okay, I do not believe you can walk away from real saving faith. No matter what your emotions tell you.

    I hereby dub this the iylydnb fallacy. If you leave you did not believe.

    A clever way to put thoughts into someone else’s mind so that you do not have to address your own.

    George, I’ll bet you do bad things, right? Well, this means you are not a true Christian, because *true* Christians – if they really believed God was in the room with them and could destroy their ass – would never do anything bad. So you must not really believe (thanks orDover).

  • 24. anti-supernaturalist  |  September 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    We threaten your baseless lifestyle. . . we will take away your power

    To directly attack an entrenched institution has value as a way of dislodging culturally conditioned believers — those “born to the faith”. Usually young adults first indoctrinated by parents, further brainwashed by other xian “authority” figures, and punished for “insubordination” — for example:

    Questioning and denouncing dictates from the Divine Misogynist, tall tales from the Intelligent Designer, nihilistic values from the Great Lawgiver.

    When the cultural cost of membership (submission) exceed its perceived benefit — the previously faithful vote with their deserting feet.

    Xianity cannot be refuted; it can only be dismantled. The de-deification of culture (including the sciences) is our task for the next 100 years.

    • material basis of xian power

    Xianity would not have survived without its secular welfare benefits (50 CE), roman imperial patronage (313 CE), and finally the destruction of antiquity under the jack-boots of theocratic Byzantium (450 CE).

    The very earliest xians (50 CE) certainly received benefits in the-here-and-now for their faith: group solidarity, decent burial of the dead, and ideological support, especially nurturing anti-intellectualism, antisemitism, and class hatred. (1Cor1:19-28)

    Doubtless, xianity still has secular “prizes” to offer as it has for 2,000 years. — But psychological comfort, communal warmth, pathways for employment, fraudulent enrichment, political power and right-wing terrorist acts— are irrelevant to the truth of any claim, whether made first by Paul or later writers of Jesus legends, whether accepted into xian orthodoxy or not.

    Members of any sect within islam, xianity, judaism, or zoroastrianism (the big-4 empire forming monster-theisms) can cite their myths, cultic practices, endlessly circular magical texts (“scriptures”) and commentaries (”theologies”) to equal effect.

    Reason is the Devil’s whore. — Luther

    Citing an alleged holy book in defense of itself is totally illogical. The monotheists’ magical texts are neither self-guaranteeing nor divinely inspired. They are fictional recruiting propaganda. Their theologies are fifth-rate fan fiction.

    What uplifts me, what comforts me, what I’m willing to die for, what I’m willing to kill you for. . . is no evidence whatsoever that my religious belief is true or false.

    Such reasoning exemplifies ignoratio elenchi — lack of any logical connection between statements about anyone’s actions or psychological states and any religious claim.

    Faith provides no reasons — consequently xianity must indoctrinate, lie, and punish. It must feed upon the faithful to enrich itself to buy political influence.

    You xians are beneficiaries of an unequaled fraud — a long-lived, world spanning, immensely profitable God Fraud.

    We will dismantle your celestial ponzi-scheme.

    the anti-supernaturalist

  • 25. writerdd  |  September 27, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    “celestial ponzi-scheme”

    LOVE IT! :-)

  • 26. Amy  |  September 27, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    writerdd,

    Great piece–it certainly rings true to me.

    Roy,

    Did he run around doing magic tricks.

    Well, if raising people from the dead, healing the blind and lame, and walking on water are magic tricks, then yeah.

    Here’s a experiment anyone can try. In any relationship you are a part of, be Jesus to the other person, whatever that means to you. Love everybody, treat everybody as if you worship them. Listen with your heart. Have empathy.

    Well, that’s an experiment you can try with another religion–Buddhism. You could be Buddha to the other person. Buddha came up with a lot of this stuff waaay before Jesus made the scene.

    Christianity is a lifestyle, not a religion. There is no doctrinal line to toe, nor list of rules to follow.

    Really? Wow. I guess there aren’t many Christians then. Good thing you figured out the “true” version of Christianity. Too bad for the rest of those fools.

    We are fully human and fully divine.

    That sounds like a doctrine to me.

    Everybody can do it whether they believe it or not. Believing it is the first step toward doing it.

    Huh? You can do it even if you don’t believe it but believing it is the first step? That’s like saying I can walk without moving my feet but moving my feet is the first step.

    George,

    No one in this room has explained why Christianity made it past the first week after the cross.
    Not even Orthodox Jews argue that Jesus was not crucified.
    Why do so many of you?

    So a religion surviving is the criteria for it being true? Well then, Hinduism is far older than Christianity, so it must be even more true.

    And in my time here reading de-con, I don’t recall anyone denying that Jesus was crucified. What a lot of us don’t believe is that he rose from the dead, walked around for 40 days, raised people from the dead, floated up on a cloud into heaven, and will return someday to judge humanity.

  • 27. Blue  |  September 27, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Awesome article writerdd. It really rang true with me, and reminded me of what happened when I started seeking for answers.

  • 28. finallyhappy  |  September 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    excellent article!

  • 29. Roi des Foux  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    And in my time here reading de-con, I don’t recall anyone denying that Jesus was crucified.

    Well then let me be the first to deny that Jesus was crucified, or even existed.

    http://ebonmusings.org/atheism/camel1.html

  • 30. Roy  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Roi des Foux:

    I believed that god wanted me to do good, but I was concerned by the existence of people who believed (because they were Christians) that homosexuality was the worst sin possible, and women should have a subservient role, and anyone who didn’t follow Jesus was going to Hell for all eternity.

    Homesexuality is not the worst sin possible. Everybody has a subservient role. To whom? Each other. No-one who didn’t, doesn’t, hasn’t yet, etc., follow/followed Jesus, is going to Hell (whatever and wherever that is) for all eternity. I’m not concerned about the existence of people who think these things, but rather that their thinking is apparently so distorted. BTW, “roi” is/are my initials.

    George:

    ROY, you are very special, will get with you in a moment.

    I don’t know why you think I’m any more or less special than anybody else here. I’m not.

    Got to jump on a plane in an hour, going to the Raider vrs Denver game in Oakland? Are you jealous? No? Didnt think so.

    Have fun! … and you are correct. I’m not jealous.

    Anti-supernaturalist:

    I can’t disagree with anything in your comment.

    Amy:

    Well, if raising people from the dead, healing the blind and lame, and walking on water are magic tricks, then yeah.

    Do you believe everything you read?

    Well, that’s an experiment you can try with another religion–Buddhism. You could be Buddha to the other person. Buddha came up with a lot of this stuff waaay before Jesus made the scene.

    I agree.

    Really? Wow. I guess there aren’t many Christians then. Good thing you figured out the “true” version of Christianity. Too bad for the rest of those fools.

    Yes, really. Fools? What fools?

    That sounds like a doctrine to me.

    It’s not.

    Huh? You can do it even if you don’t believe it but believing it is the first step? That’s like saying I can walk without moving my feet but moving my feet is the first step.

    Let me see if I can re-phrase myself if a way that will make sense to you.

    Jesus taught us to love unconditionally, did he not? Do you believe you can do that? Actually, you can and it will be much easier for you to do it if you *believe* that you can do it. Many Christians do not in fact believe that they can do this. Is it an easy thing to do? No, of course not. If it were, the world would be a much better place than it is, right now. But we are collectively getting there, slowly but surely. It has to happen in the hearts and minds of individuals. It is a tedious process.

  • 31. Lucian  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Yes, D.D., I know perfectly well what You mean…

  • 32. GeorgeZ  |  September 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    FOUX

    If you deny Jesus even existed, you are not even in the converstation. You exempt yourself.

  • 33. GeorgeZ  |  September 27, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Amy, this was my statement regarding Christ, your example of Hinduism makes not sense. Not even close to an equal comparison. No faith in the world can compare to the claims of scripture concerning Jesus Christ.

    No one in this room has explained why Christianity made it past the first week after the cross.
    Not even Orthodox Jews argue that Jesus was not crucified.
    Why do so many of you?
    \
    AMY
    So a religion surviving is the criteria for it being true? Well then, Hinduism is far older than Christianity, so it must be even more true.

    Amy????? please.

    Amy, Hinduism or any other ism does not have a founder that was crucified, claimed to be raised from the dead.

    Your example has no merit.

  • 34. Roi des Foux  |  September 27, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    If you deny Jesus even existed, you are not even in the converstation. You exempt yourself.

    I guess that’s true. The conversation about “why Christianity made it past the first week after the cross” is meaningless because there never was a “cross” in the sense that you mean.

  • 35. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Here’s a experiment anyone can try. In any relationship you are a part of, be Jesus to the other person, whatever that means to you. Love everybody, treat everybody as if you worship them. Listen with your heart. Have empathy.

    Roy, I completely agree with you. Whether or not the Jesus being spoken of is real or not, for those who hold him in their mind as an ideal man and are wise and can distinguish between the Jesus of wrath spoken of in Revelation and the Jesus meek and mild that children often adore – this is a good idea.

    My concern personally is that some people can get the ideal mixed up with reality. The key is to seek perfection of life, and then to try and figure out what this means. In the same way that a person seeks perfection in their art or craft, men should seek perfection in their behavior toward their fellow man and in their reaction to life’s events. If the ideal is identified with a character who himself appears to have flaws or is in some way limited to a particular era’s flaws, we actually hold up human progress to that point in time.

    In a way, men need a symbol of perfection to aim toward. The problem is picking this symbol. One man chooses Jesus and another chooses Lenin. In my opinion, we need something more concrete than this method. We need to identify the human tendency (to idealize a “father-figure” and to mimic that figure’s traits) and then figure out what this father figure should be like and aim toward that.

    The problem is when one identifies this figure and puts words in its mouth that can be misinterpreted; or worse, identifies a figure that is a complete asshole. Is Jesus an asshole? Depends on which person is doing the interpreting. The Jesus of Revelation sure looks like it. If I interpret the actions of God toward the Canaanites as the actions of Jesus, then yes, Jesus is an asshole to me because I think that anyone who acts that way under the pretenses described in the Old Testament is an asshole.
    The difference here is one of interpretation.

    So while you, Roy, may have a healthy, harmless and harm-reducing (righteous) perspective of Christ, there are others who identify you by your label of “Christian” with those whom they have known to be anything but righteous. At this point, you become – in their mind at least – a potential agent of harm and they will react with angst, worry, frustration, labeling, etc (persecution). In the same way, some atheists choose to avoid the label atheist simply because it is identified with harm in the minds of others and they will be persecuted for it as well.

    So then our problem is not necessarily ourselves but what we identify with.

    So then, we do need an identity – but we need an identity that, in itself, reduces the greatest amount of potential harm. But how do we do it without alienating others and implying that we are potential agents of harm?

    That’s a serious question I have not fully explored yet. I am open to ideas.

    ~

    Roy, Now that I think about it, it would be good for you to share your position with us on this site. Perhaps you should contact the site admin to become a writer. And yes, I do realize this is all part of your “evil plan muahaha!” as I do know you consider yourself a witness to those of us who are lost. But I don’t care, because at least you do appear to be able to genuinely identify with at least some of the emotions and perspectives of some of us de-converts.

    At the very least, sharing your story would demonstrate that some of us (me at least) are open to the possibility of being wrong and can entertain a different position.

    And George, no comments about my post reminding you of the forum in Athens. Heck, maybe Roy will be your Paul :)

  • 36. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 12:05 am

    If you deny Jesus even existed, you are not even in the converstation. You exempt yourself.

    So Paul was not allowed to converse about Greek gods because he did not believe they existed?

    George, please for the sake of civility do not be – may I be so bold as to use the word – naive. Think about what you say before you speak. I know I, at least, would appreciate it.

  • 37. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 12:06 am

    George, so Ray Comfort is not allowed to converse about atheists because he does not believe atheists exist?

  • 38. Quester  |  September 28, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Bravo, DD. The closest I ever come to attempting to deconvert someone (not that I do this much) is to recommend they study their holy texts and think about what it says their god(s) want of them. Nothing seems to be more effective in causing a person to lose their faith.

  • 39. GeorgeZ  |  September 28, 2009 at 7:59 am

    Joshua.

    Are you even close to serious? You want to compare Greek Mythology to Jesus Christ.

    So Paul was not allowed to converse about Greek gods because he did not believe they existed?

    George, please for the sake of civility do not be – may I be so bold as to use the word – naive. Think about what you say before you speak. I know I, at least, would appreciate it.

    Naive, Josh??? Paul spoke the Greeks regarding the many god’s they had fabricated, they had one who was called “the unknown god.”

    Paul stated that this unknown god is the only God that was real. The rest came from mans natural quest to worship something besides themselves. Unlike athiests.

    Talk about true hypocricy, you Josh, and many like you in de conversion, look to me as being naive. You advise to think before you speak?

    Here is a difference. You know there is nothing beyond this life, or that it does not envolve Jesus Christ, or the God of Israel, correct??? Thefore, I am naive, brain washed, do not understand history, have connected all the wrong dots.

    Twisted the Bible to fit what I want to believe. Well, Josh, and all others like you, it is not searching for a father image, not throwing my common sense to the wind to believe Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Nor that no one will come to God, but by Him.

    Several have mentioned homosexuality, others should have mentioned abortion, lets include porn, the occult. Why shouldn’t kids have sex at any age they wish? They are people with rights.

    Homosexuality is forbidden in the Bible, Old and New Testament. Is there a valid reason for this?

    If you are just an animal, maybe not, no reason required. Do as you wish, the ole, “if it feels good, do it.”

    Here is my point, once you neatly put the God of the Bible out of your mind, life, no requirements except the rules of the society you live in, you are done.

    The Bible talks much about the battle for the mind. You have lost yours. You are the one who has seared his conscience with the hot iron of your own will.

    Paul presented an agruement to the Greeks, I believe many of them got the message.

    By the way, so did many Jews in 33AD.

    I

  • 40. Amy  |  September 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Roi des Foux,

    Well then let me be the first to deny that Jesus was crucified, or even existed.

    Consider my claim retracted. :-)

    Roy,

    Do you believe everything you read?

    Nope. I tend to be pretty skeptical of most of the stuff I read. I think that would be impossible anyway ;-).

    Your statement that humans are fully divine and fully human came across to me as a doctrine by the way you put it. Reading your other responses helps me to see that you were just offering this as your opinion, not fact, so my apologies there. Thanks for clarifying the “believe” statement.

    GeorgeZ,

    Your example has no merit.

    Sorry to waste your time with my meritless examples. I realize I’m not the intellectual equal of most of the people at this site, but I try sometimes anyway. :-) I will bother you no more.

  • 41. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Are you even close to serious? You want to compare Greek Mythology to Jesus Christ.

    Damn right, I’m serious. Deal with it.

    Naive, Josh??? Paul spoke the Greeks regarding the many god’s they had fabricated, they had one who was called “the unknown god.”

    Paul: greeks gods are myth
    De-converts: Christian god is a myth
    GeorgeZ: OMGzors, you can’t say that Paul was wrong for conversing about Greek gods when he does not believe in them but it is wrong for anyone to converse about MY god if they do not believe in Him!!

  • 42. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 11:01 am

    (Because, secretly we all do believe and you KNOW it.)

  • 43. GeorgeZ  |  September 28, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Joshua,

    Obviously you missed my point.

    Maybe I did not make it clear. Either way, let me say it this way.

    None of the greek gods walked this earth, Jesus did.

    Paul, according to his own account, met Jesus Christ. This was after he had been involved in the hunting down, and killing of Christians, as in the stoning of Stephan.

    Regardless, my point is very transparent. There is not a book proclaiming one nation will be God’s sign to an unbelieving world. Israel.

    Deal with it, Josh. So far you have not.

  • 44. DSimon  |  September 28, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Your point is “very transparent” in that I can’t seem to see it…

    Listen, the Greek religion also claimed that Greek gods walked the earth. You evaluate that claim and find it untenable. We’re doing the same thing to your claim that Jesus walked the Earth.

    If you have good evidence about this Jesus fellow, then let’s talk about that. However, it’s silly to behave as though just because it’s your belief under scrutiny, different rules apply.

  • 45. GeorgeZ  |  September 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    DSimon, are you saying that Jesus Christ was not in Israel, at the time the Bible states he was? Seriously?

  • 46. Brian  |  September 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    It IS rather curious that no contemporary historians seem to mention him or any of the many miracles that supposedly put Judea into such an uproar. I mean, this guy raises Lazarus from the dead. You’d think that would’ve caught the attention of a least one person who thought it important enough to write down.

    My guess is there WAS a guy who walked the ground somewhere around this time. His name may or may not have been Jesus. Either way, he probably did piss enough people off to get crucified and a cult-myth rose up around him and was passed down through oral tradition (like Paul Bunyan or Johnny Appleseed) and by the time somebody DID decide to write something down it had been embellished in a tall tale.

    Check out “Jesus Interrupted” by Bart Ehrman. He talks a lot about this.

  • 47. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Yeah, the point is that we honestly don’t know whether he existed or not. We can speculate… gather all the data… come up with potential scenarios, but the problem is that our data itself is suspect: so any conclusions gathered from the data itself are suspect as well.

    Why is the data suspect? Because it was written by humans and humans always have a host of motives beyond just “tell the exact, unadultered historically accurate facts.”

  • 48. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    None of the greek gods walked this earth, Jesus did.

    This is absolutely ridiculous, as some of the myths about the Greek gods say they walked this earth. How else could they impregnate women?

    Sound familiar?

  • 49. CheezChoc  |  September 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Quoting George: DNA being assigned to monkeys as near human
    ——————–
    What does this even mean? DNA is not assigned. DNA simply is. Yes, we humans share quite a bit of DNA with primates. It’s not my decision. It’s the way it is.

  • 50. SnugglyBuffalo  |  September 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    George

    Since you do not accept the Bible as inspired, it is circular reasoning for me to believe that I can re-convert the de converted.
    I cannot, never thought I could. But, what I can do is feel your pain. I do mean that.

    So, you’re not here to reconvert us, and you’re obviously not here for an honest discussion. You’re here to “feel our pain,” which apparently means trying to produce vapid arguments for your point of view and smacks of preaching and/or trolling.

    Seriously, what is your purpose here?

  • 51. George  |  September 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Cheez………..maybe the word assigned to general. My point was that a monkey and man does have a high percentage of DNA matching. But not 100%.

    Man is alone, according to the Bible and science, we do not have any animal like man. You know exactly what I mean.

  • 52. George  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Cheez………..maybe the word assigned to general. My point was that a monkey and man does have a high percentage of DNA matching. But not 100%.

    Man is alone, according to the Bible and science, we do not have any animal like man. You know exactly what I mean.

    Brian said

    It IS rather curious that no contemporary historians seem to mention him or any of the many miracles that supposedly put Judea into such an uproar. I mean, this guy raises Lazarus from the dead. You’d think that would’ve caught the attention of a least one person who thought it important enough to write down

    What was Luke? Many historians have credited him with being the historian of that time. CS Lewis, many others.

  • 53. Joshua  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Seriously, what is your purpose here?

    My sentiments exactly.

  • 54. George  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    And still, no one can explain the nation of Israel, current events.

    What do you believe is happening on this planet?

    Are you even awake? Do you not see where this is headed?

    Man has never built weapons he ultimately does not use.

    Do you actually believe this is not going to be the case?

    Call it dooms day preaching, call it what you wish. It is the reality of this generation.

    Israel will be the nation that brings this to its climax.

    You must be informed enough to know what his happening with Russia, Iran and Israel.

    Why Israel? You can’t answer?

    Why the nation with the blood sacrifice, which stopped in 70AD, which will start again on temple mount. This event brings the antichrist to Jerusalem. You know the event.

    The scriptures claim Jesus is the final sacrifice, the messiah.

    Blood sacrifice will begin again in Israel.

    You are going to hear more and more about temple mount.

    There is only one reason.

  • 55. Joe  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I heard if you put 100 monkeys in a room with typewriters there is a chance one of them might come up with a post worthy of this thread. Just a thought.

  • 56. George  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    So, you’re not here to reconvert us, and you’re obviously not here for an honest discussion. You’re here to “feel our pain,” which apparently means trying to produce vapid arguments for your point of view and smacks of preaching and/or trolling.

    Seriously, what is your purpose here?

    I hope to understand how you can ignore the nation of Israel in prophecy. Just the fact that Israel is reborn as a nation should require curiosity, at least.

    It is the nation of the Bible, all the prophets come from her, the Messiah was to come from Israel.
    The Muslim and Islamic states are the nations calling for Israel’s destruction.

    You cannot see it? You seem to want to wish it away.

    You can argue science, there are great minds on both sides of the creation vrs evolution issue.

    I guess I am hoping one of you will remember your roots in your faith, as the times get more and more obvious, you will change your mind. Realize what is happening and why.

    But, the Bible states the people will believe the lie the antichrist puts forth, follow him. I hope that is not you people.

    I mean no harm

  • 57. writerdd  |  September 28, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I’m not in pain, so maybe George is feeling his own pain?

  • 58. mikespeir  |  September 28, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    “I hope to understand how you can ignore the nation of Israel in prophecy. Just the fact that Israel is reborn as a nation should require curiosity, at least.”

    Oh, it does incite curiosity. (Bear in mind that Egypt has also come back into existence recently. So, while unusual, the rebirth of an ancient state isn’t unheard of.)

    I know of two OT verses that are suggested by Christians to predict Israel’s “rebirth”: Isaiah 11:11 and Ezekiel 37:21. Either will do *so long as you start with the assumption* that they’re predicting 1948. Neither, however, is compelling without that assumption. No dates are given. The circumstances are cloudy at best, and the particulars that are given don’t jibe with what has happened since 1948. They’re both probably talking about the return of the Jews after the Exile, and it’s more credible to believe they were inserted into the text after the fact. In other words, there’s no reason at all for anyone who doesn’t believe the Bible to start believing it on the strength of either of these “prophecies.”

  • 59. LeoPardus  |  September 28, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Say one thing for George. He’s one of the funniest trolls I’ve seen.

  • 60. George  |  September 28, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Actually, Joel and Zechariah are better.

    Someone mentioned the Bible blew it on Tyre, do not believe that was you. But, this person was wrong.

    The Bible is an accurate record of history. Face it, and deal with it.

    Deal with the Jews, and Israel. God’s chosen people.

    Good luck.

  • 61. writerdd  |  September 28, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    “The Bible is an accurate record of history.”

    LMAO.

  • 62. George  |  September 28, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Say one thing for George. He’s one of the funniest trolls I’ve seen.

    Thanks, I guess lol

    Actually, Joel and Zechariah are better.

    Someone mentioned the Bible blew it on Tyre, do not believe that was you. But, this person was wrong.

    The Bible is an accurate record of history. Face it, and deal with it.

    Deal with the Jews, and Israel. God’s chosen people.

    Good luck.

  • 63. mikespeir  |  September 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    “Actually, Joel and Zechariah are better. ”

    Verses please? And what makes those more convincing? I mean, I know more myself. For instance, Jeremiah 31:10. And there are others that are interpreted that way. But I want you to point out exactly what you’re talking about and support it. Failure to do so will show you don’t even take yourself seriously. I’ll guarantee nobody here will.

  • 64. HeIsSailing  |  September 28, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    George says:

    My point was that a monkey and man does have a high percentage of DNA matching. But not 100%.
    Man is alone, according to the Bible and science, we do not have any animal like man.

    You know exactly what I mean.

    No George. I have no idea what you are talking about. I am not sure what your point here is, except that man is unique. But every animal is unique to every other animal. Humans and chimpanzees share 98% similarity in their respective DNA sequences. Are you seriously claiming that since chimps do not share 100% of their DNA sequences with humans, humans are then somehow unique?? That makes *no* sense. If chimps shared 100% with humans they would be … humans.

    But chimps are also unique in the animal kingdom. No other animal shares their DNA sequence – not exactly. Their closest relative is the human, with 98%. According to science, we do not have any animal like the chimpanzee.

    Yup. Homo sapiens is unique. Pan troglodytes is unique too. So is my dog canis familiaris. So is every other critter you can name.

    So what’s your point?

  • 65. Brian  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    What was Luke? Many historians have credited him with being the historian of that time. CS Lewis, many others.

    What was Luke? Luke was somebody will a clear vested interest in putting forward his version of the events (real or made up). Also, from what I know, Luke wasn’t “comtemporary”. The Act and The Gospel of Luke were written something like 30-60 years after Jesus died. That would be like me writing a history of Vietnam based purely on the stories my parents and their friends told me.

    But no other objective historians (historians who are historically credited as historians) seem to mention Jesus despite mentioning other mundane details of life going on in Jerusalem at the time.

    But even if we WERE going to count Luke a legitimate historian, even HE doesn’t mention the raising of Lazarus. Seems like that one would have caught his attention.

  • 66. Brian  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

    And when I say, “history of Vietman” I meant the Vietnam War.

  • 67. Brian  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Apparently I’m not awake enough yet to actually proofread my crap. :-)

  • 68. LeoPardus  |  September 29, 2009 at 10:09 am

    No George. I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Not to worry. He doesn’t either.

  • 69. orDover  |  September 29, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Sorry to jump in so late in the game here, but I’ve been really struggling with this issue lately. I wish my memory was better of my junior high and high school years, and I wish the events of my deconversions were clearer, but it was all so gradual that it’s hard to pull the pieces together.

    Sometimes when I think back, I think that maybe I didn’t really believe in God after all. As Josh mentioned in comment #23, I certainly never acted like I actually thought there was an omnipresent God watching my every move. I also don’t remember feeling any “warm fuzzies” during church or chapel services at my school.

    However, I was deeply interested in taking a scholarly approach to the Bible. I took my Bible courses in school very seriously. They seemed the most important to me, and if you would have asked me in high school or junior high what my favorite class was, I would have surely said “Bible!” Is this where I went wrong? My friends didn’t seem to care about it as much as I did, but they seemed more “touched” during worship services. I never felt comfortable raising my hands when we sung praise songs, but I felt comfortable reading through concordances and writing entire research papers on a single verse.

    So I guess religion for me was more of a cerebral pursuit rather than an emotional or even a spiritual one. I was raised in a very religious home, and so I accepted the existence of God as a fact, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that from an early age I was largely uncomfortable with my identity as a Christian. There were a lot of aspects of the faith that I didn’t like, especially the “warm fuzzy” stuff like the “I love you Jesus” songs. I wonder if that is because some part of my brain never quite bought into it.

    Actually, when I really think about it hard, I find it difficult to even call myself “an apostate,” because I stopped believing in God around the same time that I became an independent, thinking young adult capable of making my own life decisions. If I would have continued to be a Christian into my late teens/early adult years, then maybe I’d agree to the “apostate” label, but as I see it now, the “decision” I made as a 5 year old to “accept Christ” was not a real decision, because I hadn’t truly considered what it meant to be a Christian or what the faith entailed. I was just doing what my family told me to do, in the same way that I ate my vegetables and wore a coat when it was cold outside. When I stated to become an adult, when I began to truly develop into the person I am now, I almost immediately rejected the faith. So I feel rather less like a Christian apostate and more like a neutral, unaffiliated person who at a responsible age investigated the faith and then rejected it based on its shortcomings.

    I, of course, do not mean to suggest that anyone else fits this same description exactly, especially those of you who were involved in the ministry and were Christians during your adult years, but when Christians come around here and start to say, “You were never really a Christian,” a part of me wants to say, “You’re right. I never fully bought in to your religious bullshit, and as soon as I was old enough to make a real decision for myself, I rejected it entirely.”

  • 70. Mystery Porcupine  |  September 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    orDover – you sound much like my husband. We both came to faith as little children, and he is a total thinker. So his faith was very intellectual, though he made the same confession of faith as I did and made similar moral choices based on Biblical teachings. He memorized entire chapters of Scripture too. By the time he hit his twenties, he was more going through the motions of faith than anything else. He believed Christianity was providing good moral structure for his family and for us as a couple, it provided community structure, etc. But he also believed in evolution and wasn’t really emotional about God at all. The thought has crossed my mind that maybe he wasn’t ever really a Christian – at least he wasn’t emotionally or personally connected to “God” the way that I was.

    It’s interesting that you almost agree when people say you never were a Christian. Maybe there should be a term for “childhood Christian who grew right on out of it.” ;) It seems like it would fit. When people say we never were Christians, I get angry. Because I invested so much in God and the church, spent countless hours sharing Christ with people, worshipping, leading, etc. I definitely had that personal, transforming connection going on. I KNOW I was a Christian, no matter what I don’t believe now. I fully experienced what I’m turning away from – the good and the bad.

    It seems to me that you’re the lucky one for getting out sooner and not feeling such strong ties to all of it. It sounds like god isn’t all caught up in your emotional life and thinking the way that he is in mine. You really do sound like my husband. He’s not having much of a problem with adjusting to life as an agnostic, and I am dealing with all kinds of changes, a bit of an identity crisis. :)

  • 71. Brian  |  September 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve wondered the same thing myself simply because my mind and stomach never completely settled around the idea that Jesus was the one and only way. This stemmed clearly out of my sickness at the thought of so many people going to hell simply because they’d (to quote George Carlin) “picked the wrong answer to the god question.”

    Despite my discomfort though I really did step out and faith and try to believe it, even try to “like” it, begging God to help me believe… there was a Bible verse that spoke to this topic though I can’t think of what it is right now. The one that says something to the effect that knowledge of God is something that only God Himself can give. Or words to that effect.

    That’s also why I can’t really claim that I “had a personal relationship with Jesus.” The best I can say is that I really really tried and I really really wanted one. But my mind was unable to delude itself into believing that it was feeling something it wasn’t. And really the only reason why I even feel the need to clarify that is because when a Christian comes at you with that argument, at least for me so far, I feel the need to answer it… even though I KNOW that the whole basis for that argument is crap, it’s an important sticking point for a lot of Christians. For better or worse though, there’s no way you’ll ever convince hardliners like senor Jorje here that we were as much Christians as we were humanly capable of. If God wasn’t willing to help us out that little rest of the way, well maybe we were predestined to hell anyway. Go Calvin.

  • 72. orDover  |  September 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Brian, your last paragraph is it exactly.

    “The best I can say is that I really really tried and I really wanted one. But my mind was unable to delude itself into believing that it was feeling something it wasn’t.”

    Right. Nothing was ever there. It was always empty, and even though I tried to follow the crowd and pretend like I “felt” God, I felt nothing. I certainly wanted to have religious experiences, but I guess I wasn’t deluded enough to convince myself that the nothingness was actually something. It all makes so much sense now though. I never felt it because God was never there.

  • 73. Joshua  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    This reminds me quite a bit of my desire to seek assurance of my salvation. I remember trying so hard to get… something, *anything* that would resemble the “Spirit testifying with our spirit” that I was saved.

    The irony of the thing was that sometimes I would be fully assured of my salvation – without a doubt in my soul. Other times I would be without any sensation whatsoever that I was a Christian.

    Then, to make things even more confusing, Christians would tell me that when I didn’t feel save, I should still believe anyway.

    If the Holy Spirit is so imperceptible as to be confused with emotions then the Holy Spirit might as well not exist.

    I just needed some data… any data… that indicated that this Holy Spirit thing actually existed in reality, rather than just being told – forced by threats – to interpret certain data as if it was coming from this Holy Spirit thing.

  • 74. Joshua  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    “For better or worse though, there’s no way you’ll ever convince hardliners like senor Jorje here that we were as much Christians as we were humanly capable of.”

    But Brian, it is not about what YOU DO, it is about having FAITH. GOD does the WORK in your LIFE! Don’t you get it? You people are so close-minded and foolish. IT”S NOT ABOUT YOU!!!!111oneoneone

    I will be pray for you all. You are going to hell and you do not know it. I just wish you fall down before Jesus and repent of your sins and accept HIS free GIFT to you of salvation. You were never saved.

    Edgar Allen

  • 75. Joshua  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    *Allan

  • 76. mikespeir  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Hey, orDover,

    Maybe you just avoided the painful intermediate stage. All the better!

  • 77. Joshua  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    orDover,

    Thought I would post this as a flashback, because it seemed fitting:

    “During my elementary years I proudly identified myself as a Christian, but I hadn’t given much thought as to what that actually meant. By the time I reached junior high I had rededicated my life to God with teary-eyed passion. I started taking my faith much more seriously. I began doing daily “devotionals”—reading a passage from the Bible or a page from a devotional book that contained a verse and words of instruction or inspiration. I prayed for at least 15 minutes before going to sleep every night, and attempted to “pray without ceasing” during the day, which resulted in my inner dialog switching from a conversation with myself to a conversation with God, a habit that became so engrained in my psyche that it still rears it’s head from time to time.” – From orDover’s deconversion story last year.

    You were definitely trying, to say the least – far more than most Christians were. Glad to see you figured it out!

  • 78. orDover  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I was trying, but even then it was more academic. I did things with a formulaic style, rather than being “moved by the spirit.” I did things I thought I was supposed to do. Even the “devotionals,” which were supposed to be a way to bring a believer closer to God through communion was something I did systematically, i.e. reading through Genesis three times in an attempt to memorize the timeline of events. What I don’t remember about those exercises, and what I’m skeptical about now, is that I ever felt “peace like a river” or anything like that. I don’t think I felt anything.

  • 79. Joshua  |  September 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Ahhh, I gotcha. For me it was all about feeling things… trying to feel or reproduce feelings of rapture that I had had before. The intellectual was there as well, but it was more or less a gateway to reproduce feelings or explain feelings I had had.

    Oh man, sometimes I felt things that cannot even be explained. Complete rapture, joy, etc. The problem was I also was able to feel the opposite. Complete despair, anxiety, depression, etc.

  • 80. Joe  |  September 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Chimpanzees are cool. 98% cool. I have yet to see one cry at the sight of a beautiful sunrise, or write a symphony though. :)

  • 81. Joe  |  September 29, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Just a few posts too late. :) I was referring to #64.

  • 82. AB  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    winterdd…thanks so much for writing this post. I can sooo relate. I was definitely totally committed to my faith, pursuing it with all I had. Whatever I did…career, coursework, friends, hobbies…I did from the perspective of serving God. I was exhausted from trying to see ‘purpose’ in everything, but didn’t know it. Although I had moments in a worship service or during a quiet time where I ‘felt’ the presence of God, I’d have to say my approach was somewhat more intellectual. At times I would journal what I thought God was saying to me and it was amazing and created such a feeling of connection. Other times I would watch the passions of others dancing or weeping before God and feel as though there was something totally wrong with me. All the teachings about it being important to ‘know’ God personally confused me…I was doing my darnedest but a knowing that in any way approximated the knowing of a real, flesh and blood person eluded me. But regardless of my struggles, I was 100% convinced that Christianity was true. I passionately wanted to please God and help others to know him. As part of that passion, I pursued truth. I wanted to understand. I wanted to serve God the best I could so I searched for how to do that. I wanted to worship him in spirit and truth. So I read and I prayed and I thought. At first my concerns centered around the church. Maybe it was just the practices of the church that were off kilter and creating my dis-ease. I read theories about how Constantine’s approval messed everything up. I started to advocate the emerging church. I went back into history to see if I could trace a time when things were more genuine. Then I got more involved with groups outside the church, mostly through university and I started to see how my assumptions about the misery of the world apart from Christ weren’t accurate, how people could be good without God. That made me look inside the church and realize believers were sometimes worse off than unbelievers. Basically my world was being turned upside down. I could go into a lot more detail…including the fact that I started reading this site among others and found what was being said to make a lot more sense than many of the regurgitated arguments I kept hearing in favor of faith. Then last summer I decided to take a two month retreat, to hole myself up in a small apartment and totally focus on seeking God. I prayed, I journalled, I read books I had specifically chosen for the occasion. I was searching for something, some core that I could rest on that everyone (all Christians) or even the Bible itself agreed on without contradiction. Maybe Christianity wasn’t about the hype of the Charismatics or the unbending ways of the Amish (to name two extremes)…but what was it about? What did it mean to be a Christian? What did God want of me? Sure I could choose some things I thought I believed…but anybody can make such stuff up. There had to be something I could stand on. But I came out of the summer with nothing. Absolutely nothing. And over the next several months I relinquished my faith. There was nothing that could justify this particular set of beliefs over any other. One thing that really struck me was when I stopped believing that God would answer, he no longer did. In any human relationship, if one party is struggling to trust or believe, and the other person loves them, they will pursue them. I wasn’t looking for signs or wonders, just the existence of that ‘still small voice’ even in the face of my doubts. Nothing. So bottom line, I can relate to winterdd’s post in that I pursued my faith with a dedication unparalleled in most people I know…and it led led me out of that faith.

  • 83. AB  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    I wanted to make a short comment with regards to the dialogue with George or GeorgeZ presuming they are the same person. I’m a relative newcomer to this blog. I’ve only commented once before. I read the posts on here and sometimes find one, like this one, that I really relate to and I get excited about reading the comments and perhaps taking part in the discussion. I could use the support group. But I find time and again that someone like George has started some sort of debate totally missing the point of the original post. In the case of someone like this who had repeatedly demonstrated an inability to get the point, I am curious as to why people respond. It doesn’t seem to be a particularly fruitful endeavor and it just discourages people like me from reading through the comments and perhaps even participating myself.

  • 84. writerdd  |  September 29, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    AB, yeah, that happens a lot. I try to ignore when the threads go way off topic, but it’s just the nature of blog comments.

    Joshua, you said, “Ahhh, I gotcha. For me it was all about feeling things… trying to feel or reproduce feelings of rapture that I had had before.” Yes, for me too. It was very emotional and dynamic for me, I was not a cerebral Christian. I never really cared about apologetics or things like that. I wanted the experiences.

    Funny, I still have spiritual experiences now that I am an atheist. I had a really strong one during a poetry reading this summer. It was just like feeling “the power of God” dropping on me in a church service. I almost couldn’t breathe. I know these experiences are real, I just don’t attribute them to anything supernatural any more.

  • 85. orDover  |  September 29, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    AB,

    If you’re looking for some good discussion and support, head over to the de-Conversion forum. It’s free from Christian trolls, and will hopefully stay that way.

  • 86. HeIsSailing  |  September 29, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Joe says:

    Chimpanzees are cool. 98% cool. I have yet to see one cry at the sight of a beautiful sunrise, or write a symphony though.

    and I have yet to see a human peel a banana with their feet. Chimps are so unlike us humans – so unique!!

    Sorry to derail the comment section. I shall cease.

  • 87. Joe  |  September 30, 2009 at 11:42 am

    HelsSailing—

    Good point! :)

  • 88. LeoPardus  |  September 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    and I have yet to see a human peel a banana with their feet.

    My sister used to eat cereal with her feet. She’d hold the bowl with one foot and manipulate the spoon with the other.

  • 89. Joshua  |  September 30, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    You know, personally I think it would be awesome if God had designed us with opposable thumb-toes *and* the ability to walk upright.

    And I think He should have designed us so that we could not reproduce until we got married.

    And He should have designed us so that we could not be sexually attracted to children. I mean, it wouldn’t be that hard, really. All He would need to do is set our brains up so that they are not triggered to sexual attraction unless a certain extremely distinct feature of our body was present, and that feature would not grow until sexual maturity. For example, maybe we could start growing a certain bone feature when we turn around 16ish. This would trigger a portion of everyone else’s brain that says “I can be attracted to this person sexually”.

    I mean, that would be nice. Think of all the problems it would solve.

  • 90. Joshua  |  September 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    we = human race in general, as I feel I have to clarify because that one sentence looks really, really weird.

  • 91. Mike  |  October 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’ve thought a great deal about your experience and why doesn’t God reach out to those who are seeking in earnest. I can honestly say I do not know. I am sure you were and are sincere. I have not doubt you were an authentic Christian. From what I read, it seems you are an open minded enough person to respond if you were to feel what you were hoping to feel when you reached that critical point just before your de-conversion. I am sorry you felt pushed away for the lack of God’s response. I know the feeling. My wife and I went through a personal tragedy which caused her to question why God does not perform miracles. Even though I could feel God’s guidance thought our terrible experience, it was in such subtle ways that I could not use it as an example to an unbeliever that God was present with us helping us along and giving us hope and a future. God kept me from despair. The experience did cause my wife however to investigate what is this experience of God pulling away. Where is He during a tragedy when with all His power He seemingly does nothing? I found it very interesting and more than a bit puzzling to discover that many of the greatest saints who are among the closest and most devoted to God experienced exactly what you describe at your point of de-conversion. Some call it the dark night of the soul. I don’t understand why God permits this, but He allows people who are so devoted to Him to get to a place where they feel no consolation from Him. They do not feel His presence. All they have is their faith and no feeling at all. Saint Therese of Liseux and Saint John of the Cross are very well known for having gone through such an experience and recently is has come to light that Mother Theresa of Calcutta experienced this for many years. I don’t understand why God allows this. I believe that paradoxically God allows this experience precisely because He loves them. It is best for them even though at the time they cannot understand why they are experiencing His seeming departure. We will never understand the mind of God. He is too deep. Investigate the newly discovered complexity of DNA which virtually makes it impossible (mathematically) that it occurred by random chance. Please don’t take my word on this, check it for yourself. In spite of these paradoxes I am convinced He loves us all very much. I cannot prove this empirically. I just know because I accept the truth of the witnesses of Christ and I accept my own experiences that God has given me which prove His love for me. I will not present the reasons why I know here because they are personal and may not have meaning to another person. Each person on this earth is unique and unrepeatable and God must speak to each person in a way they will hear it. What was convincing to me may not be convincing or compelling to another. Our life here is a mystery. It is our place of choosing where we will live for all eternity. Eight or nine or even ten decades in the light of eternity are just the blink of an eye. That does not mean we give up on life here, but we work though our trials with hope and joy, even if at times we can feel crushed under the weight of life’s burdens. We have hope for a future of peace. I know many people think that is a fantasy and I have no way to convince them otherwise. If a person chooses to live as though their life on earth is all there is they should be allowed the dignity to do so without ridicule. Also, if a person believes in God, as long as they have pondered what they believe, and not just because they are born into a certain religion, and they do not try to force it on others, as that is impossible, then they too should be allowed to live their life free from ridicule. No one has the right to force religion or atheism/secularism on another. We as human beings are gifted by God with free will, whether we realize it or not. Our free will is what makes us so special. We are not robots created to love God without question and without freely doing so. That would not be love. We can either choose to love God or we can walk away from Him. It is our choice and He does not stop us. In the end everyone will know the truth that is for sure. An honest seeker such as you will not look simply for what pleases or satisfies him; everyone can find something to please them if they look long enough but it not necessarily the truth. There is truth… Everyone one of us in the depths of our heart can seek the truth without fear because the truth will not bring fear but will set us free…but not necessarily on our timetable. Thanks………Mike

  • 92. Brian  |  October 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Pretty words, but ultimately that means that God (our loving father) is playing Russian Roulette with our eternity.

    If this life was all there was, then the whole, “God let’s us have free will thing” is cute and nice. But when the penalty of non-belief is trillions and trillions of years of torture, sorry, but I say F— free will. Show me what I need to see so that I don’t experience that.

    I love my son and I give him quite a bit of independence when it comes to exploring his world, even sometimes letting him flat out disobey me if I decide in retrospect that I’m saying “no” to something harmless. But if I saw him walking toward a LAKE OF FIRE, I don’t care how much of a little shit he’d been even moments before. I would run, chase and TACKLE him to the ground before he fell of the cliff. There comes a point where a concerned parent says, “To hell with free will, I’m putting my foot down.”

  • 93. Mike  |  October 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    What is so pretty about my words?

    You say … “Show me what I need to see so that I don’t experience that.”

    God came among us in the form of a man. He proved who He was by His works. He healed the sick and raised the dead. He died to take our punishment on Himself. Then He rose from the dead. The integrity of the witnesses to this historical event is beyond compare. The apostles lived selflessly, dying a martyr’s death rather than recant what they knew was the truth. They saw Jesus Christ raised to life after being horribly tortured and crucified. This is the truth regardless of scoffer’s attempts to rewrite history because of their intense desire for this not to be true, as that would dethrone themselves as lord of their own life. If you choose not to believe this it is your choice but it no less true for your not believing. There have also been countless miracles wrought by God though those who follow Jesus. They are well documented and beyond what science or even nature can explain. (Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Las Lajas, San Gennaro) There is proof enough for those who are open minded. The will never be enough proof for those who have shut their minds.

  • 94. Brian  |  October 1, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    The integrity of the witnesses to this historical event is beyond compare.

    Which witnesses? The four guys who wrote the Gospels and couldn’t even get their stories straight?

    The apostles lived selflessly, dying a martyr’s death rather than recant what they knew was the truth.

    By that mentality we should all be following Islam. Look how many of them are dying martyrs deaths rather than recant what they know to be true.

    This is the truth regardless of scoffer’s attempts to rewrite history

    Okay A) saying it emphatically doesn’t change it’s Trueness. And B) historians of the time are curiously silent about Jesus or any of the things he did. So we’re not trying to rewrite history… maybe the Bible, but not history.

    There is proof enough for those who are open minded. The will never be enough proof for those who have shut their minds.

    Funny, i say the same thing to people who don’t believe in evolution or who don’t think the Bible is the by-product of fallible men.

    as that would dethrone themselves as lord of their own life.

    It’s rather amazing how fast you turned from a peaceful “God loves you” approach to antagonism. Usually it takes somebody a good dozen or so empty comments before they throw their hands up at how none of us fit their preconceived notions of why we believe what we believe.

  • 95. Mike  |  October 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    HAHAHA …. you are so predictable …. you antagonize then jump on the chance to say how quick we Christains turn from peaceful to antagonistic. The tactic and your response is tired. Being a Christian does not make me perfect and I get mad just like everyone else when someone is condescending to me. It does not change the truth. As I said, there is enough proof for those who have an open mind and there will never be enough proof for those who do not want to believe. What would be enough for God to do in order for you to beleive He existed ?

  • 96. Mike  |  October 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    CORRECTION —

    Exists.

  • 97. LeoPardus  |  October 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Mike:

    Thanks for your efforts, honesty, and kind tone.

    Most of what you’ve brought up has been covered around here. Look in the Archives for some old articles I wrote (4 of them I think) that all have in the title, “Reasons why I can no longer believe” Those will cover what you talked about fairly well.

    You did bring up what is in the NT and some other stuff.
    God came among us in the form of a man. He proved who He was by His works. He healed the sick and raised the dead. He died to take our punishment on Himself. Then He rose from the dead.

    All told about in one very old book, written by primitive people with a superstitious world view.

    The integrity of the witnesses to this historical event is beyond compare.

    Ah now you do bring up something better. Trouble is that it’s not beyond compare. In terms of sheer number of manuscripts from close to the time of original autographs, it’s good. But in terms of any external sources for confirmation, it’s lousy. (FF Bruce wrote a book about extrabiblical sources for the historicity of the bible. It was a tiny book and even he had to admit it was woeful.)

    The apostles lived selflessly, dying a martyr’s death rather than recant what they knew was the truth.

    According to ..???? The antiquity sources on this are scanty indeed. It’s almost all hearsay, and oral for centuries. Basically this all comes to us via church tradition and almost nothing more.

    They saw Jesus Christ raised to life after being horribly tortured and crucified.

    So the story goes. I’ve read Josh McDowell, FF Bruce, John Montgomery, Simon Greenleaf, Thomas Howard, Peter Kreeft, and more. I know the drill. It does not hold up.

    This is the truth regardless of scoffer’s attempts to rewrite history because of their intense desire for this not to be true

    Or, it’s not true regardless of the adherent’s desire for it to be so.

    as that would dethrone themselves as lord of their own life.

    By no means. Believers do whatever they want. All are making it up as they go along.

    If you choose not to believe this it is your choice but it no less true for your not believing.

    If you choose to believe it is no less false for you believing. [Amazing how the fallacy of assertion gets nowhere isn't it?]

    There have also been countless miracles wrought by God though those who follow Jesus. They are well documented and beyond what science or even nature can explain.

    Not one reliably documented miracle that I’ve ever been able to find. And I really wanted to.

    (Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Las Lajas, San Gennaro)

    Bad examples. All have been utterly debunked.

    There is proof enough for those who are open minded. The will never be enough proof for those who have shut their minds.

    Are you familiar with the concept of a verbal mirror?

  • 98. Brian  |  October 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    you antagonize then jump on the chance to say how quick we Christains turn from peaceful to antagonistic. The tactic and your response is tired. Being a Christian does not make me perfect and I get mad just like everyone else when someone is condescending to me.

    I looked back over both my responses to you, and I see no antagonism or condescension. I see me answering your trite reasoning on why we should to believe with the actual reality of the recycled BS you’re peddling.

    As I said, there is enough proof for those who have an open mind and there will never be enough proof for those who do not want to believe.

    And as I’VE said, there’s enough proof that the Bible is the fabricated work of men, not of God, for those who have an open mind, yet there will never be enough proof for those who refuse to step outside their own beliefs. Sorry, goes both ways.

    What would be enough for God to do in order for you to beleive He existed ?

    Oh, I don’t know, maybe being as present in real life as he claims to be in any of the stories you base your faith on. Maybe being an ACTUAL loving father and not just a silent nothing.

    Before you go any farther, I’d ask you to actually READ my deconversion story (and the stories of others on this site) before you make a snap judgement or think you’re asking us a “gotcha” question that we haven’t heard a couple dozen times from other Christian lurkers.

  • 99. Mike  |  October 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Leo,
    I appreciate your reply. One thing you mention I would like some more info on. You say that, Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Las Lajas and San Gennaro are bad examples and alll have been utterly debunked. Debunked by whom? In what manner have they been debunked? Has someone proven that the tilma from Our Lady of Gaudalupe is a forgery? The miracle of the sun that ocurred in Fatima Portugal in 1917 was reported by the secular newpaper. The blood of San Gennaro still liquifies mysteriously and at Las Lajas the image on the rock is the rock itself not pgment or paint or dye it is the rock several feet in depth and scientists do not know how it has ocurred.
    I’m sorry I am not familiar with the concept of verbal mirror.

  • 100. Mike  |  October 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Brian,
    My first comment was really directed towards the author whose story I appreciated. I was commenting that I empathize with him about his feeling like God is not there although our responses to that feeling were different. Then unfortunately you chimed in with the typical .. “I’m a rational athiest and this Chistian is a stupid fantasy believing idiot who does not use his mind … ala Bill Maher” it’s tired man! …. you say you were not antoagonistic but here are your own words -

    “Pretty words, but ultimately that means that God (our loving father) is

    playing Russian Roulette with our eternity”

    “the whole, “God let’s us have free will thing” is cute and nice.”

    “F— free will. Show me what I need to see so that I don’t experience that.”

    “Which witnesses? The four guys who wrote the Gospels and couldn’t even get their stories straight

    “It’s rather amazing how fast you turned from a peaceful “God loves you” approach to antagonism”

    “I see me answering your trite reasoning on why we should to believe with

    the actual reality of the recycled BS you’re peddling”

    I am NOT lurking. I simply came across this site and read the man’s story and wanted to comment. I was not threatened by anything he said in his story. I don’t know why you feel so threatened by what I am saying that you feel the need to blast me from the get go. I am not forcing anything on you. I was not even talking to you. I’m not trying to convert anyone, that is God’s business. I’m just voicing my belief. If you all don’t want a Christian to post why not have a sign at the telling everyone this is an athiest mutual admiration society and Christians need not commet here becuase we think your silly fantasy believers!

  • 101. Brian  |  October 1, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Sorry that you felt any of those snippets (save for the last one) were antagonistic toward you specifically. Or that you feel I’m somehow threatened by anything you said. You raised points, I found them lacking. Ergo, I responded by pointing out where they lack. Nothing was leveled at you as a person or as an “idiot Christian”. You say you’re just voicing your belief. Well we’re all voicing our counterbeliefs and demonstrating why we find what you say to be invalid. That’s the nature of these types of forums. Point-counterpoint. If you felt that I was lobbing ad hominem attacks directly at YOU, I’m sorry for the misundertanding, but again, looking at the quotes you quoted, everything there (again, minus the last one) was simply pointing out how and why I find your ideas to be faulty.

  • 102. Brian  |  October 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Also, while we don’t have a sign to Christians saying “don’t post here” there actually is a giant red exclamation mark toward the top of the page that says ATTENTION CHRISTIAN READERS. It’s there for a reason, to stop the constant regurgitation of empty points brought on by empty assumptions of who we are and why we de-converted.

    If you want to have a real conversation about why we don’t believe, you’ll find us more than happy to engage. If you want to bring up the same points that dozens of others before you have dredged up, again all based on empty assumptions about who we are, then we honestly want no part of it.

  • 103. LeoPardus  |  October 1, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    You’re going to have to do some research on your own. And stop reading only pro-catholic sources. (Just entertain the possibility that they could be lying outright.)

    Seriously, I did my own research. Miraculous icons, uncorrupted saints, myrrh from tombs, etc. They’re all frauds.

    The miracle of the sun that ocurred in Fatima Portugal in 1917 was reported by the secular newpaper.

    They reported a bunch of people going to see a miracle. Papers report on the gullible all the time.

    The blood of San Gennaro still liquifies mysteriously

    I could point you to the miraculous flame at the Holy Resurrection each Pascha too. Sheesh. Develop a little skepticism. Go see Penn & Teller. Research large-scale and long-term (but profitable) frauds.

    at Las Lajas the image on the rock is the rock itself not pgment or paint or dye it is the rock several feet in depth

    They dug it up? They cored the rock? Las Lajas is not one I’m familiar with.

    Look Mike. I’m not gonna go chasing around the world to debunk al these. You want to believe in such things, go ahead. If this best your deity can do is such silliness, I’ll wait for a really effective deity to come along thank you.

    Now if you can get your deity to do something real, that I can personally confirm, then you may have something. If your deity is too busy doing obscure stage tricks for third world, superstitious peasants, well that’s his baliwick.

    sorry I am not familiar with the concept of verbal mirror.

    Don’t know how often it gets used. It basically means that when you say something, you should turn the words back on yourself and see if you don’t fall under the same condemnation.

  • 104. Joe  |  October 1, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Mike—

    Your post #91—

    If you can, get a copy of the book “Spiritual Desertion” by Grisbertus Voetius and Johannes Hoornbeeck (Dutch authors). This book explains very well the desertion felt by many devout Christians, and the “hows” and “whys” of it. I found it to be a very good book. You can google it.

  • 105. anti_supernaturalist  |  October 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Step back for a closer look

    Time out! Drop out! And read:

    Michel Onfray. Atheist manifesto: the case against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. 2007.

    Should be in an undergraduate library. Used copies at amazon.com start at US$ 7.38.

    You’re wasting your time if you don’t know what the latest ideologically untainted scholarship is on xian and islamic origins, the authorship of the synoptic gospels, the Jesus-as-fiction claims, the complicity of RCism with Nazism in the Holocaust.

    The big-3 monster-theisms are important — not because they contain one word of truth — because they are widely believed to be true.

    The methods for examining truth claims are not the ones needed for debunking belief claims. They are different worlds of discourse. (Truth claims require evidence; belief claims require none.)

    There probably is no single explanation for the persistence of religionists’ “willing suspension of disbelief.” But, it’s not a supernatural one.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  • 106. writerdd  |  October 1, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Mike and others, I will try to respond this weekend. I’m at a tradeshow with my day job this week and not much internet fun time! :-(

  • 107. Mel  |  October 1, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    What if you are wrong? Think of that.

    How are you so sure there is no God?

    If you are an atheist or agnostic, you are well under 10% of the population of the world sharing your belief.

    What would it take for you to believe in good and evil?

  • 108. writerdd  |  October 1, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    I’m an irrational atheist. That is, I did not become a Christian because of apologetics and I did not stop being a Christian because of rational arguments. It was more of an emotional thing for me, although learning about science and especially cognitive science and the way the brain works, but also about cosmology and physics, made me stop thinking that a god/creator was required. When I read Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter, it was the first time I realized that not everyone believes in a non-corporeal soul/spirit a and after I learned much more about the brain and evolution, etc., I realized that I didn’t believe any more and it was OK. I learned more and my beliefs changed because of that knowledge. It was not a voluntary change, it just happened when I allowed myself to read outside the Christian/Bible Study genre.

  • 109. Quester  |  October 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Mike,

    I’ve thought a great deal about your experience and why doesn’t God reach out to those who are seeking in earnest. I can honestly say I do not know.

    I find it unfortunate that you didn’t stop there. You went on for many paragraphs to tell us something you don’t know.

  • 110. Bonita  |  October 2, 2009 at 1:48 am

    What a great article. I can really agree. I’m so tired of being told it’s my fault that my faith isn’t working. I’ve gone through this for years. When I was still in the church and would see my faith not working out, I was always to blame. Now that I’m not a Christian, I still get blamed.

    I can see the pattern also with those who are most dedicated. I honestly think that was my problem. I was so dedicated that in the end I realized, it was all wrong. I searched so hard for God that I found out my religion wasn’t working, that the Bible had issues, and that this morality that I had been taught wasn’t the answer for every question.

    It might be better off for those who rather keep their religion to stay “luke” warm, if not, you can only come so far until you hit a wall.

  • 111. Bonita  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:09 am

    ROY- I read your comments- you say to “be Jesus”. I know that’s the latest thing in Christianity over the past 5 years. They always have some motivational theme. I had done that, I agree and disagree with you.

    If you only take the things that are pretty and filled with “love” than being Jesus to other people is a wonderful thing.

    But how do you be Jesus to someone for example who has a horrible marriiage and wants a divorce. They have suffered in the same situation for years, they pray, fast, and try to “be like Jesus” but in the end their spous is still destroying their life by being lazy and verbally abusive. This person cannot get a divorce and remarry according to Jesus. So what is so great about being Jesus in this example?

    Once I found an unforgiveable sin in the Bible- divorce and remarriage I lost the comfy cutesy Jesus- no ofense, but I would love to hear what you think.

  • 112. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Bonita,

    There is a lot of good stuff in the Bible and there is a lot of nonsense. Discard the nonsense, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Leave the destructive, abusive relationship and seek relationships that are good for you.

    All the best,

    Roy

  • 113. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 7:25 am

    In other words, “be Jesus” to yourself as well. Love yourself first and foremost. Only then will you be able to love others.

  • 114. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 7:30 am

    And one more thing, Bonita.

    Marriage and divorce are legal constructs. Legalism has nothing to do with things spiritual.

  • 115. Brian  |  October 2, 2009 at 8:57 am

    What if you are wrong? Think of that.

    How are you so sure there is no God?

    Mel, what if YOU’RE wrong? What if it turns out Islam is in fact the right religion. You have just doomed yourself to an eternity of Muslim Hell. Are YOU willing to take that chance? How are you so sure that Muhammed isn’t the way to Heaven?

  • 116. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Mel, what if YOU’RE wrong? What if it turns out Islam is in fact the right religion. You have just doomed yourself to an eternity of Muslim Hell. Are YOU willing to take that chance? How are you so sure that Muhammed isn’t the way to Heaven?

    The only rational resolution of the choice of Christian or Muslim Hell is that neither exists. The very concept of eternal punishment is patently absurd. I’m not sure why stating this makes most Christians so uncomfortable. Love drives out fear. If your religion teaches fear, then it is just that – a religion (i.e. man-made) – and you have it all wrong.

  • 117. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Mel:

    What if you’re wrong?

    Y’all just gotta learn to use the verbal mirror.

  • 118. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Leo,
    I like the verbal mirror technique. It’s a good check, makes me look from both sides. Penn and Teller are entertainers. The miracles I mentioned to you have never been debunked by them or any one else.

    Brian,
    Catholics do not believe in the divinity of Mary and never have. Any Catholic who tells you that she is divine is mistaken.

    I am a logical person, logic appeals to me; I use it in my work everyday. I don’t believe things quickly or easily. I don’t believe in every supposed miracle I hear about but if something has been tested by competent authority (scientists, doctors etc) and it stands then I will accept it. I don’t believe that makes me gullible. I believe that skepticism to the point of cynicism is just as bad as gullibility. One causes you to believe anything and the other causes you to believe nothing.
    I cannot deny someone else’s experience. I can only operate from mine. If disappointment in the seeming lack of God revealing Himself to someone drives them away from God and makes them believe He is not there I will not belittle that. That was not my experience.
    After reading some of the de-conversion stories I will say that I have pondered many of the same questions as those who have written in. I just came away from my questioning with a different conclusion that’s all.
    There are secular historians who speak about Jesus. I know many of you don’t accept that because they are not many and do not say more. What they do say does prove that Jesus did exist as a historical figure. Maybe the secular historians of the time did not record Jesus’ miracles because they were not witnesses to it and did not believe it, so they did not feel the need to write it. Either you believe the authors of the gospels were people of good character and telling the truth or you don’t. I accept they were and believe what they recorded is true. If you don’t that is your choice.
    Many say the discrepancies in the bible prove it is not true; I’ve not come to the same conclusion. Not because I don’t want to see the truth, it is just that the explanations I have found for these are plausible to me. I realize they are not plausible to others. I don’t look at the bible in strictly literal terms. I believe that there are parts that are parables constructed to convey a truth, and not necessarily historical. However, I do believe much is historical. The differences between the Gospels do not mean they are from four guys who could not get their story straight. What that says to me is that they are four human beings telling the same story each from their own perspective. The perfection, the divine inspiration, lies in the truth behind the story not in the minutia. But again, that is my perspective. Four guys trying to perpetrate a hoax would have gotten together and made sure their stories were straight.

    I would like address the fundamental claim of atheism – that God does not exist in any form. Without a belief in the existence of God, discussion of religion is pointless.

    I am going to present something to you. I am also going to make an educated guess that you have heard an argument similar to what I am going to put forth, but please indulge me. I am interested in knowing your perspective.

    Let’s imagine the primordial earth was completely covered in automobile parts. Every part that was needed to create a fully functioning car exists in abundance all over the earth. (I am giving a head start here, assuming the elements spontaneously evolved into all the precise parts needed). Now, with all the weather and lightening and all the other natural phenomena acting upon these car parts, how many trillions of years do you think it would take for them to form a fully functioning car? I believe any honest and rational person would have to admit the answer is never. If that could never happen, how is it possible that something so extraordinary and infinitely more complex than an automobile can form in the same manner? A single cell, considering the way it functions, and replicates, and the DNA contained within it, are so far beyond the complexity of an automobile that it is just not logical to believe that it was not created. Remember, I am only talking about a single cell, never mind the plethora of amazing animals and plants that inhabit this planet. Explain eyes to me? Can eyes have formed randomly just because an expanse of time passed? If so, what causes it to stop once it has completed evolving? I can accept adaptation or evolution but I do not see how that eliminates the need for creation. Something needs to be created before it can evolve or adapt. Therefore, the way I see it, there must be a Creator.

  • 119. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    If disappointment in the seeming lack of God revealing Himself to someone drives them away from God and makes them believe He is not there I will not belittle that. That was not my experience.

    From this, and from your talk about miraculous things, one is inclined to infer that you have direct, personal experience with one or more miracles and that this helps support/inform your faith/belief. If that is so, great for you. And from what you said, you’ll understand that I’ve had no such experience despite having been to see people, and things that are supposedly miraculous.

    As far as I am concerned, all claims of the miraculous or supernatural are utter bunk until I personally can see them in operation and put them to the test.

    I wasn’t always of this opinion. I only developed it when I actually went to see people or things that claimed to be able to do/cause miracles or supernatural occurrences. All failed. I investigated further. All continued to fail. Since 100% of everything I can personally investigate has been fraudulent, I have concluded that all such things are fraudulent.

    If someone wants to pay my plane ticket to Guadalupe or some other place, or bring a miraculous icon to my city, I’ll go check it out.

    That’s fair enough as far as I’m concerned.

  • 120. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Re the evolution argument:

    It’s been hashed over. Biomolecules self assemble. They assume configurations that appear more complex but are in fact lower energy states. They have dynamic binding properties.
    Auto parts don’t.

    Of course we could also argue the infinite time/universe bit. Given an infinite amount of time and/or space, anything can and will happen. Which means that somewhere out there, there may be a planet of intelligent cars.

    Both are actually completely pointless. You can’t duplicate the processes and conditions in a lab and you can’t time travel to watch it all. And more to the point, it’s all here now, in it’s current condition, so deal with it now as it is.

  • 121. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Or try this.

    It was made by a huge creature composed of pasta.

    Prove me wrong.

  • 122. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Was it benevolent pasta or malevolent pasta??? Should I worship it or eat it? I am confused. LOL

  • 123. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    ?

  • 124. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Bio-molecules self assemble …. how did they learn how to do that?

  • 125. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    dealing with it now as it is…. it is evident that it must have been created. The alternative has been proven a mathematical impossibility.

  • 126. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    how did they learn how to do that?

    If you anthropomorphize molecules, maybe you are just anthropomorphizing the origin of the universe?

  • 127. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    big words … no weight

  • 128. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Little words, absolutely no weight except a tacit confession…

  • 129. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    BTW, Mike, I’m judging your every response for the slightest indication that you don’t have the Holy Spirit. Tread lightly, my friend.

  • 130. 4riozs  |  October 2, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Roy- thanks for your response. I had the impression that you were a Christian, I guess you are more of an agnostic or a spiritualist- not necesarily Christian? No sarcasm or offense intended.

    But if you are a Christian- how can one pick and chose which things to believe, and which not- technically this particular contradiction regarding “God’s mercy” is found in “Christ’s” own words?

  • 131. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Joshua … you can watch me all you want … i promise i won’t disappoint you …. you find plenty of imperfections in me. I never claimed to be perfect. I am not holding myself up as better than anyone here. If you look at all my posts you’ll only see when time when I got mad and that was becuase someone else responded to me in a condecending manner.

  • 132. Joe  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Or try this.

    It was made by a huge creature composed of pasta.

    Prove me wrong. (#121)

    I saw this movie where this giant Pasta Monster was attacking Tokyo. They killed it using a giant fork and a spoon. It suffered a hideous twisted death to say the least.

  • 133. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    also … what am i tacitly confessing … other than i am tired of people throwing around big words to sound impressive? Does that make me a bad and intolerant person?

  • 134. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    I am not holding myself up as better than anyone here.

    But Jesus does.

    Light of the world, salt of the earth. I am watching.

  • 135. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Pasta suffered a twisted death…I’m assuming it was spaghetti?

    I’m sorry I keep inserting randomness into this conversation, but the pasta idea has to make a person smile. Proving that the creator was not made of pasta is quite a challenge.

    The problem with the creator question to me is – even if there is a creator – believing that only makes a person is a deist, not a Christian. Accepting that there is or could be a creator does not change a person’s life, because that creator could be completely uninvolved with the current world. In fact, I would prefer to think that it is not involved, because if it is involved, how the heck do we know what it is doing and what it is not doing? Do we trust one book to explain it all? Do we trust what people tell us the creator is doing? Do we trust our intuition? I guess I am not against the idea of being a deist, but it doesn’t really lead me anywhere. The Bible is so all-over-the-place that it doesn’t seem to be an accurate account of the creator. And just because there is a creator doesn’t mean that it is interested in humans at all. Maybe it created the world because it has a love for fungus… and it just decided to let humans stick around for fun. Who knows.

    Someone shared a video on facebook the other day that quotes Einstein. They were using Einstein’s quote as an emotional way to argue for putting God back in schools, but I am pretty sure they were arguing for the Christian God, not Einstein’s God. Because Einstein didn’t think the creator was personally involved with people at all and didn’t think that a human “soul” would outlive the body.

    The only reason I bring this up is that even if we could prove there is a creator, it’s a far cry from proving that the creator is a Christian. That is a weird way of putting it. :-P

  • 136. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    also … what am i tacitly confessing … other than i am tired of people throwing around big words to sound impressive?

    Why do you judge my motives? Anthropomorphize is the only word that works there to my knowledge. Stop being a judgmental prick. Sometimes people use big words because big words are appropriate, like Ephesians 1, for example. Do you want people accusing Paul of using big words to sound impressive?

    Maybe I actually was communicating an important thought and it was completely lost on you because you immediately started judging that the other person must be at fault because you did not comprehend what I said. Let me repeat it a little differently this time:

    If humans have a tendency to anthropomorphize (ascribe human-like attributes to) inanimate objects (like trees, rocks, earthquakes, tornadoes, lightning, etc.), then how do we know that God is not just the natural human reaction to anthropomorphize (ascribe human-like attributes to) the origin of the universe?

  • 137. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    And dude, I am not just trying to sound impressive. Those were all cohesive thoughts ending with a question I consider to be very important.

  • 138. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Gosh, I try to communicate large concepts in a few key words so I don’t sound wordy and I end up having to write several paragraphs anyway…

    alright. mike, it looks like you like simple sentences and small words. i will do my best.

  • 139. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    4riozs

    Roy- thanks for your response. I had the impression that you were a Christian, I guess you are more of an agnostic or a spiritualist- not necesarily Christian? No sarcasm or offense intended.

    But if you are a Christian- how can one pick and chose which things to believe, and which not- technically this particular contradiction regarding “God’s mercy” is found in “Christ’s” own words?

    I’ve not seen where you directed any sarcasm at me and even if you had, I would not have been offended.

    I’m definitely not agnostic. Spiritualist would be a good description. I only maintaint that I am a Christian because that is my background. If I had been raised Hindu, I would probably call myself a hindu.

    Today is Ghandi’s birthday. Here is a good Ghandi quote: “I like your Chist, but I do not like your Christian.”

    Another good one, when asked if he was a Hindu: “Yes I am. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist and a Jew.”

    For me, the Bible is not any more inerrant than any other book. It is inspired, but no more nor less than any other book. It is not a magic book. It must be read critically, with discernment for what is true and what is not. Much of it, including the entire book of Revelation, is metaphorical. I prefer to interpret it metaphysically rather than supernaturally.

    Does that answer your questions?

  • 140. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Bio-molecules self assemble …. how did they learn how to do that?

    Uhmmmm…. does anyone see a problem with this question? I do, but it involves a big word.

    Mike. Molecules don’t learn. They just do.

    dealing with it now as it is…. it is evident that it must have been created. The alternative has been proven a mathematical impossibility.

    Mike, you must learn discernment and some degree of skepticism. Doubtless someone told you what you just repeated. Now think it through. Is it possible to prove an uncreated universe or earth was impossible? (Hint: The answer is not ‘yes’.)

    Try thinking about it this way: How many variables would go into such a “mathematical proof”? (Hint: No one even knows the answer.)

  • 141. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Was it benevolent pasta or malevolent pasta??? Should I worship it or eat it?

    Ooo malevolent pasta. :( Would that be like Salmonella-contaminated?

    I think most people worship their food and eat it. Notice them folding their hands and mumbling words first?

  • 142. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Mike, google is a great tool for learning the definitions of words. Joshua is right. There is no better word for conveying the concept he was expressing.

  • 143. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Sigh, it’s alright Mike. Anthropomorphize just means to ascribe human characteristics to… I learned what that word meant while reading Calvin and Hobbes when I was a kid.

    I hope you realize that maybe the problem here is your unwillingness to comprehend rather than our arrogance to use big words.

  • 144. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Has anybody mentioned the image of Jesus that somebody once noticed in a plate of spaghetti on a billboard advertisement?

    Mike, for me , the answer to the evolution versus creation question is six of one and a half dozen of another. They might as well be one and the same, or at least two sides of the same coin. Many Christians agree and have learned not to waste time on that debate. It is pointless.

  • 145. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Roy, I think you’re cool. Maybe I will try “being Roy” for a while. :-) Now if I were to use your way of thinking, I am still a Christian because I was raised Christian. I am actually enjoying entertaining your ideas because then I could still call myself a Christian and not have to make my family fear the burning flames of hell every time they see me. Also, I read something the Dalai Lama wrote that suggested there is no reason for someone to leave the faith of their roots just because they practice buddhism. Of course, if I use “Christian” to describe myself, it would be much different than what most Christians think I mean…so it might be deceptive. Plus, I have a hard time being associated with any of the theology. Oh a pickle, I am in a pickle!

    Quoting Leo – “Uhmmmm…. does anyone see a problem with this question? I do, but it involves a big word.”

    ROFL!

    Josh – I admit I don’t know the meaning of a lot of big words, but I might as well learn. Keep teaching me please. Then maybe I can sound as impressive as you do!

    Mike, I am going to give you one more point than Josh in this conversation because I have found you to be much kinder and more logical than the other Christians who have been around here lately. And I do see how you could feel like Josh is attacking you. Go easy on him, Josh. :-P

    Keep in mind that attacking someone’s logic is a lot different than attacking the person. Also, some of the folks around here feel that their lives have been damaged by Christian teachings, and sometimes their frustration or even disgust with church teachings comes across as an attitude, at least to me. It is always good to try and read beyond whatever attitude someone has (“yay, God Rocks” or “man, religion sucks”) to the actual point they are conveying so that we can keep a good discussion going.

  • 146. Brian  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Wow I didn’t realize “anthropomorphize” was a big word. I mean, sure it’s a LONG word, but no longer than say, “shortsightedness.”

  • 147. Brian  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    And just because there is a creator doesn’t mean that it is interested in humans at all. Maybe it created the world because it has a love for fungus… and it just decided to let humans stick around for fun. Who knows.

    I prefer George Carlin’s theory: PLASTIC. It’s the only reason we were allowed to be spawned in the first place. God (or “the planet”) wanted plastic for itself, didn’t know how to get it, needed us.

  • 148. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Go easy on him, Josh. :-P

    I know! Normally I do go easy on people but I think that I am losing some patience as time wears on. All it takes is a few George’s and whammo, I become more like – and appreciate more – Leo’s attitude toward all of this. The no-bullshit call people out method is becoming more attractive.

    Sorry Mike. I really am. If you only knew the rest of my story. Haha.

  • 149. DSimon  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    If [spontaneous car creation] could never happen, how is it possible that something so extraordinary and infinitely more complex than an automobile can form in the same manner? A single cell, considering the way it functions, and replicates, and the DNA contained within it, are so far beyond the complexity of an automobile that it is just not logical to believe that it was not created.

    Early life wasn’t as complicated as modern single-celled life.

    For example, some hypotheses suggest prions (organisms even smaller and less complicated than viruses, which are in turn much smaller and less complex than bacteria) as the earliest form of life.

    Remember, I am only talking about a single cell, never mind the plethora of amazing animals and plants that inhabit this planet.

    All you need to start out with is a single simple lifeform. Once that’s going, life can become more and more complex from generation to generation.

    Explain eyes to me? Can eyes have formed randomly just because an expanse of time passed?

    Evolution is not just randomness, but also natural selection.

    Imagine a lifeform with a simple eye, and its two offspring. Due to a chance mutation, one of those offspring has a slightly better-functioning eye than its sibling. Therefore, that offspring is more likely to survive and, in turn, have more offspring with yet more mutations. This is natural selection; the changes can be random, but the process of picking out the best changes to keep is not random at all.

    Regarding eyes in particular: all you need for a very simple eye is some slightly light-sensitive skin. All the focusing and stereoscopy and protective mechanisms and so on can be added later, gradually.

    If so, what causes it to stop once it has completed evolving?

    It doesn’t. Every species on the planet is continuing to evolve. Nothing has ever “completed evolving”, though sometimes the rate of change slows down or speeds up.

    I can accept adaptation or evolution but I do not see how that eliminates the need for creation. Something needs to be created before it can evolve or adapt. Therefore, the way I see it, there must be a Creator.

    Two issues here:

    1. Evolution is not a theory about how life started out, only about how it became so complex and how it changes over time. Hypotheses about the beginning of life are called “abiogenesis hypotheses”, and the scientific community has not yet picked one with confidence, though there are a few strong contenders.

    2. It is indeed true that life had to start existing before evolution or adaptation could start working. However, there’s a difference between “starting to exist” and “being created”, because lots of things can start to exist without actually being created by a conscious entity. A great example of this is snowflakes.

  • 150. Brian  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I should step back for a second because I realize I AM starting to come off as an ass now.

    Here’s what it boils down to Mike, though Porcupine said a lot of it very nicely. Belief in God, or at least belief in a personal God, and certainly belief in Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any ONE branch of theism has no basis in logic. And it isn’t supposed to. That’s the very nature of faith. You are supposed to believe DESPITE the very fibre of your being that says, “this is all crap.” So when a believer says, “Hey I believe,” and acknowledges that it’s a very personal decision, we got no gripes. It’s when you try to use logic to assert that belief that we run into trouble because in the world of logic, none of the religions stand up…or at least they don’t stand up any better than any of the other religions out there. Whatever logic points you throw at us, we could use the exact same point to make a case for Islam or Buddhism or Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

    In the end, if God is supposed to transcend logic, then it would seem like he would, ya know, transcend logic. But since none of us have seen any kind of proof (or even any kind of “reasonable maybe”) that He’s doing that, we have no choice but to think he’s probably not real. Which means you’d be better off asking God to help us than taking the responsibility on yourself. Because all you’ll be able to do is scream Bible verses or internal Biblical “logic” which again, falls apart the instant you step outside the believer mindset.

    So we don’t mean to come off as attacking. But I think I speak for a lot of us that bass ackward logic drives us nuts. And people who constantly break their OWN internal logic drive us nuttier faster.

  • 151. DSimon  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    (Aaack, can a moderator please fix my broken blockquote tag at the end of my previous comment? I appear to have nested blockquotes instead of ending one)

  • 152. DSimon  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    That’s the very nature of faith. You are supposed to believe DESPITE the very fibre of your being that says, “this is all crap.” So when a believer says, “Hey I believe,” and acknowledges that it’s a very personal decision, we got no gripes.

    I kind of have a gripe about it in that it’s not a very effective means of gaining knowledge.

    But, yeah, using logic and facts poorly is much worse than just having a personal philosophy which sidesteps logic and facts entirely.

  • 153. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    (Aaack, can a moderator please fix my broken blockquote tag at the end of my previous comment? I appear to have nested blockquotes instead of ending one)

    Sorry DSimon, due to a poor mutation in your comment it will die a painful death. But thanks to its demise, its offspring will most likely have more profitable lives…

    I wonder what the technical term for a self-referential joke is…

  • 154. DSimon  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Joshua, I believe that’s a “meta-meta”. When an entire site is taken over by self-referential jokes and all useful content is edged out of the environment by them, that’s “meta-metastasis”.

  • 155. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    “Sorry DSimon, due to a poor mutation in your comment it will die a painful death.”

    LOL! This statement hits too close to home, as there was some stupid mutation in my DNA that gave me cancer at the age of 28. Poor mutations are a bitch. I have so many of them that I question survival of the fittest because I am (still) here! LOL

    So sorry for the loss of your comment, DSimon. Let me tell you about comment heaven….

  • 156. DSimon  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Crap, Mystery Porcupine, in that context my own joke following Joshua’s is really tasteless. I apologize really strongly about that, and wish you all the best (not that I believe wishing in and of itself does much good, but it at least demonstrates a good attitude. :-) )

  • 157. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    LOL No harm, DSimon, I was actually joking around and enjoyed your joke! :-) You people crack me up.

  • 158. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Shhh.. I’m receiving a message from DSimon’s comment…

  • 159. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    God damn. Apparently your comment ended up in hell, DSimon. It was rejected because it was not pure and did not repent, even though it’s author predestined that it would end up there and it had no choice in the matter. How awful.

  • 160. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    R.O.F.L. I really needed to laugh today! Thanks, guys. :-)

    I am feeling a great sense of loss because there was this comment that I loved that died. I mean, it wasn’t my comment or anything, but still, it was a great comment. I have started to wonder why bad things happen to good comments. Who made the WordPress, and why do they allow comments to suffer? If they are good, they must have made a way to let comments live forever. I mean, what is the point of a comment if it can’t live forever?

    Did somebody say meta-metastasis? Geezus. That is so wrong on so many levels, but I think we are playing it out right here, right now.

    [For the record, I personally do not have metastasis at this time! Stay tuned to see if I live forever!]

  • 161. Mike  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Brian,
    You are absolutely right. God is transcendent. There is nothing I or anyone else can do to convince another person that He exists. Eventually we’ll all find out.

    Joshua,
    Much as I hate to admit this, you were right, I was being a judgemental @#$^%. Mainly because I was getting PO’d at the jabs. As I said, I am not perfect.

    I guess this debate is over at least from my end. I offer you my good will and hope for a good life and I mean that sincerely, not just trying to soothe my conscience. I would say I offer you my prayers but don’t want to offend anyone. I’ll do it anyway …. :-)

    Cheers

  • 162. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Mike, you’re a nice guy. I hope you come back sometime. :) I also hope that our comic relief didn’t offend.

  • 163. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    *sniff*

    I would say I offer you my prayers but don’t want to offend anyone. I’ll do it anyway …. :-)

    Man, I wish we atheists had something cool to say like “I’m praying for you”. We can’t even say “Best of luck” because we don’t necessarily believe in it. God damn.

    Best wishes Mike. No hard feelings knowing we won the debate, okay?

  • 164. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    JUST KIDDING.

  • 165. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    :-D

  • 166. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Roy, I think you’re cool. Maybe I will try “being Roy” for a while. Now if I were to use your way of thinking, I am still a Christian because I was raised Christian. I am actually enjoying entertaining your ideas because then I could still call myself a Christian and not have to make my family fear the burning flames of hell every time they see me. Also, I read something the Dalai Lama wrote that suggested there is no reason for someone to leave the faith of their roots just because they practice buddhism. Of course, if I use “Christian” to describe myself, it would be much different than what most Christians think I mean…so it might be deceptive. Plus, I have a hard time being associated with any of the theology. Oh a pickle, I am in a pickle!

    Mystery Porcupine,

    I too am very sorry about your circumstances. Please let me know what I can do to help.

    Just be the best Mystery Porcupine you can be. I think you are cool too. Jesus doesn’t ask us to become him, per se, but to apply certain principles to our lives which will make us the best that we can be as ourselves. We are all individuals with different attributes, talents, etc. The world would be pretty boring if it were filled with Jesus clones, would it not?

    As for calling yourself a “Christian”, you don’t have to call yourself anything but your name. If somebody asks, then let your answer be determined by who is asking and why. There is nothing deceitful about it. If it is your family and you don’t want to cause them needless distress or somebody wanting to “witness” to you and share the Roman Road to salvation with you, then tell them you are a Christian so they will skip the script. If it is somebody else who really cares about who you are and is not the judgemental type, then share with them as much as you feel comfortable sharing.

  • 167. Anonymous  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    LOL come on Joshua … remember your site motto -

    From your “About” page -

    “This blog attempts to critically, but respectfully, address issues with these religious ideologies, especially Christianity… We also believe that whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place

    …. how about we all hold hands and sing … i mean agree to disagree.

    JUST KIDDING TOO …… take it easy

  • 168. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    take it easy

    Well, so far I’ve refused to take it hard.

    Because I’m NOT GAY.

  • 169. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    hAHA, aNYWAY, NIGHT ALL!!!1111oneone

  • 170. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Hmmm, I hope no one takes a fence at that comment.

  • 171. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Josh – I usually say, “I’m thinking of you” or “sending love / goodness / strength” or “hoping for the best” when friends say something that would normally get the “I’m praying for you” response. It sounds corny to say “sending strength” or something like that, but I think it actually encourages people as much as a prayer will, because it gets them thinking about strength and feeling like they have others who are sharing the burden and encouraging them to hang in there. I don’t think which phrase we use really matters as much as the fact that we care enough to try one. :) Oh, the other thing that works is to remind someone of the qualities that you’ve seen in them in the past – remind them who they are and what they’re about and of your confidence in them. These things seem more psychologically powerful than an unknown prayer anyway. Not that you would use this approach with a newly-met Mike on the blog! LOL

    I recently had a Christian friend tell me, “You can never stop me from praying for you.” GEEZ, I would not have tried until she said it that way. Then it sounded like a personal threat for some reason…I don’t know why. So I responded and said, “I’d appreciate it if you would not pray for me anymore than anyone else you pray for. LOL I didn’t want a prayer-stalker??? Actually, I just didn’t want to feel any responsibility for her wasting hours and hours on me and not seeing the results she hopes for.

    Roy – love your thoughts. I did not mention the cancer thing to get everyone’s concern – it really did just come up with the conversation. My greatest need is to have discussions like this with people so I can get more comfortable with the whole de-conversion and feel less alone in it. It has been quite a change that still sometimes leaves me reeling.

  • 172. Joe  |  October 2, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Antidisestablishmenttarianism.

    So easy a caveman could do it.

  • 173. LeoPardus  |  October 2, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Don’t floccinaucinihilipilificate pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis cause they’re big words too.

    And Josh, why would anything you say make me take a fence??

  • 174. Joe  |  October 2, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    7. Lymph (v.) to walk with a lisp.

  • 175. Roy  |  October 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Well, so far I’ve refused to take it hard.

    Because I’m NOT GAY.

    LOL! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.

  • 176. Joshua  |  October 2, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Joe, lol

  • 177. George  |  October 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Bonita,

    There is a lot of good stuff in the Bible and there is a lot of nonsense. Discard the nonsense, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Leave the destructive, abusive relationship and seek relationships that are good for you.

    All the best,

    Roy

    Roy,

    Now you are a marriage councilor? Leave your husband?

    And you are right, she can leave. Even according to the Bible. She if free to go.

    Also, adultery is also a cause for divorce allowed in the Bible.

    In our church, no woman will ever be told to stay in a physically abusive relationship, nor one where there is no change in a verbally abusive relationship that threatens physical abuse.

    Every marriage that either party claiming a problem, more than likely there is.

    The Bible states “God hates divorce.” The reasons are obvious.

    One of the plights of this nation, divorce, and its aftermath, not just for the children, but the adults also.

    But, giving advice specific to a person you do not know, should be guarded.

    You only have one side of an issue. Not wise.

    I know I have been banned, or monitored from this thread, but I hope this one is allowed. This goes beyond the “there is no god argument.”

  • 178. 4riozs  |  October 3, 2009 at 3:45 am

    George- I’m not actually marriied, lol. I wasmaking a comment regarding, what Roy had said about being like Jesus. I had been there and done the being like Jesus thing, until I realised even “being like Jesus” wasn’t being like “Jesus”, if that makes sense. We think Jesus is just- love oneanother- and do good works- I really believed it- until I realized he had no mercy on people with bad marriages. No I’m not married, but realizing this contradiction to the salvation message I realize- Jesus isn’t even who most think “he is”.

    Roy- I read what you said above about “being” like Jesus, that is why I thought you were a Christian. Yes, I am an agnostic- or at least I think that’s what I can be called. I like your quotes by the way of Ghandhi- I always put that on my profiles about him not liking the Christians.

  • 179. 4riozs  |  October 3, 2009 at 3:59 am

    George- I further read your comment. In my particular example I didn’t say their was physical abuse. I honostly can’t believe in a messag e of “grace” and “salvation”- that doesn’t take into account the imperfection of human decision- I can so easily marry the wrong person- ok, so if I do, than I’m stuck, or if I get a divorce without physical abuse or infidelity being the reason than I’m doomed to never remarrying. If I in this situation than were to remarry I would be an adulturer and the Bible says, that Adulturers will not enter the kingdom of Heaven.

    I know it sounds so nice, a marriage staying together, but I’m the kid who’s parents stayed together- guess what? they should of split. My mom wasn’t beating my dad, but he deserved way better. I also have another friend who was in this situation. He wanted to leave a bad marriage- but he’s stuck in it because he believes this stuff. I really don’t think it is helping his kids either. I think if he were to meet someone better he should have the opportunity to start over again. But “God’s” grace and mercy end with marriage.

  • 180. 4riozs  |  October 3, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Josh- i think i’ve taken a fence- it took me awhile to understandwhat you meant- too many guys on this site- i’ll say it in philly terms- “you’ll is nasty”

  • 181. Roy  |  October 3, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Now you are a marriage councilor? Leave your husband?

    No. Yes, if he is abusive.

    And you are right, she can leave. Even according to the Bible. She if free to go.

    Also, adultery is also a cause for divorce allowed in the Bible.

    She is ALWAYS free to go for ANY reason EVEN IF the Bible doesn’t give her permission. Now, is breakiing a solemn vow a good thing? Of course not. Moral? Be careful what promises you make, but once you make them, try very hard to live up to them.

    In our church, no woman will ever be told to stay in a physically abusive relationship, nor one where there is no change in a verbally abusive relationship that threatens physical abuse.

    In our church, no woman or anybody else is ever TOLD to do anything.

    Every marriage that either party claiming a problem, more than likely there is.

    I agree. In most cases the problem can be work out by COMMUNICATING.

    The Bible states “God hates divorce.” The reasons are obvious.

    I hate divorce too. It is very expensive.

    One of the plights of this nation, divorce, and its aftermath, not just for the children, but the adults also.

    Is that a sentence?

    But, giving advice specific to a person you do not know, should be guarded.

    Caveat Emptor.

    Free advice is usually worth what is paid for it. Only a complete idiot would get a divorce based on a comment on the internet.

    You only have one side of an issue. Not wise.

    Obviously. If abuse is taking place, then get a divorce. If there are other circumstances involved that complicate the issue, go hire a marriage counselor.

    I know I have been banned, or monitored from this thread, but I hope this one is allowed. This goes beyond the “there is no god argument.”

    Point well taken. If you are considering divorce, seek a marriage counselor. If that fails, seek an attorney. There is that better, George? Sorry I offended you.

    I don’t have time to edit this comment because my wife is telling me I need to hurry and pick up the kids. Sorry if there are misspellings or grammatical errors.

  • 182. 4riozs  |  October 3, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Roy- thanks for your thoughts. Again I’m not actually married- I was just making reference- sorry for the confusion.

    But I do like the comments, from both of you, though I lean more towards what Roy is saying at this point.

    In the future if I do need a divorce I think I’ll do it based upon comments on a blog- for sure- lol.

  • 183. Roy  |  October 3, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    One more thought on marriage:

    Marriage and divorce are legalities involving the state. Nobody needs a license from the state to be married unless you want goodies from the state. Everyone is free to make their own vows and to leave the state out of the mix. Here is an example from the movie “Arthur”:

    I promise to ______________, as long as we both think it’s a good idea.

    And George, you are judgemental personified. And yes, that comment is judgemental itself, so please forgive me.

  • 184. Joshua  |  October 3, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Josh- i think i’ve taken a fence- it took me awhile to understandwhat you meant- too many guys on this site- i’ll say it in philly terms- “you’ll is nasty”

    My apologies :)

  • 185. Joshua  |  October 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Witty started dating Trouble and had mixed feelings after their first night together.

    I love being Witty, but it gets me in Trouble.

  • 186. Joshua  |  October 3, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    And George, you are judgemental personified. And yes, that comment is judgemental itself, so please forgive me.

    Humans should never communicate because every sentence ever said judges the speaker.

    Do I win anything?

  • 187. Roy  |  October 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Yes, you become God, because you have just judged all of humanity.

  • 188. Roy  |  October 3, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Oh yeah, and I’m Satan, Bwahahahaha! And my evil twin, Leroy is the Prince of Darkness.

  • 189. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 3, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    LOL, boys, boys, can we can get some staying-on-topic around here? LOL Not that I even know what the topic is anymore.

  • 190. Roy  |  October 4, 2009 at 12:42 am

    It was about being a true seeker and then finding nothing at the end of the search.

    When I first de-converted, I had a tendency to go back and forth like a yo-yo, maybe being an atheist for a year, then a Christian for a year, etc. Finally my brother (who remained and still remains a devout Christian) said something that really helped me. He said, “Maybe you should find a compromise between the two extremes.” So now I find myself a Christian a-theist so to speak. I believe and attempt to apply the spiritual teachings of Jesus without believing all the supernatural nonsense. Does that make sense?

    He also introduced me to one of his friends who has no problems being honest about his interpretation of the Bible (which is totally out of the mainstream). It is really rare to find a Christian who will listen to you and honestly give advice that is helpful. This also demonstrated to me that you never know what the person sitting in the pew next to you is thinking until you engage them in a meaningful conversation.

    Thank God for my brother, a true Christian “brother” if there ever was one.

  • 191. GeorgeZ  |  October 4, 2009 at 1:06 am

    Roy, you said:

    So now I find myself a Christian a-theist so to speak. I believe and attempt to apply the spiritual teachings of Jesus without believing all the supernatural nonsense. Does that make sense?

    I have a question. What is the source of your knowledge regarding Jesus?

    Roy, you closed with this statement:

    Thank God for my brother, a true Christian “brother” if there ever was one.

    You have me a bit confused. Can you explain a bit further, please.

  • 192. George  |  October 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Roy, you were judging me on my marriage comment?

    Didn’t even notice, lol.

    You ask for forgiveness? What a novel concept, forgiveness.

    Where did you come up with it?

    You are forgiven, not that my forgiveness as any weight.

  • 193. George  |  October 4, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Where is everyone? I finally get to come back, and no one is here?
    Did I miss the Rapture?

  • 194. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

    George, you seem to be running under the following assumption:

    1) All emotionally-based concepts extend from the existence of a Creator and are evidence of our being created in His image.
    2) These concepts include things like Love, Peace, Joy, Forgiveness, Meaning, Purpose, Consciousness, Reason, etc.
    3) Anyone who denies the Source of these concepts is not allowed to ever reference them without being a genuine fool.

    Now, if (1) is accurate, I agree with you.

    So here is my question: if animals display love, joy, peace, and even – yes – forgiveness (I’ve seen dogs do it), and display all the same evidence of being conscious as well… I don’t understand how we can say these are unique to humans.

    I just want you to think about this for a while… we have all heard the pat answers. Trust me, we have. We have also all thought about the pat Christian answers over and over and over. I tried to solve them myself.

    I would like this question answered:

    How could a person demonstrate that things like forgiveness are concepts that are spiritual and not based in nature?

  • 195. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:13 am

    [Oh, I might add the reason why I think a question like that is important is simply because one of the things I have learned from history is that often the things humans take for granted end up being false. Take, for example, the nature of illnesses or the shape of the earth, or what the sky is made of.]

  • 196. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

    How could a person demonstrate that things like forgiveness are concepts that are spiritual and not based in nature?

    Joshua, first of all, thank you for addressing me in this manner.

    I appreciate the opportunity to be here.

    I hope you will agree that mankind has distanced himself greatly from the animal kingdom. If the Bible is correct, we were created by the same God.

    Just as for emotions in man, animals have a set of emotions. It is obvious, especially in our most domestic animals as in dogs, cats, horses and birds. I do not believe this should come as any suprise.

    The Bible tells the story of Balam the prophet who was going to curse Israel for personal gain. The donkey he was riding on stopped when he saw an angel with a sword. Balam started beating the animal. The animal spoke.

    Now, when a person chooses not to believe the Bible, this account means nothing. But, it was a small portion of a much larger account in the history of Israel.

    I believe animals and creation itself were subject to the fall of Adam. That is what the Bible states.

    As to there nature, why would we expect to see anything other that we observe today? Man can train the most wild of animals, stick them into a circus. But, as what happened to Roy in Vegas, oops. Out came the beast.

    Man is no different in that respect. In a fit of rage, man is capable of murder. On the other hand, man can sit a plot the murder of millions, or just his wife. No suprise, it is the sin nature in man from the fall.

    Joshua, no one on this earth can tell you how Satan fell. Why did God record one-third of angels stood with Satan. Not a great PR story for the God of the Bible.

    I have to leave for work, but I would like to complete my thought to you later.

    I will take this straight back to Islam and Israel. To the lists of generations, Old and New Testaments.

    Remember, the Lion will lay down with the Lamb.

    Thanks again, Joshua.

  • 197. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Roy, where are you?

  • 198. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

    George,

    It is in my nature to question everything and not quickly jump to conclusions on these things, so before you add more to what is being said, I would like to address this statement:

    I hope you will agree that mankind has distanced himself greatly from the animal kingdom.

    I do agree that man sees himself as distanced from the animal kingdom, but I do not agree that man is distanced from the animal kingdom. Just because humans tend to think we are special does not mean that we are. Sure, we can do a lot of things other animals cannot, but a lot of animals can do things we cannot. Who gets to determine what makes us better?

    Okay, we can both agree that the average human we meet naturally thinks we are unique and different from the rest of the animal kingdom. However, I am interested in specically what makes us unique. The phrase “made in the image of God” means little to me, because it only evokes the question “where did God get His image from?” And, I think, that is important. I personally think the God of the Bible got His image from man. Men invented an invisible deity who was man’s perfect ideal and explained all of the unknowns in the universe (where we came from, why we are here, what makes us unique, where we are going, etc.)

    And just for the record, let me explain my position on deities. I am an atheist. This means that I do not believe any of the personal Gods men worship actually exist, including Yahweh – who I used to worship. However, I have no problem if a deity actually does exist. It is just my discovery that every single case I know of where men have worshiped a deity, they have also invented the deity. And in every single case, what is occurring is anthropomorphism of the unknown. My hypothesis is that all of the monotheisms are an anthropomorphism of the origins of the universe. This is based upon general observation of human behavior throughout history. If you can demonstrate that this is not true, then I will reconsider my position.

  • 199. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I have a question. What is the source of your knowledge regarding Jesus?

    The Bible. That is not to say that I believe he said every last word attributed to him. I like the things he said about evolving to a higher consciousness (i.e loving enemies, loving neighbor as self, resist not evil, forgive, etc. etc.) I don’t believe all the supernatural stuff.

    Roy, you closed with this statement:

    Thank God for my brother, a true Christian “brother” if there ever was one.

    You have me a bit confused. Can you explain a bit further, please.

    My flesh and blood brother (i.e. sibling) is also a brother in Christ. He encouraged me to seek my own path to salvation even if that meant rejecting all the doctrine that you seem so ready to force upon us with the threat of hell if we reject it.

  • 200. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:06 am

    [George, I think it is also important to note at this point that I am not - to my knowledge - parroting someone else's position. These are things I have thought through extensively on my own. I just so happen to have reached certain conclusions that mirror the conclusions of others. Just as a person could study Christianity, conclude that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but not necessarily agree with every other Christian. So, too, I have reached the conclusion that the Christian God does not exist but I do not necessarily agree on all points with others who consider themselves atheist. I am a free-thinker: meaning that I allow myself to form my own conclusions and believe that - to my knowledge - I am free from dogmatism, ideologies, or coercion from others in my thoughts (like a belief in hell if I am wrong). I allow myself to question anything, on the assumption that I could very well be wrong about the most fundamental things I hold to be true - even if it goes against my intuition.]

  • 201. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:07 am

    And in my dialogue with others, I only hope that they hold the same standard.

  • 202. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Roy, you were judging me on my marriage comment?

    Didn’t even notice, lol.

    You ask for forgiveness? What a novel concept, forgiveness.

    Where did you come up with it?

    You are forgiven, not that my forgiveness as any weight.

    No, I was judging your judgementalness which makes me judgemental which I apologized for. Thanks for forgiving me.

    Well the Bible certainly teaches it but I don’t know if it was original. Certainly I/we could have worked it out with our power of reason. We all tend to get along better if we do it, so it is certainly in our self-interest to do it. It is about transcending our stinking egos.

    Your forgiving has ever bit of weight. Of course it does. If you were to withhold it, our relationship could be irreparably harmed.

  • 203. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:15 am

    EVERY bit of weight.

  • 204. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Where is everyone? I finally get to come back, and no one is here?
    Did I miss the Rapture?

    Yes, you were left behind, George. I find the whole rapture concept to be completely absurd. There are many ways to interpret the Bible, George. My interpretation is metaphysical. It doesn’t involving the supernatural.

    I did read the complete Left Behind (a former pastor called it the Left Buttcheek) series. It was entertaining FICTION, but there are so many problems with a literal interpretation of Revelation that I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

  • 205. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Roy, where are you?

    I have a life.

  • 206. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:30 am

    And George, the idea that God forgives us is warm and fuzzy and it makes US feel better, but if the person who was wronged does not forgive us, that carries ALL the weight as far as our relationship goes. You see, George, my motivation for living my life the way I choose to, has NOTHING to do with any perceived eternal reward or punishment I might receive after I die. Can you understand that? The whole reward/punishment idea is completely EGO based (i.e. what’s in it for me).

  • 207. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Roy and Joshua,

    Just got to work. Will answer you asap. I have a life also.

    Saturday, went to the Mira Mar Air Show. Thunderbirds in the F 18′s, all the joint forces putting on the show.
    Had some thoughts come to mind. Want to share them with you in just a bit.

  • 208. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Excellent. I am right now building an application for the air force. What a small world…

  • 209. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Joshua, are you building software?

  • 210. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Yes, I am!

  • 211. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve done some of that myself, but not for the air force.

  • 212. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Yeah, I work for a third party contractor… we recently finished an application for the top staff. It’s a pretty fun job, really.

  • 213. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Here is the problem, as I see it. I have nothing to lose if you are correct that man has made many gods in his own image. There is nothing I, or anyone else can say to change your mind. But, I will, with your permisson, always give it a go. If you are wrong, the statakes are too high. One never knows.

    Let me add this to the mix. I do not see this as a contest to see if someone may give some credence to what I, or another Christian may say.

    I believe with my mind. Not emotions, even though emotions do come into play. I have chosen to believe the record of Jesus Christ being the Messiah.

    Science is the god of this age.

    This is going to send you over the edge. The Bible states Satan was created perfect in wisdom. The Bible states that Satan is the author of confusion.

    I do not believe this only applies to what man may accept as TRUTH in a religion. It does not only apply to what faith a person may choose, it also would reach into science.

    Deception from Satan would include all avenues open to turn man away from salvation. For this generation, the wisom of man from the secular has emerged via science.

    I am not naive to what you are now thinking, possibly. This guy is a country bumkin, shallow beyond reason. Un-educated in what man knows as scientific fact.

    This is what I know, and believe. If a man is going to accept the god of man, science, and accept as fact that he is merely the highest form of evolved animals, the result could be disasterous.

    I am under no elusion how faith appears. But, take a look at the majority of mankind. What the Buddist’s, Hindu’s, Muslim’s and a miriad of others accepted as truth. Go back to the mythogy of the Greeks, Romans, Medo-Persians, Babylonian’s, and Bob Marley.

    Also, for Roy, you stated your knowlege of Jesus comes from the Bible. True, where else could it come from? The problem lies in the premise of what to adopt from Jesus, and what to deny.

    Jesus spoke of Adam, Moses, Jonah (three days in the belly of a great fish). When asked why he came, Jesus stated,” To destroy the works of the Devil.”

    The gospels describe his encounters with the one Jesus called. “the god of this age.” Satan.

    Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist made a statement that God is trillions of times more intelligent than man. Trillions. I would imagine that would be factual, if the God of the Bible is the one we will have to deal with.

    Mind. That is what the battle is for, your mind, and mind. For me to argue, debate is a better word, the authenticity of the Bible by using the Bible seems circular logic.

  • 214. LeoPardus  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I have nothing to lose if you are correct that man has made many gods in his own image …If you are wrong, the statakes are too high.

    Essentially Pascal’s Wager here. But there are problems.
    You have a lot to lose if you’re wrong and Islam is right. You’re screwed if most of the pantheonic religions are right. You’re screwed if there’s a deity waiting to judge us all on whether we used the brains we were given or trusted to emotions and obscure, ancient mythology.

    The stakes are only high for us, if your, particular mythology turns out to be correct. And that’s even apart from many, many other, conflicting “christian” mythologies.

    Of course in the end, none of us are even a little bit concerned. The madly conflicting statements and depictions of deity in the bible don’t even add up to one consistent being. The madly conflicting ideas about God or Jesus in Christianity don’t either.

    The being you want to propose (BibleGod for lack of a better term) doesn’t exist. You can assert that he does all year if you like. It makes no difference. He cannot exist.

  • 215. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Here is the problem, as I see it.

    I don’t think there is a problem, George. At least there isn’t from my perspective.

    I have nothing to lose if you are correct that man has made many gods in his own image.

    I am correct. Men have been making gods in his own image since the beginning of recorded history. You continue to do it, George. You do have something to lose, George, namely your grasp of reality.

    There is nothing I, or anyone else can say to change your mind. But, I will, with your permisson, always give it a go. If you are wrong, the statakes are too high. One never knows.

    Not true, I change my mind all the time as I continue to collect information. What do you mean if I am wrong, the stakes are high? One never knows? What do you mean by this?

    Let me add this to the mix. I do not see this as a contest to see if someone may give some credence to what I, or another Christian may say.

    Good, because it isn’t.

    I believe with my mind. Not emotions, even though emotions do come into play. I have chosen to believe the record of Jesus Christ being the Messiah.

    Good, that’s what you should be doing, but what does it mean for Christ to be the Messiah? I know what it means to me. What I’m really asking is, what does that mean to you?

    Science is the god of this age.

    Science is not a god to me. Knowledge of how the universe works is a good thing and helps us further understand God, but it is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing. Maybe it is to some people, but so what? How in the world does that impact you, George?

    This is going to send you over the edge. The Bible states Satan was created perfect in wisdom. The Bible states that Satan is the author of confusion.

    I’m not going off the edge. Satan is metaphorical, George. You don’t need a boogey man to blame your problems on. Take personal responsibility. If thinking of evil or ego is easier for you if you personify it, then great. Do what works for you, but please allow Joshua, me and others on this site continue to explore what works for himself/myself/themselves.

    I do not believe this only applies to what man may accept as TRUTH in a religion. It does not only apply to what faith a person may choose, it also would reach into science.

    Not sure I follow. Could you expand on this?

    Deception from Satan would include all avenues open to turn man away from salvation. For this generation, the wisom of man from the secular has emerged via science.

    I believe “Satan” is real, but not is the sense that you seem to. Remember, I interpret the Bible metaphysicall and you seem to interpret it supernaturally. That’s fine. We may be saying the same thing in two different lingos. Can you accept that this may in fact be the case?

    I am not naive to what you are now thinking, possibly. This guy is a country bumkin, shallow beyond reason. Un-educated in what man knows as scientific fact.

    I have no idea what kind of person you are. I have made no assumptions about it. You seem to have accepted the interpretation of spiritual truths that you were taught as a child and stuck with them. That’s fine, but that does not work for some of us. Again, if it works for you, then great.

    This is what I know, and believe. If a man is going to accept the god of man, science, and accept as fact that he is merely the highest form of evolved animals, the result could be disasterous.

    Yes there are all sorts of disasters that could befall us, including self annihilation. Unless we individually get over our egos and start living in what I call Christ consciousness, we could end up extinct. The good news is that we can do it IF we want to do it. But it has to start with the guy in the mirror.

    I am under no elusion how faith appears. But, take a look at the majority of mankind. What the Buddist’s, Hindu’s, Muslim’s and a miriad of others accepted as truth. Go back to the mythogy of the Greeks, Romans, Medo-Persians, Babylonian’s, and Bob Marley.

    They have mostly learned and accepted what they were taught as children and predictably stuck with it, just as you have George. What is your point?

    Also, for Roy, you stated your knowlege of Jesus comes from the Bible. True, where else could it come from? The problem lies in the premise of what to adopt from Jesus, and what to deny.

    Yep, because there are few if any extra-Biblical sources of information on him. There is no problem for me, George. I accept what makes sense to me and discard what doesn’t. I completely agree with his teaching on how to live THIS life, and I make an effort to apply those to my own life. As for whether he was born of a virgin, raised the dead, walked on water, rose from the dead himself, I don’t care. What difference could that possibly make for me? It seems to be important to you, so that great. It obviously works for you, so keep on believing it. But please don’t tell people here they will be punished forever if they don’t. OK?

    Jesus spoke of Adam, Moses, Jonah (three days in the belly of a great fish). When asked why he came, Jesus stated,” To destroy the works of the Devil.”

    True, I agree, but I interpret it metaphysically and you interpret it supernaturally. No problem.

    The gospels describe his encounters with the one Jesus called. “the god of this age.” Satan.

    Yes it does. How do I interpret what that means? How do you interpret what that means? Our own way. And that’s as it should be.

    Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist made a statement that God is trillions of times more intelligent than man. Trillions. I would imagine that would be factual, if the God of the Bible is the one we will have to deal with.

    How did he come up with that number. I would have proposed that God is infinitely more intelligent than any of up. Collectively, humanity is incomprehensibly more intelligent than any one of us. What is your point?

    Mind. That is what the battle is for, your mind, and mind. For me to argue, debate is a better word, the authenticity of the Bible by using the Bible seems circular logic.

    I agree 100%. It is ALL a battle that is played out in the minds of men. Of course that is circular logic so why don’t you stop using it?

  • 216. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    If you are wrong, the statakes are too high. One never knows.

    I thought perfect love was supposed to cast out fear, yet you tacitly admit your entire view of reality is fundamentally based on it and insist that others conform.

    The threat is not real. I repeat, the threat is not real.

    I believe with my mind. Not emotions, even though emotions do come into play.

    Yet you begin by displaying the “stakes” involved.

    Science is the god of this age.

    Sure, if you define God so that science falls under that definition. Anything could be a god at this rate.

    This is going to send you over the edge. The Bible states Satan was created perfect in wisdom. The Bible states that Satan is the author of confusion.

    I know all of this. I’ve read the Bible at least 8 times (probably more like 10). I used to teach Bible studies. Quit acting like we are ignorant. Nobody is going over the edge here.

    Deception from Satan would include all avenues open to turn man away from salvation.

    So anything that disagrees with your interpretation of the Bible is Satanic? Do you see the danger with this?

    I’m just going to stop here for now.

  • 217. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Leo, I was going to say, “Are you serious right now?’ That is the line my 16 year old daughter gives me when I ask her to do something she rather not do.

    I do know you are serious. There is no god.

    Do you belive any part of the Bible at all? Any historical record?

    Anything? Do you believe Jesus even existed? You have, more than likely, told me your view before, please tell me again.

  • 218. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    BTW, George… I do appreciate the new attitude quite a bit. You are showing quite a bit of self-restraint… at least I would be in your shoes given your beliefs :)

  • 219. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Joshua, BTW???? What does it mean?

  • 220. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    It means “By the way”

    I would like to echo Joshua’s sentiment, George. I perceive a change in your attitude as well. Please keep up the good work!

  • 221. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Yes, Roy, Johsua and Leo also. The way I presented myself was too much ego, a bit of anger, but still mostly concern for you.

    I would not be spending time with you if I did not believe what I was stating is true. I realize you believe my concern is misplaced.

    The Bible says a man is sharpend like “steel on steel.” Sparks can fly, so be it. When you believe you have nothing to learn, or someones opinion should not be heard, we all lose.

    I had to take a step back and read some of my posts, I was forced to agree with you, my attitude was wrong. It did go against what Christ would have done. The “vipers” were the religious Scribes who thought they were righteous because they had the law of Moses, even though they could not obey it.

  • 222. LeoPardus  |  October 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    George:

    I think that the Bible contains some historical elements, just like most other mythologies do. For example, we all know that the city of Troy was real and there really was a big battle there with the Greeks. But none of us believes Ares, the god of war, fought in any part of it.

    Similarly there was a kingdom of Israel. The kings and battles listed in the OT may have been real. Certainly Herod, Pilate, and others were real in NT times.

    Was Jesus a real person? I think so (though some here do not). The NT accounts are embellished quite a lot. (You can see similar embellishments about Buddha and Muhammad too.)

    What was Jesus really like? We can never know. (Obviously I used to think that we could of course.)

  • 223. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Do you belive any part of the Bible at all? Any historical record?

    Anything? Do you believe Jesus even existed? You have, more than likely, told me your view before, please tell me again.

    George, for the sake of trying to sympathize with our situation, take some time to read the story about Elijah and the three groups of soldiers – two of which were destroyed by fire from heaven. Forgive me, I am relating all of this from memory…

    It finally hit me one day reading it that the entire story only made sense to me if it was legend designed to teach a lesson. After all, the entire story makes no ethical sense. God destroys an entire group of soldiers to teach their commander a lesson? I mean, c’mon! The poor soldiers were only following the orders of their leader – and God killed them (and not the leader) – to make a point? I thought all humans were equal in God’s sight and He judges each one according to their own deeds? Now He treating some like chattle and respecting the established man-made heirarchy of order and treating the commander with more respect?

    [Now, immediately George your mind is going into "defend the reality of this story mode". That is fine. You will now look for any way to justify God's behavior in this story. But all I will do is raise my eyebrows. Why can't God show up and defend His own actions here?]

    Not only that, but a second group of soldiers makes the same mistake – even though all of those bodies were lying around from the first group that got roasted?

    The story works if you interpret it as a man-made story to teach a theological lesson, but it does not really work as soon as you start to imagine it happening with real people in a real setting. It is far too… contrived, for lack of a better word. It follows the typical “two things happen, but the third time…” pattern. It ignores obvious questions like “what about all the innocent soldiers who died?” In short, it is easier for be to believe it is a legend, not real.

    That is the way I feel about most of the stories in the Bible. We cannot know which portions are true or not because we cannot separate legend from reality, because legend (by nature) is written to look like reality. This does not, however, mean we “can’t know anything” because I am being far too skeptical. From my perspective, this healthy level of skepticism has allowed me to discover a truth that I would otherwise not notice. How would I ever even entertain the idea that stories in the Bible or in the Koran *might* be legend if I was not allowed to have a healthy level of skepticism?

    So then, my knowledge about how humans write stories and how legends form allows me to take a story like Elijah’s here and look for patterns that help me go “hmmm… this story appears to fit the pattern of legend because of this and this and this.” Therefore, if a God exists and He wants me to use my mind, He must praise me for using the mind He gave me to carefully ascertain the nature of this story about Elijah and not just blinded believe it must be true because it is inspired and I know it is inspired because a book written hundreds of years later says it is because this story about Elijah happened to end up in the canon that I now have over a thousand years later.

    In short, I am thinking free from potential threats if I get it wrong. It is very freeing, George.

  • 224. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    I really appreciate your concern, George, but please don’t be more concerned about us than you would be for any other of your fellow men. Just trust that we are doing what is right for us and that your god is guiding us whether our conception of him/her/it is the correct one in you view or whether we even believe that your god exists. How about we just leave it there? It is really not productive for any of us to argue against straw men. Arguing about whether any of our conceptions of god or lack of any conception of any god is in my opinion just that kind of pointless argument.

    The purpose of this site is to help those who are shedding what has become for them an untenable belief system. You may even, God forbid, need our help at some point in the future. I for one will be glad to provide any help I can.

    Peace and Love!

  • 225. Joe  |  October 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    1. Bozone (n.) The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

    5. Sarchasm (n) The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

  • 226. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Roy, let me try to explain what I mean more clearly:

    Not true, I change my mind all the time as I continue to collect information. What do you mean if I am wrong, the stakes are high? One never knows? What do you mean by this?

    In my mind, since the God of the Bible is the creator, and Jesus Christ is the fullfillment of the promise of messiah, the refusing of Jesus as the saviour makes the stakes more than high.

    In me stating that you will not change your mind is an error on my part, should not have stated that. Sorry.

    Roy, your next question was about

    Good, that’s what you should be doing, but what does it mean for Christ to be the Messiah? I know what it means to me. What I’m really asking is, what does that mean to you?

    Jesus Christ takes the place for any man who comes in faith, seeking the shed blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sin.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who ever believes on him will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

    I believe that man is a sinner by nature and by choice. Did we choose this for ourselves? No. In our minds it seems unfair. It does not change to claims of the Bible. It does not change the prophecy of Israel and the Jews.

    You are correct, it does not seem logical from a human viewpoint, I do not disagree. But, does that make it not true?

    If we do not understand the nature of the God of the Bible, does it mean he does not exist?

    I believe Satan is a real being. He is, as Jesus stated, “the god of this age.” As far as I am concerned, I believe man is eternal, and understand it or not, there is a standard that man cannot live up to.

    Believe me, I know how this belief sounds. I can only state that God has chosen this path to redeem man. It is the Bible that states what mans true condition is, sets out the plan to correct the momentary distrubtance in the force. Which is what the Bible claims this to be.

    The plan from Gen. 3:15, from the seed of a women Satan would be destroyed, man would be redeemed is what I believe happend.

    The Bible goes to great length to list the geneologies from Adam, from Moses, from King David to Christ. You know all the claims, you have studied the same scriptures. The difference is you have decided it is not applicable to you.

    I respect that. I have made my choice though. I believe the Bible to be the address of one man, Jesus Christ. If the God of the Bible is Jesus Christ, I would expect him to do what he stated he came to do. Bring us back. If his plan put him on a cross, according to the scriptures, so be it.

    Jesus claimed not to be born on earth, but pre-existed. Either this is true or not. If we had to put a word to evil, expound on it, sin may be a good place to start. Jesus forcast his own death, often. Why? And who in the world would die for a lie as his disciples did.

    So Roy, when you ask me about the Messiah, what it means to me? It is the Bible from start to finish. There is no book like it one the earth, never has been, never will be. The prophecy regarding Israel is being played out every day right in front of us.

    If Jesus is not who he claimed to be, if the gospels are not presenting truth, there is no truth. Truth, we all use the world. Pilot asked “what is truth?”

    Why the stories from anciet time, why does man still search for anything outside of himself? What is it about the history, and the present condition of man that we do not seem to be able to come to agreement.

    I can tell you this much, Jerusalem will hold the final key. Israel is on center stage. I believe Messiah is coming, the same one that left earth 2,000 years ago.

    So, it is more that a Christ consciousness to me. It is the person of Jesus Christ himself. The Holy Spirit. God manifested in three persons, and why not? What is so hard to believe? Virgin birth? Had to be, if the Blood shed was in God’s plan, no matter how hokey or simplistic man views it. Apparently, the God of the Jews placed a high level of significance on blood.

    I did not write it, but I believe it, 40 writers, 66 book over a period of 1,500 plus years.

    Roy, sorry, but I do not know how to answer you in a much shorter way, except this. I believe I am a sinner, battle with a nature I do not fully understand, I can see that this nature would be against a righteous god. I have a firm understanding, built into my being of the knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil.

    I accept the Bible as the authority for man, and the only way God has supplied is the Messiah, his death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is the dividing line for all mankind.

    And Israel is the key to the timeclock. I believe we are there.

    And Roy, science is the god of this age, and I believe man has taken what he believes he knows to be factual to deny faith in any god, not alone the God of the Bible. The wisdom of man, and the pride of what he believes science proves, is the ultimate downfall.

    This is what I believe. Just as the book of Revelation states, “God will give man over to believing the great delusion.” Speaking of the anti-christ who comes to Israel, claiming to be God.

    I believe scientists like Richard Dawkins, who leave the classroom, pen a scathing book which attacks the God of the Bible, are the ones who will learn this fact, “The wisdom of man is foolishness to God.”

    There is too much in the Bible to cast it out of hand. Nothing compares in this world. We have a man, yes, it is the Bible claiming to be written by men as they were directed by the Holy Spirit, but, what if it was?

  • 227. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I notice that you have come a long way too, Joe. You seem different than you seemed in your earlier comments. Do they still call these sniglets? I’ve always liked them. Please feel free to weigh back in on weightier matters if and when you want.

  • 228. SnugglyBuffalo  |  October 5, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Unfortunately, Bozone is already in use. It’s a sort of events calendar serving the city of Bozeman, MT.

  • 229. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    In my mind, since the God of the Bible is the creator, and Jesus Christ is the fullfillment of the promise of messiah, the refusing of Jesus as the saviour makes the stakes more than high.

    In what way does that make the stakes more than high? Would that be higher? Higher than what?

    In me stating that you will not change your mind is an error on my part, should not have stated that. Sorry.

    No problem, I forgive you.

    Good, that’s what you should be doing, but what does it mean for Christ to be the Messiah? I know what it means to me. What I’m really asking is, what does that mean to you?

    Jesus Christ takes the place for any man who comes in faith, seeking the shed blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sin.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who ever believes on him will not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

    Have you read verse 17? What does it say that he didn’t come to do?

    I believe that man is a sinner by nature and by choice. Did we choose this for ourselves? No. In our minds it seems unfair. It does not change to claims of the Bible. It does not change the prophecy of Israel and the Jews.

    There may be something that seems unfair in your mind but there is nothing that seems unfair in mine. There used to be. And what do Israel and the Jews have to do with anything other than that Jesus lived there and was one?

    You are correct, it does not seem logical from a human viewpoint, I do not disagree. But, does that make it not true?

    From my perspective using my current interpretation of the Bible it is completely logical. It is true, but in a way you seem to be completely missing, in my opinion.

    If we do not understand the nature of the God of the Bible, does it mean he does not exist?

    In my opinion, God is a complete mystery. How can we say with certainty whether something we cannot even coherently define, exists or not?

    There is a great deal that neither of us understands. Please correct me if that does not apply to you, but it certainly does apply to me. For that reason, it is my opinion that that fact alone should make us careful about proclaiming that our own version of the truth is THE truth.

    I believe Satan is a real being. He is, as Jesus stated, “the god of this age.” As far as I am concerned, I believe man is eternal, and understand it or not, there is a standard that man cannot live up to.

    You certainly will not live up to any standard that you do not believe you can live up to.

    Believe me, I know how this belief sounds. I can only state that God has chosen this path to redeem man. It is the Bible that states what mans true condition is, sets out the plan to correct the momentary distrubtance in the force. Which is what the Bible claims this to be.

    I believe you. It sounds wacky to me too.

    Whoa, who said anything about disturbances in the force? What is the force? Are you changing lingo’s on me in midstream?

    The plan from Gen. 3:15, from the seed of a women Satan would be destroyed, man would be redeemed is what I believe happend.

    Hold on now. My Bible does not say one word about any Satan in Gen. 3:15. It says something about a serpent. Where are you seeing anything about Satan? What version of the Bible are you reading? Have you even read Genesis?

    The Bible goes to great length to list the geneologies from Adam, from Moses, from King David to Christ. You know all the claims, you have studied the same scriptures. The difference is you have decided it is not applicable to you.

    Have I ever said in these comments that I do not believe the Bible is applicable to me? Quoting myself: ” I accept what makes sense to me and discard what doesn’t. I completely agree with his teaching on how to live THIS life, and I make an effort to apply those to my own life.” That sounds to me like I consider Jesus’ teachings applicable to me.

    You know George. I get the impression that you are so caught up in tell us what you think that you aren’t even listening to us.

    I respect that. I have made my choice though. I believe the Bible to be the address of one man, Jesus Christ. If the God of the Bible is Jesus Christ, I would expect him to do what he stated he came to do. Bring us back. If his plan put him on a cross, according to the scriptures, so be it.

    You say you respect that. Do you really?

    I have done exactly the same thing you have. I have read the Bible, interpreted it in a way that makes sense to me, and made my choice about how it applies to my life. I respect your belief, but I’m not convinced you do respect mine.

    Jesus claimed not to be born on earth, but pre-existed. Either this is true or not. If we had to put a word to evil, expound on it, sin may be a good place to start. Jesus forcast his own death, often. Why? And who in the world would die for a lie as his disciples did.

    Why? Because everybody dies. It is very predictable. People die because of spaceships that follow comets too. I have no idea why anybody would die over nonsense. It is completely irrational to do that.

    So Roy, when you ask me about the Messiah, what it means to me? It is the Bible from start to finish. There is no book like it one the earth, never has been, never will be. The prophecy regarding Israel is being played out every day right in front of us.

    Thanks for sharing, now I understand you better. That’s not what it means to me and I’ve read the story and thought about it a great deal. Are you sure you are not just regurgitating something you have been told, or interpreting it in a way that somebody told you to interpret it?

    If Jesus is not who he claimed to be, if the gospels are not presenting truth, there is no truth. Truth, we all use the world. Pilot asked “what is truth?”

    That is not true. Whether the gospels are true or not in their literal sense in no way determines whether truth exists. I really don’t believe you have truly thought these things out George.

    Why the stories from anciet time, why does man still search for anything outside of himself? What is it about the history, and the present condition of man that we do not seem to be able to come to agreement.

    I can tell you this much, Jerusalem will hold the final key. Israel is on center stage. I believe Messiah is coming, the same one that left earth 2,000 years ago.

    I believe the messiah is coming too, just not in the sense that you seem to think.

    So, it is more that a Christ consciousness to me. It is the person of Jesus Christ himself. The Holy Spirit. God manifested in three persons, and why not? What is so hard to believe? Virgin birth? Had to be, if the Blood shed was in God’s plan, no matter how hokey or simplistic man views it. Apparently, the God of the Jews placed a high level of significance on blood.

    Let’s be honest, George. Virgin birth is pretty hard to believe. If my own daughter, God love her, were to claim it, I would NOT believe it. Unless of course I had fitted her with an impregnable (pun intended) chastity belt. Even then I would be highly suspicious.

    I believe that God takes the form of multiple persons too (and I believe it is more than three, to give you a hint).

    Yeah the Jews placed a lot of importance on sacrificing animals and blood and a bunch of other such nonsense. Ancient people did a lot of stupid things. So what?

    I did not write it, but I believe it, 40 writers, 66 book over a period of 1,500 plus years.

    I’ve asked this of somebody else in another comment but I believe it needs to be asked again: Do you believe everything you read?

    Roy, sorry, but I do not know how to answer you in a much shorter way, except this. I believe I am a sinner, battle with a nature I do not fully understand, I can see that this nature would be against a righteous god. I have a firm understanding, built into my being of the knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil.

    George, I honestly believe you would be much happier if you thought more highly of yourself. Jesus did not intend to put us down. He intended to elevate us to his level. How can you not see that?

    I accept the Bible as the authority for man, and the only way God has supplied is the Messiah, his death and shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is the dividing line for all mankind.

    My honest opinion, George, is that you believe in authority WAY too much. Could we please not discuss blood? It makes me queasy.

    And Israel is the key to the timeclock. I believe we are there.

    Time will tell. In my opinion you are WAY too caught up in thinking your interpretation of prophesy is the only correct one.

    And Roy, science is the god of this age, and I believe man has taken what he believes he knows to be factual to deny faith in any god, not alone the God of the Bible. The wisdom of man, and the pride of what he believes science proves, is the ultimate downfall.

    George, science is not a god. Science is not a downfall. Wisdom is good. Science helps us to better understand God as I interpret him. It will always be at odds with your interpretation of God, because that God DOES NOT EXIST! There I said it and I feel better. Please listen to yourself, think about things, I mean REALLY think about things. This conversation really is fruitless until you invest more thought into these matters.

    This is what I believe. Just as the book of Revelation states, “God will give man over to believing the great delusion.” Speaking of the anti-christ who comes to Israel, claiming to be God.

    How on God’s green earth do you know that YOUR belief is not delusional? Jesus H. Christ!!!!!!!

    I believe scientists like Richard Dawkins, who leave the classroom, pen a scathing book which attacks the God of the Bible, are the ones who will learn this fact, “The wisdom of man is foolishness to God.”

    Are you talking about “The God Delusion”? If so, have you read it. If no, I’m not going to discuss it with you until you have.

    There is too much in the Bible to cast it out of hand. Nothing compares in this world. We have a man, yes, it is the Bible claiming to be written by men as they were directed by the Holy Spirit, but, what if it was?

    I’m am certainly not discarding the Bible out of hand. I’ve stated that repeatedly, but you will not read and think about what I am saying.

    What if it was? What is your point in asking that question?

  • 230. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    George, I apologize if some of the things I say in response to you seem harsh, but in all honesty, your mind seems about as closed as Fort Knox. In my opinion, it is as harder for a close minded man to advance spiritually than it is for a virgin to get pregnant.

  • 231. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Fundamentalist: make assertion

    Free-thinker: ask question about assertion

    Fundamentalist: make assertion of threat if previous assertion is not accepted

    Free-thinker: ask question about asserted threat

    Fundamentalist: make assertion that free-thinker is deceived

    Free-thinker: point out that people who do not question are self-deceived

    Fundamentalist: call free-thinker a fool

    Free-thinker: laugh

    Fundamentalist: point out that harm will come to those who mock previous assertion

    Free-thinker: point out that agent of harm does not exist

    Then both get hit by a bus.

  • 232. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    but in all honesty, your mind seems about as closed as Fort Knox.

    Speak for yourself. If I could show you that hell does not exist, would you admit you are wrong?

  • 233. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Because, quite frankly, if you could show me that your God exists I would admit I am.

  • 234. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Speak for yourself. If I could show you that hell does not exist, would you admit you are wrong?

    I was speaking for myself. In my opinion, George’s mind seems as closed a Fort Knox. I don’t think hell exists as some sort of other-worldly place beyond death. I do think we can create hells of our own making in the here and now, but they aren’t divine punishment and they do not last forever. We can learn from them if we are smart.

  • 235. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Because, quite frankly, if you could show me that your God exists I would admit I am.

    My God exist. Yes, you are and So am I. So it is.

  • 236. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    George, in your recent posts you have referred to science as the god of this age and also Satan as the god of this age. Do you think that science is Satan, that scientific knowledge is Satanic?

    Please consider for a moment what science is. According to Webster, science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

    Because of science, we have learned how to save people who would have otherwise died, we have learned how to improve the quality of life for all beings on the planet, we have learned how to clean up our air and land, we have learned how to better our food production. Science has been used to build and improve churches, schools, and these computers that are helping us to communicate right now. I have my right arm because of science. Actually, I would be dead right now if it weren’t for medical research.

    Do you go to the dentist? Science. Have you had your cholesterol checked? Science. Would you take chemotherapy if you get cancer? Science. I bet you trust doctors and researchers who have come up with ways to heal your body, yet you are not allowed to trust researchers who are trying to discover things about earth’s history or the history of men and animals. Are they evil for using their brains to study the earth…or are they are evil for coming up with conclusions that are different than your interpretation of the Bible?

    This doesn’t make sense. If you really believe that man’s wisdom is foolishness to God, why go to the dentist? Why go to the doctor? Just believe whatever the Bible happens to say about dentistry or medicine. If it doesn’t say much, then don’t worry about such earthly things.

    On the other hand, if scientific experiments are being used to prove things that you disagree with, then you don’t have to claim that all science is satanic or is some kind of god. Just disagree with those things. You have that right. You can still admire the amazing things that scientists have discovered and will continue to discover that will improve YOUR life. You can even be open to what scientists have to say, because so many scientific principles just WORK in real life and can be trusted because you can see them working!

    I am sure that you would agree that “knowledge obtained from the study” of Scripture is not Satanic. Why would you believe that knowledge obtained from the study of the world (that your God made) is Satanic? Does your God really not want you to study his creation? Why would that be?

  • 237. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Good God! Wow, I made a huge mistake. I misread your comment and for some reason thought George was writing it to you.

    No, you aren’t close-minded in my opinion Roy.

    Wow, how embarrassing. I want my pre-fall or post-glorification brain now, please.

  • 238. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Correction:

    My God exists, you are, I am, and so it is.

    Trivia question:

    What name did God call himself in the story of the burning bush?

  • 239. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Relax Jushua. I know. I was just having fun with you. :-)

  • 240. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    JOshua that is. Yeshua. Jesus. Whatever.

  • 241. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I want my pre-fall or post-glorification brain now, please.
    :-)

    I don’t want a pre-fall brain thank you, but a post-glorification brain would be great.

    Believe it or not George, the so-called “fall” was a big step in human evolution. If you don’t know what I mean, re-read the creation story and think about what it might mean if you give up your beloved literal interpretation.

  • 242. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I am sure that you would agree that “knowledge obtained from the study” of Scripture is not Satanic.

    Porcupine,

    I would actually say that some knowledge obtained from Scripture is “Satanic”, if it is interpreted and/or applied incorrectly.

  • 243. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Roy, notice that I mentioned George would agree with that statement, not that I would!!! Of course, I don’t really believe in Satan – although maybe I believe in the metaphysical satan you believe in. I haven’t figured out what I metaphysically believe just yet, still getting rid of old literal beliefs. ;-) LOL

  • 244. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Or wait, did you use the word metaphorical? Or was it some other fancy word that does not mean literal. Sorry, you guys are too smart for me sometimes. :-P

  • 245. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Fair enough Porcupine. Honestly my comment was intended to be for Georges benefit. I’m glad to be of help to anybody who is honestly seeking. Jesus was right when he said that you will surely find. Just keep on seeking, even when it seems you are continually coming up empty. You aren’t.

  • 246. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    What actually concerns me about George is that he seems to have stopped seeking. He seems to think he has already found it.

  • 247. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Notwithstanding what George thinks, the very fact that you are de-converting means to me that you are honestly seeking and I believe you will be rewarded. Persevere!

  • 248. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Hint: The kingdom of heaven is within you but it is up to you to find it.

  • 249. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Oh George, oh George, wherefore art thou George?

  • 250. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    …and before anybody accuses me of being a moron, let me rephrase: Why George are you so close minded? What can we do to help free you from your closed mind?

  • 251. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    God spoke out of the burning bush to Moses, I AM, was the title he stated .

    WHAT DO I WIN???? COME ON ROY

  • 252. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Nothing until you give the correct answer.

  • 253. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Roy, thanks for your kind words. I am not necessarily seeking. I know what I don’t believe now, and for the most part am just trying to be a kind and loving person. What I “believe” about God and supernatural things doesn’t seem to be as important as how I live my life.

  • 254. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    And…..if you give one more incorrect answer, you will be punished….FFFFOOOOORRRREEEEEVVVVEEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!!!!

  • 255. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Roy, thanks for your kind words. I am not necessarily seeking. I know what I don’t believe now, and for the most part am just trying to be a kind and loving person. What I “believe” about God and supernatural things doesn’t seem to be as important as how I live my life.

    Well, you sought and found that gem of wisdom. Don’t ever think that “you guys are too smart for me sometimes”. We aren’t.

  • 256. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    No pressure, George. :-)

  • 257. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Well you all do use a lot of long words! :-)

  • 258. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    The longest one I’ve seen on this thread was “Antidisestablishmentarianism”. It wasn’t me, but I would challenge whoever did to use it in a meaningful sentence. Joe?

    Knowing big words doesn’t make one smart. Knowing how to google them does.

  • 259. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    How on God’s green earth do you know that YOUR belief is not delusional? Jesus H. Christ!!!!!!!

    Gee, Roy, chill out a bit. LOL

    Have you read verse 17? What does it say that he didn’t come to do?

    Roy, not alone have I read it, I can quote it.

    “For Christ came not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world thru him might be saved. For this is the condemnation, that light came into the world, but men loved darkness more than the light because their deeds were evil.

    NOW, I DID NOT LOOK THAT UP, IF I BLEW IT SOMEWHERE, YOU STILL GET THE IDEA.

    Yes, I am a bit closed minded. But, over many years I studied many faiths, their doctrine, who wrote their scripture. Mohammed, Buddah, Confusious, how ever you spell it

    It seems a bit different to pick and choose what part of the words of Christ one accepts for their life from the Bible, then rejects the scripture that does not fit their life, a life acceptable to themselves. Why bother with any mention of Jesus Christ?

    Why can’t God exist? Why can’t there be a virgin birth? Is that too hard for God? Don’t see that as being difficult.

    Roy, you ask a question, easy answer…..you said

    “Science is not a god to me. Knowledge of how the universe works is a good thing and helps us further understand God, but it is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing. Maybe it is to some people, but so what? How in the world does that impact you, George? ”

    BTW, you and Porcupine see to think that I really think science is a god, you know better, I hope.

    It is a way of saying the teaching of evolution that takes away creation as an option has become a god that replaces the need for faith in the God of the Bible. I may have not stated it well, but you get the drift. You look at what is scientific fact, as man sees it, and the outcome for many scientists rules out the God of the Bible, and the record of Genesis.

    The next step follows very easily. No God, no need for Jesus, no nation of Israel that was set apart by this imaginary God, no Satan, no Hell. No life after death. No future judgement.

    No hell below us, above us only sky….right ? I have real doubts if John Lennon still would be signing the same lyrics today.

    Porcupine, I am not saying Satan is science. Only that if Satan works in the mind of anyone to believe that any scientific finding results in believing there is no God, Satan accomplished his goal. Remember, I believe he exists, and wages warfare for the minds of men. Time will tell.

  • 260. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    “Antidisestablishmentarianism” There, I used it also.

    Loose interpetation……….Jesus used this against the Jews and Romans, right Roy? lol

  • 261. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Admit it Roy, you are glad I am back ! ! ! !

    If not. Don’t tell me.

    If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right…..

    Yikes, don’t ask me where that came from….

    Am starting to like you though….how do you get the smiley faces, and all the goodies?

  • 262. George  |  October 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Roy, you said you have a daughter? I have four. If you figure out the belt, send me the plans. LOL

  • 263. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    How on God’s green earth do you know that YOUR belief is not delusional? Jesus H. Christ!!!!!!!

    Gee, Roy, chill out a bit. LOL

    I’m completely chilled. Just added emphasis in an attempt to breach the walls of Fort Knox. :-) I’ve always wondered what the ‘H’ stands for (and I know that Christ is not his last name). Could it be “Hell-monger”? Actually he did use a dump outside of Jerusalem a lot in his parables, which got mistranslated (perhaps intentionally?) into hell.

    Have you read verse 17? What does it say that he didn’t come to do?

    Roy, not alone have I read it, I can quote it.

    “For Christ came not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world thru him might be saved. For this is the condemnation, that light came into the world, but men loved darkness more than the light because their deeds were evil.

    NOW, I DID NOT LOOK THAT UP, IF I BLEW IT SOMEWHERE, YOU STILL GET THE IDEA.

    So why do you ignore the meaning of that verse? Are you sticking with your eternal damnation story?

    Yes, I am a bit closed minded. But, over many years I studied many faiths, their doctrine, who wrote their scripture. Mohammed, Buddah, Confusious, how ever you spell it

    A bit?

    It seems a bit different to pick and choose what part of the words of Christ one accepts for their life from the Bible, then rejects the scripture that does not fit their life, a life acceptable to themselves. Why bother with any mention of Jesus Christ?

    Porcupine’s approach to life seems perfectly acceptable to me. Do you have a problem with it?

    Because I believe he had some very profound things to teach, that he actually lived his teachings, and he called us to do likewise.

    Why can’t God exist? Why can’t there be a virgin birth? Is that too hard for God? Don’t see that as being difficult.

    I did not say that God doesn’t exist. We have not even agreed on a definition of what we are talking about. The God that you seem to be describing certainly does not exist. Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you think God is a supernatural being of some sort. THAT god does not exist. I know that THAT god does not exist. How do I know? Because I don’t even know what a supernatural being is, and you don’t know either. Am I right? No? Describe this being to me.

    Roy, you ask a question, easy answer…..you said

    “Science is not a god to me. Knowledge of how the universe works is a good thing and helps us further understand God, but it is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing. Maybe it is to some people, but so what? How in the world does that impact you, George? ”

    BTW, you and Porcupine see to think that I really think science is a god, you know better, I hope.

    We hope YOU know better, but frankly it’s hard to tell from your comment. Right Porcupine?

    It is a way of saying the teaching of evolution that takes away creation as an option has become a god that replaces the need for faith in the God of the Bible. I may have not stated it well, but you get the drift. You look at what is scientific fact, as man sees it, and the outcome for many scientists rules out the God of the Bible, and the record of Genesis.

    Evolution *IS* creation! I highly suspect that you have TOTALLY misunderstood who the God of the Bible is to the point that it is a complete waste of time to even have a discussion with you about it until you re-read it and think hard about what it is, how it came into being, what it says, and what it doesn’t say.

    The next step follows very easily. No God, no need for Jesus, no nation of Israel that was set apart by this imaginary God, no Satan, no Hell. No life after death. No future judgement.

    No hell below us, above us only sky….right ? I have real doubts if John Lennon still would be signing the same lyrics today.

    George, you are so out in left field so to speak, words fail me. But it matters not to me. Your beliefs are yours and obviously they work for you. Please understand that there are other perspectives. All Christians DO NOT AGREE WITH YOUR INTERPRETATION. And guess what. They are as much Christians as you are! Surprise, surprise! “Hell” is real, but it is not some supernatural torture chamber with a “Satan” character going “Bwahahahahaha, I’m evil incarnate! You are mine now! Worship MEEEEEEEE”! That is an antiquated belief shared by antiquated people. Nothing personal intended.

    Porcupine, I am not saying Satan is science. Only that if Satan works in the mind of anyone to believe that any scientific finding results in believing there is no God, Satan accomplished his goal. Remember, I believe he exists, and wages warfare for the minds of men. Time will tell.

    Warfare is certainly waged in the minds of men George. By OURSELVES!!!!! The message of the gospel is THAT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SO and it tells us HOW TO GET FROM THERE FROM HERE. Anything less is more than useless, George! It is a damnable lie!

  • 264. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Or from HERE TO THERE. Where are you when I need you Dr. Suess? :-)

  • 265. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Admit it Roy, you are glad I am back ! ! ! !

    If not. Don’t tell me.

    If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right…..

    Yikes, don’t ask me where that came from….

    Am starting to like you though….how do you get the smiley faces, and all the goodies?

    Yes George, I’m glad you’re back.

    Type : followed by ) to get a smiley face when you submit.

  • 266. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Type before and after a block of text to italicize it. This differentiates for other readers what you said verses what I said.

  • 267. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Type before and after a block of text to italicize it. This differentiates for ourselves and other readers what you said vs. what I said.

  • 268. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Boy, Roy ! ! ! ! And you call me closed minded????

    So why do you ignore the meaning of that verse? Are you sticking with your eternal damnation story?

    MY QUESTION TO YOU ???? Are you serious? Jesus came to die so you woulld not be condemned, that is what the verses are about, 17 and 18. There is condemnation from the words of Jesus Christ. He was, and is, the light that came into the world. Jesus told the Jews, if you do not believe I am the messiah, you will die in your sins?

    You do not get to stop at verse 17. Is that not fair? Read the contex of the chapter. There is a need for man to be born of the spirit of God. This is what Nick was told. You must be born again. The corruption must put on incorruption.

    I know you know the scripture. This is what I believe. I will die with the same faith I have today. Of this I am positve.

    Do you still think I am closed minded?

  • 269. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Oops!

    Enclose an ‘i’ between to start block of italics. Enclolse ‘/i’ between to end block of italics. Let me go look up and provide you a link to html instructions for you. I’ll give it in a subsequent comment.

  • 270. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    :) Like that?

  • 271. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks, Roy :)

  • 272. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Hellfire and damnation!

    Here is the html link: http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp

  • 273. Joshua  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    George. You’re doing it again. A GOOD SIGN YOU ARE LOSING SELF_CONTROL IS WHNE YOU START MAKING MISTAKES LIKE THIS!!!! ALL CAPS!!!! NO??!?!?!?!?

    WOW I CAN HOLD DOWN SHITFG!!!!!

    A man who has to shout has not begun to understand the power of softly spoken word at just the right moment. Did not Solomon say that wise words are like apples of gold in settings of silver?

  • 274. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Roy, went to the link, now what?

  • 275. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Joshua,

    I have never yelled in my life ! ! !

  • 276. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Roy, you said you have a daughter? I have four. If you figure out the belt, send me the plans. LOL

    Yes, her name is Emily and she is 8 years old. There will be no belt. The plan is to discuss things frankly with her brother and her (already in progress). They will be taught personal responsibility, which means the best way to avoid pregnancy of the non-virgin type is to remain one and hope that the Holy Spirit stays clear. Failing that, use effective birth control correctly.

  • 277. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Joshua,

    I am frequently guilty of using caps for imphasis. Sorry! I’ll try to do better.

    Please go easy on George as he is learning the HTML ropes. So am I. And I am a slow typist to boot.

  • 278. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Crap,I’m also a sorry speller without spell check. *emphasis*

  • 279. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Roy, went to the link, now what?

    Click on the link for tag references and see what’s available. I’m no expert but this is where I would look.

  • 280. GeorgeZ  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Yes, her name is Emily and she is 8 years old. There will be no belt. The plan is to discuss things frankly with her brother and her (already in progress). They will be taught personal responsibility, which means the best way to avoid pregnancy of the non-virgin type is to remain one and hope that the Holy Spirit stays clear. Failing that, use effective birth control correctly.

    ROY, YOU ARE THE BEST ……….SORRY joshua

  • 281. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Boy, Roy ! ! ! ! And you call me closed minded????

    Yes I did, I think the label fits, and of course you don’t see it. Once I help you unlock the prison door and you see things from outside the box, you will understand.

    MY QUESTION TO YOU ???? Are you serious? Jesus came to die so you woulld not be condemned, that is what the verses are about, 17 and 18. There is condemnation from the words of Jesus Christ. He was, and is, the light that came into the world. Jesus told the Jews, if you do not believe I am the messiah, you will die in your sins?

    Yes, I have never been more serious about anything, George. He didn’t die for us, George. He *lived* for us. Maybe he condemned the Pharisees for what they were teaching and doing, but not *eternally*. And he most certainly did not condemn you and he did not condemn me. Forget the Jews. You know George, we are all going to die. Whether we die in ours sins so to speak, or die trying to transcend them is certainly our choice, but we will die. That is clear. What then is eternal life? I don’t know and I can only speculate, but I’ve seen nothing in scripture which rules out reincarnation as a possibility. I have friends who claim to be able to rule it in using scripture. So you see, George, it’s all about interpretation.

    You do not get to stop at verse 17. Is that not fair? Read the contex of the chapter. There is a need for man to be born of the spirit of God. This is what Nick was told. You must be born again. The corruption must put on incorruption.

    I get to stop anywhere I want to, but I did read on. Fair enough. Yes I agree George, but the question is: What does that mean? Therein lies the rub. What exactly does that mean?

    I know you know the scripture. This is what I believe. I will die with the same faith I have today. Of this I am positve.

    But I always seek to know more. It is sad to me that you believe you are going to die today. Or do you mean that your faith never grows? Actually, either is sad. Become less positive and you will become more open-minded.

    Do you still think I am closed minded?

    Absolutely.

  • 282. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    ROY, YOU ARE THE BEST ……….SORRY joshua

    You are the best too, George, and so is Joshua. And so is Porcupine and every other commenter on this site.

    Now, open your mind wide and say AHHHHHHHH!

  • 283. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right…..

    Yikes, don’t ask me where that came from….

    OK, George I won’t ask you if you are gay, not that there’s anything wrong with that. :)

  • 284. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    While I await George’s second coming (or was it third or fourth, I lost count) I will comment on the actual article.

    I’ve been reading the comments here lately and I have noticed that a lot of Christian readers say the same things over and over again: “If you REALLY had been a Christian you would have never de-converted.”

    Some Christians *must* de-convert. I know. I am one of them.

    Now the details of the statements differ from reader to reader, some saying “if you’d really had faith,” others saying “if you’d really known the love of God,” or “if you’d really read the Bible with an open heart,” “if you really prayed honestly,” or even “if you were a true seeker you would have found the Lord.”

    I consider myself a de-converted, re-born again, Christian. I would respond to those heckling pre-de-converted Christians as follows:

    If you’d really had a growing, dynamic, and evolving faith, then you would have de-converted.

    If you’d really known the love of God, then you’d know that his so-called judgement is *always* expressed in the context of his love, then you would have de-converted.

    If you’d really read the Bible with an open *mind* rather than an open heart (which is a surgical procedure done under anesthesia), then you would have de-converted.

    If you’d really prayed honestly *and* your prayer had been answered, then you would have de-converted.

    If you were a true seeker, you would have noticed the so-called “devil” in the details, you would have *really* found the Lord, then you would have de-converted.

    I’ve been struck by another thing recently as well: noticing that many de-converts were formerly in the ministry.

    Maybe you are being called to a higher ministry!

    These two things made me think that maybe it’s being TOO dedicated, too devoted, too much a seeker that is the danger.

    Nonsense. It’s impossible to be too much a seeker.

    Here’s what I mean: Maybe we de-converts were more real in our Christianity than the people who can’t believe we eventually rejected “the truth.” We weren’t content with going to church on Sunday and Wednesday, or with going to confession once a week, or with saying our daily prayers and reading the Bible in a year every year — whatever the flavor of true devotion was in our particular version of Christianity.

    Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe you are a different breed of Christian. Maybe you are at the forefront of a new and improved Christianity. Human consciousness is forever evolving and perhaps you are being called to lead the way.

    We wanted more. I know that is true for myself. I wanted to see the power of God, the way it was described in the Bible. I wanted to experience what the apostles experienced on the day of Pentecost. I was hungry for more of God and I read the Bible every day, over and over again in several translations. I worshipped Jesus with all of my heart.

    And I believe you are well on your way to getting the more that you wanted. Perhaps you are destined to see the power of God as it exists in the world today. Maybe you will find the *real* God, the one within you.

    I know whatever I say here won’t convince anyone that I was a “real” Christian, because they can’t fathom that. But I bet that many of you who have also walked away can recognize my sentiment.

    You’ve not convinced this someone that you weren’t a “real” Christian. You win that bet, but please don’t stop walking, or better yet, start running. A beautiful new freedom awaits you in *true* faith.

    I became a worship leader because I wanted to help other people feel the presence of God in their lives and have the experiences of ecstasy that I’d experienced in worship services. I wanted to be a fisher of men. I wanted to fulfill God’s plan for my life. The more I “grew” in my faith, the more I was promoted in the ministry, the more I prayed and read the Bible and worshipped and witnessed, the less real it became to me. The more I obeyed God’s word and followed God’s will for my life, the less rewarding my Christian life was.

    I was a true seeker but what I discovered was… nothing.

    Watch out seekers. You may not like what you find.

    Watch out. You may be closer than you think to what you were looking for all along!

  • 285. Roy  |  October 5, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    This makes me want to break out in song:

    Lookin for God in all the wrong places….

  • 286. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:26 am

    So Roy, I believe what you’re getting at is that growth involves getting so fed up that you leave the faith, then going back to the Bible and finding Jesus again? You just ignore the parts that don’t work in today’s society…or don’t work out logically?

    Do you think this is a better option than, say, leaving Christianity and then listening to Buddhist talks and choosing the parts that help you and living by them?

    If either way is a good way, then it seems that most de-cons would choose the Buddhist way or some way other than Christianity, because it is very hard to go back to the same Scripture that sickened you and pick out the appetizing parts without getting sick all over again.

    Excuse my rather simple analogy. I just think it takes a special person to be able to go back…or go forward to a new version of Jesus. Do you see what I’m saying? I don’t even know if I can open the Bible again without getting extremely sad about what I lost. That is the open-hearted part of me that has been hurt. The open-minded part of me thinks it would be cool if you are onto something, if I could re-claim Jesus without all of the other stuff. But it doesn’t make logical sense to me. You don’t make sense to me, Roy, but I am trying to follow your logic. So far it is leading me to a very bizarre place where nothing is supernatural but everything sounds surreal. LOL

    You are saying that the “real” Jesus leads us to faith in ourselves and no fear of judgment? How do we even know who the “real” Jesus was, versus the fundamentalist Jesus? Is the “real” Jesus something your heart led you to? I don’t see how logic could lead you to him when reading Scripture.

  • 287. GeorgeZ  |  October 6, 2009 at 1:47 am

    MYSTERY PORCUPINE

    The record we have of Jesus starts in the Old Testament. Over 200 prophecies regarding the Messiah.

    I do not know how well you know the Bible, but there seems to be a few of my friends who want to take certain scripture that is warm and fuzzy, and take the verses that make them uncomfortable, and say they do not apply to the Jesus image they want Jesus to be in their life.

    The Jesus I see in the scripture came to show us the heart of God. The pupose of Jesus coming to earth was to die for the sins of mankind.

    Now, what I want to say is this, if someone told all your friends and family that you had gone into a McDonalds, killed over a dozen people, then killed yourself. They would not believe the report.

    They would say, “no way, that is not in her charachter, she is far to good a person. You have the facts, and the person mixed up with someone else.”

    Why? because it is not in your charachter. Simple.

    It is not in God’s charachter to exist with, or condone sin. The Bible says that God will supply us a way out of the judgement that will surely come to every man. I realize this is not a popular, nor welcome topic here. But, many talk of Christ in this thread, but our only knowledge of Jesus is from the Bible.

    Either the Bible is God’s message to man, or it is a lie of the worst magnitude. Having studied scripture for over 50 years, I have been through many debates with people from many faiths, and no faith.

    I have attended many debates of scientists who support evolution vrs the creation scientists. My faith stands firm.

    Believing that Jesus is the messiah of the Bible, and that Israel is God’s timeclock for man is not throwing your mind to the wind. These are my opinions, and regardless of what is stated by my friends in this thread, I respect their right to their opinion.

    Mystery, you said:
    Excuse my rather simple analogy. I just think it takes a special person to be able to go back…or go forward to a new version of Jesus. Do you see what I’m saying? I don’t even know if I can open the Bible again without getting extremely sad about what I lost. That is the open-hearted part of me that has been hurt. The open-minded part of me thinks it would be cool if you are onto something, if I could re-claim Jesus without all of the other stuff. But it doesn’t make logical sense to me.

    I don’t know how one gets to pick and choose the Jesus they want. 1 John speaks to the doctrine (right belief) regarding Jesus Christ.

    I do not know where faith in yourself leads, can’t be all good.

    Loving yourself seems the subject of this generation. Don’t believe it has served us well.

    Jesus said, “you compare yourselves amongst yourselves, in that you do error.” It is easy to look at others, point out their faults, usually excuse our own. We can look pretty good.

    Compare ourselves to the standard God requires, we fall short.

    These are my opinions of what the Bible states. Others will first deny the Bible has any relevance whatsoever. Some will pick and choose a comfort zone.

    People like myself take a more, I will use the word, fundamental view. The Bible speaks in plain language.

    I find it hard to accept that a person can read the Gospel of John, and the three epistles of John and not know what the Bible claims. Not alone Romans.

    Again, I am answering some of the issues you presented to Roy.

    I know he will answer a bit differently.

    As you search for truth, I believe every man has been given a measure of faith, that is stated in the Bible. The question is what are you going to place it in? Yourself? God? You have the right to choose.

    Jesus came to show us the Father, when he left, he stated that the Holy Spirit would be sent to lead man into all truth.

  • 288. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:19 am

    So Roy, I believe what you’re getting at is that growth involves getting so fed up that you leave the faith, then going back to the Bible and finding Jesus again? You just ignore the parts that don’t work in today’s society…or don’t work out logically?

    Yeah, the essence of Jesus’ teaches concern how to live in the here and now. Embrace those and live them with all your being. Miracles will start occurring in your life (no, that doesn’t mean supernatural stuff). If everyone did, *big* miracles would occur. All war would cease, for example.

    Do you think this is a better option than, say, leaving Christianity and then listening to Buddhist talks and choosing the parts that help you and living by them?

    No. I think getting into Buddism would be an excellent option. I haven’t had time yet but I probably will do that too at some point in the future.

    If either way is a good way, then it seems that most de-cons would choose the Buddhist way or some way other than Christianity, because it is very hard to go back to the same Scripture that sickened you and pick out the appetizing parts without getting sick all over again.

    I completely understand. Each person must make these choices for himself/herself. Heck, staying an atheist nominally while working out spiritual matters on your own is an option as well. Whatever works. Once you figure out that Jesus is A way, rather than THE way, you gain many options to spiritual growth.

    Excuse my rather simple analogy. I just think it takes a special person to be able to go back…or go forward to a new version of Jesus. Do you see what I’m saying? I don’t even know if I can open the Bible again without getting extremely sad about what I lost. That is the open-hearted part of me that has been hurt. The open-minded part of me thinks it would be cool if you are onto something, if I could re-claim Jesus without all of the other stuff. But it doesn’t make logical sense to me. You don’t make sense to me, Roy, but I am trying to follow your logic. So far it is leading me to a very bizarre place where nothing is supernatural but everything sounds surreal. LOL

    We are all special people. We each have our own manifestation of God (Holy Spirit) within us. Yes I understand what you are saying. It took me *years* to get from de-conversion to where I am now. Do what makes sense to *you*. I believe that the results will be good for *you*.
    Right now it *IS* all about you, but that will change over time as it becomes less and less about you.

    You are saying that the “real” Jesus leads us to faith in ourselves and no fear of judgment? How do we even know who the “real” Jesus was, versus the fundamentalist Jesus? Is the “real” Jesus something your heart led you to? I don’t see how logic could lead you to him when reading Scripture.

    Exactly. That’s what it means to save somebody and not condemn them as John 3:16 and 17 so eloquently say. We have to seek him, and sometimes that means getting our noses out of the Bible. The real Jesus’ is *always* something your heart (or spirit) will lead you to. Yes it would be difficult to get there logically with a literal interpretation of scriptue. That’s why I think that people like George are missing out on a lot by being so unwilling to open their mind to spiritual enlightenment. That’s what Jesus was all about.

  • 289. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I do not know how well you know the Bible, but there seems to be a few of my friends who want to take certain scripture that is warm and fuzzy, and take the verses that make them uncomfortable, and say they do not apply to the Jesus image they want Jesus to be in their life.

    George, the teaching of Jesus that I apply to my life are not all warm and fuzzy as you put it. They are *hard* to practice, but they are doable. If you don’t understand this as it seems to me based on your comments, I pray that the spirit in you will show you the way.

    The Jesus I see in the scripture came to show us the heart of God. The pupose of Jesus coming to earth was to die for the sins of mankind.

    Your first sentence is true. The second is false. He came to show us the way to live and in the end it got him executed by the power that were because he was a threat to the status quo.

    Now, what I want to say is this, if someone told all your friends and family that you had gone into a McDonalds, killed over a dozen people, then killed yourself. They would not believe the report.

    They would say, “no way, that is not in her charachter, she is far to good a person. You have the facts, and the person mixed up with someone else.”

    Why? because it is not in your charachter. Simple.

    It is not in God’s charachter to exist with, or condone sin. The Bible says that God will supply us a way out of the judgement that will surely come to every man. I realize this is not a popular, nor welcome topic here. But, many talk of Christ in this thread, but our only knowledge of Jesus is from the Bible.

    I’m not sure I understand your point in the McDonalds analogy, but God has existed with so-called sin ever since he created the human species. Yes it *will* surely come to every man. I have no problem with the topic, George. My only problem is with your warped interpretation of the topic.

    Either the Bible is God’s message to man, or it is a lie of the worst magnitude. Having studied scripture for over 50 years, I have been through many debates with people from many faiths, and no faith.

    Why such black and white thinking George? These are very complex isssues we are talking about.

    I have attended many debates of scientists who support evolution vrs the creation scientists. My faith stands firm.

    I’ll say it again: Evolution *IS* creation. Creation is the end, evolution is the means.

    Believing that Jesus is the messiah of the Bible, and that Israel is God’s timeclock for man is not throwing your mind to the wind. These are my opinions, and regardless of what is stated by my friends in this thread, I respect their right to their opinion.

    Good. And I respect your right to yours even though I don’t respect the opinion itself.

    Mystery, you said:
    Excuse my rather simple analogy. I just think it takes a special person to be able to go back…or go forward to a new version of Jesus. Do you see what I’m saying? I don’t even know if I can open the Bible again without getting extremely sad about what I lost. That is the open-hearted part of me that has been hurt. The open-minded part of me thinks it would be cool if you are onto something, if I could re-claim Jesus without all of the other stuff. But it doesn’t make logical sense to me.

    I don’t know how one gets to pick and choose the Jesus they want. 1 John speaks to the doctrine (right belief) regarding Jesus Christ.

    It’s called free will, George. Why don’t you try it? It works really well.

    I do not know where faith in yourself leads, can’t be all good.

    It leads to self-confident people who *truly* love themselves and others. Believe it or not, it is all good, George.

    Loving yourself seems the subject of this generation. Don’t believe it has served us well.

    Any “love” that has not served us well was not love at all.

    Jesus said, “you compare yourselves amongst yourselves, in that you do error.” It is easy to look at others, point out their faults, usually excuse our own. We can look pretty good.

    Forget comparisons. This process begins with the man in the mirror.

    Compare ourselves to the standard God requires, we fall short.

    God wants us to be the best we that we can be. But he doesn’t *require* it. And further, who says we *have* to fall short?

    These are my opinions of what the Bible states. Others will first deny the Bible has any relevance whatsoever. Some will pick and choose a comfort zone.

    We know your opinion George. You keep tellin us and it never changes. I certainly have not denied that the Bible has relevance for me. I live it without the my way or the highway attitude that you display.

    People like myself take a more, I will use the word, fundamental view. The Bible speaks in plain language.

    Yes we get that. How’s that working for you? Are you feeling Christ-like?

    I find it hard to accept that a person can read the Gospel of John, and the three epistles of John and not know what the Bible claims. Not alone Romans.

    I know it is hard, but accept it you must, if you want to be *my* friend as you keep calling me.

    Again, I am answering some of the issues you presented to Roy.

    I know he will answer a bit differently.

    As you search for truth, I believe every man has been given a measure of faith, that is stated in the Bible. The question is what are you going to place it in? Yourself? God? You have the right to choose.

    There is no choice to me made here. Put your faith in yourself *and* God. We *are* manifestations of God. How can you possibly not see that, George?

    Jesus came to show us the Father, when he left, he stated that the Holy Spirit would be sent to lead man into all truth.

    He did and it was. Try to start acting like you believe it George, then maybe you will.

  • 290. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 8:21 am

    I love “The Search is Over” by Journey. It speaks to me of God. Here are the lyrics:

    How can I convince you what you see is real
    Who am I to blame you for doubting what you feel
    I was always reachin’, you were just a girl I knew
    I took for granted the friend I have in you

    I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
    Taking on the world, that was just my style
    Now I look into your eyes
    I can see forever, the search is over
    You were with me all the while

    Can we last forever, will we fall apart
    At times it’s so confusing, these questions of the heart
    You followed me through changes and patiently you’d wait
    Till I came to my senses through some miracle of fate

    I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
    Taking on the world, that was just my style
    Now I look into your eyes
    I can see forever, the search is over
    You were with me all the while

    Now the miles stretch out behind me
    Loves that I have lost
    Broken hearts lie victims of the game
    Then good luck it finally struck
    Like lightning from the blue
    Every highway leading me back to you

    Now at last I hold you, now all is said and done
    The search has come full circle
    Our destinies are one
    So if you ever loved me
    Show me that you give a damn
    You’ll know for certain
    The man I really am

    I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
    Taking on the world, that was just my style
    Then I touched your hand, I could hear you whisper
    The search is over, love was right before my eyes

  • 291. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:27 am

    George, one more stipulation on the “What is God’s real name?” trivia question. Not only will you be punished eternally if you give another incorrect answer, but you will also be punished eternally if you die before you give the correct answer.

    Fair enough?

    No pressure though.

    And what I mean by the question is:

    When God *first* introduced himself to Moses from that burning bush, how did he introduce himself?

    Correction:

    The Search Is Over is by Survivor.

  • 292. GeorgeZ  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Roy,

    Try as you will, I believe trusting in your own widom, feelings, emotions, threading them together and calling it “my way” or this is “my life”, will ultimately fail.

    Jesus, as recorded in scripture, often used the phrase, “I tell you the truth.” Or, “if it were not so, I would not have told you.”

    This is a serious question, very much so. Do you have a list of statements from Jesus Christ that fit who you want him to be? It seems so.

    He warned all that came in contact with him, there is a life after this. Don’t be fooled by what you have believed in the past was his theme.

    The woman at the well was told by Jesus that he was the Christ. When she wanted to expound on her forefathers faith, Jesus stopped her. He said, “you worship, but you know not what, for salvation is of the Jews.”

    Jesus claimed to be the door to the sheepfold. Any that would come from another souce were theives and robbers. You must enter by the door.

    Obviously he was speaking of eternal life. He called any faith, or other religion other than complete faith in him doctrines of demons.

    This is the same Jesus that you speak of.

    From Old Testament scripture and New Testament scripture the story of Jesus Christ has been placed for our decision if it is true or false.

    Jesus told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The Bible records that they took up stones to kill him. Jesus asked them, “for what good work that I have done will you stone me?” They answered, “not for any good work, but you being a man make yourself out to be God.”

    The Jews of his time were not confused about who Jesus stated he was. NO DOUBT.

    You spoke before regarding the reason Jesus Christ was killed. How about using his own words for why he was going to die, and by what means. Would that not be a more honest approach?

    Roy, there are some who post here who deny Jesus was crucified, or even existed. I know that is not you, but there are many ill-informed people. Orthodox Jews do not argue the fact the Jesus Christ was alive and claimed to be God in human form, coming to pay the debt demanded for sin.

    If we like it or not, that was the message Jesus Christ came to earth to give. It is up to us to accept it, or deny the truth of it.

    But, lets not pussy foot around the issue. The idea that Jesus Christ came to show us a feeling about God, or some spirit enlightenment is not found in the Bible. Now, if you extrapulate that, show me where.

    If someone is going to use the Bible to make a case for Jesus Christ other than that he came to die for the sin of man, show me where.

    If the Sermon On The Mount, or The Beatitudes or The Similitudes is your only scripture source, and you leave out all others, that is flat out false representation of who Jesus himself claimed to be.

    You do not get to take what I called the warm and fuzzy Jesus. If you do, you have done what so many false religions have done. They have created their own Jesus.

    The Jews, Jesus was a good teacher, but misguided.

    Buddist, he was enlightened.

    Mormons, Jesus is the product of sex from Adam and one of his wives, and he was Satans spiritual brother.

    Islam, Jesus comes back with Mohammed, he was a prophet along with Moses, Adam ect.

    The Jesus the Bible presents is the one who stated the only way to God was by him, his death and return to life.

    In Matthey 26:2 Jesus stated this, “You know after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

    Jesus also quoted Old Testament scripture that he clearly stated was about him and him alone.

    Just before Peter’s denial, in Matt 26, Jesus stated he would rise from the dead after three days and meet them in Galilee.” Matt. 26:32.

    Jesus warned us there would be an end to this age, what we call time. It would, and will end. When? The Bible covers that also, Jesus himself spoke of the “end of the age.”

    So, Roy, there are many different Jesus’s offered to man. I can see why many give up the search for truth.

    Jesus said it simply, but profoundly, “I am the way, the truth and the life. NO MAN comes to the Father except through me.”

    The next vrs in John 14:5 and following, Jesus claims again to be God, later in the same chapter he claims that the Holy Spirit wll be sent, bring all things to their rememberance.

    I don’t know Roy, I just believe we see a different Jesus in the Bible.

    Lets help each other figure this out.

    Once you figure out that Jesus is A way, rather than THE way, you gain many options to spiritual growth.

  • 293. GeorgeZ  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Major Correction…..at the end of my response to Roy

    The last sentence was a quote from Roy in a post to Mystery Porcupine

    Quote from Roy:
    Once you figure out that Jesus is A way, rather than THE way, you gain many options to spiritual growth.

    I obviously disagree with the statement.

  • 294. Joshua  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Try as you will, I believe trusting in your own widom, feelings, emotions, threading them together and calling it “my way” or this is “my life”, will ultimately fail.

    And it has never – once – occurred to you that you are doing the exact same thing? You seem to be under the delusion that your own wisdom, feelings, emotions, etc. are all threaded together and are instead called “God’s way”. Dude, they will ultimately fail to.

    I’m still trying to figure out why you still have never addressed the points in my previous posts – particularly about Elijah.

    Jesus, as recorded in scripture, often used the phrase, “I tell you the truth.” Or, “if it were not so, I would not have told you.”

    So what? I’m telling you the truth too.

    It is up to us to accept it, or deny the truth of it.

    Or to demonstrate that it is not true and just another religion like the millions of other religions that exist.

    George, please address my post – directed at you – about Elijah. You seem to have rudely completed ignored me, and it is pissing me off again. I act polite, respectful, and clear-headed, and take the time to write well-formed posts addressing issues which are in response to what you are saying and you constantly revert to your self-aggrandizing circular posting strategy, raising your own wisdom, emotions, and knowledge to the epitome of perfection. It makes you look arrogant, George.

    Stop being an arrogant asshole, George.

  • 295. GeorgeZ  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Well, Joshua seems you have to take a step back.

    You make it clear that you believe in nothing but your own mind. You leave a little wiggle room, just in case there is something out there. But, this thing, whatever it may me has not attempted to let us know anything about why we are so screwed up. Fine. And if you believe that man is not going to wipe himself off this planet, you are just plain wrong.

    These are your opinions, I disagree. I believe you are the one that may not be seeing the truth.

    I believe Truth is found in Jesus Christ. You do not.

    I respect your right to choose, but I do not respect your findings.

    How you can fault me for believing what I believe. I should not fault you. But, we are the same. You believe I am a fool for not seeing your reality.

    I used a scripture verse before about what a man is called in the
    Bible who does not believe God exists. Maybe you recall.

    I think you have to give me, and me you, space to believe what we will.

  • 296. GeorgeZ  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Roy, can you weigh in here?

  • 297. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:46 am

    George, you really are barking up the wrong tree here. I have to agree with Joshua. You come across as *extremely* arrogant. I’m pretty sure that’s not how you want others to see you. Am I right?

  • 298. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:59 am

    George, you’ve misquoted scripture.

    John 14:2 – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    The word “not” only occurs once in that verse.

    Have you never, ever considered the fact that he is speaking metaphorically here? My guess is probably not. Is he going off to the nether regions to build us each a mansion using his carpentry skills. No. Think real hard this verse means. When you figure it out, then you will know what “it” he is referring to.

  • 299. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    George, if you want to parse scripture, I will parse scripture with you. If you want to *really* listen to the spirit in you rather than yourself, I will listen to the one in me and we can compare notes. The rest of this nonsense is a complete waste of our time.

  • 300. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    And George, how can you claim intimate knowledge of God when you don’t even know is name?

  • 301. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    *his* name

  • 302. Joshua  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    You know, watching George work is helping me to see the tremendous temptation to ones ego to think one has the inside scoop on the universe as God’s buddy. It’s just incredible. More addictive than porn, drugs, power… I mean seriously. Who would want to give that up?

  • 303. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Tell you what George, why don’t you find out his name, and get back to me. That way I will know that you are truly seeking him out. Until then (i.e. you return with his name), this conversation is over.

  • 304. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    You know, watching George work is helping me to see the tremendous temptation to ones ego to think one has the inside scoop on the universe as God’s buddy. It’s just incredible. More addictive than porn, drugs, power… I mean seriously. Who would want to give that up?

    I hear ya.

  • 305. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Roy, since you and Joshua agree that I views are based on ego and power…………………………

  • 306. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Yes George, would you like to complete that sentence?

  • 307. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Roy, since you and Joshua agree that my views are based on ego and power……………………………..that is incorrect.

    I simply believe what I believe.

    Think about the billions of people over the course of known history who believe the same as I do. Are they of the same power and ego mindset?

    I am not speaking to misguided power brokers who used religion, and still do, to further their own interests. The common person, like myself, work hard, love my family and live a simple life.

    I am not the only one with these views. I do not know for sure, but I would not be surprised if people in every nation in the world gather together with people who believe as I do every week. The same Bible, the same message.

    The “inside scoop” is what Jesus Christ claimed to be, not alone did he have the inside scoop, he was and is the inside scoop. Remember, he stated, “If you have seen me, you have seen the father.” Quite a claim from a man. The difference was, he was not an ordinary man.

    Roy, you seem to have left out the most important part.
    Here is your post to me:

    John 14:2 – In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

    The word “not” only occurs once in that verse.

    Have you never, ever considered the fact that he is speaking metaphorically here? My guess is probably not. Is he going off to the nether regions to build us each a mansion using his carpentry skills. No. Think real hard this verse means. When you figure it out, then you will know what “it” he is referring to.

    Now, this is literal, not metaphorical. If you read on, the reason is literal and physical. He also announces the second coming. His own.

    “If I go away, I will return and recieve you unto myself. That where I am, there you will be also.” Physical. But , there are other statements of scripture that 100% support the event still to happen in the future. Many believe in the near future.

    Ofcourse, if one chooses not to accept what is stated, it simply becomes a matter of opinion.

    Your opinion is the real you. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he,” states the Bible. That is a statement of truth in the context of what we are debating, and it is a debate. Hopefully still a friendly one.

  • 308. Joshua  |  October 6, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Roy, since you and Joshua agree that my views are based on ego and power……………………………..that is incorrect.

    George, for clarification…

    The way you communicate reveals an attitude of lifting up your own understanding over our own. I want to know where you think you get the right to threaten us the way you do if we refuse to disagree with you. Yes, you get it from the Bible, but how do you know the Bible is true?

    George, how do you know the Bible is true?

  • 309. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    I will forever be your friend, but as I said, this particular conversation is over.

  • 310. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 6, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Roy, from some of the things you write, I think you would really enjoy buddhism. This quote of yours in particular reminded me of something a buddhist would say: “Right now it *IS* all about you, but that will change over time as it becomes less and less about you.” One night, when you have 40 minutes to enjoy, visit this site and try listening to one of the talks that looks interesting. http://www.audiodharma.org/talks-gil.html One thing I like about the talks is that the pace is slow and respectful, so it calms my mind to listen to them, and even though I don’t always agree with them or relate to some of the more religious themes, they expand the way that I think. :)

    George, I appreciate your taking the time to address my post to Roy, but you and I simply do not agree. Reading your posts is basically re-reading the things that I believed and told others for 25 years. I have come to find those things hurtful and hollow. I take responsibility for the fact that when I read your posts I want to run farther from Christianity. At this point I can’t seem to let go of that strong reaction. Because of that I am not going to read your posts any longer. I wish you well.

  • 311. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Joshua, here is your post to me.

    Roy, since you and Joshua agree that my views are based on ego and power……………………………..that is incorrect.

    George, for clarification…

    The way you communicate reveals an attitude of lifting up your own understanding over our own. I want to know where you think you get the right to threaten us the way you do if we refuse to disagree with you. Yes, you get it from the Bible, but how do you know the Bible is true?

    George, how do you know the Bible is true?

    Joshua, I do not threaten you at all, you cannot be serious. It is the Bible that may threaten you.

    Regarding lifting my opinion above yours? Are you not the pot calling the kettle black? Having your cake, and eating it too?

    Explain to me the difference of what you say to me? ? ? ? ? I don’t see the difference. Is it because this is de-conversion area and I am not welcome? My views have no merrit, according to you. Now you even have Roy on my case.

    I believe the Bible is from God. You say there are no gods.

    Roy has a far different view. He does not share my exact belief, but he and I may be closer than the two of you.

    Not sure I am correct in that statement, but I think so.

    I do not know why my opinion even matters to you. Well, I know it does not.

  • 312. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks, Procupine. I will your link and let you know what I think about it.

  • 313. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    I will *follow* your link.

  • 314. Joe  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    I was asked above to use antidisestablishmentarianism in a sentence so here goes:

    “Hello sir, I would like to order a T-shirt with ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ printed on the back.

    “I’m sorry my friend, but we don’t make T-shirts with ‘antidisestablismentarianism’ on the back as there is not enough room”.

    “Thanks. I’ll try another store that might be able to print ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ on a T-shirt. Have a great day”.

    “You too. Good luck finding a store that will print “antidisestablishmentarianism’ on the back of a T-shirt. The store over on fourth street might be able to do it. If not, try “Greta’s T-shirt shop”–she might be able to print ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’ on a T-shirt, but I’m not sure.”

    “OK, I’ll give it a shot. Thanks”

  • 315. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    ROFL JOE!!!

  • 316. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    What does that mean Roy, friends forever.

  • 317. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    What do you think it means, George?

    Good job, Joe! Would you get me one in an XXL?

  • 318. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Actual, Joe, see if you can get this printed on mine?

    “If George had been around during nineteenth century Britain, he probably would have been a proponent of anitdisestablishmentarianism.”

  • 319. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Long live the anthropomorphized god of the Church of England!

  • 320. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I think some people set up the Bible as a god and worship it.

  • 321. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    I give up Roy?
    But, if I would guess, it would mean friends forever???

  • 322. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Mystery,
    The only reason I posted to you was you seemed to have questions about Jesus Christ.
    You said something to he affect that you questioned if one came back to faith, what would it look like. What kind of Jesus would it be.

    I meant no harm, I gave an honest opinion based on my own understanding of the Bible.

    Best wishes to you also. By the way, I do not bite.
    I know that it is not the most popular, especially for the ones that are de converting.

  • 323. Joe  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Kiddie in BIGWORDLAND:

    Mommy, look!! it’s one of the Mensa Dwarfs!!

    “Hi Disestablishmentarianism! Can I get my picture taken with you?!!?

  • 324. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I give up Roy?
    But, if I would guess, it would mean friends forever???

    Bingo!

    I say what I mean, and mean what I say.

    Take care, George.

  • 325. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Just checking, Roy. You know how insecure I am. :)

  • 326. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    The longest word in the english language is:

    pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanocon

    use that one in a sentence…..

    this is according to Yahoo.

  • 327. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    The longest word in the english language is:

    pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanocon

    use that one in a sentence…..

    this is according to Yahoo.

    It is the effect volcano dust has on human lungs.

  • 328. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    That word looks familiar. Did somebody mention it earlier on this thread?

    Yes LeoPardus in comment #173

  • 329. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Gosh, Leo did steal my thunder.

  • 330. Joe  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanocon

    Ask someone to say it three times fast. it’s great for parties.

  • 331. Joshua  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Joshua, I do not threaten you at all, you cannot be serious. It is the Bible that may threaten you.

    Well sure the Bible is threatening, but only if you believe it. I don’t believe it, and your words are basically “well, you guys can either agree with me or risk going to hell…” And all I’m saying is “listen buster, please back up your claims about hell before you start insisting your interpretation is right while damning others in your mind to that place.”

    I don’t like your attitude, it is threatening – whether what you say is true or not.

  • 332. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Well sure the Bible is threatening, but only if you believe it. I don’t believe it, and your words are basically “well, you guys can either agree with me or risk going to hell…”

    Joshua, the “hell” Jesus used in parables was a dump ouside Jerusalem. The “hell” of the old testament was a grave. An eternal torture chamber is so much mythological nonsense drempt up by primative people for reasons unknown to me. You know this of course and hopefully all de-converts know this. It used to make me very angry, but no more. I laugh about it now but I understand that it is no laughing matter to those who have not completed the process. My heart goes out to all who haven’t.

  • 333. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    *dreamt* Oh for a spell checker.

  • 334. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Oh “Outer darkness where there shall be weeping and wailing and knashing of teeth”!

    God damn thee, Roy!

    I have anger issues. There I feel better now. :-)

  • 335. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Oh sheol, gehenna, tartarus, and hades!

    *gnashing* if teeth.

    Damn!

  • 336. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Gumming if no teeth. :-)

  • 337. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 6, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    LOL Roy! I happened to read a beautiful piece about sadness today. Not exactly hell, but I wanted to share it because I have appreciated our conversation.
    http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=12544

  • 338. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Muchas gracias, I will read it after Buddhism link. (Whadaya know, I *can* spell in Spanish)

  • 339. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Hey, for one thing, I have not used the word hell to my knowledge. If I have, I do not remember using it. I quoted no scripture about hell, or eternal damnation.
    Joshua, you have constantly brought this up to me. Why are you so fixated on this point. You bring it up too often when it is not even the subject of conversation.

    It is not an easy subject, because the slightest chance that it could be a reality sucks. It does seemingly make the God of the Bible apear unfair in our minds.

    You don’t think that I have gone through many of the same thoughts as you centered around the fairness of the God presented in the Old Testament? Come on….

    I have always wanted the Bible to talk about annihilation, how ever it is spelled, but it does not seem to give that suggestion.

    I want to leave the hell business for one moment…..

    You guys know I am hung up on the prophecy regarding Israel. The reality of her rebirth as a nation, and the Muslim’s and the faith of Islam calling for her destruction. The UN basically calling for Jerusalem to be an universal city, or at best a shared capitol.
    There is just so much there. The whole book can not just be swept under the rug.

    Back to hell, or the absence of it….

    Roy, you are 100% correct, the dump site outside the city was a reference made by Jesus Christ. If souls of non-believers were annihiated, so be it. To my mind, that would be enough.

    Roy, you mentioned you believed there would be some sort of judgement day. What were you reffering to?

  • 340. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Damn George, you’ve baited me into conversation again and I’m taking it. I will answer your questions I suppose.

    Roy, you are 100% correct, the dump site outside the city was a reference made by Jesus Christ. If souls of non-believers were annihiated, so be it. To my mind, that would be enough.

    I’m as close to 100% as I can get off the top of my head. Let me get out my concordance and see if I can make it 100% for you. Yes, some Christians (Jehovah Witnesses to name one group) are annihilationists and they are happy to back themselves up with scripture. I’ve had several visit my home.

    Roy, you mentioned you believed there would be some sort of judgement day. What were you reffering to?

    I did? I will look back through the comments and see if I can find it to see what the context was. I do have a theory as to what “judgement day” might mean, but I didn’t realize that I had mentioned it. I can assure you though that my interpretation is metaphysical.

  • 341. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Sorry, I thought you *asked* me if I was 100% sure I was correct. Silly me.

  • 342. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Sorry George, I used the find function on judgement and couldn’t find where I made any mention of judgement day.

  • [...] True Christians Ever Leave The Faith? Writerdd makes an astute observation: I’ve been reading the comments here lately and I have noticed that a lot of Christian readers [...]

  • 344. George  |  October 6, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Roy, my last post did not show up. Oh well.
    Anyway, I think the judgement was actually mentioned by Mystery in response to something you said.

    My mistake.

    I’m trying to stay away from the Detroit vrs Minn. playoff game. The loser goes home.

    It is 4 to 4 in the 10th, that is all I know.

  • 345. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    You mean they finished in a tie at the end of regular season? Wow, this could be as exciting as the Rockies and Padres playoff game two years ago. Thanks, I will turn it on.

  • 346. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    Now 5-5 in top of 11th.

  • 347. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    George, are you in that area? The game seems not to be on my TV and I have cable with oodles of channels. All I can do is check the Tigers/Twins website for the pitch-by-pitch description.

  • 348. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    Minnesota wins in 12.

    Go Rockies!

  • 349. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Tigers had bases loaded in top of 12th with one out and could not score.

  • 350. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    I think God is a Rockies fan this year.

  • 351. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I feel a prophesy coming in……Rockies in the series in 6.

  • 352. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Ah……..another one………..can’t quite make it out………the…..Rad….no Red…..Sox….punished…..for another…10….100 years.

    Look at it on the bright side, Red Sox nation. It’s not eternity!

  • 353. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    And unto the Cubbie nation the Lord saith: Because of the goat thou art cursed; Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

    Sorry cubbie fans. :(

  • 354. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    BTW, for a second I thought the Holy Ghost needed a spell checker, but upon further examination, he was perfect! He said he much prefers to write in King James English.

  • 355. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Oops! I blasphemethed the Holy Ghost. Oh boy, that is one big OOPS!

  • 356. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    GOD: ROY! ROY! YOU KNOW YOU CAN BLASPHEME JESUS ALL YOU WANT, BUT HOW DDDDDAAAAARRRRRREEEEEE YOU BLASPHEME THE HOLY GHOST!!!!!! AWAY FROM ME YOU ACURSED!

    Roy: Oh God help me Lord. I didn’t mean it, truly I didn’t……sob……Please give me another chance…..I will kiss your big old fat heavenly ass…….PPPPPPLLLLLLLEEEEEEAAAAAASSSSSEEEEEEE!!!!!

    GOD: —-silence (with crickets chirping in the background)—-

  • 357. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Roy, do you drink? LOL

  • 358. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    All clear everybody! Everybody?

  • 359. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Oh good, procupine…..I was feeling so alone.

    Yes, I had a glass of wine earlier this evening for my stomach’s sake.

  • 360. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    George, if my psychiatrist asks me if I think I am the apostle of the second coming, how should I answer?

  • 361. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    George? Are you a Detroit Tigers fan? If so, I feel your pain.

  • 362. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    You’ll all be happy to know that the Lord looked back through the comments and decided to only issue me a warning. He said that although technically questioning the Holy Ghost’s spelling abilities does constitute blasphemy according to version 4.8.15.16.23.42 of the Almighty Hanbook of Heavenly Rules and Regulations, he actually was “ROFLMAO” and forgot what it was he was so angry about.

    Whew!!!!!! That’s a relief!

  • 363. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Can anybody tell me what ROFLMAO means?

  • 364. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Oh and he said I could blaspheme him all I want too. Yay!

  • 365. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    The last paragraph of this post warns us: “Watch out seekers. You may not like what you find.”

    If you’ve landed on this comment thread, for the most part you have found George and Roy. One appears to be a little drunk on the Holy Spirit, causing his beliefs to go to his head. The appears to think he has become Jesus and is losing his mind after having a glass of wine.

    Watch out, seekers. Definitely watch out.

  • 366. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    LOL, Porcupine!

  • 367. Roy  |  October 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    A tale of two Christians.

  • 368. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:05 am

    George is the ghost of Christmas past.
    I am the ghost of Christmas future.
    Porcupine is the ghost of Christmas present.
    Joshua is Ebenezer Scrooge.

    Oops, wrong novel.

  • 369. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Here’s the question, Procupine.

    If George and I were to get together and collaborate on a blog, would you read it?

  • 370. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:15 am

    You don’t mind if I call you Procupine, do you Procupine?

  • 371. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Oh and procupine. Humor is a good thing I think, especially for those going through the de-conversion process.

    BUT

    In all seriousness, you do know that I only think I’m Jesus in a metaphorical sense, right? Don’t forget, my interpretation of the Bible is metaphysical.

  • 372. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:26 am

    George, on the other hand, is the apostle of the second coming.

  • 373. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:36 am

    One more word from the Lord:

    If thou seekest to win the Lotto, do not play these numbers – 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 – verily I say, he who playest numbers is a sinner, but lo verily I say, should thou winnest, thou wilt splitest booty among many heathen.

  • 374. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:46 am

    No! Should thou winnest the lotto, thou shalt give thy winnings to thy God. Credit cards are not accepted. Bring cash. Give to the man in the robes. Don’t forget to confess.

    Roy, I could never forget that your faith is metaphorical and metaphysical. Otherwise it would be fundamentalist, and I could call you George!

    If you two write a post together, I don’t think I could stomach it. Please don’t take a fence.

    Joshua is scrooge? Awww, he’s not THAT bad. LOL

  • 375. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 1:06 am

    If you two write a post together, I don’t think I could stomach it. Please don’t take a fence.

    The Bible says you can take a bit of wine for that problem with your stomach.

  • 376. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Porcupine, I followed both of your links, listened to a talk about forgiveness and read the article on sadness. Beautiful stuff! You know, this is the same kind of stuff Jesus talked about. It’s powerful world changing stuff if we could only remove our egos and fear from the equation. Love truly is the answer. We have work to do.

  • 377. Mystery Porcupine  |  October 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Roy, I think you may be a little off about wine helping the stomach. It can actually make acid reflux worse and cause ulcers. So…take it for the head but not for the stomach. Just don’t take too much for the head or you will have a really bad headache. :-P

    Glad you enjoyed the links. :) seek and ye shall find….we are all connected.

  • 378. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Indeed we are all connected.

    BTW, it was the apostle Paul who advised drinking wine for the stomachs sake, because the water was bad.

  • 379. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    George’s comment has me thinking… I do tend to get fixated on the hell issue. I’ve noticed it is hard for me to lighten up with any potential thought of it entering my mind. I think there are a few things that influence this:

    * I used to have doubts about my salvation so strong that I wanted to kill myself just to know for sure. I would read the Bible passages over and over and could not figure out why the Holy Spirit wasn’t helping me understand them.
    * Knowing my little sister is being taught that I am going to hell. I’ve already had to talk to her about it once… it was awful. Poor girl.
    * A desire to shed light on the origins of the concept of hell so that others do not go through the hell I did when trying to comprehend it. If you can demonstrate that unicorns were invented by men, you can disprove their existence. If you can demonstrate that hell was invented by men, you can disprove its existence. That works for me.

    And you guys crack me up.

  • 380. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    By the way de conversion god, I add to this site, wether you or anyone else understands it.

    Ask Roy, maybe even Joshua……..

  • 381. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    hey, am I on again ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    Roy, they took me out during the ball game.

    Don’t know why, I think it might be Satan ! ! ! ! Or Joshua, lol.

  • 382. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    de-conversion god came and snagged me last night…….stopped my great one liners on God and his choices for baseball.
    And Josh, never mentioned hell more than once. lol

    Josh, hope you saw the “scrodge” remark by Roy ! ! ! ! Too funny.

  • 383. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    SCROOGE ? ? ? NO “d” IN SCROOGE….SORRY ROY

  • 384. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    By the way de conversion god, I add to this site, wether you or anyone else understands it.

    Indeed you do George!

  • 385. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    SCROOGE ? ? ? NO “d” IN SCROOGE….SORRY ROY

    Don’t apologize to me. You do owe one to Charles Dickens though we is probably roling in his grave right about now.

  • 386. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Joshua,

    I fully understand your thoughts on hell. Have been there, not the ending my life part, but the fear it generates. I do admit that I have had to deal with the same basic thoughts.

    As a Christian I cannot explain what the Bible states about the subject. What I have thought was that we are eternal, we will spend eternity somewhere. If annihilation is a reality, as a human, that sounds fair. I do not pretent to know. Maybe there is a plan to save everyone down the eternity road.

    Many different views from many different religions.

    I am not attempting to threaten anyone with the doctrine of eternal damnation. I just believe we are eternal, Christ came to offer salvation. Call me a fool. Unlearned.

    It is what I believe. You have your set of beliefs, I have mine.

    I would just want to be sure that in not being able to comprehend things about the Bible, you have given up on the entire message of the gospel. That you have discounted the message of Jesus Christ presented in the gospels.

    So, I do not want to sound like I am bashing you, or anyone else. I just state what I believe to be truth. It is my opinion only.

    If a person, like yourself, is sure what I believe to be false, this is the message you need to give to all you know. There is no threat to you.

    And I do understand the damage you, and others, perceive to be your reality that you have experienced being taught a lie, maybe by well meaning people.

    Joshua, I hope you read this with patience, and understanding.

  • 387. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Okay,

    Roy, how do you keep from having to leave de-conversions to see the threads coming after your own.

    If you and I are going back and forth, do I have to leave the site and come back every time?
    That is what I have been doing.
    The other comments do not show up automatically.

    HELP ! ! ! !

  • 388. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Click the refresh button at the top of your browser window. It should have two up and down curved arrows (assuming you are using internet explorer).

  • 389. Joe  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Can anybody tell me what ROFLMAO means?

    Really old fancy Lincoln. Make an offer.

  • 390. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    BTW, George, I am considering creating my own blog and if I do, you are welcome to stop by anytime. I’m sure most if not all are growing weary of the George and Roy show.

  • 391. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Really old fancy Lincoln. Make an offer.

    My eternal soul.

  • 392. Joe  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    BTW, George, I am considering creating my own blog and if I do, you are welcome to stop by anytime. I’m sure most if not all are growing weary of the George and Roy show. #389

    Just a couple of white tigers and you’re on your way.

  • 393. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Yes, the Scrooge comment is quite genius, I must admit. Way to go, Roy – my hat is off to you :)

    George, well I appreciate the understanding paid in your post. It may be true that you only said “hell” once in all your posts, but regardless, I’ve heard the “good news” enough to know that deep under its shiny wrapper is the ultimate catch all: if you don’t believe this good news…

    I mean you kept admitting over and over that you were being so… urgent… in your communication because you “cared about us”. All I could keep thinking is that the urgency of your message was due to your fear that we would end up suffering if we did not understand. And the ultimate suffering that would lead you to be so urgent would be… hell if I don’t know.

  • 394. Motoman  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve been reading this very interesting exchange and wanted to offer my thoughts. First, George and Roy, I commend you on your efforts. I know it is out of genuine love and concern that you have for others that you keep trying to impart what you believe. I’ve been down that path as well.
    Here is something I’ve come to realize. As obvious as this may seem, belief in Jesus requires faith. Even when he walked the earth, he told those he healed that they needed faith.
    In order for there to be a need for faith there must be something that could generate doubt. If we had an argument that could remove all doubt then there would be no need for faith.
    God did give us our mind, so to a thoughtful believer having faith does not imply nor does it give us the right to suspend the use of reason. What is does mean is that when we are faced with something that cannot be understood with human reason we must rely on faith. As long as what our reason cannot understand has been shown to be reasonable by other methods (testimony of witnesses, miracles, effects on humanity etc.) we can be confident that we are not operating on “blind faith” which is dangerous, and like blind skepticism, unreasonable.
    I believe Christianity has been proven to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt as that would eliminate the need for faith
    Imparting faith can only be accomplished by God’s grace, not by human effort. When our powers of persuasion fail, we always have recourse to prayer. Keep the faith brothers!

    “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  • 395. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Many thanks for your thoughts, Motoman! I can’t disagree with anything you have said.

  • 396. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Time for a little bit of cross-pollenation. I’m sure C.A. is going to love me for this, but here goes anyway:

    What’s Shakin’

  • 397. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    First of all, I do not know Motoman! He is not a plant.

    Roy, Motoman said:

    I believe Christianity has been proven to be true beyond a reasonable doubt, not beyond all doubt as that would eliminate the need for faith

    You replied:

    I can’t disagree with anything you have said.

    Seriously, you believe Christianity has been proven to be true beyond any reasonable doubt?

  • 398. George  |  October 7, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    And the ultimate suffering that would lead you to be so urgent would be… hell if I don’t know.

    Joshua, what did you mean by the last sentence?

    Also, believing as I do, and now Motoman, maybe even Roy, (awaiting his answer, should be interesting) why would I not be concerened. I speak with people on a daily basis.

    We have several business ventures, right now the are all adventures, come into contact with alot of people. Fortunately, I am self employed where I can just go broke, not get fired.
    Gives me the time to be involved in de conversion once in a while.
    I have three daughters who live at home, always alot of activity, lets me grab a laptop and do what I want. No body seems to miss me too much. No wisecracks please…..

    Anyway, my concern in genuine, pure and simple. It may come across as ego, or any other lable to wish to apply to who you believe me to be.

    I am very secure in what I know of the Bible. Joshua, in my studies of over half a century, my faith has increased emencely. Not for any other reason than common sense.

    You can tear the last statement apart, I expect it. It is what you use to say there are no gods. Common sense.

  • 399. Motoman  |  October 7, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    “I am not a plant …. I am a human being!!” … from the “Elephant Man”

  • 400. Motoman  |  October 7, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    wait …. i think i got that wrong…..

  • 401. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Joshua, what did you mean by the last sentence?

    It was a triple-entendre.

    “And the ultimate suffering that would lead you to be so urgent would be… hell if I don’t know.”

    1) If you take off “hell if I don’t know” the sentence trails off and leaves the reader to see how I felt about most of your comments – in that I knew you were alluding to eternal judgment even if you didn’t necessarily say “hell” directly.

    2) Or you can separate the sentence into two portions:

    “And the ultimate suffering that would lead you to be so urgent would be… hell.”

    and

    “Hell if I don’t know” (showing that a portion of me really doesn’t want to give a shit about this).

    3) The third entendre is a play on the entire concept of hell itself.. in that if you don’t “know” (understand and believe the right things) you will end up there. So it is “hell if you don’t know” the right things about Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for asking :) Still think I am mentally ill?

    Hahaha!

  • 402. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

    To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”

    I always wondered what this meant…

    It makes sense now. The wise hide the meaning of what they say because it makes others inquisitive. If it cannot be easily interpreted, then others must come back and depend upon the speaker for more explanation. Furthermore, if it cannot be easily understood, no one will be so bold as to disagree with it because then they will be asked to explain what they are disagreeing with and they won’t want to get it wrong. And finally, those who do finally understand the riddle are so delighted at having figured it out that they won’t want to disagree with it unless they can be just as witty. And then the game is not so much to be right, but to out-wit the other person, and nobody wants to lose their opponent in a game of wit :) For in wit, elusive meaning becomes the game, not the prize.

    Solomon was a genius.

  • 403. Mel  |  October 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Joshua,

    You do seem mentally ill

  • 404. Mel  |  October 7, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I would love to play a game of whit with you.

    What are the rules, or are there any?

  • 405. Mel  |  October 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Where did Roy go?

    Must be celebrating the Rockies win.

    Oh, wait. They lost? They did not just loose, the were killed.

    Well, you best find another line of work. Prophets in Israel were stoned to death for one wrong prediction. You are a dead man, Roy.

  • 406. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    You do seem mentally ill

    I’m not even sure what to make of this, honestly.

  • 407. Mel  |  October 7, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Joshua, who says Solomon ever existed? Why is he a genius?

  • 408. Mel  |  October 7, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    So long, Josh Baby.

    We will match IQ’s another day.

  • 409. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I would love to play a game of whit with you.

    What are the rules, or are there any?

    Well, the first rule of wit is you don’t talk about wit…

    or it ceases to be witty. So I lose because I had to explain it the triple-entendre to George.

    The second rule is to realize that a sentence has to have a second meaning or a pattern that patterns itself after meaning a second thing.

    It’s like martial arts with language. You want to knock your listeners on their ass without hurting anybody.

    That comment about being mentally ill now bothers me. Oh well, the Pharisees accused Jesus of it, so I am in good company. No?

  • 410. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Seriously, you believe Christianity has been proven to be true beyond any reasonable doubt?

    Mine has been, to me.

  • 411. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    Mine has been, to me.

    Brilliant answer, Holmes :)

  • 412. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Joshua, you *really* impress me.

  • 413. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Here I am, Mel. Not that it really matters, but are you Mel or Femel?

  • 414. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Oh, wait. They lost? They did not just loose, the were killed.
    :(

  • 415. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Hey guys, Christian trolls visit Christian websites too. To see what I mean go here:

    What’s Shakin’

    I don’t think it is a drive-by though. I may be wrong, but I think this “Clen” dude is actually fairly intelligent and capable of a rational discourse.

  • 416. Joshua  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Likewise Roy. You’re the first Christian I genuinely understood without being able to disagree with you…

    … yet :)

  • 417. Anonymous  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    … yet

    No two people agree on everything. I promise that if you do in fact disagree with me on *anything*, you can tell me and I will not get my panties in a wad.

  • 418. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Yes that was me. Not sure why it posted as “Anonymous”.

  • 419. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Heck, we’ve already disagreed on free will haven’t we?

  • 420. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    …and I don’t even genuinely understand myself. It is quite rare for me to find someone who does. :)

  • 421. Roy  |  October 7, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Well, you best find another line of work. Prophets in Israel were stoned to death for one wrong prediction. You are a dead man, Roy.

    Speaking of prophets, this one might provide some entertainment value:

    Ronald Weinland – The Prophet Who Failed

    Enjoy!

  • 422. Quester  |  October 8, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Hey, Roy!

    Can you post single, larger responses instead of multiple, smaller ones? Sometimes, you’re almost the only name present in the Most Recent Discussions links, burying anyone else who might be posting…

    …if anyone is.

  • 423. Joshua  |  October 8, 2009 at 12:09 am

    Yeah, Roy, stop copying me.

  • 424. Roy  |  October 8, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Can you post single, larger responses instead of multiple, smaller ones?

    Yes.

  • 425. Motoman  |  October 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Maybe the wise hide the meaning of what they say because it is in the searching that the truth they are trying to impart takes root. If the heart and mind of the hearer are fertile with desire for understanding the words, if true, will grow strong in them and eventually they will understand, and their understanding will be rooted and lasting. The same way an acorn is hidden in the ground and if the soil is fertile it will become the strongest of trees. I believe there are a lot of parallels between nature and the interior life, and it is not without intention.

  • 426. Joshua  |  October 8, 2009 at 11:38 am

    You got it Motoman. The only way to keep a person humble is to keep them curious, because curiosity stems from a mind that does not yet know but is willing to find out :)

  • 427. Motoman  |  October 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Thanks Joshua.

    Humility ….. one of the most beautiful and misunderstood of all the virtues. :-)

  • 428. Philip  |  October 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    @ #426-7

    And yet there’s a tradition within the church which would suggest that curiosity does precisely the opposite… http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/14/does-curiosity-kill-more-than-the-cat/

  • 429. George  |  October 8, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Okay, what is going on here?

  • 430. George  |  October 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Motoman,

    I am confused with what you are saying?

    Jesus taught in parables, we all know that. The truth was there, and still is for the seekers…when asked, Jesus explained the meaning clear and precise, a caveman could understand…..a little de conversion humor there.

    But, Jesus also talked plainly when outside the realm of parables.

    Is the point of your message that Jesus Christ is God in human form, that he came to die for the sin of mankind? To fulfill the Mosiac Law that man, no man but himself, could bear up under?

    Are you saying that through his death and resurrection that God sees a person as washed, clean in the righteous nature of Jesus Christ, his blood shed for all mankinds sin?

    Is this what you believe? Please help me out.

    I truely want to know where you are coming from. Thanks.

  • 431. SnugglyBuffalo  |  October 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Didn’t Jesus say he used parables explicitly so they would be more difficult to understand, rather than talking plainly?

  • 432. George  |  October 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Snuggy, that is what I said. But, he spoke not using parables also.

    As when he told spoke of his crucifixion, and that he would rise in three days. Those times were not parables. They were events that would happen to him. And they did.

  • 433. George  |  October 8, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Roy, you and Joshua seem to have a close bond. I think I am jealous. Yikes.

    Think Josh has you confused with a Christian who believes the Bible is truely God’s word. You best correct him, Roy.

    He is calling you a Christian. Here is what he said:

    Likewise Roy. You’re the first Christian I genuinely understood without being able to disagree with you…

  • 434. Motoman  |  October 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Hi George,
    If you are confused about my perspective on the existence of God and the role of Jesus Christ in humanity here is what I said in my first post -

    “I believe Christianity has been proven to be true beyond a reasonable doubt…”

    That is where I am coming from in that regard.

    If you are confused about my thoughts on the use of parables to hide the meaning of a message, I was saying that I believe that if someone is required to ponder the words of a parable and finally understands, has an “a-ha” moment so to speak, then the message will be more ingrained in them, than if it was just spoken plainly. Jesus spoke plainly and in parables. Both are effective.

    Was that what you were asking?

  • 435. Roy  |  October 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Roy, you and Joshua seem to have a close bond. I think I am jealous.

    You need not be. I have a close bond with you too, whether you know it or not.

  • 436. Roy  |  October 9, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Think Josh has you confused with a Christian who believes the Bible is truely God’s word. You best correct him, Roy.

    My apology to Quester for my two consecutive short comments, but I think this one is important. George, I don’t think Joshua is confused at all. You may be confused. I *am* a Christian, but obviously not the same type that you are.

  • 437. Matthew  |  October 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I know for myself, I couldn’t stomach the contradiction of it all. I was told our modern society was decaying and wretched and to question everything I was taught in schools that didn’t fit within the bible. Yet when I did such things, suddenly everything I was being taught made sense, but the bible no longer did, and when I attempted to make sense of the bible by asking questions which may make a Christian uncomfortable (a child asking something as simple as “why isnt god around anymore?” can elicit such a response) I was met with a brick wall and cyclic reasoning, ie the bible has every answer and never contradicts itself, yet it doesn’t and it does.

  • 438. Roy  |  October 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Matthew,

    I just emailed my brother (a somewhat traditional Christian) an email asking a few questions:

    Can a holy book be set up for worship and become idolatrous?

    Can a particular concept of a deity be set up for worship and become idolatrous?

    If so, how does one go about holding the *correct* concept in mind for said worship so as not to be idolatrous?

    Could it be that *any* attempt at conceptualizing a deity of any sort and worshipping it is idolatrous?

    I can’t wait to see what answers, if any, I get back.

  • 439. Bryant  |  October 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    In response to Roy:

    After reading your thoughts, it seems you might throw Jesus out all together and just be a good person on your own (not to devalue an iconic moral figure).

  • 440. Roy  |  October 16, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Yes I agree Bryant. The ultimate irony would be if the actual paragon of spiritual maturity is atheism. Was Jesus an atheist? It’s something to think about.

  • 441. Quester  |  October 16, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    The Romans thought he was. Depends on how you defend our terms. *grin*

  • 442. Joshua  |  October 16, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    The ultimate irony would be if the actual paragon of spiritual maturity is atheism.

    This thought amuses me to no end.

    What if God, in His infinite wisdom, decided to create a self-sustaining universe. After all, a holy grail among men is a machine that can sustain itself. Well, guess what, my God did it.

    So you know what? My God is more powerful than Yahweh, because my God can create a universe that sustains itself.

    My daddy can beat up your daddy.

    Religious debates sound eerily similar to some things I heard in the sandbox as a child…

    Seems like the most mature individuals are the ones capable of moving past all of that.

  • 443. mark  |  November 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    The church has done an excellent job with bait and switch. Claiming grace yet shaming you for not understanding and living in that grace. God wants you to have an abundant life, if you don’t have one its because your a rebellious idiot. Grace-blame-shame-grace-blame-shame etc….

  • [...] for religion. There's no pleasing some people. The letters are good, anyway.seek and ye shall find…. but what?“If you REALLY had been a Christian you would have never de-converted.” vs the observation that [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

Twitter

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 1,963,585 hits since March 2007

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 182 other followers