1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Austin Cline

Ten Questions to Ask Christians

By October 10, 2005

Follow me on:

Sometimes it seems like every Christian with an internet connection thinks that they are have the skills and knowledge to become evangelists to religious skeptics. I know this isn't literally true, but my email suggests that it almost could be. It might help to have a few questions or points which would get such Christians to stop and reflect on their assumptions, beliefs, and arguments.

Via Father Dan, Ashley asks ten interesting questions, including:

3. Fact or Allegory. The Bible says the Earth is between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, that it was created in 7 days, and that Man is made of dirt and Woman a piece of Man. Most churches today say that this is allegory. What passages of the Bible support it all being just allegory?

4. Needle’s Eye. Jesus said rich men don’t go to Heaven easily and even implied that it wasn’t possible. Why are so many people with money and property Christian if they are probably going to Hell?

9. Turn the other Cheek. Jesus instructs the saved to love and to forgive even deadly insults (Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” et cetera). Why do no prominent Christian leaders to follow this?

10. Free will. Freedom to choose is given to man by God. Man has two main choices: 1) accept the Love of God and, upon death, go to paradise for eternity, 2) Refuse God and, upon death, just die, be utterly damned. How is that freedom of choice when it is the same thing as a gun to your head?

I particularly like #4 — given the emphasis which American culture places on consumerism, wealth, and conspicuous consumption, the conflicts between American culture and orthodox Christianity are legion. Yet, somehow, Christians seem to think that the two not only are perfectly compatible, but are in fact so deeply intertwined that one can’t be thought of without the other.

Thus, getting American Christians to separate America from Christianity would be a significant achievement. If Christians would reflect more on what Jesus is reported to have said about wealth, and compare that with America generally and their own lives, there’s the possibility for significant cognitive dissonance.

Read More:

Comments
June 1, 2006 at 12:45 pm
(1) Tom says:

Hey Austin!
I just stumbled onto your site here with those questions from Father Dan. I thought I’d take a stab at them if thats alright. Sorry that this is such a long comment, but I wanted to answer all 10 of the questions that Father Dan had posted. Oh, Im a Christian by the way. Just a regular guy, 22 years old. This should be a fairly easy read.

Question #1. Biblical Law. Matthew 5:17-18 says quite clearly that Jesus demands Christians follow Old Testament law completely, to the smallest possible point. Why don’t they?
#1. With regards to the reference to the Law in Matthew 5:17-18, What Jesus is talking about is this… because He has come and would be the atonement for the sins of every person (if they would repent and put their faith and trust in Him alone to save them from the consequences of sin which is hell).. that still doesn’t mean that we get to throw out Law and thereby become “lawless”. If you read a short ways further in this portion of scripture the Law that Jesus is referring to is the Moral Law of God, otherwise known as the 10 commandments. Jesus actually “raised the bar” for the standard of the Commandments, He actually amplified it(ex. vs 20-22, & vs 27-29… but for what purpose? It was to literally show us that we 100% have not kept the Law, therefore because we are lawbreakers we need Salvation through Him, from the wrath of God that abides on those that have transgressed Gods law (see 1John 3:4 “sin is transgression of the law.”). Our civil law is very much the same. If a good judge (uncorrupted) has a guilty criminal standing before him, he will make sure the law takes its course and punishment will be forthcoming. So the truth of the matter is is that Jesus isn’t just speaking of just Christians breaking the Law, but he is speaking to every single individual on the face of the planet,(see Romans 3:19) since this law leaves the whole world guilty, and thats what its designed to do because(see next verse Romans 3:20) “by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight”. We can’t be good enough because at some point we’ve already broken the law, therefore we are already guilty before God. This may help..”This is “Law to the Proud heart, and Grace to the Humble heart.”
If you would like to see a great example of the use of Gods Law go to http://www.needgod.com . This will help in understanding most of what Ive said so far.

Question #2. Infanticide. The modern Christian churches of the world tend to gloss the fact that God is a child killer—the 10th plague in Egypt—and say that Jesus set this right. Ignoring for a moment that the crucifixion is just one more child killing to fulfill God’s will, why does Jesus say he also will kill children in Revelation 2:23?
#2. This question is one that seems to throw many people because it would seem like you cannot reconcile the fact that God would kill people, and at the same time be a Righteous “being”. A common statement which is tossed around by many “Atheists” is that “if God would kill people then He is morally bankrupt, because I wouldn’t kill people if I were God”. Thats a dangerous statement because “IF” God is real then you just judged Him even though you personally are found guilty before Him for the sins that you have committed(again check out http://www.needgod.com for an example). Clearly none of us is able to claim moral perfection. However I can understand this topic coming up when questioning Gods goodness. First we have to understand that every last one of us (thats me too) deserves death and hell for having sinned. “The wages of sin is death..”(Romans 6:23). The very fact that I get to type these words out, and that you get to read them is a testimony of His incredible mercy. He has spared you and I even though we deliberately rebelled against Him with our sin. You have to realize that if at any moment God were to take your life or mine He would be right to do so, its called justice. We are sooo indebted to His Law that whether it be today, tomorrow or 60 years from now… we will at some point die and face Him to give an account of what we have done, and our conscience will stand next to us as an unbiased witness to accuse or acquit us.
This example in Egypt that you mentioned in question #2 is a perfect example of how God was glorified, which is the whole purpose of creation. “How?”. God told the Israelites to kill a lamb that was without blemish and put some of its blood over the doorways of their homes so that this spirit of Death would pass over them (which is why there is a Passover celebration). Gods punishment was falling on Egypt and He still provided a way that if they would humble themselves and take the warning of the Prophet Moses then their firstborn sons would be spared. Realize that if the Israelites, themselves, didn’t listen even their sons would die under this punishment as well. So those homes that were marked with the blood of the lamb were shown mercy. This is precisely what Jesus Christ did for you and I. At any moment we could be snatched into Eternity, but through the shed blood of Jesus (the spotless lamb) we are able to pass from death to life if we would but humble ourselves and repent(confess and forsake) of our sin and trust in Him to save us. So the glory and honour goes to God.
Gods goodness is reflected in the fulfillment of justice for everyone that sins. He is a perfect judge. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but by His nature He must punish sin wherever it is found. Sometimes we see the result of sin here on earth, just look around for a minute, but sometimes people wont turn from sin and it will be too late when they stand before God. I pray that that is not you dear reader. Your soul is worth more than all the wealth of the world because you can’t take anything but your soul with you when you die. So instead of asking “Why God did you kill people as seen in the Bible?” we need to ask “Why God didn’t you kill me when I first transgressed your Law?”. Ive heard it said, “The tormented soul in Hell is no longer the unbelieving fool that he was on earth”…Don’t let that be you. I plead with you to do your research, do your homework thoroughly, you owe it to your good sense and God-given will to live to examine the claims of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of prophecy throughout scripture.

Question #3. Fact or Allegory. The Bible says the Earth is between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, that it was created in 7 days, and that Man is made of dirt and Woman a piece of Man. Most churches today say that this is allegory. What passages of the Bible support it all being just allegory?
#3. An Allegory is a Fable or colourful story for the imagination, so if you actually hear “Christians” saying that the Creation account of man and woman etc. is allegorical, then I would seriously question whether or not they are truly Christian. You’re correct, there are no biblical passages that would support the claim that it is an allegory.

Question #4. Needle’s Eye. Jesus said rich men don’t go to Heaven easily and even implied that it wasn’t possible. Why are so many people with money and property Christian if they are probably going to Hell?
#4. Good question. Always remember that when looking at scripture you need to look at the context in which it is being spoken, thats really a “given” for any literature. The scripture is Matthew 19:24-25. (vs 24.) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (vs 25.) When his disciples heard [it], they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? I would recommend reading all of the surrounding verses for the context. Beginning at vs 16 of this passage Jesus speaks to a rich young man who asks him “Good master what must I do to inherit eternal life?”. So Jesus pointed this young man to the 10 commandments, and gave him 5 of them, to which the young man replied “Ive kept these since my youth”. Notice what Jesus does next.. He says “One thing you lack, go and sell all that you have, give the money to the poor and come follow me.”, and the Bible says that the young man went away sad because he had many great possessions. So what Jesus did was simply show this man that his “god” was his money, and you cannot serve God and money(which is breaking the essence of the 1st and 2nd commandments) #1 “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me”. #2 “You shall not make for yourself any graven image”. So its ridiculous to think that simply having wealth means that you go to hell. However its impossible for a rich man to have a god of money and still try to follow Jesus Christ. His idolatry is an insult to God, and he has not placed God first in his affections. We are all guilty of doing this. If we put God 2nd in our lives, whether it be for money, status, possessions, friends, or family then we have transgressed the 1st commandment, and who has never done that?? I certainly have done that. The bible says that none of us has kept the 1st commandment. God has allowed Christians and non-Christians, alike, to have material wealth, but Jesus brings the focus back to the order of our affections.

Question #5. Apocrypha and Biblical Revisions. The Bible of 400 CE and the Bible today differ by dozens of chapters and thousands of parts. Which Bible is the word of God and why does man edit it?
#5. This too is an excellent question. If you are referring to modern translations that take liberty at paraphrasing the Bible, then I have a strong sense of caution towards those particular “Bibles”, so we should obviously not absorb every so called translation that comes out. However the actual Bible texts haven’t been rewritten over and over and over again so that the original meaning has been lost over time. For example look at the New Testament. The disciples of Jesus Christ wrote the books in the New Testament, which by the way were written in greek. There are around 24,000 manuscripts of these texts that are copies of the original writings, written very close to the time of the originals. The amazing thing is that nearly 100% of these texts agree with each other perfectly. This is a statistical monstrosity. These texts were being circulated well within 100 years of the time of Christ. The Bible that we have today is translated directly from its original language, which eliminates the danger of cross cultural translations which would obviously produce large variations in the texts when compared. And with closer examination we find that the differences found in the texts are limited to spelling error and slight word alteration. For example: saying “the Christ” rather than “Jesus Christ”, or saying “plank in your eye” instead of “log in your eye” etc. So the variation is very low, which leaves us with a very much reliable compilation of the originals.(also see http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/Biblestandsalone.shtml)
As for the Apocrypha, it was not accepted as cannon of scripture due to several different reasons varying from blatant contradictions of established scripture(old testament), the fact that it was never part of the cannon of the Old Testament, a lack of historical accuracy, and even the devaluation of Jesus Christ by adding works to salvation, rather than a result of salvation.

Question #6. Born Fallen. Even in this global age there are millions of persons who never hear the Good News. We are born in sin. Do some go to Hell just because of their birth circumstances?
#6. We are indeed, by nature, sinful beings. No one will go to hell because of where they were born, or because they didn’t hear about Jesus. People will go to hell because they have transgressed Gods law, which is written on the heart of everyone. Its called the conscience. Conscience: con=with, science=knowledge. Every time that we sin we do so “with-knowledge” that its wrong. Take for example the fact that everyone has told lies before, which makes us a liar. Your conscience spoke very loudly the first time you lied when you were younger and your parents chuckled because they could read the guilt on your face. Anyone else out there like me? :) We can try to silence our conscience by trying to justify ourselves, and of course by repetition. Ever met a habitual liar? Its very difficult to trust such a person because they can’t seem to stop or care that they are lying to you. Their conscience is seared. So.. sin is transgression of the law (1John 3:4) and that is why people will go to hell. This also emphasizes a genuine need for Christians to regularly share their faith in Jesus Christ. If Christians indeed believe that people are going to Hell then they will seek to do something about it. Honestly if a “Christian” has no concern for such people then he is a blatant hypocrite who claims to know the “love of Christ” but doesn’t care enough to share it … and the Bible says that no hypocrite will enter Gods Kingdom. Fear is a very real thing when presenting ones own faith, since it opens you up for a stinging rejection, but for a professing Christian its a MORAL responsibility to do this, and to overcome their fear.

Question #7. Graven Images. Isn’t wearing the cross and making statues and movies of the life of the Christ a violation of the 2nd Commandment? “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…”
#7. The 2nd commandment, like you said, is “You shall not make for yourself any graven image”. This is called idolatry. So what this means is you shall not make a “god” either with your hands or with your mind. Your mind is included in this because the fertile ground of your imagination can easily produce a god of your own making. For example, if I believe in a god that is nothing but love and mercy, and all the things I like, then I have created a god to suit myself…which means I just broke the 2nd commandment. If you were to hear someone say “My god would never send someone to Hell because he is all loving and all merciful, and all forgiving”, well I would have to say that they are correct…. their god wouldn’t send anyone to Hell because he couldn’t, he doesn’t exist and is a figment of their imagination. This person would have an idolatrous understanding of the true nature of God. Its when we realize that we are lawbreakers and that the wrath of God abides on us due to our sins, that we are able to appreciate and recognize the mercy that God has extended to us… otherwise it doesn’t make any sense to tell someone that 2000 years ago Jesus Christ died for your sins. Why would someone do that for me 2000 years ago? The Bible says that “the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but for those who are being saved it is the power of God” (1Corinthians 1:18). And it true that it doesn’t make sense that someone would seek to be “saved” unless they see the danger that they are in. To the thinking mind its just logical to expect that someone would try to step out of the way of danger if they saw it coming towards them.
So, wearing a cross, or seeing a statue, or picture, or a film of Jesus isn’t of itself idolatrous, but if those things become objects of your affections, or perhaps depict Jesus differently than which is found in the Bible, then I would certainly stay away from it. Some people have pictures of Jesus or statues in their homes or churches but no one actually knows what he really looked like, since they didn’t capture his portrait 2000 years ago. I personally have had a picture of what Jesus may have looked like, and its not a sin to have one, don’t get me wrong, but if someone ends up praying to a statue, or to a picture or honouring that “image” more than God then it has switched from being a reminder of Christs sacrifice into an idol that is getting more attention than God, and God says that no idolater will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. So its something to be aware of. Remember that an idol would be anything that you place in your affections before God. It could be your car, your money, your job, your wife or husband etc. This takes us back to commandment #1. “I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before Me.”.

Question #8. Inquisitions, Crusades, Witch Trials. Historians put the number of those killed and executed by Christian churches at between 2 and 15 million; mostly Jews, witches/pagans, and Muslims. Do Christians retain this murderous nature? If not, why not?
#8. History shows us many of the terrible things done in the name of “religion” or even “Christianity”. Things such as the crusades like you mentioned are prime examples. You can look at such instances and see how placing a specific cause beneath the banner of “God” and disguising it suddenly gives it some sort of credibility. If you have ever seen the movie “Kingdom of Heaven”, it gives a good example of religion being used as a means of power for corruption. Things may have been done in the name of Christianity but that certainly does not mean that those people were Christians, which is obvious when you compare such conduct to what the Bible says of how a follower of Christ is to act. The Bible says that no murderer will enter the kingdom of Heaven, so a Christian certainly doesn’t hold onto a murderous nature. God changes our nature, which is actually called being “born again”. Sounds strange perhaps, but what it means is that because you have surrendered your old nature that loved to lie, steal, cheat, commit adultery, dishonour parents etc.. God will give you a new heart with new desires. A heart of flesh for a heart of stone.(Ezekiel 36:26) In fact Jesus said that if you are guilty of hating someone then you ARE a murderer in Gods eyes. So that raises the bar doesn’t it?

Question #9. Turn the other Cheek. Jesus instructs the saved to love and to forgive even deadly insults (Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” et cetera). Why do no prominent Christian leaders to follow this?
#9. Jesus certainly instructed us to love even our enemies, even if its difficult sometimes. There is always the temptation to strike back in some sort of hurtful way. As for the prominent leaders that you referred to I would have to know what was done to understand what you meant exactly. Its obvious that Christians as well as non-Christians make mistakes, and that repentance is necessary afterwards(no excuses I assure you). However if a professing “Christian” does not repent and does not seek to change this but heartily continues on doing the same thing, then that certainly needs to be addressed by other Christians around them. As for forgiveness, this is also non-negotiable. The offended party must forgive. (Matthew 6:14-15) So that doesn’t mean its suddenly wiped from your memory, but its releasing that person to God and allowing Him to deal with them in His time(whether thats on earth or ultimately on judgment day-whenever that person dies), rather than planning your own vengeance, or holding onto that offense. Sometimes easier said than done, but a Christian must trust God and ask Him to help them with it.

Question #10. Free will. Freedom to choose is given to man by God. Man has two main choices: 1) accept the Love of God and, upon death, go to paradise for eternity, 2) Refuse God and, upon death, just die, be utterly damned. How is that freedom of choice when it is the same thing as a gun to your head?
#10. This last question made me chuckle a little bit when you said “How is that freedom of choice when it is the same thing as a gun to your head?”. I could hear an exasperated tone. Anyways….to the question. We just need to clarify that if a person is to be “Saved” and go to Heaven, its not an intellectual assent to the existence of God. That person must recognize that they deserve Hell because of their infinite offense against an infinitely Holy God and then throw themselves upon the Mercy of God which is through repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ to save them from the wrath to come. No amount of “goodness” makes up for sin. This is why Gods Law is so important because when we realize that we are lawbreakers then obviously punishment is due. Just like in our court systems.. if a criminal is brought before the judge and the evidence is there of his guilt, then the Judge, if he is good, will see to it that justice is served. The same is with God. He will not let a guilty criminal go unpunished. That happens to be you and I. Justice will be served when we stand before Him. So we MUST humble ourselves and cry out for mercy. People will not flee from danger unless they see it headed their way.
So again it is sin that will cause someone to be cast into Hell. So you do have a choice, you can either humble yourself, repent(forsake your sin), and seek mercy through complete surrender to God…..or choose to spit on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, rejecting mercy, accepting Hell, all because you love your sin so much. You remain a slave to sin, and you will reap death… its only fair for a judge to punish the guilty. Don’t let anyone elses hypocrisy stop you from considering this INCREDIBLE gift of everlasting life. The point is not to come to Jesus Christ out of fear, although thats leads you to think about it, but it must be out of a humble heart that says “I’m guilty, and desperately need forgiveness.”. The longer you wait is such a gamble. Its playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun, because once someone dies its TOO LATE! So who knows when they will die? Don’t let that be you. Don’t’ let anything stop you from considering Gods gift that we ABSOLUTELY do not deserve. Listen to the voice of your conscience. Guilty or Innocent. If we are honest with ourselves we find ourselves to be guilty.

June 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm
(2) Mokicat says:

What a load of old cobblers.
Never mind the words, just keep reconstructing until you get a meaning that fits your ideology.
The point is you have never told us how it is that there can be a God, relying on the veracity of the bible writers for foundational beliefs.

One could similarly know chapter and verse the complete story of the Hobbit, declaim and explain who did what to whom and when but its still a bloody fairy story.

No, give us a plausible reason why we have free will when God has omniscient foreknowledge and then I might believe you.

June 1, 2006 at 1:27 pm
(3) atheism says:

If you read a short ways further in this portion of scripture the Law that Jesus is referring to is the Moral Law of God, otherwise known as the 10 commandments.

No, Jesus never says that he only meant the “moral” law.

You have to realize that if at any moment God were to take your life or mine He would be right to do so, its called justice.

No, it’s called being a butcher. The only thing worse than butchering innocent children is apologizing for such butchery.

…if you actually hear “Christians” saying that the Creation account of man and woman etc. is allegorical, then I would seriously question whether or not they are truly Christian.

Who are you to judge?

So what Jesus did was simply show this man that his “god” was his money, and you cannot serve God and money…

Go sell all you have, give the money to the poor, and follow Jesus.

If you don’t, I will have shown that your “god” is your money and that you cannot serve your god and your money.

The Bible that we have today is translated directly from its original language, which eliminates the danger of cross cultural translations which would obviously produce large variations in the texts when compared.

You don’t seem to be aware of how rapidly oral and written texts can change.

People will go to hell because they have transgressed Gods law, which is written on the heart of everyone.

Not mine, thank you very much.

Remember that an idol would be anything that you place in your affections before God.

Like all the possessions and money you refuse to give up?

The Bible says that no murderer will enter the kingdom of Heaven, so a Christian certainly doesn’t hold onto a murderous nature.

So, a murderer who sincerely repents and begs forgiveness won’t go to heaven? That contradicts your Bible.

As for the prominent leaders that you referred to I would have to know what was done to understand what you meant exactly.

Pretty much all political and military leaders, for starters.

We just need to clarify that if a person is to be “Saved” and go to Heaven, its not an intellectual assent to the existence of God. That person must recognize that they deserve Hell because of their infinite offense against an infinitely Holy God and then throw themselves upon the Mercy of God which is through repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ to save them from the wrath to come.

Without the intellectual assent, however, the latter isn’t possible – even if we ignore the fact that it’s incoherent.

The longer you wait is such a gamble. Its playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun, because once someone dies its TOO LATE!

Pascal’s Wager, and not a particularly good phrasing of it either.

If we are honest with ourselves we find ourselves to be guilty.

Guilty of transgressions of non-existent rules created by a non-existent god?

June 5, 2006 at 6:22 pm
(4) Tom says:

Hey Austin! Thanks for such a quick reply. I’m sure you’re a busy guy. This one ended up being kinda long too. I hope your weekend was pleasant. My little sister graduated high school so my weekend was quite eventful.:)

**If you read a short ways further in this portion of scripture the Law that Jesus is referring to is the Moral Law of God, otherwise known as the 10 commandments.
No, Jesus never says that he only meant the “moral” law.**
Reply: The context of Jesus’ words does actually show that he was referring to the “moral” law. This is why context is so important, because if we were to isolate individual scriptures, other pieces of literature or even dialog then we could end up with a very misconstrued idea of what was actually being said. If I were to isolate part of your response here and quote you saying “..he only meant the “moral” law.”, then I would be misrepresenting you in what you really said by not including the context of your statement.
So lets look at it. Matt 5:19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments**(emphasis added)and teaches others {to do} the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches {them,} he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
So here Jesus is referring to “commandments”. Well, which ones? The following verses show him amplify and expand on a number of the 10 commandments, which is also called the Moral law. (Matt 5:17-) He begins in vs 21with the 6th commandment regarding Murder… He teaches that if you were to get angry with someone and call them a fool then you are in danger of judgment before God, then he shows application. Vs 27 is the 7th commandment, regarding Adultery. He again amplifies it, and applies it. Vs 33 is the 9th commandment which is bearing false witness, or in other words lying. He speaks of false vows. And as you keep going Jesus sums it up by saying Love your neighbor, which according to Matthew 22:36-40 (also see Romans 13:8-10) is the 2nd greatest commandment next to loving God with all of heart, soul and mind, in the summation of the Law.

**You have to realize that if at any moment God were to take your life or mine He would be right to do so, its called justice.
No, it’s called being a butcher. The only thing worse than butchering innocent children is apologizing for such butchery.**
Reply: Gods mercy was so great that He provided a way of deliverance, and STILL people didn’t listen because of the pride of their hearts. It’s still the same today. People love their sin so much that it angers them that God would command all men everywhere to repent(Acts 17:30-31). God does not need defending and I wouldn’t dare try to apologize for Him.
During the 90′s there were around 200,000 murders that happened within the United States. Only 50% of them were ever brought to Justice. Which means there are 100,000 murderers that got away with it. If God is good He is going to bring those men and women to Justice. Everyone has a sense of justice. Even a thief who has been stolen from has a sense of justice. However God isn’t going to stop at murderers, Hes going to punish liars, thieves, adulterers, blasphemers…so if we have done those things our conscience will bear witness to it. Ever lied? Ever taken something that doesn’t belong to you, irrespective of its value? Ever looked with lust? Ever used Gods name in vain?

**…if you actually hear “Christians” saying that the Creation account of man and woman etc. is allegorical, then I would seriously question whether or not they are truly Christian.
Who are you to judge?**
Reply: Am I wrong? How would you distinguish between false gold, or real gold? The answer is obvious. You examine the properties of both and thereby discern which one is the real thing.
Do you get into another country(legally) by simply stating your citizenship, or do you have to produce some sort of identification with the necessary information on it that verifies your citizenship?
If a professing Christian decides to categorize things such as the Creation account in Genesis as allegory, then its only logical to examine the beliefs of the person. If that persons beliefs are decidedly contrary to the Bible then there’s reason to question the validity of their professed faith. I’ve met plenty of people that said they were Christians, since the term Christian has become synonymous with being a “good person” that goes to church.

So what Jesus did was simply show this man that his “god” was his money, and you cannot serve God and money…
Go sell all you have, give the money to the poor, and follow Jesus.
If you don’t, I will have shown that your “god” is your money and that you cannot serve your god and your money.
Reply: The challenge is not supported. Again look at the context. Something that I learned that might help if you are studying the Bible is to interpret unclear scripture with other verses that bring clarity to the subject. Notice that in the Bible you won’t find a command to be destitute. What you will find is that obedience to God led to the persecution of the disciples, apostles, churches etc.. to the point of destitution and martyrdom. In Acts, chapter 4 and chapter 5, people were selling their things to distribute to those in need, but they were not commanded to get rid of all that they had, but gave freely. Jesus himself had money, and paid taxes, but that doesn’t at all mean that it took 1st place. Even the Apostle Paul knew what it was like to have much, and to have nothing.
If something gets in the way of obeying God, such as money or material possessions, and it takes 1st place in your affections then that is an idol. Jesus exposed what he already knew… that this rich young man had put his wealth ahead of God. So does that mean that a Christian shouldn’t have anything, but give everything away? Of course not. That line of reasoning is outside the context of what Jesus was saying. If God were to ask that of me then yes I should obey because of my love and gratitude towards Him(not that it would be easy:) )

The Bible that we have today is translated directly from its original language, which eliminates the danger of cross cultural translations which would obviously produce large variations in the texts when compared.
You don’t seem to be aware of how rapidly oral and written texts can change.
Reply: Which makes it so amazing that the texts agree with one another.

People will go to hell because they have transgressed Gods law, which is written on the heart of everyone.
Not mine, thank you very much.
Reply: What are your thoughts? Does everyone have a conscience that can be silenced?

The Bible says that no murderer will enter the kingdom of Heaven, so a Christian certainly doesn’t hold onto a murderous nature.
So, a murderer who sincerely repents and begs forgiveness won’t go to heaven? That contradicts your Bible.
Reply: Actually that doesn’t contradict the Bible. (read on and Ill explain) Repentance and asking for forgiveness won’ t save you. They need to be combined with faith (trust) that through Jesus’ sacrifice, and surrender to Him, you are saved. The same is if you simply believe that there is a God,.. that won’t save you either. Even the devils believe and tremble. That faith has to be preceded with repentance.
Well lets look at this example of a murderer. Lets say a man has committed murder, the law catches up with him and he finds himself in prison with multiple life sentences. Perhaps during his stay in prison he corresponds with a Christian that ministers to the inmates, or perhaps he reads the Bible in his spare time. If he recognizes his guilt, not just as being a murderer, but a liar, a thief, and an adulterer at heart, and humbles himself, being sorry towards God for his sin, recognizing the consequences, recognizing the mercy of God… repents of his sin, and trusts in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins,… then when he stands before God that awful crime of murder as well as his other sins will be wiped away. He would no longer be found as a murderer, liar, their, or an adulterer before God,… it is removed from him by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who took it upon Himself to bear the punishment. (You and I would be just as guilty before God. If He exists of course.) That man is still guilty of his crime and worthy of prison according to Judicial law and so he should be, but every person will have their day in court and be found either guilty or innocent before Gods law. (see Isaiah 43:25 . )

As for the prominent leaders that you referred to I would have to know what was done to understand what you meant exactly.
Pretty much all political and military leaders, for starters.
Reply: So were not talking about “Christian” leaders anymore?

We just need to clarify that if a person is to be “Saved” and go to Heaven, its not an intellectual assent to the existence of God. That person must recognize that they deserve Hell because of their infinite offense against an infinitely Holy God and then throw themselves upon the Mercy of God which is through repentance, and faith in Jesus Christ to save them from the wrath to come.
Without the intellectual assent, however, the latter isn’t possible – even if we ignore the fact that it’s incoherent.
Reply: My apologies if that was confusing. “”Salvation”" is not a mere intellectual assent. Which, of course, means that it does include the intellect. It must be repentance and faith.

The longer you wait is such a gamble. Its playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun, because once someone dies its TOO LATE!
Pascal’s Wager, and not a particularly good phrasing of it either.
Reply: Thanks for pointing me to Pascals Wager, I had never heard of it before. It wasn’t good phrasing of Pascals Wager because I wasn’t intending on sounding like it. I was meaning that it is such a risk to not consider, examine and study it out. After all, whether someone is Atheistic or Theistic they would share the same fate unless they saw why they must repent and trust in Jesus Christ. Plenty of people believe in God but it won’t do them any good when they stand guilty before Him.
Do you happen to have the full quote by Pascal? Ive been trying to find it online but have only found parts of it so far. I haven’t studied it as you have, but I can recognize the dilemma coming from a decidedly atheistic viewpoint since (from what I read on your article) it doesn’t include the aspect of reasoning, nor experience, but more mathematical probability of you coming out on top if God is indeed is real. Yet if thats as far as it goes.. a decision to believe in the existence of God won’t help anyones eternal condition at all. Which is why I would encourage someone to study both sides(for and against).

June 5, 2006 at 6:27 pm
(5) Tom says:

Sorry about the format the last comment was in. I can re-send it if its difficult to distinguish between your previous comments and mine. Ill try to make sure that doesnt happen again. Have a good one.

June 5, 2006 at 7:17 pm
(6) atheism says:

The context of Jesus’ words does actually show that he was referring to the “moral” law.

You have created the category of “moral law” and are ascribing to a text that doesn’t use the term. That’s what make this your interpretation, not a principle that originates in the text itself — and why it’s not a question of context. It’s not quoting out of context to not use a concept or category which isn’t in the text to begin with.

Gods mercy was so great that He provided a way of deliverance, and STILL people didn’t listen because of the pride of their hearts.

Irrelevant, when we’re talking about children or people who have never heard of your god.

How would you distinguish between false gold, or real gold? The answer is obvious. You examine the properties of both and thereby discern which one is the real thing.

Non sequitur, since the definition of “gold” is defined objectively while texts must be interpreted. You aren’t the arbiter of what does and does not qualify as “true” Christian.

Something that I learned that might help if you are studying the Bible is to interpret unclear scripture with other verses that bring clarity to the subject.

And, of course, those other verses are interpreted — which means you judge one interpretation according to another. No wonder the text always ends up saying what you want it to.

Notice that in the Bible you won’t find a command to be destitute.

Irrelevant. Unless you are willing to sell all you have, give it to the poor (so they won’t be destitute) and follow Jesus, then your money and possessions are more important to you than Jesus. Everything else is a rationalization for not doing what the text says.

Does everyone have a conscience that can be silenced?

Everyone has a conscience, but the conscience is determined by culture — not your god.

Lets say a man has committed murder, the law catches up with him and he finds himself in prison with multiple life sentences. Perhaps during his stay in prison he corresponds with a Christian that ministers to the inmates, or perhaps he reads the Bible in his spare time. If he recognizes his guilt, not just as being a murderer, but a liar, a thief, and an adulterer at heart, and humbles himself, being sorry towards God for his sin, recognizing the consequences, recognizing the mercy of God… repents of his sin, and trusts in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins,… then when he stands before God that awful crime of murder as well as his other sins will be wiped away.

Yet you just said “The Bible says that no murderer will enter the kingdom of Heaven.”

So were not talking about “Christian” leaders anymore?

In America, most all politicians are Christians.

Do you happen to have the full quote by Pascal?

No.

June 12, 2006 at 1:03 pm
(7) Tom says:

–The context of Jesus’ words does actually show that he was referring to the “moral” law.
**You have created the category of “moral law” and are ascribing to a text that doesn’t use the term. That’s what make this your interpretation, not a principle that originates in the text itself — and why it’s not a question of context. It’s not quoting out of context to not use a concept or category which isn’t in the text to begin with.
– Then lets call it “commandments”. Thats in the text. Jesus called them commandments, and listed 3 belonging to the “10 commandments”, which, outside of this text is called the moral law. If semantics is what were getting stuck on lets stick with calling them commandments. The principles spoken of still remain. So how do they apply to the individual? They are for self examination so that we see ourselves as God would see us. Kind of like a mirror. Have you ever cursed at someone or called them an idiot? We learn of the danger of being guilty of that. Have you ever lusted? If we have then we are guilty of adultery. Have you ever told a fib, a white lie, a half truth? If we’ve done that then we’ve lied. Which makes us a liar. I’m just as guilty as anyone, and just like every other person I need forgiveness from God for breaking those commandments.

– Gods mercy was so great that He provided a way of deliverance, and STILL people didn’t listen because of the pride of their hearts.
**Irrelevant, when we’re talking about children or people who have never heard of your god.
– If the God of the Bible is real, and if He has written His laws on our conscience, then anyone who has violated their own conscience is guilty. We were born into sin. It’s our nature. God loves children, and he doesn’t wish for anyone to perish eternally. But being that we are all guilty, because of His nature He can’t let us go. Which is hard to swallow due to the pride of our hearts. We don’t see ourselves as deserving of punishment. So the biggest issue is of our sin and how it condemns us.
So about the children… are you familiar with the term “age of accountability”? I would imagine so, but just in case… It’s when God knows at which time an individual has become accountable for their choice to sin. So God will determine when that is for each individual, and if it is such a young child that dies for example in a time of judgment on a nation, earthquake, war etc, then they would not be held accountable for the sin that they were born into, and would have mercy extended to them. Which is not the case for you and I anymore. None of us are innocent.
It is mercy that God hasn’t judged us in our sin already, but has commanded that all men everywhere repent of their sin because he has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness. And righteousness is imputed by Jesus Christ alone.

–How would you distinguish between false gold, or real gold? The answer is obvious. You examine the properties of both and thereby discern which one is the real thing.
**Non sequitur, since the definition of “gold” is defined objectively while texts must be interpreted. You aren’t the arbiter of what does and does not qualify as “true” Christian.
– However God is the arbiter, and His Word (the Bible) holds the standard to which one may be examined, and the texts pertaining to such a standard aren’t difficult to interpret, such as the 10 commandments. If I were to say that the creation account in the Bible is allegory then I would be calling God a liar for having put it in there as factual, and thereby break the 2nd commandment and create my own god that lies. If a person does this then its only logical to question (God will be the Judge ultimately) what they actually believe in, since they may simply be in error and need to be shown it according to scripture(because you care for their well-being), or they have chosen to maintain an idolatrous view of God in spite of scripture. It would be like saying “I’m a “Christ”ian but I don’t believe in Christ”,.. an obvious contradiction, and one that would end up being eternally fatal just like the other sins we commit.

–Something that I learned that might help if you are studying the Bible is to interpret unclear scripture with other verses that bring clarity to the subject.
**And, of course, those other verses are interpreted — which means you judge one interpretation according to another. No wonder the text always ends up saying what you want it to.
– Being that, we as humans, our tendency is to sin, the commands of the Bible are less than convenient towards natural inclinations.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20corinthians%204:3-4;&version=49;

–Notice that in the Bible you won’t find a command to be destitute.
**Irrelevant. Unless you are willing to sell all you have, give it to the poor (so they won’t be destitute) and follow Jesus, then your money and possessions are more important to you than Jesus. Everything else is a rationalization for not doing what the text says.
– Thats just it… “willing”. If God were to command or ask that I sell all I had, then I must obey. At the very best we are to follow the example of Christ, and that certainly means being self sacrificial,… everything I have must be submitted to Him,and I must be willing to let it go.

–Does everyone have a conscience that can be silenced?
**Everyone has a conscience, but the conscience is determined by culture — not your god.
– So your conscience is conformity to the dictates of culture? Thats a frightening thought. So are there moral absolutes that transcend each culture? (Such as “murder is wrong”, “stealing is wrong”).

–Lets say a man has committed murder, the law catches up with him and he finds himself in prison with multiple life sentences. Perhaps during his stay in prison he corresponds with a Christian that ministers to the inmates, or perhaps he reads the Bible in his spare time. If he recognizes his guilt, not just as being a murderer, but a liar, a thief, and an adulterer at heart, and humbles himself, being sorry towards God for his sin, recognizing the consequences, recognizing the mercy of God… repents of his sin, and trusts in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins,… then when he stands before God that awful crime of murder as well as his other sins will be wiped away.
**Yet you just said “The Bible says that no murderer will enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
– He no longer remains a murderer when he stands before God on judgment day because he has been cleansed through repentance and faith. He has been made a new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17

–So were not talking about “Christian” leaders anymore?
**In America, most all politicians are Christians.
– How do you know?

June 12, 2006 at 1:41 pm
(8) atheism says:

Then lets call it “commandments”. Thats in the text.

All of the laws in the Old Testament are called commandments and all are expected to be adhered to. None of the three different versions of the so-called “Ten Commandments” are supposed to be followed “more” than the others.

If the God of the Bible is real, and if He has written His laws on our conscience, then anyone who has violated their own conscience is guilty.

Irrelevant, when we’re talking about infants and children who have never heard of your god.

So about the children… are you familiar with the term “age of accountability”?

Irrelevant, since you know very well that children below such an age are at issue as well.

However God is the arbiter, and His Word (the Bible) holds the standard to which one may be examined, and the texts pertaining to such a standard aren’t difficult to interpret, such as the 10 commandments.

This assumes the truth of claims where are precisely those at issue. You can’t assume the truth of something as part of an argument demonstrating that the same thing is true.

Thats just it… “willing”. If God were to command or ask that I sell all I had, then I must obey. At the very best we are to follow the example of Christ, and that certainly means being self sacrificial,… everything I have must be submitted to Him, and I must be willing to let it go.

Funny how the difficult commands of Jesus were only issued to those he was immediately speaking to, thus alleviating Christians of the burden of following them today, but the easier commands were somehow meant more “generally,” thus allowing Christians to insist that they be written into modern civil law in order to force everyone to obey them.

So your conscience is conformity to the dictates of culture? Thats a frightening thought.

Not as frightening as the idea that you are trying to teach me how to correctly interpret scripture, but then you turn around and interpret “conscience is determined by culture” as meaning “my conscience is conformity to my culture.”

He no longer remains a murderer when he stands before God on judgment day because he has been cleansed through repentance and faith.

Unless your god goes back in time to restore the murdered person to life, a murder still occurred. By definition, if there was a murder then there was a murderer. The person in question committed they action, therefore they are guilty of being the murderer. Being forgiven for one’s crime does not mean that the crime never occurred or that they aren’t responsible for it. I can forgive you for stealing from me, but that doesn’t mean that you never committed the act of theft.

How do you know?

Sheer statistics demands it, given the percentage of Christians in the population.

June 14, 2006 at 6:18 pm
(9) Tom says:

**All of the laws in the Old Testament are called commandments and all are expected to be adhered to. None of the three different versions of the so-called “Ten Commandments” are supposed to be followed “more” than the others.
– “all are expected to be adhered to.” We’ve been discussing scripture interpretation and this is the same issue that you’ve been mentioning. The commandments are confirmed in the New Testament. Some of the Old Testament laws even change because Jesus fulfilled them by His sacrifice. In order for us to see what applies to us, from the Old Testament, the New Testament clarifies, reiterates or amplifies those commandments. We can observe changes in things such as ceremonial procedures, and even food laws.
The purpose of commandments such as “the 10 Commandments” is to make us guilty before God and show our need of forgiveness. It’s as a response to God, to love Him and to love others, that a Christian will strive to not lie, lust, steal, blaspheme, dishonor parents, covet, etc.

–So about the children… are you familiar with the term “age of accountability”?
**Irrelevant, since you know very well that children below such an age are at issue as well.
– I’m sorry, Im not sure what you mean by “at issue”. Thanks for your help.

**Funny how the difficult commands of Jesus were only issued to those he was immediately speaking to, thus alleviating Christians of the burden of following them today, but the easier commands were somehow meant more “generally,” thus allowing Christians to insist that they be written into modern civil law in order to force everyone to obey them.
Hypocrites.
– It wasn’t a commandment. Attaining to the perfection of the law isn’t easy, its impossible.
Which laws are you referring to in modern civil law?

–So your conscience is conformity to the dictates of culture? Thats a frightening thought.
**Not as frightening as the idea that you are trying to teach me how to correctly interpret scripture, but then you turn around and interpret “conscience is determined by culture” as meaning “my conscience is conformity to my culture.”
– I’m not trying to be antagonistic, It was an actual question. But if your conscience is determined by culture doesn’t that mean that your conscience has been molded or conformed to the cultures standard?(thats all I meant). The reason its a frightening thought to me is observation of the moral decline within our culture. It seems that our culture is more “conforming” rather than “determining” due to the people that make up the culture or society. It seems subjected to what people(individuals) want to do, and by nature we tend to gravitate to selfish gain, sometimes at high costs to others, and justify ourselves because its appealing, its fun or satisfies something in us. If this is true, its possible to see a vicious cycle happening where the morality of one generation affects the morality of what is accepted as culture (I guess kind of like moral trends), and then the next generation is affected by that which ends up being seen as “normal” and therefore they push the envelope a bit further etc etc. You may not agree, but do you see what I mean? You can see how as a culture we’ve changed a lot in the last few decades(morally speaking), and not for the better. Granted I’ve met lots of wonderful people that don’t necessarily believe in the Christian God, and have higher standards than some professing Christians.

**I can forgive you for stealing from me, but that doesn’t mean that you never committed the act of theft.
–I understand what you mean. A crime has certainly taken place, and a murderer is still a murderer on their criminal record. God also keeps records for every person, right down to the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Its true that the crime would also be recorded by God, but through repentance and trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ a person can have their record wiped clean. It’s not that the murdered person is brought back to life, but the record of the crime is removed. The penalty is paid through Christs death, which is what that murderer, and all of us actually deserve.

–How do you know?
**Sheer statistics demands it, given the percentage of Christians in the population.
– Statistics do make suggestion, but they don’t offer anything conclusive and cannot determine the accuracy of such a statement regarding an individual, or individuals.

June 26, 2006 at 1:04 am
(10) aine says:

I am Christian, but am humble enough to know that I do not have all of the answers, just a few.:
3. Fact or Allegory:
Well, you’re right. The Bible never says its allegorical. But it was also written several thousand years ago by people with no accurate way of even guessing the origins of HOW creation occured. I do not understand how anyone can take that literally and still be considered rational. (Some reasons: Adam and Eve= first 2 humans, only ones, right? They have two sons. Who get their wives from “the land of Nod”. Is that meant to be somewhere not on earth? I don’t know what the authors intended. It doesn’t make sense anyway I can think of it.)
4. Needle’s Eye:
I have read that this was the name of a particularly narrow gate- a camel could get through it (unlike an actual needle’s eye) but it would be hard. Either way, this is in general a call to help our fellow humans, which we obviously fail to do often. More specifically, the Christians in history brave and faithful enough to do this have been revered as saints; my denomination holds them in high regard as beacons to what is possible if we truly believe and trust in God. (St. Francis of Assissi, and St. Clare are the first examples I can think of).

9. Turn the Other Cheek
This has been one of the most ignored commands of Jesus, and has led to much tragedy in history. I can, however, give you a shining example of it- Pope John Paul II forgiving the man who shot him and visiting him in prison to pray with him. The Quakers have historically been known for their commitment to peace, despite much persecution by others.

10. Free will: I have no answer for this, because I do not understand it either.

June 29, 2006 at 5:29 pm
(11) Tom says:

–Hello Aine! I don’t know if you will check back on your comment or not….
Are you Catholic by any chance? You sound like you could be. :)
Many ask this question about Cains wife thinking they’ve found a “mistake” in the Bible—that there must have been other people besides Adam and Eve. A quick look at scripture helps your question. Scripture tells us that Adam is “the first man” (1 Corinthians 15:45); that there were no other humans when he was created, because God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18); and that Eve is “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Cain, Abel, and Seth then, must have married distant sisters. Check out Genesis 5:4,( http://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/Gen/Gen005.html#4 ) its really clear that Adam had sons and daughters. These people lived for a very long time in comparison to us, and had many children. All of the first-generation siblings married each other in order to populate the earth. At that time there was no law against incest. But as the population grew large enough, and as the risk of genetic problems increased because of sin’s curse, God outlawed marriage between siblings.
As for the account of creation being recorded, they didn’t have to guess at all. Their history and genealogies were well known by their descendants, they were also documented and were throughout Hebrew/Jewish tradition. Its completely rational.
I was wondering, are you encouraged to read your Bible much? A Christian believes that the Bible is the Word of God, and that God doesn’t lie,.. but we call Him a liar when we don’t believe Him and deny something that He states as plainly factual. If you will take a moment to consider it… it should concern you that as a “Christ-ian” you have denied Gods Word and the very scriptures that “Christ” knew. This helped me out a lot. Visit http://www.needgod.com . Let me know what you think of it, its very thought provoking.
**”"Either way, this is in general a call to help our fellow humans, which we obviously fail to do often.”"
– Its true we do need to help people, but this particular scripture isn’t referring to a general call to help people. Although thats good.
–Free will is actually fairly simple. God doesn’t hold us like puppets on a string, He has given us the ability to “reason” for ourselves, to act with our own “will”. So when we come to stand before God, after we die, we will give an account for everything that we have “chosen” to do, whether good or evil,– sins. (eg. lies, theft(even if its small), lustful thoughts=adultery, hate=murder, just to name a few you’re probably familiar with). Remember good doesn’t cancel out the bad. If good did cancel out the bad, then Jesus’ death and resurrection was pointless and useless. God doesn’t want anyone to perish, but that all would come to repentance.
Have an excellent weekend!

March 6, 2011 at 2:03 am
(12) Emma says:

Hi Tom!

I just wanted to tell you (if you ever return to this site) that I enjoyed reading your discussion! I think you did a great job about not coming off as rude, which I think can easily happen via the internet, and still getting God’s message across! I am also studying to be a church-worker, and I wanted to expose myself to some very opposing views, just for experience, and I am very glad that I stumbled upon this site!

God Bless!

February 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm
(13) Unindoctrinated says:

I love the term you have used “distant sisters”. Why did you feel the need to make the sisters “distant”? Perhaps you, like almost everybody else on this planet, find incest unpalatable and therefore couch it in terms that make it seem less offensive. Basically you are applying your own inherent morals onto god’s immoral acts because you know it is wrong but as your god did it you must make it seem acceptable.
How Christian of you.

March 4, 2007 at 6:23 pm
(14) Ashley says:

Quick clarification: Father Dan did not write the piece. I did; and he indicates this in his post. I would appreciate a correction here, of course, but I’m really just glad to see it picked up.

Some of the other points in defense of the Bible made in comments above are ludicrous and show a lack of scholarship. “Needle’s eye,” just for one example. The actual problem with the translation is, probably, that “camel” was supposed to be “rope.” Why I wrote, “Jesus said rich men don’t go to Heaven easily and even implied that it wasn’t possible,” instead of “Jesus says it’s impossible.”

Finally, “The Rejection of Pascal’s Wager” by Paul Tobin — http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/ — is thorough, scholarly, well written and tears down just about all of the Bible, its history, and the purely irrational reasons for using it as a guide in life.

March 4, 2007 at 6:41 pm
(15) Austin Cline says:

I apologize for the mis-attribution, Ashley. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

March 5, 2007 at 1:09 am
(16) Ashley says:

No, thank you, Austin. I appreciate the stuff you do at about.com quite a bit. You are very constructive, not just because of all the things you’re writing but also because you maintain a measured and fair tone.

October 1, 2008 at 12:57 pm
(17) Stanley says:

“its really clear that Adam had sons and daughters.”

Unclear about your position, do you believe that the story of Adam and Eve is to be taken literally? I suppose this is also to ask if you think a snake talked to a woman, that people lived to be over 900 years old, the Earth is around 8,000 year old, etc.

Saw your discussion about the fate of children, what’s your take on Catholicism’s take on the idea of limbo?

October 9, 2008 at 8:57 pm
(18) Elvise says:

I was looking at #8, and I was wondering (The last time I read the New Testament was a while back) doesn’t God reward those that fight in his name in Revelation?

I conclude that it meant like in the Crusade, but my conclusions are not always right.

If, any knows what I am talking about please reply.

November 27, 2008 at 8:40 pm
(19) Donnie Dempewolf says:

I don’t understand your points because it is all justified by humans are not perfect. Your points are mere ideas not good arguements, but what I can say is Why does God allow suffering for us even though he has ultimate love? The answer I always get is we did this to ourselves in Eden, but go beyond that God had to allow Adam and Eve to do this to us.

April 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm
(20) JD Longmire says:

I took a shot at these questions from a Christian Skeptic viewpoint –

July 8, 2009 at 10:23 am
(21) Mike says:

I guess that we Christians can argue all day with those who don’t believe. The fact is that your heart is hardened and you don’t want to humble yourself to truth, you just want to stay in your pride, you want to blame, you want to point fingers and accuse. If God doesn’t exist, then why are you blaming Him or so antagonized by Him? yell at the tree. Look in the mirror and yell at yourself! The reason God has allowed the bad in this world is that He loves us enough, regardless of the hardships, to give us the freedom to chose for ourselves the path and eternity we will go down. Did you want to be a mindless robot or would you rather have been able to follow on your own terms? Well, you are doing that right now. You now have the freedom to disregard the truth no matter how it aggravates you and goes against what you feel is fair and right. You should at least be thankful to Him for that.

I challenge anyone out there who thinks God is a man-made myth to read the book “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. Lee Strobel is an award winning journalist who was set out to prove that Christians and the Bible were a farce. You will be interested in his “factual” findings that made him turn his life around. You want proof? I dare you to truly read this and do your own non-prejudice investigation, but be careful because you might not like what you find out.

July 12, 2011 at 3:20 pm
(22) John Thomson says:

If Lee Strobel is your best shot then you lose automatically. The only people “convinced” by Strobel are already believers and have credulity issues.

Am I hardened to Christianity? Yes, I’ve done all the necessary reading(Bible and various apologetics). The only major truth in the Bible is the Golden Rule which is far older than the Bible.

I’ve never blamed any god for anything.That’s theists behavior.As far as mindless robots that would be the religious.

July 8, 2009 at 10:55 am
(23) Austin Cline says:

I guess that we Christians can argue all day with those who don’t believe.

No, if you don’t present sound arguments we’ll walk away before the entire day passes.

The fact is that your heart is hardened and you don’t want to humble yourself to truth, you just want to stay in your pride,

Prove it.

If God doesn’t exist, then why are you blaming Him or so antagonized by Him?

We’re not; we are, however, antagonized by believers like you.

The reason God has allowed the bad in this world is that He loves us enough, regardless of the hardships, to give us the freedom to chose for ourselves the path and eternity we will go down.

Yeah, that’s why I let toddlers play in tiger cages with wile tigers. It gives them freedom of choice.

Did you want to be a mindless robot

How is this different from heaven? Or are you suggesting that sin and suffering can exist in heaven?

I challenge anyone out there who thinks God is a man-made myth to read the book “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel.

Been there, done that. I challenge you to address all the errors and flaws in it.

Lee Strobel is an award winning journalist who was set out to prove that Christians and the Bible were a farce.

No, he didn’t.

July 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm
(24) John Hanks says:

Anyone can have a hard heart. But only a religous person can have a block head.

July 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(25) Drew says:

Mike, if you return here, here is some response to your post (18).

“The fact is that your heart is hardened”

What does this mean, Mike? Do you assume that Muslims and Hindus have “hard hearts”? Or is that a term you use only for atheists in your own society? Do you understand that Muslims and Hindus might accuse you of having a “hard heart”? Is this appropriate? Fair? Or isn’t it just a term used by Christians generally, and you specifically, to demonise atheists, and portray them as sub-human? Is that something you want to do? Is that a group you want to be part of? What would the Jesus character, which presumably you think was real, think of such insulting behaviour towards your neighbour?

“and you don’t want to humble yourself to truth,”

So, is anyone who has a different opinion from you unable to “humble” himself before the “truth”? Or do you only use this sort of insulting language in regards to religion? What about people with different politics than yours? Different social goals? Why can’t those people also see the truth, which, conveniently, is whatever you define it to be?

“you just want to stay in your pride,”

Mike, your writing is arrogant, rude, and conveys the opinion that you consider those who disagree with you to be sub-human.

This is precisely what atheists think of many religionists. You have just made the point of all who criticise religion for condoning and creating these attitudes. Far from being persuasive, you have merely confirmed that religious beliefs, and Christian ones in particular, lead to make people arrogant, rude, and tribal. If that is your intent, by all means, keep writing.

Until you can learn to treat other people with basic respect, then everything else you say will be ignored, because you will dismissed as the rude, boorish, close-minded jack-ass that you have shown yourself to be.

July 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm
(26) sornord says:

I’m not antagonized by something that doesn’t exist, but am by the people who try to waste my time convincing me it does via non-evidence, ignorant, unknowledgeable, nonsensical BALONEY, telling me all the while it’s truth and all I have to do to see it is to suspend all rational, logical thought and intelligence and mindlessly join the group think like a SHEEP.

It’s not my heart that’s hardened but your head that’s softened!

July 15, 2009 at 12:53 am
(27) Dan says:

“Did you want to be a mindless robot?”

So God gave us free will so we wouldn’t be mindless robots, but we have to follow a huge list of commands, demands, etc, and … act like mindless robots?

Interesting logic there. “I’ll give you free will so you can pretend not to have free will!” Real compassionate.

March 6, 2011 at 2:23 am
(28) Emma says:

Hi Dan!

I was just reading all of these comments, and I had a thought about yours… If you’re not interested, I apologize for imposing, but I kind of thought if you’re going to post stuff on the internet, maybe you want people to comment on it…?

But anyways! To completely follow all of those commands would be impossible, and only one Man has ever done it (and He was an above average human ;) ) but yes we should strive to follow the laws that God has given us, like the 10 commandments, because ultimately they are for our own benefit, or the benefit of the human race as a whole. But I would also argue that this doesn’t make mindless robots. I think there can be so many different ways to express yourself, that aren’t necessarily good or bad, like music, or sports, or art. And while everyone would hypothetically (because it’s impossible with our human nature) be living according to a strict moral code, people would still find ways to use their God-given talents in ways that honor Him and show their uniqueness! :)

And because we cannot fulfill all of these commandments, it really convicts us and points us to Jesus. Which is the whole point!

I have recently become interested in the Old Testament, and even some of the laws in the Old Testament that Christians follow today were to protect the Jews from things they couldn’t really understand. For example, they weren’t supposed to eat pork or drink blood. Now looking back on that, it’s because you can get diseases from those things! I thought that was really cool!

I hope you have a nice weekend!

July 15, 2009 at 2:12 am
(29) Zack says:

Lee Strobel is an award winning journalist who was set out to prove that Christians and the Bible were a farce. — Mike on July 8, 2009 at 10:23 am

What awards has Lee Strobel won for his journalism, as distinct from awards given to him by Christian organizations for his evangelism?

You would think that he would tout those journalism awards on his website, but I didn’t see a single one listed.

I guess maybe I’m a careless reader, or maybe he’s just modest.

July 17, 2009 at 3:52 am
(30) Tom Edgar says:

I had never heard of Lee Strobel so I researched.
How anybody could listen to, or learn of this nonentity, and then use him as an example is beyond my ken.

He, and Frew together, made a very unintellectual pair. Making claims of atheism is I think done with, very much, tongue in cheek. Most of Frew’s life was spent in a religious environment, especially his formative years. Strobel never left the religious point of view and his use of atheist identity is purposely used to gain saleability of his religious books. A claim I believe is totally spurious.

Frew, as that other atheist conversion to
religion,”Punch” editor Muggeridge, are typical of those born and brought up in religion, affecting disbelief in mid life, and, in terror, backsliding in case they had got it wrong when approaching their inevitable demise. I saw also a similar lack of believability and credibility along with waning mental acuity between Frew and Muggeridge. I guess that is to be expected when embracing the the unembraceable. Strobel desperately tried to encourage Frew to confess to acceptance of “Christianity.” alas, for him, no success.

July 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm
(31) Zayla says:

This is from “Tom” (Number 6 from above)

Lets say a man has committed murder, the law catches up with him and he finds himself in prison with multiple life sentences. Perhaps during his stay in prison he corresponds with a Christian that ministers to the inmates, or perhaps he reads the Bible in his spare time. If he recognizes his guilt, not just as being a murderer, but a liar, a thief, and an adulterer at heart, and humbles himself, being sorry towards God for his sin, recognizing the consequences, recognizing the mercy of God… repents of his sin, and trusts in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his sins,… then when he stands before God that awful crime of murder as well as his other sins will be wiped away.
**Yet you just said “The Bible says that no murderer will enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
– He no longer remains a murderer when he stands before God on judgment day because he has been cleansed through repentance and faith. He has been made a new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17

This is one of my favorite immoral religious concepts.

I can (See Catholic Priests by the thousands) ask for forgiveness from god and be absolved and cleanse my heart and yada, yada, but the actual VICTIM never gets a say in the matter!!

What a crock of sh*t. Maybe the victim, or victims family wasn’t ready to forgive yet. Just more religious hypocritical bullsh*t.

November 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm
(32) Bob Miller says:

I’m more Christian than Atheist. I say that Christians are hypocrites and their god is phony, and I’ll be glad to prove it to any Christian. I have lots of experience and I’m available 24/7. I feel the exact same way about Christians as Christians felt about the American Indians. If you truly want to be with your Jesus, I’m the guy to see. I’m all over the Internet, Google, America’s most controversial writer or visit me on YouTube. Jesus is just a few clicks away.

July 5, 2010 at 8:03 am
(33) Steve Myers says:

Thanks to everyone who took part. Came on to it by accident a year late but loved it all. Tom special thanks to you truly God sent. I am a Christian but spend my life asking myself awkward questions about my Faith, my beliefs, my disbeliefs. As Christians and non believers we must ask those questions that make us uncomfortable. This is the only true way to find the truth.

October 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm
(34) julia says:

hey for the question for the eye of the needle. jesus was a great teacher and speaker, and very smart, that quote has a double meening in jeruselem i believe it is that at the front of the huge city was a huge gate and at the back of the city was a small door that the only way a camel could get through was to take all the bags of get on its knees and acually crawl through it then put the bags back on and they were in the city.

October 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm
(35) julia says:

jesus was an encredible speaker teacher and for me savior and messiah. but the eye of the needle has a double meening and in jeruselem. there is a big gate at the front of the city and at the back was a small door called eye of the needle and for people coming from the back of the city, to save time went throught it. but in order for a camel to get through it the owner had to take off all the packs and then get the camels on its knees (they were trained to do this) and crawl throught. once they got through they could then load back up and then they were in jeruselem. jesus was the smartest man ever made i believe and i think many you must look deeply into the word to find his meening out. but we still wont fully understand. god bless you, julia

November 26, 2010 at 3:43 pm
(36) Tom Taylor says:

I would like to focus on question 10 and address the idea of man’s “free will”. This issue goes a long way towards answering a lot of questions because it explains why some people believe the Bible is the Word of God and others do not.
My premise is that man has no “free will” in regards to salvation. The Scriptures say that “you were dead in your trespasses and sin”. A dead person is unable to come to life by themselves. It is an act of God’s sovereign grace that saves a person and nothing that they can do for themselves. It is true that people come to believe in the Lord Jesus as their Savior. However, that belief is a result of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life to remove their unwillingness to believe.
The Scriptures say that we are “by nature children of wrath”. Since this is our nature, none of us (including myself) had a desire for God from the moment of our birth (except for a desire for a god of our own image). Therefore, apart from God’s sovereign grace, no one would be saved from “the wrath to come”. But, God in his mercy, did decree to save some. The people that he does save are in no way better than those that he doesn’t save. In God’s sight, we are all unworthy. Therefore, because He saved me doesn’t mean that I am any better than anyone else. In fact, I am probably worse than a whole lot of people that will never be saved. That is what makes me so thankful for the salvation that He has given me. I am totally undeserving of it. Yet, He granted it to me for reasons that are His own and that I may not ever fully comprehend.
I will close with a verse that was a quote from Jesus as follows: “And all that the Father gives me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” It’s my prayer that you will read these words of Jesus and you will come to Him and be saved from the wrath to come.

March 1, 2011 at 10:34 pm
(37) Kasey says:

1 By “law” sometimes the bible is referring to the proficiencies of the messiah, and no one is perfect so no one follows all the laws. Most importantly Mathew 5:17-18 says “…until everything is accomplished.” meaning until he had died on the cross.
2 Most Atheist’s support abortion, when God killed children they were already born. Most of the oldest children in Egypt were over 10 years old and if they cared for their own lives should have done the simple task of “painting the doorjamb” themselves. Jesus was willing to die and was 33 when he did NOT a child. In Revelation most people who are raised by sinful people become sinful people, God would not kill some one who has not become a Christian YET but would if they had more time to live (God can read hearts so He can tell these sort of things.) If they are Christians then they will live forever anyway, if not, then they never would have. Everyone dies, the question here is when.
3 It is FACT!! Some churches say premarital sex and lesbianism are acceptable lifestyles, even though the bible clearly states that they are both sins. I believe science will one day prove itself wrong on the age of the earth (as some scientists already have.) When the bible says seven days it means 168 hours, no more no less. If you look at the chemical make up of some dirt and the basic chemical make up of humans they are actually the same thing. There is a rib in the human body that if removed without damaging any surrounding tissues would grow back, science has proved it. If anyone could remove a bone without damaging anything else that would be God. I know I’ve used science to prove my point while also saying I don’t trust science, but I don’t trust science unless it proves the bible and I like to show when the bible and science say the same things, so people know they don’t always conflict.
It wouldn’t let me answer all 1 (took to much space) so there are others answering 5-10

March 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm
(38) Kasey says:

1-3 on previous comments
4 Needle’s Eye was what they called a certain type of city gate back then. It was around the width of a doorway, or maybe a little less wide, and slightly shorter than our stranded doorways. Getting a camel through a needle’s eye had been done before but was not a common practice, most people told everyone with camels to try the other gate.
5 The bible commands man not to edit the bible, but people sin. I don’t think the differences are as big as they seem. Just because something is an ancient scroll about Jesus doesn’t mean it was supposed to be part of the bible. However they have found the original scrolls of Isiah and in the entire book they only discovered 17 errors and those were mostly spelling and grammatical translation errors.
6 The bible says that the beauty of what God has created proclaims his glory! If they see that and STILL do not believe in a God, then they have knowingly chosen.
7 The second commandment is referring to idol worship, it is not the same thing. We do not worship our cross necklaces or nativity scenes. They are just for decoration, and for proclaiming our faith before others to giver us an opportunity to witness.
More answers on other comments.

March 1, 2011 at 10:37 pm
(39) Kasey says:

1-3 and 4-7 on previous comments.
8 Most of those deaths were during the wars over the holy land, and just as many Christians were killed, that doesn’t make it right, it was wrong of those Christians and they had to answer for that after death. Those were the actions of some Christians at the time, any Christians who spoke out against those practices at the time were ether excommunicated or tried as witches and killed. Christians as a whole and as a religion should not be blamed and should and counted for the acts of some people who claimed to be Christians, just like I do not blame the Muslims as a whole for several terrorist attacks including 9-11. Just like that was an act of several people who had the same religion and the religion should not be blamed so were the witch hunts and not-so-”holy wars” from hundreds of years ago.
9 We are not perfect, we are sinners.
10 It is not that God is holding a gun to our heads and saying “live or die” it is more like we are hanging from a cliff and God is saying “take my hand!” We are hanging from a cliff and our arms are giving out, our grip is weakening, we are going to fall. Our choice is take His hand, and be pulled to eternal safety, or be to afraid to let go of the ledge. To afraid to risk loosing the sand crumbling underneath our finger tips. We don’t want to let go of what we have, and we fall because we fear to take Gods hand. By the way, I am only 15, if these answers aren’t good enough, ask someone with more knowledge and experience on the subject like a preacher or someone who has been a Christian more than 12 years, o E-mail me re-ask the question tell me why my answer was not adequate and I’ll try to find a better answer (aka one with actual references and not just off the top of my head.) My E-mail is frog9of9@yahoo.com (please don’t spam me.)

March 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm
(40) Kasey says:

What you said about American Christians and wealth was very interesting. I had never heard anything about Christians associating America and Christianity. I’ve connected the foundation of America with Christianity but not America itself. I always thought of the average American as the perfect example of a non-christian (even though most Americans claim to be Christians.) I couldn’t imagine saying that the average American acts like a Christian should. Most Americans morals are at to low a standard to think that they believe in any sort of god or punishment or reward or any reason not to do whatever you feel like doing. You would think they don’t even believe in the government and it’s punishment.

May 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm
(41) uyi says:

It is very easy to be an atheist when alive, but on a bed dying of cancer and you can feel the life leaving your body. Your mind casts back on your life and all the wrong you’ve done and you just wonder” am i going to go scot free?”.

Do i just escape the world, nobody to account to. It’s so difficult to be an athiest cause a certain fear creeps in. What if there is a God?

When you feel yourself leaving your body, you start to realize that you and your body are separate. It’s so hard to be an atheist.

I lied, i cheated in my exams, i slept with lucy, Tom and Fergie, I stole, i did good but i did bad. If on earth and no matter how much good i have done a person still goes to prison for one bad, What happens when i die.

It’s so hard to be a dying atheist, What if there is God?

I hope he doesn’t recognize me, i hope he doesn’t read blogs and he never hung out at the clubs when i cussed him with my friends. If he really does exist i probably will just slip past him unnoticed.

I did so much good in my life, but i did bad as well. I hope my good thumps my bad and i get a pass mark. On the earth though one little bad usually gets you in court and convicted despite all the good. I hope God is not like that, that’s if he exists.

June 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm
(42) ColdDimSum says:

uyi wrote on dying: “When you feel yourself leaving your body, you start to realize that you and your body are separate. It’s so hard to be an atheist.”

Have you (nearly) died before?

I came pretty close to death (accident which left me shy one internal organ), I felt no such feelings. I was shaking uncontrollably, felt extremely cold but was oddly calm. My main emotion was I was disappointed to be leaving those I loved because of the things I still wanted to be able to do for them. But honestly, not a single thought of some make-believe “God” so much as crossed my mind. And I certainly do not wish to scapegoat my failings onto some human sacrifice. I’ll state it clearly right now, I DO NOT give my sins to anyone, certainly not a fictional Jesus. I don’t understand why someone would believe that doing this would make them a BETTER person?

I don’t feel that I’m “getting away” with anything, that would be the Christians who claim you can do that by “accepting Jesus” and “confessing your sins” (or whichever version of salvation your 1 of the 30,000 some-odd sects of Christianity happens to believe).

I only claim that Religions have no positive evidence for their claims about God/Jesus – and believe me, I’ve given Christianity a fair shake [I'm a former Christian actually]. If, when I die, it turns out there is a God then fine – hold ME responsible for MY failings. Are any Christians willing to do the same?

June 18, 2011 at 11:03 pm
(43) ColdDimSum says:

uyi – also on the point of “feel the life leaving your body”…

On the other hand, I *have* been “out-of-body” before, many times through meditation. It FEELS out of body because the part of your brain that controls that sensation is misfiring (you can also fool it with drugs, mirrors, cameras and other sensory trickery); but there is absolutely not a SINGLE tiny shred of evidence to suggest that it’s ACTUALLY out-of-body consciousness. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Sure, it FEELS real (your brain makes your experience of the world FEEL real even though it only has an indirect model of external reality, so brains are quite capable of this illusion).

I performed tests, had people hide objects and written numbers in places that I did not have access to physically. No confirmations were possible. If anyone can “reliably” go out-of-body and retrieve REAL information then they should contact JREF and prove it.

It’s easy to make claims about being out-of-body, psychic abilities, etc – but nobody can seem to put them to the test.

May 20, 2011 at 2:36 pm
(44) uyi says:

If he doesn’t, then i just disappear like a deleted computer file. Then how do i know i died. All these people who have near death experiences know they died. It means they were conscious of the fact they died.

It’s so hard to be a dying atheist, the truth is now so close. It’s Russian roulette now, it’s a Vegas casino but there are no skimpy clad chics here. Is he is he not.

I can go into my death on luck and a gamble or i can ask God if you are there and Jesus is true, i might not hear a big gruff voice or maybe. If you are there and what these Christians say is true then speak to my heart. I know i don’t believe but i am scared and the doctors can’t help and Oprah is in Chicago. Jesus if it’s true that you are there, please speak to my heart, i am very afraid of this gamble. I have done so much wrong and the odds are stacked against me, if the police found out they’ll arrest me on my dying bed, how much you, that is said to be so holy.

I’d rather believe you don’t exist, it gives me some comfort there’s no one to answer to just my conscience, i can live ( die ) with that. But what if you do? Please speak to my heart Jesus, if you really are there, then despite my brain, help my heart believe.

July 12, 2011 at 3:32 pm
(45) John Thomson says:

Your ignorance and lack of empathy are appalling.

July 12, 2011 at 6:10 pm
(46) Seriadh says:

Then you’d better get busy. You’ve got a lot of religious beliefs to fulfill and adhere to in order to cover all of your bases and make sure your afterlife is secure. After all, you see it as a gamble. Obviously you’ll want to hedge your bet, right? That means you need to start worshiping the Greek and Norse pantheons, the Chinese and Japanese,…

That’s the essence of your argument: that you’d rather believe and push nonsense as a “just in case”. (Which seems to me at least to be rather insincere. Then again, I’m not your God. He might be okay with doing things just to escape punishment.) If that’s true, you can’t just look at one belief. What if it’s the wrong one?

Maybe you think the others are silly and nonsensical and so reject them as plausible. ‘A god for every little thing? Ridiculous!’, you might think.

I ask, what makes yours any less so?

June 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm
(47) AskCarrieLee says:

Few years late to the party, but better late than never. ;) Great article & great comments. To the comment above, just because people had near death experiences, doesn’t necessarily mean there is a god. There is no santa and yet your presents still got under the tree as a kid. You just didnt have the truth yet because you still believed what others were telling you. There may be something beyond this realm that we simply do not have the answers for yet. Atheists are content with not HAVING to know. We constantly seek the truth. I have a happy, healthy lovely life. I don’t need a deity to give me any answers, or tell me I wont get a present if im naughty. (Im mobile, sorry this is poorly edited).

June 19, 2011 at 10:48 am
(48) uyi says:

I believe in God. I believe he created the world. Life comes from life. Chemicals dn’t bring life, theybring other chemicals. Dogs bring dogs, cats bring cats. Life comes from life. Someone gave this life. Someone set it in order. It’s too organized to be coincidence. The human body is too organized to be a chemical reaction.

There is a God and we have a Spirit. when our body is immobile through death and decay. Our Spirit will either live with him or die in hell.

If he gave me his Son Jesus as sacrifice for my sins and find forgiveness through his death on the cross. I accept him. Thank you for grace and mercy.

June 25, 2011 at 12:08 am
(49) OZAtheist says:

Good for you uyi but don’t expect atheists to be swayed by statements like this.
The prospect of spending eternity in hell is not threatening to an atheist like myself who does not believe in the existence of such a ridiculous place.
The concept of your god sacrificing himself to himself so that we can be saved from going to this hell that he created confounds me.
I am continually amazed that Christians can really believe in this stuff.

June 27, 2011 at 4:33 am
(50) uyi says:

It means, you don’t believe there is an existence outside the body. If there are laws on earth governing the physical body, then there are laws governing the spiritual. If you don’t believe there is a spiritual body that exists and understands its surroundings even after the physical body is immobile. Ask occultists who practice astral travelling ( the art of taking your Spirit out of the body. Google it . You’ll find out you are really a spirit and your body is just a case.

Who then does that Spirit belong to and where does it live when the body dies. It’is foolish to think there is no God. It’s like cocaine or alcohol, it just suspends reality for you, but you wake up when you die and you realize you are not dead, your body is.

June 27, 2011 at 4:37 am
(51) uyi says:

God is real. Very Very real and very very alive. You will see him when you die. Ask for forgiveness and release the burden on you. Ask him for mercy and you’ll see his hand in your life. I have seen him so much.

But you will only know him, when you open your heart to his son Jesus.

July 4, 2011 at 11:40 pm
(52) Atheist_Pilgrim says:

OZAtheist, from another Aussie atheist, well said!

As a former trainee for the Catholic priesthood, I prayed my a*se off and nothing, absolutely nothing, ever happened. I was told to “have faith”, which I did, for more years than I care to think about, and still nothing ever happened. Until I saw the light, that is.

The light of reason, logic and rationality. While it took me some years to reach the point when I finally realised I was an atheist, since then I have experienced such peace of mind, such a sense of freedom, such contentment, that my only wish is that my de-conversion had happened 50 years earlier!

July 13, 2011 at 4:30 am
(53) OZAtheist says:

Well Done Atheist_Pilgrim! There are many I suspect that have gone through what you have and finished up as “non believing clergy.”
Dan Dennett (a famous American philosopher) gave a talk not long ago about clergy that were in fact atheist! He and his associate interviewed a number of clergy that were really atheist and examined why they were in this situation. It makes interesting reading.

July 12, 2011 at 6:15 pm
(54) Victoria says:

This comment makes me giggle:

uyi(42)

If he doesn’t, then i just disappear like a deleted computer file. Then how do i know i died. All these people who have near death experiences know they died. It means they were conscious of the fact they died.

How does one KNOW they died if the had a NEAR death experience. That just doesn’t make sense.

You can ONLY know that you had a near death experience. You cannot KNOW that you were dead. Once you take that final breath, it’s over. You may not know it is the final one, but it will happen.

October 13, 2011 at 6:06 am
(55) David Cameroon says:

Thanks for your article Austin. I put comment on your writing before. No doubt you have a great writing skill. I don’t like to comment on religious views. Buy anyway you carry on. I will be back again.

March 23, 2012 at 9:44 am
(56) Willene Fetrow says:

Ok so I am thinking about removing my website from Tumbler and get it to a WordPress site. I believe this is a wordpress site right? If it is, may I ask where you got the theme? Thanks a bunch!

March 27, 2013 at 9:10 am
(57) Christian says:

I hate when Christians use the phrase, he loved us enough to have the right to choose. That’s exactly the same as saying I love my daughter enough to have the right to choose to jump off this cliff and die. No!!!! You dumb people. You wouldn’t do that if you love them. Why don’t Christians have common sense and rationale?? That’s a right nobody should ever want. Why didn’t he love us enough to not give us the right to damn ourselves??? Or better than that, love us enough to make us all love him??? Since our love and our belief in something is really things we can’t control, or will into existence anyway!!!! But that’s a whole other topic that people can’t fathom.

June 9, 2013 at 1:54 am
(58) God lover says:

Im a firm christian, have been for many years.

I believe the earth is only 6,000 years old (not 3.6bn as proved by science)
I believe adam lived to 930 years old.
I believe Noah built an ark (when he was 600 yrs old) big enough to fit 2 of every animal (even though there are 5,000,000 estimated species)
I believe in talking snakes.
Yes a man can live in a fish for 3 days.
I believe ‘animals have to answer to god’ (genesis 9;5)
Yes, a Man was spoken to by a donkey (Numbers 22:28-30)
there was a Man with 12 fingers and toes (2 Samuel 21:20)

GOD BLESS ALL YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.