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BAMAPHIN 22
02-18-2010, 03:20 PM
I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East - you’re as good as dead.”


http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/02/18/elton-john-speaks-openly-about-mistakes/?hpt=Sbin

Dolphan7
02-18-2010, 06:02 PM
I wonder if Elton John knows that the punishment for homosexuality in the first century in Israel was.......Death.

PhinzN703
02-18-2010, 06:18 PM
So God liked other men now? :lol:

Vaark
02-18-2010, 06:35 PM
I wonder if Elton John knows that the punishment for homosexuality in the first century in Israel was.......Death.

So you're saying it was dangerous to be "out and about" in biblical times, eh?

I'd also say it was perilous back then too being a petulant child, wouldn't you?


Stubborn children were to be stoned, and the stoning was to be instigated by their parents
~Deuteronomy 21:18-21'
or godless for those who were handicapped and/or not as good looking as you and me D7

People who have flat noses, or are blind or lame, cannot go to an altar of God
~Leviticus 21:17-18http://www.finheaven.com/images/imported/2010/08/119nqdw-1.jpg
Lots of quicksand to sidestep back then. It is funny though how some biblical commands remain strictly interpreted while others get conveniently ignored or overlooked. Just sayin :)


"Strange Days Indeed" - Jim Morrison

Dolphan7
02-18-2010, 06:53 PM
So you're saying it was dangerous to be "out and about" in biblical times, eh?

I'd also say it was perilous back then too being a petulant child, wouldn't you?

'
or godless for those who were handicapped and/or not as good looking as you and me D7
http://www.finheaven.com/images/imported/2010/08/119nqdw-1.jpg
Lots of quicksand to sidestep back then. It is funny though how some biblical commands remain strictly interpreted while others get conveniently ignored or overlooked. Just sayin :)


"Strange Days Indeed" - Jim MorrisonWell that is the Old Testament for you. Whether we like it or not, that was the Jewish custom, and their law, and their form of government. But to focus on just one or two verses, obviously taken out of context, would be to miss the entire meaning of the Old Testament, and undermine the importance of the needed Savior...Jesus Christ. God laid out all the rules for them to follow in order to get right with God on their own accord....without the need for intercession. The whole point was they couldn't do it...nobody could do it....thus the need for a savior.

Now if you would like the context for the verses you chose, or better context, let me know.

As for commands and/or laws that you deem seem arbitrarily enforced today, please understand that only the moral laws apply today...as the civil laws of their government (theocracy) don't exist anymore....because they have their modern form of government....as do we....and we can't expect to follow the religious ceremony of Judaism...because it is considered a dead religion...without the temple it is meaningless. And with the advent of Jesus Christ....obsolete. What we are left with are the moral laws.

Dolphan7
02-18-2010, 06:55 PM
So God liked other men now? :lol:Oh it's worse..He loves all men....at the same time too. Quite the overachiever no? :lol:

Tetragrammaton
02-18-2010, 07:27 PM
Stubborn children were to be stoned, and the stoning was to be instigated by their parents
~Deuteronomy 21:18-21

I found a Bible verse I agree with completely!

Dolphan7
02-18-2010, 08:36 PM
I found a Bible verse I agree with completely!Everyone got stoned back then...and good times were had by all.:lol:

PhinzN703
02-18-2010, 08:44 PM
Oh it's worse..He loves all men....at the same time too. Quite the overachiever no? :lol:

Doesn't mean he wants to go drink cosmopolitans with us all :tongue:

Dolphan7
02-18-2010, 08:53 PM
Doesn't mean he wants to go drink cosmopolitans with us all :tongue:No...he prefers wine....:rimshot:

RyanWallace321
02-18-2010, 09:06 PM
who cares everyone is entitled to their own opinion

HansMojo
02-19-2010, 12:21 AM
who cares everyone is entitled to their own opinion
Whether it's white people thinking of Jesus as white, or gay people thinking He is gay, it is really just people trying to create God in their own image. Whatever...

PhinzN703
02-19-2010, 12:24 AM
who cares everyone is entitled to their own opinion

Well..........yeah.

Vaark
02-19-2010, 02:53 PM
Well that is the Old Testament for you. Whether we like it or not, that was the Jewish custom, and their law, and their form of government. But to focus on just one or two verses, obviously taken out of context, would be to miss the entire meaning of the Old Testament, and undermine the importance of the needed Savior...Jesus Christ. God laid out all the rules for them to follow in order to get right with God on their own accord....without the need for intercession. The whole point was they couldn't do it...nobody could do it....thus the need for a savior.

Now if you would like the context for the verses you chose, or better context, let me know.

As for commands and/or laws that you deem seem arbitrarily enforced today, please understand that only the moral laws apply today...as the civil laws of their government (theocracy) don't exist anymore....because they have their modern form of government....as do we....and we can't expect to follow the religious ceremony of Judaism...because it is considered a dead religion...without the temple it is meaningless. And with the advent of Jesus Christ....obsolete. What we are left with are the moral laws.

I think a bunch of rebbes in The Holy Land and places like Crown Heights might take strong issue with your contention that Jesus is an upgrade and that the religion they were persecuted for practicing and died as scapegoats over is "obsolete." And they'd have their own parsed and self-serving biblical proof to refute the argument that any religion but theirs is the true path.

I'm pretty sure you're not anti-semitic although what you proclaim sounds pretty blatant. However, candidly, you're merely confirming my contention and rationale for personally repudiating all organized religions as being divisively elitist, by, in this case, declaring unequivocally that Jesus and your path are the only moral ways and means to salvation.

As far as blaming the Jews for what I concur are some pretty oppressive, ridiculous and unreasonable Old Testament proclamations, frankly, when it comes to moral edicts, the New Testament doesn't look like much more of a benevolent upgrade per a couple of the selections I randomly copied below.

Conveniently differentiating the enduring validity of moral vs temporal historical edicts is too reminiscent of what I've been long calling out NYjunc for doing whenever he attempts to aggrandize the jest and diminish our Fins, legacy and players by selectively citing, parsing and what's called in my business "form fitting" self-serving facts.

Sorry D7, to each his own, or to each none, 'live and let live" and all that stuff.....but either way I find your seemingly disdainful dismissal of Judaism to be out of character, unless that's what's routinely being inculcated unto young minds in fundamentalist churches. (But then again, would that be much different than what's being taught in many madrassas and yeshivas also?).

I jumped into this thread because when it comes to homosexuality, like most everyone else, I've got beloved family members on both sides who are, but are also examples of living exemplary, moral, and successful lives where they've contributed to the cultural betterment. So to dismiss or repudiate them - (or anyone who's living comfortably in their own skin so long as they don't hurt others), because of some biblical declaration that IMO, may or may not have actually been expressed at one time resonates with me as infuriating.

More pragmatic New Testament moralities to live by:

But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence. [spoken by Jesus as a parable] (Luke 19:27 NRS)

So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)


The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)


{Jesus Speaking) If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he can not be my disciple. (Luke 14:26 NAB)


(Jesus speaking) "Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man 'against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's enemies will be those of his household'". (Matthew 10:34-36 NAB)

But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye – even if it is your good eye – causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand – even if it is your stronger hand – causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. (Matthew 5:28-30 NLT)

"Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
--1 Tim. 2:11-14


http://www.finheaven.com/images/imported/2010/02/IMG_0072JPG-1.jpg

Bumpus
02-19-2010, 03:01 PM
:lol:
This ought to be a popular thread...

Vaark
02-19-2010, 03:11 PM
:lol:
This ought to be a popular thread...


when it comes to getting my religious fix:

:bumpus:

Dolphan7
02-19-2010, 04:16 PM
I think a bunch of rebbes in The Holy Land and places like Crown Heights might take strong issue with your contention that Jesus is an upgrade and that the religion they were persecuted for practicing and died as scapegoats over is "obsolete." And they'd have their own parsed and self-serving biblical proof to refute the argument that any religion but theirs is the true path.

I'm pretty sure you're not anti-semitic although what you proclaim sounds pretty blatant. However, candidly, you're merely confirming my contention and rationale for personally repudiating all organized religions as being divisively elitist, by, in this case, declaring unequivocally that Jesus and your path are the only moral ways and means to salvation.

As far as blaming the Jews for what I concur are some pretty oppressive, ridiculous and unreasonable Old Testament proclamations, frankly, when it comes to moral edicts, the New Testament doesn't look like much more of a benevolent upgrade per a couple of the selections I randomly copied below.

Conveniently differentiating the enduring validity of moral vs temporal historical edicts is too reminiscent of what I've been long calling out NYjunc for doing whenever he attempts to aggrandize the jest and diminish our Fins, legacy and players by selectively citing, parsing and what's called in my business "form fitting" self-serving facts.

Sorry D7, to each his own, or to each none, 'live and let live" and all that stuff.....but either way I find your seemingly disdainful dismissal of Judaism to be out of character, unless that's what's routinely being inculcated unto young minds in fundamentalist churches. (But then again, would that be much different than what's being taught in many madrassas and yeshivas also?).

I jumped into this thread because when it comes to homosexuality, like most everyone else, I've got beloved family members on both sides who are, but are also examples of living exemplary, moral, and successful lives where they've contributed to the cultural betterment. So to dismiss or repudiate them - (or anyone who's living comfortably in their own skin so long as they don't hurt others), because of some biblical declaration that IMO, may or may not have actually been expressed at one time resonates with me as infuriating.

More pragmatic New Testament moralities to live by:






I hate the Dolphins! More on that later.

Vaark, with all due respect to you and your feelings on the matter, this is a thread about Elton Johns statement, not really a place for you to express your disdain for Christianity and it's followers. But since you have made it such I will respond to your comments. If you want to have further discussion on the in and outs of my faith, in context, we can do that in a different forum/medium.

First off I am positive there would be opposition to my comments. Of this there is no doubt. My comments about Judaism were in response to your misunderstanding of some of the Judaic practices of the OT. My comments on Judaism being dead religion was not meant to be a knock against Jews or their belief system, but a statement of practicality. They can't practice their religion without the Temple. This is fact. Therefore it is a dead religion, which can be reborn again if and when the Temple is reclaimed and rebuilt. There are many pieces of that puzzle yet to be placed, namely the fact that the Muslim Mosque Dome of the Rock currently sits right on top of the old Temple Mount. But it is being worked on and according to the bible, will one day happen. I certainly respect the right of those who choose to follow Judaism.....as I do any other religion.

Now I know you dislike the fact that Christianity makes the claims it does and states it is the only way to God...as many others do as well. That is an issue you will have to work out for yourself....my only suggestion is....understand what you are rejecting. Clipping a few versus out of context is one thing, and relatively simple to do, but understanding the meaning behind it is a completely different subject. Based on your selection I don't think you understand the meanings behind these verses you posted. Again, this is not the forum for explanation, but if you want we can take it offline and I can hopefully explain them in more detail.

For example....my above comment about the Dolphins. You would think it strange that a fan of the Miami Dolphins would actually hate the very team he is a fan of...and to boot, a Moderator on their Fan Web Site......but there it is...I made the statement....you can quote me on it....I said it. Now.....do you understand the context of why I said it? Do you know how I could have made such an outlandish comment? Of course not, not without knowing a little more about me the writer of the post, or about this site, or about the fact that many fans feel the exact same way from time to time....maybe even yourself. You see context is everything when understanding biblical texts, and not just the bible, but the Koran as well...and any ancient writing. Taking them at face value is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest..and can lead to misunderstanding. So I say understand that which you are rejecting. Doesn't mean you have to accept it, believe it, practice it. I understand what other religions believe. That does not mean I agree with it, or accept it. I only accept that they state what they state. Christianity is what it is, it says what it says..and we followers believe it is the truth. Other religions do the same thing. Surely you can understand this. You can accept or reject one or all...and develop your own set of beliefs for yourself. I can accept that. I don't agree with your conclusions, but I respect your right to form them. I would expect the same. Your posting pattern in this forum is very well thought out, including the subtle barbs and digs....your contempt is obvious. I would simply ask that you try to understand that which you mock.

More on topic.....Christianity states that homosexuality is a moral sin. That is what it says. But that does not mean that homosexuals should be treated in any different way then any other sin/sinner, of which biblicly speaking....WE ALL ARE.. I think the problem most people have with Christians is not what they believe, but how they treat "sinners"...and I would agree with them....believers have done some horrendous things in the name of the bible....bad on them...but it isn't what the bible commands. Sadly people are human, and sometimes humans over-react. My personal feelings toward homosexuals is...ok great...you are gay....let's move on..can you do your job? Good. Can you make good music?...cool! Can you contribute to society? Awesome...we are all Americans and pretty much want the same things...to live comfortably with those that we love, and the freedom to do that. No problem here. I don't have a problem with gays in the military...if they can do the job and are willing to die for their country....go for it. I loved Elton John music from the 70's...didn't really care that he was gay...he wrote some awesome songs back then. I think most Christians would agree. What we get up in arms over is those people who try to tell us that homosexuality is ok and not a sin. This flies in the face of what we believe. Why can't people just accept the fact that this is what we believe...and leave it at that? I can't stand eating bugs, but I understand that in many parts of the world...bugs are a staple...and in some cases a delicacy....but I am ok with that..they like it and that is all that matters. See where I am coming from?

Vaark
02-19-2010, 06:15 PM
I hate the Dolphins! More on that later.

Vaark, with all due respect to you and your feelings on the matter, this is a thread about Elton Johns statement, not really a place for you to express your disdain for Christianity and it's followers. But since you have made it such I will respond to your comments. If you want to have further discussion on the in and outs of my faith, in context, we can do that in a different forum/medium.

First off I am positive there would be opposition to my comments. Of this there is no doubt. My comments about Judaism were in response to your misunderstanding of some of the Judaic practices of the OT. My comments on Judaism being dead religion was not meant to be a knock against Jews or their belief system, but a statement of practicality. They can't practice their religion without the Temple. This is fact. Therefore it is a dead religion, which can be reborn again if and when the Temple is reclaimed and rebuilt. There are many pieces of that puzzle yet to be placed, namely the fact that the Muslim Mosque Dome of the Rock currently sits right on top of the old Temple Mount. But it is being worked on and according to the bible, will one day happen. I certainly respect the right of those who choose to follow Judaism.....as I do any other religion.

Now I know you dislike the fact that Christianity makes the claims it does and states it is the only way to God...as many others do as well. That is an issue you will have to work out for yourself....my only suggestion is....understand what you are rejecting. Clipping a few versus out of context is one thing, and relatively simple to do, but understanding the meaning behind it is a completely different subject. Based on your selection I don't think you understand the meanings behind these verses you posted. Again, this is not the forum for explanation, but if you want we can take it offline and I can hopefully explain them in more detail.

For example....my above comment about the Dolphins. You would think it strange that a fan of the Miami Dolphins would actually hate the very team he is a fan of...and to boot, a Moderator on their Fan Web Site......but there it is...I made the statement....you can quote me on it....I said it. Now.....do you understand the context of why I said it? Do you know how I could have made such an outlandish comment? Of course not, not without knowing a little more about me the writer of the post, or about this site, or about the fact that many fans feel the exact same way from time to time....maybe even yourself. You see context is everything when understanding biblical texts, and not just the bible, but the Koran as well...and any ancient writing. Taking them at face value is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest..and can lead to misunderstanding. So I say understand that which you are rejecting. Doesn't mean you have to accept it, believe it, practice it. I understand what other religions believe. That does not mean I agree with it, or accept it. I only accept that they state what they state. Christianity is what it is, it says what it says..and we followers believe it is the truth. Other religions do the same thing. Surely you can understand this. You can accept or reject one or all...and develop your own set of beliefs for yourself. I can accept that. I don't agree with your conclusions, but I respect your right to form them. I would expect the same. Your posting pattern in this forum is very well thought out, including the subtle barbs and digs....your contempt is obvious. I would simply ask that you try to understand that which you mock.

More on topic.....Christianity states that homosexuality is a moral sin. That is what it says. But that does not mean that homosexuals should be treated in any different way then any other sin/sinner, of which biblicly speaking....WE ALL ARE.. I think the problem most people have with Christians is not what they believe, but how they treat "sinners"...and I would agree with them....believers have done some horrendous things in the name of the bible....bad on them...but it isn't what the bible commands. Sadly people are human, and sometimes humans over-react. My personal feelings toward homosexuals is...ok great...you are gay....let's move on..can you do your job? Good. Can you make good music?...cool! Can you contribute to society? Awesome...we are all Americans and pretty much want the same things...to live comfortably with those that we love, and the freedom to do that. No problem here. I don't have a problem with gays in the military...if they can do the job and are willing to die for their country....go for it. I loved Elton John music from the 70's...didn't really care that he was gay...he wrote some awesome songs back then. I think most Christians would agree. What we get up in arms over is those people who try to tell us that homosexuality is ok and not a sin. This flies in the face of what we believe. Why can't people just accept the fact that this is what we believe...and leave it at that? I can't stand eating bugs, but I understand that in many parts of the world...bugs are a staple...and in some cases a delicacy....but I am ok with that..they like it and that is all that matters. See where I am coming from?

In turn thank you for the time and consideration it obviously required for your well-thought out response. And you're right, it's not my intent to hijack this thread and will concede that I do sometimes have trigger reactions to statements of all sorts that I may or may not overreact to or misinterpret. So I'll only respond by declaring for the record that my aversion towards Christianity is no more or less than towards any organized religion that purports to tell me that theirs is the only way and even try to legislate their beliefs into my life or lifestyle. FWIW, I do think that your interpretation of my opinions based on the way I express myself is probably darn close to my interpretation your opinions by how you originally described a religion you obviously don't agree with either.

Many of your points are well-taken and I will reread and reconsider them seriously. As I said, to each his own and because my own set of beliefs or lack of them, don't coincide with yours or someone else's I recognize in turn doesn't necessarily mean that I'm right. But that's the rub D7. I'm skeptical of organized religious tenets, the validity of their parchments etc., but unlike someone else who posted here recently, I will not nor cannot dismiss them as being outside the realm of possibility. On the other hand, I get the distinct impression that while you understand other's beliefs, in your own mind, you are certain they're wrong and yours are right. However, we can go round and round on that to no avail and ad nauseum.

Here's my biggest issue: okay? I understand that based on some religious precepts which personally I don't happen to agree with, there are people who consider homosexuality a sin while I consider it a genetic 10% roll of the dice, and certainly not a road someone would elect to travel in most societies if they had their druthers. I can accept your beliefs since to me it's "to each their own" so long as they don't encroach on me or my beliefs. And that's the problem I have with the holier rollers of any denomination. I'm abhorrent of any attempt to legislate alternative lifestyles- or any biblical interpretations for that matter, since I resent any fissure between the founding father's intended separation of church and state, (especially considering fair share, if not the majority of them were actually Deists). So while you may in sincere good conscience believe homosexuality or any thing else that doesn't jibe with yours or anyone else's faith is a sin, please don't try to foist it on me through government regulation.

You're a good poster D7, obviously a thoughtful guy with convictions you didn't stumble over overnight. You should actually post more in the main forum. It is not my intent to insult you or your beliefs. I've known people at the end of their ropes who've embraced yours and other organized faiths and turned their lives around. Whether it's spirituality or a placebo effect lifeline matters less than the redirection it precipitated. As mentioned before, I do have poor impulse control and have developed too many hot buttons over the years and that makes for an combustible reaction, eh?

Reginald Dwight? You're right. :up:He was great in the 70s and 80s aside from that "Benny and the Jest" song which I could have done without. As a matter of fact Bob Dole, in his "Top 5" lounge thread, has included Elton. You should find your way over there and post your favorites. Mine is "Burn Down The Mission." :lol:

Dolphan7
02-19-2010, 07:58 PM
I have mixed emotions when it comes to "legislating" morality. I mean....every law we have on the books is based on some form of morality...be it murder or speeding. So to say we should not legislate morality......too late! So the real dilemma is when do you draw the line...and for how long does that line stand. Once upon a time black men weren't considered citizens, or even human at all...perfectly legal and within the laws of the time. So where is the line? Strict constitutionalists will argue that the line is drawn when it effects a persons private life and the freedom to make decisions with that life. In short...as long as I am not hurting anyone else. Ok sounds good...until you get into the rights of the unborn. Now it gets a little muddy. So at best drawing a line is going to always be a gray area.

Now as far as same sex marriage. In our secular government, based on constitutional precedent, it looks like there should be no obstacle to these type of marriages. Me personally? I don't care if two gay people get married. It doesn't effect my beliefs or my life one bit...as long as it is simply gay marriage. The concern for those of us who consider this a sin, is that under this umbrella of "gay rights", is a collision course between the rights of gays...and freedom of religion. Where will the line be drawn that prevents churches from having to marry gays against their beliefs, or employing them as clergy against their beliefs? Whose right trumps the other? It gets muddy now. Now as much as I may not be effected by legalized gay marriage, I still have a vote in my state. That is my constitutional right. I vote based on my conscience, as well as everyone else. The Declaration of Independence refers to rights given us by our creator....appealing to a higher power. When asked to vote on such a topic, I appeal to this higher power, vote my conscience, and stand up for God. If I have to choose between a man made document, fraught with errors and ever changing and the God I believe in....I choose God every time. To not do so would implicate me as a fraud to the faith I hold so dear to my soul. And I would certainly not begrudge anyone from voting their conscience, no matter what it is based on...religion, practicality, apathy. So..... to the argument that we should not legislate morality....too late..and not only too late, but even making same sex marriage legal is based on someone's morality.

Just my .02

NYCBillsFan
02-20-2010, 12:56 AM
Jesus was gay? Yeah, sounds about right..........

HansMojo
02-20-2010, 03:52 PM
Jesus was gay? Yeah, sounds about right..........

I'm curious why you say that. Do you really believe that? Do you find it humorous in some way? Was it meant to be an insult? I'm really curious.

You see, I've met people who get some kick out of insulting Jesus Christ and I simply don't understand it. He was a man who lived His life in humility and in service to others. Of course, I also believe that He gave His life so that we could have a better one. And I believe His claim that He was and is God. I can see why you or others would want to deride me for my beliefs, but why Him?

NYCBillsFan
02-20-2010, 07:03 PM
I'm curious why you say that. Do you really believe that? Do you find it humorous in some way? Was it meant to be an insult? I'm really curious.

You see, I've met people who get some kick out of insulting Jesus Christ and I simply don't understand it. He was a man who lived His life in humility and in service to others. Of course, I also believe that He gave His life so that we could have a better one. And I believe His claim that He was and is God. I can see why you or others would want to deride me for my beliefs, but why Him?

First of all, it was more a crack at Elton John trying to legitimize his homosexuality in the eyes of the church, but yes, there was a hint of a joke there. I am assuming you believe me to be non-religious, and you would be correct in that assumption. I believe that ALL religions are nothing more than modern day manifestations of belief in ancient superstitions. All holy books were penned my man. If you want to believe stories written by ancient men in order to control the masses of ancient men, then be my guest.

HansMojo
02-20-2010, 08:22 PM
First of all, it was more a crack at Elton John trying to legitimize his homosexuality in the eyes of the church, but yes, there was a hint of a joke there. I am assuming you believe me to be non-religious, and you would be correct in that assumption. I believe that ALL religions are nothing more than modern day manifestations of belief in ancient superstitions. All holy books were penned my man. If you want to believe stories written by ancient men in order to control the masses of ancient men, then be my guest.

You know, most of the Christians I associate with have had experiences that confirm their belief in God and the teachings of the Bible in a very personal way. This has been the case for me as well and I imagine that without my personal spiritual journey, I would likely be skeptical about the ancient stories myself. As it is, I would have to be in absolute denial or rebellion to reject my faith. I imagine that if you walked in my shoes, you would feel the same way, but who knows.

NYCBillsFan
02-21-2010, 05:37 PM
You know, most of the Christians I associate with have had experiences that confirm their belief in God and the teachings of the Bible in a very personal way. This has been the case for me as well and I imagine that without my personal spiritual journey, I would likely be skeptical about the ancient stories myself. As it is, I would have to be in absolute denial or rebellion to reject my faith. I imagine that if you walked in my shoes, you would feel the same way, but who knows.

If you walked in my shoes, you'd see the hypocrisy. We all have life experiences that cause us to answer life's questions. I prefer to only accept viable answers. Religion, in any form, has never been a viable answer. There are some wonderful morals associated with all religions. That is not a basis for throwing out logic and reason to assess the mechanics of the Universe.

HansMojo
02-21-2010, 09:03 PM
If you walked in my shoes, you'd see the hypocrisy. We all have life experiences that cause us to answer life's questions. I prefer to only accept viable answers. Religion, in any form, has never been a viable answer. There are some wonderful morals associated with all religions. That is not a basis for throwing out logic and reason to assess the mechanics of the Universe.
I don't throw out logic and reason. I just don't think that what, IMHO, amounts to the belief in magic space dust and the spontaneous generation of life is more logical than the belief in a Creator, especially when I have had the experiences I have had in my own personal life. And you know, many top scientists are also religious btw. Do you have a better grasp of logic and the scientific method than they do? Most of these, like myself, just believe that the examples of evolution we observe in nature are part of God's creation. For example, look up Francis Collins sometime. He was the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for years, and his work, along with other geneticists, led to the discovery of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. He has also discovered the genes for other severe diseases: Huntington's chorea, neurofibromatosis, multiple endocrine neoplasia, adult acute leukemia and others ( http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-oew-ayala-shermer29-2009jul29,0,7595473.story ).

Anyway, to each his own.

NYCBillsFan
02-22-2010, 12:29 AM
I don't throw out logic and reason. I just don't think that what, IMHO, amounts to the belief in magic space dust and the spontaneous generation of life is more logical than the belief in a Creator, especially when I have had the experiences I have had in my own personal life. And you know, many top scientists are also religious btw. Do you have a better grasp of logic and the scientific method than they do? Most of these, like myself, just believe that the examples of evolution we observe in nature are part of God's creation. For example, look up Francis Collins sometime. He was the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for years, and his work, along with other geneticists, led to the discovery of the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis. He has also discovered the genes for other severe diseases: Huntington's chorea, neurofibromatosis, multiple endocrine neoplasia, adult acute leukemia and others ( http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-oew-ayala-shermer29-2009jul29,0,7595473.story ).

Anyway, to each his own.

If top scientists decide to hedge their bets on the afterlife, then that is their choice. I think I am perfectly capable to evaluate logic and reason. I try not to compare my grasp on reality in relation to others. This is not a competition for me as to who is the smartest. My view of the world is quite simple and beautiful. To others, it's unrealistic and depressing. To each his own I guess.

If you want to cherry pick examples of the Universe because it is easy to slip in the "God did it." answer, then this discussion is going to be a labor for the both of us. Try looking at the world with a completely open mind and start your assumption of the Universe with, how did it happen? Not, who is responsible? There is a huge assumption by placing a Creator at the beginning of any argument on existence.

In a court of law, a prosecuting lawyer presents their case, the defending lawyer presents their case. Try being a juror. Listen to everything first before you begin making your judgement.

HansMojo
02-22-2010, 03:00 AM
If top scientists decide to hedge their bets on the afterlife, then that is their choice. I think I am perfectly capable to evaluate logic and reason. I try not to compare my grasp on reality in relation to others. This is not a competition for me as to who is the smartest. My view of the world is quite simple and beautiful. To others, it's unrealistic and depressing. To each his own I guess.

If you want to cherry pick examples of the Universe because it is easy to slip in the "God did it." answer, then this discussion is going to be a labor for the both of us. Try looking at the world with a completely open mind and start your assumption of the Universe with, how did it happen? Not, who is responsible? There is a huge assumption by placing a Creator at the beginning of any argument on existence.

In a court of law, a prosecuting lawyer presents their case, the defending lawyer presents their case. Try being a juror. Listen to everything first before you begin making your judgement.

I don't quite understand why you assume that these scientists are merely hedging their bets. Isn't it possible that they are just being intellectually honest with themselves?

I think you are assuming that one must throw out reasoning to believe in God and IMHO, you are incorrect. We may look at the same data and come to different conclusions, but that doesn't mean that you are being rational and I am not.

I'm curious about something. Do you assume that what science generally accepts as truth today is accurate? About what percent of what they say today do you think will still be accurate 5 years from now? 20 years from now? 100 years from now? 500 years from now? When some new discovery forces scientists to drastically rewrite the book on what took place in the past, how often do you feel confident that this new direction in thinking is now the correct way of thinking?

I'm not sure what you mean by cherry picking examples of the universe, but If you would like to point one out for me I'd be glad to discuss it with you. Modern astronomy doesn't disprove God. It doesn't even disprove the Bible. It does disprove certain interpretations of Scripture, but I think you would be surprised at how well the actual text stands up to modern discovery.

Finally, any scientist worth his salt will admit that science can neither prove nor disprove God. Science simply cannot test God one way or another and therefore must leave Him out of the equation all together. Thus, science makes the assumption that their is no God and seeks to explain everything from a materialistic point of view. That is fine, but I don't think this assumption is any less "huge" than the one Creationists make. If someone insists on putting their faith in something that cannot even test all the possibilities, is that really being open to all possible truth?

aesop
02-22-2010, 10:35 AM
I'm curious about something. Do you assume that what science generally accepts as truth today is accurate? About what percent of what they say today do you think will still be accurate 5 years from now? 20 years from now? 100 years from now? 500 years from now? When some new discovery forces scientists to drastically rewrite the book on what took place in the past, how often do you feel confident that this new direction in thinking is now the correct way of thinking?

I'm not sure what you mean by cherry picking examples of the universe, but If you would like to point one out for me I'd be glad to discuss it with you. Modern astronomy doesn't disprove God. It doesn't even disprove the Bible. It does disprove certain interpretations of Scripture, but I think you would be surprised at how well the actual text stands up to modern discovery.

Finally, any scientist worth his salt will admit that science can neither prove nor disprove God. Science simply cannot test God one way or another and therefore must leave Him out of the equation all together. Thus, science makes the assumption that their is no God and seeks to explain everything from a materialistic point of view. That is fine, but I don't think this assumption is any less "huge" than the one Creationists make. If someone insists on putting their faith in something that cannot even test all the possibilities, is that really being open to all possible truth?I can guarantee a lot of what we now accept as factual science will be changed or disproven in the upcoming decades, I agree. But with that will come more and more of these obvious errors in the Bible which is supposed to be the word of god. If one part is wrong, how can you trust anything in it?

As for the burden of proof, you can't really prove or disprove that my grandfather's childhood bichon frise is still alive on the other side of the universe on a planet called Ya'Mutha. It's not up to us to prove he exists, we didn't make claims about an invisible man in the sky.

rev kev
02-22-2010, 11:08 AM
If you walked in my shoes, you'd see the hypocrisy. We all have life experiences that cause us to answer life's questions. I prefer to only accept viable answers. Religion, in any form, has never been a viable answer. There are some wonderful morals associated with all religions. That is not a basis for throwing out logic and reason to assess the mechanics of the Universe.

So the scientific world around us admits that the Newtonian Material model that you "hold onto as juror duty" is yesterdays news..., and you want to hang about and be a "juror" while scientists from all faith backgrounds including athiesm all stand by an empirical evidence model - admit that the micro (quantum physics) and macro world (universe) to be chaotic and unpredictable...

You see we have turned a page in science and you refuse to go there...

I think you would have been barred from juror's duty...

rev kev
02-22-2010, 11:28 AM
In turn thank you for the time and consideration it obviously required for your well-thought out response. And you're right, it's not my intent to hijack this thread and will concede that I do sometimes have trigger reactions to statements of all sorts that I may or may not overreact to or misinterpret. So I'll only respond by declaring for the record that my aversion towards Christianity is no more or less than towards any organized religion that purports to tell me that theirs is the only way and even try to legislate their beliefs into my life or lifestyle. FWIW, I do think that your interpretation of my opinions based on the way I express myself is probably darn close to my interpretation your opinions by how you originally described a religion you obviously don't agree with either.

Many of your points are well-taken and I will reread and reconsider them seriously. As I said, to each his own and because my own set of beliefs or lack of them, don't coincide with yours or someone else's I recognize in turn doesn't necessarily mean that I'm right. But that's the rub D7. I'm skeptical of organized religious tenets, the validity of their parchments etc., but unlike someone else who posted here recently, I will not nor cannot dismiss them as being outside the realm of possibility. On the other hand, I get the distinct impression that while you understand other's beliefs, in your own mind, you are certain they're wrong and yours are right. However, we can go round and round on that to no avail and ad nauseum.

Here's my biggest issue: okay? I understand that based on some religious precepts which personally I don't happen to agree with, there are people who consider homosexuality a sin while I consider it a genetic 10% roll of the dice, and certainly not a road someone would elect to travel in most societies if they had their druthers. I can accept your beliefs since to me it's "to each their own" so long as they don't encroach on me or my beliefs. And that's the problem I have with the holier rollers of any denomination. I'm abhorrent of any attempt to legislate alternative lifestyles- or any biblical interpretations for that matter, since I resent any fissure between the founding father's intended separation of church and state, (especially considering fair share, if not the majority of them were actually Deists). So while you may in sincere good conscience believe homosexuality or any thing else that doesn't jibe with yours or anyone else's faith is a sin, please don't try to foist it on me through government regulation.

You're a good poster D7, obviously a thoughtful guy with convictions you didn't stumble over overnight. You should actually post more in the main forum. It is not my intent to insult you or your beliefs. I've known people at the end of their ropes who've embraced yours and other organized faiths and turned their lives around. Whether it's spirituality or a placebo effect lifeline matters less than the redirection it precipitated. As mentioned before, I do have poor impulse control and have developed too many hot buttons over the years and that makes for an combustible reaction, eh?

Reginald Dwight? You're right. :up:He was great in the 70s and 80s aside from that "Benny and the Jest" song which I could have done without. As a matter of fact Bob Dole, in his "Top 5" lounge thread, has included Elton. You should find your way over there and post your favorites. Mine is "Burn Down The Mission." :lol:


My congregation is as you know a street ministy these people are very real..., and very bruised, a number take their lives non-aggressively with drugs or booze because of the role of the church..., last Sunday one of my friends was asked in a public but safe small group "who he was"... it was just a generioc guestion... and this is what came out of his mouth - I am John - I am an alcoholic and I'm a homosexual - and I'm a child of God... and the room erupted gleefully - the problem I have is with all the labels...

You can't imagine the number of gay men in my congregation..., astonishing, some aren't gay but in their words they have been selling their *** (bartering sex for essentials) since they were 12 and so they are confused sexually - most I see are shamed they are not all happy how things have turned out in their lives and there is a socio economic cost to life of the streets anyways. They need for truer love and so they come for honest care -they are set apart by church and it hurts them - I know that sexual identity is not a qualifier for heaven or God's love.

1 Cor 1: 27-19

HansMojo
02-22-2010, 01:42 PM
I can guarantee a lot of what we now accept as factual science will be changed or disproven in the upcoming decades, I agree. But with that will come more and more of these obvious errors in the Bible which is supposed to be the word of god. If one part is wrong, how can you trust anything in it?

So are you suggesting we can't trust anything in evolutionary theory then...since in your own words, "if one part is wrong, how can you trust anything in it? I mean you admit that "a lot of what we now accept as factual science will be changed or disproven in upcoming decades..." Or do you just apply that principle to the Bible.

Anyway, I think you missed my point. Please note, I said certain interpretations are disproven, but the actual text stands up to modern discovery...IMHO. I agree that faulty interpretations should be thrown out, but the not the Bible itself. I am happy to admit that we Christians have a lot to learn about the Bible. Thankfully, God IMHO isn't judging us based on our theological test scores.


As for the burden of proof, you can't really prove or disprove that my grandfather's childhood bichon frise is still alive on the other side of the universe on a planet called Ya'Mutha. It's not up to us to prove he exists, we didn't make claims about an invisible man in the sky.
Firstly, the way things work in the world of science may be a little different than you think. A scientist doesn't have to *prove* his theory the way most people probably think of proof for it to be accepted as sound. He simply has to support it with some data, come up with some way to test his theory, and as long is it passes the tests he comes up with along with some peer reviews and as long as it fits within current models it is accepted as sound until proven otherwise...even though everyone knows it stands a good chance of being thrown out later if more better data is found or more comprehensive tests are created. This is why great sci-fi such as multiverses can be accepted as good science...simply because no one has been able to disprove them yet. IMHO, things like multiverses make great science fiction but are otherwise ridiculous, but since they are the only way to make certain scientific models work, well hey, they must be true...for now anyway.

Anyway, I don't think your grandfather's dog is still alive. Where does the Bible say animals are granted eternal life? Further, I don't think the Bible teaches anyone goes to Heaven until the Second Coming, except for exceptions such as those mentioned in the Bible. IMHO, when we die, we return to dust and await the Judgement and the Second Coming of our Lord who will then resurrect/recreate us immortal and perfect. But this is an interpretation. My interpretation could be wrong. I can try to prove my interpretation using Scripture to other Christians, but it isn't going to make any difference to someone like you who rejects Scripture just like the scientific fairy tales of multiverses and magic space dust aren't going to make any difference to Christians. My desire is to better understand Scripture as I go through life.

Peace.

aesop
02-22-2010, 03:01 PM
So are you suggesting we can't trust anything in evolutionary theory then...since in your own words, "if one part is wrong, how can you trust anything in it? I mean you admit that "a lot of what we now accept as factual science will be changed or disproven in upcoming decades..." Or do you just apply that principle to the Bible. Evolution is a theory, indeed. Are you suggesting that the Bible should be treated like a theory?



Firstly, the way things work in the world of science may be a little different than you think. A scientist doesn't have to *prove* his theory the way most people probably think of proof for it to be accepted as sound. He simply has to support it with some data, come up with some way to test his theory, and as long is it passes the tests he comes up with along with some peer reviews and as long as it fits within current models it is accepted as sound until proven otherwise...even though everyone knows it stands a good chance of being thrown out later if more better data is found or more comprehensive tests are created. This is why great sci-fi such as multiverses can be accepted as good science...simply because no one has been able to disprove them yet. IMHO, things like multiverses make great science fiction but are otherwise ridiculous, but since they are the only way to make certain scientific models work, well hey, they must be true...for now anyway.I don't really want to delve into the whole parallel universe debate as it is an incredibly loose theory. I agree, much of what we think we know now will be thrown out in the future or even laughed at. But basically my point is that you are treating the Bible as a theory when convenient and as fact when convenient. Which one is it? If it is fact then why are parts false?

NYCBillsFan
02-22-2010, 04:08 PM
I don't quite understand why you assume that these scientists are merely hedging their bets. Isn't it possible that they are just being intellectually honest with themselves?

I think you are assuming that one must throw out reasoning to believe in God and IMHO, you are incorrect. We may look at the same data and come to different conclusions, but that doesn't mean that you are being rational and I am not.

I'm curious about something. Do you assume that what science generally accepts as truth today is accurate? About what percent of what they say today do you think will still be accurate 5 years from now? 20 years from now? 100 years from now? 500 years from now? When some new discovery forces scientists to drastically rewrite the book on what took place in the past, how often do you feel confident that this new direction in thinking is now the correct way of thinking?

I'm not sure what you mean by cherry picking examples of the universe, but If you would like to point one out for me I'd be glad to discuss it with you. Modern astronomy doesn't disprove God. It doesn't even disprove the Bible. It does disprove certain interpretations of Scripture, but I think you would be surprised at how well the actual text stands up to modern discovery.

Finally, any scientist worth his salt will admit that science can neither prove nor disprove God. Science simply cannot test God one way or another and therefore must leave Him out of the equation all together. Thus, science makes the assumption that their is no God and seeks to explain everything from a materialistic point of view. That is fine, but I don't think this assumption is any less "huge" than the one Creationists make. If someone insists on putting their faith in something that cannot even test all the possibilities, is that really being open to all possible truth?

My point is that at no point in our history, in the present, or in our future can we ever say anything scientific is a fact until proven through observation and testing. The results of those tests more often than not bring to light a new array of questions that leave us needing more answers.

I have no way of saying anything is accurate, but rather, is the best guess we have. Religion at one point in Human history achieved the answers with the best guess, but has long since been responsible for providing rational answers to the world around us. The whole foundation of Religion is based on a flawed train of thought, ie. unquestioning faith. Unquestioned Faith has little to do with expansion of the mind and the acquiring of more knowledge.

For example, I hear time and time again that people refer to the Big-Bang as outrageous, a something from nothing event. My question is, how do we know that there was nothing before the Big-Bang? Why can't this be the recycled remains of former Universes, from infinity, and when this one dies out, there with be a new one to replace it, to infinity? More often than not I hear, "define infinity". I can try and comprehend but I cannot test infinity, so it is a quasi-leap of faith that I construct that model. Understandably, that is what the religious do, sans quasi. They don't want to take a leap of faith on comprehending what "infinity" may entail, but they are more comfortable with believing the words of ancient men who wrote a book of many millennia, and told stories of reward and punishment. If God created the Universe, how did God come into creation? Was there a primordial god? Did God spring up from nothing? Did God test the Universe before he began building it, or did he just know it would work? Does God live in the Universe? and if not, What plane of existence does he find residence?

I find it a lot more tangible to believe that the conditions before the Big-Bang are lost to the observer and will never be understood. It is data that is lost. We can only observe from the Big-Bang event going forward, most of which were never observed, but assumed. Even though we base most of our scientific understanding on assumptions, I am comfortable with most because scientific assumptions are always being tested, whereas the God-model advocates an abstinence of skepticism.

NYCBillsFan
02-22-2010, 04:38 PM
So the scientific world around us admits that the Newtonian Material model that you "hold onto as juror duty" is yesterdays news..., and you want to hang about and be a "juror" while scientists from all faith backgrounds including athiesm all stand by an empirical evidence model - admit that the micro (quantum physics) and macro world (universe) to be chaotic and unpredictable...

You see we have turned a page in science and you refuse to go there...

I think you would have been barred from juror's duty...

I would be willing to bet that most of what the science community rings true today will be thrown out in the years, decades, and centuries to come. I'm not so arrogant as to believe that man's wisdom has reached it's limit. There is far more that we are able to comprehend if we decide to apply ourselves towards those dealings and if we devote less time trying to figure out trite religious ceremony.

NYCBillsFan
02-22-2010, 04:43 PM
So are you suggesting we can't trust anything in evolutionary theory then...since in your own words, "if one part is wrong, how can you trust anything in it? I mean you admit that "a lot of what we now accept as factual science will be changed or disproven in upcoming decades..." Or do you just apply that principle to the Bible.

Anyway, I think you missed my point. Please note, I said certain interpretations are disproven, but the actual text stands up to modern discovery...IMHO. I agree that faulty interpretations should be thrown out, but the not the Bible itself. I am happy to admit that we Christians have a lot to learn about the Bible. Thankfully, God IMHO isn't judging us based on our theological test scores.


Firstly, the way things work in the world of science may be a little different than you think. A scientist doesn't have to *prove* his theory the way most people probably think of proof for it to be accepted as sound. He simply has to support it with some data, come up with some way to test his theory, and as long is it passes the tests he comes up with along with some peer reviews and as long as it fits within current models it is accepted as sound until proven otherwise...even though everyone knows it stands a good chance of being thrown out later if more better data is found or more comprehensive tests are created. This is why great sci-fi such as multiverses can be accepted as good science...simply because no one has been able to disprove them yet. IMHO, things like multiverses make great science fiction but are otherwise ridiculous, but since they are the only way to make certain scientific models work, well hey, they must be true...for now anyway.

Anyway, I don't think your grandfather's dog is still alive. Where does the Bible say animals are granted eternal life? Further, I don't think the Bible teaches anyone goes to Heaven until the Second Coming, except for exceptions such as those mentioned in the Bible. IMHO, when we die, we return to dust and await the Judgement and the Second Coming of our Lord who will then resurrect/recreate us immortal and perfect. But this is an interpretation. My interpretation could be wrong. I can try to prove my interpretation using Scripture to other Christians, but it isn't going to make any difference to someone like you who rejects Scripture just like the scientific fairy tales of multiverses and magic space dust aren't going to make any difference to Christians. My desire is to better understand Scripture as I go through life.

Peace.

That's where atheists and religious differ. Atheists look at all data to support current theories, the religious look to one source for all of their data. That is why the religious are considered closed-minded to many.

rev kev
02-22-2010, 04:53 PM
My point is that at no point in our history, in the present, or in our future can we ever say anything scientific is a fact until proven through observation and testing. The results of those tests more often than not bring to light a new array of questions that leave us needing more answers.

I have no way of saying anything is accurate, but rather, is the best guess we have. Religion at one point in Human history achieved the answers with the best guess, but has long since been responsible for providing rational answers to the world around us. The whole foundation of Religion is based on a flawed train of thought, ie. unquestioning faith. Unquestioned Faith has little to do with expansion of the mind and the acquiring of more knowledge.

For example, I hear time and time again that people refer to the Big-Bang as outrageous, a something from nothing event. My question is, how do we know that there was nothing before the Big-Bang? Why can't this be the recycled remains of former Universes, from infinity, and when this one dies out, there with be a new one to replace it, to infinity? More often than not I hear, "define infinity". I can try and comprehend but I cannot test infinity, so it is a quasi-leap of faith that I construct that model. Understandably, that is what the religious do, sans quasi. They don't want to take a leap of faith on comprehending what "infinity" may entail, but they are more comfortable with believing the words of ancient men who wrote a book of many millennia, and told stories of reward and punishment. If God created the Universe, how did God come into creation? Was there a primordial god? Did God spring up from nothing? Did God test the Universe before he began building it, or did he just know it would work? Does God live in the Universe? and if not, What plane of existence does he find residence?

I find it a lot more tangible to believe that the conditions before the Big-Bang are lost to the observer and will never be understood. It is data that is lost. We can only observe from the Big-Bang event going forward, most of which were never observed, but assumed. Even though we base most of our scientific understanding on assumptions, I am comfortable with most because scientific assumptions are always being tested, whereas the God-model advocates an abstinence of skepticism.

Can you prove the last fleeting second..., some things occur once in history..., like the birth of a son or daughter

rev kev
02-22-2010, 04:57 PM
That's where atheists and religious differ. Atheists look at all data to support current theories, the religious look to one source for all of their data. That is why the religious are considered closed-minded to many.

So you have these empirical truths statements and people making statements that are supposed true facts that in themselves cannot be proved by empiracally..., or have you not put your own theory to the the empiral test...? How interesting one still needs faith to believe in either theory...

NYCBillsFan
02-22-2010, 06:50 PM
So you have these empirical truths statements and people making statements that are supposed true facts that in themselves cannot be proved by empiracally..., or have you not put your own theory to the the empiral test...? How interesting one still needs faith to believe in either theory...

That's my point, we do need faith for either theory. The difference is that scientific faith is ever changing whereas religious faith is ever stagnant.

rev kev
02-22-2010, 11:50 PM
That's my point, we do need faith for either theory. The difference is that scientific faith is ever changing whereas religious faith is ever stagnant.

OK I hear you

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 12:08 AM
Evolution is a theory, indeed. Are you suggesting that the Bible should be treated like a theory?
Not exactly. IMHO, modern church doctrine and interpretation should be treated like a theory that should always be questioned/tested. The Bible itself should be treated in different ways depending on the specific passage in question. For example, some of the Bible was written as Hebrew poetry. One can learn much through poetry, but some of the church doctrine that has come about from this can be troublesome and contradictory to other parts of Scripture that weren't intended as poetry but were actually intended to be doctrine. Other parts should be viewed as historical in nature, while others parts are matters of faith. Context is extremely important always as is understanding as much about the author and the culture/customs/history of the people during the period in which a passage was written. Believe it or not, I believe that there are passages of the Bible where the author of that passage was either expressing their personal belief or the belief of the person that they are talking about, but that doesn't make said belief accurate. For instance, there are countless examples of this in the book of Job dealing with Jobs "friends" and their belief/counsel to Job. Further, the Hebrews did many things that they believed were God's will but later got in big trouble for. For example, if you read the part that records them going to some battle in the name of God but didn't read the later part where they get in trouble for it you would likely be left with the wrong impression. The Bible sometimes presents a history of what the Hebrews did to show why they were in the predicaments they were in and one shouldn't always assume they were doing the right things or God's will for them. This is one of the reasons why taking texts out of context is so easy to do and must be guarded so carefully against. To me, why an author decided to write something is sometimes as important as what they actually wrote. The Bible is not like a novel written by a single author during a single time period. Understanding of Scripture comes through life long study and a relationship with God who provides guidance through the Holy Spirit. And at no point should we ever feel we understand it all. We must always remain open to learning more and growing in our understanding...and faith. IMHO.


I don't really want to delve into the whole parallel universe debate as it is an incredibly loose theory. I agree, much of what we think we know now will be thrown out in the future or even laughed at. But basically my point is that you are treating the Bible as a theory when convenient and as fact when convenient. Which one is it? If it is fact then why are parts false?
The whole parallel/multiverse stuff is a very loose theory, I agree with you there, but more and more it is becoming the crutch for when everything else falls apart and that is a shame. Whenever science delves into origin theory, it starts looking more like a faith based non-religious belief system to me...which as a man of faith I can respect, but let's be honest and call it what it is. I primarily feel this way about origin theory as otherwise, I'm a huge fan of science and the scientific method (though sometimes I think we'd be better off living more natural lives without all the technology that I enjoy so much).

As for parts of the Bible being false, I actually addressed this above to a large degree, but to be clear, I haven't found parts of the Bible that are false. I find lots of false doctrines and interpretations that are riddled with holes. But this is not a problem with the Scripture itself. And of course, there are plenty of parts of the Bible that would require direct intervention from a Deity to be possible, but that is what you'd expect from a book about a Deity and His interaction with and plans for humanity.

Peace

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 12:11 AM
My point is that at no point in our history, in the present, or in our future can we ever say anything scientific is a fact until proven through observation and testing. The results of those tests more often than not bring to light a new array of questions that leave us needing more answers.

I have no way of saying anything is accurate, but rather, is the best guess we have. Religion at one point in Human history achieved the answers with the best guess, but has long since been responsible for providing rational answers to the world around us. The whole foundation of Religion is based on a flawed train of thought, ie. unquestioning faith. Unquestioned Faith has little to do with expansion of the mind and the acquiring of more knowledge.

For example, I hear time and time again that people refer to the Big-Bang as outrageous, a something from nothing event. My question is, how do we know that there was nothing before the Big-Bang? Why can't this be the recycled remains of former Universes, from infinity, and when this one dies out, there with be a new one to replace it, to infinity? More often than not I hear, "define infinity". I can try and comprehend but I cannot test infinity, so it is a quasi-leap of faith that I construct that model. Understandably, that is what the religious do, sans quasi. They don't want to take a leap of faith on comprehending what "infinity" may entail, but they are more comfortable with believing the words of ancient men who wrote a book of many millennia, and told stories of reward and punishment. If God created the Universe, how did God come into creation? Was there a primordial god? Did God spring up from nothing? Did God test the Universe before he began building it, or did he just know it would work? Does God live in the Universe? and if not, What plane of existence does he find residence?

I find it a lot more tangible to believe that the conditions before the Big-Bang are lost to the observer and will never be understood. It is data that is lost. We can only observe from the Big-Bang event going forward, most of which were never observed, but assumed. Even though we base most of our scientific understanding on assumptions, I am comfortable with most because scientific assumptions are always being tested, whereas the God-model advocates an abstinence of skepticism.

I was going to respond to this right now but my wife just handed me dinner. I'll get to it, but for now, my response to Aesop answers some of your post. More later...

WSE
02-23-2010, 12:51 AM
well, I have a much easier time believing this than believing he was white (which the church wants us to with its imagery).

in all seriousness, people put their own values into the man and make him a reflection of themself. What Elton did here is no different than what white europeans and the west have done since forever

Dolphan7
02-23-2010, 01:33 AM
My point is that at no point in our history, in the present, or in our future can we ever say anything scientific is a fact until proven through observation and testing. The results of those tests more often than not bring to light a new array of questions that leave us needing more answers.

I have no way of saying anything is accurate, but rather, is the best guess we have. Religion at one point in Human history achieved the answers with the best guess, but has long since been responsible for providing rational answers to the world around us. The whole foundation of Religion is based on a flawed train of thought, ie. unquestioning faith. Unquestioned Faith has little to do with expansion of the mind and the acquiring of more knowledge.

For example, I hear time and time again that people refer to the Big-Bang as outrageous, a something from nothing event. My question is, how do we know that there was nothing before the Big-Bang? Why can't this be the recycled remains of former Universes, from infinity, and when this one dies out, there with be a new one to replace it, to infinity? More often than not I hear, "define infinity". I can try and comprehend but I cannot test infinity, so it is a quasi-leap of faith that I construct that model. Understandably, that is what the religious do, sans quasi. They don't want to take a leap of faith on comprehending what "infinity" may entail, but they are more comfortable with believing the words of ancient men who wrote a book of many millennia, and told stories of reward and punishment. If God created the Universe, how did God come into creation? Was there a primordial god? Did God spring up from nothing? Did God test the Universe before he began building it, or did he just know it would work? Does God live in the Universe? and if not, What plane of existence does he find residence?

I find it a lot more tangible to believe that the conditions before the Big-Bang are lost to the observer and will never be understood. It is data that is lost. We can only observe from the Big-Bang event going forward, most of which were never observed, but assumed. Even though we base most of our scientific understanding on assumptions, I am comfortable with most because scientific assumptions are always being tested, whereas the God-model advocates an abstinence of skepticism.If you don't mind I would like to comment on the "something from nothing" argument. You ask how do we know that there was nothing before the Big Bang? We don't...scientifically speaking. But logically speaking...if our universe was created by something that came before it, and that something was created by something else before it...back into time infinity, at some point....no matter how far back you go...there had to have been something created first in order for everything else after it to be created from. Proposing the question you asked is simply moving the goal posts....the bottom line is there cannot be something that comes from nothing. But yet....we have...something. It is all around us. So...if you can't get something from nothing, but something does indeed exist....then it logically leads us to consider that something "outside" of all time and matter ...made this something that we see all around us. Since we know that non-matter cannot create matter, yet we have matter, we know that something must have created matter. Now that entity can be many things....to many people.....the God of the bible being one of them, the one that I believe.

Now you ask a very common question....Where did this God come from? And the simple answer is....we don't know. I would like to know myself...and one day I am sure He will tell me...long after I leave this world I am sure. The bible doesn't really help us answer the question either. Now maybe this is because of our limited understanding of infinity, or our incapability of understanding an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent being. It doesn't say where God came from. It very well could be that God has a father, I doubt it, but that really doesn't help us with the something from nothing dilemma...because no matter if God is simply one lone God, or the product of a father-God...they would both be outside of the confines of all matter, time and space.

As a former Atheist this type of logical thinking led me to look to a higher power, which in turn led me to God and Jesus Christ.

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 01:47 AM
My point is that at no point in our history, in the present, or in our future can we ever say anything scientific is a fact until proven through observation and testing. The results of those tests more often than not bring to light a new array of questions that leave us needing more answers.

I have no way of saying anything is accurate, but rather, is the best guess we have. Religion at one point in Human history achieved the answers with the best guess, but has long since been responsible for providing rational answers to the world around us. The whole foundation of Religion is based on a flawed train of thought, ie. unquestioning faith. Unquestioned Faith has little to do with expansion of the mind and the acquiring of more knowledge.
First, I disagree that the whole foundation of religion is based on unquestioning faith. To start, when you really look into the origin of Scripture, you find that for the most part, the writers all had some kind of extraordinary experience with God or with someone who had a very special experience with God. Further, you have situations such as where Moses writes about events and situations that the immediate readers (the hundreds of thousands of Hebrews that followed him around) could confirm or deny actually took place or not and who then passed their own stories and eye witness accounts down, along with the writings of Moses, to their own children and grandchildren, etc. So a lot of what you find in Scripture is people writing about first hand experiences or something very close to it. Now of course, it takes faith for us today to believe that these writers weren't lying or delusional, but most Christians will be happy to share their personal testimony and these testimonies usually involve personal experiences of a spiritual nature. These personal experiences a person has will help to confirm that what others are sharing is believable since they've seen and experienced similar things in their own lives. They help to confirm what the Bible reports for people who have experienced them.

But, I would agree that blind faith exists but I would say that exercising blind faith is not the intention of Scripture or the desire of God. People get themselves in all manner of trouble when they rely on blind faith, especially when the object of their faith is a particular church, or doctine, or person. We should be skeptical about spiritual things. Even the Bible counsels us to "test the spirits". But for me, my base beliefs have been confirmed but my understanding is far from static.


For example, I hear time and time again that people refer to the Big-Bang as outrageous, a something from nothing event. My question is, how do we know that there was nothing before the Big-Bang? Why can't this be the recycled remains of former Universes, from infinity, and when this one dies out, there with be a new one to replace it, to infinity? More often than not I hear, "define infinity". I can try and comprehend but I cannot test infinity, so it is a quasi-leap of faith that I construct that model. Understandably, that is what the religious do, sans quasi. They don't want to take a leap of faith on comprehending what "infinity" may entail, but they are more comfortable with believing the words of ancient men who wrote a book of many millennia, and told stories of reward and punishment. If God created the Universe, how did God come into creation? Was there a primordial god? Did God spring up from nothing? Did God test the Universe before he began building it, or did he just know it would work? Does God live in the Universe? and if not, What plane of existence does he find residence?

I find it a lot more tangible to believe that the conditions before the Big-Bang are lost to the observer and will never be understood. It is data that is lost. We can only observe from the Big-Bang event going forward, most of which were never observed, but assumed. Even though we base most of our scientific understanding on assumptions, I am comfortable with most because scientific assumptions are always being tested, whereas the God-model advocates an abstinence of skepticism.

We all have to decide which model makes more sense to us on a personal level. To me, the Biblical model is one that is confirmed by my own personal spiritual walk. I've witnesses miracles. I've had prayers answered. I've seen the changes that took place in my own life when I gave my heart to the Lord and I've seen the same thing happen when others did the same. I've had several encounters with spiritual forces throughout my life. The morality of the Bible makes sense to me and I see great wisdom in the counsel found within. Etc., etc., etc. So for me to deny my faith would take a great deal of denial and rebellion. What I prefer to do is seek to understand what I can about the world around me through all methods available to me (including science which IMHO adds more weight to my belief in God with each new discovery and theory rewrite). And by the way, the Big Bang theory isn't a problem for me since I think it was God's Big Bang that started it all to begin with. Observable evolution creates no problem for me since I believe God created life with the ability to evolve and better adapt to its surroundings. It's when scientists resort to pure fantasy to try and fill in the gaps that I personally start to wonder who depends on blind faith more...

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 01:51 AM
well, I have a much easier time believing this than believing he was white (which the church wants us to with its imagery).

in all seriousness, people put their own values into the man and make him a reflection of themself. What Elton did here is no different than what white europeans and the west have done since forever
I agree that people attempt to create God in their own image. Very frustrating.

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 02:01 AM
If you don't mind I would like to comment on the "something from nothing" argument. You ask how do we know that there was nothing before the Big Bang? We don't...scientifically speaking. But logically speaking...if our universe was created by something that came before it, and that something was created by something else before it...back into time infinity, at some point....no matter how far back you go...there had to have been something created first in order for everything else after it to be created from. Proposing the question you asked is simply moving the goal posts....the bottom line is there cannot be something that comes from nothing. But yet....we have...something. It is all around us. So...if you can't get something from nothing, but something does indeed exist....then it logically leads us to consider that something "outside" of all time and matter ...made this something that we see all around us. Since we know that non-matter cannot create matter, yet we have matter, we know that something must have created matter. Now that entity can be many things....to many people.....the God of the bible being one of them, the one that I believe.

Now you ask a very common question....Where did this God come from? And the simple answer is....we don't know. I would like to know myself...and one day I am sure He will tell me...long after I leave this world I am sure. The bible doesn't really help us answer the question either. Now maybe this is because of our limited understanding of infinity, or our incapability of understanding an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent being. It doesn't say where God came from. It very well could be that God has a father, I doubt it, but that really doesn't help us with the something from nothing dilemma...because no matter if God is simply one lone God, or the product of a father-God...they would both be outside of the confines of all matter, time and space.

As a former Atheist this type of logical thinking led me to look to a higher power, which in turn led me to God and Jesus Christ.
Great post D7. And while I don't think there was some kind of a "father-God" before God either, since Yahweh tells us that He is the Alpha and the Omega and that there were no other Gods before Him, etc. (and since this would just be moving the goal posts back like the evolutionists try to do anyway) I agree that He will provide answers to these kinds of questions after we are capable of comprehending them. For some of us, it may take longer to get to that point than for others. :chuckle:

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 02:42 AM
If you don't mind I would like to comment on the "something from nothing" argument. You ask how do we know that there was nothing before the Big Bang? We don't...scientifically speaking. But logically speaking...if our universe was created by something that came before it, and that something was created by something else before it...back into time infinity, at some point....no matter how far back you go...there had to have been something created first in order for everything else after it to be created from. Proposing the question you asked is simply moving the goal posts....the bottom line is there cannot be something that comes from nothing. But yet....we have...something. It is all around us. So...if you can't get something from nothing, but something does indeed exist....then it logically leads us to consider that something "outside" of all time and matter ...made this something that we see all around us. Since we know that non-matter cannot create matter, yet we have matter, we know that something must have created matter. Now that entity can be many things....to many people.....the God of the bible being one of them, the one that I believe.

Now you ask a very common question....Where did this God come from? And the simple answer is....we don't know. I would like to know myself...and one day I am sure He will tell me...long after I leave this world I am sure. The bible doesn't really help us answer the question either. Now maybe this is because of our limited understanding of infinity, or our incapability of understanding an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent being. It doesn't say where God came from. It very well could be that God has a father, I doubt it, but that really doesn't help us with the something from nothing dilemma...because no matter if God is simply one lone God, or the product of a father-God...they would both be outside of the confines of all matter, time and space.

As a former Atheist this type of logical thinking led me to look to a higher power, which in turn led me to God and Jesus Christ.

Nice post D7. While I disagree with you conclusion, you at least have given to thinking about the concept and drawn your own conclusions.

As far as your infinity response, I ask you, why does something have to be created first? Isn't that the mind-blowing concept of infinity? What if there was no beginning of existence, but rather just a continual recycling? Why do we have to plug the assumption of a beginning? Maybe it's because everywhere we look we see life-cycles. From single cell organisms to galaxies, things are created, they exist, and the they cease to exist. It's only normal to continue the assumption. If you remove that assumption, then a creator seems rather doubtful to me. A grand designer destroying and creating ad infinitum would just seem fruitless, like playing solitaire for eternity.

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 03:01 AM
First, I disagree that the whole foundation of religion is based on unquestioning faith. To start, when you really look into the origin of Scripture, you find that for the most part, the writers all had some kind of extraordinary experience with God or with someone who had a very special experience with God. Further, you have situations such as where Moses writes about events and situations that the immediate readers (the hundreds of thousands of Hebrews that followed him around) could confirm or deny actually took place or not and who then passed their own stories and eye witness accounts down, along with the writings of Moses, to their own children and grandchildren, etc. So a lot of what you find in Scripture is people writing about first hand experiences or something very close to it. Now of course, it takes faith for us today to believe that these writers weren't lying or delusional, but most Christians will be happy to share their personal testimony and these testimonies usually involve personal experiences of a spiritual nature. These personal experiences a person has will help to confirm that what others are sharing is believable since they've seen and experienced similar things in their own lives. They help to confirm what the Bible reports for people who have experienced them.

But, I would agree that blind faith exists but I would say that exercising blind faith is not the intention of Scripture or the desire of God. People get themselves in all manner of trouble when they rely on blind faith, especially when the object of their faith is a particular church, or doctine, or person. We should be skeptical about spiritual things. Even the Bible counsels us to "test the spirits". But for me, my base beliefs have been confirmed but my understanding is far from static.



We all have to decide which model makes more sense to us on a personal level. To me, the Biblical model is one that is confirmed by my own personal spiritual walk. I've witnesses miracles. I've had prayers answered. I've seen the changes that took place in my own life when I gave my heart to the Lord and I've seen the same thing happen when others did the same. I've had several encounters with spiritual forces throughout my life. The morality of the Bible makes sense to me and I see great wisdom in the counsel found within. Etc., etc., etc. So for me to deny my faith would take a great deal of denial and rebellion. What I prefer to do is seek to understand what I can about the world around me through all methods available to me (including science which IMHO adds more weight to my belief in God with each new discovery and theory rewrite). And by the way, the Big Bang theory isn't a problem for me since I think it was God's Big Bang that started it all to begin with. Observable evolution creates no problem for me since I believe God created life with the ability to evolve and better adapt to its surroundings. It's when scientists resort to pure fantasy to try and fill in the gaps that I personally start to wonder who depends on blind faith more...

Another good post from the other side. Glad to see some progressive thinkers here.

To go with your point on the authors of the Bible and their experiences. A written experience is really not a solid foundation to base a belief system on, IMHO. Who knows why these men had their experiences. Were they psychotic? Were they drug induced? Were they legit? Many ancient mystics used drugs to get closer to the Gods. Greek oracles have been attributed to the breathing of Methane for their visions. My guess is that with the limited view the ancients had on the world around them, they used hallucinogenics far more than we want to admit. Escaping reality would have felt akin to being otherworldly, and could have created the visions they believe they felt.

As to your personal experience, I can neither confirm nor deny any of them. They are yours, whether real or not, and they obviously feel very real to you. I'm not here to attack your beliefs, but rather stimulate the questioning of the Universe as we understand it. You have different experiences that work for you.

As far as unquestioned faith, you assumed that the authors words are genuine, then point out that there are inconsistencies. My question is, why believe them? How do you know that they are first hand or close handed accounts of the events described? Why are they given a pass, but the concept of no intelligent thought behind it all is rejected right away?

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 03:50 AM
Another good post from the other side. Glad to see some progressive thinkers here.

To go with your point on the authors of the Bible and their experiences. A written experience is really not a solid foundation to base a belief system on, IMHO. Who knows why these men had their experiences. Were they psychotic? Were they drug induced? Were they legit? Many ancient mystics used drugs to get closer to the Gods. Greek oracles have been attributed to the breathing of Methane for their visions. My guess is that with the limited view the ancients had on the world around them, they used hallucinogenics far more than we want to admit. Escaping reality would have felt akin to being otherworldly, and could have created the visions they believe they felt.

As to your personal experience, I can neither confirm nor deny any of them. They are yours, whether real or not, and they obviously feel very real to you. I'm not here to attack your beliefs, but rather stimulate the questioning of the Universe as we understand it. You have different experiences that work for you.

As far as unquestioned faith, you assumed that the authors words are genuine, then point out that there are inconsistencies. My question is, why believe them? How do you know that they are first hand or close handed accounts of the events described? Why are they given a pass, but the concept of no intelligent thought behind it all is rejected right away?

Please clarify your last sentence so that I can address your questions? By intelligent thought behind it all do you mean some kind of conspiracy? I'm confused about what you are getting at.

The apparent inconsistencies in the Bible (that I have come across anyway) have all turned out to have reasonable explanations but one one must take into consideration the types of things I mentioned in my previous post. For example, I would never suggest that someone just read the Bible without trying to understand context as well as background information about the author and the time and culture in which any given specific passage was written (the Bible was written by many different authors over many different centuries and in many different locations).

The bottom line for me is that religion is a very personal thing and it is about having a relationship with God. This relationship is always going to seem like nonsense to someone who has not experienced this for themselves. But for me, it is as real as anything I can touch see or smell. It is something I experience on a daily basis. So while I'm happy to answer your questions about my faith and the Bible, you are not going to "get it" until you allow God into your own life and experience Him yourself. IMHO anyway.

Anyway, I wish I had more time to devote to this tonight but finheaven will probably still be here tomorrow. Peace.

rev kev
02-23-2010, 10:52 AM
I agree that people attempt to create God in their own image. Very frustrating.

Lets call a "spade a spade" these people you speak of are also Christians who biblically speaking idolize themselves - we by the help and grace of God desire to break that cycle of self worship...

rev kev
02-23-2010, 11:00 AM
Another good post from the other side. Glad to see some progressive thinkers here.

I am hoping that isn't a rip at moi...?

To go with your point on the authors of the Bible and their experiences. A written experience is really not a solid foundation to base a belief system on, IMHO. Who knows why these men had their experiences. Were they psychotic? Were they drug induced? Were they legit? Many ancient mystics used drugs to get closer to the Gods. Greek oracles have been attributed to the breathing of Methane for their visions. My guess is that with the limited view the ancients had on the world around them, they used hallucinogenics far more than we want to admit. Escaping reality would have felt akin to being otherworldly, and could have created the visions they believe they felt.

As to your personal experience, I can neither confirm nor deny any of them. They are yours, whether real or not, and they obviously feel very real to you. I'm not here to attack your beliefs, but rather stimulate the questioning of the Universe as we understand it. You have different experiences that work for you.

As far as unquestioned faith, you assumed that the authors words are genuine, then point out that there are inconsistencies. My question is, why believe them? How do you know that they are first hand or close handed accounts of the events described? Why are they given a pass, but the concept of no intelligent thought behind it all is rejected right away?

Again the Ancients you refer to didn't write the Bible over one sitting you have 66 books there and stuff was compiled/written over hundreds of years and later collated - this isn't like Stephen King sitting down and writing a book over a weekend...

We know we have stuff that isn't first hand..., so stories were passed down and later recorderd - such as the story of Adam & Eve - highly unlikely they wrote about their own fall..., so you have oral tradition..., that becomes written and is now considered "authoritative"...

I would think it would take an even greater amount of faith to believe God orchestrated his Word and choreographed these writings to reflect his grace and mercy for people considering how complicated their origin.

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 11:46 AM
Again the Ancients you refer to didn't write the Bible over one sitting you have 66 books there and stuff was compiled/written over hundreds of years and later collated - this isn't like Stephen King sitting down and writing a book over a weekend...

We know we have stuff that isn't first hand..., so stories were passed down and later recorderd - such as the story of Adam & Eve - highly unlikely they wrote about their own fall..., so you have oral tradition..., that becomes written and is now considered "authoritative"...

I would think it would take an even greater amount of faith to believe God orchestrated his Word and choreographed these writings to reflect his grace and mercy for people considering how complicated their origin.

Not a rip at all Kev.

If the book is written with obvious hearsay, then at what point do we consider the book to be fiction? Anyone can proclaim that this story is true because another story is true, but that in no way genuinely brings us closer to any truth. I'd like to know where all of the archaeological evidence is to prove the Bible true? Have we found Eden yet? Where is Noah's Ark? How are men able to live for 900+ years? These things don't really add up when we look through the evidence found in the soils of the earth.

You're right, it takes an immense amount of faith to believe in God. Faith that, unfortunately, throws logic out the window from what we understand of our world today.

And on a side note, just in the written history of all cultures, does anyone know of any writing that mentions Jesus Christ by name while he walked the Earth? If a man that iconic was walking around doing the greatness that is claimed, surely it would stand to reason that at least one scholar should talk of it? Why do we have to wait for almost 50 years after his death that we finally hear about Jesus?

HansMojo
02-23-2010, 12:58 PM
Lets call a "spade a spade" these people you speak of are also Christians who biblically speaking idolize themselves - we by the help and grace of God desire to break that cycle of self worship...

Agreed.

Dolphan7
02-23-2010, 01:18 PM
Not a rip at all Kev.

If the book is written with obvious hearsay, then at what point do we consider the book to be fiction? Anyone can proclaim that this story is true because another story is true, but that in no way genuinely brings us closer to any truth. I'd like to know where all of the archaeological evidence is to prove the Bible true? Have we found Eden yet? Where is Noah's Ark? How are men able to live for 900+ years? These things don't really add up when we look through the evidence found in the soils of the earth.

You're right, it takes an immense amount of faith to believe in God. Faith that, unfortunately, throws logic out the window from what we understand of our world today.

And on a side note, just in the written history of all cultures, does anyone know of any writing that mentions Jesus Christ by name while he walked the Earth? If a man that iconic was walking around doing the greatness that is calimed, surely it would stand to reason that at least one scholar should talk of it? Why do we have to wait for almost 50 years after his death that we finally hear about Jesus?If you would permit me I would like to comment on the bible and Jesus. What makes the bible such a unique and authoritative work is it's consistency and harmony. Written over 1400 years by dozens of different authors, in three different continents, in three different languages, in several different moods, by men from several different classes of people...and yet speaks to hundreds of issues in harmony and continuity. It really is an amazing work of the ancient world, second to none. We believe that God had a hand in it because without His involvement, the entire thing falls apart.

The fulfilled prophesies in the bible are another point of confirmation for me, and my fellow believers. Predictions made hundreds of years before they happened. It is amazing the accuracy.

The over 300 prophesies of Jesus Christ alone is mind boggling. The odds of one man seeking to fulfill those prophesies on his own is statistically impossible. If you are interested in more on that let me know.

As far as why we don't have more written about Jesus within the first 50 years is easily understandable. First off...Israel was a small country within the greater Roman Empire. Not really on their radar so to speak. Events in the Holy Land at that time would not have ventured out into the rest of the world. It was relatively a local matter, dealing with the Jews of the time. Secondly....right after Jesus died and rose again...and then split again 40 days later.....there was a tremendous persecution of Christians by the Jewish authorities. Christians were killed by the thousands. So it wasn't a real popular or wise move to let on that you were a follower, let alone document it. But there are written records of Jesus in secular history. Josephus and Pliny wrote of Jesus by name and the Christian movement in the first century. The bible itself is an historical document that shouldn't be discarded. Many times the bible has been found to be reliable through modern archeological excavations. Jericho comes to mind right off hand, but there are lot's of other examples of digs confirming the bible.

I disagree that to believe in God requires one to abandon ones intellect and logic. To me, and my fellow believers, believing in God is intellectually and logically sound. So with all due respect to you and your viewpoint, Logic doesn't reside in only one POV.

Why did people live for 900 plus years back then? A great question...one I have asked myself! The bible tells us that the earth was a different place back before the flood of Noah. Tropical climate the world over. Lush green vegatation. There was no rain or weather in those times. Water seemed to have come down as a mist to irrigate the foliage. It was as if the earth had a protective layer over it, protecting life from the harmful rays of the sun. We see evidence of this temperate climate in the fossil record the world over. Then something happened....a catastrophic event of cataclysmic proportions...we call it the Great Flood. In that flood the earth as it was known ceased to exist. The bible tells us that the ages of men slowly decreased starting right after the flood. Being exposed now to direct sunlight had a huge effect of longevity, and we have only recently found out the harmful exposure to solar radiation on our bodies. We also see the first rain on the earth, evidence that the protective layer was gone, and that the climate had changed. We see evidence of this event in the fossil record.....the sudden appearance of life in the Cambrian Layer ( Or what we Christians call the sudden disappearance of life), and evidence of an event that wiped out the Dinos. Science likes to speculate and call that a asteroid or something of that nature, and date it at 70 million years ago. But the bible explains it differently.....and the fossil records supports what is written thousands of years ago. It really is an amazing book! What I find fascinating is that in almost every culture on earth there is a mention of a great flood, a boat, a man who saved his family and some animals...or a close semblance to these events.

So again it isn't intellectual suicide to believe in the God of the bible. It really isn't. But I know where you are coming from. I have been there. I was an Atheist. And a staunch Atheist to boot. I was an arrogant prick when it came to talking to "christians". I used to laugh at them and make fun of their beliefs. So if I can make that kind of change, I am quite sure anyone can. It isn't about the evidence, it is about ones own heart...and desire to seek the truth...in my opinion of course.

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 03:38 PM
If you would permit me I would like to comment on the bible and Jesus. What makes the bible such a unique and authoritative work is it's consistency and harmony. Written over 1400 years by dozens of different authors, in three different continents, in three different languages, in several different moods, by men from several different classes of people...and yet speaks to hundreds of issues in harmony and continuity. It really is an amazing work of the ancient world, second to none. We believe that God had a hand in it because without His involvement, the entire thing falls apart.

The fulfilled prophesies in the bible are another point of confirmation for me, and my fellow believers. Predictions made hundreds of years before they happened. It is amazing the accuracy.

The over 300 prophesies of Jesus Christ alone is mind boggling. The odds of one man seeking to fulfill those prophesies on his own is statistically impossible. If you are interested in more on that let me know.

As far as why we don't have more written about Jesus within the first 50 years is easily understandable. First off...Israel was a small country within the greater Roman Empire. Not really on their radar so to speak. Events in the Holy Land at that time would not have ventured out into the rest of the world. It was relatively a local matter, dealing with the Jews of the time. Secondly....right after Jesus died and rose again...and then split again 40 days later.....there was a tremendous persecution of Christians by the Jewish authorities. Christians were killed by the thousands. So it wasn't a real popular or wise move to let on that you were a follower, let alone document it. But there are written records of Jesus in secular history. Josephus and Pliny wrote of Jesus by name and the Christian movement in the first century. The bible itself is an historical document that shouldn't be discarded. Many times the bible has been found to be reliable through modern archeological excavations. Jericho comes to mind right off hand, but there are lot's of other examples of digs confirming the bible.

I disagree that to believe in God requires one to abandon ones intellect and logic. To me, and my fellow believers, believing in God is intellectually and logically sound. So with all due respect to you and your viewpoint, Logic doesn't reside in only one POV.

Why did people live for 900 plus years back then? A great question...one I have asked myself! The bible tells us that the earth was a different place back before the flood of Noah. Tropical climate the world over. Lush green vegatation. There was no rain or weather in those times. Water seemed to have come down as a mist to irrigate the foliage. It was as if the earth had a protective layer over it, protecting life from the harmful rays of the sun. We see evidence of this temperate climate in the fossil record the world over. Then something happened....a catastrophic event of cataclysmic proportions...we call it the Great Flood. In that flood the earth as it was known ceased to exist. The bible tells us that the ages of men slowly decreased starting right after the flood. Being exposed now to direct sunlight had a huge effect of longevity, and we have only recently found out the harmful exposure to solar radiation on our bodies. We also see the first rain on the earth, evidence that the protective layer was gone, and that the climate had changed. We see evidence of this event in the fossil record.....the sudden appearance of life in the Cambrian Layer ( Or what we Christians call the sudden disappearance of life), and evidence of an event that wiped out the Dinos. Science likes to speculate and call that a asteroid or something of that nature, and date it at 70 million years ago. But the bible explains it differently.....and the fossil records supports what is written thousands of years ago. It really is an amazing book! What I find fascinating is that in almost every culture on earth there is a mention of a great flood, a boat, a man who saved his family and some animals...or a close semblance to these events.

So again it isn't intellectual suicide to believe in the God of the bible. It really isn't. But I know where you are coming from. I have been there. I was an Atheist. And a staunch Atheist to boot. I was an arrogant prick when it came to talking to "christians". I used to laugh at them and make fun of their beliefs. So if I can make that kind of change, I am quite sure anyone can. It isn't about the evidence, it is about ones own heart...and desire to seek the truth...in my opinion of course.

Harmony and continuity? I will kindly disagree with that assessment of the Bible. Here's just one website of many listing the Bible's inconsistencies....

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/inconsistencies.html

As far as the Jesus prophesies, every account describing Jesus and his time on earth were from 50 years after his death. Don't you think it to be possible that the story of Jesus was built to fulfill those prophesies? They had the prophesies available to them, so they could easily construct a story of Jesus the man, walking the Earth as described, without offering a shred of evidence that he was actually there. There is zero evidence that Jesus actually walked the Earth as God, and it's debatable if he even existed at all. Is it your argument that there are zero writings emanating from Israel from Jesus' days on Earth? Thirty-fours years of writers block? Josephus was born three years after Jesus' death, so his account is still second hand info. There is not one account of someone talking directly to Jesus and writing down his words, none. The man was supposedly awe-inspiring enough to start a new religious movement, and yet, we wait 50 years to read about him, and he "conveniently" fulfills these prophesies? (Which are debatable still, but I'm willing to concede just for sake of argument.). That sounds like a snake-oil salesman pitch to me. Using the Bible to prove the validity of the Bible is fruitless. I can use Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to prove Frankenstein exists, but that doesn't mean that Frankenstein ever did exist. It only means that I'm attempting to fool people into believing my pitch.

I try using evidence to prove the Bible's worth, not the wonderment of it's stories.

Dolphan7
02-23-2010, 05:53 PM
Harmony and continuity? I will kindly disagree with that assessment of the Bible. Here's just one website of many listing the Bible's inconsistencies....

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/inconsistencies.html

As far as the Jesus prophesies, every account describing Jesus and his time on earth were from 50 years after his death. Don't you think it to be possible that the story of Jesus was built to fulfill those prophesies? They had the prophesies available to them, so they could easily construct a story of Jesus the man, walking the Earth as described, without offering a shred of evidence that he was actually there. There is zero evidence that Jesus actually walked the Earth as God, and it's debatable if he even existed at all. Is it your argument that there are zero writings emanating from Israel from Jesus' days on Earth? Thirty-fours years of writers block? Josephus was born three years after Jesus' death, so his account is still second hand info. There is not one account of someone talking directly to Jesus and writing down his words, none. The man was supposedly awe-inspiring enough to start a new religious movement, and yet, we wait 50 years to read about him, and he "conveniently" fulfills these prophesies? (Which are debatable still, but I'm willing to concede just for sake of argument.). That sounds like a snake-oil salesman pitch to me. Using the Bible to prove the validity of the Bible is fruitless. I can use Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to prove Frankenstein exists, but that doesn't mean that Frankenstein ever did exist. It only means that I'm attempting to fool people into believing my pitch.

I try using evidence to prove the Bible's worth, not the wonderment of it's stories.There are plenty of websites that list bible discrepancies...just as there are many sites that do the same thing to the Koran, or any other religion. The reality is they really don't take into account the context and intent of the original authors. I have seen and responded to many over the years, and it does get quite cumbersome to do so, but they all have completely explainable answers. So because someone with an axe to grind lists some potential fallacies, without ever digging a little deeper, doesn't make that claims valid. Christianity is probably one of the most, if not the most, contested religions in the world. And yet.....it stands.

As far as Jesus.....yes there are written eyewitness accounts of his existence. Matthew and John were each one of His 12 disciples. They had first hand experience of his life and ministry....first hand. The Apostle Paul, who wrote half the New Testament, also had first hand eyewitness testimony of Jesus. Biblical and secular scholars both agree of the historicity of Jesus Christ. Why should we believe these writers? Because they wrote what they saw, and there were people alive to contest their account. An obvious forgery and fraud would have been quickly and decisively quashed. Also.....11 of the 12 disciples of Jesus died violent deaths because of their faith in Him. No one that I know willingly dies a violent death for something they know is a hoax. Makes no sense. Now if you choose to not believe this, that is your prerogative, but this will be a rather short conversation from here on out.

rev kev
02-23-2010, 06:11 PM
Not a rip at all Kev.

If the book is written with obvious hearsay, then at what point do we consider the book to be fiction? Anyone can proclaim that this story is true because another story is true, but that in no way genuinely brings us closer to any truth. I'd like to know where all of the archaeological evidence is to prove the Bible true? Have we found Eden yet? Where is Noah's Ark? How are men able to live for 900+ years? These things don't really add up when we look through the evidence found in the soils of the earth.

You're right, it takes an immense amount of faith to believe in God. Faith that, unfortunately, throws logic out the window from what we understand of our world today.

And on a side note, just in the written history of all cultures, does anyone know of any writing that mentions Jesus Christ by name while he walked the Earth? If a man that iconic was walking around doing the greatness that is claimed, surely it would stand to reason that at least one scholar should talk of it? Why do we have to wait for almost 50 years after his death that we finally hear about Jesus?

I know there aren't many...

http://ptet.dubar.com/ecw/josephus.html

Great reading the Complete Works of Flavius Josephus p 379

rev kev
02-23-2010, 06:21 PM
Harmony and continuity? I will kindly disagree with that assessment of the Bible. Here's just one website of many listing the Bible's inconsistencies....

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/inconsistencies.html

As far as the Jesus prophesies, every account describing Jesus and his time on earth were from 50 years after his death. Don't you think it to be possible that the story of Jesus was built to fulfill those prophesies? They had the prophesies available to them, so they could easily construct a story of Jesus the man, walking the Earth as described, without offering a shred of evidence that he was actually there. There is zero evidence that Jesus actually walked the Earth as God, and it's debatable if he even existed at all. Is it your argument that there are zero writings emanating from Israel from Jesus' days on Earth? Thirty-fours years of writers block? Josephus was born three years after Jesus' death, so his account is still second hand info. There is not one account of someone talking directly to Jesus and writing down his words, none. The man was supposedly awe-inspiring enough to start a new religious movement, and yet, we wait 50 years to read about him, and he "conveniently" fulfills these prophesies? (Which are debatable still, but I'm willing to concede just for sake of argument.). That sounds like a snake-oil salesman pitch to me. Using the Bible to prove the validity of the Bible is fruitless. I can use Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to prove Frankenstein exists, but that doesn't mean that Frankenstein ever did exist. It only means that I'm attempting to fool people into believing my pitch.

I try using evidence to prove the Bible's worth, not the wonderment of it's stories.

What about the people who saw a resurrected Christ and were later stoned, or imprisoned...? This wasn't 50 years later... Would you die to keep a story afloat...? I know I wouldn't...

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 08:34 PM
What about the people who saw a resurrected Christ and were later stoned, or imprisoned...? This wasn't 50 years later... Would you die to keep a story afloat...? I know I wouldn't...

At what point were these accounts of the witnesses penned to paper? When do we first learn of their accounts through the written word? Show me the document that explains this shortly after the event occurred?

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 09:03 PM
There are plenty of websites that list bible discrepancies...just as there are many sites that do the same thing to the Koran, or any other religion. The reality is they really don't take into account the context and intent of the original authors. I have seen and responded to many over the years, and it does get quite cumbersome to do so, but they all have completely explainable answers. So because someone with an axe to grind lists some potential fallacies, without ever digging a little deeper, doesn't make that claims valid. Christianity is probably one of the most, if not the most, contested religions in the world. And yet.....it stands.

As far as Jesus.....yes there are written eyewitness accounts of his existence. Matthew and John were each one of His 12 disciples. They had first hand experience of his life and ministry....first hand. The Apostle Paul, who wrote half the New Testament, also had first hand eyewitness testimony of Jesus. Biblical and secular scholars both agree of the historicity of Jesus Christ. Why should we believe these writers? Because they wrote what they saw, and there were people alive to contest their account. An obvious forgery and fraud would have been quickly and decisively quashed. Also.....11 of the 12 disciples of Jesus died violent deaths because of their faith in Him. No one that I know willingly dies a violent death for something they know is a hoax. Makes no sense. Now if you choose to not believe this, that is your prerogative, but this will be a rather short conversation from here on out.

While I'm bound to strike a nerve with my response, it is not meant with disrespect.........

How can you lay claim to knowledge of the context and intent of the original authors? Where is your reference to this knowledge? The fact that Christianity still stands means little. Longevity of a flawed belief doesn't add validity just because of passing years. Surely that can't be a basis, because if it were true, then we'd all be Jewish. Also, I'm guessing the "axe grinders" probably saw the inherent flaws and didn't feel it was worth digging deeper until some major issues were cleared up.

Matthew and John didn't write their gospels until decades later. Why the wait? Also, you mentioned those that can corroborate their accounts, who were these people? Where are their accounts written? And of course Biblical scholars are going to try and validate the historicity of Jesus. It's a biased view, IMO. There is still debate in non-Bible believing circles. Forgeries and frauds can stick for many centuries. Greek gods? Roman gods? Egyptian gods? How long did those belief systems last? As to your point of the 12 disciples and their deaths, I offer two questions. 1) Do you think it's possible that Christianity was formed in a 1st Century version of "Heaven's Gate" or Jim Jones' Johnstown community? Those are two examples of people dying for a flawed belief. 2) What kind of justice do you think awaited the disciples if it were to be revealed that Christianity were indeed a fraud? Would the followers of Christianity have embraced them and forgiven them, or stoned them to death? Would Jewish law have condemned them to death with such a blasphemous account of the version of Yahweh? The disciples were doomed no matter admission or not, so to use that as a basis of belief seems to try and form fit your view.

Dolphan7
02-23-2010, 09:14 PM
At what point were these accounts of the witnesses penned to paper? When do we first learn of there accounts through the written word? Show me the document that explains this shortly after the event occurred?LOL


Simon: John, why are you stopping. They are after us. Run!

John: But I must write this down.

Simon: You don't have time brother. They will kill you if they find you.

John: But it is important. No one will believe me if I wait until I have the time and freedom to write it all down accurately, taking the time to make sure I do a good job. So I am hastily writing these words on my donkeys *** as quickly as I can, I don't know how anyone will be able to read it...but....

Simon: John you are a fool. Get going or I will kill you myself.

John: No this is important. I know that in the next few centuries there will be people who will accept or reject Jesus based on when I write this down.

Simon: You are hopeless! I am out of here. The Pharisees are right behind you....Fool!

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 09:24 PM
LOL


Simon: John, why are you stopping. They are after us. Run!

John: But I must write this down.

Simon: You don't have time brother. They will kill you if they find you.

John: But it is important. No one will believe me if I wait until I have the time and freedom to write it all down accurately, taking the time to make sure I do a good job. So I am hastily writing these words on my donkeys *** as quickly as I can, I don't know how anyone will be able to read it...but....

Simon: John you are a fool. Get going or I will kill you myself.

John: No this is important. I know that in the next few centuries there will be people who will accept or reject Jesus based on when I write this down.

Simon: You are hopeless! I am out of here. The Pharisees are right behind you....Fool!

They must have been quite tired running continually for 50 years, without sleeping, eating, or even using the bathroom.

Dolphan7
02-23-2010, 10:09 PM
While I'm bound to strike a nerve with my response, it is not meant with disrespect.........

How can you lay claim to knowledge of the context and intent of the original authors? Where is your reference to this knowledge? The fact that Christianity still stands means little. Longevity of a flawed belief doesn't add validity just because of passing years. Surely that can't be a basis, because if it were true, then we'd all be Jewish. Also, I'm guessing the "axe grinders" probably saw the inherent flaws and didn't feel it was worth digging deeper until some major issues were cleared up.Sound Exegesis is how we know what the original intent was, who the audience was, what it meant to them, what it means or doesn't mean to us today etc....it is a scientific field of study in a way. If we all believed it were true we would all be Christians...not Jews. My point was to demonstrate that after all the scrutiny and prescecution of the bible....it still stands today..and has not been proven false. It is an undisputed work of historical antiquity....and yes it's believers believe it to be the inerrant word of God.


Matthew and John didn't write their gospels until decades later. Why the wait? Also, you mentioned those that can corroborate their accounts, who were these people? Where are their accounts written? And of course Biblical scholars are going to try and validate the historicity of Jesus. It's a biased view, IMO. There is still debate in non-Bible believing circles. Forgeries and frauds can stick for many centuries. Greek gods? Roman gods? Egyptian gods? How long did those belief systems last?The Gospel writers wrote their accounts...and the "earliest" copies we have are dated to the mid to late first century. There is no evidence that there could not have been earlier copies written at earlier times....only that we can validate only until the mid to late first century. In any event, I have already explained why it may have taken so long to document the life of Jesus Christ. It wasn't a world of emails, instant messaging, cellphones and video cameras. These guys were on the run man. The Pharisees had just killed the Savior, and His church began to grow and build....something had to be done to quash this movement once and for all. The apostle Paul was one of those oppressors of the Jewish Christians...having killed many himself. How many stories from WWII have come out decades later.....and this in the age of fast information and travel!!!

There are many non-biblical scholars that will testify to the validity of the scriptures....so it isn't some closed room conspiracy.


As to your point of the 12 disciples and their deaths, I offer two questions. 1) Do you think it's possible that Christianity was formed in a 1st Century version of "Heaven's Gate" or Jim Jones' Johnstown community? Those are two examples of people dying for a flawed belief. 2) What kind of justice do you think awaited the disciples if it were to be revealed that Christianity were indeed a fraud? Would the followers of Christianity have embraced them and forgiven them, or stoned them to death? Would Jewish law have condemned them to death with such a blasphemous account of the version of Yahweh? The disciples were doomed no matter admission or not, so to use that as a basis of belief seems to try and form fit your view.Heavens Gate and Jonestown followers believed they were doing the right thing, that what they were doing was right and true. That isn't what I am trying to state. Under the premise that Christianity is a hoax, then the early followers of said hoax would have known it was fake, yet they still went to their deaths, and violently? Makes no sense. People may die for what they believe is true, but they won't die for something they "know" is false. Their violent deaths are a testament that what they saw, wrote about and believed was true....in their mind. It doesn't prove it was actually true, but it kills the hoax theory.

I don't know if you follow or are a fan of History, but Christian persecution in the first century was of holocaust proportions. Hundreds of thousands of believers were put to death in some of the most gruesome ways known to mankind. People don't die for what they klnow is false. The supposed perpetrators of said hoax also died horrible deaths. It makes no sense to continue to believe that Christianity is based on a hoax. It is a well documented and historical record.

Now I appreciate the dialogue, but this is typically how a conversation in here goes. The non-believer comes on the scene and makes claims to not only take a knock at religion, and usually Christianity specifically, but deep down inside it is simply a forum to re-enforce ones own belief system, and espouse that belief onto the forum......without really wanting or seeking knowledge that may change ones mind. And if they can ruffle a few feathers and poke fun at believers along the way...then that is bonus points. I don't mind exchanging ideas and answering questions about my faith to those who truly seek an understanding of my faith, not that they will accept it, but at least form a real understanding of it. Not sure which one you are yet.

Dolphan7
02-23-2010, 10:12 PM
They must have been quite tired running continually for 50 years, without sleeping, eating, or even using the bathroom.
You do understand don't you that the persecution of Christians migrated to the Roman Empire and lasted for about 300 years right? Until the time of Constantine?

NYCBillsFan
02-23-2010, 11:25 PM
Sound Exegesis is how we know what the original intent was, who the audience was, what it meant to them, what it means or doesn't mean to us today etc....it is a scientific field of study in a way. If we all believed it were true we would all be Christians...not Jews. My point was to demonstrate that after all the scrutiny and prescecution of the bible....it still stands today..and has not been proven false. It is an undisputed work of historical antiquity....and yes it's believers believe it to be the inerrant word of God.

The Gospel writers wrote their accounts...and the "earliest" copies we have are dated to the mid to late first century. There is no evidence that there could not have been earlier copies written at earlier times....only that we can validate only until the mid to late first century. In any event, I have already explained why it may have taken so long to document the life of Jesus Christ. It wasn't a world of emails, instant messaging, cellphones and video cameras. These guys were on the run man. The Pharisees had just killed the Savior, and His church began to grow and build....something had to be done to quash this movement once and for all. The apostle Paul was one of those oppressors of the Jewish Christians...having killed many himself. How many stories from WWII have come out decades later.....and this in the age of fast information and travel!!!

There are many non-biblical scholars that will testify to the validity of the scriptures....so it isn't some closed room conspiracy.

Heavens Gate and Jonestown followers believed they were doing the right thing, that what they were doing was right and true. That isn't what I am trying to state. Under the premise that Christianity is a hoax, then the early followers of said hoax would have known it was fake, yet they still went to their deaths, and violently? Makes no sense. People may die for what they believe is true, but they won't die for something they "know" is false. Their violent deaths are a testament that what they saw, wrote about and believed was true....in their mind. It doesn't prove it was actually true, but it kills the hoax theory.

I don't know if you follow or are a fan of History, but Christian persecution in the first century was of holocaust proportions. Hundreds of thousands of believers were put to death in some of the most gruesome ways known to mankind. People don't die for what they klnow is false. The supposed perpetrators of said hoax also died horrible deaths. It makes no sense to continue to believe that Christianity is based on a hoax. It is a well documented and historical record.

Now I appreciate the dialogue, but this is typically how a conversation in here goes. The non-believer comes on the scene and makes claims to not only take a knock at religion, and usually Christianity specifically, but deep down inside it is simply a forum to re-enforce ones own belief system, and espouse that belief onto the forum......without really wanting or seeking knowledge that may change ones mind. And if they can ruffle a few feathers and poke fun at believers along the way...then that is bonus points. I don't mind exchanging ideas and answering questions about my faith to those who truly seek an understanding of my faith, not that they will accept it, but at least form a real understanding of it. Not sure which one you are yet.

My attempt is not to stir the pot. I'm not knocking religion, but actively questioning its validity. If you or anyone else, is taking offense, please don't. The answers are not adding up for me, and I am just explaining why. If religion is the way, then I'm sure if it's sound enough, I'll be able to form new opinions on it. I didn't come in here swinging an Atheist axe. I was the one addressed in response to a joke where I feel Elton John is trying to legitimize his homosexuality. I just simply stated my views on religion and have been trying to address the flaws as I see them. I have no intention of driving a wedge between me and anyone. I just have a largely skeptical mind, you don't, that's cool.

As far as the ... Christians not Jews.... comment you mentioned above, I was referring to the fact that Jewish faith has been around for over 5000 years, Christianity hasn't. It was in reference to trying to legitimize a religion through number of years, rather than addressing inherent flaws. Being on the run doesn't excuse the lack of writing from other non-Christian sources. A group that was that hated to be chased around surely should have more than two non-Biblical writings on the subject in the first 40 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It's interesting that in your last passage that you feel that I need to be the one wanting or seeking knowledge and it is my mind that needs changing. I could be wrong, but after re-reading it, it still seems that is what you are offering me, your knowledge and your unyielding delivery of it.

Also, no group in the history of the world has received persecution more than Atheists. I'm quite sure I've read Atheist papers giving first hand accounts of the day throughout history. Epicurus first questioned the problem of evil, yet he lived to the age of 72 in the confines of his home. There are so many more throughout antiquity, too numerous to mention here.

rev kev
02-23-2010, 11:51 PM
NYCBILLSFAN

I actually get a huge kick out of being chided - the argument goes back forth over and over again to theory - pick your poison...

What theory works for you may not work for the next person - don't find you to be an antogonist for the sake of antagonizing...

For what it's worth - should there be an airtight case for Christ the "faith" factor is irrelevant. This may take moment to get one's head around but many Christians who grew up in the tradition only understand the tradition - somebody else might stand back and say a bunch of hooey but many Christians "believe" because they were taught to believe. Now the guys who post the most about the "Christian faith" on this forum are not like those I referred to these guys are intellectual and men of faith... These guys write because they "care" not because they have to be right in all circumstances....

Everyone has to come up with their best explanation for their existence... Such is the lot of life...

NYCBillsFan
02-24-2010, 12:09 AM
NYCBILLSFAN

I actually get a huge kick out of being chided - the argument goes back forth over and over again to theory - pick your poison...

What theory works for you may not work for the next person - don't find you to be an antogonist for the sake of antagonizing...

For what it's worth - should there be an airtight case for Christ the "faith" factor is irrelevant. This may take moment to get one's head around but many Christians who grew up in the tradition only understand the tradition - somebody else might stand back and say a bunch of hooey but many Christians "believe" because they were taught to believe. Now the guys who post the most about the "Christian faith" on this forum are not like those I referred to these guys are intellectual and men of faith... These guys write because they "care" not because they have to be right in all circumstances....

Everyone has to come up with their best explanation for their existence... Such is the lot of life...

Fantastic response Kev. I agree with much of your post. I happen to give a lot more importance on the "airtight case", as you mentioned, than others. We all ultimately draw our own conclusions based on upbringing and experience. You'll have to excuse me if I am not familiar with all of the Usual Suspects in the God discussion on this board. I'm barely sorting out the pieces of the Chan Gailey hire ... lol ...

Back to the OT, in relationship to homosexuality and Jesus as being postulated by Elton John, I think it has more to do with promoting the gay agenda than any kind of Christian bashing. Although it's ill-advised, meant to be very in your face, it's meant for headlines. Calling the Dalai Lama gay wouldn't have nearly the same media response in this country. It's an obvious attempt to promote the gay agenda. I would rather hear cogent thoughts on why gays should or shouldn't have the same opportunities for marriage, etc.... in a rational forum, but unfortunately, public opinion is rarely swayed by such measures.

Dolphin39
02-24-2010, 09:07 AM
One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! :up:

Dolphan7
02-24-2010, 01:00 PM
My attempt is not to stir the pot. I'm not knocking religion, but actively questioning its validity. If you or anyone else, is taking offense, please don't. The answers are not adding up for me, and I am just explaining why. If religion is the way, then I'm sure if it's sound enough, I'll be able to form new opinions on it. I didn't come in here swinging an Atheist axe. I was the one addressed in response to a joke where I feel Elton John is trying to legitimize his homosexuality. I just simply stated my views on religion and have been trying to address the flaws as I see them. I have no intention of driving a wedge between me and anyone. I just have a largely skeptical mind, you don't, that's cool.

As far as the ... Christians not Jews.... comment you mentioned above, I was referring to the fact that Jewish faith has been around for over 5000 years, Christianity hasn't. It was in reference to trying to legitimize a religion through number of years, rather than addressing inherent flaws. Being on the run doesn't excuse the lack of writing from other non-Christian sources. A group that was that hated to be chased around surely should have more than two non-Biblical writings on the subject in the first 40 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It's interesting that in your last passage that you feel that I need to be the one wanting or seeking knowledge and it is my mind that needs changing. I could be wrong, but after re-reading it, it still seems that is what you are offering me, your knowledge and your unyielding delivery of it.

Also, no group in the history of the world has received persecution more than Atheists. I'm quite sure I've read Atheist papers giving first hand accounts of the day throughout history. Epicurus first questioned the problem of evil, yet he lived to the age of 72 in the confines of his home. There are so many more throughout antiquity, too numerous to mention here.Very good to hear that you are not here to antagonize. While I have enjoyed this exchange, I simply wanted to disclaim that there are two types of anti-religious posters, and how those conversations typically go. I believe your intentions are sincere and I look forward to answering more of your questions. And yes it is you who is seeking the knowledge, by asking the questions. I am simply trying to provide the answers as best I can.

As far as why didn't anyone write down immediately the news of Jesus Christ, I have already provided what I believe to be the simplest explanation. Here are a couple wiki links that describe the persecution of Christians. This is well documented almost from the get go. So there is historical records of Christians, and by default Jesus....from the earliest of times. You can check out the sources and references. That info came from somewhere back in time.

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

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

I understand what you mean by sound and concrete proof. You may never get to 100%, that is why it is called faith. If everyone had 100% concrete proof of God, they would all believe, but for the wrong reasons I am sure. God gives us enough proof of His existence for us to finish the logic and conclude His reality. So I understand where you are coming from...I used to be an atheist myself....many years ago.

The problem I see for the atheist is that they must be more sure of their belief that there is no God than the Christian needs to be to believe in God.

Simply stated....

I would rather live my life believing there is a god, and die to find out there isn't, ... then to live my life believing there is no God, and die to find out there is.


The atheist has much more at risk, has much more at stake. While you may not be 100% convinced of Christianity.....you best be 100% sure there is no God.

That is the dilemma I faced as an atheist.

NYCBillsFan
02-25-2010, 02:58 AM
I wanted to give you guys an update. My wife and I just saw a new Broadway play today called Next Fall, produced by Elton John. The story is rife with the Atheist-Christian debate, as well as homosexual story lines. I'll provide a link for those that are interested.

http://www.nextfallbroadway.com/new/

Seems the Rocket Man was stirring the pot for a reason.

rev kev
02-25-2010, 11:14 AM
I wanted to give you guys an update. My wife and I just saw a new Broadway play today called Next Fall, produced by Elton John. The story is rife with the Atheist-Christian debate, as well as homosexual story lines. I'll provide a link for those that are interested.

http://www.nextfallbroadway.com/new/

Seems the Rocket Man was stirring the pot for a reason.

Thanks for the heads up - I watched the trailer this exact thing happened not too long ago to a friend who is also a chaplain like me and the Father hadn't spoke to his son for 20 years and the Father ended up in a Pysche Unit at the hsoital and requested to see the the Chaplain - the Chaplain recommended he call his son..., the mother meets up with the chaplain and says my husbands demeanor has changed and he requests my son vistits him in the hospital - the son arrived and there was a reunion of forgiveness and reconciliation...

True story

Knowing your Father loves you is primary... sexuality is secondary

MrEd
03-14-2010, 07:21 PM
Whether it's white people thinking of Jesus as white, or gay people thinking He is gay, it is really just people trying to create God in their own image. Whatever...

Apples and oranges. Because homosexuality is an act, not a race. Two distinct subjects. What's next? Cheaters are a race too? Pedophiles are a race? Incest is a gene? :lol:

Even though, to be fair, white isn't a race either. Where can I find the country called white? :crazy:

HeartbreakKid28
04-13-2010, 08:01 AM
Apples and oranges. Because homosexuality is an act, not a race. Two distinct subjects. What's next? Cheaters are a race too? Pedophiles are a race? Incest is a gene? :lol:

Even though, to be fair, white isn't a race either. Where can I find the country called white? :crazy:
I think he means if you're born a certain way. They are born gay, not like incest where some redneck chooses to do that.

On topic...I'd much rather listen to Rocket Man then a priest who may have molested a child. I believe in God and the Lord Jesus, but I stay away from all these institutions that have agendas. I mean how many forms of Christianity[institutions] are there...Baptists, Protestants, Catholics, Zionists, Quakers the list goes on. And that's just one religion. It's not like one of them is "right" and everyone else is wrong. Believe in how you want to believe. I don't think he's right in Jesus being gay[I think he was joking anyway], but he's right in the rest of his quote, and that's all you need.

I always say everyone who hates someone else for being different and uses religion as an excuse, is just using religion as a veil for them being a d**khead to make it seem like they're really a good person, when they are not. Jesus didn't hate, so I don't know where some of these religions come from, because some are batsh*t crazy.