Fundies Say the [Scariest] Things!

Hey, wanna see something really scary? Then go read Fundies Say the Darndest Things! But be warned that exposure to large amounts of Fundamentalist bullshit in a short period of time can cause your brain to seize up from repeatedly saying “what the hell?!?” Here’s a few samples of the drool inducing idiocy you’ll find there:

    ”[How to know God is real]

    First leave the skepticism at the door because it is just going to get in the way. ”

    Guerrillasaint, Atheists Anonymous

    “But all the knowledge we attain on earth is meaningless unless there is a use for it in heaven.

    God does not care how much we know unless it is used to advance the kingdom of God.

    The bible says that he will meet all our needs.

    All the “knowledge” we attain will be done away with in heaven, so we only need to find out what heaven is all about and teach that.”

    Soulja †, Myspace

    “[If everything needs a cause, why not turn that logic around and ask what caused God?]

    This logic would only aplly to the ones that need such logic, since we do not need such logic to understand god, we don’t need to worry about that, but since you need that kinda logic to not believe in god, you are the target audience for such a debate, not us.”

    BigChrisFilm, Christian Forums

    “Science is a weak little kid on the block, that is hearing impaired, and 94% blind. The bible is like the hubble telescope, and a master computer, and a time machine rolled into one. It goes to the past, and the distant future in a cosmic rolls royce. But those who are not concerned with the bible, and just science must accept their huge limitations.”

    dad, 123 Christian Forums

    “In reality, God used slavery to deliver Africans from ignorance of the One True God. Again, suffering is used to bring people to God. It is a common theme.”

    Lisa0315, Christian Forums

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

238 thoughts on “Fundies Say the [Scariest] Things!

  1. More for Les:

    An entity that is supposedly perfect that knows how great it is has deemed that the ultimate crime worthy of unending torment is the lack of acknowledgment on the basis of faith alone of its existence by creatures it created that it deems unworthy of its attention. You don’t think that’s some fucked up reasoning?

    Once again, it’s not the lack of acknowledgement, but the unwillingness to let His Son pay your sin debt. Your descriptions of the otherwise moral/nasty person are compelling. Ironically, it only shows that you too have that inbuilt sense of justice. (God’s image again?) God providing salvation for such an extreme sinner once again shows His outrageous love. Condemning the “good person” who had one small sin but didn’t accept the substitutionary punishment likewise shows His absolute standard of Holiness.
      I’m all for human effort to be good/ethical, but if God is as Holy as the Bible says He is, Mother Teresa (substitute your preference for good person) will look like Attilla the Hun compared to Him.
      Also, if God just ignored sin, or let people slide, He would be a corrupt/unworthy judge. Personally, I’ve seen enough injustice on Earth to want a fallible judge for a God.

    So then how can you argue in favor of “spiritual fire insurance

  2. There’s no getting around it – this faith in Christ thing is an all-or-nothing choice.

    Yeah…  see, that’s the problem for me.  Why shoudl I pick Christ? Why not one of the other, older and far more interesting dead-gods-on-a-stick that pepper the myths of every culture, in some form or another?  At least they enjoyed the same things humans did, like sex… unlike Jesus.

    If God is omniscient and all-powerful, and thus KNOWS He is such, would we want Him to commend something less than His own perfection? What kind of God would know where the real greatness is, but direct people elsewhere?
    Hence the commandment not to have any other Gods before Him. If He knows He is the real deal, He wouldn’t want us settling for anything less.

    Those are big IFs, and presume a belief in the existence of gods.  Big presumption.

    Why settle for the cheap and temporary high of drugs, sex, gambling, power, wealth, fame, etc, when you could have something far greater – a personal relationship with the one who created (and can dispense) ALL good gifts.

    Again, I’d have to believe in that “creator” AND want a “personal relationship” with it.  In reality, I find your God (and/or his followers) to be largely responsible for much of the “vice” in the world, because of its demonization of “earthly pleasures.” Repression creates addicts, perverts, sociopaths and psychos.  And who wants a personal relationship with someone who never stops reminding you that you’re a piece of shit?

    The Matthew quotes you listed are perfect reflections of the contrast between this world’s pleasures, and those God offers for eternity. Certainly, if this world is all there is, why not make your personal relationships, and the things of “this life

  3. Looking4truth- There are several different issues here which need to be clearly distinguished:
    1) Does God (some sort of Supreme Power) exist?
    2) If so, is the Bible (or some other Scripture) the Word of God?
    3) If so, is the Bible (or some other Scripture) inerrant?

    I’m an atheist, so my answer of “no” to the first question renders the second and third academic.  Many theists will say “yes” to the first question, and “no” to the others.  Many self-described Christians (and other believers) will answer “yes” to the first and second questions, and “no” to the third, on scientific grounds.  Only what I would call fundamentalists will answer all three questions positively.

    If we postulate the existence of a Supreme Being, we can theorize away till the cows come home about the qualities of His/Her/Its nature, goodness, omnipotence, etc.  But all such discussions are just eddies thrown off by implacably powerful concepts stirring up our folk-psychological impressions of human nature.  In other words, when we throw around ideas about absolute goodness, intelligence, and power, they simply entrain our more humble knowledge about what it is to be human, and the resulting whirls and swirls are the lovely fantasies that have informed our culture: religions.  And there are lots of interesting discussions to be had about the nature of God, once His/Her/Its existence is granted: can we have free will, supposing an omnimax God?  Why is the God of the Old Testament so grumpy?  Why do Christians have to twist themselves in knots explaining His apparent cruelties- isn’t everything God does “good” by definition, even if it seems “wrong” to us puny humans?  However, we’ve gone into these issues in some detail already here- check out the archives- so I won’t put a dog into that fight just now.

    But as a party-pooping scientific type, I think that while a good fantasy is worth every cent you pay for it, and can even inspire us to do better than we would otherwise, it should not masquerade as an accurate map of the world, unless there’s substantiating evidence for its accuracy.  And here the Bible fails miserably- the laughably young age of the Earth, no macroevolution, pi equals three, etc. ad absurdum.  And supposing that the Old Testament really did foretell the coming of Jesus (as I said, Jews will deny this)- all this shows is that the authors of the New Testament read the Old, just as the authors of the newer versions of “Doctor Who” read the older.  Not very impressive as prophecy.  And all the Biblical prophecies that have supposedly come true in modern times- Israel becoming a nation and so forth- are so allegorical and vague that they can be bent to fit any data- Nostradamus and Jeanne Dixon are just as “accurate” by these “standards”, and they presumably don’t have a hotline to God.  I once upset a fundie fried of mine by finding the number “666” in her name- childsplay.

    But the Bible is demonstrably self-contradictory and scientifically inaccurate, so why should I believe anything it claims?  That is the reasoning that leads many to atheism.  If one can’t trust logic, what can one trust?  The cuddly feeling of believing the same as the majority of Americans?  Not enough for me.  You were right in saying that faith is not a matter of reason.  But I insist on having reason too.  I guess Lucifer made the same mistake.

    Re the fig tree- I read your link, and it basically said that Jesus withered it to teach His disciples an important lesson, and since He is Lord, He can wither trees with impunity, since the whole Earth belongs to Him.  As Reagan said when governor of California, “Seen one redwood, seen ‘em all”.  That offends the treehugger in me, but who am I to deride divine destruction?  It ties in with what you said about Jesus being spoiled and God wanting worship- They are the Best, and They deserve only the best.  If you already believe in Skydaddies, that may be a “logical” consequence.  But as I said, to me it’s just gyrations generated at the meeting of an absurd construct (omnipotence) with our concept of human nature.

    About my avatar- yep, it’s seaweed, bull kelp to be exact.  My religion requires of me that when I’m at the seashore (alas, only once or twice a year), I must find a piece of bull kelp, cut a mouthpiece in it, and play it as a horn.  Didn’t Jesus say something to his disciples about the necessity of being eccentric?  I’m a musician, so I appreciate your feeling fulfilled by playing the drums.  I would not attribute that to God, but so what?  Music is a powerful force for good in the world.

    Basically, I don’t have any beef with believers, if they do good.  But what exactly is “good”?  Next topic…

  4. Double-dipping- because I can– OB snuck her dog into the tussle while I wasn’t looking, and it’s fighting pretty much the fight I said I wouldn’t fight.  What you said, OB.

    By the way, a little off topic- did you all know that “snuck” is the only imperfect verb to have successfully snuck into English in the last several hundred years, “flang” and “brang” notwithstanding?  Purists may object, but I say the more imperfect verbs, the better off we all are.

  5. I’m replying from work so I’m going to be short on time, but I’d like to address the first of L4T’s reply to me:

    I’m not sure God needs our worship. Piper suggests that the trinity had each other, and got along just fine before creating man. The concept is that God didn’t create beings to grovel at His feet due to insecurity, but in a desire to share the awesome love they (the trinity) already had for each other.

    We’re already in trouble with your explanation. Why would God “desire” to share anything? Desire is just another word for “want” and we only want something when we perceive we have a need for it. Perfect beings shouldn’t want—or desire—for anything because by their very nature they are already complete in every way.

    You say that the “trinity had each other” which implies to me that you feel God has three separate and distinct consciousnesses that are aware of each other and can express love between themselves. Again, assuming all three minds or consciousnesses are perfect and they already have each other to express their perfect love with, then why would they want or desire anything else? What possible benefit could there be to such a being to bother with creation in the first place?

    Lastly, if God doesn’t need our worship or even our acknowledgment then why make it a requirement of salvation?

    It’s a question of how/why one worships? If God needed forced worship, I’m not sure he’d be much different than a rapist, or one who uses a prostitute. Being on the receiving end of such worship might feel good, but would hardly compare to the feelings of having someone really love you for who you are. Does God want our worship/love? Maybe so, if – as you alluded to in another post – we are created in his image, our desire for love may be a reflection of His. I’m not sure on that one. Regardless, I’m just trying to distinguish between God needing vs. wanting our love.

    Again I don’t see a big distinction between needing and wanting. God must perceive a need for our worship otherwise why would he want it? If God is, as many Christians claim, pure joy and the source of all happiness then how can being worshiped make him feel any better than he already does? Being worshiped might make you feel good about yourself, but you’re not perfect.

    From my experience as a believer, my own acts of worship hardly feel forced or uncomfortable. I play drums at my church, and those are some of the most peaceful, energizing, fulfilling moments I’ve ever had. Strange as it may sound, for myself, and many Christians, we don’t feel like we “have to

  6. Oh, and MoP: I know you’re on my side, but the argument you put forward is one many Christians like to use and it is a copout so I wanted to address it. Sorry if I made you feel like I was jumping on you for it.

  7. He’s friggin’ God. He can do whatever the hell he wants.

    That, combined with “God moves in mysterious ways”, is the believer’s handy-dandy ultimate answer-in-a-nutshell to any question about God.  It’s invulnerable to logic, and thus the end of any rational discussion.

  8. OB wrote:

    Why shoudl I pick Christ? Why not one of the other, older and far more interesting dead-gods-on-a-stick that pepper the myths of every culture, in some form or another?  At least they enjoyed the same things humans did, like sex… unlike Jesus.

    Jesus doesn’t condemn sex as evil – just sex outside the confines of marriage. God, in fact, created sex, and what a gift! Jesus had a bigger agenda than marriage, so he didn’t have sex (contrary to the DaVinci Code).

    Repression creates addicts, perverts, sociopaths and psychos.

    Can you prove that? As a substance abuse counselor, I’ve met tons of people addicted to that legal drug. Seems to me alcoholism has not gone away since getting rid of prohibition. If you can’t prove your assertion, you’ll have to admit that that position is just as much a “faith” as any of my beliefs.

    who wants a personal relationship with someone who never stops reminding you that you’re a piece of shit?

    Certainly not me. I want a relationship with someone who continually reminds me that, contrary to my own frequent negative self assessment, He sees me as perfect now. Not because I am yet perfect, but because the Father sees me through the blood of His perfect Son. That’s so awesome, it IS hard to believe, but the Bible says it’s true.

    With no rational reason to believe there’s anything BUT this life, the way I see it, I have to make the most of every minute of it.  Those living, breathing, REAL people in my life deserve the best I can give in the time I have.

    No beef there. Despite Jesus suggestion to place your love of Him above even the love of your own family members, He didn’t mean to neglect your family. As a matter of fact, Timothy 5:8 states:
    If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
    Personally, I’m glad so many non-believers strive for harmonious social relations.

    what pisses me off is that I have had to spend so much of the only life I have fighting for my right not to have YOUR particular worldview endorsed by force of laws under which I and other non-Christians must live.

    Yeah, well, I’m not gonna shoulder responsibility for that one. Frankly, I don’t blame you, as I personally don’t think morality can or should be legislated. I’m with C.S. Lewis, who felt the pastor should stay on the pulpit, and the ruler should rule.

    Sin… another concept that is meaningless to anyone but believers.

    I’m assuming that by this, you mean that being accountable to any divine force is what’s meaningless? I’m presuming that you do have your own sense of right vs. wrong?

    why in hell would anyone worship a father who kills his own son as a sacrifice?

    For me, because it shows the outrageous lengths this God will go to in order to save the fallen sinner. I understand, however, how this plan looks like sadistic lunacy to those who don’t believe sin is all that big of a deal. 1 Corinthians 1:18 agrees:
    “For the word of the cross seems foolish to those who are on the way to destruction; but to us who are on the way to salvation it is the power of God.”
      That scripture leads to an even bigger concept that the entire Bible is impossible to understand without the aid of the Holy Spirit, and before one is “saved.” If that’s true, my efforts here can probably do nothing more than spark an interest in   re-examining the Bible, if that. I guess my hope is that some of my comments would inspire a reader to ask God “O.K., God, you still don’t make sense to me, but if you’re who you say you are, could you give me some personal proof!” It’s my belief that my God would not refuse to respond to anyone’s sincere quest to understand Him. So….when you say:

    I hope you’re not taking this TOO personally, because I know you’re trying you’re best to present your case… but to me, it just sounds batshit insane!  I can’t conceive of a single argument that could convince me that the bible is in any way “true.

  9. Les:

    Again, assuming all three minds or consciousnesses are perfect and they already have each other to express their perfect love with, then why would they want or desire anything else? What possible benefit could there be to such a being to bother with creation in the first place?

    Lastly, if God doesn’t need our worship or even our acknowledgment then why make it a requirement of salvation?

    Have you ever played a new game, loved it, and felt something like “Oh man, this is awesome, I can’t wait to share it with so-and-so!” In that case, you would probably get along just fine playing the game yourself, but what is it inside you that has a selfless desire to want to share that joy with someone else? That desire to share would not (I don’t think) be construed as Les having some pitiful need, would it? I’m straying far from a theological argument here though. Just food for thought.

    I never claimed God was forcing you to worship, I said he makes it a requirement of your salvation for an apparently arbitrary reason. I would probably argue that he’s engaging in a form of blackmailing with the whole accept-me-or-suffer-for-eternity thing, but even the Mafia will tell you it’s still your choice to comply.

    Once again, I’m not sure worship itself is a requirement for salvation. Letting your sins be covered by Jesus sacrifice is the real hanger. I may have been less-than-clear on that.
      If not a requirement for salvation, I would see worship as the natural response to knowing how awesome God is, and what an awesome thing He did for us at the cross. I anticipate an eternity of being absolutely blown away by God’s endless power and love, and having no other response than sheer, honest worship. This hope comes from lines like Romans 8:18:
    “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”

    For example: He could decide that anyone who refuses to accept him simply wink out of existence at the moment of death. Believers end up in Heaven for an eternity of bliss, Satan stays in Hell which was created specifically for his punishment, and anyone who doesn’t believe is denied Heaven without being subjected to an eternity of torture. There’d still be ample motivation to believe in God because Heaven is supposedly a pretty cool place to hang out.

    God made the rules and put the mechanisms in place and as such is responsible for them. Now he may have some very good reasons for making the decisions he has, but trying to avoid the question by passing the buck isn’t going to work with me.

    I have no doubt that God would have the power to change His game plan, but then, could we still call Him the perfect judge?
    God is righteous (or just) because he is morally pure. His morally perfect character results in all of his thoughts and actions being morally perfect, and one of the morally perfect (and morally necessary) ways God acts is as the perfect Judge of all things. He stands in judgment over everything: discerning the exact truth about every thought and action of all of his creatures, impartially pronouncing the just consequences for all actions, and then executing those judgments (Romans 2:6-11).
      If it could be any other way, God would do it. Jesus himself posed this question in the garden of Gethsemane:
    “He withdrew about a stone’s throw and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done’” (Luke 22:41-42). Matthew records Jesus as making his request of the Father twice: “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39) and “He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done’” (Matt. 26:42). Mark records his prayer in a positive way, “‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
    Now I could be misinterpreting these verses, but I gather from it that the Son was also contemplating a way to save humanity without punishment for sin.
    So, maybe this makes the whole “who is responsible for damnation?” question moot. If perfect justice requires punishment for transgression, the question becomes
    “How do I, a sinner, deal with my debt?”

  10. OB: …why in hell would anyone worship a father who kills his own son as a sacrifice?

    Looking4truth: For me, because it shows the outrageous lengths this God will go to in order to save the fallen sinner.

    Dude, I don’t believe you have a clue what you are even saying most of the time: You simply pass on the buzz phrases your club members have taught you.

    For example:
    How is there an outrageous sacrifice when a god sends a piece of himself down to earth and kills
    that piece of himself knowing he can and will be resurrecting it anyway? Where’s his great loss?

    Happy choosing

    Isn’t that just another way for you to say “You’re gonna burn in hell”?

    Do you ever think for yourself before you comment or are the stock answers all that matter to you?

  11. L4T:

    You’re quoting the bible alot, and while I believe your sincerity, I would ask this:

    Do you recognize that the Bible is a historical text which has been subject to countless modifications and translations over the years?
    Further, do you recognize that many of the bible’s stories are rooted in pre-christian myth?

    Don’t take this as an attack on you or your faith, I just find it fascinating to find a christian who actually answers questions without getting mad.

    PS- SENATORS RULE!

  12. L4T writes…

    Have you ever played a new game, loved it, and felt something like “Oh man, this is awesome, I can’t wait to share it with so-and-so!

  13. who wants a personal relationship with someone who never stops reminding you that you’re a piece of shit?

    Certainly not me.

    Really? Then you’re not going to enough of the modern happy clappy churches.  I went once to support my partner’s baptism, and the worship seemed to involve ‘God I am so Shit. I am an unworthy piece of dirt.  Thank you for loving me despite being a fuck-wit’- Though I admit that might not be a direct quote, that is the spirit of it.

    The only replies you seem have are
    1) The bible is the word of God coz the bible says it is, and as the word of God must therefore be true (Circular reasoning).
    2) Makes me feel good (Placebo effect).

    Now consider this.  A man walks into a TV station and gives the same message as Jesus did 2000 years ago- same circumstances, disciples, the full monty.  Do you realy think modern day fundies would
    1) Denounce him as taking the piss/trying to mislead/tool of Satan etc
    or
    2) Embrace him as Messiah.

    ????

  14. Last Hussar:

    God was quite happy to reveal him self 4000 years ago. Why not now?
    Many would say that He told us all we need to know about Him in his WORD, until He returns. Jesus is that revelation, as stated in John 1:

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

  15. Whew, so many posts – so little time. Real life crowding out my time here, but I ain’t given up the discussion if you guys aren’t. I’ll be back, if I ain’t raptured first (Ha, sorry, had to throw in some end-times humor there – you know, trying to put the Fun back in fundamentalism?) Gotta watch it here, my whole credibility could be blown with one bad joke – sigh…
      By the way, I did read many of the religion archives here, and I don’t notice any of those folks around here anymore. What did y’all DO to them? Or maybe, I really don’t wanna know?
      Somebody mentioned an upcoming review of the latest Chile Peppers platter. Heard the first song on video. Will they ever match Bloodsugar……?
      Go Carolina Hurricanes!

  16. While I, too, find the God of the Bible to be less than praiseworthy, since as a wussy liberal I frown upon rape and killing babies, I still feel that any argument between atheists and believers about His nature is doomed to meaninglessness, for the reasons I already stated- believers playing around with the notion of an all-powerful being can put any spin on it they want.

    Once you’ve posited an all-powerful being in the room, His omnimaxicity renders unnecessary, through magical backwards causation, the ladder of logic He presumably climbed in on. What caused the World? God. What caused God? He doesn’t need a cause- He’s the Uncaused Cause. What was there Before the Beginning? God- He’s Outside of Time. If God is good and omnipotent, why is there evil in the world? God’s ways are beyond us puny mortals…

    And so forth. Intellectual tennis without a net.  Lots of fun, perhaps (unless you’re a heathen on the receiving end of the stick), but really, it’s the twenty-first century, and it’s high time we outgrew this charming prescientific fantasy.

  17. Brock:

    How is there an outrageous sacrifice when a god sends a piece of himself down to earth and kills
    that piece of himself knowing he can and will be resurrecting it anyway? Where’s his great loss?

    I’ve wondered that too. Hey, anybody can put up with pain (no matter how bad) for a little while right? But, consider the alternative choice Jesus had to coming to Earth for a life of ridicule and eventual violent death. He COULD have chosen to just hang in heaven (a perfect place), where He was King of all, visible to all around Him. The cross, as violent as it was, may not have been the most painful death a human has ever experienced (I don’t know). However, if He and His Father had been able to share their love for each other up to that point, the separation, and condemnation From that Father may have been more anguishing for Jesus than the physical part. According to the Bible, Jesus BECAME sin (all of it, past, present, and future) at that time, and suffered the Father’s wrath for all that sin in a few short hours. I’d call that a sacrifice, but that’s just me.

      Happy choosing

    Isn’t that just another way for you to say “You’re gonna burn in hell

  18. Yo MoP:

    Do you recognize that the Bible is a historical text which has been subject to countless modifications and translations over the years?

    Well, I’m no bible academic, I’ll admit that. But, has the essence really changed? I mean, has someone discovered an old one and exclaimed: “Well I’ll be danged, this says “Jesus dyed (his hair) for man’s bad sense of humor!”?
      Didn’t the dead sea scrolls include Isaiah in it’s entirety? That book alone pretty much has the essence of the entire gospel.

    Further, do you recognize that many of the bible’s stories are rooted in pre-christian myth?

    I have heard that alluded to, but I’m not really up on it. I know some of those religions had sacrificial figures, etc, but it’s not something I’ve studied in depth. I suspect some of you will dismiss anything I say from this point until I become a scholar of those traditions. What would you recommend I borrow from my library (I ain’t rich)?
    bummer ‘bout the Sens. I’m from near Kitchener Waterloo Oontario originally, so any Canadian team is O.K. by me. Looks like the Sens need a miracle, or it’s up to the Oilers. I migrated to Hurricane fandom after a long mental battle, but a back-bacon eating team winning the cup would still be great, eh?

  19. Last Hussar:
    AND you didn’t answer my question.  Where’s my burning bush?
    Not sure I’m following you? If I am, the answer would be: “You’re not Moses.”

    Now consider this.  A man walks into a TV station and gives the same message as Jesus did 2000 years ago- same circumstances, disciples, the full monty.  Do you realy think modern day fundies would
    1) Denounce him as taking the piss/trying to mislead/tool of Satan etc
    or
    2) Embrace him as Messiah.

    Where are you going with this? I must be dense today. Real fundies would immediately recognize such a modern copycat as an antichrist, if not THE Antichrist. The Bible makes it real clear that Satan is NEVER original – he always copies what God does..masquerading as light and such.

  20. Last Hussar:

    Really? Then you’re not going to enough of the modern happy clappy churches.  I went once to support my partner’s baptism, and the worship seemed to involve ‘God I am so Shit. I am an unworthy piece of dirt.  Thank you for loving me despite being a fuck-wit’- Though I admit that might not be a direct quote, that is the spirit of it.

    Bummer experience man. Even though our fallen nature is like that compared to God’s Holiness, I hope and pray if you ever set foot inside a church again they focus on how God wants to see us, and does see the believer – ie. as perfect as His Son. It’s too bad so many churches make people feel like that.

  21. L4T writes…

    I’ve wondered that too. Hey, anybody can put up with pain (no matter how bad) for a little while right? But, consider the alternative choice Jesus had to coming to Earth for a life of ridicule and eventual violent death. He COULD have chosen to just hang in heaven (a perfect place), where He was King of all, visible to all around Him. The cross, as violent as it was, may not have been the most painful death a human has ever experienced (I don’t know). However, if He and His Father had been able to share their love for each other up to that point, the separation, and condemnation From that Father may have been more anguishing for Jesus than the physical part. According to the Bible, Jesus BECAME sin (all of it, past, present, and future) at that time, and suffered the Father’s wrath for all that sin in a few short hours. I’d call that a sacrifice, but that’s just me.

    Again, being that he’s God, it’s hard to see how becoming “all sin” or being separated from himself could be all that big a deal for him. If anyone God should find it pretty easy to suffer his own wrath.

    How does it go again? Oh yeah…

      “For I so loved the world that I sacrificed Myself to Myself to appease My own anger at My own creation.”—God

    My assumption (and I may be WAY off) is that many people have shunned Christ because the people sharing the message have had a hidden agenda (get rich, get power, etc). I believe that if I can share as accurately as possible, what the Bible actually says, it will be irresistable to some.

    I can’t speak for all people who don’t believe in God (as opposed, as you suggest, to merely “shunning” him), but for most of the regular atheists here it wasn’t the people sharing the message that led us away from belief.

    As you know, even believers have radically different takes on what the Bible actually says. How many different denominations are there? My pride would like me to think that I’ve got the right take on it. Only God knows how close/far I am to what He really meant.

    At last count there were over 40,000 sects/denominations. The odds are not in your favor. If God turns out to be particularly picky it could be a big surprise for a lot of folks.

    If someone has absolutely made up their mind that the Bible is a complete crock, you’ll probably not have much use for my posts other than as a target for ridicule. So be it. From my belief system, yes, you will burn in hell, but that’s hardly something I’d celebrate.

    Again, without speaking for everyone else, for the most part I consider the Bible to be a complete crock. There’s bits of good advice here and there, but overall it’s not what it’s cracked up to be and often times more trouble than it’s worth.

    Ah, the wife is calling. It’s dinner time. I’ll have to stop here.

  22. Where are you going with this? I must be dense today. Real fundies would immediately recognize such a modern copycat as an antichrist, if not THE Antichrist. The Bible makes it real clear that Satan is NEVER original – he always copies what God does..masquerading as light and such.

    So once again the messiah ends up persecuted because those who claim to be God’s followers because he doesn’t fit with what they were expecting.

    I must be dense today.

    I am almost tempted to give you benefit of the doubt, and assume my phasing that indicates that it is an exact replica is what led you to denouncing your personal saviour as Satan.

    Satan is NEVER original – he always copies what God does

    Except for this

    …masquerading as light and such.

    How can you tell the real from the imposter, given my intention with the original post was that this man really was the second coming?

    So let us assume that it isn’t a direct copy of the events that happened approx 7-3BC to about 30AD.  However a man does reveal himself as God’s avatar.  what would the Christians do?  Would they accept him?  I don’t think so.  If a man came upto you in the street and said ‘I am your salvation to my Father’ I doubt you would agree with him as any more than a nutter.  Even if he was able to work his awe personally, as you may claim JC could, the people who control the mass message of religeon have too much to lose by suddenly going ‘whoops we’re wrong’.  Those who hold the reigns of power are more likely to act like the Pharasees did 2000 years ago, and turn their followers against this prophet.

    I am also interested why you avoided the question about the basis of your belief (if I missed this, sorry- I read SEB in the early hours of the morning UK time).

  23. L4T: He COULD have chosen to just hang in heaven (a perfect place), where He was King of all, visible to all around Him…According to the Bible, Jesus BECAME sin (all of it, past, present, and future) at that time, and suffered the Father’s wrath for all that sin in a few short hours. I’d call that a sacrifice, but that’s just me.

    See, this is part of what has always blown my mind (and not in a good way) about the Christian religion. If God really was all-powerful, and Jesus was his human incarnate, I don’t see how the crucifiction and the “becoming sin” was any kind of sacrifice. You say that instead of all that unpleasantness Jesus could have simply chosen to groove in heaven, and that the existence of this alternative constitutes sacrifice. I disagree. As many others before me have noted, an omnipotent deity could simply eradicate any and all sin if he/she/it so desired. The crucifiction and the “sacrifice,” then, appear unnecessary measures and indicate ego stroking from where I’m standing.

  24. Les (and others):

    Christians often like to compare our understanding of God as being similar to an ant’s understanding of us humans. So to borrow that analogy for a moment I’d ask you if you’ve ever felt the need to share that great game you just played with an ant? If you have did you feel any particular satisfaction from your attempt to bond with said ant?

    Your simile only works if God is more like his creations in terms of having needs, but having needs would make him imperfect.

    Since the ant analogy is not yours, I’m gonna feel free to say that I think it’s a crappy analogy. Humans didn’t create the ant, thus have no ability to speak the ant language, know exactly how they’re built, know what their needs are – indeed, know everything about them because he MADE them. I can see how this perspective would make it even more difficult to conceive of a “personal relationship with Jesus.” If we feel God is an impersonal deity that would just as soon trample us underfoot as acknowledge us, what incentive would there be to establish a realtionship?
      As you might have guessed, I am part of the protestant persuasion that does believe a relationship is not just possible, but the crux of what it means to be a Christian.
      I guess that’s part of the reason we differ so much. I see God as this creator who is not only all-powerful, but still wants to get to know me. You are perceiving the Christian God as one poised with a hammer, just waiting to smack you with it if you mess up.
      I still must distinguish between need and want. Maybe we’re just playing with words, but I don’t see God as needing a relationship with us. That lack of need doesn’t preclude enjoying such a relationship if we accept His offer.

    If it’s not required (worship) then how do you explain Jesus statement to Satan in Mathew 4:10:

    I don’t know if it’s required by us as part of initial salvation. As I’ve suggested, once you take the leap, I think worship is a pleasant and appropriate response. Jesus, on the other hand, by worshiping anything other than himself, would have been acknowledging that He is not God, which would have been game over, as such a statement would make Him out to be a liar and worse.

    Or the similar statement in Luke 4:8? Or the numerous instances in the Old Testament where God himself demands worship?

    Might I suggest this? Since you obviously know the Bible well, and have access online, let me just suggest something, even if it’s a very temporary suspension of disbelief.
      Next time you read some of it, try to read with the perspective that ALL of God’s actions are designed to prevent his creation from trying to find meaning/fulfillment where He knows it’s NOT. Where is it not? Other gods, sleeping with your neighbor’s wife, riches, political power, physical or mental strength, achievement, etc. Ecclesiastes spells this out in the most direct way, but really, the whole Bible tells this story, in many different ways, over and over again.
      It’s a subtle shift in perspective, but perhaps crucial. If God is not on an ego trip, but taking extreme measures to have us experience the only true fulfillment there is, his commandments/suggestions are not a set of dictator’s rules, but a kind warning on how not to experience pain.

    Even assuming he experienced it in any manner that would remotely resemble what a true human would experience it I could possibly see a damn good reason to be very grateful, but worship? If it’s not something he needs and he doesn’t demand it then why act like it’s necessary?

    I suspect the words worship and serve are so close together for good reason. Think about the times you’ve done something selfless/loving/kind. Did you not feel a deep sense of fulfillment when you did those things? I’ll go farther and posit that you might even admit that those feelings gave you a deeper sense of joy than purely selfish methods of getting pleasure? If these are the feelings that we get when we naturally follow his ultimate command of “do to your neighbor what you would have him do unto you,” can you imagine an eternity of such great feelings? Worshiping God, in it’s larger sense, probably entails serving in some capacity. If we’ve already established that He doesn’t NEED anything from us, this serving/ worshiping may well be as much (or more) for our benefit than the recipient.

    God is capable of anything so obviously there’s no valid reason why the rules couldn’t be different unless God is constrained in some manner.

    Reminds me of the question: “Could God make a rock so big even He couldn’t lift it?”
      O.K., that’s a tough one. I don’t have all the answers, so I’ll just give you the best I’ve heard to that question. If God made us in His image, and He is immortal, then we were created to be immortal too. (I’m sure you’re familiar with references to the first and second deaths). So winking any of His creations out of existence would be impossible? I know that explanation is shoddy. Lemme dwell on it. I’m stumped right now.

    That doesn’t explain why God can’t decide to do things differently especially considering that Jesus coming was, in essence, God changing is mind on some of the details about who can have salvation.

    How so? God states that He never changes (his nature, that is). His methods may vary, but He stays the same.

    Jesus was God in the flesh so why the hell would Jesus have to pray to himself to see if there was any other way to do things? Jesus should have known already because he’s God. Again, God comes across as being schizophrenic.

    Unless He did limit Himself in that flesh. ie, deliberately not give his fleshly form all His heavenly powers. Such an explanation would make His temptations, his suffering on the cross, and praying to himself a little less difficult to understand. Hey, I’ll do my best here, but the best pastor in the world can’t explain the trinity in all it’s ramifications/meanings.
      These are all good points of discussion, amongst believers as much as between believers and skeptics. Once again highlighting the non-avoidable aspect of Faith, rather than rational proof.
      About 10 minutes after I was “saved,” I came across a website you may have surfed. The skeptics annotated bible. It really threw me, and I had to decide right then if I was gonna maintain this faith, and let those contractions get explained as I went. 3 years later, every contradiction I’ve earnestly sought to understand has been explained to me.

    If the requirement for perfect justice means God can’t do things any other way then he’s not all powerful nor the source of said justice, but is being constrained by some outside requirement he apparently doesn’t have any control over.

    He’s not being constrained by an OUTSIDE force, but by his own definition of who He says He is. If He contradicts the very rules He set up, He would prove Himself inconsistent, and not be worth trusting.

    Your explanation also doesn’t address the simple fact that God considers not believing in him a crime worse than all other possible evils you could commit that is worthy of unending torment.

    If he can wipe every tear in heaven, and satisfy all needs, then even the worst set of sins can be forgiven. If he stays true to His nature and plan, not accepting his substitutionary death for your sins before you die is irreversable. We have to believe Jesus was God in order to let him take our debt. If we don’t believe in him, who is it we’re supposedly letting pay our debt?

    Have I merely been so brainwashed that my perceptual filter only allows me to see the world in a way that is consistent with the Bible? I can’t disprove that. Are all my feelings of contentment just a placebo effect? Can’t disprove that either. Have I been duped by a bunch of long-dead guys who hatched an impossibly intricate conspiracy plan to suck money and power out of the masses for the benefit of their underlings long after they personally expire? Can’t buy that. Too involved. Too many impossible prophecies, past and future.
      As C.S. Lewis says, if Jesus wasn’t who He claimed to be, he was, at best, a lunatic. At worst, a very dangerous and evil person. If he wasn’t God, his gross lies should make him unworthy of mentioning. There is nothing to learn from the Bible if Jesus wasn’t God.
    Thanks for the conversation.

  25.   L4T: There is nothing to learn from the Bible if Jesus wasn’t God.

    Oh, I wouldn’t say that.

    I’m not saying there’s no wisdom in it. I’m just asking why anyone who rejects its main premise would trust anything else it says. If you think the whole story is a crock, shouldn’t you fling it as far from yourself as possible? If Jesus made (in your opinion) such bold but wrong claims, why would you not relegate All his words to “file under nutcase?” If he lied about being God, why would anyone look to Him for any sense of moral direction?

  26. L4t, please re-read what Clive Staples Lewis said and what you said, but take out the ego and reflect on the arguments posted here. Also, with a little humility, you may recognize that ALL the attributes you claim for God or Jesus are anthropomorphic – your attempt to explain God in human terms – how self-defeating is that? Please look up the definition of delusion here:  http://abilify.com/abilify/channels/sch_content.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&channelName=Schizophrenia/Sch_Symptom_ImprovementMay[/url] or in Wikipedia. I leave you with one thought: Any time you make something more sacred than a human being, you devalue human life.

  27. Here’s what CS Lewis said in Mere Christianity:

    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.

  28. Short on time as I should be headed out the door, but I concur with what Zilch just said. More later.

  29. I have heard that alluded to, but I’m not really up on it. I know some of those religions had sacrificial figures, etc, but it’s not something I’ve studied in depth. I suspect some of you will dismiss anything I say from this point until I become a scholar of those traditions. What would you recommend I borrow from my library (I ain’t rich)?

    You don’t need to become a “scholar” per se but you might want to start off by borrowing or renting the DVDs of the PBS series “The Power of Myth,” which is a series of interviews with Joseph Campbell, and reading his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

    World mythology is full of sacrificed gods/kings whose deaths served to make life better somehow for humans, so the story of Jesus is not unique. 

    If you’d like to start researching on the ‘net, you might also find Pagan Origins of the Christ Myth informative.  Or borrow any of the books referenced in this article, “The Crucifixion Hoax.”

    I can’t speak for my fellow atheists and skeptics, but I know that the only time I can suspend my disbelief is when I’m watching a movie… and even then that suspension isn’t total, because I simply can’t override the rational part of my brain.  As such, it is as impossible for me to read the Bible without skepticism as it is for me to read (to borrow zilch’s analogy) Harry Potter in like fashion.  And, the major difference between the two is that a good number of people insist that the Bible is non-fiction and won’t even entertain the notion that it’s just one of many mythologies in the world, but “truth” that all humankind should accept and live by.  I just don’t have it in me to see the Bible as any better or different than Hindu, Muslim, Norse, Celtic or any other set of myths.

  30. Last Hussar:

    I am almost tempted to give you benefit of the doubt, and assume my phasing that indicates that it is an exact replica is what led you to denouncing your personal saviour as Satan.

    I didn’t denounce my personal savior. I denounced the cheap replica (your hypothetical situation). The Bible is very clear on the details of the real savior’s return, and it won’t happen at all like the 1st time he came.
    Matthew 24, in fact, spells it out.

    I am also interested why you avoided the question about the basis of your belief (if I missed this, sorry- I read SEB in the early hours of the morning UK time).

    Scroll back. I aslo included a link to my personal testimony if you’re interested.

  31. OB:

    thanks for the links. I will check them out – promise.
    In return. may I offer you a short slice of 2 Peter. 1:16-21

    16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

    17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

    18 We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

    19 We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts:

    20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation.

    21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit.

  32. L4T writes…

    Since the ant analogy is not yours, I’m gonna feel free to say that I think it’s a crappy analogy. Humans didn’t create the ant, thus have no ability to speak the ant language, know exactly how they’re built, know what their needs are – indeed, know everything about them because he MADE them. I can see how this perspective would make it even more difficult to conceive of a “personal relationship with Jesus.

  33. If God made us and knows everything about us already then what benefit is there in his trying to establish a relationship with us?

    Simple. His joy at being the gift giver.

    You just said above that God already knows everything there is to know about you, so what’s left for him to get to know?  In less than a paragraph you’ve just contradicted yourself.

    Yes, I did, but not intentionally. I should have been more careful in my use of the phrase “get to know.” By that, I meant God would enjoy:
    -watching our development
    -be delighted in seeing us respond more and more to his love and guidance
    -showing us more and more the different gifts he has for us,
    Yes, He could remain content sharing His love with the “schizophrenic” aspects of the trinity, but perhaps the love is so huge, it simple spilled over outside that trio – thus, creation is just another way for that love to expand.

    Not at all. I perceive the Christian God as one who has set up the rules in a nonsensical and arbitrary way that would appear to contradict his own statements about love, tolerance, forgiveness, and justice. One that has defined punishments that even his own creations would consider cruel and unusual if we were to attempt to use them ourselves.

    “Would appear to” is the operative phrase here. I don’t disagree that His actions do seem strange. However, that just brings us back to the acknowledgement that faith is faith. Personally, I have chosen to let God’s “seeeming” inconsistencies stand until I can prove that they really are inconsistent. I won’t be the first person in the question line in heaven. The Bible suggests that such questions will become unneccesary upon our first glimpse of Christ.

      I don’t know if it’s required by us as part of initial salvation. As I’ve suggested, once you take the leap, I think worship is a pleasant and appropriate response. Jesus, on the other hand, by worshiping anything other than himself, would have been acknowledging that He is not God, which would have been game over, as such a statement would make Him out to be a liar and worse.

    I don’t follow that logic at all. Whether I worship something else has no real bearing on the truth or falsehood of Jesus’ claim that he is God. If he is indeed God then his claim is true regardless of what I worship or, for that matter, what I believe. At most you could claim that I consider whatever I worship to be worthy of being worshiped. Additionally, in the Bible God himself admits to being jealous and uses that as his justification for prohibiting worship of other Gods. He doesn’t say you can’t worship other Gods because it makes him into a liar, but because it makes him jealous. You would think a perfect God would be beyond jealousy as that’s another sign of insecurity.

    Communication breakdown here. I wasn’t clear enough. I wasn’t suggesting that our failure to worship God makes Him a liar. I specifically meant that if Jesus worshiped anything other than himself (in all 3 schizophrenic forms), it would prove Him to be a liar. He says he is God, and only God is worthy of worship, so if he worshiped Satan, he’d be calling Sata God.
    Dang the imperfection of this thing called language! Yet another consequence of the fall/ man’s attempt to reach heaven on his own (Tower of Babylon).

    Me:  If God is not on an ego trip, but taking extreme measures to have us experience the only true fulfillment there is, his commandments/suggestions are not a set of dictator’s rules, but a kind warning on how not to experience pain.

    You: Been there, tried that. My pastor once suggested the same approach, but it flies in the face of observed reality. There are plenty of people worshiping other Gods who seem as fulfilled as any Christian I know. Mahatma Ghandi certainly seemed to find meaning and fulfillment in his beliefs and he was Hindu:

    Once again, I can’t prove Jesus is the only way. As a matter of fact,  I read something tonight that makes me ponder. Here’s the spliced quote from the entire article at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/122/51.0.html

    What we do know is that Christ the Savior is not only a 33-year-old, 6-foot-high Jewish man, but also the eternal God, the Logos that enlightens every individual (John 1:9). Thus everyone has a fair chance to accept him or reject him, whether implicitly (for all light of truth and goodness is from him) or explicitly. We are not saved by how explicit our knowledge is; we are saved by him. Faith is the glue that holds him fast (or, more accurately, the glue by which he holds us fast, for faith is also his gift).

    This is a traditional, mainline Christian position, from the time of Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria to the time of C. S. Lewis. It is halfway between the liberal view that one can be saved in other ways than Christ (for example, by good intentions) and the frequent fundamentalist view that it takes an explicit knowledge of Christ to be saved.

    Is the Hindu merely duped by Satan? Yours to consider.

    If God’s a perfect being then any service/worship would have to be entirely for our benefit because it’s not going to do a damned thing for him.

    Even throughout our discussion, I’m leaning more toward the first part of your statement. I still don’t think God won’t be pleased by it.

    Personally I try to maintain what I consider a healthy balance between my selfishness and my selflessness. I’ve found that too much of either can be a bad thing that is detrimental to my health.

    Yeah, me too. Perhaps in heaven we’ll grasp fully that our selflessness is what’s most fulfilling. The God of the bible claims to know the desires of our heart better than we ourselves do. Maybe He’ll show us how selflessness.sefishness aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Assuming for the moment that it’s entirely within the realm of his ability to do such a thing (winking us out of existence)then why wouldn’t he choose that method of dealing with the folks who don’t believe in him? Would that not be a more humane solution that still maintains justice than allowing for an eternity of unimaginable torment?

    His declaration of the seriousness of sin was that killing His Son was the only act that could atone for it. He must consider that sacrifice unimaginably horrific, since the only thing He equates it with is eternal dmnation. I’m afraid eternal damnation will be the ultimate reminder of how serious sin is. Any lesser punishment would be God redefining sin as “not that big a deal, really.”

    Prior to Jesus showing up on the scene only the Jews were getting into Heaven. They were the chosen people, after all. When Jesus shows up and dies on the cross he forms a New Covenant that expands the possibility for salvation beyond just the Jews. The “chosen people

  34. I’ll be back another day with examples of impossibly precise prophecy.

    If you do, that will be my opening to join the discussion again, L4t.  All this apologetics stuff is impossible to engage- there’s no place to bite, because the notion of an almighty being will support just about any interpretation you want, so we just go round and round.  Now, if you have some ramifications of your belief that are visible in the real world, we can talk- prophecies, the age of the Earth, evolution, miracles, for example.

    I appreciate your civility too.  I get along better with civil Christians than with uncouth atheists.  As the Dalai Lama said,  “I believe that whether a person follows any religion or not is unimportant, he must have a good heart, a warm heart. This is essential for a happy life, which is much more important than Buddhahood.”

  35. I’m sorry for butting in with obvious dumb shit but:
    I read http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/122/51.0.html up there as suggested.
    It was fascinAting. A beautiful mixture of wordage: a little logic, lots of leaps of faith cemented with … what’s the word again? Ah. Bullshit.

    … we would all be 33

    in heaven. Cool.

    What kind of bodies will we have in Heaven? Christians say we will have transformed bodies, but real, physical bodies.

    Wow. I thought in 1 Corinthians 15:44, Paul said: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. And. In 15:50 Blah blah blah, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of god. I guess our current crop of Paulians know better, a?

    Will we be able to perform magic and miracles? I think so.

    Only think so?

    Infants who die prematurely will be given, by God (perhaps through the mediation of their own parents!), all the maturing they missed on Earth.

    Give me a break. Perhaps? They’re guessing because NO provisors were made for children … but the sheeple need answers so … Sheesh. What a crock.
    I’ve digressed.

    Looking4Truth (aka P4Us[a?]) says that GOD is:
    – watching our development
    – (be) delighted in seeing us respond more and more to his love and guidance
    – showing us more and more the different gifts he has for us,

    I’m sorry. Have I missed something here?
    If he is omniMAX he already knows how all this shit turns out.
    Or, is he just having a cosmic joke, like with the dinosaur bones, and toying with us, like a cat with a mouse? Or is he more like one of those gorgeous young fillies we call prick-teasers? Same thing really.

    It’s only unfair if God didn’t make us aware of our sin nature, and offer us a chance to escape it.

    This is the biggie that I’ve been questioning xians with since I was about ten. Forget about me for a minute, but, what about all the people, especially the children, in darkest Africa or the New Guinea Highlands and all those other places, who’ve never heard of the judeo-xian belief system, and had a chance to be ‘saved’?
    Xians usually evade and answer with something along the lines of:
    Oh, everyone’s heard of xianity by now, or
    god moves in mysterious ways, or
    don’t worry about them, they’ll be looked after in some way (that’s not really spelled out in the bible, but we know what the answer is coz we know stuff, coz we’re god-botherers/worshippers/askers and gifted bible interpreters, and, god talks to us all the time).
    None of them ever mention the smoke and mirrors used in the illusions.

    I wouldn’t wish the end-times tribulation on my worst enemy,

    Mate, I don’t think any of us can die in any worse way than xians, using god/jesus as their guide, have killed anyone who didn’t agree with them, in the past.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think these matters would fascinate you so much if you weren’t still curious.

    Nah, I’m not curious about the existence of the fairy-god-mother, coz there’s no evidence she exists.
    We could just as easily say that spacemen visited and messed with the heads of our ancients.
    I’m just curious as to how (I understand why) intelligent people (you don’t sound like someone with a less than average IQ) can, in the 2006th year of the Common Era, still rationalise and swallow myths of invisible beings with their roots in Ancient Egypt.
    Please investigate the history which took place in years before Rome and Constantine put your bible together at the Council at Niscea in 325ce so they could Control the people.
    It is always the only reason religion is ever put together. Control/Power/Money.
    Although Buddhism does offer insights into consciousness, self and many other things that xianity doesn’t as it has nothing to base it on and is really only interested in sin and the threat of hell for disbelievers.
    Spin is not something invented by 20th century politicians. It’s been round forever.
    I respectfully ask that y’all forgive me for butting in … please … carry on.

  36. I respectfully ask that y’all forgive me for butting in … please … carry on.

    Hey John- we’re all only “butting in”, one way or another.  Please carry on butting in.

    I, too, checked out that “What Will Heaven be Like?” site, but I missed that gem you quoted:

    Infants who die prematurely will be given, by God (perhaps through the mediation of their own parents!), all the maturing they missed on Earth.

    One has to wonder- will this heavenly maturing include TeleTubbies?  A little eternity, a little omnipotence, and your imagination runs hog wild… LOL

  37. …we would all be 33…

    Okay, I can live with that (hah! Cause, you know, I’d really be dead). That’s over four years older than I am now, but what’s four years? Me, I’d rather be twenty-two again for all eternity, but what do I know? I’m just the Maharishi (bonus points to whoever gets the reference). LOL

    Looking4LoveInAlltheWrongPlaces (sorry, man; John’s got the Grassroots playing): Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think these matters would fascinate you so much if you weren’t still curious.

    Curiosity takes many forms, friend. I consider myself an extremely curious person, and I always have. Sometimes we are most curious by what repels us most, or by that which we would personally least like to espouse in our own lives.

  38. I’m a bit late to this party, but whatever.

    A few general observations, if I may. One of the things I learned while killing time on religious forums is that the language barrier makes it more trouble than it’s worth to have an actual conversation. The reason for the language barrier can be gleaned from the exchanges up-thread.

    The problem with theologies, even something as basic as Deism, is that admitting additional axiomatic beliefs raises more questions than they answer. The more elaborate the theology and the more anthropomorphic the deity, the more cracks to paper over.

    The way I see Christian theology is that it sounds great until you start to run with it. There are some very profound assumptions buried right at the core of that theology that don’t make any sense at all when seen from the outside. It seems to me that the one way religious believers can rationalize these problems away is by redefining common language, hence the language barrier arises.

    As far as apologists are concerned, there’s often a malicious debating tactic involved. They make a statement using common terms. When objections are raised, they point out that if one defines this or that common term like so, it all makes sense. If this is grudgingly granted, they trumpet to the world that their opponent has agreed to their original claim – using the common meaning instead of their own tortured definitions.

  39. This site should keep you all in stitches:
    http://www.myfortress.org/index.html

    It would be funnier if some people who believe this stuff didn’t have the power to make war on the rest of us.
    For something really funny, check out this.

    Hope to see some of you in Heaven.
    Tom

    Oh, you hope to see just some of us in Heaven, eh?  Which of us don’t you want to see in Heaven, Tom? LOL

  40. L4T: This site should keep you all in stitches:
    http://www.myfortress.org/index.html

    Well, the graphics at the top of the page are cute, I’ll give them that.

    As far as leaving me in stitches, I especially liked the “Christianity is Logical” page. Seems to me that one shouldn’t have to take on faith that which is logical.

  41. Oh, you hope to see just some of us in Heaven, eh?  Which of us don’t you want to see in Heaven, Tom?

    Based on the smiley, I figure you’re joking. Just in case though, it was just a reflection of the faith that says not all will be saved. That’s all it meant.
    Regards,
    Tom

  42. Yes, I did, but not intentionally. I should have been more careful in my use of the phrase “get to know.

  43. Maybe not everyone will be saved, L4t, but that doesn’t logically exclude the possibility that all of us here at SEB will be saved.  How can you be sure?  Elwed says

    You have to take it on faith that Christianity can be justified by reason.

    I would add: or just discard reason in the first place.  I once argued with my fundie friend (the one in whose name I found the number 666) about evolution and the age of the Earth.  When she was backed into a corner, she finally said “I don’t know the answers, but God can take care of that stuff”.
    Looking a little further into the fortress site, I found many similar logical dingers, and this standard pathetic falsehood:

    The Second Law Of Thermodynamics basically means that everything runs inexorably from order to disorder and from complexity to decay.

    Uh, no.  It basically means that in a closed system, the total amount of entropy within the system increases with time.  Open systems, such as crystals, sand dunes, and people, can decrease their entropy and thereby increase their complexity, at the cost of increasing entropy elsewhere, by extracting energy and order from their surroundings.  Crystals rely on chemical energy, sand dunes on wind, and people on eating and breathing, to reverse entropy locally.

    This has been explained so many times to fundamentalists that one sometimes has the nasty suspicion that they are simply sticking their fingers in their ears and singing “la la la, I can’t hear you”.  But that’s an unworthy thought, I know…

  44. Doesn’t Genesis cotradict both the first and second laws of Thermodynamics anyway?

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