Author Topic: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?  (Read 5090 times)

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Offline thatguy

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Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« on: June 13, 2010, 12:49:23 AM »
Of course, anyone is free to post here, I welcome any Christian to answer the questions I ask Christianos, but I would like to ask my fellow disbelievers to go easy on all the arguements you could post, because there are many more atheists here than theists, and often times we will unintentionally gang up on the theists.

Of course my first question is the one in the topic. Why do you believe in your religion?

In another thread you said this:
I believe the bible is God-inspired.  I believe some of it is allegorical, a large amount is narrative, and in keeping with this perspective, then yes, I believe it is "true".

Alright, so let's look at a few Bible verses I'd like to know how you deal with. You also said you enjoyed the NRSV, but used to read the NIV mostly. Well, the NRSV isn't on BibleGateway, so I'm using the NIV.

Quote
Leviticus 26:21-22 (New International Version)

 21 " 'If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. 22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.

So, do you believe God is loving? If so, why does he threaten to have children eaten by wild animals in this verse?

Quote
Joshua 10:39-40 (New International Version)
39 They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.

 40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.

In this passage we see that Joshua, under God's command, goes from city to city slaughtering every inhabitant. This includes women and children. I'm asking you, Christianos (and other Christians), to explain how a loving, omnipotent God can be so cruel?

Of course, I have many other things I hope we can discuss in this thread, but I think this will get us off to a good start.  8)

(Other atheists, I know you could post dozens of other attrocities in the Bible, but I ask that you would refrain from doing so for now. Thank you.)
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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2010, 02:51:23 PM »
thatguy,

Thanks for your post.  I will respond later as I have some time (tonight or tomorrow most likely).  I have some family in from out of town who we haven't seen in quite awhile, so the next few days I'll be available on a pretty limited basis.  Even if it takes some time, I will respond.  Hopefully, as you've requested, this won't be an opportunity to get bombarded by too many questions at one time.

Best Regards,
Christianos

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2010, 04:39:53 PM »
I understand. I'll look forward to your response. And I do welcome
other Christians to post their answers. :)
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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 04:08:27 AM »
Of course, anyone is free to post here, I welcome any Christian to answer the questions I ask Christianos, but I would like to ask my fellow disbelievers to go easy on all the arguements you could post, because there are many more atheists here than theists, and often times we will unintentionally gang up on the theists.
@thatguy, thanks, this is appreciated.  Since my time is limited, it is tough to keep up at times when questions are coming from all directions.

Of course my first question is the one in the topic. Why do you believe in your religion?
Well, this may seem like a bit of a deflection, but I try not to think of believing in "religion" so much as believing in Jesus Christ.  The foundations  (in no particular order) of that belief are primarily a combination of:

1. Bible
2. Education
3. Personal Experience
4. Family

We can explore these later in more detail, but I don't have a lot of time at the moment, so I want to be able to address your other questions as well. So for now, we'll consider this an introductory response of sorts, which can provide the basis for further discussion because I know you will probably have additional questions.

In another thread you said this:
I believe the bible is God-inspired.  I believe some of it is allegorical, a large amount is narrative, and in keeping with this perspective, then yes, I believe it is "true".

Alright, so let's look at a few Bible verses I'd like to know how you deal with. You also said you enjoyed the NRSV, but used to read the NIV mostly. Well, the NRSV isn't on BibleGateway, so I'm using the NIV.

NIV is fine, NSRV is also available online, but for the purposes of discussion, the NIV will probably work just fine,  and is written in a somewhat more contemporary language than many other translations.

Quote
Leviticus 26:21-22 (New International Version)

 21 " 'If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve. 22 I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.

So, do you believe God is loving?
Yes.

If so, why does he threaten to have children eaten by wild animals in this verse?

It is a stark contrast to the verses before where God is laying out all the blessings of the covenant.  It would appear that this is a consequence of disobedience of the law and covenants he laid out for them, that if they were against Him, He would be against them.  We know God hates evil because He tells us so again and again.  It was only by His grace alone that humanity wasn't completely destroyed the moment sin was introduced.  If they went back on the covenant and willfully chose to be enemies of God, they would suffer the consequences implied by that in hopes that they would turn from evil back to God.  At this point, it's also noteworthy that this particular consequence follows after previous corrective action goes unheeded and despised (they've already willfully continued to sin and hold God in contempt after previous consequence).  Israel has the choice to obey and enjoy covenant with God, or to war against Him as enemies.  It seems the agreement is clearly laid out, with built in clauses for corrective action and reconciliation.

Quote
Joshua 10:39-40 (New International Version)
39 They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. They did to Debir and its king as they had done to Libnah and its king and to Hebron.

 40 So Joshua subdued the whole region, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.

In this passage we see that Joshua, under God's command, goes from city to city slaughtering every inhabitant. This includes women and children. I'm asking you, Christianos (and other Christians), to explain how a loving, omnipotent God can be so cruel?
We see throughout the Bible that God has little tolerance for evil, and that the people of the earth were often hostile towards God and living in total depravity.  I'm sure that living in those days was very precarious, especially if you were against Israel and an enemy of God (and you happened to be in the way of their conquest of the promised land).  Even so, I would postulate that love is not a mutually exclusive trait.  Even as humans we appear capable of experiencing a plurality of emotions.  For example, we can both "love" and "hate" simultaneously.  Do you agree this plurality exists?

Of course, I have many other things I hope we can discuss in this thread, but I think this will get us off to a good start.  8)
It is a great start, but I fear this first set of questions will likely spiral into the popular "How can a loving God do      ?" thread.   :-\

Also, do you mind if I ask you a question in return?  I've read a few of your posts where you mention the type of church your family currently attends.  Is it a particular denomination?  Some of your descriptions sound a lot like a church I attended, I was just trying to get a frame of reference to see if we have some experience(s) in common.

(Other atheists, I know you could post dozens of other attrocities in the Bible, but I ask that you would refrain from doing so for now. Thank you.)
I will concede that there are many similar verses at hand for this first discussion and hope the entire thread doesn't just become the "How can a loving God do      ?" argument.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 04:23:51 AM by christianos »

Offline velkyn

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2010, 11:56:46 AM »
bookmark

oh, one remark, there no evidence of this: "that the people of the earth were often hostile towards God and living in total depravity."
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2010, 01:37:15 PM »
bookmark

oh, one remark, there no evidence of this: "that the people of the earth were often hostile towards God and living in total depravity."


Of course not, we can only infer it from the scriptures as that is the description we are given.  Knowing thatguy's background, I assumed he would understand that since he is providing the scripture references we're discussing.

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2010, 01:45:08 PM »
Quote
1. Bible
2. Education
3. Personal Experience
4. Family

Well, we have both read the Bible and drawn very different conclusions on it. By education do you mean formal education, or your upbringing? And can you please describe the personal experiences you've had? For the family part, I'm fully aware of how that goes.

Quote
Also, do you mind if I ask you a question in return?  I've read a few of your posts where you mention the type of church your family currently attends.  Is it a particular denomination?  Some of your descriptions sound a lot like a church I attended, I was just trying to get a frame of reference to see if we have some experience(s) in common.

My family and I have attended several different churches over my life. A few years ago, my dad began our own church.

Our's is non-denominational, but similar to AoG.
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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 02:41:15 PM »
I only have a few mintues right now, so I apologize for the brevity.  I will check back later tonight as that seems to be the time that I have the most flexibility to read and respond.

Quote
1. Bible
2. Education
3. Personal Experience
4. Family

Well, we have both read the Bible and drawn very different conclusions on it. By education do you mean formal education, or your upbringing?

Both.  I've probably had a bit more education (not exhaustive by any means), than the average Christian.  I attended an AoG college for awhile, so I had a lot of formal classes and coursework a few years back.

And can you please describe the personal experiences you've had? For the family part, I'm fully aware of how that goes.
Sure, although I'm very short on time so I'll need to be brief.  I believe I've seen God work in both my life, and the lives of others around me.  The words of Jesus seem alive to me, and things I've read in the bible speak to my spirit and I've seen them lived out.  From my darkest moments of despair to my present existence I've seen the hand of God working in my life.  I believe the Holy Spirit has also been active in my life at times, and some of those experiences are difficult to explain.  But I'll admit that some of my viewpoints have also been shaped by my upbringing, and by my family, which I know you can identify closely with.  Maybe we can go into some detail later of some of our shared experiences, but I have to get back to some client work which is due today so I can spend time with relatives who are here from Southern California and who I haven't seen in quite awhile.  I'll spend some more time on here later tonight if I can.

My family and I have attended several different churches over my life. A few years ago, my dad began our own church.

Our's is non-denominational, but similar to AoG.
Ah, so you're also a pk, something else we "kind of" have in common, and that I certainly can identify with.  Does your dad still pastor the church?  Most of my early years were with an AoG background, so your descriptions sound very familiar to the church attendance of my youth.

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 10:12:09 PM »
Yes, my Dad is still pastoring a church.

So you didn't really describe any experiences with God. You just said that you have had them. Specific examples?

And you don't have to worry about rushing to answer questions. I can find other ways to keep myself entertained while waiting for your answers. Take your time to think them out if you wish.
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Offline Inactive_X

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2010, 09:30:24 AM »
before we get too off topic, Thatguy and Christianos, would you prefer this be in the debate area so you can proceed without too many intervening posts? 

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 11:26:47 AM »
before we get too off topic, Thatguy and Christianos, would you prefer this be in the debate area so you can proceed without too many intervening posts? 

Ok, move it to the debate area.
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Offline Inactive_X

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 01:23:22 PM »
Done.

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2010, 08:44:48 PM »
Yes, my Dad is still pastoring a church.

So you didn't really describe any experiences with God. You just said that you have had them. Specific examples?

And you don't have to worry about rushing to answer questions. I can find other ways to keep myself entertained while waiting for your answers. Take your time to think them out if you wish.

I am awaiting a response to this post from Christianos.  :)
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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2010, 03:52:36 AM »
Yes, my Dad is still pastoring a church.

So you didn't really describe any experiences with God. You just said that you have had them. Specific examples?

And you don't have to worry about rushing to answer questions. I can find other ways to keep myself entertained while waiting for your answers. Take your time to think them out if you wish.

Thatguy, thanks for waiting.  We have been traveling the past week, I apologize for taking so long to get back to this thread.  So, personal experience...well, I think I touched on it a bit.  What kind of experience(s) are you interested in?  I consider my life to be an ongoing experience with following Jesus and attempting to walk with Him daily.  I think the following are all different types of experience and we can discuss any of them you are interested in:

1. Experience in applying scriptural directives to my life and seeing the fruit
2. Attempting to conform my life to Christ and the resulting changes
3. Influence of the Holy Spirit
4. Guidance and provision
5. Power of Prayer in the life of my family

You come from a similar background, and I can see you've witnessed what you feel are unauthentic spiritual phenomena.  I also feel I have witnessed this in my life, in some of the churches I've attended, etc.  I look forward to discussing some these experiences we've likely shared as well.  It sounds like you seriously doubt the authenticity of the things happening in your dad's church.  At any point in time, did you ever believe any of it was authentic?  What convinced you otherwise?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 10:09:59 AM by christianos »

Offline sfsy1

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2010, 10:14:40 PM »
Hi christianos,

i've been following this discussion and i just want to ask you 2 questions. If God is really omnibenevolence and omnipotent, why isn't our world perfect?

and why is it that "It was only by His grace alone that humanity wasn't completely destroyed the moment sin was introduced." and why cant god prevent the introduction of sin since God is all-knowing and can do something about it?

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2010, 11:36:46 PM »
Let's discuss the power of prayer. Of course, in my church, prayer is often applied to, well, everything. Someone has a headache, pray, someone is sick, pray, someone has cancer, pray.

Of course, I think most of the "miracles" we are nothing more than confirmation bias and suggestion. In my church, there are two "amputees".

An old man is missing a leg, and my dad is missing a finger. I've never seen anyone pray for either of them. If God is truely working, why can he not restore their body parts?

In churches, you always here of cancer going into remission following prayer. Well, cancer is very unpredictable, and this happens anyway. But, a case of a devout Christian dying of cancer, relatively young (mid-60s) shows that prayers doesn't always work. Now, the individual I'm refering to was a devout believer and wanted to live. She was mentioned in prayer requests for months last year until she finally died.

Several years ago, when I was still a Christian, I had an ingrown tonail that had become infected. Our church at that time prayed for it. It didn't heal for several weeks, and a lot of antibiotics.

I constantly watch older members of my family's religion fall ill, and not have any divine healing, despite prayer. A woman having a lung transplant, a man getting a pacemaker, another having heart problems.

I think that if God was truely with them, he would heal them of these afflictions or prevent them from having them.

Of course, they still scream "PRAISE JESUS" when someone says their back stopped hurting after prayer (for the third week in a role).

A few years ago (back in my Christian days), I got kicked by a horse. Later that night, I was at a revival. My uncle prayed for me. In fact, he made me say "I will not leave this building until I am healed" (I did, I mean, I wasn't gonna stay there for weeks.) But eventually, after making me limp around the pews a few times and all the other stupid shit evangelicals do, he eventually left me a lone.

Quote
It sounds like you seriously doubt the authenticity of the things happening

Seriously doubt? I'd go further. I'm about certain that these things are no more real than the performance of a stage magician. I've been there. I've done the falling on the floor, the speaking in tongues, the praying for sick, and whatnot. I've watched how Christians behave outside of church.


You bring up the power of prayer. I've seen what Christians call the power of prayer. One person claims to feel better after a hundred prayers fail, and they claim it's divinity. I can not honestly believe that it has any real power.
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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2010, 12:27:27 AM »
Hi christianos,

i've been following this discussion and i just want to ask you 2 questions.
OK, but know that since my time is limited, my priority will be to answer questions asked by @thatguy.  So, please don't be offended if it takes time to get back to you.

If God is really omnibenevolence and omnipotent, why isn't our world perfect?
I don't think we'll ever be able to come to a consistent agreement on defining what omnibenevolence really means, I suppose there is little agreement anywhere on that particular term.  However, to answer your question, I think our world is imperfect simply because humanity is sinful and imperfect.  I believe that God is indeed omnipotent.  What He "can" do vs. what He "chooses" to do are mutually exclusive if He is indeed omnipotent.  He could have created us with no will whatsoever, no ability to choose, but He didn't.  I don't know why, I can only theorize because I am not Him.

and why is it that "It was only by His grace alone that humanity wasn't completely destroyed the moment sin was introduced." and why cant god prevent the introduction of sin since God is all-knowing and can do something about it?
It was by his grace alone because the penalty for sin is death.  Humanity could have ended the moment man chose to sin, but by God's grace alone we were spared.  I suppose God could have prevented the introduction of sin, but He didn't.  He could have removed you ability to choose, your will, but that was not how He chose to create us.

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2010, 12:40:31 AM »
Quote
I don't know why, I can only theorize because I am not Him.

You have a relationship with him don't you? Just ask him.

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

And the doctrine just doesn't make sense anyway. I mean, why bother putting that tree in the garden? If it wasn't meant to be eaten of, it's only purpose was to cause sin, and because God created mankind with curiosity and desire, it was certain that man would eat of the tree. I can't exactly call that freewill.

Another question, I sincerely don't find Christianity believable. Why does God need my belief to let me in heaven? I mean, if I thought it was true, I'd gladly accept Jesus. Although, from my viewpoint, all I hear from Christians are excuses and bullshit. And the only way to avoid burning forever is to give up skepticism and reason and believe what appears to be an ancient myth? That's not freewill. That's just being damned for existing.

The only excuse for your God's senselessness, Christianos, is his non-existance.
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Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2010, 02:28:24 AM »
Let's discuss the power of prayer.
OK, we can start with prayer. 

Of course, in my church, prayer is often applied to, well, everything. Someone has a headache, pray, someone is sick, pray, someone has cancer, pray.
Sounds like something Christ and apostles called us to do, so it sounds like your church is attempting to follow their example.  I too believe in this, although I must admit I'm very lacking here (something I'm trying to correct).

Of course, I think most of the "miracles" we are nothing more than confirmation bias and suggestion.
I agree that I have witnessed or heard of very few "miracles" in the true sense of the word.  I've seen "healing" ministers come through to my church when I was young and while they claimed people were healed of various maladies (hearing, walking with canes, etc.), I didn't really think most of the claimed "miracles" happened at all.  No one jumped up and down saying "I'm healed", those hearing aids were right back in the ear the next time I saw those people (following week).  So, I would concur with your observation.

In my church, there are two "amputees".

An old man is missing a leg, and my dad is missing a finger. I've never seen anyone pray for either of them. If God is truely working, why can he not restore their body parts?
Because I believe God to be omnipotent, I believe that he "can".  Why he has not done it, I don't know.  Why does He ever heal one and not another?

In churches, you always here of cancer going into remission following prayer. Well, cancer is very unpredictable, and this happens anyway. But, a case of a devout Christian dying of cancer, relatively young (mid-60s) shows that prayers doesn't always work. Now, the individual I'm refering to was a devout believer and wanted to live. She was mentioned in prayer requests for months last year until she finally died.
To some extent cancer is unpredictable.  Other times it's very, very rare to see certain types go into remission.  In my opinion, it's easier to classify one as a miracle if it "spontaneously and instantaneously" happens vs. someone who beats cancer through a long, painful process of radiation, chemo, surgery, etc.  I'm not discounting those latter instances, but I believe the former to be much more compelling.  I too know people who prayed daily and still died...it's painful and difficult to attempt to understand, especially when it is someone we're close to.

Several years ago, when I was still a Christian, I had an ingrown tonail that had become infected. Our church at that time prayed for it. It didn't heal for several weeks, and a lot of antibiotics.
You wouldn't be the first...since I believe miracles to be fairly here, but that doesn't mean I stop asking God to heal.  I think there are many reasons why we see so few miracles, but I know of several, and that keeps me praying even during the times when I see God moving very little.

I constantly watch older members of my family's religion fall ill, and not have any divine healing, despite prayer. A woman having a lung transplant, a man getting a pacemaker, another having heart problems.
These are natural consequences of getting old, all of us eventually grow old and die.  Medical technology has prolonged our lives, but we still all must succumb to illness and death.  It is a consequence of humanity, something none of us will escape.  Still, age doesn't prevent people from being healed, it just makes it seem more extraordinary when it happens.

I think that if God was truely with them, he would heal them of these afflictions or prevent them from having them.
You know, I think it would definitely be nice.  But, that was never promised to us, that we would live forever after the fall.  Rain falls and the sun shines on both the righteous and the unrighteous.  This life is difficult, and most of the original 12 disciples (despite all the miraculous works we see in scripture) died martyr's deaths (crucified, beheaded, etc.).  Why didn't God just give them a life a luxury and rapture them all prior to death?

Of course, they still scream "PRAISE JESUS" when someone says their back stopped hurting after prayer (for the third week in a role).
We're told to praise Him in all things, but I get what you're saying.  They think they are healed and then come back the next week with the same ailment only to go through the cycle one more time.

A few years ago (back in my Christian days), I got kicked by a horse. Later that night, I was at a revival. My uncle prayed for me. In fact, he made me say "I will not leave this building until I am healed" (I did, I mean, I wasn't gonna stay there for weeks.) But eventually, after making me limp around the pews a few times and all the other stupid s**t evangelicals do, he eventually left me a lone.
I admire his faith, but it sounds like that wasn't in the plans for you that night.

Quote
It sounds like you seriously doubt the authenticity of the things happening

Seriously doubt? I'd go further. I'm about certain that these things are no more real than the performance of a stage magician. I've been there. I've done the falling on the floor, the speaking in tongues, the praying for sick, and whatnot. I've watched how Christians behave outside of church.
Me too.  Sad isn't it?  I watched the church I grew up in fall prey to this, and it destroyed the church.  It still exists, but a shell of it's former self, really.  If there is no fruit, it's man's work, not God's.  The work of the Holy Spirit leads to repentance and to visible fruit in our lives.  I had a friend that weekly fell "under the power", but couldn't make it through Tuesday without His life being a wreck.  Same thing week after week, and his life never had ANY victory.  In fact, he went to jail shortly after this for a year because of sin in his life.  Every week he used fell on the ground during the "revival"...

You bring up the power of prayer. I've seen what Christians call the power of prayer. One person claims to feel better after a hundred prayers fail, and they claim it's divinity. I can not honestly believe that it has any real power.
For you it does not.  You haven't seen it, experienced it, so I don't blame you one bit.  I'll bet you've never had a single spiritual experience in your life to date that at this point you would consider authentic.  You're not alone.  :-\

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2010, 02:45:41 AM »
And the doctrine just doesn't make sense anyway. I mean, why bother putting that tree in the garden? If it wasn't meant to be eaten of, it's only purpose was to cause sin, and because God created mankind with curiosity and desire, it was certain that man would eat of the tree. I can't exactly call that freewill.
I hear this a lot on here from atheists.  But I don't think the purpose was to "cause" sin, I think the purpose was to enable choice.

Another question, I sincerely don't find Christianity believable. Why does God need my belief to let me in heaven?
He doesn't need it so much as he requires it.

I mean, if I thought it was true, I'd gladly accept Jesus. Although, from my viewpoint, all I hear from Christians are excuses and bullshit. And the only way to avoid burning forever is to give up skepticism and reason and believe what appears to be an ancient myth?
No one said you have to give up skepticism and reason.  I think the atheist movement as a whole thinks they have a monopoly on reason and that Christian's can't think for themselves.  It's a common argument meant to belittle Christians (I'm sure it applies to some), but many intelligent Christians have reasoned through the existence of God question and have come to believe in His existence.  Or, their lives have experienced things that line up with Christ's teaching and/or biblical experience, so they've chosen to believe the "myth".

That's not freewill. That's just being damned for existing.
I know it might seem that way, I'm sure it's difficult to comprehend how God might exist when you feel you've reasoned it all out and come to the opposite conclusion.  And if it seems so senseless to you, how it would require such an inordinate amount of faith to blindly follow something you believe with all your conviction is false.  I understand that for a rational person who's reached such a conclusion, that type of decision would make no sense, especially a skeptic who requires evidence to even consider the possibility.  And yet, that is what Christ demands is our belief, our faith.  Those who can't get there are ultimately unable to find God according to scripture (you know this of course, having grown up as a PK).

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2010, 03:24:41 AM »
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I agree that I have witnessed or heard of very few "miracles" in the true sense of the word.
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So, I would concur with your observation.
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Why he has not done it, I don't know.
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They think they are healed and then come back the next week with the same ailment only to go through the cycle one more time.
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For you it does not.  You haven't seen it, experienced it, so I don't blame you one bit.  I'll bet you've never had a single spiritual experience in your life to date that at this point you would consider authentic.  You're not alone.

Seems like we're agreeing on a lot. Most "miracles" aren't real. I would say all, but I think you would agree on most of them.

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He doesn't need it so much as he requires it.

Why would an all-powerful and all-loving God require me to trust the words of ancient desert manuscripts, and a religion that has killed millions throughout it's history? Not to mention believe in talking animals, magic, dragons, and a ton of other mythological stories.

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No one said you have to give up skepticism and reason.

You just said God requires my belief. To believe in your religion would be giving up skepticism and reason.

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I think the atheist movement as a whole thinks they have a monopoly on reason and that Christian's can't think for themselves... but many intelligent Christians have reasoned through the existence of God question and have come to believe in His existence.

I see you're thinking for yourself, and not just going with the many intelligent Christians.

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And if it seems so senseless to you, how it would require such an inordinate amount of faith to blindly follow something you believe with all your conviction is false.... that type of decision would make no sense... And yet, that is what Christ demands...

This is what's so ridiculous about religion. The fact that it requires blind faith. And I don't have a choice to make a "decision" to believe, anymore than I could make a decision to believe in the easter bunny.

If I knew that I could have all the heavenly rewards and avoid hell by accepting Jesus, I would gladly do so. But, to believe it blindly makes no sense. Especially when so much of it is absurd, and it is one of many religions.

And, you have to already believe in God to find him, appearantly. This opens the door to confirmation bias.

There is no way a loving God would give us reason, free thought, and free will and require us to not use them.
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 10:08:41 PM »
Seems like we're agreeing on a lot. Most "miracles" aren't real. I would say all, but I think you would agree on most of them.
On some things related to our mutual experience, yes.  I don't necessarily want to discount those miraculous claims, but it is true that they may not fit my idea of what a "miracle" is.  Certainly, most don't fall into the category of what we see in the gospel, Acts, etc. I think what appear to be truly outstanding miracles are indeed pretty rare, especially in the USA.

Why would an all-powerful and all-loving God require me to trust the words of ancient desert manuscripts, and a religion that has killed millions throughout it's history? Not to mention believe in talking animals, magic, dragons, and a ton of other mythological stories.
God doesn't require your belief in a religion, He requires your acceptance and belief of Jesus Christ and His divinity.  Your acceptance of scripture is based upon your belief in (not proof of) this claim.  If you accept Christ, you accept His teaching as truth and you become a student of the bible and this teaching.

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No one said you have to give up skepticism and reason.

You just said God requires my belief. To believe in your religion would be giving up skepticism and reason.
But you still have the free will to hold onto your skepticism and require "proof" of every claim.  God doesn't force you to release your skepticism, you can hold onto it, it is your free choice.  Your belief or disbelief is freely within your power to choose.

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I think the atheist movement as a whole thinks they have a monopoly on reason and that Christian's can't think for themselves... but many intelligent Christians have reasoned through the existence of God question and have come to believe in His existence.

I see you're thinking for yourself, and not just going with the many intelligent Christians.
Absolutely.  I had to work out my own salvation, just as all Christians must.  We are not saved through someone else's faith (parents, teachers, professors, etc.), we have to come to a personal saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and relationship with him.  This is an easier process for some than others.  Yet, this group of individuals includes a broad spectrum from simple-minded to intellectually gifted.  

This is what's so ridiculous about religion. The fact that it requires blind faith. And I don't have a choice to make a "decision" to believe, anymore than I could make a decision to believe in the easter bunny.

If I knew that I could have all the heavenly rewards and avoid hell by accepting Jesus, I would gladly do so. But, to believe it blindly makes no sense. Especially when so much of it is absurd, and it is one of many religions.
This might be true if you've convinced yourself that faith is worthless and only "proof" will do.  At some point, no amount of evidence will be enough.  I don't think a belief in Christ requires "blind" faith, but I absolutely agree that faith is a key component.  

There is no way a loving God would give us reason, free thought, and free will and require us to not use them.
He hasn't required us not to use them, we exercise them every single day of our existence.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 03:36:14 AM by christianos »

Offline alihaymeg

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2010, 11:25:12 PM »
BM

Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2010, 10:00:01 AM »
My question is "Why?". Why does your God require me to believe in him?

Furthermore, if I do not believe in him, which you've already said you can't blame me for, I'll be burned forever. So, by default, I'm going to hell, right? Just because I'm an imperfect being? Wouldn't simply ceasing to exist be much more appropriot?

And no. I do not value faith. Faith, to me, is pretending to know what your common sense tells you is bullshit.

And by the way, I know appologetics exist. I don't care. I've read them. They helped make me an atheist.
And bringing them up would be like me pointing out that most scientists are not theists, and many intelligent people have considered your beliefs and outright rejected them.
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline Inactive_X

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2010, 08:28:05 AM »
This discussion is in the debate room for a reason.  It's between the two particpants, thatguy and christianos.  I will split Ignotus' and Plethora's quotes from this thread and make a new one.

X


Offline thatguy

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2010, 02:13:19 AM »
Christianos last posted on June 28th.
I replied on July 1.

It has been 17 days since then. I am looking forward to your next reponse Christianos.

Did calling faith "bullshit" offend you? Well, I can't really say I'm sorry. I meant it. I mean, come on, talking animals, magic, global floods, walking on water, dragons, unicorns, ect. Not to mention the whole story is one in which God sends himself to be sacrificed to himself to appease himself for because his creation broke his rules, all so we can avoid an eternal torcher chamber that we go to by default if we don't believe this.

Is this where he gos away for a long time then comes back as an atheist? Unlikely, I would guess, but possible. :D
FORCING children to fear your imaginary terrors is child abuse.

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2010, 04:31:03 PM »
Hi that guy, I'm sorry for the long delay, we've been traveling and on vacation much of July, so I just hadn't logged in for a couple of weeks.  Let me review your post, and I will get back to you shortly.

Christianos

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2010, 04:56:46 PM »
My question is "Why?". Why does your God require me to believe in him?
He doesn't require you to, you have the free will to exercise non-belief.

Furthermore, if I do not believe in him, which you've already said you can't blame me for, I'll be burned forever. So, by default, I'm going to hell, right? Just because I'm an imperfect being? Wouldn't simply ceasing to exist be much more appropriot?
If it were simply a matter of us being perfect or imperfect, we'd all fall short.  It's a gift, which you have the power to reject.  The only reason I said I understand your unbelief is because you have not met Christ and you've grown up confused by your experience.  You've grown up "knowing" who Christ is, but never actually knowing Him.  For that, you are accountable because you are not ignorant of who He claims to be.  But you knowingly reject it, and so you can't claim ignorance.

And no. I do not value faith. Faith, to me, is pretending to know what your common sense tells you is bullshit.
How unfortunate.  I think there is value in faith even outside a religious context.

And by the way, I know appologetics exist. I don't care. I've read them. They helped make me an atheist.
And bringing them up would be like me pointing out that most scientists are not theists, and many intelligent people have considered your beliefs and outright rejected them.
Sure, I don't use it to try and convince you in anyway.  I hope that wasn't construed by you as my objective, I simply use it to illustrate that reason, logic, and intellect aren't the domain of the atheist alone.  Many believers are very rational and intelligent beings who have come to know God and entered into relationship with Jesus Christ.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 12:14:29 AM by christianos »

Offline christianos

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Re: Christianos, let's talk. Why do you believe?
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2010, 04:59:12 PM »
Did calling faith "bullshit" offend you? Well, I can't really say I'm sorry. I meant it. I mean, come on, talking animals, magic, global floods, walking on water, dragons, unicorns, ect. Not to mention the whole story is one in which God sends himself to be sacrificed to himself to appease himself for because his creation broke his rules, all so we can avoid an eternal torcher chamber that we go to by default if we don't believe this.

Is this where he gos away for a long time then comes back as an atheist? Unlikely, I would guess, but possible. :D

I was not offended at all, just busy.  July was a busy month for us between vacation and work.