The only way his argument works is if we are right.
Right about which one? The Holy Spirit exists or The Holy Spirit doesn't exist?
If it does not exist.
I think my point stands either way.
However regarding the claim that if there was no Holy Spirit ( angelic apparition)as you say,and He couldn't have been "with us".I agree. Some of the former Christians- now atheists- don't seem to.
No, we all agree on that.
As far as you know it's universal--no atheist believes The Holy Spirit exists. That is what I would expect.
What we do not agree on is your definition of a xian. If we use your definition, then we would say you are not a xian either.
I'm taking that to mean the John 3 : 3-7, born again description.
If so, then I agree 100%, none of you ( atheists) could believe I'm a Christian.
My position has been the same, I'm a Christian based on an action undertaken on my behalf by God Himself. That hasn't changed since I was " born again" originally. If for some reason I decided to become an atheist I would then have to drop any idea that Bible God even existed never mind "saved" me.
You might do that, but I doubt it.
But in order to call myself " atheist" wouldn't the fundamental 1st move be to claim that deities do not exist?
I think it is more likely you would look back on your days as a believer with mild embarrassment and possibly a tinge of anger and think, "what a dupe I was!" You would realize that it was not some mystical essence that made you a xian, but what you believed.
Which is kind of comical in light of you saying this :
" That is the point, I think. You are making commentary about our experiences as if you know any of us. You don't. And you are doing this to diminish us in your own mind. "
What's gravy for the goose is gravy for the gander.
You would realize that it was not some mystical essence that made you a xian, but what you believed.
No that isn't how it would go.No God would mean to me no Christianity.I wouldn't be looking for a back door in.
You might also be a little peeved if someone came along and said something along the lines of "well, you were never really a xian anyway." But not because you don't like his definition. It would be because who is he to judge your experiences? Who is he to say how sincere you were? Who the fuck is he to say he knows the inner working of your mind?
Amen!! Preach it Brother!!
Hold on ...Got caught up in the emotionalism there for a sec.Who he might be is someone who heard me say "I've been born-again" still claim to have been born-again, which would need a Deity to be true, and then tell him I am an atheist at present.Who he might be is someone who recognizes that I'd be claiming two "opposites" to exist in the same place at the same time.
Either there really is a saintly spook, or there is not. If not, then onesteward is right, we were never really xians. But neither is he. Owie.
Correct- no Holy Spirit = no Christians.
So then what should we call people of your... ilk? Since there is no holy spigot for you to be "reborn in", you are clearly not a xian. Yet, you say you are. So, what should we call you? Something you would not mind being called, I mean.
I still regard myself as a Christian..unlike you I do believe The Holy Spirit is alive and well...always has been , always will be. But as for you. call me whatever you like.
Being on this side of the fence changes your perspective. And this whole stupid point is largely about perspective. From our perspective, your definition puts True Xians in the same category as leprechauns, mermaids and Santa.
So a claimant saying they were a "True Christian" is the same as saying they were--for real-- a leprechaun? Someone saying this for example :
" The reason I mention this in my writings is to point out that I was a true believer
. Christians sometimes accuse me of having been a phony: "If you really knew Jesus, you would never have left him." But I make a case that I was really a true believer
. . . I did believe it .
. . I did believe I was seeing miracles. And if I was not a true Christian, then nobody is".
Like Dan Barker says here....repeatedly?
Isn't that like him, according to you, saying over and over " I was a leprechaun, I was!! Really!One good rainbow!I'll show ya.
This from an Assemblies of God minister.If anyone is going to believe in The Holy Spirit it's him!
You don't find it odd that he would still insist on having had that experience?
We now say we did not have the spooky guy with us because we now do not think there is such a thing. But we could be wrong. In fact, you think we are wrong. So you are taking our perspective - something you disagree with - just so you can say "you were never xians". Kind of a shitty and dishonest thing to do, stewie.
No not that at all. I think scripture is plain. By claiming to be atheists you forfeit the right to claim Christianity.John 3 , which quotes Jesus about what it takes to be a Christian is plain enough.There are many others as well.I just didn't know if atheists understood the ' depth' as it were of their claim.It seems as if several won't let go of what they now say is...was...a delusion.
Why do you prefer that route when you could just as easily and more charitably say "well, I think there is a holy spirit, so I grant that maybe you were xians. Maybe the HS was with you, but maybe not. But if it was, maybe it left?" Why is that so hard?
Hey, I'm human.If it were up to me I'd go 'universalist' or something.One that gives everybody a free pass.I got saved by reading the Bible.I believe what Jesus did and so I believe what He said.All you are suggesting is compromise, a little of this with a little of that...that doesn't seem acceptable in Scripture.