Author Topic: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian  (Read 8748 times)

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Offline neopagan

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #87 on: July 24, 2013, 08:30:36 PM »
The reality is that it takes more faith not to believe in God then the opposite.

I think that quote sealed the deal for me on giving you the benefit of the doubt about having been a former atheist. You either don't know what what the term really means or you were as much an atheist as I was once mother teresa. So, I guess I'm playing the "no true atheist" card. :)
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #88 on: July 24, 2013, 08:53:10 PM »
Hi Justin, and welcome.

Every atheist to theist conversion story I have read or heard have all had the quality of being very peculiar. None have sounded very convincing to me because the reasons/requirements for their conversion do not match up with mine. This isn’t to say atheist to theist conversions don’t happen. I believe they do. But I don’t think these people were atheists for the same reasons I am. Did these ex-atheists turned Christian apply rigorous skepticism to supernatural claims? Did they research the history of Yahwism and the origin of Yahweh/El? Were they cognitively prepared to confront the reality of their eventual death? Or did they feel cheated or wronged by god? Did they lose their faith while battling depression? There are both good and bad reasons to become an atheist.

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I read your testimony and I have a few questions:

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I truly believed that religion was the most destructive thing on the planet and that the concept of God was psychologically damaging for a myriad of reasons.

• What arguments for atheism did you use/find convincing?

1. The fact that I thought I never saw any evidence of God.
2. All the evil in the world
3. All the hypocrites who claimed to be men of God
4. All the damage religion did.
5. The fact that no Christians I knew could defend their faith
6. All the hypocritical Christians around me
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• Why did you think Christianity was damaging, and could you list several reasons from that myriad?

I didn't say "Christianity" I said "religion". I still think religion is the most damaging thing in the world and for the same reasons I did then as a matter of fact.
1. It deceives people.
2. It destroys lives.
3. It controls people.
4. It gives God a bad name.
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• Now that you’re a Christian, do you still think there are aspects of Christianity which are damaging?

True Biblical Christianity. No. It's the truth of this world and the most amazing and beautiful thing imaginable.
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• While you were an atheist, did you consider yourself to be a sinner?

I never thought about it, so no. That language never came into my mind. It was totally ridiculous. It would be like asking if I ever applied the concept of getting money from the tooth fairy to my real life.
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You chalk up your February 17th experience as Jesus visiting you, but I think it’s much more likely you were experiencing side effects of taking oral penicillin. Daydreaming, tingling limbs, altered saliva, and a sense of euphoria have all been reported side effects of penicillin. When I was a Christian I felt the presence of a supernatural being. I now recognize that the presence I felt was a high-level release of serotonin causing a self-transcendent state. It's a pretty common experience in church settings, football stadiums, and after ingesting psilocybin, etc. My point is the human brain can be messed with fairly easily and produce "miraculous" effects- from little overactive protein structures in the human body to stimulants and hallucinogens.

How do explain that I felt the exact same thing a month after being on the penicillin on two separate occasions and days? All of those things are still happening to me minus the tingling limbs and euphoria.

I feel the presence of a supernatural being all the time. I'd think my serotonin receptors would be desensitized by now. My brain is being perpetually "messed with" in the most amazing way.
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• Since beta-lactam antibiotics are known to affect people’s mental states, wouldn’t it be illogical to consider your case as supernatural when it has been observed and documented as a natural phenomenon in countless other cases? At the very least you can understand why I think this is the more reasonable explanation.

The antibiotics were long gone a month later in that hotel room. God will always leave room for the skeptic to stay skeptical, but He'll also make it the case that said person will have to have stronger faith to believe the opposite of the truth as well. It's how he protects our free will.
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About a minute into staring at it this second time I get another intense tingling feeling all over my body but no flashing. After about thirty seconds of this it hits me like a ton of bricks that it’s Jesus Christ visiting me now, and it was Jesus visiting me the night before and a month ago. So in my heart I knew what had happened but my intensely atheist mind was scrambling for any other explanation.

I certainly wouldn’t describe your mind at this point as “intensely atheist.” Hell, the night before you were saying Hail Mary’s for Christ’s sake. It seems like you had been considering Christianity and looking for a reason to believe. You found Jesus in a hairdryer of all things.

First of all they were Our Fathers (big difference), and second of all my mind may have not been as intensely atheist as it had been before I said those Our Fathers (before that it was as intensely atheist as you can get) but my mind was still extremely atheist but my heart wasn't bc that's where God changes you from.
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• At that point in your life, was there any beneficial reason to become a Christian? Any friends or love interests at Willow Creek Community Church that encouraged you to fellowship with them?

Absolutely zero. Life was good. I was returning from a week long trip to South Beach and looking forward to having sex with a girl that I was honest about not being exclusive with. Looking forward to my top floor apt, new BMW, yoga, six months of unexplained sobriety from weed and alcohol, eating at amzing restaurants every night, still feeling amazing after the Feb 17th experience, good relationships with my friends and family, successful bizs, and at that point I'd never heard of Willow Creek and anyone that knows me would tell you that I would never compromise my integrity, beliefs or values for anything, none the less a girl and that's still the case.
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Again, welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for being so welcoming. I really appreciate the way you ask your questions and your sincere inquisitiveness. When I get on here I try to respond to as many people as possible and I know that sometimes I can come off short or not as thorough as possible but I'm trying my best.

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #89 on: July 24, 2013, 08:58:07 PM »
Well it sounds like you have your mind made up. As unfortunate as that is, especially on an issue that is not provable one way or the other, and is far from clear for people who haven't felt the Holy Spirit or been in a relationship with Jesus Christ, I hope that you'll continue to be as confident and public about your beliefs in your daily life, as you are about them here. I know from experience it can be tough, but to be neutral or silent in my opinion is worse then being wrong.

And you don't have your mind made up? We look at the world in different ways, and the outcome is bound to vary a bit. We both like hamburgers, but I see no truth whatsoever to the Jesus tale, and until is matches reality is some verifiable way, I don't think I will.

Unless I, of course, as a serious atheist, also look for Jesus, like you did. Which ain't likely. I know from various life lessons learned that looking for stuff that isn't there tends to create wrong answers. And I have no reason to voluntarily give myself an "F" for this life.

We both have our minds made up. The difference is this. I have never assumed that reality will match what I hope is true. When my mother died suddenly, I didn't start wailing and telling people that it couldn't be true. I accepted it as fact and dealt with it. When my father was dying painfully of prostate cancer and all the crappy things that go with it, my religious step-mother was praying all the time that he would live another day, while I simply wanted his pain to stop, and I knew the only way was for him to die or at least go into a coma. I had no illusions that he would get better, I didn't pray that he would be miraculously cured, I didn't beg any deities to take away his pain, I didn't gnash my teeth and wail, I simply hoped that he wouldn't suffer long and did what I could to help until he passed. Lots of religious folks involved kept asking their god for favors and telling each other that god was acting in mysterious ways, etc. To me, he was simply dying, and the pretend stuff was useless garbage that got in the way of helping him be comfortable.

I am not one to get on my knees and cry about anything. I have no need to relate to some skydaddy that doesn't exist just so I'll feel better as tears run down my face. I can't relate to the emotions associated with religion, because they are all made up. If I a going to be emotional, I'll wait until there is something to be emotional about. And I am at times emotional, because the circumstances call for it. I was excited about the recent birth of a grand-nephew, for instance. I was ecstatic that a friend recently found out that her cancer was gone after months and months of chemo and radiation. I friend recently found a job after being without work for almost a year. We had a great celebratory dinner. But you will never see me getting myself all happy about my thinking I have a so-called god in my life, or because I imagine a prayer was answered, or any other fantasy.

Yep, my mind is made up too. But I have an advantage. The mind I made up was my own, not the one I had drummed into me by other wrong people.

Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #90 on: July 24, 2013, 09:02:10 PM »
Good post Zankuu. And I agree. As a dyed-in-the-wool atheist myself, I can't imagine how a physical sensation, no matter how good or bad, would suddenly have me think that Jesus was involved. I'd spend a long time looking for logical/physical explanations, and the JC thing would be far down my list.

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As it was for me for the three seperate events that happened over a month. It wasn't until the third event, and me calling my mom and her having the same event that it clicked for me intellectually.

But just as it has been shown that many anti-gay men are actually turned on by the thought of gay sex, while most straight men who are not anti-gay are not, it is probably the case that some that call themselves atheists are closet believers. It's not like there is a standard that one has to meet to be an atheist. We just stamp that label on ourselves and poof, we're non-believers. In Justin's case, I tend to suspect he was ostensibly atheist, not actually. Because again, as an atheist, it'll be a cold day in hell when JC is the first thing to pop into my mind when something strange just happened.

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There was nothing I was more sure of in this world then there not being a God. Jesus was never considered in my for any experience until March 22nd 2012.

Unless of course some white dude with long blonde hair and a halo floats gently into my house and says hello. But even if that happened, it is more likely that I would decide then and there to turn gay.

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Well it seems like you've made up your mind already on an dually unprovable scenario/reality.

P.S. I known darned well that if there was a Jesus, he wasn't white and blonde. But many a contemporary painting of the dude looks like that. And you gotta admit, he's often kind of hot looking. As is Mary. Crap, I'm a bi-atheist!

Online Nam

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #91 on: July 24, 2013, 09:45:39 PM »
Fix your quotes, dude.

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #92 on: July 24, 2013, 09:48:22 PM »
There was nothing I was more positive in my life about then there being no God, and that was the case until that night in Nashville right before I said the two Our Fathers.

Why were you positive about there being no god?  What was your rationale?

You have to understand that if that ambiguity wasn't in there God would turn into a cheap thrill or interesting guy to have around. God purposely puts that ambiguity all around Him to give people the opportunity to be hard hearted, skeptical, untrusting, and /or prideful or not. He does it to protect our free will.

Free will to do what?  I don't know about you, but I have to believe something exists before I can be free to choose to follow it or not.  I cannot choose to follow something I don't believe exists.

By the way, are you depriving me of my free will right now?
The highest moral human authority is copied by our Gandhi neurons through observation.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #93 on: July 24, 2013, 11:21:43 PM »
So, god, for no apparent reason, chose to give the "born again holy spirit" to this burger guy, so he has the truth now. How did he get so special? Why did he get hit with the holy stick? God has chosen to not give most of the world the "born again holy spirit". Why this burger guy and not the billions of people in China, India or Iran?

Over two-thirds of the planet is not even Christian, let alone "born again".  Most will die practicing the wrong religions, or Thor forbid, no religion at all. And will go to hell for all eternity, according to the "born-again" types. I guess it's part of god's mysterious free will plan, to make his message incomprehensible and his presence undetectable to most people. From the getgo, the ones not given the "born again holy spirit", that is, most of humanity, were destined to burn in hell.....

I am not denying that he was an atheist and had some mystical experience. If he had been in Iran he would be praising Allah. In India he would be thanking Brahma and Vishnu for finally showing him the truth. In Cuba he would be sacrificing a goat and two chickens to Papa Babaluaye. In China he would be thanking the spirits of his ancestors. No matter where he lived, he would assume that his mystical experience was evidence of the truth.

All I can say is, that burger guy should be grateful. He sure is one lucky ducky. &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #94 on: July 25, 2013, 04:49:32 AM »
So Justin, you were an atheist. Think about when you were an atheist and remember that I, as an atheist, don't accept woo, logical fallacies.

Tell me, how do I spererate what you are saying from a mental breakdown or a lie.

You know, evidence. That simple

Tell me evidence that couldn't equally apply to the Grecian Gods using the Iliad.

From a lie, you can't for sure, and God wouldn't have it any other way. From a mental breakdown, I'd have to ask what other areas of my life would you expect to see signs of that mental breakdown, bc me or others don't see any, quite the opposite really.

There is no evidence I can give you. Only God can do that.  The reality is that it takes more faith not to believe in God then the opposite.

If there is no evidence you can give me...then your claim has every bit of weight than someone who states they believe in Hercules or the Flying Spaghetti monster or Santa Claus.

Therefore the statement:

The reality is that it takes more faith not to believe in God then the opposite.

has all the merit of

The reality is that it takes more faith not to believe in Santa Claus then the opposite.

I even bolded them both so they have equal visual weight. They are the intellectual equivalent.

You are a grown man going on about the importance of believing in Santa Claus as far as I am concerned.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline relativetruth

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #95 on: July 25, 2013, 06:19:21 AM »
bm
God(s) exist and are imaginary

Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #96 on: July 25, 2013, 12:17:46 PM »
Well I don't meditate....pour my heart out to God.

I have no idea how you came around to this answer or what your point is.  You asked how I would expect your presumptive meditational breakthrough to affect your life.  What's this got to do with it?

What about me calling my mom and asking her why she believed in Jesus Christ?

What about it?  You are the claimant.  The burden of proof is yours.  It is up to you to establish the veracity of your conclusions.  I do not have to explain it away.  Otherwise any idiot can make any crazy-but-impossible-to-disprove claim and have to be taken seriously.  For more on that, see Russel's Teapot, though as a former atheist you should be both eminently familiar with it and ashamed of yourself for resorting to "prove me wrong" tactics. 

As for your mom, I can think of two things off the top of my head to dismiss it.  First, it is possible you heard the story before and simply forgot.  Memory is an unreliable thing.  Second, assuming she is your biological mother, it is possible you both share some genetic predisposition to a similar neurological glitch.  I'm not claiming that was it.  I'm just saying, there is enough reasonable doubt (not to mention paucity of evidence) to reject your claims.

What about all the causally related, biblically congruent events that have happened in my life over the past 1.5 years?

I need you to explain what you mean by "causally related, biblically congruent".  I know what each of those words mean, but when you put them together in that order, I have no idea what you are saying.

What about the amazing connection I feel when I pray to the God of the Bible? What about the tears that flow down my face every time I worship God at my Christian church?

I call that working yourself up into a frenzy.  You think followers of your particular cult are the only ones who "feel" things?  I referenced Sufis already.  They are just one non-xian mystical group.   Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans.  They all "feel" things.  Heck, even the fricken mormons claim to hear a "quiet voice".  It is not unique to you or your group.  It appears to be part and parcel of having a sufficiently highly developed brain.  And this type of experience has been replicated in labs, without any invocation of deities or spooks or hobgoblins.

So, if you want me to buy what you're selling, you need to bring a lot more to the table.


What about the complete 180 that has occurred

that's your own brain at work.

... only possible via the Holy Spirit?

I don't see how it's only possible with the holy spirit. You've not established that as a fact.  It is just an emotionally fraught opinion.

Anyone that knows me knows that I don't fake anything.

Hold on there, slim.  No one said you faked it.  I certainly haven't.  I think you probably had the experiences you claim you had.  I just think your explanation for them is wrong.  You are leaping from an experience to jesus H, and I do not find that connection to be obvious or warranted.

I'm very skeptical. There is no question that the God of the Bible is changing my heart, desires and mind through the Holy Spirit.

The latter sentence negates the former.

It's all a product of God's unmerited favor.

yeah.  That must be it.  You are special.  All the rest of us here, on the other hand, are totally shit outta luck.

The difference is you can't mistake the tangible Holy Spirit living inside of you...

Okay.  Let's analyze this rationally.  How do you know this?  How do you know it is the HS as opposed to a drug in your coffee or some other kind of supernatural effect? 

And if you have the Holy Spirit inside of you, you have no reason to manipulate the Bible,

Of course, if you only think you have the HS inside you and actually don't , you may manipulate the bible and think you're not.

a person relationship with God 

Can you describe this?  I've had conversations with many xians who talk about a relationship with god.  I inquire what they mean by that and it always ends up that it's not actually a relationship like any other relationship they have.  It is a "relationship", in quotes.  That is because it is not a relationship at all.  It is defined by them talking to a god whom they believe exists and then interpreting mundane goings on around them as coded messages from said deity.  Or they get feelings, which they are sure come from him.  Mormons actually claim to hear a "still, quiet" voice, which, not coincidentally, sounds exactly like their own.

So, this relationship you claim to have - describe it for me.

The street light example isn't causally related to anything. It doesn't happen to line up with the Word of God. What I'm describing is much more powerful and amazing.

I have no idea what you mean.  What do you mean the street lights are not causally related to anything?  Everything is causally related to something.  And what powerful, amazing phenomenon are you talking about?  Nothing is more powerful or amazing than the Force.


I think you should consider reading my testimony again.

No.  You've not said anything to make my point invalid.  I stand by what I said.  I am not impressed.  You've not connected the dots.


Just bc I was raised that way doesn't mean that Jesus isn't the one and only true God.

True.  But come on, you find god and it just so happens to be the god you were raised believing?  And as was pointed out by others here, how is it that people in india, pakistan, china, and all those other heathen nations don't have the same kind of experiences and conclude "it must be jesus H"? 

The only people who turn to jesus H christ are the ones who've already heard of jesus H christ.

It's hard to have a genuine Devine experience point you in a direction of fasle divinity as is the case in all other religions and Gods.

I hope you realize how stupid that statement is.  It really is beneath me to explain it. 


I'm not in a cult.

Says the cultist.  Do you think Catholics think they're in a cult?  Mormons?  Of course not. And yet, you think they are anyway.

I reject your checklist. Dickie Packham is obviously a twit.  His checklist is self serving and he, as far as I could find, is not an expert in anything, except perhaps speaking German.  You need to do better than that. 

Here, start with wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult  It's not perfect, but at least it has references to legitimate people.



It's not bigotry to disagree with someones lifestyle or beliefs.

I didn't say it was. But you do not just disagree with them.   You arrogantly look down on them.  If you did not, you would not be calling them a cult.  Own up to your bigotry, Justin.  Bigotry makes baby jesus cry.  Why are you making baby jesus cry?

Catholism is one of the most damaging things in this world.

I don't disagree.  I'm not defending the RCC.  However, I find it hypocritical in the extreme for you to be throwing stones.  It is no more damaging than evangelical xianity and probably less so than the charismatics.  You know.  The loons who speak in tongues, handle snakes and writhe around on the floor. 

The Bible was always meant to be the authority.

That would be incorrect. 

Their authority is based on apostolic succession. Not the bible.

The bible exists only because it was assembled by early church leaders through a process of negotiation, popular vote and horse trading, so to speak.  The books that make up the bible were decided by...the church.  Without them, you wouldn't even know what belongs in the bible. 

And the bible does not itself say it is the authority. Sola Scriptura is not biblical.  However you slice it, you rely on the authority of the Roman Catholic Church.  Without it, the bible is totally subjective.

It was written by men who were inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit. It's 100% true.

Ipse dixit.  And those allegedly inspired men were certainly not whatever new-to-the-game cult you represent.

The catholic church is the opposite of the experts at bring you or teaching anyone about God.

I would agree.  However, my position is if there is a god, no one knows anything about it.  Thus, the people who wrote the bible are as reliable as my garbage man, progably less so, given their level of knowledge.  Your plumber is as much an expert on god as you, a theologian or a priest.  You, however, have no grounds to complain about them.  Your arguments are hypocrisy.

I do not worship the Bible as that would be idolatry. I worship the one and only Living God through His Son Jesus Christ.

No, no.  You fetishize the bible.  It is an idol to you.  All your "congruent with the bible" talk is no different than bowing down to Mammon.  That too makes baby jesus cry.

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Offline DVZ3

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #97 on: July 25, 2013, 05:59:21 PM »
I knew I was an atheist for many reasons. The one that mainly sticks out is thinking about the myth that there will be an afterlife with Jesus/god etc... There is no rationale a person could logically come to in believing in an afterlife let alone one with man made character from a book from once upon a very long time ago...

I'm sorry, but this is just another man with a silver tongue pretending to have all the answers and why our position hasn't been thought about or reasoned. This man is just another liar with a smile. I try to have a smile back but it's ever so increasingly difficult to knowing what they believe to be true is the biggest white lie ever told this century.

These same types of people will go watch a magic show with a great magician showing people being sawed in half, levitation, disappearing acts etc... All these illusions are done with slight of hand and trickery to be sure. This same person understands this and hopefully wouldn't walk away from a David Copperfield show thinking he was the real deal regardless how much emotion and sense of wonder to the mystifying illusions trying proclaim that he is a messiah etc...

In other words, he is perfectly content with doing this "slight of tongue" with a character from long ago but doesn't apply the same "slight of hand" logic to it he would with someone today. Now he is just another guy with a silver tongue for an ancient person proclaimed to be not only a magician of his time but the magician of the universe. And this person expects all of us to believe this because he was moved by a show sort speak...

This to me is a very dangerous and almost schizophrenic way to live your life and view the world but it's accepted because its religion.

Anyways, good luck with your burger joint. There is another religion where the cow is sacred and you would labeled as the devil. But hey, you have Jesus when you meet in him in the afterlife you guys can enjoy a burger or two I suppose. 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 06:21:42 PM by DVZ3 »
Hguols: "Its easier for me to believe that a God created everything...."

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #98 on: July 25, 2013, 06:08:51 PM »
bm
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline DVZ3

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #99 on: July 25, 2013, 06:53:51 PM »
In Steve Jobs format.....  and there's one more thing.

Not only did he come in preaching to us but worst yet (they never get it) he comes with a staggering amount of assumptions, stereotypes, and prejudice that would make George Zimmerman jealous but leaving him wanting to know jesus.

Look what George did and the outcome with a gun "literally on his side".

Now look throughout history and even today with what people to with jesus/god on their side... historically, scientifically, politically, and even socially...

One of the biggest differences that separates us from chimps and ape species (even if you don't believe in evolution) is the fact that we can learn and advance from our former generation; chimps and apes do not show this awareness or trends.  As humans we can exchange and share information for survival and advancement of the species. When a child begins to 'point' this means they are trying to share information of what they are seeing in the world (a very special time if you're a parent and understand this).  When we become adults we use language, body language (pointing is now one of many forms), and now written/read communication skills on a whole other level.  Even now younger kids are learning about technology and computers faster than anyone would have ever imagined.

Learning from our past/history is part of being human.  Atheist are typically atheist because they have learned about our past and our history and now we are just 'pointing' at all theists and asking them to finally deliver extraordinary evidence for an extraordinary claim.  That's it, it's really as simple as that.  But there hasn't been any extraordinary evidence.  None whatsoever - You included.

But thank you for reminding me that even a person with 2-way conversation and better yet, a relationship with the universes magician named jesus, can't be communicated in a way to inform them of the types of people here in this forum.  While you smile and tell others in your circle of friends and restaurant patrons that you're not prejudice, you don't stereotype and you're not a bigot.  Just remember that you have the cloak of the truth wrapped around you like a warm blanket a child would once covet and not want to ever let go.


Edit - I hope I wouldn't have to explain this bit I will anyways. This guy thinks he's just like George Zimmerman with Jesus as his side arm doing what he believes may be the right thing to do. He won't let the police/Jesus do the bidding because they both knew the job won't get done for some reason...
He will be questioned and passionately pointed at with questions. In the end, he will play the victim...  :-\
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 08:24:50 PM by DVZ3 »
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #100 on: July 25, 2013, 07:22:12 PM »

Anyways, good luck with your burger joint. There is another religion where the cow is sacred and you would labeled as the devil. But hey, you have Jesus when you meet in him in the afterlife you guys can enjoy a burger or two I suppose.

Which makes me think of the temperance movement and SPAG. All those 'devil's drink' and 'demon rum' sermons. All the while the only time alcohol is mentioned in the New Testament is that the guy whom they worship uses his divine almighty power to make more of it.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline neopagan

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #101 on: July 25, 2013, 07:56:34 PM »
hatter... you realize jeezus was making Welch's grape juice, right?  That's why Paul said not to get drunk with grape juice... I hate when that happens to me.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #102 on: July 26, 2013, 08:11:06 AM »
I'm really sorry about botching the quoting. I wasn't aware of the preview which will be a big help. I've now read everything I can about it and hope to have it down.

It does take a bit of practice.  Keep working on it, you'll get it eventually.

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Is there a "reverse quote" button? Like a button I can push like the quote button, but in reverses the "quote" and the "end quote" text?

You'll notice that there are several formatting buttons when you compose a post, such as "bold", "italic", and so on.  One thing you can do is to select a section of text in your post, then click the pertinent formatting button to apply that type of format to the entire section you've selected.  "Quote" is one of the buttons.  So there's no "reverse quote" button or anything like that per se, but there are some ways in which the quoting level can be handled at least partly automatically.

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Most of the regulars here have not always been atheists; most of them are former Christians.  When they felt their faith starting to fade, they were highly alarmed and did not want to lose it.  They desperately prayed and prayed and prayed, frantically begging Yahweh to give them strength or some kind of a sign or something to help them continue believing him.  Yahweh did not answer them.  It's a big part of the reason that they're atheists now.  What do you think about that?

First of all I love the genuine nature of your question.

Thank you.

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I don't know how to emphasize this enough. Christian is such a loose term. There are very few Christian catholics, mormons, jehovah witnesses, etc... A person is not a Christian until they've been Born Again as Jesus said. They are not Born Again until they've been in dwelt with the Holy Spirit as I and millions of others have and everyone could.

As an atheist myself, I don't consider it my place to tell Catholics, Mormons, or anyone else that they're not "real Christians".  If someone tells me that he is a Christian, I consider myself ethically bound to take him at his word.  Apart from the intellectual implications of an atheist deciding who is or isn't a member of a class that he himself says he doesn't belong to, it's just plain rude.  (By way of comparison, I've had Christians openly tell me that I'm not a "real atheist", so I can tell you from experience that it is highly offensive.)

Also, are you familiar with the logical fallacy known as a "No True Scotsman" argument?  Because it sounds to me like you're committing it here.  If you're not, you might want to review it.

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I'm very skeptical of anyone who claims to have been a Christian as I've previously described, and now claims not to be. The reason for this is that you can't unbelieve something that you yourself have physically experienced and have known to be true. You can't have a relationship with someone and then say you didn't or believe you didn't. The Holy Spirit is a tangible presence in a true Christian's life, not something that someone can change their mind about or forget.

And this one is definitely a "No True Scotsman".  And, again, I'd caution you about whom you say this to, regardless of whether it's a fallacy or not.  If you say it to most of the regulars here, they're probably going to think that you're belittling the pain they experienced as a part of losing their faith, and they won't take kindly to it.  Kind of like, "Oh, your wife cheated on you and ran off with the mailman, taking your life savings with you, huh?  Well, then, you weren't really married in the first place, I guess.  A real wife wouldn't do that to her husband."

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There's plenty of people who've tasted that Truth, and while they know it's real, have decided to push God away for a myriad of reasons. They appear as atheists but they're really just mad or disappointed with a faultless God. I'm not directing this to anyone in particular.

Maybe there are such people, I don't know; if so, I don't believe I've met any.  I do know that you won't find any such people here at WWGHA.

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Also there could be people in the group you've described that had a different timetable then God. There are people who have the wrong understanding of God's attributes and of the Bible and in turn their expectations of God are faulty. Others just didn't have the trust they needed to wait for God or to know that we should never go upon our own understanding.

If Yahweh knew that these people would become atheists if they didn't receive some kind of a sign or something within a certain timeframe, and he did not give these people a sign, then their atheism is Yahweh's fault.  How could it be otherwise?

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It's important to remember that their story isn't over.
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Neither is yours.  ;-)

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2. I'm not trying to convince anyone and God doesn't care if you believe or not.

Obviously he does care, considering what he does with people who don't believe.  I have no interest in "Doctor Who" at all, so if someone says that Tom Baker was not the best doctor, I'm not inclined to soak that person in gasoline and throw a lit match on him.  Actually, it's hard for me to imagine doing that to anyone at all, but if I did, you can bet it would be for something I care about a hell of a lot.  No pun intended.

He doesn't care if you believe in Him, He cares if you believe in His Son Jesus Christ and that you believe that He sent Him to die for our sins. He cares, bc this is the only way He can have a personal, loving and intimate relationship with His creation.

If you say that whether he can have a relationship with us is dependent on our own beliefs, you are denying his omnipotence.  Are you willing to do that?

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And yes He is very offended, as would anyone, when His creation, which He owes nothing

He may not be obligated to give us anything (though I find that debatable), but he absolutely does have an obligation to refrain from certain actions directed toward us.  He is obliged, for example, not to set anyone on fire -- and he is failing to uphold his obligation.

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He does care a lot about us, that's why He's set up this perfect formula called the Gospel.

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How does that follow?

I'm not going to bog this thread down in the mountains of evidence that exists for the resurrection, God existing or any of the other evidences that support Christianity.

That's because, as far as the claims of the bible go, most of them have no support at all, and some of them are flatly falsifiable -- examples of the latter, for example, I've already given (e.g., we know that there was no exodus because if such an exodus occurred, there would be certain types of archaeological evidence , and such evidence isn't present even in minuscule amounts, let alone the overwhelming amounts that should be there).

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The reason for this is that as I said earlier no one will be able to convince someone of God other than God Himself.  I can't convince someone to have a realtionship with someone or to love someone. It's never about evidence it's about where a person's heart is.

But, again: in order to have a relationship with someone, you must have not the smallest doubt that the individual in question actually exists.  (Have you ever been in love with someone whose existence you were uncertain of?)  That being the case, if Yahweh wants to have a relationship with me, he first has to stop playing hide-and-seek with me.

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God has no interest in proving Himself to someone who isn't interested in a relationship with Him. Who isn't desperately seeking Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

You've got hold of a chicken-and-egg scenario here: by this explanation, the only way anyone can become a Christian is if they're already a Christian.  Doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

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Just saying that a lack of evidence of something doesn't mean it isn't true.

And, again, so what?  Did anyone make this claim?  If they did, then obviously, they're wrong.

However, the flip side of the coin is that, just as lack of evidence doesn't mean something isn't true, it also doesn't mean that it is worth considering whether it is true.  Sagan's "The Dragon in my Garage", for example.

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You have to understand that that Christians don't have faith in a thing or a concept, they have faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

Oh, believe me, the regulars here understand that very well.

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It's no different then having faith or believing in your dad when he tells you he's going to do something or that he did something.

Actually, it's worlds different in that the existence of your dad cannot reasonably be doubted without going the route of the Cartesian Demon.  The existence of Yahweh, however, is another matter.

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Another question to ask yourself is what kind of proof would you expect from God?

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How about some kind of a healing miracle that cannot be explained by natural processes?  Like, say, an amputee spontaneously and miraculously getting his leg back?
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The Bible is filled with exactly what you are asking for.

Right, and as I've said: the bible is not evidence, the bible is the claim.  Where is your evidence?

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Also as I've said if He did that right in front of you, you may believe but would you love Him and His Son?

To be honest, probably not.  Yahweh is a torturer and mass murderer whose kill count was not exceeded by any human being until the Twentieth Century (if, indeed, even then).  As I've said before, it's just barely possible that you could convince me of Yahweh's existence.  Love him?  Never.  He's the pinnacle of imperious tyranny.  Now, if he wants to try to convince me that he is different from how he is described in the bible, that might be another matter.

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Would you repent of your sins and ask Him for forgiveness?

My first question would be to ask him how I wronged him.  I do apologize to people I have harmed, but what with him being omnipotent and all, it's kind of hard for me to conceive of how it would even be possible for me to harm him.

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Also he tried that with Jews in the Old Testament and it didn't work.

So?

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Doing overt things like that not only makes God into a novelty act but also would cheapen the relationship that developed.
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Again, so?  If he wants a relationship with me, isn't it better that it be a cheap one than none at all?

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It's important to understand that the demonically deceived powers that be have a vested interest in keeping the truth about Jesus Christ from you.

Considering that Christ is omnipotent, it shouldn't matter, should it?  It isn't possible to fight someone who is all-powerful.  I mean, if I fill a balloon with water and shoot it point-blank with a .44 Magnum, what are the odds that the balloon is not going to burst?  The odds of winning a fight with Jesus should be even slimmer than that, shouldn't they?

This would negate our free will. So would Him healing amputees right in front of us.

Ah, the "God plays hide and seek so we can have free will" argument.  Do you have any idea how bad this argument is?  I don't think you do.  Greta Christina explains it probably better than anyone else could.

Quote from: Greta Christina
“God can’t reveal himself to us clearly,” this argument goes, “because he wants us to have free will. We have to be free to believe in him or not. If he revealed his presence to us, we’d be forced to believe in him — and our free will is a precious gift. It’s what makes us God’s unique creation.”

It’s a really, really bad argument.

I’m going to dismantle it today.

Imagine you’re on a jury. You’re asked to decide whether something is or is not real, whether it did or did not happen: whether the accused stole the diamonds, or set fire to their warehouse for the insurance, or shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. The prosecution doesn’t offer much evidence at the trial — it’s all circumstantial at best, third-hand hearsay at worst, with excessive appeals to emotion and fear, and arguments based on faulty logic. So you decide to acquit.

And then, after you’ve reached your verdict, you’re told there’s a videotape, clearly showing the accused committing the crime.

You’re baffled. You’re outraged. You confront the prosecutor in the hallway, and ask, “Why didn’t you show us this evidence at the trial? Why show it to us now — when it’s too late to do anything about it?”

And the prosecutor replies, “Because you had to be free to decide for yourself. If we gave you that videotape, it would have made your choice too obvious. Free will is a precious gift, a crucial component of the justice system — and in order for the jury to have free will, we can’t make the right verdict too obvious. That would have forced your hand.”

Would you nod your head sagely in agreement? Would you think that was a sound and reasonable explanation?

Or would you think they were out of their gourd?

And if you’d think this was a ridiculous and outrageous explanation from the prosecutor — then why on earth would you think it’s a good argument when it comes to God?

The "free will" argument is backwards.  Having less information doesn't enhance our freedom of choice, it's exactly the opposite: the more information we have about any particular matter, the more likely we are to make a wise (and correct) decision.  So by hiding from us, Yahweh isn't respecting our free will, he's actually interfering with it.

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There's no convincing people to have a personal relationship with God.

Actually, there could be, it's just that what skeptics would need to have such a relationship, believers are unable to provide.  For starters, you would have to prove that Yahweh exists, since it is not possible to even contemplate having a relationship with someone if you don't even know whether that person exists.  That, all by itself, is a tall order.

Having convinced someone of the existence of Yahweh, the next step would be to convince that person that Yahweh is not a complete fucking asshole.  Most rational and healthy people would not wish to have a relationship with a mass murderer of any kind, for example, and Yahweh, as portrayed in the bible, most certainly is one.  (Fun experiment for you, by the way... try going thru the bible sometime and adding up all the people that Yahweh slaughters.  Then, for comparison, add up the total number of people killed by Satan.  It's an eye-opening exercise.)

You're right believers are unable to provide this proof, no one is able to provide this proof. God is the only One who can prove Himself to anyone and it's that way by His perfect design. The only way God will be proved to anyone is if they humble themselves before Jesus Christ, ask Him for forgiveness, say you're sorry for pushing Him away all those years and thank Him for not giving up on you.

Proof shouldn't even be necessary before contemplating a relationship.  In fact, the concept is pretty ridiculous because it puts the whole thing backwards, as I've already said.  If you were contemplating marrying a woman, would you be asking for proof that she exists?  Of course not, because it's the other way around: if you were contemplating marrying a woman, it would be (in part) because you were already convinced that she existed -- in fact, just having that explained to you should show you how ridiculous it would be for it to be any other way.

It isn't possible to consider having a relationship with Yahweh -- or with anyone else -- unless you are first completely satisfied as to the existence of that person.  And if, as you say, Yahweh's existence cannot be demonstrated by anyone but Yahweh, well, then, my being an atheist is completely his fault.

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I do sincerely want to know the truth about Christ.  If I'm wrong about his not existing, I seriously want to know that -- I absolutely hate being wrong about anything, and if Christ exists and is omniscient, then he knows that.  So why am I still an atheist?  He knows full well that he would have my approval to correct my error.

I can tell by tone of your questions that you're genuine.

Thank you for acknowledging that.  You'd be surprised how many people deny it.

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Because it's not enough for you to WANT to be wrong.

I don't think anyone wants to be wrong about anything.  I suspect I may have a more intense hatred of it than most, but I doubt that anybody, for example, loads a gun and points it at his own head, preparing to pull the trigger, knowing that the gun will kill him but "hoping that he's wrong" about the gun going off when he fires it.

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You have to admit you're wrong.

And when proven wrong, I am perfectly willing to do so.  Yahweh doesn't seem interested in showing me the error of my ways, though.

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Go to church a couple times. Read the Bible with an open mind.

Most of us here have been to church more than a "couple times".  And most of us have read the bible in full, more than once and in more than one translation.  For many of us, it's why we're atheists now.

As I said it's not about reading the Bible or about going to church.

Actually, you did say it was about reading the bible or going to church, but whatever.

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Its about the state of your heart and mind when you do those things. If you're truly searching for truth, you'll find it.

You're right, I have found it: Yahweh does not exist.

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No one can prove that the Bible isn't true

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Actually, there are quite a few things in the bible that are known to be false.  The exodus, for example, never happened.  Neither did the flood.  The human race is not descended from two human beings.  Snakes and donkeys cannot talk.

I could bog this thread down with a bunch of links but I wont. The reality is that nothing in the Bible has been proven false.

Many things in the bible have been proven false.  I just gave a few examples.  There are many others as well.

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Many proclaimed atheists are very mad at God. I knew that when I was one.

I find that rather doubtful.  I would need to know specifics, but I imagine that, more likely, they were angry at people who called themselves followers of Yahweh because of the things that those people say and do.

Nope they're mad at a faultless, blameless God.

If Yahweh is omnipotent, then everything is his fault, but that aside: if there's anyone who's "angry at god", whichever god you're talking about, then they are, by definition, not atheists.  You cannot be angry at someone whom you do not believe exists, therefore, if you are angry at god, you are not an atheist.  It would be like saying that you're a bachelor who's angry at his wife.  It's simply not possible.

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Also being angry at people that believe in a fairy tale is very weird.

Not when you take a look at what those fairy-tale believers do based on their beliefs.

If we lived in a nation where 75% of the so-called "adult" population believed in the Easter Bunny; if several million of those people were wealthy and influential, and determined to pass laws based on Easter Bunny-ism that affected everyone, even the non-Easter Bunnyists...

If every other street corner in the nation had a temple for people to meet to worship him, and if radio and television was flooded with people preaching the Good News of the Easter Bunny (free candy, if only you believe!)...

If those temples were given tax exemptions, at the cost of higher taxes for everyone else...

If the minority who lacked belief in the Easter Bunny had to struggle with hiding that lack of belief for fear that disclosing their apostasy would result in their property being vandalized, their families ostracizing them, their careers and even their personal safety put at risk...

If that minority were routinely told to move to another country were non-Easter Bunnyism was welcome...

If custody battles in divorce cases were routinely decided in favor of Easter Bunnyists, with the judge explicitly saying that his decision was because non-Easter Bunnyism was "not in the child's best interests"...

If anyone openly admitting to non-Easter Bunnyism lacked even the smallest chance of being elected to any public office much above the position of dogcatcher...

If those disbelieving in the Easter Bunny were determined in public opinion polls to be almost as untrusted as rapists...

If teenagers admitting to their parents that they were not Easter Bunnyists faced the very real risk of being kicked out of their own homes, even if they had not yet reached the age of majority...

If the well-funded Easter Bunny majority was constantly trying to inject Easter Bunnyism into public education disguised as "science", while simultaneously working just as hard to have real science excluded from the curriculum...

If all that, and far, far more, were true...

...then we'd be pretty angry at Easter Bunnyists as well.

Can you understand why?



EDIT:  Forgot to source the Greta Christina quote and link to full article:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2010/08/11/why-does-god-play-hide-and-seek/
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 08:19:09 AM by pianodwarf »
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #103 on: July 26, 2013, 09:30:53 AM »

If all that, and far, far more, were true...

...then we'd be pretty angry at Easter Bunnyists as well.

Can you understand why?



EDIT:  Forgot to source the Greta Christina quote and link to full article:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2010/08/11/why-does-god-play-hide-and-seek/

I'm figuring...no.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline The Gawd

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #104 on: July 26, 2013, 09:49:56 AM »
Damn. I going to get some Culvers today, I forgot how delicious those butta burgers are. And I'm in Bolingbrook Justin, if ever out in the REAL south suburbs I'll be expecting a double butta burger with bacon, cheddar, mayo, and onions with chili cheese fries.................................. on the house. A WWGHA discount if you will.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 10:05:49 AM by The Gawd »

Online ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #105 on: July 26, 2013, 10:17:36 AM »
My synopsis of Justin's POV.

Atheists are angry at god. He used to be an atheist. The only way to get Jesus into your heart is to want him to be there. Which was what he wanted while he was an atheist angry at god. Things are okay now, so tears stream down his face he is so joyful. Hamburgers are good.



Edit: My bad. Had his name wrong. Fixed it.



« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 11:04:53 AM by ParkingPlaces »
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #106 on: July 26, 2013, 10:27:56 AM »
^^^ roll up every christian preconceived notion about atheists' views, sprinkle in a heavy dose of self-identification with those notions during the dark days, wrap it all in a half dozen logical fallacies and add a side of magic jeezus fries and a large cup of our fathers...

What does that make?  It's a causally related, biblically congruent Justin Happy Meal!

And don't forget: toy surprise is "Credulity Man" who you can bend, shape and twist into whatever you like.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2013, 10:29:51 AM by neopagan »
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Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #107 on: August 07, 2013, 11:15:10 AM »
I hope to get back here when I have more time, but things have just been a little busy.

I wanted to pass something along quickly that came to my mind as I was reading my Bible today.

Atheists and many of you have asked for proof or rational or have urged me to talk you into it or be more persuasive.

I've responded by saying that's not possible. No one can talk someone into loving someone else. No one can talk someone into wanting to be in a relationship with someone.

The reason you may never see proof, or ever have a relationship with Jesus Christ is because you don't sincerely want one.

God has designed the world to make it impossible for someone to have God proven to them. Impossible for someone to be talked into a relationship with Christ. All of these would do nothing but cheapen God and the ensuing relationship that such shallow maneuvers would create.

I think this is what Jesus was trying to say in Mark 4:10. He's saying all of this will purposely sound ridiculous to someone who doesn't desire to have a relationship with Me. Who doesn't want help, who is too proud to ask for God to come into their life.

He spoke in parables so that only the people who truly wanted to know Him, would come and ask what they meant. He had no interest in spreading the most beautiful Truth to people who weren't willing to humble themselves and form a real relationship with Him.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #108 on: August 07, 2013, 11:36:20 AM »
The reason you may never see proof, or ever have a relationship with Jesus Christ is because you don't sincerely want one.

Bull.  Many of us were christains at one point.  We sincerely desired a relationship with Jesus.  We didn't just go "Jesus... eh, whatever".  We tried to hang on to our faith, find reasons to believe.  But in the end, we found that there was no reasons to believe.  You really think we wouldn't want to be friends with the creator of the universe?  Thing is, we would.  How awesome would that be?  However, the fact remains that there is no evidence of such a thing.



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God has designed the world to make it impossible for someone to have God proven to them. Impossible for someone to be talked into a relationship with Christ. All of these would do nothing but cheapen God and the ensuing relationship that such shallow maneuvers would create.


In other words, reality operates exactly as we'd expect it if no gods were involved.


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I think this is what Jesus was trying to say in Mark 4:10. He's saying all of this will purposely sound ridiculous to someone who doesn't desire to have a relationship with Me. Who doesn't want help, who is too proud to ask for God to come into their life.

I am so sick and tired of the "too proud to seek god" arguement.  It's nothing more than a bullshit excuse for god's absent.



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He spoke in parables so that only the people who truly wanted to know Him, would come and ask what they meant. He had no interest in spreading the most beautiful Truth to people who weren't willing to humble themselves and form a real relationship with Him.

And then those people go to hell and suffer for all eternity.  Yeah, "beautiful truth", alright.

What is even meant by "humble themselves"?  It's one of those buzzwords thrown out a lot, but it doesn't really mean anything by itself.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #109 on: August 07, 2013, 11:43:20 AM »
The reason you may never see proof, or ever have a relationship with Jesus Christ is because you don't sincerely want one.

I swear to almighty glob, if anyone ever says this to me in person, I will knock evey last tooth out of their empty head and shove them right up their bottom.  I'm really sick of hearing this.

God has designed the world to make it impossible for someone to have God proven to them. Impossible for someone to be talked into a relationship with Christ. All of these would do nothing but cheapen God and the ensuing relationship that such shallow maneuvers would create.

God hides himself because knowing that a god exists would cheapen the relationship.  That's brilliant.[1] 

Justin, I noticed you are married.  Why do you cheapen your relationship with her by living with her and knowing her name and what she looks like and having met her in the first place?  Why don't you marry my cousin Sophia instead?  I won't tell you where she lives nor what she looks like nor anything about her.  This will give you an opportunity to have a perfect, pure relationship, instead of that cheap one you have with your current wife.

The rest of what you said was too stupid for me to bother to address. 


How's about you start addressing some of the counter-arguments?  pianodwarf and I spent a lot of time an effort to explain to you the problems with your ideas.  It is kind of disrespectful for you to just ignore us.

 1. that's sarcasm, because what you said was the exact opposite of brilliant.  It was stunningly idiotic. I was truly surprised by how stupid it was.
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #110 on: August 07, 2013, 12:31:07 PM »
He had no interest in spreading the most beautiful Truth to people who weren't willing to humble themselves and form a real relationship with Him.

Seriously, Justin?  Paul of Tarsus gets knocked on his butt and blinded for several days, but we modern folk have to suck it up, stretch our imaginations and just plain accept your narcissistic hide-and-seek god to avoid an eternity of hellfire?  That's fractally wrong.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #111 on: August 07, 2013, 12:37:34 PM »
The reason you may never see proof, or ever have a relationship with Jesus Christ is because you don't sincerely want one.

Justin, you really need to respond to the direct rebuttals people have provided.  You asked if I "truly" had a relationship with jeezus/holy casper, etc... I responded - as have others.  You summarily dismiss all of our fervent attempts to build/cultivate/share/maintain our faith (30+ years as a xian for me).  I believe pianodwarf told you very early on this would be offensive to many of us here.  Guess what... it is.
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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #112 on: August 07, 2013, 12:45:37 PM »
I hope to get back here when I have more time, but things have just been a little busy.

Thank you for letting us know.  As screwtape said, some of us have asked you some things that we'd like you to address.

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No one can talk someone into loving someone else. No one can talk someone into wanting to be in a relationship with someone.

I don't think anyone asked you to convince them to love Yahweh, or convince them to be in a relationship with him, either.  We've just asked you to give us some reason to believe that he exists.  That's a very different matter.

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God has designed the world to make it impossible for someone to have God proven to them.

Already addressed in the quote I gave from Greta Christina's article about the prosecutor who doesn't give you all the evidence in a case.  It's patently absurd.

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Impossible for someone to be talked into a relationship with Christ.

Well, yes, that's obvious.  You can't talk someone into a relationship with anyone at all.  This isn't a meaningful thing to say.

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All of these would do nothing but cheapen God and the ensuing relationship that such shallow maneuvers would create.

How the deuce does it "cheapen the person and the relationship with that person" to be certain that the person exists?!  That's just crazy.

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I think this is what Jesus was trying to say in Mark 4:10. He's saying all of this will purposely sound ridiculous to someone who doesn't desire to have a relationship with Me.

I have to point out, yet again, that it is quite impossible to have a relationship with someone whose very existence you consider doubtful.  To even contemplate having a relationship with someone, you must be quite thoroughly convinced that the person exists.  Or do you doubt whether your wife exists?

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Who doesn't want help, who is too proud to ask for God to come into their life.

On the defiant challenge of many believers before you, I have on more than one occasion openly asked Yahweh to come into my life, and Yahweh has never responded.  (The only response I've gotten is from condescending Christians who try to argue that since I accepted their challenge, it means I'm actually a believer who doesn't want to admit it.)  So this statement is just plain wrong.

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He spoke in parables so that only the people who truly wanted to know Him, would come and ask what they meant.

Considering the penalty that he imposes on people who don't "truly want to know him", this is a pretty lousy thing to do.

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He had no interest in spreading the most beautiful Truth to people who weren't willing to humble themselves and form a real relationship with Him.

Same answer.
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Offline jtk73

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #113 on: August 07, 2013, 01:06:31 PM »
...salvation by grace as the Bible clearly teaches.
Salvation from what?

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...we should never go upon our own understanding.
Why wouldn't Yahweh provide us with this understanding? I thought you said the didn't want mindless robots?

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He doesn't care if you believe in Him...
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He is very offended...when His creation...doesn't believe Him
The two preceding statements are contradictory.

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...He can have a personal, loving and intimate relationship with His creation.
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He is very offended...
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He does care a lot about us
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God has no interest in proving Himself to someone who isn't interested in a relationship with Him.
These are very human emotions, behaviors and desires. These don't seem like attributes of an all-powerful deity. At least not one worthy of worship or even acknowledgment.

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...that's why He's set up this perfect formula called the Gospel.
You must have a very different definition of perfect than most of the rest of the world.

Offline jtk73

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #114 on: August 07, 2013, 01:36:34 PM »
There is only one God who created man and the universe. He loves us all and only wants a loving relationship with each of us.
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He wanted people to worship Him under their own free will.
More human attributes that make your god seem very petty and not really very god-like.

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He wanted them to accept the free gift of salvation willingly.
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God's only requirement for restoration and eternal life is that we believe that He sent His only Son to die for our sins..
So...is it free or not? If it has a requirement, then it isn't free.
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The above requires people to humble themselves and to seek out the truth even the whole world is telling them the opposite. If He gave it away it would mean nothing to us.
Ok..So NOT free. Got it. Thank you for clarifying.

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It's our free will that created that separation
No, it wasn't. God set up the game and made the rules. EVERYTHING is on him.

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He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins
Then why are you on here talking about it. He died for our sins, what more is there to say or do. We can all go out and sin as much as we want. It's all forgiven, right?

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When they sinned...
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Instantly Adam and Eve knew...the difference between right and wrong
If they didn't know the difference between right and wrong...how would they know that eating the fruit was wrong? How would they know that doing something that God told them not to do was wrong?

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In order to restore that relationship God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins.
Again, why are you on here talking about this. All sins are forgiven - go live it up any way you like.

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For the people who choose not to believe He will simply respect the decision we made here on Earth and allow us to continue on to hell.
It is God's decision to send people to hell. It is completely on HIM.

Offline Astreja

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #115 on: August 07, 2013, 02:42:26 PM »
It is God's decision to send people to hell. It is completely on HIM.

Precisely.  I think this is something that True Believers™ tell themselves in a vain attempt to reconcile "Just God" with "Loving God" (although the dichotomy could be resolved simply by letting go of one of these mutually exclusive god-concepts).

When I was studying Business Administration about 20 years ago, one of the first things I learned is that responsibility and power go hand-in-hand.  You cannot give someone the responsibility for a problem unless you also give them the power and authority to properly deal with the problem.  Unless people in hell have the ability to just get up and leave whenever they feel like it, the god that created and sustained the hell, and who prevents anyone from leaving it, bears 100% of the responsibility for all suffering that occurs there.

I'm also amazed by the innumerable contradictions in Justin's worldview:  Free gift... with conditions.  Adam and Eve punished for something they did not yet understand.  A loving god who's offended when people don't return that love.  Just when I think Christianity can't get any more bizarre than it already is...
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