Author Topic: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian  (Read 11062 times)

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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #116 on: August 07, 2013, 04:13:51 PM »
Justin

You still haven't explained how it was that you were an atheist, but still wanted a relationship with god, which was required to get it. And now you have it.

How can one be an actual atheist and also want a relationship with god. Not that I care, but others might.

In the meantime, all the excuses we get from believers as to why their god remains invisible suck big time. Each sounds exactly like what it is. And excuse.

If I were a god, nobody would doubt my existence. Especially if I was in the mood to diss people for an eternity if they didn't get all excited about my existence. I'd give them a running start by saying "Hi" and stuff like that.

If you led a different religion in which you knew that the god you espoused didn't exist, how would your excuses look different from christian ones?

Don't tell me that you would whine more than christians. That's not possible.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #117 on: August 07, 2013, 04:46:12 PM »
It sounds like something a con artist would say. A psycho con artist.

A guy walks up to you on the street: "I have a marvelous free gift just for you. It's inside this small locked box. You have to swear that you believe the gift is inside before I give you the box. You can't just say you believe, you have to really mean it. And it is worth 1000 bucks."

This does not sound right to you. "Why should I believe that there is a marvelous gift in the locked box?"

"You just have to have faith."

There are nine empty boxes sitting open beside the guy. They look just like the locked one. You take the locked one and shake it. There is no sound.

"Uhh, those boxes are all empty. This locked one sounds like there is nothing inside it, either. And if I have to pay 1000 bucks for it, how is it free?"

"Don't worry about that--someone else already paid for these gifts. If you have faith that the gift is inside, you can have the box. But if you don't accept the box, someone will shoot you in the leg."

You hand the box back to the guy. "What, so now you are threatening me? You sound like a loony."

"I am not threatening you. I am just warning you that people who don't accept the box with the marvelous gift get shot in the leg. Remember on the news last week, that young guy who was shot in the leg? I'll bet he did not have one of these boxes."

The con artist points to a large group of people all holding locked boxes and smiling. "They all believe, and see how they haven't gotten shot in the leg."

"Most people never get shot in the leg-- it has nothing to do with any stupid box. Besides, those boxes are still locked. How do any of those people know there is a gift inside?"

"They have faith. They humbled themselves and admitted that their lives were meaningless without the marvelous gift inside the box. Don't you feel sad and empty sometimes? "

"Well yeah, but--"

"That is because you have a box-shaped hole in your heart. Accept the box."

The smiling people begin to sing a beautiful song about how glad they are that they believe there is a gift in the box, and how happy they are that they have not been shot in the leg.

You shake your head in wonder. "When do they get to actually open their boxes?"

"They don't. They have to care for the box, and then leave the box for their children to open after they die."

"What a stupid story. This sounds like a bunch of craziness to me. Keep your stupid box. I'm outta here." You quickly walk away. The man yells, "You are going to get shot in the leg! Just you wait!" You ignore him.

After a few minutes you look back and see the con man is talking to another person. To your surprise, the woman smiles, nods and accepts the locked box. As you watch she joins the singing group.... :?

We atheists are surrounded by smiling, singing people clutching the tattered empty gift boxes they got from their parents.  :o


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.

Online lotanddaughters

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #118 on: August 07, 2013, 08:40:23 PM »
3. Finally, I am a closeted atheist - I am married to a believing spouse and have believing children. We go to church together and they participate in various church functions as well - all of my family claiming to know christ.  I am indistinguishable from the thousands of other "believers" in the large church I attend.  However, I do not openly "lie" to anyone who asks me specifics or asks my input on religious matters (I won't quibble over the lie term here).  I will just note, given believers' presupposed notions, a non-answer or a double entendre works great.
 
 For example, my wife challenged me recently "Do you believe the bible was inpired by god?"  I answered, "of course it was."  She asked for no calrification and I gave none.  Her presupposition is that I believe like she does that god breathed inspiration into the authors and they wrote what he wanted.

Thanks for sharing.



Is there already a thread that exists where you discuss your plans(or lack of plans) for deconverting your wife and children?

This is a great thread, and I don't want to derail it. Your circumstance is very interesting, however.
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #119 on: August 07, 2013, 08:59:14 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.

None of my questions were ever addressed ... at least not directly. I anticipated that would be the case ... whatever ...


Quote
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.

If I started a relationship with Jesus, wouldn't that be gay? Wouldn't having a relationship with Jesus Christ violate homosexuality rules for Christians? Maybe they just follow the don't-ask-don't-tell philosophy, or maybe since I can't fuck a spirit I can only be a prison bitch, which means only I am gay but not Jesus?

This personal relationship stuff with Jesus is beyond confusing.



Quote
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.

Well, even John Hinckley proved his love to Jodie Foster, and he was just a mysterious figure for her. She didn't even want the relationship. The Christ/God figure can't even show up for church on Sunday. If John Hinckley can shoot the POTUS in order to show his love for Jodie Foster, why is Christ/God in hiding? Is he afraid of being shot by John Hinckley?


John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #120 on: August 07, 2013, 09:47:45 PM »
The reason you may never see proof, or ever have a relationship with Jesus Christ is because you don't sincerely want one.
If me experiencing eternal happiness is at stake, I most certainly want a relationship with Jesus Christ.


I most certainly wish that I have won a million dollars, but I see no evidence that indicates that I have. And, after hearing thousands of stupid, idiotic arguments from people claiming that I have won a million dollars, but the reason I may never see proof of that million dollars is because I don't sincerely want that million dollars, you must understand that I am pretty fed up with this bullshit by now.


And . . . eternal happiness is infinitely greater than a million dollars.

Go ahead and tell me again that I don't want a relationship with your version of Jesus Christ.


Enough with your bullshit.
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Online One Above All

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #121 on: August 08, 2013, 04:18:11 AM »
BM
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #122 on: August 08, 2013, 04:37:13 AM »
The reason you may never see proof, or ever have a relationship with Jesus Christ is because you don't sincerely want one.

You're absolutley right. I have no interest in reading the same fairytale over and over again and grovelling to a figment of someone else's imagination.

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #123 on: August 09, 2013, 12:03:34 PM »
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.

I'm not asking for being talked into a relationship, I'm asking for some evidence that the person you are talking about is more real than Santa Claus.

stop dodging.
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 Graybeard

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #124 on: August 18, 2013, 10:04:15 AM »
I hope to get back here when I have more time, but things have just been a little busy.

I won't hold my breath, but if you do, you might want to go back to your "testimony"[1] that you will find here: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,25208.msg563609.html#msg563609
 1. or as normal people say, "unsubstantiated claims that defy logic"
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Nam

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #125 on: August 21, 2013, 10:06:53 PM »
They always say they are too busy. They always say they'll come back...

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Hatter23

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #126 on: August 22, 2013, 06:55:56 AM »
They always say they are too busy. They always say they'll come back...

-Nam

Shall I demand dozens of examples with proof that they just haven't gotten around to 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 Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #127 on: August 22, 2013, 06:43:33 PM »
2. It's important to understand that I'd only been meditating at that point for about two months. No master of anything here. Really just searching for truth the same way I have my entire life.

I no longer have the ability to meditate as yogis and zen "masters" do. The way they meditate and the way I used to meditate cleared my mind and I zoned out in a way. Now, that's no longer possible. Now I'm very in tune with my surroundings when I meditate and feel a connection, peace and warmth that I've never experienced in my life until I was Born Again. 

You should read up on meditation and the phenomenon known as "satori". If you did not experience any physiological damage then this is very likely what you experienced. Your word choices did not initially indicate that to me but the description above of now being 'in tune' with your surroundings when meditating reminds me of what I've learned about satori. After you experience it your perceptions of the world around you are, simultaneously, the same yet profoundly different.

Does Satori say anything about your new reality lining up with the Bible perfectly? Does it mention anything about feeling the Holy Spirit living inside you? Does it say anything about having a relationship with the only Living God? I'm guessing no, and the only explanation for what I've described is that of which the Bible describes when a person is born again or I'm totally insane.
Quote

Not knowing about satori, it is most likely that (if this was just cognitive) your mind filled in the only spiritual material it knew well enough to 'explain' the feeling – your Christian upbringing. Since Catholicism is negative (overall) and satori is a transcendent experience, your mind would have stripped away the negative elements when referencing the spiritual material giving you a faith in Jesus but not accepting of Catholicism.

catholicism is a cult, it's a religion, I have a relationship.
Quote

Quote
... perfectly congruent, causal and tangible with the Bible and Jesus Christ
You keep repeating this like a mantra.

That's because it's the most important non-spiritual thing to understand about my experience and totally undermines your previous point.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #128 on: August 22, 2013, 06:49:08 PM »
From Justin's link

Quote
Now many people ask me how I can be so sure that it was Jesus Christ. I tell them that the biggest reason and strongest reason is the feeling that I had in my heart. It’s an intangible feeling that I can’t describe.

translation: I have no idea whether it was jesus H, Tiamat, or Thetans.
OR
I grew up catholic, so all that jesus stuff was already in my background.  I was primed for xianity.



That's the prima facie case against these sudden conversions. People who live in Oklahoma and are unlikely to hear about any other religion than God/Jesus are also very unlikely to give testimony to any other religion. Is anyone in Oklahoma suddenly going to find revelations in Muhammad?

Are there burger joints in Iran where owners suddenly find Jesus Christ? Or do they find Muhammad? What about burger joints in Tibet? Do those owners suddenly find Jesus Christ?

Maybe the reason they're unlikely to hear about other religions is bc Jesus is the true God.

Maybe they don't give testimony to any other religion bc the other religions are false and they had a real experience with the only Living God.

There are no revelations from muhammad that aren't demonic. Muhammad, Joseph Smith and all the other religions are nothing more then demonic deceptions played on unsuspecting individuals.

I don't know about the burger joint thing, but Iranians certainly find Jesus. Tibet as well. People from all over the world have always found Jesus, many who had never heard the name Jesus.

Online One Above All

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #129 on: August 22, 2013, 06:53:52 PM »
<snip>

Maybe the reason they're unlikely to hear about other religions is bc Allah is the true God.

Maybe they don't give testimony to any other religion bc the other religions are false and they had a real experience with the only Living God.

There are no revelations from Jesus that aren't demonic. Jesus, Joseph Smith and all the other religions are nothing more then demonic deceptions played on unsuspecting individuals.

I don't know about the burger joint thing, but Iranians certainly find Allah. Tibet as well. People from all over the world have always found Allah, many who had never heard the name Allah.

Did my story convince you? The correct answer is NO. Know why? Because it's simply not true, except for the first bit of the last paragraph. The truth is that all religions are false. People converting to and from a certain religion doesn't make it more or less true than the others. They're all false.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #130 on: August 22, 2013, 07:03:21 PM »
Hello all,

My name is Justin Obriecht and I was surprised to see a discussion surrounding my testimony.

While I've read and appreciate all of the differing views of what has happened in my life, I was hoping some of you would take the time to read my full testimony, written by me, soon after the events happened.

I'd be happy to discuss my motivations, my past anti-theistic life, and any thing else, if we can just start from the same position, which is my personal testimony.

You can find it here http://justinobriecht.com/about/

Thanks for not being luke warm and being bold in what you believe. I know from past and present experience it's not easy no matter which side of the fence you're on.

Justin, thank you for visiting the forum and for being willing to post here.

I have not read anything that I haven't read before, elsewhere. While I am glad that you are feeling well, perhaps 50% better than on any other day in your life, I do not attribute such things to mysticism. You found Jesus because the Catholics found you and inculcated you long ago. When you ask 999,999 out of 1,000,000 people in Illinois who they found in their hearts, it's going to be Jesus. Not Zeus, Zorg, Cthulhu, Muhammad, Allah or Buddha. Nope, Jesus always wins the heartland. He doesn't fare so well in Iran, Tibet, Sudan, Siberia, Mongolia, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco ...

Your testimony is solely about being sucked into the trap of your locale rather than any proof of mystical interaction with reality.

That's my $5. I used to give just 2¢ but I've had to adjust my contributions to match inflation.


By the way, call me cynical but an atheist who finds Jesus is a great way to get into a new career. I've thought about doing it myself, but I'm too honest to engage in such blatant manipulation.

The thing you're missing is that this country happened to be founded on Christianity and Biblical principals. And Christianity happens to be the only true religion. The foundation just happened to not be laid in those other countries in anything but a false god and religion.

The fact that Christianity flourished in the US is not evidence that Jesus Christ isn't God.

Everyone fails to realize that my experience is ongoing. It's not just my testimony. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and as the Bible says the Holy Spirit now lives inside me and guides my life.

And while you're the first person ever to question my credibility in relation to my testimony or my relationship with Jesus Christ, I can say that what I'm claiming is either true or makes me, Jesus Christ and all other Christians (including MLK, Colin Powell, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington) nuts.

 The question I always ask people when they say I might be nuts, is what other areas of my life would you expect that insanity to affect? For the people who know me that's a very hard question to answer.

As far as a new career, I neither need one nor want one. Actually I'm in the hole about $30k because of the work God has called me to do, so not a good financial or career move I can assure you.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #131 on: August 22, 2013, 07:08:56 PM »

Quote
Hello all,

My name is Justin Obriecht and I was surprised to see a discussion surrounding my testimony.

While I've read and appreciate all of the differing views of what has happened in my life, I was hoping some of you would take the time to read my full testimony, written by me, soon after the events happened.

I'd be happy to discuss my motivations, my past anti-theistic life, and any thing else, if we can just start from the same position, which is my personal testimony.

You can find it here http://justinobriecht.com/about/

Thanks for not being luke warm and being bold in what you believe. I know from past and present experience it's not easy no matter which side of the fence you're on.

[/quote]Justin, thank you for visiting the forum and for being willing to post here.

I have not read anything that I haven't read before, elsewhere. While I am glad that you are feeling well, perhaps 50% better than on any other day in your life, I do not attribute such things to mysticism. You found Jesus because the Catholics found you and inculcated you long ago. When you ask 999,999 out of 1,000,000 people in Illinois who they found in their hearts, it's going to be Jesus. Not Zeus, Zorg, Cthulhu, Muhammad, Allah or Buddha. Nope, Jesus always wins the heartland. He doesn't fare so well in Iran, Tibet, Sudan, Siberia, Mongolia, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco ...

Your testimony is solely about being sucked into the trap of your locale rather than any proof of mystical interaction with reality.

That's my $5. I used to give just 2¢ but I've had to adjust my contributions to match inflation.


By the way, call me cynical but an atheist who finds Jesus is a great way to get into a new career. I've thought about doing it myself, but I'm too honest to engage in such blatant manipulation.
Quote


I'm sorry I botched the quotes it wont happen again.


The thing you're missing is that this country happened to be founded on Christianity and Biblical principals. And Christianity happens to be the only true religion. The foundation just happened to not be laid in those other countries in anything but a false god and religion.

The fact that Christianity flourished in the US is not evidence that Jesus Christ isn't God.

Everyone fails to realize that my experience is ongoing. It's not just my testimony. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and as the Bible says the Holy Spirit now lives inside me and guides my life.

And while you're the first person ever to question my credibility in relation to my testimony or my relationship with Jesus Christ, I can say that what I'm claiming is either true or makes me, Jesus Christ and all other Christians (including MLK, Colin Powell, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington) nuts.

 The question I always ask people when they say I might be nuts, is what other areas of my life would you expect that insanity to affect? For the people who know me that's a very hard question to answer.

As far as a new career, I neither need one nor want one. Actually I'm in the hole about $30k because of the work God has called me to do, so not a good financial or career move I can assure you.

How do you perceive what I'm doing to be manipulative?
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 07:16:05 PM by Justin Obriecht »

Offline Tero

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #132 on: August 22, 2013, 07:15:54 PM »
Quote
The thing you're missing is that this country happened to be founded on Christianity and Biblical principals. And Christianity happens to be the only true religion. The foundation just happened to not be laid in those other countries in anything but a false god and religion.

The fact that Christianity flourished in the US is not evidence that Jesus Christ isn't God.

GASP! :laugh:

So this is not a put on? OK, whatever.

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #133 on: August 22, 2013, 07:17:27 PM »
The thing you're missing is that this country happened to be founded on Christianity and Biblical principals.

lol no.

And Christianity happens to be the only true religion.

Hell no.

The foundation just happened to not be laid in those other countries in anything but a false god and religion.

Fuck no.

The fact that Christianity flourished in the US is not evidence that Jesus Christ isn't God.

True. It's not evidence of the opposite either.

Everyone fails to realize that my experience is ongoing. It's not just my testimony. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and as the Bible says the Holy Spirit now lives inside me and guides my life.

Is that anything like a Xenomorph? Because I bet some of us (not me, though) would like to see the Holy Ghost burst from your chest, so we can analyze it.

And while you're the first person ever to question my credibility in relation to my testimony or my relationship with Jesus Christ, I can say that what I'm claiming is either true or makes me, Jesus Christ and all other Christians (including MLK, Colin Powell, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington) nuts.

Too true. Christians (and theists) are nuts just because they're nuts. Belief in something for which there is no evidence is insanity and should be treated as such, if not for the fact that religion is a tolerated form of insanity.

The question I always ask people when they say I might be nuts, is what other areas of my life would you expect that insanity to affect? For the people who know me that's a very hard question to answer.

Hm...
The thing you're missing is that this country happened to be founded on Christianity and Biblical principals.
<snip>
And Christianity happens to be the only true religion.
<snip>
I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and as the Bible says the Holy Spirit now lives inside me and guides my life.

And that's just from one post. If I knew you better, I'm sure I'd be able to point out other ways in which your insanity shows itself.

As far as a new career, I neither need one nor want one. Actually I'm in the hole about $30k because of the work God has called me to do, so not a good financial or career move I can assure you.

So Allah[1] is paying you?
Also, can you perform miracles, like the Bible says you should be able to? If so, I got a mentally disabled cousin who could use your help. I used to pray for her, but the big man never did anything but give me the finger (in a metaphorical way; he didn't even move his big fat ass to do that).[2]
 1. Explanation: The only god actually named "God" is Allah (which literally means "God"). The god of christianity is most commonly known as "Yahweh" (YHWH), but is also referred to by other names in the Bible, such as "Jealous".
 2. I (and other atheists) can probably guess what you're going to say in response to this revelation. It's a very common claim by theists.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #134 on: August 22, 2013, 07:18:26 PM »
While I am not so positive that atheists can't become theists, I still wonder. I've been an atheist for a long, long time and have no memory of ever having an "intensely atheist mind". I just don't believe. It is so easy anyone can do it.

I do not understand what an "intensely atheist mind" even means, Justin. Does it mean you were forcing it upon yourself? My mind looks intensely for facts, logic and rational understanding. If you mean that I have to drop all of those in order to find Jesus, then don't worry yourself. I won't. I can't.

No, it means that I thought the chances of God being real were so low it wasn't even worth thinking about.

My mind works the same as yours, and the more you look intensely for facts, logic and rational understanding, the closer you'll get to Jesus Christ.

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #135 on: August 22, 2013, 07:21:38 PM »
<snip>

The more you look intensely for facts, logic and rational understanding, the closer you'll get to Me. I, the One Above All, am the supreme ruler of the multiverse (God). Your god (lowercase "g", since it's not a major deity) is false.

Prove me wrong.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #136 on: August 22, 2013, 07:29:05 PM »
Hi everyone; your resident black dreadlocked atheist commie mommy here. Y'all have said nearly all the relevant things I would have said to the burger guy --although in not nearly as witty and incisive a style as mine. :angel:

One thing nobody has brought up. He said when he was an unbeliever,  he responded to religious people with goodness in his heart. Unlike most atheists. Huh?

Actually that's not what I said. I said that I tried to help them with what I saw as a disease in believing in God. I did it with the best of intentions. I also wasn't presuming anything about atheists in general.
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I doubt that most of the people he knew were atheists-- in the US that is not even possible! And we have as much goodness in our hearts (along with blood, arteries, cholesterol, spare valentine candy) as anyone else. Does he make a low-carb burger option?

When did I say most people I knew were atheists? Most people I knew were religious but didn't actually have a relationship with God. We have a veggie burger!
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I would like to reiterate one point: it is not surprising that a guy in the US would decide that Jesus Christ was the main dude. When I briefly returned to religion back in college (because my life was falling apart and also to chase this cute Christian boy) I, too, decided it had to be Jesus Christ speaking to my soul. It would be very surprising, even evidence worth researching, if either of us had heard from gods we had zero previous knowledge of, like Durga, Shango or Ahura Mazda.

People all over the world find Christ and the fact that many people do in the US, isn't evidence that Jesus isn't God. The key is that you returned to religion. You've never had a relationship with God. It's hard to hear from god's that don't exist.
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Rationality returned eventually, except a brief new age interlude when again, not coincidentally, my life was in crisis. And he had to diss on the JW's, didn't he? I might be showing up on his doorstep this Saturday morning if I had not become an unbeliever. He should be happy I am no longer religious. ;D

I am happy you are no longer religious. That's one thing that hasn't changed from my atheist days, I still try to save people from religion.
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And if some god wants to materialize in my bedroom someday, I would much rather Jesus stay home. Next time the hot white guy with long blonde hair better be Thor.... :-*

What do you have against Jesus?

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #137 on: August 22, 2013, 07:33:36 PM »
The fact that you're dialoging with me and have dabbled in multiple religions does show that you have an open mind. However an open mind isn't what is required for a relationship with Jesus Christ. The only thing that's required is a genuine burning to have Him in your life.

Not only do I not have a "burning desire" to have Jesus in My life, I have no desire at all.

Why is that?
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Without the strong desire to have Him in your life nothing else matters.

Perhaps to you, Justin, but you aren't in a position to decide what matters to other people.

I'm not but God is. You have to agree that if God is Jesus, nothing else matters if you don't have a relationship with Him
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That's unfortunate bc the Bible is the truth and all the other things you mentioned is the only way to salvation.

Then I reject salvation.

Can you explain your logic here? Just to be clear, salvation means you'll live forever with God as opposed to spending eternity in hell.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #138 on: August 22, 2013, 07:38:13 PM »
Justin

You really need to work on your quoting. Your response to me was a mess because you didn't do things right. We have a nice little thread that tells you all about how to do it. You can find it here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16778.0.html

You were nice enough to tell me that I shouldn't test the lord, and that he apparently still wanted me alive (when I got all testy on the dude) A six year old drowned in the river near where I live last week. Was this because the kid knew enough not to test god and got snuffed? Did the lord want the kid dead? How come I can exercise my free will and ask god to kill me, but the kid didn't get any free will or anything else except lungs full of water?

You can exercise your free will but you can't impose your free will on God. He is sovereign. There are a myriad of reasons for the child's death. The probable reason is that we live in a broken world full of sin that we created.
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And a god that allows disparities that big in life is no god at all. Which is exactly what I believe in. (I don't actually expect a response. No christian on this planet is capable of giving a cogent one. And I've heard more excuses than I care to deal with.)

Can you explain this a little more? Are you saying everyone should be equal?

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #139 on: August 22, 2013, 07:40:55 PM »
The fact that you're dialoging with me and have dabbled in multiple religions does show that you have an open mind. However an open mind isn't what is required for a relationship with Jesus Christ. The only thing that's required is a genuine burning to have Him in your life. Without this it doesn't matter where you look, what you read or how open your mind is. Without the strong desire to have Him in your life nothing else matters.

Apparently you were a rarity. An atheist with a burning desire to have Jesus save you. Methinks the rest of us are a little less concerned about such things.

As for me, gobs of things matter. Just not the god stuff.

I'm not a rarity. You can find born again christians all over. Spend some time talking to them with an open mind. To be more concerned with anything but the possibility of God sounds crazy to me. Even as an atheist I knew this. It's the reason as an atheist I spent so much time on the subject. It just so happens I was wrong about my position.

Offline Chronos

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #140 on: August 22, 2013, 08:19:30 PM »
Maybe the reason they're unlikely to hear about other religions is bc Jesus is the true God.

Oh god, my stomach is turning.

Um, which version of Jesus is the One True GodTM?  Catholic? Methodist? Baptist?  Jehovah Witness? Mormon? Presbyterian?

I'm so tired of these One True God arguments that are simply hollow shells much like empty eggs.


Maybe they don't give testimony to any other religion bc the other religions are false and they had a real experience with the only Living God.

No originality whatsoever.  No depth whatsoever.  No point whatsoever.


There are no revelations from muhammad that aren't demonic. Muhammad, Joseph Smith and all the other religions are nothing more then demonic deceptions played on unsuspecting individuals.

Put it in a mirror and see the opposite.   Another hollow reply that doesn't even qualify as an argument.


I don't know about the burger joint thing, but Iranians certainly find Jesus. Tibet as well. People from all over the world have always found Jesus, many who had never heard the name Jesus.

People all over the world have found Muhammad, as well. Some of them found all kinds of religious figures. But, at what rate are people in Iran finding Jesus? Very little. I'm sure you can find, oh, 500. But there are millions of Iranians. They find Muhammad far more often than they find Jesus.


Really?  This is all you could come up with? This is prima facie evidence that you are unable or unwilling to engage in logic or reality, or even accept a challenge to either.


John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline Justin Obriecht

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #141 on: August 22, 2013, 08:45:18 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.

So what's stopping him?

Us

How can we be stopping him?  He's omnipotent.  You can't stop an omnipotent being from doing anything.

We have free will and He does not stand in the way of our free will. If He did we would all be robots and that isn't what He wants. He wants us to make the choice whether or not to love Him. That's how all genuine relationships are formed. You have to have the desire to be in that relationship
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This created a separation from God for all future generations.

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If so, then it's only because he wanted things to be that way.  (Remember, he's omnipotent; it isn't even possible for something to be any way other than the way he wants it.)

That's not true bc He wanted to give us free will.

And being omniscient, he knew how we would choose, which makes him responsible for everything that has ever happened or will ever happen.  If, ten million years from now or whatever, the field of genetics has advanced to the point where you can determine, with 100% certainty, that any children you bear will turn into mass murderers, then any murders that happen as a result of your deciding to bear children will be your fault, not your children's, because you had enough information to know that you should not have procreated in the first place.  Same with Yahweh and the universe.

Yes He did know how we would choose but in His infinite wisdom created the most amazing way for us to be reconciled with Him, through trusting and believing in His Son Jesus Christ.

It does not however make Him responsible for everything. Just because He knows what's going to happen doesn't make Him responsible. He is a faultless and blameless perfect loving God. As I've said He created the best possible formula for creating the most love between Him and His creation as possible and that includes evil, death, and everything else in this world. It's important to note that he did this while also causing the least amount of suffering and pain, and yes I know all about the Holocaust and other horrible things.

The analogy you give is faulty because there isn' tremendous love, beauty and life created when because of those babies being born.
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He didn't just want a bunch of robots walking around worshipping Him. He wanted people to worship Him under their own free will. He wanted them to accept the free gift of salvation willingly.

Saying "worship me or I'll set you on fire for all eternity" is not a choice.

This forum is proof that it is.
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It's our free will that created that separation

Nope.  Adam and Eve did it.  Yahweh is just punishing everyone for it.  It absolutely amazes me that Christians can believe that this is just.  If you were given the electric chair because you had an ancestor in Sparta who murdered someone, you would be outraged beyond the power of language to express, but you think Yahweh doing the same thing is fair and proper?  Sorry, no -- I absolutely refuse to take responsibility for anyone's actions other than my own, and if Yahweh insists on doing otherwise, well, then -- he's an asshole.

Adam and Eve were simply the first ones, they created the initial separation. Every person and generation since has decided and chosen to follow in that rebellion and sin including me and you. I don't even understand what the big deal is since Jesus has died on the cross, and all you have to do to make this all moot is ask Him into your life and repent of your sins.
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but out of His abundant grace (unmerited favor) He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for our sins to give us each a second chance individually. It's the best deal of all time.

It's not a "second chance" for us because we never even had a first chance.  And, again: Yahweh could have just said, "I forgive everyone".  So much easier.  No misery or suffering required by anyone.

Your premise is wrong. God owes us nothing. We are the creation, He is the creator. Imagine the clay arguing with the potter. You act as if the second chance requires you to cut off your arm. It's the best deal ever, He dies for your sins and you get eternal life.

If He was to just wipe the slate clear that would cheapen Him and the relationship He wants with each of us. True love comes from getting to know someone, through struggle and hard times, through working at the relationship and a relationship with Jesus is no different.
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And by the way, why are so many billions of people being penalized because two people ate a piece of fruit?  Even if you hold that eating fruit is evil, shouldn't the only people who get punished for it be the ones who actually eat the fruit?

Because before that there was no sin. When they sinned, the world was poisoned by sin. It was no ordinary event. Instantly Adam and Eve knew they were naked, knew the difference between right and wrong, and in turn started acting as God the same way we do today.

That's not an answer.  Please explain, clearly and explicitly, why you believe it is just to penalize anyone for the actions of their ancestors.  You know, I hate to go Godwin here, but Adolph Hitler has living ancestors today, and no one would think of giving any of them the death penalty or a prison sentence or anything for what Hitler did.

Firstly God owes us nothing. Secondly if Hitlers ancestors acted as he did they would be punished, the same way we're punished because we act in the same way our ancestors did. 
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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.

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Why?  Why didn't he just use "Cosmic White Out" or something and erase the mistake that Adam and Eve had made?  Remember, again: talking about an omnipotent being, here.

Bc this is the most effective way for Him to show His grace.

Seems like it would be a lot easier and less painful for him to simply forgive everyone and create a global sign for everyone to see and understand -- not to mention more effective.  If the method you describe is so effective, why are two-thirds of the people on the earth not Christians?

It may be easier but like I've said many times, it wouldn't create as much true love between the creator and the created. It's not about quantity, it's about quality. The lack of Christians is not an indicator of quantity and quality of love being exchanged between the creator and His children. I can tell you from personal experience if God did as you suggested I would not love Him as much or as deeply. It would be cheap easy love.
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Which in turn creates a situation where His created beings can't even comprehend how much He loves them and in turn if they're willing will love Him all the more. This world is really a perfect formula for creating as much love between God and man as possible.

Again: "love me or I'll set you on fire forever" is not a choice, and even if it were, it would not be a choice offered out of love.  When a human being does something like that, we usually call him a stalker or a maniac or something.

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On the third day Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to about 500 different people over 40 days.

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Citation needed...

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15&version=NIV

Sorry, no.  That is not evidence, that is the claim.

No that's evidence http://carm.org/manuscript-evidence
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God's only requirement for restoration and eternal life (as Jesus experienced as the first example and proof of what we can expect) is that we believe that He sent His only Son to die for our sins in our heart of hearts.

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Why have a requirement at all?

Bc this is part of the perfect formula.  The above requires people to humble themselves and to seek out the truth even the whole world is telling them the opposite.

Why is that so important?  Oh, here we go:

Bc what perfect being wants to have a relationship with a know it all, prideful, egotistical, sinner.
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If He gave it away it would mean nothing to us. Only things that are earned through trusting and having faith in something or someone is worth anything.

That's not true.  I'll admit that when you work for something, it does often "taste sweeter" than if it's just handed to you, but if someone gave me a free Lamborghini, I would still value it.  A lot.

But a perfect God would never do something not perfect. So you kinda proved my point here.
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In order to give no one an excuse, He gave us the Bible, personal testimonies, our conscience, the obvious proof of creation, and periodically exposing most of us to the Gospel throughout out our lives.

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Obviously, there are excuses.  The bible does not emanate any kind of divine influence or inspiration, personal testimonies are meaningless, conscience is largely a product of evolution, there is no evidence that the universe was created, and as far as reading the gospels go, well... it may interest you to know that when I finally sat down and read the entire bible cover-to-cover last year, it served only to cement my rejection of Christianity.  If what you're saying is true, that shouldn't even be possible, should it?

There's excuses here, but none when you come face to face with God on the final judgement. All of the things you listed are only that way bc of your potential preconceived notions, hardened heart or unwillingness to give it a chance .

You do not know that.  I've been studying such matters for about a good 25 years now, so I'm not simply dismissing them because I'm not interested or anything.

And in the end, if, as you say, I end up coming face to face with Yahweh for a final judgment, well... my only comment to him is going to be, "If you wanted me to believe in you, you should have made your existence just a tad more obvious.  The fact that I spent my life not believing in you is your fault, not mine, and now you're going to set me on fire for all eternity because of your mistake?"

-The Bible doesn't emanate anything to you bc you wont let it.
-Personal testimonies are only worthless to atheists when they involve Jesus Christ. In all other arenas they're critical.
-There is no such thing as macro evolution. http://www.blogos.org/gotquestions/young-earth-creationist.php http://www.blogos.org/compellingtruth/evolution-facts.html
- If the universe wasn't created what happened? What caused the Big Bang? As Bill Craig says "To suggest that things could just pop into being uncaused out of nothing is to quit doing serious metaphysics and to resort to magic.
- Yes it's very possible. As I've said many time, it's not about reading the Bible, it's about what kind of heart you read the Bible with. If you read it in a skeptical way there is no power in the Bible. But if you read it in a humble, honest, searching for truth way, it's the most powerful thing on Earth.

I can tell you have an open mind and are genuinely looking for truth. I promise if you keep looking in a humble way, It will find you.

He made it blatantly obvious and He'll show exactly how. The Bible says we will have no room to argue and we wont even try. The reason for that is, God doesn't send us to hell, we send ourselves to hell. He simply respects the decision that each of us make while we're on this Earth.
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It's not about reading the Bible it's about what kind of heart and mind you read it with. All research should be done with a mind and a heart and an eagerness to be proven wrong. Most research should be done on things that go against our current understanding, beliefs or positions.

I'm not "eager" to be proven wrong... I doubt that very many people are.  However, when presented with proper evidence, I am perfectly willing to do so.

Reading the entire bible was, in fact, "research done going against my current understanding, beliefs, and positions".  That's almost quintessential for an atheist, really.  And, as I said, it served only to cement my rejection of Christianity.  As Astreja sometimes likes to say, "If you want me to believe that what this book says is true, please show me a snake that can talk.  Until then, we don't have much to discuss."  One could say the same thing about all kinds of other things for which there should be significantly more evidence (e.g., the exodus -- there should be tons of evidence of that if it happened, and there's actually none at all).

If you keep searching for evidence with the heart you display here you'll find it.

I agree with that the research you did was done against your world view but did you do it in a humble, wanting to be proved wrong way? That's how true scientists do their research.

Because God refuses to show you a miracle doesn't mean he doesn't exist. Remember it wouldn't be a perfect formula and their wouldn't be free will if He didn't let the skeptic have a leg to stand on. A very weak leg, but still a leg. The weakness of that leg will be embarrassing for many at the final judgement.
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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.

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You cannot "choose to believe" something.  (If you doubt this, try "choosing to believe" that I have a pet unicorn in my closet.)  That being the case, Yahweh's salvation test is even more unjust than it would appear at first glance.

It's true that you can't choose to believe something that isn't true

You cannot "choose" to believe anything at all, whether it's true or false.  The human mind simply does not work that way.  Beliefs arise in human beings by various methods, probably the two biggest ones being childhood indoctrination and being presented with evidence.  Simply choosing to have a belief, however, is not possible.

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Just Google " Christian Apologetics" and that will quickly become clear. Google "Fine tuning of the universe" or "the moral arguement for God" Or "William Layne Craig".

I urge you to use caution when saying things like this.  The people at this site are far more erudite regarding this topic than you appear to realize.  We know who William Lane Craig is -- notice, for example, that I even know how to spell his name, which you do not.  We're also quite familiar with the fine tuning argument, the moral argument, and probably everything else about apologetics that has ever been discussed.

We are not atheists because we haven't examined such arguments.  We are atheists because we have, and found them lacking.

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The most brilliant atheists understand that there is a world of evidence of God

Obviously we don't, or we wouldn't be atheists.

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the crusifixian and almost all events in the Bible.

Actually, very few of the events written about in the bible can be verified.  And:

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Nothing in the Bible can be proved false.

This is simply not true.  Geological evidence shows that there was never a global flood.  The Sinai desert was not occupied by two million people for forty years.  Snakes and donkeys cannot talk.  On and on and on. 

I disagree and so does the good doctor. http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebook/
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I'd challenge any of them to tell me that they're felt the Holy Spirit or had a relationship with God.

Then you'd better be ready to face a good deal of hostility.  I've seen their reactions when they are told that they "weren't really Christians" or "didn't really feel anything in their hearts" or anything else along those lines.  They get pretty angry.  And I don't blame them.

Well what did they feel? If they were real Christians they know Jesus is God. You can't unbelieve the truth. You can't put the genie back in the bottle. You can however feel like the God you know is real didn't treat you fairly and grow hostile to said God.
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Religion is the great deceiver!

THAT'S for sure.

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But I have to ask why would a quote from a fiery tale make someone uncomfortable or offend someone?

It's hard to explain, and different people probably have different reasons.  For my own part, it sounds condescending, and I don't like being spoken down to.  I'm an intelligent man who has spent many years thinking about and examining such matters -- I mean, jeez, I majored in philosophy, for crying out loud, so when I hear someone saying that they "hope my eyes will be opened" or something like that, it sounds to me like I'm being spoken to like a naive, inexperienced child, which I most definitely am not.  It would be kind of like expecting a dentist not to know what wisdom teeth are, or something.

That seems a little defensive to me. In order for what they're saying to be offensive you would have to know everything. The reality is you don't currently know the truth and those people are actually telling you something you need to hear badly. You are one of the few who doesn't have convenient friends.
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I hope to be on again soon. Until then I want everyone to know that I really appreciate and find value in this dialog. I really appreciate the respectful way everyone has handled this conversation. I also want to apologize for some of the things that I now know to be offensive and I will do everything in my power to not have it happen again.

I'm glad you're here, and I hope you're finding the conversations interesting and informative.

Responding to your respectful dialog has been really exciting and fulfilling for me.

Offline Chronos

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #142 on: August 22, 2013, 09:01:18 PM »
The thing you're missing is that this country happened to be founded on Christianity and Biblical principals.

Do you know how many times you will find the words "God", "Jesus" or "Christian/ity" in the US Constitution?   Zero times.

Do you know how many times you find the word "religion" in the US Constitution?   Two times.  The first time stipulates that there is no religious test to hold an office, and the second time is in the First Amendment which states that Congress shall pass no law regarding an establishment of religion.

So much for the USA being founded on "Christianity and Biblical principals [sic]" when there is nothing in the US Constitution that codifies a connection to religion much less even imply that connection in any meaningful way.

Are you really that ignorant of history? Of civics? Of the Constitution? Have you ever read the US Constitution?


And Christianity happens to be the only true religion.

Every religion makes that claim, so the assertion is completely intellectually bankrupt.


The foundation just happened to not be laid in those other countries in anything but a false god and religion.

Iran has not laid a connection between Islam and the government? Saudi Arabia? Did you know that the British have a national religion? Sweden? Many others ... I see that you like to engage in complete misinformation and disinformation.

The fact that Christianity flourished in the US is not evidence that Jesus Christ isn't God.

I have no idea what you mean by that statement, but considering that Jesus Christ isn't a real person the statement itself carries no meaning.


Everyone fails to realize that my experience is ongoing. It's not just my testimony. I have a relationship with Jesus Christ and as the Bible says the Holy Spirit now lives inside me and guides my life.

Mmmkay. Fine. Whatever. That's an opinion statement on your perspective of your life. Fine.


And while you're the first person ever to question my credibility in relation to my testimony or my relationship with Jesus Christ, I can say that what I'm claiming is either true or makes me, Jesus Christ and all other Christians (including MLK, Colin Powell, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington) nuts.

You are intellectually shallow. Not just in what you say, but in your ability to comprehend. I never once questioned your credibility in relation to your testimony in your relationship with Jesus Christ. That you think I did shows that you are shifting the point to fit your circumstances rather than to address the point I made. The point I made, and I'm not sure why I am bothering to post it a second time, is that your testimony of finding Jesus is a result of your location, not personal veracity. You found Jesus because you happened to be in a place where a lot of other people find Jesus. If you had been in a location where other people find Muhammad, I wouldn't question your personal veracity in statements of testimony for Muhammad. I am not questioning your personal veracity in testimony for Jesus. You find sea shells at the beach, so collecting them in a box to show everyone just shows that you were at the beach. The sea shells are real. The beach was real. The sounds of the ocean you heard in the sea shells -- not so real. Get it?

You need to attain some depth of discussion to survive on this forum.


The question I always ask people when they say I might be nuts, is what other areas of my life would you expect that insanity to affect? For the people who know me that's a very hard question to answer.

I never said you were "nuts" nor did I imply it. Nor did I state or imply that you were insane. So I don't know why you want to put words in my mouth except to project a particular viewpoint upon me simply because you lack the ability to respond in a meaningful way.


As far as a new career, I neither need one nor want one. Actually I'm in the hole about $30k because of the work God has called me to do, so not a good financial or career move I can assure you.

You want to have Jesus Christ as your Personal SaviorTM. Fine. I don't care. This idea of testimony to go around and proselytize people into your beliefs is to publicly advertise yourself in a variety of ways. One of them is for commercial purposes. Churches are not non-profit organizations -- they just happened to be untaxed ventures. So, whether you are pushing burgers or miracles, proclaiming an affinity for a locally popular deity certainly helps the bottom line of an income statement for either enterprise.

Asking your customers if they would like a slice of Muhammad on their burgers wouldn't get you far economically, and while I wouldn't find your choice of Islam any better than your choice of Christianity, I would at least give you bonus points for going against the local grain by offering slices of Muhammad on top of the chargrilled angus.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 09:07:49 PM by Chronos »
John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Atheist Burger Joint Owner becomes Christian
« Reply #143 on: August 22, 2013, 09:06:59 PM »
Justin

You really need to work on your quoting. Your response to me was a mess because you didn't do things right. We have a nice little thread that tells you all about how to do it. You can find it here:

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16778.0.html

You were nice enough to tell me that I shouldn't test the lord, and that he apparently still wanted me alive (when I got all testy on the dude) A six year old drowned in the river near where I live last week. Was this because the kid knew enough not to test god and got snuffed? Did the lord want the kid dead? How come I can exercise my free will and ask god to kill me, but the kid didn't get any free will or anything else except lungs full of water?

You can exercise your free will but you can't impose your free will on God. He is sovereign. There are a myriad of reasons for the child's death. The probable reason is that we live in a broken world full of sin that we created.
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And a god that allows disparities that big in life is no god at all. Which is exactly what I believe in. (I don't actually expect a response. No christian on this planet is capable of giving a cogent one. And I've heard more excuses than I care to deal with.)

Can you explain this a little more? Are you saying everyone should be equal?

I quoted the whole thing for clarity, but am responding to the bold part.

I of course know nothing about you other than your success in the burger business and your born again stance. But lets say you have a kid. You raises him or her well, and introduce the child to Jesus, and religion sticks and he decides he is saved and he goes through life as a christian. Then old age arrives and finally takes your child off into a wonderful infinity in heaven with Jesus.

The same day your kid is born, a crack addict has a child as well, who is beaten and starved and at the tender age of three gets raped and smothered by a 400 pound man.

At what point did said child get to exercise her free will? How can the disparity between the two children be so great? Several christians have told me that the important person in this scenario is the 400 pound rapist, who is exercising his free will, and that is more relevant. And while I recognize that as a christian, your job is to excuse every flaw in the god story, I for one could never respect, let alone worship, a god that inadequately explained why such differences exist, let alone let them happen.

Oh, and as I understand it, via various christians, we are born sinners. It is not a choice. We can choose the being saved part, but we can't choose not to be sinners because we are bearing the burden of Adam and Eve's sin. Of course if you see it differently, I'm not surprised, because christianity has so much variety in it. If you could clarify, that would be nice. It doesn't matter what your point of view is. You don't have to argue it. Just help us understand what you believe in this particular instance.This is in case I misunderstood your response to pianodwarf, where you said:

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Adam and Eve were simply the first ones, they created the initial separation. Every person and generation since has decided and chosen to follow in that rebellion and sin including me and you. I don't even understand what the big deal is since Jesus has died on the cross, and all you have to do to make this all moot is ask Him into your life and repent of your sins.
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 #144 on: August 22, 2013, 09:21:01 PM »
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So have you ever felt the Holy Spirit? Would you say you had a relationship with Jesus Christ during those 30 years?
Justin, your quoting was giving me fits, so I will address your question to me in your favored bullet points.

1. Ok, I fear where this one is going - the classic "no true scotsman" logical fallacy.  But I will bite...
 
2. That being said, I will give you a 100% honest answer, but having been in your shoes before, I am afraid it will mean nothing.

 Simple answer - "YES" I thought I felt the HS and I definitely would have and did profess a relationship with Christ for those 30+ years.  I was active in my church(es), taught many a Sunday school class and either led or attended or read more bible studies than I can count. I prayed every day, read the bible through several times, read it almost daily, confessed sin, witnessed, led others to christ, you name it...  I realized "coming to faith" and "having faith" are choices, just like a chice to wear blue socks today.  There's no magic involved, you just have to choose to suspend logic and rationality to hold onto faith, since there is nothing there.  I didn't like losing my faith, it felt bad/ I fought it - but I'm glad I did and I'm a better person for it.

First of all I appreciate your candor and honesty. I don't have to revert to the "no true scotsman" logical fallacy, you're admitting you were never saved. You're admitting you never felt the HS. You don't even believe it exists. All of the things you listed are not evidence of the HS. They are simply works and rituals if a person isn't born again.

You're right that coming to faith is a choice. It's why God gave us free will. And it is as simple as picking out socks as well if you're heart and motivations are genuine. You're also right that there's no magic involved, in fact there's no such thing as magic outside of the devil.

There is plenty there. I have a rich, tangible, personal relationship with Jesus Christ and so do millions of others.

In spite of your current convictions, I can't ignore that your life was very different before. It's almost impossible to live the life you described with out the HS. So I do think it's possible that you could have been saved and God wasn't what you expected or wanted. If this is the case you're still saved. [quote/]

 
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I can still reproduce those "feelings" or HS leadings/still small voices/warm fuzzies or whatever you like, if I put my mind to it.  However, one part of my deconversion was the realization this supposed relationship with christ that is like no other - truly is... it's like NO other relationship.  I asked myself what other relationships do I have with someone I have never met/spoke to/saw/touched/engaged with in some way/etc and such a person has never responded directly to me in a tangible/audible/etc way??  Answer - zero.  (I know plenty of believers hear all kinds of things in their head/heart - please define how that's different from imagining or hallucinating).  Yet, I'm to worship, love and desire such a thing?? Sorry, I'll take Santa instead - he makes more sense.

Do those feelings, HS leadings or small voices lead to tangible, predictable, Biblical outcomes? If they do they're the HS. If not they are meaningless.

You're right it is like no other. It's a spiritual, metaphysical relationship that from time to time becomes tangible and real. If you never had Christ respond to you in a tangible way you were not born again. I'm not saying you have to hear a audible voice even though many do (not me yet), but He is definitely active and tangible in His children's lives.
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3. Finally, I am a closeted atheist - I am married to a believing spouse and have believing children. We go to church together and they participate in various church functions as well - all of my family claiming to know christ.  I am indistinguishable from the thousands of other "believers" in the large church I attend.  However, I do not openly "lie" to anyone who asks me specifics or asks my input on religious matters (I won't quibble over the lie term here).  I will just note, given believers' presupposed notions, a non-answer or a double entendre works great.
 
 For example, my wife challenged me recently "Do you believe the bible was inpired by god?"  I answered, "of course it was."  She asked for no calrification and I gave none.  Her presupposition is that I believe like she does that god breathed inspiration into the authors and they wrote what he wanted. 

 All I meant was whoever wrote it had god on their brain, either as a theme to pursue or a story to invent - there was no intervention on mythical god's part.  I write a few things myself and recently I wrote a poem about a creepy fellow who has a stack of human bones in his backyard that gives him much pleasure.  Warren Zevon's Excitable Boy song inspired me... Warren is long dead, and I have never met him - he certainly had no input, other than a thread of an idea from a line in his song. Warm sun inspires me to read a book by the pool - the sun didn't write the book I read or create the lounger I relax in with an adult beverage.

This is a very sad thing to read. Why be a closet atheist? I couldn't have imagined that in my past life. You're being dishonest with your wife and children over something you think is a fairy tale. If they came home saying they believed in Jack In The Bean Stalk, would you jump on the band wagon and withhold information from them?

Why don't you come out of the closet?