Stay with me here, this is kind of a long post. But I wanted to share it with you all here with the hopes that we can discuss some of the points that were brought up. No doubt many of us have had similar conversations with our christian friends, and I think it would be beneficial for us to explore various tactics in debating what we believe in. Sorry it's long.
I was raised in a catholic home and later became a born again type christian. After years of rational thinking, reason, and web sites like this one and the GII videos, I am without any delusional beliefs in any god, gods, or any other mythical beings.
The below conversation started after a high school friend of mine read a quote I put on my profile page on a popular social networking web site. It was lyrics to an XTC song called "Dear God"
Here is the quote:
"Dear god, don't know if you noticed but, your name is on a lot of quotes in this book. Us crazy humans wrote it, you should take a look.And all the people that you made in your image still believing that crap is true.I know it ain't and so do you.."
Here is the PM I received in my inbox and the subsequent conversation:
(Friend, JM) "What kind of a message is that under your photo???? The (Me) I know would NEVER mock God. What's up??
Hi (name)! It's lyrics to an XTC song called Dear God. It's been up there for a while. Do you believe that the bible is the infallible word of god? Or written by man.
It is the infallible word of God. It was written by men that were under His inspiration. This is bible knowledge 101, you know that. Please don't tell me you have begun to question God and the bible? I hope this isn't true.
That is open for debate, even among circles that include biblical experts. Some say that the creation story in Genesis is 6 literal 24 hour periods, and others say that it is 6 "eras" which Are longer, unknown periods of time, which could be up to millions of years.
My question is this: Why would god write a book that is riddled with contradictions and is so easily mis-interpeted, if it's supposed to be the perfect word of god?
As far as the creation time period, a good friend of mine, that helped lead me to the Lord, was very well versed in the old Hebrew text, which was what the old testament was written in originally. He showed me that when the Hebrew words used in the creation time period description were translated into english, they were translated literally. That's why when you read for example in Genesis 1:13, "And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.", that is exactly what is means.
People try to tell me that the bible is full of contradictions. But they can't bring forward one single legitimate contradiction. Where most people get these ideas about contradictions also stems from translation issues. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages (new testament was originally written in Greek) there are words that have no straight across translations into different languages including english. So when the translators would run into these words, they would have to come up with the most accurate word or phrase possible. Yes, it takes extra work to study and figure these things out, but it doesn't change the fact that God's word is perfect and free of contradictions.
In my experience, people say things like "the bible contradicts itself" and is "so easily misinterpreted" as an excuse to justify living a life that is not pleasing to God.
I will be the first to admit I am a poor example of a Christian testimony and feel the guilt of not living my life the way I know would please Him, but I would never begin to question Him and His word because of it. I am not critisizing you or condemning you in any way.
You will forever be my friend no matter what. I am just genuinely concerned for your spiritual life. It pains me to see good men like you turn away from Christ.
The young earth position doesn't work for me. The evidence points overwhelmingly in favor of a universe that is much much older than ten thousand years.
The story of Noahs ark and the flood are blatant plagarisms of older texts. Namely the epic of gilgamesh.
2tim 3:16 says that the bible is the word of god. However the evidence clearly proves otherwise.
Why wouldn't an all powerful, omnicient god make it so that the bible could be understood by all people and be free from translation issues,?
(1 Peter 3:15) “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
Why are you Christian? Why do you think your religion is the right one and all others wrong?
Have you given any rational thought to the things you believe in?
Can you cite the reasons why you believe in a magical sky daddy and stories of talking snakes and donkeys and 600 year old men who build big boats, and all of the other things that are written in a book that is supposed to be without error.?.....
I did. I investigated and researched the things that I held as truth.... It took several years, but, I've finally realized that God is imaginary.
Rational, objective, honest, reasoning had a lot to do with my de-conversion from my delusion.
We can discuss the topics of religion and theology and dogma for days... I love this stuff, and can't get enough... Seriously... I'm not trying to take you away from your beliefs. But I do encourage you to understand the things you believe in before you preach about them.
What kind of evidence is it that you have that proves that the earth is millions of years old. I havn't found any. Also, if you don't believe in the creation story, there is only two other options. 1). You believe we came from rocks (Big Bang Theory) or 2). You believe we came from monkeys. But lets remember, evolution states that things continue to evolve, so why are there currently no monkeys evolving? And there's that whole "missing link" mystery. Still havn't found it. There is guy named Kent Hovind. He is probably one of the greatest authorities on creationism. He has debated the top scientists and anti-creationists on the subject and has shut them all down over and over. You can find him at www.drdino.com
. If you're willing to listen to what he has to say, he makes alot more sense of it than I can by memory. I really encourage you to check it out. It answered so many questions for me and put all doubt I may have had about the age of the earth to rest for good. He also addresses the Noah's Ark and the flood questions.
Also, what is your ground for disproving the bible? What proof or evidence do you have that discredits the bible? I'm not being an ass here, I'm just curious where you are coming from with all this. You used to send my wife bible quotes and you would tell her things like God brought her and I together. Why are you turning against God now? What happened you?
I think God made the bible fairly easy to understand. Yes, there are translation issues however, they do not make the bible a farse. God says that to the unbeliever, the bible is foolishness. But to the believer it is the word of life. When you give yourself to Christ and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, He will make clear the things that He knows you need to know when you are ready to hear them. There are many things in the bible I didn't understand or really agree with at first, but as I grew in my faith I began to understand more and more. A parent doesn't feed a newborn infant, steak, they give it milk. As the child grows, the parent gives it more substantial food as it needs it. It's the same way with God and His knowledge.
That's a lot of stuff for me to answer with an iPhone. Real quick, regarding evidence of an old earth. How do you explain the distant star light problem? A star or galaxy that is millions of light years away that we can observe with our naked eye?
I am very familiar with dr. Dino. I am also very up on Ken Ham, Jason Lisle, and all the others from answers in genesis. We home school too, and have been exposed to these people in much the same way you and your wife may have.
I have read all of Lee Strobels stuff too.
None of it has been convincing.
Oh and btw, There is a difference between evolution and natural selection.
Here is an interesting story about Dr.Dino:http://www.pnj.com/article/20090801/NEWS01/908010317
you still haven't answered the question. How do you know YOUR creation story is the right one? What about all the other world religions...
If you had been born in India, do you think you would still be a christian? Or is more likely that you would be Hindu.....
Hindus think you're wrong about god, and vice versa...
Noah's ark and the worldwide flood never happened as far as I am concerned. There is a serious lack of evidence to support it. The only thing you have as a basis of proof is the book of Genesis.
you can't use the bible to prove the bible bro...
(Me, yet again.This time at my PC)
"""What kind of evidence is it that you have that proves that the earth is millions of years old.
- Only ALL of mainstream Science. The only people that think the earth is less than 10 thousand years old are the quacks from Answers in Genesis and other Christian groups. But there aren't ANY REAL scientists or astronomers who think the earth is that young. What evidence do you have that PROVES the earth is only 6000 years old?
"""""Also, if you don't believe in the creation story, there is only two other options. 1). You believe we came from rocks (Big Bang Theory) or 2). You believe we came from monkeys.
1). I'm beginning to think that you know nothing about scientific theories regarding the origins of the universe. It's a lot more complexed than "We just came from rocks"
2). Evolution and natural selection does not translate to "We came from monkies"
""""evolution states that things continue to evolve, so why are there currently no monkeys evolving?
- Well, how about Mussels that are "continuing to evolve?"
This is From the article Mussels Evolve in an Evolutionary Heartbeat on LiveScience.com
~'Some 15 years ago, blue mussels knew their enemies and had a rather peaceful life in the New England waters. But when an invasive crab species turned up, the mussels moved quickly to defend themselves against this new predator by thickening their shells.
Such rapid evolutionary response is a "nanosecond" compared with the thousands of years that it normally takes for a species to respond to a predator.'
How about evolving whales?http://www.edwardtbabinski.us/whales/
Were you born with wisdom teeth? Well your relatives many, many years from now won't be.
Yes, species are continuing to evolve. That is proven scientific fact. Odd how the bible doesn't make any mention of that...
"""There is guy named Kent Hovind
Yeah, we covered him... He's the guy serving 10 years for tax evasion...
Looks like someone didn't pay any attention to Romans 13 Verses 1-7...
I have seen his seminars and I even still have some of his stuff. He has hardly "Shut down" anyone in his debates. He is looked upon as a fraud, and a quack. Although, he isn't quite as bad as Ken Ham....
'"""Also, what is your ground for disproving the bible? What proof or evidence do you have that discredits the bible?
~ There is no quick answer to this one. And even if I list all of the reasons why i believe the bible is just a 2000 year old book of desert scribblings dreamed up by primitive men who had no clue about science. And even if I cited all of the obvious plagarisms taken from other religions and ancient stories and placed in the bible.... Even if I took all the time to do that, I suspect you would just scoff at it, and make up complicated excuses to defend your faith...
Why don't you believe in Mithras or Zeus, or Isis, or Krishna, or Apollonious... etc... etc.... ?
The bible is repulsive... It talks about the greatest mass murderer of all time. It is primitive and full of lies and superstitions. It isn't a translation issue. It's a truth issue.
What is your ground for proving the bible? What proof or evidence do YOU have that makes it more credible?
Do yourself a favor if you elect to attempt an answer to this last question.... Don't cite Josephus... He's been debunked. and I'll just send you a bunch of links explaining why he was full of shit.
It's been a long time coming for me... It took 37 years for me to discover how all religions are just made up by man. It didn't happen overnight.
Do yourself a favor. Don't just blindly believe in something because thats what you've been taught all your life, or that's what someone has preached to you and you fell into the feel good life after death hog wash that someone has fed you.
Look into the things you believe. Be rational. Think logically. Get out of the dark ages. Investigate these things. Do you really believe the earth is only 6000 years old??????? Really?
The bible is a fraud. God is a hoax. There is no heaven, or hell.
All gods are imaginary.... All religions are made up by man.
I will not be delusional or superstitious anymore.
I don't mean to sound offensive, but I'm still angry a little that I had been duped for so many years by buying into religious crap.
A little angry?? Sounds to me like you're flat out pissed off. You say it's been a long time coming and that may be, however, like I said before, 3 years ago you were pretty serious about your faith in God and the bible. Somewhere in the last 3 years something happened or someone said something to make you start questioning your faith. What was it?
I've been a believing Christian for 16 years and I have done plenty of research over the years for myself and nothing anyone has said or presented to me has ever shaken my faith. And to be as honest as I can be, that's really what it comes down to, faith. The fervent belief in something unseen. And if that makes me less of a man or a weaker person in your eyes so be it, I'm not out to impress anyone. I'm not just someone that believes just anything someone throws at me. I look into it and then decide on my own. I'm not just a puppet as it seems you have insinuated. I'm a bit offended by that insinuation, but like I said, you're my friend and always will be and I don't hold that against you.
A quick word about Hovind. Just because he was busted for tax evasion doesn't discredit his findings. They have absolutely nothing to with eachother.
The whole thing about the mussels isn't evolution, it's adaptation. It's the same exact thing as when someone, like me, moves from an extreme cold climate to an extreme hot climate. At first it was miserable for me here in the heat of Arizona, but I began to quickly ADAPT to the climate. my body fat dropped and my blood thinned out and now it's not to tough to deal with 118 degree days. I didn't evolve these last three years, i adapted. Just like the mussels adapted to the change in their environment.
I suppose what I really want to know is this. Why is the bible so bad? Why is believing in a faith that promotes positive things such a bad way to try and live in your opinion?
And I know you've heard it before, but for me, if I'm wrong, I have no problem with "wasting" a bit of my time trying to follow Christ. But if I'm right, that's one BIG ooops!
Sorry it's taking me a while to respond... I've been working a lot..
In the meantime, Google "Pascal's Wager"
That's what you're saying when you believe in something just to cover your bases. What if Christians are wrong, and Muslims are right? Why not convert to ALL world religions at one time? That way, when you die, you'll have pleased the right "god".
Believing in a faith isn't the problem. But trying to push your beliefs on others and deciding what others can and can not do is another thing. When your religion violates the rights of another person, that's a bad way to live in my opinion.
Atheists didn't fly into the world trade canter. Religious fundamentalists did.
Atheists didn't bomb abortion clinics in the name of god.... Religious people did.
Religion breeds intolorance, ignorance and bigotry. It isn't all flowers and sunshine.
"The Fervent Belief in something Unseen
"Believing in something you know ain't so" ~ Mark Twain
I'll write more when I get more time bro...
August 8 at 5:14pm
Basically, from all the study and research I have done and all that I have seen God do in my life, I have no doubt that I am in the right place. I can fully understand where you're coming from, I have been through that same place. I just truly believe with my heart of hearts that Christianity is the truth, through and through.
I agree on a certain level that religion does breed the things you said, however Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with God and Christ and the Holy Spirit. "Religion" is man's best attempt at reaching God. Christ and Christianity is God's perfect plan in reaching man.
Think about it this way. If the bible is true and God did do all the things it speaks of, it all makes perfect sense. God creates man (Adam and Eve) and really only gives them ONE thing they aren't allowed to do, eat from the tree. They break that rule and sin enters the world. God hates sin. He hates sin but not the sinner, mind you. People, given the choice to obey or disobey, choose to disobey and it gets excessively bad. People are sinning against their Maker much like they do today. How would it make you feel, as a father, if you're child, you're "creation", basically spat in your face, told you to go to hell, and lived his life in a way that mocked you at every turn, purposely and hatefully?
So, what does God do? He sacrifices his one and only son so that this creation of His can still enter the gates of heaven. Christ offered Himself up as a sacrifice in our place so that we wouldn't have to endure the fires of hell. So that we could spend eternity with our Maker. And all we have to do is believe in Him and His Son, admit we were wrong for treating Him the way we did, and follow a few rules. If you sacrificed your son for the salvation of the world, don't you think those things would be very little to ask in return?
I'm not mad at you and I don't hold it against you that you have chosen not to believe. God gave every man the liberty of choice and a brain to express those choices. Thankfully he didn't make us robots, life would be pretty damn dull, lol!
It's pretty easy to find a million different ideas about what is true and what isn't true. The beauty of it is this, the truth will always find you. Whether it's tomorrow or after you pass on from this world, the truth WILL find you."
That's the conversation up to now.... Before I respond to his "boggie man, god is gonna get you" bullshit, I thought you all would like to add your thoughts. He no doubt has sought out the assistance of his friends to counter my points. Why can't I? And what better friend to ask than the good people at WWGHA Fourm! I can imagine that this last message from (JM) has a few of you dying to respond!!
Thanks for sticking with this long post. Just wanted to share. I'm still a newbie around here, and I still have a lot to learn.