Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Losing my Religions

I was raised in church. I know that this statement is not profound. Roughly 80% of Americans are raised in church. Now don’t get me wrong, when I was young I believed in this stuff intensely, but some of the questions I had then were profound for a child. I remember being in Sunday school at about the age of 10. I was having difficulty taking the story of Jonah seriously. I remember saying to my teacher “the great thing about the Bible is that even the stories that are not true still have value because they teach us morals.” My teacher responded that my statement was true but that the Biblical stories had even more value because they were true.

One time in youth group (a term for a church geared towards young teens) I was in charge of putting out a column for the church paper to represent our group. I wrote an article about how being drunk was wrong but drinking was not. I mean how could drinking alcohol be wrong if the foundation for our religion (Jesus) drank wine? I was reprimanded by the pastor of the church (Pastor Craig) for posting the article because he said that all alcohol consumption was wrong. I argued with him and quoted scripture. Pastor Craig’s rebuttal was to say that the wine that they had in those times didn’t have any alcohol. Here was someone who spent 8 years in college studying the Bible and he was making up his own rules that weren’t even backed up by his holy book.

In my late teens I pioneered a Christian punk band named DERT that had some mild success. We played with many popular Christian bands and one thing that I began to notice was that Christian bands were not much different than secular bands when touring. There was just as much drinking, drugs and sex in Christian bands as there was in secular bands. When my band was destroyed because of the sexual misconduct of our drummer, Shannon, I went to L.A. to audition for a well established Christian band named Blackball. I was a huge fan of this band and the lead singer, Chris, was a personal hero of mine. He was a very intelligent man and a philosopher. His lyrics were insightful and his music was heartfelt. I thought that I had arrived in my place and that I would finally be around people that had the same conviction and love for God that I did.

I am sure that it is no surprise to the people reading this but I was caught off guard. I moved over 600 miles to join Blackball and the first thing that they did was change their name to SuperUnknown. From there they decided to change the style and start over to appeal to the secular market. We brought in a keyboard player named Darrin who was eventually fired because he couldn’t come up with original material but we kept the second guitarist, Damien, even though he couldn’t properly play half of the songs. Damien was fucking his girlfriend despite not being married to her. I would see the old guitarist Rocco running around town, always strung out on god knows what. I remember one time being in Chris’s house when he broke out a giant six shooter and started giving lessons on how to handle a gun. He was talking about flying guns down to these missionaries in a hostile area in Africa so that they could defend themselves. I had a hard time reconciling the violence with my Christian upbringing. One of the catalysts for me losing my faith was the bass player Tom. Through this part of the band he was in the process of changing his name. He was dating a 16 year old. His favorite joke was something about killing babies and doing drugs with a spoon. He got drunk a lot, and he was a huge jerk to me. We would make plans to do things together and he would simply not show up. He was close friends with Damien which is likely why Damien was allowed to stay in the band despite his lack of ability on the guitar. Tom was one of the worst Christians I had ever met. He was known for being a good Christian, but I assure you he was not. Tom is a really cool guy though; he was just a bad Christian. Tom was the straw that broke the camels back. It was because of him that I started seeking out other answers. To this day I owe my mindset as a free thinker to him. I will be eternally thankful to Tom. Because of him I am not living my life in a na├»ve religious mindset.

I started attending atheist forums online and had an ongoing dialogue with a character named MelanieWalker. We had many insightful conversations. One thing that she said to me really stuck though. She said that as a Christian that I was brainwashed and that as soon as I got over the fear of looking outside of my preprogrammed mindset that the truth would be as clear as day. Although she was correct it was still difficult to reconcile the truth with my religious indoctrination. My life spun into a downward spiral. While still a member of this prestigious Christian band I began drinking heavily, doing drugs, and having sex with random girls. I had become everything that I despised but little did I realize at that time that the whole experience was part of my healing and eventual enlightenment.

When I discovered the truth about the falsity of Christianity I was angry. I wanted all of the Christians that had fed me lies and mislead me to pay for their deception. I started becoming very vocal about the bullshit that was going on in my band. This ultimately led to squabbles and the eventual breakup. I accept full responsibility for it. The band stole $1000 dollars from me and I bailed. Everyone was supposed to put in $1000 to fund an E.P. Only the Drummer, Larry and I did though. I never saw any of the fruits of my labor or money. Everything that went wrong in that band was a direct result of my inner explosion. I was very vocal about hating Christians. As a result the large majority of my Christian friends and acquaintances simply abandoned me. Of course as a Christian they should have shown unwavering love and acceptance for me in my time of crises, as humans they did what I would expect.

As I started my new life as an Agnostic free thinker I had to acclimate to a whole new world. This was a world were the people were honest and upfront. People spoke their mind and responsibility for ones actions had to fall solely on that individual. You were never caught off-guard because you went into every situation with your eyes open. The friends that I made during this period were some of the best and most loyal friends. I am still very close with many of these people. These people didn’t buy into fantastic claims. Science was revered. The world had more meaning. Love was more real. Relationships had more depth. Suddenly I was spending less time trying to please an apparition in the sky and more time building solid friendships. Everything suddenly made sense.

I know that freeing a mind is a difficult thing to do. Our massively complex and over developed frontal lobe just has a difficult time accepting that there may not be much more to this life than the short time that we get here on earth. Everyone that breaks out of the shackles of organized religion will have different experiences. One thing will be in common though. Your experiences will be richer. You will live for this life instead of the next. Your life will be full of meaning and you will prefer action to prayer. Best of luck to all of the aspiring free thinkers. “Welcome to the world of the real.”

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The type of man I want to be

The Liberty Of All (1877)
Robert Green Ingersoll
THE LIBERTY OF MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD (excerpts)

Women have been the slaves of slaves; and in my judgment it took millions of ages for woman to come from the condition of abject slavery up to the institution of marriage. Let me say right here, that I regard marriage as the holiest institution among men. Without the fireside there is no human advancement; without the family relation there is no life worth living. Every good government is made up of good families. The unit of good government is the family, and anything that tends to destroy the family is perfectly devilish and infamous. I believe in marriage, and I hold in utter contempt the opinions of those long-haired men and short- haired women who denounce the institution of marriage.

The grandest ambition that any man can possibly have, is to so live, and so improve himself in heart and brain, as to be worthy of the love of some splendid woman; and the grandest ambition of any girl is to make herself worthy of the love and adoration of some magnificent man. That is my idea. There is no success in life without love and marriage. You had better be the emperor of one loving and tender heart, and she the empress of yours, than to be king of the world. The man who has really won the love of one good woman in this world, I do not care if he dies in the ditch a beggar, his life has been a success.

I say it took millions of years to come from the condition of abject slavery up to the condition of marriage. Ladies, the ornaments you wear upon your persons to-night are but the souvenirs of your mother's bondage. The chains around your necks, and the bracelets clasped upon your white arms by the thrilled hand of love, have been changed by the wand of civilization from iron to shining, glittering gold.

But nearly every religion has accounted for all the devilment in this world by the crime of woman. What a gallant thing that is! And if it is true, I had rather live with the woman I love in a world full of trouble, than to live in heaven with nobody but men.

I read in a book -- and I will say now that I cannot give the exact language, as my memory does not retain the words, but I can give the substance -- I read in a book that the Supreme Being concluded to make a world and one man; that he took some nothing and made a world and one man, and put this man in a garden. In a little while he noticed that the man got lonesome; that he wandered around as if he was waiting for a train. There was nothing to interest him; no news; no papers; no politics; no policy; and, as the devil had not yet made his appearance, there was no chance for reconciliation; not even for civil service reform. Well, he wandered about the garden in this condition, until finally the Supreme Being made up his mind to make him a companion.

Having used up all the nothing he originally took in making the world and one man, he had to take a part of the man to start a woman with. So he caused a sleep to fall on this man -- now understand me, I do not say this story is true. After the sleep fell upon this man, the Supreme Being took a rib, or as the French would call it, a cutlet, out of this man, and from that he made a woman. And considering the amount of raw material used, I look upon it as the most successful job ever performed. Well, after he got the woman done, she was brought to the man; not to see how she liked him, but to see how he liked her. He liked her, and they started housekeeping; and they were told of certain things they might do and of one thing they could not do -- and of course they did it. I would have done it in fifteen minutes, and I know it. There wouldn't have been an apple on that tree half an hour from date, and the limbs would have been full of cobs. And then they were turned out of the park and extra policemen were put on to keep them from getting back in.

Devilment commenced. The mumps, and the measles, and the whooping-cough, and the scarlet fever started in their race for man. They began to have the toothache, roses began to have thorns, snakes began to have poisoned teeth, and people began to divide about religion and politics, and the world has been full of trouble from that day to this.

Nearly all of the religions of this world account for the existence of evil by such a story as that……………..

………….In my judgment, the woman is the equal of the man. She has all the rights I have and one more, and that is the right to be protected. That is my doctrine. You are married; try and make the woman you love happy. Whoever marries simply for himself will make a mistake; but whoever loves a woman so well that he says, "I will make her happy," makes no mistake. And so with the woman who says, "I will make him happy." There is only one way to be happy, and that is to make somebody else so, and you cannot be happy by going cross lots; you have got to go the regular turnpike road.

If there is any man I detest, it is the man who thinks he is the head of a family -- the man who thinks he is "boss!" The fellow in the dug-out used that word "boss;" that was one of his favorite expressions.

Imagine a young man and a young woman courting, walking out in the moonlight, and the nightingale singing a song of pain and love, as though the thorn touched her heart -- imagine them stopping there in the moonlight and starlight and song, and saying, "Now, here, let us settle who is boss!'" I tell you it is an infamous word and an infamous feeling -- I abhor a man who is "boss," who is going to govern in his family, and when he speaks orders all the rest to be still as some mighty idea is about to be launched from his mouth. Do you know I dislike this man unspeakably?......................

………………Think of the intellectual strain that must have been upon that man, and when he gets home everybody else in the house must look out for his comfort. A woman who has only taken care of five or six children, and one or two of them sick, has been nursing them and singing to them, and trying to make one yard of cloth do the work of two, she, of course, is fresh and fine and ready to wait upon this gentleman -- the head of the family -- the boss!.....................................

…………………Get the best you can for your family -- try to look as well as you can yourself. When you used to go courting, how elegantly you looked! Ah, your eye was bright, your sleep was light, and you looked like a prince. Do you know that it is insufferable egotism in you to suppose a woman is going to love you always looking as slovenly as you can! Think of it! Any good woman on earth will be true to you forever when you do your level best.

Some people tell me, "Your doctrine about loving, and wives, and all that, is splendid for the rich, but it won't do for the poor." I tell you to-night there is more love in the homes of the poor than in the palaces of the rich. The meanest hut with love in it is a palace fit for the gods, and a palace without love is a den only fit for wild beasts. That is my doctrine! You cannot be so poor that you cannot help somebody. Good nature is the cheapest commodity in the world; and love is the only thing that will pay ten per cent to borrower and lender both. Do not tell me that you have got to be rich! We have a false standard of greatness in the United States. We think here that a man must be great, that he must be notorious; that he must be extremely wealthy, or that his name must be upon the putrid lips of rumor. It is all a mistake. It is not necessary to be rich or to be great, or to be powerful, to be happy. The happy man is the successful man.

Happiness is the legal tender of the soul…………………

………………………..It is not necessary to be great to be happy; it is not necessary to be rich to be just and generous and to have a heart filled with divine affection. No matter whether you are rich or poor, treat your wife as though she were a splendid flower, and she will fill your life with perfume and with joy.

And do you know, it is a splendid thing to think that the woman you really love will never grow old to you. Through the wrinkles of time, through the mask of years, if you really love her, you will always see the face you loved and won. And a woman who really loves a man does not see that he grows old; he is not decrepit to her; he does not tremble; he is not old; she always sees the same gallant gentleman who won her hand and heart. I like to think of it in that way; I like to think that love is eternal. And to love in that way and then go down the hill of life together, and as you go down, hear, perhaps, the laughter of grandchildren, while the birds of joy and love sing once more in the leafless branches of the tree of age.

I believe in the fireside. I believe in the democracy of home. I believe in the republicanism of the family. I believe in liberty, equality and love.

Are you in fact a real Christian? (Take this test to find out)

Here’s a short test for Christians (and anyone who wants to understand them). Just answer the following questions, in your mind, with a “yes” or a “no”.

1. Do you believe homosexuals should be killed? Not just “they’re going to hell”, but actually executed?

2. Do you believe women are inferior to men, should remain submissive, and can never be allowed to teach men or have authority over them?

3. Do you believe slavery is OK?

4. Do you believe disobedient children should be killed?

5. Do you believe that, when waging war, it is proper to commit genocide, killing every man, woman and child in the enemy nation — except for, in some particular cases, female virgins, who can be taken as “spoils”?

6. Do you believe that anyone who suggests to a Christian that he follow other gods should be killed?

7. Do you believe that an old grandmother, who lived a life of caring for others, bringing joy to dozens, will be condemned to an afterlife of eternal suffering if she didn’t accept Jesus as her savior?

8. Do you believe that there are cases in which a raped woman should be killed along with, or even instead of, the rapist?

If you answered “no” to even one of the above, you’re not a real Christian. You believe you know more than the God you say you worship. You’re guilty of picking and choosing from your divinely inspired holy book, ignoring more than half of it. You only follow the teachings you already agree with. In effect, you’re creating your own religion.

If you answered “yes” to even one of the above, then you are a repulsive, evil monster. Please never visit this blog again, and go play in traffic, or at least don’t reproduce.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Contradictions with the Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul is a big player in the history of Christianity. He is credited with writing close to 60% of the New Testament; though many of those manuscripts have no verified authorship.

There are conflicting accounts of Paul’s conversion. Acts 9:7 states that when Jesus called Paul to preach the gospel, the men who were with Paul heard a voice but saw no man:

“And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.”

According to Acts 22:9, however, the men saw a light but didn't hear the voice speaking to Paul:

“And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spoke to me.”

Paul’s letters reveal perhaps more about himself than the actual Jesus of history. The Pauline Epistles were written before the traditional gospels. The four Bible gospels articulate an earthly messiah; a Jesus Christ messiah, born into this world. Paul is almost silent regarding an earthly Jesus, and for good reason; the earthly Jesus history had probably not yet been written (or created). Paul never mentions the virgin birth, even though it would have strengthened his arguments in several places. Instead, where Paul does refer to the birth, he says that Jesus “was born of the seed of David” (Rom 1:3) and was “born of a woman,” not a virgin (Gal 4:4). Had he been privy, much of that Jesus information would have been very useful to the doctrinal points Paul was making in the Epistles. Paul almost never mentions the teachings of Jesus. The earthly The Apostle Paul is a big player in the history of Christianity. He is credited with writing close to 60% of the New Testament; though many of those manuscripts have no verified authorship.

Paul (or whoever the authors were) rarely places a physical Jesus in his teaching. His references to Christ seem to be on a spiritual ministry and resurrection. Obviously, Paul never claims that he knew a physical Jesus. What isn’t so obvious is the earliest (biblical) gospel (Mark) makes no mention of the virgin birth. Paul’s Epistles (and Romans) were written about 10 years or more before Mark. Paul never mentions the virgin birth either. This coincides with many other Christian teachers during that same time period. They believed in a spiritual (never physical) Christ savior who conquered evil in the spiritual realm by way of a spiritual crucifixion and resurrection. This is very interesting when you go back and read the words ascribed to Paul. The earthly Christ, as seen in the later-written gospels, places Jesus as the Christ on earth.

Editing and multiple authorships can be seen in the fusion of teachings and doctrines. Put simply, many early Christians never believed that a physical Christ existed (they had nothing to do with a Jesus). Later Christians claimed that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ. One can easily see how a physical Jesus could be added to the later doctrines seen in the gospels. We tend to look upon the early church as neat little groups within a short time period with just a few problems in conflicting doctrine. This is simply not history. There were many years involved with many differences in belief about whom Christ was and who Jesus was. The group that “won” the battle of doctrine was the council of Nicea under Constantine’s rule. They were the chief editors of the Bible canon and therefore took the liberty of deciding that the person Jesus was the Christ. There were many believers who simply rejected an earthly physical Jesus as the Christ; they simply believed in a spiritual Christ. The many books and writings were fused together and traces of different doctrines are seen throughout the New Testament and apocryphal writings. In short, the Council of Nicaea was an early form of fundamentalism. They insisted on a “legal” book to rule the physical church. The other groups of Christians observed that real faith was spiritually internal; written documents were not authoritative to them. There were many kinds of Christians then and many now. (Thanks to Gary Lenaire)

Friday, February 2, 2007

Shaking down Trey

This is a conversation that I had with a Christian on myspace. As always any commentary from me is in parenthesis. Please do not be confused on this article as references to outside literature are in parenthesis as well. These were included in the original text and not added after the fact. This blog is pretty long but it is worth the read if you are interested in understanding the mentality of Christian thought. Although Trey’s stance is mostly well thought out you will notice that he ignores many topics and that when he does respond to something that it is necessary for him to twist words in order to make concepts fit into his world view. Trey is representative of many that I have met.

(Trey’s initial post)
I always think it's interesting in discussing theology, politics, philosophy or science with a person and they chime in with "I use to be a Christian..." I don't know why people mention this because maybe it's me but I don't believe them. One guy told me how he used to go door to door and preach the word to people but he woke up and realized he was living a lie. I simply replied "you weren't saved." Of course they don't like to hear that but it is true.
Once someone has tasted the grace of God it will be impossible to leave. Without a rebirth their is no new life. God doesn't try He does.

(My first reply to Trey)
Wow! Trey your utter ignorance of the faith that you claim to follow never ceases to amaze me. (OK, I admit, a little harsh) A little bit of knowledge is truly deadly to your argument. I have to wonder how many Christians have actually read the bible and how many just go on feeling and gut instinct. You said “Once someone has tasted the grace of God it will be impossible to leave.” Well guess what? Peter, the author of the book of the Bible named after himself disagrees with you! Here is what he has to say about it.

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them”…….. (2 Peter 2:20-21)

These people that Peter is talking about knew God and fell away. How could that be? Didn’t you say that if someone has tasted the grace of God that this would be impossible? Is Peter a liar? This is not the only example of Christians falling away in the bible.

Here are a couple of more for you.

“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being assembled to meet him ... Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [in the original Greek: apostasy - 'great falling away'] comes first, and the lawless [one] is revealed, the son of perdition..." (2 Thess 2:1,3)

Or how about this one

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils..." (1Timothy 4:1)

How could one depart from the faith if they weren’t a part of it in the first place? Is Timothy lying? How about the author of Thessalonians Paul? Was he lying? Give me your address and I will send you a bible to read before you make anymore contradictory statements. (I know I know, I will try to be nicer) “When I used to be a Christian” I read the bible hundreds of times. I sat in on study groups. I carried it with me everywhere I went. It was through reading it that I understood its intricacies and its errors. Maybe if you read it for yourself you might have a little more insight.

Hey Chris, why are you giving this guy kudos on this blog. (On Myspace if you agree with someone’s post but don’t have anything to say you can give Kudos. Yes, Chris is the same Chris mentioned in previous blogs.) Out of all of the Christians that I know I would expect you to see how false his statement is!!!

(Trey by default does not have the mental capacity here to respond directly here so he quotes a bible verse)
“Many will say to Me in that day,'Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
And I will declare to them,'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
(Matthew 7:22-23)
p.s. you weren't saved (This is almost smug, as if he doesn’t realize that this verse made his case worse, not better)
Regards
Trey

(My response was easy here)
LOL
Dude, good job! By finding a scripture that says the exact opposite of the scriptures that I quoted you point out something that the bible seems to be full of….. “contradictions!” The great thing about being a Bible believer is that you can back up pretty much anything that you want to because in one place the Bible will say one thing and in another place it will say something completely different. Don’t give me that old testament, new testament bull either because some of the contradictions exist within the same testament if not sometimes within the same book. -See “intelligent design not so intelligent” at www.angelsdepart.blogspot.com- I found a scripture that says that Christians will fall away and you found one that says that they were never Christian. How can that be if the Bible is perfect and inerrant? By the way, good job on dodging the meat of my argument. When I was a Christian I was pretty good at that too. It seems to be the only way that faith can survive given its many inconsistencies.

(Trey responds)
if you were honestly asking I would show you or help you out. (Remember this cop out argument from Frank Spencer (ie Frank Walton) gets schooled? They must teach this response in church) But you're not so that's why I didn't entertain it. There is a difference that you are not seeing. (Explain it!!! I want to know) But that's not in my hands. (Dammit foiled again man!) I could sit and defend the Bible all day and not get anywhere. (This is so true!) Regarding ID feel free to post the scientific rebuttal anytime on the blog that I post. Bring your model out and put it to the test. (I didn’t bring up ID but OK)
regards
trey


(Me responding)
I am honestly asking…..How the Bible can be perfect and inerrant if it contradicts itself. How is it that you feel it necessary to question how I feel? If one Christian could give a good, sound, logical argument, I would believe in a heartbeat. Any takers? As far as intelligent design is concerned, there is no rebuttal. The whole theory rest on circular reasoning. There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of God. This is the only reason why intelligent design hasn’t gone the way of Greek mythology. If you say 1. The Bible is true 2. The Bible says that God created the world 3. Therefore God created the world is true, then you have just participated in circular reasoning. It is the equivalent of me saying that I am never wrong, and the sky is green. The sky must really be green since I am never wrong, right? The “I am never wrong portion of the argument is assumed, just as the Bible is true, perfect and inerrant is assumed. I respect your right to believe in God, believe that there are no errors in the Bible, or even believe that the world is flat and the sun rotates around the earth. -Like the Christian’s believed before Galileo and Copernicus- The reason that I respond is because you try to push this on our educational institutions as fact. School is for teaching scientific theories and skills that will be used to further society, not the religious agenda -whether that be Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah witnesses, ect ect ect.- If you disagree then don’t send you child to a public school. Find a private school that teaches the things you believe. When our forefathers called for the separation of Church and State it was because they understood how dangerous it was for the two to be combined. If it is run by the State, the Church cannot be a part of it. Please just stop focusing on pushing your agenda on the rest of us. By the way, nice dodge on not answering the contradictions in the Bible that are clearly present on this very page. If I was claiming that a book was perfect and then it was so clearly proven wrong I suppose that I would simply try to ignore it as well.

(I give Trey props on this response for at least making an attempt at some of my questions)
“I am honestly asking…..How the Bible can be perfect and inerrant if it contradicts itself. How is it that you feel it necessary to question how I feel? If one Christian could give a good, sound, logical argument, I would believe in a heartbeat. any takers? “

Are you saying in the last 2000 years of the church’s history not ONE person has written anything that is a good, sound, logical argument? (Nope, never said that!)One or two things are being said here. 1 You are smarter than any of the church fathers and most influential theologians (Nope never said that) i.e. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Schaffer, Lewis, Edwards, etc. and in every single thing that they’ve written NOT ONE SINGLE THING was a GOOD, SOUND, LOGICAL argument. (Nope never said that either) Which I suppose is a “possibility” (This sort of condescending tone reminds me of myself. I must say I am starting to like this guy) Or 2 You haven’t looked enough. Only you know the answer to that. (True)

Again when science is the concern. It’s simple. Bring out your science and put it to the test. You obviously know little about ID. (Oh Yeah!) Maybe when you “were a Christian” you thought the earth was flat but it’s never been in a creed so I don’t see how the church believed versus scientists thinking it. I assume you follow the theory of evolution (To a point) I guess I wonder why you aren’t as skeptical about that as you are a Creator. (Oh, but I am) There’s a theory full of holes. Feel free to rebut any of the other blogs I’ve written with your science as background. Eventually, you have to follow the evidence. (YES! This is so true, apparently Trey doesn’t though)

You said “Please just stop focusing on pushing your agenda on the rest of us.” So why are you focusing on pushing your agenda on the rest of us? (Am I?)

I didn’t ignore anything. (Yes you did, You wont answer me about the contradictions in the bible!) I told you why I wouldn’t respond. (Because I don’t really want to know right?) See I have had these discussions with plenty of non-believers, skeptics and cynics. I know the arguments you have already and there is no more originality in them. They get old and you aren’t looking for the truth you are only looking to slam Christianity. (Not so.) I laid one of many scriptures as a background of my evidence already. (Even with the Bible as the basis for this argument the evidence is shaky at best) You not being able to see past that is frankly not my problem. (It is your Christian duty to explain it to me and win over my soul.) Discussing biblical doctrines with someone who doesn’t even believe in God is just a waste. (Then how do you convert people to your faith?) You remember casting pearls I’m sure. Same thing here.

You have an incredible gift at least one I know of and have been saved from a situation that arguably no one else could have. (I think he is referring to an accident that I was involved in were a drunk hit me and almost killed me) It could be an awesome opportunity to be used to encourage others I hope you find it and use it.

(And my response)
No, I never said that in the last 2000 years that there were no logical arguments. -Where did I say that?- I said that there were contradictions! I also never said that I was smarter than anybody but since you want to use that style of argumentation then let’s call up some other names like Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, Richard Dawkins, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Einstein, and Charles Dickens? Are you saying that you are smarter than all of them? Of course you didn’t say that, just like I never claimed that I was smarter than anyone. Jeez you take this so personally. Still you haven’t given a good sound argument. You do realize that whether or not something was in a creed does not negate the fact that the church tried to put Galileo to death when his theories on the movement of the heavens threatened the churches already established view. I never claimed that science was perfect either; actually science doesn’t even claim to be perfect. Science is progressive though. New theories are constantly replacing old ones. As our knowledge progresses, we do as well. Religion and churches fear change. When someone creates a new theory in a religious organization they are branded as an “Infidel.” This is the cause of the multiple denominations of churches in existence today. It’s easy to make a statement that the theory of evolution is full of holes. In all likelihood if Charles Darwin was here today, he would tell you that his theory is not conclusive. If you had ever read “The Origin of Species” you would know this already. His theories are not conclusive because there is so much that we just cannot know. I am not saying that I know the truth; I am just saying that you don’t. I find it funny that you think I am forcing my agenda on you. I am simply trying to uphold the status quo. Our forefathers knew very well the dangers of allowing the church and the state to work together. They were very clear in their language to keep them separated. For you to say that I am only looking to slam Christianity is a shame and a cop out. I said to you that if you were to present me with a good, sound logical argument that I would believe in a heartbeat. Your response is the same as every other Christian when presented with this challenge “you aren’t looking for the truth.” Well I am! I seek the truth on a daily basis. This brings me back to my initial question that you have continued to dodge throughout this conversation through the use of rhetoric and clever misdirection. How can the Bible be perfect and inerrant if there are such clear contradictions as the ones that I listed for you? What possible context could there be for you to explain it away? Why do you insist upon telling me that I am not receptive to the truth about God when I clearly have asked for it and I am ready to hear the answer with an open mind? Explain it to me! I would have to assume that the answers to these questions are so difficult for you or anyone because they can not be explained without the assumption that the Bible is perfect. Even if the Bible could be proven it commands you to accept its principles on faith so the proof would not even be usable without you being viewed as a heretic! I understand the need for religion, but I also understand the need to keep religion out of the government. That is my goal. -Read “On the Complications of Moral Absolutes” at www.angelsdepart.blogspot.com- So if you feel that I am being pushy I apologize. I thought we were just exchanging ideas.



(Trey’s response)
“No, I never said that in the last 2000 years that there were no logical arguments. (Where did I say that?) I said that there were contradictions! “

I guess I misunderstood. I thought when you wrote:

“If one Christian could give a good, sound, logical argument, I would believe in a heartbeat. Any takers?”

That this meant every Christian past, present or future. I guess “any takers” didn’t open that up as much as I thought.

I know you never claimed being smarter than anyone else I was just trying to understand the rationale for the above claim. (That was not a claim, it was a call to action)

The issue that you “feel” I didn’t make a sound argument is purely subjective to your opinion and what you consider sound. (What! No it’s not!) I gave the scripture, you see it as a contradiction. (They clearly contradict, is this guy high?) I don’t. Not my problem. (again, it is!) You said you hadn’t seen one good sound logical argument. I am under the impression you haven’t looked. (Wrong again)

The Earth-centered Universe that you claim was an “established view” did not begin with the church. Just FYI it started with Aristotle and Ptolemy who went on to influence all scientists following them. Later the scientists influenced the multitude. If you study the philosophy of science you would see the clear distinction. It was the Inquisition that put Galileo on trial not Christians. (Led by John Calvin, a protestant reformer!)

“Religion and churches fear change.” you assume Humanism isn’t a religion. (Never said that! Who ever said anything about Humanism?)

“It’s easy to make a statement that the theory of evolution is full of holes. In all likelihood if Charles Darwin was here today, he would tell you that his theory is not conclusive. If you had ever read “The Origin of Species” you would know this already. His theories are not conclusive because there is so much that we just cannot know. “

You are correct I haven’t read “The Origin of Species”. Though I have read a lot on the subject and hardly ever do I run into a student of evolution that can speak somewhat intelligibly on it. I usually end up explaining the sub theories to them. Man has been trying to explain God away for centuries using science.

“I am not saying that I know the truth; I am just saying that you don’t.”

If you don’t know the truth how do you know that I don’t. (You got me there. This is called an ontological quandary. I don’t know that you don’t know. I am just pretty sure. Is that better?) I have no problem being corrected on something I think, believe or feel. As long as the correction is logical and coherent.

You not seeing how you are forcing or trying your agenda on others is simply odd (Well I am rubber and you are glue)

“Your response is the same as every other Christian when presented with this challenge “you aren’t looking for the truth.” Well I am! I seek the truth on a daily basis. “

If I have told you the same thing as every other Christian I guess the problem would have to be with us because surely every other Christian could be right. Personally I think if you were indeed seeking the truth about the Bible you would have read the great thinkers I had listed previously. I told you why I won’t get into scripture defenses with you already. (Right, because I don’t want to know the truth….Oh, wait, is it because there are no rational defenses? No no, that couldn’t be it!)

“I would have to assume that the answers to these questions are so difficult for you or anyone because they can not be explained without the assumption that the Bible is perfect. Even if the Bible could be proven it commands you to accept its principles on faith so the proof would not even be usable without you being viewed as a heretic!”

God does want us to have faith but not “stupid faith”. I think Christians should be skeptical of their faith and ask the hard questions. (The Bible disagrees.) I don’t believe in having a faith based on feelings or a moment. That’s my opinion anyhow. I’m sure some Christians would disagree.

I read your blog. You made some interesting points but there are some significant issues I’ll address in another blog.

(Here comes the heavy hitter. Put on your helmets. My response to Trey “you don’t want to know the truth.” Preacher man!)
Well Trey, when I said “any takers” I was thinking maybe someone that is alive could explain it, rather than handing me a pile of literature and saying go figure it out for yourself. But since you brought up these fine upstanding leaders in Christian thought I decided to do some research on their philosophies. I was shocked at what I discovered. Let’s start with Augustine shall we?

Augustine was an avid woman hater. In his time he elevated misogyny to a whole new level. Augustine felt that a woman’s inferiority to a man was obvious. This led him to beg the question why women were even created at all. “I don't see what sort of help woman was created to provide man with, if one excludes procreation. If woman is not given to man for help in bearing children, for what help could she be? To till the earth together? If help were needed for that, man would have been a better help for man. The same goes for comfort in solitude. How much more pleasure is it for life and conversation when two friends live together than when a man and a woman cohabitate?” (St Augustine Ranke-Heinemann, Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: p88) I actually pick up some homosexual tendencies from this passage, but maybe I am just reading into it to much. Augustine taught that sex between a man and a woman was only for the purpose of procreation, and while sex for pleasure was pardonable, it was still a sin! (Ibid: p77, 94) As a misogynist, Augustine practiced what he preached. His friend Possidius described his conduct thus: "No woman ever set foot in his house, he never spoke to a woman except in the presence of a third person or outside the parlour, he made no exceptions, not even for his elder sister and his nieces, all three of them nuns." (Ibid: p122)

Let's Discuss Martin Luther next. Luther was born in 1483. In his time he was well known for being an anti-Semite -hated Jews- and a stern misogynist. He also vocally supported the massacre of over 100,000 peasants in the great peasant massacre of 1525 in Germany. In his pamphlet addressed to the princes and nobles entitled “Against the Murderous Peasants” he said: “Let all who are able, cut them down, slaughter and stab them, openly or in secret, and remember that there is nothing more poisonous, noxious and utterly devilish than a rebel.” Acting with Luther’s approval the military slaughtered the peasants in what was considered in its time to be one of the greatest massacres ever recorded. Luther, like all good Christians, hated the devil. He was known to have yelled at the evil one thus: "I have shit in my pants, and you can hang them around your neck and wipe your mouth with it." Luther felt that the spirit of God was strong in him for he could drive the devil away "with a single fart." (Wallace et.al., The Intimate Sex Lives of Famous People: p281) Luther's views on sex and women also deserve mention. He believed that women have stronger sexual urges than men and that if a man is impotent he should supply a sex partner for his wife. He taught that women were inferior to men and were created to be ruled by men. As proof, he sighted the shape of a woman's hips; its broad base indicates that God meant for them to sit at home. (Ibid: p281) As metioned before Luther also harbored a morbid hatred of Jews. Given below is an excerpt from his essay On the Jews and Their Lies: “Beware then the Jews and know that the Jewish school is nothing other than a nest of the devil ... And when you hear a Jew teaching, then realize that you are hearing a venomous basilisk that can poison and kill people with the sight of his face.” (quoted in Knight, Honest to Man: p101) Adolf Hitler is said to have cited Luther’s work on several occasions.

John Calvin was next right? Calvin, like Luther, was anxious to recapture the essence of primitive Christianity. Thus he drew up a constitution for a Christian theocratic state for Geneva, the city where he lived from 1536 to his death in 1564. In his constitution, the death penalty is the prescription for blasphemy, heresy and witchcraft. He also advocated the death penalty for adultery. The prescribed form of death penalty for adultery was drowning for the woman and decapitating for the man. (Roberts, History of the World: p551) Calvin showed his true colors when a man named Miguel Servetus (1511-1553) began writing views that were contradictory to Calvin’s. Calvin called for Servetus death. When Servetus was captured and executed in Geneva, Calvin wrote “One should forget all mankind when his glory is in question...God does not allow whole towns and populations to be spared, but will have the walls razed and the memory of the inhabitants destroyed and all things ruined as a sign of His utter detestation, lest the contagion spread.” (ibid: p290) Wow can you think of anyone else in the world today that just kills people heartlessly to get their way? You were just fighting one personally a few years ago weren’t you? (This is in reference to Trey being a soldier in the Iraq war.)

If you would like me to keep going with my findings on the teachings of the others that you listed let me know, but for one blog response I think you will agree, it is taking up to much space. So let’s move on.

As far as ID is concerned I can see that this is a touchy subject with you. You continually reference even though I had not brought it up once. -Other than it mentioned in the title of a blog which by the way has nothing to do with intelligent design- I will make these quick four points. If you want to discuss it further let’s start a different string because this one is getting ridiculous.
1. Creationism is not science for it bases its fundamental beliefs not on empirical research but on a belief in biblical inerrancy.
2. The creationist arguments for a young earth, one that is only a few thousand years old, fails upon closer examination.
3. The creationist argument for that the rock strata were all laid at the same time, during the Noahchian flood, fails.
4. The creationist have two pseudo-methods of trying to impress their readers:
a. They use credential mongering, trying to impress their readers with PhD's that have no relevance to the issue at hand.
b. They very often quote their opponents and scientists out of context which creates an opposite impression than what was originally intended.
(Thanks to Paul Tobin for all this info)
So here we are again. I have addressed all of your questions and you are still avoiding mine. Here I will spell it out as simple as I can. Please explain this to me!

You quoted this verse “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'And I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”(Matthew 7:22-23) Your intention was to say that this verse validates what you said about “True Christians not being able to fall away.” I agree with you that this is what this verse says. Then I posted three verses that contradict this one. Here is one of them “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" (1Timothy 4:1) If this verse is not saying that “believers” will “fall away” then you need to explain what it is saying or else you need to concede that this is a contradiction. If you have some spare time and want to check out a much larger list of contradictions please reference -www.angelsdepart.blogspot.com, “Intelligent design not so intelligent”- Please keep in mind the title to this blog is a bit misleading. Don’t let it trick you again! (ha ha ha) Thanks for your time.


(An actual heartfelt response by Trey)
"Well Trey, when I said “any takers” I was thinking maybe someone that is alive could explain it, rather than handing me a pile of literature and saying go figure it out for yourself. "
I guess I was under the assumption you had already looked into it. Guess not.

Ok I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are “seeking” though I really don’t think you are. So here you go:

VERSE 1
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them…….. 2 Peter 2:20-21
(Clearly saying that they knew it at one time, is Trey Delusional?)

20For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
2Pet 2:20-21 NASB

Now to your questions on this verse.

1. These people that Peter is talking about knew God and fell away. How could that be?
They didn’t know God. They knew about him. There’s a difference. (The verse says they knew him. Are you more authoritative than the bible?

2. Didn’t you say that if someone has tasted the grace of God that this would be impossible?
Yes this passage makes no reference that they’ve tasted God’s grace but that they “knew” something. (Yes it does!!!)

3. Is Peter a liar?
Peter did not lie here.


VERSE 2

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being assembled to meet him ... Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [in the original Greek: apostasy - 'great falling away'] comes first, and the lawless [one] is revealed, the son of perdition..." 2Thess 2:1,3

Man of Lawlessness
1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him,
2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Thess 2:1-3 NASB

I think a good cross reference verse for you on verse 3 is:
1 Timothy 4
Apostasy
1But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

The verses you made reference to are a warning again to people who will fall away from the faith. Again, they may have the saving knowledge but they aren’t saved. This is not a contradiction with what Jesus claimed would happen in Matthew. (Where does it say that? IT DOESN’T SAY THAT!!! You don’t get to make stuff up!)

VERSE 3
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils" (1Timothy 4:1)

1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
1 Tim 4:1 NASB (Yes it says abandon the faith, good job proving me right.)

This is a great passage where Paul in the person of Timothy forewarns not only the Ephesians but all the churches throughout the world, about hypocritical teachers, who by setting up false worship adulterate the true worship of God and corrupt the pure doctrine of faith. This is the real object of the passage. (Says Pastor Trey)

This shows the great care God exercises about his Church, when he gives so early warning of dangers. We suffer the punishment of our carelessness and idleness, when we are led aside from the right way of salvation.

Clearly here these people have a knowledge. Just as in the passage in Matthew, these men had a “knowledge” of God. It doesn’t matter. No contradiction here. (Where does it say knowledge? You made that up too.)

Now your questions regarding this passage:

1. If this verse is not saying that “believers” will “fall away” then you need to explain what it is saying or else you need to concede that this is a contradiction.
It doesn’t say “believers” it says “some” to be correct. But I think I explained sufficiently above. (No you didn’t)

2. How could one depart from the faith if they weren’t a part of it in the first place?
They had a knowledge of the scriptures, but their own carelessness and idleness demonstrated they really weren’t saved. Who knows maybe they were there for other reasons. Case by case basis for each individual. (Excellent dodge.)

3. Is Timothy lying?
Timothy? Do you mean Paul? Paul wrote this to Timothy. I thought you said you studied the Bible and that was why you left Christianity? (Oh! You got me!)

4. How about the author of Thessalonians Paul? Was he lying?
No

Give me your address and I will send you a bible to read
That’s ok I think you need it. (Actually I don’t, thanks though)

Your questions are important but when you start off by saying I was ignorant is going to get a very a responsive answer. (I speak the truth.) Additionally saying “I have to wonder how many Christians have actually read the bible and how many just go on feeling and gut instinct.” should have been asked to yourself before you wrote your comment.

And yes I read your blog on “contradictions”. I already told you why I don’t get into defending Bible verses with non-believers. They just start nit picking (By nit picking you mean pointing out contradictions that destroy your world view?) then the next thing you know you spent almost 2 hours telling them something they never really wanted to know. So here’s your “benefit of the doubt”. You said you were honestly seeking and there you go. Otherwise I just take it as taking shots at the Bible and Christianity.

I’m not touchy on ID at all. I am always reading on scientific discoveries and looking to see what truth they have uncovered. Like I said it’s not much to argue about bring the science out and let it speak for itself. Post your rebuttal on any of the science blogs I write.





(My final reply )
So it seems as if your interpretation of abandoning the faith are people leaving the church that had knowledge of being saved but weren’t really. That is a good twist. Ever think about being a lawyer? One thing that I had to take note of is that you needed a different version from the King James and that the version you used has entirely different wording? Which one is inspired by God? If the Bible is continually tweaked and doctored maybe all of the contradictions can be removed eventually! How exciting would that be for you?! So did you tell me why you really won’t defend the bible contradictions that I posted? Is it perhaps because there is no defense? Am I nitpicking by posting Bible contradictions? If they are not really contradictions then explain them.
Nice how one mistake in my blog means that I know nothing about the subject to you. You make massive amounts of mistakes in your responses in this string alone and when they are pointed out you simply ignore them. For example, your hero’s, who happen to be perverts, homosexuals, woman haters and murderers. You seem to have nothing to say about them. I will confess that I always read Timothy without knowledge that it was written by Paul. Not that it being written by Paul is a cause for relief. Paul’s version of Christianity is in many ways contradictory to the version of Christianity that Jesus taught.
Look I am glad that you live as a Christian. I believe that you are someone who would be very dangerous to society if you did not have these doctrines being waved over you by a “man in the sky.” I guess the only thing that is scarier is that “God might tell you to do something.” Under those circumstances you would do whatever you felt this apparition asked you to do and feel no remorse for your actions. Please keep the faith. The free thinkers of the world beg you. I will post a blog on ID soon. Your incessant ramblings will be welcome there. Look, this conversation is pointless because you are only assuming my view. You are arguing from religion and I am arguing from science. I have read your book –The Bible- and you have admitted to not reading mine. –The Origin of species- Go read it, so that you have both arguments, then we’ll talk.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Prayer Challenge

This Blog is one of the most hilarious things I have ever read. It really makes you think about the idiocy of Christian thought. Make sure you read through the comments as well. Aaron Kinney is an absolute genius! http://killtheafterlife.blogspot.com/2007/01/prayer-challenge.html