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Matthew 7:6 doesn't mean you shouldn't tell folks about Jesus.

  1. mishpat profile image59
    mishpatposted 2 years ago

    I have enjoyed many "debates" with folks here on the Hub, but in the long run, its seems those that believe still believe and those that don't still don't.  Why is this?

    Could it be, Christians, that we allow the nay-sayers to have their say while we are trying to not be offensive?  The Bible is offensive to them.  Let it be so.  In many cases, we allow them to set the subject.  Then we try to move them with a few nice words and a couple of verses.  If we put a few drops of clean water in a mud pile, does it make the mud clean?  Proverb 26:4-5.

    Jesus set the tenor of his sermons.  He also responded to those that confronted Him, but it a manner befitting.  Remember when Nicodemus came to him "at night" with questions.  And when Jesus would answer, old Nick would come back with a lame question or excuse.  But Jesus would not go there.  He brought him back to the substance and purpose of His walk on earth, "Ye must be born again."

    Yet we, time and again, fall into this trap of defending God and the Bible, neither of which is in need of such.  When the devil tempted Christ, the Lord answered with the scripture.  Too many times we respond in the intellectual realm when we are dealing with the spiritual realm. 

    So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, lets use the Hub as they do, to assert our position as opposed to highlighting our inadequacies.  Post your thoughts with a knowledge that you are a messenger to the world.  You can bet you are going to get some noxious, hateful and immature responses.  When you do, know that you are following the call, Matthew 5:44.  And don't feel bad when you stumble around or fall back, like Peter was found so often doing.  Get up and get back in it.

    Be wise but harmless, Matthew 10:16 and ready to respond, 1 Peter 3:15.  But don't get to heady.  These folks on the other side of the Cross need to be answered, not assailed.  And they are no different than we once were, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

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      Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Do not necessarily assume that if someone disagrees with you they are somehow anti Christ.

      I do find offense in the fact that you call your view point clean water and those in disagreement the mud pile.

      Perhaps, if you took the time to think about how your words were perceived you would choose them more wisely and not sound a tad hypocritical in the OP.

    2. Jomine Jose profile image79
      Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this
    3. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Beyond a direction to try make sure all have been exposed to the gospel message, are you aware of any scripture encouraging or directing believers to preach or reason at all to/with those who have rejected spirituality?  I am aware of verses that I believe say the opposite and based on the fruitlessness of such ventures I have consistently seen wherever tried, I understand why that would be. 

      I suspect there were none in the audience on the mount who denied there was a god, (even if they did not yet know the true God), or any who denied spirituality.  Even if not utilizing the Holy Spirit for spiritual discernment, at least knowing there is a god and seeking to know Him makes people open to hearing and learning from scripture.  Is this not where our efforts belong?  If so, even engaging in much of the dialogue with those whose only purpose is to oppose the message is simply wasting time that could be better utilized.  Your thoughts?

      1. Righteous Atheist profile image60
        Righteous Atheistposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Interesting that you dishonestly use the words "rejected spirituality," when you mean - "do not believe religionsists' claims."

        This is why your religion causes so many conflicts.

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        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Right, don't throw peals to pigs.

        1. Sed-me profile image82
          Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Actually pigs probably like peals.

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            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Ha ha. Got me again. Pearls. I'll leave my post as is because of the humour and irony found within.

            1. Sed-me profile image82
              Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              lol

            2. bBerean profile image61
              bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I appreciate your seeing that.  As with spell check errors, (my phone comes up with some doozys and I don't always catch them right away),...when done in fun because of the irony it's nice you see the humor and don't take offense.  You recognize when folks are mocking vs light-hearted humor.

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I know that Rad has dyslexia, but that was just a dropped letter... something that happens to all of us, every day. I was hoping he wouldn't mind being included in a joke I would have made for any of us, myself included. His response made me laugh. It's nice to laugh with each other instead of the constant back and forth. smile

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                Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I don't believe there is a mean bone in Beth's body. I'm dyslexic and type quickly and usually don't see my errors right away. That one was down right funny. Someone in the past has described my spelling and grammar as lazy. I didn't really take offence to her ignorance.

                It should be known that because I don't agree with any of you doesn't mean I don't respect you or are angry with you. It's just that I'm right and you're wrong.

                1. Sed-me profile image82
                  Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  lol

      3. mishpat profile image59
        mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Well put.  I believe there are a couple that give us direction, Proverb 26 for instance.  Verse 4, it would appear, says it is a mistake when we argue/debate with the unsaved about things that are natural to man and on their terms.  But then verse 5 says we are to try to convince them with the Word as opposed to just walking away and appearing a loser or quitter.  At least that is how I see it.  Jude says we should convince with love but when that doesn't work, we should include the "fire."   Ephesians 4 says God gave the church folks of different stations which I believe would include different gifts.  And what he gave you may not be the same as the next person.  We deal with various personalities so we have to have varied personalities to deliver the same message of salvation by various means.  And Paul was quite explicit that how you bring the Gospel message is none of my business, as long as it gets preached, Philippians 1:13-18.

        Hopefully, this addresses both of your last comments.

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, and gives me something to study further this weekend.  Thank you.

        2. Cat333 profile image81
          Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          A lot of good spiritual "food for thought" in this post, mishpat!

    4. timdp profile image59
      timdpposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Hi there. 
      You make an absolutely valid point.
      When I speak to those who are true Christians I get good feedback.  When I speaks to hardened people of the world they recoil as though they have been presented a poisonous snake.

      Our present society has so deafed and blinded people to the point they will not even look over the sinfful walls they have built around them.

      I have found by trying to live what I have learned from the Bible quietly in front of them tends to soften that wall so we can begin to have a dialog.

      I have a distant friend who uses a completely different tactic.  He just starts out by almost bagering a person until they are so angry they walk away.  I feelthis guy is trying to grab the person by the shirtfront and throw them through the gates of Heaven.

      I think his way of approaching people contributes to those who will not in any way listen to your soft and truthfull words or to the gentle calling of the Holy Spirit.

      All we can do is keep trying to work the fields and pray for God to reap the harvest.

      Have a great and blessed day.

    5. 0
      Lybrahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Awesome post.  Wise words, indeed.

  2. Sed-me profile image82
    Sed-meposted 2 years ago

    Who are you sir/ma'am? I am curious about your faith. Shameful... pigeonholing ppl, don't you think? lol... sorry.

  3. mishpat profile image59
    mishpatposted 2 years ago

    1 Corinthians 2:12-16

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      Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I would respond that, by your words, you are not in line with that. By my interpretation of the passage when put into the context of the actions of Jesus.  Going against the teachings of Christ by using the meanderings of Paul to justify behavior patterns doesn't qualify as following Christ. So, I think you can (hopefully) follow that to its logical conclusion

      1. mishpat profile image59
        mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        We are all hypocrites in some fashion.  However, you make my point.  One does not refer to the the writings of Paul or any other portion of scripture as "meanderings" and say "I believe."  The Bible, in its entirety, is the Word of God.  To pick and chose what one likes or approves of and throw out the rest, then why bother with any of it.  So we go back to 1 Corinthians.  It is impossible to understand spiritual things using worldly logic.  You must be born again, accept Jesus Christ as you personal savior.  Get your eyes off the things of the natural mankind for understanding.  Yup, we are all hypocrites.  Some hypocrites are saved and some are not.

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          Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          What you don't seem to understand is that by insisting that the entire Bible is the word of God, thus allowing yourself to act in opposition to the example of Christ, is completely against the teachings of Christ. You can't have it both ways. If you are going to call yourself a Christian walk in his footsteps. Not Paul's.

          1. mishpat profile image59
            mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Not sure what you mean.

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              Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              More's the pity.

              1. mishpat profile image59
                mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Still not getting it.

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                  Emile Rposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  And you won't. Because here you are. Seeking conflict under the guise that it is necessary for your religion. Because you seek to believe words tell you to do so. Because you seek to use those words to justify belief that a God wants it of you. Because you choose the example of the behavior of someone other than Christ to use as your model, thus sidelining everything he stood for and giving us a prime example of what he taught against.

                  1. mishpat profile image59
                    mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Couple things.  It is said Thomas Jefferson had the thinnest Bible of his day because if he didn't like what was on the page, he tore it out.

                    Second, the Bible, that is the whole Bible, 66 Books is the Word of God.  Jesus Christ is the Lord.  Therefore, all that is in it are His words.  The writer is not the author.  So your arguments seem to be with God.  And I make no apologies for what His word says. 

                    2 Corinthians 11:3-4; Galatians 1:6-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-7 are more words of Paul.

                    Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4 are the Words of Christ.

                    None are my words nor are they words that may be discarded by the Christian simply because they do not fit with their expectations.

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          So one can't say they are Christian if they don't except every word of the entire bible as being divinely written? Jesus was said to have said that he didn't come to change any of the OT scripture, yet we don't use much of the laws of the OT and you take the word of someone that never physically even met Jesus over the works given to you that were supposedly of Jesus?

          1. mishpat profile image59
            mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            There may be an unintended nuance there, but its up to God to make the decisions, certainly not me.  All I am supposed to do is tell people about Jesus Christ then turn it over to Him.

            I believe the entire Word of God, OT and NT, has equal value and validity.  An "apostle" dealt directly with Jesus Christ.  He was given a mission(s), spread the Gospel.  They did it in many ways, one being in writing.  They were and are the messengers of God.

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              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Okay, well you've told me about him, will you know leave it to God and leave me and others alone. Every single person with a radio or television has heard of Jesus. Your job is done according to your own words. Thanks.

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                What is the percentage of threads started by Atheists compared to those started by ppl of faith, do you think?

              2. mishpat profile image59
                mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                What I will do is not coming looking for you.  I am here as long as the Lord pleases, if you have a need to talk, understanding that your commenting on a Christian site means you want to talk.  I don't want to be adversarial just true to what I believe to the best of the ability that God gave me.

                1. Righteous Atheist profile image60
                  Righteous Atheistposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Yet there you are being adversarial all the time. wink

                  1. Sed-me profile image82
                    Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    He helps bB start wars.

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      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I have to ask (with respect) do you really think what 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 says is factual and honest? Do you think your own thoughts are the thoughts of God?

      1. mishpat profile image59
        mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, I am sure the words are factual and honest.  I find the truth of them on a daily basis.  And "No" regarding my thoughts. 

        If I went with my thoughts and my personal reactions I would be the worst example of a Christian.  I have to temper even the words I write here.  But most times, if I take a moment, I restrain myself because of God.  Notice I say most times.  When I react improperly, folks don't see me directly, they see God.  And if that is what God is all about, then who needs it.  This person, me, was changed in many ways years ago, but I'm still working on it.  I think differently but many times am at war with myself because old words and ways are enticing.

        Spiritual discernment does not make me smarter, more intelligent.  It just helps me to better understand the Word of God.  It makes me realize what changes God has already made in me, but that there is more to do.

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Paul describes himself as the chief of sinners.  Must not this be the perspective of all believers, not because it would prove out in a head to head comparison, but because we don't have the dirt on anyone like we do on ourselves, so by shear volume we would stand out as the worst we know, in our own eyes?

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Okay, let's make a deal then okay? You claim becoming a Christian helps you to become a better person, and I'll have to take your word for that. I say leaving Christianity has helped me become a better person, will you take my word for that and stop preaching to those who claim that are better without religion?

          "But we have the mind of Christ." Do you have the mind of Christ, are your thoughts his?

          1. mishpat profile image59
            mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The only real difference between a believer and an unbeliever is faith.  Like Peter said, 1 Peter 4:18, I just barely got in the door, and that by the Grace of God.

            We are all quite similar in word and action.  Some are better actors than others.  Some more intelligent.  I don't claim any special gifts as  a person.

            The OP was, hopefully clear though regarding its purpose.  All are welcome to join in on my OP's but expect to hear the Bible preached.  If I go to your OP, I would expect to hear your position.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              The scripture you pointed to says "But we have the mind of Christ." When I asked you if your thoughts are Gods thoughts you said no, why is that?

              It's my opinion that there are many difference between those of faith and those without, and I can show you the differences with statistics.

  4. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 2 years ago

    Over the centuries, Christianity has been forced to mature; to evolve into what it was not.  We see that in that Christianity as a whole no longer condones slavery, no longer condones murdering children for misbehavior, no longer convicts children for the sins of the father.  There is a long list of things the faith used to accept as word of god but no longer do.

    Islam still proselytizes with the sword, just as Christianity used to do (and still does in limited areas), but it is no longer mainstream and the practice will vanish in the future (by the sword if necessary).  Christianity has grown beyond that, but will never be perfect ethically.  No one will.

    Secular (or other religions) views on such things as inter-racial marriage and gay rights are more modern examples of this, as are women's rights.  One day believers will be forced to accept that their "sharing" should not be random public speeches and displays, but kept behind their own doors and by invitation only.  The world will change and Christianity will either change with it or die out as radical Islam will.

    1. mishpat profile image59
      mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8-9 tell me God has not and will not change His plan.  But you are correct in that the world has changed, Romans 1:20-32 make it clear.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Unfortunately for such prattle He already has.  Witness the murder of every living thing outside the ark because they didn't follow the plan.  Unless you think that from the start He planned on sending all those innocent babies and people that never heard of Him to burn forever?  Consider also the scattering after the tower, where he had to change His plan because men built something they shouldn't.  Or even the change after Eve bit, unless He intended all along to kill all her progeny and bring death to man?

        1. mishpat profile image59
          mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          The "mind" of God has been a mystery to me in many areas.  As to the retributions you named, they are not part of of the mystery.  We reap as we sow.  And "No" I do not believe the innocents are punished as suggested.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            From your earlier post in this thread:
            "My position is one either accepts the whole Bible or none of it."

            Accept that your god murdered millions of innocents in just the flood and is directly responsible for His change of plans when Eve took the bite.

        2. Sed-me profile image82
          Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          This is permissible, right?

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            According to Christian dogma, yes.  God can do anything He wishes and it is, by definition, right.

  5. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    Inappropriate preaching is what is offensive, whether it is for the Bible, Justin Beiber or CocoPuffs.

    1. mishpat profile image59
      mishpatposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      We agree.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        We just disagree on what "inappropriate" means in this context.

    2. Sed-me profile image82
      Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It's the religious forum. Maybe we could dump the 5th amendment and you could give him a list of things that are permissible to talk about online... like they do in China and Iraq.

  6. donnalynnfennell profile image62
    donnalynnfennellposted 2 years ago

    To believe; is to feel with your heart and not all people can feel in the same ways as others. There are road blocks people have put up for their own protection (so they believe) but weather others want to believe it or not, we are a product of something greater and this is why we feel, period! We where created in the likeness of our Creator; God. When one is so pumped, its only understandable to boast and brag. Better to brag about another than yourself and I choose to brag about God! smile

    1. Righteous Atheist profile image60
      Righteous Atheistposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      How self righteous of you. This would be why your religion causes so many conflicts. sad

    2. JMcFarland profile image92
      JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      that's all well and good to say.  People can say anything.  You can say that about God, Muslims can say similar things about Allah, Hindus can say it about Krishna, atheists can say it about the Flying Spaghetti monster.  The point is, words are cheap, unless you can back those words up with actual, you know, evidence.

      1. psycheskinner profile image79
        psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Or living a life of such obvious profound quality that people want to know how you did it,and come and ask you about it.

        When the rude evangelists cone knocking on my door during my precious weekend, they are unwelcome.

        1. JMcFarland profile image92
          JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, actions do speak much louder than words.

          1. psycheskinner profile image79
            psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            It makes me think of this guy in my home town who would preach in the main street with a portable amp for long hours and often late at night.  He would make his young kids line up and stand behind him as he went on for hours.  I never listened much to what he said because any guy who would do that to his little kids is a jerk.

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              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Like the JW's who come to the door with a child because they don't think we will speak our minds in front of children. Despicable behaviour.

  7. donnalynnfennell profile image62
    donnalynnfennellposted 2 years ago

    I have much….. much…… evidence! I remember God and the heavens and though there is much controversy and debate upon the topic of what we remember in life; I will bet my own life upon what I KNOW because I have nothing to lose here on earth but only the heavens to gain! This is my purpose to educate others about our majesty; God. Man has put up these divisions and different religions, not God! There is only one God; who is the God of all! I will be publishing a book soon to educate and inspire others on God. Greater is the man who has not seen and still believes!

    1. JMcFarland profile image92
      JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      So educate me.   You know nothing about me,  but show me your undeniable evidence.

      1. donnalynnfennell profile image62
        donnalynnfennellposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        To educate does not mean I am going to tell you about you!! You're the only one who knows you!! I am here to educate others on God!

        1. JMcFarland profile image92
          JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Go ahead and try.   Educate me about God,  then.

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Are you a prophet?

    2. Righteous Atheist profile image60
      Righteous Atheistposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Show me your evidence.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I win.   I asked first.

        1. Righteous Atheist profile image60
          Righteous Atheistposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          LOL Doesn't seem to be forthcoming. big_smile

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            That's what usually happens,  isn't it?

            Christian: I have lots of evidence

            Atheist: show me some

            Christian:......

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              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Had a lingering dread the other night that I was back in high school, but couldn't get to class because I couldn't find my locker and didn't remember the combination and the office wasn't helpful, then while still dreaming realized why I couldn't remember where my locker was or what the combination was. I haven't been there for more than 30 years, I was my age now. I don't remember many dreams but I remembered that one. So two or three days later my kid in high school tells me a story of how he had to rush to his locker to get his gym cloths and for a brief second was afraid he wouldn't remember his locker number.

              The Lord was sending me a message through my dreams, I don't yet know what it was, but it's evidence that God exists. Did you see that coming?

              1. Jomine Jose profile image79
                Jomine Joseposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Oh my god, you have proved god.

              2. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Have you proven god,  or have you proven that you are god?

  8. mishpat profile image59
    mishpatposted 2 years ago

    Take a couple days break and I find the believers and non-believers enforce the words of Solomon, "There is nothing new under the sun."

    My friends, the believers continue to fall into the trap of the unbelievers repetitive questions of which they know there is no answer.

    The unbelievers still ask the same questions and still respond in the same way.

    Words get twisted to fit a position.  Words get ignored to justify a position.  Why are things as they are in Syria? Read the Hubs.  Different people, different location, same mind sets.  (I'm sure this comparative will bring a rebuttal, which will also solve nothing.)

    There is an occasional laugher such as the ones that qualify their position because they think that is the way things should be or they want it that way, or the ones that need an amanuensis to help with spelling (better check mine).

    So I will just answer several of the comments before moving on ...

    No, Yes, Maybe, Um, You can't prove that, I can't prove that, I don't want to hurt your feelings, I don't care you I hurt your feelings.  Lord, what fools these mortals be!

    I think that covers it.

  9. donnalynnfennell profile image62
    donnalynnfennellposted 2 years ago

    Some just don't want to hear; no matter what evidence you set before them. "Knock and the door will be open to you; seek and you shall find" (Matt 7:7) Without diligence and a genuine heart felt desire to know; nothing will be learned or acknowledged. To argue with foolishness only puts me at the heart of it; and I will not do this. Seek answers through scripture. When there is a will there is a way. The only reason why you don't see is because you choose not to see. I will continue to pray for the lost as my heart goes out to all. My plea rested.

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      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Or… we have looked at your version of God and found him to be either impotent or morally deficient and concluded that the God itself must not exist. There is something wrong when we have children under five dying by the millions a painful hopeless death and millions more thanking the lord for a football win.

      Some simply can't see the evidence.

    2. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      "The only reason why you don't see is because you choose not to see."

      Or perhaps because some just can't seem to honestly accept the words of ancient. ignorant. barbarians, passed down through generations, that an entity from another universe, unseen and undetectable, actually created this one.  We can all, of course, pay lip service to such a belief, but actual belief is another story.

    3. JMcFarland profile image92
      JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You said you had evidence,  and that you would show it to us.   Now you say that there is no evidence that we will accept.  A) isn't it a bit presumptuous of you to assume that without even trying and B) does that mean that you admit that your original statement is false?   Or C) could it be that you actually don't have any evidence whatsoever,  but want to blame us for your inability to produce it?

      I have read the Bible multiple times in multiple languages.   I don't buy it,  and the Bible is not evidence - it is the claim.   What's your point?

    4. Cat333 profile image81
      Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You seem a wise and lovely person, donnalynnfennell! May God bless you with ever greater wisdom and the beauty that comes from our Lord!

  10. donnalynnfennell profile image62
    donnalynnfennellposted 2 years ago

    Beyond pain and hurt is hope. Without hope; how can one strive? This is the purpose in life: spiritual growth. There's hope in you; look deeper within yourself. Pain should not stop one in their tracks. It doesn't keep you from living your life day to day; does it? It shouldn't stop you from seeking God. There's more to life than what's in front of your face. Press on friend.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      No, the purpose of this life is to leave the world around us a better place.  To leave fond memories in those that knew us when we die.  To enjoy life as we accomplish these things. 

      Not to create an imaginary place we call "spiritual" and pretend that it is important to us.

      1. Cat333 profile image81
        Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        If you believe the purpose of life is "to leave the world around us a better place.  To leave fond memories in those that knew us when we die.  To enjoy life as we accomplish these things.", is this merely an opinion in your opinion? Or do you consider it a fact or definitively correct? What has led you to this conclusion? What if there were no God and all life was going to end shortly due to a catastrophic event; why would these "purposes" be meaningful? Would they even be the purposes of life in such a situation?

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          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          LMAO. You invented a meaning to life that renders this existence meaningless which makes life meaningless to you and life here and now empty. Nice job. You could learn something from living in the here and now.

          1. Cat333 profile image81
            Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I consider this existence very meaningful! To live is Christ... While going to be with the Lord is most advantageous to us, living here on earth means fruitful labor.

            And I am very grateful to God for the here and now, for every day of my life, whether good days or hard days. I don't take my life or the lives of my loved ones for granted. There is so much here to be grateful for... from a beautiful little flower in the forest to the amazing blessing of a child.

            Though being with the Lord will be better by far, there are some things created only for the current earth that should be appreciated and enjoyed while here. Enjoy! But look beyond as well!

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              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I figured as much.

              1. Cat333 profile image81
                Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Yet that's not what you wrote. You wrote inaccurately that I "invented a meaning to life that renders this existence meaningless which makes life meaningless to (me) and life here and now empty." If you figured as much, and you understood how meaningful I consider life even here, why would you write something different?

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Again, if you feel the meaning of this life is to get you into heaven in the after life then you've rendered the meaning of this life meaningless to this life.

                  1. Cat333 profile image81
                    Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Getting into heaven is of the utmost importance for us personally. Yet the purposes extend much further, and in the truest sense the meaning isn't about us but about the Lord. We do see the importance of eternal life over the significance of spiritual gifts and abilities when Jesus said, "do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20)

                    But beyond this eternal life, there are many purposes to our lives on earth. "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)

                    And let's not forget to enjoy and give thanks for all things we receive in this life! "This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24) Jesus said, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10) Yes, the Christian can be the most deeply joyful of all people (even in sorrows) as they embrace the here and now and the joys of both this life on earth and eternal life!

        2. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          It is as much opinion, or fact, as the statement that the purpose of life is to grow spiritually. 

          And much more factual than the unstated but implied opinion that growing spiritually means accepting the specific god of Christianity as truth.

          1. Cat333 profile image81
            Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I wasn't comparing it to other stated purposes of life. Rather, I was wondering what you are basing your opinions about the purposes of life on. And do these alleged purposes hold if all life will end shortly?

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              But I WAS comparing it to other stated purposes, at least in the validity of the statement.

              Nevertheless, it is a true statement...for me.  We all, after all, concoct our own "purpose" for life.  No one else can do it for us - any such purpose is as personal as the nose on our face is. 

              And no, it doesn't matter if the world ends tomorrow, any more than it does if there is no god.  It is the journey, short or long, that matters; not the end point.

              1. Cat333 profile image81
                Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks for explaining. I do find it peculiar that making the world a better place and others' memories of us are still considered meaningful purposes if the world potentially ends tomorrow. Then we're left only with current enjoyment. And enjoyment alone, while a positive, isn't very meaningful in a lasting way.

                If the only meaning to life were the meaning we ourselves defined and attributed to it, that would be dismaying to me. Is it dismaying to you, or are you satisfied with that?

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Well, it is dismaying to me that some people attribute a meaning attributed to a mythological, non-existent creature from another universe as more important than their own actions.  We're even there.

                  But when it comes down to it, there is no difference.  You've made up your own meaning; to obey the commands from barbarians millenia ago - I've made up mine according to what I find important (the legacy I leave behind).  The only real variation is that I find the journey until the world ends (and it will when I die) important; you find the moment of death important, with the assumption that all your mistakes and errors are automatically forgiven.  You don't want responsibility for your bad actions to count while I recognize they are a part of what I am.

                  1. Cat333 profile image81
                    Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Let's say you were right. Then we've both defined the meaning of life for ourselves.

                    Let's say Christians are right. Then they've accepted the meaning of life given by the Lord of the universe, and only those who refuse this are attempting in vain to attribute their own meanings to life.

                    So whether you or the Christians are right, there's zero chance you've done anything but attribute your own meaning to life. This would be dismaying to me, but maybe it's not to you.

                    I find this journey of life VERY important, though eternal life is FAR MORE important. A believer and an unbeliever can both find life on earth important, though for the unbeliever all is lost at the moment of death.

                    You express no desire to be free from your mistakes and errors, and even seem comfortable enough with them, as if you are grossly minimizing them and their effects. Why wallow in filth? Why not rather be cleansed and made new and move forward blemish free? How much greater things there are! There was a GREAT price that was paid for ALL our mistakes and errors - the precious blood of our loving Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! For this those who have been cleansed and made new are eternally grateful.

            2. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              All life will not end shortly and so what if it does.

              It's much like us asking what happens you we find out that God never existed.

              1. Cat333 profile image81
                Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                You wouldn't know if all life were about to end shortly. And now when you say "and so what if it does", isn't it you who appears to view life as meaningless?

                If God "never existed" I wouldn't find this out, as I would simply die and be no more. So though it seems you'd love to say "I told you so", you'd never get this opportunity. I'd simply go off joyfully believing in my Lord and be no more. BUT God does exist and I will joyfully be reunited with him. And I will not say "I told you so", but you may say to me and your wife and your mother and many others, "You told me so. Thank you."

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Sure I would, if a massive commit was about to hit earth, some would still mostly likely survive. Science does tell us when the earth will no longer be able to sustain life, but that's millions of years away. But even then we could be in other solar systems at that point or there could be and most certainly is other life out there.

                  Even if God does exist logic tells us you most likely have picked the wrong one and may have caused more damage than I and that wouldn't sit well with your Gods.

                  There is no reason to think all life will end. The earth has been hit will massive commits in the past and life exists. Even if humans die out that doesn't mean life will not continue. It's arrogant to think one we count as life.

                  1. Cat333 profile image81
                    Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    So to you life would still be meaningful if humans died out or were destroyed? That's pretty interesting.

                    Everything has to be just so in this universe for our existence. If anything goes awry...

                    Your theory and expectation is that there is no God. So if this were true, you'd never get the satisfaction of me finding out you were right after all, because after death, I'd find out nothing.

                    Someone else's theory and expectation is that their false god, for whom they have a second hand faith, is the true one, but since neither you nor I believe this, there is no concern of what this false god will have to say by either me or you.

                    My and my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world believe in and expect the return of the One True Lord. Our expectations will be fulfilled and our hopes will not be disappointed. We will have the satisfaction of this, yet we will not rejoice or gloat over those who refused the message, as many wish to do over us. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we will overcome the fleshly nature that might gloat, and we will instead take the attitude of Jesus Christ, and Stephen after him who was filled with the Holy Spirit, and say "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

    2. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      You missed it completely.

      About 29,000 children under the age of five die daily – 21 each minute – mainly from preventable causes. More than 70 per cent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth.

      And you going on about hope. Your or my hope? negating the hope of those children or there parents who tirelessly prayed for their child to live. Life is not about hope, your hope to meet with God, but about survival for millions simply because they were born in another place.

      You see, I'm not talking about my pain. Why do so many Christian simply gloss over hard facts and pretend God found their keys. It's sad and embarrassing and it's right in front of your face.

      Again, the God you trust either can do nothing to save the 29,000 children under 5 that will die today or choses to do nothing. Pick one.

  11. Cat333 profile image81
    Cat333posted 2 years ago

    For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God. (2 Corinthians 2:15-17)

    It's no wonder we're "stinky" to some!

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Pleasing aroma? Paul made up all kinds of nonsense.

  12. mishpat profile image59
    mishpatposted 2 years ago

    Hello All.  I see we are still at square one on the issues, but I must say Cat you are doing a superb job.  Amen, brother.

    1. Cat333 profile image81
      Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Hello and thank you, mishpat!

  13. JMcFarland profile image92
    JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago

    Yeah,  disagreeing,  mocking,  criticizing etc is not persecution.   It's disgraceful and shameful to say that it is.  It minimizes and trivializes the actual suffering of task people who are legitimately suffering for their beliefs in other parts of the world.   Arguing about religion heatedly on the internet and being asked to back up your assertions and having your beliefs or statements criticized and even mocked when you cannot does not equal persecution, regardless of however you try to spin it.

    Unless you are being  forcibly prevented from worship,  unable to go to church,  affected,  put in jail, tortured,  beaten,  executed,  etc,  you are not being persecuted.  Develop a thicker skin,  recognize that your freedom of speech equally applies to those who disagree with you whether you like it or not and deal with the fact that not everyone believes what you believe and everything will be good.

    1. Cat333 profile image81
      Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Persecution is simply defined as "hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs" and it most certainly does include criticizing and mocking! There are LEVELS of persecution, no doubt, and no one is comparing the verbal taunts and emotional damage done in the forums with the imprisonment and murder of Christians around the world (anymore than we compare the emotional / verbal abuse of a spouse with the murder of a spouse). But we do recognize that all forms of both persecution (from the least to the greatest), like all forms of violence from least to greatest, are wrong and harmful, often on an unknown level, as psychological damage can be much greater than anticipated.

      I was speaking of persecution of a sister, so me developing "thicker skin" would have no bearing on this. Anyway the persecution itself wasn't the point I was making, but rather the suspicious turn from persecution to favor following a shout out against several Christians, and my concerns about the motives of this new "favor".

  14. JMcFarland profile image92
    JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago

    I'm sorry,  but it's completely asinine to insist,  despite numerous correction attempts,  that an atheist hates god.   It's simply not true.   You cannot logically hate something that you genuinely do not believe exists. If that's what you believe,  that's fine,  but you simply can't assert it as fact,  and it is completely arrogant and rude to assume that you know what's going on in someone else's heart and mind better than they do.   

    Secondly,  regarding the hardened heart,  God is responsible for hardening people's hearts in the Bible and then punishing them for what he did.

    1. Cat333 profile image81
      Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Please take note that I allowed for it to be his hatred of the "idea" of the "Christian God". This he can hate EVEN if he does not believe in God. He is the most active person in the forums, expending GREAT time and effort to cast down the "Christian God", the Word, the Christian faith, pastors, Christians in general... Even if he were not to acknowledge his hatred, his actions have already told of it.

      Our hearts often tend toward hardness. But God softens who he desires to soften. "Hardening" our hearts may even be leaving them in their own natural state.

      1. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Not entirely true, can you please attempt to be honest when you are speaking about me?

        "But you hate God (even if you want to call it the "idea" of the "Christian God"

        You said I hate God even if I call it something different which assumes I'm to stupid to understand what I hate.

        I'm not the most active person in these forums at the moment and we haven't seen the most active person in some time.

        I'm afraid you are sadly mistaken, I hate no one. I do dislike it when people tell others that if they don't believe in their version of nonsense they must have a hardened heart which means they must have something seriously wrong with them.

        I do understand how frustrating this much be for you because I can see it in your words.

      2. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        No,  what you said was "But you hate God (even if you want to call it the "idea" of the "Christian God", and say you can't hate what doesn't exist) "  asserting that the subject of his hate was god regardless of what he says to the contrary.   Rad and other atheists,  myself included,  speak against the actions of many Christians,  the behavior of many Christians and criticize (and even ridicule) the beliefs that Christianity is comprised of,  because in many ways it affects us personally.   If all believers were content to keep their beliefs and faith personal and did not try to force others via legislating to comport with those beliefs,  we may still criticize the beliefs themselves but I doubt many of us would be as active.   I enjoy debates about religion and belief personally because it affects me and I've studied it and its effects my whole life.   I'm sorry,  but that does not amount to hatred no matter how many times you want to say it does.   That would be like me Insisting that you and other believers hate atheists because you spend so much time arguing with us,  telling us about hell (universal you,  not you specifically) etc regardless of whether we already know or not.   Being told that you hate something does not mean that you actually do.   It's your preception, and I'm sorry but in this case,  I'm fairly certain that your preception is incorrect.   Rad is a genuine,  kind and warm hearted guy - to Christians and non Christians - all the time.   He doesn't hate anyone, and criticizing a belief does not equate to hating a believer. You're way of base,  and Insisting that you're correct had no more legitimacy than if I were to start telling you that you hate atheists every time I encountered you in the forums.

        Telling someone else as a fact that their hearts are hardened,  etc.  Is not only arrogant,  it's insulting - and you really don't appreciate it when someone does it to you in reverse.   You accuse them off twisting things,  etc.   You're welcome to your opinion and your belief,  but presenting those as fact against another hubber is incredibly rude.

        1. Cat333 profile image81
          Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          At every point, Rad Man expresses that he hates the very idea of the "Christian God" who he claims is a child murderer and such, hates the Christian faith, and hates the Word given to us. You can deny it all you want, and he could even deny it verbally, but all his posts would belie him. Does it take effort to convince yourself that he has no hatred for the "Christian God", the Christian faith and the Word? Do you truly not see his efforts to tear down belief and faith?

          Let's be honest about what we hate. Here's what I hate: lies, deceit, Satan and his forces, darkness, violence, apathy, manipulation, taunting, mocking, blasphemy, irreverence, tolerance of wickedness, minimization of evil, etc. There is no person I hate, but I will readily acknowledge hatred for any THING that stands opposed to God and his ways. So I hate mockery, but not the mocking unbeliever; deception (intentional or not), but not the person who deceives; blasphemy, but not the person who blasphemes the Lord, etc. You likewise say you do not hate the person, the Christian. Okay. Rad Man would likely say the same. But what IS hated, while not a person, is evident, and it would probably be better to hate a person than (the idea of) the Lord, the Word and the true faith. 

          Speaking spiritually, the soft heart receives the Lord, the hard heart does not. I am not implying anything about a "soft" or "hard" heart in the earthly sense of it, which is to speak of a kind person versus a cold person.

          There is only One God and he makes people right with himself only one way - through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Can you find even one quote where rad has said he hates anything or any one?   I'm sure he hates,  as I do,  the behavior that allows believers of any kind to try to trample another person's rights or liberties.   I'm sure he hates the interpretation of beliefs that allow believers of any God to torture and kill and injure those who believe differently.   You can see that as hatred of your God or your beliefs,  but how you see things doesn't necessarily comport to anyone else's reality but yours.   There are some believers of many different faiths who glow with love for their fellow human beings.   They treat others with respect and kindness,  and are treated with kindness and respect in return.   Others,  like those who threaten with hell out tell non believers to "look forward to the tribulation" do not.   I respect kindness,  decency and respect.   I can respect many of your statements and your faith,  but I cannot accept your assertions,  assumptions or claims of fact that are not backed up by anything that is true or meaningful to anyone but you.   These assertions and accusations of hatred and persecution are meaningless.   You can believe them all you want,  but they're most certainly not true.   They are no more true than me Insisting repeatedly that while you say you hate Satan and lying etc,  etc,  you truly hate unbelievers,  and your words and actions show the truth of it,  regardless of whether or not you admit it.   I doubt you would take kindly to such repeat assertions.   Why,  then,  treat others the way you do not want to be treated?

            1. Cat333 profile image81
              Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Sure, Rad loves... loves the Word...loves the Truth, the Life and the Way. Loves the Creator, God Almighty, the Ruler of all. Loves His people, loves the bride of Christ... Wait, I don't know that Rad will agree.

              Who doesn't hate wicked interpretations of Scriptures used to justify harm of others? Every Christian I know hates that. So then you're saying he hates only what we hate? Silly me, thinking he was attacking the Way!!

              In this post you say, "I respect kindness,  decency and respect." A few posts back you indicate that  mocking and criticizing Christians is okay and doesn't qualify as persecution; we should just get thicker skin. Which is it? 

              Truly I wish we would speak in love only, but I do understand the frustration and anger. I sympathize with those stumbling on either side. We all stumble, it's called being human. But the aim needs to be higher. Surely we can agree that such actions as mocking the faith and the faithful are not okay? Or maybe not. Mock if you must. You know the Word well, no doubt, and I will never imply otherwise. So you already know... God cannot be mocked. We reap what we sow. To Him be all glory both now and forevermore. Amen!

              Peace, JMcFarland.

              1. Link10103 profile image81
                Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                So...you can't find the quote then?

                I was also under the impression that JM said it was fine to mock and critisize BELIEFS when they are presented as fact with nothing to back it up. Mocking and critisizing still doesn't count as persecution. if you are being discriminated against, assaulted, jailed, and barred from public places because of your faith, THAT is persecution.

                Your message would be better received if you stopped being dishonest, stopped twisting words around, stopped ignoring requests to back up your claims, and actually paid attention to what was being said.

                1. Cat333 profile image81
                  Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I already conceded that Rad Man loves the Way, loves the Lord, etc. etc. etc. Loves, loves, loves! No quote needed.

                  Again, here's the definition of persecution that seems to be escaping some: hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs. This would include criticizing and mocking someone's religious beliefs. Persecution, like abuse, occurs on various LEVELS. We are not stating that the taunting, mocking and such against Christians is equivalent to the imprisonment, murder and such of Christians throughout the world, any more than we consider the mental abuse of a partner the same as the murder of a partner. Nonetheless, we recognize that ALL levels of persecution and abuse are unacceptable and often more harmful than understood or acknowledged. And so the aim is to eliminate ALL LEVELS of persecution, just as it is the aim regarding partner abuse.

                  1. Link10103 profile image81
                    Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    And here is what some seem to be missing as well. Critisizing and mocking beliefs does not constitute as hostility and ill treatment towards the person holding those beliefs. I am not sure why you seem to think criticizing and mocking go hand in hand either, if believers attempted to answer questions posed to them and/or provide evidence for their claims from the start, mocking in any form would rarely happen. There would be no need for it.

                    There is a major difference between "your beliefs are silly" and "you are silly because of your beliefs". For whatever reason, the people who cry persecution the most cannot tell the difference between the two, even when explained to them in the simplest way possible repeatedly. If you can point out an example of the latter, we might make some form of progress.

                    So Would you agree that atheists are persecuted for their non belief as well then? If you do, I would hope you realize they are persecuted, by your definition, much worse than Christians are.

                  2. Righteous Atheist profile image60
                    Righteous Atheistposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    But this is not your aim. Please stop persecuting non believers. Thanks.

              2. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                So you can't find one example of rad saying he hates anything,  but you think you know his intention and motivation better than he does?

                There is nothing wrong with criticizing,  condemning,  mocking or ridiculing a belief.   Some beliefs are ridiculous,  and they should be challenged.   If I believe that drinking gasoline and hanging out next to a bonfire will prevent cancer,  then that belief is ridiculous.  The thing is that mocking,  challenging or criticizing a belief is not the same thing as attacking or persecuting the person who believes it.   Challenging beliefs and ideas leads to progress.   It leads to innovation.   It leads to conversation,  explanation and understanding.   I don't have to respect beliefs or ideas.   You sure don't.   Many other believers sure don't.   I noticed that you didn't bother Correcting or speaking out against Lybrah,  a fellow believer,  and some of the rude and insulting things she was saying to me and others.   But you expect atheists to be respectful across the board and call out any other atheist who isn't? Why are we expected to maintain a higher standard and police or own,  when many Christians don't seem to bother?

                Interpretations of Scripture - or anything else - are interpretations.   They're opinions.   Some are general consensus, some aren't.   In case you haven't noticed,  even Christians can't agree on interpretations.   There are thousands of denominations as a result.   So if Christians can't even agree,  why should we?   Unless you are claiming to be god,  who are you to decide which interpretations are good,  and which are wicked?   The good ones are the ones you agree with,  the wicked ones just happen to be those that you don't agree with?   Don't you see that as convenient?   Additionally,  in case you didn't notice,  various interpretations have drastically changed in the last 2000 years.   

                What i hate are people who insist that their beliefs are fact and that everyone else should fall in line,  just because they say so.   For every Bible verse a Calvanist can point to and claim it justifies their doctrine,  a Catholic can use another verse to show is wrong and their interpretation is correct.   Same goes for Baptists,  for Lutherans,  for pentecostals, etc. It's all subjective,  and people see what they want to see.   Maybe the atheists are the one looking at the whole thing without doctrinal bias and realizing that it doesn't make sense - only to be lambasted because even though we're reading the same words,  we don't have an invisible magic friend whispering in our head the difference between what it says and what it really "means" to justify how it makes sense. Maybe if God was half as good of a communicator as he was a killer all this wouldn't be left up to interpretation in the first place.

                Yes,  I know what the Bible says,  but just because I don't buy it and you do does not mean that you're right and I'm wrong or visa versa.   Without evidence to support your claims,  however,  there is no reason for me to simply take your word for anything.

                1. Cat333 profile image81
                  Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Rad hates nothing of God; Rad loves everything of God. No quote or post indicates otherwise in all his thousands of posts. Nothing but love. I conceded. (I'm Lisa marrying the carrot now.)

                  Mocking the Lord, mocking the Word, mocking Christians, telling those who've walked with the Lord they're delusional, etc. etc. etc. This is all okay because it's only challenging our beliefs. Okay, marrying the carrot.

                  It is true that I do not believe or even respect all beliefs. Yet I don't visit sites of other religions, seeking out people of other religions to tell them how ridiculous their god, their beliefs, their doctrines, etc. are. When someone of a Mormon faith, for example, comes to me in my neighborhood I don't mock them. Rather, I say we agree that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. But I have concerns about what's been added by the Mormons, particularly what contradicts Scriptures. It's all very respectful, very pleasant. We disagree, but no mocking is done.

                  I've heard mention of a recent dispute between a couple of you and Lybrah. But I wasn't following it and don't know what it involved. I don't expect atheists to "police" their own. I've seen no such policing going on (with one exception in my 8 months here), and have seen instead a blind eye turned toward any and all manipulation, taunting, etc. of believers. I have to be honest, if I were prone to stereotyping and I were to stereotype atheists based on my interactions with them here, I'd be stereotyping them as downright mean and uncaring. But I'm not prone to stereotyping, I understand those in the forums are not representative of all, and I have not experienced this sort of negative behavior from atheists in person (the conversations with many in person have been quite enjoyable). Perhaps it points to the difficulties in written, online communication. Perhaps forums are not a worthwhile avenue for either party.

                  As for interpretation of Scripture and knowledge, I'll say simply this: Christians of every denomination say in unity that Jesus Christ is Lord! We say this by the working and knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit. Whatever else the Spirit does or does not reveal to us is insignificant in comparison. You will not find much criticism from me of any of the denominations (any more than you'll find much criticism of my brothers and sisters in Christ) for I believe they/we all have their/our own strengths and weaknesses. I align myself with no denomination. I seek only to be led of the Spirit and to worship the Lord in unity with others.

                  1. JMcFarland profile image92
                    JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Again, you looking solely at someone’s interaction on the internet in a contentious forum and deducing from that alone that it indicates hatred is meaningless.  One could easily say the same thing about some of your words and behavior towards non-believers or Christians that disagree with you, but you would insist that it simply isn’t true – which also is meaningless.  You can marry the carrot all you want, but simply deciding that someone is full of hatred due to forum posts is equally ridiculous – but you can’t even admit that much, even when the person you’re talking about has disagreed and shared his view.

                    I’d ask you to point out where someone has insulted a Christian, and not criticized their beliefs.  If that happened, I imagine a ban was soon forthcoming.  I’m sure it happens.  I’ve seen it happen on both sides.  I try to speak out against it – but if it’s a Christian, other Christians usually come to their rescue with “oh, it was deserved” or “oh they’re defending their faith” or “all we’re all sinful and fall short of expectations”.  If an atheist does it, however, it’s used to justify the accusation that we’re persecuting you.  Again, a double standard and the smell of blatant hypocrisy.

                    I’ve gone around and around in circles with you explaining why I personally have these discussions, but you either don’t accept it or you don’t care for my reasons, and want to just invent your own and decide on a whim that your reasons are more true than the person actually doing it.  But, once again, for the record, I have these discussions because
                    1) I want to.  It’s fun for me.  It’s a hobby that I find enjoyable.  As soon as it stops being fun, I’m not going to continue.
                    2) Since I was raised in the faith, worked as a missionary and studied in a Christian university, I have knowledge and interest in the subject.  That interest didn’t vanish overnight as soon as I realized I didn’t believe it anymore, and expecting it to simply disappear is unrealistic.  Therefore these conversations allow me to talk about it and understand different points of view.
                    3) Christianity in particular affects my daily life.  Laws are being passed and enforced based on Christian ideals that conflict with and infringe upon my rights and liberties – and the rights and liberties of others.  Until that changes, I will fight against the illegality of inserting a particular religion in government, daily life etc.
                    There was no recent dispute, and you don’t need to look any further than THIS forum.  I responded to a post by someone, saying that the post was a lie and hypocritical.  I didn’t not call the person who wrote it any names.  I find it arrogant to the extreme when Christians deem it fitting and appropriate to tell non-Christians what they think, feel or believe, and I said as much.  To that, I was called personally the worst hypocrite, and she attempted to insult me.  You did nothing.  I’m sorry, but me and several other atheists have come to a Christian’s defense if we see that a line has been crossed, or that a newcomer is being overtly rude/insulting/breaking the rules.  If you haven’t seen it in all of the forums you’ve graced with your presence, then you’re either intentionally missing it, or you’re not paying attention – but to assume that it’s never happened when I know it has because I’ve done it and personally witnessed it is a falsehood.  Deciding that atheists online are mean and uncaring is similarly meaningless.  You’re deciding something based on your biased view of what you’ve witnessed on a single site.  Trust me, we’re downright pleasant compared to some other sites and some other writers on BOTH sides.  What I say in the forums is in a very specific situation to a very specific group of people.  It is not indicative necessarily of how I treat others in the real world.  These conversations get heated constantly – strangely, when I have religious conversations outside of hubpages, both people are polite, the conversations are actually productive and we both leave smiling and sharing a beer.  I don’t think you understand the nature of forums and the conversations that take place there if you think this is truly indicative of real life behavior.  If you want to think I’m cruel or mean or angry, that’s certainly your prerogative – but you’re wrong.  Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re ever going to change your mind.  Fortunately, however, what you think of me really matters very little.

                    Hostility and ill-treatment?  You think criticizing and condemning certain words and actions and behaviors of people is hostility and ill-treatment towards the person as an individual?  Sure you can take it that way, but again – how you take something isn’t necessarily indicative of its overall truth.  Sure you can decide that words on an internet are hostile or that you're being ill-treated, but I define those terms differently.  I would say that if your religious beliefs were outlawed, and you were thrown in jail for practicing them, that would be ill treatment.  I would say being dragged out by a mob and having rocks thrown at you to be hostile.  Both of those things are being faced by Christians around the world.  If you want to believe that you're being persecuted because someone is saying mean things (according to you) on the internet, then yeah - I think a thicker skin needs to be developed, or those conversations should be avoided.  Claiming persecution because you don't like how you're being talked to demeans the real, actual suffering experienced by many around the world - and not just Christians, either.  You choose to be offended by something.  I choose not to.  Maybe it's just one of our fundamental differences.   By your definition alone, however, you and most other Christians I’ve interacted with on this site are guilty of persecuting atheists and other Christians of varying denominations that do not agree with your positions.  Are you going to admit that, then, or is it another hypocritical double standard?

                    Oh – and not every Christian denomination proclaims Jesus as Lord in the way that you do.  Some don’t accept him as equal to God.  There are still lots of variations.  So your point there is rather moot.

                  2. 0
                    Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    LOL.

          2. 0
            Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Holy Crap, you are still not understanding and attempting to make me look like a monster. I don't believe your God exists especially as you think he does. I don't believe your God is a child murderer, I know the texts says he is and feel the text is juxtaposed to the God you feel you love.

            Sorry, but the God you love doesn't exist and the conflicting, contrasting text is evidence of his none existence.

  15. JMcFarland profile image92
    JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago

    Let me ask a question, because I'm genuinely curious.

    Short of giving believers every concession off the bat and rolling over, admitting that believers were right about everything and pretending to convert,  what is it that believers want from atheists?

    It seems like no matter what we do,  we are somehow at fault.   If we try to talk about Scripture,  we are told that without the "spirit" we're incapable of understanding it,  but if we don't try to talk about Scripture,  we're told that we just need to read it.

    We're told that without an education in theology,  we're a waste of time,  but if we get an education and mention it,  we're accused of being arrogant and criticized for not getting the "right" one or it was clearly wrong.

    If we do our own research,  we're accused of not knowing what we're taking about,  but if we quote other research, we're accused of being biased.

    When we speak respectfully and intelligently,  we're accused of being insincere and pretentious,  when we criticize the belief,  we're accused of persecuting the believer.   

    These conversations are becoming more and more meaningless if you are unsatisfied regardless of what you get.   Believers expect to be treated as an individual and not lumped in with other believers,  but atheists are referred to in a lump a large majority of the time.

    Believers argue with us about what being an atheist even IS, but if we do the same,  we're arrogant,  uninformed and rude.   What is it you want from us?   (Universal you)

    We're not going to convert without some kind of verifiable evidence.   The Bible is not evidence,  it is a claim - and half the time we seem to know it more fluently than many believers do.  It's frustrating,  understandably.   Probably for both sides.   I'm just curious.

  16. faisal munawar profile image61
    faisal munawarposted 2 years ago

    wow

  17. Sed-me profile image82
    Sed-meposted 2 years ago

    Ok, so all I've read was a few posts between Cat and Rad. I don't know what Cat is suggesting with the "shut out" thing. I haven't shut out anyone in anyway. I'm still the same obnoxious person Ive always been... running around telling jokes and loving God in the meantime.

    I don't know why Rad likes me better all of a sudden, but that's kind of him nonetheless.

    So, about shutting ppl out... IDK, did I disagree with something a Christian said? Im sure that's all together possible, we all have our own minds, just as Atheists, but that doesn't mean I don't still love my bros and sis's in Christ. I love the Atheists too, though sometimes I can get hurt or angry, 'cause (surprise) I'm 100% human. I'm trying to sin less, that doesn't make me sinless.

    I don't know why anyone's even interested in me right now... I was off running amok on other threads, so I still don't know what I did right or wrong, but I'm still the same me. Doing WAY better than when I first met you all, but still struggling with some tough issues.

    How weird that this post falls in the middle of this thread, but I just feel like I missed something and I don't know what.

    1. 0
      Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, at first I had no idea who she was talking about. It's a sad day when someone get uptight when someone gives someone respect.

      1. Sed-me profile image82
        Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Who me? Did I get uptight? I honestly just don't know what anyone's talking about... but don't stress over it. I'm just going to sneak out the back door. Just pretend I was never here. smile

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          No, not you. Cat has be berating me because I gave you kudos. She thinks I'm up to no good. Imagine that?

    2. Cat333 profile image81
      Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It was a simple shout-out, as one labeled it (rather than shut-out, which would be much more extreme) at a time recently when you were frustrated or upset with several Christians as well as a non-Christian forum friend. Not really such a big deal. BUT Rad Man's response has been to turn nice toward you since / because of this occurrence in much the same way he suddenly became "fond" of Jane when she said she wasn't a Christian (which you called him on). While I have full confidence in your standing in the Lord, I don't care for his tactics, and sometimes I feel compelled to bring to light what appears to be going on "in the shadows". Though I don't have concerns about your salvation because I know it's secure, I am concerned when certain people become friendly with my brothers or sisters for the wrong reasons, such as to encourage the speaking against Christians, which they themselves LOVE to engage in.

      1. Sed-me profile image82
        Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        But if you see it as a tactic, it is a non issue. If he were a brother, you could offer a rebuke of some sort, but he is a non believer. He does not follow your rules or share your faith. It is just one of those things you have to let go of. It is neither here nor there b/c it is a behavioral choice. How can he be held to the same standard you would hold a brother to? He has no god.

        1. Cat333 profile image81
          Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I suppose it was most about the threat of it.

          Anyway, I do encourage people to higher standards (avoidance of taunting and ridiculing, for example)regardless of their faith or lack thereof. I think in some ways to say they can't be held to certain standards because they're not people of faith is disrespectful to them. As a people we're moving toward greater empathy and greater intolerance of taunting and such, and I think it's important to address these particular matters regardless.

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            I totally understand, but on these threads... on this particular forum... there is often no reason.

        2. JMcFarland profile image92
          JMcFarlandposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you Beth.   I've been attempting to say something similar,  and I agree.

      2. janesix profile image60
        janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Someone being nice to someone else is sinister to you? Weird.

      3. 0
        Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        See Beth, I'm being forbidden to be nice to you and you are being told to be careful of my intentions, as if you are unable to make up your own mind or form opinions.

        For the record I've always been nice and concerned for Jane. I've made real friends with many of the Christians in these forums and I've never discussed religion with them outside of these forums unless we were discussing these forums. I've had years of discussions with Beth and wouldn't dream of changing her beliefs as she has said they make her a better person. But I'll still discuss them in appropriate forum.

        I do not work in the shadows and rather dislike your implications.

        I think I'm done here as we are no longer discussing anything of interest.

  18. Cat333 profile image81
    Cat333posted 2 years ago

    JM - Most of the Christians on here, including me, do not have as our aim to ridicule any of your beliefs, especially beliefs that are very personal and important to you. You've acknowledged that you think this legitimate behavior and you engage in it. What you and others are generally offended at from me or other Christians here is our beliefs themselves, which come from the Word of God. The very idea that there is but one God and some have met him offends you. And it goes from there.

    When you ridicule God it's often worse to us than you ridiculing our mother or children who we love dearly, because we love God most dearly of all and have an intimate, personal relationship with him. When you ridicule our faith, you ridicule that which is most important to us.

    Ridicule and taunting (even indirect forms that avoid bans) by anyone in any form and in any manner are damaging psychologically. The comparison to emotional partner abuse was to demonstrate that we can be concerned about milder forms of a behavior while recognizing and appreciating that there exist even more serious forms. No one is attempting to compare the greater forms of persecution with the lesser forms. Yet the verbal forms are damaging and should not be tolerated, regardless of their lesser status. I'm sorry if insisting on this destroys some of the fun for those who delight in ridicule and mocking.

    1. 0
      Lybrahposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Amen!  +1

      1. Cat333 profile image81
        Cat333posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you, Lybrah.

    2. Link10103 profile image81
      Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      When you assert that your faith and your god specifically is true over all others with no proof outside of your own personal experience, you ridicule mankinds capacity for logic and reason as well as insult thousands of other religions.

      A way to avoid ridicule and mocking on both sides? Stop asserting your beliefs as fact.

      Simple. Doesnt mean you have to stop talking about god though.

      1. Sed-me profile image82
        Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        I would not pour my life into a theory. I would not put my faith into something I didn't feel sure of. No one takes a leap of faith unless they believe. Otherwise, they are simply suicidal.

        1. 0
          Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          It's interesting that the Muslims, jews and a host of others have taken the same leap of faith and they also feel sure.

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Right, and that is my point. You'd be a fool to give your life to something you didn't think was fact. He is asking us to claim it is not fact. I believe God is fact. To say otherwise, would make me a liar. Should I lie about my convictions to please him? Is he willing to do the same for me?

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              But all those other people have a different version of God and what God is. Hindus think there are thousands of Gods and have taken that leap of faith. Muslims believe Jesus was just a prophet like Mohammad and have taken that leap of faith. The jews think jesus was a fraud and have taken that leap of faith. Therefore your leap of faith is rendered just like theres as they are as convicted in their faith as you are.

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                What has their faith to do with me?

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  They are just as faithful if not more than you are. Does that mean they must be correct as well?

                  1. Sed-me profile image82
                    Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I think you and Link have both mistaken me responding to his preference for us using the word "fact" for that of me wanting to join the same old argument discussed dozens of times a day, on dozens of threads. That is not my interest.

            2. Link10103 profile image81
              Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Just so you know, i have never denied that a god exists. What i have denied is that a specific god exists over all others due to lack of evidence.

              In a resonable debate, both sides present facts in order to justify their beliefs. When one side neglects to do so, consistently, but asserts that their belief is true, it is no longer a debate.

              I believe i have asked you in the past for proof of your faith, not in this thread though. Each and every time i ask a believer of god the same question, it is the same answers. Its all based on faith and nothing concrete. That's not the problem though, the problem is the assertion that your beliefs are fact when no one can prove as such. If you havent realized it yet...thats predominantly the core of any argument a theist is likely to have with an atheist.

              If you wish to avoid arguements, then stop asserting your beliefs as fact unless you can prove they are with actual evidence. There is nothing wrong with saying "I believe this to be true", but there is everything wrong with saying "I know this to be true" with nothing to show for it outside personal experiences. One is presented as an opinion to others while still remaining fact to yourself, while the others is arrogantly claiming fact and denying all others that claim similar truths.

              Thought i had made that clear from get go.

              1. Sed-me profile image82
                Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I believe my faith to be fact. I didn't obey you... I hope you can make peace with that.

                1. Link10103 profile image81
                  Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  ...umm....did you read that whole comment?




                  That part specifically?

                  1. Sed-me profile image82
                    Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    I surely did. I responded to your original post quite a ways back. I don't know what we are still discussing. There is nothing left to say.

        2. Link10103 profile image81
          Link10103posted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Fantastic that you feel so sure of it and that it gives you comfort.

          But again, this falls within the realm of your personal experiences, not any definiable proof you can give to a random person on the street and instantly convert.

          Otherwise there would only be one religion and one denomination of said religion.

          1. Sed-me profile image82
            Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            But you did not ask for proof of my faith. You said you did not want to allow believers to say that they believe their faith to be fact, and that is simply what I was responding to.

  19. 59
    writtentruthposted 2 years ago

    Blasphemy

 
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