If self-identified Christians who do evil things aren't REALLY Christians, what about self-identified non-believers who do good things? Are they secretly believers?
My question explores the "No true Scotsman" fallacy, which is invoked by many Christians to explain evil deeds committed by Christians.
This is how Wikipedia illustrates the "No true Scotsman" fallacy:
Alice: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis.
Bob: My uncle is a Scotsman, and he doesn't like haggis!
Alice: Well, all true Scotsmen like haggis.
King James Version (KJV)
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Sums the situation up best, but is only valid when John 3 16:19 has been conditionally met.
PS. I enjoy haggis and I am not Scottish. Go figure?
Jesus said that not everyone who calls him Lord will enter the kingdom. He said he will tell them to depart because he never knew them. There is also a parable about wheat and tares. The tares grow up with the wheat and no one can really differentiate between the two until the harvest. The wheat are the real thing, while the tares are false disciples of Christ.
Those who do not claim to be Christian are not Christian based upon their own testimony, even if they do good things. They can be atheist, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, etc. and still do positive things, but it does not make them closet believers. The jury is still out on ALL who claim to be Christian.
serial killers are simply serial killers-nothing else matters.
...and thirded (if that word existed) so we have a quorum of three witnesses!
(Nice to see you Kimberly)
Hi again Chasuk, a good question, and one that I will probably answer in a different manner from many Christians here. However, I've not taken the time to read the VAST line of commentary in this forum, so I could be wrong.
I would initially argue with your line of logic. I for one have never maintained that a non-believer cannot perform good deeds. I believe that all humans, being made in the image of God, possess the ability to perform acts of amazing kindness and generosity no matter the beliefs they hold. Furthermore, I would also argue that a Christian is not immune to sin, nor does the Bible make this promise, so on both counts, I disagree.
But what of Christians who are, in your scenario, serial killers? Well, yes, as nearly every other Christian, I'd have to seriously question the true motives and heart of a man whom professed to have the peace of Christ in his heart while hacking and slaying innocent victims. But also, I will be the first to admit that extremely heinous acts have been carried out in the name of Christ by men and women whom I am very hesitant to label as non-believers. Martin Luther, for instance, was vehemently anti-Semitic later in his career, and John Calvin was quoted as promising that Servetus (a heretic) would not leave his city alive. So what am I, as a Christian, to do with such baggage? These are two of the greatest reformers in Protestant history! Beyond this, look at the Crusades. Can anyone honestly say that out of all the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who partook in such atrocities, not one of them was truly a Christian?
At the end of the day, yes, the fruit bore by the Christian should certainly be evidence of something profound, redemptive, and gracious. But on that same note, I see some serious dangers in the categorization of people as bad (non-believers) and good (Christians). This is not a simplicity which was presented to us by Christ, nor is it a mindset which is at the heart of the Gospel.
Thanks for your continual probing of the hearts and minds of believers and non-believers alike. You remain one of my favorite atheist/agnostics here on Hubpages, and I do wish more would take your example.
Well, that's one way to look at it.
There's two strains of thought on this:
1) A true Christian is one who is following Christ and at least trying to follow what He said in the New Testament. By this logic, anyone who commits multiple, cold-blooded murders (serial killers) cannot be a true Christian because they have broken so many of Jesus' commandments.
2) Anyone who invokes the name of Christ at any time for any reason is a Christian. It's unbelievable the number of people who claim Hitler was a Christian based on this line of thinking (his confirmation as a Catholic when a boy.)
If 1) is correct, then serial killers cannot be true Christians. They can be completely convinced of what they are doing and why, but they are not following Jesus' actual teachings. And if this line of thinking is correct, then the number of Christians cited in the world, and especially in America, is way too high.
If 2) is correct then all the people in these forums and out in the world who feel that Christianity needs to be squashed by any means necessary are on the right track, and the number of Christians cited in the world is way too low.
I don't think I need to tell you which side I'm on.
Your two options are way too extreme. I suggest a third option:
Anyone who, at the time under discussion, described themselves as being a Christian is a Christian.
For example, this takes into account conversio in and out of Christianity (I used to be a Christian, and in fact was both baptized and received first communion, but at the age of 8 I became an atheist and my actions afterwards, good or bad, cannot be considered the actions of a Christian). So, if you are asking whether Hitler was Christian when he ruled Germany, I would base that only on evidence of his beliefs during his rule of Germany. (He probably was a warped kind of Christian from what I can gather.)
And 1) is not a practically useful definition, because when you meet someone who calls themselves a Christian, you don't necessarily know what is in their heart. I've heard of some people who use the fact that someone is Christian as a suggestion that they have good moral character - that's very foolish, because people of any moral character can call themselves Christians, and unless you know them or their reputation you can't say what kind of person they are.
You make several good points but I stand by what I wrote. I agree that it's true that you can't know what is truly in someone's heart, that does make it a little problematic, but that doesn't change whether the two strains, though mutually contradictory, are intrinsically true. And I also was responding to Chasuk's invocation of the "True Scotsman Fallacy."
By the way, Hiter hated Christianity. Hated it! This has been documented as early as the book "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" so I'm not just pulling that out of thin air. So to call Hitler any kind of Christian at all is to agree with thought line number 2.
Hitler stated in his book, "Mein Kampf" that he was doing Gods work. Regardless though, he acted no different and used the same reasoning as the Christians who 'eliminated' witches, or those who incited the Inquisitions and the Crusades.
Yes, he did. That changes nothing at all. The man who thought that Providence was on his side also was known to have a personal relationship with the devil, had the Bible rewritten, and not only hijacked churches but is on record as hating Christianity. If you're going to look at history, look at the whole thing, don't just take one little part and try to extrapolate out.
I've said before and I say again that I don't deny that bad things were done in the name of Christ, things that Jesus Himself would not have condoned. To condemn all of Christianity based on that is too simplistic. I'm sure I could find things you've done and if that's all I had to go on, say that you're a very, very bad person indeed. Wouldn't be fair, but that's the logic.
I understand what you're saying, Hitler said one thing and then said the opposite, he did that with almost everything when it suited his purpose.
The Roman Catholic church persecuted Christians and Jews, the Jews persecuted Christians and the Christians persecuted heretics. Yes, history is rife with religious persecutions. Religions have cause a lot of conflict throughout history.
I have never denied that. Pascal himself said that men never do evil so cheerfully as when they do it in the name of religion. That doesn't mean the religion is bad in and of itself. A person who has studied the religion and the history thereof knows that many men who claimed to follow it actually went their own way, sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes out of a self-serving need for glory.
So just to be clear, I agree with your point that history is full of religious strife and strife caused by religion without agreeing with your underlying assumption that religion is, in and of itself, a bad thing.
Perhaps, but as yet and considering it's long violent history, religion has yet to show it is a good thing.
I don't think that any serious, in-depth analysis of religion as a whole, or even any one particular religion as a whole, from a historical perspective has been undertaken here by anybody. It's easy to say that the Crusades prove that religion is bad, but like so many things that's a bit simplistic. In ancient Rome, men had the legal right to leave babies they didn't want out on their doorstep to die from exposure. Many did, especially when the babies were girls (gosh, good thing that never happens anywhere in the world anymore, eh?) Men would go around and collect the baby girls, then raise them as prostitutes and make money from them. It was early Christians who went around and got the girls before the pimps and placed them with families.
Does that one example balance out every bad thing you've heard about Christianity? No. But it's not the only example of religion being a good thing.
You blindly assume that Jesus, himself, never did any bad things, therefore anyone doing bad things is going against Jesus. Not true.
Cursing a fig tree, or suggesting that gullible followers cut off body parts, and gouge out eyes, is not anything I would consider good. Neither is commanding that one must HATE his entire family in order to be a disciple. Downright inhumane.
No serious scholar thinks that Jesus was telling people to gouge out their eyes or cut off their limbs. Cursing the fig tree is pretty well understood to be symbolic. Yeah, Jesus told people that they had to love Him more than anything else, but again, no serious scholar thinks that Jesus, a Jewish man, was telling people to never have anything to do with their family ever again if they didn't follow Jesus.
Please don't assume you know what I assume.
Stalin stated in his autobiography that it was his belief in Atheism, and the realization than humans are nothing but a set of atoms, that helped him to finish his job.
Okay, but how many commandments is a Christian allowed to break before they are no longer considered a Christian? I would suspect only 1.
For any reason? Are you sure about that? This one could open up a can of worms.
I'll get back to you on this one because I wrote this a month or more ago and I seem to remember writing more in that particular statetement.
Okey Dokey, let's see what we can do with this one.
Here's the thread:
You picked out:
To which the answer is: You are correct. But it's one specific commandment, and that commandment is to follow Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior. I know this sounds unfair, but no matter what you've done in life, if you have truly accepted Jesus in your heart, you will go to Heaven. However that does not mean you have carte blanche to do whatever you want in life. If you've truly accepted Jesus, you're trying to clean up your act. Lots of people who have done things that Jesus said not to do, yet still think they have accepted Jesus, are not going to go to Heaven.
You and I both know that can of worms has been open for a long time. But that's not what I meant and that's not what I wrote. I was pointing out a certain line of thinking, one that I don't agree with, and it was followed directly by using Hitler as an example of that kind of thinking. I don't believe that anyone who has ever invoked the name of Christ is a Christian.
I'm not sure if that makes sense. What is the number of commandments someone can break before they don't go to heaven? Are there specific ones or just in general? I don't recall reading anything about that in the Bible that discriminates one commandment over another.
There's nothing in the Bible that says "You must keep this commandment but you can break that one." It's more like taking the Bible as a whole, beginning to end. If you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and you repent of your sins (which means that you're aware of how truly awful you are, and I don't mean just you specifically but everyone, including me) then it doesn't matter how many commandments you've broken, you'll still be accepted by God.
Conversely, if you don't accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, even if you've kept every single commandment, then you're still not going to Heaven. That's pretty much the gist of passages like The Sheep and the Goats or The Wide and Narrow Path.
To be a true Christian is a spirit of the heart. Curse the sin, but love the sinner and try to bring him back to society.
It's all kind of subjective though. Some people say that murderers aren't true Christians because killing is a sin. But isn't lying also a sin? So all Christians who lie aren't true Christians? I'm sure most of them wouldn't think that though.
There's no way to judge if someone is a true Christian. The closest thing I've heard to defining a Christian in a non subjective way is anyone who accepts Jesus as their savior. All your sins big and small (because they are equal right?) are forgiven if you accept that. Again, not something that can be judged.
Since there is more to being a believer than doing good deeds and being a decent human I would say no, they aren't secretly believers of a deity.
Everyone does 'bad' things. As I understand it Christians are simply people who say sorry for the bad things they've done and try really hard not to do any more, based on their belief that Jesus is the Christ and their desire to share eternal life. 'Forgiveness is an essential tenet of Christianity. A serial killer who repents can be considered a Christian. I think it depends on a person's attitude towards the wrong they have done.
just because someone calls themselves a christian does not mean they are one. a true CHRISTian lives in obedience to the laws of GOD and accept that CHRIST was HIS Son and their Saviour. their words and actions prove their claims. all others who claim to be christian not only take GODs name in vain...that means to claim to follow and obey HIM then do wicked acts that goes against everything HE teaches...but the only god they worship is themselves. they may believe they worship GOD but what they are doing is creating a god they can comfortably worship and saying it is The GOD.
I would say, that if we base who is Christian on actions alone...Then there are very, very few true christians in the world today...and a few who don't claim the title who would be considered one as well..
Then there are absolutely NO true Christians!
That pretty much describes the majority of people.
And that's exactly what you are doing as well. I guess you can now see that even you are not a true Christian.
that opinion is not surprising coming from someone with no understanding of who and what GOD is or HIS Son, The CHRIST.
And you think YOU do? I'll bet my life's fortune that you don't know anymore than anyone else does about the existence of a god.
So if you know them, I would like for you to introduce me to them. Could you do that? Just name the place and time. I'm going to buy a new suit, just for the occasion.
A Christian is someone who accepts Christ as their savior good, bad, or pure evil. If not, then only non-believers would be going to hell.
i guess that explains why there are so many "christians" out there then. if that s what they believe then they are not accountable for their actions and can live and do as they please. a true CHRISTian doesnt just accept that CHRIST is the Son of GOD and their Saviour...once they are saved they change their lives and live in obedience to GODs laws. otherwise they are just copping out and taking GODs name in vain
I am curious as to what laws you are following..is it just the 10 commandments or the well over 1000 commands there are in the bible?
the laws in the OT were for the Israelites. CHRIST showed us what laws (the ten commandments) that any who choose to follow HIM were to obey. HE also said that all the laws (ten commandments) can be summed up in 2...Love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, strength and mind and love your neighbor (your fellow man) as yourself.
I'm afraid I have to side with the Christians on this one. I don't see a fallacy. Anyone can join a church. The doors are open to all. Anyone can go to church. There are plenty of pews. We are all free to check whatever block we choose in a census form.
If a guy with an IQ of 100 took the mensa test, with a copy of the answers in hand...he could brag that he was a genius. You could argue all day long that he wasn't, but without knowing he cheated on the test you couldn't prove he wasn't qualified to be a member. You couldn't crawl into his head to see his thought processes.
I can say I love you. I could buy you little presents for no reason, I could agree to marry you and have your kids. There is no guarantee that any of my actions are motivated by love. You'd simply have to take it on faith.
It is similar with religion. It's all in the head. Christianity is built on the premise that the follower attempts to mimic the Christ. He didn't do bad things.
Actually, Jesus did do bad things...like cursing an innocent fig tree, and telling people they are going to hell. Of course "bad" is a relative term.
How do you judge, I mean you personally, judge if what Jesus did was good or bad? Within the parameters of the accounts given, the fig tree He cursed was His own fig tree that He made so as to curse it exactly where and when he cursed it (so that, that's what it was for, to be cursed by Him) and those He told were going to hell were going to hell, how is He at fault for telling them the truth?
It's called critical thinking. Duh!
The truth?!!! Don't make me laugh.
Go ahead and keep making silly excuses for your brutally foolish beliefs. No matter what kind of a spin you put on this garbage it is reprehensible behavior, especially for a deity...but for a foolish, spoiled, rotten, destructive child...YES!
Which proves that this garbage was written by some stupid primitive psychopath. But I see you, blindly, accept this as the Word of The True God. What a pity.
What you've presented above, your response to my honest question, does not appear as the critical thinking of an adult - but carries the tone of the foolish, spoiled, rotten, destructive reactionary rant of a child. What little portion of this world do you live in, what do you do with your days, how long have you been here on earth - genuine, honest 'critical thinking' would stop you in your tracks from imagining that you are practicing 'critical thinking' to assert that there is any legitimacy to you judging the validity of an infinite, eternal deity's plans and purposes, or in concluding if there is an infinite, eternal deity.
I was not born into Christianity, I am by nature not merely a critical thinker but an iconoclast - I follow or fall for nothing "blindly", I read the Bible on my own, apart from any teachers or churches at the same time I was reading Bhagavad Gita & the Koran, Comte & Mill, etc, etc. The violent knee-jerk disdain many have for Christianity reveals far more about their own narrow-mindedness and lack of critical thinking than they fault Christians for.
6Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
who is man to claim that what GOD (or CHRIST) did was good or bad righteous or wicked? who can possibly understand HIS reasons for what HE does unless HE reveals them to us. GOD is our Creator, that makes HIM Master over all HE created. and that means HE can do as HE pleases...even if we dont like it. GOD said HE created pharaoh for no other purpose than to be used as an example. Pharaoh was created in order that GOD use him to show the world that HE IS GOD. and HE has that right.
What an egotistical maniac. Why should a God be so insecure that He has to tell me how much better He is than me?
Any moral man should question the behavior of anybody. That includes these silly Gods that have been fraudulently introduced to a gullible populous...lest we be conned.
It has been revealed to me that His ways are that of a spoiled, childish, unjust, bloodthirsty psychopath. What else do I need to have revealed?
You don't know who or what created us. You have only been brainwashed to believe that you do. There is no evidence that a god created us, therefore he's not master over anything. There is not even any evidence of his existence.
It's a good thing that He doesn't exist, thereby saving us from this tyrannical nonsense.
That's brutally ignorant.
Or maybe He was trying to teach us humility, which you seem determined to prove was a good idea.
""What an egotistical maniac. Why should a God be so insecure that He has to tell me how much better He is than me? ""
the one who is acting insecure is you. the fact is...GOD IS so much better than us. one cannot expect a simpleton to understand what someone with the IQ of a genius is saying...GOD is simply telling us that unless HE reveals a thing to us, it is not possible for us to understand HIM.
""Any moral man should question the behavior of anybody. That includes these silly Gods that have been fraudulently introduced to a gullible populous...lest we be conned.""
when we first come to GOD, we question...as we learn more about HIM from HIM...we realize there is no need to question.
""It has been revealed to me that His ways are that of a spoiled, childish, unjust, bloodthirsty psychopath. What else do I need to have revealed?""
a thief sees everyone else as a thief, a cheater suspects no one is faithful, a liar feels everyone is lying to them...so if you see GOD as a spoiled, childish, unjust, bloodthirsty psychopath...well, i am sure you can see where i am going with this.
""You don't know who or what created us. You have only been brainwashed to believe that you do. There is no evidence that a god created us, therefore he's not master over anything. There is not even any evidence of his existence.""
i DO know both WHO and WHAT created us. but then, nothing i say will convince you otherwise so i wont waste my time trying to explain how I know this.
""That's brutally ignorant.""
no...thats GOD. you can push against the mountain your whole life (denying HIS existence) but you will never move that mountain...you cant change the facts. GOD exists (you can deny HIM all you want, it isn't going to make HIM go away). GOD has authority over not just us, but all creation. if HE so chooses, HE could destroy us all, but instead HE chose to offer those who would accept it salvation. if we arent saved, then the fault lies with us and only us. GOD gave us the information we needed to gain salvation. if we choose not to believe HIM or accept what HE tells us, that is our problem, not HIS. we are told what will happen to us if we reject HIM. you cant blame HIM if despite knowing what will happen you still reject HIM. YOU make your own choices. take responsibility for them.
I would like to comment on your last statement because I believe if Christians would stop and compassionately think that through they would understand how foolish that statement truly is.
There is no proof. And history has been recorded long enough to be able to definitively say there is no proof. This being said...why would a loving God find fault in someone who questions His existence? Where is the logic in the threat of hell?
You say you know God. Good for you, but your experiences aren't those of another person. With no proof....would you believe? With no proof to make you believe, would you think hell was fair?
If the muslims are right, will it be fair to end up in a muslim hell, even though you fervently believed in the Bible?
I do believe in God, and I just cannot deny it, even though I have previously walked away, but indeed I have no proof of his existence at all. What I have are subjective experiences, that can be either explained by God's intervention or equally by random chance. It's as if I'm wired up to believe, but I have no concrete proof, just a philosophical argument that says human consciousness and our observance of the universe appear to make more sense if a God exists.
Christians say all the time that God speaks to them, yet don't see the irony when another Christian also claims that God is telling them something completely different. Did God speak to them or was it their own imagination? Is the Holy Spirit talking to their 'spirit' or is it just their unconscious mind working in the background because the human spirit doesn't actually exist? Miraculous healings, placebo effects, or the unconscious capacity of the mind to direct healing to the body. It's all a matter of faith, there is no testable evidence.
So assuming God exists, how can he possibly condemn anyone to an eternal torment in some hell on the basis that the person has not heard a sufficiently brilliant argument to prompt their rational mind to believe? Who's at fault, the believer for not being believable, or the unbeliever? How can the believer tell someone that God loves them when alive, but hates them when they are dead?
Besides which, if Jesus has paid the penalty for all sin, then how come that sacrifice falls short when it comes to the sin of unbelief? It was either a full and finished sacrifice or it wasn't.
And to all those Christians who think I or anyone else is being deceived by Satan in some battle for our souls, God never told you that, your pastor did.
consider this...if a person CHOSE to get into drug dealing because it was fast money, and they knew if they didn't get killed they would eventually get caught, but still figured it was worth the risk, and then one day they get caught...should the law just slap them on the hand and turn them loose because they made the wrong choice?
it is no different where it comes to accepting or rejecting GOD. we all have a choice to make. we all know the consequences of making the wrong choice. yet every day thousands consciously choose to reject GOD. it is not a case of choosing in ignorance. people dont accidently choose to reject GOD.
GOD does love us. and because HE loves us, we must be punished for our sins or we will never learn. and GOD and logic do not go together well...at least using mans logic.
as i said already...when we first come to GOD we DO question, and there is nothing wrong with that...but when you begin to understand GOD through HIS revelations, you come to understand there is no need to question HIM. HE sees the big picture wheras we see only little bits...HE does what HE does because HE knows what HE does. because we cannot see what HE sees, we often think HE is wrong...unless you realize things are far better off in HIS hands.
Your answer completely ignores her question(s). I think they are valid questions and that being ignored does nothing to help. If you don't know the answers then say so. Then go looking for the answers. If you do know the answers though, then wouldn't it be beneficial to give them?
if these are the questions you are referring to...""You say you know God. Good for you, but your experiences aren't those of another person. With no proof....would you believe? With no proof to make you believe, would you think hell was fair?""...i thought it was pretty obvious already what my answer is...i agree there is no physical proof that GOD exists, yet i believe HE does anyway. and yes i believe hell is fair. i do not believe because i was brainwashed into believing...i have believed without question that HE exists since I was 3 yrs old, when i died and met CHRIST. i have spent my life walking with HIM and learning from HIM. i do not need physical proof to know HE exists.
So you believe that we should completely believe what another person tells us without doubt?
How about these questions which Emile asked
why would a loving God find fault in someone who questions His existence?
If the muslims are right, will it be fair to end up in a muslim hell, even though you fervently believed in the Bible?
With no proof to make you believe, would you think hell was fair?
What every supposedly happened to you when you were three means nothing to me. If it makes you believe then good. Why hasn't God killed all of us for a few minutes so we can see Jesus too? Why are you so special that you got proof but we didn't? Isn't that kinda suspicious?
why would a loving God find fault in someone who questions His existence?
Its not so much the finding fault but people who question Gods existence do not even get off the loading platform. God wants relationship. "LOVE God with all your heart." and herein differentiates the two, one who questions God's existence has obviously not gotten into relationship with Him.
If the muslims are right, will it be fair to end up in a muslim hell, even though you fervently believed in the Bible?
There is no question whatsoever and absolutely that muslims are right. Jesus claimed to be Gods Son, this pretty much cements their relationship. Now muhammad came along 600 yrs later with a completely different gospel, handed down to him by an angel - not by a prophet which is Gods style and not to Gods chosen people, the jews.. so safe to assume Muslims are deceived.
With no proof to make you believe, would you think hell was fair?
That can go either way, but I do not think that making people suffer forever and ever is fair for both good and bad. Conjuring up levels in hell seems to appease the unfairness but doesn't appease scripture. Once a person believes in God and accumulates enough proof to cement their belief they will believe what is printed and sometimes they believe the most outrageous things, which end up being translation problems mostly.
People involved in Health care underestimate the rush they get when they save a persons life. Its amazing. The rush that people get when they believe in God is amazing also. Proof comes to every believer through their relationship, not just their study or their church attendance.
IF God killed everyone for a few minutes we would all recover and make up some excuse as to why our neuro-receptors played that trick on us, besides it would destroy faith and we would be disgruntled robots serving like slaves because God magically showed himself, but still we don't have a relationship with him because we are motivated out of fear not love.
The best path to God is evidence cumulatively gained over a period of time that persuades the person to believe. This is good ground that produces much fruit
Once again, please don't address me or reply to my posts.
Not sure of the validity of that request, on a public forum.
I have a few folk who I would wish never replied to me, or addressed me on these forums, not many, but some I find to be tedious, however when I write a post, it becomes public property so to speak, and anyone who disagrees or holds an opinion can reply.
Of course the polite thing would be just to ignore each other, and I seem to have that unwritten arrangement with a few folk, but then I or they will say something which the other person thinks DEMANDS a rebuttal.... and we are off again.
The problem I see in your response is that the existence of everything you used in your example is not in dispute. Drugs exist. Drug dealers exist. Law enforcement exists. The prisons we house the criminals in exist. If I tried to argue the nonexistence of anything in your example you could readily show me each. I wouldn't have to take your word for it because there is physical proof.
Do you see the problem? Can we try again? I see why prison is fair in your example, but can you give me a logical explanation why eternal damnation makes sense when someone simply accepts the fact that God is not evident in our reality?
to both melissa and emile...this is the main reason i usually stay out of religion forums. what it boils down to is this...you dont believe and i do. because of that difference in beliefs, we can talk in circles all day long and still not change our beliefs. what is undeniable proof to me is hogwash to you. where you see no proof i see it. you missed my point completely emile. and you continue to miss it. why should i keep trying to make it? melissa...GOD shows HIMSELF to people every day, but because they choose to reject HIM, they never see HIM. individuals are responsible for themselves. it simply makes no sense to me to reject GOD knowing the consequences of doing so, then blaming HIM for it.
The point is people don't usually reject God, only those that believe he exists can reject God. Those that don't believe have either never heard a sufficiently brilliant argument, or have never had God reveal himself to them in such a way that it constitutes irrevocable evidence for his existence. Someone who does not believe does not know the consequences of rejecting God, and the consequence that many Christans present simply isn't logical or biblical.
Throughout the entire bible it is made clear that people are judged upon their actions, not what they have believed. Belief does not affect behaviour, it is subjective, and relies upon the credibility of the one telling the story. Is it reasonable that someone's eternal fate is reliant on another? One can only be held to account against what they ave done.
John 3 16:21 would seem to disagree with you on some points.
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ([d]unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation--he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ's name.]
The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil.
For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved.
But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are--wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God's help, in dependence upon Him].
With respect Agua, at the Great White throne, it is explicitly stated that people will be judged upon their actions. Throughout the Hebrew scriptures, whether it be as a result of disobedience to the Mosaic law or as part of God's judgement upon Israel, the punishment was always as a result of actions of the individual's, not their beliefs per se.
Now belief in Christ now in this life, gives us the opportunity to be judged now, and change our behaviours now. We have the opportunity to get sorted in ths life which will be less painful than at the judgement. Nevertheless all will be salted with Gods fire, whether that be now or the lake of fire.
For those that have not heard of Jesus, in the past or the present cannot be judged upon their unbelief, leaving their actions as the only basis of judgment.
Partially agreed DH, except that the scripture clearly states that unbelievers have been judged already, which gives them no release for 'good behaviour' in their unbelieving lives.
I will agree that those who have NOT heard of Christ, will be judged by their actions, but there will be a relatively small number of people who could claim that in our current world.
Revelation 20 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)
1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
not everyone will go into the lake of fire. and where it says judged by their works, yes they will be judged by their works, but remember those works will be tied directly to their beliefs, or lack of it, their faith, or lack of it.
your statement that only those who believe there is a GOD can reject HIM makes no sense. if that were true every atheist out there believes the GOD they deny exists, actually does exist. it is virtually impossible for anyone to go to their grave as an adult these days without ever once hearing the gospel. GOD tells us NO ONE will have an excuse, for all will have a chance to hear, to accept or reject HIM.
to those who lack in understanding, it appears as though mankind has been judged by there actions. to those with understanding, we realize mankind has been judged on their faith or lack of it. if a person had/has faith, they do what GOD tells them to do. if they do not have faith then they rebel and do not obey. GOD is the creator, HE knows HIS creation inside and out. HE knows our heart better than we do. HE knows who is sincere and who is not. HE knows before a babe is ever born, whether or not that person will reject or accept HIM.
I think you may have misunderstood what he meant by only the people who know God can reject Him.
I don't know God. Therefore, my unbelief is not my rejection of someone I don't know is real. That's impossible.
I know God. I will not give Him my love or worship. I go my own way. This is rejection.
i see no difference between passive rejection and active rejection. there are millions of bibles out there. if a person wants to know GOD they will seek HIM and HIS truth. if you do not want to know the truth about HIM, that is the same thing as passive rejection. there is no excuse.
But you profess to have been a believer, isn't that rejection? when you state that: "I don't know God."
You did know God.... if you were ever a believer.
LoL, almost a good point, but my case is a little different. How'd you wind up turning that around on me, Agua?
I believed that I knew God at the time, was completely convinced I did, by what I believed to be the Holy Spirit, and the things that happened around me, that I believed to be either an answer to a prayer, some form of chastisement, etc, etc. But I do not believe that all that I experienced, knew, etc., actually was God. But it's more complicated than that, even. I know believe that I probably wasn't sincere, or was a part of churchianity and whatever else. But I know. I'll be making that hub at some point in the near future.
Could not resist the comparison! and I stay alive by analysing what people mean, not just what they say!
I like you, I think you have a good tale to tell and I look forward to that hub.
One verse for you....
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited?
But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him].
For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech.
Actually not just for you, but for all of us who write here.
Just so you know. I don't see your belief as hogwash. I don't dismiss your claim of proof. On the contrary. I am willing to concede that you might have been given a gift.
That is my whole point. God may just be merciful. Maybe you have been given something you personally needed. Simply because he has shown you mercy doesn't mean that everyone else is outside of the bound of it. We are all unique. If God exists I'm sure he takes that into account. We must all do the best we can with the information we have at hand. It is the only logical conclusion. Which means we cannot be held cosmically accountable for coming to what we perceive as logical conclusions.
while what you say makes sense, in a human sort of way, it doesn't agree with what GOD teaches us. HE tells us that the ONLY way to gain salvation is to accept CHRIST as you Saviour and HIS Son. we are also told that NO ONE will have an excuse, for all will hear the gospel and have a chance to accept or reject it. if a person is serious about knowing whether or not GOD is real, all they have to do is ask HIM and ask with a sincere heart...because GOD knows what is in the heart of man. if you ask and truly want to know, GOD will reveal HIMSELF to you. there was a man once who asked JESUS to help him in his unbelief. that is what one needs to do if they want to know the truth.
I seem to think that God will not be applying your 'logic' to the situation, if He is God and if He meant what He said in scripture.
What (IMHO based upon reading the bible) He would be judging the issue on is whether the individual had shown any demonstrated desire to spend eternity with Him, or without Him, that's why He put those sneaky little bits about FAITH and HOPE into His book, hints that folk could ponder and decide upon.
I came to my crossroads of faith, looked at the situation, made my decision to explore further (with an open mind) and found that His words and promises were truth. Case closed (for me).
Hey. I thought you said we shouldn't talk to each other. You opened the dialogue, so here goes.
I can't believe you could be right. Simply because billions of people are raised to believe the same thing about their faith. Billions of people won't go to hell because they ardently believe what they believe.
Think what you want. I know it makes you feel good about yourself. But, it is not a courteous thing to think of others. It is not a kind thing to think of others. I do not believe a deity could exist who created the universe and set the world up in such a way that no one can prove he is there. The religious argue incessantly as to who and what it is and arrogantly claim that anyone who doesn't agree with them just doesn't know God and will burn in hell. There is no God who gleefully awaits the moment that he can burn most people in hell, and have a 'fortunate' few cheering him on.
It would be best if you removed statements such as 'God is Loving' 'God is merciful' or 'God moves in mysterious ways' from your repertoire. They are in direct contradiction to the nature of the evil entity you are attempting to conjure and attempt to defend.
And you are staking your very future on your beliefs, which is your choice and you are welcome to hold it.
I will not edit the bible to satisfy your beliefs, that would be illogical.
I will comment when you make statements that do not conform to what I understand, that is my prerogative.
I do not expect you to understand that which you refuse to explore.
Contrary to popular belief in the Christian community, others do have access to the Bible and have read it.
Contrary to popular belief in the evangelical and fundamental community, you are allowed to use your brain while you read it.
I'm sorry if you chose not to use your brain, but that very fact makes most of us not curious to explore your brand of belief.
Contrary to popular belief,not everything can be understood by having the ability to read and observe, spiritual matters also need the ability to discern.
God gave the bible to everyone, but He gives the understanding to those who are prepared to come under His authority.
No need to wear a cassock or frock, mitre or crown, no need to be sitting in some special building or chanting some mantra, all God seeks is a broken spirit and a contrite heart, then He will teach us, work with us, guide us and protect us.
Until then you have a book in your hand, nothing more.
I cannot see any evidence of a broken spirit and contrite heart in your words, so I understand why you exhibit as you do.
So, you guys are not only judge and jury. Now you are a psychologist to boot? Gee aquasilver, I guess you are greater than the Almighty Himself. That makes you special, in a demented and delusional way. But, whatever works for you.
Apart from the fact that nothing you wrote actually pertains to my comment, is a personal attack, and is plain rude, you are doing really well.
Personal attack? Doesn't address your post? You said I cannot see any evidence of a broken spirit and contrite heart in your words, so I understand why you exhibit as you do.
That statement is your assessment of my psychological condition. You are welcome to not take responsibiity for your words, but you can't expect me to play the same game.
No that statement is my assessment of having read a multitude of your posts, not anything regarding your psychological condition, more an observation of your spiritual condition.
You frequently write posts that show what I observed, no evidence of a broken spirit, nor a contrite heart, then wonder why you cannot understand God or the bible.
Psalm 51 tells us:
For You delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; You find no pleasure in burnt offering.
My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
Have you ever complied with this ?
Get out of my head, Emile. hehe.
Perfectly stated. There is no game of 'seek & find 'riddles to prove Creator. Riddles are religion -by the methods sensation or equation. And you reinforce the truth just be being curious and not victimizing yourself or others with ritual beliefs.
Yet if a computer programmer programs a game, they can never actually play within the game itself, but only create the condition inside... The funnels that create do not have to exist in the same dimensions, as even us little humans have proved that much via our little techno baloney we have stumbled upon of late...
Exactly. It seems obvious to me that if there is a Creator then reality belongs to that entity. Every statement made by religion in defiance of that reality stands in defiance of the author. It's as if the religious think denial is a gauntlet they are expected to run through instead of joyfully accepting reality for what it is.
well you are right there Emile...reality DOES belong to GOD. and religion DOES twist GODs reality to fit their needs or desires.the closest analogy i can think of atm is the movie the matrix. people go about living their lives as if they knew exactly what their world consisted of. some realize there is more than what they are seeing. they are given a choice, remain in their illusory world, or have their eyes opened so they can see the true reality. once their eyes are opened, there is no going back to the comfortable little world they knew.
once your eyes are opened, you realize one fundamental truth...GOD is very active in this world...nothing happens that HE isnt aware of, and for HIS children, nothing can happen to them without HIS permission. and you can be assured that if something does happen to you, there is a reason for it.
for the true believer, Emile, being a follower of GOD is no walk in the park. we are constantly being tested and refined. we are ostracized by the rest of the world, and even by mainstream christians. but i would rather walk the hard road with GOD then the easy road without HIM.
Actually, walking the "hard road' is for those who are weak, sick, mangled and maimed or crippled, etc. I just watched a video yesterday featuring a 9-year-old boy who was allergic to food and couldn't eat or even smell food without the chance of dying and can't even go to school with normal kids and has to be fed through his stomach via a tube. To end the short story: things can always be worse...
Lies. There is no such thing as a true believer, because if there was, you would not mention a G/god.
A true believer has no need of G/gods or such concepts.
Like most who claim to believe and disbelieve, you rely on memorized doctrine to support "knowledge" of Creator.
If one "knows" Creator, there is no hide and seek, no struggle or challenge, in an way, shape or form. No "test" or what-have-you. Tests are for the faithless -the hopeful. Hope and fear are the breeding ground of science and sensation -collectively known as religion.
If you truly "walk with Creator" there is no struggle, obstacle, stress, fear, worry or doubt -no matter the instance/circumstance. But you won't tell her this because it would eliminate your doctrines on both sides. Humans define their struggles/paradoxes/tests because they do not know Truth or are too afraid to attempt Life beyond the Adamic Inception.
And the man who exemplified that walk is made into a god, to justify a lack on your part. A crutch, convenience and excuse for continuous drinking from the well of humanism, in an oasis of conformity.
Go ahead, prove me wrong. Tell her how you "know" Creator -apart from memorized experiments, teaching from books, bangles, beads, prayers, scalpels, silicone processed electric pulses, microscopes, particle accelerators, mystic voo-doo woo-doo, and other such mechanics/technology/devices.
wow...that was a rant and a half...feel better now? what you say about a true believe would not mention a god...then pray tell me what it is they are supposed to be believing in? you arent making any sense.
there is no possible way for you to know my walk with GOD. i do not learn from preachers. i learn from GOD. i do not even go to church nor do i watch the lying televangelists on tv...dont even own a tv. all that i know about GOD HE taught me...and much of what HE teaches me directly contradicts what the churches teach.
how do i know it is GOD teaching me? because HE taught me to understand HIM, so that HE could teach me. and you are wrong about testing being for the weak. testing is also to remind us who we should trust in, it is designed to make our faith stronger. you are correct though, that there is no fear, because once you have gained a certain amount of faith, and understanding, you realize that GOD is in control and you have nothing to fear. HE also makes you better able to cope by giving you strength and comfort. but we will always need testing because we are after all, only human. please dont pretend to know me or my walk with GOD...that is between HE and i.
Rant? Ha! you really do not want me to rant...
If anyone needs to believe in something or anything, they do not understand a thing about Creator or themselves.
I will most certainly challenge the 'walk with', same as I challenge any theist, atheist, scientist, etc and expect them to challenge mine -it is called edification.
Hope is necessity. And where there is necessity, there is NO TRUE Faith, no application of faith and ultimately no Walk With. Hope was until faith came, if one recalls correctly. Once faith comes, there is no room for anything less than perfection. There is no "gray area" or muddled river of Life. There is no test -because even as HE taught you, HE does not test humans. Humans test themselves according to THEIR own weaknesses THEY perceive. And how THEY perceive how HE should be, based on interactions with a few humans throughout history, who interpreted HIS concepts according to THEIR agenda/dogma/religion/necessity.
In making the statement 'we're only human' only reinforces the reality of a lack of Walk With, of practical faith, and a clear 'sign' of Adamic Inception (belief systems, thinking, self-ego, fear, doubt, ha-satan, "dullness of heart", etc) at work.
Sorry, if that bothers you.
I'm happy you are happy in your faith. I like the fact that you think you are under the protective arm of a higher power. But, until your belief in the love of God encompasses all of creation your belief is stunted by ego. If God exists, that entity is not in need of individual ego. All that is would be an extension of I Am.
To recap. Whether God exists, or not, you are no more special than I am, or is anyone else. We are all connected. Imo. Until we all get past this need to be validated by others, or something on a higher plane, we will continue to suffer from the wants of others being used to justify their infringement on our needs. This was what was meant when the command was given to love your neighbor as yourself. It's two thousand years past the time to try it.
Emile, GOD does not exist because someone believes in HIM...WE exist because HE believes in us (i.e. HIS thought created us). when we put our faith, our trust, in HIm...it isnt because we seek validation. we dont love HIM because our ego demands it, we love HIM because HE first loved us. as a person begins to understand GOd power and authority, they also begin to understand the true nature of GODs love. as i am, i am not any more special than anyone else. but i AM set apart from others by HIS love, guidance and protection. and the true meaning of love others as yourself is this...do unto others as you would want done unto yourself. if you want mercy for yourself, give mercy to others. if you would want someone to help you in your time of need, then it only makes sense that you be there to help others in their time of need. if you would want others to be understanding of your faults and mistakes, then you must be understanding of theirs. GOD knows we as humans tend to love ourselves, so HE used that as a guideline for us to use in how to treat others. if you want respect then you must give respect. if you want love then you must love.
You are certainly entitled to justify your belief in whatever manner you consider appropriate. I am simply explaining why the justification you present is flawed.
Emile, i confess you have me puzzled. by some of your words, it appears you understand fairly well what GOD is, even if you dont accept WHO HE is. then in other comments, you aggresively deny HIS existence and even the possibility of it. can you honestly say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that GOD does NOT exist? if there is any part of you that is willing to admit that HE might exist, why not ask HIM (and be sincere) to reveal HIMSELF to you so that you can know HIS truth in the matter. surely it cannot hurt to do this at least. and i am sorry both that you feel i must justify my belief and that that justification is flawed. there are simply to many incidents in my life that imprint upon me that GOD exists. not just because i saw CHRIST in person, but because he has several times saved my life after that...he caused me to breathe water, twice in one day, to prevent me from drowning, on the day i got my pick up truck, that night as i was driving home, an oncoming car refused to turn his lights down and they blinded me. just after we passed and i was not longer blinded, i saw that i was in his lane, about the time my front tire passed his back door. yet there was no accident. the vehicles seem to just phase through each other. and i am not the only witness to that. when i have been heartbroken, i asked GOD for a hug and HE gave it. twice when i needed to sit near an ant pile, i asked GOD to tell the ants if they left me alone i would not harm any...and not one ant came near me. i could see them all around me but none came close or tried to climb on me. these are just a few instances where nothing but GOD can explain why and how it happened. it is not justification...my beliefs are based on the facts that are presented to me.
I have never denied the possibility of God. What I do deny is that any religion has a market on the concept. And I think reality is proof enough that claims of it are overstepping the bounds.
Simply put, if your claims were correct, it could be easily proven. The fact that you can't means you've gotten something wrong. Instead of arguing in defense and getting upset because you can't back up your words with facts, the more logical course of action is to back out.
What do you know for fact? That is all you know. Don't pile opinion on top of it and call it truth. Don't pile what you've been told must be true on top of it and argue that anyone who doesn't agree with you will end up in hell.
Unless God himself steps into my kitchen and says 'Yes, I'm going to burn a bunch of people for eternity. I know it sounds evil, but trust me, after you're dead it will all make sense.' I'm going to assume the religious are arrogant egotistical people who simply want divine retribution for wrongs they think have been done to them. And not loving decent people who know love, compassion and forgiveness.
If religion can't instill love, compassion, acceptance and forgiveness in the individual; I'm curious what higher purpose it serves?
23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
i think your difficulty lies in the fact that you think the bible was written by man instead of inspired by GOD. believing that means man invented all the laws and created a mythical story of a god in order to control others. if this is so, i am afraid your perspective is flawed. GOD dictated to man what was to be written and what was to be added to or left out of the bible...the KJV one anyway. HE inspired a man to have it printed even as HE inspired others to allow the temple at jerusalem to be rebuilt.
GODs existence cannot be proven for a reason. time and again we are told that our belief must be based on faith.
Hebrews 11 states;
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
at no time in this conversation have i gotten upset...and i am not being defensive, i am trying to explain things so you can understand them. but like all others who reject HIM, you miss the important things. you cling to your opinions and refuse to even try to see someone else point of view. i told you what facts i go by, they are not opinion, they are real life events that are clear to me and cannot be disputed.
i can understand, when one believes the bible to be man made, how some can object to its contents. but when you accept that it is GOD inspired, your perspective changes. it isnt man claiming people will go to hell. it is GOD proclaiming it. you DO have the freedom to reject a god that would do such a thing. but you must be prepared to accept the consequences of doing so. you cant blame GOD because you arent happy with HIS rules. HE doesnt expect us to like them nor does HE look for our approval. GOD IS. all of creation is under HIS authority. you can run and you can hide, but in the end EVERYONE will face GOD. and on that day i promise you there will be NO excuse that HE will accept.
Look. Your personal experiences are yours. If you say they happened to you, then they happened to you. But, many people from many religions claim a relationship and claim experiences. If I accept yours I must, in all fairness, accept them all. Once that happens, I have to attempt to find a way to resolve it.
The only resolution is that, perhaps, most of you did have experiences and then assumed the experience was related to your religion. I don't think they are. I don't see how they could be. That is why I said take what you know. And only what you know.
But you throw crazy statements that the KJV is the version inspired by God. Really?? So, you think no one had the word of your god until someone translated a translation into english? How did you come to that conclusion?
On top of all of the reasons I think religion is misguided is that those of you who attempt to defend the most show no signs of guidance by a spirit. It's pure ego. I get the impression you consider yourselves defenders of God. Why would he need your defense?
for generations, man has attempted to destroy the bible. yet it is still here (KJV)...in spite of mans attempts to stop it it has been spread all over the world.(KJV).
i find it ironic that people like yourself always twist things around so that love is called hate and explanations are called defense. and how can someone who refuses to see or know GOD ever hope to see the results of the guidance of HIS Spirit? that is like a man born blind telling someone they dont know what they are talking about when they say grass is green or the sky is blue. until you study the Word of GOD and enter into a relationship with HIM, there is no way you can stand in judgment of those who do.
in all honesty Emile, the things of the Spirit (faith and understanding and wisdom) are far beyond your ability to grasp...and they will continue to be until you seek the truth from GOD HIMSELF.
and since i know how you will take that, let me clarify something...i dont say that in anger or spite...it is simply a fact and there is no meanness involved when stating a fact. it doesnt make it less a fact simply because you cant accept it as such. using the blind man as an example...if one who sees says the sky is blue, it is a fact, but not to the blind man because he cant see it and in his view, stating the sky is blue is simply one persons opinion.
This is part of their doctrinal teaching: to accept the mia culpa and adhere to the fundamentals of the doctrines offered. It is fear based and driven, to say the least. because without it, they cannot truly express who Creator is nor truly exercise the glory of what they are created to be.
Yes there is a game of seek and find. Jesus repeatedly said seek him, knock etc.
In the OT God told his people to eradicate the other nations and we ridiculed that aspect of God and said where is the love? Now we have 10,000 + ways to God and we blame God for these many paths and somehow try to use them as loopholes.
God came to one nation. He showed mighty magical wonders and signs. He broke the natural physical order with miracles and still this was not enough. Time exists and moves forward - so to speak - so it does not matter when God did this 2,000 yrs ago or 500 million, time will trundle on by and things present become things past, but this habit of time does not make anything less meaningful just because a bunch of years have passed, especially in this case where God left behind such wonderful documentation of all that he has done.
The only thing I see that is misguided in your belief of the Glory and Love of God is that we must be punished for our sins. Christ died on the Cross so we would not have to get what our sins deserve. The Bible only says that unbelievers have enough "proof" by the Creation to believe or not believe. Hell is eternal removal from the presence and love of God, so eternal damnation is eternal separation from God. I am not sure who the Christian was that said this, " but we as Christians should not assume to know the furniture in heaven or the temperature in Hell" I will go with that.
The faith to believe in God is also given by God. He knows who will be saved and who will not. There is proof that Jesus of Nazareth existed.
Greetings Emile R
Reading your comments I am assuming that you are an intellectually honest thinker.
I like that.
Please consider my thoughts on some of your statements below:
Emile R: There is no proof.
ScepticFaith: Proof is a subjective term as defined by almost all courts throughout the world.
In Capital Cases the burden of Proof is defined as ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’.
If this is burden of proof that you demand of God...
Then you are correct. None exists, nor can it. For if such proof existed it would violate the free will of us all. We would all have no choice but to except the fact that 1 plus 1 equals 2.
In Misdemeanor Criminal & Higher Civil matters the burden of proof is lessened, defined as ‘Clear & Convincing Evidence’. In lower Civil Matters the burden of proof is lower still, defined as ‘Preponderance of the Evidence’.
It is in these arenas that the Proof of the God Hypothesis holds merit.
Emile R: And history has been recorded long enough to be able to definitively say there is no proof.
ScepticFaith: Recorded history has a beginning. The Big Bang!! We know that both time & space are products of the big bang. The laws of physics dictate that an effect cannot exist without a cause. Both space & time are results (effect) of the Singularity (big bang). Therefore whatever caused them MUST be outside of them. Not to mention the incredible balance and precise fine tuning that followed. I admit that Random Chance / Happy Accident / and Fortunate Luck are all plausible explanations. So is Design! The GOD Hypothesis has merit by preponderance of the evidence as does random chance & happy good luck. Those who deny Design & except Happy Accident & Random Chance do so, NOT based on ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’- PROOF, rather on the much lower criteria of ‘Preponderance of the Evidence’.
Emile R: This being said...why would a loving God find fault in someone who questions His existence?
ScepticFaith: Please research my answer to your question.
According to the Bible, God distinguished those who question from those who deny.
The tomb was opened, not to let Jesus out, but to let his disciples in.
There are 2 kinds of unbelievers. Those who don’t believe & those who won’t believe.
If you don’t believe & you are truly ‘One Who Questions’, God finds no fault in you.
Seek with an intellectually honest mind & an open heart and you will find.
Emile R: Where is the logic in the threat of hell?
Heaven & Hell are the logical conclusion of free will.
Hell is not a threat it is a reality.
How can free will be free if there is no choice?
If God were to say Mankind you have 2 choices:
1. You can Love & serve me and I’ll be your God OR
2. I’ll be your God & you can love and serve me.
DOES NOT WORK
No! Ultimately the choice is today what it was in the beginning.
You can Love & serve Him and He’ll be your God.
Or, you can love & serve you and you’ll be your own god.
If you are your own god, then you would be VERY unhappy in Heaven.
You are not God there.
If there is nothing in you that desires to be one with God & seeking his will. Then Heaven is not the place for you.
A fig tree is often used symbolically.In this case it represents spiritual barrenness.
Jesus was symbolically denouncing Israel as a nation and, in a sense, even denouncing unfruitful “Christians” (that is, people who profess to be Christian but have no evidence of a relationship with Christ).
A person would have to know the scriptures and not take them out of context to understand this.
Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (KJV)
Did it ever occur to you just how foolish it is for an omnipotent, omniscient being to play games like this? The understanding of His word should be clear to everyone. I can't depend on your explaining His word to me. You might have the wrong interpretation as well. In other words, you don't know anymore about what this God meant than I do.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
GOD does not play games. if a person chooses to reject HIM, HE has every right to close their minds and hearts so that they can take the path to hell they themselves have chosen. and if you were serious about wanting to understand the correct interpretation of GODs Word, the only place to find it is from GOD HIMSELF, and since you reject HIM, i doubt that will happen any time soon.
getitrite,Did it ever occur to you just how foolish what you are saying is?
Demanding to know medicine does not magically cause you to know medicine.
Medicine is not clear to people unless they study it.
"The understanding of His word should be clear to everyone."
How can someone clearly understand something they do not take the time to read or study to know.
I can want to know medicine,physics,chemistry but unless I pick up a book and start reading and studying it, I am not going to know any of those things.
How can a person expect to know God or His word unless they pick up the book and read it.
How do you know if someone's interpretation is right? You have to know the word of God.
I can say 2+2=10,someone that does not know math could believe that but someone that does know math will come along eventually and say,Hey wait a minute that is not right..but how does someone know if that is right or wrong unless they study for themselves.
No, you can't depend on someone explaining His word to you and you are not supposed to either.You are supposed to study for yourself.
The reason people will follow a false teacher is because they haven't taken the time to know the word of God for themselves.
The understanding of His word can be clear to everyone who takes the time to pick up the book(bible) and prayerfully study it.
See if it were that simple, there would not be 38,000 different denominations.
You only think that it's that simple, because you have been led to believe that you have some special way of understanding a nonsensical bible. You don't.
Its also agenda that created the 108 denominations (this has been hashed out before about 38,000 denominations - try to keep up)
Catholicism has many denominational names but they are all the same denomination. There are many baptist names: bethel baptist and new life baptist but they are both baptist and not two different denominations.
The relatively few truly viable as denominations are there for different reasons:
- we have new denomination which are not denominations at all because they don't want a denominational name tag. City Gate church for example.
- some cults do not recognize jesus as the bible portrays Jesus and there are a few variations to how jesus is recognized, hence, different denominations.
- catholicism has anglican, and churches named after different 'patron' saints
Of course people who recognize Jesus for who he is and his relationship with God will obtain truths that cult followers will not. This is Gods intention. To bless those that are correct and well, not bless those who are wrong.
I believe the stories of jesus to be glorifications to a degree, the purpose of which was to capture the mind. Much like the hook in a novel, using the imagination to control the reader or listener. In the case of a listener, the correct term is catch, though their basically of the same meaning.
no his word should not be clear to everyone. His ways are clear and obvious but his word does not have to be. Things that are sought after, fought for and discovered are things that we hold dear and appreciate.
Like the dad who keeps buying cars for replacement of the ones his son drives to the ground until the day the son buys his own car with his own cash - just an example.
Gods words are hidden from those who are not worthy. Those that are not worthy, which is to say do not have a relationship with God will always promote false doctrine, they will take things out of context, they will ignore parts of the bible and they will twist the words - and all this happens so that God may frustrate them and teach correctly what are his words.
And there are more reasons why Gods word does not have to be clear to everyone - everyone already knows basically what God expects.
cursing a fig tree is a bad thing?
making pharisees aware of their hypocrisy is a bad thing?
appropriating a definition of 'a place of eternal suffering' to the word 'hell' and then saying that Jesus told people they were going there; is a bad thing but that is not what Jesus did, having no catholic understandings at that time.
So what is your point again?
Serial killer Christians aren't Christians?
I would have to side with the logic of the fallacy statement in general. I will shy away from the headline being stuck on the word killer and all of the many, many connotations of it.
A red herring of sorts.
The fallacy may be viewed in another way.
You can satisfy all the people some of the time,
you can satisfy some of the people all the time,
but you can't satisfy all the people all the time.
The headline is a distraction. A slight of hands of the magician. Writing in the formal sense says it is done with an appeal. That appeal is the emotional appeal.
It is followed by the either/or fallacy. Again a slight of hands. Argue one fallacy with another.
Further along the argument being proposed is offered ethical support with definitive reliance on a source. This is not a slight of hands by the magician.
What is being questioned is the validity of the fallacy statement as justification. Not the headline. The headline can be stated, Dead people aren't people? Or, Kids aren't children? Or, Hubber author's aren't authors?
Offering a definition of fallacy in reason we discover Fallacies are indefensible flaws in arguments.
Your question is impossible to answer as we cannot define "Christian" in a manner that is acceptable to all.
In general, those that claim certain sects or other people aren't "true" Christians really mean that they don't agree with the speakers interpretations or beliefs. That Catholics, or Mormons, or this person or that isn't a "true" Christian does not seem to mean they aren't Christian (i.e. believe in Christ as savior) but rather means they have interpreted the bible or other scriptures a little differently.
From the outside looking in, it becomes apparent that no one is a "true" Christian as there is no consensus on what to believe. Either that or anyone believing in Christ is a True Christian. Even those that do evil deeds (we are all sinners) while believing.
Either way, though, a non-believer cannot considered to be a Christian regardless of how well they live their life and are thus destined for Hell.
If I choose to call my self a buddhist, I am accepting the title only. If I choose to live as a buddhist, no title is necessary. The same could be said of any truly spiritual religioso, they claim nothing more than the love of God. They do not speak of religion or belief, rather, they choose to be kind and holy.
Haven't people killed in the name of religion for generations?
Killing in the name of a religion goes on now,with countries or individuals.
Using a faith as a reason to kill is cowardly.
If you're a Scotsman then you were a Scotsman by birth, you will be a Scotsman until the day you die, and moreover, you didn't choose to be a Scotsman.
I would perhaps reword the posit to make it more universally acceptable: the ACTIONS of a serial killer are not Christian. They violate the sixth commandment; even virtually any interpretation that would allow for justified killing. I tend to believe that if killing a wicked person is the only clear way to protect your own life or the lives of innocents, and you have the power to do so, then it might be a violation of the sixth commandment NOT to act. But I also acknowledge that there are plenty of cases where that kind of justification is abused. That's a different problem.
The actions of serial killers are also selfish, cruel, and tend to be taken in order to satiate prurient interests. Barring a psychotic delusion there's not even the possibility of misguided good intent in his actions. There isn't a smidgen of sound Christian doctrine.
Moreover, a Christian doesn't own another Christian's sins. If a serial killer self identifies as a Christian that shouldn't reflect in any way on one's perception of other Christians (unless they endorse his actions). His sins, and any remorse, penance, or restitution for them are between him and God...from a religious standpoint, anyway. There should be no requirement to justify, account for, apologize for, or excuse another's actions. No more than a Scotsman is responsible for a fellow Scotsman who doesn't eat haggis.
Actually, serial killing is totally acceptable behavior from the Christian perspective.
God, who is Christ's father, was the first serial killer...going house to house, killing all the first born in Egypt.
I don't see Christians having a problem with this.
It ended the oppression of hundreds of thousands of Hebrews and doubtless saved many of their lives as well. Their own children had already been massacred once at the command of the Egyptian royalty. Refer to my interpretation of the sixth commandment.
It's a shame that some of those killed probably were not directly involved in te enslavement of the Hebrews, but perhaps killing Pharoah and his advisors and officers would have devastated Egypt's infrastructure and resulted in civil war and many more deaths. Hard to say.
getitrite ~ this oft offered argument by example is observably ludicrous, if only those presenting it would consider their point objectively and not be so delighted to imagine they are offering incontrovertible evidence against Christianity. It's bad enough when the example is men-to-men; people will say that the Bible tells us that Abraham cheated on his wife, etc, so God must obviously approve of this conduct so we can all commit adultery if we want, it's ok with God - when one of the very central themes and point of Scripture is to provide us a record of man's continual wrongdoing.
But with God-to-men parallels, the argument seems to me outlandishly observably ludicrous - again, if those offering it were not so eagerly pleased to charge Christianity with fault. God created all that exists, He knows all that there is to know (past, present, and future), there is no cosmic rule or morality above Him - He is by whatever He does defining what is good and right, etc - so if that being, God, determines to remove anyone or any number of ones from His creation, if God kills one or thousands, how on earth do we conclude that this demonstrates that it's fine for any of us little hairy creatures who know next to nothing and have no authority over anyone, how do we figure if God can do it then it's good and proper for us to do it as well?!
And, whenever folks present these lame arguments they rarely even present their own best case - why point to God killing these certain people in this one particular region in order to move their leader to free slaves, when you could point to God wiping all of humanity except one family off the face of the earth . . . everyone, from everywhere, many who had no slaves or were not cheating on their wives, etc, everybody on the planet killed. The logic of the argument is terribly flawed, but at least offer your best case.
You are correct, the "No True Scotsman" fallacy uses a specious analogy. Thank you -- sincerely -- for pointing it out.
I believe that the "No True Scotsman" fallacy exists, but I now see that the analogy used to illustrate it is broken.
This fallacy needs a new analogy and a new name.
I agree with the fallacy insofar as it's fallacious for Christians to claim to know with certainty something that our own faith teaches us that only God can know. We can only make our best educated guesses about matters of the heart based on what we see.
If I see a serial killer I would still say he's probably not a real Christian based on his actions. But I can't know for certain what remorse he feels or how genuine it is, nor of he is even enough in his right mind to be aware of the gravity of his actions and thus take responsibility for them.
Christians have a problem in that anyone can claim to be a member of the group but the proof is, technically, unobservable. So we have to either take people at their word, judge them by their actions, or selectively pick based on the situation, and no method is guaranteed accurate.
I'm not sure what a good analogy would be for that, but I'd be interested to see one.
The "No true Scotsman" fallacy:
Alice: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis.
Bob: My uncle is a Scotsman, and he doesn't like haggis!
Alice: Well, all true Scotsmen like haggis.
When attaching this logic/argument to the Christian assertion that if you identify yourself to be a Christian and then act in an unchristian manner that your claim is then reasonably suspect, don't we understand the logic/argument of "No true Scotsman" to be asserting that a 'true' Scotsman is not merely a man who happens to have been born in Scotland and/or of Scottish parents, but that a 'true' Scotsman is one who fully partakes and invests in all things Scottish? 'Alice's' point may not be factually, genetically sound, but her point is referencing a trueness based not on genealogy but on conduct . . . a Scotsman who doesn't like haggis might be a Scotsman, barely, but a 'true' Scotsman, a fully Scot-like Scotsman, will like haggis.
Remember this; there were no Jews until God called Abram to separate himself and starting with (now) Abraham his progeny are God's chosen people, the Jews. But - in the NT it is revealed that those who are God's true chosen people, His true children, are not those who merely happen to have been born of the bloodline of Abraham, but those who follow after the faith of Abraham . . . the logic/argument goes like this ~
Alice: All who have the faith of Abraham are his descendants and God's children.
Bob: My uncle is a descendant of Abraham, both his parents were Jewish.
Alice: Well, all TRUE descendant of Abraham are those who have the faith of Abraham.
But here's the real issue, the point that makes all of this debate a bit inconsequential; Christianity is not about being good or bad, Christians are not good and non-Christians bad . . . Christianity simply is not about following our specific moral code over some other religion's (or secular society's) moral code, it just is not a matter of doing all the right Christian things and not doping all the wrong Christina things, etc. Some have turned Jesus' (and the Bible's) message into merely another religion, so that if you go to one of our churches, live by our rules, practice our rituals, etc, then you are a Christian - and then, as this "No true Scotsman" logic/argument addresses, you start deciphering who the 'real' Christians are by exactly which church they go to and how often they go, how flawlessly they obey the rules, and what form they practice the rituals in, etc.
The whole point of Christianity, the whole point of the Bible's revelation, the whole point of Jesus' message is just the opposite of all that crap - Jesus' message was that there is no church you can go to, no rules you can follow, and no rituals you can perform that amount to anything before God . . . Jesus' message is that we all stand hopeless. Christianity is not about who is good and who is bad - Christianity is about pointing to a historic event, it's about announcing the truth and purpose of that event . . . Christians are not to be religious people trying to be really really good - Christians are to be reporters, knowing the truth of Jesus' incarnation and atonement and proclaiming it to the world. It's simply not about being good instead of bad - it's about something that happened, not about something we do or don't do but something that God did.
The no true scotsman fallacy is just a word game spoken awkwardly and is quite deceptive until you see behind its veil.
In the case of haggis, haggis does not ask you to change your life for the better.
In the case of christianity, change of lifestyle is definitely called for.
In the case of christians being real or not - change has to occur - not with haggis. You see there are no visible signs in the life that haggis has done to a person, but in christianity there are signposts along the way as to the degree of change and one of those changes would be serial killing.
In the case you describe:
Alice: All who have the faith of Abraham are his descendants and God's children.
Bob: My uncle is a descendant of Abraham, both his parents were Jewish.
Alice: Well, all TRUE descendant of Abraham are those who have the faith of Abraham.
we can now print:
Alice: All christians are changed by God.
Bob: My uncle is a christian and he is a serial killer.
Alice: Well, all true christians are changed by God and are certainly not serial killers.
And this is perfectly acceptable.
Thread topic is kind of a no true scotsman argument in my mind.
I understand the sentiment, but this attitude does not get us anywhere.
All of the muslims blowing people up are not true muslims. Ok. So what are they? Fake muslims?
It becomes difficult in my estimation.
Unfortunately muslims who kill and blow things up are real muslims because this is what their doctrine includes as a 'work based' religion they feel they must 'help' allah get his job done - so Jihad is appropriate.
Since there is a cursed and diabolical belief in reincarnation this also helps jihad inclined people, kill themselves and others while they think, "they may have a better life - next time round."
The not true muslim would believe in Jesus Christ and seek ways of peace.
Ladies, ladies. You can certainly agree. Unfortunately it doesn't make your statements make sense. Although, consensus does have a tendency to make you feel good. So, at least you have that.
It is good to know the Truth and to agree with others who do, yes.
It's not just a feel-good thing.
I'm not going to argue the point Brenda. We've posted back and forth enough to know where each of us stand. Cosmic truth is always in line with what each of us wants to believe.
-error- Truth has absolutely nothing to do with belief or personal perception. It is what is. It is reality, and thus independent of belief of any kind.
Belief is just that - belief - and while it may be truth it can also be false. The believer does not know which (truth or falsehood) their belief is. Their personal perception of the cosmic truth serves as truth only to themselves, while reality (truth) is the same for everyone.
Ok. I have no problem with your correction. But, it is difficult to argue that point with those who think they have the only truth.
Especially if there exists the possibility/probability that that truth may be THE truth.
aguasilver ~ I don't agree, explicitly, agree that "truth has absolutely nothing to do with belief" . . . I understand your point, and I do agree when you say "belief is just that - belief - and while it may be truth it can also be false. The believer does not know which". But when you say that truth has "absolutely nothing" to do with belief, that seems to suggest that what a person believes is merely fanciful and not based on any reason or evidence. Don't you believe what you believe because you believe it is the truth?
I don't believe the Bible to be the authoritative revealed word of God, that Jesus is man's only hope, etc,etc, because such an idea appeals to me and I would really like it to be the truth, nor do I believe it because i was raised to believe it, etc - I believe it because I think it makes the most sense and is validated by all the evidence I've examined, etc. In other words, what I believe is what I believe to be the truth . . . my 'belief', while not interchangeable with 'truth', does not have "absolutely nothing" to do with truth (as in mere non-informed conjuncture) but is what i believe based on my consideration of what is true.
I think you were confusing me with Emile, I agree with you!
I don't know much, but I'm pretty sure what you've got is not the truth.
If you were 100% sure I would feel better about it, for your sake.
I was attempting to be polite. Let me clarify. I am 100% sure you are blowing smoke out your ear. There is nothing of substance in your words.
I doubt that 100%
There is absolutely no chance a person can blow smoke out of their ear
freudian slip madam?
Otherwise you would not be here.
Perhaps the reason you are here is to polish your ego and that i might consider to be true 100%
No, not a freudian slip. Very little that I say on this forum is driven by my subconscious.
The rest is true though. Ego plays a role in all human actions and interaction. The question left is, how big is the ego? How much are we driven to believe our ego driven beliefs are justification for attempting to infringe on the beliefs of others? I don't think my belief is better than yours, however; your belief becomes a bad belief when you think yours supercedes that of another. That makes your ego bigger than others. Not to bring up the touchy subject of Paul, but you get that from him.
see, what i dont get is this is a religion forum. we are in this forum discussing the differences in our beliefs...it seems rather obvious to me that people who believe in GOD will be discussing that belief. if you feel that our belief is being forced on you simply because we are discussing them...then why do you feel compelled to come to these forums where you will hear it? no one is forcing you to be in this forum. and as for our belief being bad because we think it is better than someone elses, or the only true religion, those who do not believe in GOD are constantly telling those who do how ridiculous we are, thereby stating that unbelief is superior to those who believe. sounds like the kettle calling the pot black to me. these forums are for sharing beliefs and thoughts, not so people can play troll.
I've come to hash out the difference between an extra dimensional super being and an omnipotent super being.... If you'll believe it coming from the bible, why not a comic book?
So, basically, you are saying your belief trumps my belief; therefore I should go away. That sounds a little selfish. I'll play along. Why don't you go away, troll?
No, I don't think he was saying that, he was saying (as I understood it) that if folk get upset hearing believers (of any faith) discussing their belief, it's illogical to accuse the believers of pushing their religion.
Bit like joining a golf club then complaining that all the members want to do is play golf and talk about golf, and that because they do that, they are pushing golf down your throat?
I realize it is to your mutual advantage to ignore the obvious; but, read the forum name. Religion and philosophy. That encompasses quite a bit more than 'believers'.
You don't own the forums. Your belief does not take precedence. It is one of many. Learn that simple fact and we all might have better discussions.
And, by the way; I realize your beliefs encompass a great deal of chauvinism but the person I was speaking to appears to be a woman. Judging by the avatar. Do you want me to call you she?
So attacking religion is your philosophy on life? OK....
My mistake, did not check her gender, maybe I should be politically correct and refer to all folk as 'persons' in order not to offend the PC Brigade.
You can call me she if you feel better about it, heck anybody can call me whatever they like, if that fits their 'philosophy', as for me, it was a mistake, pure and simple.
I don't attack religion any more than I feel your posts attack the beliefs of myself and others. I would suggest you stop attempting to scramble up to a high ground. It doesn't exist. Every belief is on an equal footing. That is why it is called belief.
As to the other comment. I'm not the PC brigade. Common courtesy should be a standard young lady.
Emile, it does not matter if it is religion AND philosophy, you know very well that people will be discussing their beliefs in here, be they christian, muslim, buddha or whatever. you cant expect those who believe in GOD not to take part in these forums any more than we can expect non believers to. especially because so many non believers ask questions that need answers. so you either need to get a tougher hide or stay away. same as a christian who cant take the attacks of atheists need to get a tougher hide or stay away. claiming we are forcing our beliefs on you is simply ridiculous in this case.
I see you used my name, but I have no idea where that post came from. I have never thought any belief doesn't warrant discussion. Your problem is you keep spouting off that what you think is some cosmic truth. I've actually attempted to be polite about your claims of experiences that probably didn't happen.
I haven't gotten upset, so I have no idea what you mean by get a thicker skin. If you guys don't like the way people react to you, you might choose to review your actions and not create imaginary scenarios where something you've said garnered a reaction other than the chortle it deserves.
I have nothing against belief in God. I respect it. But foolish, contradictory and mostly uneducated statements don't fall into the category of simple belief. You don't get to make crazy (and sorry, but delusional) claims without someone responding.
really, i could care less if people believe what i say or not. i shared my experiences but if you dont believe them, hey, no problem. but i have to say that talking to you is like talking to my step dad who has brain damage and cannot reason. you twist everything said and (probably on purpose) mis understand everything told to you. so, i am ending this fiasco and i will not respond to any more posts in this thread. it is useless.
exactly! you hit the nail smack on the head there Aqua. that is exactly what i meant...and no worries, i didnt take offense when people think it is t i mcgaa (it is actually t L mcgaa) so a case of mistaken identity certainly isnt going to offend me.
Its nice that you have an opinion but where did Jesus get his ego from?
That's an interesting question, now isn't it, when you consider all the 'outrageous' claims and statements that Jesus made. Have you ever considered that instead of ego, there is confidence? And instead of harshness just stern correction? And that truth is truly above all lies and deception?
I get nothing from Paul, but sound doctrine and you are being irrational to say such a thing.
BO, I will say that you display one of the largest egos on this forum. And, unfortunately, you do get it from Paul because you use your interpretation of his words to springboard into ego driven personal doctrine. You are lost, without a paddle or a compass in a vast sea of ego. And, typically male, you pretend that you aren't lost and choose not to seek directions. Good luck with that.
According to the Christian bible all sin is equal in God's eyes. Since Christians believe that christ died for their sins and all Christians sin, a serial killer can still be a Christian and according to their bible he can be accepted into heaven if before he dies comes to terms with what he did and asks for forgivness. This is just another reason I am atheist!
I believe that some who believe themselves to be saved, are not. The number could be quite high. There are some who say they are christians and know that they themselves are lying. That number also may be quite high. Jesus said that everyone would be wandering after the beast. Everyone.
Every person, believer or non-believer, is capable of good and bad; we're all human beings. Even the most devout Christian can have personality setbacks due to trauma that happens in their lives; which can lead to some very bad decisions. You also have your non-believers who have good morals who are capable of living in a Christian "like" image; but are not TRUE believers.
There are those Christians who are merely religious souls who proclaim salvation with their mouth only, and there are Spirit filled Christians who proclaim their salvation with their mouths and hearts, REPENTING of their sin and welcoming Christ and the Holy spirit to live in them and wash their sin away. If a cold blooded murderer confesses to be a Christian I fear they are just a religious soul because if they KNEW their saviour and he indewlt in them, the Holy Spirit would convict them of their wrongdoings.
I feel that the word "belief" is too wishy washy for God. God wants us to KNOW Him. Do you know Jesus or merely believe. ?
When Jesus walked the earth he came across many demon possessed individuals, which he healed.
To day we have similar situations arising where fallen angels once again want to inhabit the body of human beings. And sad to say those Christians who dabble with the occult willingly or unknowingly may open the gates to wicked spirits. If these individuals attend church who is to know just by looking if this person has the ability to murder on a mass scale. How many times have you heard a killer say that a "voice told me to do it". That's why the bible warns us against such practices, because once you attract a wicked spirit entity it can be extremely difficult to remove. Yes a Christian can be a serial killer if opens himself up to spiritism or the occult which the bible warns us against.
@ Chris Neal - I read both of those last two responses to me and I must admit they were pretty good.
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