I cry at movies (I'm a man).
I do my best to support other humans, no matter what they believe. Though I may disagree with their way.
I love my girlfriend.
I just don't believe in God. What about that is so bad?
I believe all of us have a right to believe in whatever we choose. I am a Christian and its not our place to judge others for what they believe. But when it comes to non-believing I am still trying to figure out how people think we were created and how the heavens in earth were made.
It always becomes a heated discussion, so get ready I am sure people will follow closely behind. Just remember to breathe, don't get upset and answer all in a positive manner. Glad you are bold enough to say what you feel, all of us are entitled to our own beliefs.
.....and this is a Christian forum. Smh.
Where's the love......
No. It's a religion and philosophy forum.
It's not confined to your demographic.
Religion and philosophy, the term, is not confined to a particular religion or philosophy. And christianity is a demographic.
Sorry to be so forward, it's my nature.
Laymen terms, you are correct. What other religion is spoken about in this forum besides christianity? And is not the philosophies here, manifesting christianity on this forum?
And if "christianity is a demographic," ...... is it confining to mine or not?
(You'll get better though.....)
In the religion and philosophy home page, you'll find a list of sub-topics. One of which is christianity.
Bahai, buddhism, islam and many others can be found in the same sub-catagorical list.
So it's not a forum confined to christianity.
And because there is an audience in christianity, would be an indication that it is a demographic.
Ah! The homepage! And I suppose a forum is singularly to a specific topic/title. Is it not?
"And because the audience is Christianity, would be indicative that it is a demographic."
Well, thank you, sir. Just as I thought: confined to a Christian forum.
Islam has been heavily discussed. For a while there the number of threads talking about how the bible was corrupted by St. Peter to draw people away from Allah were numerous.
Pegan topics have been discussed. I remember one asking if folks think magic is real, there were a few.
I don't remember any Hindi based threads tho, might be nice if we got a nice hindi preacher to try to convert on here the way we do christians and muslims, would at least be something new.
Stick around, you might learn that world is bigger then you realise, and that christianity is but one of many religions that people claim to believe with their whole being.
Truth is. I am a nasty person, evil and whicked in every way.
I've murdered, plundered and raped.
I did everything I could to experience evil.
Now I know what being a good person is about; being able to look at it and regret it.
Now I can move forward.
Into what? I and I alone will find out.
If it's a life of regrets, I don't know.
To help others avoid my ways? Definitely.
But do I need God for that?
What makes you think anyone thinks you are a nasty person because you are an atheist?
So basically all of your opinions of all Christianity and Christians are based on someone once telling you something about hell?
Is that why so many ideas you are expressing about Christianity seem so bigoted?
it's in the handbook isn't it? Whether or not individual Christians ignore Hell, they're still willing to believe in a holy book which would be so morally bereft that it would include a concept like Hell.That for me would be enough to cast the whole thing into question.
I guess that depends on your interpretation of the handbook. If you choose to find hell in there and use it to either threaten non-believers (if you are a believer) or use it to prove that the bible is "morally bereft" (if you are a non-believer) then I suppose you will likely find what you are looking for. It IS your interpretation though... and like most interpretations we make the interpretation shows more about the person drawing it then what they are drawing it from.
If that would be enough for you to cast the whole thing into question then likely you weren't designed to accept any of it in the first place and are looking for reasons to dismiss it. That's fine BTW. It's human nature.
So, a Bible verse makes a statement and its sliced to different interpretation....... let's back up. Every verse/scripture tells One truth. Interpretation is one thing. Misleading is another. The fault of Man is intentional.
I disagree. Jesus taught in parables. IMO his messages were meant to be interpreted by the one who heard them and applied to his/her life. Each individual may have one truth but mankind in general does not. There is no "fault of Man" there is just the faults of each man. Each person walks his own path and faces his own faults. Therefore each man who follows the bible takes what they need to walk their unique path from the book.
Do you agree that it's not the only way?
Could I be a decent human without it?
These questions aren't meant to offend you, I'm just curious.
I reallize that wordings can be quite ambiguous, so I can be quite explicit in my meanings, just for the sake of avoiding confusion.
Of course. Why would I think otherwise?
Of course. Why would I think otherwise?
The fact that an inference can be made based on the phrases used in the above post. Such as a person, living by the book.
So it's a matter of confusion as to what book you're refering to.
Again, no offense.
It's a matter of semantics.
You are making inferences based on your own experiences. You experiences tell you that Christians behave like X so you assumed that I did.
I said those following the book take what they need from it. You weren't really included in that statement because you don't follow the book.
But the precluding argument could be, that at one point I was in God's book of life. If the book you're refering to is the bible and I left it behind, would I then be damned?
Hence asking the questions I ask.
Is hell a reality for those that would do as I do?
In your opinion?
Sorry if I inject myself where I'm not welcome. It's my way.
Why on Earth would you be damned? If you don't find any inspiration in the Bible then why would you pretend that you did? Forced belief in something you don't believe in is sort of a hell in itself.
Me personally... at this point in my life... would be "damned" I guess if I didn't have the Bible to look to but I don't think it's in the same way that you are thinking about. No fire or brimstone. Just me destroying my own life. There would indeed be much weeping and gnashing of teeth but it would be my own regret over the situation not any God imposed punishment.
Hell in the literal sense is not in my belief system so no... I don't think it's a reality to anyone. That's just my opinion though. I've never died and went or didn't go there. I'm not real big on Pascal's wager either. I can't make myself believe it is real just in case.
So, we're not so different after all?
I absolutely agree with you, excluding the believing in God part, that I could never really be sure of, not at this point.
I have to say: If we should die on the same day and if we should be slated for hell, I'll chill with you on Charon's boat.
Of course you are a decent human being regardless of your beliefs, and any true Christian would not change their mind about that. You are no different than any Christian. You are not more or less moral than any of them, solely based on the fact of what you believe. The only real difference is you are an atheist and they are Christian.
In case you are wondering, I am a Christian.A very strong devout Christian. I just wish that there wasn't legalist Christians who caused those who are not, to hate us so much. But maybe we would be hated regardless.
Jesus taught in parables to the masses. He didn't teach in parables to the Disciples for it was given to them to "know." Divine Wisdom, maybe....or inspired through the Holy Spirit.
So, again, the verse/scriptures is One truth. Interpretation is one thing. Misleading is another. The fault of Man is intentional.
You say there is no fault of Man but fault(s) of each man ---- (double the faults is fine by me).
And if each man that follows the Bible (takes what they need) to walk their paths, is not their faults evidently so?
You might be right that I'm not designed for it but I think you're kidding yourself when you say *if you choose to find Hell in there*. It is in there and it's just intellectual dishonesty to pretend it's down to a person's character whether or not they read Hell as Hell. You can choose to overlay warmth and fuzziness over all the moral failures in the Bible but please don't try and pretend your interpretation is superior when it's actually little more than a cherry-picking whitewash.
Is it a character flaw to take the Bible at face value and read it is it was written? I don't see why it would be. Admittedly your version of Christianity is a lot easier to live with but I can't see it as honest. Sorry, I know I'm probably going to offend you there and actually from what I've read in these forums, you seem like a great gal but I'd be lying if I didn't write what I really believe about this.
I don't... of course ... feel that it's intellectual dishonesty at all. I'm not a literalist. I see pretty much everything in the Bible as metaphorical. As I need no metaphores to tell me that things are bad for me if I don't at least try to follow Jesus's teachings then the hell metaphores have no meaning for me.
I never said my interpretation was superior. I admit freely that I cherry-pick the hell out of the Bible (forgive the pun). To me there aren't really any moral failures in the Bible... there are only verses to find inspiration and verses that do not apply to my life. If there is a moral failing the failing is with the reader of the book and what he/she chooses to gleam from the text. For example... if a homophobe is searching for verses to back his opinion then he will find them. The verses may not have been intended to mean what he concludes they mean but he will use them anyway. If someone is looking for reasons to forgive he will find them in the bible as well.
No it isn't a character flaw... but it is an impossibility. There is no face value... not in the Bible and not in ANY written text. The reader will always affect the writing because each reader brings their own perspective into the interpretation.
No you didn't offend me at all.
You're actually pretty alright.
Sorry that I ever got under your skin.
It's my way of asking to burry the hatchet.
Would you be willing to do so?
There's really no hatchet to bury. If I disagree with something I'm going to disagree with it no matter who it comes from. It's really nothing personal I swear. I am often more in agreement with the atheists on these forums than the Christians... I'm equal opportunity like that.
So if I disagree with you then please don't assume it's a personal thing or even that it's motivated by religion.
Have you not ask and exhausted this kinda question before...
How am I supposed to approach that question?
It almost baiting.
The question was meant so that you can do a little introspection, if that is negative it because you make it so.
And have you not perfected the art of baiting.
Your apparent confusion already tells me you know exactly when I am coming from and response it really not required...but introspection will work to your benefit.
It's not 'bad' because you ought to be religious and you're not, it's 'bad' because of the reality of our circumstance and the real persons and relationships that are hurting:
You're (I imagine) thinking of this something along this line; 'there's 20 tons of different religious beliefs, I believe what I believe, I'm not hurting others and am willing to let others believe as they choose, so, what's so bad about me not believing in God' - but, from God's perspective it's more like your parents desired you, gave you birth, cared for you, worried over you, provided for you, love you, etc, etc, etc, and one day you simply disavow them asserting they are not your parents and demanding that they leave you be and not claim any relationship with you at all. Your brothers and sisters and friends, etc, would all count your conduct to be 'bad'.
God, and Christianity, are not at all about belonging to the 'right' religion, it's not about doing some certain set of religious things (going to church, lighting candles, praying in just the right manner, etc) - God and Christianity are about establishing right relationships and unity and love . . . so, if you deny and reject that reality (not some religious tenet but real circumstance of your existence) you grieve God, most especially if He sacrificed His beloved Son to bring you to Himself and you continue to deny and reject Him - that's why unbelief is 'bad'.
I was christian and I held God in high regard, still kinda do.
I can appreciate wanting to believe God to be a wonderful and nice being.
But I can't appreciate being told that I'm a burden to a God that had immediately demed me unworthy.
One can't say that God is eternally unchanging, when God clearly changed his mind.
Can you see the confusion?
I'm not sure I follow you; when did God "immediately" deem you unworthy, and what has He "changed His mind about"?
Also; you understand that, according to men's religions, you can align yourself with Hinduism, Islam, Methodism, Lutheranism, Baptistism, etc, etc, and if you align with any of those camps within Christendom then you might identify yourself a 'Christian' (as opposed to a Muslim or Jew, etc) - but, according to Scripture you are not a Christian until and unless you have been given new, eternal, spiritual life by God . . . and that doesn't go away or change or end. So, speaking in men's religious terms, you can follow (say) Presbyterianism, or attend a church, or come from a religious home, etc, and then turn away from all that - but that doesn't mean you were a Christian and now you're not.
Just like you can move out of their house, you can resent your parents, you can change your name, etc - but you can't become unborn from them, you remain their child and they your parents no matter how you feel about it or how you might ignore their presence, etc . . . in a similar manner the Bible talks about Christianity in terms of a second birth, a spiritual birth . . . once you're a Christian, in truth, you cannot become unborn again again.
This is why some Christians will assert that Christianity is not a religion, but rather, it's a relationship.
Yes, but; when did God "immediately" deem you unworthy, and what has He "changed His mind about"?
The new covenant doesn't mean anything to you?
When did the eternaly unchanging God, decide that his wrath wasn't worth it?
The contradictions keep stacking up.
The new covenant is the fulfillment of the old covenant, God did not change . . . the bible tells us that the law is our tutor to bring us to Christ, the plan from the beginning was to prepare the way for the fulfillment of an eternal covenant with an initial earthly covenant - God didn't change at all. We assert that the Bible contradicts itself when we take it one piece at a time out of it's own context . . . it's when men don't see the unity of the whole of it that they cry it's full of contradictions.
Hey! Being a reformed christian, I have a pretty good idea of what the bible entails or is eluding to. To say I'm ignorant of my own argument, is only ignorance on your part.
I'm asking that you defend your position, attacking mine isn't helping this discussion to move forward. If I point out contradictions, it's up to you to find these contradictions and understand what exactly it is I'm talking about.
The fact that things are stated so explicitely in the bible, would entail that God is an eternaly unchanging character.
So. Why did he change his mind?
That was the question that was asked. I didn't ask that you defend your logic, with an illogical argument.
See my point?
nonto21, the original question here was "I just don't believe in God. What about that is so bad?" and I was contributing my own understanding of what's so bad about not believing in God. namely, that because there actually is a God it's 'bad' (like asserting 2+2=5 is 'bad') to deny the truth, and that because God is a person (rather than a force or idea) desiring relationship it's 'bad' (like rejecting your parents is 'bad') to deny Him.
If I present an answer to a question I think it's reasonable that I suggest that my answer is valid or that I "defend my logic" a bit. In one breath you say "I'm asking that you defend your position" and in another you say "I didn't ask that you defend your logic" . . . I'm not trying to bother you, but i am a bit confused with how you would like to proceed.
As to the matter of answering your question regarding contradictions' how can I "find these contradictions and understand what exactly it is I'm (you're) talking about" if I reject the notion that there exists any contradictions? You asserted that the New Covenant contradicts the Old Covenant, that God declares himself unchanging yet has observable changed - how am I supposed to resolve or be puzzled my a contradiction I don't believe exists . . . my response was that there is no change, your notion and assertion of a contradiction is erroneous, the Old Covenant was always to be preparation for the New Covenant and the New Covenant was from the beginning to be the fulfillment of the Old Covenant . . . there was no change in God, there is not contradiction for me to address.
God good to all, or just a few?
PSA 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
JER 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
[Editor's note: Some readers have raised an objection to this alleged contradiction. They point out that PSA 145:20 states that The Lord keeps all who love Him, but that He will destroy the wicked. In other words, some see no contradiction between "The Lord is good to all" and JER 13:14. Others contend, however, that even if the Lord destroys the wicked he could do so with compassion, pity, and mercy. Further, there are biblical examples that indicate that the Lord is not necessarily "good" or merciful--even to those who are not wicked. One such example is Job. As one reader points out, "If Psalm 145:9 was not a contradiction of Psalm 145:20 or Jeremiah 13:14, it would read something like this: "The LORD is good to all, except the wicked: and his tender mercies are over all his works, except when He is punishing the wicked." In any case, the idea that the Lord is good and merciful is contradicted by countless examples in the Bible where God orders the destruction of infants, personally kills David's infant child, etc.]
War or Peace?
EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Who is the father of Joseph?
MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.
Who was at the Empty Tomb? Is it:
MAT 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
MAR 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
JOH 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Is Jesus equal to or lesser than?
JOH 10:30 I and my Father are one.
JOH 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Want me to keep going?
Sure, I guess it would seem like a "bad" thing to deny a God if such God exists. But what if no such God exists? What if I think no such God exists and there is no evidence to suggest that and God exists. What if I suggest to be gullible is "bad"? Would believing in a God that makes you think less of other make you "bad" just because you are gullible.
2+2=4 You are the one that is seeing something that is not there and therefore are suggesting 2+2=5.
If you have any real evidence that any God exist please show you evidence.
So the bible doesn't contradict itself it's just we need to see the whole thing together to properly understand it. That is a nice way to get around the contradictions, in other words you refuse to see contradictions.
I still haven't gotten an answer, which tells me, he see's them.
He will most certainly dismiss any discrepancies one way or another. That's the part that interests me. How individuals justify the discrepancies and cruelty in the bible. Some go as far as saying that a few thousand years ago two of every creature on the planet (and some include dinosaurs) cramped into a boat half the size of a modern day cruise ship. Fascinating,
So what about all the people who are born into third world poverty or children who grow up in severely abusive homes, good people who don't hurt anyone, who suffer agonizing lives from birth to death. If they do not believe does this make them "bad" even though god was not a "good parent" to them?
I was talking about "the reality of our circumstance" - you raise a couple of points quite separate from my point. I was asserting that because there actually is a God and this is not just a matter of choosing a particular man-made religion to follow, that this is why it's 'bad' to resist and reject Him, because it's not merely a matter of ideas but is a matter of real persons and real relationships, etc.
You're not (in your reply) asserting evidence or reasoning that addresses my 'because there really is a God' point - you're asking, basically, 'what if you don't understand or like the way God does things'? and, you're asserting you're notion of what 'good' is or should be.
My initial response would be; certainly living a life of misery and hurt doesn't certify that someone will be a 'good' person - who says or how do we know the people born into poverty or abuse you introduce are 'good'? and who says or how do we know that God has not been 'good' to them? These are assumption on your part that you then use as accusations against God. I have no doubt that a young child being taken by his parents for a flu shot imagine that his parents are being mean to him - but we, on the other side of that action, know that they are in fact being good to him.
It's no fun, at the time, to sit in a dentist's chair - but afterward it's helpful and good for us to have done so. we live in linear time, one moment flowing another and preceding the one about to appear - God exists in eternity, the absence of time, an ever-present now . . . when we're with Him we will be and have been and will be in that ongoing instant, that ever-present now, and the sufferings of this world will be nothing, we will look at them only as that which has brought us to Him.
I'm saying that because there really is a God it is 'bad' to deny and resist and reject the idea of God - if we just don't like Him, if we count our own notion of 'good' to be superior to His, if we think He should do things our way, etc, that is a different discussion. My point here is; it's 'bad' to be an atheist because atheist denies the reality of God and God is in fact real . . . it has nothing to do with following a particular religion, it doesn't matter if your a nasty person or a decent person, it doesn't matter if you support other's freedom to believe what they choose, etc, etc - it's 'bad' to deny and reject God because God is the creator and sustainer of all that exists, it's 'bad' because there actually is a God, it's 'bad' in a similar manner that it's 'bad' to assert that 2 + 2 = 5.
Using incorrect, irrational math is not going to convince the unconvinced.
The idea that God loves me but is willing to damn me regardless of my achievements, is a morally bankrupt God.
A God that says he loves his creation, would never destroy it or deme it unworthy.
Would you order your children to kill?
Would you kill your own child?
"Using incorrect, irrational math is not going to convince the unconvinced."
I'm not trying to convince anyone, I'm not expecting you (or anyone) to drop whatever it is you believe and adopt my beliefs to be your own - I'm merely stating my case, presenting my beliefs as valid and reasonable, and declaring the truth of what I believe in a culture that thinks it knows what I believe but has concocted it's own version of 'Christianity' and then faults me for believing it (when I don't believe 'your' version of 'Christianity' at all).
nonto21, the world has changed, I'm not trying to 'convince' you I'm right and you're wrong hoping you will abandon your belief and take-up my belief - I'm simply presenting the case that I am not foolish to believe what I believe, that I'm not merely old fashioned, that I'm not emotionally needy and lacking in the boldness to think other than what I've been told, that I own a good working mind and am zealous to think for myself, etc.
I'm not trying to convince you I'm right - I'm merely offering my own understanding and suggesting that it's not reasonable to instantly dismiss what I believe as categorically the consequence of a frail intellect living in fear under the dominion of some tyrannical clergy.
"The idea that God loves me but is willing to damn me regardless of my achievements, is a morally bankrupt God."
This is the ultimate 'bad' of man - judging God. God's whole point (with the covenants and the cross, etc) is to say 'I made you to live My paradise and enjoy My love forever, but I am the eternal Spirit and you are created material creatures - however, I've prepared a way for you to become more, to become like Me . . . I will take upon Myself human nature and put My own divine Spirit within you and we will be united together forever" and our response is 'who are you to say I'm not good enough, look at my "achievements", I deserve to be in your paradise just like I am!'.
nonto21, If you were separate from this planet on a paradise planet where everything was always eternally selfless and good and love, would you want to import any humanity into your paradise?! The history of man's 'achievements' is a history of belligerence, selfishness, hostility, greed, violence, etc, etc . . . yet, God does want to import humanity into His paradise, through the spiritual new birth, and then we turn around and blame God for the evils we do to one another while we shake our fist at Him crying that He should take us as we are and is a mean god to judge us.
"A God that says he loves his creation, would never destroy it or deme it unworthy."
Again, you've got it all figured out? You should be judging the eternal Spirit who has created all that is? God should do things your way . . ? . . I'm sure to some degree and in your own manner you are just like me - I'm not as comfortable maneuvering around in the dark as I am in the light, if I go too long without a hot dog I get woozy, i used to me tiny and someone had to feed me and change my diaper, if the doctor tells me I need medication I hope it helps me but I don't know what's going on inside me, if someone says a poem I write sucks it hurts me feelings, if I want to know who Andrew Jackson's secretary of state i have to look it up, I walk around on a ball floating in space and I've never left it - yet, if there is a god, an eternal spirit who created and sustains everything that exists, He should do things my way . . !?
"Would you order your children to kill?"
"Would you kill your own child?"
Again, I am not God, I don't know the beginning from the end, I'm not unfolding my eternal plan and purpose, I did not create I pro-created and none of this is mine. But nonto21, the mere fact that you suggest that ordering your child to kill or killing your own child is a bad thing suggests that there is a God, there is a morality that we all commonly recognize, there is a right & wrong, good & bad . . . where would such a notion come form if there is no God?
I think I actually addressed your point quite well “from God's perspective it's more like your parents desired you, gave you birth, cared for you, worried over you, provided for you, love you, etc., etc., etc.,” and I did not mean to say (sorry if I was not clear) nor do I believe that believe that people born into poverty or abuse, should automatically be deemed “good”. People should be deemed “good” by their actions and how they treat others, “treat others as you would like to be treated”. Why is god not held to these same standards?
“A young child being taken by his parents for a flu shot” is a far cry from a young child who experiences severe abuse, there are many documented cases of children being raped, starved and denied any sort of humanity (denied basic medical attention such as “flu shots”). So hypothetically a person who grew up in these conditions grows up to be, let’s say a social worker, who works hard to help children in the same situation, is a productive member of society and never hurts others, does not believe in god. They are “bad” in god’s eyes if they do not accept his existence? Life may just be a small blip in all eternity, yet living a life, where you are only shown cruelty and hardship probably feels like an eternity to those living it, wouldn’t you think?
If all that matters in life is “belief”, then life is really just a sick twisted game isn’t it.
Don't think I could have artculated that in such a profound manner. Thank you for the enlightening comment.
The 0 has an infinite value of 0. It's the .264 of something else that offsets 0. 0 is an irrational number, in that it has no true value with which to measure. So, if God created this from nothing, what materials did he use?
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