Email thread with pastor
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19-11-2015, 01:28 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(19-11-2015 01:26 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(18-11-2015 03:23 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  This is one of those questions that drive me crazy! Does one actually need to believe in a deity to be compassionate? D

But Moms, don't you know that without Jesus, we'd be just as likely to kill and eat our spouse as we would be to hug them?

Less messy than divorce Hobo

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-11-2015, 11:46 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(19-11-2015 01:28 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 01:26 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  But Moms, don't you know that without Jesus, we'd be just as likely to kill and eat our spouse as we would be to hug them?

Less messy than divorce Hobo

And more tasty.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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20-11-2015, 02:05 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(18-11-2015 03:57 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Personally I do not understand how anyone could ever believe the BS about gods in the first place. So I have nothing other than this: Why are you emailing your old pastor?
Let it go. He talks BS for a living. Stay as far away as possible.

Harsh as it seems at first glance, I fully concur with this comment. I'm also having difficulty understanding the implications of this comment: "My wife knows I no longer share her faith, but I committed to her I would continue to attend church with her. I'm there faithfully every Sunday morning".

Why does NolaToad feel it's absolutely necessary to attend his wife's church every Sunday? What does he achieve by doing this—either for himself or his wife? Apparently it's simply to keep her happy, and not create any relational stress. And I've never heard of any genuine atheist attending a place of religious worship before; this is a first!

Here's a question for you NolaToad: In deference to your atheism, why is it that your wife doesn't stop attending her church and/or stop expecting you to accompany her? Why is this such a one-sided "labour of love" in favour of a person who believes in a fantasy? And what would happen tomorrow if you told her you were gonna sleep in instead of going to her church with her?

"Commitment" to one's partner doesn't mean you're expected to give up doing what you choose to do with your own life.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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21-11-2015, 01:28 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(19-11-2015 01:28 PM)morondog Wrote:  
(19-11-2015 01:26 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  But Moms, don't you know that without Jesus, we'd be just as likely to kill and eat our spouse as we would be to hug them?

Less messy than divorce Hobo

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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24-11-2015, 06:09 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
(20-11-2015 02:05 PM)SYZ Wrote:  
(18-11-2015 03:57 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Personally I do not understand how anyone could ever believe the BS about gods in the first place. So I have nothing other than this: Why are you emailing your old pastor?
Let it go. He talks BS for a living. Stay as far away as possible.

Harsh as it seems at first glance, I fully concur with this comment. I'm also having difficulty understanding the implications of this comment: "My wife knows I no longer share her faith, but I committed to her I would continue to attend church with her. I'm there faithfully every Sunday morning".

Why does NolaToad feel it's absolutely necessary to attend his wife's church every Sunday? What does he achieve by doing this—either for himself or his wife? Apparently it's simply to keep her happy, and not create any relational stress. And I've never heard of any genuine atheist attending a place of religious worship before; this is a first!

Here's a question for you NolaToad: In deference to your atheism, why is it that your wife doesn't stop attending her church and/or stop expecting you to accompany her? Why is this such a one-sided "labour of love" in favour of a person who believes in a fantasy? And what would happen tomorrow if you told her you were gonna sleep in instead of going to her church with her?

"Commitment" to one's partner doesn't mean you're expected to give up doing what you choose to do with your own life.

A successful marriage, of course, contains innumerable examples of give and take, and this is one vein in which I've decided to give rather than take. I'm the one who changed faith (or lost it), not her, and it's important to her that I attend church with her. I'm happy to make that sacrifice on her behalf.
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24-11-2015, 08:06 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
You now have your woo-proof raingear to keep you safe.
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24-11-2015, 08:41 PM
RE: Email thread with pastor
Are there any updates? I was enjoying this thread.

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29-11-2015, 09:06 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
His latest reply:

I actually appreciate your looking at the Bible critically. A view we share is that not enough Christians do that so their faith ends up resting in their feelings about God rather than the truth about him. I've also been honest with you about my own questions about the very things you've listed. My response to my questions doesn't seem to be what yours has been though. A curiosity I have in your approach to the Bible is that you mentioned you looked at it as a skeptic. I think that approach creates a minimalist approach to the Bible. If the questions that arise and discrepancies contained in the Bible are removed from the framework of its entirety, then I would have to agree that they are simply indications of an abhorrent deity created by men to make sense of the world or to seek to control people. As I approach the Bible, I also see a framework of relationship between God and his chosen people. The laws he gave flow from that relationship. If God's laws flow from his relationship so his people could understand how he was different than other gods of other cultures and societies, then their exists also the plausibility that there are reasonable explanations to those laws. (I also think there is enough revealed in that relationship to rescue the thought that God operates like a teenage boy jealous over his girlfriend.)

To arrive at reasonable explanations certainly does not mean that they are going to all be agreeable explanations. We at least have to be honest about how much we don't know about the culture the laws were originally written into. A consideration of ancient Near East law shows that Mosaic law was a vast improvement to the moral climate of the world. The framework of relationship works to answer some of the laws that don't make much sense. Relationships within ancient Near East cultures was something we can't quite get our heads around with our 21st century enjoyment of isolationism. We get to go home and close the door to others; that was quite no bueno back then...culture has heavily communal. Identifying differences helps to not hold the Bible with a noose ready to tighten around anything we don't understand. For all the confusions in Exodus 21, those laws come after the relational framework of Exodus 20:2-3 'I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.'

God was using his relationship with his chosen people to reveal his character to them as well as his character to the entire world. A huge element to his character is his holiness. God's people were not to associate with other cultures because of how it would misrepresent his holiness and purity. The church today is called to reveal that relational holiness in marriage...to divorce (except when there is adultery) is to distort the relationship God has with his people. Christian marriages should be a dual sign of God's character to the church and to the world.

Another element to his character is justice. He is the Judge of the entire world. One factor to be considered is that God didn't only declare himself to be only God to Israel...he declared himself God over all the earth. His command to kill all people of a society is hard to comprehend. But is it at least plausible that God has a reasonable explanation for such a command? If we look as an outsider at the atomic bombs dropped on Japan wouldn't we come to the same conclusion: whoever ordered the massacre of 80,000 people in seconds must be the cruelest being that ever lived. But, if we consider the framework of the entire world war as the backdrop to such a move, wouldn't we find a reasonable explanation? Or, do you consider the dropping of those bombs morally reprehensible?

Evidence for our seeking reasonable explanations is all over our lives. We give the benefit of the doubt to those we know best and even least. We give the benefit of the doubt to the vast array of laws that we live under locally, statewide, and federally. For me, concluding that God must not exist based on discrepancies of morality contained in the best efforts of English translators seeking to give meaning to culturally obscure phrases and infrequent word use is easier and cleaner than the questions that still remain for me as a believer. I am very much taking your examples seriously...I can provide point by point explanation for each (and I intend to), but my curiosity is if there still exists a possible framework in your mind for them. Many of the examples you've given are from laws that were safe guards never intended to be hammocks.

A point for consideration in a framework for God's activity in the world is moral development. I'm sure we would both agree that major advances in morality have occurred over the centuries...though it can be equally argued that immorality is still repeating itself. One form of immorality gives way to another. I've often wondered why God doesn't do more to bring morality about even supernaturally superintending upon the world. My conclusion is not to say that God must not be there since I don't see more morality, but I continue to ask questions. Could it be that it reveals something else about God, say, his patience and steadfastness with people because he's giving time for people to know him? Christianity has a framework that gives reasonable explanation to God's activity...again, not all agreeable explanations but reasonable. Could it also be that God's use of evolution is revealed in moral development as well? I also don't claim to have all the answers for God's apparent lack of moral involvement, but that's why a Christian framework helps me even though I have serious questions. Imposing my 20th-21st century on ancient civilizations seems to raise more questions than it answers because I know I don't hold to my own present-day perceptions with the same criteria as I impose on others that have come before us.
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29-11-2015, 09:30 AM
RE: Email thread with pastor
Oh man, I can't wait until you shred his special pleading and delusion.

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29-11-2015, 08:46 PM
Email thread with pastor
Still sounds like his entire faith is based on feelings.
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