Meeting with a pastor
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06-02-2014, 04:13 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
Keep your back to the wall
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06-02-2014, 04:35 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2014 04:39 PM by Freethought.)
RE: Meeting with a pastor
Last year, when I was your age, my parents made me see a religious scholar well known in his delusions for me to speak with. The guy in particular was Hassanain Rajabali, whom you can find on YouTube debating Dan Barker, a well known atheist I'm sure many people on the forums know quite well.

Anyway, I was intellectually intimidated and at the time as my position was Agnosticism and I was personally skeptical of my doubt regarding the religion I believed to be true for over 90% of my life, he convinced me to his viewpoint rather easily. It wasn't until later after my doubt began to resurface again and hone my debating skills and list out my arguments in a more organized way when a few months later I went to see the guy again and kicked his ass with logic! Now, your pastor could be very different and be more of an emotional speaker/wishful thinker than a wishful philosophic apologetic speaker, the latter of the 2 was the mumbo jumbo I was given by the guy I'd spoken with. My best advice for you is to be firm in your doubt and not to buy into anything your pastor says just because he seems more wiser than you.


What I have to say now is very imperative to your situation. Please, do not let yourself be convinced merely because a part of you wants your belief to be true. I do not know how long you've been a freethinker for but if it's less than around 3 years, there will be a strong part of you that will make you more susceptible to influence of the faith you were brought up in.

If you ask questions, absolutely do not take your Pastors word for it. Always remain skeptical at his remarks, however dismayed he may seem to your righteous rigidness. Do not give in to his peer pressure as well, keep what I'm now about to say well into mind, and let it resonate into your thoughts while you are meeting him, if indeed you are. You inevitably are going to feel very insecure in the environment you will be around. You may feel like an outsider, and ostracized in some ways, even personally insulted for your viewpoints. Be resilient, though not arrogant. Don't come across as cocky, merely let it be heard you have doubts and that what the Pastor is saying is not sufficient enough. Explain to him the flaws in his argument if you have to, but meticulously. You do not want to instigate an argument with him. Now, if he is a philosophical apologetic, he may bring up the Kalam Cosmological Argument in order to persuade you like the guy I went to see did. Always revert his arguments back to him and attribute his arguments to his god. Remember, god is the most illogical part of the faith, it is the weak spot and you most relentlessly attack it by turning his arguments against him.

Bring forth your arguments first and absolutely do not let him speak over you. Speak as much as you can, while attempting to not be intimidated, but do not let him push you aside and speak over you just because he has some sort of revered status. Bring forth arguments such as the argument of evil, therefore eliminating the possibility of at least a good god, and also bring forth arguments such as the first cause argument right back at his god. For example, if god has indeed infinitely existed, what was his first thought? That in itself causes an infinite regression!

All in all, arguments like these will surely let your viewpoint be strongly expressed, while maintaining a rational with which to ground your basis on.

The most important thing I can tell you to say to him as well is, isn't it more logical to admit you do not know than to pretend you do? Is not agnosticism the more intellectually honest option than to say you 100% know when there's always a possibility your god may not exist? Things we do not know and equivocate a god as the explanation is simply the argument of ignorance!


Good luck to you and your endeavors, and be sure to remain firm and independent. You are strong, you just have to prove that to yourself if you haven't already!

Everyday is judgement day. Use your judgement, use reason.
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06-02-2014, 05:32 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
The pastor will bullshit you and tell you that you need "faith." Obviously, if you had "faith" you wouldn't be there talking to him.

It's too late to do any serious reading. Absorb some of this...

http://individual.utoronto.ca/mfkolarcik...erzog.html

Quote: from Ha'aretz Magazine, Friday, October 29, 1999)

Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and doesn't want to hear about it

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai.

Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people—and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story—now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people's emergence are radically different from what that story tells.

What follows is a short account of the brief history of archaeology, with the emphasis on the crises and the big bang, so to speak, of the past decade. The critical question of this archaeological revolution has not yet trickled down into public consciousness, but it cannot be ignored.

Archaeology has shown that the reality of ancient Palestine differs markedly from the bible fairy tale. Ask him why you should believe an old book.

[Image: reality.jpg?imgmax=800]
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06-02-2014, 05:37 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
I would start with this....

Is god morally good ?
More than likely, his answer will be yes.
Does everything happen according to god's will ? In other words, does everything happen in accordance with god's plan ?
Could something happen that wasn't part of god's plan ? More than likely his answer to this will be no.

Follow up with - When god considers the consequences of his actions, do you think he sees himself as morally good ?
God describes himself in Isaiah 45:7 as the creator of evil. Do you worship the creator of evil ?

If he tries to weasel out of this question, say something like "The original texts are quite clear on the translation. Modern day bibles have more recently changed this to omit the word evil. This is man altering what you believe is the (unchanging) word of god. There have been many alterations over the past couple thousand years and you still insist that every alteration made by man is also the word of god. This book is a work made and altered by men, not a god."

We consider the consequences of actions and deem those actions to be morally right or morally wrong.
We can look at the actions of god in the bible and judge whether or not those actions add to the happiness, health or well-being of an individual or if they harm the health, happiness & well-being of an individual.
I think you'll find that god, the creator of evil, brings more harm to the health, happiness & well-being of people around the world, than he does good.

Why do you pray ? (Don't answer) I'll tell you why. You pray to god to ask him to change his plan. His plan usually involves harming people and you pray for him to change his plan and instead of harming, you want him to heal. This is why you pray. You pray for your god to be humane. You pray for your god to have human morals for him to act in a morally good way toward human beings.

God was never good. You simply believed he was powerful and on your side.




Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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06-02-2014, 07:47 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
(06-02-2014 02:10 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(06-02-2014 12:26 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  My dad did actually make an attempt to answer my questions, but he says the pastor would be able to answer them better. I doubt it.

That doesn't surprise me. I've heard others talk about being referred to pastors or other people when they stump someone. They're basically saying "I know I'm right, but I can't articulate it."

What questions were you asking your dad. If you're looking for debate prep, that might be the best place to start.

I asked why he believed and then it kind of snowballed. He ended up asking a lot.

I asked how he could believe someone was guiding him when so many things kept going wrong.
I asked him how he explained all the contradictions in the Bible.
After his response to that, I asked him how he could continue to follow a religion if he thinks its holy book isn't a good book.
I asked what he thought of all the terrible things in it.
I asked him why there would be billions of galaxies if there's just one important planet.
When he told me he thinks there are other important planets, I asked him why God didn't bother to tell us.
I asked him if he thought it was fair that billions get tortured forever simply for not being born into the right families.
I asked him, if heaven is paradise, what happened to those who have loved ones who don't go to heaven (are they sad, which means there are negative feelings in "paradise", or do they just not remember/care, which is creepy)?
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06-02-2014, 09:36 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
(06-02-2014 07:47 PM)CleverUsername Wrote:  
(06-02-2014 02:10 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  That doesn't surprise me. I've heard others talk about being referred to pastors or other people when they stump someone. They're basically saying "I know I'm right, but I can't articulate it."

What questions were you asking your dad. If you're looking for debate prep, that might be the best place to start.

I asked why he believed and then it kind of snowballed. He ended up asking a lot.

I asked how he could believe someone was guiding him when so many things kept going wrong.
I asked him how he explained all the contradictions in the Bible.
After his response to that, I asked him how he could continue to follow a religion if he thinks its holy book isn't a good book.
I asked what he thought of all the terrible things in it.
I asked him why there would be billions of galaxies if there's just one important planet.
When he told me he thinks there are other important planets, I asked him why God didn't bother to tell us.
I asked him if he thought it was fair that billions get tortured forever simply for not being born into the right families.
I asked him, if heaven is paradise, what happened to those who have loved ones who don't go to heaven (are they sad, which means there are negative feelings in "paradise", or do they just not remember/care, which is creepy)?

Ha ha. No wonder he is packing you off to the pastor. TBH I think you already know the answers to those questions and any meeting you do have with someone from your church is just going to be counter productive. They are all good, well reasoned questions, but you are not dealing with well reasoned people and for the sake of cordial family dynamics, at your age, I would be cancelling that appointment.

You Dad is probably a great guy, I can only assume, but lets hope. He has spent 16 years trying to make you into a better version of himself and you could just be giving him a massive kick in the guts. You also run the risk of embarrassing the pastor.

You sound like a really thoughtful and mature person but the realities of the situation are that you are still a minor and being a young person these days requires a lot of family support. If it is going to cause problems at home, keep it to yourself. Tell them you were having some kind of emotional crisis.
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06-02-2014, 11:12 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
(06-02-2014 11:17 AM)CleverUsername Wrote:  I tried talking to my Christian dad about why he believes, and somehow it ended up with plans for me to go talk to his pastor in a week. I think I'm supposed to be asking him questions about belief, and I don't know what to ask.

Any suggestions for questions? Advice on what he might say?

Do you want to talk to the pastor? It doesn't seem like it, if you have no questions. I don't know your dad, but could you just tell him you don't want to go?

If that's not viable, then when you see the pastor, just tell him your dad sent you, and you don't really want to be there.

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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06-02-2014, 11:33 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
I will help you get together some honest questions if that is what you want based on your beliefs but first I must know what they are. what do you believe and why? (not looking for an argument or a chance to preach) also what kind of church is it
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06-02-2014, 11:38 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
Honestly, this is all more a precaution. I severely doubt I'll ever see the pastor, my parents hardly ever remember to do anything. I just wanted to make sure, on the off chance it actually happens, I'm prepared.

Nevertheless, you're all probably right. An attempt to get someone in the family to think rationally somehow turned into said person trying to convince me they were thinking logically already while I was too shocked by the lack of logic to think clearly. If it somehow does end up actually being brought up again, I'll back down.
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06-02-2014, 11:54 PM
RE: Meeting with a pastor
Moo ha ha ha finally some good stuff!

(06-02-2014 05:37 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I would start with this....

Is god morally good ?
No. Why? Morality is the crap standard of man. It means nothing to God as it is always based on the lessor of two evils. As God is perfect and has a perfect standard He cant or won't ever choose the lessor of two evils. The term is 'righteous.' God is righteous not 'moral.'
Quote:More than likely, his answer will be yes.
Does everything happen according to god's will ?
Yes
Quote: In other words, does everything happen in accordance with god's plan ?
Could something happen that wasn't part of god's plan ? More than likely his answer to this will be no.
No, but do you know what God's plan is (by the complexeity of your question probably not) God's plan was to make a perfect world Put man in charge of it, and give Man a chance to either stay in that world with him forever or choose to be free from God. Man chose to be free from God, which meant he was now bound to satan through sin, which by default the control of this world went from man to man's sin master satan.

(again all according to the plan) Why?

Because if god created beings to be with him in Heaven forever and made them independently sentient some not all would want to go a different way. How do I know this? It has already happened once this way. that is why we have satan and demons. So now in this world/realm we through satan have been blinded from the known glory of God. however God has left the door cracked through the sacrifice Christ made. It is through this sacrifice that God can endow anyone who A/S/K for the holy Spirit with everything that believer can comprehend. So when his time here is over and the believer has proven to himself where he would spend eternity knowing truly nothing of God (compared to what He offers on the other side) He can be at peace with the decision he has made, and know it is a true reflection of his heart.

Quote:Follow up with - When god considers the consequences of his actions, do you think he sees himself as morally good ?
God describes himself in Isaiah 45:7 as the creator of evil. Do you worship the creator of evil ?
abso-friggen-lutly, because he is also the redeemer of evil.

Quote:If he tries to weasel out of this question, say something like "The original texts are quite clear on the translation. Modern day bibles have more recently changed this to omit the word evil. This is man altering what you believe is the (unchanging) word of god. There have been many alterations over the past couple thousand years and you still insist that every alteration made by man is also the word of god. This book is a work made and altered by men, not a god."
which means the texts that follow that identify and proclaim the blood sacrifice made on our behalf for the redemption of sin and evil is also just as valid.

Quote:We consider the consequences of actions and deem those actions to be morally right or morally wrong.
which again is a crap standard that means nothing to anyone except those in your generation and social group.

Quote:We can look at the actions of god in the bible and judge whether or not those actions add to the happiness, health or well-being of an individual or if they harm the health, happiness & well-being of an individual.
I think you'll find that god, the creator of evil, brings more harm to the health, happiness & well-being of people around the world, than he does good.
ahh, no. all you can do is look into what is placed before you and compare it to what someone else has and want more or less depending on desirability.

Quote:Why do you pray ? (Don't answer) I'll tell you why. You pray to god to ask him to change his plan. His plan usually involves harming people and you pray for him to change his plan and instead of harming, you want him to heal. This is why you pray. You pray for your god to be humane. You pray for your god to have human morals for him to act in a morally good way toward human beings.
and the circle is complete. you don't even understand what prayer is. In the first half of luke 11 Jesus tells us how to pray and it has nothing to do with asking god to change his plans. The oppsite is true. we are to pray that God help us change what we want to match what God wants for us. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven"
Not "my" will be done..

There is a difference between petition and prayer. Your thinking of petitioning God to change crap circumstances in your life. this is not the model of Prayer we have been given.

that was fun!
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