Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
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22-06-2015, 06:04 AM
Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
On FB, pastor Tony from a large church in the area, made a post about the charleston schooting. below is the initial comments and my replies.

What happened in Charleston is not about guns, gun laws, it is not simply black & white, or culture, or racism---it is the spirit of the Anti-Christ. Isis, terrorism, religious radicals, God-rejecters, have declared war on the true & living God & His Son Jesus. No political party or political leader or government agency has the answer to hatred---only the God "Who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish" can save us from such tragedies. America needs a "Pro-God Revolution" to cleanse away our sins as a nation & a people.

Except he stated that he did it because of race and wanted to start a race war. It was exactly about race.

Unfortunately there is a lot of hatred from some people. We need a pro empathy revolution. Understanding is what people need.

Remember that up to less than 100 years ago, many people used the bible to justify racism and woman's rights (some still do today). It wasn't the bible or God's word that made us realize it was wrong. It was our ability to be compassionate through increased knowledge and moral growth.


Sooo... Richard, just where did that "knowledge & moral growth" come from? Certainly not from the mind of sinful humanity!

Empathy. Just as it always has. We are always learning more about people and differences among us. When we apply empathy to someone's situation that is different than ours, it allows us to grow in our understanding of them, and our dealings with them.

We have seen this in action throughout history and continue to see it today. What used to be the woman's and black rights fights, is now people fighting for gay rights.

When we start off with a claim of any absolute truth, we are limited because we believe that something is defined as right or wrong absolutely even if there is no evidence to support that.

My whole point is that this was absolutely a race issue. The shooter has stated that, and every piece of evidence points to that, so to say otherwise is misleading.

It is very sad that people just getting together in church to pray aren't safe. It is such a pointless tragedy.

If I were there, I would have done whatever I could have to stop the shooter as I hope most people would. Why would God not do the same and stop the shooter and save lives? Is it that he couldn't, didn't want to, or works in mysterious ways?


To say there is no absolute truth is like saying there is no such thing as gravity, or oxygen, or wind, or morality or a million plus other absolutes in the universe. Try denying the sun, moon, stars, etc. The law of Cause & Effect is a vital part of truth. God is absolute, so is righteousness, evil, sin. Sin causes racism, murder, terrorism, etc. You say there are no absolute truths but then say this was absolutely a race issue. Try this absolute--he that comes to God must first believe that God is......

Absolute truth as far as morality is concerned is what I was referring to, you understood that, so talking about denying the existence of stars is irrelevant.

Cause and effect is a good start. Unfortunately when you start with saying that a book is the ultimate authority then you limit how you view the world. If it were as easy as that, then when the church ruled Europe would have been the most peaceful time on earth. The most religious countries today would be the most peaceful countries on earth, wouldn't they?

As I told you before, I'm open to any evidence. I think there are a lot of good allegories in the bible, but that doesn't make it the word of God. Looking at how most churches look like and are run more like corporations pushing a product than anything else doesn't help.

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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22-06-2015, 08:08 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
(22-06-2015 06:04 AM)microterf Wrote:  On FB, pastor Tony from a large church in the area, made a post about the charleston schooting. below is the initial comments and my replies.

What happened in Charleston is not about guns, gun laws, it is not simply black & white, or culture, or racism---it is the spirit of the Anti-Christ. Isis, terrorism, religious radicals, God-rejecters, have declared war on the true & living God & His Son Jesus. No political party or political leader or government agency has the answer to hatred---only the God "Who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish" can save us from such tragedies. America needs a "Pro-God Revolution" to cleanse away our sins as a nation & a people.

Except he stated that he did it because of race and wanted to start a race war. It was exactly about race.

Unfortunately there is a lot of hatred from some people. We need a pro empathy revolution. Understanding is what people need.

Remember that up to less than 100 years ago, many people used the bible to justify racism and woman's rights (some still do today). It wasn't the bible or God's word that made us realize it was wrong. It was our ability to be compassionate through increased knowledge and moral growth.


Sooo... Richard, just where did that "knowledge & moral growth" come from? Certainly not from the mind of sinful humanity!

Empathy. Just as it always has. We are always learning more about people and differences among us. When we apply empathy to someone's situation that is different than ours, it allows us to grow in our understanding of them, and our dealings with them.

We have seen this in action throughout history and continue to see it today. What used to be the woman's and black rights fights, is now people fighting for gay rights.

When we start off with a claim of any absolute truth, we are limited because we believe that something is defined as right or wrong absolutely even if there is no evidence to support that.

My whole point is that this was absolutely a race issue. The shooter has stated that, and every piece of evidence points to that, so to say otherwise is misleading.

It is very sad that people just getting together in church to pray aren't safe. It is such a pointless tragedy.

If I were there, I would have done whatever I could have to stop the shooter as I hope most people would. Why would God not do the same and stop the shooter and save lives? Is it that he couldn't, didn't want to, or works in mysterious ways?


To say there is no absolute truth is like saying there is no such thing as gravity, or oxygen, or wind, or morality or a million plus other absolutes in the universe. Try denying the sun, moon, stars, etc. The law of Cause & Effect is a vital part of truth. God is absolute, so is righteousness, evil, sin. Sin causes racism, murder, terrorism, etc. You say there are no absolute truths but then say this was absolutely a race issue. Try this absolute--he that comes to God must first believe that God is......

Absolute truth as far as morality is concerned is what I was referring to, you understood that, so talking about denying the existence of stars is irrelevant.

Cause and effect is a good start. Unfortunately when you start with saying that a book is the ultimate authority then you limit how you view the world. If it were as easy as that, then when the church ruled Europe would have been the most peaceful time on earth. The most religious countries today would be the most peaceful countries on earth, wouldn't they?

As I told you before, I'm open to any evidence. I think there are a lot of good allegories in the bible, but that doesn't make it the word of God. Looking at how most churches look like and are run more like corporations pushing a product than anything else doesn't help.

Unfortunately the views of this pastor are not unique, fox news has been spinning it as an anti-christian attack rather than an act of terrorism or hate crime on the african-american community. Video below for reference, fox news clips start at the 45 second mark.




“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
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22-06-2015, 10:21 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
[Image: OB-WV150_0325ha_J_20130325175233.jpg]
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22-06-2015, 12:02 PM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
The entire idea that their god would allow this to a group doing "Bye-bull" study is so mind-boggling to them, and they can say is "All I can do, is give this to Jay-sus".
They get they could never begin to explain it away, so they don't even try to deal with the massive cognitive dissonance.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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22-06-2015, 09:35 PM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
Despite the insistence of people that this shooting also has an anti-Christian angle, nothing I've read by or about the alleged shooter contains any hint of that. Anyone seen anything, or is this just whiny religionists stamping their feet because someone has outshone their pretend victim status?

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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23-06-2015, 12:03 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
(22-06-2015 09:35 PM)claywise Wrote:  Despite the insistence of people that this shooting also has an anti-Christian angle, nothing I've read by or about the alleged shooter contains any hint of that. Anyone seen anything, or is this just whiny religionists stamping their feet because someone has outshone their pretend victim status?

I haven't seen anything so I'm only speculating, but if a gun were held to my head and forced to choose, I'm guessing this young man identifies as Christian.

But hey, no true scotsman right?
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23-06-2015, 04:57 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
Quote:To say there is no absolute truth is like saying there is no such thing as gravity, or oxygen, or wind, or morality or a million plus other absolutes in the universe. Try denying the sun, moon, stars, etc. The law of Cause & Effect is a vital part of truth. God is absolute, so is righteousness, evil, sin. Sin causes racism, murder, terrorism, etc. You say there are no absolute truths but then say this was absolutely a race issue. Try this absolute--he that comes to God must first believe that God is......

Really? I used to be this blind so I know what it's like to be on that side. I think you spear-headed this directly. The analogies here are meaningless. It's like saying 2iwjfwj wjjwejfjwslajsd.

An absolute moral law never refers to what humans actually do, like what they say or what they think. Instead it refers to what they ought to do. But such a law, even if it exists, it irrelevant and unknowable. Moral law is only relevant to the extent human beings are affected by it; some abstract law that doesn't affect the physical world just doesn't affect anything in it, like human thought.

Therefore moral law must be anchored in the moral nature of human beings. It doesn't matter whether this moral nature is due to some transcendent cause or was created by natural causes, such as your genetics and upbringing. (Or both, which is the position more respected theists take - seeing the natural causes as being due to a supernatural cause.)

"Lawgiver" is therefore a very bad word. The important part is not that god gave the law, even if he did, since what matters is not the law itself but rather its relation to human thought. The only meaningful sense of god making a moral law is that he made our moral nature. For example, He might have put in us a moral sense that works to identify what he deems right, or perhaps intervenes by whispering in our mind's ear (that, too, would then be part of human nature - it would be part of human nature in practice to frequently hear God's voice, and in constitution to identify it with goodness).

But what makes this mental faculty morally right, instead of morally wrong? Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a god who created us was malicious, and implanted in us a flawed sense of morality, one that says that right is wrong (perhaps we are the devil's handiwork). In what sense would we be wrong? Not in any human sense. "True" morality might as well talk about "Wright" and "Rong" as far as we are concerned, it has no relation to human morality in this scenario. Hence, there can be no absolute morality. Even god cannot provide anything except morality by decree. But saying that something is moral does not make it so, and making creatures with that sense of morality doesn't make it any more moral either. Morality is inherently relative - it is dictated by what someone considers right. Even an all powerful and perfectly wise god cannot be morally correct in some absolute sense; He can only be right in respect to His own thinking, which offers no real moral superiority to others' views except under His own morality.

The moral counter-argument then proceeds as such; if god is powerful and benevolent, however, then He would not create us to have a flawed sense of morality. If he tried to create us perfectly but failed, then he is not powerful. But if he created us as he wished but we do not have a perfect moral sense than he is not benevolent. For it was within his power to create creatures that will commit no evil, and instead he wrought great evil into the world.

Invoking free-will here is irrelevant. The precise detail of our moral sense does not change our free-will. Our freedom to follow what we think remains the same regardless of what our minds tell us is true. The problem is not with lacking freedom to choose evil, it is with lacking ability to know evil.

At the least, we have selfish desires, a capacity to self-delude and rationalize ourselves, and so on - all leading to great injustices. What is worse, in light of God's morality as revealed in the scriptures we have very a very bad basic moral sense too. Any man that looks deep within himself and sheds the philosophically vacuous idea that God defines morality will be appalled by what God does and commands in the Bible or any other scripture; so that at least for any large religion, one can only conclude that if god has indeed implanted us with a moral sense that is contrary to his own. But such a god is evil.

It is so much easier, invoking Occam's Razor, to conclude that no god exists and as you said, our moral nature has evolved over the years the more we learn about each other, pain, suffering and happiness / pleasure. Most likely, we are born with certain hard-wired moral tendencies (heavily favoring the in-group, most especially our own kin) and these tendencies are gradually supplemented, refined and extended to other groups through development of social institutions and new types of moral reasoning. But just because we are hard-wired doesn’t mean one can claim god-done-it.

**Crickets** -- God
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23-06-2015, 05:22 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
Here are the last couple of exchanges:

I think we can all agree that there is no concrete proof that Christianity or any other religion is the correct on, or everybody in the world would be that religion. Obviously theists can say that it requires faith, etc and that is why God doesn't leave proof of his existence, and that is fine.

So, my question to you Tony Scott, or anybody else who can answer is:

Religion does various things for some people, comfort, teaches personal responsibility, etc. But I cannot think of one good thing on earth that people can get from religion that they cant get elsewhere. On the contrary, however, there are many examples of hat harm can be done because of religion, that only would be done because of religion.


What I understand is what you wrote, and I quote-"when we start off w/ any absolute truth"- any means any, period. Then you dismiss the validity of the rest of my statements. Careful what you write- you may have to back it up. There are thousands of proofs of God outside the bible. Dismissing them does not invalidate them. Still waiting on your response to Heb. 11:6.

I have no problem backing up what I say.

"When we start off with a claim of any absolute truth, we are limited because we believe that something is defined as right or wrong absolutely even if there is no evidence to support that. "

You took the first part of the quote and answered that, when that was not my point.

Yet you somehow failed to answer the questions that I brought up that are relevant.

If God is all loving and powerful, omnipotent, and omniscient, why did he do nothing to stop the shooter? People say school shootings happen because they took God out of schools, did they also take God out of Church? Why are more secular nations the most peaceful?

As a Humanist, I have seen the positive impact of people's action on others lives. This includes actions that you have taken to help others. These actions I believe are because you desire to help people, not because a God has done it.

If there is evidence, then point me in the right direction. I have studied many of the top Christian apologetics, as well as secular scholars, I have read the bible, prayed, and given my time and money to the church. I have believed, but when it came to evidence, all I was left with was cases of confirmation bias. So if you have evidence that not only there is a God, but the Christianity is the correct religion I will be more than happy to take the time to study it.

My issue with your post is that you essentially turned a tragedy into a sales pitch while slamming people who don't agree with your religion as the cause.

We could get into a very long conversation about the authenticity of the bible, history of scripture and Jesus, as well as forgeries and interpolations but this is not the time or place.

I do welcome that conversation if you would like to have it sometime either as a debate or just in person.

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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23-06-2015, 06:06 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
(22-06-2015 08:08 AM)Worom Wrote:  Unfortunately the views of this pastor are not unique, fox news has been spinning it as an anti-christian attack rather than an act of terrorism or hate crime on the african-american community. Video below for reference, fox news clips start at the 45 second mark.

It fits two of their favorite narratives:
  • Racism is only a problem because of libruls (i.e. playing the race card).
  • Christians are under attack! Beat the war drums and push back!
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23-06-2015, 06:52 AM
RE: Pastor trying to capitalize on the Charleston shooting
Quote:God is absolute, so is righteousness, evil, sin.

Complete utter bullshit. Their god changed all the time. Sometimes it was pissed, sometimes not. Like a moody hormonal climacteric female. The idea of what was sinful changed also. Radically. Repeating crap does not make crap true.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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