Was banned for asking...
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17-09-2011, 06:10 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...
(17-09-2011 02:18 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  This itself is in contradiction to one very basic Bible truth that is taught throughout the different Ages: God is One God, and there is no other...HEAR HIM.

This is nonsense. There are many, many gods in history that were all here long before that doomsday cult called Christianity. God is one god? Which 'god' is the one god? Amun Rah? Allah? Shiva? Zeus? Jupiter? Oden? Apollo? Kuan-yin? Venus? Mitras? Istar? Neptune? Minerva? Sete? Rama? Quetzalcoatl? Si-Wang-Mu? Tezcatlipoca? Isis?


Quote:Who did Ceasar worship?

Who do communists worship.

My point stands.

Caesar died long before Christianity came about. So what?

Communism is totalitarian by nature, so that means the leaders of communist countries want to be considered gods. I don't know what point you are trying to make?



Quote:Again, context is key.

Scripture very much shows women in places of leadership. Just not certain roles that women covet.

Context is the key? Then why is jesus a man, and not a women? Shows you that women are treated differently than men according to the bible and Christianity. I won't get into the fact that women in the bible are treated like livestock, where they can be bought and sold. I also doubt you'd want a black man, or an arab as your savior.

Quote:I think a bigger issue is leadership in the Church. These roles are given to men, as it is here given to man to be head of the household.

You have a problem with this?

So women are not equal in terms of a man? That sounds sexist to me. I know women that I admire and respect just as equally as a man.
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17-09-2011, 08:33 PM (This post was last modified: 17-09-2011 09:05 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
(17-09-2011 10:45 AM)defacto7 Wrote:  A couple of thoughts came to mind over night. I am concerned for theo as I would be for any person. I have the ability as an atheist to make distinctions in my life. I can separate my atheism from other aspects of my life. My non-theist part though important is just a part of me. To a theist their belief is everything. It's the alpha and omega, the totality of their mind, heart soul. They are taught to integrate every thought and action with their perceived creator. As for me, when I have a discussion, it's an exercise of ideas and emotion the application of which is my own decision and in my own time. I don't usually mean it as a personal attack though it may be meant to attack their idea and may be a ruthless attack at times. In the end it's just a learn/teach process for me; it's not my universe. The problem lies in that when I take a position on a subject it is automatically an attack on the theist's totality. They have no choice but to defend themselves from spiritual death. They may be soft and apologetic about it pretending they are not under attack but just by the definition of their foundation, it becomes a battle for survival, for mental stability. That makes the learning curve more of a mountain climb for both sides.

Thankyou for sharing this. It has helped my understanding, Mark





(17-09-2011 01:09 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  
(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  HI ST, THANKS FOR REPLYING. PLEASE DON"T INTERPRET MY "CAPS LOCKED" AS ME "SHOUTING" AT YOU. I STILL DON"T KNOW HOW TO QUOTE YOU>

You should learn, Mark. If you wish to actually engage in debate, it is only considerate that you do so in a manner that does not create more work for your "antagonist." Though, this is actually a tactic used by those who have limited abilities in debate...

Nevertheless, as I have once before (if I am not mistaken) given instructions for quoting, I will do so again, because it is important to me to talk with you...that is why I am here. That it is easier to do this will help, but, the choice is yours.


Quoting: When you hit the reply button, you will be directed to what I affectionately call the quoting box. You have two options: 1-you can copy and paste these...(quote='Mark Fulton' pid='44554' dateline='1315378159') and (/quote) around the part of the post you wish to seclude, or, 2-just highlight what you want to respond to and then hit the "quote option" given in the tools at the top of the quoting box.

If you have any questions about this, just ask someone that knows how to do this. Once you learn, you will be glad you did.


(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  As I have said many times, I wish to look at "the basis of belief" in the various belief systems, and that includes the belief system of the atheist. "ATHEISM" DOESN'T HAVE A "BELIEF SYSTEM!".

Quote:They believe there is no God...right? They base that upon the "lack of evidence, as well as the "evidence" that seems to deny God's existence, like evolution and "bad things happening."

That is a belief system, whether one wants to "believe" it or not.

(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  First, for the atheist to discredit Christianity, they should have a firm grasp upon the basis of Christianity, which is scripture. I AGREE. So far I have not seen anyone come forward that has been able to show that they have even the slightest inkling as to what scripture teaches, YOU ARE NOT OPEN MINDED ENOUGH TO READ WHAT MANY OF US HAVE SAID.

This is a false charge. Look, if you just want to make statements rather than actually discuss these issues, thats okay. Could just lump them all together in a short statement, though, like you did in the other post?

I have addressed each point...point by point. There is a close association to that which is stated to the response itself.

I have not only read what was said, I responded directly.


(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I HAVE QUOTED SCRIPTURE SCORES OF TIMES IN MY POSTS. I HAVE BEEN STUDYING THE DAMN THING FOR SIX YEARS. TO SUGGEST WE DON"T HAVE THE "SLIGHTEST INKLING" IS VERY DISMISSIVE OF YOU. JUST BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE ON THIS FORUM DON"T AGREE WITH YOUR ALLEGED SUPERIOR UNDERSTANDING OF SCRIPTURE DOES NOT MEAN YOUR OPINION OF IT IS MORE "RIGHT" OR KNOWLEDGEABLE. OK? therefore I have not actually seen a good defense for the belief system of atheism. SEE ABOVE

Wow...six whole years. And that study has led you to curse it?

I do not suggest you do not have the slightest inkling as to what scripture actually teaches...you do.

And as far as my opinion, I will state that it is my opinion when necessary, because my opinion does not change the meaning of scripture. Scripture is not a magic book that can be viewed this way by one and that way by another...it states truths that are either embraced or rejected.

The atheist rejects it, while the religious conform it to their use. It is the born again believer that actually is brought to understand what it teaches.

(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Neither have I seen a good defense for hatred of Christians. I DEFINATELY DON"T "HATE CHRISTIANS", NOR DO ANY OF THE ATHEISTS ON THIS FORUM.


That is a hollow claim. Would you care to have examples? I hope not...the resources are unlimited, and much time could be spent on that. But, here is an example:
Hi. Don't worry. You're cool. Never underestimate
-how narrow-minded
-how petty
-how stupid
people can be. Particularly Christians. Christianity attracts and fosters these sort of people. People like yourself who genuinely care about truth and others will be rejected by nearly all Christians. Ignorance, pettiness and superstition reign supreme in Christian circles.
[/quote]

What is love, Mark? What is hate? My personal OPINION is that the absence of love is...a form of hate. All question is removed, however, when we see comments such as this.





(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  All I have witnessed is very much the same thing that disapooints me in Christian forums, and that is both an ignorance of what scripture teaches, NO ST, NOT IGNORANCE, JUST A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION TO YOURS, OK?

No, it is not...okay.

Scripture is not limited to man's opinion...not mine, not yours. We have to exegete to find out what is there, rather than seeing as we wish to.


(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  as well as a failure to apply even the most basic principles which God's word teaches to man.THAT COULD MEAN ANYTHING, SO MEANS NOTHING

Let me be more specific: you speak about how "petty, narrowminded, and stupid (which is quite different than being ignorant) people can be...particularly Christians."

Lets examine that statement. Does scripture teach people to be these things? What is the conclusion, then? If you run across petty, narrowminded, stupic "christians," are they this way because of scriptural teaching?

That is one point I have tried repeatedly to get across here.


Continued...


(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Very disappointing, really, and not just from a Christian perspective, but from a human perspective as well.

It seems to be forgotten at times that both groups wish to convince the world that their way is one of superiority, but those on the sidelines can look at both (inept defenders) and say, "I want nothing to do with that group." I'M SURE THIS GENERALISATION IS SOMETIMES TRUE.

I think it true more often than we would want to admit.


(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Admittedly I am far more offended by the actions of those who name the name of Christ when they behave in such a manner, and I can say I have done so myself. But, they at least, should know better. OK...GOOD.

My point is this: before saying this is what scripture teaches...find out what scripture teaches. SO YOU KEEP SAYING AGAIN AND AGAIN. SO DOES NEARLY EVERY OTHER PREACHER. SO HAS EVERY OTHER PREACHER FOR THE LAST 500 YEARS. WE HAVE ALL READ THE BLOODY BIBLE AND THOUSANDS OF INTERPRETATIONS OF WHAT VARIOUS VERSES MEAN AND DON"T MEAN AND WE"RE SERIOUSLY UNIMPRESSED.

Is it considered that you are not impressed because you don't want to be? Isn't this an indication that it makes no difference if scripture is true, or that there might be someone out there that can know what scripture teaches...it wouldn't matter?

So now I ask this: if you really don't care, really do have "a belief system," why are you compelled to respond to my posts?

I would not respond to someone that taught that aliens are real and that they believe in the existence of fairies living in the woods, so, why not ignore me?

Because you feel you have the truth, and it is important to you to justify your beliefs, though it a belief system that runs under the guise of "no-belief."


(04-09-2011 01:16 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Re "Christ spent most of His time with, and among the people...not the religious."
Sorry S.T. , I'm not sure what point you are trying to make, and you are wrong. Jesus associated with his fellow Jews, who were intensely religious. Their religion gave them an identity and a purpose. His closest companions and his family ( mother, 4 brothers and 2 sisters ), were Nazarenes, members of a fundamentalist Jewish sect. The crowds in the Galilean countryside were mainly non sectarian, but had all been indoctrinated with Judaism. To suggest they were not "religious" proves you have a poor understanding of the life and times of Jesus.


Again, revisit scripture. I DON"T NEED TO. I KNOW WHAT "SCRIPTURE" SAYS. I HAVE AN INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GOSPELS. HERE IS WHAT I THINK YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HEAD AROUND. SCRIPTURE IS OFTEN "WRONG" IN THE SENSE IT IS NOT A DEPICTION OF TRUTH. GET IT?

You know what scripture says. Okay...what does it say?

I will examine a few of your beliefs as to what scripture says in this post, but, please tell me what scripture says, and why you reject it.

Show me where scripture is often wrong. Do so without the help of the atheist instruction you have received. Do so as one who has actually read it for himself. Pick a passage that you yourself have issues with, rather than the ones supplied by this site.

(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  While I agree that the Hebrew culture is "intensely religious," intense religion has to be defined in light of scripture and the events within it's pages. NO IT DOESN"T. IT HAS TO BE READ IN ITS CORRECT HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THAT IS WHAT 99% OF PEOPLE ON THIS FORUM KNOW. WE ARE INTELLIGENT AND INTUITIVE AND ARE SEEKERS OF REAL TRUTH, SO WE REFUSE TO BE TOLD THAT TRUTH IS DEFINED BY SCRIPTURE.

Yes...it does. Judaism is a God-given religion.

Read in its "correct historical context, Judaism has been abrogated by the revelation of the New Covenant. Do 99% of the people on this forum knopw that? Do even 5% even know what I am talking about? Do you? Would you care to tell me what the New Covenant is without running to google so you can sound as if you have an understanding based upon bible study? Not trying to sound harsh, but I challenge you to tell the truth as to your knowledge about the New Covenant. You can lie, if you are ignorant of the New Covenant, and I will not know, nor will anyone reading this discussion.

But...you cannot lie to yourself, and that alone will speak to your own heart. You will be forced to admit at least to yourself that there is more information needed to make claims such as the one above.

Of course, if you do know something about the New Covenant...all the better.

Continued...



(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Jesus was blasted by the religious leaders for the very reason that He associated with publicans and sinners. His interaction with those who were appointed as "spiritual leaders" can lead only to the conclusion that the tradition of men is frowned upon by God, and man's application of His word is not open to private interpretation, which was the case of these leaders. PROPAGANDA WRITTEN BY ANONYMOUS EVANGELICAL GOSPEL AUTHORS TRYING TO CONVINCE SUPERSTITIOS SIMPLE PEOPLE TO JOIN A CULT.

So those who respond to the gospel are not only petty, narrowminded, stupid, but, they are also superstitious and simple.

It is not propaganda...this is seen very easily in scripture. How one can deny this is amazing.

(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Here is a point in this statement that can clearly be seen to be in error:

"His closest companions and his family ( mother, 4 brothers and 2 sisters ), were Nazarenes, members of a fundamentalist Jewish sect."

Prove this by scripture. I COULD ACTUALLY, BUT IT WOULD TAKE MANY PAGES.

But you don't mind spending much time on what you want to get across, right? Direct answers to direct questions can be cherry-picked.

It would not take "many pages" to show in scripture the Lord's association with His family. And what scripture has to say will be found to contradict your "assessment."



(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I can save you the time...this is a statemnent of error, showing the lack of familiarity with the events. NO S.T., I HAVE SPENT MANY YEARS STUDYING THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES, SO I FEEL QUITE FAMILIAR WITH THE ALLEGED EVENTS. YOU, HOWEVER, BY YOUR OWN ADMISSION HAVE ONLY STUDIED THE BIBLE, WHICH YOU HAVE DECIDED TO CALL "GOD'S WORD."

You have spent "many years" studying the works of man, because what you find in the bible leads you to conclusions you do not want to agree with.

Had you spent "many years" actually studying scripture, you would not have made a statement like, "His closest companions and his family ( mother, 4 brothers and 2 sisters ), were Nazarenes, members of a fundamentalist Jewish sect."



(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  His closest companions were fishermen WRONG, a tax collector ABSOLUTELY WRONG, and a zealot CORRECT...

Jesus closest companions were the twelve disciples. He had many disciples, but, they could not be considered close companions.


Here is an example of Jesus' assessment of men:

John 2:24-25
King James Version (KJV)


24But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.


[/quote]a tax collector ABSOLUTELY WRONG,[/quote]


Matthew 9:9-10:3
King James Version (KJV)


9And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.



Matthew 10


3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;




(07-09-2011 12:49 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  which some believe Simon to have been a member of the sikaari (have not looked at this a while so my spelling may be off), Sicarriwhich was basically a terrorist group in the habit of assasinating Roman soldiers.WRONG

Says who? Understand, this is something I do not say is a biblical truth, it is something suggested by an historian. So, believe whatever historian you like...it does not change what is actually recorded in scripture.

Continued...

[/quote]

Check if this works

No it doesn't. I've been trying to work out this bloody quoting thinf for an hour, I give up will try again later.
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18-09-2011, 12:11 AM
RE: Was banned for asking...
This is a message for ST and anyone else who is interested.

Hi ST, I have read your reply to me and digested it. I then went for a long ride on my motorbike while I thought about how to reply to you.

I will specifically answer your points down the track, but first you and I need to discuss some fundamentally important things.

I assume you value truth? Only truth can provide a good foundation for belief, right? If faith in something is not based on truth, it has little value, right? For example in the 1980's the "Pritikin diet" was all the rage, but it turned out to be wrong....it doesn't prevent heart disease or cancer, and in fact can make you fat. So despite people's good intentions, the Pritikin diet was detrimental because it turned out to be based on incorrect facts.

Some Islamic terrorists might believe they're going straight to heaven...so they die and kill others in the process, which is a tragedy. They have failed to rationally examine the basis of their belief.

If we are not open-minded enough to always search for the truth we nearly always pay the price.

So truth, reality and facts have to be at the core of any philosophy for it to be genuinely valuable, ok? Those things are only discovered by a rational examination of the way things are or were.

Here, I hope, is your "light bulb" moment. You actually know fuck all about Jesus, Paul, the Jews and the history of Christianity, ie the facts at the very basis of your belief system. It is very apparent from your writing you know almost nothing of the religious or social or political context in which Christianity was born. You are not alone...most Christians are as equally ignorant.

You have made a false assumption; that all truth is to be found in scripture, that it is "God's word", and therefore you need know no more. This is an assumption that is always promoted by churches, yet it has seriously and undeniably prevented you discovering truth. In my opinion that is not good for your long term mental health, or the mental health of those you influence.

How do I know you know nothing of the real history? Well, you've written a lot, but all your ideas are sourced from your interpretations of the bible. I told you about the Nazarenes, and I bet you haven't looked them up. These were the very people Jesus lead. I told you about a wonderful historian, Hugh Schonfield, and you haven't looked him up either. I could go on. In fact I would guess you've never picked up a book on Jewish or Christian history in your life. I'm happy to be corrected, but you demonstrate no knowledge of non biblical history.

You have not considered who wrote or compiled the Bible. You have never questioned who the real historical characters Jesus and Paul were. You have not wondered whether it contains truth. You have swallowed the whole story just like an obedient sheep.

I am not trying to offend or belittle you...I am just pointing out to you what is so very obvious, I think, to the majority of intelligent atheists on this forum who have read your words.

You, at the moment, are like a child who has learnt how to add and subtract, and is very good at that, yet thinks he understands calculus and trigonometry and thinks he knows how to design a bridge or fly a rocket to the moon. You just don't know how much you don't know. I feel embarrassed for you when I read your words, but I respect you enough to tell you that straight.

Have you noticed something about most people on this forum? Firstly, nearly all are very intelligent. Secondly, they're all telling you the same thing...that you need to expand your horizons and look outside your limited worldview to discover truth. Yet you're just not doing it. Do you think they tell you that because they're "atheists" or because they get pleasure out of it? No! They care about you, to a degree, and they also want to raise the standard of the discussion beyond just interpretation of scripture.

If having your say about scripture is that important to you, why not go to Sunday school or start a bible study group? Or a church of your own? Its been done thousands of times before. If that is your sole agenda you won't get satisfaction on an atheist forum like this...we know too much and we're too intelligent.

As soon as you "get" that, and resist the natural reaction to get offended by my words, well, you can actually start to learn by being here, and I'm sure, with your knowledge of scripture, you can contribute something worthwhile. You haven't, in my opinion, done that to date, although you are polite and good natured.

Ok....I've finished. I'm going to have another go to try to figure out how to quote people. I must be fucking stupid.
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18-09-2011, 06:58 AM
RE: Was banned for asking...
(18-09-2011 12:11 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ok....I've finished. I'm going to have another go to try to figure out how to quote people. I must be ****ing stupid.

Hello Mark, only have about five minutes here, but I did want to address this: I will retrieve some more explicit quoting instructions from another forum for you, but in the meantime, here is an easy way to do it, simply hit reply, and delete everything from the quoting box you don't want to respond to at the moment.

The tips I gave yesterday are a better way, I think, but this way will work as well. For example, with the time I have this morning, I will give some help on quoting, then make a few comments as to the post you have responded to. Hit reply to the response, then highlight the second part and delete it. Respond to this, then hit reply again, and delete the second half.

I hope you don't think I am being condescending, I am not. I had a time with learning this myself, so I am happy to help you get the hang of it. It has nothing to do with your intelligernce (i.e. your statement above), it is just a matter of knowing what needs to be done.


Here is the second half: out of time actually, so I will have to come back to this, but I do want to submit that what is in view is what we consider to be a reliable source for basing truth on.

The historian you presented yesterday is unreliable, and I am confident I can show you through sccripture why the Nazarene doctrine is in error.

And that is the heart of the matter.

Gotta go, and if I don't get back today, have a good one.

S.T.
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18-09-2011, 06:19 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...
(18-09-2011 06:58 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  
(18-09-2011 12:11 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Ok....I've finished. I'm going to have another go to try to figure out how to quote people. I must be ****ing stupid.

Hello Mark, only have about five minutes here, but I did want to address this: I will retrieve some more explicit quoting instructions from another forum for you, but in the meantime, here is an easy way to do it, simply hit reply, and delete everything from the quoting box you don't want to respond to at the moment.

The tips I gave yesterday are a better way, I think, but this way will work as well. For example, with the time I have this morning, I will give some help on quoting, then make a few comments as to the post you have responded to. Hit reply to the response, then highlight the second part and delete it. Respond to this, then hit reply again, and delete the second half.

I hope you don't think I am being condescending, I am not. I had a time with learning this myself, so I am happy to help you get the hang of it. It has nothing to do with your intelligernce (i.e. your statement above), it is just a matter of knowing what needs to be done.


Here is the second half: out of time actually, so I will have to come back to this, but I do want to submit that what is in view is what we consider to be a reliable source for basing truth on.

The historian you presented yesterday is unreliable, and I am confident I can show you through sccripture why the Nazarene doctrine is in error.

And that is the heart of the matter.

Gotta go, and if I don't get back today, have a good one.

S.T.

Hi ST, I only have a few minutes too. Thanks for help with quoting.

My friend, my heart sank when I read "and I am confident I can show you through sccripture why the Nazarene doctrine is in error." Obviously you just don't get what I am trying to tell you. I spent a fair bit of time carefully explaining to you how you need to look beyond scripture if you are ever going to move beyond a very very basic understanding of anything religious, and this is how you reply! They've (churches) obviously thoroughly suppressed your inherint intellect that you were born with. (I'm not implying you are stupid, just thoroughly brainwashed).

Here's what I propose. I will happily discuss scripture with you with an open mind.
On one condition. You promise to do some reading about real history. I'll give you some references. We'll then each see the world from the other's eyes.

ps you cannot write off an historian like Hugh Schonfield. He had a 60 year career devoted to studying early Christianity, wrote multiple books and papers and was highly respected. His book "The Passover Plot" sold over 6 million copies. You don't have to agree with everything he writes, but to just brush him off as "unreliable" is only a reflection of your own ignorance.
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19-09-2011, 05:13 AM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2011 06:00 AM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
(18-09-2011 06:19 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Hi ST, I only have a few minutes too. Thanks for help with quoting.

My friend, my heart sank when I read "and I am confident I can show you through sccripture why the Nazarene doctrine is in error." Obviously you just don't get what I am trying to tell you. I spent a fair bit of time carefully explaining to you how you need to look beyond scripture if you are ever going to move beyond a very very basic understanding of anything religious, and this is how you reply! They've (churches) obviously thoroughly suppressed your inherint intellect that you were born with. (I'm not implying you are stupid, just thoroughly brainwashed).

Here's what I propose. I will happily discuss scripture with you with an open mind.
On one condition. You promise to do some reading about real history. I'll give you some references. We'll then each see the world from the other's eyes.

ps you cannot write off an historian like Hugh Schonfield. He had a 60 year career devoted to studying early Christianity, wrote multiple books and papers and was highly respected. His book "The Passover Plot" sold over 6 million copies. You don't have to agree with everything he writes, but to just brush him off as "unreliable" is only a reflection of your own ignorance.

Hello Mark. You can bring anything you like to the table of disussion. I would just like to say that the assumption is that I do not include any historical aspect in my approach to interpretation, but the fact is, this is a significant part of interpretation.

Understanding the ancient culture, languages, and even mindset is important. But, what I will reiterate is this: though we can look at the works of men who have devoted their lives to researching history, I myself will not put their works on a par with that of the written record of scripture.

As I said, the example given is unreliable, because it contradicts what scripture itself says.


Luke 4

16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.


22And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

23And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

24And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.



28And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

29And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.



Now, lets look at Mr. Schonfield's statement, and see if we can see some similarities between the historical Nazarenes and the theological view he is trying to set forth (by the way, you did recognize this man as a theologian, right?).


"β€œIt is to the Nazarene records that we ought chiefly to look for our knowledge of Jesus, and we must regard Nazarenism as the true Christianity.


As the Nazarenes throughout the period of personal recollection and down to the third generation, that is to say at least seventy five years after the death of Jesus, denied his deity and his virgin birth, we must recognize that these are alien doctrines subsequently introduced by a partly paganized Church, as Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century more or less admits. The Church which received them had no other course open than to belittle the Nazarenes and denounce them as heretics. The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.” (Hugh Schonfield)


"The historian here has no difficulty in detecting the real heretics.” (Hugh Schonfield)


Mr. Schonfield, through stating his conclusion that Nazarene doctrine is correct (which he would if he were one who denied the Deity of Christ) dismisses himself from being a reliable source.

Not me.

But do you see the similarity in the written historical record of Jesus' "close companions," those He grew up with? What do they have in common with all those who heard His message? Listen...to a man, everyone rejected Him.

How can I say that? Show me one person that understood that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, understood that He would die and then be resurrected, and...abided in Him. I can save you some time: not one truly understood and believed.

Those in Nazareth believed Christ to be the biological son of Joseph, whereas scripture teaches that He was not.

So, yes, I dismiss Mr. Schonfield as a reliable source, because he teaches doctrine that is scripturally incorrect, and this can, as I have said, be shown through scripture.

So we go back to the heart of the matter...the basis for your belief. You believe that Mr. Schonfield is more reliable that scripture, which to me is amazing. Imagine, if the Lord tarries, historicians digging through the written records of our times, trying to muddle through, for instance, American politics.

Have you read Josephus' works? Where do you place them in regards to reliability?

Concerning his book sales, how do they compare with "The DaVinci Code?" Do the sales mean that they are reliable? Is not scripture still the number one reproduced book of all time?



Note-this section could be quoted and responded to as a whole.

___________________________________________________


Quote:Obviously you just don't get what I am trying to tell you. I spent a fair bit of time carefully explaining to you how you need to look beyond scripture if you are ever going to move beyond a very very basic understanding of anything religious, and this is how you reply!

Mark, in the above, what I have done is separate this from the text by copy and paste, highlighted it, and hit the fourth symbol from the right, which looks like the captions they use to use in comics (still use, I guess). What might be throwing you is this: I don't know about how this system reacts for you, but for me it is very slow, so be sure to wait for the function to complete. You won't have the antagonist's name in the quote, but it will separate it so that it will be easier to see who is talking.

Concerning this, I reiterate that my primary point is that scripture alone is my basis for truth. It is assumed that I do not and have not looked at historical works by extrabiblical sources. I have. Some I can ponder, some I reject outright if the content can be shown by my basis of measure (the bible)...to be inaccurate.

If you understood how interpretation works, you would see that this is a critical aspect for understanding context. Take the Lord's statement to Nicodemus, for example: "You must be born of water and spirit."

Now the modern mind is going to immediately think of a woman's water breaking, but if we look at the theological understanding Nicodemus would have had in his own day, we understand this to have it's basis, not in the water of physical birth, but in the cleansing that water purification would have meant to him from the scripture available to him and according to his understanding of those scriptures.


Quote:They've (churches) obviously thoroughly suppressed your inherint intellect that you were born with. (I'm not implying you are stupid, just thoroughly brainwashed).

Well, I can understand that. However, in my defense, I will just say I have never claimed to be very smart...lol. Drug and alcohol abuse has done quite a number on me, so, I simply rely on the Lord to help me when discussing things concerning Him.

As far as being brainwashed, I will rival anyone here for skepticism and paranoia. I do not rely on what any man has to say, at least, not until it is measured against scripture. You may laugh at that, but if we continue in our dialogue, you will have to admit that some of the arguments you present will be seen to be based upon what you charge me with...just words of men, intent on swaying the hearer toward a particular belief.


Quote:Here's what I propose. I will happily discuss scripture with you with an open mind.
On one condition. You promise to do some reading about real history. I'll give you some references. We'll then each see the world from the other's eyes.

As I have said, you are free to bring what you like to the table, but I will not get into too intense of a discussion about historians. Neither do I offer up "Church Fathers" as reliable sources...they were men as well. You would think tha we could trust those who supposedly were men of God (and I think many of them were), but it is their doctrine that has to be examined first, and held accountable by the rule of measure that does not change...God's word.

As far as seeing the world through your eyes, do not assume that I have forgotten the world view I once held. I remember, and my beliefs were very similar to your own.

As I have said many times, it is not me that has to "prove anything," I have not claimed to be the one with all the answers. I merely suggest that your view of scripture is based on a limited study of scripture itself. Not trying to insult you, it is just an honest assessment. Your introduction of Mr. Schonfield's statement reinforces that opinion, and I challenge you to do the opposite of what you challenge me to do: look at the scripture without the aids that have formed the theology you hold to now.

I asked for your opinion of the New Covenant...and it is my belief that this is a critical doctrine to have a firm grasp on when considering what scripture teaches about salvation. I asked that you be honest, and tell me if you have an opinion or knowledge of the New Covenant, and I have as of yet had no response.

Look, if we are to have honest discussion, even at the level of a shared humanity, we have to be honest with not only each other, but ourselves. You charge me with this, and I ask: are you not obligated to do likewise? Is it only I, because you have "found the truth," that must be honest?

Okay, have to go, and I wanted to at least get to a few other member's replies, but I will conclude with this: it may be a good idea, at least until you get quoting down, to stick with a particular theme and work it through. For example, Mr. Schonfield's statement denies the Deity of Christ. We could look at that, and examine the truth about the condition of belief that not only the those of Nazareth were in, but this extends to His true "close companions," the twelve disciples. Judas was not alone in his betrayal of Jesus Christ, for there were none that truly understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Have a busy week this week, so my responses may be here and there, so it might be a good idea to limit responses to a single category, but, this is merely a request.

S.T.




(17-09-2011 06:10 PM)Monk Wrote:  
(17-09-2011 02:18 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  This itself is in contradiction to one very basic Bible truth that is taught throughout the different Ages: God is One God, and there is no other...HEAR HIM.

This is nonsense. There are many, many gods in history that were all here long before that doomsday cult called Christianity. God is one god? Which 'god' is the one god? Amun Rah? Allah? Shiva? Zeus? Jupiter? Oden? Apollo? Kuan-yin? Venus? Mitras? Istar? Neptune? Minerva? Sete? Rama? Quetzalcoatl? Si-Wang-Mu? Tezcatlipoca? Isis?

Several of the gods you name here are mentioned in scripture...and said to be false gods. The One True God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

In the beginning, man had knowledge of God, and even as it is today, man seeks to reject this knowledge. To create for himself a god that pleases him, rather than pleasing the God of the Bible with obedience to that which He has said.

Is it any wonder that throughout the world's religions we can see the deification of a mother/son relationship? Where does that come from? It comes from the knowledge man had, which was exchanged for a more palatable understanding.




(17-09-2011 06:10 PM)Monk Wrote:  
Quote:Who did Ceasar worship?

Who do communists worship.

My point stands.

Caesar died long before Christianity came about. So what?

Communism is totalitarian by nature, so that means the leaders of communist countries want to be considered gods. I don't know what point you are trying to make?

You state the point yourself, though you do not realize it: those who reject God place themselves in the place of god of their world. All truth is decided by them. Right and wrong is determined by them.

They actually worship themselves. This is an age-old problem for man.


(17-09-2011 06:10 PM)Monk Wrote:  
Quote:Again, context is key.

Scripture very much shows women in places of leadership. Just not certain roles that women covet.

Context is the key? Then why is jesus a man, and not a women? Shows you that women are treated differently than men according to the bible and Christianity. I won't get into the fact that women in the bible are treated like livestock, where they can be bought and sold. I also doubt you'd want a black man, or an arab as your savior.

Great question. But you ascribe the actions of all in scripture as condoned or advocated by God? Not all women in scripture are treated like livestock. Read Ruth, for instance.

We may not agree with the way other cultures behave, but we should not make the mistake that God caused them to behave in such a manner.

Take the way which muslim women are treated, and how this is so different from the modern American attitude. So much could be devoted to that conversation, but I will say this: do you think that no American treats his wife such? Makes her wear modest apparel, because he does not want her dressing in a way that would draw too much attention?

Are you unfamiliar with spousal abuse in our country?

Want to tell me how our countries statistics line up with countries with "antiquated and religious" approaches?

But, lets get to what we should be discussing, Monk: two things, really, 1-what does scripture teach concerning Christian women? My guess is that you really have no clue. 2-I entered this conversation with an apology for how you were received by a "christian" forum...what happened to that? Has your reception been one of grace, or has it paralelled that which you received. How would you rate my reception contrasted with that of yours?

Nevertheless...concerning women, scripture teaches that there is neither male nor female...in Christ. As a Christian man, my wife is deserving of honor to the best of my ability, but listen, I will not leave her to providew for me, to run our household while I sit back and take it all in. I believe it is my duty to provide for her, to protect her, and to be a spiritual leader in her walk with the Lord. I try to do that in a number of ways, first by trying to make my relationship with the Lord as good as it can be, by knowing Him better both in that which He has revealed, as well as in obedience to that which He has said, "This is the way, walk ye in it." But also, I try to treat her with the love which Christ has bestowed upon me, placing her value far above mine. Even to the point of death. If it were necessary for me to die, that she might live, my hope is that there would be no hesitation on my part, for I place her worth far beyond my own.

Concerning leadership in the Church, scripture does not allow for female pastors, so I do not attend a fellowship which feels it has this liberty. It's not an issue for me, they do not need to give an account to me.


(17-09-2011 06:10 PM)Monk Wrote:  
Quote:I think a bigger issue is leadership in the Church. These roles are given to men, as it is here given to man to be head of the household.

You have a problem with this?

So women are not equal in terms of a man? That sounds sexist to me. I know women that I admire and respect just as equally as a man.


So do I. You assume that I elevate man above women...I do not. Man and woman are two parts of a whole, Monk. When they enter into marriage, they become one. This is the scriptural view I hold. It is normal for men to need a wife, and vice versa. Those who remain unmarried do so for any number of reasons, but I think you will agree with God, "that it is not good for man to be alone."

Maybe you wouldn't, I don't know. That is not the point. The point is, there are established roles for men and women given in scripture, and if you want to know what the Christian view is, I would suggest asking a Christian. I will be happy to answer your questions. You think I am sexist through assumption, but you do not know the value I lace upon women in the Church: they are the backbone of the Church. They, because of how God has made them, do things that men seldom want "to be bothered with." I have been in churches where it was the women who held things together.

This is a modern trend in modern Christendom, if you ask me. It has a parallel in the secular world concerning fatherhood. Many are the single mothers out there, raising children on their own...because the man will not perform that which is his duty. He is willing to be sure to father a child, but unwilling to be a father to the child.

A home that lacks either parent is going to suffer. The child(ren) will suffer, and how they behave in life may end up in a repeat of that from which they came.

So, please do not assume to place my beliefs into a pattern that you see as a general rule for Christianity, as it is based upon knowledge that is either in error or assumption as to that which scripture teaches concerning roles of the man and the woman.

If you care to know my views, I am happy to share them, but, at least give me the opportunity to share them before you condemn me.

S.T.
(06-09-2011 07:13 PM)Boylini Wrote:  Monk, can I ask what forum it was? There's a question I've always wanted to ask someone who takes the Bible literally but I don't know anyone who does haha.

What is the question, Boylini?


(11-09-2011 11:41 PM)Monk Wrote:  
(10-09-2011 10:45 PM)Crucify This! Wrote:  I think you went out of your way looking for trouble. Though I know you had good intentions, you simply won't change someones opinion who they themselves didn't arrive at the opinion through diligent research. ( might have heard this here) The best way to prove to the religious that it's all fictional is to ask them to read the bible.

Christians treat the bible like a software user agreement, They don't read it, and click "I Accept"

To the first statement, I ask: How much "diligent research" has been put into studying the bible? Has the time been years, months, hours? Or has it been the efforts of others that is relied upon to form the conclusions held?

To the second statement...I agree! Those that have not a clear understanding, yet only parrot what they have heard, rather than "diligent research," have contributed to the rise of the popularity of atheism. It has been said, "The single greatest cause of atheism in the world is...Christians," which I would have to agree.

It might surprise some to learn that not all that calls itself "Christian," is Christian. But will the diligent research be forthcoming for those in opposition of Christianity?

I seriously doubt it. Because, we all want to believe that what we believe...is right.

Right?


[/quote]

In addition to reading the bible, perhaps they should also research where their god originated/was invented. That'll take the shine off their halo!


[/quote]

If the pagan religions of history are thought to be the basis for the God of the Bible, this is actually the reverse: pagan religion is the corrupted knowledge of God which man has had since the beginning.


(12-09-2011 03:57 AM)Monk Wrote:  Mark, you're making a BIG mistake! You're taking all of those out of context!

Glad you agree, Monk.

By the way, this is an example of what it means to place things in there proper context.

By deleting the clear reference to sarcasm, I have just made you sound as though you understand and agree that things must be in their proper context.

This is what man does to scripture, that he might make it sound as he would want it to, rather than keeping it in context.

S.T.
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19-09-2011, 06:50 AM
One more...
(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  S.T. Ranger

You're attempting to justify a bunch of obvious flaws in dogma by using the tiresome 'context' argument.

The only flaws I have seen so far have been in your interpretation. You take the accounts given to mean that these are somehow directions given to man by God, rather than, in their context, specific accounts recorded of individuals at a specific time.

This would be like someone teaching that because Jesus fasted forty days and nights...that all Christians are to do so.

You say context is tiresome, but if I am not careful to place what you yourself say in its proper context, this conversation would have no meaning.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  You obliviously are missing the entire point of my original suggestion. First and foremost, The 'bible' is a collection of 'books' that were supposedly 'holy' in origin, ie: without error.

The word spoken by the Lord to man is...without error. But not every recorded statment in scripture is doctrinal truth. I will give examples as I go.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  So, with that being said, anything without error shouldn't have multiple stories that differ between gospels.


Do people always tell a story the same way? Do they mention every detail that the person before them did? Do they fail to add detail that they are aware of?

Take 9/11, for example. Listen to the account by those who saw it on the news. Then listen to the account of those who watched documentaries.

Then talk to those who were there.

You will find the stories of the same event told differently. This is true of the gospel accounts.

(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  Not logical.

It is not only logical, is is just an irrefutable fact.

(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  There's even talk of an earthquake in 1 gospel that didn't occur in the others the day Jesus rose from the dead. So that means what exactly?

Kind of like, in one account of 9/11 there is talk of a poisonous gas that came from the collapsed building.

Are you aware of that? Even today, there is debate as to whether this gas has itself caused the deaths of first responders.

(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  You cannot take the bible in a literal sense. This is not interpretation or any context nonsense.


You must take the bible in a literal sense first, then, determine if scripture is saying that this is symbolic, or if it is to be taken in a literal sense.

There will be indicators, such as, "It was like unto," or "It is like unto," for example.

Take the following passages you offer as proof of illogical demands: the shedding of the blood of beasts itself was symbolic for one event that would take place in their future, and that was the death of Christ in the place of sinful man. Read Hebrews 10...see what you can make of it in relation to your argument.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  It's not a translation error. If translation was really important to not do in the first place, the bible would've never been translated and bible supporters would have to learn to speak an ancient language.

In Christ's day, the LXX was a popular translation. Christ quoted it. The New Testament writers quoted it.

The bottom line for a "translation" is, "Does it carry the scriptural teaching properly." Read Hebrews ten on biblegateway, in the New King James, and look at the footnotes and quotations. There is a significant difference in the words themselves in the translation, but...the heart of its meaning is the same.

God's word is meant for every man and woman. It is necessary for them to be able to read it in their own language. On the Day of Pentecost, due to the many different languages there, the gift of tongues was given, that they might "hear every man in his own language."

We do have a need for language scholars, to be sure, but translations also play a part in God's word being made available to every man, that we might not be under the subjection of those who "know the original languages."

Martin Luther was asked by a priest, "Do you you know what would happen if the bible were in the hands of the common man (rough paraphrase)?"

Luther responded, "Yes. There would be more Christians." (to the horror of the priest, I am sure)

(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  If the bible was truly holy, it wouldn't have different accounts of what happened to Jesus, etc.

So what is different? Why would we not take into consideration that the accounts come from four different writers, and that, like an account of 9/11 would have differences, so would theirs?

What differences are there that change primary doctrine concerning the Son of God?

And what He came to do?


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  I will not mention how there are other books missing from the bible either.

Probably a good idea. Lets keep it simple and stick to the 66 books that are traditionally held as inspired.



(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  I am a person of logic, and math. If I took the bible literally, I'd be doing this

12am: Deuteronomy wants me to go stone someone for being raped..... So I have to get an angry christian mob to help me


So this passage tells you that you should kill? Contrary to Christ's doctrine that you are not to hate, but to love your enemy?

The context deals with Judaism. Are you a Jew that has rejected Messiah? If so...you are indeed to follow the law.

But because you have not an understanding of Christ's death, you are going to make statements like this.

Look, the law has been made obsolete, because that which the law was only a shadow of has been brought forth and declared to man.

So the good news, Monk, is that whether you are a Jew or Gentile, you are not bound to fulfill the statutes and ordinances of Judaism.

You are commanded by God to repent. To believe on the only name given among man by which you can be brought into relationship with God.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  4pm: Leviticus wants me to sacrifice cows and pour the blood over my child's head. (Direct instructions from God mind you.)

I keep directing you to Hebrews 10 for a reason. The blood of bulls and goats could not perfect (make complete), and it was never intended to.

The blood of Christ does.

No longer will the sacrifice of animals, a parable, if you will, be acceptable to God. If I first gave you a matchbox car when you were a child, and told you to "drive it" to work, then, gave you a Ford F150 when you grew up, and again told you to drive it to work, and you decided to drive the matchbox car to work instead...then, I would likely shake my head at your actions.

It is the same with Israel. If they offer up the shadow when they have been given the perfect sacrifice of Christ...it is an insult based on rejection of God's will and revelation to them.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  9pm: Genesis wants me to go have intercourse with my two twin daughters and have a child with them....

Show me where God told Lot to get drunk, that he was to lose self control through drunkenness, and lay with his daughters.

In fact, show me where Lot consciously did so.

My sympathies lay more with Lot, for surely he was grieved to have lost his wife and family, with the exception of two daughters who apparently sought to take hings into their own hands.



(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  How can you expect to put nonsense like that in the bible, then accuse skeptics of taking it out of context?

Because you have...taken it out of context. Simple as that.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  What exactly is the message those passages send to people?

It will confuse those who fail to approach it with diligence. If your conception is that is is filled with contradiction, it will be easy to see contradiction, But, if you look into it a little further, you might be surprised to find that many of these objections are themselves contradictictory to that which scripture teaches.

If you are serious about understanding scripture, I would suggest looking into the "First Covenant," and the New Covenant. This will go a long way to understanding Christ and Christianity.


(07-09-2011 05:21 AM)Monk Wrote:  That incest is acceptable, and it's OK to douse your child with the blood of a cow? And it's not bad to stone a rape victim?

Show me the passage where "it's okay to douse your child with the blood of a cow."

We can take it from there.

Gotta go, there is much work to be done.

S.T.
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19-09-2011, 09:51 AM
RE: One more...
(19-09-2011 06:50 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  Show me the passage where "it's okay to douse your child with the blood of a cow."

We can take it from there.
S.T.

I think I'd pay a little more attention the stoning of a rape victim question if I were you.
------
I want to comment to all those who are trying to argue with this guy. If this is just entertainment for you, have at it. Have fun. Enjoy the verbiage and nouniage... But if you think you are actually having a conversation of any reasonable use, think again. When religionists argue against reason it is futile. They have set you up for a maelstrom of useless proportion that is ultimately the point of their argument, to twist and negate and make blanket absolutes that only make it sound as if the sentences are actually readable. Every time you try to make a reasonable point, you are adding to the elation and gratification they feel of slaying the infidel even though his words are absolutely empty and without form. The more quotes, the more words he can use, the more he can hide behind them. I'm sure he feels he's getting his heavenly scout badge... and you are feeding that delusion.

Look closely around the camouflage... this is the ultimate troll.

Enjoy the frenzy. That's all it is.

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
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19-09-2011, 02:59 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...
(17-09-2011 12:03 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  First, I would just like to say to all I apologize for not responding sooner, but work has been very busy. I will address as much sa I can with what time I have today.

Thank you for replying.

Again, the 3 quotations given in the bible are all supposed to be Jesus' last words on the cross. They're all very explicitly mentioned as the last things said before Jesus died (except Matthew, which mentioned a noise made after his quote but not another quotation). And they, all being the last thing said, are not the same quotation. That is a contradiction. Your answer given to monk does not explain why 3 different things were said, merely what he meant by each thing. Perhaps I should put this question to you in a different way: According to the bible, what was the last thing Jesus said before he died?

You disbelieve that I was a Christian, and so do many Christians. I agree that the bible says that people can't be "unborn again". My life is a contradiction to scripture. I can't prove that I was a Christian, only clarify that to be saved one needs to "believe in the lord Jesus Christ"; I did, but now I don't. I'm certainly not alone among this group - most of the ardent posters you'll find on atheist websites were once Christians, and we care about this issue more because we have an axe to grind. We don't believe that religion should be imposed upon children, because most of us in our ignorant youths simply believed what our parents told us was true.

(17-09-2011 12:03 PM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  
(06-09-2011 03:15 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  So even if we point out clear violations of logic (such as the age when Ahaziah began to reign... there's no logical way a person can start their reign at both 22 and 42)

It is thought this is a copyist error.

I would give two things to consider:

1-In what way does this make all of scripture unreliable? Is this enough to reject scripture as from God? In scripture we have several places where it is disputed as to what the proper rendering should be. Scribal insertions, for example, are thought to be how some things have ended up in the texts. A misplaced jot or tittle can have a serious impact on a word or passage, so at the heart of this "contradiction is not God making a "mistake," but man.

2-In what way does this alter doctrinal teaching of scripture?

Copyist error in the online version? You simply need to look it up your own bible. Copyist error in the bible? That would make the scripture in error. Does this make all of scripture unreliable? Yes, even if contradictions didn't exist. The encyclopedia attempts to be completely factual, but you can still find mistakes in it because it was put together by humans and humans make mistakes. This is also true of the bible. Every part of scripture that you wish to place complete trust in was written and transcribed by man, and thus subject to error.

The reason I bring up the Muslims is because they make similar claims to knowledge and make similar arguments when they defend their bible (which is, as you say, based on the old testament, but rejects Jesus as God - check out paragraph 3 of the link) but we atheists can reject both claims of Christians and Muslims on the same basis, that their religions are based on belief rather than evidence. You can't test religious claims, and even in cases where we can, they fail.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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19-09-2011, 04:25 PM (This post was last modified: 19-09-2011 07:29 PM by zaika.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
S.T.

I'm just going to address your dismissal of the historical Christians.

You're seriously dismissing the Church Fathers? Because they are men? Who do you think compiled the very scriptures that you say are the sole authorities of history and your faith? Who do you think defined what Christians do and do not believe today? Over hundreds of years, bitter fighting and debate, additions and subtractions of various books, deciding what or what not to believe were the conditions under which the Bible was compiled. All of this was what men did. Men wrote the scriptures down. Men compiled it. Men preached it. Men propagated it. If you want to get all biblical about the authority of these words...you CAN'T take men out of it because men created it! Even if I believed in god, I would still be saying these things to you. (When I believed in god...I had great respect for the Church Fathers and the foundations of my belief in the church canons...even when I thought the bible was God's word)

Check out this quick and dirty bit on the Ecumencial Councils if you have any curiosity about how Christianity became organized and unified. I'll give you a hint...it was done by men. Jesus and god were woefully absent and no further "inspired" writing occured during that time. You'd think that a god would have at least had some say in what men claimed he said.

What really blows my mind is how you can honestly put all of your faith into a book that MEN made and copied and translated and printed, and then dismiss those very men because they aren't your god. Do you have no doubts or hesitations about this? I think I kind of know your answer, but I'd really like to hear it from you.

You better, at the very least, take the Church Fathers seriously if you really want to have any credible legs to stand on here. I understand the whole sola scriptura thing and wanting to have pure faith and trust in god only...but it's really not helping you to debate historical Christianity. Let's use a metaphor! Let's say you went to a doctor after having become ill, and you found out that, in medical school, he only studied from one book, and that he made his own diagnosis based on what he felt was right. How would you react to that? Seriously. You'd hightail it out of his clinic! You'd assume the dude was a quack and illegally practicing medicine, and you'd report him to the board. Right? You couldhave buckets of faith that the doctor knows what he's doing, but chances are, HE DOESN'T.

One can be the most pious and loving Christian ever in history...but one cannot be an authority of Christian history or theology by sticking with just. one. book.

I'm assuming (sorry) that you are part of the Protestant faction of Christianity. Please be aware that there were at least 1200-odd years (give or take) of Christian history before Protestant Christianity was even a thought. Those 1200 years of Christianity were based on church canon, and *everyone* followed those canons as truth and the law of god. Every intelligent Christian understood where the bible came from (men) and what the scriptures therein were meant to say *as interpreted by men.* It wasn't until the Protestants came along that this idea of personal translation and sola scriptura became mainstream and acceptable. (If I am wrong about any of this, someone please correct me and supply references, I would like to know) Your personal interpretation of the bible is fine...for you, in your home, and your day to day life. But you have no authority to propagate this personal interpretation as fact and truth to anyone else...unless you have the knowledge and resources to back it up with. Then, you'd at least have something to argue with. Just the bible isn't going to cut it. No amount of faith makes something true...just...possibly...delusional.

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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