Was banned for asking...
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22-09-2011, 10:00 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...
lol. I've also been banned for disagreeing with theists... I was on a site that was unrelated to religion (supposedly), but people kept posting anti-Muslim threads, etc. I got annoyed after a while and responded by pointing out a particularly offensive post (suggesting Muslim majority countries in the Mid-East should be nuked) and it got heated - everyone kept ranting about how Muslims are violent, pedophiles, etc... They deleted the thread and then started another one where they all ranted about how 'wrong' I was and then asked 'where's the rebuttal?' when I hadn't posted (I refrained, didn't want to stoop to their level...) Couldn't help myself, posted a nice long rebuttal, then the site admin just said he's mad and I shouldn't post "pro-Muslim crap" there (since it's kill the Muslims or you're pro-Muslim, right?) and then deleted that thread and banned me. LOL! How's that for ridiculous?

Better without God, and happier too.
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24-09-2011, 10:53 AM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 11:42 AM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: One more...
[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']
Did you ever wonder why 9/11 happened?

Hello Monk, first, thanks for the response.

You will probably just add my response to the "pile" of "illogical reasoning" and just flat out stupidity, but, yes, I do believe that I know why 9/11 happened.

First, I would just ask you to keep in mind that I do believe that which is taught in scripture to be true, and I also base how I view events in the world from the teaching I have received from Scripture.

Not, mind you, that I try to correlate this passage with that event, necessarily, but that there is a general teaching that there is both evil and good in the world. Some of it originates from man himself, meaning, "The Devil made me do it!" mentality overlooks man's responsibility for his own actions. The truth is, when I sin (and forgive me for using a biblical concept that refers to "lawlessness")...I have to first consider that, well, I did what I did because I wanted to, not because some incontrollable source "made me."

Having said that, I view 9/11 as just one event in a long history of diabolical actions perpetrated by man, against man, under the guise of religion, freedom, brotherly love...you name the cause, and at the heart of it you will probably find man's quest for power. As a Christian, I can go beyond that and see Satan's hand in the pie. But again, man has a nature that causes him to gravitate toward actions that are selfish in nature.

In the case of the 9/11 attacks, I see an attempt by men to further a cause that few will admit to. Islam has an agenda of world domination, and few would be willing to deny that. It is called a "religion of peace," and it is true that there are those who embrace Islam that are people who wish to have peace, and to live in peace among their fellow man. But, when it comes to those who are radical in their belief, because of their conditions and their "spiritual leaders," they have as a foundation for their "religion"...hatred.

You will see the same thing in groups that offer themselves as Christians, and you mention them in this post...abortion clinic bombers, KKK, et cetera. But please do not ascribe to them true Christianity, which seeks to glorify God, not man.

Scripture teaches that we are not to reciprocate the actions of evil men, but to leave them to God. When a man bombs a clinic under the guise of "helping to save life," and in the process destroys innocent life, he has departed from that which scripture teaches, and disqualifies himself as a representative of God, Jesus Christ, and the work of God the Holy Spirit in the life of those who are born again.

When a group teaches hatred of a race, and the exaltation of their own race, they show an ignorance of scriptural teaching concerning the New Covenant that there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, but that all are in need of salvation through Christ and the death He died to bring about regeneration.

Therefore, and I know you will probably not understand my position toward Islamic terrorists, 9/11 was an example of men that use "religion" as a cover for their evil hearts. Satanically inspired, I believe, these men have but one objective, and it is not so different from the objectives of many who have gone before them: world domination. They want to be in a place where they can kill infidels. They want to tell people, "You will worship Allah, or you will die."

In many places in our world today, Monk, people will die at their hand. As I write this, the probability that a Christian is being put to death at the hand of "muslim rule" is more likely than not. I would suggest that you look into this. Look at the statistics that track the behavior of muslims in countries other than their own: the amount of violence is directly linked to the percentage of muslim population. I will try to get some of these statistics, if you are interested.

But contrast that to the activities of Christian missionaries. Find the statistics where Christians are killing muslims, because they will not renounce Allah, nor turn to Christ. I think if you look into this, you might gain a better understanding of the agenda of those responsible for 9/11.

It was thought that bringing down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon would cripple the U.S. and to be honest, can we look at recent events and be sure that they accomplished more than we would like to admit? The fear generated by their actions has had a serious toll on the Spirit of America, if you ask me. On the one side, negatively, hatred has been the result, and on the other, equally negative, perhaps a worse result, has been fear. An inclination to seek peace by "understanding," by "tolerance," by so-called "sympathy," that their actions were justified, because, even as you hint at in your understanding of why 9/11 occurred, they were first oppressed.

Actions such as these are never justified. Are we to think that the political machinations of Government, and the way they entangle themselves in foreign affairs justifies anyone to ruthlessly kill thousands of people? And to literally destroy thousands more, who have been "left behind?"

No sir. I will not. If these men had claimed to be christians I would decry their actions as those of evil men. Even as I say that abortion clinic bombers are...insane.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

Please don't say it was because they hate 'Freedom' 9/11 happened because those insane people hate the fact we're the crusaders in holy lands.

You say this, but do you understand that it is not just "freedom" such as we have here in this country, but it is "freedom" in general that they despise? Don't scoff. If the radical muslims had their way, you would be bowing to the east praising Allah.

They were, and are...insane! When someone takes a knife and slowly beheads another human being...is there justification for that?

I will give my "opinion" as to why 9/11 happened: because no-one took the threat seriously. Was this the first attempt on the World Trade Center? Do you think that if we had taken the first attempt as seriously as we did after 9/11 that it would have happened? No, I think that those planes would have been shot down well before their intended target.

But, Monk, from my world view, Islam holds a far greater threat than just terrorist activity. It holds the threat of enslavement to religion. That is the goal of Islam. They do not, as those who understand relationship with God to be something personal between God and man, believe that you have a right to choose how you respond to God. You will either submit...or die.

That cannot be denied. Look at the activity of muslims in countries where "tolerance" is thought to be the general rule. As Islam grows, so also do riots, vandalism, et cetera.

Look at the beginning of Islam. Look into its history. What is going to happen, is that the same tactics by which Islam was brought into existance are going to be employed by radicals.

But here is a thought to consider: power has always been gained by fear. Michael Crichton wrote a book called "State of Fear" that gives insight to this principal. It is employed by our own government. At its heart is, again, the goal of domination and submission.

I am glad that I have a King to Whom I am repsponsible to, which takes precedence over the goals and intrigue of human government.

Fear that terrorists will attack our country are replaced with a certainty that these things will happen, and it will be God, not terrorists, that will determine my fate. I do not fear the attacks of terrorists, as I am not going to be affected except God allows it.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

Personally, they are right.

No, personally, they are insane.

Lets not forget that.

I am amazed in murder trials when an "expert" is called in to determine the sanity of one who has brutally killed someone. Go figure. Is this really in question? Can a man hack another to death...and be sane?

Can we say, "Well, he did not receive the proper love from his parents, this is why he went mad?" He did not receive the proper discipline, maybe. He decided that his personal belief that he had the right to take that of another was his, despite the Law of God, despite the Law of our Government, despite the Law of...that which most of us recognize as acceptable behavior.

But, this is why I say we have to understand what scripture teaches, before we jump to the conclusion that because someone says, "God told me to do this," we understand from a sound understanding that God did not tell someone to commit these things. The Catholic Church is often brought up as a reason to discount what scripture teaches, yet few take the time to understand how Catholic Doctrine is in contradiction to that which the Church has been instructed.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

I mean, we have tons of military over there in their lands (and I've been there with my unit), and it offends them.

First, my thanks for your service. I have a great respect for those who have a heart for serving, whether it be military, police, or rescue. I am not foolish enough to think that all who serve do so out of what I call a true American Spirit, but, for the most part, we have the Spirit of America exemplified in those who serve out of love for God, Country, and their fellow man.

Secondly, I would ask: would we be right to stand aside when atrocities are taking place? While I do not think we should try to play "world police," there are situations when to stand aside would be wrong.

But we get into politics, and at a level where background dealings between "world powers" are seldom public knowledge. I do not agree nor condone much of that, but I expect nothing more from Human Government.

We are going to have dealings that have more to do with financial gain than with human rights, but do we negate the heart of the soldier that risks his life for the little girl who's parents were killed by their own government?

What I mean is this: do we hold the soldier, who is doing his duty, responsible for the intrigue that has caused the situation he is brought into? Is the soldier to be condemned because his superiors may have other motives? There are many who believe they fight for freedom...not for monetary gain, not for world position.

I am glad that I do not have to look for human government to be free of their own objectives.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

We support Israel not out of being allies, we support them because of a bronze age book that more or less says they are the chosen people.

Come on. You don't really believe that our government is allied to Israel because they think they are being true to a biblical exhortation, do you?

I wish that were true, but I am not so naive to think that our government is motivated by obedience to biblical teaching.

Perhaps you could give a scriptural context for this thought. Where does God say that we are to have an alliance with Israel, who at this time has been blinded by God Himself to the truth? What we are dealing with at this time is an Israel that has come under judgment by God, though I do think that theiur restoration is ever nearer at hand. We are witnessing a "partnership" that is worldly in nature, not spiritual. Many of our Politicians make a claim to "Christianity," and in the past, because America had as of yet not departed from biblical teaching in the manner in which we see it has today, this was a necessity for Politicians. But today, we have people in place that not only have no love for God, but openly despise and ridicule Him.

Fifty years ago such people would not have had a chance at being elected, but we are seeing that more and more those who are in power in our country have no need to "portray" themselves as being under God's authority.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

We let Israel almost sink a US Naval Ship, and they lied about what happened and the US Government classified the incident top secret.


What do you expect? If we condemn Israel, we condemn ourselves, and justify the actions of those who hate Israel.


If you were to openly disagree with one here and correct them for their behavior or something they say, you would be "weakening" the "unified front." It is because we sometimes overlook the faults of our allies for the sake of the unified front that we betray what we know to be right. We compromise what is right for the sake of unity.

The same can be said of our alliance with Israel. But again, this is politics, and has nothing to do with what scripture teaches concerning the Nation of Israel.

It has nothing to do with what scripture teaches concerning the enemies of Israel.

Historically, Israel is a picture of man himself, showing that despite having clear instruction as to their role in the world, they are still...disobedient.

Do not think that I am one that condones all of Israel's actions because they are God's created nation on this earth. That I believe to be true, but, I also know that at this time Israel is a Secular Nation...not a nation that represents God in action or policy.

I view them even as I view America: when America does wrong, they should be called on it. Many of America's enemies believe that America is a "Christian Nation," which is as false as Israel being at this time God's people carrying out God's will.

It is just not true. Israel, until they embrace Jesus Christ as Messiah, will continually do "that which is right in their own eyes." They have not yet learned the lesson that God is their King, and they will, as they have done so historically, yearn for a worldly king that they might follow.

I know you are probably not interested, but my study of scripture leads me to the conclusion that we are currently in an age that has placed Israel in a place of judgment, and they have had a veil placed over their eyes, that they will not embrace Christ. If you care to read a little history about God's judgment of them, Daniel 9 is a good place to start, where Seventy weeks (the weeks signifying 7 year periods) of judgment. Unknown to them was the period of time from Messiah being "cut off," and the final week, or, seven year period. Revelation describes this period as a time of great tribulation for the nation of Israel. At this time, they will be restored, but it will not be without consequence to those who refuse to embrace Messiah. But, God will deliver many in this time, thus will "all Israel be saved," for only those who survive this tribulation will be what scripture teaches, "truly OF Israel." Israel is a picture of the people God is creating for Himself, and within that picture are those who are spiritually "children of Abraham," to whom was given the promise of being the "father of a great nations," in fact, many nations.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

Again, we let them get away with murdering our own soldiers over a bullshit book.

It has nothing to do with biblical teaching, but about the fact that they have misunderstood, even as they have done so repeatedly throughout their history.

Whether this incident you speak of was a matter of friendly fire or if it was a direct action of Israel intentionally, we have to remember that we have to place both governments in their proper perspective, that of being human government rather than governments directed in their actions by God; we also have to remeber that within events like these we have our men, our troops, who have gotten caught up in the intrigue and politics of those they serve under.

I have two family members now currently serving in the military, and I can tell you they are both far displaced from the men at the top. Both are patriotic, both love God, both love America and would give their lives, even for those in America that they are in disagreement theologically and politically.

And we saw this example of the Spirit of America briefly rise above internal division in our country: was black and white, Republican or Democrat, Christian of Muslim...was temporarily set aside as love for our country was impressed upon many hearts that had at one time taken for granted how blessed we are that do have freedom to worship as we choose, to raise our children according the standard of right and wrong we believe to be the truth.

We stood together as Americans.

I was touched by the writing of a Canadian, that said (and this is a loose quote): When the countries of the world face tragedy, and catastrophe...America is the first one there. But when she herself faces such tragedy...who comes to her aid?

And he, a Canadian, expressed something that is great about the people of our country: the desire to help, to aid those who are in distress. I wish I could say that all our country does is motivated by selfless interest, but I am not so naive.

But...I will say, that is the Spirit of America, and I believe that the Bible is the root of what has historically made our nation stand apart from all others. As we decline in knowledge of God, we decline in our ability to remain that beacon of hope in the world. We deserve the people we have in power today, because we are the ones that elected them.

But, that is just my opinion Monk. Many see that we have become better in certain areas, because we have "more freedom" in certain areas. I question that.

[quote]You speak of an invisible friend in the sky, but can I remind you that the actions of these terrorists were not based upon biblical teaching.
They were not the actions of Christians who have been taught of God. They were the actions of men who live their lives based upon hatred, and and their destruction, as it will be for all who harbor hatred in their hearts, will be complete. Lock a man in a room with just his hatred, and he will consume himself.[/quote]

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']

I could go on and bring up abortion clinic bombings by Christians,

And I would say that it is doubtful that these are actually Christians. This is scoffed at as an excuse, but if a politician that claimed to be a conservative advocates abortion...would you say he is a conservative?

If a doctor kills people, would you say he is a healer (and I refer to Drs. of death)?

If a policeman abuses his power, would you say he is an upholder of the law?

Why would you believe that one who disobeys God's will and word...is a Christian?

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']
the KKK, etc,

Absolutely contradicts biblical teaching. Who would confuse this with Christianity?

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']
but you'll say "They weren't really Christians!"..

A good excuse. For you, I mean. Until you understand what it means to be a Christian, and the instruction given to Christians, you will continue to scoff at this.

Would you say that the solidier that tossed a grenade in his fellow soldiers tent...was a true American Soldier? Shall we then despise all American Soldiers of the present and the past because of the actions of this man.

But when we think of what it means to be an American Soldier we understand that there is at the heart of this man a love of country and countryman that motivates his service. Would you agree with that? I know we have circumstances that have set men in service which might be looked at, such as the draft or perhaps motivation for college funding, but in general, would you agree that the true patriot has a motivation that is above such things?

It is true of Christianity also. More true, I believe. The actions of Christians should reflect the work of God in their lives, rather than personal motivation.

[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']
Any time a Christian behaves as badly as everybody else, well, he wasn't REALLY a Christian. Circular reasoning can be quite convenient!

Not, in my opinion, circular reasoning. Just what scripture teaches. John wrote, "They went out from us (left us), because they were not OF us."

Do not presume to lecture me about what happened on 9/11...for I am a Christian American, and I will defend any American against a common enemy, no matter the name this enemy goes by.


[quote='Monk' pid='46466' dateline='1316708532']
If Israel attacked the US, would you want to declare war on the U.S., would you want to declare war on them (NOTE- I deleted this inadvertantly and put it back as I remembered it...S.T.)

On a general basis of circumstances, I would stand with my Country. I have no allegiance to secular Israel, and think it is a mistake when people think we have an obligation, based on scripture, to condone actions of men who are not the True Israel, which is a spiritual people, not a national government.

There are those found within all people groups who are part of the true Israel of God, and it is with them that I stand in spiritual matters. But concerning my country, if a people were foolish enough to invade our country and wage war against us, I would probably react even as a Civil War Preacher who was also a commander in the Army did, though this is speculation, for we do not know how we will act under such extreme conditions. This man's wife was shot in an assasination attempt on his life, and he (it is said) still refused to allow his men to fire the first shot. Instead, only when fired upon, were they then freed to defend themselves.

I wish I could remember this man's name, it is interesting, and I hate to give examples that I cannot name the source, but, I cannot recall it at this time. I remember it started with a C, and I believe his first name was James, but I am not sure.

Anyway, scripture teaches that human government is actually a force that God has placed in our lives for the purpose of human justice. It is not for those who are good, for if we are law abiding, the penalty of law holds no fear for us. It is for the purpose of dealing with evil. Those who are not law abiding have need of fear of human government.

But my first loyalty is to God. I do not think that I myself cannot suffer due to human government, nor think that they can be capable of doing what is right, but, human government has historically been used by God to judge even Israel, on a number of occasions. Because Israel was God's people, their disobedience was not overlooked, but judged.

So, my patriotic loyalties lie first with my own country, have no doubt about that. I would not, as the soldier who threw a grenade in the tent, abandon my country, though I have an advantage over this man in that the Holy Writings I embrace nor the teaching, nor the teachers (who are sound) teach actions such as this.

This man, also, was insane. That is just my opinion.

Sorry for being so longwinded, Monk.

[quote='zaika' pid='46480' dateline='1316716815']

Oh my gosh…I have had the worst time trying to do that quote thing. I stayed up until 1:00 am trying, and by then my brain had given up at saying anything worthwhile. And then after thinking that I saved my reply, came to find this morning that I didn’t. So…my apologies for the format of my reply. It is not my intention to seem like I am not answering you directly, point by point. I am just frustrated with my apparent lack of basic computer skills. Also, I will endeavor to figure out the quoting thing, I promise!
First, thanks for the response. I appreciate your honesty, and, do not worry about answering point by point, that is not necessarily important to me except for myself, as I do not like to have people think there are things I try to avoid in discussion.

Concerning quoting, and breaking up a response, it is confusing at first, but here again is a quick guide to help you in your attempt to learn this:

When you hit reply to answer a quote, you will notice the first thing listed is in brackets [ ] and will look like this:

[quote='zaika' pid='46480' dateline='1316716815')

At the bottom of what you are repling to (what I have written, for example) you will see:


Before I go further let me say that I have changed the bracket ( ] ) at the end of these two to ) in this example, so that it will not actually put them in quotations, that you might see them.

Okay, I assume you know how to highlight, but will give how to do this for those who may not: put the cursor to either the beginning or end of what you are trying to copy, hold down the left-click button, and drag the cursor over what you want to copy. This should result in the text you are trying to copy being highlighted (probably in blue). When you have affected the text thus, you can either rightclick, which will bring up a box of prompts that will include the word "copy" which when it does, you will then left click the cursor on "copy," or: you can just push simultaneously the CTRL (control) button and the letter C, and this will also "copy."

Next, as you go through what you are responding to, you simply paste [quote='zaika' pid='46480' dateline='1316716815') before what you want to seclude, and [/quote) at the end of it.

To paste: click your cursor to the point of the page where you want to paste what you have copied, and either rightclick to bring up the box of prompts, which will have the word "paste" that you will left click, or, just press together CTRL and V.

What I usually do is copy [quote='zaika' pid='46480' dateline='1316716815') first, then go through the post and paste this above the individual statements or paragraghs that I want to respond to, then I go back and paste [/quote) at the end of the statement or paragraph I want to seclude.

Another way is to simply highlight what you want to respond to and hit the "quote" button that is given at the top of the "quoting box," it is with the other prompts available when you are quoting, and on this forum, it is in the line below "Fonts" and "Text Size" (bottom line, or, second line), and is the fourth symbol from the right, and looks like a "cartoon caption" with words in it.

This will not list the person's name (that you are quoting) but is preferable to writing in someone elses' writing, which can confuse some who may be following the discussion. This does not bother me too much, I will respond to anyone in any way necessary...lol.

If you play with this, it will soon make itself understood, and I think you will be glad you took the time to familiarize yourself with the procedure.

If you have any questions, just ask me, or one of your friends here that knows how to do it. I am sure most would be happy to help.

Be back in a bit, I would like to respond to your reply, and my time is fast drawing to a close.

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24-09-2011, 02:25 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 02:28 PM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
Okay, for some reason my posts are not showing up again, so I hope these go through.

Perhaps it is the "subscription option" that is causing this.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Anyway…my full answer to you S.T. is as follows:

I seriously debated even answering, because, as I read and re-read your generous response to my post (thank you, btw)…it became clear to me that we are on opposite sides of a wall, shouting at each other, hoping to be heard through the thickness of the wall…but not quite achieving any basic, fundamental agreements.

I am glad you chose to respond, because I would have you to know that that 1) I am not here that I may be heard, but that I can understand better the reasons that people either reject Christ or walk away from Him; 2) I am not interested in coming to an "agreement" with those who are opposed to sound doctrine or those who have no understanding of interpreting or applying the teachings of scripture. 3) The value of a person is not dependant upon their current understanding, nor based upon how much one "agrees with me." I do not hold myself to be better than anyone else here, though I do consider myself to have been mercifully forgiven and brought to an understanding that puts me in a position that I can speak to people about their beliefs.

And before this offends you, it is the same reasoning behind my feeling that I can talk to alcoholics and drug addicts, because I have been there as well.

It is not necessary, if you choose not to, to discuss scripture. I am more interested in what has led you to your current beliefs, and this may involve life experience only. It might surprise you to find out that many who say they are Christian seldom discuss their beliefs based upon scriptural teaching, but also rely on life experience to make known "why they believe the way they do."

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  You responded, as you are responding to everyone on this forum, within a mental framework that your god is an outside intelligent power who cares about you and gives you wisdom from time to time if you do certain things for him.

How I gave that impression...I don't know. How God works through me is similar to how electricity works through an electrical device: if the device is faulty, the ability of the "power source" is limited (and I have been called a "dim bulb" on occasion...lol).

It is similar with God working through us. In the analogy, first, it has to be an electrical device, right? Same thing with the power of God working through people. He does not work through people as a reward for their efforts, but oftentimes will work through people despite their efforts. God has on many occasions worked through those that scripture clearly makes known do not belong to God. Balaam, conquering enemies, even the Pharisees themselves, one at least prophesying truth unbeknownst to himself.

But I will try to limit my answers and try not to overwhelm you with biblical references, if that is how you wish it. But, if you care to challenge the "belief" you once had, I would not only be glad to look at it, but encourage you to do so.

If you don't mind, I will quote you from this very post:

dateline='1316716815']Coming to the conclusion to do so took years, and a lot of courage to admit to myself that I didn’t believe god existed

First, I left partly how this looks when you surround the part you are quoting with the two "wraps" that will put what you said in quotation.

Okay, herethat you admitted to yourself that you...did not believe God existed. Believe it or not, there are many in modern Christendom who are in the same boat. "They deny in deeds God's existence," for if they truly believed, they would not do or behave the way they do, and the world would not blaspheme God...because of them.

When one is associated with Christianity and yet does not truly believe that God exists, they will look for reasons to justify their belief, even as many Christians read into scripture that which they want to believe is what God's word is teaching. Rather than bringing out of scripture what it actually says.

And this I will touch on more later.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  You place responsibility of your responses on this god because you believe that is what he telling you to do.

Sometimes, but in large part my words and actions are based upon the understanding He has given me in scripture. Within the framework of a Christian are certain aspects that, like it or not, we have to contend with.

Just because I am born again, God does not instantaneously give me every word I speak. If that were the case, He need not have led scripture to teach that I am to forego "filthy communication," which involves more than just "not cussing," but goes to the very heart of my Christianity. We have been regenerated spiritually, scripture teaches this, but we still await deliverance from unredeemed flesh. I am still subject to the needs of this earthly body, nourishment being a good example. If I take seriously this need, I will nourish it with healthy food, abstaining from foods that before I ate because my body desired them. I would eat more vegetables, which my body was designed to live on, and gain nourishment from, rather than pizza and burgers.

But also, I have to direct my responses and actions based upon that which scripture teaches, rather than what "I believe."

I am still capable of succumbing to anger, wrath, impatience, just like anyone. But as I learn to apply that which scripture teaches, I get better at bringing these things under control.

And, as I interact with those that reject Christ, I gain better understanding of why they believe the way they do.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  We respond within a mental framework that any intelligent power who cares about us and gives us wisdom comes from ourselves and our brains, and from each other. We, hopefully, accept full responsibility of our responses as a product of gleaning from a diverse and vast body of knowledge that spans history and the globe. That is…the human experience.

I agree, though, I do not limit it to our personal knowledge and experience. As infuriating as this may be to those who are not In Christ, scripture teaches that the natural man will not be able to understand the spiritual things of God, because he is natural, unregenerate, and spiritually unable to commune with God.

At the same time, scripture teaches that even of those who have been born again, there are levels of "maturity" that will directly affects one's actions and behaviors.

It also teaches that natural man can have an understanding in a capacity that is simply ritualistic in nature, basically a parroting of the actions of others, but this does not mean they have come into relationship with God.

Scripture contrasts man's wisdom with God's wisdom, separating the two.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Both frameworks have flaws and are not perfect, but that is just how it is. No one can make it perfect.

I agree, in the sense that though we understand all mysteries of God, those revealed in scripture, we still are disadvantaged in that we are still awaiting the redemption of our bodies.

We can still fail at times, yield to the desires of our hearts, rather than having a "perfect" application of the knowledge God has given us about Himself and how we are to live.

However, scripture does teach that both believers and non-believers have a "standing" before God, by which they are classified either condemned or justified. To confuse what scripture teaches about this is a mistake a great many make, in both parties. This is due to the fact that rather than approach scripture with the intent of taking from it what is there, man has the inclination to make what it is there fit their own theology. It is like the preacher that said, "I have a great message, I just need to find the right verse to put it in"

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  You read religious texts within your framework, and those of us who care, read religious texts within ours.

Not quite accurate, and let me tell you why: interpretation is a "science" itself. There are methods that have to be applied when trying to interpret things, whether they be holy writings or evidence left at a crime scene. In my work, I interpret evidence to discern not only what is the problem, but also how that problem came about.

I have been chided for my reliance upon the books of the bible in contrast to books about the bible, but I stand to that. We do have a need to include historical, cultural, and geographical elements in our attempts to understand scripture, and when we depart from this we will see variance in understanding. Does this mean we are at the mercy of deciding which historian we should believe? Not really, much of that is fairly common in understanding among scholars.

So, in answer to this, I try to read religious texts within their own framework, which can include contextual, historical, and literary analysis. It is a scientific approach when it is done correctly, rather than what we often see in many Churches, which is, "Well, to me, this means..."

What it means to me can have application insofar as how I apply what I believe scripture teaches, but my understanding does not change what is actually there, nor what it means.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  We understand differently, and we will not persuade each other unless that framework can be shifted. This is a very difficult thing to do unless the other person is willing. You’re not willing, and neither are we.

You speak collectively. I am not surprised, but can I say that when we discuss things, it is not a we/ them discussion, it is a you/me discussion. I would not like for anyone to think that others speak for me, nor that I speak for others: I speak from that which I know concerning what has been spoken to me.

Are you saying that all of the things that have been spoken to me since I have been here represent your beliefs? Have you been in agreement with and applauded all those who have thus far responded to me?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  When I balked at your dismissal of the church fathers as having any authority in church history and all that jazz,

I think you are misunderstanding my views concerning Church Fathers. Okay, take for example our country: would you agree with everything our "Founding Fathers" did?

Why would I be held to loyalty to those who were men like as myself? There are Church Fathers I respect, some I reject, but the bottom line is the same principle as if we used men like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson as examples of what we believe today, and how we view life.

Jefferson is an example that crosses both areas, as he is considered by many a Christian. While I would not presume to judge this man's spiritual condition, I will at the drop of a hat say I disagree with this man's theology. He denied the Deity of Christ, and had to actually remove verses from scripture to bolster his theology.

I would not follow this man, nor will I follow the lives of any Church Father, until first I have tested their theology according to the standard measure used by any theologian...God's word.

I hope that makes a little more clear my feelings towards Church Fathers. Each one has to be tested according to sound doctrine, before they are declared...Church Fathers.

Paul, Peter, Jude...these are who I would classify as true Church Fathers, and those who I look to as authoritative sources of instruction.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  it was from within this framework that there is no god or gods controlling the universe, giving out wisdom to select people who apparently deserve it.

Again, God's direction is not a matter of reward. There are those who live far more Godly than others that deal with adverse living conditions. It is because God is viewed as some sort of genie that this type of belief is considered.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Only that history and historians and anthropolgists and centuries of research can really give us an idea of what happened at certain times in history.

So why is an historical account dismissed...because it happens to be in holy writings?

Why would those who have lived (in some cases) thousands of years after the actual characters involved be a more reliable source?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  I balked from within the framework that, historically, factually, the church fathers *did* organize and unify christianity by defining what it was the scriptures meant and how christians were to regard Jesus.

You would be in error to come to this conclusion, in my view. Paul, for an example, was given the task of establishing the Church, among many. When you look at the beliefs of these "church fathers," you are going to find beliefs that range from personal opinion and interpretation, to beliefs that are clearly traditions of men. The Catholic Church is the best example of that.

Ever heard of Montanism? Is it an early example of Pentecostal and Charismatic belief. Research those beliefs and find out how much of it corresponds to sound doctrine, and how much of it corresponds to pagan practice.

Someone gave an historians theologically biased conclusion about what is supposed to be sound doctrine, but if we go to the scriptures themselves, rather than what man says about scripture, we are going to have to conclude that this historian...is in error.

It is true that some called "church fathers did organize "early churches," but that does not mean that they were the only ones following Christ. The organization of the "church" by Catholicism was not embraced by all. Even then you had those who disagreed with their doctrine.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  It happened that way. You can’t change that. Ever. In your own head you can, but to the rest of the world who care about history…you can’t.

What cannot be changed is what the word of God is. An example of trying to do this can be seen in cults, even by men such as Jefferson, who, because their theology could not be reconciled to what God's word contains and teaches, had to remove part of scripture. What also happens is to add to scripture what is not there. The Jews did it themselves. As did Mormons, Jehovah's witnesses...there is a long list that could be supplied here.

But, if you go to those who approach scripture with the intent to exegete, rather than eisegete, you are going to be surprised at the general consensus concerning major doctrine in scripture. Most will not test their "faith" by approaching this in such a scientific manner, but would rather cling to their own beliefs because, well...that is just how they want to believe.

But interpretation, when you approach it in the way necessary to understand it scientifically, which is the only way that many who cling to science in preference to the thought that there is a God, you will begin to dispel and dismiss many of the arguments presented to discredit scripture itself.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  In my mind, the bible writers were men.

Not just in your mind, it is a fact, they were...men.

However, the distinction between those used to pen inspired scripture and those who follow the teaching of that word is that they were chosen of God for this specific purpose.

Those who have not been chosen are fairly easy to tell, for one thing, anyone claiming to have "further revelation" after the last known penned book, Revelation, are found to be liars according to scripture itself. This is why I dismiss spurious books that can be seen to disagree with what has already been revealed.

The claim of the Jehovah's Witnesses that we need men to interpret scripture for us is false, especially when that interpretation is found to contradict scriptural teachings that can be seen from Genesis to Revelation.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Flesh and blood. Brain and muscle.

But lets not forget one aspect of man...his spiritual nature.

Do you deny that man has a spiritual nature? Is it all electro-chemical responses, or midi-chlorians, or whatever else the spiritual nature of man may be called? How is it that when we view the animal kingdom that we can see patterns of behavior that really do not differ greatly among a particular species, but man stands alone in his nature?

Spiritual separation, in my understanding of scripture, began in Eden. That does not negate that most of mankind recognize, admit, and worship some god or the other. Why is that? It is my belief that God has written on every heart this knowledge.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Actual physical men that you and I could touch and talk to if we were lucky enough to get to go back in time.

Agreed. Men that God used despite their faults. In their own experience and understanding.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  You can say all you want that a god inspired their writings and that the rest of humanity is flawed and not reliable,

Even they themselves were flawed and unreliable. Peter, though he walked with Christ, was born again at Pentecost, and received a vision concerning Gentile inclusion...played the hypocrite.

Not until the redemption of our bodies will we be completely free from sin's consequences, not to mention cultural conditioning such as was the case with Peter.

I know...pie in the sky and all that...lol.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  but if I am unable to accept that gods exist…how is what you say meaningful to me or any other atheist?

I don't expect it to be. Whatever I might be able to talk you into, someone can come right behind me and...talk you out of it.

But, if God speaks to your heart, and you respond to that, it is a different matter.

Do you think that all who believe in Christ and place their faith in Him do so because they are idiots, in need of "a crutch to lean on?"

I do not consider all atheists to be idiots, and can understand that they are sometimes justified in their hatred for Christians, because sometimes Christians themselves act in a manner that is opposed to biblical teaching and exhortation.

But, listen: I don't come here just for you alone. I also come here because I love to discuss, to debate, to try "to give an answer to every man of the hope that is within me...with fear and trembling.

That is the hard part. Anyone can say why they believe this or that, but not everyone can do so in a manner that reflects God's work in their lives, but usually displays a lack of God working in their hearts.

I can interact with atheists, and do so on a daily basis. I run into "practising atheists" in Churches. Just because they attend a church, or say they are Christians, does not mean that they are born again believers who have yielded their lives to God.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  It just isn’t…and probably vice versa.

You would be assuming that I have no motive other than to "hear" the sound of my own voice. Or in this case, read my own "printed" words.

Would it be so strange that someone might actually be concerned for the welfare of others? And that compliance with my belief is not the stipulation for that concern?

God has made it clear that love for those around us, whether they be friend or enemy, is not optional.

The problem we have, all of us, is we predetermine who our enemies are before knowing them for who they are.

How sad that is.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  The bottom line of my reply is that I can’t respond to most of your questions and responses because it will do no good in perpetuating any understanding on either side because of the disparity of our understanding of and approach to the human experience in this world.

Okay. That is fine. But if you are ever interested in challenging the "belief" that you once had, and the understanding of scripture you once had...let me know. Until you address this, though, you will never know if the understanding you once had represents scriptural doctrine, or, if it was merely something you perceived it to be.

It is not really a disparity of our understanding of and our approach to human experience, but our understanding and approach to scripture. How can one dismiss Christianity if they are not 100% certain that it was Christianity they have abandoned.

More likely, it was religion that was abandoned, and there is a difference.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  You have appealed to my heart, hoping that my heart will recognize that this god is a real being and that I will respond to it.

Perhaps. But I have made clear that I recognize I cannot change a heart. I am not interested in leading people to a better understanding of scripture apart from the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, as this is basically forbidden by God.

That is why I do not inundate this forum with scripture, and spend much of my time trying to reconcile the arguments and contradictions that this forum holds as "evidence" that there is no god.

That will not affect the heart. Only God can do that.

Which is why most of the conversation has really been about "human experience."

And specifically...that of those here.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  I appreciate the concern, I really do, but it misguided and ineffectual.

Perhaps, but, I need only do that I am commanded to do. I do not give the increase.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  If you want to go there, I will go there with you and share with you that in the thirty years I spent as a christian like you, my heart was never as open or honest or as full of love as it is today.

How can you say you were a "Christian like me?"

You do not even know me, nor do you know the doctrine I embrace. You compare your human experience with mine, yet, you do not know my experience.

You say that you have a superior love to that which you had as a christian. By what standard do you measure that love, or your honesty? Would you admit that it a scale of your own making? Or is it based upon what another person has said is true love?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  I thought it was, but that was because I never knew anything else.

Am I to guess that perhaps as a child you were "forced to go to church." That you looked at those who were supposed to be Christians and thought...baloney?

That as you grew up and began deciding for yourself what you would believe, you decided that what you knew about God and Christianity was false, because you did not, according to your own words, truly believe in God's existence?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  You can say that I wasn’t doing it right, but I challenge you to go back in time and hang with the christian me and then say that.

You have challenged me to this as though it were an impossible task. I assure you, that person is still there with you, and I can surely talk to that person. But what I will address first is this: the basis of your belief then. I doubt that you have the courage to stir up that person, because this I know about human experience and nature: there is not one of us that likes to be seen as...wrong.

Even me, I admit it. But I ask, can you share with me the basis of your belief then, and tell me it was founded upon a sound understanding and obedience to God's word? Or will it be a religion that was founded upon what someone else told you what was to be believed?

Even in my short time here, it is clear that even with atheists there is a great dependance upon what others believe.

I hope this doesn't sound offensive, it is not meant to be, but, I gladly respond to your challenge. Show me that person, if you will. You preface this challenge with saying things that amount to, "You are really not worth wasting my time with."

But I assure you, the feeling is not mutual. I do not see understanding anyone as a waste of time, but a necessity as we all plod along in life.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Obviously you can’t, but I assure you…I’ve done everything I could to love my god.

How could rejection of a god be "doing everything you can to love him/it?"

How does that equate to actually having been born again, which scripture teaches that God will keep those who are in fact born again? It sounds good, but it does not compute.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but only to assure you that I spent many years doing what you suggested in order to hear my god’s voice and to do his will. Earnestly.

Well, it is true that some will spend years in a church without actually gaining an understanding. Would you mind if I asked what denomination you were a member of? Sound doctrine is not preached in every "church."

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Leaving the church, and turning my back on my lifelong and ardent belief in god was, and is, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do, and I still struggle with it. It breaks my heart and brings me to tears. I risk alienating myself from friends and family who I love dearly.

Why? Why is there a struggle at all, if you have been "redeemed from religion?"

Has your family, those you fear alienation from, treated you with hatred because of your decision? Has there been no patience or understanding on their part?

You have said you now have a superior love since you "left the church," is it not your responsibility to "save" those in your family that still remain "locked in ignorance and superstition?" Because, if you are right, that is all they have.

You see, it is not I that seeks to "play upon your heart," but there is a conflict going on in you that only you can address.

Can you look at that conflict and say with certainty that this is not the conviction of the Holy Spirit? I would not dare to say either way. But this is very personal, and something that you yourself need to come to grips with.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Coming to the conclusion to do so took years, and a lot of courage to admit to myself that I didn’t believe god existed

Because of fear that you would be alienated from your family, perhaps? That is reasonable. But would you think back and agree that your disbelief in God's existance was something that was always there? And that in itself is clearly pointed out in scripture as indicative that one is not a Christian?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  and that I was responsible for how my life was playing out…not this god.

But who was this god? Was he the God of the Bible? Are you sure about that?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  I realized that I was living a lie and that everything I did to live honestly and truthfully was leading me away from the church and god.

Do you see the confession that true belief was not a part of your life? You admit that you were living a lie, how can that then be said to be what scripture teaches is true in the life of a believer. A little ironic, isn't it? "A believer that doesn't believe?"

Belief in scripture is tied to obedience, and I am not speaking about obedience to the ten commandments or statutes and ordinances found within the Levitical Economy. As James questioned "faith" that did not evidence itself in good works, works that evidenced belief in a scriptural context, even so all Christians are called to make certain their calling and election, to determine if they are in fact...in the faith.

This is why the argument that certain men who call themselves christians and commit atrocities is an amazing argument to me: how can anyone that understands what God does in the lives of His children look at these men and honestly, and with a straight face...call them Christians?

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  So…continue to preach the gospel here if you really want to, but realize that you are in an atheist forum.

As of yet, my "preaching" has been very limited. You have no idea how longwinded I can be concerning biblical doctrine...lol.

But I do not want to give people the impression that I am trying to "cram religion down their throat." On the contrary, it is for this very reason I think many who call themselves atheists...are atheists.

I am, though, greatly interested in speaking to those who "know the bible better than Christians."

This boast was like a magnet to one such as myself, who loves dearly to discuss Bible Doctrine. So far, few have even mentioned scripture in specificity, but have given general statements and presented what looks to me like the beliefs of others, not beliefs based upon diligent "research" of their own.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  We’ve heard it all before, we know all about Jesus and the bible…

I would be curious as to your understanding of Jesus and the bible. Like I said, that is one reason I am here.

But if you do not share that understanding, what am I supposed to respond to?

Listen, you might share a Jesus or a bible that can under simple examination of scripture be seen not to be the Jesus of the bible. There are many who do not understand the harmony of the plan of salvation found from Genesis to Revelation.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  there is nothing new or amazing about it that will make us suddenly think we need salvation or forgiveness from a deity.

Perhaps. That is between you and God. Not you, God, and an intercessor or mediator.

I am not under the delusion that talking to me will change the position someone has. It does not happen often even in "Christian circles." W all like to believe as we want to. The quesion is, when you go to the source of Christianity, which is the Bible (and that cannot be disputed), how will your beliefs match up with the teaching that is actually there?

That applies first to me, by the way. As I said, salvation is personal, between me and the Lord.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  If anything, we will save and forgive ourselves.

You might not like to hear this, but man has declared himself his own savior since the beginning. Even as scripture has declared God the Savior...from the beginning.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  I wish that less people would engage with you by trying to shift into and arguing within your framework because it accomplishes nothing but circular and nonproductive arguments.

Well, you state an opinion here based upon your own "framework" of belief. Does that mean that no discussion I have had had has been productive? Is your statment truth? Or is it just your opinion?

While I agree that some has been circular, and perhaps our differing views concerning what is productive or not will vary, I can say that these dicussions are very productive for me. Does your opinion change that? Sorry, but it does not. Every time I discuss r debate with others, I am challenged to look at my own beliefs. There are some very good arguments and "evidences produced as a basis of belief by some here, but at the same time, there are some very poor examples given as a basis of belief. This is not just true here, but even on Christian forums, when something is presented as sound doctrine, it has to be examined.

What is usually the result of challenging one's beliefs is an emotional repsonse that does not even try to give a reasonable basis. It breaks down to name calling and dismissal.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  To me, it’s a waste of your time and energy, and of ours.

Again, you need not worry. For me it is an endeavor as I study not only God's word, but human nature itself.

I'll be okay.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  It only serves to make concrete what we already suspect of each other…that the other person is gravely mistaken in their assertions.

Perhaps, but should you care to share your understanding of that which you have rejected, I will be glad to look at it with you.

You say you have rejected the God of the bible while at the same time admitting you never actually believed in Him, which disqualifies you from a true relationship with God in itself.

I can get a passport, buy a suitcase and tickets, but until I actually go to another country, I cannot boast of having been to that country.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  That’s really the gist of what my initial reply to you was. I’m sorry that I can’t take more hours to recreate it because I wanted to address each point you made so you didn’t feel that I was dismissing you.

No worries, I appreciate this one. If you feel you "did better" on the lat one, I would just remind you, this is just conversation, not competition. Believe it or not, I am not actually trying to "earn badges"...lol.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  In a way I’m glad that I lost my initial response as it gave me time to really look at what’s going on here and address that.

So you feel you have an overview of the big picture? Good. How you respond in the future will reveal that in more clarity.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  So. Thanks for your time and I really won’t wish you luck at your mission here because it’s getting tired to see everywhere here (not to mention seeing and hearing *everywhere* we turn out in the world),

I guess this means that "there are too many Christians cramming the bible down people's throats here." You might notice that I am not in the habit of trying to respond to every post here. I have addressed a few issues and have for the most part stayed within those threads. If one would rather not be "subjected" to me, that is easy enough to accomplish...just ignore me. It is, really, as simple as that.

But, I think that some will be motivated to respond to me, and why they do is anyone's guess. It could be a number of things. 1) testing their own mettle, 2) due to hatred and the desire to put me in my place, 3) conviction...?

But, no one is forced to speak to me.

(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  but I will wish you well in your life and happiness. I won’t be hurt if you choose to not respond. Smile

No fear there...I am a windbag, lol.

Okay, this is kind of long, sorry. Out of all of this, the thing that stands out to me most is your challenge to "hang out with the 'old you'." Hate to say it, but I don't really think you made that as a serious challenge. That person is still there, ready for examination by you first, and then...measured against sound doctrine. If you are interested to show how you had a firm grasp on that which scripture teaches, and having a sound knowledge, not to mention a valid new birth, I would be more than happy to talk...to that person.

Just checking to see if the "subscription" is keeping my posts from showing up.
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24-09-2011, 05:14 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...
S.T. Sorry it took me so long to respond, but here we go.

“I think it a mistake to try to put everything into a narrow happening of events, though, if there were a cataclysmic upheavel, there would surely be similarities that could be traced acoss the world. But would we not expect there to be discrepancies as well? Meaning, the events surrounding the upheavel and the "settling" process, or receding, would not have been identical in all locations?”

Discrepancies would surely abound, except a global flood that was the product of torrential downpours that lasted for 40 days and nights would cause a global flood that would produce similar global trends across the globe. We do in fact see numerous points in Earth’s history where apparent sea level ( I say apparent sea level because a change in water depth can be the result of an increase in sea level or a decrease in terrestrial elevation; the last part is related to isostasy) has increased and decreased. It is not a single event of flooding and recession of water but multiple times when sea level was increased and decreased and then increased again, and so on and so forth. For these events a global record does exist. And at other points in Earth’s history we see localized events where sea level increased or decreased. These localized events are likely do to regional effects, continental collisions creating basins or rifting causing a drop in elevation.

“The first question I would ask is this: wouldn't this make sense if prior to the flood these former had been for some time deposited, then, the latter?

Also, are the terrestial found in areas where scientists believe oceans and seas to have been?”

I am not sure I understand the first part, but the second question is easier. These terrestrial fossils are not in areas (in general) where an ocean would have been. In most cases they appear to have lived, died and been buried on land. In other cases they are near paleo-oceans. The inner-Createcous seaway was a large shallow ocean that covered most of North America. In these waters we get numerous types of marine reptiles and dinosaurs. The creation of this seaway via tectonic processes would have introduced large amounts of sediments that would have covered up any terrestrial deposits underneath them.

“Another question that comes to mind is how much exploration of fossil records have been done in the beds of existing oceans today? I have heard it said that this is "the last great frontier" today. I would be curious to know if there has been much exploration in the depths of the sea. I imagine the costs would be huge, but, man is an inquisitive creature, so could you tell me what has been done in this area?”

In the deepest portions we are still striving to find living things, drilling into these sediments to get fossils is likely impossible given our current technology. But we do have fossils from several drill cores in the oceans. Oil companies employ a lot of paleontologists (mainly micropaleontologists) to determine what rock layers the drill is currently in. From these cores we have quite a few good fossils. We also have a lot of spores and lipids (plant and bacterial lipids) in these as well.

“This wouldn't seem to be reasonable, to me. When the tsunami struck a few years back, it was not a matter of "the faster" did better than the slower: destruction fell in short order on all.

Now, in the aftermath, the probability that "rearrangement" took place would seem a given. Some larger animals placed differently due to current, weight, obstructions, et cetera.”

But a global rearrangement due to these factors that completely sorted them? In your first question you ask if we would not expect some random variation. Would we not also expect to get some of the same smaller marine invertebrates that are only associated with lower (older) layers in with the upper (younger) layers in this scenario? And vice versa for some of the upper layer fossils in lower units? I mean there are still plenty of small marine invertebrates in the upper layers that are never found in the older lower units.

“This is what really piqued my curiosity: I have not heard of these before. When were they discovered? It is amazing to picture in one's mind a creature such as this. Imagine walking through a jungle and having one of these come at you, rather than the insects we have today! “
They are really quite fascinating. Imagine a dragonfly that is capable of picking up and carrying of a small dog!

“Can you give me an idea as to the habits of modern dragonflies, and how they behave in heavy rain?”
A good point. Rain would be detrimental to the structural integrity of their wings, but we have other flying organisms that would not have been so unfortunate. There are flying reptiles from the Mesozoic who would have been capable of flying in the rain and finding higher ground.
“Is it possible that they "ducked for cover," and were thus destroyed? But, I would think that perhaps some may have escaped, though I would think that their natural habitat, and the conditions of that area (for I would speculate that there were varying degrees of calamity from region to region, similar to floods we witness today: narrower passages with greater current than wider passages where the water flow and force is much less) may have been a determining factor. If these dragonflies were found in a particular area, I would think that would have shared a similar fate, for the most part.

Which leads me to ask a question: how widespread are the areas where these are found? Are they found in one place, or many?”

These large dragonflies are found in the Midwest US and in France.

“Sugestive, isn't it? At least it is to me. Is it par for the course for a species to perish in such a secluded manner, or is there fossil evidence that suggests vast periods of time between the fossils?

What do the dating measures used show concerning this aspect?”

When I say a single time interval, I am talking about a period of time that may stretch tens of millions of years or a few million years. The dating measures we use to correlate time within units is often confined to particular lithologies and minerals. During the Permian, for instance, we have numerous ash layers (ash from volcanoes) that we can retrieve U-Th-Pb ages from. There are several of these layers in my field area and they provide age constraints on the units above and below them. For instance, if I have an ash layer below my unit of interest and the Zircon yields ages of 295 million years and I have another ash layer above my unit of interest that is 285 million years old, then I know that my sedimentary unit is between 295-285 million years old.

“I would need you to explain this a little more before I could offer an opinion. So far I am under the impression that there is a layer that contained marine fossils, then above that a layer that contains both marine and terrestial fossils. Which layer is it that does not contain the bunnies and humans, and which is it that you would expect to see them, if there was a flood?

I would guess it is the upper layer, right?

And I am also guessing you are saying that there is no fossil record within this layer of creatures that exist today, is that right?”

The lower units are the layers that do not contain any of the organisms from the upper layers. The lowermost Phanerozoic unit is the Cambrian. It is the oldest of the Phanerozoic units and within it, we have 0 terrestrial fossils and 0 vertebrates. If we were to recede flood waters globally, we should expect some of the carcasses (or at least some of their bones) to be washed out into these lower layers, or we would have expected at least some portion of these unfortunate animals to be either A) trapped and caught in the lower elevations or B) some of the ones who died prior to the flood should have been buried along with the lower unit organisms.

“But do we not also have footprints above, as well? Why would the existence of footprints below what some believe to be the layer from the flood preclude that there would footprints below?

I don't see that the existence of both denies one or the other? But perhaps you could expand on that.”
Footprints imply land. I need a surface to create the footprint. We have tetrapod footprints in the Paleozoic, reptile footprints in the Mesozoic, and mammal footprints in the Cenozoic. Paleozoic = lowermost layers, Mesozoic = the middle layers and Cenozoic = the upper layers. Why would we see a segregation of footprints throughout the fossil record if all of the animals where heading towards higher ground at the same time? Especially if it is not a function of speed.
I will concede that there are fossilized seeds, but this does not explain why plants are also segregated in the fossil record. Perhaps that is the biggest discrepancy. Why are plants in the lower older sections different from those in the upper? In the lower sections we get Sigilaria and Lepidodendron but they die out (go extinct) well before the Cenozoic. And flowering plants do not first appear in the fossil record until the Cretaceous. Not a single seed, leaf, or flower from a flowering plant prior to that.

“Isn't that speculation? Can science say for certain that the water of the sea and the water from below the earth (the fountains of the deep) as well as that above the earth (rain)...thoroughly mixed?

We can see in scripture that it seems only creatures from land were collected, there is no indication that the creatures of the waters were, which makes sense in that they would have been able to survive in their natural habitat.

Here is a question that science could probably answer: what is the ratio of fresh water to sea water on the earth?

Now, if there were a cataclysmic upheavel and the water below the earth were to surface, what would we expect to happen with the current land structure we have today? Could we expect there to be a thorough and complete mixing of both fresh and saltwater, or could we speculate that there would be pockets of fresh here, saltwater there.

Also, another question I would seek an answer to would be this: of the dinosaurs that we believe to have populated the waters, can we say for certain that they had a capability or lack the capability to exist in water other than their natural habitat. I myself would guess no.

Which brings to mind evolution itself. If life has adaptive capabilities (and we know it does), would we negate the possibility of survival in a crisis moment, or would we speculate that at least some species could, in that crisis moment, overcome, at least temporarily, the changes that suddenly come upon their living conditions?”

97.1% of the water on the surface of the Earth is saltwater. Of the remaining 3% of freshwater, 2.24% is in the polar ice caps, groundwater is 0.6%, freshwater lakes are 0.009%, rivers are 0.001% and the atmosphere is <0.001%. Freshwater to seawater (even melting the ice caps) is 32:1. Any water below the surface is freshwater, so if any water were to come from underground it would mix with the water above. Given that only 0.6% of all of the water on Earth is groundwater, how is that anywhere near enough to flood all of the land?
Even if there were very little mixing, most marine and freshwater species are completely intolerant of brackish conditions. Take any freshwater fish and put him in a brackish aquarium and see how long he lives. Hint: It won’t be 40 days. The saltwater will actually dehydrate him.
Survival via evolution is about a response that takes generations of breeding to accomplish. An individual organism cannot tolerate brackish conditions or even periods of elevated temperatures for more than a few hours or days at the most. These are easy tests to conduct by simply taking organisms alive today and evaluating their salinity threshold, or temperature thresholds. For brackish conditions it is because of osmosis that organisms cannot survive. If they are saltwater organisms, all of the salts in their body diffuse out and they die. If they are freshwater organisms and they are in saltwater, they cannot obtain freshwater to rehydrate themselves and they die (this is why we can’t drink saltwater and survive).

“This is where I depart from my brethren that hold to an old earth position (and I know you will think me an idiot for my belief, but this is just my belief. I do not despise or ridicule those who believe the earth is millions of years old, some that I respect very much believe this way). I hold to the view that it was during the time of the flood that such lofty mountains were created. There is very little scriptural evidence for this belief, but, nonetheless, it is just what I believe. I know you, being in the work you are, may see this as silly (perhaps worse), but, it just seems to me to be what fits in the scriptural account of world history.

I believe that at the time of the flood the earth was (you're going to laugh)...flat. In the sense that mountains were not as high as they are today. I believe at the time of the flood, there is great upheavel and at this time we see the "fountains of the deep" opened up, and the "water above the firmament" coming down.

I also believe that when the waters receded, at this time, possibly (and I will point out this is merely speculation on my part, as I am sure you will heartily agree...just my opinion, not something I am saying is dogmatically true), the Lord raised mountains, split the earth in places...all to facilitate the recession of the waters of the flood.

I know that may be scoffed at, but, that is just my belief. “

If this were the case there would be no record of the flood because there would be no sediment. In order to create sedimentary layers, you need elevated land that is being eroded and broken down into sediment, and then transported by water. If you believe that there was no significant elevations prior to the flood, then there would be no record of the flood. And does the bible not mention mountains prior to the story of the flood? Where are you getting your opinion from on this matter?

“Since evolution teaches adaptation, I would ask two questions: 1) can science be dogmatic as to whether life at this time could or could not survive in brackish water; 2) can we dogmatically say that marine life has not actually become a weaker species to where introduction to a foreign environment would result in death?”
1) Yes. We can conduct those tests on living organisms and demonstrate an individual’s inability to survive in brackish conditions. 2) Yes. Same as above. It is because of the loss of salts in the cells that results in swelling of the cells and ultimately death.

Terrestrial Sand dunes
These are deposits like those of the famous Checkerboard Mesa. These are terrestrial deposits where sand grains are deposited via air currents. If I flood them, I will wash them away and I will sort the grains in a different way because of the new energy source (i.e. the water).

Stream deposits
If I am flooding everything, I should see streams depositing sediment and if I am receding the water I should see streams cutting into sediment. We see both types of streams (depositional streams and erosional streams in all layers of the rock record).

“This one I can offer a suggestion about, but would first ask this: how long does science say that it takes for Ikaite to form?

I did google this in hopes of having at least a little understanding of your point, and think it is a valid question, though, it causes me to look at my own trade and the science involved in that to ponder this question.

Because I do not believe that there were glaciers at the time of the flood itself, I ask the question, how is it that conditions could exist where freezing temperatures could form something that would break down in warmer temperatures.

Working daily with refrigerants, I can create substantially below freezing temperatures with the gases I work with. Have, in fact, been burned by the pressure changes of them. Hence the question, how long would freezing temperatures have to be sustained for the formation of akaite?

If the earth were experiencing upheavel, I would expect that involved in the process would be conditions that would depart from the norm, such as the example of water being poured on excessive temperatures, and rather than extinguishing the fire, chemical breakdown occurs actually increasing the fire's intensity.

Keep in mind this is just a passing thought, I have not the time to devote to looking at this in detail as it would deserve, so, go easy on me.

Anyway, I ask: is it not possible that the formation of akaite could have resulted due to gas pressures created from an upheavel that veruy probably involved volcanic activity? Just a thought.”

Freezing temperatures are not necessary, temperatures below +7 degrees Celsius are. And they would need to be sustained for decades? I am not entirely certain. They form within sediments though. They do not from on the surface. In the sediments themselves the temperatures are much more stable and do not vary seasonally. And the ikiaite in my study area is now a glendonite. It is no longer the mineral ikiaite but is now calcite, but it retains the crystal habit of ikiaite. Ikiaite is metastable, so when temperatures increase the water molecules within its crystal structure are driven off and the leftover is simply calcite. But, since the crystal grew as ikiaite and the calcite is secondary, it retains the crystal habit of the ikiaite and is known as a glendonites. As for upheaval causing the formation…I can’t see how that would help it grow, only hurt it. Ikiaite would need stable conditions, not turbulent conditions.

I started a new thread called “The Stratigraphic Record and the Fossil Record.” See if there is anything else I say in that thread that is not said here.

I appreciate your response and the challenging questions. And getting paid to study fossils is hardly a job…more like completely awesome!

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26-09-2011, 10:30 AM
RE: Was banned for asking...

You clearly don't get it, and I'm sorry for you.

GOD IS NOT A REAL ENTITY. Therefore, *anything* you might have to say about the spiritual authority of the scriptures means nothing. I don't care if other people find validity in it, but for me...I'm done.

My initial post to you was not about spirituality or theology or anything of that sort, and it wasn't written with the supposition that a god exists. I don't know why you keep coming back assuming that I did. It was about history, which I mistakenly thought you could discuss, but that you clearly don't care much for. That is all that I care to talk about.

My religious history and former beliefs, while I willingly (mistakenly) shared a part of that (in the naive hope that it would help you respect my journey and lay off the proselytizing), are not up for discussion. The fact that you are implying that I was not a "true christian" in those days is really insulting and wholly arrogant on your part. You have no idea how much of myself I gave to being a christian, and I'm not interested in going over that with you.

So, S.T. this is it. I'm not going to respond to you anymore on this thread about this subject.

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

- Carl Sagan
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27-09-2011, 06:05 AM (This post was last modified: 27-09-2011 06:20 AM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
(26-09-2011 10:30 AM)zaika Wrote:  S.T.

You clearly don't get it, and I'm sorry for you.

GOD IS NOT A REAL ENTITY. Therefore, *anything* you might have to say about the spiritual authority of the scriptures means nothing. I don't care if other people find validity in it, but for me...I'm done.

My initial post to you was not about spirituality or theology or anything of that sort, and it wasn't written with the supposition that a god exists. I don't know why you keep coming back assuming that I did. It was about history, which I mistakenly thought you could discuss, but that you clearly don't care much for. That is all that I care to talk about.

My religious history and former beliefs, while I willingly (mistakenly) shared a part of that (in the naive hope that it would help you respect my journey and lay off the proselytizing), are not up for discussion. The fact that you are implying that I was not a "true christian" in those days is really insulting and wholly arrogant on your part. You have no idea how much of myself I gave to being a christian, and I'm not interested in going over that with you.

So, S.T. this is it. I'm not going to respond to you anymore on this thread about this subject.

While I am disappointed that you have chosen to end discussion, I can, believe it or not, respect your decision. Can't say I blame you, really.

However, how you find an implication that your "faith" was not the faith spoken of held by "true Christians" to be insulting and arrogant presents a bit of an irony, doesn't it? If scripture and faith in Christ is a delusional pursuit, then it really does not matter...no need to get upset about it. It is a simple analysis: measure the understanding of the religious person one use to be and what scripture actually teaches in order to examine the foundation of that faith. Regardless of the views and interpretations (which are many) that are out there in the world, there is a teaching found in scripture which by genuine study can be found, and it is that which the bible student seeks to understand. Much of the doctrine that is found in modern Christendom can be shown to fall short of what scripture teaches, so it is necessary to examine that doctrine in light of scripture. Then, the equally daunting task of seeking to understand the individual views held by those belonging to a denomination or "organization" have to be sorted through. Though many call themselves by this name or that, it does not mean that they embrace the doctrinal positions of that group, and this is true of most congregations.

Nevertheless, as you wish. No need to feel sorry for me, I'll be okay. Just know I have not tried to anger you intentionally, and if I have, I am sorry. As far as "proselytizing," this is something I absolutely do not think is something that I can do. This is more an intellectual pursuit, if you ask me, and I would rather that God speak to the hearts of the individual, and that the individual would consider the stirring that comes about as something to pay attention to.

(24-09-2011 05:14 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  S.T. Sorry it took me so long to respond, but here we go.

I appreciate your response and the challenging questions. And getting paid to study fossils is hardly a job…more like completely awesome!

Hello BeardedDude, thanks for the excellent reply! I find this type of conversation facinating, and I wish I had time this morning to reply, but, I have to get to work, though, I admit readily that I am not so enthusiastic about mine as you are about yours...lol.

As to the reason I believe it possible that much of the existing terrain we have to day may have resulted from the flood itself, well, that is just an opinion of a possibility. There are just some things scripture is not forthcoming about, and this is something I view as a possibility, and am not dogmatic about. Some hold to the "Gap Restoration Theory," though I do not, and this is another example of a "personal opinion" that believers sometimes come to.

I do plan on responding to your post, but things are a little busy right now, with trips to the hospital to see my Mom added to that, so my time on the forums has been reduced for the time being.

I did want to thank you for the response though, and let you know I have read it.

I will have to research fish that migrate into freshwater, and see what the scientific reasoning is behind their ability to do so. I am one that believes that the world is "winding down," so to speak, and believe that while man has made great inroads towards longevity in the recent pass through science (particularly medical), apart from medical intervention, he shows evidence of this, I believe. There are always exceptions to general rules of course, but for the most part, I believe that perhaps in the past things possible for some species has passed away, which, for lack of a scientific (or better) term, I would probably call "adaptive confinement." Meaning, it may be possible that a fish that might once have survived both salt and fresh water may have lost that ability, and is now confined to the environment they currently live in. Perhaps you may know something about examples in our current species.

One other thing I would be curious about: are we still finding new species? I have heard it said three species a day (and I think this hyperbole, possibly) go extinct? Have you anything you might contribute to that thought?

Anyway, thanks again for the response, hope they might be forthcoming in the future. I will try, when I have the time, to look at the suggested thread in your post, though I have tried to stay in threads that I have been in so as not to "overstay my welcome."

Wish I had more time, but I do not.

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29-09-2011, 11:54 AM
RE: Was banned for asking...
I will wait until you have time for a full reply before addressing any of your above points, except the species one. We are always discovering new species. Especially as we begin to explore the ocean depths more. A lot of these new species, I suspect, are the result of nomenclature issues and taxonomy. I am of the opinion that species are split into too fine a resolution. The very nature of taxonomy is a system that has been superimposed by humans onto the natural world, and defining animals into these categories is problematic. It seems to be a much better system (in my opinion) in the fossil record, where species are defined using morphological differences and species tend to not be split based on geographic range.

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29-09-2011, 01:14 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2011 05:24 PM by defacto7.)
RE: Was banned for asking...

You clearly don't get it, and I'm sorry for you.

GOD IS NOT A REAL ENTITY. Therefore, *anything* you might have to ...
So, S.T. this is it. I'm not going to respond to you anymore on this thread about t

WAIT... I DIDN'T WRITE THIS ENTRY.... There is a mix up....

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
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29-09-2011, 04:19 PM (This post was last modified: 29-09-2011 04:22 PM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
(29-09-2011 01:14 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  S.T.

You clearly don't get it, and I'm sorry for you.

GOD IS NOT A REAL ENTITY. Therefore, *anything* you might have to ...
So, S.T. this is it. I'm not going to respond to you anymore on this thread about t

That is probably best, Defacto.

(29-09-2011 11:54 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I will wait until you have time for a full reply before addressing any of your above points, except the species one. We are always discovering new species. Especially as we begin to explore the ocean depths more. A lot of these new species, I suspect, are the result of nomenclature issues and taxonomy. I am of the opinion that species are split into too fine a resolution. The very nature of taxonomy is a system that has been superimposed by humans onto the natural world, and defining animals into these categories is problematic. It seems to be a much better system (in my opinion) in the fossil record, where species are defined using morphological differences and species tend to not be split based on geographic range.

Hello BeardedDude...funny you should say that...lol.

I actually started on the reply(it is waiting in the wings and will be soon forthcoming) and got caught up in looking at a few things concerning the issues we are discussing.

Fascinating, is all I can say.

Be back in a bit.

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29-09-2011, 05:18 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...

Having read a number of your lengthy and detailed replies to various posters, I find myself with this question:

What kind of evidence could anyone here present to you that would make you question your belief in the Christian concept of God or in the inerrancy of the Bible? What facts about the world, if they were proven to be facts and pointed out to you, or what kind of reasoning, would lead you to consider that you might be wrong? In other words, are your beliefs falsifiable?

For my part, I know exactly what would make me give up my atheism and become a believer. All it would take is for God to make himself known to me, in a totally unambiguous, unmistakeable, and convincing way (since he's omniscient, he would know exactly what that would be for me), and say, "Just wanted to let you know: I DO EXIST." That would do it. I'd become the most ardent believer you've ever seen.

What would do it for you? What kind of evidence would make you change your beliefs?

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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