Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#21 Jun 4, 2013
William wrote:
"Are you suggesting that God influenced the outcome of a college basketball game?"
It was college football.(And now I know why West Virginia didn't get that SEC invite a few years back.)
"Here is another Christian conundrum: if both teams prayed for God's support, why did God support one team and not the other?"
Who says he didn't support one and not the other? There is always a game the next week. Win some, lose some, and some get rained out.
Just like the Rest Of Life.
Ahhh, I even researched your reference - not well enough, obviously. Pardon me - I find sports to be very uninteresting. WVU football is very popular here, however, I hope they were invited to be in whatever conference they preferred. Go Mountaineers!

Why would God prefer one ball team over another? Why would his preference change yearly?
Mike Peterson

Jackson, MS

#22 Jun 4, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>As a child, I did not at all question my education - I had faith that the school system would teach me what I needed to know. Looking back as an adult, I am confident that my public school education did not properly prepare me to function successfully in the adult world. Important topics like budgetting, cooking, and raising children were omitted as if it is up to people to just figure those things out for themselves when the time comes that they need to know. I made myself responsible to see that my own children were taught the skills they will need to thrive as an adult - so, thanks for the public education, but I find it inadequate.
Again, are we in agreement that I CANNOT have Faith in God if I do not believe in God? I must achieve belief before I can consider having a faith-based relationship. The only way that God speaks to me is through the mouths or writings of human beings, so isn't there at least a chance that the message was also produced by human beings?
I think this world is enough to satisfy me and I do not expect to go on living in some other world when I cease to exist in this one. Weary, tired people have other problems than a lack of God. I do not need to be offered peace by Jesus - I have found peace by creating it for myself. I am not troubled or afraid. You have some misconceptions about Atheists.
If a sinner is a person who deliberately acts against the word of God or the Bible, well, I am sinning as we speak by denying the existence of God. I don't want or need to be forgiven for it and I intend to continue doing it. Certainly I have been unethical before in my life (my own version of sinning) and asked to be forgiven, but I wanted to be forgiven by the person I acted against or offended, not God.
If God is real, he should work a little harder to convince me to support him - I am exactly the sort of person who would work hard to further his agenda.
Search for Jennifer Fulwiler if this is a serious post. She was raised by an Atheist family.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#23 Jun 4, 2013
Barnsweb wrote:
A founding principle/doctrine is to obey the laws of the land - only where the laws prevent doing what God has commanded is there an issue to resolve with children and such. Drunkenness if wrong, moderation is not.
Water came from wells, so that wasn't an excuse to drink wine - or do you suspect Jesus only wanted water to wash His feet when He addressed the Samaraten woman?:-)
I apologize then for making excuses for Biblical people to drink wine. Perhaps they were drinking it to get drunk like people do today. So long as they are obeying the law, right?

So, you are saying that the Bible tells us to support and obey our government? Wouldn't it be an exception if our government was corrupt and serving the interests of people other than the population that it governs? I would suggest that the US government today is corrupt and serving the interests of big business.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#24 Jun 4, 2013
Mike Peterson wrote:
<quoted text>
Search for Jennifer Fulwiler if this is a serious post. She was raised by an Atheist family.
Thank you for the resource - I will see what she has to say on the topic.
William

Birmingham, AL

#25 Jun 4, 2013
"WVU football is very popular here, however, I hope they were invited to be in whatever conference they preferred. Go Mountaineers!"

They wanted to get into either the SEC or the ACC, but ended up in the Big 12. With Texas and Oklahoma, etc.

It is an odd choice but hey, it pays the bills.
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#26 Jun 4, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>
I apologize then for making excuses for Biblical people to drink wine. Perhaps they were drinking it to get drunk like people do today. So long as they are obeying the law, right?
So, you are saying that the Bible tells us to support and obey our government? Wouldn't it be an exception if our government was corrupt and serving the interests of people other than the population that it governs? I would suggest that the US government today is corrupt and serving the interests of big business.
Going to answer this last idea Steve. Yes, in Romans 13:1-7 the Bible does tell us to obey our goverment. Is there an exception? Yes. In Acts 5:29 Peter says that he should obey God rather than man. The context is preaching after the religious leaders said not to. The government can legalize abortion and prostitution, yet not force a believer to violate his conscience or God's word, because we are not forced to go into prostitution or have an abortion. If the government outlawed Christianity, at that point we would have to go against the authority.

Are we to obey a corrupt government? Yes. Which government isn't corrupt? Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:13-17. These passages will give you an idea of why. And remember-Peter especially is saying this about a government that burned Christians as human torches and put many to death. Also remember that government, according to the Bible, is ordained by God-it's His idea.

This also ties into the slavery idea. Corrupt government and practices that are ungodly will end only when converted people-real Christians, not pretend ones-tell people the truth with love and win them over.
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#27 Jun 4, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
OK - it looks like #12 was easily answered and disregarded:
12-If no one knows when Jesus is returning, why do people keep proclaiming to know?
This must be cases of people who think they know something the Bible says they cannot know and so, in general, no Christian or other person should believe anyone who claims to know when Jesus will return. You agree then that SOME representatives of Christianity DO THIS, correct?
Still, in some other posts I have read here, Christians have spoken of predictions of the return of Jesus and warnings from God about the return of Jesus. I have heard about "signs of the Apocalypse" and accusations of who might be the "anti-Christ" - is all of this individual speculation? Why would the Bible list predictions and an end scenario and claim that no one would be able to recognize it or be able to foresee the part where Jesus returns?
How can no one know when Jesus will return? Because the Bible says we won't. I suggest that it's easy to predict when things DON'T happen, the odds are in your favor.
*To your first point, yes, some representatives of Christianity do this. No, if someone claims to know the day and hour of Christs' return, RUN AWAY QUICKLY!(Not talking about Bobby's comment earlier)

*As to your second point, there is great disagreement on those ideas you presented. I personally hold to what is called an amillenialism/partial preterist theory of end times. Perhaps you should do a study on these basic ideas. Others here are premillenialists, and their position and mine differ greatly. A good working knowledge of these different positions will help answer some of the questions that you bring up about end times.

*And you are correct about it being easy to predict when things won't happen. The founders of the seventh day adventist can attest to that.
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#28 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>
OK - so the Bible supports drinking alcohol. The Bible does not specify at what age it is appropriate, so continued logic would suggest that the Bible supports children drinking alcohol. Is this something that Christians actually support in modern times or is this a Biblical idea that Christians no longer support since modern knowledge dictates that it is inappropriate for children to drink alcohol? I consider this to be a case of disregarding portions of the Bible that Christians decide are unimportant or wrong.
It is unrealistic to expect people to drink alcohol without becoming intoxicated. We know now that alcohol is a drug that alters a person's thinking and brain functions - if God knows all, he must have known that, even 4000 years ago. We know now that alcohol is an ADDICTIVE drug - certainly God would never support turning over your free will to some substance, be it alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, prescription pain killers, etc. Why would God encourage any person to partake mind altering drugs at all? It is not in anyone's best interest. I think Christians embrace this Biblical idea because they LIKE drinking alcohol.
I understand why people drank alcohol 4000 years ago, it WAS in their best interest since alcohol could be depended on NOT to make a person sick while water likely could. This is an example of how we are to excuse the Bible for giving bad advice because it's such an old book, written in a very different time. At the same time, the Bible's message is supposed to be a timeless one and it is not specific as to what parts are important and what parts are just a reflection of society during Biblical times.
Culture and history are relevant Steve. You are correct about water making people sick in those times. Also remember that Biblical alcohol is not the same as today-no Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam in those days. Wine, some kind of strong drink, and nothing else. There also was not the "age issues" we have in society today. Children became adults at 12-13 years of age, married and had children. Average life span wasn't 50 if I remember right.

Some no doubt do embrace this idea because they like to drink. I do not-haven't drank in over 7 years. I preach that alcohol consumption isn't always a sin, but I do not recommend nor endorse it, and am a proclaiming and practicing "tee-totaler".

Sometimes I also think that where some see "contradiction", others see "common sense".

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#29 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
As a child and young adult, I was a faithful Christian and today I am an Atheist because I no longer believe the Bible and the Christian teachings. I re-evaluated my religion when I noticed contradictions in the Bible itself as well as in theory and I'd like to discuss these contradictions. Christian ideas also conflict with logic and ethics sometimes - when I have discussed these conflicts before now, I was never satisfied with the Christian answers and so I would like to discuss those as well.
I'll make a vague list of issues and we can address them in depth individually. Take your time and tell me everything about them that you think I ought to know.
1-Does God support love or war? How can he support both?
2-How can God ask us to love and support our neighbors while discluding gay people?
3-Is God magic? Is magic real?
4-Why should you take some of the Bible literally and some of it in theory only?
5-Is God in favor or against money and materialism?
6-Can a miracle be considered true?
7-The world is 6000 years old? W-W-What?!!
8-Does the Bible support drinking alcoholic beverages?
9-How can the church support marriage AND divorce?
10-Isn't there a vicious cycle of sinning and being forgiven that actually promotes sinning?
11-How can we disregard the slavery and masculine domination in the Bible?
12-If no one knows when Jesus is returning, why do people keep proclaiming to know?
13-How can so many churches claim the same faith while being so different?
14-Why would God allow children and innocents to suffer?
15-Why does God allow Satan to exist?
I could go on and on, but those are some that came to mind. These are questions that young adults may want answers to right now, in your church. If you don't find some satisfactory answers, they could turn out like me....
I believe you have some doubts towards atheism. It seems you "want to believe" there is a God but you also have to be shown without doubt that God exist. Honestly, it re3quires more faith to be an atheist than it does to believe there is a Creator. I'd ask that you prove God isn't real.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#30 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>As a child, I did not at all question my education - I had faith that the school system would teach me what I needed to know. Looking back as an adult, I am confident that my public school education did not properly prepare me to function successfully in the adult world. Important topics like budgetting, cooking, and raising children were omitted as if it is up to people to just figure those things out for themselves when the time comes that they need to know. I made myself responsible to see that my own children were taught the skills they will need to thrive as an adult - so, thanks for the public education, but I find it inadequate.
Again, are we in agreement that I CANNOT have Faith in God if I do not believe in God? I must achieve belief before I can consider having a faith-based relationship. The only way that God speaks to me is through the mouths or writings of human beings, so isn't there at least a chance that the message was also produced by human beings?
I think this world is enough to satisfy me and I do not expect to go on living in some other world when I cease to exist in this one. Weary, tired people have other problems than a lack of God. I do not need to be offered peace by Jesus - I have found peace by creating it for myself. I am not troubled or afraid. You have some misconceptions about Atheists.
If a sinner is a person who deliberately acts against the word of God or the Bible, well, I am sinning as we speak by denying the existence of God. I don't want or need to be forgiven for it and I intend to continue doing it. Certainly I have been unethical before in my life (my own version of sinning) and asked to be forgiven, but I wanted to be forgiven by the person I acted against or offended, not God.
If God is real, he should work a little harder to convince me to support him - I am exactly the sort of person who would work hard to further his agenda.
We are both in the world but we are not both of this world. You are still busy supporting the values of this world. I have all but given up on you but God knows the end from the beginning, maybe he sees something in you that I cannot see.
xxx

Nashville, TN

#31 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
1-Does God support love or war? How can he support both?
2-How can God ask us to love and support our neighbors while discluding gay people?
3-Is God magic? Is magic real?
4-Why should you take some of the Bible literally and some of it in theory only?
5-Is God in favor or against money and materialism?
6-Can a miracle be considered true?
7-The world is 6000 years old? W-W-What?!!
8-Does the Bible support drinking alcoholic beverages?
9-How can the church support marriage AND divorce?
10-Isn't there a vicious cycle of sinning and being forgiven that actually promotes sinning?
11-How can we disregard the slavery and masculine domination in the Bible?
12-If no one knows when Jesus is returning, why do people keep proclaiming to know?
13-How can so many churches claim the same faith while being so different?
14-Why would God allow children and innocents to suffer?
15-Why does God allow Satan to exist?
Have you ever stopped to consider whether or not any of these, or other questions, ACTUALLY relate to the question of God’s existence? I am sure you are familiar with Percy Shelly’s essay “The Necessity of Atheism”. At one point he goes on a tirade of questions:

“If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has, filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest.”

Reading over these questions however, I can’t help but notice that they really don’t address the question of His existence as much as they question His nature. Take for example Shelly’s first question:“If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him?”

Well, maybe God is a jerk (I don’t believe He is). But even if He is a jerk, does that mean that He does not exist at all? It seems to me that atheists make a great leap in logic that goes something like this:“God allows evil to exist, therefore God has to be evil Himself, therefore God cannot exist at all”. Well, God exists or does not exist independent of whether He is good or not. The same holds true with whether or not He is all-knowing. He either exists or He does not regardless of whether He is all-knowing or not.

So my question again would be this: Do any of these questions regarding God’s existence actually address whether He is real or not, or do they instead actually address His nature?
Barnsweb

Canton, OH

#32 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>
I apologize then for making excuses for Biblical people to drink wine. Perhaps they were drinking it to get drunk like people do today. So long as they are obeying the law, right?
So, you are saying that the Bible tells us to support and obey our government? Wouldn't it be an exception if our government was corrupt and serving the interests of people other than the population that it governs? I would suggest that the US government today is corrupt and serving the interests of big business.
No. Look at the Roman government in place in His day. There is nothing new under the Sun, as Solomon said;-)
Barnsweb

Canton, OH

#33 Jun 5, 2013
Too bad Shelley didn't believe in Him in spite of the trash people taught in His name....

Shelley resembled Blake in the contrast of feeling with which he regarded the Christian religion and its founder. For the human character of Christ he could feel the deepest veneration, as may be seen not only from the "Essay on Christianity," but from the "Letter to Lord Ellenborough" (1812), and also from the notes to "Hellas" and passages in that poem and in "Prometheus Unbound"; but he held that the spirit of established Christianity was wholly out of harmony with that of Christ, and that a similarity to Christ was one of the qualities most detested by the modern Christian. The dogmas of the Christian faith were always repudiated by him, and there is no warrant whatever in his writings for the strange pretension that, had he lived longer, his objections to Christianity might in some way have been overcome.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#34 Jun 5, 2013
William wrote:
"WVU football is very popular here, however, I hope they were invited to be in whatever conference they preferred. Go Mountaineers!"
They wanted to get into either the SEC or the ACC, but ended up in the Big 12. With Texas and Oklahoma, etc.
It is an odd choice but hey, it pays the bills.
Well, that is an example of getting what you get instead of what you want. What do you think kept our favorite college from being accepted into the conference of their choice?
William

Warrior, AL

#35 Jun 5, 2013
Lack of a large television footprint for cable subscribers, ASW.

As an SEC guy, I really wanted them. Got Missouri instead. Yuck.
Mike Peterson

Birmingham, AL

#36 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, that is an example of getting what you get instead of what you want. What do you think kept our favorite college from being accepted into the conference of their choice?
Money, I would think. TV market.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#37 Jun 5, 2013
Dave P wrote:
<quoted text>
Going to answer this last idea Steve. Yes, in Romans 13:1-7 the Bible does tell us to obey our goverment. Is there an exception? Yes. In Acts 5:29 Peter says that he should obey God rather than man. The context is preaching after the religious leaders said not to. The government can legalize abortion and prostitution, yet not force a believer to violate his conscience or God's word, because we are not forced to go into prostitution or have an abortion. If the government outlawed Christianity, at that point we would have to go against the authority.
Are we to obey a corrupt government? Yes. Which government isn't corrupt? Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and 1 Peter 2:13-17. These passages will give you an idea of why. And remember-Peter especially is saying this about a government that burned Christians as human torches and put many to death. Also remember that government, according to the Bible, is ordained by God-it's His idea.
This also ties into the slavery idea. Corrupt government and practices that are ungodly will end only when converted people-real Christians, not pretend ones-tell people the truth with love and win them over.
My thoughts were that Christianity conflicts often with government laws, how could they also be supportive of them? I see your point now - just because something is LEGAL is not a reason to participate doing it - the real issue is when the government forbids Christians from doing what they know to be as God's will. It seems as if the Bible is saying: obey God's law and then obey man's law.

I was thinking of those folks thrown to the lions for not praising a golden idol - God's law forbid it and so, man's law was broken. I am confused as to why God would ask his followers to honor a government that literally burned his followers to death - except that God wouldn't see that a such a horrible consequence of faith since those people have such strong faith that Heaven would be the rewards of their actions. This must have been the attitude of German Jews in WWII - they were faithful to God believing that Heaven would be their reward - but according to Christianity, they didn't meet the requirements to receive Heaven because they did not recognize Jesus as Lord. Where they betrayed by Judaism?

I have considered that the Bible was, at one time, endorsed and manipulated by government. When Christianity was the only lawful religious belief, other religion's followers were persecuted on behalf of God - is this another example of human grandiose ideas being passed off as religion? Certainly, true Christians were obeying these laws, but were they supporting the persecution? No doubt, many must have been passionate that they were doing God's will. Where they betrayed by their government?

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#38 Jun 5, 2013
Dave P wrote:
<quoted text>
*To your first point, yes, some representatives of Christianity do this. No, if someone claims to know the day and hour of Christs' return, RUN AWAY QUICKLY!(Not talking about Bobby's comment earlier)
*As to your second point, there is great disagreement on those ideas you presented. I personally hold to what is called an amillenialism/partial preterist theory of end times. Perhaps you should do a study on these basic ideas. Others here are premillenialists, and their position and mine differ greatly. A good working knowledge of these different positions will help answer some of the questions that you bring up about end times.
*And you are correct about it being easy to predict when things won't happen. The founders of the seventh day adventist can attest to that.
Let's say you are happy with your church and your pastor - until one day, your pastor claims to know when Jesus is coming. Do you argue with him?(when I went to church, respect never allowed for argument with our leader). Do you pack it up and take your efforts to another church that is more in agreement with you? Do you form a movement in your own church that opposes what is being taught? How do you express to your pastor that his ideas are above and beyond what the Bible teaches?

I will research those end of time ideas that you mentioned - Revelations was a book of the Bible that I always avoided since it is, quite frankly, outrageous! It would be interesting to me to put it into some sort of context that would explain the symbolism and the meaning of it. There is no wonder why there is much disagreement about it.

Since: Jul 12

Oceana, WV

#39 Jun 5, 2013
Dave P wrote:
<quoted text>
Culture and history are relevant Steve. You are correct about water making people sick in those times. Also remember that Biblical alcohol is not the same as today-no Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam in those days. Wine, some kind of strong drink, and nothing else. There also was not the "age issues" we have in society today. Children became adults at 12-13 years of age, married and had children. Average life span wasn't 50 if I remember right.
Some no doubt do embrace this idea because they like to drink. I do not-haven't drank in over 7 years. I preach that alcohol consumption isn't always a sin, but I do not recommend nor endorse it, and am a proclaiming and practicing "tee-totaler".
Sometimes I also think that where some see "contradiction", others see "common sense".
I agree that it is relevant that the Bible was written in a very different age - I have often made excuses for behavior in the Bible because those people then could not have known what we know now. Still, the Bible does not allow for additional information to be added, even though we have constantly acquired additional information since the Bible was written. There are only a few occasions when the Bible was edited, through translation and when some books where removed, but there doesn't appear to be any more opportunities in our future. Regardless, Christians cling to the Bible messages as being timeless and able to apply to modern times. That is one advantage that science has over religion - constant updating.

So, the timeless message is actually: drinking alcohol is approved by God. I personally think that it's a bad idea to encourage people to drink alcohol, even legally. How would you feel if you smelled alcohol on the breath of your pastor on Sunday morning? He wouldn't be breaking any rules, but wouldn't it make you suspect that his thoughts were not very clear and that the message he is presenting you is through a mind-altered vessel? This is one message of the Bible that I think is directed towards a past age and should now be swept under the rug. I choose not to drink alcohol, not because it is (or isn't) a sin, but because I do not want to damage my brain - I'm quite attached to it like it is. The Bible does not address side effects such as fetal alcohol syndrome - this is a modern issue.

I have never known a Christian who encouraged me to drink alcohol. I think most Christians don't really support the idea of it - based on common sense, like you said - but this raises another issue I have with Christianity...

Who gets to decide what parts of the Bible are to continue to be honored and what parts are to be excused because the book is very, very old?
Dave P

Lexington, KY

#40 Jun 5, 2013
Awesome_Steve_Monkey wrote:
<quoted text>
I have considered that the Bible was, at one time, endorsed and manipulated by government. When Christianity was the only lawful religious belief, other religion's followers were persecuted on behalf of God - is this another example of human grandiose ideas being passed off as religion? Certainly, true Christians were obeying these laws, but were they supporting the persecution? No doubt, many must have been passionate that they were doing God's will. Where they betrayed by their government?
Steve, I agree with your ideas presented here. The Bible has, can, and will be manipulated by government. Religion can as well, and we have seen such happen in our lifetimes. I believe that the first beast of Revelation 13 represents wicked, anti-christian government; and the second beast represents false religion that the corrupt government uses for its benefit.

As for persecution, Jesus Himself predicted a time when people would kill believers, and would think that in doing so they would be doing God service. John 16:1-4.

I would also encourage you to read some accounts of German Christians during WWII and the holocaust. Bonhoeffer comes to mind immediately. I have also read accounts of trains heading to the concentration camps, people crying out for help- and Germans turning their home radios up to drown out the screaming.

I would also like us to remember that what radical Islamists are doing is also in the name of faith in Allah. Religion can be perverted-true faith is not like this. Religion can be turned into a tool for evil.

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