Terry Mattingly: Baptist churches reporting fewer baptisms

There are 11 comments on the Jun 14, 2013, ReporterNews.com story titled Terry Mattingly: Baptist churches reporting fewer baptisms. In it, ReporterNews.com reports that:

Visitors who enter Southern Baptist churches these days will usually see posters and pamphlets for everything from marriage-enrichment retreats to tornado-relief fundraisers, from weight-loss classes to drives to find volunteers for African hospitals.

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bob

United States

#61 Jul 5, 2013
I've taken antibiotics, and I'd bet you have, too.

Why am I not shocked by your moronic non sequitur of a response?

“Exercise Your Brain”

Level 1

Since: Jun 07

Planet Earth

#62 Jul 9, 2013
Don wrote:
<quoted text>
What is bona fide proof to you is different from my definition of bona fide proof, obviously. When I said that Christians know, I didn't mean that Christians want to believe or they believe in fairy tales.
Christians have a relationship with God. They talk to God and God answers them. Yes, I know that you will come back with a smart wisecrack, but that is ok. You aren't hurting my feelings at all because I understand where you are in believing in God and I know that you are standing on a glass cover to a deep and dark pit. The glass might give way at any second. No one knows when he will die. You are in a very precarious predicament.
I have read many myths. I enjoy reading about history and what makes people tick. The Christian relationship with God is very real. It is a myth to you because you don't belong to God. You have to justify to yourself why you don't believe in Him. You have to look at those who do believe in God with prejudiced eyes. Trust me in this, Christians feel sympathy for you because they know how you will end up when you die. I do truly feel sorry for you.
If there comes a time when God does give you mercy by bringing you to Him, you will be extremely blessed.
I grew up in a church and as an adult taught a Sunday School Class for 10 years. Yes we have different standards of bona fide proof.

Tell you what, if you're happy with your chosen religion and I'm happy without religion let's just agree to disagree and each be happy for the other.

Deal?

“Exercise Your Brain”

Level 1

Since: Jun 07

Planet Earth

#63 Jul 9, 2013
Politically incorrect wrote:
<quoted text> you prove that evolution is real. Have you dug fragments up and studied them personally or do you go by what others say like Christians do? At least Christians are polite, atheists are just complete big headed douche bags, not to mention hypocrites
Most people accept as proof those things that are verifiably demonstrated and can be replicated time and time again.(think of throwing a quarter up in the air a hundred times to test the Theory of Gravity). I wish I had the time and skills to go along on an archeological dig, but I'll have to be content with pictures and written accounts.

Now as to polite, gimme' a break. You folk threaten hellfire and eternal torture with sadistic glee. That's your idea of polite?

Read this passage from your beloved book and ponder over it:

" Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matt. 7:1)

“Exercise Your Brain”

Level 1

Since: Jun 07

Planet Earth

#64 Jul 9, 2013
Don wrote:
<quoted text>
You know, there is one unforgiveable sin mentioned specifically in the Holy Bible, and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. You might want to think about your attitude.
I have, that way Christians know I'm deadly serious and have walked away from religion and never regretted it. No, not even the tiniest bit.
Mallatd

Knoxville, TN

#65 Jul 9, 2013
albtraum wrote:
<quoted text>
Most people accept as proof those things that are verifiably demonstrated and can be replicated time and time again.(think of throwing a quarter up in the air a hundred times to test the Theory of Gravity). I wish I had the time and skills to go along on an archeological dig, but I'll have to be content with pictures and written accounts.
Now as to polite, gimme' a break. You folk threaten hellfire and eternal torture with sadistic glee. That's your idea of polite?
Read this passage from your beloved book and ponder over it:
" Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Matt. 7:1)
There's 4 more verses in Matt 7 that would fill out the context, if you would quote that entire portion.
Then it becomes apparent that Jesus is not telling us we are not to judge anyone or anything. He is telling us not to be hypocritical in our judgement.
I have noticed, on numerous occasions, how that out-of-context pretext seems to be the unbeliever's favorite Bible verse.

It isn't gleeful at all that you will go to hell if you don't know Jesus. It's really rather urgent that you repent and believe the gospel. Otherwise, you are lost.
Don

Sioux Falls, SD

#66 Jul 9, 2013
albtraum wrote:
<quoted text>
I have, that way Christians know I'm deadly serious and have walked away from religion and never regretted it. No, not even the tiniest bit.
Regret is a strange thing. It often comes at the end of a matter when it is too late to change what causes regret. A person who is lost in sin and lost to a holy life is a very particularly bad regretful happening. No one here is pointing fingers in a gleeful manner at you and laughing that you are lost. Hell iisn't a thing to laugh about. Christians know that an eternity in Hell separated from God is a horrible thing. Never think that He'll is a place of joy. Hell is full of torment and deep, pervading fear. It is full of darkness and regret. Every denizen of Hell will remember the many opportunities that were missed to ask Jesus for mercy. If only I had... Is a common feeling for regret. You will deeply regret passing by the only chance to escape Hell. Once you die, it will be too late for you. When you are in Hell, it is for all eternity. There is no escape from Hell and you will remember my words to you and the words of the others who have talked to you about Jesus and His salvation. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and mercy. You have much to gain in Christ, don't blow this chance. It might be your last one. A human life can end so easily at any age.

“Exercise Your Brain”

Level 1

Since: Jun 07

Planet Earth

#67 Jul 9, 2013
Mallatd wrote:
<quoted text>There's 4 more verses in Matt 7 that would fill out the context, if you would quote that entire portion.
Then it becomes apparent that Jesus is not telling us we are not to judge anyone or anything. He is telling us not to be hypocritical in our judgement.
I have noticed, on numerous occasions, how that out-of-context pretext seems to be the unbeliever's favorite Bible verse.
It isn't gleeful at all that you will go to hell if you don't know Jesus. It's really rather urgent that you repent and believe the gospel. Otherwise, you are lost.
Precisely, you are the hypocrite with the plank in your eye and you think you are capable of removing a speck from mine.

I do believe that the 'Cafeteria Christians' started the pick and choose verses of the bible they want to spout and ignore those they don't particularly want to adhere too.

Yes, many Christians gleefully pronounce me as damned....no big deal as far as I'm concerned. When my body dies, I will simply cease to exist and all thought processes will have stopped.

Many Christian fall prey to the "we're special, you're not" mentality. It isn't often I run into broad minded theists....the two seem to have trouble coexisting.

Remember doubting Thomas? Critical thinking or sincere desire for knowledge (proof) is rather discouraged among theists of any stripe or flavor. Only blind faith and herd mentality (the flock)is heralded
as the true test for religious folk.

Very sad indeed.

“Exercise Your Brain”

Level 1

Since: Jun 07

Planet Earth

#68 Jul 9, 2013
Don wrote:
<quoted text>
Regret is a strange thing. It often comes at the end of a matter when it is too late to change what causes regret. A person who is lost in sin and lost to a holy life is a very particularly bad regretful happening. No one here is pointing fingers in a gleeful manner at you and laughing that you are lost. Hell iisn't a thing to laugh about. Christians know that an eternity in Hell separated from God is a horrible thing. Never think that He'll is a place of joy. Hell is full of torment and deep, pervading fear. It is full of darkness and regret. Every denizen of Hell will remember the many opportunities that were missed to ask Jesus for mercy. If only I had... Is a common feeling for regret. You will deeply regret passing by the only chance to escape Hell. Once you die, it will be too late for you. When you are in Hell, it is for all eternity. There is no escape from Hell and you will remember my words to you and the words of the others who have talked to you about Jesus and His salvation. Ask Jesus for forgiveness and mercy. You have much to gain in Christ, don't blow this chance. It might be your last one. A human life can end so easily at any age.
I appreciate your attempt to convince me of something that is crucial to you. What you fail to understand is that it is of no consequence to me.

I was raised as a Southern Baptist, believed as a child, held on to faith as a young adult and asked too many questions that simply didn't have answers or 'we will all understand some day' which is just a non-answer.

I've already died once and was revived. It's not as painful or as scary as most people think. The false promise of 'eternal life' is the salient point many cling to, that's why religion is so hard to give up.

If we had souls, it would be a natural phenomena that occurs in all. The soul is supposed to be incorporeal, there is not one single explanation as to why this invisible and untouchable thing should be tethered in one place or another. Nor can anyone explain how an incorporeal entity can be tortured or rewarded.

I can't understand your mindset any more than you understand mine. So far, we have a stalemate.
Mallard

Landrum, SC

#69 Jul 10, 2013
albtraum wrote:
<quoted text>
Precisely, you are the hypocrite with the plank in your eye and you think you are capable of removing a speck from mine.
I do believe that the 'Cafeteria Christians' started the pick and choose verses of the bible they want to spout and ignore those they don't particularly want to adhere too.
I have a plank in my eye, and am trying to remove a speck from yours? I'm a "cafeteria Christian"?
Well I must say that would be a great reason for you to go to hell, if you did know me and knew that were true! Yup! That'll show me.
albtraum wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, many Christians gleefully pronounce me as damned....no big deal as far as I'm concerned. When my body dies, I will simply cease to exist and all thought processes will have stopped.
Many Christian fall prey to the "we're special, you're not" mentality.
Well you've got even more reasons for hating Christians than I realized. You need to take your kids, grandkids, and as many others as possible to hell then. Yup! That'll teach us all a good lesson!

And there are many former so-called "atheists" running around, who have converted to Christianity. What I had suspect is confirmed true by their testimony. They always knew there was a God, but did not want to submit to him. God gives you an innate knowledge that he is there, and you work hard to extinguish it.
Don

Sioux Falls, SD

#70 Jul 11, 2013
albtraum wrote:
<quoted text>
I appreciate your attempt to convince me of something that is crucial to you. What you fail to understand is that it is of no consequence to me.
I was raised as a Southern Baptist, believed as a child, held on to faith as a young adult and asked too many questions that simply didn't have answers or 'we will all understand some day' which is just a non-answer.
I've already died once and was revived. It's not as painful or as scary as most people think. The false promise of 'eternal life' is the salient point many cling to, that's why religion is so hard to give up.
If we had souls, it would be a natural phenomena that occurs in all. The soul is supposed to be incorporeal, there is not one single explanation as to why this invisible and untouchable thing should be tethered in one place or another. Nor can anyone explain how an incorporeal entity can be tortured or rewarded.
I can't understand your mindset any more than you understand mine. So far, we have a stalemate.
Even the dead consigned to Hell have bodies of some sort, according to the Scriptures. Their bodies won't be glorified like that of Jesus Christ. I'm not sure how dead a person is who is revived;however, I guess that isn't pertinent to our discussion. I know about the stories of seeing a light, seeing angels and etc. I suspect many of those stories stem from a desire to sell books. I think that when we do get to the other side, it will be quite clear that we are dead and we won't be coming back to report on what we see and hear. When you feel the evil, things become clearer.

“Exercise Your Brain”

Level 1

Since: Jun 07

Planet Earth

#71 Jul 11, 2013
Don wrote:
<quoted text>
Even the dead consigned to Hell have bodies of some sort, according to the Scriptures. Their bodies won't be glorified like that of Jesus Christ. I'm not sure how dead a person is who is revived;however, I guess that isn't pertinent to our discussion. I know about the stories of seeing a light, seeing angels and etc. I suspect many of those stories stem from a desire to sell books. I think that when we do get to the other side, it will be quite clear that we are dead and we won't be coming back to report on what we see and hear. When you feel the evil, things become clearer.
The bible says we are composed of 3 things; body, soul and spirit. The body dies and decomposes, are you sure you're not mixing up the Bible and Dante's Inferno?

You think feeling evil makes things clearer? That is not very pertinent to our discussion either, is it? That's an opinion and like noses, everybody has one. Almost losing your life makes things clearer and I didn't see lights and angels either. I think that's mostly expectations. I've never heard of a Muslim meeting Jesus or a Christian meeting Allah for that matter. But that's my opinion and I know the difference between facts and opinion.

Kindly quit telling me what you think will happen after I'm dead if you don't want to hear about my death.

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