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Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#868 May 27, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
In a sense yes, they did make it popular. In the same way, we could say, that the communists in Russia and Eastern Europe made the Bible popular through suppression. What wasn't popular was allowing for piety to be the sole possessors of the Word of God. And once the Bible gained access to common man, we've been able to read for ourselves what the Bible actually says.
It would be silly to suggest that God has no part in this. A book becomes popular when it's suppressed, but often loses it's popularity at some point (Like the Satanic Letters). The Bible is the number one read book in the "world". And this, in spite of the fact that it makes many very uncomfortable.
Theodosius did not suppress the Bible he made it the only acceptable religious text in the Empire, and that’s the way it remained for 1,300 years. That's why the Bible became a popular book after th invention of the printing press.
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#869 May 27, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. And why he couldn't claim that another person couldn't. The revelation was not to him. It doesn't mean it wasn't to anyone else. If he insisted that for instance Paul did not have a revelation, then he would be contradicting himself. The revelation so to speak was not to him (Thomas Paine). That didn't speak for anyone else.
Mr. Paine has no more reason to accept Paul’s claimed revelation to be true than Mohammed’s.

"Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”- Thomas Paine
Job wrote:
2. And where did this quote come from? Thomas Paine?
Me.
Big Al

Grand Rapids, MN

#870 May 27, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. That correct, and that's a very good question. God did not create Himself. He always existed.
And I suppose that piece of information came directly from "God" himself?
Job wrote:
2. I'm sure he did.
3. Generally someone who has the power to prevent bad things from happening is considered immoral.
Then either your "God" is not omnipotent or "He" is immoral or the normal human concept of morality cannot be applied to "Him".
Job wrote:
4. All you are doing here it seems is taking a human attribute, and just maintaining that the attribute itself is beyond understanding when it comes to the Creator. We can do this with any human attribute when applying it to God.
I think you are beginning to understand Thomas Paine. Human concepts (ideas) just don't apply.
Job wrote:
5. I think I understand Thomas Paine as much as any contemporary. I don't have as much knowledge of him as the deist union members who've read his book. But in general, I think I understand him as well as anyone.
Based on that last response I think you are starting to understand him.
Job wrote:
6. How did Thomas Paine know where man stood with the creator if all we can affix to the name of God is first cause? I think it's clear that Thomas Paine extended his personal beliefs 'beyond' this principle.
He was simply saying that he has no reason to believe that we stand in any different relation to the creator because of Jesus as the Christians believe. Christians believe that based on supposed revelation from the Bible and "God" never revealed that to him.
Punisher

Bronxville, NY

#871 May 27, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. Wrong! I was actually referring to the underground church in China (I accidentally left out "China" by accident) where translators were able to translate the Bible into the local dialects. In addition, the Bible has been a tool in learning to read. The whole issue with the early RCC was to avoid access to the scriptures.
2. Wrong again! If what was read to them was authentic, it would do them a great deal of good. The problem with the prohibiting of the Bible was they were not being told what was contained within the Bible. Only parts of it that did not conflict with their ulterior motives, and the additions that I mentioned.
3. It's a fact that the RCC in that day charged people for the remission of their sins. This was not due to a misunderstanding in theology. Purgatory was introduced by pagan philosophy. Although many believe it to be Biblical doctrine, it was used as a tool in conjunction with "paying for sins". They had monetary needs, and this was one of the means to meet those needs. If there wasn't a problem don't you think the Bible would not have been outlawed? If the fact that the majority of peasants could not read rendered the problem void, why do you think the Bible was outlawed? You've already claimed it wasn't by the way.
4. The people who know about the Denkard are "probably" historians. Your reasoning is not really relevant in light of God's means of keeping the book in circulation. The law concerning Christianity may have been a tool of sorts, but the Bible was "illegal". I would be inclined to refer to the various liberators because without the 'liberation', because that's where we can pinpoint it's access to the common man, we wouldn't have access to the Bible today.
Imagine the mess Xtianity would truly be in IF from the early stages everyone and their bro-in-law had access to the Bible...!?!(Which would have been impossible due to there not being a Bible till much later...)

You Protys all say that this restricted access was a truly bad thing, but there's no actual proof that it was inherently bad, for anyone. In fact, it probably prevented even more disparity and conflict in the theology and doctrines, and subsequent worship than came to pass post the 1500's...

Perhaps that limited access was all part of Gods plan...do you know otherwise? He maybe needed a few centuries for a basic core message to form...had things been all "full-access" from the gate...it would have never settled down...

Which if one considers actual Xtian history, and the fights over doctrine, might have meant a more rational reading of the scriptures, and a more rationally based Sect might have emerged...where less magic and stuff is required to believe in...Hmmmm? A rational Religious system...? Now theres a thought...
Punisher

Bronxville, NY

#872 May 27, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>

4. All you are doing here it seems is taking a human attribute, and just maintaining that the attribute itself is beyond understanding when it comes to the Creator. We can do this with any human attribute when applying it to God.
.
Uh...isn't this what Xtianity has been doing for centuries now? Applying an attribute then saying its not truly understandable in that application.???

E.g.; God is compassionate, but not as we normally define the term. God love us, but not as we usually define the term. God is really three entities, but not as we normally define the term entity, or even three.

Seems to me all of Xtianity is based on this loop-hole. And its most often called into play when Atheists, skeptics, etc question Xtians on what they preach/teach about their God and his attributes.

If I say, "As a father myself I would never kick my children out over a first offense...if even a few dozen." Xtians come back with - "Well, God isnt a Father as we humans define it, because his fatherhood is incomprehensible to us humans...its just a figure of speech."

Seems to me Xtianity has cornered the market on this sort of approach...
GOD fears free thinkers

Redmond, WA

#874 Sep 25, 2013
Examples of right-wing evangelicals who are giving religion a bad name:
1. There’s “nothing more Christian” than gutting food aid and letting millions go hungry
Ken Blackwell, Ohio’s former attorney general and the Family Research Council’s current senior fellow for “family empowerment,” believes that the Republican-led cuts to food stamps are a Christian way to make families feel “worthy” and “empowered.”
“I think through empowering others and creating self-sufficiency … there within lies the path to sense of worthiness,” Blackwell told the Christian Post.“When I was growing up, there was fundamental belief, that there were times in people’s life when they needed a hand up … there were [sic] temporariness to those programs, where they were structured so that they didn’t breed dependency.”
Blackwell also believes there is “nothing more Christian” than things like food aid cuts, because social welfare programs create a “permanent dependency on government handouts.” But by kicking four million people off of food stamps and leaving their families to go hungry, the government is “making sure they are participants in their own upliftment and empowerment so that they in fact through the dignity of work and can break from the plantation of big government.”
3. Christians should tell gay couples to die on their wedding day
You’ve probably never heard of Kevin Swanson because he is among the fringier members of the Christian fringe, but the Christian radio host’s marginal status actually gives him a lot of leeway to say despicable things that other leaders in the conservative evangelical movement may agree with — but can’t always get away with saying outright.
Case in point: during a September radio broadcast, Swanson told his audience that the only reason to attend the nuptials of a same-sex couple would be to tell them to die. According to Swanson, guests can “attend the wedding and hold up the sign Leviticus 20:13 word for word:‘If a man sleeps with a man as he sleeps with a woman the two of them have committed an abomination and they shall both be put to death.’ You could attend a wedding and hold up that sign.”
4. Christians should oppose efforts to reduce anti-LGBTQ bullying
The Concerned Women for America — a “coalition of conservative women which promotes Biblical values and family traditions,” founded in 1973 Beverly LaHaye, the wife of the evangelical minister who authored the “Left Behind series”— is just one among many Christian groups to claim that laws to prevent LGBTQ bullying in schools are an example of how the “radical homosexual lobby has done a masterful job of infiltrating our government schools to gain control of the minds of America’s youth.”
As a report from People for the American Way notes, the group, which believes that “homosexual acts are unhealthy” and “like smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse, they should be discouraged,” also argues that anti-bullying laws laws are designed to indoctrinate “very young children.”
Rates of violence, depression and suicide among LGBTQ teenagers are currently off the charts in the United States, and, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of LGBTQ teens report experiencing bullying and regular harassment at school.
Christian dads should “protect” their daughters by keeping them from going to college
Raylan Alleman, a Louisiana-based certified public accountant who moonlights as a Christian life coach, can speak for himself on this one:
http://youtu.be/_cJGETWyviY

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