Random Atheist Question #4

If there is a holy spirit that is supposed to unify all Christians, why are there approximately 38,000 Christian denominations? Shouldn’t a unifying spirit tell all those who believe in it the same things?

Why can only small groups of people get along for short periods of time if they are “all of one spirit”?

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89 responses to “Random Atheist Question #4

  1. I’m been asking this question for a looong time.
    There are no good answers to it.

    You might like my FB notes on these types of things. We seem to think VERY MUCH alike..

  2. It’s another one of those the religiots don’t like, I bet. In the end, they can’t all be right… However, with a stroke of genius the founders of the Christian faith made it *very* easy to get into paradise with their faith: all you have to do is accept jesus as your savour. The rest is immaterial and because of that and so are the questions about the inconsistencies. You could molest baby goats in your religion and you’re still all good as long as you believe in jesus.

  3. There are saveral reasons. God leads Christians, but that doesn’t mean he controls us like robots. There are different denominations because:
    1) We are in the process of becoming more like Jesus, but are still imperfect people.
    2) We don’t all read scripture enough.

    There are more reasons, but this is sufficient enough to see why there are varying denominations. However, it is important to note that on the foundations of the faith, Christians are together.

  4. @Justin

    Basically what you are saying is that the almighty creator of the universe is so inept at conveying his thoughts and requirements to his followers that basically every single one of them manage to misunderstand him.

    You’d think the almighty creator of the universe could do a better job at either conveying his requirements or making followers who understand what he wants.

  5. I think the only good answer would be there is no holy spirit. Christianity is just make-believe for grownups.
    Just a thought…

  6. I think that’s an excellent thought…

  7. Seems like the bible mentions truth a lot, why would it be that God is ok with his people not having truth, as long as they have a little truth, he’s willing to not speak to his people through his holy spirit which supposedly resides within his people. That makes no sense, it would certainly NEVER account for 38000 denominations..

  8. God is big and vast enough to not be completely understood.

  9. So is the flying spaghetti monster..

  10. So your saying that god might have a plan behind all the infighting, hate, and betrayal, but he is to big for us to understand it? Hmmm… Justin, can you prove that god exists? You know with real evidence? If you can’t do that how can you claim “his” size? I mean really, isn’t it all guess work?

    Tell you what, ask your god to tell you what I am holding in my hand right now. If he is all knowing, like Christians say, he will know. And if he is all powerful, like Christians say, he can tell you. So, you pray and ask him and if you can tell me I will believe. OK?

  11. @zebulonthered Surely. Whatever begins to exist has a cause and the universe came into existence. Therefore, the universe had a cause. We can deduce many things about this cause – all of which point to God, but I will use one. This cause must be personal because to have an eternal cause and a non-eternal effect, you would have to have a personal agent to choose to create that effect in time. The name we give to a personal Creator of the universe is “God.” The “which god” argument need only come up if you first admit to their needing to be a personl cause in the first place, otherwise it would be irrelevent.

  12. @justin

    The universe does not necessarily need a cause. A lot of work has been done in quantum mechanics that point in the direction of the universe just happening, without any ’cause’. I will admit that there is still some work to be done, but to be fair, a provable, logical, reliable explanation is better than, ‘a 2000 year old book of dubious origin said an invisible man did it’.

    We only bring up the irrelevant ‘which god’ argument to illustrate to followers of a particular religion how ridiculous their adherence is, since there are many mutually exclusive religions who believe exactly the same thing. We do not think there is a god, ever has been a god or ever will be a god. We do not require a god to explain anything nor do we think there is a ‘personal’ god since that idea is particularly easy to dismiss.

  13. @onefuriouslama Does the theory you are suggesting something you currently believe is true? Does the theory say the universe is eternal or that it came into existence? If the latter, do you have an example of anything that has come into existence without a cause?

  14. Look, I will be the first to admit that I am not a physicist and do not have a complete understanding of quantum mechanics but I think this is a good place to start:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_fluctuation

    Either way, the argument is moot because you are stating that there can’t be an uncaused universe while there can be an uncaused deity.

    If you can argue for an uncaused (or eternal) deity, I can argue for an uncaused (or eternal) universe, mine being the simpler explanation.

    Either way, I know that a universe exists and can prove it, so the leap to eternal or uncaused isn’t that great. You postulate that an uncaused deity exists, for which you have no proof, that then created everything, making the leap somewhat more difficult to accept.

  15. Justin. Dude. You’re not going to win. Did you see how ZTR changed the argument on you?

    Instead of telling Zeb that perhaps the “infighting, hate, and betrayal” is not at all representative of what God had in mind, and therefore not an example of the unity of the Holy Spirit, you chose to attempt to logically prove that God exists.

    You could say that the many denominations in Christianity serve to demonstrate the great diversity which is possible for those who follow Christ, and it is us, imperfect humanity, who has screwed it up, not God.

    You could also mention the fact that denominationalism is slowly going the way of the dodo bird, as we work towards unity within the many diverse strands of Christianity, or that many more people believe and are working towards erasing the sometimes ridiculous lines that have been drawn between Christian groups for far too long.

    I’ve been there, done that. Just tryin to save you some effort!

    jj

  16. jj – How did I change the argument? Gods nonexistence is the simplest explanation for the seeming nonexistence of his spirit.
    How hard is it for an infinitely powerful god to prove his existence? If all Believers all over the world were getting non-conflicting messages from one unifying spirit I think the whole thing would be more believable. But it seems god can’t do that, so I proposed a simpler test. If god can tell Justin what I was holding in my hand last night he will have on more person to argue for his side.

  17. I merely meant to say that the original comment was on the different denominations within the Christian faith. That’s all.

    And you’re right. It wouldn’t be hard for Him to do that. But proof isn’t faith, is it?

    And I would still hold that perhaps we are the ones who are getting it all messed up, not the Holy Spirit. Not you personally, humanity in general.

    But why then doesn’t God force us to understand Him like He wants us to, right?

    Because that wouldn’t be either Faith or Love or free will.

    jj

  18. Zeb, they cannot and will not accept any real challenge. I’ve posted the 7 day challenge for a year now on my FB page and no christian has ever had the balls to step up to the plate. It’s almost like deep down.. they know its make believe…

  19. Wingnut..

    I agree, much more loving and kind just to let a majority of people burn in hell for all eternity..

  20. I’m not talking about god forcing us to understand. He wouldn’t need to force anything, just show up. Showing himself in a tangible way does not remove faith, love ,or freewill. The new testament tells the story of Saul on the road to Damascus. Jesus showed himself to Saul and spoke to him, did that destroy faith or create it? What about free will and love? Was Paul are robot of some kind?

  21. @wingnut

    But why then doesn’t God force us to understand Him like He wants us to, right?
    Because that wouldn’t be either Faith or Love or free will.

    Dude, you need to be a pretty messed up parent to teach your children English and then give them commands in Chinese and then to punish them for not obeying.

    No, ‘free will’ has nothing to do with the fact that *everybody* is constantly misunderstanding their deity. Either the deity can’t communicate properly, can’t make subjects that understand or doesn’t exist so there is no communication and people are just making this shit up.

    Which one of those is the simplest answer?

  22. onefuriousllama, you can claim that the universe is uncaused if you want, but that would make it eternal, which is already shown to be incorrect. Also, I have already read that wikipedia well before. That is why I asked you if you even believe it? It is extremely unstable and I doubt you even believe it. Plus, it is putting you on the side against established science by saying that there can be an effect without a cause.

  23. What caused god? Human imagination? Either that or a giant space goat named Bob… I can’t tell from here….

  24. I prefer llama’s to goats… obviously…

  25. I didn’t know llama’s were named Bob.

  26. Then I must tell you of the most holy llama, Bob of Bombay. He created the world when he sneezed one October morning. Purely by accident you see, such was the power of Bob.

  27. I didn’t know… Does Bob have any commands for us, His humble servants?

  28. Oh, yes, indeed. The only problem is, Bob has a speech impediment and no two people ever hear the same thing when he speaks (metaphorically, in their heads). Odd really. Also, he prefers dictating his holy unchanging words to illiterate sheep herders (who can know the mind of a llama deity). I suspect it is because Bob feels close to sheep herders, as llama’s are used for that role sometimes.

    So, since I am the only one who *does* understand Bob, I will have to translate his holy words for you. Bob basically says to send me money. You, will, of course be blessed and stuff. That is all.

  29. That all makes perfect sense!!! I believe!! Give me your address and I will send you all my money…

  30. And verily I say unto you, go out into the world and convince everybody to send us money. Sharing is caring and so Bob has seen fit to let you keep 25% of what you collect, for your expense account…

  31. I need to make some fliers…

  32. And in two thousand years, having bound several hundred of the fliers together into a book, this organisation could also own all the prime real estate in the world, have huge bank and own a nice little city state. It, will, be, great.

    Only, for some reason Bob says we need to wear dresses and strange hats. Small price to pay.

  33. Are you sure about the dresses? I was just praying to Bob and I thought He said jumpsuits and strange hats…

  34. Dammit, I hate it when he does that. Bloody speech impediment. Should have seen it coming.

    A schism.

    And so, the orthodox church of Bob and the reformed church of Bob was born for in His great wisdom, he foresaw that two churches can con… collect twice as many donations as one…

  35. So my children can’t date yours?

  36. Are you mad man? Of course not! But we all know they will not be stopped by such petty restrictions. Strict and complicated conversion rituals will have to be implemented.

    Arguments on how their children get raised are also encouraged. Also, a homeland for the Orthodox church of Bob will have to be established (because Bob said that if it’s not there when he sends his holy sheep back, there will be trouble).

  37. May I suggest Tasmania as a home land for the Orthodox church of Bob(OCB)? Does Bob, may His nose be blessed, have any “only begotten” Sons that we shuold be aware of?

  38. @onefuriousllama you asked in response to my argument, “what caused God?” This question is asked in a fundemental misundersatinging of my first point. Look at my argument again: Whatever begins to exist has a cause and the universe came into existence. Therefore, the universe had a cause. We can deduce many things about this cause – all of which point to God, but I will use one. This cause must be personal because to have an eternal cause and a non-eternal effect, you would have to have a personal agent to choose to create that effect in time. The name we give to a personal Creator of the universe is “God.”

    Notice my first point is “whatever BEGINS to exist has a cause.” If something exists eternally, then it never needs a cause. I am not special pleading for God as this is what the atheists used to always say about the universe. However, we now know that the universe is not eternal. God is beyond time and space – similar to the law of identity. So in reality, you are asking “what is the cause of the first uncaused cause”, a nonsensical question similar to what is the name of the unmarried man’s wife.

  39. Justin ~ “Therefore, the universe had a cause. We can deduce many things about this cause – all of which point to God…” Why does it point to a god? Maybe our universe was created by super advanced aliens from a different universe.The point is we don’t know, so anybody can throw out a guess. God is yours, can you prove it?

  40. @aebulonthered “god” is defined as “the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.”

    In other words, if there is a personal creator of the universe, it would be god. Like I said earlier, The “which god” argument need only come up if you first admit to their needing to be a personl cause in the first place, otherwise it would be irrelevent.

    If after looking at the logic and evidence I have given, you now admit that their is a personal creator, I would be happy to dive into your question.

  41. And if you can somehow prove a god created the universe, as nobody else has managed it yet. How can you prove it is your god? Maybe it was one of the gods of old, like Thor. Or maybe it’s a god we never heard of before. Maybe it’s Bob of Bombay.

  42. “logic and evidence I have given” What?!?!

  43. See above. We were typing at the same time. My response above deals with that.

  44. Having threaded comments I think makes it harder to read imho.

  45. Justin ~ I don’t see anywhere in your comments where you came close to proving any of your points. You can’t prove your god exists because he doesn’t. If he did you would have told my what I was holding last night when I posted my test comment. Maybe you should rethink what you believe and pick something more believable.

  46. Forgive me, but I got you all the way to having to say which god. If you disagree with a premise, say which one. What have I not responded to?

    We were having a conversation, going back and forth, and suddenly you just now say that I should rethink.

  47. Justin ~ Sorry, You can believe what ever you what. That said, nothing you have said is necessarily logically true. Just because you don’t understand somethings you think you are scoring points. You are not. Saying that gos created the universe is just pushing the question back a level. Like with the Hindus, they believe the world sits on some pillars which are on an elephant who is riding a big turtle that is swimming in an infinity large sea… Back and back it goes where it stops … Justin knows? Even if you can prove a god made everything you can’t prove which god did it. Maybe you are believing in the wrong one.
    There is a lot we don’t know, but that’s OK we can keep looking at the world and try to figure it out. There is no reason to say “god did it” and call it good. We might as well say aliens did it or a huge llama.
    You can’t prove your god is real in day to day life (still waiting for that test answer), how can you prove he made the universe?

  48. Anyway, it’s a moot point. There is no argument. I had a revelation last last that the holy Llama, Bob of Bombay created the world and that is that. He told me, so it must be so. Q.E.D. Q.E.F. T.H.

    My god wins, your god looses. I am the winner, you are not the winner.

    Thanking you.

  49. I am not claiming personal revelation. I made logical points that simply were rejected out of hand. I think any reasonable person reading over this dialogue would see that. If you want to continue the conversation, I’d be happy to at my blog. I jsut posted a video to get the ball rolling.

  50. Justin ~ Your points are not being rejected out of hand. You have to realize that your god and Bob of Bombay have the same likelihood of being real. Yes BoB was revealed through the personal revelation of my Brother OFLlama, but your god was revealed through the personal revelation of people you have never see, for reasons you don’t know.
    I think I may have already said this, but our universe did not necessarily get started by any god. It could have came about by other means. Maybe aliens made it and in the process killed themselves off. Of course you could say god made their universe, therefore he made our universe with their hands (or tentacles). If you go that way you could say the same thing about this blog post and our freewill vanishes.
    Oh, and I am still waiting for that test answer…

  51. @zebulonthered – Again, I am not claiming personal revelation which includes your test question. And again, the “who dun it” question of which God only is relevent if you agree that there must be a Creator. I have shown why there must be one. For clarity, I will break it down so you can point out exactly where you disagree.

    1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
    2. The universe began to exist.
    3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
    4. This cause must be personal.
    5. A personal Creator of the universe is what we call “god or God”.
    6. Therefore, God exists.

    Please only give one point of contention for now and start with the earliest point of contention that you have – that way we don’t run into the issue of jumping back and forth and not making progress in the dialogue.

  52. “This cause must be personal.” Why must the cause be personal? You have to explain that one.
    As for my test, don’t you believe your god communicates with you? Don’t you believe he is all knowing and all powerful? If all these things are true should you get an answer if he wants me to believe in him? I mean, He did it for the Israelite and for Paul.

  53. I do not like threaded comments. Thank you for talking with me at the christian in college site. I will continue the conversation there.

  54. Hello, Zebulonthered!
    I see you did not get the answer to your question: what proof is there that God exists. Well, I will have to disappoint you, too, except it won’t be from an intellectual, college educated standpoint. I like the KISS method-keep it simple, stupid. All I can say is my proof is from an intangible source-the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. My life before Christ was quite a shameful one and, yes, I’m one of those who had to hit bottom before crying out for God to save me from my sinful ways (which was how I had ended up in the darn mess in the first place-going my own way and not His). Anyways, its a knowing within me that God exists. Doesn’t help much for you, huh? At least you are seeking! I wasn’t until it got so bad for me that I had to do something. Giving up my will for His will was the sacrifice and I’m still not perfect in that regards, though I pray to be.
    I never had a solid christian upbringing, did you? So, I know I wasn’t brain washed into my beliefs. Sure was after though because I fell for false teachings. Now I have been led to seek the truth written in God;’s Word from His point of view and not man’s. It takes discernment and practice and knowledge of His Word.
    Okay, enough of my rambling. Perhaps I will put up a post on this in the future. I can’t promise to answer questions on things theological with high falootin’ christianese but I can speak my heart. Maybe guys think things must be explained with scientific, technical talk, but I’m not that bright or educated. I’m just me, saved by grace through Christ’s sacrifice for my sins (hoo boy! am I glad He did that for me!).

    You do have some interesting posts here. I may comment again if i feel up to debate (see? I’m to be ready to defend my faith in season or out-God has His hands full with me-I’m not a debater).

    Have a wonderful evening. Thanks for stopping by at my sandbox.

  55. @auntdeedee

    God help us all if the best that can be provided for evidence is your personal delusion. I spent some time withdrawing from Xanax a couple years back and thought there was an Indian man living on my bed, that my phone was ringing all the time and that there was a smell of sherbet constantly in the air. I believed it, I saw it, I felt it and smelled it but it didn’t make it true.

    Ev-i-den-ce. Provde, the, evidence.

  56. Hello, onefuriousllama!

    Here is an article that I found interesting. The second paragraph is what I believe is true as far as my personal experience with God.

    Here is an excerpt, that second paragraph:

    One of the ways I know that He exists is His personal intervention in my life. He has saved me, touched my life in a spectacular way, transformed me from sinner to saint, filled me with love and contentment and with His Holy Spirit. You can’t convince a man that’s been to the moon that no moon exists. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good. But the naturalistic atheist won’t consider this as evidence because there is no God and therefore it couldn’t have been God intervening in my life. Perhaps it was a psychological aberration, a hallucination, or a freak of nature, but it couldn’t have been God because there is no God. It is easy to see how each side looks at the evidence through the eyeglasses of its worldview.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.rightremedy.org/booklets/47

    If you are an athiest, why do you concern yourself over the existance of God? Is there a way that you can prove there is no God to where you could convince me? You can no more convince me that there is no God than I can convince you that there is. Of the latter, that’s God’s job to make the blinded man see the truth of His existance. Like He did for me. My questions are sincere, not being snarky at all. It just seems odd to me that if there is no God then mankind has certainly wasted time and energy over the world’s history making gods to worship. If there is no God then there would be no knowledge of such a concept. If there is no true God, then there is no need for false gods for where would the pattern come from? Those things I wonder at are probably very elementary to you. Easily explained by you, I mean.

  57. “If there is no God then there would be no knowledge of such a concept.”
    This “logic” would suggest that unicorns, goblins, and all other imaginary, yet thought of, things exist. Otherwise there would be no knowledge of such concepts.
    Funny…Sad too.

  58. @auntdeedee

    My apologies for sounding a bit ‘snarky’, I have noticed my attitude has been a bit combative lately.

    There are some issues with your first paragraph, but whatever, you’re right, no amount of reason and lack of evidence is going to convince you, though, to be honest, I can’t really understand why not. The truth did just fine for me, probably for Zeb too, and a couple million other people. *shrug*

    To answer your second point, I concern myself with the existence of god/gods because people like you try to pass laws that affect people like me. If you had to go away and I had to never hear about christianity or islam or hinduism or taoism or any of the other hundreds of religions again, I would not concern myself with the existence of non existent deities. Atheism is purely a reaction to illogical confused superstitions. If your religion went away, my atheism would evaporate along with it.

    I find it contemptuous, insulting and ludicrous that there are people who want to teach my children lies that the world is 10,000 years old and that a 600 year old man built a boat, with his bare hands, wherein he put hundreds of thousands of species of animals, food for a year, and repopulated the entire planet from that. Against mountains of evidence. That is why I have to care.

    It is impossible for me to care less what you believe. You can believe the moon is made of cheese for all I care, but when your beliefs intrude on my life and affect my children, I have no choice but to care.

    If there are no fairies, why are there so many stories about them? If there are no leprechauns, why so many books about them? Unicorns? If Santa Clause isn’t real, how is it possible that we spend so much time and money on the guy every year. If astrology isn’t real, why are there so many astrologers? If there is no god, why so many gods? Visit the fiction section of your library. Mankind wastes an awful lot of energy on things that aren’t real, including your ‘beliefs’. Watch a movie lately? They are, for the most part, not real either.

    I find it interesting that you follow a book that advocates rape, slavery and genocide and an entity that is (to quote somebody who DOES exist): “jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving, control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevent bully”. Numbers 31:17-18, a personal favourite. And you are proud of this? For shame.

    What makes you so special to get his attention anyway, while he ignores so very many others? And, while we’re on the topic, why does he hate amputees so much?

    Oh, another thing, how do you reconcile the fact that Benny Hinn (among many others) has a $10 million house, a private jet, wears $10,000 suits, stays in 5 star hotels while at the same time saying that his ‘authority’ comes from a god man who said, and I quote, again: “… tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. What would jesus do? Seriously.

    And remember, it’s not personal, I’m just frustrated with self imposed stupidity.

    May His noodly appendages be with you always.

    RAmen.

  59. Good point, Zebulonthered! But who worships unicorns and goblins? 😕
    Man has a desire to worship someone or something and makes idols of anyone or anything. Why has man shown this need to worship someone or something? If there i no God then there is no desire to worship. One item of worship can be our own intellect…

  60. I am sure there are some who worship unicorns and goblins. And many who worship their own intellect. I assure you I do not. I may seem intelligent here, but I am no more intelligent than anyone else. I just think more than most. I slowly widdle away at things until they make sense. Then I move on to something new.
    I do not worship anything, nor do I have the desire too. Could it be that over the course of human history we have been afraid of the unknown? Afraid of death and storms and wild animals, so we made a god to help us cope? Is that impossible?
    You may have noticed that we are good at finding patterns and meaning in the world. We can even do it where there is no real pattern or meaning… Ink blot tests? Toast with Jesus on it?
    There are several different mindsets active in the world today. One of them is the worship mindset, where we thank and plead and look for faith. Another is the rational mindset, where we think and pry and look for facts. There are more but I do not understand them yet, so I will refrain form writing about them today. The point is you believe that because you worship something, everyone must. I hold a great respect for reason and logic, but I know where they break down. I see the flaws, I can not worship them. I see the flaws in your god too. They are obvious to everyone willing to look.
    Sorry if I am rambling,it has been a long day.

  61. onefuriousllama, I did not detect anything wrong in your attitude so no need for an apology whatsoever!

    Christianity and Judeoism does not hold the market on passing laws. For Christians, we suffer from “bad” laws, too. But, without laws, where every man is a law unto himself, would there not be chaos? If you say you should have the right to murder someone then shouldn’t that mean that someone has a right to murder you? With Judeo-Christian laws, they are meant to protect all of mankind. I’m not sure of other laws and what is protected by them though some are to protect a tyrannical government. All things are run by laws of some sort. Laws of nature come to mind here. It keeps things from going chaotic.
    As far as one’s beliefs intruding upon another that cannot be helped even if there were no christianity. Someone would rise up and spoil that idea of having no one’s beliefs shoved upon another. Is it OK to teach Darwinism? That’s a belief system that scientists have been debunking for the whole time of its existance. But, there is no God with that philosophy, just bad science. I happen to believe there was a flood on the earth and can look at fossils for proof (a great force of mud compressing whole animals and insects and other such creatures making a perfect form of them), and ancient civilizations long removed from the Judeo God of the Flood Era have records of such an event. Was it world-wide? No, I don’t have to believe that it was because “world” can mean civilizations or a populated area of the world. I look at the Grand Canyon and can see the evidence of a Great Flood. The “hole” being where a geyser had pushed up from the earth (the Flood wasn’t all rain from the heavens) and the visible layers of earth as when the waters settled down and receded over time with the densest materials at the bottom of the layers on up to the lightest weight of materials toward the top. You would say that happened over hundreds of thousands of years. Yet, the rate of erosion would invalidate that idea, imho.
    On astrology, the message of salvation is written in the stars but man twisted it for his own gain and not God’s glory as it once was for the study of. Sadly, The Age of Reason has changed attitudes about the existance of God at record speed (which reminds me, I need to read that Payne fairytale again).

    You say:
    I find it interesting that you follow a book that advocates rape, slavery and genocide and an entity that is (to quote somebody who DOES exist): “jealous and proud of it; petty, unjust, unforgiving, control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevent bully”. Numbers 31:17-18, a personal favourite. And you are proud of this? For shame.

    Yes, it would be a shame if what you wrote were true. I’ll need to see scriptures and your interpretation of them to understand where you come from on this. BTW, slavery was not like the slavery of displaced by force Africans in America and white European countries. Cruelty to slaves was prohibited by God. Slaves were no different than employees of our day save for they were given homes to live in with their masters, aka, bosses. Payments have changed, too. Buying a slave then is no different than companies paying temp services to find good woirkers today.

    If Numbers 31:17 hadn’t happened we would not exist in a healthy condition for STDs would have spread throughout mankind long ago. At best, we would be born with terrible, painful diseases from such sexual encounters. So, I take it you favor NAMBLA-the National Man Boy Love Association? Well, sexual perversion was rampant among these people God called for destruction. For the greater good of mankind such things had to be done or all of mankind would become extinct due to early deaths or live in painful misery. Now, you may dare to tell God, the Creator of Man, how He is to treat people, and what He should have as laws but I am not that brave. With a piss-poor analogy here, it would be like telling my Ford mechanic to put in Chevy engine parts in my Sport truck. Or telling him he is full of it when he says I must do this or that to keep my truck running at its peak. I’m no mechanic nor am I God. I think it best that the Maker and Maintainer be in charge.

    When a man has children he wants the best for them and will not tolerate a strange man honing in on his loved ones. He is a jealous father. That is the type of jealousy God has for His children. He is a perfect Father and good, earthly fathers are a fair, though not perfect, example of that love. So, it is not the green-eyed monster type of jealousy. Come to think of it, you are jealous for your children as to who shoves their beliefs on them, no?

    I am only “special” to God because of His Son’s sacrifice, nothing of my own doing, that’s for sure. As for the rest of your comment, it began to go to the ridiculous-why does God hate amputees? For God so loved the whole world that whosoever (that’s everyone of every stripe) believes in Him shall not perish. God is not a partial God when it comes to those who have a saving faith in Him. Whosoever you are is whosoever He came for to save from perishing. Its a free gift-it costs you nothing but to believe (which seems like a painful sacrifice for you) but it cost Him greatly. No greater love is there than one who lays down his life for his friends. Jesus showed that love on the cross.

    Thank you for explaining to me what it is that makes you desire no existance of God. It has been interesting to find this out. Have a wonderful night, llama!

    Note to you and Zeb-meaning no disrespect or cowardice on my part if I do not return here again. Please understand that my eyes cannot take the white print on black background and it causes migraine headaches. However, this theme was a perfect choice for you, Zeb. You both are more than welcome to my sandbox. I don’t tolerate name-calling or bashing and trashing of different viewpoints (which I saw had happened at Justin’s site). However, my site is not solely on christian issues-just whatever I’m interested in posting.

  62. Zebulonthered, that is the best, logical comment I have ever read from an athiest. It even made me chuckle when I read the “Jesus on toast” remark. Oh well, there are those who make christianity look all the more foolish than it already is…

    So, I take it there will be no llamas named Bob being sacrificed here. Good.

    Thanks for giving me some good reasonings to part here with!

  63. WooHoo! I just noticed the Reply here! I thought it was only one tiered. I wanted to read your comment one more time.
    You said:
    Could it be that over the course of human history we have been afraid of the unknown? Afraid of death and storms and wild animals, so we made a god to help us cope? Is that impossible?

    Very much so! But I have found nothing that gives the inner peace like belief in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, does. Take it from a former New Ager who used to like the Zen philosophy as well as anything that sounded good and logical. Maybe some of that much is still in me as I do love quotes from Buddha, as long as it does not contradict God’s Word.

  64. Oops 😳
    You asked if that was impossible and I said, Very much so-what I meant to say is that it is very much so possible mankind has made gods for those reasons-fear.

  65. Auntdeedee, I am glad you found inner peace. Even if it was found in a myth. I would have no problems with religion if religious people could understand that the stories they read in the bible are just that, stories. All of the hate and violence comes from unquestioning belief in unsupportable claims. If a Christian can live a life following Jesus’ way of love and forgiveness, while keeping in mind that the man Jesus was just a man, that Christian would be less likely to look down on others of different beliefs.

    I was a Christian for most of my life. All I see there now is dogma passed down and self righteous behavior. Believe it or not, but I was into “new age” stuff for two or three years as a teenager. The only difference between Christianity and a new age cult is numbers. Because, somehow, we think that if a lot of people believe the same thing, that thing is true… Remeber everybody once thought the world was flat.
    I am now studying Zen,not because I think it is 100% true, but because there may be peace there. I grow tired of this endless debate (See my post “on the topic of the debate”). Everybody is talking, but nobody is listening.

  66. I’m listening…I hope so, anyways. I found onefuriousllama’s remarks worth listening to. I find that your search for inner peace worth listening to. You are right, though, everybody is talking, but nobody is listening from both sides of the debate. Our worldviews, or belief systems, are hard to overcome.Unless there is humility and an open mind to understanding beliefs of those beyond our own I wonder how we can even grow in our own beliefs. One day, I hope to hear an athiest speak apart from emotionalism, which twists scriptures to say what it doesn’t. And, that christian scholars will not mock the athiest in reply or talk down to them. I will be listening for that debate but I will not hold my breath. Christians should argue their points but should only go so far. Pushing it is not scriptural because Jesus said, Tell others about Me, but if they do not receive your words, move on, leave them alone.

    So, you are looking into Zen philosophy for peace. I believe you will use discernment and critical thinking. That’s good. I’ll pray for you to find true inner peace-that which will carry you through the thick and thin of this life’s journey and beyond that door of death.

    Nice site, though I did like the other theme, Chaotic Soul. It was one I wanted to have for myself but knew that my old eyes would not approve. God bless you in your journey! Did I just say that? Well, if He does bless you, will you believe He exists? 🙂

  67. Auntdeedee,

    I would like to attempt to talk about scripture without being emotional or twisting the scriptures. I didn’t’ find real peace until I abandoned Christianity, I felt like I was always ignoring real data to accept unprovable data, that didn’t bring me any peace at all. I will tell you (and my wife had the same experience), the scriptures took on a totally different shade of color (that’s about the only way I can describe it) after rejecting Christianity, just like when I “got saved”, rejecting the beliefs I had was a very enlightening experience.

    What I’ve found though is that the bible really does indicate that (the way I’ve read it, maybe I’m wrong, I’m open to have that thought changed), God commanded for the death of children and thousands of people.

    I’m curious how you interpret those verses? I can’t comprehend how an infinitely powerful while infinitely loving god can really command his people to kill children and take women for breeding purposes. But it’s definitely within the realm of comprehension for me to not understand the verses.

    Jimmy

  68. @auntdeedee
    “One day, I hope to hear an athiest speak apart from emotionalism, which twists scriptures to say what it doesn’t.” I am with Jimmy on this one. I think… Could it be that emotionalism is what causes a Christian not to see the bible for what is really is?

    I never felt inner peace when I was a Christian, just a lot of guilt for not measuring up to the impossible standers laid out by the bible and the church. Atheism removed the guilt and the search for real true was fulfilling for years, but now I see that all truth is subjective and that I was wasting my time looking for that One Truth.

    As far as me believing in god if he blesses me… I don’t think I want to go down that road of discussion today. 🙂

  69. Jimmy, there are some things that are hard to believe. God is love and to destroy pagans that were so full of diseases from sexual perversions in their worship of their gods, God had to destroy a them so as not to have all of mankind wiped out. Did you notice that God would have the virgins spared? Many want to talk about the slaughters from God’s hand, but they do not consider that these people being slaughtered were barbaric and slaughtering other people groups whole. God’s people were told to kill, not torture to death, which many of these barbaric enemies of God did. Why shouldn’t God desire the wiping out of a perverse people if they mete out injustice to their fellow man? Shouldn’t God judge evil? He judged Herod for slaughtering the infant males of up to two years of age at the time of Jesus’ birth. Can He not be seen as just in that? Beware of a false peace, please!

  70. Zeb, if you felt alot of guilt then you had no faith in what Christ Jesus did at the cross-that is, taking God’s wrath against your sins upon Himself and paying that penalty. Oh my. You didn’t experience the grace and mercy of God! What religion taught you to feel guilt all the time?! There should be none of that if you are truly repentant when you ask for forgiveness from God.God knows we aren’t perfect! Guilt is a gift that brings us to His merciful forgiveness. God never intended us to live in perpetual guilt. He wanted us to have that inner joy and peace. That was why Christ Jesus died on that cross. Yes, we live for Him and do our best to obey from the heart, and when we are truly born again that is our desire. God knows we can’t measure up, but Christ did and through Him, we measure up to His standards. God doesn’t look at us but Christ-and we are in Christ. That’s mercy-not getting what we deserve, and grace-getting what we don’t deserve.

    Sorry. Got preachy. Kinda had to. I’m a bit angry that you felt guilt for not “measuring up” because I can only imagine what religion/teacher taught you that. Whatever faith you once had has been shipwrecked from bad teaching.
    Very well. You will search for the wisdom palatable for you. Cannot blame you there.

    Is it emotionalism that we Christians use in interpreting scriptures? I hope not in totality. The hard fact of being a sinner in need of a Savior sure doesn’t evoke good emotions. God says, Come, let us reason together. He doesn’t want the emotional blind faith. He wants that reasonable faith. Emotions can fool us.

    One more note. You mentioned 38,000 different denominations. Because I have studied apologetics, due to having been in churches teaching heresies, it makes me wonder if 37,999 of them are heretical. After being in heretical churches for the first 10 years of my christian life I’m denomination-shy now. I don’t go to church-been burned by them three times. I know all about the mind games and guilt trips…things God never intended.

  71. @auntdeedee
    I hope you don’t mind my commenting on you comment to Jimmy…
    I will let him handle everything else, but I have to say that there is no historical evidence to back up the bibles claim about the “slaughtering the infant males of up to two years of age at the time of Jesus’ birth.” Something that big would have secular records… But there are none. It didn’t happen. It is just a story.

  72. Zeb,

    Feel free to comment in my place at any time. We think enough alike. I was going to respond with exactly the same comment that you did.

    There are numerous things in the bible that don’t have any reference outside of the bible, this is one of the subjects that really hurt the bible as a valid source of history.

    For example:

    The numerous dead that rose from their graves at the moment of Jesus’ death. How could likely hundreds of dead people walk through the city, yet no one managed to notice it and document it?

    The hebrews leaving egypt, the egyptions were phenomenal record keepers of who came and went from the kingdom, yet there is no mention at all of a mass exodus, and in this case it was a significant part of the population.

    I could go on.. But I had a vasectomy 2 hours ago and I need to go to sleep for a while..

  73. First of all, the Bible is a historical book.
    Now, I leave you with this link to read if you are seriously wanting the truth of the matter:

    The Slaughter of the Innocents

  74. Here is a paper for consideration on the Exodus. An exerpt:

    A papyrus dating from the end of the Old Kingdom was found in the early 19th century in Egypt [6]. It seems to be an eyewitness account of the events preceding the dissolution of the Old Kingdom. Its author, an Egyptian named Ipuwer, writes:

    Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.
    The river is blood.
    That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin!
    Trees are destroyed.
    No fruit or herbs are found…
    Forsooth, gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire.
    Forsooth, grain has perished on every side.
    The land is not light [dark].

    Velikovsky recognized this as an eyewitness account of the ten plagues. Since modern men are not supposed to believe in such things, it has been interpreted figuratively by most historians. The destruction of crops and livestock means an economic depression. The river being blood indicates a breakdown of law an order and a proliferation of violent crime. The lack of light stands for the lack of enlightened leadership. Of course, that’s not what it says, but it is more palatable than the alternative, which is that the phenomena described by Ipuwer were literally true.
    The Exodus and Ancient Egyptian Records

  75. There were witnesses to the raising of the dead~

    Matthew 27:52-53 and the tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead after Jesus’ resurrection. They left the cemetary, went into the holy city of Jerusalem and appeared to many people.

  76. @auntdeedee
    “Even though secular history is silent on this event it does not mean it did not occur. When the life of Herod the Great is examined, this event is very consistent with his character and actions…” Well I’m convinced.
    Even your link shows that it didn’t happen.

    If you replace Herod the Great with Hitler and the slaughtering the infant males with eating babies, voila Hitler ate babies.

  77. @auntdeedee
    How is this a description of the 10 plagues? I see it mentions that the river is blood, what about the rest?

  78. @auntdeedee
    An of course you can’t use the bible to proof the bible…
    It’s like using Peter Pan (the book) to prove the existence of Never Land.

  79. I was actually checking all the facts I could (like dates of the Egyptian dynasties) before Zeb beat me to posting back.

    I’m sorry Auntdeedee, the “evidence” you’re offering seems to indicate that you’re the one with a closed mind to the facts. We’re talking about some VERY specific and colossal events in history, it would seem that there would be a little more reliable source for verification other than the bible. It certainly appears that you have a bias to need to believe the bible and any little hint of a supporting argument from history is all you need to confirm what you believe. While a massive lack of evidence isn’t nearly enough to make you doubt. I think if we were trying to identify which of us is not willing to accept the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you would be on the losing end…

    I’m growing even more convinced that I’m right to reject Christianity based on this data.

  80. The “circular reasoning” argument is absurd. That’s like saying you can’t prove that the President lives in the White House by looking into the White House. It is looking into the White House that will provide the necessary proof. The fulfilled prophecies, the amazing consistency, and the many scientific statements of the Bible prove it to be the Word of God. They provide evidence that it is supernatural in origin.

  81. Justin,

    Fulfilled prophecies? You’re kidding?

    Amazing consistency? You’re kidding again?

    Scientific statements of the bible? This is a trifecta of kidding!

    Please, you church folks have REALLY got to do better than this.

  82. @Justin
    … You can’t compare real life with books. In real life there is actual physical evidence in the white house, in books there is just words. Anybody can write words.

  83. Then there is no book on this earth, no words of historical facts culminated in book form, that will convince you, Zeb, and Jimmy. I must say that neither of you do any research whatsoever to dispute what is said or to support your viewpoints. Both of you do not desire to know the truth but only in spouting your own desires. You are your own worst teachers…all you offer is your feelings-no more guilt-and your own intellect based on that foundation.

    Go ahead and mock but God will have the last laugh.
    Here is an article to show the prophesies fulfilled in scriptures. I know, the next thing you will say is that it isn’t reliable because someone added these events in after they happened.

    http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/bible-prophecies-fulfilled.htm

  84. I have an even better and simpler idea.

    The bible indicates that whatsoever you (auntdeedee) asks for, if you believe it, it will be given to you.

    Instead of digging through mountains of books and reading the bible, I simply request that the holy spirit reveal to you 3 numbers. I have selected the 3 numbers and saved them in a file, the time and date stamp will serve as proof (so I won’t be lying if the holy spirit should speak to you).

    If the holy spirit reveals these 3 numbers to you, I will reject all evolution and science and accept Jesus as the one true deity, ignoring the thousands of other deities that more or less offer the sames things that jesus offers.

    NOW! Before you start saying “GOD WILL NOT BE TEMPTED”, there are several places in the bible where people needed a sign, due to doubt, God was willing to give them a sign, I’m not different than anyone else. With the massive amount of confusion and thousands of possible deities and religions I could choose, this seems like a reasonable challenge.

    What do you say? A soul hangs in the balance…

    I will even throw you a hint, the 3 numbers are under 10,000, and they’re integers only.

    Jimmy

  85. The idea of this loving God laughing at my eternal destruction, only confirms that he really likes to see suffering and death.

  86. @auntdeedee
    ok… Auntdee, you need to calm down a little and take a deep breath.
    You have to remember that I was a Christian once. I have done more research than I care to admit. I have found no evidence of god anywhere. Feel free to believe what you like, but please don’t force your beliefs on me. I believed once, I will not again with the current set of “proofs”. If something new turns up, like god or something, I will reevaluate. Until them read my latest post. It may help you to understand my current thinking. 🙂

  87. Actually auntdeedee, I spent over 20 years being a very committed christian, even working towards a career in the ministry. I’ve read the bible at least 30 times as well as spent a pretty reasonable amount of time studying greek and hebrew. When I was needing for the bible the be true, somehow I just never saw the terrible holes and contradictions. So I understand why you may not either.

  88. @auntdeedee
    I am not attacking you, Auntdeedee.

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