Liars, Lunatics, Lords, Legends and Lemmings… »« Hell House trip, continued

Ray is preaching my stuff!

I just checked the latest post from Ray Comfort and submitted the following response. I’m doubtful that he’ll post it and I’m very doubtful that we’ll ever have any sort of dialog…but, darn it, I just can’t stop trying. I guess I’m a bit more masochistic than I thought.

For those that don’t want to read Ray’s post, the short version is: the OT and NT gods are the same, righteous, perfect and equally stern in their pure justice. This version has only a single change…I’ve actually provided the link to the wiki, as I can pretty much do whatever I want to do here. :)

Thanks, Ray…for (almost) preaching the very sermon I’ve been preaching for years.

So many Christians (and many non-Christians) dismiss the Old Testament view of God in favor of the cheek-turning compassion of the New Testament version. The mistakenly think that the NT version is better, softer or more kind.

There’s just one tiny area where we disagree (actually, there are several beyond this, but I’m only addressing the comparison)…you think the OT and NT versions are equally good, righteous and perfect. I don’t.

While some non-believers might agree with you, but opt for ‘equally bad’ as the appropriate description, I simply don’t agree. The NT doctrine is far worse.

Your cartoonish oversimplification of the wages of OT sin being “Hell” is not consistent with Jewish tradition and not Biblically supported without anachronistic reinterpretation of the OT. The very understanding of death and what happens after death is rather nebulous in the OT and much more vivid in the NT. This renders the NT version of God far worse than the OT version – because the immoral doctrines of original sin is compounded by the unjust concept of eternal punishment for finite ‘sins’ (though you’ll probably point out that sins against a God are necessarily infinite…that’s just a convenient interpretation that isn’t supported theologically, logically or Biblically).

The idea that it is just to punish people for their thoughts, doubts or disbelief is a perversion of any reasonable concept of justice. The system is further polluted by the claim that it rewards belief, regardless of, or in preference to action.

While you’ll find this sad, possibly offensive and may even refuse to publish it, I have no problem at all asserting that my moral values are superior to those of any character in the Bible, including the various characterizations of God. In fact, I’d argue that the God of the Bible may be one of the least moral characters in that entire collection of ancient writings.

When you sacrifice your humanity, your decency and your rational sense of justice in order to claim that the tyrannical acts of a more powerful being are intrinsically just, appealing to the banality of ‘might makes right’ – you’ve lost the battle.

The Euthyphro dilemma begins to make this point about fiat-morality…but it’s worth extending.

If you’re so impressed with the Sermon on the Mount, I’d be curious to hear your take on my response to it.

Comments

  1. says

    The idea that it is just to punish people for their thoughts, doubts or disbelief is a perversion of any reasonable concept of justice. “Quite possibly one of the coolest refutations of eternal damnation I’ve read.Thanks!

  2. says

    …not to mention providing a theological justification for totalitarianism.After all, if thoughts themselves are so dangerous, certainly the State has a clear interest in controlling them. What’s the loss of some freedom of expression – or all of it – if you’re saving people from the eternal fires of Hell?

  3. says

    I thought pretty much the same thing as you, and was going to forward you the link to Ray’s post, but you beat me to the punch.

  4. says

    Well, I’ll give Ray this much: he did approve your comment. (I tried searching for “Matt”, but that found all the places where people were quoting from the book of Matthew.)I’m also amused by Mark (another not-very-useful search term in that thread) Morrison’s reply to you. It’s not clear what he means, but I think he’s saying that you never stopped being a Christian.Hey, if Americans United can be headed by a minister, why can’t the ACA?

  5. says

    I think it’s no coincidence that Matt is such an excellent communicator for the ACA and for atheism in general. Most here have probably heard his story about how, when he was a Christian, he was considering becoming a preacher. I think it must have been evident even back then that he had an excellent gift for communicating his ideas in a persuasive manner – an important skill for a preacher.Of course, to our great benefit he thought his way out of religion / Christianity. But I think ironically he did end up becoming a preacher of sorts after all: an awesome evangelist for atheism, skepticism and freethought.Amen Matt!

  6. says

    arensb said… Well, I’ll give Ray this much: he did approve your comment. (I tried searching for “Matt”, but that found all the places where people were quoting from the book of Matthew.)I’m also amused by Mark (another not-very-useful search term in that thread) Morrison’s reply to you. It’s not clear what he means, but I think he’s saying that you never stopped being a Christian. Mark said, actually I said he never was one to begin with. You can’t lose what you don’t have. I am more than willing to discuss this further if you would like.

  7. says

    Robert said… Most here have probably heard his story about how, when he was a Christian, he was considering becoming a preacher. I think it must have been evident even back then that he had an excellent gift for communicating his ideas in a persuasive manner – an important skill for a preacher. What you fail to understand is that communicating God’s ideas is the point to being a Preacher. I think that matt has never had a problem communicating his ideas because they were just that, his ideas.

  8. says

    If God is so offended by my thought-life he is more than welcome to stay out of my brain.In case you haven’t seen it, there was an episode of Mr. Deity in which he explained that he forbade masturbation at a time when he had his omniscience turned on all the time. “It was like living in front of the Bellagio.”

  9. says

    Mark Morrison:If you’re saying that Matt (or TracieH, or Dan Barker, or Michael Shermer, or any number of other people) was never a true Christian because he left the faith, then it naturally follows that you yourself might not be a true Christian.After all, it’s possible that you might deconvert at some time in the future, which means you’re not a real Christian now.

  10. says

    All of this “Well, you were never a REAL believer then” is just another way of negating the permissibility of dissent.Our religion is so obviously godly and right and correct that nobody who truly knows it could ever leave, any more than they could UN-learn how to spell or count.Sincere, honest dissent is simply inconceivable. Therefore anyone who DOES claim to have left…a) was never one of us to begin with, orb) there is something wrong with them; they are rebelling against the righteous truth, they hate God, etc.whatever the case, their apostasy presents no challenge to us. There! Problem solved.

  11. says

    arensb said… Mark Morrison:If you’re saying that Matt (or TracieH, or Dan Barker, or Michael Shermer, or any number of other people) was never a true Christian because he left the faith, then it naturally follows that you yourself might not be a true Christian.After all, it’s possible that you might deconvert at some time in the future, which means you’re not a real Christian now. I’m saying that if God calls you he will keep you. Period. People fall away because they never fell in to begin with.

  12. says

    please let matt respond for himself. if you have had a false conversion then share it and we will continue this discussion. if not then do you consider yourself qualified to debate this issue ? sarcasm is not debating.

  13. says

    I voted for Ray “The Banana Man” Comfort to win The Golden Crocoduck award for the biggest breach of the 9th Commandment in furtherance of the creationist cause.Unfortunately, it was a really tough field. Ben Stein and Kirk Cameron received more votes than Comfort, as well as YouTubers VenomFangX and NephilimFree. Of course, the first winner of the not-so-coveted Golden Crocoduck was everyone’s favorite felon, “Dr.” Kent Hovind.To see the nomination and award videos, look up Potholer54debunks on YouTube.

  14. says

    Mark Morrison sayeth:I’m saying that if God calls you he will keep you. Period. People fall away because they never fell in to begin with.This is a theologically interesting statement, as it suggests God, and God alone, decides who is or is not “called”. It’s the doctrine that, completely independent of what anyone does or believes, some are arbitrarily “kept”, while the rest are destroyed.That’s unjust.Moreover, if there is no way for an outside observer to discern between those who are “true Christians” and those who are not – no reliable test of faith – then what does it even mean to be a believer or follower of the faith? Not only is Mark’s salvation called into question, but that of everyone else whom he presumes to be a “true Christian”, including his friends, family, pastor, other religious leaders, the writers, editors, canonizers, translators and interpreters of the Bible, and so on. Any of those people could be a false believer, perhaps misleading him in any of a variety of ways. And yes, arensb is quite right, there’s no way for Mark to know with any certainty that he happens to be among those who have been “called”, whom he presumes will be “kept”.But that is what faith is for, I suppose. Or arrogance.

  15. says

    How Do You Know You’re a ChristianbyJohn MacArthurTwo Tests That Tell the Truth1. The doctrinal testa) Do you confess Christ?A person’s beliefs about Christ will validate his claim to be a Christian. The Greek word translated “confess” means “to say the same thing.” The first part of the doctrinal test asks about the person in question: Does he say the same thing about Christ that God says in the Bible? If he says, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe Christ is God,” then he’s not saying the same thing about Christ that God said. He is not confessing Christ.(1) 1 John 2:22-23–”Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father; He that confesseth the Son hath the Father also.”(2) 1 John 4:2–”By this know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.”(3) 1 John 5:1–”Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”Being truly saved is a matter of confessing or agreeing that Jesus is the Christ.b) Do you confess your sin?A Christian says the same thing about his sin that God says. If someone comes along and tells me he’s a Christian but doesn’t acknowledge his sin, I don’t believe him.(1) 1 John 1:6, 8–”If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie …. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”(2) 1 John 1:9-10–Verse 9 tells us that if we are confessing sin, then we are the ones being forgiven–we are the true Christians. Verse 10 says, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”2. The moral testa) Do you obey God’s Word?First John 2:3 says, “By this we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.”b) Do you love others?First John 2:10 says, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light.” The issue in 1 John 2:3-11 is the objective moral test of true Christianity: obedience and love. The Christians John wrote to were being influenced by false teachers or “antichrists,” according to 1 John 2:18. Therefore, John exhorts his readers to “test the spirits” (4:1), rather than naively believe their claims. If they could see obedience and love in the lives of the teachers, those qualities would attest to their spiritual life.

  16. says

    Mark Morrison also said:What you fail to understand is that communicating God’s ideas is the point to being a Preacher. I think that matt has never had a problem communicating his ideas because they were just that, his ideas.Unless you have some way to demonstrate that God exists, then it is unreasonable to attribute ideas to him. Things that don’t exist can’t come up with ideas. Not only would he have to exist, but he would have to have some way to communicate those ideas to a preacher – at which point, why not just use the same mechanism to communicate those ideas to each individual directly?In other words, how is it possible to discern between an individual’s ideas and God’s ideas? Maybe Matt is communicating God’s ideas, and God doesn’t want anyone to believe in him. Maybe God wants people to use their sensory organs and mental faculties to discern truth, rather than blindly accepting unverified, or unverifiable, assertions. Maybe Satan inspired the Bible in order to deceive people. Maybe science and secularism compose the “one true faith”. Maybe Matt is among those who have been “called”, while Mark is not.And so, Mark is in a very interesting predicament, indeed. He has eliminated all criteria and means of verification, and thereby rests his positions on nothing at all. They are simply his ideas.

  17. says

    Mark,I agree that I had a false conversion…but that’s only because I’m convinced that they’re all false.There’s nothing I can say to convince you that my time as a Christian was every bit as real as anyone else’s. There are countless former believers and former ministers and your win-win scenario makes them all out to be liars. The only ‘True Christians’, to you, are those who remain devout until death.It is pointless to debate this point with you, but I can tell you that from my point of view, I was sincere in my beliefs, actively sought God’s guidance, was convinced that I was touched and led by the Holy Spirit and my departure from Christian beliefs came as the result of a direct, sincere attempt to meet the obligation of 1 Peter 3:15.If your God is real and I was never really a Christian, it’s clearly his fault – and it’s a situation he could, if he existed, quickly and easily correct…but fails to do so.Take it up with him, not me.

  18. says

    Matt D. said… Mark, I agree that I had a false conversion…but that’s only because I’m convinced that they’re all false. There’s nothing I can say to convince you that my time as a Christian was every bit as real as anyone else’s. There are countless former believers and former ministers and your win-win scenario makes them all out to be liars. The only ‘True Christians’, to you, are those who remain devout until death. It is pointless to debate this point with you, but I can tell you that from my point of view, I was sincere in my beliefs, actively sought God’s guidance, was convinced that I was touched and led by the Holy Spirit and my departure from Christian beliefs came as the result of a direct, sincere attempt to meet the obligation of 1 Peter 3:15. So I’m to understand that the reason you “left” Christianity is because you couldn’t give men an answer to the hope that you had ? matt with all of your great intellect does this not seem odd to you ? If someone had so radically had their life changed and couldn’t tell someone why ? If your God is real and I was never really a Christian, it’s clearly his fault – and it’s a situation he could, if he existed, quickly and easily correct…but fails to do so. OK so now it’s God’s fault that you don’t believe…You guys want to make fun of Ray Comfort and you give answers like this ? You even claimed morale superiority to God in one of your post to Ray.

  19. says

    I don’t claim “morale” superiority, I claim moral superiority…and I’ve made this claim repeatedly and consistently.Can you fulfill the obligation of 1 Peter 3:15? You’d be the first. Ray can’t. Kirk can’t. Dobson can’t. McDowell can’t. Strobel can’t…the list goes on and on.Do you really understand that verse? It’s not about a personal testimony (your personal experiences are fine as evidence for you, but useless to others)… the word used is ‘logos’ – you’re commanded to give a logical reason for your belief and to do so with a specific attitude. I’ll drop the attitude requirement, you can be as snotty as Ray..but I’d love to see you actually provide the rational justification for your faith.In your mind, God has ordered you to do it – so feel free.

  20. FrodoSaves says

    “I have no problem at all asserting that my moral values are superior to those of any character in the Bible, including the various characterizations of God”… Should I be worshiping you then?Incidentally, I always thought that the Old Testament was actually a joke. I’m kind of shocked to find out that people actually take it seriously. I always read the 10 Commandments and thought to myself “satire, surely”. It’s like someone picked on all the bad things people were doing and made a short list of don’ts by way of social commentary. Incidentally, since people are still killing, dishonoring their parents, and forgetting the Sabbath, Christianity can’t have made much headway in the past couple of millennia, can it?

  21. says

    Mark Morrison said:I’m saying that if God calls you he will keep you. Period. People fall away because they never fell in to begin with.So you are saying that someone who later loses his faith, was never a Christian in the first place. If I believed all that, I’d probably go on a campaign to kill all Christians immediately, and therefore send them to the eternal bliss of paradise now, rather than risk them losing their faith later and dooming them to hell.

  22. says

    Mark Morrison copied and pasted:How Do You Know You’re a Christian [...] Two Tests That Tell the TruthOkay, so you have a test that allows you to find out right now whether you’re a real Christian or not. At the same time, you say that someone who deconverts was never a Christian to begin with.If you read some deconversion stories, you’ll find a lot of people who would have passed MacArthur’s test, and yet wound up not believing in any gods some time later.So either MacArthur’s test is unreliable, or your assertion that a true Christian will never deconvert is wrong. Which is it?

  23. says

    FrodoSaves:since people are still killing, dishonoring their parents, and forgetting the Sabbath, Christianity can’t have made much headway in the past couple of millennia, can it?Sez you. I, for one, haven’t seen anyone gathering firewood on the sabbath lately. (Though I have seen logs on sale at the 7-Eleven that’s open 24/7.)

  24. says

    I used to work at a pizza place on Sunday and most of what I did was cleaning up after Christians came from church. Since their Bible says I should die for this, it seems kind of, what’s the word, reprehensible for them to force me to watch their children pull all the napkins out of a napkin holder and throw them all over the place, run around without any supervision, and build forts with the booster seats while I clean their tables and wash their dishes?

  25. says

    Mark, I’m sorry but your arguments just don’t work. You claiming that anyone who leaves the faith never really believed is just another circular logic cop-out: -People who left never believed! Why not? -Because if they had, they would never leave. -Why not?-Because people who really believe never leave! -Why don’t they leave? -Because they believe! -How do you know they really believe? -Because they don’t leave the faith!”If you’ve gotten yourself to the point where that kind of logic makes sense…congratulations.

  26. says

    thehabi said… Demanding obedience, but failing to show up and explain why…. Not really the unbelievers fault, is it? He didn’t have to just show up. He always was and will be. You have his word you just choose not to believe. Freewill remember? Take responsibility for your own actions.

  27. says

    Mark Morrison:How Do You Know You’re a ChristianbyJohn MacArthur[edited for conciseness]1. The doctrinal test a) Do you confess Christ? b) Do you confess your sin?2. The moral test a) Do you obey God’s Word? b) Do you love others?For about two decades of my life, I would have passed MacArthur’s test with flying colors. I grew up in a devoutly Christian home, was “saved” at age six, attended several churches, church camps and youth groups during my adolescence, and participated in a variety of ministries during college, including missionary work in Mexico and Papua New Guinea. I was obedient, and full of love for all of humanity. I sang praises in the shower and on long car rides alone, and prayed more or less continuously. For awhile, I was moved to tears during nearly every church service, and several times throughout the week, so powerful was my love and commitment to “God”.Then a funny thing happened. I realized that any deity worth his salt would want those proselytizing on his behalf to understand the TRUTH, whatever that happened to be, even if it conflicted with their deeply-held beliefs. It became incumbent upon me to sort out all the little doctrinal details, and get my story straight before attempting to preach to others en masse. Anything less would be highly irresponsible.I prayed earnestly for wisdom and guidance, and set out on a multi-year journey of spiritual investigation and introspection, fully confident that what I discovered would only support my core beliefs. Really, everyone who has been a believer for more than a year or two should have such faith, such “blessed assurance”.The first question on my agenda was, “what must I really do to be saved?” the very question which you now face. I quickly discovered a fairly clear Biblical answer, which you do not yet appear to comprehend. According to your criterion that a true believer will never fall away, MacArthur’s test is clearly inadequate – so what is the correct answer?This is a very important doctrinal question. Indeed, it is the most important, most central question of Christianity. Without a clear, concise answer, you have no way of determining whether or not you are a true believer, and thus, cannot truly believe.Would you care to try again?

  28. says

    Mark Morrison:Freewill remember? Take responsibility for your own actions.What does freewill have to do with the doctrine of being “called” or not? From your own descriptions, none of us has control over whether or not we are genuinely “called”, or reserved for destruction. (Romans 9:14-23)Also, the doctrine of salvation through faith in Jesus is incompatible with the doctrine of taking responsibility for one’s own actions: Jesus supposedly suffered the consequences of actions so believers wouldn’t have to. Faith is a belief position, not an action.I’m all for freewill and taking responsibility for one’s own actions. That’s consistent with atheism, but not at all compatible with the Calvinist theology you were promoting earlier.Please do some more thinking about where you stand, theologically. You really shouldn’t be all over the map like this if you’re trying to proselytize. You won’t make any headway if your audience understands the details and nuances of your belief system better than you do.

  29. says

    FrodoSaves said… “I have no problem at all asserting that my moral values are superior to those of any character in the Bible, including the various characterizations of God” … Should I be worshiping you then? uh frodo that was a quote from matt so I guess you already worship him. Incidentally, I always thought that the Old Testament was actually a joke. I’m kind of shocked to find out that people actually take it seriously. I always read the 10 Commandments and thought to myself “satire, surely”. It’s like someone picked on all the bad things people were doing and made a short list of don’ts by way of social commentary. again understand Jesus said this Matthew 5:17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Incidentally, since people are still killing, dishonoring their parents, and forgetting the Sabbath, Christianity can’t have made much headway in the past couple of millennia, can it? I do agree with you here. We don’t do enough to get the message out. We let a small majority kick God out of school and murder babies. God will hold us accountable for that.

  30. says

    Matt D. said… I don’t claim “morale” superiority, I claim moral superiority…and I’ve made this claim repeatedly and consistently. Can you fulfill the obligation of 1 Peter 3:15? You’d be the first. Ray can’t. Kirk can’t. Dobson can’t. McDowell can’t. Strobel can’t…the list goes on and on. your joking right ? Do you really understand that verse? It’s not about a personal testimony (your personal experiences are fine as evidence for you, but useless to others)… the word used is ‘logos’ – you’re commanded to give a logical reason for your belief and to do so with a specific attitude. I’ll drop the attitude requirement, you can be as snotty as Ray..but I’d love to see you actually provide the rational justification for your faith. In your mind, God has ordered you to do it – so feel free.1 Peter 3:15 (King James Version)King James Version (KJV)But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:matt you must first apply yourself to settling the questions of your own heart. If your own hope doesn’t come from what Christ did for you then how can you make a case for anyone else? But if we look at the promises that Christ has made to us and FULLY understand the price that he paid for us on the cross, you will not have a fear of man and you will shout from the rooftops that Christ IS Lord.

  31. says

    I do agree with you here. We don’t do enough to get the message out. We let a small majority kick God out of school and murder babies. God will hold us accountable for that.typo I meant minority

  32. says

    Blogger Stephen said… Mark Morrison: Freewill remember? Take responsibility for your own actions. What does freewill have to do with the doctrine of being “called” or not? From your own descriptions, none of us has control over whether or not we are genuinely “called”, or reserved for destruction. (Romans 9:14-23)Also, the doctrine of salvation through faith in Jesus is incompatible with the doctrine of taking responsibility for one’s own actions: Jesus supposedly suffered the consequences of actions so believers wouldn’t have to. Faith is a belief position, not an action. I’m all for freewill and taking responsibility for one’s own actions. That’s consistent with atheism, but not at all compatible with the Calvinist theology you were promoting earlier.Please do some more thinking about where you stand, theologically. You really shouldn’t be all over the map like this if you’re trying to proselytize. You won’t make any headway if your audience understands the details and nuances of your belief system better than you do. just because you are called doesn’t mean that you are automatically saved. You must accept that is where free will comes in. It’s just like if you won the lottery unless you go and collect it the money is not yours. I think that your problem comes from “thinking” you know the Christian belief system. Clearly you do not.

  33. says

    Stephen said… Mark Morrison: How Do You Know You’re a Christian by John MacArthur [edited for conciseness] 1. The doctrinal test a) Do you confess Christ? b) Do you confess your sin? 2. The moral test a) Do you obey God’s Word? b) Do you love others? For about two decades of my life, I would have passed MacArthur’s test with flying colors. I grew up in a devoutly Christian home, was “saved” at age six, attended several churches, church camps and youth groups during my adolescence, and participated in a variety of ministries during college, including missionary work in Mexico and Papua New Guinea. I was obedient, and full of love for all of humanity. I sang praises in the shower and on long car rides alone, and prayed more or less continuously. For awhile, I was moved to tears during nearly every church service, and several times throughout the week, so powerful was my love and commitment to “God”. Then a funny thing happened. I realized that any deity worth his salt would want those proselytizing on his behalf to understand the TRUTH, whatever that happened to be, even if it conflicted with their deeply-held beliefs. It became incumbent upon me to sort out all the little doctrinal details, and get my story straight before attempting to preach to others en masse. Anything less would be highly irresponsible. I prayed earnestly for wisdom and guidance, and set out on a multi-year journey of spiritual investigation and introspection, fully confident that what I discovered would only support my core beliefs. Really, everyone who has been a believer for more than a year or two should have such faith, such “blessed assurance”. The first question on my agenda was, “what must I really do to be saved?” the very question which you now face. I quickly discovered a fairly clear Biblical answer, which you do not yet appear to comprehend. According to your criterion that a true believer will never fall away, MacArthur’s test is clearly inadequate – so what is the correct answer? This is a very important doctrinal question. Indeed, it is the most important, most central question of Christianity. Without a clear, concise answer, you have no way of determining whether or not you are a true believer, and thus, cannot truly believe. Would you care to try again? Stephen you just described many who still sit in Church every week. They here God’s word and yet go home as lost as when they started. I have heard many stories like yours but I still contend that you never had it to start with. Churches get so caught up in the number game they neglect to actually make sure that a person is soundly saved. People have emotional experiences and confuse that for salvation. Put your faith in Christ and he will not forsake you.

  34. says

    Mark: “We let a small majority kick God out of school and murder babies. God will hold us accountable for that.”All right, I’ve had ass full of this moron. I know we should be patient and not abuse it… but I’m breaking the glass and sounding the Retard Alarm™. Everybody remain calm, form a single line and evacuate the thread, no feeding dumbass trolls.I’d love to know if these people have ONE single original thought or if mindlessly regurgitating the same asinine talking points is all they’re capable of doing.I don’t think anyone likes abortion, despite what these idiots may believe, throwing around words like “abortionist” and “the pro-abortion crowd.” But it’s about the government not imposing its will where it has no business doing so. Also, we could discuss the ethics of the procedure, its various forms, where do you draw the line?, etc. and it’d be a perfectly valid discussion. We COULD. That is if there were a person on the other side with half a working neuron and not just a brainless fundie who parrots the annoying “y’all luv killin’ baybees” line.Furthermore, you can’t kick your petty, piss-ant of a desert pixie out of school anymore than you can make glue out of unicorn hooves. And not that you’d care about silly things like “facts” but nobody, NOBODY banned prayer in school. Any kid who wants to say grace at lunch, pray before a test, form a Christian student group can do it. What you can’t do is state-sponsored, school-organised mandatory prayer.But that’s not good enough, is it? NOOOOO!. It HAS to be led by a teacher, who must make sure that everyone understands that this here country is Christian and was done foundeded bah teh Bahbluh and anyone who doesn’t like can SHUT UP and get the hell out. “Oh, but it wouldn’t be mandatory, all the unsaved filth could just stay silent” yeah, well, that’s not the point. The government is supposed to be secular. Not an atheistic government, dum-dums. Secular, meaning neutral, having nothing to do with religion. That way we’re all free to believe our own stuff and the State won’t bother one and/or favour another. But whatever, I don’t care. =DP.S.: I love how on that dumb douche’s site(Ray Comfort’s) there’s a big warning where he whines about meanies not capitalising “god” and how that’s a bannable offence. So everyone’s supposed to show a mythological character respect but he has no qualms about dishonestly putting those quotations next to his crap-eating grin. Awesome.

  35. says

    Mark Morrison:I have heard many stories like yours but I still contend that you never had it to start with.Okay, so MacArthur’s test doesn’t work. Which means that there’s a possibility that you’re not a real Christian.Thanks for clearing that up, though I have to wonder why you copied and pasted MacArthur’s test, if it doesn’t work.

  36. says

    Arensb:>Thanks for clearing that up, though I have to wonder why you copied and pasted MacArthur's test, if it doesn't work.I was not keen to bait the fundie–but I have to admit I asked myself this same question when I read the strand here. But what made me particularly sad was that Mark appeals to someone else to provide him with criteria to tell if someone is a real Christian (and like Stephen, I too pass MacAuthur's test with flying colors, but now am an atheist).I assume that if Mark knew of a way to test if someone is a true Christian–he would have explained it. Since he posted someone else's idea, I have to assume Mark, himself, has no idea how to tell a true Christian from a fraud. As you say–otherwise, why post someone else's test? Especially a test that very many atheists could honestly admit to having passed during their time as Christians.Here is a relevant passage from Hebrews 6:"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace."This sounds VERY MUCH to me like a person can have been a true Christian, and then stop being a Christian. How can a person who has "shared in the Holy Spirit" not have been a "true" Christian?And here the Bible plainly states such a person can "fall away." I don't know how much clearer it can be.When I attended the Church of Christ–they wholly rejected the doctrine of "once saved, always saved," because this passage, pretty obviously, negates that idea.

  37. says

    tracieh, if you think about it, most Christians have to go to outside sources in order to form an argument. Think of all the times you have been told that the Bible is the only book you need to read and that it contains all the answers, yet when faced with a difficult question, the same Christian will refer you to an outside the Bible source that attempts to answer your question.It’s much like this. The Bible itself, if I recall correctly, contradicts itself on what a real Christian is.Big question from me is: Can a Christian be a real Christian if he has a boss who is a woman?

  38. says

    arensb said… Mark Morrison:I have heard many stories like yours but I still contend that you never had it to start with.Okay, so MacArthur’s test doesn’t work. Which means that there’s a possibility that you’re not a real Christian.Thanks for clearing that up, though I have to wonder why you copied and pasted MacArthur’s test, if it doesn’t work. John’s test works just fine you just prove my point. You FAILED both parts of his test. If not we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Look at these verses from Matthew.20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.next.

  39. says

    AtheistUnderMask said… tracieh, if you think about it, most Christians have to go to outside sources in order to form an argument. wait while I ask someone how to respond…… Think of all the times you have been told that the Bible is the only book you need to read and that it contains all the answers, yet when faced with a difficult question, the same Christian will refer you to an outside the Bible source that attempts to answer your question. I pointed to John’s test because it is sound and based on the Bible. Grow up and stop acting like a child. It’s much like this. The Bible itself, if I recall correctly, contradicts itself on what a real Christian is. myth Big question from me is: Can a Christian be a real Christian if he has a boss who is a woman? sure, but can a atheist be a real atheist when he knows that God is real ?

  40. says

    Adrael said… Mark: “We let a small majority kick God out of school and murder babies. God will hold us accountable for that.”All right, I’ve had ass full of this moron. I know we should be patient and not abuse it… but I’m breaking the glass and sounding the Retard Alarm™. Everybody remain calm, form a single line and evacuate the thread, no feeding dumbass trolls. how old are you 10 ? I’d love to know if these people have ONE single original thought or if mindlessly regurgitating the same asinine talking points is all they’re capable of doing.I don’t think anyone likes abortion, despite what these idiots may believe, throwing around words like “abortionist” and “the pro-abortion crowd.” But it’s about the government not imposing its will where it has no business doing so. let’s be clear on your stand here. you say it’s ok to murder the innocent just because you don’t want them ? Also, we could discuss the ethics of the procedure, its various forms, where do you draw the line?, etc. and it’d be a perfectly valid discussion. We COULD. That is if there were a person on the other side with half a working neuron and not just a brainless fundie who parrots the annoying “y’all luv killin’ baybees” line. you want to acuse me of using the same argument but offer not one single idea of your own. so who is the real hypocrite?Furthermore, you can’t kick your petty, piss-ant of a desert pixie out of school anymore than you can make glue out of unicorn hooves. And not that you’d care about silly things like “facts” but nobody, NOBODY banned prayer in school. Any kid who wants to say grace at lunch, pray before a test, form a Christian student group can do it. What you can’t do is state-sponsored, school-organised mandatory prayer.But that’s not good enough, is it? NOOOOO!. It HAS to be led by a teacher, who must make sure that everyone understands that this here country is Christian and was done foundeded bah teh Bahbluh and anyone who doesn’t like can SHUT UP and get the hell out. “Oh, but it wouldn’t be mandatory, all the unsaved filth could just stay silent” yeah, well, that’s not the point. The government is supposed to be secular. Not an atheistic government, dum-dums. Secular, meaning neutral, having nothing to do with religion. That way we’re all free to believe our own stuff and the State won’t bother one and/or favour another. But whatever, I don’t care. =D if you don’t care why the long rant ? P.S.: I love how on that dumb douche’s site(Ray Comfort’s) there’s a big warning where he whines about meanies not capitalising “god” and how that’s a bannable offence. So everyone’s supposed to show a mythological character respect but he has no qualms about dishonestly putting those quotations next to his crap-eating grin. Awesome. It’s his site if you want to post go by his rules or go home.

  41. says

    appealing to the banality of ‘might makes right’Ray Comfort doesn’t make appeals to banality; he makes appeals to bananality. In fact, I imagine he finds that very appeeling. Incidentally to Mark: there’s a reason “No True Scotsman” is a logical fallacy. Your logic has a circumference.

  42. says

    Tom Foss said… appealing to the banality of ‘might makes right’Ray Comfort doesn’t make appeals to banality; he makes appeals to bananality. In fact, I imagine he finds that very appeeling. not even good enough to be called a bad joke. Incidentally to Mark: there’s a reason “No True Scotsman” is a logical fallacy. Your logic has a circumference. please provide evidence of such.

  43. says

    This is how webster defines God.Main Entry: 1god Pronunciation: \ˈgäd also ˈgȯd\ Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god Date: before 12th century 1capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe bChristian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind 2: a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship ; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality3: a person or thing of supreme value4: a powerful ruler I define God as being the creator of all, the ONLY one worthy of being worshipped by all.now look at the following verses from Romans 1:20-2520 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible iGod into an image made like 8corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.Looks like you will have no excuse.

  44. says

    Mark: “Looks like you will have no excuse.”Aww, isn’t that adorable?. He’s (not so) subtly threatening us now. It’s like watching a baby Chihuahua bark at you. Whossa big, tough guy? whossa big, tough guy? You are, yes, you are. Who’s gonna get his “all-loving”, “all-merciful” magic pal to brutally torture for eternity more than 90% of the people who ever lived just for not blindly believing in the exact flavor and variation of one out of thousands of equally nearly-impossible myths?. Bless your heart. Tee-hee.You better renounce your false god Jehsus and accept your creator Osiris and worship him or Anubis will condemn your non-believing soul when he weighs your heart on his feathers. REPENT! MWAH-HAH-HA-HA!!! No, wait… dedicate your life to honoring Zeus or he will have no mercy on you and send you to Hades where Cerberus will gnaw on your ass forever. MWAH-HA… I got it! wait, there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet so you know the deal or he’ll throw you… Christ, I’m getting a flashback to the first time I went to Baskin-Robbins.You know what? I’ll get back to you guys.

  45. says

    Adrael said… Mark: “Looks like you will have no excuse.”Aww, isn’t that adorable?. He’s (not so) subtly threatening us now. It’s like watching a baby Chihuahua bark at you. Whossa big, tough guy? whossa big, tough guy? You are, yes, you are. Who’s gonna get his “all-loving”, “all-merciful” magic pal to brutally torture for eternity more than 90% of the people who ever lived just for not blindly believing in the exact flavor and variation of one out of thousands of equally nearly-impossible myths?. Bless your heart. Tee-hee.You better renounce your false god Jehsus and accept your creator Osiris and worship him or Anubis will condemn your non-believing soul when he weighs your heart on his feathers. REPENT! MWAH-HAH-HA-HA!!! No, wait… dedicate your life to honoring Zeus or he will have no mercy on you and send you to Hades where Cerberus will gnaw on your ass forever. MWAH-HA… I got it! wait, there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet so you know the deal or he’ll throw you… Christ, I’m getting a flashback to the first time I went to Baskin-Robbins.You know what? I’ll get back to you guys. you really are 10 years old aren’t you. Do you have anything of substance to offer other than poor attemps at humor ?

  46. says

    “you really are 10 years old aren’t you. Do you have anything of substance to offer other than poor attemps at humor ?”Pot, I’d like to introduce you to Kettle – Pot, meet Kettle.

  47. says

    Mark Morrison (forgiven37)Are you a masochist? I watch you get spanked so many times on different blogs, I can only come up with the conclusion you are.

  48. Barnetto says

    Mark, here’s my translation of what Adrael said (with all his ridicule of you removed):Your definition did not mention the bible in any way. Why did you immediately start quoting the bible? Your definition does not appear to give any guidance to choosing the correct god. The Webster definition is applicable to the different kinds of gods humanity has worshipped, and your definition only succeeds in narrowing it to the kinds of gods that were involved in creation (of which there are still many besides your own).

  49. says

    not even good enough to be called a bad joke.Which ought to be fitting, since Ray is not even good enough to be called a bad apologist.please provide evidence of such.Provide evidence of what? That “No True Scotsman” is a logical fallacy? You might notice that when I posted it, the words were in blue with a little line under them. If you click it, the magical pixies that work the Internet will take you to a page that explains it. If you want evidence that you’re employing a “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy, again, taking a look at the link would be helpful. But, to break it down, the fallacy goes like this: “No X does Y.””A does Y, and A is an X.””Then A is not a true X, because no true X does Y.”Filling in the variables: ‘No Christian ever becomes a nonbeliever.”Lots of the nonbelievers here were Christians who lost their faith.”Then they were never true Christians, because no true Christian ever becomes a nonbeliever.’ It’s textbook, Mark.Insert apologetic claptrap about being “called” by God and passing various tests as necessary. If you want evidence that your logic is circular, it’s wrapped up in your use of the No True Scotsman fallacy–the argument’s a fallacy because it defines two quantities with reference to each other, creating a feedback loop. It rejects the established definitions for terms (for instance, “Christian” as “one who believes in the divinity of Christ”) and substitutes conditional ad hoc definitions that better suit the arguer’s point (for instance, “Christian” as “one who never falls away from the church”). You’ve assumed your conclusion (that anyone who falls away was never really a Christian), Mark, by redefining your terms (so that “Christian” means “someone who never falls away”)–that’s a circular argument.I define God as being the creator of all, the ONLY one worthy of being worshipped by all.Okay, so which God? The tripartite God of Protestantism? The singular God of Judaism? Islam’s Allah? The physically-existing, non-Trinity God of Mormonism? If the former, which model of the Trinity do you use? Arian, Docetic, Sabellianic, Modalistic, or one of the half-dozen or so others? Does God exist inside or outside the universe? Inside or outside of time? Is God omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omniscient? Does omnipotence include or exclude the ability to do the logically impossible? “Define God” doesn’t mean “look it up in Webster’s,” it means you need to tell us what characteristics your particular conception of God has. You can cite the Bible all you want, but you have to recognize that there are almost as many definitions of God as there are believers–even among those who believe the same book and purport to believe in the same God. And once you provide some specific definition of your God, or at least of what traits we can expect him to have, then we can get to the important matter: the evidence for his existence. Based on your model of God, what evidence would we expect to find for its existence?

  50. says

    Why are we still bothering? He’s gone from at least attempting to post logic to calling people children and petulantly claiming his fort is bigger than all our forts, so there.

  51. says

    What better way to make people feel they need to be saved than to make things that, for the most part, most people will do during their life?If they are told when they are children, impure thoughts are bad, and then they start having them when their hormones kick in, what better way to secure a life time of guilt, and a life long slave to their religion? Especially in times when people were less educated.Great points Matt. I love the Atheist Experience and the Non Prophets show, it’s a shame living in they are on at about 4 or 5am my time here in Australia :(

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>