Hi to my Forum Friends,

Today, in the TimesDaily Reader's View section there was an article titled "The Height Of Evolution?". This is what Jason had to say about Christianity and its effect upon him:

I recently opened TimesDaily's life section to see the usual full page Christian advertisement encouraging me to "attend church regularly and read my Bible daily." I see ads for 16 different denominations of local churches. I am encouraged to pick one and attend.

I will then be told wildly varying accounts of what offends God and how to appease him so I won't burn for eternity. In the International section, Iranian Muslims are face down for their "Friday prayers" while their clerical leaders call for death to political protesters for their "war on god".

I want to scream. I cannot believe how foolish society is. We read ancient, hopelessly contradictory books by uneducated men and call them the word of a god who has, of course, never existed. We want to believe someone watches over us. We want to believe that when we die, it's not over. We cannot imagine a world without God. The Bible is indefensible. It's filled with genocide, rape, slavery, child killing, mass murder and thousands of hopeless contradictions and errors.

Religion is indefensible. It's the narcissistic hope of something that's not there.

We are dumbing down our children and ourselves and perpetuating a ridiculous fairy tale, which prevents us from evolving as a species. If you have believed the lies of any of the countless religions we have made up, you should be ashamed for making the world akin to perpetuating belief in ghosts, goblins, fairies, or flying spaghetti monsters.

How many lives has religion cost us? How many will it cost us? How many people have been robbed of their lives, prosperity, identity, pursuit of happiness and pleasure and peace of mind because of our ridiculous lie? Will it continue? It amazes me that this is the height of the evolution of mankind.

Jason S. Green

Killen

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
And, I respond to him:

Hi Jason,

You sound like a person who has never bothered to understand what the Bible teaches -- or you, like me, had a bad experience with a church or church leader as a young man; which is what happened to me in a church when I was growing up in Sheffield. At the age of twelve, my mother convinced me to attend a Revival Meeting at a local church with her and my step-dad. This was a traveling revival preacher -- and during the service, he told everyone to stand. Then, he announced, "Those who are saved, sit down. The rest of you continue standing until you come to the altar to be saved."

If I had been an adult then; I would have just given that revival preacher a one finger salute and walked out. But, as a young boy, I could not do this -- and, yet, I could not lie and sit down. So, my only alternative was to go forward and "be saved." I went forward and the preacher and a bunch of other people gathered around me loudly praying and basically getting all worked up. And, I will admit that it was contagious; I, too, began to feel all emotional and "felt saved." I had no idea what "being saved" meant -- but, I must have been saved -- for I was feeling very emotional.

But, then, I went home and, laying in bed that night, had thoughts about some of the pretty girls I knew; thoughts which, somehow, I knew had to be wrong because I had just "been saved" -- whatever that meant. The end result was that I felt lousy, my self esteem, my self image -- hit bottom. How could I have "been saved" -- and then had such thoughts? I must be a horrible person.

And, that stayed with me until I was fifty years old. Although I was in and out of many churches during that time; I stayed away from God and "being saved" -- especially anything called being "born-again" -- because I did not want to feel that way again. But, basically, as I look back upon it, I was choosing to put my desire for the "world's ways" above what, intuitively, I knew were God's way.

When I was fifty, I met a pastor, a real man of God, who exuded the love of God so much that this made me want to attend their church. He got me involved in a Bible study where I could learn the truth about God's Word -- and, praise God, six months later, at the age of fifty, I became a Christian believer, a born-again Christian believer.

Jason, during the period of my life between twelve and fifty -- I felt much as you do. I recall driving across country, from California to Virginia, in 1959. This was before the Interstate Highways we have today; so, we drove good old Route 66 and other charming highways as we zig-zagged across America. This route led to us driving through many towns and cities, some small, some large. The one thing that stood out in my mind in the small towns -- was the number of churches. It was frightening to me, a non-believer -- a church on EVERY corner! My thought then was that these towns needed more night life and fewer churches.

Yet, since I have been a believer -- when I drive through small towns; I praise God for every church I see -- and feel sadness for all the bars still luring people toward the ways of the world.

Jason, you, like most atheists, always want to compare Christianity with world religions such as Islam -- and you relish reliving the Crusades and Inquisitions of past centuries.

Let's first address Christianity versus world religions. World religions, in my mind, denotes rituals, ceremonies, and either no God, or a very impersonal God, or many gods, or no gods at all. Christianity, again in my mind, is not a religion -- but, a relationship. We who have become Christian believers, who have been born-again, have a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know that quoting the Bible will grate against your atheist nature and beliefs -- yet, we Christians live by the Bible. And, it tells us that we are saved, by the grace of God, through a personal relationship, i.e., faith, in Jesus Christ -- plus NOTHING ELSE. You can find this in Ephesians 2:8-9.

Now, looking at the Crusades, which originally had the goal of recapturing Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule -- and were later propagated by Popes, who Catholics of today will have to admit were corrupt in those early centuries, against their personal enemies. The Inquisitions were just further expansions of these practices against people who disagreed with the Roman Catholic church.

And, then, there is the centuries old fighting in Ireland between the Catholics and the Protestants. Was this ever truly church related? No. Basically, what we had in Ireland was a nation whose people were primarily Catholic. It was a poor nation, mostly farmers; but, the land was a magnet to the wealthy in England, who by mandate of their king, were Protestants. The wealthy gentry and nobility of England wanted the land owned by the poorer farmers in Ireland -- so, they used their connections in Parliament to virtually steal the land from the rightful owners. Methodically, they took land, evicted families -- and that, with the help of the Potato Famine; made virtual paupers of Irish Catholics. By 1829 Catholics made up 80 percent of the population, the bulk of whom lived in conditions of poverty and insecurity.

When the Potato Famine came, a period of starvation, disease and mass emigration between 1845 and 1852, the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent. Approximately one million of the population died and a million more emigrated from Ireland's shores; most coming to America.

This was the reason for the fighting in Ireland -- land stealing and greed; not religion.

Jason, you say that, by teaching our children about God, about Christianity; we are dumbing down our children. Yet, if you will examine those who grew up when Godly morals were the norm in America, versus today's moral relativism, i.e., there are no absolutes, nothing is intrinsically right or wrong -- you will find that today's young people are more likely to have premarital sex, to have sexually transmitted diseases, to become pregnant. And, you will find the crime rate among young people, even to the extent of drive-by shootings and other forms of felony crimes -- is much higher today than in the pre-1963 period in America.

No, Jason, we are doing our children a great disservice by allowing them to be taught "moral relativism" in our public schools today. They most certainly would benefit from a big dose of Biblical morals -- on a daily basis.

You ask, "How many lives has religion cost us? How many will it cost us? "

Once again, we must separate Christianity from world religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. Considering Christianity, I would say that this has cost us no lives; yet, as a Christian nation, we have lost lives in the defense of our freedom, in defense of our nation, and in defense of others, i.e., Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, where we are involved in the war against world terrorism.

Jason, possibly, as you mature and, hopefully, work through whatever early age trauma has turned you against God and Christianity; you may, as I did at the age of fifty -- see the light and know that there is a God and that He wants to offer you eternal security. I pray this does happen for you; as it did for me.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day

Bill Gray
Born in Tuscumbia,
Grew up in Sheffield,
Living in Southern California,
Bless by God to be a Christian American!

Attachments

Images (1)
Original Post
Jason is correct. Alas, Bill still isn't. There may have been a time when this species needed a God. That day is long since passed. Man invented God to makes sense of things that were yet unknown. All mythologies are folly and irrelevant to modern humans. The old traditions will take awhile to evaporate. We can only hope that religion disappears before holy wars end our species. The concept of a God was spoken of in ancient times. This is an excellent quote that people considering a God should resolve rationally, and intellectually.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
- Epicurus
Jason, good for you, spread the word. Religion is one of those "phases" that we great apes are going through, but eventually and with any luck, we'll grow out of it. Please be patient with your fellow peeps who know what ain't so.

Regards
Jason's letter was well written and succinct, a lesson in prose many posters here need to learn. Do I agree with him? Are the metaphysics of any two people the same? Heck, for all I know what I see as blue may well be red to my sister! No, but it is his opinion and I respect it fully. He forces no one to do anything and offers no fear tactics or received wisdom at all, it is mere opinion and it seems to be honest to me.

My personal metaphysical/religious bent is different from his, but I respect his ways, this is the way of the Enlightenment, and a daresay that religion as practiced and as taught by founders are very often drastically varying things!
Neal, I'd like to blame my bad grammar on multi-tasking and tweaking while working. lol

Or I could lack the mental RAM and/or need to defrag.

;^)
8I, rest assured that our cattiness was not directed in your direction. I cannot self-edit for the life of me (too attached to a turn of phrase to ditch, much like a parent towards an ungrateful child); yet can take out the blue pen with the best of 'em. (Bill: "Meeeeooow! Hssss!)
quote:
Originally posted by DeepFat:
Jason is a free man. Free in his mind, where it counts. I hope he posts here.DF

Hi Deep,

Are you recruiting for your Church? Should we now call you Evangelist Deep?

I will admit that your Church does need all the help it can get.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Attachments

Images (1)
Religion evolves. It seems we may be at some sort of cusp where many people are re-defining the role of religion in their lives. We no longer cower in fear at the wrath of the God of Thunder. When Thor began to fade in power, there were those who went a little crazy because he was being questioned.

Now fundamentalist christianity is being questioned about the origin and nature of the universe, and that threatens many of its adherents. Poor Thor, relegated to history now that we understand charged particles and the shock wave generated when a lightning bolt passes through the air are the cause of lightning and thunder. Imagine being a priest of Thor-ism and finding yourself out of a job because you can't understand and adapt to a new paradigm.

Religion still has a useful role in society; it just isn't the wisking away of scientific truth in favor of supernatural tales. Rain is NOT angel's tears. But philosophy is still needed as a balance to science. Religion--philosophy, if you will--can supply guidance and perspective to the application of science. Is it good? Is it right? Is it moral? Even if we had the capacity to grow human clones for organ sources, is it the right, just, or moral thing to do? This is a question science is as ill-equipped to answer as religion is equipped to answer about the influence of comets.

My personal hope and belief is that there will be fluctuations in the balance between science and religion, and eventually it will settle into a meta-stable equilibrium. It hasn't yet in the history of man, really, but I have hopes. Perhaps we can forget about the rice bowls one of these days and get on with the business of living without this particular conflict.

We are not the height of evolution. Hopefully. If we can continue the social, intellectual, and philosophical evolution we have been experiencing for the past several hundred years perhaps we can get a bit closer. Who knows?
The Evolution of Religions - Jared Diamond

"Jared Diamond, professor of geography at UCLA, received the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction in 1998 for Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. In 1999, he received the National Medal of Science. His most recent book is Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2004).

Professor Diamond argues that religion has encompassed at least four independent components that have arisen or disappeared at different stages of development of human societies over the last 10,000 years."


I also highly recommend Guns, Germs & Steel too.

See here.
quote:
Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
Religion evolves. It seems we may be at some sort of cusp where many people are re-defining the role of religion in their lives. We no longer cower in fear at the wrath of the God of Thunder. When Thor began to fade in power, there were those who went a little crazy because he was being questioned.

Now fundamentalist christianity is being questioned about the origin and nature of the universe, and that threatens many of its adherents. Poor Thor, relegated to history now that we understand charged particles and the shock wave generated when a lightning bolt passes through the air are the cause of lightning and thunder. Imagine being a priest of Thor-ism and finding yourself out of a job because you can't understand and adapt to a new paradigm.

Religion still has a useful role in society; it just isn't the wisking away of scientific truth in favor of supernatural tales. Rain is NOT angel's tears. But philosophy is still needed as a balance to science. Religion--philosophy, if you will--can supply guidance and perspective to the application of science. Is it good? Is it right? Is it moral? Even if we had the capacity to grow human clones for organ sources, is it the right, just, or moral thing to do? This is a question science is as ill-equipped to answer as religion is equipped to answer about the influence of comets.

My personal hope and belief is that there will be fluctuations in the balance between science and religion, and eventually it will settle into a meta-stable equilibrium. It hasn't yet in the history of man, really, but I have hopes. Perhaps we can forget about the rice bowls one of these days and get on with the business of living without this particular conflict.

We are not the height of evolution. Hopefully. If we can continue the social, intellectual, and philosophical evolution we have been experiencing for the past several hundred years perhaps we can get a bit closer. Who knows?

Hi Zip,

Spoken like a good Secular Agnostic!

Would you say a Christian believer has a religion -- or a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Attachments

Images (1)
quote:
Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
But philosophy is still needed as a balance to science. Religion--philosophy, if you will--can supply guidance and perspective to the application of science. Is it good? Is it right? Is it moral? Even if we had the capacity to grow human clones for organ sources, is it the right, just, or moral thing to do? This is a question science is as ill-equipped to answer as religion is equipped to answer about the influence of comets.


Good words, Zippy.
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
Hi Zip,

Spoken like a good Secular Agnostic!


Wow. Is that a promotion to, or a demotion from humanistic atheist?

quote:
Would you say a Christian believer has a religion -- or a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?


I would say that depends upon the Christian believer. I would further say that, for some, neither applies.

quote:
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill


Thank you, Bill. I do, and I will.
quote:
Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray: Would you say a Christian believer has a religion -- or a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
I would say that depends upon the Christian believer. I would further say that, for some, neither applies.
Hi Zip,

Please explain to all of us how a person can be a Christian believer -- WITHOUT having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Attachments

Images (1)
Simple. A person identifies himself as a Christian believer. For example, mormons. Mormons identify themselves as christian believers, yet they are dissuaded from having a personal relationship with Christ.

There are rules and standards that are NOT the same as yours, Bill. You need to wrap your arms around it. Whether the belief is efficacious is a matter of doctrine and belief. If someone simply says he or she is a christian believer--or even has a personal relationship with Jesus--doesn't make it so.
Hi Zip,

To respond to your comments, I have begun a new discussion -- "Does A Christian Have A Religion -- Or A Relationship?"

Have a look.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Attachments

Images (1)

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×