Hi to my Forum Friends,

As I was reading a tract titled "The Prayer For Eternal Life" -- I felt that I wanted to share it with you. It was written by Pastor R. B. Thieme, Jr., of the R. B. Thieme, Jr. Bible Ministries and pastor of Berachah Church in Houston, Texas.

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The Prayer For Eternal Life
By Pastor R. B. Thieme

This prayer is dedicated to anyone without Christ, without hope, without eternal life. Jesus Christ had you personally in mind when He went to the cross. Every sin that you have ever committed -- past, present, or future -- was imputed to Him and judged so that, at this moment, you can have eternal life.

Eternal life is as close to you as your own soul. In your soul you have volition (purpose, resolve, will). The non-meritorious expression of volition is called faith. The object of faith always has the merit. In eternal salvation, the object of faith is our Lord Jesus Christ, who carried our sins in His own body on the cross.

"He (God) made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf (as a substitute for us), that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21 nasb).

Wherever you are right now, eternal life is available to you.

". . .whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16b nasb).

In the privacy of your soul you have freedom. You are free to exercise your option for eternal life. You are free, therefore, at this moment to become the possessor of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

The issue: "He who believes in the Son (Jesus Christ) has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).

The option: Your attitude toward Christ determines your eternal future; to believe in Him -- eternal life; to reject Him -- eternal condemnation.

Salvation is very simple. In the privacy and freedom of your soul, forming the sentences in thought only, speaking inaudibly, you can tell God the Father that you are believing in Jesus Christ, and that is the moment of eternal life for you. You can believe in Jesus Christ; you can express your faith to God the Father right now. This faith is a private matter between you and God. God has provided His part of salvation -- the Father sent the Son; the Son went to the cross. The Father imputed our sins to Christ on the cross and judged them.

The rest is up to you. You can either believe in Christ for eternal life or reject Him for eternal condemnation. The choice is yours.

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The opening paragraph of this tract brings to mind a beautiful Gospel song, "WHEN HE WAS ON THE CROSS," by Ronny Hinson and Mike Payne:

I'm not on an ego trip, I'm nothing on my own;
I make mistakes and often slip, just common flesh and bone.
But I'll prove someday just why I say I'm of a special kind.
For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.


CHORUS:

He knew me, yet He loved me.
He whose glory makes the heavens shine.
So unworthy of such mercy,
Yet when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.

A look of love was on His face, the thorns on His head,
The blood was on His scarlet robe, and stained it crimson red.
Though His eyes were on the crowd that day, He looked ahead in time,
For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.


You, my Friend, were also on His mind when He hung on that cross.

Truly, salvation, eternal life with God, is as simple as this tract tells us. God, in His infinite mercy and love, has done all the work of salvation. All you have to do is to make the choice between eternal life with God -- or eternal life without God. The first choice is heavenly bliss; the second choice is -- well, I believe you already know.

Choose LIFE, my Friend -- for yourself, for your family, and share it with all your Friends, Relatives, Associates, and Neighbors -- all your FRANs. They will be eternally grateful.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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"eternal life with God"

Spending all of eternity with a cruel, capricious, vindictive and irrational deity--if that isn't Hell then I don't know what is.

Thank gawd I will not be there.
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Originally posted by davidnmiles: "eternal life with God" Spending all of eternity with a cruel, capricious, vindictive and irrational deity--if that isn't Hell then I don't know what is. Thank gawd I will not be there.

Hi David,

God, in the Bible, addressed folks in your condition -- in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament:

In the Old Testament, Joshua 24:15, we read, "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

And, in the New Testament, Romans 1:22, we read, "Professing to be wise, they became fools."

You see, David, God, being omniscient -- knew there would be folks like you -- long before Creation. And, He made arrangements to meet the needs of all of us. So, you are free, completely free, to follow your leader, the prince of this world, Satan -- and I will follow my God.

Isn't it wonderful that He gave us all "free will" -- and with that free will we can choose to spend eternity with God -- or you can choose to spend eternity with your leader, Satan. If one can imagine living a long life with the world's worst wife or husband -- you can multiply that by an infinite number to see what an eternity with Satan will offer. But, praise God -- we all get to make that choice.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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Originally posted by davidnmiles:
Bill,
God is an AHOLE. Next time you talk to him, please tell him I said so.

NOT TO WORRY. YOU WILL HAVE YOUR OWN CHANCE TO TELL HIM -- FACE TO FACE!

By the way, David, has anyone ever told you that you have absolutely no class? If not, please allow me to be the first.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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Zip,

There was a news story today about a 14 year old girl who was the only survivor of a plane wreck. Good for her.

Her father said "It was the will of God".

I guess God was PO'd at the other 152 passengers and crew of that particular plane.


DF
I can understand atheism more than I can understand someone actually hating God. It's something like the example you cite that appear to cause people to "hate God". That would require someone to deeply believe God controls every aspect of one's life and impacts every detail. When something happens, then they (truly) believe God did it.

There are those who deny the bible as being literally true, yet they depend upon the descriptions in the bible as their rationale for defining God as cruel, vindictive, and arbitrary. So, if you will, I have, at the least, an academic interest.
NOT TO WORRY. YOU WILL HAVE YOUR OWN CHANCE TO TELL HIM -- FACE TO FACE!

By the way, David, has anyone ever told you that you have absolutely no class? If not, please allow me to be the first.

Bill, Why must you Christian parrots incessantly squawk at me that your all-loving, all- merciful God will someday carry our his cruel vengeance upon me?

I have been besmirching his name for almost all my life, and he has done nothing. He is a detestable coward. The best he can do is cajole his mindless minions into casting threats at me on his behalf. He knows that in face to face confrontation with me I will make him look like the fool that he has always proven to be. He knows that it is better for him to let me blaspheme than to face me and look weak and inept. What an easy way out for him and his followers--”He will get you when you are dead!”

For me to fear threats based on your mythological God would be as ridiculous as fearing concocted threats from any of the thousands of other mythological gods that man has created.

As for having no class because I call a mythological character and AHOLE, have you ever called any real or fictitious being an ahole? If you tell me no, then I suspect you are an even bigger hypocrite than most Christian conservatives. If this makes me classless, then I doubt there are many people of class on earth.

I do not hate, fear or believe in God anymore than I hate Zeus, Loki, or the tooth fairy. However, when I see what the belief in God has done to individuals and humankind, the mythological God does give me trepidations.
David:
You wrote:
“I have been besmirching his name for almost all my life, and he has done nothing. He is a detestable coward. The best he can do is cajole his mindless minions into casting threats at me on his behalf. He knows that in face to face confrontation with me I will make him look like the fool that he has always proven to be. He knows that it is better for him to let me blaspheme than to face me and look weak and inept. What an easy way out for him and his followers--”He will get you when you are dead!”

Dude.
Let’s step back and look at this.

First off, let’s draw 3 possible conclusions as to the existence of God.
1. There is no God.
2. These is a God, and he is the anthropomorphic being who you have apparently declared war upon.
3. There is a God, and he is a being of Love and Mercy. A being of whom the entire universe is only an infinitesimal part, yet who knows and loves each of us.

Sounds fair enough?

OK, lets examine the first possibility. There is no God. If this is so, our lives are just a flash in the pan of eternity. There is no lasting meaning from our existence other than what we can contribute to the progress of humanity. One shot and we are done. If this is indeed the case, then you are somewhat justified in your incessant ridicule of those fools who would presume to believe in survival after death, and require the soothing salve of a belief in a deity to shadow their fearful minds from the ever increasing promise of death.

Now lets look at the idea of a God who is so anthropomorphic that he would single out this person or that person for salvation or punishment. A God who would cast a plague of boils upon some poor unfortunate soul, or single out a particular race or religion as favored. And here I am forced to agree with you again. Such a God and the heaven he would create would indeed be closer to hell than paradise.

Lastly lets look at God as I view him… a being so far above the pitiful squabbling mortals of this world that we can not really imagine him (although we do not hesitate to cast him in our image upon a regular basis). A being who was before time, who transcends time. A being who created a universe of universes in which we the creatures of evolution, play only a small part. A being so great, and yet who sends an infinitesimal fragment of himself to indwell the minds of even the lowest intelligent creatures of the universe, evolutionary mankind. That’s the God I believe in.

David:
You seem to love to throw out the Zeus and Loki card. The Volcano God and nature sprites. You seem to really enjoy rubbing noses of the Christians here in the fact that their concept of God is still rather evolutionary. And here, I say, that you are doing mankind somewhat of a service. For it is only thru the likes of you that Christianity (and religion in general) will bring itself out of the dark ages of superstition and into the light of a scientific age. The religions of mankind have spent their existence backing into the light. Guys like you are giving them the swift kick they need (and deserve), and pushing them forward!

But you really do not have to be so nasty about it.
Your diatribe about God, if he exists or even if he does not, was really distasteful, rude and arrogant.

You have as little right to push your beliefs upon the religionists, as the religionists have to push theirs upon you. You do yourself and your beliefs a disservice by acting like this.

I say that everyone on this planet will have the right to choose to survive death. And that right does not include subscription into this or that particular theology or belief in this or that particular religion. I say the you and everyone else is in complete control of your destiny. The way is open to all, but each of us has to make the decision to take it. And you don’t have to have a relation with Jesus to go there. You don’t even have to BELIEVE in Jesus. If you choose love rather than hate. If you choose goodness over evil. If you gravitate towards beauty over ugliness, then you are pointing you life towards real and eternal values, and hence towards God. And knowingly or unknowingly, you are also gravitating towards Jesus when you do these things. Jesus did not ask us to believe IN him, he asked us to believe WITH him. He did not demand uniformity of belief, only unity in belief of those things which stand for real and eternal values. Truth, Beauty and Goodness, these are the things which really matter, not whether you believe in a volcano sprite or in the love of the Universal Father. Jesus came to this world to proclaim that all men and women are the sons and daughters of God, and, because the priesthood of those days was unwilling to lose their power and authority, they hung him on a cross for it!

Basically, I say that it will work like this. If you want to survive death, you will. If you don’t, you wont. If you really don’t want to find God, no one is gonna make you. See, everyone is a winner! Even you. Even Bill. Even me.
Hi Al,

Your writings seem, to me, to be part Urantia Book (New Age bible), part Oprah, part Shirley Maclaine, part Doreen Virtue, part Marianne Williamson, part Deepak Chopra, part Wayne Dyer, part John Edwards, with a large dose of Eckhart Tolle thrown into the mix.

Al, although David, our atheist/secularist Friend, in his bitter attacks against God, is distressing -- he is not really a threat; for it is so obvious that his hatred of God stems from something much deeper than the words he writes. And, it is easy for even a non-believer to see through him; so, the probability that he will lead a new Christian or a new seeker onto the wrong path is neglible; virtually nil.

Yet, your New Age religion, when you mix words and phrases from true Christianity into your attempt to sell your New Age beliefs -- is most definitely a danger to these people. You throw in just enough true Christianese to lull folks into complacency, lowering their guard -- and, then, wham! -- you hit them with your New Age false teaching. You, my Friend, are a definite danger to all new believers and to new seekers. But, in all fairness to you; it is not just you -- but all New Age proponents who do this. They are more evangelical than the atheists or the Christians.

You tell us, "I say that everyone on this planet will have the right to choose to survive death. And that right does not include subscription into this or that particular theology or belief in this or that particular religion. I say the you and everyone else is in complete control of your destiny. The way is open to all, but each of us has to make the decision to take it. And you don’t have to have a relation with Jesus to go there. You don’t even have to BELIEVE in Jesus. If you choose love rather than hate. If you choose goodness over evil. If you gravitate towards beauty over ugliness, then you are pointing your life towards real and eternal values, and hence towards God. And knowingly, or unknowingly, you are also gravitating towards Jesus when you do these things."

No, not toward God nor toward Jesus, but toward gods -- New Age gods. It is very obvious that you totally disregard the Bible and any of its teachings; yet, you talk about God and Jesus Christ. God only gave us ONE source of revelation about Himself -- the Bible -- and you toss that into the trash can. So, how can you know about the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- the Triune God? How can you know about Jesus Christ when you have tossed out the only revelation He has given of Himself?

You say we do not have to acknowledge nor even believe in Jesus to have eternal life. Yet, Jesus Himself tells us, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; NO ONE comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). You say that Jesus is not the Way; He says He is the Way. How do you explain that difference of opinion?

Then, you tell us, "Jesus did not ask us to believe IN him, he asked us to believe WITH him. He did not demand uniformity of belief, only unity in belief of those things which stand for real and eternal values. Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, these are the things which really matter, not whether you believe in a volcano sprite or in the love of the Universal Father."

Let's take a look at exactly what Jesus did say. In John 3:3, Jesus tells Nicodemus and us, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

In John 3:16, Jesus tells Nicodemus and us, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

In John 5:24, Jesus tells the Jews and us, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

In John 6:35, Jesus says to the Jews and to us, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst."

And, In John 6:47 He tells us, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life."

To me, it is very clear that, to attain salvation, we have to believe in Jesus Christ; not just with Him. Although, in another sense, if you believe in Him, you will believe with Him. So, even though you were attempting to twist the teachings of Jesus Christ, you have stumbled onto a truth without knowing it. Still, following His teaching in Scripture -- "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). Sounds pretty clear to me: believe and have eternal life with God; do not believe and have eternal life without God, but with Satan.

Next, you tell us, "Jesus came to this world to proclaim that all men and women are the sons and daughters of God, and, because the priesthood of those days was unwilling to lose their power and authority, they hung him on a cross for it!"

You say that all men and women are children of God. Yet, in Romans 8:14-17, we read, "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you (brethren) have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, . . ."

This passage tells us that only those who have believed and are called Christian brothers and sisters, i.e., brethren (Romans 8:12), are children of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Although we are all created by God; not all are children of God. Only those who believe.

Yes, He died on the cross to atone for the sins of all the world -- you, me, David, Deep, Skeptik, Miami, Crusty, even Oprah and Shirley -- but, keep in mind that this atonement, this salvation, is a free gift -- and must be accepted. Regardless of the cost of a gift or the value of a gift -- if you do not accept it, you have gained nothing. So, His dying on the cross offers that free gift of salvation to everyone -- but, we must open the door of our hearts and invite Him to come in (Revelation 3:20) and we are told in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast."

Jesus holds out His hand, offering the free gift of eternal life -- but, unless one accepts that free gift -- he has gained nothing except condemnation, personal condemnation.

Finally, Al, you tell us, "Basically, I say that it will work like this. If you want to survive death, you will. If you don’t, you wont. If you really don’t want to find God, no one is gonna make you. See, everyone is a winner! Even you. Even Bill. Even me."

Actually, if you mean by surviving death -- that a person will have an eternal, immortal life -- you are correct. Jesus assured this by His resurrection. However, one must choose, before death, where he will live that eternal life: heaven or hell.

No, not everyone is a winner. Receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior -- and you are a winner; you will spend eternity with God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all other believers who have been born since Adam and Eve were created.

On the other hand, reject Jesus Christ and we are told, by Jesus Himself, in John 3:18, "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

And, He continues, "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God." (John 3:19-21).

As Joshua tells the Israelites (and it is still applicable to us today) -- "If serving God is disagreeable to you, choose the gods you want to serve. But, for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." This is my paraphrase of what he told us in Joshua 24:15.

So, if following and serving Jesus Christ, the Light which has come into the world, is disagreeable to you; choose your own god, Satan. But, praise the Lord, my family and I are following Jesus Christ.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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Originally posted by davidnmiles: Bill, Why must you Christian parrots incessantly squawk at me that your all-loving, all-merciful God will someday carry our his cruel vengeance upon me? I have been besmirching his name for almost all my life, and he has done nothing. He is a detestable coward. The best he can do is cajole his mindless minions into casting threats at me on his behalf. He knows that in face to face confrontation with me I will make him look like the fool that he has always proven to be. He knows that it is better for him to let me blaspheme than to face me and look weak and inept. What an easy way out for him and his followers--”He will get you when you are dead!”

Hi David,

Not to worry. Just be patient. God will get around to you. You see, He has all the time of eternity to do His good will; you have only this short breath of a life. So, yes, Judgment Day is coming for ALL PEOPLE. The believers to a judgment of rewards in heaven; the haters of God like you, to a judgment of eternal punishment. I choose rewards; you choose punishment. We both WILL get our wish. Just be patient.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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AW says, "Your diatribe about God, if he exists or even if he does not, was really distasteful, rude and humble."

Tasteful, polite and humble diatribes are those aimed at me. They rationally, caringly and intelligently tell me that because I am such a horrible person for not sharing the believer's superstitions about supernatural beings, I am worthy of the most heinous punishment ever conceived. I will be tortured for all eternity by a cruel, irrational, vindictive, capricious god for nothing more serious than failure to believe in him and stroke his ego.

"Your attitude toward Christ determines your eternal future; to believe in Him -- eternal life; to reject Him -- eternal condemnation."

A really distasteful, rude and arrogant diatribe is my rejection of the notion that I am such a horrible person that God will torture me for all of eternity.

Part of this rejection is to point out that a truly caring, loving, rational deity would have the common sense and courtesy to confront me and ask me to believe and worship him and his son. If he is unwilling to face me when I am alive, then he is a coward and every other blasphemous words I can think of say about him.

Get it DUDE!
Hi David,

You, in your atheist arrogance, declare, "Part of this rejection is to point out that a truly caring, loving, rational deity would have the common sense and courtesy to confront me and ask me to believe and worship him and his son. If he is unwilling to face me when I am alive, then he is a coward and every other blasphemous words I can think of say about him."

Who are you that the God who created the universe and all within it -- should "have the courtesy to confront you"? Are you really that important? Possibly, only in your own mind.

Imagine a street bum in London questioning why the Queen would not come down to skid row and talk with him. Then, if you can get your mind around it -- try to imagine the King of all Creation coming down to talk with skid row bums like David or Bill. No, my Friend, that is the arrogance of man; to believe that he is so important that he can call the God of the universe to come on bent knee to him.

Yet, God did come to earth, in the human flesh of man -- to ransom all the bums like David, Bill, et al -- who desire to be ransomed.

I realize that it is beyond the arrogance of your finite human mind; but, God does not owe you, me, or anyone else an explanation. He is God; He is sovereign; He is the Creator. Why should He owe any of us an explanation for what He has done or what He is doing?

However, once again, He has graciously, mercifully provided a full explanation of His actions, His desires, His will -- for all who will read and believe it. It is called the Bible; the inspired (authored by Him), inerrant (perfected by Him) Written Word of God. That and the Living Word of God, Jesus Christ -- is all anyone needs to have and to know in order that we might have eternal life with God.

If one chooses to ignore and to reject these gifts from God; that person has only himself to blame. That person, by his rejection of these gifts -- has condemned himself to hell. God condemns no one to hell. Every single person who ends up in eternal hell has only himself to blame -- for that was his own personal choice.

Yet, you, in your feeble, finite, human arrogance ask, "Why doesn't God come and ask me what I think?"

Give me a break!

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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"If one chooses to ignore and to reject these gifts from God; that person has only himself to blame. That person, by his rejection of these gifts -- has condemned himself to hell. God condemns no one to hell. Every single person who ends up in eternal hell has only himself to blame -- for that was his own personal choice."

I am amused that recently it is not God who condemns people who do not stroke his ego to eternal ****ation. Evangelicals have finally caught on that a deity who tortures people is a fiend. Now they try to spin their way out of this by blaming me for the condemnation. Obviously, this doesn't mean that God is not a cruel, irrational, vindictive and capricious coward. God conceived Hell, and if he didn't then who did. Satan? If Satan brought such suffering and God is a nice guy, he would do away with both Satan and Hell. Just how do you think I will end up in torment? Do you actually believe that I will choose to go? Only a superstitious moron would believe that. Why does God want me to believe other than his over inflated ego or lack of confidence. Your book of myths doesn't say why God or JC wants me to believe.

A god who allows anyone to suffer in hell for any reason is beyond detestability. He is also a fool for not just telling me that I should believe. There is only one reason he doesn't. He is a silly myth.
Hi David,

You have my blessing to worship or not worship the god of your choice. But, as Joshua said in Joshua 24:15, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

But, let me ask you, David, "Why does it bother you so much that we Christians love, honor, and worship our God?"

It is doing you no harm. We are not insisting that you love, honor, worship, or believe in Him. That is your choice. So, why does it bother you so much what we do?

No, you cannot say it is because we always want to share our God with you -- for, if you stay out of the Religion Forum, you will not be exposed to our sharing. You, by your own choice, come into the Religion Forum -- and, then, you believe you have the right to say that we, in a Religion Forum, have no right to share our God? Get real. If you walk in our garden -- expect to smell our flowers.

One last question, David. If you have an acquaintance (notice I did not say friend) who has a wife you believe to be ugly -- would you tell this acquaintance that his wife is ugly? If this acquaintance's wife is so repulsive to you that you just cannot stand to be around her -- would you visit their home? And, then insult his wife after you entered their home?

When you come into the Religion Forum; you are entering our home. If you do not want to hear about our God; if you find our God so repulsive -- then, stay out of our home. Simple -- a win-win solution for both sides.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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I Cannot imagine going through life worshipping a god that is so flawed that I must devote considerable time making excuses for his ineptness and bad behavior.

You say that God is omniscient and knew there would be non-believers before he ever created us. Why would a god of reason create people he knows will displease him. There is absolutely no rational excuse for God to create beings that do not conform to his standards.

You then try to back out of this dilemma by stating that he gave me the freedom to choose what leader to follow. In other words, if I don’t want to worship God, that is OK with God. In fact, I choose not to serve any leader--be it God or Satan.

But you realize that won’t work. God cannot give me “free will” because he demands that everyone prostrate themselves before him. Since I refuse to worship God or his son, he must threaten me with eternal punishment. Of course, it is hardly “free will” when the threat of eternal agony hangs over my head.

How could a merciful, loving God condemn anyone to eternal torture for nothing more serious than failure to believe in him? Just the fact that God allows Hell to exist is a testimony to his extreme cruelty.

In an attempts to spin your way out of this you tell me that the choice of Heaven or Hell is mine. No the choice is not mine. I choose not to believe in God or Christ, but certainly I will not choose eternal punishment. Somebody will have to sentence me to Hell and then enforce the sentence.. Will God, Satan or some yet unnamed torturer be in charge of my punishment? It is likely that Satan will consider me an ally and regale me with wine, women and song.

Why doesn’t God do what any rational being would do that wants a person to accept a proposition as fact? Provide evidence! All God has to do is to appear to me. In fact, he does not even need to single me out. He can appear to all humankind at once; after all, he is allegedly omnipotent. If an educator (God) wants his students (we humans) to accept a belief as fact, then a rational educator will provide the best evidence possible for the veracity of the belief. If God doesn’t present himself before us, it can only be because he is totally irrational or does not exist.

Even after I: deny his existence; show him to be cruel, vindictive, capricious and illogical; and inform others about his worthlessness, he fails to appear to me and tell me to stop this blaspheme. Apparently he would rather punish me than merely convince me he exists and is not a bad guy. Either he doesn’t have the guts to face me, does not have supernatural powers and cannot appear, or he doesn’t exist..

You tell me that he will confront me someday as he has all of eternity. That makes no sense. What good does it do to face me after I am dead and have gone through a lifetime of blaspheming God? If the belief in God makes the world a better place and God actually cares about the world and its creatures, then God should provide his best evidence to ensure that I believe.

You ask, “Am I so important that I believe God should have the courtesy to confront me?” Yes, if he truly cares about all his creatures great and small.

It is one of the many sicknesses of Christianity to demean the importance and worth of the individual, You express this attitude by comparing a London street bum before the queen as equivalent to we mortals before God. The notion that we are all “bums” before God is a deplorable attitude. Most individuals are not innately worthless sinners who cannot function without God’s grace.

Why do you defend a God who has not performed one deed to benefit all of humankind. If you tell me that his barbaric sacrifice benefited humankind, please tell me how. Providing a free pass to la-la land has not, does not and will not make the world a better place.
If I were going to create a social structure that would require absolute, blind obedience to authority I'd write certain portions of the bible to define God the way you see Him. If you absolutely believe in the God of the bible, one could see Him the way you do.

But consider that perhaps He is not quite as cruel and vindictive as you describe. I mean, think about the billions He would condemn for the sin of never having even heard of Jesus...even before He was born. Maybe He's different than that.

People are often dogmatic about God...what He likes; what He doesn't like. I just like to think God has got more going than what we're often told. I think God is about love, balance, justice, and the quest for some higher purpose. Is this some bizarre new age stuff? I doubt it, but I'll be accused of that.

Simply put, there's a chance God is not quite as bad as you describe Him. At least, I certainly hope so.
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Simply put, there's a chance God is not quite as bad as you describe Him. At least, I certainly hope so.



To whom are you responding? Bill or David?


DF
God can be anything that believers want him to be or believe that he is. You apparently believe that God is a pleasant fellow who is rational, merciful and loving. I myself do not believe that there is an actual God who has any bad traits but just beliefs in a God with an unfortunate character.

I am afraid that since man first created God, and described him biblically, he has been portrayed and thought of as cruel, vindictive and irrational. The fact that I am incessantly reminded that I will be spending a rather unpleasant eternity is testimony to the common perception of a cruel, irrational and vindictive God.

Unfortunately, two thousand years of the generally accepted Christian God makes a strong case that, "Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man."
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Originally posted by DeepFat:
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Simply put, there's a chance God is not quite as bad as you describe Him. At least, I certainly hope so.



To whom are you responding? Bill or David?


DF


Just wait and see how Bill responds.
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Originally posted by davidnmiles:
God can be anything that believers want him to be or believe that he is. You apparently believe that God is a pleasant fellow who is rational, merciful and loving. I myself do not believe that there is an actual God who has any bad traits but just beliefs in a God with an unfortunate character.

I am afraid that since man first created God, and described him biblically, he has been portrayed and thought of as cruel, vindictive and irrational. The fact that I am incessantly reminded that I will be spending a rather unpleasant eternity is testimony to the common perception of a cruel, irrational and vindictive God.

Unfortunately, two thousand years of the generally accepted Christian God makes a strong case that, "Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man."


So, you believe that God does not actually exist, but his believers have imparted this mythical character with loathesome characteristics, and either manifest those character flaws or use them as some sort of tool over others. I'm not trying to mock or trap you, really.

Truth is, I don't really KNOW what God is like; I know how I believe Him to be.
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Truth is, I don't really KNOW what God is like; I know how I believe Him to be.



That's fair enough, Zip.

Next time, try the grits.


DF
"So, you believe that God does not actually exist, but his believers have imparted this mythical character with loathesome characteristics, and either manifest those character flaws or use them as some sort of tool over others. I'm not trying to mock or trap you, really.

Yes, that is exactly what I "know" (I have an aversion to the word "believe"). However, I would just substitute "many of his believers" for "his believers."

"Truth is, I don't really KNOW what God is like; I know how I believe Him to be."

As long as you don't think that God believes that: atheists are worthy of Hell; slavery is justified; homosexuals are an abomination; women are second class citizens; only born-agains should be president, etc, etc., then what you believe him to be will not harm or offend me or anyone else.
I don't know what God believes. I know what others tells me He believes; and I know what I think He believes. There are some large variations between the two.

There are people who are worthy of hell; some may be atheists but some may be professing christians. Only God can see directly into their hearts. Only God can perhaps understand WHY someone can't believe or WHY someone would hate God. I've known homosexuals who were much better people than heterosexual christians. I know what the bible says about homosexuals, but was that really the intended meaning? Again, why? Was it the result of something way beyond their ability to resist? Why do infants die young? Why am I good looking but not rich? Simply put, I don't know. My path parallels that of the fundamentalists, but does not go step-for-step with them. I even like Harry Potter movies, but I had a pastor who told me once they were the fruit of satan. How could I trust him with any further spiritual truths?

I believe that God is interested in the way in which you handle the challenges of life. That shows your character. I also believe God is interested in the things you do that no one else sees. That shows the content of your heart. Most everything else, you do for other people's consumption. If you announce you're giving a thousand bucks to charity, you're doing it so people will be impressed with your generosity. If you slip it into the poor box in cash anonymously, then maybe. It still depends on whether or not you're trying to impress God. In some cases, you don't even know yourself, but God sees into your heart.

Maybe the path toward being Godly is peeling away the hate, deceit, and character flaws away from the places where perhaps only you can see them. Continuous self-evaluation. Am I the best I can be? Am I making progress toward some ideal? Perhaps your ideal is being more Christ-like; it's not up to me to say. As long as you're not standing still or looking backwards, you're making progress. If you're there telling yourself and all around you how wonderful you are, you're not making forward progress. A quiet, purposeful striving for bettering yourself, at least in my opinion, is a necessary element in your personal, independent pursuit of God. I firmly believe that the content of your heart, where only God can see, is much more important than walking an aisle and uttering an incantation. But that's just me.
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Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
I don't know what God believes. I know what others tells me He believes; and I know what I think He believes. There are some large variations between the two.

Maybe the path toward being Godly is peeling away the hate, deceit, and character flaws away from the places where perhaps only you can see them. Continuous self-evaluation. Am I the best I can be? Am I making progress toward some ideal? Perhaps your ideal is being more Christ-like; it's not up to me to say. As long as you're not standing still or looking backwards, you're making progress. If you're there telling yourself and all around you how wonderful you are, you're not making forward progress. A quiet, purposeful striving for bettering yourself, at least in my opinion, is a necessary element in your personal, independent pursuit of God. I firmly believe that the content of your heart, where only God can see, is much more important than walking an aisle and uttering an incantation. But that's just me.


Zip,
From what you say you feel that you are responsible for your own behavior, character, well-being, achievements, influence upon others and society and ultimate path through life.
I may have told you this before but, "You are a humanist," and that is the highest of compliments.
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Originally posted by zippadeedoodah: I don't know what God believes. I know what others tells me He believes; and I know what I think He believes. There are some large variations between the two.

Hi Zip,

Actually, there is a way that you can know God and what He believes. The more you study the Bible; the deeper you get into His Word -- the more you will learn about Him. Before I was a Christian, it used to amaze me that intelligent people could spend four years in a seminary -- basically studying one book -- the Bible. Yet, since I have become a believer; it is very evident that one can study this amazing book for a lifetime and still not master it.

It seem as though every time we read a passage, really read it -- God reveals something new. So often, I have been reading the Bible and suddenly found myself amazed as I discovered new insight in a Scripture passage I have read many time. The Bible is like a living treasure-trove -- always some new treasure, some new golden nugget, to be discovered.

So, Zip, you can know what God believes. Study the book He authored. I promise you will find new treasures there.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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STUDY THE BIBLE TO LEARN ABOUT GOD:

The Bible tells us that God enjoys human and animal carnage, “Utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass,” I Samuel 15:2, 3.

The Bible tells us that God longs for a world full of idiots, "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent," I Corinthians 1:19. God the son also prefers morons to the intelligent, “O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes," Matthew 11:25.

The Bible tells us that God is a vengeful, egomaniac. After the Flood, all peoples spoke the same language. An ancient group decided to build a city with a great tower--the Tower of Babel. The Lord was upset because the people did not construct the tower in his honor. His act of vengeance was to “confound the language of all the earth,” Genesis 11:9.

The Bible tells us God is vindictive, capricious and unjust. God ordered 50,700 men murdered for peeking into a box. "And he smote the men of Beth-she'mesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people had lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter," I Samuel 6:19.

The Bible tells us that God conspires with Satan, "And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job," Job 2:3. "So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils," Job 2:7. Boils were the torment of choice for Satan; and God preferred “emerods in their secret parts,”

You get the point. If not, I can go on for the rest of the day revealing the biblical nature of God.
quote:
Originally posted by Bill Gray:
When you come into the Religion Forum; you are entering our home.


I'm taking a time out from my self-imposed prohibition against debating the intellectually challenged to remind you that *I* was the one who originally requested a religion forum so we could keep it separate form the miscellaneous section.

If anyone is going to call this "their" home, it should rightly be me. But I won't because that would be stupid. This place is "ours." Yours, mine and the TD's, Bloviator. The atheists and the rational believers will be here daily to refute the stupidity of fundamentalism. Don't like it? Quit bloviating.
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Originally posted by davidnmiles:
I may have told you this before but, "You are a humanist," and that is the highest of compliments.


Agreed, David. Zippy's a keeper. Humanism is a religion that does, in fact, allow for belief in a deity but uses science and reason as a basis for morality.

I'm a secular humanist so that makes Zippy my bro.

'Sup bro?

(on an unrelated note, David, did you get my PM?)
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Originally posted by Cookey:
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Originally posted by davidnmiles:
I may have told you this before but, "You are a humanist," and that is the highest of compliments.


Agreed, David. Zippy's a keeper. Humanism is a religion that does, in fact, allow for belief in a deity but uses science and reason as a basis for morality.

I'm a secular humanist so that makes Zippy my bro.

'Sup bro?

(on an unrelated note, David, did you get my PM?)


First, I got you PM and immediately responded: "Great! Let's have a beer."

I too am a SECULAR humanist. I just got my bulletin from the Council for Secular Humanism. In response to rram's Dawkins bashing, I reproduced from the bulletin "The Cod Delusion."
As you can see from another post (The World's oldest Bible), it was not well received by at least one believer (beternU). No sense of humor.
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Originally posted by Cookey:
I'm a secular humanist so that makes Zippy my bro.

'Sup bro?


So I guess I'm a theistic humanist on a quest to make myself into a better person and seek to apply the mind and will of God to my life.

Of course, that means we can still hang out, and hopefully will, over Christmas. And I look forward to visiting that place that has lots of different beers. And a cigar or two.
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Originally posted by zippadeedoodah:
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Originally posted by Cookey: I'm a secular humanist so that makes Zippy my bro. 'Sup bro?
So I guess I'm a theistic humanist on a quest to make myself into a better person and seek to apply the mind and will of God to my life.

Of course, that means we can still hang out, and hopefully will, over Christmas. And I look forward to visiting that place that has lots of different beers. And a cigar or two.

Hi Zip,

I am just curious. What is your definition of Theistic Humanism? In the article excerpt below, the writer, Victor A. Gunasekara, seems to disclaim Theistic Humanists. I get the feeling this Secular Humanist sees them as merely "groupies" of Humanism.

The Core Principles of Secular Humanism: Twelve Fundamental Principles Stated and Examined
Link

by Victor A. Gunasekara

It must also be mentioned that the term humanism has also been appropriated by religionists and some even speak of " theistic humanism" (e.g. Gardner Williams in The Humanist Alternative, ed. Paul Kurtz). This is often an attempt to empty humanism of any real content and to make it a synonym for their own dogmatic beliefs, especially relating to what they regard as proper human conduct. In this essay we shall completely ignore this kind of humanism and confine ourselves to what is called "secular humanism," the qualifying adjective "secular" being used to dissociate this kind of humanism from the confusion introduced by theists.

So, in light of this definition; what is your definition of Theistic Humanism?

By the way, you mention that you will be in the Shoals during Christmas -- hanging with the other "humanists" -- having a few beers and cigars. Any plans to visit a church while there? If so, which one? Just curious.

Maybe you can take your atheist/secularist/humanist Friends to church with you. That seems only fair; if you are willing to hang with them in beer bars -- they should be willing to join you in church. Or, have you fully joined their team and prefer their company over that of God? As I said, just curious.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

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My definition? I never really thought about it; I hesitate to put labels on such as myself.

Theistic? Firm believer in God and what that implies.

Humanist? Responsible for myself and my own actions.

I'm really not ready to go farther with an explanation until I've had enough time to reflect on it, I guess. I've written enough about my relationship with God and about my relationship with other people to where one could piece it together, I suppose.

Actually, yes, we'll be visiting a church there; probably a charismatic church outside Florence; I can't remember the name. Pastor E. is an old friend. My inlaws won't invite us to their church because we have shamed them by being divorced; the CoC apparently doesn't go for that sort of thing. Another is out 72 toward Tuscumbia where Pastor J. made some public statements of condemnation toward me, but I can live with that since he's pretty dogmatic and what I'd call a good example of the worst parts of christianity. All of the legalism and none of the love.

My atheist, humanist, christian, catholic, and jewish friends (I even hang with a couple of Buddhists and have learned quite a bit from them, especially about how to get along with others) are always welcome to sit around me in my pew. I can generally protect them from the fundies pretty well.

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