Nightline Debate (sorry if there is already a forum on this)

rockstarrevolution
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Nightline Debate (sorry if there is already a forum on this)

I recently watched the Nightline debate with members of the rational response squad and Kirk Cameron and some guy named Ray that clearly recites rhetoric and spent the whole debate trying to "win the crowd to God" using fear and degradation.  However, it did leave me with some stuff to chew on:

1.  Why do people spend their time and logic disproving something they "logically don't believe exists."  There must be something that draws us to the topic of God that sets it apart from the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.  I don't see many forum sites dedicated to disproving that the Tooth Fairy exists.

2.  I really enjoyed Brian's closing argument.  I've actually read the Bible numerous times and I guess I see something different that never seems to be brought up.  When God called people to follow him or into relationship with him never did he use the fear tactic or the "hell, fire, and brimstone" argument.  Why then do some "Christians" feel like they have to guilt people and scare people into following Christ.  I commend the rebellion against these acts, Christianity (according to the Bible) is NOT about heaven, hell, or a list of rules.  From what my mind can comprehend it is about love and freedom and these "Christians" aren't even an example of the Bible they claim.  If Christians are what they should be (Biblically speaking), they would be the first ones to relief of Aids not standing back and watching people die from it, they would be loving towards people who oppose them, they would accept homosexuals, murders, sexually immoral, liars, cheaters, drunks, etc for who they are and not what they do.  Jesus hung out with all those people in the Bible stories and "God followers" of that time treated him the same way they would treat me for hanging out with a homosexual.  It's wrong and if you proclaim to be an example of Jesus, figure out what that means!!!

3.  I think there are many scars on the minds of people towards the possibility of God, and that is not from God but the Christians that claim to follow him.


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Welcome to the forum,

Welcome to the forum, rockstarrevolution.

rockstarrevolution wrote:
1.  Why do people spend their time and logic disproving something they "logically don't believe exists."  There must be something that draws us to the topic of God that sets it apart from the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.  I don't see many forum sites dedicated to disproving that the Tooth Fairy exists.

I think there are two main reasons why we discuss God, but none of those other entities you mentioned.

The first reason is that there aren't billions of intelligent adults who believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or the Tooth Fairy. We spend some time expressing our disbelief in God exactly because of the people that do believe it. People's beliefs affect their actions. In particular, belief in God affects people's actions; those beliefs have real world consequences and that makes the belief in question worth discussing. So, you can think of our presence as a response to theism. There are no a-Easter Bunniests because there are no Easter Bunniests.

Edit: The second reason is that popular God concepts are a far more important decision than Easter Bunnies or Tooth Fairies, at least, provided that you already follow the religion and/or fell prey to Pascal's Wager. Whether or not you believe in Yahweh will apparently determine where you will spend eternity.   

rockstarrevolution wrote:
When God called people to follow him or into relationship with him never did he use the fear tactic or the "hell, fire, and brimstone" argument.

I'm not sure I agree with that. Hell is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament. Examples.

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:41-42
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Luke 16:22-24

"The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29

And God certainly used many tactics that we would consider morally egregious in the Old Testament. It doesn't mention hell though, because hell doesn't seem to exist in the Old Testament or at least the majority of it. God simply kills people.

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Leviticus 24:16

rockstarrevolution wrote:
If Christians are what they should be (Biblically speaking), they would be the first ones to relief of Aids not standing back and watching people die from it, they would be loving towards people who oppose them, they would accept homosexuals, murders, sexually immoral, liars, cheaters, drunks, etc for who they are and not what they do.

I don't think the Bible is always consistent about what Christians are supposed to do. After all, it is not a law book handed out by an omnipotent being; it is a compilation of 66 books chosen essentially by majority rule. There are many discrepancies. I believe there is some justification for loving homosexuals unconditionally and for hating them and stoning them. It might depend on what part of the Bible you read.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Butter is a genius. 

Butter is a genius.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:Butter is a

mellestad wrote:
Butter is a genius.

And now, he's also a moderator.

In the paraphrased words of HisWillness, "Muhuhahahahahaha, the awesome powa!"

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:mellestad

butterbattle wrote:

mellestad wrote:
Butter is a genius.

And now, he's also a moderator.

In the paraphrased words of HisWillness, "Muhuhahahahahaha, the awesome powa!"

 

We're all geniuses (geniusi?)!

Most nights I just lay around the house, thinking about how smart we all are.  It keeps me warm like a soft, cozy, cozy blanket.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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rockstarrevolution wrote:1.

rockstarrevolution wrote:
1.  Why do people spend their time and logic disproving something they "logically don't believe exists."  There must be something that draws us to the topic of God that sets it apart from the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.  I don't see many forum sites dedicated to disproving that the Tooth Fairy exists.

Because Republicans and Tea-Partiers don't vote based on their beliefs in Santa Claus. They don't try to force schools to teach their beliefs about the Easter Bunny. People don't bomb dentists' offices to support extremist tooth-fairyism.

rockstarrevolution wrote:
2.  I really enjoyed Brian's closing argument.  I've actually read the Bible numerous times and I guess I see something different that never seems to be brought up.  When God called people to follow him or into relationship with him never did he use the fear tactic or the "hell, fire, and brimstone" argument.  Why then do some "Christians" feel like they have to guilt people and scare people into following Christ.  I commend the rebellion against these acts, Christianity (according to the Bible) is NOT about heaven, hell, or a list of rules.  From what my mind can comprehend it is about love and freedom and these "Christians" aren't even an example of the Bible they claim.  If Christians are what they should be (Biblically speaking), they would be the first ones to relief of Aids not standing back and watching people die from it, they would be loving towards people who oppose them, they would accept homosexuals, murders, sexually immoral, liars, cheaters, drunks, etc for who they are and not what they do.  Jesus hung out with all those people in the Bible stories and "God followers" of that time treated him the same way they would treat me for hanging out with a homosexual.  It's wrong and if you proclaim to be an example of Jesus, figure out what that means!!!

And yet, 30 Helens agree, "You can justify anything using the bible.

 

rockstarrevolution wrote:
...and that is not from God but the Christians that claim to follow him.

Yes, of course, there being no god.


rockstarrevolution
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butterbattle wrote:I'm not

butterbattle wrote:

I'm not sure I agree with that. Hell is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament. Examples.

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:41-42
"And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame." Luke 16:22-24

"The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29

And God certainly used many tactics that we would consider morally egregious in the Old Testament. It doesn't mention hell though, because hell doesn't seem to exist in the Old Testament or at least the majority of it. God simply kills people.

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Leviticus 24:16

I agree that hell was mentioned in the Bible but never used to entice people to believe in God, that was my point.  Never at the mention of hell do millions of people come to believe in God.  So, to pattern yourself after the Bible's teachings, using guilt and fear of hell is not what the Bible does, then why do people believe that is the best way to be an example of the Bible they (supposedly) follow.


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rockstarrevolution wrote:I

rockstarrevolution wrote:

I agree that hell was mentioned in the Bible but never used to entice people to believe in God, that was my point.  Never at the mention of hell do millions of people come to believe in God.  So, to pattern yourself after the Bible's teachings, using guilt and fear of hell is not what the Bible does, then why do people believe that is the best way to be an example of the Bible they (supposedly) follow.

Terrorists like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron don't use the fear of hell to be an example of the bible.  But you already knew that.  They do so because they believe it's the best way to convince others to believe the same things they do.  

Thanks for the nice first post, I'm glad you liked the "debate."

 

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Tadgh wrote:Because

Tadgh wrote:

Because Republicans and Tea-Partiers don't vote based on their beliefs in Santa Claus. They don't try to force schools to teach their beliefs about the Easter Bunny. People don't bomb dentists' offices to support extremist tooth-fairyism.

Excellent point, I'd never thought of it like that.

Tadgh wrote:

And yet, 30 Helens agree, "You can justify anything using the bible.

 

I think that would matter all in how you read it.  If you're smart enough or ignorant enough you can make anything say just about whatever you want it to say even if it weren't the author's intended words.  I could read a book on weight loss and use their recipes for my dinner and trust when it says, "if you substitute this meal for your regular meal, it's a fool proof way to lose weight"  and eat tons of ice cream and moon pies in between meals and not lose weight.  Does that discredit the weight loss book?  I've read the Bible numerous times, mainly so that I can know exactly what it says and not what somebody tells me it says. (to back up their individual or self inflated beliefs) I don't think it is logical to use errors in interpretation to discredit anything.


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Sapient wrote:Terrorists

Sapient wrote:

Terrorists like Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron don't use the fear of hell to be an example of the bible.  But you already knew that.  They do so because they believe it's the best way to convince others to believe the same things they do.  

Thanks for the nice first post, I'm glad you liked the "debate." 

lol....it was hardly a debate.  I'll be honest with you, I was kind of disappointed with it and was outright embarrassed for Ray and Kirk.  (especially Ray...classic train wreck)  I've heard many arguments for the existence of God and never have I heard somebody use "conscience" to promote the existence of anything.  I'm not sure where morality became the central focus of the Bible either.  I suppose if you bring a preconceived notion that the Bible is the source for morality, you can ignorantly claim that morality is the central focus, but I've never seen it and I'm confused to where that became such a defining topic.  The sad thing is, from my vantage point, you had more understanding of the Bible then they did.


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rockstarrevolution wrote:I

rockstarrevolution wrote:
I agree that hell was mentioned in the Bible but never used to entice people to believe in God, that was my point.  Never at the mention of hell do millions of people come to believe in God.

Does the Bible explicitly use hell as an appeal to fear? Honestly, I think a case could be made for that too, although maybe it's more of a gray area.

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction." 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

I mean, there are lots of passages that state that the unbelievers will go to hell. Furthermore, it's pretty obvious that the intention of the concept is to persuade people to convert regardless. The only thing I haven't found is the coup de grace: "Therefore, you better convert or you're gonna burn!" Does anyone else on this forum know of a passage like that?

rockstarrevolution wrote:
So, to pattern yourself after the Bible's teachings, using guilt and fear of hell is not what the Bible does, then why do people believe that is the best way to be an example of the Bible they (supposedly) follow.

There are multiple reasons.

- The Christians themselves might think that it is a good reason to believe because they have been duped by the appeal to fear.

- They haven't really read the Bible.

- That is what they've been conditioned to think and believe by their family members, friends, pastor, etc.

Perhaps you could also think of it as analogous to the mechanism of natural selection in evolution.  

As a religion, Christianity must constantly acquire new converts through reproduction and proselytization or become extinct. Appealing to emotions, while unjustifiable, is an effective tool for increasing the population of adherents. So, in a sense, Christianity thrives because Christians play with emotions. If it didn't play with your emotions, then it would probably be extinct. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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 Man, they lost me at

 Man, they lost me at croco-duck.


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butterbattle wrote:Does the

butterbattle wrote:

Does the Bible explicitly use hell as an appeal to fear? Honestly, I think a case could be made for that too, although maybe it's more of a gray area.

"In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction." 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

I mean, there are lots of passages that state that the unbelievers will go to hell. Furthermore, it's pretty obvious that the intention of the concept is to persuade people to convert regardless. The only thing I haven't found is the coup de grace: "Therefore, you better convert or you're gonna burn!" Does anyone else on this forum know of a passage like that?

That's my point, as far as I can tell, there is no verse like that, nor is there a verse or passage that instructs believers in God to act in such a terroristic way using fear or degradation to convince people that God exists (or push their beliefs in a tyrant fashion) So, if they proclaim to live by the Bible and their actions counteract what that same Bible says, this makes their claim futile.  However, I'm not sure you can discredit the argument of the possibility of Yahwee God's existence due to ignorant actions and erroneous claims by ignorant, stubborn people.

2 Thessalonians is a letter written "to the church of the Thessalonians" as far as I can tell this passage of 2 Thessalonians is a statement (and just a statement) proclaiming that Yahwee God is just. (treats people with what is deserved in the appropriate circumstance)  This, seems to me, to be the same characteristic you see several times in the Old Testament.  I find this passage to be an interesting correlation. 

I also find interesting from that verse, the passage "know not God, and obey not the gospel" It says "know" but doesn't say anything about "believing" in God (although it does say later about believing the writer's testimony) Also, if they aren't obedient to the teachings of the Bible are they just as much condemning themselves?  

Matthew 23:15, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are."

 


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butterbattle

butterbattle wrote:

rockstarrevolution wrote:
So, to pattern yourself after the Bible's teachings, using guilt and fear of hell is not what the Bible does, then why do people believe that is the best way to be an example of the Bible they (supposedly) follow.

There are multiple reasons.

- The Christians themselves might think that it is a good reason to believe because they have been duped by the appeal to fear.

- They haven't really read the Bible.

- That is what they've been conditioned to think and believe by their family members, friends, pastor, etc.

I think you nailed it, so why do these people get to become the face of Christianity?  Once again, they're ignorant!  Yet they're the ones who continue to paint the picture of Christianity because they're loud, abusive, and did I mention ignorant!  Their argument towards the existence of God is no more credible than mine would be for brain surgery (I know nothing about it, that's my point) yet, they're continually in the spotlight and defining the image of Christianity and Yahwee.  To me, this just doesn't add up?  

butterbattle wrote:

As a religion, Christianity must constantly acquire new converts through reproduction and proselytization or become extinct. Appealing to emotions, while unjustifiable, is an effective tool for increasing the population of adherents. So, in a sense, Christianity thrives because Christians play with emotions. If it didn't play with your emotions, then it would probably be extinct. 

I got a lot of thoughts about this response, but I can't seem to organize them but I'll do my best:  I think it is unfair to relate judgemental, terroristic, and emotion driven "Christians" with the same Christianity that is laid out in the Bible.  They counter-act what the Bible (they claim) states and for future reference I will deem this a religion in and of itself and refer to it as "False Christianity" merely because it doesn't follow it's own teachings.  In terms of that "False Christianity" I completely agree with your statement (and I wish it would go extinct).  However, I don't think you can generalize all Christianity with this "False Christianity" simply because this "False Christianity" had to have branched off of "Christianity" making them separate entities that claim the same God.  Yet, the face of "Christianity" is tainted by this separate entity of "False Christianity."  


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ssalvia wrote: Man, they

ssalvia wrote:

 Man, they lost me at croco-duck.

LOL...I think he had a point with it too but I missed it due to the shock value of the picture of the croco-duck.  It made me think of the Liger in Napoleon Dynamite.


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rockstarrevolution

rockstarrevolution wrote:
That's my point, as far as I can tell, there is no verse like that,

Okay.

rockstarrevolution wrote:
nor is there a verse or passage that instructs believers in God to act in such a terroristic way using fear or degradation to convince people that God exists (or push their beliefs in a tyrant fashion) So, if they proclaim to live by the Bible and their actions counteract what that same Bible says, this makes their claim futile.

 

What counts as "using fear or degradation to convince people that God exists" or "push(ing) their beliefs in a tyrant fashion?"

Doesn't this count? It says you're supposed to kill your own family members if they want you to convert to another religion.

"If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Or this?

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Leviticus 24:16

Or this? They kill all non-believers in their way, including women and children. Except "but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."

"Have you allowed all the women to live?" he asked them. They were the ones who followed Balaam's advice and were the means of turning the Israelites away from the Lord in what happened at Peor, so that a plague struck the Lord's people. Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. Numbers 31:15-18

Overall, I think you're giving too much credit to the Bible. Sure, you can refer to Jesus to tell people to love each other and be more generous, but can also refer to Deuteronomy to tell everyone to stone each other.

rockstarrevolution wrote:
However, I'm not sure you can discredit the argument of the possibility of Yahwee God's existence due to ignorant actions and erroneous claims by ignorant, stubborn people.

Of course. The actions of Christians in no way disprove the existence of a God, only the claim that being a Christian makes you more moral.

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Kirks idea is to "

Kirks idea is to " circumnavigate our intellect ". In other words brainwash. Truth be told when that stupid tv series ended ( I don't even remember the name of that dumb show ) he needed something else to keep his face in the media. He was in the same boat with Corey Haim so he was desperate I think. So he took up brainwashing instead of just checking with 90210 to see if they would at leat give him a guest appearance.

If all the Christians who have called other Christians " not really a Christian " were to vanish, there'd be no Christians left.


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rockstarrevolution wrote:I

rockstarrevolution wrote:
I think you nailed it, so why do these people get to become the face of Christianity?  Once again, they're ignorant!  Yet they're the ones who continue to paint the picture of Christianity because they're loud, abusive, and did I mention ignorant!  Their argument towards the existence of God is no more credible than mine would be for brain surgery (I know nothing about it, that's my point) yet, they're continually in the spotlight and defining the image of Christianity and Yahwee.  To me, this just doesn't add up?

Lol, well, you pretty much answered the question already.

They're loud, they're obnoxious, and there's a lot of them, right?

rockstarrevolution wrote:
I got a lot of thoughts about this response, but I can't seem to organize them but I'll do my best:  I think it is unfair to relate judgemental, terroristic, and emotion driven "Christians" with the same Christianity that is laid out in the Bible.

Again, I think you're being too nice to the Bible. I enjoy many of Jesus' sermons just as much as the next guy, but the entire Bible isn't only Jesus' sermons. There's a lot of messed up stuff in there that could be used to justify a judgmental, terroristic, and emotional attitude.

rockstarrevolution wrote:
They counter-act what the Bible (they claim) states and for future reference I will deem this a religion in and of itself and refer to it as "False Christianity" merely because it doesn't follow it's own teachings.

Sure, I guess, but how many people really follow the Bible's teachings as much as they can? Like, seriously? Who actually sticks to the ten commandments and tries to follow the Sermon on the Mount? Not very many people.

Edit: You can't follow the Bible perfectly regardless because, as I stated, it's inconsistent.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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I don't think you can

I don't think you can evangelize and *not* use the concept of hell as a terror weapon...the whole concept is a threat, how else can you present it?

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:I don't

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you can evangelize and *not* use the concept of hell as a terror weapon...the whole concept is a threat, how else can you present it?

 

With Love!  That's the point and arguably the ONLY way to evangelize.  That's what I see when I read the Bible.  I've heard many people say that the Bible contradicts itself but nowhere in the Bible does it claim that God is anything but just, but at also claims he is love that is not a contradiction.  I would even go as far as saying the Bible says that if somebody does not believe in God, the last thing Christians are supposed to do is argue with them.  Your entitled to believe whatever you want, but out there somewhere lies some sort of absolute whether I want to believe it or not.  I've heard many theories but none of them have ever proven themselves absolutely real.  God has, and under no circumstance would I expect you to take what I say and understand it.  I could go to Hawaii and come home and tell you about how beautiful it is, but it is nonsense to anybody who has not seen it.  Using hell and terror as a weapon is WRONG and clearly not done with love and I believe it is the number one crutch people have in not believing in God.  So I'm sorry!  I'm sorry for the image of God that has been distorted by ignorant people, still doesn't prove he's not real, just proves you've never seen him through those who "supposedly" best represent him.


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rockstarrevolution

rockstarrevolution wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you can evangelize and *not* use the concept of hell as a terror weapon...the whole concept is a threat, how else can you present it?

 

With Love!  That's the point and arguably the ONLY way to evangelize.  That's what I see when I read the Bible.  I've heard many people say that the Bible contradicts itself but nowhere in the Bible does it claim that God is anything but just, but at also claims he is love that is not a contradiction.  I would even go as far as saying the Bible says that if somebody does not believe in God, the last thing Christians are supposed to do is argue with them.  Your entitled to believe whatever you want, but out there somewhere lies some sort of absolute whether I want to believe it or not.  I've heard many theories but none of them have ever proven themselves absolutely real.  God has, and under no circumstance would I expect you to take what I say and understand it.  I could go to Hawaii and come home and tell you about how beautiful it is, but it is nonsense to anybody who has not seen it.  Using hell and terror as a weapon is WRONG and clearly not done with love and I believe it is the number one crutch people have in not believing in God.  So I'm sorry!  I'm sorry for the image of God that has been distorted by ignorant people, still doesn't prove he's not real, just proves you've never seen him through those who "supposedly" best represent him.

I think you missed my point.  The simple fact that the God of the Bible created hell and is willing to send people there is a threat.  It has nothing to do with the way people evangelize, it is just that the core content is, 'Do what I say or be doomed'.  That is a threat.  That is terror.  I can't think of any way to present that core doctrinal idea in a loving way.

It would be like holding a gun to my kid and saying, "If you pick the cookie I'll shoot you in the belly, so you die slow.  If you pick the spinach I'll give you a puppy."

That isn't a loving choice, that isn't even 'free will'...it just makes me a monster.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


rockstarrevolution
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mellestad

mellestad wrote:

rockstarrevolution wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you can evangelize and *not* use the concept of hell as a terror weapon...the whole concept is a threat, how else can you present it?

 

With Love!  That's the point and arguably the ONLY way to evangelize.  That's what I see when I read the Bible.  I've heard many people say that the Bible contradicts itself but nowhere in the Bible does it claim that God is anything but just, but at also claims he is love that is not a contradiction.  I would even go as far as saying the Bible says that if somebody does not believe in God, the last thing Christians are supposed to do is argue with them.  Your entitled to believe whatever you want, but out there somewhere lies some sort of absolute whether I want to believe it or not.  I've heard many theories but none of them have ever proven themselves absolutely real.  God has, and under no circumstance would I expect you to take what I say and understand it.  I could go to Hawaii and come home and tell you about how beautiful it is, but it is nonsense to anybody who has not seen it.  Using hell and terror as a weapon is WRONG and clearly not done with love and I believe it is the number one crutch people have in not believing in God.  So I'm sorry!  I'm sorry for the image of God that has been distorted by ignorant people, still doesn't prove he's not real, just proves you've never seen him through those who "supposedly" best represent him.

I think you missed my point.  The simple fact that the God of the Bible created hell and is willing to send people there is a threat.  It has nothing to do with the way people evangelize, it is just that the core content is, 'Do what I say or be doomed'.  That is a threat.  That is terror.  I can't think of any way to present that core doctrinal idea in a loving way.

It would be like holding a gun to my kid and saying, "If you pick the cookie I'll shoot you in the belly, so you die slow.  If you pick the spinach I'll give you a puppy."

That isn't a loving choice, that isn't even 'free will'...it just makes me a monster.

I'm sorry, I forgot about this forum and just today thought about checking it...mellestad, I think you've miss understood the heart of God.  He created us perfect with the choice to destroy ourselves and we chose the latter, I think the Bible is clear on that.  But I don't want to address that as much as I would like to address the "I can't think of any way to present that core doctrinal idea in a loving way."  Take your scenerio but understand the kid has already eaten the cookie and while the consequence of eating the cookie is being shot in the belly, but you chose to take the shot in the belly yourself so that your kid can have the puppy instead.  You set the consequences, but you took the punishment so your kid didn't have to.  Is that not love?  


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rockstarrevolution

rockstarrevolution wrote:

mellestad wrote:

rockstarrevolution wrote:

mellestad wrote:

I don't think you can evangelize and *not* use the concept of hell as a terror weapon...the whole concept is a threat, how else can you present it?

 

With Love!  That's the point and arguably the ONLY way to evangelize.  That's what I see when I read the Bible.  I've heard many people say that the Bible contradicts itself but nowhere in the Bible does it claim that God is anything but just, but at also claims he is love that is not a contradiction.  I would even go as far as saying the Bible says that if somebody does not believe in God, the last thing Christians are supposed to do is argue with them.  Your entitled to believe whatever you want, but out there somewhere lies some sort of absolute whether I want to believe it or not.  I've heard many theories but none of them have ever proven themselves absolutely real.  God has, and under no circumstance would I expect you to take what I say and understand it.  I could go to Hawaii and come home and tell you about how beautiful it is, but it is nonsense to anybody who has not seen it.  Using hell and terror as a weapon is WRONG and clearly not done with love and I believe it is the number one crutch people have in not believing in God.  So I'm sorry!  I'm sorry for the image of God that has been distorted by ignorant people, still doesn't prove he's not real, just proves you've never seen him through those who "supposedly" best represent him.

I think you missed my point.  The simple fact that the God of the Bible created hell and is willing to send people there is a threat.  It has nothing to do with the way people evangelize, it is just that the core content is, 'Do what I say or be doomed'.  That is a threat.  That is terror.  I can't think of any way to present that core doctrinal idea in a loving way.

It would be like holding a gun to my kid and saying, "If you pick the cookie I'll shoot you in the belly, so you die slow.  If you pick the spinach I'll give you a puppy."

That isn't a loving choice, that isn't even 'free will'...it just makes me a monster.

I'm sorry, I forgot about this forum and just today thought about checking it...mellestad, I think you've miss understood the heart of God.  He created us perfect with the choice to destroy ourselves and we chose the latter, I think the Bible is clear on that.  But I don't want to address that as much as I would like to address the "I can't think of any way to present that core doctrinal idea in a loving way."  Take your scenerio but understand the kid has already eaten the cookie and while the consequence of eating the cookie is being shot in the belly, but you chose to take the shot in the belly yourself so that your kid can have the puppy instead.  You set the consequences, but you took the punishment so your kid didn't have to.  Is that not love?  

Welcome back!  You should stick around, we have lots of fun conversations!

 

It isn't love if:

I set up such a ridiculous scenario from start to finish...placing the delicious cookie, being responsible for creating the brain the child uses to think with, creating the arbitrary rule, meticulously crafting the firearm and bullet, etc, etc.

I know that, if I am shot in the belly, I won't actually die, in fact I will go to heaven!

I require the child to tell me they love me, otherwise I let them writhe in agony.  I don't even let them die, I let them writhe in agony *forever*.

-------------

Irregardless of any other considerations, creating a system of 'justice' where finite transgressions justify eternal punishments is as far for justice as I can imagine.  I mean that literally...I literally cannot think of a more perverted idea.

-------------

This is, of course, entirely ignoring the line of argument that you can't actually know the will of God in the first place.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Have you ever heard of the

Have you ever heard of the SAW movies?  The premise is there is a serial killer who creates elaborate scenarios to torture, maim and kill people all the while giving them the illusion of control.

The concept of sin is like that.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Croco-duck

ssalvia wrote:

 Man, they lost me at croco-duck.

WHAAAT??!?! Dude, croco-duck won them the entire argument. I went out a bible and started thwacking my naughties with it after hearing that breathtaking revelation!

The bible is contradictory, whether you like it or not. It is vague about both loving and caring as well as when one is going to get roasted in hell by the kind and forgiving torturer. A person can pull anything they want from it, as the OP pointed out. They can interpret it (or misinterpret as many who understand "true Christianity" like to call it) any way that strikes their fancy.

Here is the problem with the bible versus a weight loss book: the bible is endorsed by the all powerful wizard who created the universe. This all powerful wizard has an opinion, wants us to do something, and is unclear about what exactly that is. That gives the license to interpret for oneself and it gives divine permission to carry out those acts. A weight loss book is about weight loss - the bible is about the divine and unquestionable dictates of the all powerful definer of reality and he wants you to... well... you have to decide for yourself (to the horror of us all).


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My two cents

rockstarrevolution wrote:

I recently watched the Nightline debate with members of the rational response squad and Kirk Cameron and some guy named Ray that clearly recites rhetoric and spent the whole debate trying to "win the crowd to God" using fear and degradation.  However, it did leave me with some stuff to chew on:

1.  Why do people spend their time and logic disproving something they "logically don't believe exists."  There must be something that draws us to the topic of God that sets it apart from the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.  I don't see many forum sites dedicated to disproving that the Tooth Fairy exists.

1. Consider this rockstar, if a group of people rose up believing in the Tooth Fairy that eventually grew so large that they start to push their beliefs onto everyone else. They change the American slogan, pledge, and money to all mention the Tooth Fairy and this nation was founded upon her principles, would you not speak up? And then, they deny women rights because women were inferior to men because womens teeth are weaker, and then they deny all NON-believers from holding public office and speaking in courts unless they convert to believe in the tooth fairy, would you just let that slide? Or how about this Tooth Fairy group was granted tax exempt status, came door to door trying to convert you and your neighbors, and then they try to get into the schools and try to push their religious doctrine in the science courses upon your children? Are you getting the picture?

rockstarrevolution wrote:

3.  I think there are many scars on the minds of people towards the possibility of God, and that is not from God but the Christians that claim to follow him.

3. I think these mental scars you speak of is the spiritual aspect of our brains. Yes, in all human brains we have sections that produce spiritual experiences. These things may draw us into thinking there is something more, but the reality is it is just in our heads. Stimulating the amygdala and hippocampus of the limbic system produces feelings of intense meaningfulness, connection with God, of cosmic connectedness, out of body experiences, feeling beyond this world, and hallucinations. Most people who have these experiences equate them to being touched by the divine, but what they need to understand is that this is just a product of their own brains and they are fooling themselves.