PROBLEM: Personal Testimony (You Explain)

Kenny5682
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PROBLEM: Personal Testimony (You Explain)

Christian or athiest, with a little work, either side can take something said by the other and mold it to fit their own argument.  I look outside and I see a beautiful creation obviously created by God.  Others look outside and see a manifestation of matter completely controled by chance.

 Personally, my faith did not begin or strengthen by looking at the trees or the stars.  Nor did it strengthen by scientific knowledge or historical evidence.  It strengthened with personal experiences.

 The first time I called out to God I pulled over along side a mountain right off of a very busy road.  I asked that if there be a God, and if He is the God of the Bible, that He would show me a shooting star.  I never did see one.  Instead, I got an overwhemling urge to get down on my knees and pray.  I didn't want to because I was along a busy road.  So I requested to pray in a quiet place.  Just then, the traffic stopped for quite some time.  It was completel silence.  I waited, and waited some more.  Nothing.  So I got down on my knees and I prayed, and although I took my time praying I did not hear a single car off in the distance until about 1 second after I said "Amen."

 

    Later in my walk, a guy I worked with wanted to buy my Jeep.  I didn't want to sell it to him because my wife had wrecked it and it would need work.  He said he does body work and that he would still like to buy it.  Because this man was poor, I felt convicted by God to give it to him free of charge.  My wife cleans the Church as a part time job.  She called me from the Church and I told her that I wanted to give the jeep to this guy.  She said, "We could probably get about $500 for it, but if that's what God wants you to do; do it."  We both agreed to trust God.  10 minutes later my wife called and informed me that our pastor handed her a check for $500.  Apparently, the elder board discussed our current financial situation and decided to give us the money toward a new car because we were struggling so much. 

 

I have many more stories, but I'll leave you with this final story.  A few weeks ago I had a dream where a girl I used to know popped in, and I felt like I had something to tell her from God.  I woke up before I told her anything.  About a week later I decided to message her on MySpace and I was very open about feeling as if God wanted me to tell her something.  I said "I feel as if you have been lying awake in bed at night and seeking God."  I also made it very clear that this was something that happened very often, and not just here and there.  When she wrote me back she informed me that every night that week she had been up struggling with guilt and asking God to forgive her.  

Did traffic just happen to stop just long enough for me to pray?  Did my pastor just happen to hand my wife $500 dollars within 10 minutes after we sacrificed that exact amount to help somebody else?  Did I just guess that the girl I knew was struggling at that exact time and describe her exact situation to her without knowing anything about what she was going through?  Or did God make Himself evident through these things?  

 I cannot prove to you that He did any more than you can prove to me that He did not.  But the issue here isn't what I can prove to you, or what you can prove to me; it's what He has proven to me and millions of others around the world who follow Him.

 You will never be able to prove what did or did not happen 2,000 years ago.  But can you disprove the personal testimonies of millions?

 

Good luck, if there is such a thing.


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No, the factual events that

No, the factual events that happened to you happened.  What I do dispute is that God had anything to do with them.

 

It's all very well mentioning three incidents where God has apparently answered you, but how many times has he not?  You initially asked him for a shooting star and he failed to deliver after all

 

Let's face it, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.

 

 

Freedom of religious belief is an inalienable right. Stuffing that belief down other people's throats is not.


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What the Patrician said.

What the Patrician said. While I value what you have to say and your beliefs and it is very touching, the odds are that it was a series of coincidences.

I have many responses towards what has happened to you and in relation to others etc, but I don't want to get into a 20 minute rant.

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Quote: Christian or

Quote:
Christian or athiest, with a little work, either side can take something said by the other and mold it to fit their own argument.

Completely and irefutably true.

Quote:
Personally, my faith did not begin or strengthen by looking at the trees or the stars.  Nor did it strengthen by scientific knowledge or historical evidence.  It strengthened with personal experiences.

Would it be like the personal experiences of the "customers" of Peter Popoff ? Oh wait, I shouldn't have said that.

Quote:
The first time I called out to God I pulled over along side a mountain right off of a very busy road.  I asked that if there be a God, and if He is the God of the Bible, that He would show me a shooting star.  I never did see one.  Instead, I got an overwhemling urge to get down on my knees and pray.  I didn't want to because I was along a busy road.  So I requested to pray in a quiet place.  Just then, the traffic stopped for quite some time.  It was completel silence.  I waited, and waited some more.  Nothing.  So I got down on my knees and I prayed, and although I took my time praying I did not hear a single car off in the distance until about 1 second after I said "Amen."

So what exactly is this supposed to prove? To me it sounds something like God telling you "A shooting star? How dare you, puny mortal, you insignificant insect, you wretched defiler of the flesh you are in, ask me for anything? Drop, and give me sanctity!"

So if you thought that you would at least stir interest with this, you failed.

Quote:
Later in my walk, a guy I worked with wanted to buy my Jeep.  I didn't want to sell it to him because my wife had wrecked it and it would need work.  He said he does body work and that he would still like to buy it.  Because this man was poor, I felt convicted by God to give it to him free of charge.  My wife cleans the Church as a part time job.  She called me from the Church and I told her that I wanted to give the jeep to this guy.  She said, "We could probably get about $500 for it, but if that's what God wants you to do; do it."  We both agreed to trust God.  10 minutes later my wife called and informed me that our pastor handed her a check for $500.  Apparently, the elder board discussed our current financial situation and decided to give us the money toward a new car because we were struggling so much.

I have to say that this happened to me quite a few times as well. It wasn't with a car, but in different other situations. The only difference is that I took the money that the person gave me, unlike you, and earned double. But hey, you had to trust God, didn't you?

Quote:
A few weeks ago I had a dream where a girl I used to know popped in, and I felt like I had something to tell her from God.  I woke up before I told her anything.  About a week later I decided to message her on MySpace and I was very open about feeling as if God wanted me to tell her something.  I said "I feel as if you have been lying awake in bed at night and seeking God."  I also made it very clear that this was something that happened very often, and not just here and there.  When she wrote me back she informed me that every night that week she had been up struggling with guilt and asking God to forgive her.

Something tells me you're definitely on the right path. The only problem is, so are all people of other religions, which all kind of describe the same religious experiences, but, of course, substituting "God" with their god.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that psychologists and psychiatrists having described this type of associative behavior from the times of papa Freud, does it?

Quote:
Did traffic just happen to stop just long enough for me to pray?

I don't know how it is there in the States, but here in Romania, traffic just happens to stop from time to time.

Quote:
Did my pastor just happen to hand my wife $500 dollars within 10 minutes after we sacrificed that exact amount to help somebody else?

Well, she was at the church, wasn't she? What better moment for the pastor to hand the check than right there?

Quote:
Did I just guess that the girl I knew was struggling at that exact time and describe her exact situation to her without knowing anything about what she was going through?

Dude, seriously, read some psychology.

Quote:
Or did God make Himself evident through these things?

Why, I may ask, has he never made himself "evident" to me as well? What did you do to deserve a better proof than me?

Quote:
I cannot prove to you that He did any more than you can prove to me that He did not.  But the issue here isn't what I can prove to you, or what you can prove to me; it's what He has proven to me and millions of others around the world who follow Him.

Yes. Just like James Randi said years ago: "If God talks to Popoff, then God must be communicating on 325,5 MHz (don't remember the exact frequency), is obviously a woman and sounds just like Popoff's wife."

But you know, it's not our fault that some (most) people are so gullible.

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Describing cooincidence as

Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened.

My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.

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inspectormustard
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Vastet wrote: Describing

Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.

  I agree wholeheartedly. Praying does no more than earmark a possible outcome which, if things turn out one way you think back and say "oh, I prayed for that and it happened!" If, on the other hand, you wrote down all of your prayers you would see that 99% of them do not come true.


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As a side note, you know

As a side note, you know how they say that if you speak your wish it won't come true? It's for the same reason I mentioned that "prayers work." The less you remember, the more likely you'll change your wish or see a coincidence and fit it in.


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Vastet wrote: Describing

Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.


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No, that would be

No, that would be stupid.

 

Honestly, did you even read his post? 


Vastet
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sugarfree wrote: Vastet

sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

Or maybe your fictional god doesn't exist to tap me on the shoulder in the first place.

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Vastet wrote: sugarfree

Vastet wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

Or maybe your fictional god doesn't exist to tap me on the shoulder in the first place.

A lot of times it take a desperate situation for someone to see.

But, to address your post more specifically, God doesn't always (usually doesn't) answer prayers in the way we expect. He's not our own personal genie, nor does he respond to our tests. So if/when those types of prayers are not answered, we should not be surprised.

The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.)

Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV):

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty."


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sugarfree wrote: Or maybe

sugarfree wrote:
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

 

Maybe you're the type to misconstrew evidence and attribute mundane occurances to a supernatural being because you wish to keep your egocentric world view. 


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First let me apologize

First let me apologize because I did not read every response.  I have to leave for work here soon.  I do want to address a few things that I read though.

 God did not 'fail' to show me a shooting star.  While I did read a response that was probably close to what He said, it was a lot less cynical.  He didn't look down on me and say "You puny mortal, you insiginificant, get down on your knees!"  The feeling I got was more along the lines of, "You've spent your entire life sinning against me, and you want me to jump when I say jump?  Humble yourself, and then I will show you a sign."

 Also I'd like to address unanswered prayers.  I don't blame any of you for doubting God's existance for lack of answered prayers.  I actually blame modern Christianity.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that you can throw a prayer out and it'll be answered with the snap of a finger, or even that it will be answered at all.

Instead, the Bible makes it clear that God honors a humble heart who asks with right motives and according to His will.

Finally, after reading through some of the posts here, seeing som of the merchandise that is being offered, the amount of some of the donations, etc...  It's very clear that most (if not all) the motivation behind this site is based on a hatred towards Christianity.

Rigth now, Islam is spreading like wildfire throughout the United States of America.  It's true, somebody like me may knock on your door and asked to speak with you about Jesus Christ.  But do you know what else is true?  A time is coming very soon where you will either be Muslim or dead.  When that time comes, you will miss the evangelical Christian.   


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sugarfree wrote: A lot of

sugarfree wrote:
A lot of times it take a desperate situation for someone to see. But, to address your post more specifically, God doesn't always (usually doesn't) answer prayers in the way we expect. He's not our own personal genie, nor does he respond to our tests. So if/when those types of prayers are not answered, we should not be surprised. The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.) Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV): "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty."

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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sugarfree wrote: Or maybe

sugarfree wrote:
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

You are definitely the type (no maybes about it) that if allah/vishnu/xenu/any god but jesus peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder,  you would still find a way to say he/she/it/them does not exist.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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pariahjane wrote: I've

pariahjane wrote:

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

Actually if you believe in Jesus as your saviour your already welcomed into Heaven. He wants you to do those things but, we all have free will not too. We do it because, we love to.

Sometimes God tested people so they know how strong there faith is. 


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sugarfree wrote: Vastet

sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

You'd first have to convince me that god is the only one who can peel back clouds and tap people on shoulders. Before that, I'd think it could be any numbers fo things.


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P3RFECT wrote: Sometimes

P3RFECT wrote:
Sometimes God tested people so they know how strong there faith is. 

Congratulations. You have just proven that you are capable of believing anything.


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pariahjane

pariahjane wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
A lot of times it take a desperate situation for someone to see. But, to address your post more specifically, God doesn't always (usually doesn't) answer prayers in the way we expect. He's not our own personal genie, nor does he respond to our tests. So if/when those types of prayers are not answered, we should not be surprised. The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.) Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV): "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty."

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

I guess you are just better than Christians.


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P3RFECT wrote: pariahjane

P3RFECT wrote:
pariahjane wrote:

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

Actually if you believe in Jesus as your saviour your already welcomed into Heaven. He wants you to do those things but, we all have free will not too. We do it because, we love to.

Sometimes God tested people so they know how strong there faith is. 

So why does a god who is suppose to know everything need to test how strong someones faith is? Should it already know?

Sounds made up...
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You realize that in order

You realize that in order for the traffic to have stopped, and for the pastor to give you money through means of divine intervention, god would have had to take away people's free will, right?  I thought your god doesn't do that sort of thing.


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sugarfree wrote: A lot of

sugarfree wrote:
A lot of times it take a desperate situation for someone to see.

Which is to say: A lot of times it takes a desperate situation for someone to abandon logic.

sugarfree wrote:

But, to address your post more specifically, God doesn't always (usually doesn't) answer prayers in the way we expect.

Not always, not usually, but definitely sometimes? Any way to empirically measure that?

sugarfree wrote:
He's not our own personal genie, ...

I thought he was sitting on your shoulder, helping you with your programming problems. Sounds pretty personal to me.

sugarfree wrote:
...

nor does he respond to our tests. So if/when those types of prayers are not answered, we should not be surprised.

Then you might as well pray to that stain on your tablecloth. When you pray for the traffic to stop and the traffic stops, obviously the ketchup stain has answered your prayers. When you pray and it isn't answered, well, you shouldn't be surprised. The ketchup stain must have had a different plan.

(That is called selective reasoning. Look it up if you have to.)

sugarfree wrote:
The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.)

And precisely how is this a test for god?

There are no theists on operating tables.

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Vastet
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sugarfree wrote: Vastet

sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

Or maybe your fictional god doesn't exist to tap me on the shoulder in the first place.

A lot of times it take a desperate situation for someone to see.

I've been in more desperate situations than I have fingers. Still nothing.

sugarfree wrote:
But, to address your post more specifically, God doesn't always (usually doesn't) answer prayers in the way we expect. He's not our own personal genie, nor does he respond to our tests. So if/when those types of prayers are not answered, we should not be surprised.

I wasn't surprised. And I was answering another posters statement with an equal and opposite one to show how his had no veracity to it. But if god wants me to believe in him, he'd better do better than nothing.

sugarfree wrote:
The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.)

I've done that more times than I have fingers too. I did it a couple hours ago actually. I spent at least 15 minutes of my time and a fair amount of energy trying to get a poor little critter out of the building I work at. He wasn't much liking me following him around and trying to catch him, so I spent quite a bit of energy and time getting him out. It's not part of my job to, and I could have just let him or her die and be swept up by the cleaners instead of going to the trouble of catching it, but I didn't. I don't expect any reward. Other than the people who read this, noone will know I did it. I'm only recounting it to you now so that you can see how I do give without strings attached. I didn't even do it for the joy of giving. I did it because I know if I was trapped in a nasty place and something could let me out, I'd appreciate it letting me out. Even if I was scared shitless of whatever it was that could let me go, as this little guy was.

Kenny5682 wrote:

Rigth now, Islam is spreading like wildfire throughout the United States of America. It's true, somebody like me may knock on your door and asked to speak with you about Jesus Christ. But do you know what else is true? A time is coming very soon where you will either be Muslim or dead. When that time comes, you will miss the evangelical Christian.

Nope. I'll be glad I only have one enemy instead of two.

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Have we got a troll on our

Have we got a troll on our hands?


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Vastet wrote: But if god

Vastet wrote:
But if god wants me to believe in him, he'd better do better than nothing.
See? You are testing Him.
Vastet wrote:
I'm only recounting it to you now so that you can see how I do give without strings attached.
I did not say you were incapable of this. I said, this is the only area where God says to us, "Test me."


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sugarfree wrote: Vastet

sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
But if god wants me to believe in him, he'd better do better than nothing.
See? You are testing Him.

Well if he exists then it's his will that I do. So what's the problem with him answering for once? Just once. I'm not asking for a billion dollars here. Just a simple and incontrovertable sign.

sugarfree wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I'm only recounting it to you now so that you can see how I do give without strings attached.
I did not say you were incapable of this. I said, this is the only area where God says to us, "Test me."

Where's the test?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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zarathustra wrote: Then

zarathustra wrote:

Then you might as well pray to that stain on your tablecloth. When you pray for the traffic to stop and the traffic stops, obviously the ketchup stain has answered your prayers. When you pray and it isn't answered, well, you shouldn't be surprised. The ketchup stain must have had a different plan.

If you want to know how to pray effectively, you are in luck because Jesus gave us an example:

Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. (pay respect to god)
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, (His will NOT my will)
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. (please provide me the necessities of life.)
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors. (for give my screw ups as I forgives those who screw up against me.)
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil: (protect me from the evil one)
For thine is the kingdom, and the
power, and the glory, for ever. (God is the owner and the author and therefore we glorify him.)

zarathustra wrote:

The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.)

And precisely how is this a test for god?
Because He will respond by providing you with spiritual, emotional, and financial abundance.


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Vastet wrote: sugarfree

Vastet wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
But if god wants me to believe in him, he'd better do better than nothing.
See? You are testing Him.
Well if he exists then it's his will that I do. So what's the problem with him answering for once? Just once. I'm not asking for a billion dollars here. Just a simple and incontrovertable sign.
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
I'm only recounting it to you now so that you can see how I do give without strings attached.
I did not say you were incapable of this. I said, this is the only area where God says to us, "Test me."
Where's the test?
See my response to zarathustra.


zarathustra
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sugarfree wrote: If you

sugarfree wrote:

If you want to know how to pray effectively, you are in luck because Jesus gave us an example:

[sugarfree recites the lord's prayer, with his/her comments added] 

Touching, but I'm afraid you avoided the question.  How is this any more effective than praying to a stain on a tablecloth?  Once again:  When things go along with what you pray for, you'll give god/stain credit.  When things don't match up to your prayers, you simply say you can't expect god/stain to answer every prayer.

 You also seem to have abandoned the "personal genie" sub-topic.  Hoping noone will notice?

  

sugarfree wrote:


zarathustra wrote:

Quote:
 

The only area we can test Him is via giving.

And precisely how is this a test for god?

Because He will respond by providing you with spiritual, emotional, and financial abundance.

And this effect can be empirically measured? (Answer carefully!) And is there really any point to the "financial abundance"?  Won't you be giving it away the moment you get it -- for the simple "joy of giving"?

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
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zarathustra

zarathustra wrote:
Touching, but I'm afraid you avoided the question.  How is this any more effective than praying to a stain on a tablecloth? 
I cannot explain it to you. You must try praying based on Jesus's model. Then try praying to the tablecloth. The answer will come to you only thru experience. Making fun of other people for praying is not going to get you anywhere.
zarathustra wrote:
Once again:  When things go along with what you pray for, you'll give god/stain credit.  When things don't match up to your prayers, you simply say you can't expect god/stain to answer every prayer.
The relationship and prayer life develops over time. If you pray consistently, in five years you look back and get to see how God has guided you. It's a relationship, a discipline. You seem to want it to be more of a magic wand type of thing. (Or, you assume that is how people who pray think of it.) But, it is not like that. Why are you so hard-headed about this God thing? There must be more to it than meets the eye. What did he ever do to you? (Or not do?) I really don't get how you became so hard-headed after once being a "believer".
zarathustra wrote:
And this effect can be empirically measured? (Answer carefully!) And is there really any point to the "financial abundance"?  Won't you be giving it away the moment you get it -- for the simple "joy of giving"?

Or perhaps, I should not be surprised, I guess, that you abandoned God, given your absolute, unshakeable skepticism. Are you ever NOT skeptical? I don't care if this stuff can be empirically measured, or whatever. Why are you always trying to reduce God to a simple science experiment? You cannot find him that way!

Yes, there is a point to the financial abundance. A lot of times, people are blessed abundantly BEFORE they start giving, but they are hoarders, or greedy, or always worried that something horrible is going to happen so the "more money they have the better they will be". For those types of people, the point of giving, at first, is to teach them that they will be okay if they relax the reigns, if they let go and trust that God will be there for them always and that they do not have to take such extreme measures to try to protect themselves. Giving helps them shift their perspective from worry to appreciating what they have...thus they become aware of their abundance (which had always been there, but they were too blind to see.)


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sugarfree wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
I cannot explain it to you.

Then why even bring it up?

sugarfree wrote:
You must try praying based on Jesus's model. Then try praying to the tablecloth.

I prayed "based on jesus' model" for 20 years. The results are exactly the same as if I had prayed to allah, confucius, or a stain on a tablecloth. Just as they are for you.

sugarfree wrote:
The answer will come to you only thru experience.

Any religion can make such a claim.

sugarfree wrote:

Making fun of other people for praying is not going to get you anywhere.

Neither will selective reasoning (scoring the hits, ignoring the misses).

sugarfree wrote:
The relationship and prayer life develops over time. If you pray consistently, in five years you look back and get to see how God has guided you.

If you abandon religion, in five years (or shorter) you look back and realize you don't need a god to get you along.

sugarfree wrote:
It's a relationship, a discipline. You seem to want it to be more of a magic wand type of thing. (Or, you assume that is how people who pray think of it.) But, it is not like that.

Just going off of what Kenny was recounting: He needed a quiet spot, and the traffic stopped. He gave away a car, and someone gave his wife $500. He sure seemed to think these were cases of god waving his magic wand -- and you sure seemed to agree.

sugarfree wrote:

Why are you so hard-headed about this God thing? There must be more to it than meets the eye.

Such shameless hypocrisy. You are relentlessly hard-headed about every other religion out there. Why must there be more to it than meets they eye -- and why does it have to be jesus?

sugarfree wrote:
What did he ever do to you? (Or not do?) I really don't get how you became so hard-headed after once being a "believer".

he never did anything to me, because he doesn't exist. If I was ever hard-headed, it was when I was a believer (no quotes required). I was absolutely convinced of my beliefs, assumed in advance that they were true, and then tried to argue towards those pre-formed conclusions.  I came to realize that such thinking was unsound, and was the same technique employed by any religious adherent.  And you employ it very well.

Who are you to call me hard-headed? I politely requested a long time ago for simple contemporary evidence of jesus. A fair request, to demonstrate that jesus is in fact a historical figure -- something the bible roundly fails to demonstrate. If you could actually provide an example of evidence, I would not be hard-headed, I would freely accept it. Instead, after one feeble attempt, you attacked my character, and have dodged this question ever since, relying on emotional appeals instead. What you fail after all this time to realize is that, without establishing jesus as a historical figure, any claims based on jesus are unsupported, and inadmissible.

Try getting that through that hard head of yours.

sugarfree wrote:

Or perhaps, I should not be surprised, I guess, that you abandoned God, given your absolute, unshakeable skepticism.

Hypocrite. You are an absolute, unshakeable skeptic about every other religion but your own.

sugarfree wrote:
I don't care if this stuff can be empirically measured, or whatever.

Well you should. How else to distinguish between fact and fantasy?

sugarfree wrote:
Why are you always trying to reduce God to a simple science experiment? You cannot find him that way!

Why not? Science investigates reality. Is god not real?

sugarfree wrote:

Yes, there is a point to the financial abundance. A lot of times, people are blessed abundantly BEFORE they start giving, but they are hoarders, or greedy, or always worried that something horrible is going to happen so the "more money they have the better they will be". For those types of people, the point of giving, at first, is to teach them that they will be okay if they relax the reigns, if they let go and trust that God will be there for them always and that they do not have to take such extreme measures to try to protect themselves.

So god manifests himself through material wealth. Got it.

Thing is, you yourself said previously this is how you "test god", by giving. If so, there should be empirically measurable results. This was your claim, don't get mad if I call you on it.

And, hello, are you going to acknowledge your duplicity on "god as a personal genie"? Second time I've asked you now.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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I simply don't find the

I simply don't find the argument from personal experiecne very credible.  Individuals throughout human history have claimed experiences of the divine within their geocultural traditions  - some even claim religious experiences of "foreign" faith traditions, though again, they tend to be traiditions that people have encountered and learned a bit about.  If we were to privelege the argument from personal experience, then that would make all faith traditions equally true (i.e. representations of a Alice in Wonderland reality) ... This would, of course, scuttle the project that's at the basis of your presense here (which is also the basis of many of the "prophetic" religions of the west):  the exclusivity of your monotheism.  (Though if you're Christian, I'd think twice about calling that tradition monotheistic ...) 

Let me be very clear here, Religions (in this case, Christianity) are not representations of reality - the texts (and the project of the texts) were never intended to explain the ontological reality of the physical world.   Religions are human constructions that discuss, at a very basic level, mythological realities - these frame culture and in many ways create the moral and actionable foundations for social practices (slavery, domination, genocide, rape, murder, heirarchy, hegemony ...also, pair-bonds, concepts of love, family, the community, cooperation and even love).  Any opinion contrary is simply ahistorical.  In otherwords, the notion that a god even exists was secondary to the authors intentionality - and God belief through ancients texts comes about late in history.

The fact that people have transcendant moments, either within a faith tradition or without, is simply testimony to the ingenuity of our imaginations and the power of our brain chemistry ... You are framing a real experience with a mythological construct, and in the process cheapening any real enlightenment you could have been able to grasp from such a rare moment.

I'm off myspace.com so you can only find me here: http://geoffreymgolia.blogspot.com


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zarathustra wrote: "I

zarathustra wrote:
"I cannot explain it to you.”Then why even bring it up?
There is no point in bringing such things up with you.
zarathustra wrote:
”I prayed "based on jesus' model" for 20 years. The results are exactly the same as if I had prayed to allah, confucius, or a stain on a tablecloth. Just as they are for you.
Did you ever love God?
zarathustra wrote:
"The answer will come to you only thru experience." Any religion can make such a claim.
Because they are correct on that point.
zarathustra wrote:
If you abandon religion, in five years (or shorter) you look back and realize you don't need a god to get you along.
Have you considered the parable of the sower. Just because you look back and “realize you don’t need god” does not mean you are seeing clearly. You have been decieved. You accepted Jesus, and then walked away from him. Your heart is doubly hardened because of that. You are in worse shape than someone like PariahJane who was brought up an atheist. She has an excuse. You don’t. You are in a dangerous spot Zarathustra. As your former sister in Christ, I feel obligated to point that out to you.
zarathustra wrote:
Just going off of what Kenny was recounting: He needed a quiet spot, and the traffic stopped. He gave away a car, and someone gave his wife $500. He sure seemed to think these were cases of god waving his magic wand -- and you sure seemed to agree.
No. This is the result of Kenny’s will being aligned with God’s will. When we are aligned with God we want the things he wants. We pray for HIS will to be done, not our own. Kenny was being rewarded for his sacrifice. Sometimes God does make himself this blatantly known to us, in little increments like this…it strengthens our faith. But the bottom line is, it comes down to God’s will. Not Kenny’s will. Not my will. Not yours.
zarathustra wrote:
Why must there be more to it than meets they eye -- and why does it have to be jesus?
Because if you truly knew Jesus, I do not understand how you could have left him. How could you turn your back on your best friend? I have much difficulty comprehending how you were able to do that, and how you are now able to say such worthless tripe against him now. It really discusts me. God forgive me and have mercy on me if I ever make the same mistakes you have made and are making.
zarathustra wrote:
If I was ever hard-headed, it was when I was a believer (no quotes required). I was absolutely convinced of my beliefs, assumed in advance that they were true, and then tried to argue towards those pre-formed conclusions. I came to realize that such thinking was unsound, and was the same technique employed by any religious adherent. And you employ it very well.
You are still hard-headed. If you were when you were religious, you are also as an atheist.
zarathustra wrote:
Who are you to call me hard-headed? I politely requested a long time ago for simple contemporary evidence of jesus. A fair request, to demonstrate that jesus is in fact a historical figure -- something the bible roundly fails to demonstrate. If you could actually provide an example of evidence, I would not be hard-headed, I would freely accept it. Instead, after one feeble attempt, you attacked my character, and have dodged this question ever since, relying on emotional appeals instead. What you fail after all this time to realize is that, without establishing jesus as a historical figure, any claims based on jesus are unsupported, and inadmissible.
I’m just pointing out what I see in you because I believe it is keeping you from seeing God. For one, you simply cannot let go of that first conversation we had and you keep pressing the issue, as if you think I, for some reason, owe you an explanation. I owe you nothing, and I suggest you get over the whole thing about “me attacking your character.” That was a misunderstanding which I addressed with you a long time ago. Do you make a habit of holding grudges?

I am purposefully being harsh with you right now because I’m trying to break thru the walls you have built up against the God you supposedly once believed in. Let me ask you this…if there was a God, and there was a devil, don’t you think the devil would be working over time to KEEP you in your current frame of mind, to keep you from ever again believing in the God who made you? You have been decieved, Zarathustra, and you continue to be deceived.

zarathustra wrote:
Hypocrite.
None of you here has any business calling anyone else a hypocrite. We are all hypocrites including you. You think you are morally superior…having “discovered” that there is no God. You think the rest of us are stupid. Yet at the same time, you will put down Christians…saying “they think they are better than others.” You are no different than me, Zarathustra. We are both imperfect, weasel hypocrites. The difference: I accept that about myself. You are convinced that, because you have rejected God, you are “above it.”
zarathustra wrote:
Well you should. How else to distinguish between fact and fantasy?
You hide behind your quest for empirical evidence. You do not want to believe in God so you use this to dodge him at every chance.
zarathustra wrote:
Why not? Science investigates reality. Is god not real?
God makes the rules. He says do not put him to the test. Yet, that is all you do. You test him and test him and then wonder, where is He? Well, he told you not to test him, did he not? Is he supposed to bow down to your every whim…to be the God that YOU want Him to be? No, God is God whether you or I exist or not. He does not need us. WE need HIM. And He wants us BOTH to get that thru our THICK human heads.
zarathustra wrote:
So god manifests himself through material wealth. Got it.

Thing is, you yourself said previously this is how you "test god", by giving. If so, there should be empirically measurable results. This was your claim, don't get mad if I call you on it.

Once again, you ask God to jump thru your carefully placed hoops (that have land mines scattered between). He will not do it Zarathustra. We bow to him not the other way around.
zarathustra wrote:
And, hello, are you going to acknowledge your duplicity on "god as a personal genie"? Second time I've asked you now.

I don’t even know what you are trying to get at with this comment.


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I still would like to know

I still would like to know how your "personal experience" with God is ANY different from the "personal experience" of any inmate of the wacky ward with his or her own delusions.

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sugarfree wrote: Or maybe

sugarfree wrote:
Or maybe you are the type that, if God peeled back the clouds and tapped you on the shoulder, you would still find a way to say he does not exist.

"Hmm, that Jeremiah Smith! He has strayed from the path into the darkness of atheism! I must find a way to guide him back into righteousness! I will begin working on this problem immediately!"
"Using my twin powers of Omnipotence and Omniscience, I have devised the perfect plan to convince Jeremiah Smith of my existence. Now, to put it into action!"
"What is this?! My plan... it's not working! His atheism is too much for me! It's... impossible... to overcome... my almightiness is no match for this human! I'm too weak! My me, my me, why have I forsaken me?"

It's always hilarious to hear theists say things like "God's calling you but you're too stubborn to listen!" As if God's too stupid and/or impotent to come up with a solution that will actually work. You treat atheists as if their "stubbornness" is some sort of kryptonite to God, and when you do it, frankly, it makes you look like a fuckin' idiot. God can make universes and part seas and predict the future and rule over time and space and raise the dead, but apparently he can't convince an atheist he exists. He managed to convince a bunch of desert nomads, Jews, and Romans just fine. Did God finish last in his class at Deity School? I bet if God had been valedictorian we wouldn't have to deal with all that bullshit about "atheists are too stubborn even for God!" Think about this for a moment. Every time you say "God's calling you but you're too stubborn to listen!", I want you think to yourself "I'm a big idiot who thinks God is too impotent and weak to convince a measly little atheist or two that he exists." I thought God was the shepherd who would leave 99 sheep to look for the one that wandered off. It would appear that God just stands around, says "Sheep? Where are you?" a few times in a quiet voice, and then gives up. And then the other 99 sheep say "Well, I guess that last sheep was just too stubborn to listen." Come on.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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sugarfree wrote: There is

sugarfree wrote:
There is no point in bringing such things up with you.
Well that should be obvious. If you can't explain it, why waste time bringing it up?

sugarfree wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
”I prayed "based on jesus' model" for 20 years. The results are exactly the same as if I had prayed to allah, confucius, or a stain on a tablecloth. Just as they are for you.
Did you ever love God?

No. How can you love something that doesn't exist?

sugarfree wrote:
zarathustra wrote:
"The answer will come to you only thru experience." Any religion can make such a claim.
Because they are correct on that point.

They are correct, despite being "false prophecy", as you previously called them?

sugarfree wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
If you abandon religion, in five years (or shorter) you look back and realize you don't need a god to get you along.
Have you considered the parable of the sower. Just because you look back and “realize you don’t need god” does not mean you are seeing clearly. You have been decieved.

Have you considered common sense? Just because you really want jesus to exist does not mean jesus exists. You are deceiving yourself.

sugarfree wrote:
You accepted Jesus, and then walked away from him. Your heart is doubly hardened because of that. You are in worse shape than someone like PariahJane who was brought up an atheist. She has an excuse. You don’t. You are in a dangerous spot Zarathustra. As your former sister in Christ, I feel obligated to point that out to you.

Not quite. The more I studied about jesus, the more I realized there was nothing to accept. My heart is fine. Don't be so judgmental - particularly when you have nothing substantive to back up your claims.

sugarfree wrote:
Sometimes God does make himself this blatantly known to us, in little increments like this…it strengthens our faith. But the bottom line is, it comes down to God’s will. Not Kenny’s will. Not my will. Not yours.

There is nothing more blatant than empirical evidence -- and scoring the hits and ignoring the misses does not amount to such. Besides, if it comes down to god's will, there is no point in praying in the first place, is there?

sugarfree wrote:

zarathustra wrote:
Why must there be more to it than meets they eye -- and why does it have to be jesus?
Because if you truly knew Jesus, I do not understand how you could have left him.

Fine. But...Why must there be more to it than meets they eye -- and why does it have to be jesus?

sugarfree wrote:
How could you turn your back on your best friend?

I didn't. My best friend lives a couple of miles away (in North County if you're curious), and he is far more reliable than the mutilated effigy you pray to.

sugarfree wrote:
I have much difficulty comprehending how you were able to do that, and how you are now able to say such worthless tripe against him now.

Because sugarfree, the more I studied about jesus (as a believer), the more I realized there is in fact no credible evidence for believing in jesus. There is nothing to support the claim that jesus ever existed. It is for you to demonstrate that your god exists before discounting what I have to say as "worthless tripe".

sugarfree wrote:

It really discusts me. God forgive me and have mercy on me if I ever make the same mistakes you have made and are making.

If god exists, may he forgive you of your self-righteous pride as well.

sugarfree wrote:
You are still hard-headed. If you were when you were religious, you are also as an atheist.

Not so. I am not assuming my conclusions in advance, as you are.

sugarfree wrote:
... you simply cannot let go of that first conversation we had and you keep pressing the issue, as if you think I, for some reason, owe you an explanation. I owe you nothing, and I suggest you get over the whole thing about “me attacking your character.”

I won't let go of it because it is pivotal to your belief. The god you believe in is purportedly a historical figure. Yet in the abscence of any corroborative evidence, jesus is nothing more than a myth (once again: we do not have one single contemporary reference to the gospel events). You tacitly concede this by refusing to address the point.

Of course you don't owe me an explanation. But realize that without an explanation, you are simply preaching a myth, not a fact. Continue to bask in your folly if you wish. You will continue to be called out by me.

sugarfree wrote:

That was a misunderstanding which I addressed with you a long time ago. Do you make a habit of holding grudges?

I don't. I'm simply pointing out to you that when faced with a challenging question, you dodge and make catcalls, rather than taking the challenge head-on.

sugarfree wrote:

I am purposefully being harsh with you right now because I’m trying to break thru the walls you have built up against the God you supposedly once believed in.

NOW you're being harsh? I hadn't noticed the change.

sugarfree wrote:

Let me ask you this…if there was a God, and there was a devil, don’t you think the devil would be working over time to KEEP you in your current frame of mind, to keep you from ever again believing in the God who made you?

If there was a god other than jesus, and there was a devil, don't you think the devil would be working over time to KEEP you in your current frame of mind, to keep you from ever again believing in the god other than jesus who made you?

sugarfree wrote:
None of you here has any business calling anyone else a hypocrite.

Hypocrite.

sugarfree wrote:
You hide behind your quest for empirical evidence. You do not want to believe in God so you use this to dodge him at every chance.

It's not a question of wanting to believe or not wanting to believe. It's a question of having the truth. Myths are not true, whether or not you want them to be.

sugarfree wrote:
God makes the rules. He says do not put him to the test. Yet, that is all you do. You test him and test him and then wonder, where is He? Well, he told you not to test him, did he not? Is he supposed to bow down to your every whim…to be the God that YOU want Him to be? No, God is God whether you or I exist or not. He does not need us. WE need HIM. And He wants us BOTH to get that thru our THICK human heads.

If god makes himself so hard to find, he shouldn't be surprised when some of us don't believe. If he wants to get something through our thick human heads, he should just go ahead and do it (all-powerful, right?). That would certainly be more effective than your method of "debate".

sugarfree wrote:

zarathustra wrote:

Thing is, you yourself said previously this is how you "test god", by giving. If so, there should be empirically measurable results. This was your claim, don't get mad if I call you on it.

Once again, you ask God to jump thru your carefully placed hoops (that have land mines scattered between). He will not do it Zarathustra. We bow to him not the other way around.
Thing is, you yourself said previously this is how you "test god", by giving. If so, there should be empirically measurable results. This was your claim, don't get mad if I call you on it.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
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Whoa!  Am I too late to

Whoa!  Am I too late to join the party??

To whomever asked (Jacob?):  No, sugarfree is not a troll...yet.  If we has a "most annoying theist" though, it would apply.

To sugarfree:  You are, in fact, beginning to become rather antagonizing.  Now, while I do not mind playing with you, it does get tiresome when you will not support your statements with anything more than "I feel that I am right."  Everyone feels they are right.  The difference is that most of us can support our statements with logical, reasonable arguments.  You seem to just want to come here and keep saying the same things over and over.  I would encourage you to read posts by razorphreak.  He and I have had several discussion and I truly understand where he is coming from in his beliefs.  He has carefully explained them and supported them.  I do not always agree with him, but we certainly have a better understanding of each other.  I would like to achieve this same understanding with you but when you are asked to define or support your beliefs you take a defensive posture and become quite sarcastic about it, which leads us to believe that your beliefs are bullshit.  

I will notify one of the moderators to review this thread. 


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jce wrote: Whoa! Am I too

jce wrote:

Whoa! Am I too late to join the party??

To whomever asked (Jacob?): No, sugarfree is not a troll...yet. If we has a "most annoying theist" though, it would apply.

To sugarfree: You are, in fact, beginning to become rather antagonizing. Now, while I do not mind playing with you, it does get tiresome when you will not support your statements with anything more than "I feel that I am right." Everyone feels they are right. The difference is that most of us can support our statements with logical, reasonable arguments. You seem to just want to come here and keep saying the same things over and over. I would encourage you to read posts by razorphreak. He and I have had several discussion and I truly understand where he is coming from in his beliefs. He has carefully explained them and supported them. I do not always agree with him, but we certainly have a better understanding of each other. I would like to achieve this same understanding with you but when you are asked to define or support your beliefs you take a defensive posture and become quite sarcastic about it, which leads us to believe that your beliefs are bullshit.

I will notify one of the moderators to review this thread.

I was being honest with zarathustra.  I am honestly concerned about him.  If you think that makes me antagonistic, so be it.


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zarathustra wrote: "Did

zarathustra wrote:

"Did you ever love God?"

No. How can you love something that doesn't exist?

You have claimed you were once a believer, and here claim that you never loved God. This helps me put your current behavior and philosophical stance in perspective, so I thank you for your honesty on this point. There were two things I wanted regarding our cyber "relationship". 1. To understand where you were coming from, and 2. To share my honest concern for you regarding your decision to turn away from the faith. Both 1. and 2. are now satisfied. I know you think I am full of crap on point 2., but, believe it or not, I actually do care.

Now, I will leave you, as jce believes I have overstepped my bounds and has called the RRS "police" to check up on me. I am done stirring up conflict now.

I wish the best for you personally, however, I wish much bad luck for this website and its stated mission.


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sugarfree

sugarfree wrote:
pariahjane wrote:

sugarfree wrote:
A lot of times it take a desperate situation for someone to see. But, to address your post more specifically, God doesn't always (usually doesn't) answer prayers in the way we expect. He's not our own personal genie, nor does he respond to our tests. So if/when those types of prayers are not answered, we should not be surprised. The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.) Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV): "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty."

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

I guess you are just better than Christians.

 Thanks, Sugarfree!  I glad you can finally see that people who don't believe in god can be good people too!!

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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sugarfree wrote: Have you

sugarfree wrote:
Have you considered the parable of the sower. Just because you look back and “realize you don’t need god” does not mean you are seeing clearly. You have been decieved. You accepted Jesus, and then walked away from him. Your heart is doubly hardened because of that. You are in worse shape than someone like PariahJane who was brought up an atheist. She has an excuse. You don’t. You are in a dangerous spot Zarathustra. As your former sister in Christ, I feel obligated to point that out to you.

Ahem. I will appreciate it in the future Sugarfree if you don't offer excuses on my behalf. I am not ignorant, which is what you're suggesting. I have done my homework, if you will, and I take complete responsibility in my position as a non-believer.

And you suggest that Zarathustra perhaps wasn't seeing clearly? What if it is you who's not seeing clearly?

 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


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sugarfree wrote: You have

sugarfree wrote:
You have claimed you were once a believer, and here claim that you never loved God. This helps me put your current behavior and philosophical stance in perspective, so I thank you for your honesty on this point. There were two things I wanted regarding our cyber "relationship". 1. To understand where you were coming from, and 2. To share my honest concern for you regarding your decision to turn away from the faith. Both 1. and 2. are now satisfied. I know you think I am full of crap on point 2., but, believe it or not, I actually do care.

Now, I will leave you, as jce believes I have overstepped my bounds and has called the RRS "police" to check up on me. I am done stirring up conflict now.

I wish the best for you personally, however, I wish much bad luck for this website and its stated mission.

Actually, I did not say that you overstepped any bounds. I did encourage you (as I have in the past) to produce valid arguments. As usual, you have failed. You try to counsel people on this site although you have no authority to do so and that is not the purpose of this site.

I cannot answer for Zarathustra, but I can tell you how I was a believer once who now knows that I never loved god. When you start looking at the inconsistencies in the bible and the hypocracy of organized religion and begin weighing that against what you see around you and the effect that it has, you push god further off in your mind. At a certain point you realize that you have created your own personal god for which you either have a need or you don't. I don't. I cannot claim to love something that does not exist.

You have a need for god and have elevated your god to a very prominent place in your life. That is fine, but please provide a valid argument as to why when you are asked. I do not doubt that you have spent much time researching this as it appears to be very important to you.

This thread addresses someone's personal experience, which they attributed to god.  Other have explained on very easy to understand terms why this could just as easily not be attributed to god. You look for god or you don't. Good things happen to you and you credit god. We don't. We have a reason for this - good/bad things happen to non-believers as well as believers. There is no rational reason to accept that prayer works or your god intervenes on such a personal level when good and bad happen to everyone.

You want to think that it does because it makes you feel good. This is not a valid reason. It isn't logical and it isn't rational. I do not doubt that you will latch on to this and say that god defies logic and reason but really, you are an intelligent woman. It is my assumption (I could be wrong) that you apply logic and reason to every aspect of your life, therefore you would apply it to your faith as well. There simply must be some reason at least that you believe. I would like to know what it is.


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jce wrote: I will notify

jce wrote:

I will notify one of the moderators to review this thread.

Uh, why? 

Jacob asked if we had a troll on the first page of this thread.  All the posts after that were regular discussion.  Unless I missed something, I'm not sure why you posted that. 

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No answer on how an atheist

No answer on how an atheist can overpower God's will and might through sheer force of stubbornness? Perhaps there is no answer. Or maybe I was just too sassy.

Götter sind für Arten, die sich selbst verraten -- in den Glauben flüchten um sich hinzurichten. Menschen brauchen Götter um sich zu verletzen, um sich zu vernichten -- das sind wir.


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Ummm because God doesn't

Ummm because God doesn't exist! Like breaking through the tooth fariy's will.


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inspectormustard

inspectormustard wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Describing cooincidence as god does not stop it from being cooincidence. I asked for some kind of sign from a god for 10 odd years after I was introduced to the concept of one. Nothing. As a child, a friend once suggested I pray when something bad happened, and though I felt stupid I did. Nothing happened. My personal experience says there is no god > your personal experience of projecting a god onto cooincidence.

I agree wholeheartedly. Praying does no more than earmark a possible outcome which, if things turn out one way you think back and say "oh, I prayed for that and it happened!" If, on the other hand, you wrote down all of your prayers you would see that 99% of them do not come true.

I wasn't even going to respond to this thread until I read that las line... Prayers aren't wishes.

Why does everyone focus on the part of the Bible where Jesus says that all prayers will come true, but fail to notice the portions where prayer is not answered?

Again, I have answered all of that here.  But let's take an example, one of Jesus' own prayers, prayed the night before He was to be crucified: "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done" (Lk 22:42).

Are you going to suggest that Jesus didn't have enough faith to make His prayer come true? 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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JeremiahSmith wrote: No

JeremiahSmith wrote:
No answer on how an atheist can overpower God's will and might through sheer force of stubbornness? Perhaps there is no answer. Or maybe I was just too sassy.

Misguided theology leads people to assert that in the first place.  I'm not going to get into this discussion yet without arming myself with a bit more research into this area...

How I look forward to the days of being a full-time writer and I can leave BK behind and have more time to research stuff like this.  Soon.  Soon.  Soon!

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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pariahjane wrote: I've

pariahjane wrote:

I've been in desperate times and god has yet to reveal himself (I know, I know, I just haven't been 'looking' for him).

Don't feel bad; no one looks for God.  Check Romans 3.  We are dead in our sins. 

pariahjane wrote:
As for the whole giving with no strings attached, I actually do that quite often. You see, when a Christian gives, it actually does have strings attached. You're giving because that's what the Bible preaches, or because you think god wants you to. Giving gets you a first class ticket to heaven.

Now, when I give, I do it because I want to help the other person, because I want that person to be safe, or happy. I'm not doing it because I have an expectation of pay back or reward.

I actually like you more and more with each post I read.  What you have touched on here is the hypocrisy of organized religion.  But the Bible has a lot to say about people who give with the expectation of reward in heaven vs. people who give with no expectation of repayment.  Yours is actually the purer form of giving.  You have the correct motives.

This post reminds me of the video I saw once of the guy who was passionately explaining the need for evangelism, talking fondly about how Christians have the greatest potential for winning souls with the most logical and easiest to preach message, and how each of us should make it our life's goal to win as many converts as we can, and then disciple them to a fullness of life in Christ.  He quoted Bible verses thoughout to support his position.  At the end, he said that he was an atheist and how all the "God stuff" was crap.  It just made him so mad that people who did believe it treated the gift of eternal life like an afterthought.  They seemed more concerned with judging others than spreading the gospel, and he thought that that was wrong in the extreme.

Videos like that and posts like yours serve to remind us Christians that we have a long way to go in humbling ourselves before God and learning to do good with the right motives.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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Now I wanted to address the

Now I wanted to address the nutty crap I've read in this thread. 

sugarfree wrote:
The only area we can test Him is via giving. So, for nonbelievers, perhaps this is the best place to start looking for proof... (You must give with no strings attached, with a grateful heart, not seeking reward. Just give for the joy of giving.) Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV): "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty."

Don't you see that as a contradiction to Jesus Himself stating that we should never test the Lord?  I don't recall Jesus stating an exception to that rule.  God was rebuking the nation of Israel in the larger context of that passage.  You may want to check into how you're using that, because I'm not sure that you're using it correctly.

sugarfree wrote:
Because He will respond by providing you with spiritual, emotional, and financial abundance.

Do you really believe that God is obligated by our giving--by our works--to bless us with great financial or spiritual gain?  If so, show me where.  Look into the heresy of prosperity theology, aka health and wealth gospel. 

sugarfree wrote:
I cannot explain it to you. You must try praying based on Jesus's model. Then try praying to the tablecloth. The answer will come to you only thru experience. Making fun of other people for praying is not going to get you anywhere.

No comment.

sugarfree wrote:
I really don't get how you became so hard-headed after once being a "believer".

The quotes seem a bit judgmental.   Not making us Christians look good, SugarFree.

OK, I'm done picking on SugarFree, now to pick on the nutty atheist comment I found: 

Vastet wrote:
Well if he exists then it's his will that I do. So what's the problem with him answering for once? Just once. I'm not asking for a billion dollars here. Just a simple and incontrovertable sign.

What do you feel obligates Him to do this?  Has he not revealed enough of Himself  in creation, as Paul asserts in Romans?  We are bound to Him, He is never obligated to do anything for us.  He already created us and is sustaining us now.  Is that not enough for you?

 

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. --Galileo Galilei


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sugarfree wrote: Vastet

sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
But if god wants me to believe in him, he'd better do better than nothing.
See? You are testing Him.
Well if he exists then it's his will that I do. So what's the problem with him answering for once? Just once. I'm not asking for a billion dollars here. Just a simple and incontrovertable sign.
sugarfree wrote:
Vastet wrote:
I'm only recounting it to you now so that you can see how I do give without strings attached.
I did not say you were incapable of this. I said, this is the only area where God says to us, "Test me."
Where's the test?
See my response to zarathustra.

Quote:

Because He will respond by providing you with spiritual, emotional, and financial abundance.

Then why hasn't he? All the spiritual, financial, and emotional abundance I have came from me and me alone. I worked for my job, I made my friends, I budget my money, I choose to be happy. Your god has never offered to help. You talk about your god like he bribes you to be good. I don't even want a bribe. I'll be job. Just prove yourself. That's all I want. But that has never happened, and never will. Because god doesn't exist.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Cory T wrote: What do you

Cory T wrote:
What do you feel obligates Him to do this?  Has he not revealed enough of Himself  in creation, as Paul asserts in Romans?  We are bound to Him, He is never obligated to do anything for us.  He already created us and is sustaining us now.  Is that not enough for you?

As long as I'm not obliged to believe in him or follow him when I don't believe in him, then there's no problem with him not being obliged to prove his existance.

He hasn't revealed himself in creation, because there's no evidence that "creation" was in fact created to call it creation.

And quite frankly, if he does exist, and he's like the god in the bible, then NO it's not enough for me. It's TOO MUCH. I would rather have never existed than to experience this "hell" he made specifically for me which he also made. I'd rather lounge in oblivion for all time. What right does he have to make and control life? His own? Not good enough.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.