Hello all

Jessica0
Jessica0's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: 2007-01-22
User is offlineOffline
Hello all

It is nice to see that there are so many fellow atheists out there. You have a very interesting site. I was wondering if I could have some help with a situation I’m in. I was raised in a Christian household along with my younger brother. We both decided that the Christian religion was not to our liking. Recently my bother has decided to convert back to Christianity and become a pastor. We have been having an open conversation that consists of me trying to convince him that this is a bad idea.
I always took the approach that the idea of god is illogical and there aren’t any good reasons to follow Christianity. The arguments that my brother have been coming up with have been mostly based on church theology and despite being raised going to church, my knowledge is a little thin. I was wondering if I could have any suggestions.
The first problem I have had is when I bring up the nasty character of god in the Old Testament. There are many examples on many websites that point out the atrocities of god during this time. What he replies with is that humanity has a new contract with god (faith or Jesus) which keeps some of the laws from the original contract (Old Testament) but doesn’t enforce penalties anymore because that is Jesus’ job as judge. This brings the “good” guy of the trinity out which is Jesus. I’m not sure if this means that God turned into a nice guy or what since I gathered from my Sunday school childhood that god is unchanged through time. Im not sure how to respond to this.
The other problem point that he has brought up is in regards to politics in America. My only main problem with the Christian community is that they enforce their beliefs on others through trying to change our government system. I live in Missouri and we just barely passed the stem cell initiative to let our universities study stem cells, which I consider very important research. His point was that there will soon be more and more Pentecostal Christians. He believes that when over fifty percent of the population supports this movement then our country’s laws should be changed to reflect their desires. Any thoughts other than maybe its time to move to Canada?

“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.” Desiderius Erasmus


Tomcat
Posts: 346
Joined: 2006-10-24
User is offlineOffline
Don't move to Canada just

Don't move to Canada just yet!  About your brother, I'd do what I could to keep him from become a pastor.  The amount of delusion and indoctrination it takes to become a pastor is not healthy for anybody.  Many people I know who thought about becoming a pastor/priest considered it because they were very caring, benevolent people.  Show him that he doesn't need to be a pastor, or a Christian for that matter, to be caring or benevolent.

The Enlightenment wounded the beast, but the killing blow has yet to land...


Voided
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-02-20
User is offlineOffline
Jessica0 wrote:

Jessica0 wrote:
It is nice to see that there are so many fellow atheists out there. You have a very interesting site. I was wondering if I could have some help with a situation I’m in. I was raised in a Christian household along with my younger brother. We both decided that the Christian religion was not to our liking. Recently my bother has decided to convert back to Christianity and become a pastor. We have been having an open conversation that consists of me trying to convince him that this is a bad idea. I always took the approach that the idea of god is illogical and there aren’t any good reasons to follow Christianity. The arguments that my brother have been coming up with have been mostly based on church theology and despite being raised going to church, my knowledge is a little thin. I was wondering if I could have any suggestions.


Well the first step is to figure out why christianity and not one of the other 10,000 plus religions.

Quote:
The first problem I have had is when I bring up the nasty character of god in the Old Testament. There are many examples on many websites that point out the atrocities of god during this time. What he replies with is that humanity has a new contract with god (faith or Jesus) which keeps some of the laws from the original contract (Old Testament) but doesn’t enforce penalties anymore because that is Jesus’ job as judge. This brings the “good” guy of the trinity out which is Jesus. I’m not sure if this means that God turned into a nice guy or what since I gathered from my Sunday school childhood that god is unchanged through time. Im not sure how to respond to this.


I don't know how he deals with Matthew 10:34, but ok... The point isn't how nice or mean a story is, but how true it is. The way I usually go about countering bible quotes is to show a contradiction or figure out why they brought it up. I am not as well versed in the argument I probably should be, but I know there are other quotes that say Jesus supported the old testament laws.

Also you could look into the ideas of how the idea jesus came about. There are those here that argue an historical jesus never existed. Check out Rook's forum for more biblical knowledge.

Another way to come at it is ask him what made him go to the church. Get him to analyze it and question the logic in it.

Quote:
The other problem point that he has brought up is in regards to politics in America. My only main problem with the Christian community is that they enforce their beliefs on others through trying to change our government system. I live in Missouri and we just barely passed the stem cell initiative to let our universities study stem cells, which I consider very important research. His point was that there will soon be more and more Pentecostal Christians. He believes that when over fifty percent of the population supports this movement then our country’s laws should be changed to reflect their desires. Any thoughts other than maybe its time to move to Canada?


Ok, see these is why we can't leave. If they want to change the government, which by law is secular, to fit their religious views the last thing we need is for the smart people to run for it. I'll run for it when they start imprisoning or killing people.

If his whole argument for going back, if he doesn’t really believe, is that everyone else is doing it and the government is going to be controlled by it asking the age old "Would you jump of a bridge" question and tell him to stop being a pussy when the religious try to take over.


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hello Jessica0,

Hello Jessica0,

Ask your brother why he wants to believe in something without proof. There is absolutely no proof that a spirit entered the womb of a woman and impregnated her. Sounds a little like ol' Mary was trying to come up with some crazy alibi for her infidelty to Joseph if you ask me. That is what takes a leap of faith.

Anyway, there are many ways you could help your brother if he is just now trying to get into the religion. He may be going through a time where he wants to fit is somewhere and since xtianity is all around why not try that? I think if you directed him here it may be a helpful start. At least the people here will try to give him something to think about and to research on his own so it's not like anyone trying to shove anything down his throat.