Dear Pastor Jordan Cooper: the Earth is not Flat

Blogger Jordan Cooper (on his blog, Just and Sinner) said…

Gary,
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It does appear that you have already abandoned the Christian faith at this point. I don’t feel like getting into a long heated debate with DagoodS regarding his assertions, especially since it does not appear that you are actually looking for answers. From your blog posts, it has become clear that you have rejected the orthodox faith.

 

         June 5, 2014 at 8:53 AM
Gary’s response:   June 12, 2014
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Dear Pastor Cooper,
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First, I want to thank you for kindly and immediately responding to my request to give the orthodox Christian rebuttal to the arguments of a group of atheists with whom I have been conversing on my blog, and on theirs, for the last four months, regarding the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus.  As I saw my orthodox faith “sinking” I sent out an S.O.S. for help to seven LCMS pastors, and you were one of those who kindly came to my assistance, along with Pastor Jonathan Fisk, Pastor Martin Noland, Pastor John Bombaro, Pastor N., and SBC pastor, Mahlon Smith.
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Unfortunately, the rescue effort failed.
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I have deconverted from orthodox Christianity.  I no longer believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus, the virgin birth, or the inerrancy of the Bible.  Four months ago I believed all of these orthodox Christian doctrines with all my heart and soul.  I was a devout orthodox LCMS Lutheran.  I believed every article and every word of the Lutheran Confessions.  I supported the LCMS statements on doctrine, including Biblical Inerrancy, 100%.  So what brought me to the point of abandoning all these cherished beliefs?  Was there a secret sin that I so craved that I was willing to abandon Jesus as my Savior?  No.  Was I desiring a more liberal theology?  No.  I supported the LCMS positions on abortion, sexuality, and the ban on women pastors (although I did encourage Christians to hate the sin, but not the sinner, for which some branded me a “liberal”).
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So what made me abandon all that I held dear regarding my Faith?  Answer:  the plethora of Biblical discrepancies, and even more, science.
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How could eyewitnesses to the only known resurrection, post-mortem appearance, and ascension of a dead man, get their stories so messed up?  I realize that Christians have explanations for all of these discrepancies, but if you step back and look at them without any bias, it is very obvious that the Gospels were written many years after the alleged events and not by eyewitnesses.
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“But the apostles wouldn’t die for a lie!” orthodox Christians say.
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But how do we know?  We have only one account of any of the alleged witnesses to the resurrection, James, being executed.  We have no idea how, when, or where the other witnesses died.
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How about Paul?  Paul says that he saw the resurrected Jesus, but can we hang our Faith of the miraculous resurrection of our dead Messiah on just this one man’s testimony?  Maybe.  And I had intended to do just that.  I was going to ignore the resurrection discrepancies, the Potter’s field discrepancy, the battle field mortality count discrepancies in the OT, and all the scribe additions and alterations, such as the Johannine Commae, and the scribe addition to the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark, and persist in believing that the message, the teachings of the Bible, are inerrant.
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But then I ran head-on into science.
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But before I get into recent scientific discoveries which undermined my faith, let’s talk about an old one:  the discovery that the earth is round (a sphere), not flat.
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For 1,500 years, the Church taught that the Bible, God’s inerrant Word, states that the earth is flat.  This was unquestioned dogma.  The Church taught that the earth literally has “four corners”.  When scientists proposed that the earth was not flat, but a sphere, they were mocked and threatened with charges of heresy.  “The Bible is inerrant.  The Bible cannot be wrong!  There are too many verses that refer to the earth being flat and that above this flat earth is a firmament, a dome or ceiling, upon which hangs the sun, moon, and stars.”  To state that earth is a sphere was to question God Himself.  The Church could not tolerate this…until Magellan and his crew sailed around the world and proved without any doubt that the earth was not flat!
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Now the Church had a very difficult choice to make:  either admit that the Bible is not inerrant, that God made a mistake, or admit that they had misinterpreted the passages, and find other verses that seemed to infer that the earth is a sphere, making “the Bible true and every man a liar”.  So they chose the latter option, and orthodox Christians continue to give this explanation to this day:  “the Bible has always said that the earth is a sphere.”
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But the problem is…the Bible does say that the earth is flat!  The Bible made a mistake!
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If orthodox Christians would just step back and look at the Bible objectively, they would see that this is not the only “mistake” they will see:
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1.  There is zero geological evidence for a world wide flood.  Zero.  Besides that, there are 10 million species of animals on planet earth.  Is it really possible that any ship could accommodate 20,000,000 animals??  It’s not possible!
2.  Why would God be concerned about the Tower of Babel if he knew that the universe is infinite.  Man was never going to reach him.  Only someone who believed that the earth has a “firmament” above it, a dome or ceiling, would worry about this issue.
3.  There is no solid evidence of the existence of King David and King Solomon.  None.  One recently discovered piece of clay in Northern Israel has “House of David” written on it but that doesn’t prove that David, son of Jesse, the Giant slayer, really existed and established a great kingdom, a kingdom that would later be expanded by his son Solomon, for whom there is also no evidence.
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Is it really possible that as rich as Solomon allegedly was, not one artifact of his existence remains and not one other kingdom in the surrounding area records his name or any of his great deeds?
4.  The OT gives three different accounts of who, when, and how the city of Jerusalem was conquered by the Hebrews.  Maybe you can harmonize discrepancies between two versions of the same event, but three??
5.  There is no evidence that the Patriarchs ever existed.  Recent evidence demonstrates for instance that there were no domesticated camels in Palestine when the Bible says Abraham was using them.
6.  And the final straw for me was this:  There was no Passover.  There was no Exodus.  There was no Moses.
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The Book of Numbers states that 600,000 Hebrew fighting men left Egypt with their families in the Exodus.  Let’s be conservative and say that each man had a family of four (a wife and two kids).  That is over two million people!  But yet there is no record in Egypt of any such event.  Not only is there no written record anywhere in Egypt, there are no artifacts of a large number of Hebrews in Egypt:  no Hebrew pottery…and no Hebrew skeletons!  Some Christian archaeologists say that they may have found a house that belonged to Joseph.  You “may”, “possibly” have one house??…is that all you can find of two million people living in one location for four hundred years!
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And…if two million Hebrews lived in Egypt for four centuries, there should have been some in-breeding between the Egyptians and the Hebrews…alot of in-breeding.  Are we really to believe that the Egyptian task masters did not “indulge themselves” with their female Hebrew “property” during those four hundred years??  Yet, modern genetic testing of today’s Jews finds no DNA relationship to the Egyptians!
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And we cannot forget the crossing of the Reed (Red) Sea and the total destruction of the mighty Egyptian pharaoh and his army! Why no mention of this catastrophic event in Egyptian monuments and documents?  Embarrassment?  Ok, I’ll buy that.  But what I can’t buy is the fact that not one word of this horrific, supernatural defeat of the greatest or one of the greatest powers of the known world at that time…is mentioned in any of the writings of any of the enemies of Egypt who would have loved to record such a humiliating event, nor of any country in the Levant or Mesopotamia!
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And then there is the Sinai.  Two million Hebrews wandered for forty years in a small, confined land mass and not one Hebrew artifact or piece of pottery has ever been found!  And even more damning:  God killed off all the Hebrews over age 20 who had left Egypt, barring them from entering the Promised land due to their complaining and lack of belief.  Therefore, one million to one and a half million Hebrews died in the Sinai, sometimes all at once, such as the incident with the serpents…and not one single Hebrew skeleton has ever been found in the Sinai!
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This story is a fable!
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There was no Moses!  He never existed.  The Hebrews did not celebrate the first Passover while the angel of death passed over them.  There was no Exodus!
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And if Moses, Passover, and the Exodus are fables…then orthodox Judaism and orthodox Christianity are built on fables.  Jesus celebrated a non-event that night when he instituted the Last Supper.  How could God Almighty, King of Heaven and Earth, make such a mistake?
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John the Apostle wrote about Jesus being the Lamb of God, the Passover Lamb, the fulfillment of the Passover…but the Passover never happened!  How could Jesus fulfill an event that did not occur?
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Bottom line:  the orthodox Christian faith is built on Old Testament fables, which Jesus believed to be true, thereby proving that he was not God, but just a man; a man who could and did make mistakes…like any other man.
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So I don’t need a theologian to prove to me that there are no discrepancies in the six Resurrection accounts in the New Testament.  I don’t need theological proof that Paul believed he saw a real, resurrected Jesus, not just an apparition or vision.  All I need is an archaeology book, a geology book, and a book on DNA studies/genetics to see that the Bible is a fable, Jesus was not God, and there was no resurrection.  If Jesus really were God, he wouldn’t have gotten his science facts so messed up.
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And other bomb shell:  If Moses did not exist, then he didn’t write the Book of Genesis, making the Book of Genesis a fable, which would mean that the Creation story is a fable, which means that there was no Fall, which means that man does not need a Savior, and if man does not need a Savior, Jesus died for nothing!
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This is why I am no longer an orthodox Christian.  I am now a (very) liberal Christian.  I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings of how to treat my fellow man.  Jesus was a very good man, but he was not God.  I don’t need a Savior.  There is no hell, and there is no heaven.  There was no resurrection, because Jesus made a mistake, and a perfect God doesn’t make mistakes.
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The Church refused to believe that the earth was round until science shoved the evidence into the Church’s face. It wasn’t the goal of scientists to destroy Christianity when they discovered that the earth is round, they did so in the search for truth.  Today, science has proven that the earth is 14 billion years old and that Moses and the Exodus did not happen.  The evidence has again been shoved in the face of the Church.  The Church can choose to remain ignorant, as it did in the first through the fifteenth centuries regarding the shape of the earth, or it can accept solid scientific evidence and admit that orthodox Judaism, and therefore orthodox Christianity, are built on fables of a vindictive, ruthless Canaanite god named Yahweh and fascinating but brutal fables of the ancient Hebrew people who worshipped him.
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I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but, Jesus is dead.
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49 thoughts on “Dear Pastor Jordan Cooper: the Earth is not Flat

  1. He he he….if just my assertions need “long heated debate” to adequately respond, imagine what my actual arguments would require! Let alone methodology and evidence! It would seem—in the theological debate—an atheist is a formidable opponent when discussing with a person who claims a special intimacy with God.

    Almost as if two humans were debating the topic without any God being involved whatsoever. Curious.

    Alas, Gary, you appear to be discovering precisely what I discovered almost 10 years ago. It is not as if Christianity is a close decision, or there are only some minor flaws needing patching; the more you dig the more surprised you are as to how MUCH is not what we had been told. This is what I meant (and you understand, I suspect) by the entire mirror shattering. Like you, I didn’t just lose inerrancy, I lost the resurrection, the miraculous Jesus, the Egyptian captivity, the Passover, the flood, creation, etc.

    There is simply too much for a Christian to counter.

    I did not know the discussion continued at Pastor Cooper’s blog. Although I am not surprised at the comments. Apparently in Pastor Cooper’s circle “Liberal” is a sufficient disparagement to render the entire argument invalid without addressing the specifics of the argument. Like saying, “We should take vitamins” with a reply of “Only a Liberal would say that!” thus removing any necessity to respond to the claim about whether one should/should not take vitamins.

    The literary dependence in Matthew, Mark and Luke—commonly referred to as “the Synoptic Problem”—is not a “liberal” argument. I often point out the article written by Dr. Daniel Wallace—a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and conservative scholar—where he points out the literary dependence.

    Yet…unfortunately… Pastor Cooper and his commentators can dismiss the entire argument by labeling it “liberal” and throwing it in the trash, to the accompanying applause of their followers. Sad, really.

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  2. Yes, it is sad, Dagood.

    In my conversations lately with Christians who are anguished over my deconversion, I hear a common theme: If you really had faith, you would still believe. If you had faith, these Biblical discrepancies would disappear.

    No. They won't.

    Having faith that the earth is flat was proven false by scientific evidence. Therefore to continue believing in a flat earth is not faith…it is ignorance. It is superstitious ignorance.

    And the same is now true if you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a perfect, errorless, God. Jesus made a mistake. Several mistakes. Science has proven that there was no Exodus, no Passover, and no Moses. There was no Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. The orthodox Christian faith is built on these foundational figures and their deeds. Jesus refers to them frequently in his teachings and prophesies.

    But since science clearly demonstrates that these Old Testament persons never existed (which even non-orthodox Jewish scholars admit) then Jesus believed in persons and events that were not real. He believed because he was taught by his parents and by his culture that these persons and stories were true. If he were really God, he would have known that they were false and would not have referenced them in his claim to be God. But since he did reference them, it demonstrates clearly, that he was not God.

    Jesus was a good man, with many very good teachings, but he was mistaken on many historical facts. God doesn't make mistakes, therefore, Jesus was not God, and if he was not God, he is still dead. His bones are resting somewhere in Palestine to this very day.

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  3. No, truth won. Proven by solid scientific evidence.

    It is painful, but we must accept that our orthodox Christian belief system, upon which we have based our lives, is no more true than that of Islam and Mormonism.

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  4. Believing in a god that one cannot see or touch is based on faith. You have no solid evidence to believe, but for whatever reason, you choose to do so. That is not science.

    Scientific evidence is never seen as “infallible” or inerrant. Scientists never accept new scientific discoveries as fact without thoroughly reviewing and testing the measures used in the investigation of that evidence.

    Some of Darwin's earliest assertions have been proven false. Scientists have no problem replacing a previously held theory due to new evidence that proves it wrong. Therefore, science is not a religion. There are no sacred “dogmas” in science.

    Orthodox Christianity has convinced orthodox Christians that science is anti-God and anti-religion. It absolutely is not.

    Science seeks facts. If orthodox Christians would stop believing the nonsense that science is out to destroy their Faith, that scientists are biased against Christianity, that scientists cannot be trusted or believed because they are God-hating atheists, Christians would see that science is neutral on the issue of religion and spirituality. Only when religion tries to impose superstition and baseless dogma ON SCIENCE do scientists complain.

    Open your eyes, Abby. The facts are right there staring you in the face if you will only take off the blinders that superstitious churchmen have placed in front of you.

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  5. “If orthodox Christians would stop believing the nonsense that science is out to destroy their Faith, that scientists are biased against Christianity, that scientists cannot be trusted or believed because they are God-hating atheists, Christians would see that science is neutral on the issue of religion and spirituality.”

    That is not my belief about science. 40%+ scientists are Christians. Francis Collins said that doing the work of a scientist is like worshipping God. So, no, I don't discount science.

    “You have no solid evidence to believe, but for whatever reason, you choose to do so.”

    You used to speak differently. You are right, it is painful to hear you now. I believe my eyes are open — more open with faith. I cannot give any proof of that. I only know it myself through my life and experiences of which God has been, and is a part. He reveals Himself to me all the time. I could not live without Him. Truly.

    You seem to label faith as if it is a bad thing. Only stupid people have faith. It is not (only) something with an ethereal quality. It is something substantial and concrete. I have experienced miracles in the physical world I live in. They are knowable to me and others around me who know me well also. But you are right, it does take eyes of faith to know who to give thanks to for them. I love you Gary, but I could never step off this train I'm on. I do love Jesus and believe He is who He says He is. I do believe He physically rose from the dead. And what does that matter if I'm wrong? What will it do to me really — either here or after I die? I love and am looking forward to the hope that Christianity provides. I know I'm not expressing myself very well. It's just things in my heart.

    Peace,
    Abby

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  6. I have no problem with someone believing in God by faith. I believe that there is a God, the Creator, I have no proof but I choose to believe it.

    The problem is when “people of faith” use their faith-based beliefs to attack others who do not share their views and to discriminate against “sinners”. You may deny doing this yourself, Abby, but orthodox Christianity is based on “Jesus is the only way. If you don't believe He is the only way, then you are going to suffer eternal damnation.”

    How many deaths has faith in the Tooth Fairy caused? Or in Santa Claus? But faith in Jesus has caused MILLIONS of people to be murdered in his name. Faith in Jesus has caused discrimination of Jews, Muslims, women, gays and lesbians, not because they were doing anything that harmed someone else but simply because they were “sinners”, breaking the laws of Jesus!

    If you want to be a liberal Christian who follows the teachings of Jesus regarding how we should treat our fellow man, that's great! But if you are going to support orthodox Christianity's often hateful attacks on “sinners”, “non-believers”, and “liberal Christians” then I think you should be ashamed of your Faith, especially now that you see that the basis for your Faith, that God came to earth as the man Jesus, is not true.

    Science proves conclusively that Jesus' claim to be an inerrant, perfect God is false.

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  7. Gary: “Believing in a god that one cannot see or touch is based on faith. You have no solid evidence to believe, but for whatever reason, you choose to do so. That is not science.” – June 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    1 hour 41 minutes later:

    Gary: “I have no problem with someone believing in God by faith. I believe that there is a God, the Creator, I have no proof but I choose to believe it.” – June 13, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    There we have it folks, SCIENCE!

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  8. Where did I state that my spiritual beliefs are based on science? Answer: no where.

    So we are similar in that we both base our spirituality on faith, but we are different in that I do not tell others that only MY faith, my spirituality is correct, that their's is wrong, and not only wrong, it will cause them to be hurled into a burning lake of fire to roast in my loving God's den of eternal torture.

    And your “faith” tries to force its way into secular society, such as forcing school districts to teach your faith-based concepts in public school classrooms where many children do not share your belief system. And your faith using your belief system to historically discriminate against non-whites, women and still today, gays and lesbians.

    My faith is kept to myself. Your faith is egocentric, discriminatory, and abusive.

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  9. Whatever wrongs have been committed by Christians — have to be owned by them. And to be fair, how many atrocities caused in the name of Christ — were actually imposed by Christians? Only God knows that.

    Also to be fair, we need to look at the atrocities caused by atheists:

    “Though the infamous emperor Nero ruled Rome for less than two decades, his reign witnessed tremendous changes to the empire's capital city. . .

    On the night of July 19, 64 A.D., a fire broke out among the shops lining the Circus Maximus, Rome's mammoth chariot stadium. In a city of two million, there was nothing unusual about such a fire — the sweltering summer heat kindled conflagrations around Rome on a regular basis, particularly in the slums that covered much of the city. Yet this was no ordinary fire. The flames raged for six days before coming under control; then the fire reignited and burned for another three. When the smoke cleared, 10 of Rome's 14 districts were in ruin. The 800-year-old Temple of Jupiter Stator and the Atrium Vestae, the hearth of the Vestal Virgins, were gone. Two thirds of Rome had been destroyed. . .

    Nero himself blamed the fire on an obscure new Jewish religious sect called the Christians, whom he indiscriminately and mercilessly crucified. During gladiator matches he would feed Christians to lions, and he often lit his garden parties with the burning carcasses of Christian human torches.”
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previous_seasons/case_rome/index.html?utm_source=Tumblr&utm_medium=ThisDayHistory&utm_campaign=July%2B18%2BRome%2BFire

    (cont)

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  10. Mao-Tse-Tung, Atheist: 40 million plus dead, Joseph Stalin, Atheist: 20 million plus dead, Adolf Hitler, Atheist: 15 million dead, Vladimir Lenin, Atheist: 5.5 million dead, Kim-Il-Sung, Atheist: 5 million dead, Pol Pot , Atheist: 2 million dead, Fidel Castro, Atheist: 1 million dead.

    “Throughout the history of the Soviet Union (1922-1991), Soviet authorities suppressed and persecuted various forms of Christianity to different extents depending on the particular era. Soviet policy, based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union. Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression, and the elimination of religious beliefs.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Soviet_Union

    And then there is the Muslim abuse of their own women:

    “The mother sentenced to death in Sudan for her Christian faith gave birth to a baby girl in prison today, the Daily Mail reported in an exclusive. Meriam , who has spent four months shackled to the floor of a cell, delivered the baby five days early in the hospital wing at Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum. . .
    In a heart-wrenching conversation with her husband during a rare prison visit, Meriam told him: ‘If they want to execute me then they should go ahead and do it because I’m not going to change my faith.’

    She told him: ‘I refuse to change. I am not giving up Christianity just so that I can live.

    ‘I know I could stay alive by becoming a Muslim and I would be able to look after our family, but I need to be true to myself.’”
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/30/world/africa/sudan-apostasy-husband/

    Young Nigerian Christian girls kidnapped and will be sold as slaves unless they are found: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2014/may/boko-haram-threatens-sell-kidnapped-christian-girls-nigeria.html

    Pakistani woman stoned to death — in the name of Sharia law — by the members of her own family for wanting to marry the man she loved:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2640632/Stoned-death-marrying-man-loved-Woman-attacked-sticks-bricks-20-members-OWN-family-broad-daylight-Pakistan.html

    And very much more. This stuff is happening today all over the world.

    Think on this. Do the John Lennon song. Imagine that the Judeo/Christian faith never existed. Imagine all the Christians taken out of the world from beginning until now. They don't exist. What does the world look like? Peaceful? Loving? (Maybe it would be more peaceful. Others would not be continually trying to exterminate us.)

    Christians are the fault of everything evil in the world? Even Nietzsche said that Christians were generally well disposed towards him.

    ~A

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  11. Gary: “Where did I state that my spiritual beliefs are based on science? Answer: no where.”

    Where did I claim that you did? I merely pointed out how you contradicted yourself, or was it a scribal error?

    Gary: “So we are similar in that we both base our spirituality on faith, but we are different in that I do not tell others that only MY faith, my spirituality is correct, that their's is wrong, and not only wrong, it will cause them to be hurled into a burning lake of fire to roast in my loving God's den of eternal torture.”

    Wonderful! You admit you have a faith in an unknown, unseen god who has not in any way whatsoever shown himself/herself/itself to you and yet you believe. This is fantastic! Your only issue then is not that their faith is absurd, it's the God they have faith in is absurd. Correct?

    Gary: “And your “faith” tries to force its way into secular society, such as forcing school districts to teach your faith-based concepts in public school classrooms where many children do not share your belief system. And your faith using your belief system to historically discriminate against non-whites, women and still today, gays and lesbians.”

    Please explain how a Christian trying to legislate their morality is any worse than you trying to legislate yours? What about those children who do share that faith, why should they be subject your faith which says their faith is wrong? Are you going to sit here and tell us that science has not been used to promote some of the most atrocious evils man has ever seen? Was it Christianity or science which Josef Mengele (a doctor) held to? Does “survival of the fittest” promote love and acceptance for the weaker, inferior and infirmed among us? Does evolution promote a difference between the races?

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  12. Gary: “My faith is kept to myself. Your faith is egocentric, discriminatory, and abusive.”

    I don't remember stating my faith or that I even have any. Where did you draw this assumption from?

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  13. You are becoming irrational.

    I am not blaming all the ills of the world on Christianity. What I am saying is that if the “Way of Jesus” supernaturally brings peace and goodness to those who believe it by faith, it has been a huge failure.

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  14. I assumed that you are an orthodox Christian, who by definition, believe that all human beings who do not place their faith in Jesus, and repent of their “sins”, will be cast into a pit for eternal damnation and torment.

    If you are not an orthodox Christian, I apologize.

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  15. Gary: “If you are not an orthodox Christian, I apologize.”

    Can you defend your deism? Provide a reasonable rationale for holding to any faith in any god? How is this even logical to have such a position?

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  16. My spiritual beliefs are none of your business, whoever you are.

    I am not encouraging anyone to become a deist. I am not telling anyone that they are going to burn in hell if they do not adopt my belief system. I am not treating non-deists as if they are unclean and evil. But that is exactly what orthodox Christianity does do:

    Accept our belief system or burn in hell!

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  17. Gary: “My spiritual beliefs are none of your business, whoever you are.”

    Oh I'm sorry, I must have mistaken your public blogging about your religious beliefs as an invitation to read and the comments section as an invitation to comment. Clearly I jumped to conclusions…

    Gary: “I am not encouraging anyone to become a deist. I am not telling anyone that they are going to burn in hell if they do not adopt my belief system. I am not treating non-deists as if they are unclean and evil. But that is exactly what orthodox Christianity does do:”

    Well true but you are encouraging other to abandon their belief and to join yours, are you not? Here let me remind you:

    Gary wrote to Abby: “Open your eyes, Abby. The facts are right there staring you in the face if you will only take off the blinders that superstitious churchmen have placed in front of you.”

    Look, you're the one who claims that if your faith cannot withstand scrutiny then you should seek the truth and let the chips fall where they may. You obviously do not mean this since you are not equally open to questioning with regards to your deism and claims of embracing science.

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  18. Gary, you may not remember me, but I am the historical anabaptist-attending an evangelical church who commented a couple of times several months back. I started following your blog when I was searching for differences between evangelicals and Lutherans. You were so helpful to me, especially in regards to infant baptism and were kind with your remarks to me.

    I hadn't been back on your blog for awhile, so was very surprised to read what has been going on here. I had to read back a ways to see when this all occurred. I've been thinking so much about you lately and had not planned to comment, but when you started snarkily coming back to your most thoughtful and supportive follower Abby,well, here I am.

    Just hear me out, it's not meant to insult but perhaps to encourage you to step back a bit. I think in this brand-new, head-over-heals un-faith you are experiencing, you have become as over-zealous and annoying as a new convert to Christianity, as someone who has discovered the latest fad diet, or invented a new pimple cream. I'd like to know how many are actually reading your pages upon pages of your evidence to your new unbelief. I imagine most are just dismayed. I haven't read anyone using cult tactics, as you have thrown back at commenters. Folks are just surprised and concerned, believe it or not. I do hope that eventually you will be able to calm down when the blush of new love is gone and you will be able to engage followers without telling they belong to a murderous, lying cult.

    I wish you well. If you continue this blog, it will be interesting to see how this all evolves. It would be an interesting study to go back and count how many times thoughout the last many months you have said “This is my final position.”

    Take care.

    P.S. I do not know a single Christian who believes the world is flat.

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  19. You are missing the point, friend.

    Not ONE Christian has addressed the “final straw” that caused my loss of faith. Why is that? Why isn't it important to address why there is zero, concrete evidence of the presence of a large group (at least 2 million) Hebrews in ancient Egypt and the Sinai?

    Doesn't this fact bother you? It should!

    I have presented you with evidence more devastating to the orthodox Christian Faith than Magellan's confirmation of the spherical form of earth. I have presented you with the fact that Jesus could not be the Passover Lamb because Passover never happened. I have shown you that since Jesus (through John) declared himself to be the fulfillment of the Passover, he made an error, confirming that he was not God. God would not celebrate an event that did not happen. But not one of you have said a word about this.

    At least the Catholic Church admitted they were wrong in the early sixteenth century and reversed their position. You all want to grill me for my “deist” position, but won't address why I have come to this position.

    So address the evidence that destroyed my faith…please. 🙂

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  20. re: “P.S. I do not know a single Christian who believes the world is flat.”

    but how many christians thought the world was flat 800 years ago, due to that being their interpretation of the bible?

    do you know any christians that believe the sun revolves around the earth? and yet, 350 years ago, that was the official christian position, and the majority believed it. and it's been in my lifetime that the catholic church finally got around to officially saying they were wrong and galileo was right.

    ———-
    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/31/world/after-350-years-vatican-says-galileo-was-right-it-moves.html

    After 350 Years, Vatican Says Galileo Was Right: It Moves
    By ALAN COWELL,
    Published: October 31, 1992

    More than 350 years after the Roman Catholic Church condemned Galileo, Pope John Paul II is poised to rectify one of the Church's most infamous wrongs — the persecution of the Italian astronomer and physicist for proving the Earth moves around the Sun.

    ———-

    there were also many christians that saw nothing wrong with slavery for a long time.

    and in my lifetime, there were christians that fought to keep the laws prohibiting interracial marriage, believing the bible supported their position.

    and the argument was always the same — that goes against what my holy book, the bible says, so it has to be wrong.

    and yet, the bible hasn't changed. what has changed? did they misinterpret the bible? or is the bible errant?

    and today, many christians are still fighting against the teaching of evolution in science class, because they believe it goes against the bible. and fight to impose their interpretation of the bible re: gay marriage. and the justification is still the same — it goes against my holy book.

    so clearly, either your holy book is not inerrant re: science. or that many christians, even a majority of christians, completely misunderstood the bible, multiple times, on major issues, presumably while all praying for guidance from god the entire time they were struggling with the issue.

    so read gary's bible excerpts re: the world is flat, and explain how the bible is inerrant? or explain how it could be misinterpreted by so many christians for so long? is not a flat earth the literal reading of the text?

    it seems christians should have learned a bit of spiritual humility from the episodes of flat earth, geocentric earth vs heliocentric earth, and race relations (slavery and interracial marriage), realizing that either the bible may have errors, or that it certainly can be misinterpreted by the majority of christians for long periods of time.

    as a comparison, the amish and mennonites believe the bible doesn't want them to use many technologies, and doesn't want them to be educated beyond 8th grade. now, i disagree with their theology and i presume that most other americans do also. and yet, because they don't insist on requiring the rest of the country to also give up technology, and limit education to 8th grade, they don't cause trouble for anyone that i'm aware of. if the rest of the christians in the country acted similarly, it would be a more peaceful place. however, instead, many christians seem to be seeking political power, and seeking to impose their biblical views on the rest of the populace.

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  21. “How many deaths has faith in the Tooth Fairy caused? Or in Santa Claus? But faith in Jesus has caused MILLIONS of people to be murdered in his name. Faith in Jesus has caused discrimination of Jews, Muslims, women, gays and lesbians, not because they were doing anything that harmed someone else but simply because they were “sinners”, breaking the laws of Jesus!”

    I'm sorry you think I'm irrational. I was responding to the quote above. And what I referenced is all true.

    Peace,
    Abby

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  22. Abby, During the Inquisition, many devout Jews refused to denounce their faith and were burned at the stake. Many Muslims have been martyred for their faith. Muslims have been martyred for their faith. Dying for your Faith, does not prove that your Faith is true.

    You “feel” that Jesus is with you. Ask a Mormon missionary at your door how he knows that Mormonism is true and he will tell you because he can feel God “in his bosom”. Feeling warm and fuzzy inside doesn't mean that Jesus caused it.

    Your belief system gives you emotional comfort, and that is fine. My only request is that you and other orthodox Christians refrain from telling non-Christians that they are doomed to eternal damnation because they do not believe in Jesus. Using your faith for your own personal comfort is fine; beating someone over the head with the “Law” is rude and bigoted.

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  23. I know of the atrocities done “in the name of Christ.” Like I said, that will have to be owned by them and it is up to God to sort it all out. And He will. I'm not going to be mad at God for what other people have wrongly done. There is great evil in the world that people follow.

    “Dying for your Faith, does not prove that your Faith is true.” On the other hand, that is exactly what Jesus did. He died for me. All that He did was for me — and everyone.

    “I'm wondering when I have been “beating someone over the head with the “Law?” Because that is what I would not do. That is the problem I see — a lack of understanding of Grace and Justification and a clear problem with the Law. It took me a long time to see it rightly myself.

    When you say that I “feel” that Jesus is with” me, I would have to say — no, it is not that way. If I were to depend on that I would abandon as you have. I cannot use my feelings to validate my faith. I would have no faith. I am depending on Christ's promises. Objective justification, not subjective.

    Gary, I am not trying to reconvert you. I would not know how to do such a thing. Sometimes I'm just trying to answer some things that I can speak to. I do not have the proofs that you want. And because of that you and the others call Christians delusional.

    You used to know and understand faith. To you it was real. You could, and did, attest to it. What you had then, is what I have. I do not intend to lose it by following anyone who tries so hard to eliminate God. It would require more faith than I could ever muster up for me to be an atheist. Being a Christian is not mere emotional comfort for me. Being a Christian is hard because forces at work indeed make being a Christian very uncomfortable. How are you missing all the persecution against Christians that is ongoing everyday?

    I can say no more. We are at an impasse. I hope and pray that someone much better than I can explain properly to you, if you want to hear at all. Just do know that I am still with you as a friend. Though I don't know any atheists who want Christians as friends. I can hear more that you are saying than you could know.

    If you would read this article, I would like to hear what you think. It would not take you very long.

    http://liberate.org/2012/08/24/the-gospel-for-those-broken-by-the-church/

    Peace,
    ~A

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  24. Oh my, if only I hadn't thrown in that blurt at the end about flat earth! I do think you fixated on that and didn’t read the rest. 🙂

    I will repeat that I think the conversation will go better when your new zeal and soapboxiness calms down and everyone else thinks things over a bit. That was my point, plus to defend Abby a bit. It’s hard to debate when the answer is that one lives in a vicious cult and do please take the blinders off.

    My faith is not complicated (or maybe it is!). I am not a debater and don't always say things like I would wish, but here it is: I don't know about all the details in the bible, but I believe that it all somehow happened. I don't know how young or old the earth is, but I am willing to hazard a guess it's closer to 16 billion that 6500. Doesn’t matter to me; I believe God created it. I believe many details were lost and changed through many generations of oral re-telling. I have a cousin who believes that Jesus fed exactly 5000 people, not one more or one less. I believe it was a crowd counter. I wasn't raised in a tradition that believed in the rapture, so I can't read it into every verse of the prophesies, nor can I even make sense of it. I believe American Evangelicalism has undermined the Church. I believe the church has undermined the Church. I don’t know if God sanctioned all the slaughter in the OT, or if that was just the excuse to do it.

    I don't know why someone can be kind one day and stab his neighbor in the back the next. I don't know why someone can spend 50 years at the side of a disabled spouse, while at the same time his neighbor is molesting his own daughter. I don't understand the theology of suffering at all, why it seems to be so random. I don't understand the intricacies of my own soul and mind to know why I can't be good all the time. I wonder why someone who can compose beautiful music can be so tormented as to take his own life. I don’t know why, when death struck our family suddenly, the unbelieving neighbor lent his aid but the believing neighbor did not. I don't know why people kick puppies. I don't know why you lost your faith.

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  25. cont.

    My faith is shaky every day, and I have even pondered some of the same things you do. But, when I see the stars fixed in the sky, when the sunrise time can be predicted with pinpoint accuracy thousands of years into the future, when I savor a juicy tomato that has sprung from a tiny, dry seed, or when I marvel that my calloused hands can stroke my child’s face, knit an intricate pattern and play a great hymn on the piano, when I delight at how our calves, within 20 minutes of birth, already know which end of their mamas their first meal can be found, when I see the great minds humans have, to discover, learn and invent marvelous things and heal terrible diseases, when my heart breaks with the love I have for my family, I know that I must believe or perish in despair.

    I don’t know about the Garden of Eden and when the fall exactly took place, but I do know that I and you and everyone else can never be perfect enough to satisfy the demands of a perfect and just god, but that this same God, in his unfathomable love, has chosen to make us perfect anyway through the person of his Son. I will never be perfect in my own eyes and through my own efforts but am so humbled and grateful to know that in His eyes I already am. I do know that my life would be easier if I had never in my life even given these things a second thought, and it would certainly be easier if I would chuck it all now, but, fool that I am, I simply cannot. When I read all the great old bible stories, I find such great comfort in the fact that these folks, 100% with feet of clay, have somehow been able to flesh out the story of a great and wonderful God, and I know that my most precious possession I have is the grace that has saved me.

    You ask me to address what has caused you to lose your faith. Why? If you are inclined to read this at all, and my friend I am not sure in your new defensive zeal you have been really reading your comments by your followers, I am sure you will do your best to pick my irrational faith apart.
    I cannot dispute or refute your thoughts or those in all those long essays you have copied to your blog. I also know this has gotten way, way longer than I have intended. I do not know why I still believe, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. But I do, and I cling to it with every fiber of my weak being. And, as the old hymn (and Paul) say, “But I know whom I have believed.”

    Gary, I do hope you have found a measure of peace in the midst of all this hub-bub these past few weeks, perhaps a peace that has evaded you since you were a youngster all those years ago in that fundamentalist church. You probably have many years yet ahead for your beliefs to evolve even further, as do I. My path will, I pray, lead me to greater peace and understanding of God’s grace. I hope your path satisfies you as well. And the journey goes on . . . . .

    A good day to you –

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  26. Gary, I have not been following your loss of Faith very closely, but I remember giving you a bit of a hard time when you asked me for evidence of .. .something I can’t quite remember. But at the time I refused, because I told you that you had to get over your fear of the Boogy Man called Hell before you could ever impartially evaluate evidence. I want to congratulate you for finally ridding yourself of that superstition. Living under the irrational threat of eternal torture or the equally irrational promise of eternal paradise is a guilt, a weight, a poison that is nothing but psychological abuse. It clouds your judgment and causes your life’s purpose to be fear of what your loving heavenly Father will do to you when you die. I do not care so much what people do or do not believe. That is a personal decision. But the fear of damnation is the one exception I must make, and the one superstition that I wish every person could shake. People will do anything, and I mean *anything* to avoid Hell or gain Paradise. You have shaken Hell. Congratulations – you are now free to think and believe as you wish.

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  27. If the Christian religion is to be believed, it must be believed on Faith – Faith alone and not evidence. Gary, you have proved to yourself that anybody looking for evidence of the Christian religion is going to be sorely disappointed. The enterprise of Christian apologetics is a farce. I need only point to one of your frequent commenters – one Pastor Mahlon. Gary, a few weeks back when you were asking all your Pastor friends for evidence of the resurrection, out came all the standard ‘historical’ arguments.

    Paul mentioned a list of people who saw the resurrected Jesus! The 1 Corithians chapter 15 Creed was developed mere weeks after the Crucifixion! What else can explain the Empty Tomb! Women reported the empty tomb first!

    Yet in a recent article directed at his fellow SBC Christians, Pastor Mahlon says this:

    “Pentecost … is the reason we know anything about Easter. The fact that the Holy Spirit came is proof that Jesus did indeed raise from the dead and that He made it to heaven to be at the Father's right hand. Pentecost and it's outcome is proof positive that Christ is ascended and that the Gospel is undoubtedly true.”

    Sorry, what was that again? No proof from history? No empty tomb? No unreliable first witnesses? Nope. None of that among the Faithful. The only evidence offered among the Faithful is the witness of the Holy Spirit, and the resurrected Church. In other words, Faith. Apologetics are a last ditch effort to hold on to those who are ‘questioning’.

    This is one of the reasons I was so angry when I left Christian Faith. I had been told that there were rational reasons to remain a Christian. I was told that doubting was OK, and that God could handle my questions with reason and evidence. But when I discovered what you did, that apologetics was nothing but a cheap way to pacify unskeptical believers, I was angry. When Christian friends abandoned me left and right, I discovered that while questioning may be OK, I damn sure better get the right answers. Because Christian religion, or any religion for that matter, has nothing to do with evidence or rationality. It must be held on irrational, willful Faith.

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  28. Dear Friend,

    I was very happy in my Faith. I was fully at peace, just as you are. I wasn't looking for an escape. However, TRUTH hit me in the face, and whether I like it or not, I must accept it. If the Exodus did not happen, Jesus cannot be God. Period.

    That doesn't mean that I can't still believe in God, the Creator, but TRUTH, as demonstrated by scientific evidence, proves without a doubt, that the Christian God, Jesus, the Trinity, and the Hebrew god, Yahweh, are NOT that God.

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  29. If you were a 5th grader, your understanding of the bible would make sense to me. But most read the bible with a bit more maturity… and still believe that it is true. You are being more literalistic in your attack on the Holy Scriptures than any LCMS Lutheran is concerning their belief in the inerrency of the bible. I guess if you want the bible to be a modern day “Science” book then you will find it to be a very disappointing read.

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  30. I stumbled across this while googling something else, I just wanted to point out that though Christians have been wrong on many scientific issues, a flat earth isn't one of them. The author of Genesis may teach a flat earth, but the Catholic Church never did. I think there was one Church Father who rejected the ancient Greek discovery that the earth was round. If you read Dante, the earth is round. It is at the center of the universe and that is the belief you should have used in your argument.

    The idea that Columbus had to argue against flat earth believers was an invention of Washington Irving.

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  31. My post wasn't clear– I meant that Dante and most other Christians knew the earth was round but thought it was at the center of the universe. In both cases they were using the best science of their day, not the Bible, but what they had learned from the ancient Greeks, who had figured out that the earth was a sphere, but quite logically, given the evidence they had, thought the earth was stationary. One Greek was 2000 years ahead of his time, but didn't have evidence to back his heliocentric view. Real history of science is much more interesting than the folklore you have picked up.

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  32. But why was it the ancient pagan Greeks who came up with this theory of a spherical earth and not the “chosen” people of God, the Hebrews? Why didn't the Hebrews believe in a spherical earth? Why did they believe in an earth resting on pillars with a firmament (domed ceiling) above them? Answer: the Bible.

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  33. Gary, modern day science is nothing more than religion. What has essentially happened to you is that the religious scientific dogma has eroded your faith. Just so you know, there are many atheists who have converted and continue to convert to Christianity solely based on evidence. Maybe you should read their testimonies how the EVIDENCE was responsible for their conversion. So, I am not convinced that evidence has convinced to lose faith. Real Christian faith in Christ is rooted in a relationship with Christ, which apparently you have never experienced, therefore your faith in Him was shaky from the beginning. Scientific religion has tested your faith, and it became evident that you did not have any.

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  34. You cannot have a relationship with someone who has been dead for 2,000 years. The warm, fuzzy feelings you experience as you talk and pray to Jesus are no different than the feelings of a child who talks to an imaginary friend.

    Your beliefs are an illusion.

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  35. “The image of scientists as objective seekers of truth is periodically jeopardized by the discovery of a major scientific fraud. A popular view propagated by the media and by many scientists sees fraudsters as just a “few bad apples”. This pristine image of science is based on the theory that the scientific community is guided by norms including disinterestedness and organized skepticism, which are incompatible with misconduct. Increasing evidence, however, suggests that known frauds are just the “tip of the iceberg”, and that many cases are never discovered.”

    A summary of studies indicates that over one third of scientists admitted to fabricating/falsifying data or committing questionable research practices.

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0005738

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  36. Religious fundamentalism thrives on conspiracy theories.

    Any scientist caught engaging in fraudulent research can expect his or her career to be over and his or her reputation destroyed.

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  37. My question to the owner of this blog and writer of this article is why are you a follower of Jesus teachings ? You do not believe he is your Savior or God, but you believe he is a good example to follow. How can that be ? Jesus claimed to be God, he declared he came from the Father and would go to the Father, that he he would give his life and take it back up, that he would raise himself up. If Jesus said all this, and it is not true, don’t you think that he is either a liar or a lunatic ? Why would you follow such a despicable man ? I would never follow the teaching of a lunatic or an impostor / liar. Never. But I do follow Jesus because he is God incarnate, God in the flesh, he is sinless and gave his life for me, that I would live eternally.

    By faith we believe that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it , Hebrews 11:3 . I cannot prove it scientifically, however there is no scientific proof that the universe self created itself either, actually it is irrational to think that way as Romans 1 clearly states that the it is self evident that there is a creator. So although there is no scientific proof for creation, there is philosophical self evidence, just by looking at creation we know there is a creator.

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    1. I believe it is possible to believe that a man can be good but still have some bad ideas.

      I personally do not believe that Jesus ever considered himself to be God. I know you will disagree. I believe that Jesus considered himself to be a special messenger from God. That he was the Messiah.

      I think Jesus had some wonderful humanistic teachings but I also think he probably held racist views against Gentiles and I do not like his disrespectful tone when speaking to his mother…if these statements are truly historical.

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  38. OK, there you go Gary. That is what I thought, by reason if somebody analyzes Jesus teachings he will find flaws as you did. He is claim that he was God, the calling of everybody else to repentance (otherwise they would perish), etc. No unbeliever would accept this, neither should they, unless Jesus is truly God, the way he spoke in the gospels is not the way a human would. If I were to talk like Jesus on the street, people would say I am arrogant, crazy, lunatic, full of myself for equating himself with God, and this is exactly why the pharisees crucified him because he said the deeds of men are evil. Jesus made himself equal to God and said that the deeds of man are evil, he called those that divorced and remarry adulterers, those that have bad thoughts murderers, no unbeliever would agree with this. If he came to day he would be crucified by man again, at least put in jail so fast or in a psychiatric ward. 1 Corinthians 1:18 “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. And afterwards it continues how God destroys the wisdom of the world, like the evolutionary scientist. It is so beautiful that I will quote it below, but I have to agree with Gary, that if we follow science we will lose our faith and perish like the Greeks as scripture tells us (see below quotes from 1 Corinthians), and if we look for signs like the Jews we will likewise perish as Paul points out. However this does not make science right, if we question the fundamentals of science as we should, we would realize that there is no scientific evidence to back up an old earth, the big bang, or the evolution of species. Science cannot prove that powerful creator 10,000 years ago created all in 7 days, just like Jesus created wine at the feast of Cana instantly, he did not need 5 years to get the wine properly aged, he created the so that it tasted well aged, it was actually the best wine. So below is First Corinthians 1 verses 18 to 31, beautiful how God shames the wisdom of the world with his gospel:

    18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
    20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 ews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
    26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

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    1. I certainly accept the possibility that I might be wrong and that science might be wrong.

      Do you accept the possibility that the Bible might be wrong: that it is possible that Jesus was mistaken; that he was not God; that Jesus was not resurrected?

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  39. Gary, listen Satan wants to put doubt in my mind and yours. Your question is an honest one, but we should not entertain this possibility. Listen, Romans 1 is clear that it is self evident that there is a creator. I believe God created the Universe in 7 literal days. But I also believe that if a scientist had used modern science on Day 8, he would have concluded the earth was created billions of years ago (it takes billions of years for the light to travel from some of the most distant stars or galaxies to earth, yet God said there be light ant there was instantly light, it did not take God billions of years to create the universe) and Adam and Eve were created many years ago (I am sure they did not look like babies though they were created the day before). At the Feast of Cana a wine expert with the best tools of science would have probably would have probably looked at the chemistry of wine and think it was made 5 years ago or longer, even though Jesus made it last night. Science cannot explain the super natural. The creation of the universe and the creation of species science cannot explain, so the theory of the big bang or the theory of evolution which are fables are made up by man. 1 Corinthians chapter 3 verses 3 to 20 says the same thing about the wisdom of man , verses 3 to 20:

    “18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”a ; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

    Now look at Romans 1, verses 18 to 25. God is very angry because he has revealed himself in nature, yet man is so evil that iworship the creature (i.e. nature) rather than the creator. The theory of evolution is nothing more than modern day pantheism, where we give nature the power that belongs only to God, i.e. to create all species and man. As for the big bang is no different from the old cultures that were worshiping the sun and the natural elements. Out of nothing there was a big explosion and the universe was created and started expanding, if this is not a fable I do not know what it is. All scientists up until Isaac Newton believed in God as creator and that the earth was 6000 to 10000 years old, they believed that it could have only been created super naturally as scripture teaches. Romans 1 is so beautiful, how it describes in verses 18 to 25 how a powerful almighty God has left is mark, and all men should be able to know him just by looking at creation:, where there is a creation there has to be a creator:, here it is Romans 1:

    18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
    21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

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    1. So you believe it is possible that I am wrong, but impossible that you (and the Bible) are wrong? Based on what evidence can you be so sure that the Bible is not wrong?

      I have never claimed that there is not a Creator. Scientists do not know how the universe began so I am open to the idea of a Creator. However, I highly doubt that if there is a Creator that he is the Christian god due to the Christian god’s lack of knowledge regarding basic science. What evidence do you have that convinces you 100% that the Christian god, Yahweh/Lord Jesus, is the Creator?

      Liked by 1 person

  40. OK, Gary. Here’s the thing. Even atheists like one Francis Crick who won the nobel prize discovering the DNA said that there must have been a creator of the DNA. He felt it was etraterristrials from another planet that brought the DNA to earth. It is good that you admit that there appears to be a creator from looking at creation. Now with regard to why this Creator is the Christian God, the answer is simple. An omnipotent all powerful God that is good, would never have created the earth the way it is today. I mean, a wise, good, all powerful God would never have permitted famines, diseases, aging, dying, suffering. OK, so the only way to explain this is through the fall into sin of Adam, so the God of the Bible makes perfect logical sense. As for evidence, the Word of God is the perfect testimony, the atonement for sin is the only way perfect, all powerful God, could rescue his creation, all of the old testament sacrifices point to Jesus Christ. The bible is the best witness, it is the only evidence I have for the God of Christianity, however it is so many books written by so many different authors and it so perfectly explains both our creation and our redemption, why things don’t work in the world today, and why an all powerful ominiscient God has promised that new heavens and a new earth will be created in the final redemption of the cosmos. By grace through faith I confess this.

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    1. Allowing all possibilities, it is certainly possible that Yahweh/Lord Jesus created a perfect universe and only because of Adam and Eve’s sin did evil and suffering enter our world. But can you agree with me, Bill, that it is also possible that an as yet unidentified Creator created the universe? Maybe the true Creator is indifferent to suffering. Maybe he (or she) is indifferent to being identified. Maybe the real Creator started creation and then let it take it’s own course.

      I see no good reason to assume that the Christian god is the creator. I think it is much more likely that if a Creator exists, he or she is indifferent to massive suffering. I don’t think that Jesus would be indifferent to the massive suffering of little children. I don’t think that Jesus would stand by and allow 17,000 children under the age of 5 starve to death each and every day just because our ancient ancestors ate some forbidden fruit. That sounds absurd to me. One of the primary reasons why I don’t think that Jesus is the Creator is that the Jesus of the Gospels would not allow so many children to suffer. Jesus cannot be the Creator.

      You will need to give me better evidence, Bill.

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      1. Well, here’s the thing Gary, Jesus has said it “in the world you will have tribulation”. Jesus was honest, he warned christians of sufferering and persecutions, yet he also said blessed are those that suffer and are being persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (the beatitudes). This is the beauty of scripture, it so perfectly explains the suffering in the present age, but it also foretells the age to come. And since we are all sinners, as your former lutheran church teaches, we are poor miserable sinners deserving nothing but temporal and eternal punishment. The punishment for Adams’ disobedience was that through Adam sin and death entered the world. Jesus when he created the heavens and the earth, because he is the creator of all things, he created good. But now as a result of one month disobedience, things are not good. With that said Christ has redeemed the world by his death and reconciled us to the father, none of us by our best efforts can keep God’s commandments perfect as in the Sermon on the Mount, but Christ fulfilled the Law and the Father said “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, Christ fulfilled all righteousness. The only way for God to be merciful, and at the same time perfectly just, in forgiving our sins was for God himself to take human flesh and satisfied the righteous requirements of the law. When by faith we believe that Christ has satisfied for us, we become children of God, we accept God’s love for us and are reconciled to God though the Mediator Jesus Christ. We love because he loved us first, when we get a hold of God love for us and we are born again and have passed from death unto life, we are no longer under the law (which Christ satisfied) but under grace. I am sorry I cannot give you evidence for any of this, other than tell you go to the word, read Romans 1 to Romans 5, read Galatians, read the gospel of John, read the entire of the new testament and pray to God that he will reveal his Son to you, that in Him you have eternal life.

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