Answering Common Errors

Apologetics

Welcome to DefCon’s latest feature: Answering Common Errors.

Below you will find a list of misconceptions, misunderstandings, and outright errors that are commonly hurled at Christians. With each of the following ad nauseum attacks against the Christian faith listed below we have provided a link to a previous DefCon post answering that error. Consider this a convenient apologetics resource for defending the truth and contending for the faith.

Check back frequently as this list will continue to grow.


MISCELLANEOUS

Error: James contradicts Paul in regards to faith and works.

Answer: If James contradicts Paul, then James also contradicted himself.

Error: As long as you believe in Jesus, you’re a Christian.

Answer: Which Jesus do you worship?

Error: You’re all a bunch of Pharisees.

Answer: Are we really Pharisees?

Error: It doesn’t matter which church you go to, as long as they talk about Jesus.

Answer: Which resurrection did you observe today?

Error: You gott be like the world to win the world.

Answer: When you can’t tell the difference between the “church” and the world.

Error: Instead of exposing the false teachers, you should be praying for them.

Answer: Are we supposed to pray for the wolves?

Error: You really should be nicer to those advancing false doctrines. Perhaps you can persuade them by your kindness.

Answer: Let us flee, for the enemy of the truth is inside.

Error: The Bible is not the final authority in matters of Christianity.

Answer: Nada Scriptura?

Error: Infant baptism is Scriptural.

Answer: A Scriptural Critique of Infant Baptism and Mediator of What?

Error: It is unloving to tell people that they’re going to Hell.

Answer: Are You Loving or Unloving?

Error: The Bible says that you’re not to judge people.

Answer: Jesus commands us to be judgmental.

Error: I witness by my lifestyle.

Answer: Lifestyle evangelism is a logical impossibility.

Error: We’re all God’s children.

Answer: Children of God and children of the Devil.

Error: All one needs to do to get to Heaven is ask Jesus into your heart.

Answer: Ten reasons not to ask Jesus into your heart.

ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Error: Roman Catholicism has always been a peaceful religion.

Answer: The More Rome Changes, The More It Stays The Same.

Error: Before the Reformation, everyone was Roman Catholic.

Answer: Everybody Was Catholic Until the Reformation.

Error: The Apostle Peter was the first pope.

Answer: Was the Apostle Peter the first pope?

Error: Roman Catholicism is correct on their doctrines and beliefs about Mary.

Answer: It’s all about Mary?

JEHOVA’S WITNESSES

Error: John 1:1 should be translated “a God.”

Answer: What exactly does John 1:1 say, anyway?

Error: Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians.

Answer: The Watchtower’s struggle with being born again.

MORMONISM

Error: You can’t use our own prophets’ quotes against us because the quotes you cite were just they’re opinions.

Answer: LDS: “But that was just their opinion.”

Error: Mormonism has never ever taught racism.

Answer: On this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Mormon church wishes to remind you that they’ve been racism-free since 1978.

Error: Mormons believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

Answer: Mormon blasphemy illustrated.

Error: Mormonism has always believe in the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

Answer: Mormon blasphemy: God and Mary had “natural” relations to conceive Jesus.

Error: Mormons are tolerant of all other beliefs and have never attacked Christians.

Answer: What Mormons really believe about Christians.

Error: Mormonism teaches salvation is by grace through faith alone.

Answer: Requirements for Mormon salvation.

Error: Brigham Young never taught the Mormon doctrine of Blood Atonement.

Answer: The Mormon doctrine of Blood Atonement as taught from the mouth of Brigham Young.

Error: Mormonism never taught the doctrine of Blood Atonement.

Answer: The doctrine of Blood Atonement as taught by the Mormon organization.

Error: Joseph Smith never gave a false prophecy.

Answer: Recognizing the 202nd birthday of Joseph Smith by posting some of his false prophecies.

Error: The Mormon doctrine of polygamy was only a temporary covenant.

Answer: When is an “everlasting covenant” not an “everlasting covenant?” When polygamy becomes unpopular.

118 thoughts on “Answering Common Errors

  1. Jeff H says:

    YAY!

    Excellent! This will be a tremendously helpful tool in sharing God’s Good News with others.

    Thank you and THANKS BE TO GOD!

    - Jeff H

  2. Just reading this page I will say I agree with you, and will deffinetly use the tools for evanelism.

    have you guys heard of Dr. Morey biblicalthought.com/blog or faithdefenders.com

    he is an apologist and has a new book coming out you guys might like, its suppose to be the best resource on humanism ever, i would be interested in what you thought and im sure the other apologist at the blog listed below would too. we deal with the same issues you do here.

    cheers

  3. Mark says:

    Found this site as I was surfing the web looking for an information packed, interesting, Christ centered place to check into. Spent the whole afternoon and evening on here and found this so refreshing. I want to thank you all for putting this together.

    Be back soon and I plan to share this site with a few others also. Thanks again.

    In our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    Mark
    _____________________________________________________________________

    oops, thought I was on the cantact/us page…. :D

  4. Jeff H says:

    Paul Marcel-Rene,

    Answering questions on Mormon Christianity:

    Mormon Christianity is an oxymoron. They are quite different.

    Jesus Christ delivers men from death.

    Joseph Smith takes men to Hell.

    - Jeff H

  5. Dear Paul:

    Please familiarize yourself with our Rules of Engagement, specifically rule #7.

    Additionally, before you begin running around this blog attempting to set fires here and there and attempting to direct people to websites containing doctrinal error (and the promotion of false religion) I’d suggest that you address Glenn’s response to you:

    http://defendingcontending.com/2008/01/13/when-is-an-everlasting-covenant-not-an-everlasting-covenant-when-polygamy-becomes-unpopular/#comment-26336

    Thank you.

  6. Steeve Ha says:

    Thank you. Keep up the good work. You are the seven thousand who didn’t kneel to today’s baals.

  7. Peter Cranny says:

    Where is the answer to the biggest and most common error – “there are no gods”?

    Yours in atheism, Peter

  8. Peter Cranny says:

    Psalms is just an old book, like The Odyssey, The Quran or Great Expectations. Doesn’t answer the question.
    Peace and Love, Peter

  9. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter – I’m assuming you mean that the most “common error” is that God exists. Otherwise your statement would indicate the common error is your belief that God does not exist. The first thing I would challenge you on is how you absolutely know God does not exist. Given your statement, you are claiming absolute knowledge. To know that God does not exist would mean you would have to know everything there is to know in all the Universe.

    In truth, your objection is merely your presupposition. You choose to believe there is no God. Therefore, any evidence presented will roundly be rejected, because you have determined in your mind no such evidence exists.

  10. Peter Cranny says:

    Not surprisingly, you have deliberately misunderstood my beliefs and have answered a different question from the one I asked..
    My understanding was that this section of the website would give a “canned” rebuttal to common mistakes made by atheists.
    By definition, all atheists make the “mistake” of saying that there are no gods.
    What is your pre-prepared answer to that?
    Still wishing peace and love, Peter

  11. GoForthAndPreach says:

    My sincere apologies for misunderstanding your question sir. And for the record, my misunderstanding was not deliberate, but based on the nature of the question as I understood it. Again, my apologies.

    Regarding the question, I guess my first thought is, what do you mean by “canned” answers. True

  12. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Oops, sorry, posted an incomplete response. That is the problem typing on smart phones, too easy to hit the wrong button.

    What I was saying before is that it is true that we often use answers others have hears before, but that is simply because the answers or analogies used are accurate. If there is more specific information you seek, perhaps it is wiser to ask a more specific question. Or is your definition of a “canned” answer different?

    Regarding the idea that atheists make the common error that God does not exist, I would simply state that the majority of atheists I have met often make the emphatic statement that there is no God. So, as my previous post indicates, I would ask how they can definitively know that.

  13. Peter Cranny says:

    Still not answered the question.
    The format on this page is:
    Errror: xyz……
    Answer: abc….

    So where is the part that says

    Error: There are no gods.
    Answer: ……….

    Yet more peace and love, Peter

  14. GoForthAndPreach says:

    As I am not the author of this blog article, I cannot edit it and enter what you are asking for. However, I am trying to ask you some questions so I have a better understanding of where you are coming from.

    As I said before, the first question I ask of atheists how they know there is no God. This really is a crucial question. It helps me understand how you came to your conclusions. That makes it easier because I can answer your specific questions and/or objections.

    Peter, I want you to know that I really am interested in talking this out with you. It truly is the most important question out there. Because, if, as we say, there is a God, then you, and we, ate answerable to Him.

  15. Peter Cranny says:

    Atheism is very simple – a statement of non belief in any deity.
    It is not a denial of gods, neither is it agnosticism.
    It is not a belief system, it is not an organisation, it is not a set of rules for how to behave.
    I am quite happy to believe something for which there is evidence, but I have not seen any evidence for any god.
    As well as being an atheist I am a father, a guitarist, a partner, a dog owner and many other things.
    I was just hoping that somewhere on this blog there would be a link to where they have already addressed the “no gods” mistake.
    Still wishing peace and love, Peter

  16. GoForthAndPreach says:

    The idea that atheism is simply a lack of belief in God is a bit of a misnomer.  A simple perusal of atheist literature shows many don’t just lack belief, they vehemently disbelieve in God.  Additionally, I think it would be fair to say, many atheists hate the idea of God and are hateful towards those who preach him.

    I am not saying that of you Peter.  In fact you seem to be a polite and intelligent person.  I am grateful for your willingness to discuss this objectively, thank you.  But I challenge your statement simply because there is enough atheists out there who have declared otherwise.

    Now, as far as evidence goes, the truth is we both look at the same evidence with presuppositions.  I’ll use a rather obvious example. The atheist looks at fossils and rock layers and sees it as evidence of millions of years and evolution. The Christian looks at the same thing and sees it as evidence of rapid burial of animals in a short period of time. The evidence is the same, but the interpretation is determined by the presuppositions. And this is OK! The question is not whether we have presuppositions or not, we all do. The question is which presupposition is most logical. The one that says everything came from nothing, or the one that says something made everything!

  17. Peter Cranny says:

    I don’t hate gods or religious people, I am if you like an affable atheist.
    Your point about either very old evolution or younger creation is a false dichotomy – it doesn’t have to be one or the other it could be neither or some thing entirely else.
    Evolution says nothing at all about the origin of the universe or the origin of life, it simply explains how different species evolved from a common ancestor.
    Scientists and most atheists are quite happy to say that the origins of life are unknown (yet!)
    The most common thing you’ll hear from a scientist is “I don’t know”
    The second most common thing you’ll hear is “I thought I knew that but here’s some new evidence so I’ll have to think again.”
    Usual peace and love, Peter

  18. GoForthAndPreach says:

    You miss my point, the issue is that the same evidence is interpreted differently depending on one’s presupposition. I used the fossil issue merely as an example. My point is that presuppotions go a long way in determining your beliefs. You claim you lack belief, but you might believe in God if presented with the right evidence. My point is that your evidence and my evidence are the same, only interpreted differently based on those presuppositions. Thus your “lack of belief” is based upon a presupposition that all this came from nothing. The question then becomes which presupposition is more logical, that everything came from nothing, or that everything came from something.

    Oh, and you’ll notice in my previous comment, I stated that I found you to be polite and intelligent did not feel you were representative of atheism in general. However, I did challenge that atheism as a belief system was simply described as “lacking belief” and can be evidenced by many who speak for it. I find you to be a welcome exception to the rule :)

  19. Peter Cranny says:

    I expect we’re now reaching the point where we say “OK, we’ll have to agree to differ” and just leave it there. A pity but it may be as far as we can go.
    I try not to have any presuppositions, and have an open mind – I would happily believe in a god if the evidence showed it, but it just doesn’t.
    BTW I have, since January, been following a program of reading The Bible in bite-size, daily chunks. I’m up to Ezekiel this week.
    The stories are great and the language of the King James Bible is wonderful, but, for me, its still just stories.

    Love, Peter

  20. GoForthAndPreach says:

    I see no reason to agree to disagree. You say you try not to have presuppositions, but you acknowledge you only view the Bible as “stories.” However, the Bible has been repeatedly demonstrated to be historically accurate. Numerous archaeological discoveries have been directly attributed to accuracy of the Bible. Will you admit that the Bible is in fact an extremely accurate historical record?

    I applaud your willingness to read the Bible by the way. I have met many a person who will denigrate it, yet have never picked it up.

  21. Peter Cranny says:

    So you’re not going to let me off the hook!
    I can’t accept that The Bible is accurate history. It was written by a bunch of bronze age goat herders who didn’t know about electrons, bacteria or where the sun went at night. I’m cool with that but it isn’t history.
    Simplest example is the creation. Genesis gives an account of the creation, followed immediately by a different account which puts the order in which God creates things entirely differently. Which one is history? Not a problem for an atheist as it simply shows a primitive attempt to explain things which were inexplicable at the time.
    Still love you, Peter

  22. GoForthAndPreach says:

    See, you’re presupposition shines straight through. You’re automatic assumption is that everyone who wrote the Bible was ingnorant. Based on what objective standard do you know that? And even if someone herded goats for a living, how does that negate their ability to report that which they have seen? That is a highly prejudicial statement! Before you completely reject a historical record, perhaps you should do some research on the authorship of the biblical record (for example Luke was described as a first rate historian by Sir William Ramsay, who set out to disprove the gospel account). If you truly desire to learn with an open mind, seek out the scholars who affirm the historicity of the Bible, not just those who affirm your presupposition.

    Regarding Genesis, it is a simple answer actually. The events in the Garden of Eden (chapter 2) are a more detailed account of what occured following Adam’s creation on day 6 (chapter 1). It is not a contrary account, but more detailed events of what happened in the garden. However, given you’re previous statement, I seriously doubt this is really the true issue for you. You simply presupposed the Bible is not true. So rather than reading to learn what it says, you are looking for contradictions to support you’re belief.

    And by the way, you’re right, I don’t let the people off the hook easily. ;-)

  23. Peter Cranny says:

    Well, my real problem is this:

    All religions seem to be based on the idea that humans can communicate better than other animals and that we know that we’re going to die.

    So, a guy (it usually is a guy), in a funny hat (some of them are very funny) says “You don’t know what happens after you die, but I do.”
    “If you’re good, it will be great, if you’re bad it will be awful. By the way, being good means ‘Do what I say’ – this includes who you can have sex with, what you can eat, what you can wear, what you can read, when you can work, and what you can believe – and lots of other stuff”

    “Also, if you don’t do what I tell you,- the awful part, you will burn forever in a lake of fire.”

    Do you think this will happen to me?

    Do you think I deserve it?

    I answer “no” to both.

  24. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Well, to a certain extent Peter, you are correct. All “religions” are man’s effort to reach God. The problem is that man can never achieve being good by his own efforts. See, God is the only one who is truly good because He is perfect. His laws, what we commonly call the Ten Commandments, are a reflection of that perfect nature. God didn’t command that lying is wrong just so He could nail us on something, He himself is truth. So to lie is to rebell against His nature. And every time we lie, steal, harbor hatred, lust after someone that is not our spouse, or use God’s name in vain, we are rebelling against Him.

    When we compare ourselves against each other, we can look pretty good. In fact, it is very possible that if we compared notes, you could be a better guy than me. I’ve been around almost 38 years, which gives me plenty of time to do a lot of things wrong. So on that scale, you could measure out really good. The problem isn’t how we check out against each other though. It’s how we check out against God. Every lie you have ever told, anything you took that didn’t belong to you (it doesn’t matter the value), even the fact that you blaspheme God by denying He exists, all of these are willful acts of rebellion against the law of God. Now, if God is truly perfect and good, He cannot allow that to pass unjudged. In fact, we understand that justice must be upheld. Ever time we see a Court fail to uphold the law and watch the guilty go free, something inside screams at the injustice of it. And God is much higher than any human Court. His standard is much higher. Were He to let the guilty go free He would not be a good God. So when we die, we’ll stand before Him and the books of our lives will be open before Him. Every sin, public or private, every evil thought, every deed done in darkness will be revealed. And God will judge it all. There is only one punishment God has for this, and that is eternal conscious torment in Hell.

    Now Peter, I want you to understand something. In the nearly 38 years of my life, I have sinned daily against the Lord. I deserve nothing good from God. I deserve His punishment just as much as you, or anyone else in this world. I cannot be good enough, because I cannot be perfect. The only difference between us relies on what I am going to explain to you. Please read this. God does not desire to send His creations to Hell. He desires to keep us in eternal fellowship with Him. But our sins must be judged. So God made a way for us. God took the punishment we deserve upon Himself in the form of His Son, Jesus Christ. See, almost 2,000 years ago, Jesus came to earth and took on human flesh. He became fully God and fully man. During His time on this earth, Christ never once sinned in thought,word or deed. Yet He was tempted in every way we are. So, at no time did Jesus warrant judgment as we do. But He willingly went to the cross, suffered a brutal and bloody death. In doing so, He bore the wrath we deserve. Our punishment was put on Him. In essence, it is like being guilty of a crime and being sentenced to a fine you cannot pay. Yet, if someone else, who was not guilty of it, came in and paid the fine for you, you could go free. The law would be satisfied by someone else taking on the punishment. That is what Jesus did! He satisfied the righteous wrath of the Father in our place. Then three days later, He rose from the grave, proving His power over death.

    What God commands of us is that we, the guilty ones deserving judgment, admit we are sinners, turn away from those sins (what the Bible calls repentance) and to put our trust solely in the one who paid the price for us, Jesus. What happens then is a legal exchange. Our guilt is transferred to Christ, which He willingly received at the Cross, and His righteousness is given to us. See, previously, we could not merit heaven, because we can’t be good enough. Yet Jesus, who is God, thus is perfect, gives us His goodness. We then can enter Heaven not because what we do, but because of what He did.

    Earlier, I mentioned that you were right about religions being all about rule keeping and such. This is where it is different. Christianity is not about keeping the rules, because can’t. It’s about trusting in the One who did it for us.

  25. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter, assuming that you are a gentleman and a respectable member of society…I see nothing to claim any different, where do you get your morals? Your distinction between right and wrong?

    with interest,
    abidingthroughgrace

  26. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, there’s a problem with the idea that morals evolved. Altruism means that an animal did something to benefit others. However, evolution depends on survival of the fittest. This inherently requires an animal to be selfish to survive. Morals cannot evolve in that environment.

    Regarding your earlier state however, we ALL are bound for Hell, and we ALL deserve it. That’s why Jesus sacrificed Himself on our behalf!

  27. Abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter, well that conflicts with the theory of evolution. Evolution is based on the idea of survival of the fittest leading to the strongest animals surviving while not only taking advantage of the weaker, but also destroying them. Morals won’t suddenly develop in that scenario.

    In addition if morals came from evolution, why don’t animals have some level of morality? My dog is completely amoral the rabbits in my yard and the coyotes that eat them demonstrate no kindness or knowledge of right or wrong.

    So, that leaves the question unresolved…where do you get your morality? I need a better answer than we evolved.

    In faith,
    -ATF

    —————————-

    Goforth,

    I just saw your comment…I must have been typing at the same time. Great minds think alike. ;)

  28. Peter Cranny says:

    Well, I’m clearly a moral person – I haven’t killed or injured anyone, I have not stolen anything and I haven’t born false witness. So where did that come from – it wasn’t from an imaginary friend in the sky.

    Survival of the fittest (fittest meaning best suited to the environment, not the biggest muscles – read Darwin as carefully as you would read The Bible) means that humans who display altruism survive, breed more and pass this trait on to their descendants. Again, no gods required.
    So what have I done to deserve burning forever, or was it the because of the woman who listened to a talking snake that I’m going to fry?
    Peace and love,

    Peter

  29. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter, your answer still doesn’t deal with evolution from Rocks to humans and the formation of morality in a system when only the strongest survive. For your faith in evolution to explain the morals of humans you’ll have to explain to me how the animals that were eating each other suddenly realized the difference between right and wrong. So HOW does that work. Don’t blow it off with a shallow answer.

    Also, you didn’t address the fact that animals don’t have morals…if morality comes from evolution than why doesn’t my dog demonstrate morals?

    These questions are too important to not address directly.

  30. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, are you seriously claiming to have never told a lie. I find that difficult to believe. Yes, it probably true that you have never killed anyone. However, God judges not just our actions, but the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Unjust anger or hatred (ever drive in 5 o’clock traffic just before a holiday?) is seen as murder of the heart by God. It is just as sinful. Remember, He is the perfect standard we are judged by. You may nought have taken some high priced item from a store, but what about looking at a neighbor’s test answers in school? What about coming in or leaving early from work, but reporting a full day? Ever get more change back than you should have, but kept it instead of letting the person know? The point of my line of questioning Peter is to show you that so often we excuse off our “minor” transgressions as not being too bad. We think of them as “mistakes” in our past usually. But the fact is, neither the seemingly minor nature of them, or how long ago we committed them erases our guilt before God.

  31. Peter Cranny says:

    You keep talking about “God” and how we should relate to Him.
    This is totally meaningless to me because there are no gods.
    Many thousands of words have been written on the origins of morality and you could find them yourself with any search engine.
    Religion does not have a monopoly on morals there are many non-religious people who have good useful lives and are moral by any definition.
    Am I still going to hell, or will Jesus save me? You seemed to be saying both in an earlier post.

    Peace and love,

    Peter

  32. Coyote:
    We do not have the ability to subscribe anyone to any posts and therefore cannot UNsubscribe you. You must have clicked on a “subscribe” or “follow” button somewhere along the way. We don’t have the ability to do that, nor the desire.

    So you can keep ranting all day long but it will be to no avail as we are powerless to undo what you inadvertently did.

  33. Abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter, I don’t need to spend time with searching the Internet on morality. I want to have an intellectual conversation with you regarding the origin of man and specifically where the understanding of right and wrong come from.

    This is something that you as a professed atheist must deal with otherwise your argument has no authority and is shallow.

    I pray you would consider these fine points.

  34. Peter Cranny says:

    Many thanks for your latest missive.
    The origins of the universe and the origins of life are unknown. What science can tell us is how different species of life arose from a common ancestor, it’s called “The Origin of Species by Natural Selection.” (not “The origin of life” or “the origin of everything”)
    At present, we don’t know how life began and I and most scientists are quite happy with that.

    As for morals, most people are “good” because they consider the consequences of their actions and how they would feel if someone else were to hurt them, steal from them or lie about them.
    On the whole, it’s better to be happy than unhappy, and you can safely assume that most other people will agree.
    This idea, of course, pre-dates Christianity by many thousands of years – once again, no gods required to be good.
    As ever, wishing peace and love,
    Peter

  35. Abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter,

    I understand what morals are…but WHERE do they come from? Where does the knowledge of right and wrong come from? You have not been able to answer that question. If you say it is from man thinking and wanting to treat others as they would want to be treated you are basically confirming Biblical teaching. There is only one answer to the question that is intellectually honest…they come from “a creator”.

    If you start with evolution you can’t get to morality because animals have no morals and no understanding of right and wrong…and as discussed earlier, only the fittest survive this the “altruistic” ones end up as lunch.

    If you start with creation the difference between man and animal’s understanding right and wrong is clear and precise. It is simple reason and logic.

    I’m sure you’ll have a witty response, however it doesn’t change reality. God does exist and He is Holy…infinitely Holy. Due to His holiness you have a sin problem. Your best isn’t good enough and your sin must be accounted for in front of your creator who is holy and perfect. No amount of living good or being a good person will change your condition before God. You can disagree all you want and it won’t change truth. There is a Savior though who did what you can’t and there is a way to be just before God…it requires total humility, absolute submission, and dying to self to accept the Son of God and His sacrifice.

    We will pray for God’s mercy and love to be evident and asounding in your life.

    In the love of our creator,
    -atg

  36. Peter Cranny says:

    So the problem is where do morals come from? I thought I’d answered that one – it’s do as you would be done by. Very simple, no supernatural influence needed. I won’t shoot you because I wouldn’t like it if you shot me.
    You may recall how I got involved in this thread – I came across a page on here which promised to give a link to where common errors had already been answered.
    I asked where is the link which answers the error “there are no gods” there doesn’t seem to be one. I appreciate that this was tantamount to asking “prove that gods exist” but I thought I might get something more than the first reply which was a quote from Psalms, or the other replies which all presuppose that God (ie the Abrahamic God) does exist.
    Gods only exist in the imagination, and not in my imagination.

    Love, love love

    Peter

  37. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I can’t seem to keep these postsout of my in box, so I might as well join in. Here is a question for you; WHAT ARE MORALS? Never mind where they come from. Animals are amoral, and that is very different from being immoral. If they kill and eat anothert animal, they are not being bad, they are surviving. We kill and eat animals, and that is not immoral. The way we treat some animals, well, that can be a different question. Every culture, nearly, explains the unknown as the work of a diety or demon. Belief is not proof that either exist, it is just belief. Believe what you want. I don’t care until you start imposing that belief on me, and restricting me, and denying me my basic human rights. There is too much “us and them” going on. We all would get along better if we just accepted each others differences instead of pointing judgemental fingers or blocking our ears while saying “la la la I can’t hear you.”

  38. Peter Cranny says:

    Well said, Coyote.

    The problem is that people in government hold religious views and want to impose these views on others.
    I do NOT want someone to launch a nuclear attack on Canada because “God told me to do it”

    Government decisions should be based on evidence, not what one person believes.

  39. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter,

    Quoting you from above…”So the problem is where do morals come from? I thought I’d answered that one – it’s do as you would be done by. Very simple, no supernatural influence needed. I won’t shoot you because I wouldn’t like it if you shot me.”

    That is some great Biblical thinking and teaching from Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 10, Romans 13, Galatians 5, James 2…you have the Word of God flowing from you and you don’t even know it. Where does that come from? It comes from your creator. You were created in the image of God and these natural ingrained likenesses to our holy and wonderful creator will come out naturally. The source of the morals is being created in the image of God…not man deciding to be nice to each other. You are still talking behavior and I’m talking about the source of the behavior, there is a big difference with eternal implications.

    Coyote,
    (sorry about the email think…kinda of a pain, I know) Morals are very subjective in this society. I say morality follows the line of God’s commandments laid out in the Old Testament laws and the New Testament’s New Covenant, which is so beautiful. The source of morals matter immensely because the source of the ability to know right and wrong always points very logically to intelligent design and is contrary to evolution if we just think it through honestly. I agree that belief or faith isn’t evidence that God exists. However, we believe because we know God exists. We can only know God exists when He reveals himself to us, otherwise we are blinded to the reality. I was once there and God revealed himself to me when I was in college in my early 20′s. I couldn’t NOT believe in Him at that point…it would be like denying that the wind exists or denying that time exists. I also agree with you regarding forcing one’s opinions on others. That is a very busy 2 way street my friend. Christians are always accused of being the judgmental ones, which they certainly do, but the judgment on Christians is huge, but acceptable. Intolerance is an abomination in this culture, unless it is intolerance towards Christians where it is celebrated.

    -atg

  40. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, first let me apologize for departing the discussion yesterday. We had a rather busy day and I was unable to get back to you. However, Abiding has asked a very important question that you have danced around the answer on. You repeatedly stated that morals simply are us choosing not to do something bad because we don’t want something bad to happen back to us. The problem is how do you define good or bad without an obective standard. In the animal kingdom, we see no evidence of this moral understanding of good and bad. Animals kill each other for various reasons (food, territorial disputes, etc), yet none have been brought to justice for it. Stealing occurs, watch the Nature channel when one animal brings down a prey, but a larger predator comes in and claims it for himself. No arrest occurs. Mating often results in one animal taking away a female from another male. Divorce proceedings are not filed. This happens day in and day out, yet we see no evidence that “lower animals” are developing a sense of morals that state “I won’t do that to him, because I would not like it.” That is because they have no objective understanding of right and wrong. For a person to recognize behavior is bad or harmful, they have to have an outside objective standard to compare against. This is where atheism fails. It cannot explain how we KNOW the difference between right and wrong. If there is no objective standard, then all you can have are preferences.

    This is why I believe you reject the idea of God. If morality is only what we prefer, then lapses in morality, the occasional white lie, looking with lust, getting angry unjustly once in a while, are OK. After all, I might think its bad, by that’s only my opinion, morals are just subjective. But if morals are absolute and objective, if they were creates by Someone greater than ourselves, if they are His standard, then lapses are criminal acts that we will be held accountable to. That’s why you didn’t like hearing what I said about being judged by God. You want morals to be subjective. You don’t want God to have the right to judge you. But the problem is, no matter how much you deny Him, God is there. You will meet Him one day and He will rightly judge those crimes. But Peter, He offers you are pardon through Jesus Christ. To receive this, you Must acknowledge He is Lord, admit that you have sinned, repent and place your faith in the Savior. Without doing that, you stand before Him with only your own actions to be judged. That is wholly insufficient. Yet Christ in His perfection dis what you could not. Trust in Him alone.

    Peter, I have no animosity toward you and I am not out just to prove I’m right and you’re wrong. I genuinely care about you as a human being. I don’t want you to live your life in blissful ignorance only to one daystand before God unprepared. That is why I have taken time to speak with you. I hope you understand that. Thanks for hearing me out and I ask you to really think on these things.

  41. Peter Cranny says:

    Great thinking, yes, but not great Biblical thinking.

    I am very grateful that you wish to include me in Christianity, but the idea of “do as you would be done by” is thousands of years older than Christianity.
    Most societies and almost all religions contain the notion of not harming others because you din’t want to be harmed and many of them date back at least 4000 years.
    So, yet again, no gods required.
    I guess the problem with evolution is that it implies that the Biblical creation story is not literally true.
    No Adam and Eve, no talking snake, no original sin and therefore no need for a saviour.

    It is possible to be “good without God” – just like me.

    Peter

  42. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, you did it again, you danced around the question. The question is how do you DEFINE what is good without an outside, objective standard to compare against. You assume the definition of “good” for yourself without explaining HOW you know what good is.

  43. Peter Cranny says:

    Good is

    Don’t kill or injure anyone
    Don’t steal
    Don’t bear false witness (not quite the same as don’t lie – we all lie, mostly harmlessly, all the time)

    Many ancient societies figured this out long, long ago, including Ancient Egypt, Babylon, China and Asia.

    Some of them attributed it to their version of a god, some didn’t.

  44. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, once more you assume what is good without defining HOW you know it. If you and I have differing views on stealing, who is right?

  45. Peter Cranny says:

    I won’t steal from you (or anyone else) because I would not like it if my stuff got stolen.
    I reached that conclusion all on my own, as have many millions of other people, those of differing faiths and no faith.
    I admire your unwavering faith, but faith still means believing something for which there is no evidence.
    I can’t do that.

  46. Peter,
    I do not want to butt in as my brothers are doing a fine job w/o me, but I do have to ask: you have never told a lie, never cheated on a test, your taxes, never stole anything, even a piece of candy, never lusted over a woman, never hated someone who wronged you, never had road rage, never cursed, used the Lord’s name in vain, never worshipped other gods, never desired what others have…can you honestly answer these questions? I already know of one you are guilty of…

  47. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, you are showing an absolute unwillingness to think your position thru. I did not ask if you are going to steal from me. I asked if you define stealing as bad and I were to define it as good, who is right? Will you do me the courtesy of asking that specific question?

  48. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter,
    I find your answers very curious. Nothing you have stated thus far contradicts with creation…in fact it continues to build on a case that all mankind was formed in the image of God, all have forms of morals due to being created in the likeness of God and all nations and people groups have some form of deity and higher power because they were created by a higher power. You keep mentioning “Christianity” which is fine, but our faith starts at creation and Christianity is a continuation of the God who created the world and all nations and people groups…so although the Son of God was incarnate at 0 A.D., the same God that we worship created the world at the beginning of time as we know it. So so far the “evolution angle” and the “I decide right from wrong because I’m good and capable angle” are both confirming our point that a Creator is the only logical conclusion.

    in the love of our Savior,
    -atg

  49. Peter Cranny says:

    Have I….
    told a lie, daily occurrence
    cheated on a test, never needed to
    cheated your taxes, – never
    never stole anything, even a piece of candy – never
    lusted over a woman, daily occurrence
    hated someone who wronged you, never
    never had road rage, – never (I used to be driving instructor!)
    cursed, often
    used the Lord’s name in vain, often and several other names, Isn’t language wonderful!
    never worshipped other gods, used to be Christian but never any other religions
    desired what others have -frequently, but never led me to steal lie or cheat in order to get it
    can you honestly answer these questions? see above

    Now what?

    Am I still going to Hell?
    Do you think I deserve to?
    How can I avoid this?

    Remember, a threat of a non-existent Hell doesn’t work on me.

  50. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, I am still waiting for you to answer my question. If you and I have diametrically opposed views on a moral issue (ie, you say stealing is bad and I say it is good) whonis right?

  51. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    Nothing is wrong, UNTIL a law says it is wrong. Do any of you find thi to be a true statment? What if you took something (stealing) and didn’t know it. It can happen. Do you see an opinion, view/prospective, exaggeration, and lying as the same thing? They can ALL be untrue, thus a lie in the absolute sence. I have never killed, but I had feelings about a person that hurt me (in a bad way) that I wanted to hurt REAL BAD back.

    It might feel OK to take something, even fun, but when someone takes our stuff, it hurts. Thus societial aggrements come about that say “Don’t take stuff that’s not yours.” If you loved one is killed, it hurts, thus laws against killing come about. When someone lies to you, you feel cheated and may loose faith and trust in that person. As a result, aggrements against lying get accepted by societies. That is enough examples. A god is not required to have honor, loyality, and respect. We are social creatures, so when someone is anti social, dishonorable, and unrespectful, they get banished or shuned. This does not require a belief in a diety, either. Bill Maher said in “Religolus” that religion is selling an invisable product. It’s fine to believe in something or someone, but has it made you a better person? If not, than what good is it?

    A lot of you seem to think that your question is not being answered. There is a lot of dancing going on, and I don’t hear the music. Think outside the box and try to understand what the other is saying. Then we/you might get somewhere. Just a thought.

    I was stressed about getting all these posts in my box, but I’m kind of getting into it now. I do like these “talks” but I don’t like dogma. (It has been used to hurt me.)

  52. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Coyote – Thanks for being willing to engage in this discussion. The reason I have insisted that Peter is dancing around the question is that he kept going back to the idea that morals have always been in society, but was unwilling to address how they got there. You actually answered it. If I understand you correctly, society comes to an agreement based upon it’s emotional response to a certain behavior. I.E, steaing is bad because it hurts. Therefore they come to an agreement to pass a law against it. This is where the rubber meets the road and where I wanted to make my point. If tomorrow, 51% of society agrees that stealing is a virtue despite the “hurt” it causes another, does that mean that stealing is now good?

  53. Peter Cranny says:

    Knowing the difference between right and wrong is a human, innate, evolved ability.

    No god(s) required.

  54. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, that simply is not a logical statement. There is nothing in the animal kingdom that indicates they have an evolved moral code. As I stated before, animals kill for various reasons besides food, they take mates away from each other, they steal food and prey away from each other. There is no indication of a justice system to address these issues. Yet with mankind, we see a universal acceptance and application of a moral law. Throughout the world, murder, rape, lying, stealing, etc. are considered wrong. If this were an evolutionary trait, we would expect to see vastly different moral beliefs, i.e. murder is evil in one society while being lauded as a virtue in another. The reason we do not see this is because the moral law comes from outside ourselves. We all can all agree stealing is wrong not just because it hurts people, but because it is evil. Animals do not declare acts evil or good, they just do what comes instinctually. In order to have an objective moral law we all subscribe to, you must have a moral law Giver. Therefore God is required.

    Without an objective moral law, all we have are preferences. One person says stealing is wrong, one says it is right. In order to hash it out, the majority rule must make a decision. The problem is, if morals are evolving, then one day, the majority can say stealing is right, change the laws, then come and take your stuff away. You can scream it hurts you all day long, but the majority of those with “evolved” morals won’t care because you are an evolutionary hinderance.

    However, if morals are objective and existent outside mankind, then majority rule does not matter. Only the One who wrote the moral law has any say, irregardless of what the majority of society would say. They will one day be called into account for their crime of stealing your stuff. You need God to have morals, otherwise it is all a matter of opinion.

    Truth be told Peter, this train of thought will not matter to you. Ultimately, as I pointed very early on, your presuppose God does not exist. It is not a lack of evidence, it is an unwillingness to allow the evidence the evidence to point to God. Morals MUST come from evolution, otherwise God made them. And if God made them, He will one day call you into account for it. Therefore, your presuppostion dictates what you will believe. Unless you are willing to admit that, you will continue to make shallow, illogical arguments.

  55. Peter Cranny says:

    There is no requirement for morals to come from evolution, or a god, or anything else.
    I suspect this is leading up to “morals come from God or from nowhere – they can’t come from nowhere so they must be from God”

    Sorry, that’s a false dichotomy.
    Did you catch my earlier point about a saviour being redundant?

  56. Peter Cranny says:

    No need to explain.
    My point was that the idea of “God or nothing” is a false dichotomy.

    Morals could have come from alien beings in another galaxy, the way societies and civilisations have formed, a deity (any deity will do – Vishna, Allah, Jove, Yawheh and Minerva are all equally plausible) or from people getting together and deciding which behaviours are not acceptable.

    You may have noticed that I replied to the list of sins that someone posted earlier although this was the first time that sins which are not actually against the law have been introduced.

    Please remember that in my universe, there are no gods, there is no heaven or hell and neither you nor I have a soul.

  57. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I understand where Peter is coming from, as well as the rest of you. I was raised Catholic, went Protestant (Penticostal to Baptist), but now I don’t go much, if at all. Is is possable that you can sent your own beliefs (not deny) aside and try to understand what the other guy is saying. Otheriwise you will just keep going round and round. We of different views really need to come to understand each other. Understanding opens the door to love and acceptance. Ignorance leads to fear and distruction of what is feared. Does it really matter WHERE morals come from? We have them, lets use them. I have some nice friends, some are Christian, others are athiests. We get along great.

    I know some athiests that I would do anything for. Then there are some Christians that I would rather not even enter their homes or speak to them. I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go round.

    I happen to look to Native American mythology and think of the devine as The Great Mystery. My world view is influnced by Native American Spirituality and Christianity. But if it smells like dogma, I try not to step in it.

  58. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Peter, you have just absolutely proven my point! You are so comitted to your presupposition that God does not exist, that you just used space aliens as a possible arguments for morals!! That is not even a rational argument.

    Peter, my friend, please see this for what it is, you do not WANT God to exist. Therefore, you will continue to make claims that makes absolutely no sense. First, you said, multiple times, morals come from evolution. Then you say they are societal. Then you say they just are. You are bouncing all over the map! You are so desperate to not let this point to God you will accept any other possibility. You try to claim you have no presuppositions, but it is as plain as the nose on your face sir that you have a huge one.

    The crazy thing about this is that we have repeatedly asked you to rationally defend you position, but you refuse to. When we pin you down on an issue, you excuse it away and say, “Well, I don’t believe in God, so I don’t accept that.” It took me three times just to get you to answer a simple question on who is right on opposing moral views, and even then it was a shallow answer.

    Peter, I am not trying to insult you, forgive me if it sounds that way. But earlier you accused us of having blind faith in something that can be proven. I believe several sound arguments have been postitioned on our side. However, your repeated response simply can be summed up by, “Nope, you’re wrong!” and nothing else. If there is anyone who is demonstrating blind faith, it is you. Again, this is not an insult, I want you to see the truth here. If you are comitted to your belief, fine, prove it thru logical argumentation. That is what we are trying to do. But don’t insult us with claims of blind faith when you are doing just that. Please.

    As I have said before, I find you to be a polite, intelligent and friendly person. I would love to sit down face to face and have a friendly chat with you. But you are banking eternity on a presuppostion and nothing more. That truly terrifies me for you. If you try to examine things with an open mind as you claimed earlier, then please, consider what has been said.

  59. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Coyote – if religions and beliefs systems like atheism are nothing more than personalized experiences that do little more than make us better people, your point is spot on. However, if in fact there is a God, and there is only one path to eternity with Him, then it is vitally important that we hash this issue out. I am more than willing to listen to what people have to say, as long as the door swings both ways. You claim that we should not make dogmatic statements, but that itself is dogmatic. Your belief is that no one should tell the other they are wrong, but when someone disagrees with that, you tell them they are wrong. That is dogma.

    But you know what, dogma is OK! And it is OK to determine whose dogma is correct, because all beliefs systems are inherently exclusive. There are no totally inclusive systems, because at some point two beliefs are going to conflict enough to cause an issue. The answer is not to erase all the lines, but figure out which one is right! Because has eternal consequences.

  60. abidingthroughgrace says:

    Peter & Coyote,

    Do either of you believe in Absolute Truth? Or are you both just Relativists?

  61. Peter, I notice that you have contradicted yourself more than once. For example, you state that “There is no requirement for morals to come from evolution, or a god, or anything else.”

    Yet, two comments previously you state, “Knowing the difference between right and wrong is a human, innate, evolved ability.”

    So, we have a problem. The difference between right and wrong is a moral issue. You claim there is no god, but believe in evolution. You are irrational at best, because the very foundation upon which you stand (namely evolution) defies the position to which you say you adhere.

    If morality is an evolution, you cannot limit the work of evolution just to what you like or what you would like evolution to explain. For instance, you cannot say that evolution produces morality without producing the emotions that must have caused those morals to evolve. Even Coyote states this belief in his attempt to tie morality’s beginning to evolution because “somebody is hurt, therefore, society shuns anti-social, dishonorable, and disrespectful behavior.”

    As an example, it has been proven that the line of primates (of which humans are supposed to be a sub-species) have similar emotions. Monkeys, gorillas, and orangutans respond to stimulii that can produce forms of happiness, anger, discontent, etc. However, no group of monkeys, gorillas, or orangutans have ever evolved a system of morals that go along with those emotions. They can be anti-social, dishonorable, and disrespectful to each other, but it has never once produced a law that says, “Thou shalt not kill or commit adultery.”

    So, to believe that evolution caused a difference in humans, you have to be able to isolate the effect from the cause. Either morals come from emotions, or emotions about what is right and wrong are brought about because we understand the morals behind what makes us happy, anger, discontent, etc.

    Morality is a black and white issue. There is no in-between. If is merely a matter of evolution, then why have our emotions not evolved to the point where our morality has changed to the point where we no longer need the laws that emotions supposedly are the precursor to?

    The Desert Pastor

  62. Peter,
    you said, “It is possible to be “good without God” – just like me.”, which is why I asked you a series of questions. You answered—-
    “told a lie, daily occurrence”
    “lusted over a woman, daily occurrence”
    “cursed, often”
    “used the Lord’s name in vain, often and several other names, Isn’t language wonderful!”
    “never worshipped other gods, used to be Christian but never any other religions”
    “desired what others have -frequently, but never led me to steal lie or cheat in order to get it”

    So, you claim to be a good person, yet you lie, which can hurt others deeply. You lust over women, which could be another man’s wife. This is a bit like stealing, is it not? You desire to have someone in a sexual way that does not belong to you in the covenant of marriage. Lusting can be very hurtful to others.
    You brag about using profanity, as well as the Lord’s name in vain. If a small child were to hear your foul language and pick up on it and repeat it, would you still be so proud?
    You claim you used to be Christian, which is a lie. If you were truly born from above by the supernatural power of God, you would STILL be a Christian. You dabbled in a form of religion, then you moved on; this dead religion you briefly followed had a god, or higher power, or form of deity, but it was not the God of the Bible. If Almighty God had re-birthed you, you’d be a true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, not a wannabe.
    You desire to have what others have, being jealous and wanting what you have not worked for…this is good?!?

    Just what is your definition of being a ‘good person’ Peter? All that you have confessed doing is indeed hurtful and could have a serious affect on others. It would seem your definition of good is a strange definition.

    Perhaps this will clear things up, here is the definition of ‘good’…
    ‘having the appropriate qualities to be something or to fit a purpose, of a high quality or standard, either on an absolute scale or in relation to another or others, morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious’.
    It would appear that a good person strives for moral excellence and high standards, as well as striving for virtue. Certainly a lusting, lying, foul mouthed jealous bigot would not meet any of those standards, thus such a person is not good at all.

    The human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, causing one to think more highly of him/herself that one should. How tragic!

  63. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I would like to answer the following question that was asked, “Do either of you believe in Absolute Truth? Or are you both just Relativists?” What is true, is true. Everything else, including preseption and opinion, is ones personal truth, and thus not absolute. An example: color is what it is, but for me (having color preception deficency (CPD) commonly known as “being color blind”) My truth about what color things are is different than yours. For all we know, you may not see the “true” color either. This does not deminish the “truth” about the true state of the color, but we each could be convinced that our preception IS the whole truth. This applys to religion/beliefs as well. So, while there are things that are ture for all people, all times, and all places, everything else is subjective, and thus, relitive. It comes to what you KNOW, and not geting it mixed up with what you BELIEVE. The longer I live, the less I realize I know. So, I would say that truth is mostly relitive. Even a lie is the truth, if you are able to hear the truth in it by listening to the persons heart and not just going by the meaning of the words they use.

    The other thing that I see is the reason for any of this, andthat is the “eternal consequences” that was mentioned above. You people are passionate about your faith/belief and you don’t want others to suffer those “eternal consequence(s)”. I understand that. I was raised a Catholic, then, after I left home, went too Pentocostal churches and then to Baptist or non-denominational churches. I could tell more of the story, but now is not the time for that. But I will say that I don’t go to church much, if at all, any more. (I quit going when I got forced out of a church that I liked attending) The athiests I have met make more sense and are more compasionate then some of the christians that I used to know. There is so much focus on the “eternal consequences” that there is no time to work with the “now”. But, if God’s love is truly unconditional, then I am IN, for I have been “born again”. However, I don’t associate much with christians or practice their ways.

    There are other things that I would like to get into, but I don’t want to go down any bunny trails now.

  64. @Peter – You want a straight answer, yet refuse to give straight answers to the questions asked of you. Maybe it is because you really struggle with the reality that you do not have all the answers to the questions of life. You would like to believe that you are right and everyone that believes in a God is merely delusional, but you do not know even a fraction of 1% of all the knowledge there is to know in the world. You do not want to admit, nor wish to face the consequences of your errors, that you may be wrong. Consequently, if you are wrong, then there must be a price to pay for arrogance against the holy, righteous, just and loving God who exists in more than the 99% you do not know.

    You ask for a straight answer to a subject you do not believe in, namely, hell. You want to know if you are going there. What difference would it really make if we said yes or if we said no, for no matter what our answer you will once again throw out an illogical presupposition judging us by your own judgmental standards. You want like to be good and to work for you within your own set parameters because the alternative is too awful to consider. What if you are wrong? Are you willing to accept the consequences of being wrong? If you do not believe you are wrong and you are not willing to accept the consequences, then you hold to absolute truth. That is, you hold to the truth you have created to be right for you.

    For the record though, if you are still reading, it is not our opinions that matter but the unassailable Word of God. The Bible reveals to us through the Holy Spirit that truth is not what we want to make of it, but is based on God for He alone is all truth. Jesus Christ said of Himself in John 14, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” This means that we must consider only one of two options. Either Jesus Christ was Who He said He was, or He was a liar. He cannot be both. He cannot just be a good man, or a moral man, or a good prophet, or a wonderful rabbi. Either He is God Who came in the flesh, walked the dusty roads of Israel, went to the cross of Calvary and there died for the sins of all who come to Him in faith and repent of their sins – OR, He was a mere man who was a liar, a thief, and the lowest of all criminals for inducing people to put their trust in someone or something that does not actually exist. If the latter is true, then there is no hope for the past, for the present, and certainly none for the future. There is no more reason to live looking for a better life or even in looking to others when life deals us with a bad hand. All is futile. All is vanity of vanities. King Solomon of Israel could only truly be right about one thing in Ecclesiastes if the latter is true – there is a time to die!

    However, if the former is true, then we have a responsibility as humans to seek after God, to plead with Him for mercy while He may be found. We must recognize that there is a purpose outside of ourselves and this gives us hope. We do not have to wonder whether those we face on the street, or at work, or at college, or in our homes have evolved a different set of moral standards or not. We can learn to trust in the One who created all things by the simple power of His spoken word, and because He created it all, it gives us the reassurance over and over that He alone can keep what He chose to create. Nothing is by chance.

    So, the final answer is this – Will you go to hell? The Bible says that those who by their very nature reject God and close their eyes in death apart from faith in Jesus Christ must pay the price for their own sins. The law of double jeopardy does not permit two punishments to take place for the same crime. So, either Christ paid your sin on the cross of Calvary, or you will pay for your sins. The sins that you have blatantly committed against God and against others. The penalty for the wages of sin is death and death for all unbelievers is the door that leads to eternal punishment. We do not say these things out of arrogance, but out of love and concern for those who do not know Christ. Why should we wish to live unto ourselves and not be willing to share the glory of a Saviour Who loved us and gave Himself for us. This is not something to keep to ourselves but to rejoice and share with the world.

    The Desert Pastor

  65. Peter Cranny says:

    I certainly do not have all of the answers and neither do I claim to.

    Instead of constantly talking about me and what I think, I would find it more helpful if someone would address my original question to you:

    Where is the answer to

    Error: there are no gods
    Answer: ??????

    Maybe you could, in passing, address some other points I’ve raised, viz,

    Am I going to Hell?
    Do you, personally, think that I deserve this?
    Do you think that evolution renders a saviour unnecessary?

    I am not trying to prove anything or to convert anyone from one flavour of religion to another or none.

    As ever,
    wishing peace and love
    Peter

  66. Peter, we have already attempted to address your questions, but you are either not reading what we have written or choosing to ignore what we have written. My last comment made the question on hell very clear.

    1. Are you going to hell? Yes, if your faith is not placed in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
    2. Do we personally think you deserve this? From a human standpoint, we do not know you personally. We have never met you and quite probably never will. But that is the wrong question to ask. The question is – does God personally think you deserve this? The answer is a universe-shattering YES! You have rejected the truth He has made available to you; therefore, because He is a righteous and a just God, you must pay the price if you die in your sins.
    3. Does evolution render a saviour unnecessary? Yes, for if we merely evolved into what we are today, then we will continue to evolve to the point where we will be better and better. We do not need a Saviour if we can reach the ultimate goal of sinless perfection by ourselves. Evolution demeans everything God stands for. The two are totally and completely incompatible.

    In our answers, we are talking about you or about what you think, for we do not know what you think. We are seeking to address the questions of life and you continue to choose to ignore them. In the end, while we are willing to speak with anybody who desires to know the truth, we have no desire to continue addressing questions and answers to those who will not respond.

    Finally, your question to which you demand an answer:

    Error: there are no gods
    Answer: ??????

    This has been answered succinctly, but you do not like the answers. You refuse to answer the questions we in turn have provided to you. My question must therefore be: why are you here? Why do you remain at DefCon if you only accept the answers you like or that fits your belief system?

    The erroneous statement that there is no god cannot be addressed adequately to human wisdom or understanding. The things of God are foolishness to those who do not believe. Unless you can see God with your eyes, hear Him audibly with your ears, touch Him physically with your hands, you think you cannot believe in the existence of such a deity. It is no different than when Jesus was on the earth. The people demanded miracles in order to believe. He produced the miracles and they still did not believe because of the hardness of their hearts. The issue will never be what does God have to reveal in order to prove that He exists. The issue is what will you do with the truths He has already revealed about Himself and that is engraved on the hearts of every human being who has ever lived?

    TDP

  67. Peter Cranny says:

    Thank you once again for your reply.

    I will now consider this correspondence closed.
    As you must have realised your answers and those of your colleagues mean absolutely nothing to me because I am an atheist.
    This simply means that I do not believe that any gods exist.
    I do not hate any gods or any people, and I am genuinely trying to get some new information.

    Ah well, back to Ezekiel!

  68. Peter, all we can say is first, thank you for stopping by. We recognize the position you claim to hold to. All the answers in the world will never satisfy you unless they line up with your own preconceived notions. I think it is sad that your next the last statement is so disingenuous. You said, “I do not hate any gods or any people, and I am genuinely trying to get some new information.”

    This is not true because you refuse truth. You refuse to answer the questions we have posed to you to gain a further understanding of your own position. And ultimately, you do hate a God that is the only possible answer to absolute truth. You hate that truth must proceed from God, and that you cannot force Him or others to accept what you would like to make Him into. Your responses show you do not really want new information for if you did, you would have answered our questions.

    If you ever wish to come back and speak with us again, you are welcome to do so. In the meantime, as with all who stop by, our prayers will continue to be that God will enlighten the heart of each individual we have the privilege of speaking to, even those like yourself who do not believe in the God Who holds all things in control by the power of His Word.

    The Desert Pastor

  69. Coyote, thank you also for stopping by. I hope that you are truly thinking about the answers provided on this blogpost. Yes, God’s love is truly unconditional, but it is not a license to sin or to live in anyway which pleases us. For a person to truly be “born again” is to be born of the Holy Spirit of God. 2 Cor. 5:17 says that if we are a new creation in Christ, then all the old things will have passed away and that our lives will become new. This means we are no longer living for ourselves, but for the Christ Who died for us.

    When we are a true believer in Christ, then we cannot help but find other true believers to fellowship with. We will not be bothered about practicing the ways of tradition, but will lovingly desire to practice the ways of God. I can understand the frustration that people have in dealing with hypocrisy in the church, but this does not preclude us from living in a way that reflects Jesus Christ.

    There is a saying, “He is so heavenly minded that is of no earthly good.” The truth is that ONLY when a person is heavenly minded will they then be of any earthly good. Truth, by the way, cannot be relative. Truth is based on God because God is truth. Therefore, all truth is absolute. You cannot have varying degrees of truth. A half-truth is still a whole lie.

    Feel free to ask any more questions you may have. We welcome the opportunity to try and address the truth with those who are seeking, and we do so from the Word of God.

    TDP

  70. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I will give your comment some thought and reply soon. But for the mean time, I have a couple questions. What IS the Word of God? Is truth ONLY found in the W of G? Can truth be found anywhere else? Like I stated earlier, truth is truth, but our preception or our opinion is not always truth and therefor relative.

    Our opinion does not change what IS, but it can keep us from adjusting our thinking to accept what IS. This applys to you as well as me. Yet because you/christians believe that you/they HAVE the truth in the form of the Word of God, you/they can not deveate, for to do so would be to move into error. I say this, not to be contentious, but to get your responce/thoughts about it.

    Sincerly. Coyote

  71. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Coyote – you rightly state that Chrisitans will not depart the Word of God to seek “truth” elsewhere. In the Gospel of John, we read, “But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68 NKJV). Peter rightly recognized the truth comes only from the Word of God. Does that mean that that only the Bible contains truth and everything else is a lie. Of course not. When reading science text books (I.e. physics, chemistry, etc) we can learn valuable truths about how the universe works. History books give us valuable truth abouth the past. The Bible does not prevent us at looking at factual sources of information for learning about the world around us. However, when learning of “spiritual truths”, God’s word is the sole source of truth. If someone claims to have faith in God, yet they believe they can seek “truth” in other spiritual tomes, then they are denying God has revealed Himself in His written word. They are denying the sufficiency of the Bible and are claiming that other texts, despite their conflicting views of who God is, can contribute to our knowledge of Him.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And 2 Peter 2:20-21 says, “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

    God Himself inspired and directed His word. For the Christian, God’s word is the only Truth and all other truth claims must be compared against it. If a claim does not fall in alignment with the Bible, it cannot be true for it conflicts directly with what God has said.

  72. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    Interesting comment. I expected nothing less. However, I think that some of the bible is mythology; Adam and Eve, Moses and the plagues, Sampson… I don’t think is is factual history, but story to express a point or something. There are many good teachings in the bible, but I don’t exalt it to the point of bibleolitry (idolizing the bible). I will not dismiss it either, for it is a wonderful book. I just don’t believe about it the way you do. Or maybe I should say that I don’t accept the teachings that have been used to condemn and distroy people such as people of color, women, gays; and for promoting slavery, and genocide, and in times past – witch burning. How can such a “good book” be used to cause such harm? When I started learning about these things, I moved away from my christian fundamantelist views. That’s where I am now, just to give you insight into who I am.

  73. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Interesting, so truth is determined by you rather than by God? You can decide what is historical and what is it, even though the authors where there and you were not? And because you haven’t liked how some people have applied it (even if it they may have wrongly applied it), you can declare it is not true?

  74. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I accept or reject (just as you might) any idea that I hear or read. To say ” so truth is determined by you rather than by God” is to misconstrew my words. And so is “because you haven’t liked how some people have applied it….you can declare it is not true?” Just because it is IN THE BIBLE dosen’t mean that it is true or that I have to believe it. Not believeing something is very different from saying that it is NOT true, I just don’t believe that it IS true. If you believe everything from Gen to Rev is the absolute truth and historical, fine. I don’t. That is my truth. This is not a judgment of your position, it is a declaration of mine. That’s all I’m saying. It fels like you are not hearing me, but rehashing my words into something else. I stated earlier that it is impossable to engage in conversation with a biblical literalist, because all you get is pronouncements. I feel like I understand where you are coming from, do you understand where I am coming from? I’m not being contentious, I want to have better understanding of our diffrences.

    May it go well with you. Coyote

  75. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Coyote – please know that I am not attempting to misconstrue your statements, rather I am attempting to point out a flaw in your thinking. I actually appreciate your forthrightness in your presentation. It is rather refreshing when compared to Peter’s, which was liking trying to nail jello to the wall. As I said, there is a flaw in your thinking. You stated that there is such a thing as absolute truth, but you expressed doubt as to being able to know it. When I pointed out that the Bible declares certain truth claims from which were can deduce it is claiming to be the source of absolute truth, because it is God’s Word, you indicated you reject the Bible as a authoritative, inspired, sufficient document, as well as its historicity. Further you justified this by indicating that the behavior of some Christians, who claim the Bible motivated their actions, were doing wrong/evil things.

    My point is that you, like Peter, have a presupposition that dictates what you believe. Because you think absolute truth is unknowable, you allow yourself the comfort of thinking you can interpret the Bible as a collection of stories, rather than historical documentation. This allows you to pick and choose what you accept or reject. Yet, the Bible declares itself to be authoritative, inspired and sufficient. You have to deal with that. To simply say, that’s true for you, but not for me is not intellectually honest.

  76. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    It is clear that we have very different views on the bible. You exalt it, I question its validity in some aspects of history and reality. A stroy can express an absolute truth, and not be an historical tale, such as Esops (spelling??) Phables. The bible has stories about a talking snake and a donkey. What is the difference from the phables? There are at least 16 “saviour” figures from mythology that have the same characteristics as Jesus, including Horos, Mythra, and Herculies. Many of the bible tales have no other sorces from history to confirn them. There are multiple Moses characters from these other mythologys as well and the name is almost spelled the same. So as you stated, it does allow me to pick and choose what I accept and reject. You do the same thing. But you accept the “whole councel of god” and reject alternative understandings that are not literal and historical. I have spent much of my life in church and sunday school. I know the bible. I used to be right there with you saying amen to what you preach, but not any more. The bible has been turned against me and used to condemn me. Its validity is in question. Proof is needed. I changed my views to what they are and they are still changing. It seems that you are stead fast in you view. There we have it, an unstoppable force has met an unmovable object. Now what?

    Be at peace on your journey. Coyote

  77. GoForthAndPreach says:

    Coyote, you are still looking at this with your presupposition that truth is not knowable, thus you can be comfortable with rejecting the specific truth claims of scripture. You add this incident in which you say you were condemned as support for your belief. In other words, you choose your personal experience over the claims of scripture. This allows you to ignore the Bible’s claims of historicity, genealogy, and even scientific statements and relegate them to fables. The problem is Aesop’s Fables clearly indicate they are fictional lessons, where scripture indicates they are literal events. As I said before, the Bible makes claims that in and of itself that it is literal and what events it describes are true.

    Incidentally, a God who can create the Universe in 6 literal 24 hour days and can become incarnate as fully God and fully Man in Jesus Christ, has no problem making a donkey talk. And the serpent being indwelt by Satan for the purpose of tempting Adam and Eve is no surprise when we see that demons often possessed people and animals in scripture (consider Jesus casting the demon Legion from a man into a herd of swine). These supposed objections are not actually problematic when you understand scripture expects to be read and understood literally. So when I say that it does not allow you to, I am saying that the authors expected that when they wrote the various books, they expected that the readers would read it literally. There is no indication within scripture, whatsoever, they expected it to be read as a fable.

    Coyote, please understand, the reason you are comfortable with picking and choosing is that you now can reject those parts of scripture that make you uncomfortable. Rather than acknowledging that you are a sinner without any hope of saving yourself, thus you need Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you can ignore those passages and relegate them to myth/fable. And since you presuppose truth is relative based upon your perceptions, you can create a buffet line style of religions, picking and choosing that which makes you “feel” the most satisfied. In the end, you become the final arbiter of truth, creating a mish mash new system that satisfies you.

  78. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    Here is a questiojn for you, ‘Is it required to believe the bible literaly to be saved?’ The literal meaning of things and the intended meaning of things can be different, very different. I did become ‘born again’ when I was 21. I walked in it, by faith, by works, with experience, with my life. However, I am not stagnate. I grew and changed in many ways. My understanding of ‘what is’ grew and changed as well. I came to see parts of the bible as literary ways to express truths and stories, not literaly, but mytholologicaly. Josh McDowel wrote a book EVIDENCE DEMANDS A VERDICT, and there is evidence that suggests a history/world view that is different fron a literal meaning of the bible. I used to believe just like you, but I don’t an more. So, in your understanding, have I lost my salvation? Would that make Gods love conditional? (believe or burn in hell) I’m being a little extreme to make a point. Plus, there are hundreds, even thousands, of manifestations of Christianity. They are very different, from high orthodox to back woods snake hanelers; who’s right, who’s wrong? People believe stuff because they thing that is the right way, otherwise they would change their mind, such as I did. You point to the literal bible to support your belief. I think there are things in the bible that are questionable at best. What was the intent of the writer? Who wrote it? How was the meaning changed as it goes from translation to translation? I have other questions, but that is enough for now. I have interest in what you have to say, though you seem to be holding fast.

  79. Coyote, I hate to answer a question with a question, but this a very valid position which must be considered. You ask where it is required to believe the Bible literally to be saved? The question is this – “Why would you WANT to believe in a Bible that is not literal?” If it not literal, consider the ramifications.

    First, the Bible must be able to provide within its context what is literal and what is not. Is the literalness of the Bible left up to the standards of those who wish to pick and choose the parts they like and reject as theory, allegory, etc. the parts they do not like?

    Second, the Bible is either the Word of God or it is not. If it is not, then how do we learn about God? What provides us with the answers to understanding morality and what God demands in order to come to Himself?

    Third, if the Bible is not God’s revelation of Himself, then God is a liar. He cannot be trusted and the Saviour is no real Saviour. If God was not able to reveal Himself and preserve that Word for humanity, then God is not as powerful as His Word proclaims. This results in the only possible logical conclusion that some mere human wrote about one of his own gods and left the results of this super-deity for mankind to decipher as real or not.

    You state that you were “born again” at the age of 21, yet live today with the rejection of all that God states is His own. You reject His Word as non-literal which requires you to actually believe that it is a lie. If you were “born again”, what part of the Bible is literal enough for you to believe? In other words, are you really willing to trust your eternity in a God that hates you and would give a false word about Himself in order for gullible fools to gain hope of fellowship with deity? Or, are you willing to live by the faith that comes only from God? It is a faith that says if God is truly God and there is no other, then we must by faith believe that He is able to make a way possible for salvation. There is a way for us to escape from the wrath of God, but not if we cannot take the Bible literally.

    You also stated that you have grown and changed your ways as has your understanding. In what were you actually trusting, Coyote? If you were a true believer, then the Holy Spirit would reside in you and would reveal the truth of His infallible, inerrant Word to your heart. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states that when a person becomes a new believer, they are a new creation. Our salvation cannot be earned for it is a gift from God. Therefore, as it comes solely from God, then it cannot be made secure by anybody but the God Who provides the salvation.

    To conclude, it is not feasible to believe that every facet of those who claim to be Christians is truth. Truth is absolute if it comes from God. Again, as I stated previously, if truth is not absolute, then we cannot possibly believe in a God that is absolute. It matters not what we think is the right way, but it matters what the Bible says is the right way. If every way is “right” in its own eyes, then we have absolutely NO HOPE.

    Thanks for stopping by. Please continue to ask questions.

    TDP

  80. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    You asked “Why would you WANT to believe in a Bible that is not literal?” Well, I can accept its teachings, what it is expressing, without believing it is actual history. A truth can be expressed with a fable, or parrable as Jesus did. Those stories didn’t have to be literal or true to express a moral or truth.
    If you are married, do you see your wife (I am assumung you are a man) as property? The (so called) 10 Commandments view women as property. What about selling one’s daughter into slavery, owning slaves, genocide, stoning rebelious children, killing someone for working on the sabath, etc.? If you view the bible as literal, then why don’t you practice these things? Christians take parts literaly – condemning gays fron Lev. – but other laws from Lev are no longer in affect. You can’t have it both ways. Christians tend to pick and chose what they take as literal and say the parts that concern them as figuritive or no longer in affect. The bible also speaks of the sun going around the earth and that it is flat and held up by pillars. Then there is the story of the sun stopping in the sky and moving back. Physics and the movement of the entire univers is in contention of this story. The sun does not move through the sky, the earth turns. There are other stories, but I think this is enough to express why I don’t believe in a literal bible. I would have to turn off my brain, logic, and reason. I would have to ignore much, and thus, become ignorant. I am not questioning you inteligence, you seem to be educated. I can’t believe the way you do. I just can’t.
    I have heard people like James Dobson lamenting that children from christian homes go off to collage and come back athiests. Why? Because they are exposed to thinking and reason and logic for the first time in their lives. Some people seem to thing or act like there are the 11th and 12th commandments; “Thou shalt not think.” and “Thou shalt not question anything.” Faith in the invisiable and these are contrary. So it seems to me. I just wanted to give you some insight into why I feel like I do and why I can’t embrace your literal view.

    Hope you had a good Thanksgiving Day. I did. May your path be peaceful and blessed as you walk out your faith. Mine is.

  81. Coyote, yes, my wife and I did have a good Thanksgiving Day. Hope you had a good day as well.

    Maybe you could tell me what part of the history parts you do not like. That normally tells a lot about what a person is thinking. In other words, is the “stories” of judgment from a holy, righteous God that do object to as being literal? Or, is it maybe that you object to a God you cannot control and that does not take your thoughts into account as He does control the universe He created? Or, maybe it could be that you object to the “stories” because they show the truth of God’s Word and that is that man is NOT in control no matter how hard he tries?

    I would like to try to clear up a few things that you have a mistaken belief about. First, the moral law as given by God and validated by the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ refer to the Decalogue or Ten Commandments. There is nothing in the Decalogue that views a wife as mere property. Second, the full law (613 commands) given to Israel were not binding on the nations around Israel. The Church today is NOT Old Testament Israel, but we are two separate and distinct entities.

    To summarize, the full law given to Israel also presents ceremonial and sacrificial laws that while very much literal, in no way apply to us today. We can eat a bologna sandwich or a plateful of pork chops, if we so desired and would not be punished by God. However, the law that Jesus Christ pointed to revealed two main aspects that ALL were to obey, 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and the 2) love your neighbor as yourself. There is no #3) Love yourself. This is automatically assumed that we do this very well because of our pride and our depraved hearts.

    Nothing in Scripture commands true believers to sell a daughter into slavery, or to own slaves, or to commit genocide, or to stone rebellious children, or even to stone somebody for working on the Sabbath. Again, these were commands given to the nation of Israel to obey, and they were given to them under a theocracy (rule by God). In fact, your statement of condemning “gays” does not even line up with Scripture. We, as true believers, are given the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. This means that while we can hate their sin and their abominable practices, we are still commanded to show them the love of Christ and pray that God will do a wonderful work of grace and save them. It is the lifestyles that are condemned by Scripture. We do not have the ability or right to cast a final judgment on anybody for that will only be done by God at the final judgment when they stand before Him.

    I understand why you would question what you read, but I also understand that it is by faith we believe the worlds were framed by God. It is by faith that we believe there really is a God. It is by faith we truly understand that the very and ONLY begotten Son of God took upon human flesh, actually came into this world, and did die on the cross of Calvary so that the wrath of God could be assuaged. We were not there and cannot independently verify the events of that day, so we MUST believe it by faith.

    In conclusion for the time being, you mention you cannot believe the “story” about the sun stopping in the sky. This defies logic and physics. This would require you to turn off your brain, logic and reason in order to believe such a statement. So, here is the question – do you ever watch the weather report? It is an incredible show. Every night the weatherman defies logic and physics. His report requires us to turn off our brain, logic and reason. The reason is simple – the weatherman’s report includes the time of SUNSET and SUNRISE – every day! Too bad they are not educated and too bad we are all just gullible enough to believe that the sun SETS or the sun RISES! (Just a little tongue-in-cheek humor for you this morning, but I hope you get my point!)

    By the way, maybe the real reason children come home atheists is because people like James Dobson make little of sin. They insist on using the world’s viewpoint and the world’s philosophies to answer life’s questions, then when the children come back to their “Christian” home, the parents struggle and whinge about how their kids “left” the faith. Is it not possible that the children never really saw the truth of God revealed in the home, in the parents, or even sadly in their church??

    TDP

  82. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    That is quite a thought out responce. I was ( and still can ) look up the verses to go along with all my claims. but as i was looking around on facebook to check out a site I am interested in I “just happened” to click on a site that took me to this place. http://www.truththeory.org/the-naked-truth/ It is an online video that is about two hours long. It address my concerns about the bible. Mainly, that the bible is nothing more than astrotheology. The Son is actually the SUN, and its relationship with the zodiac. It is a story that has been repeated throughout history tols and retold. Check it out. It is part of the reasonwhy I can’t believe in the literal view of the bible any more. It won’t hurt you to understand how th”other side” thinks. I have met people who are afraid to listen to apposing points of view. I think that is intentional ignorance. Mind you, I am not thinking of you as ingnorant. You seem to be a very well studied person. You are articulate and pose a good argument. The video will help you undestand why I have mved away from adhearints to your understanding and view to where I am today.

    You said, “However, the law that Jesus Christ pointed to revealed two main aspects that ALL were to obey, 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and the 2) love your neighbor as yourself. There is no #3) Love yourself. This is automatically assumed that we do this very well because of our pride and our depraved hearts.” It is important to hav love for the spiritual in all its greatness. It is also important to love our neighbor AS WE LOVE OURSELVES. If I don’t love myself, them how am I supposed to love my neighbor. Love flows out, like water, where it is soaked in and then flows out to refresh again. The energy of love is in its flowing out, thus it is objective. The loved one is subjective to it. Then that person objectifys it and flows it out again, objectivly.

    This is a good conversation. Many times I have tried to engage in conversation with christians on touchy subjects, and they ‘close their bible and walk away’ so to speak. Maybe they are uninformed or are afraid to take a risk. It’s like taking ones ball and going home when they get mad.
    Thanks a bunch. Coyote
    p.s. that is my real name in case you were wondering, says so on my drivers licence and passport. :)

  83. Coyote, I will take a look at the site you mention. Very interesting name and would guess that “3 Feathers” might have something to do with your name as well, but I could be wrong!

    We are enjoying the conversation and hope to be able to continue it. Would be interested to hear your answers to some of the questions we have posed to you instead of just getting a website to visit.

    I am afraid that you have missed the point of the words of Jesus Christ. He does NOT tell us to love ourselves so that we can then love our neighbor. He tells us to love our neighbor as we ALREADY love ourselves. Pride is no longer a major factor in the lives of humanity today. For centuries, pride was a huge issue. However, we have “evolved” to such a state that we now have a huge problem with self-esteem. We do not love ourselves enough; therefore, we cannot possibly love others or love God until we have learned to adequately love ourselves. Sorry, but this is nothing but new age drivel and is what most so-called Christian psychology is based upon such as the teachings of James Dobson.

    True love cannot be found within ourselves. Our depraved sinful natures have no desire to love others. We are always first on the runway to the exclusion of others. Case in point – how many people check on the well being of their entire families and their neighbors before they brush their own teeth in the morning, take a drink of water, eat a bite of breakfast, and get dressed before heading off to try and acquire more of the American dream? So, when we are learning to love others in the way that we are willing to take care of ourselves, we will only then begin to understand what it meant to be a Good Samaritan in the parable told by Jesus.

    Look forward to hearing back from you.

    TDP

  84. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I will get back to you with answers to your questions and comments. I will be moving to another part of the state where I am staying, so I will be busy for a couple days. When I get setteled I will respond.
    See you then.

  85. coyote 3 feathers Herron says:

    I guess I’m glad I didn’t right this off like I intended at the start. I have been hurt by dogmatic fundamentalism and didn’t want to go through that again. I can be hard to talk to such people about sensitive topics, especially concerning the validity of the bible. A few years ago I got a book by Sam Harris, “A Letter To A Christian Nation” and also “The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. They seemed to make a lot of sense. I also listened to some youtube videos. from atheists and the bible. If I ever brought these thoughts up with Christians, they immediately wrote them off, stating their faith and would not even listen to the thought. No conversation, just pronouncements. I was looking for answers as well as more questions. I think Christians as a whole do not know or understand atheists or agnostics. They put up a wall and don’t open the window. Never mind looking for a door. (Those atheists, they’re the evil unbelieving enemy of God, and….) This is the feeling that I sense from evangelicals that call themselves christian. If they want to reach the world, they need to get to know these people and find out why they are they way they are, why they don’t believe. I never used to hang around with un-churched people. I only “fellowshiped” with Christians. Then a few years ago I participated in a year long wilderness school. A friend at church said I shouldn’t go because I wouldn’t be able to go to church, and at the place/school there would be nothing by humanists. I got to know these people and found that they were more sincear than many of the christians that I had know for years, they became my friends to this day. I also became interested in Native American spirituality. There was no dogma. It was real and I felt connected more to the Creator than I had in church. It was life changing. Through all this I started seeing the bible in a different light. I started asking “What does it MEAN?” vs. “What do the words say?” There is a big difference in outcome. There is something more real and no dogma is included.

    Now to answer some of the questions/comments that were made. The comment about the 10 Commandments; “women are property” It says in ex 20 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Here it is, the wife in a list of possesions equated with things/property.

    The Two Greatest commandments. Love God…, and love yor neighbor AS YOURSELF. If I can’t love myself, how can I love someone else? If I don’t take care of myself, how can I take care of someone else? It is not prideful to eat properly, wash, seek to stay healthy and so on. It can and does happen with people and has nothing to do with pride/ego. I spent the majority of my adult life hating and loathing myself, I was not a nice person to be around. But when i came to accept me and love me, my whole attitude changed and I also became more loving towards other people, simply because I learned to love me and apply that to others.

    Ex 21:7-11 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” This passage addreses selling a daughter as a slave. There are many passages that regulate the sale and treatment of slaves in the OT and NT.

    Deut 21 18 If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.”

    I understand the “sun rise, sun set” thing. It comes from a prospective/point of view. In the greater wrelm, we know that the earth is orbiting the sun. But I don’t think this has anything to do with the sun stopping in the sky, or moving backwords as it says in another passage of the OT. I just don’t believe either story to be a historical event, just a myth.

    I don’t want this post to get too long, so I will say just a little bit more. It comes down to Christians saying that the bible is th e”whole councel of God.” Then they go about saying that this or that part is not for us, it was for the Israelites, and such. It seems like they are picking and choosing verses that they don’t like or think don’t apply to this “dispencation of grace.” Then when un-believers come along, it seems to them that the christians have a double standard. They pick and choose verses out of the OT to condemn some peole (gay people in particular), while overlooking or dismissing other verses (about eating unclean fish – shrimp and catfish) that seem equally valid. If there are any other things that you think I should comment on, just let me know. These things can be reconsiled, so they have to be addressed so that unbelievers can understand and not dismiss the whole thing. I am in that in between place. I love it, and I am willing to leave it as well.

  86. Scott says:

    There is a paper back easy read authored by a man named David A. Reed entitled Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse”. A very insightful book that gives a step by step easy to understand outline of what JW’s believe and how to relate to them (even with there own slanted New World Translation) the message Jesus is trying to send them. David states near the end of the reading that JW’s are lost souls and when we posses the Truth, we have an obligation to them as well as people who are simply unbelievers! David left the JW organization after a crisis of belief led him to the true Jesus of the scripture. Praise, God. Read this book even if only for your own understanding of the JW’s institutionalization of peoples (possibly your friends) minds. Thnx!

  87. Hillbilly says:

    I am amazed at how much energy ppl can expend, and how passionate they can be in their arguements trying to prove that something doesnt exist. If God doesnt exist then what they are really argueing about is “nothing”. Are they trying to change our minds? Do they believe that by creating what they percieve as facts will change a “faith” based belief? Faith at its core is believing in things unseen…..things that in our own human capabilties we can’t prove. They are wasting their time, just as we are wasting our trying to convince them that God does exist…..?….. I have never met an Atheist on his death bed, and Ihave seen alot of ppl on their death beds. I think atheist want desperately to beleive that God doesnt exist, knowing full well that he does. Otherwise, why try so hard? Why expend the energy? Who cares if a bunch of crazy ppl want to believe in a higher power. The only reason I can think of would be because they cant understand what we have and they fear the truth….and fear causes Hate and descrimation. When you hate something you want to destroy it. God cant be destroyed. God will exist without atheist…..Atheist would not exist without God!…..Noone benefits more from free will than an Atheist…..

  88. Whitney says:

    I believe that the whole argument above is very pointless. You have a group that believes in a one true God and being saved through Jesus Christ; and another group that doesn’t believe in any form of a God. I’ve read some of the posts, and don’t really agree with what has been written.
    Do I believe in God? Yes. I believe God and science work hand in hand. Yes, evolution is real, but it does have some divine influence throughout. Science is theory, just as religion is theory. Science and religion are flawed because man is flawed. While I do believe the bible is a great source of guidance and inspiration, it is flawed because man is flawed.
    My main issue, which actually made me want to write this post/inquiry, is with the whole homosexuality issue. I read, I believe it was from unworthy1, “Some young boy meets a man and it has been known to happen in the church with some Sunday School teachers of young boys, and it happens in the schools all the time and you read about it in the newspapers.” What I got out of this section, which could be completely incorrect, is that this website believes that molestations of young boys between older men is a choice and is not forced. Also, after the molestation, the young boy becomes a “Sodomite” and is therefore damned since he may have been aroused by this situation. Please correct me if I am wrong, because I don’t wish to have the wrong idea about your Christian organization.

    Thanks a bunch,
    Whitney

  89. coyote three feathers says:

    Whitney, pedophilia is not to be confused with homosexuality. A pedophile is an ADULT that is attracted to a CHILD. This is a pathology, not an orientation. Homosexuality is an attraction to the same gender. This is an orientation. I dare sy that all the gay people I know would be, or are, repulsed at pedophilia and the harm that it does to the child. There are far more little girls being abused by a male adult (many times a family member) then there are homosexual pedophils. The Peds. and the gays are two colpletely different things, not to be confused with each other. Concentual sex is one thing (and there is nothing worng with it), but abuse, molestation, or rape is a crime by any standard. That’s all I have for now. (I need to get off line and go for a walk. It is a nice day.)

  90. Coyote, you are wrong in that both are abominations to God. And no sin is worse than another sin. That is an error in man trying to order that which God has said, not God’s word. Both are equally terrible sin against the self, against another and against God. He who is guilty of one is guilty of all. And the wages of sin are death. I would agree that to us, child abuse seems the worse crime and it is horrible. Both are not normal thinking or behaviors and there is something wrong with these sins.

  91. coyote three feathers says:

    Homosexuality is not a sin. As for what the bible says, homosexual RAPE is a problem, as is heterosexual rape. The use of the words ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ are incorrecy. Majority and minority are the correct words. If God doesn’t like gay people, whay does He make so many? Do you have an issue with homosexuals or just ‘gay sex’?

  92. Coyote, we meet again and once again you are in error because you disagree with God and His Word. You seek to make the holy God of the universe in your own image. You think that you can place your preconceived ideas and presuppositions of what God accepts because you have no problem with sin and wickedness.

    The Bible makes it clear that the wrath of God abides on ALL who are not His children (John 3:36). Further, the Bible is also clear that all who practice homosexuality AND those who condone such practices will not be permitted into heaven, but will perish in the lake of fire – a place prepared for the devil and his demons.

    God made man, but he did not make him to sin. God is not the author of sin, but He is the Controller. God did not create homosexuality. Man in his total depravity seeks to move further and further away from what God has ordained to be truth.

    You may disagree all you like with us, but we are not the ones to whom you will give account. It is a holy and righteous God that you will stand before on the day of judgment.

  93. Coyote,
    You are dead to God’s truth, and spread lies when you state homosexuality is not a sin and assume God made so many. The fault of homosexuality lies within the homosexual -’Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. ‘ James 1:13-14
    As for homosexuality being a sin, God proclaims it as sin in Leviticus 18:22 {where it is called an abomination}, as well as in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Christ Himself said it defiles in Matthew 15:19-20 when He stated “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man.” Here, the word ‘fornications’ is from the Greek ‘porneia’ and is defined by Thayers Greek Definitions as ‘illicit sexual intercourse, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.’ Notice where these sins orginate, the ‘heart’, which means ‘the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours, of the understanding, the faculty and seat of the intelligence, of the will and character, of the soul so far as it is affected and stirred in a bad way or good, or of the soul as the seat of the sensibilities, affections, emotions, desires, appetites, passions.’

    God’s word proves you to be a liar and deceiver, may His mercy save you.

  94. fleebabylon says:

    “God made me this way” says the thief, “it is not sin”.
    “This is just the way God made me” says the adulterer, “it is not sin”.
    “Repent and believe the Gospel” says Jesus.

    True believers are grieved over any sin and do not make excuses for it. They are lead to repentance, not excuses, whatever that sin may be since we all fall short and are fallen. Imagine if their was a group of adulterers within christendom as proud as the militant homosexuals or a group of thieves. Give me a break.

    -Jim

  95. coyote three feathers says:

    Well, I just don’t believe your dogma. I have met many fine gay christians, men and women alike. I have also met a couple (actually 3) M to F Trans-sexuals. I studied the bible on the subject of sexuality, and it says FAR more about heterosexuality, anything you think is says about homosexuality is very subjective. If you look at it with an ethnocentric point of view, then you might draw all manner of conclutions about GLBTQ people. I keep the doors of dialogue open bacause I feel it is important to do so. However, I am not compeled to go to church. I have attended a UU gathering these past few weeks, and another church that fas rainbow flags posted outside the front doors. I don’t reas the bible because i don’t see the point in dooing so on a daily basis. I haven’t looked in it much in the past 10 years or so, but I know what it ‘reads’. Say what you want, I don’t care. Shortly after I ‘came out” I was forced out of thr church where I attended. I’ll never set foot in that place again. Just because you call yourself a christian and go to church, doesn’t mean Jesus approves. Quote the bible all you want, but it won’t change my mind. I’m gay, and that is that.

  96. fleebabylon says:

    “I’m gay, and that is that”

    OK, lets talk about the sins you admit to having committed in your life. Do you consider yourself a good person? Are you a liar, a thief, a blasphemer. Have you ever harbored hatrd in your heart, turned a deaf ear to the cry of the poor? Put aside the sexual sin that you justify for a minute, what about the things you know you have done wrong, the sins you know you have committed. What things does your conscience testifiy against you? What things have you done to others before that you would be angry if they did to you.

    These are good questions to ask.

    “Just because you call yourself a christian and go to church, doesn’t mean Jesus approves. ”

    For sure, Jesus said the last days church would be full of hypocrites. Those who honor him with their lips while their hearts are from him. Dont think I am an evangelical whos pet sin to pick on is homosexuality. I will call sin sin no matter what it is, evne if it is my own and needs repenting of. I do not hold you in any contempt because you are a homosexual, I would treat you the same as I would my straight friends who live in sin. If they started bragging about how its ok to forincate with someone of the opposite sex I would be saying the same thing. I have to take sides with truth even when that means taking sides against something in myself. My love for Christ constrains me to this.

    -Jim

  97. Linda says:

    coyote said- “Well, I just don’t believe your dogma.”—

    Dogma defined— religious documents that are proclaimed as true without PROOF.. The Life death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ -the word of God is all based on History and eyewitnesses–PROOF.. The word of God is not dogma as you so carelessly and and ignorantly state.
    In fact you are a perverse man –a person who is willfully determined and disposed to go counter to what is expected and desired..

    You willfully go against God’s word the truth and what HE says homosexuality is-SIN, it’s sin just as much as lying is sin or stealing is sin or using God’s name in vain is sin. “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” we MUST repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ..

    Jesus paid the price for all our sins at the cross and that includes the price of homosexuality. Jesus had the wrath of God poured on him for all homosexuals including, all liars, thieves, blasphemers etc. –all sinners.. In fact whenever a person who does NOT think they are a sinner or living in sin are just like the Pharisees who saw no need for being saved.

    Jesus said to the Pharisees, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick.” Basically, Jesus was saying that ALL who “THINK” they are okay (like you think coyote) and don’t need help will die in their sins because they “thought” they were just fine-”healthy”. Could be, either they didn’t see their true condition, or they got angry with Jesus or they were full of pride thinking they didn’t need any help. Which is it with you coyote??

    and don’t think I don’t understand,,, I used to be a homosexual. Homosexuality IS SIN. I KNOW because when I repented the Lord Jesus Christ washed away all my sins from my heart with his precious blood and all those desires and feelings I used to have about homosexuality and all that wrong thinking about God and his word and all the things I used to hate and despise about God were GONE~. Instantly my heart was cleaned whiter than snow and so clean that I didn’t ever EVER want to commit that sin EVER again. God’s love flooded my heart to overflowing and I was changed from nite to day.. That’s how I KNOW homosexuality is sin–it separates us from GOD. WE have to face the truth and call all sin what it is-come into agreement with God about what he has a holy hatred for-

    This temporary life that we live for oh some 50,60 maybe even 90 years on this earth is NOTHING compared to eternity in hell…

  98. By the way, there is no such thing as a “fine gay christian (sic)” anymore than there is a “fine adulterer Christian” or a “fine murderer Christian”. You are right that quoting the Bible will not change your mind, that is because you are dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). You, along with a very large part of the world, are content in your depravity and the god you have chosen to make in your own mind that is no god at all. The things of God are foolishness to those who love the world and the things that are in it. The ONLY way your mind will ever change, coyote, is if the Lord in His grace and mercy chooses to regenerate you and make you a new creation.

    You are not compelled to go to church, nor to read your Bible, because you do not desire the things of God. You only long to please your flesh which is contrary to God and to all that is holy.

  99. coyote three feathers says:

    Well, it looks like we disagree. Being gay is not the same as being a murder or a liar. The latter two are choices. I was born this way. Looking back, I realized I had same gender attraction as early as 4 or 5 years old. It took my a long time to come out and accept who and what I am. I hope you are happy with what you believe. And I hope you never have any gay children. (but maybe that’s just what you need to change your minds) My heart has not changed to loving Jesus. I became bornagain when I was 21. That was over 30 years ago. The thing that did change is that I don’t believe a literal inturpritation of the bible. Some may be real, but others are stories to teach a lesson or a poetic rendition of an anchient world view to explain where they came from. God never convicted me to do anything about my homosexuality. Think what you want, but anything I may or may not have done is none of your business. I will not post about that on line. One more thing, Coyote is with a “C”.

  100. You can’t be Born Again and living in Sin, regardless of the Sin. And yes, homosexual acts ARE the same as being a murderer, a liar, a thief or any sin. Sin is Sin. There are no degree of Sin. Just Sin.

  101. Coyote,

    This is not about being happy with what we believe, but being consistent with the teachings of God’s Word. A heart that is engrossed in its sin will never love Jesus Christ. And, I’m sorry, but you are wrong about being born again – at least if you are referring to salvation by grace through faith alone. Nothing has or will ever change until you are made a new creation by the grace and mercy of God. We implore you to seek the truth of Scripture, to plead to God that He will have mercy on you before it is eternally too late. You will never come under conviction of sin until the Holy Spirit convicts you, but do not be fooled into thinking that no conviction of your sin is an endorsement of living in abomination before the holy God who created this world.

  102. coyote three feathers says:

    Don’t believe me then. But I know where I stand. I was born-again way back in 1977. The changes in my life were amazing. I didn’t cause those changes, God/Jesus/Holy Spirit did. I was convicted of many things and repented of those things. Some of those were ‘preacher imposed guilt’ and had nothing to do with The Devine. I have since dismissed religion. I am spiritual in connection with the greater wrelm and the Great Mystery, as the Native American peoples refer to the Devine. All the preaching, bible reading, church going, can no more change my sexuality than it can change the color of my skin or eyes. I don’t call myself a ‘christian’ I call myself a Wohubian (one who seeks to live in harmony and ballance with all the relations with respect. It is a heart centered life-way, rather than an ego centered existence. The approach to life is ‘to be as a question’) Being a Wohubian is the antithesis of religion, which is belief without evidence, assumption, dogma, some are saved (if they believe right and say the magic prayer) and the rest burn in Hell. Religion promotes ignorance (blind belief without evidence) and discouraged logical reasoning. US vs Them, we’re in – your out, the believer needs the un-believer.

    The bottom line is that you think I’m screwed and bound for Hell because I’m gay and won’t repent of being gay. I have nothing to repent of. You have a very vindictive god who set people up to fail from the begining, as it is told in the myth(s) of Adam and Eve (there are two stories).

    If you simply follow the two Great Commandments, there is no need to get all worked up over Levitical Law ( a law that applys to an anchient people in an anchient land on another continent), or church promoted dogma and rules and practices that do more harm then good. But, if you are happy in that way of life, fine. I don’t accept it. I tread a new path seeking Truth, Wisdom as I walk the path of this Sacred Journey. You say you HAVE the TRUTH and I don’t. You can think that if you want, and I can think you are mistaken. I am content and happy with my life. I hope you are as well. I would not be truly happy if I was to be like you. Farwell.

  103. T. I. Miller says:

    both a blessing and a cursing: having a comment line can bring light to a discussion but it can also bring useless heat.
    The “red herring tactic” is used all of time by opponents on Christian and conservative political web pages.
    No matter the conservative subject matter some bomb thrower will toss out some asinine insult and turn the discussion into an off topic mindless food fight.
    This comment line began as one would hope with several brief compliments and thank yous. One close minded antagonistic bomb thrower shows up wanting a fist fight and it turns into wrestle mania. Soon another and then another. Irrespective of the well intentioned well reasoned response to these bomb throwers eventually it appeared to be an act of tossing your pearls before the swine. What is the proverb about answering a fool according to his folly?
    I have been on several apologetic web page comment sections where more energy was wasted debating foolish pigs than writing useful articles. I also assume how vexing and taxing this must be to the web hosts.
    I am just posing the question for reflection. Is it better to ignore or engage pigs tossing out red herring hand grenades?

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